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Open mike 25/07/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 25th, 2016 - 200 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

200 comments on “Open mike 25/07/2016 ”

  1. swordfish 1

    Recent Polls of UK Labour Leadership

    Latest Opinium/Observer figures suggest current Labour leader is overwhelming favourite to win September contest (Poll released in last 24 hours)

    If there were a Labour leadership election with the
    following candidates, which, if any, would you vote for ?

    Labour Voters only (Note: Labour Voters, not members)

    Corbyn 54%
    Smith 22%
    Don’t Know 20%
    Would Not Vote 4%

    Approval of Corbyn’s Leadership

    Labour Voters only

    Approve 54%
    Disapprove 24%
    Unsure 22%

    Meanwhile …

    Poll of Labour Party Members eligible to vote in Leadership election.
    (15-18 July 2016)

    Voting Intention

    Imagine there was a leadership election and these were the candidates, who would you vote for ?


    CORBYN …………..54%
    EAGLE ……………..21%
    SMITH ……………..15%
    UNSURE ……………9%
    NOT VOTE ………..1%

    Corbyn Vs Smith
    CORBYN ………….. 56%
    SMITH ……………… 34%
    UNSURE …………… 7%
    NOT VOTE ………… 3%

    Corbyn Vs Eagle
    CORBYN …………… 58%
    EAGLE ………………. 34%
    UNSURE ……………. 5%
    NOT VOTE ………… 2%

    If anything, Labour Voters (a far larger group, of course, than Party members) are even less taken with the PLP’s alternative to Corbyn than the Labour Membership is.

    Certainly, Corbyn continues, for the most part, to Poll poorly with the British public as a whole. But the problem for the dominant Blairite-Brownite strand in the PLP is that their candidates always fare even worse. That was true of Kendall and Cooper last year (both of whom were considered considerable less “electable” than Corbyn) and it remains true of first the ambitious Brownite Eagle and now (the “Soft Left” empty suit) Smith.

  2. Paul 2

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    Uncaring, greedy, selfish.
    A woman from Freeman’s Bay.

    The third wrong customer was renting skis. As she tried on her boots, she was politely asked where she was from.
    “How’s the traffic?”
    “We own a really big house in Freemans Bay, so we can walk everywhere, we have a Porsche Cayenne in the garage and I have a new Audi but we don’t drive them. I don’t know why anyone without money would live in Auckland, it’s just stupid. We have a big house in the city and a nice big bach on Waiheke.”
    “If you can’t afford that,” she continued, “why would you live there? I laugh at people driving in to their jobs from West Auckland.”
    Showing off about how rich you are to working people at the start of a long working day is a whole new level of “customer ain’t right”.




    As Draco says, we can’t afford the rich.

    • tc 2.1

      You’ll find a lot of that attitude in those suburbs, also st Mary’s bay and grey Lynn seem to be the newly monied but they don’t speak for everyone thankfully.

      I meet my fair share from the north shore beachside areas, uber snotty and full of smug superiority which’s a natural fit for their Mp magpie barry.

      National play these attitudes to achieve electoral outcomes, winning them 2 re-elections so far and as long as the bubble doesn’t burst may win them a 3rd.

    • Alan 2.2

      Paul, just to relieve your angst a little, there are plenty of caring, intelligent responsible people living in Freemans Bay too – there, make you feel better?

    • James 2.3

      Whats “Rich” ?

      Earning over xxx?

      Nett cash on hand of over xxxx?

      Would be interested to hear who it is you think we cannot afford.

      • ropata 2.3.1

        We cannot afford it when the rich do not pay their fair share, especially wealthy immigrants taking all the houses and using all the infrastructure built by generations of NZers, and pricing half the population out of housing. We are importing inequality

        • James

          What is their fair share? I pay 33% on almost all my income – as do most people on decent salaries.

          How do you define fair share?

          • b waghorn

            Anyone making more than $250k a year is a waste of resources it would be far better to spread any profits over that all the way down the food chain.
            People sitting on empty houses so they can harvest stress free capital gains is unaffordable for the country.
            It’s better to ask how much do you really need ?

            • Draco T Bastard

              I make it more like $100k income per individual and we need to get rid of the rentier position altogether. As an individual it’s possible to have a reasonable living standard on ~$50k.

              Once you ask how much people need then it really drops down especially once you ask what’s the best way to provide those needs. Just ask which option uses the least resources. Transport is the obvious example in that private cars use the most resources and achieve worse results than public transport.

              Of course, the market system is supposed to do that but what we get from the profit drive is the exact opposite. We use more resources providing the least efficient systems and all to provide the rentiers with their unearned incomes.

              • b waghorn

                At $ 100 k how would the shiny ones know they are better than the rest of us?
                At $250k they still get to feel like leaders and can still live the bling life but without being able to hoard all the goodies. Of course in this alternate universe of salary caps people would choose careers more on their callings as opposed to their wallet.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  At $ 100 k how would the shiny ones know they are better than the rest of us?

                  The idea is to make it so that they don’t.

                  • b waghorn

                    You my friend don’t get human nature, anyone who wants to change the world needs a deep understanding of how the hairless ape thinks.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Only a small minority think that way. So, why should we cater to the sociopathic?

    • ropata 2.4

      “On a Plate” shows how the wealthy justify the unfair system they have set up.

      Some insight from @gtiso on twitter:

      Friends, I love you, but I don’t understand how you could possibly be surprised that National is so popular.
      1. The people who are most hurt by their policies are so comprehensively disenfranchised that they don’t vote. (Not that I blame them.)
      2. Of the balance, those that have most to lose–the propertied class–are looked after royally. The rest don’t trust the opposition enough.
      Moral of the story: understand what a social base is. Above all, stop saying–I beg you–that people who vote National are dumb or “sheeple”.

  3. Nck 3

    Paul is making the point about the fast growing divide between rich and poor, more so than where people live.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.1

      Probably help him get some votes 🙂

    • Graeme 4.2

      Andrew may have some explaining to do to his cat when he gets home…

      Quite well done, certainly raised a smile here. Snappy suit… the new standard for Labour MPs?

