The Jackal: March 2012

31 Mar 2012

Will Len Brown save face?

On March 8, Auckland Council Investments Limited (ACIL) Chief Executive, Gary Swift said:

Greater labour utilisation formed only part of POAL’s strategy for achieving a better return and it is wrong to assign blame for the current situation on the target, he said. If the target hadn’t been put in the SOI the PoAL board would still be implementing the same strategies.

Personally I don't think that's correct. The industrial dispute between POAL and MUNZ seems to have essentially arisen because Auckland Council required a better return. They allowed ACIL and POAL to undertake whatever changes they thought were required to meet that target.

The Auckland port was in fact already highly profitable, with ACIL able to distribute a 66% higher than budgeted for dividend to Auckland Council in 2011.

ACIL's statement of Intent (PDF) also outlines that they're meant to identify and resolve potential conflicts and keep Auckland Council fully informed of the implications from implementing their long-term strategy in relation to POAL.

Clearly the port was performing better than expected prior to POAL announcing it was going to contract out to try and meet the demand for a 12% return, which is unheard of in the port industry, especially during an economic downturn.

On January 1, a draft copy of the POAL Labour Strategy (PDF) was leaked online, with mediapeopleNZ reporting:

MUNZ National President Garry Parsloe says the document shows POAL management have been pursuing a deliberate strategy of ramping up the current industrial dispute while saying they want to resolve it.

The draft management plan sets out a comprehensive contracting out plan, disparages the ports owners and board of directors, and predetermines there is no intention of seeking a negotiated solution.

"There was never any intention to genuinely negotiate or mediate, there has just been public relations spin and an extreme anti-worker agenda."

POAL did in fact plan to contract out well before collective bargaining commenced in 2011.

They entered negotiations with MUNZ without any actual intention of negotiating in good faith. If you have any doubt that this is the case, here's the Auckland Council 2010/2011 Annual Report (PDF), which states that the POAL Labour Strategy was developed before June 30 2010.

In my opinion, trying to leverage such a huge return has obviously led to the conflict. Being that it's the Auckland Council through ACIL that is demanding a doubling in profits, we can directly attribute blame for the dispute there... and here's the clincher:

To improve the result for 2011/2012 ACIL will be working with the board of POAL to develop a strategic plan which will aim to improve the profitability of the company.

That means ACIL was directly working with POAL on the Labour strategy that has caused all the problems... and through a legislative requirement ACIL had to inform the Auckland Council of that plan as well.

As Mayor of Auckland, it is reasonable to asume that Len Brown would have known about POAL's intention to disregard the Employment Relations Act (PDF), which states that negotiations must be undertaken in good faith. He has an obligation and the power through ACIL to halt POAL from pursuing their destructive labour strategy, which Judge Travis has somewhat curtailed (PDF) last Tuesday.

Len Brown still has the chance to save face by taking control of the situation and ensuring that the dispute does not continue. At the very least he could request that ACIL revise POAL's Labour strategy... he can even reappoint their board of directors if he wants to.

It's not just POAL that the Auckland Council has a stake in either... they own 50% of Seafuels Ltd., which refuels most cruise ships, commercial and container ships around Auckland, they own half of North Tugz, which provides services to both the oil industry and the general cargo berths at Whangarei and Marsden Point and the Auckland Council also have a 27.5% share of United Containers Ltd., which is a leading shipping container distributor amongst other endeavours in New Zealand and Fiji.

So it's safe to say that the Auckland Council is heavily invested in the sector. You can therefore see why they're not intervening in the POAL vs MUNZ dispute... because they will directly benefit from a reduction in wages that wont just be confined to the watersiders.

The sad fact of the matter is that it's a cold-hearted calculation; savings over time from reduced wages is greater than the short-term loss from an industrial dispute. Somebody should tell Len Brown that it doesn't make it right though.

30 Mar 2012

Maori vote excluded

Last week, reported:

Opposition parties say New Zealand has been turned into a "police state" after Parliament last night narrowly passed the Government's controversial Search and Surveillance Bill.

Parliament last night passed by the Bill by 61 votes to 57.

It was opposed by all Opposition parties and the Government's support partner the Maori Party.

Now hang on a second, the vote should have been 60 against the Bill passing because the Maori party did in fact oppose the Search and Surveillance Bill.

Passing the Search and Surveillance Bill is therefore in breach of parliamentary process because the vote was incorrectly lodged/counted.

29 Mar 2012

Phil Heatley - Asshole of the Week

Yesterday, the National party reported:

Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley has welcomed the inquiry into fracking announced today by Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright.

“I look forward to the results of this inquiry. It will enable us to move forward with confidence and a clear understanding of what’s fact and what’s fiction,” Mr Heatley said.

“This inquiry will enable us to consider all our options around fracking, from the consenting process through to work in the field.

Clearly there's a lot more riding on the inquiry than just the way National hands out permits like lollies and how the oil and gas industry goes about fracking New Zealand. There's the question of safety and whether fracking should be occurring at all?

Today, Green MP Gareth Hughes asked Heatley a very direct question:

Will he implement a nationwide moratorium on new fracking wells until the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment can assure the public it is safe?

Phil Heatley said that there would be no moratorium on fracking while the inquiry was being undertaken. He then made a completely unrelated analogy concerning 1080 to justify the idiotic decision.

But that's not the only reason he's won an asshole award. When Gareth Hughes asserted the fact that there had already been fracking incidents in New Zealand that have caused water contamination:

Given we've seen well blowouts, water contamination and consents being breached right now in Taranaki, isn't it prudent to wait until the results are in so we can answer those questions and make sure we've got regulations and practices to protect our water, to protect our communities and to protect our health?

Heatley answered with a boldfaced lie:

The independent body Taranaki regional council went to Hill Laboratories, which is independent to, did water testing who found no effects on water quality.

Gareth Hughes then tabled the Shell Todd Oil Kapuni study (PDF) and the Cheal Petroleum study, both jointly published by the Taranaki regional council that showed water contamination (above the consent limits).

The problem is that most of the acutely toxic chemicals used in fracking are environmentally hazardous, with any amount of discharge damaging. In many cases there is no known safe level of contamination. This is especially the case in context of their cumulative toxic effect.

Gareth Hughes had previously raised the issue in Parliament on 29 February 2012 and tabled documents that Heatley should have read. There have also been a number of MSM reports of groundwater contamination at the Kapuni sites where fracking had occurred, which Heatley as the Energy and Resources Minister should have also read.

If he was unaware, he is therefore completely incompetent and has no place being a Member of Parliament. If he was aware, which is likely the case, he was misleading the House of Representatives. Either way, he's most assuredly an Asshole!

Bronwyn Pullar's list of ACC breaches

The scandal concerning who leaked the letter sent to ACC Minister Judith Collins by former National Party president Michelle Boag aside, there is no doubt that Bronwyn Pullar has been impacted by the governments more strict ACC requirements.

The problem here is that the crisis in ACC is eroding public confidence in what is a world-leading scheme. It's suspicious that this is happening at the precise time National will need to sell their plans to open up accident insurance to private insurers.

Anyway, here is a pretty decent list of some of the problems currently facing claimants:

1. Repeated non disclosure of correspondence regarding Bronwyn’s claim when requested.

2. Extensive disclosure of other claimant’s information to Bronwyn

3. No ability to restrict unauthorised access by 2500+ ACC staff and contractors to files, or medical files

4. Medical records (considered in law to be the most sensitive of personal information) are not given protection which is appropriate to their status and are treated as general documents.

5. Lack of procedure around dealing with statements of correction to incorrect reports

6. Threats of legal action against Bronwyn’s GP for refusing to disclosure non-injury information. Misuse of criminal provisions in ACC legislation.

7. Collection of information for an unlawful purpose

8. False written and oral statements by ACC staff with the purpose of unlawfully procuring medical reports for pecuniary purposes.

9. Defamatory statements by ACC employees

10. Exceeding lawful powers by investigating injuries for which no claim has been made.

11. Derogatory emails by ACC staff

12. Excessive Access to Bronwyn’s files – 1948 accesses within 3 ½ years, by about 150 different individuals, of which 1100 were in a single one year period.

13. Staff accessing files against management instructions

14. ACC167 Consent – used to coerce claimant’s into authorising otherwise unlawful collections of information.

15. Collection of personal information without claimant’s knowledge &/or attempted collection without knowledge

16. Collection and attempts to collect information unrelated to injury/claim

17. Imbalanced and biased decision making by Corporation

18. Covert/inappropriate communication to assessors which bias & negatively influence outcomes against claimants

19. Decision making without reviewing EOS

20. Lack of workability of electronic medical file for lawfully compliant decision making

21. Coercion, Harassment & Bullying, Unreasonable approach in management of claims. Use of threats of disentitlement to coerce

22. Dictatorial approach of Case Managers, failure to make reasonable accommodations for claimant needs.

23. “cherry picking” of unfavourable phrases from medical reports which contradict the ultimate conclusion.

24. ACC abusing its monopoly position by limiting the pool of qualified medical assessors to a select group (some individuals assessors are paid up in excess of $1 million annually for services), leading to the appearance of bias and unfair market practises.

25. Failure to demand adherence of staff to State Services Code of Conduct and to take appropriate action for  breach

26. Failure of Office of Complaints Investigator to independently investigate complaints

27. Failure of Office of Complaints Investigator to follow a reasonable process when conducting investigations

28. Failure of Office of Complaints Investigator to validate the responses provided by ACC with the claimant for accuracy

29. ACC’s case management approach to Bronwyn is disruptive and destructive of her ability to rehabilitate/work part-time

30. ACC staff deliberately lying and writing false reports

31. ACC staff making clinical decisions without appropriate qualification

32. ACC staff making clinical assessments without medical competency

33. Deliberate interference in independent medical assessments

34. Prejudicial correspondence with independent assessors prior to assessments communicating ACC’s desired outcome – that injuries are spent &/or due to non-injury causes

35. Provision of unqualified, non-specialist opinions, by ACC internal medical advisors, contradicting existing specialist advice, prejudicing independent assessors and compromising their independence

36. Branches/Units having Case Managers who made an initial decision then conduct an administrative review of a matter before being sent to DRSL for review

37. Taking advantage of disabled claimants for actuarial/financial gain

38. Poor decision making which adds cost to the Corporation

39. Poor OCI processes which adds cost to the Corporation

40. Lack of flexibility over assessments/appointments/referrals

41. Lack of reasonable consultation and flexibility over assessments/ appointments/referrals

42. Unreasonable referrals/assessments processes which are exploitative e.g., chaperones, multi-party assessments, lack of privacy & dignity

43. Focus on avoiding liability at the expense of effective early rehabilitation

44. ‘Silo’ culture where case managers are unaware of ACC’s own research into rehabilitation best practice

45. Constant churn of case managers – each new case manager is unaware of the medical evidence on file leading to poor decision making and is unaware of claimant’s issues; Avoidance strategy for accountability of actions.

ACC Forum is a good place to read up on some of the thousands of claimants who have had their claims wrongfully dismissed.

28 Mar 2012

Andrew Little on the ACC debacle

If you truly believe in a decent democracy, you would not support the current government who have proven themselves unworthy of their positions.

It’s obvious that they don’t have the best interest of our country and it’s people as a priority. They are in fact self serving narcissistic back stabbing capitalist running dogs… creaming our so-called democracy for their own benefit.

National have no comprehension of what morals, honour and accountability stand for… it’s a vague notion that does not register in their befuddled and bigoted minds. To quote Nick Smith, they should do us all a favour by throwing themselves under a train.

Fracking to be investigated

Today, 3 News reported:

The mining process known as 'fracking' will be officially investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright.

Dr Wright says preliminary work indicated there is a need to examine the issue more closely.

“The work that has been done by my office thus far shows a substantive case for an official investigation under the Environment Act.

“Over the next few months my staff and I will conduct this investigation and produce a report to Parliament.

“I realise this is a hugely contentious issue and I would hope to have a report tabled in the House before the end of this year.”

In fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, a mix of chemicals, sand and water is pumped at high pressure, deep in to the earth, to release oil and gas.

The process is banned in some countries because of concerns it pollutes water supplies and possibly even causes earthquakes.

I have no doubt that the investigation will find fracking to be dangerous. There is no benefit in destroying the environment for the sake of the oil and gas industries profit margin.

In the mean time there should be a moratorium on fracking to ensure further water, land and air contamination does not occur.

Dangerous chemical recalled but not in NZ

Last week, Arysta LifeScience made a press statement (PDF) announcing that it was ceasing sales and withdrawing from the U.S. all of its methyl iodide-containing fumigant formulations:

The decision was made as part of an internal review of the fumigant and based on its economic viability in the U.S.

It just so happens that a major court case decision was due out last week concerning the fumigant's classification. The potential for further litigation from the misclassification of methyl iodide is huge, and Arysta LifeScience has clearly gone into damage control in expectation that the ruling will go against them.

On Monday, CropLife reported:

By now, you may have heard that Tokyo, Japan-based Arystra LifeScience Inc. has decided to stop selling its methyl iodide brand Midas in the U.S. Used primarily as a fumigant for strawberries and other fruit crops, methyl iodide simply wasn’t selling well enough in the country to merit its continued sales here. So as I read this, 1 (manufacturers want to make products that sell) + 1 (product wasn’t selling) = 2 (company stops selling product).

Yet when I read about methyl iodide’s exit from the U.S. market, I was surprised to find several comments from agricultural critics claiming it was their opposition that got the product pulled from use. “Today, I’m really happy,” one critic was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times. “It feels like someone finally listened to us about something really important.” Reading this, the belief from this individual is 1 (manufacturers want to make products that sell) + 1 (product wasn’t selling) + 1 (critic opposition) = 2 (company stops selling product).

In my book, this is a classic example of fuzzy math. I’m certain if the sales were there, Arystra would still be selling methyl iodide in the U.S. (By the way, the company will continue selling the product outside of the U.S., where its sales are better.)

The regular Monsanto advocate Eric Sfiligoj is an idiot to think Arysta LifeScience has suddenly decided MIDAS is not profitable at the precise time a court ruling is likely to find the fumigant was incorrectly classified. It is too much of a coincidence. There's also little alternative available to methyl iodide based fumigants and MIDAS had cornered the U.S. market, making it highly profitable.

Considering that Arysta LifeScience also requested all existing supplies and tanks to be returned, there is no doubt that they have realized that methyl iodide was misclassified and any further profiteering from selling the highly carcinogenic substance could result in legal claims and compensation. That would assuredly make the product less economically viable.

Let's fix the idiots calculation:

1 (manufacturer knows product is dangerous but sells it anyway to make a profit) + 1 (a court decision is likely to find that methyl iodide was initially misclassified opening Arysta LifeScience up to multiple litigations) = 2 (company makes up an excuse to stop selling product and tries to suppress the court decision).

Arysta LifeScience claims that removing the product renders the case moot.

Yesterday, California Watch reported:

“If the judge dismisses the case,” said Paul Towers of Pesticide Action Network North America, one of 17 plaintiffs in the case, “California will have let a pesticide corporation off the hook and failed to fix our broken regulatory system.”

Of course methyl iodide based products are still being sold here in New Zealand. Politicians and ERMA will do their best to ignore the fact that it’s been removed from U.S. shelves, not because it wasn’t making a profit, but because it’s a highly dangerous carcinogen that was initially misclassified.

Methyl iodide could even be contributing to New Zealand having the highest rate of cancer in the world. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

27 Mar 2012

John Key defames

Yesterday, the Timaru Herald reported:

Ambrose said he has faced deadly cyclones in his job, but nothing more overwhelming as battling the media storm created by the teapot tapes.

"I know what I did wasn't criminal. I feel happy in the fact I would never have been found guilty. But saying that, the pressure and stress of it has been huge."

Ambrose's work dropped off and his reputation took a battering, especially when John Key labelled him as using ''News of the World-style tactics" by planting a recording on the table.


While he only received a warning, Ambrose's actions were illegal, Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess said.

Future occurrences were likely to be prosecuted.

"We were satisfied on this occasion that there was [prima facie evidence].

But police decided there was not sufficient public interest in the matter going to court, he said.

"I reached the view that a prosecution was not required in this instance."

In the view of police investigators, the recording was "most likely" on purpose, but at the least "reckless".

Graeme Edgeler sums this up nicely:

Police believe that had this matter been taken to trial, they could not have established all of the elements of the offence, and that Mr Ambrose would therefore have been properly found not guilty, and that any conviction of him on the evidence they could present would have been a miscarriage of justice.

Claiming that there is not enough public interest in the teapot tape debacle is ludicrous! The police have in fact labelled Ambrose a criminal without a trial. This is undoubtedly to ensure Key's complaint isn't viewed as a wasteful employment of police time.

Today, Radio NZ reported:

Mr Ambrose maintains that the taping was accidental and his legal advice is that it was a public conversation regardless.

He told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Tuesday that the Prime Minister's comments following the incident were inaccurate and defamatory.

"There were comments that he put out there that were incorrect, that were quite defamatory towards me and I would quite happily accept an apology from him."

Mr Ambrose says in some ways he would have liked to fight the case in court to restore his reputation and believes this would have cleared his name. He is talking with his lawyers about possibly taking defamation action.


Editor Bryce Johns told Morning Report the newspaper is feeling a degree of vindication and it has been cleared of wrongdoing, as there is no link to it in the police statement.

"They haven't talked to anyone at the Herald on Sunday, let alone accused us of doing anything unlawful. So it's just absolutely as we've thought going to play out."

Mr Johns says he always thought there was never much of a chance of charges being laid, and cameraman Bradley Ambrose has unjustifiably been put through the wringer for four months.

But the Media Freedom Committee believes the outcome is unsatisfactory and untidy.

Chairperson Tim Murphy says nothing has been resolved and questions still hang over the matter, including why a police complaint was deemed necessary in the first place and why it was necessary for police to then raid newsrooms.

There is no doubt in my mind that Key used the police to keep the teapot tape from being published prior to the last election because of what it contained. He made the police complaint contrary to the fact, which has resulted in Ambrose being defamed.

That defamation has undoubtedly caused harm to Ambrose, who has no prior convictions and might just succeed in a defamation case against John Key. Wouldn't that be a turn up for the books?

26 Mar 2012

Mad dog Brownlee

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

A top minister has sparked a near-diplomatic incident after suggesting Finns are uneducated, unemployed murderers who don't respect women.

Speaking in Parliament, Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee rejected Labour's plans to model the economy on Finland, "which has worse unemployment than us, has less growth than us, can hardly feed the people who live there, has a terrible homicide rate, hardly educates its people, and has no respect for women."

Ari Hallenberg, Finland's consul-general in Auckland, said Brownlee's comments were inaccurate. "I think it would have been better left unsaid," the diplomat said.

He was considering calling the Finnish embassy in Canberra to complain, and said Finnish media would also take issue with Brownlee. "This will create a storm when the comments go back to Finland."

The Finnish media have widely reported the insults and dubbed Brownlee the Minister of violent comments with reporting that Brownlee barked like a dog.

After watching the video below, I tend to agree with the headline on the front page of one of Finland's most popular tabloids.

Polls are running at around 84% of Finn's wanting an apology for the disrespectful comments and there are reports that the Finnish government has already made a diplomatic complaint.

One of Scandinavia's largest subscription newspapers Helsingin Sanomat reported on the reaction from Juha Parikka, counsellor to the Embassy of Finland:

"We understand each other very well. We are of the same size of countries and we have similar problems. In general, finding common ground is very easy. My guess is that New Zealanders will be very sorry," Parikka said.

Parikka is right, most New Zealanders would be sorry Brownlee made the insulting comments. He is not representing anybody I know with such stupid remarks and should make a formal apology to the Finn's without needing a request.

25 Mar 2012

Aotearoa is not for sale Hikoi

Aotearoa is not for sale Hikoi 2012 Questions and Answers:

What is this Hikoi about?

This Hikoi is to demonstrate public opposition to privatization and the continued selling of our countries natural resources, land and public services to private investors.

Who is leading the Hikoi? 

This Hikoi is a non-political event providing an opportunity for all people across all sectors to oppose privatization. Therefore it is not being organized or led by any particular political party or group. The “Frontline” of the Hikoi will be led by Kaumatua  (Elders) and mokopuna (grandchildren).  As the hikoi move across the country it will be led by the local iwi and community members of the territory we will be passing through.

Who is welcome to participate?

This event is open to all concerned people, we urge participants to bring their friends whanau, groups, and organisations

Why now? 

The government is currently attempting to push through a number of laws that will further undermine the economic sovereignty of our country. In addition large blocks of land are being made available for purchase by foreign companies and individuals.

At the same time there is currently an aggressive oil drilling and mining tendering process that is opening up large areas of the marine environment and on land including private Maori land. The Government is trying to push these matters through parliament while engaging in whirlwind “consultation” processes that we don’t believe has any integrity. Now is the time to put pressure on the government to abandon the privatization agenda.

Isn’t the government claiming that they have a political mandate from the people to proceed with privatization?

Opinion polls taken prior to last year’s election reported that 80% of New Zealanders were opposed to asset sales. It is also reported that over 75% of eligible voters did not cast a vote at the last election. The mandate that the government is relying on only represents a small minority of citizens

Will this campaign succeed?

It will if enough people support it. When the government announced that it was going to mine conservation land 50,000 people marched in Auckland and forced the government to abandon the policy.

The FSSB Hikoi failed to change the governments mind why will this one? 

The government of 2004, successive governments and their agents have played upon the fears of the non Maori population by suggesting that Maori people are seeking “advantages” “rights” and “privileges” that will disadvantage the rights of the general population. By playing the race card they created enough political will amongst the population to deny Maori the opportunity for Maori claims to the FSSB to be heard in court.  However the issue of privatization transcends the question of race and culture, all citizens of this country stand to lose from privatization and this provides an opportunity to stand together and defeat this policy.

Is the Hikoi going to arrive in Wellington only to disband and go home again?

Upon arrival in Wellington there will be a one-week series of events, activities and demonstrations that will take place in and around Wellington. Accommodation will be provided for those from out of town.

Where will the Hikoi members stay while on the road?

Marae and other community facilities will be made available for those traveling as part of the Hikoi and preference will be given to elders and children although we urge parents to be responsible about the participation of young children.

What is the alternative?

To establish a vision for our society that is determined by the citizens and not the politicians and then have this vision imbedded constitutionally as the highest form of law therefore ensuring that these rights, freedoms and responsibilities cannot be tinkered with at the whim of politicians, political parties or their agents.

Are there any rules?

Yes most certainly! No alcohol or drugs, no violence, no sexual harassment, no racism, abide by the instructions of the local leaders and road marshals Learn and abide by the rules of the Marae where you will be staying (if in doubt ask a local)There will compulsory singing, laughing and whanaungatanga (fellowship)

What will I need to bring?

Bring two friends to provide support while you are on the road, be prepared to take reasonable measures to be self reliant so bring a small tent, blanket or sleeping bag, water bottle, good walking shoes, warm clothing and a rain proof jacket, placard and signs, flags noise makers etc. Take responsibility for any special diet needs you may have.

Do I have to come all the way?

No, Participate in your local area as the Hikoi travels through your town, you may be able to support the event in your region. Come to Wellington for the last part of the Hikoi if you are unable to participate in the whole event. THIS WILL BE THE MAJOR ASPECT OF THE HIKOI!

How can I support this event?

Tell as many people about it as possible (Face book, Twitter, Talkback radio, word of mouth) get a little group together to help organize awareness, distribute posters in your area, donate any spare produce to the local Marae where the Hikoi will be staying in your area. Contact you local organisor and offer assistance.

Where can I get more information?

Go to:


22 Mar 2012

Shane Ardern's conflict of interest

Yesterday, Voxy reported:

Tariana Turia, MP for Te Tai Hauauru, has spoken out against the South Taranaki District Council (Cold Creek Rural Water Supply) Bill, which is in the House for its first reading, despite opposition from Nga Ruahinerangi, Ngati Ruanui, Nga Rauru and Taranaki Iwi Trust.


Mrs Turia said "The bill which proposes the transfer of the Cold Creek Rural Water Supply to a wholly privately owned company for management, is yet another example of iwi resources, used as state owned assets are being transferred out of Crown ownership."

Very interesting. Along with National's Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Bill, the Cold Creek Rural Water Supply Bill is designed to gift farmer's unconditional control of our resources.

Today, the Taranaki Daily News reported:

The Cold Creek Community company seeking to control and own it was led by Neville Ardern, the brother of Taranaki-King Country MP Shane Ardern, Mr Little said.

He accused Mr Borrows and the Arderns of bullying the district council into agreeing to divest the asset.

Speaking under the protection of parliamentary privilege, Mr Little quoted minutes from an August 2011 meeting that showed Shane Adern saying that if Cold Creek Community failed in its divestment request, then there would be some kind of legislative action through Parliament that would bring about the kind of ownership it desired.

Neville Ardern added a threat that if the council did not proceed with the divestment, then they would take legal action which would cost a lot of money and cause headaches for both parties, Mr Little said.

People have been highly disparaging of the Ardern's blackmailing the Taranaki District Council. Neville Ardern is in fact the founder of Cold Creek Community Water Supply Limited (PDF), so Shane as a National MP has an obvious conflict of interest.

Shane Ardern is the type of farmer we don't want in New Zealand. Under the Ardern PS & CJ Family Trusts, they have a non-notified consent (PDF) to dump 40 metric tons of effluent per day into the Punehu Stream.

The Fonterra shareholder Shane Ardern is infamous for driving a tractor up the steps of parliament in an illegal protest against the agricultural emissions research levy or "fart tax". Parliament is no place for such cowboys!

Tame Iti - Hero of the Week

Now that the Urewera 4 have been largely vindicated, with the crowns initial claims that they were "terrorists" or part of a criminal gang falling over, let's just recap on five years of state repression likely to set Tuhoe and Crown relations back decades.

In many respects the debacle being played out in the public arena turned into a clash of cultures, where people brought up in a mollycoddled urban setting uttered their outrage at the allegations when there were perfectly reasonable explanations.

And how much real crime went undetected across New Zealand while police resources were being wasted I wonder... and what is the actual cost?

Clearly the Crowns actions were unjustified, and I'm not happy paying taxes for that kind of carryon. Considering these facts you would think the anti Maori spin might stop now that there's been some closure. Unfortunately that's not the case.

Yesterday, reported:

The Crown, however, has a different view of him. Through a prolonged legal battle over the past five years, it has cast him as a dangerous proto-terrorist intent on infecting New Zealand with an armed struggle against the state.

Whatever the truth, being the lead actor at the heart of such political and judicial drama would have catapulted most people to the forefront of the ranks of the discontented and cemented Iti as a rallying point for the simmering discontent of Maori, ready to boil over.

Whatever the truth? The truth of the matter was that the terrorism claims were thrown out the door ages ago because they were baseless accusations devised from improper Police work and speculating politicians.

We don't need any more propaganda that grossly over-exaggerates the potential for a violent Maori revolution. Such baseless claims have clearly been proven incorrect.

Instead, Iti appears to occupy an ambivalent place in the view of wider Maoridom. Some say he is at most a marginal martyr, a bit player at the sides. His behaviour is seen as theatrical antics to gain attention that is no longer needed. Iti is no revolutionary, it seems. Instead, say some Maori, he is something of an anachronism.

They say the real revolutionaries of Maori aspirations are in suits, carrying law or business degrees, and storming the walls of Pakeha capitalism with no time for distracting sideshows.

What "they" say has very little relevance with reality it would seem. Firstly Tame Iti is a well-respected revolutionary who has worked tirelessly for his people. To say that he has been inconsistent in that activism is an insult not just to him, but to Maoridom.

Moari aspirations, which are based on equality, accountability and fairness, are New Zealand's aspirations. Read our founding document Te Tiriti o Waitangi (PDF), if you think otherwise.

The so-called anti terror raids of 15 October 2007 and the initial charges laid were unjustified. They were a fishing expedition that detrimentally impacted on thousands of innocent people. After boasting they'd caught the big one, the Police came back with a few firearms charges. Surely the Crown should acknowledge their heavy-handed mistakes with a formal apology?

Tame Iti as the most recognizable face of the Urewera raids, like all the other people impacted, has been hurt. His actions to date prove that he wont let that hurt turn to hatred though. Instead he will further the peaceful revolution that is obviously required... and for that he is most assuredly a Hero.

21 Mar 2012

Nick Smith resigns

Earlier today, reported*:

Prime Minister John Key has rejected opposition calls for him to sack Smith, saying it was ''an error of judgment'' and he had not breached the Cabinet manual.

Then just after lunchtime the National party website reported:

Prime Minister John Key said today he had accepted with sadness the resignation of Dr Nick Smith from his Ministerial portfolios. 
“It is important that Ministers are seen to actively manage both real and perceived conflicts of interest in the exercise of their duties,” says Mr Key.

That's a huge change in tune and just goes to show that Keys judgement is in question as well.
* have rewritten the article to not include this quote.

The real nasty bloggers

Regular readers of The Jackal will know that there is no love lost between certain right wing bloggers and myself.

The fundamental divide between what they and I believe could not be wider, and our disagreement on many issues has now resulted in their unfounded open abuse of a completely innocent person. That's why it's important to set the record straight again:

The Jackal is not Todd McDonald from Ruakaka.

The rightwing bloggers who've been foaming at the mouth about somebody who does not deserve their various unfounded accusations and bullying can now STFU.

In light of how despicable their commentary has become, I took it upon myself to write an open letter to inform Mr Todd McDonald from Ruakaka about their defamatory statements:

Dear Sir,

I write to you concerning a most serious issue that you need to be aware of.

There have been a number of hateful comments made about you by certain right-wing bloggers on the Internet, namely Cameron Slater, Cathy Odgers and David Farrar.

For some reason they believe you contribute to a New Zealand blogsite named The Jackal. We both know this is not true.

Although as the main author of that site I'm not personally responsible for their actions, I make a heartfelt apology for their abusive articles and the comments they elicit, some of which I will include with this letter for your information.

I am unsure why the blogger Cameron John Slater, who tried to hide his identity prior to being caught by the Police for breaking the law (PDF) by disclosing the identity of sex abuse victims, has chosen to attack the wrong person. It could be that he is simply too lazy to check the facts.

Slater claims that The Jackal is using a fake email address, while my contact information has not changed. I am sure that if any of the afore mentioned right-wing idiots had bothered to contact you directly Mr McDonald from Ruakaka, you would have been more than happy to correct their misconceptions.
Cathy Odgers calls you a “weasly scrote” [sic] amongst other unsavoury insults and is undoubtedly responsible for turning many people off reading. It appears that she is the person who initiated the misdirected abuse against you because she sleuthed some information on the Internet completely unrelated to The Jackal. The others stupidly followed her misdirection.

David Farrar is happy to repeat the factually baseless posts of his two lapdogs. In doing so, he's promoting and encouraging the defamation. Some of the comments their posts elicit claim you have a sex offending history. Whether this claim is true or not and I suspect it not to be, he should feel equally ashamed for promoting such baseless speculation.

Making comments that question the respectful occupation of horse training and plumbing is one thing, but allowing people to say they will openly inhibit you from getting medical attention if you require it and celebrate your misfortune is in my opinion sick! Calling for a boycott on your businesses and encouraging the open abuse of you with such hateful lies is inexcusable.

You should also be aware that The Jackal has received a number of threats that are directed at you. In light of this more serious abuse I could not in all good conscience remain silent. These same people have also published your entire contact details and called for your wife to be harassed, which makes me somewhat fear for your and her safety.
You should consider contacting the Police concerning this matter and I will be happy to provide them with any information they require.

Dear Todd McDonald from Ruakaka, please accept my sincere apologies for the unbelievably stupid actions of certain morally defunct right-wing blogger’s.


The Jackal.

There's nothing new about Slater, Odgers and Farrar being factually deficient, but their hatred directed towards somebody who’s likely completely unaware of their lies about him, in my opinion, requires formal apologies and retractions from them.

Their arrogance of the worst order will undoubtedly mean none is forthcoming. As usual, the right-wingers only want accountability when it's not their own.

Pass the barf bucket

Today, reported:

The Minister for Local Government and then ACC minister yesterday apologised for writing a reference last July on ministerial letterhead for friend Bronwyn Pullar to use in her medical assessment for an ACC claim.

An apology is not enough, especially considering Nick Smith would have known that he was breaching his employment conditions as then Minister for ACC.

The question is what influence did Puller have on Smith to illicit the support letter from him and why would he risk his cushy job by writing a letter that was clearly designed to influence ACC?

According to an article in the NZ Herald today, Winston Peters had revealed that Smith and Puller's friendship was more than just platonic. Not only is Smith's position in jeopardy, it appears his three year marriage to Linley Newport could be on the rocks as well.

The political stakes couldn't be higher, with the National led coalitions one seat majority potentially in doubt. This could result in a hung parliament whereby National's big ticket policies such as asset sales would fail. It's no wonder then that John Key has decided to back the corrupt Smith:

Prime Minister John Key has rejected opposition calls for him to sack Smith, saying it was ''an error of judgment'' and he had not breached the Cabinet manual.

He has also said the letter had not appeared to have influenced ACC because Pullar was still unhappy with the support she received.

Wrong again Prime Minister. Blackmail is still a crime even if it is not successful. Likewise, undue influence breaches the Cabinet Manual 2008 (PDF), which states:

2.62 A conflict may arise if people close to a Minister, such as a Minister’s family, whānau, or close associates, might derive, or be perceived as deriving, some personal, financial, or other benefit from a decision or action by the Minister or the government. Ministers must therefore be careful not to use information they access in the course of their official activities in a way that might provide some special benefit to family members, whānau, or close associates.

2.63 Similarly, it may not be appropriate for Ministers to participate in decision making on matters affecting family members, whānau, or close associates; for example, by:

attempting to intercede on their behalf on some official matter;
proposing family members for appointments;
participating in decisions that will affect the financial position of a family member.

2.64 Public perception is a very important factor. If a conflict arises in relation to the interests of family, whānau, or close associates, Ministers should take appropriate action.

So there is a fundamental breach of the Cabinet Manual, which John Key would know if he'd bothered to read it. Let's hope the Auditor General can get to the bottom of what really happened.

20 Mar 2012

Ongoing nuclear nightmares

Yesterday, there were more reports of Radioactive cesium levels rising sharply in Fukushima and last week there were a couple of serious nuclear accidents in Canada and South Korea that went largely unreported.

The worlds second largest nuclear power plant located 250 kilometers northwest of Toronto leaked an undisclosed amount of heavy water and a power cut at the Gori-1 nuclear power plant 50 kilometers south of Seoul caused a suspension of operations.

Like previous accidents, the Koreans initially tried to keep the incident secret with both countries playing down the serious nature of the close calls.

This raises interesting questions for John Keys Saturday junket to the South Korean Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, the very area that could have been experiencing a meltdown of the old Gori-1 nuclear reactor.

Although the US initiative is aimed at reducing the global threat of nuclear terrorism, incidents such as Fukushima have motivated the people of South Korea to pressure their representatives to move away from nuclear power generation, which has proven to be completely unsafe.

On Sunday, The Korea Herald reported:

In an increasingly volatile race for parliament, nuclear power is creeping up the political agenda as opposition lawmakers seek to exploit growing safety jitters to retake power in next month’s vote.

Concerns about the safety of the nuclear industry are rife after news broke last week that plant operators had attempted to cover up a power cut at a reactor in Busan for over a month.


Scrambling to win more seats, Han Myeong-sook, chairperson of the main opposition Democratic United Party, promised to curb the country’s reliance on nuclear energy if her party comes to power.

“The government may have been able to avoid overheating the reactor, but failed to avert a meltdown of public trust and the principles of truth and responsibility,” the former prime minister said Friday.

A poll released on March 6 showed that more than six out of 10 Koreans are against the government’s plans to boost the use of nuclear power. Nearly 80 percent of 1,100 respondents said they oppose extending old reactors’ lifespan.

North Korea is one of the stalwarts of the outdated and dangerous nuclear age that has largely resisted reductions in their nuclear programs. Withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003, they became a fully fledged nuclear power in 2009 and have tested two nuclear weapons.

In comparison the United States maintains a ban on enriched plutonium being supplied to South Korea which has effectively meant they have not developed their nuclear weapons capability.

In 2000, revelations that scientists in South Korea had engaged in clandestine uranium enrichment emerged at a time when Seoul was playing a leading role in efforts to end North Korea's nuclear weapons drive. However they still have plenty of chemical and biological weapons to ensure mutual destruction in the advent of all out war.

I wonder if Key will come back glowing?

Think big prisons fail

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Prison staff at a number of the country's jails look set to lose their jobs when a new privately run facility at Wiri near Auckland replaces several older jails.

Prime Minister John Key confirmed this morning that a number of older prisons would close, but stopped short of saying which ones or how many.

"We're going through the process of talking to the unions that are involved.''

Mr Key told Newstalk ZB that the financial impact the closures would have on local communities had been considered, but that overall it was in the best interests of the justice system not to keep them going.

Yesterday, reported:

Wellington's Mount Crawford Prison and prisons at New Plymouth and Invercargill are expected to close.

Wellington prison employs 35 officers, has a capacity of 120 minimum to high security men and was established in 1927. New Plymouth Prison employs 65 officers and accommodates 112 minimum to high-medium security prisoners. It was originally an army hospital in the 1860s that was converted to a prison later that decade. Invercargill prison employs 75 custodial staff with a capacity of 180 minimum to low-medium male prisoners and was first established in 1910 and run as a borstal until 1981.

So that's at least 175 definite jobs for the chop and who knows how many support staff with 412 prisoners relocated to the yet to be built prison in Auckland that will be able to detain 1060 people. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for old prisons closing, but the alternative National is offering leaves much to be desired.

Yesterday, No Right Turn reported:

So, having signed contracts for a private prison in Auckland, the government is now busy creating a guaranteed market for it, by closing down regional prisons. This way, they can shuffle those prisoners off to Auckland, pay their crony-contractor Serco to handle them, and wait for the corrupt political donations to roll in.

The corruption exhibited by National concerning their promotion of privatized prisons could not be starker. But the main problem is that there will be no overall benefit to the justice system at all. It will in fact be detrimental to the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners, something Labour Justice spokesman, Charles Chauvel hints at:

Prison beds are still needed, and smaller institutions, spread across New Zealand, are better than mega-facilities concentrated in a few centres. These reasons include risk management and rehabilitation, as well as their contribution to regional economies,'' Mr Chauvel said.

Why are regional prisons better than a think big prison you might ask? The main reason is that prisoners will become even more detached from their families by being relocated to Wiri, making it harder to develop good relationships and mend family ties. These things are an all important part of the rehabilitation process.

National is simply putting extra costs on those least able to afford it and setting back the progressive Regional Prisons Policy decades:

One of the aims of the project to build new prisons was to implement the Department’s Regional Prisons Policy. This policy was developed in 1997 and was based on research which suggests that locating prisoners as near to their home area as possible improves the chances of successful reintegration into society and reduces re-offending rates.

So does National have any intention of actually trying to decrease reoffending or are they just interested in jobs for the boys? Building Wiri is most definitely not in the best interests of the justice system, although it's obviously in the best interest of Fletchers, Serco and National's coffers.

19 Mar 2012

Deborah Coddington bagged

I find it slightly amusing when right wing reporters try to cobble together an article from a bunch of disjointed National propaganda that has already been widely discredited.

Deborah Coddington's article in today's Herald on Sunday shows that she really hasn't been keeping up to date with the asset sales debate, and simply rolls out a bunch of tired old spin lines:

It is difficult to escape the fact this backlash is anti-Asian sentiment by New Zealanders. It's not as if foreign owners can dig up the land and ship it offshore.

So apparently everybody who opposes the Pengxin bid for the Crafar farms is a racist! As somebody who opposes foreign ownership of New Zealand land and is not racist, I find her manipulative statement insulting.

Being that Pengxin group is a huge mining conglomerate and China is hungry for mineral resources, they can in fact dig up our land and ship it offshore. It just takes a signature from an all too agreeable minister. It's likely that's exactly what the Chinese government backed bid was planning all along.

Coddington doesn't let such detail get in the way of her rant though, even questioning why politicians should listen to their electorates:

Why should a bunch of politicians, swayed by the emotional rhetoric of the electorate, dictate what we should accept for our property after we've sweated blood improving its value?

The priceless wisdom of a neoliberal hack, all secure in her property ownership. Why should politicians listen to the people who vote for them she asks? I'm pretty sure that in a democracy politicians are meant to represent the people. What country does she live in I wonder?

Why should the wealthy care if up and coming generations can afford to purchase property or not? Because having a vested interest in your community creates social cohesion, which means more Kiwi's will stay in New Zealand instead of flying the coop. Only a very foolish capitalist completely blinded by greed doesn't care about the community they live in.

Coddington says property owners have sweated blood, but most property speculators haven't lifted a goddamn finger. They've sat back and waited for foreign investors to push up the price of their assets to the detriment of productive investments and the ability of future generations to own their homes. Coddington doesn't seem to give a damn that Kiwi's are becoming tenants in our own country.

But the same Chicken Littles want to have a referendum over the 49 per cent share float in four energy companies - Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis, and Solid Energy. I might have missed something, but I thought we just had one in November.

Wrong Coddington. One was a general election held on a number of issues, while a referendum is based on a question about one decision. We also know that around 35% of National voters don't support asset sales and the vast majority of New Zealander's don't want them either. If we include all eligible voters, only 21% gave John Keys party their vote. That's hardly a mandate to partly sell off our best earning SOE's.

Only a referendum will truly resolve the question of whether National has a mandate or not.

Coddington might not be aware that there was very little debate in the MSM concerning MOM asset sales prior to the election and an all important fact was deceitfully hidden by National. There are no savings to be had in relation to the interest on debt paid versus the revenue streams lost. There simply is no financial benefit for New Zealand with asset sales.

A video of John Key has also emerged where he says there's no good reason to sell such profitable assets. In my opinion, National doesn't have a mandate when the public has been lied to... besides, why should people buy shares in something they already own?

I take it these people have never sold their houses, still drive the first car they bought, shun Trade Me as sinful, and have containers full of stuff stored in parks around the city.

How does Coddington manage to pigeonhole around 70% of the population in such a way? Her snide remarks that the people who do not want asset sales are all poor while the academic consensus is that there is no benefit to New Zealand is beyond belief. It's as dumb as calling patriotism racism. Incredibly her disingenuous waffling gets worse:

I bet if you quizzed Kiwis, most wouldn't know which energy companies are SOEs and which are privately owned anyway, so personally I'd privatise the lot, especially on those figures.

Coddington hasn't provided any figures; she's regurgitated some rhetorical vomit that is the worst pro asset sales pitch I've seen so far. Her article is an atrocious and badly researched piece of claptrap that should never have seen the light of day. Remind me not to bother reading the Herald on Sunday while Coddington is a contributor.

18 Mar 2012

Police vigilance or harassment?

Yesterday, the Nelson Mail reported:

Police "vigilance" towards New Zealand gangs and Nelson's motorcycle poker run last weekend has been challenged by a Canterbury University researcher.

New Zealand gang expert and Canterbury University sociologist Jarrod Gilbert told the Nelson Mail he questioned whether the police vigilance at the poker run, associated with the Red Devils and Hell's Angels gangs, was deserved after his research on New Zealand gangs for the past eight years.

It raised questions about whether organised gang crime even existed in New Zealand, he said.

Mr Gilbert declined to release a summary of his nationwide research, which he finished this month and will be released in a book later this year.

"You have to question whether or not it's a wise use of police resources and money ... we get a very distorted police picture of gangs," Mr Gilbert said.


The case against the Red Devils would be a good test as to whether the vigilance police attention on gangs in Nelson was deserved.

"If all of those charges stick then likely the vigilance has been warranted. But, if none of those charges stick then perhaps there has to be questions asked of police."

Mr Gilbert said he had spent the past eight years researching and spending time with the country's gangs, including time in Nelson.

Mr Gilbert said he found the police picture of New Zealand gangs was largely incorrect. Any crimes committed were led by individuals rather than organised gang crime, he said.

His conclusions were based on evidence, he said, such as the lack of police arrests or gang wealth from crime, rather than any fear of gang repercussion.

"I'm not concerned by the prospect of upsetting gangs, nor am I fazed about the prospect of upsetting police or politicians. What I am concerned about is the truth."

I think Gilbert's research is probably right on the money and look forward to reading it. Much like the unequal amount of attention crime committed by Maori gets by the media with endless appearances by racist Garth McVicar, gangs get a disproportionate hard time by the Police because basically; they're an easy target.

Now I'm not claiming that gangs don't undertake any organized crime, but there is far more crime committed by people in suits. You don't see the Police stopping everybody wearing a suit now do you or raiding their offices with guns?

So let's start seeing an equal application of the law without unfounded stereotyping causing discrimination. This would mean a more efficient use of resources and therefore a more effective Policing regime.

17 Mar 2012

Robert Bales - Asshole of the Week

Yesterday, Fox News reported:

U.S. military sources tell Fox News the American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians last weekend is Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

He has arrived at the maximum-security military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, Fox News confirms.

Military officials have declined to identify the suspect publicly, insisting that it is usual procedure to keep a suspect's identity secret until he is officially charged. They have maintained that stance even after a hearing for the detained soldier Tuesday found probable cause to continue holding him, and he was sent from Afghanistan to a detention facility in Kuwait.

On 11 March, Robert Bales and possibly a number of other soldiers went on a rampage in Afghanistan, murdering 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children and burning many of their bodies in a most disgraceful act of barbarism. But what is strange is that the American legal system does not classify a killing as “murder” until after a trial verdict or plea deal has been reached.

I don't particularly care if he suffered a head trauma, PTSD or that he was serving his fourth tour of duty and was a highly decorated soldier, he is a murderer through and through. But like most of the people (and I struggle with calling them that) who commit atrocities in the name of their country, Bales will likely disappear without justice being done.

Thanks to nut jobs like Robert Bales, my contempt for the US led war in Afghanistan could not be greater. He is most deserving of an Asshole award, and much more besides.

16 Mar 2012

Take action on depleting tuna stocks

A helicopter pilot speaks out about his experiences onboard a number of purse seine tuna fishing vessels operating in the Pacific. His gruesome footage shows how the use of Fish Aggregation Devices is resulting in the bycatch of all sorts of marine life and contributes to the depletion of tuna stocks. Greenpeace is campaigning for more sustainable and less destructive tuna fisheries in the Pacific Ocean.

Take action!
New Zealand:

Odgers vs Bomber

On Wednesday, TV3 reported that John Key said he would not sack public sector workers and that there was no good argument for asset sales.

The right wing didn't like that truthful reporting much, with Cameron Slater making shit up in an attempt to discredit the source of the information.

Political reporter Duncan Garner then set the record straight, however Slater didn't have the good sense to amend his mistake.

Bomber Bradbury then posted about Cameron Slater's blundering:

That Cam got it so wrong by claiming Garner was lying after doing the dirty work of the PoA by releasing personal info on the trauma of a wharfie suggests the whale has beached himself and is in need of some actual work or risks being put on a suicide watch.

Poor Cam, he's better than this. His fall from grace this week is akin to watching a full blown Parkinson's Muhammad Ali trying to get back in the ring to proclaim he's still the champ. Take a mental health week off Cam, you need it.

Today, Catcus Kate spat the dummy:

Martyn has posted recently many pieces solely about Whaleoil. It has become obsessive because Whaleoil is not even bothering commenting back to this taunting. His last "effort" yesterday about Whaleoil, mental illness and in particular suicide was particularly disgusting. I bet Martyn now tries to say he was only joking. Well fuck you pinhead, it is not funny to talk about suicide about anyone like that.

That's rich coming from Odgers, especially considering some of her comments regarding suicide:

Fresh from his wife committing political suicide within the Labour Party, John Pagani gave us another breath-taking piece of cut-paste analysis this weekend.

The closest you can legally get to assisted suicide must surely be residing at Sanctuary Cove on Australia’s Gold Coast.

It’s just a subject that just won't die. Celebrity and suicide. Put the two together and I give you the new word for the week Celebricide.

My personal view on suicide and depression is that anyone willing to talk about it is 99% certain not to actually kill themselves.

Everyone I know who has "successfully" committed suicide has like Nike says, Just Done It.

Although Bomber's comment was tongue in cheek, there is a more serious side... Slater has been getting worse and people who care about him, as I'm sure Bomber deep down inside actually does, have noticed and have an obligation to point that out.

Nobody wants to read continuous vexation built on speculation, we want a functional and truthful rightwing commentary, which is unfortunately largely lacking from New Zealand's blogosphere.

Slater should think long and hard about people's concerns and get the help he requires. In my opinion, he's a psychologically sick individual who is promoting his mental illness in an attempt to justify it. He uses his own experience as a way to protect himself from further intervention, when it is obviously required.

Odger's is completely wrong that people just commit suicide; there are always clues. But not content with her rant being completely hypocritical, she then personalizes it with misinformation:

What is Martyn's excuse for his years of failure to hit the big time in the New Zealand MSM? Would I even bother commenting about suicide and depression if Martyn was a sufferer? No, I would ignore it and hope he was getting some help.

So basically Catcus would ignore somebody who was displaying signs of depression. I guess that's why she thinks people just spontaneously commit suicide. Simply hoping somebody gets the help they need is a huge copout! New Zealand's horrendous world leading suicide statistics require a pro-active approach, not ignorance from a failed Act candidate.

Like everyones personal life, including myself, Martyn has a past that best it doesn't have sunlight on. If he wants to stoop to that level of promoting suicide to another person and cracking pseudo-jokes about their personal life then it is game on as his past is much deeper and darker than anything myself, David Farrar or even Whaleoil could manage.

Catcus is such an old windbag full of hollow threats. Gone are the days when her vile drivel polluted our MSM and thank god for that.

She is a discredited and defunct commentator who hides behind a barbed wire fence, too afraid of her own shadow to step out into the light.

Bomber has had a career where he veritably bathed in the sunlight in comparison. He has not "promoted suicide" by saying Slater should be on watch. He has highlighted a problem that needs attention... and that is what good blogging is all about.

15 Mar 2012

Lies won the election

On 8 March, reported:

A further 2400 public service jobs could be slashed as the Treasury looks to deepen spending cuts.

A Treasury report suggests that the Government should be looking to make public sector savings of $250 million a year, but says spending in the past two years has been cut by only $20m. The Treasury itself saved only $338,000.

The report says "backroom" jobs – which are not defined, but could include human resources, IT and finance services – should be slashed by 20 per cent.

More than 2500 public sector jobs have gone since National took office in 2008.

Then Yesterday, Duncan Garner reported:

Labour says a promise by John Key in 2008 shows he has misled the public over job cuts in the public service.

3 News has dug out never before seen footage of Mr Key promising “no job cuts” to the Public Service Association Conference back in 2008.

Since then 2,500 jobs have gone and hundreds more are being shed at Foreign Affairs, Defence and in the wider public sector.

In the same speech Mr Key also says selling assets like Mighty River Power will not make the economy better or the “boat go faster”.

While it is true that the GFC was bad for New Zealand with stagnant or negative growth, it was already in effect when John Key made his now broken promises.

In fact the crisis officially started for New Zealand in June 2007, some fifteen months before Key made his infamous speech to the PSA on 25 September 2008.

Financial incompetence and corruption is never a good look, especially when we're talking about the so called "Leader" of New Zealand. What did we ever do to deserve such a crap PM?

When the rubber hits the road

Yesterday, TV3 reported:

More than $130,000 is being given to a product recycling organisation to research the options for recycling used tyres.

Environment Minister Nick Smith announced this afternoon that the Product Stewardship Foundation will receive $133,000 “to explore recycling options for used tyres”.

The Product Stewardship Foundation is an organisation which researches ways to reduce the environmental impact of manufactured products.

Dr Smith says the funding will help “identify the best way for New Zealand to recycle and re-use our used tyres”.

All credit to Nick Smith for recognizing a most serious environmental issue in New Zealand, but $130,000 to identify the best way to recycle old tyres is a bit over the top. Especially when you consider that all the research has already been done and is freely available online.

The study will be conducted by the Product Stewardship Foundation, which is run by four guys with farming, forestry, car sales management and trade experience. None of them appear to have any scientific qualifications whatsoever that would be required to provide further information, and this looks like yet another case of cronyism.

In an effort to save the taxpayer $130,000, here's what New Zealand should do to recycling our tyres:

  • Because larger tyre recycling facilities tend to have lower carbon footprints than smaller tyre recycling facilities, even when considering transportation, we only need one facility to service all of New Zealand.
  • The use of recycled rubber in molded products provides a substantial carbon footprint advantage over the use of virgin plastic resins, having between four and 20 times lower carbon footprint. We should use as much recycled rubber in this process as we can.
  • When used in road surfaces, recycled rubber has between three and seven times lower carbon footprint than asphalt on a materials basis. Depending on how expansive the government's road policy is, it may be that using recycled rubber in roading has a cost benefit in carbon reduction.
  • When used in energy recovery, rubber tyres provided a 17% carbon footprint advantage over coal, but tyres had substantially more carbon emissions than all other fossil fuels for power generation. Therefore using old tyres for power generation is not advisable, especially if New Zealand wants to reduce its carbon emissions.

It's time National made its cronies redundant and focused on what really matters.

14 Mar 2012

Cameron Slater is an ugly thug

There's been another appalling development in the PoAL and MUNZ dispute that is completely unacceptable. PoAL management has given Blogger and all round nasty-guy Cameron Slater the private work history of striking workers.

Slater has then chosen to publish the personal information of Cecil Walker in an attempt to discredit his appearance on Radio New Zealand, also allowing many defamatory and hurtful comments that any reasonable moderator would remove.

This is a clear breach of Mr Walker's right to privacy and the right to an opinion, and such a tactic PoAL and Slater have employed should not be tolerated.

Today, the Green party reported:

Ports of Auckland management must immediately investigate how Mr Walker's personal leave history was released," said Ms Roche.

Workers have a right to speak publicly about why they are taking industrial action without companies releasing their private and personal information.
If Ports of Auckland management have allowed this information to be put into the public domain, then you have to seriously question if they have been acting in good faith in their negotiations with the Maritime union.

Questions regarding the management practices of Ports of Auckland need to be addressed by the Mayor and Auckland Council," said Ms Roche

Bomber Bradbury writes:

Publishing the details of a warf worker who was given leave during the terminal illness of his wife is a sick gutter tactic beneath even the blogosphere.

The final eye rolling part of this is that Cameron Slater uses his own personal circumstances with depression as any excuse to throw his toys if they are mentioned, yet he is so gleeful in using others personal circumstances to damn them. Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to define his actions here. He is the wolf who cries boy.

But what makes such an underhanded tactic even worse is that Slater feels absolutely no remorse for what he has done. He thinks he's somehow justified in releasing people's personal details of a private nature in an attempt to silence them. What a cretin!

Here's a video of the ugly Slater trying to defend the indefensible: