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Open Mike 25/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2017 - 103 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

103 comments on “Open Mike 25/03/2017”

  1. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 1

    My copy of Hager’s book has not arrived yet, so I haven’t read it!

    But, from what I have gathered, the operation was given the go-ahead by Key himself.

    If that was indeed the case, it seems inconceivable that he would not have been ‘fully’ briefed on the outcome of the raid, including that there were civilian deaths and injuries.

    So, if a cover-up was ordered, isn’t it more than possible it originated from the 9th floor of the Beehive?

    We need an independent investigation to determine ‘where the buck stops’!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      If Key gave the go ahead then the buck stops at Key.

      That said, it will also involve a lot of other higher-ups across the bureaucracy.

  2. Riverton’s Heritage Harvest Festival on this weekend; the hall and marquees are chocka with fruit and vegetables, preserves and people (or they will be as soon as the sun comes up 🙂 and the workshops are almost full already, the most popular so far being the seaweed foraging, with herb growing not far behind. I’m doing an interview on RadioLive at 8:00 and there are tours of my forest garden at 4:30 today and tomorrow. It’s going to be a big two days!

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    Kirsty Johnston, in the NZ Herald today, reports that a UN Report in 2011 came to similar conclucions to the book Hit and Run, about the same or a similar incident in 2010 in the same area of Afghanistan.

    Although the incident sounds very similar to the book’s description of the SAS raid, the Weekend Herald has not been able to verify that both accounts are about the same event.

    “International military forces conducted an investigation into an air strike on 22 August in Tala Wa Barfak district in Baghlan province that caused six civilian deaths and four injuries,” the report said.

    The report was issued jointly by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA Human Rights) with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in 2011.

    It reported that during 2010 there were 2777 civilians killed in Afghanistan, with 2080 attributed to Anti-Government Elements, and 440 deaths to Pro-Government Forces.

    The UN recommended international military forces undertake thorough, impartial and transparent investigations into all incidents involving civilian casualties, and take any disciplinary action necessary.

  4. ianmac 4

    Carolyn. Who are Anti-Government Elements?

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      I guess “insurgents”, which are largely Taliban, but may include some Al Qaeda (at least in 2010).

      Wikipedia on insurgence in Afghanistan following US-led invasion of 2001

    • McFlock 4.2

      Complicated question.

      Technically, “insurgents” come from outside a particular area, so includes AQ international migrants but also folk whose cultural area overflows the artificial or ill-defined national borders.

      Then the “Taliban” isn’t very hierarchical as an organisation, but is a conglomeration of regional groups frequently controlled by charismatic leadership rather than a formal structure. These groups vary significantly in their religious and cultural zealotry. David Adams went to Afghanistan to do a documentary when it was under Taliban control and found that some “Taliban” commanders even wanted their picture taken, whereas others barely tolerated his presence and were very strict about not filming people.

      And finally the actual logistical support and even ambushes can be subcontracted to unemployed locals as one-off jobs.

      So, basically, anyone shooting at or bombing government forces and their allies.

  5. Ad 6

    President Trump has just killed the vote on his health reforms.

    That is one huge campaign promise probably fully dead.

    After his bodacious-scale brinkmanship to demand all Republicans vote for it and that he would “go after them” if they didn’t , they stared him down. They won, and he looks really weak as a result. I don’t think this will come to a vote again.

    For a multiple of reasons, Donald Trump is looking like the best broad voter lesson against the Republicans in many, many years.

    He should have been the great uniting force that brought all the Congress majority, all the Senate majority, all the Republican state legislatures, all the Republican governorships, into one grand front, unite the party, and roll out a full and comprehensive reform programme.

    Instead we have total chaos in government across Washington – all inside around 100 days since he was inaugurated.

    • weka 6.1

      “He should have been the great uniting force…”

      Out of curiosity, did you think that was ever going to be possible?

      • Andre 6.1.1

        I was always pretty confident Trump is so fundamentally incompetent that this kind of debacle would be a regular feature. But there was always the nagging doubt in my judgement and that maybe Trump had actual abilities he was cleverly hiding.

        Pence is now the big worry. He looks like he’s treading the fine line of keeping enough separation from Trump’s screwups but still being seen to be a team player. So when Trump’s gone, Pence seems more much more likely to have the skills to get these things through.

      • Ad 6.1.2

        Definitely.
        Still plenty of policy areas left in the tank for them to focus their collective minds on.

        • weka 6.1.2.1

          Does that mean you see this as a failure of politics rather than an issue of general competency?

          • Ad 6.1.2.1.1

            For the sake of the stability of US politics, I would hope that the Republican leadership and the White House now have a bit of a cup of tea together and figure out what they should have figured out before Trump was elected:
            a policy platform and legislative agenda that they agree on achieving together.

            My other, minor instinct is to watch the Republicans draining their own swamp simply by pulling their own plug while swimming in it, and while flapping about, take the knives to each other in righteous blame and disembowel each other.

            The latter however is the Bannon view: burn the system down and let the market of ideas and populism and commercial power run cross the land unfettered. Great theatre, but very bad for the world.

            • weka 6.1.2.1.1.1

              I was thinking more about what’s possible rather than what we might hope for 🙁

    • Johan 6.2

      To Ad: There are important reasons why Trump’s reforms, health care bill etc will not pass through the lower house. One only needs to look at the people who have taken control of the Republican Party, know their political aims and as a result a good number of Republican members will take that second sober look and not follow Donald Trump, Some of the rich and influential personalities, pulling the Republican Party towards the far right are Robert and Rebekka Mercer.

      https://www.democracynow.org/2017/3/23/jane_mayer_on_robert_mercer_the

      also: Jane Mayer on Robert Mercer & the Dark Money Behind Trump and Bannon

      • Ad 6.2.1

        Sure, you can look in it as a failure caused by specific individuals, or Ryan as Speaker, but in the end it’s absolutely the biggest shock to a new US government we’ve ever seen.

        Why is it that a fully stacked deck of Republicans can go backwards faster than Obama – in control of almost nothing – went forwards?

        That’s not just a few individuals.
        That’s a really deep sickness inside the entire Republican movement.

        • Johan 6.2.1.1

          To Ad: “Why is it that a fully stacked deck of Republicans can go backwards faster than Obama – in control of almost nothing – went forwards?” Perhaps you need to reread my comment again. I’ll put it in simpler terms. Many moderate Republicans will not support the scrapping of Obama’s Affordable Care Act and leave some 24 million voters without insurance. That would have meant committing possible political suicide for many moderate Republicans.

          • Ad 6.2.1.1.1

            I don’t see that at all. Getting rid of Obamacare was a common Republican promise across all layers of power for Republicans.

            From the commentary from the Freedom Republicans it looked much more like there was insufficient eradication of abortion funding, plus the fear that the Koch brothers would de-fund the mid-term campaign of any Republican member who voted for it.

            • mpledger 6.2.1.1.1.1

              I see Democracy is alive and well in the USA.

              • Ad

                IF I had been Sean Spicer that’s the line I would have run a little further on: he’s already commented today that
                “we don’t live in a dictatorship”, and the constitutional levers are working in that a Republican lock isn’t running over the whole country.

                LIpstick on a pig.

            • Johan 6.2.1.1.1.2

              Sorry to disagree. Don’t know what you mean by getting rid of Obamacare.
              Moderate Republicans and Democrats are happy to modify the Affordable Care Act.

              • Ad

                Which moderate Republicans in Senate or Congress have said they would prefer to reform Obamacare rather than repeal it? Or are they dog whisperers?

    • NZJester 6.3

      My understanding is that the Koch Brothers did not like it and flexed their muscle as the owners of most of the Republican politicians. The Koch Brothers are the ones who really run the Republican party.

    • weka 7.1

      Democracy as horse trading.

    • Ad 7.2

      I wonder which little NGO in Wellington could have had the focus and intellectual grunt to assist the Maori Party to fight solely on the point of GMO Ministerial call-ins?

      Sure as hell this is the first time in a long time a significant change has been made between second and third readings of a bill.

      Any guesses people?

    • an interesting perspective

      The Freshwater and Natural Resources Iwi Leaders Groups supports the gains that the Maori Party has achieved to amend the Resource Management Act this week.

      … Selwyn Parata, Chair of the Natural Resources Iwi Leaders group, “Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements and the other gains made by the Maori Party provide a new platform for iwi and hapu to engage with Councils that will support Councils to have clarity over how tangata whenua want to be engaged with and to encourage the wealth of knowledge held by Maori communities to be better shared to protect our natural environments for all New Zealanders for today and for tomorrow”.

      http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/MTU5NDk=/National/Freshwater-Iwi-Leaders-Group-welcomes-the-Maori-Party-support-of-changes-to-the-RMA

      Please note I am not necessarily agreeing with this group just putting up a different view for contrast.

      • Foreign waka 7.3.1

        Even if you read through all the papers, including Section D360 in full you would not know what Maori have agreed to or achieved. Unless there is a philosophical agreement on grounds of water being made a profitable avenue for the benefit of the few? Lets see what is happening in another 5 years time – wondering whether there is some handshaking going on that will be to the detriment to all.
        The RMA has been of great benefit to Maori but of cause when money is at play things change and everything has a price and is for sale after all.

    • Bearded Git 7.4

      The death knell of the Maori Party as it has decided to support massively developer-friendly and landscape inimical reforms proposed by its National Party mates.

      The RMA has been gutted now. The checks and balances of the right to appeal to the Environment Court has been largely removed for the public, though not for developers of course.

