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Open mike 28/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 28th, 2012 - 153 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…

153 comments on “Open mike 28/07/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    In Japan, it is renewables, or nothing.

    This is the real debate.

    The Japanese people in rejecting nuclear power, are also rejecting fossil fuels, and in what could be the start of a global historical shift, are opting for renewables instead.

    A nationally known advocate for renewable energy looks set to win a major local election, scaring the pro-nuclear government.

    Interestingly this election win for this well known proponent for renewable energy, Tetsunari Lida, is in a “conservative stronghold”.

    (This blows out of the water Assad apologist Colonial Viper’s claim that middle class voters will not support renewable energy, which he argues is why the Labour Party must continue supportjng coal mining, deep sea oil drilling, fracking, lignite to diesel, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah.)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10822510

    The debate in Japan is not whether to switch from nuclear over to fossil fuels, but whether to switch from nuclear over to renewables.

    If there is any modern industrial country with the reputation for innovation and the technical and industrial might to carry it out, it is Japan.

    That such technical possibilities are feasible is undeniable.
    All that is missing, is the political will.
    The Fukushima disaster may be the impetus to create that political will, in Japan, (at least).

    If the mass production of wind and solar becomes Japanese public policy, there is little doubt that this would transform the world market for renewables, lowering their cost and raising their availability, vs fossil fuels and nuclear.

    Renewable Energy Candidate Set To Win

    “Japan Pm Atomic Energy Stance on Trial in Local Poll”

    http://www.60news.com/news-japan-pm-atomic-energy-stance-on-trial-in-local-107167/

    > “If Yamaguchi goes against the ‘nuclear village’ and votes for a green candidate, it would certainly put a lot of wind in the sails of the anti-nuclear movement,” said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asia studies at Temple University’s Japan campus, referring to the powerful nexus of atomic industry interests.
    >
    > “A lot of politicians are very scared about the election because there is really deep anger at the two main parties. There is a lot of frustration and people are ready for change.”
    >
    > Demonstrations outside Noda’s office in Tokyo protesting the resumption of operations at two Kansai Electric Power Co reactors in western Japan have grown week by week.

    What I wouldn’t mind seeing, if it exists, is a hard hitting Japanese version of the scientifically rigorous Scientific American plan. See below;

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-path-to-sustainable-energy-by-2030&page=2

    (I would expect that the Japanese version of this plan would drop the North American fixation, and love affair with, the private automobile instead putting greater emphasis on more energy efficient public transport, which would lead to even more savings.)

    • Carol 1.1

      Interesting. I suspect that the reason Japanese favour renewables is the same reason that they previously embraced nuclear power – they don’t produce enough oil/fossil fuels themselves and would need to rely on a lot of imports. Whereas renewables would make them more energy-independent.

      I don’t think the case is totally the same in NZ, with, perhaps more access to NZ fossil fuels. Nevertheless more investment in renewables would also help to make NZ energy-independent.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Even if we do have more fossil fuels around it would still be better for us to go full renewable. Use the oil/hydrocarbons as feedstock into industrial processors.

    • weka 1.2

      That is good news if Japan is turning its ability to innovate to renewables.
       
      However, renewables are oil derivative processes (realistically you can’t make solar panels/batteries or windfarms without cheap oil). This shouldn’t be forgotten, including in NZ. We should be using the oil, gas, coal, minerals in conservative amounts to powerdown, not to try and replace our current lifestyles with wind and solar.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        However, renewables are oil derivative processes (realistically you can’t make solar panels/batteries or windfarms without cheap oil).

        I’m pretty sure you’ll find that it’s possible to build them without use of oil at all and to do so economically.

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          Care to explain how Draco? Obviously, theoretically one could, but in the world we live in now? And do you mean in a way that maintains our current consumption/lifestyles?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1

            Glass can be made without use of oil and has been for centuries. More specifically it can be made using power generated from our present renewable sources. Glass is a mass ingredient in both solar panels and solar water heaters.

            Metals are a little more difficult but, again, they’ve been mined for millennia without oil. That said, I’m sure fuel powered mining tools could be converted to using electricity fed, again, from existing renewables. The real problem with mining is actually the use of poisonous chemicals to separate out the metals but I’m sure we can over come that as well with a bit of R&D.

            Basically, our present renewables gives us the ability to bootstrap other renewables.

            I never advocate maintaining our present consumption levels as they’re unsustainable.

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Metals are a little more difficult but, again, they’ve been mined for millennia without oil.

              This Caterpillar mining truck drinks 240L of diesel per hour. It can carry a couple hundred tonnes of mineral ore around.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar_797

              Maybe you’re thinking of going back to mining with hand tools and beasts of burden, which can certainly be done, but lets not kid ourselves: we’d have to accept a 95% drop in metals refining volume to do it.

              Put another way: going to renewables 100% is going to require a huge amount of energy to be embedded. And we are going to need fossil fuels as a source of that energy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And as it’s only used in mines can be easily powered by electricity.

              • Jenny

                You are so full of it, CV. Bucket wheel excavators the biggest mining machines on earth, are all electric, including the mobile conveyor belts which follow them. Far more efficient than the Caterpillar mining trucks. Using less energy they are the fastest and most efficient method of mining. Also all underground mining and machinery is either electric or pneumatic. Keep up all the lies and excuses for continuing the fossil fuel economy CV. By the way, answer the question; Do you, or do you not support the use of gas weapons against the FSA by Assad?

                • weka

                  How do you make the mining machinery (and mine the minerals to make the mining machinery) without cheap oil?
                   
                  How do you make the factory that makes the mining machinery, without cheap oil?
                   
                  And then there are the machines (and metals) needed to make the factory that makes the mining machinery that mines the metals to make the solar panels
                   
                  etc.
                   
                  What Draco is saying is correct, but not on an industrial scale. 
                   
                   

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Any industry, no matter how small, is industrial scale by definition. NZ industry already runs on 70% renewables. That can easily be increased even if we’re limited to only using the renewables to do so.

                    How do you make the factory that makes the mining machinery, without cheap oil?

                    The same way they’re made today – with electricity. The same technology that can power trains can power mining machinery and factories to produce that machinery.

                    With cheap oil gone the economics change but they don’t disappear. The biggest changes will be the dropping of profit (there’s no way we will be able to maintain such a loss) and the move to making things locally again and actually having to live within the hard physical limits set by the local renewable resource base.

                    We’re not about to drop back into the 15th century.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      *Shrug*

                      Come back to me in 10 years or 20 years guys.

                      I’ll be right and we’ll all be fragged.

                    • weka

                      ” NZ industry already runs on 70% renewables.”
                       
                      Do you mean that 70% of it’s energy use is generated from oil derived renewables? All the other things needed to run NZ industry will be oil dependent as well.
                       
                      I think there are too many unknowns for use to know what will happen. But I know that after the Chch quake and the Japan tsunami, supply chains for thing like subaru parts and car windscreens got interrupted for a while. There were SI businesses who couldn’t access stock because their computing systems were centralised in Chch and were down. Things  got back to normal reasonably quick, but only because the rest of the world was functioning relatively well. In the same way that our food supplies are very vulnerable, so too is industry. It’s not going to take much to knock things over. If we had transitioned to a NZ manufacturing economy while we still had cheap oil, maybe it would have been better. But I think we have missed the boat. I still believe that NZ has the capacity (knowledge, adaptability, skill) to manage a powerdown, including domestic manufacturing, but I don’t see how we can realistically switch to solar and wind in the way you mean.
                       
                      Maybe you could say what level of functioning we might have. I don’t think 15thC so much as shades of Cuba. Only the whole world will be going through it at the same time, which will make the world of difference.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We’re not about to drop back into the 15th century.

                      Actually I agree. 1940’s and 1950’s. Look it up.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      1940s/50s energy use initially but with modern technology. In other words, we’ll be doing a lot more with the same amount of energy.

                      Do you mean that 70% of it’s energy use is generated from oil derived renewables?

                      Yes, what we already have now but that is enough to bootstrap to more. We already make glass so we can do the solar water heating. That saves a huge amount of energy that can then be used to build other stuff. As an example we’re capable of building the infrastructure to make computers and we will have the energy to do so.

