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Open mike 25/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 25th, 2012 - 94 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

94 comments on “Open mike 25/05/2012 ”

  1. muzza 1

    Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King. Photo / APA House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and defence Department jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

    —-Translation: In order to try and sell this bullshit story we had to work really closely with the story tellers, in order that the lies were fully joined up. We needed to make sure that everyone was on the same page, so that when we released the film, it would appear convincing. Its Hollywood baby, thats what we do, tell stories…..

    Oh but hold on then we also have this …

    It could give further fuel to critics in the United States that Pakistan which has yet to arrest anyone for helping shelter bin Laden should no longer be treated as an ally.

    “US officials had urged Pakistan to release the doctor, who ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify the al-Qaeda leader’s presence at the compound in the town of Abbottabad where US commandos killed him in May 2011 in a unilateral raid.”

    — Ran a vaccination programme for the CIA, to collect DNA to verify OBL was in Pakistan. That Doctor definitely gets a key part in the film, I wonder who will play the role, of this fearless doctor!

    —- Of course its nothing at all to do with the fact that the USA wants Pakistan split along tribal lines, so it can ensure it pushes the destabilisation nearer towards China,, or that the Pakistanis closed off NATO supply routes in reaction to the continued US drone attacks

    America F-ck yeah!

    • Vicky32 1.1

      America F-ck yeah!

      I just heard on the BBC WS that Hilary Clinton is weeping crocodile tears over the fact that the “brave Pakistani doctor” has been done for treason. They just played her sound-bite again, and dear Hilary has a much stronger Southern accent than she ever used to have!
      Seriously, Hilary, the guy’s actions were in fact treason! What do you expect?

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.1

        Yep, not too dissimilar to the Urewera four verdicts, V. Sometimes people do things without thinking through the consequences if they get caught.

  2. Is the sentence of the “Uruwera four” reasonable? I don;t think so but even more so I think it is a step towards being able to prosecute people for what is generally called “Thought crime”. That is; being arrested for merely thinking about a crime. 

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      The two brown boys get it and the two whities walk, great. Initially I felt the U4 could only be convicted of behaving like prize dicks, but given this dodgy judge’s behaviour taking into account the orginal admissibility of evidence arguments, we do indeed have two political prisoners in Mt Eden.

      Perhaps Tame can run a few seminars.

      What ticks me off is armed camo clad white supremacists frolic about unbothered by the PoPo in the South Island, not to mention a certain racist two wheel ‘club’.

      • “the two whities walk, great.”

        Errr, Emily Bailey is Maori 

        • Tiger Mountain

          Artistic license TC, the moko’ed pair got the incarceration.

          • TheContrarian

            So she isn’t Maori to you because she has no moko? That makes her less Maori?

            She is a Maori, dude.

            • travellerev

              Yeah, but she’s a girl Maori with a light skin and sticking her in jail for two years might upset even Pakeha again. And this is about divide and rule! So the Whiye boy and the light coloured Maori girl (let’s face it Girls can’t really be dangerous not like Moko’d Black man who stick their tongue out at ya and that white boy probably only got mixed up in all of this because he was infatuated with light coloured Moari girl) get house detention.

        • Dr Terry

          How about, the two Maori with “fiendish tattoos” are scapegoated? Emily is rather noticeably less Maori (but I am not sure how much you really do notice).

          • TheContrarian

            Really? Are you really going to delve into “who’s more Maori”?

            If that is the way this is going to go you’d have a better case in saying the judge is prejudice against tattoos.

            • Jackal

              Have you told your brother in law yet that he’s not a New Zealand citizen The Sectarian?

              • Umm, what are you talking about?

                • Jackal

                  You claimed on Wednesday that your brother in law didn’t attend the citizenship ceremony, which would mean he’s not a citizen of New Zealand. It wasn’t a “party with Labour,” it was citizenship ceremony dickhead!

