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Open mike 28/07/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 28th, 2015 - 145 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

145 comments on “Open mike 28/07/2015 ”

  1. ropata 1

    Extracts from Giovanni Tiso’s review of The FIRE economy, Jane Kelsey, 2015
    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/how-new-zealand-works.html

    FIRE stands for Finance, Insurance and Real Estate… It’s an economic model that is obsolete, outmoded, staggering towards its next and quite possibly fatal crisis.

    Then, tucked away at the bottom and to the far right, is old New Zealand: a country wallowing in the myth of its rock economy status whilst blissfully playing down the many indicators – beginning with runaway real estate prices and one of the highest levels of household debt in the OECD – that put it at risk of an acute crisis. On top of which, we stubbornly refuse to adopt any of the prudential measures that even the most radical champions of deregulation consider necessary: we remain, Kelsey tells us, the only developed country with no permanent deposit guarantee scheme to protect depositors, and our oversight of investment practices is considered woeful by international standards.

    Those who demand that critics come up with an alternative could answer this at least: what is it that compels us to sit at the far extreme of free-market orthodoxy? And what has this orthodoxy ever done for us? Since adopting neoliberalism, New Zealand has become vastly more unequal, lost the majority of its industries, and opened itself to capital flows that were supposed to help create competitive businesses and new jobs, but never did: as it turns out, foreigners with money to spend will rather speculate on our non-productive assets or push up the dollar to take advantage of high-interest term deposits than put themselves at the mercy of our poorly regulated capital markets. Result: thirty years on from the beginning of the New Zealand experiment, the country remains a primary producer with a real estate fixation and rather pathetic delusions of high-flying entrepreneurial grandeur.

    Read more here: http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/how-new-zealand-works.html

    • vto 1.1

      Stop asking such difficult questions – sheesh, can’t you see those questions will require neoliberalism’s most ardent supporters to actually consider evidence and place that evidence into a structured and reasoned argument? Have you ever seen them do that? Can you imagine John Key ever giving an in-depth answer to those questions? I don’t think so – John Key, the neolibs dear leader, has never answered anything like that, ever.

      They will have to get smacked over the head with their own neoliberalism for the realisation to dawn…… which, as you point out at the start, is nigh…….

    • Tracey 1.2

      Thanks for this ropata. If nothing else it would have made Mr Mapp gag on his porridge this morning.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      These, the most apparently dry and technical pages of the book, are also the most illuminating and useful: by exposing the workings of the state and of its public and private agents, they define a field of political action that is utterly alien to the rhetoric of our elected representatives. But that is where change must be directed, and where politics must return.

      Great sum up and it would be nice to know that there was a political party out there with the will and the spine to do it.

  2. ropata 2

    (the foregoing continues a theme, see also this comment on the late Garth George and these comments on the fourth labour government and rogernomics )

  3. ScottGN 3

    A little reminder of what useless governments National make. The leaky building nightmare rolls on for these Auckland apartment owners (plus ratepayers and taxpayers) courtesy of the last lot of tories.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11487766

    • vto 3.1

      Its called sticking ones head in the sand….

      In spite of all evidence proving the failure of neoliberalism (pike river, leaky homes) this government simply refuses, like a child, to recognise that evidence. Also see comment http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-28072015/#comment-1050858

    • Save NZ 3.2

      Just wait, under the ‘relaxing’ of rules that the councils, lobby groups and well paid barristers are seeking do with resource consents – ratepayers can look forward to waking up and seeing a giant McMansion pop up next door, or perhaps a block of flats right to the boundary edge, – goodbye sun and privacy.

      Funny, all the ‘relaxing’ including the 99% granting of resource consents, doesn’t seem to be producing any affordable homes – more like larger houses which cost more and are less affordable, and also smaller crap box apartments which the rate payers can look forward to paying to reclad in 5 years time.

      The resource consents and RMA process is the Cosby Textor of councils. Under the discourse of affordable housing, they are busy enriching cronies, destroying our city and creating future liability with their poor decisions for decades to come.

      There are many ways to create affordable houses, but the councils are allowing their resources consent officer and lobbyists, free reign to do the opposite.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    How about the extra immigration 10 points is only allocated to regions where
    -local unemployment is low
    -there are sufficent part time jobs etc for those who need to combine work woth child rearing
    – the local teenagers are all employed
    -anybody else who wants a job can get one even if they don’t show up in the figures
    -there is training taking place for any skill shortages
    – x% of the waged jobs are 20% above the minimum hourly rate

    Why dump extra people into communities that are not providing for those already there

    • Sabine 4.1

      this should apply to all of NZ, don’t you think 🙂

    • Tracey 4.2

      one problem is that to get the highest points you need to be young too (under 30), those folks move to cities for a reason… fun, nightlife, etc etc

  5. Penny Bright 5

    FYI

    28 July 2015

    Media Alert! Urgent message to Maui!

    Trade Minister Tim Groser – where’s your URGENT OIA reply regarding BIG banks and the TPPA?

