Open mike 26/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 26th, 2016 - 225 comments
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225 comments on “Open mike 26/01/2016”

  1. paaparakauta 1

    John Key worked at Merrill Lynch under Stanley O’Neil, former CEO and Chairman of the Board who had served in numerous senior management positions at the company.

    “O’Neal was criticized for his performance during his tenure as chief executive at Merrill Lynch, where he oversaw the deterioration of the firm’s stability and capital position, which resulted in his ouster in September 2007, and the firm’s eventual fire sale to Bank of America one year later. Prior to his tenure as Chairman and CEO, Merrill Lynch had thrived as a stand-alone company since 1914.

    O’Neal was a member of the board of directors of General Motors from 2001 through 2006.

    He currently serves on the board of Alcoa.”
    10 Gaffes by Doomed CEOs on

    An article about the ousting of Stan O’Neal from Merrill Lynch was one of an estimated 50000 expunged from certain Google searches.…/ex-merrill-lynch-ceo-story-excised-from-google-searc...

    There is a large literature on the topic if one cares to look for it – raising questions about his protege – John Key’s – role, competence, and CV.

    More relevant references ..…/ns/…/ex-merrill-lynch-ceo-walk-out-m/…/last-hired-first-fired-merrill-lynchs-black-ceo-had- it-coming…/ex-merrill-lynch-ceo-story-excised-from-google-search.…/merrills_peril.html…/2/…Merrill/…/405029-PDF-ENG…/five-years-later-where-are-they-now -2014-7…/merrills_peril.html

    • alwyn 1.1

      I am sure you find it all very interesting, and will have great fun finding some way to blame John Key for the gentleman’s failings.
      However. Is it not true that John Key had left the company before this fellow became the CEO?

      Prior to becoming President of the firm in 2001 O’Neal was never responsible for any part of the company that included John Key’s bailiwick. He may, as president been Key’s titular superior but it could not have been for more than a few months.
      Key became an MP in 2002. O’Neal became the CEO in 2003. Your numbers really don’t line up do they?

      Perhaps you should consider a more reasonable proposition. The company failed because they lost their most competent people. People like John Key for example.
      Or do you prefer conspiracies?

      • paaparakauta 1.1.1

        With respect, you are incorrect. You confuse General Motors with Merrill.

        It is relevant to NZ due to his current membership of Alcoa. He is a significant player in our economy.

        Why was an article about the ousting of Stan O’Neal from Merrill Lynch expunged from certain Google searches ?

        • alwyn

          But the thing I am commenting on is this statement.
          “There is a large literature on the topic if one cares to look for it – raising questions about his protege – John Key’s – role, competence, and CV.”
          How do you work out that John Key was his protégé?

          Sure O’Neal was incompetent. That is hardly a rare trait though is it?
          However while John Key worked there they did very well, as you will probably agree. As you say “Prior to his tenure as Chairman and CEO, Merrill Lynch had thrived as a stand-alone company since 1914”. Key however wasn’t there when they went downhill and your first sentence is irrelevant to him
          “John Key worked at Merrill Lynch under Stanley O’Neil, former CEO and Chairman of the Board …”
          Key didn’t work under O’Neal except, possibly for a few months, while O’Neal was first in the President’s job. By the time he was CEO and Chairman of the Board Key was long gone.

          • paaparakauta

            With respect, I think you should check your timeline.

            • alwyn

              I don’t see where I have got it wrong as you seem to imply.
              As far as I can discover Key returned to New Zealand in 2001
              It must have been late in the year as he was still with Merrill Lynch on September 11.
              He entered Parliament in July 2002.
              O’Neal became CEO and Chairman in 2003.
              In your words “Prior to his tenure as Chairman and CEO, Merrill Lynch had thrived as a stand-alone company since 1914”
              The problems seem to be after Key left the firm.
              What part of the timeline do you think is wrong?

  2. paaparakauta 2

    The man behind John Key.

    John Key worked at Merrill Lynch under Stanley O’Neil, former CEO and Chairman of the Board who had served in numerous senior management positions at the company.

    “O’Neal was criticized for his performance during his tenure as chief executive at Merrill Lynch, where he oversaw the deterioration of the firm’s stability and capital position, which resulted in his ouster in September 2007, and the firm’s eventual fire sale to Bank of America one year later. Prior to his tenure as Chairman and CEO, Merrill Lynch had thrived as a stand-alone company since 1914.

    O’Neal was a member of the board of directors of General Motors from 2001 through 2006.

    He currently serves on the board of Alcoa.”
    10 Gaffes by Doomed CEOs on

    An article about the ousting of Stan O’Neal from Merrill Lynch was one of an estimated 50000 expunged from certain Google searches.…/ex-merrill-lynch-ceo-story-excised-from-google-searc...

    There is a large literature on the topic if one cares to look for it – raising questions about his protege – John Key’s – role, competence, and CV.

    More relevant references ..…/ns/…/ex-merrill-lynch-ceo-walk-out-m/…/last-hired-first-fired-merrill-lynchs-black-ceo-had- it-coming…/ex-merrill-lynch-ceo-story-excised-from-google-search.…/merrills_peril.html…/2/…Merrill/…/405029-PDF-ENG…/five-years-later-where-are-they-now -2014-7…/merrills_peril.html

    • The Unilever man happens to be correct about taxing sugar, if nothing else. There’s no point in taxing sucrose while at the same time publishing dietary guidelines that recommend an obesity-generating diet consisting largely of other kinds of sugar or near-sugar, and having doctors, journalists, politicians and others constantly refer to the obesity-generating stuff by the misnomer “healthy food.” A sugar tax would be like putting a bandage on someone who’s cut an artery.

      • Pat 3.2.1

        that debate would barely rate a mention in an ISDS hearing I would suggest

        • Psycho Milt

          Meh. If ISDS were such a trump card, we’d have more to fear from tobacco companies overturning taxes on tobacco than we would about a non-existent tax on sucrose.

          • McFlock

            you mean like tobacco companies using deals with Asia and the Ukraine to sue the Australian government (and small, poor nations) about plain packaging laws?

            • Psycho Milt

              No, not like that. Any instances of tobacco companies successfully using ISDS to overturn excise duty on tobacco?

              • McFlock

                Tobacco is different to sugar – tobacco is addictive, so a core chunk of users will simply pay more regardless of tax rate, to a certain degree. Doesn’t hugely impact the profit margin until they get really high or are used with other measures like quit support services.

                Packaging is what affects sales. It reminds addicts trying to quit, and also affects market share.

                Taxes on sugar is different, because cost is a major factor in food choices and production costs.

  3. Gosman 4

    A reasonable run down from a left wing perspective of the year since Syriza gained power in Greece . I believe it pretty much happened as I predicted it would.

      • The lost sheep 4.1.1

        No surprise that the Socialists here seem to have lost interest in Greece….

        Equally predictable, over in Venezuela the Socialist response to the continuing collapse of their policies is to use it as a pretext to subvert democracy.
        A darker scenario than Greece…just a matter of time before guns become part of the ‘solution’…

        • greywarshark

          The lost sheep
          By all means please keep us informed about the latest happenings in Greece. It is true one can be diverted from things that should be watched and followed. The world is coming apart under our fingers and people like yourself who make sure that they keep up with developments and pass that information on to the other interested people are of great, inestimable value.