    • Xanthe 4.3

      That wont do him any harm….. very funny and somehow apropriate

    • The Lone Haranguer 5.1

      Yes he was.

      But its too late now for Bernie unless Assange leaks something even bigger in the next 48 hours. We could all be in for an interesting ride.

      The DNC chair has quit and will take up a special role working for Ms Clintons election campaign.

      And then theres the emails showing the media being in cohorts with the Democrats – I wonder if a similar bunch of email leaks would show a media & Nats tie up here in NZ?

      • Pasupial 5.1.1

        Maybe DWS can go back to being; “one of Clinton’s national campaign co-chairs” as she was in 2007/ 2008 (and arguably a role she has already reprised 2015/16). This does put the Sanders team in a good position to hold Clinton to any agreements she has made about recognising the reality of climate change and acting on it.

        I am impressed by Sanders’ insistence on addressing the issues and not getting dragged into personal drama.

        speaking to CNN on Sunday, Sanders said he found the emails “outrageous”, but said they were “not a great shock to me”.

        He said: “I mean, there’s no question to my mind, no question to any objective observer’s mind, the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton and I’m not shocked by this.”…

        But the senator, who endorsed Clinton last month, declined to focus his anger towards her, saving it for Trump. Sanders said he was proud of the concessions his campaign had won from Clinton on the Democratic platform, and praised her vice-presidential pick, Tim Kaine, as “an extremely bright guy, an extremely nice guy”.

        “What is most important is defeating the worst candidate for president that I have seen in my lifetime,” he said. “I can’t speak for 13 million people, but I think most of my supporters understand Trump has got to be defeated; we need to elect as many progressives as possible.”

        Sanders’ supporters represent a key voting bloc for Clinton, whose support has declined in recent polling. But many of his supporters have expressed distrust of Clinton, and could elect to vote for a third-party candidate, such as the Green party’s Jill Stein.


        That; “need to elect as many progressives as possible”, seems the most important focus in a lot of ways. The president is limited by congress, and is in many ways a ceremonial figure (except during times of war – a circumstance I’m sure either candidate could gleefully engineer).

    • DoublePlusGood 6.1

      It’s good news though. Now Labour just has to put him at 83 on the list.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        I think he knew he was going to lose the seat so he’s trying for the better job although I had thought he give the Wellington mayoralty a run

        • alwyn

          ” I had thought he give the Wellington mayoralty a run”.
          Wash your mouth out!.
          Better yet, cut your tongue out. Don’t give him ideas.
          We already have a carpet-bagger from Porirua running. We don’t want another one from the Hutt getting ideas. We already have a bunch of no-hopers in the field. Foster and Ritchie for crying out loud. They make even our current hopeless mayor look (almost) bearable.

          • Lanthanide

            I have to say I’m really not impressed by Celia Wade Brown. Living in CHCH the only exposure I get to her is interviews on Morning Report. But she’s always unfailing boosterish for whatever it is the council is doing, just batting away the interviewer questions and repeating whatever line it was she decided put the council in the best light.

            She tries to avoid providing actual informative answers to questions wherever possible.


  4. Garibaldi 7

    It was clear all along how corrupt the Democratic machine is and that is why I think all you Hillary supporters should take off your blinkers and look at her track record.
    Also please note that her running mate is another Wall St plant. Also note that the Koch bros have swung in behind Hillary now. If you don’t know you they are then just google them.

    • And Michael Bloomberg is about to endorse her as well. And yet she is still waaaay better than the alternative.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        I’d rather have Hillary appoint 2-3 members of the supreme court, than Trump (or his successor).

      • adam 7.1.2

        But is she?

        The fact I can even ask that questions, makes a mockery of the lesser than two evils argument.

        I’m not seeing much difference if you want to be honest about it. trump is more like mussolini and clinton is more like berlusconi.

        Or let me put it this way,

        Two rotten apples, the one slightly less rotten is better how? It’s not, both will make you sick if you eat them.

        • Andre

          That Clinton is more like Berlusconi comment gave me a horrible mental image I will never unsee.

        • Andre

          To answer your question, yes, she is better than the alternative. Waayyyy better. Sure, it takes a lot of unemotional research and balanced consideration to see it. But if you look at her previous record in government and keep a sense of perspective about the size of the stains, it’s pretty clear.

          • Pasupial

            Sanders seem to think she is better, and this DNC scandal may ensure that Clinton will make announcements at the convention that she will later find it difficult to weasel out of:

            But the senator, who endorsed Clinton last month, declined to focus his anger towards her, saving it for Trump. Sanders said he was proud of the concessions his campaign had won from Clinton on the Democratic platform, and praised her vice-presidential pick, Tim Kaine, as “an extremely bright guy, an extremely nice guy”.

            “What is most important is defeating the worst candidate for president that I have seen in my lifetime,” he said. “I can’t speak for 13 million people, but I think most of my supporters understand Trump has got to be defeated; we need to elect as many progressives as possible.”

            The senator will speak at the convention on Monday night… “Our campaign was about revitalizing American democracy. I want to see that incorporated into the Democratic platform.”


            [this is pretty much a contraction of what I said at greater length at 5.1.1 above]

          • adam

            No offence Andre but I have had a good look at the clinton record, and it is why I made the comparison with berlusconi.

            What you need to do is realise that TINA is not an option in the face of unspeakable evil.

            Who is at 13% and who is at 8% in the presidential race? Any guesses? But keep falling for the dominant line you must vote for facist b because they are better than fascist A.

            This is what inverted totalitarian looks like, asking you to make rational decision about irritation things.

  5. dv 8

    Re the olympic village story

    Rio Olympics: Australia boycott ‘uninhabitable’ athletes’ village


    Rio Olympics athletes’ village deemed uninhabitable two weeks before opening ceremony video


    Kiwis happy, Aussies boycott Games village


  6. Ffloyd 9

    I see that Helen Clarke has been afflicted by the Curse of Key. Ever since he has been advocating for Helen everywhere he goes it seems she has become less likely in her bid to head the UN. Key is the kiss of death. Heard him on RNZ this morning saying that it’s not looking good for her. Wonder why??

