web analytics

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

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10776366

    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 1.1.2.1

          “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 1.1.2.1.1

            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 1.1.2.1.1.1

              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 1.1.2.1.2

            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 1.1.2.1.3

            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 1.1.2.1.3.1

              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……

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10776188

      • 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 1.2.1.1

          Presumably – and why has it taken so long?

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.1

            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….”

    WANT TO SIGN THIS PETITION?

    http://www.petitiononline.co.nz/signatures/oppose-the-new-zealand-government-food-bill-160-2/1301
    Petition signatures Oppose the New Zealand Government Food Bill 160-2 – Petition Online – New Zealand
    http://www.petitiononline.co.nz

    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 4.1.1.1

          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 5.2.1.1

          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 5.2.1.1.1

            OK them too, you convinced me.

          • Ari 5.2.1.1.2

            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 5.2.1.2

          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 5.2.1.2.1

            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 5.2.1.2.1.1

              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.

                WHY DO YOU BEGRUDGE WHARFIES THEIR WAGES AND CONDITIONS?

                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 5.2.1.2.1.2

              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 5.2.2.1

          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 5.2.2.1.1

            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 5.2.2.1.1.1

              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 5.2.2.2

          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 5.2.2.2.1

            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 5.2.2.2.1.1

              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

              [deleted]

              [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.

                [deleted]

                [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 6.1.1.1

          That or one of their minnows losing their seats.

          • Armchair Critic 6.1.1.1.1

            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 6.1.1.2

          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….

        http://pundit.co.nz/content/its-always-tea-time-and-weve-no-time-to-wash-the-things-between-whiles

  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 7.1.1.1

          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 7.1.1.1.1

            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 7.1.1.1.2

            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 7.1.1.1.2.1

              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 7.1.1.2

           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 7.1.1.2.1

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

          • pollywog 7.1.1.2.2

            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 7.1.1.2.3

            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 7.1.1.2.3.1

              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 7.1.1.3

          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 7.1.1.3.1

            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 7.1.1.3.1.1

              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.

    http://www.okeanos-foundation.org/wordpressblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Memorandum-Altering-attitudes.pdf

  9. mouse 9

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

    http://fleeingvesuvius.org/2012/01/02/how-resilient-are-we-a-new-zealand-immigrants-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

    http://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….

  12. aerobubble 12

    http://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 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 14.1.1.1

          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 14.1.1.1.1

            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 14.1.1.1.1.1

              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 14.1.1.1.1.2

              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?

    http://www.naturalnews.com/034337_New_Zealand_food_freedom_human_rights.html

    (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
    http://www.naturalnews.com
    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

        lol.

        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 17.1.1.1

          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 17.1.1.1.1

            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 17.1.1.1.1.1

              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 17.1.1.1.2

            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 17.1.2.1

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

          • fender 17.1.2.1.1

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

          • Pete George 17.1.2.1.2

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

            Carry on with the political self immolation…

            • McFlock 17.1.2.1.2.1

              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 17.1.2.1.2.2

              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.

    Thanks

  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 20.1.1.1

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

        • felix 20.1.1.2

          “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 20.1.1.2.1

            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 20.1.1.3

          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 20.1.1.3.1

            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.
        Or,
        “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. ”
    _________________________________________________________________________

    WHAT IS THIS ‘CODEX ALIMENTARIUS’ ALL ABOUT?

    http://arcanumdeepsecrets.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/codex-alimentarius-the-last-days-of-health-freedom-documentary-video/

    __________________________________________________________________________

    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).

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • What sort of relationship might Labour and the Greens agree on?
    Even without knowing the final election result (because, don’t forget there’s about 500,000 special votes still to count and they very likely will change Saturday’s results), we can say two things for certain about the next government. Jacinda Ardern will be its Prime Minister. And Labour will be at its core. But ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    9 hours ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Leftwing euphoria meets reality
    The political left has been euphoric since Saturday’s night historic landslide victory for Labour. But political commentators from across the spectrum are united in warning that the new Government isn’t about to be transformative. Instead, we will see more of a status quo administration grappling with a crisis, with very ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    12 hours ago
  • Yes, a mandate for sure… but issues for NZ will be far, far more difficult now
    With the NZ General Election and Referendums over for 2020, Jacinda Ardern is to form a Government over the next few weeks, “there are some areas we do want to crack on with, that we will need to expedite”, and talks will begin to form around what the voters ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    14 hours ago
  • Labour Party landslide – 2020 Election in review
    Jacinda Ardern - Prime Minister of New ZealandThe 2020 General Election has been one of the most interesting in New Zealand’s political history. Not only did we have voters provide the Labour Party with a stratospheric 49.1% mandate to govern, the results also delivered National with a crushing 26.8% defeat ...
    14 hours ago
  • Be careful what you wish for: Labour's difficult triumph
    Labour’s overwhelming victory at the election has been greeted with rousing cheers on the left of New Zealand politics and the start of transformational demands. It’s a multi-generational win for Labour, out-polling the Kirk, Lange and Clark victories. You have to go back to 1938 for a bigger percentage (55.8%) ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    14 hours ago
  • A Skeptical Science member's path to an experiment on carbon sequestration
    During what now seems like another era entirely- back in February of this long year- Skeptical Science regular RedBaron (aka Scott Strough) mentioned in a discussion thread here that he'd been working on an idea for no-till cultivation of vegetables, was seeking to quantify what appeared to be promising results. Scott ...
    15 hours ago
  • Jacinda Will Keep Us Moving – To The Same Place.
    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes? Not Likely: Though few New Zealanders would express it in such a fashion: Jacinda’s and Labour’s general handling of the Covid-19 crisis proved both to be highly effective defenders of the capitalist status quo. She, and they, kept the lights on. And that, in the absence of an alternative ...
    17 hours ago
  • The Greens and Labour
    With an absolute majority, Labour can govern in its own right, and doesn't need partners. But while unnecessary, they're a nice-to-have, both as backup and for PR reasons. Ardern has talked about "consensus", and there are obvious benefits for her of having government policy endorsed by as many parties as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #42
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... Earth has warmest September on record, and 2020 may clinch hottest year Record warmth in Europe and Asia overwhelms a ...
    21 hours ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Vindication of Winston Peters
    An egalitarian spirit is currently being revived in New Zealand, and we should thank Winston Peters for keeping alive that spirit. Josh Van Veen, who once worked with the NZ First leader, pays his tribute.   With New Zealand First receiving less than 3% of the vote, critics are happily ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    22 hours ago
  • The Hunt for Red October: Musings on Taieri
    So New Zealand has had its general election. Jacinda Ardern has managed a single-party majority government, New Zealand’s first in twenty-six years, and its first since the adoption of proportional representation. I intend to do a comment on that further down the line – my feelings on the Sunday ...
    1 day ago
  • Lessons from the Election
    This year’s general election has broken new ground – and not just in terms of its outcome, the seats won and votes cast, and – in an MMP environment – the margin of victory. It also suggests that something quite fundamental has changed in New Zealand politics. The outcome is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The unexpected result
    The people have spoken, and its a Labour majority government. This wasn't meant to happen under MMP, and in fact its exactly what the system was designed to prevent: no majority governments, no elected dictatorships, unless we really, really want it (which at the time seemed unlikely on 40 years ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Schadenfreude is a dish best served blue
    What started out as the largest party in parliament has ended election night scratching the back door of the house of irrelevance. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 11, 2020 through Sat, Oct 17, 2020 Editor's Choice A FIELD GUIDE TOTHE ELECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE   The presidential election is just weeks away, and climate change has broken ...
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Election '20: The Special Votes
    The 2020 General Election has a preliminary result. For reasons I am unable to really explain, we will not have even a preliminary result for the end of life choice and cannabis legalisation referendums for some weeks (I dropped the ball on that one when the referendum legislation was before ...
    2 days ago
  • National rejects tonight’s result as a ‘rogue poll’
    National are dismissing tonight’s election result as an “obvious outlier” Half an hour into counting, National Party leader Judith Collins and deputy leader Gerry Brownlee are already dismissing tonight’s election result as a “rogue poll”, saying it’s an incomplete survey with shoddy methodology. Brownlee called an emergency media stand-up just ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern ran down four National supporters with her car this morning but due to electoral law ...
    Dr. Ashley Bloomfield reported at today’s 1pm health briefing that the Coronavirus turns out not to exist, but that information was also withheld on the same grounds. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her election morning by ruthlessly driving her car into a family of National supporters just blocks from her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Six weird animals that have nothing to do with the election
    Get a load of these things! Some of these animals are just crazy. You wouldn’t want a single one of these animals anywhere near your kids. It could ruin them for life. Last thing you’d want is your kid growing up around any of these, and thinking that’s what animals ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • 1pm Covid Health Update for 17th October, 2020
    What follows is today’s 1pm health update from the Ministry of Health There are 12 new cases of Covid-19 today, six in managed isolation, three escaped, and three are wealthy foreigners so it’s fine. One of these cases is a man in his 50s who visited Auckland sex club Fisting ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • It's Election Day.
     This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • National caucus convening to elect new leader for final 2 hours of the campaign
    This is a breaking news event, and further updates and clarifications may be forthcoming. With less than three hours to go in the election campaign, The National Party is holding an emergency meeting to elect a new leader, one they hope can turn things around in the final one and ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Judith Collins asking for two week extension on election due date
    Collins says she was “ever so close” to finishing everything up, but a family member died, her computer crashed, and she just needs “a little more time” to get things right. In a late move this evening, Judith Collins has written an urgent letter to the Electoral Commission requesting a ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The Debunking Handbook 2020: Misinformation is damaging and sticky
    This blog post is part 1 of a series of excerpts from The Debunking Handbook 2020. The list of references is available here. Misinformation can do damage Misinformation is false information that is spread either by mistake or with intent to mislead. When there is intent to mislead, it is ...
    3 days ago
  • Not as a Christian, but as a New Zealander: Why I am voting against assisted suicide tomorrow.
    I am no stranger to lost causes. And, while there is always hope, it does appear that David Seymour’s “End of Life Choice” law will receive the necessary endorsement of voters to finally legalise assisted suicide in this country. A significant minority of voters will dissent, however.I will be one ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Ardern reassures voters that Greens’ negotiating table will be a tiny, humiliating one
    On the eve of the election, the Prime Minister wants New Zealanders to know the Greens will be given a very small seat at the table, quite literally. In the final hours of the campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a forceful appeal to the electorate not to be ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A Waste of Time: The Hundred “Best” Fantasy Books
    Time Magazine has put out a list of the hundred best fantasy books of all time: https://time.com/collection/100-best-fantasy-books/ It is bad. Very bad. I get that this is clickbait nonsense, but… really. Time Magazine ought to be ashamed of themselves. Ostensibly, the selection process was as follows: ...
    4 days ago
  • Big changes do stick
    In one of her last pre-election interviews, Jacinda Ardern tries to defend her policy of doing nothing while in government: Ardern reflected on large changes made by Helen Clark’s government – particularly in education and welfare – that were still part of the system now, saying they prove smaller ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Polls show regret for not voting Green
    I have looked at election polling for last four elections and have noticed a concerning pattern. The Green Party's polling leading up to each election is stronger than what they actually achieve, then the poll immediately afterwards is always considerably higher. For most parties the opposite is generally the case. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Planning to fail
    Last year, the government passed the Zero Carbon Act, setting short-term and long-term goals for carbon reduction. And they're already saying that they will fail to meet them: Environment Minister David Parker​ appears to have already given up on the country’s ability to meet the 2030 methane goal set ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Another issue Labour is ignoring its voters over
    Jacinda Ardern is trying to rule out even discussing a wealth tax if she gets re-elected. But if she gets re-elected, it will be by voters who support one. A Newshub poll shows that nearly half of all voters - and 60% of labour supporters - support a wealth tax: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship Physics
    It’s that time of year when school students become seriously focused on exams. This year has been messy for student learning, and has affected some students more than others, but the NCEA external assessments and the Scholarship exams are going ahead pretty-much as normal. I’ve taken some interest in the ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • “Fitz” On Cannabis.
    "I Like It!" “Shall I tell you the real reason to legalise cannabis? Because all the stuff I’ve told you, while true, isn’t enough. You should legalise cannabis because you’d like it. No, actually, you’d love it! Cannabis makes food taste better. It turns music into magic. It suppresses pain and nausea ...
    4 days ago
  • Crusher fails to resonate
    Judith Collins - National Party leaderYou can tell the National Party is in damage control mode most of the time these days. Instead of being able to provide any valid alternative to a Labour led Government, Judith Collins is going out of her way to be controversial just to get ...
    5 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime II
    Last month, we learned there was a flaw in our electoral transparency regime, with the New Zealand Public Party receiving a quarter of a million dollars in donations which will never have to be decalred. And now its got worse,as it turns out they're also explicitly soliciting donations from rich ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Entirely separate”
    When two people whose identities we all know but cannot say publicly due to name suppression were charged with "Obtaining by Deception" over routing donations to NZ First through the NZ First Foundation, Winston Peters claimed his party had been exonerated because "The Foundation is an entirely separate entity from ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Judith Collins' little green lies
    New Zealand is not the United States, thank goodness. We don't have the same level of political partisanship nor public media outlets that blatantly display political bias. However, during the closing weeks of this campaign I do feel an infection of trumpism is evident. Judith Collins and her National Party ...
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Psychology of Ardernism
    Jacinda Ardern has made New Zealanders feel safe. Josh Van Veen looks at psychological understandings of leadership to help explain the ongoing success of Labour in this election campaign.   Simon Bridges could have been the Prime Minister. Opinion polls in February suggested a close election, with Colmar Brunton giving the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Let's Make Jacinda Break Her Promises.
    Make Her An Offer She Can't Refuse: Expecting Jacinda and her colleagues to break their promise not to introduce a Wealth Tax is not only unfair it is unwise. A consensus for change has never arisen out of a series of polite discussions - or base betrayals. A better New ...
    5 days ago
  • Two days to go, 12 questions still worth asking
    One last lap. One last crack. One last chance to boost your own policies or knock down your opponents. Tonight TVNZ hosts the final leaders’ debate and although over a million New Zealanders have voted and much of the policy debate seems to have stagnated around negative attacks, there are ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Possible inter-satellite collision on Friday
    Two objects in low-Earth orbit may collide with each other on Friday, in a hyper-velocity impact which would lead to millions of fragments being left on-orbit, each potentially-lethal to functioning satellites. Fingers crossed (not that I am superstitious) that it is a miss, rather than a hit. One local ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Do Elections Deliver What We Want?
    MMP may deliver a parliament which reflects us, but frequently the government does not. At the heart of my recent history of New Zealand, Not in Narrow Seas, is the interaction between economic and social change. I could measure economic change via the – far from comprehensive – ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Flailing last grasps bring lasting gasps in the NZ General Election…
    The last week of the 2020 election here in New Zealand has been an increasingly torrid and venal affair has it not? Many expect the last week of any Election campaign to get considerably more tetchy, everyone is hurrying to nail the last voter down after all. But this ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2020
    Zika follows climate Sadie Ryan and coauthors combine what we know about the Zika virus and its preferred regime with modeling to show the pathogen will greatly expand its range during the next few decades. We do have some remaining control over the situation. From the abstract: "In the ...
    5 days ago
  • Does a delay in COP26 climate talks hit our efforts to reduce carbon emissions?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Will the delay of the COP26 UN climate negotiations impact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Where do the parties stand on open government?
    The election is in less than a week, so I thought I'd take a quick look at where the parties stand on open government, freedom of information, and the OIA. The short answer is that most of them don't. While Andrew Little has "promised" to rewrite the OIA, there's no ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Second Time As Farce: National's Election Campaign Falls Apart.
    The Mask Of Civility Is Removed: According to Politik’s editor, Richard Harman, Collins has become her own campaign manager. Now, as a lawyer, you might think that the Leader of the Opposition would be familiar with the old saying: “The lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client.” ...
    6 days ago
  • National's Little Helpers have A Cunning Plan.
    Keep Your hands Off Of My Stash: Viewed from the perspective of the 2020 General Election as a whole, the intervention of the Taxpayers’ Union against the Greens' Wealth Tax confirms the Right’s growing sense of desperation that the campaign is slipping away from them. With hundreds of thousands of ...
    6 days ago
  • Covid-19: A planetary disease
    Louise Delany* This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: How to make your mind up
    If you’re still on the fence about how to vote, Liam Hehir says it’s probably more important for you to vote on the basis of your principles, and he offers a way to think about how these principles might align with the main party options.   Still undecided? Here’s how ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • What else apart from a Wealth Tax? The shape of a Labour-Greens coalition
    If you haven’t heard, the Green Party supports a Wealth Tax. Yeah, I thought you might have heard of it. Everyone’s been talking about it on the campaign trail these past few days. It would force the wealthiest six percent of New Zealanders to pay a one percent tax each ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Time is slipping by for the fruit industry to improve wages
    The covid-19 pandemic has meant a lot of changes for New Zealand. Lockdowns, social distancing, a massive shift to working from home and the death of tourism for a start. But the sensible and necessary border closure has also completely cut off the supply of cheap, migrant labour - and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new low in American “democracy”
    Every US election, we're used to seeing long lines of voters, and reading stories of widespread gerrymandering and voter suppression (including things like flyers falsely telling people their assigned polling place (!) has moved or that voting will be on a different day, and robocalls threatening that people will be ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A suggestion for Biden’s foreign policy.
    I have been thinking about US foreign policy after the upcoming election. My working assumption is that try as he might, Trump will lose the election and be forced from office. There will be much litigating of the results and likely civil unrest, but on Jan 21, 2021 the Orange ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bleak views of melting Antarctic ice, from above and below
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Images from satellites high above the Earth have helped a research team put together a stark visual chronicle of decades of glacier disintegration in Antarctica. Meanwhile, a separate international research team has taken the opposite perspective – studying the ice ...
    7 days ago
  • Five reasons I am voting for National (and why you should too)
    Centre right voters have three realistic options this year.
      The National Party, which is currently at something of a low ebb but which remains the primary vehicle for conservative and moderate liberal voters; orThe libertarian ACT Party, which is undergoing a temporary boom as National struggles; orThe centre-left Labour ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Graeme Edgeler: How to vote, and how to think about voting
    Your choice of who to vote for could make a real difference. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler suggests you make an informed choice, and he goes through a variety of different ways to think about your voting options.   The New Zealand general election is being held next Saturday, the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • That School Debate: Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Anti-Stratfordianism
    Today, I am responding to one Philip Lowe, who back in August 2019 produced an interesting but flawed piece, looking at the way in which Tolkien viewed Shakespeare: Tolkien and Shakespeare: Counterparts ...
    1 week ago
  • Marching to the ballot boxes
    Today's advance voting statistics are out, showing that 450,000 people voted over the weekend, bringing the total advance vote to 1.15 million - just 90,000 shy of the 2017 total. So its likely that by the end of today, more people will have advance voted than did in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The long road to “Yes”
    One day in 1985, I came down from the loft where I was working as deputy editor of Rip It Up magazine, looking for lunch, and walked into a scene. There, on the corner of Queen and Darby Streets, a man was in the process of getting two kids to ...
    1 week ago
  • A funny thing for Labour to die in a ditch over
    Over the weekend, National unveiled its latest desperate effort to try and gain some attention: campaigning hard against a wealth tax. Its a Green Party policy, so its a funny thing for national to campaign against (alternatively, I guess it shows who their true opponents are). But even funnier is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The comforting myth of the referendum ‘soft option’
    Assuming we don’t count Bird of the Year, last week was my first time voting in a New Zealand election. I’ve been here a while, but for reasons too dull to recount, I didn’t have permanent residence in time for any of the others. Anyway, it’s hardly up there with 1893, ...
    PunditBy Colin Gavaghan
    1 week ago
  • Election: Equality Network’s Policy Matrix
    How will you vote this Election? We suggest comparing the Party policies on addressing inequality: The Equality Network identifies Ten Key Policy Areas that will make a difference: ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network: Party Policy Star Chart
    ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Elections
    AS 2020 draws to a close, two very different countries, in different hemispheres and time zones, are holding elections that are of great importance, not only for their own futures but for the future of the world as well. The USA and New Zealand differ greatly in physical and economic ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... How Joe Biden could reorient foreign policy around climate change A new report lays out ...
    1 week ago
  • Potential attack lines in the campaign's final week
    In the final week of the election campaign, parties large and small will want to make clear to voters why they are more deserving of your vote than the other guys. It doesn’t mean going negative… oh alright, it does a little bit. But it doesn’t mean playing dirty. It ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 4, 2020 through Sat, Oct 10, 2020 Editor's Choice What Have We Learned in Thirty Years of Covering Climate Change? A climate scientist who has studied the Exxon Valdez ...
    1 week ago
  • Economic Resilience or Policy Brilliance?
    The economy has been through a traumatic experience. Prospects look sobering. Preliminary official estimates suggest that market production (GDP) fell 12.2 percent in the June Quarter 2020 – a huge, and probably unprecedented, contraction. In mid-April the Treasury had expected a fall of 23.5 percent (published in the 2020 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The SMC Video Competition: The Tītipounamu Project
    Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the third round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With entries ranging from kea tracking to Beethoven’s piano pieces, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of runner-up, PhD candidate ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Interview with Nicky Lee
    Fellow New Zealand writer, Nicky Lee, has been doing some Q&A with other local speculative fiction authors: https://www.nikkythewriter.com/blog Each fortnight is a different author, answering ten questions about their Writing Process. I think it’s an excellent way of helping build the profile of the New Zealand speculative fiction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Capital Vol. 3 lectures: converting surplus-value into the rate of profit
    This is the third in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation.Here he looks at the problem of converting surplus-value into the rate of profit.(Part one of the lecture series is here, and part two is here) ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Another call for OIA reform
    A collection of top-level environmental and human rights NGOs is calling for reform of the Official Information Act: The Child Poverty Action Group, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, JustSpeak, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International are calling for a comprehensive, independent review of the Official Information Act ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The advice on moving the election date
    When the Prime Minister moved the election date back in August, I immediately lodged OIA requests with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Justice for any advice they'd given. Both refused, on the basis that the information would be proactively released. That's finally happened, a mere three weeks after the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Pre-election craziness in the US.
    This week in our “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and I reflect on Trump’s increasingly erratic behaviour in wake of contracting Covid-19 and the domestic and foreign implications it has in the run-up to the November 3 national elections. You can find it here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Seniors – our parents and grandparents
    International Older Persons Day is a chance to think about the individual older New Zealanders we know and to confront ageism, Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said today. “What happened around COVID-19 is a reminder that our over-65s are a very large and diverse group of people and we need to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government confirms new acute mental health facility for Lakes DHB
    A new acute inpatient mental health facility at Rotorua Hospital will provide more patient-centred and culturally appropriate care to better support recovery, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Improving mental health and addiction services remains one of the biggest long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Chris Hipkins. “Lakes DHB’s existing Whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community Languages Fund to increase support for Pacific community language projects
    Round two of the Community Languages Fund (CLF) will provide even more support for Pacific grassroots community and family language projects with the introduction of a second funding tier of $10,000, in addition to the $2,500 tier, says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  During the first round of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government puts teacher wellbeing at the centre
    The Government is committing nearly $9 million to ensure educators in early learning services and schools get the wellbeing support they need. Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement, which includes providing frontline counselling and advice services for educators, during his address at the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) annual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago