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Summer service: open mike 09/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 9th, 2012 - 29 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…

29 comments on “Summer service: open mike 09/01/2012 ”

  1. I owe, I owe, so it’s back to work I go …

    Gee that holiday went fast …

  2. The American Academy of pediatrics recommends alleviating inequity by focusing on the in utero and infancy period:


    • RedLogix 2.1

      That’s very interesting. It lines up with a comment from Puddlegum a few days ago:

      We are a species that is particularly prone to what are termed ‘social evaluative threats’. Being a highly social species, one of our main evolved concerns is with our ranking and reputation in relation to others.

      Their argument about the ‘mechanism’ that connects income inequality with health, psychological and social dysfunction is based around this propensity. The physiologically based emotional stress caused by our tendency to be sensitive to others’ evaluations of our competence, looks, achievements, etc. will have its greatest (deleterious) effects on our well-being in more unequal societies.

      There’s an emerging body of work on the evolution of this propensity and on its neurology (and on the development of the neurology – i.e., how our brains get sculpted by extraordinarily subtle aspects of our early social world and experiences).

      There’s also a convergence of the research – from the neurological, evolutionary and psychological through to the sociological and anthropological – that seems to reveal a pretty consistent picture of what may be ailing many people in today’s world.

      I was going to ask him/her to enlarge on that, but it was getting late at night. But one thing I’m quite certain PG and I would agree about is that it is quite wrong to select for just one aspect of the inequality nexus, in this case the impact of in utero conditions. As usual, for every complex sociological problem there is always the difficulty of teasing out the root causes; what can be fairly attributed to strictly biological reasons, and what is cultural.

      Even if the argument you have put up is correct, and in itself the early childhood element is an important component, it does not negate the much larger body of work from the likes of The Spirit Level. You don’t get to dismiss that body of evidence with a handwave.

      What you have done is selectively picked one component of a multi-factorial problem, and used it to distort the discussion for your own purposes. And even then you undermine your own argument:

      The social network has changed in the last half century from being church and community focused to a focus on the individual and work. The development of a new social network around the early childhood years makes sense.

      I agree, I’m old enough to remember that ‘church and community’ social network in the 60’s and 70’s. But it was neo-liberal economics which set about dismantling this social network in the 80’s… not the Spirit Levelers and the Occupy movement would have you believe that inequity is the the result of untrammeled corporate raiders and unsympathetic right wing governments.

      • Zorr 2.1.1

        That blog post has so many dog whistles in it, I’ve now got a headache. Though, not sure if they could be called dog whistles as it seemed it was doing it’s best to yell from the mountain top.

    • millsy 2.2

      Im sorry but if wealthy property owning rack-renters like you didn’t demand tax cuts and state house sell offs (so you could charge high rents to the poor people you hate), we wouldn’t have a problem with inequality

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    MFAT smashed, losing at least 22% of staff

    Because a time of international turbulence, trade (and potential shooting) wars is when we want to cut back on our foreign missions and diplomatic staff.


    And someone should teach the Herald to do its math. “More than” 200 of 900 losing their jobs is NOT a “fifth”.

    • Jum 3.1

      Colonial Viper
      Thanks for replying to my earlier query on what has happened to the extra 100 million dollars per week Key had borrowed in 2011. I hope the returns outweigh the interest charged on the borrowings.

      My next question:

      Can you please tell me if the people dismissed from MFAT had an equal gender balance?

  4. Jackal 4

    Rena splits in two

    Neither Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby nor the unnamed Maritime New Zealand spokesperson said why people shouldn’t touch the debris, while Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith says there’s no risk at all. Talk about mixed messages…

    • ianmac 4.1

      Some might remember the very old film classic “Whiskey Galore.” The Scots in this film gathered tons of bottles of whiskey from a shipwreck and hid the whiskey in a huge range of possies to evade the authorities. Not suggesting that there are Scots living near the said beaches here but…….

      • CnrJoe 4.1.1

        whiskey? what whiskey?

      • Herodotus 4.1.2

        ianmac- The scottish do not spell Whisky with an “E”. There is a vast difference between the two: Whisky and whiskey !!!
        Great tasting Whiskys are derrived from areas where the oldest rocks within Scotland have been formed Islay -650m years old, Oban 550+m. And the essence of the environment, water, peat and mash have been transformed and captured within the precious !!
        And if I found a lost container of Whisky I would follow the lead of those wise Scotsman as well !!! 😉

    • Vicky32 4.2

      Rena splits in two

      I think I must be going mad! I could have sworn that I heard excatly this news, around about 30th December 2011! It was announced on the radio that afternoon… Or did I imagine it? (I did make a note at the time, which I can’t now find.)

      • Ianupnorth 4.2.1

        There was stuff up on TV One where they ran a ticker at the bottom of the screen mid December saying it had split then – they were testing their system, unfortuantely it went out live!
        Latest info.
        @Jackal – the why is that Crosby et. al.  didn’t say what it was contaminated with is they won’t know; it is probably riddled with bacteria given it has been decaying for weeks, reason why neither saying what it is, is probably because until it gets sent to ESR nobody will actually know.

        • Vicky32

          There was stuff up on TV One where they ran a ticker at the bottom of the screen mid December saying it had split then – they were testing their system, unfortuantely it went out live!

          Whew, thanks for the explanation… 🙂

        • Jackal


          The why is that Crosby et. al. didn’t say what it was contaminated with is they won’t know; it is probably riddled with bacteria given it has been decaying for weeks, reason why neither saying what it is, is probably because until it gets sent to ESR nobody will actually know.

          Well that’s a nice theory, however they know exactly what the debris are contaminated with because Maritime New Zealand gained the Rena inventory soon after it grounded… and the information they have released is not very encouraging.

          We know about the Alkylsulphonic Acid, Trichloroiscyanuric acid, Ferrosilicon, Potassium nitrate and Hydrogen peroxide 60%. The MSDS for many of these substances say they’re acutely toxic, even if you get them on your skin. Some are still dangerous at 1 ppm.

          MNZ is willing to break the law to not release the full inventory to the public… so I think it’s a bit more than just a fear of bacteria Ianupnorth.

  5. Jum 5

    ‘Overseas Merchandise Trade: November 2011 key facts

    For the November 2011 month compared with the November 2010 month:
    • Exports were up $251 million (6.8 percent) to $3.9 billion.
    • Milk powder, butter, and cheese recorded the largest increase.
    • Imports were up $382 million (10 percent) to $4.2 billion.
    • Crude oil and fertilisers recorded the largest increases in import values.
    • There was a trade deficit of $308 million (7.9 percent of exports).
    • The trend for export values remains at record-high levels.
    • The trend for import values is 7.5 percent below its overall peak in September 2008.’

    No ‘4’. Why do they use the word ‘values’? Shouldn’t that be ‘costs’?

  6. We have over 6.2 million dairy cows now – double the number 30 years ago. You would think that the farmers would want to comply with the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord but this report is very disturbing

    “Tasman dairy farmers have been chided for providing misleading information on excluding livestock from waterways – a key measure of the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord – after an independent audit found their performance was one of the worst in the country.

    Under the latest accord figures published last month, 69 per cent of Fonterra farmers told the company their stock was totally excluded from all permanent waterways on their properties deeper than a Red Band gumboot and wider than a stride.

    However, a representative audit conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture of 35 of those farms found that the actual figure was just 17 per cent, the second worst result behind Marlborough with 8 per cent. Nationally, MAF found 42 per cent of 587 farms inspected excluded stock from waterways, just half of what Fonterra’s survey of farmers suggested.”

    What is happening on the farms to protect waterways from dairy cow pollution? Who knows – we are just getting bullshit from the farmers.


    • tc 6.1

      3 more years of ‘we can do whatever the F we like’ from farmers and big business Marty that’s what’s happening.
      Checkout the number and areas in which mining exploration permits have been issued…..mine it, drill it, sell it, shit on it.

      Lovin that brighter future.

      • Jum 6.1.1


        Just finished reading the front page story of a farm manager who was very badly treated by Honick Properties which owns and operates farms in Waikato and the King Country (who are the shareholders of that land ownership and are they foreignors/New Zealanders given this government’s intention to allow the sell off of yet more valuable farm land?) who basically engineered him into signing a 90day employment contract on his first day after the employee stating earlier he would not be interested in a 90day contract and then leaving his job after being assured that 90 day terms would not be required.

        The court found in his favour – great – but now he’s having trouble finding another position because farmers like ’em docile and he’s seen as a troublemaker because he cried foul over a lying employer. Funny that…
        (See http://www.farmersweekly.co.nz Vol 11 No 1 January 9 2012. The Editorial on page 12 speaks some sense, if only to protect the arses of the farmers in future court action.

        The company used a Federated Farmers contract template once the employee arrived, his previous job let go, and in the invidious position of hoping he would be treated fairly, now having no job, a family to support and his first day at work, he signed it.

        ‘Treated fairly’? Fat chance – people, make sure you get everything in writing from these bastards, farmers/businesses/this government… before you leave your current job, if you’re lucky enough to have one that is.

        Meanwhile, we should get an update from The Farmers Weekly that the employee has now found a job so that we can begin to have some faith in farmer fairness.

        Fat chance…

        I hope he is receiving financial assistance from this government which engineered this travesty.

        Fat chance…

        PS Alan Emerson on page 14 – gives Key the Jackboot award over the bland tea with Banks. Emerson is almost a straight shooter but on the right side.

        • tc

          Yup and we have folk who are let go pre xmas and rehired in january (if they’re around) so the 4 statutory holidays are avoided by employers expecting to be thought of as wealth creators.

          I believe our future is sustainable food production for the world as the global gardens are being trashed one way or another either by man and his markets or mother nature, neither take any prisoners.

          Once only land use (mining) is a very bad, even criminal, waste of a resource that keeps giving year in/year out if looked after. Dairy farming’s fast becoming enemy No 1 to the environment IMO….pollution, de-forestation, over intensive land use for a commodity, diversity is critical.

          • Colonial Viper

            Dairy farming as we know it is going away in the next 15- 20 years, so don’t be overly concerned.

        • Ianupnorth

          Have a look at this http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/audioslideshow/2011/dec/22/cerrado-brazil-audio-slideshow?INTCMP=SRCH
          Different continent, same shit (different farming) – and they are now the 6th biggest economy in the world, with Haitian’s and the Portuguese all wanting to migrate there!

    • mik e 6.2

      Southland is the same funny how all the propaganda B/S came out before the election now all the facts are coming out in the holiday period!

  7. randal 7

    cheeze wayne.
    thats a bit rum.

  8. ropata 8

    Matt McCarten exposes lies from Port of Auckland management:

    ‘Greedy wharfies’ tale hides ambitions for port
    Readers would probably think from all the publicity that the wharfies should realise they’re on a bloody good wicket and pull their heads in.

    But I got suspicious when Christine Fletcher, the leader of the right wing on the Auckland Council, which owns the port, said that the wharfies’ behaviour meant we should privatise the port.
    Intriguing also was the wharfies’ response to Gibson’s claims about their pay. They offered not take any increase. In fact, they’d cut their annual wage by $10,000 as well as extend their working week from 26 hours a week to 40 for no extra pay.

    When media contacted Gibson, he wouldn’t comment. Strikes planned for this week, according to Gibson, will put the very viability of the port in question. Yet he has refused to attend mediation to avert it and, according to the wharfies, is still on holiday in Papamoa.
    A ratty smell was in the air, so I popped into the wharfies’ office to ask their president, Garry Parsloe, more.

    WTF are the management and C&R up to? Totally irresponsible and undemocratic behaviour. They just posted their most profitable year ever! Based on current returns they are a world class operation! Surely their skilled staff are needed for any further efficiency gains? I’m so pissed that these assholes are still trying to sell strategic assets 20 years after Rogernomics was roundly rejected. May the the ghost of Bruce Jesson haunt these mad privateers.

    Early in 1992, the ARC, under pressure from the Government and the usual suspects (Fay Richwhite was the sales agent) was poised to sell its 80% shareholding of the Ports of Auckland … the National government was grimly determined to push through legislation to break the ARC in half and to strip its assets. Under the Local Government Reform Bill (No.2) of that year, ARC assets including Ports of Auckland, the Yellow Bus Company, Northern Disposal, Watercare, downtown properties … were to be ‘divested’ to the Auckland Regional Services Trust (ARST). The Regional Services Trust … was clearly custom-designed to be an agent of privatisation.

    Bruce [Jesson] and his colleagues in a manner remarkably reminiscent of the way Robbie and his supporters captured the Auckland Metropolitan Drainage Board exactly 40 years before, took hold of the ARST and proceeded to transform its purpose to serve the public interest. They refused to sell assets.

    When Bruce retired from politics in 1995 the ARST assets were worth $1.8 billion dollars and as he pointed out in 1999 “few private sector companies performed as well during the six years the Trust existed”.
    To the consternation of the political establishment a viable alternative to privatisation had been created – holding on to public assets – and managing them to create public wealth in the public interest. “Economic Jessonism” – perhaps we might call it. This completely flew in the face on neo liberal conventional wisdom. I have absolutely no doubt that the remarkable success of the ARST between 1992 and 1995 was to have an important influence on the Labour-led government some ten years later. Since that time the profits from the Port and other regional assets have been a key funder of Auckland transport and storm water projects – and are now virtually taken for granted in Auckland. It is hard to imagine how we could have embarked on the recent transport and other infrastructure upgrades without it.

    • mik e 8.1

      the neo liberal model John banks sell off of Auckland airport assets which lost Auckland rate payers nearly a billion dollars.

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