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Open mike 30/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 30th, 2011 - 86 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

86 comments on “Open mike 30/03/2011 ”

  1. PeteG 1

    Now it looks like Labour have virtually locked in Goff as leader through to the election it will be interesting to see what happens to the shadow cabinet line-up. Hughes is obviously out, unfortunately he was the only fresh new talent, the remaining of the top ten look very much old school, but half are actually relatively recent additions (first year in parliament in brackets):

    Goff (1981)
    King (1984)
    Cunliffe (1999)
    Parker (2002)
    Dyson (1993)
    Cosgrove (1999)
    Street (2005)
    Mallard (1984)
    Horomia (1999)

    While the line simply be shuffle up? Chauvel in at ten would give it only a slight sign of freshness.

    Is the Goff/King leadership combo going to continue on through to the election? Too much same old.

    • Bored 1.1

      OMG, when you look at the list (a faint yawn escapes) you wonder there is little traction? Goff, King and Mallard are much the same generation as me, in that time I have raised a family, moved jobs, changed careers, owned and sold companies etc etc…bit like the standard NZer. Meanwhile these three have been part of a most malign Labour admin under Douglas (forget Lange, Roger ran it), and part of the Helen management system. What have we to show for their efforts?

      Capcha: reflections

    • Carol 1.2

      Is the Labour List for 2011 available yet?

      I’m not that knowledgeable about Labour MPs, but there are some not on the list that I have frequently seen making substantial contriubtions to debate in the House. And your list doesn’t include Grant Robertson, one of the main contenders for Leader according to many commentators. Here’s some other Labour MPs who seem to me to be up-coming for the future (hastily put together list):

      Grant Robertson (2008)
      Phil Twyford (2008)
      Charles Chauvel (2005)
      David Shearer (2009)
      Jacinda Ardern (2008)
      Sue Moroney (2005)
      Darien Fenton (2005)
      Carol Beaumont
      Clare Curran
      Kelvin Davis
      Stuart Nash

      And there’s probably other more significant ones I’ve not mentioned

  2. chris73 2

    As a National voter I hope so

    • ianmac 2.1

      Haveyou got the Names and dates for the top 9 National MPs?

      • felix 2.1.1

        Oh very funny ianmac, you know there are only 3 MPs in National’s top 9 MPs.

        Key (Come lately)
        English (Stone)
        Brownlee (Bronze)
        English (Stone)
        Brownlee (Bronze)
        Brownlee (Bronze)
        Key (Come lately)
        English (Stone)
        English (Stone)

        • seeker

          Great wit and utterly hilarious -thanks felix. Needed this to rebalance my political equilibrium after reading the appalling spin of Murdoch’s press minions this last few days.
          Nothing like a good laugh to ease frustrations and make the world seem a better place for a few seconds.More please.

  3. logie97 3

    Why didn’t Rodney Hide get the job of fixing Christchurch? He was responsible for
    Auckland. Isn’t he the minister of local government? Do National not expect to see him around much longer?

    captcha : ideals

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Rodney was the fall guy.

      Evidently they think Brownlee is going to do a passable job (or they want to get rid of him too, and the only way to do that is to let him hang himself).

    • Anita 3.2

      Three reasons other than Hide’s competence:

      1) Brownlee is a Christchurch MP, it will make all the nice Cantabrians happy to have one of their own in charge.

      2) Rebuilding/repairing Christchurch is not just a local government matter.

      • logie97 3.2.1

        Rodney Hide makes a lot of the fact that he was born and raised in Rangyorah. A local lad. Hide likes to think that he is an authority on just about any issue – has pretensions of being the country’s leader one day…

        Captcha absence

        • Anne

          You forgot to emphasise the g and the y

          • logie97

            thanks Anne – I would like to be able to use italics and bold in my comments – assume I need know how to use xhtml???

            • Pascal's bookie

              Use ‘lesser than’ and ‘greater than’ symbols in place of the square brackets I use below, (ie use the symbols as ‘triangle brackets’):

              To make ‘bold’ bold type: [b] bold [/b] and it will come out: bold

              replace ‘b’ with ‘i’ to get italics.

              • logie97

                thanks PB
                How’s that!

                captcha approved

                [lprent: fixed it. I need to add a div to the comments in the theme. ]

                • Pascal's bookie

                  You’re welcome

                  and don’t let it stop you, but closing the tags is important. (They are closed with the forward slash.) For some reason known only to wordpress I guess, an unclosed tag will affect comments other than your own, it used to be the case that a later comment could also close the tag, but that doesn’t seem to work anymore.