          • The lost sheep

            Thank you Greywarshark.

            I am a strong believer in the value of learning from mistakes wherever they occur, and thus avoiding repeating them ourselves. IMO opinion that is the way to prevent the world from falling apart.

    • Morrissey 4.2

      Gosman, how is your reading programme going? Have you even started yet?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      A year on, the Syriza party is faithfully implementing the austerity policies that it once decried. It has been purged of its left wing and Tsipras has jettisoned his radicalism to stay in power at all costs.

      Yep, the capitalists moved in and undemocratically imposed their ideas upon the Greeks. That’s what happens when we have dictatorships running things.

      Syriza needed to default, drop out of the European Union and go back to their own currency. Anything else was going to have them doing what the capitalists told them.

      • Tricledrown 4.3.1

        The big boys have taken over its to late democracy has been unsurped.
        Funnily enough Latent Smith has been pushing the same lines.
        Saying that Key changing the flag and signing the TPPa is turning us into an outpost where we loose our sovereignty.
        Sorry but its to late.
        We are one of the last to fall into line.

  4. Ffloyd 5

    Why doesn’t Andrew Little just SAY that Labour opposes the whole of the TPP?? He did not sound like a positive Leader just now, talking to Guyon Espiner. I felt very disappointed.

    • Paul 5.1

      A caucus that includes Shearer and Goff and a party that never has renounced neo-liberalism.

      Simple solutions.
      Vote for a different party.
      And communicate to the Labour leadership why you will not vote for them.
      If they don’t stand against the TPP, they will stand against nothing.

    • BM 5.2

      Because he supports the TPPA, but many Labour voters don’t.

      Bit of a dilemma really, maybe he needs to be honest and explain to his supporters why he is pro TPPA.

      • Paul 5.2.1

        I agree that if Little supports the TPP, he should be honest.
        I think, though, that he is more conflicted than that.
        He knows that the majority of Labour supporters are against the TPP and he also knows that the power brokers in the caucus are for it.
        And so you end up with a debacle of an interview with Espiner.

        Labour stands for very little if it can’t summon up the courage to vociferously oppose the TPP.

        • Olwyn

          It is not just the power brokers in caucus, it is also the power of what Key calls “the club” that invites caution. It looks to me as if Little reckons he is more likely to prove successful in challenging particular issues within the agreement than he would be if he came out against the whole thing. You can point to Winny of course, as someone who has taken a stand against the whole thing, but Winny is not likely to come under such strong pressure from the big players, and his view expresses a long term stance that everyone knows about.

          One reason we need a nonaligned left wing movement in this country is so that we can at least start to turn ourselves into a force whose endorsement or rejection of politicians is able to make a difference. The UK left has Corbyn in part because they had the People’s Assembly to put their weight behind him. Without such movements, politicians are at the mercy of the powerful like the rest of us.

          • Draco T Bastard


            We really do need to get rid of the rich and prevent them rising again.

            • Puckish Rogue

              You can’t because we’re all different, some people have the drive, some people are willing to sacrifice the short term for the long, some are born privileged and some are born with everything they need to succeed (some do and most don’t which is interesting…)

              Nor should we for that matter

              • Draco T Bastard

                We’re all different but equal in those differences.

                Besides, rich people aren’t rich because they’re different but because they’re stealing from everyone else.

              • Puckish Rogue

                So the rich people that’re on this site (and I’ll bet theres more than a few) are rich because they steal from others?

                dude you really need to get some perspective

            • Tricledrown

              How’s that going to happen its never worked before and it won’t in the future.
              Pure communism ends up being totalitarian just like capitalism.

              A balance between them is the best outcome.
              You are a dreamer if you believe you can.unsurp human behaviour.
              Humans are not civilized on the whole we just behave as nature behaves the strongest and fitest survive.
              Because we have harnessed our envirment we think we are civilized but no we carry on behaving in a competitive way like in the rest of nature.
              You are part of that competitive urge trying to push your tangent that everybody must be equal but no where in nature has that succeeded.
              No where in human nature has that succeeded.
              Show me some examples.
              Utopian thinking just like the laissez faire brigade!

              • Draco T Bastard

                You are a dreamer if you believe you can.unsurp human behaviour.

                We happen to be intelligent and thus can over-ride our instincts but it must be learned. Of course, the greed and anti-social aspects of capitalism also have to be learned.

                How’s that going to happen its never worked before and it won’t in the future.

                Actually, it’s always worked before – then capitalism comes along and destroys what’s been built up.

                Show me some examples.

                I can show you 5000 years of collapse caused by capitalist systems including the USSR. China is about to join it. Thing is, that same 5000 years of collapse by capitalism is also joined with 5000 years of societies being built up via communism/socialism.

                Societies simply do not work under competitive stresses.

      • Ffloyd 5.2.2

        I agree with you BM. A little bit of clarity goes a long way. Even if it’s not what you want to hear. There is nothing worse than listening to a stuttering ,stammering, waffling attempt at an answer that says beggar all. It’s like he’s trying to have a bob each way. Not sounding strong at all.

    • Pat 5.3

      bloody good question…they must have a reason for this shambles…..but I’m buggered if I can see it…..this undermines Littles presentation of a gov in waiting

      • Puckish Rogue 5.3.1

        The thing is the TPPA is good for NZ overall and Andrew Little knows this but because Nationals pushing it hard and because most of Labours supporters don’t want it he has to walk a very precarious tightrope of placating his supporters while still leaving the door slightly ajar

        So you have him bagging the TPPA and hinting that Labour will take NZ out of it which his supporters like but still not categorically stating that’s what he’ll do so he has an out when Labour gain power and the TPPA stays

    • Lanthanide 5.4

      Yeah, it was really lame of him.

      • Atiawa 5.4.1

        I’m not sure if Andrew could have said anything differently. The bottom line is that a Labour led government will vote down any attempt by corporate or foreign governments to interfere with our sovereign democratic decision making.

        • Sacha

          Problem is, they do not get to ‘vote’ on that at all. Last year’s general election was where they needed to pull their socks up. Too late now.

        • alwyn

          “The bottom line is that a Labour led government …….. ”
          You managed to get that out of the drivel that Little was uttering?
          I have heard more sense from the gurgling of a six month old baby that I heard from Little on morning report.
          Surely there is someone in the Labour party who can do better than the current leader? Is it time to try Mallard?

          • Atiawa

            Just because you never heard what you wanted to hear, doesn’t mean nothing of value was said.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Alwyn “heard” exactly what they wanted to hear, which is to say they weren’t in fact listening at all.

        • Lanthanide

          Yes, he could have said it differently. He could have said:

          “In government, we plan to legislate against selling land to foreigners. If that puts us in breach of the TPPA, then we will need to re-negotiate the TPPA. If we can’t re-negotiate, we will simply leave it”.

          Seems like a reasonable thing to say to me. Of course National would immediately say that Labour are trying to sabotage the future of NZ etc.

          • Sacha

            Exactly. The guy needs strong competent people who are not lawyers to coach him on making clear statements rather than eternal fence-sitting waffle.

            That interview is infuriating. Little is trying to argue for being partially pregnant. Dolt.

            • Colonial Viper

              guys, I do not want to keep repeating this again. Important sections of the Labour caucus are pro-TPPA.

              Andrew Little’s statements have to reflect that, or his time as Leader is over.

              As an experienced lawyer, Little knows exactly what he is communicating and how clear/unclear he wants it to be, and where he wants lots of ambiguity in his statements and arguments for future wiggle room.

              TL/DR Labour is no longer fit for purpose.

            • alwyn

              “competent people who are not lawyers”
              Half of Little’s problem is that he IS a lawyer.
              He is trying so hard to avoid saying something he wouldn’t be able to wriggle out of that he ends up saying nothing intelligent at all.
              Anyone else remember the 1985 Tom Paxton album?
              “One million lawyers and other disasters” .

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      Because he and the Labour caucus actually believe in the TPPA and FTAs in general.

    • Colonial Viper 5.6

      Why doesn’t Andrew Little just SAY that Labour opposes the whole of the TPP??

      Because several significant Labour MPs are pro-TPPA and pro-US/anglo imperial strategy.

    • Macro 5.7

      With the independent analysis of the TPP pointing to the prospect of an very minor and insignificant increase in GDP, the potential (as in all FTA) of the loss of jobs in our economy, the restrictions on Intellectual property, the inability to control foreign investment and the loss of sovereignty, the dangers imposed across all countries on the loss of indigenous rights (in complete contravention of the UNDIR), and the resultant dumbing down of our economic structure to one of resource supply, to say nothing of the surreptitious attack on The Treaty of Waitangi, our Nations founding Document, and the effect it will have on our ability to buy our medicines, one has to wonder just what it is that makes this so called “Deal” so attractive to Labour?
      One wonders if some in the Labour Caucus are too busy arse licking the corporates to truly understand just whom it is they are supposedly elected to represent?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.7.1

        One wonders if some in the Labour Caucus are too busy arse licking the corporates to truly understand just whom it is they are supposedly elected to represent?

        I don’t wonder about it, I’m sure that’s exactly what they’re doing.

    • Tautuhi 5.8

      If he does that he will be in the shit with Aunty Helen!!!

    • Scott 5.9

      The reason Little cannot be up front and oppose the TPPA is because the US have put a gun to everyone’s head.
      You are either for, or against us.
      John Key has made this clear to Little, so what is he to do. When Key talks about his top draw, these are some of the things he is talking about.
      Look at how frantically South Korea is trying to join the party after they missed the boat. They have China as their biggest trading partner, they hate Japan with an intensity you cannot believe, and the US only slightly less. They already have FTAs with 75% of the world’s GDP. Why would they want to join, but to be “on the right side”.
      And then there is Taiwan. Same thing, but different of course.
      Who hs been left out of the TTP and the TTIP?
      The BRICS, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Turkey from within the top 20 countries in the world by GDP (assuming Euro as one country).
      Then look at Carter’s words on TPP, and Obama during SOTU speech. The primary reason for the TTP and TTIP is to declare economic and possibly military war on the BRICS attacking the USD through trying to steal the world’s reserve currency.
      Unfortunately, whether or not you like it, Little is not bigger than these powers.
      That is why the TPP will be shoved down your throat, whether you like it or not.

  5. Paul 6

    I disagree with Winston Peters on some things, but at least he’s staunch on the TPP>

    • Tc 6.1

      Smart politics, NZF will take votes off natz and labour by saying it how it is and whilst I am no big fan of winnie he sticks to his guns which voters identify with.

      Watch the natz go hard again on NZF as winnie could see shonky bog off back to bankstaland by galvanising the swinging dissaffected masses toward NZF

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        Winnie could also give two fingers to the left and go with National and get his knighthood

        National could also go with Act, Peter Dunne and the MP and not even bother Winnie

        • Draco T Bastard

          Winnie could also give two fingers to the left and go with National

          He won’t and he’ll probably still get his knighthood. If there’s a politician anywhere that deserves a knighthood it would be Winston simply for hanging the fuck in there 😈

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep. And successfully returning back to political life after being stabbed in the back and left for dead by National.

          • alwyn

            ” he’ll probably still get his knighthood”
            Is this another policy flip-flop that Little is proposing? Is he going to swing around and start supporting knighthoods. My, my. What will “she who must be obeyed” in New York have to say?

  6. miravox 7

    Just for curiosity’s sake – does anyone know what happened with John Key’s invitation on Waitangi Day 2014 for Joel Bristow, or other representative of the deepsea drilling protestors to go to Wellington and have their minds changed?

    I have’t seen the PM out protesting

  7. fisiani 8

    Very interesting graph. Obviously not predictive but disconcerting. Democracy is helped when there is a competent opposition.

    • Paul 8.1

      Another interesting graph.
      Democracy is helped when there is a competent media.
      Democracy is helped when there is a healthy economy that benefits everyone, not just the 0.0001%.

    • Puckish Rogue 8.2

      I’m heartened that slowly, ever so slowly some people on here are coming to see that the problem with the left in NZ isn’t solely John Keys fault

      • Paul 8.2.1

        Says a troll to a troll….

      • mikesh 8.2.2

        “I’m heartened that slowly, ever so slowly some people on here are coming to see that the problem with the left in NZ isn’t solely John Keys fault”

        This is a “straw man” argument. Nobody claims that the left’s problems are John Key’s fault.

        But he is still a piss-poor PM.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Well yes I concede I could have written that better. I guess a better way of putting it would be instead to say that some on here are starting to see that maybe the problem with Labour are predominantly internal

          It seemed to me that some on here would prefer to make excuses for Labours poor performance rather then look within

          CV a notable exception of course

          • McFlock

            You would say that, because the war a tory really likes to see is one where the workers fight each other and the tories collect profits from both sides.

            The historical lesson you want us to forget is united we stand, divided we fall.

            • Puckish Rogue

              That’s just a little grandiose don’t you think

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’d say that McFlock was spot on. The Tories are here to try and split the Left apart so that they can win.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Well I can’t spoken for everyone on the right but for me I want to see Labour improve and this is why:

                  At the moment National is coasting along very middle of the road, don’t scare the horses because it doesn’t have to do anything to win, it doesn’t have to do anything that might upset some of the demographics

                  If Labour improve and start looking likely then National will have to try something a little different, it might actually have to come up with something different to Labour-lite

                  NZ need Labour to be strong so that National can come up with some policy because at the moment Nationals coasting

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Holy crap PR I basically agree with what you are saying here.

                    (Having said that I believe that Labour is now culturally and organisationally incapable of improving. I currently rate a 50/50 chance that they will get less than 25% in 2017).

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Well I say Labour but really I just use them because they’re the biggest left wing party in NZ at the moment

                      I’m taking the rough estimate in NZ that to get into power under MMP 35% is the bare minimum you’d be looking at and even then that opens you up to some massive amounts of horse trading

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep, a 35% election result for Labour will leave Winnie grinning from ear to ear. (Especially as an election result that high for Labour suggests that the Greens will fall to 10% or less).

