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Open Mike 26/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 26th, 2016 - 225 comments
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225 comments on “Open Mike 26/02/2016 ”

  1. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 1

    I am an avid reader of comments on The Standard, and an occasional contributor.

    It seems to me that many of the people who write in are, in some degree or other, all looking for the same thing – which can be summed up as: a Corbyn, a Sanders or a Trudeau.

    Some charismatic leader who will unite the ‘left’ and sweep away the dirty rotten corrupt shit-heap that is the National Government.

    Such a man was Michael Joseph Savage. But, and better historians than me might correct this, my impression is that he wasn’t seen as particularly charismatic until after the 1935 election, when the necessary reforms were beginning to have an impact. After all, Harry Holland was the leader of the Labour Party until only a couple of years before the election.

    Such a man was Norman Kirk, who, unfortunately for this country, didn’t live long enough.

    Such a man was David Lange, though I suspect he didn’t really capture the public’s imagination until after the Oxford Union debate. And, of course, he had a fatal flaw – he listened to and believed Douglas and Prebble et al.

    Andrew Little might grow into such a charismatic leader, but perhaps only after being elected. Certainly, he hasn’t yet enunciated a vision for this country which can worm its way into the sub-consciousness of the NZ public.

    Much has happened to NZ since the dreadful lurch to the right by the Lange Labour government. Most of it negative in its impact on the working and lower middle classes – perhaps the only benefit is a plethora of cheap Chinese junk in stores like The Warehouse and Bunnings. But at what a cost!

    So, there may be no going back to pre-1984 days, but a leader with the vision and courage to propound a great unravelling of the neo-liberal spider’s web which entangles this country is something we are still waiting for.

    • Paul 1.1

      Globalisation on a neoliberal model ( see CV’s outstanding post yesterday) makes it hard for countries to break the banks and big business’s vice like gripand parasitical hold of the economy.
      It is truly a world death economy we live in.

      • tc 1.1.1

        Especially when essential services and utilities are no longer under public control which is why NACT are undermining health and education, flogged off power generation and continue to drive NZ in more foreign debt.

        Removal of local control that was getting in the way of the plunder like Ecan, DHB boards and super city also assist this objective.

        • ianmac

          Friday 11 March for the end of submissions on TPP. As Snoopman points out the Matador Key has chosen a nasty time to promote the flag debate.
          I would like to put in a point of view about TPPA but:
          a. It is too big. How can I pick out the bad bits?
          b. They have already signed it with no possibility of modifying it, unless you are American and demand changes as they have indicated.
          Thanks again for the link Tautoko Mangō Mata

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata

            Barry Coates on the IT’s our Future facebook site has some great suggestions.
            I started by making up a mind map of all my concerns, then whittling it down to about 3: Process, ISDS, Sovereignty loss. Even just picking out one aspect is valuable.It also gives the the satisfaction of knowing that you did something to fight this, plus all the somethings will add up, just as they do in a protest march. Let’s overwhelm the bastards! Here are 3 links I used (all previously posted on the Standard)
            Alfred de Zayas
            Joseph stiglitz
            and the one in which the German Magistrates said ICS and therefore its predecessor, ISDS is unnecessary as States have robust justice systems,
            Thank you for the encouraging feedback that you have given me on my links. It is easy to get despondent when surrounded by people who are in the samsara of the consumer society and who trust these idiots running the country and buy into the propaganda dished out by the media jocks.

            • ianmac

              I sent a submission off against TPPA, with two footnotes.
              a. I deeply resent the way in which our Government talks only about Free Trade aspect of TPPA as a golden win/win but ignoring the serious issues about the bulk of the Agreement.
              b. I also resent the way in which Government Ministers including the Prime Minister,denigrate any and all critics.
              So thanks for the will to do something.

        • joe90

          Mr John Clarke sums things up.

          New Zealanders don’t have much trouble working out what they think. It’s the next bit that might need some work. In 1969 I was standing in a pub in a country town in Otago. They’d run out of Speights and we were drinking a beverage produced in the north. The man next to me was deeply unimpressed and made a number of uncharitable statements about the quality of what was on offer.
          ‘You don’t like it? I said.
          ‘I don’t’ confirmed the man. ‘It’s bloody terrible’ he said. He then thought for a moment and resolved the matter in his mind. ‘This the worst beer I’ve ever tasted’ he said. ‘I’ll be glad when I’ve had enough’.
          This probably wasn’t the answer. Complaining about what’s wrong but not taking action, has the same effect as not noticing what’s wrong.

    • Ad 1.2

      If you love charisma, you’ll adore Trump.

      Whereas if you want deliverable policy, you get a Little or a Hillary.

      • David H 1.2.1

        Thats the problem most go for the charisma of Trump or Key, and maybe also Turnbull. All bullshit and no substance, they’ll sneer at you behind your back, and you usually don’t even feel them stealing your wallet, or stabbing you in the back..

    • Jenny Kirk 1.3

      I agree with many of your comments above, Tony V. and I really query whether we need a “charasmatic” leader as such – after all, look at Shon Key isn’t he charasmatic enough ! But we do need someone able to get on with unravelling that neo-liberal spider’s web as you so aptly put it …… and from what Andrew Little has been saying and the work he’s put in to get his caucus alongside, maybe we just have to wait a bit longer for the results of all of that to start showing. And for AL to get better at the TV soundbites !

      • Anne 1.3.1

        And for AL to get better at the TV soundbites !

        He needs training on how to project his voice into microphones better then we might be able to hear what he is saying. A good start?

        • Whispering Kate

          Anne, the present incumbent supposedly has charisma in spades but has atrocious speech impediments, he mangles his tongue and has breathing problems and no has suggested he gets a speech trainer in. Mystery really.

          • the Pink Postman

            I have a theory regarding Keys mangling of words,
            Just note Kate that when he has a positive message he speaks quite clearly .But when its news he does not wish to be discussed its a mangled blob. Of course another reason might be ,what I have mentioned many times , he has a drink problem .

            • whateva next?

              As I started reading, I was thinking exactly the same thing…..he has to imbibe before finding the temerity to lie in parliament or on radio

              • Et Tu Brute

                My answer is a little more boring. When it is positive he gives them soundbites. When it is negative he gives them mangled sentences that don’t play well on television or make for good reading.

          • Anne

            Ahh but that only makes him more “like one of us” says Waitakere man and woman. I am firmly of the belief that some of Key’s speech mangling is deliberate because he knows it appeals to the political lowest common denominators.

            The problem I find with Andrew Little is: I’m so busy concentrating on trying to hear what he is saying… I don’t end up remembering anything he said. 😕

            • Whispering Kate

              I would not be surprised Pink Postman, he socialises a lot and has his own wine label – but someone mentioned he probably imbibes so he can lie easily – I don’t think that problem is a concern for him, he is a professional with that ability.

      • The Chairman 1.3.2

        “And from what Andrew Little has been saying and the work he’s put in to get his caucus alongside, maybe we just have to wait a bit longer for the results of all of that to start showing.”

        You must be joking.

        IMO, Little gives the left little hope.

        • Grindlebottom

          Should he change his surname to Lotsa?

          • The Chairman


            • Colonial Viper

              Little deserves another 6 months, surely. And another 6 after that.

              Then it’ll be the end.

              • The Chairman

                Little will be given the chance to have a crack at it, but whether he cracks it is another story.

                And even if he does, it won’t be a victory for the left. Labour are far to centrist at this stage. The Greens and NZF would often feel like they were in coalition with National.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep – if the “centre” means neoliberal economic orthodoxy with a dash of social conscience here and a sprinkling of social liberalism there.

        • kenny

          Agree. Getting the Labour caucus onside is no recommendation as most of them are National-lite anyhow. Witness the treatment of David Cunliffe.

          Until these people are replaced with genuine left-wingers nothing will change within the Labour caucus. Whether that will be sufficient to convince the people to vote for them remains to be seen. Until then why would anyone vote to change from Labour-Lite (National) to National-Lite (Labour).

          While I ‘m here I might mention that it is a mistake by Labour to be obsessed with getting the deficit down and balancing the books. Michael Cullen and Labour seem to be proud of this achievement but it came at a cost of running down state housing, maintenance of school buildings etc. Anyone can cut costs to balance the budget (I see Michael Cullen is at it again with NZPost by removing mail boxes from the communities to reduce costs, without realising he is also reducing the opportunity to increase business, surely there should be MORE mail boxes so people can find it easier to post a letter).

          National have been very astute in fixing a lot of this neglect and blaming Labour in the process.

          • The Chairman

            Labour’s National lite stance often puts them at odds with their potential coalition partners (reaffirming the image of the left rowing in different directions) thus hurting their own election chances.

            Moreover, it (Labour’s National lite stance) is turning off voters from the left.

          • Trey

            True, Little should have made Cunliffe his Deputy and Finance minister and told the Neo Liberals and right wingers in the party to think seriously about their future in the party. The problem is that despite his union background little is far closer to the centre than to the left and the centre has been moved further and further to the right by sucessive Neo Liberal Governments over the last thirty years, both red and blue.

          • Colonial Viper

            While I ‘m here I might mention that it is a mistake by Labour to be obsessed with getting the deficit down and balancing the books.

            That’s simply because Labour is a full believer in orthodox economic theory as expounded by the neoliberals.

            However, due to their now dead socialist history, they are still kind enough to use anaesthetic when they amputate your good leg.

    • Karen 1.4

      That is something I have also been thinking about. Charisma in a political leader is actually quite rare and I am not sure that it is always a good thing.

      Lange definitely was seen as charismatic before the Oxford debate – he was the wittiest politician we have ever had, and on a personal level he was also very engaging with an ability to seem genuinely interested in anyone he spoke to. Unfortunately he was also an economic illiterate, and allowed Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble to undertake economic reforms that were devastating to the social fabric of this country. NZ may have been better off having a PM with a bit less charisma who realised what those reforms would do.

      Helen Clark certainly didn’t have charisma when she first became leader but she did develop it quite quickly. I am sure she wanted to do much more than she did to repair the damage done by Rogernomics but she was hampered by having so many MPs still convinced of neo-liberalism.

      Cunliffe had charisma and could do the visionary speeches, but there was something about him that many people disliked. They could never quite say what it was, but he definitely was a polarising figure.

      Andrew Little certainly does not have charisma, but he does have other qualities that give me a bit of hope for the future. He does seem to have managed to have got the Labour caucus working together for the first time since the Clark days, and when someone steps out of line, like Shearer did, they are quickly pulled up. Like Clark he is pragmatic and realistic about what he can achieve with a caucus that still has neo-liberals in it. Once Goff goes, managing the other neo-liberals will become easier, and hopefully more left wing polices will be possible in a coalition with the Green Party. I am sorry to say that I don’t see NZ ever having a truly left wing government.

      There is no doubt that charismatic leaders can win elections but it really depends who else is in parliament as to what happens once they have won.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.4.1

        Cunliffe had charisma and could do the visionary speeches, but there was something about him that many people disliked. They could never quite say what it was, but he definitely was a polarising figure.

        To me he came across as smug and smarmy, in real life away from the camera hes probably a perfectly pleasant and amiable type but that’s just not how he came across

        • Draco T Bastard

          Really? Amazing. To me John Key comes across as smug, smarmy and clueless while Cunliffe is down to Earth and practical.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Really? Amazing. To me John Key comes across as smug, smarmy and clueless while Cunliffe is down to Earth and practical.

            Yeah, but that’s you, Draco, and you are beyond the fringe. With the majority of the population, Key is unprecedentedly popular half way through his third term.

            I’ll give you a blow job is someone doesn’t now tell me the people are waking up.

            • swordfish

              Gormy: “With the majority of the population, Key is unprecedentedly popular half way through his third term.”

              Over the last 6 months, Key has fallen to his lowest average since becoming PM – just 39% in the (combined) Colmar Brunton / Reid Research Polls.

              Down 13-14 points on his Preferred PM ratings during the Key Government’s First Term. Down 6 points on 2014.

              So roughly 60% of poll respondents are consistently telling pollsters that Key is not their Preferred PM. Not quite the “stratospheric popularity” that some in the media would have us believe.

              Compare Key’s 2/2 2015 ratings with Clark’s 2/2 2006 ratings (ie same point in Third Term) = Key 39% / Clark 37%. Below Key, yes, but only marginally so.

              There you go, Draco, I’ve just saved you from a fate worse than death.

          • Puckish Rogue

            and that’s fair enough as well but unfortunately for Mr Cunliffe and yourself it appears more people think like I do

        • Stuart Munro

          He wasn’t loved by the Key-worshiping menkurt slave columnists of the Herald or Donghwa Liu. Or the trolls and Drudge-copycat bloggers.

          What you come down to as criticism is impressionistic – a criticism of taste or class. And we already know your taste is fatally flawed – you’re an Act supporter who wants NZ to become a Chinese colony. You could almost be that idiot Brash.

          • Puckish Rogue

            He wasn’t loved by the Key-worshiping menkurt slave columnists of the Herald or Donghwa Liu. Or the trolls and Drudge-copycat bloggers.

            – He also wasn’t loved by a significant portion of the voting public as well

            What you come down to as criticism is impressionistic – a criticism of taste or class. And we already know your taste is fatally flawed – you’re an Act supporter who wants NZ to become a Chinese colony. You could almost be that idiot Brash.

            – Bit early to be getting this worked up don’t you think? 🙂

            • Stuart Munro

              The empathic response is a thing replicants always struggle with.

              You’re alone in the middle of the desert and you come across a tortoise. You turn it over, letting it’s soft underside bake in the hot sun. you see it kicking, but you’re not helping it. Why aren’t you helping it?

              Why aren’t you helping PR?

        • Puddleglum

          I concede that John Key is clearly popular with the electorate but I don’t think that should be confused with the notion of ‘charisma’.

          Key doesn’t seem to have any of the typical features and behaviours of acknowledged charismatic leaders. He really struggles to sound passionate – when he does it simply comes across as contrived hectoring of his audience. I just don’t think ‘visionary speeches’ or any such ability to generate collective emotion is within his repertoire.

          What I think Key does do well – and what underpins his popularity – is not ‘charisma’ but an ability to affect a certain kind of easy-going, good-humoured (or, alternately, ‘can’t be bothered’) ‘mateyness’.

          Whatever it is it’s not charisma.

          Charismatic politicians include Obama (on a good day), Bill Clinton (apparently in person he had that ability to make you feel the full focus of his attention) and, of course, the infamous one from some decades ago (his communication skills were classic – and well-studied – theatrics for creating a charismatic hold over his audiences).

          From what I’ve heard from others, Winston Peters is the only politician in today’s parliament who has anything like the ability to project a ‘charismatic’ presence in public.

          • BM

            It’s likability which I think is more important than charisma.

            Something Lange and Kirk had but Little and Cunliffe don’t.

          • Puckish Rogue

            If you’re not likeable then you better be respected/feared, Muldoon and Clark I guess would be the best examples

            • the Pink Postman

              The Tories all thought Muldoon was next to god .Working people (to their shame) adored him ,his public meetings were massive. Yet today hardly anybody admits to voting for him.The Nat’s abandoned him once he started to lose favor,In fact much as disliked him the way the Nat’s treated him in his last years was a disgrace ,but shows just what a nasty lot National members are.Watch out Key.

              • swordfish

                “Working people (to their shame) adored him (Muldoon)”

                The poll data I’ve seen (from 1981, if I remember rightly) suggests he was most popular among the middle and low-middle income groups. I’m pretty sure it was Heylen Poll data and I definitely remember the Preferred PM figures were divided by six socio-economic groups (Group 1 – wealthiest / Group 6 – Poorest).

                Respondents in Group 4 (immediately below the average income) were the most enthusiastic Muldoonists, followed by Group 3 (slightly above average income). The two most affluent groups – 1 and 2 – were weakest in their support for Muldoon (giving him well below average Preferred PM ratings), people in the Poorest socio-economic group (6) were mildly below average in their support, while the relatively low income group 5 was right on the average.

                “His public meetings were massive.”

                Yep. Easy to forget that Muldoon almost single-handedly won the Election for National in 1975, with (in the context of the times) a remarkable swing. Polls suggest Muldoon was already the most popular politician as early as 1969. More popular than Holyoake, Marshall and Kirk.

              • AmaKiwi

                Muldoon was before my time, but it sounds to me like he may have had a lot in common with Donald Trump.

          • Karen

            I agree Puddleglum, Key does not have charisma. Personally I have always found him smarmy and a bit of a smart alec with a nasty streak, but he definitely seems to have an ability to charm many political journalists and talk back hosts.

            I think he has always put a huge effort into being uber friendly with anyone who can influence the wider public. Occasionally on news reports you catch glimpses of his behaviour with journalists – the arm round Audrey Young, the joking around with Patrick Gower. And, of course, he has always honed in on any sports stars and played up the ordinary kiwi bloke to the hilt.

            No doubt that Key has been very successful at promoting an image as a likeable bloke with a large section of the population, but it is a charade. More a master manipulator than charismatic

            Peters is definitely charismatic but trustworthy? Not so much.

      • Anne 1.4.2

        Excellent summary Karen – thank-you.

        I agree we can never have a truly left government in this day and age, but we can have a government which is willing and capable of managing the economy in a more honourable and fair way for ALL our citizens and not just the elitist few.

        Your reference to Helen Clark:

        I am sure she wanted to do much more than she did to repair the damage done by Rogernomics but she was hampered by having so many MPs still convinced of neo-liberalism.

        Having had the privilege of getting to know her quite well in her earliest political days, I can be certain that was the case. To be fair, I think some of those former MPs convinced of neo-liberalsim eventually did see the light. Douglas had the ability to be very convincing and – in it’s purist form – his brand of neo liberalism did have original appeal. I was mildly attracted to it for a brief period. But what no-one took into account was the effect of selfishness and greed and human behaviour in general.

        • Stuart Munro

          I was very surprised that I became friends with a neo-liberal economist in Korea – but he was both pragmatic and scrupulously honest. He introduced many Keynesian measures ‘because they worked’, and the thing he was probably most proud of was the Saemaul Undong
          – or new community movement, which was a community based reconstruction or development program.

          Korean governments have been strict with their free market experiments – if a privatisation doesn’t deliver public good it will be restructured. NZ got the worst of all possible worlds – corrupt neo-liberalism.

          The Key kleptocracy has gone even further making lies the basic currency of political discourse, and removing the traditional ministerial responsibility to answer questions and resign for non-performance.

          We really need to restructure our parliament to prevent these abuses.

          • Colonial Viper

            Steve Keen – who has spent a career debunking neoclassical economists – steadfastly believes that those colleagues of his are for the most part extremely earnest, honest and well meaning professionals who believe that their work will help to better society as a whole.

            • Stuart Munro

              I think that that moderate neo-liberalism can be enacted advantageously in some circumstances. But as soon as corruption or dishonesty enter the picture it becomes a vehicle to destroy the oversight mechanisms that constrain corruption and dishonesty and thus worse than useless.

              Communism has (according to Popper) a different vice – the party requires obedience. If something isn’t working in a democracy the citizens may complain even if it only isn’t working for them. But in a communist state the individual must subordinate their interests to those of the party. So that when Gerry Brownlee says “there’s always a few unhappy people” he is following Stalinist rather than democratic procedures.

              This would tend to suggest that the right in NZ are oligarchic rather than principled – plutocrats – and may explain the failure of ACT.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              …sounds like it’s more SNAFU than conspiracy to me 😎

              • Stuart Munro

                I certainly find the appellation of Machiavellian applied to McCully hard to credit. He may have a certain low animal cunning but he’s no Svengali.

                I think in truth it is mixed though – the Gnats are neither innocent nor competent.

        • The lost sheep

          “But what no-one took into account was the effect of selfishness and greed and human behaviour in general.”
          That’s the great paradox Anne. To be even workable, let alone thrive, a human system must take those realities of human nature into account.

          No one further Left than ‘Centrist’ has managed to articulate a convincing resolution of that paradox yet, and until they do, there is zero chance of Far Left policies gaining traction in democratic societies.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            No one further Left than ‘Centrist’ has managed to articulate a convincing resolution of that paradox yet

            Keep telling yourself that. Meanwhile, your “centre” supports the likes of Pinochet.

            • The lost sheep

              Keep telling yourself that.
              I thought you’d pop up with some examples that proved the far left had solved the paradox OAB?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I’m sure you remember my explaining loaded questions.

                In this case, you’re begging the question*.

                In fact, in order to refute your argument, my task is merely to provide one example of a left of centre approach that addresses the so-called paradox.

                Or we can talk about the false premise in your argument: that there is a paradox at all.

                In any event, social democracies are more successful than any other government that has been tried ever**. All of them include some element of Socialism. Socialism is left of centre, and certainly left of the Pinochet-pashers you vote for.


                *or employing a strawman… or some third logic fail I haven’t figured out. Please help if you can do logic.

                **the worst apart from all the other ones.

              • weka

                Moth to a flame.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Do moths tend to pour cold water on wingnuts?

                  • weka

                    Slow simulpost on my part. Sheep is the moth.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sheep spreads a liberal mix of logic fails, which some might consider flamebait.

                    • weka

                      My comment was on his inability to stay away from things that hurt him. Singed wings.

                      I’d be surprised if you were incapable of not engaging with the flame, but maybe I’m wrong. The analogy fails though, because as far as I can tell you don’t get burnt.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m inflammable below certain temperatures, although I note they’re not as high as yours.

                      As for Sheep, I doubt the sincerity of his self-reported pain.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Who is a Moth to a flame?
                      Like you two going on and on about me here again?
                      Like OAB has to reply to every single comment I make? (while i reply to an occasional post of his)
                      Like every single time the last person to be still making comments and fanning the flame on comments I make is OAB?
                      What is the attraction?

                      But you are taking this far too seriously if you think a bit of banter on what you once called an ‘argument’ site causes me pain Weka.
                      The only thing here that hurts me is the further evidence it provides of how far the left i loved for 40 years has lost it’s grip on political reality. Seeing JK elected for a 4th time because the left are incapable of getting their shit together and constructing a compelling narrative is what will really hurt.
                      You know that is true. The fact I am willing to say it is what really brings the moths towards the light.

                    • weka

                      So your complaining the other day about people being mean to you was just for show?

                    • The lost sheep

                      There was no such ‘show’ Weka, because if you are referring to this, then rather than complain about the abuse, I welcomed it. i.e. “it doesn’t bother me, as I think that kind of comment says more about the abuser than the abused.”

                    • McFlock

                      I think we get that you’re not bovvered, sheepy. You keep telling us you’re not bovvered. In fact, you say so often that you’re not bovvered that i’m beginning to suspect that, while you might not be bovvered, you’re a bit bovvered that people might think you’re bovvered, even if yu’re not bovvered about the original bovveration.

        • Colonial Viper

          I agree we can never have a truly left government in this day and age, but we can have a government which is willing and capable of managing the economy in a more honourable and fair way for ALL our citizens and not just the elitist few.

          A leadership which insists on a fairer allotment of the too few life boats as the Titanic goes down?

          OK I guess that is a kind of worthwhile aspiration.

      • Atiawa 1.4.3

        Honesty versus charisma. You decide the winner.

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.4

        and when someone steps out of line, like Shearer did, they are quickly pulled up

        Karen, what penalty did Shearer suffer for opposing his Leader and his caucus in public?

        Did he get demoted?

        Did he lose portfolios?

        Did he have give up positions on select committees?

        Or was it just a rap over the knuckles with a wet bus ticket?

        Let’s face it, Little has no leverage over his caucus, and when Labour loses 2017 its going to be GR2020.

        • Karen

          CV – He had to apologise to caucus, which someone like Shearer would have have found deeply humiliating, and he was told he would lose his portfolios if there was another transgression. It was enough for now.

          You do not seem to grasp the fact that Little has managed to hold together a caucus that was deeply divided and continually leaking to the media in order to win points against opponents within caucus.

          Now I know you would like nothing better than to see Labour fail at the next election, but some of us actually want something better than this current government. A Labour/Green coalition will not be the left wing government I would love to see in NZ but they would be a helluva lot better than this lot, and that is why I continue to support both of these parties. If they do something I do not like (like Labour’s Chinese name debacle) I let them know and I also will criticise them here and elsewhere. When they have a policy I like I also let them know.

          Carry on with your negative campaign if it makes you happy, but I doubt that it will produce the results you are hoping for.

    • weka 1.5

      The problem is you can’t manufacture a Sanders or Corbyn. The reason they work is because of who they are as people and the choices they have made about politics over long periods of time. Labour doesn’t have anyone like that as far as I am aware.

      The other way is what the GP do. You bring in high quality people across the board and you build in competency throught the caucus. I think Little would be a good PM but he is hamstrung by the leftover Rogernomes in his team. I don’t see Labour as being the party that’s going to move NZ back to the left, but they still have an important role to play and we should be supporting the people in Labour who can do that mahi and condemning those that won’t. In time Labour could build a good team again, and we should be supporting that to happen.

      As an aside, “Most of it negative in its impact on the working and lower middle classes –”

      true, and I think the damage is across all of society, because neoliberalism attacked the fundamental core of NZ society, fairness. So we see it now in the undermining of health care, education, welfare, retirement, land management, native species, rivers and lakes etc etc etc. In exchange we got margarine.

    • AmaKiwi 1.6

      +1 (Tony Veitch)

      The danger is if the Left doesn’t find one, a Kiwi version of Donald Trump might capture the public’s outrage. Both our economic and political systems are proven failures. Many people will not care about the politics of the person who promises to demolish them.

      An excellent book which clearly demonstrates this point: The True Believer by Eric Hoffer.

  2. I don’t know if I would have really thought I would love something Phil Goff said, but some recent comments on Remmers golf course are gold


    That fact that John Key is an honorary member doesn’t exclude the golf course [sale] from scrutiny. If you are looking at assets which return almost nothing to the ratepayer, this is one, The public doesn’t have access to it. We’re under pressure to sell assets from central Government so we have to start looking at this. It’s certainly an option we have to start looking at

    This is especially great when added to the fact that the golf courses pay no rates so is providing no benefit except for the few privileged people who manage to find time to go wander around a flattish piece of land losing their small white balls.

    So how long before the media try and burn this to the ground?

    • Tc 2.1

      Its a joke they pay no rates as they are a business not a charity. Boag is a dark force behind the scene also with rgc.

    • AmaKiwi 2.2


      Not being a golfer, I agree 100%. But I hope some of the land is retained as parks and public spaces.

      • Tc 2.2.1

        Melbourne has been converting some municipal courses over the last decade to housing.

        Long overdue rgc paid its way, market forces etc etc

      • You_Fool 2.2.2

        This is what i think as well – a well thought out master plan like here at Hobsonville Point (or at least the original before the Nacts got their dirty little hands on it)

  3. I have been thinking about my opinion of the change the flag campaign yesterday/last night; mostly focused around something BM & co were focusing on in recent posts.

    Why do I oppose this change?

    I want a change to the flag really, and a move to a being a republic, codified constitution (based around the Treaty of Waitangi) and other changes to our executive, legislative and legal structures. So I should have been in behind this campaign from the start, but I have never really been in on this at all. Is it just because it is National and John Key? I am not very beholden with the blue party and their pretty boy but I don’t think this was enough for me not to be behind something that will help to push us towards having our very own head of state.

    The more I thought about it the more I realised my problem was who had started this process, and that it wasn’t John Key per se but the fact it was politicians and not a ground swell of public desire, no referendum delivered to parliament, no letters to the editor or blog posts, nothing just a politician saying “lets change the flag.” This itself may have been OK, but it was apparent early on that it wasn’t capturing the imagination of everyone – possibly due to the divisive nature of the National government and John Key, so to be seen engaging in the process was seen as supporting Key as well as supporting change.

    We need a change but not one that is tied to political ambitions, we need a movement which has broad support and is inclusive, not exclusive. There should be no us and them, only kiwi.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Perhaps the deep thinking about the flag is just what Key wants you to do. The one month allowed for TPPA submissions is running out about the same time that the Key/McCaw flag distraction is running. Funny coincidence that You Fool.

    • AmaKiwi 3.2


      Flag change. I agree.

      Our country has a deeply embedded culture of “the monarch leads” as opposed to the democratic culture of “the people lead.”

      We value things we have demanded and fought for ourselves.

    • Expat 3.3

      Changing the flag is “not” the first step towards constitutional change, it’s the one that represents the change once complete.

      Throwing NZ’s history down the toilet won’t change the history, of who we are and where we originated.

      • You_Fool 3.3.1

        Change is change. IF changing the flag makes it easier to reform the system because we already done one part then all the better. It may even help as it may put the apathetic voter on the side of change “already changed the flag so no point in having the monarchy”

        There is no point in changing the head of state until we have had the discussion on who we are as a nation and what we stand for. Our history is a big part of that, and why the Treaty should be enshrined in constitutional law – albeit maybe with a few changes around crown vs head of state or whatever to ensure no one gets all uppity about the change in heads of government vs what the treaty says.

        The best path to follow would be for a ground swell of support for a kiwi head of state, leading to a wider discussion on our system of governance which leads to a broad royal commission on our constitution and governance systems with lots of public debate and input. Then a referendum on if to continue, then an expert report on the best system or systems to use, along with another independent report on constitutional reform, followed by more referendums to determine the agreed outcomes and then implementation with an agreed flag change.

        That is unlikely to happen however

        • Expat


          “The best path to follow would be for a ground swell of support for a kiwi head of state, leading to a wider discussion on our system of governance which leads to a broad royal commission on our constitution and governance systems with lots of public debate and input. Then a referendum on if to continue, then an expert report on the best system or systems to use, along with another independent report on constitutional reform, followed by more referendums to determine the agreed outcomes and then implementation with an agreed flag change.”

          I agree with your statement, but there is no ground swell and 70% don’t want a new flag, especially the way JK has introduced it, and the referendum technique used to influence the outcome, more or less backlash for what is seen to be a corrupt process from the beginning, to the end.

          Let’s start with the conversation first, changing the flag first will only get the public to dig their heels in and reject it.

          Please describe any other British colonised country that has the same uniqueness as NZ and Australia that has become a republic.

          Change for the sake of change achieves nothing.

          • AmaKiwi

            “Sovereign: possessed of supreme power.”

            Head of state is as trivial as flag change. Parliament still remains sovereign. Therefore there is NO way we can prevent parliament (the PM) from doing whatever they want, even if the majority of us disapprove..

            NZ First wants binding citizen initiated referendums. Either parliament is sovereign over us or we are sovereign over parliament.

            • Stuart Munro

              Ultimately the idea that parliament is sovereign is a fiction. Our important laws were not invented by MPs but by our society and culture as a whole.

              Suppose Key and his merry band of dancing crooks decided to legalise murder – they could not do it. Their authority derives from their fealty to us and not vice versa.

          • miravox

            “Let’s start with the conversation first, changing the flag first will only get the public to dig their heels in and reject it.”

  4. Pasupial 4

    Yesterday I mentioned the likelihood of a Labour ticket in the October DCC elections. There’s a couple of more pieces on that in today’s ODT:


    If Hilary Calvert (exACT) and Andrew Whiley (Canadian golfer & oil shill) are against it, then it is probably a good idea. Hawkins (who I have a lot of time for) seems supportive; “believed declaring political affiliations was a more transparent approach and “should be encouraged”. However, it does open the door for a reformation of the; “Citizens Association, who were “all Tories in drag”.

    • Petertoo 4.1

      Good luck on the DCC Labour ticket front Pasupial. Trust you won’t have the quandary that Wellington ratepayers face. The current Deputy Mayor who is standing as a Labour candidate is a consummate neo-liberal. His socialist instincts only run as far as diverting the city’s rates income and resources to a small clique of the business sector. The values of the man are exhibited by his executive membership of the Property Council, readiness to use ratepayer financed slush-funding for private business interests and the bribery of Singapore Airlines, support for the gifting of ‘dollar a year’ long-term leases of premium Council sites to developers, unblocked ears to the megaphoned whinings of the Chamber of Commerce CEO and his cosy relationships with the ‘Tory in drag’ Councillors. Makes one wonder about the values and integrity of the Wellington Labour Party that such a candidate can stand with its support.

      • Rosie 4.1.1

        Yes, Petertoo, it’s all very worrying. There is still silence on whether he will declare a conflict of interest over his position on the exec board of the Wellington branch of the Property Council. I’ve asked the editor of the local rag twice now, to look into it. More silence.

        As mentioned previously I’ve had first hand experience of this particular candidate, council officials and managers in a year long fight with the council over the behaviour of a certain developer and have been left bewildered and confused at their lack of willingness to support residents and be so lenient with with this cowboy and his posse.

        The WEID fund is simply an extravagant corporate welfare programme that provides no benefit to the city whatsoever and don’t start me on the convention centre either, which of course this candidate has been championing, and which, funnily enough, so does the property council.

        Don’t forget the panda’s. He wants pandas too.

        • Pasupial

          My concern yesterday was with; Damian Newell, who was mentioned as being a possible Labour DCC candidate, but currently works as a real estate agent. That seems a potentially huge conflict of interest with the role councillors have in development and possible sale of council land. It wouldn’t be the first time a DCC councillor had used their position to rezone public land for private use and get it sold off cheap to a mate.

          It would be nice to think that Tat Loo might stand on the Labour DCC ticket, but I suspect he might have burnt his bridges there. I’d be more likely to vote for him in that role than as an independent as he has previously attempted.

          • Rosie

            Yes, that does sound like a conflict of interest, with the candidate being a real estate agent, against the role council has in zoning land for development.

            He would have to declare it, if he were to run, unlike our candidate who hasn’t. Kind of deceitful really.

            Hows David Cull been as Mayor? Is he not standing again?

            And how about asking Tat Loo out right if he would stand as an independent? How about it CV?

            • Pasupial


              Cull is standing as an independent this time now that the; “Greater Dunedin”, group is breaking up. I think he has been pretty good as mayor, certainly better than Chin (at least he manages to stay awake during council meetings). I do have a bit of a problem that his election came on the back of his time as a local TV presenter. But then; Hawkins was a DJ, as is Newell, Calvert and Benson-Pope were both MPs (which at least has some relevance for the job). It just seems that the council elections are decided on who is most publicly recognizable than who is best for the city.

              Asking Tat directly would involve going on facebook, which I hate. Given their acquaintance, you are right that CV might very well have something to say on this once he makes his decision.

              • Rosie

                A DJ playing real estate agent? Curious. All I can recall of Benson Pope was that there was an historical assault against a school boy and that Hilary Calvert was a bit of an odd ball – those ACT types often are.

                Will be interested to see if CV stands. Good luck to you CV if you do.

                • Pasupial

                  Radio DJ/ presenter (could even be talkback – I don’t listen to More FM so haven’t heard him) rather than club DJ.

                  • Rosie

                    Thanks for clearing that up Pasupial. There is a big difference between those two DJing roles, club vs msm radio, especially a really lame one like More FM.
                    I say msm radio specifically, as independent radio stations often have volunteer DJ’s who are playing the same music on the radio that they play in the clubs.

                • weka

                  I can’t imagine that Tat could stand as a Labour candidate for anything ever again this side of the revolution 😉 (nor that he would want to).

      • RedBaronCV 4.1.2

        I wondered about that Deputy Mayor too when it was announced. Is labour being infiltrated in Wgtn by the harder right Nact types so that they can get themselves elected? Given the general election split of about a third each labour, greens, nact there probably isn’t much future in being Nact aligned so they are sailing under further left colours.

        As to the WEID fund – as it stands its corporate welfare but I have wondered if we couldn’t move it further left – into household clean green energy, and maybe telco supply. Wouldn’t it be great if households got a base load of electricity, basic telecommunications and other infrastructure all for the same amount they pay in rates. I shudder to think how much money earned by households in Wgtn goes away from the area to offshore telco’s, power companies etc etc. (and the banks)

        • Petertoo

          Even more worrying RedBaronCV is that a mammoth proportion the Wellington City Council’s privatisation of public funds is being directed at the events/tourism scene. The city already has the most highly qualified service sector employees in the country (baristas and chamber maids with PhDs) on crap level intermittent subsistence level incomes, while the big money immediately goes off-shore to hotel conglomerates, the out of city booze barons and all manner of unproductive parasite ‘investors’ with no connection to the city, all facilitated by the Council’s incompetent and over-paid administration functionaries.

  5. cowboy 5

    Trouble at mill in Clutha Southland.


    Glenys Dickson is hugely respected down here and rumour is that there is serious dissatisfaction with Boy wonder, ex tobacco company lobbyist. How he was ever selected for such a rural seat defies belief and is a sign of how disconnected National have become from its rural heritage. Huge opportunity for NZ First to start making genuine inroads into some of these regional areas.

    • Ad 5.1

      Southland is precisely one of those electorates that NZFirst and Labour could do with an Epsom chat about.

      • weka 5.1.1

        the 1996 results were interesting. First election after the new electorate was created.


      • Pasupial 5.1.2

        2014 Clutha-Sthld party vote:

        National Party 21,694
        Labour Party 5,036
        Green Party 2,647
        New Zealand First 2,135

        NZF didn’t even bother standing a candidate in this electorate last time. And though much of their vote went to the Labour candidate, Barclay still got a 14,886 majority. Unless he has gone; “Prominent New Zealander” on them, then I can’t see much chance of dislodging him.


        • Cowboy

          Agree it’s a big margin. What will be interesting is if he will be deselected to stand again by elecorate commitee. Glenys Dickson is hugely respected having been essentially the de facto MP while English wasn’t there much. If he is selected to stand again Nz First could make significant inroads.

          • weka

            Look at the 1996 one I posted above. Significant difference.

            • Cowboy

              Point taken Weka. Barclay always seemed an odd fit for this seat which is the most reliant on primary industries in NZ.He Probably fits the Queenstown set. I think given his performance to date he could bleed support to a credible rural candidate from an opposition party with NZ first being the most likely vehicle.

        • Gabby

          They could select a Ken doll for the seat, and in fact did.

    • Tc 5.2

      Nact are all about the power and money so obediance over everything else.

      Cant have the agenda at risk with a candidate that may actually care about the electorate and besides Todds cut from the same cloth as PR/dirty politics acolyte carrick graham so he is very much an ideal nact mp.

  6. maui 6

    The Automatic Earth website has some interesting New Zealand connections. Nicole Foss one of the site’s lead authors has lived here off and on, and here is another author an “Ameri-kiwi” talking about the current US elections.


    • You_Fool 7.1

      A sign that Act are desperate and also don’t understand what the Greens actually stand for, nor how unfettered capitalism doesn’t actually help the environment.

      he also gives the game away with the whole “NZ is too small so why bother” line.

      At the same time I have hope that ACT will one day stop being a suck up and start to act like they say they are – i.e. a liberal party not a “us rich white guys want to do as we want” party

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1

        I think David Seymour has a bit of a problem, hes done good work of late and gotten some decent publicity but can’t seem to raise Acts voting popularity and unfortunately the problem is when you look at the photo used to illustrate the article it doesn’t make you want to vote for the party

        and I actually want Act to get a few more seats

        • You_Fool

          The reason no one votes act is because they are now a joke party. If they want to raise their voting % back to what it was they need to show they are not just the crazy wing of the national party. Epson voters do what they are told and everyone else just votes for the big guy who will get stuff done. No point voting for the crazies who sprout out random shit that makes no sense when everyone knows they will be told what to do from big brother.

          ACT need to start acting like a liberal party and not the rich white guys club. They need to show they are not Nationals bum boys and they need to get back to basics. Maybe they need to come out in support of the Unitary plan in Auckland which reduces regulations around what can be built…

    • weka 7.2

      Act wants the green vote – arguing its ideology is the best bet to save the environment and the party’s proud green history has been ignored.

      Leader David Seymour, who as a child was a member of the Kiwi Conservation Club and successfully campaigned for aluminium recycling at Whangarei’s Maunu Primary, said it irked him that Act’s environmental credentials weren’t better recognised.

      Ha, ha, ha, ha. Aluminium recycling, outstanding credentials there.

    • Stuart Munro 7.3

      It’s just trying to push the toxic blue-green meme, which, like the algae, is distinctly unpalatable.

    • millsy 7.4

      How to protect the environment.

      Step 1: Pass laws that stop people from dumping toxic sludge into our rivers
      Step 2: Pass laws that stop people from discharging toxic gases into the air

      Last time I looked, ACT wanted to repeal those laws and let people tip what they wanted into our rivers.

  7. Rosie 8

    Does anyone know what happened to the Ohariu Labour facebook page? It’s been offline for weeks. The message says “sorry this page is not available”. I’m not actually on facebook so can’t ask any local members.

    It was a great page, very witty and lively with good content and links. It was cheerfully and proudly left. I liked it. Would be good to see it back.

    • alwyn 8.1

      Can you actually look at any Facebook page if you don’t have a persona in FB?
      I was trying to do this some weeks ago and, from what people here told me you have to sign-on to look at anything.
      Since I refuse to have anything to do with FB that isn’t possible.
      Can anyone enlighten me (and possibly Rosie)?

      • weka 8.1.1

        if you don’t have an account or aren’t logged in, some things are visible, some aren’t. It’s a feature of FB that many users of FB don’t understand how the rules work and don’t know if their pages is visible or not. I don’t know if that was intentional programming or a natural side effect of FB’s need to control how to access information.

        • alwyn

          Thank you.
          I guess I can try looking at things in the future then and not worry about the ones I get errors on. I might be able to see some the pages.
          I had thought it was a total prohibition.

          • Puckish Rogue

            So why not just create a profile with no information on it?

          • Rosie

            The Ohariu Labour fb page had always been visible to me, as a non fb user. I used to look at it every week. But suddenly, a few weeks ago it disappeared. I’m assuming it’s got something to do with what weka said:

            ” I don’t know if that was intentional programming or a natural side effect of FB’s need to control how to access information.”

            I’m doubting it would be intentional that they would block non users – they would want to be promoting the Party and electorate surely?

      • Sabine 8.1.2

        if the page is public (depends on privacy settings – some have ‘friends only’ setting etc. ) and such you would be able to see a few things but could not interact unless/until you have signed up for an account.

  8. Penny Bright 9


    Jimmy Savile investigation shows power of celebrity enabled stars to be predators
    Last updated 04:22 26/02/2016


    Dame Janet Smith’s report identified eight rapes by Jimmy Savile on BBC premises, one attempted rape, and other sexual assaults, from 1959 to 2006.

    The power of celebrity in modern culture means that predatory child abusers may still lurk in the BBC – or similar organisations – undetected, says the woman charged with investigating the Jimmy Savile scandal.

    Dame Janet Smith released on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) the results of her long-awaited investigation into the way the BBC handled historical claims of sexual complaints against its presenters, including Jimmy Savile.

    She said it made “very sorry reading for the BBC” – though she concluded there was no evidence that senior staff or the BBC ‘as a corporate body’ were aware of Savile’s conduct at the time.

    “No evidence”?

    How convenient ….

    To what extent might have, (in my view), possible ‘wilful blindness’ by BBC ‘senior staff’ possibly contributed to this lack of ‘evidence’?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  9. Chooky 10

    So why aren’t we increasing dairy trade with Russia again? ( John key advised against trade with Russia even although Russia never boycotted NZ dairy products trade)

    ‘Dairy industry’s woes a long way from over says New York-based analyst’


    ‘Minister: banks not keen to see forced farm sales’


    ‘Fonterra plants can send milk products to Russia’


    ‘Exploiting Russia sanctions ‘a bad look’ – Rural Business Russia Trade
    PM asks NZ exporters not to cash in on opportunities presented by Ukraine crisis


    • Puckish Rogue 10.1

      ‘Cause if history tells us anything its that dealing with Russia never works out like you think it will?

    • Chooky 10.2

      The real question is: Has the New Zealand farming sector been served well by the jonkey Nactional Party?…time to vote Winston Peters and NZF ?

      • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1

        Theres as many good reasons as to why Winston could go left as well as go right

        • Chooky

          red herring? ( Winston will not go with John Key nactional…jonkey Nact stands for everything NZF opposes like selling off New Zealand)

          ….we are talking about whether jonkey Nactional and Ministers have served NZ farming well…I would say NO!

          • maui

            Yeah, from Winston’s rhetoric over the last few years I can’t see him going with National either.

            • Puckish Rogue

              That’s the thing though, that’s a good reason he won’t go left however a counter reason he may go right is that he’s always stated his preference is to go with the largest party

              I don’t know if he’ll go left or right until after the election results are known and the trading begins

              • maui

                Before last year’s election he was saying he could form an alternative government with Labour, but not the Greens. When push comes to shove I think he would sign up with these two. He can’t form an alternative Government by siding with the incumbents.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  See that’s a good reason as to why he could go left but he could also go right and just form a two party government which would be more stable then a three party government

                  I just think its silly to count him as left or right this far out from the election

                • Expat


                  I don’t know whether you remember the 1999 election, where Winston campaigned on, “if you want to get rid of this Govt, then vote for me” (he actually said he would not join National), and after the election, guess who he joined after promising that he wouldn’t, a lot of voters got their fingers burnt from that one, and I suspect they are still wary.

                  I like Winston, he still stands for what he believes in and believes in what he stands for, pity a few more polies don’t, Hone Hariwira is another one I’ve gained respect for, his commitment to what he believes in is unrelenting, however I don’t necessarily agree with what he has to say, but good on him for sticking to what he believes in.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I assumed you wanted farmers to vote NZF because you think he’ll go left

            Look for every reason Winston could go left (he doesn’t like John Key) theres an equal reason he could go right (he doesn’t like the Greens) for example

            • BM

              This is where that plan falls completely flat.

              Farmers do not want to have a Labour Greens government, if Peters is going to go into coalition with Labour and the Greens no farmer is going to vote NZ first.

              They would vote in NZ first as a protest vote though but only if they went into coalition with National.

              • maui

                Winston has the best poker face in NZ politics, the farmers are going to be stuck with whatever coalition choice Winston makes after an election. That could be a coalition with the Greens where Winston shows the usual negative sentiments mostly to keep his supporters on side.

                • BM

                  How would you feel if the Greens did a deal with National, would you vote Green again?

                  • Andre

                    As a Green voter the last two elections and probably the coming one (with my hazmat gear on), that would depend on the terms of the agreement, and how it played out over the term of government. Certainly a commitment to negotiate in good faith with National, provided Green bottom lines and principles didn’t get bent too far, would make me likelier to vote Green in 2017.

                    • BM

                      What are the bottom lines for a green party supporter?

                    • Andre

                      BM, if you asked that question of the quarter million Green voters last election, you’d likely get almost as many different answers.

                      For me, it’s getting serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, looking after the environment.

                      I also agree with a lot of non-environmental Green initiatives such as house insulation that improve the lives of of people struggling to get by day-to-day, so we spend less money trying to fix them up after it turns to crap for them.

                    • BM

                      The green house gas emissions will be where it comes unstuck.

                      The interesting thing is it will keeps the Greens out of government with both a National government and a Labour government.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I agree but since this is Winston you also can’t discount that he might just say screw the farmers and go left anyway especially if Labour offer him more then National

                It does make it all very interesting though

                • BM

                  Then Peters is only interested in Peters, not about NZ First, if he went National he could easily turn NZ first into a 10-15% party.

                  If Peters went Labour Greens after convincing Farmers to vote for him, he would destroy any chance of NZ First ever getting the farmer vote again.

                  • weka

                    He’s done it before with other parts of his constituency and they eventually forgave him (or he lost them but others stepped up).

              • weka

                “They would vote in NZ first as a protest vote though but only if they went into coalition with National.”

                How would they know? Peters won’t say before the election.

    • Naki man 10.3

      “So why aren’t we increasing dairy trade with Russia again? ( John key advised against trade with Russia even although Russia never boycotted NZ dairy products trade)”

      The Russians have been out here and audited Fonterra factories so they can buy our products.I don’t think Russia buys very much milk powder, they buy butter and cooking oil and Fonterra have been making butter for them for a while now.

      • Stuart Munro 10.3.1

        It’s a good start – we should sell them sala too – raw pork fat – also popular.

  10. joe90 11

    Mr John Clarke, please come home.

    Like most of the world’s major democracies, New Zealand is run by international capital and a few local big-shots who tickle the till and produce a set of annual accounts in a full range of colours.


    The economic crisis of the 1970s occurred over the issue of debt. Was the New Zealand economy borrowing too much overseas? While this question was being considered by economists, a Debt for Equity Swap was organised by a group called ‘I Just Drove the Getaway Vehicle’. At the time government policy had not yet been out-sourced; we still owned the infrastructure, the power, the gas, the water, the phones, the post office and the national airline. The Bank of New Zealand was still a New Zealand bank and one or two of the newspapers were still owned in the country. During the early 1980s however, the New Zealand economy was put in the hands of finance ministers due to a filing error, and authorities are still looking for the black box. A social democracy with only one previous owner was asset-stripped and replaced by a series of franchises. Even rugby sides stopped being called Canterbury, Wellington, Otago and Auckland and were instead given the names of animals, colours and weather conditions. The next thing anyone knew they’d appointed a currency dealer as Prime Minister and the equities market became a place of worship.


    • Pasupial 11.1

      I reckon Clarke is right where he needs to be:

    • weka 11.2

      ‘This the worst beer I’ve ever tasted’ he said. ‘I’ll be glad when I’ve had enough’.

      And thus Clarke sums up 3 terms of the Key govt and why it took us so long to get rid of them.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1

        4 terms weka

        • Stuart Munro

          Many a slip PR – his elephant might fall on him and crush him. Brownlee that is.

          • Puckish Rogue

            That is true, that’s why I say four terms not five. I mean the fourth term is in the bag but since hes going to retire it’ll mean the left will win in 2020

            • Stuart Munro

              Yeah I dunno – I think there might be a bit of an economic problem this year – and elephants or pandas won’t cover that.

              Rumours of his retirement are like rumours of him donating his salary.

              The left might not want to win in 2020 – better to let the Gnats disappear into their fiscal black hole than be sucked into it.

              Better they form a crisis government of national unity to deal with the emergency – excluding the obviously corrupt and incompetent Gnats of course.

              If the angry villagers have left any alive.

              • Puckish Rogue

                you’re suggesting National might be in power from 2008 – 2023? I like it, I like it alot

                • Stuart Munro

                  I’m suggesting that the crisis is likely to come sooner rather than later.

                  Our debt is mounting to Grecian levels and military spending about to splurge – presumably on German submarines – not good circumstances for incoming left governments.

                  The left need to clearly fix blame for the insane economic actions of the Key kleptocracy – instituting a top and corporate income tax surcharge to pay down the debt called the “Bill English incompetence repayment surcharge’ would make a good start.

                  The Gnats don’t really have the talent or the energy for another term. It would be better if they did the decent thing – you could lend them your service revolver.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Maybe dont hold your breath for govt debt to sink National. You could be waiting a long time.

                    On the other hand the subject of the Clarke video could go very wrong for the Australian conservatives very quickly. Blaming Hockey for deciding to bring in more tax will not help them (just watch it happen and mark my words).

                    I think this Turnbull guy seems a bit brighter than his predecessor but clearly still light years behind NZ National here. On the other hand all the jaw jaw about the deficit and Govt debt amounts to just that (rhetoric). Nobody really cares or feels the (supposed Negative) effects.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It’s all fun and games until the IMF get involved.

                    • Expat

                      Nic the NZer

                      There is a considerable difference between Australia and NZ, in Aus the general public’s sentiment over Govt policy is, if it is bad for them they reject it, along with exhibiting a strong moral compass.

                      It’s pretty hard for a PM to hold onto their job (5 PM’s in 5 years), there’s is a lot of criticism over poor performance, Turnbull has lost 5 MP’s this year and a media that holds the Govt to account (at least most sections and a reasonably balanced portrayal).

                      In NZ none of the above occur, poor performance is rewarded, there are low levels of democracy operating within Govt and corruption occurs (in both countries) and where is the moral compass. The people in Aus hold their Govt to account on a lot of issues.

                      The wool has been pulled over a lot of Kiwi’s eye’s to allow this to happen.

                      The people of Australia would not tolerate the behavior demonstrated by the current NZ Govt. Two state Govt’s have been thrown out after trying to copy the “NZ way”, for both it was first time in history that a state Govt only served one term.

                      If a PM in Australia was seen or caught “pulling on ponytails” it would spell the end of their career.

        • mac1

          A galling prospect, the beer after four terms would be vinegar.

          Me, I’m off to the release of a new beer. Renaissance’s the Woodsman. Cheers!

  11. ianmac 13

    A token gesture but many of us feel so helpless about the evils of TPPA. Good on Upper Hutt.

  12. Murray Simmonds 14

    Truly delightful article . . . thanks for posting it joe90. I’m still giggling over the pub scene near the end.

    John Clarke is just ssssooooo perceptive!

  13. weka 15

    Submission form from the Greens on the TPPA (to select committee).

    New Zealanders finally have a chance to formally have their say on the TPPA. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your voice heard.

    The agreement has been signed. But this deal is far from done. Before John Key’s administration can push ahead with the TPPA, it needs to go through the Parliamentary process.

    It’s the job of the Parliamentary Select Committee to weigh up all the evidence and public concerns. Our Green MPs will be at the table – and we’ll be doing everything we can to represent your views.

    We’ve got until 11 March to show the Select Committee that New Zealanders are still opposed to the TPPA.

    Don’t let the Government claim silence as agreement – make your voice heard on the TPPA today.


    • The Chairman 15.1

      Who sits on the select committee overseeing this?

        • The Chairman


          The deck looks rather stacked.

          • Grant

            It always is..

          • Colonial Viper

            Oh look David Shearer is still on that Committee. I wonder if he will properly represent’s Labour view that a few specific sections of the TPP is bad for NZ?

            • AmaKiwi

              Way to go Andrew. Put the fox in charge of the hen house. (I oppose TPPA.)

              Andrew puts one of his most experienced and intelligent MPs (Cunliffe) on the back benches because he doesn’t want to upset more conservative MPs. Andrew’s caucus is clearly not a meritocracy.

              “Political masochist – Someone who remains loyal to a party even when that party is not worthy of their loyalty.”

            • Incognito

              Why wouldn’t he? If Little had no confidence in him he’d relieved him from his responsibility and if Shearer feels he’s got too much of a personal conflict to do his job then he’d step down.

              I belief that Shearer knows full-well the importance and value of collective efforts and agreements, something he has in common with Little, and that he will represent his party well.

              It all seems a little ‘academic’ to me to go on about Shearer being on the Committee.

              • weka

                It’s because so many people don’t trust him (Shearer). I don’t trust him to step down if there is a conflict of interest. I’m not saying he wouldn’t, or that I am right, I’m saying that’s where too many people are at with him.

                • Incognito

                  Thank you for the insight. I don’t know much about Shearer but despite my relative ignorance I’d trust him to do a good job. Trust can be so easily ‘misplaced’ – Roger Douglas is a good example IMO as he was almost a classical Trojan horse. At least with Shearer we roughly know where we stand (we hope). I think he’ll toe the party line in the Committee without rocking the boat too much.

  14. ianmac 16

    I bit the bullet! I have sent a submission re TPPA. Very helpful link by:
    Not as hard as I thought.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 16.1

      Well done, ianmac.
      I am trying to decide on what to put on a new banner

      BS propaganda on the TPP
      paid for by you and me, the taxpayers.
      …………………………………………………..As usual too many words

      I wonder if the Taxpayers Union will complain about the cost of these meetings?

      • ianmac 16.1.1

        No such meetings around here but it would be interesting to see if a team of those who question the TPPA would get a chance to debate/question the providers. Because if the meetings are just a lecture by the pro mob, what would be the point?
        A group could each have a good question ready and the group demand an answer. If not getting an answer the meeting could become pleasantly rowdy.
        The fob off is a Key specialty but what if the audience had higher expectations.
        And what is the reason for prebooking a place?
        Vetting do you think?
        Will Jane be allowed in?
        Will Tautoko Mangō Mata be allowed in?

  15. joe90 17

    Yeah man, nationalism.

    Mr. Cruz has made the case that only he is capable of beating Mr. Trump, citing his victory in Iowa.

    At his own rally, though, there was at least one skeptical voice.

    “Nationalism is the new thing, man,” said Jordan Voor, 30, a Trump supporter who works nearby and wore a longhorn belt buckle the size of a miniature football.

    “I just kind of want to watch the establishment burn,” Mr. Voor added. “What’s the point of being conservative anymore? It’s a failing ideology.”


    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      nationalism as a counterweight to the elite’s plans of transnational globalisation might not be a bad thing.

      • Stuart Munro 17.1.1

        This is what John Ralston Saul was saying a couple of decades ago – the nation state is the unit of political accountability. Nationalism is not dispensible – though it can in some circumstances develop unhealthy features.

  16. Puckish Rogue 18


    Is Gareth Morgan rapidly becoming NZs best troll?

    • weka 18.1

      I take it you said that without an iota of irony.

      (can’t make sense of what Morgan is on about but no, it doesn’t look like trolling to me).

      • Puckish Rogue 18.1.1

        No irony at all :-), I mean it might just be me but it sounds like sour grapes on his behalf about not being part of the deal

    • ianmac 18.2

      Gareth has been saying for days that the Awaroa beach is not good value for money, and yes romance over-rode reason. (Hard to access, poor land, and Doc thought so too.) And yes the beach with good access on West Coast Highway 6 and next door to a National park for a fraction of the cost would have been better.
      I did gladly contribute to the Give-a little fund but Gareth is right. Romance trumped reason.

      • ianmac 18.2.1

        And this, “Anyway those last hours of ramping from the agent left the Romantics about $300k short. I was asked to stump up – again. I was told the government was in now for a few hundred thousand too.

        If $2m was way over the top for public access, $2.8m was obscene– and now the government was usurping taxpayer money to curry political favour too. Pretty obviously I decided there was no place for rational philanthropy here. During a weak moment, I’d given them a few dollars unconditionally, that was enough….”

      • Sabine 18.2.2

        romance, or just a desperate attempt to stop something from being sold to the highest bidder?

  17. joe90 19

    The gateway drug of choice and so much more.

    They concluded that paternal alcohol exposure prior to conception causes developmental defects in the next generation. Transgenerational toxicity — a health effect that occurs when a pollutant or toxic substance passes from a parent to an offspring — caused by paternal alcohol exposure “is possibly mediated through alcohol-induced changes in sperm” at the DNA level.

    Until now fathers have not had a causal link to FAS. According to the researchers, this study provides the first definitive evidence that fathers’ drinking habits, pre-conception, can cause significant fetal abnormalities.


  18. Morrissey 20

    An overwrought Lisa Scott sobs on air about the plight of zoo animals;
    What a contrast with the Lisa Scott who guffaws at the plight of persecuted humans.

    The Panel, RNZ National, Thursday 25 February 2016
    Jim Mora, David King, Lisa Scott, Zara Potts

    Shortly after the 4 o’clock news, host Jim Mora raised the topic of the baby elephant given by the Sri Lankan government to NZ prime minister John Key. Both Mora and David King expressed a limited degree of support for the idea of endangered animals being caged in zoos.

    Then Lisa Scott, billed as a “Dunedin-based columnist, writer and broadcaster”, was asked for her opinion. This became a very difficult listen: after uttering a couple of sentences, Lisa Scott became tearful, her voice choking up as she denounced the very idea of zoos, which, she managed to heroically weep out, “are sad places for animals.”

    This Lisa Scott seems to be a very nice, caring person, choking up about the plight of animals like that. What a stark contrast to another Lisa Scott, also a “Dunedin-based columnist, writer and broadcaster”, whose reaction to humans being locked up and persecuted is not to sniffle and cry, but to laugh out loudly and to snort with contempt at their plight…..

    Open mike 13/03/2015

  19. saveNZ 21

    @ Dave The “Blaming baby boomers against millennial” is just a rout and playing into the hands of the government.

    The National governments want inter generational division. Go to the protest marches for climate change and TPPA – more baby boomers there than youth for the most part!

    And what about the government selling state houses, is that baby boomer’s fault too?

    P.s I am not a baby boomer and paid 11% compounding interest on my student loan!! Some of us did not even get free interest, let alone a free education, but I don’t blame baby boomers I blame Rogernomics and the Labour and National party!!

    P.s.s A lot of young people are just as right wing as the oldies! Forget ageism – fight the real battle, the government and irrational ideology of neoliberalism by all ages.

    • Expat 21.1


      11% compounding, is criminal, no wonder there are so many working overseas, probably never to return, especially with compounding, how can the Govt charge these rates when interest rates are so low, this is typical example of a Govt out of touch with reality, the economic importance of a well educated society for today and into the future goes without saying, handicapping students with this type of debt can only have negative outcome.

  20. Penny Bright 22

    Just how split is going to be the 2016 Auckland Mayoral vote?

    When John Palino announces his Auckland Mayoral candidacy on Monday 29 February 2016, that will take the number of, in my view, pro-business / pro-Supercity candidates to 6 out of 7.

    It appears that both the National Party AND ‘BIG’ business ‘movers and shakers’ are split in terms of their preferred Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    Or – they don’t understand basic electoral politics 101 – DON’T SPLIT THE VOTE!

    The problem for fellow ‘Independent’ Auckland Mayoral candidate Phil Goff (current Labour MP for Mt Roskill) – is that his, in my view, pro-corporate stated policies of opposition to the TPPA, support for road tolls, Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), and sale of Council assets (Remuera golf course) – will NOT endear him to, or inspire either Labour Party supporters, or the (2013) 64% of non-voting masses to get off their bottoms to vote for him?

    So which candidate would probably appeal to those arguably disaffected Labour and non-voting folk?

    Victoria Crone?
    Mark Thomas?
    Stephen Berry?
    David Hay?
    John Palino?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • AmaKiwi 22.1

      You left out the candidate sure to get the most votes – “None of the Above.”

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        Great name for a political party. Destined to get many seats in the House.

        • Grindlebottom

          lol. Yup. Think I might vote for that party. I think it’d be the only one that had everybody’s best interests at heart.

        • weka

          Someone suggested the other day that x% of the seats in parliament should be left empty to reflect the non-vote. Although that concentrates power in those that are there, so I suggest we fill those seats with people who don’t care, can’t be bothered, or are disinfranchised.

          • Stuart Munro

            Random people from the electoral roll would be a step in the right direction – but for short periods – a month or so. Ameliorates the entrenched assumptions of careerists – and would make debates real – they’d have to persuade people of unknown party afiliation to impose legislation on us.

          • The Chairman

            This (below) is a better suggestion. The none of the above (NOTA) campaign.

      • The Chairman 22.1.2

        One would expect a genuine democracy to have the NOTA option (see my post at 12:30pm)

        It would encourage political parties to appeal to the true majority.

        It’s a campaign all supporters of democracy should be behind.

  21. Penny Bright 23

    Is this still the (considered?) opinion of Martyn Bradbury?

    Phil Goff has won Auckland Mayoralty – let’s move on with real policy already « The Daily Blog


    Goff has announced he’s running for the Auckland Mayoralty – which means he’s won. Goff appeals to the Left, the Centre and the gentrified – Cameron Slater would have to have an interview with space aliens admitting Phil was committing galactic treason before he’d lose.

    A break out candidate is always a possibility, but the odds would be in Goff’s favour by a clear majority.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  22. Penny Bright 24

    As far as US media is concerned – how is this, in my view, not an arguably corrupt conflict of interest?


    Tune into television coverage of the presidential campaign and undoubtedly you will hear from various pundits described as “former campaign strategists” and “political contributors” explaining the latest developments of the race.

    But in many cases, these pundits — though introduced as neutral experts on campaigns or party politics — in fact have financial ties to the candidates they praise on the air.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

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