Open mike 26/02/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 26th, 2021 - 177 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 up to the mike …

177 comments on “Open mike 26/02/2021 ”

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      Just remembering the part in Toy Story where the toys are joking that Tommy has unboxed a Mrs Potato Head.

    • millsy 1.2

      I don't see what problem this is supposed to solve.

      Is a ban effective when the poster who gets handed the ban only finds out about it after the ban is over?

      • Jimmy 1.2.1

        "I don't see what problem this is supposed to solve." Do you mean problem that Mr Potato head is no longer a Mr?

  1. Treetop 2

    It appears that Bridges wants to debate gangs with Coster and not with the minister of police.

    Is this going to be the tactic that National now use going after the top public servants?

    • Barfly 2.1

      Well the civil servants aren't allowed to fight back – probably the only fight National might manage to "win" – though even that is in doubt.

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        Is the Minister of Police on leave? Do we even have a Minister of Police? Who might that be? Can somebody please tell Simon Bridges and the National Party for that matter on whom to aim his callous attacks? Is he trying to seed discord between the Minister and the Commissioner?

      • Treetop 2.1.2

        Spot on.

  2. Adrian Thornton 3

    Leaked documents exposes UK government propaganda campaign against Russia.

    "After The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal reported on newly leaked documents exposing a massive UK government propaganda campaign against Russia, Twitter added an unprecedented warning label that the material "may have been obtained through hacking." Although Twitter may have intended to restrict the article, the warning had the opposite effect: it quickly went viral."

    • Stuart Munro 3.1

      And of course butter wouldn't melt in that nice Mr Putin's mouth.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1

        "And of course butter wouldn't melt in that nice Mr Putin's mouth."…are you just an actual idiot or are you just trolling? Let us just settle this once and for all…you go find one time when I have said anything that is in support of Putin or his government, if you can then I shut up about all this anti Russian/Putin propaganda…if you can't, then you stop pushing western anti Russian/Putin propaganda on this site…or if you are not willing to put your money where your mouth is, knowing full well that you are going to lose that challenge (just as your fellow Russiagate friends have already lost similar challenges ) then how about countering the actual substance of the leaked documents….if not any of the above, then how about you just don't comment to me in future.

        • Stuart Munro

          I am in fact very concerned by your incessant spreading of material in support of this murderous and invasive regime. As you put it:

          are you just an actual idiot?

          Never mind the western propaganda – there is nothing to admire or support in Putin's Russia.

          So what's your deal? Why circulate Putin's side of every story? Isn't a genocide and the poisonings and assassinations of multiple political opponents and journalists enough to make you reflect even briefly on your invariable choice to repeat his disinformation campaigns?

          Aside from your pathetic groveling to Russia you certainly give the impression of being progressive.

          How do you reconcile this behaviour? Are you simply a romantic, endlessly open to these risible conspiracy theories? Like the Covidiots?

          • alwyn

            "there is nothing to admire or support in Putin's Russia."

            That is a little bit harsh Stuart. I think there are some things. Alexei Navalny for example. He may not be perfect but, by returning to Russia as he has done, he is certainly displaying incredible courage and deserves our admiration for that.

          • mikesh

            "So what's your deal? Why circulate Putin's side of every story? Isn't a genocide and the poisonings and assassinations of multiple political opponents and journalists enough to make you reflect even briefly on your invariable choice to repeat his disinformation campaigns?"

            This seems a very ethnocentric sort of comment. But, without wishing to condone the assassinations, etc, I should point out that Russia is a very different country from Britain, and one that has not enjoyed the many centuries of democratic development that the latter has enjoyed.

            • Stuart Munro

              a very ethnocentric sort of comment

              There are, you know, some truths to be derived from culture.

              One of them is that organized crime has culturally bound tropes – Japanese criminals during their world cup were disproportionately involved in minor frauds like ticket scalping, and German and English offenders were overrepresented in brawling. Cocaine is a staple of Central American crime gangs, petrol thefts or swindles are characteristic of Russian crime gangs, and kidnapping of the original Sicilian mafia.

              Murders of journalists and opposition party members are almost routine in Russia; thus far NZ political culture has not added them to its repertoire.

          • Brigid

            " genocide and the poisonings and assassinations of multiple political opponents and journalists "

            You need to provide some evidence of this or one may think you are " simply a romantic, endlessly open to these risible conspiracy theories"

            • Stuart Munro

              I have provided you with such evidence before, but you have chosen to ignore it. But, lest your double standards sway casual observers:

              Murdered Russian journalists.

              Murdered Russian opposition figures.

              The Herald list is by no means exhaustive.

              • Brigid

                Is it not obvious to you how biased you are?

                Obviously not

                I'm suppose to except your articles from granny Herald and wikipedia while you refuse to read RT articles.

                You do know what the 'wiki' in wikipedia means don't you?

                I just cant be bothered with you.

                • Stuart Munro

                  You do know what the 'wiki' in wikipedia means don't you?

                  Yes. But when we're discussing state sanctioned murder, I expected that you would have enough grace not to try to split hairs. Evidently not.

            • mikesh

              Metaphorically speaking, ethnocentricity is a form of blindness.

              Incidentally, I see the British have now passed a law authorising their agents to commit crimes without having to face prosecution.

              • Stuart Munro

                Metaphorically speaking, ethnocentricity is a form of blindness.

                Yes of course – we must immediately embrace the culture of murderous authoritarians instead of defending the principles to which our society aspires. Does your moral relativism extend to Xi and the Uyghurs, or is China a bridge too far for you?

                • mikesh

                  Should we punish innocent Russian citizens by declaring war on Russia, imposing trade sanctions, or whatever, simply because we disapprove of its government's alleged crimes. Or are the people to be considered simply as collateral damage.

                  The "Russians", whom you seem to be obsessed with badmouthing, haven't committed any crimes.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Should we punish innocent Russian citizens…

                    Do you know, I haven't decided what should be done about Russia. But what we should not do, is pretend that a routinely dishonest and murderous regime is not dishonest and murderous.

          • Brigid

            " there is nothing to admire or support in Putin's Russia."

            I think you may be a little obsessed with Putin.

            Why is that?

            • Stuart Munro

              He represents a fatal danger to the progressive enterprise.

              He has no progressive merits, but readily suborns shallow, weak-minded people to his cause, who then proceed to choke Left discourse with apologies for his most recent atrocities.

          • Siobhan

            Its not Romantasism..its a desire for truth…

            For my part ..the problem with the Anti Putin rhetoric is that it dominates western media for absolutely no practicable purpose,…leaving the stories, the issues and the political intrigue we should be occupied with entirely sidelined.

            Just one aspect of this is the narrative around Russias supposed involvement/meddling in foreign elections. Sure, I have no doubt they do some of that, as do Western nations intervein in Russian politics…but just imagine if we had had daily updates from RNZ on the corruption and manipulations of the American political process by Americans(and not just Trump Bad) rather than the existential threat of Putin.

