Open mike 29/06/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 29th, 2015 - 196 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

196 comments on “Open mike 29/06/2015 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    This tone-deaf singer would have been shafted if he’d dared to enter American Idol

    How Simon would have reacted to the horror….

    • Ed 1.1

      You miss the point, Morrissey. This was a President expressing emotion, and hope for the future. Gun control is an emotional issue, and will not be resolved by reason alone – many supporters of carrying guns have no reason. In a world where a leader, whether a politician or business leader, is admired for being ruthless, where caring for others is a weakness, where children are discouraged from competing unless they can be a winner – or in singing be as good as they hear from professionals, where if you cannot be certain who to vote for you are encouraged to not vote, where politics is something we try to keep off our TV/entertainment systems, where all politicians lie, cheat and indulge in the activities described in Dirty Politics, where success ins measured in dollars, it does us good to see a Leader expressing emotion over the loss of innocent citizens gunned down by a deranged young person, and speaking of trying to prevent similar people from similar future folly, it is good to see that Obama believes something can be done if American voters want it enough. we need hope in this world, and the peddlers of “might is right” would deny us that hope.

      If you care about anything, Morrissey, you will know that such caring involves emotion as well as reason – it does not have to be perfect on its own, but together we can make the sounds that lead us to a better world, where people can have a decent life without being in ear of being shot, of not having food or shelter, that children can have reasonable equal opportunity to succeed regardless of the wealth of their parents, that your vote will be as valued as a voter in any other electorate, that you are part of our community and your views do matter.

      Have hope, Morrissey, have both reason and emotion, and understand that you too can make a contribution even if you are not perfect.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1

        This is the same President who every week greenlights the drone strikes in far away lands which have killed thousands of civilians including children, yes?

        it is good to see that Obama believes something can be done if American voters want it enough.

        Then he probably should have vetoed Citizens United which allowed corporations unlimited spending of big money into election campaigns.

        • te reo putake

          How could he have ‘vetoed’ Citizens United, CV? He’s the President, not a Supreme Court judge.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Fair point, and Obama has only had a chance to put two justices on to the bench thus far.

        • Michael

          The President can’t exactly veto a supreme court decision…

          • Colonial Rawshark


            • Michael

              The best a President can do is nominate a Supreme Court judge that will pledge to overturn the ruling when the next one dies or retires. I believe Democrats have pledged to do this, as they also do it for things like abortion. (they will not nominate a judge who will ban abortion, for example)

              • Lanthanide

                The White House is fully capable of passing law that violates the constitution. It is active and in-effect until such time as it is struck down by the Supreme Court.

                I don’t think there’s any precedent for the White House deliberately passing a law that the SCOTUS has already said violates the constitution, though, but theoretically there’s no reason they couldn’t.

                Also, they could pass a law that has the same effect of declaring companies are not people, just do it in a different way to the previous law so that it can’t be declared unconstitutional.

                • Crashcart

                  There is currently a group attempting to have a constitutional ammendment introduced to remove big money from politics. Check out Essentially they have to get a large number of the states to pass a constitutional amendment bill. Once enough states have ratified it it is passed into law.

                  The other way to do it would be through legislation in the house to introduce the amendment but with all the money flowing into it there is no chance of that happening in the near future.

                  I imagine if this wolfpac thing continues to churn along as it is eventually the house will see what is coming and introduce the amendemnt themselves so they don’t have to wear the backlash of being forced into making the change by the states.

                • Liam

                  Aside from the fact that the White House is empowered to pass laws, but only to faithfully execute those laws as Congress makes from time to time.

                  The cleverest scheme to effectively “amend” the constitution is a law that a number of states have passed specifying that, in a presidential election, that states electors must support the popular vote winner in the electoral college if a critical mass of other states have also passed the same law.

      • Rodel 1.1.2

        Ed. I have to agree with you. Obama wasn’t on American Idol. For any failings he may have, his not very good attempt at singing was for different reasons perhaps honourable and was in a different context from the one conjured up by Morrisey.

        • Morrissey

          …his not very good attempt at singing was for different reasons perhaps honourable

          Obama oversees a campaign of torture, mayhem and terror from Africa to Syria and Iraq. He, or his henchmen, have pursued, persecuted and imprisoned peace advocates and journalists from within the United States and from overseas. He has signed off on a large number of extrajudicial—i.e., illegal—assassinations.

          Unless he’s a complete moral imbecile, Obama was as aware as anyone who cringed throughout his execrable sub-karaoke horror in Charleston, that he is perhaps the most inappropriate person in the world to be preaching a message of peace. To paraphrase the great George Michael, guilty vocal chords ain’t got no sweetness.

  2. ScottGN 2

    You can tell it’s Monday, the PM’s giving his weekly trainwreck interview with Espiner on Morning Report.

  3. Rodel 3

    Hey Aren’t we sad that Craig and Stringer didn’t get elected and are helping to organise our country ?

  4. dv 4

    Kiwis not ripped off over milk price: Key

    “Overseas markets were causing high prices for milk at home, Mr Key told Paul Henry this morning.

    HUH – the milk prices at auction have NOT fallen then. Dairy farmers will be pleased.

    “A price war at the moment in the UK is causing that.” (The high prices)

    But don’t price wars cause price falls

    Good to see the market works then!!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Prices aren’t set by international sales but by how much the market that the product is being sold into can bear. That means that the prices go up until sales drop and then prices will fixate around that price. Competition may be able to lower the price (I have my doubts about that because increased competition increases bureaucracy) because the competition would be after increased market share but it’s not happening because of Fonterra – other companies just can’t build up enough of a market share here to get the economies of scale and importing would cost more than buying from Fonterra.

      • Jimmy 4.1.1

        So if importing milk costs more than buying from Fonterra, the price must be about right, or competitors would be doing that?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Not necessarily. Just because it’s at the maximum price that the market will bear doesn’t mean that it’s at the price that it should be at as at that price it’s inevitably over priced.

          • Jimmy

            Confusing stuff, so how is it inevitably over priced, if the market will bear that price and it cant be sorced cheaper via overseas or other competitors?

            • Draco T Bastard

              It’s over priced because the price is set at greater than the cost to supply it.

              • Jimmy

                If a large percentage of dairy farms are not getting paid by Fonterra, their cost of production, and Fonterras own share value has dropped by a huge amount in the last two years, I cant see how milk is set at a greater cost than the cost to supply?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  someone in the supply chain is “milking” the situation (excuse the pun). I’d say its Fonterra doing their usual thing of extracting maximum money out of NZ consumers, and smaller dairy companies happy to go along with those retail prices as it benefits them too.

                  I wonder how much the supermarkets buy a 2L container of milk for.

                  • Jimmy

                    Well if it is Fonterra milking the situation they are doing a poor job of it, they cant even pay the farmers cost too supply.
                    And they are shedding staff at an alarming rate, as well as share value.

                  • Jimmy

                    Logic does not follow huh, OK then fill me in what is the cost of supply for milk and whats happening to the money, if Fonterra and farmers are not getting any?

                    • Draco T Bastard


                      I’m really not sure if you’re that stupid or just trying to derail the thread.

                      But, I’ll put it this way. Fonterra shouldn’t be subsidising their offshore losses from NZ consumers.

  5. Skinny 5

    Kiwi milk consumers just can’t win, excuses for high milks prices previously were high international milk solids prices effecting the domestic market. Then when the arse fell out of the international market we got the excuse the domestic market was different.

    Shearer is making some noise on the issue which makes me wonder if he is also considering a crack at the title of becoming his worship the Mayor of Auckland?


    • infused 5.1

      Buy the budget stuff. It’s all the same shit anyway.

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.1

        Yes, only the packaging is different. Pretty much the same with butter – buy the cheapest and skip paying extra for the branding.

      • Skinny 5.1.2

        I do better than that, we buy local farm gate milk, it is cheaper and is the good stuff Dennis. I gave cheese and butter away years ago, no regrets there and replaced them with fresh salads most days. Whole grain bread with the occasional home made garlic bread. Healthy eating isn’t cheap which cuts out many people and we aren’t encouraged like other countries who drop GST/VTA. Apparently part of the difference between our milk and AUS & UK is tax, something the bumbling fool Shearer missed in his excitement to kick farmers in the guts.

        • Kiwiri

          Oh … so milk is exempted from the 20% VAT in the UK and the 10% GST in Oz ?

          • Bill

            Seems so, at least in the UK context.

            “Food and drink for human consumption is usually zero-rated but some items are standard-rated, including alcoholic drinks, confectionery, crisps and savoury snacks, hot food, sports drinks, hot takeaways, ice cream, soft drinks and mineral water.”


          • Macro

            yes. Only processed food is taxed in Oz. Vegetables and meat etc is gst free. One of the reasons for placing gst on everything here was that it would make it far too difficult to administer – which as overseas experience shows – is complete bollocks.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Yep computers, spreadsheets, bar code systems make the organisation of this kind of thing bloody easy ffs

              Funny how there is no adminstrative problem with different supermarket pricing of booze when the alcohol tax goes up but which doesn’t affect any other products in store etc.

            • Kiwiri

              Something else other than milk, but while on GST, it looks like Aussie women pay $30m more tax than men.

              Given their system of GST exemption on ‘essential products’ and in the interest of gender fairness, tampons and sanitary napkins should be GST-free:


              Tony’s cabinet has only one female? The Afghani cabinet has more than that.

              • Macro

                Yeah but that’s Tony Abbott! He has even less social awareness than Key – and that is saying something.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                He made himself Womens Affairs Minister so what would you expect

            • Ch_ch chiquita

              One only has to look at accounting software that are able to handle those components of a business expenses that has GST attached to them and those that doesn’t to know the argument it is too difficult to administer is complete bollocks, and since one of those is a NZ company, than no one can hide behind the ‘NZ firms don’t have the knowledge’ bollocks either.
              FFS, if it was possible to have a period of two levels of GST, why can’t you have GST and none?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                exactly, its totally a smokescreen for lazy governing (from both Labour and National)

                • Macro

                  Not only that; the removal of GST on essential items such as meat and vegetables would help those who live with a very meagre income to buy good food rather than forcing them to buy the processed and unhealthy food, as they are now forced to do, because cheap and nasty food is the cheapest.

        • Macro

          So do we Skinny. Yummy!…. and the cream! Enough to make your own butter and cheese. 🙂
          When you hear how Fonterra milk is created – you wouldn’t want it anyway!

          Note that it was the dairy industry who did the tests to assure us that it is perfectly ok!
          The article says that it has no effect on the health of the animal – how would they know? Cows’ natural life expectancy is 20 years or more, but the average dairy cow lives just 3 to 4 years, exhausted by constant lactation and frequent disease.

          • Skinny

            Jolly good to hear Marco I enjoy my farm gate milk with my porridge and fruit in the morning, sets me up for the day!

      • Rodel 5.1.3

        Don’t usually agree with you infused but its the same with bread. The cheapest budget bread has the same minerals, protein goodies as the expensive heavily advertised breads. Tastes the same too.

  6. Heather Grimwood 6

    I can’t see many families being able to afford the ten pints a day we used as a family…..oh, I nearly forgot. Milk was subsidised in those days, the rationale being that milk was an ESSENTIAL for families ( as were affordable houses, and jobs to pay them off with).

    • b waghorn 6.1

      I just gave milk up , all the stiffness in my spin and joints went in 3 days, my skins better and the kilos are falling off. Now it would be fair to say I have a high maintenance plumbing system (guts) but it makes me wonder how good milk really is.

      • Molly 6.1.1

        An interesting read on that topic can be found in the NZ book: The Devil in the Milk by Keith Woodford.

        He outlines the reasons why A2 milk was less harmful to humans, and how our dairy herds are predominantly A1. Many years ago I read an article regarding the higher incidence of African American obesity and heart attacks being linked to dairy consumption. (Unfortunately, can’t remember where it was, I was looking into the impact of food consumption on learning disorders at the time).

        I don’t think that milk consumption is necessarily of benefit to all, and depending on genetics – can actually be detrimental to health.

        Keith Woodford’s blog has some interesting comments on his A1 and A2 articles.

      • infused 6.1.2

        Pretty much. I cut milk, bread and potatos… did a wonder of good. Mainly cutting the bread out. Horrible shit… well actually it’s delicious, but horrible for the body.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        Even as a child I never liked milk and refused to drink it straight. The only time I drank milk was when it was in my tea or coffee. Since I now have the choice of soy milk I’ve dropped cow milk out of my diet completely and I too feel much better now.

        • b waghorn

          I was raised on it straight from the cow and had no health problems as a kid but it has been good going off it physically and mentally. Same goes for gluten so some of these things seem to come on with age.
          I miss beer pies and ice cream 🙁

          • weka

            Was the milk as a kid raw? I do much better on raw milk. I get similar stiffness etc as you if I drink processed milk or other dairy.

            • b waghorn

              Yes whole milk as it comes ,still warm if we took a cup to the shed.

              • weka

                nice. I hated raw milk as a child but didn’t grow up with it. It was simply that it tasted so different to what I was used to. Love it now.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              immune system reactivity

              cow milk proteins good for baby cows not good for people

              • Rodel

                “cow milk proteins good for baby cows not good for people”
                Yea. No other animal except for rats and some other scavengers consume another creature’s milk.

                • weka

                  no other animals cook food either. Or do lots of things that humans do uniquely. It’s a daft argument esp when you look at the cultures that have very good health outcomes that consume milk.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    no other animals cook food either.

                    Actually, I believe that a number of wild monkeys have been observed to cook their food and use tools.

                    It’s a daft argument esp when you look at the cultures that have very good health outcomes that consume milk.

                    That I’d agree with but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some people who would be better off never consuming milk.

                    • weka

                      oh definitely, lots of people who do badly on any kind of milk, and lots who do badly on processed milk. Including people who aren’t genetically adapted.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    That’s not NZ though, is it.

                  • Hey weka, you’re gonna love this! Admittedly, Kanzi didn’t make his own matches, but still, wow!

                  • Rodel

                    “no other animals cook food either.”….so?

              • weka

                Lots of people do well on milk as adults in a traditional diet. There are cultures for whom (raw) milk is a staple. Saying milk is for baby cows doesn’t make sense in that context (and not all milk comes from cows).

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  we’re talking about cows milk in this thread unless a specific remark has been made otherwise that you can point me to; also I did not intend my remarks to be applied to milk in all its forms processed or unprocessed, but just to cows milk from the supermarket.

                  There are cultures for whom (raw) milk is a staple.

                  I was referring to the NZ context

                  • weka

                    yes cow’s milk, but the argument is made that human adults shouldn’t drink milk from other species because of the species and infant/adult issues, not because of which animal it comes from.

                    “but just to cows milk from the supermarket.”

                    I have no problem with that being named as a problematic food for many people 😉 I do have a problem with milk being labeled as inherently bad though. It’s not.

                    • Is there any food that is not a problematic food for some/many people?

                      Is there any food that is inherently bad?

                    • Grant

                      Brussels sprouts😨

                    • weka

                      Brussel Sprouts are evil.

                    • I could eat brussel sprouts till the cows come home 🙂

                      Seriously, I really love the taste of brussel sprouts – they have a real taste, not like so many insipid foods that people tell me they enjoy – e.g., tofu (I know, I know, it can be so, so tasty if only you do x, y or z with it … but then I also have no sense of smell).

                      Most milk products make me gag (especially thick, slimy ones like cream, whole cream milk, custard, etc.). Truly evil foods.

                      Even more seriously, lactose intolerance is the standard human condition .

                      One unfortunate consequence was that it allowed herding cultures (often male dominated because of the reliance on animals that could be ‘owned’ – a surplus to be dominated tends to create social hierarchies) to displace hunter-gatherer cultures with greater sex egalitarianism.

                      As the first linked article mentions, milk drinking may have given up to a 19% advantage in fertility which meant rapid displacement of non-drinking populations. Once again, quantity of lives swamps quality of lives. It’s a recurring pattern in human history/prehistory.

                    • Even more seriously, lactose intolerance is the standard human condition.

                      Yep – so, bad luck for the standard human. There’s a reason why lactose tolerance spread so rapidly, and that reason is that it provided huge survival advantages over “the standard human condition.” Sure, if there’s any species on the planet that’s capable of feeling bad about an evolutionary advantage, it’s humans, but even so – why the fuck feel bad about an evolutionary advantage? We may not be subject to natural selection any more, but fucked if I’m going to assign moral value to genetics.

    • …the rationale being that milk was an ESSENTIAL for families ( as were affordable houses, and jobs to pay them off with).

      Yep. Milk’s an awesome food. It’s used by zoologists as an example of how evolution affects humans, because lactose tolerance was one of the fastest-spreading human adaptations we know about. The reason it spread so fast is because the people who could drink it had a way higher survival rate into adulthood than the people who couldn’t. Every kid should have plenty of it available, preferably without the fat removed.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.1

        heart disease and immune disease material.

        • Psycho Milt

          Really. So, we’re leaving out autism, ADHD and cancer, then? Surely it causes those too?

        • weka

          “heart disease and immune disease material.”

          Any evidence of that in traditional diets that include raw milk (especially fermented)?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            fermented milk products have always been traditionally regarded as more useful and healthy as many of the troublesome components in the milk are already partially broken down

          • Psycho Milt

            There’s no evidence of it in modern diets either. Also, keep in mind that pasteurisation was invented for a really good reason and you are actually taking a risk drinking raw milk. I’m all for people taking whatever risks they want, as long as they know they’re taking one – the people selling raw milk sometimes don’t trouble themselves to provide that info.

            • weka

              raw milk became a public health problem when it was industrialised and dairy herds were kept and milked in unsanitary conditions in order to produce mass amounts of milk for a food supply chain.

      • weka 6.2.2

        “Every kid should have plenty of it available, preferably without the fat removed.”

        I agree about the fat, but there are significant populations how aren’t genetically adapted to milk and lots of places in the world where milk was never drunk traditionally (i.e. it didn’t spread there).

        • Psycho Milt

          Meh – they can drink what they like. Kids in this country should drink plenty, unless there’s some indication they lack the genes for it.

          • weka

            consider the milk isn’t a traditional food in Māori, Pasifica and many Asian cultures.

  7. A Couple of months ago I a designed a series of badges. I embroider them to order. When I noticed people starting to use the images of them as avatars and profile pictures I was upset. A lot of work goes into designing them and my blog also takes up a fair amount of my time and I wanted to sell the badges and not have the images nicked for other purposes!

    But with the passing of the fast track bill to allow Obama to facilitate/negotiate the super secret trade agreements designed to destroy our sovereignty and impoverish the global population to enrich the few I have decided to encourage that very use as avatars and profile pictures.

    Feel free to order them as embroidered badges too but please share the images far and wide to get the message out there!

    Thank you!

  8. Skinny 8

    So is it the return of the Drachma and see ya Euro? Put it to the people.

    • thatguynz 8.1

      Cue an ill-informed Gosman diatribe in 3-2-1….

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        the greek people are probably thinking we are fucked whichever option we choose but at least we are choosing, not people whose only care is getting their interest paid, and paid and paid…

    • Marvellous Bearded Git 8.2

      Just look at the pictures from Greece here:

      To state the bleedin’ obvious (and before Gosman and other trolls start their lies) this situation was inherited by the current Greek government, not caused by it.

      • vto 8.2.1


        By loose borrowing and even looser lending.

        • Tracey

          by previous governments just kowtowing to the banks and their threats… even with a small amount of push back the EU position has softened in the last months

    • This article puts the negotiations in everyday perspective.

      If the current situation for Greek people is a sign of the last five years’ austerity measures ‘working’ then I’d hate to see them not working.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      Certainly looking that way. NRT has a good article on it:

      As for what happens next, faced with a concrete threat of departure and a decision in the hands of voters rather than politicians, the EU has finally offered debt relief. So maybe there’ll be a better deal on the table by Sunday which the Greek government and people can accept. If not, and Greece is forced out of the Euro as punishment for debt, then I guess we’ll know that it is bankers and not elected politicians who run the EU.

      I’d agree with that. We haven’t been in control our governments for some time and so I expect that Greece will be forced out of the Euro and that the banksters will then demand, and get, sanctions on Greece.

    • millsy 8.5

      Whatever happens, I dont think we will get a happy ending.

      Syriza made the mistake of thinking the EU was open to negotiation. It wasn’t. They wanted austerity at all costs.

  9. greywarshark 9

    NZ polity being sliced for steaks while still alive! National Party being accused of cruel and unusual punishment by suffering citizens!

    Government is not interested in assisting citizens with services, information, advice and standards for guidance as to best practice and legality. You are on your own mate, don’t bother us with your requests and needs. They are nice to haves, but not essential in our National Party and neo liberal view.

    National has been given a mandate? by about half of NZ citizens, who appear to be either or both stupid and venal, to divest itself of the proper and expected roles of serving its citizens needs. National is considering selling large blocks of state houses and lands that are of national importance with the most infantile and pathetic reason (and I don’t think that reason is the right word here.)
    The Government doesn’t consider it can improve the lives of tenants so it will abandon them to a kindly Australian provider, which will also become a foreign owner with a large stake in NZ residential land. And we just get a large stake through our hearts.
    Quote – Housing New Zealand Minister Bill English has said the Government would sell to anyone who could improve the lives of tenants.

    Government is limiting R&D in science, and reducing the spectrum of research. It is reducing facilities, now it is cutting into Landcare. They are changing research direction and looking more at water reform and we know why that is of heightened interest, while other topics are less important. And there is likely to be a reduction at head office in Christchurch. Do I divine that water research is a sensitive matter for Christchurch?

    It is mucking around with scientific study of Agresearch shifting from Dunedin to Christchurch,they probably call it consolidating.

    I looked on google for information to help decisions on my house insurance value and got – Estimated building costs data
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment no longer provides data on estimated values for building work. from the Building division now under Mobie, and the advice now is to consult a quantity surveyor.
    There is no basic background advice now for the citizen available there, and earlier it was only aimed at helping local authorities.

    There are offices in Nelson for government departments with notices that these are not open for public use or consultation.

    Steaks or stakes – we are being carved up by National. And it is hurting us! Can’t anything be done to stop this villainous government from reducing us to an early 1900’s condition, from strip-mining us, from asset stripping our country, and massively benefitting those in the loop who are hustling our public goods and serivces????

  10. Patti Smith

    … she sets about mutilating a guitar and declares “My generation had dreams and we’re still dreaming! We’re gonna change the fucking world!”

  11. Kiwiri 11

    Scoop: Building A Sustainable News Company For The People Of New Zealand

    Pledge $16 (minimum) per annum to keep it going.

    That’s about 3 lattes bought from a cafe for the whole year.

    Do it today or tomorrow before the 1st July deadline:

    Pledge your contribution at:

    Disclosure of Interest: I have just wondered how Scoop is getting on and looked up to find out how their campaign is progressing. I am considering supporting by giving a reasonable amount.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Thanks Kiwiri
      I have wondered and not got round to tracking Scoop’s latest down. I too think we should support it and at that amount it is a no brainer. Use it or lose it – support it. Same goes for Radionz which we don’t have to shell out for. But they do have replay radio, and that can be useful to get content and music which are good to pay for.

      • Kiwiri 11.1.1

        Years ago, I helped a little-known (at the time) organisation with an initiative. There was a media advisory that we wanted to put out but, importantly, we wanted it on a news-related webpage somewhere. We sent it to Scoop and, voila, within a few hours, it was up on their site. We were then able to refer to it in our other communications and publicity efforts.

        There was no other avenue that could have done what we wanted then, and it was a bonus that Scoop was so quick. Surely that would have been worth more than a small advertisement column in the newspaper.

  12. Brigid 12

    2014 Oscar-Winning Director Laura Poitras’ in-depth look at Edward Snowden, the man and the extraordinary repercussions for his courageous act of whisteblowing. Free download.
    Do please download and watch and tell everybody you know to do the same.

    [As far s I can ascertain, that documentary hasn’t been made available for free download by the makers. I’ve removed the link and would appreciate you don’t ever again use ‘the standard’ to promote direct links to illegal downloads] – Bill

  13. Philip Ferguson 13

    Apart from dozens of public beheadings every year, our governments’ (yes, intentionally plural) Saudi friends have been up to all kinds of dirty tricks, as recent Wikileaks reveal:

    • Macro 13.1

      I can’t believe that NZer’s are so thick as to overlook our Governments gifting of millions to a country that gifts to those who want to kill our soldiers? I thought we had a law about not giving to terrorist organisations? But isn’t that what our “Government” has just done in gifting a $10m bribe to people, who give to people, who want to kill us?

  14. Clemgeopin 14

    Sign the open letter against Social Bonds :

    National has announced that they’ll allow private investors to cash in on mental health patients.

    Banks and financial institutions will be paid a bonus by the government for funding mental health services.

    This is National using vulnerable mental health patients as guinea pigs.

    The details of these plans are yet to be decided by Cabinet. But if enough of us sign the open letter against this proposal, the Government will have to choose between listening to us, the people they’re elected to represent, or listening to investors looking for a profit from vital social services.

  15. James 15

    “2014 Oscar-Winning Director Laura Poitras’ in-depth look at Edward Snowden, the man and the extraordinary repercussions for his courageous act of whisteblowing. Free download.
    Do please download and watch and tell everybody you know to do the same.”

    Thats awesome (/sarc) – I know that a lot of people are not huge fans of IP rights or copyright.

    But – Here is a group who have put something out that a lot on here would agree with at substantial cost – and you go ‘Great – lets just rip it off the net for free’ – How about if you want it but a copy of the bloody thing because you think its worth it – and tell everybody you know to do the same as opposed to pirated rips.

    [Thanks for bringing my attention to that. Link removed from comment] – Bill

    • weka 15.1

      Can’t quite make sense of that, but there’s nothing stopping the people who can afford it from buying a copy or making a donation.

      Torrent isn’t that straight forward, lots of people still don’t use it so I would guess the film makers will still sell plenty of copies.

      • Bill 15.1.1

        The link provided had no donate or pay button. The official site is and has no buy options from what I can see. Neither does it have any download links. People hitting torrents is one thing. Using ‘the standard’ to provide links to said torrents is quite another.

        • Kiwiri

          Thanks for doing the due diligence, Bill.
          The worst possible thing is that I end up unknowingly downloading a virus or spyware, besides breaking the law.

        • weka

          It’s already played in NZ cinemas. It’s also available on various digital (legal) options in some parts of the world.

          Now in theaters or on television in Austria, Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, New Zealand, and the United States. Opens in cinemas in Spain on 27 March 2015. Coming soon to festivals and more cinemas around the world and to television screens and digital platforms. Available now on HBO and HBO GO in the US and on iTunes from 24 April 2015; on iTunes in Canada; and, on Channel 4’s 4OD in the UK and on iTunes from 24 April 2015. In Germany, the film broadcasts on NDR in Spring 2015.

          • Bill

            The fact that it’s played at the pictures and has been broadcast on TV or whatever makes no difference to the legality of downloading it as a torrent. If people want to torrent, then hey. But to use the standard to link to a torrent download is fucking crap and could likely land the site in the shit.

            If Brigid wants to provide a legitimate link to a legitimate download, then all good.

            • weka

              yeah I got all that, I was just highlighing ways that people might be able to see it that benefited the filmmakers financially, which is possibly what James was on about (although it’s hard to tell).

  16. Penny Bright 16

    FYI ! Do Councils have to comply with the law?

    Kaipara District Council ‘test case’ Whangerei District Court Tuesday
    30 June 2015 10am.

    “For those with a concern about democracy in local government, tune in to the district court in Whangarei on 30 June 2015.

    There, the Kaipara District Council is going to try to screw arrears of rates out of some ratepayers using illegal and incorrect rates demands as evidence.

    The burning question in this case is whether councils have to comply with the law. They argue that they don’t, and that the law is there for ratepayers to obey, not them.

    The defendants are putting up hundreds of instances of failure by this particular council to comply with mandatory provisions of the Local Government Rating Act.

    Some of the failures by this council resulted in a special Act of Parliament in 2014 that swept a huge list of illegalities under the carpet. It was the worst piece of legislative chicanery ever perpetrated in New Zealand. But nothing changed, and the council, under appointed government hatchet men, carried on as before, piling illegality upon illegality.

    Now they are hoping to use the judicial system to help them enforce illegal demands for money. It will be a huge test of the integrity of our system of justice, and if justice prevails, nothing will ever be the same again for Local Government in New Zealand.”


    Forwarded in the public interest by Penny Bright, on behalf of those in Kaipara, who are fighting for their lawful rights, as citizens – NOT slaves – and are doing their best to hold the Kaipara District Council accountable to the ‘rule of law’.

    (Who will be at the Whangerei District Court at 10 am 30 June 2015, in support, as an independent ‘anti-corruption Public Watchdog’.)


    Whangerei District Court
    105 Banks Street Whangerei


    May Justice and the ‘rule of law’ prevail.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Money ‘As If’ it was Magic by Keith Rankin

    The reality is that money is a very useful medium of exchange (a social technology), material wealth is the goods and services (output) that we produce and enjoy, and that all output has a lifespan (very short in the case of services; slow depreciation in the case of a house).

    A good read about the difference between money and the economy.

  18. Ad 18

    Quick predictions if Greece exits from Euro to the old Drachma:

    1.Rapid devaluation of Drachma against major currencies.

    2.That devaluation leading to skyrocketing inflation, making it much harder for citizens to buy things.

    3.Capital flight (runs on banks), and a sharp increase in non-performing loans. Greek banks downgraded.

    4.Some public sector and pension freezing of payments until there’s actual new cash around. Probably some social unrest about that.

    5.Quite hard to get loans for a while, and those you can get are onerous in their terms. Makes it harder for businesses to function.

    6.Harder to buy international commodities, so basics like food and petrol imports get tough for a while. A run on the supermarkets, and some social tension about that.

    7.The above leading to further contraction of GDP.

    8.A partial debt restructuring, but this time with only the IMF willing to deal.

    9.Invasion of predatory foreign investors gaining, companies, properties, public utilities at really cheap prices. Foreign private control, in short.

    10.Comparative diplomatic and economic isolation from Europe – leading it a little and forgotten country, with Turkey and Russia keen to ‘help’.

    Not saying everyone’s playing nicely in this space, but there’s a bit of risk to it.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.1

      10.Comparative diplomatic and economic isolation from Europe – leading it a little and forgotten country, with Turkey and Russia keen to ‘help’.

      It will still be a NATO and an EU country. Yes, first 2 or 3 years will be very tough on the population. But the Iceland experience is that after that, exchange rates and inflation will come under control very rapidly.

      Spain, Portugal and Italy are countries to keep a close eye on.

      • Kiwiri 18.1.1

        So, here on, it is from PIGS to PIS.

      • tinfoilhat 18.1.2

        @CV even the conservative media is sympathetic with Greeks !

        “With his call for a sudden referendum, Alexis Tsipras outraged Europe’s elites, who detest nothing more than to be reminded of the will of the people”

      • Ad 18.1.3

        Hard to see either Greece or EU wanting to remain in membership.

        Argentina still hasn’t recovered from its default.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Greece has debt defaulted multiple times in its modern history (four or five times since 1800 IIRC) so pretty sure they can handle another go at it. Yes Argentina remains an important warning for why a government should not denominate its debt in a currency that it does not control (US dollars).

        • Draco T Bastard

          Argentina was doing fine until some unscrupulous arseholes got hold of some bonds that had been defaulted upon and took them to court over it in an American Court which should not have jurisdiction over another nation at all ever.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      If Greece do exit the Euro and go back to the Drachma I think there’ll be a short period of confusion and then the economy will start to pick up again as money starts flowing.

      • Ad 18.2.1

        Half of Europe hasn’t recovered from the GFC 8 years ago, despite the banks printing money all over the place. No moment for optimism.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That’s because the money that’s being printed is going to the rich who use it for financial speculation rather than buying anything or investing in producing anything. In other words, they use it to chase bubble gains on the stock market and housing. Inevitably, this doesn’t produce the flow of money that’s needed to get the economy moving.

          If the central banks had printed the same amount and given it as a weekly grant to each individual their economies would be booming by now.

          It’s not just a question of what is done but how it’s done.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            free printed money and capital gains for the top 0.1%; austerity and bedroom taxes for the bottom 90%.

          • maui

            “If the central banks had printed the same amount and given it as a weekly grant to each individual their economies would be booming by now”

            You mean effectively giving everyone a Universal Basic Income – UBI. Now we’re talking!

    • Tracey 18.3

      of course there’s risk. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They have sky rocketing unemployment, they are being told they have to reduce wages to public servants and reduce pensions further. IF they are going to be plunged into poverty, perhaps its better if they choose the path to it…

      A number of countries who have lent money to Greece actually are charging little interest and don’t need the money all paid back soon but it impacts the “books” so they are pushing now.

      • McFlock 18.3.1

        That’s a really good point: it’s all very well to predict doom and gloom if they leave the Euro, but staying in just creates a different kind of doom and gloom for the most vulnerable citizens.

        Ad’s line about Russia and Turkey being keen to “help” was interesting: Greece and Turkey are NATO members, but regional competitors (Cyprus coming to mind). Quid pro quo there.
        Russia, on the other hand, would also be keen to leverage the opportunity to
        a)weaken NATO; and
        b)maybe get access to a friendly-ish and stable port in the Med (wishlist).

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Also Greece is a nice landing point for the ‘Turkish Stream’ gas pipeline to the EU.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      “This Government’s approach to economic development seems to be to grow the salaries of New Zealanders one government executive at a time,” Labour Party economic development spokesman David Clark says.

      That seems to be at least partly true.

      Mr Clark says he has been given figures from MBIE showing the ministry is paying staff more than ever, with 196 now above $150,000. The average Kiwi earns about $50,000 a year.

      “That’s where we can see that the Government has become arrogant and out of touch,” he says.

      But will Labour call for a maximum public servant salary of $100,000 including MP, ministers and people who work for SOEs and other companies with significant(>50%) government shareholding?

      But the extra cash is normal to remain competitive and retain “the right people” in the market, MBIE chief executive David Smol said in a statement to ONE News.

      Greedy RWNJs are not the right people for public service.

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        the old Yes Prime Minister line:

        We let them amalgamate departments, but that worked very well.

        Yes, quite.You keep the existing staff and you put in an extra layer of coordinating management at the top.

  19. BigKev 20

    So much wastage in the corrupt dept. some heads should start rolling

  20. Skinny 21

    I heard Collins partner was threatening the media over bad press. Looks like they forced an apology here;

    • Skinny 21.1

      A source close to me says the same pressure has been applied to Radio NZ. Unfortunately for Mr Lung (Ms Collins husband) Winston Peters will be highlighting the shady Kaui swamp trade tonight on Native Affairs, expect this to flow over into the parliament this week during oral question time.

      Little wonder the public are suspect when large political donations are made and accepted, they think ‘there is always a catch.’

      • Skinny 21.1.1

        *Mr Tung

        Meanwhile the Tory-Maori Party leader comes out in support of the shady trade;

        • Macro

          But they are not even “carved” – just “painted”! I could not believe Flavell could be so compromised – but he obviously is – also evidence his support for the state housing sell off as well. Unbelievable. What is he getting – apart from a nice car and a fat salary?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Looks to me like the modern day equivalent of blankets, beads and whiskey

            • Skinny

              Ha ha yip add a broken mirror to the list, self vainty. Fox is far more aloof than Flavell, who just may get rolled by her given enough rope.

            • Anne

              I’ve been reminded of that ever since the MP joined up with the Nats. Yep, the modern day equivalent is minor ministerial responsibilities (under the Nats M for M. Affairs is a minor portfolio) but with ministerial salaries and free travel expenses. I recall Pita Sharples explaining some years ago he couldn’t stand down as M for M.A. because he’d just bought a bigger house.

            • weka

              “Looks to me like the modern day equivalent of blankets, beads and whiskey”

              That’s pretty patronising to the natives there CV.

              From what I understand, local iwi have developed a profitable business from a local resource. I don’t like it, and I think it’s abhorrent and immoral, but I can also see why Flavell would be supportive.

              I’d also like to point out that NZ still imports old growth timber from places like Canada for building with. When we (a) stop being hypocrites, and (b) honour the treaty properly, then we can probably take the moral high ground.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                That’s pretty patronising to the natives there CV.

                Just calling it like it is. If he were a church official I’d be talking about pieces of silver.

                • weka

                  the blankets beads and whistky analogy implies that the natives are being ripped off and manipulated. Please explain that in this instance.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    most of the natives are being ripped off while a few chosen ones have got something out of it. Is that clear enough for you?

              • Ergo Robertina

                Oh nonsense, it’s not about the ‘moral high ground’; the chief considerations are the economic, social, environmental, and long-term interests of New Zealand, and this trade is deleterious to those factors.

                • weka

                  The valid reasons I see for opposing it are environmental, cultural and spiritual. Economically it makes sense to do what those landowners are doing. If we want iwi to not do this, then perhaps we should think about why they are doing it. Some here think it’s plain greed, and it might be, but let’s not forget the cultural context.

                  The point about our imports stands. Unless you are saying we get to protect our iwn environment while contributing to the destruction of the environment elsewhere.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    It depends on your view of economics and that’s why I included ‘long-term’ as a consideration. I’m also factoring in employment and regional development.
                    As for: ‘are you saying we get to protect our own environment…’? You could use that argument for doing nothing in NZ about climate change. It’s certainly not what I’m arguing, but I’m realistic about we can hope to influence.
                    It’s not just the cultural context that makes this issue impervious to the social and long-term factors many of us value, but the short-sighted economic system of exploitation.
                    Essentially, though, I was only pointing out that most people’s objections relate to those factors, rather than any claim on the moral high ground.

                    • weka

                      I don’t think people object on economic grounds. They object because they consider the environmental aspects (but how come we import old growth timber?), and they object because kauri has significant cultural importance. Some (myself included) object because of the objectification of nature that is going on.

                      My main point here is that the argument around economics for the good of NZ is hard to make in the face of iwi taking control of their own economies.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Well, in the media coverage I have followed, such as Morning Report, stakeholders are putting forward economic and regional development arguments, weka.
                      There are certainly other considerations too, and they do not involve the ‘moral high ground’.

                    • weka

                      I think you have missed my point about the moral high ground.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      And I think you’ve missed the point in general.
                      The fact you can’t see an economic/social argument is rather telling.

                    • weka

                      I can see the economic argument, I just don’t think it’s as important as the others, and as I’ve said several times now, which you are ignoring, there are distinct problems with making economic arguments about what iwi are doing.

                      as fas as I can tell your point is that there are multiple compelling arguments for why this kauri mining shouldn’t be happening, none of which I disagree with.

                  • Macro

                    The valid reasons I see for opposing it are environmental, cultural and spiritual.

                    it is also illegal.
                    If these people want to use the resource then they should use it profitably and provide employment to the people within the iwi. It is not illegal to export carved wood, tables, cutting boards, etc overseas. But to paint a bit of a design on it, and send it off to be sold as uncut log is a crime, and the people involved should be brought to justice.

              • greywarshark

                Swamp kauri is special and shouldn’t be sold overseas as part of the gold rush to strip NZ of all its assets quickly before anyone can gather knowledge and energy to protest. The Roger Douglas method again.

                One of the reasons that huia was finally wiped out was that they were in demand and Maori could sell feathers and birds and then also hunted them in greater numbers to wear their feathers at a Royal visit. In the rush the breeding populations that remained were decimated.

                The conservationists say that digging for swamp kauri is destructive to swamplands which have been found to be important environmental areas. It is bad that this material isn’t legally controlled so that it is conserved for Maori in New Zealand to use if they wish over the years. At present, from comments made by concerned people, it seems that it’s virtually being mined out and hocked off overseas for a fast buck.

                • The comparison with the Huia is apt grey.

                  Predation by introduced mammals and, to a lesser extent, human hunting, was the likely cause of huia extinction. Large areas of native forest containing huia were logged or burned in the 1800s to make way for farming, but this would have caused a modest range reduction rather than being a major contributor to their extinction. Maori traditionally prized and wore huia tail feathers as a mark of status. Tail feathers became fashionable in Britain after the Duke of York was photographed wearing one during a 1901 visit to New Zealand. Overseas bird collectors and museums bought mounted specimens and tail feathers. Austrian naturalist Andreas Reischek took 212 pairs between 1877 and 1889. New Zealand naturalist Walter Buller recorded that 11 Maori hunters took 646 huia skins from forest between Manawatu Gorge and Akitio during one month in 1863. Gilbert Mair recorded eating “a splendid stew of Huia, Kaka, Pigeons & Bacon” with Buller at a bush camp in Wairarapa, October 1883, after shooting 16 huia and capturing live birds. Thousands of huia were exported overseas. Protection measures enacted in the 1890s were poorly enforced. Two male birds kept at London Zoo in the 1880s died in captivity. Plans to transfer huia to Kapiti and Little Barrier island reserves never eventuated. A pair captured in 1893 for transfer to Little Barrier was acquired by Walter Buller and apparently sent to Baron Walter Rothschild in England.


                  So, who killed off the Huia?

                  • weka

                    thanks for that marty. As I understand it, once NZ native birds were in danger of extinction, the pressure for specimens increased, everyone wanted one before they were gone. The kauri sales seems similar to me, it’s a form of colonisation.

                  • greywarshark

                    This bit gives me a pain in the heart.. It is one example of sticking a stake through the remaining huia by pakeha,as weka comments.
                    A pair captured in 1893 for transfer to Little Barrier was acquired by Walter Buller and apparently sent to Baron Walter Rothschild in England.

                    If that Buller was the one who specialised in studying the birds here – well how mercenary of him to offer sacrifices of huia to someone who no doubt was giving philanthropic funding. However we know that there are different sorts of philanthropy, think of Talley being made a Sir with his ‘philanthropy’ being a major part.

                • left for deadshark

                  Well said greywarshark…

        • marty mars

          This petition may be worthwhile signing for those opposed to this disgusting illegal trade in swamp kauri

          • Hateatea

            I am a pro environment advocate. I am also opposed to the export of Kauri in an unprocessed, value added state BUT as an owner of Maori Land myself, I fully sympathise with people who have such an asset and object to other people telling them that their swamp kauri is a taonga and must be protected for everyone. A lot of the lands that whanau, hapu and iwi were allowed to retain post 1840, were then and are now, insufficient for supporting a whanau, inaccessible, or ‘protected’ from development by paternalistic governments and enthusiastic ‘conservationists.’

            Along with my whanau, I hold shares in several blocks of native timbers. We have been offered a pittance to refrain forever from any sustainable harvest in the nation’s interest. In one particular block, we received approximately $4000 to refrain from any logging, to manage the land as if it were, in effect, a national park. That was divided between all the shareholders and my mother received approximately $200.00. That was recompense forever. My great, great grandmother, my great grandmother and my grandfather received nothing. My siblings and I, my son, niece and nephews will receive nothing nor will my mokopuna or her mokopuna so tourists and the 1% can pat themselves on the back for ‘saving’ native forest. Everyone else expects tp have a lot of say about what belongs to us!

            This is slightly dated but deals with some of the issues in Te Wai Pounamu pertaining to SILNA forests.


            As I say, I am not pro logging or exporting raw swamp kauri but I urge people to also consider the viewpoint of those who want to capitalise on an asset for their whanau. What alternatives are being offered them? Poverty so that people with no skin in the game pat themselves on the back and doing down the lazy Maori who just want houndouts all the time?

            Of course, I do not condone the illegality of the export company not converting the kauri into tangible goods. I hope they get prosecuted but I am not holding my breath.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              sounds like you should receive an annual sum to look after the land to set conservation standards.

              • Hateatea

                AH, but that would cut across the ‘full and final settlement’ mentality that Crown negotiators always seem to come equipped with as their first and final position.

                I totally agree, not because my family is interested in getting money every year, but because of the principle involved.

                • weka

                  Thank you for the detailed explanation above Hateatea. It’s these stories that are largely missing from the non-Māori communities in NZ but need to be heard and understood if we want to stop things like the export of kauri.

                  • Hateatea

                    Too often it is seen as greed by the owners but the reality is, that there has often never been meaningful income from the land. It is very difficult to turn down money when it is offered if that means an upgrade to the house or more food on the table, even if it is only for a brief period of time.

                    We as a whanau don’t need the income but have some resentment to the attitude that it is for the ‘good of the nation’.

                    • I totally agree about the ‘good of the nation’ lines. Kaitiakitanga is not understood very well by our society. The mana of say a waterway was determined by the resources available for the people not how pretty it looked. The resources available directly related to the mana of the people who protected and interrelated with that waterway, and this was utilised when others came around, ie the mana was expressed by the ability of tangata whenua to provide for the visitors.

                      In todays world the concepts are still there but we have the added complication of money added in.

                      My whānau too has land in the deep south – but no resources from that – what do you think that says about our mana. I blame the government :).

                      It often amazes me the different standards applied to indigenous people verses others and all so the middle class can see a pretty view amongst the devastation they caused. Seems like a similar argument to climate change – the western nations have reaped and now they want everyone else to tighten their belts meanwhile they blithely continue on their extravagant planet killing ways.

                      Kia kaha Hateatea

                • greywarshark

                  I believe still that it is a mistake for hapu to sell off this kauri which is a rare taonga. I know that it is difficult for iwi to get income and jobs and even start their own businesses. But this kauri timber reflects your past history, and your relationship with the land. Considering these things have helped Maori remain strong and fight for their culture, and their pride, and self-belief. And also apparently its extraction badly affects environmentally valuable wetlands. If irreplacable taonga for a quick buck, it is carved away from the people and the land who would no longer have it to draw on over the years for special occasions. Not selling out long term assets in short term desperation is why Northland Maori are objecting to oil drilling there.

                  Pakeha, since we first arrived, have caused difficulties for Maori to retain their culture, their resources, make a good living, keep self-respect and progress. Negative results from actions were often foreseen and even intentional, and only strong and determined, culturally bound Maori leaders and activists have ensured that the people have survived culturally. When the Treaty was invoked and resurrected it was only because of strength and determination from Maori to reveal truths of fault and gain some redress.

                  Maori will continue to stay determined to progress and hold onto their culture and mana, and I think are showing us all how to be staunch and struggle to retain the ‘heart’ of the country. A major part of Maori progress will be to get back to a community with working enterprises where people can make a living, establish small businesses and give training for jobs for both young and mature.

                  Economic development professionals with an interest in co-operative style, employment rich and sustainable businesses need to be central, listening to and advising the keen aspirational people in each local area. There are many young trained Maori getting into business. As local economic development grows accompanied by strategic thinking about the strengths of each area with cautious investment and strong business management, the successes will multiply.

                  I mention caution because it is important that there not be repeats of the sad situation of Matauri X failed spring water bottling company. It jeopardised Maori land and this 2005 link detailed how it had been seized and put up for mortgagee sale.
                  The problems continued into 2013 Maori Television revealed.

                  When Maori effectively manage their lives and conditions they will do better than under present regimes with government offering minimum survival assistance, some Maori making themselves wealthy individually but not enabling others also in well managed co-operative ways, and the occasions for loan sharks and retail businesses to hock off impulse goods at high prices with credit traps that bind people with debt will plummet.

                  • greywarshark

                    I wanted to add more to my piece on Maori development but the system wouldn’t let me in though there was plenty of time left.

                    I thought it important that any ventures that Maori kickstart to build local enterprise should be financed from within NZ, not with overseas money, and preferably the finance should come from locals so that revenue occurs locally and profits remain for investment in the area rather than become a debt to an overseas entity.

            • maui

              This is where Maori and pakeha views on conservation tend to do differ. Pakeha take the approach that they’ve damaged the land so much since they arrived that any conservation land has to remain untouched and restored back to a pristine paradise. Obviously this is the mantra that the DOC follows. Maori however who were more accustomed to living with their environment want use of that land in a customary way like their ancestors did. You can see proof of that with the latest story about kereru still being caught for food.

              In rural Maori communities with Maori owned land they have a huge opportunity I think to create sustainable communities where they don’t have to import any resources. They’ve got essential knowledge in food production going back to their ancestors. Tie that in with an export industry say in cropping and you’ve got a great low cost business model. These types of things probably already happen a lot in Maori communities anyway (not that I’m an expert).

              Maori have every right to make money off the land they have, I guess I see the export of kauri logs as a bad way to do it. There are sustainable ways to do it, but I think digging up any existing wetlands and destroying them once and for all for very valuable logs is just short sighted. Sure that might create millions of dollars, but once that money goes you’re back with the initial problem of making a living again.

              I’m sure there are ways to keep on improving the land base and making a living, providing jobs in the community, etc. I think someone posted a link about this group recently that goes in this direction.

            • Tracey

              Thanks for the education

      • Ad 21.1.2

        If we stamped “swamp stump” on her ass, could we just export Judith Collins?

  21. Puckish Rogue 22

    – Well done National and Labour, bet theres more’n few countries that wish they could claim the same

  22. Cross of Lorraine 23

    I hated Brussel Sprouts as a kid, I would regurgitate them, nearly puke! My parents would make me eat them, until I devised a plan. I decided I had a runny nose, and when I blew into my napkin, I spewed the sprouts out of my mouth into the large napkin, and hid the evidence in this napkin! Then I put it on my lap, and then eventually was able to flush it down the toilet! I remember being very proud of my clever plan, as it was so successful! When there is a will I suppose there is a way!

    Strangely enough, now, as an adult, steamed with sesame oil, they are just delicious!

    I ate them tonight actually!

    • marty mars 23.1

      they are a super food, and my favorite, plus I love that quite a few people don’t like them

    • Prickles 23.2

      Drop them into boiling water for only a couple of minutes then stop their cooking with cold water. Cut them in half or quarters and toss into a pan with butter and garlic. Or for those who have no objections to bacon, fry off some finely chopped bacon, add the garlic then toss in the halved brussel sprouts. Either way they are vastly superior to the mushy overcooked ones we mostly had to eat when we were kids. Always happy to see them reappear each winter.

      • ianmac 23.2.1

        Thanks marty and Prickles. I boiled some the other night and they were not nice. To respect the sprouts I will try some of your ideas.

        • Tracey

          they will cook quicker than you think ianmac, they look dense but are not really

          • Kiwiri

            or just chopped them up and stir-fry them as you would with a mixture of vegetables.

      • greywarshark 23.2.2

        That sounds nice Prickles and healthy too. Thanks I want to make myself eat more greens. Turning them into a dish and not a side helping would do it.

        About overcooked greens. One old lady told me she always cooked cabbage for 15 minutes. I could visualise the flaccid, pale, clear strands dripping water. It’s a nice green too, when just lightly cooked.

    • Tracey 23.3

      They need to be fresh(ish) and not overcooked, and I am with you, they are like a different veggie

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    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    2 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    2 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    2 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    2 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    2 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    2 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    2 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    3 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    4 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    5 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    5 days ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    6 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    6 days ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    6 days ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    1 week ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    1 week ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    1 week ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    1 week ago

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