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Open mike 28/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 28th, 2011 - 131 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

131 comments on “Open mike 28/03/2011”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    Goff did something wrong, he cannot tell us all the information since there is justice to think of, so the timing of his reaction to the incident comes down to does the press start a witch hunt or not because Goff can’t explain his timing. Clearly its important to the press that the question of impropriety is kept alive because there is nothing to the story otherwise, since even the Goff wrong is hard to fathom, and I’m bored already. Is Goff right? Was Goff right? WGAS

  2. PeteG 2

    Goff safe for now despite rumbles

    Labour leader Phil Goff is unlikely to face any immediate threat to his leadership – but his position is shaky because of what one source described as a “bubbling” undercurrent for change.

    One Labour source said there was widespread discontent, but Mr Goff was safe because it lacked focus and there was as yet no clear runner to go against Mr Goff.

    Although several names were in the mix, they lacked support or were unwilling to run against Mr Goff.

    This a credible assessment, it’s understandable that no one else would be keen to step up and challenge now, but there is widespread discontent of Goff as evident on this blog.

    If leadership doesn’t change now it is probably locked in until the election – that will make it a hard job for Labour if even much of it’s base are not happy. It’s suggesting a low turnout, and perhaps the least discontented will front up and determine the result. If Winston Peters is being suggested as a serious contender for a comeback it doesn’t give a lot of confidence in the overall quality on offer.

    • Carol 2.1

      Or maybe large numbers of people will vote on the issues they see as important, like on party policies related to how well they are surviving in the current economic climate, rather than on their preferred party leader?

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        That may be wishful thinking. And also wistful expecting people to vote on the quality of MPs.

        Has any polling or analysis been done on what people vote on? Like it or not, “nice smile” will be a factor.

        • swordfish

          I’ve seen some recent British research that suggests those who cast their vote largely on the leadership issue tend to be less interested in (and less knowledgable about) politics than those who don’t. Which is probably not all that surprising.

          I know that Nigel Roberts / Stephen Levine have canvassed voters on what issues were most important in their voting decision, but not sure if they’ve included leadership in that mix.

      • apples are yum 2.1.2

        They could, as long as Labour start promoting their message every chance they get instead of being content to allow the white/european middle-class media to set the 6-7 o’clock agenda each night and in every morning paper. Every media second wasted on the Hughes/Goff intrigue is another message opportunity lost. Now I have no particular malice towards WMC, but they’re interested in celebrity entertainment, finding the world’s best coffee, and aspirations that ends in a porsche and new house in Noosa. Having worked in various trade and labouring jobs as a youngster I can assure you that at smoko time a few comments might be made about the sexuality of Hughes (thanks to newspaper), and then thoughts will turn to family, children and for the younger workers, friday night past or future. The workshop radio will be out of earshot, but even at news time there will be no Labour message soundbites. Since these workers are busy with private matters of importance, no one is thinking, “Oh my gosh yes, I better track down the Labour party website tonight and find out who Darren Hughes was. Might be handy since it’s election year.” They aren’t stupid, they’re busy! Many don’t have mobile phones or an internet connection. Labour’s support base is eroded everytime one of their MPs plays at being a celebrity.

        • PeteG

          That’s a good point, MP’s (and strategists) are not immune from playing the celebrity game themselves when they think it suits – or when they think they are celebrities.

          • Bored

            Apples and yourself are onto it about the celebrity style of politics. To be hyper critical of Apples point that Labour should start promoting their message….and the message is? To be fair there probably is one but if you were to ask Joe or Jill Average to explain it you might be waithing a long time for an answer. And that is a problem for Labour.

            • PeteG

              And a problem for Labour is they don’t even have any celebrities. Goff is a nice enough bloke with a heap of experience (many think too much now) but he doesn’t look like a Leader, he happens to have been appointed the leader of a bunch of MPs, many of whom the electorate had had enough of in 2008.

            • apples are yum

              “Labour started its life as a party of change – a voice for the working classes who believed that a fairer future was possible.”

              Here is Labour’s message: http://www.labour.org.nz/about-us

              Everything is there, but it’s buried and not easily digestible. Mainly, it’s tone needs adjusting. You couldn’t sell this stuff in a 30 second radio ad as is. The headliner quote contradicts the history of the party. Labour is a worker’s party, undeniably, so it is not for all New Zealanders, but once in power it has an obligation for all NZders. Goff should be selling a universal vision, a statement reinforcing optimism and the kind of hope for the future that motivates people positively.

              There are negative messages that undermine hope and future in the youtube film from the above linked page. The media news page contradicts Labours optimism and future. It’s full of bad news and despondency. Find some uplifting positive stuff that people want to participate in. Labour say they’ve decided: Goff is safe, Hughes is gone. Good. No more talk of leadership challenges. Not one mention. It’s election year. Start selling the message you have.

              “Our Challenge is not to legislate for social control but for the proper development of community.”

              This is the tone/attiude problem I mentioned. The statement suffers from negative positioning. It’s unnecessarily defensive. Which listener was thinking about social control before you brought it up? And what is proper development? Sounds like social control. By trying to apologise for the past, you’re stuck in it. Let it go, move on. By trying to pre-argue the attacks of your opposition you fudge your own message. Attackers aren’t listening. Forget them. A listener wants to know what you’re doing, will do or have implemented already. They look for a message that things will be ok if we follow such and such a path. Offer leadership, not a run-down of your personal challenges. To write that statement, you have to know what you are doing to build communities. So let’s hear it. Sell the positive, real, measurable, ideas, as soundbites that went into the “our challenge” statement. Tell people you will do it, as if it done.

              “If we fail in our obligations to provide for our youth we fail to provide for the future.”

              If, Fail, and fail isn’t positive or strong. It’s fear of failure and the future. No optimism, no hope – the things Labour says it offers. What are the obligations towards youth? If I look at a piece of policy, how would I recognise where an youth obligation was considered? Tell me which parts are for youth. Anything vague but positive would be better than this statement. “We have an obligation to secure the future of our youth.” “With our youth beside us, our future is secure.” Be positive chaps.

              “What is morally right is likely to be politically right.”

              The intent is there, but the information is obscured. Labour need to sell the ideas that when grouped together are termed moral or ethical. Why are your policies morally right? If we do it now, what will happen next? How will we know it’s working? Morals need tangible current common real-world examples to be effectively illustrated, otherwise they’re just an idea. They’re like a story book hero. People are more likely to aspire to moral behaviour if they recognise it on a daily basis. (Please, don’t promote dead heroes either. They need to be alive, human, flesh and blood.) Get someone to point out moral behaviour as it happens in current affairs. Applaud it. Talk about it. Once you do that, you can say “ [insert your policy point]: Not only is it politically right, it’s morally right.” Everyone will know what you’re talking about.

              “The best form of social security is a job and the right to stand on your feet and stand tall.”

              Now we’re getting somewhere. It has at least three messages, but it’s generally positive. Work is a common element of identity and personal confidence. It describes the workers attitude and reinforces it. It’s about as aggressive as industrial relations should get at election slogan stage. Any closer to standing tall and you’ve become a militant employer hunter. Pride invites the unrealistic expectation of being owed something by the world (it’s also immoral), which leads to despondency. People need hope and relative security through confidence; the things Labour say they offer. If people are confident in themselves and their direction, whatever happens will be bearable – they’ll have their social security. NZF are selling pride and being owed. Listeners need to hear how Labour supports their efforts at work. Focus on the concept of working, not benefits for the out of work. Welfare support needn;t be neglected, but the vision should be for working security. Working is generally considered positive, not working, not so positive. “Labour stands with the working man, feet on the ground, hands at work.” Focus positive.

              “If a few of the people are getting the bulk of the benefits it is not much use to the majority of the people.”

              Same negative message problem. You’re owed, apparently. Someone’s ripping you off, apparently. A listener wasn’t even thinking about that till you brought it up. A listener has already read you’re a worker’s party. No need for imaginary enemies when you have your hands full working. No need for fear of being ripped off when you have the security of your confidence and work. The statement contradicts the message. If a worker is working and Labour is in power, how is it that the worker is being disadvantaged? Change it to something like “Our collective efforts return benefits for us all.”

              “Labour 2010 conference: Higher Incomes, Better Jobs.”

              Well yes that’s the by-product, but as a sales pitch to people not in the party loop, it doesn’t work. “Labour 2011: Community, Youth, Job security.” “Labour 2011: A stable future, now.” “Labour 2011: confidence in your future.” National sells the “what do I get?” thought process best. They’re individualists to the point of being anti-collective, unless its small groups and exclusive goals. I don’t know why Labour would try to be this too when it has a perfectly good message of its own. The stats show that the individualists are outnumbered by the workers. Do the math.

              The workers party is a large collective, it includes people and supports self-confidence through work.

              All Labour need to do is dig the message out and sell it. In the very least, someone needs to edit and unify the Labour website.

          • pollywog

            Politicians are the new rockstars…didnt you know ?

    • lprent 2.2

      You can’t look at commenters to this blog as being representative of labour or labour voters. That is daft.

      Those on the left here have frequently have done one or more of
      never voted Labour,

      1. voted them once to their regret,
      2. used to be active but left to join new labour, greens, or Maori party (maybe even act)
      3. have let their labour membership lapse because they got irritated with something that the party did
      4. are swinging voters
      5. want to remold labour in their own image.

      Those are mostly who you are looking at. The actual number of current labour party members or even voters here is pretty low and most of those are the ones who’d disagree with your description of what Labour should do.

      You should read the about. Also consider that just before the last election the authors on the site then said who’d they’d vote for. Think from memory that the party vote would have been about half for Labour, and the number of people who’d do a double tick was less than that. The authors in general are just slightly more Labour than the commenting audience.

      It is a blog of the left not of Labour. Of course most of those on the left who are not members or are occasional Labour voters want it to change. Those of the centre-right are the same. And our astroturfers are united as well.

      But the people I can see and know who are Labour members or are solid Labour voters mostly don’t. Their opinion is the one that counts for the party. Hapless wannabes like you are that relevant to us.

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        oh, and please count me in also:

        6. want to create mischief for Labour and try to damage/enhance Labour … depending on which side of the bed I got out of in the morning (or afternoon)


        • lprent

          🙂 I am sure that there is a least one category per commentator…

          The simple fact of the matter is that we don’t get very many party members commenting here, nor do we get solid labour voters. Same with the greens. Both of those groups tend to argue inside their parties or they just vote without being that analytical.

          What we have a majority of are the people who are swing voters of one form or another who a interested in politics.

          The profile is of course quite different for readers of the site.

          • Jim Nald


            btw, can you email The Standard’s bank account details to me please?

            i would like to make a cash donation (ie go to TS’ bank, fill in a deposit form, and enclose cash)

            • lprent

              We have one somewhere now. But I don’t think that we have ever used it for that. I’ll have a talk with the others about it.

              But you can donate through Paypal which goes directly to paying for the US server using the Donate button.

              • Jim Nald

                Wanting to do it anonymous, dear.
                You know what this blowjo.., I mean, happy wannabe, is like.

                Paypal charges a fee .. altho a small fee, I would rather avoid paying that.

                TS can have the money I used to buy Granny Herald and SST 🙂

                • lprent

                  Ok. I’ll come back after we hit agreement on publishing the bank account.

                  The paypal stuff is only seen by me (and I’m a programmer remember). But I know what you mean about the surcharge.

