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Open mike 25/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 25th, 2016 - 86 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

86 comments on “Open mike 25/01/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Guyon Espiner asks Key questions about housing affordability in Auckland.
    Key has no answer.


    • BM 1.1

      What was there to answer?
      As Key said, Auckland is a very sought after place to live both locally and internationally.

      Also prices have been rising for a long time and will take a while to level out or drop, last thing any government would want to do is rapidly crash a market.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        I guess something like “Isn’t the cost of housing in Auckland a problem for median earners?” and “What are you going to do about it?”

        Median income $ 77, 000
        Median house price $ 748 000

        It appears Key ( a multi-millionaire) does not.

        • Sacha

          “As Key said, Auckland is a very sought after place to live”

          It is a sought after place to invest untaxed money. Not the same thing, sadly. Until a government tackles the financialisation of our housing, Auckland is screwed.

          • Paul

            House prices are so high because there are no rules here.
            New Zealanders can land bank, buying up many more houses than they need.
            And people from overseas can speculate on houses prices here.

            Both these groups of people – wealthy New Zealanders and foreigners – are forcing ordinary New Zealanders out of their own land.

            But Key and his acolytes believe in the market.

          • BM

            You always did, but it has been tightened up.
            Too many kiwis doing a shifty and not declaring income from property speculation.


          • Sirenia

            I don’t understand where that high median income figure comes from. I thought the NZ median personal income was closer to $28,000. – which means half earn less than that. A very long way from the median house price in Auckland (or anywhere).

      • Muttonbird 1.1.2

        “The truth is, (the current government) are paralysed with fear that the bubble will burst on their watch, so don’t want to tackle the causes of the crisis.”

        – Demographia

        As Matthew Hooton described the other day here at The Standard, this government is truly the do nothing government.

        • BM

          You don’t want the bubble to burst, you want it to slowly deflate, so people have a bit of time to adjust.

          Bubbles bursting is what happened to NZ between 1984 and 1990, thought Labour would have learn’t their lesson and understood that.

          Obviously not and yet another reason why they’re not fit to govern and National is the only option out there to skillfully run the economy.

          • Muttonbird

            By doing nothing?

            Fact is they are getting right towelling in the media today and about time too.

            And do please when you are ready point out where Labour advocates for a bursting of the bubble.

          • dv

            National is the only option out there to skillfully run the economy.

            Current Debt
            NZ$ 120,310,738,466

          • Draco T Bastard

            You don’t want the bubble to burst, you want it to slowly deflate, so people have a bit of time to adjust.

            Actually, I’d make it so that there was a way for the owners to keep living in the same house without debt and then crash the market.

            Bubbles bursting is what happened to NZ between 1984 and 1990, thought Labour would have learn’t their lesson and understood that.

            The problem is that we keep getting bubbles, that when we do our governments actually work to protect those that caused the bubbles rather than ensuring that the risk falls where it’s due and they don’t put in place legislation to stop those bubbles. Just banning foreign ownership would kill many of the bubbles that we now have.

          • Matthew Hooton

            I doubt Aucklanders want their house prices to “deflate slowly”.

            • Once was Tim

              Just as an aside Matty – how do you feel about your ‘PERFORMANCE’ on NinetoNoon today?
              Was it (on a scale from 1 to 5): Abysmal thru’ adequate to exceptional.
              Admittedly we can take in your handicap (i.e. where the regular gal with the balanced portfolio and the world’s best understanding of ‘work-life-balance) where allowances are made for you (in case you throw another hissy fit).
              I suspect your judgement (that includes your desire to appear rational and modest) would be in the ‘adequate’ region. 3.5 out of 5 maybe?

            • Muttonbird

              And that’s the thing. We have become a nation of ladder-kickers.

            • vto

              “I doubt Aucklanders want their house prices to “deflate slowly”.”

              Matthew, if all assets drop in proportion then non problema eh silly.

              Problem of course, as highlighted everywhere, is the debt. Not the house price.

              Now, if the debt slid in proportion to the house price (for which a very strong argument can be made), then also non problema.

              Banks and debt have had to be heavily controlled and regulated for centuries. More is required at this next junction I think. Maybe the change to come post-meltdown will be to limit debt recovery in the event of asset value change (both up and down to be fair)….

      • greywarshark 1.1.3

        You’re stating the bleeding obvious.
        Questions that arise:
        Why is Auckland so sought? What then can reduce those factors? They are disrupting and skewing our housing market, so what can be done to cool this to a satisfactory level, away from gold rush level?

