Open mike 31/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 31st, 2012 - 111 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

111 comments on “Open mike 31/05/2012”

  1. uke 1

    Germany’s six-point plan for sweatshop Europe
     

    It is now common practice to smash up wages and workers’ rights by initiating bankruptcy proceedings. The best known case is the American auto giant General Motors, which laid off 30,000 workers, slashed wages in half for new-hires, and cut retiree benefits. If the German government gets its way, this procedure will be applied to entire countries.
    According to a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel, the chancellery in Berlin has drawn up a six-point plan for far-reaching “structural reforms” in Greece and other highly indebted European Union countries. The plan includes the sale of state enterprises, the gutting of employment protection rights, the promotion of a low-wage labor sector, the removal of constraints on businesses, and the establishment of special economic zones and privatization agencies modeled on the German Treuhand.
    German government spokesman Steffen Seibert has not confirmed the plan, but neither has he denied it.

     
    Sounds pretty close to NACT policy for Aotearoa.

    • Bill 1.1

      “Sounds pretty close to NACT policy for Aotearoa.”

      And a carbon copy blue-print of what they did to East Germany following reunification.

      • prism 1.1.1

        The new director of Business Roundtable et al called Innovate NZ? is Oliver someone from Germany who doesn’t believe that left and right wing have any basis any more but basically free and non-free markets. An excellent choice for his position by the sounds of him. Interviewed this a.m. by Kathryn Ryan.

        • muzza 1.1.1.1

          Leading the new organisation will be German-born economist Oliver Hartwich, currently a research fellow at the Australian Centre for Independent Studies, a Roundtable-equivalent organisation that at one stage had operations in New Zealand.

          “The merger comes at a time when other business lobby groups are also merging or closing, most notably the recent folding of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development into Business New Zealand, the closure this week of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, and the creation of a new Financial Services Council from several smaller bodies”

          “The new think tank has been named The New Zealand Initiative. It will build on the legacies of its two founding organisations and will focus on raising debate on public policy and contributing bold, rigorously-researched ideas to achieve a more prosperous future for New Zealand’

          –Done a slap up job before they merged in achieving a more prosperous NZ…shuffle around, consolidate, confuse, dominate!

          — SO even the lobby groups are now merging…We are well andf truly heading down the wrong path here…

          How to take over institutions, companies, whole countries 101: Play the long game, and ensure that you have foothold across all industry, and public life…only those from certain backgrounds, educations, families etc will fill roles which control and determine direction…revolving door policy between public and private entities to ensure “strong” ties to legislature. Take it slow, most people will never notice. Repeat cycle until full control is gained, and if people start to suspect, use media arm to change tact to support opposition to elections victory. Ensure another 3-6 year period to further decay society, and remove wealth from country..Repeat as often as required to maintain the illusion of democracy!

          • Murray Olsen 1.1.1.1.1

            Herr Hartwich will no doubt be writing the Welfare, Education and Justice policies for Aotearoa now. Independent in the name is about as meaningless as it is in the name of the IPCA.

            • Foreign Waka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              And where did he learn all this befuddled thinking?

              “He started his career as a Research Assistant to Lord Matthew Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay in the UK House of Lords in 2004. From January 2005 to October 2008, he worked for the British think tank Policy Exchange, first as a Research Fellow and then as Chief Economist.[2]
              At Policy Exchange, Hartwich co-authored several reports on housing and planning policy with Alan W. Evans. Their report Unaffordable Housing – Fables and Myths won Prospect Magazine’s prize for Publication of the Year at the British Think Tank Awards in 2005.[3]
              Some of Hartwich’s policy proposals, such as the establishment of the Office for Budget Responsibility and reforms to strengthen community involvement in town planning, were taken up by the UK government under Prime Minister David Cameron.[4]”

              “Hartwich is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Economic Society of Australia, the Foreign Correspondents’ Association, and the German journalistic network Die Achse des Guten.” (The axle of good)

              If he would have stuck to the German model he would have to advocate for a lot more social cohesion.

    • millsy 1.2

      Ironically it is Germany that was the birthplace of the welfare state.

  2. Al 2

    A delegates view

    As a rank and file delegate to last weekends Labour Party Regional Conference, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of enthusiasm and good vibes among the delegates.

    The Labour Party team from Wellington have done a bloody good job on the Party Review and this was really appreciated by the delegates from my LEC and others around me.

    The Region finally has a Strategic Plan and a team that looks capable of pulling it off! There is a Candidates’ and Activists’ School underway and there is real enthusiasm for the campaigns we are being asked to get involved in around the Asset Sales and the Living Wage.

    The Regional Council elected over 20 activists to its executive which is pretty good given the Regional Council is sort of irrelevant to most LECs. The new chair also looks like injecting some serious enthusiasm.

    I have been to a few of these in the past and they have had none of the enthusiasm and drive this one had.

    Finally, David Shearer. A couple of our other delegates were pretty critical of him before his speech but he nailed it. He comes across as a genuine guy who has done some really tough, freaky stuff in his other life.

