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Open Mike 26/10/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 26th, 2018 - 187 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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187 comments on “Open Mike 26/10/2018 ”

  1. Ed 1

    The National Party’s story appears to be changing.

    And it opens several cans of worms for the National Party.

    “The path to mental health care for unwell MP Jami-Lee Ross appears to have started with a text message to the fellow MP with whom he had an affair.
    Through a range of sources, the NZ Herald has been able to untangle the apparent chain of events leading to Ross entering Middlemore Hospital on Saturday evening.
    It has revealed a National Party which moved quickly to do what it could for its former MP he sent a text message to his former lover appearing to reveal a man in distress.
    The events are contrary to those being pushed by Dirty Politics blogger and National Party pariah, Cameron Slater, who has emerged as a support person for Ross.

    …..Ross appears to have triggered a series of events which led to a Saturday night hunt for the distressed MP.
    It began with a text message that evening to the MP with whom he had been having an extra-marital affair.
    The message apparently contained content which gave the woman cause for concern over Ross’ wellbeing – so much so she was driven to alert others in the party to its contents.”

    Read it all here.
    David Fisher has written a fine article.


    • Cinny 1.1

      Not one bit surprised.

      Thanks Mr Fisher for validating our suspicions.

      • Ed 1.1.1

        Quite sinister

        • Cinny

          Yup, anything to protect ‘the brand’ and the egos that go with it.

          • Ed

            The Saudis have changed their story so many times about Khashoggi.
            The National Party have changed their story so many times about Ross.

            • Dukeofurl

              At least we wont be hearing from the gosman clones today about our ‘far fetched conspiracy theories’ or that twit who has swallowed a bee about patient confidentiality.

        • Pete

          “It began with a text message that evening to the MP with whom he had been having an extra-marital affair.

          The message apparently contained content which gave the woman cause for concern over Ross’ wellbeing – so much so she was driven to alert others in the party to its contents.

          The concern was relayed to a senior member of Bridges’ office.”

          So Ross texted the woman, said he was pissed off, she was upset about his temper, ‘concerned’ in fact, and then the machine went into action.

          Like the way the machine went into action after the Maureen Pugh revelation?
          And then they had carte blanche to control the narrative.

          • Sanctuary

            Hmmmm, it seems the name of the female National MP is wide enough known for it to trickle down to my lowly and dark corner of the world.

            Wonder how long it will remain unpublished before some journo can’t bear it any longer?

            BTW, I am got going to say so here. I don’t particularly like peoples private lives getting dragged through the media.

            • newsense

              More like theory b: Ross may still have been connected with Collins. This is a Bridges faction version.

              From the article:
              “Slater, who is a family friend of National’s ambitious Papakura MP Judith Collins, has waged war against the party after it cut him adrift when the Dirty Politics book was published in 2014.”

              Seems early for a move against Bridges

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Well, we do seem to have reasonable grounds for sympathy for the Nats leadership now. Privacy law prevents them telling the truth about what happened, so their lawyers have probably advised them to refrain from giving the public relevant information. The legality of allowing privacy to trump freedom of information has yet to be decided by the Supreme Court, so the cover-up was required.

      “It began with a text message that evening to the MP with whom he had been having an extra-marital affair. The message apparently contained content which gave the woman cause for concern over Ross’ wellbeing – so much so she was driven to alert others in the party to its contents. The concern was relayed to a senior member of Bridges’ office. The staff member held contact details for the mental health professional who had previously been in contact with the party on Ross’ instructions.”

      That last bit is the key: Ross must have previously instructed his party hierarchy as to how to get him help if he ever had another breakdown. That gives the NP a valid basis for initiating the sectioning.

      “Ross was given a physical health assessment followed by a psychiatric assessment. The Herald has been told the assessment would have been followed by further psychiatric reviews, which apparently found him able to be released and treated in the community.” Obviously not a serious problem, then.

      “Ross is now bound to ongoing mental health support and treatment”. So that explains why we haven’t heard from him. He cannot resume his function as a parliamentarian and whistle-blower until the mental health regime imposed on him is removed. He still lacks agency.

      • solkta 1.2.1

        Obviously not a serious problem, then.

        So that explains why we haven’t heard from him. He cannot resume his function as a parliamentarian and whistle-blower until the mental health regime imposed on him is removed. He still lacks agency.

        Will this be another day that you spend speaking from your arse.

        • JohnSelway

          Looks like it. Still pretending that Ross is under some kind of gag order despite being told numerous times that isn’t how it works. It’s depressing really.

          Also displaying a complete lack of awareness of how mental health works -“obviously not a serious problem”. There are people with severe schizophrenia and psychosis who get treated in the community.

          • alwyn

            “Still pretending that Ross is under some kind of gag order “.

            But Solkta isn’t sad really. Solkta doesn’t want to accept that he is talking and believing a load of rubbish. If he (or she) was to accept what you said they would have to accept that he is talking rubbish and his beliefs are irrational.

            The Bible may say
            “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
            Solkta doesn’t want to know the truth and the more you point it out the unhappier he will become. He prefers to believe in wild conspiracy theories. Just don’t get him started on the X-files and what really happened in Area 51

            • solkta

              I am quite happy thanks. I also agree with i think everything John has said on this subject. I am not generally a supporter of conspiracy theories.

        • solkta

          and this bit:

          The legality of allowing privacy to trump freedom of information has yet to be decided by the Supreme Court

          What does this mean? Have you filed for a judicial review of the Privacy Act?

      • Gabby 1.2.2

        Oddly, not feeling sorry for them at all franky.

        • Dennis Frank

          Aw, have a little compassion, man. 😎 Must be real tough to be a Nat defender of the citadel right now. Them barbarian slaters storming the gates..

      • Cinny 1.2.3

        Anyone exiting a hospital after mental health treatment, has ongoing mental health support and treatment,, jlr is no different.

        He can speak if he wants, the mental health treatment can’t prevent it. There is no mental health regime that has been imposed on him preventing that from happening.

        I’ve never thought much of jlr, but he is just like anyone who has gone through a rough mental health patch, he’s taking time out. It’s no different to someone recovering from say a heart attack.

        Mental health is a serious problem for anyone dealing with it. Those who down play it may as well be adding to the suicide stats, no matter what their political leanings are.

        • JohnSelway

          ^ good post Cinny. Summed it up nicely

        • Dennis Frank

          “He can speak if he wants, the mental health treatment can’t prevent it.” Nobody has yet cited any fact proving that this is true. Assuming it it true, or asserting that it is true, is the posture adopted by those in denial of alternative intepretations of the situation. Those alternatives that Fisher’s use of the term “bound” suggests. We do not know who, or what, is doing that binding!

          • JohnSelway

            No one needs to – you keep suggesting he is unable to speak freely but have never cited any law or order which would prevent him.

            Put up or shut up

          • Cinny

            Binding could be the nat’s, I’ve no doubt about the lengths they will go to re silence and brand protection.

            Maybe he signed something, who knows.

            Time will tell, but its raised some massive issues for sure.

            Personally there is no way I could trust someone who screws around on their partner, whether they are female or male. If they are going to lie to the person they are supposed to love the most, then imagine the lack of conscious when screwing over the NZ people.

            The way some of the nat’s treat others, especially women is freakin vile.
            As are the ones that condone it and cover it up, like dodgy paula, pervy john the pony tail molester, and mr ‘never been voted in as a pm, let’s not talk about todd’ english.

            It’s not the 1950’s if the marriage isn’t working, have a separation, it will make less headline news than whats become a messy affair. Better for all involved, especially the families who are left to pick up the pieces.

            The influence of the chinese government $$$ within the national party is another biggie for me, and if this is what it takes to wake up some more people, then bloody good job.

            Last and definitely least is simple simon, mr fuel, fuel, drill, drill $$ fuck the planet. Proving to be a simple puppet, but that’s ok, he keeps the dirty nats out of government. It’s pretty amusing that he is the best they’ve got.

            Nine years of their crap almost killed me. Karma on them.

            • Dennis Frank

              I appreciate that you have an open mind on the issue, and agree with all the other stuff you mention. I had a negative view of Ross until I read his bio & that really did put his whistleblower stance in context for me.

              I agree with others re utu, and with you re his abusive relations with women, which is why I framed it as a Jekyll & Hyde scenario. I’m extremely averse to those who adhere to the dark side like limpets. Everyone is entitled to an opportunity for redemption. Rehabilitation of wrongdoers is normal now.

              As for Nat toxic culture, catharsis could be the best cure! We can hope. As whistleblower, someone wrote, he was lancing their main boil. Its just not right for only a few to be supporting him in that.

            • Treetop


        • veutoviper

          +1 Excellent summary, Cinny.

      • Pete 1.2.4

        Doesn’t matter what happens in the rest of the day – this will have to be the best!

        “the Nats leadership … Privacy law prevents them telling the truth …”

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah, other factors also tend to prevent them telling the truth, that goes without saying. Just making the point that usage of privacy law is convenient for them, so their confidence in the plausible deniability strategy derives from that – and their lawyers are likely to have advised them accordingly.

          • Pete

            It’s good for lying, self-serving bastards to be able to look up on the pantry shelf and select which ingredient to throw into the mix knowing that Privacy Law is such a versatile and reliable one.

    • shadrach 1.3

      From David Fishers article:

      “It has revealed a National Party which moved quickly to do what it could for its former MP after he sent a text message to his former lover which appeared to reveal a man in distress.”

      And you read some grand conspiracy into that?

    • newsense 1.4

      More like theory b: Ross may still have been connected with Collins. This is a Bridges faction version.

      From the article:
      “Slater, who is a family friend of National’s ambitious Papakura MP Judith Collins, has waged war against the party after it cut him adrift when the Dirty Politics book was published in 2014.”

  2. Sanctuary 2

    LoL David Fisher is basically calling Slater a liar on the frontpage of the Herald today.


    I mean, Cameron Slater a liar? HEAVEN FORFEND! /sarc/

    Slater actually illustrates something else about the delusional wingnut right of the National party – their convenient use of “mental health” as a get out of jail free card when they fuck up. I recall old Luigi Wewege scuttling off overseas claiming to be suffering depression as well.

    it is almost as if they are incompetents nincompoops with a delusional sense of their own cunning and importance and encounters with reality leave them looking like a dazed mole staring out of a hole just before it gets hit by a shovel.

    • Ed 2.1

      Fisher’s timeline and other details are interesting.
      Poses more questions.

      • Dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Same timeline as Slaters yesterday.
        Except Fisher has hidden the principal actors names – in return for the briefing no doubt.

        “This, of course, belies the involvement of his chief of staff, Jamie Gray, who directly contacted Jami-Lee Ross’ psychiatrist shortly after 9:15 pm on Saturday night. That was after he’d been informed about a serious risk to Jami-Lee’s health by the very same female MP who wanted Jami-Lee Ross dead in an awful text message. So, a National MP called the police, Simon Bridges chief of staff was involved after 9:15 pm ”

        While Fishers sanitised version is:

        It began with a text message that evening to the MP with whom he had been having an extra-marital affair.
        The message apparently contained content which gave the woman cause for concern over Ross’ wellbeing – so much so she was driven to alert others in the party to its contents.
        The concern was relayed to a senior member of Bridges’ office. The staff member held contact details for the mental health professional who had previously been in contact with the party on Ross’ instructions.
        The urgency of the situation drove events quickly, with Bridges’ senior staff member contacting the mental health professional to pass on concerns over Ross and his state of mind.
        It appears the mental health professional then sought police assistance to track down Ross, who was later taken to Middlemore Hospital. The Herald has been previously told he was committed for assessment and treatment.”

        Other than Slater leaving out the contact that night between Ross and his ex girlfriend the South Island MP he had a 3 yr affair with, the timelines are the same.

        • SPC

          The obvious surmise about the nature of the text to the female MP – given their past communications – is, it was of the “do you really want me to die type” – which is then posed as sufficiently concerning as to have his doctor contacted etc.

    • Treetop 2.2

      The woman National MP is in a vulnerable position. The affair she had with JLR was used against him. How the woman is going about being texted could be used against her because she is going directly to National Party sources or National MPs.

      This woman National MP needs to decide how to manage the situation best for herself and get support outside the National Party to do this.

      If the woman has a complaint about inappropriate behaviour during the affair go to the police or see a clinical psychologist.

      If the woman was concerned for the safety of herself or JLR she needed to have rang the CAT team or the police.

      If the woman feels pressured by National Party members she needs to tell them to back off.

      I do not think National MPs supported JLR and they are not the right people to support the woman National MP.

      • Graeme 2.2.1

        Her local paper (Southland Times) basicly told her to reconsider her future as local MP in an editorial yesterday.

        • veutoviper

          This one? A well worthwhile read.


          Thanks for the heads-up. I always find it refreshing to read editorials etc from outside the main centre msm as I often find they offer a much clearer perspective free from the ‘beltway’ bias and sometime hysteria of the main rags.

          That reminds me I haven’t ventured to the ODT for far too long.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            There is clearly a brutal struggle going on betwen JLR and his (ex) lover the Nat MP. She went to the media. he responded by trying to publicly out her – which has been semi-successful.

            So then it seems she had some communication with JLR which caused her to report it to the Nat party at the weekend. But we don’t know what the fraught exchange was between JLR and ex.

            Very messy.

            Bottom line. The Nats’ hierarchy has not handled it well. Slater/Lusk are leaking bits and pieces, out of the full context, in order to further their aim to replace SB with JC. The political career of the MP who had the affair with JLR is finished – collateral damage from the right wing in fighting.

            • Dukeofurl

              Why are we treading carefully over this ‘other married MP’ ?

              She has had her side in the Melanie Read story. Its not hard to work out from Nationals own list of its ‘team’ who she is.

              1) married
              2) not likely older or more senior MP ( he could help her career)
              3) been an Mp at least 3 years or more
              3) previous woman badly treated by him described ‘his type’ as slim, blonde and likely in his own age group.


              • We had this discussion on TS a week ago on the ‘Wait there’s more’ post. You were part of that discussion.

                Naming and shaming the person concerned is in no one’s interests and contrary to the values of the left generally and this site specifically. TS commenters are more than capable of discussing the politics of the situation without resorting to infantile gossiping about individuals.

                Please do not continue down this path.

                • Dukeofurl

                  The woman involved has given her side anonymously as part of the Melanie read story, if she didnt want any more to do with Ross she should have remained quiet.
                  Plus the fact of being an MP means its also part of the wider Public interest. Also the name is very widely known anyway in the media and parliament.

            • Anne

              Bottom line. The Nats’ hierarchy has not handled it well. Slater/Lusk are leaking bits and pieces, out of the full context, in order to further their aim to replace SB with JC. The political career of the MP who had the affair with JLR is finished – collateral damage from the right wing in fighting.

              Spot on.

              Fight one’s way through the dense foliage of lies, betrayal, expediency and conspiracy and one is left with the bare bones of a power play between the two competing factions in the National Party. On the one hand you have the relative moderates behind Bridges, and on the other the hard right barracking for Collins.

              They make the Labour stoush between the backers of Shearer and the supporters of Cuniffe look like a slightly rumbustious game between a bunch of kids at a Sunday School picnic.

            • veutoviper

              Well he did describe the relationship as volatile.

