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Open mike 26/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 26th, 2012 - 99 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

99 comments on “Open mike 26/02/2012”

  1. There is an interesting article by Guyon Espinar in the listener this week about Grant Robertson. Interesting because it raises the possibility that he may be the first openly gay Prime Minister.

    With Shearer barely 2 months into the job this sort of conjecture is not helpful.  The last thing that Shearer needs is the categorisation of a caretaker looking after things while Robertson prepares himself.  Some could describe it as being disloyal.

    Robertson also talks about gay issues and obviously supports gay adoption.

    This is one aspect of “equality” that I have a major difficulty with.  My experience from dealing with adopted people over a number of years is that the institution itself is brutal, uncaring and wrecks lives.  The feeling of rejection that adoptees have swells to the surface in their teenage years and causes huge problems from then on.  Why this concept should be extended to gay couples is beyond me.  It would be much better if it was done away with all together.

    And Labour is so highly dependent on support from the Pacifica community it should tread very warily in these areas.  I would prefer that it put effort into the essentials such as dealing with poverty, job creation, and environmental sustainability than get into a debate about a policy that has limited application.

    • shorts 1.1

      same sex marriages and gay adoption should be a no brainer for anyone on the left who believes in equality for all

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        But why Shorts?

        Adoption is a barbaric old fashioned concept that does all sorts of damage.  Why extend it? 

        • shorts

          I’m not referring so much to adoption but the double stanards employed for those who aren’t hetrosexual – if adoption is antiquated then lets at least allow all to participate…

          Can you point me towards somewhere I can get an idea of why you think it old fashioned – is it the concept or the delivery you dislike?

          slight aside: my mother was adopted and brought to NZ (Italian orphan post ww2) and in turn she was forced to adopt out my eldest brother (stupid standards of the day – they were reunited about 20 years back, in a wonderful but awkward way)… the impacts of all have had a huge emotional toll on my family and they continue and will do for at least another generation I reckon… but we’re all as disfunctional as any ‘normal’ loving kiwi family 🙂

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      “It would be much better if it was done away with all together.”

      Are you suggesting that children who are put up for adoption should instead be killed?

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        He …

        Nope just a simple repeal of the Adoption Act 1955 would do it.  If kids have to be moved out of their family unit the Care of Children Act can handle the legal side.  The child retains his or her legal biological links to his or her parents and they can hopefully know who their parents are.

        Open adoptions are not as damaging as the old fashioned closed adoptions but it is still a barbaric principle that treats a child’s family relations as something that can be changed at the stroke of a pen.

        The Care of Children Act allows gay and lesbian couples to assume care of a child and has no problems with gay and lesbian couples doing so.

      • Vicky32 1.2.2

        “It would be much better if it was done away with all together.”

        I agree totally! In 1972, I had my oldest son adopted out and away from me and although he’s been back in my life since 1991, his life has been horrific. His adoptive mother’s a good woman, but the rest all treated him as if was dangerous. Guess what a child does if everyone expects him to mess up? Yes, you’re right. 

        Are you suggesting that children who are put up for adoption should instead be killed?

        No, of course not. But most adoptions now are not stranger adoptions (I think it’s around 85% of adoptions now are cases where a step-father adopts a child when he and the mother marry, or and this weird but it happens, where a couple marry after being together and having children – and in order for the children to have the name of the new husband, he has to legally adopt them even though he is their father!) It’s a myth that there are hundreds of abandoned children all ready to be adopted by lovely middle class rescuers.

        • RedLogix

          Fully agree vicky. Closed adoption is a barbaric holdover from generations past. We really should be legislating to make them illegal. And you are so right about the power of expectation; it’s one of the two or three most potent influences on the human psyche.

          By contrast open adoption can be great. I’m pretty liberal-minded about the form that families might take… as far as I’m concerned the people who have the babies really don’t have to be the same people who grow them up; just so long as they are all part of the same extended family or social group.

          • Vicky32

            By contrast open adoption can be great. I’m pretty liberal-minded about the form that families might take… as far as I’m concerned the people who have the babies really don’t have to be the same people who grow them up; just so long as they are all part of the same extended family or social group.

            I agree. Open adoption is a good thing, if the child has the chance to know where s/he comes from, and is not lied to!

