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Open mike 29/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 29th, 2011 - 128 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

128 comments on “Open mike 29/07/2011”

  1. Herodotus 1

    Ther is becoming an increasing common thread of power prices in Europe and Asia dramatically increasing well beyond current inflation. Another case of funneling the limited funds of the middle, poor and elderly to a selected few. Just reinforcing keeping ownership in the state. Yet unlike the last 10 years there has to be price controls to protect from this bring just another means for indirect taxes as had been evident by national and labours past actions in their expectations for increased dividends by the soe’s

    • Chris 1.1

      As opposed to New Zealand where since 2002 real prices have gone up by an average of 4.7% per year.

      Price controls would be just as effective whether or not the enterprises were state-owned.

      I’m not that pro asset sales (not against them either though), but sick of hearing the two arguments that state-owned companies keep pricing down yet also somehow have magical returns for the government that need to be preserved.

      If they are that great at keeping the prices down surely the returns shouldn’t be good.

      • Deadly_NZ 1.2.1

        And still those clowns want to do the same to us sell our power companies. And they must know that prices will skyrocket why would they ? They will either be living overseas or be one of the ‘share holders’. And Ma and Pa Shareholder will be shafted as usual.

  2. I’ve collated reasons why Labour may be failing to get traction.

    Anti-Labour Conspiracies

    There are many things conspiring against Labour, there must be for them to be continually performing poorly in polls and for getting so much negative media coverage. Labour are the only party that can rescue the country from financial ruin, and they are the only party that can eliminate poverty and get everyone into employment with a decent wage and a fair tax rate.

    • Linkwhoring again Pete?

      Do you agree that the country is facing financial ruin because of decisions this Government has made, that there are distressing amounts of poverty and that it is important to get everyone into employment with a decent wage and a fair tax rate?

      If not I think that arguing with you will be a complete and utter waste of time.

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        Do you agree that the country is facing financial ruin because of decisions this Government has made

        No. Most people don’t seem to think that.

        that there are distressing amounts of poverty

        In New Zealand, yes, on our measure of “poverty”.
        In East Africa , yes, that is what distressing poverty really is.

        that it is important to get everyone into employment with a decent wage

        No – it’s important to strive to get as many people who are able to work as possible into sufficient levels of employment, but we have to accept not everyone will always be able to have the job they want with the wages they want.

        and a fair tax rate?

        “Fair tax” is a meaningless term that can be debated with futility. What is fair to some is not seen as fair to others. What a fair balance of tax burden is will always be argued and tweaked, and never agreed on.

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Do you agree that the country is facing financial ruin because of decisions this Government has made

          No. Most people don’t seem to think that.

          So you do not know anything about the country’s financial condition, you base your opinion on what the polls are saying, even though they measure political parties popularity and not peoples understanding of the country’s finances and you decry Labour even though you clearly do not understand what their policies are?

          You are taking the piss, arn’t you?

          • Pete George 2.1.1.1.1

            No, taking the micky, to task.

            Can you link to any serious expert opinion that New Zealand is currently facing financial ruin, and that it is due to decisions this Government has made?

            • travellerev 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe NZ’s financial ruin to come as the result of the global financial fraud of the banksters. Of which John Key was a very integral part while he worked for Merrill Lynch selling Derivatives.

            • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Well there are a few billion dollars worth of untargetted cuts that have to be made.  And we are selling off power shares to pay for the housekeeping bill.  And we are no longer putting aside enough to pay for baby boomers retirements.  And there are obviously signs of major difficulties in various departments.  And we have kids eating dog food to get by.  And third world diseases, the types caused by grinding enduring poverty are apprearing far too frequently.

              But apart from that no I can’t prove a thing.

              And Pete you are trolling.  You are not taking to task. 

              • You are not taking to task.

                Because you can’t or won’t back up your assertions with anything of substance?
                I guess you don’t want to link to “Trev’s talking points”.

                • I have just given you 6 examples of where things are going wrong.  So far you have provided nothing except to express a single view based on the misinterpretation of opinion polls.

                  Go on, argue the specifics, give it a go.  Show that you are not trolling. 

                  • You need to argue specifics, you’re the one who claimed “the country is facing financial ruin because of decisions this Government has made”.

                    Your “examples” are weak and vague talking points and do nothing to back up your claim. If you can’t give any specifics does that mean you’re trolling?

                    • */repeated bashing of head on table/*
                       
                      PeteG
                       
                      These are examples that have been highlighted for some time.  Don’t you recall posting thousands of comments in posts that dealt with these topics?  Do you actually read the posts?

                    • I’m asking for links to back up your claims, as commonly requested here.

                      If what you claimed is a simple fact it should be simply proven.

                    • PeteG you are a waste of bandwidth.
                       
                      You are walking around with your eyes deliberately closed and refusing to accept the truth of anything you cannot see.
                       

                    • I’m sure you have no idea that you’re doing it, but you are illustrating exactly the point I was making.

                      You expect others to take your word for being right, and get exasperated when others don’t just accept it without question. And you attack the messenger while desperately ignoring the message.

                      You are walking around with your eyes deliberately closed and refusing to accept the truth of anything you cannot see.

                      That’s the height of unintentional irony.

                    • framu

                      jesus wept pete g – you twist and turn like a twisty turny thing

                    • Help help I am trying to understand Pete’s thought processes and my brain hurts because I cannot.
                       
