Open Mike 29/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 29th, 2016 - 210 comments
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210 comments on “Open Mike 29/02/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    4.3 quake rattles Christchurch

    Sharon Murdoch
    ‘The people of Christchurch who must be so sick of hearing about resiliency.’

  2. Keith 2

    Flag failure strategy; blame Labour, Greens, NZ First for politicising it. Officially kicked off on Saturday by Audrey Young of the Herald, followed today by the loser at the root cause of it, John Key!

    Why does everything involving this guy have to become a lie?

    • Paul 2.1

      Why is Audrey Young such a slavish follower of Key?

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1.1

        Audrey Young’s father was a National Party MP from 1966 to 1990.
        Jonathan Young, Audrey’s brother, is a sitting National Party MP for New Plymouth (elected 2008).
        These factors should not be held against her (as with Katie Bradford, daughter of Sue Bradford) unless you consider that Audrey shows a persistent bias in her writing.

        • swordfish

          A number of commenters have said that on The Standard, but I don’t think it’s true.

          People have confused their Youngs.

          Audrey’s father was Bill Young, National MP for Miramar from 1966-1981

          She’s the sister of former National MP Annabel Young, current Tory Wellington City Councillor, Nicola Young, and former Tory Wellington City Councillor of the 1980s Rosemary Young-Rouse (married to former Right-wing National party Cabinet Minister, Max Bradford).

          Jonathan Young is the son of former Taranaki region (specifically the seats of Egmont and Waitotara) Nat MP Venn Young – a dairy farmer, but one with relatively liberal sensibilities on moral issues.

          The confusion’s not entirely surprising, of course. Same surname, both first elected as Nat MPs in 1966, both became Cabinet Ministers in the Muldoon Govt.

          • Karen

            You are not often wrong Swordfish but you are this time. Audrey Young is definitely Venn Young’s daughter and Jonathan Young’s sister. I know this because I know people who are long term friends of Audrey from her earlier days.

            You are right about Bill Young’s children except for Audrey.

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata

            From Jonathan Young’s maiden speech.
            I am a son of Taranaki, a returned son. Mount Taranaki is our great landmark. It gives us a sense of location and anchorage. By it, we know where we are and where we are heading. I was born in Hāwera, South Taranaki, to Venn and Margaret Young. Like all good parents they too were landmark people in my life. I would like to acknowledge members of my family—my mother Margaret, who is here today. I would also like to acknowledge Catherine Young, whom many of you will also know. I acknowledge my siblings—Adrienne, Audrey, Simon and his wife Carly, and Geoffrey.


          • swordfish

            Dang !!!

            It’s one of those things you think you’re absolutely sure of … and then it comes back to bite you on the bum.

            Apologies to all. Forget everything I just said.

            Bloody Hell !!! I was absolutely bloody sure that she was one of the Wellington Youngs. Now I’m beginning to doubt everything I thought I knew about everything.
            Maybe Night is Day, Up is Down, Mike Hosking is a first-rate journalist, the Nats aren’t so bad after all, Man Utd aren’t the pack of complete tossers I always assumed they were …

            Existential Crisis time.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        More of the National party than Key. It is a trait that appears to have been branded into her bones. From memory her father was a National party MP and a brother is a current National party MP.

        There has been discussion on that several times.

        • cyclonemike

          Weirdly enough, Audrey has not always been a National sympathiser.
          In the late 1980s, early 2000s she was a member of the New Zealand Journalists Union and its successor, the Journalists and Graphic Process Union (Jagpro). She was an activist and a member of the national council of both bodies.
          I know the main stream media these days is considered little more than Tory lackies, but those two unions were serious beasts, albeit a bit small.
          They lifted above their weight in industrial matters and Audrey was part of that.

          • lprent

            I have seen that quite a lot. It is what I call the “do as I say rather than do as I do” syndrome. Where theories about individualism and freedom from the state apply to them – right up to the point that it becomes a burden. Then they become socialists and demand that others prop them up as ‘good’ neighbors.

            For instance most NIMBYs are classic at it. They don’t mind the park removals, houses bowled for new roads, intensification, etc provided that it happens to someone else. Look under the hood on the Auckland Unitary Plan and what you will find in the objections to the council’s proposals is that virtually all of the opposition came from the wealthy and affluent areas and people.

            It is the same with ‘unions’. The Police Association is a union in everything except name. Same with the Law Society. Same for any number of other professional bodies. They perform the same duties of collective bargaining for conditions, resources and payments. About the only substantive difference is that most of them are allowed to run compulsory membership.

            I have no doubt that Audrey Young was an effective unionist. However it isn’t uncommon for people consider what they do is not what others should…

    • yep keith – I think the polling and reality are different things, thank the gods! – keys says

      “It isn’t logical 75 per cent of Labour voters would be wanting to retain the existing flag. There is no question one of the factors slowing the process down is the rally cry from the leadership of Labour and the Greens to vote against it, simply to give the Government a black eye.”

      Mr Key said he was surprised by the number of younger voters polled who planned to vote for the current flag.

      key seems genuinely bewildered by the lack of support – the first (not quite I know) of many setbacks for the slippery one

      • Karen 2.2.1

        Key was incredibly defensive on Morning Report this morning and claimed their own polling said NZers did want to change

        Morning Report
        “the number of people who definitely want to keep it is under half ( according to our polling)”

        Now I was one of the people who was polled by Curia (the Nats polling company). It was about 3 weeks ago and there were a range of questions, one of which was something along the lines of ” would you ever want to change the NZ flag” to which I was able to answer yes. I was also asked how I would be voting and I said to keep the current flag, and the main reason was that the alternative is an appallingly bad design.

        I suspect Key is being very selective about their polling. He actually sounded really rattled – worth listening to.

        • Is that what he said ?To be honest I never understood a word he said.It was just a mumbled mishmash of words.Certainly not English.

        • Rodel

          Saw the two flags flying together today. I don’t care much but must admit the old one looks like a real flag and the new one does look like a wishy washy tea towel.
          If the new one was just the 4 stars I’d vote for it but it aint so status quo until we get a decent alternative in a few years.

    • pat 2.3

      because Key is a pathological liar

    • Grindlebottom 2.4

      Why does everything involving this guy have to become a lie?

      I don’t think there’s any reason for it these days. Now it’s just policy.

  3. Keith 3

    I can’t believe i thought it true but when the government said Serco had lost its contract, I fell for it. Because that means you are out, gone, the end in the real world!

    It appears SERCO are still firmly in place at Mt Eden Correctional Facility and this from an advertisement 5 days ago for a “Security Administrator”; “Serco New Zealand currently holds two contracts with the Department of Corrections and we now have opportunities available for an Intel/Security Operational Support Grade to join our team at Mount Eden Corrections Facility (MECF) which is located on the edge of Auckland`s CBD. At MECF we work to provide a safe and secure environment for nearly 1000 prisoners on behalf of NZ Department of Corrections”. “Applications close 8th of March 2016”. “Safe and secure environment”? Really?

    It appears the whole SERCO are gone story was a lie. Corrections have topped up the dire understaffing (profit motivated) at Mt Eden and they are “officially” in charge (extreme use of imagination required here) but this will be why Key told us late last year SERCO could reapply in the future.

    So despite SERCO and or National cooking the books and being the best performing prison in the history of mankind, National appear to either be trapped into leaving them there owing to a badly flawed contract or they’ll remain for National to save face.

    So the old National Party circuit breaker trick of doing something to take it off the front pages till the heat died down applies here. Expect the company that never really lost its contract to get it back, just like magic!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Magic…and lawyers.

      • saveNZ 3.1.1

        The threat of Lawyers and the government caves… or the excuse of it…. Saudi Bribes, Serco – no wonder they signed TPPA in the Casino (without fanfair) they just need more excuses to give corporate bribes to their backers.

        Sorry the threat of legal action made us keep Serco…. oh and the whitewash enquiry – apparently the prisoners did not talk, heard nothing etc etc

        Maybe cos they were in hospital, dead or transferred to another prison or frightened out of their wits!

  4. Ad 4

    Anyone still expecting a Sanders nomination?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      No, the Clintons are using their entrenched influence over the US Democratic machine to lock Sanders out.

      As someone else noted, the Democrats used Sanders to pull in new interest to the Democratic Party, but they never intended to give him a real chance.

      Sanders will be smashed on Super Tuesday.

      • Agora 4.1.1

        You could be right .. asked whether he was a socialist, Chomsky described him as “an honest New Dealer”.

        “Super-Tuesday Endgame for Sanders”

        • Pasupial


          Super Tuesday isn’t going to look good for Sanders even if he is still on track. The chart in this piece by Silver shows that his demographics aren’t good for those states (but favoured later in the month and April):

          The problem is that anything he loses now he needs to make up later, which isn’t too much of an ask yet with 46 states still to go. After Tuesday (our Wednesday), it’s likely going to be a lot harder, especially with the perceived loss of momentum. At this point it’s looking more like Clinton’s to lose – say; with the email thing, or; if Trump (or some other donor) decides to release footage of her promising to corruptly favour them in future in return for campaign donations.

          • Lanthanide

            “or; if Trump (or some other donor) decides to release footage of her promising to corruptly favour them in future in return for campaign donations.”

            The way you’ve written that suggests that such footage does definitely exist.

            I don’t think even Clinton would be that stupid. She’s not one to make Mitt Romney 47% style blunders.

            I think what you should have said is “or if someone else can release damaging information about her, such as corruptly promising favour in return for donations”.

            • Pasupial

              Yes, someone could release documents, but that wouldn’t have the visceral impact of video images. I wouldn’t be surprised if such footage did exist (or at least could be selectively edited to give that impression), given how small cameras can be nowadays, but it’d be worth more once she did get the Democratic nomination. My first impulse was to say that Trump might; release footage of her blowing him for campaign dollars, but I thought that was excessively tasteless (and likewise hypothetical, if less probable).

              • Lanthanide

                My point is more that the footage won’t exist, because Clinton would never, herself, say that.

                • Pasupial

                  I believe that Clinton would say anything to anybody to get herself elected. The only question is whether any of the billionaires she visited had recording equipment running as insurance against her future reneging. Let’s say footage from this occasion were to surface:

                  “I gave to many people,” Trump said, defending his political donations to candidates from both parties before explaining what he got in return. “With Hillary Clinton I said be at my wedding, and she came to my wedding,” he said. “She had no choice because I gave.”


                  Clinton was asked what she got the Republican frontrunner when she attended his 2005 wedding to model Melania Knauss.

                  “Nothing, nothing,” she said.

                  “He was basically a Democrat before he was a Republican,” Clinton explained. “He was, you know, somebody we all knew in New York, and he was supportive of Democrats and supportive of a lot of causes I care about and people I knew cared about.”


                  If one of Clinton’s people were to go public saying that there was a direct link between Clinton’s campaign funding in 2008 and her attendance at Trump’s wedding, then that would be bad enough. It wouldn’t even have to be provable if it was intercut with enough footage of her and her family schmoozing with Billionaires.

                • AmaKiwi

                  “Clinton would never, herself, say that.” It’s NEVER done directly.

                  Intermediaries make the approach and handle the details. Confirmation, if it comes at all, is at a social function (or golf game in Hawaii): “I am glad we were able to be of help to each other . . . blah, blah, blah.”

            • Jones

              That’s right… Hillary’s team know how to scrub hard drives and make evidence disappear.

      • BM 4.1.2

        Over the weekend I spent quite a bit of time talking to a American democrat who was out visiting.

        Apparently there’s a real issue among American Catholics regarding Hillary Clinton and her view on abortion with many saying they just cannot vote for her because of that.

        Then there’s Saunders, general feeling is that he’s an extremist nut bar who’s never worked a day in his life, for many democrats the choice is poor and people are struggling to choose some one to vote for, democrat turn out could be very low.

        I reckon if Trump gets the nod he’s the next president.

        • pat

          “I reckon if Trump gets the nod he’s the next president.”

          Thanks…you’ve just taken a load off my mind

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Too many republicans will vote for Clinton – or even Sanders – if your idol gets the nod.

        • millsy

          “Apparently there’s a real issue among American Catholics regarding Hillary Clinton and her view on abortion with many saying they just cannot vote for her because of that.”

          Women’s rights and sexual/reproductive freedoms are only truly protected by an atheist/communist government. Look at Cuba, the only country in the America’s with abortion on demand.

          • Agora

            “Former CIA Director Michael Hayden blasted Donald Trump’s rhetoric in a recent interview, saying that the U.S. military would refuse orders from him, even as commander-in-chief, to kill the families of terrorists, as Trump has pledged to do.”


            “I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the way that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” Former CIA Director Michael Hayden


            • marty mars

              more madness from the don

              Trump: “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about [former Ku Klux Klan head] David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I don’t know. Did he endorse me or what’s going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”

              Tapper: “But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don’t know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you. Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don’t want their support?”

              Trump: “Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I would have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them. And, certainly, I would disavow them if I thought there was something wrong.”

              Tapper: “The Ku Klux Klan?”

              Trump: “But you may have groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know.”

              Tapper: “Okay. I mean, I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but . . . ”

              Trump: “I don’t know any – honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I have ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.”


              • Lanthanide

                Not really credible to say he doesn’t know anything about the KKK.

                David Duke personally? Sure.

                • alwyn

                  “Not really credible to say he doesn’t know anything about the KKK”
                  Unfortunately I fear it is only too credible to believe that about Trump.
                  The man is a complete nutcase.

                    • alwyn

                      I must bow to the evidence you, and other people have presented.
                      I have to agree that at some stage he must have known about the KKK.
                      However I reserve the right to believe he has probably forgotten what he said, or anything he learned, in the past though. Certainly he is a liar but I am not at all sure he even realises it.
                      As I said earlier “The man is a complete nutcase”.
                      How did the party of Eisenhower come to this sorry state?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That’s easy: by following right wing philosophy.

                  • it is up there with key not knowing if he was pro or anti tour – a little fib

                  • Pasupial

                    He’d have to be intentionally forgetting his own family history to not know about the Klan:

                    Trump’s late father, Fred Trump, was arrested following a Ku Klux Klan riot in Queens in 1927… was among seven men arrested following a May 30, 1927 brawl between members of the KKK and the New York Police Department…

                    The fights that broke out in Queens occurred after 1,000 KKK members dressed in white hooded robes marched through the Jamaica neighborhood. According to The Post, the address of the elder Trump from the arrest report matched the Jamaica address where he lived, according to a 1930 Census…

                    “He was never arrested. He has nothing to do with this. This never happened. This is nonsense and it never happened,” Trump said about his father in the September 2015 article.


                    [snap OAB]

                • AmaKiwi

                  “Not really credible to say he doesn’t know anything about the KKK. ”

                  I thought it was a very clever politician’s sound bite. He kept constantly repeating the message he wants his listeners to grasp, “I don’t know anything about it.”

                  Repeat a lie often enough and people believe it.

                • nadis

                  Trump knows all about David Duke. From 2000:


              • joe90

                Quacks like a duck….

                When an African American showed up to rent an apartment owned by a young real-estate scion named Donald Trump and his family, the building superintendent did what he claimed he’d been told to do. He allegedly attached a separate sheet of paper to the application, marked with the letter “C.”

                “C” for “Colored.”

                According to the Department of Justice, that was the crude code that ensured the rental would be denied.

                Details of this secret system, as well as other practices that the Trump organization allegedly used to exclude black residents from its buildings in Brooklyn, Queens, and Norfolk, Virginia, in the 1970s, were recorded in a lawsuit brought by the DOJ against Trump and his father, Fred, in 1973 for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act.


                Walks like a duck….

                Two weeks ago the leading Republican candidate for US President was widely criticized for retweeting a white supremacist Twitter user with the name “@WhiteGenocideTM,” whose linked website sung Hitler’s praises.

                It turns out that’s not an anomaly, it’s a pattern. Inspired by a new Twitter account that tweets out the bios of anyone Donald Trump retweets (because they’re often remarkable), we went and looked up those people he’s introducing to his audience of 5 million+ Twitter followers. In order to learn more about them, we analyzed the networks of people that those people he retweeted are following on Twitter, using Little Bird’s influencer discovery and social network analysis software.

                It turns out that Donald Trump mostly retweets white supremacists saying nice things about him. At least so far this week’s that’s how it’s gone. This isn’t one person, of the last 21 accounts retweeted by @RealDonaldTrump so far this week, our automated analysis of their accounts finds that:

                28% of them follow at least one of the top 50 White Nationalist accounts on Twitter (6 of 21)
                62% of them follow at least 3 people who’ve used hashtag #WhiteGenocide lately (13 of 21)


                Might be a duck…


            • Colonial Viper

              “Former CIA Director Michael Hayden blasted Donald Trump’s rhetoric in a recent interview, saying that the U.S. military would refuse orders from him, even as commander-in-chief, to kill the families of terrorists, as Trump has pledged to do.”

              What a fucking joke from Hayden, who knows full well that the USA has targetted both terrorists and their families on a regular basis. (Blowing up whole villages, hospitals and wedding parties to get their target, on occasion).

        • Agora

          Reuters: Trump has 90% chance of winning the Republican nomination

        • Lanthanide

          “democrat turn out could be very low.

          I reckon if Trump gets the nod he’s the next president.”

          If Trump is the nominee I expect a high turnout election – typical non-voters will vote for Trump, and everyone else who is sane will vote for Clinton.

          It’s perceived that the Democrats have an ‘enthusiam gap’, which is difficulty in getting their side to turn out and vote for them.

          Clinton will have a harder time against Rubio, because he won’t rile people up as much as Trump does (Trump has more unfavourable ratings than favourable – which will be the first for any 2-party nominee).

          • BM

            I’d definitely prefer a Clinton win, but for the US that would mean a continuation of the status quo and I get the feeling the US has had enough of that and want something different.

            Trump is the only guy tapping into that vibe.

            • Lanthanide

              I guess there’s room for Trump to sort himself out into a credible candidate, should he win the primary. As the contest has gone on, his policies have become a little firmer (even if his rhetoric is about as unhinged as ever).

              But on current form I think he’s just too nutty.

        • Kevin

          I agree, Saunders is a nut bar.

          Sanders on the other hand is the real deal.

      • Bill 4.1.3

        You suggesting that Sanders was a Democrat Corbyn? That it was ‘his turn’ to be the token traditional statist who gets to be a bit of window dressing? That could be true. But I don’t know how Democrat candidates get selected or whether they self select.

        Either way, Sander’s presence has been a rocket up the arse of the Democratic Party.

        There’s a problem with the idea that he’s intended only to pull in new interest. I’ve read a few comments from Democrat voters who back Sanders, claiming they’ll vote Trump in the Presidential election out of spite if Sander’s nomination fails..

        In other words, there may be a fracture in US politics marked by perceived establishment and anti-establishment positions that might (a-hem) trump any democrat/republican considerations.

        • Olwyn

          That’s how I read it too Bill. And I don’t think the anti-establishment feeling is going to die down readily, whoever ends up as president for the time being.

        • Lanthanide

          “I’ve read a few comments from Democrat voters who back Sanders, claiming they’ll vote Trump in the Presidential election out of spite if Sander’s nomination fails..”

          Yeah, well those people are fucking idiots.

          Letting Trump pick the replacement for Ginsburg on the SCOTUS instead of Hillary isn’t a way to further their progressive ideals.

          • Colonial Viper

            Progressive ideals? – don’t you get it – citizens throughout the USA suffering economically are deciding en masse that “progressive ideals” have utterly failed them.

            • Lanthanide

              Conservative ones offered by Trump are unlikely to be any better.

              • Colonial Viper

                Not saying that they are going to be any better at all. (Although I am pretty certain Trump will engage in fewer wars than Clinton).

            • Jones

              And the only way they can hack the system is to crash it. Regardless who gets the a White House, their term will be marked by increasing civil unrest.

          • AmaKiwi

            “Democrat voters who back Sanders, claiming they’ll vote Trump in the Presidential election out of spite.”

            What I am about to say is heresy for many on The Standard, but here goes.

            The choice of leaders is emotional, NOT rational. Support for both Trump and Sanders is often based on anger and rage. Any candidate who expresses their rage will get their vote.

            When John Key says, “I’m comfortable with that,” he is expressing the emotion of many New Zealanders. “Don’t rock the boat.”

      • Pasupial 4.1.4


        That Clinton dominance of the DNC looks like it’s fraying a bit:

        The piece on Schultz is over a month old, but the easiest to find. The petitions are growing against this former co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign (currently up to 66,638 on MoveOn for one). The problem with gathering the young left to the Democrats to vote for Sanders, is that their antiestablishment urges are unlikely to be sated by Clinton. I recall that in New Hampshire exit polls were saying that many Sanders voters had been undecided whether to support him or Trump (and vice versa) right up to polling day.

        • Colonial Viper

          Gabbard had been annoying the establishment any way by saying that as a veteran of the US armed forces she supported what Russia was doing to hit ISIS in Syria.

          Her MSM interviews on the topic were straight up and refreshing on the topic.

    • Bill 4.2

      Not expecting, but still wanting and not ruling it out.

    • millsy 4.3

      The battle for Sanders was always going to be uphill.

      Hillary will win the Dem nomination on Wednesday (NZT). The goal for Sanders now should be to get himself onto the ticket as VP nominee.

      • Andre 4.3.1

        He probably would have more real influence by keeping his Senate seat rather than going VP. His Senate seat comes up for re-election in 2018.

  5. pat 5

    ” (Minister) Guy said he still believed the industry had a bright future. In the short term, prices would be lower for longer, but he pinned his hopes on free trade agreements and the world’s growing middle class.”

    • Keith 5.1

      Under the/their Neo lib agenda the middle class is shrinking and its meant to so the millionaire/billionaires can get even wealthier. Someone should tell Nathan Guy that if he didn’t already know.

      And negotiate free trade agreements, not whatever the hell the TPPA is!

      Fonterra’s growing debt is truly scary at the current 7.5 billion. Guy is telling the banks to be nice to farmers etc who are going to be on an even bigger losing end of reduced payouts. Being National and being the banks I hate to think what the quid pro quo is for the banks to return the favour to National!

      • pat 5.1.1

        if you read/listen to the links you will see/hear the banks are doing what banks do when debt becomes unserviceable irrespective of what deluded Ministers say

      • Tc 5.1.2

        Wtf fonterra have 7.5b debt ! Which being a co-op means its members i.e farmers have this debt unless its another dodgy corporate structural deal which I cant see banks entering into without fallback onto hard assets…..dairy farms.

        • saveNZ

          There is this myth that the middle class are A – OK – nope. The scary thing is that even bright, successful people in the US are on insecure hours and all that entails.

          “Welcome to the “1099 economy”: The only things being shared are the scraps our corporations leave behind
          Companies can hire and fire perma-lancers at will. Is it any wonder the middle class is vanishing before our eyes?”

        • Ad

          Fonterra just make me angry these days.

          A decade of lost opportunity, huge costly mistakes, and dragging this country down.

          • marty mars

            how have they dragged the country down?

            • Ad

              Well, couple of things.

              – The botulism scandal. Massive process audit failure

              – The Melamine scandal. Massive source control failure.

              Both spectacularly damaging New Zealand’s future trade with China.

              – The consistent push for volume over value. A multi-generational loss of opportunity for our economy.

              – Almost total failure of leadership in environmental stewardship. Had to be dragged by the consumer kicking and screaming (in absence of government).

              – The lack of strategy. Our largest multi-national in recent world history to be explicitly formed by the state, and then rapidly go backwards.

              – The lack of substantial partnership with the state. Its minor partnerships with Massey Uni, which focus mostly on pastoral production, are a joke compared to the business and state partnerships we should have expected.

              – The willful use of coal as preferred milk drying energy. Flying in the face of its entire global brand strategy.

              – Going into completely unsustainable debt to achieve fuck-all. As Gaynor noted in the NZHerald, asset-to-debt ratios are far better in other New Zealand companies.

              – Getting totally out-played in your home state by the Chinese.

              Enough. I’m just getting tired thinking about these numpties.

  6. Tautoko Mangō Mata 6

    Methinks that the pro-TPP ranks are getting somewhat worried at the fact that people are starting to wise up about the implications of the TPP. I don’t usually read Kiwiblog but a TPP search brought up a line that caught my eye. This piece is in relation to the Upper Hutt Council voting to be TPP-free.

    “Don’t those Councillors have any actual work to do, rather than puerile idiotic gestures?”

    “What do they mean by a TPP-Free Zone? Do they mean they want all imports from the US, Japan, Australia and Canada banned?”

    “Do they want Upper Hutt businesses to stop exporting?”

    “Someone should remain those Councillors of the rates paid by local businesses.”

    …did Farrar mean “remind”?

    I refuse to provide the link to this poor quality rave, but I think it is time that David Farrar read the peer-reviewed Expert Paper #6

    “These “TPP Free Zones” are modeled on successful resistance to an earlier trade agreement, the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, which was defeated in 1998 thanks to a global grassroots campaign.”

    I note that the Upper Hutt City Council has a rates remissions and reduction policy for new businesses plus a fee waiver on construction.

    I was under the impressions that householders also pay rates in Upper Hutt. I am sure that they don’t get rebates for building new homes either.

    • maui 6.1

      Well obviously their Council is run by communists, I hear they’re shipping in a large amount of grey military uniforms this week, then the week after they start building a wall..

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      The small business/contractor class – now a huge part of NZ society – are getting increasingly concerned about the TPP.

      • saveNZ 6.2.1

        @ CV Under TPPA Pretty much ALL businesses should be worried. Including the farmers who it is supposedly for! They already have a product that mostly is costing more to produce than the sale price due to falling world prices. Soon they will start losing their farms and then lo and behold, corporates will start buying them up cheap, get share rights for voting and take over Fonterra. You will not be able to market them as NZ milk anymore or GM free or whatever the board uses to say it is a quality product from NZ! Anyway it will probably be packaged up into some sort of share that 0.00001 get billions in profits but the farmers do not have Fonterra picking up their milk anymore if supply is down. (This has already been advocated by the herald in one of their articles). Hmm so cows need to be milked twice daily but Fonterra decides to be more business friendly and in times of surplus not buy the milk at all. Well we can all see that would kill any farmer’s livelihood. Hip hip Hooray.

        As for NZ companies most of them are so minuscule by world standards they will just be put out of business straight away. It is a bit like the death of the high street, how many local NZ owned businesses are still on the high streets or are they all off shore banks, franchises and so forth?

        The public can’t afford to shop at high street because they can’t afford the parking so the council is actually directing public away from those shop owners to overseas owned malls filled with overseas franchises with free parking (the Westgate mall was also subsidised by the council on behalf of the rate payers). Apparently to be a small business in Westfield malls are a nightmare, equivalent of Countdown making everyone else pay due to being a monopoly.

        Just more examples of our council and government giving out handouts and wrecking small, medium and hoping to wreck large scale business.

        In Auckland we don’t even have a credible left person to vote for for Mayor! I mean Goff supports TPPA – he’ll be writing the corporate welfare checks and selling off the assets (or as good as he can get legally). The right are actually hoping for him to get in to do their work for them, that is why they have put in Palino to split the right vote and keep them going to Goff!

        We actually do not have choice anymore. No disrespect for Penny Bright.

        Auckland ratepayers, need someone in between Penny and Goff. There is the missing candidate to vote for!

        • saveNZ

          Cunliffe or John Campbell for Mayor!

          Save us from PPP and asset sales, kauri slashers and future oil slicks off Muriwai!

  7. Penny Bright 7

    ATTENTION Pete George!

    It appears that you have not published my comment on your blog – giving my side of this story Pete George?

    (I looked for my comment on your blog and could not find it.

    In my view, if you are going to post comments about me – basic fair play and natural justice is that I get a chance to reply and defend myself?)

    I have made nothing up and consider your statement stating I have to be both offensive and defamatory.

    The issue is whether a published City Vision Press Release supporting Phil Goff for Auckland Mayor constitutes their ‘endorsement’ albeit at this stage an ‘informal’ endorsement.

    According to the Cambridge Dictionary definition of ‘endorsement’ – in my view I am correct.

    Whether City Vision choose to ‘formally’ endorse Phil Goff for Auckland Mayor when he has come out publicly in support of the TPPA, road tolls, PPPs and the sale of Auckland Council assets (starting with the Remuera Golf Course) remains to be seen.

    If City Vision choose to ‘formally’ endorse Phil Goff as Auckland Mayor when he clearly, in my view, supports those pro-corporate, pro-privatisation and pro-user charges positions – begs the question, do City Vision now support those same policies?

    Yes or no?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Awww C-mon 7.1


      In my view, if you are going to post comments about me – basic fair play and natural justice is that I get a chance to reply and defend myself?

      So are you going to add a comments section on your blog to allow those who you have posted about a right of reply?

  8. Hami Shearlie 8

    So Auckland City Council have just wasted over ONE BILLION DOLLARS of ratepayers money on changing their IT systems – ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!!!! Mind boggling stuff – so why on EARTH should the ratepayers trust them with decisions involving the Unitary Plan? And this new panel talked about who are going to be making major decisions, is no doubt hand-picked by the National Government. How independent will they actually be, how much sway will developers have, and how will all the ratepayers who have properties which have risen in value hugely , feel about the decisions that this panel will make, and their impact on the same ratepayers’ properties?

    The National Government set up the Super City so they, and NOT the ratepayers, could have more control over what happens in Auckland. If this panel threatens to do things that will affect people’s properties and their value, it could come back to bite the Nats in the behind! Labour wanted a Super City type arrangement too, but they did not set this one up, so they can just sit back and watch as people grow angry. It might pay for Labour, who also want intensification, to stay silent and let the blame fall on National!! It is National who are importing foreigners by the tens of thousands, if we retrained our own people who are unemployed, we wouldn’t need all this extra housing would we?

    • Sabine 8.1

      i think we could all agree that ‘rates’ are paid generally speaking by the tenants.. Rates are factored in to the rent payments, and rates on businesses are usually paid for by the lease holder.
      So the one thing i am not worried about in all of this is that the ‘property owning’ and ‘property renting’ class has to pay rates. They will only have to pay rates on the one property they live in, and if that property is owned by their business, they will write the rates off as an business expense, something a tenant of a residential property can not.

      Sadly tho, in Auckland the Council and the Wanna Be councilors of the future have given up all pretense of the idea of common goods and sensible growth promotion. the ones that will pay the bills to come are the people that live, rent and work in Auckland. And sadly, in absence of any policy or idea’s on how to generate ‘growth’ in the regions or the cities that are slowly but surely de-populate (mainly for lack of jobs and opportunities) nothing much is gonna change.

      But one thing is for sure, the property owning class in Auckland will not stop voting for the National Party, not in a long time.

      We also don’t need to ‘retrain’ people for the jobs that are there, we should just pay them adequately for it. Often times, ‘the lack of skill’ is really just a lack of payment, as they tell us all the time, in order to attract the right talent we have to pay more then peanuts. Its just the poor that need to be incentivised to go to work with cuts to benefits and really crappy paid jobs. 🙂

      • saveNZ 8.1.1

        @Sabine – I’m a homeowner and have never voted National in my life!!!

        apparently 65% of Kiwis are still homeowners so beating them up as National supporters all the time means it makes National seem more powerful and it makes the opposition parties think that that segment are not theirs!!

        I know many a Labour and Green and Internet Mana voter that votes for those parties and owns property!!

        • saveNZ

          @Sabine the other thing you should think about is that a big reason many people these days can’t get a home, is because their work contract is temporary or is a zero hour contract. Then the banks do not lend.

          Property ownership should be looked at in a much wider context, low local wages and conditions, high property prices from increased demand from a massive migration push from the government and scrapping of previous immigration criteria, the massive cost of building materials much is more than OZ and USA (even though we produce much of the raw materials), and banking which means that those Kiwis who are in increasingly non permanent jobs or able to be fired at will without compensation, or on a zero contract will not meet lending criteria. Banks need migrants because as Kiwis start falling behind with low wages etc they can then sell the houses and farms easily due to increasing migrant demand.

          Zoning and land in my opinion are issues being touted by the government as red herrings. Government have seized a lot of land, they own a lot of land but they refused to build on it affordable houses. Yep maybe they will bribe the Salvation army and the Maori party to lobby for them on these – but ultimately if those groups can’t see they are working with a government to sell state houses and give to Chinese and Oz developers (even if they get a concession for using their brand and good name). Don’t fall for it! Keep your principals and don’t fall for a PPP approach.

          Now we have respected commentators blaming the boomers for the problem!

          Nope NO 1 person to blame is National! Dirty politics split the people and the discourses so to confuse the issues and let them get away with it!

        • Sabine

          I did not speak about a home owner, i speak about the ‘property owning class’ which in my books is not the same.

          The home owners own 1 house, maybe two, the other accumulate them like others buy socks or ties. And that ‘property owning class’ is not gonna vote for Mana or labour, maybe Green, and then the rest would be National/Act.

          I also don’t make any comments about people outside of Auckland, as my comments makes quite clear.

          “The property owning class in Auckland ……… should be a give away that I speak about a very specific group of people.
          So please don’t take offense at a statement that never spoke about people like you.

          • gsays

            hi sabine, while i kinda agree with the gist of your comment, i do think there are plenty of folk with property portfolios who do vote labour or left of labour.

            perhaps it alleviates some of their guilt?

            • Sabine

              nope i think those that vote labour in general vote for it as they are National light, same principles as National to a large extend but less lethal for our Society and communities, and I say this as a Labour voter. And then you got those that will vote for Labour to keep them in the market absent a better choice, or simply because they still fill a vacuum that has not been filled by the Greens (and i don’t believe the Greens ever will), and a 3rd option of the left is yet not available – that voter would be me 🙂 and props a 25% of the electorate. 🙂

              We need to really get our mind around that what Labour is today, essentially is the National voter from yesteryear, while the current National Party essentially is ACT minus Rodney – Privatise, small government, ownership society – you are on your fucking own, a libertarian philosphy hiding behind a conservative farming past, sell sell sell, drill baby drill.

              But for the large Property Owner Class – homegrown and imported, i doubt anyone of these guys would vote for Labour, and frankly to be honest why would they – society be damned, but then they believe like Thatcher once said, there is no Society 🙂 , it would be against their financial interests.
              I believe that in fact the poor should follow in the steps of the rich and vote with their purse and their bank accounts in mind. If they would, National would need to change its policies in order to be attractive. Instead of that many poor and dispossed vote against their own interests, lest someone accuses them of being a bludger, or being poor, or not having invested early enough in bootstraps.

              • gsays

                have to largely agree with your analysis re labour being nat lite and there being a vacumn to the left of labour.

                hopefully the connection with kim dotcom hasn’t been the death knell for mana. hone harawira is one of the few pollys saying the system is broken and needs to be changed.

                unfortunately i know a few of the property class and the ones i know do vote labour. a quid each way, maybe.
                i kinda don’t blame them as the way the game is played (write off taxes if you can show a loss on your rentals).
                the rules will not change when the house is littered with landlords.

                to me it is a sign of why we are screwed: the middle class wants it’s cake and eat it too.
                maybe these are the champagne socialists i used to hear about.

                • sabine

                  frankly i never gave a flying fuck about the german. And I don’t think that it was the issue with Mana. full stop there.
                  I know people that have voted for Mana, the Mana representative for my neighbourhood was a lovely young fellow and i hope he is still with Mana and is not disheartened by the last election.
                  But I don’t think that Mana will manage to get to a 30 – 40% vote any time soon. And that is what is needed. I hope they will come back to parliament, cause I for one miss Hone.

                  And yes these are the champagne socialists, they will vote for an increase in minimum wage, why? Because their customers need money to spend or their businesses are dead. that type of thinking, and as I said that was the thinking of the conservatives of yesteryear.

                  Sadly, I don’t think anything is going to change, all I hope for is that we get to buy time, until such time that we as the left are more united, or that a party will form that can the unite the left. Until then, we the left are our own worst enemy.

            • saveNZ

              I know someone with a property portfolio who voted Internet Mana. Just saying, property owners are a large and complicated group – Maori own land too and a wider group that you might expect and with more money than you think, want political change. To think the rich vote National and the poor vote Labour is very simplistic. Nationals great achievement is to actually colonise the poor and actually mimic Labour’s key messaging. By getting sports people tweeting to the vulnerable on election day – nice one (sarc) – got away with it too!

              There is a seachange all around the western world against neoliberalism and people want real alternatives. Nat Lite with taxes from Labour was never going to satisfy. Nat Lite without taxes also I do not think will satisfy. Labour need to go back to their identity pre Rogernomics.

              Just the thought of the Greens collaborating with National ran them down quite a few percentage points last poll.

              As for Maori it has not worked out being friend of the Natz. And as Maori point out in the Waatea episode 4 they never did get the foreshore. Natz win again. They lose votes for Maori party, get to keep the foreshore and
              seem to have Maori party on a very tight leash.

        • AmaKiwi


          The Labour caucus has a habit of not listening to the wider community.

          The Labour caucus was deaf about capital gains. That cost us 2 elections. Blaming Chinese for the housing shortage is a recent example of how to piss off a lot of people. (Labour is inclusive, blah, blah, blah.)

          Will they ever learn? I don’t know.

          Listening is a skill. It takes practice.

          • saveNZ

            I actually agree that migration has a lot to do with the housing shortage and so do most Auckland’s! I’m not sure one ethnic group should be singled out. (without proper property statistics being kept (thanks National sarc. ). I mean property investment is an immigration category for F-sake!

            I think under Labour immigration actually had stronger criteria like passing english tests and so forth!

            I also think people are confused between refugees and migrants. I think we should take more refugees and less migrants! Migrants have a choice where to go and refugees don’t.

            I also think capital gains is costing Labour and Greens a lot more votes than they think.

            The combination of capital gains/longer retirement policy, dirty politics and smearing, divided Labour and divided Labour against potential coalition partners, lack of political cooperation with vote splitting, cost the election for Labour. It was a whole combination of factors that cost them.

            If they had done a few tweaks they probably could have won. It was closer than most people realise.

    • Tc 8.2

      Finally the screwup is getting some sunlight.

      This is all down to Nact and rortney hides minions mark ford and his IT guy mark folley. You aint seen nothing yet jaffas.

    • saveNZ 8.3

      Just a little rumour, the IT of Auckland Council is so incompetent they can not keep any decent staff AND a lot of external IT companies actually refuse to tender or do any significant work for them anymore. They are considered a joke in the industry.

      Plus someone high up in a big 5 accountancy firm is having relations with someone else high up in the council so all their consultancy work is pretty much done by the same outfit for decades now and they did much of the recommendations which are crap!!

      You will never hear about it, because they all pay golf with the media companies.

      Dig deep into your pockets ratepayers – not only will the council IT not work and probably cost more than a billion – you will be paying for it for decades and if you rent, you will be paying more rent to pay for the rates!

      • Tc 8.3.1

        Hide had deloittes in tow before the legislation was passed and having another SAP system was predetermined.

        Auckland citys SAP would have scaled up and been fine but thats not making deloittes and cronies money like this clusterf$&k is…. Follow the money kids.

        • Colonial Viper

          Sounds like par for the course.

        • saveNZ

          +1 TC – follow the money folks!!!

          Hope Norightturn and similar have some fun looking into this one…

          Looking forward to seeing it mentioned on Waatea 5th Estate…

          How to bankrupt NZ’s largest city council.

          Maybe Auckland council are trying to do a Kaipara council so we can have our rates put up 30% to pay for some dimwits F-ups (in this case unworkable IT cash cow) who are never held to account!

    • saveNZ 8.4

      +1 Hami.


      That would indeed be a very surprising amount to spend on an IT project. Where did you get that figure from?

      • There’s a Herald article somewhere, PM. As I recall it, the total cost of the council’s IT spend since the supercity switch is put at $1.2 billion. The claim that 1 billion was wasted is just one guy’s hyperbolic quote within the article. However, there does seem to be some wastage, duplication and overspend.

        How much can truly be said to be waste is unclear.

        • Tc

          And never will be as many have been paid off and shuffled away. Its the ongoing cost of the mess hide/ford/folley created thats the real painpoint as egos have to deflated prior to any fixes.

          Egos like folley.

          • BM

            Sound like typical council incompetence to me.

            No controls, no leadership, no accountability, no one giving a fuck.

            • te reo putake

              Yep, same old National.

            • saveNZ

              Actually BM it was F-uped before the super city but now under ‘centralised control’ by National and Act – it is even more of a F- up!

              Centralised control is what makes these F-ups worse.

              But the IT is truly F-uped even more.

              So F-uped no firm wants to touch it. So F-uped no contractor wants to work there. So F-uped no competent IT staff at the council stay.

              So F-up more than 1 billion will be wasted. This is known before the council spends the money.

              I would not bother getting intel from the Herald – I think that is a given.

              • BM

                Actually BM it was F-uped before the super city but now under ‘centralised control’ by National and Act – it is even more of a F- up!
                Centralised control is what makes these F-ups worse.

                Why would Auckland council perform worse with centralization?, having one command structure has to be more efficient than 7 individual ones.

                What is it about Auckland council that’s the problem, is it the people?, the culture?

                What needs to change within Auckland council to make it work?

                • saveNZ

                  BM – another example Christchurch.

                  central control.

                  Counter to popular thought, central control does not work very well to get things done if the person in charge does not know what they are doing or you get people coming in and tinkering all the time for vanity or political reasons.

                  Change is hard enough without the above.

                  Funny enough democracy is a better way.

                  Not faux democracy in our councils and governments departments.

                  • BM

                    So, the problem is incompetent people not the amalgamation process.

                    How do you get rid of these incompetent people and replace them with skilled people that can move the council forward .?

                    • saveNZ

                      BM – the problem is getting competent people to run extremely complex things is like finding a needle in a haystack!

                      An example of how centralised control can work is when Steve Jobs, who was brilliant, co created Apple, created NeXT and revitalised Pixar (when the shareholders got greedy and booted him out of Apple and then ran it into ground until it was 90 days from going out of business). He then took it back over and turned it into the world’s most valuable company. From a computer company to a phone company and wiped out massive corporations in the phone industry that did not see it coming because they themselves had incompetent and complacent managers and made bad decisions.

                      In general central control does not and can not work. It was a miracle that Steve Jobs got back Apple and turned it around. If it had been up to the greedy shareholders they would be out of business, the iPhone would never have happened.

                      Markets do NOT work. To put shares in perspective within 100 years only 2 companies have survived in the US stock market. GE and IBM.

                      Personally I find that astonishing! For all those people who go on about the ‘markets’ being best etc etc – rubbish – history shows most companies on the share market will go out of business within a lifetime.

                      Most banks would have gone out of business in the US but now the governments are giving them corporate welfare and bailing them out.

                      So I guess the new way for companies to survive is to force taxpayers to just pay for their mistakes no matter what and to stop progress of ideas. The US government should have at least nationalised the banks they bailed out and put a few people in Jail for fraud for what they did. Instead the US banks got a sweet deal and the only company they forced to nationalise was GM and they made a profit on it. Meanwhile millions of American’s lost their house and jobs and the banks got rich again and never paid back their loans – what a deal!

                      Why are the people putting up with this!

                • lprent

                  Why would Auckland council perform worse with centralization?, having one command structure has to be more efficient than 7 individual ones.

                  It is. Well AFTER you have done the integration. Haven’t you read any of the many studies that have been done about mergers in businesses and IT systems? I have, both during the MBA back in the 1980s, and ever since through the business press.

                  A simple dual merger between two business organisations will take 5 years to happen, will and will costs a lot more on everything except property and sometimes wages. Property (and payroll) for them often has immediate overlap synergies that aren’t going to happen for geographic authorities.

                  You’d have to be a business moron (or a business illiterate ACToid) to not expect increased costs during such a major 5-way merger + and additional 2 way merger for the rural areas and for them to be done in less than a decade. Unfortunately small business people are the absolute worst at figuring out issues in large organisations. The issues are exponential not linear during the scaling.

                  • saveNZ

                    I disagree Iprent as things get more complex it becomes harder to get competent people to manage and the whole system can fail because of it. Often those those managers main competence is self marketing and they run the system into the ground while paying themselves big salaries, hiding bad news and patting themselves on the back.

                    To get a decision made, going through committee after committee who are not empowered to do anything and then just getting signatures at the end from senior managers who actually don’t have enough time or knowledge to know what is going on anyway.

                    You can not be innovative or manage decisions in a timely way with central control.

                    If you have a look at central control under National who are rushing very bad legalisation through and bullying anyone in their wake you see how central control really works.

                    The bigger the organisation and the more power it has, the worse central control is.

                    The chance of getting someone truly brilliant in their field who can advance and lead in a central controlled situation is close to zero.

                    Therefore de centralisation is the way to go. (with governance).

                    • whateva next?

                      Well said save NZ

                    • saveNZ

                      Central control is also very vulnerable to fraud and cronyism.

                    • lprent

                      Read my comment.

                      What I was talking about is the problems of merging into large organisations.

                      How did this wind up in your mind as why I was advocating for centralization?

                      I do think that a large city integrated by it’s transport, sewerage, water and housing systems need a central organizing body – like the ARC. The problem in Auckland was that effectively each of the smaller cities had a veto over anything that was being done for the region. The result was that nothing got done on some basics like transport and coping with growth.

                      In practice what I would have liked to do was simply to give the ARC more teeth to override the cities and a direct taxation mechanism that was independent of city vetos. But leave the stuff outside of citywide decentralized.

                • saveNZ

                  @ BM – I’ll write it all up and send to te reo putake in a few days.

                  I’m an Auckland rate payer and don’t want to see more IT F-ups.

                  One of the issues is Auckland council are now so toxic nobody good will work with them.

                  No surprises they can’t replace Folley – who wants that F-uped mess on their record!! Instantly that suggests they will get a replacement incompetent CIO who does not even understand the enormous F-up and do more of the same.

                  P.s a clue is, should not take nearly 6 years post supercity and nearly a billion to NOT roll out integration.

                  Another clue is you should NOT customise SAP

                  And third clue is, even if council IT do eventually get it working by customising SAP, they (i.e. ratepayers) will have to keep paying mega bucks in testing and validating their customisation for all subsequent SAP software upgrades to keep the flawed IT system going.

                  • BM

                    Excellent, I look forward to reading it.

                    Oh no, SAP that’s got to be the shittest software ever created, no wonder nothing works.

                    I recommend googling phrases such is “SAP is a piece of fucking shit” and reading the tales of annoyance and misery being inflicted on to people having to use SAP.

        • saveNZ

          It is not hyperbole.

          It is Auckland’s worst kept secret.

        • McFlock

          Dunno how fair the comparison with the ANZ/nat merger is. I would have thought councils are a bit more diverse in function, and merging 5 (or however many) would be more complex than merging two, anyway

          • saveNZ

            @McFlock – they are not merged. That’t the point. Nothing to show for the billion. Ring the council yourself with a query in another district they then have to dispatch you through by telephone to the local council.

            But that’s just the start of the scale of the problem….

            • te reo putake

              Write it up, savenz.

              Send something through to me at and I’ll turn it in to a guest post. A few links would be good, and your thoughts on why it’s got to this stage, who’s responsible, and what the alternatives are. I’ll do the rest.

              • Tc

                Good idea, plenty of folk out there with stories of largesse and incompetance from nacts supershity which they f’d up soo badly they didnt even achieve the prime objective…..flogging akls assets.

              • saveNZ

                Hi Te Reo Putake – will do – will take a few days to get all the info from my source and I’ll send it to you.

                • Excellent! Looking forward to working with you.

                  Same goes for any other regulars. There are other authors here who will also be happy to help you publish a guest post. That’s how most of us started here, after all. There’s a ‘contribute’ button at the top of the page.

            • McFlock

              Most of the work would be in the back end.

              All we know from the report is that they spent a lot of money, and someone else doing something else spent a bit less money.

              There was one small instance of bureaucratic turf-war highlighted, but that was a piddling amount even in an annual cut of the money.

              So how much is waste vs legitimate project administration is still up for grabs.

              • I can’t help thinking they should have just got LPrent in at the start. Problem solved 😉

                • McFlock


                • lprent

                  No thanks…

                  If you have a look back to 2010 when I was writing on the supershitty, you will find me making a lot of comments about the sheer scale of the IT issues.

                  My guesstimates then were that to get the systems integrated would take at least a decade and something way more 1 billion dollars. More in the order of 2 or even 3 billion dollars spread over a decade. That is simply the cost of integrating a close to a century of data (like the property and building info) into an even moderately seamless system. Especially when the data didn’t have a lot of commonality. It would also massively increase the staffing through that period to achieve the task.

                  So far my guesstimates appears to be on track – which is more than you could say for the puerile ACToids who advocated the seamless city and that idiot Rodney Hide who pushed that solution. The Royal Commission’s approach would have at least halved the IT (and everything else) transition costs because it would have left the existing bodies and software in place and just set up more integration.

                  The sheer complexity of building new systems or transferring data from one system to another to get a seamless data system when you have vast amounts of data is not something to be sneezed at. Especially when you have to keep running at least five old systems while you do it.

                  But in this case I suspect that reported value

                  The Super City has spent $1.24 billion on IT since it was formed in 2010 – enough money to pay for the council’s half share of the $2.5 billion city rail link.

                  is a complete and deliberate lie. It includes the normal operating costs
                  for the council and council owned operations. That in itself is something well more than $100 million per year.

                  Incidentally the bank comparison is complete bollocks made by someone who REALLY doesn’t understand the scope of the problems. Banks always have pretty symmetric and ordered data compared to the kind of amorphous data held by councils and governments. If you want a true comparison, just think about the composition of the data held by a council property management system including valuation data for rates and building permissions. It makes the data held by a bank on the same property look like a Mt Eden sized molehill next to a Mt Taranaki.

                  BTW: I don’t do this kind of work. It has nothing to do with exports.

                  • Duncan

                    I can’t agree with that. Transferring the data is not a problem, whether 1 record or 10 billion makes not much difference.
                    And testing the integrity of the data before go live is relatively simple as well.
                    The problem is SAP is a German tier one ERP designed for engineering companies, in which it works exceptionally well. Air NZ Engineering use it for years and it is wonderful. It is brilliant in process management and inventory control and so on. It is not good on all other features such as CRM and accounting functions.
                    Furthermore, when you install these systems they have limited ability to be configured differently, you need to change the organisations processes to fit the ERP you cannot change the software.
                    Look at Vector, a reasonably small organisation at the time, spent 160m on SAP, the CEO then had a heart attack and they ditched the whole thing.
                    They will spend another 1 billion on it and then ditch it. You cannot make these systems work outside a very narrow scope.

                    • lprent

                      The problem with data is in the edge cases. Where that data has problems making it fall out of spec.

                      For a simple instance. Your new system requires that you have categories for something and you want to restrict the categories so that they are useful. But the old system allowed free-form at some stage or had a pile of strange categories. Someone has to go through and build a translation table.

                      No problem if you are shifting a few thousand records. A complete pain in the arse if you have several million (or a billion) because there will be old trash that never got made systematic. You either throw away information or you spend a long time fixing each set of oddball instances or any combination in between.

                      Now multiply that by 5 or 7.

                      Archive data is never simple to merge in large quantities.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I can’t agree with that. Transferring the data is not a problem, whether 1 record or 10 billion makes not much difference.


                      There’s IT people around the world who’ve spent years just getting one system to work wishing that were so.

            • One Two

              The article did not say that Mike Foley had been walked

              Newcore will never realise the benefits stated, and is a massive failure to the tune of about $300m on its own

              Come June this year, Dean Kimptons explanations and assurances will exposed. Again

              Nothing is merged. Too big. Too complex

              No reference architecture existed. Pointing to ANZ is a nonsense

            • Penny Bright

              So much for the (forced) Auckland ‘Supercity will give economies of scale’ argument?

              So – how much has the Auckland ‘Supercity’ amalgamation cost, compared with how much was purportedly going to be saved?

              In reality – seven democratically elected Councils (warts and all) were replaced with seven undemocratically selected Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs), which, in my view have become the mechanism for the corporate takeover of the Auckland region.

              Please be reminded that the recommendation that all Auckland’s major trading and infrastructure activities should be undertaken by CCOs, came from the Labour Government appointed Auckland Royal Commissioners on Auckland Regional Governance.

              Lest we forget?

              First CCOs – then PPPs?

              ‘Commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE ….?)

              Penny Bright
              2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.
              (Who is the only Auckland Mayoral candidate – to my knowledge – who opposes both CCOs and PPPs).

          • maui

            That’s a good point, I worked on the Anz-Nat Bank merger. It took place about 5 years before the SuperCity so that would have made things cheaper for them too. I’m not sure how much new functionality was involved in that merger, but when you’ve already got computer systems in place and you’re mostly moving customers from one banking system to another its more straightforward than making brand spanking new systems that Auckland have also done.

            • McFlock

              I’m particularly intrigued about things like rates and property information databases, infrastructure management databases, even the air and water monitoring equipment.

              Some of those things mightn’t talk well with others, which would definitely be a vote for “new system, please”…

              • Tc

                Arc rates system with some tweaks wouldve done the job as it already held every akl property and i heard the rates managers of each council liked it having dealt with it.

                The great minds meet and decided to…….write another one which was a shambles where various teams were whipped all day and night to not miss the dates for rates notices.

            • Tc

              Thats the point maui, new systems were not required just choose who had the best fit in each area.

              ACC had only just rolled out SAP, one the the most expensive solutions around. Put that aside as it as done and dusted so scaling it up and migrate others overs was a logical efficient path…..surprise deloittes said do another one !

        • Psycho Milt

          Here you go, Psycho

          Ah, thank you. So, as Te Reo Putake says, the billion dollars is the total IT spend since the merger, and the proportion of it that could be characterised as “waste” is up for grabs, unless you’re the type that considers IT spend a waste in principle.

          You’d have to be a business moron (or a business illiterate ACToid) to not expect increased costs during such a major 5-way merger + and additional 2 way merger for the rural areas and for them to be done in less than a decade.

          Indeed. If there’s someone out there who could merge eight councils’ IT systems and NOT take a decade and enormous sums of money to to do it, I’d like to meet this living demigod.

  9. Graeme 9

    Oh dear, the nathives are getting restless, there be stirrings in the grass in Clutha Southland

    Looks like boy wonder might have blotted his copy-book.

    • weka 9.1

      The Editor of the Southland Times isn’t holding back,

      The question must now be asked whether Barclay is in serious strife within his party electorate and whether this in turn represents broader community dissatisfaction.

      • Graeme 9.1.1

        Yeah, that camp’s usually a very tight ship, so any wisp of smoke probably indicates a raging inferno behind the door.

        More to come on this by the look

        • Colonial Viper

          I still wonder why English supported this young nobody as his replacement. There would have been many smarter choices. A late 30 something dairy farmer type well known for his good deeds in the Southland community etc. would have been far better than this young corporate hack.

          • McFlock

            Didn’t he work for English and a couple of other nat bigwigs before peddling cigarettes?

            That would be your answer.

            That, and the usual nat contempt for electorates when selecting candidates for “safe” seats.

            • weka

              I’d say they’re grooming him for bigger things than a safe rural seat, but they’re starting him there because that’s the only place he’d get elected.

              • McFlock

                Well, he’s a local boy too. Daddy helped him in his campaign meetings apparently.

                It’s interesting – the labourites I know get “groomed” by running a few campaigns in safe national seats. Do that a few times, prove yourself, keep your nose clean, you get rewarded.

                the nats seem to have a very different culture to “grooming”.

          • Graeme

            He got it over a long list of very capable candidates, both from within the local party organisation, and outside.

            One of the unsuccessfull candidates was Simon Flood, ex Meril Lynch and Lion Global (Singapore)
            Simon is a very capable and personable guy who would have been instant cabinet material, he’d run rings around most of the current ministers, but they passed him by.

            • Anne

              “Daddy” must have donated a small fortune to the Nat Party campaign machine.

              • Graeme

                HIs family are pretty small beer, owned the Dipton store and mail run. Appears to be Joyce’s protege, he was down here a while ago going around the electorate with him. Hardly heard a thing from wonder boy since, till this.

                • Anne

                  Got the picture. I left out the question mark at the end of my comment. Doesn’t look like Daddy could afford a big donation so it must be something else. Looks like millsy is right. Imagine the electorate is a bit of a sleepy hollow, and the neo liberalists stormed in and got their ‘boy’ over the line?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Clutha Southland is not a “sleepy hollow”; but English somehow convinced his loyal electorate supporters to push Barclay over the line, using up a whole lot of his own local political capital to do so.

                    • Graeme

                      Not sure it was just Bill, story I heard was that it was “Wellington” and locals toed the line.

                      The electorate re-arrangement that Bill pushed hard for was for Queenstown to become part of Clutha Southland, we used to be part of Waitaki and had David Parker as MP for a while. Queenstown could easily go to a good Labour or Green candidate that understands the local area

                • saveNZ

                  Probably just gave Slater a few thousand to get him through. Worked a treat with Mark Mitchell. Wonderful investment, a few thousand invested and soon you are on a few hundred thousand as an MP.

                  No wonder Natz thinks free markets work!

          • millsy

            Barclay’s commitment to free market neo liberalism would be total while the more traditionally conservative types are usually more flexible about that sort of thing.

  10. rod 10

    So, under the electoral act on the flag referendum, is it illegal once voting has commenced, to promote the flag preferences of Polititions, Celebrities, Sports greats or anyone, while the vote is still going on for a while, In the Media or Print or anywhere

    Just asking, Anyone ? We don’t want any Dirty Tricks do we.

    • mary_a 10.1

      @ rod – well morally (and possibly legally), preferential promotion of the flag(s) shouldn’t occur anywhere during the voting period.

      However, we are talking about NatzKey here, a bunch of morally compromised, racketeering swindlers, likely to give the one finger salute to the legalities of the point you raise! They thrive on dirty politics!

      • rod 10.1.1

        Thank you Mary for your input but would still like to know what the Electoral Commission thinks about the legalities of this point.

  11. Sabine 11

    John Key, thy name is hubris.

    Quote: People who voted against changing the flag to damage Key’s popularity would ” wake up in a few months’ time and realise what a terrible mistake they’ve made, because it’s not going to make a blind bit of difference to me”, he said. Quote end.

    I am voting against this dishrag simply because if we don’t have money to feed the kids, to house the homeless, to heal the sick, and to provide mental health care to ChCH and Canterbury, then for sure we can wait with a new dishrag until we become a republic you useless arrogant ponytail puller.

    • weka 11.1

      People who voted against changing the flag to damage Key’s popularity would ” wake up in a few months’ time and realise what a terrible mistake they’ve made, because it’s not going to make a blind bit of difference to me”,

      That’s a fairly pathetic line.

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        Maybe their internal polling is not giving them what they want. Who knows, but for him to make it about himself is pretty pathetic. Me ME ME ME ME gimme a Ponytail.!!!!!!!

        But maybe just maybe people are actually using this Flag debacle Mess that he himself has created as an opportunity to – very respectfully of course – show him where he can shove is flag.

        Surely it can’t be that people a. think the money could be better spend, b. think that maybe we ditch the queen first, or c. the flag is butt ugly.

        I mean if it would be Hypnoflag i would of course be voting for it. 🙂

      • North 11.1.2

        Shades of school prefect not being obeyed. Bullshitting that it doesn’t care. Wah wah wah. Then foretelling a “terrible” mistake in the disobeying. No……not heavily invested at all. Disgusting little creep of a non-man.

    • Reddelusion 11.2

      Based on your logic Sabine there will never be a right time, 28m is a drop in the ocean re governments budget, likewise most of it is going to nzpost ( a government SOE), hope your futile and infantile protest makes you feel better

      • Sabine 11.2.1

        we all have our reasons, and feeding the kids, housing the homeless, providing mental health care to those that need it, providing housing for those that needed – and before they kill someone, is at a higher priority for me then even my beloved hypno flag. We all must make amends.

        You get to vote according to your conscience. That my dear is called democracy.

      • weka 11.2.2

        “28m is a drop in the ocean re governments budget,”

        It’s not for a government that is refusing to feed the dependent elderly properly because of budgetary reasons. If National were not cutting services all over the place, the flag might not seem like a heinous waste of resources. But they are and it does.

    • Whateva next? 11.3

      ” it won’t make a blind bit of difference to me..” Oh I don’t think so sir, while the masses toil away, it was only you who shoved this tea towel down our throats, throwing our hard earned money at it, whilst ignoring the things that do make a difference to us.
      It was only ever you it made a difference to, Mr.Key, so don’t even dream that you can pull that one.hmmffffff

    • vto 11.4

      Key “because it’s not going to make a blind bit of difference to me”

      Well that sums Key up once and for all

      He makes out it is a big deal, hence all of his efforts on it, but then reveals completely his emptiness and shallow mindsoul.

      Key really genuinely does not care about being PM – he just admitted it

      Shameful man


    This for the benefit of all the paid right wing trolls who lurk among the Standards posters.

    Your snapped.

    [Moved to “Open Mike” from the ‘Charter Schools’ post because flag stuff has got nothing to do with charter schools] – Bill

  13. And another one to clinch the deal and drive home just who and what the neo liberal wretch is all about.

    View first the above, then grab your popcorn and sit back and view John Pilger’s excellent documentary.


    • And btw…this can also be viewed on you tube if you don’t like a small screen – as can all of Pilgers documentary’s.

      It really is…. the end of all argument when it comes to the neo liberal wretch and anything he/she says and their motives behind the things they do.

      It is the end game for them. All else becomes crystal clear when viewed through these lens.

    • pat 13.2

      hard to enjoy…and John Pilger’s equanimity is beyond measure…should be compulsory viewing.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Interesting links – one to Tony Benn’s impassioned speech, from an old (now dead March 2014) Labourite. The range of comments shows how hard it is to penetrate whatever barriers people have in their minds.

    Also my comment could apply to Tony’s son Hilary Benn who crossed the floor from Labour to vote for airstrikes in Syria. Quite a warmonger in this location.

    Another thought provoking thinker Oliver James author of Affluenza.
    Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic (2001, revised in 2005, 2014). These works define affluenza as “a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.
    wikipedia –
    In 2007, British psychologist Oliver James asserted that there was a correlation between the increasing nature of affluenza and the resulting increase in material inequality: the more unequal a society, the greater the unhappiness of its citizens.[5] Referring to Vance Packard’s thesis The Hidden Persuaders on the manipulative methods used by the advertising industry, James related the stimulation of artificial needs to the rise in affluenza….
    In a graph created from multiple data sources, James plotted “Prevalence of any emotional distress” and “Income inequality,” attempting to show that English-speaking nations have nearly twice as much emotional distress as mainland Europe and Japan: 21.6 percent vs 11.5 percent.[

    Oliver James very outspoken in 2009 criticising government and financial direction.
    Oliver James on Welfare Reform.

    BBC2 doco on affluence
    BBC2 on 1929 Crash
    CNBC on 2008 Crash
    And an attempt to look behind it all bringing forward some interesting facts and suppositions.

  15. Here is an excellent doco (From 2012 but still very current) about AIG the All Blacks sponsor. It has given me some impetus to research more on the connection between AIG and John Key, the flag and their appetite for the TPPA. So watch this space!

    Here is an article I wrote about the kind of power AIG wields in NZ politics and I suspect it’s way worse than that. Because according to this doco in the words of the guy who build AIG they were happily using the US government to do their dirty work for them.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1

      It has given me some impetus to research more on the connection between AIG and John Key, the flag and their appetite for the TPPA.

      $10 says you find one. Which, of course, is not the same thing as saying there is one.

      Ev, did you hear Donald Trump is a 911 sceptic (is that the right term?). And they said he was crazy.

  16. Penny Bright 16

    How do Radio NZ define ‘left’ and ‘right’?'no-dirty-politics-in-my-campaign

    “He becomes the third centre-right candidate, alongside one-time National Party candidate Mark Thomas and businesswoman Victoria Crone, who is backed by Auckland National Party figures.”

    Seems that Radio NZ aren’t putting ‘Independent’ Auckland Mayoral candidate Phil Goff (currently Labour MP for Mt Roskill) in the ‘centre-right’ category?

    (The National Business Review -NBR – do.)

    But Phil Goff supports the TPPA, road tolls, PPPs and the sale of Auckland Council assets, starting with the Remuera Golf Course?

    So upon what definition of ‘left’ / ‘right’ are Radio NZ relying?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.
    (Who does NOT support the TPPA, road tolls, PPPs or the sale of Auckland Council assets starting with the Remuera Golf Course.)

    • I imagine they do it on the basis of whether or not they’re a climate change denier, Penny. Phil’s not. How about you?

      • Penny Bright 16.1.1

        But Phil Goff supports the TPPA, road tolls, PPPs and the sale of Auckland Council assets, starting with the Remuera Golf Course?

        So – in my view – that clearly puts Phil Goff in the same pro-corporate camp
        as Victoria Crone, Mark Thomas and John Palino.

        Don’t you agree te reo putake?

        Kind regards

        Penny Bright
        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

        • te reo putake

          I agree you like avoiding questions, Penny. Phil, on the hand, is open and honest, even when he’s in the minority. And he pays his rates, so he’s not bludging off his neighbours. Are you sure you’re not just a little bit centre-right yourself? You act like you are.

        • Duncan

          Why wouldn’t you sell the Remuera golf course.
          Why are you advocating subsidising the rich.

    • Grindlebottom 16.2

      So upon what definition of ‘left’ / ‘right’ are Radio NZ relying?

      What did they say when you asked them?

  17. Richard@Down South 17

    I see minimum wage is going up by 50c… while that’s better than the expected 25c, with rents and house prices heading out of control, and things like the hospital sector being told to save $138~ million, people on minimum wages will probably find that money swallowed up (assuming actually getting 40 hours a week, aka zero hour contracts, that’s $20 a week before tax)

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      National is positioning for an early election.

      • Grindlebottom 17.1.1

        Hmm. How early?

      • te reo putake 17.1.2

        You might well be correct, CV. He just needs a decent reason to call one. If the economy tanks or he loses the support of the maori party or if those two pandas turn up, it’s on.

        • Anne

          There’s another elephant coming later this year. Two pandas and an elephant. Sure winner. They can arrange to have a crisis that will miraculously disappear the day after the election. Mind you Muldoon tried it in 1984. Not only didn’t it work but it turned out there was a crisis – of his own making.

        • Duncan

          The reason will be because the banks are about to implode with the dairy farm land value crash followed by the Auckland property market.

  18. integralenz 18

    The noxious John Palino has been looking in his “forward view mirror”. Maybe he’s spotted the 1,912 Auckland City staff who now “earn” more than $100k p.a.

    • ianmac 18.1

      When Key was asked for a comment on Palino, he opened his mouth, waited a few seconds then said that it might be a mistake to comment other than he would leave it to the Auckland voters. (Very kind of him?)

  19. Chooky 19

    ‘Corbyn forges new European left alliance to oppose Cameron’s EU stance’

    “UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to form an international alliance with left anti-austerity parties in the European Parliament to curtail some parts of David Cameron’s renegotiations with Brussels after the in-out referendum.
    Corbyn told The Independent on Sunday that a socialist alliance in the European Parliament would embrace Greece’s Syriza and Spain’s Podemos to push for “far-reaching progressive reform” across the EU after Britain’s in-out referendum scheduled for June 23.

    “To make those changes we need to be at the heart of an alliance for change with left-of-center and progressive parties and movements across Europe,” he said.

    “Labour is making allies for real reform in Europe with the Party of European Socialists and other European parties across the broad left, while the Tories are isolating themselves.”….

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