      • saveNZ 7.4.1

        +1 Bearded Git

      • Ad 7.4.2

        Are there really any election votes that would change over this bill?

        • Bearded Git 7.4.2.1

          Its not all about votes Ad. Labour and the Greens should campaign hard on reversing the latest RMA changes which have nothing to do with solving the housing crisis and everything to do with lining developers pockets.

          I agree it is complicated and so difficult to put across in a campaign but when people in Wanaka (for instance) see intrusive subdivisions and lakeside building monstrosities rammed through degrading the landscape with no chance to to make public submissions or appeal to the court they are going to be up in arms.

  6. As the leader does so the followers follow

    “Labour has withdrawn support for the Point England Development Enabling Bill that would allow the government to sell nearly 12ha of public land in east Auckland to Ngāti Pāoa as part of its Treaty settlement.”

    Ngāti Pāoa Iwi Trust chief executive Hauauru Rawiri said without the land there would be no Treaty settlement.

    “By opposing the legislation, Labour is opposing a Treaty settlement bill for the first time in the history of the Treaty settlement process,” Mr Rawiri said.

    Labour was suggesting Ngāti Pāoa was being “duped” by the government to advance its housing programme.

    “This is a supremely patronising and condescending attitude that reflects poorly on its proponents.”

    Mr Rawiri said the iwi deliberately sought the land for housing because it was close to its marae site.

    He called Labour’s stance hypocritical as it did not oppose the transfer of reserve land in Takapuna to a hapū five years ago as part of a Treaty settlement.

    The argument other land was available was not true, he said.

    “Tamaki Regeneration Company land is not Crown land and is not available for Treaty redress.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/327431/labour-'supremely-patronising'-over-iwi's-housing-plan

    jeepers how are those non-placing on the list looking now – some drips of cold sweat slowly sliding down the brow methinks.

    And the spin from The Māori Party is scathing

    “This week the leader of Labour relegates all his Māori MPs off the party list to avoid their humiliation of being named at the bottom of it, and today the Labour Party denies Ngāti Paoa their right to settle part of their treaty claims through the Pt England Enabling Bill.”

    “It is a betrayal of the support that Māori have given to Labour and our people of the Tamaki Mākaurau electorate and all other electorates need to remember this come September 23,” says Māori Party Co-Leader, Te Ururoa Flavell…

    …“Particularly given the housing shortage in Auckland, Labour’s opposition is especially abhorrent. For Labour to bemoan the housing crisis for Auckland, and then deny iwi an opportunity to play a part in sorting the issues of housing shortages through plans to develop on their whenua, just shows how desperate Labour is to govern at the expense of our people.”

    http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/MTU5NTA=/National/x_story/Labour-abandons-M%C4%81ori-again

    • Ad 9.1

      Not as if Labour was ever going to win Pakuranga anyway, so what was the point?

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        I suppose – and does it show that the Labour Māori seats and their Members of Parliament have been cut loose? Or is it that there are more important issues for Labour to worry about? or is it that Little’s Labour are floundering around like a fish on the beach?

        Giving free shots is not the way to win imo – I despair for the left with this shit going down

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.1

          That is a bad move by Labour. It seems that the Iwi has been quite pragmatic about this, and utilising the opportunity to get useful land for their chosen purposes and Labour is unwilling to support it and is sacrificing this fine opportunity for the Iwi so they can fire a few brickbats at Gnashional. Bad, stupid idea!

          Maori have always had trouble with housing because of their refusal to mortgage their land to gain funds for housing provision. If they have funds or a scheme that enables house building on this land, and it is close enough to the marae to enable services and for it to be a centre for Maori to enhance their cultural and social life, it should be a no-brainer. Who or what directs what passes for thinking and strategy with Labour?

          There are quite a few google entries for Maori housing (papakainga). This is one link to the legal situation:
          http://www.hobec.co.nz/news-resources/content/posts/environment-resource-mangement/papakainga-development.aspx

          And a pdf from the Whangarei District Council: (Note the meaning of papakainga – ‘a nurturing place to return to’.
          Planning for Papakainga Housing – Whangarei District Council
          wdc.govt.nz/CommunitySafetyandSupport/Housing/…/Papakainga-housing-brochure….
          literal meaning of Papakainga housing is, ‘a nurturing place to return to’. … District Council and Maori Land Court so it has been difficult … Advice/Funding.

          Click to access Papakainga-housing-brochure.pdf


          (This does not have a discernable date! Surely a serious error for those seeking relevant timely info.)

      • Karen 9.1.2

        This is Pt England which is in the Maungakiekie electorate. I thought you were an Aucklander?

    • Bill 9.2

      That non-list malarkey was always only a desperate (and bloody stupid) move. (I believe you previously commented in a similar vein).

      Unless there are seven high list places for Maori on the list, then Labour runs the real risk of becoming markedly less representative than it already is…and the knock on effect of that is that parliament as a whole also becomes less representative than it already is.

      But then, when all you want to do is eat everything to your left…

      It’s a personal perspective (obviously) – but if someone attempted those stand over/ fear tactics on me, I’d quite happily pick up a shovel, dig them a hole and get on the phone to book some bands for a party.

      • marty mars 9.2.1

        I suppose if you want the middle to move you focus energy on the middle – bit like a punch in the guts for some though…

        • Bill 9.2.1.1

          Hmm. I’d have thought if the idea was to ‘move the middle’ then the positioning would be ‘over here’ with an invitation sent out, no?

          Labour aren’t interested in moving the middle, and to be honest, I think they lack the imagination to envisage anything that isn’t middle.

          Does this end well for Labour? I can’t see how.

          • marty mars 9.2.1.1.1

            move the middle means getting them to vote for you when last time they voted for someone else – ultimately focusing on self centred issues for that middle and showing how a vote for the preferred party will either give them more of what they want and less of what they don’t want.

            • Bill 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I get you. I wouldn’t term that ‘moving the middle’ is all – more ‘contesting the middle’ to my way of looking at things. (Meaning no movement; stagnation coming off the back of a process that diminishes options)

      • weka 9.2.2

        “Unless there are seven high list places for Maori on the list, then Labour runs the real risk of becoming markedly less representative than it already is…”

        How so?

        • Bill 9.2.2.1

          If the Labour candidates were high on the Labour Party list, then a vote for mana or the Maori Party could result in two Maori mps being returned to parliament for each contested electorate where Labour lose the electorate. (And depending on list placings, regardless of whether Labour win or lose those electorates) That’s pretty straight forward.

          If no Maori are high on the Labour list, then no matter what, only one Maori mp gets returned for each electorate contest.

          If no Maori are high on the Labour list ,and Labour lose all those electorates, then the Labour caucus will have fewer Maori mps than if they hadn’t pulled this silly stunt.

          And if there are Maori mps placed high up on the list, then this silly stunt wasn’t just just silly but fucking dishonest.

          • weka 9.2.2.1.1

            Ok, I thought you meant representation within Labour.

            It’s extremely unlikely that Labour would lose all or even most of the Māori seats. They might lose TTT.

            (btw, some of the Māori seat MPs weren’t on the list last time, by choice).

            “And if there are Maori mps placed high up on the list, then this silly stunt wasn’t just just silly but fucking dishonest.”

            Where’s the dishonesty? By high on the list, I assume you mean within the number of seats currently held (give or take).

            • Bill 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Davis said the ‘two for one’ deal was ending. Kind of is, kind of isn’t. Karen linked to a piece below indicating high list places for Maori. So we have a clutch of experienced Labour mps potentially hitting the bin? Hey – ho.

              As long as Davis is gone, I’ll be happy enough.

              • weka

                Two for one is about being able to seat vote Mana and party vote Labour (it’s vastly stupid phrase given MMP and we all have two votes). That’s what Labour are wanting to undermine. I don’t think they’ve been dishonest about that part.

                “So we have a clutch of experienced Labour mps potentially hitting the bin? Hey – ho.”

                I’m not sure that’s what’s going to happen. We don’t yet know how many Māori will be on the list or what placing. I guess Jackson will be put into the top 30, but I don’t know who else, or even which other current Māori but non-Māori seat MPs will be on the list or where. Pretty hard to speculate much until that is known (although I am appreciating Karen’s input on this.

                • Bill

                  Two for one is… Uh-huh. And Davis implied something quite different – ie, that the choice was to vote Labour and only Labour because no-one would be coming in off the Labour list.

                  That’s the dishonest part given that Maori will be on the list (just not those who are contesting the electorates)

                  The “I’m not sure that’s going to happen” is an odd way to respond to a comment that revolved around the word “potentially”. But anyway.

                  • weka

                    Which just demonstrates how stupid the whole thing is. I’ve been hearing commentators use a different definition, but it’s certainly unclear. I think this is seat specific i.e. the voters are looking at their electorate vote in ways that most Pākehā don’t because we don’t really have that kind of representation.

                    “The “I’m not sure that’s going to happen” is an odd way to respond to a comment that revolved around the word “potentially”. But anyway.”

                    That was me being polite. That Labour would lose all the Māori seats is so far out in terms of probability that it’s probably not even worth considering 😉

                    • weka

                      Two for one is a message from previous elections that you can have Labour in govt *and a Mana MP. Labour are saying nope, if you want Davis as an MP you have to vote for him on the electorate vote, and if you want us in govt, you have to party vote Labour.

                      “In the Maori seats there is something very special going on and Labour’s Maori MPs are standing there saying vote for us, vote for our voice, we’ve got a track record and it’s better than anything any other party can offer,” he said.

                      The policy is a direct challenge to the alliance that has formed between the Maori Party and Mana Party and their decision not compete against each other for the Maori seats.

                      Labour currently hold six Maori seats, with the seventh held by Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

                      Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta said the message was simple.

                      “We are eliminating the two-for-one message because in order to get us into government you need to be able to vote for our party as well,” she said.

                      http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=244752

      • Karen 9.2.3

        Huge assumption there, Bill. You don’t think the Māori electorate MPs are capable of making decisions for themselves?

        Also, I’d suggest you go and look at the candidates so far – I think you will see quite a bit of diversity. We need to wait till the list comes out to get an idea of how it will look post election.

        • Bill 9.2.3.1

          Huge assumption there, Bill. You don’t think the Māori electorate MPs are capable of making decisions for themselves?

          Not this shit again? Nowhere have I said or implied that the decision wasn’t made by the Maori electorate mps. The assumptions being made are all your own.

          • Karen 9.2.3.1.1

            ” if someone attempted those stand over/ fear tactics on me, I’d quite happily pick up a shovel, dig them a hole and get on the phone to book some bands for a party.”

            I based my comment on this – it seems I have misinterpreted what you meant by this so for that I apologise.

            As to the number of Māori MPs post election – the Māori Party have not announced their candidates for two seats so I will leave them out of my calculation for now. I am sure Te Uroroa Flavell will win his seat and the MP will get enough party votes to get Marama Fox (at least) in on the list. I don’t think Hone will win TTT because Kelvin has decided to go list only and (in spite of what many here believe) he has significantly increased his support in the electorate since the last election. They won’t want to lose him. Personally I have a lot of time for Hone and I’d like a resurgence of Mana but I don’t see it happening this election.

            My prediction is Labour will get at least 4 and probably 6 of the electorate seats. Paul Eagle and Louisa Wall are in very safe Labour seats so they will definitely be there. I expect Kiri Allen, Willie Jackson, Willow Jean Prime and Tamati Coffey to all be given high placings, but I may be wrong – we will have to wait for the list to come out.

            So there is a strong possibility there will be 12 Māori MPs in the caucus and there could be more if Labour does well. It will become clearer in a couple of months time.

            • Bill 9.2.3.1.1.1

              If it’s still not entirely clear, I meant that’s how I’d react as a voter. (By way of reacting to Kelvin Davis declaring that peeps electorate vote Labour or lose Labour’s Maori mps)

            • Jenny Kirk 9.2.3.1.1.2

              + 100 % Karen. That’s been my thinking as well – a Labour caucus with a strong Maori team within it. This is a smart move for Labour.

              • Karen

                Very talented young Māori guy has been chosen as Labour’s candidate in your old seat (now Northcote and a lot bigger than in your day). Unseating Coleman would be a difficult task (unless something really damning comes out of the NZDF enquiry) but I’m hoping he gets a list placing that puts him in with a chance if Labour does a lot better than in 2014.

    • Karen 9.3

      This is a lot more complicated story than this suggests Marty. Ngāti Paoa are not even mentioned in the bill and it didn’t go to the Māori Select Committee as Treaty Settlements usually do. Also Ngāti Paoa only get 20% of the development but are likely to get all the backlash from the community at the loss of open space in what is about to become one of the most intensive housing areas – this is a not a good deal for Ngāti Paoa. There was an opportunity for them to get a share of the Tamaki Regeneration land (in spite of what Hauauru says) and this was what should have happened. Obviously there will need to be another solution found now , but the Flavell wading in isn’t going to be helpful.
      Have a look at Peeni’s twitter feed before you decide how he feels.

      Peeni Henare‏
      @PeeniHenare
      @Ellipsister when we advised Paoa of our decision my tuakana took the decision with integrity and class now this

      BTW at the 2014 election Peeni, Rino Tirikatene and Adrian Ruawhe all decided not to be on the list and seek the support of their electorate only – the only thing that is new is the all Māori electorate MPs decided to make a united statement of their intent to remove their names from the list.

  7. ianmac 10

    Graeme Edgeler has an important view on the question of Hit and Run Inquiry or Police Prosecution.

    ” And this is the problem with all the calls for an inquiry to date. Lots of people are saying that there appear to be war crimes. No-one appears to have appreciated what that means. It means we need an investigation into war crimes. In New Zealand, this is a job for the Police.”…..

    “But holding an inquiry is not enough for New Zealand to meet its obligation to investigate allegations of war crimes. Holding an inquiry, while not conducting an investigation would compound any breach of international humanitarian law. The independent commission of inquiry Hager seeks would have the power to demand documents, and summon witnesses. But Commissions of Inquiry have limited purposes….”

    “…those implicated in the allegations contained in Hit & Run are going to get legal advice, and that advice will be very clear, especially for those on the ground who took part in the raids: shut up.”
    https://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/a-war-crimes-inquiry-or-why-nicky-hager-is/

  8. Carolyn_nth 11

    This op from Duncan Garner starts off well. He praises Hit and Run (whatever anyone thinks of Hager and Stephenson, Garner reckons the truth needs to be told.

    It appears they have got this spot on. The truth matters, especially given it is the first casualty of any war. I want to defend the writers’ honour. These men have produced a fine piece of investigative journalism.

    Don’t let your prejudice get in the way of what I believe is a very dark and devious cover-up by our Defence Force and a complicit Government.

    He also praises Wayne Mapp….

    …but then goes on to praise John key as an excellent PM. Seems it goes back to Garner spending a “night on the town” with Key soon after Key became National leader. And that for me points to a major problem.

    I’m not surprised he’s gone. I spent a night on the town with him 10 years ago after he became National’s leader and he told me then he’d like to do three terms and then pack it in. He also floated the idea that night that Bill could take over.

    I rate Key and before him, Helen Clark, as our two best prime ministers ever.

    Both read the public mood well, both understood MMP, both had a killer instinct and both were overwhelmingly pragmatic.

    Key could have done more with his political capital – but being popular mattered above all else in the end.

    He had his critics and haters. But the reality is we are still an overwhelmingly successful country with a strong economy where hundreds of thousands of immigrants are banging down the door to get in.

    I constantly read from the getgo, what a good PM Key would be. This seemed to come from journos who got too close to Key, and somehow saw in him a guy they’d like to have a beer with.

    This says more about the journos than any objective understanding of Key the politician. They saw something in him that reflected their values. Somehow the divided country with increasingly visible homelessness, and people struggling, does not compute with those that see a successful economy under Key.

    To me, watching him in the media, Key always looked like a slippery used car salesman. And, on the ground, I’ve seen first hand the state of some over-priced rental flats, along with the stagnant incomes for the least well-off.

    • ianmac 11.1

      Steve Braunias: The final Secret Diary of John Key ends on this note that Duncan should read.
      “I turned at the door and took a last look around to see if I’d left anything behind, maybe something of value. But the room was bare. It was like I’d never been there.”
      Wicked?
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11824754

    • saveNZ 11.2

      where hundreds of thousands of immigrants are banging down the door to get in…. yep millennials with a level 5 qualification in cookery and willing to work below minimum wages in petrol stations… possibly NZ is the only country willing to take anybody this poorly qualified for migration.

      We really are attracting the best and brightest. sarc.

      No wonder our productivity is so low.

      • Foreign waka 11.2.1

        I think you are incorrect to some degree. But as with all emotional statements, reason goes out the window.
        Yes, there are some that take advantage by means of student entries and we had a fair share of news about these issues.
        But what is not mentioned is, that many immigrants have established businesses and/or working in employment contributing to the wider NZ community and pay their fair share on taxes (unlike those faceless multinationals). It is well known that farmers would have difficulties to get the harvest in without workers from overseas as kiwis do not want to do that kind of work. I had recently a conversation with kiwis returning to NZ and they are not impressed with the attitudes they encounter.
        Productivity gain can only be achieved by higher output with less resource. So either automation (which will happen) or very low pay. It remains to be seen whether the conventional economic model actually works as NZ has finite resources and land.
        Just some small fact: a very large proportion of people coming to NZ are returning citizen.

        • ropata 11.2.1.1

          The conventional economic model does not work because it is based on exploitation and environmental destruction. And every problem is made more acute when we jam more and more people into our small country.

          Productivity gain can only be achieved by higher output with less resource

          What bullshit is this. We don’t need more productivity, we are drowning in fucken productivity. Our Cows are super productive. Our landfills are overflowing with plastic crap. Our roads are clogged with metallic instruments of social destruction.

          We need more equity and proper redistribution of wealth. We need to stop the Aussie banks taking $30 billion out of the NZ economy every year. We need to totally reform the tax system and throw some rich prick financiers in jail, like Mark Hotchin. We need to give the SFO some teeth and OIO some balls to stop the fire sale of NZ. Increasing productivity has just made things worse. We need an increase in justice.

          • Foreign waka 11.2.1.1.1

            Ropata, the comment I made about productivity was not one for it, but rather in response to the assertion what SaveNZ made:
            “No wonder our productivity is so low”.

            Yes, the productivity mantra I S what I referred to in what is currently the orthodoxy:
            My comment “It remains to be seen whether the conventional economic model actually works as NZ has finite resources and land”

            Please re read my comment and you will see that your anger is misdirected.

            PS.: Immigration is not the cause but its exploitation is adding to the problem.

    • ropata 11.3

      FJK’s charisma did not make up for his dirty politics, doing nothing about inequality, and flogging public assets to his rich mates. Garner and the rest of our media were seduced by Key’s dubious charm and wealth. Kiwis were all sucked in and are worse off for it.

