█ Cartoon of the Day (Len Brown by SonovaMin)
Posted by Cameron Slater on July 18, 2014 at 11:00am
█ Len Brown’s failures will cause Auckland headaches for decades
Posted by Cameron Slater on July 18, 2014 at 11:30am
A Local Authority like Auckland Council plans capital expenditure for urban projects – like the pretty CBD road and footpath improvements. The problem with infrastructure maintenance is that it is very expensive, and it occurs in the future. Competing against the pretty high profile projects it suffers because it takes second place. On the Audit NZ website is a document that records an audit of the performance of Local Government that is pertinent to this topic.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
125 responses to “Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament”
Well there are two solutions, rob the ratepayers further or cut your costs!
I fear the second solution is beyond the ken of most kiwis.
Like ’em or not, some of the most robust examination of political and socio-political goings-on are found in various blogs by, for example, Cameron Slater (above) and Derryn Hinch. There is some edgy satire online too, to relieve the blandness of what we get in mainstream media.
The Blueskin Resilent Communities Trust features on Whaleoil today:
I would not be surprised if the Dunedin City Council “invests” in this venture.
The DCC insanity: councillors can’t/won’t pay back the stadium debt before they open the ratepayer wallet in the pretence they should hold back the sea – the near religious fervour of complete nuts like Cull, MacTavish, Benson-Pope et al.
I’m intrigued by the concept of “capitalism” as the government and/or the DCC investing in windpower. That smacks to me as pure socialism.
The DCC trying to stop any real or imagined rising of the sea, despite any evidence of any sea rise anywhere, is about as sensible as those advisors of King Canute, who also just as a side issue were bureaucrats, paid by the state to lie and obfuscate, suggested that Canute was so powerful that he could “stop the tide”. Canute a capitalist duly took his chair down to the beach and disproved their research and investigations practically.
My lament today is where is our Canute?
Often those given name suppression for sexual misconduct are closely connected to rugby.
Sexual abuse and rape occur throughout all layers of society, nor are they specific to any age or gender.
I notice a search engine term used at What if? today:
*integrity unit nzru*
Will have its work cut out with the global media stories now circulating.
People of high social status that they achieved without necessarily achieving much in the way of socialisation virtues (courtesy, respect, consideration, putting one’s own immediate wishes aside if they conflict with “lesser” people’s reasonable expectations of freedom from harrassment) seems to be a danger-factor. All Blacks and other professional sportsmen along with entertainers seem to share that risk factor. Unfortunately they are correct – attitudes in society protect them. Either the “lesser” people who suffer from their extreme sense of entitlement to grab what they want, feel they will not be listened to if they complain – and been proved correct time after time – or high-status peers protect them from experiencing the consequences of their misdeeds. This only feeds their sense of entitlement. The more it happens, the more they believe they have the right to behave in ways that “common” people mustn’t.
A thorny issue, entitlement.
The All Blacks have to be protected. They are our role models.
The criminal’s business interests have to be protected and they will extend to the sport of kings – would any common gang member in New Zealand earn this protection?
Yes – their fellow gang members would lie for them and threaten witnesses, so that’s protection. What they would not get is protection by respectable members of society – judges for instance. Or perhaps these are members of their “gang” protecting their own who “only made a little mistake” and mustn’t be made to suffer the consequences.
What if? The gang was the National Party and its brethren ex MPs. Seedy election year.
What if? The gang was the rugby mafia and their brethren ex All Blacks.
What if? The gang was the National Party and its brethren ex MPs
the rugby mafia and their brethren ex All Blacks.
More on the perb. The one – the ex AB.
Poor fellow, he’s the victim here according to himself:
“”This has almost destroyed my marriage. My daughter and son don’t really talk to me.
They think I am a crim.”
He said his wife was “sort of” supporting him, but he said he could not blame her for her feelings towards him.
“I know exactly how she is feeling.”
Physically it had taken a toll on his health.
“I’m on pills for high blood pressure. I could hardly lift my arm at one stage. I put on 10kg in six months,” he said.
And fighting the case had also left the family with “huge financial issues”, adding “half my life savings” had been spent.”
Amazingly not everyone sees him as untainted, not everyone in his [previous] peer group sees his conduct as a tiny unimportant glitch that can be ignored:
” “I just actually lost out on a job …. One of the shareholders of the company who lives in Dunedin said, ‘I can’t employ you’,” he said.
In recent times he said he had resorted to applying for “menial jobs”.”
Menial jobs, how unbearably tragic! Jeez, what a whiner, what a blouse.
Cry me a flamin’ river!
Cry me a flamin’ river!
So what in fact was “the moment of madness”? The obscene actions of an arrogant bastard, or the bleeding heart results? Those are ‘thorny questions’.
Gee Hype. Only 20 seconds to sexually assault your friend’s wife. Must be a record at door.
Then the courts will say the end is nigh and offer name suppression.
Law of the tightly controlled jungle in New Zealand.
I wonder if the NZRU issue complimentary Test tickets to select members of the judiciary? Would be a nice gesture don’t you think?
Current or retired members?
Current or retired? A thorny question
The reality of this little situation is that anyone with 30 seconds to spare and access to Google will find out the name, address, occupation, background and circumstances of this sordid business. What it all reveals is the practice of “plea bargaining”. For the life of me, I can’t see the equality in the justice system if a person with, for example, connections to the politicos, to the holy grail of rugby, the media, to the locale of his residence, seemingly no remorse and the ability to hire a lawyer with the desire to ignore the feelings of the complainant in exchange for some thirty pieces of silver, can be compared to a person without all these connections. The other thing of course is that the law must be completely bonkers if they think that they can stop people finding out the identities of these people when overseas sites have it all there in glorious technicolour. The net effect of this is that it just shows the person in worse light – they used their position, both present and past, to not front up in front of the community in which they live.
Spot-on comment, Russell – “it just shows the person in worse light”. It also shows in a bad light those who conspired to assist (ineffectively as it turned out) the sleazy person to avoid consequences in the form of widespread contempt within the wider community.
There is a general understanding that those in our community who are supposed to be leaders or role models are treated more harshly because of the increased betrayal of trust. All Blacks are in this category and should be dealt with harshly when they commit rape or other serious offences. They should not be protected. Shameful of the judge to protect a predator like this.