                  • Let me repeat what I said and I’ll highlight the important bit as you seem to having  trouble. Then I’ll explain further as you seem to having trouble grasping what should be relatively simple English (also for the benefit for those who read this and need context to understand how bizarre your comment is)

                    “My wife is from South Africa and her brother recently got citizenship – no party with Labour for him. ”

                    Now, what does that mean? As we were talking about Mr. Yan getting citizenship under what seem to be unusual circumstances I made mention that my brother-in-law is a South African and was recently awarded NZ citizenship. He went and did the usual business down the town-hall with the mayor (that is usually what happens – I wasn’t there but I went to my sister-in-laws a few years back). But, unlike Mr. Yan, there was no “party” or “private ceremony” with Labour MP’s for either my brother-in-law or my sister-in-law for that matter.

                    Does this help Jacklal? I am sorry to be so verbose but since you had trouble understanding my original statement i thought I better clear it up. But since it appears you are troling (i.e. interjecting with a completely off-topic response into a thread) I expect you to misunderstand


                    • Tiger Mountain

                      Well the “Seff Effricon” link may inform some readers

                    • Jackal

                      You were replying to a comment by tsmithfield about the citizenship ceremony Yan attended, trying to imply this was somehow special treatment when it’s not. All citizens have a ceremony prior to becoming a New Zealand citizen.

                      My point is that you’re continually pulling people up for the most trivial things while promoting falsehoods yourself. In effect you want people to paint the perfect portrait and give by way of example a doodle painted in bullshit.

                      Just in case you hadn’t noticed, this is open mic.

                    • Yes, everyone gets a citizen ceremony.
                      Not many have private ceremonies with Labour MP’s in Labour’s caucus room

                    • Jackal

                      So are you going to get off your high horse or are you going to keep being trivial and pissing people off?

                    • Hey, you brought it up buddy. Out of nowhere I might add, several days later.

                    • Jackal

                      Two days later chump and it’s not an isolated incident. hs has the right idea… DNFTT

                    • So you wait two days to interject into a conversation in order to re-quote a comment of mine you misunderstood and after it is explained to you turn around accuse me of being trivial and then claim you do want to feed the troll?


            • Dr Terry

              Thanks, you have spoken for me, and put the case so well! Certainly these tattoos, anyway! Clearly, you observe well the nature of this judge and of what we call “justice” in this country. Next you will be telling me you have friends who are Maori!

              • idlegus

                I nearly fell out of my chair laughing the other day, listening to Police Union Boss Greg O’Connor talking to Willie Jackson on the radio, O’Connor actually said “Some of my best freinds are maori cops”.

      • Interesting point Tiger M ,Because I seem to remember a programme on TV (might have been John Campbell ) about the National Front carrying out military type exercises . Completely ignored by the police ,Why?

        • Tiger Mountain

          Agree Postman, why not check them out too?

          Survivalists and white supremacists are definitely out there, under the radar mostly it seems in NZ. In the US many such people thankfully just keep their guns well oiled and fume away behind the razor wire.

          • TheContrarian


            What do you mean by:
            “Well the “Seff Effricon” link may inform some readers ” 

            Forgive my slowness 

            • Dr Terry

              Yes, we all forgive your “slowness” because you simply cannot help it.

            • Tiger Mountain

              Get a grip TC, while South African immigrants to NZ may not be actual “yarpies” a number of them being professionals of various types present as reactionary in their politics. As in the North Shore of Auckland, Rodney and such like.

              Hello, like vote for ShonKey, and like don’t live in Mangere.

              • Get a grip? I was just asking for clarification dude.

                And yes, the Auckland ones are pretty weird but I am pretty sure my wife voted Green in the last election. Or maybe that was 2008.

                Does not living in Mangere present some kind of handicap?

              • higherstandard

                Nice bigotry TM.

                • Tiger Mountain

                  No bigotry HS. It is informed generalisation about comfortable run, run, run, runaway whites.

                  I personally met a few pretty staunch ‘saffas’ in the early 80s, journo Donald Woods, ANC guys Andrew Molotsane (later murdered) and Eddie Fundie.

                  As John Minto has pointed out Azania is in deep shit, district 9 deep shit almost.
                  But the NZ anti racist movement acted honourably at the time as confirmed by N. Mandela. The ANC took office at precisely the wrong time during the era of neo liberalist Reganism, Thatcherism etc and succumbing to it.

                  • higherstandard

                    Didn’t know that ‘informed generalisation’ was in the listed as descriptor for bigotry in any of commonly used dictionaries, more often it’s described as ‘intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself ‘

                    My informed generalisation would be that there’s no more or less bigotry amongst immigrant South Africans coming to NZ than there is among other immigrant groups or indeed amongst long term NZers be they of the white, brown polka dot or any other variety.

                    • Tiger Mountain

                      Heh, fair enough to some extent HS.

                      My point is that observable behaviour and location of South African immigrants places many of them in the tory world. Not too many Yarpies joining Labour, Greens, Te Mana etc. They are bailing out to “Hobbiton” for goodness sake.

                    • higherstandard

                      Hi TM

                      I expect you may be right about not too many South African immigrants joining any of those parties.

                      Then again from where I sit not too many of us join political parties full stop.

                      I think we both might be a bit surprised about the actual and voting intentions of recent immigrants and recent NZ citizens the might not be too different from the voting % splits of everyone else across the population

    • muzza 2.2

      Yes I think it is clear this “judgement” has much more behind it than face value. Having failed in the attempt to creat a NZ centric terror threat, I wonder what “event” NZ might incur, something that can really get us locked down nice and tight.

      Maybe even set up control center here, where armed drones can be used around the place…You know , for our safety from all the terrorists!

  3. Bored 3

    God only knows what the Judge was (or was not) thinking. Sending a message perhaps? If so she has certainly sent a message that Tuhoe and It are being made to pay, but for which crime? It looks like the stupidest case of martyr creation yet from our embarressing legal system.

  4. Bunji 4

    Intresting background article on London, Austerity City in the Herald, via Bloomberg… Remarkable social insight from a financial new source…

    • Carol 4.1

      Thanks. All power to the teacher Liam Taylor and Occupy for their efforts to do something positive. But it still makes for depressing reading. I lived and worked in London for quite a few years and was familiar with the areas mentioned back then.

  5. Dr Terry 5

    This country really has the law impartially administered? We might as well return to the onslaughts of the British against Maori in earlier wars. What happened in this court somewhat reminded me of Parihaka. How many hunters are running around in the bush with unlicensed firearms (all too frequently killing one another)? No, these two “victims” of society were not only discriminated against due to being Maori, worse because they were so defiant as to wear those “threatening” tattoos!

  6. John72 6

    Subject: Civil Unrest
    I have a manual issued to me about 50 years ago when I was on Active Service.
    The use of Military Forces to control Civil Unrest.
    It is frightening because it is based on hundreds of years of experience both in the U.K and in building up the British Empire.
    The introduction acknowledges that while no two situations are ever the same, experience has shown that, over a period of years, Civil Unrest in any one area follows a standard pattern. It then identifies 4 PHASES of Civil Unrest, from
    PHASE 1, “gaining support of the local people” , through to
    PHASE 4, “The complete overthrow of the established government”.
    ( How often has this happened in Fiji ?)
    The manual emphasises ” To defeat this plan of unrest the vital need is to prevent it ever getting beyond PHASE 1.”
    Both New Zealand and Australia are already in PHASE 2.
    The Operational Section of the manual is a Restricted Document that discusses control of public movement, setting up road blocks, setting up curfews, etc. Something we have seen in Australia.
    What ever name you give it, the fact remains IT WAS ” CIVIL UNREST”.
    This manual also discusses the loss of public confidence in Forces of Law and Order, something that has happened in parts of New Zealand. ( The media must accept a lot of responsibility for this. )
    So many people are saying “It can not happen to us.” but this is just fear of the issue, or propaganda and propaganda is one of the items mentioned when the manual defines the objects and methods used, by people causing trouble, during each PHASE of Civil Unrest.

    ” United we stand, divided we fall ” and we are becoming increasingly divided.

    The manual defines different levels of Civil Disturbances, from Unlawful Assemblies, through to Riots, to Insurrection, emphasising time and again that if any assistance is requested, it’s primary purpose is to “protect the innocent”.(Not pass judgement or ascertain who is guilty. )
    The discussion on “Suppression of Unlawful Assemblies and Riots” and ” Dispersing of a Crowd” reads so much like what we have seen.
    Finally, PHASE 2 is identified as the period when –
    “The creation of base areas under insurgent control by ‘propaganda’, ‘compulsion’ or ‘terrorist methods’, for purposes of food storage, concealment and recruitment.” occurs.(Now, it would also be used to train suicide bombers. )

    How many places in New Zealand fit that definition ?
    Call it Gang Headquarters, a Muri where we speak our own language, call it what you like, does it fit that definition ?

    History is repeating itself. New Zealand is becoming broken and divided. Racisim is just an EMOTIONAL TOOL.

    • muzza 6.1

      Thats correct J72, very good post!

      In the desperation of the little people to want to accept, and be accepted no matter what their position, status, orientation, race, rugby team is etc, they are in fact being turned onto eachother in ever increasingly vile ways, and they fight amongst themselves for position. This is the most elementary form of deception, and most are not even able to identify it!

      Sadly many people want to fee like they are contributing to solutions, when in fact they are part of the problem…

  7. John72 7

    Good humour is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.

  8. Sam Hall 8

    Planet Labour?
    Planet Uranus John!

    Good on John Campbell for outing the nasty,fearful racists texting his programme.

    POLICE 10-7 last night; Young drunk man,”can i piss on your face officer?”
    (officer may have given brief consideration to offer;could have borrowed some sunglasses)

    “govt at top end of optimism”, KPMG analyst on Budget.

    War with Iran in support of US-Israel; 25-50% probability; UK Minister on Security.

    NewsNow and The Guardian and PrisonPlanet very useful sites to keep gaze on events unfolding in real time.
    HyperInflation to come?

    Dear Hekia, thought is purer than form. Push.Push Back.
    Celebrating Youth Week? Throwing them on the intergenerational fire!

    The National Party Benches seat many of these Maternal Authoritarian types and we know what the outcomes for their dependents is likely to be; Submission through sublimation, or resistance.

  9. captain hook 9

    there is no such thing as a free lunch but blinglish and his cronies got a free apre budget breakfast today.
    ho hum.

  10. DH 10

    One of the dark sides of education is student accommodation with venal pigs exploiting the demand. Claimed to be the smallest apartment in NZ, which I bet it’s not;


    7.9 sq metres, $160-180 per week. Hong Kong investor/owner.

    Note the shark trying to push the price up with talk about rent increases to $200 etc.


    • happynz 10.1

      Yeah, I saw that on John Campbell Live last night. That place isn’t much bigger than a broom closet.

    • joe90 10.2

      Hong Kong investor/owner.

      Low cost housing, Hong Kong style.

      • DH 10.2.1

        It’s enough to make you weep. That’s where the export earnings from foreign students go; straight back offshore again.

        Mind you there’s probably no shortage of local investors milking the students for as much as they can either. Pigs.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      $40k to $45k to buy that room and you get about 15% return on it. In other words, pocket change to buy and a guaranteed income for life doing nothing.

    • John72 10.4

      I agree. The price of $160-$180 does seem excessive BUT 7.9m2 it is only a bedroom, not an appartment. Where were the cooking facilities, the toilet, a shower, handbasin, laundry etc. ? There must have been some arrangements for water, toilet, etc. DH is insulting the reader and casting doubts upon his own credibility with an emotionl tirade that ignores these subjects. He is also lowering the standard of discussion on this website.
      Or , is the Herald at fault or just quoted out of context?

  11. Jackal 11

    Australia looks better every day

    This isn’t a zero budget, It’s a no hope no growth no brighter future budget… it’s an archaic return to failed ideologies of the past that will detrimentally impact on the already downtrodden budget… It’s an elitist budget designed to transfer even more wealth from those who can least afford it to those that don’t need it… It’s a penny pinching agist budget that will do nothing to get New Zealand back on its feet…

    • aerobubble 11.1

      Yes. National shifted the burden of taxation onto the middle and lower deciles, and then borrowed.

      They then fake victimhood by claiming to be at the whims of Earthquakes, Global depression and Labour’s ability to leave the country in the black.

      Impressively Key then makes out with himself regularly on TV, claiming he’s absolutely certain and never broaching one risk least his ignorance is exposed.

      mr Australia has first shifted the private debt run up by the wealthy in good times (at the expense of NZ now), onto the government books. This helps the banks out who have all those mortgagee homes to move onto new buyers getting indebted. And now Key plans to help the other side of the Bank books by pushing more collateral into the market (asset sales) to help Banks deleverage further.
      Banks owned by foreigners.

      The joke being that we did not have a problem with government debt before National came to power.
      And the country was so badly geared to favor the non-productive sector (capital farming homes and farms), and is still.

      These freak zombies need to be ousted by the farmers whose lobby is constantly used to justify the bad decision making of Mr Australia. Why are farmers so gullible, do they really believe keep NZ on one agarian growth trend is a good idea. As soon as oil peaks the luxury added value sector that relies on heavy oil inputs goes to the wall. Cheap food becomes the priority and like our mines, our farms are much smaller than the USA wheat belt and the new Russian wheatbelt.

      So when is Key going wise up, the day he touches day in Hawaii and retires.

  12. Sam Hall 12

    Have courage with your convictions. If they are in error it will be you against human nature.If they are correct, they will benefit all.

    Just “popped” into my head like thought popcorn and then I toasted it a little bit.

    • Carol 12.1

      Have courage with your convictions.

      Is that aimed at Tame Iti?

      Seriously though, I’m all for courage in examining and putting into practice ideas, politics and activism.

  13. higherstandard 13

    Can anyone name the beach in the picture for me ?


  14. s y d 14

    hardly believable but our finance minister is suggesting students need to get organised, rise up and riot properly, like the greeks! Inciting a riot hmmmm..
    “Finance Minister Bill English has taunted student protesters who yesterday blockaded an Auckland street saying “they need some Greeks to show them how to do it.”

    • joe90 14.1

      Perhaps a prime time NZ’s next Loukanikos.

    • Carol 14.2

      Well, good on Blinglish for recognising that the postwar economic situation has changed forever. But, his whinging about student protests ignores the fact Bill and John are asking for austerity for the less well-off, especially the non-wealthy young, while the wealthy of all ages still get to party like it’s 1999.

      And he is reinforcing elite power by talking about an on-going crisis over debt – that’s just the same old disaster capitalism, tyrannising people with threats of an eternal state of emergency.:


      Finance Minister Bill English says people should get used to a regular sense of crisis over debt.

      What the world was seeing in Europe and the United States was the end of the post-war model which was that when your income was not going up, you just borrow it.

      “They are drowning in debt and there’s only two ways to deal with debt,” he told the ANZ Post Budget breakfast in Wellington this morning. “Pay it off or write it off.”
      “So get used to it. A regular sense of crisis is normal. It’s going to be normal.”
      Regular crises were now a part of doing business in the global environment, he said.

      Mr English said there was no “whinge-fest” in New Zealand, and no sympathy for the likes of students protesting about changes to their interest-free student loans.

      Thus saith Bill, whilst whinging about protests.

      • ad 14.2.1

        Pretty disappointing and disingenuous that a Government simply refuses to look at solid budgetary alternatives, like:

        – Cutting out $5b of motorways and reprioritising that spending onto more job-rich and benefit-diffuse projects
        – Reversing the 2009 tax cuts to the rich
        – Reversing the incrase in GST
        – Properly taxing landlords, their rent, and their capital gain

        Should be a core part of a Minsiterial Job Description to avoid or avert or ameliorate crisis, not repeatedly push the Orwellian language-button. So cynical it’s contemptible.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Surprise! :

    Parliament sitting under urgency. Debating a bill that changes means testing thresholds for those who live in aged care facilities

  16. muzza 16

    Mr Key told members of the Trans Tasman Business Circles that the Budget was “a very sensible Budget for very volatile times.”

