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Open Mike 30/08/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 30th, 2018 - 156 comments
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156 comments on “Open Mike 30/08/2018 ”

  1. Ed 1

    Excerpts from a thought provoking article

    I’ve found the solution to the housing crisis, and it’s been here all along.

    On the whole, the Monday announcement was more about making renting fairer. It was not groundbreaking.
    For renters, it says things might be slightly better but still not great. For landlords, I presume there will be little impact.
    Yet, Twyford’s paper still shook some property moguls.
    They rolled out their talking heads to try to halt progress and scare tenants by threatening rent rises.
    Those lobbyists told us a lot of strange things this week.
    Landlord Peter Lewis said changes would make it harder for renters. He then listed a bunch of costs and suggested everything, the whole damned economy, could be worse off because of rules to make life slightly fairer for renters.
    “Rates? Insurance? Building materials? Tradesmen’s hourly rates …”
    None of the scaremongers said anything nearly as idiotic as Andrew King, who heads a lovely-sounding group called the Property Investors’ Federation.
    He says: “A lot of tenants ironically actually like the letting fee.”
    He is wrong.
    He is so wrong, he must know it. His wild statement makes me wonder, why are we playing along with such a broken industry?
    At the suggestion of mild and positive change, people like King shriek in horror. These are people who hold huge power over normal people’s everyday lives.
    When they catch even a whiff of change meant to clean up their broken industry, they threaten to throw their toys.
    They seem to think running an ethical business is impossible, which is (once again) wrong.

    To Twyford, I ask: Why bother putting a plaster on a broken industry? Groups like Ngāti Whātua, the Salvation Army and Wellington’s Dwell Housing Trust have already started the renters’ revolution.

    The Government should ensure renters have an option of living in safe, affordable and enjoyable homes. The pā model offers that and has the potential to give gluttonous investors a run for their money.


    • Ed 1.1

      No doubt King, Lewis and the other pimps for this unethical industry defend this.

      • SaveNZ 1.1.1

        Under the normal tenancy rules this is not acceptable! I’m pretty sure the tenancy tribunal under existing rules would rule in the tenants favour for it to be remedied and probably give them a rent reduction for the inconvenience. The tenants would just have to give a 10 day letter to landlord. Also if they had called the council (even anonymously) they could have got some action as it is leaking into the neighbours property.

        They stayed because they would struggle to find another rental due to having a dog and in the price range and probably needing parking if they are a tradie.

        So all these Wellington ideas of intensification and more apartments are not going to help the majority of kiwi renters who live this type of lifestyle, just Singapore investors and foreign students …because apartments don’t suit kiwi families aka dogs and Utes and small kids running around in a backyard. (obviously not that one by the state of it!).

        The old state houses would have been perfect… and it is a shame that whoever is making the decisions on housing seems to have zero idea of their market and what is required and leads by talking to the construction industry and self interested groups, about what is needed and keeps adding more people into Auckland’s struggling infrastructure and the wealthier ones are much better off than those who don’t have a lot and their needs are not being thought of at all.

        • Draco T Bastard

          because apartments don’t suit kiwi families aka dogs and Utes and small kids running around in a backyard.

          Very few people actually live that lifestyle and there’s a question of it even being a good lifestyle.

          Personally I’d prefer to see kids playing together in the park with the parents socialising together while watching over them. I believe it would help build a much better community.

          And tradies shouldn’t be taking the work vehicle home. It should be staying at the work depot and they take public transport home.

          The old state houses would have been perfect…

          The old housing system that we can no longer afford was an ideological construct brought about by the idea that with cars we no longer needed the high density housing of previous centuries. Climate change has proven that we were wrong.

          and it is a shame that whoever is making the decisions on housing seems to have zero idea of their market

          I suspect that the market for apartments is growing while the demand for stand-alone housing is shrinking considering how many apartment buildings are being built around Auckland.

      • Bill 1.1.2

        I’d be saying that’s a very nice illustrative example of why NZ needs a Registry of Landlords. Local bodies (councils) could administer and oversee such a register that should be searchable by (at least) registration number that all landlords would be required to attach to all adverts etc. And yes, applications to register should come with a fee to cover admin and management costs and registration should require periodic renewal.

        Any non-registered person renting out a property would then be guilty of a criminal offense.

        How long before long drawn out situations like that featured in the Campbell piece don’t happen any more?

        That landlord loses their registration. They then break the law, and are up for a very hefty fine or jail time if they attempt to collect rent.

        • SaveNZ

          I’d say that the reason these tenants didn’t move out, was that they couldn’t get anywhere else, aka shortage of rental properties that suit them and they may have other issues like bad credit history which is fairly common in NZ with our low wage, low financial nous, precariat lifestyle championed by successive governments to make everyone “competitive” … so if they start putting together a registry of landlords (which is crazy when they don’t even have a regulatory body for rental agents) then low and behold they are putting more paperwork and reasons not to rent out your house…

          This bad landlord that should have been sent a letter at the start of the tenancy, is he even a Kiwi landlord or a new migrant landlord who doesn’t care about the rules?

          The tenants didn’t go to the tribunal because they did not seem that convinced they could get somewhere better and that house is still half the cost of that one room $1000 p/w emergency hotel… that the government feel is ok to put the beneficiaries in (which they technically have to pay back).

          It’s a nit picking slope of issues, we have homelessness and huge demand for emergency housing directly caused by government policy of selling off state houses and evicting people, not doing anything about meth, and overloading the housing market with new residents, not cleaning up construction years ago, but pandering to them and allowing a profit driven housing market that is more expensive than most nations.

          • Bill

            Did you not watch the video link?

            The woman quite clearly explained why she and her partner and children hadn’t simply moved out – none of the reasons contained in your comment btw. And as for your speculative xenophobic tosh…yeah, noted.

            Currently in NZ, it is really bloody difficult to hold a landlord to account. A Registry would at the very least weed out the most unscrupulous landlords, with fear of loss of registration (with subsequent criminal proceedings for anyone tempted to rent “on the fly”) acting as a nice incentive for those closer to the floor of acceptability.

            It’s not a “cure all” and doesn’t in any way dismiss or deny any of the 1001 other factors impacting on the rental environment.

            • RedLogix

              Cool … zero problem with a register of ‘problem landlords’. It would be a good for the industry, and impose a minimum standards and professionalism. It’s a role MBIE could manage effectively and as long as it was open to challenge and accountability I’d welcome it.

              Now can I have the same kind of register for problem tenants please?

              • David Mac

                I think the costs associated with a landlord registry would outweigh any benefit.

                The best system is the one we’ve got. Works fine when used as it should be. Over 90% of cases heard by the Tenancy Tribunal are brought about by landlords.

                Crook tenants vs crook landlords seems to run at about 20 to 1.

                dawn Robbie is well aware of how best to get a result, She and Cameron took their landlord to the tribunal in 2016 and won.

                Their property shares a water supply that services 2 properties. There is no separate check meter. The landlord was advised that he can’t charge them for water. He illegally charged them a letting fee. He was ordered to repay it. The landlord was ordered to immediately lodge the bond, if not, he award exemplary charges to the tenant of $1000.

                The landlord was ordered to repay Dawn and her partner the $20.44 Tribunal fee to have their case heard.

                The best approach is not another layer of bureaucracy, it is to use the existing system. Post the landlord a 14 day notice to comply (just like the ones he sends out) there’s a template on the MBIE tenancy website.

                Like Dawn and Cameron’s 2016 hearing, Most Tribunal orders are public information.


                I say let the Tribunal Adjudicators continue to rip strips off the very few exploitive landlords. Continue to hit them where it hurts, in their greedy pockets. Their public orders are a great way to keep tabs on dud landlords and tenants alike.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                ‘Problem’ landlords and tenants might wish to rehabilitate themselves off these proposed registers, so as to regain access to income and shelter (respectively.) Hopefully there would be equitable protocols for this.

                Of course, the humbug landlords have the option of cashing out, and presumably the humbug tenants could access state housing and cars (the agony of choice), and maybe even assistance to address behavioural and mental health ‘problems’.

                Or just replace ‘landlords’ with lords and ‘tenants’ with serfs (what’s a lord to do with ‘problem serfs’?) – where we’re heading (back to), for as long as it lasts.

                @DM: “Crook tenants vs crook landlords seems to run at about 20 to 1” – that’s remarkable, especially if there’s a 1:1 ratio of serfs to lords.

                • RedLogix

                  Yeah the archaic language really doesn’t help. The resentment across the board is an obstacle to modernising the whole business.

                  It’s hard to guess what the actual numbers are. Certainly there are more tenants than landlords, probably in a ratio of about 5:1. (Wild arsed guess. It’s greater than 1:1 and probably less than 10:1)

                  From experience about 10% of tenants cause some form of problem, and I’d imagine a lower number applies to landlords as they have a substantial asset in the game, say 2%. That would work out at a bad tenant to landlord ratio of about 25:1 so given these very rough assumptions David Macs guess is not totally out of the ballpark.

                  However one bad landlord will likely affect around 5 tenants so this will even things out somewhat. Also the distribution of landlords to number of units is highly non-linear; most have only 1 or 2 units, with only a minority running more than 10. (This complicates any analysis quite a lot, although if I could be arsed wheeling out my rather rusty statistical analysis it would possible to put up a more accurate interpretation.)

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Good tenents can find themselves ‘dehomed’ at short notice. Even good landlords sometimes need (cf. ‘want’) to sell, but knowing no-one has a choice doesn’t make a tenent’s situation any easier. Like the ‘poor’ manager who agonises over the decision of who to let go in a downturn, it’s the sacked who really do it hard.

                    NZ is a wealthy country (total wealth goes up and up – growth is good), so why this “resentment across the board”? Is the level of resentment unusually high in NZ (no idea; surprised it’s not higher tbh), and, if so, why?

                    Redistribution of wealth, reversing the trend that has the richest 10% of NZ households controlling half of NZ’s wealth (more than half now), while the poorest 40% of households ‘get by’ on 3%, might ameliorate that resentment.


                    As discussed on The Standard, and elsewhere, it’s simple maths to show the tremendous difference even a small % redistribution would make to those poorest 40% of households. But there will be no significant redistribution. The ‘business as usual’ trend will continue and deliver lords and serfs to ‘New’ Zealand.

                    Will the new lords/serfs society be more resilient in the face of economic and environmental pressures? We can only hope…

                  • David Mac

                    Dawn Robbie knows the procedure to go through, she has done it before and won. If she has provided her landlord with notices to comply she is in the box seat for $1000’s of exemplary charges. I think there is a good chance an adjudicator would demand that paid rent be returned to Dawn and her partner for the duration of the under-house swamp situation.

                    I find it odd that Dawn chose to ring the John Campbell Show. I wonder if she might like the idea of a state house, rent set at a third of their income.

                    As per the ratbag landlord list Bill suggests, the existing system works. A search of Dawn’s landlord ‘Mandeep Pala’ reveals a man with form. First of all trying to slither out from his responsibility by saying its a company ‘Southern Assets Limited’ that makes the decisions. The adjudicator saw through it and called ‘Humbug’.

                    About a year ago he was ordered to return all of the rent paid by a tenant for a home that was technically a garage: $9200 returned to the tenant along with the max exemplary damages: $1000. A bill for $10240 and here Mandeep is again, man deep in poo.

                    Strange Dawn hasn’t checked out his form and nailed him to the yard arm again.

                    Mandeep’s other tribunal dealing.


                    • SaveNZ

                      I’d say if the tenant has won before at the tribunal then maybe she waited for 21 months and then went for max media attention so perhaps a chance at free rent for that entire time?

                      Why else wait 21 months with her children getting sick and not going to the tribunal first to get an order to remedy when she has already won before a tribunal and moved in knowing it has drainage issues?

                      Who knows the motivation, a match made in heaven for MSM and the tribunal will go to town on this extreme example, and now got the housing minister wading in (ha ha) , possibly he could have be a bit more cautious before he went out there telling everyone how common a situation it was.


                    • David Mac

                      Yes, finding a rental is getting tougher.

                      I think we need a government that rewards good landlords and tenants alike. Makes it harder for exploiters on both sides.

                      Gear the Govt paid housing supplement to favourable outcomes for both parties, It doesn’t need to be adversarial. Gear the govt supp towards tenants needs. eg: A 2 year lease at a fixed rent with a 10% rise in the govt paid component will ultimately save money all round. Starting with kids not swapping schools every 6 months.

              • Ankerrawshark

                Red logic tenants have to provide references. That is the protection for landlords.

                Besides which landlords are landlords out of choice. One of the risks of buying property to rent out is that you may encounter bad tenants. If you don’t like that as a possibility invest your money elsewhere.

                Whereas everyone needs a roof over their heads, not a lifestyle option.

                I did rent out my house when I left Auckland and thought I might return so didn’t want to risk not being able to get back into the market. I believe I was a good landlord and my home was better insulated for my tenants than when I lived there. Fair enough, they were paying me a reasonable amount to stay there. When I finally sold it realtor told more I could have been charging $100 more a week, and was surprised when I told him that didn’t bother me as I was getting a fair rent

              • Bill

                The suggestion, taken from pre-existing legislation elsewhere, isn’t for a register of “problem landlords”, but for a registration process to apply to landlords.

                Meaning, that if you are on the register, it’s a good thing.

                If you aren’t, and have no pending application, and are trying to rent residential property (whether directly or through an agent) then you’re breaking criminal law.

                As for problem tenants, don’t landlords these days almost insist on a dossier of past references? And what with social media the way it is, and already routinely “checked out” by employers, I’m pretty damned sure a landlord could get a good sense of who or what a person is on the sly.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Nah some landlords just ask you to meet them at the house, park around the corner then when you turn up ring you on your cellphone to say the flat is gone.

                  That’s not everyone. Just if you’re Maori or Pacifica.

            • SaveNZ

              They said the didn’t move out because they had a dog, he was a roofer and they couldn’t just keep moving around. But the question is, they could have written a letter asking for it to be rectified in 10 days, and gone to the tribunal why didn’t they?

              They were in there for a long period of time without doing anything about it and then went to the media rather than tribunal or council or send a letter to the landlord? Why is that?

              There is ample protection for them under the law.

              We get this type of story every time the construction industry or right wingers won’t labour’s polls to go down..

              Many homeowners actually have their entire houses fall down due to bad construction and then they become renters while paying for repairs and a mortgage, for example but don’t see the politicians doing much about that or giving them compensation instead just giving more hand outs to construction and happy with the appalling jobs councils are doing and of course the click bait, bad landlord story to divert attention away from major issues going on.

              • SaveNZ

                The underlying issue is to do with bad construction and some sort of illegal set up of their drainage…

                • SaveNZ

                  We’d be better off with a register of tradies AND the unqualified people they employ like a LOG on site work, because it’s often not the registered tradies doing the work, and somehow registered tradies who sign it off, just get away with bad workmanship from unqualified people. Then the council aka the rate payers paying for bad work that the council employees have often approved because developers and tradies can just set up new companies and avoid responsibility.

                  • The Chairman

                    One hopes the Government will ensure councils have the oversight in place to deal with the increase in construction of new homes.

                    The last thing Labour needs in the run up to the next election is reports of thousands of newly built kiwibuild and state homes requiring major repairs due to shoddy workmanship.

        • The Chairman

          You say, any non-registered person renting out a property would then be guilty of a criminal offense.

          Therefore, under your proposal if a landlord loses their registration, tenants will be forced out.

          Even if rent is suspended, technically it will still be a tenanted rental.

        • The Chairman

          You say, councils could administer and oversee such a register. Yet, councils are money hungry beasts, hence would soon seek to turn that into a lucrative new revenue stream (above and beyond administration costs) for themselves.

          And of course, landlords would look to pass on any new costs incurred.

          Therefore, a better option (if we were to go down that track) would be a national register overseen by central government with admin costs funded from the fines they dish out. Avoiding stinging landlords who comply while avoiding costs being passed on.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I’d be saying that’s a very nice illustrative example of why NZ needs a Registry of Landlords. Local bodies (councils) could administer and oversee such a register that should be searchable by (at least) registration number that all landlords would be required to attach to all adverts etc. And yes, applications to register should come with a fee to cover admin and management costs and registration should require periodic renewal.