            Same with our coverage of UK politics…our news sources on a daily basis told us we are interested in skripal poisoning and Russian interference ..though apparently not the actual workings of the UK election. (..beyond some coverage Corbyn being an appalling prospect)

            And in all of these examples…our apparent interest seems to conveniently wain just around the time officials have to conced there is a total absence of viable, significant legal evidence to suport their terribly exciting narrative.

            Meantime us Western nations are left with our two major influencers (ie UK and America) in absolute self inflicted disarray, ill equipped to deal with the actual threats to peacful life on the planet

            I put it to you that our Democratic process would be far better served critiquing our Wester partners than obssesing about the existentialist threat of a sidelined nation such as Russia.

            This clip has been posted many times before..but I shall do it again ..remember this is something we would have laughed at a few years ago ..and I know this was about "policy"…yet here we are effect…still worrying about this supposed terrible threat to our way of Life!!


            • Stuart Munro

              It says much for the relevance of your argument that you have to go back to 1975 for your example of anti-Russian propaganda. Perhaps it is not as significant a trend as you assert.

              The fact is that Russia indulges in activities that are newsworthy. So does Kim Jong Eun. When that leader executes someone with an antiaircraft weapon, or Putin has someone assassinated, or funds trolls to support extremists in other countries, it tends to get reported. Moreover, Russian intelligence, being used to operating in countries with limited forensic resources and significant endemic corruption is readily detected when it carries out operations elsewhere.

              • Nic the NZer

                Umm, Stuart the youtube link is discussing the very latest examples of UK governments anti-Russia propaganda.

                • Stuart Munro

                  We must be wary of such dubious sources. Putin's Russia has a lot of astroturfing form: Duped by Russia, freelancers ensnared in disinformation campaign by promise of easy money | Reuters

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Reuters is one of the organisations implicated as involved by the leaks.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Oh of course – of course Russia seeks to impugn the most prestigious and professional news organization on the planet – its very existence threatens every dishonest narrative they publish.

                      The only reliable source must be those RT folk eh – no-one ever caught them lying through their teeth, or requiring a dishonest political line. Liz Wahl – Wikipedia

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      So your saying the leaked documents have been fabricated then?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ Nic – I have no idea what documents you are referring to.

                      And I'm not about to wade through an hour of RT tripe to find out.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Yes, well clearly your self inflicted ignorance is getting in the way of your ability to justify the position your defending.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yes, it's a great handicap – but not on a par with the mindless regurgitation that characterizes Putin dupes.

                      Do you have an actual case to make?

                      If so, present your evidence.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Your inability to deal with the claim about Reuters doesn't invalidate those claims.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Your refusal to produce evidence suggests that you have no confidence in its validity – or that you are persuadable sans evidence.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Well yes, but you have already refused to look at any of the article, video or even their summaries and related materials, so I can't really help you with that.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      you have already refused to look at any of the article, video or even their summaries and related materials

                      I have refused to trawl through an hour of RT bullshit – and you and your fellow dupes have declined to provide anything else – no doubt due to the paucity and flimsiness of your case.

              • Siobhan

                Um…thats entirely my point…we haven't moved on since 1975…

                but anyway…google 'DEMOCRATS MUELLER PROTESTS" (heaps, right?) now google this mix or variation thereof … 'DEMOCRATS TAX CUTS FOR RICH & CORPORATIONS COVID-19 RELIEF BILL PROTEST" (clue…never happened, though you might get some old shots of Bernie and Warren from way back))…

                Thats your example ..people on the streets with their leaders basicaly against Putin…not against political corruption by their own leaders..

                Though this could lead to a conversation about the American (and world wide)protests that do happen, but don't get covered for obvious reasons…but I'll save that for another day ..with Biden and co. in charge I'm sure that will be a major topic….

      • Brigid 3.1.2

        This is a common tactic of yours Stuart isn't it.

        You wont/can't debate the issue of UK government propaganda campaign against Russia so you make childish statement to deflect from the issue.

        Read the article and present a concise argument against it, if you can.

        • Stuart Munro

          The film clip Adrian supplied is over an hour long, but it is the work of one Blumenthal, a paid regular contributor to RT, the propaganda arm of the Russian state. He's not worth anyone's time.

          If you would care to present a brief summary of his allegations, I will happily check them out.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Of course he will not address the actual evidence of BBC,Reuters,Bellingcat being an active part of a coordinated British government covert operation to undermine Russia's sovereignty…so in other words, our Russiagate friends are outraged when Russia is accused if interfering in US/UK domestic affairs (though that has yet to be proven that this even happened on the scale Russia is accused of), yet when there is actual proof of the UK doing exactly that to Russia, suddenly it is fine..the hypocrisy of you lot is jaw dropping.

            As I have said many times, after watching and observing you guys for a while, it becomes very easy to see just how easy it was to recruit the proverbial 'camp guards'

            • McFlock

              If an RT shill said they weren't gulags they were butlins-style holiday camps filled with fun activities, you'd be singing the praises of Putin's outdoor recreation program.

              And posting hour long videos of a dude in a room telling the camera how awesome the camps are.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Aaahh..McFlock head camp guard..and who of course and as per usual doesn't address the actual issue…

                • McFlock

                  The actual issue is between you and your medical professionals, in my opinion.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    A pile of mid fifties war comics just arrived in the shop, was flicking through them at these thing are hard core cold war propaganda…would suit you and your fellow dumb headed cold war warriors perfectly,.

                    And here I was thinking that human kind was evolving upwards ever so slowly, you just blew that theory out the door, well done.

                    I can just see you and your up standing pals doing your civic duty and reporting fellow citizens to the authorities..yeah right up your ally, as I said you are born camp guard.

                    Turns out you and Ayn Rand have more in common than you probably thought…it comes as no surprise to me though.


                    • McFlock

                      I mean, you could actually use something other than an hour-long rant as supporting evidence for an explicit claim that you, yourself, make with your own words.

                      Heck, one day you might manage to make a comment that is:

                      • more coherent than a meth-head on magic mushrooms; and
                      • not accompanied by a random video.

                      To be fair, a lot of your comments don't have videos.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Well I would rather be on mushrooms every now and then, than be some sort of crazy old cold war warrior who obviously has never been bothered with an original thought in their entire life time.

              • Nic the NZer

                Nobody on RT would be so dumb as to imply that 'The Standard' is a butlins style holiday camp.

              • The Al1en

                I worked at a Pontins in Brixham for a few years.

                Gulag/Holiday park – Same difference lol

            • Stuart Munro

              Summarize your claim – I'm not giving RT 10 minutes of my life, much less an hour.

              • mikesh

                The confession of a closed mind. All credit to you for your willingness to admit it.

                • Stuart Munro

                  You've yet to present any evidence of anything whatsoever – whatever suits your laughable "Putin is Jesus" thesis I suppose.

                  But this is supposed to be a forum for serious political discussion. You claim you have evidence of something? Present it.

                  Don't expect me to spend hours trawling the intellectual sewer that is RT.

                  • mikesh

                    I have never made any claims regarding Putin, so I don't see why I should provide "evidence". I accept that Putin is pretty ruthless when it comes to retaining power, but I also see this as rather beside the point.

            • Siobhan

              I'm always surprised that no one brings up the undisputed fact of the United States "intervention" in the 1996 Russian elections…and the American lead IMF loan of US$10.2 billion that Boris and his mates squandered ..quite blatantly…and this is just one aspect of that involvement that is so undeniable it is allowed to exist on Wikipedia …. the idea that anything the UK or America does now is "okay", as if its the first retaliatory blow against an interfering regime in some new quite ridiculous.

              (and yes, that was American lead interference …but as everyone knows ..the UK is the money laundering hub for Russian elites and needs to be careful how it deals with and investigates Russian interference and, equaly manages its own covert operations.)

            • Stuart Munro

              I understand your reluctance Adrian, to get into the factual (or otherwise) basis of your claim. It must be so deflating watching RT's tawdry lies shrivel in the sunlight.

  3. Tricledrown 4

    Good one Putin get some of his own back.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.1

      @Tricledrown..see my comment to Stuart Munro above..that goes for you too…put up or shut up.

  4. Peter 5

    Last night I suppose Simon Bridges got about his business doing what he usually does.

    Cops all over the country were too. Like in Papatoetoe, many of them over quite some hours. Will he find something to complain about with their 'nuanced' policing?

  5. alwyn 6

    The Minister of Housing will be very happy.

    Auckland has risen from number 6 in this Housing survey in 2020 up to number 4 in 2021 report. Go team! Why, with the great strides being made by the current Government we will get up to Number 1 before this term is up. I'm sure that Megan Woods is in raptures.–2021-demographia-report

    • Sabine 6.1

      Well John Key wanted to make NZ an Island for the very rich and i guess he has achieved that.

      Oh, we are not to mention that the unaffordability of housing in NZ has been borne and has been fostered by the various National and Labour governments? My bad.

      • Incognito 6.1.1

        The rich love exclusivity; it makes them feel … rich.

      • alwyn 6.1.2

        "we are not to mention".

        Why on earth shouldn't you mention it? As far as I know Andrew Little hasn't put his hate speech laws through yet so you can't be prosecuted for saying something that causes unhappiness in one of our Lords and Masters.

        So go to it, while you can.

        • Sabine

          I just fixed your comment honey, if you want to put blame about the fact that Kiwis can't afford houses – be it to sell or to rent then you must put the blame on both parties.

          The National party for selling statehouses, their refusal to build state houses and such and the timidity of Labour to put a CGT, and other reforms.

          So yeah, you should have mentioned both parties. Bye now.

          • Incognito


          • alwyn

            Of course previous Governments headed by both major parties have stuffed up. However for the last three and a half years we have had a Labour led Government. The article I linked to covered the way things have got even worse this year than they were last year.

            National have not been in Government recently so you can't really expect them to do much about the situation. And John Key resigned as Prime Minister on 6 December 2016. Are you really suggesting he is responsible for things that are happening four and a quarter years later?

            • woodart

              "are you really suggesting he is responsible for things that are happening four and a quarter years later"? yes, those many thousands of new New Zealanders he let in to try and prop up his version of responsible economic management will continue to put severe pressure on all of our infrastructure(not just housing) for many years to come. just as the deregulation in the building industry in the nineties has led to 25 yrs of problems with leaky homes. just as max bradfords disasterous phuckups while trying to reform the electricity industry 25 yrs ago ,still are causing long term damage. perhaps you need to do less trolling and more reading and learning.

            • Janet

              Yes , no doubt about that one, at the time and now four and a half years later.

            • Jimmy

              Lol…many people on this site will be blaming John Key (alias the devil) still in 10 years time!

      • Incognito 6.1.3

        Yeah, take a leaf out of Alwyn’s book and let rip. FYI, Andrew Little has got no say over TS.

        • alwyn

          "Andrew Little has got no say over TS.".

          Not yet baby, not yet. That is why I suggested that she say whatever she wants to.

          However not having any say now doesn't affect the fact that he would like to have control in the future, when he can decide that anything he doesn't like being said is hate speech and can be punished. After all, when your skin is as thin as his seems to be he can be hurt by anything that isn't totally admiring of anything he does.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            However not having any say now doesn't affect the fact that he [Little] would like to have control in the future, when he can decide that anything he doesn't like being said is hate speech and can be punished.

            Oh look, another 'alwyn fact' – keep up the good work, while you still can laugh

            Edit: Maybe Newman’s opinion pieces are on Little’s ‘little list‘. They never would be missed.

    • Muttonbird 6.2

      It's because of Covid returnees, [RL: Abuse deleted]

      • Sabine 6.2.1

        Partially yes, but frankly it was bad before covid.

        And how bout Rotorua? Where houses now also cost over a million? And Taupo, which can't attract enough trades people for lack of housing? And Tauranga? Where expensive houses are literally build on sand?

        Our housing crisis is bad not because of people coming home, our housing crisis is bad because Government is missing in action at best, at worst they are refusing to implement meaningful policy and legislation that would allow for a cooling of the housing market.

        But so long as banks are ok to offer mortgages at 2.99% and less for a loan over 500.000 grand speculators who have cash flush or equitiy will buy and buy and buy.

        Btw, there is borded up empty houses where i live. The landlord can't be bothered to rent, he will sell for Captial Gain…….untaxed in a few month.

        • Jimmy

          Regarding the borded up houses – It may cost him a considerable amount of money to rent them as he would probably need to upgrade the insulation, install heat pumps / air con units and various other requirements to meet the new rental standards. This is an unintended consequence of the new rental laws. He may or may not have the funds to do that, so better to leave empty.

          • Sabine

            that is the saddest excuse i have ever heard. The house was rented before it was borded up.

            So what you are saying is he extracted as much revenue as he could without having to bring the house up to any standards, and now he waits a few more month before unloading it on a buyer.

            Slumlandlord, and i have no pity with him. Never mind there is a borded up house in the road and we have homeless up and down the country.

            Btw, i bought a rental property to live in, it cost me 3 grand to put roof insulation in, two hundred bucks for a fan/light/heat in bathroom, and 4 grand for a small heat pump.

            If a landlord does not have the money to spend 5 – 8 grand to get the house to the min standard required to rent it out, while being able to extract at the median 460.00 per week nigh on 2 grand per month, or around 22.000 grand per year, then the dude needs to get out of business.

