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Open Mike 30/10/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 30th, 2016 - 95 comments
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95 comments on “Open Mike 30/10/2016 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Andrew Little dropped Labour’s policy of raising the age of eligibility, yet it seems some in the Labour Party can’t get over it.


    Leaving voters questioning the party’s sincerity claiming they’ve dropped the policy. Labour already suffers from voter distrust. This isn’t the way to go in regaining it.

    There are a number of problems Jacinda could be focusing on, but it seems she rather spend her time advocating for change most voters don’t want.

    • Part of the reason why people vote New Zealand First is they know the party will keep 65 as retirement age. Good reasons why too.

      For starters, National and Labour bicker over how the existing tax pie is going cover it. That means the tax pie in whatever form it might be right now. Can cut it any old how, but the tax pie right now will still be the same – albeit somewhat mangled – pie when the knife has finished its work.

      New Zealand First would rather grow the pie. That means investing in the research and development that Labour and National have skimped on. That means developing a high wage economy. Instead of just talking about it as red and blue – which are nothing new – seem keen to.

      But also, by the time a New Zealander who has worked honestly all their lives, contributed to the economy and abided by our laws whilst living here, should be allowed to retire with dignity at 65. If they want to continue for a couple more years and are still capable of doing so, they can, but don’t let it impact on their hard earned retirement.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        I agree.

        Labour should be looking at ways we can grow our wealth rather than positioning with ACT and looking for voter acceptance for cutting back Super.

        • Garibaldi

          Any one who is concerned about Climate Change will tell you we CANNOT grow the pie. Growth for growth’s sake is dead(either that or we are!).

          • The Chairman

            While we have population growth and continue to use a debt based money supply, growth is required. The goal is to make it more sustainable.

            • Garibaldi

              And that is the very reason we will fail to deal to CC, Chairman.

              • In Vino

                I don’t think that The Chairman quite grasps that making things what he likes to call ‘sustainable’ is unlikely to prevent the extinction of all of us.

                • The Chairman

                  If you don’t believe sustainability is the solution, what do you think is? Population control?

                  • In Vino

                    Sustainability would have been a great solution if we had started practising it decades ago. Too late now, sorry. And the Powers that Be will fail to even start to practise it before 2030 or so. Where does your faith in sustainability come from? You needed to campaign much more loudly for sustainability a long time ago. Did you? Did I miss that?

              • The Chairman

                That’s a rather dire assertion, Garibaldi.

                Humans are resilient. Therefore, don’t give up just yet.

                • In Vino

                  Silly, silly. ‘Resilient’ is OK in short-term stuff. To solve the problem we have created, we need to have already been resilient in facing it. We have barely started to face the problem.
                  I think we are resilient in avoiding facing up to problems, Mr Chairman.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The goal is to make it more sustainable.

              That’s physically impossible.

              • The Chairman

                Over the years science has made what was considered impossible common day practice.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  True but it still hasn’t bypassed the Laws of Thermodynamics or managed to allow infinite growth in a finite space.

                  • The Chairman

                    Sufficient growth is not necessarily infinite. And the universe is a large place.

                    • In Vino

                      I hope it will be large enough to contain the disappointment that awaits you.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      In a growth based system as we have now there is never enough growth.

                      The only sustainable society is one that lives within the limits set by the environment.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        But also, by the time a New Zealander who has worked honestly all their lives, contributed to the economy and abided by our laws whilst living here, should be allowed to retire with dignity at 65.

        Leaving aside the fact that whether or not you’re honest, law-abiding and industrious doesn’t come into it, pensions were introduced to provide for people who were too old and decrepit to earn their own living. Most people these days don’t fit that description at 65. There’s no good reason why taxpayers should suddenly have to fund a lifestyle of leisure for you just because you hit 65.

        • Richard Rawshark

          So your happy to return the 40 years of tax contributions that are set aside for it, to every person so they can get by without the pension they would have had, or shall we forget that and suddenly keep working till we die.


          • Psycho Milt

            You apparently aren’t aware of it, but NZ Superannuation is paid out of current taxation, ie it’s a social welfare benefit, not the return of tax payments that were specifically made to cover your retirement. That’s why it’s a problem when you get a spike in the number of retirees.

