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Open mike 25/11/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, November 25th, 2013 - 137 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

137 comments on “Open mike 25/11/2013 ”

  1. of course the (local) fascinating aspects of the international climatechange deal struck over the weekend..

    ..are that the imperative for each country to front up with their detailed/specific cutting-plans by early 2015..

    ..means no political party will be able to ignore this issue during a late 2014 election campaign..

    ..next years election just got a whole lot more interesting..

    ..i wonder how outright deniers/outliers/table-leg-chewers like colon craig will handle it..?

    ..but not only him..

    ..how will ‘growth’-parties ..like labour..how will they manage that balancing act..?

    ..and surely the greens’ arm has been strengthened..?

    ..phillip ure..

  2. logie97 2

    The most important piece of news this morning is apparently the All Blacks’ success. Go figure?

  3. Paul 3

    Patsy interview by the Herald of Shell New Zealand. No difficult questions asked. Too much advertising to lose, I imagine.

    Oil man: I understand the protests

    Jager said the track record of companies around New Zealand had been solid, but drilling would never be risk-free.
    “Regrettably there’s nothing in life that is risk-free, it’s how we manage it,” he said.

    Now, he says, changes being made are going in the right direction, and in the oil and gas industry fitted the environmental aims.
    “Health and safety and the environment go hand and hand,” he said. “Keeping the gas in the pipe and stopping people from getting injured – it’s all part of the same approach for us.”

    You would hear his colleague in Russia saying the same nonsense about their care for the environment about the Arctic…and his competitor at BP saying the same about the Gulf of Mexico before 2010.

    Further evidence that the Herald has sold its soul to corporates.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      You hear that sort of BS from all the companies and businesses. We still see deaths, waste and environmental damage that could easily have been avoided if they actually did what they say.

    • alwyn 3.2

      “To much advertising to lose I imagine”
      You have a very fertile imagination then. Shell no longer have any retail interests in New Zealand, and do no advertising.
      Can you remember the last time you saw a Shell advertisement in The Herald apart from, possibly, the legally required notices they might have to publish for their oil and gas production operations?

      • Paul 3.2.1

        So you don’t think the Herald doesn’t have vested interests that dictate its editorial stances?
        Roughan and Murphy write independently. Yeah right!

        • alwyn

          Why do you attribute to me things that I have never said?

          “So you don’t think etc” and “Roughan and Murphy write independently”. I have never claimed that and if you had said that as the reason for the type of interview the Herald had done I wouldn’t have bothered to comment.
          However you put the tenor of the interview down to something it is clearly not. You proposed that it was because of losing Shell’s advertising and I was pointing out that that was extremely unlikely as there isn’t any to lose.

          Actually on rereading this I see when you say “don’t think the Herald doesn’t have” it is a double negative and means that “you think the Herald has vested interests”. I guess I would have to answer yes to what you said, even if I don’t think that was what you meant.

  4. “..One public policy with profound impacts on business and the economy is rarely evaluated:

    – drug prohibition policy..”


    phillip ure..

  5. PG 5

    A report on RNZ broadcast that, after protracted, tortuous negotiations at some climate change forum, that agreement was finally reached with the change of ‘one word’ ! That was the end of the report! What was the ‘one’ word? Suggestions, guesses, or does anyone actually know. This is so ridiculous.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      “Commitment”. No, seriously.

      • weka 5.1.1

        The 19th conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ended in Warsaw on Saturday. Last-minute concessions produced a limp agreement. A Copenhagen-style train-wreck has been avoided.

        It is 21 years since the Framework Convention undertook to stabilise global emissions to save the planet from dangerous climate change. Emissions have increased since then from 38 billion tonnes to 50 b. Warsaw continues on that same path..

        The main outlines of the COP 19 conference are:

        – An undertaking to prepare for ‘contributions’ for the post-’20 global agreement to be agreed by 2015; India and China refused to accept the word ‘commitment’;

        – A mechanism for loss-and-damage that would assist vulnerable countries to protect against extreme impacts;

        – A breakthrough on forestry with ‘results-based payments’ system to encourage developing countries halt deforestation and increase afforestation (REDD+).

        Is this enough to call Warsaw a success? If ‘success’ is defined as the short-term avoidance of failure, then perhaps. If it is defined as achieving what is required for the long-term goal, the answer is no.


    • Rogue Trooper 5.2

      yet, Wind Farming NZ drops off
      planning buffeted by “political and regulatory” uncertainty
      (couldn’t organize a shearing run in wool-shed)

      while, worldwide there was an increase in installed wind-generator capacity of 19% last year;
      Fastest growth in – China.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        Yep, the rest of the world’s putting in wind and solar generation but we have difficulty due to at least one major party not wanting to move on from the use of fossil fuels.

        Proper investment in transport and renewable energy and, IMO, we could completely dump the use of fossil fuels in 10 or so years.

      • alwyn 5.2.2

        And some of the companies are now being taken to court for killing birds.
        That is probably not a problem in China but it appears the US are now taking it seriously.
        I wonder how many birds are being killed in New Zealand? I haven’t found any definitive numbers and I can’t imagine either the power companies nor the wind power enthusiasts want it known

        • Rogue Trooper

          clearly I’m not the only one ‘on drugs’ 😉 around here. Is that an argument for limiting wind-power generation development alwyn? There’s a bit of wildlife collateral damage associated with the fossil fuels industries too, we understand.

