Open Mike 26/11/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 26th, 2017 - 148 comments
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Step up to the mike …

148 comments on “Open Mike 26/11/2017”

  1. Ad 1

    Scotland Rugby says receive that Australia:

  2. CLEANGREEN 2

    Gulp!@#$%^&*()

    Not again!!!!!!!!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11930695

    “Scientists are discussing the risks it poses at a summit in Napier this week.

    They say it could trigger a massive 8.4 magnitude quake, that would cripple the lower North Island.”

    • greywarshark 2.1

      In a tsunami concrete buildings seem more durable than wooden ones.

      If the shake goes on for a minute, and if you are knocked off your feet then it is an indication that it is strong enough to be followed by a tsunami. And that could follow within 10 minutes, so evacuation should be asap.

      • mauī 2.1.1

        I would 100 times rather be in a wooden building in an earthquake and we’ve been stupid to keep putting up concrete crap in modern building. A concrete building may stand up to a tsunami but it won’t save your life in one either.

        • greywarshark 2.1.1.1

          Yes I noticed that the mention of concrete just related to tsunami. But it would be interesting to get the opinion of a professional engineerwith pragmatic approach who could tell us whether a badly built concrete building with inadequate reinforcing and possibly slab-built would be better than a badly built wooden building with no dwangs and under-spec studs. Because that is possibly the choice in NZ with anything built in the last 30 years.

          • cleangreen 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes greywarshark; good point there.

            I come from Napier so our family have lived in a city with the reminants of buildings from the 1931 earthquakes so we have seen how woden vs concrete buildings do stand up to a large earthquake.

            I do take Maui seriously here and he/she could be correct here in some cases.

            Most concrete buildings in Napier during the 1931 quake were levelled, but some stood then, and do still today.

            So we know the solid reinforced designed buildings are the ones that are still here today.

            When the building code here was upgraded from that earthquake we were told that Napier had ‘advanced building codes’ before other regions during the last half of the last century.

            So when a building was planned around our area, we saw that heavy reinforced caged steel “lential beams” were placed around the first floor level and at the top of the second floor through the concrete blocks.

            We do recall that they only had single 12mm reinfocing rods placed in every second hole of the blocks and then concrete was poured into the holes to set the rods in place.

            We always wondered why every hole didnt get a reinforced rod.

            We used reinforced rods in every hole of a retaining wall when we built one later in the 1980’s.

            So it may be that one should think of “beefing up” the amount of reinforced steel that is used in building a concete block building now.

            I hope this sheds some light on the subject.

            By the way I lived in the house for several years during the 1950s that was a reconstructed home from a house that (slid) off Napier’s ‘Bluff Hill’ during the 1931 earthquake, so yes a wooden structure can survive if it doesn’t fall over a cliff, opposed to just “sliding” off.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.2

          The sod-turning ceremony at 5 King Street in Brisbane will be a groundbreaking event in more than just in the literal sense. When complete in 2018, 45 metres of the 52-metre office tower will qualify as the world’s highest to be held aloft not by steel and concrete, but timber and glue.

          https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jun/21/tall-timber-the-worlds-tallest-wooden-office-building-to-open-in-brisbane

          Right over the road from where I am right now. Foundations well progressed, and I’d imagine the first structural elements might arrive within weeks. Oh and it doesn’t burn like the concrete dude at the bottom of the article implies … the outer layer chars and that’s it.

          In many respects engineered timber is a better bet in disasters than any other material.

        • JC 2.1.1.3

          “After the previous earthquakes, she took a big hammering on February 22. She shook like you wouldn’t believe. It always amazed me how she still stood.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/94130193/saving-christchurchs-landmark-shands-emporium

          • greywarshark 2.1.1.3.1

            Godd search for google
            earthquake and slab buildings and engineering doubts
            and

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/10337742/Learning-to-play-game-of-claims

            • JC 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Keh?

              I am familiar with Shand’s Emporium, also CHCH …. Know the building and city well, pre, and POST quake. Having experienced quite a few jolts there, and in Wellys etc …..
              Moreover I live in a dilapidated wooden cottage on the South Coast, and have experienced many a jolt from the Solander Trench over the years!
              And dwangs, or noggins… give me timber anytime over concrete!, i.e. CTV Building, Ex Drainage board building, ChCh, or Stats house in Wellington.

              The Shand’s 2 story timber construction from the 1800’s has stood the best of time!

              Please correct me if I have misunderstood you!

              • greywarshark

                JC
                I was just throwing some stuff in for consideration not trying to offer any definitive info. I actually wanted to find the engineer who started the ball rolling on the safety of much of the construction but couldn’t find him, too late too tired and I think keeping in mind stuff that was being discussed, keeping questions fresh, is something needed.

