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Open mike 8/10/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 8th, 2013 - 175 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step right up to the mike…

175 comments on “Open mike 8/10/2013 ”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Enquiry into funding of sexual abuse services deadline for submissions this THURSDAY, Oct 10. Hopefully this will lead to better funding and mean that service providers no longer have to resort to begging for funding instead of treating victims.


    Contact the clerk of the house if you want your submission kept private, OR make a generic submission. If you don’t have time to write a submission, print this off to sign and send in freepost or copy and paste the text and submit it online http://www.wellingtonrapecrisis.org.nz/images/stories/pdfs/standardsubmissionformneedingsignatureonly.pdf

  2. karol 2

    John Tamihere, “I shave my legs”, but who cares if I do or don’t”– it doesn’t affect my perception or political understanding, am not a Labour Party member, and not part of the Wellington “belt way”. And I think your various pronouncements on issues of gender and sexuality are highly offensive – I would never vote for someone who makes those kinds of statements regularly and continues to stand by them year after year.

    The issue of pokies is important, and i am glad you are bringing it into the open once again. There needs to be as much transparency as possible around pokie operations and the money involved. But it still will not be enough to get me voting for you.

    I have already voted this week, and I didn’t vote for you, John.

    • just saying 2.1

      An acid test for the Labour Party.

      It may be a ‘broad church’, but surely someone who repeatedly gives the finger to the very constitution of the party, who is abusive towards many, if not most of its membership, and large groups within the wider community….. surely…..

      But anyway, he made himself unelectable to a sizeable chunk of the electorate, including, I reckon, many form his support base, when he moved home and abandoned his pets to starve, and it was reported in the media.

      • Rhinocrates 2.1.1

        Cruelty to animals is widely taken by experts – and any decent human – as an indicator of capacity for cruelty to people, even if it were not utterly vile in itself.

    • miravox 2.2

      “The issue of pokies is important, and i am glad you are bringing it into the open once again. There needs to be as much transparency as possible around pokie operations and the money involved. “

      Agree, Karol. If John Tamihere had stuck with social issues like this he would have gone a long way. I remember back in his days at the Waipareira Trust when the advertisement for gambling control was an image of the Sky Tower as junkie’s needle. Awesome. Also the work the Trust did with health and education for families out West.

      As it is, he’s too duplicitous to get the votes of people who remember this brain fart about women in politics, among other things. Maybe he’s hoping for the votes of a new generation that is unaware of his past indiscretions.

    • Ron 2.3

      The idea of Tamihere standing for Labour seat is bloody ridiculous. He was useless last time. I note he says in the article that he is just using the local election as a sounding board for a possible National Election run next year.
      By the way I notice the nice Herald has devoted quite a few inches to Tamihere today. Wonder why?

    • Tracey 2.4

      JT has gone down so far in my estimation that when I read he took reporters on a pub crawl I wondered if he had pre-aarange the people on the pokies as “props” to help him make his point.

  3. bad12 3

    Slippery the Prime Minister, strutting His stuff Statesman-like across the World stage via 3News last night,

    ”China is still there and it isn’t going anywhere”, unquote, Lolz i don’t know just how out of context that particular piece of ‘Colonial Cloddery’ was from the PM but i imagined an elongated ”Derrrrr” occurring after He said it,

    The bloke is about as deep as a puddle of piss left in the porch by a stray dog and if National are looking for a ‘dead cats bounce’ in the polls from having the PM pontificating on the global political stage, forget it, Crusty the Clown leaves a more lasting image…

    • leftriteleft 3.1


      Once again! Shonkey being told exactly what the US of A wants.

      This deal is very suitable for Key. It’s as Shonkey as it gets

      • bad12 3.1.1

        Slippery the PM, the running dog of US foreign and trade policy any time a minor official of the US State Department yanks on His chain…

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        will he say nothing like he did last time he chaired something here????

        • fender

          …why are you turning red Mr Key?

          Shut-up, I’m not, it’s hot, times up, stop picking on me….

    • greywarbler 3.2

      John Tamihere and abandoned dogs (actually cats), bad 12 with an animal theme. Is that going to be a trend for the day.

      Further about the cats http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10124140

      Interesting to read reports of John Tamihere decrying Housing NZ which was considering forbidding its tenants to keep dogs.
      This was an invasion of their tenants rights he says. Anyone who has lived near to constantly barking dogs, had them defecate on your own property, knows the effort required to train a dog ie socialise it and give it appropriate obedience training, plus the cost of feeding them, plus providing regular care including vet visits, will know that Housing NZ is doing everybody, including the poverty-stricken tenants, a favour.

      Actually John T says he understands their poverty which means that dogs will be unaffordable (even cats can be beyond a bene’s budget) so he is happily inconsistent, expressing the most emotional statement that will present him as a caring, sensible fellow.
      Times are tough and people on the breadline will use their money to pay for food and power. The first thing that goes is the registration and warrant. The majority of people do not want to break the law, they just cannot afford to keep the law.

  4. just saying 4

    This may have been mentioned before, but I was surprised to see the Daily blog adopt an “open mike”. It seemed to have the same graphic as this one did (back in the day).

    I guess “the more the merrier”, but I doubt the heavy moderation policy over there will be able to accomodate the sort of discussions we have here. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      TDB consolidates a lot of writers well, great to see ‘blue collar’ union backing too, (when was the last time anyone wore a blue collar tho? it is all branded clothing or hi-visis these days) it remains a clunky site to use but with good content.

      The Standard is number one really, but everyone is catered for somewhere, luvvies at Public Address, and dirty filthy torys at Kiwi and dark half mentals at Whalespew.

      “open mike” many are too busy for another one but am sure Jenny will surface there.

      • karol 4.1.1

        I think open mike on TDB will take a different form from here. TS has systems and moderation policies that encourage discussion. TDB has a moderation policy that tends to make discussions more secondary to the posts – some very good posts by some excellent authors.

        Jenny does comment over there, but surprisingly she seems quite rational and calm in her comments there (except an occasional complaint about being censored on TS). Of course, as TDB comments all automatically go through moderation before being released, it’s hard to know if all her comments do get released.

        But, curiously, there hasn’t been any posts on climate change on TDB in the last week, and no attacks from Jenny about it. Gotta wonder about her double standards and if, she is just out to undermine TS. I hadn’t previously seen her as a provocateur, just an unreliable commentator on TS – but given the disparity with her TDB comments, I can’t help but wonder.

        Comment from Jenny praising Bomber’s post, but gently chiding him on environmental issues.

        Jenny critical of Trotter’s strangely pro TPP post.

        And totally reasonable in reply to my comment on TS’s role in making the Kelsey Vs Mapp debate happen.