                  • Jim Nald

                    I would suggest you email directly the bank account details to bona fides, like me.
                    Rather than publicising it on one of your pages here.
                    The ‘About’ page can tell people there is an option to pay cash directly, and they can email to ask for bank account details.

                    I won’t need a receipt (and I’m guessing most people here won’t, given the amount).
                    The amount should be about $10-20 per mth.
                    I’ll treat it like making a donation to street collectors.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep I’m in as well. A few dollars a month means sacrificing just one Guinness. Hard to do, but worthwhile in this case 🙂

                  • Lanthanide

                    I’m intending to donate a chunk in a few months also.

                    Are donations to The Standard tax deductible?
                    What about donations to The Labour Party (guessing not)?

                    • Akldnut

                      As an enduring (often frustrated) member of the Labour Party, I can tell you that I haven’t been able to claim tax on donations Lanth.

                    • Jim Nald

                      How do the Nat-rat donors do it? Legally with claiming tax, that is.

                      I’m not asking or suggesting about the Waitemata Trust or those kind of arrangements …. hankey pankey or pansy types.

                      p.s. I’m not asking that, at least not for now 🙂

                    • lprent

                      Ummm I don’t think that we are registered as a charitable trust – just non-profit. Too many extra hoops for the amount of revenue that we get.

      • PeteG 2.2.2

        But the people I can see and know who are Labour members or are solid Labour voters mostly don’t. Their opinion is the one that counts for the party. Hapless wannabes like you are that relevant to us.

        I think this paragraph illustrates one of Labour’s biggest problems. Who are the hapless wannabes?

        • lprent

          Who are the hapless wannabes?

          People who wanna change Labour without doing the effort of actually working to do it. I usually describe them as blowhards. But of course I’m noted for my caring polite attitude. 😈

          I don’t mind the people who merely criticize Labour or to offer suggestions or to say what things that they’re interested in and what they think that Labour should do about them. That is par for the course.

          What I object to is the people that say that Labour is doing it all wrong and they should immediately change to doing it my way. Invariably they’re uninterested in doing the work required to make that happen. You seem to be one of those. I’ll listen to them. But fundamentally I’m uninterested in their ideas.

          I tend to be more interested in people that don’t vote Labour but who are willing to share ideas. Bored, Draco, felix and many many others are like that.

          I’m also interested in people that have worked for the party but have gotten disenchanted for some reason or another. The spout would be a prime example of that as well as many from New Labour and the unions.

          And I’m interested in the people on the centre and centre right because I’m an a idealist who realizes that you have to carry or move them before you can change anything – you need the treasury benches to do that.

          • PeteG

            If Labourites think they have the luxury of dissing and ignoring anyone they don’t want to listen to then the lists currently being worked on may contain a few hapless wannabees come November.

            I think there are a big chunk of votes still up for grabs. That NZF are attracting poll support with no MPs and with a leader starting to seem as old as his constituents suggests there are easy pickings. Quite a few are either disgruntled or lukewarm with National.

            Why can’t Labour attract them? It’s not all because of PR firms and unfair media. They need to earn support, and that may mean realising that from the arrogance of power for them the power component is no longer there.

            • lprent

              I listen to a great number of people – as I have detailed. Hell I try to read every comment on this site. The question is if I should listen to you? So far you haven’t impressed me as someone who I should accord much respect to. And listening to you is more like listening to incoherent muttering that has few ideas of interest and a lot of demanding that everyone should agree with your ideas.

              Labour needs ideas and generally people in Labour will take them from whatever source they come from. I regularly have people inside Labour commenting favorably and sometimes unfavorably on material written by authors and commentators here because it is well written and has real coherent ideas. The discussions are often read with a great deal of interest by people from many political parties from what I hear from people involved with other parties.

              But quite simply, I don’t think that you are one of them that they bother to do much more than skip over. In short I currently have you classified as a blowhard drone. To have me ‘dissing’ you would require that I considered that I should give you any respect at all. So far you haven’t earned any respect from me because your comments aren’t particularly good and frequently look more like those of a astroturfer or troll.

              Perhaps if you spent some effort into lifting your game rather than alternately pontificating or whining, you’d get more interesting.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.3

        Have you ever considered implementing polls on The Standard? They could fit in the sidebar.

        Could have a new topic every 1-2 weeks, get an idea of what people on this site actually think on different topics. Have our own little vox pop.

        • Jim Nald

          Good idea as long as idiots don’t try to game and stuff up the system.
          And make things cost more for TS.
          How about a link to some free (free of charge) polling webpage?

        • lprent

          As Jim says. The gaming is the main reason. My time gets taken up with moderating and I’d be loath to add another task that requires checking for gamers.

          Bad enough with the trolls and astroturfers

          • Lanthanide

            Hmm right, I was thinking that with the existing login/IP address tracking system that you use for banning, which generally doesn’t seem to be evaded, you might be able to avoid those issues.

            But just now I’ve realised that commenters make up a tiny fraction of the total readership. So guess that really wouldn’t be sufficient.

        • swordfish

          @ Micky

          If I’m the sharp, urbane – if cynical and jaded – hotshot political operator I think I am, then I’d have to guess you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Tory, with a voting record to match Maggie Barry’s. Surely ?

          • mickysavage



            Every election I go into the booth, sometimes think about how it would feel voting green but then the catholic upbringing in me makes me grip the pen really hard and tick Labour …

            • swordfish

              Actually, the Catholic aspect’s interesting.

              Traditionally, Labour’s voting-base (in religious terms) has been 1. Athiests/Agnostics, 2. Roman Catholics, 3. Non-Conformist Protestants. The Nats’ voting-base was always Church-going Anglicans and Presbyterians. As in Britain, NZ Catholic voters appear to have moved heavily from the Liberals to Labour during and immediately after WWI. These religious differences in party support were still showing up in surveys in the 70s and even, to some extent, in the 90s. Personally, I’m from the Athiest side of things.

