You’ve got to be kidding me

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 pm, January 29th, 2012 - 76 comments
Categories: you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Pike River boss Peter Whittall, the guy facing charges after 29 of his employees died working in his unsafe, ‘profit-over-people’ mine, has set up a mining safety consulting company. What’s next? A Minister of Tourism who always holidays overseas? A Finance Minister who wants to sell highly profitable assets in a down market? … oh … This country is nuts.

76 comments on “You’ve got to be kidding me”

  1. Mark 1

    There were obviously big problems at Pike River.
    Maybe it should never have been mined, but Coasters wanted and needed the business and jobs.
    Maybe it should have been opencast, and the short/medium term environmental issues balanced out by a land rehabilitation bond (it works in other areas)
    Nobody seemed to be making big profits, despite injecting big capital, perhaps the business case was flawed due to above points.
    Perhaps the miners (RIP) were somewhat blase regarding their own safety (cigarette butts and lighters found inside the mine) and no amount of Mines Inspectors could have policed this – and it would be interesting to see the response if anyone was sacked due to safety breaches.
    I have no experience in the desire or necessity to have bodies recovered to get closure, however if it was hugely important to me and I had experience underground I would be pushing hard to have a go myself to reclaim my brother, son, workmate. I think it is wrong to disallow anyone that opportunity yet expect Emergency Services to undertake the task.
    NZ needs the revenue and jobs that mineral extraction enables, and we are capable of mitigating environmental effects as long as we debate the industry rationally rather than emotively.
    I am sure we have all seen the exotic forests cut and regrown in our sensitive areas, it looks like shit for a few years, then…

    IrishBill: The mine was never viable as opencast. The overburden would have been hundreds of meters deep in places. Both the open-cast claim and the line about workers’ not taking responsibility for their own safety are based on spin spread around shortly after the explosion. They have about as much validity and currency as the calls made at around the same time to make Whittall CEO of the year.

     

    • Mark 1.1

      However I do agree that this appears to be a slightly insensitive new role for Peter Whittal.. everyone has to earn a crust tho don’t they? Or should he be a beneficiary? 

      • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1

        Should be in jail.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        appears to be a slightly insensitive new role for Peter Whittal..

        “Slightly sensitive”? You’re a joke and an apologist for a man who fucked up in the name of profits.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        I have no problem with him finding employment but he has proven himself incapable of the role he has taken.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.3.1

          Yeah, when I initially heard he set up a mining consultancy company, I thought “fair enough”.

          But because it’s specifically a *mining safety* consultancy, I think that’s a bridge too far.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.4

        Heard of the mining boom in Australia ? he could earn a living as a mine manger … if he was any good

    • McFlock 1.2

      Much lolz.
      You blame the coasters, thegreenies, the investors, and the miners themselves, but not the guy in  charge.
         
      Piss off.

      [Be fair.. he was ‘slightly insensitive’…RL]

    • Mark 1.3

      Then we should be mining responsibly where the overburden is not so deep, again rationally debating the industry rather than “mining bad, no mining good”
      The comment about butts and lighters comes from the inquiry, it is not spin.
      Perhaps the pilot of the Mickael Lermentov (local, wasn’t he?) should have been jailed along with Whittal, The Rena Captain etc? 
      In fact,why don’t we jail John Key and everyone in the Nats (maybe all the voters too) as everything is always their fault, no?
      If as someone has commented, the $200M or so from Crafar farms is just going to the Aussie banks, surely it’s better that it is Chinese money, no? FFS, they can’t take the land away, and look at the mess the Crafars made of farming it.. environmental vandalism, animal welfare issues.. 
      No I forget, it’s all the fault of the right, the capitalists, the bosses, 

       

      • felix 1.3.1

        Well it wasn’t the fault of the cows, mate.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        No I forget, it’s all the fault of the right, the capitalists, the bosses,

        Yes, it is, as they do they damnedest not to be held to account or to have rules applied to themselves. They also want to strip all the resources the country has and sell them off leaving the country (that’s us) with nothing just so that they can have a larger bank account.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.3.3

        The Rena captain has been arrested , same for Costa Concordia. Try to not change the facts next time.

      • muzza 1.3.4

        What is it with you fucken – “You can’t take the land with you” base level idiots!

      • McFlock 1.3.5

        The comment about butts and lighters comes from the inquiry, it is not spin.
        It is spin when you use it to try to absolve management of any blame for letting things get to that state.

        Perhaps the pilot of the Mickael Lermentov (local, wasn’t he?) should have been jailed along with Whittal,
        It seems that in order to save their own arse, the harbour board and NoT decided that the pilot was not acting as a pilot at the time. Possibly something to do with the overwork he’d had previously impairing his judgement and making them liable. Smacks of cover-up. The captain was charged by the Soviets and given a suspended sentence.

        The Rena Captain etc? 
        The Rena captain who’s currently facing charges, you mean?

        In fact,why don’t we jail John Key and everyone in the Nats (maybe all the voters too) as everything is always their fault, no?
        Well, if it was up to me I wouldn’t have a problem with that, given that their policies kill people.

        Why the hell do you have difficulty understanding the word “responsibility”? If someone is in charge, then they are responsible and should be held responsible if something goes wrong. The issue we have today is that too many bosses are given bonusses if things go right, but aren’t held responsible if things go wrong – captains, pilots, CEOs and prime ministers all included.

        • Lynne 1.3.5.1

          The ciggies and lighter issue is irrelevant to the explosion, if the mine was safe those items would not matter however silly it was. The fact of the matter is that shortcuts were made to cut costs and time , the mine had only one viable exit , the methane levels were being ignored ,and the ventilation fan was in the wrong place and dangerous ,(it is a possible ignition source).
          At the end of the day nothing will bring these men back to their families but the course of the explosion must be discovered to prevent this ever happening again to do this they must enter the mine with a safe plan .

    • flossie 1.4

      The contraband found in the mine was years ago – before the mine was a ‘working’ mine – when it was just a tunnel being built. Not relevant to what happened at the time. It was back in 2007.

  2. Benjamin B. 2

    +++

  3. Eduardo Kawak 3

    You could get the govt to make up some rules to allow to NZ to become a haven for convicted white collar criminals from overseas just cause they’re rich and then make taxpayers foot the bill for their extradition when international authorities catch up with them? We’ll just make sure you don’t these rich ex-cons buy any land. The govt can make up some other rules to sell that to totalitarian Chinese psuedo-govt companies.

    oh..

  4. johnm 4

    You got it Zetetic
    The Plebeians in NZ get their Commonwealth sold off for the benefit of wealthy investors. Honest workers are victimized in the name of efficiency basically treated with contempt(Port of Auckland). Up and coming Welfare Reform will institute harassment of sickness beneficiaries to find non existent jobs.The elites dole out more cash to themselves with tax cuts. Child poverty is ignored as if it were in another country. And the man who could have protected those miners lives with respect and good safety procedures, but didn’t lives like King Shonkey in his own dreamworld cut off from the lower orders of existence,the only explanation for such an outrageous assertion that he can advise on mine safety.

  5. fender 5

    Another CEO who hasn’t learnt their limitations despite huge cost paid by others.
    Surely a total change of industry would be more appropriate “going forward” for Peter after having gone so backward of late. Or how about a change from being in the top job to starting over in the lowest ranking duties in the mining industry.

  6. debatewatcher 6

    Coming up next: the captain of the Costa Concordia becomes a consultant for safe sailing practices.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I think he is certainly an expert in what not to do so far as mine safety is concerned. I would be surprised if his venture got very far considering his record with Pike must be public knowledge around the world.

    However, in his defence, I would say that there were severe financial problems with the mine that must have constrained his ability to implement safety systems at the mine, especially if that required capital expenditure. So, it is probably unfair to overly demonise the guy, although obviously he has a lot to answer for.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      What a load of double talk.

      Any financial constraints at the mine can only be blamed if Whittall can be shown to have championed investment in safety and safe practices at the mine and was repeatedly turned down by the Board.

      This is not the case.

    • The Voice of Reason 7.2

      TS, if PRC couldn’t afford to operate safely, then they should never have operated at all. The same applies to any industry, any company, anywhere.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        Yes. Given the apparently $1b worth of coal, I’m sure they could have gotten enough capital to set the mine up properly. If banks weren’t willing to lend then I’d suggest it was a problem with the mine’s operators.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Yes. Given the apparently $1b worth of coal

          Ahem. 17.6M tonnes of coal very conservatively priced at $250/tonne. That’s $4.4B worth of coal.

          So yeah, an extra $0.05B spent on safety would have been a good idea.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      However, in his defence, I would say that there were severe financial problems with the mine that must have constrained his ability to implement safety systems at the mine, especially if that required capital expenditure.

      He was the CEO. If such limitations existed he should have closed the mine.

  8. vto 8

    This in fact perfectly shows up Whittal’s incompetence. Like the Pike River criminally negligent deaths of 29 men.

    That Whittal cannot see that perhaps he is not capable in this role and will probably get no work as a mine safety consultant kind of says it all.

    And you can add to that the lack of perception that taking on such a role would be like rubbing salt into the wounds of the victims families.

    It appears the man is blind. Mind you, look at the leadership we have – what is expected? I tell you what is expected – it is that the people are expected to live up to a higher standard than our so-called leaders. Duh.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      That Whittal cannot see that perhaps he is not capable in this role and will probably get no work as a mine safety consultant kind of says it all.

      The old It’s not what you know but who you know* applies which means he probably will be hired.

      It appears the man is blind. Mind you, look at the leadership we have – what is expected? I tell you what is expected – it is that the people are expected to live up to a higher standard than our so-called leaders.

      Our ‘leaders’ like to set the standards that others have to adhere to but don’t like any standards set for them.

      * This actually applies massively in NZ. 70% of positions are filled through social contacts.

    • The Voice of Reason 8.2

      “Mind you, look at the leadership we have – what is expected?”
       
      Well, this photo shows the sort of dynamic, thoughtful and caring leadership Whittall looks up to. Literally.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Link is erroneous.

        • The Voice of Reason 8.2.1.1

          Cheers, Draco. Something to do with the URL length.
           
          The photo is of Whittall looking at Key like a kid looks at an ice cream. If readers can be bothered, just put Whittall in Google image search. It’s one of the first up. The big tongued ass image at the top of the post features on page 4 of the results, but for some reason, if you search for Whittall + Key the ass moves up in popularity to page 2!

  9. randal 9

    more malice in blunderland.

  10. Roy 10

    I predict his consultancy will crash and burn. I suspect he won’t understand why.

  11. RJL 11

    He certainly does have experience managing a mine during an emergency. He probably has useful things to say about what did and didn’t work.

    So, while it does read like a bad joke, he probably does have something to offer on mine safety.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Here’s a clue: don’t give the Captain of the Titanic another command, using the excuse “he must have learnt something from the monumental fuck up”.

      • RJL 11.1.1

        His value as a consultant would be for exactly the same reason that he was questioned by the Royal Commission and for exactly the same reason he will face criminal charges.

        He was there. He knows (some of) what happened. He was responsible for (some of) what did and didn’t happen.

        Whether he has anything significant to offer that won’t be merely be in the Royal Commission document is questionable. But he clearly could be considered an “expert” in what happened in a mining disaster.

        • seeker 11.1.1.1

          Your comment is poorly reasoned and distasteful. This man incompetently ran a mine which saw 29 precious men lose their lives and you talk of his “value as a consultant” …in that “he clearly could be considered an “expert in a mining disaster.” Disingenuous or what? Get a grip RJL.You are trying to defend an indefensible mining tragedy.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2

          I love it. The bigger the fuck up under their watch the more these types think they deserve to be paid. The fact that our society acquiesces is problematic indeed.

    • Zetetic 11.2

      He certainly can advise mine bosses on how to spin themselves into the victim and the heroif any of their workers die

  12. Zetetic the country aint going nuts. This is what the bosses do when they run Rena onto the reef. They rush for the lifeboats taking whatever provisions for survival they can grab. We can stop that, toss them overboard, before they run the ship aground.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1

      The bosses at PRC rushed for the lifeboats all right. They put the business into receivership quick smart and sailed off leaving the costs to someone else.

  13. burt 13

    I don’t think putting Whittall in a place where he has any form of responsibility for mine safety is any different to putting Jim Anderton in a place of responsibility for drug and suicide policies. But hey it was different for Jim eh….

    • burt 13.1

      Oh, but for the record. I think Whittall is as completely unsuitable for this role as Anderton was for the one he had. Difference IMHO is that companies are not forced to listen to the incompetence of Whittall like the country was with Anderton.

    • ak 13.2

      Pretty low even for a tory moron burt. Take this sort of filth over to the sewer if you can’t hold it in, or reap what you sow.

  14. Wayne 14

    The media fawning over Whittall just after the tragedy was unbelievable.

    Here was the CEO, responsible for all aspects of safety in the mines (as described on his company website), who had 29 guys die under him. The buck stops with him. And under the H&S Act 1992, he as the principal bears ultimate responsibility for the incident.

    Yet he was made into a media star by a press sucked in by his glib presentations. And still now, incredibly, he denies any responsibility for what happened. It does not say much for the character of the man.

    • Fortran 14.1

      He had only been CEO for 6 weeks.
      Where is his predecessor – in a good mining job in Australia.

      • The Voice of Reason 14.1.1

        Whittall was the Mine Manager before he was CEO. He oversaw the design, budget and build of the mine, including Ok’ing a one entrance/exit strategy and the provision of inadequate safety training, sub standard ventilation and a culture of bullying. 
         
        I note the ‘support Peter Whittall’ fb site hasn’t had any traffic since July last year. Isn’t it about time you woke up, too?

  15. Rich 15

    Coasters! You have the same people:
    1. demanding that people be sent into the mine to recover corpses, irrespective of professional opinion as to the extreme hazard involved
    2. complaining that the mine wasn’t run in a safe fashion with regard to professional opinion

    Ironic, really.

    • McFlock 15.1

      Not really. A lot of the people wanting the bodies recovered are mining professionals themselves. 

      It can be mined with an acceptable level of safety, and the bodies recovered with an acceptable level of safety. You just need the equipment and the procedures in place to minimise the hazards in the mine. That takes money and will.

      • Rich 15.1.1

        I wasn’t aware that Tony Kokshorn was a professional at anything other than being a dick.

        • McFlock 15.1.1.1
          • McFlock 15.1.1.1.1

            pithy response apparently killed in editor.
             
            Pithy response being “I wasn’t aware that Tony Kokshorn was the only Coaster saying that the bodies were able to be recovered”.

  16. Jenny 16

    About time coal mining was left in the 19th C. where it belongs.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Problem Jenny is that is not going to happen. The world wants high quality coal, they will pay good dollars for it, and we have it here, lots of it.

      Coal mining is, for better or worse, the way of the future – that will become clear once a barrel of oil is US$160 and petrol is $3/L.

      And steam engines are going to make a comeback. Coal fired steam engines and steam plants.

      • vto 16.1.1

        Quite. And remind me again why John Key wants to sell Solid Energy?

      • Jenny 16.1.2

        The world wants high quality coal, they will pay good dollars for it, and we have it here, lots of it.

        Colonial Viper

        Let’s all bow down to the great god of profit.

        If the mercenary motive is your excuse for putting mining coal, above wrecking the environment, Why not apply it to other things for which the world “will pay good dollars for”.

        Deep sea oil drilling? Fracking? What other destructive industries would you support for a buck?

        Why not asbestos mining, we have mountains of the stuff?

        Why not mill all the native beech forests? The world wants high quality wood, they will pay good dollars for it, and we have it here, lots of it.

        While we are about it; Why not let New Zealand become the world centre for Heroin and P production and export, after all, our back yard chemists are world leaders in this industry.

        And if making money is your top priority why stop at the 19th C. let’s go back to the 18th C. and bring back slavery, this industry alone could eliminate our foreign debt.

        To much

        Over the top?

        Crazy?

        CV you may not be able to bring yourself to admit it, but none of above crazy examples I have listed are even half as insane as what you are suggesting. That we trade away the environment which sustains us, for money?

        How many levels of crazy is that?

        None of the examples I have listed above, (even bringing back slavery) could possibly create even a fraction of the death and destruction, experts have determined climate change will cause.

        Of course you could take the intellectually lazy way out and deny that climate change induced by burning fossil fuels even exists.

        So what is it CV?

        Are you a climate change denier, or is it, that you just don’t give a damn?

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          Please note. I am not ‘recommending’ a course of action. I am just suggesting what the most likely eventualities are.

          To give you some piece of mind, I personally think that we need to individually and societally go back to a 1940’s and 1950’s level of physical resource and energy use. However I also believe that physically, politically and economically we will not do that as an advanced western civilisation until we are absolutely forced too.

          So let me ask you a few questions.

          1) How many years until the majority of people choose to give up their personal automobiles and imported consumer items?

          2) How many years until politicians speak the truth and tell the middle classes that the lies must stop, global economic growth is ended or must be ended.

          3) How many years before we as a nation choose to go back to working on the land and living simple lives of low environmental impact?

          I have the answer for you:

          Not until we are absolutely forced too. The doddery and delusional middle classes and upper middle classes will not hear of anything else.

          • vto 16.1.2.1.1

            I suspect that your number 3) may be the first mover, if it isn’t already (I think it is).

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.1.2

            1.) 4 to 5 years.
            2.) Never
            3.) After our land can no longer support us.

            Not until we are absolutely forced too. The doddery and delusional middle classes and upper middle classes will not hear of anything else.

            QFT

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1.2.1

              Basically right all round. As someone said to me today – it doesn’t matter how much money the elite think they have today, they’re as fucked as the rest of us.

              • Jenny

                – it doesn’t matter how much money the elite think they have today, they’re as fucked as the rest of us.

                Colonial Viper

                Couldn’t have said it better myself. (not with the same level of profanity anyway).

                It was this message that Churchill gave to the ruling elites of England in 1939.

          • Jenny 16.1.2.1.3

            Please note. I am not ‘recommending’ a course of action. I am just suggesting what the most likely eventualities are.

            Colonial Viper

            Most likely, but not inevitable, my old Colonial Boy.

            Remember, evil only triumphs when good people do nothing.

            Unlike you, I am recommending a course of action. Based in the real world on our common shared experience and history

            As bad as trading the destruction of the environment, for a quick buck: – defeatism and fatalism, that accepts that mercenary BAU is inevitable and unstoppable.

            Nothing can be done.

            Nothing can be changed.

            Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

            I would like to thank for listing your rationales for your fatalism. For giving me the opportunity to counter them with concrete real world examples that prove the opposite.

            1) How many years until the majority of people choose to give up their personal automobiles and imported consumer items?

            How about virtually overnight, if given a better alternative.

            The city of Hasselt in Belgium had (and still has) the highest private car ownership in Europe. It was a gridlocked hell, with one ring motorway system and plans for another.

            But instead of ploughing billions into another new motorway, the city of Hasselt decided to put the billions earmarked for motorway construction into making all their public transport fare free.

            In a very short time public transport use went up by an unheard of one thousand percent. Commuters left their cars at home.

            The land set aside for the new ring motorway was turned into a green belt instead.

            2) How many years until politicians speak the truth and tell the middle classes that the lies must stop, global economic growth is ended or must be ended.

            Well, if they started now. The answer is again almost overnight. If you have read many of my comments you would know that I often try and channel the Churchill spirit.
            At a time when the whole leading British establishment fatalistically accepted that a facist take over was inevitable. And that all that remained was for England to make it’s peace with Hitler. Churchill instead of appeasing the facists demanded war, calling on the people of England and the world to rise up against fascism.

            His call was answered.

            Against all accepted wisdom, Churchill’s singular lead was taken up.

            Churchill promised the people of England nothing but blood, sweat, toil and tears and delivered on his promise. Yet in giving a vital lead against fascism at a crucial time, Churchill despite being a rabid imperialist and anti working class tory, was recently voted the most popular Britain of all time.

            If even one politician, I don’t care from which party starting railing against climate change in parliament the way that Churchill railed against facism, If only one politician denounced and appeasers to the fossil fuel lobbyists, and condemned them roundly for cowardice yet at the same timeappealing to their best instincts to change their ways.

            3) How many years before we as a nation choose to go back to working on the land and living simple lives of low environmental impact?

            The answer to the threat of runaway climate change has often been called the World War II solution.

            In World War II – Energy use was rationalised, gardening for the war, became a government policy. The blackout as well as being a defensive move, reinforced in the minds of millions of people the severity of the crisis. The land army was mobilised to feed the population. Strategic heights of industry and the economy was nationalised.

            All these changes happened within weeks and months.

            I have the answer for you:
            Not until we are absolutely forced too. The doddery and delusional middle classes and upper middle classes will not hear of anything else.

            Colonial Viper

            Colonial I disagree with your cynical answer. Our recent history informs me that the middle and even the upper middle classes, are prepared to mobilise themselves enmass alongside other New Zealanders for issues of principle not involved in their immediate self interest or gratification. Anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-nuclear, anti-schedule 4 mining.

            All that is missing is a strong and gutsy political lead, that is prepared to bravely lay out the magnitude of the threat but not be intimidated by it.

            Here are some links to some organisations that are trying to give such a lead. Hopefully they will be joined by more and more people and even get buy in from some in the established political leadership.

            http://coalactionnetworkaotearoa.wordpress.com/

            http://farefreenz.blogspot.co.nz/

            In New Zealand our main contributer to CO2 emmissions is transport. Mainly because we prioritise the private motor car over public transport.

            We currently spend a billion a year on motorway construction. For a fraction of that money we could fund Auckland wide free public transport for 25 years. From there public transport could be made fare free nation wide.

            When public transport is made free tens of thousands of commuters will flock to use it.

            In Hasselt when public transport became free it became more efficient and safer as the drivers didn’t have to juggle cash boxes and fiddle with change and clip tickets. Journey times were shortened significantly, and became more pleasant. Public transport was flooded with people unlike here where most buses are only partially full.

            Will all this make a difference to global CO2 emissions? No, but like Churchill’s war time Britain, it will inspire the rest of the world to follow our example.

  17. Jenny 17

    Coal mining is, for better or worse, the way of the future – that will become clear once a barrel of oil is US$160 and petrol is $3/L.

    And steam engines are going to make a comeback. Coal fired steam engines and steam plants.

    Colonial Viper

    Prepare to kiss the climate goodbye.

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    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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