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Open mike 30/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, June 30th, 2014 - 265 comments
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openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

265 comments on “Open mike 30/06/2014 ”

  1. Clean_power 1

    The saga continues with the Herald and Mr Liu’s pursue

    • Pasupial 1.1

      Lui has a QC huh? Bit of a nonstory, but still a chance for NZH to throw around inflated donation figures. What struck me was the wall to wall (need I say; favourable) coverage of the Nat conference in the politics section. Especially this:

      responding to a 31,000-signature petition presented to him last week by 10-year-old Sean Roberts, from Geraldine.
      Sean proposed driving tests for foreigners after his father was killed by a visiting student motorist when he was riding a motorbike on the Lindis Pass, near Wanaka, in 2012.
      Mr Woodhouse said: “I haven’t ruled that out, but it is going to be difficult. What I have said to Sean is what we will do … is have a look at every idea we can to ensure that those drivers are not at greater risk than we are.”


      Which seems to translate as; yes I’ll milk this bereaved child’s pain to increase my public profile, but not actually do anything about it in this term of government while I’m (an Ass) Transport Minister. His solution? Kick for touch by pointing to a already in progress road study (hint – narrow & windey roads get icy in Central Otago winter), and shill for:

      technological advances such as self-driving cars and adaptive cruise control [which] could allow government to set a goal of a “zero road toll” within his lifetime.
      “These things are already in. The question is how do we introduce them into the market so that people will drive the safest cars they can afford?”

      Yes; more cars with experimental systems (that weren’t developed for our driving conditions) which will never malfunction are the solution! That’s up there with saying coal can be a clean fuel if we sequester the carbon produced – eventually, maybe (if we can afford to).

      • vto 1.1.1

        Foreign drivers are the greatest risk when driving South Island open roads…. I mentioned during the threads on that a few weeks ago that we had personally come across two drivers on the wrong side of the road ….. extremely dangerous.

        but get this

        this weekend just gone we were tootling slowly around an S-bend when a car comes tootling the other way but in our lane, heading straight for us. No joke. Wrong side of the road straight for us. Luckily we were going only about 60km and they were doing about the same so accident avoided….

        but get this

        they averted accident by following their instinct and pulling to the right and into the ditch to avoid us. If we had followed our instinct and pulled to the left – kaboom. We stayed in the middle highly wary of which way they would pull.

        several kiwis have been killed by this instinctual pull in recent years

        They are a fucking menace and dangerous as all hell on the road.

        All rental cars need beepers which go nuts when the car drives on the wrong side of the road. Mercedes have this feature. All rentals must too.

        • Pasupial


          I guess in a crisis drivers do go with their instinct. The leftside rule seems obvious to me – you just make sure that the driver’s side is on the centreline side (which won’t work so well on motorways, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem), this also holds for kiwis overseas where both the roads and cars are designed for rightside driving.

          Mandatory buzzers in rentals wouldn’t do much for those who buy a cheap clunker to tool around in while on a working holiday (eg on the ski fields), but definitely a good idea for rentals. Making all onelane bridges two lane would help a lot too (sure; a lot of them have helpful arrows as you exit, but at night or in snow they’d be easily missed).

          I do like Sean Roberts’ proposed driving tests for foreigner drivers petition idea though; if National won’t do it, then another party should pick up the proposal.

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        Mr Woodhouse said: “I haven’t ruled that out, but it is going to be difficult. What I have said to Sean is what we will do … is have a look at every idea we can to ensure that those drivers are not at greater risk than we are. Then we will look at the polling on this issue, and if that is not favourable, see if a national party member has been killed by a foreign driver, and then if none of that aligns Sean, come back and see me when you are 18 and registered to vote. I may be in London at the NZ High Commission, but hopefully you can afford a flight by then.” (sarc/not a real quote)

  2. big bruv 3

    So, has anybody seen the nice pictures of Mr Donghua Liu with his Labour party friends?

    • scotty 3.1

      yeah BB – have you seen the one of Donghua Liu brandishing a get out of jail free card given to him by his
      maintenance guy from the National Party

    • Pasupial 3.2


      Post a link to them (if they actually exist). I’ve seen the Barker one of course – but given that he’s no longer a Labour MP and never denied it; so what?

  3. ianmac 4

    Puddlegum: I used your data you posted yesterday about the Colmar Brunton Poll regarding the Undecideds, to warn Morning Report to be careful of using Poll data without qualification.
    Hope you don’t mind.
    Puddleglum 32
    29 June 2014 at 9:00 pm

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      They read out your message on air…

      • bad12 4.1.1

        Yes my view is that the Law should state that such a codicil should have to be read/printed every time one of these polls is published/used in any form of mass media…

      • ianmac 4.1.2

        But only the first bit. I wonder why not this part:
        “For preferred PM 27% said “don’t know” 3% “refused”, and 3 % said “none”.
        These figures may explain why National leaderships are telling supporters to avoid being complacent.

        The footnote says:
        “The data does not take into account the effects of non-voting and therefore cannot be used to predict the outcome of an election. Undecided voters, non-voters and those who refused to answer are excluded from the data on party support. The results are therefore only indicative of trends in party support, and it would be misleading to report otherwise.“

    • wtl 4.2

      Regarding this comment:

      But the table on page 7 of the report notes that the base for the party vote question was actually 813 respondents. That makes it ‘only’ 407 people who chose National. (I’m unsure why there’s a difference between the 850 got from subtracting 15% of 1002 from 1002 and the 813 figure in the table.)

      The difference between 850 and 813 is probably due to the weightings they apply to various demographics to ‘correct’ the results to give a representative samples. That is, not every response in the poll has an equal weighting – responses from people in demographics who are over-represented in the poll compared to the general population contribute less to the final percentage than responses from people in demographics that are under-represented in the poll.

  4. Ronnie Chow 5

    Now here’s a lolly scramble .
    “A number of measures in Labour’s new immigration policy were targeted at Pacific groups, including proposals to speed up family reunification and raise the pay of seasonal workers – many of whom come from the islands.

    Labour Party immigration spokesman Trevor Mallard said the proposals were NOT an election-year BRIBE for the Pacific vote but would simply honour New Zealand’s historical relationships with its neighboring countries.” He said the timing was pure chance,like a Lotto Powerball win.

    • Tracey 5.1

      you mean as opposed tot he PM popping over to Tonga, Samoa and giving away millions of dollars? That kind of lolly scramble?

      • Ronnie Chow 5.1.1

        Politicians,they’re all guilty.What can I say.

        • Tracey

          you could say they are all guilty and condemn the behaviour, as opposed to what you did.

          • Colonial Viper

            Chow is using the usual Tory tactics. Firstly, blame “Labour MPs”. If it is shown that National MPs do exactly the same then it’s “all politicians.”

        • bad12

          Something really really deee–eeep Ronnie, i await with bated breath the next installment of the thoughts of…

  5. vto 6

    I posted this in reply to mr Wayne, our semi-frequent visitor from the dark side, otherwise known as the National Party, over on the teamkeycult thread… Wayne’s identity seems to be widely known on here.
    If you don’t mind, I have copied it in here because it is a very major issue, if it is true. English and Key and the entire National Party need to be called on it – in substantial detail…

    “Wayne, just recently I saw mention by Bill English of a plan during a third term to completely reform, to an extent not seen in NZ history or elsewhere for that matter, the way in which government services and departments are operated and funded.

    This would clearly be a very major development in New Zealand, yet Bill English has not made any public announcement about these ‘planned reforms’. If it is to be a scale intimated by English then he has a responsibility to outline in detail what this is and how it would work so the people of New Zealand can make a decision about whether they want it or not. Before the election.

    Before the election Wayne. Don’t you dare dump such a change on the country post-election without full warning.

    So, what’s the story Wayne?”

    • parker asked english about that ‘biggest changes in 50 yrs of govt’-promise…should they get back in..
      – question in parliament last week.

      ..english just smirked/waved it away..

      ..and parker did no follow-up questions..(!)

      • vto 6.1.1

        Well it must be jumped on by the opposition. It would also put the frighteners up many voters and turn them against this extremist right wing government.

        • phillip ure

          i agree..

          ..key will be full-on running a radical-leftie-campaign..

          ..when it is these rightwing nutjobs promising ‘the biggest changes in govt. in 50yrs’..

          ..if they get back in again..

          ..and given that 50’yrs includes rogernomic/ruthenasia..

          ..that quote should get the blood running cold..

          ..and is definitely worth the paul revere treatment..

          ..from now to all the way up to the election..

          ..that is some scary-shit..that they have planned..

          ..the secret-agenda to beat all secret-agendas..

    • karol 6.2

      just recently I saw mention by Bill English of a plan during a third term to completely reform, to an extent not seen in NZ history or elsewhere for that matter, the way in which government services and departments are operated and funded.

      Is that as reported in this article by Rod Oram?

      If National wins the election, English says his next budget will be the most radical restructuring of government spending in 50 years as he seeks to take an investment-led, performance-driven approach to programmes.

      Also reported on Hive News:

      Look out below for Bill English ‘s comments about how a third-term National Government might use big data to change the way it organises itself and reports its spending in future Budgets. I attended a Data Futures Forum at Telecom’s conference centre in Auckland on Friday.

      English spoke at length about how Treasury’s new Data Analytics Unit is beginning to pull together the Government’s disparate sets of data to better measure the performance of spending in hitting the Government’s targets. He emphasised the Government’s investment-led approach and flagged the biggest changes in 50 years in the way Budgets were written if the Government was re-elected.

      And from Hive, more on it here.

      • vto 6.2.1


        This has to be one of the biggest issues in the election, especially given NZ’s history over the last 30 years with “reform”. The rogernomics and the ruthenasia vandalism …

        Why is it not being jumped on by the oppositions?

        • karol

          Yes. It’s worrying. I’m pondering doing a post on it.

        • srylands

          “This has to be one of the biggest issues in the election”

          Well I will take a very large bet on that if you like. It will be a ZERO issue in the election. It will not be jumped on by the opposition because in the (unlikely) event of a Labour Government the incoming Labour Finance Minister will want to do exactly the same thing.

          • Colonial Viper

            As usual you mistake what the corporate media spouts with what the actual concerns of ordinary people are.

            • srylands

              As usual you fail to understand anything I say. I don’t know what the problem is. You seem to write OK, although you have this love of using the adjective “corporate” as a derogatory term at every opportunity.

              The point I am making is that prospective Labour economic Ministers will welcome what Hon English has announced. They just won’t say it. A Labour Finance Minister faces exactly the same budgeting challenges. Such a Minister will be very interested in making use of the tools as described by Hon English.

              It is for this reason that you will not see any enthusiasm by Labour in making this an election issue. That, and the public would not give a toss.

              • Draco T Bastard

                As usual you fail to understand anything I say.

                Have you ever considered that that might be because you never say anything rational?

              • KJT

                The tools are there already. It is just that they are not giving the answers that National wants.

                So statistics NZ is being de-funded, and run down, to start a “Ministry of Truth”.

