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Summer service: open mike 23-24/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 5:59 am, December 23rd, 2011 - 108 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…

108 comments on “Summer service: open mike 23-24/12/2011 ”

  1. Merry Christmas everyone.

    To all fellow progressives have a good break and rest well, 2012 looks like it is going to be a hell of a year for activists.

    I predict with some confidence an onslaught of privatization of our assets, PPPs of the worst kind, deep cuts to important projects and the bashing of beneficiaries without any practical benefit except the political sort for our Tory leaders.

    • Bored 1.1

      The lights are going out all over the world, I fear we may not see them relit in our lifetime……..well perhaps they are just slowly dimming as the oil runs out.

      My Christmas prediction, going into the New Year, lots of new beneficiaries in Europe mainly from the banking sector as the Euro and its banks collapse, contagious financial turmoil resulting in John Key losing all his off shore deposits and having to adjust his lifestyle to PMs wages only (bless his little cotton socks), lots of people around the world going to redeem thir gold certificates and finding the gold never existed……

      Gos and Peter meet inside a dole office and form a new political party (platform of austerity measures for Zimmers and Dunedin) that receives 2 votes at the next general election. TS and Burt join forces as a right wing economic think tank and watching the melt down of neo liberalism develop a great understanding of the cost of alcohol…

      Happy Christmas, over and out.

    • LynW 1.2

      We simply cannot let it happen.

      And so it begins. ever so sneakily, released just prior to Xmas. Is this what NZrs voted for?!

      Govt looks to private sector for Christchurch hospitals rebuild

      • Fisiani 1.2.1

        Stunningly great day in Wellington. Everyone going about their lives looking contented and happy. It’s great to know that there is a John Key National led government day by day going about building a brighter future. They are doing what is best for New Zealand, putting political considerations to one side as they go about making the improvements to provide more jobs and higher wages. There is a general sense of freedom now that we have escaped the shadow of Helengrad. Be assured that you will benefit from their wisdom and hard work. Merry Christmas.

        [lprent: So brownnose that it is hard to tolerate. But I don’t have a policy against sycophantic crawling. ]

    • aerobubble 1.3

      And? How about teh Sensible Sentencing Trust, that essential means only to protect pure moral and ethical people from the evil doers. When are the so called progressives going to stand up to the editors who routinely let this proto-fascist organisation on TV. Hell, the SST is even anti-Christian, Jesus would have stood up for prisoners rights. The SST cannot honestly be trusted if they cannot protect even the rights of perpetators who are also victims. The SST aryan view that only the purely good should be protected by the law should be odious to any self-described moral and ethical person because even Jesus said something about throwing the first stone.

      Sorry, but when we have such a corrupt moral and ethical input to the debate, the SST, how can we have a moral and ethical country. When you’ve done something wrong there’s no going back for the unethical, the immoral, they have no bridge back to conformity, that’s the outcome of the SST propaganda. The take no prisoners, ignore the weak (talk for them without their permission) and hammer anyone who dares talks to balance and proportionality.

      Bennett choose to rush out before the holiday break, how here Ministry not only failed a mum (who openly admitted she had poor parenting abilities in a letter to the PM) but also her children. One child abused in government care returned to her, and her siblings who ar enow without a mother. And don’t expect the SST ever to criticize the Key government over morals and ethics unless only the purest of moral and ethical are the victims. So why did they forget to acknowledge the siblings who now have no mother, no sister (who abused them?).

      Its Christmas and NZ is even more fascist than it was yesterday.

      • Grumpy 1.3.1

        Mother? Are you barking mad?

        It’s the mealy mouthed liberals like you that share the blame in this sordid sage.

        • seeker

          Hardly Grumpy. Perhaps you aren’t aware of child /parent dynamics as well as the complex needs of children.

        • millsy

          Yeah well feral knuckle dragging rednecks like you with your ‘give them a bloody good hiding’ culture and embracing of violence as a means of enforcing authority cant really go amiss either.

          • Grumpy

            Funnily enough, I come from at least 4 generations on my fathers side who have never hit our children, my mothers side was different. A cultural thing?

            • millsy

              Just saying that in general we have a culture that embraces violence as a way of sorting things out.

              And sadly, some people take it too far. Like in the case with this woman.

              I wonder if she would get the same level of condemnation if she was a white middle class businesswoman?

              • Grumpy

                More, no need for guilt ridden lefties to hold back if she was white. Unfortunately, they seldom are……..

      • seeker 1.3.2

        Well said aero bubble. Have felt furious with that silly lady Paula b and johnKey (as she roped him into it too) since her self righteous outburst about this horrific and tragic situation.

        What idiot would place a traumatised child who had been passed from pillar to post and then sexually abused in her short life ,back to a mother who was having mental problems of her own and who previously had not been able to cope with her child which had caused her to ask for help and have her dear little child taken to safety only to have her returned later only in far more damaged and traumatised state at the tender age of 6 or 7. All damage courtesy of the authorities who are meant to care for our vulnerable children and into whose careless hands this troubled mother had placed the care of her child knowing her own limitations.

        It would take a very calm, intelligent, counselled and stable parent to even begin to deal successfully and lovingly with such at traumatised sexually abused little child. How on earth did the idiot agencies expect a ‘damaged herself’,mentally fragile, uneducated in trauma, mother to look after such a damaged, delicate and troubled little girl,as well as her other children Our child agencies are meant to know and care about our vulnerable children, so how could they put this vulnerable mother and child in such a dangerous and tragic position.?

        And then there is the final ignorant clincher to this horrific tragedy when our dear esteemed social underdevelopment minister says the mother is to blame, end of story.

        Yes the mother eventually did unbearably wicked things, but child and mother should never have been placed in this position -especially with an abusive father in the mix too. That child will be scarred for life. I can only hope and pray that there is some talented ,loving,sensitive being that might be able to help this little child and her dear brother stitch their lives back together and heal as best they can. They did not ask to be born and all they would have wanted, and still want, is the unconditional love of a good parent or two. What a ghastly story.

        *Have worked with troubled families here and in the UK and know this situation should never, never have arisen if our children’s agencies truly knew their business.

    • queenstfarmer 1.4

      I predict with some confidence an onslaught of privatization of our assets

      In that case, sorry to say you will be about as correct with that prediction, as you were with your prediction that “A third mooted candidate, David Shearer, is extremely unlikely to even stand, despite media speculation to the contrary.”

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        Why wouldn’t the National Government go ahead with something which will make their mates and bankster friends a shitload of money?

  2. just saying 2

    Happy summer holiday season everybody.

    Thanks to the open-mikers and other commenters who have donated excellent links, and thought-provoking commentary this year This section is a really cool feature of the Standard.

    And of course, ‘praise be’ to the authors, sysops, administrators, moderators, and other essential persons who make this virtual gathering possible.

    Kia ora katoa.

    slip, slap, slop

    • LynW 2.1

      Ditto js! Gratitude and Best Wishes to you all. This place really has been a respite, a huge help when shaping and organising my thoughts and has definitely helped stimulate the activist in me. Happy Holidays!

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        Agreed.  Lprent and the authors deserve some sort of public recognition for contributions to political discourse in NZ.  Sir Lprent?

        • mickysavage

          randal bet me to it with the knighthood suggestion.  I sense a apontaneous uprising of support for lprent to be acknowledged.
          King lprent?  Of course the republicans amongst us will hate it ; )

        • LynW

          Hmmmm, also mentioned yesterday by randal at 6:30 pm on “Health, Safety and Accountability”. Could be something in it!
          Quick search reveals….

          The New Zealand Order of Merit is an order established in 1996 “for those persons who in any field of endeavour have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.”

          Sounds quite in order to me. Arise Sir Lprent?

          • Colonial Viper

            Following on the example set by another outstanding NZer, surely lprent should be conferred his knighthood after he has rendered his best services to the country. There is more yet to come!!!

        • lprent

          Jez no… Then I’d wind up with a photo on the net available to be honored by anyone with gimp……

  3. just saying 3

    Btw – the edit function isn’t working this morning.

    • lprent 3.1

      The wysiwyg one? Odd. You sure that it simply hasn’t turned off? Your preference is carried on the cookies. So if your Cookie expires or you are on a new system or browser it will runoff.

  4. Olwyn 4

    Merry Christmas to all. Many thanks to lprent for maintaining this oasis of sanity, and to everyone who adds to the conversation here.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Name and shame time – Vaughan Hyde, of Asku Finance, you are a stinking piece of shit who I wouldn’t cross the road to piss on if you were on fire.


    It strikes me as an incredibly sad reflection of our times that our media, fearless in it’s tireless quest to uncover the habits of John Key’s cats, are content to report a “no comment” from this low life finance company and our religious leaders are content to appear on telly once a year arguing over stupid bill board outside their church when they should be leading their parishes in a blockade of this auction.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      We can always set up guillotines in a nearby park, and create Christmas cheer by providing food and drink to all and sundry who would turn up to watch the festivities.

      The guy “Vaughan Hyde” an asshole. He could make a massive amount of profit by accepting the debtor’s offer, but instead he wants more more more.

    • Bill 5.2

      Wouldn’t it be nice to think people would turn up to the auction, bid no more than $1 and sell her house back to her for that amount? If we didn’t live in a society that is unorganised and generally chaotic it could happen. But we don’t. So the finance company are shits. And there will be bastards aplenty out to make a killing on the back of their shitty behaviour.

    • Bafacu 5.3

      You must be joking!!! The sheer stupidity of the women has bought about their loss of home. How the hell can she not have gathered that something was amiss after 130 letters a week apart about her arrears? That’s a bloody long time to be waiting for repayment of their money.

      • fender 5.3.1

        That was the most ignorant comment from an asshole I’ve seen today Bafacu, u suck!
        Where in the story did it say she recieved 130 letters per week as you state, fuckwit.
        Where does it state she got the 130 letters before she got around to doing something about it, wanker.
        Bafacu- I hope santa shits under your tree you lowlife, so low in fact you may get a job with that finance company, you would fit right in.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    CV – My parents brought me up to never buy anything from cash converters or take advantage of a forced mortgage sales/auctions. Never profit from the immoral deeds of business or the misery inflicted on others. If we all lived by that rule, no one would turn up to Asku finance’s auction, or if they did the Christchurch Press would take great care in reporting on the details of those who attended, so the community can judge for themselves the character of those who would bid on such a property.

    • Ianupnorth 6.1

      You had wise parents!! Lest we forget those in receipt of the biggest benefit handouts are those who sought to become rich from investing in finance companies and big banks who took far too big risks.
      Time to ‘bash’ that sector and not those truly in need – anyone  for watching Dicken’s A Christmas Carol on DVD?

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.1.1

        Or “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

        I note the article says that she was joint borrower with her daughter.

        I’ve come across a few elderly parents lately who have lost or come close to losing their home cause they’ve helped their kids out.

        One couple who transferred the family home into their daughter’s name to help them buy a house by having it as security only to find later she was talking to someone in town who said they had bought her old house about three months ago.

        Daughter sold it and didn’t tell her. Spent all the money too.

        Seen a few family trust situations where the kids have convinced the parent’s to put their house into trust and then as trustees sold it and (usually mum) parent has had to find elsewhere to live and rent for the remainder of their days.

        I have lost what little respect I had for some legal firms and accountants for the trusts they have set up – apart from one locally who are quite clear that their firm will only act on behalf of the parent or the children – not both.

        They then quite clearly point out to the parent that they are giving their asset away, it no longer belongs to them and that the trustees have to look after the interests of all the beneficiaries – not just the parents whose asset it was.

        Most don’t go through with it.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2


      A campaign of moral embarrassment then, photographing all those who turn up at the auction, recording of number plates, do it from the foot path so you are on public property. Facebook it all.

    • Fotran 6.3

      Why did she go to a 3rd rate Finance house rather than a Bank ?

  7. Blue 7

    National’s plans for the education system:


    Interesting what turns up in the pre-Christmas dump.

  8. vto 8

    Poor old Shane Adern the other day getting all hot and bothered about the dairying and other farming issues being loudly questioned by the public. He sounded like that fool ex-Fed Farmers boss Don Nicolson.

    Why is it that the farmers still get all huffy and storm off like kids when they get asked why they can dump the refuse from their business in the rivers?

    Then of course the dairy farmers are getting a record bonanza this month – yet cannot attract private investors for their irrigation projects. Ask yourself.

    And on top of that the children of Northland will be gratefully accepting daily milk, that they couldn’t otherwise afford, from the Fonterrarists.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      You gotta love it, Don Nicolson didn’t even get as many votes as the openly lesbian + open relationship Green candidate he was running against down south.

  9. Ianupnorth 9

    In case anyone didn’t pick up on this yesterday!

    Privatising Margaret Thatcher’s funeral would be a fitting tribute to her legacy
    The Iron Lady herself would surely agree that poor taxpayers should not be further burdened in these times of austerity


    • Lanthanide 9.1

      I think this needs a disclaimer to state that she’s not actually dead yet.

      I feel let down now.

    • fender 9.2

      There are some interesting comments on that piece.

      One of the better ones: Truly in keeping with her legacy – & her ideology – would be to have an obscenely expensive funeral paid for entirely only by the very poorest in society, with a “select” few of the sickest & most vulnerable in our country made to carry her coffin until they drop. No?

      Theres even comments from a RichardDouglas blogger defending the Maggy and her policies, could it be Sir Rodger?

      • mik e 9.2.1

        iup they could beat up Argentina again in her memory now they have found oil near the Falkland islads Argentina wants sovereignty.

  10. Ianupnorth 10

    Is it really peak oil we need to be worrying about – watch this; funny how some bits reminds me of the central north island being logged to create more dairy!

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    US Government – Enron Style


    Another good piece from Matt Taibbi. Obama saying that punishments against financial terrorists need to be firmer, and conveniently ignoring the fact that its his officials who are letting them off easy.

  12. Salsy 12

    A really brilliant speech from Russel Norman – Uses Christmas and its Christian values to highlight the unfairness of our society, our goverments focus on the rewarding only the rich, the issues with economic growth as we know it – while seeding the ideas of a new economic possibility:

    But the talk in here is dominated by a different kind of worship — one of economic growth, at all costs. We heard this mantra yet again today in the speech from the throne. Today the Government said a strong economy provides the resources to then protect the vulnerable and the environment. But compassion shouldn’t be conditional….

    What’s worse, we still have a virtually universal agreement in this House that mindless economic growth is the overriding purpose of government, if not society itself. There is little discussion about the quality of that growth, the costs of that growth, or how we might share the benefits and costs more fairly. There is precious little discussion of how we could possibly have never ending growth in resource use and pollution on a planet which is ultimately finite….

    Even our private banking system can bring the world to its knees and escape largely unchanged from the melt down. The Westpac CEO earned a $5.4 million salary this year, which included a $260,000 tax cut — an early Christmas present from the government. Why is this Parliament giving taxpayer-funded Christmas bonuses to the obscenely wealthy and not the poor?


    • Grumpy 12.1

      True, excellent speech. As befits the real leader of the opposition.

    • DJL 12.2

      I watched this speech also, thought it was brilliant in that some in the house started heckling and then realised that he was preaching the good word and was shamed into shuting the hell up. He did admit to being an athiest (sp?) at least twice.

  13. Ianupnorth 13

    John Key sends his Christmas card to???
    Can his incompetence get any lower?

  14. Jim Nald 14

    Yes, if his morality does not sink lower in a race to the bottom with his incompetence.

  15. randal 15

    better get my licks in now then.
    heka paratai says in the dompost this morning that schools are queing up to get a charter for next year.
    she didnt name them.
    and then she said everybody that was against them didnt know anything about them.
    another lie.
    they have been tried elsewhere and found wanting.
    another spurious construction of nutbar right wingers.
    just be cause she cant read and thinks nobody else can is not true.
    some kiwis can read and what they read about charter schools elswhere does not make good reading.
    she should stop aspiring so much and then she might stop hyperventilating.

  16. fabregas4 16

    I wish all readers a very happy Christmas too! I sincerely believe that christian actions are largely those of the left. Rich and the eye of the needle perhaps. What 2012 will bring in what was once ‘Gods own Country’ goodness knows. But I’m willing to predict dirtier rivers, poorer schools, less Kiwis in NZ, lower pay for most of us, a strike by teachers in September not about pay and conditions but about respect for the profession, at least one National MP gone and the Maori Party using up all of their remaining goodwill to prop them up as Northland, the East Coast and South Auckland and Northern Wellington populations experience growing unemployment, ill health and benefit reductions. Trying to think of something good for mainstream New Zealand in 2012 … can’t.

  17. Lanthanide 17

    Quake felt quite strong and kept wobbling for quite a while after, but doesn’t seem to have been too bad (judging by traffic).

    Fine here at home, as usual. 5.8M 20km NE of Lyttleton (out to sea again). People in the east could potentially have more liquefaction.

    • lprent 17.1

      5.8 according to geonet.

    • gingercrush 17.2

      Crazy times again. Like dejavu.

    • Lanthanide 17.3

      In the middle of uncovering the landlord’s pool for the first time since it got destroyed from last September, and an aftershock struck. Interesting watching the water slosh around and the frequency of the humps in the water that stayed for a good 2-3 minutes after.

      • gingercrush 17.3.1

        OMG how are you after that one Lanthanide.

        • Lanthanide

          Fine. Despite being on a river bank, the house we’re in has suffered almost no damage, or items falling over, since 4th September. I know other houses have all their pantries emptied, stuff all over the floor etc. We’ve got shelves in the garage with jars of nails, screws etc and they don’t shift at all.

          Just found a casualty: my box of cadbury favourites fell off my desk and spewed chocolate confections on the floor.

  18. Pete 18

    Felt one at 3.20 or so – and I’m in Dunedin. This is heartbreaking.

  19. Ari 19

    Just thought I’d also share good wishes on the holidays (whatever ones you’re celebrating, even if it’s just time off work or you’re alone this year) to everyone, yes, including the righties. 🙂

  20. ianmac 20

    fabregas4 and Ianupnorth.
    Yesterday I read about a new NAGs which said National Standards not to be recorded on children’s reports any more. Above, at, below etc. but they must be reported to BOTs. I quoted it to interested parties but cannot find the link. Can you help with the source??

  21. r0b 21

    Well shit.  I was heading to Chch tomorrow anyway, but now it’s water cubes and picking up the pieces again.

    My heart goes out to all in Christchurch. 

    • Lanthanide 21.1

      We could be in for a rockin’ and rollin’ Xmas like no other. Last year the notable aftershock was on boxing day, hopefully this year it won’t be on xmas.

      • Jim Nald 21.1.1

        And hoping it won’t be on new year’s eve/day or in the new year.
        Feng shui practitioners say the current PM is bad luck which sticks on for the future.

      • r0b 21.1.2

        Yes, I’ll be looking over my shoulder for the aftershocks.  But I’ve had some practice (there for the first quake in September and the next 2 days, there for 5 days after the February quake). 

        But I get to leave and come back home again.  What hell for everyone in Chch to have to live through this all over again.


  22. happynz 22

    Daylight can now be seen through the breeze blocks that make up the back of the garage. The down spouts have also pulled away from the wall of our flat.

    Ah, Christchurch, what a life it is here.

  23. vto 23

    Was in a vehicle in upper level carpark wondering what the very strange sound was and then whammo all cars began doing a wobbly jig. Watching the massive concrete beams and posts nervously. Watching people start running. Watching the heartbeat rise setadily.

    Sat in the car for 20 minutes and, just like the previous ones, could feel the earth moving constantly. Again, no such thing as afterchock, stop, aftershock, stop, aftershock, it is constant movement of giant slabs of earthrock deep down with the ‘aftershocks’ being when jagged bits on each giant slab grind and bump past each other.

    Now back at our sensitive wee house and while writing this three wee ones have bumped and grinded.

    What a great xmas. It’s too much. There can be no certainty that there will be less earthquakes for months and months and months of quiet.

    • Lanthanide 23.1

      Chance of getting some big ones (4-4.5M) on xmas is pretty high, too. Last year it was September till Dec 26th for that aftershock, this time it’s Dec 23rd to Dec 2x? 😐

      • NickS 23.1.1

        It depends, there was a sharp drop-off on the last sequence, and this one’s likely to have a much a sharp drop-off in power and frequency of events. So I’d guess we’d see Xmas day with not a lot of shaking over 3.0

        It’s also possibly going to be classed as a new event by geologists later on.

        • vto

          One very considerable consequence will be that the insurers’ will almost certainly upsticks again – just as they were about to come back. This means nearly all rebuild on hold. Again.

          Too much uncertainty now. Too much time.

          Mind you – people have populated the bars and parks and are enjoying the afternoon sun and warmth.

          Keep calm and carry on

  24. CnrJoe 24

    oh Christchurch

  25. NickS 25

    Finally, the power is back…

    Sadly I can’t get my hands on a beer to calm the nerves till tomorrow if I’m lucky :/

  26. Regards to all in Christchurch.
    This must be doing your head in.

  27. Adrian 27

    [Deleted. It’s unwise and not useful to directly or indirectly attribute geophysical events like earthquakes to the result of an election. RL] Commiserations to Christchurch.

  28. vto 28

    Well we’re all off to a gathering at a place which has always been a very good place to hear, feel, sense and watch earthquakes. And its a-shakin’ like all hell right now. Best get there …

  29. MrSmith 29

    Jinkskey off to a good start one flood and a couple of quakes.

    • mik e 29.1

      mr smith more economic gloom as well something you come to expect from Nationals jinkxkey & dipstick.

  30. David H 30

    Huge earthquakes in CHCH people have again been uprooted and are living with the shakes and terrors.  Where’s the PM ????  Oh thats right he pisses/pissed off to Hawaii to recover from his ‘hard year’.  Here’s hoping for a huge volcano to erupt, and wipe out his property and shit.  Then he MIGHT, JUST MIGHT  get where the people of CHCH come from.  But don’t hold your breath.

    [This line of argument really pisses me off. Whatever you may think of Key’s politics and actions … he’s NOT responsible for earthquakes or their timing. More of this will be deleted… RL]

    • MrSmith 30.1

      What line of argument RL? A little black humor and your moderating, lighten the fuck up.

      [Don’t pull the ‘where’s your sense of humour’ line on me. What I’m seeing here looks like stupid and I get to call it as such. Try inverting the comment as if it was a from a RWNJ talking about a Labour PM; not pretty nor useful. Especially not right now while there are thousands of frustrated people right now in ChCh highly wound up and emotional…RL]

      [lprent: exactly. Flamewars over people’s senses of “humor” during disasters tend to be a pain in the arse. ]

      • MrSmith 30.1.1

        “What I’m seeing here looks like stupid” 
        Well RL having a bit of fun and Laughing when you would otherwise cry is how a lot of people react when shit happens sorry about that.
        And making fun of our politicians is now banned on your watch, could be a bit boring around here in the future.

        [ You see the original comment were are talking about as ‘black humour’; I’ve re-read it several times and frankly to me it’s indistinguishable from demeaning and nasty. Just the kind of thing that presses people’s buttons and starts pointless flame-wars. If you want to make fun of politicians fine; but make it a bit funnier ok?

        I accept you are not trolling and are expressing a sincere point of view. I’ve no problem with that…. but here would be a really good place to end this. Arguing with moderation attracts it’s own bad karma. RL]

      • David H 30.1.2

        [Deleted and banned for one week… RL]

        [lprent: Added. Last comment spammed. You are lucky that RL caught you before I did. Lyn’s aunt is up there crying as the quakes roll through, and you are being a dick on here. I can’t fix one. I can help out on the other. ]

    • hobbit 30.2

      David H –

      What difference does it make if Key is there or not? It doesn’t matter to those at the coal face of this. It’d only be a PR stunt if he was there.

      And who cares where Key (or any MP for that matter) holidays? Stop being so damn nosy.

      • Salsy 30.2.1

        End of the day, its still distasteful that the multimillionaire PM swans off to another nation where he prefers to holdiay amongst another nation’s citizens, in another nation’s landscape while there is a lot of suffering in NZ. You just wouldnt see that in a Labour leader. I doubt Helen Clark would have had a holiday until those miners bodies were recovered especially if she promised to have them out by xmas, and she’d be right on hand in CHCH to help console and reassure the people and do her job – be a leader. Key simply doesnt give a fuck about Kiwis, doesnt value New Zealand and hasnt a clue how to be a leader.

  31. David H 31

    Exactly John Key and his Government could not give 2 fucks for you or me And I am getting sick and fuckin tired of every one jumping to Shonky Donkie’s defence.   When he has only one goal, and one goal only, and that is to RIP you and me off.  So yes I was being nasty and NO I will not apologise for it because it sometimes takes a bit of whats happening to others to rip the rose coloured glasses off.  And another thing I am also sick and tired of politicians who DO NOT LISTEN to their electorates and this is at its worst in the LABOUR party at the moment.

    [No-one is defending John Key. However using this ChCh earthquake, deeply frustrating and traumatising to so many ordinary people, to make an entirely irrelevant attack on John Key is simply wrong. I’m not asking you to apologise, just not do it anymore. RL]

  32. rosy 32

    Thanks to lprent and the authors for thought provoking posts. And of course the commenters without whom…
    Wishing you all the best for Christmas. We’re so looking forward to heading home for a month of summer in the new year (albeit part of that’s in Wellington which is not really summer at all ;-)).

    Special regards to Lanth, vto and others in Christchurch who will have to pick themselves up physically, emotionally and financially from this latest spate of quakes and live with the uncertainty that it has brought. Kia kaha to all.

  33. Adrian 33

    What is the Minister of Tourism doing holidaying in Hawaii anyway?
    [Deleted. Either you have completely failed to read the thread above or you are a very slow learner…. using this earthquake to make a completely irrelevant and spurious attack on John Key is wrong and will be moderated. Consider this a polite and final warning. RL]

  34. james 111 34

    Great to see the 429 Green Voters who voted for Paula Bennett ,and get her across the line in Waitakere.

    Interesting to see this tacttical voting happening in that seat. Clearly they werent impressed with the Labour candidate

  35. Carol 35

    Damn. Stratos has closed:


    Stratos Television, the free-to-air, nationwide broadcaster is switching off after four years of serving up real public service broadcasting to a growing number of New Zealanders.

    The channel, which has provided a different window on the world from other channels through the likes of Al Jazeera news in English, is no longer financially viable.

    Co-founder and chief executive Jim Blackman says Stratos has survived four years because the people behind it have 15 years experience of delivering great television at low cost and without having the advantage of access to taxpayer dollars.

    I’m not clear if Triangle is still showing in Auckland. But I’ll miss my morning fix of Stratos. I have AlJazeera playing online instead.

  36. Lanthanide 36

    I think having a single open mike serving from now till new years probably won’t work too well, unless the goal is to discourage new comments from being added because there’s a wall of very old ones and new ones will get lost at the bottom.

    Best system would probably be one that creates a new open mike on any day in which the previous post passes 100 comments. Failing that, a new open mike post every 3 days would probably be a good choice.

  37. vto 37

    Well that was one of the most shaky nights ever I think. Countless. Now no water. Yay.

    Just as long as they don’t ramp up a magnitude ……..

  38. r0b 38

    There’s a new post up for Christchurch / quakes.

    I’ll schedule a new version of this summer open mike post for tomorrow morning. We weren’t expecting this volume of comments!

  39. RedLogix 39

    [Moved this morning’s quake comments to the “Latest Quakes” thread…RL]

  40. millsy 40

    A brief thought on Charter Schools:

    I would only accept them if they were grass-roots community operations with parents and teachers at the heart of them. Keep the churches, charities, corporates, and iwi out of them.

    Schools should be community assets/amenities, not revenue streams for the above.

    The National government’s efforts to effectively create a winner and loser school system in this country, backed by educrats, god-botherers, iwi aristocrats and the National Party-supporting media will not help students, especially the underachivers one iota.

  41. seeker 41

    @ millsy

    “The National government’s efforts to effectively create a winner and loser school system in this country, backed by educrats………will not help students, especially the underachivers one iota.

    How right you are. They have no idea how to help the underachievers. Over one hundred years of public education and still no one has any really effective idea of how to help every child read proficiently, and I know without doubt that National bloomin’ Standards and Charter Schools are certainly not the answer.

    In fact as far as human development goes any right wing ideology will have our development whizzing back to the stone age, so simplistic, anachronistic and narrow is their thinking. And John Key typifies it perfectly! They really do make you want to give up. But hey ho -we just have to try each day to educate and ‘train’ these National underachievers, and then they too may be able to actually help our children instead of demoralising them.

    Hope Father Christmas brings each member of John Key’s cabinet,and Key himself, a great big working brain-full of creativity,long term thinking skills, compassion and enlightenment and not a drop of “dollar” juice to keep the cogs working in sight, just “good ol’ human honest as the day is long common sense no8 wire” brain fluid.

    Thank you Lprent for thinking of setting up this site It has certainly allowed the formation of a wonderful dynamic community. I look forward to visiting this site everyday to maintain balance perspective and humour in what is fast becoming a very ‘off’ kilter world; even, and perhaps, especially at Christmas.

    This site is in a class of its own and reaches and provides the highest of Standards in political and social commenting. Communities are so needed by mankind after their decimation under neo liberal ideology over the past thirty odd years. Mankind is a natural social animal and has been fed falsehoods by neoeliberal leaders like Thatcher, who for their own selfish ends set about ‘individualising’,undermining and destroying society-The Standard is helping to put back what she and her ilk have taken out.Thankyou.

  42. fender 42

    Merry Christmas everyone!
    Have a happy and safe festive season.
    Thanks to all at The Standard for your excellent work, you all ROCK. And you have attracted some smart people who I respect to your great site (excluding those trolls of course).

  43. randal 43

    Had to comment on some geek from the airforce whingeing on about the skyhawks on rnz this morning.
    in the first place the rnzaf were lucky to get them and in the second the rnzaf were doubly lucky that they lasted as long as they did.
    then some brat jumps up and starts going on about f-16s and potent strike foce and where the hell is kelly mcgillis so he can impress her with his big thing.
    bah humbug.
    grow up.

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