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Open mike 26/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 26th, 2012 - 119 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…

119 comments on “Open mike 26/04/2012 ”

  1. logie97 1

    If only we could get a Leveson type enquiry going here.

    Now let’s see, off the top – Tranzrail, Hollow Men, Casinos, Worth, Crafar, ECAN, ACC

  2. Jenny 2

    Is Mayor Brown shaping the role of Super City Mayor into a purely ceremonial role?

    TV One Breakfast, Today, 26 April, Councillor Cathy Casey challenges Mayor Len Brown to take a stand on the more pokies for convention centre deal.

    • Janice 2.1

      Brown this morning on Morning Report emphasised that it was a NATIONAL convention not an Auckland one, therefore he felt that his council didn’t have a say. What a mugwamp, first the POAL and now this. I am not sure if he means the party or the country. It is certainly going to be an Auckland Problem. Perhaps it is going to be named the John Key centre with the main auditorium named after Joyce.

    • prism 2.2

      What a comedown for Mayor Len from the pedestal I had him on. He seems as interested in the ordinary people as Bob Parker is in Christchurch. They have to be dragged kicking and screaming to face consideration of the real problems in life for those on low incomes and without the ‘treasured pathways’ of the fortunate. Top rating at the smile for the camera and the smooth sound byte though.

    • coolas 2.3

      Impressed by Cathy Casey’s argument. Gambling policy is covered by the Auckland Plan thus a legitimate issue for Council. As for Len. Despair. He seems intimidated/scared of standing up to Nact bullying. Sure he was bruised by them over RWC opening night but to wimper down is pathetic. Be real interesting to see who supports Casey’s motion, and who doesn’t.

      • prism 2.3.1

        If Len’s bruised he has a decent enough salary for physio and voltaren and a change of scene holiday overseas, (it’s not fashionable for some people, like Key, and the Las Vegas dudes to holiday in NZ).. Big if Len of course, cares enough to come out fighting for what’s good for Auckland people at all levels.

  3. vto 3

    I see King Salmon in the Marlborough Sounds are complaining about the uncertainty around their plans for growth.

    Reading their poor-me musings it was clear that their sole focus is growth. And it is this that is unsustainable. Just like irrigation for dairy growth. The sole aim is growth growth growth and the only way they go about achieving it is by simple extraction from the environment – taking more and more water and more and more sea space. No cleverness about it.

    Has it not occurred to either the dairy industry or the sea farming industry that this is finite? That their business aims are completely and utterly unsustainable (i.e. bloody useless)? What will King Salmon do for growth when there is no more space becauee it has all been taken? What will the dairy industry do for growth when there is no more water because it has all been taken?

    In my opinion this is an entirely legitimate question, and in fact a fundamental question. I see not a single person answer it. Shame on them.

    • Rosie 3.1

      Hey VTO, it is a tragedy that in a country abundant in sustainable resources we always chose the most inappropriate ways of doing business with those resources. It’s like we are still stuck in a retarded colonial way of using land and water instead of a new, harm -reducing smart way.

      • bad12 3.1.1

        I have often had cause to pause and wonder at what is given to us all each day that we simply squander,

        The roofs of every dwelling in our sunny wee islands could for instance most days of the year be used to harvest electricity generated by the Sun which pumped straight into the National Grid could at the same time turn the power meters of all house-holds in reverse,

        At the same time as all this wasted sunshine falls upon the roof of every dwelling and building in our temperate little land enough clean water as rainfall falls there as well, at present we simply flush this into the nearest sea or convenient waterway when at least 25% of a house-holds water could in fact be farmed off of the roof of their dwelling…

        • Draco T Bastard

          Did some quick figures some time back and worked it out that it would take 10 years of collecting water off the roof to pay for itself at current Auckland water prices.

          • bad12

            Aha, its never to late to change the way we do things tho,IF Auckland had of been more aware 10 years ago they could have of course saved themselves 25-50% of the water rates they have thus far paid, such charges just another inflationary negative fiscal drag,

            Taking that a step further such calculations of ”savings” and ”cost” we mostly confine to the present economic paradigm, Government could given the will and especially with the harvesting of electricity from household roofs, ‘print’ the monies necessary to implement such a strategy and in the process deflate the house-hold electricity costs for all households taking part,

            At the same time the research and development needed to produce a standardized kit of solar panels,switching gear,and,meters to enable the solar harvesting from household roofs and the manufacture and installation of such would spawn employment and perhaps a new fledgling export industry…

        • Rosie

          Imagine if such common sense were allowed to prevail! Energy production and water resources out of the hands of companies and into the hands of households and communities. Awhile ago domestic wind turbines were being trialled with the intention of being marketed to individual households. Don’t know what happened to that. Sure, there are some folks who by their own inventiveness or access have free alternate energy and go go off grid, but imagine if it was everyone?

          • bad12

            I would imagine such a system as simply converting solar energy to 240DC electricity at the source and having the switching gear and metering capacity of such a robust nature so as to allow a household to in effect be using both solar and the ‘normal’ connection as the means of household energy,

            In effect batteries for storage would be cut from the equation as when the household was not at home, at work,school, or play, solar energy being produced would in effect be pumped straight from house-hold roofs into the national grid and at the same time turn house-hold power meters in reverse,

            The amount of solar energy able to be obtained from such a system is only constrained by the size of the solar panels used and the amount of sunlight each roof gains in any period,

            We tend to only think of house-hold solar panels as a couple of 80 watt panels at most connected up to a few costly and inefficient battery’s, hell my roof aint that big and could easily take 10 or more of todays solar panels…

          • Draco T Bastard

            Energy production and water resources out of the hands of companies and into the hands of households and communities.

