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Open mike 29/10/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 29th, 2012 - 142 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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Step right up to the mike…

142 comments on “Open mike 29/10/2012 ”

  1. So National are now into teacher bashing mode.  Apparently the recently appointed Secretary for Education who is from the UK thinks that our education system is not world class, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    She says that the tail is performing too poorly.  She ignores the high rankings that our system achieves in world tables.

    She does not say what the solution is, but obviously the only proposal the Government has are charter schools.

    If they were interested they would be decreasing class sizes, increasing professional training for teachers and doing something about child poverty.

    But I guess then they would be losing the opportunity to bash two of the few remaining viable trade unions. 

    • higherstandard 1.1

      I’m no fan of the MoE, however it is fair comment that in many cases the education system is failing Maori and PI pupils.

      Some schools are doing very well in this area but many are not.

    • tc 1.2

      NACTs attack dog barks as she’s paid to do. wow Maori and PI don’t do as well shock horror could it be a poverty issue, you know the one this govt is turning a blind eye to.

      • prism 1.2.1

        I think that one important point to note about the employment of Lesley Longstone is that she has a great interest in technology used in her area. She is the second new overseas appointment that has had this focus, but the last one returned suddenly to Brit, I’ve forgotten her name.

        This means that those making the appointment do not look at how knowledgable and experienced the appointee is in his/her field, knowledge of technology substitution for people pushes this to the background.

        And listen to Steven Joyce who is defending private providers in education and the fact that Maori wananga are doing well is an excuse to open up education to all private interests and so undermining government insitutions, with a question hanging in the air about our schools. This is a cheap shot at hard working educationalists.

        • prism 1.2.1.1

          There was an interesting aspect on education and alternative approaches in the interview on
          Radionz NinetoNoon this morning on the Uncollege idea – finding your own education and goals rather than being rote learned in the traditional way.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1

            That would be something I want to see more of. Just not done through the profit motive but rather through cooperation and community.

          • aerobubble 1.2.1.1.2

            Given the need for profits that has transform education into an industry, and its inevitable extra gradient added to the learning process,. That it pays successful teaching establishments to water down and so take profit from time to time, at the top end and the also ran universities to broaden their catchment and capacity. The way we think is still the same, the need to be understood by others hasn’t changed, so technology will inevitable make it easier to educate and transfer both knowledge and skill quicker. The crisis in education is however the huge number of differing and contradictory ways of see differing subsets of the same information surely?

      • tinfoilhat 1.2.2

        It’s all about poverty and inequality. The sooner NACT and their cronies are strung up along with the rest of the greedy n this country the better.

    • marsman 1.3

      The Secretary for Education was the one to introduce the Charter School Scam into the UK. Parata and the vile Rodger Douglas were working on the scam in the first term of John Key’s Administration. Wealthy American in NZ owns Charter Schools in USA, how much did he put into the Nat’s election kitty?

      • ianmac 1.3.1

        The argument will become, “see how the Public Education has failed? So the answer is to privatise. As will Social Welfare, Prisons, Rail Transport and so on.”

    • Dr Terry 1.4

      Well spoken mickeysavage!

    • Anne 1.5

      NZ schools not world class – ministry chief
      The head of the Ministry of Education says New Zealand’s education system is not world class because Maori and Pasifika children and children from poor communities are under-performing.

      Oh really madam? Fancy that. We never knew. Cos we’re just a bunch of ignorant colonialists?
      So, we have to import a right-wing neo-con failure from Britain to tell us things we know more about than she ever will in years of Sundays?

      Got news for you madam. It’s your demonstrably corrupt right wing neo-con claptrap that is responsible for so many of our children “under-performing”. Why don’t you pack your bags and head off back to Britain. We have educational experts in this country who are streets ahead of you!

      Helen Clark made it clear our home-grown ‘neo-con failure’ Christine Rankin would be sent packing if they won the 1999 election. They did and she was gone in weeks. I expect Labour to do the same to this woman – and announce in advance of the next election.

      • Gosman 1.5.1

        So you are okay if the other side of the political spectrum also follows this view and if someone expresses views deemed left wing then any Right wing led government can justifiable dismiss them?

        A slippery slope there I would suggest.

        • Galeandra 1.5.1.1

          So to put the boot back on your own foot, what do you have to say about the post-election situation of partisan ministerial secretaries then?

          BTW, it’s time you yourself attempted to answer your many questions about other peoples’ comments ie put-up & rebut, or shut up.

          • Gosman 1.5.1.1.1

            I prefer that the public service remains non-partisan, however that is not to state that there aren’t viable alternatives. I’m asking if leftists who wish to sack people because of their political leanings would be happy if the opposite happened.

      • Dv 1.5.2

        >>Oh really madam? Fancy that. We never knew. Cos we’re just a bunch of ignorant colonialists?

        Same thought, along the lines of no shit sherlock.

        I didn’t hear her. Did she have any solutions?? (Build up to charter schools?)

        Oh but National standards sorting that the tail out? HA

        She has certainly shown her leadership ability so far.

        Class sizes
        Christchurch schools
        Nova pay
        Closing special schools

        And that is so far this year

      • Paul 1.5.3

        When will the corporate media ask these simple questions?
        1. “Why are you not looking at international research that connects the tail in NZ’s education results to our growing inequality as a society?”
        2. ” Why have we got an English ‘expert’ on education when a Finnish one might be more useful?”
        This country so desperately needs an independent media.

        • LynW 1.5.3.1

          +100

        • prism 1.5.3.2

          Paul 1.5.3.
          Because the government doesn’t want to ‘finish’ the controversy. It enjoys rattling the cage to make us all jump and there would be no satisfaction in solving the problem in a thoughtful and supportive way.

          Also one feature of our society is the mixture of cultures. What does France do with its Algerians etc. The Hispanics in the USA too? Are they all counted in one national database melting pot?

      • muzza 1.5.4

        The head of the Ministry of Education says New Zealand’s education system is not world class

        Intersting use of language – The transformation of Auckland Council, is to make it’s departments world class.

        Nothing in it, I’m sure its all just co-incidental!

  2. Jenny 2

    Sam Kuha Wins against WINZ

    One person can make a difference.

    When I am at work I have the National program playing.

    I only heard one very brief radio news bulletin about this.

    In one brief sound bite I heard that after 30 days Sam Kuha had announced the end of his hunger strike.
    Kuha said he had won his struggle with WINZ.

    WINZ were now paying him an extra $100 a week extra on top of his benefit and Paula Bennet had agreed to meet him personally to discuss his concerns. Though Bennett had not honoured her commitment to meet with him, he was satisfied.
    The promised extra money had been coming through and he was pleased at his victory, which he said was for all beneficiaries.

    Sam said that with the extra money he had food in his kitchen cupboard for the first time in ages and he could now even afford a luxury like an occasional coffee.

    Getting home from work I did a google search to confirm the facts of this singular RNZ news bulletin.
    The following are quotes and links from the story as it developed.

    September 23:
    Sam goes on talk back, Matt McCarten hears it. Writes it up.

    ….budgeters had told Sam to go to Winz as he didn’t have enough to live on. So he was forced into setting out on a 4km journey in his electric wheelchair.

    He took his bank account details and his budget to request an emergency food voucher. When he got there the first staffer wouldn’t even look at the figures and flatly turned him down. Another staffer agreed that no one could live on Sam’s budget but, as they had given him help twice before, and he wasn’t any different from anybody else, they weren’t allowed to help him.

    October 2

    Paula Bennett “unsympathetic to Sam Kuha’s plight”.
    Says food rule is “about right”

    A ministry spokesman told the Advocate that emergency budgeting advice was available for people in Mr Kuha’s situation, so if they had run out of food but were required to see a budgeter before getting a special needs grant they did not have to wait.

    October 5:
    Radio live picks up the story. Sam says he wants to meet with Paula Bennet. Tells how he is doing

    Mentally pretty good my body is starting to break down a little, I keep getting a shake now and then….

    In my mind they were going to make me starve because of a process, and I decided to take that in my own hands, if I was going to starve I was going to starve myself……

    I just couldn’t see any other way. I decided on the hunger strike first, and then wondered what good it was if nobody knew I was doing it….

    I would just like to say to her she is being ill advised by staff who have no perception of this end of the scale. And I would like to give her the grass roots truth if she will come and listen.

    October 11:
    “Sam Kuha shines a light”

    A national disability group has credited Kaikohe hunger-striker Sam Kuha with ‘shining a light’ on the daily struggle many disabled people face to survive.

    Mr Kuha says he has not eaten since September 14, when he was refused a $40 food grant at Work and Income in Kaikohe because he would not see a budgeter.

    October 11:
    The government starts to crack

    “Paula Bennett’s office confirmed today that she will meet with Sam Kuha and listen to his concerns provided he comes off his hunger strike”.

    October 16:
    The state capitulates, after initially refusing to give him a $40 food grant. WINZ surrenders.

    Mr Kuha said he had lost at least 13 kilograms but his financial situation had improved dramatically. Last week, after he saw a budget advisor, had his allowances re-evaluated by Work and Income and a debt forgiven, he had $140 left to spend after he had paid his mortgage, power, rates and other bills. Previously he had $18 left a week for food and other expenses.

    October 19:
    Radio NZ bulletin reports the news

    Sam Kuha ended his protest last week after Social Development Minister Paula Bennett agreed to meet him.
    He says that hasn’t happened yet – but WINZ has re-assessed his invalid’s benefit and he’s now getting $100 more each week.
    Mr Kuha says he now has enough to buy food and a few things he thinks of as luxuries, like shampoo or a cup of coffee.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      What you failed to say about Sam’s situation is that MSD should have checked he was receiving his FULL AND CORRECT ENTITLEMENT anytime he applied for a Special Needs Grant (a food grant is a SNG).

      Not only did they not do this prior to him getting widespread media attention, it is a regular cause of hardship for beneficiaries. It is the responsibility of MSD to inform beneficiaries of something they need to apply for, not the beneficiaries job to figure it out.

      You also failed to mention that if MSD were aware of Sam’s situation prior to the date they FINALLY decided to give him more money, Sam could lodge a Review of Decision (just ask for the form as they are big on forms, low on providing quality service…or any service actually).

      In the Review of Decision form Sam needs to say he disagrees with the decision and identify the date it was made (usually they send a letter, so use this date). Then he needs to state that Work and Income were made aware of his circumstances earlier. Therefore he would like the payment made BACK TO THE DATE HE FIRST BECAME ELIGIBLE. It is in caps because the wording is important.

      Then, once he receives a large lump sum he can go in the paper again and highlight just how significant failing to advise beneficiaries of their right of application can be. Is it a few hundred? Or is it a few thousand that Sam is legally owed? The entitlement may actually go back a few years. I want Sam to get everything he is owed – standing up to these pricks in such a public and vulnerable manner takes real balls.

      If you know Sam, please let him know of this post. We have an excellent Benefit Rights Service here in Wellington who can confirm what I just posted. (04) 2102012

      They also accept donations btw and are a cause I’m really happy to support since they have supported me when Work and Income left me and my children to suffer in poverty.

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        Hi AWW, thanks for that. As for the inaccuracies in the reports and links I have only having followed this story remotely and have never met Sam.

        I am well aware that there have been many reported occasions where WINZ have deliberately withheld information about benefits, knowing full well what hardship this will.

        I hope the information that you have posted will get to Sam and other beneficiaries.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          I am well aware that there have been many reported occasions where WINZ have deliberately withheld information about benefits, knowing full well what hardship this will.

          Depends upon the office and the person. Some of them actually seem to think that people in the welfare system need to be punished and that’s what they do with the power over people that they have. It gets worse when a National government is in power because they’re usually the source of the idea that people on benefits need to be punished.

      • weka 2.1.2

        Also worth noting is that if Kuha does get a lump sum back payment, he needs to spend it as soon as possible, because the lump sum will be treated as a cash asset and be counted against him in any further applications for hardship grants. Although in his case, because WINZ have been so remiss, he could most likely get an agreement from WINZ to not count the lump sum for a period of time. 
         
        Thanks for the update Jenny. A lot but not all of that has been covered in Open Mikes, and it would make a good post of its own.

    • Vicky32 2.2

      He says that hasn’t happened yet – but WINZ has re-assessed his invalid’s benefit and he’s now getting $100 more each week.
      Mr Kuha says he now has enough to buy food and a few things he thinks of as luxuries, like shampoo or a cup of coffee.

      Good on him, I am so glad he won!

  3. Jenny 3

    For the richly deserved defenestration of WINZ, Sam Kuha is due in Kaikohe district court today.

    Charged with the political crime of refusing to starve in silence.

    For breaking WINZ’s windows to bring attention to his cause, Sam Kuha will face his persecutors in court.

    But who is the real criminal here?

