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Open mike 25/03/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, March 25th, 2014 - 173 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open 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 …

173 comments on “Open mike 25/03/2014 ”

  1. amirite 1

    Another day, another vomit-inducing Armstrong’s ode to his Dearest Leader Jong Kee. I won’t be even arsed to copypasta a link, it’s just not worth it. Go and read a book instead.

    • North 1.1

      Thanks for the no-link Amirite………am I right assuming that part at least was devoted to milksop admiration of Little Churchill’s posturings on the world stage ? No ? Oh well, we’ll read all about it next week then.

      Jesus if I was Putin I’d be shitting. Little Churchill’s on the job.

      Be very afraid……..bam bam bam !

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    New Study Shows Dangers of Trade Agreements that Help Corporations Sue Governments

    For example, the “8 Falsehoods” study details how Pacific Rim/OceanaGold, soon after filing its suit, attempted to paint its opponents as “rogue” NGOs that are “anti-development.” Yet, the reality is that El Salvador’s decision to stop issuing new mining permits came after strong public outrage over the devastating impacts of mining. As the study reveals:

    • An independent poll showed 62.4% of the public opposed to mining.
    • The highest echelons of the Catholic Church publicly came out against mining.
    • The government’s office of Ombudsman for Human Rights opposes mining.
    • Over 260 international groups have called for the dismissal of the suit.

    In other words, as the study stresses, the groups inside and outside of El Salvador opposing the mining are anything but “rogue.” Moreover, the “rogue” label used by Pacific Rim/OceanaGold is reckless amidst the conflict that Pacific Rim’s proposed mine has brought to the area. Indeed, since 2009, at least four people opposed to mining have been assassinated in the area where the company wants to mine.

    The study also refutes Pacific Rim/OceanaGold’s claim that it went above and beyond the guidelines required for mining permits back when the government was still issuing them. Instead—and this should be key to the World Bank-based tribunal hearing the case—our study found that the firm never completed or submitted a feasibility study, nor did it ensure it had purchased ownership or authorization to use the surface land over the proposed mine. Rather, Pacific Rim relied on lobbying government officials to try to get the permit.

    The malfeasance of corporations and yet this government wants us to sign away our sovereignty to them via the TPPA.

    • vto 2.1

      It is not possible for our sovereignty to be signed away.

      Our vote and what it permits the government to do belongs to us, not to the government.

      The TPP will be invalid for this reason.

      It is really very simple.

      • freedom 2.1.1

        all very true but that will not stop the corporations suing the arse of us in courts 24/7

      • freedom 2.1.2

        all very true vto, but that will not stop corporations suing the arse of us in courts 24/7.


        at this point in time, numbers on the streets is one of our only options

        • vto

          As it will be invalid they will have no standing in our courts.

          • freedom

            Our courts are not where the cases will be decided. They plan to use off-shore tribunals that seem to have little to do with International law. The mechanics of it are apparently written into the bits the public (and most of the negotiating countries) have not seen.

            The very real confusion and confliction on this topic alone should be headline news every day but it’s okay Key and Groser are onto it. They say it’s all going to be fine.

            • vto

              Any application of offshore courts can only be enforced here by our courts – where they will have no standing.

              • freedom

                Do you really believe that vto?
                Do you honestly think that transnational mega-corporations have no muscle to flex?
                Do you sincerely believe that NZ courts can stand up to the combined forces of companies worth trillions of dollars?

                These companies control the production and transportation (and safety) of the majority of products and services that we consume. If the TPPA is signed, we become even more enslaved to their corporate will. I think a few hours spent out on the street showing our Government that we know what is planned and are not happy about it, is the very least free people in a democracy can do.

                • vto

                  I know all of that freedom, but that is not the purpose of the simple point made.

                  • freedom

                    International law said the USA had no right to invade Iraq.
                    International law said the USA had no right to use white phosphorus.
                    International law said the USA had no right to use depleted uranium.

                    Yet, one million dead civilians later ………

                    • Max_Fletcher

                      white phosphorus is allowed to be used as an obscurantist and depleted uranium isn’t illegal either.

                    • freedom

                      Here are some excerpts from the libraries of data that is out there about the illegal use of munitions by the USA and (Israel)

                      “According to a August 2002 report by the UN sub-commission, laws which are breached by the use of DU [Depleted Uranium] shells include: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Charter of the United Nations; the Genocide Convention; the Convention Against Torture; the four Geneva Conventions of 1949; the Conventional Weapons Convention of 1980; and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, which expressly forbid employing ‘poison or poisoned weapons’ and ‘arms, projectiles or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering’. All of these laws are designed to spare civilians from unwarranted suffering in armed conflicts.”

                      While you are technically correct in that White Phosphorus use is not illegal it is only deemed legal when use as an obscuriant for advancing/retreating troop movements.

                      “White phosphorus is not listed in the schedules of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It can be legally used as a flare to illuminate the battlefield, or to produce smoke to hide troop movements from the enemy. Like other unlisted substances, it may be deployed for “Military purposes… not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare”. But it becomes a chemical weapon as soon as it is used directly against people”

                      note: Towns and cities are not open battlefields

                      Of late , and especially in Palestine the use of White Phosphorus has been used as an offensive munition and certainly hits the grey area of legality

                      “When used properly in open areas, white phosphorus munitions are not illegal, but the Human Rights Watch report concludes that the IDF repeatedly exploded it unlawfully over populated neighborhoods, killing and wounding civilians and damaging civilian structures, including a school, a market, a humanitarian aid warehouse, and a hospital.

                      Israel at first denied it was using white phosphorus in Gaza but, facing mounting evidence to the contrary, said that it was using all weapons in compliance with international law. Later it announced an internal investigation into possible improper white phosphorus use. “.

                      Max, If you think burning children alive is not illegal because of some vagaries of self-serving International interpretations between warmongers then fine, just call it highly immoral, but either way, defending the use of these munitions says a lot about you. I suppose you think nuclear warfare is all good too as long as it gets a big green tick on some checklist.

              • Pasupial

                Te VTO (in 1840 – translation)

                It is not possible for our rangatiratanga to be signed away.

                Our mana and what it permits the kawanatanga to do belongs to us, not to the kawanatanga.

                Te Tiriti will be invalid for this reason.

                I am really very simple.

                • vto

                  perfect analogy thanks, keep it going for illustration purposes please mr pasupial, it is a map of where we are heading.

                  where maori have been since 1840 so we all head now.


                  who is happy about that?

                  • Pasupial


                    If the Treaty analogy holds, then there’ll be a new series of land wars within a couple of decades. Drones in the skies rather than cannonballs. A century of oppression tfollowed by a grudging 3% pittance returned.

                    who is happy about that?

                    Resist the TPPA!

              • Tracey

                They may place trade sanctions on us. Altho forcing us to become self sufficient could be the revolution we need

          • Tracey

            They dont decide in nz courts. They will use wto structures or similar

        • Chooky

          +100 @ freedom….and if you combine this TPPA with censorship and attacks on the openness of the internet….which USA and multi nationals want to do…..we will indeed be sitting ducks as passive recipients/victims of what ever the biggest multi -billion dollar multinationals want to dish out to us in pursuit of maximising their profits…a compliant, ill educated , population…and to hell with our health and wellbeing

          ….democracy, critical thinking and self determination well and truly out the window…. and fascism and mind control in.

        • karol

          I notice that for the Day of Action in Auckland, speakers include, Turei (Greens), Harawira (Mana) and Asenati Lole-Taylor (NZ First). – also Jeanette Fitzsimon – no-one from Labour? I see Labour MPs are lined up for other places – though the only named one I can find so far is Claire Curran

  3. Pasupial 3

    Anadarko has slunk off with barely a whisper. The departure date seems to have been kept quiet till now to prevent a public Haere Rā.

    The drill ship Noble Bob Douglas departed New Zealand waters last weekend. The ship has left its drill site north of Dunedin and is bound for Argentina… but at present the seismic survey vessel Aquila Explorer is still operating south east of Dunedin, on behalf of Shell.


    With the development time of any find by Shell taking till at least next election, this report seems well timed:

    Many natural systems (e.g. climate, water) are so affected by humans that they are starting to limit the quality of life, and if left unchecked will severely degrade human wellbeing. A wide range of indicators all point to the need for New Zealand to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and to limit the deterioration of New Zealand’s environment


  4. freedom 4

    Simon Mercep, the John Armstrong of radio

  5. bad12 5

    David Cunliffe on RadioNZ’s Morning Report just now, nice one David, take no prisoners, while the interviewer tried to apply ‘soft soap’ to the actions of Hekia Parata surrounding the Kohanga Reo debacle Cunliffe was having none of it,

    As the interviewer tried to intervene and disrupt what Mr Cunliffe was saying His voice developed a growl and didn’t falter while He delivered listeners the message,

    Good skills David Cunliffe, its time to adopt an attitude of take no prisoners, its no use waking up the day after the vote wondering what if i had done this or said that…

    • just saying 5.1

      hallelujah bad12.

