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Open mike 25/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 25th, 2010 - 111 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

111 comments on “Open mike 25/11/2010 ”

  1. millsy 1

    More attacks on our cradle to the grave social security system from those who will never have to worry about hardship or anything like that.

    Paula Rebstock attacks the sick, single mothers and the unemployed, while John Whitehead attacks the retired.

    What does their vision of society look like?

    The streets, bridges and alleyways teeming with those who have blown their time limit, children being raised in orhpanages, and the elderley having to work minimum wage jobs at supermarkets when they should be enjoying a well earned retirement.

    I really cant blame those teenagers in the North Shore for holding drunken parties on facebook, it gives them a chance to let go before entering a lifetime of insecurity and expenability, going from day to day, week to week with the threat of having the rug pulled out from under them.

  2. D14 2

    Wasn’t Rebstock responsible (in part) for the monitoring of the Finance companies.
    And we know she was really successful in that job.

    AND when was the report due to be released? Was it released early under the Pike River Disaster?

    • millsy 2.1

      I think it was always due to be released today. The coal mine event was just bad timing, and has the unintended concequence of pushing it off the headlines.

      Which is probably a good thing. Last thing I want to see is the NZ Herald calling for the poor to be chucked out on the street.

  3. vto 3

    What on earth is Key doing being a prime minister? I finally gave up on him completely last night after watching him on the Pike River tragedy.

    He stumbled and mumbled his way through his carefully prepared (by someone else) speech, careful to say every word and not anything else. This is pathetic. A true leader would have perhaps a few of their own notes and then speak from their heart to lead and empathise and offer warmth and community. As a Lange would, or a Kirk or Muldoon even. And Clark. Key is like a boy.

    It is a bloody tragedy for f…s sake. If he can’t go off the bat in a situation then he never can (oh except when he talks about currencies – whatever that morphed up world is). I am seriously flabbergasted at his showing.

    He is not a leader. He is bloody useless and should go back to his useless currency ‘industry’.

    Piss off Key.

    • Carol 3.1

      Yes, just saw a clip of his speech on Al Jazeera. They used a mercifully short clip, because his delivery was so painful – he looks totally dead behind the eyes, with such a vacant look in a what should be a very emotional moment.

      • Alexandra 3.1.1

        Ive commented on Key’s increadibly poor address on the mining post. It was embarrassing. Perhaps Key’s media training has only prepared him for upbeat and relaxed performances and he just cannot cope with events of this kind. His address should have been a heartfelt and solemn one, offering the nation some comfort and confidence in our leadership. Instead his upbeat and light modulated voice made him sound insincere. The constant and anxious glances to his notes should have been unnessasary if he was fully briefed on the events leading up yesterdays explosion. It all added to the appearance of incompetence under pressure.

        • Lanthanide

          Go back to the Anzac day air crash and I believe Key fronted with a speech then. I didn’t see it, but clips might be available on youtube or one of the TV sites, if you’re lucky. See if he was as useless then, as well?

        • Colonial Viper

          So you were surprised that he didn’t go into a “Hey, I’m actually quite relaxed about what’s happened…”

        • ianmac

          Alexandra. Just been reading a curious novel “The Night Book” by Charlotte Grimshaw (numerous award winner). It features a very wealthy self -made millionaire who has been chosen by the National Party to become the next PM by ousting a female PM. The author shows the superficiality of the future PM and his supporters including the women who are wowed by the Leaders charm. Set around 2008. Almost like peering in the window. “Beware the foolishness of pretence.”

        • Fisiani

          I just dont know what broadcast you partisan hacks are seeing.You seemingly want an actor to role play ‘genuine’ grief. You want a professional politician playing the cameras to squeeze every last vote from the beguiled tearful viewers. You want a Hulun Klark. You saw a caring human being. Trouble is , you have to be one to see it.

          • Alexandra

            “You seemingly want an actor to role play ‘genuine’ grief.”
            Fisiani, I certainly dont want an actor for PM or one that is “… a professional politcian playing the cameras..” But since thats what were stuck with, for the time being, I’d prefer that he at least deliver a compelling and convincing performance, or get off the stage.

      • Bored 3.1.2

        A few tears and no notes might have been in order, but to give Key the benefit of the doubt none of us know what his emotional makeup really is. It is all too heart wrenching and awful , it would behove us more to show some respect for the families of the fallen rather than score political points.

        • Alexandra

          Your reply is understandable and predictable. However, labeling an observation and comment on the performance of our leader as political point scoring is unreasonable and arguably political point scoring in its self. There is not right or wrong time to expect our leaders to deliver their duties with dignity and skill. Key failed to do that at a critical time. Unlike other leaders who have fronted the media over the week.
          I’m not at all concerned about Key’s emotional make up, rather my concern is his utter failure to convey the depth of feeling, anguish and concern for the victims with any skill and natural sincerity.

