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Open Mike 29/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 29th, 2016 - 200 comments
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200 comments on “Open Mike 29/11/2016”

  1. Rosemary McDonald 1

    Should we be concerned?


    “The Whangarei, Far North and Auckland communities recently celebrated our respective councils’ decision to protect our productive lands from GMO (genetically modified organisms) releases and to provide a platform allowing local food producers to leverage off that GM Free status.

    This represents a culmination of years of analysis, debate, court cases and consultation within our communities; a broad coalition of Soil & Health, GE Free groups, manawhenua – iwi and hapu, farming and producer community groups and members, concerned locals, scientists, wildlife and natural environment special interest groups, and local government representatives.

    Now, our community protections are under threat. Environment Minister Nick Smith announced that changes to the Resource Management Act are moving forward, supported by the Maori Party.

    These include widely condemned powers that would allow him to strip our communities of our democratic right to determine whether our territories remain GM-free.

    Section 360D of the bill is an assault on local democracy. Yet the Maori Party is poised to get them over the line.”

    The Maori Party sees things very differently, saying that…


    “… gains they will secure around the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (RLAB) will strengthen kaitiakitanga for iwi and the protection of the environment. While balancing the nation’s economic needs.

    “In the meantime, we have been working hard to ensure we get Mana Whakahono ā Rohe Agreements finalised and we are pleased about this significant gain, among others including:

    Pulling back the regulation-making powers of the Minister under Section 360D so communties can have their say…”

    The Bill is here…


    with section 360D being…

    “360D Regulations that permit or prohibit certain rules
    The Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations—
    to permit a specified land use:
    to prohibit a local authority from making specified rules or specified types of rules:
    to specify rules or types of rules that are overridden by the regulations and must be withdrawn:
    to prohibit or override specified rules or types of rules that meet the description in subsection (3)(b).”

    • garibaldi 1.1

      Yes Rosemary we should be concerned. It is obvious from your post that ‘they’ intend to ride right over present protections. New Zealand is so stupid. For example we could have huge trade advantages if we went 100% GMO free, and even greater returns if we concentrated on organics. But oh no, we have to be a bunch of plodders and opt for the lowest common denominator and fulfil the wishes of corporate capitalism.

      • Jenny Kirk 1.1.1

        Yes Rosemary we are very concerned – not only for the north, but also for the places like Hastings etc who have also declared themselves to be GE-Free.
        The Maori Party have a specific policy to encourage GE-Free districts, and are going against their own policy to allow the govt to ride roughshod over local community wishes, and the wishes of their own people.
        Most Maori to whom I have spoken about this issue want Northland to continue to be GE-Free.
        These proposed changes to the RMA are a travesty of democracy.

        • Gosman

          Noone is stopping you or any mung bean eating hippie from running your own organic farms. You are also free not to use GMO’s. The trouble is that isn’t enough for you is it. You want to force others to follow your own anti-science path.

          • Draco T Bastard

            You want to force others to follow your own anti-science path.

            Actually, going full organic is following the scientific path. The present path is the anti-science path as it goes against sustainability.

            • Gosman

              Then convince the rest of the scientific community then.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Use of fossil fuels to produce nitrogen fertiliser’s so as to increase food production is obviously unsustainable.

                The poisoning of our waterways by present farming practices is also obviously unsustainable.

                Here’s the thing – the scientists actually already know this. It’s the farmers that are the problem as they refuse to move to sustainable practices.

                • Gosman

                  No quite. There was a reason why people decided to use fertilisers on crops from the 19th Century onwards. It is because yields exploded. Even if fossil fuels are not able to be used there will still be a demand and supply of fertilisers.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m not against fertilisers – I’m against artificial ones produced from fossil fuels.

                    And I’m also against farmers poisoning the land through excessive use of fertilisers be they organic or artificial.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          So…the “Pulling back the regulation-making powers of the Minister under Section 360D so communties can have their say…” from the MP website? Are they reading 360D(b) differently to me?

          ’cause I am very confused….

          I have experience with the MP using their balance of power…unwisely…without really reading what exactly it is they are voting with their National mates on. Not only were people negatively impacted, but that piece of legislation has gone down in NZ parliamentary history as the worst piece of work ever.

          Methinks this will be a close second.

          Maybe someone from the media should be pinning MF or TF and asking them?

    • Should we be concerned about what? I don’t see anything in there that seems objectionable – in fact, it sounds fairly positive to me. The superstitious shouldn’t get to play “tyranny of the majority” with their non-superstitious neighbours.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1

        “The superstitious shouldn’t get to play “tyranny of the majority” with their non-superstitious neighbours.”

        The cautious shouldn’t get to play “tyranny of the majority” with their reckless, shortsighted and entirely profit driven neighbours.”

        A few corrections there PM, without losing your essential message.

        No charge for the edit btw. 😉

        • Psycho Milt

          “Cautious” is an inappropriate word for rejection of something that’s been thoroughly tested and never shown to cause harm. The basis for anti-GMO use is mostly ignorance (the fear of stuff you don’t understand) or superstition (the fear that science will wreck your magic woo). “Caution” involves regulating things, not banning them.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            “…something that’s been thoroughly tested and never shown to cause harm.”

            Evidence, please.

            (Bear in mind that they said introducing possums and mustelids was a good idea…)

            • Barfly

              yeah and the Romans used lead pipes for water reticulation…worked out how well?

            • Gosman

              I’m curious what sort of evidence you think would be valid as obviously long term effects of all types of GMO’s would require either people eating them over a long period of time or animals being feed them over a long period of time and I thought we are against animal testing now.

              • Andre

                Well, Americans have been eating a lot of GMO food for nearly twenty years now, as well as feeding it to their livestock. So unless someone wants to try to link GMO consumption with obesity, it looks like if there was significant risk from GMOs the evidence would be clear by now.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I simply don’t see any point in them as they don’t produce any benefits that we don’t get from non-GMO foods.

                  I’d much rather see development of vertical farming.

                  • Gosman

                    That’s nice that YOU don’t see any point to them. How about YOU don’t grow or buy them then. Just don’t stop others from doing so or if you do have a better reason than YOU don’t want them to.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      For me to do that then all foods that contain GMOs would have to be clearly labelled as such. Interesting enough, the producers of GMOs have been preventing rules from forcing such labelling. Anybody would think that these producers don’t want people to know so that they can then make an informed choice about the food that they buy.

                      Even the science doesn’t really support there being any benefit or, to be more precise, the benefits only come about in such narrow conditions that they almost never apply.

                    • The obsessions of food faddists aren’t the food companies’ problem. If we require labeling of GM ingredients so the victims of anti-GM scaremongering can make an “informed decision” about what food to buy, maybe we should also require labeling of the ethnicity of the people involved in producing it, so racists can make similarly “informed decisions.”

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The obsessions of food faddists aren’t the food companies’ problem.

                      But it’s the only way that people can actually make an informed decision. By keeping that information from them then they can’t make that decision.

                      We are, after all, talking basic market principles here. Products come to market on the basis of the support from the buyers and are removed from the market by the lack of buyers.

                      If people don’t want to buy GMO foods then they need to be able to have that information available to them and that means labelling on the food.

                    • “Informed” of what, exactly? If I don’t want to buy food made by Christians or Muslims, should the food companies be putting that on their labels so I can make an “informed decision?” Once we start indulging people’s prejudices, we could end up with no room left on the label to say what the food is.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “Well, Americans have been eating a lot of GMO food for nearly twenty years now, as well as feeding it to their livestock. So unless someone wants to try to link GMO consumption with ….”

                  ….electing a misogynistic ,megalomaniacal nepotist for President?

                  Thanks Andre…solved that little conundrum!

                • “Well, Americans have been eating a lot of GMO food for nearly twenty years now…”

                  Yeah, and look how they voted.

                  ” it looks like if there was significant risk from GMOs the evidence would be clear by now.”

              • I’m curious what sort of evidence you think would be valid…

                We’re talking political activism here – the answer is “None” unless it’s evidence that claims to show harm from GM foods, in which case it can be taken as gospel no matter how poor the quality.

            • Psycho Milt

              Evidence, please.

              Leaving aside for a moment the fact that “Evidence, please” is better directed at the people claiming GMOs are a threat, the volume of research into this by universities, public and private research institutes, agriculture and food production companies, and regulatory bodies in many countries over the last few decades is huge. It’s so huge I wouldn’t know how to start quantifying it. None of it has found evidence of harm from GM foods, but if you want to confirm that for yourself, go ahead. Lots of it is publicly available.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            btw….you didn’t let me answer your question “Should we be concerned about what?” To which i would have answered “The dilution/destruction of the authority of democratically elected local government.” or words to that effect.

            But YOU automatically made this about GE or not GE…so vehemently that now I’m thinking that that is what should be my predominant concern.

            You got your Monsanto/Bayer shares all sorted there PM?

            • Gosman

              Around the same percentage of scientists accept that GMO’s are safe as those that accept the science behind Climate change is accurate. I presume you think we should urgently do something to tackle climate change based on the scientific consensus. How come the scientific consensus around the safety of GMO’s can be ignored then?

              • garibaldi

                Gosman A few points….
                I don’t trust any scientist employed by any commercial concern – they get the results they are paid to get.

                I can’t accept that man made changes to the genetic structure of any living thing is fine and dandy in the overall process of Natural Selection.

                I am adamant that we know nothing about the combined effects of these genetic changes on populations, and that it is too late to fix it when it all turns to custard.

                If you accept GMO what limits are you going to impose? A bit of eugenics, or perhaps better genitals for your offspring etc etc The scope is horrendous.

                • I can’t accept that man made changes to the genetic structure of any living thing is fine and dandy in the overall process of Natural Selection.

                  Pretty much everything we eat comes from domesticated organisms. What do you imagine the word “domestication” means? Hint: it involves changing the genetic structure of living things to suit human requirements, outside the context of natural selection.

                  If you accept GMO what limits are you going to impose?

                  Fortunately, we have governments and a range of regulatory bodies to impose limits. The current problem is way too many limits, not too few.

                  • Brigid

                    Aha. So that’s why you think GMOs are just fine. ““domestication” means? Hint: it involves changing the genetic structure of living things to suit human requirements, outside the context of natural selection.”
                    You obviously have no idea what the process of genetic modification involves.
                    I truly think you should find out.
                    You’d be horrified.
                    And actually there are documented cases of harm to humans who have ingested GMOs.
                    Do some research.

                    • You obviously have no idea what the process of genetic modification involves.

                      Right back atcha.

                      And actually there are documented cases of harm to humans who have ingested GMOs.

                      Define “documented.” I can find plenty of cases “documented” on anti-GE activist sites, many of which are funded by the organic food industry, but that’s worthless. Non-worthless sources haven’t documented any cases.

                      Interestingly enough, the activism that’s making GE research so difficult in the developed world means a lot of future development is likely to be carried out in Third World countries that lack a proper regulatory framework, so the long-term effect of all this “GE-Free zone” crap is likely to be detrimental to food safety. GE research isn’t going to stop, it’s just going to be carried out where people will let it be carried out, and it’s in all our interests for it to be carried out by places like Crop and Food, Ag Research and Scion, not elsewhere.

                  • garibaldi

                    I can’t believe the naivety your two comments there PM ( in reply to me).
                    1) Domesticated organisms are not GMOs. Breeding for selected traits is not changing genetic structure, it is merely altering the genetic variations. BIG difference.
                    2) Do you seriously believe the ‘industry ‘ would be safely managed/contained?

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      Many of our modern medicines are produced from GM bacteria, such as insulins, would be a great shame if such products weren’t available.

                    • True, Stunned Mullet, but the problem of organic growers losing their certification and markets because the guy next door’s growing GMO rapeseed is the problem here. They are established, the GMO’s are incoming so what about rights of existing businesses to continue unhindered?

                    • Graeme

                      Robert, the concept of organic rapeseed is about a valid as trying to re-establish native bio-diversity in Queens Park.

                      Maybe there needs to be a more appropriate evaluation of rapes promiscuous biology by the organic certifiers, and Monsanto for that matter…

                    • 1) Domesticated organisms are not GMOs. Breeding for selected traits is not changing genetic structure, it is merely altering the genetic variations.

                      Next you’ll be going on about the “species barrier,” like some sort of Creationist. Domestication of plants to a significant extent involved capturing and preserving mutations that were useful to humans but would have been a severe disadvantage to the plant in the wild. All domesticated plants and animals today have genetic structures very different from their wild ancestors, and those structures were made different by humans. Genetic engineers modify the genes directly, rather than waiting to see what random mutations turn up and trying to breed them into the genome – the method is different but the effect is the same: genetic modification. One is just a hell of a lot faster and more efficient than the other.

                      2) Do you seriously believe the ‘industry ‘ would be safely managed/contained?

                      Why not? Alcohol genuinely is a dangerous product and is produced and sold commercially in huge quantities in an environment of cutthroat competition. So, when’s the last time someone in NZ died of a bad batch? Regulation works.

                    • …the problem of organic growers losing their certification and markets because the guy next door’s growing GMO rapeseed is the problem here.

                      That’s a problem with irrational rules created by the organic food industry. As such, there’s no reason it should be presented as a problem for people outside the organic food industry.

                    • Graeme – the grower of any organic brassica crop would be affected by an adjacent GMO brassica crop. Do you think the growers of new crops should be able to act in a way that extinguishes the livelihoods of those who have already established their business and its practices?

                    • Psycho Milt – in what way is the rule irrational? If the rule is one that is made in response to the market the industry serves, why is that “irrational”. The science shows that contamination occurs in such situations and the business model shows that when that happens, profitability takes a serious and sometimes fatal hit. Why would some Johny-come-lately farmers feel comfortable extinguishing the livelihoods of established croppers?

                    • …in what way is the rule irrational?

                      In what way is it rational? It’s a rule that says you can’t market a genetically-modified-by-breeding crop as organic if some plants that were directly genetically modified end up growing among them. There’s no substantive difference between the plants – the rule exists solely because the superstitious types buying organic have a prejudice against this particular method of modifying plants.

                      Indulging people’s prejudices is “rational” for busienss owners in the sense that there’s money in it, but it’s not “rational” for a local government. If the rule required to satisfy the prejudice of the market was that no menstruating women could be involved in the growing, harvesting, distribution and retailing of the crops, would you regard it as local government’s job to ban menstruating women from involvement so as to ensure profitability for the growers didn’t take a hit? I hope not, because that would be seriously fucked up. However, it’s in principle no more fucked up than councils declaring GE-free zones to protect the profitability of anti-GE prejudice.

                    • It’s the customer, Psycho Milt, who won’t buy the product if it hasn’t got a certificate that says it is GMO free. The market; it’s customers in my argument, that dictate the behaviour of the grower, should they want to service that customer base. The grower can’t do anything about that; customer preference and purchasing behaviour is already set. That means that the spreader of GMO onto land that needs to be GMO free in order to trade successfully, negatively affects, seriously in most cases, the organic grower, by their actions;the new practice of using GMO plants.

                    • Graeme

                      Robert, you can only have organic rape, or any wind pollinated seed crop really, if ALL the production is organic. Any conventional crop within pollen reach will contaminate. The “science” just makes GMO contamination detectable, whereas the conventional contamination would be difficult to detect.