              Lets face it, you do not get to be a female MP if you are a shrinking violet type. Presumably both entered the relationship on reasonably even grounds, taking into account age, position, power etc – and both being married with children.

              Despite being female myself, I find it disconcerting that his identity and that of his family are public knowledge, but her identity is being kept well under cover. Not that I want exposure for her family as her children are school age as opposed to babies/toddlers like his – but in principle I believe that equality has to go both ways, even in such circumstances.

              It would not surprise me if she too has been having some mental health issues, but strong pastoral support within National seems to have been in place for her for a couple of months. (My observations of attendance in the House and seating changes from time to time following rumours well before the last week or so; not something that has been reported openly.)

              Based on Nats’ performance/psyche, I would venture to think that this is based on expediency and damage control, rather than real concern for her.

              National can possibly weather one by-election as a result of the whole fiasco – but two by-elections at the same time or close together would be a “Bridge too far”.

              [Sorry, bad attempt at a pun. But a sense of humour is an absolute necessity at present!]

              • Carolyn_Nth

                Basically, it’s pretty widely known who she is but she hasn’t been publicly named. I am not a fan of right wing MPs male or female. But there is a power imbalance here within right wing circles. Her career is already damaged.

                She is a minor player in the Nats, and not of much political significance. There is nothing much to be gained from explicitly naming her.

                • veutoviper

                  As I already rushed to clarify below, I fully support TRP etc that we do not name and shame here.

                  However, IMO she is not a minor player in the Nats since SB became Leader. She and JLR had the biggest wins of all in SB’s reallocation of spokesperson positions in March 2018, including the highest rises in their list placement. She also got a spokesperson position that I would have thought you, as a Green, would be very interested in.

                  Don’t want to provide a link to the above – but Henry Cooke, Stuff, 11 March 2018.

                  • Carolyn_Nth

                    She is still a minor player in the power struggle between the Slater-Lusk-Collins faction and the more moderate Bridges faction.

                    Doesn’t add much to this power game that we didn’t already know.

                    If you want to support the Lusk-JLR abusive and vindictive attempt to name her, go ahead.

                    I don’t feel any need to.

                    BTW, there seems to be an idea being put around that Melanie Reid wrote about 4 women claiming to be abused by JLR because she was under orders from the Nats. That does not fit with anything in the past I’ve seen of Melanie Reid’s work.

                    NZ Onscreen bio

                    She an investigative journalist who goes under cover to follow stories. She exposing details of Todd Barclay’s taping, and the Nats’ role in it. She looks to have been investigating the Lusk faction for a while, hence getting some info from women who claims JLR abused them.

                    She has connections with the bottom of the Sth Island going way back.

              • veutoviper

                To clarify my comment that “in principle I believe that equality has to go both ways, even in such circumstances”, I am certainly not suggesting that we name and shame here.

                I fully support what TRP says above at https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-26-10-2018/#comment-1542517

                • Dukeofurl

                  The Melanie Read story certainly named and shamed- its a bit late to say lets not go there.
                  I understand as a Journalist shes keeping mum. But if say the Woman MP was ‘encouraged by Paula Bennett’ to join the other women in MR story for soley political reasons, then that changes things.

                  There is either ‘conduct unbecoming a married MP’ or there isnt. JLR is a totally unsavory person but a 3 yr relationship with a public figure isnt the same as the other women who arent public figures

                  Believe me when National wants to leak or name things , ‘the heart does what the heart wants’ And the main media are willing to help them with that. It just happens.

                  See David Fishers Story, which was in spite of them releasing a short statement Sunday night and saying nothing will be said.

                  But now the MP who cant be named is once again at the centre of the whole story, this time its a sanitised version in an exclusive for Fisher.

    • Ankerrawshark 2.3

      I actually feel re assured by what we know from David Fischer. It makes sense you would send ex such a text ie someone you’d had a close personal relationship. Sounds like she referred it to cheif of staff to handle. Could have phoned Catt or police, but possible she didn’t know what to do, or wanted someone not emotionally involved to take it over.

      Re the issue of Jami-Lee not having his phone……this is of course speculation, but if I was treating him in a mental health unit, I might suggest he have a break from it for his mental health….it must have been incredibly triggering reading all the on-line stuff being said about you. Clearly he was able to access support from friends, so not kept isolated.

      I hope he is recovering in peace and I hope he will continue to disclose stuff, but only if it is not detrimental to his mental health.

      Realize people might disagree with my opinion. It is just an opinion, but I have worked in mental health over many year

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.1

        Seems entirely reasonable to me. Any perception anyone might have that other views I’ve expressed are incompatible with yours will be due to their inadequate perception. Reality persists, regardless how anyone views it. Or spins it.

    • mauī 2.4

      Actually it corroborates what I heard Slater say on the radio yesterday, that Ross was very unwell and that Slater is now supporting him.

    • SpaceMonkey 2.5

      Doing over the country is a stressful pastime if it’s not going your way.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    To the right wing winners who told me to get a life when I said Nats did it.

    Told You So.

    Now it’s all about how caring National is, how concerned they were…


    • Ed 3.1

      The National Party aren’t a caring bunch at all.
      We know about the text the mentioned woman sent to JLR.
      61 words long.
      And concluded by saying: “You deserve to die”.

      So the National Party still has a lot to explain about this…..

      and secret donations


      • Chris T 3.1.1

        Text sounds like it is bad, but then maybe Ross shouldn’t have spent years treating so many women like pieces of shit, then going on National TV and saying what a great guy he was.

      • Incognito 3.1.2

        So, JLR permits a 61-word text to be sent to MSM, which then decide not to publish it except for the last four damning words!?

        And this is enough to set off another round of pure speculation and the gearbox of the rumour mill is starting to make funny noises too.

        Who benefits from this?

        IMO there’s no strategic mastermind(s) at work, but just a few very confused and highly emotional individuals who make things up as they go along.

        Where’s Jason?

        • Sacha

          Jason was a conduit, never a mastermind.

        • Treetop

          Who benefits from this?

          It is a diversion from the $100k check.

          Some people still have old era thinking about mental health. Comments some National MPs made prior to JLR’s admission
          were so disrespectful and ignorant.

          I saw old era thinking with Haumaha over his comment made about Louise Nicholas.

          • Incognito

            That makes no sense to me whatsoever. The original text was sent to JLR and apparently released (by whom?) with his permission. Yet, MSM only publicised the last four words!? If indeed JLR wants us all to know about the contents of that text and who sent it to him aren’t there other more direct ways? The more I hear about this story the less I want to know about it.

            • Treetop

              It has got to the point where the date of the text and who sent it and who recieved it needs to be stated if known.

              I am looking at the big picture.

              Ex cops could be an issue as well. This may explain why the National MP did not go to the police.

              There is the police family. Even our PM feels part of it. This has been stated by her at a police graduation. So it is a fact.

              I do not like dirty cops. Thankfully most cops do the job for the right reason and they do their job well.

              I prefer to deal with facts and not conspiracy.

  4. Morrissey 4

    Ku Klux Klan receives apology:
    ‘We are not racist and we are not anti-black.”

    Auckland University has apologised for publishing an article that described the Ku Klux Klan as “a racist and militantly anti-black group”.

    Former KKK Grand Dragon Sod Harbn is the spokesperson for the KKK. He said after reading the article, he asked the university to retract the statement about the group.

    “The KKK was described as racist and militantly anti-black and that is an absolute nonsense. We are not racist and we are not anti-Negro. The co-spokesperson for the KKK is herself black, we are in no sense anti-black and in no sense racist,” said Dr Harbn.