          • Bored

            Circumspection please: we all show emotions and react in a different manner. How Key does it I cannot comment on because I am not him. As such I dont think it worthwhile speculating on his emotion response, let alone having an expectation.

            For the record my over all opinion of Key is slightly lower than shark shit.

            • travellerev


              I expressed the same sentiments on this thread and it was removed and put in the open microphone section without so much as an explanation as to why it was OK for you to say this and not for me. SO just for the record. Hear, hear. We all show our grief in different ways. Some of us in anger and some us us not but in a shallow ways. To call one political and the other not is just hypocritical.

              [lprent: Sorry – I was trying to fix a problem with the threading of comments on that post. I moved comments that I thought were causing the issue (possible replies to a already moved comment), and yours was one of them. I ran out of time to put them back . I shelved it for a weekend job to write a permanent fix for the problem (set that data set on the test server).

              Your comment and a couple of other comments were ‘collateral’ casualties – there was no reason for it apart from me trying to figure out what was going wrong.

              We do need that ability yo move off-topic comments as an alternative to zapping. But the current mechanism breaks the comment threading badly. ]

      • felix 3.1.3

        He has had no problem speaking about himself, for himself. Telling us how he knows famous people and they’ve sent him “personal” messages; no doubt they’re all worried about how the PM is feeling. That’s when he speaks from the heart, when the subject is himself, his ego, his own sense of importance.

        Last night was his chance to speak for us as a leader and he showed exactly how much of a shit he really is.

        vto is right. He’s a fucking child. Is it “political” to point out that our supposed representative and leader is emotionally and mentally incapable of representing and leading us?

        Is it really? Because I don’t intend this to be political and I don’t think vto did either. I’m personally fucking embarrassed of and disgusted by John Key.

        • Bored

          Hi Felix, looks like I will have to leave the full on assault on Jonkey to you today, plenty of barbs and razor blades in your missive. Myself, I am going to take today off from killing Key on his emotions and the mine issue. Any other subject and he is fair game, cos lets face it , he is fucking embarrassing and a totally shallow shit.

        • pollywog

          Is our PM a psychopath ???

          Not a murderer, vicious criminal or rapacious scam-meister, but a manager who oozes charm and charisma with no emotional depth – more sizzle than steak.

          These are the ones who are manipulative and ruthless enough to do whatever it takes to succeed and will stick the knife into anyone standing in their way.

          With their finely honed political skills, sharp timing and chameleon-like abilities, they thrive on risk, chaos and upheaval. And they are cold-blooded enough to claim later that they did nothing wrong.


          • Carol

            Oh. Thanks for the link. It does sound like a PM near us. And also, he always responds to criticism as if thereis no problem… denial – from pollywog’s link:

            What are the danger signals? Jo Owen at BNET identifies six traits to watch out for: they are highly egocentric and the world revolves around them; they have superficial charm and will say anything to get their way; they feel no guilt or shame about their actions; they take excessive risks; they blame others or completely deny there are problems and they are highly manipulative.

      • Once again, as I have said a couple of times .Has this guy got a drink problem ?

    • Jim Nald 3.2

      Yes. On Tue 23rd when he read out the Government Motion in the house, he sounded quite awful and useless. Heard his speech yesterday and this morning. No improvement.

      He fails to come across as natural when empathising. Just hasn’t got it. Would have helped if he had the gravitas in his delivery to make up but zilch, zero, nada there too.

      • Olwyn 3.2.1

        John Key’s media minders have concentrated on the brand. He was chosen as leader of the Nats on the basis of brand power, and voted into office on the same grounds. Meanwhile the “brand” has been kept at a distance from the potentially unpopular policies lest it get tarnished. All this has no doubt left him ill-equipped for fronting up as a national leader to a national tragedy. Especially since the sort of aspiration at which his brand is pitched is not compatible with tragedy.

        • Jim Nald

          ‘aspiration’ is too grand a word for his brand

          and his performance during question time has been more like stand-up comedy

          • Bored

            “Aspiration” is now visually linked to the All Blacks, Jonkey cant get out of the black World Cup jacket. Thats really pisses me off.

          • Olwyn

            Aspiration, when it doesn’t just mean “breath” means “ambition.” But it acquires a transcendent air when said with a blue sky in the background and a lavender tie beneath the mouth saying it.

