Guest Post: Cactus Kate attends a Donald Trump rally

September 17th, 2015 at 2:48 pm by David Farrar

Kiwiblog foreign correspondent Cactus Kate bravely attended a Donald Trump rally on behalf of Kiwiblog, so she could report back on what is actually happening there:

“I don’t care much for the chances of ever implementing Donald Trump’s “feed me less” tax policy coupled with promised massive spending or his ridiculous stance against gay marriage.  I also don’t care much for the identity of the US President because alone in the US political system they cannot make that much a difference in the real world.  Obama has proved this to be true more than any other.  So many promises and hope and yet so little delivery for his adoring fans.

Trump admires marriage so much he has had three weddings and god knows how many women on the side, but with an open mind I travelled down to San Pedro for the day to the USS Iowa for Kiwiblog to hear Trump’s short impromptu rally to Veteran’s For a Strong America, a group who have now curiously endorsed him.

The most appealing proposition was to go on a battleship. I mean who is going to turn that down? I’ve never been on a battleship. The event with national anthem, pledge of allegiance and chants of “Trump” was as spectacularly American as the post Summer Slam WWE Monday Night Raw I attended last month in Brooklyn.


Yes I too like possibly hundreds of million if not a billion  people would like to live in the USA but I can’t. I can only spend 90 days at a time here then I have to leave and re-enter and woman-up to the bitchy face customs again. Unlike the many illegal economic immigrants (and they are not refugees) crossing the border from Mexico still, I accept this law and the sovereignty of the USA attached to decide who she likes to have living and visiting here and for how long. I wasn’t alone in the paying audience some who had parted with $1,000 for their seats. The impotent rabble outside whinging don’t understand this. Yes even us white folk from nice countries like New Zealand have to follow immigration laws. Shocking.

Every speaker reminded the crowd that men and women fought so the rabble could come and protest. Every speaker also reminded the crowd to large applause that illegal immigrants were receiving better healthcare than these veterans. The protestors were better behaved and orderly than anything outside a National Party meeting. This may though have something to do with a thousand Americans coming on and off a battleship, many veterans and many very possibly packing heat.

Donald Trump, who once famously appeared on WWE fighting Vince McMahon in the “battle of the billionaires” (when neither actually probably was) make no mistake is a show biz politician. But then so really was Ronald Reagan and today Trump will be joining the other candidates debating in his library. Reagan didn’t turn out too badly. Fortunately David Farrar’s influence with the GOP didn’t extend to getting me a ticket to that yawn fest and I can do something more American like go to the movies and eat the world’s largest popcorn and drink the world’s largest coke.

Trump has turned himself into the candidate of the people. the anti-candidate. Like in New Zealand the Beltway typically do not understand the voters at all and like the repeater from NBC behind me who repeatedly falsely claimed the protestors were drowning out the speakers, misses the point of Trump completely.

The Media Party were in attendance, just like in New Zealand they overblew the protestors and focused on the most radical people in the audience they could find to say things.  The star was a young Mexican man who like plenty in America actually arrived and are here legally and support Trump’s most outrageous campaign wish – to erect a wall on the Mexican border and have Mexico pay for it.  I doubt this young man’s soundbites were cut in any other way than to make Trump sound Mexican-hating.


So in Trump we have an otherwise dodgy loud multi millionaire telling us that he is the rebel and the underdog. He’s not a Bush (my wife is Mexican and I speak Spanish) or a Clinton (my husband is Bill and you may like to wink wink pay his “speaking fee” instead of donating directly and openly to my campaign). The Republicans with Bush, Cruz, Christie, Huckabee, Rubio and Trump have what I would only studiously term some very serious chop chop to execute before the inevitable face off with The Robot that is Hillary. The woman best remembered as extorting her husband into standing by her side for her Presidency charade after forgiving him for blowing a cigar in the vagina of another woman.  Oh and don’t forget The Hill-bot from her private server has personal emails so boring that someone should really check her pulse regularly.  The best thing her campaign team could do right now is to leak some fabricated dirty emails between the Clintons just so some voters may actually believe they are real.

Don’t get me wrong Trump’s few announced policies make absolutely no sense and from a purist point of view he has been and will get destroyed in debates. But he is a candidate for our time. He can get away with blue murder on the campaign trail and needs to keep doing precisely what he has been doing – letting loose. This is what makes his campaign a must watch and why tickets are being scalped to attend these sorts of events. It is theatre at its finest. I couldn’t work out however if this woman was Trump’s hairdresser or a repeater not that interested in interviewing people accurately:


Middle America are dismissed by idiotic polisnobs (such as the knobs on Twitter polluting us all with their free snide opinions) as “uneducated”. These people are anything but.  They *are* America and they all vote and unlike the illegal immigrants all up in arms at Trump and having the political left speak for them, they’re actually eligible en masse to vote. Many like WWE, actually understand Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, shooting, God and the NRA. Underestimate their power at your peril. America isn’t about Los Angeles and New York, what the tourists and stereotypes on exported TV are. The bits in between are the most important and unless you have spent a decent amount of time with actual Americans not the Democrat liberal flower apologists for America you will misunderstand this.

I sat next to a man who had served on the USS Kittyhawk. To say he was euphoric about Trump is an understatement. Every second he seemed to turn to his wife and grab her hand harder, every word was induced through first the nose then the lips like a fine glass of Screaming Eagle. During parts of the speech the entire row of buttocks surrounding me came off their chairs with glee. Trump has made this Presidential race exciting.

The issue the Democrats will have with Trump is that he isn’t really attracting the religious far right who will infect his campaign. They are uneasy with him. Therefore to campaign against him they can’t write him off in one carefully constructed poll driven swipe.

The best they are doing now is predictably calling him racist and that he is a joke.  Having stayed at the Trump Soho last month I can report that there is no race boycott at that hotel and many of the guests were African-American, most of the entertainment at the hotel were too.

Trump’s blatant sexism and snide off the cuff remarks aren’t motivated by religion. I don’t think he’d really care about a lazy abortion or two with his shagging record or to beg and bully any mistress to actually have an abortion if the need arose so I think he’s just genuinely repulsive in a way that you would get in New Zealand if you crossed Bob Jones with Winston Peters if New Zealand had a Presidential race.

