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Open Mike 31/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 31st, 2017 - 70 comments
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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 …

70 comments on “Open Mike 31/03/2017 ”

  1. Ad 1

    “Mr Mark John Taylor”, of Hamilton.

    A New Zealand citizen who is now classified by the US as a terrorist.

    For fighting in Syria and making videos for several years.

    Quite a first for us.

  2. Carolyn_nth 3

    John Pilger’s doco is screening soon in NZ (The Coming War with China) .

    Pilger says the NZ government is playing a dangerous game – doing war exercises with the US, while also courting China.

    Ahead of the New Zealand premiere of his new film The Coming War on China tonight, Pilger said New Zealand was precariously placed in its dealings with the US and China.

    Just last week, the Government made ambitious new economic commitments with China, now New Zealand’s biggest trading partner.

    Yet New Zealand was undermining this relationship through its growing support for American provocations in the disputed South China Sea, Pilger said.

    “This film carries an urgency for New Zealand, which appears to be playing a precarious game,” he told the Herald via email.

    I used to laugh at my Dad back in the Vietnam war days, when he had this bee in his bonnet about China ultimately planning to invade NZ. That was part of his and many others’ domino theory back then – first they’ll take Nam, then, before you know it, NZ.

    My Dad used to quote Nostradamus about the next big world war including us against China. Pilger now seems to be sounding a bit like my Dad.

    • McFlock 3.1

      Pilger can go stuff himself. He’s concerned about NZ undermining its relationship with China, yet doesn’t seem to have any concern about NZ undermining its relationship with the US.

      That shows a fundamental ignorance about the options little powers have with big powers – unless he straight comes out and says “NZ should align with China against the US”.

      There’s a Chinese saying “when elephants fight, the grass gets trampled”. NZ is a blade of grass. What we need to do is be small and out of the way enough that nobody wants to stamp on us, and then pivot to the side of the winners at the last minute.

  3. Carolyn_nth 4

    When did RNZ start doing political polling? – Oh – it doesn’t. It does a poll of polls average.

    This article on the RNZ website, posted today, has Nats down 3, Labour up 4, Greens down 2 and NZ First the Kingmaker – in their poll of polls.

    The two opposition parties sit at the same position as they did before the 2014 election, at which Labour plummeted to 25 percent.

    Labour’s polling average is up 4 percentage points on its December average, to 30.6 percent, but its running mate, the Greens, fell two points to 11.3 percent.

    At the same time National is down three points to 45.7 percent.

    That leaves the gap between National and the combined Labour and Greens at 3.8 percentage points, down from 9.4 points in December and 7.4 in February.

    The poll keeps New Zealand First, with a March average of 8.7 percent, as the potential kingmaker

    • Bearded Git 4.1

      @Carolyn Thanks for that. From the article:

      “National went on….to cruise back into government [in the 2014 election]”

      This is bollocks. Despite massive and disingenuous media coverage in their favour and a disastrous “Moment of Truth” the Nats scraped back in.

      As the article says, their current polling leaves them in trouble and the English honeymoon is coming to an end. The Nats can’t get more than 40% under English which leaves them in trouble.

      • Sam C 4.1.1

        “the Nats scraped back in”. Now that really is hilarious.

        What parallel universe do you inhabit?

        • ianmac 4.1.1.1

          They scraped back in by an act with ACT and United Future. Not a resounding win. Unless as friends of ours who like to just compare National with Labour 2014 as though no other parties matter.

          • Andre 4.1.1.1.1

            But don’t forget the 4% of wasted votes that went Conservative. It’s fairly safe to say that few of those would otherwise have gone to Labour, most would have otherwise gone Nat or maybe Winnie.

            • DoublePlusGood 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, it’s been consistent over the last three elections that the country is around 7% to the right

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          It’s you in the parallel universe. Really, check the ejection results. National needed three support parties rather than just one.

    • ianmac 5.1

      So what? We all know that Labour is short of funds and we all know that National have many dubious big donors.

      • The Chairman 5.1.1

        “We all know that Labour is short of funds…”

        “So what? “

        Do you think it will be another nail in their coffin when it comes to the election? Funding is not all they’re short on.