          And tenants can leave feedback the same way that users can leave feedback on Trade-me.

          Any non-registered person renting out a property would then be guilty of a criminal offense.


          Combined with a decent ownership registry that allows people to find out who owns what.

          • SaveNZ

            The council can’t even read it’s own resource consent rules, for gods sake half of Auckland (and it’s spreading to other cities) is under remedial work as it is, often signed off by council. The last person anybody would want to see, is the council administering rentals. They can’t even handle the basics.

            How many more landlord bodies are there going to be, a WOF, the tenancy tribunal and a log of landlords?

            Deary me, I wonder why there is a rental shortage… with these wonderful ideas floating around to “stem’ the shortage based on getting rid of all the bad landlords and properties. Wonderful, now they are gone, is the state going to provide the thousands of cheap, safe, warm rentals, that will be needed tomorrow?

            must rank up there like Kiwibuild where you evict the tenants for years to rebuild their rental while selling off the rest of the land and therefore having no capacity for future state house builds when you are actively trying to grow the low wage economy as fast as possible, subsidise construction and deregulate it while tuning a blind eye to all the unskilled unqualified people working on the jobs, and keeping foreign speculation going to keep prices high so banks like you.

            Then believe the free market fairy will provide private accomodation for all the growing low wage families and beneficiaries who have bad credit ratings out of the kindness of their hearts, while the state gives the multimillionaires in construction and banks more help.

            • greywarshark

              Sounds like something out of Yes Minister savenz
              ‘Where did you get that preposterous idea. Civil servant Sir Humphrey
              ‘Oh I just thought of it. PM Jim Jacker.

              That was about not giving awards to civil servants unless they had earned them. With a litany of lulus that you have set out, it seems time to start the 2nd Labours of Hercules.

              The council professionals in housing would fit one of the Labours, just before or after cleaning the Augean stables which actually, housed the single greatest number of cattle in the country and had never been cleaned. (This could be expanded to modern feedlots.)

              • SaveNZ

                How about the government and council stops demolishing cheaper homes for roads and Housing corporation houses for re-devleoperment for a start and stop allowing more and more people to settle here to compete on low wages or for housing.

                Homes slated for demolition to be used as emergency housing


                • SaveNZ

                  Someone needs to ask the housing minister “how much security of tenure you get in a house marked for demolition or an emergency hotel”?

                • greywarshark

                  Sounds good. Let’s keep at it for change at all levels but particularly
                  the simple practical, with space at the doorstep for big plastic tubs growing vegs and flowers, and covered clothes lines, and waist high fences to allocate an area that is for the tenant to enjoy and look after. Little things that mean a lot.

                  And for the homeless and recovering and recent prisoners; concrete shelters, with cream painted walls, and concrete floors with drainage in one corner so that they can be easily cleaned. Practical, safe, warm and a basic level of comfort, identity and sanitation, and overview to keep reasonable standards.

                  • SaveNZ

                    The irony is that Labour fucked up 2 elections by pandering to identity housing groups and hypocritical or unpractical housing positions.

                    Now they got in, effectively with Kiwibuild they are screwing the renters and helping the home owners while throwing previous elections by loudly campaigning for renters while forgetting 60% of voters are homeowners.

                    To be as unpopular as possible once elected they are emotionally screaming “lift your game or get out” to landlords most of whom the home owners identify with and forgetting the government is one of the worst offenders of evicting people.

                    Whose their strategist, Basile Fawlty?

            • Draco T Bastard

              The last person anybody would want to see, is the council administering rentals.

              Who said anything about them administering rentals (Although I believe that they did a good job of that when they had council flats). Keeping a registry of landlords would probably come down to the central government rather than councils as a landlord could own a house anywhere in the country and many would be offshore owners.

              How many more landlord bodies are there going to be, a WOF, the tenancy tribunal and a log of landlords?

              Just one.

              Deary me, I wonder why there is a rental shortage… with these wonderful ideas floating around to “stem’ the shortage based on getting rid of all the bad landlords and properties.

              So, you think keeping bad landlords that cost individuals and the state huge amounts of money and cause grief for individuals should be kept around because they provide housing?

              Have you noticed the housing crisis that is allowing these scum to get super-profits?

              Wonderful, now they are gone, is the state going to provide the thousands of cheap, safe, warm rentals, that will be needed tomorrow?

              The problem is that they aren’t. Housing should be a right and the government should be ensuring that everyone has a good place to live.

    • dukeofurl 1.2

      rentals ?
      A journalism student finds rentals exist?

      Well he seem to have found click bait headlines as well

  2. Ed 2

    Does Barry Soper support the white theft of African land?


  3. Ed 3

    Specialty Trainees of New Zealand, or SToNZ.
    Smells very fishy.

    They seem to be as similar to a union as the Taxpayers Union.
    Wonder who is behind this group?
    Jordan Williams?


    • Kevin 3.1

      I listened to the doctor representing this new Union on RNZ this morning and he made a lot of sense.

    • Acting up 3.2

      No links to Taxpayers “union”. STONZ is a genuine union, affiliated to the Council of Trade Unions.

    • greywarshark 3.3

      Ed : The judge of everything –
      Did you listen to the trainee doctor discussing the problems of getting the necessary training in his specialty – orthopaedics?

      Good point he made was that if you are on in weekend you get crash victims, emergencies.l But that is only part of the work and is rather different than seeing the daily patients booked in for electives, chosen surgery for their problem.

      I thought he was cogent and any animosity I had about this ‘breakaway union’ went away after hearing him.

  4. Ed 4

    It is refreshing to see a government Minister standing up to foreign owned banks and not grovelling to them.

    Now the Government should put their money where their mouth is and close down their account with Westpac.

    Shane Jones slams ‘Aussie-owned’ banks for shutting branches in provincial NZ.
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has taken aim at this country’s Australian-owned banks for shutting branches in provincial town, suggesting they should be obligated to adequately service rural areas.
    “The Aussie-owned banks are incredibly profitable. Their level of profitability never seems to decline although the breadth of their services is in decline,” he told Stuff.
    Over the past two years, almost 50 Westpac, BNZ and ANZ branches have closed, which was evidence of a retreat from the regions, according to the bank workers’ union.
    Jones said this country’s banks, which are predominantly Australian-owned, needed to take their responsibility to rural customers more seriously.

    …….National Party Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott said the closures reflected the commercial reality of modern banking, and if there were enough people using local branches the banks would keep them open.
    But Jones also took issue with that way of thinking.
    “You will never hear the National Party complain about corporate New Zealand because they are a political extension of corporate New Zealand.”


    • Blazer 4.1

      No chance ,Westpacs David McClean was a lead speaker at the business confidence meeting,and down played pessimism.
      It would be very ungracious to strip them of their Govt business.

      • Ed 4.1.1

        Keep $6 billion the country.
        Close down foreign banks operating here.

        • Incognito

          I’m not fond of using the reductio ad absurdum but you do know what happens to countries that have closed virtually all borders, don’t you? Does Albania ring a bell, or even North-Korea?

          Let’s try and bring some nuance into the debate. Comments that lack any nuance either get ignored here or attract an equally simplistic or absurd reflexive response. It doesn’t get us anywhere except to further polarise and antagonise people; not much progressive about that, is there?

          • Ed

            It has been done before.


            • Ad

              In 1982 French President Francois Mitterand tried to nationalize all the banks in France.

              It was a fucking moronic idea pushed by the Communist faction within his government, with weak reasoning.

              These and the other nationalisations early in the first term helped contribute to a French economic recession.

              It was a total disaster.

              The communists were pushed out nice and fast, and Mitterand went on to be France’s longest-serving President.

              • Stuart Munro

                Privatisation hasn’t been a raging success either – but it still went ahead.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Privatisation has caused major increases in poverty and trashed the economy but the rich are doing well so it’s allowed to stand. The will of the people is ignored.

              • Dennis Frank

                Mitterand was unusual in having been a right-wing political activist when young, then ending up a socialist president. If you examine his trajectory, little evidence of any socialist conviction becomes apparent. Easy to see his bombing of the Rainbow warrior as a global signal that the imperial left will never merge with the Green movement. His imperialism seems more authentic than his leftism.

                I recall his switch back to the right making the headlines when his leftist economic policy failed dramatically. This pragmatism achieved his record-breaking durability as president. However, underlying that was a lifetime of copying Stalin: using a medial line between left & right, with the leverage of the political center as a position of strength to operate from, switching tactical alignments when necessary. Winston Peters has spent a quarter-century trying to teach his fellow kiwis how effective this praxis is.

              • Ed

                Watch to see how modern private banking works.

              • mikesh

                It is not really necessary to nationalize the banks; it is only necessary to stop them creating money out of nothing.

              • dukeofurl

                How do you think Électricité de France, Gaz de France, Air France etc were created. They were state creations in the late 40s.

                There was a history behind Frances actions., which included
                “With a wide-reaching 1982 nationalization law, the government took over the major industrial groups CGE, Péchiney, Rhône-Poulenc, Saint Gobain, and Thomson; defense manufacturers Dassault-Bréguet and Matra; steel giants Usinor and Sacilor; computer companies Bull and ITT-France; and the pharmaceutical lab Roussel-UCLAF; along with the country’s thirty-six biggest banks—all at a cost of fifty-eight billion francs to the taxpayer.

                The state ownership allowed better managed transitions for some
                declining industries
                ‘Faced first with cheaper coal imports in the 1960s, and then opting in the 1970s to develop nuclear power, the government put in place a decades-long plan to wind down Charbonnages de France’s coal mining and power generation activities. The company gradually shrank its work force by relying exclusively on retirements and transfers to other public companies. From its peak in 1946, when Charbonnages employed 350,000 miners, to 2004 when the last coal mine in France shuttered its shafts, the company didn’t lay off a single worker.”


                • RedLogix

                  All good examples of a moderate, evolutionary policy, implemented incrementally over a period of decades. No doubt underlying that brief description above, there was much complexity and compromise needed to make it all work. In places it was probably messy and imperfect.

                  And at the same time largely successful French private entities, Peugeot and Schneider Electric come to mind as examples, continued to operate and thrive. The French didn’t make the radical mistake of going all neo-liberal and privatising everything not nailed down, nor neo-marxist extreme of nationalising the same. They steered a pragmatic path down the middle and came through their post-WW2 crisis reasonably well.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    All good examples of a moderate, evolutionary policy, implemented incrementally over a period of decades.

                    A decades long plan across multiple industries that only the government can do – as long as it doesn’t have any RWNJs come in and fuck things up. Private companies, no matter how big they are, don’t seem able to maintain plans that last for decades. They only seem to operate for short term profit.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes … that aligns nicely with the view that state enterprise is best for managing long-term multigenerational risks, while private enterprise scales better for the short-term. Both have a complementary place.

                      It’s a question neatly captured by Arnold Nordmeyer’s rhetorical question “do we want the state running corner dairies?”.

                  • Blazer

                    ‘They steered a pragmatic path down the middle and came through their post-WW2 crisis reasonably well.’

                    They certainly didn’t forget their humiliation by Germany quickly or their colonisation mindset.

                    Africa,Vietnam and the Rainbow Warrior attest to..that.

                    Exploitation by privatising water in Africa was all done in the best possible taste..no doubt.

                    ‘French multinationals—Saur, Suez and Vivendi—have been the main companies involved in the water business in Africa but in the last few years Portugual’s Aguas de Portugal and the British company Biwater have entered the scene. Currently, Vivendi is involved in Burkina Faso, Gabon and Niger; Suez in South Africa; and Biwater in the Republic of Congo. The PSIRU report reveals that privatisations are planned in Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, amongst others.

                    Despite IMF pressure, the privatisation of water in Africa has proceeded with difficulty in the last few years. In the PSIRU report a number of cases are given where negotiations over contracts or existing contracts between multinationals and governments broke down. Revelations from Vivendi staff at a Kampala conference indicate the problem. They explained that private firms would invest only if there are “guarantees securing the flow of payments by the municipalities or governments” and/or “sufficient and assured revenues from the users of the service.”

                    • RedLogix

                      Having worked in the water industry for almost a decade I’m very aware of the issues around the public/private split. The core problem is that water supply is fundamental human need and cannot be permitted to fail. This makes it a very politically sensitive industry.

                      In general fully privatised water provision is a bad idea. Equally there are no examples of totally public provision either. (Even the most staunchly public utility is still utterly dependent on a myriad of private sector suppliers and contractors to operate effectively.)

                      In very simple terms, the optimum arrangement seems to be where a public body owns the asset (aquifers, plants, pipes and pumping stations, etc) while some form of commercial entity operates and maintains them. Managed intelligently you retain local control of the asset, it’s maintenance, investment and pricing … while accessing the efficiencies of scale from large vendors who bring real expertise and best practise global standards to the table,

                    • Blazer

                      A sure, risk free bet required to invest’…’They explained that private firms would invest only if there are “guarantees securing the flow of payments by the municipalities or governments” and/or “sufficient and assured revenues from the users of the service.”

            • Incognito

              Please put some effort into it if you want to convince people.

              Just providing a link to the banking environment in the US in the 1820s does not constitute an argument. By clicking on that link TS readers should understand and come to the conclusion that it can and has to be done? And by “it” you presumably mean waging war on the Ozzie banks and kicking them out of NZ (nationalising?)?

              Politics is contest of ideas that requires effort and persuasion (which means appealing to both reason as well as emotion).

              Somebody once said that war is the continuation of politics by other means but you seem to want to skip the peaceful approach and go straight for the last resort?

              For the record, I do think that the power and influence of the global corporate banking industry needs to be curbed especially in domestic affairs. Whether you agree with that and how we’d go about it are the issues to be addressed.

              • Dennis Frank

                A considerable amount of work has been done on this in recent decades by many who have reframed the historical binary in an attempt to learn from history. When the ridiculous extremes of nationalisation & privatisation are eliminated from contention, the middle way becomes the path to progress.

                This tertiary stakeholder design has also been trialled historically, so we ought to be learning from the successes & failures that have been analysed. If community banks are chartered on a local stakeholder design, they can services businesses in a bioregion context, to build both local & regional resilience. As long as everyone is able to participate in both design & governance to some extent, that crowd-sourcing ought to be able to generate perceptions of the common interests of all being catered for.

                However critical mass has yet to be attained: complacency of the majority ensures that dependency on the capitalists will persist until the tipping point of sufficient desperation is reached. The visible desperate seem to prefer living under bridges to collective organising for a better future.

                • RedLogix

                  On the nail Dennis!. This is where the left must focus it’s energy in order to be effective. Radicals only discredit us. The majority of people, with real justification, will regard them with deep suspicion, and all moderate left wingers if we fail dissociate ourselves from them.

                • Incognito

                  Hi Dennis, I really appreciate your engaging and considerate comments & replies here on TS.

                  As long as everyone is able to participate in both design & governance to some extent, that crowd-sourcing ought to be able to generate perceptions of the common interests of all being catered for. [my bold]

                  What do you mean with “perceptions”? Surely, you mean “realities”?

                  Regarding the “complacency of the majority”, do you think this is wilful or possibly caused by lack of or poor education, lack of or poor journalism, lack of public intellectuals, or some other reasons altogether? Any conscious change starts (or ends) with awareness …

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Well, that’s good to know. 🙂 Both perceptions & realities are required for success, it’s just that whereas the latter is essential to structure the emerging new social reality, perceptions must shift so that participants become conscious of that emergence.

                    That’s because participants are more influential when they are actors rather than passive folk unconsciously going along with the new flow.

                    To your point about awareness: that perception of shift induces awareness. Complacency is primarily caused by culture, but I agree the factors you suggest all contribute. So the key to mass transformation is not just for individuals to operate as catalysts & lead by example, but for some of them to achieve gnosis around how to exercise even more leverage via organising – and then co-create groups for that purpose.

          • RedLogix

            Totally agree. Ed’s narrow totalitarian thinking has been proven a catastrophe everywhere it has ever been implemented, but this doesn’t cause him the slightest moment’s concern.

            Indeed economic catastrophe and social breakdown would appear to be quite welcomed by these revolutionary types; although they’d never actually say so out loud. And then there is the false assumption that it would never affect them because they’ve got the right ideology and everyone else will do the suffering.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I’m not fond of using the reductio ad absurdum but you do know what happens to countries that have closed virtually all borders, don’t you?

            What’s banning foreign ownership got to do with closing the borders?

            Let’s try and bring some nuance into the debate. Comments that lack any nuance either get ignored here or attract an equally simplistic or absurd reflexive response.

            And yet your own comment lacks nuance and also includes a false dichotomy and a false equivalence.

            Basically, it seems that you’re talking out your arse to scare people.

            • Incognito

              What’s banning foreign ownership got to do with closing the borders?

              Odd question. A foreigner comes in, it doesn’t have to be literally, buys or invests into something here and thus owns or part-owns it and the ownership crosses the border, legally and economically.

              And yet your own comment lacks nuance and also includes a false dichotomy and a false equivalence.

              Depends on how you read it but in any case you’re not helping much either in engaging in a constructive discussion, sadly.

              Basically, it seems that you’re talking out your arse to scare people.

              I do indeed talk out of my arse an awful lot and I’m trying to lift my game to talking from my guts & belly (gut instinct) to talking from my mouth but it is lifelong process; care to be more specific? How and why would I want “to scare people” and about what? Are we still talking about Ozzie banks or have you moved to a completely different topic without issuing a memo?

              I must say that your comment is a good example of a reflexive response that neither helps to build bridges nor to generate (an) understanding; it is an attempt to pull & put down without a sign of empathy or respect and no option for reconciliation or a way forward (or out …). Your absolutisms lack nuance [you like this oxymoron?].

              • Draco T Bastard

                Odd question.

                No. It’s a perfectly valid question from your assertion that anybody even suggested closing the borders.

                A foreigner comes in, it doesn’t have to be literally, buys or invests into something here and thus owns or part-owns it and the ownership crosses the border, legally and economically.

                No, that would be delusional BS. But, then, the entire economic theory is delusional BS.

                Banning foreign ownership still allows trade in actual products and that’s all that trade should be.

                How and why would I want “to scare people” and about what?

                To keep the status quo that is making NZ poorer.

      • greywarshark 4.1.2

        RW aristos bringing their fine sentiments into play to control the rabble’s practical ideas of what the country needs bring amusement.
        No chance ,Westpacs David McClean was a lead speaker at the business confidence meeting,and down played pessimism.
        It would be very ungracious to strip them of their Govt business.

        Like being ungracious (ungrateful) to Westpac for saying some positive things about present financial situation (not getting stuck into Labour because they can). Pragmatically, it illustrates a reason to stay with Westpac while they see it to their business advantage not to play anti-politics while they have so much to gain from their government contract.
        (This old man should keep on giving the dog a bone.)

        .National Party Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott said the closures reflected the commercial reality of modern banking, and if there were enough people using local branches the banks would keep them open,

        “The commercial reality of modern banking” that National Party MPs celebrate is to make huge profits from land sales to the world, creating a huge bubble that, following the history of other bubbles, has created large profit expectations and dragged investment away from other business sectors needed for our economy, and like an inflated balloon not tied off will result in a large farting noise as it travels madly pinging off solid surfaces in an unco-ordinated way and end up torn, flat and wrecked.

  5. Chris T 5

    Looks like Manning might be blocked from entering Aussie

    If she can’t go there would imagine she won’t come here


    • RedLogix 5.1

      Exactly why ‘deplatforming’ is such a terrible idea. It’s all well and good when it’s done to people you don’t like, but then you have zero defence when it’s done to people your opponents don’t like.

      This is so fucking blindly obvious I feel embarrassed for typing it out.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        Are you so stupid not to know that Southern stunts are an offence under our Human rights law.

        • Chris T

          Which stunts?

          • Red Blooded One

            “Women ‘not developed’ to be CEOs, activist Lauren Southern says https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/victoria-police-charge-lauren-southern/news-story/9986324084f649beaa9cc568e51523e0
            Jul 20, 2018 … A Canadian alt-right activist currently touring Australia has said women are not psychologically developed to hold leadership positions and …”
            Forgive me if I’m wrong re “Human Rights Law” but comments like that surely goes against New Zealand’s rights for equality. Bit of a stunt aimed for reaction or her genuine Neanderthal opinions, you choose.

            • RedLogix

              Nope. It’s just a stupid argument, and one that’s pretty easily refuted I would imagine.

              If you want a law against stupidity, then let us know why you think any of us would be immune to prosecution.

            • Chris T


              As RedLogix says, it is just a stupid theory

              To me it’s a bit like some on the left who think all men are violent and we live in one vast “rape culture”

              Two sides to the same stupid

              • Red Blooded One

                Making the statement of the stupid theory was the stunt. I provided a specific example with proof of a link, can you do the same and provide an example of someone on the left who think “all” men are violent and we live in one vast “rape culture” To equate with Southern that will have to be someone who people at the Standard have heard of and supported. Otherwise there is no comparison.

                • Chris T

                  Your link is behind a pay wall, so who knows what it is


                  • Red Blooded One

                    Thanks for that, nowhere in that article does she accuse ALL men of being violent and her reference to the Rape Culture mentions “SOME schools” and she “thinks” there is a rape culture and “How can we stop it”. Southerns comments as copied from Google this side of the PayWall as stated were (Jul 20, 2018 … A Canadian alt-right activist currently touring Australia has said women are not psychologically developed to hold leadership positions and …”) Women ARE NOT. If you think these are “Two sides of the same…” then I’m not going to try and change your mind but politely agree to disagree.

                • greywarshark

                  Jones does sound as if he is going to do something. And we need to think about the options.

                  But some good research internationally indicates expensive dams may not give the lengthy service to justify and while there is no control over the dangerous reliance on milk that is skewing our national accounts and the mad water export scheme, we don’t dare to allow the keen men to run off with our goodies.

                  Jack sold off the family cow, but they still had water left to drink and grow the beans with. We are living in ultra fairyland and I don’t trust these smart guys. There are two sorts – the ones who load up the dosh and sell out, and the ones that remain in place cutting a deep trough unable to see over the sides.

        • veutoviper

          In what way? Share your well hidden secret.

        • RedLogix

          Not proven. Their actions may be an offence in your opinion, but that’s not the same as testing that proposition in front of a Court.

          Nor does it mean that it’s a good idea to deal to every contention with resort to a law that’s capable of very broad interpretation.

          • dukeofurl

            Human Rights Act 1993
            Inciting racial/ethnic disharmony , with intent.

            It might be a bar legally , but if you are renting out a venue it could be enough to say ‘not under my roof’

            • RedLogix

              Inciting in your view yes. But if you want to make that case legally, you have to accept they may well want to mount a defense.

              In my opinion what we are seeing with S&M is what happens when the right play ‘white identity’ politics back at the left. We think it’s pretty ugly. Guess what … the right think our forms of it are ugly too. And have done so for decades.

              • McFlock

                I’ll agree with a bit of that – except the Right are using words they don’t understand. So they’re using them in a slightly warped way, like a chatbot.

                Like Chris T comparing comments about biological determination of aptitudes with comments about rape culture – the two have nothing in common, but Chris T doesn’t seem to understand that. From his perspective, they look alike. But they are not.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes that’s a good point, there isn’t necessarily a direct equivalence. But I think the underlying ‘power/oppression game’ narrative exploits the identical dynamics.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s cargo-cult “identity politics”, though. They claim victimhood on behalf of the oppressors: the “It’s ok to be white” tshirt for example.

                    Who the fuck said it wasn’t? Especially compared to the experiences of people who seemed to be followed around stores a lot more often than white people?

                    That’s what really pisses me off about it – it’s the bullies claiming that they’re bullied because someone said that “bullying is bad”.

    • veutoviper 5.2

      Last night I commented on the Chelsea Manning post. wondering whether Manning had been issued a visa for Australia, in light of the National party (led by Woodhouse but supported by Bridges according to Newshub *) calling for Immigration to refuse her a visa to NZ in view of her criminal convictions. At that point the Australian press were reporting on the situation here re these calls to refuse a visa, but little seemed to be known as to the Australian position. https://thestandard.org.nz/let-chelsea-manning-speak/#comment-1519028

      Sure enough, overnight it all blew up in the Australian media with many reports similar to the SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) report above.