        Your point about the length of time of occurrence is an excellent reason to continue any measures that will bring about a gradual decrease in the rise of prices, perhaps to that of our measured inflation, low, very low.

        These would be questions arising from the answer that would be applied by an interviewer after definite information and be forthcoming from a responsible politician.

        • BM

          Have you been to Auckland.?

          It’s a very nice city and one of the most multi cultural in the world, people like the place.
          Solve the transport issues and I’d say it would be in the top 5.

          Seriously, How many major cites have a farm in the middle of it, where you can walk around among sheep.



          • weka

            “Seriously, How many major cites have a farm in the middle of it, where you can walk around among sheep.”

            Roflnui. Sometimes I think you are a parody account BM.

            • Matthew Hooton

              He’s talking about Cornwall Park – one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is still a working farm, five minutes drive from Queen Street (outside rush hour).

              • weka

                yes, I assumed he was talking about something real, but his phrasing was just too delightfu a summary of propaganda from the neoliberal world view. A lovely city that people can’t afford to live in but hey they can visit the centre and walk around with the sheep. Baaaaa.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  “too delightful a summary of propaganda from the neoliberal world view”

                  Does that even mean anything?

                  Also, it seems that about 1.4 million people are able to afford to live here. And walk around with sheep. Do you not understand that prices go up because people want to live here? If people “can’t afford to live in” Auckland then prices will go down.

                  • weka

                    Well it was more of a statement about BM’s politics as much as anything, but since you’ve asked, yes it does mean something. It means that the view you just presented that the market will somehow provide a solution is a nonsense and we may as well just all head down to the sheep farm and make like the sheep.

                    The South Island is full of ex-Aucklanders who came here for the cheaper housing. To be fair those are generally the middle classes who could live in Auckland but also could afford to get out. The people really feeling it are the people who live in Auckland but whose quality of life is diminished because of wage rates and housing prices. So when I say ‘can’t afford to live in Auckland’ you can take it as a overarching meme for the fact that how we arrange society grossly advantages some and disadvantages others and the market will never make that right (not that I expect you or BM to care about that).

                    “If people “can’t afford to live in” Auckland then prices will go down.”

                    No homeless people there then? Nobody leaving? No poverty? No overcrowded housing? No transient population?

                    What you really meant is if the middle classes can’t afford it then the housing market will slow. But let’s not pretend that prices will actually drop in any kind of meaningful way that is good for people and their communities.

    • Chooky 1.2

      he sounded like a slimy bullshitter…the comments which followed said as much…

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Yes, notice how how Key tried to dodge throughout the interview.
        He presented statistical outliers.
        He questioned the survey, “This is one survey, there’s a whole bunch of other surveys” then when challenged could not present alternative surveys.
        Then changed tack and bragged about growing consents and said what a great place Auckland was a place to live in.
        When challenged with the rhetorical question, “So you think it’s a good news story?”
        he then blamed Labour for the problem.

        • Tc

          When he blames labour its a sign of desperation which a decent journo would see and go for the jugular.

          3rd term and still blaming clark/cullen which he does because nat shills like Gluon let it pass as the accepted meme/spin being peddled.

          Did he get asked about flogging state houses, a broken election promise, by gluon ? This removal of supply will only make it worse and they know it.

  2. Jenny Kirk 2

    PM John Key and his National government say most Kiwis support the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and those who don’t are ignorant or manipulated.
    Show him he’s wrong.

    Help us to fill the Auckland Town Hall tomorrow, Tuesday 26th at 7pm in the first TPPA: Don’t Sign public meetings.

    Hear dynamic, funny, and scary US former trade attorney and TPPA expert Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen Global Trade Watch, on how the US politics may sink the TPPA.

    Jane Kelsey will explain the highlights of the expert papers saying what the TPPA would really mean for Kiwis.

    A political panel will tell us why they oppose the signing of the TPPA:
    Grant Robertson, Labour; Metiria Turie, Greens; Marama Fox, Maori Party; and Fletcher Tabuteau, NZ First.

    For details of Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin meetings see http://itsourfuture.org.nz/tppa-dont-sign-tour/

    The speaking tour is being sponsored by Its Our Future, Action Station, NZ Council of Trade Unions and First Union
    but donations are needed to cover costs.
    You can contribute to these events and the ongoing campaign at https://givealittle.co.nz/org/itsourfuture

  3. Penny Bright 3

    I predict that the Auckland Town Hall will be PACKED!