    Dear Minister,

    On a letter dated 6 July 2015, Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson, from the Office of the Prime Minister, referred my following OIA request to your Office:

    “The information you have requested appears to be more closely connected to the functions and responsibilities of the Minister of Trade.

    Accordingly, I am transferring your request to the Minister under section 14 of the Official Information Act.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    MY OIA REQUEST TO PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY:
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    23 June 2015

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Please be reminded of your extensive employment background in the investment banking industry, including your significant role in the ‘derivatives trading market’:

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/biography/john-key

    “Mr Key launched his investment banking career in New Zealand in the mid-1980s.

    After 10 years in the New Zealand market he headed offshore, working in Singapore, London, and Sydney for US investment banking firm Merrill Lynch.

    During that time he was in charge of a number of business units, including global foreign exchange and European bond and derivative trading.

    In 1999, he was invited to join the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and on two occasions undertook management studies at Harvard University in Boston. ”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Please be reminded (again), that according to the 2015 NZ Register of Pecuniary Interests, you are (still) a shareholder in the Bank of America:

    http://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-nz/00CLOOCMPPFinInterests20151/8bb43d9064b110c19c88349a36301a9580cfb3ed

    “Rt Hon John Key (National, Helensville)

    2 Other companies and business entities

    Little Nell – property investment (Aspen, Colorado)

    Bank of America – banking ”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    (Please be reminded, that I have previously asked you about your personal shareholding in the Bank of America, back in February 2011, at the following Grey Power Public Meeting:

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Please provide the information which confirms that:

    1) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT provide big banks with a backdoor means of rolling back efforts to re-regulate Wall Street in the wake of the global economic crisis.

    2) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT require domestic law to conform to the now-rejected model of extreme deregulation that caused the crisis – such as forbidding countries from banning particularly risky financial products, such as the toxic derivatives that led to the $183 billion government bailout of AIG.

    3) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT threaten the use of “firewalls” – policies that are employed to stop the spread of risk between different types of financial institutions and products.

    4) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT bar the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, that helped eliminate banking crises for four decades by prohibiting deposit-holding commercial banks from dealing in risky investments.

    5) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT ban capital controls, an essential policy tool to counter destabilizing flows of speculative money.

    6)The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT prohibit taxes on Wall Street speculation, that means that there would be no hope of passing proposals like the Robin Hood Tax, which would impose a tiny tax on Wall Street transactions to tamp down speculation-fueled volatility while generating hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of revenue for social, health, or environmental causes.

    7) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT empower financial firms to directly attack these government policies in foreign tribunals, and demand taxpayer compensation for policies they claim undermine their expected future profits.

    (Please be advised that I have based these questions upon information from the following:
    http://www.exposethetpp.org/TPPImpacts_FinRegulation.html )
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    If you cannot provide ALL of this above-requested information, please confirm that you, as the Prime Minister of New Zealand, will no longer continue to advocate for, or in any way support this TPPA, from which you may personally profit, given your shareholding in the Bank of America, which, in my considered opinion as an ‘anti-corruption Public Watchdog’, is potentially a significant corrupt ‘conflict of interest’.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    …………………….

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    2009 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2010 Attendee Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2014 Attendee G20 Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes)

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  6. Sacha 6

    FFS, can we please not have to read the same flannel every day. If I pasted the same crap repeatedly I would expect it to be deleted by a moderator.

    • Rosie 6.1

      At least Penny is “doing something”. What do you Sacha to try and hold our leaders to account?

      You can always scroll past if you’re not interested. No one is forcing you to read Penny’s post.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Oh I do plenty.

        “You can always scroll past if you’re not interested. No one is forcing you to read Penny’s post.” – Aspergers is a cruel thing sometimes.

        • Rosie 6.1.1.1

          Thats good you do plenty Sacha. That’s good to hear. It’s important that if we feel strongly about certain social and political issues that we contribute to the attempts to correct the injustices we witness.

          Thats why I respect the work Penny Bright does. And if she does her work in a different manner to me, well, hey that’s fine. I don’t judge.

          I don’t know what you mean about Aspergers.

      • ianmac 6.1.2

        Hear Hear Rosie. Penny is an active woman and good on her.

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.2

      “flannel” “crap” ????

      Sacha…are you saying that PB is lying, distorting the facts, completely barking up the wrong tree…what?

      Penny Bright is making an effort. She gets out there and stands up for what she believes in.

      She confronts…face to face…those she believes are fucking us all over.

      She will actually go out and make a stand.

      IMHO…that is worth a thousand million tweets, comments etc.

      I may not always agree with Penny Bright…but I do admire her tenacity and commitment.

      Respect, Penny.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        Again, if it is the same wording as every day recently then it adds nothing. Yelling through a megaphone without adjusting your message does not achieve change.

        • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.1.1

          “Yelling through a megaphone without adjusting your message does not achieve change.”

          Perhaps its time for a real discussion on exactly how change is achieved.

          Seems to me, that constantly “adjusting your message” has got us nowhere.

          And by “us”, I mean those who agree ( if only about this) that the current administration in the House has to go.

          Both the Greens and especially Labour seem to constantly change their message, their tone, their volume.

          So much so that those of us who are getting a little desperate for a party we can vote for… to effect change… are in despair.

          Voters are looking for clear and unequivocal policy.

          Not just…”we will do this”, but …”we believe this is the right thing to do for New Zealanders and this is how we will do it.”

          And stick to their guns.

          Maybe PB could help them with that.

        • Rodel 6.2.1.2

          Yes YES Sacha! It does achieve change. See Frank Luntz-Spin PR 101- simple.
          Some don’t hear anything until the twentieth repetition. Go Penny! Go Penny! Go Penny! (X 20)

          • Sacha 6.2.1.2.1

            Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika. Bank of Amerika.

        • Rodel 6.2.1.3

          I see on the news JK is admitting that TPP may, just may, result in higher charges for NZ medication with the time before they can be produced generically at lower cost being extended by the pharmo companies,, and we can’t do anything about it.
          But he assures us that it won’t cost we the consumers any more.

          Yeah Right! Until in a few years when he’s no longer in politics and relaxing in his home in Hawaii when it’ll all be history and he’ll be forgotten. Just like Max Bradford’s ( who?) electricity reforms and Bill Birch’s (who?) think big stupid schemes.

          I do hope NZ retains some degree of parliamentary sovereignty.

    • Sacha, If you mean Penny Brights’ missive above, Penny has been asked to keep them reasonably short and to use links. As far as I can see, she has mostly done so in recent times, though today’s efforts could and should have been edited further. Mod’s have previously edited out some of the longer or repetitive ones.

      Penny’s an activist and she uses both digital and real life means to further her various causes. Nothing wrong with that and nobody has to read her comments. However, it does bother me that no attempt is made to personalise the comments for the Standard. I suspect the same comment gets posted at every site she has access to, but I don’t know for sure.

      So, Penny, if you’re reading this, a short intro as to why the posted information is of benefit to TS readers would be better and please don’t just cut and paste stuff you’re posting elsewhere. Just link to it, please, and just give us a précis of your points.

      For example you could have just said “I’ve written to Tim Groser/ the PM/ whoever asking for info on how we are protected under the TPPA” rather than duplicate the letters in full.

      Hope this clarifies things a little.

    • greywarshark 6.4

      @Sacha
      I point out that we do face the same flannel every day – from politicians deeds, misdeeds, notdone deeds, and done and undone deals. Boring it is, frightening in its continuity, desperation-making in the realisation, and for some the avoidance of chronic depression is chronic action.

      Others just don 3D glasses which they wear all the time, so distorting the reality they see around them. Don’t knock the rocks, the people who keep thinking and acting.
      I appreciate their staunchness, and while doing my little bit, honour their big bite – more than I can chew.

    • Blue Horseshoe 6.5

      Leave it out Sacha

  7. Rosie 7

    Has anyone, anywhere, anyhow, heard any clarification on Andrew Little’s statement on Friday 17th that a Labour Government would retain the 90 day employment law with a bit of tweaking to make it fairer?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70319219/labour-would-retain-90day-trial-periods-but-make-them-fairer–little

    I’m not on facebook or twitter and maybe information has got out in this way and I’ve missed it. I did send an email request for DJ Redbird to discuss this with Grant Robertson on their Thursday morning Scoop report show but it was never raised, despite the DJ inviting people to send questions in for Grant Robertson.
    I have also sent two emails in two weeks to Grant Robertson himself (seeing as I cc’d him on then original request) and not heard back.

    There was nothing in the Labour Voices newsletter.

    I know there are several very important issues going on right at the moment, (eg, Serco, falling dairy prices etc) that have easily overshadowed a one off, under the radar kind of statement from mid July but this is an incredibly important issue for workers and those looking for work and it’s one of principle too.

    Andrew Little, as the former national secretary for the EPMU said this in 2006:

    Mr Little told the rally that stripping away the workplace protections of new workers was outrageous.
    “What sort of country is it that has an employment law that attacks people at their most vulnerable time, when they’ve just started a new job,” he said.
    “What sort of employer is it who is unable to manage workers in a dignified and respectful way?
    “And what sort of politician is it who promotes a law that attacks the rights of working people?”

    http://www.epmu.org.nz/news/show/110702

    Repealing the 90 day law was an election promise last year. So what has changed in Labour’s view that they would now consider retaining this law and what has changed in Andrew Littles mind that he would now consider it too?

    Why the U turn?

    • BM 7.1

      $$$$ for labour.

      Lack of donations have knee capped Labour, being a bit more business friendly would help with the lack of funds.

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        where do you get your information? Clark’s government was VERY business friendly. NZ constantly rates amongst the easiest places to set up and run businesses. You are just repeating tired memes you hear with no analysis.

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          Indeed. I’ve helped setup businesses in a couple of US states and in aussie. Both were and still are massively harder than here. To set up a business here and run it day by day is trivial by comparison.

        • BM 7.1.1.2

          Yes it was,but it certainly wasn’t the perception that labour gave out when Cunners was running the show, though.

          • Tracey 7.1.1.2.1

            actually cunners spent alot of time with businesses. He couldn’t be criticised by Nats for so long cos they admired him and he was doing what they would do. SO it wasn’t LP not giving impression it was good for business, but something/someone else… what/who could that have been BM?

        • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.3

          You’re both correct, Clarks government was business friendly (especially according to Bob Jones) but that was 7 years ago and counting

          Hows the donating been going since shes been gone?

      • The Chairman 7.1.2

        Policy for sale, BM?

        • BM 7.1.2.1

          I think he’s talked to a few business owners and can now see the merits of the 90 day trial period.

          • The Chairman 7.1.2.1.1

            One wonders how much did filling the party coffers influence the change in position?

            • Tracey 7.1.2.1.1.1

              the sad thing is that LP will change to make business happy without the need to fill the coffers….

              • The Chairman

                That largely points towards the ideology of the decision makers within, Tracey.

                As has been stated on here before, it might brass off some Labour supporters – but what are they going to do, vote National?

                • Tracey

                  I wonder if the biggest con over the last 40 years has been the steady moving of the centre to the right, with the aquiescence of Labour Parties all over the world.

    • What Little was referring to was the proposal to re-write both the 90 day and the related (and more reasonable) trial periods provisions in the Act. I understand the matter of what both are replaced with is not settled, but subject to discussion. The conference in Palmy later this year might be a good place to look at it.

      Nothing has been decided, so it’s not a u-turn, though the right were quick to claim that it was.

      • Skinny 7.2.1

        Why Palmerston North for conference? Not exactly the cheapest place to fly to, I guess it imust be because it is one of the few Labour strongholds. But still a terrible venue for a gathering, how off putting.

        • greywarshark 7.2.1.1

          They should have gone to Whangarei eh!

          • Skinny 7.2.1.1.1

            No Grey Whangarei would be worst. Auckland is the best place with cheaper flights from major centers, and ample reasonable costing accommodation. Labour are more interested in a full turnout of the right-wing babyboomers.

            • te reo putake 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Election year conferences are generally held in one of the larger cities, the ones between in the provinces. Palmy is actually reasonably central to NZ’s population (I think Taupo is the actual balance point, half the countries population south, half north). Plenty of flights from Chch and Ak to Palmy. And there’s still a rail link to Welly, thanks to the tireless efforts of the local MP, Iain Lees Galloway.

              I’m quite looking forward to a weekend in the Manawatu, it’s a lovely region.

            • greywarshark 7.2.1.1.1.2

              @Skinny
              Yes have to cut your cloth to fit your customer. It would be good though if there were regular get-togethers around the regions for those interested in NZ’s left and what we stand for!

              The retired ladies from Nelson go on bus trips around the SI for 2-3 days, an example of many small sightseeing trips now taken. It would be good to have more ambitious short trips around the country. Regular organised visits North and South – get down to Invercargill and see Tim, over to the West Coast to Okarito and the Blackball formerly known as Hilton Hotel, Christchurch view the magnificent Colosseum, they have their own stately ruin (arrange for an audience with Brownlee and perhaps the Wizard) etc. Whangarei view the plans help the fundraising for the Hundertwasser, (indeed you can buy things now to assist on-line), go to Kawakawa for a pee-p if there is time.

              Etc etc. meet with Labour Green Mana people, talk to the newspapers, have your photo taken for the local rag. Raise the profile of the regions, have some fun and camaraderie, and drop some money into their coffers on the way. Those who can afford it. Probably be specially suitable for retired pensioners
              (superannuitants).

            • McFlock 7.2.1.1.1.3

              most regular conferences (not just political parties) wander around the country. Unless there’s a particularly strong catchment area (like if they want lots of folk from a particular ministry, so Wellington is the obvious choice) people get a bit pissy if they always end up having to travel the length of the country just because it’s convenient for the organisers.

              So one year it’ll be palmy, the next chch, auckland or tauranga after that…

              Otherwise it just becomes a regional conference that dictates nation-wide policy, rather than a true general meeting.

      • Rosie 7.2.2

        Thanks for your comment te reo putake, I appreciate that.

        I still don’t feel reassured however. The previous provisions in the Act prior to the introduction of the 90 day trial law were adequate and fair to both parties.

        To me, the promotion of work rights are a core Labour Party principle and the issue around this law is black and white. Repeal it and return to the previous law. It really worries me that there appears to be some softening around such a grossly unfair law that puts workers at a disadvantage and creates immense anxiety.