  9. Bill 12

    So. A Fixed Term Parliament Act.

    It instantly kills all the strategic disagreement around whether ‘sitting at the cabinet table’ is selling out or the only way to get things done.

    edit – Oops. The comment I was responding to has gone 🙂

  10. patricia 13

    Trouble in the new Waterview Tunnel motorway ? A 3 month delay for opening day according to NZ Herald this morning. Issues with sprinklers and ventilation. I remember at the very beginning when construction was just beginning that the public raised concerns about ventilation and the shafts.

  11. Draco T Bastard 14

    Chris Mahony – If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu – AKL

    If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu: The relationship between power, policy, environment, and the inclusiveness of growth

    What are the implications of challenging policy-making, the assumptions we make; the powerful actors’ we disturb? Are we better to focus on writing our own policy, or on how policy is made? The social implications of markets organized in favour of those ‘at the table’, are exaggerated by unequal environments. Unequal environments enable inequality of access to information, to opportunity, to influence.

    These are the underlying concerns of ‘governance’ – how governments, citizens and communities interact to design and implement policy. An increasingly interdependent global economy faces challenges from automation, artificial intelligence, sharpening public opinion and voter behaviour. And we start in an unequal position! How do these challenges impact our ability to restore an inclusive, equitable and sustainable economy? Chris Mahony responds to these questions based on his work confronting similar assumptions at the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Program.

    When
    March 27th, 2017 6:30 PM through 8:00 PM
    Location
    12 Grafton Road
    Business School
    Owen Glenn Building, University of Auckland
    Auckland, AUK
    New Zealand

  12. Tuppence Shrewsbury 15

    Keep ignoring the facts and cherry picking rubbish that barely supports your claim. That poll is one of the “rate these in importance” types. Not very accurate and that government / public policy / housing is a pretty broad brush stroke

    How about this from the same polling outfit

    http://www.roymorgan.com/morganpoll/new-zealand/nz-government-confidence

    Confidence in the government is still higher than most of last year. At 62%, almost two thirds of the country think the government is doing the right thing. How’s your mandate?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 15.1

      These were replies to OAB’s comments which were also off topic. So another commentor is allowed head off topic but only the replies to those comments get moved? I think ruins to continuity of the argument and tells commenters like OAB that it’s ok to run off topic.

  13. Tuppence Shrewsbury 16

    H fee, cunliffe the messiah, allegedly dirty politics, the moment of truth….

    All these opportunities to score and each time an own goal

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  14. I can’t put the link up because it is from facebook but if you search for Marae the program and find this

    “Willie Jackson goes toe to toe with Rahui Papa and Tukoroirangi Morgan in the second part of our debate. Will Kingi Tuheitia’s endorsement of Rahui Papa be able to change the minds of voters in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate?”

    you will see the video.

    I recommend it to those who wonder what the attributes of Māori politics are. Many of those attributes are displayed in this debate/interview and it is a delight to watch – the lines, the counters, the coming together and pulling apart, the laughter and serious bits – it is all there in microcosm.

  15. Morrissey 18

    ACT Party at lunch….

  16. Whispering Kate 19

    Read an interesting snippet in The Insider column of The Business in the Herald on Friday 24th.

    “Parliamentary Service is seeking registrations of interest in its “quest” to replace the Beehive lifts, which have been the source of much embarrassment over the years. The elevator shafts are quite small by modern standards, and the lifts are not capable of carrying great weights. There have been a number of stand-offs when larger-than-usual politicians or bureaucrats have triggered the overweight alarms and someone has had to get off”.

    First thoughts come to mind, as the Government is so hell-bent on austerity and making a lot of people’s lives a misery, they should leave the existing lifts in situ and suggest that people who are over weight should use the stairs to get some of the excess off. Secondly maybe Bellamy’s should be replacing the current menu with more healthy weight-reducing meals for the culprits. Thirdly maybe their gym they have in the Parliamentary Building should be made a mandatory part of their job description – such as an hour a day. Way to go.

    Big Gerry probably needs the entire lift to himself and there are some pretty weighty ladies who sit in the House that I can think of who would benefit from the gym and stair walking – Pulla is one of them.

  17. Whispering Kate 20

    Ad – are you saying I am shaming them for being over-weight – well you may be right there. I am of the opinion that if you are representing the country you should set an example, trying to get kids to eat healthily is hard enough without those in control of our affairs not leading the way. Airlines are now finding passengers in the obese area are far too overweight and others have to pay for it with spillage over the sides of the seats next to them. When its all going to end – somebody has to start making the hard choices about our rampant weight problem which is world wide. Of course I am being tough – an old doctor once said to me “there is only one way to keep the weight off ‘ stop putting so much food in your mouth” – simple really – the staff at the Parliament Building are on a whacking good income and can afford to eat healthy and keep the excess off. Its always the way – do as I say not do as I do” – easy way out which is typical of people in control of our lives.

    What is wrong with fat shaming – pity more people didn’t do it.

    • Ad 20.1

      Where to begin.

      Whether people are overweight or not has nothing to do with their ability as an MP.

      Whether you think people are overweight has nothing to do with whether those people are healthy or not. And no, you don’t get to decide that.

      Whether people can get on an airline or not has nothing to do with their ability as an MP.

      Whether MPs eat healthily or not may well affect how you vote for them. But if you are voting for people on that basis, out the door goes Norman Kirk, David Lange, Richard Seddon, and for the hellavit almost all Maori and Pacific Island MPs I have ever seen.

      No, you’re not “being tough”. You are being an asshole.

      Parliament is not a health camp. It’s the only place where the entire population gets represented. Of all shapes, abilities, ethnicities, and beliefs. It’s called Parliament.

      In your thoughts you can judge people how you like. But by expressing how you judge people with such blatant disregard for human rights, you yourself illustrate the values you stand for.

  18. Whispering Kate 21

    Ad – wow you sure have your knickers in a twist. You are most certainly entitled to your own opinion as I am mine. Obesity is a massive problem in this country, diabetes is costing this country a fortune, as is heart disease. It is stretching the health budget and making life at the coal face of medicine extremely difficult. Schools struggle to teach kids to eat well and keep their weight under control. Waiting lists are long and dialysis is extremely costly and ongoing. Have you ever known anybody who has died from Type 2 Diabetes – I have and its a terrible chronic disease to eventually die from . Its mostly a dietary problem (belly fat) and it can be kept at bay. Medical Specialists reiterate in journals how difficult it is for them manage the massive problem that is looming in the future. Your tax payer money (if you pay any) has to contribute to all this expensive and often unnecessary intervention and in a perfect world it would not have to be.

    I didn’t say that MP’s would lack ability in their job if they were over weight, I just stated that they should set an example right from the top. As for being called an asshole – its a first time for me but hey that’s life. I can live with it – just keep your cool and relax.

    • McFlock 21.1

      Do you think obesity is a personal choice for everyone?

      Because if you accept that some people have genuine issues that give them a tendency to gain weight, then the lifts need an upgrade.

      And as for airline seats, that’s the airlines packing ans many people in as possible. Same with buses.

    • ropata 21.2

      Obesity often correlates with poverty and depression, fat shaming just makes it worse. Slow clap

      • Whispering Kate 21.2.1

        I see where you all are coming from with fat shaming.

        Cigarette smoking also is correlated with poverty but we shame smokers by raising the tax on cigarettes to an almost impossible cost for the poor. We ban them outside from clubs and bars and treat their smoking like it is leprosy. For a smoker it can be humiliating for them to be treated so. We shame drinkers who imbibe and raise the taxes on their drinking habits. As for recreational drug use, that enjoyment is now just a figment of the imagination for some. A lowly toke can now make a person unemployable – hows that not shaming for them.

        Obesity is just as serious a health problem as all of the above but people who ask the obese to own their problem are reviled and called fat shamers. You state that there are illnesses that cause obesity – it will be a very small percentage of the entire obesity statistics. Ask any first responder in the health industry be it GP or A & E Department and they will say that obesity is a massive problem for this country – a ticking time bomb for Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. It’s also very hard on the backs of our nursing staff as an aside – ask any nurse who has had to handle an obese patient. We now have children presenting with symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes which has always been considered a chronic illness of the middle-aged and upwards.

        It’s time this country had a mature conversation about the rising obesity rates which are not accepted by the health industry but are considered as fat shaming and insulting – it’s a problem which isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

  19. greywarshark 22

    I like this from Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful:

    An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle.while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.

    Already, the environment is trying to tell us that certain stresses are becoming excessive. As one problem is being ‘solved’, ten new problems arise as a result of the first ‘solution’….the new problems are not the consequences of incidental failure but of technological success,

  20. UncookedSelachimorpha 23

    Sadly, Labour continues to promulgate the neoliberal lie that our lack of social spending is a function of the state of the economy:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/327447/strong-economy-allows-for-more-social-spending-labour

    In reality the issue is that 50% of the population has only 4% of the nation’s wealth, while 10% have 60% of it. This can be corrected easily by some reasonably modest redistribution. The inequality effect on people’s lives is far greater than that caused by 1% vs 2% economic growth etc.

    This rubbish from Labour is very weak and disappointing!

    • ropata 23.1

      So you are happy to let the Nats keep cutting services in the name of your ideological purity? Give me a break

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 23.1.1

        Not at all – notice I said nothing about the nats in my comment. I despise the attitude and cuts of the nats.

        My concern is that Labour is singing from the same song sheet as national, particularly on the broad framing of the situation. It is the overall neoliberal worldview that is totally wrong – and Labour remains locked within it, even if their intentions are better.

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