        Almost seems like a different commenter, with a totally different tone – but I think it is the same one.

        • weka

          I’ve been noticing that too Karol, and did think it was a different Jenny until I saw the climate change stuff. I reckon TDB’s moderation system and policy is a lot to do with it (ts gives tr0lls a lot of lattitude), but you might be right that Jenny now has a grudge against ts which affects her behaviour here.

        • Anne

          …she seems quite rational and calm in her comments there.

          From memory karol, Jenny started off the same way on The Standard. Indeed on one occasion at least her ‘comment’ was so good it was elevated to post status. She made good points and was praised by others for them – including me. Then she started to become more and more unreasonable to the point I stopped reading her diatribes. A bit sad.

          • Rosie

            I don’t know Jenny like the regular folks here do, but I do wonder if there is common ground that she shares with readers, commenters and authors, and that what would otherwise be camaraderie becomes distance and self isolation via her antagonism and repetition. (I see she earned a lengthy ban).

            The situation reminds me of when you are in a meeting where there is a common group goal or aim. Then there’s that one person who shares those goals but aims to highjack the group with their own unique view on the goal. They often end taking up much of the speaking time and give the facilitator a difficult time of it whilst alienating the rest of the group from themselves because of their extreme views and actions. Maybe Jenny has a sense of desperation about the topic of climate change, that’s the expression that comes across at least in her comments. It’s hard to have a rational conversation with someone who is feeling desperate because the mind is stuck on a treadmill. It’s a bit of a shame when that happens.

      • Rosie 4.1.2

        “Jenny will surface there”

        She did, lol. but it wasn’t on open mic it was on “Cunliffe’s first 100 days” by Martyn Bradbury. It’s a shame really, she’s still upset about TS authors not writing an article about the Solid Energy bail out, despite having it explained to her on two occasions that I have read, what the reason for that is.

        “For instance, witness the difficulty The Standard is having in getting out a statement on the Bail out of Solid Energy.” – says Jenny. That was posted yesterday.

        I like the articles on The Daily Blog and the work they’ve done around live streaming public meetings but I don’t comment anymore for a variety of reasons that I’ve already mentioned. They do good work though, all strength to them.

        PS: I see Karol beat me to it above 🙂

        • weka

          “Jenny will surface there”

          Honest to god, this is the truth – I saw that comment about Jenny and I thought “I bet Pete George will too” 😈 Then I trotted over to TDB to see what their Open Mike looks like and the first one I come across is this


          • Rosie

            Lol, yes, saw that comment by ol’ Petey this morning.

          • NickS

            I bet he’ll banned within a month.

            Old Petey can’t change sadly.

            • jaymam

              Why shouldn’t Jenny talk about her displeasure at coal mining without getting banned here? I’ve known Jenny for years, we support different parties, and we have opposite views about mining and climate change. I agree with a lot of her views and disapprove of others, but I will defend her right to write them. If not in this forum then it will be at another. Why don’t you all join us, somewhere else. Freedom of expression no longer exists on The Standard. And we know whose faullt that is.

              • Rogue Trooper

                go on

              • lprent

                If you look at what she got banned for this time:-

                1. It was for lying about what I’d said about her on my post. 12 weeks
                2. Persistently lying about what the greens and labour’s policies were on a number of topics. 12 weeks

                The point was that she didn’t damn well know what the policies were because it was apparent that she’d never looked.

                In both offenses she’d been warned what would happen if she did it again the day before, and obviously decided to deliberately do it. I acted in accordance with what I’d said.

                I’d call it a penalty peddling fantasies as fact and for stupidity. She is welcome to write at other forums where I’m sure that she will be welcomed /sarc

              • karol

                Jenny is quite free to write her views here or there if she follows the rules set at each blog. There are few rules on TS, but people are required to stick by them or get banned, temporarily or permanently.

                Jenny has continuously broken 2 of them – attacking authors, and telling us what to write. She could just have posted her own comments on Solid Energy, etc here. But she, as she has done several times before, told us quite aggressively what she thinks we should be writing about. She has been warned about this several times. She then starts claiming she’s being censored and gets aggressive.

                She continually is in attack mode, and seems to think her choice of topics to write on should be everyone’s. Too often, Jenny has not engaged in discussions just harangued and attacked people, even though her comments are not always that reliable in fact or judgement. It becomes tiresome and does not help maintain discussions.

                This has all been said before. She has a tendency to express her views in ways that just annoy many people – and to spam us with one long comment after another without really engaging in discussion in any depth. It seems like tr0lling, though that probably isn’t her intention.

                I’m very happy if she prefers to comment at TDB on any topic of her choosing.

              • QoT

                I will defend her right to write them.

                Freedom of speech is not “freedom to write whatever you like wherever you like with no limitations and free from criticism”.

                Jenny is perfectly able to start up her own blog on WordPress or (godsforbid) Blogger and writing about climate change and her personal illusions about Labour and Green policies to her heart’s content.

                She does not, however, have the right to use this platform, built and maintained by other people, to tell lies and break the rules, especially after being warned about the consequences of doing so.

                And that pretty much goes for any commenter on any site.

                But please, http://youtu.be/GdNI0_cx22s?t=6s

                • jaymam

                  Of course I was paraphrasing Voltaire’s beliefs on freedom of thought and expression, which don’t apply here.
                  I think we need another left-wing blog.

                  • karol

                    Actually, Jenny tries to stifle dissent from her own views with her bullying tactics. Freedom cannot happen without responsibility towards others. Just shouting at others, and not really listening to them, is not what I’d call the kind of freedom of expression that serves democracy.

                    Basically, Jenny was not banned for what (in terms of political views) she said as much as how she said it.

                    If you want another left wing blog, why not go start it yourself?

                  • McFlock

                    Were his beliefs along the lines of “I disapprove of what you say, but I will publish it in its entirety, repeatedly, and cover the cost myself”?


                    well, then.

    • felix 4.2

      …and they don’t know how to spell “mic” either…

      • King Kong 4.2.1

        You’ve got the wrong end of the stick. It’s not a general comments post, it’s a post about a guy called Michael who is looking to share his feelings – Open Mike.

        • greywarbler

          Keep it up KK, as they say on RedGreen tv ‘If they don’t find you handsome, they’ll at least find you handy.’

    • TheContrarian 4.3

      Bomber doesn’t take criticism or disagreement well so any open mic on his turf will consist of mostly praise and agreement unlike the standard where debate and disagreement is encouraged

      • King Kong 4.3.1

        I disagree

        • weka

          So do I.

          TC, I think it’s just a select few like you who get harshly moderated at TDB. The rest of us have figured out where the boundaries lie and accept the ‘my blog, my rules’ ethos and just get on with it.

          • King Kong

            You mean the sychophants don’t get moderated? Quelle suprise.

            • greywarbler

              How cultured you are in your ripostes!

              • Rogue Trooper

                reading TS has broadened their lingo

                • greywarbler

                  They had better watch out – too much TS broadens the bottom!

                  • lprent

                    I find that too high a dose of statins does that…

                    • greywarbler

                      Oh Those Statins. My MD can beat your MD any day when it comes to arguments about them. And they may not harm memory thinking at all according to the web.

                      Now I have found what they are, too much curiosity here, I’ll pass on some possibly helpful information.
                      In addition to their well-known benefits in heart disease, high-dose statins appear to reduce gum inflammation caused by periodontal disease, a new report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows. The findings offer more evidence that heart disease and gum disease may be linked, and also help support the view that statins achieve at least some of their effect not through their cholesterol-lowering effect but through separate inflammation-fighting mechanisms. – Forbes

                      Testimonial –
                      I was completely ignorant until I began to blog on The Standard. Now I find that I can discuss anything at any pub I choose to visit and people in the street are struck dumb with my field of knowledge which now includes statins.

                    • lprent []

                      If they harmed memory or thinking I’d notice it pretty well immediately. My job is 90% of those with a touch of creativity.

                      However I am still the vagueness for ordinary matters and short-term memory (that isn’t code) that I always was. I still have a dyslexia on names (hat are not classes, variables, or filenames) that I always did. And I still maintain a catalogue of who has been writing what on this site over the last few years that is sufficient to look the relevant comments up. Not to mention politics and science…

                      It is ordinary living that I forget and don’t think about that much…. 🙂 Not that important unless Lyn insists (and she is often a pretty geek as well).

                      I’m not even sure that the statins caused much of my weight gain since I started taking them. That could be due to being forced to stop smoking. However when they doubled up the statin dose to the original level a month ago for my ideological specialist’s reasons, my weight which had been stable started increasing again…

                  • northshoredoc

                    Although you can get a report of just about any side effect you want if you have enough of the population taking a medication, weight gain is pretty unusual for a statin unless you’re beginning to develop Type 2 diabetes or if you’re experiencing muscle and/or joint pain which is causing you to not get as much exercise as usual.

                    if you are experiencing muscle or joint pain or going to the loo more than usual you should get back to your GP ASAP for further tests.


            • weka

              “You mean the sychophants don’t get moderated? Quelle suprise.”

              No, I meant that socially illiterate idiots get moderated. As you well know.

              • King Kong

                Personally I have never been to TDB as I believe that encouraging Bomber is akin to teasing retards.

                • Paul

                  The usual ‘play the man, not the ball’ tactic KK?

                • Paul

                  This is an open mike comment, not a TPP point, KK.

                  I did not say the US Government brought its own buildings down on 9/11.

                  I simply provided 4 pieces of evidence that suggest events happen because of conspiracies, not coincidence, which would seem to be your case as you use the disparaging definition of the word conspiracy. I tend to go for the less pejorative description of the words, where conspiracy theory is a term that is a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy.

                  On 9/11, I’m assuming you don’t believe that the buildings came down by coincidence. You believe that there was a conspiracy, I assume, organised by Osama bin Laden. That, KK, is a conspiracy theory.

                  So you are a conspiracy theorist yourself. You just believe in different conspiracies.

                  • King Kong

                    I suppose it was a bit of a coincidence that the buildings came down on the same day a plane hit them.

                    Of course conspiracy theories can turn out to be true but sometimes a good yard stick to their veracity is the pedigree of those promoting them.

                    In the case of Karol’s fantasy, she has Travellerev agreeing with her which means you can immediately discount the whole thing as fucking nonsense.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      That is a very poor conclusion to draw King Kong,
                      perhaps you should have read the post, clearly by what you are writing you would have learned something.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I suppose it was a bit of a coincidence that the buildings came down on the same day a plane hit them.

                      Yes it was a co-incidence. After all, on 9-11, 3 large buildings collapsed but there were only two plane impacts.

                    • King Kong

                      Don’t you start!

                    • felix

                      “In the case of Karol’s fantasy, she has Travellerev agreeing with her which means you can immediately discount the whole thing as fucking nonsense.”

                      I suppose the other way to form an opinion on karol’s article would be to read it, but I don’t imagine you’ve got time for that what with all the trooling you have to do.

                    • Paul

                      What about these people’s pedigree?

                    • Paul

                      Tackling the player, not the ball.
                      Is this the only way you discuss issues?

                    • David H

                      Even more Interesting that All the WT buildings came down in their own Footprint. IE: Like when they have been wired and dropped, it’s called Demolition.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “Even more Interesting that All the WT buildings came down in their own Footprint. IE: Like when they have been wired and dropped, it’s called Demolition.”

                      I’m going to look silly if you were just being sarcastic, but neither of the big buildings did that, and, in fact, a large chunk of one hit the 3rd building. As I say, apologies if you were just taking the pi55.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, no they didn’t. Quite a lot of debris fell outside the area they had occupied on the ground. Into other buildings. Some of which also fell down.

                      But they did fall in a generally “downward” direction. This is due to what people like to call “gravity”. The lack of Godzilla applying a constant lateral force meant that toppling did not occur.

                    • King Kong,

                      Don’t you agree that the events of 9/11 were a conspiracy?

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ McFlock: lol!

                  • McFlock

                    Hmmmm. @Paul

                    Arguing equivalence because they are the same class of thing while ignoring the degree of plausibility of each thing is pretty much what young-earth creationists do.

                    If we operated like that in real life, we’d all be paralyzed by existential doubt, including the assumption that: “the bread which I’ve eaten my entire life and has sated my hunger previously will sate my hunger when I eat it today” is equivalent to “the bread which I’ve eaten my entire life and has sated my hunger previously will poison me if I eat it today”.

                    As it is, the same processes that demonstrated the existence of most of the conspiracies (in its purest “multiple people working in contemporary secrecy” form) you mentioned also demonstrated that towers fell because planes hijacked by terrorists flew into them.

                    Now, the TPP/APEC thing is interesting, because the same mechanisms as above have demonstrated that multinational corporations are, well, frequently morally bankrupt (especially the tobacco industry), and Karol writes excellently researched, structured and referenced posts. On the flipside, as KK points out, T-eve jumping in adds a certain level of crazy to the mix. But after the Hobbit law change, we all know that Key’s actively marketing NZ as for sale to the quickest bidder, fuck the consequences to the populace.

                    • Paul

                      9/11 is the perfect example of this.
                      People who believe the story about Osama Bin Laden, 19 hijackers, box cutters, etc etc are conspiracy theorists as this was clearly a ‘conspiracy.’ Not a very plausible one either.

