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Open Mike 26/12/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 26th, 2017 - 54 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

54 comments on “Open Mike 26/12/2017”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    This morning on Newsroom: Melanie Ried’s special investigation into Todd Barclay, updated. Includes a video of the investigation at the link. I think this was an earlier investigation and articles that’ve been updated today.

    Not sure what has been added today, if anything.

    However, a Newsroom investigation into the MP’s conduct — including an interview with Dickson, speaking publicly for the first time since her resignation — has produced new information about the first-term National MP.

    – Barclay denied to members of his electorate there had been recording of Dickson, and about being approached by police.

    – English knew Dickson had been recorded by Barclay and spoke to her about it, despite telling media he had not been directly involved in any discussions.

    – Then-Prime Minister John Key’s parliamentary budget was used to pay part of a confidential settlement to Dickson, in an attempt to avoid “potential legal action”.

    – Dickson and others in the electorate have been threatened and intimidated by others since falling out with Barclay.

    It’s generally pretty damning of Bill English – being in the know, and lying.

    Sam Sachdeva reports on Barclay’s response, June 2017.

    • That’s a deeply disturbing story.

      Overt corruption in the National Party and the police failing to prosecute the several people involved in the cover-up and perverting the course of justice.

  2. Ed 2

    An article by Peter Lyons in the Herald this morning about NCEA.
    This paragraph is particularly interesting

    ‘My nephew even missed a few deadlines for internals during his schooling. This completely stressed his mum. But she gets stressed if Easter is late. No worries. It’s cool, teachers usually offer re-submits. They also offer resits for students who don’t succeed first time around. The onus is on them to ensure they get decent pass rates. It is very important that teachers achieve well under NCEA. Otherwise school administrators get antsy and nervous. School pass rates are reported in the media. They are a window to the world. Bad NCEA pass rates suggest poor teaching. In the past few years, with more and more assessment being done in schools, by teachers, pass rates have rocketed.’


    • Anne 2.1

      This is the time of the year when we get some good reflective articles from ‘guest columnists’ in the newspapers and online. You may not always agree with the hypothesis presented, but they make for interesting holiday reading. I might even break a former New Year resolution and actually buy the Herald over the next few weeks.

      • red-blooded 2.1.1

        A couple of things that the Herald columnist didn’t mention, though:
        1) A resubmission actually involves starting again, and not on the same piece of work, but on another piece of work aimed at proving competence in the skills being measured for that standard (eg, a different piece of creative writing, or a different piece of coding to solve a different problem).
        2) The opportunities for resubmission are actually pretty limited (eg, in my school students have the chance to do one resub per subject, if they choose, but in Year 13 this will involve signing up for a brief time at the start of the next year and working under supervision before the beginning of the school year and/or in the fist few weeks. This is because there simply isn’t time in the Y13 courses to allow for resubs.

        Actually, schools are meant to have policies around deadlines that they stick to. That can be hard (there’s a lot of pressure from kids and parents and in some schools I’m sure it also comes from the leaders), but we’ve found that it’s easier on the kids as well as the staff if you do tighten up on deadlines. It lets them deal with internal assessment, clear the decks and then focus on externals (exams). Of course, not all kids care about exams – depending on what they’re aiming for they might not need to do well in exams, but most still do and keeping to deadlines helps with this. Plus, it helps them develop their self-management skills (which are core skills that run through the curriculum and that are meant to be embedded in any course).

        • mpledger

          One school I know has pretty much no resubs and absolute deadlines (only exception illness). Other school offer resits. I wish they would tidy this up – allowing retests for changing merit to excellence is really unfair when only some schools do that. That really is more for the benefit of the school’s reputation and the child’s credentials rather than for the child’s education.

    • Incognito 2.2

      I’ve always enjoyed reading Peter Lyons in the NZH. His contrasting of making a decent coffee and differential equations may be more tongue-in-cheek than we realise as the description of the cooling of a cup of coffee by differential equations is not that uncommon in schools (e.g. Cooling Coffee without Solving Differential Equations).