                      I gave you 6 different areas:
                       
                      1. A few billion dollars worth of untargetted cuts that have to be made.
                      2. Selling off power shares to pay for the housekeeping bill.
                      3. No longer putting aside enough to pay for baby boomers retirements. 
                      4. Obviously signs of major difficulties in various departments. 
                      5. Kids eating dog food to get by. 
                      6. Third world diseases, the types caused by grinding enduring poverty appearing far too frequently.
                       
                      You replied that my examples “are weak and vague talking points and do nothing to back up your claim”.
                       
                      Well feck me.  This from the king of weak and vague.
                       
                      You really are a waste of bandwidth Pete.

                    • You’ve posted 6 arguable political points, some very arguable. Nothing there points to anything that tries to prove that “the country is facing financial ruin because of decisions this Government has made”.

                      You saying kids eat dog food is not proof. It’s you using emotive talking points to try and shame people into agreeing with you.

                      If your attitude remains prevalent in Labour the party is dog tucker.

                    • You’ve posted 6 arguable political points, some very arguable. Nothing there points to anything that tries to prove that “the country is facing financial ruin because of decisions this Government has made”.
                       
                      But you won’t debate any of these points.  You just dismiss them because they do not fit in with your world view and then claim that I have raised nothing of substance.
                       
                      You contribute nothing to a debate but always insist on having the last word.

                      You are trolling Pete.

                    • I’m asking you to support your original claim which you keep avoiding.

                      There have been stories of people eating dog food for decades – how would you claiming kids eat dog food now be any sort of proof that “decisions this Government has made” are causing the country to “face financial ruin”?

        • Vicky32 2.1.1.2

          Do you agree that the country is facing financial ruin because of decisions this Government has made
          No. Most people don’t seem to think that.

          He didn’t ask what “most people” think, he asked what you think!

        • mik e 2.1.1.3

          PG must be that treasury official that say we are going to have 170,000 new jobs, or is he the one thats been working on NZ catching up with Australia, I think he might be the one that wrote John Keys speech before the last elections although he left out one line “for the rich” no new taxes read my lips.

      • Herodotus 2.1.2

        Perhaps we are facing financial Hardship particislly due to the mismanagement and missed opportunities from many govts including the last labour. Your myopic view of the world separates you from total reality. Nat has continued the long line of missed opportunities and poor management. As one case our ranking in the OECD and lack of substainable areas of growth and ability to prosper in the future.all areas of failure in govt leadership.and why should anything change?

        • mickysavage 2.1.2.1

          Blah blah blah … ten years of economic mismanagement … missed opportunities …

          Got the old CT songbook out this morning Herodotus?  Although I agree that National’s management is poor. 

          • Aero 2.1.2.1.1

            We have not had ten years of finacial chaos… .. yet. National furthering the same policies without any change is obvious to all except the myopic. Policies shovelling more money into the economy (to the rich) because its expanding on cheaper oil (in real terms) don’t work any more. Labour have yet to get a grip on the new language of peak oil, and policies, since even the CGT is a old policy, like roading, that we should have introduced thrity years ago.

            Look we’re in transition and all the rocks, poisionous pests, are all exposed as the tide goes out. The politics of poision are now current as the losers (the rightwing revolutionaries) try vainly to shore up their flagging position. The dodo economic pundits like Brash are brought out to steady the sinking ship with their retortic (a bland rather unthink form of right wign talking points framed to lie to the masses in good times).

            Welcome to the collapse, see you on the other side.

          • Herodotus 2.1.2.1.2

            Micky in good times mismanagement is less evident, but in the later years of the last labour govt this for me is what nz was delivered. Life increased in difficulity

          • Herodotus 2.1.2.1.3

            Micky in good times mismanagement is less evident, but in the later years of the last labour govt this for me is what nz was delivered. Life increased in difficulty, and remember what is not reported in any inflation, cost of living – interest cost which peaked in 2008 at 10.4percent. Given the position when labour left govt the likes of unemployment would be similar to what we have today,govt deficits would be similar given labs tax cuts that were promised.

  3. There is this incredible article in the Herald this morning about the already wealthy and some amazing comments by those who already have more than they could ever need.  

    Apparently the fortunes of the country’s 150 richest people grew by almost 20 per cent over the past year but the poor dears are still calling for the easing of “constrictions” around wealth creation.

    The article does not say what these constrictions are, but presumably minimum employment standards and environmental controls are the sorts of things that stop the uber rich from acquiring even more wealth.

    The NBR called it “freeing up the entrepreneurial spirit”.  If it was me it would be called “rampant and excessive greed that is destroying our society and our environment”.

    I now await being labelled as engaging in the politics of envy.
     

    • pollywog 3.1

      There was a thing on the telly last night highlighting the gap on that list between men and women.

      It got me wondering who the richest Maori or Pasifikan in NZ is and how did they make their dosh ?

      • Bored 3.1.1

        Gooday Polly, had a look and the top 10 are the usual suspects, no TW or Psfka in view. Surprisingly I was not surprised. I am sure you will be shocked to hear that, given that I am assured by my regular reading of blogs from RWNJs that its all down to the individual. Its what you personally do, there is no disadvantage etc etc. So there!

        • Ianupnorth 3.1.1.1

          Donna Hall (who apparently gets 10% of any Treaty claims she wish) ust be up there.

          • prism 3.1.1.1.1

            @Ianupnorth – Did you mean that the lady gets 10% of claims she WINS? Bit of proofreading needed methinks.

          • Adele 3.1.1.1.2

            Do you have a link to support the assertion re Donna Hall as it does not equate with my understanding of how Treaty settlements are negotiated.

            Settlements are largely the result of many years of hard work by groups of people with many dying in the process. At the negotiating table are usually kaumātua and kuia, lawyers, other professionals – so no one individual is responsible for the outcome.