      Anger is appropriate in these kinds of situations and signals important information:
      Third wayers who insist on Labour being declawed and focusing on happy- happy- joy-joy just don’t get it. The Crosby-Textor approach only works for the representatives of the elite because the means contains the message – it is the language and the very modus operandi of neoliberalism.

      However taking the high road does entail the Labour caucus clearing out all its dirty secrets of a financial nature. You can’t be what you are criticising in others if you are left. It destroys the whole argument.

    • Tautoko Viper 5.2

      +1 Bad. Excellent, David. I hope Chris Trotter was listening. There was nothing contrived about David’s delivery .and he made the most of the opportunity.

      • bad12 5.2.1

        Lolz, Morning report just read out a couple of texts they have received about the Cunliffe interview this morning,

        ”Wow was that really David Cunliffe, now that sounds like what a ‘real’ leader of the Opposition should sound like”, and, ”what just happened there did Simon Mercep slip David Cunliffe some hydrochloric acid”,

        Indeed, there is a time for anger in politics, and, David Cunliffe this morning managed to project such anger with aplomb, it certainly got more than a few sets of ears tuning in,

        i definitely wanted that interview to continue…

        • Anne

          Yep. It was great stuff. Matt McCarten is probably telling David to go out there and pummel them. Mercep was pissed off and cut him off in a sulky and peremptory manner.

          I thought Mercep was being transferred to another programme? The sooner the better.

          • bad12

            i would say tho that this morning Cunliffe certainly had Mercep figured out, when Mercep tried to but, but,but in with whatever it was he was trying to peddle as a defense for Hekia Parata, Cunliffe simply deepened His voice, raised the volume a notch and carried right on delivering the message,

            Certainly silenced the interviewer, and, that’s the way David Cunliffe has to treat such people, allowing the media to bring Cunliffe down to the level of a sparring match between Him and the media is not an option,(they sure as hell don’t treat Slippery the PM in such a tawdry manner)…

          • Rodel

            Yes a good interviewee. But no, Keep Simon and Paddy on.
            Intellectually Cunliffe could eat them in one swallow.
            Can’t wait for the next stoush or should I say ‘demolition?’

            But seriously it’s good to see Labour standing up to and confronting the bias so prevalent in our media.

            • North

              Yeah Mercep was a disgrace…….when Cunliffe leapt into it he tried to cut him off in his piss mealy mouthed Mercep way…….”whoa whoa I know what you’re up to we won’t be having any of that…..”. His natural nothingness wouldn’t have had him doing that to the Bankster. He’d have been arselickingly clucking. “Thank you Prime Minister”. Seems like they’re all lost minutes after they think they’ve got a profile. Or maybe it’s just a case of knowing their handsomely paid jobs depend on it. Jesus New Zealand’s fucked !

    • Hami Shearlie 5.3

      It was pwetty darn good!!

  6. hoom 6

    Regarding the ongoing saga of Auckland Helicopter Trust funding

    The big question I have is: Why the hell is such an important Search & Rescue/Ambulance service being funded by a board otherwise intended to fund arts institutions?

    Surely these helicopter services have proven their worth well enough to have a proper official funding out of Govt Police/Health budgets.

    • Ron 6.1

      No the real question is why we have to have a trust running such a service that has several questionable people involved.
      The whole trust should be disbanded and either run as part of the RCC service or similar body or funded from government through a suitable body. St Johns springs to mind but maybe we could just add it on to Salvation Army Social service. I know they have never asked to operate helicopter service or even have the staff but heck that doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

      The big question I have is: Why the hell is such an important Search & Rescue/Ambulance service being funded by a board otherwise intended to fund arts institutions?

      • hoom 6.1.1

        No idea about questionable people being involved.
        But yes should be a fully official & officially funded service.

        • RedBaronCV

          There are two Trusts which would really need to be consolidated to see the full picture but the admin and salaries look fairly generous in some areas. I couldn’t see how many rescues or operations they undertook every year. Interesting that they have funds for lawyers.
          The average salary per employee of either trust looks like it is in the $100K region. got this lot off the charities website 2013 year. sorry about length.

          This seems to be the Trust that actually “operates” the helicopters.
          Auckland Regional Rescue Helicopter Trust
          Trustees per the Charities website
          Murray Bolton 03/08/1990
          Michelle Boag 01/12/2004
          John McDougall 03/08/1990
          Bob Parkinson 01/07/2007
          Kenneth Baguley 01/09/2010
          Craig Marshall 08/06/2011

          Number of paid full time people in an average week 33
          Number of paid part time people in an average week 1
          Number of paid hours worked in total by all employees in an average week 1335
          Salaries and wages $3,565,556

          The main trust has sold the helicopters and leased them back from this Trust:
          The Rescue Helicopter (Auckland) Trust
          Trustees are pretty much the same people
          Tenby Powell 08/03/2011
          John Mcdougall 08/03/2011
          Michelle Boag 08/03/2011
          Robert Parkinson 08/03/2011
          Kenneth Baguley 08/03/2011
          Murray Bolton 08/03/2011
          Craig Marshall 08/06/2011

          Number of paid full time people in an average week 9
          Number of paid part time people in an average week 4
          Number of paid hours worked in total by all employees in an average week 326
          Salaries and wages $1,070,886
          This trust fundrraised about $6.9m($1.5M from bequests) with expenses of $1.6m

          • hoom

            Ah yes, the great efficiency & transparency benefits of running stuff in the Private sector!
            So just on this one job two jobs, Boag earns 200k per year doing 76hrs/week O_o

            Add to that the gazillion other directorship/spokespersonships she has & its utterly mind-boggling that she finds time to breathe.
            Her bank account must surely be so full its on the verge of overflowing so that some of us get to finally benefit from the Golden shower of her trickledown!

  7. logie97 7

    Over on Brian Edwards he has posted a critique of Key v Cunliffe.
    He concludes that he doesn’t trust Key.
    Several of his commenters are asking for evidence of why Brian doesn’t trust him.
    Perhaps someone can find a link to Blip’s list which could then be posted.


    • freedom 7.1


      Note to Media – check your facts.

      there is a more recent list somewhere

      This comment caught my eye “I look forward to Labour releasing some policy that I can vote for but if future announcements mirror the shambles of the Start Up plan, not to mention including those on 150000 as in need of help, God help Labour.”

      What do people who think like this, think tax cuts for the wealthy are, if not help?

      If tax cuts for the rich are not helpful, why do they not complain about them?
      Hypocrisy, the homeland of the Elite.

      • weka 7.1.1

        I posted in Edwards’ comments the one where ts had it up as a guest post. It’s a year old now though.

        An honest man?

        edit: posted your link now too freedom

        • freedom

          I note your 9:45 post is up but my 9:18 post is still awaiting moderation

          for clarity here is my post” A few commenters here want to know why you should not trust John Key, take a few days and work your way through Blip’s list : http://thestandard.org.nz/note-to-media-check-your-facts/#comment-765308

          Not exactly a radical statement, why the hold up?

          • weka

            Cheers freedom, I realised afterwards that you might have a comment there not visible yet.

            Have you commented there before? I think all new commenters go into moderation.

            • freedom

              I do have somewhat of a pavlov’s dog reaction of posting Blip’s List whenever I see a blog where someone asks “what’s wrong with that nice man Mr Key?”

              I did make a comment a long time ago expressing my dissatisfaction with Mr Edward’s declaration that libraries should be completely user pays, maybe that had something to do with it, but more likely email address related. What I found funny though, was my post today got released moments after my above question was posted 🙂

    • bad12 7.2

      Shucks, you mean its only taken five and a half years for Brian to realize that Slippery the Prime Minister cannot be trusted,

      Any thinking New Zealander who wasn’t about to get their back pocket stuffed via National’s ‘tax shift’ way back in 2009 would have realized that the PM was a snake oil salesman at the point He uttered ”National will not be raising GST”…

      • logie97 7.2.1

        …mmmm bad12, I think Brian has been a little more discerning than that. He is simply comparing the MSM perceptions of Key v Cunliffe with his “throw away line” at the end.

  8. Bearded Git 8

    Yet another business suffers with the “very high NZ dollar” while National twiddles its thumbs.


    Some mileage to be had for Labour in talking the dollar down and changing the Reserve Bank Act.

    • Ergo Robertina 8.1

      Yesterday the Fairfax papers ran a story about New Zealand mortgages being more expensive than the rest of the world for the last 20 years
      David Cunliffe followed with a press release – I’m not sure if it was picked up in the MSM – saying it was proof of the need for Labour’s ‘economic upgrade’; higher savings, an economy that earns its way in the world, etc. This is such a central hip pocket issue especially now houses are so expensive. And it affects renters too. It means much more to most people than the focus on exporters and the high dollar. I hope Labour continues to emphasise this, and it wasn’t just a conditioned response press release to a story of the day.
      Another story from Fairfax yesterday, which I can’t find online, said banks might not hike interest rates on term deposits by the expected lift in response to this month’s interest rate rise because they are not hungry for NZ capital and can borrow offshore. This seems so very wrong. A related and very pertinent issue Labour should be highlighting.

      • David H 8.1.1

        The MSM is blatantly only printing pro TricKey stories. So anything positive to Labour is hidden in the archives, 30 floors down (no lift no lights.) Then you will have to search for it in the box room, and sorry, we had a grumpy stockboy so everything is out of order. Oh sorry the lights don’t work here either.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Just National continuing to lower wages through increasing unemployment.

      • greywarbler 8.2.1

        This on wages that I tacked onto a comment on Dunne yesterday (basic info which I needed and if you want background, I made quite a good job of collating so worth a look).

        Informative piece on income wages etc from the census.
        A Herald analysis of the income figures show a 90 per cent rise in people earning between $70,001 and $100,000 – from 125,115 to 238,212 – and a 40 per cent increase in those bringing home between $50,000 and $70,000.
        Of those earning more than $100,000 41 per cent live in Auckland, 19 per cent in Wellington and 12 per cent in Christchurch.
        Women are a fifth more likely to have a degree than men, but women’s incomes lag behind men’s because women are still more likely to do more unpaid child-minding….
        The number of women on six-figure salaries has doubled from 22,824 to 45,294 since the 2006 Census….
        While the median wage – Men earn $36,500 and women $23,100, according to the median income figures, up from $31,500 and $19,100 respectively.

  9. freedom 9

    Clear, factual, coherent.
    Posts like this only highlight what a pitiful job the media in New Zealand is doing.

    remember to share and share and share, (full of links detailing the destruction of education in NZ)

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      An interesting point that is in Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 things about capitalism is that the evidence shows that increasing education doesn’t improve the economy through a massive boost in innovation. He, and I agree with him, still thinks it better for a nation to be well educated. Innovation, though, comes from elsewhere and Mazzucato’s Entrepreneurial State would indicate that it comes from government funded long term research – the more the better.

      • freedom 9.1.1

        communication between all facets of society breeds synergy and innovation

        modern social constructs make that communication appear as tin can telephones with frayed strings

        • Draco T Bastard

          Another interesting point that Ha-Joon Chang makes is that our economies are actually massively planned. Almost all the actions of small businesses and mega corporations are planned to the nth degree. One of the problems that has occurred over the last three decades is that the planning of government, which coordinated all the planning of the businesses, has been removed resulting in less growth and innovation.

          • freedom

            yup, people unfortunately die from asphyxiation,
            but there is no such thing as accidental strangulation.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    I’m defending transparency and accountability for Auckland citizens and ratepayers.

    Where’s the ‘Taxpayers’ Union’ Jordan Williams?

    25 March 2014

    REQUEST FOR SPEAKING RIGHTS at Auckland Council Governing Body meeting to be held on Thursday 27 March 2014 at 9.30am, Reception Lounge Auckland Town Hall.

    My subject matter is:

    1) An update on four complaints that I filed with Police:

    a) Alleged money-laundering against Mayor Len Brown.

    b) Alleged bribery and corruption against Mayor Len Brown (a joint complaint with fellow
    community Public Watchdog Lisa Prager).

    c) Alleged contravention of statute by former Auckland Council CEO, Doug McKay.

    d) Alleged assault against Auckland Council Officers who forcibly removed me from the CEO
    Review Committee meeting after I was denied speaking rights by Chair Chris Fletcher,
    when I was attempting to expose, (in my considered opinion), a corrupt 'conflict of interest'
    involving current CEO Stephen Town.

    2) The lack of statutory protection for ‘anti-corruption whistle-blowers’ who are not employees.

    3) The failure of both Auckland Council, and statutory ‘Public Watchdogs’ to ensure that the RULE OF LAW regarding ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local government – particularly statutory duties arising from s. 17 of the Public Records Act 2005, is upheld:


    Part 2
    Recordkeeping requirements
    Subpart 1—Key duties
    17Requirement to create and maintain records

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    • Ron 10.1

      How come I do not see Penny Bright protesting about Collin’s recent dealings milk with the same vehemence as she does the mayor of Auckland.
      Surely its not because she was defeated by said mayor.

      • Penny Bright 10.1.1

        errr… you can’t have been paying attention ‘Ron’?

        Do try to keep up with those of us who are CONSISTENT in our opposition to corruption, and asking the questions no one else appears to be, to find out the FACTS and the TRUTH?

        (Please be advised that I have now received formal acknowledgments that both these OIA requests have been received …..)

        Open Letter’ /OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key ‘Nothing to hide – nothing to fear’? Please provide the name and position of the Chinese border control official.

        14 March 2014

        New Zealand Prime Minister
        John Key

        ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key:

        ‘Nothing to hide – nothing to fear’?

        Dear Prime Minister,


        It has been publicly reported that Justice Minister Judith Collins had dinner with the following persons, whilst in Beijing in October 2013:

        The founder of Oravida, Deyi “Stone” Shi,
        The Managing Director of Oravida, Julia Xu
        A senior Chinese border control official (unnamed)

        (Minister Judith Collins ‘senior advisor’ Margaret Malcolm, was also reported as being present at this dinner.)


        On Wednesday, Prime Minister John Key publicly expressed his ire that she had been economical with the truth about meetings with Mr Shi while visiting China last October.

        She revealed that apart from a previously disclosed visit to milk exporter Oravida’s Shanghai offices, she dined with Mr Shi, the company’s managing director Julia Xu, and a senior Chinese border control official while in Beijing.

        Mr Key has accepted Ms Collins’ assurances that Oravida’s business was not discussed at the dinner, but yesterday, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters challenged that in Parliament.

        “Following the botulism scare of last year, is it not a fact that her visit to Oravida was predominantly access and Customs clearance for Oravida products in the Chinese market, and that is the real reason why a People’s Republic of China border official was present at that dinner?”

        Ms Collins once again denied that, and when asked if she would resign if it emerged that she discussed Oravida’s imports to China with the border official, said: “Yes, of course, but I didn’t.”

        Ms Collins said her senior adviser Margaret Malcolm, who was also present at the dinner, would confirm that Oravida’s business was not discussed, which is exactly what Ms Malcolm did when contacted by the Herald.

        Asked whether Ms Xu had ever raised concerns with her about problems getting product into China, Ms Collins said no.

        “They were not affected by the whey powder. They’re the first exporters of fresh milk from New Zealand to China and this was not affected by Fonterra.”

        However, that is at odds with a television interview Ms Xu gave a month before the Beijing dinner.

        Ms Xu said that in the wake of the Fonterra botulism scare her company, which exports milk and other products to China, was facing additional stringent testing requirements from the Chinese border control agency CIQ (China Inspection & Quarantine Services). That added costs and caused delays.

        During the interview on TVNZ’s Q+A Ms Xu also said: “I think the Government, perhaps, could do a little more to engage in more bilateral talks to remove some of the tests or measures the Chinese Government have put on because of this false mistake.”

        Ms Collins refused to identify the Chinese border control official who was at the dinner or say which agency they worked for, and indicated she was being kept on a short leash by the Prime Minister.

        “I think you should talk to the Prime Minister’s office because I am giving you the words that I have been told that I should say, otherwise there could be an issue with China.”


        1) Please provide the name of the above-mentioned ‘senior Chinese border control official’, and the agency for whom he worked.

        2) Please provide the information which confirms that advice on this on-going ‘conflict of interest’ between Justice Minister Judith Collins and the company Oravida, of which her husband David Wong Tung is a Director,


        is being dealt with, as outlined in the Cabinet Manual, by the Acting Secretary of the Cabinet, Michael Webster, not your Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson, from the Office of the Prime Minister:


        Conduct, public duty, and personal interests

        Managing conflicts of interest

        2.69 Ministers must ensure that any conflicts of interest are promptly addressed. The Secretary of the Cabinet (and, where appropriate, the chief executive of the department concerned) should be kept informed of conflicts of interest as they arise.

        In addition, the Prime Minister should be advised in writing of conflicts that are of particular concern or that require ongoing management. If in doubt about the appropriate course of action, Ministers should consult the Prime Minister or the Secretary of the Cabinet.

        3) Please provide the information which confirms that this OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT REQUEST will be dealt with, in the proper way, by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) , not your ‘National party political’ Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson, as clearly outlined on the DPMC website:


        Administrative support to the Prime Minister

        This includes preparation of replies to Parliamentary questions, and dealing with Official Information Act requests and other correspondence. A totally separate body, the Office of the Prime Minister, also advises the Prime Minister: it is the primary point of responsibility for managing political issues and relationships with other political parties and for providing administrative and media support.


        DPMC formally came into existence on 1 January 1990, as a result of a report which recommended establishing structures to provide two separate streams of advice to the Prime Minister; one, a new government department to supply impartial, high quality advice and support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), and another, a Prime Minister’s Private Office (which is not part of DPMC), to provide personal support and media services, and advice of a party political nature.

        Please be reminded that I have still yet to receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the following ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request which I emailed to you on 6 March 2014.

        (It is now 14 March 2014.)

        6 March 2014

        NZ Prime Minister
        John Key

        OPEN LETTER / OIA request – re: the alleged ‘conflict of interest’ of Minister of Justice Judith Collin’s perceived endorsement of Oravida milk.

        Dear Prime Minister,

        Please provide a copy of the advice purportedly provided by the Cabinet Office, upon which you are relying, which substantiates your following reported statement:

        Prime Minister John Key said the Cabinet Office “unequivocally .. said no there’s no breach.”

        Yours sincerely,

        Penny Bright
        ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

        Ph (09) 946 9825
        021 211 4 127


        Collins told Oravida its milk was ‘nice’

        By Claire Trevett

        Yours sincerely,

        Penny Bright

        ‘Anti-corruption/ anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

        Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
        Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
        Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

  11. ianmac 11

    David Cunliffe talked about Government supporting timber value added instead of just exporting logs. Good on him. It does work well. In South Korea Government got stuck into developing technology as the way to develop exports using G4 technology and are now heading into G5 before it has even been invented. They are world leaders and raking in the profits.

    Just after 8pm tonight Monday on National Radio, there was an interesting BBC interview with a South Korean official and they talked about the Government choosing to promote/develop Technology in a very big way.


    • bad12 11.1

      ianmac, i listened to something on RadioNZ, i believe it was yesterday that said that New Zealand is now by volume the biggest source of raw logs going into that country,

      We need to get some real smarts going here, obviously the Chinese like em raw because this creates employment for their people, what needs to occur is an assessment of what products such raw logs become as the end use,

      A negotiation with the Chinese need then occur around what level of processing of the raw logs would they accept to be carried out in New Zealand while still be willing to purchase the same tonnage of product from us,

      Even if we as New Zealand could secure agreement that half of such processing were to occur here in New Zealand and half in China, in terms of added employment to the economy we would be far better off than we are at present…

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        A negotiation with the Chinese need then occur around what level of processing of the raw logs would they accept to be carried out in New Zealand while still be willing to purchase the same tonnage of product from us,

        They won’t buy any processed wood products from us. They’re using our resources to develop their economy while ours goes backwards.

        We need to be banning the export of raw produce so that we’ll be forced to develop our own economy.

        • bad12

          Draco, i am not debating from such a point as you are pushing simply because the major player on our side of the divide Labour? proposes no such thing,

          So to debate from your point of view is to debate that which is definitely not going to happen, Yes the Chinese are at present only buying our raw logs, but, that is the point of an investigation into what further processing they do with those logs and a negotiation surrounding how much of our wood would they buy if it were part or fully processed…

          • Draco T Bastard

            How much are they buying ATM? Because that would be the amount that they would continue to buy. As I said, they’re using our resources to develop their own economy.

            To develop better value add to wood then two things need to happen:
            1.) The price of raw logs needs to come down and
            2.) The actual R&D to produce that added value needs to happen

            Now, the government supporting that R&D can get that to happen but after that we need to have the resources available to do anything with it and that’s where banning the exports of raw logs comes in. It would give us the resources to produce the value added products and if we do it right then the price paid for the logs would increase back to where they are now due to the demand for those products.

            • bad12

              Lolz Draco, you have forgotten one thing, the end use of the raw logs, that is why i say we should first investigate what use(s) the Chinese put these raw logs to,(the end use),

              We then should negotiate with the Chinese so as to gain part of the processing they now do as part of our manufacturing here in New Zealand,

              What do you think the Chinese will say if we simply tell them to f off we are not selling them any more raw logs???, i would suggest they would simply say fine then, having plenty of money they would simply move to the next big supplier, (Canada), and using their greater purchasing power of having more money secure their raw logs,

              Having given them the F off as far as raw logs goes do you think the Chinese would not for a moment make doing business with them all that much harder in other areas,

              Look what occurred surrounding the Botulism scare, next minute we have containers full of meat trapped on the wharf in China unable for some mysterious reason to move,(oh that’s right a problem with the paper-work), i could imagine piles and piles of problems with the paperwork occurring were we to start treating the Chinese in the shoddy manner you suggest…

              • Draco T Bastard

                What do you think the Chinese will say if we simply tell them to f off we are not selling them any more raw logs?

                As long as it’s a complete ban of exporting raw logs (product) there’s not a lot they can say.

                i would suggest they would simply say fine then, having plenty of money they would simply move to the next big supplier

                And that affects us how?

                We should not be afraid of a country being unwilling to trade with us especially considering that power-down really isn’t that far away and that international trade will be decreasing anyway.

  12. Tiger Mountain 13

    As a Far northerner as a kid and for almost 20 years later on till just now (and going back) I read the Northland Age, herewith is Hone’s statement in what he regards as his local newsletter.

    “Harawira — I’m not the MP signing with Dotcom

    Te Tai Tokerau MP and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has rejected any suggestion that he might be about to join forces with Kim Dotcom following a hitherto undeclared meeting with the internet mogul earlier this year.
    ‘‘ We clearly have common interests, but for the record, I didn’t ask him to fund Mana, and he didn’t offer to either. I didn’t ask him to join Mana, and he didn’t ask me to join his party,’’ Mr Harawira said.
    ‘‘ I haven’t spoken publicly about the meeting because I haven’t yet spoken with the Mana exec about it. That’s set for later this week.’’
    Mr Harawira spoke after Mr Dotcom claimed that he had signed up one sitting MP to join his new Internet Party before the election and was talking to three more. He declined to identify the MP, until the Internet Party was registered and has chosen all its candidates, around mid-year, but was reported as saying he was in talks with Mr Harawira about uniting their parties under one umbrella, enabling the Internet Party to enter Parliament on the coat-tails of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate MP.
    The two leaders and their party bosses, Vikram Kumar and Gerard Hehir, reportedly met at a house on Auckland’s North Shore on February 28. A Sunday paper claimed that the Mana Party executive was about to consider a merger proposal, Mana offering one or two electorates, the Internet Party contributing a more broadlybased party vote and $1 millionplus in campaign funding.
    Mana Party was one of several parties in talks about an alliance, Mr Dotcom said, along with a number of MPs who had won electorates and were expected to do so again.
    The Internet Party planned to launch membership phone and web apps this week, and hoped to have the 500 members required to register the party within a day. The goal was for the Internet Party to ‘‘pick’’ the next government.”

    • bad12 13.1

      Some are horrified by the thought of some form of Mana/DotCom alliance, Sue Bradford is quoted in this mornings Herald,(National Party disinformation service), as being Opposed,Opposed,Opposed, claiming that Mana should not be trying to take short cuts to ‘building the movement’,

      My question to Sue of course would be ,”just how is that movement building going Sue”, as one involved in the beneficiaries rights movement many a year ago i know that Sue was intent on the building of this mass movement way back then, while i would consider the Green party to be an integral part of that movement, from where i sit and remembering that this is only my opinion, it appears that because of a frustration to Her personal aspirations to ‘power’ Sue tossed her toys and walked from that movement,

      So, i am ambivalent when Sue opposes such an alliance based upon this ‘idea’ that somehow this would be a corruption to the ‘building of this long awaited mass movement’,

      My view at this current point in time, with denials forthcoming from Hone, is lets tai ho for the moment and allow this to move forward to the Mana Party executive,

      i will tho add the question, IF, along with Hone holding His seat of Te Tai Tokerau, Annette Sykes were to win the Waiariki AND there was an alliance of Mana/DotCom, along with the million dollars of advertising such an alliance would bring, do any of us ‘see’ that this alliance could in fact be the ‘key’ to an out-right victory for Labour/Green + Mana/DotCom at the 2014 election,

      i do, and i urge us all to tai ho and see how this develops befor we rush to judgement…

      • Tiger Mountain 13.1.1

        Sue is a well known ‘leaver’ from student days to New Labour to Alliance to Greens and on.
        But politics does happen in different ways and there is a consistent network behind the scenes she adheres to. Which I do not particularly go for, too mercurial, but Sue was for years the sole MP who raised and supported social security (aka bludger) issues.

        The issues that have haunted our garages and overcrowded houses for too many years.

        • bad12

          Tiger, there was a little joke that went the rounds of our little chapter within the beneficiaries rights organization way back then,

          ”It was said that Sue could talk for so long about any given issue on the table that she would have the whole circle nodding in the end, 2 of em would be nodding in agreement, the other 20 would be nodding off to sleep”….

          • Tiger Mountain

            you terror bad, been there done that,

            heh, the beno rights movement had its good times, and acronyms BUM and CUBA etc
            Paul Blair is still going in the Rotorua centre and produced a compelling paper about abatement rates and the effect on sole parents in receipt of a DPB moving into paid work a few years back that the ministry refused to release after commissioning it.

      • Chooky 13.1.2


  13. mickysavage 14

    Annete King just tweeted that her “cousin” is going to announce he is not standing in 2014. Her cousin is Chris Finlayson. There are also hints that Tau Henare is also going to be announcing his retirement.

    If true there is now a flood of people going and some who will leave rather large holes to fill.

    • Tiger Mountain 14.1

      a snipey brittle man Finlayson, bye bye, Taubar what a joke! but the funny thing is he has probably had an enjoyable life, remember him with black leather glovelets on while representing female clerical workers in the 80s, and assaulting Owen Harvey (Butchers and Grocers Union sec) and long time Labour supporter, with a beer crate one nite at a party.

      Some need to go alright. Which is not a bitter mantra from me but you can go past your use by date without noticing.

      • Enough is Enough 14.1.1

        I agreed TM

        If only Labour could apply the broom as easily as National does to the decaying heap of past their use by date, rogernomic era, never going to be anywhere near a cabinet again, career politicians.

        Mallard, Goff, King.

        Parker as well. He should feel more at home in National.

        We need progressives. Not fools who believe that the past 30 years has been a success.

    • Pasupial 14.2

      Nact are at least clearing away their dead wood, meanwhile Labour seems intent on clutching onto every piece of rotting timber:

      It looked like the 2011 general election could get Mr Davis off the Labour list and holding his seat in Parliament as an elected member, but he quit politics after finishing 832 behind Mr Harawira.


      If Davis does win Te Tai Tokerau, all he’ll really achieve is getting one less MP for the left. But perhaps this is Labour’s way of gifting the electorate to Mana by standing someone that Harawira has beaten four times in a row?

      • bad12 14.2.1

        Yep, if Labour want to be the ‘head’ of the next Government they need to run a ”psst party Vote only” campaign in both Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki, anything else in my opinion is some really dumb act of first Past the Post Neanderthalic politics,

        Kelvin Davis is said to be a highly intelligent man, what Labour should do is give Mr davis a high place on the Party List to ensure His entry into the Parliament,

        If kelvin wants to represent the Te Tai Tokerau electorate after becoming a list MP He need only open an office in the electorate to do so,

        The same goes for Labour in any electorate, having an office an an MP to regularly conduct ‘clinics’ at that office is pretty much the same as having an electorate MP do the job, MMP politics is all about the Party Vote remember…

        • Te Reo Putake

          Bad, I’m not sure that the strategy of gifting mana two seats changes anything. Wouldn’t the overall numbers on the left stay exactly the same? I would have thought trying to lift their party vote above 1.6% so they get a second (overhang) seat would be more useful. btw, what makes you think mana would support a labour led government? I haven’t seen the slightest hint that they would do so, which means it would be madness for greens or Labour supporters to vote for them in the electorates.

          • bad12

            Te Reo, your first point, NO, it is the PARTY VOTE that will determine for Labour how many MP’s they have in the next Parliament, and, i think you fucking know this,

            If Labour were to win the Te Tai Tokerau seat and Waiariki, these 2 electorates will simply be among the total befor the added allocation of the list MP’s that will take the Party up to its alloted seats under the auspices of its Party Vote,

            The number of Labour MP’s in the next parliament will not go up if Labour win those two seats, only the Party Vote will lift those MP numbers,

            Who the hell do you think Mana is going to support in the next Parliament, National perhaps, now that is just dumb…

            • Te Reo Putake

              Calm down, Bad. It was a genuine question and you haven’t answered it. Presumably because you (and Bearded Git) haven’t realised that overhang seats only apply to the list vote. Gifting mana the two electorate seats changes nothing in terms of the overall numbers. However, mana getting an overhang seat by getting an improved party vote does make a difference.

              Still, good to have confirmation that you also haven’t seen any indication that mana would support a Labour led government. To be blunt, if mana want charity from Labour or the Greens, then they need to a) ask for it and b) say what they will give in exchange. That’s politics, maaan.

              edit: who would mana support? My guess is nobody. Hone will sit on the cross benches and vote issue by issue, IMHO

              • bad12

                Te Reo you are talking absolute shit…

                • Te Reo Putake

                  And yet you have no answer to the questions I raise …

                  • bad12

                    Right that was an interesting little interlude of food foraging today being the day the poo bear family get to do things in the supermarket,

                    Teo Reo, here is the question you asked,”i am not sure gifting Mana two seats would change anything, wouldn’t the overall number of seats on the left stay the same,

                    You were well answered you just want to continue your little dance on the head of a pin based on a series of further questions based upon conjecture, and, i can only answer that by saying that if you think Mana would not support a Labour/Green Government on at least confidence and supply then it s easy to see why you dance on the head of a pin when confronted with correct information,

                    If Labour were to win both the Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki seats in 2014 and say collect 35% of the party votes they will have the same number of MP’s in the Parliament based upon the 35% of Party Vote regardless of those seats, were Labour not to win those two electorates and gain that 35% of the vote they will have the same number of MP’s in the Parliament as they would have had they won those two seats,

                    Now that’s the situation for Labour winning Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki, here’s the difference should Mana win both of those electorates,

                    Considering Hone is already there as an MP on the left we will simply leave Him as counted, however should Annette Sykes wave haere ra to Te Ururoa Flavell in Wairaiki then ‘the left’ are ahead two votes, 1 being Her vote in the Mana Party and 2 being the rights loss of Flavell as a lap dog,

                    i will concede to you that should Labour win that seat they will have gained 1 vote by taking Flavell out of the equation as far as He supports National at present, but,this does not in any way deny the fact that ‘the left’ will be 2 votes ahead if Mana take Flavells seat,

                    However, should Labour manage to wrest both Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki off of the incumbents there are in effect MINUS 2 votes for ‘the left’ in the next Parliament, they take a +1 vote for removing Flavell but then the gains of winning those two electorates are subsumed by the Labour Party Vote…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      The fundamental problem remains, Bad. Without a concrete guarantee that mana will endorse a left Government, they deserve nothing. Labour and the Greens are not going to take your word for it, I’m afraid. The vibe, your honour, only gets you so far in the real world.

                      There needs to be a clear understanding pre-election, as Labour had subtly with Anderton and Fitzsimons and the Nats have with Dunne and ACT, before Labour would ever consider a nod and wink arrangement. And even then, that would be rorting democracy to an extent. It sucks in Epsom and it would suck in the maori seats.

                      Now, if Labour, the Greens and mana took my advice, they’d form a pre-election bloc, tell their supporters to electorate vote to promote the bloc’s chances and we’d be away laughing. Until then, we’ll just have to see what hand the voters deal us.

                      Like it or not, for your proposition to gain traction, the big move has to come from mana. At the moment, there is no reason to do Hone and Sykes any favours at all because there is no indication a vote for mana is actually going turn out to be a vote for a left government.

                    • bad12

                      Pfft, and off you trot Te Reo, running through the convoluted little corridors of your mind,

                      You know why i choose not to debate the sidetracks you have thrown up in what was a specific debate on the one topic,

                      Simply because i cannot be arsed engaging with one who uses that wing-nut tactic of the subject change as a tool to escape the wrong side of the debate,

                      i will tho point out that in every vote in the present Parliament Hone Harawira has voted with the Green Party so please don’t go casting fucking ugly little aspersions when you have simply closed your slitted little eyes and mind to the fucking facts,

                      i think what really frightens you is a a larger than at present ‘left’ vote in the Parliament than the present, because every extra MP that Mana or the Green Party bring into that institution leaves the old Dinosaur Labour just that little bit weaker,

                      So, have you now managed to ‘see’ where ‘the left’ will be light a vote or two by playing first past the post politics in an MMP enviroment with the Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki electorates…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get back to me when you can prove mana will do what you claim they will. Have you heard of google? It’s really great. See if you can find any indication at all that your fantasy stacks up.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Presumably because you (and Bearded Git) haven’t realised that overhang seats only apply to the list vote.


                If we had a pure proportional system then there would be no overhang seats at all. We don’t though and so we get them when a party gets more electorate seats than it’s party vote allows them.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yes, quite right, Draco. Should have said coat-tail seats, rather than overhang.

              • lprent

                who would mana support? My guess is nobody. Hone will sit on the cross benches and vote issue by issue, IMHO

                That would be my bet as well. It is a lot safer for the party if they do.

                Problem with micro electorate only parties is that while their seat(s) are useful, they have usually got their party support by clustering together an odd coalition of various groups pissed off by something with all major parties. Going into any kind of coalition agreement means that they get firmly welded in and that will guarantee that one of more of their main supporters will get pissed off with them for the compromises that any micro party has to make and leave.

                That is because they lack the leverage to exert real pressure for a national policy shift (instead they have fictional “successes” like the Families commission that they can puff as Peter Dunne did). The only realistic payoff for a government micro-party is to make a deal that prefers the electorate of the MP(s) over the wishes of the party – Epsom being a good example. Electorate seat micro-parties in a coalition government inevitably discard their withered husk of a party pretty rapidly. Not usually as clearly as the telephone booth party of Peter Dunne. Most “party leaders” prefer to keep the funding and are willing to exert attention to make sure that doesn’t happen.

                Having to get within range of the 4-5% bound really is the only survival route for a micro party. It has been done several times with success. The Greens and NZ First have levered a pretty permanent place in the political landscape. Act did for a long time until their electoral power obsessions drove them towards the centre and discarded their activist nutter fringe.

                Best thing Mana could do if they only get a few percent would be to cross bench it, vote issue by issue with agreements with a leftish coalition (kind of hard seeing them having much common ground with the Nats), and concentrate on how to build up their votes and party towards not requiring electorate seats – effectively forging a wider and broader constituency somehow.

                But in any case, it really is bad politics for a micro-party to become dependent on the generosity of a larger party in gifting seats. The best thing that they could actually do to help is to contest the seats hard. It forces a concentration on the essential party vote. Worked for NZ First losing Tauranga and Greens losing Coromandel.

      • Bearded Git 14.2.2

        As I keep saying all Labour and Greens should vote for Mana in the Maori seats but should party vote Labour and Green. That will mean an overhang of Mana seats that could well be enough to swing the election for the left.

    • bad12 14.3

      Ello,ello,ello, just what’s going on here then, there are a number of thoughts that have been running through my mind as the trickle of announcement from within this National government’s ranks has turned into a ‘virtual Government resignation’,

      (1), Is this simply a rejuvenation,(hell even down on the farm they don’t rejuvenate the herd via mass execution),

      (2), Is this Slippery the Prime Minister, growing ever more paranoid the closer He gets to smelling a third term as the PM simply ‘watching His back’,( in other words a cull of the ‘going nowhere’ back-bench MP’s who having realized after a couple of terms as cannon fodder they are not going to be promoted might be tempted to agree to a ‘palace coup’ as the means to get their buttes onto the leather of a Ministerial limo),

      (3), Are National’s ‘internal polling numbers’ as many of us believe way lower than what the mass media polling would lead us all to believe, with so many jumping ship from a sitting Government are those ‘internal polling numbers’ stuck at 39–40% and the parties sitting MP’s having done their own numbers based around such polling simply falling on their swords as they see their list places evaporated by such polling, along with the sitting Ministers who having drunk the cool-aid for so long couldn’t face the prospect of opposition,

      There is something ‘going on here’ within the Government ranks that my little brain just cannot quite fathom…

      • JanM 14.3.1

        My feeling is growing that there is something planned by National after the next election that they can’t quite stomach and don’t want to put their names to – be very afraid!
        The fact that many of them are the old guard could an indication that they still bring some moral consideration to their decision making whereas the new guard – the likes of Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett, wouldn’t recognise a moral consideration if it got up and bit them!

        • amirite

          JanM – probably sell Kiwibank and privatise ACC and Kiwisaver, continue to destroy our public education and health system.

          • JanM

            I actually think it is worse than that and will be something which impinges on what remains to us as our sovereignty as a nation – I think that would get the old guard on the run

        • RedBaronCV

          TPP signing

      • greywarbler 14.3.2

        It seems to me that the emphasis for NACT politicians is to get young to middle aged people who are photogenic and can speak confidently and explain the agreed line competently and firmly. They must have their priorities right and the NACTs will provide options for those who have proven records in society and are ambitious. ie those from famiies that already have money.

        The others can just fill in the background and live in holes, from which they will be pulled out by specially trained beneficiary-hunting dogs as required.. Or they may be press-ganged in the street and sent off to a labouring job if there is a demand for such. The families won’t know until they pluck up courage to report their missing family member.
        And will be reluctant to do so because it will bring them to the notice of authorities who may then arbitrarily allocate them to another distant job away from family and support base.

        • JanM

          Simon Bridges – speak confidently and competently? – That went well, then!
          My observation is that the front row at the moment is filling up with self-made sociopaths – mini-mes of you-know-who

    • mickysavage 14.4

      Update: Finlayson denies it …

    • Enough is Enough 14.5

      What large holes, they are all fucking useless.

      Hopefully National can replace these useless idiots with competent MPs.

      No chance though as National has noone at all that I would consider competent.

  14. Sanctuary 15

    Politics, as seen by the Hootons and the right wing horse race journalists in the press gallery, is a cynical business of greed, branding and re-arranging the dinner cards in the restaurant car of the gravy train express.

    So here is a tale by way of an antidote. I was allocated to look after a frail 98 year old lady at a wedding last week, and I asked her about her life. I asked her if she recalled Micky Savage, and her voice softened, and with the tone used for the gratefulness reserved for when you life is saved by strangers she said “He was a wonderful man, he took us out of the depression you know. Life was hard before then. Yes, he was a wonderful man”.

    Sevent five years after he died, for someone whose life was changed his reputation remains undimmed.

    Politics can be a good experience for all of us, if you a politician who actually does something good.

    • bad12 15.1

      I hold Norman Kirk in the same esteem for what He said and did for the New Zealand people and their ‘spirit’ during such a short period as Prime Minister,

      There may be only one of Norm’s Ohu left operating but it was the thought behind allowing these Ohu to be established that has me seeing Norman Kirk as a ‘great man’,

      Instead of deriding that small fringe of New Zealand society that wanted to opt out of the structured society of the time Norm Kirk simply found a means of allowing them to pursue their ideas…

      • Puckish Rogue 15.1.1


      • Tiger Mountain 15.1.2

        Norm was the last Prime Minister I felt deserved the title and felt truly proud of even being relatively young at the time. Our workplace shutdown everyone on full pay on the day of his funeral. Norm said “take the bikes off the bikies” but I doubt even one ever was, it was what he did that added to his standing.

        And don’t call me Bob Harveys mate but I still maintain there was lack of medical care involved in his rather lonely death–read his secretary Margaret’s book for some clues. Have not seen the new “Totara” book by David Grant yet being released at the Owen Glenn centre in Auckland March 27, 6pm.

        • swordfish

          Went to his State Funeral in August 1974 – about the time of my 10th birthday. Kirk was a bit of a hero to me. Watched leading Labour Caucus members carry his coffin down Parliament’s steps.

        • Anne

          There was something sinister going on at the time Tiger Mountain. It manifested itself in different ways. There was the Colin Moyle affair for starters, and there were the mysterious politically motivated incidents during Bill Rowling’s tenure as PM. These occurred after Kirk’s death of course and I have no idea whether Kirk’s failing health was part of it or not.

          It needs to be remembered that Norman Kirk put NZ on the international map by sending a frigate into the French Nuclear testing zone at Muroroa Atoll in 1973. The French don’t exactly have an unblemished past when it came to wanting to be a member of the big boys nuclear club, but they weren’t the only ones upset with Big Norm.

