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Open mike 27/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 27th, 2011 - 60 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…

60 comments on “Open mike 27/06/2011”

  1. millsy 1

    If Labour want to win this election, then they need to go to EVERY state house in the country and inform the tenants in no uncertain terms that if National wins they will be kicked out of their house.

    Simple as that.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Don’t worry Millsy lying is standard practice for all politicians and political parties so they may very well do that.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        I guess you are right HS, realistically there’s probably only a ~50% chance per household that they will be kicked out by the NATs as the NATs continue their sell off of our state housing stock.

    • PRESS RELEASE: Sue Henry Housing Lobby Spokesperson:

      ” Leave vulnerable elderly State Housing tenants alone!”

      “After Housing Minister Phil Heatley’s confirmation on TVNZ’s “Q & A” programme (Sunday 26 June 2011) that National intend to break their promises to State Housing tenants, and dismantle and privatise State Housing stock – there are further issues that need clarification”, says Sue Henry Housing Lobby Spokesperson.

      http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/phil-heatley-interview-transcript-4262392

      “The majority of State Housing tenants receiving the Income Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS), each year, have to fully disclose all forms of income, and supply evidential statements from the appropriate departments, for an annual review by Housing New Zealand.

      So, technically, an ‘annual review’ for those State Housing tenants receiving the IRRS is already in place.

      Those paying market rents do not have to disclose their income details because they are not applying for the Income Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS).
      _____________________________________________________________________________

      “PHIL [HEATLEY – MINISTER OF HOUSING:]

      Well, the interesting thing is that those people paying a full rent – we don’t know anything about them.

      We don’t know if they’ve got investment properties.

      We don’t know if they’ve got significant assets, own businesses. Because they pay a full rent, we historically have not asked them those questions.”
      _____________________________________________________________________________

      “Annually those paying market rents will simply get a statement from Housing New Zealand of their rent increase for the following year,” explained Sue Henry.

      “The Minister also said surplus houses would be handed over to charities ie: third sector organisations like the Salvation Army:
      _____________________________________________________________________________

      “GUYON The other big aspect of this is strengthening this third-party sector, if you like, the non-governmental organisations – the Salvation Army, for example – and letting them take over a core amount of social housing.

      You originally talked to of perhaps 20% of the Housing New Zealand houses going into that charity sector, if you like.

      Is that still your thinking?

      PHIL Look, I just have to correct you there.

      We had an independent review team that actually were from-

      GUYON They recommended the 20% figure?

      PHIL And they recommended the 20%.

      We don’t envisage that many surplus state houses being passed over. What we’re doing is looking at how we can boost the community-housing sector because, actually, they’re key here.

      What we’re saying is as a government is, ‘Look, we can’t house all these people alone.’

      We want to focus on those most in need, so what were going to do is pass cash, some surplus state houses and also surplus Crown land to these housing organisations across New Zealand and say to them, ‘Look, use these assets to house a lot of these people on the housing continuum that probably aren’t desperate enough to have a state house, but can’t quite go into private rental or ownership.’
      ______________________________________________________________________________

      “There are NO surplus State houses,” states Sue Henry.

      “There is a shortage.

      In 1998 there were 8691 on the State Housing waiting list even after National sold off 13,000 houses as ‘surplus to requirements’.

      (http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/Daily/2/e/4/48HansD_20071108-Volume-643-Week-60-Thursday-8-November-2007.htm )

      The State Housing stock should NOT be sold off – ie: PRIVATISED, whether to supposedly ‘not-for-profit’ charities, or NGOs, or to the ‘for profit’ private sector.”

      “With there no longer being tenure protection for the elderly this new policy puts them at risk.

      The elderly and widows including those in Council pensioner units that Housing New Zealand took over should not be subjected to harassment and intimidation as they have been under previous National Governments.

      The elderly should not be subjected to unnecessary change, and unstability.

      Older citizens should feel secure in their homes, able to live out whatever life they have left in ‘peace and quiet enjoyment’.

      This includes retired servicemen and widows, (World War 2 veterans) who were told that their State houses were permanent dwellings for the rest of their natural lives.

      The Housing Minister Phil Heatley is acting in a very callous manner, and has no business trying to shift the housing ‘goal posts’ for these vulnerable elderly people in their twilight years,” concluded Sue Henry.

      Sue Henry
      Spokesperson
      Housing Lobby
      ____________________________________________________________________________

      Time for the public debate about devolution of state services to the (supposedly) not-for-profit
      ‘third sector’ / NGOs?

      In my considered opinion – this is PRIVATISATION – end of story.

      What do others think?

      Forwarded in the public interest.

      Penny Bright
      http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

      • Treetop 1.2.1

        I may not yet be up to speed so excuse me if the following has been covered.

        Government said they would not change income related rents for state housing prior to the 2008 election. This has been covered.

        When it comes to community housing, HNZ stocks will be shifted BUT government will now say that community housing rental is different. A source told me that the accommodation supplement is being reviewed (not sure if for everyone or those who may qualify in a HNZ home) and the rental cost for community housing may be between an income related rent and a private rent.

      • Well done Sue and Penny I know you both will work hard for a just system. Im sure Heatley will be very aware of you both. I hope you beat the creep/.
        Im afraid he has pulled a quickie over us. He opened his attack on State tenants by making it seem as if they are all earning huge wages but having subsidised homes. Unforunatly this creepy bastard may well have people believing that. Please show him up for what he is both you ladies.
        Good Luck . Kia kaha.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    On 9 to Noon this morning, they were talking about the CHCH red zone insurance issue with replacement costs for house insurance.

    I’m not sure who the guy was, but he was talking about his specific situation where EQC said the building was a write-off and would cost over $200k to repair, while his insurance company said it would only cost $100k to repair, and that the replacement value would be $350-360k, so hence they will go for the repairable option and not pay out the full insurance policy.

    The guy pointed out (using his PhD in engineering) that actually the $100k figure that the insurance company were quoting was based on the assumption that the government was going to carry out land remediation and that therefore the repairs they were going to do would be for a house with standard foundations. But the land will *not* be re-mediated by the government, and therefore to meet the building code they would need to have very specialised foundations that go deep into the ground to secure the house, which would cost well more than $100k. He pointed out that there are in fact very few engineers qualified to do that sort of planning (he was one of them). Unfortunately I had to stop listening to the interview at that point, but I guess the implication is that this low supply of labour would push the prices sky-high and cause huge delays.

    So it seems like a simple reality-based approached, coupled with this http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/5195255/Christchurch-earthquake-legal-advice-sought may be sufficient to get the insurance companies to pay out what they should be paying.

    Note that he described the case with the insurance companies – there is a clause saying that if the government decides to put a road through your house, then the insurance does not activate and you are required to deal with the government for a fair and equitable payout. They are using that same clause to cover the new Red Zone allocation by the government. But obviously this is not the same thing – the government isn’t just doing it for shits and giggles, they’re doing it in response to the earthquake. So the cause for your house no longer being livable (completely destroyed initially, or simply declared red zone) shouldn’t alter the ultimate outcome, because the Red Zone declaration is in strict response to the earthquake.

    • ianmac 2.1

      Lanthanide. That was David Haywood who wrote a column about this on Public Address last week.
      http://publicaddress.net/southerly/tower-insurance-have-some-bad-news-for-you/

      The discussion this morning included the information that Insurance companies intend to go back through the Red Zone and re-assess houses trying to find some to declare repairable and thus avoid paying out the full amount. This especially for “Replacement Insurance.”
      David also suggested this morning that it is possible that all insurance companies could use the same loophole and by sticking together they would all be legally untouchable. They would all be classed as ratbags but what other choice would you have?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Perfect time for a state owned insurer to grab a huge amount of marketshare off the privateers. Oh that’s right we used to have one, didn’t we?

        • ianmac 2.1.1.1

          I have an idea that State Insurance was taken over by Tower?
          And yes. Imagine the field day that an insurance Company would have if it claimed “We Will Pay Out On All Our Policies. Including Replacements.” It would only take one company to break ranks.
          Perhaps Kiwibank could go into the business?

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            “Kiwi-sure”?

            Somehow I don’t think that the current bunch of muppets will go for a highly profitable state-owned insurer. 🙂

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I know for a fact that proposals for a “KiwiSure” type organisation have been talked about in the past but never gone anywhere.

              But its clear that the private sector will always palm off the heaviest most difficult lifting to the state when things become too unprofitable.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.2

        Ta Ian.

        Seems to me that the requirement of building new strong foundations for all these buildings would be sufficient to inflate the costs to the level at which the insurers are forced to pay replacement values?

        Also, the government could very easily put out a statement such as this:
        “Declaration of land as Red Zone (irreparable) is a direct consequence of the earthquake damage, and therefore must not be treated as government acquisition of land as in the case of roadwork or other utility work, but instead must be treated as direct damage from the earthquake thus rendering all properties on the land as unrepairable”.

        It seems this should be within the government’s abilities, I think, as it is clearly outside the scope of the insurance loophole of compulsory acquisition to build services. The government wouldn’t be taking anyone’s rights away or anything, just clarifying that their actions are a result of the earthquake – if insurers don’t have any specific opt-out clauses dealing with land acquisition in emergency cases, that’s their loss.

    • Vicky32 2.2

      I am listening to him on Clive right now! Insurance companies love to not pay out… Can someone who knows, please tell me what has become of people in Christchurch who were renting?

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Classic for-profit business model that one. Suck premiums in from policy holders and absolutely minimise paying out. So much to look forwards to with ACC.

  3. Gina 3

    I still don’t believe the polls. Apparantly the urban Labour strongholds at the last election had very low turnouts. That suggests to me that Labour voters stayed away from the polls. The question remains did they stay away becacuse the polls convinced them labour had no chance of winning or because of unhappyiness with Labour. We wont find out unless we get volunteers into those areas to ask voters did they decide based on those polls it was a waste of time to vote. Were they already hard pressed to actually get out and vote and just decided it was a waste of time anyway.

    Remember the election prior to that the polls were wrong. The last election and all through this governments term we have been told that Labour have no chance. How many labour voters are being conditioned to think going out to the polls is a wasted effort.

    I speak to so many people who are really scared of National but are resigned that they cannot win. Labour must investigate and depending on what they find counter it for them to have any chance of getting their voters out at the next election. If you miss this one again ( I warned about it last time with no action taken by Labour) then you don’t deserve to win.

    I will admit my knowledge here is limited but I form my opinion on the basis of the above situation of low labour stronghold turnout plus a poll before the election. They only poll that actually questioned the undecided voters.
    That poll asked voters if they wanted even further tax cuts than National had already promised. The results were clearly split. National voters were overwhelmingly in favour of more tax cuts. labour voters were about 50-50 and green voters were as opposed to more cuts as National voters were in favour. Then they questioned the 10% of undecided voters who overwhelmingly sided with the greens in their opinion that there should be no further tax cuts.

    That leads me to believe that those 10% of undecided were in fact Left wing voters tossing up between left wing parties. They should have been asked what parties they were considering and what parties they would not vote for.
    In the US undecided swing voters usually lean heavilly to the left. Undecided voters are usually investigated but not here in NZ and you have to ask why?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      The Left needs its own MSM in this country. The Murdochs and MediaWorks of this world are great friends of right wing governments.

      You know of course that Goldman Sachs now owns 13% of MediaWorks.

      • Gina 3.1.1

        Yep Viper I know and they have the option to increase their share to 25% and possibly more. We are under seige and we must fight back. This election is critical.

  4. Gina 4

    Can someone please tell me about the recent changes to the private inestigators legislation that allows employers to spy on employees. How did labour vote on that and if they supported it please tell us why. Why haven’t Labour questioned this in the media? Workers would be furious but there has only been one small article about it in Stuff so they don’t have any idea. This is something that would alienate the government with workers so Labour should be shouting loudly about this one unless they actually voted in favour of spying on workers.

    • Gina 4.1

      I will answer my own question. Labour and the Greens voted in favour of this bill. There are other positive aspects to the Bill such as training of security staff and compulsory checks on security personell, however I would say workers would be furious that the labour party has given the green light to private investigators spying on workers and that a workers party would draw up such legislation which they started during their last term. Would someone from labour or the Greens would like to elucidate the finer points of this leglislation please.

      • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1

        I think part of the problem is that employees are already under the camera anyway in a lot of workplaces (banks, hospitals, supermarkets etc) and this part of the legislation tidied that up. What this will now do is clarify the use of PI’s and more importantly, the legal status of the material such as videos that they provide.

    • McFlock 4.2

      Actually, it’s not quite like that. It’s a combination of factors.

      What happened was a dismissal was zotzed by the Employment Court because the employer had paid a private investigator to install the covert camera that provided evidence for the misconduct. Unfortunately for the employer, at the time it was illegal for private investigators to make recordings without the consent of recorded parties. The evidence therefore was obtained illegally, and therefore was not admissable.

      The flipside is that a private investigator is someone who investigates on behalf of another party for money. Employers can still install covert cameras or run an investigation themselves or pay security contractors to do the installation.

      The only real restriction on filming employees is basic reasonableness – excessive monitoring for marginal justification could be regarded as hostile, especially if it involves covert surveillance. The other thing that springs to mind is that it would be very easy to run afoul of surreptitious filming and unlawful interception laws if the “security” justification is essentially bollocks or the camera had an audio feed.

      I’m not a lawyer, but did use the trades’ entrance in that area for a while 🙂

  5. I think this needs to be cleared up…

    Tangata whenua – people of the land

    Tangata, as it relates to Maori, are defined firstly by whanau (family), then hapu (extended family), then iwi (tribe), then as Maori, not the other way around.

    Whenua defines the land (rohe) from whence they whakapapa (claim ancestral ties) to and is denoted by the river, the mountain, the ancestor who first settled there and the canoe from whence they journeyed from Pasifika on.

    Tangata Whenua therefore relate only to the iwi within it’s rohe. If say for instance you’re Kahungunu living in Nga Puhi, you’re manuhiri (visitor/guest) not tangata whenua as shown in the protocols for welcoming guests to a marae. Tangata whenua on one side, manuhiri on the other. An analogy would be that, if you’re from Scotland you cant go to England and claim you’re indigenous/tangata whenua though you’re from the same island.

    So while it may be expedient to include all Maori under the one classification, “those bloody maaaris” it is patently false to consider Maori as one united people and be treated as such. Hence the difficulty in settling all treaty claims under one collective agreement. Neither are Maori to be considered one ‘race’ in much the same respect that Scottish people are not considered to be of the Scottish ‘race’. We do not make the distinction between the disparate peoples of Europe into races, why do we do it for Maori ? Do we consider Fijians to be the Fijian race or the Samoan race or the Tongan race or how about the French race, the Luxembourg race, the German race ?

    The independent nature of Maori as individual iwi/sovereign nations was guaranteed, not by one single person representing Maori on the whole in the signing of the treaty, but by the sovereigns/chiefs of each iwi signing on behalf of the subjects within their dominion/rohe.

    hope that goes some way to sorting out a few people’s misconceptions.

    chur.

  6. Tigger 6

    Key still holding a candle that Wills and Kate will attend the World Cup.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5195414/PM-denies-royals-have-canned-trip

    Give it up John, the royals might be superfluous but they clearly understand democracy, unlike you.

    • ianmac 6.1

      It was said that the royals would act on the advice of the NZ Government. I wonder what that advice would be? Ummm? Not that the NZ Govt would have a vested interest of course.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Seems like there’s only downside for Key in this.

      Either he’s correct, and they do end up coming. Or he’s wrong, and he ends up with egg over his face as a result of these emphatic declarations that Yes, The Royals Are Coming.

      Have to wonder why he bothered, really, don’t you?

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Have to wonder why he bothered, really, don’t you?

        Maybe a few photos from the Royal Wedding didn’t turn out so good so there is still an empty page in his scrap book.

      • Jim Nald 6.2.2

        The Royals may be more circumspect and wise enough
        to make their own decision and work behind the scenes to postpone their visit.

        From the distance, they may have noticed
        how Key is cunning at using other people for his personal advantage.

        Wills and Kate @ Buckingham Palace as another version of
        Aroha and Joan Nathan @ McGehan Close?

        Wills and Kate would more constructively enhance their image as future sovereigns
        by visiting, not before, but after 26 Nov 11.

        Coming on this side of the election
        promotes the short term gains of Key’s political image
        rather than their own long term royal standing.

        • Jim N. Key will still try his hardest to get a Royal visit before the election
          He’ s a royalist to the core . I also firmly believe he is after a knighthood. Im surprised he did not get one when they dished out the last lot ,but perhaps wiser heads advised him to wait until the election is over. He may have left it too late.I presume that if Labour wins they will reverse the titular titles ? I certainly hope so. However just watch Johnny boy when and if he gets to become Sir John.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Audrey Young advises Mp and Mana to kiss and make up

    Apparently for the best interests of the country.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10734724

  8. So Cactus KKKate has officially thrown her hat into the ring with as eatarse an explanation as any brown nosing right wing suckhole is ever likely to make.

    yawn*zzzzzzz*yawn

    http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2011/06/statement-on-potential-act-candidacy.html

    • lprent 8.1

      Somehow I don’t think that she wants to represent you polly…

      • Jim Nald 8.1.1

        Who is she fooling?

        The likes of Coddington and Roy were failures in that bunch dominated by white wannabe K.K.K. pricks eager for K.Y.

        She will be used and then dumped by the puppet-masters running the whole A.C.T.

        If she thinks she will make a difference, she is dumber than a cabbage.

        She thinks of joining the political cemetery of male, pale and stale –
        she would do well to change her handle to cactus kale.

        • Anne 8.1.1.1

          Kathy Odgers has a grossly inflated opinion of herself and her abilities. She is devoid of most humane instincts and has no concept of the actual meaning of the word “justice”. I hope she makes it to parliament because the prospect of seeing certain political opponents make mince meat of her would indeed be amusing.

          • felix 8.1.1.1.1

            ^ this. She really isn’t that smart, but she’s smart enough to associate with people even less so.

      • pollywog 8.1.2

        Aww I’m hurt…

        Seriously though, she loves me, all my kids and their Maori whanau. I know secretly she wants to have my babies, if only to eat them.

        Honestly, I don’t think i’ve come across a more caring and compassionate person on line. Feel the love in this thread…

        http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2011/01/hone-launches-self-mana-enhancement.html

        …so why she’d want to be spitroasted between Bed n Breakfast (Brash and Banks) is beyond me ?

  9. Augustus 9

    I wonder if anybody knows anything about this:
    My wife needs an unsubsidised prescription drug. When she first got it, her doctor quoted her a price out of a book for this drug, and that is how much it cost at our local pharmacy, and at every other one as far as I’m aware.
    Now, it seems as though our local pharmacy set its own price, 35 % higher (of course). I can still get the same product for a much lower price online, which naturally I do. But what interests me is, how come the price a doctor quoted a year ago is no longer universal? I’ve asked around and it seems that all unsubsidised prescription medicines now cost whatever your pharmacy wants to charge for them. Has there been a legal change in recent months that allowed this practice?
    We are not exactly over the moon, as healthcare cost more then enough before this and what’s more, I certainly have not seen any notification of an impending change anywhere beforehand. Anyone?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Might also be worth getting in touch with Grant Robertson Labour MP/health spokesperson with the details of your observations.

      Parliamentary Office

      grant.robertson@parliament.govt.nz
      Tel: 04 817 8204
      Fax: 04 439 6473
      Mob: 021 270 9023

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      Good question.

      Only illumination I can offer is those new Avigra ads where they say that it is “significantly cheaper than viagra” but they can’t give a price because prices vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. So I’d say this is a general thing, rather than something unusual or specific to your case. Whether it is new, or has always been that way, I don’t know.

      For the record, avigra is exactly the same as viagra. The active ingredient is now out of patent, so there are lots of generic brands popping up that are cheaper. Seems that the pfizer decided they’d make their own “generic” type. So the ad is a little misleading, in that it gives you the impression it’s a different, but cheaper and same effectiveness drug, when really it’s exactly the same just has a different name.

    • higherstandard 9.3

      Hi Augustus

      Pharmacies can charge whatever price they want for a medicine that is completely unsubsidised by the government that has always been the case. Usually they mark it up by a standard percentage but they are under no legal obligation to do so.

      My advice would be to ask your GP if there is a subsidised alternative and failing that find a good pharmacist who is not solely interested in their profit line and will only add a small profit margin.

      If you can name the medicine for me I can perhaps advise you what to ask your GP.

      • Augustus 9.3.1

        Thanks HS, I have a source at the price we always paid. And thanks for the info, everyone I asked who is in the same boat was flabbergasted. They thought they could trust their health professionals. I was talking about an anti-inflammatory btw., of which there are no subsidised substitutes.

  10. Gina 10

    Suggestion

    A new left wing party launced from the poorsest multicultural electorate in NZ wherever that is. The rich have theirs in the Act party. Maori stand to gain even more support from 2 parties and maybe Hone is really for all of us but many non maori voters will suspect he represents mainly Maori.

    If you read Chris Fords article on Voxy and believe it then Hone really left the Maori Party over the Seabed and Foreshore legislation. Chris thinks that the claims to the foreshore and seabed etc are in the interests of a new Maori rich elite and that this is who Hone is really fighting for. Even if this is true he is at least going to do some damage to the National party which will help the left. Also Matt McCarten is clearly a lefty. Tell me what you think of Chris Ford’s observations about Hone’s true motivations for forming the Mana party.

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/hollow-victory-hone-te-tai-tokerau/1273/93222

    I think Turiana Turai stating that personally she would like to abolish the dole even though its not Maori Party policy would be enough to destroy the Maori party if Labour sent out flyers in her electorate and the other Maori electorates with this quote included and explained. If I were standing against her that is cwhat I would do.
    This statement from Turia makes it clear that the Maori party are not for the poor and explains their connection with the National party.

  11. randal 11

    just discovered another nasty hootonism.
    must be him running the anti baby boomer spin.
    roger the mutt is busy handing it out in the dompost this morning.
    it is just an attack on the national super.
    it all sounds like a bit of harmless ageist banter but its intent is DEADLY.

  12. jackal 12

    A New Wiggle

    A few Minsters tried out for a Wiggles position today…

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    DOC job losses a disgrace

    A cost-cutting exercise that caused 15% of the Department of Conservation’s permanent conservation science staff to lose their jobs is a disgrace, says National’s Conservation spokesman, Simon Power.

    Forest and Bird reported in their February newsletter that DOC has undertaken a cost-cutting and restructuring exercise, even though its annual report stated it lacked the core capacity to properly protect the majority of our threatened native species.

    “Now that it has cut 15% of its permanent science staff, there is likely to be a serious reduction in its species recovery work, putting our native species at even more risk of extinction,” says Mr Power.

    Interesting…

    Mr Power is blaming DoC for the budget cuts that NAct have rammed through.

    • Jim Nald 13.1

      Stunning!
      What’s next?
      Wayne Mapp damning MSI for NACT’s budget cuts in failing to deliver on innovation for growth?
      Tony Ryall blaming, when the next health disaster hits, the Minister of Health for the NACT government slashing and burning the Ministry of Health?
      These are geniuses in government.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Jim, those cuts are a result of the Budget’s cuts, they are not a result of the Government’s cuts.

        Just like the forecasts for 170,000 new jobs is the Budget’s forecast, not the Government’s forecast.

        See how it works?

        • Herodotus 13.1.1.1

          In about 2005 doc staffing nod were reduced little barrier has had it’s resources reduced and the volunteers at Tori have been asked to do more. Does no one understand perhaps our most underfunded ministry is the foundation of what differientates nz from every other country and greatly enhances tourism . we are and have been led by muppets, kermit on one side and fozie bear on the other

  14. Jim in Tokyo 14

    16 November 2010:

    “The PM described the authors assertion that the texts included provisions allowing for private companies to sue sovereign nations as “far-fetched”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1011/S00125/no-ordinary-deal-book-launch-pm-response.htm

    27 June 2011:

    “Philip Morris Asia said today it had served a notice of legal claim on the government under Australia’s bilateral investment treaty with Hong Kong, which holds the government responsible to protect Hong Kong investments in Australia.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/5198670/Tobacco-giant-takes-aim-at-Australian-government

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Yeah important.

      Private Corporations are now emboldened to take on Sovereign Countries.

      This is a replay of centuries past. We have a political class now which is more focussed on what is good for corporations, not what is good for the public service mission.

  15. Morrissey 15

    Fate of EMA chief Alasdair Thompson unclear
    Last updated 15:20 27/06/2011
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/5195877/Fate-of-EMA-chief-Alasdair-Thompson-unclear

    The Employers’ & Manufacturers Association says it needs time to decide the fate of its CEO Alasdair Thompson.

    The EMA has been hit by angry feedback from its membership and others over Thompson’s comments during a radio interview on Thursday morning suggesting women take more sick leave because of their monthly periods.

    This morning it cancelled an emergency board meeting convened to discuss the situation and Thompson’s future.

    “These sorts of decisions that are momentous, are not the sorts of decisions to be rushed. The board need to deliberate and not be pushed in to making a decision by media or witch-hunts,” said EMA’s communications manager Gilbert Peterson.

    Although today’s board meeting was called off, members were in communication with each other over the matter, he said.

    An announcement was expected to be made in the next few days, said Peterson.

    Thompson could not be contacted for comment and he was not expected at work today.

    Calls for the CEO to quit have grown during the weekend, in spite of him twice apologising for his remarks.

    At one point his detractors mounted a tampon-throwing protest outside the EMA’s offices in Khyber Pass Rd, Auckland.

    Nelson-based Labour list MP Maryan Street has confirmed knowledge of an overseas confrontation between Thompson and unionist Helen Kelly in 2009 – but says Thompson doesn’t need any help to talk himself out of a job.

    “He’s reaping his own whirlwind,” Street told the Nelson Mail today.

    Thompson was being interviewed alongside Kelly, the Council of Trade Unions president, on Newstalk ZB on Thursday when he made the productivity comments.

    The Herald on Sunday reported that Thompson had boasted that he had asked Prime Minister John Key about a sexual relationship with Kelly.

    An un-named influential businesswoman, who witnessed the confrontation, is reportedly making a formal complaint to the board of the EMA, which was to gather today but then cancelled its meeting.

    Kelly has also confirmed the incident, which came in the course of a high-level trade meeting at the US-NZ Partnership Forum in the US in 2009.

    Late last night, the Prime Minister’s office dismissed the allegations as “totally ridiculous”.

    The source said the comments were made without any basis other than Helen Kelly and John Key’s “good working relationship”.

    Street said today she was at the same table as Kelly and the businesswoman.

    She didn’t overhear the initial comments but the report was accurate as the conversation had been relayed to her at the time, she said. She did overhear the shouted remarks as Kelly walked away, and recalled that Kelly “turned round and abused him”.

    “I clearly don’t need to comment further on this because Mr Thompson is successfully destroying himself,” Street said. “More broadly, business in New Zealand needs modern, innovative, imaginative leaders, and Alasdair Thompson is none of those things.

    “It’s time he went – but he’s doing it himself, without any assistance from me.”

    Street would respect the businesswoman’s anonymity but she was a well-known figure. She understood the woman’s complaint was being laid yesterday.

    – BusinessDay.co.nz, with Nelson Mail

  16. come get some 17

    so for some reason i cant submit a contact us form so I guess is the best place to post it.

    Perfect photo for a caption competition – http://static2.stuff.co.nz/1309158206/739/5198739.jpg

    Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5198459/John-Key-and-wife-visit-Taj-Mahal

    Once again displays amazing journalism by the Herald

    PICTURE PERFECT? thats one of the worst photographs I’ve seen

  17. jackal 18

    Cameron Slater is an Idiot!

    That’s a statement of fact, not a question btw. He recently tweeted that Telecom isn’t owned by overseas companies… What a douchebag! Telecom was sold to two United States-based telecommunications companies, Bell Atlantic and Ameritech, for NZ$4.25 billion in 1990.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      As I understand it Bell Atlantic and Ameritech had dumped their shareholdings by about 1997 after pulling about $8b in profits out but that doesn’t mean that anyone in NZ bought them.

      • jackal 18.1.1

        I’ve been having a little dig at it looks like around 5.65% of Telecom is invested in by NZ companies. Accident Compensation Corporation – NZCSD 60,689,024 shares or 3.15% and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund Nominees – NZCD 48,067,830 shares or 2.50% meaning that 94.35% of the profits go out of New Zealand.

        There’s a few small NZ investors, but not enough to mention. I wonder why more mum and dad investors don’t put their money into Telecom?

        • lprent 18.1.1.1

          I wonder why more mum and dad investors don’t put their money into Telecom?

          Because Telecom NZ are evil bastards who screw the public?

          At least that is the view of myself and the investors in my family (the exact phrasing is my fathers). We also don’t deal with them directly. They have a couple of decades of bad deeds plus whatever they are doing now to lose wealth for. It doesn’t matter how much Joyce tries to prop them up. Eventually we will drive them out of business.

  18. felix 19

    Key on the Taj Mahal:

    Mr Key joked that as much as he loved his wife, he did not think he would be building a replica in Auckland.

    “I’m not sure how it would be funded. I certainly can’t and I can’t see Bill English giving the money for this. The cycleway was a bit of a stretch for him.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10734849

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  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
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    5 days ago
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  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
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  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
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  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
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  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
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  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
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  • DART Buoys Announcement
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  • Final steps for racing industry reform
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    6 days ago