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Summer service: open mike 03-04/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 3rd, 2012 - 153 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix… Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Step right up to the mike…

153 comments on “Summer service: open mike 03-04/01/2012 ”

  1. dv 1

    Editorial: Crown should pay its own tea tape bill


    The Government’s vindictiveness in this matter beggars belief.

    Has LPent or another standard writer taken up writing the herald editorials?

    • weka 1.1

      So if the Crown decide to not prosecute Ambrose, can the tapes then be published? Or can he go back to the courts for a declaratory judgement? I wonder if the costs aren’t vindictive so much as pre-emptive (if they go hard enough, no-one will dare publish).

      I’m also unclear how much separation there is between the Crown and the government. Presumably Crown Law are independent of the National government. Is the Herald saying that they are being politically influenced?

      • Anne 1.1.1

        I’m also unclear how much separation there is between the Crown and the government. Presumably Crown Law are independent of the National government. Is the Herald saying that they are being politically influenced?

        jackal’s comment on Summer Service Open Mike -27th Dec.,

        Now, the Attorney-General has filed a memorandum in the High Court at Auckland seeking $13,669.45 in costs from Ambrose. Those costs include $3760 for hearing preparation costs and counsel fees; $5076 for general costs including researching and filing; $1377.70 for air travel and $278.52 for taxis.

        This is how they close people down… by imposing unreasonable costs.

        So, the answer surely is… no, they are not independent (not at present anyway) and they are being politically influenced.

      • Jackal 1.1.2

        Correct me if I’m wrong weka, but as far as I’m aware Ambrose is not being prosecuted for anything.

        He’s already gone to the high court for a judgement on whether the taping was private or not, and is vowing to fight the unjustified costs associated with the case.

        The case is still in Winkelmann limbo while Police undertake an extended investigation into the matter on behalf of John Key.

        Here’s today’s Otago Daily Times editorial on the teapot tape debacle:

        When Mr Key and the National Party sought police action over the matter, which included “visiting” the offices of various media, and possible charges against Mr Ambrose, it was not surprising that some perceived this as an ill-tempered response to a “stunt” that had blown up in National’s own face.

        Now, following Mr Ambrose’s seeking of the declaration in the High Court as to the privacy or not of the recording, the Attorney-general has announced his intention to seek costs of almost $14,000 against the cameraman.

        One political commentator has already labelled this as “incredibly dangerous” and “political vindictiveness”.


        Mr Peters alleges that the National Party, “acting for political purposes”, is now using taxpayer resources to take on a private citizen which, he says, is not only an abuse of power, but illegal.

        I tend to agree with Winston there… National getting the Police to act like henchmen and obviously influencing the justice system to put pressure on a justified dissident is more suited to a banana republic than a democracy.

        • weka

          “Correct me if I’m wrong weka, but as far as I’m aware Ambrose is not being prosecuted for anything.”

          Has Crown Law said whether it will or won’t prosecute Ambrose? I thought the whole point was that the police were investigating and then a decision would be made on whether charges would be laid.

          Crown Law may have its own reasons for seeking costs, we don’t know for certain that that has come from the Nats. I’m just curious how that all works, and would like to hear from someone in the know.

          • Colonial Viper

            What, you think that Crown Law can decide to investigate you, effectively freeze your career, and eventually decide that there is no case for you to answer but still seek costs from you?

            Wow that sounds really fair and even handed.

            • weka

              No, I don’t think that (where did you get that from my posts?). I think what they are doing is complete crap. I’m just hoping that someone that understands how this normally works will explain, esp the relationship between the govt and the Crown Law Office.

          • Rosie

            The parties to the proceeding were Ambrose and the AG (although a couple of news outlets joined in). The Crown Proceedings Act says that the AG is represented by the Crown Law Office. Any party who is successful in litigation is prima facie entited to costs, whether they’re a private citizen, a company, an incorporated society, a politician or the government – doesn’t matter. Having said that an award of costs is at the court’s discretion. While the general rule is that the successful party will ordinarily be entitled to costs, it is in fact possible, depending on the circumstances, for the losing party to be awarded costs. This is rather unusual of course but the possibility this can happen is important conceptually. Now, if we assume the AG was effectively “successful”, if you can in this case call it that, the starting point is that he’s entitled to costs. However, it needs to be remembered that the proceeding was under the Declaratory Judgments Act. He wasn’t really wanting anything from the AG, rather than the court’s guidance on a legal question. Sure, he wanted it because of the potential criminal charges could be laid, but he wasn’t wanting, for example, some wrong he believed the AG was responsible for to be fixed. It could even be said that everyone would benefit from from the court’s opinion in a case like this, and may well be a reason to say costs should sit with the AG (i.e. the Crown). At the very least it wouldn’t be unfair for the court to say each party is responsible for their own costs because of the public interest aspect of having the matter considered, but also because the court didn’t in fact reach a result one way or the other, deciding instead that resolving the substantive issue has the potential in this case to usurp the criminal justice process (although this was in fact argued by Crown counsel). The point remains, however, which is that Crown Law’s involvement was to assist the court in a case that involved its declaratory function, not to defend against a claim a private citizen has made against the AG. The two should be regarded as very different, particularly in relation to costs (not to mention, of course, that regardless of all this, almost $14k for a case like this is absolutely and ridiculously excessive, anyway).

          • Frida

            Crown Law wouldn’t make a decision off its own bat to seek costs without the instructions of the Attorney. It’s like any other solicitor – client relationship. Crown Law would make a recommendation but at the end of the day it’s the Attorney’s decision.

            However the real question, as I’ve been saying repeatedly since this all blew up, is why the Solicitor-general took such an active role in the proceedings, effectively advocating the PM’s position, instead of just making a few neutral points to the Court about the impact of declaratory relief on a criminal investigation and then simply abiding the Court’s decision.

            IMO he crossed the line in the position he took and John Key should have had his own lawyers, not Government lawyers. This was an electoral dispute involving the leader of the National Party, not a constitutional dispute involving the Prime Minister

            • Rosie

              Yes, the AG is ultimately responsible for calling the shots, but in reality it’s Crown Law that leads the way. Government departments Crown Law represents simply treat Crown Law’s opinion as gospel and follow what they say like sheep.

              The SG was representing the AG as the head of the Crown Law Office. Key had separate counsel and didn’t in fact take too much of an active role at all, simply agreeing to abide by the court’s decision. Banks chose not to participate at all.

              So it wasn’t the SG that took such an “active role”, it was in fact the AG, but having said that I think the AG is entitled to (and in fact has a duty to) assist the court to deal with the issue before it. Sure, it said that considering the legality of the recording could hinder a criminal prosecution, but that was its view so that’s what it said. I don’t think you can glean from the decision that the AG “argued vigourously” one way or the other – I think the AG simply put his view, through the SG as counsel, of his position (which I think in this case was the right position). Even if he did “argue vigourously” this doesn’t change the declaratory nature of the proceeding, therefore how costs ought to be approached which is the real issue we’re discussing here.

              Accepting this to be the case (i.e. that the proceeding was in fact about seeking the court’s guidance on a matter of public interest all parties, including the public generally, could benefit from) I think then you are right to say that the usual counsel – client costs rules shouldn’t apply. This is the nub of the issue, and is likely to be the basis of any appeal Ambrose will make. The nature of the proceeding, including the very fact that it was under the Declaratory Judgments Act, should help him in this regard. What will be interesting is how the AG will respond. When defending a costs order he’s not necessarily expected or obliged to simply abide by the court’s decision. Defending it will necessarily mean he’ll be trying to say that he was the “successful litigant”. If he goes down this road I think we’ll find that in a proceeding such as this he’ll be wrong.

    • deuto 1.2

      On 1 January, the Herald also carried an item, which I had missed, on the police investigation. It appears that most of the investigation to date has been carried out in Wellington and the case has only recently been passed to Auckland. Apparently Ambrose is to be “invited” to an interview; but they are interviewing others first, many of whom are away at present. I would have thought that Ambrose would be one of the first to be interviewed, but the processes of the police in such investigations is sometimes something of a mystery……


      • Anne 1.2.1

        And who are the “others” the police are interviewing first? John Banks? Key’s DPS officers? Nat. staff and campaign officials? In other words, all those under the influence of the govt?

        • deuto

          Presumably – and why has it taken so long?

          • McFlock

            Probably because either way it goes, it’s a political shit-bomb for everyone from the investigators up to the PM. If there’s enough evidence to press charges, it’s going to prolong the entire debacle and raise allegations of political tampering. But if they don’t press charges it’s going to make Key look pathetic – and he’s shown himself to be enough of a jerk to ensure the shit-flood will hit the investigators.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    UK police pressuring media outlets to hand over journalist footage and recordings

    Police, politicians and protestors could start targetting media, targetting cameramen.

    Sound familiar?

  3. Jackal 3

    Karl du Fresne idiot

    In an opinion piece in today’s online edition of The Dominion Post, Karl du Fresne has a little rant about whether National has a mandate to partially sell New Zealand’s state-owned assets.

    • KJT 3.1

      Copy of my letter on the Herald Article.

      To the editor.

      When they attacked beneficiaries, you remained silent.
      When they attacked the low waged you joined in because you were on a high wage.
      When they attacked those who were out of work, You helped.
      When they decided to sell our assets to their mates You went along.
      When they decided to legalise illegal search and surveillance, You ignored it.
      When they kept economic data quiet until after the election you did not ask for it.
      When they came up with failed policies of austerity and meanness you did not analyse what they were doing elsewhere..
      When they lied about their plans for New Zealand, You supported them.

      This is the Government, YOU, with your abandonment of journalism caused to be elected.

      Toughen up!

      Like the rest of us will have to.

  4. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10776370

    Food safety reforms attacked as ‘scary’
    By Derek Cheng
    5:30 AM Tuesday Jan 3, 2012

    Food Bill gives inspectors sweeping powers while small traders fear compliance costs. Photo / Supplied

    A bill bringing sweeping reform to food safety standards is being criticised for giving food safety officers excessive power and threatening the viability of small-scale food sellers and backyard community food swaps.

    The bill, which is almost certain to become law with the support of most political parties, would replace 30-year-old legislation, which falls short of properly protecting consumers, and create a new framework for food safety.

    But small operators fear that new compliance costs could push them under, while others have concerns about the bill’s effects on community food swaps and growers who sell small amounts to retailers.

    An online petition, which says the bill impedes the basic right to share food, has gathered almost 24,000 signatures….”


    Petition signatures Oppose the New Zealand Government Food Bill 160-2 – Petition Online – New Zealand

    Happy New Year!

    Penny Bright

    • uke 4.1

      Here is some more detailed criticism of the bill according to an email I received:

      “Main problems with Food Bill 160-2 :

      1. Home & small growers who grow small amounts of food and sell locally NEED to be exempt – they are not.
      2. Seeds for cultivation and food seedlings NEED TO NOT BE within the definition ‘food’ under the Bill. (This is huge – imagine you not being able to produce seed and give away!!). This sounds crazy but seeds will be ‘explicitly controlled substances’ (like drugs) – seriously. Why? Not sci-fi – in time whoever controls the food chain protects their own interests.
      3. Under the Food Bill, Police acting as Food Safety Officers can raid premises without a warrant, using all equipment they deem necessary – including guns (Clause 265 –1) (What is the precedent for this? Why is this necessary?)
      4. Members of the private sector can also be Food Safety Officers, as at Clause 243. Eg. Monsanto employees can raid premises – including marae – backed up by armed police. (This has never happened before or needed to happen).
      5. AND Food Safety Officers have immunity from criminal and civil prosecution. What is the precedent for this?

      And what is different about this legislation as it comes under an international rule called ‘Codex’ or ‘’Codex Alimentarius’. If we go along with Codex NZ then CAN’T CHANGE the legislation in future. This is what is really apalling about this. It is not Common Law, it is Napoleonic Code. It hasn’t happened before with food and is a quiet part of Codex that most people don’t realise. We would actually have to get out of the W.H.O. to change this legislation if we didn’t like it – which is just not a thing governments do. We would be stuck.”

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        “If we go along with Codex NZ then CAN’T CHANGE the legislation in future.”

        The NZ parliament is sovereign. It is not within the NZ parliament’s power to limit the power of parliament.

        Now, it might be politically difficult to pull out of or change international agreements (I have no idea what this codex thing is), but it’s not impossible as you imply.

        • uke

          True. Not impossible. But with many negative consequences regarding our international trade relationships (especially around agricultural products) that make it very unlikely to be ever overturned.
          “Codex Alimentarius” does exist. See the link in Penny Bright’s post nearer the bottom of this page or the brief dicussion (pro and con) and links on the Wikipedia entry.

  5. Disilusioned Labour Voter 5

    Perhaps now would be a good time on the eve of the first business day of the new year to deregister the wharf rat union and reopen the POAL.
    I’m sure we could get backing for this from all the families of trucking operators, store-men, shop owners, and other groups that will have enjoyed a lean Xmas while a bunch of stand over merchants hold the city to ramsom.
    This dispute has nothing to do with wages, terms or condition but is all about keeping power in the hands of a chosen few.
    Let the shrieking begin.

    [Kindly pick one name and stick with it, rather than creating a new one every time you comment. Thanks. –r0b]

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      You spelt “Disiliusioned” (sic) wrong.

    • millsy 5.2

      If the living standards and wages of the POA workers are cut, as you want them to be, you fucking class traitor, then the living standards of other workers will be cut as well. Plain and simple.

      We dont begrudge the huge salaries of doctors and lawyers, why do you begrudge the unionised workers of POA their wages and conditions?

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Paycuts for the top 1% in the private sector first I reckon. That is, those on over $150K pa.

        Strangely enough, those are the people the Right Wing always claim “deserve” their excessive pay, and “work hard” to “earn” it.

        In fact the way you introduce a mandatory pay cut is to increase the tax rate on all those earning over $250K pa to the old 60% rate, while dropping income tax on the first $10K pa of income earned.

        • Fotran

          Why only the Private sector why not also the many Public servants in those payscales – there appear to be many of them, in Government and Local Government jobs ?

          • Colonial Viper

            OK them too, you convinced me.

          • Ari

            Sure, we can go for them, but after we address the fact that people live off interest from their family’s wealth without having to work. That needs to end.

        • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

          Absolutely, what a great start, most are paid way more than their nett worth, politicians would surely fit in this group as well, in fact most would owe the taxpayer money if they were paid on the contribution they make.
          Look closely at this dispute you may just find it revolves round something other than pay and conditions.

          • millsy

            Piss off traitor.

            Why dont you just admit that you want to slash the wages and conditions of the wharfies, and then move on to the rest of the workers who you reckon get too much money.

            I bet your a redneck troglodyte knuckle dragging tradie.

            • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

              No son, I’m a paid up fully fledged union member, I just hate seeing working men being used as toilet paper by scumbags with an agenda.
              If you took these blokes away from the shitbag “leaders” most would be quite happy to return to work, they can actually see far enough into the future to work out that if they keep up what they are doing there may not be jobs to go back to.

              • millsy

                If youre a union member, when they do you want to get rid of MUNZ, surely you should stand with them? Why do you want to see a union get destroyed? Because god forbid that people on the wharves get a decent pay cheque, and decent working conditions. If MUNZ goes, it will be your union tomorrow.


                I bet you are one of those Waitakere Men who voted National so it can kick people who you should be sticking up for.

                Why dont you cancel your union membership, because you are just a right wing traitor.

                • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

                  It’s not the MUNZ members that are the problem, dunderhead it’s some of the people running it, no one wants to see a union destroyed, but sometimes killing the host is the only way to get rid of the disease.
                  Ask the wharfies families how they feel?
                  As I said before I don’t begrudge anyone their terms and conditions.

                  • millsy

                    Im sorry, but if POA gets sold off to the Chinese, and the labour is contracted out to someone like AWF where the workers get paid $13 per hour, and have to sit by the phone waiting for the call to come into work, it will be because of people like you who bitch and whine about union bosses and didnt stand up when your fellow workers needed you.

                    Too busy going on about how wonderful John Key is to your tradie mates at your BBQ

            • Fotran

              Fonterra have just cancelled an POA contract going to Tauranga and Napier.
              Len – what the hell are you doing ?

      • Disiliusioned Labour Voter 5.2.2

        You must be able to see something I can’t, no where did I advocate cutting anybody’s terms, conditions, or even lunch.
        Just kick out the vermin and get back to work.
        BTW it seems to be you that has a problem with what others earn, I’m sure the public health system ( that I help pay for) can organise some specialist help for you.

        • millsy

          Well, given that you hate MUNZ so much because god forbid, they want to hold on to what they have when company bosses want to slash wages and conditions across the board and use the recession as an excuse, you could have fooled me.

          • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

            FYI my electorate vote went to Labour, it’s starting to look like when you underwent the brainwash they forgot the final rinse.
            Never in any of the posts have I asked, suggested, or demanded anyone’s wages or conditions be touched, that was your suggestion.
            I would describe myself as closer to centre than left or right, unlike yourself who seems to be flying that hard on the left wing you’re in serious danger of disappearing up your own fundamental orifice.

            • millsy

              You implied it, and thats good enough for me.

              And deregistering MUNZ means pretty much eroding the wages and conditions of the port workers, because it means the collective agreement because null and void, and then PoA and sack all the workers, and bring in labour hire companies to work the port.

              All because the workers wanted a decent wage.

              • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

                Nothing a vote of no confidence in the union executives wouldn’t fix.
                Re-elect union officials that actually have the workers interests as their goals and then return to work, same pay, same conditions, no problem, but a word of caution continue with the current actions you erode any goodwill you thought you may have and you will play straight into the hands of those you seem to despise so much and you will get $13 an hour workers, but the union will have won, and you’ll all be able to sing “We fuckin showed em” as they shut the gates behind you.
                Some of you wooden tops need to learn sometimes the way to bring change is by swimming in the same direction at a different speed, rather than trying to swim frantically in the opposite direction!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fire the Port Execs they are the problem. Bad managers with poor management skills.

                  • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

                    Sorry boys, we are back the start, it’s everybody’s fault but ours.
                    Time to man up and accept the fault may lie on both sides, in the meantime the waged staff get used as toilet paper.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sorry boys, we are back the start, it’s everybody’s fault but ours.

                      Senior management and the CEO get paid the most; therefore they have the most responsibility.

                      Don’t you agree that the major responsibility comes with the major position and the major pay?

                      Basically its time we put worker representatives in as 25% of every Board of Directors.

        • Colonial Viper

          The vermin are the port execs, who clearly are very bad managers and bad communicators, and should be put down to the minimum wage for destroying port productivity.

          • Jackal

            I also blame Cameron Slater… in one post he’s lambasting the workers for carrying on the strike and costing Auckland X amount of dollars:

            Every one of those striking workers, who have cost the economy $300 million in lost business, ground supply chains to a halt, and now cost the Ports of Auckland a $20 million per annum contract from Maersk, earns more than $90,000 per annum.

            …and then in another he’s congratulating himself for ensuring the dispute is not resolved.

            Apparently the latest strike action at the Ports of Auckland is all my fault:

            The Maritime Union says that the Ports of Auckland management has deliberately undermined negotiations by releasing letters to its employees to hostile political activists.

            I wonder how much Slaters continual shit-stirring actually costs society?

            Maersk moving to Tauranga was organized well before the strike action was even contemplated… Slater et al is just trying to demonize people with lies again.

            It’s a pity the Port of Auckland’s Senior management is determined to break the Union instead of coming to the table to discuss the issues. Their ” fuck you, I am right” mentality is disgusting and has ensured the dispute has continued.

            • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

              Ah Todd, yet more wild unsubstantiated accusations against Slater, would it be fair to say that you had an axe to grind with Slater since he handed you your arse in public


              [lprent: nope. I suspect that many here consider that Cameron Slater is a sleaze bag who has a problem distinguishing between fact and his wankfest fantasies. He deliberately misinterprets facts, speculates without logic, and when something doesn’t fit his fantasies he will just assert a lie as being fact. And that is just what he has done about authors here. He is a no-account lying arsehole in my opinion and I have no time either for him or his brown nosing fan club.

              You can piss off permanently. You are evidently a troll who seems less concerned with debate than ranting like this comment. I really can’t be bothered with anyone who is such a fuckwit that they treat Cameron as being a authority on anything.

              Go back to dribbling at the sewer. ]

              • Disiliusioned Labour Voter

                So what we are saying is that if anyone offers any form of opinion that runs counter to the hard line views of some of this sites management that makes me a troll, hmm interesting, so much for free speech.


                [lprent: I couldn’t give a pigs arse about your opinions one way or another. Did you notice that I didn’t even refer to them? I care about your behavior and how you chose to argue.

                I watch all active newcomer commentators for behavior. In your eight comments, you didn’t argue particularly, you just made assertions. You referred constantly to misinformation from sites with dubious provenance – usually without providing links. When challenged you ignored it. When pushed, you attacked the person with a even more dubious source and didn’t even state what your opinion was.

                In short you weren’t arguing your thought out opinions. You seem to be arguing someone else’s positions. Those you did not understand well enough to actually argue. Mouthing formulas without understanding brings nothing to the debate for any side.

                You are a troll and currently unfit to comment here. You’d poison the debate amongst people both left, right, and everywhere else because you are inadequete at arguing a position.

                You have free speech. Comment at any blog that you are tolerated at. However this site is both private and quite selective about who it won’t tolerate commenting here. There are quite a few on the right who do, as well as people of alternative opinions from all other angles (IMHO including at times most of the authors) – most of whom I disagree with.

                And yeah, I am hard line. I really dislike stupid blog behaviors. Blowhards mouthing words that they don’t really understand, pointlessly disrupting discussions with comments that have no origional thought in them, and abusing anyone who challenges them on it are really really high on my termination lists. It makes the comments section noisy and with limited value.

                If you don’t like being banned and want to pretend to get upset then I just do not care. Go an cry at the sewer or wherever. We put in the effort to run the site. You do not. We care about the site. It is quite clear that you do not.

                Perhaps being banned here will encourage you to not be such a dumb lazy idiot and actually learn to argue what you think at other sites. Listening to others cutting holes in your own arguments, responding to them, and adapting the argument rather than quoting Cameron Slater (almost a parody of a typical troll) would certainly help. ]

              • Jackal

                Handed you your arse in public? This is a political blog… the fantasy section is over there.

                • Maersk moving to Tauranga was organized well before the strike action was even contemplated…

                  …the Port of Auckland’s Senior management is determined to break the Union…

                  Can you substantiate these assertions?

                  Their ” fuck you, I am right” mentality is disgusting and has ensured the dispute has continued.

                  Both parties could be accused of this.

                  • Jackal

                    Follow the link above Pete George. There is ample evidence that shows a decision for Maersk to move to Tauranga could have been made way back in October 2006.

                    In August 2006, the Bay of Plenty times reported:

                    The Port of Tauranga has put a strong case to become the North Island’s main port as the world’s largest container shipping company chooses its international hub.

                    Maersk, the secretive Danish shipping giant, is less than two months away from choosing between Tauranga and Auckland.

                    Port of Tauranga chairman Mark Cairns today said the port had worked hard to put the strongest possible case to Maersk, which ships nearly 20 per cent of the port’s cargoes.

                    The position taken by the senior management is an observations from what has occurred. Please refer to the various recent media releases, the latest of which was last nights TV3 news that although the Union had continued to make offers to negotiate a settlement over the Xmas new years break, they were all ignored by the Ports of Auckland’s senior management.

                    If the Auckland Council and Ports senior management want to jump up and down about them losing business… they only have themselves to blame. If they want to resolve the dispute, they should come to the table… not ignore the Union representatives. With so much at stake, you would think we would be seeing some grown-up decisions being made.

                    • a decision for Maersk to move to Tauranga could have been made way back in October 2006.

                      They could have made a decision over many years – the fact is they made it in 2011, not 2006. That doesn’t mean it was ‘organized any time’. It’s common for businesses to keep reassessing, and to make decisions based on the circumstances at the time.

                      If this dispute hadn’t happened, if management and the union had demonstrated more common sense and cooperation, then Maersk may not have made the decision – but you or I can only guess about that.

                      If the Auckland Council and Ports senior management want to jump up and down about them losing business… they only have themselves to blame.

                      The union and workers have no responsibility? Both management and workers will lose if the port prices itself out of the market.

                      With so much at stake, you would think we would be seeing some grown-up decisions being made.

                      Yes, by both sides.

                  • KJT

                    I heard it in Tauranga months before the strike was even on the horizon.
                    Tauranga port staff already knew they were getting more Mearsk ships.

                    And the POAL plan is to break the Union so they can eventually use casuals at minimum wage. Worker for hire companies which are only able to exist because tax payer benefits allow their workers to survive.
                    The first part of the wedge is to make the hours so onerous that present staff leave.

                    Which ports already do for lashing gangs. (including Auckland. Lots of half trained Islanders) Requiring extra supervision from already overworked ships crews. Hence the recent problems with inadequately lashed containers.

  6. Fotran 6

    It is expected that Winston will read out an “accidentally received” transcript of the Ambrose “accidental” tape under Parliamentary Privilege when Parliament returns in February.
    Should be fun, or boring as old hat.

    • Anne 6.1

      From what is already in the public arena, the problem is not so much what Key said in the tapes that is so damaging, but the way he said it. It sounds like he was extremely disparaging of the public (eg. I’m playing the public like a guitar) – the very people he knew would vote for him.

      Prior to the election it was imperative that the transcript was blocked from publication, hence the police complaint. Now the election is over, it’s a case of putting legal obstacles in the path in order to delay the publishing of the tape for as long as possible. The longer it takes – be it Winston revealing the contents in the House or whatever – the greater the chance the very people Key besmirched will have lost interest.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        The longer it takes – be it Winston revealing the contents in the House or whatever – the greater the chance the very people Key besmirched will have lost interest.

        National won this election by the skin of their teeth.

        Another 2% less by the NATs and another 1% by Labour + another 1% by Greens and Key would be permanently off to Hawaii.

        Which means that National cannot afford to have this recording come out before they replace John Key as PM by Joyce, Parata or Bennett.

        • Ari

          That or one of their minnows losing their seats.

          • Armchair Critic

            A bye-election in the middle of this year in either Auckland Central, Christchurch Central or Waitakere would be very interesting – pigeons, meet cat…

        • David H

          As i said once before, if Key pushes off permanently off to Hawaii, then the rest of the Nat front bench have about as much appeal as a Root Canal without Anesthetic.

      • deuto 6.1.2

        If anyone is interested, Andrew Geddis and Graeme Edgeler are having an interesting discussion on Pundit on the legalities and possible consequences of the media (including Parliament TV live broadcast) publishing any such disclosure of the contents of the recording under parliamentary privilege. A real can of (legal) worms it would appear….


  7. Anne 7

    Well, we can rule out Parata and Bennett – surely. I know you’re good for a joke CV 😉

    Stephen Joyce. How glad I am then that David Cunliffe ended up his opposite number in the House. He has a huge task ahead of him and he’s more than up to it. To borrow a Spud phrase…
    Go Cunliffe! 😀 😀 😀

    • Anne 7.1

      Oops CV, I hope you don’t think I’m being critical. I meant I know you can be tongue in cheek sometimes. 🙂

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Heh, no probs 🙂

        Actually my money is on Parata. Sure, as an outside bet, but not an impossible one. National is going to go with someone whom they think can make Shearer look boring, greying and clumsy. A successful, well spoken, intelligent, professionally presented Maori woman who looks younger and more energetic ticks all the boxes. Parata will continue the appeal to women that Key has built up, she will appeal to middle aged and older male voters, she will appeal to the ‘aspirational’ Maori and Pasifika that National has identified. While Shearer talks about helping poor ethnic people in far away war zones, Parata can talk about helping New Zealanders in poverty right here, in her previous role in TPK.

        National campaigning in 2014 would be on the basis of not just having a woman PM for NZ: but a Maori woman Prime Minister. It will be an example to one and all how success in NZ is now open to anyone, if people would only be motivated enough and work harder.

        Parata would be the front person for the camera. And in the background, Darth Joyless will continue to pull the strings and work the neoliberal agenda as Deputy PM. Just as he is now.

        • Anne

          An interesting scenario CV. You could be right but there’s one problem I can foresee. Parata is intelligent and articulate, but I’m not sure she can think quickly enough on her feet. I can see her being tripped up regularly by the opposition parties and that would count against her in the end.

          • Colonial Viper

            but I’m not sure she can think quickly enough on her feet. I can see her being tripped up regularly by the opposition parties

            So, her and Shearer are on a par on this count? 😛

          • Skeptic to the max

            That’s exactly why Parata is ideal- she reminds me of a fully string- pulled marionette  on “Thunderbirds”—- Lady Penelope. Listen to all her interviews on Te Karere, trained and scripted, full of platitudes, vindicating the worst news dished out even on her own people in the sweetest, soothing voice  and that smile………………… the assasin’s prodigy.

            • Anne

              You are spot on Skeptic. There’s nothing about Parata that is genuine. She has what I call a paste-on smile. No warmth in it at all. Witnessed a brief but revealing incident in the debating chamber early last year. Darren Hughes (he’s done his penance, hope he returns to politics) was doing an hilarious hatchet job on Steven Joyce over his uni. qualifications. The entire chamber was in stitches except for one person, Hekia Parata. She couldn’t see the humour, and I watched her have a go at a male colleague sitting behind her for daring to laugh out loud.

              • seeker

                Such an accurate word portrait of Parata imo Skeptic, right down to “assassin’s prodigy”. I had already been calling her female clone of Key.
                Interesting how no1 acolyte of Key, Paula B. and social climbing, power hunter Parata are such good ‘pals’. Wonder how often they spar over their man Johnny?
                What a disappointing, uninspiring, self promoting (at our expense) little bunch they are.

        • Brett

           If any one is going to replace Key it’s going to be Judith Collins .
          She’s tough as nails and people respect that.

          • Frida

            Haha didn’t realize it was April Fools Day yet Brett.

          • pollywog

            ackshully my nails are quite weak ?

            don’t know if its a dietary or genetic thing but i’m glad people have a healthy respect for the state of others tough nails.

            Naturally it needs to be a strong pre requisite for political leadership.

          • Colonial Viper

            They won’t pick Crusher Collins because she will exacerbate the image National have of being tough on the weak and the poor.

            They’ll prefer a ‘gentler’ and relative unknown like Parata.

            • Brett

              Parata is a nobody at the moment, why would people vote  for her?
              Collins on the other hand has done a superb job with the police, people realise that and have a lot of respect for her.
              I am glad she has the Justice portfolio now and bet her first job will be  ridding the courts of all the lefty touchy feely judges and replacing them with much tougher ones.
              Expect her share value to increase immeasurably if she can achieve that.

              • Pascal's bookie

                “I am glad she has the Justice portfolio now and bet her first job will be ridding the courts of all the lefty touchy feely judges and replacing them with much tougher ones.”

                Alabama called bro, it wants its constitutional illiterates back.

              • Colonial Viper

                Parata is a nobody at the moment, why would people vote for her?

                She’ll get in a good 8-12 months as PM at the end of this term, everybody will know her by then.

        • prism

          CV Analysis sounds good. And it would be a step up over Labour that appears/ed to be clinging onto the old guard. Though we won’t know till later this year. And the ability of Paula Bennett to front to media and be so fluent is amazing, people go to speaking groups for years to achieve that, so if she can do that, this group of politicians may be looked to for rising stars for the NACTs.

          • Colonial Viper

            Indeed. Parata being moved up a whopping 13 places and Bennett being moved up 7 places are clear signals to both of them that they are seen to have high potential. And of course the same goes to Darth Joyless who is now no. 4, having moved up a very sizeable (but reasonably predictable) 10 places.

            • logie97

              Enjoying the humour about the Petulant Bean.

              Her “social” portfolio lends itself to the sort of bigotry she has displayed and encouraged amongst those who believe that benefits need to be changed. Easy to articulate public feeling. Repeat the established memes that “we cannot afford them, and they are bad” and people won’t question her – they already believe it.

              However, the woman appears too shallow and lacking in any real intellect to manage portfolios on the international stage. Her knowledge of “finance” and “foreign affairs” just doesn’t register anywhere. MP’s who identify as “Westies” are hardly the stuff of leaders – that’s more the kind of language of a follower.

  8. Well worth a read and share…

    More and more people are realising that the promise of happiness propagated in early industrialised countries can no longer be kept, and for two reasons. Firstly, their material wealth is no longer increasing, and secondly, greater material wealth does not necessarily mean greater satisfaction – not to mention greater happiness.


  9. mouse 9

    If you nothing else these Holiday’s read this… “How resilient are we? A New Zealand immigrant’s perspective”


    This guy’s perspective is pretty ‘Spot On’.

    • pollywog 9.1

      yeah, it’s one thing being the goldfish looking out if you’ve never been the goldfish looking in.

    • deuto 9.2

      Thanks for the link, mouse. I have only skimmed it so far but was so impressed with the clarity of its thought and presentation, I have printed it out for more indepth reading. Often, someone relatively new to a situation is able to see things more clearly and objectively than those who have been immersed in that situation for much longer.

    • Ianupnorth 9.3

      Gotta love this paragraph

      The enormously expensive roading projects currently being pushed will become crumbling monuments to blindness and denial, and will be mostly useless to any sort of vehicle travel as the lack of maintenance sets in. Existing rail lines should be regarded as high priority assets and as many as possible should be electrified and extended (we’ll only get one chance to do this).

      I was chatting to someone yesterday (a Kiwi) who described Kiwis like this

      We all want big houses on big sections, but for years have not wanted to heat them or ventilate them properly – a single log burner in the corner, she’ll be right

      His observation was that technologies exist that really could reduce the countries energy needs (e.g. ground sourced heat pumps), but people don’t want to pay more for things that those in other countries (e.g. the Scandinavians) take for granted.

    • seeker 9.4

      Pretty spot on indeed. Thanks mouse. Read it in one hit, it was so clear and well written. Am onto the ‘contents’ now. Invaluable thinking that I have bookmarked. With perspective like this Phil Stevens should be in Parliament. He has an intelligent,creative and articulate mind, which could help prepare and propel New Zealand into a future. This is in stark contrast to the mindless, blinkered spendthrifts that are now in Government, who seem determined to place New Zealand on the highway to hell and be damned.

  10. Jackal 10

    USA vs Iran

    Iran holds the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, while the US, (the worlds largest consumer) has approximately 1.4% of the worlds oil reserves. With the oil barons still in power, their solution is to promote wars for oil. They can only do this by praying upon people’s fears… and the best way to do that is to demonize those countries that have the resources they covet…

  11. aerobubble 11

    Sorry just a month ago the entire army was out in the snow, and the great leader
    was there, and they were saying how the evil world was out to get them, even
    bomb them right there and then wiping out most of the militrary….

  12. aerobubble 12

    Sorry just a month ago the entire army was out in the snow, and the great leader
    was there, and they were saying how the evil world was out to get them, even
    bomb them right there and then wiping out most of the militrahttp://www.scoopit.co.nz/story.php?title=north-korea-would-be-tough-to-invade
    Sorry just a month ago the entire army was out in the snow, and the great leader
    was there, and they were saying how the evil world was out to get them, even
    bomb them right there and then wiping out most of the militrary….ry….

  13. felix 13

    Oh yay, permanent secret war!

    Happy new year everyone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyJoJUs14bc

    • ropata 13.1

      Fantastic video thanks felix!

      War Nerd 9/13: Ten Years On and A Long Way Down

      It was a strange time. You couldn’t be too loud or too dumb. I know it scared me. Kind of a sci-fi scenario, with everybody around you turned into an insect. I remember talking to a woman in the office where I worked in 2002, smart lady, way richer than me, one spoiled brat of a kid and a scientist husband. She heard I knew something about war stuff but she didn’t like it when I started spluttering at the idea that Saddam could hit Manhattan in 40 minutes with chemical warheads.

      Bush’s support held. That’s when I lost my country, when he was reelected. I used to be an unhappy American nationalist, like a passenger in the back seat wondering how many drinks the driver’s had. But when we invaded Iraq, the car hit a tree—and all the passengers got out and voted to reelect the driver.

      That’s the legacy of 9/11: Two dozen spoiled unemployable dimwits managed to lobotomize my country, bankrupt it, make it such a nasty alien place I didn’t even feel part of it any more. I can’t give Osama much of the credit for that, I just don’t see him as that smart—but you know, he did say his goal was to destroy America. And with a lot of help from all you guys who used to be my fellow Americans, he could die content, because he actually managed it.

    • The Voice of Reason 14.1

      Yep, Chris, just goes to show that our business leaders will always put ideology before common sense. Particularly if the business they are crippling is community owned. The sad aspect of the dispute is that the owners (the people of Auckland) have no say over how this management team operates. Even Mayor Len can do nothing to help, because of the separation of management and governance.

      • chris73 14.1.1

        Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson said it was inevitable customers would need to move operations elsewhere with uncertainty caused by the strike action. It recently put its ninth offer to the union which remains on the table.

        Only nine offers…he should be offering more.

        ”Following Fonterra’s decision, I have today advised the union that this is our best and final offer.

        That sounds like a threat, well we know how to deal with threats.

        ”It includes a generous 10 per cent rise on hourly rates, performance bonuses of up to 20 per cent on hourly rates, and the retention of existing benefits and entitlements in return for a new roster system that will provide increased operational flexibility while allowing workers to plan their rosters a month in advance,” Gibson said.

        He thinks he can buy us off with more pay and flexibility, doesn’t he realise theres a principle involved?

        • McFlock

          Two points:
          A) nine offers? They should have a pretty good idea of what’s realistic before then. So basically, the bosses think they can save more money through long term “roster flexibility” than they’ll lose in short term customers and strike/lockout closures.
          B) “Flexibility”, when used by employers, is often at the expense of “job security, reliable hours, and employee choice”. 
          So, taking A and B together, PoA management are looking to save money long term by reducing work hours, and they still haven’t hit their economic cost/benefit break even point after extended industrial action and losing two major customers.

          • chris73

            I agree, I think this last offer should be rejected. Once the port loses more business maybe then they’ll treat the unions with the respect they deserve.

            • McFlock

              this last offer should be rejected if it doesn’t meet the minimum demands of the workers affected by the collective agreement. Once the port loses more business maybe then they’ll treat the unions workforce with the respect they deserve.

              Fixed it for you.


              • chris73

                Absolutely, whatever the union workforce are getting its not enough, even a 10% increase is an insult.

                Lets hope the union stands firm.

                • McFlock

                  If the new roster “flexibility” means a 10 or 15% possible reduction in hours for some members (and roster-wise this is usually at the whim of the employer and punitive action against individuals is hard to prove), then yeah – a10% pay “increase” is bullshit, because it’s an overall break even or reduction of current remuneration.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Given that CEOs routinely get 15%-20% pay increases, 10% is an insult. Unless you believe in one rule for executives and another rule for workers.

                  • chris73

                    Yes I do, I’m a worker and I can tell you that though my job is important its not anywhere close to being as important as my bosses

                    • McFlock

                      Um, Chris – is your job becoming exponentially less important than your boss’ every year? Because that’s essentially what you’re suggesting when you confuse differences in rate increases with differences in absolute dollar increases.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Um, Chris – is your job becoming exponentially less important than your boss’ every year?

                      LOL. It may very well be by the sounds of it. I love how chris73 kowtows to his betters.

                      So chris73, all these excellent highly paid senior execs at the Port of Auckland. They strike me as being incompetent, actually, unable to serve or keep their key clients.

                      Tell you what, fire these CxO types, and let a worker-cooperative manage the port for itself. You dont need any wanker $500K pa CEO in charge at the port. Just have a worker council and a port leader elected in by his peers as CEO for say a 2 year term.

                      Set the port leader’s pay at a reasonable 1.5x what his average work mate gets (so $90K x 1.5 = $135K pa say) and the port will run smooth and as efficiently as silk.

                      Because management and workers will work together hand in hand, because management ARE the workers.

            • Colonial Viper

              Clearly chris73 the port executive management must be fired for incompetence and inability to manage not only clients, but their own operations.

              The workers should be put in charge of running the port as they have the most skills and the most to lose from shipping contracts going elswhere.

              To assist the long term governance aspects of the port to become more efficient, worker representation should be put on the Board of Directors. 25% of the votes should be sufficient to ensure that the other Board members learn a bit about port operations.

              • chris73

                Thats one idea, another idea would be to fire everyone and rehire only non-union workers (on their old contracts) and get the port back to working

                • Colonial Viper

                  You need clients to have a working port. Since the current management is incompetent and it can’t keep any clients, current management are the ones who need to be fired. Obvious really.

                • millsy

                  So do you think the POA workers should be on minimum wage and hired through a company like AWF — you know, an expendable workforce?

  14. Links between Codex Alimentarius and the NZ Food Bill:

    Seen this folks?


    (NaturalNews) The God-given human right to freely cultivate food is under attack in New Zealand (NZ) as sp…See More
    NZ food bill to make growing food a government privilege rather than a human right
    NZ food bill to make growing food a government privilege rather than a human right.

    Penny Bright

  15. David H 16

    Why is it that when i press reply the reply box moves my pointer to near the bottom of the page and I have to hunt for it. Also I am not a spambot!

    • lprent 16.1

      What browser? What operating system?

      But usually the best thing is to shut down the browser and restart. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find that fixes it.

    • Vicky32 16.2

      Why is it that when i press reply the reply box moves my pointer to near the bottom of the page and I have to hunt for it. Also I am not a spambot!

      The same thing happens to me! (Mozilla Firefox, I don’t know what iteration, and Windows stinkin’ Vista! 🙂 )

  16. Georgecom 17

    Can someone please explain the following. In the Peter Dunne Party (United Future)

    What does the “Future” bit relate to?

    How does the “United” bit fit in? (Is there the possibility that Dunne is divided against himself?)

    Where does the word “No” fit in the parties name?

    Why is Dunne described as the Party leader. Surely you need followers to be a leader?

    • More party questions:

      How many labourers are in the Labour party?
      Why is no one in the Green party green?
      Is dissing the National party treason?
      What is New Zealand about NZ First?
      What is First about NZ First?
      Since when was mana self attained via labeling?
      What is conservative about bankrolling your own party?
      Should Don Brash win an Oscar for last year’s Act?

      • McFlock 17.1.1


        Answers to pete’s questions:
        How many labourers are in the Labour party?
        Quite a few if you believe the “ooo they’re just a tool of the unions” panic from some tories (would that it were as true as they imagine).
         Why is no one in the Green party green?
        They tend to be, the colour green is just one definition of the word – you should know, given that you love to slide around word definitions.
         Is dissing the National party treason?
        No, because we have freedom of speech.
         What is New Zealand about NZ First?
        All its MPs for a start.
        What is First about NZ First?
        Winston’s suits, and Winston as an orator in the House.
        Since when was mana self attained via labeling?

        It’s not, but it’s a good name for the party.
        What is conservative about bankrolling your own party?
        Oldest trick in the book, back to the tories and whigs.
         Should Don Brash win an Oscar for last year’s Act.
        No. He was shit.

        Answers to George.com:
        What does the “Future” bit relate to?
        A dream someone had 20 years in the past.
        How does the “United” bit fit in? (Is there the possibility that Dunne is divided against himself?)
        Dunne is united with anyone and anything who will give him a cabinet post.
        Where does the word “No” fit in the parties name?
        Slips in between the “United” and the “Future”.
        Why is Dunne described as the Party leader. Surely you need followers to be a leader?
        Each follicle needs to agree to go in the same direction before he will take a position on anything.

        • Pete George

          Quite a few if you believe the “ooo they’re just a tool of the unions”

          How many union officials are labourers?

          you should know, given that you love to slide around word definitions.

          That can be fascinating. Coincidentally my holiday reading inludes a book that discusses definitions and use of language (Mother Tongue, Bryson).

          A quick check of dictionaries suggests 40+ meaings of the word ‘green’, including
          – not fully developed or perfected in growth or condition; unripe; not properly aged:
          – immature in age or judgment; untrained; inexperienced:
          – simple; unsophisticated; gullible; easily fooled.
          – money
          – marked by a pale, sickly, or nauseated appearance

          Dunne is united with anyone and anything who will give him a cabinet post.

          It’s curious that parties standing for parliament but choosing to distance themselves from an involvement with Government (like Greens, Mana, NZ First) is somehow seen as principled, while doing what you can to be a part of what you are elected for is strongly dissed (by those who distance themselves because democracy didn’t deliver what they wanted)..

          • McFlock

            lol. No idea. I know that in my union quite a few “officials” are still practising in the industry that the union represents.
            See what I mean about sliding around word definitions, though?
            And dunne has no principles he is prepared to stand by (other than “how can I get a cabinet salary this time?”), that is why he is dissed.

            • Pete George

              Funny thing is, Dunne’s principles were trusted by Helen Clarke and the last Labour as they are by John Key and National.

              • Colonial Viper

                Dunne wasn’t trusted by Clark. Just as Dunne isn’t trusted by Key.

              • millsy

                Labour only went into an arrangement with UF because the Greens threatened to pull the rug out from under Labour over GE, and I doubt that a PM would want to lose a House majority a year into their term.

                Something I will never forgive the Greens for. It was that stupid act that sent this country drifting rightwards.

                • Vicky32

                  Something I will never forgive the Greens for. It was that stupid act that sent this country drifting rightwards.

                  Seconded! 🙁

          • Colonial Viper

            You already defending Dunne’s voting for the cut price dumping of our strategic state assets as being “principled”?

      • fender 17.1.2

        No dissing National is not treason Pete, but it’s becoming clearer every day that voting National was treason.

        It looks like UF climbing into bed with National and Act will render the one-man UF comedy show UF (Utterly Fucked), now thats a kronic STD.

        Pete you need a new years resolution to join and stand for a real party like Labour or Greens.

        • Colonial Viper

          Please fender don’t send PG our way. That’s just a cruel and unusual suggestion.

          • fender

            Yeah sorry don’t know where that came from, he would need a brain transplant first.

          • Pete George

            OMG, terrible to think of actually encouraging votes to return ‘your way’.

            Carry on with the political self immolation…

            • McFlock

              Greens: 14 seats.
              Labour: 34 seats.
              United Future: 1.
              Looks like you’re the one on fire, pete. You campaigning for Labour would be better for National than ol’ smile&wave.

              • Greens: 0 ministers
                Labour: 0 ministers
                United Future: 1 minister

                That must grate, but success in our democracy can be measured in strange ways.

                • McFlock

                  Nah, because the permanent minister you have doesn’t do anything to help the country or affect the government.
                  Basically, you’re saying that Dunne is living the dream because he spends his days lounging around in the concubines’ quarters. The reason he gets away with it is because he’s a eunuch.
                  Oh, and I note the slippery slide you made from “terrible to think of actually encouraging votes to return ‘your way’” through “United Future: 1[seat]” to wanking about dunne’s cabinet payoff position. In case you didn’t notice, he got that post despite not being able to encourage voters outside his electorate to vote for him. And he can barely manage it inside the electorate.

            • Colonial Viper

              fender was talking about your candidacy, not your vote. Re: political self immolation, who is Mr 0.6% to talk?

              edit – McFlock 🙂

  17. Georgecom 18

    Can someone please shed some light on the following story I heard.

    In its latest, and one of the most challenging, assignments, Ian Wishart “Investigate” magazine was unable to confirm that a booze up had indeed occurred in the pub.


  18. randal 19

    he wuz probably respiring and hyparventilating.
    lurning to reed is veree hard.

  19. Ianupnorth 20

    An observation
    Whilst riding my bike at the weekend I watched the dairy cows being marched for miles to be milked. Now, I ain’t no animal rights person, nor am I a veggie/vegan, but there really is no dignity for those animals, they looked thoroughly miserable, totally exploited and this is the back bone of the country (apparently).
    At least my chooks are free range and I don’t force them to lay.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Yeah thats about right, these cows usually live almost twice as long but high intensity industrial dairy farming fucks them. Most can count themselves lucky to make it to their eighth or ninth birthday in this environment.

      • Pete George 20.1.1

        And if ‘this environment’ didn’t exist they would never have existed. They mightn’t have ideal existences but at least most of them have guarnateed food and vetinary care.

        You can choose to run your own free range cow if you like, or to not support commercial dairying by not buying milk products.

        • Colonial Viper

          Those useless UF styled passive options aren’t what I had in mind.

        • felix

          “And if ‘this environment’ didn’t exist they would never have existed.”

          What the fuck, Pete? Wanna unpack that one a bit for us?

          • Colonial Viper

            I think PG believes that it is better to be born a slave or in indentured servitude, than never to be born at all. Yeah I know, its fucked up.

        • Puddleglum

          And if ‘this environment’ didn’t exist they would never have existed. They mightn’t have ideal existences but at least most of them have guarnateed food and vetinary care.

          That’s a very shallow and morally suspect argument.

          Surely, bringing a creature into the world by design puts a considerable moral burden on one to ensure that it’s life is as fulfilling as its form of being allows? (Parents’ responsibility for children’s welfare, anyone?). It must mean that, at best, unnecessary suffering should be avoided at all costs.

          I was recently told that these cows are raised on grass that is very high in sugars (hence the sloppy shitting they so often can be seen doing as a result of its physiological and digestive effects – especially when bulk fodder like hay is not available alongside). Paradoxically, they are often very thin and boney because most of the nutrition goes to milk production (ensured by selective breeding for milk production). That production creates udder weights so great and udders so large that it causes the bow-legged gate which in turn means the weight bears down on the outer toe, causing skeletal imbalances (and pain).

          Then there is the removal of the calf, sometimes before any suckling at all (since colostrum now has a commercial use, I understand). The emotional pain for the calf can barely be imagined; the pain for the mother (a mammal defined by – and physiologically and behaviourally designed for – the habit of suckling young) is in addition.

          To bring another being into life for one’s own narrow purposes and then to claim that some sort of ‘palliative’ approach to the suffering those narrow purposes render on that (in this case sentient) being somehow extinguishes one’s moral culpability is almost evil – in its most banal and industrial form. 

          Industrial capitalism has a habit of pushing both humans and other animals to the edge of their physiology, psychology and bearable experience (and frequently beyond).

          That we normalise its operation says something very disturbing about the degree to which people can evade their consciences, or at least fail to apply them.

          • Vicky32

            in this case sentient) being

            Very thankfully, there is not, and never has been any indication that cows are sentient. (Defined as self-aware.)
            I am tempted to say “they’re frickin’ animals, get over it!” (I was brought up by immensely practical parents who couldn’t afford (not middle class kiddies, you see) to be gooily sentimental about animals. The champagne socialists never fail to amaze me. You have to be pretty well off to get your knickers in a knot about farm animals!

  20. randal 21

    they could fire all the cows and rehire them on new contracts demanding more milk and longer walking hours.

    • Ianmac 21.1

      Read somewhere Randal that they were trying to see if cows could learn to read. I told a cowman and he nearly had a fit but I explained that “reading” for cows consisted of signs saying this way to be milked where yesterday it was the other way. There were some successes.
      The cowman had more than 60 years experience and kept saying hit the cows, shout at them. But when he wasn’t around I tried talking to them. “Come on ladies. Just come through this gate and into the yard. ” They sort of purred, looked at me, looked at the open gate, neglected to show the whites of their eyes and just ambled into the yard. See?

      • Steve 21.1.1

        You don’t want that Ianmac. If the cows could read they would read “Fonterra” and go on strike.
        “Where are we going?”
        “To the Freezing Works”
        “Murray, you bastard”

  21. belladonna 22

    So why would you eat these beautiful creatures. Go vegan for yourself, the planet and to abolish the cruelty involved in eating meat. Please.

  22. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1201/S00007/labour-seeking-clarification-on-planned-food-legislation.htm

    Labour seeking clarification on planned Food legislation
    Wednesday, 4 January 2012, 10:54 am
    Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party

    Labour seeking clarification on planned Food legislation

    Labour is seeking clarification from the National Government over the implications of its wide reaching food safety bill, Labour Primary Industries spokesman Damien O’Connor says.

    “We will not be giving our support to this bill unless a number of areas are clarified including areas affecting small growers.

    “I I have asked the select committee for a full update on the Bill including any changes the Government is planning for the Bill, ” Damien O’Connor said.

    “We do not want to see New Zealand end up with some unwieldy piece of legislation that confuses the retailers and those working in this area particularly those working in volunteer or community settings.

    “Labour wants to take a pragmatic approach to this legislation. While we support updating an outdated 30 year old piece of legislation we want to make sure it is replaced with something that is workable for everyone involved,” Damien O’Connor said. ”




    Penny Bright

  23. Tangled up in blue 24

    “Main problems with Food Bill 160-2 :

    1. Home & small growers who grow small amounts of food and sell locally NEED to be exempt – they are not.

    Why do they need to be exempt from food safety standards?

  24. randal 25

    because there is no gurantee that they wash their hands and do not fertilise their crops with human waste.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Yeah because fertilising your crops with cow waste or pig waste is so much cleaner.

      Peeps are going to have to get over it, if we want nitrogen back into the soil in future, animal waste – including human waste – is going to be necessary,

      • Bored 25.1.1

        Too right, on this bill FOLLOW THE MONEY…who wins? Agrichem companies, big supermarkets etc etc . Basically any excuse to add costs (presented as value add) so that WE have to pay and are NOT ALLOWED to do it for ourselves….thats “corporate welfare” (for them, not us).

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