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1

      Because the leader of the UN is informally chosen on a rotational basis and the former eastern bloc believe its their turn?

  7. North 10

    Is it a ‘policy’ in the Prime Minister’s Office that the prime minister be told only good news ? If so then whom is it ackshully running New Zealand ? If not so then Key is lying, again. Treating NZ with contempt and brazenly lying.


    • marty mars 10.1

      Implausible denial of knowledge

      A. A fool not to be trusted
      B. A liar
      C. Both of the above

      My poll shows 98% chose C, 2% B and 15% A. Margin of error + – 45%

  8. Psych nurse 11

    McCully has had Zika and now Smith drinks paint thinner. That explains it all.

  9. The Chairman 13

    How will Labour overcome these unintended consequences (below) of introducing a rental housing warrant?

    Rental warrants will lead to rent increases.

    Moreover, rental warrants will result in less rental supply as homes that don’t meet the criteria are prevented from being tenanted. As a consequence, it will remove a number of cheaper rental homes from the market. Robbing tenants of that cheaper option. Potentially leading to more overcrowding or more tenants having to resort to living in garages or cars.

    Wouldn’t it be wiser to build more suitable state homes with the competition created driving the required improvement of a number of private rentals?

    Or at least hold off until housing supply has become sufficient, allowing the heat out of the market, making it more difficult for rents to be increased?


    • Gangnam Style 13.1

      They will build more houses. So you think renting out unsafe houses for market rates is acceptable? Come check out Dunedins renting stock, some landlords should be ashamed of themselves, but figures they think they doing the community a service, pfft.

      • The Chairman 13.1.1

        We know Labour plan to build more homes. But shouldn’t they at least hold off on the warrants until they achieve that goal?

        • Sabine

          no. we can walk and chew gum.

          Building new houses is needed.
          Upgrading old stock is also needed.
          the one does not exclude the other , unless however you have no issue with people being housed in kennels / err houses that would not be considered humane for dogs.
          Hmmm, maybe we need to create a humane society for tenants.

          • The Chairman

            The problem is, rental warrants will result in less rental supply as homes that don’t meet the criteria are prevented from being tenanted. Thus, will negatively impact our current insufficient supply, reducing it even further. Giving landlords more scope to further increase rents.

            Therefore, introducing warrants before supply has become sufficient will result in a number having to pay more in rent, which one assumes Labour wants to avoid.

          • Colonial Viper

            no. we can walk and chew gum.

            Evidence please. I like the optimism though.

            • alwyn

              At least she used the polite version of the quotation.
              I am sure a lady like Sabine would never give the version that Lyndon Johnson really used in his description of Gerald Ford.
              Most unfair actually. Gerald was a much better athlete than any of the Democratic politicians of the time.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.2

      “Rental warrants will lead to rent increases.”

      Two possible ways of preventing this outcome.

      1. A rent freeze (of about 2 years after compliance) on properties that fail a WOF.

      2. Properties that fail a WOF cannot attract an Accommodation Subsidy…(and landlords with multiple unwarrantable properties face criminal charges)

      • The Chairman 13.2.1

        I can see a number of problems with your first solution (a rent freeze). First off, it will merely postpone a rent increase. And two years isn’t enough time to sufficiently increase housing supply.

        Secondly, the delay may put landlords off. Resulting in the home coming off the market, thus further reducing rental supply, hence putting further upward pressure on rents.

        Properties that fail a WOF won’t be allowed to be tenanted. Therefore, there will be no claim for an accommodation subsidy.

        • Ch-ch Chiquita

          So have a rent freeze for 10 years. What will all these lanlords do with their wof failed houses? Get them to stand empty? So who will pay their mortgage and be their retirement saving plan? maybe all those houses will go on the market for sale, which is good as prices will go down allowing own home buyers a chance.

          • The Chairman

            10 years would give us more time to increase housing supply. But as you pointed out, a number would go up for sale. Shifting the problem to home buyers, while furthering the rental shortfall. Thus, the reduction in rental supply will give those with a warrant more scope to increase rents.

            How much price impact that would have on current house prices is hard to gauge (as it largely depends on how many decide to sell). You may find it will only lower the current rate of price increases, but not the high price of housing.

            Additionally, as NZ’s wealth is largely tied to housing, one would have to be careful not to crash the market too hard and fast, the consequences of which could domino wide and far.

            The question then becomes how palatable will voters find it?

        • mpledger

          Landlords can’t afford to have a property off the market. They need the rent. So they have to do it up and get it back in the market.

          If they don’t need the rent than they can afford to do it up without winge-ing.

          They can’t put rents up to high because people will have to stop renting – they’ll go home to mum and dad or couch surf with friends or double-up with relations.


          They could have a rolling WOF regeime – do 10% of rental properties per year – chosen randomly.

          • The Chairman

            Some property owners can afford not to have tenants. We have homes sitting empty because some owners see tenants as a devaluing factor.

            On the other hand, some owners are indebted to their eyeballs, thus don’t have the fiscal capacity.

            According to some, rents are already deemed to be high. Yet, we have reports of rental open homes being turned into auctions, with a number of prospective tenants offering to pay more to secure the premises.

            A rolling WOF would merely result in similar concerns, albeit on a smaller scale.

            • The Lone Haranguer

              Paying for the rental houses is chicken feed in 6 easy steps

              1) Government requires houses to be warm and snug
              2) Landlord gets loan from bank to comply
              3) Landlord puts up rent to pay the bank
              4) Tenant gets increased rent subsidy from taxpayers to maintain rental stock
              5) Landlord has better house and still keeps his/her/their tax losses
              6) Banks make more profit on extra loans

              Everyones happy and votes for the Government so Government introduces new rental housing improvement rules

              Return to 1) and repeat cycle

              Only a cynic like me would think this might possibly happen 🙂

              • Pat

                or you could cut out the ticket clipping and (government) build and rent the houses themselves….and with less debt

                • The Lone Haranguer

                  A good idea.

