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Open mike 28/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:20 am, December 28th, 2013 - 103 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 Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

103 comments on “Open mike 28/12/2013 ”

  1. karol 1

    From The Guardian: “Despair on the frontline of Britain’s homelessness crisis”:

    The anxiety and emotion that pours into the headsets of crisis advice workers in this crowded fifth-floor Sheffield call centre offers a snapshot of the UK’s worsening homelessness crisis. Advisers at Shelter’s helpline are processing more calls than ever. Last year there was a 15% increase in the volume of calls – a reflection, staff think, of the degree to which people are struggling with rising house prices, soaring rents, cuts to housing benefit and the long shadow of the recession. A day spent at the centre provides a clear picture of the kinds of housing problems people face, as pressure on council house stock intensifies and radical changes to benefit entitlements are introduced.

    Just, depressing stories of people – mostly with insecure incomes – with nowhere to live: people with partners who have left and now there’s no-one with an income to pay the rent; someone on a zero hours contract that landlords won’t let to because their income is too precarious…. on and on the stories go…..

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      The neolibs know no limits; they are both short sighted and disconnected. And despite the warnings of the Arab Spring, they view all these proles, their own people, as nothing except disposable. Days of destruction, days of revolt.

    • Saggy 1.2

      Great that you need to go to the UK to get this sort of news, Karol!

    • rich the other 1.3

      Makes NZ look great doesn’t it, this proves the NATIONAL govt are doing a grand job.
      What’s even worse this is also a reflection on Europe , many Europeans have travelled to Britain searching for scarce work which has had the effect of forcing wages down.
      Wages in Britain are sagging , a tradesman friend of mine was earning 2 pounds an hour less than when he was in Britain 3yrs earlier.
      Another sign the NZ
      The bottom line to all of this

      • Murray Olsen 1.3.1

        The only great job NAct is doing is keeping these stories off the tv and out of the newspapers. They can do it because we lack a Guardian, although we don’t lack our equivalent of the Murdoch gutter press.

    • rich the other 1.4

      Makes NZ look great doesn’t it, this proves the NATIONAL govt are doing a grand job.
      What’s even worse this is also a reflection on Europe , many Europeans have travelled to Britain searching for scarce work which has had the effect of forcing wages down.
      Wages in Britain are sagging , a tradesman friend of mine was earning 2 pounds an hour less than when he was in Britain 3yrs earlier.
      Another sign the NZ
      The bottom line to all of this

    • rich the other 1.5

      Makes NZ look great doesn’t it, this proves the NATIONAL govt are doing a grand job.
      What’s even worse this is also a reflection on Europe , many Europeans have travelled to Britain searching for scarce work which has had the effect of forcing wages down.
      Wages in Britain are sagging , a tradesman friend of mine was earning 2 pounds an hour less than when he was in Britain 3yrs earlier.
      Another sign the NZ
      The bottom line to all of this

      • rich the other 1.5.1

        ????? , IT WENT WRONG.
        Anyway to finish the numbers of NZers returning home is skyrocketing , all of this proves we have done reasonably well in the last few years when it all could have gone horribly wrong.

        • Colonial Viper

          And the more we avoid the bankster led upward wealth transfering methodology of austerity, the further ahead of Europe and the USA we will be.

        • McFlock

          It must have crippled your ability to provide sources for your claims too, rto.

          Oh, wait – you avoid doing that because it enables people to explain in detail what a fucking moron you are.

  2. Tracey 2

    Its a lie karol. The standard for povertg is indias dump pikes. Se the uk and we are just being silly. Record shopping on boxing day so there cant be anyone suffering in godzone

    however collins defined poverty on boxing day as a single parent bringing up 7 kids and cutting short their education to help feed the family… she and bennett really should talk.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      Record shopping day when everything is 60% + off indicates desperation shopping?

      • infused 2.1.1

        60% off rrp, everyone goes mad when it’s realistically the same price as normal. People are suckers, simple as that.

    • Will@Welly 2.2

      So the definition of poverty in New Zealand is a single parent on the benefit with 7 children.
      Does that mean to qualify for a benefit in future a couple will have to have 14 children? And just how did the “single parent” end up with 7 children? And what sort of accommodation can they expect, given that Housing NZ is down-sizing all it’s units?
      I just love the spin this Government puts on things.
      Perhaps we’ve just found New Zealand’s next Minister of Social Development – the caring, crusher Collins. Say good-bye to the evil, ranting, uninformed, former beneficiary, Paula Bennett.

      • alwyn 2.2.1

        “just how did a “single parent” end up with 7 children?”.
        I don’t think you paid enough attention to the sex education classes you should have had at school.
        Alternatively perhaps you went to a church run school and they didn’t teach you at all.
        Oh well, perhaps it is best to leave you in a state of blissful ignorance about these things and let you think that they were found in the cabbage patch..

        • Will@Welly

          Well we all know “how” under a National-led Government a single parent can end up with 7 children. You’ve stated it so eloquently elsewhere alwyn, that the “woman’s place” is in the home, barefoot, pregnant, and under her master’s rule. And woe-betide her standing up to him, she deserves nothing but a slap. Not for her in an egalitarian society the comfort or security of the DPB. As for the “cabbage patch”, it’s just her duties to tend to masters needs, 24/7 each and every day.

          • alwyn

            OK Loud mouth. Put up or shut up.
            Where did I ever say that a woman’s place is in the home, barefoot, pregnant etc?
            A citation or an apology please you jerk.
            The only thing I did here was to make a joke about the silly question you asked.