    In summary, a really good Conference with drive, direction and leadership.

    • risildo 2.1

      LEC means??
      I am not understanding this LEC
      🙂 Thank you

      • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1

        Labour Electorate Committee. Its the representatives of the Labour Party branches in an area who oversee the election campaign in their electorate. They work closely with the MP, find volunteers to help etc.

        • risildo 2.1.1.1

          Thank you TRP

          Now i understand allot better 🙂

          Google was not help in the instance 🙂

    • prism 2.2

      Right David Shearer you sound as if you are prepared for our freaky little NZ and economic and social world problems, so sock us with your capabilities.

  3. DH 3

    Is SkyCity the only business this Govt knows, here they are cropping up yet again and benefiting from the taxpayers largesse;

    “Immigration NZ staff meet costs taxpayers $191k”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10809713

    Normally a package deal for a conference wouldn’t raise any eyebrows but this Govts dealings with SkyCity are beginning to look a bit suspect, there’s too much of it.

  4. felix 4

    Didn’t take Hekia long to rise to the level of her incompetence.

    Who does that leave as the next Nat leader? Just Collins (lol) and Joyce, isn’t it?

    Talk about the shallow end of the talent pool.

    • fatty 4.1

      “and Joyce, isn’t it?”

      Joyce is too repulsive as a person to be leader…you can’t mix those policies with a face like that. It could have been done 25+ years ago, not now.
      He’ll continue to pull the strings, which is ironic, since his eyebrows look like they belong on a muppet. Nat’s need someone a bit more palatable

      • risildo 4.1.1

        I understand this point well 🙂
        He looks very umm mean

        But the muppets are very funny
        He is not

        Maybe The Paula Bennett 😛

      • prism 4.1.2

        Palatable? Do you mean cheesy like Jokey Hen? Or lightly grilled like Brownlee? Or with soft, sweet outers but hard centres like most of NACT women MPS?

      • Pink postman 4.1.3

        No such thing as palatable Nat,fatty they are all a sleazy untrustworthy lot.
        My bet for their next leader is Groser,a silent rather creepy covert activist,
        I would not wish turn my back on him. However I do agree that, like him, Maori language should be compulsory at primary school.

        • millsy 4.1.3.1

          You know, having being heavily exposed to the Maori language from New Entrant to 4th form, I thought it already was…

    • Carol 4.2

      Interesting how JK tends to put promising women into portfolios where they instigate unpopular austerity policies.

      • fatty 4.2.1

        “Maybe The Paula Bennett”
        “Interesting how JK tends to put promising women into portfolios where they instigate unpopular austerity policies.”

        True…Nat’s have a special place for women. This should be exposed. They soften the blow.
        We might laugh, but for many voters Bennett is difficult to dislike…that’s her reason for existing.

        • prism 4.2.1.1

          C’mon Paula Bennett has graduated from the school of Confident Speech, done well in the Think and Talk on her Feet bracket and can hold her Notes about how bad welfare is against the combined voices of a Heavenly Choir.

      • just saying 4.2.2

        That’s been going on for years, and not just under National.
        Since before Shipley as welfare minister.

      • Vicky32 4.2.3

        Interesting how JK tends to put promising women into portfolios where they instigate unpopular austerity policies.

        Oh yes, the Nats did that in the 90s too…

  5. John72 5

    Who saw a TV program last night where police could not prosecute a male for “under age sex” because the girl, 14 yrs old would not give evidence. She was a willing partner.
    Who thinks that they are a mature adult and they know it all. SO DO NOT QUESTION ME.
    Who thinks that they just about know it all, but they can not imagine what else there is to learn.
    Who thinks that they are an adventurer on the journey of life. It would be booring if there was nothing to learn.
    Who thinks that they do not have to accept responsibility for their actions. SELF SATISFACTION is the key.
    Who has got the courage to make a comitment for life. It affects them and so many others.

    With so many enthusiastic amateurs on the street, how do the professionals make a living?

    You can not expect quality if you buy shop soiled goods.

    • ianmac 5.1

      If the 72 means your age John then tone it down. You are giving the rest of us a bad rap.

      • John72 5.1.1

        The truth hurts.

      • John72 5.1.2

        Sex is a beautiful and unique experience. For so many people it is the CONSUMATION of marriage.
        (def:- Of the highest perfection or completeness.) Because it is some times associated with the conception of life, yours and mine, it used to be priviledged to married couples. This situation was never perfect but it was something to aim for. A goal to set. Men and women had respect for each other and one way of showing it was by not demanding self-satisfaction.
        How many of my critics have had the courage to make a “promise for life” where both parties will be faithful.
        I am not saying that I have been perfect, but it is a goal to aim for.

        • McFlock 5.1.2.1

          Funnily enough, I always thought that promising life-partnership was the consummation of a relationship. 
           

        • weka 5.1.2.2

          ” Because it is some times associated with the conception of life, yours and mine, it used to be priviledged to married couples.”
           