That though makes him genuine and dare I say it from polls currently and what I saw on the good ship USA Iowa with slogans such as “illegal immigrants get better healthcare than Veterans”, “the silent majority are not silent anymore” – fast becoming in a diverse land still ruled by middle America, highly electable.

Just when you thought that Trump couldn’t get any more theatrical he insists like a Commander on leaving the ship first for his waiting limousine, stopping right in front of the protesters and smiling and waving at them.

It is enough to make the left wingers and professional protesters who forget what they are actually angry about, spit out their Taco Bell.  Which is why Trump should always be welcome in this Presidential campaign and why it is not the worst thing in the world if he ends up as President.


People sometimes say jerky things in e-mails

August 17th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Yesterday there was some excitement over some e-mails from the Hager book which made it look like Cactus Kate had published Nicky Hager’s address so the Chinese triads could kill him, over his work exposing money laundering.

I know Cactus well and she is an unlikely assassin.

The reality is that people sometimes say jerky things in private e-mail conversations. I suspect most of us have done it. I’m sure I have. Go through what must be over 100,000 e-mails from me, and I am sure you’ll find some where I have said offensive and jerky things.

Cameron often says things in e-mails about how the Headhunters are going to deal to this person, and the triads to this person. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen a reference to this. People often boast and skite in e-mail, and that doesn’t mean it represents what actually happened. With Cameron the proportion is perhaps a bit higher than for most of us. Rodney Hide writes in the HoS on how it took him just 10 minutes to check and verify the claims about him being blackmailed were false. Basically a couple of people heard some gossip, talked about using the gossip, but of course never did.

Hence it is easy to take a few dozen of the worst e-mails from someone, and make them sound like they are a major criminal figure, or the such.

Take for example, me. I’m generally not a vengeful person. But if you were tape recording my phone when I worked out that someone had planted a spy into my office (and one that appears to still have been there maybe just three weeks ago), then you would have heard me swearing and promising bloody retribution.

Then 24 hours later I was fine, after going for a run, which is a great way to calm down. But if you had hacked my phone and heard my initial thoughts, I’d look really bad.

I can’t recall if I ever say the e-mails talking about Hager and triads or something. But if I did, I wouldn’t have been taking them seriously. Its preposterous.

When a threat is real, I will take action. A few years back there was a nasty guy who made death threats on his blog against Sue Bradford. His blog was hosted by Google, so no way to work out his identity. I realised he had once or twice commented on my blog, so I proactively went to Sue Bradford’s office and told them I had info which could help identify him. They told the Police who contacted me, and I gave the info to the Police. Sue’s politics are not my own, but I despise political violence. But people mouthing off on e-mail about the triads doing “chop, chop” is not the same.

There’s also been some focus on the case of Simon Pleasants, a former Labour staffer who worked in Ministerial Services, who some thought might have leaked details of ministerial housing. I do remember that exchange, and I said that I knew Simon well, regarded him as a good guy, and do not think he would have been involved  in any way. My advice was not followed, because well Cam doesn’t tend to be the advice taking type.

But also worth putting this in context. It was unfair to blame Simon just because he was a former Labour staffer. But when a former Labour staffer leaks cabinet papers from MFAT to Phil Goff, then people get suspicious of all former political staffers. When people stick spies into my office, I wonder if I need to start vetting my staff (I won’t). What I’m saying is that because of the actions of a few extremists, people like Simon do get suspected because of their former political role. If you know them, like I did, then you’ll say Nah would never be him. When you don’t, and some information has been leaked, then they do become the number one suspect – unfairly. Blame the former Labour staffer who leaked the MFAT cabinet paper as much as you blame others.

So again, people say jerky things in e-mails. I am one of them. I can’t recall anything horrendously jerky from me, but I’m sure if you go through 100,000 e-mails you’ll find some, and they will get published somewhere someday.

Meanwhile it appears the spy may still be in my office. A closer reading of the book reveals stuff from barely a few weeks ago. So he or she has been stealing scripts for many months. Is he or she just stealing scripts? Is he listening to conversations and passing it on. Is he or she trying to access the office computer? Are the scripts going just to Nicky Hager, or being shared with other political parties? How much of my company’s information has been stolen by this person? What fun questions I’ve got to grapple with.

A political talk show with no politicians?

November 9th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Prime Minister won’t appear on Willie Jackson and John Tamihere’s radio show again this year as pressure mounts on their bosses to take action against them for their treatment of a young woman on air.

Labour leader David Cunliffe also confirmed he would decline an appearance if invited.

It caps off a mostly horror week for RadioLive parent company MediaWorks as several major advertisers withdrew from the station amid the furore, and the broadcaster lost some of its most popular US television shows. The furore shaded to a degree the work of TV3 in leading television coverage of the story.

John Key has appeared on the show on occasion but a spokeswoman said he would not do so again this year and no further appearances were scheduled.

Mr Key would continue with his regular interview slot on Marcus Lush’s breakfast programme.

Mr Cunliffe said he would not appear on the show “at the moment”, with some party members unhappy with Tamihere’s comments.

John Tamihere is a Labour Party member, former MP and Minister, and aspiring candidate. Cactus Kate points out in an open letter to Cunliffe the hypocrisy that she is deemed unsuitable for membership, yet Tamihere is. She writes:

I have never accepted there may be any defence or explanation to gang raping girls as young as 13 years old.  Girls that young cannot by law even give consent and Mr Tamihere as a lawyer should know that and he seems incapable of accepting this publicly without attempting to justify it or blaming the girls in some way.

Mr Tamihere is aiding discussion with his fan club of neanderthals, not of grown women but girls only young enough to be my niece and your daughter.  He entertained the thought they may be asking to be raped by a pack of sweaty, nose-ringed, want to be gangster ferals due to what they wear.  He invoked what  Miley Cyrus wears and commented on what is written on girls Facebook pages.  Every educated adult seems to understand apart from Tamihere and his radio partner that these girls have made allegations of intentional, violent and publicly humiliating pack rape which is an entirely different matter to mature adults having consensual group sex.

On the same show on Thursday Mr Tamihere suggested that a person challenging his views was imparting “middle class” values as if it explained away that girls from working class or poor backgrounds should just accept pack rape, underage sex and sexual assault from older boys and men as a normal activity in the suburbs he claims to be at the “coalface” and a Leader of.

I might have to wear the eventual rejection of my membership as a badge of some honour such is the reported rarity of the action.  In light of this however I expect some consistency and that you step in as a Leader before your more vocal and active female members demand it of you and remove Tamihere’s Labour membership completely before even entertaining he may stand for Labour in 2014.

Will anyone in Labour take action? Will Cunliffe?

Back to Radio Live, you now have a political talk show that no MP from National or Labour will go on. I expect no Green MP would either. So will any MP still go on the show with them? I can think of just one – Winston. Inquiring media should ask Winston what he thinks of what Willie and JT said, and whether he is still happy to go on their show.

Well done Cactus

September 19th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar



The Herald reports:

The Kiwis behind the dawn flag-bombing stunt at one of Larry Ellison’s San Francisco properties today said the operation took hours in the researching and planning.

A video posted online this morning of a trio, calling themselves the Kiwi ninjas, decorating Ellison’s garage with New Zealand flags has fast gone viral. The idea was dreamt up by a group of fervent Team New Zealand supporters over a few beers earlier this week.

One of the ninjas who donned the full lycra body suit, Cathy Odgers, said everything down to the type of duct tape they used to attach the flags to the garage door was thoroughly researched

“I think it would have taken five billable hours of planning the whole exercise,” joked Odgers, a lawyer by trade, “but the result was priceless.”

“We’d done a reconnaissance mission before that so we could get the logistics all nailed down.”

Odgers, who performed the stunt with builder Paul ‘Noddy’ Holmes, and Daniel Welton (aka the random from the Hawke’s Bay) said they were careful not to cause any damage to Ellison’s property, situated in the wealthy district of Presidio, which looks down on to the Golden Gate Bridge.

“It wasn’t a wooden door, it was a stainless steel – so it wasn’t going to mark or anything like that. We didn’t want his nice garage door ruined by duct tape. I made sure we picked the right tape as well, we spend a while researching that.” 

Excellent job. Let’s hope today is the day the NZ flag wins the America’s Cup.

Cactus for Cunliffe

August 24th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Ms Odgers said on Twitter that she wanted to join Labour so she could vote for MP David Cunliffe to win the leadership: “He represents ambitious, successful, white middle class achievers unpopular with peers.”


Asked how the party would respond to an application by Ms Odgers, who was not a member of any party, Mr Barnett said: “That’s a good question.”

As she is a declared supporter of David Cunliffe, any rejection of her membership would suggest the NZ Council is pro-Robertson!

A new Labour Party member

August 22nd, 2013 at 10:19 pm by David Farrar

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 6.07.06 PM


It seems anyone who joins Labour by midnight can vote for the next Leader. Cactus Kate, amongst others, has joined so she can vote for David Cunliffe.

Is it reasonable to expect to buy a home after one year working?

January 25th, 2013 at 12:31 pm by David Farrar

Cactus Kate blogs:

Meet Sharissa Naidoo.

Sharissa Naidoo, 25, and her partner have been renting together for four years and say they are desperate to buy their first home.
“The concern is if we’re wanting to start a family and move into a house that’s more than one bedroom, we can’t afford that,” Naidoo said.

Naidoo recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Sociology.  

She is now sick of renting and expects the net taxpayer (you) to underwrite a home for her to live in with her “partner” (hate that word) of four years.
All of this, not even one year after her graduation ceremony in May 2012.
I think it is a good think Naidoo is wanting to buy a house, and unlike Cactus think there is room in NZ for BA and even MAs 🙂
But it is a valid point that someone who has been in the workforce for presumably just eight months, is not a good example of housing unaffordability. It is a step up from having the Labour Party Vice-President as the poster child for housing affordability though!
Even in the good old days, it took several years of dedicated savings to get your deposit big enough. Hell I didn’t buy my first apartment until I was 33!

Cactus Kate’s Political Pricks 2012 Awards

December 24th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Cactus Kate has published her awards for 2012. Some of them are:

  • Best political radio show host – Larry Williams
  • Gallery Journo of Year – Patrick Gower
  • Best columnist – Shelley Bridgeman
  • Joker of the Year – Kim Dot Com
  • Best Labour Backbench MP – Trevor Mallard
  • Best National Backbench MP – Maggie Barry
  • MP of the Year – Paula Bennett

As always her reasonings are very funny.

Cactus on Shearer

October 14th, 2012 at 11:02 am by David Farrar

Cactus Kate summarises:

 1. Allege there is a recording of something John Key is alleged to have said inside the GCSB.

2. Admit you have not actually heard or seen the alleged recording and have the GCSB deny one exists.

3. Appear on RadioLive to be interviewed by a former Minister who has dealt with these matters and stutter your way through the interview without a shred of actual evidence of #1.

4. More importantly have those allegations the night before completely overshadow the news cycle of a very poorly attended long-awaited manufactured EPMU conference on the alleged manufacturing crisis in New Zealand.

5. Completely expose your female Chief Press Secretary to allegations about her private life and professionalism of those close to her based on being the most obvious Beltway source of the leak in #1.

6. Change your story about the recording which is now allegedly one made without the GCSB’s permission.

7. Have zero of your own colleagues back you up.  Even the loud cheerleaders stay deathly silent.

8. By the end of Friday, when all the journalists are on their first beer at happy hour gasping over the whole sordid mess and you have run out of the week while Parliament is in recess anyway – have successfully put the entire focus on yourself to actually produce the recording.

I can’t add anything to that.

Fisking Cactus

June 22nd, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Cactus has blogged on the asset sales, and there’s a few areas I have a different point of view so figured I might as well prod the cactus.

1. Half-cocked. They are going through all this hassle and outcry for just a 49% sale. I could understand it if it was 100% of all SOE’s but just a few and minority interests?

There is a good case to be made for 100% sale, but that is not what the election policy was, and realistically National would not have got 48% of the vote if their policy had been for 100% sales. If that was their policy, then Phil Goff would probably be Prime Minister.

2. Clearly Maori have been bought off with preferential deals that mean the Maori Party support it. Imagine the outcry if a pre-determined deal was done with consortiums of businessmen of any other race? The Maori Party would not have supported the Bill to this stage without something big in it for them. Will they get a cheaper price? Loans? Deferred payment? These are questions the Opposition should be asking as the answer will be dirty no doubt which will again infuriate National Party supporters.

Umm, the Maori Party do not support it. It is excluded from their confidence and supply agreement at at the main readings they have voted against. As far as I know there are no deals or preferences. Iwi may well apply to purchase a stake, but they will be in the same category as other domestic institutional investors I believe.

3. How does this Future Investment Fund apply in terms of winning votes in 2014? Long term investment never pays off until the long-term. No one is going to thank National in 2014 for throwing $250m in Kiwirail or “modernizing” schools that already are doing okay. As for public transport, National voters don’t use it. Health and education are best provided for in the private sector yet the National Party are selling assets (a pro-privatisation move) to fund increased spending on public services (acting against the philosophy of privatizing these services).

I don’t think there are a lot of votes in the FIF either. To be honest it is a bit of a marketing gimmick, trying to make the point that free up capital in one area allows investment in another. The policy would have been fine without this.

4. The sell has been awful. National do have a mandate for asset sales with their election victory but the policy has had such a s.l.o.w rollout that it will not gain more support it will only become more unpopular as people now have a chance to object to it in isolation with other policies they had to induce at election time.

The law change is about to occur six or so months after the election. It could only really have occured quicker by use of urgency, which would be highly undesirable and politically very unpopular. The fuss at the moment will recede somewhat by 2014, but if the Govt had used urgency it would be a cudgel to beat them with for years to come.

5. The incompetence of Government. I do not trust the current government to be skillful enough to actually sell these assets properly. I trust Labour less of course but they aren’t the ones promising to sell them.

Actually the sales of Contact and Auckland Airport in the late 1990s were done very well by Tony Ryall and Winston Peters respectively.

6. No win situation. If the price of the shares goes up on the NZX the Opposition will hammer National for selling the shares too cheaply. If the price goes down there will be a whole heap of National voting shareholders who will be pissed off and the Opposition will attack the Government again saying the sale was a failure.

Yep, a fair point. But I think there will still be a lot of share-holders who will just see it as a good safe long-term investment.

7. Reasons for the sale. When Labour sold assets during their glory years it was more because of an underlying philosophical that government should not run these businesses. I hear nothing substantial from National MP’s with respect to any philosophical objection for owning these assets, it is all about money so they can all have warm hugs and fuzzies using the “invest” word.

I agree that a case should be made that Government are better to  act as the neutral regulator of utility companies, rather than be an owner and regulator. As the policy is to sell 49% only, that is a more complex case to make but one worth still making.

8. Easy question – are the Nats selling the assets to pay down ANY debt or not to create new debt as they already have the spending earmarked in this FIF set-up? I don’t see much repayment of debt here or commitment in reduction in welfare and spending.

Even if the books are in surplus, there is always capital borrowing, so this is about reducing the amount of borrowing needed.

9. Looking after your electorate. I don’t care what people too poor to buy shares actually think as these people have not actually paid for the assets in the first place. They are not and never will be the National Party’s electorate. The people in Labour’s 80’s privatization were rewarded with massive cuts in tax, there is no such reward here.

The tax cuts occurred well before the asset sales, and were not linked together.

10. The question comes down to do we think the current Government’s damage with respect to stuffing up the partial sale of the few assets will be more or less than the damage done by having the SOE’s in collective ownership in the first place?

I don’t think there has been any stuff up. The fact Labour and the Greens are whining about losing the election isn’t surprising. By 2014, I suspect people will wonder what all the fuss was about – just as Contact Energy was not a big issue in 1999.


My spawn

May 3rd, 2012 at 4:06 pm by David Farrar

I spoke to the Northern Region of the National Party on Monday night on the MMP review. Was a very good discussion. Somewhat amused that on almost every issue I had to say “This is the National Party view, and this is my view” as they differ a fair bit. However it led to some good questions and discussion.

But wanted to share the funniest part of the evening, which is when I was being introduced. The speaker said I had become well known through Kiwiblog, and how this had spawned off Whale Oil and Cactus Kate.

I immediately quipped that I didn’t think Cameron would be too happy being described as my spawn, which got a fair bit of laughter. I then added that I wasn’t sure I was too happy with it either – which got even more laughter.

Of course (according to Open Parachute) Whale is the most read blog in New Zealand, and Cactus Kate has a dedicated following also, so my “spawn” are doing very nicely.

Technically Kiwiblog is the spawn of NZ Pundit, a blog I still miss. Gordon, Craig and Grant were a good team.

Cactus Kate fisking Russel Norman

February 18th, 2012 at 5:16 pm by David Farrar

Cactus Kate fisks claims by Russel Norman. She blogs:

Kermit has an academically lazy post on The NZ Superannuation Fund where apparently it has

“decided to take a $23 million bet on a property development company with significant exposure to China — a country where some reports say that there are 64 million vacant apartments”.

Kermit has got all confused comparing SHKP to pathetically run Landcorp in New Zealand and is worried about this
Kermit seems to be Kate’s name for Dr Norman. She notes:
Kermit then has a Hickeyesque moment where he predicts the collapse of China because Hong Kong listed company SHKP is developing new cities and starts bagging the Super Fund for investing in it …
Is China the next big property bubble on the brink of collapse?

The Chinese Government has spent much of its massive export revenues on building brand new cities. Trouble is, not many Chinese people can afford the prices of new apartments and some of the cities have become ghost cities — their emptiness
Thank you for the concern Mr Frog.
Kate knows a bit about this company, as they are her landlord:

SHKP just so happens to be my landlord so I know a bit about them. They develop huge luxury buildings and own a truckload of land in Hong Kong. All the tallest buildings IFC1, IFC2 and ICC were developed by SHKP. The building I live in is built to an extremely high standard.

The major owners the Kwok Family have one of the most interesting histories of any company in Hong Kong. SHKP was founded in 1963 by the family and listed in 1972.
In fact it seems SHKP is almost worth more than the entire NZ Super Fund.

If SHKP tank it will be because the bottom has fallen out of China and with it Hong Kong and quite frankly, export reliant New Zealand will have a hell of a lot more to worry about than .1% of its Super Fund if this happens.

Norman is simply disgracefully playing the China card and pretending he knows more than the Super Fund Managers. During the Crafar sale he complained New Zealanders cannot buy land in China, yet now he’s arguing that the NZ Superannuation Fund should have no exposure in China to a potential “bubble” and not be investing in a property company.
Newsflash – Kermit doesn’t know anything about numbers and should sit down and do what he is good at, telling farmers they pollute.
This is one of the things which concerns me over the NZ Super Fund. Politicians will always think they know better than the fund managers and they will start to tell them where to invest with the money forcefully taken from us by taxation.
Dr Norman could be Minister of Finance in a future Labour-Green Government. Will he continue to second guess the fund managers?

Cactus v Cunliffe

February 8th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

David Cunliffe blogged:

$4.28 is less than I paid for the latte I just drank.

That is how much Craig and Carla Bradley can spend to feed each of their kids each day.

After rent, power, petrol and bugger all else.

Cactus helps with the budgeting:

1. Two cars of $160 a week. Beggars belief as to what cars they bought/financed.
2. Child support for SOCK of $132 a fortnight. So Craig can’t afford his first child. How on earth did Carla think this would end up?
3. Credit card debt. Go figure. Who gave them a credit card?
4. Petrol of $120 a week. So $280 a week is being spent on cars?
5. Wear shoes til they have a hole in them? Seen my shoe collection? I think most people do this. Even I resole. Especially if they are my favourites.
6. An old couch? So what most student flats have them and at 29 yo she’s not much past that.

She also notes:

The conclusion is that inequality is created by bad personal choices. No one forced these two to have three children of their own in addition to a SOCK. They didn’t accidentally have three children. The only thing the taxpayer should be paying for is Craig to have the snip.

Am I picking on Craig and Carla? Yes. But only because they have been silly enough to be used for this story. They are not the only family living like this. Will this be a permanent or temporary state for these people? Hard to tell. They have chosen to make life as difficult as possible for themselves that is for sure.

No one is forced to keep on having children. Of course there are situations, where even the best of planning fails, but this is the exception, not the rule.

Asset Sales and the Treaty

January 31st, 2012 at 12:51 pm by David Farrar

Danya Levy at Stuff reports:

The Government is being accused of selling Treaty rights to the highest bidder following suggestions Treaty protections will not be included in new legislation to enact the partial sale of state-owned assets.

Nationwide hui begin next week for the Government to consult Maori on its plans to sell up to 49 per cent of four state-owned energy companies and further reduce its shareholding of Air New Zealand.

The Government is required to pass legislation to remove the four energy companies from the State-Owned Enterprises Act to proceed with the sales.

If a company is no longer an SOE, then its obligations are the same as any other company, such as Air New Zealand.

But in all the fuss about asset sales and Maori, I like this investigation by Cactus Kate:

Ngai Tgahu know all about asset sales so should be supporting National’s privatisation programme. Here are just two recent examples of Maori more than happy to flog off their assets to foreigners who need OIO approvals.
In 2010 they sold 1348 hectares in Kaikoura to an American couple for 7.5 million dollars. They paid 8 million dollars so made a $500,000 loss.

In 2011 they sold 18,000 hectares of forest to a Swiss owned family company for 22.9 million dollars.

So Ngai Tahu sold twice as much land as the Crafar farms. Does Labour and the Maori Party think they should have not been allowed to do so?

UPDATE: The Maori Party are saying they may quit the Government if there is no treaty clause in the legislation removing the companies from the SOE schedule. This ratchets up the pressure on the Government considerably, but it is worth noting the Government can govern without Maori Party support.

If the Maori Party walk over this, they’ll presumably lose the constitutional review, their portfolios, and I imagine Whanua Ora. The second term was always going to be more challenging for National and the Maori Party – but I guess John Key was hoping flare ups would not occur quite so quickly.

The Maori Party do need to be careful about threatening to walk over an issue. That’s a card you can play only once or twice in a term. If you try to play it too often, then it loses its effectiveness and even backfires.

Cactus having fun

January 23rd, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Cactus Kate has blogged her version of the agenda for the Labour Party Summer School.

Some extracts:

5.45PM Housekeeping
Here Charles Chauvel will show you all how to make your bed properly. So you can tell the staff to do it for you later.
5AM Coping With Loss
David Cunliffe will speak on his time dealing with disappointment. We haven’t told him (or Greg Presland) yet but you will all be away biking with Trevor at the same time except those of you in wheelchairs or who are heavily physically impaired.
8.00AM Breakfast
If you still can stand after the compulsory bike ride our esteemed Deputy Leader Grant Robertson will serve you a Blanketman breakfast in honor of his favorite constituent. Just to get you all going for the day on a high.
Neelam Choudary
Needs no introduction. How to catch sleazy Tories in a honey trap. Neelam did more damage to National in the last term than any Labour MP could manage.
6.00PM Dinner – Sausages on BBQ sponsored by The Mad Butcher

Indepth after dinner conversation on “Traitors in the media” featuring John Pagani and Chris Trotter with comparisons to “Thee Who Can’t be Named” from the pre 1990 era and Mad Dog Prebble. Guest historian Judith Tizard and Michael Bassett.

Prayers to Dear Former Leader Rt Hon Helen Clark and Skype to NYC. Followed by a bit of social media training to explain the phenomenon of Whaleoil and how to combat him. Alcohol will be provided so please bring a plastic cup.

As always, I recommend you read the whole thing and enjoy it all the more.

Is it really about casualisation?

January 19th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Maritime Union have said their strikes and industrial action is because they are against casualisation at Ports of Auckland. Labour have also said this is what they are concerned about.

However Cactus Kate blogs:

The problem with MUNZ’s, Fenton’s and the left’s argument about casualisation is that right now MUNZ is pursuing a case against POAL in the Employment Court to prevent the Port offering permanent jobs to “lashers”.
This is not a joke. They are AGAINST casuals getting permanent jobs.
It would be hilarious, if not so serious.
So what is it about?
You may think so, but not when the Union bullies (mainly old, white crusty’s like the charming couple we met yesterday on this blog) have the top jobs and like to take the overtime at their much higher rates rather than allow the lower paid workers to get permanent jobs.
It is indeed simply about patch protection. They don’t want outsiders working on the Ports. By outsiders, they mean Pacific Islanders and women. A MUNZ senior official was sacked for his racism against Tuvalu workers, and they have resisted workplace changes that would make it easier for women to work there – the result being 2/300 are women. We hear lots of people complaining that only 28% of Parliament is female – well how about a workplace which is so hostile to women they make up 1% of the workforce only?
If you think I am being harsh, read the extracts from the court documents Cactus has, and especially the letter from “Billy T James”

Cactus Kate on emotional abuse

January 9th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Cactus Kate blogs:

Emotional abuse isn’t reported as is an horrific physical beating of a woman or kiddie with an instant death resulting. But it is definitely more prevalent and just as damaging. It isn’t a lower class, race or low incomed phenomenon either. Not all emotional abuse leads to physical poundings but all physical poundings seem to start with continuous emotional put-downs. It is statistically difficult to measure emotional abuse but we all can spot it when we see it in others.

Emotional abuse often can lead to physical abuse also. I’ve seen some people so emotionally abuse their partners that they lose all confidence in their own abilities, and become dependent on their partner. This means they then tolerate more and more shit from them, as they are too scared to be by themselves. And sadly, sometimes they will then even tolerate physical abuse.

I know of females who are otherwise successful intelligent high earning and achieving members of society putting up with some of the above. They are the sort of people you wouldn’t think would take to being abused at this mental level. Yet they put up with it. They don’t have to. No one is forcing them to stay.
I’ve seen their Partners, who are supposed to be the number one best friend and often father of their kids, subject them to abuse where they question their own worth. I cringe when I see the hate in the abusers eyes where even there are witnesses to their abhorrent behaviour. Say anything and you cease to be on the guest list. But it is very hard to sit there quietly listening to the mental warfare. I don’t want to watch it.
I will sometimes try and intervene later, and tell them they shouldn’t take that crap. But as Cactus says, many just put up with it, believing any relationship is better than no relationship.
I’ve seen unstable women behave as badly towards my male friends. Men deal with it differently and usually suffer in relative silence but when a woman emotionally blackmails a man by threatening to commit suicide if he leaves her, the sort of mind games at that level is hopeless to comprehend and impossible to counter. When she’s flaunting the fact she’s rooting around on him when he isn’t there, flirting with his friends, loudly saying his appendage isn’t big enough, sexual performance isn’t good enough or he doesn’t have a high enough income while she spends all his money. All designed to emasculate his existence and control him from a woman’s position of physical weakness.
It does go both ways indeed. Cruelty is not gender specific.
The first and only time a boyfriend upset me with a derogatory comment I didn’t even talk back, I threw all his clothes off the fourth floor balcony at Princes Wharf into the street, waited til he went to retrieve them then chucked his cellphone at him gloriously hitting him smack in the middle of his head. I didn’t see the point of subsidising him to hang around if he was going to at least be pleasant.
More people should do this.
On the purely evil emotional level I’ve known of deadbeat Dads unsuccessfully harassing mistresses into abortions and pretend to then be an advocate for solo Mums against the “evils” proposed by the likes of Paula Bennett. The most disgusting sort of hypocrite as they’ve damaged more lives than any proponent of controlling the welfare state will. Heaven help them when that child finds out the truth as to how little his or her father wanted them to be born.
Once again it is a matter of individual responsibility not to be in an emotionally abusive relationship and therefore enabling another to be able to carry out this abuse.
It doesn’t take money or government intervention to be positive and encouraging to your partner and kids. Anyone can do it. It doesn’t need a whole government department to solve.
In fact being caring and pleasant to those you live with and purport to be supporting through life is one of the few things that money can’t actually buy.
So very true.

Cactus visits Occupy Auckland

October 27th, 2011 at 8:12 am by David Farrar

Please go to Cactus Kate and look at her photos of the Occupy Auckland site, and read her scathing commentary. The best journalism to date on the occupiers. Some extracts:

These people aren’t even Labour voters. They are worse than that. We are talking Alliance or Mana. Or even too stoned to vote.

I was not dressed in a suit which would be a sign of war. Given I had showered that morning and blonde it was quite apparent I was there on my Blackberry to take photos and perhaps I was the 1% enemy. Any competent protest movement would have at least questioned my presence. Alas not our Occupiers.

Now I’m not anti-weed. But it was soon evident that the non-violent, non-alcoholic protest was fuelled on dak. The rolling eyes of the 40 people I counted in the vicinity were proof they were either psychiatric patients, or stoned. Or perhaps both.


Cactus Kate MP

June 25th, 2011 at 10:04 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young reports:

Cathy Odgers, the author of the acerbic website Cactus Kate, is expected to be approved today as an Act candidate – one of the reasons sitting MP Heather Roy is likely to today announce she will stand down at this year’s election.

Heather has since announced her retirement. It is a shame that the internal politics of the last year played out the way it did. I’m someone who admired both Rodney and Heather, and think they both made good contributions to Parliament.

Cathy’s impending demotion to Parliament has appalled and excited many on the left. First we have Bomber.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me be 1000% clear, Cathy Odgers is a hateful person who is the very last human being one would ever wish to enter politics.

I understand that Cactus is delighted with this endorsement by Bomber, and is considering turning it into billboards around Auckland.

At the Dim-Post, the commenters are salivating with excitement over her blog posts. I don’t think they realise that every journalist in NZ has probably already read them all.

But at Kiwipolitico, Lew endorses Kate’s candidacy:

It is in this vein that I endorse the rumoured candidacy of Cathy Odgers, aka Cactus Kate, for the ACT party in the forthcoming general election. If true, Odgers will be doing Aotearoa a genuine service, showing us all what ACT really stands for. …

But this endorsement isn’t all about foreshadowed electoral schadenfreude. Odgers, for all that I disagree with nearly every aspect of her politics, is intelligent, articulate and possessed of a sharp and analytical wit. By reputation she is driven, hard-working and will not tolerate time-wasters or time-servers. If her boasts about the expat lifestyle and her drinking habits are to be believed, she will be taking a considerable cut in pay and increase in workload if elected to parliament, so we might reasonably assume her intentions are genuine. In other words, aside from her politics — which is admittedly a very big aside — she’s just the sort of person we need more of in Parliament. It may be that the rigours of public office mellow her, or it may be that her prickly public persona hides one more rounded and reasoned. They often do.

I can’t wait until Cactus is interviewed on Campbell Live.

If Cactus does become an MP, I have the perfect job for her. Make her Minister of Revenue, with her job being to close down all the loopholes. Ultimate poacher turned gamekeeper 🙂

Plus the Hon Cactus Kate MP has a certain ring to it.

A $1,000 pledge to charity

May 29th, 2011 at 9:19 am by David Farrar

On Friday Trevor Mallard got upset that Whale Oil had called him a cripple and challenged Whale to a bike race, saying Whale would be too chicken and if he accepted he would not have a chance.

Yesterday Whale accepted the challenge so long as he can get provided a bike and that there be a second sport of his choosing – preferably boxing or shooting.

Cactus Kate has also jumped in, and offered $1,000 prize money. It goes to Labour if Trevor wins and ACT if whale wins. Kate also challenged me to match her grand.

I’m not overly keen to donate to ACT or Labour, but have agreed to donate $1,000 to charity based on who wins.

My $1,000 donation is dependent on Whale and Trevor actually agreeing to details of the competition (such as whether it is one sport or two) and actually competing. No donation if one defaults and it doesn’t happen. I’d also insist on them agreeing on an independent Judge to determine the winner.

If Whale wins I will donate $1,000 to the Mental Health Foundation.

If Trevor wins I will donate $1,000 to the Crippled Children Society, now known as CCS.

A double fisking for No Right Turn

February 24th, 2011 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

No Right Turn has had a double fisking in the last couple of days. Cactus Kate, a tax expert, has fisked him over his claims of tax dodging by corporates (he failed to even read the notes to the accounts).

And on the other side of the spectrum constitutional law professor Andrew Geddis has politely rubbished his posts about the national state of emergency. We’ll start with that.

NRT blogged here and here that the calling of a national state of emergency is:

National states of emergency are intended for disasters affecting the entire country – wars, epidemics, that sort of thing. Instead, we’re seeing one cynically used for political purposes, essentially for spin. That is a gross abuse of power, and one we should not accept.


Make no mistake: this is a cynical political exercise, all about who gets the limelight (and hence the credit) in an election year. Again, it is a gross abuse of power. But entirely par for the course for National.

Now Professor Geddis has himself been very willing to criticise the Government when he feels they are acting inappropriately with regard to their powers. He criticised the Act responding to the last earthquake and the sacking of ECan. But in this instance he says:

To use a phrase much beloved of I/S himself, I call bullshit.

First up, the declaration of a national state of emergency does not mean that there is now a power to do all the horribly draconian things that he claims can be done in places like Invercargill, Whangarei or other places far from Christchurch. All the powers given under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 (CDEMA) can only be exercised for the specific purpose of things like “saving life, preventing injury, or rescuing and removing injured or endangered persons”, or “prevent[ing] or limit[ing] the extent of the emergency”.

There is no way that these purposes can be said to exist outside of the immediate environs of Christchurch, so the specter of the police “clos[ing] public spaces in Invercargill” or the like in the wake of this declaration is a complete red herring.

So that puts paid to the so called gross abuse of power.  And as for why make it a national state of emergency:

But what about emergency situations where the resources of a single Group are inadequate to respond? There, help from other Groups may be needed. But getting that help requires those in charge of the affected Group to coordinate with those in charge of others, which is yet another task on top of the many they will have already. Furthermore, all they can do is ask for help – which other Groups may or may not be able to give, depending on availability.

However, now that there is a state of national emergency, two things can happen. First, the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management can take over the coordinating role between different Groups and centralise that process. Second, the Director can instruct other Groups to initiate their own emergency management plans and thus release resources to help Canterbury.

These powers may not be as earth shattering as empowering the police to shut down central Invercargill, but neither are they insignificant. Indeed, it isn’t going overboard to say that the fate of people’s lives may depend on the bureaucratic niceties involved in the declaration of national emergency.

Geddis concludes:

So, like I say – I/S’s posts regrettably are bullshit. I rather fear that he’s fallen victim to exactly the disease he accuses John Key and National of … being so partisan in outlook that everything must have a motive other than the obvious one.

Sometimes even politicians just want to do the right thing.

Cactus Kate is equally blunt when it comes to I/S’s financial literacy. He blogged:

Infratil [PDF] reported a pretax profit of $106 million, but paid only $11 million in tax – an effective rate of 10.4%

This was part of a series to make everyone think that all these evil corporate are evading tax and not paying their fair share. He even got Trevor Mallard blogging in agreement, which tells us much about Trevor’s financial literacy. The difference is NRT is just a blogger, and Trevor was once an Associate Finance Minister.

Cactus Kate explains:

If you click on Infratil’s accounts for example (they are the only one I could find with a comprehensive explanation of their tax balances) on page 53 you will see that here they take the net profit before tax and show a line-by-line adjustment on the tax numbers. The explanation of deferred and current tax is even made by the company in its accounts at page 45 in relatively simple terms.

The explanation for Infratil not paying the full company tax rate is a massive $30.4 million write-back in the “Net investment realisations/impairment”.

It had absolutely nothing to do with tax avoidance, evasion, shirking of their duty or offshore structuring. No cheating. All accounts are audited and signed off by professionals using NZ accounting standards.

And the killer blow is:

If NRT looked at pg 53 he will see that for the 2009 year Infratil made a net loss of $93.8 million before tax, yet had a tax expense of $34.6 million? How can a company making a loss NRT and pay all that tax? Based on the raw presentation of his data this makes no sense at all does it? Why? Because you have to read the data contained in the tax reconciliation and interpreted what has happened in the company.

Perhaps before No Right Thought engaged his fingers defaming a very wide range of directors in New Zealand as “cheating” on company taxes, he may just like to learn how to read and engage his brain and find out just why each corporate hasn’t paid the full tax rate for that particular year.

When you get fisked by both Cactus Kate and Andrew Geddis/Pundit in the same week, you’re not having a good one.

Cactus Kate’s 10 tax policies for Labour

January 7th, 2011 at 4:53 pm by David Farrar

Labour have only two tax policies – remove GST off fresh fruit and vegetables, and reintroduce a rich prick tax.

To help them with their policy development, Cactus Kate has proposed ten tax policies for them:

  1. Reduce GST to 10%
  2. Require all trusts in New Zealand to be registered with the IRD with the name of the settlor and beneficiaries
  3. Farmers, the largest of polluters (according the the numbnuts measuring of carbon) should be taxed per head of animal per year with the cost that New Zealand has to pay to the invisible pie in the sky
  4. Anyone with assets or is a beneficiary or settlor of a trust with more than say $500,000 can no longer receive Superannuation.
  5. Reduce the deductible amount to 20% of the total interest expense on real property (land) such that land owned by farmers, property “investors” and the like cannot pay less or even no tax by increasing the interest deductions based on leveraging property.
  6. Reintroduce gift duty
  7. Introduction of a 20% duty for the sale of all property including primary residence and all forms of land.
  8. A new top tax rate of 45% on those rich pricks earning over $120,000 and an increase of the current top tax rate for income between $70,001 to $120,000 from 38 cents up to 40 cents.
  9. Abolish Marshall clauses (which excludes the shortfall in interest as a “gift”) where the loan is repayable on demand
  10. Taxing New Zealand citizens (passport holders) at a 45% deemed disposal rate on expatriating their wealth at the date of departure if they become non-resident and a 15% inbound transaction tax on their assets coming back in even while they are still non-resident.

I’m worried that they may adopt a few of them.

Whale v Frank

November 30th, 2010 at 9:35 pm by David Farrar

Whale has blogged about the Get Frank site, and use of bloggers material.

A number of bloggers back in 2007 gave permission for Get Frank to to use some of their posts on their site. At least one blogger was told:

as our adver­tis­ing grows we will be offer­ing all con­trib­u­tors the chance to take 50% of all adver­tis­ing rev­enue from their page(s) on a CPM basis.

I was one of those bloggers who gave permission. I can’t recall whether or not my e-mail made any mention of revenue sharing. I suspect I said yes on the grounds of liking to help a new site.

But Get Frank has gone on to be commercially successful, and the Bloggers Union (which is compulsory – like student associations) has been saying that those who provide the content should be getting a share of the revenue, which has been declined. So Whale has gone to war in his normal subtle way.

By coincidence, I had noticed around six months ago that Get Frank were still using my content and I made a mental note to myself to email them at some stage and say I think it is time to stop using my content, especially as I do get advertising revenue on my own site. But it was not a priority so I had not got around to it.

This flare up has been the catalyst for me to do so, and hence the permission has been terminated.

Cactus Kate has blogged on this also.

I blog primarily because I enjoy having a say. I do make some “pocket money” from advertising but on an hourly rate it would come to less than the minimum wage. So my motivation is not commercial. But I’d rather increase the money I made from my content, than have others do so, and receive nothing at all myself.

If Get Frank (or anyone) are interested in a commercial relationship in the future, my door is open.

Vote Williams and Whale?

September 9th, 2010 at 8:07 pm by David Farrar

Cactus Kate has a brilliant idea:

I have previously endorsed Cameron Brewer as a candidate for the Auckland Supercity. I now add two more endorsements but only if you vote for them together. What the Supercity needs is checks and balances. There can be no greater check and balance for the incumbent candidate “Mayor” Andrew Williams than to elect in Albany, Cameron Slater aka Whaleoil.

What genius. Can you imagine it – Williams and the Whale having to sit around the same table for three years. Either they’ll become good mates (unlikely) or the Auckland Council will resemble live episodes of the Jerry Springer show. One could televise Council meetings on a pay per view channel.

Cactus also compares their vital stats:

Age: 51 v 41
Born: Hawkes Bay v Fiji
Weight: 110kgs with body paint, 95 without v fighting weight of 100kgs
Height: Scarcely taller than a parking meter v 5 foot 11
Drugs of choice: Alcohol and various prescription drugs v Melatonin and off depression meds
Mental State: Allegedly mad v certifiably mad
Education: Advanced Marketing Management Diploma from the International Marketing Institute of New Zealand v Whaleoil who hasn’t bothered making one up
Religion: Worships at the Gods of Caroma v Christian
Credit Card: Now only a personal one v no credit
Looks: Chubby preppy cheek v Angry Chopper Read
Spouse: Angry Jane v Angrier Spanish Bride
Work history: Diplomat to country where English is not a first language v IT and security
Drives: Black Nissan Maxima v Whaleoil Truck
Children: 24, 21 and 17 vs 14 and 12
Internet Presence: Hasn’t quite got used to it after 6 days blogging v Dominant
Supercity concept: Hates it v Loves it
Walking Style: wobbly lines utilising entire ratepayer resource of pavement v straight line won’t move for anyone
Favourite Attire: Custom fitted short man’s suit v Whaleoil t-shirt
Current employment: Bludging off the ratepayer v Campaigning to bludge off the ratepayer
Favourite Tipple: Anything on stock at GPK v Only when Cactus is in town
Favourite Hobbie: Gardening with his mate Little Andrew v Gardening on Spanish Bride’s orders with a chainsaw and round-up
Favourite MP: Winston Peters v Crusher Collins
Favourite restaurant: GPK v Daikoku looking down on GPK
Pet Hates: Cameron Slater v Winston Peters and Andrew Williams (those two really should have a drink together at GPK sometimes)
Nicknames: Clown/Cock of Campbells Bay, Mad Mayor v Whaleoil
Pets: Cute dog named Rimu v the Black Dog and David Farrar
Favourite Journalist: Late night calls with Jonathan Marshall v Jonathan Marshall……..Finally some common ground
PR/Media handling style: Combative v Combative
Weasel words: “Reducing rates – In the first year as Mayor we reduced the rates increase to 5.9%” v no weasel words
Pressure release: Late night abusive emails v All day abusive internet posts

Whether you’re from the right, the left or the centre – doesn’t the thought of Andrew Williams and Cameron Slater as fellow Albany Councillors for three years tempt you as proof there is karma?

Where’s Cactus?

August 13th, 2010 at 10:02 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Whanganui Mayor Michael Laws says a political agenda is behind the imminent release of his “intimate” text messages.

The claim follows a bizarre statement being released by Laws today, where he admitted a secret relationship with a woman whose life experiences were “completely different” to his.

Just wondering if anyone has seen Cactus lately?