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Summer service: open mike 06/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 6th, 2012 - 78 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…

78 comments on “Summer service: open mike 06/01/2012”

  1. logie97 2

    Research provides the answer to National’s Educational 20 % tail.
    However, what is happening in the UK could happen here.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/05/michael-gove-infant-class-size

    In the UK, the Sutton Council wants to reverse legislation to allow Junior class numbers to go above 30 and they cite research from Durham University that suggests that class size does not affect attainment.

    Previous Ministers of Education in New Zealand have used similar research to support their arguments.

    Quote …
    Reducing class sizes, setting homework during primary school, and introducing school uniforms are among the least effective ways of improving school results, according to a new ‘Which?’ style guide for education published by the Sutton Trust today.

    Significant gains in attainment meanwhile come from proven classroom approaches – providing effective feedback on pupil’s performance, encouraging students to think about their own learning strategies, and getting pupils to learn from each other. Implemented correctly, these approaches can increase pupils’ performance by an extra eight or nine months in a school year for a very low cost, according to the guide.

    The pupil premium toolkit, developed by academics at Durham University, provides an easily accessible guide for teachers detailing the approaches they should consider when allocating the Government’s Pupil Premium, summarising the evidence gathered from 1000s of studies involving millions of pupils across the world. … unquote

    And then there are the next couple of sentences in the quoted research.

    Quote…

    The toolkit finds that the benefits of reducing class sizes “are not particularly large or clear, until class size is reduced to under 20 or even below 15”. Hiring more teaching assistants meanwhile is associated with “very small or no effects on attainment”.

    … unquote

    So there you have it – the answer is simple – reduce primary school class numbers to below 15.

    http://www.suttontrust.com/news/news/smaller-classes-uniforms-and-primary-homework-among/

    • ianmac 2.1

      Logie 97: If class size is reduced from say 35 to 25 and the same methods are used as before little change can be detected. More of the same with fewer kids.
      If reducing the class size is accompanied by strategies including individual feed back, individual goal setting etc, then significant gains are made. Where a class is too big teachers are forced to mass produce and teach to the average leaving the very bright and the underachievers out in the cold.
      24 kids is ideal and keeps the dynamics alive and allows those with special needs to be catered for.

      • Fotran 2.1.1

        Wasn’t one of David Lange’s objectives in “Tomorrows’ Schools” to reduce classes to 20 ?

    • ianmac 2.2

      And “setting homework during primary school,” as least effective – so true.
      Home work must be:
      1.Relevant to current class program
      2.Appropriate to the child’s ability (rather than same for all)
      3.Must be acknowledged/marked.

      If even one of the above is missing homework should not be given.
      Much research shows that Primary School Homework totally lacks effectiveness and is usually stressful for the whole family.
      (One parent was jubilant when his son’s report had an A for homework. “I got an A!” shouted the father.)

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        I never had homework in primary school (except for spelling lists and occasional ‘project’ types things, but nothing consistent).

        Even homework in intermediate really became stuff my parents had to help me with.

        I guess that could be helpful for some families, but for others it could be worse if the parents are absent, incapable or plain unwilling to help.

    • millsy 2.3

      Is there is something I am missing here? The logic in my head dictates that smaller classes = more time for the teacher to work with each student/pupil and less disruption. If its good enough for Oxbridge, its bloody well good enough for the primary school down the road.

      • logie97 2.3.1

        Millsy, I appreciate ianmac’s comments on the various blog sites. He knows a bit about education. The final point I was making, and you have hit it, is that a combination of the qualities of curriculum delivery that ianmac refers to (formative assessment as opposed to Tolley’s summative assessment, coupled with the small class size has to be of benefit, including the factors you refer to.

        Basically, there are 25 hours of contact time per week. Just saying, a teacher taught one-to-one with each child in a 25 pupil class, then each child would get 1 hour of teacher time. It stands to reason therefore, that 12.1/2 children are going to get 2 hours of teacher time. Now we know that classrooms do not operate this way, however quality interaction time with individuals is going to be increased with the reduction of class sizes.

