Open mike 31/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 31st, 2011 - 105 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…

105 comments on “Open mike 31/07/2011”

  1. What is Kiwi culture? Often people pushing anti-immigration claim we need to maintain this mythical simplicity.

    The Herald looks at this in Editorial: Laying down law to Muslims

    “What is Kiwi culture?”

    My own culture is vastly different to the culture of my first immigrant relatives 160 years ago – and their cultures changed dramatically after they arrived here. My culture is distinctly different to the culture of my parents and the culture of my childhood, and it’s change a lot since I was a young adult.

    Some parts of Kiwi culture I’d rather see the end of – our culture of violence, our culture of getting too pissed, our culture of getting too fat, our culture of exaggerating differences, and more.

    A Kiwi culture I’d like to see more of is being able to “do our own thing” alongside each other.

  2. Sukie Damson 2

    The Economist again, on RWNJ’s. http://Econ.st/p0CLNv (Kal Cartoon)

  3. Lazy Susan 3

    The ever excellent Bill Maher asks “are Americans closet socialists?”, challenges the myth that the wealthy “create jobs” and asks if things are better now than 30 years ago. His guests from the right seem to be lost for words for once.

    His editorial this “overtime” section is responding to is not up yet unfortunately

  4. burt 4

    Looks like Labour have been doing an excellent job of selling their brand in the Wairarapa.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5365493/Pre-teens-dream-of-kids-and-dole

    • So Burt

      Explain why the number of (your view) scum dole bludgers have doubled since Key came into power? 

      • burt 4.1.1

        Have you forgotten it was rising sharply through 2008? Sort of well on it’s way to doubling before Key came to power ?

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.1

          Have you forgotten that unemployment steadily decreased under Labour until 2008 when the effects of the drought and the world financial crisis, matters beyond Labour’s control, caused the economy to worsen?

          • burt 4.1.1.1.1

            Right, party talking points. The decrease heading toward 2008 was the result of Labour’s prudent management but the last year of Labour govt when it all started to crash in horrible ways wasn’t their fault. What a loser – you buy that crap. Next you will be telling us NZ works best when we are heavily unionised. Wake up – your eye patch is starting to cover both eyes and now you only listen to your party talking points without even looking at the real world.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey burt time to send those Wairarapa kids off to National’s ever successful boot camps eh? Won’t do anything helpful but NATs core constituency can take pleasure out of young poor kids getting the boot in camp eh?

              Frankly mate I don’t see any plans from National to deal with the issue of inter-generational welfare dependency.

              Young NZers know pretty clearly that society doesn’t give a shit about them. The options we are giving them are unemployment, crappy jobs (that National want to cut their pay further on), the exciting combo of unemployment or crappy job WITH a massive sudent loan, leaving NZ for Australia, moving on to the benefit system, etc.

              This combined with the consumer culture of wanting everything now without having to earn it.

            • lefty 4.1.1.1.1.2

              New Zealand does work best when heavily unionised. Just compare the relative pay of workers over the years. Pay rates have dropped as the level of union membership has dropped.
              As climate change and peak oil start to destroy our economy we are going to rediscover that its not the size of the economy that matters, its how well we share what we have.
              The old right wing bullshit about growing the cake rather than distributing it is being well and truly exposed and the people who pushed are starting to look as silly as flat earthers.

            • freedom 4.1.1.1.1.3

              Burt, first up remember i support no particular party and i am a member of none.

              Let’s say it’s not National’s fault, OK. Got that. They are in Power though, people are losing work, left, right and center. Companies are relocating off shore, industries are being bought up by Foreign Corporations all over the place pushing wages down and work hours up.

              SO what do you do? Is this really the environment that you shift a huge Tax burden onto the shoulders of those lest able to afford it in order to build a few roads no-one really needs at this time? Is this the best time to hike GST? Why, when retraining is the buzz word around the world do you remove Adult Education Classes, raise the costs of Early Childhood Education, and gut University and other Tertiary development.

              With a growing number of people on diminishing incomes is it really the time to rip the heart out of a savings scheme that was producing regular income for the country. Is it really the time to hand out Industry contracts to every man and his dog except the families that live in your own backyard. Why in all that is sane and sensible would you take the Billions of cash reserves that were stable and producing income, then give it as tax cuts to a privilidged few who are generally only in that position because of an inter-generational advantadge that highlights the depths hidden by the canyons of opportunity most are stuck in the bottom of.

              Why Burt Why ?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          NATs decided to dump hundreds more defence staff, DoC staff and others on to the unemployment scrap heap.

          Also, just shrugging their shoulders at those made unemployed by Christchurch. A couple of months grace and out you go.

      • burt 4.1.2

        Oh, and it’s not my view – I didn’t write the article. It’s interesting though because the chickens of increasing welfare for the benefit of political popularity are coming home to roost.

        Over the years a lot of different people from different stripes have debated the effects of multiple generations on benefits. This is a small window and it’s an ugly view.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          People would prefer to work if they could. There are no jobs.

          National is adding to unemployment lines even as they put more money into their own mates’ pockets.