  4. The Chairman 6

    As the government sets out to renegotiate the China free trade agreement, a survey of businesses found most businesses see no benefit from FTAs.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/91042376/most-businesses-see-no-benefit-from-ftas-many-prefer-protection

    • saveNZ 6.1

      +1 – The Chairman – like the ‘trickle down’ theory – years of the ideology of fake trade, massive reliance on external factors and countries has made little difference to most business but a hell of a mess to local living standards and affordability, and one of our biggest exports… is now profits not goods or services.

      • The Chairman 6.1.1

        “One of our biggest exports… is now profits not goods or services”

        Indeed, saveNZ. And it seems more company profits are about to head offshore.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/91046612/dunedin-city-council-dumps-councilowned-company-from-20-million-rubbish-contract

        • saveNZ 6.1.1.1

          Part of the issues is that the people doing the calculations are not looking past the sticker prices and are foolishly and slavishly taught to exclude other factors, jobs, wages, welfare payments, homelessness and crimes (when people have no jobs), etc

          Thatcher famously said there is not such thing as society. Labour and Greens need to bring back ‘society, aka community, in their calculations.

          Because money is just a commodity, and being loved, accepted, healthy, safe and free to make your own decisions as an individual, community and country and influence those decisions and be listened too, is more important than money for most people.

          Caring about local people is now labeled as ‘harmful protectionism’ to be avoided.

          I just don’t think Labour has really been able to message that in a modern way.

          Their previous messages of tax rises and declining levels of social security with free trade and foreign investment not having to pay their taxes, is not the same message. It’s an unpopular message.

    • Siobhan 6.2

      I seem to recall that Paul Holmes thought it would be good for his olive oil business…and everyone was very excited to get those cheap deals on garden furniture at the Warehouse…we’re an easily distracted bunch really….

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10502493

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Seventy-one percent of respondents say the new Kapiti Expressway has either made no difference, or made things worse.

    Funny, that’s exactly what local and overseas experience said would happen. Still, I suppose, at least some National Party donors made lots and lots of money.

    • saveNZ 7.1

      One Anonymous Bloke – not surprising at all.

    • Sam C 7.2

      I drove on it last weekend and it was fantastic.

      NZTA have always said there would be bottle neck issues until Transmission Gully is completed. It is a great start though.

      • mauī 7.2.1

        Have nzta ever solved any long term traffic issues? You think building two highways means bottlenecks just disappear, no they just get shifted somewhere else. I hope that was worth the almost $2 billion dollar spend.

        • halfcrown 7.2.1.1

          Exactly maui, all it does is shift the traffic jam down the road a bit further.

          It is like this farce we have going on with the Waikato Expressway, Hamilton section 17 bridges in a 22 k length of road
          nzta are crowing that it will knock 33 minutes off the journey. No it won’t all it will do is to get to the traffic parking area known as the Southern Motorway 33 minutes earlier.

        • The Chairman 7.2.1.2

          Bottlenecks tend to shift elsewhere when one is playing catch up and construction of the overall roading network has failed to keep up with growth, thus is vastly insufficient. Not to mention, dangerous.

          “I hope that was worth the almost $2 billion dollar spend.”

          That depends on how much one values life, thus the added safety value the new and improved highway provides.

      • McFlock 7.2.2

        lol

        You please easily – a highway is “fantastic”? There are many adjectives to use, some of them even approving, but if a highlight of your day is the motorway to work then you’re doing life wrong.

    • whateva next? 7.3

      http://bv.ms/1JudYgT
      Greece’s Highways Are Smoother Than Its Finances
      By Marc Champion

  6. Anne 8

    Oh look, Herald journos (with probable exception of David fisher) are on an SAS charm offensive.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11829109

    We know there are some decent ones because they approached Nicky Hager with their stories and I’m sure the soldier in the item was a decent one too. But there are the other sort too. Around 15 years ago an ex SAS soldier did some computer repair work for me. He took advantage of my next to nothing knowledge of computers to charge me more than an arm and a leg. I’m talking around $200 dollars for a job I later learned was worth less than $50.

    Charming.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.1

      There was talk of a Chinese company wanting to do this down South a few years back. Does anyone know if they succeeded? God I hope not.

  7. “The ethnic makeup of New Zealand’s new intakes of prisoners has set new records.

    Maori now make up a higher proportion of all new prisoners than at any time in recorded history.