                    • greywarshark

                      HC CV PR OK!

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      It’d make for interesting times as it sounds like based on that Labour would still need both the Greens and Winston

                      It’d be time for the Greens to demand some concessions I reckon

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    If Labour improve and start looking likely then National will have to try something a little different, it might actually have to come up with something different to Labour-lite

                    If National tried anything other than Labour-lite they’d lose. As John Banks said: If I wear my policy on my sleeve, I won’t get elected.

                    The same truly does apply to National. If their MPs and supporters got the policies that they truly want then they’d never get elected.

                    The real problem that we have is that Labour is trying to be National while wearing red.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Desperate times call for desperate measures but at the moment National doesn’t have to worry

                    • Pascals bookie

                      PR, the problem for the right is partially as you describe, but the other factor is the failure of ACT.

                      Everyone in the beltway rates young whatsisname, and he’s amiable enough, but he can’t shift them polls.

                      His decision to not take a cabinet role is part of it all too. Got praised by the likes of DPF et al, but really, he’s opting to have less influence.

                      the politics around why that decision is made is the politics that supporters of a more active Right wing government need to get to grips with.

                      National has swallowed all of the right bar ACT’s rump and whoever the hell it is that votes for Colin Craig,

                      and the widely accepted general icompetence of the Labour party

                      and the personal liekability of their leader,

                      why aren’t they doing more?

                      you claim that it’s down to Labour sucking and not giving them udeas to rail agin, but that doesn;t really hold a lot of water (it holds some, but not much)

                      Labour, for all their faults, have produced ideas in oppo, they then abandon them after losing an election, or watch National roll out weaker versions to placate the electorate. (this is a net huge plus for the left as national is giving the concepts of the policy a big old tick for further development).

                      My point is, that of you want National to not be Labour light, the right needs to get a threat to National from the right happening. At the moment, the ‘right wing’ is either completely smitten with National and not seeing sense, or this is as far right wing as the NZ electorate gets.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I have to admit I’m surprised that Act hasn’t managed to rise in the polls, I thought they might be around 3-4% by now

                      But yes I see your point

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I have to admit I’m surprised that Act hasn’t managed to rise in the polls, I thought they might be around 3-4% by now

                      Whereas I’m amazed that anyone still votes Act. They’ve had their heyday back in the 1980s and everyone now knows that their policies do too much damage. It’s why National still put on the mask of being Labour-lite.

          • fisiani

            Some are starting to realise that Labour were relevant when working people were hard done by. Those days are gone and so the need to support Labour is diminishing year by year.

            There will always be a group of people, perhaps 30% who are jealous of the rich and want to be given their money.
            On the other hand 70% want the chance to be richer.
            The internal problems of Labour mean that a white middle aged professional centrist candidate cannot be selected without the allegiance of the many factions within Labour who are so unlike the general public. The quality of Labour candidates is thus vastly inferior to the high calibre candidates who were selected and elected for National. Being put on the list is no guarantee of a seat. Andrew Little just scraped into parliament after the specials. At least he will feel safer as long as he remains leader. It will only get worse for Labour as the deselection campaigns get underway. Their low poll of 2014 is not their nadir. Those votes will go in all directions but clearly many are drifting to support National.

            • appleboy

              “On the other hand 70% want the chance to be richer”

              Only one wee problem with that. We can’t all be “rich” can we.

              The top 5% are earning more than the bottom 50%, and actually society is not structured to have a lot of “rich”.

              You right wingers are a greedy self serving bunch, and you know what, eventually the low income and those in the middle (the aspirational ‘hope we get some too’) will wake up to the sham that Key is selling and realise it.

              Good God – the first thing key did was give $100 a week to the top 10%, and sold that the rest can have $10 or so. Nice fucking scam. 7 years on they are trying to move the poor out of Auckland with $3000 payments to regions with no jobs, as a way of dealing with the housing crisis.

              What a total sham.

              You right wing wankers don’t give one iota for this in retail, gas stations, cleaners, bus drivers, you WANT them all to get fuck all so you have have it all.

              Fisiani – your nasty greedy tone and posts post after post stand you out above almost all of the horrid rightees

              • Macro

                ^ This!
                Well said.

              • Draco T Bastard


              • weka

                +2, go Appleboy!

              • Puckish Rogue

                We can’t all be “rich” can we

                On this we agree, some people don’t want to be rich because they’re happy with what they have, some aren’t born lucky enough to have the advantages to become but then some aren’t born with the drive to become rich and some don’t want to pay the cost of becoming rich

                Becoming rich is largely a choice, for some its easier and for others its harder but its still a choice

                • weka

                  We can all be rich if we define wealth in human ways rather than sociopathic ones.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Fair enough, we’re all free to define rich for ourselves

                  • McFlock


                    I recently heard an alternative definition to “billionaire”: someone who has improved the lives of a billion people, even in some little way.

                    Interesting goal to go for. Much better than just getting a billion bucks.

                • Chch_chiquita

                  I have no problem with people becoming rich, as long as they don’t create a system where other people become poor as a means for them to become rich.

              • Olwyn

                +1. Well said, appleboy. My jaw simply dropped at these two sentences: There will always be a group of people, perhaps 30% who are jealous of the rich and want to be given their money. On the other hand 70% want the chance to be richer.

                30% is a hell of a big percentage to be kicked to the kerb and spat on. And as for 70% wanting to be richer, since when has “git rich” expressed the highest human aspiration? Oh for one of those old-fashioned right wingers who thought they owned the copyright on decency – I might not agree with them but at least I could respect the fact that their view involved a conception of the greater good.

                • Colonial Viper

                  30% is a hell of a big percentage to be kicked to the kerb and spat on.

                  That 30% of the adult population is pretty much the same 30% which has given up on voting and participating in our political system.

                  Not a coincidence, I suspect.

                  • fisiani

                    Who is kicking to the kerb and spitting on??????
                    How can you possibly read that into my words.
                    i was not even being disparaging. do you really think there are no people who simply want other people’s money. If so what percentage do you reckon it is?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      do you really think there are no people who simply want other people’s money.

                      Such people exist of course – just not on the Left. And they’ll take from the poor faster than they’ll take from the rich. Just have to watch National’s attacks on beneficiaries to see that.

                    • fisiani

                      Draco let me quote you what the Finance Minister said in the House.
                      Hon BILL ENGLISH: Our tax and transfer system is highly redistributive, and the number of people paying income tax is surprisingly small. The lowest-income 43 percent of households currently receive more in income support than they pay in income tax. The 1.3 million households with incomes under $110,000 a year collectively pay no net tax—that is, their total income support payments match their combined income tax. The top 10 percent of households contribute over 70 percent of income tax, net of transfers—over 70 percent of income tax, net of transfers. This system is highly redistributive and we believe it is fair.

                      The rich give a fair share to the poor – which part of the quote is hard to understand or do you think their contribution should be even more than 70%.
                      as for attacks on beneficiaries , What part of “The biggest rise in benefits in a generation” constitute attack.
                      Instead of slogans can you explain why you think the rich do not give to the poor when clearly they do and how raising benefits is an attack. It’s like I’ve wandered into an asylum.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The rich give a fair share to the poor

                      No they don’t, the rich steal from the poor. That’s how capitalism works and it’s worked that way for thousands of years. It’s what causes it to always fail.