            This is one of those things where having individual collectors (Solar and Water) on individual houses would possibly be a good idea (Needs BCR done). If it is then the community needs to cooperate to get it done to all houses and not leave it to the market. Leaving it to the market will just ensure that it’s not done – as we see today.

            • bad12

              The ad hoc nature of systems of solar generation today contribute to what is seen as it’s ineffectiveness,

              Having had an hour or so to have a think about My previous comments I believe it is where we think on an individual level about solar energy and its uses/cost savings that the economics of such use begin to break down,

              For the individual to ‘use’ such solar generated electricity we all have previously viewed this in the anarchic ‘taking the house of the grid’ terms, of course to do this we must then spend resources on some form of inefficient storage capacity so as to be able to accomplish this,

              However, when taken to it’s logical conclusion thinking on Solar Generation should simply bypass the ‘individual’ use of the electricity generated,

              Simply put, X particular household need not use ANY of the particular energy generated upon the roof of that households roof at any particular time,

              The solar system,especially a mass solar generation system need only plug into the National Grid as the point of delivering the electricity so generated, all that need happen at the individual household level is the measurement of kilowatt hours generated by the solar system and for that measurement of generation to be subtracted from the measurement of the households usage from the present measuring system…

          • insider

            Domestic wind turbines generally almost never perform up to the stated capacity because they need very specific wind characteristics to get optimal performance, which very few places have, particulalry in urban areas. Even EECA, who is paid to promote such things, has very guarded views on their suitability for homes, saying they aer best used in rural areas with no grid connection. Basically size matters in wind turbines, which is a problem for urban use http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6954

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        It’s like we are still stuck in a retarded colonial way of

        Hurrrumph. 👿


    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      What will the dairy industry do for growth when there is no more water because it has all been taken?

      It’s already all been taken and so they’re getting this government to cough up $400m for irrigation.

    • ianmac 3.3

      What is also very serious about the King Salmon application is that they want to by-pass our hard won democratic and legal Sounds Management Plan.
      Our District Council is much braver than the Auckland City Council. Our District Council is lodging a submission to the Environmental Protection Authority. There are two issues that concern them (and us.)
      1. The precedent-setting impact of granting this application.
      2. The effect that it would have on the existing provisions of the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan managing marine farming.

      I think that it is part of the Government plan to “speed up” Consent processes by ignoring local councils and the will of the people. Sound familiar?

      • vto 3.3.1

        Yep ianmac. This government, with a constant of complaining about growing central government power, has expanded central government power very considerably (e.g. Ecan, EPA) in order to eat the environment.

        I have absolutely no respect for those who follow this philosophy of simple extractive growth. It is a dead-end with zero consideration for future generations, including those young ones around now. Shame on them..

        The marlborough DC will get shafted on this. The decision is already made. We all know this. It follows a consistent pattern with this lot – anyone want to take bets?

  4. Rosie 4

    If Britian is having it’s first lock out in 50 years it goes to show how inept NZ employers are at dealing with employment relations. Over the last 6 or so years the lock out seems to have been the preferred approach of employers in their attempt to deal with conflict. Conflict that they often instigate in the first place.


    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That’s not ineptness but basic authoritarian policy – force the workers into poverty so that the owners can be richer.

      • Rosie 4.1.1

        Indeed Draco, it is authoritarian policy at the heart of it. And that authoritarian approach by its nature gives rise to all the negative behaviours that fit with it. The authoritarian approach lacks any maturity, emotional intelligence, reason and willingness to negotiate, therefore inept actions and conflicts will alway follow. Its these employers that see themselves as overlords rather than, well, employers, one partner in a relationship with its work force.

  5. Campbell Larsen 5

    Found this doing the rounds on face spy – gave me a chuckle, but i’m not sure I would even trust him with that job!


  6. prism 6

    Make MMP work even better – there is still time for you to put an easy on-line submission in till end of May. The Electoral Commission site – http://www.mmpreview.org.nz/why-review

    24 April – 18 May 2012 Presentation of submissions (public hearings) take place
    31 May 2012 Deadline for all submissions

    For instance think about the 5% floor – would it be better at 4% so high enough to cut out the light fantastics and yet allow a genuine movement to get a say. Then successful electorate winners – if below the percentage floor should they be able to bring in others.

    I don’t know if Epsom and Oharia would or should be affected. There will always be game playing with those two votes and having the two options is one of the things that we liked about MMP.

    Have a look at the Electoral Commission site for background – there is still time.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Why is it only a genuine movement if a high arbitrary %age supports it?

      If a party gets enough support for one seat then they should have that seat.

      • bad12 6.1.1

        Agree with you there, My view is that the % of vote needed to gain a seat should sink to 4% next election and then 3% the next right down to 1% equaling 1 seat,

        And yep, under such a system there is likely to be at any given time the odd nut-job elected to the Parliament,

        That is of course BESIDES the present horde of nut-jobs currently making up the National Government Cabinet…

        • Colonial Viper

          2.5% or 3% is where it should stop.