                    • McFlock

                      9/11 is the perfect example of this.
                      People who believe the story about Osama Bin Laden, 19 hijackers, box cutters, etc etc are conspiracy theorists as this was clearly a ‘conspiracy.’ Not a very plausible one eithe

                      A conspiracy that was exceptionally well documented at the time and has been publicly examined extensively by multiple organisations. Will we ever know all the details of the case, like what the hijackers ate for breakfast? No. But we know the bulk of it.

                      And alternative theories tend to be demonstrably false, extremely tenuous, posited by nutbars, apparently invented for financial gain, and/or significantly more implausible than the generally accepted version.

                      They are not equivalent positions, any more than “God created the earth six thousand years ago because a magic book told me so” is equivalent to the Theory of Evolution.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      And let’s not forget that the conspirators openly claim to have done it, instead of claiming that they were set up by their enemies and are being attacked without reason. Which would be kind of good line to take if it was true.

                    • Paul

                      I’m having to reply to this comment again as there is no reply button under your comment that goes …

                      “A conspiracy that was exceptionally well documented at the time and has been publicly examined extensively by multiple organisations. Will we ever know all the details of the case, like what the hijackers ate for breakfast? No. But we know the bulk of it.

                      And alternative theories tend to be demonstrably false, extremely tenuous, posited by nutbars, apparently invented for financial gain, and/or significantly more implausible than the generally accepted version.

                      They are not equivalent positions, any more than “God created the earth six thousand years ago because a magic book told me so” is equivalent to the Theory of Evolution.”

                      1. At no stage did I make a statement saying I believed in alternative conspiracy theories. I stated I did not know what happened and commented that the official conspiracy theory ( Bin Laden etc) was implausible.

                      2, You are trying to control the tone of the conversation by using emotive language such as nutbar, However, there are reputable people who question the 9 11 story. What about these people’s pedigree?

                      3. I am the sceptic here. You believe in one conspiracy theory; I believe in neither and await evidence that supports the theory presented. I refute your attempt to again to frame the conversation through your use of language ( so that I am on the side of new age creationists).\

                      4. As a believer, can you explain how WTC7 fell, when it was not hit by a plane? I have not heard any evidence to persuade me to the Bin Laden conspiracy theory.

                      5. If you apply your own thinking to the official conspiracy theory ( i.e. who made money out of it) then there are plenty of candidates!

                    • Paul

                      The observed collapse of the World Trade Centers 1 and 2 have been measured at near the rate of free fall. This is the rate at which nearly all of the “falling energy” (kinetic energy from gravity) must deliver the building to ground level. This leaves no energy for smashing and pulverizing the concrete slabs nor for shredding construction steel.

                    • McFlock

                      1: I do not believe that I have ever claimed that you do believe a particular theory.

                      2: I don’t give a shit about who “controls the tone”. If I recall correctly, AE911Truth has a membership that consists of <1% of the architects (let alone "engineers") in the USA. That is well within the expected margins for serious mental disorders in a population, but then I also think that some of them are just stupid. Either way, they come under the category I like to call "nutters".

                      3: No, you are not being a sceptic. Your statement that the well-documented events are "not very plausible" implies disbelief and a lack of impartial evaluation. It is the difference between agnosticism and atheism. Sceptics, in the modern sense, are not completely disbelieving, they just step back and rationally examine the evidence. Whereas you, at best, have gone all Ancient Greek, we cannae know anything ever.
                      As to my "use of language", I merely pointed out that creationists use the same tactic, not that you are on the same side.

                      4: Fire after parts of a fecking great building hit it. Try reading one of the many investigations that covered it.
                      and that goes for the BinLaden thing, too.

                      5: Yes indeed. But it's difficult to get one person, let alone 19, to kill themselves so you can make money.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Paul, you say that people who made money out of it should be looked at as suspects.

                      Fair enough.

                      So what’s the theory?

                      I’ve asked plenty of truthers for an alternate theory that accounts for all the facts.

                      I would be more than happy to talk about such a theory, if it existed. It’s been more than a decade now, and such a theory has yet to be presented to me so that I might think about it.

                      Usually when I ask,I’m told that “It’s not our job to provide a theory”. I do not find this at all convincing, and as a sceptic yourself, I’m sure you agree.

                    • Paul

                      As a sceptic, I have not seen enough evidence to convince me that WTC7 (in particular) and the Twin Towers could have collapsed as they did.
                      There are many reputable people (not nutters) who similarly question the story.
                      I am not name calling your opinion, but am continually having to deal with words like truther, nutbar..
                      Your argument should be strong enough not to rely on name calling

                    • McFlock

                      You’re the one who linked to the ae911truth video.

                      But let’s start with the basics: have you enough evidence to convince you that WTC7 (in particular) and the Twin Towers actually existed?

                    • Paul

                      Live and let live McFlock.
                      You believe, I doubt.
                      Please don’t let your religious fervour get the better of you and mean you start persecuting those who question the holy truth of 9/11.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      So no theory at all then?

                      I’m not asking for anything as well developed as the official theory, (though I will note the more than a decade again, in passing), just a brief explanation of how these buildings came down if it wasn’t due to the planes that flew into them.

                      Who might have done it, and why it would have made sense for them to do it. Why doing it, the way they did it, was the best way of achieving their aims.

                      I’m more than happy to talk about such a theory, and to discuss the official theory too.

                      Usually I just catch abuse.

                      ‘truthers’ however, is hardly abuse. It’s a self identifier.

                    • Paul

                      Given the fact that I am not privy to key information about the events as: I was not on the commission that investigated the events of 11 September and that much of the evidence was destroyed, I am unwilling to come to unsubstantiated theories without evidence.
                      That’s the scientific method.

                    • McFlock

                      Please don’t let your religious fervour get the better of you and mean you start persecuting those who question the holy truth of 9/11.

                      Challenging ideas in the same forum that they are raised is not “persecution”.

                      Reducing overwhelming evidence of fact into a mere difference of opinion is also something that creationists like to do. For what it’s worth.

                      You doubt, fair enough.
                      From what you have presented here, you have no beliefs of your own. Fair enough.
                      You regard fringe youtube theorists to be credible counterpoints to multiple investigations and blanket coverage of the events as they happened. Fair enough.
                      But to then demand respect for the shallow credulity that ensues from the above? That’s a wee bit unfair.

                      Given the fact that I am not privy to key information about the events as: I was not on the commission that investigated the events of 11 September and that much of the evidence was destroyed, I am unwilling to come to unsubstantiated theories without evidence.
                      That’s the scientific method.

                      So how do you know the towers existed at all, again?
                      Oh, and no, it’s not the scientific method

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I am unwilling to come to unsubstantiated theories without evidence.
                      That’s the scientific method.

                      there is quite a lot of evidence though Paul.

                      And one doesn’t need to have all the possible evidence in order to form a theory that accounts for that evidence which we do have.

                      That too, is the scientific method. Although working out what happened isn’t really science. It’s more akn to history. We need theories about history to weigh againts each other. We use the balance of probability, and testimony, as well as science, to try and work out what happened.

                      At the moment, the sceptics of the official theory haven’t had a lot of success, as far as i have seen, in coming up with an alternate theory.

                      I remain more than happy to discuss one, should it arise.

                    • Paul

                      Of course the Towers existed.
                      Are heading for a philosophical discussion?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditations_on_First_Philosophy

                    • Paul

                      “At the moment, the sceptics of the official theory haven’t had a lot of success, as far as i have seen, in coming up with an alternate theory.”

                      That is true.but then they aren’t the gatekeepers of the knowledge.
                      e.g. A citizen of Japan is less likely to know details about the TPP than a large US corporation.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      That’s irrelevant though.

                      there is plenty of evidence available to them. there are many known facts. How do they account for them?

                      What plausible theory is there, other than the official one/

                      Again, I’m not asking for conclusive evidence for this theory, just a description of an alternate hypothesis that accounts for the known facts.

                      Over a decade, and they haven’t even started on one, as far as I can tell.

                      But I sense you don’t have desire to speculate on even the possibilities of an alternate theory, other than your comment about who made money out of it. Shall we start from there?

                      These people who made money out of it. Was this a rational way of making the money? Were there easier ways perhaps? Less risky ways? How well do the known facts fit with the explanation of them being motivated by making money?

                      Those seem like good questions to start with to me.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      One other thing paul.

                      this ‘gatekeepers of knowledge’ phrasing isn’t particularly helpful I think, in keeping the conversation clear.

                      Are you suggesting there is another conspiracy to keep the relevant knowledge from us?

                      Or is this a part of the same conspiracy theory, that is needed to account for the failure to come up with an alternate theory?

                      I’m asking if this is what you mean, because it’s not clear, I’m not suggesting that is what you mean. Nor am I using conspiracy in any negative sense.

                    • McFlock

                      just seeing the limits of your “scepticism”.

                      And what PB said as to the rest.

                    • Paul

                      “And alternative theories tend to be demonstrably false, extremely tenuous, posited by nutbars, apparently invented for financial gain, and/or significantly more implausible than the generally accepted version.”

                      You claimed reasons why people might support alternative conspiracy theories.
                      I simply posited that there might be financial reasons for people behind the official story.
                      I repeat . No conclusive evidence has been put in favour of any story.
                      That’s why many independent people want a proper inquiry. Not the farce that occurred in 2004.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, I did.

                      No conclusive evidence has been put in favour of any story.
                      That’s why many independent people want a proper inquiry. Not the farce that occurred in 2004.

                      The evidence put forward has been beyond reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt.

                      If one requires all reasonable doubts to be exhausted before one draws a conclusion, this is only logical in an imperfect world.

                      If one requires all unreasonable doubts to be exhausted before one draws a conclusion, then one ‘s stated reasoning is questionable.

                      If someone hasn’t seen enough evidence to reach a conclusion regarding 9/11, despite everything gathered since (not just 2004), then their reasoning is questionable: either they have closed their eyes for 12 years, or they have no idea that some sources of information are less reliable than others,or their faculty of reason is faulty, or they are being purposefully misleading (the most common reason in society to mislead strangers is to gain profit).

            • Draco T Bastard

              You know, I’ve never been moderated either here or at TDB and I don’t think anyone will ever call me a sycophant – even you RWNJs. Perhaps the problem is that those who do get moderated are just too bloody stupid to be able to put together a well reasoned argument.

              • McFlock

                True – even I’ve managed to avoid a ban, and I’m a fucking arrogant dickhead who uses rude words and likes to play with hypocritical nutbars. But a few folk don’t seem to get the message when the TERSE BOLD MESSAGES SUDDENLY APPEAR 🙂

                [lprent: Sometimes not so terse. I’ve looked at a few of your comments for the pointless abuse behaviour criteria. But on investigating the context decided that the points had already been made. ]

                • McFlock

                  “the quality of mercy is not strain’d, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heav’n upon the place beneath” 🙂

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died yet whoever feeds on this bread will live forever :
                    Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
                    John 6:58
                    1 Cor. 5:8

          • TheContrarian

            Bomber is an extremely dishonest person who serves a great dishonor to the left-wing. Running a blog wherein critical comments are deleted from moderation because they disagree with the party line is somewhat intellectually dishonest coming from a person like Bomber who outwardly champions the freedom of speech…as long as he agrees of course.

            And all that bullshit he spun about being hacked by the government. What a fucking crock. Those nice chaps at The Egonomist had a field day with it.

    • David H 4.4

      Yeah I have given up replying, or anything there, and I am still in Moderation, and I signed up the day after it went on line, from memory.

      • fender 4.4.1

        I wouldn’t take it personally, I’ve made a few comments there and think everybody’s comment goes into moderation prior to being released. There’s no way to have a quick debate there, so I just read and leave mostly.

        • weka

          What makes it worse is that there appears to be no easy way to search for comments, so if you go back a day or two later you have to manually search through the dog’s breakfast that is the front page, assuming you remember the name of the post you commented on.

  5. bad12 5

    Talking of the Daily Blog, Chris Trotter has an interesting piece there today on the proposed TPPA, Chris in a bit of a ‘lest we forget’ vein exhorts those of us on the left, when we are considering the ramifications of that free trade agreement to remember that ”wealth has to be first created befor that wealth can be redistributed”,

    Excuse me Chris, but, What the F**k???, what redistribution of wealth is it that you talk of, all that redistribution of said wealth that has occurred after each act of ‘trade freedom’ that has occurred in the past 40 years perhaps???,

    i personally do not see where it is us from ‘the left’ who have forgotten anything here thank you very much Chris Trotter,

    Here’s a shortlist of the ‘redistribution of wealth’ so far gained from all this ‘free trade’, 300,000 low waged workers being employed for less than the living wage, another 300,000 workers confined to ‘rotational employment’ having to rely upon welfare benefits as their income as much as they can rely on a wage packet,

    The price of dairy products, as the Global demand and therefor prices have increased the cost to those above who obviously have not shared in the miracle of ‘wealth redistribution’ to a point that these are now luxury items off the weekly shopping list as much as they are on it,

    And you advocate more of the same Chris Trotter???…

  6. weka 6

    Last day for postal voting apparently (for mail to get delivered by 12pm Sat), according to the GP. Although my papers say to post on Weds at the latest.

  7. Belladonna 7

    I have been told libraries will have ballot boxes Wed to Fri of this week.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    on the topic of TDB;
    “our own Prisons
    -a compassionate article.

    • Rogue Trooper 9.1

      a not so compassionate article follows

    • Paul 9.2

      Kim Campbell is chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association
      What do you expect him to say?
      He’s representing his mates.
      Paying people more might mean his mates less profits.
      Less international holidays, deluxe cars…..

      The 1%, eh?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      Translation: Kim Campbell tells us that the present subsidy to the rich is fine and that we should all stop whinging.

      • Paul 9.3.1

        And the Herald’s editors give him a platform to publicise his vile opinions to a large audience.
        I wonder who pays them to give the elite’s perspective so much hearing?

  9. greywarbler 10

    Where do you stand on the political spectrum? Michael Marien came up with a table of named ideological positions in 1970 which has been updated in this link. The way that people can sort themselves under different definitions or labels is shown in in an amusing and artful way.


    I think I might be classified here as a Romantic Ecologist. Everyone take a look and laugh and ponder!

    • Rogue Trooper 10.1

      also an RE, yet not Romantic 😉

    • weka 10.2

      Do people still read Heinlen and not choke on the extreme sexism? Not sure why such people should be given the role of future upgrader.

      • Rogue Trooper 10.2.1

        Like grokking to A Stranger. 😀

      • David H 10.2.2

        Yes I still read Heinlan and EE Doc Smith, John Wyndham and Harry Harrison of the very very sexist Stainless Steel Rat fame. But one of the best Sci Fi books I ever read was Joe Haldemans The Forever War. But for some more modern Writers, and sexism is now out the window. Corey Doctorow short stories are good Like “When sysadmins ruled the world, And I robot. But for a book that I have read 3 times so far, and I am still enjoying re-reading it, is Accelerando by Charles Stross.

        • weka

          I haven’t read Wyndham in a long time either, that might be worth a look. I read Doctorow’s Little Brother and thoroughly enjoyed it. Funnily enough I got my first wave and pay eftpost card in the mail today (gee thanks ANZ).

      • greywarbler 10.2.3

        Robert Heinlein. I hadn’t heard of him, did quite a lot of things including science fiction. If he said something sexist he was a child of his time I think, born in 1907.

        Within the framework of his science fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.

        • weka

          I would rate Heinlein in the top five (fiction) authors who influenced me in my late teens. Great story telling. And yes the sexism was of his time, although there are other writers of his generation whose work has stood the test of time better. I was disappointed to find I can’t read him now. Maybe I’ll try again when I am older.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      Well, found the Pete & Pete Party:

      Moderate No thoughts: cross pressured. Various platitudes to avoid offending others.

      • greywarbler 10.3.1

        DTB Heh heh.

      • greywarbler 10.3.2

        Also suitable for The Coiffure.
        The original table by Michael Marien had more listings (some regarded as dated) with one called – Primitive Populist with a view of concerns as Domination by pointy-headed pseudo-intellectuals. Proposals were Throw briefcases in [Wellington Harbour] Potomac, and restore common sense.

  10. greywarbler 11

    Has anyone else had long waits to get onto The Standard? This time I went through google as otherwise I couldn’t get connection. Also I again have the annoyance of having things underlined and colours heightened and the edit box partly hidden. Something, some other site, whatever seems to set this off. So have to find how to reset the page from my helper.

    • Tiger Mountain 11.1

      Now and then, but have had regularly on the Daily Blog. GCSB/NSA login?

    • lprent 11.2

      Haven’t had any CPU or database spikes since whatever caused last nights outage went through…

    • jk 11.3

      Yeah – but I always think its because I’m overloading the computer too quickly and after a while give up …… go and make dinner or do something useful (clean the bathroom) and by the time I get back to it, its unplugged itself !

  11. lprent 12

    Notice popping up in the system

    Akismet has detected a problem. Some comments have not yet been checked for spam by Akismet. They have been temporarily held for moderation. Please check your Akismet configuration and contact your web host if problems persist.

    Akismet is our offshore anti-spam checker at wordpress.com. I’ll clear them manually until it clears

    • greywarbler 12.1

      Thanks for fix Lynn. And that comment from Northshore guy sounds worthy of action. Keep well. I’m planning to go on my one hundredth planned diet. If I actually do follow it, his will give me passing grades in Diet 101.

    • fender 14.1

      “…bad omens for NZ”

      Wow that’s news worth reporting, had no idea Nicolas Maduro intends to run for office in NZ.

      You are getting desperate Pukey.

    • Paul 14.2

      You need to research the stories you upload, rather than simply repeat what you hear.
      You need to think critically.

      First up, the Daily Torygraph is hardly a unbiased viewer or source on the matter.
      I wonder whether the ‘many Venezuelans’ mentioned are the very wealthy ones who own Venezuela’s media?

      One name stands out. Michael Shifter

      From Wikipedia.
      Michael Shifter is President of the Inter-American Dialogue and an Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.[1] He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations[1] and writes for the Council’s journal Foreign Affairs.[2] He is also a member of the Latin American Studies Association(LASA), and a contributing editor to Current History.[1]

      The Daily Council on Foreign Relationsis hardly a unbiased viewer or source on the matter.

      If you look at the article you will notice this :
      Related Articles
      Venezuela expels top US diplomat 30 Sep 2013

      I wonder if Uncle Sam has been fomenting unrest?
      Now for KK’s education, that is a conspiracy theory.
      “A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more people, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through deliberate collusion, an event or phenomenon of great social, political, or economic impact.”

      • JK 14.2.1

        ” I wonder if Uncle Sam has been fomenting unrest? ” Wouldn’t be surprised, Paul.
        Its happened before – Nicaragua, Chile etc etc

        • Murray Olsen

          It has happened everywhere south of the Rio Grande, and still is in much of Latin America. Both the US and Canada have been caught recently spying on Brazil, which possibly means we are as well. After the independent place we began to take in the world, we have gone a long way backwards under Shonkey.

  12. Rogue Trooper 15

    Bob Jones’ Remedy for the “welfare-dependent underclass” : Books
    (even second-hand ones would probably do the trick peasants).

  13. Puckish Rogue 16


    – Well done Bill English, I doubt Labour could have done better

    • Paul 16.1

      “Higher tax revenue and lower than forecast core Crown expenses helped to more than halve the Government’s operating deficit before gains and losses to $4.4 billion in the year to 30 June 2013, compared with a $9.2 billion deficit the previous year.”

      So losing $4.4 billion in a year is good, pr?

      “Treasury’s Budget 2013 forecasts show net core Crown debt is expected to increase from $10.3 billion in June 2008 to over $70 billion by June 2017.”

      And blowing out the government debt to $70 billion an example you would give of fine financial management?

    • McFlock 16.2

      Why do you doubt Labour could have done better? The only time Labour’s maintained government accounts and the economy worse than national was under the ACT government 1984-1990.

      The operating balance (after gains and losses) was in surplus by $6.9 billion – $12.6 billion better than Treasury forecast at the start of the year, and $21.8 billion better than in the previous year.

      Wow – off by 200% in a six month forecast?
      Fire Treasury.

      • Puckish Rogue 16.2.1

        Labour lack the discipline and have lacked it for a number of years whereas National have had stability

        • McFlock

          That’s the mantra of the choir. Shame it’s utter bullshit – national simply loot the government finances for their mates, stagnating the economy on the way. The “stability” of the cemetery.

        • Paul

          No answer to 16.1, puckish?

          • McFlock

            nah, never.
            The best you’ll get is when he manages to hit the “reply” button before dropping another slogan. He’s the tory equivalent of the stereotypical Maoist cadre-leader who only screams aphorisms from the little red book.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Except I have a productive job…unlike most of the Mana and Green supporters 🙂

              • McFlock

                You produce nothing.

              • lprent

                All of the Green supporters I know have productive jobs or are toiling their way through academia.
                While I haven’t met nearly as many Mana supporters, those that I have met usually have productive jobs as well.

                In my experience and speaking in general, the party with the parasites supporting it is National. They may have jobs, but many are highly unproductive jobs..

              • Paul

                You “can’t answer every post” but have time for cheap shots like this?

              • Chooky

                @ Puckish Rogue….a productive job in right wing PR?

          • Puckish Rogue

            Sorry I can’t answer every post (have to fit it in around work) but yes National made the best of a bad situation, had Labour been in then the policies of Clark, sorry I meant Goff, no dammit I meant Shearer, oops a daisy I mean Cunliffe would have meant NZ in worse position then it is now

            So well done John Key, Bill English and (most but not all of) the cabinet for making the decisions that needed to be made

            • McFlock

              I, for one, am amazed that the enormous magnitude of your lies in a comment that small did not create a terminal critical mass of highly dense bullshit and thereby tear a singularity of logical failure in the fabric of the universe, sucking us all into a parallel dimension of surreality, where the laws of nature are fish sticks.


              • Tracey


              • greywarbler

                And why PR? Isn’t that set of initials a dead give away. The stuff he has been quoting sounds as if it’s culled from Key’s newsletter that I might look at if he has funny icons through it and underneath.

            • Ad

              The interesting question into 2014 for Cunliffe’s team is what angles they will have to attack National on either in economic management (if the economy keeps stuttering upwards even with 7% uinemployed) or in fiscal management (if they ever get to break even on the public accounts).

              If I were briefing Cunliffe it would be simply remainind people of the Clark years: massive term-on-term sustained economic boom, running huge government surpluses to be spent on curing social ills (until the last year alone).

              Whereas the Nats, well, pick any Nat term in the last 40 years: can’t get either economic growth or prudent fiscal management in any term you can name.

            • RedBaronCV

              And now Johnnie can give back the $500,000 he has trousered out of the tax cuts and demand his mates do the same. That will help pay back the debt the Nacts have mismanaged us into.

    • Tracey 16.3

      great, soon we can use the 75m surplus to paydown the 79bn they have run up by the time we are in surplus.

      This is like saying

      “look, I have $5 in my bank account, havent I done well.” when your mortgage is $1.2m

  14. Bill Drees 17

    Is John Tamihere as toxic a brand in Auckland as Mallard is in Wellington?

    “I annoyed people in the beltway of the Labour Party – the rainbows, the women that don’t shave their legs and a few others”.

    “A few others” is an understatement, it includes anyone with hair and anyone who shaves hair.

    With Shearer gone this gutless blokey posturing is gone too.

  15. Paul 18

    So you think that losing $4.4 billion in a year is good and blowing out the government debt to $70 billion is an example you would give of fine financial management.
    Talk about an ideological and doctrinaire approach!

    • Tracey 18.1

      it is, because Puck doesnt think for himself, he relies on Blinglish’s spin of facts. he finds life is easier and he can walk around with a smile on his face, even if it is a bit Gomer pyle.

  16. Draco T Bastard 19

    Been reading this book:

    As Vallas, Kleinman and Biscotti (2009, 66) eloquently summarize: …the knowledge economy did not spontaneously emerge from the bottom up, but was prompted by a top-down stealth industrial policy; government and industry leaders simultaneously advocated government intervention to foster the development of the biotechnology industry and argued hypocritically that government should ‘let the free market work’.

    Mazzucato, Mariana (2013-05-15). The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Myths in Risk and Innovation (Kindle Locations 1603-1607). Anthem Press. Kindle Edition.

    It’s interesting how she manages to shoot down the entire myth of the innovation of the free market in almost all aspects. The simple reality is that capitalists don’t do risk or uncertainty – they do sure things. The reality is that it’s the governments of the world that fund and support the risky stuff of innovation – the private sector comes in after and takes all the laurels and profit for itself without doing any of the real work.

    • TheContrarian 19.1

      “The simple reality is that capitalists don’t do risk or uncertainty – they do sure things.”

      What bullshit. The entire market is a fucking gamble and you have said so yourself.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 19.1.1

        @ The Contrarian,

        The entire market is a fucking gamble and you have said so yourself.

        Not when there are bailouts. The market becomes a very sure thing for those considered too big to fail.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.2

        The market would be a gamble if the government didn’t backstop it for their selected heroes. Underlying the entire neo-liberal era are policies that reward the rich for being rich and ensure that if anything does happen that might endanger those riches then protections are in place to prevent that loss.

        Besides, I live and learn. Something that economists and RWNJs don’t seem capable of.

  17. karol 20

    Oh. This is scary stuff. Research in brain manipulation being explored by/for military and security interests.

    Different forms of neurostimulation in humans have now been shown to boost our ability to learn and perform motor actions, to pay attention to events in the environment, to recall information in memory, and to exercise self-control. At the same time, evidence is mounting for more complex effects on cognition. For instance, stimulation of the human prefrontal cortex can enhance or inhibit our tendency to lie, improve our ability to lie successfully, and can encourage us to comply with social norms that carry a punishment for disobedience.
    except that it doesn’t tell the whole story because anything that can boost or rehabilitate human abilities could also be exploited for military or security purposes, as well as by questionable private enterprises. Predictably, some of the major innovations in brain stimulation research are being funded by the US military.

    So far the applications of brain stimulation proposed by the military are far-fetched, but what happens when the science catches up with their ambitions? What army wouldn’t take advantage of a method that could make soldiers more alert, faster to react, faster to learn, less likely to binge-drink off duty, and more compliant with authority? What intelligence agency wouldn’t embrace a technology that could help their operatives become better liars, or which limits the ability of prisoners to lie under interrogation?

    Could it be used to stop politicians from lying?

    The brain is miraculous, and such research could be used to help people with disabilities or brain damage.

    Make people more compliant with authority? Worrying.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Want scary?

      Was reading an article a few weeks back where they’d managed to alter the memories of a mouse.

      • karol 20.1.1

        That is scary. Science fiction often goes there first. Replicant or human?

        • joe90

          Well – you did ask.

          MIT scientist John Romanishin has done what some said couldn’t be done: He has created a mini-cube robot that has no external moving parts yet can move, climb, leap, and — most importantly — work together with its fellows to create larger shapes.


        • NickS

          Yoink: http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

          Check the notes section. Also in that particular ‘verse the military have long had a means of turning off empathy and other “problematic” bits of the human mind, to create the perfect solider, aka zombies.

          But yeah, everything you are is mostly in your head and it turns out organic minds are prone to being hackable via all sorts of stuff. From diet to drugs, to strong magnetic fields, to pathogens and parasites that alter behaviour in very specific ways. Even altering social systems can shift a persons behaviour (see Rule 34, by Charles Stross). So it should come as no surprise that the military will take these things and see if they cannot craft a “better” solider, even if that means creating monsters…

    • greywarbler 20.2

      The pilots in WW2 or a bit after, probably in one of those other little wars you know, last century, were given LSD because it enabled them to keep going longer so they could fly longer distances and return apparently safely. Don’t know whether they lived to a happy old age, but does any sentient being since we got civilised?

  18. FYI

    Is Rodney Councillor Penny Webster’s company’s contract with CCO Watercare a ‘conflict of interest’?

    Does the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968 URGENTLY need updating?



    8 October 2013

    Is Rodney Councillor Penny Webster’s company’s contract with Auckland Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) Watercare a ‘conflict of interest’?

    Should Rodney Councillor Penny Webster be disqualified from standing again, under the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968, because she and her husband have entered into transactions with the Auckland Council Group, totalling $32,189 during 2012, for services provided by their jointly-owned private company, All Rural Fencing Limited ?

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/reports/annual_report/Documents/annualreport20122013volume3.pdf (Pg 80 ) ]


    All Rural Fencing Limited (NZ Companies Office)


    The relevant LAW is the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968:


    Disqualifying contracts between local authorities and their members

    (1) Except as provided in subsection (3), no person shall be capable of being elected as or appointed to be or of being a member of a local authority or of any committee of a local authority, if the total of all payments made or to be made by or on behalf of the local authority in respect of all contracts made by it in which that person is concerned or interested exceeds $25,000 in any financial year.

    I made an inquiry to the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) – who have the sole responsibility for administering the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968.

    This is the reply from OAG Senior Solicitor Belinda Rynhart:

    “The prohibition on contracting between local authorities and their members (section 3 of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968) does not apply to contracts with council-controlled organisations. ”

    Belinda Rynhart
    Date: Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Dear Penny

    I am writing in response to your phone query to us on Friday 4 October. You are concerned about Auckland Council councillor Penny Webster’s husband providing services to the Auckland Council.

    This issue was first raised with us at the beginning of the election period. Our preliminary inquiries revealed that in the financial year 2012-2013 All Rural Fencing Limited (Penny’s husband’s company) did not contract with Auckland Council.

    All Rural Fencing did however contract to deliver services to one of the Council’s subsidiaries -Watercare Services Limited.

    The prohibition on contracting between local authorities and their members (section 3 of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968) does not apply to contracts with council-controlled organisations.

    This means that All Rural Fencing’s contracts with Watercare Services do not cause Penny Webster to be disqualified from being a member of the Council. She did not need to seek the approval of the Auditor-General to be interested in the contracts, and no breach of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests’) Act has occurred.

    Yours sincerely

    Belinda Rynhart

    Senior Solicitor

    Office of the Auditor-General Te Mana Arotake

    100 Molesworth Street, Thorndon

    PO Box 3928, Wellington 6140


    In my considered opinion, it is absolutely unacceptable for elected members (or their families) to contract for any form of Council services, whether provided directly by Council, or ‘indirectly’ by Council-Controlled-Organisations (CCOs).

    As an ‘anti-corruption /anti-privatisation’ Public Watchdog, I am ‘blowing the whistle’ long and hard on this issue, in order to help achieve a very long-overdue law change to this very outdated piece of legislation.

    The Auckland Council ‘Code of Conduct’ states:

    “5.3. Public Interest

    Members have a duty to make decisions in the public interest. They must not act in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their families, friends or business interests. “


    OAG Senior Solicitor Belinda Rynhart told me that the OAG agreed that the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968, was out-of-date, but getting a law change was the responsibility of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).

    Given that the OAG, not the DIA has administrative responsibility for the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968, I have sent the following ‘Open Letter / OIA request to the CEO of the DIA:

    MAYORAL CAMPAIGN 2013 OPEN LETTER TO THE CEO OF THE DIA re OAG requested law changes to the Local Authorities Members Interests Act 1968

    What is the public ’perception’, when an Auckland Councillor, Penny Webster (former Chair of the Auckland Council Strategy and Finance Committee), calls on citizens and ratepayers to provide a free service by mowing Auckland Council-owned grass berms, while she and her husband get paid for services provided by their privately-owned company – All Rural Fencing Services Ltd?


    “Rodney councillor Penny Webster says that at a time when household budgets are tight, the council cannot afford the $12 million to $15 million cost of mowing berms for the whole region.

    “It’s not fair that one area gets berm mowing, while other areas mow their own,” said Mrs Webster, a former Act MP. “The council had to make things even without increasing rates even more.”

    She was disappointed with local body election candidates from the AucklandCity area who were complaining about something the rest of the region did without fuss.

    The council voted to save $3 million by not cutting grass berms in the old AucklandCity area from July.

    Waitemata councillor Mike Lee said Mrs Webster’s comments were “exactly the outer suburban small-mindedness and parochialism” he had to deal with in his days at the Auckland Regional Council, and which the Super City was meant to stop. ….. ..”


    How is this not blinding hypocrisy from Rodney Councillor Penny Webster?

    In my considered opinion, as an ‘anti-corruption’ Public Watchdog, Rodney Councillor Penny Webster is NOT ‘fit for duty’, and if I were a Rodney voter, I most certainly would not be voting for her.

    I look forward to the turning of this ’bad thing into a good thing,’ and the ensuing public ‘fuss’, over this Rodney Councillor Penny Webster ‘conflict of interest’, helping to achieve a prompt updating of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968.

    Penny Bright

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

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  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
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  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
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