          Not universally though, and not for all of human history. Many cultures have had different values around marriage and children than the the model you espouse (presumably the Christian one originating in Europe in the past  thousand years), and been successful with it. Besides, the only reason we’ve had lifelong monogamy as the only respectable choice until reasonably recently is because it’s been enforced by the church and then by the state. As soon as women achieve emancipation, they mostly make a variety of choices (some of those are lifelong commitments). What does that tell you? Oh, right, it tells *you* that many women are dirty whores.
           
          My parents have been married for over 50 years. I think that’s great, and anyone that wants to do that should be supported. It’s stupid to think that that is what everyone should have, or even want though, not least because humans just don’t act like that given a choice.

          • Vicky32 5.1.2.2.1

            What does that tell you? Oh, right, it tells *you* that many women are dirty whores.

            Weka, that is an unwarranted assumption on your part, you don’t know that he thinks that…

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.3

          Sex is a beautiful and unique experience.

          Beautiful but not unique.

          Men and women had respect for each other and one way of showing it was by not demanding self-satisfaction.

          Men and women can have respect for each other without your authoritarian BS. In fact, marriage is a minority position in world cultures for raising children. Usually marriage is about inheritance and mens control over women and has nothing to do with love or the raising of children. Can’t find the link now but monogamous marriage is actually a minority position across cultures.

        • Vicky32 5.1.2.4

          I am not saying that I have been perfect, but it is a goal to aim for.

          Me also! Agreed John 72… 😀

      • fatty 5.1.3

        Don’t worry, the view of John72 is never linked to any other people.
        He is amusing…I like the way his attempt to be the ‘Dalai Lama of The Standard’ is constricted by his inner-Brian Tamaki.

      • John72 5.1.4

        None of none of my critics have addressed my question,”… who has had the courage to make a commitment for life…”?
        They all think that they “know it all”
        I Corinthians 13:11 ;- When I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.

        • Hateatea 5.1.4.1

          John72, I am delighted that you have your faith. I hope it gives you comfort and support. I don’t think that you have chosen the most appropriate forum for pushing your point, however. That said, you have a perfect right to both hold and expound your views, just don’t be surprised when others, some of whom may be of the same faith, disagree with your particular expression of belief.

        • weka 5.1.4.2

          I also don’t have a problem with your faith or you valuing marriage. I do have a problem with your implications that other forms or relationship are morally deficient.
           
          “None of none of my critics have addressed my question,”… who has had the courage to make a commitment for life…”?”
           
          Lots of people have done this. Many not out of courage, but out of necessity or because it was the only thing on offer. What’s your point?
           
          There are also people who have made other kinds of commitments for life, with courage. What’s your point?

        • prism 5.1.4.3

          Sometimes resorting to the authority of the bible by plucking out some apparently apposite wisdom is a very unsatisfactory reply to a query or comments.

          • John72 5.1.4.3.1

            prism, the bible quotation shows that the thought is not new, just expressed so clearly. Do not be overwhelemed by the bible. So many of the thoughts and parables are still relevant 2000 years later even if you do not believe. A program on TV One this evening made the observation that, physically, the human brain is growing till about 20 years of age. I am sure that emotionally, most of us are maturing for another 50 years. I remember thinking, “50 years ago” that I knew it all. 50 Years ago I wrote some very personal letters to a young lady. They were returned when her interests changed and I was deeply embarrassed to see how much I had matured in 18 months. I hope that some of the contributors to The Standard will not embarrass themselves. Only two people read my letters.

      • John72 5.1.5

        (Quote Graham Greene ) :- ” Morality comes with sad wisdom of age. When the sense of curiosity has withered.”
        One thought but, as always, not the complete answer.

        • McFlock 5.1.5.1

          So because many people in this pseudonymous forum choose not to share some aspects of their life, you assume that they are not married and are probably young?
                  
           

    • prism 5.2

      Isn’t sex great. You can enjoy it, bash it, judge it, manipulate it. And concentrate on it as The Important Thing in the world and not get half as excited over war and bayonetting babies or anybody and violence and poverty and starvation blah blah. The world’s terrible events and actions continue on, but concentrate on being judgmental about sex why don’t you.

      It must be the right way for humans to think as there are whole mass religions based on the idea that sex is all the evil there is, and they must stamp it out.

      • Vicky32 5.2.1

        It must be the right way for humans to think as there are whole mass religions based on the idea that sex is all the evil there is, and they must stamp it out.

        What religions would that be then? Your comment shows woeful prejudice and ignorance.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1

          Oddly enough, woeful prejudice and ignorance is what I associate with most organised religions. The maintenance of the religious bureaucracy requires its adherents have blind faith in whatever doctrine is being peddled and it helps to engender prejudice against ‘lesser’ religions to shore up belief in the ‘true’ religion.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      I read the article and I must say that the young woman going out and enjoying safe and responsible sex didn’t worry me. The fact that the MSM didn’t hold the parents to account for the horrific way they treated their daughter did. I note that you don’t seem to have anything to say to their virtually imprisoning and spying on the daughter either.

      People are ready for sex when they decide and that’s not something that a law can change. We should be on guard against undue influence and coercion but that comes down to rape and if we supported our people fully in their own decisions then we would actually know when that happened as the people raped would be willing to tell us.

      Oh, BTW, this young woman sounds as if she’s definitely quality, got the chutzpah to take life in both hands and live it.

      • higherstandard 5.3.1

        So you think it’s OK for 20 year olds to have sex with a 14 year old ?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1

          If the 14 year old is fine with it then I’m supportive of their decision.

          • weka 5.3.1.1.1

            How would you know? The reason for the statuatory rape law, as opposed to one that says, okay have sex unless it’s not ok, is because it’s hard to tell what’s ok and what’s not (and we are really pretty bad around the whole consent thing anyway even as adults). You think there aren’t women who ‘consented’ to sex at a young age and were damaged by that experience?
             
            I’m also curious as to what you think the age of consent should be.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1.1.1

              How would you know?

              How about we ask?

              The reason for the statuatory rape law, as opposed to one that says, okay have sex unless it’s not ok, is because it’s hard to tell what’s ok and what’s not.

              The statutory rape law is because men were going around raping young girls and then saying that they consented. This is where actually believing and supporting peoples decisions help. There’s a reason why rapes don’t get reported and, IMO, its the vilifying and shaming that John72 shows that’s the main reason. We shame woman for having sex and that is completely fucked up.

              (and we are really pretty bad around the whole consent thing anyway even as adults)

              Yep, that’s because we, as a culture, go round hiding sex behind innuendo and sly glances rather than being open about it.

              I’m also curious as to what you think the age of consent should be.

              Should there be an age of consent? If the children are well taught, respected and supported by the community then they would know when they’re ready and won’t give in to peer pressure or coercion.

              You think there aren’t women who ‘consented’ to sex at a young age and were damaged by that experience?

              There was a story a few years ago about a woman who’d had sex with a young boy and he showed changes in personality so, no, I don’t.

              • weka

                Ae, Draco, I agree with most of that. Problem is, we don’t live in a world where children are taught, respected and supported. And even if we did, still not all children would have the skills or knowledge to make good choices about sex. The age that people can do that will always vary, and so the community needs to take some responsibility.
                 
                The other problem is that such a high number of 14 year old girls have already been sexually abused, and have not been well supported in dealing with that. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect all of them to be able to make safe decisions where they’ve already been socialised into patterns of behaviour that damage them.
                 
                “We shame woman for having sex and that is completely fucked up.”
                 
                Yep. And I liked the little bit I saw of what the woman in the article said. Sex positive works for me too. Doesn’t mean the world is safe though.

                I see Bert Potter has been mentioned. A pretty good example or the problem

          • Vicky32 5.3.1.1.2

            If the 14 year old is fine with it then I’m supportive of their decision.

            I remember being 14, and thinking I knew much more than I actually did. The fact is, she’s still legally below the age of consent, and that should be that…

        • Te Reo Putake 5.3.1.2

          14 year old me was pretty keen on the concept. Shame there were no takers.

        • weka 5.3.1.3

          The reason we have statuatory rape laws is to prevent predatory adults coercing people who are no longer children but not yet adults into sex. This doesn’t mean that all sex between a 20 year old and a 14 year old is wrong or abusive (although that age gap makes me uncomfortable).
           
          I haven’t watched the video, but I read the TVNZ page, and the thing that strikes me is that the situation is very complex. I don’t think anyone could make a judgement about that situation based on the information available. I agree with Draco that the woman does seem like she has some sense. But that doesn’t mean the situation was ok when she was 14. When I see reports of multiple 20 yr old men having sex with multiple 14 year old girls, I want someone with some clues to be looking at that closely. 
           
          You’d also have to wonder why the 14 year old was running away from home at that age.
           
          I don’t agree that all 14 year old girls are ok to make decisions about sex on their own.

          • McFlock 5.3.1.3.1

            The situation sounds pretty stink all around, but I still think that having sex with a 14yo when you’re 20 or older is just wrong.
               
            I mean, it’s all good to say that it’s one of the rare occasions where all parties concerned gave 100% informed consent and it was all fine, but even in that case…
                    
            the males had sex with a 14 year old girl 
                     
            When one party is that young and there’s an age gap of 6 years or more, that’s getting well into Bert Potter / Gary Glitter territory. It’s just fucked up.
                 
            Yeah, she now seems to have a strong sense of self, a university education and to probably have had more difficulty with her family than dealing with that part of her life, but… 
               
            the males had sex with a 14 year old girl
                 
            It’s not a John72 “soiled goods” line, I’m not lamenting the decline in marriage or pretending that fornication didn’t exist before 1963, I’m just pointing out that 
                 
            the males had sex with a 14 year old girl 
                   
            That’s the issue I have with the story. 

            • rosy 5.3.1.3.1.1

              Exactly. Since when was a 14 year-old defined as a consenting adult? And an adult (or 2) having sex with a 14 year-old is exploitative, and that’s the mildest term I can think of.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Since when was a 14 year-old defined as a consenting adult?

                Oh, since about forever. 16 is actually a fairly modern change (1896 in NZ).

                • rosy

                  So it’s been since 1896 that a 14 year-old has been defined as a consenting adult. Good answer, since 1896 males have not been legally allowed to exploit 14 year-olds girls for sex.

                • McFlock

                  Draco, 
                         
                  to heck with the legality of the situation. Can we just establish whether you think fucking people barely in their teens is an acceptable or normal practise for grown males?
                       
                  Just asking. 

                  • prism

                    McFlock DTB Is pointing out the reality of the situation that affects young people and age of first sexual experience. I think early NZ had no age limit.

                    • McFlock

                      The age of the first sexual experience isn’t a problem – kids have been shagging each other for millenia.
                           
                      It’s the age of the sexual partner I have an issue with. What sort of adult even considers having sex with someone that age? 

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Is it a question of it being “normal” or of it being unhealthy? I certainly don’t consider it unhealthy. Normal is another question that seems to be a cultural value.

                    And, while were just asking, why the ageism and sexism that you’re showing?

                    • weka

                      Except in our cultures we have many examples of where it is unhealthy: Bert Potter and co, Pitcairn Island, child pornography and prostitution.
                       
                      I think it is possible for a 14 yr old girl and a 20 yr old man to have a genuine connection including sex that doesn’t involve manipulation or abuse or power over. But I don’t think that is common, and we have far to many examples of where it IS unhealthy, to consider your argument as anything other than abstract.
                       

                    • McFlock
                       
                       

                      Sexism? The case involved mature males and a young female. My criticism stands regardless of gender.
                         
                      Ageism? Damned straight: there are power imbalances between aduts and children in society, and adolescents and children have cognitive performance issues compared with adults. This makes me question, as a general rule, the ability of children to enter into a sexual relationship with adults as equal partners in the relationship.
                          
                      But both of those points are irrelevant.
                         
                      The dudes fucked a kid.
                         
                      Am I culturally biased against adults screwing kids or young adolescents? I should fucking hope so.

                       
    • millsy 5.4

      There were way more issues in that family than the daughter having sex with older men.

      Thousands of parents manage their way through that without getting slapped with a divorce from their kid.

  6. just saying 6

    You can not expect quality if you buy shop soiled goods

    Offensive. And very telling…

    You remind me of the Eagle on the muppets.

    • weka 6.1

      I couldn’t quite figure it out. Did he just call the 14 year old girl a whore who can no longer have meaningful relationships because she is dirty for the rest of her life? Did he just imply that sex workers are dirty and can’t offer any quality service. Or did he mean that men can’t buy decent wives if women have been soiling themselves by running round fucking already?

      • millsy 6.1.1

        I guess that is the case. But what do you expect from a bible bashing bigot.

        • Vicky32 6.1.1.1

          I guess that is the case. But what do you expect from a bible bashing bigot.

          He didn’t say any of the above, you simply chose to interpret his words the way you want to. 
          Sex workers are dirty*, and further more as the experience of Leah Stephens and Jayne Furlong show, they can never be anything else! The media won’t let them. (I remember reading an article by Leah Stephens’ mother, in which she talked about how much it upset her to have the word ‘prostitute’ appended to her murdered daughter’s name as if it was part of it.) 
           
          * But they don’t have to always be dirty, unless they want to be, which I seriously doubt. It’s just a whole lot harder to ever be anything else, since it’s all been legalised – I think that every time I see a job advert on TradeMe for a ‘massage girl’. (I was very naive once even though I was 28 years old, and I asked my neighbour who was a ‘massage girl’ at the time, if there were any jobs going where she worked. Then she told me what massage girls actually do! 😀 )
           

      • just saying 6.1.2

        All the above weka.

      • McFlock 6.1.3

        Sounds like she might have more brains than John72.
               
        Although I’m gobsmacked the guys weren’t charged, but then that’s not uncommon “policing”. Don’t do a thing unless a cast-iron case is handed to you by other people who gathered the evidence, which you then refer on and call it a clearance. The difference between “investigators” and sinecure-holders who are just treading water. 

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.4

        because she is dirty for the rest of her life?

        I wonder if this is how “honour killings” are justified by family members.

  7. prism 7

    While discussing Pike River on Radionz this morning, the speaker referred to services working in dangerous circumstances like firemen, police not being prepared to take risks to carry out their duties effectively. Which I agree is happening in NZ. Remember police staying outside a dairy where a man had been shot while a man was dying inside. The memories of Aramoana may have imprinted into the police heads so that they are so cautious they can’t fulfil their role of protection and assistance to the public and see it as car chasers, drug baggers and protest busters.

    At Pike River there was absolute refusal by police to consider an entry and penetration of the mine, even if there were gas checks and with safety precautions. While they were not prepared to do this, they also barred others from being involved in exploratory trials. But experienced miners could have formed opinions about the feasibility if information was gathered and shared, and those with family down there would have tried if feasible.

    The police were not the appropriate authority in this situation. Search and rescue was the main task, not treating the area as a crime scene with bodies as evidence of possible law breaking of safety procedures. The police response is to assume sole authority and bar the public from consultation, involvement and support for their desired initiatives. An inclusive and consultative approach, still under police authority, would be a better way to manage crises.

    • grumpy 7.1

      Sad but true. See also the actions of police in the Christchurch earthquake, which led to the deaths of some victims.

      Who will ever forget the cowardice they showed with the dairy owner being allowed to bleed to death, even though they knew there was no danger……………

      • prism 7.1.1

        grumpy I don’t know that there was no danger in the dairy, but did the police attempt a maneouvre to find out? I think they stood by for 15-20 mins and the dairy owner died as a result of the burglar’s shot. It didn’t feel right to me.

    • Bill 7.2

      Ain’t just NZ. A guy fell into a duck pond in the UK and was floating face down. Firemen stood at the pond side and did nothing because it was against regulations to enter water over 3 foot deep. Judge eventually concluded that the drowned guy could possibly have been saved if action had been taken…ie resuscitated. A photo emerged of a fireman recovering the body…after all due safety considerations and measures had been fully implemented of course! He was wading in chest deep water.

      Woman fell down a disused mine shaft. Firemen were about to lower themselves down to get her out. (She had broken bones and was suffering from exposure. Someone had already been lowered with blankets and come back up). Head honcho arrives on the scene and orders everyone to stand down until all safety considerations had been worked through and corresponding measures put in place. She died because that process took several hours.

      I don’t know what it is that makes adherance to a rule or regulation more important than a life. I don’t know where such a culture of safety came from or why it is tolerated, but hey. The moral of the story would be that if you get in shit you better hope it’s just a passer by who will be your potential rescuer, I guess.

      • vto 7.2.1

        It is hardly surprising that initiative in people is reducing as the ever-expanding bubble of government intervention in lives grows. Responsibility is being removed from individuals and given to ‘authorities’.

        • prism 7.2.1.1

          vto I personally don’t like the idea of responsibility being largely left to individuals to manage how they can. I think that authorities and government should work WITH people for the best result for the individual need and the social ‘fabric’. Not over people or ignore some people but put our collective taxes to provide help that people have difficulty providing on their own.

        • Bill 7.2.1.2

          Was just off idly speculating and, well…members of the police force are probably of a personality type that doesn’t question authority. So if rules and regulations are an expression of authority and are disseminated by a person in a higher position of authority, then a paralysis of initiative would be ‘on the cards’, no?

          But it goes beyond police officers or others in positions that rely on a certain codification (if that’s the correct expression for written rules, regulations and procedures ) of authority.

          I think there’s a pervasive mentality whereby people simply won’t question authority whether that be the boss, the teacher or whoever. And as for defying authority, well that’s ‘unthinkable’ for most (maybe).

          Is it unreasonable to suggest that in the past a rescue team comprised of miners might have simply responded to police ‘forbidding’ mine entry with a “Bite me” attitude and proceeded anyway? This paralysis of independent action in the face of authority; this apparent inability to question or defy it seems to have become somewhat pervasive in society. Why?

          When and how did we become so well trained?

          Government and various authorities have been around for a long, long time and have probably always acted in a basically conservative fashion, ie relied on ‘rules and regulations’. I don’t think anything much has changed there. But our relationship to them has. We defer and comply far more readily than we once did. And not just to overt commands issued from a person. But to a 1001 ‘indicators’ that invisibly or subtly extend authority…signs telling us we ‘can’t’ enter though this door because it’s for exiting only…lines on floors that no-one stands beyond even when, in given situations, there’s no reason not to. And so on and so on. Culminating in us learning to do what we are told to do.

          • vto 7.2.1.2.1

            Messrs prism and Bill, in the past government was much smaller. Tiny in fact. No social welfare, no public education system, not even any income tax and few other taxes. Certainly no health & safety legislation.

            Today government is collosal in comparison.

            As I said above, I think you will find the answer to your questions inside that fact. Today people have less responsibility for much of their lives, less accountability, less need to provide for themselves, less empathy for their fellow manwoman. All because those things are provided today by the state – so they don’t need to. And now it has become embedded. Something up? Look to government. Something threatening? Ask the appropriate authority. That ladder looks wobbly? Look up the health & safety booklet. Everything is prescribed.

            The answer to this issue is simple, which is rare.

            • prism 7.2.1.2.1.1

              vto
              Are you from USA? That’s what they or large numbers in some states, believe. They aren’t very impressive as examples of 21st century people.

              The pioneers in NZ had it tough, had to look to themselves and the class system was strong. Little Lil and the lamp in Katherine Mansfield’s story The Doll’s House really displays how unhappy being independent of help and dependent on the whims of charity felt to the poor.

              Trouble there are fashions in opinion and behaviour. Overconcern for personal comfort, high salaries and corporate good public relations is in fashion at the moment rather than a commitment to duty and service to the public. Which is what prompted the comment.

              • vto

                Ok, maybe we are talking about different things. You seem to be talking about the poor and how a community looks after them. I was responding to the issue of firemen not going into 3ft deep water to save a drowning man, policemen not going into a dairy to save a shot man, and police refusing to enter Pike – and the reasons behind this change in culture around initiative. My point excluded any class distinctions.

            • aerobubble 7.2.1.2.1.2

              I disagree. In order to have the wealth and prosperity we need stabilization measures. Obviously they don’t need to be government driven, but just are because of the clueless right who just don’t want to give up control unless its total, or the clueless left who don’t want to give up control if when its empowering to the people.

              But its naive the extreme to believe that without welfare, for individuals and corporations, that much of society as exists today, that we benefit from would actually exist. In fact we’d have to invent welfare and redistribution to get the mass society we have now.

              Just because we have massive pollution social, fiscal, environmental, does not mean we should sack government, which would result in short life spans, little exotic or mass pollution, or fiscal global banking crisis. we shoudl sack government when we have a better approach to those tasks. i.e. Simplistically demand government non-existance is banal, venal and retarded.

              The internet provides the means to reorganize the human world in entirely new ways, but requires local-ism, a local right to food, housing, education and healthcare, out of the purview of centralized states or corporations.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        I don’t know what it is that makes adherance to a rule or regulation more important than a life.

        When an action could endanger more lives. Of course, what we’re seeing here is the process of safety taken to extremes.

        I don’t know where such a culture of safety came from or why it is tolerated, but hey.

        Because if proper process isn’t followed and death occurs due to those actions then the people who took action will be up in court and vilified by the MSM.

        • McFlock 7.2.2.1

          snap.
                   
          Which is not necessarily a bad thing overall (it’s much better than the other extreme), but there should probably be a tweaking of legislation to explicitly give a “competent samaritan” immunity – something about not being liable for H&S actions if you are reasonably experienced to estimate risks in that situation, impose that risk only on yourself or other volunteers (in the case of collaborative efforts) and can reasonably expect to lessen the risk to life of another person.  

        • John72 7.2.2.2

          John 15:13 No greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.
          After the second Christchurch EQ, when the rescue helicopter was working for hours around the city, it was being operated outside it’s normal operating limits to save lives. The crew got away with it and rescued many people. If they had made a mistake, people who were not there would have crucified them for breaking some rule.

      • weka 7.2.3

        “I don’t know where such a culture of safety came from or why it is tolerated, but hey.”
         
        In NZ the watershed moment is Cave Creek. That’s the point where kiwi ingenuity/# 8 wire mentality failed abysmally. Because that happened under the responsibility of a Minister of the Crown, it’s made government employees very very cautious since.
         
        Likewise the bridge that collapsed on private land killing a beekeeper. The bridge had been built by the army when the land was under previous ownership. The owners at the time have spent years in court subsequently. This has made private land owners very very cautious since.
         
        Leaky building syndrome is the other pertinent one. In that case it’s the local body govt that is paranoid.
         
        What had changed in NZ society to allow those things to happen?
         
        btw, I’m not sure the problem is a culture of safety. I think it’s a culture of denial. It’s the idea that we can control everything and avoid all risk. This makes us blind to risk assessment that is actually useful on the ground.
         
        We see it in the way children are often raised now too. Trying to control all risk has replaced teaching kids their own risk assessment skills.

  8. prism 8

    Today is the last day for on-line MMP Submissions. There is a 5 minute option for your considered opinions.

  9. Idiot in charge of education

    Having to make changes to and effectively re-write the budget before the inks even dry is gross incompetence that only a National government could display…

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      They probably don’t think the details are important as long as we’re all moving in the (very) right direction. I tend to see it as a mixture of incompetence and absolute arrogance.

  10. Sam Hall 10

    aerobubble.Excellence

    DAVID CUNLIFFE.an immediate and striking difference in the house.

    RUSSELL NORMAN. very informative and persuasive.

    JULIE-ANN GENTER.Excellence.

    John72.moralising.sad.

    Very little consideration given to TIME and socio/cultural historical REALITY in much political discourse.

    “Escape from Freedom” Erich Fromm.

    GREENS.Welcome The Chinese.

    Investment.Infrastructure.Employment.

    Post-Growth Society.

  11. ropata 11

    Thinking upon the words of John72 above, the tide of history has turned against that great institution, the traditional Christian church. For me it was starkly symbolised when the response of the Anglican diocese to a smashed ChristChurch Cathedral was to build a colourful cardboard box and call that a house of worship! It seems that solidity, dignity, tradition, conservatism, have been shaken and not withstood the turmoil of global events.

    The great empires of Europe – gone. The mighty totalitarian states – disintegrated. The ancient religious institutions – decayed and irrelevant. The supremacy of finance and oil based economics – collapsing under their own weight of greed and power lust.

    Freedom of thought, sexuality, and worship were always attacked by the forces of fear and doubt.
    John72, the Creator gave us free will, a mind, body and life, not to live like a slave but to flourish.

  12. Some observations of no real import but….
    Has anyone notice that while Mr Joyce is replying to questions in the house in his usual condescending tone, he never looks anyone on the eye. What sort of personal insecurity is going on there?
    Perhaps that’s why he pretends that he has a brain the size of a planet and eveybody else is a fool. Compensation for having a small….
     
    I understand why English doesn’t look at the opposition but always looks up to the gallery – it’s the shame he feels about his problem with premature projections.
     
    Tremaine and Bridges are keen little brown-nosers and eagerly nod their heads like bobble-head lap-dogs. Bridges especially makes a duck face, adopts a furrowed brow and nods.
     
    The Speaker habitually responds to opposition points of order by telling the person who raised it why they are wrong – even if it is he that is wrong.
     
    Is it me or are Winston’s questions incomprehensible?

  13. Jim in Tokyo 13

    So I get that Cameron wants his own billionaire’s retreat and that we are naive enough to be selling anything that’s not nailed down at the moment, but am I the only one that thinks 11,000,000m2 of land and a medium sized lake is a bit – ah – esurient?

    Although the stuff story makes out like he’s going to run the whole 1000ha farm on his own with his three kids to instil a “strong work ethic”:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/7022639/Cameron-buys-three-more-NZ-properties

    This might help you visualise the scale: Sold – Lake Pounui Preserve.
    http://www.bayleysfiji.com/391740

    Or putting it another way, if each of the US’s 30,000 ‘Ultra-HNWIs’ decided to buy a modest Cameron sized slice of the country, that would be the entire land area of NZ.

    • McFlock 13.1

      It does seem to be getting pretty excessive. Talk about “personal space issues”…

      [edit: and does “reside indefinitely” mean an extended period of time, or just that he has not idea whether it will be 6 months or 6 decades?

      • weka 13.1.1

        from the first link:

        ***
        In February, The Dominion Post revealed he had applied for residency under Immigration NZ’s Investment Plus category – reserved for those investing more than $10m. As such, the 57-year-old director must now spend at least 44 days in New Zealand each year in the final two years of a three- year investment period.
        ***

        Who comes up with that stuff? $10m + 44 days??

        I live in a part of the country where it’s normal to have farms above 1000ha in size, so for me it’s not the size that’s the issue. I would want to know what joining those farms does to the local community, including what will happen if Cameron wants to sell. Also, what does it mean in terms of management of the land – does it increase sustainability or decrease it?

        And he shouldn’t be allowed to buy the land until he lives here, and demonstrates that he actually wants to be a NZer (as opposed to just wanting to live here because the US is so crap now).

        • Jim in Tokyo 13.1.1.1

          Point taken regarding NZ station sizes, particularly in the South Island – the Shania Twain estate purchases were in the region of 25,000ha, so 1000ha is comparatively small (comparative being the operative word).

          But is Cameron’s land-grab really anything to do with ‘farming’ ? Why buy the adjacent lake plus 313 ha of covenanted bush? When looked at in totality, it’s more akin to building an estate or fiefdom.

          Regarding sustainability, in a strict ecological sense the most sustainable option would indeed be to sell all of NZ’s farms to Ultra-HNWIs who could then retire the land from dairy production and instead use them as personal playground, but is ‘Investment Plus’ a sustainable strategy as a country?

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            but is ‘Investment Plus’ a sustainable strategy as a country?

            Loss of ag/hort export earnings from that land would be a huge hit. As well as the loss of the food production itself of course.

          • weka 13.1.1.1.2

            Have to admit, if I had Cameron’s money I’d be buying up land to prevent it being converted to dairy. I’d probably let it grow gorse too, and then regenerate to native bush. I’m sure that would go down well.
             
            I think CV’s point is good, but I’m still waiting for the work to be done on how much land NZ needs to feed itself. As opposed to how much land we need in agriculture to export our millennia of fertility to China etc.
             
            I was of course meaning ecological sustainability not economic.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.2.1

              I think CV’s point is good, but I’m still waiting for the work to be done on how much land NZ needs to feed itself.

              1 ha. per person is heaps.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.2

          I’ve come to the conclusion that to own land you should be a citizen and spend 80% of your time in the country. That way you’re connected to the community.

  14. Te Reo Putake 14

    Just flicked over to Kiwiblog to see if there was any substance to the Jones resignation story referred to here on the Standard (there isn’t). Couldn’t help but notice that the Curia ‘average’ poll of polls hasn’t been updated for 5 weeks. How curious. Could it be because Farrar can’t bring himself to publish the bad news that NZ is no longer BFF with Mr Australia?

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Ah, more RWNJobbery and authoritarianism from NACT:

    …which is precisely the point: to let big communities take over and rule smaller ones against their will. Whatever you want to call this, it isn’t democracy.

  16. I reside in a aspect of the nation where it’s regular to have plants above 1000ha in dimension, so for me it’s not the dimension that is the problem.

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