      One thing re the SMH report: It reports that Manning was denied a visa to enter Canada in Sept last year (2017) BUT it does not mention that Canada subsequently issued her a very limited time visa to enter Canada for one speaking engagement in May this year.

      This was reported by the Guardian yesterday and also by RNZ National on Morning Report this morning (an earlier article at 5.54am does not give the details of the limitations on the visa but they were detailed half way down in the later mention linked to below).



      So there is precedent for a country similar to Australia and NZ to grant a one off limited visa for the same type of event Manning is scheduled to give here in NZ (ie she will only be here for 2 days for one event in Auckland on Sat 8 Sept and one in Wellington on Sun 9 Sept before scheduled for one in Brisbane on 11 Sept. Her earlier planned speeches are in Sydney this Sunday, 2 Sept and then Melbourne Friday 7 Sept before the two days 8/9 Sept in NZ.

      * Newhub item on Bridges/National saying Manning should not be let into NZ.


      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        What’s this business of convicted criminals not being able to travel.
        There are tons of people who should be convicted getting around freely.
        Having caught a few of them, when they are let out or off, they should not be automatically be refused visas.

        There are some egregious offences that people should have to prove they have renounced but a blanket ban is crazy. Every day I listen to stories about state-sponsored killing, bombing from east and west and gunshots from USA where half of them should be convicted criminals according to the news.

        • veutoviper

          “What’s this business of convicted criminals not being able to travel.” and “… but a blanket ban is crazy.”

          Do you really not know that many countries, including Canada, Australia, NZ, UK, USA etc, have immigration restrictions (which they decide for themselves) on who they will let into their country. This includes in particular if that person has any convictions over a specified level – for example, whether they were for crimes that can incur a sentence of two years in prison . In many cases, these restrictions apply regardless of whether the person has served their sentence.

          These restrictions may also apply across the board, or they may vary according to the period of time the person wants to enter the country, and the purpose of their stay (Eg holiday, work , transit to another country, to live permanently).

          Such restrictions are the norm not the exception – and have been around for many years, centuries.

          Some countries, including NZ but not all, have “Clean Slate” laws whereby convictions under a specified level of seriousness and/or sentence period may be wiped from the records after a specified period of time (eg 7 years) where the person has had no further convictions (a clean slate) over that period. The US is less generous in such matters and even if someone is clean slated in NZ, they may still have to disclose their clean slated conviction(s) when applying for entry to the US.

          Sure, there are people running around freely who should be convicted – but if they have not been convicted by due process through a court of law then they are free to do so.

          • greywarshark

            I note that all the countries referred to are English speaking and part of the myopic 5 eyes, that mini Hydra-head.

            Just because ‘they’ say something and pass it into law doesn’t mean it is right and fair. So I say WTF – in a global world why are there developing so many controls at the borders in the 21st century? Is it to protect their borders? Is it to limit people wanting to utilise the country’s resources for free or at a net cost to us? That applies to us and why it might be considered that NZ should agree to border controls with Australia (except that they would step up the cleansing of Australia and also refuse re-entry to NZ visiting family here.)

            Is it to prevent people who might reveal another way of thinking about things. S&M can get in, they don’t reveal anything new and just expound on personal prejudices that we hold to us tight, and claim to be our right. But Chelsea Manning revealed something new and displayed government subterfuge, that goes to what would be the heart of government, if it had one that is.

            • veutoviper

              No, grey, such restrictions are much wider that just English speaking countries. In fact, it would probably be hard to find any country that just lets everyone and their dog into their country.

              As I said, such restrictions are very old – definitely not a 21st century phenomenon. In fact, much more recent are moves to reduce border controls generally (but not necessarily for people with convictions) – such as between NZ and Australia under the 1963 Trans Tasman Travel Arrangement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Tasman_Travel_Arrangement

              The current problems with Australia re NZers is in fact them re-tightening their border control despite this agreement.

              S & M got visas, but very restricted short term business ones, because they have no convictions. Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years and her conviction was not pardoned by Obama and therefore stands, but her sentence was reduced to seven years by Obama. So for immigration purposes, she still has convictions.

              • Gabby

                Not very likely to reoffend though.

                • veutoviper

                  Absolutely agree, Gabby, but that is the law. I really hope CM gets let in to both NZ and Australia under the special exemptions available to both governments. Would love to go to hear her at the Wellington one, but have no money to do so. Loved the interview with Kim Hill.

        • mary_a

          greywarshark (5.2.1)

          “There are tons of people who should be convicted getting around freely.”

          This is very true. With some of them enjoying the privileges of owning expensive holiday homes in the UK, Hawaii and elsewhere, flaunting their knighthoods in the process …

      • marty mars 5.2.2

        Thanks veutoviper

        • veutoviper

          You’re welcome, hoa – or should that be tai?

          My te reo Maori is pre-kindergarten, sorry. Anyway, I saw you have been sparring with certain people here in the last day or so with four letter names. Was looking close there last night with one who is known for making sparring partners disappear – was looking like the steam was rising fast, but whew …
          Old veutoviper saying: Beware men with four letter names, two of which are the same. LOL.

  6. Gabby 6

    The Cannazis weren’t refused visas were they?

    • veutoviper 6.1

      Totally different situation on the immigration/visa front. They did not have criminal convictions.

  7. indiana 7


    I think this woman should have used the MT defence.

  8. joe90 8

    When the party of Lincoln is too racist for Faux news.

    Just hours after a big win to become the GOP nominee for Florida governor, Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis went on Fox News Wednesday morning to say the last thing Floridians should do is “monkey this up” by electing his African-American progressive opponent, Andrew Gillum.


    Later in the hour, the Fox News anchor read the DeSantis camp statement and felt the need to address his remarks, saying “We do not condone this language and wanted to make our viewers aware that he has since clarified his statement.”


      • joe90 8.1.1

        First they came for the undocumented workers…

        They served in the Army, Border Patrol and as police. They have legitimate U.S. birth certificates. But Trump’s government is denying their passport applications and telling them they aren’t U.S. citizens.

        A Washington Post report out today tells of the “growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question,” under the Trump administration’s racist policies.


        • marty mars

          Yep divide and conquer and test the limit of what they can get away with, and keep pushing against it. Dirty rightie tricks are really dirty.

          • joe90

            I can’t access the WaPO because of my adblocker but the Herald has run the article, and this stood out.

            The denials are happening at a time when Trump has been lobbying for stricter federal voter identification rules, which would presumably affect the same people who are now being denied passports – almost all of them Hispanic, living in a heavily Democratic sliver of Texas.


        • Macro

          And they just might vote in the up-coming mid terms – and you know which way they will vote!
          The US has no right to call itself a democracy.
          They hold the elections on a tuesday.
          The day is a working day.
          They restrict the number of polling booths to the affluent areas
          And in many states they demand id such as driver license or passport.

          • Macro

            And that doesn’t even cover the extensive gerrymandering of districts!
            North Carolina has been charged with redrawing the districts because of the deceitful gerrymandering – just weeks before the election!

            • greywarshark

              I know the tag for those two comments on USA macro –
              You couldn’t make this shit up

    • joe90 8.2

      Republican comms strategist decided to help out.

      I think if Ron De Santis really wanted to go with an obviously racist hit straight after the primary, he should have said on live TV "I don't think Floridians want to elect a dude who looks like Obama and is aping Bernie Sanders."— Liz Mair (@LizMair) August 29, 2018

    • joe90 8.3

      There goes the it was out of character defence.

      UPDATE: Rep. Ron DeSantis has quit the Facebook group that trafficked in racist and offensive slurs, following American Ledger’s reporting on Wednesday. – 8:54 PM

      Ron DeSantis, the Trump-endorsed congressman who won Tuesday’s GOP primary for Florida governor, is an administrator on an active Facebook group where conservatives share racist, conspiratorial and incendiary posts about a litany of targets, including black Americans and South Africans, the “deep state,” survivors of February’s massacre at a Florida high school, immigrants, Muslims and, in recent days, John McCain.


  9. Prickles 9

    It’s not over yet – dam proponents are still pursuing their dream.



