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Open mike 25/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2011 - 106 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

106 comments on “Open mike 25/03/2011 ”

  1. Jenny 1


    “Local iwi Te Whanau a Apanui have called on New Zealanders everywhere to join them in defending their precious marine environment.
    We are now uniting to respond to that call.”


    With the ink barely dry on the agreement, the new Foreshore and Seabed legislation begins to take effect.

    Oil drilling companies are rushing to take advantage.

    With this new legislation, (as with the last), there is slim, to no chance, of any legal challenge from the affected iwi.

    All commentators admit that the present legislation is little different from the Labour Party’s original law which also legislated against Maori legal rights to challenge the control of the F&S.

    So why are the drilling companies acting much more aggressively under this legislation than under the previous F&S bill?

    In 2004 after serious lobbying by mining and oil companies, in a shock move, the original Labour legislation was imposed on Labour’s Maori caucus and the public generally without any mandate, especially without any mandate from Maori.

    (As has been admitted on various occasions, all the Labour Party Maori MPs, in line with majority Maori feeling, would have voted against the original legislation if Labour had freed them to vote with their conscience.)

    This was problematic for the mining companies – Having no real mandate to exploit the legislation to the full extent of the law, could have seen the mining and oil companies targeted by mass protest from Maori and their Pakeha supporters.

    As it was, this mass anger particularly from Maori, was vented against the Labour Government, with 40,000 marching on the Beehive.

    The big difference with the present legislation is that it has a mandate, missing from the original legislation, care of the Maori Party.

    This mandate gives the mining and oil companies the confidence they need to proceed with their plans to exploit the Seabed and Foreshore.

    Will Te Whanau Apanui and Greenpeace be able to mount the sort of mass protests necessary to stop this threat to our marine environment in the new political environment?

    Admittedly, it will be harder.

    But as has been shown over schedule 4, if Te Whanau Apanui and Greenpeace are successful and can rally the numbers, government and big business will get cold feet.

    This is why as many of us as possible should support this initiative.

    Get the message out.

    Pass it on.

    • M 1.1

      Jenny, don’t know that it will happen – check this out from CNBC:


      I believe the clamour for the last scraps will deafen us all.

    • prism 1.2

      Isn’t this what the country gets when passing a law that says the foreshore belongs to nobody? It’s well observed that nobody is an entity that takes no responsibility for anything.

      A Maori spokesman for Rangitane in the South Island on Morning Report stated it plainly when he said that Maori have to ask the thief to decide whether Maori have any rights over what was theirs and stolen from them. They have seen this at first hand and are understandably uncomplimentary about the new law. It started for them when the pakeha fishing aristocracy were sharing out all the rights to seabed farming to themselves and no or few Maori applications were granted. It appeared that this was going to be a permanent pattern and so Maori were forced to act.

      Nick Smith, Nelson career NACT MP and henchman Peter Dunne, the man for no reasons but all seasons, got all the good old boy pakehas and affronted settler types to pool and protest with access to beaches rhetoric. Also there has been confrontation as boaties want to launch from a useful spot in a Nelson bay where on their way they cross seashell beds and Maori to protect these erected a gate. (I think that was the gist of the matter.)

      • pollywog 1.2.1

        Also there has been confrontation as boaties want to launch from a useful spot in a Nelson bay where on their way they cross seashell beds and Maori to protect these erected a gate. (I think that was the gist of the matter.)

        I wonder if Smith is still harbouring a grudge from years ago for having his car locked in on private land, down the private ‘no access to the public’ road one needs to travel down to get to that beach ?

        …and that useful spot in a Nelson Bay is becoming more and more useful as more and more boaties use it.

        hopefully now, the local iwi can enforce previous court rulings in favour of ownership and their continued use of the estuary in question since 1840. They shouldn’t need to got to court as it’s already been proven they own it.

        watch this space, cos the local iwi will block it…again.

        then all hell will break loose if the local farmer moves the blocks or cuts the gate off again. At the very least there needs to be some signage and consequences for trespassing.

  2. logie97 2

    Peter Dunne supports new Foreshore legislation 2011.

    Now, anyone remember his position in 2003

    Protest calls for end to claims on foreshore
    NZ Herald Tuesday July 29, 2003
    More than 500 people took to the main street of Nelson yesterday in protest over the issue of Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed. Carrying placards saying “Whites have rights too”, “When do we stop giving?” and “One law for all New Zealanders”, the march left Wakatu Square shortly after noon. Protesters chanted “Foreshores for all” as they marched to the Church Steps, where they heard speeches from organisers United Future leader Peter Dunne and Nelson National MP Nick Smith.


  3. apples are yum 3

    and in other important news…

    Citizen A: the show where bloggers go visual and comment on their own comments made during the week based on the comments of others in the media and sometimes the comments of politicians too.

    Previous guests have included commenters such as Chris Trotter and Selwyn Manning, hosted by the horn-rimmed Martyn Bradbury, but of late Cameron Slater and Pheobe Fletcher have become a fixture. After last night’s performance, I’ve reached two conclusions. I don’t know how many shirts Slater owns but all of them have been expertly deformed by the time he reaches the studio. Either he lives in a minimilist studio with one large ranch slider for access or he frequently rolls down grassy hills – yet no grass stains. He is a fashion genius. Pheobe Fletcher, ahh, the passion, the power. She could talk for hours about the Saudi in Bahrain or Bethnal Green with those dark sparkling eyes and make it seem like a minute.

    Citizen A is either years ahead of it’s time or destroying the blogosphere one episode at a time. The only thing to make it better would be if the participants spoke another language (English subtitles) and dined on snack foods: Russian and hamburgers for Slater, Japanese and tapas for Fletcher and French with potato chips for Martyn. Long live Blog-fo-tainment!

    • lprent 3.1

      Haven’t bothered to watch it.

      • Bored 3.1.1

        Cant see it destroying the blogosphere, its just more talking heads a la the good old fashioned TV. On the blogosphere we all have a say, we dont all get on “TV”. Had a look, its OK, basically what the TV channels cant do whilst ratings rule.

  4. M 4

    A good report on the situation in Japan with other good reports – one of my favourite sites:


    • ianmac 4.1

      M. Speculative. Pointless. Unhelpful. Unless the writer wants to create fear and loathing in order to sell more copy.

      • pollywog 4.1.1

        How about this one ?

        Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates, at the edge of the subduction zone, and is in one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. It was extreme pressures and temperatures, resulting from the violent plate movements beneath the seafloor, that created the beautiful islands and volcanoes of Japan.

        Nonetheless, like many countries around the world — where General Electric and Westinghouse designs are used in 85 percent of all commercial reactors — Japan has turned to nuclear power as a major energy source. In fact the three top nuclear-energy countries are the United States, where the existence of 118 reactors was acknowledged by the Department of Energy in 2000, France with 72 and Japan, where 52 active reactors were cited in a December 2003 Cabinet White Paper.

        The 52 reactors in Japan — which generate a little over 30 percent of its electricity — are located in an area the size of California, many within 150 km of each other and almost all built along the coast where seawater is available to cool them.

        However, many of those reactors have been negligently sited on active faults, particularly in the subduction zone along the Pacific coast, where major earthquakes of magnitude 7-8 or more on the Richter scale occur frequently. The periodicity of major earthquakes in Japan is less than 10 years. There is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan — the third-ranked country in the world for nuclear reactors.

        “I think the situation right now is very scary,” says Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist and professor at Kobe University. “It’s like a kamikaze terrorist wrapped in bombs just waiting to explode.”

        It is not a question of whether or not a nuclear disaster will occur in Japan; it is a question of when it will occur.


        …scary shit eh ?

        • Bored

          Not half as scary as storing the spent fuel for thousands of years…..hmmm message to my great great great great great great great, great , great grandchildren…look after the stuff we used 2000 years ago and dont go near it. Talk about multi generational theft!

          • pollywog

            yeah those damn yankees…

            The nuclear crisis in Japan has laid bare an ever-growing problem for the United States — the enormous amounts of still-hot radioactive waste accumulating at commercial nuclear reactors in more than 30 states.

            The US has 65,192 tonnes of the waste, according to state-by-state numbers obtained by The Associated Press. But the nation has no place to permanently store the material, which stays dangerous for tens of thousands of years.

            Plans to store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain have been abandoned, but even if a facility had been built there, America already has more waste than it could have handled.


            • Lanthanide

              There’s a very easy solution to the US’s nuclear waste issue. Re-processing. Reduces the initial waste by 75%, although it can only be reprocessed once. Using re-processed fuel is cheaper than buying brand new stuff. It was initially outlawed in the US because the plutonium recovered can be used for nuke weapons, but it’s not like the US has had trouble building up it’s arsenal already. It is no longer illegal, but no one has had the political balls to actually go and introduce the most effective short-term solution that there is.

              • felix

                75% isn’t a solution.

                Partial solution at best.

              • pollywog

                There’s a very easy solution to the US’s nuclear waste issue. Re-processing. Reduces the initial waste by 75%…

                sweet…then there’s only about 17 000 tonnes of the toxic shit lying round for 10 000 years.

                Still doesn’t solve the problem of what to do with it ?…any ideas there brainiac ?

                • henryhorse

                  I may have this wrong but:

                  1 metre of dirt, brown rock, road metal weights approximately 1 ton. I.e. a 10 ton truckload of road metal is approximately 10 cubic metres.

                  Therefore 65,000 tons of nuclear waste would at the most be 65,000 cubic metres. (it would actually be smaller because it is denser than any of the above.)

                  Type 40 X 40 X 40 into your Google search bar and hit enter.

                  Answer: 64,000 cubic metres.

                  So 65,000 tons of nuclear waste is a pile roughly 40 metres long by 40 metres wide by 40 metres high. That ain’t an awful lot of nuclear waste. Give it a little bit of separation between the individual bits, stick it in the middle of a paddock in a large swimming pool, cool it, put a fence around it and leave it there. Or you could make a mountain out of a molehill just like the story.

                  • Armchair Critic

                    So you’ll be calling them up and offering to let them put it out the back of your stable?

                    • pollywog

                      I.e. a 10 ton truckload of road metal is approximately 10 cubic metres.

                      So 65,000 tons of nuclear waste is a pile roughly 40 metres long by 40 metres wide by 40 metres high.

                      …so if it were gold then that ain’t an awful lot of gold neither.

                      duhhhh…wrong !!!

                      and just so we’re on the same page…

                      …we’re talking six and a half thousand 10 ton trucks packed foll of toxic radiation, lined up and cruising along the road to your digs so they can dump it in your swimming pool and forget about it

                      yeah nah, but thanks for putting that into perspective.

              • Yo rare earth,

                You can also mix it with “depleted” uranium and bomb the shit out of countries. All for the greater good of the local populations of course.

                Here is the former army specialist in how to clean up DU and shit Doug Rokke talking about DU. I have once had the absolute honour of talking with this man and knowing that he and so many US soldiers are dying from exposure to DU and other war toxins is absolutely devastating

                • Oh, and here is another charming (Not dangerous of course) event just happening at the reactors tada! a Neutron beam (13 times) and… AND just wait for it Tada!!! just like at Chernobyl right when the reactors blew up it started to rain POLLEN. LOLOLOL.

                  If you believe that I\’ve got a real nice ocean in the middle of the Sahara for sale (oh no, can\’t do that because America and NATO are bombing the shit out of that too. But no worries because DU is harmless, really!!!.

          • pollywog

            Then there’s this scary guy…Dr Chris Busby

            and his claim…

            Chris Busby verified today in an email that three spent fuel pools are totally blasted away and burned up. That puts the approximate radiation levels at 24,000 HIROSHIMAS x 3 = 72,000 times the radiation of Hiroshima now in the atmosphere. Remember, this is JUST from the spent fuel pools. Radiation escaping from the reactors is another story altogether.

            what it means…


            if you’re a journo…be afraid, then have another drink and scoff at teh gHeyz in the Labour party.


            • Lanthanide

              “Christopher Busby (born 1945) is a British scientist and activist known for his work on the health effects of ionising radiation.”


              “We have now all had time to evaluate what we believe is the truth behind the Japanese Nuclear Incident (or should I say disaster) and it has become clear that we have all been deceived by the Japanese Authorities, their nuclear establishment, the IAEA, the international pro nuclear groups and more importantly the so called experts that are invited onto the mainstream media channels to blast us with nothing more than total spin. We have heard from nuclear experts from Chatham House (the NWO voice box) and such people as Prof. Gerry Thomas from Imperial College London.”

              All we have to do is wait. If what he’s saying is true, there will be unavoidable health problems in the near to medium term. If he’s catastrophizing (seems likely) then we’ll get proof of that too.

              • pollywog

                So are you trying to discredit all the info here


                just by saying Busby is biased ?

                Well of course he’s biased in his activism…who the fuck isn’t when you know


                • Lanthanide

                  Sure, everyone’s biased. I’m not saying that every single person who works in the nuclear energy industry is completely free of bias.

                  But the organisations such as IAEA, the Japanese government and the power company have an actual responsibility to be truthful with the public and protect public health. If any of them deliberately fail to do their job, especially to the extent that this guy is claiming they have, then they’re going to face extreme sanctions and probable prison sentences. On the other hand, this guy can say whatever the hell he likes, and if he’s wrong, people will just think he’s a crank. Quite similar to Ken Ring, really.

                  I’ll also note that later on in the original linked article he claims (conveniently, for his purposes), that the radiation particles he’s talking about “can’t be detected”. Curious, I would expect something that emits ionising radiation that is harmful to humans could be detected by anything that detects ionising radiation. If it can affect human health, it can be detected by something – at the very very worst, it can be detected by humans when you observe that their health is deteriorating.

                  • Bored

                    And when we have finished thinking that Busbys a crank the problem of spent fuel remains. I find the faith in science, technology and engineering extremely disturbing. Fix one problem with another. It is short term and lazy thinking, and it will create problems for our descendants 000s of years from now looking after our nuclear crap. That is also incredibly selfish.

                  • pollywog

                    the Japanese government and the power company have an actual responsibility to be truthful with the public and protect public health

                    No they don’t, otherwise their gov’t wouldn’t have knowingly falsified reports to build nuclear reactors on active faults and the power companies only responsibility is to maximise the bottom line for their overlords…public health doesn’t even come into it when you’re talking nuclear.

                    It’s just fallout and collateral damage hopefully covered by insurance and legislated against by indemnity waivers.

                    BTW, The difference in comparing Busby to Ring, is that Busby is a research scientist, Ring is a lunatic.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “No they don’t, otherwise their gov’t wouldn’t have knowingly falsified reports to build nuclear reactors on active faults and the power companies only responsibility is to maximise the bottom line for their overlords…public health doesn’t even come into it when you’re talking nuclear.”

                      Very valid point.

                      But after a nuclear accident, there is much wider media and public interest, and scrutiny. It’s unfortunate that that is what it takes to get some people to do the right thing.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Since when has a “responsibility to be truthful” actually resulted in profiteers, who rely on the people not knowing the truth, actually being truthful?

                  • Lantzelot

                    I’ll also note that later on in the original linked article he claims (conveniently, for his purposes), that the radiation particles he’s talking about “can’t be detected”. Curious, I would expect something that emits ionising radiation that is harmful to humans could be detected by anything that detects ionising radiation.

                    Busby is referring to Strontium-90, which can not be detected with gamma spectroscopy, it does not emit any gamma radiation. But it can certainly be detected with beta spectroscopy, slightly more complicated but doable if you have the equipment. Busby likes to scare people, so to say that it cannot be detected is more in tune with his way of reasoning.

                    There were plenty of Strontium-90 in the fallout from the atmospheric bomb tests in the 50s and 60s, and it was expected to play an important role in nuclear accidents. But in the Chernobyl disaster it did not play a large role in the dispersed radioactivity, it was Cesium-137 that was dominating, while the Strontium-90 tended to stay at the reactor.

              • Here is a link to some photos indicating the temperatures way above boiling point and buildings damaged to the point of no more in tact pools.

                Added to that here is a link to the first photos from inside the plant made by the Fukushima 50. What you see is that there is absolutely no power in the control room. No power in the plant no power in the control room means nobody knows shit apart from the fact that there is no cooling in the entire plant.

                • Lanthanide

                  “Here is a link to some photos indicating the temperatures way above boiling point and buildings damaged to the point of no more in tact pools.”

                  1. High temperatures over 100º does not mean that the area with high temperatures are actually water (which would be rapidly boiling off), or the area in which water used to be (the pools).
                  2. There’s no evidence from those thermal images that the pools are not intact.

                  “Added to that here is a link to the first photos from inside the plant made by the Fukushima 50. What you see is that there is absolutely no power in the control room. No power in the plant no power in the control room means nobody knows shit apart from the fact that there is no cooling in the entire plant.”

                  1. In the second photo, the caption is that they’re looking at gauges. Presumably these gauges are actually telling them something, of they wouldn’t be bothering to look at them.
                  2. The second photo has the caption “Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers collect data in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2 at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.”, again reinforcing that there would be no reason for them to be in the control room if they couldn’t gain useful information from being in there.
                  3. Because photos exist showing the control room without lighting, doesn’t mean that they have permanently lost power or didn’t recover it later.
                  4. Not having lighting in the control room doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole control room is without power – it’s reasonable to assume there may be backup batteries for monitoring equipment that only draws low amounts of power.

                  I’m not saying my interpretations of this data is the absolute truth of what’s going on, but you should really stop jumping to the worst-case conclusions from these sorts of things.

      • M 4.1.2


        Maybe I’m having a doom-out but this has me concerned – haven’t looked into buying and KI tablets though – if they’re trying to sell more copy I’d call them cynical but I think many people are terrified and can only imagine what’s going on in the minds of the Japanaese, Chinese and easter Russians.

        ‘Inside the complex, torn apart by four explosions since a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit last Friday, workers in protective suits and using makeshift lighting tried to monitor what was going on inside the six reactors. They have been working in short shifts to minimise radiation exposure.

        U.S. officials took pains not to criticise the Japanese government, which has shown signs of being overwhelmed by the crisis, but Washington’s actions indicated a divide with its close ally about the perilousness of the situation.

        Neighbouring China wanted Japan to report developments “accurately” and quickly, a government spokeswoman said.

        “The worst-case scenario doesn’t bear mentioning and the best-case scenario keeps getting worse,” Perpetual Investments said in a note on the crisis.

        Japan said the United States would fly a high-altitude drone over the stricken complex to gauge the situation, and had offered to send nuclear experts.

        A State Department official said flights would be laid on for Americans to leave and family of embassy staff had been authorised to leave if they wanted.

        Health experts said panic over radiation leaks from the Daiichi plant, around 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, was diverting attention from other life-threatening risks facing survivors of last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami, such as cold, heavy snow in parts and access to fresh water.

        The latest images from the nuclear plant showed severe damage to some of the buildings after the four explosions. Two of the buildings were a mangled mix of steel and concrete.

        Sebastian Pflugbeil, president of the private German-based Society for Radiation Protection, said Japan’s efforts to pull the Fukushima plant back from the brink signalled “the beginning of the catastrophic phase.” ‘


      • travellerev 4.1.3

        Here is a photo of the reactors showing blistering heat and no roofs . Here is diagram of how the reactor used to look form the inside. See that pool in the right top corner just under the roof. Now go back to the photo and try to locate the pool. There used to be 40 years of spent rods in that pool. What you reckon happened to those?

        • Pascal's bookie

          The link to the conscious-being-alliance is broken. 🙁

        • Lanthanide

          The diagram is of standard Mark 1 Containment, as you can see from the caption. It is not a specific diagram of the Fukushima plants, which may or may not conform exactly to that diagramatic layout.

          I also seriously doubt you can really draw any conclusions from a blurry, low-resolution thermal image like that, not without being familiar with the interior of the specific buildings or an expert on nuclear plants in general.

          • travellerev

            There we go again, a little bit of truth, a lot of bullshit and doubt seeding. Good techniques rare earth man but sooo transparent.

            The diagram is of a Mark 1 BW reactor as there were 6 build in Fukushima (and 27 in the US). The man who wrote the article was working for GE and is a journalist specialising in nuclear energy and the nuclear energy industry. The Mark1 diagram is an accurate depiction of the Fukushima reactors and the spend fuel rods were in pools as depicted in the diagram. The spend fuel rod pools are a goner. WHoosh, gone disappeared leaving the rest of the world to deal with the Radioactive fall out for eons to come.

            LA element no 57 consists of one stable and one radioactive isotope. Is that why you picked your moniker and the little picture thingy, rare earth man?

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Check this out. Everyone’s* favorite lawman doing some law stuff.

    *For definitions of ‘everyone’ where ‘one’= that creepy looking guy from the sensible sentencing trust

    • ianmac 5.1

      Was that the same vehicle used to storm the gang headquarters in Nelson (?) recently in order to catch out some cocky roosters?

  6. Bored 6

    Just when we were thinking that the whole economic edifice was beyond the power of democracy and the people to take back from the rich, the financiers and the corporates…along came this plan.


    Its actually simple, it is the inverse of the Golden Rule (he who has the gold makes the rules). It is now, you have the gold and we want it back. Some US unionists have a subversive and effective plan.

    From the article..

    We have a very simple strategy:

    How do we bring down the stock market
    How do we bring down their bonuses
    How do we interfere with their ability to be rich…

    We will connect three ideas

    that we are not broke there is plenty of money
    they have the money – we need to get it back
    and that they are using (the press) and people in government as the vehicle to try and destroy us

  7. William joyce 7

    Ok, this may have been dealt with already but I need help. There seems to be a lot of the proverbial being thrown at Goff over his handling of the DH affair.
    What exactly was wrong with him keeping it on the down low while waiting to see how it developed?
    He’s admitted to a double standard re. Worth – ok , I get that.
    Yes, he could have front footed it earlier and got ahead of the issue – and that was a judgement call and he got it wrong.
    But is that all there is to the reasons for questioning his handling of it?
    What do others think?

    anti-spam : seeks

    • Anne 7.1

      Agree with you 100% Willaim joyce. I guarantee that most of the critics (read John Armstrong and co) – and those who have been so vociferous in their criticism of Goff on this site – would have acted in exactly the same way had they been in Goff’s shoes. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing isn’t it. We all know what should have been done… after the event. I note John Key and Bill English are staying quiet on the issue of Goff’s handling of the affair. Why? Probably because they know they would have done nothing differently.

      • PeteG 7.1.1

        I note John Key and Bill English are staying quiet on the issue of Goff’s handling of the affair. Why? Probably because they know they would have done nothing differently.

        Probably because they can see Goff piling enough straws on his own back.

        • Anne

          bs PeteG.
          Key did the same thing with both Worth and Wong. That is (probably) why he’s keeping mum.

      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.2

        Sort of.

        The problem is the ‘double standard’. ‘Admitting’ that you got it wrong back then is a story, and it’s a development in a story that otherwise wouldn’t have any developments till the cops decide what happens next. So it fills some space and keeps the story going.

        But a story also needs analysis see, which is about “what does the ‘admission’ mean”.

        “Is it genuine or is it arse covering”, and “what does that tell us”,

        and even further, (and this is the killer because it ties into the ongoing narrative that all stories have to either support or change),

        “Q: What does the fact that we are all talking about this mean about Goff’s leadership skillz?

        A: they suck because he didn’t change the narrative”

        It doesn’t matter whether or not keeping it quiet was the right thing to do in any substantive sense. It doesn’t matter if there are any substantive differences in circumstances between the Hughes and Worth incidents.

        The only thing that matters, journalistically, as she is practiced, is how he handled the narrative. So it was mistake.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      I’m a little mystified too. But I think “the straw that broke the camel’s back” is playing into it.

  8. PeteG 8

    Some advice from perhaps a surprising source:

    If Labour are seri­ous about win­ning the next elec­tion they need a new leader. Goff’s num­bers have been sta­tic for over two years, and his mes­sage is never going to be well received because no one knows what it really is.

    As the Lib­er­als showed in Aus­tralia, chang­ing lead­ers and chang­ing approaches can change the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment. A new Labour leader would be able to make a clean break….and forge a new path for Labour.

    They could win back a lot of votes quickly by intro­duc­ing a new set of poli­cies that address major issues for New Zealan­ders, rather than fol­low­ing Goff’s half-witted pol­icy pre­scrip­tion doing stuff that too few peo­ple care about.

    A new leader could move Labour to the cen­tre, empathis­ing with mid­dle New Zealand who have been strug­gling, ask­ing the ques­tion “are you bet­ter off now than you were under Labour?”

    They could run with a series of sim­ple mes­sages attack­ing National directly, rather than in the oblique way Labour has. As this blog has sug­gested bill­boards that would frame a cam­paign that would scare National silly.

    Address­ing New Zealan­ders real con­cerns, jobs, a fair tax sys­tem and bet­ter edu­ca­tion would let the new leader set up Labour to put National under mas­sive pres­sure. This eas­ily could change the polls, polls that have been very unfavourable for Goff for 2 ½ years.

    Of course it could be an attempt at reverse psychology.

    [lprent: Interesting. This is about the 3rd one over the last few days. The anti-spam appears to think that any link with whaleoil is spam. And whale isn’t in the auto-spam (just in the moderated words).

    So nice to see that the moderators sending all of those advertising comments (a line + link or just the link) by the pod to akismet has finally had an effect. Hopefully this applies not just for our site, but for any site that uses akismet.

    But your comment doesn’t fulfill the advertising criteria.

    But Whale is just doing his usual mischief in his usual lousy style. ]

  9. Lanthanide 9


    “A university student, who is also a former youth MP, has lodged a complaint with police which is of a sexual nature.

    The boy had been drinking in central Wellington with Hughes and returned to his home. ”

    So in the headline it says “naked man”, and yet in the body it says “boy”? I wonder if they’ll correct this, because someone who is 18 is not legally a boy any more, and using that word in this particular context is sloppy and misleading.

    • PeteG 9.1

      That seems to clarify how he came to “run into” a police car on the street, it’s likely someone independent of the case reported him to the police. That diminishes some of the conspiracy possibilities.

      It also gives a pointer to what may have been searched for at the house.

    • gobsmacked 9.2

      Unless a person’s clothes are torn off (all of them?) by an alleged assailant, being naked suggests consensual activity gone wrong. That does not exclude the possibility of assault (“no means no” etc, including changing one’s mind). But it doesn’t support the “comes back for coffee and suddenly molested” version of events.

      And yes, the “boy” angle is just tabloid-speak for gay/pedo/scoutmaster/titilation.

      • Lanthanide 9.2.1

        Thankfully it’s been corrected now to “man” and “young man”. I happened across the article just after it was posted (said “0 minutes ago”).

        captcha: frames

        • Carol

          At my advanced age, my inclination is to refer to teenagers as boys & girls. I need to make a concious effort to call them men & women. Maybe it’s wrong, but 18 seeems very young to me.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Yeah but. Plenty of 18 year old kids got themselves shot in Iraq, for example. Very young/=children.

            • Carol

              Yes, they did. I can see the problem in calling them boys and girls, but it doesn’t come naturally to me to call them men and women. Actually, I don’t find the words boys and girls that adequate either for teenagers, so I fluctuate, and sometimes resort to young men & young women.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Oy yeah, It’s natural right.

                But journalism should be the result of conscious effort, and calling an 18 yr old a child is pretty bad in that context.

                • ianmac

                  My two youngest sons I call the boys, but both have passed their quarter centuries. As for calling my superannuant sister one of the girls is dynamite!
                  In Marshall’s write up there is no merit or humour in his shit-stirring.

          • Lanthanide

            Sure, it’s common in the vernacular to call people that age boys or girls. Women in the 20’s and 30’s are frequently called girls, too.

            But that doesn’t mean a formal media report should be doing the same. I know a lot of journalists can’t get their head around “fewer” vs “less”, or that “decimated” means reduced by 10%, but I should think that using ‘man’ for someone over 18 should be within their grasp.

      • William joyce 9.2.2

        Buyer’s remorse? Not uncommon for all orientations.
        But as has been pointed out, it explains the presence of the cops & the reason for the search. The condition of the clothes will be relevant.

    • Vicky32 9.3

      I will be more impressed Lanth, when you or anyone gets as upset about 18 year old women being called girls!
      In the 80s, no one would have dared. Yet fairly recently I wrote a letter of complaint to the Herald when they had a headline that referred to a ’25 year old girl’. (Red letter day, I actually got an apology about a crusty old sub-ed… 🙂 )
      Then tonight I read in the TV Guide a movie synopsis referring to Brittany Murphy in some dire rom-com as a married ‘girl’… As I have often said in different places, anyone who marries a ‘girl’ is a paedophile – girls are *children*.
      So, likewise, an 18 year old girl is legally a woman.

      • Vicky32 9.3.1

        Even though I infuriated my 24 year old son, by referring to two of my students, an 18 year old and a 17 year male as ‘boys’, the other day… Italians refer to themselves and each other as boys and girls even when of an advanced age – the first time an Italian penfriend referred to himself as a ‘boy of 40’ I freaked out!

  10. Gina 10

    Just a comment on the rumour that Phill Goff might be rolled. Despite Goffs imperfections Labour has no one with the presence to equal him. David Cunlife gave a very good speech but his personality just doesn’t register. I actually think that but for the massive media bias in Key’s favour, Phill Goff would be much more popular than Key. He comes accross much better on telvision etc. Goff may not be ideal and I think he is been given very bad advise by his media people but he is the only real leader in the labout party that I can see. I don’t know if the muck ups are his judgement or his advisors. Can someone telll me is it Phill Goff who makes bad calls or is it his advisors. If Goff had good judgment he wouldn’t listen to bad advise I suppose.

    Goff really needs to stop attacking National for things which its clear Labour also do, as its just making him look silly. Does he do this off his own bat or do his advisors push it. I’m glad the dye job has gone , he looks much better without it. He needs to stop looking for any stupid angle to attack and just be real. I think that will be enough. There are plenty of genuine angles of attack available as Cunlife demonstrated in his speech. Shame Cunlife does not appear to have the personality of a leader.

    • felix 10.1

      “I don’t know if the muck ups are his judgement or his advisors.”

      It’s the same thing. Either he’s making stupid decisions or he’s hiring people to make stupid decisions for him. His responsibility either way.

      “Despite Goffs imperfections Labour has no one with the presence to equal him.”

      Serious question: Does Labour have anyone who could do a worse job than Goff?

      • Gina 10.1.1

        Yes as I said David Cunlife’s personality doesn’t even register. He might be a better PM but no one will vote for him.
        I really think getting rid of Goff will finish Labour and thats exactly what the MSM would like.

        • PeteG

          It is getting serious, it’s hard to imagine having anyone more goff prone.

          • Gina

            No actually I am a little worried about Goff’s supposed right wing leanings. I also see that we absolutely must get rid of National and John Key or NZ will truely be on the road to dictatorship hell. I’ll back whoever I see as being the most likely person to achieve that in order to keep our democracy.
            My positions on leaders etc is strategic and related to unseating National. It is in no way personal.

            • felix

              Me too.

              So what’s the point? If Key is a right-winger who’s scared to go too far too the right, and Goff’s a (whatever he is) who’s afraid to go to the left, then why replace one with the other?

              I couldn’t give a monkey’s which team wins the game, I care about left-wing, liberal, progressive policy.

              If Goff can’t (or won’t) deliver that, then why should I care whether it’s him or Key?

              • Bored

                Tariq Ali pretty much summed up the failure of the left on (lightweight) Kim on Saturday morning. Its down to who pays the piper.

              • Pascal's bookie


                Some empty suit dropping me hints that they agree with me, really really do, but just on the quiet coz we can’t scare the centrists, and we need their votes, so just trust me; can frankly piss off.

                Someone doing that is telling the centrists the same thing about me. And if there is any incentive for pollies to stab centrists in the back after the election rather than me, I’d like to hear what that might be. Coz I’m not seeing any.

                And centrists are either mealy mouthed liars trying to shift the overton, or they’re people that don’t quite know enough about the issues to be quite sure about how to go about estimating what it is that they might think about any given issue but goodness me I don’t like anyone that has thought about it because they must be crazy to think about any of that stuff and you can’t let crazy people’s ideas take hold so let’s vote for anyone that promises not to do anything.

                So both the major parties seek the centre, when I say let the centre get off the fricken fence. Live a little, though creeping crawling things!

                non tl;dr version:

                Voting for parties that are actively seeking the centre vote is a muggs game, for muggs.

              • Gina

                Right now I see National creating a dictatorship. I think if labour can stop that then at least we can buy some time. The looming loss of our democracy is why I would vote for a centerist government.
                Unless a new left party starts polling the numbers to be elected then its Labour or National to lead the next government.
                The welfare reforms that the Nats will introduce will be catastrophic for many in NZ.
                Labour are a good way to the left of those ideas.

                The National party heart is as far right as you can go and in my opinion will completely destroy the welfare state and our democracy. I will support a party that has a chance of averting that catastrophe. Its not an ideal situation but will give NZ a bit of time as the world spins towards far right cuts for the poor. I don’t see labour going that far.
                If we elect labour we will atleast keep our democracy for another 4 years by which time the international crisis will have awakened many more of our general population to the benefits of socialism.

                Theres a huge difference between keeping our democracy with labour and loosing it with National.
                Labour have stood against the most extreme clauses of the search and surveilance act. Thats better than the alternative.

        • gobsmacked

          I don’t think Labour will dump Goff.

          I do think that Winston Peters will pick up support.

          I don’t think that National will be happy with that.

          I know that Rodney Hide won’t be.

          So, silver linings!

        • prism

          I thought David Cunliffe comes across well, sounds informed, capable and reliable. Surely I am not the only one to think that.

          • William joyce

            You’re not. He’s got potential but the problem is that he has little exposure except to all us wonks who watch political discussion programmes.
            He has good delivery, does not sound patronising, can string more than a good sentence together, asks good questions in the house.
            It’s all about road testing and I don’t think he’s been out for a test drive often enough.

            • ianmac

              Exactly William. We do make judgements based on what we see and hear and as we seldom get Goff or Cunliffe in full flow then what should we expect. Most Leaders of Opposition suffer from lack of exposure but who knows. Maybe this year….. And Key off the cuff and away from script is a pretty awful speaker whereas Goff is superior in comparison. Note Key read his speech in Christchurch where Goff did not need to do more than check his notes. Maybe the severe critics of Goff have been sent to try and undermine him – because he is a threat.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      Goff is good in the house, useless on the telly. Key is the opposite. Labour know this because they see him in the house all the time, but they can’t change the public’s perception, which is based on the telly.

      • RobC 10.2.1

        Having watched question time this week, I disagree. The last straw yesterday was Goff throwing an “integrity” question at Bill English and I just rolled my eyes because even blind freddy could see what would come of that.

        Key ran rings around Goff on Wed during Q time in the House. To me, Goff’s current performance in the house looks like one of someone under pressure.

  11. Tigger 11

    Kiwibog and Snake Oil congratulate themselves to being even handed over Worth vs Hughes by counting number of posts about each on blogs (also slamming The Standard for being biased)….

    I would expected DPF to understand the different between qualitative and quantative research…. What was in the posts, guys? Not to mention your comments sections are a sewer of homophobia.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Maybe they should go further with this “counting” idea and count the number of words in each post, too.

      Simply amazing that they think a metric of “counting” posts somehow proves even-handedness.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        I was just surprised what posts that they counted. For instance there was one in there from us on ‘Worth’ that was about how tired Key looked and I couldn’t see any mention of Worth. WTF?

        But they are looking at apples and oranges anyway.

        In one case we have a MP resigning from parliament with a lot of ambiguity about why. The political question then and now is still why Key forced that investigation. Almost all of the posts focused on that.

        In the other we have a MP being stood down from their portfolios while a police investigation proceeds. The real political question is about who leaked to the press which none of our authors has really addressed yet – probably because it is tied up with the police investigation that we can’t dig into yet.

        This is a political blog. We’re not a news site. We opine on politics. If there isn’t a basic political question then we don’t write much on it.

        Sure, the right blogs are kicking up a storm about Goff. But basically as far as I can see Goff acted pretty much as I would have expected. That is hardly a political question and none of our authors seem to think that either.

        There has been a lot of comment about this episode, but most of that has been in the hundreds of comments in OpenMike. That is what it is for. Even that has largely died out.

        Basically, I think it is just sour grapes. Given the lack of political and analytical skills that is evident in most of the blogs that have high numbers of posts on it (Whale really only runs on gossip and Kiwiblog is a clipping service), it is hardly surprising that they love politically meaningless gossip and speculation.

        • PeteG

          I agree, the blog analysis was very primitive.

          The real political question is about who leaked to the press


          Senior MP under police investigation, deputy leader involved, her house searched by police, leader muddles about, retracts previous attacks, at the very least seems to have been aware of staffer misinforming the press, stands down MP, apparent internal party secrecy, and the big political story is who told on them? I thought Goff was stretching credibility.

          I’d be very surprised if there isn’t a lot of increased disgruntlement within Labour. Goff and/or his staffer misinformed the press about this – but from what others in Labour have said that means they were keeping the information from the Labour Party, and at least from people I’d expect should have known.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Cool story bro.

          • lprent

            I think that you have a rather thin grasp of what interests people inside Labour.

            Almost all of what you’re saying is interesting is just gossip material. It is of interest to Whale (as those are all the topics he seems to be pushing) simply because he can’t grasp anything more politically complex than something you’d find in Womans Weekly. Everyone else understands that politicians should not be interfering with a police investigation and the restrictions on information that imposes. It isn’t particularly politics.

            I’d say that the decision on excluding Hone from possible coalitions was markedly more political, and had far more of an political impact.

            The question of who leaked is political because it speaks of someone political who has been interfering in police operations.

            • Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              But they are looking at apples and oranges anyway.

              The weird thing was Goff’s acceptance yesterday that the situations were similar but that he hadn’t appreciated how difficult it was when it was Worth under fire.

              Why accept this? Why not point out the differences, if only to make yourself look less foolish and opportunistic?

            • PeteG

              it speaks of someone political who has been interfering in police operations.

              That’s only your stated most likely scenario, but it’s far from the only possibility.

              It sounds like many people have been interviewed (and some could easily have adding things up), Goff, King and presumably at least someone else in their circles knew for 2-3 weeks, it sounds like the 18 year old was seen by multiple people on the street naked, it sounds like family and friend/s knew about it, and who knows who at uni may have heard of it.

              Trying to pin it on Collins sounds most like an attempt to divert attention, from my thin grasp of things.

              PS, if none of this is of much interest to those inside Labour then they’re more out of touch with the real world than I thought.

              • lprent

                I commented on most of these possibilities and a few more earlier.

                Remember that the journo’s were pretty specific that an MP was being investigated by the police. A bystander would haven’t known that was happening.

                The Labour side is highly unlikely. As you pointed out in your comment, it came as a bit of shock to the Labour MP’s (which is what I’ve heard as well). It seems odd for you to argue it both ways?

                It really comes down to either the police leaking or the Police Ministers office leaking.

                PS, if none of this is of much interest to those inside Labour then they’re more out of touch with the real world than I thought.

                In the ‘real world’ of gossip magazines and Campbell Live do you mean?

                The various working people I’ve talked to over the last few days outside of the political sphere are barely aware of it apart from that something is happening with Darren Hughes and the police. Certainly they know very little of the detail. By the sounds of it they’re just skipping over it in the paper and getting really bored with it really fast. Probably why it is dropping off the front pages so fast as well.

                It is a beltway issue except for the prurient.

                • PeteG

                  I’d be surprised if it was the Labour side, so few seem to have known about it, Hughes, Goff, King and nor many others, I think no more likely than coming from Collins.

                  I’d go for family/friends/Uni as being most likely – three weeks is plenty of time for murmurs to get out.

                • William joyce

                  I know correlation has its problems when it comes to evidence, but it does seem that this could be a bit of classic misdirection. National were taking a hit about conflicting statements from English & Key, about economic performance, management of Christchurch recovery etc.
                  There’s nothing like tossing a grenade into a bar fight to redirect people’s attention. A tactical leak is most certainly in the TextorCrosby/National/Boag/et al Play Book.

  12. Santi 12

    I’m surprised why this respectable blog does not dedicate a posting to the exemplary Darren Hughes?
    Didn’t you attack Worth from the word go?

    Why the silence?

    • Carol 12.1

      Wasn’t there more of an indication of what Worth was alleged to have done? ie sexually harrassed a woman. With Hughes, who knows? Or could be anything from sexual assault, common assault, to an Assange kind of complaint …. or even something tangentally related to a sexual event …..

  13. Ed 13

    In a discussion about the Christchurch situation I raised the issue of who owns material from demolished buildings. On Morning Report there was something about materials being able to be used for recycling, but that the demolition companies did not own the material. Someone else had heard that the law actually gives ownership to the demolition company, and that once demolition has started they can do what they want with all contents. Normally of course a building is emptied before being demolished, but apparently in at least one building that is likely to be demolished there is a safe containing considerable value, and some technical equipment that is also valuable. If that can be recovered by the demolition company, either during demolition or sorted from the back of a truck that carefully lifts the safe with a load of other rubbish so that it is covered on the truck – who owns the safe an its contents?

    Who is entitled to ‘recycle’ not just handy neat piles of sorted timber, but contents of offices in these buildings? Since it is a National” ™ emergency, does “National” get to decide?

  14. Hmmm

    Goff is holding a presser at 5:15 pm today.

    I wonder what is going on?

    Slater and Farrar will be salivating …

  15. r0b 15

    Some comments re Hughes’ resignation moved to new post.

  16. interesting 16

    Does anyone think there is any substance to this story about a coup underway:


    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Wait and see. Labour’s behaviour over the next 3-4 days will give you the answer.

      My bet is no: election is in 8 months and any leadership change risks as much harm as good.

      • rosy 16.1.1

        Definitely damned if they don’t, maybe damned if they do.

      • RobC 16.1.2

        the fact that right-wing blogs are championing a possible coup suggests to me it’s a bad idea.

        The election campaign is only going to be 4 weeks thanks to the RWC and the mood of the country come 26 Nov will be down to (a) personal economic circumstances (b) whether the ABs won. Goff Gaffes in March will largely be forgotten by the public. He just needs to stop doing them.

        • felix

          “He just needs to stop doing them.”

          Folks have been saying that since he took the leadership in 2008 but he doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it.

          Are you giving him right up to the last 4 weeks to be a fuck-up before you criticize him or something?

          • RobC

            I’m critical of him … and upon reflection you’re right … how can a politician who has been there for so long screw up on basic stuff?

  17. The Voice of Reason 17

    And in real crime news, former Tory MP doesn’t get his chopper out, but still goes to jail:


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