      Assessing, testing, and exams, for example, used to be schnappshots for measuring individual progress against a set standard of subject material. It aimed to identify gaps in knowledge and/or understanding and readiness to move to the next level and, if so, how far & fast. Ideally, it would also help to tailor pedagogy to the learner, in a three-way feedback process. Tests and the likes were means to an end, which was proper education through a variety of learning methods that would, ideally, continue throughout life.

      Nowadays, tests are an end in their own right; not measures of readiness but measures of success and ranking among peers (competitors). Test results are not acknowledged as milestones of accomplishment & achievement; they are simply stepping stones to more ‘success’. Instead of celebrating a journey of achievement, all eyes are on the (exam) result and the award, or reward rather. Not passing is no longer seen as a necessary (life) experience from which useful conclusions can be drawn but as a failure, a weakness that needs to be avoided & corrected at all cost. In a cut-throat education system – let’s face it: our education system simply mirrors our prevailing attitudes (society= rate race) – one failure leads to another, a slippery slope of doom & gloom and away from the trophies of success later in life. No wonder that people stress out!

      Everything is measured and described in numbers & metrics; information is distilled down to numbers – ultimately to binary numbers. Context and nuance (or deeper meaning for that matter) are supposedly captured in/by measuring lots of things (big data). All this is not too complicated and with modern technology can be done very quickly. This is another sign of our times: expediency. Things need to be done quickly and efficiently (pragmatic) and decisions need to be schnappy. Coincidently, the ability to make quick decisions is regarded as a mark of leadership and (being) a leader is the epitome of success, of course.

      Education has become an ideological battleground; it always has been and always will be a breeding ground for contentious & opposing views but these come more to the fore when battle lines are drawn and become entrenched in society at large.

  3. Ed 3

    4 Scottish councils pilot universal basic income.

    ‘In Scotland, a country wearily familiar with divisions of a constitutional nature, the concept of a basic income is almost unique in enjoying multi-party favour. Across the four areas currently designing basic income pilots – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife and North Ayrshire – the projects have variously been championed by Labour, SNP, Green and, in one case, Conservative councillors.’


    • The Chairman 3.1

      £5,200 a year?

      Do you know if that is more or less than what current benefits are paying over there?

  4. The Chairman 4

    With the Greens only securing a small number of seats, their supporters are more reliant on the leadership to utilise this new platform and secure wins for them.

    Is James Shaw best suited for this role? Is he assertive enough?

    • Still dutifully attacking the Greens I see.

      • The Chairman 4.1.1

        Do you believe Shaw is that useless that you see questioning if he’s best suited for the role as an attack?

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, I think he’s doing a good job and will get better over time.

          I’m just sick of your petty little attacks that have no basis in reality.

          • weka


          • The Chairman

            I think he is too much of a pushover. He’s no fighter (IMO).

            Questioning is not an attack.

            And the basis for it (IMO) is their poor performance thus far.

            • Incognito

              Questioning is not an attack.

              Quite right; it can be much more effective in the long run than blunt (political) attacks. It is great to see that not all MPs think they need to behave like attack dogs trying to hunt down their prey and tear it into pieces; some act like decent humans with higher goals.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Questioning is not an attack.

              It is when it’s constant and phrased in negative terms – just like yours have always been.

        • OnceWasTim

          Not sure about DtB, but all I question is the reason and motivation behind someone who obviously isn’t Green suppota (such as yourself) putting it out there in the first place.
          In the spirit of Xmas tidings and goodwill to all humankind, and the desire for world peace – in between Kmart and Harvey Norman shopping engagements – I’ll assume your concern is more about maintaining a fishint n fektiv gummint comprising a 3 party coalition rather than still coming to terms with a loss and the realisation things are going to change

          • The Chairman

            I voted Green. However, I feel they are failing (thus far) to best utilise the new platform us supporters helped secure for them.

            Therefore, I’m taking it to the top and questioning the leadership.

            • OnceWasTim

              So what are your concerns about JS @TC?
              Initially (for me) I was worried about his corporate-ish background, knowing how things ‘rub off’ when one id in that environment. Then, I was a little concerned about the level of public support for MT, and the morale among people at the coal face doing the hard yards.
              So far however, JS seems to be doing just fine (so far).
              How about you? Is he not turquoise enough, because for me, that’s how you come across, although I acknowledge a medium such as this isn’t the best place to guage things?

              Oh, and btw, I think there are one or two have the ability to whip the bugger into shape (Julie-A and Golriz for example) if he flops into comfy corporatism – is that what worries you though?

              • The Chairman

                He’s not assertive and outspoken. He comes across as to pragmatic and willing to concede. In other words, he’s got no fight in him. And we need an astute fighter to better our odds.

              • OnceWasTim

                … I was a little concerned about the level of public support for MT…
                By which I meant I was concerned he did not appear to express enough support for MT publicly (just to clarify).
                Agree with KJT below too re “authoritarian” master-of-the-universe leadership (

            • KJT

              I for one have had my fill of “Authoritarian leadership”.

              We should have got over looking for the, “Messiah” by now.

              I think, even if you are a Green voter, you fail to understand how co-operation and consensus, the Green Kaupapa, work!

              Real change always comes from below.

              Personally, as a Green party member, I am very happy with James Shaw.

              • The Chairman

                “Real change always comes from below.”

                Yes, but it needs a good leader to spearhead it and help drive it through.

              • Incognito

                We should have got over looking for the, “Messiah” by now.


                The weaker and more fearful we are the stronger we need our leader(s) to be. They can (must!) absolve us from taking personal responsibility, we can abstain from taking personal action, we don’t even need to vote it seems; the leader will take care of everything. And once the leader falls from the pedestal, from the lofty heights of our unrealistic expectations and their own over-promised hype – the worst leader is the strong leader who identifies with the archetype of the “hero” (Superman, Übermensch) – inevitably, we admonish them with the full force of our emotions for failing to remove our fears and softening of our suffering. Such is our stupidity ignorance that we put our hopes in an illusion projected onto and into one single person.

    • Ad 4.2

      James is not enough. He’s good, good enough to sustain them at 7%.

      Not enough to get them beyond that. He just doesn’t have enough media savvy.

      They Greens need to accelerate their co-leader programme into March 2018 if not sooner.

      They need to aim up to wiping out NZF and getting dominant in 2020 with Labour.

    • Is James Shaw best suited for this role? Is he assertive enough?

      Yes, and yes. Now on to the more pertinent question:

      Are The Chairman’s constant concern-trolling questions deliberately aimed at undermining confidence in the Labour and Green parties?

      • weka 4.3.1

        Probably, but who tf knows.

      • The Chairman 4.3.2

        “The Chairman’s constant concern-trolling questions deliberately aimed at undermining confidence in the Labour and Green parties?”

        It’s not my questioning that continually undermines them, it’s their actions or lack of.

        • Draco T Bastard

          They’re doing a lot.

          Your questions are undermining such that it seems that they were designed that way.

          • The Chairman

            “They’re doing a lot.”

            A lot of falling short – i.e. not bringing the minimum wage up to the living wage, no core benefit rate increase, a Claytons ban on offshore investors, a failure to offer to provide a sufficient number of state homes.

            Furthermore, the Greens have been silent on all these shortfalls.

            They have the platform to challenge the Government and a relationship robust enough to withstand it (as highlighted when they spoke out against the TPP) – yet there was nothing.

            My two questions were straightforward and considering their performance, to be expected. However, while my questions may highlight there actions or lack of, it is their actions or lack of that undermines them.

            If they didn’t have performance issues, my two questions would have been easily brushed away and nothing to worry about.

        • Incognito

          There’s questioning with an open mind, in a true and honest pursuit of the truth.

          There’s rhetorical questioning, to persuade.

          There’s leading questioning, to lead to a certain answer that’s usually negative for the answerer.

          There’s loaded questioning, to imply a certain answer within the question that’s usually negative for the answerer.

          Have I missed any types of questioning?

        • Robert Guyton

          The Chairman regularly declares that he’s not, but he always is. “It’s their fault”, he intones, “I wouldn’t have to do it if they did what I demand of them!”.

          • The Chairman

            It’s not so much merely what I’m demanding, Robert. Things like the living wage, core benefit increases, a sufficient number of state homes, etc are things many of us on the left want.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.4

      I do not know if James Shaw is best suited to the co-leadership role; he might be. Who, in your opinion, would be more assertive, and what might be the benefits of this more assertive stance for Green party members, NZers and NZ?

      What is the timeline for the selection of a new co-leader for the Green party?

      IMO, having recently become part of a NZ government for the first time in their history, now the not a good time for the Green Party to be considering additional leadership changes.

      Why are you unwilling to cut Shaw some slack? Not that he needs it, IMO.

      • The Chairman 4.4.1

        “Who, in your opinion, would be more assertive, and what might be the benefits of this more assertive stance for the Green party members, New Zealanders and New Zealand?”

        The benefits are potentially huge. For example, poverty is one of their core policy aims, yet they been MIA in one of the main battles on this front.

        With just under half of the kids suffering poverty coming from working families, the living wage is a vital aim. However, when it came to these new Government created jobs (planting trees) instead of announcing they have dispatched Marama Davidson to go see Willie Jackson to fight for a living wage, they were MIA.

        I’ve seen nothing on the matter (a living wage for those new Government created jobs) on their website.

        I preferred Norman over Shaw. But when it comes to replacing Shaw (with more of an astute fighter) I think they may lack depth. Nevertheless, we require better.

        The more slack we cut Shaw, the more we will potentially miss out on. And if we fail to put the acid on them, they are unlikely to up their game. Shaw seems happy with what they have done and got, a number of supporters are not, thus expect more effort from them.

        Would it be better to cut him slack and fail to achieve more, or better to bite the bullet now?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          IMO, “we require better” could potentialy apply to any and all of us.

          What purpose is served by calling out James Shaw for his inadequate (in your opinion) leadership, when the alternative male co-leader for the current parliamentary term is Gareth Hughes? Is such criticism constructive, or impotent?

          You “preferred Norman over Shaw”; I preferred Turei over no-one.

          The Green party’s current MPs are a relatively small team, and since the party’s formation their candidates have had more depth (IMO) and certainly more integrity than the corresponding National Party caucuses.

          Putting the acid on the (co-)leader of a small political party (think Turei) is potentially not the best way to support that party (IMO.) With friends like these…

          • The Chairman

            Unlike the acid poured onto Turei (to take her down) I’m taking about putting the acid on them to up their game. I’m not calling for Shaw to stand down from the party.

            One of the reasons why this is directed at Shaw is because he’s the current party leader, thus is ultimately accountable.

            Gareth Hughes would be an improvement on Shaw IMO.

            Turei deserted us, leaving us with Shaw to enter into negotiations.

  5. greg 5

    what is first thing the new female doctor who does crash the tardis. women cant do time travel and they have proven it already and shes blond the tardises insurance premiums have just rocketed.

  6. joe90 6

    They’re eating their own.

    Former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon milled his former Oval Office colleague Jared Kushner into a bloody chunk of battle sausage this week and smeared him across the shiny pages of Vanity Fair. You’ve got to read Bannon’s quote three or four times to fully savor the tang of its malice and cruelty. After scorning the Russia collusion theories as fiction, Bannon acknowledged the grisly reality that the Russia investigation poses for his former boss. And he blamed it all on Kushner, for having created the appearance that Putin had helped Trump. Dropping Kushner head first into the grinder, Bannon turned the crank.

    “[Kushner was] taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff. This tells you everything about Jared,” Bannon told the magazine’s Gabriel Sherman. “They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That’s his maturity level.”


  7. joe90 7

    Jim Wright on the long con.

    So, Republicans know they’re going to be out of power soon, 2018, 2020, they’re history. Until the next time. Click. Click. Click.

    Mitch McConnell is far, far too savvy a politician not to know this. He might or might not keep his seat, but he’s not going to be Senate Majority Leader much longer.


    Repeat as necessary. This is the basic GOP formula since Nixon. This is the mindset of modern business, of wealth. They’re not interested in building a better world in perpetuity. They’re not interested in leaving anything behind. These aren’t the industrialists of old. This is modern business, run by the MBAs. They run the country the same way they run business: swoop in, liquidate, boost the stock, cash out to millions. Move on. They don’t care what happens to the company when they’re done with it, they don’t care about customers, or products, or employees. They’re not builders, they’re predators.


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