    Why is it not a crime to make a beneficiary go without food for two weeks, until they can get an appointment with a budgeter, when they had already previously seen a budgeter and proven that they don’t have enough to live on?

    It should be WINZ who are in the dock.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      Bais.org.nz can also support him by providing someone closer. The Wellington BRS kicks ass though.

    • Jenny 3.2

      Correction: Sam Kuha is due in court tomorrow. (my apologies). It will be interesting to see what censure he receives, if any. Considering the minor nature of the charges, and the element of provocation from WINZ, and the good character of Sam Kuha, I imagine that at most he could expect to receive diversion.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    How much poverty in this country is directly related to Work and Income failing to advise people of their entitlement?

    There have been cases in Wellington where people are paid tens of thousands. Imagine what living on $100 a week less for so many years that you are owed thousands does to your body and your family!

    • prism 4.1

      It has been known to interested public for some time that WINZ or its predecessor often will not advise on entitlements.

      If a person adopts the method of saying “Is there anything else that I should know of – that I am entitled to – could help me? Is there something I can apply for, some place that can give me the help I need?”, those are very useful, wise questions that have good application in many situations not just WINZ. Because it puts the onus on the informed advisor to reply and it can only be Yes, No, or Don’t know and each position is definite and quotable, even don’t know, which indicates lack of training or interest in doing the job of providing service properly.

      • Jenny 4.1.1

        It should be a sackable offence for any WINZ employee who knowingly, either through malice or incompetence, deprives a beneficiary of an entitlement they’re owed knowing that it will cause them unnecessary hardship.

  5. just saying 5

    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?p=1084#more-1084

    A treat from Puddleglum who analyses how we came to choose Key as our Prime Minister at this point in history, a man whose life and popularity mirrors and epitomises the neoliberal changes in the very character of the nation, first inflicted on us just as Key entered the workforce. The mirror that shows us how we like to see our new selves – made up, dressed in our most expensive new clothes, placed where there is not enough light to see our flaws.

    But, as anyone who has stragically placed their mirror in a dark spot knows… the illusion only works in the short term…

    I’ll be your mirror – Nico and the Velvet Underground

    He concludes:

    ….The only chance any of us have to ‘survive’ in our social world is to hold to some values, some principles that will constrain our moment-by-moment options. Being honest, for example, is a constraint – but it’s also recognised as being ‘the best policy’ and the wisest long-term strategy.

    The same applies for New Zealand as a whole. There’s no such thing as a strategy of brute survival in the modern, global world. We have to hitch our wagon to some clear values that, in some circumstances, will constrain us (we might, for example, miss out on that film production because we value the rights of workers, on that trade treaty because we value human rights or the environment).

    John Key’s political and verbal strategy, by contrast, is constantly to edit and re-edit his accounts of his own behaviour and beliefs in an attempt to secure short-term advantage (and acceptance). As I’ve argued, such a ‘pragmatic’ approach lacks – almost by definition – integrity (and I mean this in a technical as much as a moral sense).

    Key’s approach has also been called ‘non-ideological’ and ‘pragmatic’ but it simply amounts to self-interest with its ultimate valuing of self-preservation.

    That approach won’t work “over time“.

    It won’t work for John Key.

    It won’t work for the mythical ‘Waitakere Man’.

    And it won’t work for New Zealand.

  6. Herodotus 6

    The answer to Auckland housing issue is to privatise state houses, build a few new state houses on existing sites and then sell the residual land. It’s a win win? How about fully develop the area in tamaki increasing the quantity of state houses available, this reduces the pressure on rents from private landlords and also saves in housing allowances paid to these private landlords
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10843563
    Under its Tamaki Transformation project Housing NZ is removing or renovating 156 of its houses in Glen Innes to make way for new or renovated state units and houses and about 140 privately-owned homes. Another privatisation with good intentions/ stealth ?

  7. ianmac 7

    A top man in the comedy world. Meet the very funny John Key!
    “One-liners from Prime Minister John Key at the opening of jeweller Sir Michael Hill’s sculpture park near Queenstown.
    On Kim Dotcom: “That bloke might have megaupload.com but I’ve got megaballsup.com. Anyway, it’s great to be here at The Hills. Frankly, after the week I’ve had, it’s great to be anywhere other than Wellington.”
    On the Labour Party: “We’re here to do the opening of the sculpture The Wolves are Coming. It sounds like the Labour Party.”
    On Sir Michael: “I didn’t give [you] a knighthood to be voting Labour, Michael.”
    On local MP Bill English: “He is the shareholding minister of Air New Zealand, which is the airline that failed to get me here.” The PM’s plane had been diverted to Dunedin. (Source: Mountain Scene)”

    Will yo pay for his performance?

    • Jenny 7.1

      I akshully typed megaballsup.com into my header column. Guess where it took me.

      My question is, is our standup PM in on the joke?

      Did he know about this before he made his comment that, “I’ve got megaballsup.com”?

      Will he be leaving this joke in place?

      Like the infamous comedy link to George Bush’s website, will John Key’s aides be desperately scrambling around trying to take it down?

      Or does he genuinely not care if he looks a fool?

      I suppose time will tell.

      • muzza 7.1.1

        Or does he genuinely not care if he looks a fool?

        Jenny off the top of my head, the cat walk mincing, and the Letterman show…

        I would say the answer to your question is a resounding no!

      • Vicky32 7.1.2

        I akshully typed megaballsup.com into my header column. Guess where it took me.

        I had to try it, and wow, that’s unbelievable!
        I can’t believe that he would have done that, or even that he would actually know about it – maybe someone had just told him about it?

      • felix 7.1.3

        Not sure there’s much he can do to stop other people redirecting to him except keep writing new rules in his htaccess file.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    The unexamined life is not worth living 🙁
    -Socrates

  9. Dr Terry 9

    I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live
    – Socrates

  10. vto 10

    And now for the biggst non-surprise of this government’s term……

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7874996/Race-to-irrigate-behind-ECan-move

    Fucking dirty lying bastards.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Curtis said the commissioners were “very focused on achieving the targets” within the strategy. “Having the commissioners in place for a further three years means in the first instance we can get on with setting limits. This will sort the environmental issues over time.”

      Considering that this is all about business I would assume that that means ignoring the environment altogether.

      • ianmac 10.1.1

        There should be widespread outrage over this as your area will be next. A sort of bully getting away with bullying.