    Want a seat?

    Get there early ….. 🙂

    Want to hear the other side of the story to PM John Key’s ‘spin’ on the TPPA?


    WHERE: Auckland Town Hall.
    WHEN: Tuesday 26 January 2016
    TIME: 7pm

    SPEAKERS: Lori Wallach (Public Citizen USA)
    Professor Jane Kelsey


    Labour Party: Grant Robertson
    Green Party: Metiria Turei
    NZ First: Fletcher Tabateau
    Maori Party: Marama Fox


    Ever heard Lori Wallach talk about the stark realities of US politics on the TPPA?

    If you have, you won’t want to miss her again!

    If you haven’t, this is a once in a lifetime chance to hear her on how the US and its corporate lobby stitched us up, and sold out ordinary Americans as well. (for Lori’s bio – see here)

    Can the US Congress stop the deal?

    Will the US Congress stop the deal?

    What happens if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency?

    Or Donald Trump (assuming that is worse … which it has to be)

    Are US politicians serious that they will rewrite the deal after it is signed by setting rules for ‘implementation’? What would that mean for Kiwis?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    Vandana Shiva:

    In fact, in the free trade and trade liberalisation regime, which is supposed to end protectionism, IPRs are the main instrument of this new form of protectionism.


    Wayne Mapp calls the TPP a “modern FTA”
    Lowering a few tariffs, while at the same time increasing Intellectual Property Rights IPRs means that it is a total misrepresentation/lie to imply that the TPP is a Free Trade Agreement.

    False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising, and misrepresentation of the product at hand, which may negatively affect many stakeholders, especially consumers.

    • weka 4.1

      I liked the Kelsey video where she states bluntly that this isn’t a trade deal, that the trade part of the TPP is small and that most if it is about giving rights to corporations.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      What the TPPA and other agreements do is increase protections for corporations while decreasing protections for those that sell their labour. The end result is more political power in the hands of the corporations and less in the hands of the people.

      The TPPA takes us further down the road to serfdom. A serfdom that has always been the goal of capitalism.

    • Tautuhi 4.3

      If Wayne Mapp was in the Real Estate Industry and advertising like this he would be down in Wellington before the REAA.

  5. Glenn 50 5

    Winston Peters…
    “If the Opposition was in any way what it should be, [Key] wouldn’t have a hope in Hades.”

    “That’s the real test. Whether the Opposition parties mark up, shape up, keep themselves focused, keep their eyes on what the prize should be rather than their own political and egregious self interest and advantage. If they do that, then the Government wouldn’t have a show in its present construction.”


    • Paul 5.1

      Not so easy when the msm calls this of bs political coverage.

      ‘ MPs with bald spots reached for the hats. Andrew Little had a snappy hat but foolishly wore a black suit. NZ First leader Winston Peters took refuge in a tree, from where he quoted Noel Coward: “only fools and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.’


      • Jilly Bee 5.1.1

        Bill English also wore a dark, if not black suit, but hey, that’s OK as he is not Labour.

      • Acting up 5.1.2

        “…Winston Peters took refuge in a tree …” In a tree? Love it! Just had a great image of Winnie in a tree, beady eyes peering out at those below like an elderly possum. Surely the writer meant under a tree?

    • weka 5.2

      As is often the case with Peters is he both speaking truth and being a complete hypocrite.

      Whether the Opposition parties mark up, shape up, keep themselves focused, keep their eyes on what the prize should be rather than their own political and egregious self interest and advantage


  6. Andre 6

    Paturoa kauri update:

    I didn’t see any evidence of browning in the foliage (but I wouldn’t really expect to until another month or two). Since looking at it in the morning means looking into the sun, I couldn’t really assess any subtler hints about foliage colouring or glossiness.

    The bandage around the ring-barking has soaked through with sap, but it doesn’t appear to be bleeding trails of sap down the trunk. So I’m cautiously hopeful the sap has gone back to flowing up and down the trunk the way it should.

    So on the basis of precisely zero experience or expertise in helping trees recover from ringbarking, my gut feel has gone from “it’s a goner” to “maybe it’s got a teeny-tiny chance”

    • Sabine 6.1

      i follow it on FB and yes, it seems that there is a small bit of hope for the Kauri and the Rimu. Here is to hoping.