    • Janice 1.3

      Thanks Mickey. I have no issue with gay couples caring for children; they generally manage to muddle through and do their best, just like most parents. I however do have issues with the politics of adoption. Adoption in New Zealand is a barbaric practice; the legislation that covers it was passed in 1955 and should be totally repealed and replaced by a revamped guardianship act. This would cover care of children whose parents are unable to care for them, either temporarily or permanent. Adoption gives ownership of the child to the adopters – something than natural parents don’t have or need. The child’s name, family and heritage is taken from it, and it is forced to live a lie under a false name and pretend that strangers are its parents. No wonder so many finish up under the care of the mental health or penal services. There have been many submissions made to many MPs on many reviews of the act, but they all get pigeonholed into the “too hard” basket.

      • mickysavage 1.3.1

        Agreed Janice.

        It is a brutal process and it is no wonder that so many are adversely affected by it.  IMHO they should just repeal the act.  The Care of Children Act can handle care arrangements much more elegantly. 

        • Janice

          Open adoption is not a legislated practice. There have been adopters who have signed an open adoption agreement with the birth mothers and their families and then after the adoption becomes legal they shut the whole thing down with no legal consequences as the child who the legal agreement named no longer legally exists, it is owned by a new family. Adoption objectifies and dehumanises the child, who is not a blank slate as many would like to think.

    • higherstandard 1.4

      My experience from knowing many adoptees and adopters is that the adopters have been motivated by the best of intentions and the adoptees have all been better off in the short and longer term and have made wonderful families.

      In all but one case they have been in contact at certain times or in an ongoing fashion with their birth families as well without any adverse effects.

      So from my experience I would have to completely refute your assertion that adoption is ‘brutal, uncaring and wrecks lives.’ Although I do expect you get to see the worst in your professional capacity.

      • mickysavage 1.4.1

        I do see the worst effects of adoption HS but I have also done some study in the area for professional reasons and the outcomes for adopted kids are way worse than for kids generally.

        I actually have two adopted cousins who turned out pretty well but did struggle with it.  Your comments suggest that you have seen the best of cases.  I agree that I have seen some of the worst. 

    • Fortran 1.5

      Grant will be the first male Gay New Zealand PM.

      • muzza 1.5.1

        Should we actually give a fark about that point, and instead of continually having our differences pointed out between us, perhaps we should focus on similarities instead…

        Grant will be the first male PM – Not really accurate it is, and won’t sell as many records, better just focus on the fact he is gay, as opposed to weather or he might actually be capable..

        Can’t wait for the distractions over this exciting piece of news should it ever happen!

        Baaa baaa baaa

        • Blue

          I think Fortran’s point was to imply that Helen Clark was a lesbian, Muzza.

          He was being a dickhead, not trying to make a serious point.

          • the sprout

            Michael Joseph Savage was our first gay PM

            • Vicky32

              Michael Joseph Savage was our first gay PM

              Really? Not according to what I can find on google. I am sure he’d be amazed to hear it. It reminds me of those lists of “famous people who were one of us” put out by everything from the ADHD association to gay rights groups – Leonardo Da Vinci being the most absurd of the latter – I learned that in the 1960s, an American Freudian had decided that Leonardo was gay because he used to buy caged birds and release them – which was such an effeminate thing to do! 😀
              The truly hilarious thing about that is that Americans are totally clueless about any culture other than their own. As Hans Eysenck pointed out in his book about Freud, buying caged birds and releasing them was a cultural thing – males and females in that time and place did it all the time, as an attractor of good luck. Gay my left tit! 😀

              • Te Reo Putake

                Yep, that comment surprised me, too, V32. I know Savage didn’t marry, but that doesn’t make him a ‘confirmed batchelor, nudge nudge, wink wink’. From previous comments, I think Sprout has issues with homosexuality and likes to use it as a putdown.

              • insider

                I thought it was a well known rumour. We’ll never know for sure

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    Mounting evidence that at least some Pike River workers survived the initial explosion and were left to die. I’m starting to think it won’t just be Peter Whittall who is jailed over these deaths. If can be proved that the decision to abandon a rescue was itself a crime, then there are going to be some nervous officials busy trying to think of excuses for their cowardice.

    • Bill 2.1

      Can’t see how incompetance and adherence to a crippling ‘safety culture’ could constitite a criminal act. At the end of the day, I expect there will be some ‘recommendations’ and that, as they say, will be that. And the wankers who wouldn’t allow rescuers to enter the mine will absolve themselves by pointing to the rules and regulations, give themselves a congratulatory pat on the back for following proper procedure and claim they acted on the best available evidence at the time.

      And all the knowledge pertaining to methane explosions; the percentage of methane to oxygen that is explosive (12% or so I think?) will be quietly pushed aside and not spoken of. And the window of opportunity that came in the aftermath of the first explosion that would, in all likelyhood, have ‘cleaned out’ any built up methane will be quietly pushed aside and not spoken of.

      And so on.

      In other words, authority will absolve itself and all those who act in its interests.

      • KJT 2.1.1

        The decision not to risk more deaths considering the likelihood of further explosions, the atmosphere and the difficulties of rescue deep underground with SCBA was perfectly justified in the circumstances.

        Why get more people killed while trying to rescue some who were extremely unlikely to have survived.

        If it happens that some were still alive, for a while, it does not make that decision wrong.

        I have read many accident reports where people rushed in to rescue their mates, a brave and human response, and have died too.

        Not long ago on a log ship at Marsden point.
        Someone there who made them hold off and get proper equipment would have saved at least one life.

        It was one of those decisions some one had to make which could be seen to be wrong on hindsight either way.

        If the rescuers had been killed. The same people who are damning the decision, not to go in, would be, with their 20/20 hindsight be damning them for killing the rescuers.

        • vto


          This is absolute proof that the west’s “health & safety” culture pendulum has swung too far.

          Pike River has similarities. It aint as easy as you paint KJT. Read and listen to what some of NZ’s most experienced miners and mine rescuers had to say on exactly this.

          Similar goes for rescues in Christchurch post-Feb 22. The last survivor was resuced only about 24 hours after the quake and this is an extremely short time in comparison to other earthquake rescues. How many potential survivors died because of our health & safety culture’s over careful approach? This is a very fair and legitimate question imo and I hope the royal commission answers it.

          • Colonial Viper

            Not that you want people to be foolhardy and naive in coming to your rescue. But you wouldn’t want them to be timid wait on the sidelines until the clock runs down while-you-die-terrified-and-abandoned types either.

            Fact of the matter is, if a specialist unit which is trained and experienced and judges that it is worth taking a risk to try and help someone (and understands what that risk is) why let manager types who have fuck all expertise stand in their way. What’s our society become?

            Does no one remember the saying “All for one and one for all?” Is it now “All for one and one for all, but only when we judge that all associated risks and potential liabilities are negligible”?

            Interestingly in some other cases you get high honours and recognition for deliberately putting yourself in lethal harm’s way while trying to help others.


          • Lanthanide

            In the case of the CHCH earthquake, it really was quite a different situation to other earthquakes world-wide that see rescues happening days and occasionally weeks after the event:

            1. Most of the earthquakes with these rescues happen in 3rd world or developing countries, where many more buildings fall down, trapping many more people. The more people who are trapped, increases the number who can be rescued.

            2. We really only had 2 large buildings that collapsed and the one that had the most people trapped and died had a massive fire. Not a lot you can do about that, and turning hoses on it is quite likely to drown anyone who did actually manage to survive the fire/collapse in the first place.

            3. A lot of the worst buildings in the CBD were already cordoned off from the September 4th and boxing day quakes: this is quite different compared to a city that is hit by a massive earthquake out of nowhere as is typically the case.

            4. Similar to above, because of the September 4th quake a lot of people had already left the city and/or were much more clued up with how to react to an earthquake and this would have saved lives.

            5. A lot of the deaths that occurred were from masonry facades falling on people. Heavy bricks smashing you in the head/back is likely to lead to death, compared to being inside a collapsed building that will have air pockets created due to the amount and different materials involved.

            I don’t believe the fact that the last rescue occurred 24 hours after the quake has anything to do with health and safety, but rather a result of many different factors, some of which I have outlined above.

          • KJT

            If you look at the accident rates in industries such as construction, mining, fishing and shipping.

            Yes the HSE pendulum has swung too far.

            In the wrong direction.

        • Colonial Viper

          If the rescuers had been killed. The same people who are damning the decision, not to go in, would be, with their 20/20 hindsight be damning them for killing the rescuers.

          Or, NZers might see it as having been a heroic, necessary and worthwhile attempt to save lives. Risking a 3 or 4 person team in order to try and save 20 others.

          • ianmac

            Standard Rule of the Sea is that we are obliged to render assistance whenever others are in need, but with the proviso that the rescuers are not put at risk. The same applies to those arriving at a traffic accident. Secure the area and make sure that the rescuers are not exposing themselves to risk.
            Problem is in deciding how great the risk is. On the spot. Risk of more falls. Child caught by a beam and crying. Stand back? Or risk it? Hard eh!

            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah its tough. Even something as mundane as getting involved to break up a pub fight can be extremely risky, let alone this other stuff.

          • KJT

            More akin to stopping a mother from rushing into a burning building when there is no hope of getting her or her child out safely.

        • Bill

          If the rescuers had been killed. The same people who are damning the decision, not to go in, would be, with their 20/20 hindsight be damning them for killing the rescuers.

          No-one was ever going to be ‘ordered’ to enter the mine. With knowledge of the likely risks involved, there were members of the rescue team who wanted to enter the mine. They were prohibited by managers/bureaucrats. And, if my memory serves me correctly, some resigned from the rescue team in disgust.

          • KJT

            It was as well that someone took the responsibility for making the decision.

            Second guessing afterwards is unfair and unrealistic.

            You have to go on the information at the time.

            That information was that rescuers would be exposed to extreme and almost certain risk balanced against the strong indication that no one was still alive.

            And. The least suitable people to make the decision at the time is the mates of the people in the mine. To much emotion involved. Same reason why Doctors are discouraged from treating close family.

            The internet is full of armchair Admirals with the benefit of hindsight. Most of whom will never be in a situation where they have to make that decision.

            Well I am in a job where the risk level is similar to mining. I am aware I may have to make that sort of decision at some time.

            I am not prepared to judge the person who had to make the decision, on the ground, immediately, when we are all sitting down and have had days to consider it.

            • Bill

              Okay. I fully agree that someone who is emotionally charged up is not the best person to make a decision. But that doesn’t mean that the people who are going to be putting their own safety/lives on the line shouldn’t be the ones making the decision based on all available or requested information.

              . That information was that rescuers would be exposed to extreme and almost certain risk balanced against the strong indication that no one was still alive

              I find this assertion strange. Of course any would be rescuers were going to be exposed to certain and probably quite extreme risk. But where the hell do you get the idea that a risk assessment was balanced off against indications that no-one was alive? What you are suggesting is that if some-one was known to be alive, then the rescuers would have allowed to enter the mine under the same level of risk that was present when they were forbidden to enter.

              And I have serious doubts over the claim that there was “a strong indication that no one was still alive.” What indication was that? As I recall, there was talk of rescue up until the second explosion.

              Meanwhile, (and flying in the face of rescue talk at the time) the company knew there was only half an hour’s worth of oxygen in any cylinders and (presumably) that the best time to attempt a rescue is immediately after any explosion because gas levels will likely be at non-dangerous levels but getting more dangerous with time.

              You might accuse me of cynicism, but it crosses my mind that with the knowledge the company had at hand, they reckoned that by the time they responded (well in excess of 30 minutes) it was too late….unless miners had grabbed multiple cylinders. But they didn’t want the publicity and the hard questions that would have followed from people having died due to the tardiness of their initial emergency response. Solution? Wank around and say it’s all too dangerous to enter the mine and just keep on saying that it’s all too dangerous. Arse covered (sort of)…until somebody mounts a camera on a robot….

          • KJT

            I would not go too much on what members of the rescue team said in the heat of the moment.

            That was their friends in there.

            Speaking to a senior member afterwards.

            “The decision not to go in probably saved our lives”.
            “Though we were all keen to go at the time no matter what”.

    • DH 2.2

      I think that Pike River showed NZ just how dangerous coal mining is and I hope the inquiry gets that message across. The major problem with mine explosions is that they destroy or badly damage the ventilation system in the vicinity of the blast. Ventilation is what removes dangerous gases from a mine so if the system is broken you’ll get a gas build up. An explosion can also start small fires and/or create potential ignition sources such as arcing batteries and if you put the two together you get a mine too dangerous to enter.

      The harsh reality of coal mines is that an explosion typically makes the mine too dangerous for rescue teams to enter and unless the mine can be re-ventilated to a satisfactory level it can conceivably never be safe. With Pike it appeared necessary to enter the mine to repair the ventilation system which created that catch22 situation.

      The only way to make a mine safe is to prevent the explosions from occurring. The rescue teams were placed in a terrible position and I don’t think they warrant any criticism.

  3. tc 3

    We should have regular ‘crony watch ‘ post to see a list of appointments and their links to NACT/MP figures in SOE’s, authorities both new and existing, govt departments etc yand have some slots for Hide and Ellis to see what junket they pop up in after seeing Parata’s whanau doing very nicely on the taxpayer…..ka Ching.

    • Aye but I am sure that they will say that a proper and robust selection took place with real checks and balances and cognizance of the fact that the candidate was the Minister’s sister but that the committee members, all of who are outstanding in their area of expertise, are confident that the decision and process cannot be faulted and that in the fullness of time their decision will be shown to be the right one.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Fascinating investment letter from Jeremy Grantham. NZ would be unrivalled in a warming, resource depleting world – if we could shore up our military security capabilities.

    Click to access GMO.pdf

  5. chris73 5

    Interesting view from a port worker

    • felix 5.1

      Interesting how? Never heard of scab labour before?

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      OMG! They took his ping pong balls away!

      • felix 5.2.1

        And gee I wonder how there came to be ping pong, pool, and bbq facilities eh?

        • chris73

          Kinda figured you lot would ignore the physical assaults and verbal threats, probably think thats what they deserve

          • felix

            And again, you must be unfamiliar with the concept of scab labour.

            ffs this guy crossed a picket line and he’s complaining about his car getting egged?

            • chris73

              I was referring to the verbal threats, shoulder charges and spitting (while not painful it is a pretty foul thing to do) and the racism aspect as well

              • felix

                Sorry, no way of knowing the context of any of that.

                Remember how Anderton said it would take an earthquake to keep him from being mayor?

                And how afterward, Slater said the truth is whatever he says it is at the time?

                Armed with that info, you can’t even tell whether any of the comments in the video relate to the same worksite, the same union, the same strike, the same job, or even the same person.

                • chris73


                  On that clip you could tell where the edits were done, on this clip the edits are done between sentences

                  or do you really believe that the unions would never use indimadationary tactics to get what they want?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Intimadatory tactics? That’s what economic and class war is based on. Why not threaten the balance sheets and profits of corporations if they fail to take their responsibilities to workers and workers families seriously?

                  • felix

                    So what? It doesn’t matter that you can see the edits, what matters is that there is no context to tell what he’s talking about from one edit to the next.

                    You’re assuming it’s one story about one strike at one workplace but you have no way of knowing that, and the video was made by someone with a history of fooling people like you in exactly the same way.

                    I’m not saying you might not be right, just that you’re relying on faith in Slater’s honesty and pretending you’re not.

          • Colonial Viper

            Whereas threatening the livelihoods of families and neighbourhoods is just being economically rational.

          • KJT


            Of course you think removing workers wages and livelihood so a few can get rich is not violent.

            • chris73

              The union is not good for ports operations (heresy!) its that simple

              This isn’t the 1950s (though some on here wish it were) its time to move on

              • felix

                You say it’s not the 1950s, yet here we have a port company and its international clients trying to crush the workers and their families into submission to drive down their wage bill.

              • KJT

                Bullshit. Without the workers/consumers there would be no port and no profits.

              • muzza

                Were you around in the 50’s, and have you bothered to understand that the strike is actually being created due to lies and dishonesty of the PoAL management and board/CEO?
                Spoken to many warfies first hand, or spent time wading through the structures that govern PoAL as it relates to the onership directives by the council?

          • McFlock

            Today we have the sensitive chris73. Metaphorically, speaking, of course.

            • felix

              Yeah today he’s all concerned about someone losing their ping pong balls, when just last night he would’ve sexually violated someone with them as a punishment.

    • felix 5.3

      ps this video has a dolphin logo in the corner so I guess it was made by the Slater child.

      Given his history of deliberately editing videos out of context to make people appear to be saying things they never actually said, nothing in it can be assumed to be accurate.

  6. Peter 7

    The Nats real agenda – Get Rich By Privitisation?

    This from the Guardian


    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The neoliberals can’t find any effective ways to develop and create any truly new assets or wealth of their own at the moment. Therefore the easiest way left to grow their own riches is to organise the transfer (theft) of already existing public wealth into their private sector hands.

      The meme of the “wealth creating” top 0.1% is largely, though not entirely, a fabrication.

      • Peter 7.1.1

        Exactly, its NACTS version of the long awaited economic growth

        • KJT

          Too true. The “wealth creator”s have been so ineffectual at creating wealth, the only way they can do it is to steal ours.

          The real wealth creators are you and me.


          “If you really want to see a wealth creator, just look at the grocer, the nurse, the software developer, the accountant, and the civil engineer. They are all creators of wealth. Chances are, you are a wealth creator”.

          Though I would argue about the Accountant.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Agreed, the accountant isn’t a wealth creator but is a part of the administration. The administration is necessary but they aren’t the wealth creators that they paint themselves as and, as such, they should be paid less than the actual wealth creators.

            • DH

              I’d go along with both comments. When I went into business for myself I made the conscious decision to keep the accountants out of the business. They do the books & the tax returns and that’s as close as they get. Works well for me.

  7. mikesh 8

    Finally, Bernard Hickey has had the courage to promote what he terms “heresy”: ie that RBNZ should be creating money to finance infrastructure and rebuild Christchurch.


    He still needs, though, to look at the other side of the coin (excuse the pun) and promote the elimination of “fractional reserve” banking.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      1) I suspect that there’s no need to eliminate fractional reserve banking if the Government becomes a major source of interest free/debt free money for productive use.

      2) There’s no way that the private banks and the privately driven world central banking system is going to allow NZ to wean off their (very profitable) interest bearing debt markets. Especially as it will mean that they cannot indebt NZ enough to compromise our productive assets (which is the true prize they covet) in firesales.

      3) John Key is an Inside Man of these private banking interests. You can be certain that he won’t have a bar of any of this talk of Government supplied credit to the economy. Government supplied credit to the economy means no more need for overseas asset sales. See the point above.

  8. Olwyn 9

    Presently, the POAL dispute continues, and I applaud every MP who has turned up at the picket line.

    Meanwhile, Housing NZ is shutting its offices, so that clients can only contact them through a call centre. This no doubt is a prelude to farming out management to some corporation or other.


    In the Herald, Matt McCarten draws attention to a strike by Aged care Workers. Their employer, Oceania, presently owns 79 NZ Rest homes and is in turn owned by a large conglomerate. The workers have been offered a 1% pay rise, with a base rate of $13.61 an hour provided they give up their overtime.


    Then we have the most recent Pike River Mine news, about people having survived the first blast, mentioned on this thread by Te Reo Putake.

    Two days or so ago we heard of how our corporates are exploiting foreign slave labour (already noted elsewhere on this site).


    Meanwhile, 762 Meat workers are being locked out.


    Conciliatory noises from the left at this time suggest that we no longer have a left at the representational level. And diverting the conversation to superficial social rearrangements do not cut it either. We need a clear, articulate challenge to all of the above, along with an alternative strategy at representational level yesterday!

    There is no point in trying to look user friendly to raise money to fight an election if you have no one left listening to you. Conversely, if your vision is bold, sane and well-articulated, you might not need the bloody money – people will rally to you anyway.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Oh great the shithouse Talley family in full flight yet again, they must not have enough tens of millions of dollars yet.

  9. Treetop 10

    So Key and co are cutting a front line service to the public at HNZ. This is not helping an already CRITICAL housing situation and those who work at the coal face who will have to wait until they hear back from HNZ for an appointment.

    Further proof of the widening DISCONNECT by the current government. The government need to act fast due to being the odd country out when it comes to the increase in preventable infectious disease. A green paper for this and a white paper for that is nothing but lip service. The Families Commission have told the government about the correlation that unaffordable housing and damp housing has when it comes to child abuse and child hospitalisation.

    My apprasil of Heatley is that he is a real estate minister as all he can say is that we have empty houses, the houses are in need of repair, we are going to build cramped complexes which will create social problems and that some millionaires are lined up to buy HNZ properties with million dollar views, (the top priority is the millionaires).

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Further proof of the widening DISCONNECT by the current government.

      It’s not a disconnect, this government is purposefully ignoring the facts and ramming through policies based upon their ideology. The ideology that has led to more poverty as the wealth accumulates into the hands and control of the few. They’re setting NZ up to become a feudal state complete with serfs.

    • Vicky32 10.2

      So Key and co are cutting a front line service to the public at HNZ. This is not helping an already CRITICAL housing situation and those who work at the coal face who will have to wait until they hear back from HNZ for an appointment.

      I am an HNZ tenant, and we got the letters announcing this back in December. The Tenancy Manager I had (I can no longer call her) never answered her phone anyway being the laziest cow unhung, so it’s made no difference to me, but it will to others. 🙁

      • Descendant Of Smith 10.2.1

        It’s like the cutting of frontline services at IRD and authorising agents (private sector ) to be able to file your tax returns.
        It used to be someone who was having trouble with their tax return could go to IRD and get some help to fill it out. This service was free and was part of what was called public service.
        Today you are referred to someone in the private sector who is authorised to do this and charges you a fee and from what I’ve seen often gets it wrong.
        Many low income people and those with disabilities ( the two often go hand in hand) can’t or won’t pay a fee to get this done and so often go without a refund they are entitled to.
        The well off on the other hand pay their accountants to work out how to pay less tax while again the poor pay more than their share.
        I’ve taken to helping people do their tax returns and getting their refunds due simply because I can’t see why they should have to pay to fulfill their democratic obligations.
        It’s not like the public don’t need this help – the plethora of agents that has sprung up in recent years is testimony to this. They must be making money from what used to be free.
        It ain’t enough to pay crap wages in this country – any mechanism to get some of those wages back will suffice. This is but another one.

    • Anne 10.3

      Is Chris Heatley related to the filthy rich business tycoon, Craig Heatley?

  10. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/eliot-spitzer-spending-money-on-prosecuting-pot-is-ridiculous/

    “…Former New York governor and attorney general Eliot Spitzer says he not only supports medical marijuana –

    – but thinks we should replace marijuana prohibition with legalization…”


  11. james 111 12

    Good to see the Talley Family standing up to the Meatworkers Union .Just like POA there will only be one winner there,and it wont be the workers or the Union

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Backing the very wealthy ahead of ordinary working NZers? Why am I not surprised.

    • Te Reo Putake 12.2

      Nice to see you know what side you’re on, Jim Jim. Our new insect overlords will be well pleased with your efforts. Perhaps they’ll eat you last.

  12. logie97 13

    Some on here may very well listen to cricket commentary. There was a time when commentators were generally drawn from wordsmiths – and they were articulate and interesting to listen to. The qualification for getting behind a microphone in today’s group (taking a lead from Australia) appears to be that one needs to be a former player.

    Now perhaps someone here can enlighten me.
    The expression “Running between the wickets” referring to batsmen. I would have thought that to run between the wickets would earn a rebuke and warning from the umpire for running directly down the line of the wickets and therefore damaging the pitch.
    Secondly, as I am taking the radio commentary, I cannot see exactly what is happening, and depend therefore on their description of play. It would appear from this constantly repeated term “Their running between the wickets …” suggests that the batsmen run to other points of the oval as well. Can anyone help out there on that one?

  13. Populuxe1 14

    My goodness – there may be the occasional fruitloop on The Standard, but nothing as fruity as this http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/is-the-standard-blog-a-mainstream-media-shill/
    Apparently we’re all just shills of the mainstream media….

    • i went and read that piece..and have to concur with whoever it is..

      ..they have given a calm/link-backed rendition of what has been happening in this domino-effect the americans are using in the middle east..

      ..the most recent example the shills of this phenomenon..the calling for ‘the dogs of war of humanitarian-intervention’/cia-coup had me gobsmacked..

      .it was how keith locke..(who of all people..you’d think would know better..eh..?)..was just parroting the cia-pro-invasion propaganda for them…

      ..i wasn’t reading here then..was this site/labour pretty get-gadaffi-gung-ho..?

      ..also parroting that pro-war bullshit..?

      ..and those swallowing/parroting this latest call for the dogs of war to be unleashed really should think on a bit more/deeper..

      ..and look closer at the latest example.. libya http://whoar.co.nz/?s=libya

      ..especially at the outcome..one year later..(3rd story in link..)

      ..and maybe ponder on how..like gaddafi..assad was until very recently..americas’ friend..

      ..so much a friend..that america renditioned prisoners there for torture…

      ..think on..!..eh..?


  14. McFlock 15

    late night juxtaposition:
    TAG oil’s highest estimate for the east coast prospecting is $600million to NZ.
    Cost of cleanup from one cargo ship is $130million.
    Gotta love that risk-reward ratio.

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  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago