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Open mike 27/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 27th, 2012 - 271 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…

271 comments on “Open mike 27/07/2012”

  1. Around the world Pension funds are being exposed as underfunded and unable to cope with demand. In 2002 a Merrill Lynch investment and wealth management banker named Ira Bing took place on the first board of Guardians of a new founded Sovereign Wealth fund we now call “the Cullen fund”. he stayed on the board of the Cullen fund until 2005. According to Der Spiegel it was in 2002 especially that several investment banks started to sell their crap to sovereign wealth funds all over the world and make no mistake Merrill Lynch was one of the biggest players in that market:

    Around 2002 in particular, various investment banks offered complex financial products with which governments could push part of their liabilities into the future

    Merrill Lynch ended up putting $ 75 trillion of faulty and fraudulent Derivatives on the taxpayers of America’s shoulders. In September 2008 just before his election as New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key visited his former bosses who told him the extend of the losses.

    The last couple of weeks the news of wide spread manipulation of the LIBOR rates has appeared in the mainstream news. It appears the have been held artificially low since 2008 starving sovereign wealth funds from the interest and return on their investments.

    Our Prime Minister knows how important the LIBOR is (Our own currency is pegged at the LIBOR rate) for Pension funds and other financial institutions and we have yet to hear a single comment on the issue.

    I think its time the serious fraud squad takes a look at what is easily the most heinous financial crime against humanity ever and what role our Prime Minister is playing in the New Zealand connection.

    You think that is far fetched? The Icelandic Prime Minister who was in no way involved in any banking adventures was convicted of gross negligence in the aftermath of the Icelandic banking collapse and there is a posse out to retrieve and arrest bankers involved in the collapse and this week three Irish bankers involved in Financial scandals has been arrested.

    One banker who was once heralded as a hero for enabling the greatest bubble in Ireland, a bubble John Key has been very involved in when he moved the bonds and Derivatives department of Merrill Lynch from London to Ireland.

    I’m not joking here!
     

    • mike e 1.1

      Trav you are correct O’neill is the man every body is after formerly Irelands richest man.
      Another Merrill lynch mobster.ML conned the Irish government after the Irish govt approached
      the Merrill Lynch Mob to check their banks liquidity.
      ML shonkeys company wrote a 7 page report to the govt saying everything was fine when they knew that the major Irish banks including Anglo Irish were fucked .
      That 7 page report cost $2miilion per page and was all lies.
      ML profited by trading futures on this insider news.
      remember Shonkey used to skite about how he helped set up ML in Ireland. and it would be good if NZ did the same.
      More like how they set up Ireland and gouged their economy.
      Same Stunt he’s pulling on NZ!
      Merrill lynch heirachy should all be lynched including Con man Key!
      Merrill Lynch the most corrupt company ever!
      Now they are bankrupting the BofA!After the tax payer has bailed them out.
      Google merrill lynch scandals their are so many its hard to believe not one of them has gone to jail!

  2. Carol 2

    One banker who was once heralded as a hero for enabling the greatest bubble in Ireland, a bubble John Key has been very involved in when he moved the bonds and Derivatives department of Merrill Lynch from London to Ireland.

    eh?

  3. andy (the other one) 3

    breakfast fun, the Poms getting into Romney for his gaffs:

    #romneyshambles

  4. MrSmith 4

    Gerry Brownlee after doing nearly nothing for the people of Canterbury since the earthquakes has woken from his slumber, after the loss of a resent court case.

    So the first thing he does, is start blaming everyone else for his own incompetence, namely the insurance companies, all I can say is if EQC had been run like an insurance company, which it effectively is, then Brownlee would have been replaced over a year ago, can we have Brownlee publicly flogged every day till he starts doing his job as earthquake minister.

    • vto 4.1

      EQC have put my wife in tears over the last week, as our repair moves slowly up the list into action mode.

      EQC (and its govt owners) are a bunch of c#@!s.

      • Rosie 4.1.1

        So sorry to hear of the troubles you’ve suffered with EQC, vto and family. I often wonder how the people of CHCH get through their days sometimes. From here it looks like you’ve all been completely shafted, abandoned and left in limbo. All the spinoff effects (crime, homelessness, unemployment, viral outbreaks due to cramped cold and broken housing) of inaction must place a real burden on individuals and households. Our government should be deeply ashamed but for some reason it just feels like business as usual for them.
        I hope good things come your way soon.

        • vto 4.1.1.1

          Thanks Rosie. Yes it is a difficult place to live in but we find ways to locate the good out there. It is a volatile place with huge amounts of uncertainty. And when the financial storm finally blows across the planet I imagine we will all be kissing goodbye to any insurance monies and happenings ever finding their way here as it will all stop dead.

          The worst affected are those with the green/blue land as they have complete and utter uncertainty with nowhere to go.

          Where things get really out of hand though is when EQC and insurers start bullshitting to try and escape their clear obligations. That stuff is dishonest and appalling and loads the stress levels to overflow. If these orgnisations simply acted in a good and decent manner then we can handle most the other stuff. As always, it is deceit and dishonesty that destroys.

          • grumpy 4.1.1.1.1

            With you there vto. I was talking to a honcho at Fletchers EQR the other day who told me that 90% of information in their computers is either wrong or incomplete…….

            You, like me, will have first hand experience of that….

          • Fortran 4.1.1.1.2

            vto

            I heard the EQC publically said that they will have settled all its claims by March 2013.

    • andy (the other one) 4.2

      He is waiting for the varnish to dry on his pencil case project, then when he has a bit of time..

      Gerry’s to do List:

      Morning Tea
      Sand Pencil case
      Lunch
      Varnish Pencil case
      Ring Banksie, congrats
      Afternoon Tea
      Second Coat of Varnish on case
      Ring Bellamy’s check what is soup of the day
      Fix Christchurch

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      I’d keep flogging him for a few months after he starts doing his job as well, just to provide extra incentive. I have the feeling that Crusher Collins might have beaten us to it, though.

  5. Carol 5

    Hmmmm… so a report says that, in NZ’s ski fields there may not be enough snow for ski-ing…. but, good news artifical snow making will be possible to compensate!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/7358221/Snow-making-to-increase-as-climate-changes

    While economic constraints of snow making had not been assessed, discussions with the ski industry indicated the costs would not be prohibitive for the reduced snow making potential, and inferred increase in snow guns, calculated for the 2090s. That was particularly the case given the time available to adapt.

    In many cases, snow making infrastructure was considered under-utilised now as it was only needed in the first few weeks of the season, the study said.

    The authors cautioned that their snow making analysis may be overly optimistic, they had not assessed the economic or hydrological reality of making snow in the future, and the change scenario methodology they used did not make allowance for changes in extreme events.

    Aside from the economic reality, which has not been assessed, doesn’t snow-making use energy resources that might contribute to climate change, and/or may be scarce by the mid-to-late 21st century?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “doesn’t snow-making use energy resources that might contribute to climate change, and/or may be scarce by the mid-to-late 21st century?”

      That is true of everything industrialised society does. I would suggest that any emissions from the snow machines will be dwarfed by those from the private transport that takes people from the cities to the tops of these mountains, let alone international flights from tourists.

    • weka 5.2

      The authors cautioned that their snow making analysis may be overly optimistic, they had not assessed the economic or hydrological reality of making snow in the future, and the change scenario methodology they used did not make allowance for changes in extreme events.
       

      Good grief. I guess they mean when the Alpine Fault shifts and all the SI skifields end up falling off the mountains. Nevertheless, why didn’t they take into account peak oil? Or what will happen if CC reaches the point of catastrophic feedback loops. I can’t believe that at this point in time we are spending money researching the theoretical potential for making snow in the 2090s, when we should be researching how to transition off fossil fuels.
       
      Snow making, international travel, trips to and up the mountain, all those hotels and other infrastructure to accommodate people flying into a cold climate in a time of energy crisis. Smart.

  6. From the top of a tower of cards a man could be heard shouting, “I’m the Prime Minister, they call me John Key! For I am the Ruler of all that I see !” http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/john-keys-house-of-cards.html

  7. vto 7

    Wouldn’t mind throwing some 2c into the gay marriage bill debate. My own opinion is that marriage as an institution should be left as between male and female.

    This is not to deny equality. Provide absolute and equal equality. They stand beside everybody else in our lands. But the intitution of marriage as it is known in NZ is part of our heritage, part of our culture, it is highly important to society’s structure and recognised as such for its myriad features.

    Those who want to get married outside these existing bounds can form their own institution. May want to call it something like garriage, so they can get garried… (he he, just jokes), or civil union, or something else.

    Feelings out there also support this view. Leave marriage alone. Many other groups and sectors in society get their own institutions and places separate from the others in our society (surely they don’t need listing…) and it is entirely appropriate that heterosexual marriage gets / keeps its own one too.

    • I’m totally for marriage equality, I think it’s time has come. Marriage is about a commitment between two people, gays should not be excluded from that.

      And I’m pleased to see there are good prospects for this bill succeeding. It should at least pass the first reading comfortably, to be dealt with by select committee as it should be.

      Here’s a compilation of MP’s positions on marriage equality.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Any thoughts on my particular angle of the dangle there Pete? You don’t think there is a case for heterosexual marriage to have its own separate place in society, like so many others do with things important to them?

        edit: you will note that my position allows for that equality

        • Tigger 7.1.1.1

          Vto, you could have made the same arguments to keep slavery, deny women the vote or keep hitting children. ‘It’s what we’ve always done’ isn’t an argument, it’s a rationalisation.

          Can you explain how giving me and my partner the right to choose marriage will change anything?

          • Pete George 7.1.1.1.1

            Some are claiming that it would be the end of the world as we know it.

            It won’t changing anything for me at all – it will make no difference to my marital status. It simply gives an equal right and status to some who are currently exluded.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Wow.
              Pete takes a clear position, makes a coherent and relevant point with logical reasoning behind it, and doesn’t linkwhore. Me like.
                             
              And, might I add, I agree with him (but not his reasoning).
              I think it does affect me, even though I’m straight. No man is an island, and all that.

              • muzza

                Pete has taken a position on what he believes might be a popular policy, nothing more than that.

                As I said before this in a non event, smoke and mirrors bill that will add nothing of overall value to how the country is currently being run.

                Its one of those false economies which attemtps to get people to think that society is progressive, moving forward and other nice fluffy stuff, the opposite in fact true, society is regressing badly, and little will stop the decline, as people concern themselves more, with shi*t that simply does not matter in real terms.

                Again, smoke and mirrors for stupid people, which is why PG has taken a position on something for a change!

                • McFlock

                  It might be smoke and mirrors to you.
                  But to the person is on their deathbed it might mean a lot that their spouse of 30 years is allowed to make their funeral and burial arrangements (not to mention treatment decisions when they can no longer do so themselves) without being overruled by the bigoted brother who hasn’t spoken to them for 10 years.
                         
                  Or that their spouse is not escorted out of the treatment room because they don’t count as “immediate family” simply because they’re on holiday in a country that has no idea what a “civil union” is.
                           
                  But then arguing the theoretical physics of something that happened 13 years ago is much more productive than addressing the inequalities of today. /sarc

                  • Pete has taken a position on what he believes might be a popular policy, nothing more than that.

                    Again, smoke and mirrors for stupid people, which is why PG has taken a position on something for a change!

                    Bullshit allegations based on nothing but joining populist blog bitching.

                    I’ve commented and blogged on it for months. I promote discussion on the topic because I think it’s an important minority rights issue. I’ve communicated with a number of MPs on it. I’ve been compiling a register of MP opinions that has been quoted and linked to from other blogs:
                    http://yournz.org/2012/05/10/mps-on-same-sex-marriage/

                    muzza, you’ve simply joined the populist bitch brigade, you don’t agree with my position but instead of offering a decent counter argument you take the lazy option, attack the messenger.

                    Trying to dismiss this as ‘smoke and mirrors’ is an insult to those who are affected by the issue.

                    This is exactly the sort of issue that should be dealt with by MPs while in opposition. If more opposition MPs worked on things like this rather than perpetual hissy fitting and attempts at undermining then more would be achieved – and you never know, there might be less bitching on blogs.

                  • Vicky32

                    But to the person is on their deathbed it might mean a lot that their spouse of 30 years is allowed to make their funeral and burial arrangements (not to mention treatment decisions when they can no longer do so themselves) without being overruled by the bigoted brother who hasn’t spoken to them for 10 years.

                    Don’t all these things apply to civil unions already?
                    Health professionals are not idiots (I say that despite what I’ve been going through all year! 🙂 ) and would not shuffle you out in favour of estranged family members…
                    I am with vto on this. I quote one of the lesbians who ‘married’ on the medical soap Greys Anatomy on TV last year “We’re just a couple of girls playing dress-up” – and yet she went ahead and did it anyway!
                    Why aren’t civil unions enough?

                    • marsman

                      Vicky32. Quoting lesbians on the soap Grey’s Anatomy seems a bit far fetched to back up any argument. For anyone to say ‘I can do this but I don’t want you to have that right’ sounds very suspiciously like discrimination to me.

        • Pete George 7.1.1.2

          But the intitution of marriage as it is known in NZ is part of our heritage, part of our culture

          Except that it keeps evolving and changing. The first time I got married I’d “lived together” prior even though it wasn’t the done thing then. Now it’s the norm.

          And marriage already means different things to different couples in other ways. Some see it as a religious union. Some don’t. Some have children withing a marriage. Some don’t. There are different degrees of commitment.

          I’ve chosen marriage for myself, and I think it’s proper to allow other couples who happen to be gay have that same choice.

          I think those who claim some exclusive right to their perception of marriage are being precious – and many (of a minority) are simply trying to justify being anti gay, any way.

          • weka 7.1.1.2.1

            🙄

          • thatguynz 7.1.1.2.2

            You know Pete, like many others here I am also prone to repeated eye-rolling and teeth gnashing after reading your posts and the subsequent thread degeneration however I am also quite happy to give credit where credit is due.

            I think you did a great job of explaining your viewpoint in a largely non-inflammatory way and I applaud you.

      • James N 7.1.2

        “Its” when used as a possessive does not have an apostrophe. Neither do other possessives such as his, her, their, etc.

        “It’s” is a contraction for “it is”, the apostrophe indicates an elided letter, in this case “i”.

        “I think it’s time has come” = “I think it is time has come” (which is gibberish).

        Sorry to be a pedantic old fart, but I’ve been meaning to point this out to Pete for months.

        • Vicky32 7.1.2.1

          “Its” when used as a possessive does not have an apostrophe. Neither do other possessives such as his, her, their, etc.
          “It’s” is a contraction for “it is”, the apostrophe indicates an elided letter, in this case “i”.
          “I think it’s time has come” = “I think it is time has come” (which is gibberish).
           

          Seconded, James! (I skim his posts, I don’t read them, so I hadn’t noticed he does that, though he’s not the only one.) I am delighted to meet another pedant…

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.3

        Good on you for taking a position Pete. It’s also one I agree wholeheartedly with.

    • framu 7.2

      ” an institution should be left as between male and female.”

      why?

      religious reasons? – any religion doesnt own marriage
      cornerstone of a family? – then what about hetero couples that cant or dont want to have kids?
      culture and tradition? – sexism, racism, slavery, female circumcision, male dominance of the family etc etc? Culture and tradition, is (and should always be) a flexible thing – much like language never is static and unchanging.

      “Leave marriage alone. Many other groups and sectors in society get their own institutions and places separate from the others in our society (surely they don’t need listing…) and it is entirely appropriate that heterosexual marriage gets / keeps its own one too.”

      OK – can anyone list an institution that equates to marriage (the public and legally recognised decleration of love and commitment) that other sectors of society enjoy?

      • vto 7.2.1

        framu, and tigger above, my arguments etc for this are not well developed. I think I have explained it above. Why not let heterosexual couples have their very own form of commitment i.e. marriage.

        There are plenty of similar examples e.g. from the particular place of Maori in NZ and rights of participation in that, right down to the inability to call bubbles champagne. There is/was a Ministry of Women’s Affairs. There is a family commision thingy. There should be a children’s office of a type too.

        All I am suggesting is that we heterosexual couples have a place of our own. What is so wrong with that? Every other small sector of society cries out for recognition and position in society today, and rightly so. Let’s apply it to heterosexual marriage as well.

        Perhaps tigger and framu you could explain why it is so important to join the heterosexual marriage thing and not set up an equal but separate one of your own?

        – and regarding a comparison to slavery and child abuse, sheesh that’s a bit out there.

        • framu 7.2.1.1

          so – set up an equivilant to marriage where you have a public and legally recognised decleration of love and commitment, but call it something different?

          whats the point? – its marriage – it already exists, why reinvent the wheel because one group of society feel the own marriage?

          Why should hetero couples get to decide what defines marriage?
          Is there one good argument for why one group of society gets to write the rules for marriage and claim it as theirs and theirs alone?

          simple majority doesnt really cut it
          religion doesnt either
          nor tradition

          because they all loop back round to –

          “why should one group of society get to write the rules for marriage and claim it as theirs and theirs alone?”

          all you examples of other groups getting something special are all examples that have nothing to do with marriage – so what have they got to do with the concept of equality for all in terms of marriage?

          “- and regarding a comparison to slavery and child abuse, sheesh that’s a bit out there.”

          sorry – not out there at all – they are all examples of things that were considered culturally acceptable at some point in time – IE: culture and tradition evolve

          • vto 7.2.1.1.1

            framu, and draco below, you lot may well be right. It just sits where it sits with me at the moment. I don’t have any more arguments in support, it is kind of an instinctual gutteral thing, and those are often bent and changed over time.

            Bill below perhaps supplies a solution. There is marriage by the state and maybe that is where this situation sits. Then there could be marriage by churches and religions and other cultures and they could each have their own form, all equal of course. That way those cultures that allow more than wife (husband too?) could do their thing. Hetero churches could do their thing. The state can do its thing. And those who want nothing to do with any of it can do their thing. All equal. After all, who are we to judge if anothers ways are right or wrong (subject to some humanity basics)?

            gotta fly …

            • framu 7.2.1.1.1.1

              agree with your 2nd paragraph vto (see my reply to bill)

              which i think is all the bill will seek to do. Its about equality – not forcing churches to perform marriage services they dont want to do (as far as i can see anyway)

              please dont take my responses to you as “written in anger” – they arent. Just the main questions to those opposed as i see it 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.2

          Perhaps tigger and framu you could explain why it is so important to join the heterosexual marriage thing and not set up an equal but separate one of your own?

          The funny thing is that you actually supplied that yourself:

          But the intitution of marriage as it is known in NZ is part of our heritage, part of our culture, it is highly important to society’s structure and recognised as such for its myriad features.

          You just tried to use it as exclusionary rather than having it being inclusive as it should be.

    • weka 7.3

      vto, there is a bit of a general consensus at the moment to completely ignore Pete George. Some of us are just not replying, others are posting a smiley in response to his posts. We’re hoping to curtail the disruption he causes esp in Open Mike. Feel free to join.
       
      There are lots of other people here to reply to thoughtful debate, if given the chance.

      • Bill 7.3.1

        Hmm. I’d have thought..well, this is my approach anyway…that in the case of irksome comments, then a silence or a smiley ensues. But where the comments are deemed (and this is obviously subjective) to be of a constructive, relevant, useful or neutral nature, then a reply is warrented.

        I’ve no interest in a ‘ganging up’ that would result in a self expulsion. But where a ‘community of his peers’ use mechanisms at their desposal (smileys and silence) to inform his comments so that the irksome, self obsessed or irrelevant ones become a thing of the past…well, that’s a worthwhile goal imo.

        • weka 7.3.1.1

          I know what you mean, but I don’t think it is that black and white. We’re all going to differ on what’s annoying personally. Worse, it’s the way that threads become all about Pete that is often the most disruptive, and I can see that happening before people are aware that it’s happening, and then we are back to square one. It’s not just the content of individual posts that is a problem, it’s also behaviour. Once people engage with that, it’s easy to react and for people to start in again with the Pete focus. Vicious circle. I just think it’s easier to ignore him completely for a while.
           
          Personally I can’t be bothered reading his posts and having to decide if they meet some loosely determined standard or if that particular post is likely to become the centre of thread disruption. It ruins the pleasure of the place. Maybe in a month, if we’ve had a good run of the place not being disrupted I will feel more generous. 
           
          I’m also not suggesting ganging up or self expulsion. Pete is obviously free to keep posting here. It’s not like he would be the only person posting who gets no replies, even with interesting posts.  And in time I’m sure that people would start to respond to him again, hopefully without him doing all the shit that’s been annoying people.

          • Bill 7.3.1.1.1

            And so. On other matters….. 🙂

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 7.3.1.1.2

            In the end it just makes threads a little bit more difficult to negotiate – having to scroll through the endless tedium and meaningless drivel, but I think ignoring it is the best policy too.

    • Bill 7.4

      The gay marriage debate is strange on a number of levels. I’d have thought it was up to the religion in question to decide which of their ceremonies could/would apply to any given person(s). I’m not sure why the state should have any say in such matters…ie, deciding on the legal standing of (in this case) any marriage ceremony orchestrated by a religion.

      Having said that, I’m fully aware that in the highly centralised structures of authority as we have, the authority that sees itself as the principle authority – and that is generally perceived to be the principle authority – will have any number of reasons for interjecting. (The legal implications of deciding this way or that on legitimacy being the most obvious.)

      Moving on…the fact that progressive elements in society fought and suffered for the right to determine the nature of their own relationships free from any requirements to have the relationship sanctioned by either the church or the state (the original impetus behind the term ‘free love’ before the late 60’s proclamation of ‘free love’ that might more accurately have been termed ‘free sex’) adds a peculiar contextural twist to current attempts by gays to have their marrages recognised by the church and the state.

      As a footnote, I read yesterday that Scotland has decided to recognise gay marriage against opposition from the church. The link is to one of the ‘broadsheet’s’ editorial on the matter today http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-view/saying-i-do-to-gay-marriage.18244177

      • Carol 7.4.1

        Agree, Bill. I think the whole notion of marriage is a normative one that I would prefer to do without.

        However, I accept that it’s not going away any time soon, and, therefore, it should be applied to same-sex relationships as well. This gives equal standing with heterosexual ones. It’s not possible, as vto is suggesting, to have a separate but equal relationship-confirmation for same-sex couples. The heterosexual form will remain dominant and normative.

        I dislike the way marital status is used as to give married couples social standing superior to that of unmarried individuals.

        I also dislike the legacy of male dominance in marital relations, which has somewhat diminished in recent times, but still remains. (e.g. Mr, Mrs and Ms, all have different connotations with Mr still having higher status in public affairs). Actually, same-sex marriage should work in some way to further diminish male dominance in the marriage relationship.

        • Vicky32 7.4.1.1

          I dislike the way marital status is used as to give married couples social standing superior to that of unmarried individuals.

          Hey, try being a ‘spinster’, or a divorced person! 

          (e.g. Mr, Mrs and Ms, all have different connotations with Mr still having higher status in public affairs).
           

          That hasn’t been true for a very long time…

           
           
          Actually, same-sex marriage should work in some way to further diminish male dominance in the marriage relationship.
           

          I don’t see why! There’s no logic in that at all.

        • Murray Olsen 7.4.1.2

          My wife and I have the formal titles Dr and Dr. Two lesbians friends who want to marry would have the same titles. I married for purely pragmatic reasons, although love is heavily involved. My friends want to marry purely for love and can’t. Marriage as an insitution is more important to them, but they are denied it. Something is very wrong, but should be very easy to fix.

          • Carol 7.4.1.2.1

            Vicky, the gendered titles still have significant status differences, even though that has weakened somewhat in recent years. Why highlight women’s marital status and not mens?

            Why is it that people who don’t know me, insist of calling me Mrs? Not a title I like being applied to myself. When I was in hospital they put Mrs in front of my name above my bed. To me Ms has the least demeaning connotations.

            MO, I also can use the title Dr, but I only tend to use it when I think it’s relevant – e.g. for job interviews or publications related to my area of expertise. Otherwise it just isn’t relevant or, at worst, can sound somewhat pretentious to me. When in hospital there was another person in my room who could use that title. We agreed it would just confuse everyone in that medical context.

            I’m not happy with any of the available titles and prefer just to use my first name (including at work), and if pushed, in most situations continue to use Ms.

            • Murray Olsen 7.4.1.2.1.1

              The four people I mention, including myself, also only use the titles very sparingly, if ever. I’m not even sure it’s even written on my office door. As far as I can remember, I might use it for writing academic references, never for professional publications, and it gets used for/against me in promotion interviews. Otherwise, I always use my first name and last week in hospital it was written at the end of my bed. Even the 86 year old lady in the next bed used her first name.
              I suppose I wrote what I did to highlight what I see as the idiocy of any titles at all. The important part was my views on marriage.

            • Vicky32 7.4.1.2.1.2

              When I was in hospital they put Mrs in front of my name above my bed. To me Ms has the least demeaning connotations.

              It’s probably a default! When I worked for ANZ Bankcard, I’d always put Ms on the records of women who didn’t state anything, and was told off for it – and made to use Mrs as the default… When I was younger, I always used to insist on Ms, and I would end up being called Miss. Now I am old, I insist on Mrs, as I hate being first-named by strangers.. It’s business-faux-friendly, and the fakery of it gets right up my nose! It’s also a class/power thing – when my father was arrested in 1968 (firearms charges, long story) he was first-named by the filth, as a power thing. We all cringed to hear it, Dad’s humiliation was well evident – and as a working class man, he was usually first-named by everyone anyway, but this was an order of magnitude worse. He propbably had not been called Mr H., since he arrived in New Zealand, and got his first job!)
              So, when a 20-something bureaucrat says “Hello, D., who are you today?” I draw myself up to my full 1.5 metres and say “That’s Mrs K. to you, until I give you permission to first name me”. It’s not because I think that a Mrs is more important than a Miss or a Ms, it’s that first name status ought to be earned!
              In other languages and cultures, particularly French and Italian, Madame/Mademoiselle, and Signora/Signorina are titles given purely on an age basis. Although my marriage was so (thankfully) brief, if you’d have blinked you’d have missed it, I use Mrs because I am er.. mature, no, I am old!

      • framu 7.4.2

        ” I’d have thought it was up to the religion in question to decide which of their ceremonies could/would apply to any given person(s)”

        agree with that – im not big on the marriage thing myself – me and my “common law wife” just dont feel the need for it

        as far as what each church or group chooses to do – i see it very much as a “your club – your rules” scenario.

        i just dont think that any one group gets to claim the idea of marriage (and the attached legal and social implications) as their property. The performance of the service however is a different matter and as such should be left to individuals/groups to choose the parameters.

        • RedBlooded 7.4.2.1

          I agree no Church should have to perform marriages to someone they don’t want to, but from the time they refuse the first legally entitled to be married couple, they should lose tax free status and stand up for their convictions without our tax dollars.

          • Olwyn 7.4.2.1.1

            Churches already refuse legally entitled to be married people. The Catholic Church does not marry civilly divorced people for instance, or people of whom neither are Catholics. Most churches have a number of laws that do not exactly reflect civil law, but they are not in a position to punish people as civil law can. They can chuck out members, but they cannot fine or imprison them. Tennis clubs, etc, also have rules of their own, and can chuck you out if you disobey their rules, even if the disputed action was broadly legal. Or take The Standard for instance: moderators have the authority to put you in moderation if you have a go at the moderators, or try to guess people’s identities, but neither action is illegal by civil law. You are conflating different modes of authority.

          • Vicky32 7.4.2.1.2

            I agree no Church should have to perform marriages to someone they don’t want to, but from the time they refuse the first legally entitled to be married couple, they should lose tax free status and stand up for their convictions without our tax dollars.

            Vicious! Would you apply the same standards to a rugby club that refused to give a place on their team to someone too small to play?

    • Treetop 7.5

      Traditionally marriage has been between a man and a woman, I cannot see why marriage has to remain being just between a man and a woman because of always being that way.

      • Bill 7.5.1

        Has it always been that way?

        What was the legal and religious status of relationships in Greece or Rome where homo-sexuality was encouraged and to some degree venerated? What about other past cultures…one’s we like to think ‘western’ culture developed from?

        There are very definate reasons why christianity adopted the heterosexual stance given that it is based on jewish religion that was practiced by small populations…ie, not dense populations subject to over exploitation of the environment etc and therefore populations that were determined to grow/breed.

        Anyway. If the problem lies with attitudes of the medical profession and laws surrounding property rights, then shouldn’t the focus be on the medical profession and property rights?

        • McFlock 7.5.1.1

          and, of course, what about monogamy vs polygamy?
                 
          Marriage has by no means “always” been between one man and one woman. 

  8. Carol 8

    Good on Helen Kelly being immediately on to the suggestion of developing unnecessarily punitive measures to totally control and cower the work force punishing “unruly” employee behaviour. The Prof says such punishments are used in the US, implying that makes it a great thing to do:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7358937/Professor-calls-for-job-law-revamp

    Prof Harcourt, of the management school, has been comparing New Zealand’s legislation with that of the United States, and says there should be more opportunity for unpaid suspensions – of varying duration.
    […]
    Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly, denounced his comments as “absolutely absurd” and “very destructive”.

    “It’s some sort of crime and punishment regime,” Ms Kelly said.

    She said the measures would result in a supplicant “master and servant” situation, instead of the parties involved discussing the issues maturely.

    “It’s not a school setting, they’re not children, they’re working adults.

    “Have you ever been late for work?

    “Can you imagine being labelled a criminal for it?”

    Ms Kelly said the new punishments would be misused and they were unjustified as the current system worked well.

    • North 8.1

      In Section 3 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 it states that the object of the Act is to promote good faith in employment relationships.

      At s.3(a)(ii) the Act cites “acknowledging and addressing the inherent inequality of power in employment relationships……..” as a step in achieving the good faith object.

      This is not some left wing screech. It is the law of New Zealand. The law statutorily deems that which is blindingly obvious………there is inherent inequality in power.

      Does the learned professor wish to heighten this inequality ? If he does not he should recant his blather at once. However, if his concern is to save employers some bucks he should go hard. And present as a clever idiot.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      She said the measures would result in a supplicant “master and servant” situation, instead of the parties involved discussing the issues maturely.

      Which is what some business people actually want. The Exclusive Brethren tried it a few years ago.

  9. millsy 9

    Today marks 10 years since the 2002 election in which:

    The Alliance was tipped out of Parliament (by just a handful of votes) after their stupid split (both McCarten and Anderton’s lot wanted their own way, and because of that, the only credible left-of- Labour force was destroyed – with Anderton subsuming himself into the establishment). The Alliance still exists, but is left with less than 1% of the vote. The Progressives meanwhile, disseperard with Anderton last election.

    United Future gained about 5 or 6 seats, and the balance of power. Labour’s ‘arrangement’ with them more or less shifted this country in increments to the right, with the rail buyback and WFF being really the only left wing progressive policies between 02 and 08 (interest free student loans are essentially a right wing supply side policy. It did nothing to address the issue of rising fees and the tendency for providers to offer junk courses).

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      The Alliance still exists, but is left with less than 1% of the vote.

      I’ve wondered if it would be possible to jump start the Alliance but, as I’ve failed to join them twice now because they failed to respond, I don’t think it’s possible.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        I dunno. A few hundred thousand to get fulltime organisers for a few years would do it, I reckon. 
               
        I just don’t have the readies to do it myself. 

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Even as limited as they are they should still be able to respond to someone making enquiries. Lack of response indicates that the local chapter, which is advertised on their website, doesn’t actually exist.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            Yeah.
            or the person who the email goes to is on holiday, or no longer checks that address as often as they used to, or failed to hand it on to the next person properly, or the website it quietly bust, and so on.
                   
            ’tis a bad look, I grant you. 

          • Kay 9.1.1.1.2

            We in the Alliance are very sorry you had such trouble contacting us. Now that we are aware of the problem we are trying to get it sorted.

            We have no paid workers. It takes us a bit longer to do things than other political parties and sometimes things get missed and systems break down if people get busy at work or have other commitments.

            Our branches in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin still meet regularly. If you would like to have another go at getting in touch email me at kaysimmondsmurray@alliance.org.nz

        • Peter 9.1.1.2

          It doesn’t actually. Paying activists actually reduces their effectiveness, because they just get comfortable and complacent, and also lose creativity. It also builds a divide, making them feel to be part of the priviliged elite few in the party who are paid. Thus, they cease to identify with the members they are supposed to serve, and start to identify with their party bosses, and maybe the MPs. That’s where the rot sets in. I’ve seen it first hand in Labour.

          The trick is to reward your activists in other ways – pay them for fuel, accommodation, and give them admin support for some of their tasks. But keep their activities as voluntary.

          That strategy also means that the little money you will have will go further.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.1

            He didn’t say activists, he said organisers. There’s a difference.

            Thus, they cease to identify with the members they are supposed to serve, and start to identify with their party bosses,

            The party shouldn’t have “bosses” but be democratic. The members decide what to do, the organisers then organise it.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Frankly the Alliance hasn’t shown any ability to raise those kinds of funds since being kicked out of Parliament, so its just all nice theories until someone does.

    • weka 9.2

      Was really pleased to see Laila Harre joining the Greens (as staff). I hope she becomes an MP again at some point.
       
      I don’t see much point in resurrecting the Alliance when it was an alliance of parties that have moved on or disappeared. We now have the Greens and Mana, who have many good people and policies between them.

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        It started as an alliance, but then had a significant proportion of members who weren’t members of constituent parties.
               
        I was NLP, but I liked the way the Alliance was a left wing party first, narrower interests second. I believed in most of the narrow interests (possible exception being social credit 🙂 ), but the priority was on a general left advance. 

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          Do you think there is reason to increase support for the Alliance at the expense of the Greens and Mana?
           
          I always thought that Anderton should have stuck to his guns when he retired for family reasons. He had a lot of integrity at that time. His coming back was a big mistake. If he’d stayed out of it, we would have others coming through and into their own instead of the Heroic Jim.
           

          • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1

            Neither the Greens nor Mana are broad enough in their focus to get my support, is all I know. So I’m a member of neither – hell, I’m not even a voter of either. If you regard that as “at the expense of”, rather than “complimentary to”, well – that’s the constant problem of the left. Mana doesn’t seem to have affected the Green vote too much – why would a broad-focus left wing party?
                            
                
            Tend to agree about JA, and his shafting of the Alliance for several months before the 02 election was just spiteful.
                  

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s not about taking support from other parties but getting support from those of the left who presently aren’t voting because none of the existing parties suit them.

              • + 1

                I think also it is still very early days for Mana but so far they have delivered on their promise of focusing on inequality and the suffering of those disadvantaged in our society.

              • bad12

                Don’t suit??? Don’t trust them anymore would be more like it, i can only just bring myself to vote for the Green Party after the Emissions Trading Scam,

                Look at asset sales and the recent announcement from both Shearer and Norman,after people having for months taken to the streets in protest and such protest vocally urged on by similar protest in the Parliament by both Labour and Greens we all get a kick in the nuts from both of them saying that there’s no plans to get those assets back,

                Just look at how beneficiaries are treated left and right, Mouldoon added income tax, Labour kept the income tax on the bene, Richardson/Shiply cut benefits, Labour left those cuts in place, Labour bring in working for families,the new family benefit, beneficiaries don’t qualify coz according to Labour they aint working, but according to the tax they pay they is,

                The lefts big problem is that the day after they get elected,if they wasn’t already, they suddenly get all fiscally right wing,

                When the Party’s of the Left get real and go into Government with the sole intention of taxing the National Party core vote, (top 40% of earners), for their sins, then and only then will the 1 million of registered but don’t voters show those Party’s of the left some respect,

                As it is now, the Party’s of the right KNOW that they can kick those who HAVE NOT in the guts anytime they have whim to without such financial kicking’s being reversed and until the Party’s of the Left respond in kind to those at the other end of the financial spectrum they are hardly an alternative to the present shower of you know what as far as the HAVE NOTS are concerned…

                • weka

                  As it is now, the Party’s of the right KNOW that they can kick those who HAVE NOT in the guts anytime they have whim to
                   

                  Yes, so all the more reason to vote for Labour, the Greens or Mana. I’ve never quite understood this thing of not voting for a party because they don’t do what you want. Isn’t it obvious that at this time in history we’re making the best of a bad situation? Despite all the rhetoric about Labour (and Greens) not being Left, we are still soooo much better off with them than NACT.
                   
                  The Greens have moved towards the centre from my personal politics alot, but I think this is good. If they did what I want, they wouldn’t be in parliament, let alone close to being part of a govt. It’s not THEIR responsibility to make the rest of NZ move left, it’s the responsibility of those not in the Greens. Let them move centre where they can do something, and something else will step up and hold the radical edge.
                   
                  The thing that really gets me is that NZ was gutless when it counted. We’ve had a couple of opportunities to have the Greens in govt and we wimped out. I know people who didn’t bother voting at all, or who voted Labour because they got scared of the left losing the election. We would be in a much better position now if we’d had the Greens in govt already. In that sense I can’t blame the Greens for what they are doing. They NEED votes to be able to do anything useful and if this is how they get them good on them.
                   
                   

                  • bad12

                    You only need study how Labour and National treat beneficiaries to see why there is a growing ‘registered but not voting cohort’,

                    When the best thing a beneficiary can expect from Labour is not to have their finances attacked that’s hardly motivation to vote for them is it,

                    National are the party of direct attack, Labour the party of status quo thus setting beneficiaries up for the next direct attack by National,

                    Who suffers most from National’s tax cuts for the rich by % of income, beneficiaries do,

                    Who suffers the most from National’s rack raising of excise tax on tobacco products as a % of income and as a % of users of the product in an income group, beneficiaries do,

                    Do Labour have a plan to turn National’s tax cuts round and apply them the other way,

                    If they have it’s one hell of a well kept secret…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The Greens have moved towards the centre from my personal politics alot, but I think this is good. If they did what I want, they wouldn’t be in parliament, let alone close to being part of a govt. It’s not THEIR responsibility to make the rest of NZ move left, it’s the responsibility of those not in the Greens. Let them move centre where they can do something, and something else will step up and hold the radical edge.

                    All you’re doing there is advocating that all parties move to the right and thus ignore the growing number of people not voting because they don’t have a party of the left to vote for.

                    • weka

                      No that’s not what I’m advocating, and I don’t see the Greens positioning themselves to be part of the govt (as opposed to staying radical and out of government) as a move to the right. It’s simply being pragmatic to get some actual power to make changes. And as they do that, a space is left, on the more radical edge, for something else to appear to keep the govt and the country from going to the right more than it already is.
                       
                      What would you alternative to that be?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s simply being pragmatic to get some actual power to make changes.

                      And that is exactly how the rot sets in, and how most of our Left wing parties end up totally centrist with tendencies to pander to right leaning voters.

                    • weka

                      What would your alternative to that be?

                    • McFlock

                      Acting as an anchor that has the parliamentary support to pull labour left. Rather than moving right and hoping someone else takes your place.

                    • weka

                      Acting as an anchor that has the parliamentary support to pull labour left. Rather than moving right and hoping someone else takes your place.
                       

                      What do you mean ‘has the parliamentary support’. Do you mean having MPs but outside of govt? Because unless the Greens do what they are doing I can’t see them being part of the govt.

                    • McFlock

                      Insisting on being “part of the government” really is FPP thinking. Let 10 or 14% speak for itself, and vote on issues on a bill by bill basis, in accordance with your policy.
                           
                       

                • Murray Olsen

                  My memory is that Roger Douglas, finance minister of the first ACT government, applied income tax to benefits. Am I wrong?

                  • Vicky32

                    finance minister of the first ACT government, applied income tax to benefits. Am I wrong?

                    Someone did around then, so it was probably him. I worked for WINZ then, and it was a right pain calculating it, especially as numbers are not my strong suit!

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I remember protesting against it at the time, partially on the basis that retaxing money that came from general taxation anyway was a complete waste of time and bound to be more expensive. It may have been at the end of the Muldoon era, but I’m pretty sure it was after ACT sent around their Save the Rail campaign and a Task Force, including bright faced treasury BComs, to listen to people about benefit and pension issues. I also protested against GST at the same time, so I’m pretty sure that it was ACT that introduced it.

            • weka 9.2.1.1.1.2

              Neither the Greens nor Mana are broad enough in their focus to get my support, is all I know.
               

              Isn’t that FPP thinking McFlock? Should one party meet our political needs? Would you object to a Labour/Greens/Mana coalition govt? If not, then why not support that?
               
              Both the Greens and Mana need to grow. For the Alliance to get big enough to have any meaning, and do anything other than waste votes, they would have to take some of the support needed by those other two parties. I would rather see the Alliance join with the Greens or Mana and make the changes within those parties to broaden out their policies.

              • McFlock

                no. I’m not saying that there should be a single party that suits all people. Just that there’s no party other than the Alliance that suits me. I.e. one that doesn’t elevate a single issue above others.
                     
                We need a party that prioritises inequaity and leftist economic policies  above green/maori/religious/whatever issues. Not to replace the other parties, but to complement their skillsets and to keep asking thse questions, just as the greens point out environmental problems.
                     
                Most left parties cover most of the bases, but it’s a question of emphasis. The Maori party is a good example of why other issue parties are at risk of sacrificing the broader picture for their key interest. And nandor’s speech on why the Greens were not a left wing party and should reach out to bluegreens (a fewyears ago now, but the risk was there).
                 

                • weka

                  ” I’m not saying that there should be a single party that suits all people.”
                   
                  That’s not what I meant. I mean a single party that suits you (or any individual). I vote Green but don’t expect the Greens to do everything I want them to. That’s why I’m glad Mana are around. And that if the Greens become part of the govt, there are people outside who will try and keep them honest.
                   
                  The Greens aren’t a single issue party, and never have been. If you think they’re only about the environment you haven’t been paying attention. Likewise Mana aren’t solely about Maori. 
                   
                  The problem isn’t that the Greens aren’t radical or left enough. It’s that the voting public aren’t.

                  • McFlock

                    Name me a party that gives the same emphasis to child poverty, inequality and leftist economic policy as the Greens give to the environment.
                       
                    Lab4 went kaput partly because the rest of the party lacked the economic background and skills to say “this is shit, here’s why”. We need that skillset today.
                       
                    I never said the Greens or anyone were a one-issue party. Just that their focus of action is on, surprise surprise, green issues. We don’t have a leftwing party that gives the same focus to economic issues. I want to vote for that party . 

  10. urban rascal 10

    New Zealand’s richest:
    1 Alexander Abramov: $7b
    2 Graeme Hart: $6b
    3 Richard Chandler: $5b
    4 Julian Robertson: $3b
    5 Todd Family: $2.7b
    6= Christopher Chandler: $1.5b
    6= William (Bill) Foley: $1.5b
    8 Eamon Cleary: $1.2b
    9 Dowager Duchess Henrietta Bedford: $1b
    10 Goodman Family : $950m

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7355530/Foreigners-invade-Rich-List

    Surely these ten could solve that little issue of 270,00 children below the poverty line…

    • Bill 10.1

      Can’t see a mere several hundred kilo’s of meat going very far among 27 000.

      On a more serious note, private charity would tend to ‘serve’ those who the donors consider to be ‘deserving’. I believe in the US there are highly competitive ‘charity dinners’ where these leaches can wave their dicks at one another. And with their conciences salved they carry on with activities that generate horrendous inequalities.

      Want to ammeliorate poverty in a capitalist context? Tax, tax and tax again.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Want to ammeliorate poverty in a capitalist context? Tax, tax and tax again.

        Taxes should, effectively, set the maximum income allowed.

        • TheContrarian 10.1.1.1

          Set a maximum income? Why? And who decides and how do they come to the conclusion?

          • felix 10.1.1.1.1

            Why not?

            • TheContrarian 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks, that answers nothing.

              • felix

                I’m contrary like that.

                But seriously, why not? If there are people who don’t have enough of a share of our resources to live even in basic health and dignity, why should others be simultaneously allowed to hoard many times more than they can ever use?

                • Who decides how much is allowed then? And what is it based on?

                  • weka

                    Parliament? Referendum? We have people that decide shit like this all the time. Who decided that Work and Income beneficiaries are only allowed a certain income and nothing above it? Why?

                    • I’ll never agree with a maximum income. I don’t mind high tax rates sufficiently high earners nor do I mind CGT but an 100% tax on any thing over a certain amount I’ll never agree with nor understand as a viable option and just sounds like you want to dictate someone not being able to buy a brand new Ferrari because you have decided they don’t need one. 

                      But I am fascist, commie, right winger, greenie, environmentalist, leftie Nazi so it doesn’t matter what I say. 
                       

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But I am fascist, commie, right winger, greenie, environmentalist, leftie Nazi so it doesn’t matter what I say.

                      That’s what you become when you believe in delusional economics.

                    • felix

                      Contrarian, I note that you haven’t yet said anything about why you object to the concept.

                    • It is difficult to articulate why – I have been thinking how best to explain myself (to myself, even) but it’s one of those things I need conjugate on.

                      Hold please… 

                    • bad12

                      Good point, If at times of high unemployment ie: above 2% we got smart and taxed the employer class at a higher rate then both situations are (a) unlikely to occur, and (b) it wouldnt take long for employers to catch on so such occurences would be rare and for short periods,

                      Having said that though, the reality going forwards is that we, as in the State, is going to have to take responsibility for (a), the provision of State housing to all that apply based upon rental of 25% of income, and (b), not only a maximum allowable income but a minimum allowable income as well with a wide discretionary band in between these two poles…

                  • McFlock

                    Gummint.
                         
                    How many poor people are in the country and their level of hardship.
                           
                     

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Who decides how much is allowed then? And what is it based on?

                    Government decides of course.

                    As for what it is based on, I suggest a 91% income tax on every dollar over 20x the NZ median income.

                    Having said that, a capital tax is more important than an income tax.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.2

            Why a maximum income? Because the economy is limited and thus giving lots to some results in a lot of others being in poverty (what we actually see). We can’t afford the rich and, as Peak Oil progresses, we may not actually be able to afford the “middle class”* either.

            * For that I’m using a specific measure that applies ATM: the average wage or more per working individual but less than what the top 1% earn on average. And that would still catch some who are actually rich.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.1.1.1.3

            “Set a maximum income? Why?”

            The social costs of too much inequality within a society are huge. Violence, mental illness, child mortality, social mobility, etc.

        • Bored 10.1.1.2

          If we set a maximum income (by way of 100% tax bracket) we might as well get rid of private property and go to a state owned economy, centrally planned as in the ex Communist states. Great in theory but what happens is that the ability of the individual to be motivated to achieve is circumscribed by the state. If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc. The whole community then suffers. It is a nasty paradox, we have to allow achievement to incentivise individuals to generate benefits for all.

          There are some answers to this however: progressive tax is only one. Defining the “commons” and its corollary “private property rights” is key. The Labour Party guiding principles spell this out rather well by saying where public interests are considered more important than private interests the public interest is preferred. If we have a real issue in NZ it is that we have allowed privatisation of the commons for the benefit of the few.

          • urban rascal 10.1.1.2.1

            Went on a wikipedia mission this morning starting from Abramov.
            Found that In Russia they started having so-called National champions, vertically integrated companies in strategic sectors that are expected not only to seek profit, but also to “advance the interests of the nation”.

          • Carol 10.1.1.2.2

            If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc.. Evidence for this?

            As I understand it, innovation is more likely when diverse groups of people collaborate and are motivated by the enterprise and what it can achieve (not monetary reward). A good example of this is the rise of the Internet and the open source movement. For instance, Tim Berners-Lee gave away the protocols for his web browser free.

            A society focused on monetary rewards and associated wealth status is likely to de-motivate large sections of the community, and potentially innovative people.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2.2.1

              +1

              People are motivated by purpose.

            • Bored 10.1.1.2.2.2

              You are correct in all you say Carol: to explain my view the individuals actions can be both individual or within a group of individuals. The key is that the individual can see the benefit of an action to themselves personally without the benefit being taken from them coercively by an economic system (such as capitalism where the workers value is not paid in full) or state (such as a communist state demanding labour).

              The evidence for non performance and non innovation is all around us. The Japanese car industry flourished when they stopped treating workers as command driven drones and instituted shop floor involvement in improvement: the Russian peasants agricultural output fell massively when collectivisation was forced upon them.

              The best analogy to the needs of the individual to me are not contained in any political theory: the Catholic codification of the Deadly Sins and their opposite Virtues seems more appropriate in recognising the whole and the balance in humans. PS I am not religious.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The key is that the individual can see the benefit of an action to themselves personally without the benefit being taken from them coercively by an economic system (such as capitalism where the workers value is not paid in full) or state (such as a communist state demanding labour).

                Yes but what is the definition of full?
                Remember, we’re talking about capping incomes due to the simple fact that the economy is limited and so over paying people will result in poverty. To put it another way, people will still be paid for their work but there would be no possibility that they would be over paid.

                • Bored

                  Cant do a definition in full Draco: in general as stated, where I have come to is a rejection of absolutist positions (I can get very close) but a shade of grey. A monopoly on the truth I have not: like yourself however I do see reality.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Bored you are so waaaaay wrong on this.

                    Great in theory but what happens is that the ability of the individual to be motivated to achieve is circumscribed by the state. If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc.

                    You need to read Bunji’s reading material from

                    Sunday./sunday-reading-8/

                    Here are a few of my own examples. There are millions.

                    Many of the All Blacks most respected and best remembered players came from its amatuer era.

                    No one paid Sir Ed to climb Everest, and if they had wanted to, he would have turned them down.

                    Einstein did some of his best physics as a lowly paid patent clerk.

                    Kalashnikov designed what became the most widely used, highly produced, fantastically reliable and effective assault rifle, with no expectation that he would ever be financially rewarded or recognised for it.

                    Beethoven and Mozart did some of their best work while totally stone broke.

                    In short mate, and with the great amount of respect that I accord you, you have what motivates real human beings (but perhaps not the bankster sociopaths) 100% dead wrong.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’ll add: in the 1950’s and 1960’s, during America’s greatest industrial, technological, scientific and economic expansion, including the most rapid growth of the middle class, the top income tax rate was above 75%, and for some of the time it was as high as 91%.

                      You are so frakking wrong mate, it hurts my head.

                    • Bored

                      CV, Draco, to hurt your heads further: if I am so wrong about individual motivations why the hell are we all railing against the rich, the banksters etc? What motivates them?

                      As I said motivations are many, you are right not just monetary BUT greed and avarice certainly work for all individuals to some degree (depends just what turns their motor). If you go back to my original point it was “how do we stop individual greed privatising the commons, whilst still allowing the individual to advance themselves through a personal desire to benefit from their own actions”? Being realistic looking at those who become or remain rich I would propose that a human desire to benefit themselves individually is self evident from the existence of the rich throughout recorded history.

                      Its real even if I dont like it.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, your point seemed to be that a 100% tax bracket – say at everything over $5milp.a. – would be in the same ballpark as getting rid of all private property.
                           
                      The uber-rich might be motivated by love of money, or the power it gives them. But there intellectual pursuits and innovation are directed at getting more money, nothing more.
                               
                      Remember, we’re talking personal income. If someone wants to do an Elan Musk and innovate using massive amounts of capital into changing the world, then they can create a company to do it and sell shares in their profit-making entities to that company, or make tax-deductible donations to the charities of their choice. But why does anyone want 50 or100 times the median income? $8k shower curtains? People are hungry.

                    • Bored

                      McFlock, perhaps I did start with that contention as a lead in to the concept that individuals also have a motivation to “self benefit”, which is to be human, for better or worse. I see that in an extreme form with the uber rich. As I said I dont like it but I suspect both you and I get motivated by greed on occasion. To follow Carol, CV and Draco I agree with their contentions except that I also see our fallible human nature, coexisting. At issue for me is the balance, how we take greed and make it useful, or counter it.

                      For the record (the 7 deadly sins and virtues)…
                      lust / chastity, gluttony/ temperance, greed / charity, sloth /diligence, wrath /patience, envy / kindness, pride / humility.
                      Seems to sum up for me human motivations / balance far more than any materialist argument by Friedman or Marx. Or whether we should have no private property or no commons.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What motivates the banksters is simple greed but that seems to be a result of sociopathy.

                      “how do we stop individual greed privatising the commons, whilst still allowing the individual to advance themselves through a personal desire to benefit from their own actions”?

                      By ensuring that they actually are so benefited, that they can see what they’ve done, how it’s benefited society, how they’ve been paid and that they’re not allowed to drop into poverty. A cap on income doesn’t prevent that. People don’t need millions of dollars of income to see that.

                      IIRC, RedLogix put up a perfect example a few weeks ago: He did some small amount of work ($600 dollars worth) that saved the company he worked for some $50k/year. Now, if we follow your idea and the idea of the sociopaths he shouldn’t have done that work for anything less than about two or three hundred thousand because there’s no doubt that the company would save that much and thus the idea was worth that much.

                      That’s the difference that we’re talking about. Enough to live a good life or so much that the community can’t afford it.

                      Another example I read of a couple of years back was the person who developed the first process to produce industrial diamonds. He spent months of his own time working on it at the company lab and after the company duly took it off him (their equipment you know and thus by law the idea and work was, somehow, theirs) and made millions they gave him a $10 gift voucher. He was, unsurprisingly, rather pissed off and told them to go fuck themselves.

                      That’s an example of someone who wasn’t properly rewarded. He probably wasn’t expecting millions but he was certainly expecting and entitled to more than $10 and a pat on the head.

                      A capitalist doesn’t want a cap on income because they don’t actually earn their wealth – they take it from others and the more people they can take from the more they income they can get. Cap incomes and the number of people they’re taking from is capped but that’s Ok as well because there’s plenty of people around who can do their job (the biggest myth around in today’s society is that there isn’t). Now, as I’ve said, administration is important and the administrators do need an income but there’s no way that they’re worth hundreds or even tens of times more than the people who are actually innovating and doing the work. The people, interestingly enough, who are more than happy to work and innovate for a few tens of thousands per year.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2.3

            If we set a maximum income (by way of 100% tax bracket) we might as well get rid of private property and go to a state owned economy, centrally planned as in the ex Communist states.

            Nope. Getting rid of private land ownership is certainly viable but central planning is out. We’d use a democratic system to decide what we did with the resources we have available.

            Great in theory but what happens is that the ability of the individual to be motivated to achieve is circumscribed by the state. If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc.

            You’ve bought into the delusion pedalled by the economists.

            People tend to have ideas and to advance themselves whether they’re paid or not. It’s this propensity that has capitalists at the top as they benefit from the actions of others while paying them as little as possible. The people who are so exploited are kept away from the information that would show that they are being exploited, i/e, they don’t realise that it’s not the capitalists that’s paying them.

            You’ll also note that in today’s world innovation is very carefully curtailed through the use of patents and other artificial limitations. Limitations that, IMO, effectively legislate thought crime.

            • Bored 10.1.1.2.3.1

              Draco, as above carol said pretty much what you said about motivations. I replied to her, I dont disagree with you overall. And land should certainly be nationalised (I would pay farmers based upon soil fertility over time: $ per microbes per meter cubed etc…..)

            • TheContrarian 10.1.1.2.3.2

              “You’ve bought into the delusion pedalled by the economists.”

              Indeed, we should buy into the delusions that Draco peddles instead.  Like how NZ is a dictatorship and how hiring staff is immoral.

    • Nice! Alexander Abramov. Russian Oligarch, gangster and owner of one of the biggest private yachts. He also owns a ridiculously big mansion and is allowed to dredge up 200sq m of seabed on the northern side Helen’s bay until 2015. Just the kind of guy you want to corrupt whatever is left of a semblance of decency in any country. 

    • Bored 10.3

      The Rich List can always be looked at as “cash” value, but that is a little misleading. I don’t know how the worth is constructed but it will no doubt be cash, shares, property, investments etc. Which means that it is not as portable or convertible as cash, it is at risk of asset deflation (stock crashes etc), defaults (if cash in bank, investments etc).

      The point I am trying to make is that the worth may be quite illusionary, and subject to high levels of variation. Having said that the levels of “wealth” confer a massive amount of “power” to influence the extraction of more “wealth” from you and me. We should perhaps rename the Rich list the “Extractive Plutocratic List”.

      • Chris 10.3.1

        There was a bit of discussion about this last year as well – the main point I have about it is that it ignores loans that a lot of the people on the list will have to get to that point.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.3.2

        The point I am trying to make is that the worth may be quite illusionary,

        Considering that our entire financial system is delusionary – I’d say that there’s no may involved.

        • Bored 10.3.2.1

          No still illusionary…the Emperor is still dressed if a little threadbare…the tatters will fall to the floor as he loses weight fro internal haemoraging and they fall off…then the deluded will scream in denial.

    • felix 10.4

      “New Zealand’s richest:”

      Or as John Key calls them, “Mum and Dad investors”

    • rosy 10.5

      Funny. Overseas investors cut New Zealanders out of land and business ownership and now they’ve cut them out of the rich list.

  11. millsy 11

    Further to my post above, I wonder if McCarten will acknowledge this milestone in is HoS column this Sunday?

    • Anne 11.1

      Yes, millsy. It would be good to hear Matt’s perspective on that unfortunate split 10 years on. I would like to hear what those on the other side think now too.

      I can’t help wondering if there were some ‘outside’ destabilising elements operating around that time. Let’s face it, Labour was denied what should have been it’s natural coalition partner, the Alliance Party. A Labour/Alliance coalition (with a possible supply arrangement with the Greens) would have resulted in a very different govt. from the one one we ended up getting. Labour’s hands were effectively tied behind their backs for most of the nine years they were in power.

      I look forward to an eventual Helen Clark auto-biography. I think there could be some very surprising revelations come out of it.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        My take at the time was that it was Anderton dictating to the party, rather than the other way around. The final straw was a party mostly of pacifists seeing its caucus rubberstamp sending combat troops to Afghanistan, but there had been some issues before that.
               
        Looking back on it, although I still hold with the tactical summary it seems to me that the Alliance was a casualty of MMP teething troubles – I think that now coalition minority parties are more comfortable expressing themselves without fear that the government will collapse. 

        • just saying 11.1.1.1

          Yes it would be good if Matt (or other insiders) would open-up about that period.

          I remember being horrified at an Alliance meeting not long after the election getting an official message from Anderton the party management saying that, in effect, Alliance policy was now government policy and we, as a party, were not allowed to publicly disagree with cabinet. There was even a snide comment that if we wanted more policy influence we’d have to get off our arses and get more votes in the next election.

          But I don’t believe Anderton ever cared about democracy. As far as he was concerned the membership were just his unwashed, unpaid, staff.

          I’ve been lukewarm about Te Mana because there have been signs of the same sort of socially conservative dictatorship in Harawira’s behaviour, and in the leadership of the website.

          edit: On second thoughts I think the memo have have been from Anderton himself.

          • bad12 11.1.1.1.1

            I genuinely like Hone and usually agree with His views and the way He expresses those views,

            But,

            Walking the talk and all that would have me NEVER considering voting for Him or Mana, Hone is another that when still in with the Maori Party fell all over Himself, saving His people so He said, to get the rack raising of the excise tax on tobacco products going on its upward spiral,

            As part of Government both Hone and the Maori Party must have been privy to the Treasury advice to the Government at the time that said very few people would be able to quit using tobacco so would be trapped paying the tax,

            As most of Hone’s people are those that figure significantly in the use of tobacco all’s Harawira achieved by supporting such rack-raising of the tax was to take the food off of the tables of His people…

          • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.1.2

            My impression was that Anderton was a populist who thought the Alliance existed for his own advancement. Anyone who didn’t toe the management line was expunged post haste. On the other hand, I see signs that Mana is opening up and certainly doesn’t exist as a propaganda vehicle for Hone Harawira. I support Mana/Greens because I think Mana would keep the Greens more Green and less blue, while the Greens would make voters who are uncomfortable about the Harawira family (understandable given Titewhai’s antics over the years) more feeling of stability.

        • bad12 11.1.1.2

          ”Looking back on it”, You may be right Mc, or, as those of us who vote left are constantly finding out, Anderton as appears does the present Labour Caucus to a great extent can see nothing wrong in ‘Roger-spit-nomics-spit…

          • McFlock 11.1.1.2.1

            Disagree about anderton and rogernomics. But it was his social conservatism that got in the way, by and large. And possibly the same sense of confidence in his own opinion that enabled him to leave labour and start afresh also meant that as far as he was concerned it was “his way or the highway”. 
                 
            Democracy is an annoyance to someone like that if suddenly people have quite strong objections to the things you choose to do. 

          • Anne 11.1.1.2.2

            Anderton as appears does the present Labour Caucus to a great extent can see nothing wrong in ‘Roger-spit-nomics-spit…

            That’s wrong bad12.

            Jim Anderton, Helen Clark and many other members of cabinet/caucus were spitting tacks over the Douglas/Prebble (and acolytes) neo-con policies but they were powerless to do anything so they shut up and waited for Lange to wake up and come to his senses. He eventually did with the famous “cup of tea”. A very senior cabinet minister of the time told me that the policy decisions and deals were done by a handful of cabinet minsters (no prizes for guessing which ones) behind closed doors and without the knowledge of the rest of cabinet. By the time they got to Monday morning cabinet meetings, they were already fait accompli. Nobody knew what the hell was going on, and anyone who dared to question the tactics pretty much was shouted down. It is to their credit though that they remained silent for the sake of the Party.

            • weka 11.1.1.2.2.1

              . It is to their credit though that they remained silent for the sake of the Party
               

              Why? What would have happened if they’d shouted back, and would that have been worse in the long term?

              • Anne

                Anticipated someone would come up with that weka.

                Its easy with the benefit of hindsight to say “Why?” But the power and influence lay in the hands of Douglas and co. at that point in time. I’m sure there would have been some ‘shouting and hollering’ going on at cabinet meetings, but that is where it had to stay. As you would know Anderton eventually walked. Helen Clark stayed and waited it out. Who won? Well, in my view Helen Clark did.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Helen Clark stayed and waited it out. Who won? Well, in my view Helen Clark did.

                  Nope, we still got the same bloody system causing the same problems.

                • weka

                  Anne, I suppose because I see that 80s Labour govt as the most damaging thing that has happened politically in this country (in my life time at least) I find it hard to see how anyone won.
                   
                  Isn’t what you described simply a short term gain of power? How did this help NZ in the long term?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The first Labour Government did more for the people of New Zealand in 3 short years than Helen Clark’s government did in 3 full terms.

                  • Vicky32

                    Anne, I suppose because I see that 80s Labour govt as the most damaging thing that has happened politically in this country (in my life time at least)

                    Seriously? You have got to be kidding! It was the years of National afterwards that really did the damage, as my son will happily tell you. Despite his study and his qualifications, he spent most of his teens and 20s jobless, and his mother and little brother were on the bones of our ar$es trying to survive on a DPB.
                    Only when Helen Clark got back in in 1999 did we all have a prayer!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      V32: National would NEVER have been able to do those things if Labour had not OPENED THE DOOR to economic neoliberalism.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The 5th National government just continued on the path that the 4th Labour government had set. The 5th Labour government continued on the same path but with a little less radicalism involved.

            • bad12 11.1.1.2.2.2

              And when given the chance as Prime Minister to undo the damage created by Roger-spit-nomics-spit, although Clark managed to buy back the Train-set and an Airline for those on the bottom of the economic heap what did She do,

              Restore the benefits to levels pre-benefit cuts, well nah, Helen got down to creating a new family benefit and with deliberation disallowed beneficiaries the money for their kids thus intensifying their level of poverty…

            • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.2.2.3

              It is to their internal shame that they remained silent. I include Helen Clark and Phil Goff in this.

  12. Carol 12

    I support Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill & and any campaigns supporting it. I think generally the public supports it.

    But I also think there should be more attention paid to some of the other bills drawn in the ballot. They draw attention to some important issues, and if they don’t become law, indicate a direction for future non-NAct governments:

    http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/its-all-on.html

    State-Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities (Protecting New Zealand’s Strategic Assets) Amendment Bill (Clayton Cosgrove)
    Resource Management (Restricted Duration of Certain Discharge and Coastal Permits) Amendment Bill (Catherine Delahunty)
    Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill
    Ombudsmen (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill (Shane Jones)
    Minimum Wage Amendment Bill (David Clark)

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/111693/key-will-back-early-stages-of-gay-marriage-bill

    A bill from the Labour MP David Clark, which was also drawn, would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

    The State-Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities Amendment Bill, in the name of Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, is also heading for a vote.

    It proposes entrenching state-owned enterprises and would require a 75% majority in Parliament or a referendum in order to sell them.

    Will Dunne cop-out again and not support the SOE Bill?

  13. alex 13

    I need the help of the New Zealand blogosphere. Does anyone know of this image? It is a bust of Phil Goff, shaded in blue a la the Obama ‘Change’ image, with the text ‘I think I can’ underneath.

    I would like to use it for a university project but need permission.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Conditions in NZ’s major trading partners are looking much worse currently. Expect massive fall out in local financial and economic numbers around Christmas/new years time frame.

    Also my bet is that NZ migration to Oz has peaked and will now fall.

    • Enough is Enough 14.1

      Agreed

      Outside of mining Australia looks to be deep in shite. The Eastern states have been in recession for most of this year. The anti Kiwi sentiment is brewing.

      Unless you want to live in the desert driving trucks Australia is grim.

      Which isn’t good new for New Zealand. As our largest trading partner we rely on Sydney buying our shit. This storm is about to get very very very bad.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        The Eastern states have been in recession for most of this year. The anti Kiwi sentiment is brewing.

        Unless you want to live in the desert driving trucks Australia is grim.

        Perceptive of you to bring up the anti-Kiwi sentiment. Its happening in a whole lot of very subtle and not subtle ways, from what I hear. And its increasing, the tougher times get.

        As for the strength in Australian mining – that’s virtually all over. The reason being that Australian mining is a two product, two customer industry. Coal and iron ore. China and Japan. And those two countries are sliding backwards slowly but surely.

        Japan because their demographics are now irrecoverable. China because their real growth rate can no longer maintain social stability.

    • urban rascal 14.2

      Yea I think we are in for a very unstable 12 months.
      Our two biggest trading partners are losing growth. China pulls back, the aussi economy falls and we are hit by both in a double whammy.
      Worse, I can already hear the 2014 bleating from National, mandate to sell kiwirail and kiwibank.

      “we had to take far more drastic actions to divert the economy on the backs of Aussi and chinese crisises”.

      I don’t know about the migration, I almost think that leaving the country is close to ingrained in graduates after the environment of the last 5 years or so. Plus Australia might still weather the storm better than us and still have better opportunity.

      • Bored 14.2.1

        NZ is about to come off record commodity receipts because of what you mention above, not a collapse in need / want for our goods but a collapse in demand based upon their ability to pay. Our internal consumer economy is also a liability because the goods are generally imported as opposed to made here, as is the case for the support industries for our primary products. We cant afford to make them here due to cheap labour offshore, and our primary receipts wont allow us to buy as much.

        The whole scenario is not pretty because the tax take will diminish and costs go up with unemployment and diminishing profits, so we can expect to see pressure on state services and benefits: borrowing will become harder and more expensive for government.

        What it looks like to me is another cyclical market failure: we managed to fix the last failures with “growth” and came up with nice theories about “capital destruction” being really good. The reality is that the availability of cheap energy underpinned the growth of credit that built our economies on future debt.

        In future energy becomes less available, higher priced. Debt will be unsupportable and capital creation scarce. We cannot fix the whole thing in the old way, we need to transition very fast to a solid state economy that may grow and contract within known renewable resource availability and does not rely upon future growth. We need to leave the globalised “Empire” and the thinking that underpins it.

        • urban rascal 14.2.1.1

          You should be a Cunliffe Speech writer. This is a great explanation, the sooner we move away from the globalised thinking, the better

        • Fortran 14.2.1.2

          Bored

          The drought in USA is seriously critical for the world food programme as they are one of the world’s largest wheat producers, including to poorer nations via UN aid.

          It could have a positive impact on our ability to continue to supply our produce worldwide, which could be favourably priced, despite the high dollar.

        • prism 14.2.1.3

          Bored 14 2 1 I’ve just caught up with this – so well explained and with no twist and escape down a bolthole. Let’s keep thinking on this blog as little enough (except self preservation) seems to occur in that of the ones with power. And its a case of not being aware of history, and repeating it.

          I’ve just read a hopeful young adult Puffin book by Joan Lingard called Natasha’s Will which does so much for the reader, tells about the early days of Bolshevism, the conditions that fed it, the actions of the poor, how people escaped, how people died of hunger and disease, and lack of money, begging for food and help at the side of the road, and how people escaped from it who could access money and goods to sell, succeeding in getting to Paris as a family aiding each other. And it references the children’s literature of the time so very good for reading.

          Politicians and leaders looking at the world through distorted rose-coloured glasses are quite capable of leading us into this sort of mire.

          • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.3.1

            Let’s keep thinking on this blog as little enough (except self preservation) seems to occur in that of the ones with power. And its a case of not being aware of history, and repeating it.

            its not just that, its also because the ones with power in a capitalist economy are the ones with wealth. In NZ that’s people with a net worth of tens of millions, hundreds of millions and billions of dollars.

            At that level of wealth you are absolutely insulated from the economic austerity being borne by the 95%. The functions you go to, the first class flights, the six star hotels, the fine dining, never stops. When you look to invest and buy up new land and new businesses, recessions are great – you can get more for less.

            And so, the gap between perception and reality becomes larger and larger until something breaks down badly.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.3.1.1

              And once at that level of wealth in a capitalist society you effectively cannot lose. Sure, may lose a few dollars here and there but you will never, ever be subjected to the poverty and deprivation that is the norm for most of society.

              And so, the gap between perception and reality becomes larger and larger until something breaks down badly.

              As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago on the Archdruid. Once people get to that level, effectively aristocrats as Greer says, they actually start to believe that they are the structure of society. It is this belief, and it’s a delusional one, that has them telling us how the rich create jobs and wealth.

            • bad12 14.2.1.3.1.2

              And couple that with the newly installed title for the pinnacle of the ism of ‘being to big to fail’ and there is both the ability and the motive to create the recession which allows the accumulation of further assets on the cheap…

        • Bored 14.2.1.4

          Nice summary, thanks Prism.

    • lostinsuburbia 14.3

      As long as Paul Henry doesn’t come back.

      • Enough is Enough 14.3.1

        That cunt has the worst ratings in Australian tv history. he will limp back to no job in New Zealand before the Spring

        • Tiger Mountain 14.3.1.1

          watch your language dickhead

          • Enough is Enough 14.3.1.1.1

            Explain the difference between my profanity and yours other than the fact Paul Henry deserves anything and everything that is thrown at him?

            • McFlock 14.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s a level of offensiveness that goes beyond indicating extreme displeasure.
                 
              Indeed, it’s the worst word BSA could think of.
              Although the debate demands a referral to the supreme authority on the topic.
               

              • bad12

                Am on Enough’s side in this one, if the use of any of what we traditionally see as swear words is offensive then all of those words should be, are we attempting in our taking of offense here in ‘protecting the sensitivities of the fairer sex’,

                That in itself would indicate a level of sexism…

                • McFlock

                  It’s an interesting discussion, yon use of language.
                         
                  It could be that the objectification and control of women tends to revolve around things going into or coming out of their vaginas. Couple that with some good old Saxon coarse sounds, prudity about sex to ingrain the badness of the word over several hundred years, and the next thing you know the most insulting and denigrating word in the language turns out to be a key piece of anatomy that distinguishes men from women.
                       
                  Whereas “dick” is from the perspective of power, so it’s not as viscerally connected with extreme misandry as “cunt” is with misogyny. 

                  • bad12

                    Dick tho, in it’s common usage in the language is more intent upon describing stupidity of one form or another, whereas ‘prick’ another derivative of the male anatomical feature is more the descriptive of something or someone ‘underhanded’,

                    Cunt however, seems for whatever reason to have become the preserve of ‘major calamity’ whether used to describe an event or person,

                    I refuse to fall into the obvious verbal trap whereby a variation of the word usage is applied and thus another more cynical form of denigration is implied…

                    • McFlock

                      Apart from the fact that a calamity needs no prime mover – e.g. a tsunami is a calamity, tremendous bad but with no intent.
                           
                      Calling someone a c~ is very different – it is their bad intent that qualifies them as a c~, and it is by far the most extreme level of bad intent. Calling someone a prick is towards the most minor end of the scale.
                             
                      A bouncer who makes a snap judgement to order someone off-premises, not really caring who actually started it, is a bit of a “prick”.  But if he gets a mate to set you up in a fight, then claims that he didn’t see his mate hit you first, and makes sure to call the police and get you charged with assault, all just to prove to another mate that he could? In the patois of the street, he’d be a real c~.
                           
                      So why it it that a male sexual organ is a minor insult, but a female one is the most serious we have? Just coincidence? It’s my theory that laid above of the actual words, we have the context of the power issues as discussed above. The same reason that “n1gger” is at number 2 on the BSA list.

              • Enough is Enough

                Well I do fail to take into account how sensitive some people are.

                So I apologise Tiger Mountain for the offence and possible hurt I caused you when I was describing Paul Henry as something which obviously upset you. For that I am sorry.

                In my view there is no word too strong for Paul Henry.

                • McFlock

                  I agree there is no word too strong for paul henry. It was the  comparison in the opposite direction that was the problem 🙂

                • weka

                  Personally I’d prefer that a word for the part of the female body associated with pleasure and where most humans must travel through to enter the world, wasn’t associated with Paul Henry.
                   
                  I agree with McFlock. The use of the word cunt as an expletive is problematic because we live in a sexist and often overtly woman-hating society. It’s not a coincidence that one of the worst swear words we have is connected with women’s pleasure and abuse of women.
                   
                  There are women reclaiming the word cunt, in the same way that words like n1gger, queer and dyke have been reclaimed. To use ‘cunt’ in the way it was here undermines both that reclaiming and the general move to change cultural attitudes about women’s genitalia.
                   
                  I wasn’t offended (I like the word cunt, and please, call Paul Henry for what he is), I just found the use of the word in this context jarring.

                  • prism

                    Why not use the appropriate words for each gender? There would then be far more dicks cropping up for discussion and a lesser number of notable, cunts. I can think of a few just now. But saving the term for females beyond the pale would make sense.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, the best insult I ever heard was about Alan Bond – “unregenerate scoundrel”.
                                
                      I looked it up: something like “unredeemed by God”. The fucker is so bad that god would cover everyone else on the planet, but not him 🙂

                    • weka

                      I disagree prism. While Enough’s use of the word was jarring, someone saying something like Paula Bennett was a right cunt this week, while very tempting, crosses a line. As soon as you call a woman a cunt, you are deep in misogyny and there’s no easy way out.

  15. Fortran 15

    When was Abramov given permission to buy the land and build this monstrosity in Northland ?

    • Murray Olsen 15.1

      Possibly because the Regional Council up there can’t see past selling land to the obscenely rich. Maybe helicopter rides, soon to be forgotten about. Who knows? All I know is that Russian oligarchs do not tend to acquire their wealth cleanly, even less so than our own ones.

  16. Te Reo Putake 16

    It certainly pays to be in the union. Workers at 100 firms covered by the EPMU’s ‘Metals’ agreement will be getting a 2.8% wage rise this year, well above the current inflation rate, and more next year. National’s response? Remove the legislation that allows this to happen.

    From the press release:

    Workers at more than 100 engineering and manufacturing shops will have guaranteed pay rises for the next two years after EPMU members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the Metals & Manufacturing multi-employer collective agreement.
      
    The agreement provides for two pay rises of 2.8% and 2.1% over the next two years, as well as increased employment protections for casual and temp workers.
       
    “This settlement shows that despite the tough economic times, workers who belong to unions are still winning above-inflation pay increases”, says EPMU manufacturing industry organiser Louisa Jones.
       
    Ms Jones says multi-employer agreements like the Metals are a “win-win” for workers and employers, however, this is at risk from the government’s proposed employment law changes.
     
     “Multi-employer agreements like the Metals mean there are common conditions and wage increases across the industry. That means companies are free to compete on quality and productivity rather than who can pay the lowest wages.
       
    The right for workers to bargain across their industry is absolutely crucial if we’re going to build a productive, high-wage manufacturing sector in this country. Removing this right will only encourage a race to the bottom.
     
    That’s why the EPMU and other unions will be opposing the government’s plans to make it harder for workers to be part of multi-employer agreements.”
     

    • bad12 16.1

      Yeah, my point was exactly that to a neighbour of mine who just retired after 16 years with the same employer who never once deigned to pay Him above the minimum wage,

      I did get the strangest of looks when i suggested to Him that was His reward for having voted to remove compulsory union membership…

  17. Socialist Paddy 17

    What the?

    Did David Parker really say that Labour’s views on mining were close to National’s?

    Is he really in the Labour Party?

    The Greens must be grinning from ear to ear … 

    • McFlock 17.1

      That’s what happens when to tell everyone what they want to hear, instead of having policy. Other people hear what you said to keep a crowd of tory bastards happy.

    • felix 17.2

      Thing is, they’re not that close. He goes on to say

      There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation.

      which is something National has explicitly stated is best left to the market to sort out. And also Labour rules out schedule 4 areas – that’s a fairly fucking substantial difference.

      So why is he framing it so? Just an attempt to be “business friendly”? Positioning for 2014 as “unthreatening, not that different, just a bit better”?

      • Socialist Paddy 17.2.1

        Aye Felix the framing is appalling.  He needs to realise that Labour needs to reach out to ordinary people, not the wealthy and powerful.

      • Pete George 17.2.2

        There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation.

        which is something National has explicitly stated is best left to the market to sort out.

        Substantiate please. Otherwise I’ll assume you can’t.

        • felix 17.2.2.1

          🙄

          • Pete George 17.2.2.1.1

            Obvious avoidance.

            National is committed to the RMA…

            Sensible management of our resources is critical to protect the environment and promote stronger economic growth, to create higher-paid jobs and build a more prosperous New Zealand.

            National is committed to the underlying principles of the Resource Management Act (RMA), including sustainable management, an effects-based approach, and community involvement in decisions on public resources.

            http://www.national.org.nz/PDF_General/Resource_Management_Policy.pdf

            … and has established the EPA….

            The Environmental Protection Authority is the government agency responsible for regulatory functions concerning New Zealand’s environmental management.

            http://www.epa.govt.nz/about-us/who-we-are/Pages/default.aspx

            Both explicitly contradict “is best left to the market to sort out”.

            • Socialist Paddy 17.2.2.1.1.1

              Yeah Pete and National want to enrich the lives of beneficiaries, improve wages and working conditions and make sure that ordinary  Kiwis no longer wish to emigrate to Australia because things in NZ are that decking good.

              Time to wake up and smell the coffee. 

              • lostinsuburbia

                Yep and I bet the Nats were stoked with the TAG report on watering down the RMA. Then there are their pro-sprawl and pro-roading policies. Hardly a party concerned about the environment or local democracy either

            • felix 17.2.2.1.1.2

              🙄 .

        • Te Reo Putake 17.2.2.2

          🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 (Just sussed the icon and I’m trying to catch up with the rest of you!)

      • weka 17.2.3

         

        “There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation.”
         

        What does that even mean? It sounds to me like, go ahead, go after the hard to get fossil fuels, go ahead and frack, but be a bit careful. 
         
         

        • Te Reo Putake 17.2.3.1

          Yep, it’s jargon, but it does have meaning. Put simply, mining must done in a way that minimises risk. That’s pretty much how the Greens see it too, if I read Russel Norman’s comments correctly.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.3

      I’m supportive of mining – as long as it a) is environmentally sustainable and b) goes along with the developing the industry that needs that mining rather than just selling off the raw product as both National and Labour seem to want to do.

  18. weka 18

    Ok, so I’m curious. There is alot of criticism of the Labour party here, and it seems to have increased in recent times (justifiably so from what I can tell). Do any of you go the Labour party with those criticisms eg to the LP blog? What happens when you do?

    • KJT 18.1

      You get put into permanent moderation by Trevor Mallard.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      Do any of you go the Labour party with those criticisms eg to the LP blog?

      Yes although not as often as I used to.

      What happens when you do?

      Hard to say. No reply doesn’t mean that I’m being ignored but their continued attempts to cater to the growth meme tends to indicate that they’re not listening.

      Labour is a party of the past along with National and Act.

  19. Vicky32 19

    At the risk of starting it all up again, I have to post this, which a friend sent me..
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32013
    Read it!

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      Makes no sense at all, that I can see. Seems to be saying that the anti-Assad forces are like the Nicaraguan contras and Assad is a closet Sandanista or some such ignorant tosh. I suspect the Centre for Research on Globalisation is just a clearing house for nutters, V.

      • Vicky32 19.1.1

        Seems to be saying that the anti-Assad forces are like the Nicaraguan contras and Assad is a closet Sandanista or some such ignorant tosh.

        Sigh. What it’s actually saying is that a real revolutionary movement would not be tolerated for one second by the USA.
        As for the second part of your assertion, well, you would say that wouldn’t you? I’ve always seen you as rather a rightist, and that comment confirms it.

        • Te Reo Putake 19.1.1.1

          So? Who says it’s a ‘real’ revolution? It’s whatever the Syrian people want it to be. At its worst, it’s hardly likely to be as bas as Assad on his best day. Just did a quick google on the CRG and yep, a Canadian right wing conspiracy theory site. Quality work, V.

          • Vicky32 19.1.1.1.1

            ust did a quick google on the CRG and yep, a Canadian right wing conspiracy theory site. Quality work, V.

            Oh that’s right, you’re the right wing nutmeg who defines anyone who criticise Saint George Bush, Lord Obama or the American heroes, as right wing, which is just bizarre.
            Grow a brain.

          • bad12 19.1.1.1.2

            the Syrian revolution is also what the House of Saud wants it to be as that wonderful model of democratic rule has been inserting fighters en masse into Syria and recently announced plans to pay wages to those fighting the Assad regime…

          • Bill 19.1.1.1.3

            “It’s whatever the Syrian people want it to be.”

            So they have bastards with guns to the right of them. Bastards with guns to the left of them. In front of them and behind them they have, em…oh that’s right. Bastards with guns. And then there’s the bastards who plant bombs beneath their feet and the bastards who rain shells and mortars on their heads. But if the Syrian people decide they would really rather have a jolly picnic in the sun then hey, a jolly picnic in the sun it will be?!

            Call me unrealistic, but it seems to me that last people in a position to determine what is going on are the Syrian people. One (or more) of those factions of bastards in cahoots with whichever backers they have are the ones in the position to say what is and will be.

  20. seeker 20

    Save the Arctic -Save the planet Alert

    SHELL is about to drill in the Artic, heaven help us!

    “The biggest company in the world is days away from drilling for oil in the Arctic, a breeding ground for whales and polar bears. The US Environmental Protection Agency can stop them, but it’s up to us to demand they do and save the Arctic now.

    
 Head of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, can right now withdraw Shell’s Arctic permit.”

    Please use the link and add your voice to a global plea –

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_arctic/?bfpzidb&v=16586

  21. prism 21

    Listening to David Carter saying firmly and confidently that he respects farmers ability to understand the Fonterra TAF implications (Trading Amongst Farmers) is laughable to anyone who follows the perfidious politician. When pollies start praising the wisdom of some group, they’re applying soft soap so they can ease their way into some policy deal that’s open to question.

    The mere fact that farmers have $millions in assets and earnings makes them worthy captures, and men who have studied how to get money out of people soon work out some instrument to do it. If you are poor it is a simple straightforward dream machine – the pokie bringing the noise of spilling coins and buying power. If you are a wealthy the instruments are legal ones, such as derivatives etc.

    Just as doors can be opened by crooks using the thickness of a credit card, the barriers to getting into a good, worthwhile co-operative business like Fonterra making good profits, will be broached by the initially small entry of the voyeur financial predators. The modern Ron Brierleys etc.

    • bad12 21.1

      Well Slippery the Prime Minister did say that He would hate to see farmers as tenants on their own land,

      which means to the dairy farmers exactly the same as the Slippery one saying prior to the 2008 election ”National won’t be raising GST”…

      • Murray Olsen 21.1.1

        How can you be a tenant on your own land, unless you rent it off a blind trust or something? Does he mean he’d rather see them as tenants on his land? I could believe that.

  22. Morrissey 22

    Classic Coronation Street lines
    Friday, July 27, 2012

    KEVIN WEBSTER: Look, it’s like… Nick Tilsley made one small mistake—

    HIS WIFE SALLY: Nick Tilsley??!!?? I hope you’re not going to compare you not being able to keep your pants on to a GAS EXPLOSION!!

  23. Colonial Viper 23

    Two or three thousand Al-Qaeda associated fighters now in Syria; est. 10,000-20,000 foreign fighters in total now operating in Syria, possibility of covert Western (German) involvement on the ground supporting these fighters

    Some here still advocate on behalf of the Syrian “freedom fighters”; let me just say that things don’t seem all that clean cut.

  24. ak 24

    Progressive Progress PLAY OF THE WEEK!!!!!!

    Findlayson, Ryall and Key “can’t remember” own opinions on gay marriage!! Key “otherwise engaged”, Findlayson “too busy on treaty settlements”!!!

    Pix to follow.

  25. Pascal's bookie 25

    Sniff. Sniff. What is that?

    Shitfight. Incoming.

    http://m.nbr.co.nz/article/government-prepares-take-swathes-private-land-ch-p-124628

    Compensation is payable at the post-earthquake value of the land, not at the pre-earthquake value.

    • Compensation is only available for “actual loss”; CERA is not required to pay for any loss, which is insured or ought to have been insured.

    • Compensation is also not available for consequential loss from regulatory changes arising under the CER Act, loss from cancellation of resource consents, loss from cancellation of existing use rights, economic loss or loss from business interruption or any other loss that the Minister reasonably considers is unwarranted and unjustified.

  26. Pascal's bookie 26

    Colin Craig chooses not to be gay at this time. Just so as we are all clear on that particular point. I’m not saying he will choose otherwise at a later point, just that he reserves the option.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Colin-Craig-Gay-parents-not-good-role-models/tabid/1607/articleID/262919/Default.aspx#ixzz21oDeJrLh

  27. bad12 27

    Slippery little Hypocrite, the Prime Minister has said He will vote for the euthanasia legislation which proposes to give people the right to choose the point at which their life ends,

    Seems tho from the ”we are saving your life” tobacco tax rack raising that we won’t be allowed to expire in peace with a puff…

  28. lostinsuburbia 28

    Here is what poor housing policy gets you (while spending billions on sporting venues)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-25/east-end-has-thousands-in-illegal-squalor-near-olympics.html

  29. RedBaron 29

    Could we not make the legislative definition interchangeable? Everywhere we see the word “marriage” the word “civil union” is also attached. That way couples of any persuasion can choose. Might be plenty of hetero couples who would rather have the ability to be in civil union. If you are lucky enought have a special person does it matter what it is called?

    • Vicky32 29.1

      Might be plenty of hetero couples who would rather have the ability to be in civil union

      AFAIK, most people who enter into civil unions already, are straight people! That’s what I had read anyway…

  30. RedBaron 30

    Hi V32
    Confess I may be a little muddled on all this. I’m an either/or type person and I’d be happy for all legislation to have both terms so everyone can choose. Sort of like having a drinks cabinet where you get to choose your own tipple.

    • felix 30.1

      At present, straight people can choose either marriage or civil union, whereas gay people can only opt for civil union.

      That’s kind of the point.

  31. xtasy 31

    May I just remind of a posted story a couple of days ago:

    Rorts

    Have another look, there is something very, very nasty and dirty going on within the NZ Herald!

    Misinformation and censorship, critical comments and even emails and phone calls to the editor and a well known journalist NOT followed up, replied to and NO accountability held for wrong information spread by Paula Bennett.

    That is mainstream media par excellance in this country. I suggest to all: Dig into this one, and contact your local MP or Labour or other opposition canditate to sort this lying crap out!

    Thx

  32. xtasy 32

    Liven up Nova Zelandia:

    Cannot get any more depressing and boring:



    Wake up and create your own lives and futura for a country with prospects, rather than let yourselves be dumbed down and emotionally, psychologically, even physically get castrated by a dictatorship of kinds.

    Good Luck!

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    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
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