                  I guess Fletchers will get any contract by virtue of it being the go-to housing option for all NZ Governments for the past 90 years.

                  Then the Government actually need to figure out how to run a housing portfolio in a sensible manner. You know, build the houses without cost over runs, rent them for a fair price, maintain them for a fair price, and have folk at Housing Corp who treat the tenants fairly so the tenantys treat the houses fairly too.

                  Probably too big of an ask.

                  • Pat

                    “Probably too big of an ask.”

                    Judging by recent form one would have to say it is….and yet we managed it for decades…what changed?

    • Gabby 13.3

      You reckon they’re unintended?

  10. The Chairman 14

    Should NZ be looking at being alcohol free by 2025?


    • Halfcrown 14.1


      • The Chairman 14.1.1

        To save lives and help prevent the overall damage it creates.

        • Andre

          How would you do it?

          • The Chairman

            Similar to smoking.

            • Andre

              Biggest obstacle to me is the simple issue that it is possible to enjoy alcohol without damaging yourself or becoming obnoxious or hazardous to others. Whereas smoking always damages the user and is obnoxious and damaging to anyone else exposed to it. So it’s a legitimate wowser/nanny state problem you have to overcome before you can start to talk about the health issues with alcohol, whereas with smoking the health issue starts out front and centre.

        • Stuart Munro

          Just what we need – rampant bootlegging & armed cops…

          • The Chairman

            That (the blackmarket) doesn’t seem to bother the anti-smoking brigade.

            Nor do they seem too concerned about the increase in related crime – dairies being robbed etc.

            • mpledger

              The black market for tobacco is a way smaller market than a black market for alcohol would be because it’s much easier to make alcohol than grow tobacco.

              • The Chairman

                Most smokers are highly addicted. Most drinkers aren’t. Moreover, most smokers smoke daily, most drinkers don’t.

                Therefore, it is unlikely the demand for black market alcohol will be as strong.

    • Sabine 14.2

      of course, we could classify it as we do with marijuana. Prison sentences and all.

      Long live the prohibition and the private run prison complex. 🙂

    • Lanthanide 14.3

      Impossible to enforce.

      • Sabine 14.3.1

        You make it a law. Just as is done with weed. Anyone brewing, importing, stocking, selling/distributing the stuff should be locked up as suppliers / dealers. Any one using it, or testing positive for use should be locked up as a user.
        Just like week.
        the world would be a marvelous place, almost anyone will be in prison. Someone will be making money.

        Where there is a will there is a way 🙂

        • DoublePlusGood

          Alcohol is very different to other drugs in that just about anyone can manufacture it.

        • The Lone Haranguer

          But there is no will at all to change the current rules.

          So, no will = no way.

      • The Chairman 14.3.2

        With the growing use of cameras and the big data state we are creating, you’ll be surprised how easy things will become to enforce.

        • Colonial Viper

          You’re going about it the wrong way, The Chairman.

          Much easier and less blow back to go with a soft prohibition.

          – No more alcohol sales in supermarkets.
          – No more private sector liquor outlets (only licensed community boards).
          – Alcohol to be sold between 9 am and 5:30pm only, 5 days a week.
          – No delivery services.
          – No outside store advertising of products (including no online advertising).

          • Andre

            The days of the six o’clock swill weren’t that great either. Personally I prefer the cultures where alcohol is something to be enjoyed in moderation (if that’s your thing) and alcohol abuse is frowned upon. France and Spain seem to do ok with it in my experience, for a single worthless anecdotal data point.

        • b waghorn

          So you want to hand a cash cow to crooks and encourage going full surveillance.

          • The Chairman

            No, merely highlighting how (with the surveillance state we’re creating) things are becoming easier to enforce.

            Moreover, with the proceeds of crime act (and one doesn’t have to be found guilty of any charge) it will be the Government that will end up reaping the benefits.

  11. Brigid 15

    “The Serious Fraud Office is investigating after hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars went missing at the Ministry of Transport, ONE News has revealed.”
    “The irregularities were discovered after an internal audit in April.
    Ms Harrision was stood down and the Serious Fraud Office called in”
    Yet it’s taken all this time for the media to inform the public.

    Sue Moroney writes about it on TDB.

  12. The Chairman 16

    Should the Government be spending up to $20 billion on New Zealand’s Defence Force over the next 15 years?


    • Sabine 16.1

      of course, how else would be protecting us from the evil doers of this world. I mean, da man Trump said it, they are out to get us, they hate us for our liberties so we must get rid of them, and Guns……only Guns….and really really big Guns will safe us, from the evil doers and their guns.

      have you got any thougths of your own, or you just bored with life today?

      • The Chairman 16.1.1

        We’ve got people living in cars, but you’ve got no problem with $20 billion being spent on defence?

        Do you think we may have our priorities wrong?

        • Colonial Viper

          I’d spend $25B in defence over that same time but boy would i spend it differently

          • The Chairman


            And what would you cut (or increase taxes on) to cover the extra expenditure?

            How much would you like to see being spent on housing?

            • Colonial Viper

              I’d reconstruct the NZ Defence Forces into a Pacific Security, Assistance and Infrastructure team.

              It would be ready to project military, rescue and engineering assistance throughout the Pacific in anticipation of climate change disasters and refugee relief efforts.

              There would also be an increased emphasis on coastal and homeland defence, as well as local resource protection (including Antarctica).

              The organisation would not be equipped to backstop NATO or USA in wars against China, Russia or various Middle East regime change efforts.

    • Garibaldi 16.2

      That depends on how wisely they spend it. Going by our track record I don’t think they are capable of making the correct decisions.

    • Pasupial 16.3

      Why is it necessary for The Chairman to end his comments with; “Thoughts?” (at least thrice in the space of an hour, and that’s just on this one thread)? Maybe he’s not just trying to divert discussion into unproductive cul de sacs (alcohol prohibition FFS!), with his slogan/ questions…

      Maybe he is genuinely incapable of having thoughts of his own.

      • The Chairman 16.3.1

        Is it necessary to insinuate there is something wrong with me seeking your thoughts?

