General Debate 29 January 2014

January 29th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel
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129 Responses to “General Debate 29 January 2014”

  1. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    The highlight of Parliament’s first day of the year yesterday was an impassioned and often personal speech by John Banks on poverty. I don’t know if it was what he prepared or if it was impromptu in response to Hone Harawira offering his solution – more tax and much more spending.

    I know a lot about child poverty.

    I know what it is like to live in a house with no power and no running water; having a bath once a week in a 44-gallon drum cut in half; sleeping on straw covered with sacks; going to bed every night hungry; piddling the bed every night, psychologically disturbed; being thrashed every morning for piddling the bed every night; going to school every day in an ex-army uniform with no shoes; spending all day, every day, out of the classroom stealing other kids’ lunches; going home to bread and milk, at best, at night, cooked over an open fire with sugar on top; if I am very lucky, taking Weet-bix covered in dripping to school each day; and living in a very dark hole.

    That is child poverty.

    If I thought that the policies of the previous speaker from the Tai Tokerau would work against that—and they do exist; they do exist—I would go to the other side of the House and support him. I would be the first to line up to support him.

    Why would I not be the first to line up to support Hone Harawira if he had the answers to this country’s deep, deep vein of underprivilege, desperation, desolation, and despair that so many of our kids live under? If I thought that his policies were the answer, I would line up with him and I would say so.

    But let me give him one ticket out of child poverty that he might like to think about. That one ticket is twofold: living in a home with unconditional love—and I never knew about that—and a world-class education. I did get that.

    If every one of his people lived in a home with unconditional love and access to a world-class education, then in a generation we would get rid of the deep vein of social deprivation and child poverty in this country.

    That is the ticket. That is the only ticket—not welfare, not big Governments, not more borrowing, and not more handouts.

    It is instilling in people that having children is a God-given right but an awesome responsibility, that love goes a long, long way, and that a world-class education is a ticket to the future for so many of these people whom the previous speaker talked about and represents to the best of his ability in this House.

    Banks’ answer:

    The answer is giving everybody the opportunity of the dignity of work, and you can have a job only if you are educated. And you can get educated only if you go to school. And you can go to school only if you come from a home that loves you.

    And the corollary to that is a dark place, and I know about living in dark places.

    So if we want to deal with the fundamental issues of about 20 percent of this country’s young people coming from dysfunctional homes and families, we have to deal with the causes, not with the political side effects for the purposes of getting a few votes.

    I’ve heard some of this before from Banks in person. It’s worth watching his whole speech. And if you want a contrast watch Harawira reading his.

    Extracts, video links and transcripts: John Banks on poverty, unconditional love and education.

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  2. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Minister of immigration should resign.

    A Campbell Live investigation has uncovered a multi-million-dollar cash-for-residency scam operating in New Zealand.

    In 2013, the Government revealed there are at least 14,000 people living in the country illegally. How many are only legal because of fraudulent immigration applications is impossible to quantify.

    In part one of a two-part immigration investigation, Campbell Live reporter Tristram Clayton reveals how those wanting to cheat the system do it.

    Whistleblower Sam Narayan came to New Zealand from Fiji eight years ago and has held a senior position in a large company for the past seven years.

    He worked hard to get his own permanent residency, so when he spotted an ad promising to help immigrants cheat the system, he decided to take a stand.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Cash-for-residency-scam-uncovered/tabid/817/articleID/329912/Default.aspx

    *How many are only legal because of fraudulent immigration applications is impossible to quantify.*

    Winston’s rhetoric draws ridicule from Campbell Live: (show us sin city etc).
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Winston-Peters-sin-city-claims-investigated/tabid/817/articleID/301236/Default.aspx

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  3. WineOh (636 comments) says:

    An unfortunate truth for New Zealand is that we need more babies.

    At the moment middle/upper income NZers have a fertility rate below that required to sustain a static population, relying instead on migration and the “breeders” at the bottom of the socio-economic heap to grow our population. It also means a shift in the ethnic make-up of our population, which by itself is not a problem except for the social and health implications. This is of course exaggerating our retirement funding problem- at this rate we will simply not have enough tax payers to support the large number of retirees.

    Now personally I have no ambitions of starting a family, despite being upper-middle-income and happily married. Which makes me a bit of a hypocrite. I recognise from friends and family around me how hard it is to raise children. I’m happy for others to do the “heavy lifting” for me in this area, and although it goes against most of my right wing ethos… perhaps I should pay a touch more tax for the privilege?

    The current system is broken though. It supports low income households and encourages single-parent families due to the “progressive” nature of government benefits for increased numbers of children but these rapidly taper with anything closely resembling a main breadwinner in the house hold. It provides heavy disincentives to work and improve household incomes, perpetuating those dreadful statistics of “child poverty” – though don’t get me started on the stupidity of how this measure is calculated. Do we want to perpetuate this growing underclass? Increased mass handouts proposed by the Labour Opposition will continue down the same path.

    I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but personally I believe that a large part of the answer is in a huge increased in support for early-childhood education and childcare. Take away the disincentive to get to back to work, but take away a large part of the burden for working families. I certainly know of couples that have decided that it is not financially viable for the Mum to get back to work because of what it will cost to pay for childcare.

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  4. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Critics question desirability of relentless economic growth

    WASHINGTON — Fresh-faced tech millionaires snap up glitzy new condos in San Francisco. Across America, construction is up and unemployment is down. Consumers are buying. The economy is growing.

    Yet instead of applause, voices from across the political spectrum — Berkeley activists and Beltway conservatives, Pope Francis and even some corporate CEOs — are criticizing economic growth and its harm to the well-being of humans and the planet.

    Ecologists warn that economic growth is strangling the natural systems on which life depends, creating not just wealth, but filth on a planetary scale. Carbon pollution is changing the climate. Water shortages, deforestation, tens of millions of acres of land too polluted to plant, and other global environmental ills are increasingly viewed as strategic risks by governments and corporations around the world.

    “The physical pressure that human activities put on the environment can’t possibly be sustained,” said Stanford University ecologist Gretchen Daily, who is at the forefront of efforts across the world to incorporate “natural capital,” the value of such things as water, topsoil and genetic diversity that nature provides, into economic decision-making.

    http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Critics-question-desirability-of-relentless-5114217.php#page-1

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  5. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Banks’ answer:

    The answer is giving everybody the opportunity of the dignity of work, and you can have a job only if you are educated. And you can get educated only if you go to school. And you can go to school only if you come from a home that loves you.
    ………..
    Sort of true but predictions are that many jobs will disappear and and like modern ships companies will require a smaller and smaller crew.

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  6. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    I posted this a few minutes ago on yesterday’s GD, in response to all the crap that was written about Jews, Muslims, Christians, and religion in general; and the rants being exchanged by the usual suspects.

    See ya.

    —————————————

    (Regarding GD 28-01-2014)And all of the above, is why I am visiting Kiwiblog less and less.

    Who needs to see this sort of venom day after day? Maybe you all enjoy it, but I don’t.

    Go for it, guys, knock yourselves out. And I’m sure Kea and the others will be glad to know that here’s one Christian who won’t be bothering you again on Kiwiblog. I’ve had enough.

    By the way, here’s a challenge:

    Kea and others claim to hate the damage that religion does, the hatred that it is responsible for. Well, as a Christian I don’t claim to be perfect – very far from it – but go back through Kiwiblog and compare my posts to Kea’s. Then answer this:

    Who comes across as more hateful and full of anger?

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  7. Yoza (1,926 comments) says:

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  8. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    PG…

    Yours is an excellent contribution, and you accurately reflect the merits of the two contributions.

    I saw both, and emailed him to both thank and congratulate him.
    I have known Banksie (as he calls himself) for more than 25 years (when he was a NP back-bencher), and I had heard parts of what he said yesterday from him, in person.

    Irrespective of the outcome of the forthcoming Court matter, he has made a much greater and constructive contribution to New Zealand than recognised by the left and the MS media. In my view, his only major policy mistake was to advocate the abolition of the MOT road policing division and transfer all responsibilities to Police. Crazy, since Police already had the power to monitor and police road traffic.

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  9. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    @ Yoza,
    whitey’s on the moon

    next you’ll have a go at Steven Hawkings, Albert Einstien, Isaac Newton, Ernest Rutherford, Eddison, Curie, Dawin, Watson-Crick?

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  10. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    @ Yoza
    blackies having babies… attracts welfare.
    http://www.biographyonline.net/scientists/top-10-scientists.html

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  11. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    I’m not Christian but I empathise with graham, the frequent and sustained generealised attacks on Christians (and Muslims) here reflect far more on the critics and abusers than their targets.

    Most Christians I know are decent people intermingling with the rest of us in New Zealand. Their faith does no one else any harm and if the believe it’s good for them then it will be good for them.

    The persistent and often nasty attacks on religion by a small number of (supposedly) non-religious people tends to give all agnostics and atheists a bad name, as a small minority of nasty Christians and Muslims gives their religion a bad image.

    But confronting this abuse tends to just attract more of it. That’s to the detriment of this blog, and also reflects badly on DPF simply because he is stanch on allowing freedom of speech.

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  12. Lindsay Addie (1,342 comments) says:

    Interesting how bad the NZ news media are. Both the NZ Herald and Stuff are reporting that the Queen is down to her last million. Perhaps they should’ve read the UK House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts report “The Sovereign Grants” properly instead of dreaming up false and inaccurate headlines first?

    The Herald article by Steven Swinford is here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11193337

    The Stuff article is by Jill Lawless: http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/9661164/Royal-family-down-to-last-million

    Thankfully NPR were able to figure it all out: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/28/267733457/no-queen-elizabeth-is-not-down-to-her-last-million

    The facts are according to Forbes Queenie has a net worth of circa $500 million. So she ain’t gonna run out of loot anytime soon.

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  13. Stamper (33 comments) says:

    Great to see “Silent T” using the silent treatment in Parliament yesterday.
    Maybe he could promise to do it all year; his bluff and blunder would not be missed.

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  14. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Radio NZ using “Aotearoa” more frequently. Will NZ go the way of Aoraki (Mt Cook)?

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  15. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Who the hell is researching for and advising Cunliffe?

    David Cunliffe’s under attack over the detail of his opening speech to parliament.

    The Labour leader used his first parliamentary speech of 2014 to slam the Government and call for more value to be added to our exports.

    “New Zealand’s not going to get rich exporting raw logs or a freezing industry that’s now getting to export whole carcasses, so somebody else can cut them up and add the value.”

    But Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce says Mr Cunliffe has his facts wrong.

    “He says we shouldn’t be exporting lamb carcasses overseas – we don’t! 98% of New Zealand’s lamb carcasses are processed in this country.”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/679595179-cunliffe-under-attack-for-opening-speech

    Does he have ABC staff? It’s not that it’s an occasional slip up, he seems to lurch from gaffe to gaffe, more eloquent but otherwise similar to Shearer.

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  16. Lindsay Addie (1,342 comments) says:

    Pete George.

    Your 9.17am post about Cunliffe is yet another example of his inability to think issues through which is part of the major problem he has of not planning and thinking strategically about complex issues. If he’s not careful he will get the reputation as a guy who is a loose cannon.

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  17. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    graham

    By giving up you leave the field to them. That’s exactly what they want.They claim to be reasonable ,rational and freedom loving but are nothing but bigotted bullies.They gang up and use insult ,mockery and smear to silence other voices.They are enemies of freedom and western culture (Christianity being a core component).

    you only have to read the mutual exchanges that nasska and kea immediately descend to to see it.Redbaiter’s gone and yet they continue to obsess about him in really obnoxious terms.Proof that they revel in their childish “victory”.

    If you are silenced by them that is what they want.If for no other reason than to let the many silent readers here know that we have a voice ,don’t give up.

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  18. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    graham 8.30am

    ….”Who comes across as more hateful and full of anger?”…..

    Not yourself & it is a pity that you are taking personally what has not been directed at you. It is not moderates such as yourself who polarise forums but you should realise that Kea is responding to those who promote the Christian religion in general & Catholicism in particular as blameless & above all criticism.

    Your presence will be missed.

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  19. Colville (2,318 comments) says:

    Personally I would like for the G*dnutters of all stripes and the Anti-G*dnutters of all their stripes to f*ckoff to a G*dnutter thread and leave GD to more fun/interesting topics such as taking the piss out of Cuntliffe and his babybribe policy or him wanting to ban Facebook. Its some funny shit.

    But that is just me.

    Edit.
    Equally the Bain/anti Bain nutters! go away! :-)

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  20. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Kea is responding to those who promote the Christian religion in general & Catholicism in particular as blameless & above all criticism.

    Kea is often leading the abuse here, not responding to the imagined “blameless & above all criticism” of others. And even if at times the Christian religion is promoted unreasonably it doesn’t warrant the vitriolic reactions we often see here.

    There’s a culture of abuse that diminishes the worth of Kiwiblog. I’m often a target of graham’s inquisitions but he is always respectful and reasonable (even if a bit narrow and obsessive at times), it would be sad to see that driven away by abuse.

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  21. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Linsday – John Key ripped into Cunliffe’s developing reputation on Firstline this morning.

    “David Cunliffe’s developing a bit of a reputation around Parliament for being very tricky,” says Mr Key. “He went out and said you get a year of this thing to the first year that your baby is under one, as long as you earn under $150,000.

    “Well, as 3 News quite correctly pointed out last night, that’s actually not true. It only actually starts after paid parental leave ends.

    “He just needs to learn to be upfront with the public so they can actually trust his work, ’cause at the moment – I read his speeches and after a number of examples of this, I really question whether the guy is telling me the truth because over time, it emerges he’s often not.”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Tricky-Cunliffe-has-priorities-wrong—Key/tabid/1607/articleID/330146/Default.aspx

    But Key goes further than a lack of research and thinking strategically, he suggests a lack of truthfulness.

    Lying or incompetence?

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  22. dime (10,215 comments) says:

    I switched onto zb a bit late this morning.. im pretty sure i heard annette king say “we went out and asked families what they wanted and this is what we came back with”.

    so shes telling us that people said “free money would be nice” HAHAHAHA

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  23. Colville (2,318 comments) says:

    Lying or incompetence?

    Both,

    and lack of ability to think thru the consequences of his ad hoc rubbish policies.

    Oh and his caucus dont support him so they feed him poor information/policy ideas at every chance.

    How long till Cun*liffe gets handed two dead fish?

    Hahahhahahahah bring on the election :-)

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  24. wikiriwhis business (4,200 comments) says:

    State will ‘know everything about you’

    Departing privacy commissioner Marie Shroff has warned the state will soon know nearly everything about you, even after you are dead and gone.

    Giving her valedictory speech in Wellington yesterday, she also argued for stronger oversight of our spy agencies and bigger legal teeth for the small privacy watchdog.

    Shroff said the Government, like Google or Facebook, was increasingly providing “stacking” or wraparound online services that collected vast tranches of digital information.

    “There is also a government stack developing, which will share our information and dominate much of our life in the future,” she said.

    “When we die, the fact is digitally recorded, but while we may be gone we are not digitally forgotten.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9659666/State-will-know-everything-about-you

    Feeling conspired against yet. If not, your ignorance will not be bliss

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  25. wikiriwhis business (4,200 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9659886/Gangs-not-patched-over-in-city-say-police

    Very compelling statement from Tim Shadbolt on gangs

    Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said it was a concern to have another gang known for criminal activities in the city.

    But there was not a lot “a little council” could do about it.

    “We have been stripped of our powers to deal with social, community and economic issues where maybe we could do something,” Shadbolt said.

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  26. stephieboy (3,533 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business “.

    “Feeling conspired against yet. If not, your ignorance will not be bliss”??

    There are those of us who are not sufficiently deluded enough to feel conspired at.
    But I suppose if your into organized crime , Serious Fraud ,Drug trafficking or operating a terrorist Cell then ,yes you’ll understandably feel “conspired against.”

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  27. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    Pete Seeger dies

    Andrew Bolt is onto it.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/pete_seeger_dies_his_history_buried/

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  28. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    Bill English’s economic credentials are going downhill fast.

    He says….

    “The New Zealand dollar is overvalued against its Australian counterpart and is putting pressure on exporters, Finance Minister Bill English says.”

    Firstly, the dollar is floated and priced on an open market. Is English saying the markets are wrong and that he is right?

    Next, our economy is being described as a ‘rockstar’ economy. This means, our dollar is going to lift relative to other countries.

    Finally, English is spouting the old line that it is hurting exporters. According to manufacturing figures, exporting is going better than ever. So why is English taking the ‘greens’ view of the manufacturing?

    And, our interest rates are going to lift further, thus boosting our dollar even more.

    Yet English is the doom and gloom man, he should join labour perhaps.

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  29. RightNow (7,015 comments) says:

    In the spring of 2015, Alex Bellini will fly to Greenland, jump on an iceberg, and live there until it melts…He hopes to raise awareness of climate change and global warming.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/one-mans-plan-to-live-on-an-iceberg-until-it-melts

    Awareness could start with his 4WD seen in two pictures in the article.

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  30. RightNow (7,015 comments) says:

    “A Nelson man who has received $4520 worth of tickets since November for failing to have a car warrant or registration says he is being targeted by the city council.
    As court proceedings loom and the amount owing increases, life coach, fitness trainer and sickness beneficiary Isaac Takarangi says there must be a more productive way for the council to promote correct vehicle warrants and registration.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9662379/4520-in-tickets-I-m-an-easy-target

    Really, a ‘life coach’? I was wrong, my opinion of them could get lower.

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  31. stephieboy (3,533 comments) says:

    RightNow, a little unfair and nay, a bit of cheap shot.
    We don’t know the circumstances in which he uses the 4WD.
    Likely to publicize his cause but am sure he unlikely takes it down to show off at the local shopping mall , sports club or school.
    The reality he has to get around somehow and a push bike while possibly more consistent with his aspirations ,there is the need to factor in things like inconsiderate. far right road hogs.
    Am sorry Bellini is not ,unlike you , angelic and perfect.

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  32. RightNow (7,015 comments) says:

    The man rowed the Atlantic FFS, he can ride a frikking bike.

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  33. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    John Key to decide whether to have a referendum on changing NZ’s flag.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/new-flag-nz-pm-considering-referendum-5815223

    As someone on the One News Facebook page commented, “oh so this is a referendum he will actually take notice of”?
    I guess he will if he himself decides it’s a good idea.

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  34. Manolo (14,173 comments) says:

    The three stooges: The Kenyan, Silent T, and Norman talk about the same crap:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/28/as-obama-hammers-income-inequality-what-about-income-tax-inequality/

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  35. cha (4,144 comments) says:

    1848 again Manolo.

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  36. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    “See ya.”

    graham, bye bigot.

    You should have no problem finding another home where vilification of one particular religion is tolerated. The fuss created yesterday by me posting commentary and historical facts from Jewish authors, researchers and learned Rabbis was remarkable. Even more remarkable is it was Kea the Christian bigots attacked, not the authors.

    So go graham and take your hypocrisy and hatred with you.

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  37. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    Pete George, why do I feel the need to wash after reading your craven drivel and painted on morality ? You give me the creeps !

    How about telling us what you really think and actually standing for something you believe, instead of pretending to believe things in order to appear reasonable ?

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  38. Manolo (14,173 comments) says:

    @Kea: You’re asking the impossible, mate.

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  39. Longknives (4,962 comments) says:

    “There’s a culture of abuse that diminishes the worth of Kiwiblog”

    Sheesh Pete you and your ‘Cultures’!
    If it’s not a ‘Rape Culture’ it’s a ‘Culture of Abuse’- Give the ‘Culture’ thing a rest..
    I think the vast majority of us are able to debate things rationally without abusing people, just like not all of us are potential rapists (a crazy idea that you seem to promote)

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  40. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    How about telling us what you really think and actually standing for something you believe

    I believe you’re an abusive over the top prat who frequently makes up accusations, often with an absence of facts. And when challenged you get even more abusive.

    And you target me because you know gutless pricks like Manolo (who often avoids making an actual stand apart from jumping on a repetitive bash wagon) will keep encouraging you.

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  41. Longknives (4,962 comments) says:

    After all the ridiculous hype and over-excited coverage today (“New Zealand has never seen anything like this!” screams the excited reporter at the airport) are you guys sick of that snotty teen Lordy yet? I note the gushing from all the patriotic saddos on Kiwiblog has stopped…

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  42. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    Pete George, Abusive ? For posting links to Jewish articles critical of Christians in order to make a point about relgious persecution ??? You are simply attacking the messenger. I made up nothing and offered limited commentary of my own.

    Is this abuse ?

    “gutless pricks like Manolo ” & “over the top prat”

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  43. Manolo (14,173 comments) says:

    Mother Theresa (from Dunedin): I’m sick of your faux outrage and inflated sense of self-importance.
    As you can see, the sentiment is reciprocated. :D

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  44. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    Wiki-bus………..Perhaps TIM should consult Michael Laws who when mayor of Wanganui adopted a far more positive and effective policy in dealing with gangs…….Tim, given his history , is probably ideologically opposed to taking such action.

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  45. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Widespread political support for changing NZ flag…

    John Key’s raised the prospect saying he wants the Silver Fern.

    The minor party leaders, Peter Dunne, Winston Peters, Russel Norman and Hone Harawira are generally supportive.

    The only one opposed was John Banks.

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/2117582265-widespread-political-support-for-changing-nz-flag

    No word on Cunliffe’s (or Labour’s) view.

    A majority of party leaders is interesting but any decision should be put to a general referendum.

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  46. stephieboy (3,533 comments) says:

    Manolo (12,083 comments) says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    One of the features of the obsessive personality is go on and on repeating the same deluded rubbish you ( sorry, I mean Fox ) posts about ,” The Kenyan.”.
    Give it a break and visit your shrink please as a matter of high priority.

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  47. Reid (16,716 comments) says:

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/01/25/economists-policymakers-murdered-economy-paul-craig-roberts/

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  48. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    So we can expect a referendum question

    Do you want the silver fern flag – yes or no?

    The hidden message, you can have change and re-elect Key as PM and yes Key can work with a party that wants you to decide more things by referenda.

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  49. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    Change the flag?

    No other pressing issues facing the country that needs a referendum to sort……like the racist seats.

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  50. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    The deeper meaning is there as well, while there can be referendums that decide matters the government of the day decides the issues on which these occur. National still holding that those called for by petition would not be binding on government.

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  51. doggone7 (849 comments) says:

    John Banks cannot buy sympathy or empathy from me after a career acting as he has.

    “So if we want to deal with the fundamental issues of about 20 percent of this country’s young people coming from dysfunctional homes and families, we have to deal with the causes, not with the political side effects for the purposes of getting a few votes.”

    The perfect example of getting a few sympathy votes and hypocritical attitude. Not long ago he was saying 20 percent of this country’s young people were coming out of school unable to read and write so we needed charter schools. Charter, starts the same as charlatan.

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  52. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    kowtow, the government has said that the change will happen when a majority of Maori want it. At the moment over half Maori choose to be on the Maori seats.

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  53. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    kea, just consider a limit of one post per day about the hate of those of one religious group for those of another. It’s not the issue of the day on GD. Maybe those of Christianity might do the same regarding posts about the threat from Islam/Moslems or from secular society or the “Kenyan”.

    And note, that no one’s comments or actions reflect the wider religion, it is what religion can do to some people (maybe too many). The same flaw occurs within nationalism and in race identity and political creed politics.

    Note: because most people here are united on being anti-left a similar narrow mindedness in politics is encouraged and praised (the colosseum thumb).

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  54. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    John Key suggests a referendum on a new national flag in conjunction with this year’s general election, and on Radio NZ’s Labour Programme afternoon panel today, David Farrar seemed to support a change, so this will probably be a Kiwiblog thread tomorrow.

    Mistake, John Key. Those opposed to a flag change, and that will include many on the conservative right, will link change to National.

    Peters will probably oppose change (and a referendum), and even if Craig’s mob does, too, NZ First surely gets a boost at the election. The Greens, at least, will be for change, so National won’t automatically pick up young voters who favour the stylised white feather-like fern symbol on a national flag in black, the colour of Al Qaeda, of Pol Pot, of the Waffen SS, of the Fascist black shirts, of the bomb-throwing anarchists, of pirates through the ages.

    There will be a surge of hot discussion and fervour, and this will detract from the political issues at the election.

    What are Key and his advisers thinking? Do they think that from the association and Key’s view, National will pick up more young voters from it than the Greens will? Do they rule out the possibility this will steer some conservatives away from voting National? Do they expect the present tremors in Third World financial markets to become an economic earthquake and thus that National will need some diversion by election time? Are they saying, “We ignore referenda on issues like smacking and asset sales, but we will listen if people want the flag changed?”

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  55. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    Jack5, the Conservatives won’t oppose a referendum on anything – they support referenda determining issues.

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  56. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    kea, just consider a limit of one post per day about the hate of those of one religious group for those of another.

    SPC, I have previously offered to stop posting anything at all on the topic. Provided the theists did the same. So far the theists have not lasted a day without spilling hate on the un-chosen ones.

    The offer still stands.

    Being critical of Islam is fine by me. What annoys me is the lack of balance and the double standards applied when Christians, and especially Jews, are mentioned. Given all that, I am surprised you addressed me in your comment.

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  57. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    SPC (5.22), but of course as a minority party, the Conservatives wouldn’t have to worry about the hypocrisy of the majority partner, National, choosing which referenda it will acknowledge and accept.

    Hell, I hope this doesn’t leave Peters as the only choice for those opposed to flag change.

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  58. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “The Greens, at least, will be for change, so National won’t automatically pick up young voters who favour the stylised white feather-like fern symbol on a national flag in black, the colour of Al Qaeda, of Pol Pot, of the Waffen SS, of the Fascist black shirts, of the bomb-throwing anarchists, of pirates through the ages.”

    You forgot to mention the All Blacks in that list Jack5.

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  59. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    Kea, because it is easy to single out one person than address et al – they only realise they are involved because they hold a grudge against those who stand up to them.

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  60. Rowan (2,609 comments) says:

    “So go graham and take your hypocrisy and hatred with you.”

    Just wanting others opinions (not Kea), Who is the more hyprocritical, hate filled bigot, Kea or Graham, this can equally apply to anyone else who challenges Kea on any of his views.

    To me the answer is obvious, Kea by a factor of about infinity!

    I think its time for Kea to move to a corrupt dictatorship regime such as North Korea!, Kea the flight will be leaving shortly as soon as Kent Parkers court decision is released, it will be time for him to honour his word, although I very much doubt this, time for you to join him.

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  61. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    Jack5, Winnie said he was supportive, the only critic was John Banks speaking for ACT or Epsom?

    The issue is the referendum question

    If it is flag change – 50% will approve. Then comes a choice over what new flag, the silver fern will probably win.

    If it is support for the silver fern as the new flag, this might fall below 50%.

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  62. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Re jackinabox at 5.29:

    Yep Jackinabox, it’s a bloody football team that’s behind the call for a dreary black flag with a white feather-like central symbol.

    If this is accepted as the national flag, it would have to be half-mast each time the All Blacks choked at a World Cup.

    What a laugh. We would surely be the only country in the world to have a flag designed to mark a sports team, and certainly to mark a rugby team.

    The 95 per cent of the world’s people who know as much about rugby as they do about lacrosse or curling, would likely have far more sinister associations for a national flag in black. How would they link it to a peaceful South Pacific archipelago renowned for cows, sheep, and earthquakes?

    With Australia possibly up for a flag change if and when it becomes a republic, the intelligent thing for NZ to do would be to wait until Australia changed, then decide either to keep NZ’s present flag, or pick a new one, and a new one that might give foreigners a clue as to which country it represents.

    I think that David Farrar’s fellow radio panelist today expressed preference for a Maori tribal flag as a replacement. So there you go.

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  63. Manolo (14,173 comments) says:

    Is Key being stupid or distracting attention?

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  64. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    Kea… blah blah… North Korea…blah blah…. Kea…. blah

    Rowan, bad day at the drive through counter was it ? Are you the trainee guy that forgot my fries ? :)

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  65. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    Manolo, he is annoying the conservative voter to present his government as capable of change – to win votes from the centre and the young.

    The Conservative voter has no where to go, the Conservative Party support referenda decision making and Winnie is on board.

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  66. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Mr Peters sees a new flag as a way of ending the confusion between our flag and Australia’s.

    “The confusion with Australia is really bad, 90 per cent of Australians can’t tell the difference.”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/2117582265-widespread-political-support-for-changing-nz-flag

    But it won’t be a party issue. It would go to referendum and let the people decide, as it should.

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  67. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    SPC posted at 5.54:

    The Conservative voter has no where to go…

    What about a blank party vote if you’re a conservative? That’s better and more positive than just not voting at all.

    Under MMP, the politicians play a game of “where else can they go?” The answer of course, is fuck you, I’ll either not vote, or if I like my electoral choice, I’ll vote for the electorate but put in a blank party vote.

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  68. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    Pete, changing the colours of the stars on the flag to white would be enough to distinguish the flag from the Oz one.

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  69. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Pete George posted at 5.55 on the flag-change issue:

    But it won’t be a party issue. It would go to referendum and let the people decide, as it should. ..

    Pete, your party, United Future, is part of a coalition with National which repeatedly ignores referenda.

    The fact that MMP’s politicians are now calling for a referendum on the flag, when they generally ignore other contentious referenda, shows the contempt they have for voters.

    Fuck them! Let’s take back some of the power by withholding party votes.

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  70. Steve (North Shore) (4,537 comments) says:

    Well if NZ is forced to adopt a tribal Moari flag then I can shoot it and burn it?
    Sounds fair to me

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  71. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Jack5 – I’ve never played any part in deciding any voting position of any party on referenda issues.

    There’s always been a difference between Citizen Initiated Referenda and Government initiated referenda. CIR have been ignored – often for good reason, they have meant whatever anyone wanted them to mean.

    You don’t take power by withholding votes, you give the choice of power to others.

    I hope all of you who make threats to vote or not vote on single issues have got a good way of working out who to vote for. Or I guess you end up putting it in the too hard basket like Jack.

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  72. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Please do not let current politicking overtake the removing of Lecher Len. He has been getting a bit of a treat for the last two days, this being exactly what his socialist media mates will relish and orchestrate to last. He has been fiscally dishonest, on more than one occasion, has hidden behind his family like a scolded cur, and is still a brazen charlatan who must go.

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  73. Steve (North Shore) (4,537 comments) says:

    What is your preference for a Flag PG?
    Stay with what we have, change, and if change then change to what?
    Watch the head spin now

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  74. Longknives (4,962 comments) says:

    The great irony being once we spend millions changing our flag to a ‘trendy’ new design the old Union Jack design will automatically become very cool in a ‘retro’ kind of way and will be the flag of choice for all sports events etc

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  75. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Not sure why that will make your head spin Steve. I’ve been open in the past about preferring a change of flag to something distinctive. I’ve even had a go at designing alternatives.

    But I think the silver fern on black is the most likely candidate, it’s already pretty much the flag of popular choice. I’d be happy to go with that unless something better turns up.

    Regardless the fern on black will remain the flag of choice for sports events.

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  76. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    “I’ve even had a go at designing alternatives.”

    Oh dear God !!!

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  77. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    Personally I don’t have a problem with the silver fern being a sports supporters flag, a Maori flag and a national flag being separate for a while longer.

    I do want the national flag more distinct than the Oz one though.

    Larger all white stars on our flag would do that in the short term.

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  78. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    As for a silver fern flag as a national flag, as distinct from the current version – why not leave the black background to between the silver fern leaves and have blue as the background as now.

    And a temporary flag suggested could become an alternative by removing the Union Jack off the corner, to just 4 white stars on a blue background.

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  79. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Pete George posted at 6.25:

    …the fern on black will remain the flag of choice for sports events.

    Pete, with the ethnic change under way in NZ, soccer might be the national choice of sport within half a century or less. What then? A national white flag to mark support for the All Whites?

    From white feather-like fern to white flag?

    Regarding your suggestion, Pete, at 6.16:

    I hope all of you who make threats to vote or not vote on single issues have got a good way of working out who to vote for. Or I guess you end up putting it in the too hard basket like Jack.

    No, not the too-hard basket, Pete. Just realising this is a choice to be exercised when you feel MMP parties are trying to draft you like sheep. The too hard basket is saying there is no other choice, and accepting the list on the party-vote ballot paper.

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  80. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    longknives, not when competing against Oz it won’t, not unless they change their flag.

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  81. wiseowl (979 comments) says:

    Just underlines what a progressive Key is.
    Leave the bloody flag alone.There are more pressing issues than proving the National Party is no longer ‘conservative’ party.
    Any referendum ,if it should take place, should have at least 75% support before being valid .
    I would love to see a strong patriotic New Zealander leading this country.
    Colin Craig?

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  82. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    SPC, re your 6.37. Removing the Union Jack, as Canada did with its maple-leaf flag, is a possibility. However, I like the historical connotations of the Union Jack, and its reminder of our cultural links – in language, laws, politics, and the ethnicity of many or most of us. Hawaii, in its state flag, has kept the Union Jack in the corner, and it looks fine.

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  83. OneTrack (3,372 comments) says:

    Yes, we might have a referendum on a new flag, but the incoming hard-left government will pass the issue to their new Minister of Flags for a decision. He will be monstered by his co-leader into choosing the Tino Rangatira flag, and it will be all over.

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  84. OneTrack (3,372 comments) says:

    “However, I like the historical connotations of the Union Jack, and its reminder of our cultural links ”

    Just what a tauiwi would say :-). The Union Jack is a symbol of the hated colonial oppressors, blah, blah,……

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  85. Steve (North Shore) (4,537 comments) says:

    So you would like to change the Flag Pete George? It was a yes or no question.
    For alternatives “Flag Designers R Us” Please contact Pete George – Dunedin.
    Hey Pete, did you ask the Council? or more important the IWI?
    Fuck, sitting on that fence must hurt your arse. We know where the head is spinning

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  86. OneTrack (3,372 comments) says:

    Pete – “I’ve even had a go at designing alternatives.”

    Come on Pete, post some of them on your site and lets have a look.

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  87. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    I don’t feel any connection with or empathy with the union jack, it’s a clever design but it looks like someone else’s flag to me.

    If I’m traveling or watching sport (a wide range of sports) the fern on black stands out instantly, our current flag is easily confused and too much like a “we’re almost one of them” flag.

    But the initial decision is on whether we should have a referendum to let people decide, or if some people should try and avoid giving everyone the choice.

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  88. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    … given its Oz that has all white stars on their flag already, we would have to make our stars all red to more clearly distinguish our flag (ours are red within white).

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  89. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Re Pete, at 7.01:

    To most people overseas, our accent also sounds like “we’re almost one of them”.

    Do you reckon we should change our speech, too?

    Do you want NZ to drop Anzac Day, too, to get a more unique memorial day?

    We are almost like one of them. So much interchange of population that there are few Kiwis without cousins in Australia.

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  90. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Steve – no, you didn’t ask “a yes or no question”. If you can’t work out what I prefer then I can’t help you any more.

    I’ve had no need to consult with council or iwi, I’m not connected to either.

    Fence sitting, funny, you wish. I’m not stuck in the past like some here frantically trying to avoid people having choice on their flag.

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  91. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    Another push is on to have have an official sex offender register in NZ. An 89 yo man was recently sentenced on sex charges involving kids. The judge noted that he had previous convictions as early as the 1950s, for obscene exposure and attempted indecent assault.

    The Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar fairly comments:

    …..”It appears that our Justice Establishment is hell-bent on protecting sex-offenders rather than protecting our women and children from them.”…..

    Maybe, since we are in an election year, one of our political hopefuls might want to include such a measure in their manifesto.

    Ref: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/renewed-call-official-register-sex-offenders-5815266

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  92. Pete George (23,830 comments) says:

    Jack5 – ANZAC Day is joint, it includes A for Australia and NZ for New Zealand.

    New Zealand is just us. New Zealand Flag should be just for us. It’s not very complicated.

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  93. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Pete George at 7.07:

    …I’m not stuck in the past like some here

    Pete that’s a piss-pour statement in an argument. You can use it against anyone who is for the status quo on any issue.

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  94. Jack5 (5,281 comments) says:

    Re Pete at 7.10:

    The NZ flag is already just for us. If it’s similar to the Aussie flag, so what. We’re similar in very many ways and we are in the same remote corner of the world. It’s not very complicated.

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  95. Steve (North Shore) (4,537 comments) says:

    Hey Pete George.

    What is your preference for a Flag PG?
    Stay with what we have, change, and if change then change to what?
    Watch the head spin now

    Now you see the question Pete – “Stay with what we have” and then a comma.
    It was a two part question, so the “Stay with what we have” is a ‘requirement of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer
    You sit on the fence as you have always dunne

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  96. Steve (North Shore) (4,537 comments) says:

    Goodnight Pete, no more reading of Mother Teressas’ rubbish tonight

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  97. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    Kyle Lockwoods Independence Flag and Jeffy James New Zealand flag are the two real change options apart from the sporting supporters flag, silver fern on black.

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  98. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    Seven Blunt. No change. Get rid of the blushing, prattling blonde and the so-called comedian (in his own estimation). Just have Hosking to run the show

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  99. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    …..”It appears that our Justice Establishment is hell-bent on protecting sex-offenders rather than protecting our women and children from them.”…..

    As usual, McVicar doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about.  To get a sex offenders register in NZ would require the politicians to do something, not the ‘Justice Establishment’.

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  100. SPC (5,667 comments) says:

    The most moderate change (a transition flag as it were) would be to retain the Union Jack and have all white stars on a two colour background – a blue top half and red bottom half. That would clearly distinguish the flag from the Oz, while not being that significant.

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  101. publicwatchdog (3,148 comments) says:

    FYI

    I have been declined speaking rights at tomorrow’s Auckland Council Governing Body meeting:

    (Thursday 30 January 2014
    9.30am
    Auckland Town Hall)

    My response:
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    29 January 2014

    ‘OPEN LETTER’

    Dear Elaine,

    Please be advised that I do NOT accept that the declining of my request for ‘speaking rights’ at the Auckland Council Governing Body upcoming meeting (to be held at the Auckland Town Hall on Thursday 30 January 2014) was lawful.

    “3.21.3 Subjects of Public Input

    Public Input is not to be used to speak to a matter:

    (i) that has already been considered and determined.”

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The FACT is that the (former) CEO of Auckland Council, Doug McKay, and his appointment of Ernst and Young to conduct this ‘Independent Review’ of Auckland Mayor Len Brown, did NOT follow the ‘due process’ as clearly outlined in the Auckland Council ‘Code of Conduct’ (s.8 Compliance), thus has NOT ‘already been considered and determined.’

    Please be reminded that as an ‘anti-corruption’ campaigner, I attended a full-day specialist workshop on ‘How to Conduct an Inquiry’ at the recent 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

    I now have a very comprehensive understanding of how such an inquiry should have been carried out, and the Ernst and Young ‘Independent Review’ was anything but, in my considered opinion.

    I respectfully request that this decision to decline my speaking rights, is reconsidered as a matter of urgency.

    Also, I do NOT consider it appropriate, or in keeping with the basic principles of ‘natural justice’, for Auckland Mayor Len Brown, to the one to make the ultimate decision on whether or not speaking rights should be granted in this case, for this matter, as he is a directly-affected party.

    http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/N/NemoJudexInParteSua.aspx

    A fundamental principle of natural justice which states that no person can judge a case in which he or she is party or in which he/she has an interest.

    Also known as:

    nemo judex in sua causa; or
    nemo debet esse judex in propria causa
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    (As Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been a lawyer, I’m sure understands this fundamental principle).

    Please also be reminded of the statutory duties arising from the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1987/0174/latest/DLM122283.html

    4 Purposes

    The purposes of this Act are—

    (a)to provide for the availability to the public of official information held by local authorities, and to promote the open and public transaction of business at meetings of local authorities, in order—

    (i) to enable more effective participation by the public in the actions and decisions of local
    authorities; and

    (ii) to promote the accountability of local authority members and officials,—
    and thereby to enhance respect for the law and to promote good local government in
    New Zealand:

    (b) to provide for proper access by each person to official information relating to that person:

    (c) to protect official information and the deliberations of local authorities to the extent consistent with the public interest and the preservation of personal privacy.
    Compare: 1982 No 156 s 4
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Please also be reminded of the rights of citizens to ‘freedom of expression’ as guaranteed under the NZ Bill Of Rights Act 1990:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM225513.html

    14 Freedom of expression

    Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Please be advised that I shall be attending this Auckland Council Governing Body meeting to be held tomorrow, Thursday 30 January 2014, starting as 9.30am at the Auckland Town Hall.

    Please finally be reminded that I have a proven track record of successfully defending my above-mentioned lawful rights as a citizen, in Court, in the (hopefully) unlikely event of these matters being taken to the point of arrest.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    Attendee : 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2010 Auckland Mayoral candidate
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

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  102. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    As usual, McVicar doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about. To get a sex offenders register in NZ would require the politicians to do something, not the ‘Justice Establishment’.

    Any tiny remaining hint of credibility flew right out the window with his comments on the Bruce Emery / Pihema Cameron case, FE. I wouldn’t worry.

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  103. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    What are your thoughts on a register? I understand that Britain & at least some states of the USA have introduced such a measure.

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  104. big bruv (14,224 comments) says:

    Penny

    So you have been denied speaking right. Good!

    Pay your bloody rates and they might let you, until then you remain a parasite.

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  105. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Oh, I think he had no credibility well before that, nick, but you make a fair point!

    What are your thoughts on a register?

    I have no issues with one, nasska.  I doubt you will find many defence lawyers who do have an issue with one.  So long as it is not mandatory; I think mandatory sentences make bad law.  Make a presumption that persons convicted of certain offences will be placed upon the register, but allow the judge to order that they not be registered if it would be unjust.

    EDIT: That said, I do worry about vigilante action. The situation would need to be monitored to make sure that it met its goals without detrimental side effects. Also, if a person is actually rehabilitated I would support them being able to apply to be removed.

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  106. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    nasska, here is one such data base:

    http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbydiocese.html

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  107. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    but allow the judge to order that they not be registered if it would be unjust.

    Like if they are famous Maoris, rich or a woman.

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  108. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    ….”I think mandatory sentences make bad law”….

    While I accept that there must be some situations where compulsory sentences or conditions are unjust I admit to being challenged to think of one when it comes to sex offences against kids.

    To the layman at least, when a judge gets to use his discretion the aims of parliament get a fair watering down. For instance the fact that not once has LWOP been used smacks of a reluctance to follow the wishes of our lawmakers.

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  109. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    Re your edit…..do you know whether vigilante action has been a problem in Britain?

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  110. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    ….” here is one such data base:”….

    Point taken Kea but I’m inclined to let sleeping religios lie tonight. :)

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  111. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    nasska, yeah I went to delete it but too late ;)

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  112. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    I have been declined speaking rights at tomorrow’s Auckland Council Governing Body meeting:

    Penny, that’s okay we still read every word you post on KB and always look forward to your thoughtful submissions on local government matters :-|

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  113. stigie (1,453 comments) says:

    Hey Bruv, Penny not so cant pay her rates because she doesnt know what they are being spent on ya see !!~

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  114. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    Stigie,

    With the amount of time the cleaners spend getting the wank stains off the walls of the Mayoral Chambers, Waterwoman may have a valid point after all. :)

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  115. stigie (1,453 comments) says:

    Who is giving us the down votes there Nasska ?

    Talk serious during the day i believe…. but shite at nite !!~

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  116. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    While I accept that there must be some situations where compulsory sentences or conditions are unjust I admit to being challenged to think of one when it comes to sex offences against kids.

    The moment you start to have mandatory sentences, especially mandatory sentences of imprisonment, you will begin to have injustices occur.  No doubt about it.

    To the layman at least, when a judge gets to use his discretion the aims of parliament get a fair watering down.

    That may be the perception, but it is not the reality.  Unfortunately, the layman is reliant on the media to gain his information from, and one thing that you can guarantee when the media is involved is that the cases will be cherry picked, and there will be inaccuracies.  The vast majority of sentences are not reported.  Most of them you will never hear about, especially those against children because the names are almost always suppressed to protect the children.

    I understand the perception, but it is a wrong one.

    For instance the fact that not once has LWOP been used smacks of a reluctance to follow the wishes of our lawmakers.

    No, that is wrong.  The lawmakers did not envisage LWOP to be used very often. Don’t forget that s104 of the Sentencing Act still exists (which is the 17 year minimum) and that is to apply to a whole raft of aggravating factors, so LWOP would need to be worse than that.  We don’t have very many truly horrific murders in NZ, so the rate of occurrence for which LWOP becomes a consideration will be very, very small.  Add to that the fact that LWOP has only been on the books since mid-2010 and it will only be a matter of time before it is used.  But it is a third level of sentencing that Parliament has set out, so it will take a fair bit to get to it.

    The other thing that most people ignore is the role of the Crown in this. It must be remembered that Judges are not a part of the crime fighting apparatus.  They are impartial arbiters who apply the law as written.  At any serious sentencing the Crown will file written submissions setting out what they believe is the correct sentence range for the offence.  The Crown also has the right of appeal.  If a sentence is too low then the Crown should appeal it.  If the Crown does not appeal it would suggest that the sentence is within the acceptable range.

    Moreover, the Judiciary are in fact very sensitive to changes in sentencing levels.  Sentences in all areas have been steadily rising over the last 20 years.  Whenever Parliament has increased sentencing ranges, for example with regards to Child Pornography offences, the Judiciary has been very quick to adjust sentences upwards accordingly.  Periodically the Court of Appeal will review sentencing levels and adjust the tarrif, always upward.  That sort of thing just never gets mentioned by the media because a) they just don’t understand it and b) it doesn’t make for interesting newspaper/tv/radio reporting (but mostly point a).

    The other point is that most of the judiciary are ex-prosecutors or civil/family lawyers.  Comparitively very few ex-defence lawyers, especially in the High Courts.  Read into that what you will!!

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  117. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Re your edit…..do you know whether vigilante action has been a problem in Britain?

     I think it does have regular risks in the UK, and in the US it has certainly been an issue from time to time. So, short answer: Yes.

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  118. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    1) Thank you.

    2) ….”The other point is that most of the judiciary are ex-prosecutors or civil/family lawyers. Comparitively very few ex-defence lawyers, especially in the High Courts. “…..

    For some strange reason the old anecdote about the fox in charge of the hen house springs to mind. :)

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  119. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    stigie

    ….”Who is giving us the down votes there Nasska ?”….

    Who knows stigie but I think I’ve picked up a stalker from somewhere & you’re probably tarred by association.

    In any case, ever since Baity got sprung for wanking up ticks the “Karma” feature has been irrecoverably compromised. :)

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  120. RightNow (7,015 comments) says:

    Sea Shepherd on trial over spill in coastal waters off Cairns

    A WELL-known marine life conservation group has been charged with discharging oil in coastal waters off Cairns.

    Sea Shepherd Australia Limited was recently mentioned in Cairns Magistrates Court charged with discharging oil in Trinity Inlet on October 13, 2012.

    http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/sea-shepherd-on-trial-over-spill-in-coastal-waters-off-cairns/story-fnjpusyw-1226811832390

    They must be banned!

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  121. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    For some strange reason the old anecdote about the fox in charge of the hen house springs to mind.

    Yeah, that is because most people believe what they see on US television shows.  Defence lawyers are generally tougher on their clients than anyone else.  It is a good thing that the clientele cannot hear us talk about them in the lawyers rooms at the Courts around the country.  They would never use us again!!!

    We just take a more pragmatic approach to things, is all.

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  122. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    They must be banned!

    A pack of pirates; gaol the lot of them!

    (In all seriousness: gaol the lot of them).

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  123. Snarkle (118 comments) says:

    Penny, please tell us approximately how much you haven’t paid in rates. Ball park figure will be fine, thanks. It’s called transparency; set us all a good example!

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  124. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    Sea Shepherd on trial over spill in coastal waters off Cairns

    A WELL-known marine life conservation group has been charged with discharging oil in coastal waters off Cairns.

    LOL :)

    That has made my night.

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  125. stigie (1,453 comments) says:

    That has made my night.

    Me to Kea, got a link to that ?

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  126. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    stigie, It came from RightNow at 9:25pm ^^^

    http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/sea-shepherd-on-trial-over-spill-in-coastal-waters-off-cairns/story-fnjpusyw-1226811832390

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  127. stigie (1,453 comments) says:

    Thanks Kea, dont understand how i missed that…. i must have been out to lunch !~

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  128. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    stigie, It needs to headline tomorrows GD I reckon :)

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  129. Kea (13,571 comments) says:

    Environmental extremist and anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd has issued a statement that accuses Japan’s fleet of spilling oil in Australian waters. Using four vessels to try to obstruct Japan’s yearly whale hunt in the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd says it has collected samples from the oil slick it discovered on Sunday near the Sun Laurel, the whaling fleet’s re-supply ship.

    http://japandailypress.com/sea-shepherd-accuses-whalers-of-spilling-oil-trying-to-crash-into-them-1823551/

    Oil Spills Proliferate – the impact on whales and dolphins

    http://www.wildlifeextra.co.nz/go/whales/oil-spills.html#cr

    Some marine mammals and reptiles, such as dolphins, whales and turtles are very vulnerable to oil spills because they have to be able to surface to breathe and the reptiles also need to leave the water to breed. The layer of oil makes surfacing difficult and the animals drown.

    http://library.thinkquest.org/C004218/OilEffects.htm

    LOL :) :)

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