            No-one’s suggesting you should have to keep working until you die, but the able-bodied should arrange their own living unless there are circumstances that prevent it, as with every other social welfare benefit.

            • One Anonymous Bloke


              In other words, it doesn’t happen. That’s just one of the flaws in what passes for right wing philosophy: wishful thinking masquerading as ethics.

            • Richard Rawshark

              BS, you don’t know your history PM. Your just shit stirring, talking crap with a bunch of people for shits n giggles like I said … off, or make find a proper debate.

              People have less and less time for the Paul Henrys of this world and you are one of those.

              • While it’s fun to read other people’s assertions about who I am and what my intentions are, I was kind of hoping there’d be something about the actual subject under discussion. Do you have anything about that?

                • Richard Rawshark

                  To many troubles, far more concerning to me, than someone from the School of Paul Henry behaviour using the pension to stir shit.

                  what were you thinking “I’m bored lets use pensions to stir up the left, oh i’ll add a couple of, if able should work remarks to get them really going,”

                  It’s so…. fkn plastic..

        • b waghorn

          yes but some of us will be worn out at 60, that’s why the maori party idea of being able to take the pension at 60 for a smaller amount and if you wait till you’re 70 you get more per week.

          • Psycho Milt

            Good job we have a social welfare system, then. If it wasn’t over-burdened with able-bodied citizens enjoying a taxpayer-funded life of leisure, it could be a bit more generous to the people who’ve worn out their bodies through work before they get to 65.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Perverse Incentives 101.

            • Siobhan

              Hardly, 50% Welfare spend on Pensions, 6.7% the Dole, 4.9% Solo parents….


              11,590.323 New Zealand Superannuation 12,256.492 50.8 % welfare spend

              38.858 Youth & Young Parent Payment 45.022 0.2 % ws

              1,243.285 Sole Parent Support 1,186.770 4.9 % ws

              1,647.600 Jobseeker Support and Emergency Benefit 1,615.545 6.7%

              though I find the amount spent on accommodation support the most disturbing….thats Tax payers subsidising landlords, who are spending too much money on houses and need us to prop up their dodgy business model.

              • Hardly, 50% Welfare spend on Pensions, 6.7% the Dole, 4.9% Solo parents…

                Well, yeah – exactly. We’re chucking shitloads of cash at able-bodied 65-year-olds so they can give up their day jobs and devote themselves to a life of leisure. Other categories of welfare payments are trivial by comparison, but the people in those categories have to listen to MPs admonishing them about how money for supporting people in need is short so they need to tighten their belts. The money’s not short, it’s just that making sure 65-year-olds don’t have to work for a living is considered more important than giving people in hardship some dignity.

                • Siobhan

                  Ah, I see, I had misunderstood. The idea of Pensions paid according to individual Health measurements, and a persons wealth/assets is on the face of it the way to go. But how to figure that fairly??
                  You may be a seemingly healthy 65 year old with a family history of suddenly falling over dead at 70…so do we take a bet that you will die early, based on statistical probability, and let you retire, or just say tough luck, lets keep you working and roll the dice….
                  Why not have the Pension at 65 and have a requirement for volunteer work based on your health and financial freedom* (*you may be healthy at 65, but if you don’t own your own home you will still need to be earning extra to pay the rent, you won’t be available for volunteering).
                  Carefully done, you don’t want to take up jobs that younger workers need. But maybe create new jobs…extra staff at childcare, school assistants, general ‘make the world a better place’ stuff…I guess this feeds into the whole UBI conversation.

            • b waghorn

              Can you imagine what it would be like for a proud blue collar bloke who’s grafted all his life to find himself begging and scraping to doctors and fucking winz flunkies because his bodies is broken, soul destroying is what it would be.

              • Gabby

                Plus, you’ll get a bunch of lawyers and ceos swearing on a stack of bibles that their years of toil have worn them down to a nub and given them dementia.

        • Garibaldi

          PM ,the super does not fund a life style of leisure. Like the dole it is insufficient for any lifestyle other than penury.