        Moreover, in seeking your thoughts I’m helping generate discussion – not divert it.

        After all, this is open mike.

        • Pasupial

          I do find it necessary to say that there is something irritating with a repetitive (possibly insincere) mannerism. And I’m not insinuating this, I’m straight out saying it.

          • The Chairman

            There is no insincerity. I’m merely asking questions and seeking your thoughts.

            Free speech means little without the right to question.

            • Pasupial

              Am I not then impelled by this definition of free speech to question your own purposes in choosing to proclaim these particular questions at this time?

  13. joe90 17


    An explosion in the German city of Ansbach, near Nuremberg, has killed a suspected bomber and injured 12 other people, three seriously, police say.

    They said a man – “according to our current knowledge the perpetrator” – had died in the blast.

    The intended target was not clear but about 2,000 people have been evacuated from a nearby open-air music festival, the Bavarian interior ministry said.


    • joe90 17.1

      BREAKING: Bavaria's top security official says Ansbach attacker blew himself up after being turned away from music festival.— The Associated Press (@AP) July 25, 2016

  14. weka 18

    Apparently Little is in South Dunedin today, anyone know what he is doing specifically?

    Andrew Little

    In South Dunedin today to talk with locals about the unique challenges facing the community @clarecurranmp @DavidClarkNZ

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 19

    Where are all those Clinton voters?

    Yesterday I listened to an interview on the Financial Survival Network (I think it was with Trevor Loudon) and the guest said he had yet to spot ONE Hillary supporter walking around the streets where he was/

    And here is a second confirmation, this time at the DNC with LA Times reporter Matt Pierce (check out at the BERNIE! supporters out in force – they’re everywhere. Pity the whole gig is rigged and Bernie never had a chance and still doesn’t)


    I’m telling ya these spin doctors have taken manipulation to a whole new level creating entire followings for candidates.

  16. ianmac 20

    Goodness me. What a terrible disease this forgetting virus is. Key has had it for years and passes it on to his little helpers like McClay.

    “Trade Minister Todd McClay has revealed officials have been “for months” examining reports that China could retaliate against an investigation into steel dumping and has apologised to Prime Minister John Key for not seeking more detail on the issue.”

  17. Puckish Rogue 21


    Ok now that’s a good start and ambitious as well, is there anyone who thinks this isn’t a good idea?

    • Karen 21.1

      It is certainly ambitious to think $28 million over 4 years is anywhere remotely near the amount that would be required. I tend to agree with Nikki MacDonald and Alison Ballance’s response.

      Nikki Macdonald Retweeted Alison Ballance
      Laughable. When I looked at it, conservative estimate was $25 billion. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/capital-life/8461303/Can-New-Zealand-really-be-pest-free …Nikki Macdonald added,
      Alison Ballance @AlisonBallance
      NZ is 268,021 km². Govt putting in $28M to make NZ pest-free. Antipodes Is mice eradication almost $4M for 22 km² http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/201808226/antipodes-island-mouse-eradication-successfully-completed

      This is just the Nats hoping people will stop talking about their failures at housing and economic management. They don’t give a stuff about the environment. They just want to give some of their mates some money while pretending they are doing something worthwhile.

    • Xanthe 21.2

      No dont let Nat or Lab/Grn anywhere near this!

      It requires ethics, common sense, and good science.

      This cannot be and must never be a “free market” project

      I really hope it never gets off the ground, the potential for huge damage to environment and diversity is too likely

      Its just a political distraction ploy and some tax money for mates. Lets just leave it at that

    • Pie.
      In the sky.

      • The lost sheep 21.3.1

        Maybe I’ve misunderstood you Robert, but whether or not, I look forward to discussing this matter at the celebration of a Pest Free Rakiura in 2026.

        Strange blog this eh? Full of big wild creative ideas…until the Govt. of the day produces one. Then everyone is wetting themselves with fear at the thought of it!

        • weka

          They haven’t produced one though. Twitter is full of NZ scientists being scathing of the announcement. It’s greenwashing with I would guess some liberal doses of corporate welfare and treats for National’s mates thrown in. This from a government that’s chronically underfunded DOC and now lo and behold it’s going to fund a commercial enterprise? That’s not a big bold idea, it’s neoliberal bullshit.

          Rakiura is theoretically doable because of its size and isolation, but try translating that to the mainland. The scale and the territory is hugely problematic.

          • The lost sheep

            With all respect Weka, you are talking bollocks.

            Compared to addressing climate change or inequality, a pest free NZ is a simplicity. It’s perfectly do-able, and we would be idiot’s not to do this for the generations that come after us.
            I think you are letting your political prejudice over-ride your better instincts.

            Speaking as someone who has spent many many years working towards the protection of our natural heritage, i would welcome this step forward from anyone, regardless of trivial politics, and if any political entity want’s to up the commitment to this goal. I’m with them.

            As a conservationist, I welcome this commitment, and if any political entity want’s to equal or better it, I a ready to support them with any resource I can muster. I’m all ears…

            • mauī

              Most of your conservation dreams would come true if you got a green government. Instead I get the impression you would rather support the government that wants the reflected glory from someone elses vision. The paltry sum they’re putting up really shows that they could not give a shit about this vision.

              • weka

                yeah but they have a plan to invest that money and make some more. And then unicorns will fly out of the bums of kiwis and save all the other birds.

            • weka

              You can assert that all you like, but you’re not actually doing anything other than faith. Don’t believe me, go read what conservation scientists are saying about it.

              Of course it’s a worthy ideal. It’s just not based in reality. Plus it’s tainted by the neoliberal ideology. They could just be honest and say here’s the money, we’re putting it into this project. But to make out they will make NZ predator free in that time frame without giving us any detail is just out and out Crosby Textor rhetoric.

              • The lost sheep

                Your lack of vision is sad Weka, but consistent with the general tone of defeatist misery that pervades this blog.

                I’m happy to say I am involved with many many scientists, conservationists, ordinary people and yes politicians who are not just entirely positive about saving our natural heritage – they are also getting off their arse and simply doing it.
                The latest eradication on The Antipodes looks to have been successful. The reality is we seem to have the basic techniques pretty well sorted.
                All we need is the commitment, support and determination to resolve the remaining challenges.
                Yoo hoo Labour? Greens? Anyone listening out there?

                • weka

                  Fuck off. The Greens have been promoting pest eradication for a long time.

                  But thanks for reminding me that you are in capable of addressing the actual issues* and are just here to slag off the left. Might fine example of positivity 🙄

                  *for instance, you could have instead responded to Alison Balance’s article, which doesn’t rely on ideology alone but looks at facts (like how and where we are successful and where we’re not). It’s stripped of the political context you will get here that you hate so much, but no, you can’t even bring yourself to look at that.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Ark in the Park in Waitakeres spends $50 + 3hrs volunteer labour per hectare per yr to be predator free
                  Key’s funded $1/ha to do all NZ

                  A vacuous innumerate cheerleader says what?

    • b waghorn 21.4

      Could be a great way to create employment if the did a large chunk of it as ground work instead of dumping shit out of choppers.
      Apart from intown itself it’s pretty rare to see or hear a possum in rural Taumarunui down from huge numbers in the past.

    • weka 21.5

      I haven’t seen the detail (is there any?), but the bit I heard on Checkpoint had me rolling my eyes. Think it through, do you really believe that NZ could be predator free ever, and if you do how that could happen. You’d have to control cat ownership for a start. Think that one through and get back to me 😉

      Which makes me think this is just National posturing and throwing some money around to stop the drain of the conservative environment vote to the Greens. Colour me even more cynical and I’ll say there is probably some jiggery pokery going on regards funnelling tax payer money into the private sector (aka corporate welfare).

      Having said that, if there is any actual detail, as opposed to feel good PR, I’d be interested to see it.

      Just seen this,

      Develop a scientific breakthrough capable of completely eliminating one small mammalian predator.

      I’m tempted to laugh out loud. Seriously, that’s what they’re banking on? It reminds me of the episode of the West Wing where Bartlett decides he’s going cure cancer.

      The islands free of predators is a good thing, and we could do a huge amount creating predator-free places in NZ using existing technology, esp fencing and trapping. But the whole of NZ predator-free? Yeah right.

    • Ad 21.6


      Outflanked both the Greens and Labour on conservation, a policy area that has leftie supporters by the truckload. No party will oppose it.

      It also gets them very close to donors as programme sponsors, who might otherwise not donate to political parties. So it’s excellent politics.

      Any MP who complains about it is simply blaming themselves for having failed to convince their caucus of the same thing.

    • Muttonbird 21.7

      Headline grabbing tripe to deflect from scrutiny elsewhere. This policy looks like something the Nats have had in the wank bank for some time.

      No substance to it at all.

      • Chuck 21.7.1

        Well lets see what the Greens (and Labour) counter it with…this is classic National party strategy under Key.

        Strategy which has had the opposition in tatters over the last 8 years.

        • Muttonbird

          They shouldn’t counter with anything because it’s cheap, crap, headline policy.

          They are going to ban cats and rats, are they? Good luck with that.

          • Chuck

            “They shouldn’t counter with anything because it’s cheap, crap, headline policy.”

            Then they will fall into the trap…a lazy 50k party votes for the Nats from potential Green lite (Labour collection) voters…maybe more.

            • Muttonbird

              Rubbish. It’s only the existing RWNJ Key voter (like yourself) who gets seduced by this sort of diversionary and insincere headline grabber.

              • Chuck

                That’s the exact response the Nat strategy team will be hoping for Muttonbird.

                The existence of RWNJ’s are only in the minds of LWNJ’s 🙂

                • Muttonbird

                  Are you admitting the government are doing this for votes and votes alone?


        • Stuart Munro

          Easy meat “NZ will be predator free by 2050” the Gnats claim – now I’ve heard pie-in-the-sky and jam-tomorrow – but 2050! The entire Gnat cabinet will be dead before then, (and a good thing too). I expect even a no-hoper like Bill English could produce a surplus by 2050 with a bit of luck. Well, maybe 2100.

      • Anne 21.7.2

        More like policy on the hoof because they’ve had a bad focus week. Bit like the $5000 bribe to get homeless people out of Auckland.

    • weston 21.8

      Yep me for one .Possums were liberated here to be used as a resource and thats exactly what they are now and could continue being rather than wastfully gotten rid of by the kill em all brigade Largely im picking this money will simply be more money spent on poison which will only benefit poison manufacturers and a few operators .This fund is just a pre election lolly sucker for suckers .

      • weka 21.8.1

        what do you do with the possums?

        • weston

          in the main they feed my dogs its very good meat better than anything you could buy unless you could afford surloin or something like that for them ! .the dogs are actively involved in the capture of them also and they just live for the job .Dogs are hunters by nature and this gives them an acceptable outlet for their instincts .I pluck the possums for their fur which i sell once a year or whenever im broke which is a bit more often .Nation wide tho possum hunting is an important industry i dunno how much its worth but i know possom fur is becoming increasingly in demand .Historicly possums have provided income for poor people for a very long time and it i.m.h.o. be a damn shame if they were eliminated forever in nz .As a species mentioned in the grand sceme to eliminate so called preditors from nz by 2050 they represent the lowest hanging fruit of the group deemed to do the most damage to native birds and yet they do the least harm .possum numbers need to be managed and kept low sure but the villification by doc etc is rediculous and a wast of a bloody good resource .appologies for the spelling .

          • weka

            Nice one. I’ve known quite a few people that have made decent money from possuming, but I’m always interested to hear from people that are using the whole body, not just the fur. Do you feed the carcass whole to the dogs or what?

            • weston

              yep i gut them in the field and then just chuck one out each day The top dog will get first dibs and the others follow when hes had his full At the end of the day only the skin and tail will be left tho sometimes labrodor type dogs will come along and even eat those (much to their owners disgust )Dogs thrive on this sort of tucker and like i said before its hard to find meat of this quality on pet food shelves .

              • weka

                That’s great. I agree about the quality. Very close to a wild diet and what animals evolved with.