            • Drakula

              Micky; I feel very sorry that you had such an unfortunate upbringing, mine was a Cof E boarding school regime with psychopathic ex army masters who could only control a class by the rod!!!

              Please vote the way you feel; should you vote Green does that make you a traitor? How many politicians betrayed traditional labour values (values of the 1st 2nd International) Douglas? Prebble?, Helen Clerk? or how about Phil Goff?????

              I think the latter one’s are really sold on the neo -con school of Chicago ideology or otherwise they would not have been so eager to sign all those free-trade agreements with the likes of China.

  3. kriswgtn 3


    People in Chch dont need another Govt department.They need action.They need homes, jobs the list goes on

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      In 1-2 years, we’ll need a government department to properly organise everything. Better to get it started now, at the beginning, so they ramp up and can get fully immersed in the situation.

      Also the bizarre belief that setting up a back-office with support staff in Wellington is somehow going to delay progress in CHCH doesn’t make much sense.

  4. William Joyce 4

    Radio NZ catches Brownlee with growing nose regard appointment / non-appointment of Martyn Dunne to head new Christchurch recovery ministry.

    “The office of Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee told Radio New Zealand News last Thursday that former major general and departing Customs boss Martyn Dunne was in line to be given the job on Tuesday.”

    “But on Sunday Mr Brownlee said Mr Dunne would not become head of the authority, blaming media speculation for the earlier information”

    Of course, it’s the media’s fault – that naughty, naughty, Socialist National Radio.
    “I wonder how much money I could get for my Kingdom of Christchurch from cutting jobs at Radio New Zealand?”

    • ianmac 4.1

      By refusing to be interviewed you can just avoid being accountable can’t you Mr Brownlie. “Brownlee refused to be interviewed yesterday by The Press, including about suggestions Dunne had turned down the role because he would not work with Brownlee.” And MSM lets him off the hook.
      Wonder what would have happened had Mr Goff refused to be interviewed?

  5. kriswgtn 5


    Yeah a Clown alrite and he aint just showing or acting- he lives it every day 24/7 hhahahahhahaha

    • ianmac 5.1

      That is John’s real talent. Stand up comedian er- sitting down. Even the Aussie accent down to a tee! But it also means that his image is as trustworthy as real self whatever that is. Funny how he has the time for such frivolity yet missing for important interviews?

      • Jim Nald 5.1.1

        How much time wasted there on a stupid skit.
        Time that could have been spent reading and thinking about Cabinet papers and making decisions important for the country. And he gets paid about $400,500 by taxpayers to waste time like this while he mismanages the economy.
        More evidence of empty entertainment.
        More evidence of wasted opportunities and mismanagement at governance.

        • Lanthanide

          “And he gets paid about $400,500 by taxpayers to waste time like this while he mismanages the economy.”

          + expenses.

      • prism 5.1.2

        Have King John of Charmalot’s managers advised him to keep his face before the public,? He seems to comment on everything, be on radio at least every day. TV also? With that level of profile, there can’t be much time for serious study of policy, stats and strategic planning.

    • felix 5.2

      That’s his legacy right there.

      Seriously, that’s fucking it. That’s what he’s given his country.

      • Jim Nald 5.2.1

        That’s why even ACT and their cronies are frustrated.
        They’ve worked out they have been screwed too.

    • Drakula 5.3

      Kris; If you go back to stuff and click on the Earthquake Memorial Service and click the section of Prince William then that will show the following 4 or 5 picks you will see Prince william giving Mr. Key a dubious look while he is grinning like a Cheshire cat!!!!

      Was that appropriate? or was he just adding light relief? or was he on a different planet?

  6. Bored 6

    Big news from a weekend of momentous news from Japan, the Middle East and our own tawdry little political “story” has been the spread of protest in the UK. The Conservative Liberal coalition has proven that the neo lib credo of “do it harder and it really will work” is alive and well. Their plan to slash the public service, health, education and benefits drew a huge response from up to 500,000 marchers in central London.

    In short the Con/Libs are right, there is no money. That is because their backers (the wealthy and corporations), as they have here, have taken it all.

    • Tigger 6.1

      Mass protest – coming to an NZ main street soon…

      • Bored 6.1.1

        It would be good to see Kiwis rebel. Cant see it though, the UK protests were organised by the TUC, cant see the CTU having that kind of pulling power here.

        • pollywog

          …be good PR for a new left party to get some initial ground support going though ?

          • Bored

            The exciting bit in London was not the main mass but the black blocs (labelled by the MSM as criminals and anarchists)…when the masses see that their “peaceful’ “legal” protests are treated by authorities as steam venting then ignored things may change. Without advocating “black bloc” politics, an occupation such as happened in Egypt certainly would send the ConLibs a message and challenge.

            Would a new left party here not just get labelled as anarchists?

            • anarcho

              err no, mainly because we have no interest in party politics…. we’re having a party, not following the party line.

              The Egyptian occupation was a ‘blackbloc’, they just do hippy colours 🙂

            • Colonial Viper

              Would a new left party here not just get labelled as anarchists?

              Oh, I’m sure C.T. will come up with much better than that.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.2

        Bloggage of the event here:


        reckons not even the organisers expected that turnout. LP leadership needs to don thinking cap to figure out What It All Means.

        • Bored

          What a brilliant blog, amazing stuff.

        • freedom

          the video attatchment is a powerful depiction of the rampaging hordes attacking London

          easy to see why they don’t want those images being seen on Network News. Can’t have the public see hundreds of thousands of mums and dads, and brothers and sisters and everyone else peacefully exercising their rights, hell no, just focus on the amped up reactions of a few hundred agent-provocateurs

          the journos once again show their ethics, their skills and their social conscience are MIA

      • Vicky32 6.1.3

        I wish, but I can’t see it somehow! As I told my beloved in Italy, when he asked why we weren’t emulating them, ‘quasi tutte le gente qui, sono pecore!’
        (Just about all the people here are sheep, who want to be let safely graze!)

  7. What should Judith Tizard do? Should she accept her list position or decline so that hopefully Louisa Wall can be returned to parliament?

    Judith’s return will allow her to give a valedictory speech and say “stick it up you” to Farrer, Slater et al. It will also hurt MMP’s prospects at the forthcoming referendum and provide nothing of benefit for the party.

    Louisa’s return would allow a very talented Maori Woman MP to be returned to Parliament early and give her a strong base to get Manurewa organised. If Louisa is a list MP based in the area it will give her a considerable campaign benefit.

    To me it is a very easy decision for Judith if she wishes to act in the best interests of the party.

    I hope she has a happy retirement.

    • PeteG 7.1

      Shouldn’t Tizard do what she thinks is in the best interests of the country? I agree that she would probably be a waste of space, but are you forgetting another four in line before Walls? Or are they already a done deal?

    • pollywog 7.2

      A Labour party politician acting in the best interests of the party ?

      what a novel idea !

      • Bored 7.2.1

        How could you say such a cynical thing? Its bloody difficult giving up the opportunity to be able to party on the town till the wee hours and get yourself into trouble…mind you Judith might prefer a good book and cup of tea.

        • pollywog

          just going by, how Labour didn’t turn down the last round of unaffordable taxcuts…

          …so thinking ,why would Tizard turn down an easy 100k or so, just to turn up in Welli and swan around ther corridors of power feeling important for a few months ?

          i think sooner rather than later, politicians lose whatever ideals they had upon entering parliament, to act in the best interests of their electorate and end up acting in their own best interests.

          pulling their heads in, keeping their mouths shut, flying under the radar while feathering their nests and nudging others out of the trough so they can get their snout fully deep in the swill and only coming up for airtime as a last gasp resort to prolong their political lives

          seems to be the norm rather than the noble exception.

    • Jim Nald 7.3

      Judith will do the correct thing for the party.

    • Olwyn 7.4

      Ever since the election I have felt offended by the snide playground attitude directed at Judith Tizard from the right, and seemingly lapped up by the left. It seems to follow from the belief that Labour lost the election because NZ was sick of urban liberal baby boomers, and picking on Judith would show that everyone had got the message and moved on. In fact, Judith has done a fine job over a long period of time, which ought to be acknowledged. It is really up to Judith as to whether she wants to go into parliament now or step aside, and I for one will respect her decision whichever it is. Before bleating “not Judith Tizard” people should get a bit of perspective: for one thing, she was a far more engaged Minister for the Arts than the present fellow.

      • mickysavage 7.4.1

        I agree with you Olwyn about the snide attack by the right on Judith although I am not sure about it being “lapped up by the left”. This is what the right are really good at. They just gnaw away at people until eventually the crap they are saying becomes some sort of accepted truth.

        I agree also that Judith was a very good representative and minister and in the Arts she was outstanding. As associate Minister of Transport she oversaw a huge spend on Auckland that has shown considerable benefits.

        But her comments if they represent her thinking are very wrong. Being a parliamentarian is a privilege and if the movement as a whole would be better off with Louisa Wall then Judith should stand aside.

        • Tigger

          Nice to see someone stand up for Judith – worked with her for years in various roles – she could be as annoying as any politician can expected to be but she was a shower – she’d turn up to events to support them and regularly in place of Helen. She put in the time – she had a good knowledge of what was going on in the Arts – you often got one on one time with her – and we appreciated her for it.

          • Lanthanide

            So in other words, she actually had passion for Arts and was interested in it. Rather than it just being another portfolio that “someone has to do”.

        • Oscar

          “his is what the right are really good at. They just gnaw away at people until eventually the crap they are saying becomes some sort of accepted truth”

          Such as we are seeing with Phil Goff.
          Chris Carter appears to be the only person wanting him gone. Who are these other sources?

          Honestly, if Phil just didn’t bother defending his record as leader, and said something along the lines of “at least I’ll be in Parliament even if I’m not PM” shows two things

          1) He is in it for NZ, not himself like Key is.
          2) It’s not an admission he won’t be PM, and it’s not an admission Labour will lose.

          This will then send the right into a tizz, and while they’re busy trying to work out what it actually means, the face time Goff gets means he will be able to start spinning policies, and making the election about the economy, stupid.

          Some key lines
          “I think NZers are more worried about feeding their families/the cost of petrol/the cost of living/finding a job than the leadership of the Labour Party”
          “The best thing about the Labour Party, is at least we have a Leader”
          “I’m not getting into a debate about this issue”
          “Labour is here for all NZers. We are seeing a repeat of National in the 90’s again. Labour is here for 2011 and beyond”

          Saying such simple statements will show that he’s not going anywhere fast, no matter how much National are paying Armstrong, Whale, Farrar and the other Fran to print that.
          After all, the right tried these attack lines on Helen in 1996, and again in 2002 – painting a picture of disunity and discord.

          What would help, is for MPs to publicy go on record as support Goff. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of lonely Goff releases, and very little from other MPs.

          • Anne

            What would help, is for MPs to publicy go on record as support Goff. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of lonely Goff releases, and very little from other MPs.

            There is a (pre-scheduled) meeting of Lab’s senior MPs in Dunedin tomorrow. Probably the first such meeting since the story broke last Thurs. I think that will be the catalyst for an official declaration of their support for Goff. I hope so.

            • gobsmacked

              Anne/Oscar, that’s exactly what they should do. But they won’t. The Labour caucus is every bit as much to blame as Goff, I think.

              If they want to win the election, they have two options:

              1) Pledge loyalty to Goff, not just in a press release, but in everything … all media, all statements, body language, the works. Total unity between now and the election. Leadership story ends.