          • alwyn

            I’m not particularly keen on windpower generation but it is more on efficiency grounds, as well as the CO2 produced in making them, rather than a some birds being killed. As you say fossil fuels kill birds such as the 2,000 or so in the Rena shipwreck. On the other hand I would have expected the Green Party, and Greenpeace to be screaming about the wind turbines after their hysterical outbursts about the Rena.
            Why do we not have Russel calling for an enquiry into turbine bird kills and calling for them all to be closed down until the enquiry is complete?
            As an aside I would pick the following order for electricity generation in New Zealand. Geothermal, Hydro, Gas fired, Nuclear and then Wind. Solar and Tidal might work if you were a long way from the grid but I don’t think they make sense otherwise. No Oil fired and no Coal fired though.
            Incidentally what is the reference to ‘on drugs’? I don’t get it.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep, I saw that and wondered WTF. The actual number of eagles killed is minuscule (~10 per year across 20 states) and so normal population increase would probably take care of it. Of course, there’s not a hell of a lot left that normal about the Bald and Golden eagles as they’ve been driven to the brink of extinction.

          Still, you’d have thought that they would have continued on with the successful breeding program that they had going:

          The center started breeding with one pair and began studying their behavior, functioning, and other areas to make this a successful rehabilitation program. In 1988, the program was stopped due to their success in increasing the number of eagles in the environment. At this time the bald eagles had started breeding naturally.

          I haven’t found any definitive numbers and I can’t imagine either the power companies nor the wind power enthusiasts want it known

          I do want to know actually.

          • aerobubble

            Eventually the evolutionary pressure on birds would increase their ability to hear the specific noise related to wind farms. Just as the wings of birds that dodge cars shortened a little. But as to oil spills, its much harder for birds to adapt to oil since they is no clear ‘killing’ selector.

          • alwyn

            About the only thing I could find was a DOC paper published in January 2009 which said, in great detail and going on for about 50 pages. “We don’t know because we have never looked”.
            I’m sorry but I didn’t record the reference. It wasn’t very informative though.

          • Murray Olsen

            The numbers are pretty miniscule. Strangely enough, it’s only when wind power gets involved that RWNJs and fuel companies worry about bird deaths. I remember reading something a while ago and thinking, if the figures were right, I would have seen clouds of feathers and piles of rotting flesh around all the wind turbines in Germany. In actual fact, windows kill a hell of a lot more birds.


            • alwyn

              I would agree that anyone who objects to bird deaths from wind farms, but not deaths from oil spills would fit the definition of a RWNJ. Equally of course someone who objects to any deaths from oil spills but ignores the ones from a wind farm fits the definition for a LWNJ.
              I don’t actually know anyone whose sole objection to wind farms is one of bird deaths. Most of the ones opposing them are of course NIMBYs. Wind power to them is great, as long as they can’t see it. A few, generally engineering types, oppose them on the grounds of inefficiency or CO2 production in making them.
              Most people take a fairly pragmatic approach of course. They don’t want to see species, usually the cuddly looking ones, becoming extinct but regard a few bird deaths as worth it to them for getting the benefits of modern technology.
              Of course, if you really hold that we must do anything to prevent a living species becoming extinct you would have to argue that we must not try and get rid of the smallpox, or the HIV viruses. Anyone willing to argue that we must leave them alone?

        • Daveosaurus

          If you’re serious about birds you’d be much better off joining Gareth Morgan in his anti-cat crusade rather than worrying about wind farms. I’d be just about certain that the number of kiwi, takahe or kakapo inconvenienced in any way by wind farms is, and will remain, a big fat zero.

  6. vto 6

    5% of deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico have suffered oil spills.

    1 in every 20.

    That is the statistic of an industry out of control

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Actually this is:

      Government officials in charge of collecting royalties from oil companies accepted ski holidays and other gifts from the firms they were meant to be regulating, as well as using cocaine and having sex with industry executives, according to an official report released yesterday.

      The inspector general’s investigation found a “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” operating at the mineral management service (MMS), the government agency charged with regulating oil companies.


    • aerobubble 6.2

      Worse, I heard the deeper the depth of the ocean the more accidents, and they are prospecting in even deeper water than usual. Also, we’re on the ring of fire, the Mexico gulf is not.

  7. PG 7

    Thanks OAK. That is so funny. Sounds like leaving it out of your marriage vows. A Claytons ‘agreement’ when you don’t have one at all. Or, you have one but it’s meaningless! Face it, we’re stuffed.

  8. veutoviper 8

    JOHN BANKS JUDICIAL REVIEW (heading; not shouting)

    For those interested in this, the High Court hearing is in two days’ time on Wednesday, 27 November.

    Graeme Edgeler has written up a well-worth reading and comprehensive Q & A post on Public Address on the legal aspects of the review following the issue of a minute by Judge Heath (who is hearing the HC judicial review) to the parties to the case.


    Penny Bright provided a link to Judge Heath’s minute in OM on 10 November


  9. johnm 9

    This Government has brought in sanctions for beneficiaries. Here is the UK perspective as its their system Paula Bennett is copying.

    “Benefit Sanctions Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions in UK”

    “Stop the benefits cuts and sanctions

    “Why is this important?

    Absolute poverty, as in having no money at all, is all-encompassing, meaning it is almost impossible to think about anything else and it impacts on every area of life. Relationships with family and friends fracture, self-esteem is demolished, emotions range from stark terror to utter despair. Poverty removes the freedom to act rationally and assess situations in the long term and so creates its own vicious trap.
    Such is the psychological anguish of long term poverty that some people will spend money on drugs or alcohol rather than food just to block out a few hours of their life. Poverty therefore leads to more poverty, ill health and increasing isolation. Poverty leads to family breakdown, which leads to homelessness, to addiction, depression, self-harm, poor health, mental illness and so on until the individual is shattered beyond repair.
    In a society where there is no common land, it is a form of torture to deliberately inflict this state of being on anyone. Even the most ardent supporter of cut throat capitalism must, if they have any humanity at all, accept that to consciously reduce people to begging, sleeping in the streets or attempting suicide is a cruel and degrading punishment. We do not treat the vilest of child killers like this in prisons, yet to be poor, and unable to find a job, is now to face the full force of state inflicted economic terrorism.”