    • weka 6.2

      Thanks Andre. Do you know what the owners are up to? I assume it was them that paid the company to do the ringbarking. Why are they not finishing off the job?

    • After it was ringbarked, was there any cambium (tree stem cells) left in the wound?

      • Sabine 6.3.1

        i honestly would not know.

        I know that Johno administered ‘first aid’ and that maori healers came and did their thing. I am not an arborist, but as of today, people are cautiously optimistic that both trees make it.

        • Naturesong


          Keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve not seen a tree recover from such a wound before. But then I’m not an arborist so my knowledge of trees is limited to the general knowledge I need for timber milling, drying, cabinet making etc.

          • Andre

            Ummm, monkey apples can survive a ringbarking at least 150mm wide all the way around. Several on my place did, anyways.

            The photos from Sabine’s tvnz link appear to show continuous bark left across the wound in a few places, so there may be cambium left behind.

            I don’t think the rimu got ring-barked, if it did it’s not visible from the road, and I haven’t been keen to go walking down to take a closer look since kauri dieback is prevalent there.

              • Andre

                Sorry, I put out some incorrect information earlier.

                Went and took a wander down the section and yes, the rimu also got a cut all the way around the trunk. Along with every other tree that was marked with an X that hadn’t been previously felled. Those cuts were hidden by the slash left on the section, so not visible from the road. The malicious orcs had done more damage than I had previously been aware of.

                But I didn’t see that any of the others had great chunks of bark taken off the trunk (unlike the kauri), and the foliage on those trees looks normal, and no trails of sap running down the trunks, so maybe they all have a chance.

                Also got the neighbours worried again to see another stranger taking an interest in the section.

  7. Wisdumb 7

    Malaysia’s parliament votes this week to accept or reject the TPP, first the Lower House then the Senate. The scheduling of the voting shortly before signing makes it look as though this will determine whether the government signs or not (Auckland 4 February) but I am not sure.

    Anyone know definitely?

    Malaysia and Australia obtained additional exceptions to those our NZ negotiators achieved. These two countries form an interesting comparison for NZ. But zilch do we hear from our MSM.

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      Interesting that Malaysia would go to the trouble of actually performing the democratic process regarding this issue.

      Something for our government to learn?

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    Some interesting threads over the weekend ref: fisi and fourth term for Key

    The thing that seemed to come through that I noticed the most was the refrain that “the left need to work together”.

    I’m not disagreeing with this at all (at least in regards to a left victory) but what it really needed changing to was “Labour need to work with the rest of the left in NZ” as it seems (admittedly to me) that the left want to work with Labour but Labour isn’t as keen.

    Its still a worry though that there are posters who still underestimate John Keys intelligence and this attitude that “hes just a money man”, “the USA tells him what to do” etc etc means some on the left don’t prepare as well as they could (subconsciously not taking him seriously perhaps?)

    Also it seems the Labour party (yeah yeah MMP but they’re still the largest party on the left) are out of touch with modern day politicking which considering Lange and Clark went that long ago is a real shame

    So yes there will be a fourth term for John Key and while that means the left will win in 2020 it depends on whether the Left want two terms or three if they (the Left) are willing/able to change to modern day NZ

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      Key is an irrelevancy. His government is useless and does nothing.

      Only concerted media campaigns and opposition inaction keep him in power.

      Most kiwis don’t find him as erotic as fisiani appears to – and those that do will just get cast aside like a used Hosking when Key is done with them.

      The parallels with the Milliband Labour party are significant – self-serving self-styled elite wonder why they can’t win.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Pat, discussing the left-right divide in politics says, in Fisiani Gets it Right on 23/1 says:
    .it certainly appears to me that the younger generations by and large have no points of reference for that positioning and consequently it carries no relevance for them…but naturally those (few) that are politically active and involved at party level tend to have a very firm view in terms of Left/Right so reinforce the dichotomy within.

    But this decay away from Labour-left policies started longer ago than you imply Pat. So a good number of older Labour in NZ are similar to the Blairites in Britain and very possibly any oldies with fire in their bellies for ‘the people’ and a fairer, better functioning NZ, are either isolated or dead.

    Would anyone who knows like to identify those older Labour members still in a position of power and/or Parliament who not only talk the talk but walk the walk?