    • ianmac 6.3

      They have also said (Key?) that there will be major developments to the current changes to the Education program. No further detail or clues? Performance Pay? Bulk Funding?

      • bad12 6.3.1

        ACT Policy???, all State schools to be given the opportunity to opt out of the State system and become Charter Schools,

        i would suggest that is the most likely as should National be in a position to form the next Government it is more or less a given that ACT will be there to prop it up and must be tossed a major bone for the support…

        • Tracey

          but but but ACT will only have one seat, Mr Key will never let such a small tail wag his dog???????

          • bad12

            i would like to suggest that Slippery has gone far past simply having His dog wagged by the tail, but, this being a family show i will leave the gruesome details to the imagination…

        • Molly

          I posted last week, but not attached to any thread but it seems especially relevant in line with the ACT policy on charter schools.

          The Ministry of Ed has made submissions to the Auckland Unitary Plan to get rid of the Special Purpose zoning for the 400+ school sites they own in Auckland. They have asked for schools to be given the same zoning as surrounding properties.

          Now in practical ongoing terms this is likely to be a nightmare in terms of future building work etc – unless the RMA is loosened so much it becomes the tired elastic on a pair of twenty year old undies.

          However, in terms of getting rid of properties – how much faster and easier would this be to accomplish?

          • Tracey

            Unitec is looking to divest itself of 43 hectares for commercial and residential building. It just got turned down for 800 car parks for a development at the northern end so its latest plan will require central govt legislation… Hence 8 Councils became one, easier for the reichstag to control.j

    • veutoviper 6.4

      On a related issue, Russell Brown has a worrying post on Public Address on National’s welfare reforms, and his unsuccessful attempts to obtain information about the evaluation plan for the evaluation and measurement of the ‘success’ of these reforms. Despite the public interest aspects of these reforms and their evaluation, MSD are refusing to release the ‘evaluation plan’ under the OIA procedures , as well as the evaluation results to date.

      Yet another case of lack of transparency on very public interest issues, and National’s plans for welfare reform if they get a third term.


      • karol 6.4.1

        Thanks, veuto. I now have a post on vto’s topic, which isscheduled to publish in the next hour. Will add this link to the post as it’s relevant.

        • veutoviper

          Glad to be of service! Your comment that you were doing a post prompted me to post the link.

          • Colonial Viper

            “Wayne, just recently I saw mention by Bill English of a plan during a third term to completely reform, to an extent not seen in NZ history or elsewhere for that matter, the way in which government services and departments are operated and funded

            This is what I love about the right wing. They don’t tinker. They transform. While the Political Left are scared of being labelled radicals and are visionary enough only to take a piecemeal approach to tweaking things around the edges, the NATs/RWingers get stuck in with ideas for truly radical and revolutionary change. And the media will back them to the hilt. Great!

            And its not that the Left are short of transformative proposals. Not at all. A land tax, full employment policy, UBI, FTT and halving of the MMP threshold would transform the nature of NZ society and democracy. Not to mention sovereign issuance of NZ dollars, debt free and interest free, to fund projects for low carbon energy independence.

            But we can’t seem to place enough pressure on left wing politicians to drive anything more than a softly softly MSM approved approach.

            • Lanthanide

              I suspect a 4 year term would allow the left to be more bold. A UFB would take more than 3 years to implement, realistically.

              • Colonial Viper

                Possibly, but the NATs have no probs being bold in a system of 3 year terms, and neither did Roger Douglas et al.

  6. dimebag russell 7

    e-bench. another expensive national party flop.
    how to fix something that isn’t broke.
    how take something that works and bugger it up with something that sounds good.

    • veutoviper 7.1

      I assume you are talking about the first item on RNZ National’s Nine to Noon programme today re the long ongoing work in the Ministry of Justice to possibly digitalise court records and the related problems.


      • greywarbler 7.1.1

        How many services have NACTs ruined for us?
        * The new paperless legal system.
        * The new legal aid system, with less ljustice and law, and less aid.
        * The new integrated hospital systems. Big enough so that someone at the top can get huge stacks of money, run their own business in the nature of a health provider, and rort the system with fake invoices or overpriced luxury knick-knacks.
        (I don’t know if this has happened with one person, but there are toxic signs of this behaviour cropping up singly or jointly from time to time.)
        * The shutting of Housing NZ offices, so forcing people to talk to voices who they may have to run down the little credit on the cellphones they have been forced to buy and fund.
        * Novopay forcing schools to carry out expensive admin work, pay clerks to slave into the night no doubt, to get schedules right, try to correct mistakes and ensure that the idiots at the other end or the idiotic system, don’t screw up again.
        * Teachers on Novopay having to take out loans to meet their bills and regular commitments and pay credit card interest on that – has the government met their costs related to this and provided stress leave as they deal with it plus all the other onerous tasks and systems that gummint and their principals belabour their heads with. It’s enough to do their heads in.
        * Removal of the appointment system at WINZ and case managers who know the people they are dealing with.
        * Removal of the automatic WOF system so helpful and necessary in a country that runs on imported second hand cars in the main. This to be replaced by police road blocks so we can be checked as if there was a dangerous escaped prisoner, have passes checked as in old South Africa, and be surveilled by police and every second gummint employee in a virtual entrapment program.
        * Instituting fines as a quick way of dealing with misbehaving people then when they get loaded up with debt, refusing them the freedom of travel because of that burden. This on top of keeping young people in poverty anyway, as a result they act up and get hit with fines rather than attempting retraining and providing needed educational help to assist their upward progress.

        A country that has a worn out economic and social system. One that needs an entirely new and more adequate coat and the other bright patches till it becomes a coat of many colours, both enhancing the wearers and all the places in which it is worn.

  7. i am puzzled how in the q&a with cunnliffe..he answered the questions before..and after..(the after one being about someone ‘pulling something out of their arse’

    ..but he chose not to answer this one..

    “.1)..i understand that you have yr own timetable of policy-release..(and i am not requesting any premature details)..

    ..but cd you assure us that labour will be releasing ‘poverty-busting’ policies in that timetable..?

    ..policies that will address the plights of the worst off..both children and adults..

    ..thank you..”

    ..anyone got any ideas why cunnliffe veered away from that one..?

    ..is my worst-case interpretation true..?

    ..that they actually have no poverty-busting policies..?

    ..someone else asked cunnliffe another version of this question..

    ..and he also failed to answer them..

    ..and another person asked the same question..

    ..and cunnliffe said that the culture of intimidation at winz under national would change…

    ..but did/wd not address that key poverty-question also asked..

    ..for why is that..?

    • bad12 8.1

      Work will set you free Phillip, aka as get a job you fucken hippy/sarc…

    • Maybe his time was short so he focused on answering the questions he could actually read.

      • phillip ure 8.2.1

        ever thought of making yr feminism not so species-specific..?

        ..(y’know..!..not just about you..?..)

        ..and opening yr heart to those suffering-sows..?

        ..and their babies..?

        • phillip ure

          that was a serious question..

          ..as i see animal-slavery to be both a feminist and a socialist-issue..

          ..not one to be just ghettoised/sneered at as ‘animal-rights’..

          • Clemgeopin

            Phil, I am a little flabbergasted that you are not seeing the bigger picture. The first priority for Labour in the present political climate is to be able to get sufficient votes to form the government. Those votes can and should primarily come from two sources without adversely damaging the chances of greens or InternetMana. Those two sources are (1) The middle and right of centre ex labour voters who drifted to National (2) Some of the missing million that did not vote in 2011.

            Labour has many policies to help the poor. Policies such as WFF, better social benefits, job creation, interest free student loans, child care, paid parental leave etc to name a few. Policies that are not too extreme and therefore palatable to many voters from left to middle to right of centre.

            If Labour goes radically left as you suggest, it will simply lose more support as well as scare the potential voters that Labour needs to attract. There is a big chunk of voters who are better off in society and labour should be able to attract them, not make it harder to do so.

            It is ideally the place of for InternetMANA and the Greens to have much more radical left policies to attract voters that crave for those policies. If Labour does that, then what need to the Greens and the IMP to exist? Labour will end up simply cannibalizing the votes of the other two progressive parties, Greens and IMP.

            I think the three progressive parties, Labour, the Greens and the InternetMana are in the correct place now. Of course, more policies will be released from now on during the campaign proper period.

            • phillip ure

              sorry clem..

              ..but i do not see having policies to end the current blight of poverty as ‘radically left’..

              ..(you want just more of the fucken same..?..just a bit of tweaking at the edges..?


              ..i see that as their prime/first duty..to clean up the fucken mess they helped make..

              .(and a factcheck for you..the clark govt also cut the incomes of benificiaries..)

              ..’radically-left’ wd be partial-nationalisation of banks etc..(which i support..)

              ..calling to a labour party for policies that end poverty is not ‘radically left’…

              ..and if they have none…and the greens have ‘no bottom lines’..so will shelve theirs for ministerial-roles..

              ..that only leaves internet/mana to fight that fight..

              ..and my awareness of that ‘big picture’ you claim i can’t see..

              ..tells me that is not enough..

              ..and that s.f.a. will change for most of those in the worst poverty..

              ..tell me how that is not a correct call..?

              • Clemgeopin

                Ok, then tell me clearly three things:

                [1] Which of the present social policies of Labour you agree with and which you don’t. Take a look at the Labour website and their policies and programmes.
                [2] What are the specific new policies you would want Labour to announce and yet get sufficient electoral support from the two quarters I mentioned in my previous post?
                [3] Do you think those ideas will help Labour and the progressives to get enough votes (over 50% of the voters) to defeat National and be able to form the government?

                Think these things over very clearly, pragmatically and make a good case that may work to achieve the very first main objective of being able to win the election.

                • 1)..went to the site..couldn’t find any..if you can..let me know..and the word ‘poverty’ isn’t mentioned..

                  ..so..what does that tell you about their/any committment to do anything meaningful to break the cycle of poverty..?

                  2)..a universal basic income would end poverty in one fell swoop..(there is more..but i don’t have all nite..)

                  3)..if labour showed how that wd be paid for..(a financial transaction tax on the inter-banks/financial institutions wd pay for that..and more..

                  ..yet..funnily enough..a financial transaction tax is something else cunnliffe shied away from..saying we have to wait for an international agreement..i pointed out there..that many countries in the oecd already have (varying models)of domestic ftt..

                  ..and that waiting on some international agreement b4 doing anything..

                  ..is a road to nowhere..

                  ..yes..i think that a labour party promising to end poverty..

                  ..i think that cd be sold to the electorate..

                  ..and if mana/internet are already there..and greens have policies..(however malleable they may be..)

                  ..and then labour come on board..

                  ..well then it is a done deal..

                  ..as it is..those in the deepest poverty are just looking at pretty much just more of the same..

                  • Clemgeopin

                    So, why don’t you ask for all those policies put be put oin your own favourite parety? You have said you are a Mana party voter, not Labour’s anyway.

                    You did not address the pragmatic question about the logistics of Labour getting enough electoral support to be able to form the next government.

                    • mana already has a universal basic income policy..so do the greens..(dunno about internet..haven’t looked..)

                      ..so why not labour..?

                      ..and..in contrast to the last election..where the word ‘poverty’ wasn’t even mentioned..(i noticed..!..i raged against them..)

                      .polling shows there are many in nz who are now uncomfortable that we have such levels of poverty/inequality..

                      ..and no..i don’t think it wd b electoral-poison for labour to promise to attend to that..

                      ..and frankly..their seeming ignoring of the issue..kinda scares me…

                      ..(re ‘pragmatic’..?..i gave you the financial transaction tax ‘pragmatic’-tool..to enable poverty-busting to continue..)

                    • Clemgeopin

                      First of all, wait to see what policies will be announced by Labour during the campaign.

                      Perhaps you should join Labour and influence their thinking by being a prominent member of their think tank and teach them how to have policies you prefer and how to get more electoral support from the general public and increase their chances of forming the next government by defeating team Key and National. Transaction tax, Carbon tax, CGT etc. Voters will flock. Easy peasy! Cool.

  8. just saying 9

    How did the ‘swing-voters’ amongst us feel about the Q&A with Cunliffe on the Standard yesterday? Resassured? skeptical?
    I’m not really a swing voter now. I’m almost 100 percent sure I’ll be voting Mana IT. But I did join the Labour Party to try and put in a leader who would push the party toward traditional Labour socio-economic policies, and I haven’t since seen the slightest hint of any movement in that direction – to the contrary in fact. Yet Cunliffe still seems to have a lot of support within the left of the party and I’m a bit bewildered and wondering what I’m not seeing.

    • bad12 9.1

      Just saying, i think you have to first form a solid view of what the Labour Party is in the year 2014, my view is that Labour are a solidly middle class political party and if Socialist at all it is the Socialism of, for, and by that middle class,

      Given that, i would describe the Labour Party policies as solidly reflecting the views/wishes of that middle class,

      A plus 1 would have to be given to Labour for the inclusion in the BestStart program of beneficiaries but as it stands, and obviously there may be further policy to come, as far as beneficiary poverty goes, the song remains largely the same,

      Labour have the stated intention of lowering the rate of unemployment from 6% to 4%,(along with a raised minimum wage), so obviously some poverty will be eliminated but only IF those 2% who do gain employment via the election of a Labour lead Government are not simply thrown into the pool of rotational labour that the current Government has manufactured,(ie their jobs are permanent),

      There will probably be, and this will not be announced as a Policy, a relaxation of the ”culture” at WINZ where a wider range of ”needs” are catered to via the granting of special needs grants,

      All in all i would expect the incoming Labour portion of the next Government to ”want” to run a similar Government to the previous Clark one and it will then be up to those we vote into office as coalition partners/supporters of confidence and supply to chisel from Labour as the larger party Legislation/Policy that reflects our concerns,

      It aint the best situation in my opinion, but, it will be the situation we have to attempt to make the most of…

      • just saying 9.1.1

        Except that all the changes enacted by the National government have moved the whole country a long way to the right in every area of life and things are much worse for the quarter or so of people in significant hardship, and harder too for the next quarter up.

        A business-as-usual Clark style government in this environment, caring for and soothing the anxieties the comfortably off and ‘bugger the rest’ is a far more abusive and dangerous beast. To me it is a huge freaking outrage.

        Is anyone okay with the working class being treated as acceptable collateral damage while the well-off are pampered, by the party that was set up to represent the working class?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Is anyone okay with the working class being treated as acceptable collateral damage while the well-off are pampered, by the party that was set up to represent the working class?

          Well, I’m not which is why I’m not voting Labour. Thing is that if Labour doesn’t do something soon to make life better for the people at the bottom then, as Nick Hanauer says, the pitchforks will be coming out and the Labour leaders will be some of the recipients. And that something has to be more than just slightly increasing the wages at the bottom while the rich still get richer because that will just be a very temporary solution to an ongoing problem – a problem that’s been ongoing for 5000 years.

          We cannot afford the rich.

        • Tracey

          “Is anyone okay with the working class being treated as acceptable collateral damage while the well-off are pampered, by the party that was set up to represent the working class?”

          Nope. More and more I think Labour are the new left party of the Right, and it is now over tot he Greens and others to be the party of the left.

          I dont know if anyone has the balls to call themselves a party of the workers anymore, so indoctrinated are we with that being synonymous with unions = communism…

          • Draco T Bastard


            Would be nice to have Labour back to the way they used to be:

            Michael Joseph Savages who went on to become the first New Zealand Independent Labour Party Prime Minister 1935-40) said in his 1920 maiden speech to Parliament;
            “The Government should create a state bank , and use the public credit for the public good as an alternative to borrowing overseas”
            1933 New Zealand Labour Party manifesto wanted the state “to be sole authority for the issue of credit and currency”.
            1935 New Zealand Labour MP John A Lee wrote “The Labour Party affirmed that the government should have the sole right over the issue and control of new credit”
            Tom Skinner of the (New Zealand) Federation of Labour said in his 1981 book – Man To Man – Michael Savage explained the State housing scheme to him as such;
            Pg 45 – “I was with Joe on one occasion when he began chatting about the ramifications of the Governments State Housing Scheme. He told me … how the construction of those houses created assets in a productive way. The Government created the money through the Reserve Bank at a moderate rate of interest to cover the contract price, which paid for materials, tradesmen’s wages, the purchase and development of the land and all the other essentials required to finish the house. On completion the house was transferred from the Housing Division of the public works department to the State Advances Corporation – in effect from one department to another. The corporation was the renting agency responsible for selecting the tenants, collecting rents and maintaining the house and the property. The philosophy was that as the money was created for productive purposes no loss could occur if it were not repaid from one department to another. Meanwhile, during construction, tradesmen had been paid wages which had been spent and absorbed into the economy. But it was solid money backed by the creation of assets. People had been kept fully employed while the government built homes for the people.

            • bad12

              Yep +100, my view of printing money, ie: the most logical reason for doing so without attempting to start a violent electoral backlash from the Capitalists,(or front footing such an electoral backlash by other means),

              There are a number of reasons why ”printing money” to build State owned housing works, any inflation occurring from the increased use of resources and increased employment from the build can be controlled by the speed of the build,

              As the houses built by the State were never envisioned by the original architects as ever entering the ”market” building them has no real effect upon the price of houses in a market situation,(except of course in terms of lessening demand for tenants in the private sector and thus decreasing inflation through creating less of a demand for ‘rental investments’),

              In our modern context there are now another couple of factors to take into account when viewing the Labour Government of old’s State House building program printing the cost of this as a non repayable debt unto itself,

              The first being the ‘price’ of the New Zealand dollar which has the ability to be devalued by creating assets in such a manner, like the inflation addressed above tho this is easily controlled by the speed at which the build occurs, ie: there is only the need to create the monies for the build at the speed the build proceeds at which would be governed by any measured inflation caused by the actual build,

              The second, and contentious therefore debatable point, fuel costs, if the New Zealand dollar drops in value because of the build of State owned housing then inflation will occur as imported fuel costs will rise,

              As Government taxes account for fully a third of the cost to the consumer it is then simple for the Government to adjust this taxation lower to off set any fuel cost rise caused by the lowering of the value of the dollar, the lowering of this taxation need only be accounted for when the initial calculation of the cost of the actual house build occurs,

              The simple calculation 1000 houses+ the expected amount of $$$’s needed to replace the lowering of the Government tax take from fuel tax is pretty simple to arrive at…

              • srylands

                That is fucking insane. Apart from the obvious fucking insanity, financing capital expenditure by printing money is also prohibited by the Public Finance Act.

                “The Crown or an Office of Parliament must not incur expenses or capital expenditure, except as expressly authorised by an appropriation, or other authority, by or under an Act.”


                Run it past David Parker. In fact email him and suggest Labour adopt printing money to build houses as policy.

                Oops I disagreed with your insanity. Here come the death wishes.

                • McFlock

                  I know you’re creaming yourself waiting for someone to ask – what’s this “death wish” stuff you’re using to play victim rather than the moronic socipath you are?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Legislation can be changed although that legislation seems to say that the government can authorise it. And the government creating money isn’t insanity as has been proved.

                • bad12

                  Tsk tsk SSLands, you are exhibiting naked fear with your little rant, and, why you think i would email a neo-lib like what i believe David Parker to be is quite beyond me,

                  You have been a ball of fun to prod for a reaction today tho i must admit, as has been pointed out to you, simple empowering Legislation allows a Government to do what it wants, just like the First Labour Government did to begin its program of building State Housing…

                • KJT

                  Roosevelt’s new deal was ‘insane’.
                  The “money printing” that got us, and the USA, out of the 30’s depression was insane’?

                  Worked rather well actually.

                  We are still benefiting from the infrastructure and assets that paid for.

                  The only thing that was wrong with the US money printing, to get out of the GFC, is that they gave it to the people that caused it.

                • Tracey

                  Do you understand that an act of parliament can be changed. I think it happens from time to time in a place called parliament. Sounds fucking insane.

          • Ronnie Chow

            Crikey,Tracey,am I still on the Standard? Three posts in a row dissing Labour.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Low quality right wing brain finds independent thought difficult to understand, it isn’t like this in the Echo Chamber. Authoritarian followers are especially confused.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Unlike say, WhaleOil, Kiwiblog and the new teamkey, this isn’t a fan site.

            • Tracey

              Crikey ronnie,dont you know that this isnt a labour party site, that there is more than one party on the left? I can see why so many on the right think reading needs an overhaul in schools. It is a skill many of them lack

      • blue leopard 9.1.2


        I don’t get the bit you said about Best Start – I’m pretty sure it does include beneficiaries with children.


        • bad12

          Blue leopard, i don’t get this question here about what i wrote about BestStart– i’m pretty sure i wrote that that it does include beneficiaries…

          • blue leopard

            lol sorry about that – I had to go back and reread about 10 times before I finally saw you had written ‘would have to be’ rather than ‘would have been’, my apologies -there appears to be something terribly wrong with my reading comprehension today.

            • bad12

              All good Blue leopard, my writing style,(or if you choose lack of one),is somewhat serpentine in nature, some would say that this is with deliberation, i refuse to confirm or deny…

              • blue leopard

                lol, no definitely the fault is all mine over that one 🙂 …I think perhaps I am coming down with something – Team turnKeyitis or something – I am sure I shall recover shortly – once my immunity adjusts…

    • ianmac 9.2

      reassured would be my view given the limitations of the Q&A session. Really pleased that David fronted. Would welcome Russell and John Key as well.

      • karol 9.2.1

        And Metiria?

        • Chooky

          +100 ianmac and karol…i like David Cunliffe…and I think he will go very well head to head against Key!…

          …just hope they are keeping their powder dry with some really progressive Left vote and youth vote catching policies to spring on the undecideds just before the Election …

        • Lanthanide

          Be good to have Russel and Metiria doing it simultaneously – we’d get more answers in the same period of time. They could each focus on their strengths.

        • Tracey

          I think the media (particularly the press gallery types, just don’t get shared leadership, or sharing for that matter, so they have worked hard to present Russell as the “real” leader and Metiria as the hat tip to equal representation. Just an opinion of course, no evidence

        • blue leopard

          Is it my imagination or has Metiria become very low profile this year? I just don’t seem to see her as much as I used to – in parliament or on the News or other shows (did see her on Back Benchers recently)- she still appears but I am getting the impression that she is not appearing as much as she used to?

          • Chooky

            Yes she has been low profile recently…..maybe she is having a rest before the Election rush?

            …for a while there she was taking the spotlight …. (remember the house/ castle issue and the expensive clothes issue)….and Russel was behind the scenes there for a while…maybe they take turn about fronting the Greens?

            • blue leopard

              Thanks Chooky,
              Yes, it was straight after that castle/jacket thing that I felt she disappeared – hope she comes back soon – I like the way they both come at things from slightly different angles and styles; it is good to see them both, not just one.

              Perhaps,though, you are right about alternating – I hadn’t noticed it but reckon that has been the case!

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      Yet Cunliffe still seems to have a lot of support within the left of the party and I’m a bit bewildered and wondering what I’m not seeing.

      Your concerns about the centrist pro-capitalist nature of the Labour Party is shared by me. Having said that.

      Cunliffe is the best person for the job of Labour Leader. He fully understands the ‘mega-trends’ which are about to crash upon NZ shores, from climate change to fossil fuel depletion to corporate rule to global financial crises 1, 2 and 3.

      Problem is, he is one guy. And he doesn’t have the pressure or infrastructure of a much broader and well resourced Left pushing him and supporting him to do the right things,

      However you can see from the recent Labour List that ordinary Labour Party members are making their point of view felt in many different and positive ways.

  9. veutoviper 10

    Well, Team Key’s new social media attempt https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamKey?src=hash is not quite going to plan. LOL

    And another related one here https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamMonkey?src=hash

    • Tracey 10.1

      I like this one

      Paul Le Comte ‏@five15design 1h

      who knew avg pay rise of $34 wasn’t enough to offset $38,000 rise in housing un-affordability

      • veutoviper 10.1.1

        He has a few good ones on there, including this great poster of Ryall


        Also this one “problem is, that I’m not up on the research on how to break a Nationwide case of Stockholm Syndrome”

    • lprent 11.1

      Arrgh 84 confirmed cases in hamilton. 15 more suspected. Only 4 were immunised. 6 hospitalised (and they have to be really bad to get a bed).

      Nutty parents trying to rely on the good behaviour of other parents to keep their kids safe. As far as I’m concerned unimmunised kids shouldn’t be allowed at schools – that is any schools funded in part or the whole by taxpayers. Unimmunised kids are just a danger to everyone else including adults.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1

        Well theres something we can both agree on

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.2

        What is it about vaccination that makes wingnuts suddenly come over all evidence-based? Will this new-found attention to reality expand into other areas? Doubt it.

        I suppose it’s harder to sustain delusions when your children might die.

  10. fambo 12

    It was interesting to see Mike Hoskings and Seven Sharp consciously block out the Green Party in a Friday night story it did on a far north school near Kaitaia (Peria School) that has now got solar panels, thus saving it many thousands of dollars. The school invited Green Party co-leader Russel Norman to cut the ribbon and this was shown momentarily during the item, with Norman captured in the background a couple of other times as well. At no point was it mentioned that Norman was officially invited to be there by the school. He could have been the janitor as far as Seven Sharp was concerned. Also, when they interviewed the principal he said the goverment should look at supporting solar power, but Norman wasn’t invited to give his opinion even though the school obviously thought he was the most appropriate member of parliament to cut the ribbon. With an election less than three months away, it should be reasonable for the country’s official public broadcaster to let the third biggest political party share its views on what needs to be done by government to support solar power in schools and elsewhere.

    Here’s the background to the school and solar power – http://blog.greens.org.nz/2014/06/25/peria-school-in-northland-proving-john-key-wrong/

    Here’s the Seven Sharp story – http://tvnz.co.nz/seven-sharp/solar-school-using-sun-save-cents-video-6013836

    • karol 12.1

      Thanks. The MSM is clearly not our friend.

    • Tracey 12.2

      and yet UncleCousin got a snippet on the news…for having one seat in parliament, well actually NO seats in parliament at the moment due to Fraudster Number 3 from ACT.

      • Rodel 12.2.1

        Hey..Isn’t it nice to have an ACT free parliament. Wondered why I have been happy lately. Long may it continue.

    • greywarbler 12.3

      I saw Mike Hosking posing on TV the other day, his expression supercilious. Frankly I consider him silly and not at all super. People seem to be suffering memory loss and celebrity whitewash and are desperate for something coloured and moving to watch so they know they are awake. Try turning off the picture and listening to his utterances. TV
      is based round a bunch of well dressed avatars providing content. No substance and nothing of value to offer, just moving coloured pictures to while your time away.

  11. Pete 13


    Earlier reports said this was a member of a high commission’s delegation. So it’s a Commonwealth country. It happened in Brooklyn. There’s only one High Commission in Brooklyn – Malaysia’s.

    • North 13.1

      Bloody hell ! It’s just dawned on me. Brooklyn Hill top of Willis Street. For days I’ve been thinking Brooklyn NY ???

  12. Linz 14

    Something to cheer you up from Trademe:
    Another listing of the John Key hagiography

    John Key Brand new item

    20% off – Was $32, Now $25.60.

    That didn’t take long.

    • greywarbler 14.1

      Has anyone from Labour put one of the books on Trademe at $1 reserve? That would be funny because if the NACTs didn’t bid it up, it would look bad for Jokeyhen. If they actually let it go through at just $1 till the last moment it would be interesting to see if there was a last minute flurry. If it remained unsold at $1 that would be interesting. Bwah hah.

  13. dimebag russell 15

    Africa has now become Uffrica?

  14. Papa Tuanuku 16

    You have until 5 today to lodge an objection against the Conservative Party logo.


    • Bearded Git 16.1

      I objected to the Conservative Party logo writing ….”is misleading in that it could trigger votes on the electoral voting form by accident.”

      Do they put the logos on voting papers?

    • veutoviper 16.2

      Thanks for the reminder.

      I have just emailed off my objection to the effect that the proposed logo is misleading and confusing (terms used in the legal provisions for refusal for the logo to be registered) in that it does not clearly identify that it is a Conservative Party logo and could easily be confused with a general promotion/encouragement to vote.

    • Pete 16.3

      And here’s my email to the Commission

      Dear Sir/Madam

      I believe the proposed logo should be rejected under section 71D(1)(d)(iii) of the Electoral Act 1993 as it is likely to cause confusion or mislead electors.

      The term “Vote” when appearing on a ballot form serves as an instruction rather than a party identifier and in that context is likely to confuse or mislead some electors into voting for a candidate or a party they did not intend to support. Further, it is likely to mislead some electors into invalidating their papers by mistakingly ticking an additional candidate or party box in the belief that those boxes would need to be ticked to cast a valid ballot.

      It would therefore be appropriate to reject this particular logo.

    • freedom 16.4

      There is still over two hours to get an objection in.
      This has been going around fb

      To whom it may concern

      The Electoral Commission is considering an application made under Part
      4 of the Electoral Act 1993 to register a new logo for The
      Conservative Party.

      I would like to object to this logo being authorised on the simple
      grounds that it appears to contravene the Election Day laws pertaining
      to the promotion and/or endorsement of a party.


      Part 3
      3.1 Campaigning on election day is a criminal offence.

      The Electoral Act prohibits campaigning of any kind on election day.

      The prohibition covers any statement that is likely to influence a
      voter as to which candidate(s) or party a voter should or should not
      vote for, or which influences people to abstain from voting. The
      general intention is to leave voters alone from midnight (12am) until
      7pm on election day so they can vote without interference.

      Part 5
      5.1 Election day activities

      Campaigning on election day is a criminal offence
      Any activities (including advertising) promoting the election of a
      candidate or party are prohibited on election day (20 September 2014)
      and are a criminal offence.

      My reasoning is that the word ‘vote’ is a verb as much as it is a noun
      and as such has no place on a voting paper, outside of being included
      in official instructions including the rules and regulations for

      I thank you for this opportunity to lodge an objection.

      Kind regards

  15. One Anonymous Bloke 17

    Tricky PR guy is tricky.

    Watch and learn, as ‘…dairy farming has got ahead of the science…’ becomes ‘…the science must catch up…’ and coming soon to a market failure near you: ‘…slack scientists poison waterways…’

  16. bad12 18

    Do Plants have feelings, while not possessing the same recognizable central nervous system as animals,fish, and, humans, science is more and more coming to the belief that plants do feel and plants do communicate with each other,

    A couple of links that posit just that,

    Do Plants Think–

    Do plants have feelings–the amazing life of plants/viewzone

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      From the 2nd link:

      In fact, he found, plants can react “in the moment” to events taking place thousands of miles away. And not only are they psychic, they also are prophetic, anticipating negative and positive events, including weather.

      I’m really surprised this baloney hasn’t taken off and become a new-age cult.

      I think more controlled laboratory testing is in order to get to the bottom of these claims.

      • bad12 18.1.1

        But why Lanth, you have already made a value judgment that no such thing is possible, why would you want to waste money on laboratory testing,

        Better to just stick your head back in the sand in ignorance no??? while i am in no way saying ”proven” full stop case closed, i am inclined to the belief that all living things are not just sentient objects,

        Either at a DNA level or a level somewhere above plants appear to hold memory which will under specific stimulus cause those plants to react to the stimulus, even in a situation where the plant, as in historically, cannot have been exposed to that stimulus beforehand…

        • Lanthanide

          But why Lanth, you have already made a value judgment that no such thing is possible, why would you want to waste money on laboratory testing,

          Better to just stick your head back in the sand in ignorance no??? while i am in no way saying ”proven” full stop case closed, i am inclined to the belief that all living things are not just sentient objects,

          Because it’s not science if you just make things up. I’m all in favour of science.

          I am certainly willing to believe that plants can communicate with other plants that are in local proximity to them, given that there is a lot of obvious pathways through which this communication could originate and occur. But saying plants are psychic and prophetic, and they are aware of ‘when anything dies including bacteria in a sink’ is a rather extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof.

