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Open Mike 30/12/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 30th, 2017 - 119 comments
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119 comments on “Open Mike 30/12/2017”

  1. Andre 1

    A few years on from initial cannabis legalisation in a couple of US states, here’s a look at how the economics of growing and distributing it have evolved.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/legal-weed-isnt-the-boon-small-businesses-thought-it-would-be/

    • tc 1.1

      It’s showing the normal dynamics of any product that can scale, has immense choice in type/cultivar, evolving consumption methods with a very discerning consumer base.

      As well as lighting up the recreational market previously underground big business has cut its teeth in Colorado and eyes off these new states in a similar way that booze flowed after prohibition.

      They’ll do to the retail market what malls have done to suburban strip shops, be niche, have a point of difference or go out of business.

      • Andre 1.1.1

        That piece doesn’t really spell out the next likely stages of the market evolution, but other consumables like beer, wine, cheese, ice cream show the likely path. Consolidation of suppliers into a few big players with multiple brands, and as you say, the remaining small players either find their special niche (and probably sell out to a big player shortly thereafter), or wither and die.

        • simbit 1.1.1.1

          One niche will be the coupling of, say, artisanal marijuana and craft beer, with requisite ambience (no slot machines or pop music). I would pay a premium for that.

          Current BC (Canada) market is humming. I’m curious as to how SK (Saskatchewan) will fuck it up (through a combination of archaic provincialism, conservatism, fear, corruption and bumbling incompetence).

          • red-blooded 1.1.1.1.1

            An interesting piece of RNZ this morning about (in part) the effects in Mexico of legalisation in the US: basically, the drug cartels scaling up into harder drugs for export into the US (mostly heroin), other kinds of crime (like kidnapping) and an increase in violence between drug cartels (the murder rate is about 27 000 –
            nearly doubled in 11 years) and involving the army. Of course, this piece was also about the war on drugs in Mexico, and the wider relationship between Mexico and the US. Worth a listen.

            https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018627699 (from just before the 11 minute mark)

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          Typical capitalism then.

  2. Gristle 2

    How much time and space do we owe the right wing here?

    Yesterday was another day when I look through Open Mike and just skip past all the sections occupied by by “James” or “BM” or Sryland” or a half dozen others. Previously I would have read through the comments, but over time I have found their contributions to be of such low value that scrolling past them or abandoning the thread/site is a better course of action for me.

    They demand space in the name of freedom. They demand attention in the name of tolerance. Plurality of views is called for to justify their presence.

    This space was created for, and primarily occupied by, the very people whom James and BM want to squash. It really owes them nothing and if their presence appears is felt to stifle debate or exploration then they should excluded.

    • Ed 2.1

      Agreed
      They do not offer an debate or argument. Schoolyard squabbling would be best they offer.
      They just pollute the site with insults, attacks, smears and diversions.

    • Andre 2.2

      The only people owed anything here are the authors, moderators and others that keep the place running, who are owed a heap of gratitude. All the rest of us should keep in mind we’re playing for free in a playground that others put a lot of volunteer work into making it available.

      As far as the likes of BM, james, Wayne, srylands etc goes, they help stop this space from being too much of an echo chamber. Scrolling past the inane tit-for-tats and obvious trolling is a small price to pay for the rare occasions they bring interesting perspectives here.

      • Ed 2.2.1

        Agreed – we owe administrators, moderators and authors a debt of gratitude for running this site.
        But these rwnjs do stifle debate and make people lose interest in threads.
        It’s worth asking what they add to the site when they are probably ( as they intend) turning many others away from the site.

        • Graeme 2.2.1.1

          “But these rwnjs do stifle debate and make people lose interest in threads.”

          That’s the object of the exercise. And some of them really get off on it. Same sort of behaviour as the muppets that go into bars and try and pick fights, except I doubt the local batch of wingnuts would fare too well at that.

      • joe90 2.3.1

        tl;dr

        Prick who reckons the British Empire was all good and cracked a fat over Dick and Dubya’s excellent Iraq adventure sez nazis are people too, and we should listen to them.
        /

      • The biggest threat to the world? The right-wing as shown by all the wars that they start, their denial of global warming and their insistence that business needs to be able to pollute without restraint (see farming).

        • Stuart Munro 2.3.2.1

          John Brunner reckoned the biggest threat to the world was selective inattention, whereby humans ignore what is important in favour of issues that are popular or framed so as to appeal to us. That would to some extent cover the RWNJ narratives as well as the less valid parts of the Left.

          https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/872228.The_Stone_That_Never_Came_Down

        • alwyn 2.3.2.2

          “The right-wing as shown by all the wars that they start”.
          In the United States it is generally the other way around.
          The main wars they were involved in in the 20th century were, I would suggest, WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam. When they started there were Democrats in the White House, every time. They were Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy.
          Good theory but no cigar, I’m afraid.

          • joe90 2.3.2.2.1

            The US entered the first following the sinking of their shipping, the second after an act of war, Korea and Vietnam to repel a perceived red menace but hey, alwyn says because leftist!

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.2.2

            https://www.indy100.com/article/usa-american-army-invasions-police-actions-overseas-dod-defense-war-troops-deployment-marines-7908611

            The US has been invading other nations since it’s independence. You missed their invasion of Russia after WWI as an example.

            Oh, and all wars started by RWNJs is accurate and isn’t exclusive to the US.

            • alwyn 2.3.2.2.2.1

              “invasion of Russia after WWI”.
              I only picked out the major ones.
              On the other hand that would have taken place when Wilson was President, wouldn’t it? Wasn’t he a Democrat?
              Oh well if you want to include it go ahead. I wouldn’t bother. It would be like counting the invasion of Grenada under Reagan, or Cuba at the Bay of Pigs under Kennedy.

              • On the other hand that would have taken place when Wilson was President, wouldn’t it? Wasn’t he a Democrat?

                Yes and yes.

                What gives you the idea that the Democrats have ever been Left wing?

                They, like Labour here, have always been a capitalist party.

              • McFlock

                You mean the Bay of Pigs plan developed under Eisenhower? And the US entered Vietnam under Eisenhower.

                Then there’s McKinley and Teddy Rooseveldt, republicans, and the reason MacArthur was in the Phillipines in the first place to be able to say “I shall return”. Hawaii was invaded. Iran-contra. Panama (twice). Iraq (twice).

                WW2 is an exception, because it was a war of self defense – the US was militarily attacked and had war declared upon it.

                So, nice try, but both US parties have started their share of wars. Some more defensible than others.

          • Carolyn_Nth 2.3.2.2.3

            And what makes you think US democrats, especially their presidents, are left wing? Truman was pretty anti-union.

            Bushes started wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan.

            • alwyn 2.3.2.2.3.1

              The most anti-democratic of the ones I listed was Woodrow Wilson. He was dreadful. Anti-Semitic, racist, anti-Union, you name it and Wilson was guilty of it.

              • A white American in the early 20th Century was anti-semitic and a racist to boot? OMG, how could such an outlier ever have been elected to the presidency?

    • How much time and space do we owe the right wing here?

      Who’s “we?” Are you claiming some kind of shared ownership of this site? Good luck with that – likewise with telling the moderators who should be allowed to comment here.

      • Sanctuary 2.4.1

        Here is the problem I have with debating with the right and people like James.

        They almost always dishonest. You will seldom get a right winger these days to openly state their case and why. Instead they will dissemble, use false equivalance, argue in bad faith, use “whataboutism” and employ hairsplitting over minutiae to divert. Expert information is dismissed with a mix of anti-intellectualism and conspiracy theories. It is the mentality of paranoid reaction; they have no constructive views only attacks on what they don’t like. They can’t defend their POV because being racist and classist and misogynist in no longer acceptable in the common discourse.

        They are the marginalised voices of irrelevance, left behind and not dealing with the shock of the new.

        To me, these are indicators of poorly educated people in the sense that (to me at least) the true mark of an an educated person is someone who is able sift good information from bad, discern reliable opinion from unreliable, and be able to identify and engage with experts.

        So i seldom waste my time arguing with pygmies like James, sryland etc etc. They doesn’t have a clue; it isn’t my job to try and give them one.

        IMHO, a website comments section should be treated in most ways as a letters section of a daily newspaper. No one ever demanded the right to publish any old rubbish in the local paper as a fundamental component of free speech. Publication in any organ is a privilege, not a right and any publication has a right to not publish Letters or comments that are incorrect or designed to inflame. Comments should be curated and anything that is disingenuous, dishonest, or trolling should be removed, no questions asked.

        • Grey Area 2.4.1.1

          Very good summary in your second paragraph Sanctuary, and I agree with Gristle up-thread.

          As someone who enjoys the discourse on this site, learns a lot especially through links provided that I’m sure I would never have come across otherwise, and is challenged regularly by the views of others, can I ask Standardistas to consider ignoring the obvious contenders and James in particular.

          Before being accused of being afraid of, or trying to limit, robust debate (or being afraid of opposing views) I would say that he offers very little in the way of debate (or shows he’s read the links provided by others) and I consider that’s not why he’s here anyway. As someone else has said yesterday it’s just shit and giggles.

          I stress that I am not denying his right to express his opinion here, but once he has, I just wish people would move on. Choosing to not engage with someone you consider to have ulterior motives is a perfectly legitimate course of action, in fact the sensible one.

          If anyone wants to continue dealing with this irritant that’s your choice but please be aware it makes this site less enjoyable and interesting for some others as it forces us to clamber through clogged-up threads.

          I will be pressing the mental “ignore” button from now on. Please, for the benefit of those of us who come here for stimulation and encouragement, consider doing the same.

        • adam 2.4.1.2

          Come on Sanctuary I’ve caught out james twice. One for him supporting the right to beat children, and recently his support of the racist murders by the right in Venezuela.

          James has holes, just expose them once in a while whist not attacking him personally.

          I’d say much like Puckish Rogue he is a racist, and hates being told his opinions are pretty much worthless.

          James plays words games and trolls people – if you like, be smart and troll him back. Sheesh he is not as smart as he thinks he is, you should not give him much credit either.

    • Bearded Git 2.5

      agreed…james in particular posts things just to stir and troll…it is a delberate tactic to limit intelligent and constuctive debate on this site….the best course is to ignore bm and james

    • The Fairy Godmother 2.6

      I guess that happens offline too. I go to a reasonably liberal or at least non-fundamentalist church but we have recently attracted an extreme fundamentalist. He is a former missionary for Ravi Zaccarius international ministries and is worming his way in every where. He speaks in tongues and thinks himself God touched. He poisons groups with his agendas so some people just stop going yet no-one will even suggest dealing with him because we all like to be tolerant. How to the tolerant and inclusive deal with the intolerant and exclusive?.

    • JanM 2.7

      You took the words right out of my mouth, so to speak-I was tempted yesterday to ask nicely if we could have one right-wing troll-free day a week so conversations are able to gain some depth – the ping-pong thing does get very boring.
      I guess I have the choice to just not bother, but it seems a shame when there are otherwise so many interesting things to read.
      Maybe if people just stop taking the bait so readily?

    • beatie 2.8

      +100. I come to read this site to get away from the likes of James etc. Why don’t they stick to their own forum? eg talkback radio

    • beatie 2.9

      James like pushing people’s buttons with his smug bullshit comments. Please don’t respond. I suspect he would be lost on right wing forums cos he’s just one among many. What get’s me his (successful) derailing of threads with tales of his flash BBQ’s, whereby people dutifully respond. Just….don’t.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    What turns people off is the repetitive nature of their trolling. Red herrings, sprats to catch mackerel, and bait for sharks. It is all prods and jabs with the odd barb.

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    Maybe someone should get hold of Kim Hill and remind her how to conduct a robust interview, when it comes to American politics she seems to have lost touch with the critical thinking side of her brain….( I can’t remember if that is the right or left side)…

    Here is Kim Hill interviewing Luke Harding on his book ‘Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House’

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018624819

    Here is Aaron Matè interviewing Luke Harding on his book ‘Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House’

    While Aarons interview isn’t perfect, at least he actually tries to make Harding explain how he came to his conclusions, and not just assume those conclusions are fact, as Kim so obviously does.

    • Morrissey 4.1

      I agree with you Adrian. Luke Harding was an interesting interview, but she let him away with a lot of contentious statements, without challenging him.

      Still, it’s not the worst interview she’s conducted. I was appalled by her credulity when she interviewed a glib and smooth propagandist in 2013….

      Open mike 13/07/2013

    • I don’t get interviewers like Aaron Matè. Harding’s written a book in which he makes a case for the Russian government having colluded with Trump and attempted to influence the election for president. Most of Matè’s questions amount to “Yeah, but where’s the proof?” Well, fucking duh – if there was proof, Trump would be serving a term in prison rather than a term as PotUS and diplomatic relations between the USA and the Russian Federation would be only one step short of armed conflict. As with many other political questions, there is no certainty one way or the other, just what you can argue for.

      • francesca 4.2.1

        Well then isn’t it up to interviewers to test that hypothesis?
        Rather than to agree lamely?

        • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.1

          Sure it is. But truculent disagreement isn’t a great improvement on lame agreement.

          • Bill 4.2.1.1.1

            Asking for some verifiable proof is not “truculent disagreement”.

            Contending (as has been done on a regular basis) that anyone not believing that which is “meant to be believed” are supportive of dictators and oppressive regimes is intellectually bankrupt.

            So, on the one side there are the “true believers” who push their case by vilifying any who don’t buy into what they want to sell.

            And on the other there are those who say if serious allegations are being made, then the onus is on those making the allegations to provide some measure of proof.

            • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Asking for some verifiable proof is not “truculent disagreement”.

              Asking Mueller for some verifiable proof after he’s finished his investigation isn’t truculent disagreement, no. It’s due process. But a journalist declaring up front that he rejects his interviewee’s arguments and spending the interview on “But where’s the proof” questions are – if Luke Harding had proof of what he’s claiming, Trump would be in prison, as mentioned above.

              • Bill

                A guy makes bold claims. He says his claims are all true and reasonable. All you’re saying is he shouldn’t be questioned and probed on the claims he makes with an aim of establishing how true or reasonable his claims might be.

                Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

                Next you’ll be saying no questions should be asked of a guy who’s written a book about how the earth is flat, even though he’s based his claims on having spoken to some guy, or to some guy who spoke to some guy…and maybe one or two of those guys are guys who powerful guys, who want us to believe the earth is flat, have put in a good word for.

                And anyone who does question the guy who wrote the book, or who wants to see some evidence that might back up claims made in the book…well, they obviously believe the absurd notion that earth rests on the back of a giant turtle.

                That’s essentially the pattern conservative liberals who house themselves on both the right and left of the political spectrum, are creating with their insistence we all accept their word on Russian stuff as an article of faith.