      • Sabine 2.1.2

        have a look at Papamoa and find the evacuation road in case of a Tsunami. Ideally you evacuate with a bicycle cause when all the geezers jump in their car to find the one road out – ooops finished. Well at least the recovery of bodies will be easy as they will be found in their cars.

        There is literally no way to evacuate for many who live coastal simply because a. where too? b. one road in one road out,. and c. shall i save my effn boat?

        So frankly to evacuate quickly……that is literally not gonna happen.

  3. bwaghorn 3

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/99190830/damien-grant-waka-jumpers-should-be-free-to-take-the-leap

    waka jumping ?
    list mps should get the boot , electorate mps should be allowed , imho

    • David Mac 3.1

      If they’re corporate execs or sportspeople they’re free agents, free to choose. If they’re politicians they are there on the grace of the people they represent, those that boosted them into the role.

      Politicians changing horses mid-stream is misrepresentation, cheating their backers. It’s peeling the labels off Marmite jars and replacing them with Vegemite ones, well wrong.

  4. Carolyn_Nth 4

    Nats, becoming the NZ Tea Party – cynically trying to impede current government through under arm bowling – or is there a worse/more apt metaphor?

    Sam Sachdeva on Twitter

    There have been a whopping 6254 written questions submitted to Govt ministers by the Nats in the last month; for comparison, there were 964 during the equivalent period after the 2014 election.

    Plus, the discussion that follows is important.

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      no surprises that the infant minds of your average nat mp can only see playing childish games as their role now, as we witnessed on day one around the lie to back the speakers appointment.

      maybe list mps in the opposition parties should be made redundant on election day

    • CLEANGREEN 4.2

      National tactics of stalling labour coalition to make changes is adding a mockery to PM Jacinda Ardern ‘s seeking to obtain a “National Party concensus on child poverty” eh!!!!!!!

      The hard lesson learned in the first month of the Labour lead government = do not rely on or trust the National Party at any time.

      • David C 4.2.1

        You think National should be assisting Labour? huh?

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          What they shouldn’t be doing is wasting the government’s time with an excess flood of questions most of which are probably bollocks.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.2.1.2

          They should be acting in the interests of NZ.

          • Wayne 4.2.1.2.1

            The Opposition asking questions of the government is “in the interests of New Zealand.” An energised Opposition is to be expected when they are the largest party.

            In contrast Labour after 2014 had only got 25% of the vote and were no doubt sufficiently demotivated not too ask very many questions. The next three years will not be the same as when the the largest party is the government.

            • Grey Area 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Jeez Wayne disingenuous to the max. An opposition asking questions of a government “is in the interests of New Zealand” when those questions are relevant and seek to draw out more detail of what a government is doing and why, and perhaps highlighting ineptitude and dishonesty and so on.

              An energised Opposition should also be intelligent and genuinely working in the interest of all of us, not simply clogging up the machinery of government for their own selfish ends and to show themselves to be ignorant and anti-democratic which National seem determined to do.

              • Grantoc

                Grey Area

                An energised opposition asking questions of the government is in the interest of NZders full stop. It’s an important element of our democratic process.

                Its not for you or I as individuals to judge whether or not they are relevant – thats the function of society in general. If the questions don’t generate new and/or relevant insights, then society will in turn judge the oppositions questions as a waste of time, and the particular line of questioning will cease.

                In and of itself having to answer lots of questions will not slow down the machinery of government.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Why would the malicious, dishonest National Party stop trying to waste the government’s time?

                  • Wayne

                    Apparently the large number of questions has been generated because the government won’t disclose who their Ministers are meeting with. They said they needed specific questions of Ministers. Well, they are now getting them.

                    Even if they are declined meetings (to be fair that could be a bit excessive). It is who they are meeting with that is important. But with GCSB, quite a lot will not be disclosable.

                    Presumably, in line with past practise, the government will disclose the diaries of Ministers so it is all transparent as to what they are doing, including all their meetings.

                    • cleangreen

                      Wayne;

                      We all along with the public and all the press too asked national Minsters for the last nine years and got gilich/nothing back from them National pm’s so why do you dumb National pollies now expect any answers to over ‘6000’ thousands of questions in a month now? – it doesn’t work like that!!!!!

                      Are you stupid or something.

                      Just wait untill they uncover all the financial scandals they will find as they audit the nine years of governments books lad, are you shaking?

                      On the seventh december we wil be watching the court proceedure as Winston presents his eveidence in discovery of the national ministers who caused the scandal leaking his private personal information or have you forgotten that???

                • Grey Area

                  LOL. Classic! I stand chastened. Not. Aren’t “you and I” members of society in general? I know I am. Therefore by your ” logic” I am totally qualified to judge whether these questions are relevant or not.

                • red-blooded

                  “Its not for you or I as individuals to judge whether or not they are relevant – thats the function of society in general.”

                  Actually, Grantoc, everyone who comments here is part of society in general and has every right to make their own judgement about the behaviour of our politicians. Having the same inane question (“What meetings did the minister attend on…(date)”) repeated for every day, for every Minister isn’t “holding the government to account” – it’s deliberately hovering up public servants’ time in an attempt to hold up progress in researching, developing and implementing policy. If Labour had been doing this during the last government’s time, they would have been mocked and denounced. There’s definitely a role for a focused opposition in parliament, but this isn’t it. This is just being petty and pathetic.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.2.1.2

              “Energised”. Yeah sure.

              13377 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 6 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13376 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the GCSB
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 5 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13375 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 7 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13374 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the NZ Security Intelligence Service
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 4 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13373 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the GCSB
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 6 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13372 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 8 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13371 (2017). Hon Steven Joyce to the Minister of Finance
              What will be the remuneration rate for ordinary members of the newly announced Tax Working Group?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13370 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the NZ Security Intelligence Service
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 5 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13369 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the GCSB
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 7 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13368 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the NZ Security Intelligence Service
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 6 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13367 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the GCSB
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 8 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13366 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 9 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13365 (2017). Hon Steven Joyce to the Minister of Finance
              What is the remuneration rate for the chair of the newly announced Tax Working Group?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13364 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the NZ Security Intelligence Service
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 7 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13363 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 10 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13362 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the NZ Security Intelligence Service
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 8 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13361 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the GCSB
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 9 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13360 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 11 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13359 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister responsible for the GCSB
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 10 November?
              Question 24 November 2017
              13358 (2017). Hon Christopher Finlayson to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
              What meetings did the Minister decline on 13 November?
              Question 24 November 2017

              Energised with malice and cry-baby rage.

            • Foreign waka 4.2.1.2.1.3

              Wayne, over 4000 written questions – this looks more like National has too much time and not much to do – and you know what they say about idle hands…

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.2.1.4

              The Opposition asking questions of the government is “in the interests of New Zealand.”

              Not necessarily and certainly doesn’t appear to be what National are doing ATM.

    • David Mac 4.3

      For years the left have had to cop the flak that comes with being in opposition.

      A national sentiment that ponders: ‘How on earth is that line of attack/questioning actually going to help our nation Labour/Greens? You do nothing but moan.’

      It’s time for National to slip into that coat and NZ can listen to the 6254 whines from those that lost.

      I think our government need only stick to their knitting and spin the noise from the other side of the house in a way that appeals to the broader population. Perpetually moaning negative Nellies are rarely popular.

      • Graeme 4.3.1

        It’ll be interesting once Winston’s fishing expedition starts to bear fruit and some gaps appear in the mask. And they will, someone will see a personal advantage in saying, or leaking something to further their own ambitions at the old guard’s expense.

        I suspect this hyper question tactic to keep everyone too busy to think about how and why they are in opposition, not government. Once the frustration of opposition starts to be felt there’s going to be a lot of mid-level nat MPs looking for someone to take responsibility. I doubt it will be pretty, or swift.

    • greywarshark 4.4

      Is there an opportunity to classify questions as harrassment and refuse to play the game? If it is to be asked in Parliament, can they be answered en bloc and a protest made to the Speaker so it goes on record? This should be revealed to the public somehow, can the questioner be brought to a head of steam that won’t be turned off, and then the Speaker can order them from the House etc?

      • David Mac 4.4.1

        I think the right approach and attitude with regard the questions or their volume is nearly always: ‘Ask whatever you want, we like sharing the details of our progress.’

    • James 4.5

      I see that Trevor Mallard once asked 7000 questions in a month by himself – so this is not that bad after all.

    • How many questions do they actually have available to ask?
      How many will the Speaker allow through?

      And this really does look like the National Party simply trying to waste the government’s time.

      • James 4.6.1

        Apparently a national mp has confirmed it was because labour ministers won’t answer “general questions” like who didn’t they meet this month.? Thus the same question for every date.

        It’s their own fault.

        So much for labour being open and transparent.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.6.1.1

          confirmed

          Translation: lied.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.6.1.2

          [citation needed]

          You keep coming out with all this BS so I suspect that you’re just lying.

          • Wayne 4.6.1.2.1

            Draco and OAB,

            Both of you are always suggesting everyone you don’t agree with is lying. But if you go to Kiwiblog, you will see that Mallard did ask 7,000 questions in 2010.

            I know enough of this to know these things happen in fits and starts. Sometimes i would get hundreds of questions all at once, then nothing for a bit. It basically took two people in my office to answer them as their main job. I simply saw it as part of a functioning open democracy.

            Stop moaning about it.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.6.1.2.1.1

              But if you go to Kiwiblog, you will see that Mallard did ask 7,000 questions in 2010.

              Kiwiblog is not a viable source as it’s known propaganda device of the National Party.