            • Jimmy

              Like I said, it's an unintended consequence. A lot of landlords have mortgage payments higher than the rent they receive. They may be "equity rich" but are cash poor. And it would not surprise me that some do not have a spare $7k sitting around to bring the property up to the renting standard. Ironically, it would be fine for them to live in themselves without heat pump etc. or spending on it. But I agree that maybe its time for this particular landlord to get out of the renting market and sell the property (which as you said may be the intention).

              • Sabine

                if they are equity rich, and have a rental that is currently rented, then any bank will happily loan them the 5 – 8 grand needed. Besides they knew now for about 4 years that this date was coming.

                This is still the dumbest excuse. Sorry, i am letting my property fall even further into disrepair by not doing anything cause i am broke as fuck, but in a few month when the value has gone up another few thousand dollars (according to the paper that i received from the council in my area house prices have doubled in the last three years) i will sell, cause money for nothing and stuff for free. Right?

                Seriously, that should not even count as an excuse. No the house stays empty because a. he don't want to upgrade, and b. he wants to sell. For a handful of more dollars.

              • woodart

                absolute bollocks. poor landlord cant raise $7 grand on a property worth anywhere from 300,000 upwards, to be able to earn 15 grand upwards. sounds like a tui ad.

                • McFlock

                  I know, right – I have relatives building an extension enabled by their inflating property valuation.

              • mikesh

                A lot of landlords have mortgage payments higher than the rent they receive.

                It is not the tenant's job to pay his landlord's mortgage. It's not the tenant who will own the house after the final mortgage payment is made. The landlord is already benefiting from the rort that interest deductibility represents. If he can't make ends meet from his business he should cut his losses a sell up; and perhaps in the process, liberate another house for some first home buyer.

                • Treetop

                  Could the landlord downsize?

                  Probably would charge the same rent so the tenant always pays the mortgage.

                  • mikesh

                    I think you are missing the point. By offering accommodation a landlord is providing a service. and he should charge whatever that accommodation is worth. But whether or not that charge is sufficient to cover mortgage payments as well has his normal outgoings is irrelevant.

            • alwyn

              Perhaps you might to do another little calculation. How much did the property cost? Does a property of that price where you live cost $460 to rent? If not recalculate the theoretical rental.

              How many weeks/year can you actually rent the property? It is unlikely to be 52.

              What does an agent charge to look after the rental? Deduct that from the $22,000

              What are the rates on the property? Deduct that from the $22,000.

              What is the Insurance on the property? Deduct that from the $22,000.

              What is the Interest you would have to pay for a mortgage on a sum equal to the entire cost of the property? Deduct that from the $22,000

              What is the annual maintenance you will have to do? Deduct that from the $22,000.

              Still making a real profit?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                It's a wonder anyone even bothers – maybe land lords are in it for charity?


              • mikesh

                He should not be deducting interest. Interest is part of the cost of owning the property, not a part of the rental process. It is the renting out of the property that earns taxable income. Interest does not contribute to that.

                • alwyn

                  Interest is the payment you have to make in order to own the property and without that you would have nothing to rent out. I wasn't counting any part of the capital amount of an assumed mortgage as that is going to provide you with something of value even if you don't get any rental income.

                  The Tax Department certainly allows you to deduct them from your rental income.

                  The following expenses can be deducted from your rental income.

                  • Rates and insurance
                  • Interest paid on money borrowed to finance your property
                  • Agents fees and commission relating to the rental of the property
                  • Repairs and maintenance (except if they substantially improve the property)


                  There are others but I was just giving an illustration.

                • Muttonbird

                  It would be an interesting world if rents were based on the size of the landlord's mortgage.


                • Jimmy

                  If a business borrows $500k from a bank, goes out and buys $500k of earth moving equipment and rents out those earth moving machines out, the interest on the loan to buy the equipment is deductible. Is that really any different to borrowing $500k to buy a property, and renting it out?

                  • shanreagh

                    Of course not. There would be no problems with the same business borrowing/buying/leasing a second set of earth moving equipment and a third……

                    The narrative has been framed though that a business whose business is the acquisition, borrowing and leasing (renting) of residential property is worthy of opprobrium.

                    There is something wrong with the mindset that says it is a feasible/laudable idea for a first home owner to go head to head with home owners who are moving up the ladder and perhaps moving closer to town, and businesses who buy to rent in the desirable inner city suburbs of any city. Never has been.

                    Of course in the Wellington scene as an example it would be great for a first home owner to aspire to live in Wadestowns, Oriental Bays and other 'leafy' suburbs. It is not realistic though.

                    There are suburbs further out where a more realistic selection can seen. And these may be areas where a first home aspiree may not go head to head with existing home owners moving up closer to town or renting businesses.

                    Thankfully there are purpose built apartment dwellings being built close to the city that can fulfill a need for first home owners. These may not have an ensuite for every bedroom or a separate media room but they are warm, comfortable places to get a foot on the ladder.

              • Sabine

                as you have listed yourself below

                interest – deductable – thus cost nil

                rates – deductible – thus cost nil

                insurance – deductible =- thus cost nil

                property manager – deductible – thus cost nil

                'renovations' – for the most part deductible – thus cost nil
                and all of this is generally described as cost of doing buisiness.

                Now what is charged to the tenant?

                460 – in my sample, now that is the median rent in rotorua so really i am lowballing it. The boarded up property is a three bedder on a full section so would easy rent 500+. Never mind.

                All the above mentioned costs are included in the rent. So let me spell this in plain english, the landlord does not pay any of the above mentioned costs, the tenant do.

                And in the end of the year tax accounts all of the above listed costs will be deducted as an expense on any tax burden he/she may have.

                As said before, if they can't make money out of rentals in NZ – the only most unregulated business in NZ – they should not be in the business.

                I am currently saving per medium rent in Rotorua 260 NZD every week by not paying rent but a mortgage. Or if i rent this property for the median rent, I make about 110 profit before tax every week. And i get to keep the property and sell it for double the price i paid 3 years ago. Tax free.

                Go cry a river about the hard done by landlord elsewhere.

                • Jester

                  You do not really have a head for business Sabine. Yes the mortgage interest is deductible to the landlord as is the other costs etc. But the tax rate is probably around 33%. The cost to the landlord is not Nil.

                  Best you speak to an accountant or financial advisor.

                  • alwyn

                    I'm glad I read on after Sabine's comment before I replied. You have saved me the trouble.

                    It is quite amazing how many people seem to think that deductions come of your tax, rather than off your taxable income.

                    I wish it was true.

                    • Sabine

                      taxable income decides the tax that you will pay.

                      if you can write of expenses and losses on investment against your taxable income than this will reduce your taxes.

                      Hence why in NZ we have very rich people only paying tax on 70.000 NZD (which has been given many a write of in the Herald/Stuff, or why dear Gareth Morgan is on record saying he pays no tax at all).

                      Ask your accountant if you find this to hard to understand.

                      But you don't get to claim that the costs of doing business is paid for by the landlord/investor when they are a. paid for by the tenant, and then are used to reduce the taxes a landlord may has to pay on the INCOME he made with his business before taxes. Its called double dipping.

                      So yeah, you are still making shit up as you go along.

                  • Sabine

                    Oh really? probably? So you don't even now, but just go for the higher end of taxes?

                    You do realise that in order to pay that 33% tax rate you have to have a certain income? Below that the tax rate is 22% and 17.5%%.

                    Just d on't be an accountant Jester. And if you don't have one get one, lest you pay 33% tax on your earnings even if you don't make enough.

                    Oh and if you have a property that is borded up and empty because you are tired of playing landlord you can even write of that 'loss of income' against your tax balance. 🙂 But you are not an accountant, aren't you?

                    • Jester

                      Yes I am well aware of the lower than 33% tax rates for income under $70k which is why I used the word "probably".

                      I really have touched a nerve!

                    • alwyn

                      You have made me very curious. You say that the tax rates are "to pay that 33% tax rate you have to have a certain income? Below that the tax rate is 22% and 17.5%%."

                      Can you please tell me the bracket where a 22% rate applies?

                      What happened to the 10.5% and 30% levels?

                      Are you really sure about the numbers you are quoting?

                    • Jester

                      Alwyn, I'm not sure about the tax rate of 22% that Sabine is talking about but currently:

                      Income up to $14k is taxed at 10.5%; then between $14k and $48k its 17.5%; between $48k and $70k its 30% then after $70k its at 33%, which is currently the top rate. But from 1st of April there will be a new 39% rate for income over $180k.

                    • alwyn

                      Yes. Those are the rates I, and I hope everyone who puts in a return, uses.

                      I was merely curious as to how Sabine, who lectures us on what she considers our errors, could dare to do so when she is so spectacularly wrong with her claims.

                      I certainly hope she isn’t a tax accountant.

                    • mikesh

                      If your property is boarded up because you are tired of "playing landlord", then none of your expenses are deductible. And the loss of of income is certainly not deductible.

                      the Income Tax Act is pretty clear: An expense is deductible if it is incurred for the purpose of gaining taxable income. So, no rents, no deductions.

                    • Jester

                      Yes Mikesh you are correct that if a property is boarded up, it is unavailable to rent and expenses would not be deductible. I think Sabine's accountant was having a bad day.

                    • shanreagh

                      There are ownership structures available to asset owning businesses where the tax rate is a straight 33%, they don't have the structured PAYE rates available to them.

                      So if they are a Trust and have income of $10,000 and have claimable deductions of $2000 they pay tax on $8000 at 33%. If they are a business and earn $10,000, have claimable deductions of 2000 they pay tax on $8000 at 28%.

                      I am not sure that you are quite correct re boarded up houses. You are able to claim deductions going forward if your property is available for renting. If it is boarded up it is arguable that it is 'available for renting'. The provision enables a person to claim expenses, say for maintenance if the aim is to continue renting.


                    • Sabine

                      @ shanreag

                      Thanks for that information.

                  • mikesh

                    The cost to the landlord is what it is. The cost to the business is nil.

          • Treetop

            Considerable notice is given to landlords to fit required chattels and loans are available.

            There would be a reason for a landlord not being able to take out a loan or not wanting to.

        • Muttonbird

          According to some commenters here it is the landlord's unalienable right to do with his property what he wishes, and we should do nothing lest we scare them off their valuable social service.

          • McFlock

            Even if their valuable social service is either an empty dwelling or one that makes its occupants sick.

            Anyone who bitches about rental housing standards is in favour of festering slums. Inadequate housing kills – at least empty homes make the issue obvious.

      • Herodotus 6.2.2

        With wisdom like yours no wonder the problem has got worse🤷‍♀️

        nothing to do with low interest rates flooding of money by the reserve bank, no counter measures for the obvious consequence of this flood of money, labour not wanting to do anything but ask for a review on the tax system etc . But go ahead and think that with labour you 🙈🙊🙉

        • Muttonbird

          Of course I was referring to the spike in the last 12 month which was referred to. You may wish to ignore the effects of the flood of returnees, many with lots of cash, but any decent analysis would recognise the difference between this year and last.

          • Herodotus

            This link shows that our net migration spike commenced from Aug 19 peaking Mar 20 pre Covid times.So what was the plan to accomodate these new arrivals to an already stressed situation ? As of Dec 20 returned back to 2014 levels, and I would not be surprised if the 12 month trend dramatically falls in the coming months. I picked u from you r comment that it is "only" immigration that has impacted on property prices – Which many would think as very limited in cause.

            "Annual net migration ramped up before border closures and travel restrictions in March 2020 and has been falling away since then,” Mr Islam said.


            • Muttonbird

              Having put it in full speech marks, you'd better show where I said "only". Do you not think the peak in April 2020 at 94,846 net is not significant?

              That is without considering the many offshore buyers having friends and family buy by proxy with the intention of returning home when they are able.

              • Herodotus

                Your comment only covered this aspect without any mention or reference to any other factors, or even giving the impression that you believe that there are other factors. And that was before your comment was censored

                The 94k peak is a 12 month rolling average so it covers May 19 to April 20. Most of which the period was Pre Covid. + Where was the governments policies to cater for this influx so as not to have the dire situation we are now in?

                "many offshore buyers having friends and family buy by proxy with the intention of returning home when they are able." And why would NZ citizens/residents use proxy buyers ?

                • Muttonbird

                  Nah, you're either being ignorant or disingenuous in trying to pretend the 94K peak was nothing to do with Covid.

                  Of course it was to do with Covid as overseas panic was in full swing in the three months immediately preceding our border closure, particularly in China. The stats you link to clearly show that, and importantly that more than usual were returning citizens and residents.

                  And if you are going to use full quotation marks, please make sure the person has actually said that verbatim. It is just plain good forumming.

      • alwyn 6.2.3

        You seem to be developing the habit of having one name in your pseudonym and then finishing your comment with another. I assume they are your family name and your first name.

        In order that I can correctly address you can you tell me which is which? Are you known as "Muttonbird Moron" or are you more correctly referred to as "Moron Muttonbird"?

  6. Herodotus 7

    So we have 2 burning issues before COVID

    housing and tax/supporting those in need.

    we have a Progressive government that …. waits and the issues progressively deteriorate . Perhaps that is why our pm describes her govt as progressive🤔

  7. aom 8

    It looks as though Max's friend Jake Millar has run off with some of John Key's money. Oh dear, how sad, the old con-man has been taken in by a young upstart 'entrepreneur'.

  8. greywarshark 9

    An Aucklander who spent six minutes at a store where a Covid-19 case was working had to wait nearly eight hours on the phone to get advice from Healthline.

    Even if this item isn't correct in every detail it illustrates cracks in the Covid management policy widening. Are front-line workers being properly paid and rested? Are investigators really on top of their job keeping up with the urgency needed, that was shown earlier on? NZ can't afford to be complacent. Recently one student was phoned a number of times without success, and a visit to the house wasn't made. In the meantime the virus was being spread.

    The standards of effectiveness must be maintained in checking Covid, also the funding must be adequate. The effects on business, and people's ability to make a living, have a life and carry out responsibilities even, must be faciltated by a responsible and not cheese-paring government or private agencies.

    At present I am waiting for a reply from the blood test laboratory to whom i made a call yesterday afternoon, which required that a message be left. I am asked to go on-line to make a booking, but I want to ask questions, and I don't want to have my computer as the centre of my life, and so be forced to commit money to have one or an expensive cellphone, tablet etc. Low cost wages and high-cost demands from government doesn't augur well for the future.

    Is this an example of withdrawal of responsibility to the citizen and interaction with us, which crops up more regularly unfortunately, with a default position of using a computer for contacts and providing information. Or 'put it on facebook' and that's complied with our requirements for public notification or such.

    Devices are coming between interaction from government and business and the people. Don't allow this to continue! Complain bitterly and don't swallow inevitability without a murmur as government withdraws from its traditional role in a democracy. Don't allow convenience to rule the day. First govt will drop this, then that, then it will be up to you, then it will be more efficient if you are always on tap, then there will be a nano-sized device inserted in your earlobe (in different art shapes picturing famous stars etc.)

    • Sabine 9.1

      Well the government could hire call takers, but i guess that is not in the budget.

      Automation coming to us no matter how many of us could do the job better and faster.

      • Barfly 9.1.1

        Heh my first job was as a sales clerk taking incoming calls ….the standard was to answer the phone in three rings or less……..these days well not so much

        • Sabine

          They need bodies to answer these incoming calls. If you don't have them, it matters not what the policy says. Same goes for Winz btw.

        • Treetop

          Probably need to ring three times in one day today.

          People at the other end need to be trained as well.

    • RedBaronCV 9.2

      Well said GW. The overwhelming attitude that everyone has a computer, broadband and an online bank account or a phone where they can eat up paid minutes on hold and that is sufficient is the default position and using covid to introduce further restrictions is manipulative. Private companies are bad enough but the government needs to pull it's head in.

      I am renewing my passport at level 1. In the past I could drop the form in at the wellington office, pay by eftpos and then drop back to collect it.

      Now an appointment is required where I sat on hold for about 10 minutes (which is a lot of dough if some one is using pay as you use) and then a time is allocated supposedly because of covid. I was also asked to come by myself – which would be an issue for some people. Heavens knows if I will be able to collect it – which feels a great deal more secure than trusting it to couriers who leave the wrong parcels at my house and don't get signatures even when required. Payment options are also limited.

      There is a real accessibility issue for the filing and payment of a lot of government services which needs to be dealt with. They are also tying themselves to technology like email addresses which will become less common.

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        Yes I get the feeling that email is passe' now. Heaven help us – the technocrats want to replace every useful personal and reliable service.

        I think 'they' don't care if things go wrong provided they have had a first flush of profit. They might have to pay some of that back when some egregious error is found. But what-the-hell it will all be profitably replaced in six months, at extra cost to the citizen (ahem consumer) so keep the pressure on to innovate, innovate, innovate. (A hat-tip to the cry of the vacuum cleaners – Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate.)

    • Treetop 9.3

      As a side issue I saw on Stuff news yesterday an article giving an explanation of the Covid-19 exposure categories people fit into, the testing and the isolation required. I was left feeling a bit confused.

      The Covid advice line is not meeting the needs of the people in a timely manner when it is essential to do so.

      • greywarshark 9.3.1

        The Covid bloody phone call program prioritised calls wrongly and kept people waiting for hours. One woman's phone showed a call time of seven hours, 44 minutes. How can people organise their lives and their family's health status and comings and goings. The government has made life so unstable for ordinary people, has not mentioned recompense to those pushed around like pawns, and yet appears to consider this is a clever modern system that can't be bettered.

        They were dealing with huge call volumes – the Health Ministry says after the announcement of a new community case linked to Papatoetoe High School call volumes spiked – most of that day they had had average wait times of under a minute but that jumped to 36 minutes…

        The ministry said Healthline had since increased the number of staff they have rostered on by 8 times – and call wait times are now mainly under 20 minutes. (That is a long time still! Is this the best that govt can do with the pandemic continuing so long?)

        Another problem caused 92 people between lunchtime Tuesday and midnight Thursday to be cut off after waiting on the phone for two hours. This affected people who were on hold or even mid conversation.

        …The ministry said this problem was "being addressed".

        However they didn't say they would reimburse the people who had their phone payments diminished while they were waiting. This is what a good, responsible government service, or contractor, would do in this age of deliberate low wages and erratic work hours.

        There should be an Expediter group who work shifts, looking to where the known hot spots are, assesses needs, and has staff able to work extra hours at short notice (with extra pay of course) to be called in, perhaps using police helicopters if available to pick up stafff.

        • Treetop

          A tier to immediately respond is a good idea.

          Questions I would ask is do you know which category you fit into, the testing you require and the isolating period?

          As for the contact tracing and tracking a 6c note book could have been supplied and used as a reference, adding people who you were out with.

          Going to Level 1 from Level 2 was done too quickly.

          Containing Covid-19 is about doing the basics well whenever a community case appears and not leaving anything to chance.

  9. Muttonbird 10

    Some welcome policy from Kris Faafoi.

    Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi is telling those who have relied on migrant workers in the past to "think differently about how to do that in the future".

    The government had "made it a priority to put resources into upskilling New Zealanders," he says, "and we'd prefer that if we're going to do that, obviously, the jobs that we've relied on with migrant labour in the past would be able to be filled by New Zealanders".

    Should allow New Zealand’s housing and infrastructure issues to be managed better.

    • Sanctuary 10.1

      I was wondering if someone else had picked up on this. This is a HUGE change, and it will be fought tooth and nail by affected sectors that have grown addicted to ready access to a stream of easily exploitable, low wage foreign workers. Look out for accusations of racism, bitter mocking from the usual media suspects of Ardern's appeal to inclusivity, scare stories about unpicked crops, fallow fields and the unaffordable cost of restaurant meals with a crippling inability to hire chefs.

      More to the point, it shows the government is walking away from the ideology of the globalised, laissez-faire labour market in favour of greater controls on the inflow of foreigners. I see the impact of Labour's Maori caucus in this, it seems they are replacing NZ First as the voice of the working poor on the struggle street of the low wage, unskilled economy – because make no mistake this will push up wages for low skilled locals.

      • Muttonbird 10.1.1

        In the absence of any political or societal will to use NZ's wealth to invest in critical infrastructure and then housing, there is no other option than to stem the flow of people.

        And, as you point out, a major offensive on cheap imported labour will have the benefit of encouraging employers to upskill local workers rather than ignoring them.

