The Daily Blog Watch Tuesday 30 April





Today’s Daily Blog Watch Round-Up of matters that have attracted the attention, assessments, and articulations of this country’s leading bloggers…


TDB Recommends



NZ Left Blogosphere

Chris Trotter asks on Bowalley Rd,  Why Isn’t The Left As Angry As The Right? , and observes that the rhetoric from the right always seems to be more emotionally hysterical than left-wing responses.

Why is the Right able to get away with extreme language like “Economic sabotage!”, “North Korean Economics!”, “Half-Baked Soviet Union-Style Nationalisation!”, etc, whilst the Left is more temperate? Chris offers his insights and  reasons.

Bat Bean Beam offers a slice of history in The death party, contrasting the deaths of Ialian fascists Mussolini and some of his cronies, with that and Margaret Thatcher.  Insightful. And slightly chilling.

How does a person from a peaceful society – untainted by vicious warfare – relate to someone who has  been brutalised by years of  repressive or violent conflict?

Some recommended reading from QoT on Ideologically Impure.

Catherine Delahunty on Frogblog  confirms that Sports is missing from the Race Relations Commissioner criteria and points out the real criteria, according to legislation,

a)    Has an understanding of current race relations in New Zealand, and of the origins and development of those relations:

b)    Has an appreciation of issues or trends in race relations arising in other countries or internationally, and of the relevance of those issues or trends for New Zealand.

Read it. Re-read it. Nope, nothing about requirements to be a celebrity sportsperson.

And Denise Roche writes about the  Fight for the living and mourn for the dead: Workers Memorial Dayand reminds us that,

“Unionised workforces have safer working conditions and better pay rates because workers are free to participate in dialogue with their employers about health and safety and negotiations around their wages and conditions. The National Government changes are simply a mechanism to further reduce union rights and it puts workers at risk.”

The Pike River Mine disaster and Cave Creek platform collapse are evidence of deadly consequences when de-regulation is implemented: people lose their lives. Ditto in the forestry sector.

No Right Turn informs us that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to hit 400 parts per million in the next few days. Idiot/Savant warns us that we haven’t got much time left to avert a catastrophic environment disaster.

I/S presents a story that is Sickening – and straight out of the Twilight Zone. This is so bizarre that it reminds me of something that The Civilian or Imperator Fish might write as satire.

But it’s not satire. It real.

This is the Three Strikes concept, taken to a twisted, sickening end-conclusion.

I/S also puts another Size 9 boot into National’s celebrity-cronyism. When one reads of the ludicrous facts surrounding Devoy’s appointment, it all gets more and more cringeworthy.

Imperator Fish – our other beloved satirical blogger – points out just why it is that   Business elites denounce threat to their profits – and it is heart-wrending (note sarcasm). Imperator Fish takes the piss with this delightful piece of writing,

“By way of example, the NZ Power announcement spooked the capital markets and led to a massive destruction of shareholder value, which in turn resulted in a loss in the value of many Kiwisaver funds. This potential disaster was only averted when the sharemarket continued to go up and up, resulting in an increase in the value of those same Kiwisaver funds.”


And find out who Imperator Fish has made  An apology to.

On The Pundit, Andrew Geddis writes that If we’re really, really going to be honest, we might as well be brief. Dunedin Mayor, David Cull, has  kowtowed to  his Chinese hosts (after a recent visit to China) – and snubbed the visiting Dalai Lama. Money talks big in New Zealand, and Cull is no exception,

[I]t was important to recognise China’s ”sensitivities”, [Cull] said.

I’m quite conscious of the Chinese sensitivity around anyone meeting the Dalai Lama, or engaging with him.

‘China has a clear view that … it’s a unified country, and Tibet’s part of it.

And in case you’re wondering why Cull’s eyes appear so dead – it’s because they are soulless. (Having sold his soul on the open market some time ago.)

By the way, is this the same David Cull who berated National for outsourcing work to build locomotives to South Korea and China? Why, yes, I believe it is;  Hundreds turn out for Hillside.

And the same David Cull who said this, about his Chinese hosts,

This is frankly a form of economic vandalism. What are we mounting here? An economic development strategy for China?”-  KiwiRail under fire over job cuts

Welcome to New Zealand in the 21st Century. We are owned.

Also on The Pundit, Tim Watkin writes whilst Standing on the wobbly constitutional deck, that we have a very narrow window of opportunity to address our current constitutional review – and that it’s best achieved now, rather than during a crisis. Worth a read – Tim raises good points on this issue.

Frankly Speaking sees Frank focusing on,

Also a tribute to Parekura Horomia’s passing on Maui  Street,  Moe mai rā e te rangatira.

Also, Parekura’s comrades in the Labour Party pay their tributes on Red AlertParekura Horomia- our friend, our chief.

On his blog, Media, Brian Edwards shares an  Anecdote about A Lovely Man about Parekura,

“A dominant theme will run through all the obituaries and tributes to Parekura Horomia – that he was a lovely man. It will be unnecessary to remind anyone who knew him of the injunction not to speak ill of the dead. The thought will simply not occur. He was a lovely man and little more needs to be said.”

Transparency NZ reports that  John Banks prosecution has been referred to the Solicitor General by decision of Judge Mill. This is a private prosecution by Wellington businessman, Graham McCready, and takes up where Police failed to act. Justice may yet be done.

Phillip writes on Whoar,   “..The Green Party says critics of its proposals to regulate the electricity sector should declare any financial relationships they have with industry – claiming many are ‘in the pockets’ of power companies..”

Which is a valid point. After all, it took a while before First NZ (a share broking firm highly critical of NZ Power) was revealed to be deeply involved in the floating of Mighty River Power.  It behoves the media to publish disclosures for any critics of the Labour-Green electricity single buyer desk, NZ Power.

Also on Whoar, Phillip also writes briefly about  Comic Books’ Rapid Takeover of Hollywood..”

Phillip has been productive  – plenty of blogposts from him  today!

Tim writes in Tumeke, how to  Keep Auckland Guessing, and suggests alternatives to building more roads OR public transport.

Meanwhile, the Auckland Transport Blog congratulates TV3’s Campbell Live for finally Finally some balance in the Housing debate. Matt L writes,

“What I really liked is that they talked to a couple of urban design experts at the Auckland Uni and showed some good international examples of density done well. Perhaps importantly, those examples were not from Europe but other “New World” cities. I do feel that there are two things that will be key to changing peoples perceptions of higher density, the first is getting well designed and built dwellings and the second the amenities that come as a result of density increases. Its also well worth remembering what Lachlan Forsyth said at the end of his piece, change is not something to be afraid of.”

Good stuff.

On The Standard,

So far we’ve had merchant bankers and share-brokers (connected to the Mighty Rive Power share float; Doug Heffernan (CEO of Mighty River Power) and “experts” connected to the energy sector – all condemning the single buyer desk, NZ Power. Let’s repeat it three times,

Vested interests!

Vested interests!

Vested interests!


Geoff Bertram states in today’s DomPost (repeated on that he advised the Select Committee on the Mighty River Power sale legislation that the excessive profits gained by the power companies were potentially subject to regulatory interest by any government that placed consumer interest ahead of the companies’ interests. The Government and the companies cannot say they were not warned.

Bertram says:

So how big is the regulatory risk facing the electricity generators? Suppose a New Zealand government regulates the big generator-retailers.

The first decision would be how much of the companies’ declared book values would be allowed to stand. A US regulator would aim for a write-down to historic cost; a British one would settle for indexed historic cost (that is, they would allow regulated asset values to have risen with the consumer price index since the assets were “vested” in the new companies).

Having heard Geoff Betram speak, the guy is totally clued-up with our electricity industry. It is a sign of our mad times that people with ideas such as Bertram are on the “outer” – whilst the public elect idealogues into power. Read the full blogpost – it’s well worth ten minutes of your time.
  • Karol reports in Networks of influence: (dis)Advantage NZ,


    “An Advantage New Zealand conference is happening at the moment at John Key’s favourite conference centre (SkyCity), with major players in the oil and gas industries sharing ideas, and strategies.  They are promoting and backing each others’ profit-making enterprises, no matter how destructive to our environment and lives. And as part of the way they work to give themselves public legitimacy, they wine, dine and play golf in expensive surroundings.

    With the comprehensive website and cost of the conference and it’s affiliated activities, it’s clear these people back themselves as major players.  It certainly indicates a different kind of networks from the kind I know.  The conferences I have been to cost nowhere near as much, as this $2000 full delegate deal: a and that’s on top of airfares for overseas delegates and accommodation at SkyCity.  these are people with money to burn!  And they’ll use it to burn our environment too.”

    Karol also asks if  “Key will be sounding out any delegates for future jobs, while at the Advantage NZ conference?”



Blog Post of the Day

Imperator Fish, with Transforming our labour market: a guest post by Phil O’Reilly. A brilliant satirisation of  Phil O’Reilly and other business people trying to persuade us that higher and higher electricity prices are really, really, really good for us.

But still no pie for us.

Fabulously funny. Read and chuckle – it’s at the expense of neo-liberals.



Thought for the Day