    I have also been looking into something I was told this week – that one of the “big players” draws massive amounts of water from the deepest of the aquifers and sends it to China, Hong Kong and Singapore. I thought I was pretty much up with all the ins and outs of this dam but that is the first I have heard of this particular angle. Does anyone know any more about this? Apparently the bore used to belong to the TDC but because it is on this person’s land it now belongs to him.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Cinny – What do yu know? Marty mars?

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        I’m sergeant schultzing it

        Interestingly I did find this

        “Per the Naval Historical Center: The English borrowed the word “sergeant” from the French in about the Thirteenth Century. They spelled it several different ways and pronounced it both as SARgent and SERgeant. The latter was closer to the French pronunciation.”

        • Dennis Frank

          My maternal grandad enlisted age 16 to die in the trenches WWI but survived, then a motorbike courier stationed at Dublin Castle during the Irish Rebellion riding that new technology. Eventually, promoted up from corporal, since his surname was Sergeant he became Sergeant Sergeant.

          • marty mars

            Cool Dennis. My paternal grandfather enlisted to ww1 at age 16 too.

            • In Vino

              And mine too – lied about age. Battle of Somme did him no good at all. Wish I knew how he would have been without all that..

            • Anne

              So did my father. Doctored his birth certificate. As a result we never did manage to work out how old he really was…

            • Dennis Frank

              Interesting, eh? To Marty, Anne & In Vino & anyone else interested, doesn’t it just remind us how boys automatically learned how to be heroes so young, and as often as not then died as cannon fodder? In defense of empire…

              • In Vino

                Yes Dennis… or to survive, come back blighted by shellshock, etc, and visit their suffering upon their wives and children… Actually, I think that the bible says that the sins of the father will be visited upon the sons for seven generations. But I gather that in those days, 7 was a rather symbolic number.

          • Exkiwiforces

            We had a lad in NZ Scots who’s surname was Hooper and being a Cav SQN had the rank of Trooper Hooper. The poor sod got hammered from Depot to SQN until I think he discharged or transferred to another Corp.

    • Prickles 9.2

      Well goodness me. Look what I have found. Fancy John Key being involved.


      and this is interesting too



      I looked up Blue Spring and Blue Lake but haven’t had time to go through all those listed – lots have been removed from the company register as well.

      This could be a completely wrong direction but I have always thought that there seemed to be something or someone much bigger behind this extraordinary push for the dam. The scale of it made no sense at all.

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        I see that this was a Nelson company and Rachel Reese the Mayor was there cheering it on. Selling water, big deal. Lord Ernest Rutherford came from a little place out in the rurals, near here, and really made a breakthrough. Now we mine water as our highest achievement and the erstwhile Prime Minister comes and says a few words.

        Reminds me of Balham Gateway to the South tourist spoof from Peter Sellers.

        I love the tradesman in toothbrushholesmanship. He was visited by some grand notable who said a few words to him. He didn’t understand any of them.

        • Prickles

          Thanks for that Greywarshark Maybe the worker was related to Richard Kempthorne? He doesn’t understand much that is said to him either.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Sock it to them Shane. I find Shane Jones refreshing, strong language and all.
    He is like the rugby player that picks up the ball and runs wuith it, and i think he will get it down into touch. So kia kaha Shane. The water may be sludgy, but keeping stirring and bringing in some oxygen and sunlight and we might get some policy that is usable and healthy for the country.


    Aus banks take ‘skinflint’ approach to NZ – Shane Jones
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/365265/aus-banks-take-skinflint-approach-to-nz-shane-jones This will give you audio on RNZ site.

    More on banks and how they are serving us – Kiwibank
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/359536/fury-over-closures-of-kiwibank-nz-post-in-dunedin 13 June 18
    NZ Post looking for suitable shop agents – Kiwibank? May have found alternative?

  11. David Mac 11

    Shane Jones is a beaut guy to go fishing with, deliver a speech at your daughter’s wedding or lick an edge onto the chain of your Husqvarna.

    Government minister with a billion in his purse? ….Uh oh.

  12. Morrissey 12

    McCain was a “war hero”? Really?

    The White House, May 1973…

    PRES. NIXON: The most difficult decision that I have made since being President was on December the eighteenth last year.

    [Slight caesura, then massive applause]

    PRES. NIXON: And there were many occasions in that ten day period after the decision was made when I wondered whether the country really supported it. But I can tell you this: after having met each one of our honored guests this evening, after having talked to them, I think that all of us would like to join in a round of applause for the brave men who took those B-52s in and did the job!

    [Massive standing ovation, whistling and stomping]

    ad nauseam…


  13. Morrissey 13

    Who is more scurrilous—the shrill fanatics who organized it, or Change.org for allowing this farrago of lies?

    This petition by the desperate and discredited Blairite rump is preceded by the following warning:

    We have received flags from our users that the facts in this petition may be contested. You should consider researching this issue before signing or sharing.


  14. Morrissey 14

    Another disgraceful display by another loutish shill for Israel

    In this farcical clip, Michael Walker, a journalist with Novara News is pitted against “writer Benedict Spence”, a pro-Israel fanatic. As usual, the Israeli apologist has nothing to offer, so he starts interrupting and talking over Michael Walker.

    It starts talking over Walker at the 3:56 mark. Instead of addressing the lout, the host pretends that they are BOTH acting rudely, and says: “Okay guys, if you both speak at once then nobody can hear what you’re saying. Just finish your point, please, Michael and then we’ll bring in Ben….”