                      Watch the video

                    • fisiani

                      Draco stop using slogans and simply answer the question. Do you feel that the top 10% of earners ought to pay more than 70% of taxI if so why and how much.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m not using slogans – you are as you usually do because you really don’t understand what’s happening.

                      We have to get rid of the rich. That’s not just about income but also about ownership.

                    • Olwyn

                      I would like to see you explain, in non-disparaging terms, the difference between your 30% who are jealous of the rich and want to be given their money and the 70% who want the chance to be richer. Both want to be richer, by your account, and both must get money from somewhere if they are to do so.

                      Here’s how I see it: I think that the current system privileges wealth extractors over wealth creators. The latter might just lead to the tide that raises all boats, the former certainly does not. The eagerness of the already wealthy to get their claws on state infrastructure that comes with a guaranteed cash flow is one example of what I mean by wealth extractor – nothing of is value added, but an existing cash flow is diverted toward a privately owned pocket. Being privately owned, this piece of infrastructure then becomes answerable to the shareholder (so the wealthy) over the public good. The 30% under such conditions are the victims of this form of economic extraction, being removed from consideration by the public-to-private transference and in no position to defend themselves.

                    • fisiani

                      the rich steal from the poor IS a slogan.
                      You want to get rid of the rich. Like in Cambodia?. Like in North Korea or like in Albania?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      the rich steal from the poor IS a slogan.

                      No it’s not – it’s a statement of fact. National’s slogans, which you come on here repeating such as the BS about people being envious of the rich, aren’t connected to reality.

                      You want to get rid of the rich.


                      Like in Cambodia?. Like in North Korea or like in Albania?

                      None of those got rid of their rich which is why they’re still capitalist in form, structure and oppression.

                    • miravox

                      “Do you feel that the top 10% of earners ought to pay more than 70% of tax…”

                      Is that the top 10 percent of of people who declare all their income, or the top 10 percent who accumulate the money?

                      Can’t answer the question if the definitions aren’t clear.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    The thing is, if fisi’s little 30% social experiment were imposed on NZ, as I’m sure it would be, next claim would be 50%. In America the hopeless poor are about 60%.

                    It’s like Bill English’s 5% structural unemployment, once he instituted it it became the lower baseline, and unemployment varied above it.

            • Sacha

              “the high calibre candidates who were selected and elected for National. ”

              Hilarious. Wastes of space like Melissa Lee would appreciate your faith.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Person for person Nationals line up is considerably more impressive then Labours, I will admit there are some in National that have reached for use by date and then some

                • Colonial Viper

                  For some time now Labour has been picking candidates in accordance with where its own internal logic, internal factions and internal culture currently sit – but which results in a serious mismatch with what the electorate is looking for.

                  I remember reading that in the 1970s UK Labour still had very many MPs from coal mining and trades/shop floor backgrounds.

                  Today there are almost none, instead, Oxford grads and Eaton old boys seem to be favoured.

                  • alwyn

                    “Oxford grads and Eaton old boys seem to be favoured”.
                    Oxford grads in the Labour party are hardly new, and Eton isn’t that uncommon
                    Since 1935 there have been 11 leaders of the party.
                    Of these 6 went to Oxford. Attlee, Gaitskell, Wilson, Foot, Blair and Miliband.
                    What has happened in British Labour in the same as in the Conservative party there and the New Zealand Labour Party.
                    Their candidates go through student politics, get a job working in an MP’s or a Party office, may work for a Cabinet Minister, find an electorate and go into Parliament. Many of them have never held a normal job in their life.
                    It happens a bit with National but not quite as much. Paula Bennett is one example.

                  • greywarshark

                    Those rich advantaged kids have reversed the film named Eating the Rich to eaton’ the poor!

                • alwyn

                  You are looking back a long way with that comment PR.

                  “Person for person Nationals line up is considerably more impressive”
                  A gender neutral version of the 1972 National Party campaign slogan.
                  “Man for man, the stronger team”.

                  That one, although the shambles of the later Kirk/Rowling Governments showed that it was probably true, didn’t work out too well in the campaign did it?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  National’s line up is almost entirely corrupt.

                  Thinking about it I suppose that could be considered fairly impressive.

                • Stuart Munro

                  I don’t know mate – any shambles with Brownlee involved in it is a pretty hopeless mess.

              • McFlock

                Mustn’t mention electorates like northland, eh…

                • alwyn

                  I wonder if Winston has set up an electorate office yet, and if he has, has he ever visited it?
                  Anyone here live in the electorate and have you ever seen him at a public function?

                  • McFlock

                    Awww, you can’t google it yourself and find the electorate office in Kerikeri?

                    Anyway, I was referring to the previous Northland MP, one of the “high calibre candidates who were selected and elected for National”.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Some are starting to realise that Labour were relevant when working people were hard done by. Those days are gone and so the need to support Labour is diminishing year by year.

              National’s bringing them back.

              There will always be a group of people, perhaps 30% who are jealous of the rich and want to be given their money.

              And they all vote National.

              It’s just another point where reality contradicts the delusional beliefs of the right-wing.

              • greywarshark

                There will always be a group of people, perhaps 30% who are jealous of the rich and want to be given their money.
                And they all vote National.

                Can’t speak for all, but there seems an insatiable attraction for more, for bigger, amongst people who have acquired wealth and they are wedded to it ‘to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or worse’…ad infinitum.

              • Tautuhi

                They are wannabe John Keys

            • Tautuhi

              Fisi I think you are right Labour aren’t sure where their support base is especially after Roger Douglas took them hard right even further right than National?

            • Tricledrown

              That figure does not include gst or corporate taxes poor pay more GST than the rich or corporates who shift the cost GST back to the customers.
              Or go on overseas trips operate Swiss bank accounts or don’t pay any tax like like google Facebook Amazon etc.

            • Tricledrown

              Fisanal a paid spin doctor of the right.
              Employers not paying a living wage are being subsidized by the socold wealthier earners.
              The speculators are being subsidized by those on higher declared incomes.
              The corporate tax evaders are also being subsidized.
              Pollutors the same.
              The debt financier’s who Bill English has borrowed $80 billion+ for election bribes for his parties tax cuts are being subsidized $5.8 billion a year.

    • Sacha 8.3

      Labour is not the whole opposition. You may have heard of this thing called MMP.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.3.1

        A weak Labour won’t be able to cobble together a government, Labour needs to be reasonably strong and if the Greens ever want to get into parliament then Labour need to be really strong

        • Draco T Bastard

          Nope. Time for the Left to give up on Labour and vote either Greens, Mana or IP.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Ok then but its still the same, there needs to be at least one strong left wing party

            • Draco T Bastard


              • Puckish Rogue

                Numbers really, the left are on what 40% at the moment so if Labour crumble its not really going to attract any votes from the right so the total percentage isn’t to increase all that much

                But if you have a strong party, a party that can convince people it can lead then that’s what will attract non-voters to vote for them (and swing voters of course)

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That’s illogical BS.

