General Debate 3 November 2011

November 3rd, 2011 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel
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76 Responses to “General Debate 3 November 2011”

  1. Yvette (2,813 comments) says:

    More than a quarter of young teenagers want to leave New Zealand and live overseas, according to a survey.

    The Civic and Citizenship Education Study, which questioned 4000 Year 9 students about their views on New Zealand, democracy and freedom, found 27 per cent wanted to live permanently in another country.

    Despite this, the vast majority of students – questioned in 2008 – were proud of their homeland and flag.

    The results were released by the Ministry of Education yesterday, two days after Labour took a shot at National over the number of Kiwis fleeing the country.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10763556

    So this survey was in 2008 [a fact slightly buried] and therefore under a Labour Government.
    As Goff would know, you need to dig a little to see where the truth lies.

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  2. flipper (4,056 comments) says:

    To read the newspaper accounts of the ChCh Press Key v Goffie debate one would think that I watched an entirely different event. At least the Press debate was nearer a real debate than the TVNZ rubbish. But how Goff’s media toads (Harevelt/Bennett et al) think Goffie was competitive is beyond me. Key by a TKO!

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  3. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Hint for the Greek govvernment: Whne you think your military might mutiny and take over the country you don’t WARN them you’re going to fire all the top officers.

    You just DO IT!

    You would think that Greece would grasp an elementary Nike concept.

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  4. Inventory2 (10,337 comments) says:

    Will there be a better one-liner during this election campaign than John Key’s Cuba Gooding Jnr impersonation last night?

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2011/11/show-me-money.html

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  5. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Apparently the Aratere engine failures are the governments fault. Well, according to Rod Grout who thinks the Government should get involved with managing our ports again.

    How does this stuff get published?

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  6. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Yes labrator, Key was the Engine room muppet and Bill was his chief stoker.

    My my those boys do get around don’t they.

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  7. RF (1,396 comments) says:

    Show me the money “son”. Sorry sir the dog ate my spread sheet !!!! Boo Hoo

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  8. flipper (4,056 comments) says:

    LABOUR’S EARTHQUAKE REVOLUTION (aka rates/tax increase)…. The Whale deserves credit, no accolades, for this little gem published a few minutes ago. Worth filing for future reference:

    by Whaleoil on November 3, 2011

    ” I was emailed this post via the tipline, I know who sent it but they have requested their details withheld but they are someone in the industry that knows the ins and outs of housing policy.

    Labour on the Earthquake Commission – via the tipline

    Struggling homeowners – those middle income families who are walking a tightrope in order to manage household expenses – are on notice thanks to Labour’s policy for the Earthquake Commission (EQC). The policy announced by Labour’s Clayton Cosgrove will mean significantly higher rate bills, particularly for those residential property owners in the outer suburban neighbourhoods of Auckland and Wellington who are already feeling the financial squeeze from the compounding cost of local government.

    Labour’s policy is unequivocal: universal insurance paid through local government rates, increasing EQC coverage (which means even higher rate bills to cover more generous insurance pay-outs), and the apportionment of liability based on the rateable value of property.

    Let’s put things in perspective. EQC was established in 1945 to provide earthquake and war damage cover for the purchasers of fire insurance. The scheme was later amended to include other natural disasters, but excluded war damage. New Zealand’s insurance policy holders have been paying premiums since Peter Fraser first conceived of the scheme, thus allowing for a contingency fund to accrue for the day it was needed.

    Those days have arrived. And the National Disaster Fund, the ultimate expression of political consensus has worked well. Yes, EQC’s reserves have been depleted. But New Zealand has performed remarkably well under unprecedented circumstances. Canterbury is moving from a relief to a recovery phase, which is the forerunner to an enormous rebuild that will generate construction and jobs in New Zealand’s second largest city for generations to come.

    It would be unfair to accuse the National Government of imprudent stewardship during this harrowing past 12 months. EQC needs a boost, which is precisely the reason why Finance Minister Bill English announced in October that levies would rise. Insured homeowners currently pay 5c per $100 of insurance cover, up to a maximum of $69 a year (including GST), as part of their insurance premiums. Under the proposed changes, homeowners will pay 15c per $100 of insurance cover, with an annual cap of $207 (including GST).

    Which brings us back to Labour’s announcement. Moving from an insurance scheme to a universal rating scheme proportionate to rateable values poses more questions than answers:
    1.If Labour desires a universal rating scheme, will this therefore require non-residential property owners (the people who own the factories, the workshops, the office blocks and the retail shops that provide the jobs for hundreds of thousands of New Zealand workers) to pay higher rates in order to fund a scheme that only benefits residential property owners?
    2.If non-residential property owners are be to liable for a National Disaster Fund, will those same ratepayers (who already pay a disproportionate amount of local government rates) benefit from that Fund? If not, why not?
    3.What is the rating system that Labour expects to apply? Historically smaller rural councils rate on land. Larger urban councils rate on capital. Why has Labour not clarified its rating methodology? Who are the ratepayers that will be hit hardest? Why won’t Phil Goff tell us who will pay the most?

    Rating property generates many moral dilemmas. The widow who owns a family home in Bucklands Beach or the young family struggling to pay the mortgage for the 4-bedroom home in Whitby is assumed to have asset wealth because of the rateable value of their respective property. Yet the value of the family home does not mean the widow is any better off, or that the young family is flush with disposable cash in order to afford year-on-year rate increases.

    Labour’s policy is a recipe for shifting the burden of cost to those ratepayers in New Zealand who already pay the most, and who are poorly placed to deal with the compounding cost of local government. Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s proposed Long Term Plan budget includes rate increases of up to 50 per cent for hardworking business owners in Pukekohe. Why should those hardworking New Zealanders – people who have never benefitted from the National Insurance Fund in their lives – now be singled out to pay Labour’s new wealth tax?

    Labour has made a calculated decision to impress the voters in New Brighton and Shirley with a funding scheme that will ultimately hit every New Zealand ratepayer in the pocket. And Labour intends to shift the burden of responsibility to every city and provincial mayor in New Zealand to act as the tax collector. There is nothing courageous about that.

    In 1945 Peter Fraser displayed a sense of vision. New Zealand today is better off for his foresight. Phil Goff’s craven calculation is mean-spirited and steeped in envy by comparison.”

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  9. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Murray, if we fitted them with GPS transponders, we could probably prevent every disaster every by knowing exactly where the are and stopping the mischief they’re always up to.

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  10. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    A fellow-traveller and useful idiot speaks: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/02/occupy-london-archbishop-canterbury-tax

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  11. kowtow (8,448 comments) says:

    EQC and rates. And when your already spiralling rates go up more so does the GST, a tax on a tax.Win win for the gummint,lose lose for property owners.

    Sharia alert.
    I’m guessing because the French are so overtly secular that they are offended by someone causing offense.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/11/france-muslims-firebomb-satirical-magazine-that-featured-muhammad-as-guest-editor.html

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  12. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Labour’s EQC and rates proposal is sheer economic madness.

    It beggars belief to see such tripe being promoted by the socialists. Actually, no. It makes perfect sense from this pack of non-achievers.

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  13. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    Labour’s proposal re the collection of EQC levies should bring them some votes of approval. I would think that the incompetents in charge of the various local bodies in NZ will already be planning for a vast increase in staff to handle this huge & complex challenge.

    By the time they each hire an EQC manager, deputy manager, a couple of assistant managers & about a hundred paper shufflers unemployment in NZ will be a distant memory.

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  14. Neil (586 comments) says:

    This is a completely new thread in the debate. I am seeking iformation about Colin Craig’s efforts in the Rodney electortate.
    Wasn’t there a big kerfuffle in Rodney between the “born again Christian group” and the National Party establishment prior to the selection of the National candidate. He apparently is mainstream National.
    Result a small group of “born agains” very angry about National.
    So Colin Craig,”conservative party” chief honcho, parachutes in. In the course telling the world that he was likely to win the seat
    Are my views correct or have I fallen into deep conspiracy mode ?

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  15. dannym (14 comments) says:

    The only thing that matters is that New Zealand, once again, LEADS THE WORLD IN RUGBY! (by one point…in a dodgy looking win)
    Never mind that the economy went down in flames, in the hands of politicians who ride big tax cuts in their new Beamers.
    But Key did a fair impression of Rod Tidwell, a slow, and undersized, wide receiver, whose agent is Tom Cruise.

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  16. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    dannym, we’ve moved on since the corrupt Clark Cullen government riding around in their new beamers. Get with the times.

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  17. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    Neil @ 9.46am

    I don’t think there is any direct connection between the National Party Rodney selection process & Colin Craig’s decision to stand for the seat. Whaleoil has covered both subjects in depth & the search engine on his blog is a great place for info. You could start with:

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2011/02/rodney-skulduggery-recap
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2011/09/craig-to-stand-in-rodney/

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  18. dannym (14 comments) says:

    RightNow, if we truly have ‘moved on’, as you claim, why are John and Bill riding new Beamers? Why couldn’t they just change the plugs in the older Beamers that Helen and Mike were riding?

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  19. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    dannym, there’s a wealth of information out there, go and look it up.

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  20. dannym (14 comments) says:

    RightNow, I googled ‘wealth of information’, and found the Number 1 search result was highlighted with the quote,
    “in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes”.
    I voted for John and Bill in 2009, to replace Helen and Mike.
    Right Now, some of Labour’s policies are making sense.
    I disagree with the GST loss from vegetables, but it’s trivial to me.
    But charging tax on a capital gain seems as fair as taxing the salary of young burger makers at (insert favourite fast food provider) or young cow milkers…and I own two houses…
    And, on welfare reform, if this government has had 3 years to achieve welfare reforms, have they achieved any?
    Can you please provide a wealth of information listing John’s welfare reform achievements?

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  21. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    dannym – what justification is there for not applying CGT to the family home? It discriminates against renters, who are generally less well off than home owners.
    I agree some of Labour’s policies make sense, especially raising the retirement age. Unfortunately voting Labour also means you get their union-centric policies as well, among many other policies that are a show-stopper.
    And no, I’m not doing research for you.

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  22. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Cullens’ Folly

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/5900001/NZ-super-fund-hit-hard-by-world-markets

    that’s an awful lot to take out of an economy

    Of particularnote “Since 2003 the fund has returned 6 per cent on an annualised basis, a rate of return 0.5 per cent more than the Treasury Bill rate which it aims to better. ”

    so no real return for substantially greater risk

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  23. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Green horns writing reports in support of the warmist’s cause: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/11/02/un-hired-grad-students-to-author-major-climate-reports/

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  24. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    Labour’s new “Earthquake Wealth Tax”. Teach you to be a “Rich Prick”.

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  25. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Dirty tricks from the gangster Rahm: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/nov/2/picket-source-rham-emanuel-involved-cain-sexual-ha/

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  26. kowtow (8,448 comments) says:

    Back in the days of the Celtic Tiger NZ supposedly liked to follow Irelands’ example.
    Maybe Nick Smith needs to reconconsider the farce that climate activism is. At least the new government in Ireland is doing so.
    In a real crisis it’s the economy that counts,can we afford to make ourselves any poorer than we already are?

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2011/1103/1224306980840.html

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  27. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    Yes
    Labour support is below 30%

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10763639

    It just keeps getting better

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  28. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Rotting Food Fumes Tested To Ensure Rena Salvors Aren’t Put Off Their Morning Tea:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/rena-crisis/5899987/Noxious-fumes-from-Renas-rotting-food-tested

    Why do I get the feeling that these guys shave their legs?

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  29. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    A fellow-traveller and useful idiot speaks: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/02/occupy-london-archbishop-canterbury-tax

    As an Anglican I would like to apologise to the world for the embarrasment that is Rowan Williams. This socialist druid should never have been made Archbishop.

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  30. wreck1080 (3,906 comments) says:

    A great article (because it supports my views), about capitalism …

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/andreas-whittam-smith/andreas-whittam-smith-capitalism-does-not-have-to-be-this-greedy-6256162.html

    Basically lays blame at passive shareholders who never utilised their voting power.

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  31. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Why can’t the Herald employ journalists who do at least some independent research into their stories. Today we have one Catherine Field “European correspondent”, making a claim in the first column of her half page story that there was a “50% write down on Greece’s debt…”. Catherine, it’s 50% of privately held debt, which is estimated to be less than 50% of the overall debt. The balance, largely now held by EU institutions, is not being reduced. So Greece’s debts are being reduced by 25% max, and more likely by 20% at most. It does make a difference.

    In the circumstances, I can see that a referendum is an absolute requirement. The current government holds a 2 seat majority, hardly an overwhelming mandate, and the changes required are significant. It would seem that agreement from the voters would be essential, or risk serious civil unrest. Of course a No vote almost certainly means that Greece exits the Euro, can’t be all bad in the longer run. Iceland perhaps had the right idea.

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  32. publicwatchdog (2,593 comments) says:

    FYI Kiwibloggers :)

    PRESS RELEASE: Independent Candidate for Epsom Penny Bright:

    “How many billion$ of public monies could be saved by ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

    3 November 2011

    Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?

    Which of the maor political parties are pushing for ‘corporate welfare’ reform and shrinking the long-term dependency of the private sector on our public monies?

    Where is the ‘devilish detail’ at both local and central government level – which shows EXACTLY where our public rates and taxes are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors?

    Why aren’t the names of the consultant(s)/ contrators(s) – the scope, term and value of these contracts, published in Council or central government Annual Reports – so this information on the spending of OUR public monies is available for public scrutiny?

    Where are the publicly-available ‘Registers of Interests’ for those local government elected representatives, and staff responsible for property and procurement, in order to help guard against possible ‘conflicts of interest’ between those who ‘give’ the contracts and those who ‘get’ the contracts?

    Where’s the ‘transparency’?

    Given that New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world – along with Denmark and Singapore, according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index – shouldn’t we arguably be the most transparent?

    Going back a step – where are the New Zealand ‘cost-benefit’ analyses which prove that the old ‘Rogernomic$ mantra – public is bad – private (contracting) is good’ can be substantiated by FACTS and EVIDENCE?

    At last – someone – somewhere has actually done some substantial research – which proves the opposite.

    That ‘contracting out’ services that were once provided ‘in-house’ is actually TWICE as expensive.

    “USA Project On Government Oversight (POGO)[1] decided to take on the task of doing what others have not—comparing total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest.

    http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/reports/contract-oversight/bad-business/co-gp-20110913.html
    Executive Summary

    Based on the current public debate regarding the salary comparisons of federal and private sector employees, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO)[1] decided to take on the task of doing what others have not—comparing total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest.

    The current debate over pay differentials largely relies on the theory that the government pays private sector compensation rates when it outsources services. This report proves otherwise: in fact, it shows that the government actually pays service contractors at rates far exceeding the cost of employing federal employees to perform comparable functions.

    POGO’s study analyzed the total compensation paid to federal and private sector employees, and annual billing rates for contractor employees across 35 occupational classifications covering over 550 service activities. Our findings were shocking—POGO estimates the government pays billions more annually in taxpayer dollars to hire contractors than it would to hire federal employees to perform comparable services. Specifically, POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates—deemed fair and reasonable—that pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the total compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services. ”

    The implications of this both nationally and internationally are HUGE.

    If NZ central government figures are comparable with those of USA Federal Government – could the current NZ $82 billion central government spend be sliced in half by $40 billion ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2011/estimates/est11sumtab.pdf

    Which political parties / candidates are focussing on the SPENDING of public monies, rather than debt and borrowing?

    If central and local govt departments /SOEs / CCOs / Crown Research Institutes are all defined as ‘PUBLIC- BENEFIT ENTITIES’ as defined under NZ Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (“NZ IFRS”) – then their primary objective is to provide services and facilities for the community as a social benefit rather than make a financial return.

    So – how come so many services that USED to be provided ‘in-house’ are now contracted out to the private sector – whose primary objective is most certainly to ‘make a financial return’?

    What magic is this that transforms public (ratepayer and taxpayer) monies into private profit?

    WHERE IS THE NZ EQUIVALENT OF ‘POGO’ the USA ‘Project On Government Oversight ‘ which has just completed first-ever research which proves that private contractors cost twice as much as ‘in-house’ providers of Federal Government services?

    HOW MUCH MONEY could be saved in NZ at central and local government by cutting out all the private ‘piggies in the middle’ with their greedy snouts in our public troughs?

    Why aren’t the statutory ‘third party’ Public Watchdogs, as well as other major political parties demanding this accountability?

    How much public money at central and local government level could be saved by ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

    Who else is even asking this question?

    Penny Bright
    Independent Candidate for Epsom (nomination accepted today :)
    Campaigning against ‘white collar crime’, corruption (and its root cause – privatisation) and ‘corporate welfare’.

    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.
    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th IACC 2010

    waterpressure@gmail.com

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  33. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    Why dont you give us the answer Penny? Just take metrowater back in-house and give us a costs analysis of the two scenarios. Better still, given that councils do have to carry out a costs/benefit analysis if they change the way in which they provide services, why don’t you pick out an example of where a council has gone through the process and highlight the fallaciousness of its analysis?
    Your rhetoric is tedious.

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  34. tom hunter (4,826 comments) says:

    Why can’t the Herald employ journalists who do at least some independent research into their stories. Today we have one Catherine Field “European correspondent”

    Psst – Ed!

    It’s as dead as a doornail. Just tell everyone you know to read the ZeroHedge financial blog instead.

    Remember, it’s all about destroying the MSM by getting people to stop reading and watching them – a job they’re doing quite well themselves, but why wait on their incompetence.

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  35. Sofia (857 comments) says:

    SECOND, WE WILL TAKE GST OFF ALL FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.
    That gives the average household an extra $160 a year to put back into groceries – and makes the healthiest choices more affordable.

    http://www.ownourfuture.co.nz/cost-living – Labour’s own election website

    $ 160 a year is $ 3.07 a week
    If a household has two people this is $ 1.54 a week
    or 22¢ a day
    What the hell can you buy for 22¢ a day?

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  36. KH (695 comments) says:

    Somebody explain to me why the Greek Government not being able to pay it’s debts will cause the Euro to split back into it’s original currencies.
    They default. People won’t lend to them. Greek government system falls apart big time. People who lent to Greek Government get severely burned, if not destroyed.
    Whats really different from some big corporation in Europe gets it all wrong, fails to pay it’s debts and collapses. And has a nasty effect on lots of people.
    Why would either event mean the Euro splits???

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  37. dannym (14 comments) says:

    RightNow, I would prefer to have a capital gain on the ‘family home’ taxed, but one lifetime exemption on that would be fair to me.
    So, you could sell the family home once, and pay no CGT.
    And for subsequent sales of the family home, I’d give the seller a timespan, maybe 18 months, to re-invest all of the money into another house. If all the money was re-invested, no CGT would be payable.
    And if none of the money were re-invested, I think it would be fair to add only some percentage of the capital gain to the income for the year of the sale.
    Excuse me for not being too worried about renters right now.
    If they stopped spending all of their benefits or their salary on booze and smokes, they could buy my other house, and I’d be so happy to have made a capital gain, that I’d give some to Bill(or to Cunliffe…don’t know him well enough to be on 1st name basis with him yet!)

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  38. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    @Sofia: 3.07 is plenty for a loaf of decent bread or for a dozen eggs. Doesn’t quite buy a 2 litre bottle of milk though.

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  39. dannym (14 comments) says:

    It looks like John and Bill will win and finish off what’s left of NZ…probably from inside another pair of new BMWs.
    But, as Cunliffe said in Labour’s opening ad, there is an upside to that: not far down the road, New Zealand becomes a state, or states, of Australia.
    Go the Mighty Wallabies!

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  40. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    The Messiah’s administration thought about picking winners: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/02/obama-administration-considered-bailout-for-solyndra-before-bankruptcy/

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  41. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    dannym (11) Says:
    November 3rd, 2011 at 6:10 pm ………….It looks like John and Bill will win and finish off what’s left of NZ…

    Well Lee

    Its what I love about election time, trolling wankers. If you must ,could you at least display a bit of humour or intelligence instead of ………..probably from inside another pair of new BMWs….. awesome comment, had me rolling on the floor that one.

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  42. dannym (14 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay, did you think John’s Rod Tidwell impression(‘Show me the money’, in case you don’t remember the film) was rolling on the floor stuff, or just mildly amusing?

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  43. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Lee

    Its just that we have been unindated by trolls in the past couple of weeks. Thats fine its not my blog, but I would like something clever , to be amused , to make me think, not just the load of wank you posted at 6.10pm, that is all.

    By the way nice fish posted at your site.

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  44. dannym (14 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay, thanks for your advice, and comment on my fish.
    That one was given away.
    Some of the code of my website makes me think.
    It’s probably not clever, but it isn’t easy reading for me, and I wrote it.
    You can see the javascript, by viewing the page source, and the javascript is ‘printed’ by Perl, which you can’t see(I hope!)
    If you can read the Perl code, please tell me!
    I know it’s not much…just an interpreted language, with the loosest of data typing, but I did my best, OK?

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  45. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    dannym (13) Says:
    November 3rd, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Yep its a bit convoluted but I know nothing about setting up a web page. You have all the info there you just have to read everything.

    Like the web cam, I’m in the process of setting one up for the Ohiwa Bar, when I can motivate my 15-year-old to do the page up.
    cheers

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  46. tom hunter (4,826 comments) says:

    Somebody explain to me why the Greek Government not being able to pay it’s debts will cause the Euro to split back into it’s original currencies.

    For a start it probably won’t split back to all of it’s original currencies, but to the core of France-Germany, with some surrounding countries that can actually stick to the original requirements.

    And you are correct that the result would be “merely” that a few banks and other financial institutions either go broke or get hit hard. However, given the interconnections of all these within Europe and even around the world, the impact on the economies of other countries could be very high, either by constricting normal business lenders or the governents monetising the toxic debts, or both.

    But of greater import is that Spain, Portugal, and perhaps even Italy would be goneburger – and they would cause all the problems of a Greek default, except it would be many times bigger as they are many times bigger. The internal reason why they might follow Greece is that path as the only way to escape their own crushing debts and EC-enforced economic austerity.

    Even if they were not willing to do so (because the temptation of continuing to borrow Euros at “German” rates would be too great), the reasons for them not belonging in the Eurozone are just as compelling as for Greece, so external groups may force the issue as their willingness to lend to those countries declines further because they don’t believe their capabilities to service the debts within the Eurozone. In that respect it’s very similar to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy: it causes everybody else to ask who else is suffering the same problems.

    Of course your question could also simply be extended to those countries beyond Greece: if they default and leave, who cares? And I would likely agree. But, apart from the point I made earlier about the multiply-Greece-by-(four, five, ?), the real question is not for people like you and me – who consider the clearing away of malinvestment debt as a good thing.

    The real question is whether the Eurocrats are determined to maintain the insanity of the status quo. From their perspective Greece cannot be allowed to escape because it would open the floodgates. A Eurozone shrunk back to the strongest economies is economically sensible, but that outcome would set back their United States of Europe plan by decades.

    In my opinion (and probably yours I suspect), they should never have expanded the damned thing to Greece and company anyway. Baroness Thatcher and a large number of others predicted it would end in tears two decades ago because of the mismatch of the Northern and Southern European economies: a single monetary zone could never work and all the Mastricht treaty crap was just paper rules that were broken from day one.

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  47. reid (16,445 comments) says:

    Keep an eye on this, for those interested in the Great Game.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/kyrgyzstan/8862590/Kyrgyzstan-says-US-has-to-quit-vital-Nato-airbase-in-2014.html

    Also have you noted Blair’s new Kazakhstani chums?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055223/Tony-Blair-billionaire-donor-Lakshmi-Mittal–major-deal-Kazakhstan.html

    and

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/the-two-faces-of-tony-blair-6255021.html

    More background on the hearing which could possibly see James declared an unfit person to run a company

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/lies-damned-lies-and-news-international-6255895.html

    This fantastic doco on the political dynamics in NZ 1984-1994. The right sidebar Clip Selection, takes you through each part.

    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/revolution-1-fortress-new-zealand-2009

    You have probably all seen it before, I know. But if not, it’s fantastic.

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  48. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Nell was the best the west could produce
    there wasn’t a man she couldn’t seduce……………

    The women of Egypt are fair to behold
    and the harlots are fairer than fair………………..

    You should have been with us on the good ship Venus
    the figurehead was made of lead
    in the shape of a drooping penis………….

    Anyone know the rest of any of these 1st world war poems.
    i have only patchy memories of my grandads stories.

    Classics like these shouldn’t be forgotten…………….

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  49. Joseph Carpenter (214 comments) says:

    Does anyone else see eerie parallels to the Great Depression with current events?
    First USA falls off a cliff in 1929(2008), there was deep depression in the US but globally only recession/wildly erratic markets for the next couple of years and actually a slow halt to the fall.

    But it was the European Kreditanstalt failure in 1931(2011 Euro and consequent bank failure?) that really kicked off the global depression big time. Policy responses are in some ways also similar. In fact I believe some people have been comparing various markets & economic indicators between 1929+ and now and the match is significant.

    If history is repeating: remember it was Europe that really crashed us, the depression didn’t bite hard in NZ until 1931 and arguably didn’t improve until 1938/39 (and WW2).

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  50. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    A Scotsman living in Sydney phones his Aussie dentist to enquire about the cost for a tooth extraction.
    $220.- for an extraction, mate!”
    $220.-?”, the man replies. “Huv ye no’got anythin’ cheaper?”
    “That’s the normal charge, mate” replies the dentist.
    “Whit aboot if ye didnae use any anaesthetic?”
    “That’s unusual, mate, but I could do it and knock $20.- off.”
    “Whit aboot if ye used one of your dentist trainees and still withoot an anaesthetic?”
    “I can’t guarantee their professionalism and it’ll be painful. But the price could drop to $180.-”
    “How aboot if ye make it a trainin’ session, ‘ave yer student do the extraction with the other students watchin’ and learnin’?”
    “It’ll be good for the students” mulled the dentist. “I’ll charge you fifty bucks. But it will be traumatic, mate.”
    “Och, now yer talkin’ laddie! It’s a deal,” said the Scotsman. “Can ye confirm an appointment for the wife next Tuesday then?

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  51. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    i’ll try with my best recolation of the first one.
    please correct me.

    Nell was the best the west couldn’t seduce
    there wasn’t a man she couldn’t seduce
    it was a standing bet around the town
    no living man could shag her down

    then across the bar came a sawn off bastard by the name of Sawn off Pete.

    A place was arranged for them to meet
    down at the shithole by the creek

    people came early to take their seats
    to see the halfbreed sink his meat

    Nell tried all her tricks and stunts
    but through the tissues of her arse
    his giant penis did pass

    though shes dead shes not forgotten
    we dig her up and fuck her often

    in memory of this plucky whore
    we nailed her c..nt
    to the shithouse door

    hope i dont cop too many demerrits for that
    but its my grandads. passed down by my dad
    both gone now

    i cant remember the rest of both the other poems
    can you improve my recolation.

    Sorry i know i will cop demerits for that

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  52. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    bereal

    If you Google the titles of any of these poems/drinking songs you’ll get the words:

    1) Ballard of Eskimo Nell http://www.rugbysongs.net/028%20Eskimo%20Nell.htm

    2) Ballard of Abdul & Ivan http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=143154

    3) The Good Ship Venus (AKA Friggin in the Riggin. http://board.jokeroo.com/funny-jokes/112650-good-ship-venus-rugby-song.html

    I’ve got the scores of these & more but it might be pushing our luck with DPF to put them up here.

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  53. Steve (4,560 comments) says:

    bereal.
    Nell Gwynne c/- great comedians

    Starts about 2.37

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  54. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    All in,

    The women of Egypt are fair to behold
    and the harlots are fairer than fair

    but the greatest of these belonged to the sheik
    of Abdul Abullbu Amir

    Now a travelling brothel once came into town
    with a Russian who hailed from afar
    he bet ten thousand bucks
    no one could out fuck Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar

    They met on the track
    their pricks hanging slack
    old Abdul he revved like a car
    but he couldn’t compete
    with the long even beat
    of Count Ivan Skavinsy Skavar

    Now Ivan had won
    he was wiping his gun
    and bent down to polish his pear
    he felt something hot
    slide up his bot
    twas Abdul Abullbu Amir

    Ivan cried and he cried as
    the sweat passed his eyes
    as his arse felt the size
    of Abdul Abullbu Amir

    Now the cream of the joke
    was laughed at for years by the Czar
    was that Abdul the fool
    had left half his tool
    up Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

    Sorry all
    if you can fill in any missing verses it would be most appreciated.
    Bent over for demerits now

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  55. reid (16,445 comments) says:

    Does anyone else see eerie parallels to the Great Depression with current events?

    Joseph this is much worse than 1929, because it’s structural.

    In 1929 the manufacturing power and capital and potential consumer markets coalesced in the US/UK/Europe. Now the same things coalesce in Eastern Europe/Asia/India.

    What do you think is going to happen? We will be alright economically and geographically since we’re part of Asia, although most of Asia sees Australia as a threat and while we’re different, if anyone ever needs to take Australia they won’t be able to resist taking us as well, as a spoil of war.

    Shame we couldn’t have made ourselves more of a porcupine over the years, but that’s lefties and floaters for you.

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  56. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    thanks for that nasska
    if only my grandad had been around to see the internet.
    Gassed in WW1
    died as a result 1959
    great sense of humour

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  57. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    reid

    Economically we are a part of Asia but militarily we are tied to the West. How do you see the various treaties & pacts Australia is signed up to impacting on our security?

    Even if the USA ends up stuffed economically it will be a military power for some time yet.

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  58. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    bereal

    Like many of my generation I wasted enough of my youth to be able to recite/sing up heaps of those old drinking songs. Strangely enough 10 O’Clock closing saw the finish to many of the “does” that ended up with a bunch of drunks holding each other up belting out the classic drinking songs. Bloody humourless publicans wouldn’t put up with us.

    That & the other standby….Ten Guitars!

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  59. Steve (4,560 comments) says:

    I have a band of men.
    Te Awamutu special, Waikato really

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  60. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    Steve

    As a piss up song it had wide appeal….I’ve heard it in many parts of New Zealand. Hats off to the Maori on these songs although…some of those buggers could really sing.

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  61. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    i can just remember the 6 o’clock swill
    and the two half g flagons in the bowling bag.
    oh, the good old days when men were men
    and women appreciated it.
    What was wrong with that ?

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  62. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Here’s one for Johnboy:

    Q: What’s the difference between a Scotsman and a Rolling Stone?

    A: A Rolling Stone says “hey, you, get off of’v my cloud!”, while a Scotsman says “Hey, McLeod, get off of’v my ewe!”

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  63. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    bereal

    There was nothing wrong with those days…..still they were pretty colourless & dull compared to modern times.

    Been there…done that.

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  64. reid (16,445 comments) says:

    Economically we are a part of Asia but militarily we are tied to the West. How do you see the various treaties & pacts Australia is signed up to impacting on our security?

    Even if the USA ends up stuffed economically it will be a military power for some time yet.

    Agree with all of that nasska. I think Hulun’s anti-nuke which actually was anti-US and pro-Russia, drove a deep dagger into the US-NZ heart from which it hasn’t ever recovered and never will. I think Bolger’s stance in never attempting to reverse that travesty was gutless but I understood it better, while still disapproving it, when he revealed over time to me his Republican, anti-UK Irish roots. But this was the only time it could have been dismantled and repaired and it never was and now it’s set in permafrost. Literally.

    Everyone these days works with it but its there and always will be and we lost ourselves a membership in the club of five, over that, big time. Not overtly, not in any major, official way. But it’s exactly similar to letting a close mate down, when he’s been so good to you. That’s what we did, and I personally, analyse geopolitics as they relate to attitudes towards NZ, always with that in mind.

    Australia is unlike us in every way, re the US and I’ve always wished we’d always been just like she has always been, for we would be streets ahead in the world, had we been, and had we done that, why I don’t think anyone would have been nuked, so this proves as I know you know nasska but others don’t seem to, that our stance has not achieved one little minutia of a teeny weeny thing in the real world, yet cost us what? Hundreds of billions and counting? That’s about right.

    Today our situation is perilous for one day we may have to chose between standing with Aus/US or capitulating to China. I don’t know if you pay attention to the Chinese penetration into the South Pacific islands but do so if interested since the US is looking at this as an area of interest, in terms of its China blocking diplomatic strategy.

    The military industrial political complex is probably the most powerful lobby group in the whole country. It is much more powerful than any other single industry and even more powerful than AIPAC politically as well. The US will remain militarily mighty for the foreseeable future. The questionable area these days is, will she remain socially cohesive because that could wreck everything. This is why I believe, all of the security and surveillance apparatus has been emplaced in the US and for that matter the UK.

    This is custom designed for repressive control of a restless population should such be ever necessary, heaven forfend. The 10th anniversary of the destruction of the US Constitution via the Patriot Act was 26 October. The technologies they have today are capable of photographing faces in crowds and comparing them to photo databases of wanted persons. They also have technology which is computing hand movements, eye movements and other signals to identify agitated people in crowds. This is all in the name of national security.

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  65. nasska (11,487 comments) says:

    reid

    Interesting….the nuke thing of course was sheer politics but it was a stance that gained deep public approval quickly & lastingly. It would cost any government an unbelievable amount of political capital to get involved with any sort of nuclear treaty.

    Australia is bigger & brasher with her international relations & for better or for worse I’d say that where she goes, we go.

    Authoritarian China or a paranoid West….Hobson’s choice.

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  66. KH (695 comments) says:

    ……..Tom @ 7.15
    thanks for that. yes we do agree that we would prefer to see ‘malinvestment’ debt cleared away. More debt to cover debt problems is a time limited solution.
    It’s big. It’s nasty. it can even affect us. But letting Greece go into default would ‘encourage the rest’ Stop a lot of the crazy stuff.
    I think it a problem is that the banks will lend at all to an outfit like the greek government. Crazy, and at German rates. But I suppose that’s logical if you are always going to be ‘bailed out’ There is no real need to price for risk.
    There is just a big atmosphere of unreality in how this is.

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  67. reid (16,445 comments) says:

    Just listening nasska to Lange talking about all this on Revolution (see above) and he just said the Rainbow Warrior sealed the fate of the NZ-US relationship and he knew that not when it happened but when he knew who’d done it. For it allowed him to take the ANZUS thing a lot further in the floater’s minds since they associated France with the western alliance, Thatcher never said a thing, etc.

    He’s right.

    We don’t really have a choice as I see it nasska, we have to find a way to live with China and so does Australia. At the end of the day its in both of our best interests so provided no lefties are in charge of either nation over the next twenty years, we should be sweet. If not, we’re fucked.

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  68. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    jeez reid
    wake up yo yourself mate.
    have the courage of your convictions
    if you have any left.

    What a surrender monkey you turn out to be.
    Would your dad or granddad have said. “we have to find a way to work with these Nazis”
    At the end of the day its in our best interests……..
    Maybe yours would have but mine wouldn’t.
    i thought you had a little more about you.

    He is wrong and so are you.
    “If not, were fucked”

    You are already fucked my weak friend.
    Need i go on …
    Grow a pair. Jeez.
    Your so very dissapointing.

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  69. reid (16,445 comments) says:

    bereal if you have a choice between accepting reality and calculating it calmly, versus blind patriotism, and when it’s the country at stake, it’s the immediate and long term best interests which are always calculated.

    Now fact is, however dewey eyed it makes one, the US is in the evening of its empire and China is in its dawn. That’s simply reality and that fact is why, the long term interests of NZ lie increasingly east and if that upsets anyone, well that’s a shame, but it doesn’t change that fact.

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  70. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Also reid
    i doubt Australians are as piss weak as you seem to think they are.
    Living with the communist Chinese is one thing
    bending over for them as you seem prepared to do is another.
    Also i doubt the USA shares your surrender monkey point of view.
    Thank God.

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  71. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    :
    “the USA is in the evening and China is in the dawn of its empire”
    Could be your fucked up interpretation. So then
    OK so lets ask China what we are allowed to do you weak fuck.
    Get real mate.

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  72. reid (16,445 comments) says:

    I have a better idea bereal, let’s ditch our anti-nuke policy and issue an international arrest warrant via Interpol, for one Hulun Elizabeth Clark, c/o The UNDP Exec Suite or Trump Towers after hours, NYC, USA, 56472.

    The charge, is treason.

    This will immediately restore US-NZ relations for they really hate “Red-Hulun” as they call her, and it would make you and I feel warm in the tummy, as well. Especially if the court imprisons her for twenty years or so.

    So this is my solution bereal, what’s yours?

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  73. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    i believe in a free democratic society
    one thats worth fighting for if needs be .
    not just bending over like you would.
    and guess what.
    people like me will save weak mugs like you inspite of yourself.
    Stop talking shit. Youve got more about yourself than that.

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  74. reid (16,445 comments) says:

    people like me will save weak mugs like you inspite of yourself.

    bereal my real plan is to become a deep undercover mole inside the Sino-NZ security apparatus, funneling secret documents, identifying sabotage/assassination targets for the US special forces, stuff like that. But they said I’m not allowed to tell anyone, so please don’t spread it around.

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  75. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Solyndragate?

    The scandal refuses to go away: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/3/house-subpoenas-white-house-solyndra-documents/

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  76. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    reid
    congratulations on your continued good nature and humour after i went a little overboard last nite.
    Onya

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