                • A guy makes bold claims.

                  There’s nothing “bold” about the claim that great-power governments attempt to clandestinely interfere in the affairs of other countries in various ways. It’s anything but a “bold” claim.

                  He says his claims are all true and reasonable.

                  Or, in this case, he writes a whole book laying out the basis of his claims.

                  All you’re saying is he shouldn’t be questioned and probed on the claims he makes with an aim of establishing how true or reasonable his claims might be.

                  I haven’t said that at all. I have said that demanding “proof” is for the justice system, not for journalists interviewing an author about his book. By all means deal with his arguments, but leave proof to the systems designed to establish proof.

                  • Bill

                    There’s nothing “bold” about the claim that great-power governments attempt to clandestinely interfere in the affairs of other countries in various ways.

                    Sure. And no-one has said that isn’t the case. But the claims being made go way beyond that banal observation.

                    And you want books (and presumably newspaper and magazine articles besides) not held up to any scrutiny – as in demanding evidence that would underscore or back up claims, because that’s “proof” and so rightly left to a judicial system.

                    Meaning (according to your argument) that anyone can write any piece of tosh, and unless some court case is in the pipeline, no questions ought ever to be asked about said tosh – because everything must correctly come down to mere belief versus non-belief.

                    Fucking madness.

                    • And you want books (and presumably newspaper and magazine articles besides) not held up to any scrutiny…

                      Well, you keep saying that, but I haven’t.

    • Bill 4.3

      Classic. Thanks for the link Adrian :))

      What happens when a “true believer” meets some request for evidence to back their gospel?

      Hard swallowing, umming and ahhing, a bit of literal arm waving and the whole sermon of “you don’t believe only because you’re not seeing the same shadows I see and that makes you wrong and me right” followed by “oops I hit the disconnect button”.

      Hope the poor guy had a wet-wipe and a clean shirt to hand.

  5. Ad 5

    Why do the New Years Honours look like there has been no change of government at all?

    It reads like Labour weren’t prepared for government.

    • Graeme 5.1

      Or was it all in place before the change in government?

      I wondered the same thing and that was the only explanation I could come up with. There would be a fairly substantial lead time in putting the list together.

    • millsy 5.2

      Highly this was drawn up by the outgoing government.

      The gongs given out to farming luimaries suggest that.

    • veutoviper 5.3

      As mentioned in the other replies, the list was compiled by the previous government and the new government would have had little choice but to run with it in view of the change of government only two months before the NY Honours announcements.

      The process for nomination, checking nominations, approval within NZ and then obtaining Royal assent is a long slow one – and the final decisions and assents may well have been virtually completed by Oct 26, the date of the swearing in of the new government. Therefore there would have been no real way that they could have scrapped the National Government nominations and replaced them with new ones that late in the process – and it would have looked pretty poor if they had just scrapped the Nat nominations and left a big blank this round.

      The process – https://www.dpmc.govt.nz/our-programmes/new-zealand-royal-honours/make-nomination/nominations-honours (more links listed in this one).

      Jacinda Ardern has confirmed this in a post on her Facebook account this morning
      “This year I had the privilege of seeing a bit more of the detail behind our honours list. While the list was compiled by the last Government, I was there for the final stage. This list is a snap shot of all the work so many New Zealanders do across a whole lifetime- and usually it’s on behalf of all of us. Special mention to Joy Cowley for helping so many generations learn to read, and my friend @annette.of.rongotai Our longest serving woman in politics, and a wonderful person.”
      https://www.facebook.com/jacindaardern/

      What we will probably never know is whether there were other Nat govt nominations that were in fact vetoed by the new government in this final stage …

      • Ad 5.3.1

        That is unbelievably weak from the PM. She is either the DPMC minister or she isn’t. Gets a peek into the process? FFS imagine Clark saying that.

        There’s no sign this government had any input and she admitted it. Go through the last 9 years of lists and you see a fully politicised process of well calibrated patronage.

        The two Labour people up the list -King and Bassett- are hard right enforcers better suited to National.

        We need to stay calling ‘time’ on their excuses that it’s only been 2 months. They heroically tout their list of wonders every chance they get.

        • JanM 5.3.1.1

          Cheap shot, Ad – stuff has made it quite clear that this list was compiled by the last government

          • Anne 5.3.1.1.1

            I agree JanM. My understanding is: those Honours lists are compiled months in advance. Many are recommendations from various sources and the rest are essentially added to the list by the incumbent government – that is, the politically aligned recipients. The only thing Jacinda Ardern would have seen was the ‘signed and sealed in’ official list which can’t be aborted.

            No point in crying over spilt milk and anyway… their turn will come at some point when they, too, lose the treasury benches but the subsequent Honours list was complied by them.

            • Graeme 5.3.1.1.1.1

              I hope an outgoing Labour led government wouldn’t be expected to be vindictive in this area. The honours list really should be politically neutral, and recognition of service to the community as a whole.

              Sure there were a couple of names on this list where I (and probably a lot of people) though “wonder what they did for the National Party”, but generally the names were people who gave a significant contribution to our community through the arts, other people’s sporting achievement, or the smooth functioning of our communities.

              But at change of government those political honours stand out starkly, and reflect poorly on the outgoing government.

        • greywarshark 5.3.1.2

          Ad
          Give her a break. She came into the field as a late starter and has won the race. Since then she has spent every waking hour trying to get policies moving, the public engaged, and face off the disaffected. And she is still probably trying to feel sensitively the strength of the invaders trying to enter her territory. I hope that you are not one who would attack her on spurious grounds! Practicality not wishful thinking is the driver.

          (Picture a delicate spider touching the web and checking out who would be good to eat, who to deter, and who are poisonous to be in contact with. I think our PM has to watch over her territory carefully.)

        • Stuart Munro 5.3.1.3

          I’ll give them well into the New Year before waxing critical – but not till 2019. There’s quite a big job to be done.

  6. Morrissey 6

    Ditzy Dame Denise a Disgraceful choice for New Year’s Honour List

    Anyone who listens to RNZ National will be well aware that Denise L’Estrange Corbet is one of the nastiest, as well as most poorly informed, people to have appeared on Jim Mora’s light chat show. In 2014 she unleashed this screeching broadside against the poor….

    DENISE L’ESTRANGE-CORBET: It’s like the TV programme Benefit Street. People who are on the dole, who spend their days SMOKING and DRINKING and GAMBLING and they keep on having CHILDREN. … Maybe someone needs to go in and see where the money is going. We just can’t keep on handing out MONEY! …. It comes down to education. Don’t smoke it, don’t drink it, don’t buy Lotto tickets. I don’t believe there IS a shortage of jobs in New Zealand….

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06092014/#comment-881331

    Still, she’s no worse than “Sir” Robert Jones and President Donald Trump, I guess. What’s the next outrage to public sensibility, I wonder? Sir Kyle Chapman? Lord Garth the Ripper?

    • red-blooded 6.1

      Yeah, but as stated before, this list was prepared by the Nats. The process takes months and even if they had wanted to, I doubt very much that the new government would have seen altering it as a top priority in the limited time they’ve had.

      More interesting for me is whether or not they’ll dump the “Sir” and “Dame” relics of the British Empire again, like the Clark government did. The worry being, of course, that the next Nat led government (whenever it occurs) could just bring them back in, as SIR John Key did.

      • Dv 6.1.1

        And aren’t th recipricants asked if they will accept an honour?
        To avoid the embarrassment of a public refusal?

    • Ed 6.2

      Rachel Stewart

      ‘One of the worst leaders Federated Farmers has ever had – and that’s saying something – gets a gong. Shows why the honour system is a tired joke.’

      https://t.co/kXn1C6Uvt3?amp=1

      The recipient Rolleston said this in 2017.

      ‘Farmers have started on a journey which will be to the environment what the 1980s reforms were to the economy, he said.

      As anyone with a modicum of political knowledge would be aware, the 1980s destroyed the NZ economy for ordinary NZers and gave it to foreigners and a parasitic rentier class.
      So he obviously cares not one one whit about the environment.

      The environmental damage caused by the explosion of dairy when he was leader of federated farmers shows up the Honours system for what it is.
      I think Talley’s award was the worst.

  7. adam 7

    Code Pink – Stars as always.

  8. Rosemary McDonald 8

    Well, I’m disappointed, and not a little bit pissed off.

    Where the hell is the official Party website for the partner in our coalition government?

    http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/

    No list of members.
    No contact details.
    No policy statements.
    No nothing.

    Not good enough.

    (And yes, I have been here…https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/political-parties/new-zealand-first-party/, and I have been here…https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/members-of-parliament/
    but I want something akin to this…https://www.greens.org.nz/

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      And yes….I looked here…https://www.interest.co.nz/news/86954/election-2017-party-philosophieskaupapa

      and under New Zealand First…every link reads…

      “The page you were looking for was not found.”

      It appears that the New Zealand First website has winked out of existence.

      Completely.

      How can this happen, especially when this is the party which forms the current government?

      How are we supposed to communicate with New Zealand First MPs on specific issues when we are denied access to their manifesto and pre -election policy statements?

      So…when New Zealand First’s new website winks into existence, whenever, we will be unable to compare their former, pre-election policies with whatever presumably sanitised version will be posted.

      Totally unacceptable.

      • weka 8.1.1

        http://www.nzfirst.org.nz says new website coming soon, so I guess they’re rearranging things 🙁

        I find it annoying that political parties can do this. Older versions of their sites should be archived. NZF have done something particularly bad if all the incoming links are now broken. They should be redirecting if they’re rebuilding their website.

        I agree it’s not acceptable for a govt party. Try here if you need something in the meantime,

        https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/

        • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1.1

          Thanks weka for the response.

          New Zealand First, from what I can glean from what wayback has archived, has nothing specific to say about the issue I’m currently trying to remind current government MPs about…so probably a waste of time writing to them…as the only NZF MP who has spoken on this issue in the house is gone….

          I hate, really really hate it when something like this happens.

          A document, an entire fucking government party website, disappearing of the web.

          We shouldn’t have to do the wayback thing.

          My innate suspicion of all political parties and all politicians has just been ramped up to the nth degree.

          This is the current government’s coalition partner…without NZF, Labour would not be in power.

          So much for transparency and accountability and all that claptrap.

          If I had my way, I’d declare this coalition null and void on grounds of extreme deceit on behalf on one of the parties.

          Labour really needs to address this urgently…oh, that’s right, they;re all away on their hols.

          • Antoine 8.1.1.1.1

            I think your expectations of NZ 1st may be far too high in general

            A.

          • red-blooded 8.1.1.1.2

            Labour really needs to address this urgently…oh, that’s right, they;re all away on their hols.
            To be fair, Labour aren’t in control of another party’s website. How would that play out? Should they be appointed guardians of the Greens’ website too?

            Plus, people are allowed holidays. Even politicians and public servants. And even if this was Labour’s issue (which it isn’t) it would hardly be a matter of urgency. There are a few other matters that need addressing in the country, after all…

            • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1.1.2.1

              “There are a few other matters that need addressing in the country, after all…”

              Yes, red-blooded, I know.

              And it is for that reason that I went searching for information about Members of Parliament that went a little deeper than the information available on the Parliamentary website.

              When I write to MPs about issues I like to read their biographies and their CVs. It helps in knowing how much information and in what form to put it in respect to each recipient.

              It is also through the Party website one can access electoral/party email and postal addresses.

              It also is of assistance to be able to quote from policy and/or manifesto documents.

              None of this information can I access about Labour’s vital ‘without them we would be still occupying the opposition benches’ coalition party because it has completely obliterated its old website before setting up its new one.

              Its about credibility.

              • red-blooded

                Yes, and I understand your frustration – I just don’t see why you’re holding Labour accountable for a poor decision made internally by NZF (not related to anything negotiated with Labour). After all, whatever the current laws or regulations for political parties that are relevant to this (assuming there are some) weren’t developed by this government.

                I do agree that political parties should include comprehensive archives on their websites so that people can search for past policies and documents. I think we can all understand why they might not, though.

                I guess if this is a significant concern for you it might be worth contacting Claire Curran and suggesting that it should be something considered as part of the Open Government policy. If there was some kind of law or parliamentary regulation imposed, it would need to apply to all political parties, though – not just those in government.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.2.2

              To be fair, Labour aren’t in control of another party’s website. How would that play out? Should they be appointed guardians of the Greens’ website too?

              Just a simple piece of legislation saying that anything that ever goes on a political party’s website must remain available on their website and be recorded by the National Library.

              • The web site in question will have been archived by the National Library (or should have been, according to its legislation). Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily translate into the archived site being publicly accessible – if that were to be a requirement, they’d need a budget that reflected that requirement.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Its not simply a case of a previous incarnation of NZF’s online presence having disappeared….New Zealand First has NO website at all at the present point in time.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.3

            A document, an entire fucking government party website, disappearing of the web.

            That should not happen. A political party’s policies are their promises and we need to be able told them to account.

            We shouldn’t have to do the wayback thing.

            1. It should always be available upon the political party’s website
            2. All political parties entire websites should be held on the National Records by default.

            • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1.1.3.1

              “A political party’s policies are their promises and we need to be able told them to account.”

              And New Zealand First’s promises have disappeared back into the mists from whence they came.

              I simply cannot understand why NZF would obliterate their existing website before their new site is up and running.

              These days an organisation simply doesn’t exist unless they have a fully functioning website.

              And this is the party, ffs, on which our current Government’s very existence hinges.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Ye Gods, will the gutter press every leave the families of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope in peace?

    The Herald has it’s annual “what happened to Ben Smart and Olivia Hope?” story online today. I feel for their families, who have to endure this sleezeball sensationalism every year.

    Anyway, should anone at the Herald actually be genuinely wondering what happened to Ben Smart and Olivia Hope, I can help you here.

    They were murdered by Scott Watson, who was convicted for this crime in 1999 and who exhausted all avenues of appeal including to the privy council.

    Please update your records.

    Now, Can you leave their families in peace?

    • Hornet 9.1

      I was drinking my morning coffee with Mrs Hornet when she brought in the Herald (we still subscribe to the Saturday edition). I took one look at the front page, folded the section up and gave it back. Disgusting gutter press.

    • This is a great example of how the MSM are trying to distract us from the ‘now’.

  10. eco maori 10

    I see Rod Drury founder of Xero has a good article on stuff about NZ starting up a Chief Technology officer this new organisation can target our investment in technology to the technology that is more beneficial and this will give us more rewards for our investment he writes a good read Ka pai.

    I see the Dutch have advanced plans for a massive wind farm in the north Sea eco admire the Dutch influence and innovation they don’t run there country just for the 1% imagine how much we could have achieved in renewable energy if the neo liberals did not put profits of our power companies before a sustainable future for our mokos.
    All the people who said that solar will never scale up and will always cost more than fossils fuel should be seeing reality and changeing sides about now. And remember this all the bad articles about renewable energy is just big oil proper gander PS I like the way Elon Muslims runs his company comunacations anyone can voice concerns directly to him or the management upper or lower
    This process helps speed up problems solving and one can see it in action with the success of these companies https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/100235637/how-2018-can-be-a-defining-year-for-digital-innovation-in-new-zealand just trying to post links Ka pai

    • All the people who said that solar will never scale up and will always cost more than fossils fuel should be seeing reality and changeing sides about now.

      If these people had ever thought economically they would have realised that solar panels, even the ones created back in the 1960s, were always cheaper than fossil fuels as they don’t destroy the resources used to produce usable energy. The fact that they’ve never thought about it that way shows that they don’t understand economics. Admittedly, a lot of that comes from the economist misrepresenting money.

      PS I like the way Elon Muslims [Musk?] runs his company comunacations anyone can voice concerns directly to him or the management upper or lower

      Yeah, that’s called communism.

      • eco maori 10.1.1

        We’ve been here before DTB you will have a good idea on what my reply will be Ana to kai

  11. joe90 11

    Buckle up, people. There’s war on the horizon.

    #BREAKING – King of #Jordan dismisses his 3 brothers; Faisal, Ali and Talal from Jordanian army command after evidence of them contacting #Saudi leaders Mohammad bin Salman and Mohammad bin Zayed to formulate a coup against him. All 3 brothers are now under house arrest. pic.twitter.com/D0pv1cQM6x— SURA (@AlSuraEnglish) December 29, 2017

    http://al-sura.com/jordans-king-arrests-brothers-and-cousin-in-suspected-saudi-led-coup/

    • There’s war on the horizon.

      It’s more that war is in our face but we’re trying very hard to ignore it.

      Trust has reached all time lows and strategists have blamed Saudi Arabia’s poorly planned actions for the shift of regional influence from the Saudi state and to Turkey, Iran and Egypt. Gulf Arab nations in particular have been very critical of often at times, unilateral actions by Saudi Arabia which they must comply with.

      Saudi Arabia, like Israel, is a proxy agent of the West.

  12. eco maori 12

    The muppets are still hanging around like sand fly around rotten fruit but eco is not rotten the muppets are rotten to the core and its good to be able to let everyone no this fact Ana to kai

  13. Ed 13

    Bees.
    Disappearing.
    Thanks to capitalism.

    ‘Common fungicides are the strongest factor linked to steep declines in bumblebees across the US, according to the first landscape-scale analysis.

    The surprising result has alarmed bee experts because fungicides are targeted at molds and mildews – not insects – but now appear to be a cause of major harm. How fungicides kill bees is now being studied, but is likely to be by making them more susceptible to the deadly nosema parasite or by exacerbating the toxicity of other pesticides.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/29/alarming-link-between-fungicides-and-bee-declines-revealed

    • James 13.1

      “Bees.
      Disappearing.
      Thanks to capitalism.“

      Yep – it’s all part of capitalism 101. Start with the bees and everything thing else will follow.

      You’re welcome.

      Oh – and I have a few hives on my property as well. Better go kill them and be a good capitalist huh Ed.

    • greywarshark 13.2

      Hi Robert Guyton
      Hope you had a bee-utiful Christmas. Have you heard about this latest on the bees? Now it is the bumblebees to worry about, endangered as the lovely honey bees we have had good relations with. Have there been any reports that the African bees that found their way to the USA from Brazil have been able to withstand the shit thrown at their plants?

      • Robert Guyton 13.2.1

        Hi Greywarshark – sorry for the slow response time; I’ve been outside in the balmy air, enjoying the forest; no fungicides in there, save those that are naturally part of the system; our honey bees seem strong and full of vitality, as do the various bumbles; the native bees too, that drill holes in the compacted clay in our clothes-line “circle” – I’m backing diversity as the insurance against collapse of any pollinator family; if the honey bees go down, the hoverflies will step up; if they fail, the wax-eyes will have more nectar to collect. That said, it’s idiocy to continue to pour on the synthetic “icides’ for so many reasons. I’ve encouraged frogs this year, with some careful spawn transfers from an ephemeral pond, and know they’ve a good chance here in our “clean” environment but still wonder why I’m seeing so few red and yellow admirals this season…wasps are getting some very bad press lately, with “movements” determined to take them out of the picture. They certainly do seem to be cleaning the place up; insects and all; that’s worrying, but so’s every other pest organism that’s being detected with increasing frequency. I hope your Chjristmas went swimmingly and that the new year looks appealing to you! I’m excited by the shape of things and my opportunity to make something of it.

  14. Ed 14

    Unbelievable.

    ‘Greenpeace slams govt’s funding for Irrigation NZ

    Irrigation New Zealand has been given $180,000 of government funding to promote sustainable farming, a decision Greenpeace says beggars belief.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/country/347173/greenpeace-slams-govt-s-funding-for-irrigation-nz

    • As long as it actually promotes sustainable farming that would be fine.