          • bad12

            Halfway there then Lanth, once our value judgment is set aside, ie, the egotistical ism that says that because the humans have yet to identify the central nervous system of a plant it does not then have one, we then might begin to fully understand such organisms which share many aspects of DNA with us,

            A weed living next to my backyard shows thought by behaving thus: the bottom half of my neighbors back yard holds a flourishing supply of an aggressive fast growing invasive weed which can overpower 30 foot trees,(the same portion of my yard used to be home to it befor its removal),

            My now weed free yard has come under attack from this weed trying to creep back over the fence line, having taken to the weed twice now with a heavy blunt instrument, the weed for the past couple of years while still flourishing wildly in the neighbors yard has made no further attempt to grow into mine,

            That is suggestive of this particular weed having learned…

      • greywarbler 18.1.2

        It’s probably a lively mind (over-excited imagination), taking the Sensitive Plant a mite too far. (Mimosa pudica – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        Mimosa pudica (from Latin: pudica “shy, bashful or shrinking”; also called sensitive plant, sleepy plant and the touch-me-not), is a creeping annual or perennial …

        Then there are the trees that can respond to interference sending out chemicals that result in all the trees within a certain radius reacting to the chemicals and closing their leaves or such.

        How Plants Secretly Talk to Each Other | Science | WIRED
        Dec 20, 2013 – Growing evidence suggests that certain plants like maple trees, when under attack, send airborne signals warning their neighbors of impending …

        Suzanne Simard, forest ecologist at the University of British Columbia, and her colleagues have made the major discovery that trees and plants really do communicate and interact with each other. She discovered an underground web of fungi connecting the trees and plants of an ecosystem. This symbiosis enables the purposeful sharing of resources, consequently helping the whole system of trees and plants to flourish.

        It’s every plant’s worst nightmare. In the fall of 2009, in a Victorian greenhouse at the Cruickshank Botanic Garden at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Zdenka Babikova sprinkled vegetation-devouring aphids on eight broad bean plants and sealed each plant’s leaves and stems inside a clear plastic bag. …Babikova knew that aphid-infested bean plants release odorous chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air to warn their neighbors, which respond by emitting different VOCs that repel aphids and attract aphid-hunting wasps. What she didn’t know was whether the plants were also sounding the alarm beneath the soil surface.

        Whether trees react to the smell of money I don’t know. But people do.
        Planting 10 Million Trees – Donate to The Canopy Project‎
        We Plant a Tree for Each $1 Donated

        • McFlock

          The issue I have is that the terms “communicate” and “send airborne signals warning” presuppose sentience.

          While we know that all organisms react to there environment in some way, and some reactions have evolved that change the environment is such a way that other organisms can react to that change, there’s a big jump between that and sentience.

          If we consider an experiment where you stand next to me, and someone taps my knee with a hammer to test my reflexes, there are two ways I can “communicate” this to you: the first is that I can say “oh dear, someone just hit my knee with a hammer”. The second is that we could sit facing each other in such a way that when my knee is tapped, my foot reflexively jerks such that it kicks you on the knee. You then react with a reflexive jerk.

          The first method would be me communicating to you.
          The second is just the way the world rolls, if the experimenter sets it up the right way.

          As for plants being psychic or predicting the future, the first can sit with everything else that’s dominated by pseudoscience: extraordinary claims require extraordinarily robust evidence. The second might be plants simply reacting to changes in temperature, humidity and air pressure. All a bit “meh”, really.

          edit: lol lanth, snap on the “extraorinary claim/extraordinary proof” position 🙂

          • Tracey

            remember the guy who put cotton wool in bats ears to show they couldn’t see and had an extra sense to enable them to navigate? Took 100 years for it to be extraordinarily proven. Not agreeing or disagreeing with your or anyone’s position, just saying.

            • McFlock

              lol no I actually hadn’t heard that one.

              However, the difference between science and pseudoscience is that he concluded that bats used it for navigation (probably by watching them fly into obstacles), rather than focussing on whether they were composing ultrasonic sonnets.

            • Lanthanide

              That bats generally have unusually large ears for the size of their heads, as well as the general shape of them, makes this a reasonable experiment to try.

              If plants had weird brain-looking organs as part of their bodies, it might suggest particular experiments to try as well.

              • Tracey

                barnacles have unusually large penises for the size of their bodies too. Am trying tot hink of a particular experiment to try…

                • McFlock

                  I wondered why they were popular…

                  • bad12

                    A Paua on a rock when wave motion causes a frond of seaweed to slap it will not react in any visible way,

                    A diver in the form of a human tho only need softly touch any part of the Paua’s shell and the Paua will react as it does to any known predator of that species in the sea,

                    The Paua must have some form of thought process which divines which is the predator and which isn’t…

                    • McFlock

                      No, it just needs a more complex trigger for a flight reflex than “slap or no slap”.

                      Possibly based around contact that is out of context for the currents experienced at that time.

                    • bad12

                      So the Paua must have some means of judging what is and is not the ”context of the currents of the time”,

                      That is an admission that the Paua ”thinks” contextually, now where is the Paua’s brain located again…

                    • Lanthanide

                      It’s not an admission that paua “think”, at all.

                    • McFlock

                      So the Paua must have some means of judging what is and is not the ”context of the currents of the time”,

                      Nope. No “judging” required.
                      Just a miracle of evolution.

                    • bad12

                      Oh thank you Lanth for a comment of such depth, pity it all seems to have been extracted from a septic tank…

                    • bad12

                      Laughable McFlock, how can a Paua living at a depth of 30 feet in the ocean develop such a miracle of evolution in the short space of time that man has had the ability to dive to such depths,

                      A development that allows the Paua to differentiate between the slap of wind or tide driven seaweed and the lightest touch from a human on any part of its shell all developed in such a short space of time must indeed be a miracle,

                      Its the evolution bit that is questionable…

                    • McFlock

                      Laughable McFlock, how can a Paua living at a depth of 30 feet in the ocean develop such a miracle of evolution in the short space of time that man has had the ability to dive to such depth

                      So it hasn’t occurred to you that predators other than humans might not slap paua in the same way as seaweed?

                    • bad12

                      Why yes McFlock, but alls that points out is that a Paua can tell the difference between being slapped by a piece of seaweed from any non specific direction and being touched anywhere by a predator be it human or fish life,

                      Snapper predate Paua with mixed success, if they fail to dislodge the Paua on the first strike then dinner aint served,

                      Star fish are probably the most successful predators that i know of besides the humans and the Paua has little defence against them as they have learned that attaching themselves to the Paua over the holes in the Paua shell through which the Paua filters sea water will in time kill the Paua,

                      Evolution, an evolved skill is still learned behavior, thus an ability to learn is present in the species of star fish that predate upon Paua…

                    • McFlock

                      so basically snapper get the same defence reflex as divers, and it often works. While starfish bypass that reflex with a different and more successful tactic.

                      but alls that points out is that a Paua can tell the difference between being slapped by a piece of seaweed from any non specific direction and being touched anywhere by a predator be it human or fish life,

                      Star fish[…] have learned that attaching themselves to the Paua over the holes in the Paua shell through which the Paua filters sea water will in time kill the Paua,

                      Well, there’s two issues. The first is the reflex reaction of paua. It’s a complex reaction that evolved over aeons. But I belief it is still an unthought reaction.

                      The star fish behaviour is also complex, and might be “learned” from other star fish. But I suspect it is an instinctive method that has also evolved over time, as has the star fish form.

                    • bad12

                      Right Mac, the starfish behavior toward the Paua ”might” well be learned off of other starfish,

                      The questions then would have to be (a) did not the first starfish that adopted the practice first have to ”learn” it befor the other starfish, even if only by imitation ”learned” to accomplish the same activity,

                      And (b), without an identifiable set of eyes by what means have the ”other” starfish ”learned” such imitation in order that they can suck the life from the Paua,(which incidently they do not go on to devour, once killed the Paua has no ability to clamp itself to a rock surface and thus becomes easy prey for faster feeders than the starfish),

                      Lolz, so many questions boggling the mind, back to the original question, do plants feel/think and one that is at the core of many arguments against plants having the ability to feel,

                      Do you have to have an identifiable Brain to be able to feel pain, or to dial up the microscope, is pain felt in the brain only???

                    • bad12

                      There is one other ‘behavior’ i observed in the relationship between Paua and starfish as a Paua diver over a four year period,

                      When a starfish is present in a bed of Paua, and without the starfish actually touching all of the Paua in the bed, the Paua appears to ”know” of the starfish’s presence among the bed of Paua,

                      The Paua closest to the starfish will actually attempt to flee, some even climbing across other Paua in the bed in an effort that looks remarkably like what i believed having observed this behavior on a number of occasions to be an effort to escape the starfish…

                    • McFlock

                      lol yeah I like it when debates get the little grey cells turning over.

                      If we say that neurons or identifiable brain structures aren’t necessary for sentience, then theoretically everything and anything can be sentient, even rocks (in which case vegetarianism is just discrimination against plants). But it would be so alien to us that we can’t even detect it.

                    • bad12

                      Yep Mac, my view is that debate gets out of hand when ”strict” belief systems are questioned/challenged, the ability to put aside the egotistical win/lose expands the perimeters of debate quite considerably,

                      i have a couple more links in the do plant ”feel/think” debate to put up on a slow day to try and expand the debate/knowledge,

                      One of them which contains a very long interview of scientists on both sides of the debate has a Laugh out Loud factor running through it where those who propose on the side of plants having senses/feelings and being able to process and react to information take the time to explain their points whereas Bullshit seems to be as far as at least one scientists on the nay side of the debate was prepared to vocalize such dissent,

                      The question i propose ”do we only feel pain in our brain” is in fact a key question in looking at how plants might be able to ”feel”

                      Hit your thumb with a hammer, Ouch big time, but, i would suggest that that Ouch is expressed in both the brain and at the point the hammer struck the thumb,

                      Such pain will go on to express itself at the source of having been struck by the hammer via throbbing far after the brain has stopped expressing the pain from the hammer strike,

                      This says to me that while we are a highly/differently evolved species than plants and thus ”pain” is transmitted to a central area in us there need be no central area in an organism needed specifically to feel pain, as we can feel it as a localized as well as centralized feeling the plant may feel such only as a localized feeling…

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, but we subjectively experience pain, just as we subjectively experience colour.

                      But the “pain” itself is just a nerve impulse. Does the existence of a nerve or nerve impulse necessarily mean that the impulse is experienced subjectively?

                      I have a friend in the states exploring the concept of (or trying to find the seat of) consciousness using brain scans. I.e. watch the scans change as the person thinks/does stuff. Personally, I’m not sure that the research objective is realistic, but it’ll probably have very positive outcomes in furthering brain research.

                      The reason I’m not sure that it’s realistic is that they’re trying to explain objectively the ultimate subjective experience. And just because the brain does stuff doesn’t mean that there’s not a “soul” for which the brain is merely an interface between the metaphysical and the physical world. I’m not overly relgious or spiritual (obviously), but it seems to me that it’s a debate that (while interesting) will never be solved.

          • Ergo Robertina

            ‘If we consider an experiment where you stand next to me, and someone taps my knee with a hammer to test my reflexes, there are two ways I can “communicate” this to you: the first is that I can say “oh dear, someone just hit my knee with a hammer”. The second is that we could sit facing each other in such a way that when my knee is tapped, my foot reflexively jerks such that it kicks you on the knee. You then react with a reflexive jerk.’