  15. Puckish Rogue 16


    Words fail me about the reporting of this article, even I like a little balance

    • bad12 16.1

      What’s unbalanced about this article, it seems to lay out the facts quite succinctly, how would you like it if someone came along and said they were going to build another house in your back yard,

      i do tho think the name of the HousingNZ rep an appropriate one, Ms Fink indeed…

      • srylands 16.1.1

        FFS It is not HER back yard!

        • Draco T Bastard

          But it should probably be considered hers while she’s living there.

          That said, we’re not being given enough information to make any judgement in this case.

        • mickysavage

          She is paying rent for it.

        • bad12

          SSLands, another dickwads answer, IT IS Her backyard, the Residential Tenancies Act allows Her the unimpeded access to all the property She rented, along with that She as the tenant is given a guarantee under the same ACT of the Parliament guaranteeing Her as the Tenant ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property,

          The definition of ‘the property’ is defined as being that described on the title at the time She as the tenant signed the rental agreement,

          How many times is it now SSLands that you have leapt into the discussion with your ugly little dissing of the poor without a shred of fact to back up your bullshit…

          • Puckish Rogue

            I suppose she could always leave and go private renting…that’d show ’em

            • bad12

              i suppose you could always drown in your own bile, that’ed show us…

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Um, no, Puckish twit. We (the government) entered into a contractual arrangement with her, the terms of which we are changing.

              I’d like to enter into a contractual arrangement with you, because after all, while I think taking candy from babies is unethical, according to your ethics, you’re fair game.

      • Puckish Rogue 16.1.2

        “how would you like it if someone came along and said they were going to build another house in your back yard”

        The difference is I own my home whereas she doesn’t but she quite likes living in a state house but doesn’t want other people to have the same help as shes getting…nice

        • vto

          you’re such a lovely person aren’t you pr

          similarly srylands

          • Puckish Rogue

            Yeah how dare I agree with the idea that if theres space in the back yard for a two bedroom house then that might be a good idea as it means two other people get a roof over their heads

            • vto

              it all goes right over your head doesn’t it …….

              • Puckish Rogue

                Its really simple:

                She doesn’t own the house
                Theres space on the property to help another couple
                Shes unhappy another house will be built on that space to help another couple

                • bad12

                  Puckish Rogue, the Residential Tenancies Act would disagree with you, while She does not own the property She does have ‘rights’,

                  The tenant has the right to be able to freely access all the property and the tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment of the property,

                  The Property as defined by the Residential Tenancies Act is the property described on its title at the time the rental agreement was signed,

                • nadis

                  think about as the owner of the property subdividing or cross leasing the section and developing a new townhouse on the back.

                  That happens hundreds if not thousands of times a year around auckland as homeowners cash in on property prices.

                  Why is this situation different? If she was renting from a private landlord the same scenario could happen, and no-one would find that extraordinary. The only difference here is that because she is renting her house from the NZ taxpayer she believes she is entitled to property rights that in fact she does not have. A sense of entitlement is not a contract.

                  If HNZ is subdividing this property and not affecting her rights under her tenancy agreement then tough luck lady.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Think of it as a contractual arrangement. The tenant has a contract to lease the property, including the land, and the other party to the contract is changing the terms of the lease.

                    As a businessman, I drive a hard bargain, then honour it. Can’t see why a HNZ tenant should behave differently.

                    Perhaps a wingnut can apologise for regarding HNZ tenants as subhuman before we have to figure out how to punish wingnuts.

                    • nadis

                      no I’m not suggesting that all – stop making offensive statements up and inferring I said or meant that. In fact stop inferring I’m a wingnut.

                      If HNZ is doing something to her property that is not allowed in her tenancy agreement then I am pretty sure that by now plenty of pro bono lawyers who would love to make a publicity splash would be raising a shiitestorm about it, not to mention politiciuans jumping on the wagon.. Therefore I think it is safe to assume that HNZ is acting within the terms of the tenancy agreement. Therefore there is no story aside from a tenants inflated sense of entitlement. If you changed HNZ to private landlord, this would not rate as a story.

                      You should in fact be praising HNZ for building more low income housing and increasing the housing density in the city which will have all kinds of positive spinoffs for theclimate, transport networks blah blah blah.

                    • srylands

                      “The tenant has a contract to lease the property, including the land, and the other party to the contract is changing the terms of the lease.”:

                      No she does not. She has an agreement to occupy the house. The owner of the land can subdivide it, build new dwellings, and do what he likes subject to Council approval.

                      I own a rental property. If I sought, and obtained, permission to build another dwelling on the section I can assure you there is nothing in the lease I have with my tenant that would allow the tenant to stop me. It is my property.

                      Honestly the fact that you people think like this is bizarre – it shows what a sickening sense of entitlement you have.

                      HNZ should be applauded for building more welfare housing – which you are always bleating for, and for promoting urban infill.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Pro bono lawyers…

                      I think they have them in America. New Zealand, not so much. Quite happy to be proved wrong.

                      I’m sure you’d like to think everything in the tenancy agreement is being honoured, but again, I’m happy for you to prove me wrong by citing it, as opposed to your opinion.

                      The reason it rates as a story is that as the landlord, I think your attitude to our tenant is lower than the gutter, and further, that your callous disregard for our people renders you fit for public ridicule and contempt.

                      Are we crystal?

                    • Tracey

                      pro bono just means a lawyer working for a client without charging a fee. of course we have them in nz.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I bleat for nothing, S Rylands. I’m entitled to nothing that I cannot enforce by force of arms. I enjoy it.

                      I recognise the fact based evidence that human rights increase our wealth, not least because they help enforce strong property rights, and help me defend us against you and your revolting ideology.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Tracey, how many pro bono lawyers advertise for HNZ tenants? How many HNZ pro bono cases have been heard recently? Please prove me wrong.

                    • McFlock

                      If I sought, and obtained, permission to build another dwelling on the section I can assure you there is nothing in the lease I have with my tenant that would allow the tenant to stop me. It is my property.

                      Depends on your lease, and whether the yard is implicitly part of the dwelling.
                      At the very least, if you didn’t tell the tenant about your plans they’d probably have grounds to walk out.

                    • vto

                      srylands your point at 4.52pm is simply wrong. You are outright wrong.

                      Mind you a while ago you got our GST rate wrong too so this is hardly surprising.

                  • bad12

                    This is like talking to a series of brick walls, every one in the series a bit thicker than the other,

                    Tenants have rights, i have outlined those rights above, pointless me doing so i know, Nazi’s do not believe in rights other than their own…

                    • srylands

                      “stop making offensive statements up and inferring I said or meant that. In fact stop inferring I’m a wingnut.”

                      Well good luck with achieving that. It is hard wired.

                    • nadis

                      Of course tenants have rights. They will be summarised neatly in her tenancy agreement. She should get out her tenancy agreement and point out the clause that says the section cannot be subdivided and send HNZ into the naughty corner. Her lack of pointing out said clause suggests she doesn’t have the appropriate clause in her tenancy agreement. Next step, check HNZ aren’t breaching any other rights a person in this country has. If what HNZ does does not breach any other rights she has under law, end of story. Bake a cake for your new neighbour.

                    • bad12

                      SSlands, a babbling ‘wing-nut’ as well i might add, whatever the latest piece of babble actually means is beyond me,

                      Is this your default position when being lying scum fails…

                    • bad12

                      Nadis, i am sure you should have chosen the handle anus, far more apt, as i said this discussion is akin to talking to a series of brick walls each one thicker than the other, you being obviously the thickest,

                      i…will…repeat…slooooowly…just…for…you, The Residential Tenancies Act provides in its provisions the tenants right to the use of all the property along with ‘the quiet enjoyment’ of that property,

                      ‘The Property’ in terms of the Act is the property described on its title at the time the rental agreement was signed by the tenant,

                      Now you do know what a property described on its title is don’t you Anus,

                    • nadis

                      bloke – would have thought you’d be used to gettting things wrong by now. Of course we have pro bono represenatation in NZ. Every major law firm has a parner responsible fo rhte pro-bono practice. Talk to your mate micky savage – I’m sure he will regale you with stories of subaurbna and rural lawyers doing pro bono work for needy cases that cant afford representation but have a particuarly difficult story. Then their are Community law centres etc – keep up.

                      Just to make life really, really easy for your fact challenged self, here is a link to the standard form tenenacy agreeement which almostevery tenenancy in NZ uses. In fact it is illegal to use an agreement that conflicts with the Residential tenancy act, so most would use this.

                      90 days notice is the answer………

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @nadis. Listen, dickhead, if you were renting a house and garden and your landlord reduced the size of the garden would you be looking for a rent reduction or not?

                      If not, please please let’s do business.