Bev, that’s how it should be. Noblesse oblige – the more fortune the fates bestow on you (formerly noble/aristocratic family, now outstanding physical ability at certain sports) the more obligations you owed back to the community to those less blessed by random fate.
Today it’s the opposite. To those who have more will be given unto the last coin in the pockets of the commoners, unto the last virgin daughter and virtuous wife, for are they not wondrous creatures, these Easter Island gods?
Hmmm – Nicky Hager’s new book is based on a dump of WhaleOil’s emails apparently retrieved after Slater attacked that kid who died in a car accident on the West Coast as “feral” and hackers responded …. later they dropped the files on Nicky who has researched it and just released his book …. Hacking into the Labour Party’s computers from the 9th floor of the Beehive … it’s going to be a fun election ….
[see a screenshot excerpt from Hager’s book at this tweet]
Tova O’Brien (@TovaOBrien) tweeted at 5:17 PM on Wed, Aug 13, 2014:
Not about Snowden, about attack politics and the people around John Key http://t.co/VoKst0r2YN
It’s trending as #hagerbook but also variously as #slatergate #whaleoilspill
Thanks Mike, much easier – not had time to follow up after getting Tova’s tweet alert.
Here’s a quote from the book, a Cameron Slater message to a friend:
“What I can’t believe …. is how we have to bail out those useless pricks in the Sth Island again ….. Those suburbs are hardcore labour …. so the houses are gone and the scum are gone too”
Some amazing titbits on Campbell Live, including a cast of dirty characters. This must be a game changer for what is clearly one of the most corrupt governments NZ has ever had.
Cameron Slater comes across as a complete animal…..helped by his insider mates.
Have recorded on TV3+1 ~!!
### NZ Herald Online 6:25 PM Wednesday Aug 13, 2014
Hager book: ‘You will not believe what you read’
By David Fisher, Adam Bennett
Dirty Politics, the new book from author and investigative journalist Nicky Hager, will feature leaked emails between National Party figures and a right-wing blogger. The book, which has been released in Wellington tonight, aims to tell the story of “how attack politics is poisoning NZ’s political environment”. It includes email correspondence between Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater and Jason Ede, one of the Prime Minister John Key’s press secretaries, in relation to information found on Labour’s website. APNZ
### dunedintv.co.nz August 13, 2014 – 7:23pm
380,000 eligible voters still not enrolled
There are still 380,000 eligible New Zealanders who haven’t enrolled to vote. Over half of them are under 30, and time is running out if they want to have their say at the general election in September. Dunedin registrar of electors Dee Vickers says just over 78% of Dunedin North voters have enrolled. And in Dunedin South nearly 92% are enrolled. The deadline for enrolment is August the 20th. Anyone enrolled after that date will have to cast a special declaration vote.
Ch39 link [no video available]
In other words “Fuck John Key”.
I thought that Nicky Hager was against all this spy stuff and breaking the law etc, but it appears that he is prepared do the same himself using hacked material gained illegally to suit his own purposes. He is no better than those he seeks to expose, as the only thing that he exposes is his own double standards.
Julian, would you rather not know? Information is information!
For the National Party it’s a case of ‘deja’ vu’. As the saying goes “as yea shall sow so shall yea reap”.
The release of information I have no problem with. It is the pompous way that Hager the fighter of all evil is prepared to go as low as those that he is writing about, by using the very same methods to expose them as he is criticizing them for.
The release of the information is not an issue. Just the double standard of person releasing it.
How should it be released and by whom? That’s a straight question by the way.
Anybody except somebody who wishes to preach one thing and do another.
“Do as I say and not as I do”
To give the story some credibility the author must have some integrity.
Now if a similar story had been released on Whale Oil we could have taken it with our usual pinch of salt, as we all know the standard of what comes out of there. But Nicky St Nicky enough said.
Julian, you’re free to take Nicky Hagar’s writings with a pinch of salt too. Personally I wouldn’t believe someone was a saint just because he or she said so, self-praise is no recommendation.
My reason for thinking Nicky Hagar’s material is worth taking seriously is his track record, which gives me confidence in the quality of his research. But you are free to think otherwise. If you are crabby because you too think Nicky Hagar is probably over 95% accurate, even though you don’t want to have to believe ill of John Key and the National party, that’s not altogether the most grown-up response.
Julian sounds peeved that the easy road to victory for National has suddenly come crashing down. The information will speak for itself. As it always does.
Sorry, but the dirty dealings of the National Party are now for all to see. We should all welcome that as a healthy thing irrespective of our political colours. Over the next days and weeks people will be able to sift through all the information and make their judgements.
Hager serves no one, as seen with the Corngate Scandal revelations under the Clark Government just prior to the 2002 Election.
He serves the truth with factual information. He is hardly going to lie given the legal consequences of doing so.
The man is a NZ hero. Like Snowden and Assange.
Hagar is a lobbyist for the left. He wants us to think that his book release isn’t politically motivated, but few would believe this, given his previous attempts at influencing general elections. He calls the book Dirty Politics, but uses stolen emails and his book seems to contravene the electoral law because it is promotional material without the costs being accounted for.
Apart from that, we will have to see what his evidence is for his right-wing conspiracy – it looks fairly weak so far (but I didn’t see Campbell Live).
I didn’t see Campbell Live either, but I saw Hagar on the news and he said that criticism of his book for being “an attack on National” by a biased writer was off-beam. When Labour was in power and it was coming up to an election, he pointed out, he had published a book that was critical of Labour’s performance.
Perhaps he’s a lobbyish for honest, competent government.
Hagar’s Corngate book (see wikipedia) was damaging to Labour and benefited the Greens at the 2002 General Election, so I conclude that his efforts are not so much to do with particular parties, but to do with left/right politics and left/right issues. The Green party is a deeper red than Labour and promoting fear of genetically modified food helped the Green party. Not all of his books are attempts to manipulate election results: the one about Echelon (5-Eyes spying) was useful.
The electoral act kicks in if he says “vote for X” or “don’t vote for X” – it doesn’t kick in if his book simply says “X is a slimeball” or “X hangs out with slimeballs” or even “X broke the law”.
Even if it did apply all his publisher has to do (not him, he’s the author, not the “promoter” is register (if they spend over $12k), and put their address on the inside front cover, keep track of their advertising expenses (looks like they rented a book store and gave freebies to the press).
I’m not sure what happens if people pay them for the books rather than they pay for the books to give to people – I would assume if they make a net profit on the book then from the point of view of the Electoral Act they have spent a negative amount of money on election advertising and the Act largely doesn’t apply – they just have to put the publisher’s name in the book, which they would normally do anyway.
Read Cameron Slater’s latest comments of shocked surprise about Nicky Hagar’s book. Oh dear. Prat party boys exposed.
Will the exposure get rid of the likes of Peter Dunne from parliament once and for all. Hope so. Feels very Winebox…
Yes Hagar’s revelation that the Nats have Dunne by the balls because they know about under the table payments from tobacco and liquor interests is likely to get a lot of play in his electorate ….
Yes, that was a clip from Campbell Live where Slater spills the beans on Dunne getting support from the tobacco industry. Also, it appears Whale Oil was putting up pro tobacco industry material on their website as a kind of payment in kind.
Also an excerpt where they were spying on Winston Peters at the Backbencher Pub, wanting to get a photo of him allegedly pissed. (He wasn’t there. The guy, who was sent down to photograph, came back saying he was annoyed.)
I liked the bit where the CL interviewer goes to Slater’s home and Slater’s wife talks to the reporter through a closed door.Evidence that these people know what is up and want to run.
Mike: Hagar this-morning (ZB 0715) said that the tobacco/alcohol payments to Peter Dunne aren’t a verified fact – and that his book recognizes this. But, I would also like to see him gone, because he is a slimy turd, and because of his continuing support for legalizing synthetic cannabis and other designer drugs. Perhaps he was being paid by the Star Trust as well – to get their drugs legalized.
Just caught up with this cut, thrust and parry from our leading Dunedin commentators. Old Testament watchers know ‘Hagar’ as a dutiful slave of Genesis, banished to the burning desert. Nicky is ‘Hager’. Meanwhile, Nats are forming a laager. It’s a South African thing.
To be fair The book was written by Nicky HAGER, “Hagar” is the seldom funny viking in the ODT comics.
I have a laugh when people talk about ‘conspiracy theorists’ – whether from the right or the left. It is a sign of guilt and/or a failure to acknowledge that lines have been crossed. It’s a pathetic defence.
I remember we got a lot of this with Stop the Stadium, through the pages of the ODT, where we were accused of joining the wrong dots. Turns out we were right about the DCC and CST manipulations to get the stadium up and going. The ODT know as they were (and still are) part of the cover up.
Supporting your favourite political party, through thick and thin, even if they have been caught out, is gutless and lacks integrity.
Dunne maybe compromised, he was recently appointed as Minister of the DIA and as such picks up the pokie portfolio and unsurprisingly received a very warm welcome from the industry association (CGA).
Dunne immediately signalled a change to how pub owners should be reimbursed for their costs associated for hosting pokie machines by moving to a commission/ percentage based payment.
Most pubs would go broke without pokies so it will be very interesting to see what commission Dunne signs up to given the revelations about liquor industry donations.
Dunne’s popularity in the polls was already signalled as significantly on the wane last week by Campbell Live. Slater may well have signed the death warrant.
It will be interesting to see what grenade Dotcom drops just prior to the election. This nasty government is getting its comeuppance. At last.
I dislike it as much as the self- serving Labour Government of 1990, with Palmer and Douglas awarded knighthoods as they left through the door.
Let’s face it. Even if National survives this they are wounded for their third term. The sleaze factor has caught them up.
### ODT Online Thu, 14 Aug 2014
Board ‘inconsistent’ over physio pools
By Eileen Goodwin
The cash-strapped Southern District Health Board is defending the cost of its physio pool in Invercargill, when it says it cannot afford to keep Dunedin’s physio pool open. […] The board says it can afford neither the [Otago] pool’s $100,000 annual shortfall nor a required upgrade. Southland Hospital’s hydrotherapy pool has restricted access, whereas Dunedin’s pool is open to the public.
Peter, I think National are doing a good job and the thought of a government influenced by the Greens and Mana (marxist) scares me. I hope we see a third and fourth term for National. It is too early to say if Hagar’s book will cause any damage. From the radio this morning I have learned that:
– no books are available now because the first 4000 copies are sold
– Nicky Hagar was a green party (Values Party) candidate in the 1978 general election
– the publisher of the book has also been a Green Party candidate and donor to the party
– Dotcom is said to be the source of the emails stolen from Slater and given to Hagar
– none of this helps voters to discover and evaluate the policies of the different parties.
Since 1978 my political views and priorities have changed, more than once in fact. Has anyone reading this experienced something similar in their own or friends’ attitudes. Or am I unique?
Yes to that question under revolting MMP conditions that allow dirt like Woodlouse and other political parasites to creep fast up the scale with no accountability to electorates.
### ODT Online Thu, 14 Aug 2014
Greens plan complaints after Hagar revelations
By Dene Mackenzie
Blogger Cameron Slater says he will complain to police about the hacking of his Whaleoil website and will name entrepreneur Kim Dotcom as someone detectives should speak to. He said he would also complain to the Privacy Commission, relying on a recent High Court ruling to force from author Nicky Hager his source material for the book. The Green Party has also said this morning it intends to lay complaints with police, Parliamentary Service, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the Privacy Commissioner following revelations made the book.
Slater is a whiny run-crying-to-teacher blouse when anyone serves him the same as he delights in dishing out.
Boo-hoo, Whaleoil. And a side-order of boo, boo, BOO!
Yes, Hype, he is complaining because he has been found out. Next he will be claiming he is pursuing this police complaint on ‘a point of principle’.
This heavy-set guy with the chubby chop jowls and five o’clock shadow looks like a thug… and acts like one.
The other pasty-faced chubbychops isn’t pleased either at having had his emails revealed, and shock drove his memory to a case of wobbles:
“Farrar said this morning that he was given information which was not in the public domain by the Beehive “once a year or so” but later admitted that more often he was given advance access to information if those in the Beehive believed it would lead to “favourable” coverage”. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10382744/Sense-of-violation-over-leaks-Farrar
Jimmy, you say you think National are doing a good job and that you would like to see them for a third and fourth term. I just think of: First Term, huge tax cuts for top income folk, increase in GST for all to enjoy, not just the top income earners. Second Term, Hillside, GCSB, Invermay, Pan Pacific Partnership Trade Deal, Key playing golf with Obama. Poverty and homelessness. Jimmy, they scare the hell out of me.
Calvin: It is better than you think –
– the 2010 tax-cuts were for both high and low earners, with the lowest earners having the biggest reduction in their tax rate. The lowest two brackets had reductions of 16% and 17% and the upper two were 9% and 13% reduction
– Hillside Workshops and Invermay don’t matter because there are other jobs – Otago has a low level of unemployment (5·6%) compared to the rest of the country (7·1%) (from 2013 census)
– Political agitators often claim that we have poverty and homelessness which they say are caused by insufficient levels of benefit payments, but we know that nearly all beneficiaries can afford to eat and pay rent. For those that have difficulty, their problems involve factors other than the level of their income
– The asset sales were a good idea – because it means that we don’t need to increase our debt so much
– The big plus is that National isn’t communist or marxist, it is, however moderately socialist and too soft on crime and drugs.
Hmm ‘drugs’. Supermarkets and massive ALCOHOL sales – supermarkets the largest suppliers of drugs in New Zealand. So yes, the National-led government is ULTRA soft on drugs, JimmyJones.
“Nigel Latta and his experts looked at the immense financial cost of alcohol to the country, including that New Zealanders spend about $85 million a week on alcohol, but it costs the country about $5 billion a year in damage.”
Read more about the latest TV special on New Zealanders’ use of alcohol:
(I watched this last night for the first time – recorded)
I watched this too. Nigel Latta has a good handle on things. Intrigued to see Palmer there spouting off about the problems of confronting the powerful alcohol industry. He should know. He was PM at the time (1989) when it was pointed out that Labour liberalised the laws for outlets, such as supermarkets, to sell alcohol. A touch ironic.
Hey Jimmy. You should take Slater’s job now he is discredited!
National. Moderately socialist? You have to be kidding.
I say moderately socialist because we are still burdened with a minimum wage, a progressive (not flat) tax system, unemployment benefits for an indefinite time period, mostly zero tax for earners with children (working for families) and a few other things.
Jimmy: I’m not sure I understand the problem, we have a progressive tax system, I’m happy to pay most of my taxes at the high marginal rate, I actually think that marginal rate should be higher and I should pay more tax, I can afford it and I think government debt is a bad thing, National have been borrowing far too much because they gave people like me a tax cut we really didn’t need at a time when the government most needed to guard its tax base – we should put the high marginal rate back up to pay off the debt and to start adding to the baby boomer retirement fund again before it’s too late – I’m a late stage baby boomer (punks rather than hippies) and don’t have a problem with paying ahead for my own retirement.
A flat tax (like GST) penalises the poorest of us and makes it harder to get off the dole, besides our high marginal rate is low by western standards (Aussies pay close to 50% when you count state payroll taxes that pay for things like police and education).
I wish we had a capital gains tax to push more capital into productive parts of the economy, I think we suffer because of the distortions is causes, too much money tied up in real estate pushing home ownership beyond the reach of my kids, not enough money available as seed capital to start new businesses.
I’ve never collected the dole, but I’m glad it’s there for me should I ever need it. I think it’s important that we fund our kids, my parents claimed the family benefit for me, all our kids need exceptional educations, I’m depending on them to run the economy well when I’m retired so I can live well myself.
If the costs of all these things is a label “moderate socialism” well then no problem, they’re just words, sticks and stones and all that.
Mike: Tax rates should be low and flat to help businesses and therefore employment. It seems like the more income you redistribute, the less total income there is to redistribute. It looks to me that the 2010 tax-cuts were a big help in keeping the economy pumping during the GFC/Great Recession. NZ survived much better than nearly all other countries.
I think there should be an unemployment benefit, just not for an unlimited period. Abolishing the minimum wage would create many jobs that are currently illegal and for the unemployed, the low paid jobs could be like stepping stones to higher paid jobs. The willing would have the choice of a low paid job. Currently they don’t have that option.
House prices would be lower if the DCC and other councils abolished their densification policy which restricts new developments and decreased their charges. Capital gains taxes on houses don’t seem to have much/any effect on long term prices. Just make it easier for people to build new ones.
Jimmy: business tax rates in NZ are flat.
The tax cuts in 2010 gave money to the rich and took it from the poor (by moving the rich’s high marginal rates to GST), I’m sure a few boats were funded by that, but I doubt anything manufactured in Dunedin (we don’t really do luxury goods) did any extra business by having their GST raised.
I don’t think anyone should ever starve, we’re kiwis not cold hearted Americans. I think the minimum wage is part of stopping people from being in this situation, there’s little point in having jobs below the dole rate, and if you want to get people off the dole you need the incentive of more money. I do think we could be more creative with stepping stones in between, especially for part-time work.
Having lived in far far larger cities I know that making them dense is part of making them work, not everyone needs a car (and somewhere to park it at home and somewhere else to park it at work) if you can walk or you have real functioning public transit – my Dad cycled to work (wearing his suit) every day of his life (except when it rained when he took the train) before we put in cycle ways, Dunedin used to have polite drivers – his generation grew up in a Dunedin when most people couldn’t afford cars and yet it still worked.
House prices probably wont go down as capital gains are phased in, but the probably wont keep going up, people will start looking at other investments that give greater returns but are taxed equally. Note: unlike Labour I think that capital gains should be taxed at the marginal rate like any other income – except for the family home – I’m willing to agree that some targeted capital gains tax (long term holdings, or possibly small companies in their growth phase between 0 and $2m or some such) could be taxed at a lower rate than your marginal rate.
Remember everywhere else in the world a “capital gains tax” is a LOWER tax to encourage certain types of investment), almost nowhere else in the western world is as corrupt as we are allowing rich people to avoid taxes on such large chunks of their incomes – we now have a bunch of rich families from the past 30 years or so, mostly living in Auckland, I foresee a coming generation of spoilt trust fund babies living off of capital gains on their parent’s wealth and pay no tax at all – if you think the rugby people think they are entitled just you wait.
Jimmy: Mike understands it. Capital gains tax (exempt the family home) would catch the speculative gains of the investor for profit. The lower folk are the victims of low interest rates on what little they can save. The system is locked into low interest rates as a policy due to the inordinate amount of debt created to prevent the GFC from doing its natural thing and cleanse the system as it is wont to do periodically. It is this massive amount of low interest credit available to the favoured wealthy few, which fuels the speculative capital gains free investments and drives up property prices. The lower echelons get shafted and locked out of – or worse, locked into – exorbitant mortgages due to the low interest regime on houses priced way out of their range. If and when the interest rates are allowed to find their natural level, all hell will break loose and as per usual, the main victims will be the poor sods in the ‘Mcmansions’ with their mortgages ‘under water’. Foreclosures will be endemic, and once again the minority rich will be the ‘vultures’ picking over the bargains. The poor again will be hit by rising indirect taxes, petrol increases, power, GST, anything the government can think of to raise the necessary to service the rising costs on the national debt, which is huge. This is why the world is desperate to contain interest rates, and is also why the lower income folk can never get a return on their savings. The whole system is choked with credit ranging from the young with their huge ball and chain in the form of student loans to drag through life. The families paying an ever increasing portion of an ever decreasing income to the banks on all the mortgages, credit cards and buy now and pay later deals. Meanwhile this government has the gall to promote the idea that we live in a “rocket economy”. When the ‘merde’ hits the fan, those people will simply melt away to their Hawaiian hideaways and count their gains.
Jimmy, 13% off $150,000 or more is a hell of a lot more spending stuff than 17% off $30,000. I’ve seen a few governments come and go in my time, but I doubt I’ve seen such a growing disparity in equality between the haves and have nots than in the last six years, except perhaps the Roger Douglas years. You say we enjoy low unemployment. Yeah! but at what return in wages? They have been under a sinking lid for decades, ever since industry started going offshore for cheaper labour costs. When you have the politicians bickering over a 50c per hour increase on $14.50 minimum wage, while the likes of the Vice-chancellor of our Otago University gets $560,000 per annum you have to believe that our society is set to fail. Selling up of State assets didn’t do much for the electricity costs into the CPI did it? The so-called Mum and Dad investors were quickly ‘gypped’ out of those shares as well. It all resulted in a massive shift of wealth from the masses to the few. And many of those aren’t even NZ citizens. I know that an egalitarian society like we had in the fifties, sixties and seventies seems boring, but one wage carefully managed, put a roof over the family for Mum and two or three kids without too much pressure, and we had the weekends for family time and fun. Dunedin was full of viable enterprises and industry. Sure, there were import restrictions and overseas travel was not readily available, but don’t forget we were emerging from the biggest depression of the 20th century plus WW2. Education was free. Debt was minimal and living was good. John Key and his ilk would not care a fig about that.
Calvin: John Key and his team in Parliament recently said that our income disparity has become smaller over the last 6 years. One of his MPs held up a graph showing the improvement. I can find the figures if you don’t believe the PM.
But anyway: income disparity is not a valid measure of poverty – even though it is frequently claimed to be. The income of the lowest earners has nothing much to do with rich – poor gap. If you knew that Ethiopia has the same Ginny Coefficient as Australia (which it does), should you then believe that Australia and Ethiopia have the same prevalence of people starving to death? No is the answer. And measuring income gaps is a promotional tool used to create an impression of poverty where there is none, normally done for political purposes.
I can’t say that there is no poverty in NZ, but if you show me a beneficiary living in poverty, I will show you a hundred other beneficiaries who receive the same income, but aren’t living in poverty. So the problem isn’t a lack of income, but a lack of something else.
For 2006 to 2013, wages in Otago have increased at a rate of 2.9% (my calculation from 2013 census data) which would have to be above the inflation rate. So, low unemployment and real wage growth – how good is that?
But of course far far below the rate at which rates have gone up.
Mike: my rates have gone up 47% over the same period (5.6% per year) which is far greater than inflation and income growth. We need a new Mayor and about 11 new Councillors. Anyway council rates are included in the CPI and so probably the average Dunedin citizen is slightly better off now than she/he was before John Key. I guess that the GFG/Great Recession has hindered improvements in our prosperity and standard of living, so I expect the next government to do much better than this.
Jimmy; You’re right, I don’t believe the PM. I note your comment on beneficiaries, some deemed in poverty and some not. It is a management thing I guess. But that is not my point. It is the ever widening disparity of
wealth across the population that is so obvious. Can’t see that the Ethiopian comparison does anything but prove that there are statistics, damn statistics and lies. A 2.9% wage increase over seven years simply proves that fact. Some at the top end have done well, some at the bottom have gone backwards. If all increased then the average would have been much higher. I read recently of the guy who had lost his relatively well paid job at Hillside after thirty odd years who has had only sporadic part time low paid employment since. He would be part of the average 2.9%. He was even talking about trying Australia, which is a big punt in today’s market.
Jimmy, I’m sorry but I do not have your faith in the National party as being a socially (not socialist) minded grouping at all. It is not remotely like the egalitarian party of Keith Holyoake’s days. It is a rich man’s party pure and simple. The rich get richer and the rest get the picture. The number of high rollers who live off the public purse with stratified salary scales also spreads the imbalance.
Jimmy, I don’t think so – the National Party thing where they exchanged lower marginal income taxes for the 1% for higher GST benefited me a lot, but for someone on minimum wage they just ended up paying more for essentials – I think that far more people in Dunedin have seen their purchasing power go down under national while a small number have seen it go up a lot.
This change in the tax system has made the rich get richer and the poor poorer – just looking at pre-tax wages increases doesn’t show this exchange that has happened when taxes are moved from wages to goods.
As I’ve said above I’d rather we’d kept our (quite low by world standards) high marginal tax rate and used that money to do things other than pay off Key’s 1% supporters and rock up debt for the next generation – that sort of selfishness is exactly the same sort of thing that allows the rugby mob to build a stadium on the backs of the ratepayers and rack up the debt so they don’t get wet and force the rest of us and our kids to pay for it.
(of course by building a covered stadium they now have teams who are a pack of wimps who don’t know how to play in the rain and the mud, who won’t have a house-of-pain that they’re comfortable in to inflict on their adversaries)
Calvin: I said before that For 2006 to 2013, wages in Otago have increased at a rate of 2.9%, but I meant to write “2.9% per annum”. Over the 7 years, Otago personal income increased from $21,600 to $26,300 (+22%). My guess is that inflation (CPI) has been about 1½ to 2% so we should be slightly better off. Mike, correctly, points out that the tax cuts and GST increase should also be considered to figure out if the earners in the lower tax brackets are better off now or not. I will deal with that soon, as well as the popular myth that income disparity has grown over the term of the current government.
I have already said that income disparity is not a valid measure of poverty. If you want everyone living in an equal level of poverty, you should vote for the Mana (marxist) party. The standard of living of the lowest earners matters, but the difference between the richest and the poorest is irrelevant (unless you are motivated by jealousy/envy). Increasing the general standard of living is what is going to help the poorest, even if the rich-pricks get a bigger increase. I will be back later.
Calvin: you said before that you Can’t see that the Ethiopian comparison does anything but prove that there are statistics, damn statistics and lies. The example of Ethiopia and Australia, with the same income disparity, but vastly different levels of poverty, should show you that income disparity is an invalid way of measuring poverty. And when political lobyists tell you that New Zealand has poverty because there is some income disparity, then they are either deluded or being dishonest. Leftists need victims to promote their cause, when there are none, they invent them. Income disparity is their way of creating a fake type of poverty. The people of Ethiopia have suffered from Marxist-Leninist governments from 1974 and continue to do so, the poverty there is real.
Calvin: You talk about the growing disparity in equality over the last six years, but me and John disagree with you – it looks flat to me. It also shows a slight decrease over the longer term from about 1997 until the latest figures. Have a look at the graph, which was probably the one shown in Parliament: it is figure J.5, page 198 of the 2014 MSD report called “Household incomes in New Zealand: Trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2013″ – look below for the url for the Word document.
It is a graph of the Gini Coefficient, which is the most common indicator of disparity. The income measured is inflation adjusted household income, after tax and after Working For Families and other government payments have been received. They say: “From the late 1980s to the mid 1990s income inequality in New Zealand increased significantly and rapidly, taking New Zealand from well under the OECD average to well above. From the mid 1990s to 2012 the trend-line for New Zealand has been relatively flat while the OECD average has risen, thus bringing the two lines closer together.”
The share of income received by top 1% of earners (individuals, not households) in NZ (see page 201) shows that they became poorer from the mid 1990s to 2011 and a lot poorer since 1920. Figure J.9 shows a similar long-term declining trend for the top 5% (less the top 1%).
They also say (page 20): “Overall, there is no evidence of any sustained rise or fall in inequality in the last two decades. The level of household disposable income inequality in New Zealand is a little above the OECD median. The share of total income received by the top 1% of individuals is at the low end of the OECD rankings.”. Surprised?
Over the term of the current government (from 2008) income inequality has stayed steady. If the Prime Minister said that it had declined over that time, then he was wrong. I don’t recall, however, what time period he was referring to when he mentioned this in Parliament, so I won’t be able to call him a liar.
Its an absolute disgrace that even more of the Police’s and the court’s time is about to be taken up investigating the actions of our elected leaders. It seems the widening gap between the rich and poor is not just about money, it’s about morals.
A bit of lighter fare (literally) on page 28 of today’s ODT. Rodney Bryant touting for Pellet Fires. It may be an optical illusion but he looks considerably thinner. Must be missing all the vol-au-vents and cream buns at council dos.
He also appears on Ch39 ads (certainly between their news segments).
### ODT Online Thu, 14 Aug 2014
Peters pushes back at heckler
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the book couldn’t have come at a better time. “This is an election about the transparency of both politics, principles and personalities. […] What do you want in a campaign? Not to know or get the inside information on a party this time that has been exposed? […] The fact is this is the National Party’s story collated to their great embarrassment, in one book.” APNZ
In this story someone tell me Mr Cameron is not supposed to be Mr Slater ? (did I miss something?)(hello ODT sub-editors?)(Dene-babe?)
### ODT Online Sat, 16 Aug 2014
Opinion: National ignores incriminating material
By John Armstrong
The tirade of insults, invective and scorn directed at Nicky Hager must rank as one of the most sustained efforts by National to destroy an individual’s credibility since the party’s political witch trials of the Muldoon era. […] The vilification of Mr Hager by Mr Key and Steven Joyce, National’s election campaign supremo and the one designated to front for National when there is trouble, is a charade. Their dilemma is that they have to rubbish the book as being wrong on every score when they know much if not all of it, is accurate, simply because the contents come straight out of the mouths of Mr Slater, Mr Ede and other National Party figures and associates.
Key, Joyce, English are bullies – and greedy, self-serving with it. If only enough people can see through them before voting.
Hacking confirmed, Labour says (via APNZ)
Bloggers revealed Hager’s address (via NZ Herald)
Slater receives death threats (via APNZ)
Rod Emmerson cartoon at Whale oil beef hooked Saturday Aug 16, 2014
russandbev at ODT Online
Garrick Tremain on Whaleoil and friends:
Reading and listening to news about the way National party MPs and staffers sicced Whaleoil onto political opponents, and seeing the face of the unlovely Slater, I was put in mind of news items some time back about a nasty problem in Britain. I couldn’t remember the name of the vile creature. Google is my friend tonight, it came up with a name certain to become a favourite of celebrity spawners now, it rolls off the tongue like a Jaffa down the old-timey picture theatre, but I’m going to reveal it anyway: Arthurdendyus triangulata.
!!! Disturbing material follows, reader discretion is advised !!!
“When feeding they seem to lie on top of the earthworm, perhaps using their sticky mucus to hold on, excrete digestive enzymes which liquidise the worm, and absorb the soup that results.” http://www.downgardenservices.org.uk/flatworm.htm
This is a slime-coated shape-shifter. They tell it well here: http://www.brc.ac.uk/gbnn_admin/index.php?q=node/265, “Flat (with a more or less pronounced median dorsal ridge), covered in sticky mucus, pointed at both ends, up to 17 cm long when elongated but shape can vary considerably…. People with sensitive skin have reported a reaction when they have come in contact with the mucus on the surface of the New Zealand flatworm and for this reason it is suggested that gloves be worn.”
Do others see the resemblance? No? Google a photo – it’s not a literal family likeness but there’s something about the over-all shape. Add that to the description……
Superb journalistic research, Hype O’Thermia.
Extrapolate for Minister J Collins too.
From Dunedin’s legal beagle on Dirty Politics / dirty politics:
“Documents allegedly hacked from Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater have been put online showing links to staff answering to the Prime Minister.
Links to the documents came from the Twitter account @Whaledump – an account set up by a person who has told the Herald it was they who hacked Slater’s computer.” more at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11310429&ref=NZH_Tw
You don’t have to be a subscriber to Twitter to read tweets by @Whaledump – just enter their URL in your browser, it’s all public domain.
I guess what this does show is that Mr Slater is not quite the journalistic ferret that he proclaims himself to be. He is simply someone who reprinted information that was handed to him on a plate. He’s a typist, nothing more. Way to get your credibility shot down.
He seems to think very well of his smartness but these revelations give the impression of a naturally toxic personality whose self-image of power and grandiosity make him the ideal patsy to do other people’s dirty work. All it takes is someone with similar ethics and a bio-hazard costume to supply him with destructive information about their masters’ rivals, preferably garnished with lashings of sleaze to keep him onside. Watch his info-sharing “friends” evaporate. Watch the masters to whom they have been loyal tripe-hounds turn away and let them be taken off to the pound.
BTW does Slater have a job or is he a beneficiary, does anyone know? Haven’t seen him mentioned in connection with any other role than “blogger, Whaleoil”.
What these emails show is that Cameron Slater is a feral nasty friend of the National Party. The teflon-coated facade that is John Key is blown to pieces by these revelations. Look at the typical response from Key and his close mates when questioned “I don’t know the answer to that, but what I do know is – blah blah blah”. Typical diversionary tactics.
Muldoon was a bad sod, but he was squeaky clean compared to Key and his cohorts. The big issue with NZ is coming up with viable alternatives. The big message is to get out and vote. No matter what you feel.
My experience with elections.co.nz is horrific. I asked a month ago if I could vote overseas and the answers by a woman who seemed to know nothing was not a chance, but today the message after a heap of conversation was that it was possible. Believe me chickadees, I’ll be voting.
AFAIK you can vote at any NZ consulate, I’ve done it (but vote early), you can also vote before you leave (if you leave close enough to the election, once the ballots have been printed)
I plan on being back in the country in time to vote – time to get rid of these sleezeballs, reading that book makes me want to spit, I can only take it in small doses
I find it hard to believe what I am watching here. After a series of disastrous interviews that have made him look thoroughly shifty, Jonky has finally said that JC was ‘unwise’ to deliberately leak personal details held by her ministry relating to one of her subordinates to an outside agency for the purpose of providing a foundation for a public and personal attack that was both damaging and widely attended to.
I wonder if any employer who discovered that an executive had done the same to one of their subordinate staff using company information would describe the activity similarly? I don’t think so. The boot, and pronto, with no statute of limitations. It is not unwise, it is unacceptable. It is such a breach of executive trust that it is hard to see how JC could ever again hold a portfolio involving reports by civil servants.
I do not know if civil servants are barred from suing for defamation – if they are, then Slater is bloody lucky. It seems to tick all the boxes – unless Slater has the information to prove that this bloke was the leak, and opinion seems to now be that he wasn’t.
The ‘jocular kiwi bloke leaving all the details to others and not knowing a thing’ act is clearly not working for Jonky this time. It’s taking him a while to realise it too despite the massive quick-fire hits that he is taking. Perhaps it’s because the ‘blokey line’ has worked so well for him for so long. It is unlikely to ever work again, and he’s still got five weeks to go. An awkward time span. Too long to just hang on – and yet not long enough to learn a new trick – Yes, Hagar certainly knows his business.
There’s pet cats and dogs – ordinary. There’s pet pigs and miniature horses whose owners treat them as household, literally in the house, pets. Snakes and big cats and – you name it, somewhere somebody loves it.
…Which explains JK’s cane toads. Not easy to domesticate, your average cane toad. The best aspect of having them as pets is that nobody blinks if you deep-freeze them and hit them with a big axe when they poop on your axminster.
Another from Garrick Tremain’s latest pet series: Cartoon 19.8.14
New Zealand politics is getting more and more like American politics every day. Sleazy tactics, undermining the competition with innuendo. Using its own covert spying organisation to spy on its own people, applying heavy frightening tactics like the Dotcom home invasion by armed swat team like people. This is frightening stuff for little old NZ and the people are reeling. John Key and his immediate lackies seem indoctrinated to the methods similar to the Nixon era. He is taking NZ down a path unfamiliar and it won’t end well. He’s got to be brought to heel, else we are in for bad times. Ruthless is word that springs to mind.
Calvin. I remember Nixon urging Americans ‘to not wallow in Watergate’ in order to, hopefully, divert their attention away from the scandal. Here we have Tricky Johnny trying to do the same by his left wing conspiracy theorist talk and linking it to the burning effigy incident, which was just a spontaneous prank by some kids. All to gain sympathy for him. Sorry, John Boy. Your cover is blown.
PM: Cillins on ‘last chance’
Aha, he’s cleared a couple of mystery packages out of the deep freeze and brought the axe in from the woodshed.
When you look at Slater’s reponse, and then at his history, he’s a fairly simple story. When someone (and it presumably was meant as an office prank) made him editor of Truth, he lasted for all of 6 months in general population [circulation? -Eds]. However, during that all too brief social experiment, all the senior contributors for the paper resigned. Slater’s reaction: It was their fault. Now he has been outed as nothing more than a mere political mouthpiece with minimal journalistic skills. His reaction ? Not a single mention by him of the content. Nope, the only reaction is to point chubby fingers at whomever has accessed the mail. Same response: it was their fault. A complete inability to take any personal responsibility for anything. Just another garden variety narcissist. Still, take a look at who his supporters are and it is little wonder that they found each other.
Collins in one reply to Slater says ‘if you can’t be loved it is best to be feared’. Well, I think she has now found out that she is neither loved nor feared. So many people are enjoying the spectacle of her slowly, but surely, being politically and personally fried.
I only hope she takes her mate, Key, along with her. His grin at least has been wiped off his smug face.
This is going to drip feed for a while yet and then we have Kim Dotcom ready to drop his bomb. Oh joy.
### ODT Online Thu, 21 Aug 2014
More doubt over PM’s claim
Yet another document has emerged casting doubt on Prime Minister John Key and former SIS Director Warren Tucker’s version of events around how secret documents were declassified and fast-tracked to blogger Cameron Slater, who used them to discredit former Labour Leader Phil Goff. NZ Herald
█ Editorial: http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/313244/cleansing-process-needed
Jimmy; you have absolutely ‘snowed’ me with statistical figures. My problem with that is there is not the typical person/s to fit those stats. Humans are not ‘peas in a pod’ they are individuals who have disparate needs and conditions. One man can get by on a certain figure giving no sign of poverty whilst another is destitute and wallowing. If you have, like me been following the Nigel Latta series currently running on TV you will see the real world. Alcohol is the source of so much poverty, but Governments do the ‘three monkey trick’ on this, due to the power of the alcohol industry. Low wages where two people between them in low paid jobs can’t make ends meet. Admittedly, they had eight children. That’s poverty with full employment. Suburban areas where unemployment is rife harbours drunkenness, drug dependency and violence. This is poverty of life.
On the other hand, stats aside, this government in its first term gave huge tax cuts to the top echelons of earners and in the same term increased GST to 15%. Argued and bickered over a 50 cent increase in the minimum wage, while those on top walled in increases. I look at the Vice-chancellor of the Otago University on $560,000 pa and ask, how can that be value compared to the $30,000 pa of the person who cleans her office toilet. It’s obscene. Jimmy, despite all your assurances one only has to look around you to see that the populace is under pressure to try and stay afloat and also provide a roof over the family’s heads and keep them fed and clothed, pay their school fees, power bills and stay out of the money lenders’ clutches. Jimmy, I don’t konw how old you are, but I was married in the 1950s and managed to buy a house raise three kids all on one wage. We did not live ostentatiously, but we didn’t go without either. As time went by it got easier and easier. That’s the way an equitable society operates and then you find the ugly side is much much smaller. There were fewer jails with fewer inmates, domestic violence was much less prevalent. Alcohol was less available and young folk didn’t pony up to the supermarket at eighteen, survey the specials of the day and walk out with enough booze to satisfy a football team. Jimmy, poverty is not just registered in financial terms, it is also in spirit. Today people have to an extent lost trust in their leaders and it shows. But not in “Stats”.
Siding with Calvin here, for more reasons than even he states successfully.
Well, Calvin makes some good points. There is a lot more to poverty than income, but we need to know the stats as well. If you don’t like my news about income disparity, I have some even worse news about the GST increase that Calvin and Mike mentioned. I have to do some calculations first.
The ODT have been very fair today. Thanks ODT OnLine.
Happy Talky Talky Happy-talk….
Calvin. In the 1950s did you have SkyTV, 50-inch plasma tv, two cars to a household, Kentucky Fried, Big Macs, smartphones, taken to school by car, refrigerators, dishwasher? The list goes on and on. Most of this can be found in examples of what is being described as people in poverty.
Sally, from your list I only have a cheap smartphone. My landlord’s old fridge-freezer freezes everything so it doesn’t count.
Jimmy and Sally. I hope your own worlds don’t go belly up and you are in the difficult position of having to rely on others- whether it is family/friends or the public purse.
Jimmy. Social/economic policy cannot be run entirely from a ledger book. This would be antisocial and inhuman.
Sally. You forgot fags and booze from your list. Always ‘funny’ when you see such spending by wealthy/comfortably off men through pilfering the public purse to satiate their lusts.
Sally. Nope! Didn’t have most of those things. Didn’t feel deprived either. We did have electricity at a much lower proportion of income. The taxpaying public, of course built and owned the generation, distribution systems as well. There were no overseas shareholders sucking out the profits by way of dividends either. We had an inefficient rail system, only because of mismanagement and interference by the politicos. But we made it here in New Zealand by fully employed tradesmen. Hillside made South Dunedin a thriving area. We had woollen mills, clothing manufacturers, creating both product wealth and gainful employment. The Globalisation policies being pursued by governments now, have devastated all that. But, as Jimmy says, we are in a ‘rocket economy’, the ‘stats’ and John Key will tell you that as well. It’s the money traders’ world now and look where it has taken us. Worse, look where it is going. If anyone thinks we, and the world, can operate indefinitely purely on the creating of more debt with never a day of reckoning to come, then they live in ‘cloud cuckoo’ land. The poverty and social breakdown we are experiencing now will seem like paradise when the ‘bubble’ bursts and the bailiffs really move in.
Calvin, you write “We had an inefficient rail system, only because of mismanagement and interference by the politicos.” That was true, looking at it purely as a business. It would have benefited from more efficiency so that wagons didn’t get lost for months in a siding somewhere near Hokitika, but there’s more to it than that. Those government departments were great at sucking up “unemployment”, in other words over-manning. Sounds bad, sounds wasteful, sounds like politically making the unemployment stats look good, doesn’t it? But then there’s that “more to it”. Instead of being jobless, on a benefit, people stayed in work. They had to maintain the habits of getting up every morning and getting to the workplace on time. They weren’t free to lie around till afternoon then get into mischief, you know, the mischief the devil provides for idle hands. They had an answer to that conversational opener, “And what do you do, Jack?” The long term social advantages of keeping people in work, not losing the work habit, not getting into the entitlement, something-for-nothing, no pride, no self-respect way of life was worth the relatively small expense of over-manning in the public service in periods when there weren’t many jobs around in the public sector.
Jimmy, you said that the ODT has been very fair today. Right on! I’ve just read today’s editorial.”Cleansing process needed”. If you didn’t know, you would think someone was “beamed down” from outer space and wrote that. A total ‘rap’ for the ODT. Goodness me, John Key and his bunch of ‘goons’ have finally gotten under the ODT’s skin. Perhaps now we might get some real interrogation of this crowds credentials.
Cameron Slater to face court on charges