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  • Strengthening NZ-UK people, science and trade connections
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London overnight, and together took a number of steps to strengthen the already close ties between our two countries, and promote our common interests in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. “The UK is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest and closest friends and ...
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    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson
    Building a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future together: Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson 1. New Zealand and the United Kingdom are old friends and close partners. Our relationship rests on a bedrock of history, shared values, and deep people-to-people links, extending across almost all ...
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    1 day ago
  • PM’s Chatham House
    Director Sir Robin Niblett, distinguished guests. What an honour it is to be back in London, and to be here at Chatham house. This visit represents much for me. The reopening of borders and resumption of travel after a difficult few years. The chance to bring life to the UK ...
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    1 day ago
  • Otago Foreign Policy School, opening address
    Manawa maiea te pūtanga o Matariki Manawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Manawa maiea te mātahi o te tau! Introduction I’m pleased to join you for my second address at the 56th Annual Otago Foreign Policy School.  The topic for this year is Space. Given that we are in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government launches new Ministry of Disabled People
    New Ministry will officially be called Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People Public Service Commission have appointed Geraldine Woods as Interim Chief Executive Office for Disability Issues to be folded into the new Ministry In what is a milestone day, the Government has launched Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Whaikaha ...
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    2 days ago
  • Further Investment to support rangatahi to overcome barriers to employment
    Nine new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes have been approved funding.  These programmes will provide work-readiness, training and employment initiatives for over 820 rangatahi NEETS (not in education, employment or training), across Aotearoa New Zealand.  "He Poutama Rangatahi has proven to be a very successful initiative which supports rangatahi to overcome ...
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    2 days ago
  • Crown appointments to Ihumātao Steering Committee
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today announced the appointment of Crown representatives, Dr Charlotte Severne and Mr Bernie O’Donnell, to the Steering Committee that will determine the future of the Ihumātao land.   “I’m pleased to have made the Crown appointments. Both Dr Severne and Mr O’Donnell have extensive ...
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    2 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little's address to first joint meeting of the boards of Te Whatu Ora &#...
    I begin by thanking each of you for accepting appointment to these boards. You’ve each been on the Ministerial committee that established Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - the Māori Health Authority and I express my appreciation for the enormous task you collectively ...
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    2 days ago
  • Hong Kong National Security Law
    Aotearoa New Zealand has reiterated its concerns over the continued erosion of rights, freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong. On the second anniversary of the introduction of the Hong Kong National Security Law, the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says developments in Hong Kong remain a cause for worry. “Two years ...
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    2 days ago
  • Europol Agreement will assist New Zealand law enforcement in tackling serious crime
    The Europol Agreement signed is a significant milestone for New Zealand and the European Union’s relationship, and reflects our shared principles of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. The Prime Minister attended a signature ceremony in Brussels, as part of ...
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    2 days ago
  • New era for better health in Aotearoa New Zealand
    ·       New nationwide public health system ·       20 district health boards disestablished and deficits wiped ·       82,000 health employees directly employed by Health New Zealand ·       $24 billion health budget this year – up 43% since Labour took office in 2017 – in addition to separate funding for the new ...
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    2 days ago
  • New chairs appointed to the Teaching Council and Te Kura
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced appointments to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Board of Trustees of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura). “Robyn Baker ONZM has been appointed as the chair of the Teaching Council. She has considerable governance experience and is a ...
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    2 days ago
  • Joint media release on the occasion of the meeting between European Commission President von der Ley...
    European Commission President von der Leyen and Prime Minister of New Zealand Ardern met in Brussels on 30 June 2022. The encounter provided an opportunity to reaffirm that the European Union and Aotearoa New Zealand are longstanding partners with shared democratic values and interests, aligned positions on key international and ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand secures major free trade deal with European Union
    Export revenue to the EU to grow by up to $1.8 billion annually on full implementation. Duty-free access on 97% of New Zealand’s current exports to the EU; with over 91% being removed the day the FTA comes into force. NZ exporters set to save approx. $110 million per annum ...
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    2 days ago
  • Biggest Year for Clean Cars on Record
    57,000 EVs and Hybrid registered in first year of clean car scheme, 56% increase on previous year EVs and Non Plug-in Hybrids made up 20% of new passenger car sales in March/April 2022 The Government’s Clean Car Discount Scheme has been a success, with more than 57,000 light-electric and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Police Wing 355 includes the highest ever proportion of Wāhine Māori
    Police Minister Chris Hipkins congratulates the newest Police wing – wing 355 – which graduated today in Porirua. “These 70 new constables heading for the frontline bring the total number of new officers since Labour took office to 3,303 and is the latest mark of our commitment to the Police ...
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    3 days ago
  • New RBNZ board takes up role from 1 July
    Members with a range of governance, financial and technical skills have been appointed to the Reserve Bank Board as part of the shift to strengthen the Bank’s decision-making and accountability arrangements. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 comes into force on 1 July 2022, with the establishment of ...
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    3 days ago
  • New measures to help manage COVID-19 as country stays at Orange
    New Zealand to remain at Orange as case numbers start to creep up 50 child-size masks made available to every year 4-7 student in New Zealand 20,000-30,000 masks provided a week to all other students and school staff Extra funding to schools and early childhood services to supports better ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ to join International Court of Justice case against Russia
    Aotearoa New Zealand will join Ukraine’s case against Russia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which challenges Russia’s spurious attempt to justify its invasion under international law. Ukraine filed a case at the ICJ in February arguing Russia has falsely claimed genocide had occurred in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as ...
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    3 days ago
  • New advisory group provides enduring Māori expertise for Te Aorerekura delivery
    The Government has taken another step forward in its work to eliminate family violence and sexual violence with the announcement today of a new Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group. A team of 11 experts in whānau Māori wellbeing will provide the Government independent advice on shaping family violence and sexual ...
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    3 days ago
  • Making work better for Kiwi women
    Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine: Women’s Employment Action Plan was launched today by Minister for Women Jan Tinetti – with the goal of ensuring New Zealand is a great place for women to work. “This Government is committed to improving women’s working lives. The current reality is that women have ...
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    3 days ago
  • Good Employer Awards celebrate food and fibre sector
    The food and fibre sector acknowledged its people and leadership at last night’s 2022 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, a time to celebrate their passion towards supporting employees by putting their health, welfare and wellbeing first,” Acting Minister of Agriculture Meka Whairiti said. “Award winners were selected from an extraordinary ...
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    3 days ago
  • PM's comments to NATO session
    Kia ora koutou katoa.  It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation.   New Zealand is ...
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    3 days ago
  • Veterans Minister announces new focus on mental health for veterans and their whānau
    Te Arataki mō te Hauora Ngākau mō ngā Mōrehu a Tū me ō rātou Whānau, The Veteran, Family and Whānau Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy Framework “We ask a lot of those who serve in the military – and we ask a lot of the families and whānau who support ...
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    4 days ago
  • Minister to advocate for Small Island States
    Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio has been appointed by the United Nations and Commonwealth as Aotearoa New Zealand’s advocacy champion for Small Island States.  “Aotearoa New Zealand as a Pacific country is particularly focused on the interests of Pacific Small Island Developing States in our region.  “This is a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Increased support for households to pay local council rates
    An estimated 100,000 low income households will be eligible for increased support to pay their council rates, with changes to the rates rebate scheme taking effect from 1 July. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced increases to both the maximum value of the rates rebate, and the income threshold ...
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    4 days ago
  • He Oranga Poutama expanded into four new regions
    A long-standing physical activity programme that focuses on outcomes for Maori has been expanded to four new regions with Government investment almost doubled to increase its reach. He Oranga Poutama is managed by a combination of hapū, iwi, hauora and regional providers.   An increase in funding from $1.8 million ...
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    4 days ago
  • Wellington’s rapid transit option progresses to next stage
    The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay, a new tunnel through Mt Victoria for public transport, and walking and cycling, and upgrades to improve traffic flow at the Basin Reserve. “Where previous ...
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    4 days ago
  • Keynote remarks: Tech 4 Democracy Summit, Madrid
    To Provost Muniz, to the Organisers at the Instituto de Empresa  buenas tardes and as we would say in New Zealand, kia ora kotou katoa.  To colleagues from the State Department, from Academia, and Civil Society Groups, to all our distinguished guests - kia ora tatou katoa. It’s a pleasure ...
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    4 days ago
  • On June 28, 2022, a meeting took place in Madrid between the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who was visiting Spain to participate in the Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as one ...
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    4 days ago
  • More young Kiwis able to travel and work in Spain
    A six-fold increase in the Aotearoa New Zealand-Spain working holiday scheme gives a huge boost to the number of young people who can live and work in each other’s countries, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Jacinda Ardern and Spanish President Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón made the Working Holiday/Youth Mobility Scheme announcement ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting local government candidates
    A significant barrier has been removed for people who want to stand in local government elections, with a change to the requirement to publish personal details in election advertising. The Associate Local Government Minister Kieran McAnulty has taken the Local Electoral (Advertising) Amendment Bill through its final stages in Parliament ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt passes law to protect consumers in banking and insurance sector
    New financial conduct scheme will ensure customers are treated fairly Banks, insurers and non-bank deposit takers to be licensed by the FMA in relation to their general conduct Sales incentives based on volume or value targets like bonuses for selling a certain number of financial products banned The Government ...
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    5 days ago
  • New law paves way for greater supermarket competition
    Legislation that bans major supermarkets from blocking their competitors’ access to land to set up new stores paves the way for greater competition in the sector, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The new law is the first in a suite of measures the Government is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Vaccine mandate for border and corrections workers to end
    The Government has announced an end to the requirement for border workers and corrections staff to be fully vaccinated. This will come into place from 2 July 2022. 100 per cent of corrections staff in prisons, and as of 23 June 2022 97 per cent of active border workers were ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand's Commonwealth relationships strengthened at CHOGM
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has concluded a visit to Rwanda reaffirming Aotearoa New Zealand’s engagement in the Commonwealth and meeting with key counterparts. “I would like to thank President Kagame and the people of Rwanda for their manaakitanga and expert hosting of this important meeting,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “CHOGM ...
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    5 days ago
  • Emergency monitoring centre opened to keep New Zealand safer
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty officially launched the new Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting (MAR) Centre at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today. The Government has stood up the centre in response to recommendations from the 2018 Ministerial Review following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and 2017 Port Hills fire, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway speed limit to change to 110km/h
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the announcement that a 110km/hr speed limit has been set for the SH1 Waikato Expressway, between Hampton Downs and Tamahere. “The Waikato Expressway is a key transport route for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of the central North ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government listening to sector on NCEA
    Following feedback from the sector, Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti, today confirmed that new literacy and numeracy | te reo matatini me te pāngarau standards will be aligned with wider NCEA changes. “The education sector has asked for more time to put the literacy and numeracy | te reo ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine
    $4.5 million to provide Ukraine with additional non-lethal equipment and supplies such as medical kit for the Ukrainian Army Deployments extended for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) intelligence, logistics and liaison officers in the UK, Germany, and Belgium Secondment of a senior New Zealand military officer to support International ...
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    6 days ago