              Sometimes i would get hundreds of questions all at once, then nothing for a bit.

              Depends upon the questions doesn’t it. If they’re simply asking who he hasn’t seen then it’s wasting time.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.6.1.2.1.2

              everyone you don’t agree with is lying.

              I assume National Party MPs and their enablers are lying, because as a group:

              1. You tell so many lies and,
              2. You believe so many lies.

              Boy, meet wolf.

          • James 4.6.1.2.2

            Nope not telling lies – here is the backup

            From National mp
            Brett Hudson

            The volume of questions is purely being driven by Ministers and their offices refusing to answer more generalised questions, such as something along the lines of ‘Who has the Minister met with with since being sworn in?’

            A very reasonable question. It not only helps to identify who might be influencing government, it also helps to target further information requests.

            Ministers’ offices have been responding along the lines of ‘The minister meets with many people on many topics. We can respond to more specific questions.’

            No wonder they then face the same question repeated in separate questions for each individual day.

            I can’t give a definitive reason as to why others are seeking information by way of written questions vs. OIA request, but (as I understand it) the timeframe for an OIA response is 20 working days whereas the response for written questions to ministers is 6 working days. That would seem amply good reason to me.

            Ultimately the volume of questions is being driven by ministers not responding to more general, yet reasonable questions.

            Looks to me like this government is backing away from their supposed commitment to transparency and open government. Yet another u-turn from them.

            [Anne Tolley recalls around 28,000 written questions from Trev when she was Minister of Education – on more than one occasion deriving from a common question asked separately for each of the 2500-odd public schools.]

            • Pete 4.6.1.2.2.1

              Could it be that Anne Tolley needed to be asked the same question 28,000 times before she understood it?
              Or 28,000 times before she showed a willingness to answer?

            • Draco T Bastard 4.6.1.2.2.2

              ‘Who has the Minister met with with since being sworn in?’

              That’s a nonsense question that can’t actually be answered in meaningful way as it’s simply too broad.

              It not only helps to identify who might be influencing government, it also helps to target further information requests.

              No it doesn’t as it’s missing any context. In the month since being sworn the minister has probably met hundreds, if not thousands of people.

              Looks to me like this government is backing away from their supposed commitment to transparency and open government. Yet another u-turn from them.

              That’s not how transparent government works. Transparent government would have the information already publicly available.

              Anne Tolley recalls…

              And I can recall having climbed Mount Everest in 1901 despite not having been born or having left the country.

              Actual data please.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.6.1.2.2.3

              The assertions of a National Party MP aren’t evidence of anything. They tell so many lies. This one, for example, pretends to “understand” things.

              It may be that Bishop is breaking with National Party values and telling the truth. His word ain’t worth shit though.

    • Sabine 4.7

      they have been the Tea Party for at least the last nine years.

      they are just not hiding it anymore. National Party, the ownership Party – you are on your own – especially in sickness, old age, unemployment, child hood, if one is a person of colour or the female gender or any other gender then heterosexual male. Also don’t apply if you don’t adhere to the right religious cult. Its got at least be a patriarchy and biblical.

  5. Morrissey 5

    GROPERS
    No. 11: Dr. Morgan Fahey

    As medical examiner for Ansett New Zealand, he had ready access to easy targets – not just because he could control the acceptance process for young women determined to become flight attendants, but because, as he said himself, if an accusation was made, who would believe it?

    Unlike his behaviour with other patients, he limited his sexual activity with the Ansett trainees – far enough to afford him some gratification, not so far that it could not be explained away as part of a normal medical examination. ….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=138943

    https://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Booklets/History-of-the-Medical-Council/files/basic-html/page135.html

    “GROPERS” is presented by GroperWatch, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    
No.1 George Herbert Walker Bush; No. 2 Bill O’Reilly; No. 3 Al Franken; No. 4 Robin Brooke; No. 5 Lester Beck; No. 6 Arnold Schwarzenegger; No. 7 Joe Biden; No. 8 Rolf Harris; No. 9 Harold Bloom; No. 10 Sir Jimmy Savile

  6. bwaghorn 6

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11947935

    team nz should take the money offered by the uae and run , yacht races are a tv thing for most kiwis so were it is doesn’t matter

    • David Mac 6.1

      I believe the hosts set the rules of engagement. Lets go for a radical America’s Cup rule change and turn it into a race to build houses.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Let’s build houseboats, that will rise up when there is flooding and can be steered into a safe harbour to ride out the storm. Now that would be a useful design and skill for us in NZ

  7. Sparky 7

    A lesson for any MMP govt that thinks it can ignore public sentiment:

    https://www.rt.com/news/410943-merkel-out-of-step-with-germans/

    • More like a lesson in how the Russian government runs a TV version of the Nats’ “fomenting happy mischief” blog.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        It was a solid piece of journalism on the aftermath of the German elections.

        A 60 second read and I know exactly what the state of the play in Germany is better than any stuff or NZ Herald piece.

        • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1

          A 60-second read and you’ve picked up:

          1. An unsupported assertion that there’s a “growing disconnect” between the Merkel and the electorate.

          2. The implication that Germany’s refugee policy is in some sense “controversial.”

          3. The ludicrous claim that one poll showing 51% of Germans would favour a new election and 49% opposed or not giving a shit means “most Germans” want another election and Merkel has no mandate.

          4. some “rise-of-the-right” scaremongering,

          All of which is propaganda in service of:

          1. Presenting liberal democracies as unstable and poor forms of governance compared with the stability of Russian governance.

          2. Attempting to encourage the development of actual instability and poor governance in liberal democracies.

          There is of course a ready market of suckers in the West for this propaganda, which is why RT exists.

          • One Two 7.1.1.1.1

            Are you an arbitrator of propaganda, Milt?

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              PM doesn’t understand how Putin can do 3-4 hour live press conferences, off the cuff no teleprompters, no questions barred, in front of the international media, while the leaders of the no-propaganda west hide away as fast as possible in between little bits of sound bite spin.

              • RedLogix

                I have to agree CV. In the year or so after I came back from my time working in Russia I read quite a number of Putin’s speeches (translated of course) and found him quite interesting. I’ve no doubt he’s capable of being ruthless when required, but that’s only one aspect of a complex and intelligent individual. Critics in the west who reflexively write him off as an ex-KGB thug almost certainly haven’t read or listened to the man at any length.

                One certainly doesn’t have to be any kind Putin fanboi to recognise that in many ways his stature as an enduring statesman is far beyond almost all comparable figures in the west.

                And within the context of Russian leaders over the past two centuries or more, he is by far the most outstanding since probably Catherine the Great.

                • Colonial Viper

                  As I understand it, the Russian people almost universally frown upon Yeltsin as the drunkard who almost let the west destroy Russia.

                  They do give him credit for one major decision though – finding the relatively obscure Putin and handing power over to him.

                  This is a clip of Putin addressing his commanders in the Chechen campaign in 1999, when he was a newbie I think just shortly after he took over. ‘Put your glasses down, we’ll have a drink only after we win the war.’

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  his stature as an enduring statesman is far beyond almost all comparable figures in the west.

                  If what Putin has amounts to stature and statesmanship, so was Robert Mugabe’s.

                  • RedLogix

                    Mugabe took a functioning country and ran it into the ground; Putin took a country that had been through a massive crisis and has restored it. I was there in 2001 and saw for myself the poverty and hardship they Russian people were going through with my own eyes.

                    Now when I look on google earth at the same streets in the same city, I barely recognise the place; large new buildings, massive public redevelopment and far fewer visible signs of the lack of maintenance and run down grimness that was so confronting when I was there.

                    That’s just my personal experience and is proof of nothing, but it’s consistent with everything I can read. Putin has proven to be a Russian nationalist before all else, he’s put the interests of Russia first and the people can see the difference in their daily lives.

                    This is why he remains so very popular in a way all western leaders must envy. Note carefully; I’m not arguing that by liberal western standards he’s any kind of angel or human rights paragon. But for the average person, Putin’s delivered for them.

                    Comparisons with Mugabe are facile. And I must add that the west really owes Putin a huge debt for stabilising an otherwise dangerously disintegrating nuclear power nation.

                    • Authoritarianism’s good like that. Massive public works, rearmament, Kraft durch Freude, the whole shebang. Just not so good in various other ways, that you’d think would be important to people who don’t live under authoritarian rule.

                    • RedLogix

                      Sighs. I’m not trying to defend the clearly authoritarian aspects of any regime, be it Russian, Chinese or Fijian. They’re all unattractive and ultimately their own flaws are limiting and inevitably unravel one way or another in the long run.

                      But the west’s record of imposing regime change is no prettier either. I’ve personal reason to know (and in fuck awful detail) exactly how brutal Saddam Hussein’s political suppression machine was; yet I can also accept that your average Iraqi might well fondly look back on his rule as a period of peace, stability and relative prosperity.

                      I believe the best path forward is to promote an environment where nations come to believe that it is their best interests to gradually dial back the oppression, increase democratic accountability and sign up to global norms such as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

                      It’s a process of intelligent engagement, cautious and principled that will improve matters. Assumptions of cultural superiority and arrogant interventions will not.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Authoritarian governments, authoritarian regime change, both practised by authoritarian trash.

                      No stature or statesmanship attaches to either.

              • PM understands very well how Putin can do that. What he doesn’t understand is what convinces you it’s in some way relevant to the discussion.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Allow me to do you a favour and explain.

                  Putin is more open about Russia’s intentions and actions than most western leaders are about their own countries, and is more ready to front up to the news media about such.

                  In contrast “propaganda” (which might be described variously as PR spin by narrative or ommission) which you are so concerned about is a western speciality.

                  • Oh, I’m pretty sure most western leaders could hold forth for several hours if fact-checking what they said was literally impossible.

                    As to what constitutes propaganda, I pointed out several features of that RT article as evidence for it being propaganda. The Reuters article maui referred to in response doesn’t have those features. Your assertions to the contrary are worth nothing to anyone other than you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      While you, and the rest of us in the west, are the most propagandised of all. It’s hilarious.

                    • So, it’s hilarious, but beyond that, not something you can describe in any way other than bald assertions that won’t persuade anybody.

          • mauī 7.1.1.1.2

            There’s also a Reuters article saying that half of Germans want a new election. Something tells me you would have no problem with that story.

            Merkel lost 9% in the last election and there isn’t a growing disconnect? Ok..

            If you hadn’t read the RT article, all you would know is that Merkel won the election and everything is hunky dory. Sure RT may be spinning it a bit, but they none the less give some decent information.

            • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1.2.2

              There’s also a Reuters article saying that half of Germans want a new election. Something tells me you would have no problem with that story.

              Correct. For one thing, the Reuters article just reports the poll results without much editorialising, but more importantly, Reuters isn’t the propaganda arm of an authoritarian nationalist regime.

              If you hadn’t read the RT article, all you would know is that Merkel won the election and everything is hunky dory.

              I already knew that coalition talks had collapsed and Merkel’s got a problem, from following actual news media. The only thing the RT article gave me was an additional serving of Russian government propaganda, which is interesting in terms of spotting the grift, but of little use otherwise.

              • Colonial Viper

                Correct. For one thing, the Reuters article just reports the poll results without much editorialising, but more importantly, Reuters isn’t the propaganda arm of an authoritarian nationalist regime.

                Reuters is not as obviously pro US-Anglo Imperial status quo as say CNN but it’s still up there.

                an authoritarian nationalist regime.

                Russia? Yes Russia believes in economic and political sovereignty, and not trans-national neoliberal globalism. I guess that’s “nationalist.”

                Authoritarian? Russia holds moderately free and fair elections. United Russia is very popular, and if they were less so, the Communist Party would win.

                “Regime”? Good on you, you just earnt your little gold star as a propagandist yourself.

                • It is of course within the bounds of possibility that the assassination, intimidation and imprisonment of journalists, activists and opposition politicians that have made life so difficult for anyone who’d like to see someone other than Putin running Russia are a matter of sheer coincidence – just like it’s within the bounds of possibility that OJ will find the real killer.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    About 20% of Russians want to see someone other than Putin running Russia (although they don’t know who).

                    Oh and of course, you, Westminster, the Pentagon, Congress, the CIA, etc. etc.

                  • RedLogix

                    @PM

                    Russian literally has no history of liberal democratic government. None at any time since the Russ tribes were first ruled by Peter the Great in the 10th century. There is deep absence of the cultural norms and habits that enable the delicate mechanism we take for granted and on which our system is built.

                    I would argue Putin has put Russia on a path where such a thing may become possible; but not for a generation or two yet.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Also consider the authoritarian security state one party Chinese Government. Which is returning China back to its status quo position as a leading civilisation (50% of the job done but still needs another generation or so).

                      After the catastrophic Cultural Revolution and so-called Great Leap Forward

                      And in the process, lifting half a billion or so people out of agrarian hand to mouth poverty.

                    • Russian literally has no history of liberal democratic government. None at any time since the Russ tribes were first ruled by Peter the Great in the 10th century. There is deep absence of the cultural norms and habits that enable the delicate mechanism we take for granted and on which our system is built.

                      Which is what makes me wonder why some people post RT links here as though RT wasn’t a creation of the system you describe

                    • Colonial Viper

                      At the risk of highlighting your assumed cultural superiority, other civilisational systems are quite capable of produce outstanding creativity and production.

                    • RedLogix

                      I haven’t published any RT links at all, but there really isn’t any such thing as a gold-standard, objective, spin-free media anywhere in the world. RT is probably not a lot worse than say the NZ Herald. It’s all propaganda really, just a question of degree.

                      Neither is any source complete bullshit either; like most people I just try to correlate as many bits of info as I can and try to make some sense of it as best I can. And always if I try and set aside my assumptions, there are interesting stories everywhere I look.

  8. joe90 8

    Has Doctorow got the wrong end of the stick with his assertion?.

    This is real. This is the state of internet in New Zealand, a country without Net Neutrality laws. https://t.co/O5XCxnLbFx pic.twitter.com/Onbhf9eHVM— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) November 24, 2017

  9. bwaghorn 9

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11947871

    the market says old people should fuck off if they are poor

    • Graeme 9.1

      It’s more the downsides of a lease arrangement that was made in a time when asset inflation was insignificant and review periods much longer than now. So reviews of this type of lease are pretty painful. Cornwall Park Trust was a similar situation.