  18. joe90 22

    Oh boy…..

    The US government has a decision to make here. If it does not come out strongly against this action by the Russian intelligence services now, then when will it? How is our election system not to be considered “critical infrastructure” that foreign governments are forbidden to interfere with, unless they wish to trigger a serious confrontation with the US? If hacking a presidential campaign and dumping its strategy on the Web is not interference and disruption of a critical institution, then what is? Should we wait until foreign operatives interfere with the primary process? Is the red line only to be drawn around hacking actual voting machines and changing the results?


  19. Morrissey 23

    Barack Obama used the expression, “I’ve got your back,” twice in his
    presidency: first, for Israel, second, for Debra Wassermann Schultz.

    As the adage says, You can judge a man by the company he keeps.


    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Pretty sure he said something similar to the investment bankers in his first 6 months of Presidency, at the height of the GFC

  20. New Delhi: A US-developed weapon system that strikes the atmosphere with a focussed electromagnetic beam is one of the reasons for causing global warming, the government reported on Monday.


    [Moved to Open Mike as being off topic. For future reference, if you want to post links to theories about the causes of CC that sit outside the scientific consensus, don’t do it on my posts. It’s a derailment from the topic. Only warning. – weka]

    • One Two 24.1

      Good old ‘scientific consensus’ eh

      Trying to understand using information subsets, is hardly ideal and its not as if weather manipulation is a recent technology or strategic objective

      Comments made by the Indian Environment minister should garner front page news

      Another brick from the wall

      • weka 24.1.1

        UT’s comment was off topic, so it was moved, but there is nothing stopping the discussion from happening. You’re in Open Mike, One Two. Feel free to make the argument supporting the theory. I’d want to see some evidence.

        • One Two

          Hi Weka, no worries I read your note to UT and was replying as an OM comment

          That a minister of a major global nation has explicitly fingered the technology, should provide more than enough incentive for investigation by those so inclined

          There is a plethora of available information around the technology itself , although the fuctional and operational purpose appears to be shrouded in uncertainty

          Presently the discussion regarding technological interference with weather patterns is existing outside of mainstream ‘scientific consensus’

          I expect a positional change in a near term time frame

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            the discussion regarding technological interference with weather patterns is existing outside of mainstream ‘scientific consensus’

            You actually believe this drivel? Cluebat: when someone approaches you with a plastic spoon full of drivel, you don’t have to eat it.

            Google Scholar is full to the brim with papers such as this one:

            A Combined Mitigation/Geoengineering Approach to Climate Stabilization

            Now you know the facts, stop lying.

            • One Two

              Nobody was adressing you, were they..

              Yet there you are with a sniveling remark and insulting overtone

              Not even the hint of a response to the ‘scary’ suggestion made by the Indian Environmental Minister

              Clever Boy!

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Now you know it’s a lie, I wonder if you’ll look more sceptically at the contents of the spoon, and the hand holding it.

                • One Two

                  “There is a plethora of available information around the technology itself……..”

                  Take note of how I’m referring to the specific technology the Indian minister article talked about….

                  “Presently the discussion regarding technological interference with weather patterns is existing outside of mainstream ‘scientific consensus’”

                  In the mainstream media there is little to no coverage regarding possible weather manipulation capability of the specific technology referred to by the Indian Minister

                  Neither does the article you linked to, which is a contextual as well as comprehension fail on your part

                  Now put the spoon and insults down and stop dribbling all over a comment which was NOT addessed to you!

                  See if you can resist the natural urges of your ego…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Now you’re just being ignorant. HAARP, which the sadly gullible minister is so excited about, invites graduate and post-graduate students from all over the globe to share in its research.

                    As such, there is a monstrous quantity of information in the scientific literature about it, which a simple GScholar search for HAARP could have told you, if you weren’t so transfixed by the spoon.

                    But what about that documentary you saw where the kid says “there is no spoon”, though?

                    • One Two

                      Now I’m playing with your ego and your contemptuous arrogance ,as well as your inability to comprehend simple language, or even stay out of someone else’s conversation

                      I’ve noticed how you strut around rebutting and refuting using smart alec nuances and know it all techniques. They don’t work, but it’s insightful that you persist with the same sissy tactics over such an extended period of time

                      Accusation that the Indian minister is “sadly gullible”, serves only as confirmation of the callow nature that exists behind the ‘anonymous persona’

                      Now that I’ve called you out, stay off my comments!

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, OAB, ya bastard, using facts and high-falutin’ actual knowledge to bully people. You’re so meeeeaann!!!!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    “Stay off my comments”

                    Yap yap, little dog.

  21. Morrissey 25

    Did Ilse Koch Speak at the Republican Convention?

    At the recent RNC horror show in Cleveland, the loons walking around the streets flaunting their automatic weapons was terrifying, the dancing of unhip, embarrassed delegates was mortifying to watch, and the calibre of the speeches—Scott Baio, the beardie from Duck Dynasty, the plagiarist Melania Trump—was an indictment of the Republican Party, not to mention a dire reflection of the state to which politics has sunk in the United States.

    But perhaps the most disturbing thing of all was the moral calibre—or lack of moral calibre—of the “reporters”…..



  22. Colonial Viper 26

    To prevent real climate disaster we have to cut carbon use in the global economy to near nothing in the next ten years.

    That’s not going to happen of course.

    There is a 30 year lag time between emissions going up into the atmosphere and warming from those emissions becoming measurable.

    It’s due to the thermal inertia of the Earth, particularly all the water in the oceans which take a lot of time to heat up.

    At the moment we have seen half the heating from the emissions we put up in the 1980s. We have hardly seen any warming from the economic growth of China yet. And we certainly haven’t seen any warming from the four billion tonnes of coal China has burnt in the last 12 months (and we won’t for years).

    TL/DR we’re pretty well fucked.

    [sorry CV but once we’re in “we’re fucked” comment territory, it’s going to put others off being involved in the conversation. Moved to OM – weka]

    • weka 26.1

      Can you please read the update at the bottom of the post, thanks.

    • b waghorn 26.2

      we’re fucked huh? oh well sweet i always wanted a big yank tank for a weekend car and hell why back green energy when we can just party on down with fracked oil n gas, drink today for tomorrow we may die.

      • Colonial Viper 26.2.1

        It’s today’s primary and high school kids who are really screwed.

        Old bastards like you and I are fine.

        The kind of vehicle you drive is irrelevant.

        • b waghorn

          I like you tend to think we’re screwed, but , we may not be and going around convincing people we’re screwed is most likely to make people give up looking for answers , there by increasing the chance of us being screwed.

          • Colonial Viper

            nah; unless people know the full extent of the coming problem they won’t accept the full steps we need to take in the next fifteen years.

            And if we only take insufficient quarter measures, we really will be screwed.

    • Colonial Viper 26.3

      No probs Weka.

      I should say that there is a certain irony in asking how we are going to replace motorways, roads and bridges washed out by climate change exacerbated events.

  23. North 27


    This is hilarious. Like he really doesn’t understand he’s a leading member of a class of predators. I mean there are predators who positively model themselves on him.

  24. Jenny 28

    Don’t deal with the problem, deal with the effects

    Update: Please try and keep comments on topic i.e. about infrastructure and other risk in NZ from CC, what can be done about that, the role of councils, government and the people in that, related mitigation/adaptation issues etc.*

    If anyone asked me, I would say that dealing with the effects of climate change will become increasingly difficult and then, impossible. What we really need is a post on what we could do to become “a world leader on climate change”.**

    In this post we have only been allowed to discuss within the politically safe narrow confines of actions to take to combat the (local) effects caused by climate change, but not about the more controversial and thorny matter of actions to take to combat climate change itself.

    I eagerly await a post on, what can be done about that, the role of councils, government and the people in that, related to new coal mines, deep sea oil drilling, public transport, becoming a world leader issues etc.*

    *[my emphasis]

    **[To quote Andrew Little]

    [moved to Open Mike as off topic. Jenny you know better than to tell authors here what to write. There are plenty of CC posts on The Standard that look at actions to combat CC politically. Try adding something to the debate instead of trying to derail other, legitimate conversations about CC action – weka]

    • Jenny 28.1

      “I eagerly await a post on, what can be done about that, the role of councils, government and the people in that, related to new coal mines, deep sea oil drilling, public transport, becoming a world leader issues etc.*”


      “What we really need is a post on what we could do to become “a world leader on climate change”.**
      **[To quote Andrew Little]


      “There are plenty of CC posts on The Standard that look at actions to combat CC politically.”


      Name one, and provide a link.

      [Take a week off, Jenny, for telling authors what to do. TRP]

  25. Colonial Viper 29

    There is, according to Anderson, still an outside chance that we can avoid crashing through two degrees.

    As you know, I like Prof Anderson.

    However I can do my own numbers. Take this for a spin:

    You are welcome to try and falsify any or all of the following, and I will be happy to be corrected.

    1) Current global warming = 1.0 deg C to 1.2 deg C
    2) Current global dimming = a further 1.0 deg C (at least) warming hidden by atmospheric particulates shielding the Earth from the sun, warming which will rapidly appear within 3-4 months of stopping atmospheric pollution
    3) Due to the 30-40 year thermal inertia of the system, less than 50% of warming from 1980s emissions have been realised. NB in the 1980s China was only just starting to ramp up its industrial production.
    4) ~90% of the warming from the last 10 years GHG emissions have yet to be realised (including the 3 billion tonnes of coal China burnt last year, and the year before and the year before that).
    5) The world is currently warming at approx 0.4 deg C per decade with a minimum of 5 decades more warming to occur if we turn off GHG emissions today.

    Conservatively, that’s approx 4 deg C locked in for delivery to us in the 2060s, excluding any additional positive feedback loops kicking off, even if all GHG emissions are ended today.

    As I said. Happy to be corrected on any of the above points.

    [moved to Open Mike. Nothing there about mitigation or adaptation or offering solutions or anything related to the post. You can have this conversation elsewhere – weka]

    • weka 29.1

      Sorry, too late at night to figure out how much of the thread to move. Here’s the comment it was replying to,

      Climate Change on our doorsteps (literally)

      • Colonial Viper 29.1.1

        Local council infrastructure and district planning needs to be designed with a 40 to 50 plus year timeframe in mind.

        If there is going to be 4 deg C warming by the 2060s then that has to be a central consideration to the issues in your post.

        There is no way you can assess whether “mitigation” or “adaptation” measures will be adequate without this background.

        So I am disappointed you moved my comments, and I am disappointed that with your rose tinted glasses you utterly missed its importance and relevance to your post.

        • weka

          It would have been great if you had put those things in your comment. What I saw was you and Bill gearing up for a big maths debate out of context of the post and IMO that’s not appropriate. For reasons that I think you don’t understand.

          I know you think I have rose tinted glasses, but that’s because you almost utterly fail to understand my political position on climate change action. You said elsewhere that there was an irony in a post about moving road and bridges and shit. But that’s not why I wrote the post. I didn’t write the post for you and I. I wrote the post for the people experiencing the storm, seeing the reports on Stuff, and starting to think holy shit, this is serious. I wanted them to have a way into the conversation irrespective of whether they comment here or not. If you honestly believe that scaring the bejesus out of the those people and telling them it’s too late is useful, then go ahead and do that. Just not under my posts.

          I know that my moderation style on CC posts in particular is a bit out of the ordinary for ts, but if I am going to write here that’s the way it’s going to have to be. I’ve had enough people tell me they want a space that’s proactive, and I want to give that to them. It’s also what I have the energy for. That won’t happen if I don’t moderate.

          • Colonial Viper

            My comment implicitly expected knowledge of district planning processes and local government infrastructure timeframes.

            I am over giving people the soft introduction to this topic. People deserve to know what we are very probably facing in the next 20 to 30 years.

            Sugar coating it so they can justify putting climate change down as their number four or five political issue to be managed alongside elective surgery waiting lists and charter schools financing no longer cuts it.

            But thats just me; as authors we get to please ourselves so go for it.

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