                      The same reasoning applies to Monsanto trying to say conventional farmers stole Monsanto’s material when GM rape pollinated a conventional crop to create a hybrid. The same thing happens with conventional cultivars as well.

                      The unfortunate irony here, as PM said, is that by shutting down GMO research we’re shutting down the potential use of GM to quickly reduce the impacts of food production, and dramatically change the sustainability of agriculture. This work is only going to come from publicly funded research and should be embraced by farmers seeking to have sustainable operations.

                      The next can of worms is around GM in pest control.

                    • It’s the customer, Psycho Milt, who won’t buy the product if it hasn’t got a certificate that says it is GMO free.

                      Sure. People base their purchasing decisions on all kinds of irrational factors. However, it’s not local government’s place to restrict third parties’ activities to ensure that I can indulge my customers’ bizarre prejudices. If my customers will only buy food produced on farms that haven’t had a yellow vehicle driven anywhere within 10 kilometers of the crop, the council doesn’t try to ban yellow vehicles from the region – instead, it tells me to get a more reasonable set of customers. That’s as it should be.

                    • One Two []

                      Pretending to be knowledgeable but undermined by use of derogatory adjectives such as “bizarre”

                      Milt, you’re a card…

                      A blank one, without the well intentioned message inside

                      None of your pro gmo comments pass even the flimsyest ‘sniff test’

                    • Graeme – I expect growers of organic brassica know that full well and act accordingly.
                      “The unfortunate irony here, as PM said, is that by shutting down GMO research we’re shutting down the potential use of GM to quickly reduce the impacts of food production, and dramatically change the sustainability of agriculture.”
                      GMO research has been “shut down” but there is certainly pressure to block field trials, in part due to the failure of previous attempts here to maintain total containment. Fonterra have done theirs in Australia, in response to objections real and anticipated. The concerns about containment of the new organisms was valid, in my opinion and didn’t reflect well on the professionalism of the industry or their claims of control over the trials.

                      “The next can of worms is around GM in pest control.”

                      Indeed and I’ve already attended a briefing from the agencies furthering that programme. I would say questions like these and other more serious moral/ethical questions are “yet to be addressed”. When fiddling with mammalian genes, it pays to remember that we are mammals, I say.

                    • Psycho Milt –

                      “… it’s not local government’s place to restrict third parties’ activities to ensure that I can indulge my customers’ bizarre prejudices.”

                      And yet, local governement does restrict the activities of farmers to “indulge” the wishes of its constituents and those restrictions do have an economic effect on some parties, farmers for example. Limiting stock numbers per acre, for example, to ensure downstream water quality is maintained at a level that townspeople can safely drink. Why not limit the range of what can be grown in the area, if not doing so affects the economy of the region? Regional councils concern themselves with the economic wellbeing of the people in their region; why wouldn’t they do that with regard GMO’s?

                    • Limiting stock numbers per acre, for example, to ensure downstream water quality is maintained at a level that townspeople can safely drink.

                      Me not wanting the council to provide drinking water that will make me sick isn’t an irrational prejudice, it’s a safety issue. Me demanding that farmers be prevented from growing particular types of food because customers of some other farmers are worried about the effect it might have on their magic woo is an irrational prejudice and not a safety issue. Council has no business imposing restrictions on people for the sake of indulging others’ irrational prejudices – that should be a given.

                    • “Me not wanting the council to provide drinking water that will make me sick isn’t an irrational prejudice, it’s a safety issue.”

                      Me not wanting the council to allow the production of GMO crops isn’t an irrational prejuduce, it’s an economic issue.
                      If the economic viability of my organic cropping farm is threatened by a council decision to allow practices that will destroy my livelihood, I and every other organic farmer and the consumers of their products who would lose their chance to eat the food they prefer and pay for, could quite justifiably call on the council to maintain the status quo.
                      Btw, your use of emotive language weakens your argument, imo and hints at a lack of rationality in the rest of your argument.

            • Psycho Milt

              btw….you didn’t let me answer your question “Should we be concerned about what?” To which i would have answered “The dilution/destruction of the authority of democratically elected local government.” or words to that effect.

              If that was your concern, I don’t share it. This isn’t the United States of New Zealand – Parliament makes the laws for the whole country, and local governments exist for mundane local administration tasks. That means hardly anyone votes for local government representatives and the quality of the resulting representatives is very low. I’d be concerned if central government was planning to give local government more authority, not less.

              • garibaldi

                PM I still say there is a huge difference between breeding (domestication if you like) and physically altering genetic structure in a lab. It might be a little ironic for an atheist to say it, but it is very dangerous to play at being god.

                • Especially where GMO research focuses on mammals and their destruction. Knowledge gained can be used for purposes that might cause great angst if it became known. Is it wise or ethical for New Zealand scientists to be contributing to a study that could be a threat to humans? Where is the public discussion about this?

  2. Are Greens going it on their own or are they trying to stir Labour into action?

    1 News reports that Rino Tirikatene has been asked to stand aside and Metiria Turei is standing for Te Tai Tonga. It is claimed there are deals also in Nelson and Ohariu.

    Obviously Turei and the Greens have been talking to Andrea Vance.

    But Andrew Little denies any deals have been done.

    2. Working Together

    d) We agree to a “no surprises” policy that means we give each other prior notice and the details of major announcements and speeches. This includes matters where we may disagree.

    This is a major announcement by the Greens. Have they blindsided Little?

    Are the Greens trying to stir Labour into action after another poor poll result?

    Or have Greens decided to go it alone and get what they can out of the Labour wreckage?

    Whatever Turei’s motives Greens and Labour don’t look like they are working together on this announcement.

    [Factcheck. There is only claims that Turei may stand in Te Tai Tonga not that Tirikatene has been asked to stand aside – MS]

    • Rather than speculating wildly and using your cobbled-together crumbs to try to create discomfort amongst readers here, why not sit tight, as I suspect you do, and wait and see, Mr George.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1


        Beautifully phrased. Thanks for the grin.

      • Pete George 2.1.2

        I guess everyone could sit tight and TS could shut down. Or people like you Robert coan try to shut down things you don’t want to hear – you seem to have been doing that a bit lately.

        I would have thought that it was Turei maybe causing discomfort amongst some readers.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          On the other hand, people can get on with discussing whatever they want, and notice that your comments are marinated in bland unoriginal malice and bad faith. It’s possible to do these things at once.

        • Robert Guyton

          You “guess”, Mr George, and therein lies the problem; too much idle speculation, or rather your sharing your idle speculation with an audience that doesn’t care a whit for it. Here’s an example of what I mean; you said:
          “I would have thought that it was Turei maybe…”
          That’s the kind of unformed, pointless thinking that others flick into the “substance-free trash-can of the mind”, or keep in their heads until there’s some sort outside-world confirmation to give some body to what is a very flaccid germ of a non-idea. It’s not that I’m “trying to shut down what (I) don’t want to hear”, it’s just that it’s too boring to bear.

      • SayMyName 2.1.3

        Why would it create discomfort?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It would create discomfort if Petty George’s malice had any basis in reality. As to why he does it, I assume he’s desperate for attention.

      • alwyn 2.1.4

        Can we assume that you are not in the loop?
        Or is it the whoever posted this item is lying?

        Labour Green seat deals – about bloody time

        Mr George is apparently rather better informed than you.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          “…apparently rather better informed…”

          Or more desperate to post every snippet of gossip as full blown fact?

        • Robert Guyton

          alwyn – your link says:
          “Greens co-leader Metiria Turei is planning to run in Te Tai Tonga, taking on Labour’s Rino Tirakatene.” (my bold)
          Mr George said:
          “1 News reports that Rino Tirikatene has been asked to stand aside and Metiria Turei is standing for Te Tai Tonga.”
          These two statements are not the same, so there’s no looping evident.
          One Anonymous Bloke has the measure of Pete.

          • Pete George

            This is what I heard:
            “I understand that Rino Tirikatene is not happy about the deal. He was told about the deal two weeks ago by Metiria Turei so not from Labour, not from his own people. And so I understand he feels peeved and he’s been part of a horse trade, but nevertheless he’s going to go ahead and stand in the seat… ” – Andrea Vance


            The actual ‘standing aside’ may have only referred to Nelson – “And in Nelson, Labour are talking about standing aside to give the Greens a clear run there.”

            • Pete George

              It’s remarkable that Greens have gone to the media with this without Andrew little knowing about it (according to him).

              • BM

                Her majesty does as she pleases.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Why do you tell so many bland lies, Petty George? Most people who lie for politics make their lies interesting. Not you: yours are lame and unoriginal, attention-seeking.

                The unimaginative in pursuit of the ephemeral. Simultaneously grasping and releasing. The political equivalent of a dry hump. The epitome of Yawnz.

            • Robert Guyton

              That’s pretty feeble there, Pete; “the actual ‘standing aside’ may have only referred to Nelson…”. If that’s an indication of the depth of your commenting, it would seem your critics here are correct.

              • There was also a clear implication that Turei wanted Tirikatene to stand aside.

                Your attempts to divert and downplay are feeble.

                You’re not saying anything about Turei going public and Little saying he knew nothing about it.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Petty George asserts clarity. Is anyone skeptical much?

                • “implication”
                  That’s what you’ve got, “implication”?
                  Find us some associated comment, from a reputable source, Metiria perhaps, or her party spokespeople, and we’ll stop exposing your gooey attempts to gum up thinking on this topic; something clear, Pete, something refreshing, something…real!

                  • So you won’t comment on Metiria going to the media without Little being on board? He seemed to be left out of the loop despite a supposed Memorandum of Understanding with a ‘no surprises’ clause.

                    Rino Tirikatene of Labour currently has the Te Tai Tonga seat. A position he’s held since 2011. He says he isn’t worried the co-leader of the Green Party is challenging him.


                    • The Green co-leader spoke to the media? The Labour leader wasn’t given a head’s up? Crisis, Pete. Now I see why you are frothed; crisis, catastrophe and calamity! If only I’d read between the lines when you first raised this critical issue of national import. From now on, whenever you find a splinter of information, speculation, rumour or outright disinformation and generously publish it here on a blog that is unsupportive of such cheap-shot behaviour as you’ve exhibited, I’m going to drop everything and answer your challenging questions, no matter what!
                      What a day it’s been!!! Facing crises head-on!

                    • You support the resident and inveterate liar here, while playing interference trying to divert from what looks like a faux pas by Metiria. I’m not sure that carrying on with your double standards will achieve what you think.

                      Don’t you think Metiria is taking a risk pursuing a personal goal but committing herself to a huge electorate?

                      It may easily backfire on the Green Party.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m not sure that carrying on with your double standards will achieve what you think, Mr. Osborne Cox!


                    • ^ ^ ^ ^

                      This must be what people have been warning about – it’s flabbergasting to receive my first “Pete Georging”, suffocating too and more than a little grey, like being smother by gobbets of cooked tripe and cold porridge. Luckily, I’m a chirpy chap and can flip the mess off with a reepty-cheep and a hardy-har-har, but how would other more serious commenters cope with a “Georging”, the ones who don’t enter into conversation with him…
                      I see,


                    • So you’ve joined the dirty greening here. Signs of a sensitive topic.

                    • Beaten, gelatinously, to death, with a blancmange-truncheon!
                      The ignominy!
                      The dry -cleaning bill!
                      The horror!

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You heard what Andrea Vance understands. That is to say, you heard a small fraction of what Andrea Vance says she understands.

              Andrea Vance has you running around on end. I’m sure she’s flattered, or oblivious. Who really cares?

    • James 2.2

      Indeed. I think that the greens are using the MOU very wisely.

      They know labour is so low in the polls that there is no chance that they can ever get close to government without them.

      Voters seem to move between the two – so they are setting themselves to take as much from labour as they can.

      The idea being that should they ever win an election as a cobbled together “left” (god forbid) they are in a far stronger position to get what they want.

      Labour have walked into this – it was always going to be a disaster.

      • garibaldi 2.2.1

        James ,National is the disaster for this Country. Business, business and rugby do not make a fine nation. We are meant to be a First World country but these idiots are destroying our status and taking us back to Dickensian England (you know ,that place all those immigrants got away from to settle here and make a better go of it). Shame on us.

      • James True to Type; agreeing with Mr George’s limp speculations and flying in to lay your eggs of discontent doesn’t enhance the impression you’re creating here.

        • james

          I see what you are doing there Robert – trying to get the fly thing meme going. You are being just a little tragic.

          I put forward a reasonable point of view and on subject – you reply with a pathetic insult (yet again).

          You should possibly read the policy of the site – You are heading into troll territory.

          Now how about trying to engage the subject at hand.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            You set a good example yesterday here , James. Classic trolling.

            • Robert Guyton

              True, Uncooked, and James, while you’re having a squizz at Uncooked’s link, could you have a go at this question put to you on the same post:
              29 November 2016 at 8:14 am

            • james

              Uncooked – in reply to that link – I was not saying that you used the term “rich pricks” – but a quick search of the standard will show its a common term used on this site.

          • reason

            why reasonably engage with bad faith trolls james ???????????

            Treat a dick pic with due respect is my measured response.

            Do you know of Pete Georges and Peter Dunnes history ??

            He tried to human centipede into parliament …. behind peter dunne.

            The voters could not accept it ……the worm went underground* ………. leaving Pete George a bitter man with a bad taste in his mouth.

            In my time reading TS he is the most pig-ignorant bad faith poster I have ever witnessed regarding Nicky Hagers Dirty Politics book …. with its partial exposure of Nationals abuses of power, coordinate media smears, the shit coming out of the prime ministers office etc etc etc …..

            I’m sure he’ll end up banned for dishonest and bad behavior ….. it’s his new career on the internet.

            * http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1407/S00202/the-return-of-the-worm-introducing-the-nz-election-reactor.htm


      • Bearded Git 2.2.3

        @james 26+15+9=Key plays golf in Hawaii

        • james

          Wishful thinking – and using the current polling the maths is 60+1+1+1+12

          Which equals probably another Labour leader waiting for a shot in 2020.

          Im basing mine on seats, current released polling and I added in NZFirst to the count (even tho the outcome remains the same without Winny) – based on the fact that there is no evidence that he will go with labour (waaaaaay back there on 26% in your comment)

          So – yeah – keep telling yourself that its looking good.

          • Bearded Git

            My figures show the opposition on 50%….even Colmar Bruntons post quake Key love-in poll has the opposition on 49%

            • james

              Opposition does not meet that they form a government together.

              But even you should know that.

              • James said (to me):
                “I put forward a reasonable point of view and on subject – you reply with a pathetic insult (yet again).”

                James said (to Bearded Git):
                “But even you should know that.”

                *bzzzzz (sound of buzzer, James, nothing diptera about it!)

                • james

                  I think Robert that what you have there is an incomplete quote of mine – I said “Opposition does not meet that they form a government together.
                  But even you should know that.”

                  Which was a reasonable answer to BG’s comment.

                  Its true – Looking at the %age of all the parties in opposition and assuming that this is the block to “change the government” does not hold true.

                  NZ First being the prime example of this.

                  So – no point trying to make a point out of something that you misquote.

                  I note that you are staking my comments a lot over the last couple of days – which is fine if thats what you want to do – but do try and keep up and put up an argument.

                  • Of course, James – mine was a comment on the fly. To be specific, I was trying to make you aware that you’d used the expression, “even you should know that” (my bold for the sake of attracting your attention to the core of the issue), and that’s you know, intended to slur the person you’re addressing. Ain’t it. And so, when you say, ” you reply with a pathetic insult (yet again).”, I catch the nose-wrinkling pong of hypocrisy; don’t you?

          • alwyn

            Did Bearded Git mean percentages with his numbers?
            I assumed he meant seats. Labour with 26 seats, New Zealand First with 15 seats and the Greens with 9 seats seems about right to me.
            I can’t see any of them doing better than that.

      • Red Hand 2.2.4

        Crap ! Enables a more effective party vote electorate vote choice.

    • YNWA 2.3

      Another Andrea Vance-inspired TVNZ hatchet job on Andrew Little

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        I have reliably told by many commentators on this site over the last 1-2 days that the mainstream news media represents and relays true verifiable facts and impartial journalism to the public.

        They are our go to source of “true news.”

        As opposed to the dodgy unreliable ‘fake news’ Russian infiltrated pro-Putin alternative media.

        So now, I’m looking forward to all these same pretend liberal but actually quite illiberal commentators choking down the ‘fair and impartial journalistic’ mainstream media coverage of Labour and the Greens during election year.

        • garibaldi

          Well CV ,you won’t be disappointed. The current state of our media suggests to me it will be about 90% unfair and partial coverage of Greens and Labour.

        • marty mars

          You dont know real from fake news. The examples of left fake news you put up as evidence yesterday disproved your point.

          And now another lie about what you think the left and commenters here think – sad to see blatant untruths known as untruths put up on this site to attack the left and ensure alt racist right politicians get elected but not unexpected by right-wing spin merchants.

          • Colonial Viper

            As I said, I’m looking forward to all your howls of outrage of the “real news” MSM coverage of Labour and Greens in election year.

          • xanthe

            marty…. more of the same . this is why the left is in dissarray! People are turning away in droves from your sort of politics. thats why US got Trump and we stuck with Nat. Face the facts, personality and identity politics is a major turn off for the majority now. You need a different strategy or you just drag a lot of good people down and undo a lot of the good work done by others.

    • james 2.4

      Factchecking the fact check – it seems Titikatene has been told of the deal a couple of week ago – but he was told by the greens and not labour. And hes apparently not happy.

      see 2.40 onwards on https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/labour-and-greens-begin-bargaining-2017-election-seats

      If its true and he heard it from another party – it really raises questions about Littles management of his people.

    • Hmmm I heard a rumour that you and another middle man from dunners not unknown in these parts are actively trying to become mates with Morgan and that you both want to stand for his new party. Care to comment on that?

      • Puckish Rogue 2.5.1

        It’d be a hoot if one of them stood in Dunedin South, imagine the candidates debate 🙂

      • Andre 2.5.2

        Surely there’s an opportunity in Clutha-Southland with all the disarray among the Nats there right now.

      • Pete George 2.5.3

        Marty mars – the false rumour trick is a bit lame. Hard to tell if you’re trying to be funny or trying to be dirty.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The difficulty here is believing anything you say or are involved with.

          I’m quite sure you would try to cuddle up to anyone you could leech some credibility or mana from, equally sure that any credible organisation would reject you with fake politeness that amounted to contempt, and that you would then lie about it.

          Only you can heighten the perception that your opinions and contributions are utterly worthless. Don’t disappoint: join the National Party.

    • Rosie 2.6

      Well goodness.

      I leave the site for a few months because the daily complaint, always first up on Open Mike and always the same was “The New Zealand Herald is terrible”. No kidding. And the pro Trump rhetoric by some commenters. These two things drove me away.

      Now I come back for a squizz and here’s Pete!

      Well, well.

      Pete if you are saying ” It is claimed there are deals also in Nelson and Ohariu.” can you please let us know more if you have some concrete facts around this? Thanks. Ohariu is my turf and I have a rather sticky beak.

      The last I heard was the really bad news (Stuff.co.nz several weeks ago) that Ginny Andersen won’t be standing again in Ohariu, but will stand in the Hutt against Chris Bishop. Ginny made great gains in Ohariu, made a real impact and knocked the stuffing out of Dunne by really squeezing his margin. I would love to see such a talented MP representing our electorate. It’s a real blow to lose her and start all over again. Labour must have had their reasons for standing her against Bishop. Possibly because she can put across a smart confident argument and Bishop is into debating, so she will be an asset as a fighting candidate.

      She was great here because of that skill and could run rings around the inexperienced and not very smart Nat guy, Brett Hudson.

      So yeah, if you know something Pete, please spill the beans.

      • tc 2.6.1

        Pete is doing what he does best, didnt take him long to revert to type…..dnftt.

        • Rosie

          I only engaged with Pete on the rarest on occasions. It’s not my habit to communicate with people with agendas. I always thought commenters gave away too much of their time and energy going in circles with Pete, and not just Pete either, because we don’t want to make it all about him do we? 😀

          I do want to know however, what he thinks is going on in Ohariu, if he has the facts that is and not just ‘claims’. I was involved in activities in the last general election and may do so next year, so if he’s got facts I’d like him to spit them out.

          Maybe not. As we haven’t heard back.

      • Pete George 2.6.2

        Rosie – it’s all at 1 news in https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/labour-and-greens-begin-bargaining-2017-election-seats?auto=5226876263001

        Apart from that I don’t know anything about Ohariu apart from for some reason Ginny Anderson, despite her ‘great gains’ there, has chosen to try Hutt South this time instead – I saw that in news online. I don’t have any connection to anything to do with Ohariu so don’t know anything else about what might be happening there.

        • Rosie

          Thank you. Yes, I saw the news last night. Would have been good if they didn’t stand the Green candidate in 2014. Ginny was behind Dunne by only 700+votes and the Green candidate, Tane Woodley, got 2000 + votes.

          Labour would have won Ohariu in 2014 had The Greens not stood a candidate.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    Simon Collins again….


    “Our kids at risk: How 77 kids have died in NZ state care” (in the past 15 years)

    of these 77 children….

    38 died of natural causes

    !9 died in accidents

    14 committed suicide

    6 the victims of abuse, homicide or manslaughter

    “However the deaths were just the tip of a larger iceberg of children abused while in state care. The data disclosed 550 cases of substantiated abuse of children while in CYF care in the five years to June last year, an average of 110 cases a year.”

    Again the figure is broken down with..

    187 by cyfs foster parents

    164 by biological family during ‘contact’ visits

    44 by contracted providers

    6 by cyf staff

    149 by ‘others’…(friends, relatives and other foster children)

    • Chris 3.1

      “The worst years were 2004-05 and 2006-07, when nine children died in each year.”

      Labour’s war-on-the-poor years.

  4. The lost sheep 4

    @ Robert Guyton

    Think the discussion got so stilted you missed this comment below, but I would be genuinely interested in your response, so have updated it here.

    ‘would you support the importation and release of a predatory mammal,…’
    Nothing is more ‘nuanced’ than evolution?
    How long does it take for an Orchid and Moth to co-evolve a 30cm pitcher flower and matching tongue so that they can be mutually benefited and dependent?
    So no, I find it inconceivable that you could bring an entirely alien species into our unique eco-system and have it slot in as inoffensively as you suggest.
    The Papuan eagle that Flannery suggested preys on varied Birds and Mammals in it’s native environment for instance. How are you going to bring it to Aotearoa and get it to limit itself to eating Possums?
    Weasels and Stoats were released in Aotearoa to control Rabbits…that went well didn’t it!

    ‘When you say,”biodiversity”, btw, do you mean native biodiversity?’
    No. Our endemic species are a part of the worlds biodiversity.
    The world, and any area of NZ are more diverse through having unique endemic species present.
    A significant reduction or loss of their presence, and their replacement with species that are already dominant across vast areas, can only be a impoverishment of biodiversity.
    Can you tell me how it could be seen as an enrichment?

    ‘With regard mammal pests only stopping when they have destroyed everything that they find palatable, I think you’ll find that populations slow down before that point,…’.
    Well, no, Robert.
    And if the answer is no, it does trash the theory that there can be a ‘happy balance’ between our taonga species and introduced mammals.

    The process of ‘slowing down’ you refer to happens when species co-evolve over a long period of time, and have the opportunity to let a so-called ‘evolutionary arms race’ occur, so that specific predator and prey species are at an ongoing balance.
    In an alien environment, some species that have not co-evolved may find they have characteristics that replicate that balance.

    But the implication that newly introduced species will generally decide to ‘slow down… as a mechanism to remain viable themselves’ is utter nonsense. You must know that?
    Did the Rats slow down on Taukihepa? The Lighthouse keepers Cat on Somes Island? Have Weasels decided to stop predating Kaka or Kiwi chicks on The West Coast? Have Deer decided to bypass the last remaining Broadleaf seedlings in the anticipation of future harvests?
    Bollocks this slowing down is occurring!
    Can you produce some evidence for it?

    The reality is that our taonga flora and fauna continues to undergoing a widespread ongoing destruction, and the less we intervene, the greater will be the impoverishment of the bio-diversity of Aotearoa.

    • mauī 4.1

      The war is lost the lost sheep. Take a look at our prime example of an indigenous environment, Zealandia. It has sparrows, blackbirds, rosellas, starlings and all other variety of introduced birds infiltrating the fence. Then there’s the plant world with all manner of oxalis, sorrels, imported grasses and dozens of weeds lining the tracks and open spaces. They will not be stopped and new foreign species will continue to join them.

      • mauī 4.1.1

        Also a lot of groups I’ve seen who aim to restore native environments end up purposefully introducing new species that were never there in the first place. I dont know what this is about, a case of humans know best, or maybe a will to garden even those environments that are supposed to be wild. Anyway its another flaw that I think shows we cannot turn back the clock to what was.

        • The lost sheep

          Of course we are not going to turn back the clock completely Maui.
          The only people I’ve ever heard say that are anti-1080 opponents trying to make Conservationists look stupid.
          No ‘Greenie’ I am aware of has ever suggested it?

          What lots of us are willing to do, is to preserve as much of Aotearoa’s taonga natural heritage as possible, and to give our unique bio-diversity as much opportunity as possible of re-generating itself.

          Is there a problem with that?

      • “infiltrating the fence” – I imagined them simply flying over it 🙂
        That said, I remember that the original fence was infiltrated by baby mice, small enough to get through the adult-mouse-excluding mesh. I also remember that a cat was thrown over the fence by some larrikin or other. Don’t under estimate the larrikin, I say!

  5. The slowing down that organisms experience is connected with their waste products, lost sheep. I notice cows leave clumps of grass uneaten where they have peed on it. Other mechanisms that limit the growth of populations is competition from other organisms whose numbers build in response to the changes to the environment made by the expansion of the organism in question. Disease too plays a part in limiting populations. I’m surprised you hadn’t thought about those factors.
    “Deciding” to slow down is not a commonly seen phenomenon in the wild world, though humans can do it, so it’s possible that some other creatures practice it also. Your Taukihepa example is too small to be statistically valid, I reckon. It also occurred over a very short time frame and doesn’t show effects that would have occurred had the unfortunate experiment run for 200 years or more. That’s not to say I recommend leaving such situations alone, I don’t and didn’t. We do intervene, because we did intervene (bringing rats etc.) and have to be kaitiaki as a result, it’s just that I’m encouraging you to think more widely than, “kill! kill!” when it comes to biodiversity, especially where the object of your call is pretty much un-killable and especially adapted to recolonization from off shore. A lot of ships visit New Zealand and a lot more will come in the future, calling in along our very, very long and convoluted coastline.
    Wasn’t it Stephens Island where the cat destroyed the rock wren? I was there some time ago, in search of tuatara (not in a Jonny Angle sort of way) but sadly to late to biff the moggy off the cliff into the broiling sea (joke). I gotta do some thing for a while but I’ll return to your questions/challenges later.

    • The lost sheep 5.1

      I’m encouraging you to think more widely than, “kill! kill!” when it comes to biodiversity
      I note you do not offer any evidence that our bio-diversity is not continuing to be destroyed. Not surprising of course, when in fact all the evidence is of a significant continuing decline within a relatively short time frame.
      If we don’t reduce predators and browsers significantly, across wide areas of Aotearoa, and soon, the result must be a significant continuing degradation of bio-diversity.

      So I’m happy to think more widely Robert, but at this point I see a significant conundrum in the proposition that we can retain our current level of bio-diversity, without killing critters on a very wide scale?

      You keep referring to vague theoretical concepts, but I have seen nothing from you that even remotely resembles a concrete plan that would prevent significant bio-diversity loss.
      If you have one, what is it?

      When I link that lack of a plan with your statements regarding the need to accept that introduced mammals are here to stay, and your rejection of killing them on a wide scale, then I have to conclude that you do not in fact support the aim of protecting our current level of bio-diversity? You are in fact willing to consciously decline to take actions that would protect it?

      And going back to the beginning of this discussion, that explains your strange ‘cryptic’ behavior with your fellow Councillors?
      You know that line of thinking is well out of sync with the prevailing public concern, and can easily be seen as anti-conservationist, so you are not willing to state it openly?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to protect it but we can, and probably should, be looking to increase its biodiversity artificially by introducing a variety of arboreal cats and then leaving it to nature to sort things out. Such cats would, I think, be big enough to consider possums to be the best prey and thus leave the birds alone.

        Of course, we’d still have the problem of the musteloids and rats.

        • The lost sheep

          Draco, I think you need to put down Das Kapital for long enough to read a Ecology text or 2!

          • Draco T Bastard

            We can’t save our biodiversity in the way that it was. It will evolve and change no matter what we do. Of course, some of what we’ve done has the changed balance of the biodiversity already and thus changed the way that evolution will go.

            The big problem is the possums as they will destroy the trees if left to it. Possums aren’t exactly small and so to bring them into balance requires a largish predator that will use them as prey. Now, we could wait until the domestic cats that have migrated into the wild evolve to do so or we could introduce some cats that are already big enough to do the job.

            There’s no guarantee that it would work of course but there’s two other points that are even more true:

            1. We can’t keep relying upon 1080 to do the job because we won’t be able to continue to spread 1080 around as air fuel becomes scarce
            2. We simply cannot eliminate all introduced predators from our shores as the effort to do so would far exceed what we have available

            So, IMO, it comes down to whether we wait for a balance to naturally occur or we try to introduce a new balance. Probably need some fairly serious computer modelling on the latter before we proceed with it.

            • The lost sheep

              There’s no guarantee that it would work of course
              Given that all the cats you referenced eat birds in their natural habitat, I think we can guarantee it would not work.
              Not to mention the complications once the introduced Ocelots etc start targeting domestic and commercial animals.

              whether we wait for a balance to naturally occur or we try to introduce a new balance.
              Don’t know that you have been following this thread between Robert and I, but that is the crux of it.
              If we allow the current situation to continue, ‘the balance’ will be reached about 50 years from now when all unprotected eco-systems are cleaned out of the all endemic fauna that introduced predators eat.
              And then between 50-100 years from now our forests will start falling down, and turning into a silent canopy of the few unpalatable tree species.
              How many NZ’ers want to see that happen?

              try to introduce a new balance
              Exactly what we are planning Draco.

      • lost sheep – you say to Draco, “whether we wait for a balance to naturally occur or we try to introduce a new balance.
        Don’t know that you have been following this thread between Robert and I, but that is the crux of it.” and am not sure you have that right; I’m not suggesting we wait for a balance to occur naturally”, I’m all for kaitiakitanga, though my approach will be different from yours. I’m searching for introductions as a mechanism for increasing biodiversity, complexity and wildness, and you (seem to be) calling for an unleashing of destructive forces; poisons, traps and bullets, to achieve your aims. If I’m wrong, please say. Reducing “predators” doesn’t have to be done by targeting them with an arsenal of death-dealing tools and organisms, I’m arguing; introducing competition, assisting threatened species to multiply or adapt and other such “technologies” is my message. You call for a concrete plan from me, but even your use of the word, “concrete” triggers 🙂 a response from me and makes me wary of adopting your frame of reference to describe the process I’m alluding to. If you try to solve a problem by using the same approach that created the problem, you are unlikely to succeed, it is often said. Even those in the field of science are recognising the worth of cross-pollination with other disciplines, such as religion and science and that’s the view I hold, the answers in the soil, son, or at least in the fecund regions of the creative mind. So cryptic it is from me, though I can easily cite practical, concrete 🙂 approaches that could help redress the lost balance here on our Pacific islands – having sat through the very, very interesting presentation on the newest technologies science has to offer to the effort to rid our islands of all manner of mammalian pests, but won’t, if you don’t mind, because I don’t have faith in the approaches described. In any case, the rapidly changing climate situation will render all attempts futile 🙂

        • The lost sheep

          you (seem to be) calling for an unleashing of destructive forces; poisons, traps and bullets, to achieve your aims. If I’m wrong, please say.
          You are correct, but that is in the context of all the evidence being very clear that the decline of our bio-diversity is at a critical level, and something needs to be done NOW.
          From which it follows that it must be done with tools that are available NOW.

          So if we accept that ‘need to do something now’ as a real world limitation to our discussion, I am wide open to better solutions, and am in fact in a position to help facilitate such solutions. But they do actually need to be ‘concrete’ and realistically achievable. Standing back and doing nothing is not an option NOW.

          Your concepts and philosophies and theoretical ideals are fine, and you word them beautifully, but if they are vague to the point you can’t actually distill them down to a shape from which you could define a clear plan for implementing them successfully in the real world yet – then of what use are they NOW?

          I don’t like poisons or traps or guns or killing at all, but given the choice between using those less than ideal methods and standing back and letting our bio-diversity be destroyed, I will and do choose to use those methods.
          I would much rather be able just to politely ask the Weasels to go vegetarian and start wearing condoms….

          So when you are in a position to openly offer a timely, credible, detailed, affordable, socially acceptable, and realistically achievable alternative plan that will protect and enhance our bio-diversity, I’m all ears, and ready and waiting to abandon all this violence.

          When you think that will be?

          • Robert Guyton

            Shoot first, ask questions later, eh lost sheep! Or rather, in this case, dump toxins, talk ethics later, ’cause it’ll be 1080 you’re pinning the bulk of your hopes on, ne ra? That or some genetic engineered as-yet-un-tried organism that the scientists are whispering about. You say our biodiversity is at a critical level, lost sheep, but I believe that level was reached and passed long ago. There are remnants, sure, a pigeon here, a night parrot there, but the rich tapestry has been smeared beyond repair, in my opinion. What we do have though, is the potential to restock with organisms that can foot it with the residents and the changing climate and the massive effects of farming and human settlements on the biota of these few islands. The wild world would do it unaided, but while we can, we should pitch in too – after all, we caused a significant and quick change to the flow of evolution here. You are asking for ideas that can be realised; how about…creating wetlands on farms to replace those lost in the farm-development stage of our history. That’d be a significant boost to the native plants, insects terrestrial and aquatic, native organisms that are too small to see with the naked eye, wetland birds, fish such as eels and kokopu and so on… no killing required, just the recreation of habitat – it’s habitat destruction, you know, that’s the real killer of native karaehe – all we need is for every farmer to give-over half of their farm for the purpose…see, easy!

            • The lost sheep

              I like your ideas for farms Robert, but what about Fiordland, Rakiura, The Catlins, The Waitutu Forest, etc etc.?
              I haven’t seen you put forward a single suggestion of any significant value towards protecting the bio-diversity of those taonga areas.

              Environment Southland is a body that will have some influence on the future of our bio-diversity, so I was very interested to understand exactly what your ‘cryptic’ behavior might mean, and what possible implications it could have for the direction and decisions your council might take going forward.

              I think I do understand that now. You have some very interesting ‘left field’ ideas in that ‘creative and fecund’ mind of yours, and as a lover of diversity I welcome their contribution to the debate on Aotearoa’s future.
              But at this point your ideas do not provide coherent and viable answers to the immediate issues we face in protecting our bio-diversity.
              For that reason, those ideas have very little public support.

              When you do have your ideas developed to the point you can put forward an effective plan for regenerating Kiwi numbers nationwide, or preventing the large scale collapse of our forests in about 50 years, I’m sure that support will be forthcoming from many, including myself.

  6. Ad 6

    I’ve got a test for those out there who are penetrating, succinct writers. Not the wordy and cranky ones.

    It’s on the lines of: Goodies have a philosophy, Baddies have a psychology.

    The prescription for understanding why your side lost and their side won is empathic analysis.

    It’s simple enough:
    If you truly understand your political adversary, then you should be able to write an essay explicating their point of view well enough that a neutral judge cannot tell the difference.

    How many of us, do you think, could pass it if applied to New Zealand politics?

    • Incognito 6.1

      An interesting challenge but ultimately fruitless IMHO.

      You will never find a “neutral judge” although IBM’s Watson might come close in some kind of pseudo-reverse Turing test.

      Not too cranky, I’d hope …

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        I reckon I’d be pretty neutral, I do admit to being easily bribed by flattery though 🙂

        • Incognito


          Psychology it is, obviously.

          Perhaps Ad’s test has more merit than I thought …

        • adam

          No offence Puckish, but you thinking your neutral is a bit rich mate. You worship at the alter of john key(and have accused others of being deranged for pointing out his faults) , you post on here constantly about a 4th term. You are a troll for the nats, a nicer one than most – I’ll give you that, but you still a nat sycophant through and through. So neutral, not a snow balls chance in hell.

    • The lost sheep 6.2

      ‘foaming at the mouth eye ball popping psychopathic child eating loony animal sex obsessed hedonistic greed crazed enslaver of the poor dumb masses’

      How am I going so far Ad? Can you guess whose point of view I am explicating an empathic version of?

    • Macro 6.3

      I hear it is called “The Latte Libel”
      It goes like this:

      “Folks, we know working people like you have suffered. Like you, we have had enough of those big-city elites who are not listening. That multi-ethnic cabal of feminists, refugee-loving environmentalists, nanny-state lovers, chardonnay socialists, ungodly pro-abortionists, homosexuals, big-city Jewish bankers, and cosmopolitan latte-sipping liberals look down on authentic, hardworking people. Their environmentalism destroys our jobs, their family values are about legalising pot and same-sex toilets. We are the real America/Australia [insert country of choice]. They are not. We are angry. We have not forsaken you.”

    • “I’ve got a test for those out there who are penetrating, succinct writers. Not the wordy and cranky ones.”


      I’m wordy.

  7. Greg 7

    Does anyone hear a popping sound in the houseing market .
    That old saying he who panic first panics best comes to mind .

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      I’m so glad the hand over of the house I’m selling is on Friday, as they say timing is everything 🙂

      • ropata 7.1.1

        Enjoy your unearned, untaxed capital gains.

        Since you have directly benefited from favourable (lax) legislation, I expect you also support a UBI and a welfare system for the poor?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Unearned my bollix, that was a “handymans dream” when I first got it, its taken me years to get it up to scratch, wiring sorted, insulation sorted, new roof, new bathroom, new carpet, sanding and stripping and painting and a new heat pump,
          hot water cylinder, new kitchen, new toilet, new bathroom

          Someones brought their first home and I’ve made some decent money so everyones happy and the Labour party will be pleased to know the buyer doesn’t have a Chinese sounding surname either

  8. Greg 8

    The chorus of squealing has only began but they can’t say they weren’t warned borrowing nine time ones income was collective insanaty using the home as an atm what do you expect

  9. joe90 9

    The moran in chief thinks a diplomatic thaw with Cuba is a deal.

    If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016

    • joe90 9.1

      Trump meets with an actual leaker of national security secrets.

      Just met with General Petraeus–was very impressed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016

      • joe90 9.1.1

        Of course, it’s a coincidence that this leaked while Trump was holding court with Petraeus.

        The Defense Department is conducting a leaks investigation related to the sex scandal that led to the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, The Associated Press confirmed Monday, the same day Petraeus was meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in New York.


        The latest twist in the case could complicate Petraeus’ prospects of obtaining a Cabinet position in the Trump administration, resurfacing details of the extramarital affair and FBI investigation that ended his career at the CIA and tarnished the reputation of the retired four-star general.


  10. Morrissey 10

    In Rupert Murdoch’s notorious paper The Australian,
    cartooning is nothing more than a weapon of hatred and predudice.

    Bill Leak is an unfunny, ignorant Australian cartoonist. Not surprisingly, he is employed by Rupert Murdoch. Just like Daryl Crimp and Garrick Tremain do over here, Leak targets not the rich, the corrupt and the evil, but the poorest and most desperate of all….


    • reason 10.1

      Rupert is a bad and greedy man in many ways ….

      News Corp.: subsidiaries in tax havens 31 ….. Locations Cayman Islands (2), Hong Kong (13), Ireland (1), Luxembourg (4), Netherlands (3), Singapore (5), Switzerland (3)

      Amount held offshore $2,700,000,000 Head office New York

      Pays little to no taxes on his ‘news’ media profits ……….. which supports Austerity and promotes war through biased and slanted reporting..

      In New Zealand the only reason the citizens were confused as to why john key was mentioned by the panama papers whistle blower is because of our ‘news’ media ….. and their near media blackout of Nationals actions and law changes.

      The day the nats legislated to go full monty, zero tax, shell company, tax haven jurisdiction …. that should have been front page news and we should have been informed.

      The story of Keys Bank of America shares has never been reported on either… although our parliament has a record of the Merrill to Bank of America share swap / bailout , that was finalised on Jan 1st, 2009

      The feelgood factor of our multi- Millionaire Key getting bailed out by American taxpayers ( over u.s $5000 each ) …. with following lawsuits and the dramas around bankster behavior make for interesting reading …

      “It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the global financial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident.”


  11. adam 12

    Twilight Zone – indeed…

  12. Andre 13

    Interesting snapshot of the state of renewables generation and EVs in the US


  13. save nz 15

    Only 10 years of financial support – shouldn’t it be life long support? people are living over 80 years old and rising – no wonder Kiwis can’t afford health, education and benefits anymore!

    Do the maths, 70,000 people per year, so up to 140,000 parents coming along too per year…

    “Immigrants will have to support their parents financially for a decade if they are approved to settle in New Zealand, under new rules the government has introduced to cut spending on immigration.”


    • garibaldi 15.1

      It is lifelong support….we’ve only got ten years left!

      • save nz 15.1.1

        No wonder migrants are offering $20,000 bribes to get a job to get citizenship. Once in you can get married and bring someone in, then bring in both sets of parents, look after them for 10 years and then hello NZ taxpayers, health and super on it’s way… meanwhile abandon NZ to work for real wages elsewhere and then come back to your benefits upon your return.

        Notice how many retirement units are being built?

        The Natz already have put the country into record debt now we have overcrowding, homelessness and intentional welfare needs to be met to crash the system, to boot.

        • ropata

          No wonder there are suburbs of Auckland awash with old wrinklies who don’t speak a word of English. I see them out wandering around enjoying the sunshine while I sit on the crowded bus, on my way to work to pay for their retirement.

          I can’t afford a house here, outbid by foreigners with wealthy parents who then come here and sponge.

  14. Andre 16

    WTF???!!? More dodgy deals overseas to try to avoid doing anything at all at home to reduce emissions? What is it with the clowns we’ve got in the Beehive right now?


  15. adam 17

    Myron Ebell, as head of EPA. I love how trump is showing us so honestly how much of a corporate shrill he really is. Next into the cabinet looks like Petraeus, you know the guy that made all the spying on you and me a reality for the CIA.

    trump may have been your lesser evil – but evil is still evil. Be a better human being, and stop worshiping strong men!

  16. JC 18

    Time for a shake-up on corporate responsibility!

    Great piece by Jarrod Gilbert…

    …. “Company managers or directors and the like are not those we see as crooks. But if such people take lives through greed or negligence then they certainly are.

    It is important we adjust our thinking.

    If we do not view corporate malfeasance as a serious issue then our laws, investigative bodies, and courts will not see them as serious either.”


  17. The Chairman 19

    A Horowhenua woman planning to attend a protest in Levin next week has complained to the police watchdog about what she says was an intimidating phone call from an officer.


    Horowhenua residents oppose council rolling deputy mayor

    Feyen to drive change in Horowhenua

  18. joe90 20


    From Government Executive magazine on the ye olde Trump Post Office deluxe hotel …

    The Post Office Lease differs from many of Mr. Trump’s other business arrangements. That’s because, in writing the contract, the federal and D.C. governments determined, in advance, that elected officials could play no role in this lease arrangement. The contract language is clear: “No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom…”

    The language could not be any more specific or clear. Donald Trump will breach the contract on Jan. 20, when, while continuing to benefit from the lease, he will become an “elected official of the Government of the United States.”


  19. Paul 21

    Made the mistake of switching on RNZ to hear the appalling Stephen Franks frothing against experts. A while later, he said he’d already said too much, the first time I agreed with a word he’d said.

    Just another dreadful extreme right winger on Mora’s dreadful Panel.
    Why do ex MPs from an extreme and unpopular party get invited on to air their hate speech ?

    ThePanel is a blight on RNZ’s claim to be a serious news and current events channel.

  20. joe90 22

    Thanks Ray.

  21. greywarshark 23

    @ Robert Guyton …
    29 November 2016 at 8:16 pm
    Beaten, gelatinously, to death, with a blancmange-truncheon!
    The ignominy!
    The dry -cleaning bill!
    The horror!

    So funny you are. ( I have learned my backwards wisdom from Yoda. ““When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.”– Yoda” http://www.yodaquotes.net/page/2/)

    It is good of you to keep arguing with the zombies and time-wasters for the sake of the left. Please find a little time to keep doing so and give some fun as above it lightens the sombre mood that can envelop delightfully.

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    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
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    4 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
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    5 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
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    6 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
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    6 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
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    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
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    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
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    1 week ago