    • Pat 9.1

      “But this decay away from Labour-left policies started longer ago than you imply Pat. So a good number of older Labour in NZ are similar to the Blairites in Britain and very possibly any oldies with fire in their bellies for ‘the people’ and a fairer, better functioning NZ, are either isolated or dead.’

      don’t necessarily disagree with that greywarshark, but I was responding to a comment from CV that implied (to me at least) that there was no future in presenting policy in terms of left/right….just as there are few remaining veterans of WW2 who’s experiences tempered our society for so long after that event there are few who recall the great conflict of ideas of last century…..increasingly to those in positions of influence it is ancient history, not something their parents, grandparents experienced and perhaps formed….what do we care of the politics of ancient Rome, the Chinese dynasties,the French revolution and the like when forming our opinions today? I suggest the Left/Right struggle of last century has as much relevance to the young(er) of today and is as misunderstood….rightly or wrongly.

      The lessons will have to be relearned…their own way.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Hmmm interesting. Someone emphasised the other day that the era of Rome and its politics is not far away from what is occurring today. I think his point was that it is all cyclical, and you refer to the conflict of ideas and systems in the history of other countries. There is a problem with older people with long memories, if they haven’t learned anything from their experience after rumination and reflection, with discussion of the events.

        Do older people once involved in war, have a considered opinion about it, or do they just go through the ceremonies each year? Here at the Anzac Day church-run short civic gathering, the same words are repeated each year, reverential, memorial, but not disturbing the air and ears with anti-war poems or comment. That seems too real, questioning the waste of life.

        There was no room for the presentation by young peaceniks of white poppies representing peace, perhaps a tacit honouring of the student protesters in Germany using white roses as their badge I think, and who were caught and dispatched early on. The RSA was angry to have them offered, only partly I think because the red poppies raise money for assistance to the returned servicepeople.

        Also discussed recently was the word ‘cynical’. The conclusion was that it can get to be a kneejerk reaction that implicitly claims a superior understanding, but is actually closed, negative, simplistic, and lazy. So I think that position applies to the idea that left/right is completely passe’. It is indeed a useful term for broadly discussing themes of political power and of wealth versus wider concern for the populace and the differing attitudes to a resource-controlling status quo. As you say –

        The lessons will have to be relearned…their own way.


  10. greywarshark 10

    Here’s a citizen who will be missed by people interested in good enterprise in our country. Barry Brickell was a man with many good visions that advanced NZ and the will to be the one to advance them.

    Potter, artist, conservationist and railway enthusiast Barry Brickell moved to the Coromandel to teach high school in the 1960s.

    But less than a year later he abandoned teaching to set up a pottery studio and kiln on a property in Driving Creek, north of the town of Coromandel.
    Fifty years later he had become one of New Zealand’s most celebrated ceramic artists and had restored hectares of native bush and created a wildlife sanctuary.

    Most famously he spent 33 years building the Driving Creek Railway – a popular tourist attraction that has now carried close to 1.25 million passengers.


    A long interview on Spectrum from last year.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Gold rush mentality in this country. Using up this country’s resources of beauty and natural goodness. An Eden into a Den of thieves.
    Dairy – Overproduction, unhealthy financial dependence, pollution, utilising resources from overseas unfairly. (Milk – More milk perhaps. Sheep milk is being looked at as a possible growth market.)

    Tourism – Up from 3 million visitors to 5 million a year is the prediction.
    Consequence – overuse of the attractions, trashing of the country, and pricing out the inhabitants. It costs $50 to say at a hut on one of the tracks I think it was Routeburn.
    How can people ever afford to get to know and enjoy their own country. They can’t afford to live in a poor dwelling – just like good old Brit was like when we left it in the 1800s.

    Freedom tourists –
    DoC figures show the number of tourists on all nine Great Walks has increased by 10 percent a year for the past three years.
    The Routeburn and Milford tracks and huts, which cost $54 a night per adult, are fully booked for this season ending on 27 April.

  12. Morrissey 12

    Right wing think tanks, Matthew Hooton, and Stephen Franks to come:
    Why is there such dismal political commentary on RNZ National?

    Nine to Noon, Monday 25 January 2016

    At 9:30, Kathryn Ryan interviewed—or, more accurately, provided an uncontested free pulpit to—one Andrew Bishop, who rejoices in the splendid title of “senior analyst” for the right wing “think tank” the Eurasia Group. Bishop talked for fifteen minutes, during which he managed to get away with making the extraordinary assertion that the United States was not really involved in either Syria or Ukraine. As is too often the case, Kathryn Ryan didn’t seem to have a clue; about the only thing she said in the whole fifteen minutes was to observe, in a tone of high seriousness, that the United States was suffering “intervention fatigue.”