      Chancres are that they won’t though. It will most likely to used to lobby government for more irrigation.

      • Ed 14.1.1

        From the article

        ‘Greenpeace spokeswoman Gen Toop said the funding was essentially subsidised propaganda.
        “Large scale irrigation is environmentally destructive and inherently unsustainable. It drives intensive dairy conversions and in turn water pollution and rising climate emissions.”
        “With our polluted rivers in a state of crisis this particular fund needs to be used to genuinely help farmers deal with agricultural pollution.”’

  15. Ed 15

    Dying bees inundating beach at Whangamata

    ‘Who cares about the holidaymakers, I say. Bees are dying and all RNZ can be concerned with is the holidaymakers. The last thing to interest them is why are the bees dying.’

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2017/12/dying-bees-iniundating-beach-at.html?m=1

    • Whispering Kate 15.1

      I read somewhere recently Ed that when the last bee has died the human race have four years left of survival. Quite thought provoking and of course none of us realise just our reliant we are on our friendly bee species. With hives collapsing and the Veroa mite destroying our hives, the future looks bloody grim for us all. Commercial insecticides also are making the bees lose their navigation skills and they cannot return to their hives at night. We are a bloody useless species us humans.

  16. Herodotus 16

    Nation of Debt: Half a trillion dollars and still rising
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11873204
    Govt debt is $96.9BILLION
    And this after an extended prolonged economic “Rock Star Economy”.
    Should/when the tide turns how will our country cope ? And how will we protect our environment when the money is not there ?

    • Ed 16.1

      New Zealand is sleepwalking into a crisis.

      ‘‘household debt remains at levels that worry the Reserve Bank and leaves us vulnerable to the risk of a housing market crash or international financial crisis,.’

      ‘For New Zealand households, the ratio of debt to income has now reached a record – 168 per cent, well above the pre-financial crisis peak of 159 per cent.’

      ‘The Herald has tallied the country’s total gross debt – combining household, business, agricultural, central and local government debt. The grand total of $528.7 billion is up 7.3 per cent from a year ago.’

      • Ed 16.1.1

        ‘The latest Reserve Bank figures (for the year to April 30) show household debt has topped $250b, driven by rising property prices and an increase in consumer borrowing.’

        • timeforacupoftea 16.1.1.1

          Quick !
          We better create inflation by putting interest rates up to 15% to cool the debt.

    • Due to the way our finance system is rigged the economy can only grow if there is more debt and capitalism requires growth. The inevitable result is collapse.

  17. Ed 17

    An indebted nation.
    In 2018, a financial crash is coming.
    As we are poorly placed to handle it.
    Fasten your seatbelts…….

    ‘household debt remains at levels that worry the Reserve Bank and leaves us vulnerable to the risk of a housing market crash or international financial crisis,.’

    ‘For New Zealand households, the ratio of debt to income has now reached a record – 168 per cent, well above the pre-financial crisis peak of 159 per cent.’

    ‘The Herald has tallied the country’s total gross debt – combining household, business, agricultural, central and local government debt. The grand total of $528.7 billion is up 7.3 per cent from a year ago.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11873204

  18. Ed 18

    Alcohol.
    A blight on New Zealand.
    #1

    ‘Over 100 officers have been redeployed to the district, including five from Counties Manukau, with a focus on problem areas Whangamatā, Whitianga, and Waihī.
    They were kept busy last night with up to 400 people gathering at Whangamatā’s Surf Club.
    Senior Sergeant Simon Cherry said 15 people were arrested for disorder, fighting and breaching the peace and the towns liquor ban.’

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/347241/police-urge-restraint-after-15-arrests-in-whangamata

  19. eco maori 19

    Many thanks to Lee from the Rock radio station you play some awesome music. I no that some people don’t like my views on how the state and settlers treated. Maori well the way they treated Maori is the same as they treated all indigenous culture around the world so stop denieing reality until we admit to the wrong that happened to us Maori well it will always be a issue. So why is it that our government does not declassifie all the documents relating to that era?????? Ana to kai PS I see some websites that rejected ECO MAORI are struggling now Ana to kai

  20. eco maori 20

    Many thanks to Our New government hounering the many great ladies and men that have helped shape New Zealand society for the better its good to see a lot of Dames in the list Ka kite ano

  21. Ovid 21

    Charlie Brooker isn’t doing a 2017 Wipe this year so Frankie Boyle will have to do.

  22. Ed 22

    David Farrar ‘s friends up to their usual violent crimes.

    Israeli jets, tanks launch fresh attacks against Gaza Strip

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2017/12/israeli-launch-attack-on-gaza.html?m=1

  23. eco maori 23

    I should do more research before posting my post got the new houners list wrong aparantly the neo liberals chose the people to be honoured apologies.
    And apologies to JanM I have trust issues as the muppets have a very long reach keep up the good work JanM
    Ka kite ano

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  • New Principal Environment Judge
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    7 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
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