The Daily Blog Open Mic – Wednesday – 6th May 2020


Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.


  1. Absolutely NO surprises that the problems with Immigration NZ have finally jumped up and bitten I L-G on the bum (yet again), Two items on RNZ this morning (one from lawyer Small, the I L-G himself) showing just what a bugger’s muddle the outfit has become – struggling from one crisis to another) and then

    – the back logs
    – the unpreparedness for border shutdown and the need to move swiftly (not just for lil ‘ole NuZulln that punches above its weight), but also for the needs of people being exploited (imported mostly under false pretences then tipped out, and not only ripped off by the unscrupulous but by the department itself)
    – elements of racism and colonial attitude. Even bullying by managerialists (witness the staff turnover, the Cassons, the muppetry on occasions)
    – the problems with Information Technology

    But then what would you have expected putting it under a monolith neo-liberal Ministry with a business focus with the usual imperatives and culture that go with them. Rationailse!!!, Cut Costs!!! look for “synergies” that suit all that rather than what is best for the people it is intended to SERVE.
    They can keep of restructuring the outfit for all they’re worth but it will simply be tinkering.
    Oh – yet another failing (Joint Customs/INZ possibly): Just airing is an item that people have been able to arrive on private flights and boats.

    Enough said that the whole project began with Coleman and Joyce – their motivations have been clear for a very long time if you look at their “successes” with the wonderful contributions they made; health, novapay et al.
    Its probably time we had something like a Dept of Civic and Citizens’ Affairs that not only dealt with the issues of the boring – such as births, deaths and marriages, passports et al, but also looking at the benefits and requirements or otherwise of immigration (including refugees) and residency. But whatever, its time this whole joke of a Ministry was given a bloody big shakeup

    • Hi OwT +100
      I lost my last reply – where oh where? MoBie – whale of a Dept being hunted for its poisonous effect on good value NZ. NZ is touted as an efficient, effective business entity, NZ Inc. yet when unprofitable, unsatisfactory results are noted and business would have to accept failure and death, the scene changes and the direction is back to being from a government again.

      It’s just cradle to grave and back again for business here. And businesses have prepared the way by being granted in government laws, the rights to plead as ‘people’. Fighting this is a David and Goliath undertaking, but David has had the size and shape of his stones limited by government legislation of Health and Safety. We could be clever clogs here in little NZ, in parallel with the story of the fight of the two in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, but business will always intervene and direct the legislation in cunning ways to suit their own ends. Can we harpoon that faux whale?

      • Just a quick reply @ Grey, but the emergency legislation that I L-G now deems necessary is probably the least of what is actually needed.
        It’s a pragmatic solution, and really just tinkering to get past the industrialised shit that’s been happening for a decade – despite the warnings over a long long time.
        Really, given a whole lot of things, there are some in senior management roles whose heads need to roll (even IF they come across/have come across as nice enough blokes to their responsible Munster).
        Not only should they roll, but they should never be allowed in any public service roll again.
        And that is absolutely no reflection on the worker-bees in that whole bugger’s muddle of an outfit who’ve done their best in spite of their masters.
        I’m just pleased that after nearly 3 years, the teensiest weensiest weeny bit has necessitated biting the bullet.
        But there are still people in there who’re a big part of the problem. THey’re the sort of people who commissioned things like demographic spreadsheets, and who still advocate for minimal presence in favour automation. They’re technophiles who’d be quite comfortable with electronic voting. (And I say that as a former systems programmer of some experieince)
        But ………. we get what we deserve pretty much, and so if I L-G hasn’t had a fright after this, he never will. After all – he should have been able to rely on the integrity, the ethics, and the advice of his senior departmental masters-of-the-universe – experts as they claim to be – who should have advised him as to gaps in any legislation that allowed private jets and boats into the country after a lockdown.
        But ………… yea/nah

  2. CEAC support the calls “KiwiRail: the need for change”
    Kiwi Rail are now being publicly ridiculed for their hollow choice as to whether to operate rail on east coast regions and we support the public anger building as a result of Kiwi Rails lack of support for these isolated regions.

    Nothing KiwiRail does is showing as a climate change leader even after they bjioned the climate change leaders to do this.

    Kiwi Rail are showing they are only a hollow ‘paper tiger’ now more as being a “climate change denier by not supporting regional rail.


    Peter Wooding
    Saturday’s pronouncement by KiwiRail’s CEO, that “the figures don’t stack up” for reinstating the Turanga ki Wairoa rail line, flies in the face of the fact that KiwiRail was party to the BERL report.
    Have KiwiRail staff been withholding information from their boss? I have been assured by other contributors to the report that the figures are sound. They have not been arrived at by guesswork or a “wet finger in the air” but represent potential costs estimated by professional experts in collaboration with companies in a position to do the work. If Greg Miller thinks KiwiRail would need to charge “five times as much” to do the work then it is obvious that KiwiRail is not the best choice of contractor.
    The BERL report considered that it would take several years to build up the southbound freight volume from Gisborne, but initially there would be enough freight for one 24-wagon train daily. Presumably, Mr Miller does not consider one train per day to be sufficient, but he also does not allow for a period of grace while more freight customers transition from road to rail freight. The need for this transition period is well understood by Government.
    Mr Miller’s remarks about the viability of the line focus solely on its profitability. Where was he last year at Budget time? Has he come across the term “Wellbeing”? Does he know that it is Government policy to expand the rail network for the good of the country as a whole? Even Gavin Murphy of Trust Tairawhiti recognises that this area could benefit from a range of alternatives to road transport.
    Of course, the paradox here is that KiwiRail (as a State-Owned Enterprise) “has to run a commercial business” and “there are no subsidies for the freight network”, and therefore cannot operate simply as a public service. The solution to this impasse is two-fold:
    Create distinct entities that separate the “below rail” (provision of infrastructure) and network control functions from “above rail” operations. Investment in infrastructure can then be provided by central government in accordance with declared policy, independently of the business of conducting profitable operations.
    Allow “open access” to the network. This would enable other operating companies to utilise the network in competition with KiwiRail operations, especially on routes where KiwiRail declines to offer a service. All operators would pay access fees to the government-funded “NZ Rail Network” company.
    The Minister for Transport, as sole shareholder of KiwiRail, is in an influential position to make these changes. I’m sure he would have the full support of the Minister for State Owned Enterprises and the Minister for Regional Development. Maybe the Prime Minister should get them seated at the same table and tell them to get on with it.
    The restoration plan is shovel-ready (obstacles perceived by the GDC CEO are probably incidental to the main task and can be addressed in due course). It is not necessary for GDC to “take the lead” — the project simply awaits the “green light” for implementation of the BERL recommendations. Get the line fixed and then sort the commercial implications. Tairawhiti businesses are waiting; when the resource is available, then is the time to enter into the contracts that Mr Miller wants to see.
    This long-awaited development, promised by the prospective government in 2017, would give us reason to remember 2020 for something else.

  3. NZ was started with some good intentions to be a superior social experiment that would have been swamped by poor ones, except that the PTB in England at that time insisted on better controls (probably remembering that country’s past errors).

    In 1990 we had 150 year celebrations, and we were then deteriorating as a country of principle and enterprise, and 30 years later we have become hard, class ridden, materialistic, only roused a little to concern by sentimental fervour after tragedies. Everything is tainted with the alternative religion of neoliberalim coupled with the populist approach of Rand in unholy marriage. Before 2040 comes, 200 years after the Treaty, will we have totally returned to class-ridden, decadent ways , with the masses controlled by machines, technology, just
    what our forebears sought to escape from??

    Is it impossible to break through that desire for personal advancement and then selfish excess? Yes, no, is it atavistic, what does that mean then for us? Discuss!

    • I think you make too much of the concious choice made by our ancestors. They were always more enculturated in the UK class system tban liberated explorers of a classless way of life. This was always easy for the UK to manipulate at the point where land availability constraints could be blamed on the indigenous population. And it is precisely at this point, in the majority settler relationship to land where class was always going to be re established as those with and those without and the certainty that Maori would be forced into the latter category. The rest as they say is history…
      As for breaking out it is pretty obvious that in a political system that is probably, along with Germany, the most representative in a democracy, only conservative party ideas survive. There is no collective will to bring about any change. Even faced with climate change we were unable to make the necessary adjustments. So I would say that it will be left to a series of little disasters like corona virus to wake us up. And if not then the disasters will get progressively worse. We have lost our ability to look ahead with a plan. But thats really what capitalism is about. No future. Only now. That may sound very Buddhist but its the opposite because money not compassion is the measure of success

      • Hi Spikey
        Against all that I pile all the money spent on education. When we leave after primary and secondary we feel we must know just about the lot. It seems we have been learning a lot of extraneous matter that particularly fits us for a capitalist, command economy. That is why China is doing well I suppose, being streets ahead of us in education and history, they have realised that capitalism ends up like communism anyway; in bothg the ordinary people are managed to think that they are the drivers of the nation.

        Compassion sounds a bit soppy on its own. But would empathy and social cohesiveness represent what is needed? Seeing that those things are not widely available, how can we get on best to enable something to happen. Is our future in Dennis Potter’s Cold Lazarus and Karaoke. The day to day things are hard to deal with when governments follow a ‘rule’ or a default position, that to promise to do something is a bait, to do it and people find they wanted the wrong thing is a baton to hit government with. The rudimentary thinking of careless ensure that many won’t understand that all can’t be satisfied at the same time.

        • I think that education is an area where we really have messed up. You rightly point out our lack of historical perspective. This includes ignorance of all the great thinkers and the progression of ideas. Part of the problem is that everything today reguires testing and the curriculum is so proscribed that there is no opportunity to follow an interesting diversion. Teachers dont get to lead or shove students down overgrown side tracks. And then this is compounded by student loans driving learning down commercial lines. No time to learn or look into anything interesting.
          I was looking recently at the long term vision of people like Lincoln and Roosevelt and Kennedy the last of the true internationalists. It is striking how close their vision of the world was to what China is aiming for with their belt and road infrastructure for the world.
          The weakness of Presidential systems like USA is that 8 years is nowhere near enough time to formulate and set in motion and keep in motion a vision of the future. Its a rule that really makes Trumps more likely because short term is all you can do. Any one half decent is cut off just as they are getting into their stride. If the election process is robust then there should be no need for the rule. Say what you like about Russian or Chinese leaders but if the happen to get good ones then they get the ultimate chance to really put their plans into practice. This in itself makes their system more likely to prevail in the long term.
          We had it good in the days of free tertiary education. Ideas were valued for their own sake. We were the Greeks but in the end the Romans came for us and now theres only utility. Its people like Bob Jones that couldn’t understand that we cant all be satisfied at the same time that threw us to the lions. There wasnt really that much wrong with not getting a new car or whiteware. Especially when you were a kid and allowed to blow up your toys with firecrackers.

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