        • Sanctuary

          I knew we had a fair bit of cheap labour in NZ, but I'll be the first to admit my middle class ass had no idea exactly how much we were relying on cheap Brazilians to run of tourist centre bars and cafes, how much we relied on cheap, deeply exploited Indians on dubious "study" visas to work in menial tasks, how much we needed cheap labour from the Pacific and Asia to provide labour for our rest homes and pick our crops and clean our toilets and all that sort of thing. We had created and enabled a studiously ignored third world economy where the worst exploiters were from the same ethnic groups and set it to run parallel to, and largely for the benefit of, our comfy Pakeha first world one. It has to stop.

          • Peter ChCh

            "… for the benefit of our comfy Pakeha first world…"

            Might pay to take the racist blinkers off. Maori for decades resisted foreign owned charter fisheries vessels that they employed being subject to NZ laws and conditions of employment. These vessels were repeatedly described as 'slave ships' and a form of colonisation. Not for the benefit of Pakeha, but for the benefit of the coffers of Maori .

            And the appalling exploitation you rightly refer to is for the benefit not just of Pakeha, but also of our Chinese, Indian and other immigrants, alongside of course Maori. Wander down to the local Warehouse. Plenty of non-Pakeha sure happy to buy cheap stuff made in Asian sweatshops. Or do you consider it OK to exploit others if the beneficiaries of that exploitation are not white?

            • greywarshark

              Peter CH You are making a sweeping generalisation. Sealord was set up as a business that had to compete with other businesses. A large share in it, maybe half, was sold to I think a Japanese firm that had experience – so half Maori business interests and half foreign. There was a threat from I think Sandfords, a chap Gilchrist from memory, to sue the Nelson Polytechnic when they set up a dedicated course for training Maori seamen. Nelson Poly stepped back from Court costs under this threat.

              So there were barriers to overcome by Maori as to what way things would be done. Give them some slack will you. So many pakeha know just how things should be done, it is a surprise that so much of NZ business is owned or been sold to overseas corporations. Where are all you smart people standing tall and successful and determined on NZ ownership, as NZ 'captains of business'??

              • Stuart Munro

                The foreign involvement predated the Maori interest. There's an explanation here: essentially a large chunk of NZ fisheries had been illegally offshored when Carter Holt Harvey went above a certain percentage of foreign ownership. Instead of confiscating CHH's quota, government cobbled together a deal whereby a Maori entity obtained a company and a large parcel of quota.

                Inexperience cost Sealord dearly early on, and neither foreign charters nor locally based catcher contractors did them any favours. A habit of overcapitalisation remains, but the worst of their excesses have mostly ground to a halt. During this time they lost ground, going from NZ's largest fishing company to about number three. Meanwhile the contemporaneous rise of Southern Clams showed that growth and profitability were quite possible in the then market conditions – and without slave crews.

          • AB

            I wouldn't have known either, until I began to see foreign students who have finished a diploma or degree in NZ's tertiary sector (both established academic institutions and the new generation of private providers). I do what little I can to help them escape two equally invidious paths – go into the swamp of low-wage exploitation, or lose their visas and go home. From what I've seen, it all looks a bit like a sophisticated, vertically integrated scam.

          • Sabine

            They used to call these jobs "kiwi experience' and any migrant into NZ had to content with these jobs. Heck i knew people that worked for free to gain that mythical kiwi experience even if they very educated.

            I would assume that the aged care sector would fall apart if it had to employ only locals.

    • RedBaronCV 10.2

      Yes I see this as generally a good call but agree it will be fought hard. Too many employers love it for the power it gives them. I did wonder if the government would ever say this although there seemed to be some foot dragging around visa's.

      Will they also look at the 18-30 working holiday visas with about 45 countries with the USA and Canada being eligible for 2 years rather than one and those two countries plus the UK having an uncapped limit plus possibly others

      . Also the au pairs where they can be worked for up to 40 hours for a pittance (plus I assume no tax on the free board and lodging).

      It floods the market as our young people are trying for their first jobs and undermines their ability to get that early training. And it's not like we have the same numbers of young people taking advantage of reciprocal arrangements.

      And I assume future working tied to student visas will be post grad or undergrad exchanges for state universities.

      I would like to see some continuation of access from the islands though but on far better terms and conditions so there is no exploitation. It seems to be a good way of putting some money into small fragile economies from the bottom up rather than top down type overseas aid.

      Hope they slug the investor visa too. i don’t see too many factories from these and I think there was a survey that showed most just stuck the money into something secure then took it back at then end of the period.

      Plus I would want the income limits lifted to really high ones. Why should the good paying jobs we have be inspire foreign competition.

    • Treetop 10.3

      The first thing which strikes me about this policy is the age of the workers who do seasonal work. Due to tourism and the hospitality industry not being what it used to be, there possibly is an expectation that a person who worked in hospitality now looks for seasonal work or upskills.

  10. greywarshark 11

    I've just found Lawrence Ferlinghetti RIP – poet, ex-Navy, bookseller and Artist. Here he is reading one of his poems I think.

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti: The world is a beautiful place

    Obituary –

    • joe90 11.1

      I guess Bob's the last of the beatniks.

      Letter to Larry

      On 28 April 1964 (date of the postmark), Bob Dylan wrote a prose-poem letter to Lawrence Ferlinghetti after calling on him a couple of months earlier (20 February 1964) and finding him not home.

      deare larry.
      have no sports car.
      weather., good.
      traffic moving slowly thru tunnel.
      breeze is from the west an I ahah am goin
      t france tomorrow. have t look thru all my pants pockets

      an collect things t send t you.
      as of now I am in the midst of destroyin all I’ve
      done (I’ve even crashed my old typewriter t pieces an have burned my
      pens into little tiny plastic statues)
      I know I will send you something one of these days.
      all I have t do is finish something t send you.
      in any case, if I am poisened or framed or kilt orratted on
      I will will will you some edgar lee masters?
      type (bob dylan written) poems of grand embarassment.
      thelonius monk grand style grand (me upright)
      the world’s fair begun down there.
      I’m gone.
      Sailin on (across the sone) son,
      sawn. dawn. anyway I’m gone.
      I’m up here.
      my adress is me-bearsville. just got back from trip t boston area.
      sung songs at providence.
      arrived in amhearst with 15 friends from cambridge.
      left providence with 15 friends from providence.
      ditched them on highway tho. (yes I pledge alliegence t the luckyness of havin
      some so many friends.)
      an here’s t the republic.
      up the irish.
      ah yes my flag has turned into one color.
      who fast?
      me fast?
      ha you must be joking. I’m not turnin. burnin. maybe smokin.
      not running cunning.
      not me.
      I aint none of them things.
      not me.
      yes most deffinately would like t borrow cabin at big sur.

      cant say when.
      it just hit me.
      I do got things of songs an stories for you.
      my hangup is tho that I know there will be more.
      I want t send the more more then I want t send the got.
      yes I guess that’s it.
      that’s it in a nutshell pruneskin.
      that’s the whole story.
      nothin but the truth.
      nothin but the nothin.
      would’ve liked t spent more time in san francisco.
      would like t spend more time in many places.
      sometime I will.
      someday I will.
      tomorrow. yeah tomorrow.
      I a, in a strange light alright.
      I remember a few years ago.
      tramping. bummin.
      ridin the rods all wrong.
      hitchhiking (pretending stock markets crashin all over me) thru the ever ready
      usa. guitar on my back.
      my thoughful tool.
      yes an the only thing I wished was that someday I’d be able t come back
      t these fucked up shootin gallery pay me for my playin coffee houses.
      coffee bars.
      oh how I used t hope that someday if nothin else. I’d have enuff friends or
      know the right people t survive with my head at least as groovy as
      theirs … man.
      I never got a chance.
      I got a motorcycle tho.
      but unlike the last ones I had on south dakota an minnesota roads,
      this one’s for the fields.
      so you see, after all, I’m not really going all that fast.
      you cant go too fast in the fields you know.
      the only thing that’s wrong is that there’s no fuckin motels.
      absolutely no advertising.

      I’m the first one hit by the forest fires an god knows that a fallout
      shelter’d be insane.
      terrible buzzard flies an my front steps all loaded with killed dear
      hit by cars … yet I still wave t airplanes
      an shit like that (what whit like that?) so I’m not all bad.
      all good.
      yes I’ve chopped much wood.
      I’ll write you later an send clippings from my head.
      as for now there’s a horn honkin.
      must be for me.
      or however you spell that.
      will be in france for awhile.
      someplace where they dont read life magazine.
      of course I’ll be back tho.
      an will be out in sanfrancisco again.
      I have nothin t do.
      an no place t go.
      say hi for me.
      say hi t anybody
      see you then
      comemoratin figitatin
      agitatin satined
      homogenized. egg creamed. pie in the faced
      egg in the eyed
      untied. complyed. plywooded. do-gooded. hooded.
      lamp shaded understated hated backdated
      muscatelled. muscatold musca went wrong someplace
      displaced. cock traced
      embraced umbraced ohbraced
      church laced
      straight faced
      an all that

      see you then

    • francesca 11.2


      Almost disgraceful for a beat poet to live so long

      But he was still writing up to 99 years old


  11. America is BACK! Biden bombs his first country!

    Well, that didn't take too long, now did it?

    According to Al Jazerra, the US has dropped bombs on a military base in Syria.

  12. Byd0nz 13

    I see the yankee war machine back in action in Syria where they are neither wanted or invited, same as Iraq, yankee go home, but no, they stay like the invaders they are. They along with the other warmonger State, the UK, spread hatred and lies against their Russian and Chineese Capitalist rivals as a smokescreen for their own putrid deeds, I see that seems to work for many on this rightwing site.

  13. Bugger, just got a job, starting next Wednesday.

    There goes the way too early semi retirement plan in self imposed exile.

  14. Siobhan 15

    Meanwhile, despite the angst and gnashing of teeth over Russia and China… in the Middle East things are on the boil again…

    woops, sorry, wrong one….

  15. greywarshark 16


    And what do you think of the memorial? Looks as if it has been designed by an accountant fully into materialism. It is all hard edged even with a curve. A good design for a shared pathway for skateboarding and mountain bike racing. The insolence of the young males won't be limited by thoughts of family grief and the tragedy of it all. Utilitarianism rules OK.

  16. Muttonbird 17

    Here we go. More misery exported to New Zealand from our 'closest friend'.

    I’ve never seen anything like it. The street was full of cop cars. I’m wondering what happened. New Zealand never used to be like this.

    Scomo sends 'em, we shoot 'em.

    • Graeme 19.1

      Mr Hickey is speaking out both sides of his mouth.

      On one side he's saying that governments don't want to force housing prices down because they will loose votes.

      On the other side he's saying that governments should pour heaps of money into urban infrastructure. The unsaid part of this is that infrastructure spend will push up urban housing prices.

      • Pat 19.1.1

        im not sure Mr Hickey is 'speaking out of both sides', I suspect he believes his analysis but imo he has miscalculated the underlying reasoning…it isnt a political fear per se but rather an economic one and therefore his prescription fails to account for the outcome.

        Pouring money into infrastructure will not automatically increase housing costs if the money available to support housing is reduced, indeed what is supporting the housing inflation currently is the amount of credit (and explicit underwrite by govs) banks have to invest… is the ratio of money available to stock and that ratio is not necessarily changed by increasing or decreasing stock.

        The problem any government faces is the stability of the financial system as it requires ever increasing credit…..the business cycle was never tamed, rather it was replaced

        • Graeme

          You're (and Mr Hickey) are repeating the distortions of the property sector in saying that government infrastructure spend doesn't increase 'housing costs'. This is correct from the developer's pov, they don't have to pay for the infrastructure and can offer a housing unit at a reduced price / make more profit, generally the latter.

          But from the pov of the surrounding properties capital values go up, often dramatically, because the owners don't have to pay for their portion of the infrastructure in their rates. So overall housing prices get dragged up.

          Totally agree about the problems of taming a financial system that's totally dependent on the value of housing. But the real issue isn't the loss of value to individuals if there's a fall in the market, it's the economic chaos that will result if there's a property 'correction'. A dramatic fall in house values (say 20%) won't make them more affordable because the would be a corresponding reduction in liquidity and employment. People will find it even harder get a loan when they haven't got confidence in their income. And that is what destroys governments.

          • Pat

            It does more than destroy governments ….the self reinforcing downward spirals it can create cause depressions…..that is the economic fear I reference.

            Keynes showed us how to deal with depressions but we risk being permanently removed from the ‘club of advanced nations’ if we move ahead of the major players.

            As to infrastructure spends creating property inflation I beg to differ….it depends upon the funding mechanism….history shows that central government can provide the infrastructure without creating the (specific) property inflation we are experiencing….there is no problem with property inflation that matches broader (esp wage) inflation.

  17. Anne 20

    I am sorry Daily Review has not resumed.

    After the OM topics have been done to death, it is an opportunity for very recent developments to be introduced and it also opens up the conversation for other commenters to take part who may not have the inclination or the time during the day.

    I know that DR patronage is a bit up and down but it presents an opportunity for wider coverage of the day's events and is often quite jocular which makes for a nice change.

  18. Obtrectator 21

    Blimey Charlie, here we go again:

    another story presenting a potential drop in the human population as an unmitigated disaster. When are people going to realise …. ?

    • McFlock 21.1

      A drop is fine, extinction is not.

      It's the old story, though – it'll be ignored until it becomes a palpable problem, at which point billions will be thrown at the problem. I don't think it will get to Children of Men levels. Maybe Handmaid's Tale, but we also see other elements of that happening…

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