  4. Morning astroturfers. Early shift is up and running I see.

  5. Zorr 5

    Another reminder of why we don’t want to EVER go the way of the US


    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Sounds like a lovely Righty Aristocratic paradise. I’m on my way.

    • Tigger 5.2

      “Crystal Green, owner of Tallahassee-based event planning firm Your Social Butterfly, has had mixed results with unpaid staffers who didn’t take their responsibilities seriously. She’s even had to retrace the missteps of unpaid staffers and apologize to alienated business partners.”

      This reads like satire. I thought I was on the Onion. Terrifying.

    • millsy 5.3

      I think Roger Kerr said something about how workers should offer to work unpaid for the first few months to ‘prove’ themselves.

      Personally I think that if you do work, you should get paid, even if it is minimum wage.

      • Deborah Kean 5.3.1

        I’ve had corporate-dressed employment agency consultants suggest I offer my unpaid labour for 6 months or so, to prove my skills…
        The first time, 2005, I had been out of work for a while, but the second time, I had been the victim of the collapse of a company where I had worked for 3 and a quarter years, and that should have been enough proof!

    • Jim Nald 5.4

      Oh ok, so the US got rid of slavery to bring back a worse form of servitude.

      • rosy 5.4.1

        Not just the U.S. This has been an issue in the U.K. for some time as well. The main problems are a short internship stretching out to long-term unpaid work, or a series of internships. And this form of job experience excludes the working class students, who don’t have rich families to support them through unpaid internships, especially if they continue long-term.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      Already happening. My nephew has been offered “opportunities” where he gets to work for two weeks for nothing to see if he’s suitable for the job. Him and I decided that at the end of the two weeks he probably wouldn’t be found suitable and someone else would be offered the same “opportunity”.

  6. RobC 6

    Sleepover case seems to be going to the negotiating table instead of the Supreme Court.

    Must admit I’m surprised – had to check today wasn’t April Fool’s Day 😀

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    EU proposing gradual ban on petrol cars and road freight for long trips; major investment over decades in rail and public transport infrastructure.


  8. ianmac 8

    One reason for the trouncing of the NSW Labor Government last week, was their determination to privatise Electricity. Really upset the people. And when it is known just how Privatisation plans (oops or Public Private Partnership) are aimed at us in NZ, how will we react?

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Quote of the yesterday:

    “I have two grandchildren: Maggie is 11; Robert is 9,” Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”

    Catholic convert Newt Gringrich, speaking at radical, anti-papist, end times can’t come soon enough, fundamentalist, reconstructionist, wackadoo preacher John Hagee.

  10. Samuel Hill 10

    Its unfortunate that we always have to move so far to the right in this country before the left can unify and win an election.

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      They are not good moves for the country’s economic and social development.
      The script keeps changing and our policies become on-again-off-again.
      How can we be expected to make gains and advance when we swinging from one to the other.
      What needs to happen is for voters to demand that we have a consistent plan and vision over a term period longer than electoral cycle.
      The fine policy detail can be modified but according to the single-minded aim of keeping on course with the plan and vision.
      Leadership for this would be needed, but so should the calls come from voters.

  11. randal 11

    what surprises me is that no one here has picked up on genesis power racking up the wholesale power price on saturday by 200%.
    this is madness and the sort of behaviour that allowed ENRON to flourish and then go bust.
    there is no room for a power MARKET that these types want to impose.
    this country is too small to have this vitral resource manipulated by a gang of power hungry (excuse the pun) crazies.
    all the dweebs in the national party and the right wing think that if there is a |MARKET for power as they envisage that suddenly a new millenium will appear but in the event all we get is racked up profits and anger from the buyers and eventually the consumer when ever they get the truth about what the idiotes are doing.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Interestingly, listening to what was said on morning report about it, the wholesale rate was $20,000, which is 4 times higher than the wholesale rate per megawatt hour that Huntley normally charges.

      Running Huntley normally costs $5,000 per megawatt hour. That seems expensive.

      • prism 11.1.1

        On Radionz an exec was explaining about the elecricity pricing this a.m. Justification for the price came from the cost of maintaining Huntly which doesn’t usually make a profit, but is a required? fall-back and that at least one of the complaining companies was offered power for that period at a forward price very much lower than the later charge but chose not to use it.

        • RedLogix

          Think of the electricity market as a pack of wild dogs fighting over scraps of rotting flesh.

        • Colonial Viper

          Justification for the price came from the cost of maintaining Huntly

          Did they mention the dozens of power industry execs on >$150K p.a.?

          • prism

            So that’s what the smell is. And obviously the salary men need to be paid a lot to understand the complicated market system. They’ve got to have the right person for that job. As Groucho Marx said when reading the instructions on a new widget that it can be understood by a child of five “Send someone out for a child of five”. Not much of a witticism in the circs but you have to have a larf sometimes do’ncher.

  12. Carol 12

    Just on RNZ midday news:
    Auckland has seen a big increase in use of public transport in recent months. There’s been a bit of the usual increase with students back to study, but there’s still a big increase from other causes. This is put down to rises in fuel costs, and as fuel is expected to continue to be expensive, further increase in use of Auckland’s public transport is expected.

    • Carol 12.1

      And here’s the RNZ article on it:


      The number of people using public transport in Auckland has reached a 60-year high.

      A report to the Auckland Council shows a jump in patronage of more than 8% for the year to February, which is equivalent to about five million extra trips.

      And Campbell Live is focusing most of the show tonight around this. Campbell said the report shows that rail usage is up 18%.

      • Carol 12.1.1

        The actual press release is here:

        Highlights include:

        Northern Express bus passenger numbers for February increased 20.7 per cent on February 2010. Total Northern Express for the past 12 months reached 1.97 million passengers

        Total bus patronage exceeded 50 million. An increase of 3.36 million boardings or 7.5 per cent growth

        Rail patronage reached 9.2 million for the past 12 months with passenger numbers for the month of February up 17.9 per cent on February 2010. For the first time one million journeys were reached on rail in one month.

        Rail patronage on the Western Line for the month of February increased 25.6 per cent on February 2010 to reach 305,208.

        Ferry patronage totalled 4.6 million for the 12 months to February, with passenger numbers for the month up 12.6 per cent on February 2010

        Of the 30,002 attending the Super Rugby Blues vs. Crusaders at Eden Park on 19 February 31.9 per cent took special event public transport services.

        Although that release seems to have been posted from the future (31 March 2011)

        • Colonial Viper

          Although that release seems to have been posted from the future (31 March 2011)

          Then it’s clear that the future for rail and bus service demand is bright 😀

  13. joe90 13

    New Scientist: Caesium fallout from Fukushima rivals Chernobyl.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Haven’t looked, but I bet the right wing blogs are going absolutely apeshit about the CERA business eh? They’ll be forming ad hoc committees and collecting funds for billboards and taking their Hit1er costumes for a march down Queen st.

    Acquisition of land powers are considered to be necessary in order to facilitate the recovery of Christchurch. It may be necessary for CERA to demolish a building (that is otherwise sound), or rebuild on a site, or otherwise take control of land and use it in a new way (such as to form part of a new commercial centre, or a park, or for remediation).


    Via I/S

    • Armchair Critic 14.1

      I’m keen to know what the CERA will do before I’m too critical of them. At present they seem to be more of an idea than an entity that will achieve much.
      Stuff says the will have the power to acquire and dispose of (sell?) land. So CERA are land traders?
      Bob Parker says he hopes they will …address the problem of inadequate housing…, so CERA will build houses? Bob also hopes CERA will …give clarity to business owners, which sounds like a fine sentiment, and not much else.
      Gerry Brownlee says an important task will be consultation. Ignoring the fact that National have sucked at consultation thus far, is this another way of saying CERA will be a talk-fest?
      Even the title of the press release from the Beehive is useless. “New Authority Will Deliver for Canterbury”. Deliver what? Sounds like aspirational bullshit to me.
      The Press reports that Bob Parker hopes to have a recovery plan ready in none months. Conveniently, it won’t be ready before the General Election, even if it comes in on time. Meanwhile there are people in broken houses and winter is close. Not good enough, Bob.
      Mr Key is quoted as saying CERA will exist for five years. So four years to actually rebuild once the recovery plan is ready? How does that tie in with the ten years to rebuild Christchurch John Carter was talking about in early March. Sounds like someone’s pulling numbers out of his arse, or that Mr Key intends for CERA to only do half the job (or less). And it seems Mr Key and his Ministers don’t talk to each other.
      Local Government NZ President, Lawrence Yule, voices conditional support for CERA. After describing CERA as …radical change… he says …LGNZ on principle is wary of efforts to impose structures, powers and decisions over communities and their directly elected community representatives. Lawrence is a quite conservative person (or he was when I met him, many years ago), so putting conditions on support is a bold move. Mr Yule also notes that …the devil is in the detail… Never a truer word spoken. Overall, this isn’t even faint praise.
      So at this stage there’s not much to criticise, beyond this. It’s just words around an idea, not even a hint of concrete. I want to know:
      Does CERA do much more than plan?
      How will CERA be involved in the rebuild of the water supply and sewerage? Ordinarily this would be the Council’s responsibility.
      How will CERA be involved in the repairs of the damaged roads? Ordinarily this would be the responsibility of the Council (local roads) and NZTA (motorways and highways).
      How will CERA be involved in the redevelopment of the CBD? A lot of the land and improvements (i.e. buildings) are privately owned, and rebuilding must surely be the owner’s responsibility.
      How will CERA be involved in the rebuilding of private and public housing? The former is the owner’s responsibility, the latter will be both local and central government’s responsibility.
      How will CERA undertake regional planning with the crippling blow delivered to ECan a year or so back?
      In a year or so we may well be looking back and going “maybe that wasn’t such a good idea”. Labour may well have supported CERRA (much to my disgust), let’s hope they provide a bit more rigour to CERA.

  15. William Joyce 15

    Farrar & Dimpost slapped with gag-order to stop them mentioning name of complainant in Hughes case. (RNZ – Jim Moira’s show this avo)
    Cheers for the wisdom of the mods of The Standard in not mentioning names and “screw you” to the RWNJs who thought it was only the mod’s showing double standards.
    Sometimse the issues are more complicated than the small, point scoring, primitive brains can understand!

  16. William Joyce 16

    Fran O’Sullivan, rightly, questions why an independent authority, answerable to an independent board, was not created for Christchurch – like in Louisiana after Katrina and in Queensland after the hurricane and floods.
    Instead we have a person who is an inexperienced minister (only two years), a political appointee who could be out by the end of the year, whose only experience in this line of work was teaching kids how to make wooden towel rails and who is well recognised as not playing well with grown ups!

  17. seeker 17

    Is it me or is there something really unbecoming about the photo for this sad article:


    The image was larger and on the home or national page when I first saw it. It is now smaller but just as distasteful. The whole concept of ‘private’ prisons, especially ones run by Serco with their rep., is horrendous enough, without the minister responsible sitting and looking as happy as if she had bought a new home for herself and was sharing her pleasure with us all. In my opinion she has taken the meaning of ‘minister’ (in its humane, caring context) out of the title of minister. I despair at the short sighted, narrow minded, punitive mindset of this government.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      He always looks so mournful and glum, like he’s about to start crying or something.

    • William Joyce 18.2

      “I am disappointed. I went on public record, as I think the Prime Minister did, saying that we hoped all of the games being reallocated from pool matches would be able to be hosted in the South Island,” Mr McCully said.

      *adopting tone of sarcasm*
      Sad Sad Murray. Poor you! Have you finally realised that you are not as important as you think you are. Your “friends” have been using you.

      This is not about friendship, Murray. Nor national pride, nor loyalty to New Zealand – this is about business. Yes, that’s right, big boys business with big boys pants. All those people and institutions that you “bend over and assume the position” for are not interested in what you think or what you and John Key want. It’s about business.

      “Maximising profits for the share holders” does not have respect for ANY OTHER value or ethic. Even stakeholders can get screwed – and that’s you Murray. Didn’t they teach you that at National Party boot camp.

      They just used you Murray. You’re there little goffer.You have done just what they wanted.

      Unless………….you knew this all along? Don’t tell me that you knew this all along, Murray.

      Then why did you say you’re disappointed? Don’t tell me that you’re trying to deceive me Murray? Say it isn’t so Murray! Murray! How could you?!

      Don’t try and fool me with your “OMG – I didn’t know they would do that!” routine, Murray. I know you.

      This is bullshit.

      If it comes to a power differential with the RWC, Murray, you are just oh so “The Lesser Power.”

      In more ways than one – yes, I know, I’ve seen those little diamond-shaped blue pills you keep beside the motel bed.

      It’s time to wipe that brown stuff of your nose – your look ridiculous.

  18. ianmac 19

    Stuff: “Dairy cooperative Fonterra says it sees no need for a Commerce Commission probe of New Zealand milk prices. “
    Funny that. Anything to hide? But if there was an enquiry, it would take 3-4 years. Oh. That’s Ok then.

  19. Roger 20

    Middle class NZ now has to pay a new sports tax to watch our ‘national’ sports.

    The lower classes don’t pay the tax, and don’t get to watch our national teams or they do and get pilloried for the choices they have made by those at the top.

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