          A caucus of 3 or 4 MPs, it would be an effective operation in parliament, and it would help moderate out any individual nut job.

          I certainly don’t think this should become a competition between 5% and 4%.

          • Pascal's bookie

            it would help moderate out any individual nut job

            I can only see that being a problem if they get into parliament becasue they got a single vote. But no one is suggesting that, and I can’t really see why you should be excluded from parliament if you have gained enough votes to get a seat on a proportional basis.

            • Colonial Viper

              I don’t want our political system turned into more distraction by having 2 or 3 different single MP party loose cannons out there getting a proportionate number of seats but highly disproportionate media time.

              My point of view:

              If your politics can persuade 1 in 33 to vote for you, its worth giving you a nation wide platform to let more people know about what you have to say and to decide.

              If you can’t achieve even that much then don’t waste our time and attention, work on it more until you can.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Why shouldn’t people get a say in parliament if they have enough for one seat? That’s the whole point of MMP – so that people who don’t vote for major parties still representation.

                BTW, you may not have noticed but we’ve already got two loose cannons in parliament – Peter Dunne and John Banks.

              • Pascal's bookie

                What’s so magical about 1/33?

                You’re saying we should have an artificial barrier set up to actively prevent the rise of new ideas and to protect the status quo.

                Sounds like a tory thing to me.

                • Yep, sounds like a tory thing to me too. Why have any exceptions to having it as proportional as possible?

                  No exceptions or variations should be the starting point and only have restrictions if there’s srong reaons to do so.

                  One voter’s nutjob is often another voter’s hero. Or are you going to stop “nutjobs” getting in on large party lists too?

      • prism 6.1.2

        They can get in if they win an electorate. Merely getting enough National Front or shooters rights people together to win some votes shouldn’t see them in parliament unless their support amounts to a set percentage at a reasonable level that is transparent and has everyone treated the same.

        In Nelson we have had the McGillcuddy Serious Party which would have been good for light relief plus some serious points but never got the right support. Still we do have Winston.

        Pete George and nutjobs
        Party lists are just that, the person is within a party and the nutjob will hopefully learn some judgement and discipline from more mature pollies.

        • felix

          But why should that “set percentage” be any more than the amount of votes it would take to win an electorate?

          What could be more reasonable and transparent than that?

          • prism

            Percentages are slippery depending what they are based on, but if there is no electorate there needs to be a Reasonable Percentage based on our total votes to prevent a proliferation of narrow focussed voters. Parliament isn’t a drop in centre for everyone with some chip on their shoulder or some unachievable grand vision that will cost us an arm and a leg. We have already got those options covered in our present unlovely chorus line.

            • felix

              “Percentages are slippery depending what they are based on,”

              I already said what I think they should be based on: The amount of votes it takes to win an electorate.

              “Parliament isn’t a drop in centre for everyone with some chip on their shoulder or some unachievable grand vision that will cost us an arm and a leg. We have already got those options covered in our present unlovely chorus line.”

              Then there goes your theory. If the arbitrary 5% threshold doesn’t work to stop this happening, what makes you think an arbitrary 4% one will?

  7. Campbell Larsen 7

    FBI replaces a Estonian gang server running Trojan ‘DNS changer’ and keeps running it for months

    How is it illegal when a gang does it but when the FBI does it it’s for our own good?
    and the excuse: “had the investigators simply closed down the gang’s servers, every computer infected would have been unable to access the internet.”

    Uh, that seems way preferable to me than the FBI having unauthorised control over my computer.

    • muzza 7.1

      Seems the FBI might have been making much more of this situation than the NZH is reporting.

      LOL – Estonian crime gang

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Often old operators from the former Soviet military or intelligence networks, turned to organised crime, both high tech and low tech, in countries teeming with economic malaise and unemployment.

        Not a joking matter I suspect.

  8. Anne 8


    Mr Nash and, to a lesser extent, John Pagani – another of Mr Shearer’s advisers – are understood to have disagreed with his chief press secretary, Fran Mold, about the extent to which Mr Shearer should lead attacks on the Government rather than refuse to be drawn into opposition politics.

    It seems Nash and Pagani were keen for Shearer to focus on building up his non-politician image, focusing on being optimistic rather than engaging with National.

    So our worst suspicions are confirmed. A failed strategy which saw poor old Phil Goff lead Labour to it’s worst defeat in history was being repeated this time at David Shearer’s expense. Thank God Fran Mold – and her supporters – apparently won the day.

    What could have been going through Nash and Pagani’s heads? An Opposition leader who was not allowed to be an Opposition leader? An Opposition leader who was being told to go ‘skip in the park’ rather than front up to his opponents? I’m speechless!

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      And Irish gets quoted in the NZ Herald!!! Woooo-hoooo!

      • lprent 8.1.1

        I saw that early this morning. Now how do we deflate……

        😈 Just imagine that we could have just witnessed the birth of another bloated ego to rival Whaleoil.

        Umm… That should do it… 🙂

    • freedom 8.2

      Instead of sitting with the architects and the landscapers for month after month designing the best stock race that may or may not be needed in two years time, I wish that the leader of the Labour Party would just roll up his sleeves put on his gumboots and get into the paddock.
      Stock was never moved by sitting in the hayshed thinking about it.