                    • fender

                      Can’t wait to hear the whining when srylands and/or nadis rents a car then has the wheels taken off it after he gets in the drivers seat…

                  • freedom

                    “Just to make life really, really easy for your fact challenged self, here is a link to the standard form tenenacy agreeement which almostevery tenenancy in NZ uses.”

                    excuse me, sorry to interrupt, where is the link ?

                    • nadis

                      I don’t really understand what is contentious here. Everything is governed by really easy to understand law. And I cant believe the difficulty some of you guys have with normal commercial concepts.

                      At the end of the tenants contract period (either a fixed date or at 90 days notice), HNZ says “we are ending your contract. you are welcome to enter into a new one”

                      Anonymous bloke of course the new tenancy should be cheaper on a like for like basis, if it’s not the tenant has the option to move and the landlord will be left with an un-rented property. If HNZ is trying to do something that breaks either the already agreed contract or the general provisions of the law then HNZ should be rightly censured.

                      If they are acting within the law then there is no legal problem. The tenant (any tenant) does not have a right to tenancy beyond what has been contractually agreed. If the tenant doesn’t like living in the property or it doesn’t meet their needs when their tenancy is over, then they will have to do what other tenants and house owners do which is move and find something that suits.

                      Bad, you should actually read the tenancy agreement before spouting off about concepts you don’t understand. It’s not difficult.

                    • bad12

                      Anus, i have no need to read a bog standard tenancy agreement, what i have been quoting to you is the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act,

                      One day in the future someone is going to have the power and the will to Trample All Over your property Rights by simply changing a few words in a Law or a couple of Laws,

                      On that day, unfortunately tho i would like to be, i doubt if i will be among the living, you will scream like a stuck pig and the rest of the world will sit laughing, poking derision at You for daring to think you have any sacrosanct rights,

                      You will be deserving of any and all such treatment…

                • vto

                  PR “Its really simple:

                  She doesn’t own the house”

                  It is not that simple at all you moron. Go learn some basic property law. What a fool.

                  • srylands

                    What the hell is a “wing nut”? You come across as a rude, childish 10 year old child. Incredible. No wonder you are an unemployed smoker living in a State house.

                    [lprent: Wingnut.


                    You can blame that unsubtle hint to investigate google on a very very long compile to see if \$$\$$ in a make script solves my build issue. ]

                    • bad12

                      There you go SSlands, a ‘wingnut’ usually ‘loose’ kindly depicted for you by Lprent,

                      ‘The left’ usually far far too kind in aiding our ‘wing-nut’ afflicted visitors when it would be far far less exertion to instead heave you all under the proverbial bus…

                    • vto

                      srylands, while you are around and before you disappear like you usually do when the going gets tough ….. as a disciple of the neoliberal dogma can you please explain why electricity prices have risen and keep rising when supply is static and demand is dropping?

                      You also referred the other day to “relying on the evidence of what works”. Would you also mind then telling me what the evidence of the 29 dead men at Pike River shows works and doesn’t work with regard to the neoliberal free market deregulation private knows best approach that you staunchly and unswervingly adopt?

                    • bad12

                      Lolz its SSLands again, with a friend, it would be pointless for me to Google up the Residential Tenancies Act and point out to them the relevant clauses which protect the tenants rights to the property,

                      They would just slip into the snake skins as usual and slither off to appear again in a couple of days pushing more lies on some other topic where i would have to go through the whole process again,

                      Far far easier to treat them with derision as a knuckle-scraping species of subhumans fit for purpose only to wipe the smelly deposits off of the bottom of the gumboots with,

                      Far more fun too, time to throw together the raw fish for tomorrows dinner and use the remainder for fish’nchips for tonight’s…

                  • nadis

                    Bad12 what are you even talking about? Nothing you say makes coherent sense. Are you 12 years old? I give up – you don’t seem to have any relationship with logical thought. You’ve gone from saying people have rights to people have no rights, the only original things you say are the bilious abuse you spout against anyone that has the temerity to argue with you. I give up. You are literally a moron. Please don’t reproduce.

                    • bad12

                      Anus, thank you for your concerns, have you finished now, please do not come back…

                    • srylands

                      No he is 10 years old. He is a smoker, and thinks he is an expert on everything. When anyone disagrees he spouts vile abuse. He is beyond any redemption.

                    • felix

                      And you are spending enormous amounts of your life talking with him on the internet. 🙄

                    • vto

                      not only that felix, but srylands keeps refusing to answer certain questions – ones he has no answer for as a disciple of neoliberalism. Examples just above include an explanation for why electricity prices have risen and keep rising when supply is static and demand is reducing.

                      Come on srylands – back yourself you chicken – bok bok

                    • bad12

                      SSLands, look deeply at the little green icon attached to every comment you make, everything you say here comes with the sign of the swastika which is the basis of the few comments you do produce that contain an iota of fact,

                      As i point out to nadis/anus above, one day in a very dark, for you, future someone will come along claiming to be acting in the best interests of something or someone mythical and remove from you those ‘property rights’ you hold so dearly and believe are yours by an unalienable right,

                      Just as has been done to the tenants of HousingNZ who you obviously despise based upon nothing more than the ism contained in that little icon attached to your every comment, the swastika, it will only take the changing of a couple of pieces of Legislation to put you and your ‘property rights’ in the same position faced by those HousingNZ tenants you so despise,

                      The only sadness i would have with regards to a future Government removing your ‘property rights’ with the stroke of a pen is that i do not have the power to do so right this very minute because you can bet i would with one stroke of my pen,

                      Soon after that i would arrive on your doorstep with a warrant for your removal along with a crew tasked with demolishing what is obviously a pig sty you inhabit…

      • Tracey 16.1.3

        will the new house be built over a vegetable garden?

        • fender

          Was wondering that myself. If the backyard is a part of her food source this loss will hit her hard.

          I’d expect her rent to drop by 1/3-1/2 for this to be anywhere near fair.

        • RedBaronCV

          Perhaps we need a few leaked emails from the left discussing rezoning the eastern bays in auckland and parts of the North shore for the build of low rise minimum size apartments so that housing corp and other teneants can enjoy the benefits of a mature suburb and the current owners can enjoy some new neighbours so they don’t have to pay for the roads to the outer ‘burbs.

  16. Clemgeopin 17

    Jimmy Carter fears NSA and US monitoring so much that he now hand-writes and mails sensitive letters to foreign and American leaders because he can’t trust his email or telephone to be secure.

    “I don’t think there’s any doubt now that the NSA or other agencies monitor or record almost every telephone call made in the United States, including cellphones, and I presume email as well,” Carter told The Associated Press in an interview. “We’ve gone a long way down the road of violating Americans’ basic civil rights, as far as privacy is concerned.”

    Read more here:


    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      I’m sure the unconstitutional interception of President Carter’s communications are solely for his protection against Islamic Terrorists, etc.

      • Clemgeopin 17.1.1

        I am wondering HOW the private meetings of some MPs with Kim dot com became known. I suspect the spy agencies.

  17. greywarbler 18

    Buckish Rogue
    And Tardis
    There goes the neighbourhood!! DNFTT,.. Waste of energy. It would be a good idea to have exercise bicycles hooked up to the grid. When dopes like this come on the site go and work off your steam fuelling up the credit a/c. By the time winter came you would get free heating for a week.

  18. Ergo Robertina 19

    John Drinnan on changes at National Radio.
    Guyon Espiner is to have more editorial input than previous hosts. As apparently will his new co-host, but given Guyon’s apparent lack of objectivity in other positions it does not bode well. It seems Paul Thomson is very quietly undertaking huge changes at RNZ.

    ‘Well-placed sources said that management had agreed that Espiner – who will be based out of Auckland studios – will have a greater editorial role than previous hosts held in the past.’

  19. captain hook 20

    so who gets the $64,000 for guessing that naki man is wail boil?

  20. lprent 21

    Billy Bragg concert. Bit crowded

    [Hey lprent you are in moderation! – MS]

    Mistype on email…

  21. logie97 22

    “Senior scientists and government officials are meeting in Japan to agree a critical report on the impacts of global warming.”

    Do we know who is representing or directing New Zealand at these deliberations?
    What our government’s position is…? (Young Bridges perhaps.)


    I just get the sense that prior to November 2008, there was at least a New Zealand government that was making a deliberate attempt to address the issue of Global Warming and that the current administration is largely sceptical about the issue and persuaded by the power of its coalition partner .

    • greywarbler 22.1

      About climate change and our govt I would say the word isn’t skeptical but ‘relaxed’. Hey, it’s an SEP. Let’s make hay while the sun shines, and shines, and shines……………..

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