      • Rogue Trooper 10.1.2

        Trucking Draco:
        -the computer technology on-board lessening “the feel of the load”
        -snowblindness
        -“hours” ( hidden; double book-keeping for example)
        – word on the “shop floor”; we receive the poorest quality diesel in NZ
        -decreasing experience in the driving workforce
        -transport operators are renown for de-prioritising maintenance expenditure
        -finance for a shiny “New” lorry comparitively easy, yet, easy come, easy go…

        ahhh, the cost of fuel!

        • Descendant Of Smith 10.1.2.1

          A couple of my trucking mates also harp on about the private roading firms using thinner tar etc on the roads so they have continuing need for repair.

          They get pissed off with it cause they get blamed by all and sundry for stuffing up the roads.

          MOW apparently used a much stronger mix/ blend and roads needed repairing less.

          I’m not a tar-seal expert but it would not surprise me if there is some truth to this.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    This government is contemplating changes to WOF. It seems that those changes are to be centered around self-regulation and more privatisation:

    “Don’t take my word for it: here are the government’s exact words:”

    ‘Larger trucking businesses may be well placed to self-certify compliance with certificate of fitness requirements because they carry suitably qualified maintenance staff.’

    Matthew-Wilson adds:
    “In English, this means that, in the near future, the trucking companies will be allowed to mark their own exam papers.”

    “It is reasonable to assume that if the trucking industry is allowed to self-regulate, then the car fleet operators will also be allowed to self-regulate in the near future. That means hundreds of thousands of vehicles driving millions of miles without any independent safety inspection.”

    “That’s why the government has announced that it intends to hire a large private police force to do random safety checks on vehicles1: instead of the commercial operators paying for independent safety inspections, as they do at present, the commercial operators will simply let the taxpayer foot the bill for roadside inspections.”

    We’ve had experience of self-regulation and privatisation of the inspectors before and we’ve got the bill to show it. These ones will be worse as the bill will be counted in blood.

    • vto 11.1

      .
      Self-regulation and privatisation in the housing sector led directly to the $50 billion leaky home problem.

      Self-regulation and privatisation in the mining inspection sector led directly to 29 dead men at Pike River.

      Self-regulation and privatisation in the heavy trucking sector will, on the evidence, lead directly to people dying in road crashes.

      What on earth is it about these people? They seem to be blind or blinkered. They are in fact the most dangerous group of people in NZ this National lot. Deadly dangerous

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        They really don’t care about anyone except themselves and how much profit that they can make out of the community.

    • muzza 11.2

      “That’s why the government has announced that it intends to hire a large private police force to do random safety checks on vehicles

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Private-companies-may-do-random-WoF-checks/tabid/423/articleID/274342/Default.aspx

      What else might this large private police force be doing?

      • felix 11.2.1

        You’ll find out in a couple of years.

        • muzza 11.2.1.1

          Quite!

          I was wondering how in NZ they might be able to bring something in which will begin the process of “training people”, getting them used to “boots on the ground”, so to speak.

          Being pulled over, harrassed, and having your private property, and your person, inspected by what will be private mercs, probably paid for by us!

          Should this all come to pass, the changes to WOF, from the details available so far, this would certainly look like some very evil planning!

      • prism 11.2.2

        ” large private police force” working on contract to government.
        This will end up like the hated tow trucks and wheel clampers.
        This is government wanting to run everything to their own rules, leaving the hard work to others while they remain at a distance taking no responsibility and staying well away from fronting the consequences. Next inevitable step is that they don’t care about the consequences and the public are just to be herded around and taxed to provide the democratic system that continues mechanically but not serving the people but just the pollies income and perks so they can live their comfortable separate lives.

        • muzza 11.2.2.1

          Next inevitable step is that they don’t care about the consequences and the public are just to be herded around and taxed to provide the democratic system that continues mechanically but not serving the people but just the pollies income and perks so they can live their comfortable separate lives

          Prism, one could argue that “next step” is already in play!

          How much government can be outsourced, before its “illegal” to make changes to industry, because of “treaties/obligations’?

          The talk of private companies handling this work, paid for by taxpayers is disturbing!

          • prism 11.2.2.1.1

            muzza
            Good point. Make a change, once embedded it’s hard to get rid of it. All levers and handles will be twisted and pulled to leave things as they are. Probably with curse words like bureaucratic, over-regulation and the dreaded ‘nannnny state’. Bah!

      • Dv 11.2.3

        Oh goody back to 1992 when the who was it joined up the cops and the traffic cops who was that ..”……..

        OH look it was the Nats

    • ianmac 11.3

      Leaky homes do you mean Draco?

  12. Which MP, from which party, is going to ask Prime Minister John Key the following VERY hard question in the House?

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    COMMENT PUBLISHED.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/will-grant-robertson-get-chop-lf-131298

    #11 by Penny Bright 22 hours ago

    Here we go again – the usual ‘spin-doctor’ campaign try to pick and snipe and undermine Labour Party leadership?

    Saw it all before with Phil Goff in 2011.

    yawn……………….

    The question I want answered is:

    What role did John Key play in the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in November 1999, when he was a foreign exchange advisor to the New York Federal Reserve, and Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch?

    Given that the effect of the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was to leave the derivatives market unregulated?

    Given that the global financial meltdown has been largely caused by the collapse of the derivatives market?

    Who is going to ask THAT question?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • Gosman 12.1

      Why would John Key give advice on Mortgage based derivatives when his area of expertise was in the Foreign exchange markets as you rightly pointed out?

      I’m curious why you think it was the collapse of the derivatives market, (by the way where do I find this particular ‘market’), that caused the GFC. Where is your evidence that it was such a collapse that led to the problems?

      • muzza 12.1.1

        Why did Fannie/Freddie and AIG collapse, as a start!

        The LIFFE is one place you will find that “market”, and yes of course Key knows exactly whats going on, and why his bank (ML), was swallowed up

        While not right at the top of the list of names in the banking world, he was high enough to be parachuted into his current job as PM, which means he was on the radar of some very powerful people!

        Are you being deliberately obtuse!

        • Gosman 12.1.1.1

          LIFFE doesn’t exist and hasn’t done for a number of years. It also didn’t concern itself massively with the nmortgage based derivatives that were impacted by the GFC.

          • muzza 12.1.1.1.1

            Sure it doesn’t, but you understand what was meant when I said “Market”, and used LIFFE as an example, as it s now EURONEXT.LIFFE, also merging with CME!

            The takeovers, and mergers that LIFFE was hoovered into, speak for themselves!

            There is a large part of your market!

            • Gosman 12.1.1.1.1.1

              The trouble for you Muzza is that I worked at Liffe for a few years so I know what they did. I suspect you have little clue and simply did a Google search on ‘Derivatives Exchanges’ and came up with the name of a now defunct entity.

              The products that the Exchanges that Liffe was involved with were realitively straight forward derivatives such as bog standard Futures and Options contracts. These products are completely standardised like a mass produced mass market pair of shoes you might puchase in a shop. They had little direct connection with the mortgage market in the US.

              The derivatives that led to problems for companies like AIG were complex Over The Counter (OTC) products like CD Swaps CDO’s and CFO’s specifically related to Mortgages. These are manufactured by the banks and sold direct to investors much like a custom car or tailored suit might be sold.

              • muzza

                I’m curious why you think it was the collapse of the derivatives market, (by the way where do I find this particular ‘market’), that caused the GFC.

                You asked where you can find the market, and got an answer, which you know is technically correct. Another answer could have been – “in the completely unregulated “city of london”, is where one will find the derivatives market, but thats only part of it eh!

                It doesnt matter what was traded, if it was OTC or exotics, thats not a link I was trying to make.

                You understand (I think), why Fannie/Freddie/AIG went down, thats the housing market and insurance market right there, which was, and still is a major trigger/catalyst for the on-going problems.The fallout continues, because you can only screw a physical market once, but the levereged instruments, ensure that failure it will continue much , much longer!

                • Gosman

                  Your belief that the City of London is completely unregulated is completely wrong. The major investment banks have a huge amount of regulation they need to comply with.

                  • muzza

                    Ok Gosman, I’m not going into it with you, suffice to say that some time with the FSA, and working with regulatory & compliance at various banks, told me otherwise!

                    Its a joke, smoke , mirrors, a few fines here and there, while the big boys smash their way through and around entities like the FSA, while stealing their staff, along with “other experts”, to ensure that the minimum of lip service is paid to , regulations!

                    • Gosman

                      You worked with the FSA and in regulatory & compliance at various banks and yet you don’t understand the nature of derivatives. I find that very difficult to reconcile. What banks did you work with?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You’re a fucking dreamer Gosman.

                    AIG, Lehman Brothers, MF Global, Bernie Maddoff

                    Billions of investor dollars stolen

                    Their collapses all initiated from their City of London operations because of their lax rules eg. on rehypothecation limits and reporting, compared to the US.

                    • Gosman

                      Bernie Maddoff???

                      You do realise where he was operating from don’t you?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They all had major operations in the City of London due to the lax regulations and rules available there. And they all failed from there.

                    • Gosman

                      Evidence please that Bernie Maddoff unravelled from the UK.

                      I think you don’t undertsand how banks operate if you think that they can hide what they do across the board simply by operating in London.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Meh. I take it you accept that all those other operations unravelled from London then.

                • Gosman

                  The point I am making is that it wasn’t anything to do with a collapse of a derivatives market (there are in fact hundreds of these), that caused the GFC. It was more to do with the unravelling of the positions that some companies held in relation to certain Derivates products which caused them harm.

                  To explain using simpler terms, imagine you have bet heavily that the ALL Blacks will win the Rugby Union world cup, Unfortunately for you it is 2007 and not 2011 and you lose out. It would be incorrect to state that it was the collapse of the Rugby Union betting market that caused your financial predicament. It was the outcome of the bets you made.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh gawd the pedantry

                    When people say “the stock market collapsed” they don’t actually mean the building the stock market is in collapsed

                    FFS Gosman

                    The derivatives market grew into a weapon of mass financial destruction. You didn’t even touch on the issues of counterparty risks, collateral chains, dark pool exchanges, and insanely miscalculated financial modelling which all helped set the bomb off.

                    “Financial engineering” has been one of the most dangerous, wealth destroying activities of modern western civilisation.

                    • Gosman

                      No, a market collapses when demand for the good or services drops to virtually zero. Even if that happened in the derivatives markets, (and it didn’t for the majority of the products offered), this still wouldn’t have caused a massive problem. The problem occured due to the triggering of the contracts i.e. it was the underlying market that lead to liquidity problems. The derivative positions of some of those companies that went bust simply magnified the losses.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fuck off Gosman your definitions of what a collapse is and what it isn’t is nothing more than worthless pedantic obfuscant shit.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      CV, that’s pretty much true of everything that Gosman says.

      • Dv 12.1.2

        DUH
        (by the way where do I find this particular ‘market’), that caused the GFC. Where is your evidence that it was such a collapse that led to the problems?

        Well liar loans, Northern Rock, as well

        And Gos I was starting to think that you had a good understanding on thing financial.

        • Gosman 12.1.2.1

          They collapsed due to the derivatives market collapsing did they? What evidence do you have for this?

          • Dv 12.1.2.1.1

            And you have the evidence to prove they didn’t?

            • Gosman 12.1.2.1.1.1

              See my reply to muzza above. In short you really don’t understand the nature of what it is you are discussing.

              • Colonial Viper

                Look whose talking.

              • Dv

                Interesting, so there is no inter connection, and your comment is NOT evidence.
                That analogy is not evidence either.

                • Gosman

                  It is incorrect to state the Derivatives market collapsed. First off which Derivatives market are you meaning and second the products that did the damage did exactly what they were supposed to do i.e. kick in when other products dropped in price. The problem was the resulting position was not a favourable one for companies like AIG. However if you have an alternative view on the subject perhaps you would share it with the rest of us.

                  • Dv

                    Evidence?????

                    So AIG Northern Rock etc didn’t need any help from the bad decisions they made?

                  • muzza

                    Did they replace the last Gosman? – Because who ever is writing using the handle now is actually lesser on understanding and intellect than Gosman used to be. I use the words understanding and intellect losely!

                    Gosman – If the FED/ECB/BoE etc have all had to prop up the global banking system (banks) because the CDO/CDS trigger exposed all derivative markets as vaccuous/fraudulant, and now something like $16 trillion or more has been pumped into the global banking system using various QE techniques, what would you call that, successful!

                    Let me put it simply for you – Without the QE the derivatives markets would have totally collapsed, and taken the the banks with it, but that was not allowed to happen, yet!

                    • Gosman

                      No because as stated there are hundreds and possibly thousands of derivatives markets. There is not a single ‘Derivatives market’ as suggested.

                      It is highly improbable that all Derivatives markets would collapse at the same time, although it is a remote possibility. Of course this would mean the entire financial system would also have collapsed first.

                      You are the first person I have seen argue that the Quantitive Easing carried out has been used to prop up the Derivatives markets. You have some evidence for this view do you?

                    • muzza

                      Read my comment again , I said (Banks), thats sloppy even by your standards!

                      The BANKING system IS being propped up, if it wasn’t, the derivatives markets would systematically collapse the lot, taking it all with them.

                    • Gosman

                      Quantitive easing isn’t designed to prop up the banking system. It has been designed to create additional credit in the market to stimulate demand. The fact that many banks are using it to bolster their balance sheets due to increased regulatory requirements is kind of irrelevant.

                    • Dv

                      Gosman,
                      Thank god that the financial systems are not interconnected.

                      Oh and that the banks were given money for one thing (stimulate demand) and used it for another (bolster balance sheets)

                      That is fraud.

                    • Gosman

                      No it’s not. The Banks never stated to governments’ Give us cheap credit and we will pass it on to the wider economy’. The governments in question merely made an assumption that this would happen. What they seemingly forgot is at the same time the central banking authorities in those countries are requiring stricter capital requirements to try and avoid another banking crisis. This has meant that the Banks are being told to bolster their reserves at the same time they are being provided with a lot of cheap capital to do so. Hardly fraudalent following orders and taking advantage of government policies.

                    • Dv

                      BUT you said stimulate demand and they used it to prop up the balance sheets.
                      Isnt demand part of the wider ecconmy?
                      Or am i mistaken that a balance sheet for a bank is part of stimulating demand?

                    • Gosman

                      I’m not sure you know what it is you are trying to ask.

    • Dv 12.2

      AND this

      This an important statement
      In August 2007 he told the New Zealand Herald he had left Elders Merchant Finance in 1987. The following year documentation from a 1990s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into a failed group of companies revealed he had told investigators in 1991 that he had left Elders 1988.

      He was soon telling media he simply had his dates wrong in the 2007

      Another memory lapse.

  13. prism 13

    This Wednesday 31 October the annual Bruce Jesson lecture is being given by Nicky Hager in Auckland. Details below. Nicky’s comment –
    “I will then look at the role and potential of investigative journalism, in the context of considering what is needed to improve politics in this country.”

    The annual Bruce Jesson Lecture is organised by the Bruce Jesson Foundation in memory of Bruce Jesson (1944-99), another great investigative journalist who, like Hager, worked mainly as an independent writer without any regular wage or salary for most of his life.

    The lecture will be at Auckland University’s Maidment Theatre at 6.30pm on Wednesday 31 October. Admission by donation, bar open from 5.30pm. More details: http://www.brucejesson.com

  14. On behalf of: Tamaki Housing Group

    DO YOU WANT AN 8 STORY APARTMENT BUILDING AS YOUR NEIGHBOR?

    It is disappointing but quite predictable that the Finance Minister is using the affordable housing crisis to panda to a property developer fuel land acquisition. Previously the red tape cutting deregulation saw the Auckland region crammed full with shoddy, leaky houses, which will cost ratepayer billions of dollars into the foreseeable future.

    It is disgraceful, Finance Minister Bill English is blundering full steam ahead into localbody affairs with ideological view that will displace families on between $15,000 and$25,000 per annum, and destroy capital values for home owners particularly thosesaddled with mortgages when high rise apartment building spring up on their fence lines. (non-notified)

    The last thing Aucklander’s need is the unelected “Productivity Commission” and Minister of Finance socially engineering our city.

    Sue Henry

    (09) 575.6344

    • Gosman 14.1

      Wow! You’re a little off message with the other leftists on this issue. The problem is with sprawl not intensification according to them. Talk about mixed messages from the left on this issue.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14.2

      Finance Minister is using the affordable housing crisis to panda to a property developer…

      What does this involve?

      Eating bamboo shoots and trying to breed in captivity?

      • Pascal's bookie 14.2.1

        Nah, it’s when a politician promises to do something everyone would like, or fix something everyone agrees is a problem, and presents as a plan:

        “We really would like this to happen. Very much. It is serious. (Furrows brow, stares down barrell of camera) Now let us wait two years and see if it does”

        cf, John Key saying he’d sort us a fucking panda,

        Where’s our fucking panda John Key?

        What sort of a man lies about getting pandas?

  15. Uturn 15

    A story about self-regulation and the un/examined life.

    John Clark became Prime minister of New Zealand. He had governed for a single term and enjoyed popular support. Good people obeyed the law and bad people feared it. New Zealand was governed in this manner and other people who wanted the power of government were afraid of the Prime Minister’s political skill. John Clark had an elder brother, Bill, and a sister, called Jane. The brother loved to eat, he called himself an unrepentant foodie. The sister was, well, she enjoyed the company of others – many and varied, all of them pleased her.

    At Bills house there was a cellar of beverages, some still in the barrel, and on his lavish property there was also a winery. His parties were so enthusiastic that when he vented his villa, the smell of alcohol and weed often caught the wind and disturbed the people of the township across the bay. Bill was so often stoned out of his tree that he had no feelings of regret or sorrow. He had no idea of what was safe or dangerous in life. Most of the time he didn’t even know what was going on in his own house and was unaware if something was present or missing. He’d pretty much forgotten anything about the lives of his close or distant relatives and didn’t even know that his grandfather had recently died and his niece had a new baby. He was so oblivious to his surroundings that even one of his drunken guests swinging a golf club near his face failed to register a response of any kind. He once fell in the BBQ pit, coming away unburned, and while sitting by the pool during a sudden downpour, he was confused as to why his guests ran inside.

    At Jane’s multi-level house there were a number of guest rooms, about thirty-eight apartment sized suites, to house her lovers. She was so captivated by her visitors that she neglected relatives and friends and paid no attention to family. She spent all her time around her inner courtyard, turning night into day. Over the course of three months, if she left her place once, she felt unsatisfied and cheated by life. If there was a visitor in town that caught her eye, she’d do anything to win their heart. She’d use expensive gifts, trips and flattery; stopping only if it were impossible to get what she wanted.

    John Clark thought these things over and secretly went to consult with the a senior advisor to his Party.

    “I’ve heard that how a person cares for themselves influences their family,” said John, “and that how a person cares for their family influences the State. In other words, in paying attention to the things closest to home, we can affect things in society. I’ve taken care of the State, it’s in good shape all things considered, but my family, it’s in total disorder. Perhaps this isn’t he way to go about things? How can I help my family clean themselves up? What should I do?”

    His advisor said, “I’ve thought about this for a while, but didn’t want to raise the subject. You know how it makes the Party politically vulnerable. Why don’t you use your influence to control them? Encourage them by outlining the importance of a healthy life. Correct them gently by telling them about the benefits of virtuous and appropriate behaviour.”

    John Followed his advisor’s advice and the next time he saw his siblings, he said to them:

    “The ability to think is what makes man more than just an animal. By using our minds, we can understand virtue and morality, modesty and restraint. This is the kind of behaviour that helps a person achieve glory and success. You guys, however, you’re only interesting in things that excite your passions. You indulge your selfish and immoral desires and endanger your lives and your minds. Listen up, it has to stop. Fix yourself right now, commit to making a change for the better, set some goals and by tonight, you’ll already have improved your lives.”

    Bill stubbed out his cigarette, took out another, and offered the plain package to Jane.

    “We knew all this a long time ago and made our decision from choice,” said Jane. “We didn’t need your advice to enlighten us. It’s difficult to extend life, but easy to die. No one would think of sitting around waiting for death just because it’s difficult to extend your own life. You value good behaviour and virtuous ideals in order to stand out from the crowd. It’s your pompous tendency in action. You hide your feelings and true nature by striving for this kind of false purity. To us, it seems worse than death.”

    “The only thing we’re worried about is satisfying our desires too soon,” said Bill. “We worry about having so many attractive visitors, or eating so much fine food, that we blunt our sense of appreciation and can’t pursue what we love anymore. We’ve got no time to waste worrying about reputations or the state of our minds. For you to come and judge us simply because you are good at ruling people, to try to charm us with promises of fame and achievement, it’s just sad and pathetic.”

    “I have an answer for you,” Jane said. “Look, just because someone knows how to regulate external things, it doesn’t mean those things will become regulated. No matter what we do, a person’s body will still age and one day we’ll all die. But if someone knows how to regulate what goes on inside themselves, they might actually succeed in regulating those things. That person’s mind will be calm and they’ll be at peace with the way life is and they won’t be thrashing around, blaming other people for whatever they see and feel. Your method of regulating external things works on a temporary basis and only for a small specific area. It doesn’t encourage harmony between all things or individual calm. They way we live, me and Bill, our method can be applied throughout the whole universe, it’s natural. We adhere to our real natures. What’s more, it would eliminate the need for rulers and governments.”

    “That pretty much sums it up,” said Bill. We should have had this talk sooner, John. But do us a favour, explain to us your own perspective of virtue.” John was taken aback, somewhat bewildered, and had no ready answer. Later he met with his senior advisor again and told him what had happened.

    “You were living alongside real people,” his advisor said, “and we never knew it. Who says you are a skilled politician? The country’s been governed all this time and, it seems, not due to any skill of yours.”

    Adapted from, Yang Chu’s Garden of Pleasure: The philosophy of Individuality, Edited by Rosemary Brant; Chapter 9: “The Happy Hedonists”.

    • Anne 16.1

      Glad I didn’t tune in to radio this morning. Saw her on Campbell Live the other day and that was enough. Hate to think what damage Longstone and her neo-con B & B (bastards and bitches) mates are doing to my blood pressure.

      See Anne 1.5 on this post for verification. 🙁

  16. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/06/financial-crisis-25-people-heart-meltdown

    Financial crisis: 25 people at the heart of the meltdown – where are they now?

    In 2009 the Guardian identified 25 people – bankers, economists, central bankers and politicians – whose actions had led the world into the worst economic turmoil since the Great Depression.
    On the fifth anniversary of the credit crunch, what are they doing?

    Rupert Neate
    guardian.co.uk, Monday 6 August 2012 20.49 BST

    Alan Greenspan, chairman US Federal Reserve 1987-2000

    A disciple of libertarian icon Ayn Rand, Greenspan became chairman of the Fed just in time to save the global economy from the 1987 stock market crash from becoming a full-blown disaster.
    He went on preside over the boom years of the 90s and lead the US economy through the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and was widely referred to as an “oracle” and “the maestro”.

    But Greenspan’s super-low interest rates and consistent opposition to regulation of the multitrillion-dollar derivatives market are now widely blamed for causing the credit crisis. Under Greenspan’s tenure the derivatives market went from barely registering to a $500 trillion industry, despite billionaire investor Warren Buffett warning that they were “financial weapons of mass destruction”.

    His rock-bottom rates encouraged Americans to load up on debt to buy homes, even when they had no savings, no income and no job prospects.

    These so-called sub-prime borrowers were the cannon fodder for the biggest boom-bust in US history. The housing collapse brought the global economy to its knees.

    He was given an honorary knighthood in 2002 for his “contribution to global economic stability”, but in 2008, at a Congressional hearing investigating the causes of the financial crisis, Greenspan finally admitted he “made a mistake in presuming” that financial firms could regulate themselves.

    “You found that your view of the world, your ideology was not right, it was not working?” Henry Waxman, the committee chairman, said.

    “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.” …………………..
    _________________________________________
    Politicians

    Bill Clinton, former US president

    Politicians’ current plan to help prevent another financial crisis is to ringfence banks’ risky “casino banking” divisions from the more pedestrian high street banking departments. 13 years ago Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which had done just that. Clinton’s move, which came after fierce lobbying from bankers, heralded the birth of superbanks and primed the sub-prime pump. …

    _____________________________________________

    Senator Phil Gramm

    “Some people look at sub-prime lending and see evil. I look at sub-prime lending and see the American dream in action,” Gramm told a Senate debate in 2001.

    Another dynamite quote. “When I am on Wall Street and I realise that that’s the very nerve centre of American capitalism and I realise what capitalism has done for the working people of America, to me that’s a holy place.”

    It was Gramm that had fought hardest for deregulation and helped write the law that enabled the creation of financial giants such as Citigroup and Bank of America. ……….

    _____________________________________________________

    The question I want answered is:

    What role did John Key play in the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in November 1999, when he was a foreign exchange advisor to the New York Federal Reserve, and Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch?

    Given that the effect of the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was to leave the derivatives market unregulated?

    Given that the global financial meltdown has been largely caused by the collapse of the derivatives market?

    Who is going to ask THAT question?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • kiwicommie 18.1

      I don’t read the dominion, but NZ First holding the balance of power is a scary thought.

    • David H 18.2

      The truth Hurts But shearer is a liability as is Robertson and any of his ilk.

      • Colonial Viper 18.3.1

        More intelligent? How is taking credit for the tide going out that intelligent.

        • McFlock 18.3.1.1

          when people are worried about their sandcastle being washed away, it is intelligent to see whether the tide is coming in or going out.

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.1.1.1

            Hey I’m sure you’ll be delighted with PM Shearer. Hope he gets everything done which is needed before we go back for another 2 or 3 Tory terms.

            • McFlock 18.3.1.1.1.1

              better than 6 straight tory terms.

              • Colonial Viper

                As if there’s a real difference between drowning five metres under the surface and drowning ten metres under the surface.

                • McFlock

                  yeah, that’s the melodrama that Hooten loves.

                  I take it you’ll be doorknocking for Mana in 2014? To continue your analogy, it’d be a shame if you just decided to fold your arms and sink out of spite.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh you’re very kind but no need to worry about me, mate.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh I was, I was. It was just that you seemed to be spending more time impersonating Chicken Little rather than, you know, actually cheerleading the party you actually do support.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yes, I believe that says it all McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      No, it doesn’t. 
                                 
                      It’s pretty clear you think Shearer is a lousy leader. What’s unclear is what party you want to win the election, in an ideal world. You’re about as useful to Labour as BM – always sniping, never contributing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why would I want (or need) to be put in the category “USEFUL to Labour” by YOU (or anyone else), Mr McFlock?

                      Let me ask you another question mate, how many THOUSAND dollars have you given to Labour over the last ten years? How many HUNDREDS of hours have you volunteered for Labour over the last 3 election campaigns?

                      I’ve done a lot less than some on The Std, but I sure have done more than 99.75% of the population out there for Labour. Still not good enough for you? Then go screw yourself.

                      spending more time impersonating Chicken Little rather than, you know, actually cheerleading the party you actually do support.

                      Emphasis mine.

                      Read what you wrote again and figure out why I can’t be fucked with your expectations of Labour supporters, past and present. Maybe it will give you a clue as to why some of the best Labour activists up and down the country not stuck in Beltway Think have picked up sticks and walked from Labour; some to other parties, some out of politics altogether.

                      And then have a think to yourself why in the most incompetent, clearly smarmy and untrustworthy electorally suicidal year the NATs have managed to concoct in terms of what should be a dream run for the Opposition, Labour sits on…29% to 32%. Same as 9-18-36 months ago.

                      Raise your pom poms McFlock and dance the dance.

                    • McFlock

                      Guess what: to be a “supporter” you need to “support”. That doesn’t mean “never criticise”, it means at least give credit where it’s due.
                                  
                      Labour no longer espouse the principles you support? Boo-fucking-hoo. Support someone else. You know why? Because while it might be emotionally fulfilling for you to piss on Labour all the time, you only have one urethra: every litre you dump on labour means that National stays that bit more dry. Why do you think BM & hoots etc are jerking off on the Shearer/Cunliffe thing? 
                             
                      You might not think there’s much difference between labour and national atm, but there’s enough of a difference that it will still mean a lot to a lot of people who are struggling right now. It might not reach your standards of socialist heaven, but it’s better than national.
                             
                      So as someone who wants to see at least a vaguely left wing government in 2014, kindly piss on national and actually support somebody, because at the moment you just sound like a whiney little bitch who needs to get the fuck over the fact that he didn’t get what he wanted. 
                       

  17. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/private-vehicle-inspectors-could-stop-cars-check-warrants-ck-131341#comment-591630

    More work for the ‘CONTRACTOCRACY?’

    Where will the money go?

    Who will benefit?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  18. Thoughts and wishes to the people of the North east of the usa.

    Family members over there, heres hoping they are safe and sound.

  19. Te Reo Putake 21

    Joss Whedon is still the coolest man in Hollywood.  The Zomneys are coming!
     
     

  20. lprent 22

    I just did a series of updates to the site that should improve the speed and reduce the downloads, especially for those readers still on dialup. As far as I can tell they shouldn’t cause any problems although I did have differences between the test environment and the live system because of cloudflare (which is why there were a few glitches on display this late afternoon). 

    Tested on the live system with current versions of chrome, firefox, and safari. I don’t have any windows boxes available right now so I haven’t tried it on IE.

    If anyone has issues with them, then leave a comment here – make sure there is a “lprent” (first letter is a lowercase L) in the comment so I see it faster than my usual moderation sweeps.

    Next up is the mobile fixes in a  few days 

    • PlanetOrphan 22.1

      IE 9.0.8 is happy, groovin along 🙂

    • freedom 22.2

      lprent
      Ubuntu 12.04/Firefox 16.01 combination works ++good

      since you mentioned mobile fixes are imminent, i would like to bring to your attention a couple of ongoing events within the mobile site that you may or may not know of: re. samsung S2

      ; initial text entry seems stable but the text box repeatedly runs away to hide whenever any attempt is made to edit the text before publication,

      : the site is often saying ‘publication failed’ when publication was fine.

      Thankyou

      p.s. conversation tracker id’s, as used on the main site, would be extremely helpful.

      • lprent 22.2.1

        Ok I’ll have a look at those, but I suspect I’ll be shifting that back to BraveNewCode unless they show up on my android 4.0 HTC or old apple 3G (because I can’t remember seeing either).

        The main one that I’ve been fixing has to do with the number of comments blowing the RAM constraints on phones. For some reason when there are more than about 40-50 comments on a post, many phones just crash their browsers. It appears to be purely memory related and usually happens on posts with those larger comments. These days we routinely get a post of two with more than 100 large comments. So I’ve been cutting the size down by looking at the text sizes. Trick is to make sure that looking at the text sizes doesn’t slow everyone else down by making the server run like a dog.

        But one thing I will be looking at doing next weekend is writing or adapting a barebones mobile version as an alternative. Seems ridiculous that a few thousand lines of a mostly text should blow out a browser. I suspect a lot of it is also the numbers of different identicons and other graphics..

        • PlanetOrphan 22.2.1.1

          Tried any Smartphone emulators?

          Might save a bit of time 4 ya.

          • lprent 22.2.1.1.1

            Mostly in QEMU. But they usually fail to fail on memory allocation emulation because they aren’t using the same underlying heap/stack. You really need actual hardware for some kinds of bugs.

  21. mikey 23

    [deleted]
    [lprent: bye. Troll. ]

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    9 hours ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
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    9 hours ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
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    1 day ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
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    1 day ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
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    3 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
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    3 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
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    4 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
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    4 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
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    4 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
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    5 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
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    5 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
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    5 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
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    5 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
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    6 days ago
  • First period products delivered to schools
    The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing. “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds ...
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    6 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
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    6 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
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    6 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
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    6 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
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    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
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    1 week ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
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    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
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    1 week ago