          • In Vino

            True – when you turn 65 and get super, you have to keep on working because it is bloody far from a ‘lifestyle of leisure’, PM. But many earn or have earned so much that they do not need Super to keep them in the ‘lifestyle of leisure’ that they have already saved for, because they are in high-income bracket. So you want means-testing? Unfortunately, most research I have seen suggests that it is cheaper to keep our current system than to introduce means-testing. And how many of the already well-off say, “I don’t need Super, so I will not apply”? If that is what you will do, PM, then I admire you.

          • Psycho Milt

            Odd that so many people opt for this alleged lifestyle of penury at 65, then. The fact is that the great majority of them own their own homes, or have various investments, or continue working part-time, or all three, from the age of 65, while also claiming a social welfare benefit. The ones that don’t are under-funded because we’re blowing so much dosh on paying the able-bodied and relatively well-off to spend their days playing golf or driving camper vans round the country.

            • The Chairman

              The fact that the majority currently own their own home and have investments is what is keeping the majority of pensioners above the poverty line.

              However, home ownership is in decline. Moreover, it’s the sale of the family home (downsizing) or the mortgaging of the equity that tends to produce the funding for their investments. Therefore, with home ownership in decline we can expect to see more struggling going forward. Kiwisaver may help some offset the shortfall.

              Kiwisaver and the Super Fund were two ways Labour decided to grow the pie.

            • In Vino

              PM – I went along with that until you wrote “The ones that don’t are under-funded because we’re blowing so much dosh on paying the able-bodied and relatively well-off to spend their days playing golf or driving camper vans round the country.”

              So you want means-testing, or what?

  2. The Chairman 2

    Worth a look if you haven’t already seen it.

  3. Richard Rawshark 3

    Story of the day, Rodney Hide pulls out Bazooka and shoots Brownlee right in the ass.

    Not Bad Rodders, seeing this is your first venture into speaking the truth, you may now sit down and take the time to reflect and enjoy that warm fuzzy feeling.


  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Think working long hours is a good thing? This is why you’re wrong

    Those that adhere to a long-hours office culture often turn up at work when they are sick, so-called “presenteeism”, but their performance suffers. In a recent article in the Financial Times, Sir Cary Cooper, president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the UK-based professional body for HR, said: “One of our problems is that even [among] the people who turn up to work, a big proportion of them are not delivering.”

    Put another way, working long hours may well be a complete waste of time.

    And what’s been happening over the last thirty years of neo-liberalism in NZ is a continuing increase in working hours:

    The 40-hour week might still be standard practice on paper but in reality Kiwi workers are under increasing pressure to work longer hours, and have less opportunity to switch off work demands when they get a break.

    New Zealand workers, many of whom are enjoying Labour Weekend this weekend, were among the first in the world to claim the right to an eight-hour day/40-hour week when, in 1840, carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington.

    But figures show Kiwis, and their Australia counterparts, work longer hours than many of their OECD counterparts with 13 and 14 per cent, respectively, working long hours (classed as more than 50 hours a week).

    That’s above the OECD average of 9 per cent and higher than Denmark (3 per cent), Canada (4 per cent), Britain (12 per cent) , and the United States (11 per cent).

    It used to be that we had penal rates that, to some degree, prevented this over work that has become the norm. Of course, it also meant that wages were kept higher because more people were in work and thus decreasing competition for jobs.

  5. Paul 5

    New Zealand has a problem.
    Far too many men do not know how to treat women with respect.

    We have sports ‘role models’ who abuse women..

    We have sports administrators who equivocate about how to deal with them.

    We have sports commentatators who break women’s backs.

    We have shock jock radio hosts who abuse women.

    We have a Prime Minister’s son who abuses women.

    We even have a Prime Minister who abuses women.

    And when a rare public figure speaks up and says he’s sorry to be a man and pledges to invest $60 million to tackle domestic violence, it is he who is condemned.

    Not the sports players.
    Not the sports commentators.
    Not the sports administrators.
    Not the media bosses.
    Not the shock jock radio hosts.
    Not the Prime Minister’s son.
    Not the Prime Minister.

    Maybe New Zealand needs a few more men who say they are sorry to be a man.
    Until a lot more men in this country learn to treat women with respect.

  6. joe90 6

    Cricketer Shane Warne’s outfit was wound up following revelations a mere 16 cents in the dollar was paid out and these pricks have the nerve to defend their 8 cents in the dollar rort.

    The disability foundation that carries the name of one of the country’s sporting legends is under fire for paying out less than $200,000 a year to disabled children and their families – despite raking in more than $2.5 million in revenue.


    Some of these concerns were raised in a letter to the Minister for Sport and Recreation Dr Jonathan Coleman in April last year by the founders of disability support group the Chariot Project.

    The letter described HDSF as a “money-making machine” and highlights the inequities between what is paid out to staff in wages and what is distributed to the disabled community.

    Staff payments totalled $1.2 million for the 2015 financial year.


    • Wind them up they are leeches

    • save nz 6.2

      Outrageous joe90! Well taking from the poor and the disabled seems to be just one profit opportunity for some!! They should go to prison or be forced to pay it back for fraud. You can pay yourself 1.2 million in ‘wages’ while giving back 200k and call it legitimate!

  7. Fronting up when wrong – it isn’t that hard.


    • Karen 7.1

      Always good to see people apologising when they get things wrong.

      Meanwhile pipeline protestors are being kept in dog kennels and identified with numbers scrawled on their arms …


      • Garibaldi 7.1.1

        And this is the “Land of the Free”. The US of A …… utterly disgraceful. Indigenous peoples are treated like scum just about everywhere. Can’t think of any exceptions, can you? If you are a right wing idiot don’t answer that with “New Zealand”.

      • Manuka AOR 7.1.2

        From that link:
        One man was body-slammed to the ground, while another woman broke her ankle running from the police. The military and police trucks followed the protesters, as nearly a hundred officers corralled them into a circle. Among the arrested were journalists—including Hafiz—a pregnant 17-year-old and a 78-year-old woman.

        Once jailed, Hafiz and others were refused phone calls and received no food or water for eight hours. Women were strip-searched, two women fainted from low blood sugar and another had her medication taken away.

        On her release, Hafiz was told, “Your camera is being held as evidence in a crime.”

        That crime, of course, would be journalism.

    • Manuka AOR 7.2

      Fronting up when wrong – it isn’t that hard

      One person who did so is facing 45 years jail for reporting on it:

  8. Richard Rawshark 8

    Is our country by proxy supporting arming and fighting alongside Daesh/ISIS against Assad.

    IMHO this is huge. It needs discussion and accurate information and laid out in open media for the people of NZ and hopefully the world.

  9. Richard Rawshark 9

    MSN NZ has launched its new corporate umbrella brand Mi9, a joint venture between Microsoft and Nine Entertainment company, in New Zealand. And, at the same time, it has also officially launched the Microsoft Media Network (MMN), which general manager Liz Fraser claims is already the country’s largest advertising network offering behavioural targeting. 


    now i’m not a tinfoil hat wearing nut job, but, I really don’t like that name Mi9

    who are they kidding.

  10. I get the impression that the under supply of state housing is part of National’s war on the poor.

    Allegedly there are 558 houses sitting empty because they have had methamphetamine developed in them and so were not deemed safe for occupancy. So, as Phil Twyford asks, what was Paula Bennett doing spending $22 million on testing them?


  11. Pasupial 11

    Spain finally has a government, but it is in the most fragile state imaginable:

    Mariano Rajoy, leader of the conservative People’s party (PP), was returned to office following a second investiture vote on Saturday, after the Spanish Socialist party (PSOE) chose to abstain to break the political paralysis and avoid a third election…

    “Mr Rajoy, the citizens well know – as do you – that neither you nor your project have our confidence,” PSOE spokesman Antonio Hernando told congress on Saturday.
    “We believe that you are not the president that Spain deserves, but what we need even less are third elections.”…

    The PSOE has made it clear that the party will not approve the next government’s budgets or do anything to bolster its stability.

    The disarray in the ranks of the PSOE has provided the anti-austerity party Podemos with an opportunity to displace it as the dominant force of the Spanish left.


  12. Poission 12

    Preliminary results suggest rum and hardtack off parliamentary menu in Iceland.


    • Pasupial 12.1

      Thanks for the link Poisson, it has a bit more detail than The Guardian. Still, the Pirate Party was never going to win outright but rather as part of a coalition:

      With roughly one-third of votes counted, support for the mainstream centre-right coalition – particularly Independence – stood at more than 40%, translating to 27 MPs in Iceland’s 63-seat parliament.

      The opposition alliance had around 43%, giving 29 MPs.

      That could leave the newly-established Viðreisn – meaning Regeneration – party in the role of kingmaker. Its share of the vote sat at around 11% in early counting…

      If it is able the [Pirate] party has said it aims to form a new coalition government with the three other broadly leftist opposition parties: the Left-Greens, Social Democrats and the Bright Future movement.


      I think it’s charming that the Icelandic Monitor at your link has; “(??%)”, as the percentage of votes counted. The Pirate Party’s vote seems concentrated in Reykjavic. In NZ elections the large Urban counts are the last to come in, whether that that is the same over there I couldn’t say.

      Maybe those casks of grog will be broached afterrr all.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1

        Cast a rune for your own soul.

        • Pasupial

          Should I lick my own palm too?

          But yeah the seat numbers haven’t changed much since I looked at them a couple of hours ago, and the count must be around two thirds complete now. The D’Hondt method they use for semi-proportionately allocating seats is a bit difficult to calculate by eye. But it does definitely seem to favour the largest party; 21 seats for 28.4% of the vote vs 20 seats for a combined 31.4% of the vote for the next two largest parties (at the 138 367 votes counted mark):


  13. Paul 13

    Ken Loach sums up the state of the UK, New Zealand, the US and other western countries after 30 years of neo-liberalism.

    • ropata 13.1

      “Sixty years ago … we believed in working together for the common good. But then there was a political change and social change that was all about private [profits], and social good went out the window. [stories of abuse by the job centre]
      How can we live in a society in which hunger is used as a weapon”

      Tory social policy = deliberate cruelty towards the poor and vulnerable.

    • Morrissey 13.2

      Thanks for that Paul. It’s no surprise that the BBC takes care to keep Ken Loach’s appearances to an absolute minimum.

  14. adam 14

    We should have all hallows eve more often. By this I mean, it’s hard for me to agree with Boomer Bradbury, yes sometimes I do. But two times in one day – Sheesh.


    And on this, I think all the left leaning blogs should agree, and run with this one.


  15. Manuka AOR 15

    A call for world peace… for “sanity and dialogue”.

    “The worst thing that has happened in recent years is the collapse of trust in relations between major powers, The window to a nuclear weapon-free world…is being shut and sealed right before our eyes.” ~ Mikhail Gobachev


    In an October 10 interview with RIA Novosti, Gorbachev said: “I think the world has reached a dangerous point, I don’t want to give any concrete prescriptions, but I do want to say that this needs to stop. We need to renew dialogue. Stopping it was the biggest mistake.”

    “It is necessary to return to the main priorities. These are nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism, the prevention of an environmental disaster,” he continued. “Compared to these challenges, all the rest slips into the background.”

  16. Muttonbird 16

    Unsurprisingly, Lizzie Marvelly can’t go on. Equally unsurprisingly, John Key backs the creepy misogynist, Paul Henry, 100%.

    No doubt John Key had a good chuckle at the article just like his pollster David Farrar did.


  17. adam 17

    Police State.

    • joe90 17.1

      Same old.

      A man who North Dakota authorities had said was shot by Dakota Access Pipeline protesters was actually an armed instigator linked to the pipeline company, Standing Rock Sioux tribe members said Friday.


      The Standing Rock Sioux tribe claimed Friday that the supposed shooting victim drove a truck through a highway barricade set up by protesters, who gave chase and forced him off the road. He then got out of the vehicle and “fired several shots from his assault rifle,” the tribe said in a statement posted to Facebook.


    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      That’s been obvious for quite some time now.

  18. weka 18

    [In order to keep OM and DR free for other conversations, all comments, link postings etc about the US election now need to go in the dedicated US election discussion here.

    If you are unsure, post in that thread rather than here. It’s not possible for moderators to shift comments from OM to there, so any comments here may get deleted – weka]

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