                  A few parties that show that they can work together can, and will, get votes. The problem we’ve been having is that, Labour especially, the parties on the Left have been attacking each other rather than working together.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Yes they might be able to get some swing votes and maybe even from the missing million but I’m thinking Labour doesn’t want to cut the pie any smaller then it needs to

                    Short sighted though that may be

              • Andre

                Electorate seats.

                If the left were composed of several competitive small parties without one being clearly dominant, there would need to be a lot of pre-election co-operation to avoid splintered left votes in electorates. If National won enough extra electorates due to fragmented “left” votes, then it could end up with enough overhang to skew the proportionality of Parliament. It’s very unlikely now, but as there get to be fewer list seats and more electorate seats as the population increases, it becomes more possible.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  True but they could always work together. And then, once they have power, change electorate voting to preferential voting. This would allow all parties to put up candidates with the most preferred winning rather than the one with the most votes which is often a significant minority.

                • alwyn

                  Your proposal is theoretically possible but it looks extremely unlikely.
                  In practice the National Party would have to win at least 61 of the 64 electorates they contest.
                  Surely there are going to be at least 4 Labour MPs who could win one of the General electorates?
                  By the way the number of electorate seats doesn’t go up just because the population increases. It goes up only if the percentage increase in the North Island, or in the Maori roll, goes up faster than the rate of growth in the South Island. That is because the South Island is guaranteed 16 general electorates.

  8. Another example of the TPPA as being more of a trade restrictions agreement than a free trade agreement: the NZ Library Association’s standing committee on copyright is concerned about the impacts of making copyright provisions more restrictive. Apart from concerns about underestimation of the cost to NZ of the additional restrictions, there’s this about the prospect of over-hasty legislation:

    In particular, bringing New Zealand law into line with US law could prove problematic if provisions favouring rights holders (such as extension of term) are adopted, but exemptions that US law affords are not also adopted. However, because there will not be sufficient time for MBIE to extensively consider the effects of broadly-worded exemptions, it is more likely that any exemptions will be narrow in wording and limited in effect.

    In other words, the nett effect could be that we end up with all the draconian proscriptions of US copyright law but few of the exemptions, making us even more restrictive than the US.

    The above quote is from an email, so no link – however, you can obtain more info from the committee by writing to

    • Sacha 9.1

      They are quite correct – NZ lacks exemptions for things like satire and parody, let alone other aspects of fair use.

  9. Chch_chiquita 10

    Let’s buy a little piece of heaven and donate it to NZ

  10. Ad 11

    Eyes and ears open for the start of the political year here.

    – Winston Peters’ opening speech for the year tonight

    – Post-Cabinet signals this afternoon

    – Prime Minister’s first big speech, in Auckland tomorrow afternoon

    – Labour Party’s first big speech on Saturday

    – Green Party’s one I think it’s Friday?

    Anyway, let the games begin.

    • weka 11.1

      TPP Auckland meeting and livestream tonight 😉

    • alwyn 11.2

      “– Green Party’s one I think it’s Friday?”
      Oh dear. It shows how irrelevant the Green Party is, doesn’t it.
      I gather they had a speech today. Even people who follow politics quite closely, like yourself, didn’t know about it.
      I wonder how many people went to it. Outside of Green MPs and party staffers of course who would have been conscripted.
      Anyone here go to the speech? That is anyone not on the public payroll as a Green staffer or MP.

  11. Morrissey 12

    Did anyone hear Stephen Franks’s bumptious and
    ignorant performance on Jim Mora’s program yesterday?

    The Panel, RNZ National, Monday 25 January 2016
    Jim Mora, Stephen Franks, Josie Pagani

    There seems to be no code of behavior in place at Radio New Zealand. Some years ago, Bomber Bradbury was banned from this program for the crime of criticizing the Prime Minister’s loutish and irresponsible behavior in parliament. Yet Franks, whose disrespectful and contemptuous behavior is far worse, continues to be a guest.

    This afternoon, Franks was frothing with indignation about state house tenants who have the cheek to complain about substandard conditions. His rage extended to the afternoon’s first guest, Otago University Professor Michael Baker; Franks treated him with derision, referring to him repeatedly as “these guys”, in between his frequent imprecations of state house tenants.

    Luckily for Franks, the other guest was not the superior Dita Di Boni, who has firmly put him in his place in the past, but the giggling Josie Pagani.

    I really haven’t got the heart to transcribe Franks’s nonsense today, but aficionados of bad radio and cranky shouting should click on this link…..

    • Macro 12.1

      OMG! Morrissey – I don’t know how you do it!
      Listening to both Franks and Pagani!
      It would make me want to spew.
      The so called “Panel” is an appalling programme – hosted by a sanctimonious prick and has not merit what so ever. A complete waste of space-time continuum.

    • Tautuhi 12.2

      Evidently Paula put the boot into the PI’s yesterday.

    • Gabby 12.3

      He’s an angry fellow and his stroke is well overdue, but he had a point about incomplete/selective surveys. Still an utter dick though.

  12. greywarshark 13

    Latest news heading on Radionz.

    Putin is corrupt, says US Treasury
    Russian President Vladimir Putin during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, November 15, 2015. Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti
    The US Treasury has told a BBC investigation that it considers Russian President Vladimir Putin to be corrupt.

    ‘Pot meet kettle.’

  13. logie97 14

    For those of you who are taking a responsible approach to social drinking
    by choosing the very refreshing low alcohol “citrus” beers.
    If you are on Statins, you should be aware that the “citrus” apparently includes grapefruit juice.

  14. Puckish Rogue 15

    Well now, this is interesting

    He indicated he was hoping for redemption within caucus. “Politics is a rollercoaster. You know that and I’ve been around long enough to know that.”

    Could be Cunliffe v Robertson 2 (or is that 3?) after the next election…

    • alwyn 15.1

      I suspect there is another reason that is much more relevant.
      I think he has found that he is quite unemployable outside of Parliament. To be blunt there is probably no-one who will give him a job. This is the only way he has any chance of retaining the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.

      • BM 15.1.1

        I’d say you’re on the money there alwyn.
        Also goes a long way in explaining why it’s so hard to get rid of old Labour mps.

        I reckon the Labour party should make a rule where the maximum term for a Mp is 4 terms with a clause that this time period can be extended by the party membership vote only.

        That way you’d be able to ditch the leeches like Mallard or the unpopular ones like Cunllife but keep the ones performing well.

        • marty mars

          3 moneykeys in a row – all typing to create a dictionary – so cute

          • alwyn

            What a great pseudonym you chose.
            Marty “The film depicts thirty-six hours in the life of the main character: 34 year-old, bug-eyed Marty”
            and Mars.
            That’s of course the Mars Bar. The one that is full of nuts.

          • greywarshark

            But BM might have a sensible suggestion there Marty. Not all left suggestions are workable, and not all right ones are hopeless.

            • marty mars

              I disagree grey. bm sows seeds of discord – some subtle, some obvious. I think right wing solutions are hopeless and I do agree that a few left wing suggestions may be unworkable in our current system.

    • Tautuhi 15.2

      I don’t think Cunliffe can be bothered with all that shit again, he will concentrate on being a politican, the media crucified him. He is too intelligent to waste his energy on another leadership battle. Let Robertson take the shit from the Tory MSM media aka Mike Hoskings and Paul Henry.

      • Puckish Rogue 15.2.1

        I don’t think the ego of the Cunliffe will settle for merely being an electorate MP, I think the Cunliffe has his sights set higher

        • Colonial Viper

          it’s not just ego – it’s ability. And Cunliffe has it in spades. Problem is though, Cunliffe is not as cunning on the playing field as GR2020 is. He has also been in the beltway a bit too long now.

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    LOL 😈

  16. Penny Bright 17

    Know about this?

    Screening tomorrow night in Auckland:

    Briar’s 2015 film A Place to Call Home provides a revealing examination of New Zealand’s state housing situation.

    The documentary tells the stories of two women who share the same passionate values and deep concern for the vulnerable and often voiceless members of their respective communities.

    Ironically, they find themselves in a tug of war where the creation of a much needed community housing project in the Far North is dependent on the dismantling of another equally valuable and deeply entrenched community in Glen Innes, Auckland.

    A Place to Call Home is raw and brave and explores a topic that is extremely relevant in today’s environment of unaffordable housing and social reforms.

    For the public record – I believe that State (and Council) housing is PUBLIC, and ‘social housing’ is PRIVATE.

    I oppose the privatisation of STATE (and COUNCIL) housing by (private) ‘social housing’ providers.

    I support the directly-affected State tenants in their fight to STOP the transfer of 2,800 Housing NZ properties to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company.

    Unlike the Co-Convenor of the Child Poverty Action Group, and Salvation Army employee Alan Johnson, who supports the transfer of 2,800 Housing NZ properties to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company.

    How do I know this?

    Because he told me to my face.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Whistle-blower’
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    Weekly Economics Podcast – Inequality

  18. greywarshark 19

    The euthanasia submissions. If you care about people and them having a right to decide when to die when they are terminally ill or in pain without much life to enjoy and wish to disembark in their own time while they can still smile at others and enjoy knowing them, then please follow the guide below and support quality euthanasia. Submissions finish on MONDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2016 AND CAN GO IN UNTIL 23.59.

    (Remember 1/2 is the anniversary of various provinces so perhaps do it the day before in case you want to be out and about enjoying life.)

    Euthanasia submission end Jan –

    you can remind yourself of Lecretia’s Seales wishes.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      You know, it’s still too damn hard to make a submission to a select committee. You’d think that they were making it so as to dissuade people.

  19. One Anonymous Bloke 21

    More evidence that luck is the arbiter of business success.

    Suck it up, wingnuts.

  20. Stuart Munro 22

    Congratulations to Bill English on his eighth year of miserable and unrelenting economic failure. If we must have crazed far-right governments from time to time the least we must ask is that the useless assholes learn to balance the books.

    • Expat 22.1


      He wasn’t a complete failure, don’t forget the “surplus” last year and the generous tax payer funded entitlement to live in his wifes property for the last 7/8 years, yes he’s done very well for himself.

      Balancing the books will be the task of the next non National govt to take power, this is the historical cycle NZ has followed for decades.

      There are too many “sheeple” and not enough real people like most of those who contribute to ts.

    • Colonial Viper 22.2

      Why does the Left always insist on a Budget Surplus as a sign of economic competence?

      Are you really daring English to go down the road of slashing Government spending and enforcing austerity through the nation?

      Just remember that a budget surplus occurs when the Government takes more money out of NZ households, savings accounts and business activity than it puts back in.

      Why would you encourage that?

      • Expat 22.2.1

        Hey CV
        “Just remember that a budget surplus occurs when the Government takes more money out of NZ households, savings accounts and business activity than it puts back in.”

        You have a funny definition of a surplus and how it should be derived, the scenario which you adamantly describe is the one which English used to produce the surplus he boasted about, but normal surpluses are usually a result of a well run economy where the money is plowed back into the pockets of many, one of the criteria for a well run, healthy economy is near full employment, not increasing unemployment, for which is the current situation.

        During the Clark years, the Govt then was contributing 40c of every dollar spent in NZ and a surplus every year and very low unemployment , Key swore to get that down to 20c and now look where we are today.
        The economic and social policies of the Key govt will only result in massive increases in debt as they have failed to achieve the basic fundamentals of a well run economy and one of the main failures is the deliberately high unemployment.
        Under the Clark govt you saw considerable redistribution of wealth from the haves to the havenots, we now have the exact opposite (redistribution from the havenots to the haves) and the exact opposite result, the proof of this is there now for every one to see, increasing poverty, extreme wealth, and high unemployment and a deficit and a massive increasing debt.

        From your analysis above, I certainly wouldn’t take any advice from you as a financial adviser.

  21. Morrissey 23

    Jim Mora claims ACT’s leader is “cogent”; sadly for him,
    neither of today’s guests is stupid enough to endorse that provocation.

    The Panel, RNZ National, Tuesday 26 January 2016
    Jim Mora, Mai Chen, Bernard Hickey

    Today’s Panelists are several notches higher on the intelligence scale than yesterday’s dire offering [1], but the major problem persists: it’s the same host. About 4:15, after the long and tedious introductions have finally come to an end, the host decides to make the first of his glib and shallow statements for the day….

    JIM MORA: [affecting a serious tone] The ACT leader David Seymour makes the point, and it seems to be a cogent one, when he says “Those who grumble about a lack of a capital gains tax should look at the ten least affordable markets in the Demographia Survey. All of them except Auckland are there despite having a capital gains tax.”

    Mai Chen doesn’t even bother to snort in derision, but her fellow guest manages to say, in an exquisitely indirect way, that David Seymour is an ignoramus….

    BERNARD HICKEY: Hmmmm. The counter-factual, which we don’t know, would possibly show that the inequality would be much worse if it were not for the presence of a capital gains tax.

    The rest of the program, unfortunately, seems to be as dire and as determinedly trivial as ever. Mora has just attempted to manipulate his guests into saying something disrespectful about Kanye West; neither of them indulged him. He should have tried it yesterday: Stephen Franks would have launched into an insane racist fugue for five minutes.

    [1] /open-mike-26012016/#comment-1123541

    • alwyn 23.1

      What Hickey actually said, and you quote it was

      “The counter-factual, which we don’t know, would possibly show that the inequality would be much worse if it were not for the presence of a capital gains tax.”

      That isn’t saying that Seymour is an ignoramus.
      It is Hickey saying I don’t like that example he came up with. He hasn’t the slightest idea of the facts but he’ll try and deflect attention.
      He even admits he hasn’t the faintest idea what he is talking about when he admits “which we don’t know”. All that means is HE doesn’t know.
      Hickey was never one to let his ignorance get in the way of his political bias.

      • Muttonbird 23.1.1

        David Seymour can’t even park a car properly so I’m not sure what you expect him to know about the housing crisis.

      • Morrissey 23.1.2

        That isn’t saying that Seymour is an ignoramus.

        It’s saying it in an arch and subtle manner. Every listener—including your good self—would have understood quite clearly that Hickey has no respect for ACT’s risible “leader”.