            Thought and/or speech are not requisite for sentience ( according to Wikipedia Western philosophy did think so circa 18th century.). It involves sensation and feeling.
            As for unthinking reflexes, these are pretty common in people prone to reactionary responses to anything unknown or unexplained.

            • McFlock

              Thought and/or speech are not requisite for sentience ( according to Wikipedia Western philosophy did think so circa 18th century.). It only requires sensation and feeling.

              as exist in a subjective experience.
              I can program a machine to react to external stimula, that doesn’t make it sentient. That doesn’t mean it has a subjective experience.
              Me saying “ow” to you is communication between two subjective beings. But is a reflexive twitch an indication of sentience? I don’t think so, any more than applying a voltage to dismembered frogs legs to make them twitch is indicative of sentience in the legs.

              As for unthinking reflexes, these are pretty common in people prone to reactionary responses to anything unknown or unexplained.

              Just as passive aggression can be a defense reflex in those blessed with more certainty than their supporting evidence allows.

              • Ergo Robertina

                ‘I don’t think so, any more than applying a voltage to dismembered frogs legs to make them twitch is indicative of sentience.’

                Machines do not experience natural emotion or sensibility and are not sentient beings.
                You’re conflating ability with subjective experience; by that measure machines may one day be more ‘sentient’ than humans as technology advances, which is obviously a nonsense.
                But to be fair you think animals are walking meat robots, it must be a difficult concept for you.

                • McFlock

                  Machines do not experience natural emotion or sensibility and are not sentient beings.

                  That’s a very firm statement. How can you know that?

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    Machines are a functional extension of human intellect.
                    What makes you think of them as sentient?

                    • McFlock

                      At the moment, I don’t.

                      But the possibility of an artificial machine becoming sentient (and how we distinguish that from a machine that we just trained to mimic a sentient human) is a real issue.

                      And if that’s a possibility, where along the line from a lump of silicon rock to that sentient machine are we, and how can we know? Hell, how do we know a rock is not sentient and doesn’t feel pain when chipped?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Why did you ask how I could make a ‘firm statement’ about something you acknowledge does not exist at present?
                      The wider point on the continuum quandary of sentience and empathy; it’s about context and respect. Our nature is to consume and exploit, but this can be balanced, albeit imperfectly. You asked about rocks – well, use mineral resources with good stewardship and frugality. It is the same with animals.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Our nature is to consume and exploit, but this can be balanced, albeit imperfectly.

                      Remembering when you mention “our nature” you pretty much mean modern western Judeo-Christian culture of the last 500 or so years.

                      Most indigenous cultures did not have this same ethos of maximum consumption and maximum exploitation.

                    • McFlock

                      Why did you ask how I could make a ‘firm statement’ about something you acknowledge does not exist at present?

                      I do not think it exists at present. But I think we are on the cusp of it, and it might well exist now. So I am not firm it does not exist at present, but I think the odds are still slightly against it. Whereas you seem to be pretty categorical about the issue. I’d like to know where that certainty comes from.

                      The wider point on the continuum quandary of sentience and empathy; it’s about context and respect. Our nature is to consume and exploit, but this can be balanced, albeit imperfectly. You asked about rocks – well, use mineral resources with good stewardship and frugality. It is the same with animals

                      And it’s the same with my bank balance, but I’m pretty sure that my bank balance isn’t sentient. Nor do I particularly respect my bank account, rocks or most animals.

                      But I personally don’t think that people should be “used” at all, and are deserving of an initial amount or respect simply because they are people.

                    • McFlock

                      Most indigenous cultures did not have this same ethos of maximum consumption and maximum exploitation.

                      yep, no animal was hunted to extinction or any environment exhausted to the point of social collapse before those damned European colonists did it, eh? /sarc

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re funny McFlock. You’re also part of a dying civilisation which has successfully killed off many indigenous ways of life. Laugh it up while you can.

                    • McFlock

                      what’s funny is that your idealisation is a common frippery amongst the more privileged members of any dominant society, all the way back to Rome.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Lovely moving compassion for the pigs, plants etc today. So on that count…is a fetus at 4 months sentient?

                  • McFlock

                    doubt it. But better odds than a mollusc.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    I would say so, yes.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, that got us nowhere. That’s why interviewers ask open questions.

                    So I’ll add: “why?”

                    From my perspective, although ISTR brain neuron development is well advanced at 16 weeks, I tend to think that sentience comes from the established, reinforced and supplementary connections those neurons make. It’s all very well having the bits, but unless they’re joined up it’s not doing anything.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      First time I’ve heard anyone say that a fetus at 4 months isn’t doing anything useful re: joining and connecting things up.

                    • McFlock

                      First time I’ve heard anyone say that a fetus at 4 months isn’t doing anything useful re: joining and connecting things up.

                      not the first time you’ve put much more meaning into a statement than the words you read, however.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      IMO actively joining and connecting things up into ever increasing orders of functional complexity is a pretty good indicator of life, if not of sentience.

                    • McFlock

                      true that.
                      A virus is alive, and makes complex connections. Doesn’t make it sentient (even though thinking of it as such can be a useful problem solving strategy).

  17. ianmac 19

    A very clever column from Imperatorfish, the last line reads:
    “But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the New Zealand Herald obeys him!”
    John Key: Portrait of a Saint http://imperatorfish.com/2014/06/29/john-key-portrait-of-a-saint/
    So funny. So true! Really!

  18. Tracey 20

    Picture team key driving the economy, picture them supporter by their loyal acolytes, picture them dangling their promises and selling their wares, then click this link


  19. I recall operation Lucy being castigated by some as a waste of police resources. 112 firearms off the street and $195,000 worth of stolen property recovered says probably not after all.


  20. infused 22

    So what’s the issue with #TeamKey? National are very organized this year. Far more it seems than any of the other parties from what I’ve seen.

    I esspically like the teamkey.co.nz aggregator. Smart, and actually useful.

    • veutoviper 22.1

      Well, the Twitter feed #teamkey has already been hijacked! See 10 above. LOL

      • infused 22.1.1

        Ya. Saw that. But that generally happens to most popular ones.

        I see Kim.com posted a picture of his MPs in govt.

        • veutoviper

          “National are very organized this year. Far more it seems than any of the other parties from what I’ve seen.”

          “from what I’ve seen” seems to be operative part of that sentence. I take it that you have not checked out the Internet Party’s website. internet.org.nz http://t.co/gamJIRDlQU

          I just checked the teamkey website, and the Internet Party website leaves it for dead. Have a look at the policy development section in particular.

          • Tracey

            stop that, he is a guru I tell you, he would not have missed their site or the hijacking.

          • infused

            teamkey.co.nz is an aggregator.

            You’d compare https://www.national.org.nz/ to http://www.internet.org.nz

            Leaves it for dead? please. You can even rss feed from all nationals stuff.

            That’s what I’m saying. Join the 21st century please parties.

            • Tracey

              I wonder if money could have anything to do with establishing good online presence?

              Party Campaign expenditure Party votes received Expenditure per party vote
              Total Party only Total Party only
              National $2,321,216 $2,053,444 1,058,636 $2.19 $1.94
              Conservative $1,878,337 $1,849,961 59,237 $31.71 $31.23
              Labour $1,789,152 $1,437,511 614,937 $2.91 $2.34
              Green $779,618 $731,990 247,372 $3.15 $2.96
              ACT $617,035 $605,760 23,889 $25.83 $25.36
              NZ First $155,903 $129,418 147,544 $1.06 $0.88
              Māori $72,173 $14,177 31,982 $2.26 $0.44
              Mana $60,082 $26,163 24,168 $2.49 $1.08
              Democratic $34,676 $22,264 1,714 $20.23 $12.99
              United Future $27,719 $27,719 13,443 $2.06 $2.06
              Legalise Cannabis $4,003 $4,003 11,738 $0.34 $0.34
              Libertarianz $2,760 $2,760 1,595 $1.73 $1.73
              Alliance $2,407 $2,262 1,209 $1.99 $1.87

              • infused

                Considering a good website is around 10-15k, there really isn’t an excuse fore the big parties.

                Hell, even the grad students do a damm good job.

    • Tracey 22.2

      “Far more it seems than any of the other parties from what I’ve seen.”

      Two things impact this;

      1. walking around with your eyes closed; and
      2. Only listening to National Press Releases

      oh dear, you are a little behind the news I am afraid…

      • infused 22.2.1

        Well yes. This is the 21st century, so if you are relying on me walking around to see other parties stuff…

        And I use news aggregators. Hence my comment.

        It’s not me that’s behind.

        • Tracey

          Yeah it is. You hadn’t even picked up that the twitter you were excited about has been hijacked.

          As for news aggregators, I stand by my comment, National’s press releases. I wasn’t suggesting that they send them directly to you before the news outlets.

          • infused

            It was hijacked days ago.

            And you should probably do some research on what an aggregator is. I’m not looking at any news as such.

            • Tracey

              I know what an aggregator is. BUT don’t you have to make your settings/subscriptions or are you saying your “aggregator” knows to aggregate all political parties info in all its online guises wuithout you specifying?

            • felix

              I’d guess that National’s alligator will be most useful for making sure the party faithful, the activists, the real serious John Key fan club are all getting the same info at the same time so they all what the messages are today and they can all sing in unison from the same song sheet.

              Can’t imagine it being of much interest to the general public but I don’k that’s who it’s for.

              • infused

                So let’s say that’s true. Isn’t that a good plan? Why isn’t Labour doing something like this?

                • felix

                  Sorry I didn’t make that clearer, it looks like an excellent plan and Labour should totally be doing something like it.

    • Lanthanide 22.3

      Pretty easy to say National are “far more [organised] than any of the other parties” when the other parties by and large haven’t officially launched their campaigns yet.

  21. Tracey 23

    Today I decided to renew my dogs registration online with Auckland Council. They have this notice

    ” Please note: An online convenience fee of 2.0 per cent (current) per transaction will apply. This fee is at the bank’s discretion and maybe subject to change.

    By proceeding with this payment I understand I will be charged a convenience fee that will be added to my total charges. Any refunds made will be exclusive of the convenience fee.”

    For ne that is $3.80 for the bank.

    Funnily enough I have decided to write a cheque and post it, and save myself some money.

    This was a WTF moment.

    • Lanthanide 23.1

      Funny that the council doesn’t just bump the rate up across the board, so everyone pays the ‘convenience fee’, and in the case of refunds (which must be pretty rare?) refund the full amount.

      • Tracey 23.1.1

        agreed, especially as they are trying to encourage dog registration.

        • vto

          what is even funnier is that with many outfits you now pay an “inconvenience fee” if you don’t pay online….

          to have now added a “convenience fee” for paying online is just laughable.

          and smacks of Council monopoly behaviour. Who is it supposed to be convenient for? Why would they charge an extra cost because it is easier for the consumer? It has nothing to do with Council costs. In fact Council costs should be lower so Council should be offering a “convenience discount”.

          This is entirely from some dimwit in Council acting entirely outside the scope of the Commerce Act. Makes me cross – grrrr

          • Tracey

            It’s very convenient for the bank I think vto?

          • Lanthanide

            It’s because you use a credit card when paying online, and banks charge a ~2% fee for CC use.

            Councils, more-so than other organisations, are very particular about their funding and generally never offer discounts or subsidies to things. If they kept the price the same and ate the 2% fee, their dog registration fund would be less than anticipated.

            Really they should call it a 2% credit card fee, not a convenience fee, because that’s what it is.

            • Tracey

              you would think a client as big as the super city could negotiate bank charges down a bit on behalf of their customers, and yeah convience fee is misleading and deceptive… Fta territory

              • Draco T Bastard

                It should simply say Bank Charges. At least then it would be obvious where the charge was coming from.

            • Colonial Viper

              Really they should call it a 2% credit card fee, not a convenience fee, because that’s what it is.

              But isn’t this why the banks are moving everyone to Visa debit cards now? So they (and the parasitic Visa organisation) can clip the ticket on ordinary EFTPOS transactions too?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Didn’t you notice that it was the bank adding it?

            • Colonial Viper

              Society is being raped and pillaged by the financial/banking system, and I mean it in every sense.

    • Jilly Bee 23.2

      I registered our dog on line on Friday with the Auckland Council – my ‘convenience fee’ was $1.92. My bank statement indicated that this was a BNZ fee – I bank with ANZ. I do see that your first sentence said dogs registration – is this one or more dogs, my costs were $96 registration plus $1.92 bank fee.

  22. The Real Matthew 24


  23. Tracey 25

    “There was an important moment in this chilling of political diversity in the
    late 1990s, that has affected journalism ever since. In 1989 there was a
    current affairs programme: Frontline: Pro Bono Publico/For The Public
    Good that looked at the links between 1980s Labour Government politicians and key businessman who were benefitting personally from its economic reforms (such as privatisations). Looked at today, the programme looks unexceptional, but at the time it was highly controversial. TVNZ was sued, the journalists were attacked from many directions and TVNZ restructured its current affairs into the Auckland offices to ensure that nothing like it happened again. The lead reporter eventually left the country. He now works for Australian ABC radio in Darwin. TV current affairs and TV journalism has mostly been cautious and populist ever since. This is an important piece of NZ media history. Like universities, we are still living with the effects 20 years later. A year after the Frontline programme Richard Long took over as editor of Dominion newspaper and turned it to right, issuing to reporters a list of people who would not be quoted in the paper any more.”

    ” One of their tools is paid public
    voices, who are the main voices heard commenting in the media on most financial
    and economic issues — naturally enough pushing the sorts of policies that aid
    profits for finance companies. These voices are so normal, and accepted so
    uncritically by most media, that we don’t even think of “BNZ economist”
    and “ASB economist” and “Bancorp economist” as industry lobbyists. Another
    example is the Real Estate Institute, whose vigorous long-term PR strategies
    are working diametrically against what many of you would care about in housing.
    It has, for instance, run a long-term campaign to avoid capital gains taxes in
    New Zealand, a campaign that benefits from the fact that no one is even aware
    there is a campaign going on.”

    “The same thing happened in universities and the public service – with nasty
    attacks on critics of Rogernomics and behind the scenes manoeuvring to
    undermine their employment. Many people were pushed aside in this way, while
    other were favoured and promoted. NZBR head Roger Kerr went onto VUW council
    from 1995-99 to continue this process, actively investigating and making life
    difficult for lecturers who were outspoken against the policies he believes in.

    A university economist told me recently that there had not been a single appointment of a left-leaning economist to any university department in New Zealand for about 20 years. If correct, this would mean that – even though New Zealand has moved a lot since the 1980s and 1990s — econ students today are still getting an almost uniform diet of free market ideology.”

    “Let’s look at the political range of voices in our media…..

    NZH: Fran O’Sullivan, John Roughan, Colin James, Garth George on the right, with less ideological voices being Tapu Misa and Brian Rudman.

    Dominion Post: Richard Long, Rosemary McLeod, Bob Jones, Simon Upton, Matthew Hooton, with Chris Trotter as almost sole voice from the left.

    The Listener: Jane Clifton, Deborah Cone Hill, Bill Ralston, Joanne Black, with
    a little economic column hanging on from Brian Easton.

    On Newstalk ZB (the privatised RNZ network, that many more people listen to
    than RNZ) the main voices are three right wing bigots: Paul Holmes, Larry
    Williams and Leighton Smith, and their regular commentators such as Graeme
    Hunt, Jane Clifton and Michael Bassett.

    And so on. Matthew Hooton also appears regularly on Radio Live, RNZ Nine to
    Noon, the Sunday Star-Times and on television. And who is Hooton? A full-time
    PR man – a prominent figure in Brash’s National Party, Timberlands, pro-
    tobacco, pro-nuclear ships and many contemporary clients via his Auckland PR
    firm. A measure of the lack of balance in the media is how often we hear him.”

    Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand Conference, University of
    Otago, 26 November 2008

    Nicky Hager

    • Draco T Bastard 25.1

      Yep, New Zealand has to be one of the most corrupt countries around but the corruption has been kept in the dark so that people just don’t know.

    • Colonial Viper 25.2

      Excellent excerpt – and Hager is legendary.

    • Olwyn 25.3

      Along related lines, did anyone see One News tonight? One story went, “Who would you like to see replace Cunliffe? Here’s our Colmar Brunton poll on the subject.” A small majority of the general population and a large majority of Labour voters of course wanted him to stay, but that didn’t stop them from speculating about other potential leaders. I actually emailed them and complained – something I have never done before in my life until this past week, when I have twice complained to media outlets.

      • blue leopard 25.3.1

        Glad you mentioned that Olwyn,
        I just caught the end of it with Shearer talking – looking pretty smug if I say so myself. I ‘ve got TVOne plus on to see the full thing. I was horrified by what I thought it was about (only having seen the end). This really is tragic if the media are going to do things like this. And what are MPs like Shearer doing playing into it? I shall reserve my judgement until I see the whole clip – but it didn’t look good at all from the bit I saw.

        Glad you have taken action

        • Olwyn

          I’ll be interested to see what you think, after you have watched it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Shearer looked a bit clumsy, and also a bit ambiguous, with his reply to me, but I guess he was caught on the hop.

          • blue leopard

            Just saw it – bloody pathetic. I actually feel more concerned by Shearer’s position/demeanor than the media angle – although it is totally unacceptable that they choose to create such a non-story – it could get no air if it weren’t for grinning idiots with fragile egos prone to being flattered such as Shearer came across – Nash was similar a few weeks back. They need to learn how to give ‘ringing endorsements’… without Cunliffe Labour would have been screwed right about all year; they have appeared more unified and disciplined under him than they ever came across under Shearer.

            Surely Shearer doesn’t have to agree to such interviews?

            I also just complained about something else it has gone to BSA (it is taking a long time – I guess they are looking for reasons why they can decline it)….it is looking like we have to keep complaining to put pressure on them to do decent stories… Kind of goes against the grain to complain on a weekly basis…but unsure what else can be done. This really is a shocking state the media are in.

        • Anne

          Re- David Shearer, blue leopard. He didn’t come across to me as being smug… he merely noted that he understood what it was like and I have no doubt he does. We have to be careful we don’t read too much into these interviews with the politicians on our side of the fence. One thing is certain… they will be subjected to set-ups to try and get them to say something that can be misreported or repeated out of context.

          What I have done in the past few days is to set up log-ins for most of the media outlets so that I can instantly respond to their crap stories – stories that are only going to increase in number the closer we get to the election.

          Note to self: write down the different pseudonyms in case you muddle them up girl.

          • blue leopard

            No Anne I disagree with you over this one ‘we can’t do anything about it now’ isn’t good enough. Nash said much the same last time TV One did that same angle a week or so ago. All this comment does is put me off voting for Labour because of the thought that Cunliffe might have idiots planning to roll him. I doubt if this is the case but Shearer’s comment doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. If M.P’s are that easily ‘set-up’ they shouldn’t agree to TV interviews. They need to come across as positive – not ‘well we can’t do anything about it now’ if they can’t do that, what the heck are they doing as representatives of the people for the Labour Party?

            • Anne

              Cunliffe might have idiots planning to roll him. I doubt if this is the case but Shearer’s comment doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

              Certain its not the case blue leopard. I see it as another media inspired unsubtle copy of the non- existent Cunliffe coup of Nov/Dec. 2012.

              You have to ask yourself. What has Cunliffe done to them. Nothing of course. They are merely acting on covert signals from John Key and co., and they believe the continued success of their media careers is dependent upon their loyalty to the Key government – in other words Key greasers. They are allowed mild criticisms of the govt. to give the appearance of balance, but otherwise it is… we’ll give you the ammunition then its up to you MSM to use it and destroy my political enemy. There’s one stumbling block. Cunliffe is tenacious. He doesn’t give up – ever. So watch out bovver boy Key… you could be the one in the gun before this campaign is done!

              • blue leopard

                What you say is true and as I said, I consider it unacceptable what TV1 chose to air however I do expect professionalism from professionals in politics too and, as I said, it should not be so very hard to either say no to an interview or to be convincing about the strength of Cunliffe’s leadership. All professionals involved chose poorly on this one and I hope the Labour professionals have a good think over this.

                If someone can’t do the interviews well – they need to step aside for those who can. I truly think the country depends on these people to put aside their egos and do their best for the team and thus for the policies that team will provide for New Zealander’s benefit.

                It seems to me that Cunliffe was demoted for far less than what occurred tonight.

            • Clemgeopin

              I agree. All the labour ‘leaders’ and MPs should be giving unqualified, complete loyalty and support for Cunliffe and the Labour party now. Shearer who I do like a lot was very poor in his endorsement today. Don’t these guys have minimum commonsense? A shame.

      • Colonial Viper 25.3.2

        And I suppose they didn’t ask who people would want to replace John Key: Joyce Collins or Bridges lol.

        • Olwyn

          Of course not. That would be heresy.

        • blue leopard

          Yeah good point CV, they don’t go there at all – why do they do it to Labour?

          …Which is why Olwyn’s response to your comment nails it too.

      • Tautoko Viper 25.3.3

        I also emailed TV1 to complain.
        By the way, who thinks up the questions for TV1 Colmar Brunton Poll? Steven Joyce?

    • felix 25.4

      Thanks Tracey. Curiously enough, two of the matters mentioned just happened to cross my mind this afternoon.

      links between 1980s Labour Government politicians and key businessman who were benefitting personally from its economic reforms

      The most twisted example of this is surely Alan Gibbs, who was more or less gifted a huge fortune by that government and uses it to fund a political party dedicated to removing all property and power from public ownership.

      we don’t even think of “BNZ economist” and “ASB economist” and “Bancorp economist” as industry lobbyists.