    Ministry of Justice figures released last week showed 56.3 per cent of people imprisoned last year were Maori – the highest proportion since records were available from 1980.”

    Unbelievably bad and in so many interconnected and intergenerational ways.

    “…Auckland University of Technology law lecturer Khylee Quince said New Zealand courts were “incredibly punitive”. “About half of people in prison in New Zealand are there for property and drug offending. Very few Western nations send people to prison for those types of offences.

    “It’s outrageous.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11828500

    the sick thing is Māori will be blamed for it and for not fixing it!!! When clearly the bias is shown and known throughout all stages of the process – from racial profiling, to not enough diversity on the bench, to ingrained systemic bias against Māori, to politicians saying little and doing even less even while they build MORE prisons and let serco-like scum run them.

    • saveNZ 10.1

      You have to ask though, why do the Maori party continue to support the Natz in their right wing policies…

      Clearly whatever Maori party bribes they are getting are not working out for most Maori…

      • adam 10.1.1

        Oh look marty mars the very next comment by saveNZ fits you prediction “sick thing is Māori will be blamed for it and for not fixing it!!! ”

        Gotta love NZ racism, so predictable it hurts

        • marty mars 10.1.1.1

          sadly it is very predictable adam

          • saveNZ 10.1.1.1.1

            Oh well keep supporting the Maori party if you think they are working for Maori! Statistic’s show they are not, but hey, if you want to call everyone racist to stop questions being asked about their conduct…..

            • marty mars 10.1.1.1.1.1

              What have you done to help reduce the number of Māori in prison?

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.2

              “Oh well keep supporting the Maori party if you think they are working for Maori! Statistic’s show they are not, but hey, if you want to call everyone racist to stop questions being asked about their conduct…..”

              Citation needed for the stats that show the Mp aren’t working for Māori.

    • Andre 10.2

      So how to get the 2017 edition English and Collins to pay attention to the 2011 versions?

      “And he has a surprising ally in Corrections Minister Judith Collins who, on TV3’s The Nation last month, joined Finance Minister Bill English in describing prisons as a “moral and fiscal failure”.

      English had said: “Prisons are a fiscal and moral failure. And building more of them on a large scale is something I don’t think any New Zealander wants to see. They want a safer community and they want protection from the worst elements of criminal behaviour, but they don’t want to be a prison colony … It’s the fastest rising cost in government in the last decade and my view is we shouldn’t build any more of them.” ”

      http://www.noted.co.nz/archive/listener-nz-2011/the-problem-with-prisons/

      • saveNZ 10.2.1

        Yep, but what is English’s solution?

        To just make criminals ‘disappear’ like pollution, homelessness and unemployment when their policies are creating them in increasing numbers.

        What an illusionist the Natz are…

    • BM 10.3

      Billions have been targeted at Maori to improve these sort of terrible statistics yet it’s not improving it’s getting worse, why?

      What’s going on? why are Maori fighting society?

      • McFlock 10.3.1

        Because society is fighting them?

        • BM 10.3.1.1

          Do you think society is anti-Maori?

          • McFlock 10.3.1.1.1

            Well, I’m a quant guy, so the stats like life expectancy, educational attainment, avoidable hospital admissions, unemployment rates (most socio-economic indicators, really) tell me “yes”, but qualitatively I also have a certain “yes” impression. Even in the deep south.

            Do you think it isn’t anti-Māori ?

      • marty mars 10.3.2

        Big questions with a variety of answers. What do you think the issue is?

        • BM 10.3.2.1

          I’m only guessing here, but II think’s it’s more a cultural/mental issue, 150-200 years ago Maori had to be hard warriors to survive in Aotearoa, only the toughest and hardest Maori survived and prospered.

          I do believe that this sort of mindset is still mentally ingrained within Maori today that comes out at times of intense emotional situations(“the red mist”) which leads to all these bad scenarios that end up putting so many Maori behind bars.

          I wonder if the answer is eventually over time like the Scots the Maori will just eventually mellow lose that initial fight response and develop other avenues to deal with issues.

          • Bill 10.3.2.1.1

            Can’t believe that comment has stood for over an hour and no-one has called you on it by way of simply telling you to fuck off.

            “Red mist”? Mellowed Scots? “Initial fight response.”

            Where in the name of fuck are you dredging this shit up from?

            • weka 10.3.2.1.1.1

              I started to write something and then decided there was no point. There’s a whole post worth of things to pull apart there.

              • Yep I wrote a couple of replys but decided it wasn’t worth it.

                • McFlock

                  I know, right? It was like he distilled fuckedinthehead into such a concentrated form that any possible response was woefully inadequate to the level of pointlessness.

  8. esoteric pineapples 11

    Useful tool for debates, especially with those trying to deflect or muddy the waters – http://www.krisconstable.com/logical-fallacies/

  9. John up North 12

    Kiwi rail, kiwi rail, kiwi rail………… sigh!

    Can’t remember the initial cost kiwi rail put on the repairs to the Gisborne/Wairoa rail line but my maybe was around $4 mil ?

    Far too much for this govt! so it set about widening roads/adding passing lanes so those required extra freight trucks could beat the road into gravel, and now this announcement that the rail-bike business deal is all go ahead.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/91041334/new-railbike-tourism-venture-for-mothballed-gisbornewairoa-train-line

    But, but, but………. what about the proposal from the Gisborne business community and the logging company that had freight stacked up just waiting for the line to come back into service?
    And the roads, what has been the increase in costs of road repairs since all freight has been on trucks? (never mind the costs of passing lanes etc).

    Were Iwi whose land sections of the line are built on consulted? What about the HBRC and the local businesses that had their proposal shat down the crapper?

    My only consolation is the barstads haven’t started ripping out the lines already, but the whole sorry saga gets me very, very angry at this govts poor vision and constant fall back position of taking the option that enriches their mates, fuck everyone else.

    • Once ........... etc. 12.1

      I guess you’d be thinking of a Friedlander in all of that.
      They really do seem to have a ‘grab it while you can’ attitude. Which is why, when we do eventually get a change in government, it’ll be important to just take it all back with no, or little compensation for those involve in what is effectively theft.
      (After all ……… “the market the market” etc.)

    • gsays 12.2

      hey, cheers john, for highlighting this.
      well said, too, once…

      bloody rogues the lot of ’em.

      kick the lobbyists out

  10. Andre 13

    Flynn’s own words then: “I mean, five people around her have had, have been given immunity, including her former chief of staff,” Flynn told Chuck Todd. “When you are given immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime.”

    It seems he now wants immunity…

    http://www.vox.com/2017/3/30/15132280/michael-flynn-immunity-testify

  11. ianmac 14

    “Operation Burnham: the cover-up continues
    by Nicky Hager”
    Has this been aired?

    “Jon Stephenson and I, the authors of Hit and Run, have now had time to study the defence chief’s statements. Our conclusion is that the NZDF criticisms are wrong – with one exception – and that they have failed to address almost everything of substance in the book. This is what a cover up looks like.

    1. The raid described in the book “is not an operation the NZSAS conducted”: INCORRECT

    “The information presented in Keating’s press conference leaves no doubt that the book and the defence chief are talking about the same raid. Keating gave the name of the raid (Operation Burnham), the times and date (12.30-3.45am on 22 August 2010), the location in the Tirgiran Valley, and said the SAS arrived in two Chinook helicopters, used SAS snipers, found a quantity of ammunition in one building and had one SAS trooper injured by falling debris. All of these are details of the SAS raid publicised first in chapter 3 of the book. There were not two different raids with the same operation name at the same time in the same valley. It is obviously the same raid…….”
    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/operation-burnham-the-cover-up-continues

  12. AsleepWhileWalking 15

    Where did all the honest people go?

    I think I’m getting jaded.

  13. Whispering Kate 16

    Mr Buchanan has it correct, but if this inquiry is to succeed it has to make sure that the people right at the top who made the decisions are brought to account and not the service personnel who were doing their job at the front line who are punished and made accountable for what happened.

    Always the same all through history – no wonder Key did a bunk – slimy toad – of course it was always going to be a bad decision made right at the top of the tree, they are never made accountable. Look at Bush – he has never been made accountable for the terrible decision he made to be the big boy and invade Iraq, how he sleeps at night beggars belief.

    Hager and Stephenson need to stay strong and keep on the course and make sure this sees the light of day. Our servicemen men need more support and they never get it – that report on the tours of Afghanistan show how much was lacking in their support, lack of equipment and lack lustre treatment of our service personnel who died out there.

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