            • Will@Welly

              You’ve said on more than one occasion, you’d like to go back to the days before the DPB, which was a time when women were essentially “kept” at home, as almost domestic servants. Up until the advent of the Pill, most women gave birth, in one shape, form or another, every 18 months.
              National fought tooth and nail to stop the introduction of the DPB, even today this Government has used it to victimize beneficiaries. Rape then, was not recognised within marriage.
              I had a friend who fled an institution after being committed by her husband because she “stood up to him”, by walking out in her dressing gown and getting into a taxi, and going to her parents house. Her parents were unaware of what was going on.
              Judith Collins says the “poverty” line starts with 7 children – wow, what a statement. Never heard of irony, alwyn? My uncle in the 70’s had a sister whose husband walked out on her, leaving her to raise 5 children – before the DPB came about – ask our whanau about poverty – everyone reached out to help her. So if you think you have all the answers, get off your smug arse.

              • alwyn

                I repeat my statement. Give me a citation to where I said what you claim?
                All you mutter now is that “You’ve said on more that one occasion, you’d like to go back etc”. Come on Will. Where did I say I want women to stay home as domestic servants?
                Put up or shut up. I’m certainly not the husband of the friend you mention and I certainly don’t hold any of those views. Now a reference to me saying any of these things or an apology please.

          • 1900 revisted

            Well said only another 35yrs till the first labour govt

      • Saggy 2.2.2

        WW the definition of poverty in NZ is relative to median household income. It is essentially useless. Currently if your household earns somewhere between 800 and 1000 $/week or less (after tax) you are living in poverty. Which is rubbish. Accordingly if boom times next year meant average h/h incomes doubled you’d be in poverty at $2,000 net /wk. By definition we must always have the same number of people (give or take) in poverty.

        If you can show me families with no mortgage, no TV, no car, no booze, ciggies, pokies who can’t feed their kids in NZ then I would admit that’s poverty. If it’s more than 4 kids you’ve got to ask some questions.

        Poverty in NZ pretty well described here: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/09/hide_on_child_poverty.html

        • karol

          And yet, diseases that are sensitive to poverty are on the increase:

          The Monitor shows a steady rise in children’s hospital admissions for a group of diseases sensitive to living in poverty. These include asthma, pneumonia, rheumatic fever and serious skin infections.

          This group of diseases has risen in New Zealand children of all ethnicities since the recession began in 2008. Pacifica and Maori children are hospitalised at far higher rates than other children with proportionately more Pacifica and Maori children hospitalised now for these diseases than there were a decade ago. These statistics reflect deepening poverty and worsening inequality.

          And, no, the amount of people in measurable poverty does not stay the same, as indicated by the shifts in the amount of children living in poverty:

          Child Poverty Action Group welcomes the inaugural Child Poverty Monitor and congratulates the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, the JR McKenzie Trust and the University of Otago’s NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service.

          The Monitor puts all the known statistics about child poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand in one place along with current statistics on health outcomes. It provides New Zealanders with yet another reminder of our scandalous treatment of the nation’s poorest children and the severe, sometimes fatal consequences.

          The report shows that 25% of New Zealand children fall under the standard 60% income poverty line and of these 10% are in severe and persistent poverty.

          There was a rapid rise in child poverty in the early 1990s and then a fall in the late 1990s. The report says after “1998 however, as economic conditions improved, median incomes again rose, while incomes for many low-income households with children did not, resulting in a rise in child poverty up until 2004.”
          “The fall in child poverty rates from 2004 to 2007 for children in one-Full Time -one-workless 2 Parent households was very large (28% to 9%), reflecting the Working for Families impact, especially through the In-Work Tax Credit.”

          “From 2007 to 2012, [the poverty rates were] around six to seven times higher for children in workless households. This to a large degree reflects the greater Working for Families assistance for working families than for beneficiary families.”

        • karol

          Hide assumes that all households below the poverty line are getting the rate just below the poverty line cut off. Some are getting considerably less.

          The Child Poverty report shows that 25% fall below that 60% cut off, with 10% being in “severe and persistent” poverty.

          Because the poverty line in NZ is generally taken to be 60% of the median disposable household income, after housing costs, the amount of people below that line will differ, depending on the spread of such incomes: ie the people just below the poverty line (the one’s Hide are referring to, could be quite high for a small number of households, in comparison with the household disposable incomes of the rest.

          • Saggy

            Hide does not make this assumption but agreed there will be varying levels below this threshold. My point is someone in the upper level of “poverty” is earning an income which should be more than adequate.

            You have avoided my challenge to provide examples of what you call “severe and persistent poverty”. I have visions of African babies with bloated bellies and flies in their unblinking eyes.

            Helen Clark recently stated something along the lines of “No child in NZ lives on $2 a day. In fact no child in NZ lives on $5/ day”. HC is referring to poverty.

            • karol

              It doesn’t need to be famine level poverty to be poverty. The concerns are about poverty that impacts on health and life chances in education and work, length of life, etc. And this in turn impacts on our economy. The poor quality of housing has an impact on health for the least well off, too.

              So, it looks like I need to do all the work, then, Saggy. Definitions of the terms here:

              Income poverty: 265,000 children (one in four). This looks at the amount of money families have to pay bills and purchase everyday essentials. This is defined as having less than 60% of median household income, after housing costs are removed.