    • just saying 8.3

      From the same story:

      But Mold and others in Mr Shearer’s leadership team believed that was being taken too far and starving Mr Shearer of the media coverage he needed.

      So, no question about it being the wrong strategy in the first place, and more importantly, still no recognition that Shearer is being paid a shitload by most people’s standards to be the Leader of the Opposition, not to campaign for a better job for three years. Should Labour be allowed to sideline that important democratic role for another three years?

      • prism 8.3.1

        As you say he is being paid a shitload I would imagine, because he seemed to be bright articulate have good ideas etc. Isn’t it about time that leaders of parties started doing some of their own thinking not being run by dark lords like Karl Rove etc.

    • muzza 8.4

      “What could have been going through Nash and Pagani’s heads? An Opposition leader who was not allowed to be an Opposition leader?”

      — Time to start having a rummage around in the dealing these two have had I should think! While having a look, see if anyone can find Shearers nous, because it seems to be MIA. Anyone who needs their image handled for them is not a leaders arris!

      • Pete George 8.4.1

        Spin merchant’s main priority seems to be to enhance their own position and power. You’re right, a top leader would stand up against that.

        • Anne

          You’re right, a top leader would stand up against that

          To be fair though it looks like Shearer has done that – with help from Fran Mold and co.

          • Pete George

            Hopefully. Proof of change should become apparent in the next couple of months. Shearer doesn’t have to become an attack dog (he shouldn’t) but he should still demonstrate his authority. Some MPs seem to be flailing around individually at the moment.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Dateless student banned from prom

    A school in the US is under fire for banning one of its students from attending the school prom because she didn’t have a date.

    The 17 year old forked out almost $1000 for a dress, new shoes and tickets to attend the dance, but was told she can’t attend because her date cancelled at the last minute.

    You know, I’m not really sure which is worse – the fact that she was banned or that she spent $1000 to go.

      • ianmac 9.1.1

        ““I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights” – Yurtle.
        Has a familiar ring of coincidence don’t it?

        • freedom

          To be a high-functioning independent thoughtful and creative member of the world
          Dr Suess is the one and only author anyone of any age ever needs to read

          • vto

            “A person is a person no matter how small” Horton the elephant.

            Butter Side Up has to be one of the best.

    • joe90 9.2

      Banned for being grossly insensitive.

      We asked why they thought that, but they kept saying the same thing over and over,” she said Monday. “We kept asking people walking inside — black and white — and everyone said they loved it. Two black women even went off on the principal. They were upset with the principal. No one was upset with me

    • Deborah Kean 9.3

      You know, I’m not really sure which is worse – the fact that she was banned or that she spent $1000 to go.

      Poor silly girl!

      • prism 9.3.1

        Don’t blame the girl – look at the system that she is trying to live within. Schools that have these sort of expensive dos and parents and peer groups who demand them. To not take part is to turn yourself into a lonely Cinderella without a prince, just having to sit by the ashes of a cold fire. (I think that was Cinders job at home.) And they have year books where students achievements and activities are listed and they get rated by the class – the one most likely to (Not) succeed perhaps? Pretty hurtful if that happened.

  10. Bored 10


    Rod gets 6 1/2 years…. well deserved BUT he really should serve his sentence alongside the 14500 greedy foolish idiots who invested with Rod and cost me the tax payer lots of legal costs.

    • Uturn 10.1

      “Petricevic’s lawyer Charles Cato said his client’s time already served in prison had been “a very sobering experience”, and he asked for the mercy of the court. Cato said Petricevic had no relevant previous convictions and had been the subject of “exceptional” actions at the hands of the public and media.

      “Although some of the attention was deserved and understandable … some of the other actions of people in the community have been exceptional, and made the position of this family, at times, one that is intolerable.

      “He’s received serious threats and on one occasion was assaulted.

      “Aside from a game of golf, almost weekly, and an association with a few close friends, he’s been reluctant to associate with the wider community.”

      Just goes to show the disconnect of reality between the haves and have nots. A weekly leisure activity and time for the company of close friends is a pretty good life by today’s standard. Reluctance to associate with the wider community is par for the course in today’s society; it’s full of so many hostile born-to-rule types. That these things are seen as the basis of a disadvantaged existence is mind-boggling. Our prisons should be empty if incarceration is not necessary when you live a normal reality. Most of the people in there would have faced much worse on a daily basis, all their lives.

      • Bored 10.1.1

        Until Rod and his mates got incarcerated I objected to the whole concept of imprisonment for any purpose other than societal protection from dangerous individuals. I have not changed my mind completely but the retribution aspect never appealed to me prior to this. Proves to me that there must be a shade of grey in all of us which is triggered by something that really gets visceral. Financial malfeasance brings out the Old Testament Jehovah in me.

        • Uturn

          Liars of his skill level are pretty dangerous – a terrible and creeping poison to everyone they come into contact with. In my dreamworld a good (deterent) sentence would be to seize his assets, remove all legal/basic rights status for a year or so and publish his address in the Herald and tell people nothing else is going to be done. Kinda like a modern day stocks, but no need for prison and punishment is left for the public to sort out. People with a beef could do what they liked with immunity and the deterence to others would be that you shouldn’t mess with other people on the way up, because when you fall we will make sure you get your judgement day. Would make considering your actions a necessity rather than an option.