            The only reference I was able to find online to match your claim about Donna Hall was at http://www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz/payouts that insinuates she earned $20,000,000 out of treaty claims. In the same websearch there is a link to a site that shows her arguing over fees of $19,000. Treatyofwaitangi.net.nz has as much credibility as Celticnz.co.nz and is hosted by the same redneck mentality.

    • marsman 3.2

      Same as the large wealthy corporates in the USA which pay zero income tax pushing for lower company tax. GREED.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      “Freeing up the entrepreneurial spirit” means unlocking the initiative and opportunities facing the bottom 95% of society,

      Not reinforcing an edified moneyed aristocracy in its place.

      (of course the NBR already know this but the last thing that the few at the top want is true competition from ther masses below)

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        +1

        Our entire socio-economic system has been designed by the rich to further the interests of the rich. Time to can that design system as it just doesn’t work for the majority.

    • Vicky32 3.4

      Jeweller Sir Michael Hill, worth $245 million, told NBR: “Could not the Government give us a little freedom to be able to make common sense decisions for ourselves?”

      This is from that Herald article, and I note both the whinging tone, and also, the lack of meaning in Hill’s comment. What kind of decisions is he talking about?

  4. Just a few of the war crimes committed by NATO the last two weeks while everybody got distracted byt the horrible events in Norway.

    NATO bombed and destroyed the $ 30 million water pipe providing 70% of Tripoli with fresh drinking water on Friday 22 of July. On Saturday they bombed the factory needed to repair the water pipe.

    NATO bombed a school for disabled children

    NATO bombed a hospital in West Libya were there is no military presence.

    Remember the UN mandated only a no fly zone as a humanitarian intervention so remind me again how this is helping to “liberate” the Libyan population who on the whole have no interest in being “liberated” by the West and who have been given millions of arms to protect their country if and when the US and NATO begin to send in the troops and guess what; They are going to be fighting women. You know? Those subdued suppressed Muslim women? Yep, those

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Remember the UN mandated only a no fly zone as a humanitarian intervention so remind me again how this is helping to “liberate” the Libyan population

      The main reason for this war was to allow the financial elite to seize (ahem, permanently ‘freeze’) US$90B in Libyan foreign assets.

      Also of course the oil.

      I’m wondering if all this wasn’t the plan from the start, when Blair et al invited Libya back into the ‘international community’.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        I’m wondering if all this wasn’t the plan from the start…

        It was. The developed nations need that oil and money to keep their delusional economies turning over just that bit longer and to transfer wealth to the already wealthy and then they’ll look for other wars to keep it going when that runs out.

  5. tc 5

    We have a govt that appeals to a lot of folk who believe in the ‘I’m right jack f you all and get out of my way so I can have more more more’ and the article Mickey linked to is a sad indictment of the attitudes that are behind this govt.

    The games rigged with the MSM on the nats leash. Williamson this morning blah blah about the 9 years of surplus whilst he’s fronting the leaky home issue his govt created a case in point, no challenge or questions put to him about the fact he is guilty of creating it, just let the soundbite about surpluses hang there unchallenged……sad indeed.

  6. ak 6

    Has Labour invited Robbie Williams out here yet? And how about kicking up about our bikkies? Asset sales are one thing, but hands off our gingernuts you tory swine.

  7. felix 7

    Is there any point having Pete George here? All he does is spam us with spam links to his own site.

    Leave him to it I reckon.

    • freedom 7.1

      day three of ignoring Peter Squirreltail and my forehead bruising has completely cleared up, i can heartily recommend following Felix’s suggestion

    • Lazy Susan 7.2

      Trying to engage Pete (aka Secret Squirrel) George in a serious debate is like trying to catch a cloud to pin it down or holding a moonbeam in your hand. Unless you have an inordinate ammount of time to waste it’s best avoided.

    • Ianupnorth 7.3

      I said that about a week ago, wants his blog stats to rocket – has he got google ads on there or something?

      • felix 7.3.1

        He does have ads, but mostly I think he just wants to give himself an air of legitimacy by boosting his page rank.

        AFAIK, links from comments on this site are set to “nofollow” by default so he’s not getting any link juice anyway, so all he gains are page views when people click his links.

        And as anyone who reads his comments can see, there’s really no point clicking them. 😉

  8. Bored 8

    Some RWReactionaryNJ who will remain unnamed today sent a pile of spammed emails informing recipients that 10% of taxpayers pay 75% of the tax……..

    For my Friday fun on receipt of his email I promptly Googled a few Viagra sites and handed off the email address. He can finally fell like a real prick. Any more unsolicited emails and it 1000 automated replies….

  9. Ianupnorth 9

    So, Robbie Williams is a communist – well at least his views seem left(ish)
     
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10741562

  10. prism 10

    Cripes how bloody boring. Is this what blogs are about? Somebody with a differing view and immense time to display opinions and everyone taking a nip at his ankles. Pete G is swamping the site.

    It could be that he is bringing up the very same arguments that other NACTs circulate amongst themselves and it is handy to be able to get a backdoor into their brains? a bit like that film Being John Malkovich. But the brains being addressed are more like what the USA call ground beef.

    • Campbell Larsen 10.1

      The advice appears more akin to a self help suggestion to those who experience frustration and annoyance engaging with PG and a strategy which will hopefully result in less of the party political broadcast (which we get already from the MSM) type comment and link farming. He is a politician so it is understandable – however this is not his soapbox – it is a shared space. What is really boring is reading the same shit day after day.
      It’s a free country though (or at least going cheap under the Nacts) so if you think Petes brain will make a nutritious meal help yourself to a scoop, however you will have to forgive me for not joining you in optimism.