    After the 11 o’clock news, it was time for the forum now entitled “Political Commentators Matthew Hooton and Stephen Mills”. It should actually be called “Matthew Hooton Straight and Uninterrupted”; after a promising first appearance just before Christmas, Mills has not taken long to slip into playing Colmes to Hooton’s Hannity, a soul-destroying rôle which until recently was filled by the hapless Mike “I Agree With Matthew” Williams. Hooton can, if nothing else, sense weakness in an adversary, and he’s already dominating Mills. Today, the only hint of passion from Mills came when he guffawed derisively after Hooton said, “There’s no homelessness of any note in Auckland.”

    He had nothing else to offer, however. Even the supine Kathryn Ryan did better: she told Hooton he should have listened to her first guest this morning….

    And the bad news just keeps getting worse: Jim Mora’s guests on The Panel this afternoon are Stephen Franks and Josie Pagani.

    • Gabby 12.1

      What the hell is going on with Kathryn Ryan’s speaking? She sounds weird.

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        Yes, Gabby, that’s something I have long considered commenting on, but have refrained from for fear of seeming petty and mean. I’m glad to see that you have also noticed her occasional affectation of an absurdly correct and slow manner of speaking, especially when speaking to someone she is trying to, for whatever reason, to impress.

        Another of her verbal tics, which really annoys me, is the way she adds the tag “Yeah?” to the end of a question. Jim Mora also does this.

  13. joe90 14

    Interesting article on feathered friends gone wild.


  14. joe90 15

    A couple of days ago I posted an article about the harassment of Jane Mayer, an author critical of the Koch brothers.

    Excerpts from Jane Mayer’s book.

    sean @SeanMcElwee

    The Kochs are buying up high schools and teaching students that minimum wages hurt the poor and the New Deal failed. pic.twitter.com/87PIEE3baC

    sean @SeanMcElwee

    Holy. Shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. There are literally no words for how fucked up this is. http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0307970655 … pic.twitter.com/KorQhru8pY


  15. Once was TiM 16

    A public service announcement.
    We’re not allowed to ask if Magisterium is [deleted] in drag – or even if [deleted]
    Warning warning warning [deleted].
    No fuck it ….. BAN!

    [lprent: No you aren’t. Banned 1 week as a gentle reminder, and I’d strongly suggest that you don’t ever try to game the privacy policy again. ]

  16. Gangnam Style 17

    Evil evil bastards, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/01/revealed-environmental-officials-warned-snyder-administration-not-to-use-water-that-poisoned-flint/ & a someone I know over there emailed this to me “There is mounting evidence that the entire goal was to undermine the financial stability of the Detriot Water and Sewerage Dept so as to justify its breakup and privatization thereby brokering control of one of the largest aquifers in the Midwest. Water is the new oil and we are only seeing the beginnings of the resource grab.”