                      The knowledge and resources will still be there. We just won’t be able to use them as fast as we do now and, due to the hard limits that will be imposed that’s going to mean stronger regulations elsewhere on that resource use. Houses built to passive house standards and existing houses retrofitted as well as possible. Torn down and replaced if that’s the better option.

                      It will take time to do but that’s something that communities have – unless the RWNJs take power as they have a tendency to destroy communities.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      1940s/50s energy use initially but with modern technology. In other words, we’ll be doing a lot more with the same amount of energy.

                      No we won’t. Yes there will remain elements of modern tech, but we’ll only be doing marginally more with the same energy, and the net effect is going to be a massive drop in peoples standard of living.

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.2

          I think if oil prices are pushed significantly higher, then making devices that accumulate energy will replace burning the same oil in private automobiles to get the milk from the corner shop.
          But while we continue this myth of market innovation, that will solve all our energy woes, it maybe possible that we use up so much of the non-renewable resources that we don’t have enough energy inputs to both feed ourselves and build all these new energy capture devices.
          i.e. there’s going to be a tipping point when we switch from just wasting oil to shrinking the future energy supply. You must note that solar devices do break, so we need to get to a point where we have sufficient numbers before we pass the point of no return.

          And let’s not even consider the high energy cost from abating climate carbon, sequestration, flood preventions, erosion prevention, etc.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2.1

            In a world of depleting energy we are going to find that a lot of things are simply left undone and unachieved. If you look around now, you can already see clear signs of it.

            • Jenny 1.2.1.2.1.1

              Though no efforts are spared supporting dictators who murder and torture. Eh CV?

              • muzza

                Jenny, here is a link , (bit commercial, but serves a purpose), which works through some of those the CIA have “removed”, and “supported”, because “it suited theirs, or someones who directs thems, interests”

                • Jenny

                  I suppose CV next you will be denying that the Americans had a revolution against the British empire in 1775 because they had military assistance from the French imperialists.

              • Bill

                Jenny, why support either side? I mean, if the ordinary Syrian in the street was calling the shots I’d be fully supportive of them (of course!). But they ain’t calling the shots, just dodging them.

                Ask yourself why western or international agencies are talking to Syrian orgs that were set up in exile and not one – that’s not a single one – that we would describe as coming from civil society. They’ve been sidelined because the interests of the Syrian people are kind of irrelevent from the viewpoint of the main actors and their backers.

            • weka 1.2.1.2.1.2

              Can you give some examples, CV?

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2.1.3

              Jenny – prepare to be disappointed.

              • Jenny

                Colonial Viper I have never been part of a political movement that has ever been disappointed. I am too old to start now.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Except you don’t get that the energy predicament modern civilisation finds itself in cannot be solved via politics. Politics can only give cover to the inevitable retrenchment in process. Yes, the economy is really going to rebound next year. Or the year after that. Or the year after that, etc.

                  Though no efforts are spared supporting dictators who murder and torture. Eh CV?

                  Hey, what do you think of reports of many thousands of foreign fighters infiltrating into Syria and participating in the ‘civil war’. That’s a good thing to you, right?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why do progressive liberals always fall for “Humanitarian Wars”?

                  Sunday morning special for you Jenny. Article contains a section on the Syrian conflict too.

                  http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-27/why-do-progressive-liberals-fall-%E2%80%9Chumanitarian-war%E2%80%9D

                  • Jenny

                    CV, a better question might be, “Why do progressive liberals support mass murderers and torturers?”

                    Better than the simplistic 1950s cold war, euro centric, Islamaphobic old rubbish, provided in your link.

                    Read instead, a sober, realistic leftist appraisal of the revolution in Syria from British Socialists Yusef Khalil and Lee Sustar.

                    http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/endgame-in-syria/

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Estimates of several thousand up to 20,000 foreign fighters in Syria now. Many paid for by private interests out of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                      You good with that?

                    • Bill

                      Hmm. See, there’s socialists then there are socialist worker types. And they’re not the same thing at all…the latter having a penchant for following ‘the party line’, celebrating centralism and, well… sorry to be blunt, but for being not the sharpest pins in the pack.

                  • muzza

                    The same way of thinking can be applied to how the average simpleton falls for most things they are told.

                    People can’t even begin to understand just how few thoughts are in fact their own, and mental weakness the inevitable outcome of having been programmed.

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2.1.4

              weka – we will never have supersonic passenger travel across the Atlantic again. Something we once did but will never achieve once more. Men will never step foot on the moon again (or Mars for the first time). Again something we achieved once but never again. And although we have fission power stations, we will never have fusion power stations. CPUs will get faster yes but otherwise real world physics will fail us.

              Also there will never be a World War again. Missiles UAVs and bombers might get sent around the world, but energy constraints will mean that millions of soldiers will never be sent into war again.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Men will never step foot on the moon again (or Mars for the first time).

                I actually think you’re wrong there. Don’t need oil to launch into space – just electricity.

                Also there will never be a World War again.

                No, but IMO there will be significant local disputes around the world in the near to medium term.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I actually think you’re wrong there. Don’t need oil to launch into space – just electricity.

                  You are so so so so so so so so so so wrong.

                  There isn’t a single space programme in the world powered solely by electricity.

                  How do the mission controllers get from home to the Control Centre again?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It’s not a question of how they get there but how will they get there. Electric buses and electric trains comes to mind. Fuel powered cars are not an option.

              • Jenny

                We’re not about to drop back into the 15th century.

                Actually I agree. 1940′s and 1950′s. Look it up.

                Colonial Viper

                Grease is the word, eh CV, or in your case oil. Your climate change apologist behaviour is all explained.

                The same as your take on foreign affairs, also very dated.

                Wake up to the 21st Century CV, where climate change is a serious threat that must be addressed instead of excused.

                You should also move with times and recognise that the cold war is long over, and that it no longer a bi polar superpower dominated world. The Soviet Union no longer exists and American power is waning.

                Not everything is a CIA plot. You only come across as a paranoid nutcase plugging this particular conspiracy theory in this day and age.

                But above all that CV,. Your dismissal of the power and reality of the Arab spring racist. What you are saying in effect, is that the Arabs are to cowardly and reliant on foreigners to ever attempt to overthrow murderous dictators like Ben Ali, or Mubarak, or Assad.

              • Jenny

                Estimates of several thousand up to 20,000 foreign fighters in Syria now. Many paid for by private interests out of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                You good with that?

                Colonial Viper

                Yes.

                I am more concerned about your continuing support for torture and mass detention of civilians and the murder of unarmed protesters. And your continuing refusal to condemn the use of gas weapons against those who have risen up against these criminal acts.

                The fact that you have not a hint of shame or self knowledge shows your sickness of spirit.

                It reminds of a similar comments previously made by you, excusing the millions that may die as a result of climate change.

                You may see yourself as a leftist but your politics are to the right of the Climate Change Apologist ACT Party.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Estimates of several thousand up to 20,000 foreign fighters in Syria now. Many paid for by private interests out of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                  You good with that?

                  Colonial Viper

                  Yes.

                  You do realise that its not a civil war by the Syrian people for the Syrian people, once you have large numbers of opportunistic foreign combatants on the ground?

                  It reminds of a similar comments previously made by you, excusing the millions that may die as a result of climate change.

                  You may see yourself as a leftist but your politics are to the right of the Climate Change Apologist ACT Party.

                  *Shrug*. Climate change is the minor problem facing humanity, energy depletion the major one.

                  • Jenny

                    Sez you

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And I am pretty sure that I have it right. Within 10 years shortages* of liquid fuels are going to cause significant problems for normal operation of the globalised economy. Within 20 years it will be an emergency situation.

                      *The way it will happen, it may not look like an actual shortage. There will be lots of fuel around for purchase, just very few businesses and people who can afford it.

                    • Jenny

                      Within 10 years shortages* of liquid fuels are going to cause significant problems for normal operation of the globalised economy. Within 20 years it will be an emergency situation.

                      Colonial Viper

                      I don’t doubt it. But what is your solution?

                      On your past comments, accelerating climate change with more drilling, more fracking, more coal mining, converting coal to diesel. Generally increasing and generating more and more CO2 pollution the climate be damned.

                      Vociferously rejecting any calls to cut back.

                      You have excused your support for continuing the fossil fuel economy with a classic piece of misdirection by scapegoating the middle classes.

                      Though not an out and out denialist you have acted as a conscious apologist for climate change.

                    • Jenny

                      Within 10 years shortages* of liquid fuels are going to cause significant problems for normal operation of the globalised economy. Within 20 years it will be an emergency situation.

                      Colonial Viper

                      CV, as with your out of touch and racist ravings about events in Syria. And your ill informed prejudice against people you term, “middle class”.

                      This patently ridiculous statement by you has very little in common with the reality.

                      On most available measures, supply is likely to be outpacing demand for the next couple of decades. The supply drivers have been huge finds in Russia, in deep water deposits off the coast of Brazil, in the eastern Meditteranean, Kenya, Angola, and off the Falklands, to cite only a few. More importantly, new-ish extraction methods such as the process of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) have unlocked vast new sources of oil and gas.

                      Such is the forecast rise in production, Canada’s oil output by the end of the decade could almost be the same as the current volume from Iran, OPEC’s No. 2 producer. Even if the extraction practice involves dirty and very expensive technology, and even if the fall off in such fields tends to be steep, the size of the North America fields alone seems likely to be a game changer for the next couple of decades, at least. And these happen to be the crucial decades, if runaway climate change isn’t to become a reality. At the very least what we are talking about is a shift in the current balance of fossil fuel use – from OPEC to non-OPEC suppliers, and with more emphasis in future on natural gas vis a vis oil – rather than the wholesale replacement of fossil fuels altogether. The main brakes on production will not be a lack of fossil fuel supply but (a) a lack of capacity in pipelines to handle it…..

                      Has the idea of Peak Oil… Peaked? And if so, does the planet stand a chance?

                      Gordon Campbell

                      http://werewolf.co.nz/2012/06/has-the-peak-oil-idea-peaked/

                      Colonial Viper and other climate change apologists, are doing their best to make sure that people and the planet don’t have a chance.

                      … “The world’s energy system is being pushed to breaking point,” according to Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency. “Our addiction to fossil fuels grows stronger each year. Many clean energy technologies are available but they are not being deployed quickly enough to avert potentially disastrous consequences.” On current form, she warns, the world is on track for warming of 6C by the end of the century – a level that would create catastrophe, wiping out agriculture in many areas and rendering swathes of the globe uninhabitable, as well as raising sea levels and causing mass migration, according to scientists. “Energy-related CO2 emissions are at historic highs, [van der Hoeven added] and under current policies we estimate that energy use and CO2 emissions would increase by a third by 2020, and almost double by 2050. This would be likely to send global temperatures at least 6C higher within this century.”

                      Due to the resilience of the fossil fuel industry and the help of useful idiots like Colonial Viper the political battle against climate change is being made so much harder.

  2. Carol 2

    The pay differential between highest and lowest paid people in NZ has grown. However, some businesses have seen a decrease in the differential. The worst offenders, with increased pay gaps between CEOs and employees are:

    Skycity
    Telecom (though unusually their employees are generally well paid)

    Apparently their big pay gap is justified because it is the result of a large number of part time, casual or seasonal workers – as though that s good for workers?

    Companies with low differences in pay were
    Skellerup, PGG Wrightson, Contact Energy, Nuplex
    The Warehouse
    NZ Refining
    Air NZ

    The pay gap is still not as big as that in the US, but it is still not a good look.

    The CEO of TrustPower says workers aren’t motivated by high pay anyway – at least he is not one of the CEOs getting the biggest (highest differential) salaries amongst CEOs’

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7366296/Growing-pay-gap-between-CEOs-staff

    The average pay for the CEOs during the year was $1.44 million, up 3.3 per cent from $1.39m in 2010. The average for their employees, estimated by dividing the total pay bill by the number of staff, was $63,960, up just 0.8 per cent on the previous year.
    […]
    Despite the smaller pay gap in this country [compared with the US], Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the issue was significant.

    ‘‘It feeds into the concerns people have about the rich getting richer,’’ she said.

    ‘‘It is about a relativity issue and what the research suggests is that gap contributes to a whole lot of negative social indicators.’’

    Meanwhile many teachers in Waikato schools are forking out to pay for food for hungry students, even though many charities are also feeding children:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/7366998/Hungry-children-fed-by-teachers

    One school, that did not have a food provision programme, estimated half of its pupils were turning up to class hungry, while another said it was only concerned for one family.

    Schools also said teachers and staff were using personal resources to feed students, with one principal providing eggs and bread to ensure children had the food they needed to learn.

    However, Ms Cox said there were a high number of schools with positive initiatives, including school gardens, cooking classes and breakfast and lunch programmes.
    […]
    Charities such as St Vincent de Paul delivered 16,000 school lunches to 19 Hamilton schools last year and, as of May this year, 12 Waikato schools were on the waiting list for KidsCan support. About 2900 Waikato students are also in the KickStart breakfast programme.

    NZ in 2012…. such a great place for children to grow up! [whoops, sorry, I’m not qualified to comment – don’t have any children, and I can afford to feed myself]

    • One school, that did not have a food provision programme, estimated half of its pupils were turning up to class hungry

      Has any research been done on why children arrive at school hungry? I can guess a few reasons, but it would help to know and analyse the causes in order to address the problem effectively.

      I grew up in a relatively poor family but always had food available. I often went to school hungry because of getting up too late and morning laziness.

    • rosy 2.2

      This “…large number of part time, casual or seasonal workers…” might have an awful lot to do with “…estimated half of its pupils were turning up to class hungry…” that.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 2.3

      The effects of increasing inequality in New Zealand are well documented – an entirely uncontroversial conclusion.

      The trite not only have no policy to address it, they deny the science too.

    • prism 2.4

      Carol 2
      Your last sentence made a good point. The pathetic attempt by controllers to prevent analysis of their performance and prevent broadcasting of facts with pre-emptive criticism of the bearer of bad news is rife. It’s deja vue all over again, the emperor’s clothes etc.

  3. Carol 3

    Looks like Dotcom and his lawyers are going to keep asking questions about the NZ Government’s alleged collusion with the FBI, and members of the US government and Hollywood industry. And Danya Levy in today’s Stuff is also repeating the questions:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/7364770/NZ-intertwined-in-US-Megaupload-case

    So what was the involvement of the New Zealand Government in the FBI-requested raid? And was it, as Dotcom has suggested, in cahoots with the US Government and the American film industry to bring down Megaupload and its flamboyant creator?
    […]
    Dotcom has claimed his arrest was the result of US Vice-President Joe Biden personally ordering the closure of Megaupload on behalf of his friends in the film industry, which was working with the New Zealand Government.

    Mr Biden is apparently a close friend of former senator Chris Dodd, who now heads the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

    In a story which made headlines around the world, Dotcom has recently claimed that Mr Biden met Mr Dodd, Hollywood studio executives, and MPA Asia head Mike Ellis in June last year.

    Mr Ellis, who it is claimed is also an extradition expert and former superintendent of the Hong Kong police, then flew to New Zealand and met the Minister of Justice at the time, Simon Power.
    […]
    BRENT Webling confirms that Mr Power met Mr Ellis, but says they discussed changes made to the Copyright Act two months earlier, which introduced a three-notice regime to discourage illegal file sharing. “He never had anything to do with the FBI. The whole thing is a bit fanciful really.”
    [..
    “There is concern over whether or not New Zealand exercised sufficient checks and balances on the police and provided their own scrutiny of the assertions that the United States was making in order to protect the rights of New Zealand residents.”

    Dotcom could yet sue both the New Zealand and US governments for the wrongs he believes were committed against him, Mr Rothken says.

    So the questions about Key’s government’s involvement in the case, and who knew what and when, are not going away any time soon.

    And the way Dotcom tells it, crony capitalism looks pretty international.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      And the way Dotcom tells it, crony capitalism looks pretty international.

      Yep – they designed a world where the power and flow of capital globally was unimpeded by pesky things like the rules and regulations of sovereign nations.

  4. Morrissey 4

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/eamon-mccann/julian-assange-has-done-us-all-a-service-he-needs-support-16181288.html#ixzz21r2fe7J5

    Julian Assange has done us all a service. He needs support
    by Eamonn McCann, Belfast Telegraph, Friday, 6 July 2012

    Sympathy seems in short supply for Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks currently holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

    Swedish authorities want to talk to Assange about allegations of sexual assault in Stockholm. He says he fears that, if he travels to Sweden, he might be extradited to the US on charges of espionage arising from WikiLeaks’ publication of 250,000 classified diplomatic documents.