      And these voices are never even challenged. They’re just inserted into the end of the news as if they’re as impartial as the weather forecast. It’s a massive free hit for the interests of the banking sector.

      • Tracey 25.4.1

        hager has done some bloody thought provoking stuff. His bruce jesson is worth re reading, but this one from 2008 is great, and explains why the right feel the need to discredit him however they can.

    • Weepu's beard 25.5

      On Newstalk ZB (the privatised RNZ network, that many more people listen to
      than RNZ) the main voices are three right wing bigots: Paul Holmes, Larry
      Williams and Leighton Smith, and their regular commentators such as Graeme
      Hunt, Jane Clifton and Michael Bassett.

      Paul Holmes (RIP) has been replaced by the much more poisonous and less talented Mike Hosking.

  24. dimebag russell 26

    yep they are all evil spirits trying to destroy anything good.

  25. ianmac 27

    Some very clever posters aimed at National/Conservative Party and others, -about 50 of them. Neetflux satire by poster.

  26. Draco T Bastard 28

    Peru now has a ‘licence to kill’ environmental protesters

    Some of the recent media coverage about the fact that more than 50 people in Peru – the vast majority of them indigenous – are on trial following protests and fatal conflict in the Amazon over five years ago missed a crucial point. Yes, the hearings are finally going ahead and the charges are widely held to be trumped-up, but what about the government functionaries who apparently gave the riot police the order to attack the protestors, the police themselves, and – following Wikileaks’ revelations of cables in which the US ambassador in Lima criticized the Peruvian government’s “reluctance to use force” and wrote there could be “implications for the recently implemented Peru-US FTA” if the protests continued – the role of the US government?

    Bold mine

    So, why is NZ kissing US arse? They obviously don’t have the standards that we would like to hold ourselves to.

  27. Pasupial 29

    Green Party MP Holly Walker has decided to withdraw from the party’s list in the upcoming election and will not seek a second term in Parliament. Ms Walker was number 12 on the Green Party list.


    This leaves the top 20 of the GP list as now:

    [same up to place 11]
    12 James Shaw (nominal 10% Green Party vote)
    13 Denise Roche
    14 Steffan Browning
    15 Marama Davidson (12.5% or less GP vote)
    16 Barry Coates
    17 John Hart
    18 David Kennedy (bsprout gets in with 15% or less GP vote!)
    19 Jeanette Elley
    20 Jack McDonald (maybe; if GP vote gets slightly above the 15% target, and there’s a substantial amount of votes wasted on minor parties that don’t get into parliament)

    When the country is sick – that’s when you need a GP.

    • alwyn 29.1

      I think you mean (12.5% or MORE GP vote) for Davidson, and a similar change for David Kennedy don’t you?

      • Pasupial 29.1.1


        It’s impossible to say until the voting count is in.

        An overhang increases the amount of party vote % needed to get a list seat, but that shouldn’t be relevant to the GP in 2014. The amount of votes wasted on minor parties that don’t get into parliament will be what determines how much less than the nominal % will be required to get a list seat.

        The specifics are here (though it’s easiest just to run the; “MMP seat allocation calculator”, and see how a given scenario would pan out):


        So I stand by my claim that it will take; Marama Davidson 12.5% or less GP vote to get a list seat, but can’t say at this point how much less.

      • dimebag russell 29.1.2

        whatever. the way you put it it makes as much sense as a wet bus ticket.
        thats just blah!

  28. fisiani 30

    vote labor and half the cabinet is green. nothanks

    • dimebag russell 30.1

      vote national and over half the cabinet will be low grade neanderthals.

      • blue leopard 30.1.1

        ….perhaps you mean blithering swamp creatures? Low-grade neanderthals is a bit of an insult to low-grade neanderthals I fear.

      • Lanthanide 30.1.2

        And (far) less than half will be women.

    • bad12 30.2

      You were not about to even if half the Cabinet were not going to be Green so your latest whine is more pointless drivel,

      Half a Green Cabinet means a three quarters progressive Cabinet…

  29. Could a trusted Standardista do me a favour and check a link for me? It’s been two weeks since my lawyer sent a remove my name from my ex bosses company website letter, which hasn’t been replied to or complied with as yet.
    The site has been down all day, and I don’t know if it’s my ip being blocked or it’s just down.

    I can’t post the link here, but will give it in secret if someone sends me an email through al1en.org

  30. joe90 32


    WASHINGTON — Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.


    Even before Nisour Square, Blackwater’s security guards had acquired a reputation among Iraqis and American military personnel for swagger and recklessness, but their complaints about practices ranging from running cars off the road to shooting wildly in the streets and even killing civilians typically did not result in serious action by the United States or the Iraqi government.


    Blackwater was also overbilling the State Department by manipulating its personnel records, using guards assigned to the State Department contract for other work and falsifying other staffing data on the contract, the investigators concluded.


    A Blackwater-affiliated firm was forcing “third country nationals” — low-paid workers from Pakistan, Yemen and other countries, including some who performed guard duty at Blackwater’s compound — to live in squalid conditions, sometimes three to a cramped room with no bed, according to the report by the investigators.


    Mr. Carroll said “that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” Mr. Richter wrote in a memo to senior State Department officials in Washington. He noted that Mr. Carroll had formerly served with Navy SEAL Team 6, an elite unit.


  31. very cool series on prime..about the pacific..

    ..it is a bit all over the place..but has shown me lots..

    ..and lots of cool pics of places i’ve only ever heard of..

    ..bora bora being but one example..

  32. SPC 34

    A major election issue is the rising value of housing.

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that reluctance on increasing the OCR alone will have adverse impact on the wider economy – already the dollar is reaching record levels.

    The cost of mortgage finance can be raised without OCR adjustment that impacts on the dollar value. This is via a surcharge on mortgages. The surcharge has the advantage of raising revenue – revenue that can be placed into the New Zealand Super Fund each year. This at 1% would be about $2B each year.

    I much prefer this method to Labours plan to extract money from the pockets of wage earners into higher Kiwi Saver contributions – which would be less direct and less effective.

    While it would be an impost on home owners and landlords paying mortgages (one not imposed on the rental tenant), it does need to be remembered that the alternative to 1% surcharge on top of a 6% mortgage would be a 7% mortgage – so they are no worse off. But the dollar would be held down and we raise $2B per annum for the Cullen Fund.

    It astounds me that this was not Labour’s preferred option.

    • Colonial Viper 34.1

      sounds complex maybe we should just raise the retirement age already as there is no alternative /sarc

      • SPC 34.1.1

        I don’t mind signalling an increase in the age of super.

        However this has to be specific and have a long lead in.

        My preference is an increase from age 65 to age 70 – 4 months per annum over 20 years. This to start from 2030. Thus the age would reach 67 in 2038.

        And also a more clear safety net for the poor, such as Super rate benefits from the age of 65 to 70 (this as the age for super rises from age 65 to 70).

    • Draco T Bastard 34.2

      and landlords paying mortgages (one not imposed on the rental tenant)

      When costs go up on landlords they transfer that cost onto the tenant. Having others pay for what they own is how the rich get rich after all.

      • SPC 34.2.1

        No the evidence does not show that.

        Rents can go up a lot despite there being no cost increases to landlords, because a shortage of supply allows them to raise rents. This has happened in both Auckland and Christchurch.

        Conversely if there is adequate supply rents do not go up even if costs to landlords do.

        The market place is not a cost plus zone.

        Landlords get their return in the rising value of the property, more so when there is no tax on the CG. A bit like how governments get higher taxation revenues via inflation (GST and higher wages in compensation) and or bracket creep. whether there is any real growth or not.

  33. Thought my days of dumbed down weather related newspaper headlines like ‘Phew what a scorcher’ and ‘Brrr what a chiller’ were over, but never fear, the herald has it’s own version.

    “Polar blast straight from Antarctica”

    Really? Where else was the polar blast going to come from, the equator?

    • Colonial Viper 35.1

      To remove ambiguity you know, there are TWO still freezing cold poles after all 😛

      • The Al1en 35.1.1

        lol That would be some Arctic blast all right, all the way from up north. We could sit on the cliffs watching polar bears surf past on icebergs on their annual migration south.

  34. Draco T Bastard 36


    Jackson writes:

    A document obtained from Labour MP Claire Curran’s office show that some government departments and DHBs are paying for extended XP support, even as others cease using the OS.

    Which is the inevitable result of cutting government department budgets over the last six years to give the rich a tax cut and to try and have a minor government surplus. The actions of this government have resulted in your data being compromised.

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      Labour (Mallard) signed a sweet heart multi year deal with Microsoft. Blame them.

      • Draco T Bastard 36.1.1

        I doubt if such a deal extended for so long. If you have evidence otherwise please show it.

  35. SPC 37

    Now that ACT has come out for an end to school zoning as part of voucher education – I suppose it is appropriate to note that one electorate where house values are high because of school zoning is Epsom.

    So will the voters of Epsom vote for ACT and lower house values relative to the rest of Auckland?

  36. SPC 38

    The answer is they well might but only because National would campaign for the people of Epsom voting for ACT despite the no zoning policy because National would promise NOT to agree to this policy in any coalition with ACT.

    So “vote for the ACT MP in Epsom because a policy he and his party want would not be introduced by a National led government. And ACT accepted that a major policy of its campaign was a non starter in a coalition government with National – this because Epsom was the seat they and National chose for their cup of tea.

    What a screw up by the so called smart operators on the right.

    Demonstrating what a rort the whole coat tailing and seat gift charade really is and how it has come back to bite them hard.

  37. greywarbler 39

    Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Facebook: “Murderers of children and those who direct them cannot be forgiven. Now is a time for actions, not words.”

    Three Israeli teenagers who were abducted earlier this month in the West Bank have been found dead. An Israeli military spokesman said their bodies were found in a pit near the town of Halhul, north of Hebron….
    More than 400 Palestinians have been arrested, while five have been killed in fighting with Israeli troops.
    A spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry told the Associated Press news agency that a girl had been slightly hurt. The ministry also said a seven-year-old boy had died from injuries sustained in an Israeli raid earlier this week.
    Mr Netanyahu has accused Hamas, although he has not provided any direct evidence, while the militant group has praised the kidnappings without claiming responsibility.

    Mr Netanyahu has pressed the moderate Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to break off a recently agreed national reconciliation deal with Hamas in the aftermath of the kidnappings and it appeared likely he will ratchet up the pressure now that the corpses have been found….
    Initial reports suggested that the three had been shot dead shortly after they went missing….

    The Israeli operation against Hamas in the West Bank targeted civilian infrastructure and included raids on charitable associations, universities and a printing press.

    Palestinians viewed the campaign as a collective punishment. Five Palestinians died, including a 14-year-old boy in Dura, near Hebron, a
    and the Israeli military activity touched off inter-Palestinian tensions as Palestinians in Ramallah last week demonstrated against Mr Abbas’s ordering of continued security coordination between Palestinian police and the Israeli army.

    How to bring acceptance, security and peace in our time./sarc

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