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    4 days ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
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    4 days ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
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    4 days ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
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    5 days ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
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    5 days ago
  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
    Around 7,500 students are set to benefit from the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “The election delivered a clear mandate to accelerate our economic recovery and build back better. That’s why we are prioritising construction projects in schools so more ...
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
    Ten years after the Pike River Mine tragedy in which 29 men lost their lives while at work, a commemorative service at Parliament has honoured them and their legacy of ensuring all New Zealand workplaces are safe. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the event, along with representatives of the Pike ...
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    5 days ago
  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
    New testing measures are being put in place to increase the safety of border workers and further strengthen New Zealand’s barriers against COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These strengthened rules – to apply to all international airports and ports – build on the mandatory testing orders we’ve ...
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    5 days ago
  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
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    5 days ago
  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
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    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
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    5 days ago
  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
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    6 days ago
  • ReBuilding Nations Symposium 2020 (Infrastructure NZ Conference opening session)
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. Can I acknowledge Ngarimu Blair, Ngati Whatua, and Mayor Phil Goff for the welcome. Before I start with my substantive comments, I do want to acknowledge the hard work it has taken by everyone to ensure ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand's biosecurity champions honoured
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. “These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa Conference
    speech to Tourism Industry Aotearoa annual summit Te Papa,  Wellington Introduction Nau mai, haere mai Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, Ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Thank you Tourism Industry Aotearoa for hosting today’s Summit. In particular, my acknowledgements to TIA Chair Gráinne Troute and Chief Executive Chris Roberts. You ...
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    7 days ago
  • Supermarkets announced as Government’s second market study
    The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries.   “Supermarkets are an integral part of our communities and economy, so it’s important to ensure that Kiwis are getting a fair deal at the checkout,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer ...
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    1 week ago
  • Masks to be worn on Auckland public transport and all domestic flights
    Masks will need to be worn on all public transport in Auckland and in and out of Auckland and on domestic flights throughout the country from this Thursday, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins said today. “I will be issuing an Order under the COVID-19 Response Act requiring the wearing ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand signs Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
    Increase to New Zealand’s GDP by around $2 billion each year Increase opportunities for NZ exporters to access regional markets Cuts red tape and offers one set of trade rules across the Asia Pacific region New government procurement, competition policy and electronic commerce offers NZ exporters increased business opportunities Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister acknowledges students as exams begin
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has recognised the extraordinary challenges students have faced this year, ahead of NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which begin on Monday. “I want to congratulate students for their hard work during a year of unprecedented disruption, and I wish students all the best as ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister meets with key ASEAN and East Asia Summit partners
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today attended the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit and discussed with Leaders a range of shared challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region, including: The ongoing management of the COVID-19 pandemic; The importance of working collectively to accelerate economic recovery; and Exploring further opportunities for partners to work more ...
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    1 week ago
  • Veterans Affairs Summit held in Korea
    A Ministerial Summit on Veterans’ Affairs was held in the Republic of Korea this week. Ministers with veteran responsibilities were invited from all 22 countries that had been part of the United Nations Forces during the Korean War (1950 – 1953). The Summit marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Clear direction set for the education system, skills prioritised
    The Government has released a set of priorities for early learning through to tertiary education and lifelong learning to build a stronger, fairer education system that delivers for all New Zealanders. “The election delivered a clear mandate from New Zealanders to accelerate our plan to reduce inequalities and make more ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • A Progressive Agenda
    Speech to the Climate Change + Business Conference, November 12, 2020 Tena koutou katoa Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. It is great to see us all come together for a common cause: to redefine our future in the face of unprecedented times.  Covid-19 and climate change are ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Commemorative address at Act of Remembrance for Armistice Day
    Tuatahi māku  Ka mihi tu ki a koe Pita E pīkauria ana i te mana o Ngā tūpuna o te whenua nei. Thank you Bernadette for your warm introduction. I would also like to reflect on your acknowledgments and welcome Peter Jackson, Taranaki Whānui; Members of the National War Memorial ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New fund launched to reduce carbon emissions from coal and gas
    The Labour Government is quickly delivering a key election policy that will help business to switch from fossil fuels like coal and gas to clean energy for process heat while accelerating the economic recovery from Covid. The $70 million fund will allow business and industries to access financial support to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Support for flood affected Napier community
    The government will contribute $100,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the recent severe weather in Napier, the Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan announced today. “I have been in the region overnight meeting with locals and emergency service responders to discuss their needs, and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New vaping laws take effect today
    New laws intended to discourage young people from vaping while allowing smokers to continue using vaping to give up cigarettes take effect today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Today’s changes mean the laws around vaping are now similar to those around tobacco smoking,” Andrew Little says. The Smokefree Environments and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $84m to support research in science
    The Government is investing $84.7 million in innovative research projects including those focussed on health, climate change, astronomy and the impact of Big Data on social equality says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. This year’s Marsden Fund will support 134 new projects including explorations of the connection between ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Former Cook Islands Prime Minister mourned
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has noted with sadness the passing of Jim Marurai, who served as Cook Islands Prime Minister between 2004 and 2010.  “Jim Marurai made a significant contribution to his country through a lifetime of service.  “As a teacher and as a politician, he was greatly ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister heads to flood-hit Napier
    Minister of Emergency Management Kiri Allan will travel to Napier this afternoon to meet with frontline staff and residents affected by the severe weather that hit the area overnight. “My thoughts are with the Napier community as they deal with the damage and disruption that this deluge has caused, and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Crown accounts better than forecast as confidence in the economy grows
    The Government’s books were stronger than expected as the economy continues to recover post COVID lockdown, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the three months to the end of September show a lower than forecast deficit due to a better than expected tax take. “Tax revenue ...
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    2 weeks ago