  2. johnm 3

    An equitable society must maintain and nourish the commons, which means among other things not privatizing important strategic assets which bring in income for all New Zealanders and can be used to improve their quality of life as opposed to improving the lives only of those already well off.

    here’s a really good article on the commons refer link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/01/05-0

    Some of the points as follows:

    1. The Commons is Essential to Our Health, Security & Survival
    2. Discovery of the Commons Signals a Shift from “Me” to “We” in Modern Society
    3. The Commons is Not an Abstract Theory, But Rather an Organic Organizing Principle of Human Civilization

    4. The Commons Faces More Threat Than Ever
    The commons are under threat in two serious ways.
    First is the rampant growth of privatization, which snatches valuable assets away from us and puts them in someone’s pocket. This can mean a corporation finagling mineral rights on public lands for almost nothing or taking control of essential public services to make money rather than serve the greater social good.
    Second, many commons are now grossly neglected or mismanaged because it’s assumed that anything that does not make money is not worth caring about. That’s why so many school buildings are in disrepair, and why a lot of public spaces are rundown and empty.

    5. A New Commons Movement is Emerging to Create a Brighter Future for Everyone
    6. The Commons Offers Practical Solutions to Daunting Economic, Environmental and Social challenges
    7. The Commons is Not Just History; It’s Central to Our Lives Today
    8. The Commons is No Longer Seen as a Tragedy
    9. The Commons is Not a New Name for Communism or Government Control
    10. The Commons is a Key Ingredient to Human Happiness
    11. Commoning Will Be a Hopeful New Trend
    12. The Commons Needs Our Help. Here’s What You Can Do.

    • johnm 3.1

      The difference between a Privatized nation such as the U$$$$ or a nation with a lively commons?

      U$$$$: 1. People feel politically bypassed, unrepresented and irrelevant.
      2. Alienation: one is an economic serf likely to fall into poverty as soon as you get ill and bankrupted by medical expenses and/or your unemployment benefit expires and you are left existing on food handouts.
      3. This is not my land from shining sea to shining sea, it is owned by the rich and powerful and if I sleep out anywhere I will be moved on by the rich and powerful’s police force and if I slip over the edge into crime there is a nice warm cell waiting for me in America’s privatized for profit prisons. Adds to the GDP.

      An alive nation with a strong sense of the commons:

      1. I am a respected member of my society and supported in my citizenship.
      2. I share in events and celebrations in my society.
      3. I am not an economic serf I have just employment rights and fair remuneration therefore I feel I belong in this society.The already rich are not allowed to exploit asset bubbles at the expense of their fellow countrymen i.e. the current scandalous housing bubble where young kiwis can’t afford one house while older kiwis some have 5,6,7, houses to cash in on an asset bubble they and the banks bid up themselves, this is alienating to young kiwis who are shut out in their own homeland!
      4. Important social assets such as power, water etc. are controlled by the representatives of all the people not by the “Successful” employer and corporate class.
      5. I do not live in a society with an underclass, left behind by the rich and powerful. This means that large discrepancies in income between top and bottom are minimised.
      6. Those with more ability to work and achieve are recognised with greater rewards but not excessively and greedily so acknowledging that their abilities are of no use without the homeland they have grown up in and which rewards them for their excellence. They are not islands their lives are supported by the rest of their countrymen.

      • Bored 3.1.1

        Ditto Uke, its a very important thing to understand. Most of the nut bars who come into debate “economics” here from a market perspective have absolutely no understanding or acceptance of “external” costs like the cost of extraction or seizure of natural resources etc.

        Future economics in a world where demand for exhausted natural resources like oil, or fish stocks will have to start accounting for these things as both finite and “commonly owned”.

    • uke 3.2

      Good article. Thanks Johnm.

    • millsy 3.3

      “Second, many commons are now grossly neglected or mismanaged because it’s assumed that anything that does not make money is not worth caring about. That’s why so many school buildings are in disrepair, and why a lot of public spaces are rundown and empty.”

      I find that to be quite true, given that the first victim of council savings is always the parks and libraries.

  3. Jackal 4

    Obama’s best decision

    The US spent approximately $1.5 trillion last year on its military, with interest paid on debt incurred running at around $430 billion. The scary thing is that some experts estimate these indirect costs will eventually exceed direct military funding…

    • lostinsuburbia 4.1

      Their monstrous fuel bill probably has something to do with cut backs too – hard to run huge fleets of tanks and fighter planes if you can’t afford to fill them up. The logistics behind a US Army armoured division are staggering.

      Also, no one can really afford a big war these days, after all the cost and length of construction of planes, ships, and other fighting vehicles are so prohibitive that a conflict between major powers couldn’t go on for too long before a truce or the risk of nuclear escalation (albeit that the US remains the predominate nuclear power given the range of its nuclear weapons, the variety of yields and delivery mechanisms, and deployment around the world).

      On the flip side, he’ll get more domestic support for killing suspects by drone aircraft rather than using troops. Less potential for flag drapped coffins flying into Andrews Air Force Base and less long term medical bills to support injured veterans.

      But cut backs or not, the American military is still bloated with weapons based more on countering a massive Soviet attack in Europe and the Atlantic than fighting other threats today.

      For instance, the US Navy (and other western navies) have a limited number of minesweepers. If the Iranians wanted to shut down the Straits of Hormuz all they have do is lay some cheap anti ship mines. It would take forever to clear them at the risk of losing ships.

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        It depends what you mean by shutting down the straits with mines.
        It is actually very difficult to damage a large oil tanker with a mine. They are enormous, compartmentalised, have double skinned hulls and very thick hull plates. Even if you were to penetrate the hull the oil does not burn. They are very much harder to damage than a current warship.
        During the Iran-Iraq war from 1980-1988 there was some mining done and there were tankers that hit them. Amazingly, in many of the cases, the crew on the tanker were not even aware that they had hit something.

        • Lostinsuburbia 4.1.1.1

          It wouldn’t have to sink a ship to cause a problem. There is such little slack in global energy systems that just the threat of damage would screw oil prices – which would be one of Iran’s goals (well that and disrupting exports from its Arab enemies).

          Can also depend on the mine technology used.

          Of course things would get really fun if someone on the Iranian side decided to launch some silkworm missiles!

    • Ianupnorth 4.2

      In a strange, parallel universe, I was drawn to an article on effective CEO’s, and from this there was a link to a slideshow of the ’25 Best performing Cities in the US’
      http://www.forbes.com/pictures/eddk45edeml/americas-25-best-performing-cities-2/#content
       
      A couple of common themes emerge
      1) They mostly have strong connections to the military via bases, aircraft or weapons manufacturing
      2) Some have links to distribution (e.g. heavy air freight to get stuff to and from the Gulf)
      3) A few have strong links petrochemicals
      4) Most have strong Universities with investment in R&D
      Many have a combination of all of the above. It would seem the military are propping up much of the US economy.

      • lostinsuburbia 4.2.1

        Yep, the military spend in the US does prop up a lot of centres. Eisenhower warned in his final Presidential Address of the dangers of an enlarged military-industrial complex. However, there is a certain irony given the American fear of socialism/communism and the dependence on many of its towns and cities on Federal spending.

        Old King Corn is also a powerful influence in the US, with the political influence of the Mid-West states (which we see in the Primaries), the overproduction of corn and its use in food production, and the power of agriculture subsidies in skewing agricultural production and unsustainable farming practices (e.g. draining non-replenishing aquifers).

        The corn subsidies are also driving bioethanol production, which although advertised as a clean green fuel, is anything but.

      • mik e 4.2.2

        corporate welfare

      • Lanthanide 4.2.3

        “Many have a combination of all of the above. It would seem the military are propping up much of the US economy.”

        Yip, this has been the case since the 1990’s or so.

        • Lostinsuburbia 4.2.3.1

          More like since the 1950s, given the continual military expansion due to the “bomber gap” and “missile gap” scares.

          The size of military industrial complex is truely phenomenal

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.3.1.1

            The power of the military-industrial complex was a shadow of itself in the 1950’s and 1960’s; back then it was a relatively small part of overall US industrial might. Since the 1980’s more and more US industry and technology has been offshored, which means that today the US MIC is utterly dominant.

            Bear in mind that even US military contractors now use Chinese components and companies to build US weapons with. Cheaper (in the short term) you see.

    • millsy 4.3

      Good start. Now he needs to start thinking about closing all those US bases in Germany (and the rest of Europe)

      • Lostinsuburbia 4.3.1

        Yep, the people of Okinawa would like the yanks to leave too.

        The MIC and it’s stalwarts have been strong for a long time, from Dean Acheson and Edward Teller onwards.

        The Korean War gave the impetus for the American right to reverse the downsizing of American forces after WW2 and start an armament program that has never really stopped.

  4. Bored 5

    Trotters latest read on Occupy is worth a look. http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/

    In effect Chris basically pans the Occupy NZ movement for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong methodology (at least that’s how I read it). He may be right, but everything needs to start somewhere.

    I don’t have a clue what Occupy NZ does next but they do appear to me to be the same well meaning marginal ideologists generally described as “rent a demo”.

    What Chris did not address to any degree was the message of Occupy, worldwide they are saying it is not fair that 1% own more than the 99%…and its got to change. Question is how the message gets spread, the awareness raised?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Question is how the message gets spread, the awareness raised?

      A left wing owned and co-ordinated MSM.

    • AAMC 5.2
       

      Seems to me this is the common problem with all NZ analysis of the OWS movement. It is focused on the NZ franchise rather than it’s global desires. We don’t yet have the same plight in the middle class as does the US or Spain, which is why the young creative class hasn’t engaged as it has elsewhere. Soon come!

      The last few days have seen moves against Corporate Personhood in the States, it’s undeniably changing the narrative, because in NZ it’s predominantly Mana and Unite activists doesn’t undermine this. 

      #jan17 will be interesting.  

      The liberal establishment is bemused by it globally as a movement though, as it doesn’t bow to them or subscribe to their hierarchies, why would that be different here. 

       

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        We don’t yet have the same plight in the middle class as does the US or Spain

        In a way, but consider this – we have 800,000 NZ born Kiwis living in Australia. Many moved there for economic reasons.

        If they were still here we would likely have an unemployment rate approaching 20%. If China and Japan slow down their imports of coal and iron ore from Australia, a lot of Kiwis will be returning home.

    • AAMC 5.3

      I don’t know that Trotter is entirely correct in his analysis. In the dwindling of the local franchise and it’s failure to inspire- sure; but anybody who has watched the US or London or Spain closely knows that in fact it is not those at the bottom driving this, it is those who have abided by society’s contract, have straight A academic achievments, degrees in IT or journalism, have massive student debt, come from good middle class homes, and have graduated into a country with no opportunity, because it’s been rationalized and Globalized. 

      As for the Ozzie banks, I don’t have the link on me, but didn’t we just discover over Christmas that in fact the Fed was pumping billions into Westpac and other Ozzie banks in 2008 to keep them
      afloat. Their apparent robustness just  more spin. 

  5. prism 6

    Drug research finding that NZ has high drug use needs questioning. It sounds as if one of the questions is whether people have tried a drug. That would swell the numbers unfairly as a once or twice tryer is not a user.

  6. What’s the view of folks who read ‘The Standard’ on whether or not media should publish any information released under Parliamentary privilege by Winston Peters (or any other MP) on the the ‘tea party tapes’ transcript?

    My view is that HUNDREDS of media / concerned citizens should publish this information – the public should know – otherwise it is we and our ‘democracy’ that is being treated with contempt?

    What’s John Key going to do?

    Take hundreds of people to court?

    FOR WHAT????

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/its-always-tea-time-and-weve-no-time-to-wash-the-things-between-whiles#comment-22326

    My comment:

    In my considered opinion, after calling a media conference to cover the ‘tea party’ event, there is simply no way that John Key and/or John Banks should have been stupid enough to say anything during that time that they didn’t want the public to hear. They were almost literally ‘in a goldfish bowl’ with a compliant media outside – bristling with cameras – trying to record what was going on from outside the cafe.

    Talk about an obedient, effectively ‘lap dog’ media!

    Came when they were called, went outside when they were told, didn’t publish the transcript……….. ?

    If I had been there as an independent member of the media, I wouldn’t have left the cafe. In my opinioin, if John Banks and John Key wanted to have a ‘private’ conversation (ie: one they didn’t want the public to hear because it was politically sensitive) then they should have had that conversation in private, without first calling the media.

    Why I am particularly grumpy about this, is because I stood as an Independent candidate in the Epsom electorate, campaigning against ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’.

    I received effectively NO mainstream media coverage on my attempts to get ACT’s ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ equally applied to (former) ACT Party Leader, Don Brash, and ACT candidate for Epsom John Banks – both former Directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd, who were never charged, let alone convicted, as was fellow former Director Peter Huljich. (ALL Directors equally signed Huljich Kiwisaver Prospectuses which contained untrue statements).

    Members of Occupy Auckland marched with me, down Queen Street, to first the offices of the Finance Markets Authority (FMA) on 8th of November 2011, then the Serious Fraud Office on 14th of November 2011, with letters formally requesting that charges be laid against Don Brash and John Banks.

    Both the CEO of the FMA Sean Hughes, and the Director of the SFO, Adam Feeley, in my considered opinion, failed to ‘do their jobs’.

    Both declined to apply ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ to John Banks and Don Brash, as fellow former Directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd.

    Although mainstream media were notified, NOT ONE turned up on either occasion.

    (Compare that with the 2008 election, when Rodney Hide made a complaint to the SFO against NZ First?) …….

    _______________________________________________________________________

    (There’s more – but if you’re keen you can have a squiz for yourself? 🙂

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

    • seeker 7.1

      I thought this was a great comment Penny . Read it on Pundit and am glad you posted it here too.
      Thanks for all the work you do in challenging, confronting and publishing the many questionable practices of our fine government.Your courage and tenacity is admirable. You make a difference.

      • CnrJoe 7.1.1

        hear hear, fighting the good fight Penn, Dave Dobbyn would, New Zealand should, sing for you

  7. Ianupnorth 8

    Oh FFS!
    Tamaki has got resource consent to build his little Tithe Town – the world just got a little bit madder.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10777053

    • McFlock 8.1

      Tamakiville – nice place to visit, don’t drink the cool-aid.

    • ropata 8.2

      No problem for Tamaki, he just needs to knock off a few more magic rings.

    • prism 8.3

      The Joseph Smith of NZ – why should Mormons have the franchise on Maori and PIs?

      Wikipedia –

      Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, the fifth child of Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. By 1817, Smith’s family had moved to the “burned-over district” of western New York, an area repeatedly swept by religious revivals during the Second Great Awakening. Smith family members held divergent views about organized religion, but they believed in visions and prophecies and engaged in folk religious practices typical of the era. For instance, during his youth and early adulthood, Smith himself used a seer stone to search for buried treasure.

      The Second Great Awakening was a Christian revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1800, had begun to gain momentum by 1820, and was in decline by 1870.[1] The Second Great Awakening expressed Arminian theology, by which every person could be saved through revivals. It enrolled millions of new members, and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.[2]

    • millsy 8.4

      No gays, single mothers or evolutionists allowed…..

  8. prism 9

    Labour and the Greens must not vote for unreasonably high controls on food preparation. Freedom for small, micro or individuals trying to earn from baking, sweet making, cordial making must be controlled lightly. Already local councils have prevented people from making items for stall sale under their present provisions.

    Food is a cottage industry where someone in a domestic situation can make and sell for profit and so gain earnings. In an environment where wages are so low that they are being eroded by low inflation, it is important that the government isn’t double-tongued, on one hand trumpeting lack of NZ work and effort to be self supporting but on the other putting unreasonable barriers in the way of all that are below the aristocratic band of barons, such as CEO’s, given charge of the serfs.

    • McFlock 9.1

      Nothing to disagree with in general there, but what are the actual “unreasonably high controls” in the bill?

    • http://www.petitiononline.co.nz/petition/oppose-the-new-zealand-government-food-bill-160-2/1301 Something you can do right now to show your concerns about the NZ Food Bill?
      Sign and SHARE this petition?

      They now have nearly 30,000 signatures (and organisers want 50,000 signatures).

      One of my key issues is WHY is this NZ Food Bill needed?

      As I’ve already pointed out – in terms of ‘food safety’ – where’s the crisis that requires a nearly 400 page Bill?

      If the Government is seriously focussed on risks to Public Health – then where is the urgent inquiry/review into deaths by (legal) drugs and doctors (medical staff)?

      (I have provided previous FACTS which prove the reported deaths in 2009 from food-bourne illnesses were SIX and the reported deaths in 1998 from adverse (legal) drug reactions and deaths from medical staff mistakes were nearly SIX THOUSAND?????)

      Wouldn’t you think that the Government would sensibly focus on where the BIG problems are regarding arguably preventable deaths ?

      I haven’t yet seen the evidence which proves conclusively where the food-bourne illnesses are actually coming from.

      Those who PRODUCE the food, those involved in MANUFACTURING food products, those involved in PREPARING food products?

      Where are THOSE statistics?
      Who is responsible for gathering and recording those statistics?

      How many people have suffered food-bourne illnesses as a result of buying Mrs Smith’s homemade jam at a farmers market, or eating ‘sizzled’ sausages at a sports club fund-raiser?

      I mean – REALLY?

      WHERE’S THE PROBLEM?

      Because it seems to me that ‘food safety’ being the reason behind the NZ Food Bill has just got to be BULLSH*T?

      Penny Bright
      [email deleted]

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        Sucks if you’re one of the six.
         
        But which sections of the bill do you have a specific problem with, and how does it change the current rules?

        • Penny Bright 9.2.1.1

          I have a problem with the whole NZ Food Bill.

          Why do we need it in the first place?

          I am unconvinced that there is a NZ food safety ‘crisis’ that requires this HUGE NZ Food Bill?

          As yet I haven’t waded my way through every section of the NZ Food Bill itself – but I have read the ‘Purpose’ – which I will find and put a link to – soon.

          Yes – I agree – if you were one of the SIX reported deaths in 2009 from food-bourne illness or a member of their families – it would indeed ‘suck’.

          However – my view is to focus on the areas where there are MAJOR problems and be specific in who and what you are targetting and for what purpose.

          Not use a drift net to catch a few sardines (as it were)?

          Penny Bright
          [email deleted]

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1

            Six deaths? Is that it?

            This Food Bill is going to eliminate 5 out of 6 deaths in future then, its so good?

            Because I’m pretty sure that changes in both regulation and enforcement (i.e. leaving the statute untouched) would do as much good in terms of preventing food poisoning deaths as a new bloody (and possibly unnecessary) law.

            And given this new focus on food safety, are they still getting rid of Government meat inspectors and giving the job to the meat companies themselves? Bloody ridiculous and hypocritical, no?

            • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Depends on the legal powers and regulatory authority as they stand at the moment. How is it a fundamental change from the old law, rather than a tweaking or streamlining of legislation that might be out of date?

          • Penny Bright 9.2.1.1.2

            http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2010/0160/latest/DLM2995819.html#DLM2995819
            4 Purpose

            The purpose of this Act is to—

            (a) restate and reform the law relating to how persons trade in food; and

            (b) achieve the safety and suitability of food for sale; and

            (c) provide for risk-based measures that—

            (i) minimise and manage risks to public health; and

            (ii) protect and promote public health; and

            (d) provide certainty for food businesses in relation to how the requirements of this Act will affect their acti
            __________________________________________________________________

            My recommendation is for those who are active on this Food Bill, or want to know more about it:

            1) READ the Select Committee Report.
            http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/Documents/Reports/e/5/3/49DBSCH_SCR4962_1-Food-Bill-160-2.htm

            WHAT ARE THE SELECT COMMITTEE NOW RECOMMENDING?

            2) READ the ADVICE RECEIVED BY THE PRIMARY PRODUCTION SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE FOOD BILL:

            http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/Documents/Advice/?Custom=00DBHOH_BILL9974_1

            WHO is advising the Select Committee and WHAT advice are they giving?

            3) READ EVIDENCE AND SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED ON THE FOOD BILL:

            http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/Documents/Evidence/?Custom=00DBHOH_BILL9974_1
            __________________________________________________________________

            I’ve not yet followed all my own advice and read ALL of the above – but I have had a squiz at the ‘ADVICE’ and some of the ‘EVIDENCE’.

            Cheers!

            Penny Bright
            [email deleted]

            • Penny Bright 9.2.1.1.2.1

              http://foodsafety.govt.nz/science-risk/human-health-surveillance/foodborne-disease-annual-reports.htm

              Here you go folks!

              The FACTS (hopefully) on the incidence of food-bourne illness in NZ.

              Annual Reports from 2005 – 2010?

              HOW BIG IS THIS NZ FOOD SAFETY CRISIS THAT WARRANTS THIS BIG NZ FOOD BILL???

              (Throw away your ‘Women’s Weekly! 😉

              Cheers!

              Penny Bright
              [email deleted]

              • McFlock

                “HOW BIG IS THIS NZ FOOD SAFETY CRISIS THAT WARRANTS THIS BIG NZ FOOD BILL???”
                 
                Well, although according to your coronial link only half a dozen people vomited and crapped themselves to death, several thousand people are infected annually according to the report you link to (foodsafety.gov 2010 report). I.e. infected severly enough to come to the attention of the healthcare system, so we’re talking more than a small cold.

                 Auckland Regional Public Health Service seems to think the food bill answers a need in their catchment area.
                 
                And you still haven’t actually said where the bill makes farmer’s markets illegal, or even changes their operating conditions.

                • Lanthanide

                  Keep it up McFlock, I too am interested in seeing some hard facts and data on this food bill because a lot of the reaction so far seems like hot air.

  9. prism 10

    @McFlock
    I’m running scared here. I know that there has been tightening up already and am reacting to media reports that regs will be further hardened. Haven’t time to take further myself.

    Additional to mentioning CEO barons have a read and look at this about Christchurch.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/6219584/Marryatts-pay-a-red-rag-to-city-residents

    • McFlock 10.1

      aye, true enough. The trouble with the food bill thing is that it’s beginning to look like one of those “facebook’s planning to charge for account access, post this in your status update to show your anger” panic spams that did the rounds a while back.
           
      I don’t have a problem with food safety regs, within reason. I know better than to assume that e.g. monsanto wouldn’t try to make homegrown veges illegal, what with their terminator seeds and all. I just prefer to have access to material as close to the source as possible so I don’t end up being chicken little.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        as in noted above – has someone shown that improvements in regulation and in enforcement won’t bring about the same level of benefit as this extensive law change.

        Because this far reaching Food Bill as it stands looks like overcook to me.

    • RedBaron 10.2

      Actually the CEO’s payrise may be a payment in advance. Once people start protesting about this Gerry can declare the council dysfunctional and replace it with a non elected board so the ratepayers get no say. ECAN mark II no doubt.

  10. McFlock 11

    Ports of Auckland: Union makes another counter-offer.
     
    Fiendishly oppressive union communists hold defenceless managers to ransom for 2.5% for six months, and a rollover on the current contract. 
     
    I guess having a steady job with constant conditions is better than a 10% pay increase on a cut-down casualised job.

  11. just saying 12

    Excerpt below from today’s dimpost, in which Danyl chronicles working class hero, Trevor Mallard, getting the boot into beneficiaries. I wonder if Mallard could secure Shearer some slots on those boofhead-bigot radio shows that Key frequents, while he’s at it. Be interesting to see Shearer and Key go head to head competing for the centre right vote

    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/

    Trevor Mallard excerpts this announcement about the UK Labour Party rethinking their approach to welfare:

    Labour is calling for a radical rethink of the welfare state, arguing that the benefits system has betrayed its founding principles and “skewed social behaviour”.In a significant redrawing of Labour’s position on welfare, the shadow work and pensions secretary, Liam Byrne, on Tuesday argues that the ballooning of the system has provided support that is unearned, and mislaid the original ideal of providing help to those that contribute.

    Heralding a series of speeches over the next few months designed to mark out new territory for Labour, Byrne claims the party must recast the welfare state to meet the original intentions of its founder, William Beveridge.

    I read a few chapters about Beveridge in a history of modern Europe a few years back, so I consider myself something of an expert on the subject. And yes, we have moved away from the original intention of Beveridge’s approach to social welfare – which was a full employment policy. His vision of the welfare state was that everybody got a job, there would be minimum unemployment while people transitioned between jobs, so you could afford a generous welfare system to support that tiny number of people.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      yeah well you noticed how the Right tried to fuck this by calling some jobs ‘productive’ (ones which made capitalists and business owners money) and calling other jobs ‘unproductive’ (ones which provided care to others, looked after the environment, provided public services or provided community amenities).

      And, Left politicians allowed this reframing of language by the Right wing.

      Well, I say let’s go back to policies of full employment. Build our trains in NZ. Staff our hospitals properly and get DoC workers back out into the fields. Mandate minimum staff to client ratios in care facilities and require all Christchurch rebuilding to be done by NZ workers and NZ materials. Let’s re-open banks and post offices in smaller NZ towns and ban foreign fishing crews.

      Frankly I’ve got no problem with going back to a policy of full employment for every able bodied adult in this country, about bloody time too.

      • Lanthanide 12.1.1

        Actually I’d say I don’t really want a “full employment” policy so much as I want a universal benefit.

        I just don’t think full employment is feasible when you have a minimum wage – some jobs simply are not worth $13/hr, and others aren’t economic on the scale required but should still be done, like methodical and comprehensive cleaning up of waterways. I believe a minimum wage is essential to prevent people being taken advantage of.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          You’re comment is increadibly frustrating. Can you not see how you are trapped by free market financial conventions?

          We have a country with hundreds of billions in assets, and many undone jobs which our society needs to be done urgently – yet the market cannot put the two together to get the work done even at a measley $13/hr, because the market doesn’t value those jobs enough. This should tell you that our current economic beliefs are ***dysfunctional***.

          You say that the minimum wage is needed to stop people from being exploited – yet having people waste away long term on a benefit with no sense of usefulness in or contribution to society is somehow more OK. This should tell you that our current economic beliefs are ***dysfunctional***.

          • chris73 12.1.1.1.1

            “We have a country with hundreds of billions in assets”

            I agree 100% so lets start mining and getting those assets

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1.1

              nah it’ll stuff another, more valuable, asset in the process. Our 100% lotr currently highly profitable tourist industry.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Actually I would start by moving private asset wealth back into the hands of the many via an FTT and an asset tax.

              NZ’s mineral resources are ours, and we shouldn’t tap into them until we are ready to use that iron, coal and gas for our own ends. They’ll always be there so there is no rush to extract them.

          • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1.2

            Actually it’s based on the way markets work: people make money by selling things to other people.

            There’s no (significant) money to be made in picking up all the rubbish in a particular river, it’s just an out and out cost. This isn’t a particularly desirable job to do, however, and I think if you paid people $13/hr for it a lot of people still wouldn’t do it. The “Make the Politcians Work” show with Trevor Mallard showed this quite well, as the asparagus grower said he simply couldn’t find enough NZers willing to do the hard manual labour of cutting asparagus stems hence he had to use Polynesian workers under the policy that Trevor had set up. In turn the harvesting work done by them allowed him to employ more NZers in his pack house, which was work that NZers were comfortable in doing.

            My point is that I believe a lot of people on benefits wouldn’t want to do a lot of these make-work ‘full employment’ jobs if they were paid $13 an hour and we probably realistically can’t afford for the government to be paying for all of these jobs to be done so they’d have to pay even less than that. Which of course in itself is a deadly spiral. This isn’t just a “benefit bludgers” attack, but a realistic attitude to the types of people on benefits: most of them were previously employed, often in manufacturing, office jobs or retail, and simply would not do drudgery manual labour jobs at the price the state could afford under a full employment policy.

            I am more in favour of the universal benefit, because that would allow people who are currently working full or part time to reduce their hours of work, which in turn could be used to help the community or improved family lives and education for children. This would be a re-allocation of resources and could free up money that the government currently pays for some services directly (eg childcare) to be targeted at other areas. Then we have the cost savings from the UBI from IRD etc that would be more money the government could target at the really necessary jobs identified by the ‘full employment’ policy. The other thing is the abatement rates from benefits: going from a benefit to a $13/hr make-work job doesn’t get you very far ahead, but going to that same job under a universal benefit that had a flat tax rate would see a significantly lower effective abatement rate, so it would be comparatively much more attractive for someone to sign up to.

            Full employment does have merit, but I think it also has a lot of practical problems that UB can help to avoid while still getting most of the societal benefit that a full employment policy creates.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.2.1

              I do support a UB, don’t get me wrong.

              And I don’t disagree that few Kiwis today would be interested in doing hard physical work on shifts starting at 5:30 am for the minimum wage. Strange that our solution to that is not raising wages for those jobs to what the market expects, but to instead undercut the local market by importing in cheap, more desperate labour from overseas.

              I do take your point that not everyone would be interested in work at $13-$14/hour (I wouldn’t be for instance). But tens of thousands of currently unemployed would, both young and old, as well as those people who currently hold part time jobs but need more paid hours to just live.

      • millsy 12.1.2

        +1,000,000

        And, I think we should start by replacing the positions currently filled with volunteers with paid employees.

  12. Vicky32 13

    Mandate minimum staff to client ratios in care facilities

    Absolutely, C.V!

    • just saying 13.1

      +2 CV

      If that was the policy Labour would probably get my vote.

      • Descendant Of Smith 13.1.1

        And an assurance that sufficient funding will go in workers salaries to lift them above the minimum wage – maybe an award system across the whole sector that pays more than minimum wage as a starting point.

        You shouldn’t get minimum wage for caring for old people.

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    International Chamber of Commerce ruling favours Chavez against ExxonMobil in energy assets nationalisation case

    In the latest showdown between western oil companies and Venezuela’s populist president, Exxon Mobil is widely seen as the loser, after the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) ruled that the world’s biggest oil company would not be entitled to most of the damages it demanded after its fields were nationalised.

    “The ICC only awarded Exxon ten per cent of what they wanted,” Chavez said recently. “You can make your own conclusions.”

    Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state oil company, said on January 2 it would pay Exxon Mobile $255m, after accounting for money frozen in a New York bank account and outstanding debts.

    “Exxon has been granted the value of its [initial] investment, but not the value of the project today,” Chris Nelder, an independent energy analyst, told Al Jazeera. The company had demanded as much as $12bn, citing potential lost future profits….

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/01/201215194512924679.html

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