    Assange’s supporters insist the allegations are spurious. The robust feminist and anti-war campaigner Naomi Klein says: “Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women’s freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up.”

    Whatever the truth of what happened in Stockholm, Assange’s apprehensions about what might happen in the US are far from fanciful.

    The head of the US Senate’s intelligence oversight committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, told the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend that, “I believe that Julian Assange has knowingly obtained and disseminated classified information which could cause injury to the United States … He has caused serious harm to US national security and should be prosecuted accordingly.”

    In light of that, and given seemingly permanently heightened US anxieties about ‘homeland security’, Assange’s nightmare glimpse of himself shuffling in a jump-suit in Guantanamo Bay can hardly be dismissed as an invented ploy for evading the Swedish police. So it’s puzzling that few in the mainstream media seem concerned about his plight. …

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/eamon-mccann/julian-assange-has-done-us-all-a-service-he-needs-support-16181288.html#ixzz21r2I2N7B

    • McFlock 4.1

      Why didn’t the UK send him to the states?
      Why are the swedes more likely to?
      Why didn’t he ask for asylum in the UK?
       

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The answers are only going to be speculative McFlock, as you know. But I’ll suggest that the UK would never ever grant Assange asylum (and would never consider such a request seriously).

        Why didn’t the UK send him to the states?
        Why are the swedes more likely to?

        McFlock, a decision to extradite or consider extradition isn’t a probabilistic event. It is a political and legal decision made case by case. And few of us here are experts in the UK and Swedish case law and political posture on this.

        In any case, under international law, Assange has the right to request asylum and Ecuador has the right to go through due process to consider that request.

        Further, Swedish authorities are now quite welcome to question Assange in their embassy, the Ecuadorian govt says. That would allow Sweden to decide, finally, whether or not to lay criminal charges against Assange.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19004589

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          At last you finally admit that at least some of your opinions on this matter are purely speculative.
               
          Hypothetically, what would convince you that assange is abusing asylum to avoid accountability for sex crimes?

          Let’s say I was equally adamant that he was doing that: I’d be disproved if as soon as he got off the plane in Stockholm he was whisked to guantanamo and the swedes dropped all charges, and a few years later swedish govt documents confirmed it. That would be pretty damning in your favour.
          But I can’t logically think of any hypothetical outcome where you or morrissy wouldn’t still be saying that it was all a political conspiracy. 

          • Morrissey 4.1.1.1.1

            But I can’t logically think of any hypothetical outcome where you or morrissy wouldn’t still be saying that it was all a political conspiracy.

            It is a conspiracy. The U.S. and the U.K. are conspiring against a dangerous, popular political dissident. The fact we can see it happening in front of us doesn’t change what it is.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2

            Hypothetically, what would convince you that assange is abusing asylum to avoid accountability for sex crimes?

            I think you have to trust the Ecuadorian government to go through their checks and due process; and the question you ask here will certainly be one that they consider.

            If Ecuador do judge that Assange is abusing their hospitality and the asylum process, they’ll kick Assange out on to the footpath without hesitation.

            Until then, I’m happy for them to follow the processes and procedures of the international law that you say you hold dearly.

            BTW Sweden can now question Assange in the Embassy, and having done so could lay criminal charges against him. Formal criminal charges would ratchet pressure up on Assange enormously.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.2.1

              So you don’t accept the Swedish justice system.
              You don’t accept the UK justice system.
              But Ecuador is A-OK. 
                 
              Basis? 

              • Colonial Viper

                So you don’t accept the Swedish justice system.
                You don’t accept the UK justice system.

                Both the Swedish and UK justice systems recognise the international system of asylum for those claiming protection from political persecution. I’m quite fine with that.

                By the way, Ecuador has said it will allow Swedish authorities to question Assange within its own Embassy. This will allow the Swedish justice system to progress its investigation further, potentially allowing charges to be finally laid against him. This is a good development for the women who allege that they have been assaulted by him, is it not?

                • McFlock

                  So why didn’t he claim asylum in the UK again?
                         
                  As to interviewing suspects when you are incapable of arresting them – what would you do if at the end of the interview you wanted to arrest them? You’ve just guaranteed long term evasion. And of course confirmed the imminence of arrest to the protecting nation.
                        
                  But then, waiting 3 weeks for the Ecuadorians to decide whether  he’s pissed off the yanks enough that it excuses sexual assault on the basis that Sweden is merely a client puppet of the US? What’s 3 weeks compared to the delay he’s already inflicted?
                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So why didn’t he claim asylum in the UK again?

                    No idea. Although it would be interesting to know, the reason doesn’t affect the current situation does it?

                    As to interviewing suspects when you are incapable of arresting them – what would you do if at the end of the interview you wanted to arrest them?

                    You lay criminal charges, which allows the processes of the Swedish justice system to move forwards (prosecutors can be chosen, court dates set, etc), changes the landscape of diplomatic negotiations between UK Ecuador Sweden, and ratchets up the pressure on Assange, his supporters and on Ecuador.

                    Not exactly nothing, all of that.

                    But then, waiting 3 weeks for the Ecuadorians to decide whether he’s pissed off the yanks enough that it excuses sexual assault on the basis that Sweden is merely a client puppet of the US? What’s 3 weeks compared to the delay he’s already inflicted?

                    Ignoring your constant and implicit presumption of guilt, Sweden is free to wait as long as it wants. Of course, officially, they state that what they want is the ability for their criminal investigators to question Assange.

                    Well, there is an opportunity right here, right now, if they want it.

                    • McFlock

                       

                      So why didn’t he claim asylum in the UK again?

                      No idea. Although it would be interesting to know, the reason doesn’t affect the current situation does it?

                      It does provide a certain amount of context, however. If the threat of political persecution were real, surely the UK would be just as likely to grant protection?
                       

                      As to interviewing suspects when you are incapable of arresting them – what would you do if at the end of the interview you wanted to arrest them?

                      You lay criminal charges, which allows the processes of the Swedish justice system to move forwards, changes the landscape of diplomatic negotiations, and ratchets up the pressure on Assange and on Ecuador.
                      Not exactly nothing, all of that.

                      Why does the diplomatic landscape need changing? 
                      We’ve already seen what happens when you give Assange a chance to avoid an investigation. Laying charges when he isn’t in custody would just give him the impetus to try harder.

                      But then, waiting 3 weeks for the Ecuadorians to decide whether he’s pissed off the yanks enough that it excuses sexual assault on the basis that Sweden is merely a client puppet of the US? What’s 3 weeks compared to the delay he’s already inflicted?

                      Ignoring your constant and implicit presumption of guilt, Sweden is free to wait as long as it wants. Of course, officially, they state that what they want is the ability for their criminal investigators to question Assange.
                      Well, there is an opportunity right here, right now, if they want it

                      “Implicit presumption of guilt”? Forgive me for taking a developed-nation justice system at face value. Sorry, two of them. All I’ve said is that I want him to face the investigation 100%, without bargaining or offering less than full cooperation. And yes, fleeing jurisdiction does not count as full cooperation.
                                 
                      At first I could have gone either way. The behaviour of him and his supporters has led me to suspect that he probably did it. But that’s what courts are for – all that suspicion does is make Sweden’s actions more reasonable. After all, he could just be a paranoid nutbar who believes it is all a conspiracy to get him to guantanamo, and the situation just a big misunderstanding between him, the cops and the women involved. 
                                   
                       But the only way it can be sorted one way or another is an unimpeded investigation. The Swedes feel they need him in custody to ensure this. Given his flight habit, I tend to agree.

                    • Vicky32

                      Well, there is an opportunity right here, right now, if they want it.

                      It appears that they don’t!

                  • KJT

                    Both the UK and Sweden have shown they are happy to deliver people, including their own citizens, to the US authorities for “rendition” and torture.

                    Rather a heavy punishment for what sounds more like lack of communication than rape. As the first Swedish prosecutor decided.

                    • McFlock

                      In that case, why is Sweden more likely than the UK to deport him to the states?
                           
                      And the complainants’ lawyer requested a review of the decision to drop the case. So maybe it’s a bit like our cops dropping the case against Banks. Maybe Mallard will ask for a review on that, which resuts in a different decision.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In that case, why is Sweden more likely than the UK to deport him to the states?

                      McFlock stop implying that because the UK has not yet extradited Assange to the US, it means that Sweden will not either.

                    • McFlock

                      McFlock stop implying that because the UK has not yet extradited Assange to the US, it means that Sweden will not either.

                      So why is Sweden more likely to? That’s your / his / teamassange’s entire justification for Assange not going to Sweden to face the sexual assault investigation: that there’s an unacceptable likelihood that the US will nab him. If Sweden is more likely to do so than the UK, you must be able to point to some difference between Sweden and the UK. 
                           
                      Otherwise it’s just bullshit. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If Sweden is more likely to do so than the UK, you must be able to point to some difference between Sweden and the UK.

                      Otherwise it’s just bullshit.

                      Nah your reasoning is off. You’re looking for speculation when the facts speak for themselves.

                      The UK has not extradited Assange to the US, even after (as you point out) a lengthy period of time and multiple opportunities to do so. The UK has therefore shown that it offers at least some level of sanctuary from extradition, for Assange.

                      Why leave that for a whole new unpredictable ball game in Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      Lol.
                         
                      So you have no basis for thinking that Sweden is more likely to do a rendition that the UK, but you don’t think that Assange should ris it?
                         
                      Even though Assange was happy to go to Sweden, right up until he was being investigated for sexual assault. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      As I said, the UK has demonstrated a measure of safety for Assange. Why leave that in return for no assurances from Sweden?

                      Being charged under the 1917 Espionage Act of the United States is not really a laughing matter as that is a nasty piece of work. But I understand your point of view – that the rapist Assange deserves everything coming to him.

                    • McFlock

                      So just to be clear, you have absolutely no reason for thinking that Sweden is any less safe than the UK.
                           
                      You just agree to Assange’s decision to take extreme measure to avoid going to Sweden.
                            
                      Even though the only difference is the the fact that Sweden is investigating him for sexual assault.
                           

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The relative and proven safety of the UK for Assange over the last 18 months or so is a major factor to be considered here. You can’t just ignore it.

                    • McFlock

                      Nor can you ignore the fact that Assange felt Sweden was perfectly safe to visit voluntarily. Right up until the police found probable cause to investigate him for sexual assault.
                               
                      Somehow, it seems that rendition isn’t the thing he fears the most about returning to Sweden. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sure McFlock, instead of facing 4-5 years in a comfy well appointed Swedish correctional facility, Assange has decided that he would prefer a lifetime of exile in Ecuador, of all places.

                    • McFlock

                      Ronnie Biggs spent longer on the run than he was sentenced to serve in jail.
                           
                      But more importantly, you neglect the lengths that some people will go to in order to avoid fronting up to their actions.
                           
                      Or the effects of extended stress and possibly paranoia. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Paranoia? You mean that every single email, phone call and txt message from or placed to Julian Assange in the last 2 years hasn’t been intercepted and read by the western intelligence services?

                    • McFlock

                      Didn’t say that.
                           
                      I just meant that the stress of pissing off a superpower for several years might just mean that someone misinterprets a legitimate, run of the mill sexual assault investigation at the lower end of the scale as a massive conspiracy to get him into the clutches of the US.
                         
                      Even if it isn’t.
                         
                      So then he flees, so the cops issue a red notice, which reinforces his paranoia, etc etc etc. 

        • Morrissey 4.1.1.2

          That would allow Sweden to decide, finally, whether or not to lay criminal charges against Assange.

          There are no grounds to lay criminal charges against Assange.

          • just saying 4.1.1.2.1

            The relative and proven safety of the UK for Assange over the last 18 months or so is a major factor to be considered here. You can’t just ignore it.

            reply for CV at 4112:

            And if Assange had scuttled to Sweden to avoid answering the same charges laid in Britain you’d be saying exactly the same thing, only with a little more justification given Sweden’s less cosy relationship with the States than Britain “enjoys”.

            edit how’d you do that McFlock – replying in the right place to a comment that has no comment box available?

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.3

          Further, Swedish authorities are now quite welcome to question Assange in their embassy, the Ecuadorian govt says.

          And if they don’t then, IMO, it’s prima facie evidence that the extradition was for other purposes.

          • Morrissey 4.1.1.3.1

            And if they don’t then, IMO, it’s prima facie evidence that the extradition was for other purposes.

            Quite correct. Now we’ll see how truthful the Swedish regime’s claims are.

    • Murray Olsen 4.2

      I agree with Naomi Klein on this one. There’s too much that’s weird about what happened in Sweden, and I don’t mean in Assange’s bedroom. The Americans will do almost anything to make an example of Assange and Sweden is not the home of human rights that it used to be.

  5. rosy 5

    Olympic regeneration pictures – before and after. The first couple are fine but the people who appreciate the nature reserve, and cycle route lost out big time, I reckon. And replacing the garden allotments with … does my head in, really.

    • Carol 5.1

      Indeed, the loss of some natural elements. Did they deliberately choose shots including rubble etc in many of the before photos?

      And what has happened to the travelers, other residents, and the workers in the (now) demolished factory?

    • weka 5.2

      Does my head in too rosy 🙁 Apart from the one with the wrecked cars, all the photos look worse after ‘regeneration’. Getting rid of allotments, travellers, trees, and wildflowers…. covering up an old brick wall with wooden screening, wtf? I’m also struck by the loss of interesting built landscape.
       
      Replacing an old timer’s allotment with a McDonalds, that has to be the epitome of where the Brits are heading.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        “Replacing an old timer’s allotment with a McDonalds, that has to be the epitome of where the Brits are heading.”

        Ground beef pensioners Tuesday?

  6. Ad 6

    So, this is from the NZHerald this morning where Fran O’Sullivan spends an entire article praising David Parker of Labour:

    “One (CEO) said “if you closed your eyes and just listened to Parker speaking – it could just as easily have been someone from National”.

    This, on top of his comments at the same event that “Labour’s view on mining outside of Schedule 4 was the same as National’s” is worrying.

    Firstly he is choosing to frame the debate as about National, not about New Zealand and Labour together.

    Secondly he is seeking to pander to the highest business elite first rather than stake out an independent ground for New Zealand and Labour.

    Parker gives me the same sense as Shearer: an inability to actually lead. Plenty of capacity to be agreeable, certainly kinder than Joyce, Brownlee, English, or Key.

    But Labour’s Shearer and Parker seem to neither be tough enough to spark imagination, nor independent enough to be inspiring.

    Labour needs a lot more in its leadership than this if it is to win. With these two, I don’t yet get the sense that Labour will win in 2014 yet.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Parker looks and sounds like a Blair apparatchik.

    • Carol 6.2

      +1.

      Don’t they realise that since the GFC the time when appeasement of the wealthier businessmen and corporates might have been necessary, is well gone!?

      Parker looks and sounds like just another uninspiring suit to me.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        …and these are the guys who want to cement their leadership position in with a leadership challenge only possible if 67% of caucus say it it’s time for a change in their jobs.

        I honestly think Labour needs a chance for a good old fashioned clean-out of the leadership, before the 2014 election, unless we get something seriously inspiring, and oppositional, happening pretty damn fast.

        • David H 6.2.1.1

          They didn’t listen to the rank ‘n’ file when we wanted Cunliffe, and they put in this pantywaist Shearer, and their cronies. Now they are wondering why the polls have them where they have been all year, in the Crapper, and that’s where they will stay, until they learn to listen to the electorate. But no they had their own agenda’s, and noses firmly in the trough, so they can’t listen. So I figure the Nats will get in in 2014 by default, as the Labour party will still be in the doldrums. Unless they wake up and have a clean out.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.1

            So I figure the Nats will get in in 2014 by default, as the Labour party will still be in the doldrums. Unless they wake up and have a clean out.

            Better option – we get another party to step up to the plate with actual social policies.

    • Fran makes a very good point:

      Finally – some eights months after the election – somebody high up in Labour is trying to give due thought to what they would do in power, rather than simply jumping on every contentious issue and hammering the daylight out of the Government.

      If that filtered down to party supporters then Labour might at least start real recovery and prepare for their next stint in government.

      A big problem is that many of those remaining active push for a more left Labour, but that won’t attract back the moderate support Labour needs to rebuild support.

      I expect the symptom of trying to score petty points will continue here.

      • Ad 6.3.1

        Well, Pete, a current counter-factual to your point is the Green Party.

        – They have generated massive publicity for themselves with straight campaigns such as the TV7 and No Asset Sales campaigns, remaining both principled and fun at the same time.

        – Norman continues to position himself as increasingly credible, while not losing any of Greens’ ideals.

        – The Greens’ competition for TV news airtime is increasingly matching that of Labour.

        So this is what Labour could be: popular, campaigning, uncompromising, media-darlings, and attractive both to its members and to progressives generally including those within Labour.

        What we need is more inspiring idealism right now, not less. The greens show that this works.

      • millsy 6.3.2

        So you think Labour should be National-lite then?

        Some choice that would be.

      • Socialist Paddy 6.3.3

        I know you guys do not like people replying to Pete but …

        I am amazed that so many RWNJs offer advice to the Labour Party on what it should do to improve its chances. The advice is inevitably that it should become more like National lite.

        My own advice is to listen carefully to the advice that the RWNJs offer. And do the opposite. 

        • felix 6.3.3.1

          +1

          Or better yet, disregard it entirely lest you end up playing shell games with their intentions.

    • Raw Seer 6.4

      The gap between the very comfortable and the PAYE worker widens: Parker proposes longer working lives for the poor. Tax breaks, options, schemes and ‘neutral’ CGT for the very comfortable: rigid inexorable PAYE for the poor; Parker proposes longer working lives for the poor. A mouse? No. A rat.

      Labour Front Bench: Please go.

    • BillODrees 6.5

      Choice No1. Win the support of Fran O’Sullivan ala Parker and the EMA ala Shearer’s apologetic approach to working conditions.  That gives ???? extra votes from people who might want to change from Key. If the weather is nice on election day and the souffle rises nicely. 

      Choice No 2.   Win the hearts and minds of the dis-enfranchised, the PAYE non-tax manipulators,  women who are offended by Bennett’s values, Maori who are fed up with their leadership, those who didn’t vote National but stayed at home because Phil Goff and Annette King were un-inspiring, students who are not being given hope by the political elite, parents who want their children back from Aus and UK, business people who want to export at a realistic exchange Rate, young couples who want to buy houses without competing with untaxed speculators, and so so so many more.

      Shearer and Parker are clueless. Not a single cojones, let alone an inspirational thought, between the pair of them.  

    • DH 6.6

      “One (CEO) said “if you closed your eyes and just listened to Parker speaking – it could just as easily have been someone from National”.

      I thought the same when reading his speech that was posted here a while back. One topic is a dead giveaway on who’s really left & who’s right; foreign investment. Parker supports it which tells me all I need to know about him.

      • bad12 6.6.1

        Bye bye Sir(spit)Roger Douglas and a big Hello to His clone, David Parker, could Labour’s candidate for Minister of Finance be a prozac chewing carbon copy of Douglas???,

        You bet your life He can,please don’t quote me on the prozac,that’s just an incidental i threw in for light relief, because for US, us being the normal every day grunts pushing the heavy wheel of capitalism,(mostly uphill), the David Parker as revealed in this mornings Granny-Herald piece isn’t just a kinda strange quietly spoken bloke from Labour, he’s downright f**king dangerous,

        Parker is talking the talk of the NZDollar being priced above it’s true value, and, intimating that Labour will move to lower that value without saying how is an out-right act of f**king Slippery proportions simply because of the inflation involved if Parker as Douglas did befor Him uses the primitive tool of simply devaluing the NZDollar we all suffer immediate inflation without having gained a thing,

        The business lobby who seem to ‘own’ both Parker and Shearer have everything to gain from a Labour devaluation of the NZDollar and the raising of the superannuation age to 67 but for the grunts in the trenches of capitalism Parker and Shearer have nothing to offer us,

        The Capital Gains Tax much heralded by Labour is a non-entity, sure such a tax will go a little way to dampen the speculation in the Housing Market but as the average house price in Auckland is 450-500 thousand dollars the horse bolted over this when Labour where last in power and did nothing, meanwhile that particular horse grew old and is now in the knackers yard awaiting it’s transformation into pet-food,(as seems to be the wish of the present Labour leadership),

        Does not Parker/Shearewr and the rest of Labour realize that the world has seriously moved on from 2008, the last time ‘they’ sat in the seats on the Aye side of the House, even the Member for Dipton, Bill English, hardly known as the deepest thinker among the space cadets from anti-depressant-land now admits that the ”Crisis within Capitalism” is going to last far far longer than ‘books balanced by 2015’ and on into the glorious future we sail,

        Parker is now advocating a housing crisis in particular in Auckland that started out as a speculative bubble but is now one of supply and demand particularly at the low end of the market whether that’s buying or renting be addressed with moderate taxation???,

        Parker plans to sort that with a ‘Capital Gains Tax’???, for Gods sake don’t these wonks ever get out into the real world once in a while…

        • Colonial Viper 6.6.1.1

          Parker is now advocating a housing crisis in particular in Auckland that started out as a speculative bubble but is now one of supply and demand particularly at the low end of the market whether that’s buying or renting be addressed with moderate taxation???,

          Parker plans to sort that with a ‘Capital Gains Tax’???, for Gods sake don’t these wonks ever get out into the real world once in a while…

          This is Labour believing in the same “market signals” and “market incentives” bullshit of the neoliberals. Orthodox smarket economics, in other words.

          What Labour should do:
          1) Have the state build tens of thousands of quality, low cost houses and apartments in Auckland.

          2) Place a 2% levy on all mortgages worth over $500K.

          3) Place a stamp duty of 2% on any entity who already owns an Auckland property but is purchasing another.

          4) Put in place structures which make it easier for secure, low cost long term residential leases to be created.

          However, we wouldn’t want to be seen as “intervening” in the market place would we?

          • bad12 6.6.1.1.1

            Ummm, perhaps this is Labour believing in such neo-Liberal market signals Bullshit because that is exactly what they are,

            In other words, Labour still whole-heartedly believe in Roger-spit-nomics-spit…

          • Draco T Bastard 6.6.1.1.2

            1) Have the state build tens of thousands of quality, low cost high density houses and apartments in Auckland and rent them out @ 25% of income and make them available on a need basis.

            FIFY

            • Colonial Viper 6.6.1.1.2.1

              Yeah could go with that too, Draco. But with a simple condition: tenants are responsible for looking after the properties and keeping them in good condition, excepting normal wear and tear.

              You fail to do so, you lose the property and someone else who will look after it gets it.

    • muzza 6.7

      Parker, does he really sound like someone who can appeal to the average Kiwi, nah course not!

      Oh, Parker the Parliamentarian for Global Order, yeah he’s working for you, just the rest of them!

      Wondering when people will work it out, probably when its too late as usual.

      PS – Greens supporters, you are also being lead down the garden path by Russel, if you cant see this, there is little you won’t be fooled by!

    • aspasia 6.8

      Do we have the text or a link for Parker’s speech yesterday? Where does Fran O’Sullivan get her labour market flexibility reference from?

      • bad12 6.8.1

        ”Labor market flexibility”, that’s where those without a profession and working near the minimum wage get to bend over and spread them right???…

        • muzza 6.8.1.1

          YUP, and it will happen in various ways..

          -More legal and illegal immigration from other slave nations
          -Continued attacks on unions
          -Future legislative attacks on labor law
          -TPPA et al

          etc etc etc….

    • Murray Olsen 6.9

      Why did the CEO need to close his eyes? I think which party people like Parker end up in is usually an accident, depending on who first gave them a political pamphlet at university or something. They say what they think people will want to hear, without having the brain cells to realise that the business executives aren’t going to change their vote anyway.

  7. lostinsuburbia 7

    Or this is what you get when you ignore housing and immigration problems

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

    I use to work for a local authority in East London and can attest to the squalor that so many people are left living in

    • prism 7.1

      Does this mean that the great Ken Livingstone as leftie Mayor of London was unable to do anything about housing conditions? Or that Boris Johnson who solved the congestion problem in the CBD was useless too when it came to housing? I have a book on the social conditions in London in the early 19th century, surely in the early 20th century they can do better.

      • lostinsuburbia 7.1.1

        There were housing targets in such times as “the London Plan” but they never kept up with the population increases in London. Newham and the other East London Boroughs are also at the forefront of illegal immigration problems – and as these people are outside the system, they felll prey to predatory landlords.

        You also had banks and mortgage brokers willing to loan money without doing proper checks on properties, resulting in large mortgages being given for illegal flat conversions etc – which just drove people to do more of it.

        It could be really upsetting to see people, especially families, living in conditions reminiscent of a a dickens novel. I personally visited properties where flats were in basements or under stairs with no access to sunlight or fresh air, where cockroaches were crawling up th walls, or where there were “extensions” built from nothing but plastic sheeting (not so good in such cold a climate).

        The same things could be found in the number of “businesses” that turned up in residential areas, like nightclubs in rear sheds. East London is the neo-liberal dream and is what you get if you allow for business to self-regulate and for the market to be in control.

        • prism 7.1.1.1

          lostinsuburbia 7 1 1
          Gosh. That’s hard to have to see and think about. There is an argument here for the option of needy people coming forward and being on a list for managed housing whether legal or illegal. That way one can have an idea of the problem and some way of preventing mass disasters through disease, and even bombing and other attacks from these people who have so little and such little opportunity to get better and have nothing but anger and nothing to lose.

          The Immigration in every country has one desire – to enforce the rules as much as possible and get people out. So a definite ruling step-change would be required to allow over-stayers or illegals to put their hands up for help.

          And apart from the slack lending agencies, and slack building and rental controls that allowed the worst of these housing installations (almost each an art installation in itself), there was the rort of private public enterprise. Some private guys got hold of the supply of tons of housing that should have been managed by the state or local govt and these guys made a packet out of supplying rooms to exist at the edge of misery, with tenants teetering on the edge of clinical depression. I haven’t got a link but I read about it – probably happened in the 1980s. Probably in Maggie Thatcher’s time – the tin bitch.

          • lostinsuburbia 7.1.1.1.1

            Yeah it wasn’t nice. There is certainly a need to do something, even at a minimum there is a major Heath risk (I had to get screened for TB during the course of my work over there). After all modern town planning came about in part due to the poor health and sanitation found in European cities during the industrial revolution.

            Despite some housing affordability policies supply can’t meet demand there. You also get Councils poaching housing in other areas as they have run out of their own social housing.

            The UK immigration situation is interesting, with the number of “colleges” and “students” present. Their enforcement is a joke too. It’s not an easy problem, certainly you want to avoid suffering but when you only have limited resources for health. Housing etc the fair allocation of resources can be a pretty fraught affair

            While the problem is far more “intense” there, NZ and particularly Auckland has similar problems, with people living in garages etc. deregulating the supply of land etc las the Nats is not going o solve the problem, after all it’s there mates who do all the land banking and lobby the Govt to build expensive motorways etc to their properties.

            • Herodotus 7.1.1.1.1.1

              after all it’s there mates who do all the land banking and lobby the Govt to build expensive motorways etc to their properties.- Evidence please or is this some generalization without any factual basis
              Deregulating land supply as an answer is a fallacy – why? Because you need to link green fields with existing infrastructure e.g. water supply, storm water management, fibre, gas, roading networks to name a few, then you have the RMA to sort out. Try getting a private plan change thru the council system? it takes years to even get things underway let alone the hearing process.
              Then you have to find a kind bank to fund the process over many years without a great asset base and major risk associated to underwrite the debt.

              • lostinsuburbia

                You just have to look at the RONS. They fail their own business cases, but the Nats still push them. Some one is profiting from them including raising land prices in places which aren’t appropriate for lots of growth.

                Deregulating land supply also doesn’t work as developers drip feed new sections onto the market in order to keep their margins up. And greenfield costs are subsidised in part by all ratepayers. Sure development contributions go someway to covering costs but the Council ends up covering the rest, artificially driving development to green fields (rather than intensification).

                Greenfields will be part of the future of our major centres, but we are going to need to intensify too. Suburbia can not sprawl forever.

  8. prism 8

    This morning on Radionz there was an excellent interview by Kim Hill with an author on the subject of the stripping of the world’s resources often at the cost of stripping those of the poor people who made their lives on the land. It also has examples of Kenya growing beans for overseas supermarkets and earning good money for the indigenous growers but who are being clobbered by the carbon miles thing. He makes the point that if grown in heated glasshouses in Britain or wherever they would be high also.
    (This will be on audio soon)
    9:05 Fred Pearce
    Fred Pearce is the environmental and development consultant for New Scientist magazine. He writes regularly in The Guardian newspaper, and is the author of a number of books. His latest is The Landgrabbers: the New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth (Eden Project Books, ISBN: 978-1-905-81174-8).
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday
    Also interesting –
    James Henry: hiding $21 trillion
    Lead researcher for a report commissioned by the Tax Justice Network which outlines how the super-rich are hiding at least $21 trillion in accounts outside their home countries. (35′47″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  9. prism 9

    Parker seems set for the high dive, what about Cunliffe? I still have the idea he’s okay, can we get behind him? Is Ardern another clever middle class woman that is good at managing the status quo with feelings of concern for the general public but little fire to do anything? Or am I wrong. Just my feeling and I feel too that this sounds like a PG question but I am truly interested in what the thinking is.

    • muzza 9.1

      If Cunliffe was really what he comes over as , he would leave the Labour party and go it alone.

      Its like those on this site who support Labour believing that “their team” will save us, which of course is utter nonsense.

      These people are living a live theatre, and are actors, nothing more than that, and the suckers who fall for it, are the whingers who can’t wrap their limited capacity for lateral thought around why things are getting worse, rapidly!

      Adhern, just another cog in the wheel being used in a role. She has been involved for about 10 years now, so is married to the system, just like the rest!

      Any entity that is a threat to the establishment, will get rounded on from all angles, and so FOS fawing over Parker, tells you all thats needed about him!
      A singular person with the right message, delivered at the right time, from the heart, would show exactly what the system sees as a threat!

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        If Cunliffe was really what he comes over as , he would leave the Labour party and go it alone.,

        You need to think statements like this through before making them.

        Cunliffe would need to get his entire LEC and a good chunk of his electorate membership on side first. He would have to be prepared to lose all support from the larger Labour Party infrastructure, and he would need to be prepared for Labour to run a strong candidate against him in the electorate.

        Next, for his move to accomplish anything in a bigger context, he would have to create out of nowhere, or somehow acquire, a nation-wide party infrastructure. From scratch, this is something which takes the better part of a decade to build (look at the Greens, see the problems Mana is having).

        Without all this, Cunliffe would be yet another in a long line of single MP political parties who have fuck all say and influence.

        Not so easy is it.

        • muzza 9.1.1.1

          “You need to think statements like this through before making them”

          –Bit like posting a response having assumed put no thought into it. I could have given some further information, so Ill retro fit my thoughts for you CV.

          I made no claims that it would be easy, of course its not any easier than if perhaps DC feels that he might be biding his time with the aim of one day securing the leadership, and halting, then in his wildest dreams turning the right seeking ship back towards the left once more. Who knows, it could happen, but I would bet there is not a snowballs chance he can, or would be allowed to achieve that achieve that. Not without the complete destruction of the Labour party to minority status, and rebuilding from the ground up!

          Integrity has very few forms, staying as part of a broken, lying, corrupt party which has sold out, surrounded by individuals who blatantly have, leaves one open to questions about integrity.

          That is how I see it, and that is how I meant my comment to be taken!

  10. bad12 10

    The ‘Fix’ for the economy from a Governance perspective is relatively simple,

    (1),devalue the NZDollar by increasing the money supply,(ie: print the stuff),diluting the NZDollar by Quantitative Easing means a devaluation,AND,immediate cash resources the Government can use,

    (2),spend the monies printed building high density State Housing in the cities where demand is the highest,such a spend need be configured into the inflation target so as to keep the expectation at 3-3.5%,

    Printing and spending such cash upon high density housing solves 2 of the most pressing problems for any future Government,the dollar is devalued suiting both exporters and NZ manufacturers wishing to increase production and sale within New Zealand,

    Building high density housing (especially in Auckland),creates employment,creates households,reduces the major problem of supply and demand for low cost rental properties, takes part of the ‘heat’ out of the property market,

    (3),either reverse the National Government’s tax cuts so that the cuts that now apply to the top earners apply instead to the bottom earners or introduce a Financial transactions Tax which directly targets the top 40% of income earners …

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      yeah all these are pretty good ideas.

    • prism 10.2

      bad12 10 Like

      • bad12 10.2.1

        You can see my point further out in time??? even the ‘Dipstick from Dipton’ is now happily admitting that the huge ‘f**k-up in capitalism isn’t going away any time soon,

        SO,the reality is that IF the economy is to be operated from within the present ISM for any length of time then ‘real wages’ are going to keep being depressed in favor of the ‘haves’ in society,

        While that could and should have us waving our shovels and wrenches in anger we cannot simply sit back and wait for the inevitable ‘next crisis of capitalism’ when there are in fact ‘elegant solutions’ to age old problems far more accurately addressed through smart use of the economy…

  11. DH 11

    Brian Gaynor shows the mindset of ‘investors’ in his latest article;

    “Incentives key to luring lots of asset buyers”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10822689

    Last comment tells it all;

    ” This would be a fantastic outcome particularly as it would discourage flipping by individual shareholders and institutional shareholders would have to buy shares on the market because they may not receive their full application.

    This could boost Mighty River Power’s share price in the pre-bonus period,…..”

    In other words he thinks he’ll get a nice easy tax-free capital gain courtesy of the taxpayer.

  12. prism 12

    I see Anthony Robbins showing John “technicality” Banks. It reminds me of the landscape designer in Britain called Capability Brown. So do we have Technicality Banks?

  13. RedBaron 13

    I’m not in favour of this sale but is there some way to put a .
    I don’t want to give money to a NACT government but is there any point in buying some shares either at the float or just after if the price dips and putting them in a trust to be returned to the people of NZ. In the meantime the Greens/Labour/ Maori council could have the proxy vote the dividends to buy more shares and as a significant minority shareholder make sure the company assets say put.

    Better than a political donation perhaps or maybe some of the base funds say 50% could be returned over a long period of time when they return to taxpayer ownership.

    Next project is to make sure that future right wing governments can’t pull this stunt again.

    • bad12 13.1

      Well it would ‘seem’ from the public utterances of both David Shearer and Russell Norman that there is NO intention by either the Labour or Green party’s to put the ownership of these stolen State Owned Assets back in the hand of the Government,

      Basically both Party Leaders, showing no f**king Leadership whatsoever are claiming some sort of fiscal responsibility in their pledge NOT to buy back the assets,(and giving a kick in the nuts to all those who have protested the sales),

      What Shearer and Norman should be telling both the country and those who will be buying the shares is that the Government will be buying those shares back and those that buy those shares will be TAXED at a suitable rate so as to facilitate the repatriation of those shares back into the hand’s of the Government,

      When the likes of Shearer and Norman take to the 40% who back National and profit highly from having done so at the expense of the rest of us with some REAL TAXATION that matches for that 40% of National Party backers the pain continually and casually inflicted upon the bottom 40% of society by National and the right wing Party’s, then and only then will we get a fairer and equitable society…

  14. Fortran 14

    After what this column has called Fran O’Sullivan recently I am amazed she is even quoted.

  15. Rosie 15

    Interesting chat you are having today………….

    Although the topic of Paid Parental Leave, alongside Maggie Barry’s inappropriate and nasty attack on Jacinda Ardern, has been discussed in full on the Standard I’d like to add this little clip from TV Central. Click on Wednesday 25th July. Its a short, approximately 3 minute, news bulletin about events in central North Island.
    Funnily enough, academic, Theresa Riley was scheduled to talk about her seminar in Hamilton. The topic was social perceptions of child free couples in New Zealand, and follows on from her book “Childfree in New Zealand: How couples who choose not to have children are preceived”. The first 1.20 minutes is an interview with Sue Moroney follwed by a very brief interview with Theresa Riley. It’s very apt that they included that after the bit about PPL given Maggie Barry’s outburst the other day. Maggie should have a listen to this:

    http://www.tvcentral.co.nz/central-news-update

  16. Georgecom 16

    A list of organisations wanting to set up Charter Schools has been posted on the NZH website today.

    The jusitification for John Banks Charter Schools was to help deal with underachievement in the likes of South Auckland and Christchurch.

    Looking through the list I can identify many faith based and interest services wanting ‘alternative education’. Nothing now stopping them chasing that option now however.

    So unless this idea of ‘addressing underachievement’ is Neo-liberal BS with intent to open up education for privatisation, I expect a number of the applicants will be told “no thanks”.

    The list includes these faith based and special interest groups:

    String Theory Schools: A for-profit Philadelphia US based education management organisation which links academic education with the arts.

    Think Global Schools: San Francisco based non-profit organisation which operates a “travelling high school” in three different cities around the world each year.

    Maharishi Foundation of NZ: The local branch of adherents to the Transcendental Meditation technique pioneered by the Beatle’s guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    Chapman College: Rotorua based co-ed non-denominational Christian school.

    Mt Hobson Middle School: Private Remuera Christian school.

    Manukau Christian Charitable Trust: Involved with the St Andrews Christian Preschool in Manurewa and established the Sunshine Christian Preschool and the Hilltop Community Centre.

    New Zealand Christian Proprietors Trust: Operates a network of Christian schools including Kingsway School in Silverdale, Jireh Christian School in Henderson, KingsGate school in Pukekohe, and KingsView school in Queenstown.

    Rangitaiki Independent Schools: A “boutique” private school near Whakatane.

    St Stephen’s and Queen Victoria Schools Trust Board: Administers the assets of the famous Anglican schools for Maori which closed a decade ago.

    Tu Toa: Palmerston North secondary school with an emphasis on top level sport and Maori values.

  17. bad12 17

    Ever gone to sleeep one night and woken the next day wondering if the alien shape-shifters had transported you off to a parallel universe,

    This morning was one such experience for me when i had a peek at what was on offer from the Granny-Herald on-line,

    Firstly, and well discussed above i have a face full of Fran O’Sullivan openly touting for the Labour Party,(stranger things might have happened, but, that was back on Earth),and, reminding me that my view of the Labour Party as the Socialism of for and by the middle classes quite happy to Govern in the interests of the 40% who vote National and damn the 40% on the bottom of the economic pile is still current,

    Then,

    It takes me two reads of the John Armstrong piece, believe me most of what He writes doesn’t normally get 1 whole read on any given day when i havn’t been kidnapped by the Lizard-people and enclosed in a time-warp reflecting at me a reality i know only too well but isn’t really,

    Armstrong overnight seems to have grown a rather large pair and is now saying that Slippery’s National Government has no ‘economic’ reason to sell to the people of New Zealand assets they already own, and, that there can only be one reason for Slippery’s National Government to be selling such shareholdings in the assets we all own,

    The reason of course that John Armstrong seems to have just clicked onto to and that most of us have known for quite some time is simply ELECTION BRIBERY although Armstrong is far too polite to actually use those words,

    Right from the word go tho as far as the Slippery Prime Minister and National have been concerned it’s all been about shifting the wealth into the hands of those 40% who support National at the expense of the rest of us,

    Right from the word at the point of the tax cuts which benefitted that top 40% who support National with the Slippery Prime Minister telling the faithful to save them, the politics of asset sales have been about one thing, ELECTION BRIBERY…

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      That’s right, even the Herald has figured out that its coming time to throw National off the Treasury benches, and replace them by putting National on to the Treasury benches.

  18. lefty 18

    I think it is time for Labour affiliated unions to step up and save their party.

    All they have to do is present the caucus with a social, political and economic programme and give them the choice of adopting it or losing all union support.

    No matter how convinced the Labour right is that they need the support of big business they can still count, and know they are well and truly stuffed if the unions start to campaign against them.

    Under MMP the unions have the choice of putting their weight behind the Greens, Mana or any other party.

    They should not bluff – they should be prepared to kill off the Labour Party if it does not do as it is told. It is the only way their support is going to be treated seriously.

    The right do not allow the left to capture their party and it is difficult to understand why workers organisations have allowed the right to capture theirs.

    Time to take it back

  19. felix 19

    DPF must be losing his touch.

    Throws out a perfectly good invitation to attack teh maori but his pets are too busy hating teh gay to pick it up.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/07/colin_craig_-_being_gay_is_a_choice_due_to_child_abuse.html

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    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    6 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    9 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week ago