              2) Choose a new leader. Then pledge loyalty to New Leader, not just in a press release, but in everything … all media, all statements, body language, the works. Total unity between now and the election. Leadership story ends.

              Either is acceptable, but it must be 100% commitment. Nothing less.

              Instead, they just shrug their shoulders, talk off-the-record to journalists, and keep the “will he? won’t he?” story going. Goff says “Follow me!” and the MPs just stare at their shoes.

              They are a self-centred, spineless and apathetic bunch and I’m thoroughly pissed off with them. And yes I vote Labour. That’s why I’m pissed off.

              • Anne

                You never fail to deliver gobsmacked. Bang on.
                Your last sentence:
                That’s me too… trying to stay loyal but getting just as p—-d off. There are some occasional flashes of brilliance in the House (and Goff is responsible for some of them) but outside of it? Well, the key word imo is “spineless”.

                • Oscar

                  I note Lynn raised the point elsewhere about those of us commenting that Labour people tend to argue internally.

                  Well, I’m sick of arguing internally. Raising these issues gets you shut down at the LEC faster than Chris Carter does his Red Queen impersonation!

                  The main issue, that I’ve raised time and time again, is that Helen instilled Phil as leader, and the caucus didn’t so much as murmur a whisper.
                  This is the true issue of the identity crisis that Labour finds itself in.

                  Labour did not have the discussion after 2008 about where to go, and who was the best person to lead them there. Much rhetoric was made in 2009/2010 and no doubt this year about going back to the Family and Workers, but very little was effort was made to investigate why people were so turned off and disengaged with Labour.

                  Any discussion had, was only in caucus. After this, the LEC was the place to hear “we’re in good heart, ready to move ahead” Well fuck me if that’s a chumbawumba effect.
                  I really wanted to hear “We have a good team, but we need to know how to win 2011” Not once, have I heard that. Not once have I heard “we’ve lost our best asset, it’s up to us to perform as a team”
                  Labour placed a little too much reliance on Helen being at the top of her game, and in control of every little situation. National have CT. Labour had Helen/Heather.

                  Helen no doubt selected Phil because he had experience. Only problem, you can have experience, and be a good manager, but can you be a leader with that experience? Goff holds his politic well, but he is not a leader.

                  If the battles over the party direction had been held in 2008, Labour may have emerged with a clear vision, clear values, and a mission statement that Savage would have been proud of.
                  Instead, we got a rogernome that finds it hard to believe what he’s saying half the time except when it comes to the military and free trade (Phil was the best Foreign Affairs minister we’ve had in a long time).

                  So, now we’re at that point, two years later, about to have the internal battles arising from festering wounds that haven’t been healed. Not exactly the best year to have them in.

              • Agreed Gobsmacked.

                I tell you the membership is prepared and willing to pledge total support for Goff and the MPs should either do the same thing or reach a collective decision to ask him to stand down.

                The thing that really peeves me off is this belief they have that you have to wander around the head of a pin for a week or so and talk about it before making a decision. Judith Tizard is a classic example of this, how long does she need so that she can formulate the phrase “thanks but no thanks”.

                The Goffice needs to sharpen up on its language and make its message simple. It also needs to avoid the personal scandals. Labour are hopeless at these issues. Worth showed this. Even with a scandal wrapped up and presented on a plate the way that Worth was the result was not clear.

                Labour does much better when it talks about tax cuts that benefit the wealty to the expense of the poor, the fact that we have no economic strategy to get out of this mess, and the desire of this Government to privatise assets that should remain in collective ownership. It should remain on message, ignore all the personality crap and campaign like it means it. These basic themes can result in victory as long as the Parliamentary Labour Party is willing to commit to them.

                • PeteG

                  The Goffice needs to sharpen up on its language and make its message simple.

                  That’s missing gobsmacked’s (excellent) point, a glossy message is glossing over the problem, it’s not the solution. Goff bears the brunt of the criticism as leader, and he doesn’t seem to have stepped up to the plate, but his job has been made almost impossible because there is no sign of a team behind him. No amount of glossy PR will hide this disconnect.

                  It should remain on message

                  It first needs to turn a bunch of disparate messengers into a unified team, and then formulate a clear, consistent, credible, believable message.

                  Labour does much better when it talks about tax cuts that benefit the wealty

                  …blah blah blah slogan…

                  privatise assets that should remain in collective ownership

                  …blah blah blah straightjacket ideology…

                  we have no economic strategy to get out of this mess

                  …that one is getting closer to the mark – what is a suitable economic strategy? But it shares the same problem of all three suggestions, are all negative. People get sick of perpetual negative, it turns them off. It sounds like a broken record going backwards.

                  • I agree PeteG that at some stage this year well before the election Goff and Labour have to look presidential and come out with an alternative.

                    I appreciate everyone’s frustration that it is not public now but it will not be until later in the year. Publicising it now will not help Labour’s election chances, despite the completely understandable desire of commentators to debate the substance now.

      • Vicky32 7.4.2

        Yes, and it doesn’t seem right that she should just be made to step aside so that a Maori woman can come in! Even QoT should see that that’s unfair!

        • Jim Nald

          “Maori woman” – referring to Louisa Wall?
          She is standing for a general seat. Her gender/ethnicity is not an issue.
          She is the candidate for the people of the Manurewa electorate.

          • Vicky32

            Don’t tell me, tell Micky Savage! (above.) Frankly, I don’t care… I don’t want to be mobbed by loonies screaming ‘racist’ and ‘white privilege” just because I quoted someone!

  8. LynW 8

    Labour be bold! Start bringing out policy deserving of your roots! You have a wonderful opportunity to support the Children’s Commissioner and follow through on your original intentions re extending parental leave in what seems to be a fiscally neutral suggestion by redirecting some of the current spending to childcare facilities, along with some means testing. I constantly see young Mums returning to the workforce long before they would choose to with the subsequent interruption in breastfeeding that follows. With WHO recommending exclusive breastfeeding until 6mths and the parental child intimacy bond in the early years so very important for development couples should at least be given a choice on where the funding is directed.

    Sorry I dont know how to link articles but this is part of todays editorial from the Herald

    ‘The Children’s Commissioner, Dr John Angus, suggests parents should be helped to stay at home for the first year of their children’s lives, instead of subsidising care elsewhere. This would mean restructuring the mix of parental leave entitlements and subsidised childcare, so they best meet the needs of very young children, he says. The subsidy for children under 2 to be in care is close to the sum a parent receives weekly on paid parental leave, after tax. “Rather than spend a large amount of taxpayers’ money on subsidies for infants to be in childcare, that money might be better put into supporting care at home by the parent,” Dr Angus says.’

  9. weka 9

    As an aside, lprent or anyone, how are the anti-spam words generated? I’m assuming there is some connection between them and content, because they seem much more pertinent here than in other places.

    • lprent 9.1

      I just downloaded a english dictionary, told it to remove all words that were in a list of ‘bad’ words (but it missed ‘cumming’), and search and replaced all of the punctuation characters.

      It is a straight random selection. So what you’re seeing is the chicken entail effect. Humans tend to be very good at seeing patterns, even when none exist.

      BTW: If you register and login, you don’t have the anti-spam word. That is why I have a wee grey-blue background as well.

  10. joe90 10

    Another quake off the coast of Japan and a tsunami warning.


  11. RobC 11

    Next time someone wants to do beneficiary bashing and point out all those fraudulent low-lifes on the DPB etc ripping off the taxpayer, send them a copy of this

    Fact is, white-collar crime costs this country far more than those on the DPB do. Needs to be shouted from the roof-tops at every possible opportunity.

  12. randal 12

    john key in a boater and a faux pommy upper class outfit.
    is this what the politics in New Zealand has come to?
    still as long as they dont dress him up in one of those fakeglasses, moustache combos that they wear to saturday morning photography classes he will be right.
    I guess.

  13. MrSmith 13

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats have lost the key state of Baden-Wuerttemberg after six decades.

    Preliminary results.
    The results gave the Greens 24.2% and their Social Democrat allies 23.1%, with Mrs Merkel’s party on 39% and its Free Democrat (FDP) allies on 5.3%.

    Bring on the Green revolution!!

    • bobo 13.1

      hopefully Germany will become nuclear free and influence the rest of europe so I guess one positive thing can come out of fukushima.

  14. freedom 14

    “Labour leader Phil Goff says it will be hard for Darren Hughes to return as an MP at this election if he is cleared by a police investigation into a sex complaint. ”

    Was Goff misquoted ?
    Surely any statement from the Party leader when a member is under investigation would be
    “.. when he is cleared by a Police investigation..”

    It only raises more questions than it answers

    from today’s Stuff

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Oh OK you think that Goff should prejudge the outcome of the police investigation in a public statement, yeah that would be real smart

  15. Herodotus 15

    Some thanks should go out to the Mad Butcher for his more than generous gesture to a few Cantabs. He also did not look the greatest on TV. My thoughts & prayers go out to TMB. Someone who transends many levels and is just a good guy, and no agendas 😉
    captha : Hellos should have been Halos !!!!!

  16. Gina 16

    I watched Question and answer this moring on TVNZ ON DEMAND.

    Paul Holmes once again showed himself for the corporate lackey to his high salary that he is. My opinion is that Goff did a very good job. He kept his cool with that creepy Holmes attacking him like a wild dog. I really liked the part where he asked Holmes if he would rather just interview himself.
    Lets not pick him to bits like the MSM would like.

    So far I’ve checked out other National Leader wannabe’s on Youtube. From what I can tell David Parker is not a leader and neither is David Cunlife. Incredibly drab is all I can say about Parker with Cunlife a little better.

    • Carol 16.1

      I agree on Parker’s lack of an inspirational presence. Also, I think Cunliffe is probably not a leader or manager of people. He’s great as a finance/economy person, and is a very good electorate MP – a great asset as a senior member of the party. That leaves Goff, Robertson & Jones as the best possible leaders at the moment.

    • Mac1 16.2

      Holmes interrupted Goff eighteen times (excluding grunts and other noises) in twelve minutes to my count, before Goff had been able to finish his first sentence in reply. It seems that Holmes could not wait, but had to interrupt the substantive part of the answer- he was red-faced, his hand gesticulation started to become finger pointing and crossed over into Goff’s personal space. At one stage the camera showed Goff with only Holmes’ hand flailing around in front.

      I intend to write to Q & A and complain about Holmes’ unprofessional, personal, pre-set agenda.

      • Tigger 16.2.1

        http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/816462/823787. Formal complaint Mac. Will force them to formally reply and you can send to BSA if you’re not happy.

      • Jim Nald 16.2.2

        Mac1: I’m not exactly sure about how the following idea might shape out but here it is for you, and others here, to consider.

        1. Draft the letter of complaint.
        2. Post it here and ask for comments and refinements.
        3. Incorporate the comments and refinements.
        4. Submit the complaint while posting it here at the same time.
        5. Post their response to you here and, if appropriate and if it drags on, draft the follow-up letter and post it here, etc etc [repeat steps 2 – 4] [and repeat] [and repeat some more if necessary]

        Collectively, with the input from those of us here, and with nothing to hide, it might make how things proceed quite a bit more interesting.

        • Mac1

          Hi Jim: not sure about writing by committee, but then again I have seen a brilliant example of just that.

          I am determined to write this complaint and have twenty days in which to do so from the time of broadcasting. I have no problem with my eloquence or ability to write cogent and forceful argument. 🙂 The questions which I would need advise/help with are the legal framework and scope of the complaint as there are 10 (I think I remember rightly) categories of complaint and how much detail and quoting of instances would be required.
          For example, I have at second hearing of the sequence identified 18 interruptions of Goff’s first sentence. That would need to be verified fully, but would I have to instance these, or is a blanket assertion enough?
          Along with helpful advice, I really need to know at this stage is there a written transcript available of this interview? That would be really handy for chapter and verse investigation.

  17. Tigger 17

    My source in the Beehive has heard chatter that the leak of the Hughes police investigation came from a staffer in Gerry Brownlee’s office. Won’t name name of said leaker but suffice to say if it was them then it will be lights out should this be made public. Apparently the perceived homophobic intent behind the leak has those gay men working in the Hive rather pissed…and that certain info about the sexual exploits of other MPs could find its way to the press…

    • Jim Nald 17.1

      Well, this could be an all out war of the dirty underpants, Captain Panic come to the rescue.
      I’ve been hearing a lot more recently about who has been doing what, and who has been doing who, in the country, overseas, hetero, homo, bi, intra- or inter- Beehive/Parliament.

      Very frankly, I’d rather we get the media and public debate out of sex and into how we’ll be building the country – the economy, Auckland’s transport, Chch, etc.

  18. SPC 18

    The following is a rather misleading comment in our media.

    “Goff also defended his handling of the issue, insisting he was correct to now reveal the police inquiry while it was ongoing.”

    That there was a police investigation was leaked to Fairfax media, but not by Goff.

    Why are the media choosing to be distracted by the rumours about division within Labour, rather than reporting the motives of those who leaked them the story – oh they owe the leakers protection and favour for the news story … so publish the runours as payment in kind? Then given Kiwiblog and whaleoil have been in a blogging frenzy on both topics we know who leaked the story.

  19. PeteG 19

    Johanssen said on Q+A he had heard about it a week before the story broke. There are other reports of it being all around Vic days beforehand. So it’s highly likely it was known by some in media, or would have soon become known. Still, if an actual leak kicking off the furore can be pinned on a Minister’s office it should be a major embarrassment, even if it was just the excuse the media wanted.

  20. RedLogix 20

    What frightens the Nats more than anything else is that Goff, Parker and Cunliffe, along with the fresh talent in the Labour caucas, potentially make for a very fine team.. in a way that the one-trick pony Nats never could.

    And much of the electorate, sports-mad as it is, is also potentially very receptive to this idea.

    So whose interests are being served by all this talk of ‘knives out for Goff’?

    • Armchair Critic 20.1

      So whose interests are being served by all this talk of ‘knives out for Goff’?
      Occam’s Razor, RL. I’m yet to work out exactly what happened and why, but certainly taking the story at face value just doesn’t add up.
      I’m also yet to come across someone (a real person, as opposed to a commenter on a blog) who sees what Goff has or hasn’t done w.r.t. DH as an issue.

  21. Anne 21

    Formal complaint Mac. Will force them to formally reply and you can send to BSA if you’re not happy.

    I hope you do it Mac1. Tigger’s right. I currently have a complaint with the BSA about Holmes’ Hobbit interview with Helen Kelly on the 24th Oct. last year. It’s a protracted business and the TVNZ lawyers will pick holes in your claims, but throw it back at them in equal measure. I confess to finding it a bit daunting standing up to a corporate body like TVNZ and I don’t hold very high hopes of success but every time someone does it, it’s another small nail in Holmes’ coffin.

    Interesting you should quote the 18 times he interrupted Phil Goff. He interrupted Helen Kelly 17 times. An important point to emphasise…

    • Tigger 21.1

      Well done Anne. Here we have the public broadcaster airing a politics show funded by us (through NZ On Air) that is clearly biased towards the right…Key and co are laughing behind the scenes at this taxpayer funded advertising…

    • Mac1 21.2

      Anne, thanks for your encouragement.

      I have a very longstanding and unresolved issue with TVNZ going back twenty years which might fuel my resolve. Instead of being brushed off with a corporate “thank you for views on the matter,” this time the full complaint might at least ensure some accountability even of the “Don’t do it again, Paul I have better things to do with my time” warning from the TV mandarins.

      Mostly, I am just pissed off that a man (Goff) whom I respect and whose views I wanted to hear fully expressed on an important issue were not allowed repeatedly to be expressed uninterruptedly. I would not have minded Goff being questioned closely- that is the journalist’s job. However, the programme was, dammit, called “Q & A” and there was not much chance of the second part of that title.

      Any and all advice listened to. Cheers.

  22. Salsy 22

    Just watched Q and A – Goff versus Paul Holmes. Seeing a LOT of positive feedback for Goff regarding this. Finally he was so angry that he stopped the Clark-esque condescending chuckle before before answering a question . He virtually gritted his teeth and fought for his beliefs and let his natural self appear. Im impressed.

    • Jim Nald 22.1

      I wish Goff would show a bit more fire in the belly.
      I was almost desperate to withdraw my moral support from him (!!) until his responses in the last few seconds in his RNZ interview this morning (yes indeed, Mr Goff, thank you):

      [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20110328-0709-Labour_MPs_say_its_important_party_sticks_to_strategy-048.mp3" /]

      Come on, a healthy democracy depends on strong, vigorous opposition. It’s about time to start to rev up in the lead-up to the elections.

  23. Chris 23

    The point people are missing is that if this ‘episode’ had been handled from the start correctly we would would have not ended up in this media frenzie. The media jackals are doing what they do and for them this is great copy. This ‘episode’ is now been controlled by the media. The lefts reaction is also under scrutiny so don’t give them more ‘copy’.

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  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
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  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
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  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
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    3 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
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  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
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  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
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  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
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  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
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  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
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    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
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  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
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    6 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
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    6 days ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
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  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
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  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
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  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
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  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
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  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
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  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
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  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
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  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
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    3 weeks ago