          • Descendant Of Smith 4.1.2.1.1

            In the 80’s there was some very good research done in the UK about what happened to young people when there were no jobs.

            All young people need a transition to adulthood. In many respects that was why many cultures had some sort of rite of passage.

            When you take the role of moving from training to employment away then you don’t leave a hell of a lot other than disaffection for the males and becoming parents for the females.

            The curse of no jobs – which the free market cannot always provide – ultimately disadvantages women first and foremost because not only do they have the least work options but they also end up with the responsibility of raising the children.

            The need to ensure young people have a meaningful role in communities and make that transition to adulthood has been known throughout many cultures for many many generations.

            The policies of the past in this country to ensure young people had jobs, and often apprenticeships, through the public sector and who then often moved into the private sector when the job market improved held us in good stead in the past. It ensured they didn’t become disaffected.

            Even if we disregard the fact that there are not enough jobs Burt tell me what should happen to those who can’t compete for work in the private sector – those with significant disabilities, or intellectual problems and psychiatric conditions, or facial disfigurements.

            Where do you draw the line on who is deserving of help and who isn’t?

            At want point are you making a moral judgement rather than for instance a medical one?

            One of the things about our welfare system is that the people administering it don’t have to make moral judgements – and I’m not sure we as a society would want them to.

            • Pete George 4.1.2.1.1.1

              The curse of no jobs – which the free market cannot always provide

              Insufficient jobs is a curse – but the government cannot always provide either.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                No but they can provide.

                In the past all government departments had to take on some school leavers at the end of each year.

                It’s called a commitment to youth employment.

                They also employed people with disabilities – something else the private sector isn’t great at.

                It’s never the whole solution – but it should be part of the solution.

                Shit if the government can provide subsidies to multi-million dollar profit making companies like McDonalds surely it can commit to employing some young people as well.

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/2557666/Jobless-scheme-gives-subsidy-to-McDonalds

                If 100’s of thousands of dollars can be given to private providers to train people in crappy dive courses then surely a few million can be spent giving some on the job training in the public service – at least clerical skills are needed.

                • If 100′s of thousands of dollars can be given to private providers to train people in crappy dive courses then surely a few million can be spent giving some on the job training in the public service – at least clerical skills are needed.

                  Clerical job applicants already far exceed available positions.

                  The on the job training provided by the government in the past was often the opposite of what is required. My first career job after I left school was with the Post Office, and I found it stiflingly boring and uninspiring – it often involved trying to avoid doing jobs that didn’t need doing, and trying to avoid supervisors that hardly supervised anyway.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Seriously who gives a shit how YOU found your career training decades ago, at least you had something to go to in YOUR youth and got PAID for it.

                    Opportunities we are now depriving the CURRENT generation of young people while you pontificate all knowingly.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    “I found it stiflingly boring and uninspiring”

                    Must explain why you come across as stiflingly boring and uninspiring.

                    Ironic really.

                    Maybe it wasn’t the job. Maybe it was actually you. Something to ponder anyway.

                    • Ask anyone who worked on the public service before the nineties. Many either enjoyed the laziness or left for something challenging.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      “Many either enjoyed the laziness or left for something challenging.”

                      What a load of crap.

                      I had family in both the public service and in private enterprise and there was and often is little difference between good and bad managers / jobs in both sectors.

                      Those who were in the public service worked for a fair days pay for a fair days work, often did shift work at unsociable hours and contributed much to their communities and work places over and above the hours they were paid for. All in all they also had a sense of commitment to their communities and to New Zealand.

                      After leaving school I worked in the freezing works, in the bush with a chainsaw and for several years in the banking industry.

                      If you want a boring job – banking was a pretty good bet. I’m sure waitressing, working in a car factory and working for a take away joint are pretty exciting jobs as well.

                      When you left school it wasn’t hard to get a job in the private sector yet somehow you ended up in the post office. How did that come about if you were so shit-hot and skilled?

                      In a modern context you would say that they were often overstaffed but remember there was a social commitment to employ young people and people with disabilities and intellectual and psychiatric problems – you know like the man who used to sweep the railway platform and keep it clean and tidy, or the alcoholic who used to go out and keep the blackberry from growing over the tracks along with others who had difficulty getting work.

                      $14,000 per year to do that or $12,000 a year on Invalids Benefit doing nothing – tell me which was better for him and the country. I know which I think was better.

                      I’ve always said a monkey could have made railways more efficient by simply laying all those people off – but efficiency was never the point nor the purpose. Government could have directly laid all those workers off without selling railways off. The point of the exercise was to asset strip.

                      Your denigration of public servants is unbecoming and without context.

                      What is evident however is that since the 90’s across both the public sector and the private there has been massive productivity gain but that workers in neither sector have particularly benefited from this.

                      Sure some areas of specialist skill have but the everyday, average workers has not.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PG is simply trolling. NZ private sector is rife with reports of lousy management, waste and awful (destructive or cowardly) team leadership.

                    • Those who were in the public service worked for a fair days pay for a fair days work

                      Some did. Many didn’t. I “worked” as a technician trainee and there were far more of us than necessary. Much of the work we did (not a lot at times) was unnecessary and sometimes detrimental to performance of equipment.

                      Other parts of the public service were notoriously unproductive employment sops. The inspiration for Gliding On actually had some basis in real life.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Thanks for confirming you were an unproductive leach off the public tit. When can the Government expect a cheque refunding your wages Pete? Adjusted for inflation please.

                    • Overstaffing was well known to be rife.

                      When the new Railways Corporation was required to operate according to SOE rules in 1986, 17,800 employees fell to 5,000 before privatisation in July 1993. For the first time in its existence, governments had shrugged off the dead financial weight of Railways.

                      When recession struck more seriously after 1973 the Kirk-Rowling Labour Government acted like its predecessors. Ministers used government departments as employment agencies. Some parts of the public sector acted unilaterally.

                      Despite having been told by the Department of Health in August 1974 that no more staff could be employed, the Auckland Hospital Board blandly added 703 staff to its payroll in the months before 31 March 1975.

                      http://www.michaelbassett.co.nz/article_lrfstate.htm

                    • Colonial Viper

                      FFS lets keep celebrating putting people out of work shall we PG?

                      Few hundred defence staff here, few hundred DoC staff there, staffers from the Ministry of Research Science and Technology (no we didn’t need them for a high tech future, no sir-reee!)

                      And what shall we do with this loss ongoing of jobs and capabilities in NZ? Build brand new industries (i.e. McDonalds) that our future generations can work and train in?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Overstaffing was well known to be rife.

                      Did you see this bit?

                      Really, the biggest problem is that we still expect everyone to work 40 hour weeks when there just isn’t enough actual work available to support that.

                      You see, that bit’s been true since about the 1960s. Our productivity is so high that we produce* far more than we need and, due to the structure of capitalism, hand it over to the very rich for no benefit whatsoever.

                      * Take from the environment

                      PS, BTW, dropping from 17,800 employees to 5,000 doesn’t mean that it became more efficient. In fact, considering the state that rail was in when the government bought it back, it would seem that it became less efficient.

                  • MrSmith

                    I apologize. I can’t help myself.
                     
                    Pete: how did your Career at the post office go? I bet you where the stamp licker, probably the only way of keep you quiet.
                     
                    and Pete, as someone once said “only boring people get bored” 

                    • I left after a year because I preferred to actually work. I wasted a lot less time there than many.

                      I gave less than the required three months notice and that ruled out future public service employment. The Supervising Technician tried to talk me out of leaving and wanted me to talk to my parents about it (quaint) but I already had a far better job to go to.

                      I guess it’s an age thing – anyone that knows the era of the 60-80s knows how grossly over employed the public service was.

                  • I’m surprised you either don’t know this history or are conveniently ignoring it.

                    This time Treasury sounded the warning. The incoming Muldoon Government was informed in March 1976 that while on average over the past decade more than 18% of New Zealand’s total workforce had been on the State’s payroll, the figure now topped 20%, and it was becoming unsustainable.

                    What can be described as a Public Serive culture ruled Wellington by this time. The journalist David McLoughlin captured some of the flavour:

                    “Anything approaching the definition of real work was regarded, particularly in government departments, as a form of perversion; turning up for an eight hour day… was all that was required; the Dominion crossword would see an army of grey-cardiganed clerks through nicely until morning tea…, and the first edition of the Evening Post, to help while away the afternoon, was on the streets at 1pm; the PSA ruled the city….”

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      You sort of miss the contextual point though although you also state it:

                      “Ministers used government departments as employment agencies.”

                      This was government policy to employ specifically young people and people with disabilities. That’s not being denied.

                      This involved a commitment to employing young people when the private sector couldn’t – not assigning them to the dole or the scrap heap.

                      That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a core of long term public servants who were committed and loyal.

                      The other context of course is that private enterprise was also grossly inefficient and had the same issues – hence the banking sector by way of comparison.

                      In general society saw employment and a decent wage as more important than return to shareholders and profit.

                      That is what has changed.

                      Sometime ago there was a graph published showing the change in GDP being paid out in wages vs profit.

                      Gone from 60:40 in favour of wages to the reverse. As a country we have not benefited from that change only those at the top have.

                      Even a return to 50:50 levels would be a vast improvement for the population as a whole.

                    • hence the banking sector by way of comparison.

                      Not a good comparison – the banks had to deal with huge changes in technology, and moves from public to private banking.

                      Coincidentally, the job I left NZPO for included installing the first computer terminals in National Bank branches around Auckland.

                    • MrSmith

                      And so Pete are you still living at home?

                      Nice parting crack Pete at the mighty, fare, loyal, under payed, honest New Zealand public service and servants that kindly ran you out of the post office for us, at the first chance they got. now look at it Pete. 

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Actually it’s a good comparison because you are talking about two sets of organisations that had a large workforce, branches all over the country, mainly males in management positions, both a backroom and front of house service, had significant bureaucracy to deal with, etc.

                      Comparing the public sector to the local bookshop would be totally non-nonsensical.

