Open Mike 27/07/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 27th, 2018 - 135 comments
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135 comments on “Open Mike 27/07/2018”

  1. Marcus Morris 1

    Some months ago I posted a comment re a Herald article written by Brian Gaynor and his appraisal of the awful legacy that Robert Muldoon’s superannuation policy has left the country. It was a damning report and I was surprised that it did not receive a flood of outraged indignation at the time.

    Tuesday’s Herald featured a letter in which the writer recalled and highlighted the points raised by Brian Gaynor and lamented the long term damage that “National Super” has done to the country.

    Thursday’s Herald published a letter rebutting the earlier epistle and describing Brian Gaynor’s findings as “a load of rubbish”. Unfortunately this letter merely displayed an abysmal ignorance of the whole issue. The writer had conflated the Cullen fund with Muldoon’s scheme, which, of course, was never a fund.

    The issue for me is that there will a be a significant proportion of our population that will really have little or no idea of the politics behind the establishment of National Super. This will suit the National Party very well as they will have no wish to revisit the disaster their predecessors signed up to.

    The link to Brian Gaynor’s article is:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11940232

    Against this backdrop there was an article in Thursday’s Herald under the heading “Shortfall grows for NZ pensioners “. I read it on line and I have a hard copy of the article in front of me as I write. I was going to copy the link here but to my astonishment the article has been “pulled” from the site. I have to say I thought some of the data was suspect. Perhaps Friday’s edition will have an explanation.

    I nearly choked earlier today (Thursday) when an Opposition spokesman for the building industry berated the government for not blacklisting sooner, building material similar to that blamed for the Grenfell Tower disaster. This from the representative of the government which weakened the building codes in the early nineties which in turn lead directly to the catastrophic leaky buildings syndrome. Over the years the National Government has been directly responsible for so much of what is troubling the country on both the economic and social front that it should never be entrusted with the reigns of power again.

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.1

      “against this backdrop there was an article in Thursday’s Herald under the heading “Shortfall grows for NZ pensioners “. I read it on line and I have a hard copy of the article in front of me as I write. I was going to copy the link here but to my astonishment the article has been “pulled” from the site. ”

      Don’t you hate it when that happens?

      Here….the research was widely reported…

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018655281/gap-between-pension-and-cost-of-living-widens-research

      http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=06AADB95-1221-4755-BE16-499F76E21C41

      https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/fms/Colleges/College%20of%20Business/School%20of%20Economics%20&%20Finance/FinEd/documents/209438%20Report%20Final%202017.pdf

    • DH 1.2

      Gaynor might have been a bit optimistic there Marcus, chances are any Super scheme wouldn’t have survived the Roger Douglas years

      Remember the sharemarket boom & bust of the ’80s? That was down to Douglas and his cronies, They removed the strict covenants preventing state-owned banks from risky lending and instructed the banks to go forth and multiply. The boom was funded largely by state-owned banks and the inevitable crash wiped them out. If we had a super scheme at the time I expect it would have suffered the same fate.

      • Marcus Morris 1.2.1

        You could be right – one can only speculate – one can only look at Michael Cullen’s Super fund and the huge success that has been, to suspect that the Labour scheme (1974 version) would have been highly successful. We will never know. What we do know is that Muldoon’s sensational bribe has become a huge financial burden to the country and the younger generation in particular.

        • DH 1.2.1.1

          I’ve always found Gaynor to be one of the more rational and sensible commenters and I tend to agree with you but there is the caveat that politicians of all stripes have proven immensely competent at totally fucking up everything that works so I do have my doubts it would have turned out as Gaynor predicted it might have.

        • mikesh 1.2.1.2

          The problem was not “Muldoon’s sensational bribe”, but the growth in the baby boom population, coupled with a decline in birthrates some twenty or so years later, after WWII. For each generation to provide, through their taxes, support for the previous generation, is not an unreasonable arrangement. Having said that,however, it must be admitted that National Super may require some form of means testing at a later date. (The surcharge introduced in the eighties, and subsequently repealed, probably “jumped the gun”.)

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.3

          one can only look at Michael Cullen’s Super fund and the huge success that has been

          It’s been a huge success within the failed and unsustainable capitalist paradigm.

          Think about that for a second or three.

      • Anne 1.2.2

        … chances are any Super scheme wouldn’t have survived the Roger Douglas years

        Got news for you DH. Roger Douglas was one of the principle authors of the original Super Scheme which passed into law in 1974 [I think]. When The ACT Party was set up by Douglas and Quigley they proposed an almost identical scheme in their 1996 election manifesto.

        Douglas has always been a proponent of compulsory super schemes. Earlier last year he was reported to have said he hoped Labour wins the election.

        • DH 1.2.2.1

          Douglas was also spectacularly good at blowing other people’s money.

          Say what you will about Muldoon, at least he left us with something to sell.

          • Anne 1.2.2.1.1

            …Muldoon, at least he left us with something to sell.

            He also left us with mind blowing debts which came within a whisker of bankrupting the country and created the pathway for Rogernomics and Ruthenasia.

            Btw, I’m not defending Roger Douglas. Just pointing out a misapprehension on your part – nothing more.

            • DH 1.2.2.1.1.1

              That’s bollocks Anne, NZ had a healthy balance sheet we weren’t even close to being bankrupt.

              If memory serves me correctly Langes mob left us with a much greater debt than Muldoons lot… and a shitload less assets

              • Anne

                What’s the matter with you?

                Muldoon and co. borrowed massive amounts of money (well, they were massive for those days) to pay for the “Think Big” schemes. The combination of that and other related matters such as the huge run on the NZ dollar caused the banks to have to foreclose and we came close to a financial and constitutional crisis.

                Ok, that’s not all the nuts and bolts of the case, but its enough to give a general picture of what happened.

                • DH

                  That’s more about the old adage of the victors writing the history books Anne.

                  There can’t have been a ‘huge run on the NZ dollar’. We had a fixed currency, it wasn’t traded.

                  • Anne

                    Is this all because I dared to politely challenge your assertion that:

                    …any Super scheme wouldn’t have survived the Roger Douglas years.

                    when he was the author of the scheme in the first place. 🙂

                    • DH

                      No, we’re just wandering off as often happens. In my initial post I only meant that if we’d had a super fund back then it likely would have gorged on the sharemarket feeding frenzy of the ’80s and blown all its members’ dosh.

                      As for the Muldoon bit, talk about the so-called crisis does get irritating. That was nothing more than a power play between the old guard and the new, there was no crisis.

                    • Marcus Morris

                      Hi Anne
                      As I have mentioned already, the likes of Hugh Templeton, a key man in Muldoon’s cabinet, exposed Muldoon’s bribe for what it was in his book “All Honourable Men” but DH and co could never accept that very unpalatable truth.

                      I am no apologist for Douglas but I am prepared to listen to the experts who did assess that the country was in dire straits economically in 1984. Perhaps DH is privy to information that others did not have at the time.

                    • DH

                      I can remember much of the so-called crisis Marcus and what it was about and what it was over.

                      My recollection is the currency crisis came about because someone blabbed that Douglas would devalue the dollar if Labour was elected. Look it up, it was one of the worst kept secrets.

                      The result of that indiscretion was the country ran short of foreign exchange running up to the election. Domestic speculators were buying as much forex as they could and exporters were holding off bringing forex in until after the election. Foreign reserves that should have been coming available to repay overseas debt were not appearing because profiteers were hanging onto it.

                      Douglas got the reins after a tussle with Muldoon. He quickly devalued the dollar by 20% and the forex magically appeared to make the overseas debt payments which were due. And the profiteers who held the country to ransom made a tidy 20% profit.

                      Hardly a crisis.

                    • Anne

                      Hi Marcus Morris,
                      Yes the economy was in dire straits and I concede there was a number of causes, but the huge borrowing by Muldoon for the Think Big projects was one of those causes. I’m far from an expert and don’t fully understand the intricacies of it all, but I clearly remember the crisis and the subsequent fallout.

                      Both attracted a great deal of international attention iirc.

                      Yes, Hugh Templeton was one of the superior ministers of the day. Brain Talboys, Don McKinnon and his half brother Jim McClay were in the same category – conservative politicians maybe, but principled and trustworthy.

            • McFlock 1.2.2.1.1.2

              From what I recall the exchange rate crisis was the result of Douglas saying well before the election that the dollar was overvalued and he would float it. So lots of corporations sold their NZ dollars for six months or so, which even further lowered the market value of NZD. So when Lab4 floated it, the dollar tanked and we were in the shit (good excuse for the subsequent “reforms” though).

              Whether Bob Jones sold lots of NZD before forming the New Zealand party to nobble nat support, I don’t know. He did seem to be a happy loser though.

              Key was a forex trader around that time, too. If Douglas hadn’t promised to float the dollar, Key might not have made his millions and might never have been PM. Funny old thing, life.

              • DH

                We’re pretty close in recollections there McFlock but my memory is Douglas also devalued the $NZ by 20% before floating it. That was the tussle right after the election – Muldoon refused to devalue and wouldn’t give up control over that. They finally managed to push him out, Douglas stepped in and devalued. Anyone holding forex at the time made an overnight profit of 20%.

                It does get vaguer over time but I still have vivid memories of the devaluation… or I’m going senile (maybe).

    • SaveNZ 1.3

      Greypower also warned in 2011 that there was going to be major shortfalls due to new government immigration policy that deliberately was creating shortfalls…

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1110/S00572/grey-power-warns-of-impact-of-high-immigration-rates.htm

    • Pete 1.4

      Gaynor’s article is an update on one he wrote in 2007. I still have the Herald cut-out in the files.

      I was in a superannuation scheme very similar to the one Muldoon scrapped. I continued with it until retirement. I’ve read some of the stories this week which came out with the Massey University report. Had the scrapped system continued, and not been mangled by Douglas or anyone else, a lot more people would have been a lot better off. My situation shows by how much.

      Gaynor’s contention of funds being available for infrastructural development with the original scheme lasting might be debated, but it is interesting to contemplate how things might have been different. Better experience, better life, more possibilities, more opportunities, more optimism.

      Analogy: We, as individuals and as a country, could maybe have had at minimum, Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin, but Muldoon consigned us to AMI Stadium Christchurch.

      • Marcus Morris 1.4.1

        So was I. Foolishly, as did many of my colleagues, I withdrew from it. As I have said elsewhere, so many others took the same line that that wonderful scheme eventually collapsed because it became unsustainable.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      This one?
      Shortfall grows for NZ pensioners

      Seems that it got a name change on the Herald: Retirees spending more than what they get from NZ Super: research

      Over the years the National Government has been directly responsible for so much of what is troubling the country on both the economic and social front that it should never be entrusted with the reigns of power again.

      True but the MSM carefully refrains from telling people that.

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    And today’s Good News story…

    Tauranga capitalists jubilant at having secured the exclusive rights to over 30 strains of medical cannabis and intends multi billion dollar operation.

    http://www2.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12095931

    Because, of course, profiting from the misery of others is ok.

    Being self sufficient and willingly sharing is not ok.

    • marty mars 2.1

      I agree Rosemary – just more commodification of everything including health.

    • Cinny 2.2

      Far out, so this week national comes out supporting medical weed, nek minute in simon bridges electorate……. lolz go figure $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1

        Cinny. What a dreadful, deeply cynical thing to say! As if! Complete coincidence!

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        It’s pretty much what I was expecting.

        And, yes, I believe that life should not be patentable nor copyrightable.

      • veutoviper 2.2.3

        AND absolutely nothing to do with the National Party Annual General Meeting which takes place this weekend – at Sky City, where else is there?

        https://www.national.org.nz/notice_of_2018_annual_general_meeting

        Bridges needs something – anything – to beg them to let him remain leader.

        Slight aside, did anyone watch Paula Bennett trying to outsmart Winston Peters in Question Time yesterday? It was hilarious; Peters was having a ball!

        https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=201637

        PS – I did like Bennett’s dress, though you rarely see her in the same thing twice. Perhaps she hires her wardrobe.

        • Cinny 2.2.3.1

          Winny has been ace in parliament this week, thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂

          • veutoviper 2.2.3.1.1

            So have I – and so has he!

            I actually think he is looking much better than he did a few months ago. Rumour has it that he has given up smoking and I know as someone who did so a couple of years ago after smoking for years (including a few times with the man himself, Lol) it takes a while to get over it and you feel lousy and look it for a few months.

            • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.3.1.1.1

              “… it takes a while to get over it and you feel lousy and look it for a few months.”

              Then your appetite picks up and food tastes so goood and the extra kilos redistribute to fill out the wrinkles.

              Knocks years off your face. What you save on tobacco products you can spent on larger sized clothing.

              Result.

              PS…if he has given up the evil habit, good on him. I’ll allow him a few more grumpy episodes.

            • North 2.2.3.1.1.2

              Veutoviper: love your smoking with Winny story.

              Picture this: 60th wedding anniversay of two dear people returning to their honeymoon spot; spontaneously waltzed around the Duke of Marlborough restaurant they did. Bluetooth hidden amongst the table debris. Dennis Marsh; “Happy Anniversary”, Beautiful !

              Anyway, as if that wasn’t enough Winny was in the house ! Russell Harbour and Bay views from his room. Few words with him on a sunny waterfront in the morning. He’s saying this and that about world politics. And having a smoke. Was a part of the enjoyment of that great weekend.

              My human likes Winny, wherever my politics are. I’m also keen on the tongue when it comes to facile media. Will never forget that all-time winner – BOO !

              Thanks for your comment Veutoviper. It made vivid lovely memories.

        • cleangreen 2.2.3.2

          veutoviper
          Yes Paula Bennett got crushed by Winston it was such a treat to see her squring in her seat like a cornered sparrow.

          More please Winston!!!!!!! – Brilliant stuff.

  3. Wayne 3

    One of the great values of our current super system is its simplicity. Everyone gets it, and at a reasonably decent rate. No means or assets testing. A charge on general taxation. The overall admin costs are low.

    All these reasons are why subsequent governments, both Labour and National, have not seriously messed with it.

    All super systems have a cost on the economy, whether savings or tax based. One is not obviously better than the other. A fund based approach, such as Australia’s, takes money out of circulation to put into savings. In any event it still has to be supplemented by a means and assets tested tax funded pension, which goes to a good half of all Australian retirees.

    It is not obvious that the Aussie approach works better than the NZ approach. Economic growth is not related to the fund but by external economic issues. And for much of the Key/English government the NZ economy grew faster than the Australian. which why immigration to Australia dropped so much. Reversed of course under the coalition.

    Cullen’s Kiwisaver was a good innovation. It enables many who would not otherwise save to have a modest nest egg to supplement the super. For a couple on average wages, about $300,000 by the time they retire. That should generate an additional $15,000 income.

    • solkta 3.1

      The reason it hasn’t been changed is that there are lots of wealthy old wankers like yourself who while they don’t need it have this huge sense of entitlement. Muldoon promised them, so they should have it. This even though they have pocketed all the tax cuts through the years.

      Having a surtax doesn’t make the system any more complicated, just a different tax code for old age beneficiaries.

    • Marcus Morris 3.2

      Subsequent governments have not seriously messed with it because they are very aware of the political costs of doing so – you may be too young to recall why in fact Grey Power came not being – that organisation is quite open about its claim that it was formed to fight what it saw as the “iniquitous” surcharge the Labour government introduced (and it was very successful).

      Both Kiwisaver and the superfund are Labours (Michael Cullen’s) innovations. He spent much of his time in parliament trying to redress the harm that National Super had and was causing.

      Labour did not make Kiwisaver compulsory because the vision of the “Dancing Cossacks” was still fresh in its memory. That is also the reason that it was left to private companies to manage the funds. The party would have done this to avoid Muldoon’s vicious description “Communism by stealth”.
      Have you taken the trouble to read Brian Gaynor’s article and do you know how much the government needs to borrow each year to sustain the payments to an ever growing number of superannuants. Muldoon, back in 1975, claimed that his scheme could be sustained out of the general fund even though the party hierarchy new at the time that this was not so. If you like I will post you Cabinet Minister Hugh Templeton’s actual comment on the subject. In fact he referred to it as Muldoon’s “fiscal lark” that was to turn into an economic “albatross”.

      As a final comment – another consequence of Muldoon’s scheme was that it lead to the demise of the government’s own brilliant public service scheme (Labour wanted to provide this for everyone) because public servants withdrew from that plan in droves foolishly believing Muldoon’s hype. .

      • dV 3.2.1

        One of the ‘solutions’ is in tax rates. (not a surcharge)
        The tax rate on higher incomes needs to be raised. This would capture some of the super payments for the wealthy pensioners.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Yep. A high tax rate on high incomes. Anything over the PMs salary should be taxed at 66% or higher.

      • mikesh 3.2.2

        The scheme was affordable in Muldoon’s time, and for many years since. If it becomes unaffordable in the future adjustments will still be possible.

      • Wayne 3.2.3

        NZ govt accounts are in surplus and have been so for the last 20 years (except for the GFC and the earthquakes) so the govt does not borrow to pay the super.
        The cost, as a percentage of GDP, is less than anticipated a few years ago due to increased population growth (immigration, returning NZers, more births).

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.4

        Have you taken the trouble to read Brian Gaynor’s article and do you know how much the government needs to borrow each year to sustain the payments to an ever growing number of superannuants.

        A government never needs to borrow as it can simply create the money needed but it does need to ensure that a countries productivity covers the costs of what the country does. All our governments have actually failed there except possibly the first Labour government which actually did the right thing and created the money that it was spending.

      • Anne 3.2.5

        another consequence of Muldoon’s scheme was that it lead to the demise of the government’s own brilliant public service scheme (Labour wanted to provide this for everyone) because public servants withdrew from that plan in droves foolishly believing Muldoon’s hype.

        I clearly remember it. The management of the P.S agency I worked for were among the foolish. Anyone who dared to counter their view and suggest it couldn’t be sustained for future generations were suitably side-lined for daring to question their superiority and judgement. And if you were a woman then the side-lining was even harsher.

    • AB 3.3

      Lol. $300k is a modest nest-egg in Wayne’s world. For many it is untold riches. And somehow in a world of low interest rates it generates $15k in income.
      And with house prices deliberately inflated to reward the investor classes, people won’t have the $300k anyway because they’ve raided their KiwiSaver to buy a crappy overpriced house in some soul-less suburb.

      • Wayne 3.3.1

        NZ govt accounts are in surplus and have been so for the last 20 years (except for the GFC and the earthquakes) so the govt does not borrow to pay the super.
        The cost, as a percentage of GDP, is less than anticipated a few years ago due to increased population growth (immigration, returning NZers, more births).

      • Wayne 3.3.2

        On average incomes, KiwiSaver generates $6,000 per year for a couple. Over 40 years the amount saved will be way more than $300,000. So that amount (or more) will be the norm for most people.
        A single person on the minimum wage will be saving $2,400 per year from 2020 onward. Over 40 years that will become a significant amount.

        • AB 3.3.2.1

          You are assuming they are on average incomes – the median is lower than the average (due to income growth at the top end) so you are talking about less than 50% of people.
          You are assuming they are on average incomes for 40 years , i.e. in continuous employment, without being unemployed, outsourced, globalised, casualised, layed-off in their 50’s etc.
          You are forgetting the impact of student debt.
          You are assuming (as I said before) that they will not raid their Kiwisaver to get a deposit on some of the world’s shittiest most over-valued houses.

          You have no idea – please take your unearned privilege elsewhere.

          • Wayne 3.3.2.1.1

            A large number of my relatives work in minimum wage jobs. I do not come from a background of privilege, so don’t go making assumptions.

            • Tricledrown 3.3.2.1.1.1

              That would explain Nationals cheapskate mentality.

            • McFlock 3.3.2.1.1.2

              You still used “couple on average wages” and applied it to “most people”.

              Whereas your “modest nest egg” is more than “most people” will see.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.4

      “One of the great values of our current super system is its simplicity. Everyone gets it, and at a reasonably decent rate. No means or assets testing. A charge on general taxation. The overall admin costs are low. ”

      What a pity our governments don’t apply the same logic to other beneficiaries, ACC recipients etc. Instead they get a costly, punitive and tortuous maze designed to minimise entitlements (regardless of total cost to society) at every step.

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.5

      Wayne: One of the great values of our current super system is its simplicity. Everyone gets it, and at a reasonably decent rate. No means or assets testing. A charge on general taxation. The overall admin costs are low.

      And that’s the way it should be for all benefits, including unemployment, disability benefits etc. No means testing; no punitive sanctions – all that costs in administration and dis entitles many who need it, and who would benefit from it by leading productive lives.

    • The Chairman 3.6

      “Cullen’s Kiwisaver was a good innovation.”

      Providers love it.

      It provides them with a free ongoing revenue stream to clip and play the market with.

      Wish I could come up with an innovative way to encourage people to willingly give me their money to go play at the casino, win or lose I’d only charge them a modest fee – sarc.

      And for those looking for less risk, again, for a modest fee, I could arrange to put their money into a conservative savings account. Lol.

    • The Chairman 3.7

      “Cullen’s Kiwisaver was a good innovation.”

      Interesting you say that Wayne as it’s said to be racist and increases inequality by benefiting the wealthy.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/103911229/kiwisaver-is-an-accidentally-racist-savings-scheme

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10489292

      Therefore, considering these negative outcomes, do you still stand behind your initial assertion?

  4. Pete 5

    I saw a smiling photo of Simon Bridges in the Herald and easily spotted, clearly standing out, first line under a block ad …. “More important is how clumsy, incompetent yet arrogant …” Oops but the next words weren’t “Simon Bridges” or “the National Party” but instead “the coalition has proven to be.”

    Part of the ad, (ad meaning Hooton’s for Bridges and National, not the Skinny Broadband one) has “even on medicinal cannabis, National has won unexpected plaudits for working seriously with experts in the US and New Zealand on a sound regulatory proposal, in contrast to the shallow sloganeering of the Government.”

    So they didn’t do anything when they could for nine years and now we have “seriously”, “sound regulatory proposal”, and “in contrast to the shallow sloganeering”?

    But wait, there’s more shallow! “Bridges … solid, serious performance … to differentiate himself from a Government which he believes has nothing to offer except shallow celebrity.”

    The panic has really set in about Bridges. The expected shallow plaudits from the shallow would-be celebrity columnist show how deep the panic is.

    • tc 5.1

      Bridges is only a stopgap measure whilst they find another con artist like Key to fool kiwis yet again about a brighter future or whatever their BS slogan will be.

      Hooten shows what an owned shill he is yet again.

      Bridges, Collins etc are all potential electoral poison as leaders. They’ll let it run awhile so it dosen’t look too panicky then maybe pump for Mitchell as he’s a DP player. They like DP players.

      If that doesn’t work don’t be surprised if the likes of Bidois etc are already being groomed for the lead puppet role along with others not associated with 3 terms of gutting NZ.

  5. Dennis Frank 6

    I just listened to Marama Davidson defending the GP decision announced yesterday: “The Green Party says it is having to swallow a dead rat by voting for the waka-jumping legislation.”

    She did okay, but both of them failed to exploit the opportunity to explore the deeper principles of democracy involved. It was all about superficial perceptions of democracy. Playing to the market, as it were, the race to the bottom implicit. Frame the topic in the simplest possible terms because the audience are morons.

    And Eugenie Sage fronting the media yesterday did okay but I thought using the dead rat metaphor was unhelpful. Better to be proactive: the issue will only progress on the basis of consensus being forged between Labour & NZF. That’s the key point. She didn’t point that out. Still, a ratburger wouldn’t go far around eight caucus members, a bite each and the vegans would be throwing up, ratatouille would be more palatable. I waited for the media to explore these options but they failed.

    • marty mars 6.1

      Yep I thought she did quite well. I tend to be aligned with some ex members in their general green view however I also don’t think it is the iceberg sinking the titanic that they seem to. That is more likely going to be an environmental backtrack – there will be no coming back from that.

      The caucus halve assessed and decided. End of for me.

      • Hum 6.1.1

        Sellouts, completely indefensible. Davidson was absolutely awful on RNZ this morning. In one breath she said the Bill was a threat to democracy and then in the next she said it wasn’t.

        • marty mars 6.1.1.1

          So they should all resign?

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1

            They should stand up for their principles. Why do they need to support this legislations anyway? It isn’t part of their deal with Labour. It isn’t even a confidence or supply issue.

            • Dennis Frank 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, your question is pertinent & her answer to Espiner didn’t really satisfy me either. I agree that the caucus decision conforms with the relevant GP Charter principle, but it could’ve been better to explain the downside of opposing the government. I can see why she didn’t want to go there because hypotheticals are always a can of worms to the media. Media will always take out one worm, comment on it & ask a question on it, then another worm, same, then another…

            • marty mars 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Rubbish gossie you’d love them to resign cos you just want them to fall and have no regard for the greens or the left. Their principles are fine – this is politics not wear a cowboy hat day at daycare.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          It’s only the first reading which gets it to select committee stage. At select committee they’ll either work to have it changed for the better or to have it dropped. Then it goes to the second reading where they can support it or not as the case may be and then the third where they can still drop support for it.

          Supporting it at first reading is nothing – it’s what they do afterwards.

          I tend to be in favour of the bill as long as it’s got good processes in it to prevent abuse of people.

          • Hum 6.1.1.2.1

            No its not, it had its first reading back in January.

            How can you be in favour of this Bill? A democratically elected electorate MP can be ousted from Parliament by the party. Appalling. If this was a Nats Bill you’d all be spitting tacks…

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1.1

              No its not, it had its first reading back in January.

              😳

              A democratically elected electorate MP can be ousted from Parliament by the party.

              No they can’t and this bill doesn’t change that. There is almost no way to remove an electorate MP from office.

              BTW, I don’t think electoral voting is democratic as it works on a plurality rather than a majority.

              If this was a Nats Bill you’d all be spitting tacks…

              No I wouldn’t. I would be acting the same way as I am now – wanting the necessary processes in place to prevent abuse.

    • SaveNZ 6.2

      Personally think the waka-jumping legislation is justified because of MP’s who got into parliament on party votes and then turned around and supported rival parties for personal gain. So I think in general, it is a win for voters.

      • Dennis Frank 6.2.1

        Yeah, that’s always been my take on where Winston is coming from. Voters don’t like having their reps betray them. A lot of people see representative democracy as an electoral contract. Therefore they want any delinquent breach of contract to be punished. I wish Winston would tell the media this. He’s been inadequate. He should explain his motivation.

      • Stuart Munro 6.2.2

        Yes. People forget how scrupulous the Greens were in leaving the Alliance, not to cheat people of their franchise by misleading them with respect to their intentions. This was not true of other waka jumpers, of whom the worst were Douglas and Prebble, but the NZF ones were no better. These guys cheated voters and deserve the worst punishment imaginable.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.1

          Yes. People forget how scrupulous the Greens were in leaving the Alliance, not to cheat people of their franchise by misleading them with respect to their intentions.

          And because the Greens were part of an alliance but still a separate party it could be said that they a) weren’t actually leaving the party and b) had won those seats as their fair share of the Alliance Party vote.

          I’ve pushed for policy to recognise that reality in such cases.

    • Gosman 6.3

      She did appallingly. She in one breath stated this piece of legislation was a danger to democracy and in the next she stated that it was okay to support it (Not just not vote for it) because of a compromise. Nice to see The Greens believe Democracy can be compromised.

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.1

        I can see how you can interpret her ambivalence like that but democracy actually is not being compromised by the caucus decision: it is being strengthened. Representative democracy is based on reps acting in accord with their mandate – which is what the waka-jumping legislation seems intended to enforce.

        I agree she could have explained it better. This government succeeds or fails on the basis of a three-party consensus. The Greens may eventually have to assert their independence from the coalition, but when they do so it will have to be on a rock-solid basis. She should have pointed out where the legislation goes from here in its parliamentary process. I’m waiting for the minister responsible to tell us if further amendments are in the pipeline or if it will be enacted in current form.

        • Gosman 6.3.1.1

          No, she stated this legislation was a danger to democracy (although she did attempt to back track on this slightly later). She quite obviously thinks that this legislation is a terrible piece of legislation and shouldn’t be supported but for the sake of some gains in other areas she is willing to compromise Green party (and her) principles.

          • marty mars 6.3.1.1.1

            Lol frothing suits you. Gossies thinking explained – ‘The horror!!! I have found a wedge. I know i’ll try to destabilise as much as possible so that my ideal of greens out of parliament can be achieved. Hmm the poor fools won’t see it coming because ill pretend to really care.’

          • Dennis Frank 6.3.1.1.2

            Okay, I agree that seems to be where she personally is coming from. It’s real hard for the leftist Green politicians to represent the entire party: they alway seem afflicted by their leftist sectarian mind-set. James seems able to transcend that handicap and articulate our common interests but time will tell how many of the others can.

            • Gosman 6.3.1.1.2.1

              BTW she didn’t even claim that The Greens will support this as far as a second reading and will look to get changes made to protect at least some semblance of democratic oversight (e.g. removing the power of the Party leader to make the decision and leave in the hands of the caucus). She basically stated that The Greens will support this legislation come what may. There is no conditional support raised.

              • Dennis Frank

                Exactly. I did encourage them to negotiate a suitable synthesis in the select committee. Sometimes I wonder if these people have become so captive to either group-think or careerism that they require someone to teach them consensus politics. They are supposed to be role-modelling that for the slow learners in the other parties. Can’t display mastery if you are too lazy to attempt a demonstration!

      • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2

        The Greens believe in democracy and realise that compromise is often the only way forward.

    • Bearded Git 6.4

      Agree Dennis…I thought “dead rat” was not the way to play this.

      Greens would have been better to say they had modified there position because they could see there is some merit in the Waka Jumping bill.

      I have argued long and hard on TS that the Greens should have supported it all along because if an MP wants to move away from a party then if he/she is an electorate MP then there should be a by-election and if the MP was elected on the list then this was through the party so they should resign and the next person on the list should become the MP.

      What is wrong with this? It actually protects democracy from rogue MP’s.

      • SaveNZ 6.4.1

        @Bearded Git – Your thoughts make complete sense!

      • dV 6.4.2

        BG how right you are.

      • veutoviper 6.4.3

        Well said, BG. My thinking all along has been similar to yours.

        However, regardless of the rights or wrongs, I was surprised (and still am) that it was Marama Davidson actually being the one to front on this issue – and not James Shaw. in fact anyone but Marama.

        I would have thought it would have been better to keep Marama clear of this particular issue in view of her slightly unique position in being a Co-leader but not being a Minister etc. Perhaps I am missing something.

        Perhaps someone closer to the Greens here could enlighten me.

        Note: Above is genuine interest on my part – not criticism.

        • Dennis Frank 6.4.3.1

          Can’t throw much light on it, but I did wonder about that choice as you did. My guess is that she was initially more opposed to the legislation than James, so once she factored in the strategic dimension of the issue she felt she could frame it better for those who shared her view of it.

          In terms of political psychology, the team-player and solidarity factors are vital in parliamentary governance. She’s making the transition from activist protestor to parliamentary leader. I give her credit for demonstrating progress.

          • Gosman 6.4.3.1.1

            She failed miserably then wouldn’t you agree?

            • Dennis Frank 6.4.3.1.1.1

              On your terms, yes. On my terms, partially. On her terms, no. It’s all relative to the political groups she’s playing to. NZF will break out the champagne.

              • Gosman

                How can it be regarded a success when she basically stated it was terrible legislation that she personally didn’t support and goes against her principles but as price of having a degree of influence they will support it?

                • McFlock

                  What do you think the objectives are, that we might judge “success” or “failed miserably”?

                • Dennis Frank

                  Easy. More than half the country will be filled with admiration for her strong stand in support of our government. The ones that voted for it.

      • Dennis Frank 6.4.4

        Guess what! Both of the panellists with Jim Mora this afternoon spoke in support of the Waka-jumping legislation!!

        • veutoviper 6.4.4.1

          Andrew Clay and Jennie Moreton

          http://www.celebrityspeakers.co.nz/andrew-clay/

          Jennie Moreton – financial advisor with Craigs Investment Partners in Christchurch.

          • Dennis Frank 6.4.4.1.1

            A couple of folks with a business background. Could be an indication that the Nats have been misreading their support base on the issue. Or could be time for conspiracy theory # 63, 517: NZF have taken over RNZ.

    • Herodotus 6.5

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2018/03/greens-won-t-guarantee-support-for-waka-jumping-bill.html
      10 March interview – Leadership void !!!!! How Wellington seems to corrupt good people.
      We might as well elect Cardboard Cutouts – At least once they have past their usefulness they can be recycled !!!
      And many ponder why the voting public don’t engage.

  6. esoteric pineapples 7

    An excellent interview from someone looking from the Russian perspective. Interestingly, the interviewee was friends with a Russian journalist who was murdered and says he and the family of the the murdered journalists have never thought Putin was behind it. He also argues that whereas detente was previously seen as something possible, now it is being framed as being treason

  7. Herodotus 8

    Of all the traits (good or bad) of the Greens you could always have applied that they hold true to the values
    Not Any More.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/105784602/Greens-will-vote-for-waka-jumping-at-third-reading-but-aren-t-happy-about-it
    And what did Brendan Horan do that was so wrong ?? Is there no Natural justice, expelled for ? And why did Winston personally lead the lynching mob ?

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      I did wonder why the media were failing to ask Winston at the time. Journalists nowadays can’t be bothered reporting reasons why politicians do things, eh? All they need to do is report the occurrence then add their own speculation or spin, they think, in order to develop a reputation as opinionated.

      NZF do seem vulnerable to examination on the natural justice element of their expulsions. Winston’s reluctance to use a pr specialist is a strategic flaw in their design, seems to me. As for the Greens, you’re being too simplistic. The value that is dictating the caucus decision is solidarity in common cause – probably the most fundamental leftist value in history.

    • alwyn 8.2

      I think that Browning, and I don’t mean the unlamented Stefan, got it right.
      “Just for a handful of silver he left us. Just for a riband to stick in his coat”.
      In the case of the Greens it is even more depressing.
      “Just to keep their seats in the back of the Bimmers. Just for the baubles of Office they love”.
      Rod Donald will be spinning in his grave like a Catherine wheel.

  8. marty mars 9

    A tragedy for these beautiful beasts. A tragedy for all of us.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12096075

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      This isn’t the problem.

      The problem is the poachers. For instance more than 1000 rhinos are poached every year in South Africa alone, and these are just the recorded numbers.

  9. SaveNZ 10

    Sounds like the public transport dysfunction that plague Auckland, has spread to Wellington…

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1807/S00160/gordon-campbell-on-wellingtons-bus-experiment.htm

    • mikesh 10.1

      Campbell doth protest too much methinks. The previous system was not perfect either.

      The new system has the advantage of offering “seamless” transfers, which reduce the cost of a journey where a change of buses is necessary. One journey which I make regularly used to cost me $3.32, but now costs me $1.71. Another, which used to cost me $5.36, now costs me $4.20.

      Cambell’s comment about 13 minute walks is disingenuous. A certain amount of walking has always been useful, and sometimes necessary, in any public transport system. Buses don’t operate from door to door. Metlink is to be congratulated in suggesting, I believe for the first time, such walks on their website.

      • Kay 10.1.1

        @mikesh I’m so pleased your fares are lower. They are for some, not for others. But for many of us our bus services have been decimated on what are popular and frequently used routes. You might also what to read up on all the complaints about the number of these reduced services not even showing. I had my first encounter with this yesterday evening, leaving me stranded- like many others I don’t have the luxury of alternative transport- and I missed out on an important meeting.

        And then there’s the small issue of direct routes from pretty much everywhere (except Island Bay) to the hospital being scrapped, making it extremely difficult for elderly/people with mobility problems to get to hospital appointments.

        If you’re promoting “seamless” transfers you’re clearly a representative of GWRC or Tranzit management because they’re be bugger all bus users forced to transit who agree with you.

        To quote from Gordon Cambell’s piece referenced above by SaveNZ:
        “And in that perhaps, may lie the answer. If neo-liberalism has taught us anything, it is that the quality of a public service must first be reduced so that long term economic goals can be met. Once a service has been sufficiently degraded and demand has fallen away, services and labour costs can then be cut further, and victory declared. See, we’re turning a profit now, and don’t worry because a form of service – however abysmal – still remains for the wretches who need to rely on public transport.”

        • Bearded Git 10.1.1.1

          I used Sydney’s light rail last week-fantastic. Bring it on.

          The Sydney Opal Card is also excellent-it can be used seamlessly on ferries, light rail, rail, buses. Very easy to recharge, to check balance etc etc

          • Kay 10.1.1.1.1

            Light rail for Auck and Wgtn. There’s never been any reason why it can’t be done, it could’ve been long ago, the the years spent bickering about the cost just increases the cost. And it never helps having predominantly Right-leaning/road enthusiastic councils also receptive to the influence of road lobbyists who will block every attempt to even discuss the matter.

            As for Wellington, the GWRC had no mandate to do this, they were warned and they have to take responsibility. But they won’t. You know, personal responsibility and all that…

            I was in Melbourne last month, it was absolute bliss, the CBD free tram zone and the ease of getting pretty much everywhere else via tram/light rail, commuter rail with a visitor myki. So you reckon Sydney’s catching up there?

          • SaveNZ 10.1.1.1.2

            But not plain sailing by the looks of it…

            Sydney’s light rail chaos: who is to blame for delays and cost blowout?
            https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/21/sydneys-light-rail-chaos-who-is-to-blame-for-delays-and-cost-blowout

            The London Underground managed to open in 1863 … note their PPP experiment went into administration 2007 only being used since 2000 – 2003 so they seemed to be perfectly capable of running and creating it without the public sector for more than 100 years, possibly secret to their success!

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Underground

        • mikesh 10.1.1.2

          “If you’re promoting “seamless” transfers you’re clearly a representative of GWRC or Tranzit management because they’re be bugger all bus users forced to transit who agree with you.”

          I’m not a representative of GWRC or Tranzit. I am merely a frequent user of public transport and I can only comment on my own experiences. I also frequently have to change buses at various hubs and I think the new setup is better for people in that position, though I recently missed an appointment after waiting half an hour at Kilbirnie for a No3, (they were supposed to come by at 10 minute intervals), but I put that particular instance down to teething problems.

          The overall impression I have is that the new arrangements are better than than the previous ones, but I suppose they cannot please everybody.

  10. UncookedSelachimorpha 11

    Someone please start a Give-A-Little for Mark Zuckerberg, poor bugger has just lost USD16b !

    Poor guy is probably wondering how to pay his next power bill.

  11. SaveNZ 12

    50% increase in secret reports at Christchurch Council

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018655022/50-percent-increase-in-secret-reports-at-christchurch-council

    I’d argue that councils should have to have everything completely transparent as it is ratepayer’s money they are using and the secrecy is usually because they are doing the dirty on ratepayers and their residents and don’t want anyone knowing about it!

    Also feel this is not a left vs right issue, in many ways bad decisions by councils effect the wealthier just as much, as they pay more rates and therefore crucial that they also know what councils are planning.

    Rates secrecy also impacts renters and the poor due to an increasing percentage of rents, going straight into council coffers for the rates and increases in basic costs like water…

    The Kaipara council bankruptcy and the resulting soaring 20% increase in rates, while devaluing their properties, is what happens with secrecy!

    The council auditors didn’t notice a thing about the risks and the council chief got a golden handshake! All with a a public/private partnership deal for wastewater arranged through bankers ABN Amro Bank with a lot of secrecy. Only after signing contracts for the construction of a sewage treatment plant did Kaipara District realise there was no provision in the contract to deal with treated wastewater!

    https://nzbloglex.blogspot.com/2014/05/rates-mangawai-ratepayers-v-kaipara.html

    Kaipara council chief given $240k golden handshake
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7522398/Kaipara-council-chief-given-240k-golden-handshake

    There is also the international, Detroit situation where the council assets were bought by private companies after going bankrupt and then they shut off the water to the poor.

    https://thinkprogress.org/detroit-shuts-off-water-to-thousands-of-broke-residents-a4056e424137/

    • Graeme 13.1

      When did you say you become a civilian?

      While the article says that Pine Gap is Australia’s only involvement, there’s the implication that Aussie will be in boots and all.

      But Trump acted the same way towards North Korea and then either “got a good deal” or folded. And the world at large has no idea which.

      • Exkiwiforces 13.1.1

        2nd of Jul was my last day.

        The ADF still has a very sizeable footprint in the MER outside of the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres with a number of support Aircraft and Naval assets in the Gulf region which would be very useful to the Yanks and Bibi should they open up a two range with Iran.

        Personally I’ll rather see the Australian and NZ Governments pull out of the MER so the Yanks and Bibi along with anyone else stupid/ dumb a enough to join them in starting a war with Iran. My Gut feeling is Trump has fallen for the old Camp’os famous goose step hook and sinker IRT Nth Korea, China, and Russia atm.

        Australia and NZ Governments need to start focusing on the South Pacific, South East Asia and Southern Ocean Regions. With NZ being the lead nation for the South Pacific Region and Australia the lead nation for the SEA Region with kind of Joint Operation for the Southern probably with RNZN as the lead.

  12. joe90 14

    Treason?

    BREAKING live on CNN: Michael Cohen claims Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting and APPROVED it.— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) July 27, 2018

    "Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians' offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen's account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians,"https://t.co/3IBYXnmU0L— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) July 27, 2018

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Ha! Treason has to be proven, but it looks like a smoking gun, eh? Trump may have miss-spoke when he denied knowing about the meeting.

      He could always play the Ronald Reagan card, due to his advanced age. Alzheimers isn’t easily detectable in the early onset. Worked for Reagan.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Agreed.

        Trump’s skill at dissembling is absolutely outstanding.

        You can never know what he is denying, what he has forgotten, what he is lying about, and what he is telling the truth about. That takes decades of practise and internal coaching, such that he blurs all those categories in his own mind ……

        ……except what he is really locked down:

        For example you never heard that Supreme Court nomination slip.
        You never heard the Putin meeting script leaked beforehand.
        You never, ever will get a glimpse of his modern tax records or his corporate structures.
        Other than by extraordinary manoeuvres by those locking their own interests down, you would never have had traces of cash payoff deals.
        So he really does know how to operate deep deniability within himself, in his own interests.

        Just for that bit, he really is teaching modern US politicians a lot of hard lessons in how to simultaneously protect and advance their own interests.

        • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.1

          Yeah, plays the buffoon, fools everyone. Hard to tell how much he’s controlling the game though. Could be just a highly-talented improviser.

    • weston 14.2

      CNN …LOL

  13. AsleepWhileWalking 15

    Oh, really?

    A teacher in Whanganui is desperately in need of a history lesson.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/362800/concerns-over-how-nz-history-is-taught-you-maori-are-lucky

  14. Exkiwiforces 16

    This one is for Marty Mars, IRT to the wild fires up inside the Arctic Circle that are effecting Sweden and Finland atm. Better not tell the Green Party as they may want to reform the RNZAF ACF lol.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/sweden-deploys-laserguided-bombs-to-douse-forest-fires/news-story/1cf1fe478b64ffd118aafe5d1cdd56a0

  15. corodale 18

    RT talk of US and Israel ready to strike against Iran over Uranium deal, next month, always next month 🙂
    Meanwhile pinko-Russia thank Israel for recent strikes against ISIS in Syria, showing they are in Clintons’ back-pocket following on from Uranium One.

    Didn’t TS say Bitcoin would fall? It did, before bouncing back. Watch this space, as BRICS move into crypto, Iran also, very naughty. Venezuela commodity backing currency with petrol, bloody socialists, as ZeroHedge talk of Trump taking on the FED. Aiming to remove the Chinese Jews from Basal, back to the good-old-days?

    https://www.rt.com/usa/us-israel-strike-iran-027/
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201807261066689478-russia-thanks-israel-syria-deash-strikes/
    http://thebricspost.com/brics-agree-to-joint-work-on-fourth-revolution-cryptocurrencies/#.W1tGvvZuLug
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-26/venezuelas-new-petro-backed-national-currency-start-circulating-august

    Right, back the garden,
    where it hasn’t rained for months.
    But atleast the dry northerlies keep the
    sun shining.

  16. eco maori 19

    The Nation Who would have dreamed 12 months ago that we would be talking seriously about LAW reforms and pot weed reforms And giving people who suffer from violence.s 10 days payed leave . Ka kite ano P.S paying these people that suffer from violence will not cost employers much .
    but what will happen is that more people will be held accountable for there violence I.E one will have to report the incident of violence to claim the money so this will lower our level of domestic violence

  17. eco maori 20

    The sirens wen’t off after that post in ROTORUA .
    I have been going easy on the sandflys as of late there has been heaps of links I could have used to attack them with. because I no that this attack affects other people associated with the sandflys I decided to be nice .
    After the sandflys breaching my WHANO rights to a life with being persecuted by a farcical system that projects a image of it being perfect fair and just for all . YEA RIGHT .
    There are a lot of organizations that are going to get a letter demanding all the information they have on me . I will be using the privacy act on these organizations.
    The sandflys got played by Eco Maori and I new they could not help them selves and would breach my whanos human rights once again now I have heaps of public wittiness.
    Ana to kai Ka kite ano Eco Maori has nothing to hide Muppets .I can’t wait to take my case to the Waitangi Tribunal

  18. eco maori 21

    Global warming is here and now mokopuna’s don’t be shy let everyone know you don’t want to be left a mess to clean up the link is below Ka kite ano

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/27/extreme-global-weather-climate-change-michael-mann

  19. eco maori 22

    You see tangata the sandflys are digging into my whano’s privacy breaching all our RIGHT.S we got nothing to hide like some that are close to the sandflys praying that they will find /Invent a reason to rip all my mokopunas from there parents safety and cast them into SIPS they don’t give a———- if there actions stuff up my mokopuna’s lives they will just laugh and say take that Eco Maori. The sandflys and there associates there are many many of these people ACTIONS prove to Eco Maori that is there intentions . Mean while everyone that knows that the sandflys are breaching my rights are just going to stand around and let this happen I don’t think so. Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 22.1

      So what Eco Maori is saying is there will be a lot of witness come forward to prove that the state is breaching Eco Maori rights

  20. eco maori 23

    Good Evening Newshub they make the election rules and then cry foul when they lose national .
    Eco Maori is not stupid I will use the law to bring them to heal the sandflys.
    Yes Marama is looking her best tonight she has been looking quite stunning lately ka pai
    I see another left person tangata’s person has won power to change there country into a humane country for there tangata you know that old tangata whenua saying.
    Its the people the people that are the most important in a country not te putea .
    He has been on his cause for many years . Kia kaha.
    Ka kite ano

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