      Add to that, in 70’s and early 80’s Arrowtown was struggling to survive, lots of rundown 1800’s houses and cribs, so quite low CVs compared to nearby areas. Now the very bottom is $800K. And onwards and upwards from there. There’s also been a major social turnover, with wealthy, or think they are wealthy, people moving into the town displacing the previous residents. Those with freehold properties were able to exit with a good wad of cash, but with a leasehold title you haven’t got much to sell. The social turnover is hard on longer term residents as their social circle shrinks and they are unable to compete or fit in with the new, seemingly more affluent, arrivals.

      The problem of old people having to leave the district in their final years isn’t new, it’s been a major problem for 40+ years and is still happening, but usually on medical grounds.

      The Wakatipu has always been a difficult place to live. Rewarding in it’s own ways, but difficult. If you can’t insulate yourself from the economic and social cycles, and asset inflation, it can get impossible.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        The elderly couple should have taken the 5 year lease extension at just $5,000 per annum. Ridiculous to not go for that option and worry about the rest later.

        In fact, given that the Council offered that, they might even have negotiated for a 6 year lease extension at $6,000 p.a., which would have been enough to sell their house on the basis of for a very solid price.

        • bwaghorn 9.1.1.1

          it screamed to me an offer from the council that says ”you’ll be dead in 5 years any way ”

          • Graeme 9.1.1.1.1

            It’s not really all that different to a licence to occupy in a rest home in that regard. There’s the assumption that the occupier isn’t going to live forever.

            • David Mac 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Reading over one of those contracts was made all the more macabre when it was my folks doing the dying. But yep, they go into details like: This is what happens if the occupiers die between paying the deposit and occupying.

              My Dad countered my “Geez, all this talk about you not being here Ma and Pa’ with “You start to die the second you’re born son.’ ….I think he loves me.

        • joe90 9.1.1.2

          which would have been enough to sell their house on the basis of for a very solid price.

          They don’t own the land and the house is more than fifty years old, so at best they might be able to sell the lease.

        • Graeme 9.1.1.3

          A lot of quite long term residents of Arrowtown (since late 70’s) have moved on lately. They’ve found the town wasn’t their cup of tea anymore. Often with deep regret. Socially it’s another town now, even from what it was 10 years ago, but it was really changing then. We used to have a business in Buckingham St, it had an “interesting” social politics then, but I’m really glad we’re in Queenstown now.

          • David Mac 9.1.1.3.1

            It’s a lifestyle trend I’m seeing much more of. Couples retiring to their Huckleberry locale (I’m on the Far North coast) and then late 70’s early 80’s the more frequent 4 hour drives to see medical specialists grind, seeing more of the urban based Grandchildren appeals.

            Many of the houses around me are being sold by retiree twilighters. Fab mint 70’s décor.

            • Graeme 9.1.1.3.1.1

              Another probable aspect to this situation is that the lease negotiations were handled by a council employee who’s in their 30’s or early 40’s, been in the Wakatipu a couple of years, renting at $700 + / week or huge mortgage, grossly over-qualified for the job they are doing, so earning sod all, and not making ends meet at all, and then being tasked to negotiate a sweetheart deal to keep the ex borough overseer in his leasehold home until he and his partner pass away. Really can’t see that progressing with the empathy, compassion and respect needed to get an outcome satisfactory to all parties.

              • greywarshark

                Could be scenario. Then also there is the entitlement issue of many older people who feel that life should be made easy for them all the way.
                They don’t pay attention to the problems that all on lower income are having. And the old men who think they know it all and just make assertions about everything, very difficult to tell them anything and get them to think around a problem, especially if they are conversing with a female.

  10. repateet 10

    Heather du Plessis-Allan says, “So far, the pattern is that Labour is out of its depth.”

    If being out of one’s depth was serious she wouldn’t have a keyboard, someone would have taken it off her.

    • Ed 10.1

      Du Plessis out of her depth as a journalist

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        Labour hasn’t realised what the quid pro quo is in the dark marketplace from pollies to journalists, to ensure that the right sort of verbiage is written up about government.

    • Grey Area 10.2

      Out of her depth was my response as well. What credentials does she have to comment on anything?

  11. eco maori 11

    Back in the day when I went into Taits radio Gisborne shop to get one of my radios there were other customers being severed and I felt a chill and got goose bumps there was a elderly man dressed in black shorts and a t-shirt. I observed this man and his manner did not suit his dress code I.E it was warm but not roasting hot. A few weeks later I seen this man following me around in his blue ford falcon . because of there attention I decided to sell my lawn business and go dairy farming in the Waikatato they follow me there later On I lived in a house next to a school in Rotorua that educate Alot of the people that are oppressing me and they gave me a lot of attention.!!!!! There have been many occasions when he has interfered in me and my family life I no all the people that you have used to tried and prove your bullshit ideological theory of me but to no one can not prove what is not fact. Well last year I seen this elderly man he said that he was off course and had to land his glider on the farm I recognise him straight away as the same man from gisborne as well as goosebumps to I no what he was looking for in the forestry next to the farm they had bussed it with a helicopter a month before and they did it again 2 weeks ago after the got Frank Gallagher to sing them some bullshit lol. Now this man is high up in the state service OUR government provides and this man has been persecutioing me for 17 years and this has trained me to spot these people
    A mile Away I no who you are and I no that you treat Maori as un human savage how by the way you are treating me You have given me Mana of Eco Maori and you are using OUR courts to try and cancel this out but No I will be using my Mana to fight for equality for our Lady’s and to get Maori Mana back and Mother Earth equally for all humans many thanks to you and your people PS I no that you have oppressed Alot of people of Maori culture in gisborne and this is why Gisborne is like it is today Kia Kaha

  12. eco maori 12

    You must be m8 with Rickards A with the same ideological bullshit views on humans and religion Ka Kaha

  13. Andre 13

    Just in case anyone needs a reminder of what a nasty sack’o’shit the Grab’em’fuhrer really is, here’s a handy summary of some of the steps he’s taken to try to push women back into a second-class subservient status.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-sexual-harassment-discrimination_us_5a15b385e4b03dec8249b7e5?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

  14. eco maori 14

    Many thanks to some media for showing the positive side to our farming culture and community it is not the people falt for the way we farm the government sets the rules it is also good to see a lot of positive story’s on Maori but you are showing to many bad stories that OUR moko don’t need to see Ka pai

  15. joe90 16

    Addled dotard is addled.

    In a Saturday night tweet, Trump attacked CNN, saying the network’s international division “represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly.” A few minutes later, Trump tweeted an alternative: MagaPill.com.

    […]

    But while Trump presents MagaPill as the antidote to “fake news,” the site regularly traffics in unhinged conspiracy theories. Just a few hours before being endorsed by Trump, MagaPill posted a video from Liz Cronkin, a fringe figure best known for pushing the Pizzagate conspiracy. In the video, Cronkin claims there is a sex tape of Hillary Clinton with an underage girl on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

    […]

    Another recent MagaPill post features an “interesting flow chart” which combines nearly every conspiracy theory imaginable: “false flag terrorism,” “organ harvesting,” “child/human sacrifice,” “weaponize forced vaccination,” “earthquake machines.”

    […]

    Another post refers to Lady Gaga as a “spirit cooker,” a conspiracy theory associated with Pizzagate that alleges Gaga participates in satanic rituals.

    https://thinkprogress.org/what-is-magapill-1fb18b6f2ed0/

  16. halfcrown 17

    Just been to the local supermarket to get a bottle of wine for tonight’s dinner ( I’m the cook AGAIN”)

    I noticed on the checkout there was a large stack of shithouse paper, correction excuse for shithouse paper and I noticed on the front page Heather De Plastic was writing something about Labour being out of their depth.
    As I fear for my health I will not read or handle that shit,
    Has any brave soul read this article and what is this bit of crap on about?

    • Ed 17.1

      No
      Don’t read the Herald. Someone commented about it earlier though.
      Du Plessis is a tragic excuse for a journalist.
      Her bias is so obvious.

  17. adam 18

    This song has the same title as a comment by our for pm john key – “Boy’s will be boys”.

    How about you have a listen, and we work together to stop boys being boys when it comes to sexually assaulting women and girls.

    Big Ups to Stella Donnelly for this track and the video.

  18. eco maori 19

    Many thanks to all you Lady’s around OUR WORLD for making a stand for your rights as a equal partner to men in OUR WORLD SOCIETY. As I see this paradigm shift is the only way to fix all the wrongs of OUR world society. Kai Kaha

  19. eco maori 20

    How do I no that they are using a real life Frank Gallagher is because they were parading him around so I could see him using there dum ass intimidation tactics Ka pai

  20. Psych nurse 21

    They didn’t meet me, then again I didn’t
    ask, so who else didn’t they meet.
    ‘Last night upon the stair I met a man wo wasn’t there, he wasn’t there again tonight’.

  21. patricia bremner 22

    Eco maori,

    William (not Frank) Gallagher made a disgusting speech regarding the treaty and other issues. Not pleasant.

    • eco maori 22.1

      They had a real life Frank Gallagher like the one from the TV show shamless he is whano to me he has been a alcoholic and drug addict for 25 years he will sing to any tune just to get a fix. They had him walk the street 2x so I could see him to try and intimidat and this person is there next contracted liar this is how they work Ka Pai

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