    The university’s alumni magazine, Ingenio, printed an opinion piece written by Professor Stephen May about the benefits of bi-and-multi-lingualism. The article contained a sentence which described the objections by some, including KKK members: “The tirade was led by Sod Harbn, in his role as spokesperson for the KKK, a racist and militantly anti-black lobby group.”

    In its latest issue, Ingenio printed a craven backdown stating the sentence in its August issue “was incorrect and should not have appeared in the article”.

    Dr Harbn said he was satisfied with the university’s apology.


    • Chris T 4.1

      Anyone else thinking any leader of a group who demand they are called “Grand Dragon” is probably compensating for something?

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        KKK arcana is fascinating. It’s a bizarre admixture of all sorts of nonsense, including Freemason gibberish and what they imagine is Celtic and Aryan ceremonial stuff. They even have special KKK names for the days of the week.

    • SaveNZ 4.2

      No wonder NZ university’s are dropping down the world rankings. Less concerned about education and more about mindless identity politics while shutting down services for locals aka specialist libraries (cos foreign students don’t like ‘the arts’) and their biggest concerns about where their next foreign dollar is coming from and how to increase their ‘market share’ of that foreign dollar and I guess having a KKK group is grounds to go woke left without actually bothering to investigate (their spokesperson is. black) or worrying about freedom of speech issues… I mean it’s not good for foreign marketing which trumps free speech or actually investigating properly….!!

      • Gabby 4.2.1

        Is ‘woke’ your new thing savy?

        • SaveNZ

          We’ve had one university ban Brash and now Auckland going down the same track… uni management are so busy attaching to the latest easy ‘thing’ aka woke leftism, which I think is just a manufactured movement by the right to divide the left anyway, that common sense seems to have gone out the window and they are actually damaging the centre left movement because it’s become based on judgements about race or gender, which the majority of other centre lefties disagree with and for the last decade has been banned from universities so, removing freedom of speech at university and micro managing the discourses, has become normal. Rather than creating the best and widest eduction they can, which is what is needed.

          Someone was complaining that they had to listen to a climate change denier lecturer at Auckland, then we get the opposite woke lefties – a bit of in between and real education is probably a better strategy than always extreme views and reactions which has become ‘a thing’ and MSM love it, too.

          If they really care about social justice, you wonder why they are running down the arts, because it’s those departments that actually educate , graduates that create a wholesome, diverse society…

          • SaveNZ

            Not just them Unitec is apparently a management basket case… here is one article but I read a much more indepth one about how shocking managers treated staff and just went crazy with neoliberal polices which essentially has screwed up the institution.


            “The funding formula is certainly a part of the reason but it is not the whole picture. There has been an ongoing back story of very poor topmost management and governance for several years that has lead Unitec, which as one of NZ’s wealthiest and most stable tertiary education institutions, to this point. Yet those who have been a big part of all but destroying a once-fine institution on wild goose chases and pet projects such as trying to become a university, which wasted millions of dollars, while cutting back in vital areas and hundreds of staff job cuts, plus ill-conceived outsourcing all of which have cost many millions of dollars and student enrolments, destroyed morale and left Unitec financially bereft, seem to get off scot-free. This is not acceptable. They need to be held accountable to ensure that they do not repeat the same mistakes and create the same problems elswhere. TIASA has offered to work with government and Unitec to try and get Unitec out of these dire straits and put the institute back on its feet and the healthy situation it was once in”, Peter Joseph said. “But part of this surely has to be some accountability for those at the top who have got it into this mess”.”

          • Carolyn_Nth

            You seem to be following Bomber’s irritating use of the work “woke”. I guess it’s meant ironically, and it sounds all cool and catchy. But it has undertones of racist appropriation.

            Originally used by African Americans as a term to refer to being aware of how racism is operating, it has been adopted by many others. It’s now used as a term of abuse by right wingers and is in about the same category as PC and SJW.


            • SaveNZ

              I love (sarcasm) how modern debate ignores the principles of the debate, but instead derails it by concentrating on semantics. . Climate change deniers have this art down to a T too.

            • JohnSelway

              Yeah but Bombers an idiot

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    TOP leader Geoff Simmons has a well-reasoned analysis of the relationship between donations and minor parties here: https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/26-10-2018/the-greens-proposed-donation-ban-would-serve-to-ban-new-parties-from-parliament/

    His main point is that the Greens are proposing to punish themselves: “such a rule would hit the Green Party itself. Depending on whether the $35,000 limit was annual or over a certain time period, the Green Party would not have been able to accept $65,000 from Phillip Mills and almost $284,000 from the Estate of Elizabeth Beresford Riddoch in 2016. They may not even be able to continue the practice of MPs tithing 10% of their salary to their own party.”

    • Incognito 5.1

      Silly, silly Greens, biting the hand that feeds them and turning down good money. What are they thinking?

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        Yeah, funny, but I get they just want to limit all parties, in respect of the warping effect on democracy of large donations. Personally, I’d be happy with a limit of a thousand dollars, and total elimination of anonymity.

      • KJT 5.1.2

        I know principles are hard to understand. For some people.

        Havn’t we just been talking about the effects of the lack of principles, in National.

        • alwyn

          I might, just might, accept that the Green Party were talking from principle except for one little fact.
          72% of the donations to the Green Party in 2017 appear to have been from donors that they never identified.
          The party identified the donors of about $240k out of their total of around $848k. Most of those identified were in fact their MPs.
          Where did all the rest come from, and why don’t the Green party observe their “principles” and tell us?

          • Dukeofurl

            40% of Green donors were for small amounts- less than $1500.

            For National $3.5 mill or 76% were over $1500

            Thats the difference, oh plus national uses financial engineering to come under the limits where possible.

            • alwyn

              That is a very strong comment.
              ” national uses financial engineering “.
              I suggest that unless you can prove it we should assume you are simply making it up. What is your evidence?

              Your other claim about the Green donations is also misleading, as I am sure you are aware.
              Yes, the Green party declared that 113 out of their 297 donors gave less than $1500. In total they gave less than $6,000 while the other 184 gave about $600,000.

              About all you can say about the numbers is that a far larger proportion of the Green party donors live overseas than do National Party donors.
              Would you accept therefore that overseas control of the Green Party is much more pronounced than the very minor influence of foreign donors have on the Nats?

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                “About all you can say about the numbers is that a far larger proportion of the Green party donors live overseas than do National Party donors.”

                Where do you get that from?? I downloaded both the Green Party return and the National Party return for 2017 (link below). The only visibility for foreign donations is for those above $1,500. But the Greens reported zero such donations, while National reported $54k.


                • alwyn

                  Foreign, and anonymous, donations of less than $1,500 are in section G.
                  The Greens had 60 giving a total of $2,825.
                  National had 17 giving $17,180.
                  You did notice, I hope, that of the $54,000 you mention National only got to keep $1,500. The rest was returned.
                  Thus National had a total of 18 foreign donors. The Green party had 60.
                  A much higher percentage of the Green donors were therefore foreigners than were the figures for National. National had of course far more donors in total, as well as far less foreigners.

                  I do really think that counting the percentage of donors giving small amounts rather than the percentage of money is pretty silly. I imagine that National have far more members than the Greens. The could probably declare the whole sub, whatever it is, as a donation and say they had 50,000 donors, or whatever their membership might be.
                  I have no idea, by the way, what the membership of either party is. I am like Groucho Marx
                  “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”
                  I am not, never have been and never will belong to any political party.

                  • UncookedSelachimorpha

                    Got it – I didn’t scroll down to read the detail and you are right.

                    I think all parties should make full disclosure (and the Greens should lead the way as an example). In this day and age of data and electronics, keeping track of all donations is not that onerous. A shop can track most of their transactions in some detail.

                    • alwyn

                      I am in favour of anonymity, at least up to quite a generous amount.
                      Look at any of the political blogs and see the abuse that tends to be flung at anyone who appears to have donated to a Political party.
                      Most donors of comparatively small amounts who are identified tend to get abused by people who don’t approve of the party that got the money.
                      Look at the gong that Tony Astle of Antoine’s received when he turned on some dinners for people who donated money to the National Party.
                      He had been running the restaurant at the top end of the line for about 40 years. He deserved the award he got for services to the profession. Anyone who did not like his aid to the National Party however jeered at him.
                      I think the current limits are reasonable A party doesn’t really sell out for $15,000.

              • Dukeofurl

                The evidence is a whole group of people previously unknown to national gave exactly $14000 each ( a huge amound by NZ standards) to get around the $15k disclosure limit.
                The group effort came to exactly $100k…what a surprise that amount will get you another Chinese list Mp.
                The detailed evidence Ross gave to Police over and above the recordings will still be dynamite
                At least now, with the recordings, Bridges cant lie outright and say he never had a conversation with donors and Ross about the “$100k”

                • alwyn

                  A group of people who between them give a total of $100k but where none of them give more that $15k is greatly different to a single donation of $100k. A single donation of $100k must be reported. 8 donation of less than $100k, from 8 different people and none of which exceed $15k don’t require names.
                  Surely you understand that?
                  No law has been broken.
                  Or perhaps the absurdity of your argument doesn’t register on you.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.2

      Weasel words from the party that would get little following or public attention if it wasn’t backed by a wealthy guy willing to pour loads of money into it.

      If restrictions on donations meant less money for the GP, it would be the same for all parties – so level playing field.

      The TOP bias is showing.

    • SaveNZ 5.3

      Yes, because you need money to have a democracy, the politicians themselves are less important than the ability to make money for your party. sarcasm.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.4

      It would hurt parties that exist solely due to a single or very small number of very rich people.

      Parties with large membership would be OK – there would be a fixed annual membership fee plus state funding in proportion to received vote. An annual membership of $100 is quite a lot, if you have 10,000 members, for example. But not so much if you only have a multi-millionaire and his/her mates / family. Which is the point!

      • Draco T Bastard 5.4.1


        Limiting donations forces the parties to get more members while also limiting the power of rich people.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      It’s called integrity.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Changes to FICO scores make it easier to borrow with dodgy credit. It would stimulate spending so I wonder how much political pressure was on to make the change.


    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Probably quite a bit. After reading Steve Keen and dissertations on sovereign money I’m pretty sure the reason why private banks are allowed to create money is to artificially boost spending which then boosts the profits of corporations which then boosts the money created by the banks. It’s a vicious cycle into indebtedness and collapse.

      On the other hand if the government created the money and spent it into the economy as a productive force utilising a country’s own resources that indebtedness would never happen and neither would the profits.

      • patricia bremner 6.1.1

        DTB In a nutshell !! Got it. One for corporate good versus one for people’s good.

        One inflated by interest rates, used to buy public resources.

        One created by public cooperation and ownership.

        When the banks and businesses fail, they use public funds (tax) to correct the situation.

        We have been fed the mantra ‘”cooperation and state ownership is bad”

        Followed by “Private ownership and competition is good”

        Some have tried a mix of the above mantras to mixed results.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Indeed. So we now have competing narratives of how the take-out was activated: Fisher vs Slater. Since Slater is now officially a truth-teller, according to the judiciary, Fisher will have to dig harder to succeed…

      • I feel love 7.1.1

        Well I feel for his wife and children, cheating is a cowardly narcissist act that leaves so much damage in it’s wake. I hope his wife and children have plenty of support and get a good settlement. I also hope the “sitting MP” feels utterly ashamed of herself, but then again cheaters tend to feel entitled and lack self awareness so she probably doesn’t. Again, I wish JLRs wife and children well, they are better off without the cheater.

        • bwaghorn

          ” cheating is a cowardly narcissist act that leaves so much damage in it’s wake”
          Absolutely but you’ll find most commenters here will say it doesn’t matter. That it doesn’t show at minimum an instability of character but in my opinion more likely shows they are not someone that should be trusted .

          • Reality

            And the married woman MP has this character defect also. She has family perhaps who will be affected and for whatever reason is being granted the right to privacy by the Nats and media.

        • ankerawshark

          I feel love, yes affairs are incredibly damaging. I know this from personal experience. Appalling to go through………………..So agree we need to send compassionate thoughts to wife and kids………

          What a mess it is…………………

          • I feel love

            Same here Ankerawshark, utterly devastating, and that is without the public knowing! A good resource is the Chumplady blog for anyone going through the shit nightmare of infidelity (she’s funny and full of snark, brilliant). But basically cheaters are untrustworthy, whatever field or profession they are in, they lie to their partners (& often the person they cheat with ironically) so why would they not lie to you if it suits them? Cheaters suck.

            • Ankerrawshark

              Thanks for the website recommendation. Glad to know. It happened to me many, many years ago and so I am all good now, but probably the worst thing I ever experienced

      • Dukeofurl 7.1.2

        “So we now have competing narratives of how the take-out was activated”

        Essentially the same :
        National MP ( the Ex) calls Gray , Bridges chief of staff
        CoS calls psychiatrist
        Psychiatrist calls police
        Police take him to hospital

        Fisher just adds the text contact between the female Mp and Ross. Doesnt say who initiated that txting.

        perhaps that will be released by JLR at some stage, but the media wont publish it like before

        • Ankerrawshark

          Duke it maybe that psychiatrist told grey to call police, which would be appropriate as best the person closest to the source, but neither here nor there

    • KJT 7.2

      Herald white washing National, as usual.

      Slater is more credible, for once.

      • Carolyn_Nth 7.2.1

        Neither Slater nor the Nats are totally credible. Slater also skewed his version for maximum sympathy for JLR, and maximum blaming of the Nats.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        I just go with neither as credible.

        • patricia bremner

          Both have agendas.
          Who benefits?

          • newsense

            More like theory b: Ross may still have been connected with Collins. This is a Bridges faction version.

            From the article:
            “Slater, who is a family friend of National’s ambitious Papakura MP Judith Collins, has waged war against the party after it cut him adrift when the Dirty Politics book was published in 2014.”

  7. Dennis Frank 8

    “Justice Toogood said he was “satisfied Mr Slater is neither a compulsive nor a calculated liar”.” https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/10/colin-craig-guilty-of-moderately-serious-sexual-harassment-against-rachel-macgregor-judge-rules.html

    Folks will be excited to see the whale identified as truth-teller. Obviously, some here will feel the judiciary are invalidating Hager’s thesis. But wait! Just cos he’s “neither a compulsive nor a calculated liar” doesn’t mean he’s not a different kind of liar, right?

    • Dukeofurl 8.1

      The case was about Slater and Craig suing each other for defamation not about MacGregor being sexually harassed.

      Thats twisting the narrative to say ‘Craig was guilty of something else’.

      Slaters claims that Craig sexually harassed MaCgregor was found to be true -the HRC had come to that conclusion previously.

      So that defamation claim had a defence that it was True.

      judge had found 2 other claims of defamation by Slater to be guilty.

      • Dukeofurl 8.1.1

        Specific findings of the Judge:
        “(a) It is not established that Mr Craig was guilty of sexual harassment of
        Ms MacGregor up to and including the incident on election night 2011
        when there was intimacy between them, because I am not satisfied that
        Mr Craig’s behaviour was unwanted by Ms MacGregor at that time.

        “(b)It is true that Mr Craig was guilty of moderately serious sexual
        harassment of Ms MacGregor, on multiple occasions from early 2012
        to 2014 by telling her that he remained romantically inclined and
        sexually attracted to her
        , and that those expressions of his views were
        not welcomed by Ms MacGregor at the time


    • Ankerrawshark 8.2

      He lies for convenience

  8. Adrian Thornton 9

    Here is a interview worth watching….
    Crashing The Guardian’s neoliberal party: Rise of new left media w/ The Canary’s Kerry-Anne Mendoza

  9. Pat 10

    “That meant too many politicians were “over-educated and under-employed”, says Blackham. “Those people are time-serving because they’ve gone from university politics into general party politics.”

    He believes that has played a part in severing links with the voters and diminishing their ability to make sound decisions.”


    I would suggest there was no need for a study to reach these conclusions.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      I would suggest there was no need for a study to reach these conclusions.

      Of course there was and that reason comes back to making informed decisions rather than decisions based upon reckons.

      Now that we have this information we could write laws that limit MPs to having worked in the real world before being eligible to be a candidate.

      Of course, we’d probably need a study to identify the ‘real world’ because it certainly isn’t what the right-wing think it is.

  10. Dukeofurl 11

    So now the Herald confirms – in the type of language written by lawyers- that people in Bridges office were behind the involvement of Police in Ross’s detention in hospital.


    How sweet and lovely for NZH to get exactly the wording and sequence of events
    right ‘according to the party’

    • tc 11.1

      The behaviour of granny over the serious issues raised by JLR, national and its employed shills whitewashing their political mates has been predictable.

      If the govt doesn’t reform/regulate the media the playing field will always favour the right. Thought JA wanted a different type of politics ?

      David fishers great but he should be the norm not the exception.

    • bwaghorn 11.2

      What would be the point of having a rogue mp sanctioned, or poisoning a double agent or killing a journalist with out the facts “accidentally ” being found out .

  11. Observer Tokoroa 12

    Hush Puppies

    On what grounds did National Caucus expel Jami-Lee Ross ?

    Did J L R tell lies to Caucus? Or did he tell the Truth to Caucus concerning corruption?

    Is there any honest person within National who can inform us on this ?
    The Media won’t tell us because they support only one Party in NZ. National.

    Or was J L R dismissed from the Caucus of National because of his suggested sexual intercourse and Heavy Sex with Four National MPS and Staff as heavily purported by Paula Bennett ?

    And was J L R kicked out for having encounters with Fifteen more Female National MPS and Staff as told to us by Simon Bridges ?

    The NZ Media has done no research on this, even though scandal is their bread and butter.

    But how could they be expected to delve into National Party female sex habits which could upset the National Party? The apparent phenomenal promiscuity of National females is both amazing and taboo. Why ?

    • tc 12.1

      The comparison to DC’s treatment over the Liu smear shows the corporate medias IF…THEN logic. IF National THEN ok/fairly legal/they all do it, IF Labour THEN sky’s falling/must resign/etc.

      If this was across the ditch they’d be having a field day, digging, turning, prodding, hounding regardless of which side.

    • patricia bremner 12.2

      12 Observer Tokoroa LOLZ.
      Quite perceptive and utterly revealing “dance of the seven veils”

  12. Sabine 13

    No one interested into whom was trying to blow up the Democratic Party Leadership inclusive two ex presidents to smithereens yesterday?


    OK then. Surely any day now America was made great again.

    as for the storm in the teacup that is the National Party? maybe they model themselves after the republican party? Taxcuts for me, misery for thee?

  13. SaveNZ 14

    Just another billionaire putting one of his ‘assets’ on hold, while local business burns and the kids have no pools.

    “Waiwera residents hope their thermal pools will once again become a tourist hotspot after languishing under the management of a Russian billionaire and his diamond dealing associate.

    The lease on the resort was cancelled and the locks changed yesterday after the leaseholder, Waiwera Thermal Resort Limited, failed to pay its bills.’


  14. SaveNZ 15

    More on that..
    Waiwera Thermal Resort sacks all staff ahead of renovation


    And this,
    Russian billionaire given retrospective consent for NZ property buy

  15. SaveNZ 16

    It’s getting to be a joke when jobs and businesses are being destroyed by OIA purchases – and there seems to be no link between what is promised and when it needs to be achieved, to submitting something and actually achieving the opposite aka in this case, sacked staff, putting other local business out of work.

    OIA process is a disgrace and the OIA consent for Waiwera should be cancelled.

    But of course that would be fought by lawyers so of course the OIA who seem to be run by idiots are actually just a waste of space because they don’t seem to hold any of the applicants to account to actually deliver benefits as promised within a set timeframe and then cancel the consent if they don’t achieve it.


    • SaveNZ 16.1

      Another strange deal where the tax payer was left apparently offering a billionaire a loan at less than market rates and a profit of 23 million, oh and free citizenship to boot…


      “A Herald investigation into Thiel’s local activity discovered his chief local investment vehicle, Valar Ventures, had exercised a little-known buyout clause in its partnership with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund to reap massive profits at the taxpayers’ expense.

      The arrangement meant Thiel contributed $7m to the deal, but after its large stake in Xero skyrocketed in value was able to claim all profits from the venture. The move is understood to have led to profits of at least $23m for Thiel, while the NZVIF and taxpayers were left barely breaking even.

      Reports obtained under the Official Information Act showed the Government was warned as far back as 2014 about the potential for the Valar Ventures partnership to blow up in their faces.

      A consultant told the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that the arrangement “creates some difficult optics where, in the Valar Ventures example, the taxpayer is offering an American billionaire a loan at less-than-market rates”.”

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Thiel’s citizenship needs to be cancelled right along with the ownership of the land that he bought (Nationalisation without compensation – he got $23m from government coffers anyway). There was simply too much dodgy shit going on there for it not to be corrupt.

    • Pete 16.2

      Don’t worry, the Taxpayers union will be onto it. There’ll be reports and media releases the whole nine yards.

      • SaveNZ 16.2.1

        I doubt it apart from as a distraction. These routs with OIA been going on for years with nothing being done.

        • Draco T Bastard

          True which means that there’s probably hundreds of people in the OIA office that need to be jailed for treason.

  16. Rosemary McDonald 17

    Friday morning retro….from the soundtrack of our lives.

  17. Kay 18

    Well- I’d completely forgotten about this effort, for some strange reason it appeared at the bottom of another article as a “related article’.

    Beneficiary for life: the joys of permanent disability in present day NZ

    Re-reading through the comments section was this from Ad:
    Ad 22
    10 November 2017 at 5:08 pm
    “In a years’ time, this writers’ experience will be a good benchmark for Minister Sepuloni.”

    Looking at the dates, it’s 2 weeks off a year since I wrote that article so I got thinking about Minister Sepuloni, and what, if anything has changed for long term disabled people on a benefit in NZ?
    The only positive thing I can think of is the winter fuel payment.
    The accommodation supplement increase resulted in deductions to TAS being used for private rental so many people came away with less.
    I’ve managed to avoid physically going near a WINZ office for the last year except to drop off some paperwork once (and there was no queue for the counter that day) so I can’t personally comment on any changes there.
    No noises from the top about the most important thing, raising the rates. Perhaps we might be given a surprise in an upcoming budget?
    Politicians just will not talk about disabled beneficiaries, or if they are it’s certainly not reported anywhere.
    I couldn’t stand Sepuloni when she was in Opposition and still can’t stand her.

    My off the cuff thoughts, feel free to add…

    • Rosemary McDonald 18.1

      Now, now Kay. Carmel is trying to get with the program. She’s made at least one attempt to ‘walk a mile’ and dabble with lived experience.

      And it went down like a cup of cold sick with some….https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/06-09-2018/why-mps-playing-wheelchair-dress-ups-is-such-a-terrible-idea/

      I have in my inbox an email exchange with the (non disabled) CEO of the ‘specific disability’ advocacy group who organised this event.
      (As if it has never been done before.)

      This numpty honestly believes that Carmel (and others) beetling around the safely accessible confines of the Beehive indicates a willingness on their behalf to truly engage with the disability community.

      In the fuzzy background is Ian Lees Galloway..Minster for ACC…and ACC disabled can, if history repeats, expect a more generous hearing from Labour.

      I withdrew from the email conversation as I’m learning about futility and how soul sapping pointless exercises are.

      Appointing Sepuloni as Minister for Disability Issues….? A person I’m inclined to respect tells me that Carmel genuinely wants to sort some of the bigger (read ‘high media profile’) issues.

      ODI is a propaganda machine. They do nothing other than say how well successive governments have done for ‘the disabled’.

      I am trying to keep an open mind…but I more than share you skepticism.

      Thanks for bringing this up. Busy today, but will check in later to see if a conversation ensues. 😉

      • Kay 18.1.1

        We’ll be skeptical together then Rosemary 🙂 I figured out years ago there’s no point in expecting anything positive out of them, it’s so much easier not to get one’s hopes up that our existence matters to politicians, and by extension many voters. So if by some fluke something positive happens, then it can be a pleasant surprise, but I’m never going to sing their praises for it. Everyone know that for most of us, the winter fuel allowance went primarily on food and medication costs, or even just the power bill BEFORE the heater was turned on.

        The harsh reality is, 2 parties in the coalition do not give a damn about beneficiaries and even if they wanted to, the public hatred for us is now so ingrained that it’s politically untenable for them to even be SEEN expressing a degree of sympathy for us, even disabled. So of course upping the core benefit rates can’t happen, they’re completely backed into a corner, hence the tinkering, like the fuel allowance, token increase in accommodation supplement etc, which you’ll notice are give to pensioner and low income, respectively, so as to minimise the criticism of those bludgers getting free money.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          I’m on my phone at the vehicle testing station as our wheelchair accessible vehicle cum home has it’s COF check. The only reason we can afford the check and rego without stress is the comparative affluence we now have having transitioned from the SLP to the Old Folks Pension.

          We’re screwed if big repairs are needed.

          Kay. We need to get some attention drawn to this issue.

          Someone tell Jacinda that those on the SLP deserve kindness too.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “The harsh reality is, 2 parties in the coalition do not give a damn about beneficiaries…”

          True that. And I suspect the other COL partner is at best ambivalent.

          “… the public hatred for us is now so ingrained that it’s politically untenable for them to even be SEEN expressing a degree of sympathy for us, even disabled. ”

          I beg to differ.

          Seriously…you might get the odd happy clappy ‘Haven’t we got a wonderful public health system” story pop up in MSM now and again, but sad tales of health and disability system failures and delays are rife. Everyone has a Mum, Granddad, Auntie, Brother or Cousin who’ve had to wait until the pain has become debilitating or the shit treatment/care has made them worse or dead.
          I despair at the endless disease of the week Givealittle article that has families begging for $$$ for drugs or treatments that are routinely funded overseas or simply enough dosh to carry the family over the hard times.

          Most people understand about the financial impact of illness and disability.

          And I firmly believe that this government has misread the wider public sentiment on this.

          I guess this has been a tactic….force folk to seek support from the community rather than entitlements from government. Thing is though….those that are doing ok are probably working all hours and still just getting by. Charity is fine…but its finite and is often accompanied by judgements or conditions.

          And by god….they’ll remember what crumbs they flicked when an MP bares all and ‘confesses’ to having had to bend the ‘rules’ to get by.

          Big fail from the Greens for not standing staunch…

          TBH…I’m not feeling the lovingkindness from this government yet for those with disabilities and those having to subsist on miserable humiliating benefits.

          Found this…pre-dates your post Kay by a few months…https://thestandard.org.nz/poverty-and-disability/ and from when National was still in.


  18. A sad story. Just worth noting that looks can be deceiving and it is hard to know what thoughts are going on in someone else’s head.

    “Hawke’s Bay farmer Paul Renton was haunted by a fear of financial collapse and working 18-hour days in the lead-up to his suicide, a coroner’s report has found.
    In the Thursday report, obtained by Stuff, Coroner Peter Ryan found Renton died in spite of the strong support around him from the community, as well as his wife.
    Just four months before his death the father of three was accepting the 2017 Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year award.”


    • Dukeofurl 19.1

      I thought the part about him being treatment for major depression was relevant
      “He was seeking help for his mental health issues, first diagnosed with moderate anxiety and depression in July 2017.

      On August 1, he again visited his GP when it became apparent his condition was “far greater” than first thought. Antidepressant and hypnotic medication were prescribed and an urgent psychiatric assessment was arranged, Stuff reported.

      The assessment diagnosed him with major depression and Renton agreed to continue counselling and take medication.”

      So he was doing all the right things until..

      • marty mars 19.1.1

        Yep it seems he was doing everything he could and that wasn’t enough. That can be particularly hard for those left behind. I really feel for them and for him to have got into such a desolate place. Be safe out there everyone – you too duke.

        • JohnSelway

          My own personal story reads similar. After spending years trying to get help, being socked around with side effects from every type of medication they threw at me and being declined DHB help on 10 different occasions I nearly, very very nearly, went over the line. I wouldn’t be here today if a new GP I started seeing earlier this year hadn’t stepped in and saw what a terrible state I was in and pushed the DHB hard to get me support.

          I now have wrap-around care and have several different cogs all working together to give me the help I need instead of being pushed and pulled by a system that is dysfunctional. I’m one of the lucky ones – others like this farmer are not.

          • Dukeofurl

            Its good that you stuck with it

            • JohnSelway

              There isn’t really much of a choice. It was either stick with it or drink myself to death. I have a young daughter to think of so have to carry on

              • patricia bremner

                Good wishes John, we have a son who struggles. We know it is learning to live in the moment, and not sweating the small stuff.

                He says “Will it matter in an hour? a day? next year? 3 x yes
                Come out fighting. Cheers.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.2

        Ah, so capitalism even chews up the poor capitalists.

        I’m pretty sure that there’s nothing that either drugs and hypnotism can do for 18 hour days and being broke. Poor guy was working hard and going backwards and probably wondering why everything he’d been taught throughout his life about hard work bringing success wasn’t working.

  19. Bill 20

    this… 🙂

  20. Puckish Rogue 21

    So on my continuing quest to be gainfully employed once again I have…passed the testing and interview stage and have moved onto the final stage

    I may now allow myself to consider the possibility that this may actually happen, don’t get me wrong lounging around my house playing Read Dead Redemption 2 is fun but its not really a long term strategy…at least not past christmas anyway

    So now I just have to pass a medical check (not a problem), police check (not a problem), fitness check (not a problem) and drugs test (really not a problem) and they’ll check my references and then I’ll begin training to become…

    Well I’ll give a slight hint…

    • Dennis Frank 22.1

      Significant news, I like it! Interesting angle they are using: the notion of shareholder fraud, implying NYC is actually an Exxon shareholder. Leverage, huh?

      “The suit does not charge Exxon with playing a role in creating climate change, though the burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to human-driven warming. Rather, it is a fairly straightforward shareholder fraud suit, the kind that New York attorneys general have long brought and successfully prosecuted under state law. It says the company engaged in a “longstanding fraudulent scheme” to deceive investors, analysts and underwriters “concerning the company’s management of the risks posed to its business by climate change regulation.””

      “Exxon essentially kept two sets of books when accounting for the effects of climate change, prosecutors said. The company told the world that it was prepared for the more stringent regulations that would inevitably be required to combat global warming. But in reality, according to the complaint, Exxon’s internal estimates discounted the potential future costs of climate policies, even though the threat of government action “exposed the company to greater risk from climate change regulation than investors were led to believe.”