            • Jim Nald

              ‘Aspiration’ in the positive, teleological sense, has not been much on donkey display.
              But more has been evident in the sense involving bodily function, eg hot air, the contradictory stances of blowing hot and cold, or just what stinks. Along the lines of a ‘tax switch’ in the fiscal area, there should be a ‘lexicon shift’ in Nats’ propaganda to try to be more honest and move away from aspiration to a more fitting word:

        • prism

          Perhaps he needs a look-alike as Winston Churchill used in WW2. That way he can leave the actor to convey the emotion, concern and determination for practical solutions that King John the Clueless should feel. His direction can then follow its natural path of quick, light, fast-moving pace like a Monarch butterfly (called the Wanderers because they travel long distances to other countries).

          captcha – derive (wrong pick of program – should have been deride)

    • big bruv 3.3


      Would you have preferred Key called them feral inbred’s?

      • felix 3.3.1

        Can we ignore the troll today plox?

      • Bored 3.3.2

        You feral inbred shit head. I did not think anyboody could get lower than Key and his acolytes, but you take the biscuit.

      • joe90 3.3.3

        Can produce an actual reference to Clark saying ‘feral inbred’ BB?.

      • r0b 3.3.4

        Would you have preferred Key called them feral inbred’s

        Ahh BB, no lie so old that it isn’t worth telling again and again eh? Clark never said that.

        She did say some silly things though, being a real, fallible human being, with more brains and balls in her left toe than Key has in total.

      • vto 3.3.5

        bb, while Clark’s choice of words then were completely out of line, and exposed some of her own shortcomings, that is far from the same context. In these circumstances Clark would have shone, and left Key floundering in the leadership skill stakes. And I say that as someone who generally in fact votes to the right not the left. So there aint no ‘playing politics’ in this for me. It is about leadership by our prime minister and the millions of tears being shed across the country today.

        But I suspect you knew such anyway. Enough taking the bait for me.

        edit – if she in fact said it at all. is it now folklore?

        • r0b

          OK – what she actually said was:


          Greymouth, 14 April 2000, NZPA – West Coasters would strongly resent being described as “feral” by Prime Minister Helen Clark, lobby group Coast Action Network (CAN) chairman Barry Nicolle said today.

          Miss Clark made the comment yesterday on talkback radio after being questioned about the fight pro-logging groups have put up to the Government’s scrapping of the beech scheme on the West Coast…

          … Attitudes on the West Coast could be “fairly feral,” she said…

          And “inbreds” she has “no recollection” of saying. The original news reports are not on line any more but my source is here: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2009/03/feral_inbreds.html#comment-545006

    • Richard 3.4

      It was a pretty typical speech for Key. He’s just not an articulate or convincing or empathic speaker.

      DPF, of course, feels compelled to tell us what a great and moving speech it was (and broadcast by CNN and the BBC!).

      Key was speaking about a great and moving event. His speech was neither great nor moving.

  4. Carol 4

    More student protests in the UK, and now the police are charging the protesters on horses:


    I am also saddened to learn that there are plans to cut teaching grants by 100% to arts, humanities and social science courses in England. It looks like the Tories don’t want courses that might throw some critical light on their policies and the impacts they could have on society and the economy.

  5. just saying 5

    A bit of light relief from Lyndon Hood. A fable about a bear trying to lead a little pig out of the woods by carrying on in same same direction, but just a bit further to the right.


    • ianmac 5.1

      To go right must be right, mustn’t it? And round and round we go just like the 80s and 90s. Poor old Pooh. He will have time for a little something then have to think of a very clever plan like umm umm….

  6. just saying 6

    Don’t know if it is just my computer, but I’ve been having some problems with this site this morning.

    My comment disappeared so at risk of doubling up, I’ll repeat.

    Labour’s response to the welfare razor gang report:

    “Labour social development spokeswoman Annette King said the report was light on detail, and the public would have to wait a further four months to see National’s plans. She said calls to do more to manage the most-needy claimants and help people back into work were rich, when National had axed programmes started by Labour.”

    Words can’t express my contempt.

    • Bored 6.1

      Not sure what your contempt is for, Labours response or for Rebstocks razor?

      From my viewpoint the vapid logic and self serving ideology that underpins the report is beneath contempt. The only reason Rebstock and Bennett et al dont actually try and kill the poor is that they might get shot in the process. Instead they stand well back at a safe distance and try to starve them out. Best thing Rebstock can do is go back to Canada, (if they would let her back in).

      • just saying 6.1.1

        To put my comment in context Bored, yesterday I wrote:

        This will be the acid test for Labour’s purported change of heart. Will they go all out to defend the vulnerable citizens under attack, or will they make some mealy mouthed non-statement…..

