Open mike 29/04/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 29th, 2023 - 49 comments
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49 comments on “Open mike 29/04/2023 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Would we benefit from becoming a state of Australia,

    What would it mean for the treaty

    • arkie 1.1

      An EU-type group across the Pacific seems more workable:

      A Pacific leader has called on New Zealand and Australia to live up to their “Pacific family” rhetoric and look into a European Union-style free movement of people around the region.

      Samoan Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa also revealed she suggested the idea to Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni at a recent meeting in Fiji but was told it would only see “all other people in the islands” wanting to come and live in New Zealand and Australia.

      The Green Party, which has been calling for visa waivers to be introduced for Pacific countries, says it supports Fiamē's proposal and wants the Government to seriously look into it.

    • pat 1.2

      An economist who dosnt mention currency in his piece…

    • Corey 1.3

      Far Better wages, a better healthcare system, stronger unions, lower cost of groceries, lower house prices, far better working conditions, much higher top tax rates, less centralized power, a far better economy and a far more diversified economy, Aussie banks would now be domestic banks, New Zealanders would have more choice, better education.

      Our inclusion would always tilt the Senate and parliament a bit more left of center.

      New Zealanders like to pretend we refused to join the federation for altruistic reasons, which is baloney, NZ didn't join the federation because the NZ government wanted to be a national/dominion government not a state/province govt.

      Nz govt at the time wanted to have its own mini empire in the Pacific, it didnt want to be just some state in a federation.

      NZ and Australia used to have comparable quality of life and wealth distribution, since the 80s Australia has soared while NZ has floundered due to 39 years of consecutive misgovernment.

      Australia is a far more egalitarian country than NZ which is a classist neoliberal backwater with delusions of grandeur.

  2. Ed 2

    Bomber Bradbury puts out two excellent posts this morning highlighting that a class war has been waged for nearly 40 years by the rich in New Zealand….

    and that the liberal 'woke' left are silent on this and instead focus on identity politics.

    The woke are great at the low hanging fruit of identity politics because the solution is always exclusion of those who don’t accept identity politics dogma, but they are very quiet when it comes to class warfare in the form of a rigged capitalism because they themselves want to benefit from that rigged capitalism….

    There’s a class war in NZ but we don’t have the political vocabulary to articulate it because identity politics and not class is the only lens the middle class activists want to view society through!

    • Bearded Git 2.1

      Bomber is obsessed with "woke middle-class identity politics" (WMCIP) and claims in the article that this is shutting out ideas such as a Wealth Tax.

      This is rubbish.

      He ignores the fact that the Greens, who he would accuse of being the prime proponents of WMCIP, had an excellent and workable Wealth Tax in their manifesto in 2020, and that the Greens still support a WT, which will doubtless form part of their 2023 manifesto.

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        The proposed tax was never going to be workable. It never discussed how they proposed to value peoples wealth. It simply glibly talked about wealth without proposing any way of measuring it in money terms. What method were they going to use to value a business that was not a listed company? How much, as an example, is the value of a small panel beating business with 10 employees? How do you suggest we measure it? It would be essential to come up with some way as that is where a great deal of wealth is held.

        • Bearded Git

          Alwyn-You are just putting obstacles in the way because you hate the idea. Professional valuations of businesses are common when they are sold.

          I agree that a Land Tax would be simpler. Given that you only seem to oppose a WT on practicalities I assume you would support a LT?

    • AB 2.2

      the liberal 'woke' left are silent on this and instead focus on identity politics

      Does he get to the point where he says that only TOP and ACT can save us from the "liberal woke left" who won't take on the rich? Or is that that hilarious example of standing on his head and tying himself in knots something we can look forward to?

      And isn't the tax report itself 'woke' – people showing the ways in which their essential humanity gets crushed – poor and middle class people in this instance rather than say black people or trans people? How can Bradbury say the 'woke' oppose it when it's such a woke thing? Maybe he should define his terms – but when it comes to 'woke' we know that's an unmeetable demand.

      • Patricia Bremner 2.2.1

        AB in a nutshell.devil

      • RosieLee 2.2.2

        Woke is a silly word and I'm thoroughly sick of it. It's become an excuse for lazy and superficial thinking.

        • Ed

          The fact is that the liberal left are focused on identity politics as opposed to class politics.

          • Incognito

            Are they mutually exclusive?

            Is there any connection?

            Who are the ‘liberal left’ here in NZ?

          • Bearded Git

            Ed-No we aren't.

            A tiny (but noisy and somewhat entitled) percentage of the population go on and on about "woke" and so-called identity issues.

          • AB

            Right – so the problem with the 'woke' is that they are insufficiently woke, i.e. they care only about the oppression and indignities people suffer due to their race, gender and sexual identity, not those suffered due to social and economic class. Therefore they should be condemned for being 'woke' but then actually urged to be more 'woke'.

            There's a better phrase to describe these people – insofar as they exist in sufficient numbers to be worth thinking about – and it's "selective morality". And that's a phrase that could be equally applied to people who show the reverse bias, e.g. care about economic oppression but are quite happy with a bit of discreet racism here and there.

            • Corey

              We definitely need a new word for describing the excesses of upper middle class "lefty's" who obsess over identity.

              Frankly what we call woke I consider undiluted neoliberalism because of its worship of individualism and it's breaking down of people into their gender, sexuality or race.

              They don't care about poor gays , poor trans , poor women or poor brown people, just themselves and people they associate with and the idea of solidarity with groups outside their little boxes is outrageous to them

        • Incognito

          It is not an excuse, it is a symptom. And anybody who uses it as an excuse is symptomatic.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Ron DeSantis Mocked After ‘Buzzword Diarrhea Of The Mouth’ Rant Against ‘Woke [20 April 2023]

          So because 'the woke' represents a war on truth, ah
          We have no other recourse but to wage a war on 'woke'.

          We fight 'the woke' in the schools.
          We fight 'the woke' in the legislature.
          We fight 'the woke' in the corporations.

          We will never ever surrender to the 'woke' mob.
          Florida is where 'woke' goes to die.

          Would ‘anti-woke’ fly in Aotearoa New Zealand – aren’t we're too 'woke' for school?

          The War on Woke [18 March 2023]
          With those responsible for defending Otago University having been captured by the woke brigade, the question is what can be done.

          Winston Peters rails against secret 'woke agenda' in campaign speech [24 March 2023]

          'RIP woke media': An examination of Voices for Freedom's web radio channel [31 March 2023]

          Any wonder some young white males rebel? [18 April 2023]
          When merit doesn’t matter, young white males no longer strive for it but instead experience a sense of hopelessness which is the goal of the woke ideology. And to cap it all they have to cope with the imposition of the complicated, half-baked gender ideology.

          Is it any wonder that some of them rebel and turn to macho heros like the former world champion kickboxer and social media hero Andrew Tate, or others languish, smoking marijuana, which destroys their motivation and IQs, and playing pointless, violent video games?

          National's ex-candidate Stephen Jack accuses media of 'woke stupidity' and 'character assassination' [20 April 2023]

          Anti-woke 'heroes' (the antidote to ‘woke’) everywhere – Kiwis can't move for them all.

          Off to the Gulag for You Sonny [20 April 2023; Slater warning!]

        • Ed

          I must say the word doesn't appeal to me either (hence the quote marks).

          I much prefer the description by Chris Hedges in his brilliant book 'Death of the Liberal Class.

          In this searing polemic Chris Hedges indicts liberal institutions, including his former employer, the New York Times, who have distorted their basic beliefs in order to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization, and staggering income inequalities.

        • Shanreagh

          I agree.


          I've seen it used in so many different and contradictory ways that it has lost its meaning. However for Martyn Bradbury it is the word du jour and because it has become so amorphous many don't think the description applies to them or anyone they know so his arguments lose their punch.

        • Corey

          I agree. Woke is the wrong word.

          We definitely need a new word to describe the worst excesses of upper middle class identity politics.

          The kind of self indulgent pure temple virtue signaling outrage Olympics , faux activism that uses left wing social justice talking points to advocate for a quite bluntly, an authoritarian style of politics that shuts down debate, ideas, speech and art it doesn't like.

          Lefty's should call it out more often because it's toxic and freaks voters out.

          This kind of politics is the left wing version of puritans and bible bashers.