                • Vicky32

                  If 100′s of thousands of dollars can be given to private providers to train people in crappy dive courses

                  Recent news about two people being killed on one of those dive courses, made me have an attack of deja vu…. Am I right, has the same thing happened before, people killed on one of these dive courses? If that’s so, how is it that they still continue – and also, what good are they? How much demand is there for trained divers, in job terms?

              • Colonial Viper

                Government can generate 25,000 jobs in the next 6 months, easy. And 25,000 in the 6 months after that. We have a city to be rebuilt, land to be reclaimed, environmental areas to be upgraded. Schools and hospitals to be fixed up, emergency housing to be built. And that’s for a start.

                Except we have a laissez faire hands off free market govt who are quite happy to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few and let everyone else struggle.

                • Yes, of course Government can create as many jobs as it wants to, That doesn’t mean it (or more importantly we) can afford it.

                  How much more would you borrow ?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You don’t borrow lol, you tax and you self monetize.

                    Didn’t you learn basic budgeting? Basic budgeting is about priorities.

                    SCF investor bailout of $1.2B? Easily enough money there to provide 40,000 jobs and livelihoods.

                    But one was a priority to National, the other was not.

                  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

                    The money doesn’t just disappear into the ether. It gets recycled in exchange for goods, services and labour. Thats how the economy works. Whether the govt issues bonds, claims taxes or sells off assets, there still neds to be a basic level of structure for society to function (unless of course you want to live in Somalia).

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That doesn’t mean it (or more importantly we) can afford it.

                    We can afford it. That’s not difficult. We do, after all, have all the resources necessary to ensure people have a good living standard.

                    Really, the biggest problem is that we still expect everyone to work 40 hour weeks when there just isn’t enough actual work available to support that.

                    How much more would you borrow ?

                    None. A government doesn’t need to borrow and should never do so because, as it’s the peoples administration, it can command the entire resources of the country.

            • prism 4.1.2.1.1.2

              @DOS Good points. Essential to responsible societal planners.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.2

      Yes it is a tragedy. Perhaps you could ask Basher Bennett how her Green Paper which has been three years in the making will help. Then ask English how he feels about NZ having the third lowest per capita spending on early childhood education in th OECD.

      If you want to be taken seriously you can’t just keep taking cheap shots based on past events.

    • KJT 4.3

      Under which? party have we always had the greatest numbers out of work??

    • Georgy 4.4

      Sounds very like the outcome of extreme right policies – the effects of policies as far back as Ruth Richardsons ‘Mother of all budgets.’

    • Burt, you may have missed this one http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/polls/5357111/Brain-drain-continues-for-National – the kids your article describes are the ones who have suffered from being in small town NZ, with all the disadvantages that brings. Shame you will be left to ‘pay’ for those kids, as all the talented ones will be overseas!

  5. Q+A dealt with the awful problems in New Zealand with children – and what is clear is that all our child abuse/poverty/welfare problems are far more important than being bogged down with political rhetoric.

    Gluckman and the Green Paper and Annette King and many others keep saying this should be dealt with cross party. The best possible way this issue can be made clearly above politics is for pledges:
    – National should pledge that if they win in November they will offer Annette King the Social Welfare Ministry
    – Labour should pledge that if they win in November they will offer Paula Bennett the Social Welfare Ministry

    Then we’d know they are serious about raising this to a whole of country problem that needs everyone’s support and efforts.

    • Campbell Larsen 5.1

      It’s pretty pointless to have a ministerial portfolio if you don’t have the budget that you require to run it. Since we know full well that National is hell bent on stripping funding from social welfare I don’t see how a Labour minister in a Nat govt could do anything except be the scapegoat – unless you are suggesting that ministers should be able to override the finance minister or the rest of the party when it comes to funding, which is clearly unworkable. As for Paula Bennett, I personally don’t think she should be allowed near a ministerial portfolio ever again.
      ‘Cross party’ is an inclusive sounding slogan but it overlooks the glaring fact that while different parties may agree on the existence of a particular problem, their solutions to the problem will undoubtably be different. This is especially true when the issue requires addressing poverty and inequality, as it does in this case.

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        ‘Cross party’ is an inclusive sounding slogan but it overlooks the glaring fact that while different parties may agree on the existence of a particular problem, their solutions to the problem will undoubtably be different.

        It seems glaringly obvious that there is little difference between the major parties on what the best approach to vulnerable children/parents should be, and there will be little difference on what sized budget is allocated.

        The key thing is to use the available money as effectively as possible.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.1.1.1

          Just because a policy is deemed an efficient allocation, does not make it ‘effective’. You could argue that $2mill for a plastic waka is used efficiently but how effective is it likely to be?

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2

          It seems glaringly obvious that there is little difference between the major parties on what the best approach to vulnerable children/parents should be

          National Bootcamps for one!

          You are an ass PG.

          • Pete George 5.1.1.2.1

            You’ve picked out one very small initiative that seems to be of mixed value. I’m dubious about it. It’s possible it’s just an ineffective approach, but it can’t be easily determined in a short time frame.