        Acid test fail

        The ‘few’ in Labour’s slogan about governing on behalf of the “many not the few’ are the poor, the sick and the vulnerable.

        So I guess there won’t be a place laid at the table for “every person” under a (increasingly unlikely) Labour goverment.

        Business as usual

        • Bored

          JS, Have to agree, I have beeen calling for the heads of Goff and the Labour old gaurd for a while so I need little persuasion to the accuracy of your observation. There is a large chunk of “insiders” on this blog who will disagree on the basis of unity in defeating Key, myself I cannot see the point of replacing NACT with NACTlite.

  7. jcuknz 7

    Furher to my comments yesterday with regard to security and the American/America’s problem there is this piece in the NYT which ends with this
    … saying it much better than I could though I’ve thought it for some years now..

    “It would mean convincing Americans that — sometimes, at least — we have to absorb terrorist attacks stoically, refraining from retaliation that brings large-scale blowback.

    That’s a tough sell, because few things are more deeply engrained in human nature than the impulse to punish enemies. So maybe the message should be put like this: Could we please stop doing Al Qaeda’s work for it?”

    There is a viewpoint which says with regard to 9/11 … America asked for it and got it, now they should examine how and why they asked for it and try to modify their actions to correct the situation rather than going to war. [Turning the other cheek etc] That was one of my reactions as the twin towers were falling and nothing has happened since to change my opinion. I felt guilty to have those thoughts as thousands died but it was the crux of the situation..

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    A guy crunches some numbers and discovers signs that point towards vampire squid:


  9. So what if starting April next year sometime someone who just got a job in a mine wants to point out that some of the wiring is shoddy or maybe the guys are to tired to work safe?

    For John Key to call these poor blokes brothers while his mates have passed a law making all workers less save while those guys were perhaps fighting for their lives in the mine is appalling and yes, it makes me angry and sad to see the ruling elite using the death of these guys for their own gain.

    I’m sure most salt of the earth Kiwi workers feel for the families as if they were brothers and sisters right now but if there is one man who lost the right to speak for them in that fashion it’s mister “$ 50 million, tax cuts for the rich, killing labour rights for the poor (and let’s face it, compared to him those miners were)” asshole.

    I’m sorry, but if we are talking grief and anger… that is a heard felt one from me.

  10. Jim Nald 10

    Newsflash from the Nats Nuts – Alan Peachey warns his Government that ACT’s campaign against the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is costing Nats votes:

    “The Act Party is running a campaign based on misinformation and half-truths in this electorate [Tamaki], which is gaining some traction. I am receiving a lot of communications from constituents … who are really quite angry at what they are describing as a betrayal by the National Government. Many of the people in touch with me are threatening to resign from the party and to never vote for National again.”

    Misinformation and half-truths?
    Another instance of political karma ripening?
    Whatsoever ye soweth in the previous electoral cycle, ye shalt also reap.

    captcha: fire
    yes. burn.

    • jcuknz 10.1

      Foreshore & Seabed Bill ….. The current bill that ACT is arguing against is so full of fish-hooks that it should be thrown out, should never get to first reading. You should listen to a lawyer explaining what a desparately poor piece of legislation it is. It seems to me that instead of the relatively sensible bill by Labour it seems a back door way of giving everything to Maori, in a completely legal way without any redress or ability to question actions of individuals in government … The left should join with ACT is throwing the bill out on its ear. Don’t get mislead by your dislike of ACT … they are on the right track with this.

      • Alexandra 10.1.1

        How is the proposed law a back door to giving everything to Maori and why are Maori rejecting the bill if they stand to gain everything?

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Piece of work of the day:


    ‘No officer, you’ve got it all wrong see, I ain’t planning on shooting up the family plannng clinic, I’m just ‘checking up on’ the lying bitch who I dated a coupla times but who won’t give me her phone number for some reason. It’s perfectly innocent.’

    • Olwyn 11.1

      That is up there with R L Burnside’s claim: “I didn’t mean to kill nobody … I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord.”

  12. Iprent,

    Not cool. Felix is expressing the same sentiments and so are some of the others. At least a mention as to why my expression of grief is selectively removed would have been nice.

    [I’m very busy and not much here this week, so I’m just passing by. But I can’t see anything in the trash, it doesn’t look like anything has been removed. — r0b]

  13. joe90 13

    Just a thought but it would be nice if the families of the other hundred or so who will die at work this year had the support of the country.

    Evidence shows that:

    * workplace injuries are killing about 100 people a year
    * annually, more than 700 people die prematurely from work-related illness or disease

  14. Good to see the moral police on The Standard relaxing a bit. What about a bit of the class solidarity that drove the original The Standard? This is not a national disaster but a disaster for the workers and their families. Key’s class of banksters and profiteers are facing a financial hit but hardely a disaster. They are using the same approach to the failure of this mine as the failure of SCF. The banksters get away with murder while posing as national leaders in national disasters. There is only one national disaster and thats the NACT disaster.
    Oil and Gas will pay their $500,000 conscience money, recover the bodies and after a decent interval reopen the mine. There is already a campaign building to blame the disaster on the difficulties of ‘surgical mining’ forced on the company because it couldnt use opencast mining on Conservation land.
    But we can’t allow this boss rule politics to shift the blame from the operation and management of the mine onto the Greens or some freak mishap. After all its Coasters that started coming out with ‘blame’ comments right from Friday. Former mine workers commented on safety defects in the mine. Then the MSM got into the act. They have their reasons (keeping the disaster movie interesting) but they did hit some pay dirt. Similar mines in the US now have failsafe ventilation systems since if the ventilation system fails in ‘gassy’ mines explosions are almost inevitable. Disasters in the US today are due to owners negligence. So its not use talking about Pike River as the ‘latest’ such mine. Peter Whittall himself while developing Pike River reported that the Mining regulations needed updating and there was a shortage of mine inspectors. A critical report from 2008 has not been acted on. Then we heard that Pike River itself had a dangerous build-up a few days before the explosion and workers came out and it took 20 hours to clear the gas. That presumably was with the ventilation system operating.
    Of course we wont know the full facts until an Official Inquiry is completed. But meanwhile our solidarity should be for the workers families and not for the parasites that are hanging around this disaster sucking the blood of the working class.

  15. joe90 15

    And while the tories go about their work dismantling the union movement Ark Tribe was acquitted yesterday of failing to attend a compulsory interview with John Howards industry watchdog after he “illegally” organizing safety meetings at the construction site where he worked.

  16. BLiP 16

    There are calls for peaceful protests in Ireland to take back the country now its politicians have sold future generations into debt.

    As philosopher Alisdair MacIntyre recently said:

    . . . we have already entered a new age of “darkness and barbarism” similar to the decline of the Roman empire. “This time, however, the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament.” The survival of virtuous civilisation may depend, he implies, not on a world revolution but on the persistence of isolated communities similar to the monasteries that withstood the depredations of the dark ages. “We are waiting not for a Godot,” he concludes in After Virtue, “but for another—doubtless very different—St Benedict.” But who or what would that look like? He does not, as yet, say.

    • Bored 16.1

      Thats a bit vexing BLiP, it brings to mind the concept that the “barbarian” nature of leadership always absorbs challenges, especially for reform, and makes them part of the corruption. It brings to mind St Francis, who said he “came to rebuild a church” (meaning the Church which had become focussed as a temporal as opposed to spiritual power). Francis’ example and his order threatenned the hierachy of a corrupt organisation: they responded by giving ground until they could absorb, own and corrupt the message.

      • BLiP 16.1.1

        If one considers the necromantic economics driving globalisation as akin to the corruption of the Roman Empire, I think MacIntyre’s analogy holds. I’m not that au fait with my saints, but Benedict was well before Francis. As society crumbled with the fall of the Romans, Benedict gathered scholars and artists into his monastries and fostered their pursuits as far as he was able given the rabble at the gate. In short, Benedict sought to keep the best of humanity safe while the barbarians roamed Europe. That he used a commune model (The Benedict Rule) largely beyond the reach of politics, national boundaries, and economics is, I think, what MacIntyre is suggesting needs to happen if the lessons of capitalism are to be learned by future generations who may emerge from our own “Dark Age” which seems to be upon us. Rather than threaten the ruling order as per Francis, MacIntyre seems to be suggesting that we withdraw into our own, like-minded and self-sustaining communities.

        • Bored

          He is of a mind with John Michael Greer and others who suggest that we organise as local communities sharing our skills and goods directly for the “commonwealth”. I think myself that systemic collapse of economies and authority will drive this behavoir, and the results will vary in humanity. Which is why planning of how to evenly share the downside is central and highly unlikely to happen because it will require those with most to lose most. A withdrawal as MacIntyre suggests would most threaten those with most as they have most to a great degree through their exploitation of the rest of the community. They will resist.

          PS If we do as well as Benedict we too will hand down a magnificent liquor for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

          • BLiP

            Heh! What a wonderful pursuit that would be. Thanks for the tip about Greer. I’ve sort of heard of him before and, yeah, I am in agreement with much of what he says and have now put his website into my bookmarks. Cheers.

    • Olwyn 16.2

      Unable to resist adding this quote from the Mac Intyre piece:

      When it comes to the money-men, MacIntyre applies his metaphysical approach with unrelenting rigour. There are skills, he argues, like being a good burglar, that are inimical to the virtues. Those engaged in finance—particularly money trading—are, in MacIntyre’s view, like good burglars. Teaching ethics to traders is as pointless as reading Aristotle to your dog. The better the trader, the more morally despicable.

    • KJT 16.3

      “When it comes to the money-men, MacIntyre applies his metaphysical approach with unrelenting rigour. There are skills, he argues, like being a good burglar, that are inimical to the virtues. Those engaged in finance—particularly money trading—are, in MacIntyre’s view, like good burglars. Teaching ethics to traders is as pointless as reading Aristotle to your dog. The better the trader, the more morally despicable”.

  17. Bored 17

    Whilst we are bitching and moaning about Key, the mine etc etc theres a person who is very busy in the background quietly ensuring you will pay private interests for WATER in the future: Rodney Hide intends and has legislation in the House at present to MAKE YOU PAY.

    Water Privatisation by stealth is his latest little treat for you. Be very afraid. Get aware and get active.

    • Jim Nald 17.1

      Water is the last frontier where the battle of privatisation will be waged.
      Will the many surrender by inaction?

  18. BLiP 18

    WTF!! At a time when we need our leaders and have questions requiring answers, the government takes the day off!!

  19. jcuknz 19

    From today’s “Star”, one of the Dunedin free newspapers, is a story by Bruce Munro. Resulting from an OIA request he has found that there is a considerable drop in expenditure on new housing of money coming from the sale of existing housing. On the other hand the Minister explains that the Housing Corp has 1361 more houses than three years ago and that in addition to upgrading exisiting homes they are leasing houses to rent out. Obviously leasing is cheaper than building, at least in the short term, and houses once they reach their use-by date can be quickly dumped. But my impression is that leasing is long term foolishness unless you can write off the expense in a business where it is short term expediency. Is what is good in business be good in welfare?
    Could this be a thread by one of the brainy types here to evaluate the pros and cons of this policy?.

    • BLiP 19.1

      I am among the least brainy here but, first impressions:

      Short term: a “leasing” arrangement, as opposed to a “rental” agreement allows the owners of the property to write off a greater amount of depreciation and other costs allowing speculators to continue enjoying the tax breaks removed from the “mum and dad” investors.

      Long term: its a thin end of the privatisation agenda. There are various costs removed from the Housing Corp budget which will see less and less money coming in as the government boasts of all its apparent “savings”, the service offered by Housing Corp is gradually degraded and, eventually, the argument can be made that “what’s the point – the “market” already provides X amount of houses, it might as well provide them all”.

  20. BLiP 20

    So much for “the many” and big cheers from “the few”.

    Labour will make bold changes to the economy including allowing public-private partnership for transport, considering an “inbound transactions tax” and allow private shareholders to own shares in subsidiaries of state owned enterprises, finance spokesman David Cunllffe said today.

    “We can turn old models of government participation in economic development on their head by using equity rather than grants, private sector experts rather than bureaucrats and rigorous performance measures rather than public sector doubletalk.”

    Thanks Labour – I’m lovin’ it.

  21. freedom 21

    “allow private shareholders to own shares in subsidiaries of state owned enterprises”

    Great in theory but in reality i would like to see low limits set favouring individual holdings to avoid the predictable takeovers from big corporates. This might actually allow state owned enterprises to be owned by people. I know that flies in the face of the free market doublespeak so i will be quiet now.

    • BLiP 21.1

      KiwiBank, of course, is a subsidiary of New Zealand Post.

      • Lanthanide 21.1.1

        He also said this about KiwiBank:
        ” And it would over time build Kiwibank into a full-service, full-scale bank. At the moment the bank concentrates on retail customers and has only limited business banking.

        The Government’s own banking, currently contracted to Westpac, would be put up for tender. “

        • millsy

          Personally I think government banking should return to the Reserve Bank. I see no compelling reason why we should have a private retail bank (even if it is Kiwibank) as the governments banker (frankly, there are severe risks associated with this practise). Of course, we could go the whole hog and merge Kiwibank and the Reserve Bank…..

          • millsy

            (I would also break up Treasury as well, and split some of its functions between the MED, MSD the RBNZ, and leave the rest as a very small policy advise ministry – Treasury, has rotted the civil service with the right wing crap it has peddled over the past 25 years, and has succeeded in nuking any form of science, technical and engineering expertise in the civil service – its time for Treasury to take a nice dose of its medicine)

            • Colonial Viper

              Also make the Government the sole issuer of money, not associated with private banking or interest bearing debt i.e. put an end to the creation of debt based bank cash.

      • jcuknz 21.1.2

        There is a danger of take-overs but surely it can and should be arranged that private shareholders be genuine New Zealand citizens to avoid foreigns taking over. Perhaps it is too simple to work but there has to be a way for savings to be invested in safe NZ ventures.

        • KJT

          Why not just keep it in the hands of all New Zealanders.

          • Colonial Viper

            If we are talking about new startup subsidiaries of SOEs focussed on tackling new business areas or bringing new innovations to market, then PPP’s may have some good uses.

            If we are talking about (part)selling off existing SOE’s subsidiaries then the case in terms of advantage to the tax payer must be very good indeed.

            • KJT

              PPP’s like the innovation incubators associated with the Universities are a good example of partnerships which should be encouraged as they work for the entrepreneurs and everyone else..

              Things like infrastructure ownership, banking and control of our currency should be kept in public hands as the private sector have proven to be too costly.

              New startup businesses are another example where a PPP with Government equity can encourage the sort of innovation and sustainable production we need for the future.

              • Pascal's bookie

                The problem is that he okayed, as a broad principle, selling shares in soe subsidiaries. he didn’t say start ups or joint ventures or any such thing. He said if English wants to sell half of kiwibank, Labour can’t call that privatisation.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well of course it starts getting daft now, like you saying that salt is important to have in the kitchen (which it is) and them someone else coming along and putting it on your ice cream, in your wine, in your sugar bowl, and explaining their actions by saying “Well, YOU said its important to have salt so that’s what I’m doing, whats the problem.”

  22. jcuknz 22

    This year the Commonwealth Fund conducted their thirteenth survey of peoples experience and response to health insurance in eleven countries including Australia and New Zealand. The link is

  23. Carol 23

    As bored said on the welfare working group thread, the leaders of the London demo over night couldn’t be identified by the police (or journalists). I’ll post this link here as the WWG thread is not really on this topic. According to the Guardian, the main reason that the police were having difficulty identifying leaders/organisers is because the students are using social networking and mobile phones:


    After two chaotic student protests in the space of a fortnight, the question police will be asking is: who are the new rebel leaders? The unfortunate answer for them is that there are none.

    Unlike student movements of the 1960s and 1970s, actions developed organically, with social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, providing an ideal platform for grassroots organisation….

    Police forces elsewhere in the country faced a similar problem. Some journalists tried to expose student “ringleaders” posting messages on blogs; largely, they got it wrong, for while politically active, few, if any of the writers, were encouraging people to be violent……

    …Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Union,… Solomon led the London march early today with a megaphone but found her directions overruled when students, instructed via mobile phones, spontaneously sprinted toward parliament

    • Pascal's bookie 23.1

      Saw something today about how kettled protesters were calling the police emergency line to report that they were being illegally detained.

      The kids are all right.

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    Oh ffs.


    Cunliffe just gave the nats a free ride on privatisation.

    If you’re a LP supporter that doesn’t want our shit sold, then force labour into coalition with the greens by party voting green. Doing so cannot make a labour led govt less possible, but it’s the only way to make one worth having.

    • Pascal's bookie 24.1

      Oh right, scroll up dickhead.

      • Carol 24.1.1

        Well, I didn’t see the post earlier about it. How depressing. So it definitely looks like I’ll be voting Green again next election.

    • RedLogix 24.2

      Monbiot gives a serve to the Private Finance Initiatives that have contracturally stuck the UK public sector with billions of pounds of ‘odious debt’ that it must keep repaying… at a time when every other expense is getting slashed.

      Cunliffe has some work to do before I’d be convinced his ‘public-private partnerships’ would not in the long run amount to the same scam…public welfare for private corporates.

    • Colonial Viper 24.3

      Please don’t rush to conclusions, Cunliffe was very clear in his speech that the NATs are going to leave Labour with nothing in the kitty and a much bigger public debt than there is today. Unless Cunliffe raises taxes significantly or borrows signficantly or delays implementation greatly, the scale of ***NEW*** rail and other new projects he is envisaging is going to require assistance and participation from the private sector.

      Let me be clear about this: He is not proposing to sell off existing transport systems to private enterprise.

      He is proposing to involve private enterprise in partnerships with Government in ***brand new*** innovative transport projects.

      This is not about PPP’s and schools, prisons, hospitals. It is about getting some critical transport stuff done when there is no money in the bank.

      I personally think that while not ideal, its a frakin brilliant solution which combines strong values with practical nous to actually get stuff done for real for quick. G 😀 FF for 2 😀 11!!!