      So the burden of proof that Exxon cooked the books is on the prosecutor to show both sets & tell the court only one set was officially used. That show & tell strategy can only work if a company insider has provided the prosecution with both sets, eh? Exxon, even if found guilty on the basis of such evidence, has the money to fight it in the Supreme Court. If they fail, the whistleblower is likely to become a global hero – could even beat out Snowden, Manning, Assange for top spot!

  21. Bill 23

    [Brazil’s] leading newspapers headlined this moment – the homage Roger Waters paid to Marielle – and it was a reminder of the power to inspire and find light even in the grimest and darkest times.


    • Poission 23.1

      the post war dream

      Tell me true tell me why was Jesus crucified
      Is it for this that daddy died?
      Was it for you? was it me?
      Did I watch too much t.v.?
      Is that a hint of accusation in your eyes?
      If it wasn’t for the nips
      Being so good at building ships
      The yards would still be open on the clyde
      And it can’t be much fun for them
      Beneath the rising sun
      With all their kids committing suicide

      • Heather Grimwwod 23.1.1

        To Poisson at 23.1 : SO poignant and succinct in the word pictures/ messages. Was I still teaching I would have used this to motivate discussion. Have you the author’s name or maybe ’tis your own? Thank you.

      • Heather Grimwwod 23.1.2

        To Poission at 23.1: Such succinct word pictures/messages! really memorable. Have you the poet’s name or maybe ’tis your own? Were I still teaching I would have used it to motivate discussion and other followup activity.Thank you.

  22. newsense 24

    Time to revive Paddy Gower so he can chase Collins and ask about her challenge

  23. newsense 25

    Also how about a will this end in the courts article comparing Conservatives Craig thingy and all this.

  24. joe90 26

    If there’s any substance at all to this, it’ll do immeasurable damage to real survivors.

    NEW: Here's the letter from Sen. Grassley referring Michael Avenatti and Julie Swetnick to DOJ for possible criminal investigation into whether they made false statements about Brett Kavanaugh: https://t.co/d42U1rcH2r pic.twitter.com/OKbi1sjVuq— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 25, 2018

    When Sen. Chuck Grassley referred attorney Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the Justice Department for criminal investigation Thursday, he cited Swetnick’s interview with NBC News as evidence the two were trying to mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee.


    • Macro 26.1

      Avenatti hits back tho:

      “It is ironic that Senator Grassley now is interested in investigations. He didn’t care when it came to putting a man on the SCOTUS for life,” Avenatti tweeted in response to the referral of himself and Swetnick. “We welcome the investigation as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh’s lies and conduct.”

      He later tweeted that he’d make Swetnick available to Grassley to be interviewed “and you can make Judge Kavanaugh available for a sworn interview. We also have 9 other witnesses we want interviewed and specific documents we want requested. Let’s go.”


  25. The ChiNational shit party.

    A vote for them is a vote for the CCP.

    • BM 27.1

      Really?, you don’t believe Labour loves Chinese money just as much as National?

      The party that signed us up to a no restrictions free trade agreement with China

      There’s also this

      An influential United States Congress hearing has been told “one of the major fundraisers for Jacinda Ardern’s party” is linked to the Chinese Communist Party and it showed China had penetrated New Zealand’s political networks


      • patricia bremner 27.1.1

        BM, it is not Labour who has a past communist party member as a National party member of Parliamen!! Innuendo and speculation by a partisan group does not prove anything.!!

  26. Morrissey 28

    Australia’s a notorious, internationally condemned rogue state:
    hardly a surprise given its appalling and shameful history.


  27. eco maori 29

    Kia ora The Nation having a bit of a hard time with the Ngapuhi Treaty settelment Andrew .
    Its could be because of Eco Maoris words and because of that phenomenon.
    I say that they should settle and take the money and make a better life for your mokopunas Ka kite ano .P.S buy heaps of realestate thats the safest easyest way to grow your money so long as you manage it correctly.
    Yes Helen I totally agree with you people should not be dieing from taking drugs and we Should copy Ruth Switzerland modle of treating the people with additctions to these man made drugs.
    I agree with Ruth different people are affected in differently to the drugs some will get hooked quite easily some don’t.
    More rehabilitation centers . I say that to Helen we don’t have to invent the wheel just look around the world and copy them on a lot of problems that they have come up with logical solution.
    Ka kite ano

  28. eco maori 30

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute

  29. eco maori 31

    Who tryed to say the #METOO Movement has slowed down it’s still strong as ever and need to be kept going strong so we get to equality Kia Kaha Wahine keep up the good cause for your granddaughters brighter futures

    philip green is now fighting fires on all fronts with the “#MeToo” scandal blowing up at a time when the billionaire is battling to shore up his crumbling high street empire.
    Ka kite ano link is below


  30. eco maori 32

    Here you go the wealthy should pay there taxes and leave the charity to the democratic
    governments to support the needs of the people these billionaires make there money off. Charity is a cold, grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.” It is a phrase commonly ascribed to Clement Attlee – the credit actually belongs to his biographer, Francis Beckett – but it elegantly sums up the case for progressive taxation. According to a report by the Swiss bank UBS, last year billionaires made more money than any other point in the history of human civilisation. Their wealth jumped by a fifth – a staggering $8.9tn – and 179 new billionaires joined an exclusive cabal of 2,158. Some have signed up to Giving Pledge, committing to leave half their wealth to charity. While the richest man on earth, Jeff Bezos – who has $146bn to his name – has not, he has committed £2bn to tackling homelessness and improving education Ka kite ano link is below.


  31. eco maori 33

    Here we go some intelligent people in Britain who got the big picture and know what the reality of the future for OUR Descendants will be like Hell rising seas huge bush fires Huge Hurricanes all because the wealthy oil barons can not think about others well being .There thought process is so last century it give me a sore face.
    We have a duty to act’: hundreds ready to go to jail over climate crisis
    Ka kite ano P.S To all the Equality ;& Climate changes supporters Kia kaha


  32. eco maori 34

    Kia ora & Kia Kaha / Hellow & Be Strong To all the American left voting people who are sick and tired of the billionaires like trump shaping Amercian laws for the rich by the rich .
    They bash Socialistic countrys like the Nordic countrys in Europe with no facts to back there lies they throw up Socialist country’s like Venezuela as a example of a Socialist government fail. What they don’t say is it is billionaires like trump who have corrupted the whole country’s laws so they and there corrupt state servants could rob the country blind that’s a fact.
    Get Out There And Vote The Go Oil Party Out Of Power .
    And vote for the new generation to put socialist people in power who know that a good socialist goverment is good for the PEOPLE & COUNTRY Ka kite ano link is below


  33. eco maori 35

    Kia ora Newshub The Kiwi build is going great just as long as we get the houses built that will be fine.
    That poor Australian boy with that extreme eating disorder it must be hard for his mum and dad.
    Lizette It looks like the Auckland Rugby is going great good Idea to have some free seats to boost the crowd.
    The Brazil election is going to have a major impact on climate change if they elect a right wing president as they mite start cutting down there rain forest at a much faster rate .Eco maori has been watching this political race quite seriously.
    Yes the old applinces lasted much longer than they do now we need to make thing last 20 years .
    I seen that Hawaii Island has been blown away by a hurricane global warming no.
    It good that the Chapel with wahine rights history as part of its heritage in Christchurch at the hospital is now open.
    It was cool that boy making a paste necklaces for the Duchess . Now he is selling them online for $20 each and giving the proceeds to a charity.
    Loyd it looks cold in England at the League test of the Kiwis and England . Well we have a cold front coming over Aotearoa at the minute E hoa
    Ka kite ano

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