            Most things that will have long term benefits will take a long time to properly evaluate.

            In the past National and Labour have continued similar policies with a few variations, I think it’s likely they would agree on most things once you strip away the political rhetoric.

          • Ianupnorth 5.1.1.2.2

            National standards for two, selling state assets would be three

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.2.1

              ECE cuts another.

              Although in general terms I have no problems with Labour having more clearly distinguished (and left wing) policies from National.

      • prism 5.1.2

        Just trying to imagine the situation if Hana Harawira becomes leader of the Maori Womens Welfare League while Paula Bennett is Minister of DOSW Department of Social Woe.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      PG taking the high ground again. Please mate, no.

      Labour should pledge that if they win in November they will offer Paula Bennett the Social Welfare Ministry

      Oh ffs.

    • Labour should pledge that if they win in November they will offer Paula Bennett the Social Welfare Ministry

      Well apart from the fact she does not have a freakin idea about what is happening, that she is shallow and malicious, that her abilities are possibly up to her getting a job at McDonalds, that she has a track record of abusing beneficiaries for political gain and that she has been a total disaster in Government good idea Pete!

      Is it April 1? 

    • KJT 5.4

      Paula useless, bennie bashing, Bennet. You must be joking.

  6. logie97 6

    I note the Graphic of Parliament (polls) is still shown in the two party format, with a jumble of minor parties separating the major blocks.

    Isn’t it about time that the colourings were arranged for the political spectrum, starting with the (depending which philosophy commands the treasury benches) most extreme parties being nearest the speaker and then spreading around to the opposition parties.

    (The actual parliamentary seating does not appear to be arranged in order of list placing because the Prime Minister and Deputy appear to sit in front of the Speaker and not behind or beside that position.)

    That way we could see the separation of the Greens and Act (seemingly at opposite ends of the political spectrum) into their rightful positions.

    Mr I-will-go-with-whatever-party-Dunne could remain in his rightful position acting as the bridge (plank) for each to walk over.

    In fact, is there any pre-ordained MMP parliamentiary seating arrangement?

    • KJT 6.1

      Do you mean most extreme. NACT spreading around to the sensible parties like the Greens.

      Anyone who wants radical failed policies, like tax cuts for the rich and asset stealing, could then be shown in their true colours.

      • logie97 6.1.1

        Yep – The current parliament would have ACT occupying a few seats on the left hand side where Joyce usually sits. Then you would have the bulk of blue, then Dunne and the MP, then Labour and finally around by the speaker again, the Greens. But currently having the Greens next to ACT is laughable. As you say, having the likes of Douglas around by Lockwood would give a much stronger picture for JoBlo as to political leanings.

        • Campbell Larsen 6.1.1.1

          United Future and Peter Dunne-nothing do not belong in the centre – they belong in the past.
          ‘building a bridge’ using this outdated technology is doomed to fail.

  7. vto made the following comment on The violent right thread

    “Any similarities between the separatist politics of this madman Norwegian and the madman separatist politics of Hone Harawira you think?” and “The simiilarities are very real.”

    The violent right

    This comment got some responses which were catagorised as

    “all responses to the various points I have made here have been solely either attacks on me, or simple bare statements “you are wrong” in various forms. Not one person above has actually provided any facts or statements or evidence to refute. Not one.”

    I dispute that because the thread has continued since then. Further, today on stuff they report

    “Breivik also writes that white Europeans will flee to New Zealand in an apocalyptic war sparked by the “gradual Islamisation” of Europe.” and “He quotes German anti-Islamic columnist Henryk Broder urging young people get out and “move to Australia or New Zealand. That is the only option they have if they want to avoid the plagues that will turn the old continent uninhabitable”.

    “Breivik says that after the civil war in Europe is won, and Islam expelled, a new “European Federation” would be created, which would include New Zealand.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5365851/Mass-killer-sees-NZ-as-haven-in-Islam-conflict

    My question vto is how does this fit into your ‘similarity theory’. The evidence you presented was your list which included “heavy discourse” and “showing some hatred” – it was subjective and reflected your own bias – I’d like to see actual evidence for your slur – just like I’m giving you here. The statements made by the murderer are fact and if others of his ilk come here what do you think they will think of the Mana Party, or māori like you? As i have said before I don’t have a problem if you hate Mana and Hone and everything they stand for – good for you. But you disrespect many by trying to connect the murderer and māori – you disrespect yourself.

    • vto 7.1

      Mr Mars, I did actually provide some evidence, copied below. But a couple of points first;

      Why would you think I hate Mana and Hone? I don’t and that was your assumption. I applaud them and their politics, except the separatism component. You see Marty, assumptions such as that were repeated thru that thread by all and sundry. With zero basis.

      What do I think any such immigrants would think of Mana and Hone? I suspect they would get on very well when it comes to dealing with new immigrants. Why wouldn’t they? They both suffer under a wave of colonisation for one thing. That is why I suggested that the indigenous people of Norway consider entering into a treaty similar to ours to cater for their own immigration wave. People struggling with immigration and colonisation is nothing new and most every people on the planet have at some time suffered such.

      Anyways to the point… Lets check for similarities between the two scenarios (copied);

      “to repeat … lets check for characteristics of terrorism with regard to Hone and his politics and similar followers within NZ;

      1. Politics at the extreme end of the spectrum. (it is accepted that Mana’s sovereignty and other politics are right at one end of the spectrum. No?)

      2. Politics advocating a form of separatism. (this is what Mana want, a form of separatism. This was one of the characteristic of the Norway terror. No?)

      3. A discourse that is heavy. (read what the Norwegian murderer wrote and it is heavy. Similarly, two examples, so is ‘white mofos’ from an elected representative. And you may recall the call to maori convicts some years ago to ‘kill a whitey’. Heavy. No?)

      4. A past that involves use or threatened use of weapons. (Hone some years ago referred to them in the north having guns and being prepared to use them. Similarly, recall Tame Iti shooting up a NZ flag recently? And we still have the Urewera ‘terrorists’. Weapons. No?)

      (And where do the threats ladelled out to Maori Party members at the hui with the Mana Party up at Taipa (?) a while ago sit? What does Sue Bradford think of that given her anti-smacking law?)

      I was asking the question and looking forward to seeing some answers. I then pushed it a little to stir (as is an unfortunate trait at times) by suggesting that the similarities were obvious. But if you follow the earlier thread you will see that there was no answer to the question, only put-downs. Please show where a proper answer was put.

      What other traits are signatures for terrorism threat? Perhaps lonerism (are there any loners out there listening to Hone?). Others certainly.

      What it led me to was that the separatism aspect of Mana, having looked at some facts, is hardcore right wing politics, jammed right hard up against left wing policies. And the headline of the post “The Violent Right” all fell into place.

      I say Go Hone (except for the separatism and the intimidation and aggression).

      edit: you are highly selective in what you quote from my posts which of course removes the context.

      • marty mars 7.1.1

        I think you have an extreme view of this so called ‘separatism’. Do you really think that our society can be separated? Do you think Mana or Hone think this? Self determination is actually about inclusivness and equality not the fear mongering of ‘separatism’.

        I apologise for making assumptions about your view.

        I replied to your points here

        The violent right

        i still think your theory is in poor taste and completely wrong.

        • vto 7.1.1.1

          Ahaa I see your reply now (Tho it was only left late last night).

          I would have thought we have some form of duty to see where the terrorism risks lie in our land. It clearly lies in certain quarters but questioning all risk quarters should be attended to. Asking such questions of Maori separatist politics has gone down like a cup of cold sick. I guess there are certain things that are not allowed to be questioned…

          As for “do I think Mana think this (separatism)?” that is not the issue. Just looking for the trigger / risk points and their self-determination / separatism is one of them. And is self-determination not a form of separatism?

          Clearly those trigger /risk points are a matter of degree but remember that it is not the people in public or party positions who are the risk it is the loner listening in the backblocks.

          edit: one final: it was not ‘a theory of mine’ it was a question which has led to an answer which may well lead to a full blown theory at some later point. Or not.

          • KJT 7.1.1.1.1

            I do not think Hone is into violence.

            I do not think he wants to dispose of his Pakaha friends and family.

            He is inclined to heated discussion about his beliefs.

            As are many of us.

            It does not make us terrorists.

            At least in NZ (and Norway) we are, mostly, still talking to each other.

          • weka 7.1.1.1.2

            What do you mean by separatism vto? I’ve not been aware of Mana or Harawira talking about separatism in the way that you seem to mean. It would be good if you could clarify and maybe link to something Harawira has said as we can understand your points.
             
            I think you are conflating a whole bunch of things to support your argument. AFAIK Hone Harawira didn’t tell Maori to kill a whitey. No terrorism charges have been brought against anyone arrested in the Tuhoe raids.
             

             

  8. joe90 8

    Been reading the sewers thread regarding the ‘pre-teens who want benefits’ and I’d like to know. who the fuck is Alison Sutherland . She says she works in Wairarapa schools with children who have behavioural problems but does’t tell us who she works for. Surely she would be receiving government funding and be subject to confidentiality clauses in her contract which would prevent her from disclosing anything about her clients.

    Is Alison Sutherland a wannna be Linsay Mitchel?. Too posh to work with all the time in the world to gloat about the failings of others.

  9. Colonial Viper 10

    Forget about the top 10% (this is about the top 1%)

    I’ve had this nagging doubt for a while as to why we’ve been focusing on the wealth, income and political views of the “top 10%”. I for one know a lot of people who are in this group, (earn >$75K pa, own their own house, maybe a rental or two) and in the main they are good smart people, better informed than most, with high levels of concern for their community, families and the direction of the country. (There are always unpleasant exceptions of course, and there is no denying that the top 10% is far better off than the bottom 50% in society).

    So in my comments I started focusing on the top 5% of income earners. To enter this bracket you have to be on incomes of between $90K pa and $100K pa. And yet, once you remove roughly $24K in income tax, the remaining sum (although very generous relative to most NZers) gives a lifestyle while comfortable and free of daily money worries is by no means luxurious. If you are raising children and paying off a sizeable AKL mortgage in 20 years, each months income is basically gone by the end of the month.

    The following article, although US in origin, explains a different world quite well: the world of the top half of the top 1%. Although we do not yet have the massive income/wealth inequity of the States, we still have to put a laserlight focus on the top 1% here in NZ (earning well over $150K pa and above) because it is they who truly influence opinion, media, the formation of laws and regulations. They have privileged access to decision makers, politicians and regulators. They have the most generous funds to contribute to political movements and lobbying.

    From the article (emphasis mine):
    http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/investment_manager.html

    Most of those in the bottom half of the top 1% lack power and global flexibility and are essentially well-compensated workhorses for the top 0.5%, just like the bottom 99%. In my view, the American dream of striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy that keeps the bottom 99.5% hoping for better and prevents social and political instability. The odds of getting into that top 0.5% are very slim and the door is kept firmly shut by those within it.

    • Vicky32 10.1

      To enter this bracket you have to be on incomes of between $90K pa and $100K pa. And yet, once you remove roughly $24K in income tax, the remaining sum (although very generous relative to most NZers) gives a lifestyle while comfortable and free of daily money worries is by no means luxurious. If you are raising children and paying off a sizeable AKL mortgage in 20 years, each months income is basically gone by the end of the month.

      As my son would say “Lolwut?” $90 000 minus $24,000 = $66,000. I raised one and a half kids on circa $18,000 so you’ll pardon me if my heart is stony when it comes to people doing the same on nearly 4 times as much.
       
       

  10. Gina 11

    Just checking Colmar Brunton polls to see if they are indeed an australian owned company.

    They are owned by Millward Brown who are a subsidary of Kantar. Kantar looks like a multnational research company or GROUP. I’m trying to load their website at Kantar.com which is taking forever. Not happening really. If someone with a better connection wants to give it a try please do.

    So thats one of the polling companies looking a bit creepy to me at least. Time to check the rest I think.

    http://millwardbrown.com/About/FastFacts.aspx

    Fast Facts
    Founded 1973
    77 offices in 51 countries
    Millward Brown is part of Kantar, the information and consultancy division of WPP
    Millward Brown Specialist Practices:
    BPRI Group
    Dynamic Logic
    MaPS
    Millward Brown Optimor
    Firefly Millward Brown
    1,800 Dynamic Tracking studies currently running
    65,000 Link™ copytests conducted
    More than 5,300 BrandDynamics™ projects covering over 45,000 brands
    Over 1,000 brand sales modeled
    Over 4,400 separate BrandZ™ studies completed
    BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands ranking released annually in April
    11 years of Digital experience
    6,000 campaigns measured across 27 digital platforms
    300 CrossMedia Research studies completed
    400 online creative pretests conducted using LinkSelect for Digital
    100 mobile research studies conducted
    115 filters in MarketNorms, the world’s largest online normative attitudinal database
    Specialist practices for mobile, gaming and social media

  11. Gina 12

    OK WPP own Kantar and their web address is loading OK

    http://www.wpp.com/wpp/companies/

  12. Gina 13

    KPP __ Kantar___Millward Brown___Colmar Brunton

    The board of KPP are a really well connected lot i.e.with connections to the US govt.

    So Colmar Brunton a supposed Australian company is really a part of pretty multinational. Why does this surprise me.

    Philip Lader
    Non-Executive chairman | Letter of appointment – Philip Lader
    Philip Lader was appointed chairman in 2001. The US Ambassador to the Court of St James’s from 1997 to 2001, he previously served in several senior executive roles in the US Government, including as a Member of the President’s Cabinet and as White House Deputy Chief of Staff. Before entering government service, he was executive vice president of the company managing the late Sir James Goldsmith’s US holdings and president of both a prominent American real estate company and universities in the US and Australia. A lawyer, he is also a Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley, a director of Marathon Oil, AES and Rusal Corporations, a trustee of the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Atlantic Council and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    A full list of WPP comapnies worldwide

    http://www.wpp.com/wpp/companies/company-list.htm

  13. Jum 14

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1107/S00341/training-review-timely.htm

    so much for the third leg of the balanced stool of society – employee, employer, government

    • Descendant Of Smith 14.1

      “Skills that are relevant are in short supply and employers consistently seek training relevant to their skill and productivity needs.”

      Yeah note how private enterprise want the state to pay to train their staff – or worse the state to pay for private enterprise to train their staff.

      Where’s Phil O’Reilly saying businesses should get their shit together and train people up. Oh that’s right training is a cost to business and therefore must be socialised.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        One of these days I’m going to get tired of this scam.

        Especially when the state pays to train up the young ‘uns, NZ businesses refuse to pay decent wages, so the young ‘uns all bugger off to work for Australia instead, giving Oz the benefit of our NZ tax payer funded training.

        It’s slowly descending into farce.

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    NZ First to dump anti-smacking

    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is promising to repeal the anti-smacking law, which he says attacks good parents. He says he will replace it with a law that attacks brutal parents.

    Life must be so simple when you’re a populist politician. Just agree with whatever you think the majority of the population thinks they want.

    He has set up a good idea though:

    Winston Peters says the public would buy his message, if only the media told them. To that end, the party has set up its own Internet television station, New Zealand First-dot-TV, to be launched on the 18th of August.

    Which is probably something the parties of the left could band together to set up something similar.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Smart media idea on his part. Still, its not going to attract viewership anything like the TV networks. But far better than being extincted by non-coverage.

      Winston has got to get back on his forward looking nationalistic drum beat if he has any hope. Looking backwards is going to get him caned.

    • MrSmith 15.2

      So appealing to the anti smacking crowd and getting tough on crime, when all the time dog whistling to the left he won’t change the law, very smart. 
       
      Whine could get a cabinet post yet, he obviously has a few heads with him.

    • He says he will replace it with a law that attacks brutal parents.

      That’s strange, does he think we don’t have sufficient law for that already? S59 was only intended for borderline cases. I wonder what he’s going to attack brutal parents with.

      • Ianupnorth 15.3.1

        Jesus – S59 was a section of the Crimes Act that gave parents a legal defence of ‘discipline’ when assaulting a child; the removal of S59 gave children the same level of protection as adults, livestock and domestic pets – nothing more, nothing less.
        It was NEVER an anti-smacking bill!

        • Descendant Of Smith 15.3.1.1

          What is Section 59?
          Section 59 is part of a law (Crimes Act 1961) in Aotearoa New Zealand that states “Every parent or person in place of a parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards a child if that force is reasonable in the circumstances.”

          This law was a remnant of the male right to punish servants, wives and children.
          It, in essence, was a property right.

          First servants were removed, then wives and finally children.

          Makes perfect sense to me.

  15. Vicky32 16

    Ask anyone who worked on the public service before the nineties. Many either enjoyed the laziness or left for something challenging.

    I did, and you couldn’t be more wrong! I chose the Public Service, because I have (wisely) never really trusted private enterprise. There was no laziness except in your mind PG, and there was plenty of challenge unless you purposely avoided it.

    • It may depend on what part of the Public Service Vicky. It’s widely accepted that many parts of it were grossly overstaffed. Did you read Bassett’s account?

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Overstaffed? What does that even mean. If we still had thousands of people working in the Ministry of Works, the Christchurch rebuild would be in full swing by now!

        Instead we have 160,000 sitting unemployed rotting away on the scrap heap.

        But thats not a problem, right?

        We have money, we have unemployed, we have plenty of work which needs to be done in this country, what is the frakin problem. (Our current political economic system may have something to do with it).

        • Pete George 16.1.1.1

          You have no idea what it was like, do you.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            You have no idea of what it IS like, do you? 30 years of neoliberalism gutting this country’s core and here you are with reminiscing platitudes.

          • joe90 16.1.1.1.2

            You have no idea what it was like, do you.

            I do. I started my time with NZED in 1972 and when I left in 1976 I joined the other 100 or so qualified (advanced trade certificate in fitting, turning and machining) tradesmen that the NZED delivered to the private sector that year.

            If you included the bonded tertiary students every year government departments and local bodies delivered thousands of trained staff, Electrical engineers through to paper hangers and decorators, to the private sector who at the time had no reason to train their own staff.

            And the only reason that there’s a trades skills shortage in 2011 is that following the gutting of the public service and with a lead-in time of a decade or more the private sector has never shown any interest in investing in training.

      • felix 16.1.2

        You need to read the responses from DoS and others, Pete.

        Actually read them.

        Everyone knows the public service was used to ensure (near) full employment.

        The only disagreement is whether you think this was a good idea, or whether you prefer high levels of unemployment and all the ills that brings.

        Many people who have watched whole generations of working class kids dumped on the dole – untrained, with zero work experience, left to drift into crime, addiction and mental illness – now realise that it wasn’t such a bad idea to give them something to do to earn a living in those important formative years.

        Of course ideological extremists like Bassett will never get it as his motivation is to profit the individual, not the society. Hard to address societal problems when you fundamentally don’t believe in society.

        Look beyond the pointless and parasitic profit motive and you’ll see that we have plenty of work to be done and plenty of hands to do it.

      • Vicky32 16.1.3

        Did you read Bassett’s account?

        Why would I need to? Unlike Bassett I lived it, and worked (unlike you) for several different parts of the Public service, and for more than one year!)

      • Pascal's bookie 16.1.4

        Bassett. lol.

  16. Herodotus 17

    Been staying in a few hotels overseas question: why do we not follow overseas trends of applying a tax per adult/ night stay to contribute to local infrastructure ? We see the hospitality industry always on the want for more e.g. Auckland waterfront development and yet they contribute no additional contributions to pay for them

    • Ianupnorth 17.1

      Because that would be simple, as simple as taxing McD’s to pay for obesity and the amount of litter that ends up on the streets.
      Try living in Rotorua, we pay rates to subsidise half empty flights from Sydney, because the moteliers wanted them!

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    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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