        I won’t be able to attend the conference in Palmy but I do hope this issue gets a good airing and that a clear decision can be made.

        btw, I wasn’t aware of how the right framed this statement, I wasn’t paying attention to them, so haven’t borrowed their u turn phrase. I was around for the protests against Wayne Mapp’s original bill in 2006 and knew Andrew Little was very vocal on the issue back then. He really had some fire in his belly.
        Thats why it was so confusing and alarming to read about his new view on the 90 day law. It certainly felt like a u turn to me.

        Whether it will be or not is something we will have to wait for.

        • Karen 7.2.2.1

          +1 Rosie
          I am really concerned about appeasing business at the expense of workers. Not a good look for the Labour Party.

          • Rosie 7.2.2.1.1

            Karen, was it you that said you are a business owner? If it was you that said that during a discussion here on TS at the time Little made that statement then good on you.

            It demonstrates that intelligent, competent, responsible employers are fully capable of managing their staff without the need for draconian anti worker laws.

            Maybe Mr Little could come and have a chat with you so he can learn how business owners can run their business successfully without being oppressive bullies.

            • Karen 7.2.2.1.1.1

              I have a very small business, and the nature of the industry I am in means when I employ people it is for fixed contracts, so I don’t think my experience is useful.

              However, I have also done my share of crap jobs for bad employers, and in my experience treating employees well makes economic as well as moral sense. I also work as a contractor for other businesses sometimes, so I know what it is like from both sides.

              I still see myself as working class, even though I do employ people sometimes. A question of culture, I think.

              • Colonial Viper

                Working class needs to be redefined…if you simply decided to randomly not turn up at work for a month, would your income stop rolling in? For 90% of small business owners the answer is yep – their businesses would likely fall over. So its work, work, work every day.

                For plenty of major landlords or larger business owners, things would keep ticking on fine…

      • Lanthanide 7.2.3

        “Nothing has been decided, so it’s not a u-turn, though the right were quick to claim that it was”

        Which seems to be a perennial problem that Labour and also the Greens to a lesser extent have with the media.

        They take any word spoken by a senior MP / leader as being gospel and “new policy”, despite Labour (and also the Greens) having a very formal policy adoption process. Similarly the media will take any proposed policy from their conference as a done-and-dusted decision, eg the “man-ban” and recently Young Labour’s suggestions around sex reassignment surgery.

        Not sure what Labour should do about it, but they must acknowledge the problem and come up with a response or change their behaviour.

      • The Chairman 7.2.4

        “Nothing has been decided, so it’s not a u-turn, though the right were quick to claim that it was”

        That’s the danger of not having clear cut policy. It allows the opposition to fill the gaps and take control of the narrative.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.4.1

          The policy last year was crystal clear – Labour was going to “scrap” (or “abolish”) National’s 90 day right to fire legislation.

          That was the wording whenever the topic came up. Not “amend to make fairer” or some watered down BS.

          • The Chairman 7.2.4.1.1

            And this year it’s not. Allowing the opposition to paint it as they deem, leaving Labour scrambling to re-control the narrative.

    • Chooky 8.1

      cant bear to look at it!…it should have a big ‘CJK’ for “corruption” emblazoned on it !

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      That would never get through the referendum.

      This is the only one I’ve seen that I think has any chance: http://www.silverfernflag.org/

      • b waghorn 8.2.1

        I like that style to just not sure that the colour mix is right.

      • maui 8.2.2

        For me, that’s an inbetween flag, keeping half of the existing flag and replacing the union jack with another symbol. If that is the most popular choice at the moment I think it shows that we’re not ready for a flag change at all.

        • Chooky 8.2.2.1

          +100…jonkey is not the person to change the flag

          ….and in these uncertain times when New Zealand youth and the RSA adamantly oppose flag change …. and the rest of New Zealand doesnt want a flag change either

          …why change the flag?

          (jonkey’s costly vanity corporate rebranding of NZ project)

          • cogito 8.2.2.1.1

            🙂

            To date I haven’t heard of any kiwi children going hungry due to the flag, or of people dying in damp HNZ houses because of the flag, or of dairy export prices plummeting because of the flag, or even of the All Blacks losing because of the flag…. so the flag is not what NZ should be focusing on. As ever, this is just a Key diversionary tactic all about Key’s own ego, nothing else. And it stinks.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1.1.1

              +1

              I also think that National are hoping that, if they get the Union Jack off of the flag, people will forget that we’re actually subservient to the monarchy. National prefer dictatorships especially when they’re hidden but retain power.

      • freedom 8.2.3

        Some questions for the merchandising/marketing peeps and associated legal beagles out there
        Re the commercial aspects of the manufacture and retailing of official flags.

        1: Is there a fee to manufacture and or sell a country’s official flag?

        2: Can anyone manufacture and sell our official flags?

        Unlike a regularly commissioned design, or the large number of designs presented from members of the public, the Silver Fern Flag designs are long standing commercial products with an existing copyright. -The company has been selling their copyrighted design and variants thereof for over a decade now. The Silver Fern Flag designs currently sell for $64.95 a flag, plus there is all the income from badges pins and smaller versions of the flag itself, etc. Official flags available at various sites currently retail in the $100-$150 range for a full size flag.

        3: If successful, does Silver Fern Flag have to gift the design to the country or will manufacturers and retailers have to buy a license to use the copyrighted design?

        Then again, the Silver Fern Flag copyright, as listed on their website says:
        “© Copyright 2000-2015. All rights reserved. We must be acknowledged when designs are published in the media and posted online. ”

        3a: Did this company somehow plan to not need their copyright after 2015?

  8. Chooky 9

    The plight of New Zealand youth under Nactional…New Zealand’s best and brightest!…the stars of our future …trashed by jonkey Nact….SHAME!

    ( and now no chance for a house as well…refugees in their own country…dreams shattered)

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201764133/effects-of-financial-pressures-on-tertiary-students

    “Nearly 44 percent of full time students say they don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs. Nine to Noon speaks to a financial advisor, student avocate and a GP about the growing pressure being put on students who are often working long hours on top of full time study. Maria Goncalves-Rorke, a student financial services advisor; Sarah Miller, a student advocate at Massey University; and Dr Cathy Stephenson, GP at VUW student health services discuss student hardship….

  9. greywarshark 11

    I’ve just been looking at a 2008 Listener under Pamela Stirling’s editorship.
    The editorial is a doozy – first the drama of oil price hikes to $143, a doubling of the price from 12 months previous, and a note that that 10 years further back, Brent crude was $11.36 a barrel. (I suppose their figures are correct.)

    Then the ed. points out that this cost will reduce travel and that USA predictions are for outlying suburbs in big cities to become the new slums. In NZ, lifestyle block owners who can’t afford to get to the supermarkets will be able to grow their own vegies.

    After this cursory look at likely future woes the ed gets stuck into Labour for putting money into rail as a waste of taxpayers money.
    The Government’s determination to own the rail system at a huge and likely never-ending cost to taxpayers appears motivated by ideology rather than financial prudence or environmental concerns.

    The Listener’s editorial is rather different in being motivated by ideology connected to financial prudence. This sort of weathercock assertion, blowing in the wind, pointing in any favourable direction is an example of the majority of today’s journalism which can be loosely described as a giant cock-up.

  10. ankerawshark 12

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/andrew-little-s-collapsing-studio-chair-6362965.html

    The right must be desperate!!! I can’t really believe that the collapsing chair was an accident…………..

    • Chooky 12.1

      Andrew Little good and assertive on TPPA ….on Morning Report ….despite Espiner’s moronic questions

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201764121/labour-leader-andrew-little-talks-tpp-foreign-buyers

      • ankerawshark 12.1.1

        Yes AL good. He seems to be slowing down his speech which works better.

        I don’t normally listen to National Radio. Does Guyon Espinor usually use such a hostile tone of voice when he interviews? Does he with Key?

        He may have missed his calling as an interrogator.

        • greywarshark 12.1.1.1

          Espiner does tend to talk like that to the Opposition but not to Key. He tends to start a monologue about the whole things been overblown, rise in voice Labour did it during the 9 years, or didn’t and …continues.. and it’s an example of desperation etc….

          But Espiner closely questioned, was a bit mocking, but not OTT. Andrew stuck to his point but he could have said wearily that he would love to give a more detailed answer but how can the Opposition do its job of scrutinising government actions when the details are held secret by the government.

          And also that all this wonderful access Espiner was referring to, is at present unknown, unproved, and he could mention Australia which I think missed out on sugar access, or one of their important exports. And that it could be that the only time when Labour and the people get to see the TPPA details is when they are to be ratified and then they can only be rejected or accepted, (as I understand it.) And rejection will have diplomatic and trading consequences far bigger than at present.

    • BM 12.2

      Terrible.
      If he can’t handle a chair, how can he handle being a PM.

      Andrew Little may as well pack up and go home.

      • Skinny 12.2.1

        I thought it was hilarious it gave me a huge laugh. It showed a sense of humour ‘even though Little was most likely set up by one of Hosking’s flunkies’. Fully expect Gower to add to a montage of Little blooper clips that he will mash together during the 2017 election campaign.

    • Puckish Rogue 12.3

      The look on his face is quite amusing

      • BM 12.3.1

        Yes, he’d be quite exceptional at gurning.

        Maybe he should flag this trying to be PM lark and actually concentrate on something he has a bit of talent for.

        • ankerawshark 12.3.1.1

          BM and PR not even worth replying to.

        • Gangnam Style 12.3.1.2

          I heard about this from a friend earlier, so was dreading seeing it (such is the shallowness of our politics), but that was fine, he smiled, seemed to think it was funny, all class & cool under pressure.

          • Reality 12.3.1.2.1

            No trouble, he took it in his stride and could see the funny side of the situation. Mostly what he is interviewed on does not warrant a grin, but it was nice to see his sense of humour showing.

    • Anne 12.4

      It would have been unintentional ankerawshark. I thought it was hilarious. I bet Little picked up a few votes on the back of that ‘misadventure’. 🙂

  11. Penny Bright 13

    I’m trying to help STOP New Zealand signing the TPPA.

    The above-mentioned OIA, in my view, could be significant in helping that happen, because it exposes how PM John Key could potentially profit from NZ signing the TPPA, as a shareholder in the Bank of America.

    If enough FUSS was made about it?

    When I sent out that ‘Media Alert’ this morning, I included the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Huffington Post.

    Also the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.

    Hopefully, that may encourage NZ media to give this story the prominence it deserves?

    Is PM John Key working for US or the U$?

    Follow the dollar?

    Penny Bright

  12. Penny Bright 14

    TPPA – WALK AWAY!

    Protest today in the wilds of Parnell – applying the political pressure in the Prime Minister’s ‘hood’, letting our placards / banners ‘do the talking’.

    WHEN: Today, Tuesday 28 July 2015
    TIME: 3.30pm – 5.30pm
    WHERE: Corner St Stephens Ave / Parnell Rd

    If YOU are opposed to NZ signing the TPPA, and YOU want to help expose PM John Key’s shareholding in the Bank of America – come along!

    Time is short – the TPPA ‘Ministerial’ has started today and continues until 31 July.

    Don’t sign away our sovereignty!

    WALK AWAY from the TPPA!

    Penny Bright

  13. The lost sheep 15

    An interesting contribution to the ongoing debate around wealth and inequality in Aotearoa…

    http://www.motu.org.nz/about-us/news/kiwis-have-some-of-the-worlds-highest-material-living-standards/

    • McFlock 15.1

      Not really. Almost completely irrelevant, actually.

      Hint: looking at population averages gives little to no information regarding the variations found within that population.

      • The lost sheep 15.1.1

        Of course you would say that McFlock.
        The findings don’t suit your narrative.
        And that obviously makes them ‘irrelevant’.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          New Zealand enjoyed a substantial reduction in inequality between 2000 and 2009, but experienced a very slight rise following the global financial crisis.

          Hmmm…

          Yeah, don’t think so. What we really saw is a massive rise in inequality from the 1980s, a slight dip in the early to mid 2000s and then another steep rise after the GFC with the end result being that inequality has remained the same across the 2000s.

          “For various technical reasons, our measure is likely to understate the material wellbeing of particularly wealthy households. However, most public policy concern is with the living standards of ordinary people, especially those closer to the bottom of the wealth distribution curve, whose living standards are well captured in our data,” said Dr Grimes.

          And overstate those at the bottom which is the general problem of averages.

          New Zealand’s high level of average material wellbeing – which was observed also in 2000 and 2009 – in part reflects our higher level of cars and bathrooms per household. The results do, however, show a lower level of bedrooms and study places per household in New Zealand.

          So, that would be a high number of cars and a low number of bedrooms. May explain why we have people living in cars.

          I get the distinct impression that that ‘non-partisan’ research centre is trying to put the best spin on their research that they can because if they didn’t then it would clearly show that we have a declining living standard.

          • The lost sheep 15.1.1.1.1

            How many people do we have living in cars Draco?
            This data is not suggesting we don’t…it’s just indicating that we very probably have far less living in car’s than most other countries.
            Can you provide data that contradicts that?

            • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Really? You concentrating on people living in cars? And not as a measure of how bad things are.

              Personally, I would question the idea of using cars as a measure of wealth in the first place. As the saying goes:
              A wealthy nation is where the rich use public transport.

        • The lost sheep 15.1.1.2

          Just remembered our last little dialogue about your acceptance of the Chinagate ‘data’ as “reasonably solid methodology, with some reasonable assumptions” Mcflock, and my prediction that in future you would dismiss evidence of a similar standard if it didn’t suit your narrative…

          So here we have a meticulously researched and referenced report, using a highly sophisticated methodology, written by world class academics?

          Almost ‘totally irrelevant’ eh?
          What an outstanding example of blatant hypocrisy!

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.2.1

            BTW, WTF does ‘world class’ mean?

          • McFlock 15.1.1.2.2

            Lost sheep, you are a lying piece of shit. Read on, and I will demonstrate my grounds for saying that:

            I accepted the real estate data as reasonable grounds for further research. It was both reasonably solid and relevant to the issue at hand.

            Your “little contribution” was irrelevant to the issue of inequality in Aotearoa, and we already have much better qualitative and quantitative long term research available than crude population averages.

            But then you already know the significant difference between the two cases, because if my position were actually an example of hypocrisy you’d have linked directly to it so people could see and judge for themselves.

            So take your allegation of hypocrisy and stick it firmly up your arse.

        • greywarshark 15.1.1.3

          and the lost sheep
          Your vice is versa.

          • The lost sheep 15.1.1.3.1

            @ALL

            You know It won’t hurt you at all to admit that by comparison with the rest of the World, things aren’t actually too bad here in Aotearoa.
            Not perfect, and plenty to work on, but all in all, no matter what your sociology-economic position, you’d be in a worse position almost anywhere else.

            That’s all this data is saying.

            • McFlock 15.1.1.3.1.1

              No, that’s what you’d read if you were a complete imbecile.

              Let me put it this way: even if “no matter what your sociology-economic position, you’d be in a worse position almost anywhere else” (which is just fucking bullshit because comparative averages don’t mean that the top 1% in X are better off than the top 1% in Y even if X averages more than Y, and that’s if you ignored the possibility that a declining economy might boost its consumption by transitioning to debt-based consumption rather than wealth-based consumption on the way to lower consumption overall), even if that, then it doesn’t mean that, given ALL NZ’s advantages, we should put up with the problems here.

              You’re at a restaurant. You tell the waiter there is dirt on your fork. The waiter responds that, all in all, you’d be in a worse position if you’d been the customer who got half a mouse in the salad. Would you A) thank your lucky stars and be grateful for the fork; or B) tell the dickhead to go fuck himself?

            • Molly 15.1.1.3.1.2

              But how pointless.

              Given our comparative richness of natural resources, and fairly good cushion against the GFC shouldn’t we being doing better than – ‘not as badly as others?’

            • Adele 15.1.1.3.1.3

              Kiaora Lostsheep

              The data also feeds into how indebted we are as a nation. We buy stuff on credit. Material wealth is a poor measure of well-being but a good indicator of other things – wastefulness, resource depletion, and toxic waste.

              However, I do agree with you, our nation is an awesome place to be and we are all privileged to be living here.

  14. Marvellous Bearded Git 16

    Key has just been reported on RNZ as saying that people in NZ will have to pay more for medicines under TPPA. Labour should climb all over this. Got to be worth a couple more per cent.

  15. The Chairman 17

    Allowing offshore investors to buy new homes still adds to demand, thus further drives up the price of land.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/70595522/john-key-says-a-tax-on-foreign-ownership-would-be-better-than-a-ban

    Is Labour not concerned about the price of land and the impact that has on housing?

  16. Colonial Viper 18

    David Cameron hitting out at illegitimate foreign buyers of UK property

    What a coincidence.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/28/david-cameron-fight-dirty-money-uk-property-market-corruption

    • ianmac 18.1

      But Mr Key says you can’t and he won’t! And he said it is all Labour’s fault ‘cos Labour signed a deal with China.

  17. adam 19

    NPR Tiny desk winner 2015 – Fantastic Negrito –

    http://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/

    Great social commentary song. Quite beautiful as well.

    Again may I remind Thestandard folk – you are not alone. What happen to us here in NZ, is happening all over.

  18. Atiawa 20

    What would be a great referendum question/issue – not the flag – that would motivate more people to vote in the General Election?

    any ideas?

    • McFlock 20.1

      Bringing back ostracism – five year bans from any public office for nominated individuals?

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        And have to wear an ostrich head to perps who commit crimes against the good and honest administration of the state whenever out in public till the next election – punishment for keeping head in sand when bad things were happening.

      • Macro 20.1.2

        Good idea! Murray Horn springs to mind…

        Horn was a leading figure at Treasury during the 1980s and was Treasury Secretary during the National government’s health, welfare and labour reforms of the 1990s. Some of the worst aspects of those early 1990s health reforms look set to be re-introduced:

        The review reveals the Ministry of Health would hand out funds to DHBs on achievement of planned milestones. If those targets were missed the money would be withheld, and would then go to other providers. Four pools of funding would also be created under the plan….

        Those four pools of funding would be dispensed by central government according to its “milestone” priorities – which, as mentioned, will have been rendered immune to alteration by the communities affected, thanks to the proposed changes to DHB board representation revealed yesterday.

        These extreme measures might be justified if health funding was running out of control. Certainly, the government spin machine works overtime to create the illusion of a rapacious health system gobbling up more and more funds. In fact, the health system has been systematically underfunded for the past five years, and the difficulty that some DHBs are having in meeting their budgets is a direct reflection of that reality.

        http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2015/07/28/gordon-campbell-on-90s-retro-proposals-for-our-health-system/

        • RedBaronCV 20.1.2.1

          $85m is going on a few hundred feet of motorway lane here in Wellington – the local DHB could do with that. How about a region’s citizens get do do some ranking of variuos central govt plans .

    • b waghorn 20.2

      Should nz become a fully bilingual country.
      ie; Maori taught in all schools etc

    • b waghorn 20.3

      Should we legilize weed and a safe as possible amphetamine/MDMA. That would get a few of the missing million out.

    • McFlock 21.1

      Cabinet meetings must be bloody chronic these days. Every minister is “disappointed” about something, while dunnukeyo dreams of tugging ponytails on a tropical beach.

      Maybe if they didn’t keep fucking up, they wouldn’t be so disappointed.

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