    If he had been asked a month ago if there had been a chance that Greece would exit the Euro, he said he would have dismissed it and thought common sense would prevail

    “Now I’m far more uncertain.”

    —-What a lying little toerag Key is! Of course he knows exactly what is going on inside the world of fiance, and politics…If he doesn’t, he is not fit for office is he!

  17. Chris 17

    Half a million to be spent on Govt House which has already cost the country 40 odd million.Talk about putting the boot in!I thought we living in austere times?

  18. Vicky32 18

    Today’s WINZ update… 🙂
    “So, I spent the morning at WINZ Mt Albert, for the second ‘seminar’ of the week – this one, four of us had turned up, each one to be ‘interviewed’ by two people – lucky for me that I had brought a book! One man who had applied to move from UB to DPB was allowed to go, because he already had an appointment to discuss this. Another, a woman in her late 40s, who had waited (on the advice of a WINZ person) to make an appointment to discuss her application for DPB Caring For, in respect of her adult son with disabilities was told she had to stay and prove she was looking for work as “you probably won’t get the carers benefit”… (I leaned across and advised her contact Citizen Advocacy, which helps people with disabilities and their families – not a popular move as the WINZ women saw me do it.)
    I sat in a public room (we’d been told to move from the private room we were in) for 35 minutes by the clock, while the other two women were interviewed. I made a point of not listening, but anyone could have heard them and their interrogators.
    After 35 minutes I asked the man on reception who was stood twiddling his thumbs, if he would enquire as to how longer I would be sat reading my book… “Not too much longer” she said smiling, and sure enough, the mother of the man with disabilities was just leaving. However, my enquiry was apparently against some rule, as the manager appeared at my elbow and demanded that I see her, because I had “been rude to her staff” (!!!) Said manager proceeded to take me to her corner desk and start berating me for my unemployed status and my bad attitude. When I quoted Petulant Bean’s own words (that the jobs don’t exist), well, it was like the US disaster movie I saw on TV the other day, ‘Volcano’! The afore-mentioned manager went ballistic. She said that she was going to find a training programme to put me on, wait here.
    After waiting there for a further 15 minutes, I walked out, and had a cigarette. When I came back, they were still talking, so I stood at their elbow, then went to reception and got the woman there to photocopy my job diary and when finally summoned (to talk to the original woman) I gave her the pages. She was totally different from the hostile angry manager – explaining that she had just looked at my CV and had seen that I already have tertiary qualifications and years of work experience, she said that they had been unable to find a 6 month training programme that I actually needed or qualified for! (The Manager had simply been making assumptions and had in the end resorting to chanting at me “I’m as old as you are, and *I* have a job!” How that was supposed to ‘help’ me I can’t fathom!
    In the end, the second woman referred to me a 26 week programme at the Chamber of Commerce. What that will achieve, I have no idea. If, while on that course, I get offered a day here and there at a school, I am ‘obliged by my job-seeker contract’ to take it, and then ask the Principal/DoS to type and sign a letter proving I was there, and so couldn’t attend the course. When I pointed out that Alan would rather not hire as a reliever than have to spend hours proving to WINZ that I was relieving for 3 hours, she didn’t care.
    So, that’s how things stand at the minute. I expect I shall be called in for more seminars… as I left the manager’s desk, I saw a whiteboard placed where the staff can see it, but the bennys can’t – giving the ‘target’ of people they have to get off benefit. 60 a month off UB and 50 a month off Sickness benefit. Lynne the second woman let slip that if Chamber of Commerce accept me on the 26 week course, I will *not* be counted in official UB statistics, even though I will still actually be getting UB. No wonder she was so desperately eager to get me on this course!”
    (I wrote this after I got home. When I arrived I was early for the seminar to which I had been summoned. By the time I got to the head of the queue at Reception, I was late – so I had been in the queue for 20 minutes, while a white South African receptionist baffled and confused an elderly Chinese couple.) IMO, she ought to have asked for help, as while I waited the queue grew longer and longer, filled with people who were officially now, like me, very late… and none of them by their own fault!

    • ianmac 18.1

      The real planetVicky32 but not the same planet as Miss Bennett or English or Key. They make it sound so simple and suggest that you are undeserving. Keep your reports coming and good luck.

    • Carol 18.2

      What a breath-takingly callous and unrealistic system. You sound like you are doing the best you can given the circumstances, vicky.

      • Anne 18.2.1

        Hi Vicky,
        I am not the least bit surprised to read of your experiences.

        I went through a not unsimilar situation in the mid to late 90s when I was looking after my elderly mother who was slowly deteriorating with Alzeimers. Initially Income Support (I think it became WINZ during the latter part of the period) put me on the wrong benefit. Around 1997 I was ordered to attend instructions on ‘how to apply for a job, and how to dress for the interviews’. When I pointed out I was a former public servant with professional qualifications and didn’t need such instructions, I wasn’t believed. As far as the woman handling my case was concerned, I was a malingerer who had made up the story about my mother. That was the essence of her response anyway… even though there was irrefutable evidence of my mother’s condition (submitted by her doctor) on my file. She hadn’t bothered to look I suppose. Eventually it was accepted, and I was transferred to the correct benefit which was the DPB of course.

        But that wasn’t the end of it. Not long afterwards I noticed the presence of an unmarked car with two individuals (male and female) that was conveniently parked at a point on the road where they could witness all the comings and goings on my mother’s property. They looked like cops dressed in mufti to me, and I actually saw the female in the passenger seat taking down the registration number of my car. Yep. It was Winz keeping me (and my elderly mother) under surveillance. They were part of the then “Winz Fraud Squad” which was largely staffed by ex-cops.

        This took place during the Christine Rankin era, and they used to get away with it because they knew their targets were vulnerable and would be too scared to retaliate for fear of losing the much needed benefit. I did eventually write to the ‘chief cook and bottle washer’ at the North Shore WINZ centre and let him know I was well aware what was going on. I never received a reply, but the surveillance immediately stopped!

        I despise Paula Bennett and her cohorts, because I can clearly see they are re-introducing exactly the same culture at WINZ.

        The truth was – and is again – that they know you will not take action because of the faear

        • Anne

          oops… ignore the last line. Shouldn’t be there.

        • Vicky32

          It was Winz keeping me (and my elderly mother) under surveillance. They were part of the then “Winz Fraud Squad” which was largely staffed by ex-cops.

          Oh my giddy aunt, Anne! How horrendous, and how ridiculous!
          It seems to me that They have a view of what we bennies are like, and education and experience don’t fit their picture. I remember when I worked at Social Welfare as it was then, a boss making up a song we newbies had to sing at the staff Christmas party (cringe) one line of which went “they ask for Snigs * to feed their kids/but we know it’s for their beer! Oh, Jingle bells etc”…
          * Snigs = office jargon for Special Needs Grant.

          The truth was – and is again – that they know you will not take action because of the fear

          They hate it when you know anything! I remember the hostility one woman gathered against her when she rang up about the non-arrival of her UB in her account, and said to the staff member “Can’t you check the ROI?” (Register of issues). That the beneficiary knew this piece of office jargon, scared them siilly regarding her…

          • Anne

            @vicky 32
            Yes, my experiences were distressing at the time, but one thing you need to remember… in the end they don’t get away with it. Remember what happened to C Rankin. She was unceremoniously kicked out along with many of her senior team by the new Labour govt. and the Benefit Fraud Squad was dis-established.

            It will happen again in 2014 – we hope.

            Btw. My mother died some time ago so I’m no longer on a benefit. But I won’t ever forget what happened and – unlike P Bennett – will stand up for beneficiaries because I know the vast bulk are there through no fault of their own and don’t rort the system.