      • just saying 24.3.1

        It’s not long since Cunliffe was talking tax relief* for middle income earners. Admittedly that was before the alleged change of direction, but frankly there has been no sign of any such change yet.

        So is the tax relief* bidding war for the well-off voter still happening? And are PPPs how Labour intends to pay for it?

        Still sounding very much like National to my ear, though I do admire your faith CV.

        *highly offensive neolib jargon

        • Colonial Viper

          but frankly there has been no sign of any such change yet.

          1) Rewriting the RBA to include broader economic targets than just inflation. That is a change.
          2) Implementing currency and capital controls. That is a change.
          3) Prioritising the tradeables economy ahead of non-tradeables. That is a change.
          4) Preserving economic sovereignty by reducing/eliminating sales of core assets and productive farmland. That is a change.
          5) Focusing Government purchasing on NZ made goods and services. That is a change.
          6) Consideration of a CGT and an estate tax. That is a change.

          There’s actually quite a long list IMO, did you want me to go further?

          It’s not long since Cunliffe was talking tax relief* for middle income earners.

          Really mate? Where/when did this happen?

          • just saying

            Morning CV,

            Firstly, yes, I’d like to see the entire list of new policies or statements that demonstrate Labour has abandoned the neoliberal economic and social framework that the party first inflicted on the electorate without a mandate, in the eighties. That show that social justice, and “a place at the table for every person” are core and non-negotiable guiding principles, rather than empty rhetoric.

            And given the number of people whose place setting on that “table” was callously removed by changes enacted by Labour government, and continued through subsequent the Labour governments which includes the entire current labour leadership, who now admit they were, aah, wrong, actually, – I’d like to know how they intend to make amends for the harm done to those people, and ameliorate the damage to them, their children and grandchildren. Policies that don’t involve locking more up, or reducing resources to those with the least, to discourage the most disacvantaged from becoming “dependent” on subsistence “lifestyles” would be particularly nice to hear about.

            As to Cunnliffe and middleclass tax relief, so far I’ve only found an entry on red alert on May 21st this year agreeing that middleclass “tax “relief” was appropriate and saying that they would have got more under Labour. (Couldn’t seem to successfully cut and paste the verbatim) I haven’t been able to find the piece I was thinking of when I said the above, so I retract the middle-class tax relief bidding war claim until/unless I can.


  25. The Voice of Reason 25

    Completely apolitical link this, because it doesn’t remind me of anyone in NZ politics. No Siree.


  26. Jenny 26


    “There is such an abiding and pervasive vision of mining as being a dirty business blood diamonds, all those things none of it helps. That is the public perception.
    “But it is a really, really great industry. All companies operating in mining in New Zealand operate at a high level, a leading edge level of safety, of environmental standards, of professional standards. Why we can’t get that out I don’t know.”

    Wylie did not believe investors would be scared off the New Zealand exploration industry by the accident.

    “I believe the [investment] industry will see the Pike River tragedy in the context of what it is, which is the New Zealand industry is one of high performance, safe performance, continuous performance and of growth.”

    “That is our normal business, our normal way of doing things. I believe people will understand that.
    “Our business is responsible, sustainable, it’s environmentally and socially responsible and profitable with good growth prospects, and there is a high level of professional involvement in it.”

    Cam Wylie, chairman of the New Zealand arm of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

    Read Wylie’s words here.

    In the upside down world view of big business, the Pike River tragedy, is in the words of Cam Wylie, “what it is, which is the New Zealand industry is one of high performance, safe performance, continuous performance and of growth.”

    The last word, “growth”, of course being the big business code word for profits.

    Speaking of profits Wylie reveals a deeper truth when he says that investors will not be scared off from coal mining by the Pike River accident.

    If the possibility of their industry slowly parboiling the planet, didn’t put investors off, then I can see why the deaths of 29 men in New Zealand wouldn’t phase these same investors in the slightest. Except, as hard to counter, bad publicity, which seems to be Wylie’s main worry here. Wylie presaged the above statement by saying:

    “I think the industry struggles to explain itself and get itself understood by the public. It is the case in almost every country I have worked.

    And further:

    Wylie says the Pike River deaths will further “challenge” New Zealanders’ view of the mining industry.

    I hope so. Because in my opinion, it is way past time, this industry was begun to be phased out.

    UN: “climate warming worse”

  27. Jenny 27


    “That is our normal business, our normal way of doing things. I believe people will understand that.
    “Our business is responsible, sustainable, it’s environmentally and socially responsible and profitable with good growth prospects, and there is a high level of professional involvement in it.”

    Cam Wylie

    Would anyone like to pick the lies?

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