              Material hardship: 180,000 children (17%). This means regularly going without things most New Zealanders consider essential – like fruit and vegetables, shoes that fit, their own bed and a warm house.

              Severe poverty: 10% of children. This means they are going without the things they need and their low family income means they don’t have any opportunity of changing this. These are the children experiencing material hardship and who are in families in income poverty.

              Persistent poverty: 3 out of 5 children in poverty are in poverty for long periods. These children are likely to live in poverty for many years of their childhoods. Persistent poverty is defined as having lived in income poverty over a seven year period.

              Some people above the poverty line experience more hardship than those below the poverty line – though the ones above the line probably have more opportunity to get out of poverty.

              Persistent poverty is more likely to result in negative impacts on things like health, education, etc.

              I would say going without things you need means: missing meals; meals that lack sufficient nutrients; unable to afford sufficient electricity, heating, etc; poor sleeping arrangements that continually impact on sleep; and unhealthy living environment (overcrowding, damp etc causing illnesses); unable to afford medical attention and/or to travel to places where they can get the right attention;……. etc.

              PS; You seem more concerned to find there is no poverty, than to attend to the actual struggles people in a relatively wealthy country like NZ. Like you are looking for a reason to deny poverty and hardship exists in NZ.

              There are plenty of stories around – yet all the righties do is deny, deny, deny….. and no compassion or empathy.

              • Saggy

                I have plenty of empathy for people in genuine poverty. I have none for those in perceived or self imposed poverty. My years as a sheep shearer gave me an insight into a lot of things in a small rural community. There are workers and there are shirkers. And this has nothing to do with race just to save you the time.

                There is a big difference between poverty and bad parenting and AGAIN you fail to give me an example of poverty whereby parents cannot feed their children in NZ. If this is not poverty then what is? Not having a TV? Not having an iPad?

                I worked at Akld City Mission (sorry volunteered) and there are a lot of people who CHOOSE to live on the streets. Some are unfortunately addicts but you can’t blame the government for that. The Mission makes warm clothes and blankets free so somehow if the welfare state has failed them there is a backstop.

                If we’re really talking about what I think we are then it’s multi-generational dependency on benefits and this will only be addressed by breaking the cycle. NOT throwing more money after bad. Sorry but it’s tough love.

                I don’t agree with you’re views, but don’t accuse me of being in denial, having no compassion or empathy.

                • McFlock

                  So you volunteered at the city mission and never saw a single case of genuine poverty where people couldn’t feed their kids?

                  But private charity is needed to “backstop” a welfare state?

                  And what you forget is that your “tough love” (as if there’s any fucking love) is inflicted on the children, as well as their parents.

                • karol

                  Oh really? Self imposed poverty? What is the evidence for that.

                  Did you read what I wrote in my last comment. Have you read any of the stuff on poverty that’s been published?

                  When you actually won’t look at the evidence.

                  Where in my comment, with evidence, does it mention poverty is about not being able to afford an IPad? It mentions necessities, like food.

                  Have you not seen all the evidence of record queues at food banks? Do you think people suddenly got more lazy than previously?

                  Denial is exactly what you are doing.

                  And yes there are shirkers at all levels of society.

                  But most struggling below the breadline would do anything to have a better life.

                  Did you not read the bits about diseases of poverty?

                  here’s some more. But I don’t expect you to read and understand the evidence. You seem to have some preconceived prejudices.

                  Denial indeed.

                  Whangarei, 2012.

                  Full report

                  Northland was significantly impacted by the 2008-9 economic recession resulting in unemployment, mortgagee sales, business failures and bankruptcies. Despite the recession being officially ‘over’ there is a strong sense amongst the Whangarei community that things are not getting better. Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Charitable Trust, the Salvation Army, Women’s Refuge, and several budgeting agencies are all facing increasing demand. Schools and community groups report growing numbers of families who are unable to provide enough food.

                  Due to the level of demand food parcel providers have had to develop criteria and put processes in place to limit the amount of food being distributed.
                  Recent data on the number of recipients by benefit type for Whangarei show that the numbers of those on unemployment benefit (UB) are relatively flat (2,002 in January 2010, 1,796 in September 2010 and 1,941 in September 2011). But the numbers receiving Domestic Purposes benefit (DPB) show an increase (from 2,874 in January 2010, to 3,030 in September 2010 and 3,259 in September 2011) which is likely to reflect the current lack of employment opportunities.

                  Inability to afford nutritious food for children: – or do you think it doesn’t matter if childern are fed, but are still mal-nourished?

                  Latest research from the University of Auckland supports recent claims that many low-income families are unable to afford even a basic nutritious diet for their children. A paper published in Nutrition and Dietetics in December 2010 found that low-income families may not be able to afford meals recommended by the national nutritional guidelines, especially if there are teenagers in the household whose meals cost a lot more.
                  Professor Asher says, “In reality, rent is the highest cost faced by most families, closely followed by unavoidable expenses such as electricity, transport and school-related costs. This leaves little for a good diet, especially for older children who eat so much more.

                  Nutritious food for children is beyond the reach of many low-income families, especially those thousands of families ineligible for the full Working for Families package. This study clearly highlights that using food banks and purchasing cheap poor-quality food is not always a matter of choice. ”

                  There’s plenty of evidence out there. Open your eyes. And not an Ipad in sight!

                • karol

                  Tough love? Yeah sure that’ll work 🙄

                  let the children starve – that’ll learn them!

                  What about providing some jobs? Decent levels of income? Hope to get out of poverty?

                  So “tough love” is going to solve addiction problems?

            • Draco T Bastard

              My point is someone in the upper level of “poverty” is earning an income which should be more than adequate.

              Only in your opinion – the research tells us otherwise (you really didn’t think that percentage of the median income had been pulled out of a hat did you?).

              Helen Clark recently stated something along the lines of “No child in NZ lives on $2 a day. In fact no child in NZ lives on $5/ day”. HC is referring to poverty.

              That’s probably because it’s impossible to do so. In fact, I’d say it’s impossible for a child in NZ to live on less than $20 per day.

              Adequate Food: about $100 per week
              Clothing: A low guess I'd say $20 per week

              Then there’s doctors visits and other emergency bills associated with them.

              Thing is, we already know that a number of children have less than that spent on them.

              Your opinion really isn’t worth much. In fact, it should be actively avoided because it’s BS.

              • RedLogix

                You may want to take a look at this from the another angle.

                Raising a child to the age of 18 will cost the average parents almost $250,000.

                The calculation, included in a draft study for the Inland Revenue Department, covers only expenses. It doesn’t count parents’ loss of income or childcare costs.

                The income lost by one parent staying at home during that period would be almost $165,000, based on the national average wage calculated by Statistics New Zealand


                A simple spot of arithmetic gives an average of about $270 per week. So your numbers come in well below this.

                • Saggy

                  An excellent point RL. “Raising a child to the age of 18 will cost the “parents” 250k.”
                  So who’s going to pick up the tab if the parents can’t. 4 kids = 1 million. It must take a lot of tax payers to pay for a single child when the parents can’t.

                  • McFlock

                    so what’s your alternative, saggy? Let’s go to the tory worst case and say someone chooses to be poor and raise, say, 4 kids. Other than the government picking up the tab, I see only a few options:
                    A) forced adoption,
                    B) forced abortion, or
                    C) punish the kids for their parents’ decisions.

                    Am I missing an ideal solution that doesn’t make you look like an arsehole? You’ve apparently identified a serious problem that is costing our country millons a year, so what solutions do you have for the problem?

        • Draco T Bastard

          That’s a Kiwiblog link and thus full of the lies and myth that is typical of the political right, i.e, it’s not worth the electrons it’s printed with.

        • Murray Olsen

          Take a simple course on statistics, Saggy. The number of people stays the same if the distribution keeps the same shape. The median is the point where 50% lie above and 50% below. The “triumph” of neoliberal economics is that the distribution is heavily weighted towards the lower values, with a long tail at the top. Please feel free to comment when you have studied this sufficiently to reach the level of understanding of a moderately bright fifteen year old. At the moment, you are not even close.

          • Saggy

            Thanks, MO. I’m sure you realised that I was demonstrating the rather meaningless algorithm for defining poverty. I certainly am no statistician.

            • Murray Olsen

              The fact that you, and other readers of Kiwiblog, are not statisticians is what allows Farrar and Hide to get away with writing such rubbish. A contributor to The Standard has to know what they’re talking about (generally) because they’ll get pulled up by experts if they stray too far from accepted practice. It makes participating in this blog rather more challenging than, for example, commenting on WhaleSpew, where anything more sophisticated than “Rooting mayor. Lying lefty. Boardroom table. Sky dish. Judith Collins, oh my god…” gets you labelled as part of a pretentious liberal elite.

            • fender

              Thanks Saggy for your best Paula Bennett impersonation.

    • weka 3.1

      Ug, that article is an almost complete objectification of people who are homeless.

      “Squatting was a “transitional problem” for the city, Sutton said, and it would improve as more life returned to the CBD and vacant homes were demolished.”

      That’s right Mr Sutton, all those people will suddenly find homes when their squats are demolished and the CBD is revitalised.

  3. and in drug-news..


    one story is about 10 geniuses..

    ..and their drug(s) of choice..

    ..and another about the hysterical-irrationality of celebrating/normalising getting wasted on booze..

    ..’merry xmas!..hic..!..’

    ..and demonising the safest intoxicant of all..


    phillip ure..

  4. Colonial Viper 5

    Non voters not apathetic: they are furious with politics and politicians

    A remarkable result and if it holds in NZ explains why the non-vote hurts Labour the most.


    • weka 5.1

      hmmm, I think it’s more complex than that. For some reason we have this idea that MPs should be voted in and then left to it, as if they are competent to run the country by themselves. I’ve heard the argument that most people aren’t interested in politics… I’m not sure that is true, but if it is then isn’t that a problem? Shouldn’t we be aiming for direct engagement? Wasn’t MMP supposed to give more representation?

      Who voted in the MPs that all these people no longer trust?

      I also think it’s naive to think that MPs won’t have to compromise on their promises. People need to look at why that happens. We also need to look at the system we now dislike so much and what privileges it affords us that we might have to give up to get something better.

      This link on TDB has me thinking today


      I don’t agree with Bomber’s framing of ‘fault’ but I do think it’s food for thought in terms of civic responsibility. When we abdicate our responsibilities we let power-mad money grubbers take over.

      The govt should be our servants not a bunch of whatevers who can do what they like for 3 years. If they’re not doing what we want, what is OUR responsibility in this?

      • weka 5.1.1

        Also, not sure about how this points to non-Labour voters. I suspect that many are swing voters too.

      • karol 5.1.2

        It’s a UK survey. Specific questions on the survey show that Labour voters are most angry, as well as northerners, young people, and men.

        In England the north (and Scotland & Wales) is another country/ies that doesn’t get as much media and political attention as the south east – it’s all focus on Westminister & the city of London. Northerners tend to be more Labour, in the old industrial centres – more traditionally working class. I have heard – from a friend up there, that generally they are more left and feel ignored. I’m not sure how they can go about getting themselves heard.

        Protests, campaigns, etc, don’t seem to have much impact on the political and media centres in the South East.

  5. Morrissey 6

    What did she do, exactly?
    Friday 27 December 2013

    A three-year-old Gaza girl has been killed by Israel. The BBC says it was “retaliatory” but doesn’t say what she did.


    • Zorr 6.1

      This is very telling:
      “Israel considers Gaza a “hostile territory” after it was taken over by the anti-Israel Islamist Hamas movement in 2007″ – I thought they won a democratic election?

      Neither side is in the right but only one side has the power and opportunity to be the first one to put down their big stick and actually make changes that might lead to a lasting peace.

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        Neither side is in the right

        “Neither side is in the right”? Israel is operating a brutal, illegal, internationally condemned blockade of Gaza, and you seem to be suggesting the victims of this crime are in some way culpable. I know you are not flippant or indifferent, but you need to be careful about using such glib and thoughtless phrases. The fact is: one side is wrong here; “neither side is in the right” is the kind of thoughtless comment one hears from talkback radio hosts and indolent politicians.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        Israel is an attack and invasion of Palestine. The fact that it was mandated by the UN against its own charter makes it doubly atrocious.

    • Zorr 7.1

      The thing I hate with that one is that their image for a “local” retailer is EB Games

      They are as local to NZ as ANZ or Westpac are and all their profits go offshore as well.

    • BM 7.2

      I call bull shit on this poll.

      Who in their right mind would say yes to more taxes, the only way this result could be valid is if by some chance 40% of the participants are shop owners.

      On another note, I notice David Parker sticking his oar in regarding overseas purchases, I assume from that nonsense he uttered that whacking gst onto overseas purchases is official labour policy.

      Whats the tally so far.

      Capital gains tax
      Massive increases in environmental taxes
      Gst on overseas purchases
      Raising the age of super.

      Wow, you’d have to be mad not to vote labour in 2014.

      • Zorr 7.2.1

        I will happily pay any and all taxes if it gets funneled in to government initiatives to raise the standard of living in this country rather than passed over to Sky City or other capitalist cronies.

        It’s funny how the Righties believe in fiscal responsibility and are willing to paint the Left as the economically illiterate overspending bunch – but when it comes down to it, we’re the only ones willing to actually do what it takes to pay the piper.

        • BM


          The only reason the left needs to raise so much tax is because the left wants to turn NZ into some hard core socialist state, it has absolutely nothing to do with paying the piper.

          Fuck that, anyone who values their freedom has to vote blue at next years election

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


            Do you think that people are freer when they have an income from a job? Or when they don’t have a job and are receiving welfare?

            How do governments ensure that all people have jobs without addressing anomalies as the above example?

            They have to create a situation where the local businesses and foreign import businesses are on the same footing by being charged the same amount of tax (they could lower the tax of local businesses, not just raise the tax of the foreign ones) or they are creating a situation where local businesses have less custom/go out of business due to unfair advantage = job losses for NZers.

          • Tautoko Viper

            @BM “anyone who values their freedom has to vote blue at next years election”
            I presume that your definition of freedom does not include freedom from surveillance of your metadata, or ability to protest within 500m of oil drilling rigs at sea or inability to make submissions on the TPPA before it is signed off by the cabinet.
            If you vote blue at the next election, and the inequality continues to grow, then might I suggest that you may have to express your freedom by erecting razor wire around your private castle to keep out the starving hoards.
            Let’s look at a different picture- one of a society in which all people are paid a decent wage so that they can support their families and afford housing. There would be less need for the razor wire. Can you honestly tell me that this would not INCREASE your sense of freedom and security?

            • BM

              Let’s look at a different picture- one of a society in which all people are paid a decent wage so that they can support their families and afford housing. There would be less need for the razor wire. Can you honestly tell me that this would not INCREASE your sense of freedom and security?

              The only way to achieve anything like that is if we move heavily into mineral and oil extraction.
              To have full employment the only way that is going to happen is if the government expands the public service massively, the only way that can happen is if the government brings in a ton more money.

              From what I’ve read here that is not going to happen which leaves the only other option of taxing the crap out of the population which is just not going to fly.

              Unfortunately for Labour, NZ is a capitalist country now, people do not want to have their arses taxed off and any government that tries to push that line will be voted into oblivion.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                “The only way to achieve anything like that is if we move heavily into mineral and oil extraction.” ~BM

                i.e. There Is No Other Way – End of discussion


                Very limited and limiting view you hold there BM
                Try widening your horizons and thinking creatively.

                • BM

                  How else will the country raise money to pay for full employment.?

                  Pie in the sky stuff like “just create a huge tech industry” or some how massively expand tourism by 5000% just won’t cut it, you have to be realistic and go with the tried and true.

                  Oil and mining or massively intensifying our dairy industry are the only realistic way of achieving the full employment goal.

                  BTW, I’m a very creative person, but I try to temper my ideas with a bit of realism.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Pie in the sky stuff like “just create a huge tech industry” or some how massively expand tourism by 5000% just won’t cut it, you have to be realistic and go with the tried and true.

                    The “tried and true” has now been proven to be destroying the world’s ecology bringing about an extinction event eliminating 90%+ of life on Earth. That 90%+ would most likely include us.

                    Time to go for a sustainable economy and not continue with the delusional BS that we have now.

                    Oil and mining or massively intensifying our dairy industry are the only realistic way of achieving the full employment goal.

                    No it’s not as both will only produce another few thousand jobs and not the 170,000+ needed. The actual solution is to share the jobs around a bit more – I suggest 32 hour weeks with triple time paid for anything over that and that includes salaried positions as well.

                    BTW, I’m a very creative person, but I try to temper my ideas with a bit of realism.

                    Never seen anything real coming out of you. Take that BS about continuing as is despite it provably not working.

                    You’re a typical RWNJ completely divorced from reality.

                    • BM

                      Hate to break it to you, but all your ideas are complete bull shit.

                      The “tried and true” has now been proven to be destroying the world’s ecology bringing about an extinction event eliminating 90%+ of life on Earth. That 90%+ would most likely include us.

                      Over the top bull shit, waste of time discussing it.

                      Time to go for a sustainable economy and not continue with the delusional BS that we have now.

                      Ideological driven bull shit , reminds me of the same Chairman Mao wankery that ended up killing 50 million people,waste of time discussing it.

                      No it’s not as both will only produce another few thousand jobs and not the 170,000+ needed. The actual solution is to share the jobs around a bit more – I suggest 32 hour weeks with triple time paid for anything over that and that includes salaried positions as well.

                      Ridiculous pile of bullshit, waste of time discussing it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Trans-national corporate capitalism is a global system of human and environmental destruction. I’m not surprised that you wish to avoid talking about it.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      BM, you just proved everything I said in your total denial of reality.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ BM

                      I think you are over compensating if you truly are a creative person.

                      Along with DTB’s points, the ‘tried and true’ way also is leaving some people with vastly greater sums of money than the majority of people.

                      These people with vast wealth apparently feel they have more to lose and in response are constantly looking for the most risk-free ways to ‘make money on their money’. This is leading them to invest on betting whether a business or commodity is going to fall or rise in value rather than genuinely creating value by investing in that business or any other productive enterprises.

                      Vast wealth quickly transforms into political power. The people with wealth are lobbying and supporting government policies that protect their wealth. They are disconnected from the common good for their communities because they no longer consider themselves part of the ‘common’
                      community – being extraordinarily wealthy and all.

                      This is all adding up to why, despite there being plenty of resources and money for all, there is a glut in one area and a famine in others and why resources that are being depleted continue to be used and our rivers continue to fill up with shit despite there being alternatives we could be developing yet are not.

                      The only reason you write a comment here believing that oil drilling ‘is the only way’ or that voting for policies that causes unemployment could in anyway ‘lead to freedom’ because somewhere along the line you have bought into the misinformation that people currently in power have fed you.

                      Wealth disparity is a large reason for why there are not enough jobs for all; why they are not being created.

                      Address this problem and you address the employment issues, environmental issues, energy issues et al.

                      Why do we not address this pivotal problem?

                      Because those with clout want to keep profiting in the industries and financial games that they are reaping profits from and are oblivious to how their fortunes are intimately connected with everyone elses’.

                      If we continue in the way we are going – the people with clout will lose that clout because they are thoroughly dependant on this society – they have gathered their wealth from this society, after all – if this society fails their fortunes go with it.

                      I suggest that you stop believing in the nonsense about ‘freedom’ that your masters spin, BM. It is a free-for-all mentality, that they speak of and you repeat, BM, not freedom.

                      Only very few in a society can enjoy a free-for-all. This is because one person’s freedom can cause anothers’ lack of it. If you wish to vote for freedom – vote for policies that allow freedom for everyone – not simply some.

          • RedLogix

            Fuck that, anyone who values their freedom has to vote blue at next years election

            A pitch-perfect example of the libertarian/authoritarian inversion.

            What BM means by freedom is that he wants to be able to abdicate his collective responsibility to pay tax.

            At the same time his mind is the slave of a fairy-tale delusion called ‘free markets’.

          • David H

            “Fuck that, anyone who values their freedom has to vote blue at next years election”
            ,BM What are you john Keys personal arse Kisser and flag waver ?? Because i’l tell you this for nothing, voting for that fucking bunch of megalomaniacs is just asking for financial trouble. Key will be the second Nat thief to take too much cash out of the till, until the bills can’t be paid. Another Muldoon, a drunken incompetent, who has not got a clue.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.2

        Actually I’d be in favour of GST being charged, but only IF it could be done in a simple straightforward manner.

        What I REALLY object to, is that you get charged duty, then GST charged on top of the duty, shipping and then a final fee to cover their collection costs.

        It it were only 15% GST, I wouldn’t have a problem.

        Example calculation from whatsmyduty.org.nz (Customs website):
        This is on $227 NZ of menswear:

        Duty calculation
        Description Rate Est. duty
        Original value 227.00 NZD
        NZ$ value 1 227.00 NZD
        Freight NZ$ 0.00 NZD
        Duty 0.10 22.70 NZD
        GST (val+dty+frght) 37.45 NZD
        Sub total 60.16 NZD
        IETF* 46.89 NZD
        Estimated cost: 107.05 NZD

        *Import entry transaction fee:
        Once the threshold of $60 of duty and/or GST payable is reached, then an import entry transaction fee (IETF) of NZ$46.89 (GST inclusive) is also payable. This includes the Ministry for Primary Industries biosecurity system entry levy of $17.63 (GST inclusive).

        This adds up to a 47% tax, not the mere 15% of GST.

        • infused

          It could never be done in a simple matter. Need to move on. Retailers need to offer better pricing and realize they are in a global economy now.

          • Lanthanide

            They generally don’t have a choice. Retail in NZ is already a razor-thin margin business.

            International suppliers simply charge higher prices to NZ (and Australia) and the only option is to buy the product at the price they specify or go without.

            Which is why parallel importing is so important to NZ, because it allows retailers to go around the usual suppliers and buy off 3rd parties. But this still doesn’t make up for the high prices the suppliers charge.

            • infused

              Retailers need to be smarter then don’t they?

              I’ve had to adapt to a global market. By doing so I’ve captured the market. Because everyone in NZ still thinks NZ is a NZ market.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.3

        Who in their right mind would say yes to more taxes,

        That’s a load of BS. A lot of people realise that it’s taxes that support society and that increasing taxes is probably a good idea. That said, I think you’ll find that a lot of people get rather pissed by people bypassing the taxes that they’re supposed to be paying.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      And yet there’s no discussion of the actual solution – drop all sales taxes.

    • Murray Olsen 7.4

      I don’t support an extension of GST at all. I’d rather see it done away with altogether, although I notice that David Clark, the neoliberal Labour mouthpiece on this, wants to extend it. Ah well, if they want to be government, they’ll need to get someone else’s vote, because I’m so sick of their unchallenged Rogernomic bullshit and they won’t be getting either of mine.

  6. have you all found ‘longreads’ yet..?


    ..it is part of my daily story-hunting round…

    ..and they have ‘good stuff’..


    phillip ure..

  7. Herodotus 9

    A belated Merry Christmas to all. 🙂
    As a society we are understanding the effects that alcohol has on us as: an individual and society. Millions are spent both to change our culture, laws etc yet here we have
    “Getting drunk with Duncan Garner”. – from what one could say is a leading mag
    “…After a dinner that included five bottles of red wine,”
    Is this how we now achieve depth in reporting??? Get our subject plastered and pump them for info ?



  8. why so many of the current crop of labour mp’s must go..


    (ed:..this is in britain..

    ..but it is also the story of far too many faces who still stare out at us from the labour benches in the new zealand parliament..

    ..and here’s the real funny story..

    ..they are so fucken deluded/drenched in hubris..

    ..that these failed-ideology-stained (proven) fools feel they have the right to be ‘given another go’..

    ..and get quite prickly when it is suggested to them that actually it is way past time..

    ..they just pissed right off..


    “..My MP has a safe Labour seat.

    She personally spearheaded the push for an all-recording – all-surveilling National Identity Card;

    – voted for the Digital Economy Act;

    – and was part of the New Labour government that went to war in Iraq;

    – added fuel to the property speculation bubble;

    – gutted unions’ right to strike;

    – and let the finance industry confiscate the world’s wealth in a crooked unregulated casino game..”


    you can make up yr own lists for our versions of this..

    phillip ure..

    • chris73 10.1

      Whats interesting to me is when the issue of why people don’t vote is brought the same old reasons are trotted out whereas what the poll is suggesting its the MPs themselves (on both sides of the house)

      While its a UK poll I wouldn’t be at all if a poll was held here and we got similar results, the question is how to change it

      Buggered if I know

      • phillip ure 10.1.1

        for mp’s to win back respect from those who hold them in such (entirely-justified) contempt..

        ..i don’t think more randite-neo-lib is the answer..

        ..and this ‘but what can we do?’..helplessness-line is just utter bullshit..

        ..we look at those countries that are the most equal/happiest..

        ..and we do what they do..

        ..and a good income-generator to kick things off..of course..

        ..is a financial transaction tax on inter-bankster-dealings..

        ..(remember treasury research showed that would raise enough revenue to enable us to do away entirely with gst..if we so chose to use the income for that..so..?..)

        ..so..contrary to that rightwing-spin..

        ..there is much we can do..and it ain’t rocket-science..

        ..it is just monkey see..monkey do..

        ..but of course..the rightwing/neo-lib monkeys have their hands over their eyes..

        ,.and on purpose too..

        phillip ure..

  9. Tracey 11


    I suspect 40% say that because they dont buy overseas and want people to pay what they pay.

    I dont want to live in a nz with your definition of freedom.narrow and entirely materialistic

  10. tricledrown 12

    Blinkered Monetarist
    Those who pay no tax are being subsidized by those who pay tax.
    Those who pay tax have to pay tax at a higher rate to make up the shortfall.
    So your argument is flawed.

    • BM 12.1

      Those who pay no tax are being subsidized by those who pay tax.
      Those who pay tax have to pay tax at a higher rate to make up the shortfall.

      I couldn’t agree more, damn benes draining the life out of NZ, if only we could think of a way to get some use out of them, Hmmmmm.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        For starters, a full employment policy for those 25 and under. Secondly, a requirement that anyone contracting services to the government must do so with no less than 90% NZ staff. Thirdly, increase the minimum wage to $18/hr and enforce penalty rates to ensure the work available is spread around more fairly.

        • Grumpy

          As an employer, I would be happy to see CV’s suggestions implemented. Full employment policy where one works for their income is something nobody could object to. I also cannot envisage anybody being worth less than $18ph. I think the effect on the economy would be positive and the effect of self esteem and crime very worthwhile.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Full employment policy where one works for their income is something nobody could object to.

            The business people objected quite strenuously back in the 1970s and early 1980s. Once the neo-liberal paradigm had been set in place by Labour though and we now had an (undeclared) official policy of 6%+ unemployment they were quite happy as they drove down wages. Then they started to complain that the UB was too high and so Ruth Richardson cut those as well plunging us immediately into a recession. Now they’re still complaining that the UB is too high, to easy to get and that the minimum wage is too high.

            The inevitable result of these complaints by business people is that all these things will be cut especially with a National government in power.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        You do realise that this government is running policies that ensure 6%+ unemployment so as to fit the mythical NAIRU don’t you?

        It’s not the beneficiaries draining the life out of NZ but the policies followed by all governments since the 1980s. Such policies inevitably get worse under National.

      • Molly 12.1.3

        BM. Just watched The Tax Free Tour again. You might want to have a look – it might help you from continually making all these mistakes on the comments.

  11. tricledrown 13

    Bumptious Midden
    Try cutting all beneficieries.
    What happens is unemployment
    goes up exponentially like in Argentina 1996-97 (ACT promoted this policy until the stays came in Prebble was saying cut all benefits and change our currency to the US dollar it failed completely.
    ACT never mentioned it again)
    But unfortunately Bleak Minion didn’t read the inhouse newsletter.

  12. tricledrown 14

    Stays= stats

  13. Rosie 15

    Well, I’ve had a read through of the festive time articles on TS, and taken on board some thoughts but what I am really curious about is the continuous presence of the regular RWNJ’s.

    Don’t you folks take a break, or do you love TS so much you can’t tear yourselves away?

    I thought you may have had baches to visit, jet skis to play on, or mall trawling to do.

    I am genuinely intrigued by the motivation.

    • Will@Welly 15.1

      If you’ve got the cash to splash, Rosie, games galore to be had. Mall trawling, now there’s a revelation, the modern elixir, the cure all for the modern day stresses, just chuck a few coins at some “poor” shop keeper.
      As for a simple bach, “The Herald” ran a story on modern day baches. Rosie, in the “old day’s”, a bach was a simple get away, now is competes with an extensive mansion, nothing under a $1million will do. I hope yours is freehold – can we all come and stay – pot luck lunch will do?
      And as for water sports around the beach, remember when body surfing was all the rage – cost nothing, but a costume to participate. Now jet skis, heli skis, the latest this and that, and don’t forget, if you really want the best, make sure the beach you’re at is really exclusive.
      As I said at the start, if you’ve got the cash to splash, why not invite some poor urchins around to wash and tidy the place, let them swim in the sea before others in your gated community get to see, you’ve flaunted the rules of who gets in and who doesn’t, and maybe before you send them on their way, give them a feed, let them know there’s more to life than two-minute noodles and stale bread.
      Good bless ya, Rosie.

    • RedBaronCV 15.2

      Spot on Rosie. My take on all this below.

      I always see the mass appearance of the RWNJ’s as a sign that the discussion poses danger to them and we can’t be left unattended over the breaks. Some of the RWNJ’s on here are likely to be paid to do so, others are I suspect the wannabees. They admire the RWNJ authoritarian style, have a desire to control the lives of others starting but not ending with women, maori, beneficiaries, poor people and so on. Probably they conceal these attitudes poorly which will decrease their economic outcomes.
      They gain their own internal feelings of satisfaction by actively putting others down to inflate their own sense of self worth and to convince themselves that they are not bottom of the heap. Such attitudes do not mean they are wealthy merely aspiring and often failing. Attitudes that mean they are probably lonely over the holidays, deprived of the usual sources of their fix so come here.

      The rest of us see this as a chance to indulge in the alittle discussion unhindered by work.

  14. Rosie 16

    Blessings right back ya Will@Willy.

    Well, what got me started on baches was some RW’er expressing some smugness about his/her well appointed “bach” on karol’s “how was the year for you?” article awhile ago. It’s bigger than the first family home doncha know!!

    And in the vein of karol’s articles, (‘shop till we all drop’) and your narrative above, how about that starve/binge dichotomy we have going on our little ol’ country these days. How about it eh.

    TV and Poor people: the rule is don’t mention how they/we got that way, don’t mention the redundancy, don’t mention the lack of or substandard accommodation, don’t mention the unfair tax, don’t mention the unemployment, don’t mention the war on the poor, followed by the indigestion that was the boxing day mall sale frenzy coverage.

    How much of that goes on a credit card anyway?

    And lol, beach toys. As a kid back in the 70’s we were lucky enough to grow up over the road from the beach. Edgy fun was surviving a rip and and avoiding all those blue bottle stingy things

  15. McGrath 17

    What is it about Socialists and more tax? “We’re going to tax the hell out of you” is not going to sway the undecided voter towards Labour.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      [citation needed]

      And I’m about the only one here who thinks that the rich need to be taxed out of existence because we can’t actually afford them. The rich truly are the one thing that no society can afford.

    • McFlock 17.2

      what is it about tory fucks and unsubstantiated assertions as the basis for their idiotic rhetorical questions?

  16. tricledrown 18

    Mcgrath scottish aye.
    You drive a cheap car have a cheap house obviously a cheap education so you want a cheap nasty govt.
    Rarely do you get good things cheap.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      You never get anything cheap. The RWNJs haven’t learned that yet despite the Leaky Building Saga (courtesy of them) and the Chorus Saga (also courtesy of them).

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