        • Murray Olsen

          Probably ex cops who’d PERFed out at great expense to us. Funny how they get a huge payout for not being able to do their job, and then keep doing basically the same thing.

    • muzza 18.3

      V32, keep your chin up, and keep those reports coming, and make sure you send them to your local MP, and if you can follow up with a visit to them.

      More power to you!

    • deuto 18.4

      Hi Vicky32 – wish I had time to comment on yours but don’t at the moment but hang in there.

      With all your seminars etc, dont know whether you saw Uturn’s message to you yesterday on open Mike, so here it is again.

      Open mike 24/05/2012

      • Vicky32 18.4.1

        whether you saw Uturn’s message to you yesterday on open Mike, so here it is again.

        Thanks Deuto, and Uturn, yes, I did see it, and have made use of it! 🙂

  19. Jackal 19

    Apache’s negligence under fire

    What makes this so ridiculous is that Apache has tried to suppress information about the Varanus Island gas explosion that cost WA $3 billion because they say releasing it would “aid terrorist attacks on gas infrastructure.”

    • Murray Olsen 19.1

      Terrorists probably wouldn’t go near them because they’re too dangerous.

  20. prism 20

    The men in charge of the Reno are guilty obviously. But they were late for getting to their next port Tauranga and I believe that they were held up in Napier. Now if there are port hold-ups does the port pay a fine, refund most of the docking fee etc?

    I would bet that the Captain and offsider would be under strict orders to sail within the most efficient and profitable parameters.
    They were not doing their best but they were trying to get to the next link in the chain. Was it Napier’s fault equally?

    • rosy 20.1

      I agree Prism, it would be enlightening to see if any of the port operating procedures and shipping targets of the Rena’s owners had anything to do with the shortcut they took through Astrolabe Reef – and how frequently that shortcut is taken by other ships.

      Maybe there is nothing there – but an inquiry at some level would be useful.

  21. Tazirev 21

    Do we have the most under informed PM ever

    “He had a paper round when he was a boy, but he had not claimed the rebate.

    He first heard on Monday about the specific changes, which IRD had been working on.

    The most substantial was around the tax treatment of beach houses, where the government thought allowances were too generous, and they are also closing a loophole around livestock valuations. ”

    He only ever knows about things just before they happen, Who is running this country??

    OOps, Link

    • muzza 21.1

      “Do we have the most under informed PM ever”

      —The complete opposite of that is true in fact

      What we have is ever bigger and bigger liers, selling bigger lies to even stupider people, those that pay attention!

  22. Chris 22

    Dumb and Dumber busy ramming legislation through under urgency.Apparently they have no need for the Select Committee as conkey had a chat with Moombeam(bet he’s on a retainer) and they have decided that they know what they are doing is best for the country.How does one get rid of these smirking morons…….Legally!

  23. MrSmith 23

    What pleasant reading the standard has been this week without Concern Troll Peter George.

    • Anne 23.1

      Yes, the discourse has been diverse and very interesting. What a pity it isn’t going to last.

    • Tiger Mountain 23.2

      While it is so petty, a PFD (Pete Free Day) is a rather good day for some.

  24. This is sort of about the budget, but more about the reaction, and the reality.
    We are now at something like 397.17 C02 and rising, zero growth or maintaining the statuesque is not an option, if the children born today want a snowballs chance in hell of being alive in 25-30 years time, then the adults in this society are going to have to work out how to live with drastic reverse growth. But no, watching TV tonight there they where, students etc crying about zero growth, they actually want to really really fuck the environment, most of whom are no doubt doing degrees involving the continued growth of energy and all the Disneyland attachments we ‘need’ to live.
    Who is to blame for this massive display of ignorance?
    Fucking selfish pig ignorant humans, all demanding their cut of the planet.
    Gaia will heave a sigh of relief, that this 10,000 year experiment is about over, shame the effects of it will be around till the end of the planet. ie plastic, chemicals, radiation.
    Time for the rubber to hit The Road 😉 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

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