Open mike 26/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 26th, 2012 - 84 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

84 comments on “Open mike 26/06/2012”

  1. BillODrees 2

    Directors at state-owned Mighty River Power will get twice their current rates and collect up to $2400 a day when the business is privatised, according to Treasury papers.
    Treasury officials said the directors wanted the Government to bump up fees so they were not seen doing it themselves after the sale. Mighty River will be the first of four state-owned power firms to be part privatised.”

    Steven Joyce forgot to mention this.  There is no extra work for these directors:just loads more money.   I hope Clayton Cosgrave makes some mileage out of it.  

    [lprent: If you quote it then please link it. Either just drop the raw link in or see the FAQ. ]

    • And BillODrees forgot to mention this:

      Officials warned ministers they were losing quality directors for Crown-owned company boards because the pay was too low.

      They told State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall, who is overseeing the sale, there was a review under way into the fees paid to all directors of companies owned by the taxpayer.

      Mr Ryall was told by the Treasury in February the level was likely to be halfway between current levels of $1200 a day and markets rates, which were “up to double this amount”.

      It is not just the SOEs being part privatised that are being looked at.

      And Bill, some people grizzle if you don’t provide links.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        And I’m sure that we’ll just get other quality directors in even if we do keep the pay low.

    • DH 2.2

      Sometimes it’s hard not to avoid thinking the French had the right idea. They haven’t even started the floats and the pigs are at the trough already.

  2. Dv 3

    Did I just hear on NatRad that Peter Dunne is going to be away from Parliament for the vote on SOE sales today?
    And there was a comment that suggest he has been missing from some of the other votes too?

    • freedom 3.1

      from what i have seen of late, the National whip has been putting most votes forward.
      It takes a lot of spine to sit in the house when voting away the sovereignty of our Nation.

      • felix 3.1.1

        Yep, but as long as he’s letting National dictate his vote in return for stepping aside in Ohariu (hilariously without telling their own candidate) then they might as well do the actual voting too.

        • vto

          Hardly surprising. The weasel wanker wont even outline to the public what the upsides and downsides to the taxpayer are in selling the assets, yet he holds the pivotal vote. How does that work in a supposedly open democracy? Why won’t he explain the benefits and costs? Come on Dunne and PG, why wont Dunne outline the benefits and costs? Explain yourself!

          That he is a coward should not surprise.

    • Peter Dunne: “I have not spoken to National Radio at all on this issue. However, as it happens, I have a family-related funeral this afternoon.” (by email)

      It won’t make any diffeence whether Dunne is in parliament for the vote or not. Proxy votes are common amongst all parties. The house was over half empty for most MOM debates I saw.

      I never saw Hone Harawira there to vote. I doubt that he will get Greens to proxy vote for him if marriage equality comes up.

      • McFlock 3.2.1

        cat die?

        • Te Reo Putake

          Family related funeral is probably Dunne’s super secret code for a haircut.

          • Pete George

            Nastier than usual, it reflects badly on your connections.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Dunno, Pete, I would have thought cynically using the funeral of someone you barely know to avoid the gaze of the NZ public as you allow your mates to sell them down the river is the real nasty here, don’t you?

              • You’ve dug yourself deeper with a smear allegation which presumably you have no facts to back it up.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  “family-related funeral” Says it all, Pete. Not family. Not related. But family-related. Should have just been honest and said “butt covering-related”
                  Gutless wonder.

                • vto

                  Pete, the fact that Dunne cannot outline the benefits to the taxpayer in selling these assets casts enormous clouds of doubt over his already near-zero credibility.

                  Why would anyone believe him when he claims he has a funeral to attend?

                  It is the oldest trick in the book and given his consitent lack of credibility it is the only possible conclusion.

                  I know you don’t like these sorts of words but imo he is an arrogant wanker and a liar and a coward. Nothing but contempt. Fuck him.

                • vto

                  Pete, this is not some be-nice-please thing going on here. It is the sale of electricity to foreign corporates and others which WILL result in rising power prices. As privatisation alreday has.

                  Old folk already struggling to pay for their winter-warming power will struggle even more. It is completely fucked. It is serious shit. Dunne is a c&#t. I make no apologies for the language and call on others to up the heat.

                  You think this is just politics as usual? It aint. These things directly impact people’s daily lives. FFS!

      • freedom 3.2.2

        i send condolences Pete,
        and i would be confident no disrespect to a grieving family was intended by anyone

        but today is a rather significant vote for Dunne to be absent from,
        atop his handling of a matter that he has been neither direct nor responsible with in public life
        it reeks of cowardice and slavery

        • Pete George

          Thanks freedom.

          I think his absence is inconsequential. It’s not his legislation, it’s National’s, so it’s up to them to front this.

          • McFlock

            It’s his vote that’s enabling it.  

            • freedom

              Peter Dunne, member in absentia
              enabling treason with the vote he whored

          • felix

            If his absence is inconsequential, then why has he carefully avoided every debate on the bill?

            It appears as if he doesn’t actually wish to be associated with this treacherous act, although the scumbag is happy to vote for it in return for National helping him secure his seat.

            • felix

              ps if he only need to be in the house when debating his own legislation, then what the fuck is he doing there at all?

          • prism

            Peter Undunne from the UF Party (UnFrocked Party) originally the Commonsense Conscientious Objectors Church. Mission – To object to doing anything that might derail my (our) sweet deal in parliament.

            And this from acolyte Pete George who is one that believes we should sit and wait for the almighty to make things right for us.

            I think his absence is inconsequential. It’s not his legislation, it’s National’s, so it’s up to them to front this.

            He has not heard the saying ‘ The Lord helps those who help themselves.”

  3. In a continuation of what seems to be an irreversible trend Fairfax has lost three senior editors from the Sydney Morning Herald and from the Melbourne Age.  Cost cutting measures mean that its journalist infrastructure is being slashed.

    Fairfax is apparently bleeding money and is attempting to become more digital. The only problem is that the slump in advertising income from print is greater than the increase in advertising income from digital.

    Either it will go broke or it will emerge as a much streamlined and dumber version of itself.

    This will mean the blogs will become even more important in the analysis and dissemination of information. 

    • Carol 4.1

      Meanwhile the BBC is also moving towards a much more commercial approach in response to the Cameron government freezing license fees. Are we seeing the death throes of the fourth estate, after a long illness?

      BC bosses have told reporters to think of money-making schemes and present them to their line managers at forthcoming job appraisals – raising concerns that the organisation’s prized editorial standards will be compromised by commercial imperatives.

      The 2,400 staff working in the BBC’s Global News department, including the BBC World Service, have been told that they must now “exploit new commercial opportunities [and] maximise the value we create with our journalism”.

      But the editorial independence of the BBC had been deteriorating for a long time. So this looks likely to accelerate the trend.

    • chris73 4.2

      One of the things I (strangely) like about this and other blogs (whaleoil etc etc) is that theres no pretending to be neutral. You know what side the blogs are on unlike newspapers and their “neutrality”

      Makes for fairer (and more interesting) reporting/opinion

      • lprent 4.2.1

        We actually agree on something. Provided the comments section allows people with opposing viewpoints in who are willing to argue (ie not the idiot trolls bleating the same crap repetitively), then the whole thing encourages discussion because people are arguing about the opinion expressed in the post.

        It is also why I like reading The Economist. I know precisely where their biases is and they clearly distinguish between their facts and opinions.

        Of course there is one significant difference between Whaleoil’s site and here. He doesn’t exactly have interesting comments on his site (mostly consists of grunting how great Cameron is as far as I can tell) and arguing with his opinions is kind of pointless because all you get is the aforesaid grunting. The site should really be called Pigfat…

        • TheContrarian

          Now we agree with something also lprent.
          I read the Economist also and enjoy it but I very very rarely read Slater.

        • chris73

          Isn’t it interesting that readers of whaleoils blog would probably say much the same thing about this site.

          • fender

            Not that interesting, quite predictable those “grunts” can’t see past their snouts, and their ancient grey matter cant stray beyond their bigoted thoughts from centuries past.

          • lprent

            I’ve seen them (I read the site periodically when something references this site).

            Of course I always get astonished when I see that they manage to write a comment that is more than a few lines long.

            In the posts that I usually wind up reading the comments for it about this site, it seems to wind up with a whinge by some idiot that I banned for lousy behaviour like trolling a year or so ago merely repeating the same behaviour there. Or Pete George doing his usual two faced commenting about this site. Or Whale wishing I had another heart attack because he has such a wide and generous heart….

            You know, nice people quietly discussing the issues of the day (not!)

        • felix

          “He doesn’t exactly have interesting comments on his site (mostly consists of grunting how great Cameron is as far as I can tell)”

          That’s because he writes most of them himself.

        • Murray Olsen

          The “Whale Army” tend to get more excited about prison rape than anything else. More than anything else, they seem to be mentally challenged. When Pete George posts there in favour of asset sales, this only gets worse.

  4. Carol 5

    Celia Wade Brown puts her/Wellington’s case against the government’s local government reform bill currently before parliament. Submissions close July 26:

    Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown has slammed proposed legislation to rein in local government spending as “ill-considered” and undemocratic.

    Wellington City Council has released its draft submission on the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, which will be debated at the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on Thursday.
    However, the proposed changes were ill-defined and would undermine the democratic process, she said. They also undermined the commonly accepted functions of local government to promote and enhance public good.
    Poor definitions in the bill would lead to uncertainty within local government, potentially increasing litigation, she said.

    The bill also allowed for local authorities to be amalgamated without a poll being held, limiting the opportunity for communities to have their say on local government.

    “What Wellington needs is community involvement in decisions, not hierarchical limitations from central government.”

    Just another way these bunch of charlatans currently in government, are undermining democracy.

  5. Campbell Larsen 6

    “From there we can go through the process of putting together a marketing campaign and all the fun on the first offering on Mighty River Power,” Mr Key told Newstalk ZB yesterday.

    So Shonky thinks it’s ‘fun’ pushing through a sale with unseemly haste that the majority of NZers oppose – says a lot about him really.

  6. vto 7


    I see TrustPower is going to sell its Lake Coleridge hydro power water to farmers for irrigation over winter instead of generating electricity.

    Think about the implications …

    • freedom 7.1

      it’s a win win !!
      a win for the power companies ✓
      a win for Fonterra ✓

      for the rest of NZ, not so much

      • vto 7.1.1


        After the taxpayer has spent decades building up a system to provide electricity for the nation at cost, it now seems that we will have to compete with massive corporates for the electricity i.e. we will pay the absolute maximum that can possibly be achieved, by fair means or foul. And now that the companies are being privatised the social contract around power generation in this country is being stripped bare.

        What are the benefits to selling again Peter Dunne?

        rotten to the core

    • grumpy 7.2


  7. Bored 8

    It would appear that the incoming Labour / Green government will have its hands full reversing the damage of this current government. Looking at the required agenda::

    * rebuilding the role of the “public servant” relationship with those he / she serves…which in effect means ridding the whole public sector of the language and practices of business.
    * reinstating public sector pay scales that keep the senior salaries in check, and rids the whole sector of bonuses.
    * repeal of the local government reforms started by Bassett in the 80s to reintroduce democracy at a local level, and remove the need for local bodies to serve the private sector (i.e remove LATEs etc).
    * buy back / heavily regulate infrastructural services that act as “rentiers” (telecommunications / power / transport), so that the productive economy does not have to pay rapacious sums to non productive sectors.
    * devolve the role of Treasury back to the individual departments with a rump body working on macro economic policy.
    * Reverse the Reserve Bank Act to heavily regulate financial activity.
    * restructure the tertiary education sector away from being a “business”……

    I could go on BUT what I am really driving at is that the incoming government has to be ruthlessly counter revolutionary. The Left has to commit to the total rolling back of 30 years of neo liberal nastiness, and create a secure state for the citizens, and a conducive environment for productive enterprise to flourish.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1


      • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1

        And also increase benefit rates, increase taxation, bring back the 8 hour working day and the 40 hour working week, allow more centralised wage bargaining, have a commitment for the public service to employ people with disabilities and young people…..

    • Vicky32 8.3

      The Left has to commit to the total rolling back of 30 years of neo liberal nastiness, and create a secure state for the citizens, and a conducive environment for productive enterprise to flourish.


  8. The thing is why are they in such a hurry to sell now. Even John Key knows that the financial system is collapsing at an alarming rate so selling will just net us soon to be worthless billions of fiat currency on our accounts. Oh wait, he’s not here to help us but to help his bankster mates dump their shite paper in exchange for our real world assets!

    • Uturn 10.1

      😆 Always an interesting read, that blogger’s work. In this one, the writer dances along the line of not offering opinion on guilt or innocence, but instead building a case of motive that could reasonably support an act of murder.

      Haven’t paid much attention to the case myself, but for what I hear in passing in soundbites from the radio etc. Had to laugh at one attempt to play up the gun issue; a mother saying her boy held guns from a young age. I bet he held a spade from a young age too, but holding a gun or a spade, or even just your own hands, doesn’t make you more likely to kill. It seems inconceivable that a family brought so close together by conflict would not know what really happened.

      • Vicky32 10.1.1

        Haven’t paid much attention to the case myself, but for what I hear in passing in soundbites from the radio etc.

        I don’t get why the media are so completely obsessed with this case! I have not seen such blanket coverage of a murder since the (alleged) murder of the ‘Blenheim friends’ in 1998… which baffled me just as much.
        I always believed that no one could be charged with murder (much less convicted!) in the absence of a body, but it seems I was wrong. Then, we see that as her body has just been found, the poliss are going to investigate the murder of Jayne Furlong, and I ask myself, if the bodies of the ‘Blenheim friends’ have yet to be found, yet their ‘killer’ has been banged up for a decade, why wasn’t Jayne Furlong’s murder investigated?
        Is it a class thing?

        • millsy

          Feel for the family of Scott Guy, having to have their personal business dragged through the media.

          I think we need to perhaps have another look at letting cameras in the courtroom…

          • Vicky32

            I think we need to perhaps have another look at letting cameras in the courtroom…


  9. Carol 11

    More cronyism from Joyce? This is what Phil Twyford was alleging in his interview with Kathryn Ryan on RNZ this morning (audio file not yet online)

    Article on it here:

    Auckland’s $98 million public transport ticketing project is in deep trouble, with an admission that a technology supplier to the Super City’s largest bus fleet expects to miss a crucial deadline.

    Concern about delays by Snapper Services, supplier of cards and machine readers to its sister company NZ Bus, in making the technology compliant with the Hop ticketing project on about 650 buses has exploded into a strong ultimatum from Auckland Transport lawyers.
    Labour’s transport spokesman, Phil Twyford, blames the “shambles” – disclosed by a letter sent to Snapper by Auckland Transport’s lawyers – on Government interference that let the company work on the scheme despite failing to win the main contract.

    “It was the National Government that insisted Snapper be allowed to roll out their card in Auckland well before the implementation of the integrated system,” he said yesterday.

    Twyford claimed he has heard via reliable word-of-mouth reports that it was Joyce who intervened to get Snapper the contract it now can’t fulfill because of problems with accessing the appropriate integrating technology.

    Twyford said he is submitting a raft of official information requests today, to get some documentation on this.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      There’s a number of points wrong with the roll-out of the money cards:
      1.) Government interference in the contracting out causing this particular ballsup
      2.) Failure by the government to set interoperable standards
      3.) Failure by the government to do it itself

      This is a money transfer system that really needs to be government owned. The same can be said of EFT-POS.

  10. Bored 12

    Some fekker from the spin doctoring / “communications” game has been revving up the NACTs recently, the language has changed. The aim now is to blame the victim excessively, to emphasize help yourself or fekk off. NACT were never brave enough to risk the “nice guys John” image in the polls until recently. Now the veneer is gone their attitude has gone with it.

    So from now on its gloves off: you Mr Citizen had better look out for yourself because as far as NACT are concerned you are a target, an unemployed number to be targeted down, an ACC claimant to be targeted off, a public servant to be incented to break regulations to meet a number.. Be responsible and starve responsibly! And remember even if you are an “aspirational” NACT voter you too can fekk off.

  11. Uturn 13

    Today I am reminded of a saying I heard from the character of a forty-four year old surfing instructor in a silly Hollywood movie:

    When life gives you lemons, just say “Fuck the lemons,” and bail.

    Look out world… here I bail!

    • Vicky32 13.1

      just say “Fuck the lemons,” and bail.

      Great antidote to that twee saying…

  12. muzza 14

    Wheeler was employed by the World Bank from 1997 to 2010, his most recent roles included managing director operations from 2006-2010, and vice-president and treasurer from 2001 to 2006.

    “He was previously at the New Zealand Treasury as deputy secretary and treasurer of the Debt Management Office”

    –So this guy understands perfectly about how NZ in being ripped off by not issuing its own currency for its own needs. Wheeler worked for the OoDM, so he knows the rip off intimately.
    The fact he worked at the WB, serves only to emphasise the depth of what he really knows!

  13. Listening to Parliament live on the Radio.

    The Bill has been passed….Done……

    Fuck it.

  14. Shame on Peter Dunne.

  15. muzza 17

    “Directors at state-owned Mighty River Power will get twice their current rates and collect up to $2400 a day when the business is privatised, according to Treasury papers”

    “Treasury officials said the directors wanted the Government to bump up fees so they were not seen doing it themselves after the sale. Mighty River will be the first of four state-owned power firms to be part privatised”

  16. freedom 18

    delete does not seem to be working

  17. ianmac 19

    Campbell Live had a good interview with John Key over asset sale Act. Campbell held Key to account and Key got a bit sulky. Key accused Campbell of showing his Financial ignorance. Campbell challenged him to explain why. That was over selling Contact for $7billion but $20 billion has been paid out in dividends.
    Then there was Campbell asking 3 times to explain how the shares sold to NZers would stay in NZ. Key did not look happy to be challenged.
    Good one John Campbell!
    Not online yet.

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