    I case in point:
    “I was made unemployed 8 weeks ago and have just had my benefit cut because I wasn’t on the online jobseekingsite for 5 days as I had no access to the laptop which they said is not an excuse I should have went looking for a computer and even though I told them I was at a second interview for a job for which I was told I would receive a phone call with a start date they said I wasn t doing enough and cut my benefit and made me feel like a scrounger. It is’nt my fault I am unemployed.”

    • greywarbler 9.1

      That’s really bad. Good luck with opportunities to get out of it. We must have a change here.
      We must get a Labour/Green government that will change this attitude to welfare!

      And though individuals like Paula B get named, the NACTS are behind it. behind her. They have engineered a jobless society to advance themselves, and in their economic model unemployment is an externality that is somebody else’s problem. Sorry that you are getting such shit from this rent-seeking government.

      (investopedia on line – Rent-seeking – When a company, organization or individual uses their resources to obtain an economic gain from others without reciprocating any benefits back to society )

    • johnm 9.2

      Just a clarification the 1 case in point is a person in the UK not me, fortunately! 🙂

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      Apart from being inhumane, benefit cuts, and in fact cuts to any spending into the grass roots community, are major brakes on economic activity. You’d think that after 5 years of austerity those in charge would have figured out it doesn’t work.

      (To be realistic, austerity is extremely good at upward wealth redistribution).

      • greywarbler 9.3.1

        True, upward is the way. Why waste it on the poor who will only spend it on drink, drugs, trinkets and beads instead of keeping fit and ready so that they can be available when it is deigned to allow them to do some work. Remember Danilo Dolci in Southern Italy upsetting the controllers there by organising the unemployed to take their own shovels and work on the roads without pay. An unemployment strike in reverse, a gesture against being cheated out of a useful productive life as wage earners.

        The wealthy however are content to sit back, complain about having to pay anything for others without their wealth and enjoy perhaps fine malt whisky, pleasures in the box at the sports, fine meals with exquisite taste, blah blah. A Listener advert from 2005 exemplifies this. Chartered Accountants with slogan Count on Growth Ad No.ICA122205 CAPICHE uses Ferran Adria a restaurant owner and chef near Barcelona as an exemplar of success. His technique in the chemistry of food is a business lesson – ‘It’s not until you know all the rules that you’ll start to make exciting discoveries.’ The Golden Rule especially.

        So many people who are working and earning are ashperashunal to end up mixing with those who spend lots of dosh and the rest of the world is just a backdrop. The restaurant owner they patronise might have thought and generosity extending to allowing a certain group or person to dive in their kitchen waste dump, but that might pose problems to the security of the area and the tone of the business, so maybe not.

        We need to raise ordinary people to a status of art forms, so that when the rich see other humans, they see something special and wonderful worth paying for. That’s a way to extract some financial flow from superior persons perhaps. Bene mother with blue headscarf and baby in the theme of Madonna and child etc.

        • Draco T Bastard

          We need to raise ordinary people to a status of art forms, so that when the rich see other humans, they see something special and wonderful worth paying for.

          Actually, we need to do the exact opposite. We need to get people to see the rich as the bludgers that they are and that we can’t afford them.

          • greywarbler

            Yeah, yeah you always have such high-flown ideas, sheesh. /sarc

            and RT
            Well I’ll just keep muttering on and some kind person may take some notice and give me the sort of NZ I would like to see before I die, probably in a decade or so.

        • Rogue Trooper

          have you been peeking in my window gw?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2

        You’d think that after 5 years of austerity those in charge would have figured out it doesn’t work.

        That depends upon what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying toget the economy going again then, sure, it doesn’t work. If, on the other hand, you’re just trying to make the rich richer then it works fine as the desperation brought on the poor by austerity will help lower wages.

    • infused 9.4

      nevermind, see it’s about the uk

    • johnm 9.5

      A case in point this sanction is in the form of harassment: happening here in NZ. The excuse is a mistake was made. Mistakes are a common way to harass bennies in the UK system. The hope is you’ll just give up and not make the effort to get your benefit reinstated. It’s all about making being on a benefit hard going as they see you having an easy time as if living on a pittance is an easy time!

      “Winz forces Hamilton family to prove sons still disabled
      ‘To have to prove this is silly’ ”


      ” Attention, Work and Income managers and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett: Muscular dystrophy is not a condition that somehow goes away.
      A Hamilton family are frustrated by Work and Income bureaucracy after the government department threatened to put a stop to disability payments for their two teenaged boys unless they can prove they still have their condition.

      Hamish Taylor, 17, and his 15-year-old brother Austin have duchenne muscular dystrophy. Its symptoms including muscle weakness and wasting.They will have to live with it for the rest of their lives.
      And that’s the message the boys’ exasperated father Steve has been struggling to get through to staff at Work and Income, after the organisation’s Hamilton Community Link service contacted them to say support for Austin had been stopped because they had not received confirmation from a medical specialist that he still had muscular dystrophy.

      “I just don’t understand why they want us to keep proving they have a disability,” he said. ”

      The harassing condition is as follows one which is patently ludicrous: “Winz threatened to put a stop to disability payments for their two teenaged boys unless they could prove they still have their condition.”

      • Tim 9.5.1

        I’m afraid if and when we do get a coalition government that starts to remedy some of the atrocities inflicted on beneficiaries, they may also have to enforce cultural change within WINZ – even if it’s by way of redundancies amongst managerial staff. May even have to restructure.
        At least it’d be some sort of atonement by the Labour Party for the do nothing stance taken in the 3rd term last time they held the reins.
        After their emabracing the neo-lib religion in the 80’s, followed by Ruthenasia, it was always going to take a while to reverse much of the damage. It’s going to take a while, and a demonstration by Labour that they intend returning to their social well-being roots before I can forgive them for taking my 2005 vote for granted. They should really be starting NOW by announcing policy.

        • greywarbler

          As I understood it the line that post neo lib Labour was to take, was encourage business and not fetter with regulations, and to look after social security so that it aided while any changeover in business practice was happening, and maintained a healthy population with opportunities for enterprise and a good life. An efficiently running country with good welfare assistance and happy, busy people. So what happened? Decreased dosage of Ruthanasia really.

          • Tim

            ….. which is nothing like what we actually got.

            I don’t believe we actually got to a ‘post neo-liberalism’ – it’s alive and well amongst careerist Labour politicians, and most National politicians (most of whom haven’t got two original ideas to rub together between any pair of them).

            Neo-liberalism hasn’t just infected the economy – it’s affected the culture – including the vehicles by which a society interacts (such as language and media).
            Thankfully people are waking up (I think its Chris Trotter on TDB that outlines some of the growing resistance to it – in the UK and elsewhere).

            You’ll know the drill – trickle down that didn’t;
            privatisation of anything not tied down on the basis that it was more efficient and effective when it wasn’t (20 years of bailouts and rescues of natural monoplies – mainly due to profit taking/clipping the ticket/lack of re-investment/maintenance);
            invention of new language to describe the same old shit when the current buzz becomes embarrassing: Trickle down/’job creators-[private business ONLY]’
            …..’learnings'[when LESSONS didn’t get learned, we needed a new word] …… the list is endless……
            (more recently): ….. “mis-selling” for fcuks sake!!!

            All code for fraud; maintenance of a status quo amongst a comfortably off – no matter the cost; greed; avarice; sustained RATHER THAN sustainABLE growth given Earth’s finite resources in a world of increasing population; a terrorist label applied to anything that attempts to resist;
            the easing of consciences from a generation that professed socially liberal values, peace, love and goodwill to all mankind but delivered slavery to their offspring in order to maintain their comfort; A US of A: freedom! for fucks sake!
            …. politicians (and MSM) so fundamentally dishonest that they’ve caused their electorates and audiences to completely disengage
            the commodification of EVERYTHING in the name of a valueless $, including the spiritual, the cultural – indeed humanity itself (e.g. symbols such as tattoos with specific meanings really only understood by minorities sold and applied to others on the basis that they ‘look mean man’; etc, etc, etc.)

            It’d be understandable if people got depressed by it all (Oh, btw – there’s a synthetic solution for that as well – at a cost).
            Better to just be amused by it all and realise that its all self-defeating. The sooner the better because what freaks me is that the longer it goes on and the more pervasive it is, the more violent its end will be.

            There were signs Cunliffe recognised the effects early on after his rise to power.
            I wonder lately whether he’s meeting resistance from the old guard, or whether he’s simply being very clever – I hope its the latter.

            • Tim

              Christ Almightly! I was thinking – we wonder WHY the rise in religious fundamentalsim – now THERE’S something a neo-lib agenda never anticipated or had a solution to other than that ‘land of the free’s’ policy of nuke em – the 21st century’s KKK option – peanut buttered by Uncle Thom and Michele (with two delightful daughters who are unfortunately learning the mantra in a very WASP White House bubble.)


    • Rogue Trooper 9.6

      this cat came back, too

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Very disappointing that Labor in-fighting as well as big stumbles around their Climate Change promises gifted the election to the right wing.

      • Murray Olsen 10.1.1

        Labor also put a lot of effort into outflanking Abbott on the right, particularly with refugees. The loss of a philosophical basis for their policies and the internal sabotage by Krudd and Latham pretty much gifted the country to Abbott and his knuckle draggers.

        • Tat Loo (CV)

          You mean that heading to the right at flank speed didn’t successfully enchant the ‘swinging’ centre? What a surprise. all this shows is that Labour Parties all over the world need to ditch whoever they’ve been using as advisors.

    • Ake ake ake 10.2

      He is a bloody embarrassment here, turning the distinguished office of Australian PM into “contempt” and “ridicule”.

      The Indonesians in Rakyat Merdeka have caricatured him as Peeping Tom and wanking:

      “The appearance of the image on the front page suggests that, in the eyes of the newspaper’s editors, the spying scandal and breakdown of relations between the countries has made Australia in general, and Mr Abbott in particular, into objects of contempt and ridicule.”


      • Ake ake ake 10.2.1

        And Tony can look forward to picking up his million when he is soon booted out office …

        (Btw, how much do NZ ex-PMs cost?)

        Million Dollar PMs

        KEVIN RUDD $200,000 pension plus estimated $300,000-a-year office and travel costs

        JULIA GILLARD $200,000 pension plus estimated $300,000-a-year office and travel costs

        JOHN HOWARD $250,000 pension plus $300,000 a year in office and travel costs.

        PAUL KEATING $140,000-a-year office, travel, phone costs + pension

        BOB HAWKE $130,000-a-year in office, travel, phone costs + pension

        MALCOLM FRASER $220,000-a-year office, travel, phone + pension

        GOUGH WHITLAM $125,000-a-year office, travel, phone + pension*

        Source: Department of Finance documents.


      • Tiger Mountain 10.2.2

        That is one hilarious ’toon, so wickedly childish and Abbott certainly deserves it, but, the Indonesians are serious offenders in the ‘dish it out but can’t take it” stakes.

      • Murray Olsen 10.2.3

        Ironically, the spying the Indonesians found out about happened under Krudd. If Abbott was any different, he would have had a party at Krudd’s expense. The fact that he didn’t shows that you couldn’t slide a cigarette paper between the positions the two parties take when it comes to bending their people over for the seppos.

    • tc 10.3

      Tony and Malcolm were both unelectable until Gillard/Rudd took it upon themselves to have a civil war and implode Labor federally and the fallout will continue.

      Oz electorate banks on senate protecting them from serious damage emerging from the lower house, this may or may not prove to be the case this time with the Palmer cabal holding sway.

  10. greywarbler 11

    Phil Goff a bit too happy about TPPP. He’s certain that our negotiators will be protecting our pharmaceutical screen and buying methods.

    What about all the other ways the USA can gain advantage with TPPP. They can take over our consciousness, our ability to understand and comprehend what is happening to us – they already dominate our radio news. We know more about every gun mishap and storm damage in the USA than the total remainder of the world. Their news is likely to appear before ours on our own radio news.

    With TPPP their ways and businesses will infiltrate our systems, including education, and of course what was started in 1984 originated from the USA with help from disturbed people fleeing from change and oppression of one sort like Hayek and Rand to creating another sort with the illusion of freedom. (I see that Pres George Bush gave Sam Walton an award for Freedom for being such a clever businessman and making lots of money. That’s what ‘freedom’ is about in the USA.)

    The USA would deny us any self-direction that is left, if not our country. They came (already) they saw (Timaru and the attractive scenery) they con…..

  11. greywarbler 12

    Sports commentators have language choices that are special to them. I noticed the use of ‘transpired’ instead of ‘happened’ like – What transpired was amazing.

  12. Penny Bright 13

    What is Colin Craig’s PROVEN track record on opposing privatisation and asset sales?

    Can Colin Craig be trusted in his purported opposition to asset sales?

    I say NO.



    Andrea Vance interviews Colin Craig. He is clearly after NZ First voters:

    The other – less palatable – coalition option for Key is NZ First. And Craig, at 45, sees himself as a fresh-faced alternative to political warhorse Winston Peters, 68.

    He claims to be eating solidly into Peters’ core constituency of the older, socially conservative voter.

    Members have switched allegiance, particularly after NZ First’s annual conference in October, he says. “We are enjoying seeing Grey Power no longer invite Winston, but invite me instead . . . there is a sort of transition. We are slowly taking over that space.”

    Craig says one of the reasons Peters is in decline is that “he’s lost the mojo”.

    “He’s not the Winston he was . . . and I know he thinks he is going to be here till whenever, but there is a point at which you start to lose credibility . . . my impression is that he was, last time, the protest vote. Now we have offered that opportunity in a similar policy space.”

    Senior citizens appear to like Craig’s morally conservative views combined with an anti-asset sales stance.

    Don’t get sucked in folks!

    Sorry – but I for one DO NOT TRUST Colin Craig’s purported opposition to asset sales.


    In 2010, both Colin Craig and I were Auckland Mayoral candidates.

    At an Auckland Mayoral meeting, I asked Colin Craig to his face where did he stand on 35 year privatised contracts for water services.

    Colin Craig told me he was opposed to 35 year privatised contracts of water services, but supported shorter privatised contracts for water services, say for 5 years.

    Supporting privatised contracts for water services is supporting PRIVATISATION – end of story.

    (The contracting-out of water services is internationally the most common form of water privatisation).
    Can Colin Craig be trusted in his purported opposition to asset sales?

    In my considered opinion, as a PROVEN anti-privatisation campaigner – I say NO.

    NZ First voters – (and others) BEWARE prospective politicians, especially those with no proven track record, telling you what you want to hear….

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

    (Currently in Sydney, getting ready to attend the 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference)


    • bad12 13.1

      It’s interesting that people including Colon Craig Himself continue to perpetrate the myth that Craig’s Conservatives will ‘eat into’ the NZFirst vote,

      The election results from 2008(when Craig didn’t stand), and 2011 from the Rodney electorate tell a completely different tale,

      Craig when comparing results between the two elections managed to hoover up 2000 votes from both Labour and National while only taking a couple of hundred off of NZFirst,

      My view is that NZFirst have a extremely committed ‘core vote’ of around 4.7% as evidenced by their vote in 2008 against the backdrop of the National/ACT attack against Peters,

      What added the other nearly 2% in 2011 i believe is in part some of the ‘flock’ returning to the Party and many who (a) voted NZFirst in an effort to destroy any chance of there being a ‘Govern alone National Government, and (b),some who saw the slim opportunity of ‘stealing’ the election out from under Slippery the PM’s nose,(and quite frankly came within a whisker of doing so)…

  13. Rogue Trooper 14

    from beneath the lid of The Herald look into the elderly-farming industry in New Zealand:
    -old people are more likely to end up in rest-homes in New Zealand than in any other country;
    38% aged 65 and over die in residential aged-care compared to 32% in Aus. and under 20% in most developed European and Asian nations.
    -Almost half ( 48%) of us can expect to spend time in an aged-care home or hospital before we die.
    -Aged-care prescription rates for medications are 42% above international benchmarks: Grant Thornton Consultants, 2010.

    possibly not a well Country For Old Men

    • tc 14.1

      Not a well country right now, after placing 2 parents in aged care the choices were poor the availability was worse and what we went through once there was very depressing for all of us.

      Unlike other cultures we don’t look after our folks at home when they age we look to outsource it and the hospital system here didn’t give an F. Just wanted them gone but they weren’t allowed to go home.

      Killing night ed classes robbed the elderly of a valuable outlet for the still sharp minds and able bodies with time and resources at their disposal.

      • Rogue Trooper 14.1.1

        cynically, for a change, 😉 joining the stitches that comprise the throw-over this sector is revealed as, suggests it is very unlikely there will be improvements in this sector for all but the well-off, particularly in view of the economic rationales being further advanced for prioritizing care for infants and children. My personal story is that, even after all that washed under the bridge between my folks and I, the offer has still been made to care for them if they called; it is what I’m competent at after all; Time will tell.
        Furthermore, costs- rates, insurances, power, food,- just seem to continue to increase for the retired on fixed, modest incomes.
        If only, representatives with real political clout and respect could plaster these realities before the eyes of the population simultaneously and wake them the f#*k up!
        Still, none so blind, hold on, we’re in for an ambulatory ride.

        btw, There is the ‘University of the Third Age’ interest group for mature and retired folk to be involved in.

        ps, tc, I have trained, and worked in aged-care; had to leave, found it too depressing and upsetting personally, clients in tears, neglected etc.

        • tc

          Yes and this was an expensive aged facility in central auckland which simply hoovered up their money as we couldn’t convince them the merits of putting their house etc in a family trust decades ago.

          So they pay a lifetime of taxes, rates etc (both always under wages) and then pay it out to be looked after in their dottage. Looking around the facility and dealing with it’s so called ‘care managers’ just made your blood boil

          Other aged relatives are now really struggling with rising rates, power, insurances and water as that used to be free till now. The world also doesn’t like them using cheques or paying in person anymore so charges them for that privilege now also.

          • Rogue Trooper

            yes, when I have to negotiate the maze of paying online etc, I often think of how difficult this must be for the generations that have lived without IT for almost all their lives until recently; I find it frustrating at times. I still go and pay accounts in hard-copy, get a receipt, at Post-shop; have discussed with their staff the implications of NZPost rationalizations for older people.
            The biggest taker of lives- Stress.
            After The Thrill is Gone , and I’m outta hair, I’m outta here! 😀

            • Tim

              and BB with it.

            • tc

              ‘…how difficult this must be for the generations that have lived without IT for almost all their lives until recently…’

              Impossible for most who distrust the web and come from a world of documentation not PDF’s and hosted data. GCSB hasn’t helped.

              • Rogue Trooper

                It is appropriate to “distrust” the web; scams abound across a multitude of forums- banking, finance, ransom access, relationships, charity, Trade Me; I only ever enter on here what I’d be prepared to defend in a public RL forum now. Begin as one intends to go on.

          • Colonial Viper

            Record interim profit for Ryman Healthcare

            Apparently the system works very well for some.


          • joe90

            Yes and this was an expensive aged facility in central auckland which simply hoovered up their money as we couldn’t convince them the merits of putting their house etc in a family trust decades ago.

            Having endured my own personal hell dealing with elderly parents I feel an enormous amount of sympathy for you and your family but the notion that people squirrel away their loot with an expectation that the taxpayer will pick up the tab makes me very fucking angry.

            The requirement that individuals use their own resources to pay for their residential care until they reach the mandated threshold is reasonable enough and those who game the system do so at the expense of ordinary working people.

            • Rogue Trooper

              caring for them at home joe, or finding a facility that you had confidence in?

            • joe90

              Both RT, mum lived on her own up until the last week of her life but I had to quit work to look after dad in our own home for two years until he required ever increasing levels of care and he spent another six years in assisted then residential and finally secure care.

              The child becomes the parent thing, financial stress and relationship stresses were tough enough but the real nightmare was jumping through the hoops to obtain rest home care.

              • Rogue Trooper

                yes, the child frequently becomes the parent, yet It is certain your parents were in your good hands.
                Being the way-in-the-world that we are, my best (female) mate and I are committed to avoiding burdening folk with these issues if possible, yet, even that choice can be difficult if circumstances remove personal volition. Alzheimers and dementia, hard for the emotionally proximate to witness when socialization rarely prepares us in the first-world for such losses of dignity and function.

  14. Huginn 15

    Have you ever wondered about how John Key ended up with a Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill that he didn’t understand?


    • tc 15.1

      Same way the banking lobby groups wrote the recent US legislation that releases their ‘controls’ so they can go off the range and derivative themselves up all over again because the last time went sooo well.

    • Anne 15.2

      Interesting TV3 news item:


      “I’m not going to go through all the details of what I might or might not know. But I’m comfortable with the way our agencies operate and I’m comfortable they’re not breaking the law.”

      Of course Key’s comfortable. They WERE breaking the law but he’s changed it now so they’re NOT breaking the law.

      I was amused by Patrick Gower’s comment to the effect that what was happening under John Key was also happening under Helen Clark. One difference I suspect Patrick. John Key knew about it. It’s unlikely Helen Clark knew about it.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 15.2.1

        Thx for the link Anne. So Key is “comfortable” that our agencies are not breaking the (shitty invasive) laws that he had passed under urgency and against massive public outcry? Oh yay for him.

    • Tim 15.3

      “Have you ever wondered about how John Key ended up with a Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill that he didn’t understand?’
      Actually NO, I didn’t wonder why – I took it for granted.
      That noice Mr Key knows what’s best for us.
      I’ve got noting to hide anyway, and I’m sure nobody else I come across day to day has either.
      I’m Muddle Class after all …. I’m esprayshnul …… I’ve got a vusion and Oim on a Mussion to sikcede – js like JK.
      I’m confident that sooner or later those assholes holding me back will be branded for life with the terrorist label they deserve.
      If John can do it – why so can I!
      God, Allah! he’s the Messiah ain’t he?

      Bow down! What a bloody silly question anyway Huginn! Have I EVER wondered about John Key indeed!
      Why NEVER, not EVER

  15. lolitas brother 16


    [lprent: Stupid troll resumes trolling after ban. Now banned permanently. ]

  16. lolitas brother 17


    [lprent: Troll resuming after last ban. Now banned permanently as being a complete fool. ]

  17. bad12 18

    Wow i got a letter today from the Green Party’s new National Campaign Director, being a member of the party that ain’t exactly unusual, what is tho, unusual that is, is the mouthful i would like to spit Ben’s way for the ‘thinking’ surrounding the elongated ask for a donation,

    What chance i would like to ask Ben,(the new National Campaign Director), has the Green Party got of ‘winning’ the electorate seat of Christchurch East in the upcoming by-election, the question of course is entirely rhetorical as i plan myself to provide ‘Ben’ with the only logical answer,

    NONE, not a f**king snowballs chance in hell have the Green Party got of ‘winning’ the Christchurch East by-election and there is the same chance that ‘Ben’ is going to get me to part with any dollars He kindly informs me will in part be used to contest this by-election,

    There could only be one result of a highly successful Green Party campaign in the Christchurch East by-election and that would be a win, as the left vote split, for the National Party candidate,

    Contesting electorate seats for smaller parties in an MMP enviroment is in my opinion the politics of the Neanderthal and in Christchurch East electorate it is my view that if anything the Green Party should be campaigning FOR the election of the Labour candidate while giving a BIG reminder to voters to Party vote Green in November 2014,

    Seriously which??? electorate seat do the Green Party have any chance of winning any time soon, again an entirely rhetorical question as anyone of us with the smallest inkling knows that there are none and if the Green Party want to give it’s candidates a taste of coal face politics and electioneering they should confine their electorate efforts to ‘safe’ National held seats as any votes they manage to chisel from within such electorates would be a real bonus and boost to ‘the left’,

    Russell Norman in the Rongotai electorate is currently what i see as the only seat in the forseeable future that the Green Party could hope to win in and that will be entirely at the whim of when the encumbant Labour’s Annette King decides to retire…

    • Rogue Trooper 18.1

      King’s remounted, and ready to ride into campaign.

    • weka 18.2

      Bad, they’re not doing it to win the seat, they’re doing it to raise the GP profile for the next general election (they’re also building profile for candidates who may be an MP in the future). It is a smart move, unless, as you say, they split the vote and let National take the seat (haven’t looked at the numbers). But even then, it might still be worth it to them, as that extra seat doesn’t give National any more voting advantage, but still allows the GP to increases its party vote next time round.

      I don’t think the GP considers itself a ‘smaller’ party any more. And I doubt that there is any advantage to actively helping the Labour candidate win, unless Labour are willing to offer concessions as well next year.

      • weka 18.2.1

        BAKER, Leighton CNSP 522
        BRITNELL, Michael ALCP 254
        DALZIEL, Lianne LAB 15,559
        GILMORE, Aaron NAT 10,225
        MATHERS, Mojo GP 1,347
        MILLER, Johnny UFNZ 108

        Labour Party 9,100
        National Party 13,252
        Green Party 3,359
        United Future 160
        ACT New Zealand 101
        Alliance 28
        Democrats for Social Credit 22
        Libertarianz 17
        Mana 63
        Māori Party 84
        New Zealand First Party 1,801


      • bad12 18.2.2

        My view is as i say above, if the Green Party want to ‘blood’ candidates with electioneering experience they would better serve themselves and the ‘left’ in general by doing this electioneering in safe National seats, any votes the Green Party could chisel from such electorates are in reality worth 2 votes…

  18. aerobubble 19

    Is there a hoover craft service from wellington to the south island?

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    In 2008 John Key made two promises regarding wages. One was quietly to businesses to lower wages and the other was loudly to the people of NZ to raise wages. Considering what has actually happened it’s fairly obvious which one he kept.

    The wage gap is now the highest on record and has increased by $90 since John Key took office, promising to close the gap.

    If you really want a brighter future, kick National out of power and keep them out.

    • aerobubble 20.1

      Stand downs and 50% benefit limits… …but when a employee dies on the job, why no 10 day standdown of all work (full pay). That’ll kick bosses to raise standards, oops… ….or is it just for the untouchables?

  20. Morrissey 21

    Kennedy cult “would impress Kim Il-Sung”
    by NOAM CHOMSKY, 23 November 2013

    Daniel Falcone: Do you find it odd that the country is focusing on a 50th anniversary remembrance of the Kennedy assassination?

    Noam Chomsky: Worship of leaders is a technique of indoctrination that goes back to the crazed George Washington cult of the eighteenth century and on to the truly lunatic Reagan cult of today, both of which would impress Kim Il-sung. The JFK cult is similar.

    Daniel Falcone: What does it mean that popular media treat such a date with such unusual honor?

    Noam Chomsky: Simply that we live in a deeply indoctrinated society.

    Daniel Falcone: Do other countries find it odd that we commemorate such a day?

    Noam Chomsky: Others are not all that different, though American patriotic displays do amuse (or surprise, or frighten) the world. In part, it’s just confusion. He’s very popular among African-Americans; some are unaware of his actual role in the civil rights struggles – which was not pretty. But in part, it’s among intellectuals – and JFK understood very well that if you pat them on the head and pretend you love them, you’ll get a good image. It worked like a charm.

    Daniel Falcone: There are over 40,000 books on Kennedy in print and more than ten titles out currently. They are either about his legacy or his death, or they counter factual history. Is this because the real history of Kennedy would be too hideous to recall?

    Noam Chomsky: The true history has been so effectively suppressed that it’s not a reason for the counterfactual history.

    Daniel Falcone: One author, Jeff Greenfield, writes about how Kennedy would have been different in his second term. This is repeated in media and movies over and over again. Why?

    Noam Chomsky: Probably because the actual record is so awful.

    Read more….

  21. Paul 22

    Anadarko protest: Technical issues delay deep sea drilling

    Deep sea exploration oil drilling off the Waikato coast has been delayed by “technical issues”, Texas-based oil company Anadarko says.


    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Waiting for OPVs to arrive is “technical.”

      • McFlock 22.1.1

        Would OPVs have to give way to sail, too? 🙂

        Wouldn’t it be awesome if the NZDF decided that their best course legal of action was to sail out in a flotilla of sailing ships in order to do a passive-aggressive “you’ve gotta give way!” “No YOU’VE gotta give way” contest.
        I suggest using the Spirit of NZ, or maybe an Endeavour replica.

        nice of the drillers to say that the protest isn’t interfering with the operation, though. Could help the protestors if they eventually face a court case

        • Naturesong

          IIRC a sailing vessel has to give way to a vessel engaged in fishing.

          Seems the easiest thing would be to have a couple of fishing boats sheppard the Noble Bob Douglas into position..

  22. Rogue Trooper 23

    According to the news, from tomorrow people will be able to access audit reports by the M O H of Residential Care Homes.

    btw, The Aged Care Association are concerned that family will find it hard to understand the 90 page reports, and recommendations, that will be available on each of them. Touching.

    • greywarbler 23.1

      Lifting heavy weights is good for bone density build up, prevents osteoporosis. Probably that’s at the nub of the report. Where is the nub then so you can go straight to it? Easy, a child of five could find it. Hey, send for a child of five.

  23. amirite 24

    The wonderful lifestyle of a beneficiary (being sarcastic):


    • karol 24.1

      Thanks for the link, amirite. A mother, on benefits, has $8 to feed her family after losing her job. (And then there was the stand down period.)

      Craig Foss: showing he is really in touch with the realities of poverty and the availability of relevant government (and other?) services.

      Living in poverty was not an isolated issue. Last week a Wairarapa woman was caught “dumpster diving” in a supermarket skip to feed her children.

      Tukituki MP Craig Foss said situations such as Kelly’s were extremely difficult, but there were plenty of organisations offering services to lessen the blow.

      “It’s pretty challenging, but there are a raft of assistant options, and Government agencies … all of those are about helping people during those tough periods and getting them up out of those circumstances.”

      PS: for the righties who mention her mortgage and her car: for the weekly amount she pays on her mortgage, I doubt a mother with children would find rental accommodation in Auckland anywhere near as low as that. It’s tough out there.

      • greywarbler 24.1.1

        Foss might one day discover – everything costs money. If you can get something free it’s rare. And that raft – they often fall apart, rafts.

        And how does one approach these agencies. Do you ring up and listen to all the options and then hope you chose the right one and then get a minute of pop music and then a person and you go to say all the things you have written down but they don’t want to know and tell you you don’t qualify and to phone someone else and you ask if they have the number and…. And all that and you have only rung one number.

        Is there an office you can go and visit. Yes and they can give you an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. But the power might be cut off by then, and you only have some money for some milk and the bus, and the bus back the next day. Where can you get some food for the kids, you have bread and cheese but you hoped you could do better for the main meal.

        It’s painful working through all these things, knowing that some people always have sufficient in the bank to buy the luxury things they want. You know they can’t understand your life. And the family won’t overlook that you didn’t go home for the family funeral, they know you are a beneficiary but they still expected you to get there, and who would look after the children left at home as it would be too far for them to travel?

        Multiple anxieties at any given time, in the here and now, and no way can you think of the future or you would give up completely. (This is an amalgam of just one parent’s possible problems.)

  24. Macro 25

    Along with the CO2 widget on the the page I wonder if it is possible to display the “Additional Heat added since 1998” widget – described and available here:

  25. Draco T Bastard 26

    Tony Abbott quietly shifts UN position to support Israeli settlements, upsetting Palestinians

    The Abbott government has swung its support further behind Israel at the expense of Palestine, giving tacit approval to controversial activities including the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
    Acting on instructions from Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, government representatives at the United Nations have withdrawn Australia’s support for an order to stop ”all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories”.

    Such a moral government decision.

    Many within the international community regard the expansion of Israeli settlements as an act of hostility towards Palestinians, hampering the likelihood of peace.

    It’s an outright act of war.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      The Coalition is getting smashed in the polls for good reason. Labor frakked up the lead up to the election big time.

  26. Colonial Viper 27

    No place at the table for half-arsed feminists, thanks

    After talking to these young women, we wrote a column criticising academic feminists’ use of alienating terms such as “intersectionality” on the basis that most people don’t understand them. “Intersectionality” basically means taking into account the way different systems of oppression – race, class, disability, sexual orientation – relate to one another. The article raised issue with the language, not the concept, but because we deigned to criticise the method of communication, we were deemed racist. It was very difficult, because I fundamentally believe that we have a problem with representation that needs to be tackled and feminism needs to be for everyone, but having a platform means that people without one direct their anger at you, at your face and at your writing, and, as a half-arsed feminist, I’m still learning how to cope with the pressure to represent everyone, all the time.


  27. Would the person who comments here, please stop spamming my blog, if not at least have enough courage to leave your crap under a name and not anonymously.

    Apart from that, “GO the KIWIS”

    The kangaroos are in for a world of hurt.

    • Draco T Bastard 28.1

      You do realise that, it being your blog, you don’t have to accept anonymous replies just like this site doesn’t don’t you?

    • felix 28.2

      What are they leaving?

      • Te Reo Putake 28.2.1

        Intelligent comments?

      • fender 28.2.2

        What are they leaving?

        Loss of traction skid marks in their rush to leave?

        Intelligent comments?

        How would he know?

        It’s a ploy to get someone to visit?

        Save the Kiwis! Please don’t make them go, they are lovely birds.

        Stop violence towards kangaroos, they don’t deserve to be hurt.

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