          • prism

            @ Uturn I remember someone made the point that actually our society only functions because of trust. When predators like Rod P lie and directors like Sir Douglas Graham are careless of their job and integrity this dents the integrity of society.

        • Clashman

          +1 Bored, except for your last sentence, imho.

        • DH

          IMO white collar crims need to go to prison bored. For them it is a deterrent but it can only deter if they know they’ll be imprisoned. Home detention is hardly a deterrent to a multi-million dollar scam is it.

          Petricevic has had at least two previous company failures that resulted in large losses for creditors, one was the old Sweetwaters festival & the other was Euro-National that crashed & burned in the ’80s. He only did what he did with Bridgecorp because 30yrs of getting away with it made him think he was bulletproof. Who can forget his incredible arrogance in transferring his Porche to the family trust in a blatant attempt to hide it from creditors.

          Serves the bastard right, it was well overdue IMO. Now there’s only a few thousand more to put away…..

  11. captain hook 11

    they need someone who is a bit coarse and real.

  12. joe90 12

    More about the absurdities horrors of the US health system.

    My breast has fallen off. Can you reattach it? (Be warned, this is a distressing story)

  13. Morrissey 13

    Four week ban from The Standard for Morrissey

    The poster Morrissey has been banned for four weeks. He will be back on Wednesday, May 23rd.

    [lprent: Because of a massive cut’n’paste. ]

    • Bored 13.1

      Bloody hell Morrissey, who will I argue rugby with????? I have been over at teh RWNJ sites on occasion giving them jip, its quite therapeutic, enjoy.

      • Stephen Doyle 13.1.1

        Bored, try usenet, rec.sport.rugby.union
        Morrissey is a favourite clown over there.

    • Deborah Kean 13.2

      [lprent: Because of a massive cut’n’paste. ]

      Which, IMO was rather OTT! Seriously…

      • lprent 13.2.1

        Well noone apart from me and morrisey saw it because it hit a hitherto unexercised troll trap.

        It was a complete New York times article including text versions of some of the sidebars plus at least 50 (maybe 100) comments. It had something like a hundred comments attached.

        Something like 5000 words and probably 500 lines or so – longer than any post or comment in the history of the site. Moreover you read the top. It was deliberate…….

        What do you suggest? A slap on the wrist?

  14. prism 14

    NZ Rail is struggling for passengers. It still has vestiges of a behemoth government monopoly.
    I wanted some information on concessions for seniors. Looked up the FAQs. Yes they do have these – but what? They don’t say. This is the not very informative advice provided.

    Do You Offer Special Fares For Seniors?
    Yes, we offer senior fares for passengers over 60 years of age. These are available on every train trip. A Seniors Card is not required but proof of age may be requested at check-in.

    Now Airnz isn’t perfect but it has good booking and pricing information system. I have suggested that NZRail looks at it as a guide. Maybe they will be able to boost volumes of whatever if they apply themselves to finding how to do ‘it’ better.

  15. An interesting finding by the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS):

    “Contrary to popular belief, being brought up in a poor family does not mean increased rates of crime or mental health problems in adulthood.”

    “These seem to be affected by how the family functions … the quality of relationships and is influenced by things like abuse, conflict, limited bonding and factors like that.”


    This doesn’t really surprise me.

    Wealth doesn’t correlate with happiness.

    • r0b 15.1

      Wealth doesn’t correlate with happiness.

      You are poorly informed on the matter:


    • prism 15.2

      @ Pete George End of quote – “but you can be miserable in comfort”. Important difference between poverty and wealth.

    • McFlock 15.3

      Sigh. Let’s have a gander:

      Sheree J. Gibb, David M. Fergusson, L. John Horwood, Childhood family income and life outcomes in adulthood: Findings from a 30-year longitudinal study in New Zealand, Social Science & Medicine, Available online 16 March 2012, ISSN 0277-9536, 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.02.028. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027795361200202X) Keywords: Childhood poverty; Income; Economic conditions; Educational achievement; Mental health; Offending; Longitudinal research; New Zealand

      Parallel to the findings on educational and economic outcomes, there were generally consistent findings showing that increasing childhood family income was associated with declining rates of later crime, mental health problems and early pregnancy. However, in contrast to the findings for educational and economic outcomes, there was little evidence to suggest that childhood family income was related to these outcomes when due allowance was made for background and concurrent covariates. These findings were confirmed using measures of poverty based on equivalised income and measures of family living standards based on interviewer assessments.

      “when due allowance was made for background and concurrent covariates. ”

      Okay, what are the covariates? Appendix A of the article:

       Background covariates
      Maternal education [my emphasis]
      Paternal education  [my emphasis] 
      Maternal age
      Family socioeconomic status [my emphasis] 
      Pregnancy planning
      Parental church attendance
      Parental ethnicity 
      Family type
      Covariates assessed concurrently with the assessment of family income
      Changes of parents 0-10 years
      Inter-parental conflict 0-10 years
      Parental history of offending
      Parental history of alcohol problems
      Parental history of illicit drug use
      Childhood sexual abuse 
      Childhood physical abuse 
      Child cognitive ability age 8-9 
      Conduct problems age 7-9 
      Attentional problems age 7-9 
      Teacher ratings of academic progress age 7-10 [my emphasis]
      So on the face of it there is a connection between income and some psychosocial factors, but this association becomes insignificant when covariates are included. Several of the covariates relate to parental educational  factors. Educational factors do seem to have a direct correlation with child family income. So one then wonders whether there is a transgenerational issue. One can also examine whether the psychosocial classifications were suitably delineated to identify socioeconomic association – e.g. “property” offences such as “fire setting” could be a couch on Castle St or a school hall.

      While it is possible to identify the class of likely factors that mediate the association between childhood family income and later psychosocial outcomes, the nature of the causal linkages between the mediating factors and family income is unclear and likely to be complex. If the childhood and family factors act as confounders, the results suggest a lack of both direct and indirect causal effects of childhood family income on the psychosocial outcomes of interest. If the childhood and family factors act as intervening variables, then there are indirect but not direct causal pathways from childhood family income to the psychosocial outcomes. Since we cannot be sure which of these explanations is correct, claims that reducing poverty will lead to reductions in crime and other psychosocial outcomes related to income should be approached with caution. Assuming that the statistical model is well specified, the only circumstances in which changing family income will lead to reductions in later crime and related outcomes is if the covariate factors act as intervening variables that are influenced by family income and in turn influence psychosocial outcomes. 


      So the study (ignoring one or two other limitations such as sample bias and cohort period) provides further discussion as to the nature of what links might exist between socioeconomic status and some specific psychosocial categories. It doesn’t address connections between SES and childhood respiratory illness, etc.
      Personally I’m waiting for gassy-gossy to completely fuck up his analysis. 

      • prism 15.3.1

        @McFlock Thanks for the careful analysis.

        • McFlock

          Cheers – no worries.
          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the paper is bunk by any means. Just that summarizing it as “Wealth doesn’t correlate with happiness” is a bit like the tory trolls who drop a survey result here and expect commenters to tear their hair out over a 2% swing from the previous data point.
          Socioeconomic correlations with crime and so on are a complex topic, that need all types of population research and in large quantities. This paper is an indication that (all things being equal) growing up poor doesn’t directly increase your chances of some negative psychosocial outcomes. Which suggests indirect links, because the population stats show a significant socioeconomic bias.
          The correlations between poverty and things like infectious diseases are much more direct.

    • bad12 15.4

      What a load of f**king apologist bullshit, how the family functions is in turn heavily affected by the income of the family where income stress is one of the major factors in the breakdown of relationships,and the breakdown of relationships leads to abuse and neglect,

      ‘Wealth’ in itself does’nt mean jacks**t, having enough to provide for the daily needs of the family unit does tho make all the difference…

    • rosy 15.5

      Ye olde ‘all things being equal and then adding in something unrelated’ type conclusion.

      The only take away point from this is that poor people are likely to be criminals, or suffer mental health problems at similar rates to rich people. That should get rid of some of those right-wing prejudices, should it not?

      How do these factors mean that poor people are as likely to be happy as rich people? – look at the co-variates McFlock listed and then see how they fit in your happiness statement.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Today, Auckland City Councillor Cathy Casey tabled a motion calling on the council to oppose legislation allowing SkyCity more pokies in exchange for building a convention centre. It failed by 12 votes to 9. Among those opposing the motion was mayor Len Brown.

    Yep, Good ol’ Len Brown, champion of the Bosses and Owners.

  17. Is anybody able to tell me why Shipley is being paid $1000 a day in ChristChurch ?

    • marsman 17.1

      Because she is one of Shonkey’s greedy chums.

      • prism 17.1.1

        Because being in government and having been Prime Minister went onto Shipley’s CV and put up her hourly rate to $100 hourly for a 10 hour day? Top lawyers charge far more than that, though their fee includes overheads.

        The idea of getting into government is to make lots of useful connections and learn how the system can be made to work for the one of those businesses post-government, that offers the best cash, fringe benefits and incentive and bonus payments. Serving NZ is important, in that if you stuff up noticeably, it will affect your future level of desirability and emoluments.

    • bad12 17.2

      It’s the ‘blue blood’ old boy, She has a sense of entitlement that in the hierarchial world of the Haves must be bowed,scraped,and, pandered to by Brownlee so that He in turn when His time comes will get to graze, snout in trough, long and hard…

  18. Carol 18

    Unbelievable! A power cut in Wellington has caused all Auckland’s trains to stop running:


  19. bad12 19

    the Minister of Guessing Bill English is on RadioNZ at the moment putting His hands up to having a 1 billion hole in the Governments revenue,

    The surplus much touted by Bill and Slippery is now being talked down but Bill sez that the economy is not on a Slippery slope,(hahaha),

    Your right there Bill,it aint a Slippery slope,its a frigging huge chasm,and,if the dairy pay out drops again befor 2014 we think the descriptive best used for the deliberate depression economics being deployed by National is in fact f**ked…

    • Carol 19.1

      Yes, agreed b12. Of course, many said that plan for surplus wouldn’t work.

    • Georgecom 19.2

      Another triumph of Bill Englishs grasp on economics. Gosh, Bill gives away 3 odd billion in tax cuts without replacing it and then DIDN’T expect this to happen? The economy has been sluggish? What happened to roaring out of recession and the bollocks forecasts of economic growth Bill? I suggest Ronald McDonald may as well run the country for all the good English is.

    • vto 20.1

      What the fucking fuck?

      How can a politician receive money from a business and then vote for that business? It is called a conflict of interest (John Banks will know what that is..) and it means he has to stand aside.

      When we see that in Indo, Australia, the UK, China or the USA we call it corruption.

      • Dv 20.1.1

        Didnt Banks also sign a fruadulent prospectus for Hullich?
        Is that not what Pertovich did to?

      • rosy 20.1.2

        “How can a politician receive money from a business and then vote for that business?”

        From the answer to Mallard’s charge I guess the money went to a trust and he then got a donation from the trust. All perfectly legal and donated in a manner that gets by conflict of interest rules as well. With that and his about face on his opinion of the social harm of gambling he’s not much more than a lying, cheating, hypocritical …..

        • vto

          Hate to admit it *blush* but perhaps Clark and her lot were right about electoral funding reform …..

          I mean, did you notice how Banks kept referring to the law rather than what is right? Normally he is the first to jump on the nearest moral wagon. In this case he veered well away and stayed put on the “law” jalopy.

          • rosy

            “did you notice how Banks kept referring to the law rather than what is right? Normally he is the first to jump on the nearest moral wagon.”

            As for EFA – I think (if I remember correctly) Clark & Co were attempting to follow a Canadian model but because it was being pushed through quickly the tweaking that was required to fit the NZ situation was not fully thought out. But these issues could have been sorted by amendments if parties weren’t so keen to hide donations.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Summary of what Banks said:

            Refer to the legality of his actions
            Deny any wrong doing
            Ad hominem attack on the person/group pointing out the possible immorality of his actions

            Yep, standard RWNJ spin and deflection.

        • Anne

          Another possibility is that it was agreed his campaign fundraisers and accountants would not tell him the identities of those who had donated. Of course he would have been aware that Sky City had given a large sum, but so long as he was not officially informed he could then plead ignorance.

    • felix 20.2

      Ahahahahaha Banks looks like he’s about to cry. This calls for a haiku:

      Top lip shakes with fear
      Mortgage payment is now due
      on his wretched soul.

  20. xtasy 21

    Have just seen a horrible video about how migrant thugs in Berlin threaten teachers, sabotage education and still claim they and their families deserve welfare payments (even blackmailing officials), I am now disillusioned with minority and migrant issues worldwide. There are serious issues, also in the banlieu in Paris and Amsterdam, Netherlands, and it is NO surprise that most governments in Europe have designed the idea of “multiculturalism” to the historic dustbin!

    It is in most cases not working, work out the reasons perhaps. If minorities think they gain by threatening, blackmailing and holding to ransom societies, nothing will be gained.

    This sadly happens, whether for reasons or not, but it happens.

    So NZ being amongst one of the countries with the highest rates of per capita for immigration, this may be worth looking at. 20 to 25 per cent of residents in this country were not born here, and that is the HIGHEST in the so called developed world.

    It is partly due to Kiwis moving to AUS, for better wages and so, needing to be replaced by migrants, but the social and economic consequences are immense.

    I think this country is heading into self destruction, ANZAC Day, Waitangi Day and such have little meaning for many, society is not cohesive, not solidarious anymore (migrants encouraged to bring money, assets and to compete, rather than contribute).

    So my view is that NZ is heading down a way that will anyway destroy what used to be the whatever “Kiwi way of life”. It is dead, take account of it, move on, let this country be populated by whosoever, because you have NO right to sit here and claim it for yourself. Maybe let Chinese buy your homes and land too, you do NOT deserve it, because you NEVER worked as HARD, as THEY did, right!?

    • McFlock 21.1

      um – you might want to actually link to some sources as to where you picked up your ideas. Because that read pretty harsh. It’s possible that your sources might not have been entirely unbiased on immigration issues, and indeed on attitudes to multiculturalism in Europe. And some of the issues around the “born overseas” claim.
      I might have taken it the wrong way, but to me it read a bit like a New Zealand [banned]Wayne…

      • xtasy 21.1.1

        Pretty independent and even “left” focused media, I can tell you!

      • xtasy 21.1.2

        Also this madman Breivik seems so radical and bizarre in the media, if you would follow the developments in Europe, they are EXTREMELY worrying, because actually a lot think like him, but do not dare to speak out, because they see their social and economic fabric deteriorating, drawing their, not always logical conclusions out of it.
        Look at Marine Le Pen, nearly getting 20 per cent of the popular vote in France, look at Wilders in Holland, and do not even dare look at Hungary, where right wing, racist brigades are welcomed by the government.

        Europe is going into turmoil in this area, and it is not just nation against nation, it is nationalistic movements actually connecting and working across Europe. The whole global picture is changing, and the sell out by western multi nationals and even middle sized enterprises to outsource work to cheap labour countries is now coming back with a total vengeance. Wait and see the hatred and war ready work themselves up, it is happening!

        Sadly in NZ too many dream, are brainwashed, do not realise much, fall for government BS or do not understand the challenges, which opposition parties try to make clear. This is an easy territory for anyone to manipulate and take over. It is happening by the way, and the left is too politically correct to address the Mainland Chinese dictatorship influence on local and global affairs. At least Russel Norman took a stand a couple of years ago. Where is the rest of lulled people?

        • McFlock

          Social unrest and discontent against easiest targets in a time of economic recession? golly.
          They’d still have to work hard to outdo the early 1940s.

    • rosy 21.2

      This is the RĂŒtli School? In the middle of one of the poorest areas of Berlin, where 90% of the students are from a migrant background…. also the one where reporters

      flocked to the school and filmed youngsters acting violent and throwing rocks. The public was shocked. Later it was revealed that the reporters had paid the youths to act out and even provided the stones

      and if it’s this incident then it was also 6 years ago… the school is now being reformed – new facilities, renovated classrooms and a better curriculum.

      It’s worth reading http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,409876,00.html

      But the calls for prison-like security and the xenophobia-tinged scapegoating of foreigners completely miss the mark. If anything, the whole episode is more an indictment of an antiquated German school system that shunts students off into different academic tracks early on, as well as the country’s inability to make many immigrants feel they are valued part of German society

      and http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,333899,00.html

      “We in Germany have completely forgotten that integration is a process requiring action from both sides,” says Heinz Buschkowsky, mayor of the Berlin neighborhood Neukoelln, 33 percent of which is made up of immigrants. “We have just assumed that the second and third generation immigrants would just become more German. But to expect someone from a foreign culture to abandon their culture was wrong.”…

      Much of what politicians have been saying in the past weeks, says Werner Schiffauer, professor of ethnology at the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, has been harmful rather than helpful. “The problem,” he says, “is the idea that the immigrants are the ‘other’ and integration is ‘their’ problem. Politicians have been reinforcing the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ rhetoric. “

      I hate to say it – but maybe the moderators could check this out? Looks like stirring in a big way.

    • prism 21.3

      @xtasy Don’t let one example that you have seen or heard about decide you on everything of that nature for the future. For example, a Korean man was murdered on the West Coast, South Island New Zealand. That doesn’t mean that all West Coast men are murderers, or that all Koreans or Asians shouldn’t go there. It does mean that there has been an uprising of the nastiness of human nature that the rest of us try to keep controlled. People feeling under pressure can lose this control, some very easily.

      Particularly don’t start obssessing about each separate immigration problem that presents or you can get on the road to Norway’s Hitler – in Court right now. He decided to cold-bloodedly take his weapons to eliminate people who were trying to live with and care about other people in the world. He didn’t agree and gave them the death sentence and is only sorry that he didn’t achieve a bigger mass slaughter. Before he acted, he was thinking along hostile, hate-filled lines. The thought is the seed of the fruit of action.

  21. xtasy 22

    Perhaps consider a bit of revolution, for a change, not pupular in Aotearoa these days:

  22. xtasy 24

    Viva Oaxaca, viva Mexico, viva la revolution, de la sangue!

  23. xtasy 25

    Wake up, little sleepy Aoteaoroa, not all is lost, aye?????????????????????????

  24. Adele 26

    Tēnā koe, xtasy

    The only peoples with the moral justification to revolt would be tāngata whenua. But our leadership in whatever capacity do not think in those terms in the modern context. Violence is not an acceptable response nor will it achieve the desired outcomes.

    Multi-culturalism is not the issue it is the entrenched racism that ‘others’ people to fourth class citizenship that creates dis-enfranchised enclaves.

    • xtasy 26.1

      OK – got a bit carried away while reading and commenting in this thread (after a few beers last night).

      Part of my endeavours was also to simply throw in a few challenging thoughts, to encourage some responses.

      It has been proved though, that “divide and rule” policies of governments and corporate interests are easier to achieve by allowing high level immigration, where new migrants take time to adjust and thus feel insecure, and where they are on the other hand treated with mistrust by locals, so that in some forms tensions will develop, enabling the “controlling forces” to manipulate all and thus weaken the social fabric.

      I understand that informed and educated political forces, worker’s and business representatives know how to counter-act this in some ways.

      In many places (e.g. Europe) too many failings and lack of action in larger populations have resulted in the mentioned very serious issues. Add economic pressures, government spending cuts, and it can become an explosive situation. History tends to repeat itself, and it pays to be mindful of that.

      • prism 26.1.1

        where they are on the other hand treated with mistrust by locals, so that in some forms tensions will develop, enabling the “controlling forces” to manipulate all and thus weaken the social fabric.
        Yes this is a tool – at present various pundits are labelling the concern about the Chinese Crafar farmbuy attempt as racist, primarily. There is no mention of the opposition to overseas buyups often by absentee owners who become landlords of our prime productive estate. Getting on a different track.I have been uninformed on this matter and for those like me – these are good facts and I suppose correct. nz herald business

        British and Australian investors are by far the biggest foreign purchasers of land in New Zealand. Between 2007 and 2011, Australian investors paid $10.6 billion in OIO transactions. They were followed by the US, with $10b, Japan at $5b and the UK at $3b. China does not even register in the lengthy list of countries that have invested.
        The 2002 to 2006 figures show Chinese investors were responsible for deals of just $162 million. And the land deals keep on happening. In the first five years of this century, 158,588ha of land were ticked off for sale to overseas investors. Between 2007 and 2011, more than 1000 deals were signed off by the OIO. Large farm blocks were particularly popular.

        Further Voxy on Farms deals

        Further, the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) rightly pointed out today that opposing foreign ownership is not a matter of being xenophobic or racist, it’s simply about reclaiming democratic economic control over our country’s future. For example, according to CAFCA, the Germans are the biggest foreign owners of dairy farms in Southland. And what’s more, these sales have been achieved without a murmur of public or media protest.

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