The Jackal
 


27 Jul 2021

Taxpayers' Union gets destroyed

The Taxpayers’ Union scored another own goal yesterday when they decided to have a go at well-known journalist David Farrier (not to be confused with David Farrar) over Government funding he’d received to make a documentary.


While that slinging match isn’t really worth reporting on, being that it was mainly just a couple of privileged white guys calling each other names, the adjoining thread by a guy called Nick is worth chronicling.

Nick absolutely demolishes the Taxpayers’ Union, which is likely why one of their founding members, Jordan Williams, attempted to distance himself from his organisations online activity.

So for posterity’s sake, here are Nick’s accurate and informative tweets concerning the TPU:


24 Jul 2021

When tough on crime goes wrong

If there’s one thing that you can safely rely on, it’s right-wing politicians grandstanding with tough on crime rhetoric. It's understandable being that such propaganda is usually a sure bet, obviously because a very large proportion of the public wants to see less crime and fewer criminals in their communities.

However every once in a while the tough on crime message goes terribly awry, which is exactly what has happened for the National Party lately. Their law and order messaging has largely been lost because of Judith Collins over-egging the situation, not to mention the various missteps by National's current police spokesperson, Simeon Brown.

Crusher Collins, who is clearly fighting tooth and nail at the moment to keep her job as leader of the opposition, was again crying wolf this week when she point blank demanded that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sack her Police Minister, Poto Williams.


On Wednesday, Newshub reported:


National leader Judith Collins calls for Police Minister Poto Williams' sacking

Collins made the call after Williams was interviewed by Newstalk ZB about National MP Simeon Brown wanting to bring back Armed Response Teams (ARTs), which were trialled last year and discontinued. 

Williams was asked if she agreed with a statement issued by the group People Against Prisons Aotearoa after Police Commissioner Andrew Coster confirmed ARTs would not go ahead.

Williams said she was "not giving them the time of day", referring to People Against Prisons Aotearoa's statement, but she did not condemn Rākete's words either, which Collins says is unacceptable.

"The interview was a train wreck from beginning to end and quite frankly it is time the Prime Minister steps in to replace her with someone who is capable of advocating for and caring about police officers."


Trying to bully the Minister of Police by calling for her to be sacked over what is essentially a none-issue isn’t going to sit well with anybody but the most deluded right-wing supporter. In fact what this type of false accusation does is dilute National’s overall law and order campaigning, particularly when an opportunity to make political capital out of a topical issue does actually present itself.

However that’s not the only thing that’s been diluting what should be brand messaging for the National Party. The Government has been very proactive about developing policies concerning crime prevention, which means there just isn’t much leeway for the floundering opposition to get very tough on crime in the first place. That unfortunately hasn’t stopped them from trying though.


Last Sunday, Stuff reported:


National Party leader Judith Collins asks auditor general to investigate $2.75m for Mongrel Mob-led rehab programme

“The money should never have gone to the gang, but what makes it more concerning is that the recipient of the funds is senior Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam and his company H2R,” she said.

“This is serious. At best this is a very bad decision from a Government who would rather cosy up to gangs than keep New Zealanders safe.”

National Party police spokesman Simeon Brown also wrote to the Auditor General over the Chief Human Rights Commissioner’s $200 koha to the Waikato Mongrel Mob. Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt spoke at an event in May and a koha was laid at the pōwhiri in line with tikanga or Māori custom.


The problem for the National Party in this instance is that they’re arguing against good evidence showing that the gang-run rehabilitation program actually works. It therefore doesn’t matter how many times National MPs say that the money is going to support criminals, because the facts speak for themselves.

Most voters will realise that if a rehabilitation program results in fewer gang members using meth, then the Government should be funding it. Better yet, if that funding comes from the proceeds of crime, which essentially means that P money is being used to help people get off meth, then why would anybody oppose it?

A very high percentage of Kiwis will also have a pretty good understanding of what koha is and find it entirely acceptable for the Chief Human Rights Commissioner to provide a $200 payment at the appropriate time and place. In fact it would be more newsworthy if the Commissioner had somehow failed to make such a contribution.

In my opinion, Simeon Brown really does need to find a better bogyman than a Government official who is simply doing the right thing by following many decades of Maori protocol.

Likewise, Collins would be well advised to keep a lid on her unbridled hatred towards the Labour Party, who according to the world's third largest market research company Ipsos is now crushing National on all 20 top issues of public importance, including law and order.

The National Party should also have learnt an important lesson about too much tough on crime rhetoric. When the MSM started reporting on Michael Laws for instance, who was making similar anti-gang noises, it pretty much signalled an end to his political career.

That result could well be why most of the MSM has chosen not to report very much on National’s latest bout of unhinged bravado, not just because it isn’t very newsworthy, but also because it makes the blue “team” look unelectable and incredibly short sighted! So myopic in fact that most voters will simply look right past Crusher and her cabal of closed minded fools when deciding who should govern this great country of ours.

22 Jul 2021

Talley’s Group Ltd - Arsehole of the Week


In our modern world, it shouldn't be too much to ask that businesses operating in New Zealand be run in an ethical and safe manner, should it? I mean surely our fellow Kiwis should be treated fairly while undertaking an honest days work, shouldn't they?

It’s not as if any of our large food and beverage producing companies for instance, with exports worth well over $34 billion per year, are somehow unable to afford safe and healthy work sites.

In fact in my opinion, if such companies refuse to improve and cannot maintain the bare minimum of standards, then they should simply be shut down. Otherwise we risk a substantial percentage of our workforce being permanently incapacitated either through injury or death, which is a true disaster in not just an economic sense of the word.

However despite our lawful employment regulations being well known, which should ensure every employee is valued and gets to go home to their families after work, here we are once again talking about workers being mistreated. We're still seeing numerous employees being injured and killed while at work, which is simply not an acceptable nor sustainable way to operate.

Perhaps the worst offender in New Zealand for treating worker’s as an expendable commodity is a highly profitable food manufacturer called Talley’s Group Ltd. This unethical company has been inexplicably getting away with ignoring people's valid concerns and the Governments already weak health and safety requirements for numerous years.


Yesterday, 1 News reported:


Over 170 Talley's staff injured at three sites in one year, probe reveals

Food manufacturing giant Talley’s recorded 174 separate injuries to workers over the course of a single year at its three manufacturing sites in Marlborough, a 1 NEWS investigation can reveal.

Earlier this month, photos were leaked of filthy machines at the Ashburton factory despite Talley's CEO Tony Hazlett saying the machines are cleaned regularly.

The company runs a massive operation in Marlborough - their marketing material showing the production of seafood, vegetables and more.

But now, 1 NEWS has obtained leaked documents, revealing what those ads don't show - the human impact.

An internal report shows there were 174 injuries in Blenheim, Havelock and Picton alone between October 2019 and September 2020 - an average of one every two or three days.


It’s one thing to have a dangerous work site to begin with, but it’s quit another to continue to put workers at risk of injury, sickness or death knowing full well that those dangers exist. In effect Talley’s has been playing Russian roulette with people’s lives, which isn’t just a bad look for the company, it’s a bad look for New Zealand as well.

Of course Talley’s is fully aware of what this type of bad press will do to their bottom line. That’s why when news recently broke about the dangerous and unsanitary practices at Talley’s factories, their first reaction was to try and close down reporters by threatening legal action.

Thankfully those legal threats failed, mainly because 1 News has been careful to report only the facts. But you’ve got to wonder what other underhanded tactics Talley’s has been employing that has allowed them to continue with such bad health and safety practices for so long?


1 NEWS has spoken to two anonymous whistleblowers who add to that - claiming health and safety concerns are regularly ignored at the Blenheim plant.

“They just want to ignore you, and brush it under a carpet because there's paperwork that comes with it, and it's put in the too hard basket, or it's going to cost too much money,” one said.

It was also alleged that when staff do file reports, they're often not followed up.

“I never heard back about any of it - one was very serious, I wouldn't have gone home to my family,” a complainant said.


It’s not as if Talley’s Group Ltd cannot afford to make proper improvements to ensure workers are safe either. After all, they had annual revenue of nearly a billion dollars last year, so any failure to upgrade and therefore continue to put workers in danger is clearly not just an oversight. Instead it's a cold and calculated decision to maximise profits at their worker's expense.

However that’s not the only reason Talley’s has won this week's Arsehole Award. With the world currently crying out for ethically produced goods, we simply cannot allow our credibility as a world leading food producing nation to be tarnished by substandard companies like Talley’s.

Without question the bad business practices as those displayed by Talley’s Group Ltd risks wasting years of hard work and millions of dollars in Government funded advertising campaigns. Sadly that substantial investment and our hard won international reputation is something that Talley’s has been trying to flush down the toilet.

Combine this substantial cost with their Managing Director Peter Talley bribing corrupt right-wing politicians in order to try and stop any oversight of their environmentally damaging fishing practices plus the more recent reports of them just dumping untreated chemicals down the drain, and Talley's is a clear winner for a prized Arsehole Award.

In truth, and considering their previous unwarranted legal threats against now deceased union leader Helen Kelly, plus the historic mistreatment of workers during their brutal 2012 lockout, it's surprising that Talley’s Group Ltd hasn’t previously won a coveted Roger Award as well.

Perhaps CAFCA, given just how bad this shameful company has become, might consider starting those prestigious awards again? They've certainly got at least one worthwhile winner, and likely many more nominations for Talley's Group Ltd, who are justifiably now receiving the recognition they so clearly deserve.

To this effect, please consider supporting better business practices by banning Talley's produced products. Because without the public sending market signals to these unethical businesses, it's unlikely that anything will change for the better.

20 Jul 2021

Plague ships put elimination strategy at risk


I’m sure you’ll agree that so far New Zealand has been very lucky in our fight against Covid-19. Even with the opening up of our borders with Australia, which is having a third wave of infections that's getting out of control, Aotearoa has dodged a bullet that most other countries haven’t been able to avoid.

However our luck might just be about to run out with the arrival of plague ships carrying numerous infected crew members who could potentially breach our borders, which are obviously a lot harder to maintain at harbours compared to international airports. 


On Sunday, 1 News reported:


Playa Zahara fishing vessel with Covid-positive crew arrives at Lyttelton Port

The Playa Zahara fishing vessel with 16 Covid-positive crew members on board has docked in Lyttelton Port this morning.

Three of the 18 crew members on the vessel Friday tested positive for the more contagious Delta variant, according to the Ministry of Health.

"The most recent crew aboard the Playa Zahara had arrived in New Zealand on June 18 and spent two days at a managed isolation facility in Auckland. They provided negative pre-departure tests before arriving in New Zealand and again tested negative before boarding the ship."


Two days in managed isolation is hardly enough time to ensure they weren't contagious. I mean who exactly is pulling the Ministry of Health’s strings here to get these fishermen released early?

But if that wasn’t bad enough, we also have container ships arriving with infected crews as well.


Today, 1 News reported:


Seven more crew onboard container ship at Bluff test positive for Covid-19

Seven more crew members onboard the Mattina container ship, currently in quarantine in Bluff, have now tested positive for Covid-19, this Ministry of Health has confirmed.

There are currently nine cases linked to the vessel after two were announced yesterday.

The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel came into port on Sunday night and all 21 crew members were tested yesterday morning after two crew members initially reported having virus symptoms.

All crew remain on the ship as health officials from Southern DHB work with other agencies to determine the next steps, the ministry said.

A further 16 Covid-positive crew members onboard the Viking Bay fishing vessel were also transferred to quarantine facilities in Wellington. Thirteen of the cases tested positive for the more contagious Delta variant.


You’ve got to wonder why authorities allowed people who haven’t been properly tested or quarantined to get onto these vessels in the first place? You’ve also got to wonder why the taxpayer and not the fishing or shipping companies are now picking up the tab for this failure?

Furthermore, how exactly did all their tests initially come back negative when so many of these crew members are infected? This clearly shows that the testing these companies use isn’t robust enough and therefore cannot be relied upon.

Evidently the MoH's systems for checking crews in New Zealand aren’t up to scratch either. And until this problem is rectified, we should be putting a halt to all foreign fishing crews from working in our territorial waters. It’s not as if our already depleted fishing stock couldn’t do with a break if Covid free crews cannot be found. Yet here we are still importing foreign labor and putting our entire Covid-19 elimination strategy at risk.

It would only take one infected crew member to leave their ship for all our hard work to be undone. However there's another risk to not turning these plague ships around as well. Studies have shown that Covid can survive on frozen fish and packaging for a very long time. We should therefore be doing everything in our power to ensure no more infected crews arrive in New Zealand. Because if there’s one thing that Covid-19 should have taught us by now, it's that any weakness in our defences will be exploited.

18 Jul 2021

Some farmers are sick puppies

I'm not sure if you're aware, but there's a significant problem within our farming community that needs to be addressed, and that’s this whole belief that Labour is anti-farming. The reality is that the current Government loves farmers. From free trade agreements that open up new markets to keeping farming largely out of the ETS and making trades training in critical industries like farming free, Labour has in fact done more for farming than National could ever have dreamed of.

The incorrect belief that Labour opposes farming couldn’t have been more evident than when a few farmers decided to have a protest this week. And despite all their bravado, the reason for the protest was as confused as the rabble that attended, who couldn’t write a good protest sign to save themselves. 

These signs are in fact the crux of the matter, so without further ado, here’s a sample of some of the more messed up signs that were on display:


This is not fantasy Island

We are at regulation saturation

David Parker hates farmers

Let farmers do what farmers do best - feeding our nation

You hug the mob and just leave us to growing food

What happened to being kind Jacinda?

Without farming you would be hungry, naked and sober

What does Jacinda & toilet paper have in common? They are both full of shit!

No! To the land grab!

No! To car tax No! To three waters No! To gangs

No farms No growers No food

Over ploughing through red tape

I am a proud NZ farmer NOT a Pakeha farmer “James Shaw”

Black Utes matter

Jacinda Kiwi’s do NOT want Communism

Fish + chips + Communism = your worst nightmare

You can buy my mongrel for $2.75 million

Minister Shaw will make us all poor

Farming is not an experiment

Aotearoa… the land of the long list of bullshit bureaucratic regulations

We want Democracy not Dictatorship!!

Cindy = Stalin

Taxinda is Uteless

Jacinda is a Communist bitch

Tanked economies ruin lives

Food for thought Less BS! More science

MAGA Make Ardern Go Away

Climate change happens every time it’s cold weather

Stop racial rural discrimination!!

Try milking a pine tree

Dump loony rules let us farm

No Utes No gas stoves No cows & sheep Just pine trees

Dirty coal = electric vehicles

Eat this Good intentions don’t excuse bad policy

We may be just some Pakeha farmers James Shaw, but guess what? You’re only an MP

We live in New Zealand not Aotearoa! Stop ramming Maori language down our throats.

Parker your tax up your arse!

No to Comy bitch

No farmer no food

We support Famers Labour Greens don’t

Don’t bite the hands that feed you

Us farmers love our land and love our animals. We are not rapists

Labour+Greens Policy Agenda = Systemic Genocide of NZ Famers


Judith Collins was even photographed posing next to that last sign in what could only be described as unspoken support for a claim that is clearly entirely incorrect! In fact most of those signs are well off the mark and make me wonder if there isn’t some sort of mass hysteria event going on?

The Government clearly isn’t trying to get rid of farms and no one is trying to ethnically cleanse farmers either. There’s also no comparison between the PM and Stalin nor any truth to the claim that Jacinda Ardern is a communist or a dictator.

Furthermore, the Government isn't ramming the Maori language down people’s throats. In fact my advice to anybody who doesn't like one of our official languages being used is to simply leave Aotearoa.

These racist right-wing farmers have clearly lost the plot, but none more so than this guy who took the time to paint a picture that depicts the Prime Minister raping a sheep.



But if all that wasn’t bad enough, the National Party also added to the cringe factor by running a hurt butt campaign as well.


On Friday, 1 News reported:


Farmers are 'getting it in the behind', Collins says of new National ad

"Farmers are actually really feeling like they're really getting it in the behind, they don't like it," Judith Collins said today as National released a new advertisement depicting arrows going into farmers' backsides. 

Collins said farmers were "united and the public are saying [that] too, they're with them".


Crusher is clearly living in la la land if she believes that a majority of the public thinks farmers are getting it in the behind from the Government. Even if there was some truth to the claim that farmers are being over-taxed or over-regulated (which there isn't), making light of anal rape is never a good thing, especially when we’re talking about an electioneering advert for the largest opposition party in Parliament. 



This type of politicking is sure to turn middle New Zealand off of Collins and her small cabal of reactionary idiots, many of whom are more interested in producing juvenile Twitter memes than developing any actual new policy initiatives that might help our farmers feed the world.

In fact this type of extremism on display doesn’t bode well for the right wing. Trying to attract voters by getting your supporters to waive objectionable placards around or simply opposing everything the Government is doing with outrageous and factually incorrect slogans is going to result in a hiding to nowhere for the National Party.

And as a show of force for the right-wing, the farmer protest was pretty piss poor really. So weak in fact that they had to steal images from overseas farmer protests to try and make Kiwis believe that they’ve got the numbers.



These sick puppies really are pathetic!

17 Jul 2021

Mike King needs to get his shit together

If there is one thing that we need more of in New Zealand, it’s good people who actually give a damn about preventing suicides.

That’s because despite a small reduction in 2020, our already incredibly high suicide rates have been getting even worse over recent years, which clearly points to a lack of adequate services and an increase of things that disproportionately effect those most at risk, like poverty and inequality.

However what we don’t need is people using their own failings to have a go at a Government who clearly cares about suicide prevention and is working hard to reduce those terrible statistics.


On Tuesday, Newshub reported:


Mike King lashes Jacinda Ardern over funding for Mongrel Mob rehab scheme but not Gumboot Friday

Mike King has hit out at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over funding a Mongrel Mob-run rehab programme, but not his charity Gumboot Friday. 

But King slammed the Prime Minister after his pleas for funding were turned down.

Last month, the Ministry of Health rejected funding for Gumboot Friday, which was founded by King and provides free counselling for young people. The ministry said Gumboot Friday's funding application was outside the timeframe for procurement, meaning it could not be funded. 

In a Facebook video posted on Monday night, King criticised the Prime Minister for giving the Mongrel Mob programme funding, but not his charity.


On Thursday, Newshub reported:


Mike King slams National for 'pretending' to care about Gumboot Friday, 'offensive meme'

Mental health campaigner Mike King has lashed out at the National Party, accusing them of 'pretending' to care about his charity Gumboot Friday. 

It comes after National MP Chris Bishop posted a meme on his Facebook page on Wednesday mocking Labour for funding a meth rehab but not King's charity. The meme was also shared by Simeon Brown. 

... 

On Monday, King slammed the Prime Minister's choice to fund the meth programme but not his charity, despite missing the funding deadline.  

In a Facebook video, King said he didn't have an issue with the programme being given money, but he took issue with Ardern taking credit for it despite telling him she couldn't be involved in deciding whether his charity got money or not.


If King didn’t have a problem with the Government funding a Mongrel Mob run meth rehabilitation program, then why did he complain about it on Tuesday?


"When I asked you to have a conversation about it in the Koru Club, you looked me in the eye and you said, 'Mike I cannot get involved in this, we have a fair and equitable system and I cannot be involved in funding decisions'.


Even though they're related, a drug rehabilitation program obviously has different funding criteria than suicide prevention services. King must know this, which makes his complaint even more dumbfounding!

However what really makes me wonder if King has his heart in the right place and isn't simply using suicide as a political weapon here is that he never applied for funding in the first place.


Yesterday, Newshub reported:


Mike King addresses 'misinformation' about Gumboot Friday funding, says he never applied

Mike King is blasting the Ministry of Health for its "blatant lie" that the mental health advocate failed to get his funding application for Gumboot Friday in by the deadline - arguing that in fact, he never applied at all.

In a video posted to his Facebook on Friday, King addressed what he says is misinformation circulating around the funding of Gumboot Friday, and urged people not to believe it.

"The fact is, I have never applied for funding for Gumboot Friday - we have never put in an application and if you haven't put in an application, it can't be late."


This is no joke. Surely the comedian should have actually applied for funding before going on the news to complain about not receiving any? We wouldn’t then have numerous right wing propagandists jumping on the bandwagon to have a crack at Labour about Gumboot Friday missing out.

Now I don’t mean to join the pile on, but King really does need to get his shit together. Because this type of flakiness obviously doesn’t help anybody who might be considering suicide. They will be taking these types of complaints and the mainstream medias misinformation at face value, and may even believe that there’s no help available at all.

You've also got to wonder how exactly we're meant to have the conversation about suicide with such a large amount of blatant disinformation going on?

Notwithstanding what the right wing wants us to believe, the Labour led Government has in fact been working towards solutions to turn the tide. First they had an inquiry that resulted in the He Ara Oranga report, a suicide prevention action plan and a dedicated Suicide Prevention Office. They also established the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. Combine that with increased funding for mental health and addiction services and we should soon be seeing a gradual reduction in our world leading suicide statistics.

Sure, not much of that unprecedented $1.9 billion the Government allocated to support the mental wellbeing of New Zealanders has gone out the door (23% allocated with 6.6% spent to date), but this is light years ahead of anything National ever did under John Key.

So just take a deep breath there Mike King. Because if you don’t do the mahi and get your funding applications in on time, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.


Where to get help:


1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825