    • prism 10.2

      Sending people to Coventry was very effective in England. Either ignoring Pege G and his ilk would be a sensible response, or just registering the words Ho hum so he doesn’t feel ignored. That would be a blow to enthusiasm, even putting a failing grade alone of D-.

      • freedom 10.2.1

        like sandfly bites, it is simply more efficient to ignore the irritant than slowly reduce the scratching

      • Ianupnorth 10.2.2

        he clearly doesn’t read anyone elses posts either – it’s all about him! (see below)

        • Pete George 10.2.2.1

          I read what I choose and skip what I want to, it’s quite easy really. That’s what most people do. Those that want to stop different points of view are usually the ones who stop and make hissy comments.

          Not so easy on a blog – being seen to be ignoring someone.

          BTW Ian, the post about Happy Feet is nothing about me. It’s someone else taking the piss about their own organisation, and it’s very funny for anyone with a sense of humour.

          • felix 10.2.2.1.1

            No-one criticizes you for having a “different point of view” Pete.

            In fact the most common complaint I see about you is that you refuse to express any point of view.

            Worse though is your habit of spreading your spam links by pretending to raise some matter of debate, but then refusing to debate it.

            It’s becoming very clear to many that you aren’t here to engage with people at all, but simply to stand on a soap-box and shout at the top of your voice. And usually about nothing but your brand.

            As Campbell says, you’re a politician. Way out on the margin, sure, but a politician nonetheless. I wonder how you’d react if, say, Hone Harawira spent all day every day plastering your website with links to his press releases, refusing to discuss anything, and playing the victim whenever his behaviour was questioned.

            Have a think about how you come across with this approach, Pete.

            • Pete George 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Have a think about what happened here. I posted something with a link, nothing unusual, that’s common practice. Anyone can choose to read or ignore.

              MS chose to respond (I doubt he read the link, but even if he did he was obblivious to the point of it). He then made a claim that he couldn’t substantiate and kept complaining, but not fronting up. If he’d offered something substantive other than repeating his opinion there would have had something debate. I eventually gave up on that and addressed one of his points and he chose not to follow up. His choice.

              I don’t have any problem debating with other people in other forums.

              • felix

                A perfect example of Pete’s duplicitous behaviour. Look closely.

                Pete appeared to reply to my comment, but actually ignored it entirely. Not one word of what he wrote was in address to anything I questioned him on. So now we have another comment full of Pete’s statements to wade through, and still no engagement from him.

                See?

                As you know full well, Pete, I’m not talking about a specific conversation with ms.

                I’m talking about your well established pattern of behaviour on this site over a long period of time.

                Seriously Pete, think about how you would react to someone who tried this on at your site, and think about the enormous amount of liberty granted to you by the operators of this site.

                It’s my opinion that you’re abusing those liberties.

                • felix, it’s refreshing to see you being up front with this.

                  I accept that I push boundaries and I know I annoy some people here (I know not everyone because I get other feedback too). Same elsewhere. If a blog or forum wants to stop me from what I do they ask me to stop, delete posts, warn me or whatever, but that’s been rare and I’ve never been banned anywhere else.

                  Labour complains about the lack of media coverage they get, it’s much worse for small parties, and if you’re smaller still you have to find your own ways of saying things and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t.

                  My “well established pattern of behaviour” here is not just me. I could easily be ignored. My pattern of behaviour fhere has a lot to do with the pattern of behaviour of others like you and MS, how you react and in particular how you attack.

                  You know full well you often haven’t tried to engage in meaningful debate. You don’t seem to engage in meaningful debate much at all here, you more often try to “deal with” selected commenters. Whose liberties are you abusing?

                  I don’t aim to piss people off, I’d prefer I didn’t piss people off, but to raise attention to issues being blunt or confrontational is sometimes necessary and it will annoy people. No one likes being told they are wrong or stupid or blind – me neither and that happens often.

                  In most forums I’ve participated in I’ve actually managed to get on with most ok (admittedly it took maybe a year at KB).

                  I find it odd that a blog in the political spectrum I’m probably closest to (or was) can be so unwelcoming and intolerant of people pre judged as “undesirable”. Partly I know that’s due to how I’ve done things, but partly I think it’s due to a high sensitivity here to criticism, particularly of Labour, and due to a posse of patch protectiveness that you often seem to ride shotgun on.

                  We could probably both reduce the level of conflict here.

                  • lprent

                    Know your history.

                    Have a look back into the 2007 and 2008 archives. There were some pretty active attempts to shut this site down with quite deliberate trolling behaviors. We clamped some highly reactive and strong behavioral limits on to the site about what is permissible. This is because it fitted the time constraints that we had for doing moderation (especially mine).

                    And we don’t muck about when people try to violate those rules or if they try to put in their own rules. This prevented the comments from becoming unreadable and ensured that we kept authors. They remain in place because they ensure that we don’t get a repetition of the boring comments sections when the trolls ran rampant.

                    Most of the longer term commentators (like felix) also remember those crowds of trolls descending from clint, camerons, and davids sites, the tactics used, and act accordingly.

                    The specific tactic that people are talking about with you is not being “being blunt or confrontational”, but avoiding confrontation like a politician. It is also a ‘debating’ tactic that I know as “slithering”. You whack up a few general statements that are barely sketched out, and then when people start to point out the gaping holes the lack of detail and the apparent lack of any thought, you slide off onto a different topic rather than deal with it. Frequently that consists of accusations that the critics are not being upfront or are being too confrontational.

                    We’ve had a number of people use the technique here in the past. It is as boring as hell to read. You tend to get a lot of criticism for it.

                    • It is also a ‘debating’ tactic that I know as “slithering”. You whack up a few general statements that are barely sketched out, and then when people start to point out the gaping holes the lack of detail

                      That’s what MS did, he made a way out claim and avoided backing it up. I wouldn’t say he slithered, but he didn’t seem aware that anyone should doubt his word because simply that’s what he said.

                      Why should I be held to a different standard?

                • MrSmith

                  Felix please…… don’t encourage him, I suspect he is only a computer program.

              • Vicky32

                (I doubt he read the link, but even if he did he was obblivious to the point of it).

                I assume he did read it, and so did I… and as far as I can see, the point of it, was simply to jeer. There was no actual evidence for any of your assertions.

  11. Sometimes you just need to be able to laugh about politics.

    The Happy Feet Penguin Political Party (TV3)

  12. prism 12

    Housing problems being addressed!! Maurice Williamson speaks positively about great National initiative. unlike Labour who didn’t exert themselves!!

    This is another NZ Government shonky go at having a policy that does the minimum, on the cheap, addresses the surface iceberg that is obvious and does nothing or little for the hidden probs. It demands that people match government help dollar for dollar, and can lead people to penury without even a complete house to live in which was worse than the deteriorating building they previously had.

    It would be manageable for people affected if government offered limited cheap secondary loans or capped guarantees for extra remedial work required after the walls etc were opened and the true state of the interior supports was revealed. That doesn’t deal with people who built outside the 10 year building legal liability period.

    Sad very, and another case of how the RWNJ are diminishing prosperity and wealth of ordinary NZs, really because of the decreasing regulations and desire for self-policing businesses with less government monitoring. Crazy, the reason we had laws regulating stuff was because of past bad experience of failures of standards and probity with business corner-cutting, which properly policed laws would prevent.

    • mik e 12.1

      The biggest Joke is that their not paying any one out who had a leaky home under their watch.Neither are they paying any one with structural damage cased by leaks or by poor building practice.These buildings were signed off under their laissez fair building codes and inspectors.Wheres the justice in that I suspect CHCH citizens will have a similar battle to come!

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      Yeah, bizarre.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      the opinion poll:

      Should McDonald’s in NZ cut Happy Meal fries’ portions?

      I think that should be:
      Should McDonald’s cut Happy Meals?

      Which they should. Targeting children in advertising should be illegal.

      • Ianupnorth 13.2.1

        I say add a $1tax per burger and/or fries sold – transfer the money straight to the Ministry of Health – less obesity as the price goes up and McD’s becomes less affordable and the country generates more than enough cash to operate a school lunch programme.

    • Treetop 13.3

      Money can’t buy poverty.

      Some idiot trying to fill up the space in the newspaper.

    • Vicky32 13.4

      Who would want Ritchie McCaw? Really?

  13. johnm 14

    Remember Lockwood Smith Speaker of the House ruling “Privatization” as a word not acceptable but rather use the newspeak word of…? Can’t remember because its meaningless verbiage, deliberately so to confuse and bewilder criticism.

    The robbing of the American public’s commons continues the same as our Power SOEs are being stolen from the public of NZ.
    Refer link:http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/28-10

    None Dare Call It Privatization
    Dispatch from a high-powered conference spelling out a new strategy for raiding the commons
    “Just remember something: The term “Privateer” means PIRATE. It means someone who will steal from you without a moment’s hesitation. Kill you if need (or just plain malice) be.

    Real world example: Back in 1980, Colorado spent an average adjusted $70 million per year on it’s prison system. We were sold a bill of goods that said that for profit prisons would be SO much cheaper, it would be just foolish NOT to implement them. So we did. Now, 30 years later, after all these “savings” have been realized, that has gone UP to $770 MILLION PER YEAR. Only an 11 TIMES INCREASE. And as a result, our schools are now at the absolute LOWEST rate of funding in the country.

    If you allow this kind of horse shit to go on in your state, expect JUST THIS KIND of savings. You can expect EVERYTHING that your govt’ USED to do to cost you 11 TIMES more. how can it NOT? You’re adding profit to the operating expenses, which are generally as low as they will be in govt’ services, because there is NO profit motive. Add a 30% charge on top of those expenses and tell me HOW they will get lower? NOT going to happen. PERIOD.

    ANYONE who wants to do this kind of thing has MONEY in the game. PERIOD. Watch out for these people, they want YOUR money and they don’t CARE how much of a hardship it puts on you, your state, your family or the country. They LIVE for the money,. and everything else be damned.

    Tell these people to go to hell.

    Tresser sez: “… privatization is what happens when we transfer control of public assets, infrastructure and services into the private sector …”

    ***
    “Privatization” is itself a soft euphemism. Before its introduction to the lexicon, another word sufficed to describe this practice. That is, corporate fascism.Because the Public’s Government becomes increasingly financially powerless(Due to less and less revenue from tax cuts and public assets) and controlled by the increasing financial power of necessary corporate backers as in the U$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    Seems like the correct term would be “profitization” – adding an extra layer of cost to the public to provide sufficient profits for the (newly) private owners of (formerly) public property and services.

    I don’t see how a private company can provide a service at less cost than the government. The private operator must charge enough to provide ample returns to the owners. Public operators can provide services at cost. We’re seeing this in my own state and several nearby, where private interests are taking over public services and properties. In most cases the profit operators reduce pay and benefits for the (newly) private employees while charging the government more than it cost to provide the service in-house. In many cases (some say in all cases) there are concealed price escalation clause in state contracts so that the actual cost to the government is higher than the :”bid” price on which the contract was originally based. In the case of public properties (state parks being an example) the fees charged to the public are raised as well as reducing wages and benefits, and using fewer employees.”

    Why do the NZ sheople still support a Government that aims to impoverish them further by selling their assets to FOREIGNERS! Is that the price we pay for Pin Up Key our celeb PM and not too high a price at that?

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Seems like the correct term would be “profitization” – adding an extra layer of cost to the public to provide sufficient profits for the (newly) private owners of (formerly) public property and services.

      QFT&E

      There’s absolutely no way privatisation can make anything cheaper than what it was being provided for under government ownership. Lots of ways for it to add to the costs though and that’s what always happens.

  14. jackal 15

    Waging War on Beneficiaries

    Earlier this year Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett, as part of National’s divide and rule agenda announced a “War on Beneficiaries.”

    • The Voice of Reason 15.1

      That’s a startling quote, Jackal. When did Bennett say that?

    • johnm 15.2

      Hi jackal
      She’s caught out there! Why would you make war on your fellow kiwis? Last year she attended the “Eisenhower Foundation” whose most prominent member is War Criminal Colin Powell who publically lied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction despite WEAPONS iNSPECTORS having certified Iraq was in the clear. He is part of the WAR ON TERROR. Looks like poor cow Bennett has been picking up tricks while sitting on his lap! The U$$$$$$$$$$$ is a Corporate Fascist State,we’re heading that way even more if Pin Up Shonkey gets back in Power this election.We already have GruntMeister Brownlee having assumed Dictator powers due to the CHCH earthquake.
      WAR ON BENEFICIARIES In the useless U$$$$$$$$, that’s already happening: they’re screwing up the courage to attack social security and medicaid by you guessed it! by screwing those same people!

  15. Today’s Press (print edition) reports from one of its polls, that 56% of women intend to vote National and 49% put Key as their preferred PM. Quite a change from the Clark years.

    Speculation in the article suggests it’s because Key’s perceived as a ‘family man’, ‘loves his children’, is powerful, is wealthy, ‘charming’, ‘blokey’, ‘ordinary’, etc., etc..

    Turns out that the coming election is not about choosing a government, after all. A shame, really. Perhaps we can set up a proper process to do that sometime? 

    • freedom 16.1

      if we do it American Idol styles we can maybe make some cash at the same time

    • Deadly_NZ 16.2

      And then he is going to turn into the devil incarnate after they have sold off all the Silverware and these same women are trying to make ends meet then they will know that he is cold heartless conniving prick who thinks less of the general population than he does of a dog in the street.

  16. Carol 17

    @ Puddleglum 1.06pm *Sigh* Depressing really. How much is it a Fairfix constructed poll? Was that the list of choices they gave people who voted? Did they mention anything about NAct’s poor record on women – re-policies and women’s roles within NAct? That record is also something that doesn’t get much coverage in Fairfix’s papers.

  17. Carol 18

    Tram trial in Auckland this weekend:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/5360285/Warning-The-trams-are-back

    One and a half kilometres of steel tracks have been laid around Wynyard Quarter, along Halsey Street, Gaunt Street, Daldy Street and Jellicoe Street.

    Waterfront Auckland spokesman Luke Henshall says testing of the two 1920s trams is due to start this weekend when electrification of overhead wires is complete.

    "They're literally just being tried out on the tracks," Henshall says.

    "It's just something we need to do to check the gauge and the technical specifications.

    An interesting development.

  18. joe90 19

    Jon Stewart: Special Victims Unit, the poor downtrodden, victimized conservatives.

    • joe90 19.1

      Kos has a transcript and more.

      Clearly, O’Reilly does not believe this killer’s actions or profile qualify him as Christian. Which I would agree with. But his barrier to entry is somewhat less strict when it comes to linking the Fort Hood maniac and Islam.
      BILL O’REILLY (7/26/2011): I’m saying that he was a Muslim terrorist because he carried a business card that said “Soldier of Allah”. And he committed his crimes in the name of Allah.
      See the difference? That guy printed up Soldier of Allah business cards! The other guy only printed up an Army of Christ manifesto! I guess, the only connection is both psychos, for some reason, spent the day at Kinko’s.

      You know, I actually feel sorry for the pundits and anchors who have added this story to their file of grievances that are perpetrated against them. Not because I think they are actually victims of persecution, but because I know that the sense of grievance and victimization that appears to pervade their every waking moment is actually something they hate……………… in others.

      SEAN HANNITY (1/5/2009): Liberals do make themselves out to be victims.
      UNIDENTIFIED MAN (9/2/2009): … victimization thing you guys on the left come up with …

      REP. ALLEN WEST, R-FL (7/20/2011): The liberals want to play victim.

      MONICA CROWLEY (6/1/2011): They play the victimhood card all the time.

      All the time! Victims play the victim card! Liberals play it even when they’re playing Yahtzee, which doesn’t use cards! It’s annoying.

    • freedom 19.2

      he swings, he connects, it’s out of the park and on its way to Mars, which co-incidentally is where O’Reilly and Hannity were grown

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    More blatant stupidity and anti-Labour bias from the MSM:

    The latest figures from the Fairfax Media-Research International poll have finally cheered the Labour Party…

    Why would having a quarter of young people planning to leave the country cheer them up? Oh, that’s right, it wouldn’t except in some delusional journalists’ mind as he writes to get more ratings rather than to inform people.

    • Puddleglum 20.1

      It says a lot about how journalists themselves see everything as just an opportunity for political advantage. I notice the only related quote was from Parker, who called it a “shocking statistic”.

      The only two people in the article who were, in fact, sanguine about the figures were Bill English – who, oddly, saw these figures as representing young Kiwis looking forward to their OE – and, also oddly, the person reporting the poll who seemed keen to play down the number of people who might actually leave (despite the real world stats for the months of May and June – discussed in the article – being the highest net exodus since 1979 and 1981, respectively).

      That latter comment is odd because it undermines the meaningfulness/validity of one of the items used in his own poll. (Since, presumably, the item aimed to measure and report intentions that might reliably lead to behaviour as opposed to, for example, statistics that might generate headlines.)

      Strange days indeed.

      • Carol 20.1.1

        I can see the article on the Auckland Library’s website dDgital Library, Press Display – It’s available to Library Members.

        There’s a quote from Sue Bradford saying he has more charm than most politicians, but he doesn’t appeal to her – that some women go for the blokey quality. And those quotes about Key’s qualities are from a Massey uni Assoc. Prof of Commendation Design (Say what?), who says Key has qualities women like “doting husband, adores his kids…. and is a nice guy.”

      • ak 20.1.2

        Strange and pathetic. Not the press blatantly lying to make Labour look bad – that’s been a given since 2004 – but Brash attacking his only cobber and making better political hay than the Labour machine can.

        Cut the pleasant waffle brothers and sisters, nice was last year and they’ve picked their idol. It’s the serious drama slot; remember you’re talking to the swinging voter and tell him with conviction:

        “Key promised to stop this. He promised over and again that we’d catch up with Oz, but the gap’s got wider on his watch. Bugger the polls, our kids are voting with their feet – and they won’t be back while he keeps borrowing billions to give tax cuts to his rich mates and hocking off their last assets. For our kids’ sake, we need to lock up the family silver and throw away the key.”

      • Vicky32 20.1.3

        saw these figures as representing young Kiwis looking forward to their OE

        This ‘O.E’ thing amuses me greatly! In the late 80s, I met another solo mother at a church creche, and became friends with her. She was from an upper middle class background, and a bit stunned to have ended up on a DPB… but we had everything else in common, and so we ‘bonded’… Then one day we were talking about art, and she started enthusing about galleries in Venice. When I said I’d never seen them, she asked “But where did you go on your O.E?” She was stunned to learn that I had never had one, and still haven’t – that in common with almost everyone I had known at school, I had gone to work straight out of school, and got to Uni only 10 years later… that the O.E was a middle class kiddie thing, and not a norm!
        It still isn’t. My sons both went into tertiary study and then work straight out of school (no gap years or OE for solo Mum kids!). My older son married, and he and his wife may get an OE when they retire. If the younger one goes overseas, it won’t be for years – and then, it will be to work.
        I look back, and think how nice it would have been to have rich parents (or parents at all), and to have spent the years of my late teens seeing Venice! Sigh… 😀

  20. Ianupnorth 21

    The News of the World hacking thing just gets worse
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/28/phone-hacking-sarah-payne
    Not only did they gift a phone that they later hacked, they also convinced the mother that she had not been hacked and got her to write an article stating this.

  21. Vicky32 23

    I am saddened that all the anti-Garth George people have ignored this excellent piece he wrote about hungry children in yesterday’s Herald.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10741219
    He is not evil, bad or wrong!

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      There is no doubt that many of the parents of hungry kids are simply incapable of managing anything, even the smallest amount of money. They are what broadcaster Michael Laws quite rightly calls the “ferals” of our society.

      Yeah, he is. Sure, those people exist but they’re not “ferals” just people who haven’t been properly educated by either their parents or the schooling system.

      • Vicky32 23.1.1

        I am amazed DtB that you picked that one paragraph out of the article, and ignored the other 90% of it. It’s as if you were looking for something to hate – but how could you intentionally ignore this?

        The widely held view is that parents are to blame, that they spend their money on booze, smokes and other drugs and let their children starve, and that food vouchers should be given to beneficiaries instead of cash.
        It’s the old “I pay my taxes and that’s enough” philosophy.
        But what do we do about hungry kids in the meantime? Let them starve?
        …………………………. and right after the two sentences you complained about we have …

        They may be irredeemable, but their children are not. And for them, we must all make ourselves responsible.

        I might choose this moment to point out that when I was on a DPB I supported one and a half children (I had regular visits from my older son, custodially stolen by my alcoholic ex, and while this son, a teenager, visited, I got no money for him at all.) None of us ever went without food in all those years. Granted it wasn’t very nice food most of the time, and it’s lucky that I don’t have the alcoholism problem that’s in the family – I tend to agree with George that some parents just can’t manage money! (I remember a solo Mum who was a friend of mine, who owned her own home so had one less expense than I did, and who was constantly visiting me  to do her washing etc because she couldn’t her bills – instead she devoted her money to looking middle class – to use her own words! and to feeding and paying vet bills for a ruddy great dog… )
         

        • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1.1

          …but how could you intentionally ignore this?

          I didn’t – I viewed it as the same as the paragraph I quoted. The children need to be helped and so do the parents and yet he’s certain that the parents can’t be helped and so should get thrown on the scrapheap.

          • Vicky32 23.1.1.1.1

            The fact DtB is that some parents are very difficult to help! When I walked my son to school (remember, I was a nasty solo mother on DPB, and many of the other parents wouldn’t soil their skirts, as if it was catching – it was a high SES area!) we regularly met a little boy the same age as my son at the time (about 6 years old) who wore hand-downs too big for him, and no shoes (in winter). It wasn’t my duty to help (as if I even could have – beneficiary, remember!) but the father seemed to think it was, as I was white and he wasn’t  – and he was a solo Daddy. *
            No shoes for the son, but two bloody great Rottweilers in his front yard. Typically, the Lady Mucks in the area were greatly concerned about the living conditions – of the freaking dogs! 
            * I had the experience the other night, of seeing a solo Daddy on Clive the other night, talking about his problems feeding his family. Then the following night, I switched to Close Up, when Clive’s trailer in the news, showed the heaps of presents viewers had sent for solo Dad. How nice it would be if solo mothers got gifts, not abuse! (Such as the nasty email comments Sainsbury read out about the beneficiary he’d covered!)
            So yes, some parents don’t deserve sympathy, but their kids do. That’s the whole point.

            • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1.1.1.1

              The fact DtB is that some parents are very difficult to help!

              Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help them if at all possible.

              So yes, some parents don’t deserve sympathy,

              I’m not the sympathetic type. If the parents can’t be helped you take the kids off them and help them directly and tell the parents to go fuck themselves but you do try to help the parents first.

              Then the following night, I switched to Close Up, when Clive’s trailer in the news, showed the heaps of presents viewers had sent for solo Dad.

              Yep, that’s pretty much disgusting. It’s obviously the sexism coming through. The females are “breeding for a living” while the guy’s having a hard time through no fault of his own.

              • Vicky32

                Yep, that’s pretty much disgusting. It’s obviously the sexism coming through. The females are “breeding for a living” while the guy’s having a hard time through no fault of his own.

                I have my own reasons for being very sour on solo daddies (my first ex got custody of our son solely because he had parents to help, and I didn’t – that was truly the reason the judge gave! My mother had just died a few months before the case came before the court, and the ensuing years showed that J., wanted custody so he wouldn’t need to work!)
                But the more relevant story when it comes to differing standards is that years later, when I lived in Welly, and visited my sister in Nappy Valley, she pointed out Ross, the solo daddy who  was the father of her daughter’s best friend. He’d gone to court to get the family home, and he’d got it in an ex parte hearing, as his wife Margaret had “run off” and left him… My sister and all the other neighbours, would take him casseroles, wash and mend the kid’s clothes etc…
                I asked my sister to exercise a bit of caution about believing Ross’ story, especially as she had known Margaret and thought that running off and leaving three children, one of them from a previous marriage, was out of character. Well (and I credit my sister with honesty, for telling me later) it turned out that Margaret hadn’t known she was “running off” until her oldest daughter contacted her. She had cancer and had taken Ross’ advice to go home to Tauranga and live with her parents while having chemo. It was only when her father moved his new girlfriend into the family home, that the daughter (I think she was 13?) caught on to the fact that Daddy had been telling two different stories to his wife and children, and to the court and the neighbours! (I never said she was all that bright, it took months..)
                The casseroles, the baby-sitting and the mending dried up then, along with the sympathy for poor solo dad doing the best he could!

                • Colonial Viper

                  I would say that your story was purely imaginary, but I know many others in the same style. True life is stranger than fiction, no doubt.

    • MrSmith 24.1

      You’ll get over it Chris.

       

    • Mac1 24.2

      It was the Chamber of Commerce, Chris73, and locally that is the Nactoids in business suits.

      They did not want to be told a thing or two about Marlborough having the lowest wage economy in the country, the highest supermarket prices, or a shameful treatment of guest workers by using corrupt and exploitative contractors to act as proxy employers for grape growers.

      They did not want to hear criticism of Marlborough being in many ways a third world country in that 80% of grapes grown in Marlborough are owned by non-Marlborough companies, many overseas owned. They do not want to hear that the Marlborough District Council has high rates in terms of national figures.

      They do not want to hear of growing unemployment figures or that the local food kitchen fed 74 poor folk last week.

      They do not want to hear that they are represented by an imported MP who possesses Key like qualities of geniality but who carries no weight within his own caucus nor bears any great intellectual burdens.

      Of course they stayed away………… they’re not into self-flagellation.

  22. Vicky32 25

    Having following a link to Cactus Kate’s evil little site I found this
    http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2011/07/guest-post-acts-david-seymour-on-moral.html
    What kind of a psycho is this little pillock?

    • prism 25.1

      @Vicky32 – I thought Cactus Kate was in HongKong or Singapore? How then can she be taking an anti-Asian stance for NZ?

  23. logie97 26

    Petulant Bean went to the U.S. to broaden her education. If it was all on the public purse can we expect her to report back to us with detail of what her courses covered and what she learnt. I expect it would be in the form of cartoon strips, and pictures but that doesn’t matter.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Petulant Bean went to the U.S. to focus her prejudices.

      Edited for clarity. No thanks needed.

  24. logie97 27

    As an aside and further to the campaign (now at least 2 signatories if you are with me Vicky) for quality relaxing music being played while “hanging on” to a corporation phone call, I discovered that when one closes the doors on those modern street-side loos, quite a relaxing and pleasant melody ensues. Perhaps Pete George could take up the campaign.

  25. joe90 28

    Private prisons, not such a great idea.

    .

  26. Draco T Bastard 29

    Once correctly stimulated, the Free Market “free markets” all over the economy. This is the “trickle down” effect.

    by @DrBrash – a parody of the real thing on twitter.

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  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 mins ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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