        • alwyn

          Hickey has no respect for anyone except Hickey.
          So what? Hickey is just a hack journalist isn’t he.

          • Colonial Viper


            Bernard Hickey is a solid financial commentator and a serious journalist.

            • alwyn

              I would say he had been a serious journalist, but that was a fair while ago.
              His financial commentary is pretty risible though.

              • Tricledrown

                Proof Alwyn you have no credibilify other than being a proffessional whinger for the far right.Bernard Hickey goes against what most big banks economist commentary because big banks just want a speculative market that loads every one up with debt.
                NZ govt debt stands at $120 billion and rising at $ 27 million per day.
                I am for full and open discussion on economic matters

                • alwyn

                  “a proffessional whinger for the far right”?
                  No I’m not a professional when I comment here. I am merely trying to bring some knowledge to the ignorant. A very hard task with some of them though.

        • Paul

          Did you hear Jordan Williams on the Panel today?
          His intervention was of the sort that usually gets you to transcribe Mora’s dismal show!

          • Morrissey

            I missed it, Paul, but I’m sure I know exactly what he said.

            And…. shouldn’t he have been carrying Whaleoil’s bags somewhere instead of making a fool of himself on radio?

    • McFlock 24.1

      On the day it breaks that one of those bludging beneficiaries off the pension is a veteran whose benefit they cut because of a trespass arrest, you bastards are gloating about it?

  22. Scott 25

    Just a comment from someone who is sick of this country being dealt to by Mr Key and his crony capitalist mates.
    Can you stop getting sucked in by the lies in relation to income and tax paid, ie the top 10% of earners pay 70% of the tax.
    It’s the top 10% of the wealthy that pay next to no tax you need to focus on.
    I am sick of Fisiani and others spreading the lie that (implied) the wealthiest 10% pay 70% of the tax.
    It is a lie and stamp it out.
    The wealthiest 10% pay far less than 10% of all the tax.

  23. Paul 26

    Don’t rush into TPP, US critics tells Kiwis

    A leading American critic of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Lori Wallach, said New Zealand should not rush into the TPP because there were not the numbers to pass it in the United States Congress.

    It was not a done deal and could yet become a “5000-page doorstop.”
    She could not understand why the New Zealand Government was pushing the deal so strongly as it was not a done deal.
    It had very little upside for New Zealand and enormous downsides, she told a meeting of about 1000 at the Auckland Town Hall tonight.

    Yet New Zealand had been one of the most enthusiastic.
    “So I thought it was really important to dig out of the snow and come and say ‘guys this is far from a done deal and your Government is trying to run you guys towards a cliff.
    “This is no done deal – this is likely to be an undone deal. ”
    New Zealand might change its laws to meet the terms of an agreement that might never get finished.
    “And you’ll have screwed yourselves over by passing that law,” she said.
    “So for God’s sake don’t go rushing into this because in all likelihood it ain’t going to happen.”
    Lori Wallach is the director of the Washington-based Public Citizen Global Trade Watch Group and tonight began a speaking tour with Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey against the TPP.
    She suggested that discontent in the United States on issues such as the period of exclusivity for biologic drugs or barring tobacco companies from investor-state dispute settlement could be changed in side-letters between the US and other countries.
    That was how binding changes could be made to an agreement without opening up the text for renegotiation.
    She also said the investor-dispute settlement (ISDS) rules were an enormous risk.
    She disputed the New Zealand Government’s claim that ISDS – allowing disputes to be settled by private tribunal – would not attract cases.
    While the US has had 50 agreements with ISDS and had had hardly any challenges over 50 years, there were now more than 50 a year. And under TPP – an agreement of 12 countries – it would double its exposure with 9500 new corporations from TPP countries being a possible new threat.
    And while New Zealand had had no ISDS cases taken against it, it could face exposure to 1608 United States companies – and the US was the most litigious country in the world.
    “This is brand new liability. So when your Government says ‘we’ve never been sued,’ I say ‘hold on to your wallet and your tax dollars because if TPPA happens, it is just a matter of time.”

    “A propaganda exercise”

    Jane Kelsey, New Zealand’s leading campaigner against TPP over the five years it was negotiated, took her place at the lectern with a stuffed toy – a “dead rat” she has called Tim, after former Trade Minister Tim Grose has talked of New Zealand having to swallow dead rats.
    She said the national interest analysis on the TPP released today by the Government was “devoid of any independent insight” because it was drafted by the officials who negotiated the agreement.
    “It is nothing more than a propaganda exercise,” she said.
    She said the $2.7 billion estimated increase in gdp by 2030 would be, on current growth rates, a mere 0.9 per cent of gdp in 2030.
    Next Thursday the Trade Minister of the TPP countries would sign the deal – but that was the end of it.
    The national interest assessment would be presented to the House and legislation drafted – but it could not come into force for at least two years.
    “We need to make our voices heard from that for at least the next two years.”

    Politicians from Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First and the Maori Party spoke as well.

    Grant Robertson: Agreement undermines NZ’s sovereignty
    Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson the Government had undertaken a “secretive, exclusory, unaccountable process driven by the galactic ego and arrogance of Tim Groser.”
    He quoted from the national interest analysis the sentence he said identified the source of Labour’s objection.
    “The agreement places new limitations on Government’s ability to modify New Zealand’s policy settings to ensure they are appropriate for our domestic circumstances.”
    “That is the nub of the problem here,” he said. It undermined sovereign rights.
    It could, for example, prevent a Government legislation to get proper public broadcasting.
    He said the agreement undermined New Zealand’s sovereignty and while there were modest economic benefits from TPP “you cannot put a price on our democratic and constitutional freedoms to make our own law.”

    “It’s about power
    Greens’ co-leader Metiria Turei said the point of the TPP was “to take power away from democratically elected Government, to give it to multinational corporations” and where their interests clashed with the interests of New Zealand, the investors interests would come out on top. “It’s not about trade; it’s about power.”

    Marama Fox: Issue unifying for Kiwis
    Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said the issue had been unifying because now people might understand how Maori felt to have lost their sovereign rights.
    “We have been fighting this fight for 175 years.”
    The party objected to the Government having the power in the TPP to interpret what rights were under the Treaty of Waitangi.
    There had been an irrational fear in New Zealand that if you give Maori more rights it would take away others’ rights, or that Maori “might do to us what we have done to them.”
    “”That is wrong. We want to live in a country where we recognise our duality of nationhood, that we are here as partners.”

    “Undermining NZ business”
    New Zealand First’s Fletcher Tabuteau claimed that New Zealand First had been the most vocal against the TPP and the most consistent.
    He said ISDS would give multi-national corporates an unfair advantage over New Zealand companies in New Zealand because only they would have access to ISDS.
    He suggested that minimum wage measures or environmental laws passed by the Government could trigger the ISDS and let overseas companies sue the Government but New Zealand companies would have to “like it and lump it.”
    “It will undermine New Zealand business into the future.”
    He said National still had the numbers to approve the national interest analysis but opponents of the TPP needed to talk to National MPs.
    “Some of those National MPs must fold under your pressure.”

    Lori Wallach has public meetings planned in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

    – NZ Herald

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