Nnnnnnnoooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

March 22nd, 2010 at 9:14 pm by David Farrar

TV3 report:

Former prime minister Jim Bolger will be replaced as chairman of NZ Post late in the year by former finance minister .

Deputy Chair wasn’t enough. I mean why the fuck don’t we just make him Reserve Bank Governor also.

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123 Responses to “Nnnnnnnoooooooooooooooooo!!!!!”

  1. big bruv (13,899 comments) says:

    What the fuck is Key doing?

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  2. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    If he is going to sell Kiwibank, why not do it with Cullen at the Helm!

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  3. JC (956 comments) says:

    Nobody else prepared to suck the lemon, eh?

    JC

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  4. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    im at a loss.. fucking hell

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  5. Offshore_Kiwi (500 comments) says:

    Surely it’s a case of “you bought the fucking lemon, now make it turn a profit … you fucker.” Of course, that presupposes that Kullen would know a profit if one was bending him over the boardroom table and giving him what-for. Which he don’t. Goodbye, even more of kiwis’ hard-earned dollars propping up another Hulun Klark “investment”

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  6. Monty (978 comments) says:

    The prick should aso be given Rail – and told make that work? Post is suffering declined volumes – and is a dog – see how much he will bugger that up – just as he buggered the NZ economy

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  7. kowtow (8,480 comments) says:

    Politics is a cosy club for the elites at the top. They all know that some day they’ll be out of a job so a system of mutual back scratching has evolved. Simple. Meanwhile us plebs must keep paying our taxes to maintain them at a standard they have come to expect.

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  8. lilman (959 comments) says:

    Known Jim for along time and as the years have gone by,his hand is out more and more,nationals version of Mr Hunt!!!!!!!!!
    As for Cullen a tosser,a real tosser,well done johnny boy.

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  9. Kieran_B (76 comments) says:

    Oh man, you fucking serious?

    I’ve already read a comment on this site noting that Cullen will justify not making a profit by insisting the Govt hasn’t been investing enough (pouring money into) in rail services (a deep dark hole).

    Sigh.

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  10. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    heh..!..key..fires bolger..and replaces him with cullen..?

    i’m having an irony-overdose here..

    brilliant..!

    that should have all you righties going..’good call john..!’..

    eh..?

    when does judith tizard get her ‘perk’..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  11. jims_whare (403 comments) says:

    Bolger to be replaced by Cullen as KiwiRail chair

    Hmm I think Stuff stuffed up their headline

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3490552/Bolger-to-be-replaced-by-Cullen-as-KiwiRail-chair

    I wish it were true as to tie him in to Kiwirail would be a just call indeed

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  12. redqueen (562 comments) says:

    Oh come on, DPF, this is a great idea. We can use this as a justification to separate Kiwibank, and probably the Postshops, and leave him in a sinking boat. Given that NZ Post has just reported that volumes continue falling do we really mind? He’ll either bugger it up further, in which case he takes the blame, or just enough to provide an excuse to separate the valuable components. It would have been far worse if they’d kept him doing something we actually need…he could have been perpetual chairman of Kiwirail…that’d have been far, far, worse for all of us.

    Still, I do agree that we could have given him something else, like Commission for the Rehabilitation of Waste Sites? Something involving trudging through the muck? It would certainly be a deserving fate.

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  13. burt (8,270 comments) says:

    This is brilliant. I thought when I saw Bolger was possibly going to go that this would be karma for Dr Muppet Cullen.

    Make it great Cullen, you have a few years to turn it around with very little money, now remember you knew the long term economic forecast when you paid hundreds of millions to much to stuff up National’s first term so don’t complain that you are not getting enough cash to make it great like you said it could be.

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  14. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Phucksakes… what…. why not make him governor general.. or have I spoken to soon.
    Phuckin politicians looking after their own all front bench MPs and ex-prime ministers.. no matter what politcal party they’re from… jobs for the boy’s.. one perk of office untouched.

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  15. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Why the faux shock david? They were always going to give this countries biggest economic vandal the big job. That was the price of removing him from parliament.
    Perhaps if you and a few of the other high profile Natioanl apologists had got as grumpy as me in the first place, smile and wave may not have done this.
    Too late to put the shit back in the donkey now isn’t it.

    [DPF: It's not shock, it's despair]

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  16. Inventory2 (10,341 comments) says:

    I blogged about this earlier today, and a few commenters have fine-tuned the suggestion. Surely making Cullen turn a profit from Kiwirail is the ultimate in karma!

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2010/03/saving-kiwirail.html

    Adolf made a good suggestion – his remuneration is 10% of profit; and if it doesn’t make a profit, he pays 10% of the loss – sounds fair to me :-)

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  17. peteremcc (344 comments) says:

    Please excuse the blatant advertising, but I figure i’ll get away with it with DPF in this mood:

    http://www.act.org.nz/join

    [DPF: If you promise to sack Cullen I'd be half tempted :-)]

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  18. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    NZ Post or rail?

    I can understand jobs for the boys and bi-partisanship I guess. Actually, no, I can’t. Let’s tick off what benefits National gets:
    – Labour will play nice and not just criticise everything. Nope
    – Cullen will apologise and admit he fucked the country. Nope
    – Cullen will come and and admit that National is doing a better job than Labour ever did, and tell everyone to vote National. Nope
    – Labour will give jobs to National people next time they’re in power. Probably not, and even if they did, any halfway competent righty shouldn’t need one

    Fuck me, this just makes no sense unless you really believe that John Key is such a nice guy that he likes to see the good in everyone.

    Or, maybe one straw to clutch at. John Key is so disinterested in NZ Post that he doesn’t care who is Chairman of it. I guess when you think about it, it really makes no difference.

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  19. Tauhei Notts (1,714 comments) says:

    PaulL, you are so correct.
    This just does not make any sense whatsoever.

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  20. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    I thought Jonky had more sense than that.
    Maybe you lose all common sense when you become a politician.

    Wonky Jonky.

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  21. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    As a professor of History, Cullen is well placed to run the snail-mail service.

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  22. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    gee.. i recall similar howls of outrage..when clark appointed bolger..eh..?

    it’s just jobs-for-the-boys..

    it has always been thus..

    tweedle dum and tweedle dee always..when push comes to shove..take care of each other..

    they know that they take turns in being in charge of handing out the perks..

    ..so it is purely self-interest at play ..in these situations..by both parties..in our revolving door system..

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  23. Gavfaemonty (61 comments) says:

    Cut him a sweet deal and we might yet make a rich prick out of him.

    There’s a bit of sense in it – keeping your friends close and all that. Who better to prepare them for sale / breakup?

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  24. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    Cullen was always a private schoolboy rich prick with RSI in his wrist.

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  25. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    redqueen@ 9:40 pm

    They never take the blame.. he’s only the chairman.. you know like directors are only directors.

    Headlines should read.. National tie Cullen to rail ………………way …………………………. track.

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  26. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    Swap all Jim Bolgers’ jobs with Michael Cullen I have no problem with that.

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  27. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Obviously making amends for appointing Rankin to the Families Commission and arch-bigot Neeson to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

    Actually, I don’t think Key and Cullen are too far apart economically – as we’ll see when Key eventually gets the dry Double Dipton off his back and makes Joyce Minister of Finance,

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  28. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    OMG.

    Perhaps Winston can be appointed to the Whaling Commission as well.

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  29. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    What do you have against Rankin toad? Neeson I don’t know, nor why you think he’s a bigot. Sounds like unfounded slanders to me though.

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  30. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    What is Key doing?

    He’s running the country for the benefit of those former Labour-voting urban females he wooed across the divide to give him his comfortable majority. (Oh and the Greens he reckons he can convert next time.)

    These people demand he favour former socialists, Mother Earth and Maori at the expense of National and ACT voters, humanity in general, and non-Maori.

    He couldn’t give a stuff what his own loyal supporters think about his now-regular betrayals (promoting Clark and Cullen, ignoring the anti-smacking referendum, the ETS, giving away the Waikato River), since he knows they’ve got no option but to vote National or ACT. Either is fine by him.

    And he knows most National voters are too dumb to switch their votes to ACT and give them the numbers to force him to act for the good of the country.

    The only solution to this entrenched arrogance is to demand a Swiss-style direct democracy system with binding referenda.

    In Switzerland, each law does not come into force for 100 days. In this time, a petition of only 50,000 signatures (equivalent to 25,000 in NZ) is all that’s needed to trigger a referendum that the government must act on, as long as 50% of voters turn out.

    In the recent referendum that banned new minarets (after the Turkish PM had scared the Swiss by calling minarets ‘the bayonets of the faith’), 55% turned out and 57% voted in favour of the ban.

    The government had strongly opposed the ban, but was forced to enact the will of the people. I’m told they tend to do so graciously, as Swiss politicians genuinely regard themselves as servants of the people. They actually call the people ‘the sovereign’. How different from John Key’s ignoring of 85% of NZers in the anti-smacking referendum (once again, in order to please his new pinko lady friends).

    If a Swiss petitioner wants to force a referendum on a new issue, the threshold to doubles to 100,000 signatures (50,000 NZers, as opposed to the 300,000 required now).

    The Swiss have operated the world’s most stable democracy with this system for about 150 years, and a similar system also operates with similar success in American states like Arizona.

    If you want to help push for this system, a campaign will soon be underway. My next blog post will be about it.

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  31. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    kowtow and RKBee aren’t surprised, and neither am I, for the same reason. They might fling barbs (or in Bolger’s case, pens) across the Chamber but there’s un anspoken agreement in politics… we’re all in the same claub, and provided you look after our lot when you have the reins, we’ll do the same. The Geneva Convention of p[olitics, if you like… only those being saved aren’t the captured and wounded, they’re greedy troughers well past their use-by date.

    Key’s just setting himself and his buddies up for a nice sinecure under PM Goff when turn-about comes. Lovely ethics.

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  32. bustedblonde (138 comments) says:

    Hell no we think Key has really big balls – http://roarprawn.blogspot.com/2010/03/key-has-big-raho-bold-mining-policy.html

    he cuddles whalers and digs up national parks and gives Cullen afiscally sisyphean task all on the same day!

    He is evil in that good bastard kinda way – makes the bugger even more sexy..

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  33. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Key and Joyce being both commercially savey… are getting in early with favors to keep their future retirement options open… hedging themselves in case of a future stock market crashes.

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  34. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    This made my day. I am a bit of a sadomasochist though at others peoples pain.

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  35. db.. (84 comments) says:

    DPF I thought you knew. Key is Machiavellian?.

    step 1. Get Cullen out of the House = some directorship somewhere not too important.
    step 2. Promote that directorship to a Labour icon like PostBank / KiwiBank.
    step 3. Promote that Deputy Chair to Chairman of NZ Post.
    step 4. Split NZ Post into Mail, Courier/Freight, Banking.
    step 5. Remove cross subsidy from NZ Post to KiwiBank leading to its eventual take over by a proper bank.
    step 6. Sell off the Courier/Freight part of NZ Post to keep the Mail service alive. It is being killed by email, internet etc.
    step 7. Watch Cullen loose all creditability in the eyes of the Left as the Mail service fails.
    step 8. Watch the “penny drop” when the Labour Party has to rework their opinion of Key.

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  36. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    John Ansell suggests:

    The only solution to this entrenched arrogance is to demand a Swiss-style direct democracy system with binding referenda.

    Damn right. So why don’t we demand that a referendum on thatr topic be held along with the MMP one, thus blowing the “it’s too costly” argument out the water?

    You have the talent to devise a convincing campaign John, and I’d lend my modest abilities in that field too. If it was just about binding CIR we’d probably get some very talented help from across the political spectrum (though probably not from dyed-in-the-wool Labour or National supporters for the reasons you’ve so accurately pinpointed).

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  37. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    Anything sensible to keep politicians listening to the people. You have my bow/sword/axe/vote, John.

    (As others have suggested, Cullen should be told to run KiwiRail, with no more taxpayer money, at a profit.)

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  38. tom hunter (4,844 comments) says:

    [DPF: It's not shock, it's despair]

    Oh well……

    …..
    Come, bitter conduct; come, unsavoury guide!
    Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
    The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark!
    ……

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  39. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    John Ansell @ 11:07 pm

    You just don’t get it NZ politics its not about the people its about the politicians.

    I bet your boots Roger and Rodney are in the play… the only thing binding is politicians perks amongst themselves.

    Christ don’t you guys go to bed… im getting concerned about NZ productivity.

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  40. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    In other news, Michael Cullen has just been appointed to be:

    – Telecom CEO
    – Chief Commissioner or Police
    – Chief of Building Inspectors Association
    – CEO of RWC 2011
    – Coach of the All Blacks

    Did I miss anything?

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  41. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Did I miss anything?
    Yes your common sense.
    don’t be stupid….
    Coach of the All BLacks.

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  42. Lutzie (56 comments) says:

    Well why not?
    Cullen sorted out Air NZ after Selwyn Cushing and co had fouled it, set up a decent long-term fund to cover future pension liabilities after Muldoon cockedup up the last one (and English has kissed about 2 billion goodbye by reducing contributions just as the market was picking up), and saw NZ through the longest period of sustained prosperity since WW2.
    Sure he was never that likeable (in a hail fellow well met john Key sort of a way) but I’m not seeing any objective analysis of his record in any of the posts above.

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  43. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    Could it be the real reason Cullen increased income taxes for the “wealthy” and spent taxpayer money recklessly. He wanted to give himself a retirement job!

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  44. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    ohn Ansell (488) Says:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    What is Key doing?

    He’s running the country for the benefit of those former Labour-voting urban females he wooed across the divide to give him his comfortable majority. (Oh and the Greens he reckons he can convert next time.)

    These people demand he favour former socialists, Mother Earth and Maori at the expense of National and ACT voters, humanity in general, and non-Maori.

    Funny that, Rodney just was telling us today how much ACT has achieved in this government. I assume he is misguided.

    He couldn’t give a stuff what his own loyal supporters think about his now-regular betrayals (promoting Clark and Cullen, ignoring the anti-smacking referendum, the ETS, giving away the Waikato River), since he knows they’ve got no option but to vote National or ACT. Either is fine by him.

    And he knows most National voters are too dumb to switch their votes to ACT and give them the numbers to force him to act for the good of the country.

    Well, well, first Brash, now you calling his own voters dumb.

    The only solution to this entrenched arrogance is to demand a Swiss-style direct democracy system with binding referenda.

    It is indeed worrisome that you see this as the only solution.

    In Switzerland, each law does not come into force for 100 days. In this time, a petition of only 50,000 signatures (equivalent to 25,000 in NZ) is all that’s needed to trigger a referendum that the government must act on, as long as 50% of voters turn out.

    In the recent referendum that banned new minarets (after the Turkish PM had scared the Swiss by calling minarets ‘the bayonets of the faith’), 55% turned out and 57% voted in favour of the ban.

    Whatever happened to the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion? So you condone pure, mindless populism. Like the swiss ever had a problem with minarets.

    No, this is more an example of how demagogues and populist can highjack the process and produce idiotic results. The ban of minartes did nothing but alienate the vast majority of peaceful Muslims and drive the rest underground.

    I’d love to see you what you think when they vote to ban churches.

    The government had strongly opposed the ban, but was forced to enact the will of the people. I’m told they tend to do so graciously, as Swiss politicians genuinely regard themselves as servants of the people. They actually call the people ‘the sovereign’. How different from John Key’s ignoring of 85% of NZers in the anti-smacking referendum (once again, in order to please his new pinko lady friends).

    If a Swiss petitioner wants to force a referendum on a new issue, the threshold to doubles to 100,000 signatures (50,000 NZers, as opposed to the 300,000 required now).

    A very simplistic view. The anti-smacking referendum would probably have never made it through in Switzerland, given the way it was formulated.

    The Swiss have operated the world’s most stable democracy with this system for about 150 years, and a similar system also operates with similar success in American states like Arizona.

    Hmm, so the Swiss and Arizona have direct democracy, all the rest of the democratic world have a representative democracy. I wonder why?

    And Key, he beat Helen Clark. Brash didn’t. Get over it.

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  45. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    In the recent referendum that banned new minarets (after the Turkish PM had scared the Swiss by calling minarets ‘the bayonets of the faith’), 55% turned out and 57% voted in favour of the ban.

    The government had strongly opposed the ban, but was forced to enact the will of the people. I’m told they tend to do so graciously, as Swiss politicians genuinely regard themselves as servants of the people.

    So the curbing of a minority’s religious freedom is an example of a good result for, er … freedom?

    Switzerland had a grand total of four minarets, none of which was capable of being used for the call to prayer. The whole thing was sold to people’s prejudices by a slightly nutty populist party that built its support by attacking resident foreigners of any hue or creed.

    You know, I’m guessing you wouldn’t be applauding quite so loudly if Winston Peters had pulled off something similar here. But I don’t think you’ve thought it further through than the talking points.

    in the recent referendum that banned new minarets (after the Turkish PM had scared the Swiss by calling minarets ‘the bayonets of the faith’)

    Yes. Only 12 years after he said it.

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  46. Clint Heine (1,571 comments) says:

    eszett – do you have anything constructive to add? It’s very simple to sit back and make silly comments. I think that if John has spent the time putting some ideas out there, that you at least provide some gems of your own.

    Oh and Key beat Clark, Brash didn’t – but $800k sure helped that!

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  47. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    And Key, he beat Helen Clark. Brash didn’t. Get over it.

    Oh, I don’t think those guys will ever get over that.

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  48. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    eszett – do you have anything constructive to add? It’s very simple to sit back and make silly comments. I think that if John has spent the time putting some ideas out there, that you at least provide some gems of your own.

    If John “puts ideas out there” I think the idea is surely that they will be subject to scrutiny, especially when they aren’t very robust ideas to be putting out in the first place.

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  49. menace (402 comments) says:

    i thought according to the majority of you lot that the sunshine actually lived inside jonky’s arse hole? na sorry, now thats hes comfortable enough to shit in front of everybody its becomeing plainly obvious that theres only shit up his arse.

    CHANGE, rofl, perhaps i should change and go on the dole aye? change?

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  50. menace (402 comments) says:

    John Ansell (488) Says:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    On the money buddy, untill referendums are binding i will never ever have any faith in any(almost all) politician. And the numbers required in switzerland to force one sound pretty fare to me too. Id sign that! Also i demand totally transparent detailing of all states expences(in decent time frames at that too) down to teh doallars.

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  51. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    I trust that the caustic Kullen will turn fast post into last post.

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  52. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    DPF: It’s not shock, it’s despair

    Waking DPF? You should have seen it coming when John Key defeated 90% of NZers who didn’t want the anti-smacking law with his about face/Labour deal, and his dismissal of the referendum. This national socialist just does what he likes.

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  53. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    That was always the plan as I understood it. Why the surprise?

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  54. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Where are all the “clearly replacing Bolger means Post will be sold” folk?

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  55. starboard (2,537 comments) says:

    you idiot Key. One term PM…” next please”…..

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  56. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    # starboard (822) Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:43 am

    you idiot Key. One term PM…” next please”…..

    Are you hoping for Phil Goff? Never thought you’d say it.
    You know the only way that Key is a one term PM, is if he looses the next election to Goff.

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  57. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “Cullen sorted out Air NZ after Selwyn Cushing and co had fouled it, set up a decent long-term fund to cover future pension liabilities after Muldoon cockedup up the last one (and English has kissed about 2 billion goodbye by reducing contributions just as the market was picking up), and saw NZ through the longest period of sustained prosperity since WW2.”

    I dont know what you are smoking Lutzie. Not a single one of those statements is even remotely true.

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  58. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    # Clint Heine (885) Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:05 am

    eszett – do you have anything constructive to add? It’s very simple to sit back and make silly comments. I think that if John has spent the time putting some ideas out there, that you at least provide some gems of your own.

    Oh and Key beat Clark, Brash didn’t – but $800k sure helped that!

    Is that the $1m of the Brethern you are referring to?
    You are right, Key won the election fair and square, Brash tried something nasty, which ultimately let him loose the election.

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  59. starboard (2,537 comments) says:

    just sheer frustration I guess Eszett…Goff’s never gona make it as PM…after the next election there will be bbq’s galore at full moon Kings’s , Mad Mallard etc. Unfortunately Im starting to see through Mr Key and he’s empty.
    My protest vote will be going to ACT. Maybe it will wake Key up when he see’s the dramatic drop in his popularity 2011.

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  60. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    I’m voting for my dog, figure he has more brains than most politicians and dose what he is told often enough.

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  61. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Does anyone seriously think John Key (or Steven Joyce for that matter) needs to set up a “retirement job”? That is about as nonsensical as suggesting that there could be a keen buyer for Kiwirail. C’mon guys, think it through a bit before leaping into print.

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  62. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    starboard (823) Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:56 am

    just sheer frustration I guess Eszett…Goff’s never gona make it as PM…after the next election there will be bbq’s galore at full moon Kings’s , Mad Mallard etc. Unfortunately Im starting to see through Mr Key and he’s empty.
    My protest vote will be going to ACT. Maybe it will wake Key up when he see’s the dramatic drop in his popularity 2011.

    We may not agree on much, but I agree with you on Goff.
    And it will be interesting to see about ACT.

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  63. Tassman (234 comments) says:

    Jim is the only hand that’s not tarnished by social consequences of National reformation during the 70s and 80s. You can’t employ the likes of Richardson, Shipley, Clark, or Bradford and expect a public following. In the case of the future, Key and Power will fill in the gaps created in the 21st century.

    If Post is privately owned, then who gives one of those things you like to throw around??? As far as I’m concerned, Cullen is a caretaker accountant who has an old fashion way of watching the till. He is proven to be safe!

    Neutral comments don’t make me a leftie or Labour supporter either. Enjoy the froth…

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  64. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    This all but confirms Clayton Cosgrove’s dark suspicions! Those nasty Nats and their privatising right-wing buddies!

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  65. Tassman (234 comments) says:

    National’s propaganda machine is nowhere to be found on the Coromandel… !!

    The Paper Economy this government has pursued is showing just that, a lot of papers and nothing else while people are made redundant in droves. But it employs a seer who predicts the cost of expenses of public activities such as the Commonwealth Games, but not the cost of private pastimes such as America’s Cup, Soccer, and Cricket.

    Now it has foreseen $200billion worth of gold and other minerals in the Coromandel, the government will cater a foreign company to carve up the land, take whatever its worth, and invest it in a foreign market. After paying for equipment, special labour, local iwi and Treaty claims, it probably doesn’t take a seer to practically work it out. But that is if really there is any gold in there…

    With this type of operation you might find specialist employments, but most foreign company’s bring their own including labour. It is common with a borderless globalization of labour. And for what’s its worth, I think you are experiencing a modern form of colonization and pirating. They are steeling your taonga once again in pure daylight.

    Flaura and fauna, the eco system, the water ways, will never be the same again in a scar land once was called Thames.

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  66. Pete George (23,564 comments) says:

    And it will be interesting to see about ACT.

    They have quite a bit to do to prove themselves yet.

    Hide has probably gotten over last year’s indiscretions, but he is super busy climbing a super city mountain, and if that falls over he will probably be super buried.

    John Boscawen seems to be making a good effort and keeping a positive profile.

    Is Heather Roy real? I hear things about her but have no idea what she stands for and how straight she stands.

    Douglas seems to be a fossil lurking suspiciously in the shadows.

    David Garrett seems to be a back room deal gone wrong.

    Will they keep their MPs as their top five? Who will be next? I’m as concerned about the quality of the Act lineup as I am about the Labour lineup.

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  67. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Hi John, could you drop by the bosses office please… bring the contents of your desk.

    What photos of Key does Doc Sullen have anyway?

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  68. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    Many a long-lasting friendship struck up at the trough filled by the taxpayer, or so it would seem

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  69. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..What photos of Key does Doc Sullen have anyway?..”

    maybe he has recordings of those ‘special-briefings/meetings’ key received from that lord ashcroft..?

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  70. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Theres a reason why the National Front are a big fan of binding referendums..

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  71. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and that reason is..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  72. big bruv (13,899 comments) says:

    Phool

    Are you looking forward to the welfare reforms due to be announced today?

    You may well have to start looking for a job.

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  73. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    big bruv..have you stopped abusing animals yet..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  74. big bruv (13,899 comments) says:

    Polish up that CV Phool, dust off the ‘degree’ you claim to have, you may well be needing it.

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  75. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    put down that bone..spit out that fat/flesh/grease/blood….it’ll kill ya..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  76. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..dust off the ‘degree’ you claim to have, ..”

    you can check that…yourself..on the auck university website..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  77. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    david (1277) 8:30 am
    “>” Does anyone seriously think John Key (or Steven Joyce for that matter) needs to set up a “retirement job”? “<"

    Yes.. Just in case things go bad.. and they don't have enough money or valued assets left… from the possibility of a future share market crash… it would be wise to be prepared for that possiblity and cover all bases.. Seriously.. and in their case they can.. lucky for some.

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  78. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Cullen deliberately fucked New Zealand over for his own political gain. I mean, how fucking obvious does a poison pill budget have to fucking be?

    HE is the reason NZ is piling on the debt now. HE is the reason our economy is stumbling. HE is the reason our kids are going to have to pay higher taxes on lower wages and will most likely just bugger off overseas.

    He is a goddamned economic traitor who ought to be vilified at every opportunity. He and Clark pissed all over their legacy in the latter part of their time in charge and the country voted them out for it.

    Fuck you John Key. You are a fucking idiot.

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  79. peteremcc (344 comments) says:

    “Please excuse the blatant advertising, but I figure i’ll get away with it with DPF in this mood:

    http://www.act.org.nz/join

    [DPF: If you promise to sack Cullen I'd be half tempted]

    Everyone, this how far National have sunk! To win David’s support do we just have to promise to fire Cullen?

    We’re selling the whole thing off David, then the owners get to decide who runs their company.

    It’s called privitisation, I’ll introduce you two next time I see you! :D

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  80. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Memo to John Key

    John What were you thinking As the posts on Kiwiblog and elsewhere show you have just admitted to what many citizens know and that is pollies are corrupt by engaging in jobs for the boys. Now if Michael Cullen had unique abilities that no one else possessed to run an SOE better and add more value than anyone and you could demonstrate this then I might forgive you.

    But John you are sticking up a big single digit to me and everyone else who have voted National. Why are you doing this. You are giving the Socilaists a huge target to aim at Its the one you have painted on your own forehead.

    Where your judgement man. Why piss us Nat supporters off and give ammo to the enemy.

    You didnt owe Cullen or Clark anything You beat them fair and square in a fight. So why bend over like a nancy boy and make a fool of yourself.

    However is advising you are nutbars who dont have a clue. When you piss off 150% supporters like me mate then God help you

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  81. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    And to the Socilaists see some of us on the RIGHT do stand up and criticise our leaders and have done so in the past.

    We are not blind as you were to Clark Cullen et al when they were screwing you and us over.

    If JK BE screw up IMHO then I will vent my spleen Its healthy and good better words than bullets

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  82. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    lastmanstanding… if you’re not careful, John will “defriend” you. After all, that’s the latest political weapon of choice to deal with those who are question or criticise.

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  83. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    aardvark

    I despair Without wanting to repeat myself WTF did JK do it. What rush of blood to the head. It makes no sense. There is plenty of good governance talent around its just CCMAU and existing Boards are too bloody lazy to go out and find it

    They sit on their arses and appoint the same old same old dead beats

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  84. Dave Mann (1,220 comments) says:

    DPF this is your party doing this. Your fucking stupid bunch of idiots party, with its two-faced arse licking untrustworthy socialist-in-(thin)-disguise leader.

    Happy yet?

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  85. starboard (2,537 comments) says:

    Kimble (1858) Says:

    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:49 am

    spot on Kimble..well said.

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  86. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    To Russell Brown and eszett:

    The point is whether we think the majority of us ought to be entrusted to decide things. What happens when we realise the politicians we thought we could trust betray us?

    Then we need a mechanism that allows us to take the decision-making into our own hands.

    This is where I am impressed with the helicopter vision of Amy Brooke (founder of the Summersounds Symposium that I attended over the weekend).

    Amy has come to the conclusion that the answer is not to continue expecting politicians to cease to be selfish, or to change the voting system to alter the mix of MPs.

    It’s to bypass the buggers with a people’s veto.

    That requires a belief in the wisdom of crowds, but the Swiss and Arizona experiences augur well I think.

    The Swiss have not limited the religious freedom of Muslims. The Swiss are a tolerant people. But they did decide to draw a line in the sand against the encroachment of Muslims symbols. Why?

    Because they scare them. We are in the midst of a world war between Western civilisation and Islamic feudalism that has a stated aim of world domination. Therefore Muslim symbols are as welcome in the West as Nazi swastikas were in an earlier age.

    That is their right, and we should not rush to judge them from our South Sea paradise where no such threat exists.

    When the Muslims are calling minarets ‘the bayonets of the faith’, one is entitled to draw the inference that this religion is not benign – especially once one has factored in all the known Muslim atrocities of recent times, many of which are supported by a majority of the faithful (such as the London bombings and the high degree of support for them among British-born Muslims).

    It’s that widespread support, as DPF has documented, that makes Islam much more of a threat than, say, Christianity or Buddhism.

    Now certainly the Christians have a long and shameful history of aggression too. But their bloodthirsty days of burning witches at the stake are long gone, as is much (but not all) of their institutionalised intolerance and abuse.

    But as the world knows to its increasing cost, Islam is still back there in the Middle Ages. Sharia law is undisputably barbaric with its beheadings and stonings of rape victims and infidels and their declared jihad against the West.

    (On top of that, they’ve got no bloody sense of humour – the most heinous crime of all.)

    Yet the people of the left who Lenin accurately characterised as ‘useful idiots’ persist in sticking up for it as though it’s just another faith.

    My point about the direct democracy is that, alone among democratic nations, the Swiss had the mechanism to say, “No more.”

    Yes, they only have four minarets. And yes, their 400,000 Muslims are apparently peaceloving. But the Swiss are sensible people. They look around Europe – at Denmark, at Holland, at Londonistan – and see where they will be if they do not make a stand.

    And only direct democracy allows them to make that stand.

    Would the same 100 days concept allow the Swiss to ban all churches? Yes, if they so chose. But why would they? And why would they not come to the same conclusion on the anti-smacking referendum as we did?

    Before rushing to such conclusions and dismissing the people’s ability to make sensible decisions, I think we should study the history of referenda in places like Switzerland and Arizona.

    A speech at the recent Summersounds Symposium by a Zurich-based New Zealander Greig Fleming suggests that the Swiss experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I intend to look into it further.

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  87. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    When the Muslims are calling minarets ‘the bayonets of the faith’, one is entitled to draw the inference that this religion is not benign

    For goodness sake, it was a speech by one man in a secular government more than a decade previous. Can you not grasp how absurd what you’re saying is?

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  88. Dave Mann (1,220 comments) says:

    @ peteremcc… on the question of privatisation, this is not the answer either. Privatisation of NZ Post just for the ideological sake of it won’t work any more than it has worked for Telecom and the Railways or any of the other illegitimate bastardised ‘SOE’ organisations which prey off us their former owners.

    And this is even more of a special case. NZ Post is a dying organisation for the simple reason that its mail volumes are shrinking like a burst balloon now that people no longer send letters and cards to each other. People have largely forgotten how to write, and when they do attempt it, they prefer to use email and text. Whats more, when businesses have something to send to each other, they use couriers – of which Courier Post is but one of the players.

    There will always however, be a SMALL market for letters and stamps, but if you think anybody could make any money out of such an operation, you’d better think again. If it was privatised, the cost would go to about $2 for a stamp; either that or the new owners would do an Argentina on it and strip all its asets (does it have any assets? I dunno) and walk away from the shell.

    Better to just allow the organisation to settle to its natural level and run it as a public service – but don’t expect this Cullen character to magically turn it around into a vibrant go-getter because this ain’t gonna happen.

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  89. Pete George (23,564 comments) says:

    The Swiss system is worth investigating, but at this stage I have major reservations.

    They have 26 Cantons that are a large part of their political structure (including direct democracy), our provinces aren’t used for much at all.

    They have a strong reliance on foreign labour and foreign trained professionals, but remain strongly nationalistic.

    The Swiss are a tolerant people.

    What do you base that on?

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  90. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    But as the world knows to its increasing cost, Islam is still back there in the Middle Ages. Sharia law is undisputably barbaric with its beheadings and stonings of rape victims and infidels and their declared jihad against the West.

    And singling out a small religious minority in a peaceful country is going to fix that how, exactly?

    That requires a belief in the wisdom of crowds, but the Swiss and Arizona experiences augur well I think.

    The overwhelming majority of Swiss referendum propositions are defeated, so it’s not as if they alter law on any regular basis.

    And Arizona initiatives have tended to go in a liberal direction — they rejected a gay marriage ban (I can’t imagine Greg Fleming bragging about that one) and raised the minimum wage, but did opt to crack down on illegal immigrants.

    The real problem is that the Arizona process is basically corrupt. Signatures for either side of the political divide are gathered not by citizens, but by professional signature-harvesting companies, heavily incentivised to get as many names as possible. As a result, they lie and commit outright fraud.

    The moral of the story is to not believe everything you hear at Angry Camp …

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  91. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “There will always however, be a SMALL market for letters and stamps, but if you think anybody could make any money out of such an operation, you’d better think again. If it was privatised, the cost would go to about $2 for a stamp; either that or the new owners would do an Argentina on it and strip all its asets (does it have any assets? I dunno) and walk away from the shell.

    Better to just allow the organisation to settle to its natural level and run it as a public service – but don’t expect this Cullen character to magically turn it around into a vibrant go-getter because this ain’t gonna happen.”

    Seriously, why (or how) do you hold this opinion. If the cost of delivering the mail is $2 a letter then that should be the price. FFS misallocating resources at that level of magnitude in a country this size is mroe than plain stupid. Snail mail is in fact dead and dying. There might be ways to fix it (deliveries every second day maybe, pickup letters from letter boxes etc) but the only folks who are going to figure that out are the ones exposed to the market.

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  92. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    John Ansell And its not just the Muzzies who lack a sense of humour You only have to look at the thin lipped Lefties here to see those who have had a humour bypass

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  93. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Russell Brown: “For goodness sake, it was a speech by one man in a secular government more than a decade previous. Can you not grasp how absurd what you’re saying is?”

    No Russell, I can’t. The Turkish PM’s exact comments were: “Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets, believers our soldiers. This holy army guards my religion.”

    Nor can I see the humour in the Libyan madman Gaddafi’s recommendation, four months after the Swiss vote, of an all-out jihad against Switzerland. How do you minimise that?

    The problem with Islam, which you seem to be defending, is that they have a history of taking their militaristic expressions literally. So a Muslim cleric or politician talking about bayonets of the faith is not quite the same as a Salvation Army choir singing ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’.

    Furthermore, while you’re correct in stating that the Turkish PM’s speech was made 12 years before the Swiss referendum, have you not noticed that the intervening 12 years have been pockmarked with atrocities perpetrated by said ‘holy army’?

    I’ve no reason to believe Mr Erdogan had foreknowledge of the Islamic bombings of New York, Washington, Madrid, London, Bali, Bombay etc., but I can see why the Swiss might want to limit the faith-bayonets in their midst.

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  94. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Whatever the Arizonans (if that’s the word) decide, Russell, that’s fine by me. The point is, it’s their call. If they overturned the gay marriage ban, that shows a level of tolerance not normally associated with that part of America, and I agree with them.

    You don’t mention their longstanding support for the tent prison (complete with compulsory pink underwear for inmates) of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

    So how about less of the lefty derision and nitpicking on specifics and more of a helicopter view of the direct democracy proposal?

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  95. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    No Russell, I can’t. The Turkish PM’s exact comments were: “Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets, believers our soldiers. This holy army guards my religion.”

    It was a metaphor, John. Taken from a poem written early in the 20th by Ziya Gökalp, who was a major influence on the great secular moderniser Kemal Ataturk.

    Your attempt to both take it literally, and to assign it to “Muslims” in general — let alone associate it with sharia law — is comically wide of the mark. That you insist on claiming that it offered a genuine rationale for the minaret vote is simply bizarre.

    I trust you’ll understand when Egypt starts cracking down on Coptic Christians on the basis of single lines from hundred year-old poems.

    I’ve no reason to believe Mr Erdogan had foreknowledge of the Islamic bombings of New York, Washington, Madrid, London, Bali, Bombay etc., but I can see why the Swiss might want to limit the faith-bayonets in their midst.

    Amazing. So that poet guy foresaw it all a hundred years ago?

    Do you have any actual informed opinions, or just more of this rubbish?

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  96. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    So how about less of the lefty derision and nitpicking on specifics

    I like to think of it as reality-based criticism.

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  97. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    So why do you ignore all my other points?

    In fact, why do you ignore the main point of this one: it was hardly that comment alone that inflamed the Swiss, but all the subsequent supporting evidence of aggression that made it seem like a prediction, even if it wasn’t?

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  98. Pete George (23,564 comments) says:

    Women were granted the right to vote in the first Swiss cantons in 1959, at the federal level in 1971 and, after resistance, in the last canton Appenzell Innerrhoden in 1990.

    John, I think it is also be worth looking at how we can get our representative democracy working better. If most of our MPs were of better quality I could prefer them to be making most of the important decisions rather than the general voting population. Many people seem very poorly informed about most issues.

    Referenda could still be used, but similar to now limited to constitutional questions.

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  99. Dave Mann (1,220 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg, I used the figure of $2 per stamp as a rough illustration only. Obviously it is not 100% correct because there are various postal sizes and rates etc…. anyway…

    My position is that, given that the business is pretty well fucked as a money spinner, probably the best option socially speaking is to absorb the blow and continue to run it as a public good rather than try to flog it off to private enterprise. Its doubtful, I think, that any private enterprise would want it anyway because its a dead duck – but there are probably some very good social good spinoffs from continuing to operate it (you know, old people, sense of social cohesion, somewhere for Kiwibank to hang out, merged franchises for unemployed ex-civil servants etc).

    Q1) Would YOU invest to buy a business with the stunning lack of potential that NZ Post has?

    Q2) Would you like to live in a country with no postal service at all?

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  100. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Q1 Maybe, depends what upside I saw and what the price was. At the moment I am involuntarily invested in it anyway.

    Q2 Why would I care. I cant think of ANYTHING important that comes to me by post. And your assumption is without NZ Post there would be no post – I dont assume that.

    “My position is that, given that the business is pretty well fucked as a money spinner, probably the best option socially speaking is to absorb the blow and continue to run it as a public good rather than try to flog it off to private enterprise. ”

    If only previous governments had had the wisdom to preserve other failed businesses as “public goods”, think how much better off we are by preserving the failures and turning away successes. You have to make choices. Capital isnt infinite.

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  101. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Russell Brown: It was a metaphor, John.

    A metaphor for what: peace?

    Sorry if I’m being comically wide of the mark again. I don’t know the poem, but I do know that the not-usually-hysterical Swiss took exception to it for reasons I can only guess at (possibly to do with an implied threat, backed up by 12 years of a more terrifying actual one).

    And they used their special powers to get their politicians to do what they wanted. You may call that the tyranny of the majority (which I happen to prefer to the tyranny of the minority that operates here).

    Others would call it real democracy.

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  102. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    I’m disappointed in your one-eyed partisan approach to this appointment, David. I expected more from you. Then again, I have come to expect this from you.

    Dr Michael Cullen (you don’t get your higher qualifications to be called “Michael”) has the experience, skills and qualifications for the role and no amount of politics should prevent his successful appointment.

    You forget that under a number of former Labour governments, members of previous National administrations were appointed to positions of authority and privledge.

    I thought that we had moved on from that “jungle politics” game that is now most common in the US, if you have the skills and experience for the role, then that is all that should matter.

    Good grief New Zealand.

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  103. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    The Swiss have not limited the religious freedom of Muslims. The Swiss are a tolerant people. But they did decide to draw a line in the sand against the encroachment of Muslims symbols. Why?

    Because they scare them. We are in the midst of a world war between Western civilisation and Islamic feudalism that has a stated aim of world domination. Therefore Muslim symbols are as welcome in the West as Nazi swastikas were in an earlier age.

    It only shows that the result is not based on rationale discussions but on irrationale angst driven by a few fear mongerers.
    And I certainly wouldn’t want to invoke Godwin, but as you already did, I would say it’s “Muslim symbols are as welcome in the West as Star of David were in an earlier age.

    It’s a slippery slope.

    I too am aware and afraid of the Islamists, but I am also too aware of very similar movement on the Christian Right. The thought process is very much the same, and so are the goals

    Shall we outlaw churches as well?

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  104. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    @ fale please tell me you are being ironic.

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  105. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Pete George, one thing I like about the Arizona direct democracy system (not sure about the Swiss) is that the public get a booklet before each vote detailing each side of the argument. I think that would go a long way to producing an informed decision.

    The other thing my Arizonan friend told me is that they often have about 19 decisions to make at each referendum vote – rather excessive I’d have thought. He reckons only about 2/3rds of issues are presented clearly enough to vote on reliably.

    Something to consider.

    People often cite the Swiss reluctance to give women the vote as an argument against the referendum system. The speaker on Sunday provided an answer for that: that most Swiss women didn’t see the need for a vote, since they were happy to be represented by one-vote-per-household at commune elections. (I may not have got that quite right, but something like that.)

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  106. Dave Mann (1,220 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg, I can empathise to a degree with your points and they are well made. However, the government divested itself of Telecom and Railways, for example, when they were profitable monopolies and look what private enterprise did to them!

    I think that while government should not run on the East German model and run everything, neither should the opposite hold true. An affordable postal service (albeit on reduced revenues) which provides a public service at reasonable cost and breaks even is better than no postal service at all or one which charges courier prices to deliver a letter.

    How would rural areas get along with no postal service, or one which needed to make a commercial return for some Hong Kong (or Australian) inversment consortium somewhere?

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  107. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    eszett: the more pertinent comparison is not the minaret v the Star of David, but the minaret v the swastika.

    The militant Islamists waging jihad have much more in common with the Nazis than the peaceful-but-too-successful-by-half European Jews.

    The Swiss are hardly endorsing all-out slaughter of Muslims, just saying, “That’s far enough.” The Christian church supported the Swiss government in opposing the minaret ban, as did the Jewish community, but the people thought otherwise.

    If you put the Swiss referendum question to every other European country, I suggest you’d get the same result.

    But those other countries don’t have direct democracy.

    To suggest a population would ban all churches just because most people aren’t religious (if that’s true) paints a pretty poor picture of human nature, and would not happen unless those churches gave people good reason.

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  108. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    @ Dave Telecom was a monopoly only insofar as its lines business and the prices it could charge for that were regulated. It’s been incredibly badly mismanaged but the only people who have lost money since privatisation are private investors. The state would not have been a better owner.

    Railways isnt a monopoly (except back in the day when it was illegal to compete with it).

    THe fact a business is or isnt a monopoly is actually irrelevant to the question of who shoudl own it as regulation is the proper answer in either state or private hands (otherwise the state will use it is a tax collection mechanism).

    “An affordable postal service (albeit on reduced revenues) which provides a public service at reasonable cost and breaks even is better than no postal service at all or one which charges courier prices to deliver a letter. ”

    I dont know why you say this. By definition a business has to provide goods or services which are “affordable” to its customers, who may not be everyone. You might as well argue for a state-owned chain of farriers.

    Rural areas would adapt. Provided it was economic someone will provide some service (which may be better or worse, cheaper or more expensive than present services). Trying to hold onto probably outmoded business models is just misguided. Raising the spectre of foreign ownership is equally irrelevant – if they risk their capital of course they will require a return; so would a New Zealand owner. Pretending that because we as taxpayers own it there is no cost of capital is just self-delusional.

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  109. Dave Mann (1,220 comments) says:

    @KiwiGreg The point is that NZ Post (and its early incarnation when it had the ‘telegraph’ incorporated in it) was not started off as a business in the first place…. it was a public SERVICE provided by the taxpayer in order to provide a SERVICE which no self-respecting investor would start up because the costs would be to high to make a profit. Same with Railways. Same with Air New Zealand. Same with the Hydro dams and the electricity industry, roads, etc etc etc.

    Ok I know. Government can never do anything right. It can’t run anything properly so the best thing to do is scrap all government and blah blah blah… taxes are theft…. heard it all before.

    I think we’ll have to agree to differ on this one mate! :-)

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  110. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    # John Ansell (495) Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    eszett: the more pertinent comparison is not the minaret v the Star of David, but the minaret v the swastika.

    The militant Islamists waging jihad have much more in common with the Nazis than the peaceful-but-too-successful-by-half European Jews.

    The Swiss are hardly endorsing all-out slaughter of Muslims, just saying, “That’s far enough.” The Christian church supported the Swiss government in opposing the minaret ban, as did the Jewish community, but the people thought otherwise.

    If you put the Swiss referendum question to every other European country, I suggest you’d get the same result.

    But those other countries don’t have direct democracy.

    To suggest a population would ban all churches just because most people aren’t religious (if that’s true) paints a pretty poor picture of human nature, and would not happen unless those churches gave people good reason.

    John, the point is that the Nazis started out by using the irrational fear and prejudice against a minority in their own country for their purposes. The principles are the same. If you would have taken a poll in the 1930s in Gemany (and some other European countries for that matter) about the prohibiton of synagogues you would have gotten the same result.

    Populism just doesn’t make good policies. Fearmongering neither.

    Direct democracy has it’s place, but it is certainly not a replacement for our representative democracy.

    You only propose it because you find it easier to manipulate the outcomes by promoting populist notions and fearmongering.
    The representative democracy, especially one like MMP, is a safe-guard against this. And a very good one.

    You are just trying to push an agenda that you couldn’t achieve before. The very essence of a tiny right wing minority trying to manipulate the system to it’s own favour.

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  111. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    Russell Brown: It was a metaphor, John.

    A metaphor for what: peace?

    Are you familiar with the lyric “Onward, Christian soldiers”? Or a group called the Salvation Army?

    Sorry if I’m being comically wide of the mark again. I don’t know the poem, but I do know that the not-usually-hysterical Swiss took exception to it for reasons I can only guess at (possibly to do with an implied threat, backed up by 12 years of a more terrifying actual one).

    They responded to a hysterical campaign about an irrelevant line in a speech quoting a hundred year-old poem by a secular reformer. How does that relate to modern jihadism? It doesn’t. At all.

    For goodness sake, more than half of Switzerland’s Muslims are European, from the former Yugoslavia (we should perhaps be grateful that they have never sought retribution for the slaughter of tens of thousand their brethren n the 1990s) and the only other substantial group is from Turkey, a nation that has nothing to do with jihad and wants to join the EU.

    But it’s not exactly out of character for some of the Swiss. Fomenting distrust against foreigners serves several of their political parties quite well. We only got stuck with one Winston Peters.

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  112. Pita (373 comments) says:

    Cullen bought it…perhaps he knows how to make it work…I’d love to see him give the annual report to explain to the shareholders why it’s underperforming

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  113. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    To suggest a population would ban all churches just because most people aren’t religious (if that’s true) paints a pretty poor picture of human nature, and would not happen unless those churches gave people good reason.

    Perhaps you could explain what “good reason” the communities associated with Switzerland’s minarets provided.

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  114. Pete George (23,564 comments) says:

    The Swiss setup is quite different to here. And there are a lot of very conservative Swiss people. I’m visiting there in May, but probably won’t get to speak to many Swiss nationals about it.

    Arizona seems closer to how it would work here, but I agree, that sounds like far to many issues to decide on at once.

    I think we could use referenda more here, but I’d prefer to be cautious about how far it goes.

    Why don’t we think outside the square? There may be other approaches that could work, especially with modern communications technology. No matter how well you try to inform the general population many of them are likely to disregard most information, and many are unlikely to bother about the wide picture.

    I think a useful intermediary would be to have a think tank or interested group representing a cross section of the population who were prepared to research issues and participate in online polls, perhaps with an associated discussion blog. If you had a few thousand (100 per electorate selected randomly from any who express interest in being included?) in this you could get much better informed opinion than you could hope to get in any random polls.

    It shouldn’t have any binding effect but could be influential – useful for politicians as a cross sectional non partisan feedback mechanism, and a voice from representatives of “the people”. Perhaps it could be used to recommend when a full referendum was justified.

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  115. Russell Brown (405 comments) says:

    “Cullen sorted out Air NZ after Selwyn Cushing and co had fouled it, set up a decent long-term fund to cover future pension liabilities after Muldoon cockedup up the last one (and English has kissed about 2 billion goodbye by reducing contributions just as the market was picking up), and saw NZ through the longest period of sustained prosperity since WW2.”

    I dont know what you are smoking Lutzie. Not a single one of those statements is even remotely true.

    Er, they all are basically. You could quibble about whether you described the run of economic growth as one of “sustained prosperity”, and whether Cullen should have gone for greater growth, but none of the above is untrue as such.

    And …

    @ Kimble:

    Cullen deliberately fucked New Zealand over for his own political gain. I mean, how fucking obvious does a poison pill budget have to fucking be?

    HE is the reason NZ is piling on the debt now. HE is the reason our economy is stumbling. HE is the reason our kids are going to have to pay higher taxes on lower wages and will most likely just bugger off overseas.

    Cullen reduced net public debt to almost zero, even as his opponents were declaring that tax cuts and borrowing were the way to proceed. Bill English was good enough to acknowledge that the strong state of New Zealand’s books sheltered us from the worst of the global recession.

    Of course it can be argued that Cullen should have made different decisions on tax and spending, but his essential conservatism certainly had its virtues when the rainy day came. To say that he “deliberately fucked over New Zealand” is ludicrous.

    Honestly, the wailing and gnashing in this thread is weird, if oddly fascinating. The Labour government found good use for Bolger, Shipley and McKinnon, and now another government finds good use for Cullen. It’s not really strange.

    @John

    The only solution to this entrenched arrogance is to demand a Swiss-style direct democracy system with binding referenda.

    You’d seriously spend public money on referenda on board appointments at SOEs? Wouldn’t it make more sense to, say, have elected boards for Auckland CCOs, which actually spend our money? Isn’t that a more sensible application of democracy?

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  116. menace (402 comments) says:

    fuck of and dont mine our country.

    make referendums finding and then you would have to fuck off.

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  117. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Russell Brown: “…his essential conservatism certainly had its virtues when the rainy day came.”

    That reminds me of a John Cleese sketch:

    MARY: Oh John, once we had something that was pure and wonderful and good. What happened to it?
    JOHN: You spent it all.

    And I wasn’t talking about appointing boards by referendum.

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  118. Dave Mann (1,220 comments) says:

    Gee menace, thats pretty deep thinking. What a beautifully articulated fine point of economic philosophy you have expressed with such a flowing literary style here for us. It is such a pleasure to read the ebb and flow of point and counterpoint in your argument.

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  119. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Putting aside menace’s literary style, the mining issue would be a good one to put to a referendum.

    As long as both sides were spelt out clearly, I imagine the public would support a careful mining programme in exchange for billions of dollars that would allow us to buy better medicines, teachers etc.

    The important thing would be to make sure they were presented with the upside as well as the downside. So often that’s missing in public debate.

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  120. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    John, I’d only be OK with binding referendums if we also have a constitution that cannot be overridden. Just because more than 50% of people want something doesn’t mean it is right. We should have limits on what government can do, particularly in regulating things that don’t actually hurt anyone (like minarets).

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  121. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Stress levels increasing in family-owned businesses
    4:00 AM Tuesday Mar 23, 2010

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    Stress levels for many business owners climbed during the past year, with the impact thought to be particularly hard on smaller, family-owned businesses.

    An international survey of 7400 business owners across 36 economies found that 44 per cent of New Zealand business owners said their stress levels had increased from a year ago, compared with a global average of 56 per cent.

    China topped the poll at 76 per cent, with Sweden at a more relaxed 23 per cent.

    Peter Sherwin, a partner of Grant Thornton, said the figures for this country masked a growing problem among small, family-owned businesses.

    “Pressure on cash flow is the major problem affecting New Zealand businesses at 19 per cent, with heavy workload at 16 per cent being the next most important stress factor,” he said.

    “Where these pressures really mount is when the owners are also husband and wife or living together. There is just no escape for them. They take home their work problems and over time the pressure becomes too great.

    “In many instances family-owned businesses are financed through banks with security against their family home. So when a business starts to under-perform, the pressure on an owner mounts, as not only do they worry about food on the table but also a roof over their family heads.”
    XXXIXXX

    Could someone tell ,Bill & John that we are all hurting from their playing around with property issues. please.

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  122. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    ˙ʇoıpı pıdnʇs ɐ sı uǝllnɔ lǝɐɥɔıɯ

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  123. Dave Mann (1,220 comments) says:

    God that upside down writing is very cool, OECD! How do you do that??? :-)

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