99 thoughts on “General debate, June 2, 2013

  1. Well done, Russel and Metiria, for ‘taking the fuzzy green gloves off’ (hat-tip – Keeping Stock/Sneaking Crock).
    Pete (wish-I-had-possum-hair) George has come up with a winner with his ‘Once were treehuggers’ attempted-slight-but-in-reality-accolade. This weekend’s conference has more than ruffled a few feathers – the whole chook-house is in an uproar!!

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  2. But.. but.. what happened to the Green Party value #6, engaging respectfully without personal attacks? :(

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  3. What a load of rubbish from the Green leadership. Taken of the fuzzy green gloves? hahaha.

    Comparing Key to Muldoon?

    Those from the under 40 generation are asking “who is Muldoon”?

    Those from the over 40 generation will recognize the Muldoon with his control freak tendencies was closer to current Green policies then Key ever will be.

    Remember MRP?, Fixed wage rounds? Import controls? Export killing tasxation measures? Fixed prices for rail, electricity, post office charges? No competition on the Cook Straight? Feather bedding unions?

    List goes on.

    Epic fail by the Greens to compare Key with Muldoon.

    Would have been better for Russel to claim his policies were closer to how Muldoon ran the country.

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  4. Meh. Details, smeetails, Gerrit. Russel’s slapped key down by using the PM’s own rhetoric style. Mind you, he didn’t go so far as calling National “Devil Beast”. I suppose you are going to argue that Key was right to compare Labour and the Greens to the Devil-Beast – pleeeeease.
    Muldoon was dictatorial. Key is dictatorial. Russel’s is a good comparison.
    Muldoon bullied those who challeged him, Key bullies in the same way. Muldoon drank too much alcohol, Key is seeped in it. Russel has drawn attention to their similarities. Of course there are difference between Muldoon and Key. Muldoon is dead. Key is only dead in the water :-)

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  5. Nothing wrong with being seeped in alcohol. Apple wine has matured nicely and is drinking oh so smooth. Feijoa at the bubble stage. Looking good.

    I suppose you are going to argue that Key was right to compare Labour and the Greens to the Devil-Beast

    Not me, dont like name calling. Prefer to argue the toss that Dr. Norman is leading the Greens down the dictorial Muldoon avenue.

    Micro state control of anything and everything.

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  6. About that cider…
    http://robertguyton.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/about-that-cider.html

    Name calling? If you are good at it, it can work for you. Certainly Key uses it to great affect. “Devil Beast”. ‘Course he didn’t think of that one himself. Not a reader our John. Probably never read a word of “Pinocchio”. Norman’s showing intestinal fortitude and a willingness to take it to Key. If no one does, do you think Key will just fold and go back to Hawaii? Nope. Someone (Russel) has to fight harder on our behalf and if that means rolling up his sleeves and raising his metaphorical fists, I’ll be cheering him on. Or perhaps you believe the Greens should know their place, you know, that dreamy, smokey, peace and light place where they can come to no, do no harm? Not me. I believe we have to fight hard to over turn the dictatorial government that’s building strength as we slumber. Russel’s waking us all up.

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  7. Hey Gerrit, so if the Green’s policies are like Muldoon’s, how the hell could they be ‘far left’? The right wing are confused these days, maybe too much alcohol. As someone who was a young adult in the Muldoon era, I haven’t seen any current politicians who closely resemble him, (except maybe Judith Collins?)

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  8. Muldoon’s policies were hardly “far left”. Muldoon was essentially a Keynesian, as were most people in his time. However the tide was moving against Keynesianism and towards moneterism. When Douglas took over as finance minister he “went with the flow”, to his discredit as it has turned out.

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  9. Viv – In a way, Gerrit is on the money.

    Muldoon was a statist and a social conservative, but not really what you would characterise as right-wing. In fact, he spend many years trying to conserve the welfare legacy and also, promote job creation and self-sufficiency via the Think Big projects.

    In a way, Muldoon can probably be regarded as NZ last socialist PM – at least in our native form of socialism.

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  10. Viv,

    so if the Green’s policies are like Muldoon’s, how the hell could they be ‘far left’?

    Because they are. Right wing would let the market decide. Something Muldoon never ever did. State control was his answer. Far left policies such as think big and QE to pay for it.

    Was often said that Muldoon should have been a Labour prime minister and Lange a National one.

    You may be ingrained with National= right wing. Not so. Both Labour and National are basically centre left democratic socialist parties.

    Greens are to the left of the Labour centre left thus classified as a “far left” party.

    greenfly,

    Someone (Russel) has to fight harder on our behalf and if that means rolling up his sleeves and raising his metaphorical fists, I’ll be cheering him on.

    I would prefer someone to fighter “smarter” and using strategic advantages to gain the 20% of votes needed to become a serious parliamentary party able to government alongside Labour.

    If you think name calling Key=Muldoon is a great leap forward good for you but it is kid glove treatment, nothing more. Wasted opportunity.

    ;Or perhaps you believe the Greens should know their place, you know, that dreamy, smokey, peace and light place where they can come to no, do no harm?

    Not at all. Have always pushed for the Greens to put forward serious (and believeably costed) policies that gets them 20% of the vote.

    Trouble I see is that they are not strategically smart to get away from negative gutter politics (as Labour are doing and failing miserably) and become a party of positives.

    Russel Norman wasted an opening address speech where he could have nailed positives to the wall. Instead we have a mentioned in the press that Key=Muldoon part of the speech.

    And most of the people around in Muldoons day where more then aware of the lefty wing socilaist tendencies of Muldoon are not matched by Key actions.

    That is why it is an epic fail from one who has a doctorate in political science and should have been wee aware off.

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  11. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  12. Muldoon NEVER did QE.

    That much at least is perfectly and clearly true by the results. If he had had the sense to do something like it the banks would never have been able to twist the economy of NZ into a knot, could not have manufactured a crisis or invoked the “Shock Doctrine” against us. I see no similarity between the quasi-autocratic Muldoon and the polyglot Greens. You have another indefensible error here. Much like the last.

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  13. greenfly,

    Russel’s point is that Muldoon and Key share the same arrogant, bullying behaviours.

    Now which politician has already allocated themselves the finance ministers role in the next government? This is before an election has been won and before Labour have even considered it (in fact have ruled it out 100%)?

    Arrogance?

    BJ,

    I was under the impression that the think big project were actually QE funded. And the the Lange government sold them off. Stand to be corrected.

    This is an interesting commentary

    No, Rob would have the dollar down below US70c; he’d have the banks (very much including the Reserve Bank) lending to all at under 3 per cent; he’d recognise the underlying subsidised components in so-called “fair” trade and legislate against them; and he’d be building up our public assets, not flogging them off for a few bob quickly spent.

    http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/news/bruce-bisset-perhaps-rob-had-some-fair-points/1739503/

    Strangely, I’m not alone in thinking the latter; the Greens (and Labour to some extent) have been talking-up a very similar set of policy initiatives lately, though I suspect they might shy away (officially) from any comparison to Sir Rob’s fortress ideals.

    That is why I think Dr Norman’s comparing Key with Muldoon was such a strategic mistake.

    “Hey Greens, you are suggesting economic policies the same as Muldoon but you think Key is like him”.

    Straight away you are on a strategic back pedal having to explain (as greenfly has to do) the comparison was metaphysical rather then political.

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  14. Both Labour and National are basically centre left democratic socialist parties.

    Greens are to the left of the Labour centre left thus classified as a “far left” party.

    Gerrit – more accurate to describe Labour as broadly centrist social-democratic party. The Nats are died in the wool centre-right liberal-conservatives. Neither are “democratic socialist”.

    Being to the left of the centre / centre-right doesn’t make you “far left”. The far left would be syndicalists or communists – neither of which are represented in the NZ Parliament.

    The fact that people can put NZ politics in these terms goes to show how far the ideological debate has been skewed.

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  15. “Now which politician has already allocated themselves the finance ministers role in the next government?”

    None of them?

    Surely “allocation” happens after the election, Gerrit?
    Or perhaps you know something we don’t?

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  16. greenfly

    This ring a bell?

    Leader Russel Norman, speaking this weekend on TV3’s “The Nation” said that in return the party would expect various Cabinet portfolios including in the finance area.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/russel-norman-could-be-finance-minister-ck-131342

    Note the word “expect” and yes, in the “finance area”.

    Eying a meaningless job like Dunne’s role today or after the real power-brokers position assigned currently to shadow finance minister Parker?

    GregorW

    The fact that people can put NZ politics in these terms goes to show how far the ideological debate has been skewed.

    In your opinion. I dont think National is a right wing party. Far from it. Closer to centre left as shown by leaving many of the social policies created by labour in place (WFF, student loans, etc.).

    But your far left communist tag may, by your own definition, be skewed by the political debate.

    After all Dr Norman was once an active member of the Socialist Workers Party in Australia. Much more “far left” would be hard to find.

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  17. An interested read for me was Russell Norman’s speech to the party conference this weekend.
    Interesting because 80% of it was criticising what the current government is doing / has done. What I was looking for was what the Green Party would do if given power of government. I guess I found it here:

    Greens believe that the special interest lobbyists should be exposed to the sterilising effect of sunlight.
    And we will let the sun shine in.
    Greens believe that ordinary people should be the decision makers in this country. Ordinary people should have the power.
    And we will fight to restore that power.
    Greens believe that collective dignity comes from working together to make the world a better place.
    And we will fight to restore that dignity.
    We believe that in spite of everything that is wrong in the world, in spite of the chaos and madness we see on the news every night, that in our little corner of the south west (sic) Pacific we live in a society which is far from perfect but where justice can prevail.
    And we will fight to restore that justice and restore your right to your day in court.

    It looked OK until I read it a second time and thought it through. For instance:
    “special interest lobbyists should be exposed to the sterilising effect of sunlight. And we will let the sun shine in”.
    This is good stuff. Let’s legislate that all lobbyists must be listed in a public register, that they must produce monthly statements of what lobbying they have done, and what they have spent/used in the course of that lobbying. To make this effective, legislation must be passed making the detailed diaries/appointment books of all MPs and senior civil servants freely available on-line.

    “Greens believe that ordinary people should be the decision makers in this country, should have the power. We will fight to restore that power. “
    This looks good, but somehow recent evidence suggests that this is not the Greens’ belief. For instance, while there was a clear majority of citizens against the “no smacking legislation”, the Party pushed ahead backing it, similarly, when a government that clearly stated its intent to sell one form of assets in order to create another, the Party did everything it could, at tax-payers’ expense, to try to have that mandate removed.

    Greens believe that collective dignity comes from working together to make the world a better place. And we will fight to restore that dignity
    Again, looks good on the surface, but fails when looked at in light of recent evidence. For instance, when the government insisted on closing down a dangerous mine on the West Coast, the Party protested about the number of people put out of work; however, when a new mine that would employ people in the same area was proposed, the Party insisted that it should not be allowed to happen!
    “We believe that in spite of everything that is wrong in the world, in spite of the chaos and madness we see on the news every night, that in our little corner of the south west Pacific we live in a society which is far from perfect but where justice can prevail. And we will fight to restore that justice and restore your right to your day in court.”
    Motherhood and apple pie is what I call this statement.
    “And we will fight to restore that justice and restore your right to your day in court.”
    This suggests that I have somehow lost justice and the right to a day in court. I haven’t! Justice is the application of laws passed through proper process in Parliament, process that any government must follow, irrespective of position on a very limiting one-dimensional political spectrum. As long as laws, passed through proper process, govern us I have lost nothing. Yes, a future government could change the law, that’s what happens in a democracy. There is no need to resort to violence, or “fight”, in order to change the statute books, you just have to win enough votes to do so, I’m sure when the day comes that the Green Party has sufficient elected members of the house of representatives to lead a government it will enact as many laws as it deems appropriate to put into effect the promises it made to the electorate to achieve that position. In the meantime, democracy is served by allowing the current government to do exactly that.
    FINALLY, I have to say that the ad-hominem attack by the co-leader of the Green Party against the elected Prime Minister has destroyed any inclination I had to support the Green Part financially or with my vote. I cannot believe that the founders of the Party would condone such an attack, and cannot believe there is a long-term future in New Zealand for a Party with such leadership; a belief borne out by the dearth of attendees at the Annual Meeting this weekend.

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  18. Gerrit, I base my statement on the phraseology I see, not any history I have read.

    He got money the same way we still get it, from the banks. That is how a country is able to be at risk of going bankrupt. This can’t happen if you actually are making use of the sovereign state’s ability to create money. He still had private bankers telling him and the rest of us, what THEY believed we could and should do, and their interests are not those of New Zealand as a whole, and their vision is not as long as that of a country must be.

    So I also stand to be corrected :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

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  19. greenfly,

    About that cider. Jeez that bloke with the grey beard looks like me. Cant remember being there but then again the night of the apple wine evening is pretty blank as well.

    Probably not a good advert for home wine/cider/spirit/beer making.

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  20. I’m not sure if it was you or not, Gerrit – I feel I know you, but can’t exactly recall how. Maybe Billy O’Greatbelly (on the right) will remember. He’s one for the remebrin’ is our Billy!
    “Expect” and “allocated themselves” are two quite different things. I expect to win praise for my 2013 cider, but I’ve not allocated myself a crown. If you think Russel so powerful that he’s already nailed-down the Finance Ministership, then I concur, your apple wine is way stronger than my cider!

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  21. Being to the left of the centre / centre-right doesn’t make you “far left”. The far left would be syndicalists or communists – neither of which are represented in the NZ Parliament.

    The fact that people can put NZ politics in these terms goes to show how far the ideological debate has been skewed.

    Theres two points I’d make here.

    In the same way that poverty can be measured in absolute or relative terms, depending on what outcome one wants, then parties can be described absolutely or relatively, again, depending on what outcome one wants.

    So the first observation comes from asking the question, namely, which party which has a chance of having a decent number of MPs is to the left of the Green Party? I’d say the answer is “none”, which makes the Green Party the leftmost party, or in slightly different terms, “far left”.

    The second observation is that the definitions of parties as measured by “left” and “right” always remains in a constant state of flux. More than that, parties shift their positions based on voter preference. Why? bcause they want to get elected, of course. This is actually democracy in action, we tend to get the politics we want, though we actually realise afterwards that one should be careful what one wishes for.

    I couldn’t find a Kiwi example, but this blogger has done a time series for UK parties which illustrates the shift over time…

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  22. Fair point, dbuckley.

    The gradual shift to suit voter tastes is unavoidable. It still doesn’t detract however from the absolute as opposed to relative position on the left-right spectrum.

    To whit, my description is accurate in absolute political terms, despite what Gerrit might think.
    National is not even remotely “democratic socialist” – whatever that even means – and todays Labour Party is only vaguely left of centre, in the rush to appeal to the same core constituency. That they are fundamentally two sides of the same coin – market liberal – is a truism.

    As you infer, the reason why there is no massive policy shift in this country is that any attempts to gut the welfare safety net further would result in an electoral backlash (no matter how hard the current bunch try to paint every welfare recipient regardless of circumstance as a bludger) because the electorate, in its wisdom, is somewhat beyond ideology and possessed with a degree of fellow feeling.

    There but for the grace of God, go most of us.

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  23. I think the speech by Norman was misguided.

    It was overly personal and this confused his point.

    The focus should have been on the abuse of power – the imposed Super City, the removal of ECan and the back room deals with Hollywood and Sky City, the actions of ACC and now EQC to claimants, and the cases of illegal actions by agencies under the PM’s ministerial responsibility.

    This to connect a government’s disregard for proper form with a government not acting for the well being of all New Zealanders – and then say that the PM is the one ultimately responsible for this.

    The personal styles of Muldoon and Key as Prime Ministers have been so different that most will find the attempt to connect the two to a similar style of misrule unconvincing. Thus this was misguided.

    And political attack – when made by groups outside the political establishment offering a positive alternative – is supposed to be referenced to demonstrating that positive difference that they would/could make. Thus it is an error to launch an attack, simply to attack – and even worse to do so ineffectively by using an inaccurate premise.

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  24. SPC, it was acknowledged in the speech that Key’s style is different but the result is the same, a divided society.

    The Greens generally do address the issue and try not to personalise arguments, but what happens when one of the main issues IS the person? Accusing Key of cronyism, divisiveness and insincerity (the smile) was supported by fact and is a mild response to being called wacky and a devil-beast. The National led Government hang their power off John Key and he has had a personal involvement with much that has occurred, it is definitely not “the Government” it is “John Key’s Government”.

    Few people watch Parliament and only see Key’s sanitised public image, they do not see the nasty, smirking, throat slitting man who pushes the Speaker to the limit with his regular personal attacks. Surely it is about time that he is challenged and held to account?

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  25. Oh dear, personal attack politics. I had so admired the dignity of the Greenz for staying above that. Now please go and join the rest of the snotty nosed pre-schooler’s. It was particularly clumsy coming from an Aussie who was a primary schoolboy in brisbane during the Muldoon era.

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  26. I generally agree with SPC’s analysis above. However, it is important to provide a degree of context.

    There is a generally hostile media reception which will naturally focus on non-salient points to generate a story – something the leadership must be aware of – and Shearer is out to lunch.

    This type of attack-dog politics may in fact work in the GPs favour as the shine continues to rub off Key and the NZLP fail to capitalise. The trick will be to ease off the personal attacks heading into the last year of the election cycle – make the point for the purposes of short, sharp shock and then let the Nats prove the point by their policy actions.

    I suspect however that it might have been enough to attack Keys lack of credibility – which is actually self evident but which the electorate occasionally needs reminding of – and actually make a point of his hysterical “devil-beast” comment by laughing it off as the act of a desperate grifter.

    The salient points around anti-democratic, dictatorial politics were well made without raising the spectre of Muldoonism.

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  27. There may be an element of risk in holding John Key to personally account for his behaviour, but accusing him of being divisive, like Muldoon was, is actually necessary. Key uses a supposedly amiable (constructed) media image to cover some despicable, anti democratic behaviour. I see Russel’s comments more like calling out that the Emperor has no clothes. Key drapes himself in a cloak of concern and amiability while ripping of the poor and giving to the already wealthy. If the Greens don’t expose him, who will? And how else can this be effectively done without stating the reality?

    We have as Prime Minister a wealthy money trader who learned his skills by working within a corrupt and fraudulent company (where he excelled-“the smiling assassin”). He personally ensures that his mates get preferential treatment and deals with criticism in the House with nasty personal attacks. He has led a bullying Government ( http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8750749/Best-worst-of-our-public-service-revealed ) where he and his Ministers blame state servants for situations of their own making. Key’s style, manner and values are a huge part of what is wrong (and rotten) in this Government, he should be be personally accountable and he should be challenged. Well done Russel!

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  28. SProut
    Re

    He has led a bullying Government ( http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8750749/Best-worst-of-our-public-service-revealed ) where he and his Ministers blame state servants for situations of their own making.

    How you can come to the conclusion that the Stuff page referenced supports your view that “he has led a bullying government” is, sadly, beyond me.

    If by bullying you mean insisting that the government’s policies are implemented by its agencies in a prompt, effective and efficient manner, rather than subjected to several dozen rounds of untended meetings, working groups and policy analysis analyses, than I guess I agree with your definaition, and long may the government go on employing such tactics to implement the policy platform they were elected on.

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  29. I know many who work as state servants and also included a link to a general comment on the performance of ministries and departments. We only have to track what has been reported about ACC the Education Ministry and the many Minister’s readiness to shift blame to their state servants when they got some thing wrong to see a clear pattern.

    “…insisting that the government’s policies are implemented by its agencies in a prompt, effective and efficient manner”

    If only this was all they were expecting, the Government has cut budgets arbitrarily (with no evidence) and insisted that those remaining produce outcomes often greater than expected before. I know many in DoC and other departments who are keeping work streams going through hours of unpaid effort and good will. The Government’s budget has also exploded in paying for consultants to cover the work sacked employees had previously done.

    Dave, I suggest you talk to the people rather than repeat the spin.

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  30. Sprout
    I was one of the people, and saw the waste and idiocy that went on.

    In one ministry it was a “policy” of all second tier managers to accept any and all invitations to meetings and then decide at the time the meeting(s) was/were due to begin which, if any, of them to attend. The result was often a few dozen people sitting waiting for a decision maker to arrive who never did.
    At another agency I was invited to a meeting the purpose of which was “to determine theappropriate invitees to a meeting to decide the seating arrangements for an interdepartmental meeting. Really good use of tax dollars.

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  31. You may very well be right in the department you refer to, Dave. I have no problem with reviews and evidence based changes, but this wasn’t how cuts were achieved. If you talked to DoC, The Ministry of Education (esp. Special Education), Housing New Zealand, ACC, CYFs, MFaT and many others, you will be aware of unnecessary pressures from random cuts and restructuring. Establishing the problem before fixing it is good practice, “guess and cut” is not good governance.

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  32. sprout, the styles are simply too different for there to be a purpose to a comparison. And adopting the personal attack style of Muldoon to do so was particularly risky.

    The cronyism is endemic – Joyce, Brownlee and Collins also practice it. The divide and rule policy is that of the National party, not Key alone.

    Sure there is the Key smirk and wave style veneer to it all, former employees he laid off in his private sector days – noted the handshake and smile visits before they were stabbed in the back.

    Simply stating what Key represents in terms of record in office and the direction he is taking the country – and his responsibility for this – is sufficient.

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  33. SPC, the big problem with your argument is that people voted for John Key, not Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce. This isn’t just a National led Government, this is the John Key led Government. It is not just about his record or the direction he is taking the country, it is how things are being done that is most concerning and most especially how John Key does it (deliberate misinformation, selective memory, shifting blame, snide put downs, poor process, back room deals…).

    “John Key came to office with a message of unity and inclusiveness. He worked with the Māori Party, he worked with the Greens. But John Key has now become a divisive and corrosive figure in New Zealand politics, hostile to rational debate, intolerant of opposition, irritated if we are not all grateful for him generously agreeing to be PM. He may not look like Muldoon but he sure as hell is acting like Muldoon.”

    Accusing Key of behaving like Muldoon appears to have caused real anguish for many perhaps it is mainly because it has hit a sensitive spot and has opened a Pandora’s box that needed opening. I haven’t seen one comment that questions Russel’s evidence that supports his accusation, just heaps of squeals that he shouldn’t do it.

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  34. sprout says “Accusing Key of behaving like Muldoon appears to have caused real anguish for many perhaps it is mainly because it has hit a sensitive spot and has opened a Pandora’s box that needed opening.”

    It’s caused anguish among the left because it was so silly that even a left wing commentator on the radio today said it was too ridiculous to comment on.

    Though arguably not as silly as Russel and Metiria appointing themselves as the “smile police”. (or the perfume police)

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  35. Key and Muldoon now share a compartment in the public imagination. Muldoon was loathed by many for his bullying ways and the comparison will simmer away in the minds of those people who still resent Piggy’s piggishness. Those who delighted in Muldoon’s dictatorial behaviour will not be affected, but nothing can move them from their position of advantage, so they’ll whine about Russel’s comparison instead, adopting the Muldoon/Key sneer is they do it (see, it’s happening already! I couldn’t separate the two bullies! Good work, Russel!)

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  36. No Dave – There is no “mandate” for asset sales, that would be true if there were a binding referendum ON THAT SUBJECT, which will not happen because Key, and English and YOU know that such a referendum will fail.

    No Dave – The Green Party was not the source of S59, that was a private members bill, there was massive dissension in the party around it, and it was passed by ALL the parties in parliament. You can’t pin that on the Greens.

    No Dave – You mistake the Judicial process as being unbiased with respect to those of means and those who are poor.

    No Dave – Someone has lied to you about what the GREENS policy with respect to mining is. There is no Green support of keeping a dangerous mine open to keep jobs… nor would there ever be. I need to see the source of this nonsense… Kiwiblog probably. The art of the lie is well developed there.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/conservation/mining/editview

    It is a shame that people visiting can be so misled by your rubbish. It sounds good, but when one looks closer…

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  37. Key and Muldoon now share a compartment in the public imagination

    Here, Mr Fly, let me fix that for you.

    The public now know that Key and Muldoon now share a compartment in Norman’s imagination.

    And anyone else in the choir, of course, always a good idea to preach to the choir…

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  38. From Christchurch Press Editorial –

    “The strident personal attack by the co-leader of the Greens, Russel Norman, on Prime Minister John Key at the weekend may have gone down well with the 100 or so faithful he was addressing at a party conference in Christchurch.

    But to most others, even those on the Left, it will have seemed strikingly ill-judged. It introduced an unpleasant personal note not heard since the days, oddly enough, of Robert Muldoon, the man whose name he invoked to make an invidious comparison with the present prime minister.

    In a speech that was itself divisive and corrosive, Norman accused the prime minister of being divisive and corrosive.

    But the memory of the toxic nature of much of what happened under Muldoon is still strong to those who lived through it, and to many who heard of it later. And they know perfectly well that nothing done by the present Government can remotely be compared….

    Norman’s attack has more than a hint of desperation about it….

    The answer to that disappointment should not, however, be a resort to personal attack. That really would be an undesirable step down the slippery track toward Muldoonism. ”

    From
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/8750233/Muldoon-echo-in-Green-attack

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5 (+2)

  39. Yes BJ – There is a “mandate” for asset sales, Governments are elected based on the poliies they put forward at an election, and as a result receive a mandate to implement those policies – otherwise why other having any?

    Yes BJ – The Green Party was the source of S59, the member who submitted it to the ballot was a Green Party Member of Parliament. Of course, Private Members Bills are the only way the green party can get a bill onto the agenda as they are not in government.

    No BJ – You mistake your view of the Judicial process as being biased for those of means and against those who are poor, I disagree with your view

    Yes BJ – I was mistaken regarding the closing of a mine being protested, It was job losses on the west coast, not in mines, My apologies. However, give the extent of vitriol from the GP every time there is an annoncement of job losses, I would expect announcement of a mine with the ecological protections offered by this one to be loudly supported by the party, my expecttions are too high I guess.

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  40. Governments are elected based on the poliies they put forward at an election

    You don’t seriously BELIEVE that, do you?

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  41. If we look at the recent report on NZ Economics by the OECD we can see that John Key’s attacks on Russell as being far left and looney are very Muldoonish.

    Russel, for the Greens, has made comments in line with much of the report:

    Banks using Deposit Insurance instead of savings pruning for bank security.

    Capital Gains Tax.

    Petroleum companies getting unnecesary tax relief.

    Emmissions trading scheme needs activating and extension to farming.

    Focusing more on Technology and knowledge exports.

    Our economy not helping the untapped talent with better training.

    The OECD report notes most of the above would help ease inequality and increase home availibility. Russel may be frustrated to see the ignoring of the public good but in Economic literacy is not very far from other successful countries.

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  42. bj says “There is no “mandate” for asset sales, that would be true if there were a binding referendum ON THAT SUBJECT,”

    So of the thousands of government decisions made by all governments, NONE has a mandate…… unless there was a binding referendum?

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  43. bjchip Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:57 PM
    Governments are elected based on the poliies they put forward at an election
    You don’t seriously BELIEVE that, do you?

    Well. Apart from the typo (mine -you just c&p-ed it) yes.

    While there are diehard party followers who will aways vote for the same party, I beieve there is a central core of voters who look at what is on offer and make their decisions based on the policy choices available.
    I’d hate to be the only one!

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  44. Mandate, shmandate. If it was obvious that the people of New Zealand wanted to sell assets, and polling showed clearly that they wanted to sell assets, if there was no obvious widespread opposition to selling assets, if there wasn’t a popular movement against selling assets currently building throughout the country, then yes, National would have a clear and valid mandate.
    But they don’t.
    New Zealanders clearly don’t want to sell assets.
    It’s BLATANTLY OBVIOUS to all but the ignorant and the daft.

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  45. As I have pointed out elsewhere –

    When the government offers to dispose of assets and property owned by the public collectively there is a wider responsibility.

    Ordinary laws are the responsibility of the government of the day, but the property and assets of the nation are NOT owned by the government but by the people of the country and further, by their children’s children… and a higher standard applies to applications to extract resources, sell assets and dispose of publicly owned lands.

    While some persist in misunderstanding I will persist in INSISTING on it, but there is more to this than misunderstanding…

    There is absolutely NO way that the NZ public have approved of these sales, and there are damned few National voters I have spoken with who approve of them. There is NO mandate and even pretending that there is at this point, makes liars of the pretenders.

    Liars

    Who know damned well that if the New Zealand public were asked, they’d tell Key that on THIS topic he can go directly to hell. Even if they’d rather vote for his government rather than Labour and the Greens. Which IS the point.

    Government is not elected on policies, but on alternatives, and personalities and only after those, policies… of which the Greens are the most often misrepresented.

    The farrago of lies dumped here by National’s apologists notwithstanding.

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  46. What a stuff up Metiria made of her nurses in schools programme in parliament.

    She is seemingly unaware of all the work done by Public Health Nurses even in her own home area.

    As one of those nurses said today, how absurd for someone to design a new system without even a having any idea of how the current one operated, how successful it was, or that it even existed.

    Also that the Greens system would be massively wasteful. Some schools have few problems and only need a nurse every few weeks, yet the Greens would permanently base a nurse there whether they were needed or not, keeping them AWAY from actually helping people the other 95% of their time.

    Dumb – really dumb.

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  47. How does this work in Auckland or Wellington? How many bikes can one get on a train? …and how long does the train trip become when MANY people want to get their bikes on or off at one time?

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/04/09/learning-from-the-netherlands-about-bikes/

    …and what happens if we do something like this?

    http://www.citizenbike.com/mta_metrobike_by_citizen_bike.asp

    …or this ?

    http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/
    http://thesource.metro.net/2012/01/20/metro-hosts-bike-sharing-demonstration-at-union-station/
    http://bike-sharing.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/nycs-citi-bike-launches-with-much.html

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  48. BJ,

    What is needed is a definition of what anyone (including the Greens) mean by “mandate”

    Are you adding a clause to what a “mandate” to govern is, in that no government can sell assets (including land) or mine for resources without a binding referendum?

    Problem I see is that that is not on the Greens policy list to introduce. Neither here

    http://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/open-government-policy-summary

    or here

    http://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/democracy-and-mmp-policy-summary

    However here

    http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/constitutional-reform

    we have a halfway statement without embellishment on how this would be accomplished.

    Empowers all its citizens to participate and contribute to communal well-being and be involved in local decision-making

    You saying that come 2014 and a Labour/Green/Mana/NZFirst government is elected that this 2014 government will initiate binging citizen referendums even though it is not Greens policy to do so?

    One thing to hold the current government to account with a democratic operational control. But not having it as a policy statement yourselves (as in the Greens) is somewhat hypocritical.

    I, for one, am fully in support of binding citizen referendums but there is no political party that has this most basic democratic function included in their policy statements. Not even the Greens.

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  49. What is needed is a definition of what anyone (including the Greens) mean by “mandate”

    The problem with there being an absolute definition of what a “mandate” is is that one’s expectations of what a mandate is varies depending on whether the party is electable in sufficient numbers to carry out such a thing, and whether one is for or against the topic of the mandate.

    The reality is the whole idea of a mandate or not is, in fact, absolute bollocks. The actual way it works is that when we the people elect a government (and MMP does this better than most schemes, despite the odd catastrophe) then we are actually saying “off you go, go govern”. We’ll get things we like, and we’ll get things we don’t like. Our only recourse is to bounce the mob at the next election. Or perhaps a judicial review, but that is a very dodgy thing to do.

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  50. The real, real problem is the nature of politics in a centerist world.

    Firstly, there is often little difference between the parties on most issues, so its usually a case of “meet the new boss, the same as the old boss”.

    As an annoying example, when party A brings in some whizzo new way of taxing the people, Party B are unlikely to repeal it by lunchtime, even though they would like to and its ideologically compatible with party B. The reason is, of course, that money doesn’t sit around waiting to be returned, it gets used, and so something would need to be done to keep the budget balanced.

    So for example if Labour bring in a CGT, the Nats will have difficulty removing it, despite that it would be the right thing for them to do ideologically. They will tinker, sure, but not just can it.

    Problem B is that once a centerist party gets rolled it goes into terminal decline, taking years to recover. Look at labour. Disagree with what she did or not, Helen was a good PM. Labour lost, Helen exits, and there is still no adequate replacement, and thus labour remain unelectable, ergo, there is no real electoral choice.

    Whatever you think of JK, he’s a good PM, and when he’s rolled, there is no current obviously acceptable sucessor, thus the Nats will be in tailspin post their current period of power.

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  51. BJ
    let me get this clear in my head. You said earlier

    Ordinary laws are the responsibility of the government of the day, but the property and assets of the nation are NOT owned by the government but by the people of the country and further, by their children’s children… and a higher standard applies to applications to extract resources, sell assets and dispose of publicly owned lands

    So does this mean that there has to be a binding referendum before a government agency can invest in property or assets?

    Sounds right to me – bring on the referendum about the refurbishment of Bowen House!

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  52. dbuckley

    Whatever you think of JK, he’s a good PM, and when he’s rolled, there is no current obviously acceptable sucessor, thus the Nats will be in tailspin post their current period of power.

    Disagree. Since the Brash fiasco the National party has the succession planning about right. Joyce/Collins are the logical and groomed next leaders (in what order I dont know Collins/Joyce?)

    You are right though about Labour, not only no Clark successor but also no rejuvinated troops. The Andrew Little grtooming has been an utter failure and Grant Robinson is way to much beltway to have empathy with the voters.

    Greens are in a similar position to when Clark left Labour. No obvious candidates to replace the co-leaders.

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  53. “Greens are in a similar position to when Clark left Labour. No obvious candidates to replace the co-leaders.”
    Surely you jest? The talent pool behind Russel and Metiria is huge! Perhaps you are right though, it may not be obvious, to you, but take it from me, there are effective and able Green MPs galore. That said, Russel and Metiria don’t appear to be packing their bags.

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  54. …but the property and assets of the nation are NOT owned by the government but by the people of the country…

    Is that the case? Are they not owned by “The Crown”, by which I think I mean the corporate body that the Lizzy runs?

    (Not being argumentative, I’m really not sure…?)

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  55. Gerrit, perhaps I was a little harsh on the Nats, but I don’t think that either Joyce or Collins have “it”. But maybe in a world where Shearer is the competition, they don’t rate so badly…?

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  56. greenfly

    The talent pool behind Russel and Metiria is huge!

    In your opinion. Current list of Green MP’s in parliamant are overwhelmingly poor (in MY opinion). All are too narrow focussed to be effective leaders.

    So who do you think will be the next Green leaders?

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  57. So does this mean that there has to be a binding referendum before a government agency can invest in property or assets?

    THAT is a good question. I think the best answer is “yes but”.

    Yes but pragmatically not at all scales of either acquisition OR disposal.

    There likely needs to be a threshold, related to the difficulty of finding the cash to acquire an asset or property. Buying back Kiwirail HURT. Buying back Meridian if it is sold will HURT. Buying a replacement for Bowen house or whatever isn’t such a “break the budget” affair but might still want approval.

    Fundamentally the rule is that if it is required for the disposal of the asset it is required for its acquisition. That sort of consistency is required. There might be some intermediate category requiring a supermajority of some sort?

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  58. There likely needs to be a threshold, related to the difficulty of finding the cash to acquire an asset or property. Buying back Kiwirail HURT. Buying back Meridian if it is sold will HURT. Buying a replacement for Bowen house or whatever isn’t such a “break the budget” affair but might still want approval.

    I still don’t quite get it, though it’s easier now.
    Finding the cash for a capital investment isn’t ever difficult for a reasonably economically prudent country; after all, a government has future taxation rights if repayment or interest become a burden on the budget, or, as Russell says, we can print what we need. So setting the level at which a binding referendum becomes necessary. Something around $50 mill? Then again, what about the overall budget, why not a referendum on that – it’s the biggest single expenditure plan in the country and affects everyone, so why not?

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  59. Gerrit – with all due respect, I entirely disagree with you, having met each and every one of the Green MPs, veteran and newcomer. That they are not showing leadership behaviours is hardly surprising – there are two excellent leaders in place. It would be ill-mannered to be strutting your leadership-stuff at this juncture, I’d have thought. It might (might) work for Collins and Joyce, but that’s not how we roll. I am surprised that you are casting about for replacements for Russel and Metiria already. They are just hitting their straps now and showing, as bsprout posts, some ‘muscle’. I’d not be prepping their replacements just yet, Gerrit. That said, if there was a dreadful bus accident, there are several experienced MPs who could take up the cudgel and bludgeon the rats in the Government without missing a beat. Imagine Kevin Hague with as much media exposure as Russel gets, or Julie-Anne Genter with Metiria’s! Those are only two of a number I could propose, each as good as the other. Rest easy, Gerrit. The future of the Greens is in very capable hands.

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  60. You don’t do a referendum on the budget because that’s not affecting the “owner’s rights” of the people of the country. That merely affects finance which is the usual responsibility of the elected government. What we DO elect them to do for (to) us.

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  61. From Dominion Post Editorial on Russel Norman’s attacks…

    “However, to suggest Mr Key’s personal style is akin to that of Sir Robert is to do nothing but betray ignorance.

    The two could not be more different. Sir Robert was a micro-manager; Mr Key delegates. Sir Robert snarled; Mr Key smiles. Sir Robert banned journalists from press conferences, insulted foreign leaders and once punched a demonstrator outside a meeting. Mr Key occasionally gets a little tetchy.

    “Divisive and corrosive” Sir Robert certainly was, although, ironically, his command and control approach to running the economy was probably closer to Green Party policy than anything seen since he was voted out of office in 1984.

    Divisive and corrosive Mr Key is not.

    Dr Norman’s attack on the prime minister reveals more about the Green Party co-leader and his party than it does about its target.

    What it reveals about Dr Norman is that he is as willing as any other politician to wrestle in the mud. That is a pity. It has always been a refreshing point of difference for the Greens that they debate the issues, not personalities.

    The curious thing about Dr Norman’s attack is that it is he who has resorted to the Muldoonist tactic of attacking the man and Mr Key who has responded by playing the issue. ”

    From
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/8754749/Editorial-Off-key-attack-revealing-of-Greens

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  62. photonz1 quotes (at boring length) from the Dominion Post, but offers no susbstantial opinion of his own. You’re just whining, photonz (that’s not ‘winning’, whining). You’re certainly not winning this argument, nor the broader debate about the Green’s rise to power.
    Just sayin’

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  63. BJ
    re “You don’t do a referendum on the budget because that’s not affecting the “owner’s rights” of the people of the country.” We do do a referendum on the budget, it’s a binding referendum more commonly known as a general election.

    AS FOR OWNERS’ RIGHTS

    The owner of assets managed by the government is “New Zealand”, or “the Crown”, or, as some would put it, “her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand” It is this ‘entity’ that contracts for the creation or supply of assets.

    The entity ‘New Zealand’ is a corporation listed on the US Securities and Exchange Commission website :- (http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?company=HER+MAJESTY+THE+QUEEN+IN+RIGHT+OF+NEW+ZEALAND+&match=&CIK=&filenum=&State=&Country=&SIC=&Find=Find+Companies&action=getcompany). And so there is no way in which “the people” of New Zealand have “owners’ rights” in any crown assets.

    Besides anything else, how would you define the people of New Zealand? Citizens, Residents, People entitled to vote? There re so many options and none of them ensure than no-one in disenfranchised.

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  64. to take DS comments above to there conclusion. All other corporations etc. have no members to answer to either. I am a citizen of NZ and on the electoral role, so therefore I am a stake holder.

    It is really blinkered to look at ownership of a country as you might personal or corporate assets.
    Citiens are not the same as shareholders as the State -Parliament has a reponsibility to care for those citizens, and if not done the rule of law breaks and anarchy and revolution destroy the infrastructure, private or public. A corporation needs that rule of law to enable it to market it’s goods for profit. Shareholder’s if ignored can sell out.

    The sort of logic crap that say’s a country is to be handled as a corporation shows to me the type of social maturity and understanding that those arguing that point have.
    A casual observer to this blog would assume that the constant petty manipulation of arguements is from uninformed people with time on their hands. They would see they do little to enhance a rational debate to create enlightenment.

    I would assure them that it isn’t coincidental, and most of the comments come from right wing conservatives that think they can influence things in the same deceptive way as John Key. They are trying to ascert power over the debate – very Muldoonsih.

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  65. We do do a referendum on the budget, it’s a binding referendum more commonly known as a general election.

    You do persist in promoting this delusional nonsense?

    How sir, when we have 3 budgets to every general election?

    I submit that the election has far less to do with the budget of the country and far more to do with the budget available for advertising, than you are admitting.

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  66. And so there is no way in which “the people” of New Zealand have “owners’ rights” in any crown assets.

    Since a country is not a corporation, and is never defined by its presence on the “US Securities and Exchange Commission websiteand”, and a democracy is neither a corporation OR the monarch who serves as its titular head (if it is derived historically from such), and the Maori might have some cause to take exception to your analysis… in short because it is an asinine argument of no merit whatsoever, I do reject your conclusion that the people of a country share no ownership of it or responsibility for it. You are baying at the moon.

    how would you define the people of New Zealand? Citizens, Residents, People entitled to vote? There re so many options and none of them ensure than no-one in disenfranchised.

    I think the first three you hit on are adequate, and the fact that children do not vote is merely a consequence of their age, and not germane as they have still the RIGHT to being represented by their parent’s votes… EVEN IF THEY HAVE NOT YET BEEN BORN!

    Your perversity would see ALL disenfranchised with respect to the land on which we of this country rely. I find such sophistry… underwhelming.

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  67. BJ – the govt sells and buys billions of dollars of assets every year.

    It seems odd that you’re only concerned about a very tiny minority of these.

    And Russel has just written about how he ASKED the govt to sell assets.

    You go nuts if they sell shares in one power company (Mighty River Power), but not a whisper if they sell shares in another (Contact Energy), even though the returns are very similar.

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  68. It seems odd that assets could have any value other than their monetary return. Quack.

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  69. The assets that count are the ones MUST be handed down to our children, the land and the infrastructure we have built on it… not the money in the bank. Encumbering those assets by creating foreign ownership of them, in exchange for money in the bank, particularly the distorted debt-backed fraudulent wastepaper that is promoted as money BY the banks, is wrong.

    What is more, if the citizens of the country do not overwhelmingly agree with such an exchange, it is immoral.

    When the citizens, as they inevitably will do, remove that encumbrance by exercising their sovereign rights, the foreign owners will suffer from the fraud perpetrated by this government, and until that happens the citizens of this country will suffer from it.

    The government however, will get the money to play with.

    …this whole thing rises to the level of treasonous behaviour on the part of our PM and his cronies when combined with other things like the Casino deal and Pokies… I HAVE to wonder who they are working for, because it does not appear to EVER be the people of New Zealand.

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  70. sorry BJ, it seems my logic has caused yours to implode, and your mind with it.

    When terms like treason and fraud are bandied, I guess we’re in the realm of The Law again. So, until I hear that your submission of an information to the police, charging The Prime Minister and Cabinet with treason and fraud, has been dealt with by the courts, and so has ceased to be sub-judicea, I wil refrain from extending your pain.

    Good luck.

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  71. Funny, my ability to detect crap is undisturbed and your declaration of victory is rather amusing. A crap detector honed in New York simply pegs the meter on liars like the ones running our government.

    Which makes it easy to spot the fact that they are working for someone else, NOT the people of New Zealand.

    That being the case is not treasonous in ordinary citizens… but in the case of our government leaders?

    It isn’t hard mate. Just hard for people who haven’t any experience with New York (or probably any really BIG city) con artists.

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  72. Funny, my ability to detect crap is undisturbed and your declaration of victory is rather amusing. A crap detector honed in New York simply pegs the meter on liars like the ones running our government.

    Which makes it easy to spot the fact that they are working for someone else, NOT the people of New Zealand.

    That being the case is not treasonous in ordinary citizens… but in the case of our government leaders?

    It isn’t hard mate. Just hard for people who haven’t any experience with New York (or probably any really BIG city) con artists.

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  73. Hmmmm My offices were . . .
    Liverpool (UK) The Liver Building
    NY City – the corner of 49th and Madison, right next door to the Trump monstrosity and almost opposit St Pats.
    Boston – just outside the Alewife metro station
    Toronto – the NBBC centre
    San Francisco – the Embrocadero centre
    London – Barclay Square
    Brazil – Avenida Paulista
    That’s why my BullShit meter goes up to 100% when I read your ravings, of which I have now read my last.
    Perhaps you shuld go back to NY and see how your radaar works these days, oh, and what year were you naturalised in NZ?

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  74. Hmmmm My offices were . . .

    Don’t forget Dave that you spent a bit of time wandering around Mid City Tower in Wellington where I seem to recall you succeeded in setting off a lot of bullshit detectors! ;)

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  75. Well, I didn’t include thatas it wasn’t part of the “haven’t any experience with New York (or probably any really BIG city)” challenge. I really don’t class Wellington as a big city.

    However, I must admit that the biggest load of bull-shit I ever came across was from those with vested interest in never changing the status quo at the IRD.

    What was your name there Gregor – I find that always being myself makes it easier to be remembered and remember who I am. My quick look through the old phone list hasn’t revealed a Gregor W, so I must surmise you prefer to be hidden beind a nom de’plum

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  76. so I must surmise you prefer to be hidden behind a nom de’plum

    I was the only Gregor in the phone list. It’s the name I still have.

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  77. Oh, Petey, Petey, Petey!
    Oh, Banksie, Banksie, Banksie,
    Oh, Jonnie, Jonnie, Jonnie!

    Shysters Inc.
    Coming undunne.

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  78. Ah yes
    Gregor White from the PMO

    Funny, I have no feelings of malice toward you. As a person whose vocation is to ensure that forms are completed strictl according to the proscribed manner I thought you did a good job.
    The fact that the basic process aded nothing to the value, accuracy, efficacy or usability of the IT products being produced, and had no relevence tonon-IT projects such as mine, was/is in no way attributable to you.

    I do give credit for using part of your real name on here too. I tend to pity those who do not believe in what they are saying enough to sign it with their full name.

    I hope you are enjoying your strategic oversight role within the CIO group at Chorus :-)

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  79. Solkta says “It seems odd that assets could have any value other than their monetary return. Quack.”

    Solkta refutes the comments he/she has just made up (comments no one else has said).

    Then gives us a “quack” – the noise he/she makes when self-debating.

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  80. Actually Dave, SOME people can wander the big cities all their lives and not figure out who the professional liars are. It takes all sorts. If you can’t see through the mask of our “smiling assassin” then you can’t… but to trust your judgment about much of anything in that case is pretty chancy.

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  81. Dave – One man’s small efforts, mandated by the Board, to impart minimum quality standards, and stop incompetence and fraud from diluting shareholder value, is another man’s “basic process adding nothing to the value, accuracy, efficacy or usability of the IT products being produced”, I guess.

    Being a professional bullshit detector and helping to stop millions from being squandered on worthless vanity projects was a distinctly pleasurable job. Interestingly, I found it seemed to be the people who couldn’t come up with reasons why they were spending money, without a strategy or measures of success, or a basic understanding of financial controls and industry-wide project practices that had trouble with the process.

    But as you say, no hard feelings.

    And yes, I’m very much enjoying my current job – thanks for asking!

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  82. BJ,

    Having read those linked articles one comes away with the notion that yes, we know all the fact that economic inequality leads to lack of self esteem in the lower earners.

    Each article refers to ecomomic inequality, not about happiness or even self actualisation.

    These results indicate that macrosocial differences in the distribution of economic goods are linked to microsocial processes of perceiving the self.

    So the answer is to rectifying this economic inequality is?

    Another question is how much inequality can be tolerated?

    What measure would one propose?

    How would a higher achiever (goes to work each day to pay the taxes) be more rewarded then a low achiever (stays in bed all day)?

    One thing to point out obvious inequalities but quite another to provide workable solutions.

    Problem I have is with all those kinds of “research” findings (1600 people in 15 countries is sufficient “research”?) is that there are no answers provided.

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  83. Gerrit – I know I’ve observed it in my travels without putting a number to it. The measure used was ( I think ) GINI, certainly from the nations described. Overall on that measure the 45+ region is VERY unpleasant in terms of social effects… 35+ where we are is marginal, 28-30 represents what appears to be a “sweet spot” and sub 24 seems to keep people from “getting out of bed”. Friedman’s economic acolytes prefer the higher numbers but I have not noticed any benefit to the society overall in them.

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  84. BJ,

    The only official GINI statistic I can find is 36.2 for 1997.

    Though I notice the Greens have a chart for showing up to 2008 of the GINI being around 39.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/node/24718?size=_original

    What is the official rate for 2013? Somewhere the Greens must have collated figures from 1997 to 2008. Where were those sourced?

    ——————————————————–

    Have spent some time researching the OECD web site and find that the GINI for New Zealand in 2010 was 33.

    http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=TRADEINDMACRO

    (select Country Statistical Profiles and scroll down about 2/3)

    So slightly higher then you would like but nowhere near the Greens graph showing 39.

    Who is telling the truth here? Greens or OECD?

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  85. Gerrit, It is both. National GINI stats are computed based on different stats by different nations all over the planet.. I think they make some effort to do it to a standard formula but the data is always questionable… CIA Factbook compiles the data from the countries.

    What I do as a rule is look at the US GINI as reported on the varying stat bases and then use that as a bias in the comparisons.

    The OECD numbers are ALWAYS compressed in range vs the national numbers and I have never examined the why of that. The US says it has 45, the OECD says 38, and as it gets lower it moves less. Sweden gets to 23 from 26… We get to 33 from ?? It is a statistic with a varying basis depending on who does it. The OECD numbers are correct for their methods and data sources. The OECD doesn’t have much of an axe to grind does it? Oh wait…

    Anyway, for our data one can look here perhaps?
    http://www.nzchildren.co.nz/income_inequality.php

    I see by your link that our source wasn’t referenced at all so and I don’t truly know whence it comes and that’s a bit sloppy.

    Using the OECD numbers the grouping one wants to be in is entirely under 30. We’re 4 points too high there and that compares reasonably to the 8 points higher than we should be, based on our self measured data given the differences between the stats.

    It would be my goal to reduce that number… much as it is reduced in Scandinavia. Consider how we got here and why and that will take a bit of a revolution in this country all by itself.

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  86. Getting back to the observed behaviour though… that “self-aggrandizing” tendency in some places vs others… is really quite obvious to someone who really travels, as I once did.

    I think it relates to the degree of “money for nothing” that is permitted to continue. QE is popular in the higher GINI range, and the banks are picking the winners, as Greengeek observed. In countries where there is still some restraint/honesty/regulation of those entities and a levelling taxation/redistribution regime in place, the GINI is lower and the behaviour is less evident.

    Not sure I can draw a conclusion from that though. Is the rise of Friedman’s Darwinian economic model causative of the loss of controls or simply an effect of not having those controls in place, and is the “self-aggrandizement” something of an adaptation to a situation in which the banks are picking the winners in that Darwinian process? The appearance of success becomes more important than the work actually done, because the ability to borrow is more important than the work actually done? Just how does this all fit together?

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  87. “Hmmmm My offices were . . .
    Liverpool (UK) The Liver Building
    NY City – the corner of 49th and Madison, right next door to the Trump monstrosity and almost opposit St Pats.
    Boston – just outside the Alewife metro station
    Toronto – the NBBC centre
    San Francisco – the Embrocadero centre
    London – Barclay Square
    Brazil – Avenida Paulista”

    Interesting. On your travels did you ever bump into anyone who was involved in installing PRISM interface hardware?

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  88. Sorry GreenGeek, No

    But then again, would I have known??!!??

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  89. Gregor
    re:
    “Being a professional bullshit detector and helping to stop millions from being squandered on worthless vanity projects was a distinctly pleasurable job. Interestingly, I found it seemed to be the people who couldn’t come up with reasons why they were spending money, without a strategy or measures of success, or a basic understanding of financial controls and industry-wide project practices that had trouble with the process.”

    You are quite right in this opinion, and it bothered me how many “vanity” projects there were. The main issue as I saw it was the company, and the IT group and (sadly) the IT Programme Office (how I wish it had been a corporate project office, with the power to stop some of the non-IT idiocy,) was the focus was almost entirely on “sytems” rather than integrated solutions. The extent to which data was duplicated, in a supposedly information value knowledgeable enterprise, was frightening. These days, as a happy retiree, I find I still grit my teetch when I hear of some of the things being undertaken in NZ major corporates and Gov’t departments.

    As for th process you guys followed, it was certainly no worse than that of most NZ enterprises, the challenge to ensure value, accuracy, efficacy and usability is, sadly, not one embraced by a “paperwork all done and correct” process. Happy to have a conversation in another forum on this if you’d like to.

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