    • Incognito 2.3

      There’s a class war in NZ but we don’t have the political vocabulary to articulate it because identity politics and not class is the only lens the middle class activists want to view society through!

      That there is irony!

    • Mike the Lefty 2.4

      You might think they are excellent but for me they just represent Bradbury's obsessions and say nothing that he hasn't said a thousand times before.

      • Ed 2.4.1

        His obsession. Extreme inequality in New Zealand.

        And that is bad?

        Yes, the liberal classes have much more important things to worry about…

        • Incognito

          All obsessions are bad. They cloud judgment and narrow or close off the mind to other things and alternative views. Obsessed people are boring, repetitive, predictable and frankly uninteresting unless one has a morbid fascination with other people’s habits & behaviours.

        • Mike the Lefty

          No, his obsessions with "wokeism", identity politics and all its connotations.

          You knew that I meant that and are just trying to look superior, exactly what Martyn Bradbury does in his arguments.

    • Sabine 2.5

      We have the vocabulary, but like with identity politics we are in the process of criminalizing that vocabulary to benefit the very few at the expense of the majority.

      I mean we are calling men women, and have arrived at a point where a grown penis haver of importance is having a panic attack when asked to define the word' women', something that penis haver can't do because they were not 'pre-asked' that question and thus their million dollar speech writers could not provide them with a 'pre-formulated answer', and thus that person would risk upsetting the identity purity police, and well that would be so bad. And that grown penis haver would be our current PM person Chippy.

  3. Alan 4

    Heard an ad on the radio today offering free entry to the Warriors game for people who turn up and complete the census at the gates prior to going into the match. Also go into a draw to win a trip to see an NRL game in Oz, or something like that.


    Rewarding lazy, non-compliant behaviour while the rest of us suckers who actually got off our arses and did the census on time get SFA.


    • alwyn 4.1

      What do you see as an alternative? Do you really expect the Government, and the Government Statistician, to admit they have stuffed up the Census for the second time in a row, tell us that the results are useless and have the people responsible apologise and resign?

      Can you see any possibility of that happening?

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        Your ‘solution’: heads off. [typical RW response]

        Peter Davis’ solution: look at international best practice.

        • alwyn

          "Your ‘solution’: heads off"?

          Well I rather think that when you proceed by assigning responsibility to a Minister who still has training wheels as the most junior Minister we have, and then try and do exactly the same things as was done in 2018 I don't suppose we can expect to do any better can we? The only difference I can see is that we seem to have an even lower response rate after expending a great deal more money.

          Should they go? Well I suppose it is no more a failure than Kiwibuild, or the ridiculous re-organisation of the Health system, or the Polytech merger farce or perhaps the phantom cycle bridge across the Waitemata so why should they be the only ones to pay the price of failure?

    • Incognito 4.2

      You sound like an angry NACT voter, all stick, no carrot. The ones who want to hand out stickers to rule-breaking youth and then send them to boot camps upon their third sticker. Your cognitive dissonance is even the more grating because you fail to recognise that this is an initiative by a private enterprise, which you should be applauding to the hilt. BTW, it took me less than 10 mins. to complete the Census form and I slept really well that night knowing that I had fulfilled my duty.

    • bwaghorn 4.3

      So what's your solution old angry white man??

    • scotty 4.4

      A similar thing might work getting the lazy entitled non compliant farmers off their arses,

  4. Mike the Lefty 5

    On mayor Wayne Brown's claim about vote fraud in the last mayoral election.

    Brown claims that the postal voting system allows fraud to take place. His specific allegation (no evidence is provided) is that voters take their postal ballots to one place – like a community centre in South Auckland and the choices are made there. The implication is, of course, that people are urged to vote for a particular candidate and may have their voting paper filled out for them. The further implication is that this was done by supporters of rival candidate Efeso Collins, although he doesn't specifically say that you know that he means it.

    Brown actually may be right. The postal voting system is riddled with problems and inconsistencies and it is very easy to manipulate voters when they vote other than in a public booth with Electoral Commission staff to keep an eye on things.

    What Wayne Brown didn't mention however is that anecdotally it happens in other places. I have heard stories in the past of retirement village staff collecting ballot papers so they could be taken to the office "to help the retirees cast their vote properly, save them time…."It is a very hard thing to prove because you need witnesses who will talk. If the staff talk they lose their job and the retirees would normally be too nervous to object.

    I agree with Wayne Brown in that the postal voting system is very vulnerable to fraud and should be abolished. It was established in the first place because it was thought it would increase voter turnout (it hasn't) and of course because it is much cheaper than having election booths open.

    I have been a persistent opponent of postal voting for ANY local body or higher elections and it should be scrapped. If it costs more to have proper and fair elections – too bad!

    • Incognito 5.1

      Wayne Brown is looking and sounding more like Donald Trump every day. If he has any ‘evidence’ of voter fraud then he should not sit on his arse, as he did when that weather event hit Auckland, but do something about it, to help fix it. For example, take it to the Electoral Commission or the Police. Put up or shut up, Wayne Brown.

    • Belladonna 5.2

      We were 'sold' postal voting as a mechanism to address the decline in voter turnout in local body elections.

      The theory being that people didn't vote because it was inconvenient.

      The decline has continued.

      No way (absent alternative history) to know if the decline would have been greater if in-person voting had continued.

      Personally, I think that postal voting has made it *less* likely that people will vote.

      People who are committed to democracy will vote – either in person or via postal ballot.

      People who don't care or believe their vote has no impact, won't bother – regardless of the medium.

      Influencing someone to get out and vote, is more effectively done when there is a real deadline (it's Saturday or never).

      Much like the census. The most effective way of getting people to fill it out, is to stand at the door, and wait while they do it.

      • Mike the Lefty 5.2.1

        The census!

        O God! what you can say about the census!

        What an unmitigated pack of b…s it was!

        I seriously considered not doing it at all because it was so bad.

        I bet a whole lot of people didn't do it.
        Postal voting is the “O’Reilly” system (Fawlty Towers) = it’s cheap (and nasty)

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          OMG the census – so much worse than COVID and cyclone Gabrielle put together. And it happens every 5 years – talk about effing onerous – never again!

          Still, against colossal odds, I completed the 2023 census forms – don't ask me how.

          Only one more week for census collectors to help with census forms [27 April 2023]
          To organise a visit from a census collector, call the 0800 236 787 (0800 CENSUS) helpline.

          Ask not what your country can do for you…” – how times, and people, have changed. Is Aotearoa New Zealand becoming a nation of ‘special’ crusading wizards?

          Key trends within civic engagement [PDF]
          Local trends in civic engagement should be considered within the context of the general decline in voter engagement across
          western democracies. In the last 30 years, voter turnout in New Zealand has fallen from a high of 89 percent in the 1984
          general election to a low of 70 percent in 2011.

    • Ed1 5.3

      I am aware that Justices of the Peace are used to ensure that many elderly people in retirement villages / rest homes / hospitals are able to vote as they wish without coercion. Australia is able to impose fines for those that do not vote – whether that improves the quality of the election is arguable. Many critics are however short on answers to perceived problems – there do not seem to be many ideas for improving our election process. . .

  5. aj 6

    Joe Biden urges Wall Street donors to fill $1bn-plus campaign war chest

  6. joe90 7

    A wee tale of humiliation.

    Mr. Belafonte, sir.


    There will be better and more substantive testimonials and remembrances of this great, great man published this week. I met him briefly, on limited terms, but on news of his death, I found myself reliving the entire encounter. The worst of it left me dazed, shaking my head at myself, incredulous that it happened as it did. And while most of the joke is on me, there is enough in this tale to deliver some insight into how sharp, savage and charming a man Harry Belafonte was. In short, it’s always a shame to not share a good anecdote, so here we go: A few years back, HBO execs brought me in to look at a project that had been languishing at the network for too long: A proposed long-form miniseries on Taylor Branch’s magisterial trilogy of America in the King Years, perhaps the most definitive account of the critical years in the civil rights movement. Those who have read those three tomes will immediately understand that there is enough power and content in any one of them for…

  7. joe90 8


    These are junior officers. Imagine the scale of the thievery senior officers are engaged in and how the Russian military kleptocracy degrades the ability of Ru forces.

    1/ Six Russian logistics officers have been found guilty of stealing more than 360 tons of aviation kerosene in the Irkutsk region. Each got off with fines equivalent to $627 or less, according to a regional Russian news outlet.

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