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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Haere ra, e hoa

My comrade in blogging, Mr Bradbury, is departing for a new venture. He will leave a very large hole in the output of this blog.  I cannot expect to match his prolific and consistent blogging because he is quite simply one of the best exponents of the blog form in this country. Even those on the other side must acknowledge this. He is a blogging super nova in our universe and the combination of stars he has attracted under a new banner will affect the gravitational pull in the blogosphere and I wish him all the best in expanding the horizon (and I'll be supporting this with television reviews).  The popularity - and I hope that proves to be an enduring popularity - of this bog is really due to him.  Giving in to his nagging about running him as a guest blog was the best thing I ever did for Tumeke! After the very difficult episode of my sedition trial and jailing, Mr Bradbury used his media muscle to take a  few dozen hits a day website to the hundreds and thousands when he posted my blogs from prison. His blistering critiques of government and the establishment found an immediate audience and set a pace that has not relented. He stepped up to the mark, over the mark, ate the mark,  passed the mark and all before 6:30am and all in one sentence. We had few disagreements - remarkably few, too few to mention. My comrade will be sorely missed. So what now for Tumeke!? More of something different, but not quite yet. And it will have to be a lot more. But tomorrow is the launch of the The Daily Blog - not the relaunch of Tumeke - and I look forward to what this new place may become as part of our small universe.

So long and thanks for all the fish - TheDailyBlog.co.nz launches 9am tomorrow

This is my final post on Tumeke.

Tomorrow morning at 9am, TheDailyBlog.co.nz launches. I'll be announcing a new blogger joining Chris Trotter, Selwyn Manning, Professor Jane Kelsey, Keith Locke, Sue Bradford, John Minto, David Slack, Morgan Godfery, Gareth Renowden, Coley Tangerina, Phoebe Fletcher, Dr Wayne Hope, Queen of Thorns, Burnt out Teacher, Steve Grey, Aaron Hawkins, Marama Davidson, Tim Selwyn, James Ritchie, Efeso Collins, Lynn Prentice, Frank MacsKasy, Matt McCarten, Wayne Butson, Chris Flatt, Allan Alach, TheDailyBlog Reposts and The Liberal Agenda.

It's been a lot of fun Tumeke.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Water case: Govt can sell

The NZ Supreme Court has just dismissed the Maori Council's appeal on water rights. Key was saying he couldn't rule out going to an election should they not get their way - so this was very important to them. That was the last thing holding back the Nat's privatisation programme, so now it's sale time. Let the looting begin!

NZ Herald:
The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal by the New Zealand Maori Council to block the Mighty River Power partial privatisation.
The full court of five Supreme Court judges was unanimous in its findings.
The decision lets the government proceed with the sale of up to 49 per cent of Mighty River Power.
The Maori Council bypassed the Court of Appeal and took its case directly to the Supreme Court after losing in the High Court in December last year.
It argued that the sale of Mighty River Power and other power companies before issues around what ownership rights Maori may have over freshwater and geothermal resources was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Lawyers for the Crown had hoped the decision would be delivered last Monday to allow the sale of up to 49 per cent of Mighty River to go ahead according to the Government's "preferred timetable''.
No breach of the Treaty? Or are they breaches that the court thinks can be remedied without stopping the legislation? Haven't read the judgment at this point obviously (announced in last half hour), but this is a question [see below]. This is a blow to Maori (and the nation as a whole) because of the precedent for other asset sales - like Solid Energy etc - and a blow for Maori specifically because of the low value the courts put on Maori interests as compared to everyone elses and the willingness to prejudicially dispose of things before they are settled is condoning an act of bad faith on the part of the government.

The Maori Council sought to delay the sale of shares in Mighty River Power until issues over water rights were resolved.

In today’s ruling, heard before a packed courtroom, Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias said the court was unanimous on all issues.
She said the sale of a stake in Mighty River Power would not be in breach of Tainui Waikato settlement.

From the Supreme Court Decisions press release:
There were five questions argued on the appeal:

1. Is the proposed sale of shares in Mighty River Power able to be  judicially reviewed for breach of the principles of the Treaty?

2. Is Cabinet’s decision to bring into effect the legislation making Mighty River Power a mixed ownership model company able to be judicially reviewed by the High Court for inconsistency with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi?
3. Was the consultation undertaken by the Crown with Maori following a recommendation of the Waitangi Tribunal adequate to comply with the Treaty principles?

4. Is the proposed sale of shares in Mighty River Power in breach of s 64 of the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010 (which requires engagement with Waikato-Tainui where the Crown, a Crown entity, a state enterprise, or a mixed ownership model company disposes of an interest in the Waikato River)?

5. Is the proposed sale of shares in Mighty River Power inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty?

The Court is unanimous on all questions on the appeal, its reasons being expressed in a single opinion.
Overturning the High Court on this point, the Supreme Court has held that the proposed sale of the shares is reviewable by the courts for consistency with the principles of the Treaty.

The Court has held the consultation which followed the Waitangi Tribunal’s urgent Freshwater Report was not shown to be inadequate. It has held that there was no breach of s 64 of the Waikato River Settlement Act (which requires notification to Waikato-Tainui before disposal of interests in the Waikato River) because Mighty River Power was not disposing of its water permits or other interests in the River.

The Court has accepted that the sale will provide some impediment to reparation for Treaty claims in relation to the waters subject to water permits held by Mighty River Power.
Whether the impediment is material was treated by the Court as requiring contextual assessment. Factors of significance in that assessment were:

* Crown acknowledgement that Maori have interests and rights in relation to particular waters;

* reviews currently underway which are addressing recognition of Maori interests and rights in legislation concerned with regulating use of water (including Government policy development through the Fresh Start for Fresh Water initiative and the Freshwater inquiry being undertaken by the Waitangi Tribunal);

* specific acknowledgments and assurances given in the course of the litigation by Ministers that Maori claims to water will not be prejudiced by the sale and that the Crown will not be deterred from making Treaty reparation by the change in ownership;

* the change in the legislative and social landscape since the SOE case in 1987 which now includes acknowledgment of and provision for Maori authority in relation to waters in the Resource Management Act and legislation settling historic claims (in particular the settlement relating to the Waikato River, of direct relevance to the waters used by Mighty River Power);

* the views of the Waitangi Tribunal in its urgent interim report in the Freshwater inquiry, including its recognition that the shares could only ever be a “proxy” for the waters in which interests and rights are claimed;

* the protection of land preserved under the memorialisation system which is carried over from the State-Owned Enterprises Act into the mixed ownership model legislation;

* the reality of the generating infrastructure and its importance for the country;

* the capacity retained by the Crown to provide remedies.

In this context, the Supreme Court has concluded that the partial privatisation of Mighty River Power will not impair to a material extent the Crown’s ability to remedy any Treaty breach in respect of Maori interests in water.

So it comes down to trust the government!? The government can probably fix it all up (the Treaty settlements etc.) somehow else so just go ahead anyway - that seems to be what they are saying. This is very pro-government and not very reassuring for Maori. The finding that the government's consultation was not inadequate is a typical double-negative legal cop out.

Why are the NZ Police recruiting Christ's soldiers to battle demons?

When the above advert starting appearing on TV and stenciled onto public walls around the central city, I kept insisting to any friend within ear shot that I thought the Cop was praying and that weird creature was a demon. Everyone told me I was being crazy, 'why would the Police be so overtly religious' was the come back from my ever incredulous friends, 'You are reading too much into it', I was told. 'You really need to get a hobby', others added.

They all owe me free coffee for a month.

Posted up 4 days ago is an eye opening account of a Christian Police Officer deciding to preach to a young woman who claimed to see demons. The Officer jaw-droppingly advises the woman that the only thing that can help her with her demonic foes was God...

That’s when Lio got straight to the point. ‘When she told me those things, I simply said to her, “To be honest, the only person that can help you right now is God,” ’ explains the Tongan-born officer. ‘The reason I said that was because I’ve come to understand that with God all things are possible and that only God can help people in certain situations. With this woman thinking about committing suicide, I felt this was definitely one of those situations.’

Realising Lio was genuinely trying to help, the young woman opened up further, telling him more things that were happening to her at the time, including how she saw demons crawling on her bedroom walls nearly every night. She added that she had tried to read her Bible to combat these attacking demons, but that she would wake up in the morning and find her Bible in the toilet, without having the slightest idea of how it got there.

After hearing that, Lio took the initiative. ‘Just knowing the power of prayer, I grabbed her hand and started praying,’ he explains. ‘My prayer was simple, I just asked God to set her free from all the things that she was going through, like the demons, and that in the power of

Jesus’ name that the devil leave her alone. As we were praying, I could feel her body tense up as I think she was really scared at the time, so I’m really thankful that the power of God turned up and set her free.’

Shortly after their prayer, the young woman was cleared to go home by the hospital’s mental health department.

...this is a NZ Police Officer evangelizing to a distressed women who clearly has issues. Where the hell do they get off doing this and where the hell does the NZ Police force get off spending taxpayer money to enlist Christ's soldiers into a spiritual war with the Devil?

How does one measure a spiritual war against the Devil? What are the KPIs? Can you imagine the Police Commissioners report to the Police Minister?

"Burglaries are down 23%, drug offenses are up 7% and we've banished 14 demons from this dimension".

Let's be clear. If Jesus existed, I like what he had to say. I don't have a problem with God (if he exists) it's some of his Christian followers I can't stand.

If the NZ Police want to recruit more Christians because they perceive they might water down the alpha-male basher cops, that's fine, but be up front and recruit, don't lead them to believe that they are being recruited to fight the Prince of Darkness and all his pointy headed, cloven footed followers.

Now if you believe in God, or satan, or whatever, that's great. It is your right to believe whatever you want to believe and it is your right to express that how you like, but this guy is a cop, in a very powerful position over a very vulnerable woman, and the Police are actively recruiting other like minded demon slayers.

This is very far out of the mandate of a secular Government Department.

This is the latest example of the Police getting it staggeringly wrong with their recruitment drives. When we plot the last couple of attempts, it's a voyage of fucktardness.

There have been the petty examples. The 'Get better work stories' series where bored retail staff played out fantasy cop scenarios. I wondered aloud if the 20 something kid tired of working at Bond & Bond was really who you wanted to arm and send out on the streets.

Then there was the advert where another bored dickhead working at a car park repaints all the car parking lines to be smaller so that none of the car doors could open up. Effectively the Police were wanting to recruit arseholes.

Let's not forget their astoundingly sexist recruitment adverts in 2011 where Police claimed that they were like cougars in that they liked 'em young, too. You would think after the shock and horror revelations of the sado-masochistic pack rape culture exposed in the Louise Nicholas case that the last thing the NZ Police would ever do again is ever mention sex.

So the NZ Police are either trying to recruit arseholes, sexist pigs or Christian ghostbusters.

There is no excuse for using a Christian Police Officers deeply concerning evangelism while in uniform with a vulnerable woman in a psyche ward to recruit other like minded foot soldiers of the lamb.

There's no way you can trust the NZ mainstream media to note how out of line the cops are here, so I've sent this link to Richard Dawkins on Twitter in the hope that he can embarrass our Government into dumping the NZ Police's war on Satan.

It seems the NZ Police believe that possession is 9/10ths of the law.


So documents prove Hobbit was never going offshore - who is going to apologize to the Union movement first?

Well, well, well. What do we have here then...

A later email between Ms Blackwood and Mr Brownlee showed that New Line Cinema did not plan to film The Hobbit in a different country, despite its concerns about the labour dispute.

Government warned in October 2010 that the films could be moved offshore if the dispute was not resolved.

As Tumeke has always argued, this was a manufactured crisis.

Threatening to leave was always a negotiating tactic. Once the great deal maker John Key had invested so much political treasure by blaming the Unions, he had no choice but to give Warner Bros everything they bloody wanted because the stakes he had created meant Key had to agree to any corporate welfare they demanded.

So much for the great deal maker. He got painted into a convention center by a one-armed bandit. I wouldn't trust Key to negotiate

You just know in their private jet back to Hollywood those Warner Bros executives laughingly referred to us as Shire Folk. We got played like chumps.

Remember how the Union protest march with 20 000 taking to the streets to protest harsh new employment law was totally eclipsed by the manufactured crisis at the hobbit march?

When will the mainstream apologise to NZ?

You would need to go back to the 1951 lockout to see that level of anti-union hysteria. Remember Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm faced death threats over this?

Remember that? Death threats.

But there's no admission from the right wing of NZ that their feral hatred of Unions is to blame, oh no. Any criticism of the Hobbit is shouted down by National as 'hobbit hating'?

Let's get this straight shall we? I'm not a 'Hobbit denier'. I don't 'hate hobbits' Mr Key - I hate cronyism, corporate welfare and anti-union hysteria.

This whole sorry smelly mess where we re-wrote our labour laws for a foreign corporation and the ease with which so many NZers were manipulated into becoming a lynch mob should really kick some kiwis up the bum for their unquestioning consumption of mainstream media spin.

Stupid hobbitses.

We should be 100% Muddled Earth.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Auckland Fringe Festival Review: Velcro City

Auckland Fringe Festival Review: Velcro City
Guest review: The Liberal Agenda

Oh man, if you’ve not been along to anything at The Fringe yet, I highly recommend it. There are some real gems of creativity out there. Velcro City is one.

It’s the story of a city somewhere in New Zealand, and it’s colourful residents. The plot itself is not going to win awards but I also highly doubt its trying too. It’s more a vehicle for having fun with the characters. And that’s totally ok. That said- Kimbra (from Hamilton) does end up in a flaming lavender field and then singing a loop-loop cover of Rubicon’s Bruce. Which is equal parts bizarre and hilarious.

What makes Velcro City unique is the velcro. Or the hooks and hoops as those in the know call it. Eli Matthewson & Hamish Parkinson don onesies and headbands with velcro strips and use cardboard cutouts decorated with crayolas to represent the residents of the town.

There’s the lesbian couple that makes horrific coffee but end up saving the day, the teen in love, the old man upset that the lavender fields are keeping his Mavey asleep, the Mayor, the young National Party-esq Mayoral candidate (who wants to introduce “fresherality- which is freshness and originality”) and many others.

Eli and Hamish are funny men and it clearly comes naturally- when the hair fell off the velcro headband of one of the lesbians her partners quipped ‘I told you to stop using that shampoo’. It’s also infectious when you see people enjoying what they’re doing so much.

The pace does lull in parts and it’s not laugh-out-loud funny the whole way through (not necessarily a problem if you’re not expecting that). But it is thoroughly enjoyable. It was great to see story telling stripped back to the essentials. There is actually no need for anything more than cutouts and crayolas. As always, restrictions beget creativity. The need to represent a bus driver in his bus means a bus-mask complete with opening doors.

Velcro City is a good time, especially if you’re after something you won’t see everyday. Which after all, is what The Fringe is all about.


Will we be changing our Tourism slogan now?

Now The Hobbit has bombed at the Academy Awards, will our tourism slogan be 0% Middle Earth?

Destroying our brand from 100% Pure to 100% whatever Peter Jackson wants was always based on his movie franchise being popular. If the movies bombed, we bomb by association.

John Key as tourism Minister changed the tourism slogan as another one of those crony deals he likes to make. Instead of living up to our clean, green credentials he dumped the aspiration and made us 100% Middle Earth.

I suppose a semi-racist fantasy world cooked up by a stoned virgin British Professor is actually a very fitting paradigm to set NZ in.


Monday, February 25, 2013

The vicious Cunliffe purge in Shearer's reshuffle

Labour's Game of Thrones is far more bloody and bitter with 50% more incest.

Wow. Well that reshuffle wasn't what I was expecting. I had expected Shearer to have reached out to the Cunliffe camp in the reshuffle to create some unity and halt the online hemorrhaging in the blogosphere, but the exact opposite has happened.

It's not so much a reshuffle as a regurgitation.

I think there had been some good will for reaching across to the left of the Party up until the Shearer leadership vote that had as many as 11 abstentions.

Those who were thought to have abstained have been punished and my understanding is that Charles Chauvel's sudden decision to leave for the UN had as much to do with the current situation as it did the desire to go onto bigger and better things.

Lianne Dalziel has been punished and one has to wonder if Labour actually care about Christchurch any longer. Lianne has been a tireless voice for the community in Christchurch who don't have the wealth to lift themselves above the earthquake. Her demotion is a slap in her face and theirs.

It's good that Phil Twyford has housing, Kris Faafoi picks up corrections and David clark gets some respect, but that's about it. I'm terrified of what Trevor will be able to get up to with so much time on his hands and Chris Hipkins, after his appalling defamation of Cunliffe shouldn't be rewarded. It will be telling to see if a complaint through the LEC process bites him in the arse.

Interesting that Annette won't be stepping down for the Wellington Mayoralty because the people lining up for that electorate she was expected to vacate won't be pleased. I actually have a very large soft spot for Annette, but her promotion shows the lack of replacement talent Labour now have.

As for Shane Jones. If the full array of allegations against him ever get heard by Whaleoil, it will be a feeding frenzy that never ends. Expect Whaleoil to blog it 2 weeks out from the election.

The reshuffle is a wasted opportunity and is set up to punish those the leadership think abstained against Shearer.

The Anyone But Cunliffe clique have not only crucified David, but they've guaranteed the bitter online civil war won't end.

The reshuffle is another strategic blunder by a Labour Party hellbent on hunting down internal dissent rather than possible voters.

Meanwhile, one of the best talents Labour have, David Cunliffe, languishes on the back benches.

There's now so much dead wood on the front bench of the Labour Party that the NZ Defense Force are in danger of setting it alight during their next live fire training session.

If Labour get any more rogue polls like the TV3 one, the question must be when will Grant Robertson, the real power behind the throne, pull the pin on all of this.


Why do the Police always spy on unions and not the bankers?

Far be it for me to be critical of the NZ Police force, but shouldn't we all be a wee bit more concerned with the vast abuses of power the Police seem to be getting caught out committing on an almost monthly basis now?

It's bad enough that NZ gave the NZ Police vast new search and surveillance powers where they will be able to break into our homes and spy on us with the barest of judicial oversights.

It's bad enough the Police have given themselves a military drone with zero debate.

It's bad enough that the Police collude with the Banks to molest your credit rating.

It's bad enough the Police tried to subvert the power of the Court by including them in a legal masquerade to create a false back story for an undercover cop in the Red Devils case.

It's bad enough that the Police blew $14million on the Urewera fiasco and had retrospective legislation rammed through Parliament to make their illegal spying legal.

It's bad enough that the NZ Police have become the puppets of Corporate Hollywood and the FBI in the Kim Dotcom meltdown.

And let's not forget the allegation that Rob Gilchrist sent the Police naked photos of young activists with absolutely no word from them that they destroyed those images or thought it was acceptable for a Police payed spy to be sending naked photos of teen activists.

That's all pretty bad, but consider the revelations this weekend...

Police software mines social media
Police have developed a specialist software tool which mines social media for information.

Police paid witnesses in murder case shock
Experts on criminology convinced an innocent man has been serving a life sentence for 20 years for his alleged role in notorious rape and killing in 1992. Police paid witnesses who gave critical evidence in a rape and murder case for which an apparently innocent man has been in jail for 20 years.

Spy's claim: A decade of deception
The details of Rob Gilchrist's double life infiltrating protest groups and leading trade unions are contained in a draft claim for more than $500,000 from police for lost income, for humiliation, distress, and loss of reputation.

...so in a weekend we find out the Police are now spying on social media, used paid informants to frame an innocent man and they spied on Unions.

I hate to point this out to a cop worshiping culture like NZ, but the NZ Police are out of control and the checks and balances meant to keep the buggers in line don't exist.

The only ray of light is the IPCAs desire to launch their own investigations against the Police.

I am involved in the current complaint against the NZ Police in their bullying and intimidation of Steven McIntyre that led to his suicide last year. One of the interesting developments in that process is that the NZ Police launch their own investigation the moment IPCA are involved. This investigation by the Police has nothing to do with looking into the wrongs committed by the Police, the investigation is to generate evidence to hide police abuse. Their investigation runs parallel with IPCAs and the threat that was used in the McIntyre case to gain access to witnesses was that there would be no investigation by IPCA if everyone didn't agree to participate in the Police investigation.

This was a falsehood I quickly pointed out and the Police back tracked. If a person is not confident and knows their rights, the current process to investigate the Police can be manipulated despite the best attempts by IPCA.

If IPCA were able to launch their own investigations into the Police, it would mean the Police didn't have the opportunity to white wash or interfere in it.

Many Police are good cops who do a thankless job well, but there are also corrupt buggers in the Police force and the massive amounts of power they have amassed without any checks or balances is not healthy for a democracy.

Criticism of the Police is not anti-authority whinging, it is the responsibility of every citizen in a free country.


When will National be sending in officials to arrest Remuera Housewives?

$23 million a year in welfare fraud. $140million per year in tax avoidance. If we are arresting the partners of welfare fraud, when are we throwing the rich housewifes into jail for knowing hubby is hiding his wealth?

We won't be doing that will we because this latest piece of bennie bashing crap isn't about solving problems, it's about distracting the voting population from another bad week for the Government.

Throwing beneficiaries into John Key's brand spanking new private prisons where they will be forced to work 40 hours per week is one way to lower the unemployment rate, but so would forced exile from NZ for every solo mother. The rules around when a boyfriend becomes a 'partner' which then lower the amount of welfare they can claim seems draconian in the extreme when you consider it's a year inside or a $5000 fine now pending if they catch beneficiaries out.

The ever brilliant Gordon Campbell explains in painful detail why Government overpayments and white collar crime are far larger issues...

Other evidence confirms that tax avoidance and departmental error are far bigger problems. The Standard did the sums a year or two ago and came up with actual fraud of $22 million, overpayments by the department of $195 million, and white collar fraud of $172 million. That makes it pretty clear where the real problems lie. Rather than set up special units on welfare fraud, Work and Income would be far better advised to sort out their own overpayment issues, and begin to address the unknown extent of underpayment – where people do not know of their entitlements, are not advised of their entitlements by Work and Income, and are consequently being ripped off by the state.

You know whenever this Government are having a bad week and need a diversion the moment they start dog whistling welfare reform and the sleepy hobbits buy the spin hook line and sinker.

Seeing as one of the ways officials will be able to expose a relationship is by dawn raids to see who is sleeping where in welfare homes, I'm astounded once again at how a nation that screamed Nanny State over the repeal of section 59 doesn't blink an eyelid at an Orwellian Government if they are invading the homes of the poor.


The Daily Blog - launching this Friday

This is my last week at Tumeke.

TheDailyBlog.co.nz launches this Friday and alongside Chris Trotter, Selwyn Manning, Professor Jane Kelsey, Keith Locke, Sue Bradford, John Minto, David Slack, Morgan Godfery, Gareth Renowden, Coley Tangerina, Phoebe Fletcher, Dr Wayne Hope, Queen of Thorns, Burnt out Teacher, Steve Grey, Aaron Hawkins, Marama Davidson, Tim Selwyn, James Ritchie, Efeso Collins, Lynn Prentice, Frank MacsKasy, Matt McCarten, Wayne Butson, Chris Flatt, Allan Alach, TheDailyBlog Reposts and The Liberal Agenda we will be announcing a new blogger joining the line up.

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What the new TV3 Poll really says

What the TV3 poll tells us is what white wealthy people with landlines think. Let's not forget that the TV3/Reid Research Poll claimed National had 50.8% in the week before election.

In fact that entire month the TV3 Reid Research Poll was out. Their first week in November they had National at a staggeringly wrong 53.3% (6% out) and 50.3 (3% out)

So over that month, the TV3 Reid Research Poll was out between 6% and 3%. Now the election show I hosted with vastly less resources than TV3, ZB, RNZ and TVNZ was the only election show that called the election right and iPredict still have Labour having a 52% possibility of winning the 2014 election.

Why we are listening to a poll that was out by as much as 6% in the last election is utterly beyond me. This Poll is not reflecting opinion, it's manipulating it. The constant drum beat that Key would have over 50% support by flawed landline polls like the TV3/Reid Research Poll over the space of 3 years leading up to the 2011 election was I believe a contributing factor in the last election being the lowest voter turn out in over a century.

These Polls screaming Key is loved by over 50% of the country generates the apathy, combine it with an Opposition that doesn't know if it's diet National or lite blue and progressive NZers are still waiting for leadership from the left.

In the meantime, let's not get sucked into the corporate media brainwash.


Will Ralph Hotere be honoured in death the way Paul Holmes was?

I wish I lived in a country where an artist as extraordinay as Ralph Hotere and his breath taking work that challenged NZs racial divide would be paid as much media attention in death as a broadcaster like Paul Holmes whose work did everything to reinforce that racial divide.

Hotere challenged and slaughtered our cultural sacred cows where as Holmes fed, watered and baited those cultural sacred cows.

The manner in which both mens passings have been covered by the media almost says more about NZ than either mans body of work.

RIP Ralph - you were one of our greatest. Your vision and righteous anger at the many injustices perpetrated in the land of the wrong uptight crowd will echo down the corridors of NZ history.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Auckland Fringe Festival Review: There's no such word as c*nt

Auckland Fringe Festival Review: There's no such word as cu*t
Guest review: The Liberal Agenda

Andie Spargo is a funny funny man. If you like a laugh and the Comedy Festival is still too far away (April, it’s coming, calm down). This is the perfect event to see you through. I chuckled and gaffawed and belly-laughed and got that little tummy cramp you get that tells you you’re having a good time.

Andie is in the last 3 days of a 100 day challenge to write a poem every day. During this day he wrote poems inspired by different topics in assorted poetic form. Because that wasn’t enough of a challenge, Andie learnt to use a loop deck and to beatbox. The result? An hour of haikus about poo, Irish rounds about strokes and hilarious songs about masturbating while waiting for his girlfriend to get ready.

Oh yeah, it’s quite crass. But it’s forgivable because it’s not toilet-humour, it’s not crass for the sake of crassness. It’s funny for so many reasons other that the fact that he says the word ‘poo’. It funny because it’s clever and insightful and silly. There were no duds, they were all hilarious.

Also, Andie gave out free beer. Someone quipped ‘Is this why all comedians are poor?’ No sir, not all comedians give out free beer. That’s a special kind of comendian right there.

The Co. Space at Biz Dojo could overwhelm a small gathering like last nights, but Andie was there chatting to people beforehand, apologising for the mix up with the license (thus the free beer). He gave out cushions and scolded the person whose phone went off at the start. It was intimate and personal straight away.

There are 2 nights left. This is guaranteed to please (Unless you’re the dude who thinks ‘suck my dick’ is a funny hassle and gets torn to shreds by Andie’s quick wit. But provided you’re not ‘that dude’...).

Thu 21 - Sat 23 February, 7.30pm. Co.Space at Biz Dojo. Adult $15, Conc $10.


Citizen A with Efeso Collins & Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse

Citizen A with Efeso Collins & Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse

Issue 1: The Auditor General report clears the PM and Sky City of any corruption, but should John Key be pushing the rules and interfering with deals for the Gambling industry of all people?

Issue 2: New crack down on beneficiaries pending - with Asset sales stalling, will welfare, education and health face steep cuts?

and Issue 3: How many spin drs does the Mayor need and are the criticisms from Kiwiblog valid?

Citizen A broadcasts on FACE Television, 7.30pm Thursday Sky 89 & Auckland UHF


Auckland Fringe Review: An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree

Auckland Fringe Review: An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree
Guest review: The Liberal Agenda

‘Unashamedly from a young person’s perspective, this work ultimately speaks of our desire for something much more human and honest.’
-Oliver Connew

Doesn’t it just.

So, contemporary dance is an art form that I’ve never really ‘got’. But, I’m starting to wonder if that’s simply because I’ve never seen any good contemporary dance. I went to the opening show of ‘An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree’ and found myself engaged in the show in a way that I’ve not experienced with dance before- it really got me thinking. It certainly helps that the themes dealt with by the piece are all pretty juicy.

The show was inspired by director Oliver Connew’s experience of unsatisfactory long-distance communication when his whole family left Wellington and spread across the globe. The show explores these mediums of communication in the context of the political unrest of 2012.

The show begins with a t.v. playing live Al Jazeera, which is so good, I would have been quite satisfied by just watching it for 45 minutes. I was just getting to the point of thinking ‘at what point does us sitting here watching the news become awkward?’ when the dancers emerged. The 45 minute show moves through a series of phases inspired by different ways humans connect in contemporary times; t.v., newspapers, skype and the internet. Each had its own energy and combined, they leave you with a cocktail of feelings. There was frustration and apathy; disconnection and connection; confusion and peace. The show is excellently paced; frantic and electric with perfectly placed moments of stillness.

There are some beautiful images which are burnt into my mind. Newspapers are an brilliantly diverse prop and these dancers really play with them and come up with some beautiful uses. The added bonus is that if you are someone who would very much enjoy seeing a couple of copies of the New Zealand Herald destroyed, then this is the most beautiful way you could imagine that happening.

This show is striking and unique. If you enjoy thinking about how we connect in contemporary times or you’ve ever felt frustrated or inspired by it, then this show will speak volumes to you. I feel like I’ve had and intellectual experience, which I think is probably the first time contemporary dance has done that to me. It’s like I’ve had a really great conversation over a couple of hours and glasses of wine with someone who knows tonnes about the subject and yet, not a word was spoken. I would happily watch it a second time. Well done guys-seriously powerful stuff.

Wed 20 - Sun 24 February, 5.30pm. The Basement Theatre. Adult $18, Child/Conc/Group $15.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

The new Welfare Dawn Raids

If you were wondering how the Government intended to fill all those private prisons with 40 hour per week work gangs, fret no more. Here come the latest bennie bashing dog whistles to happily fill SERCOs new private prisons, this time it's a year inside prison for being in a relationship with a beneficiary who has taken money 'fraudulently'.

What does that actually mean? There are a complex set of rules that claim if a boyfriend or girlfriend spends a certain amount of nights at the same house then those on welfare suddenly lose their status and get reclassified as a couple. That in turn cuts down what they can claim on welfare and the officials get to claim the 'couple' are defrauding them and they either cough up $5000 plus split repayments or it's a year in prison.

What these changes mean is that we will start seeing a new age of welfare dawn raids with officials wanting to see who is sleeping where so that they can be reclassified and of course get punished.

So the question of course is when will we be arresting rich housewives who know their banker husbands are tax avoiding? Why are we only arresting the partners of beneficiaries? Welfare fraud costs us what, $20million per year where as tax avoidance is a minimum of $140million per year.

When Bill English double dipped his housing allowance, we should be calling for his wife Mary English to be arrested?

Of course not. This isn't policy that cracks down on the problem, this is policy that mauls the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us while demonizing them so that the outright injustice of their treatment compared to the wealthy housewives of tax avoiders is utterly ignored.

What an ugly little country we are becoming.


Boot camp bashings

So not only do bootcamps not work & seem to produce fitter reoffenders, they now bash the teens sent there as well? Unbelievable...

Teenagers assaulted, abused at boot camp
Troubled teens sent to government-run boot camps were abused and assaulted by military personnel tasked with turning their lives around.

Two military staff have been through formal disciplinary proceedings, one step below a full court martial, over treatment they meted out to teens on the camps.

...it's interesting to me that this story didn't really get much attention, because it has all the ingredients doesn't it? Military personnel charged with bashing troubled teens who are forced to participate in boot camps has all the necessary news hooks, but it didn't really get noticed.


I think it's because it's not really the news people want to hear. NZers want to hear these troubled teens are getting a little roughed up, because in the minds of the sleepy hobbits, that's what these kids need, bit of discipline and they'll fly straight. Having to be confronted by their short term knee-jerk redneck bullshit boot camps not working, and the word assualt getting banded about, is outside the talkradio paradigm they are simplistically viewing this in.

Boot camps don't work. Boot camps actually create fitter reoffenders and now we have Military staff assaulting these teens. The whole messy, smelly, infected thinking that generates social policy like this doesn't demand much accountability, and that's why news that these boot camps are sinking quickly get ignored.

National have seized upon the uneducated rump desires of their voter base to punish these kids without bothering to check if such puritanical populism even works.

It's a Banana Republic with an extra side order of banana's.


So we won't be pulling out of our occupation propping up a corrupt narko state then Mr Key?

So NZ won't actually be pulling out of Afghanistan like Key promised, 27 soldiers will remain in this occupation to prop up a corrupt narko state.

When you are occupying someone else's country - the way we are in Afghanistan - you have to justify every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month you remain occupying it.

27 soldiers left in the country is 27 soldiers too many Mr Key.

There is no military solution in Afghanistan.


Auckland's Pride Parade

Auckland's Pride Parade
Guest blog by The Liberal Agenda

I went to my first ever Pride Parade this year. The last one happened when I was 12 and I don’t think I even knew they existed back then. This also means I have nothing to compare it to, so the lack of crowds/glam/gay/politics (all criticisms I’ve read elsewhere) didn’t detract from my experience so much as I wasn’t referencing the Parades of old.

Yeah, some of the floats looked pretty DIY, but I’m actually quite a fan of that. I like when things have a human touch (prepare to read that a lot) imperfections and all. I appreciate the effort and passion that has gone into its construction.

I liked seeing the politicians out and felt actually quite emotional seeing the armed forces (not a fan in general). I was also seriously impressed with the best use of segways I’ve ever seen. I boogied my butt off to ‘Call Me Maybe’ and left with one of those cheek-aching grins spread across my face.

I did question, as someone who has worked in HIV prevention, how it could have been given so little focus. I do feel quite strongly that this was a prime opportunity to do some serious public education and in my opinion free condoms doesn’t really cut it.

That said, if the purpose of the Parade was celebration and community and a good time, then it was certainly achieved. I hope very much that the Parade is here to stay and it gets bigger and better in the years to come. In fact, I have complete faith that this is what will happen and am relaxed that any wrinkles will be ironed out. Good things take time.

I just have one more thing for the organisers to think about. Passed on from Miss 3 (also at her first Pride Parade), whose biggest concern was that nowhere at the ‘Rainbow Party’ could she find any dip.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This is not what a total vindication looks like Mr Key

First rule of gambling?House always wins.

Cost of Convention center? $350million
Amount of misery crushing pokie machines? 300
Cost of Gambling? $2billion

Lunch with Key? Priceless

And apparently forgetful as well. The AG says, "we do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even handed" - Ummm, Mr Key, that isn't a 'total vindication' in the pokies deal.

Key spinning this as a total vindication is a very good example of using the headlines and soundbites as a tool to drown out all else. Yes Key hasn't been found to be colluding for private benefit but large questions remain over the PM getting so involved in a deal.

It is clear to see that Key's personal involvement skewed the deal towards Sky City. Now the PM is a very powerful person, he can get things done and the question we ask ourselves is do we want a PM who is bending the rules to push through positive change that enriches egalitarian NZ? Sure we do, we would want a PM working hard for the people, but that's not really what John's done here is it?

Key has pushed the rules to the point of breaking to enrich a bloody casino. Of all the evil organizations that don't deserve any help whatsoever, our Prime Minister is pimping for the ugly gambling industry.

We tolerate regulated gambling the way we tolerate sex offenders being released after their sentence. Reluctantly. The nightmare of gambling prohibition would hand organized crime billions, so we put up with regulated gambling because the cure is worse than the disease.

I don't care what your little report 'clears' you of Mr Key - allowing Sky City to increase their misery machines in exchange for an ugly convention center are still crimes against society and tasteful architecture.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp (ode to Gil Scott Heron)

I couldn't help but tweak this in the wake of the continued downwards plunge of Seven Sharp's ratings and content. This Frankenstein public broadcasting hate crime sewed together by marketing and advertising lumbers on hemorrhaging good will and revenue. God bless those brave souls who sink with that cursed voyage of the damned.

You will not be able to stay on the dole, sister.
You will not be able to smoke weed, have kids or earn more
You will not be able to redefine yourself with school,
or expect any privacy from Paula,
Because the NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp.

The NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp.
The NZ evolution will not be brought to you by Skinny
In 4 downloads on demand, on-line and i-tunes.
The NZ evolution will not show you pictures of poverty
blowing your mind and demanding John returns to
McGehan Close and try finding the underclass again
because McElrea won't fund the docos exposing it.
The NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp.

The NZ evolution will not be fought for you by the
media elites or glorified cheerleaders and Air
Hostesses selling crime anger with white smiles at 6.
The NZ evolution will not give your brain sex appeal.
The NZ evolution will not be solved in soundbites.
The NZ evolution will not replace your prozac
intake, because the NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp, Brothers and Sisters.

There will be no measurement of child poverty
silencing criticism of capital gains tax
or embarrassing the NBR rich list to care beyond Metro's top 10 chefs.
Telephone opinion polls will predict the election 6 years out
making apathy the default vote.
The NZ evolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs arresting
white collar brothers in instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs arresting
white collar brothers in instant replay.
There will be no pictures of the 1% being
run out of Aotearoa on a fully funded rail loop.
There will only be slow mo justice for Tama
Iti to be able to skip past the Bee
Hive unbound by a bloodied flag wrapped around his mouth
'cause no occasion was proper.

GC, false choice and food porn have become prime time illness
with the cold in broken homed Christchurch watching The Block
with the envy of South Aucklanders watching Master Chef,
the 99% won't be on streets searching
for a brighter day while public broadcasting dies.
The NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp.

There will be no insights on the late news with empty
bennie bashing headlines blaming the poor while the
inequality stats reach new highs as Key turns a blind eye.
The theme song will not be written by the sick,
Solo parents or the mentally broken,
270 000 children won't be heard.
The NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp.

The NZ evolution will not be right back with a message
about white land ownership, white water ownership, or white injustice ownership.
You have to worry about the fat on your thighs,
sexual impotency, hair loss and the mobile provider you choose.
The NZ evolution will not go better with jokes.
The NZ evolution will not fight for lowering top tax rates.
The NZ evolution will not keep you in the passengers seat.

The NZ evolution will not be televised on Seven Sharp, will not be televised on Q+A,
will not be televised at 6pm, will not be televised on Breakfast.
The NZ evolution will be no mainstream media event
The NZ evolution will be on-line.


Announcing my new media project - TheDailyBlog.co.nz - read the other side of the story

TheDailyBlog.co.nz - read the other side of the story

“The blogs dont get to vote in the labour party, so we don't pay much consideration to it” - Andrew Little.

“Blogs,who cares about blogs” - Clayton Cosgrove

"I don't read blogs"
they are "nonsense" - David Shearer.

Well they'll be reading the blogs now.

Last week Bryce Edwards interpreted my announcement that I was stepping down from Tumeke as me quitting blogging.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm not quitting the NZ Blogosphere, I'm intending to change it.

TheDailyBlog.co.nz will bring together 30 of the best left-wing bloggers and progressive opinion shapers in NZ all onto one site to critique the news, the media, and politics to provide the other side of the story.

I first want to thank and pay respects to the 3 unions who have had the foresight and vision to support this new media project. UNITE, the RMTU and the NZDWU have shown a willingness to engage in social media and blogs to further the debate about the decline of our egalitarian society.

I look forward to reading Matt McCarten, Chris Flatt and Wayne Butson's blogs as they gauge the temperature of industrial relations during our current economic malaise through the lens of their unions.

Launching March 1st TheDailyBlog.co.nz will feature: Chris Trotter, Selwyn Manning, Professor Jane Kelsey, Keith Locke, Sue Bradford, John Minto, David Slack, Morgan Godfery, Gareth Renowden, Coley Tangerina, Phoebe Fletcher, Dr Wayne Hope, Queen of Thorns, Burnt out Teacher, Steve Grey, Aaron Hawkins, Marama Davidson, Tim Selwyn, James Ritchie, Efeso Collins, Robert Winter, Lynn Prentice, Frank MacsKasy, Matt McCarten, Wayne Butson, Chris Flatt, Allan Alach, TheDailyBlog Reposts and The Liberal Agenda.

We have 270 000 children in poverty, a real unemployment rate in the double figures and the highest level of inequality recorded. If Seven Sharp is the new bench mark for critical public media, then it's up to the blogs to fill the gap.

The twitter account is here,
sign up for all the latest news.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Announcement 9am Tuesday

I am announcing my new media project 9am tomorrow here on Tumeke


I can't believe I'm saying this but Kerre Woodham is right - the Horror of Prosser's magical blade

What's the bet Prosser calls his pocketknife something ridiculous like 'Excalibur'. Or 'Little Elvis'.

Richard Prosser's absurdly racist diatribe against Muslims because his pocket knife was confiscated seems like the actions of someone with far too much attachment to pocket knifes.

I once had to remove my belt going through airport security, which was annoying, but didn't lead to me wanting to launch a jihad on Islam.

Unless Richard Prosser's pocket knife was magical, made of gold with sapphires set in the handle & gifted to him personally by Queen Elizabeth the second, he's a racist offensive clown who has no place whatsoever in Politics.

Watching the main political parties damn him but then quietly agree they would still cut a deal with his party isn't the kind of strong ethical stand point many of us would have liked to have seen.

Initially I just believed that this bullshit racism was just too limited and so 2002 to have any real impact, but to my horror, I now think that maybe Kerre Woodham is right.

I know, I was scared by that conclusion as well.

I have heard a terrible rumor circulating that several internal polls run by different political parties are showing a large jump in support for NZ First off the back of Prosser's absurd comments.

Maybe the dark side and ignorance of NZs psyche is not nearly as dead as I had hoped.

Out of all the minorities our political parties choose to attack, why can't it ever be the richest 1%?


Why the NBR are wrong about Radio NZ

Interesting piece in the NBR trying to link the NPR model in America with what we should do in NZ with RNZ..

Sadly it won't work. The subscriber option that keeps NPR afloat simply can not work in NZ. Our problem has always been that we have a tiny population, that tiny population can not support subscriber only funded media, that is always the reason why the Government has had to step in with cash for Public Broadcasting.

Using the American example as NBR does shows a terrible lack of imagination and a denial of reality. The suggestions the NBR put up as means for which RNZ can generate cash are just ridiculous...

Pledge drives: like NPR and its affiliates do, run twice yearly drives to attract donations from listeners. Advertise the fact that, since RNZ is a registered charity, donations are tax deductible. Given the support on the Save Radio New Zealand Facebook page, there’s likely to be some support for this.
Won't work for the reasons I've stated, too small a population base.

Membership scheme: Taking the pledge drive a step further, RNZ could offer memberships that include things like VIP invites to broadcast events –RNZ currently does a number of these in science and the arts.
Yawn. It won't generate enough cash - if you are pinching people for let's say $50 per year as a pledge, you want to try and shake another $50 out of them for VIP offers? Come on, that's just fantasy stuff.

Build an endowment: The RNZ board could be put to work to secure large cheques from wealthy family trusts, individuals and companies. NPR’s endowment received a US$200 million boost in 2003 when wealthy philanthropist Joan B. Kroc left the massive bequest for the network. If RNZ could pull together $100 million, that, properly invested, could return $3 – 5 million a year tax free for operations.
Is the NBR even trying now? There aren't that many philanthropists in NZ and they would all arrive with their own agendas - what if you are doing a news report demanding higher taxes?

Corporate underwriting: As with NPR, there’s likely to be tolerance for a low-level of corporate writing of RNZ shows and sponsored slots on its website. I could see this working for the station’s magazine-style shows, like Saturday Morning with Kim Hill and for Concert FM.
Come on - you put one advert or sponsorship deal on RNZ and all hell will break lose. It will be considered the cultural equivalent of farting and then self-combusting in a church. You really think those 30 000 odd supporters on Save RNZ would consider that an option?

Music, books and merchandise: Receiving such a flood of artists through its doors for interviews and in-studio performances and with its rich heritage in classical music, RNZ could diversify into publishing music – digitally and on CD. The same could go for popular culture books, anthologies, biographies. Merchandise – RNZ cups, bags, t-shirts etc could also bring in some cash.
Look, we all want a 'I love Kim Hill T-shirt' and breakfast mug, but that's a fuck load of T-shirts and mugs you have to sell to pay for the station. This is the icing on the cake, it ain't the cake.

Grants: NPR and affiliates do quite well from universities and foundations that give money for specific shows, projects or documentary series. Such funding has to meet strict criteria and ensure complete editorial independence. I could see RNZ’s science show Our Changing World, for instance, being sponsored by the CRIs (indeed this once did happen) or the universities.
Could be a good way to fund some programs, but that will be about it.

Online news: RNZ’s web presence is pretty good for finding and playing back audio but its online news coverage is minimalist. If Fairfax and APN put up pay walls this year, there could be an opportunity to beef up its online news content and offer some sort of advertising around it (in the same way that NPR has “brought to you by…” slots on its website.
One bright idea amongst a pretty dim lot from the NBR - yes RNZ should look at the news it generates online for advertising, but again it's a culture shock to the audience.

So what is the solution? Well, it's so obvious it is painful the amount of times I need to explain it.

What so few commenting on generating revenue for Radio NZ seem to understand is that there is another option. Jenny Shipley put aside 3 frequencies for the 'Radio Youth Network'. When Labour got into power, they decided to just hand those bloody frequencies over to Mediaworks who couldn't believe their luck that the idiot Labour Government would allow them to smother and kill off an advert free youth radio station. Mediaworks understood that no one would bother listening to the Rock and the Edge if there was an advert free alternative. These frequencies are worth $2 million a piece, that's $6million worth of State owned asset that Labour just handed over to a foreign owned media company without so much as a long term plan.

This abomination became the terrible KIWI Fm which because of its 100% NZ Music playlist immediately tanked and has become the limping nothing ghetto land it is today.

I'm sure I can still hear Mediaworks laughing at how they managed to con the Labour Government into this. I've had Labour MPs up about this, and they didn't even seem to be aware that NZ still owned KIWI FM.

I say (and have been saying for some time now) that the Government end this nonsense and take the frequencies back. Shut down Kiwi and relaunch it as Radio NZ2.

RNZ2 would have the next generation of Gen X broadcasters hosting news talk radio. You could pipe the RNZ news through to RNZ2 and you could bring sponsors on board on that station. It would need to be 'liberal' talkback and not the usual feral right wing talkback because the right wing talkback radio market is at saturation point.

RNZ has the largest audience base of any radio station, but it accounts for nothing because you can't monetize that audience while it's on a radio station that doesn't play adverts or have any sponsorship.

RNZ2 could have sponsorship on it and it could be rolled out at a very low cost. That station could bring audience share that can generate revenue.

This could be the only PPP that actually works for the Government.

All the ideas the NBR have unimaginatively come up with wouldn't make much money. An entirely new radio station, using assets that we've given away to Mediaworks, could be the station that makes the money RNZ so desperately needs. This way RNZ wouldn't have to change one tiny little hair on their precious little heads in terms of content. You could still get dreary radio plays focusing on sexual experimentation in Wellington suburbs during the 1970s or those ever fascinating 19th Century colonial radio plays exploring gender roles. And don't forget the bloody bird calls. They could still have their bloody birdcalls.

RNZ2 could generate real revenue without changing Radio NZ National. It's time the board became innovative and create something that would not only expand public broadcasting considerably but also make money.

I say all of this of course as the person who was banned from Radio NZ for criticizing the Prime Minister.


Auckland Pride (in the name of love)

I got to take my daughter to her first Auckland Pride parade on Saturday. The tolerance, the genuine sense of community and joy shows all the reasons why I like living in Auckland. Welcome back pride parade - you make our city a far better place to live.

Thanks to Nikki Kaye and Kevin Hague for all their championing to help see this return.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Living Wage Launch Review

The Living Wage Review
Guest Blog from The Liberal Agenda

The Living Wage was launched on the 14th of February. I like to think of it as a Valentine’s Day present to everyone in low wage work. It’s clearly time to share the love a bit better than what we’ve been managing as a society.

The launch was attended by representatives from an assortment of community and faith groups, political parties (kia ora Labour/Greens/Mana), ethical employers, unions, academics and supporters.

It’s awesome to have such a range of people support the idea of workers being able to live with dignity in return for their work.

The launch was timed to coincide with the Precarious Work symposium at AUT. I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow (not that any of it was boring, but my recounting it might be) of the two days but a personal highlight was the presentation by Guy Standing about the Precariat. It was one of those YES-that’s-the-thing-that-I’ve-been-thinking-about-but-was-unable-to-express-it-with-your-cleverness-and-eloquence moments. If you’ve got a spare $50, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of his book. He explained modern class systems in the most convincing way I’ve heard and was exceptionally clear and passionate. He talked of how we were the first generations to turn citizens into denizens by eroding social, political, civil, cultural and economic rights.

The most useful thing he talked about though were the measures by which we should judge all social policies. There are 3:

1- They must increase security for those who are least secure. They certainly shouldn’t ever decrease it.
2- They must not limit freedoms of of any one group of citizens more than others (take note Paula Bennett).
3- They must frame the conversation in terms of rights, not charity.

My favourite line though, said with beautiful British accent, was about how we must stop this ‘TWADDLE’ about preparing people for jobs, as that’s not what higher education is about. According to him, we need to be developing subversive liberal attitudes. Heck yeah.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Citizen A with Matthew Hooton & Keith Locke

Citizen A with Matthew Hooton & Keith Locke

Issue 1: Richard Prosser - is he racist? What are the ramifications for NZ First and does this reflect poorly on MMP?

Issue 2: Salvation Army gives the Government a D for child poverty, housing and employment - what is the Government doing?

and Issue 3 tonight: John Key's decision to take Australia's refugees - what do we get?

Citizen A broadcasts on FACE Television, 7.30pm Thursday Sky 89 & Auckland UHF


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Auckland Fringe Festival review: Salon Mika

Auckland Fringe Festival review: Salon Mika
Guest Blog from The Liberal Agenda

Excuse me I just need a moment. *fans self frantically*

Salon Mika is up there with the sexiest things I’ve experienced with my clothes on. There was poetry and jazz and burlesque and dance and sexy men in hot-pants ground (grinded?) upon me. And I’m quite excited by the whole experience.

You know when you experience art that leaves you tingling because of its energy and genuineness? Well Salon Mika is one of those. I am on a total high right now because of how fun and genuine (and yes, I know I’ve already used that word but it’s the best one for it) it was. This is cabaret in earnest. Some of the performers are virgins to the stage, others are seasoned professionals. All are having a bloody good time.

Highlights for me include the bilingual Skyfall and Leda Petit. It’s understandable why Mika was so keen to have this talented burlesque dancer join his troupe. She is sex in a sequined corset. Megan Alatini, a guest jazz vocalist, is also sensational with one of those voices that you just want to listen to more of. In true cabaret style, the performers all roam (aided by mohawked top-to-toe-lycraed boys with travelling spots) so it doesn’t matter where you end up, you will feel a part of the action. If you’re by the bar (as I was) you will most likely have a groin in your face at some point (as I did (that’s not necessarily a complaint)).

The costuming and set are creative and adventurous. The set reminds me a bit of a High School Haunted House set up in a gymnasium. But not in a derogatory way at all. I couldn’t work out why I liked it so much at first. Then I realised it’s because it feels like its been put together by humans, which is a really nice touch. The same goes for the costumes too. Throughout the whole show you feel very much like you’ve been let into this fun little project of their's which is less about polish and more about soul. Mika, and the rest of the cast in fact, are the types who will start a conversation with you as you congratulate them on your way out. It all contributes to a sense of being in on something quite spesh.

I’m not sure how it is that Mika is not more world famous (or at least more world famous in New Zealand) but I’m not complaining because it means it’s still possible to pick up tickets to his shows for $25 ($12 for concessions). Highly recommended.

SALON MIKA Wed 13 - Sat 16 Feb, 8.30pm. Wed 20 - Sat 23 Feb 8.30pm.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Campbell Live beats TVOne for first time - congratulations John!

Campbell Live beats TV One - first time ever
Campbell Live last night beat the TV One 7pm show Seven Sharp overall audience for the first time since Campbell Live began in 2005.

It is also the first time TV3 has ever beaten TV One in the 7pm weekday slot since TV3 began in November 1989.

Seven Sharp took another hit in the ratings on Tuesday night after a short recovery in Monday's show, according to overnight ratings from Nielsen TAM.

The overnight ratings are significant, with Seven Sharp last night providing the most accomplished performance so far. Fewer people would have seen the signs of improvement on the show.

The audience for people aged over five years is an indicator of the total audience, which is dominated by TV One. Last night's ratings illustrate the danger that older Seven Sharp's viewers - carried over by its predecessor, Close Up - are migrating to Campbell Live.

Heartfelt congratulations to John Campbell, Mark Jennings and the entire Campbell Live team! Well done guys, what an incredible achievement. After all those years, fighting the good fight to bring real journalism to the 7pm slot instead of the watered down crap TVNZ served up.

The irony is that TVNZ is supposed to be our public broadcaster and is supposed to be the fourth estate holding the powerful to account, where as TV3 are the private company only focused on making a buck.

Campbell Live has fought off @ Seven which in 2010 was going to be the cost cutting effort implemented by a debt laden Ironbridge, there were rumors of Campbell Live being on the chopping block and all that nonsense over John wearing a tie.

Well look who is laughing now? By realizing that we are in a deep, deep recession and understanding that when NZers can't afford to be consumers they want to be citizens, Campbell Live's mix of crusading journalism and genuine attempt at accountability has finally paid off and all can hold their heads high as the best AND most popular current affairs program in NZ.

It's a god damned shame the TV Awards just got scrapped, because sweet zombie Jesus, Campbell Live would have romped home.

The hate crime against public broadcasting that is Seven Sharp is now hemorrhaging. Oh how Mark Sainsbury must be laughing his great shaggy arse off. I've explained that Seven Sharp is a frankenstein monster created by marketing rather than news, and have listed the billion reasons why it was never going to work, and they are all occurring in rapid succession.

Why TVNZ didn't heed the warning of the @ Seven fiasco attempted by TV3 in 2010 is utterly beyond me.

TVNZ marketing wanted Seven Sharp so that the advertising overlap from Shortland Street could find a home, and they would have expected the older audience to leave, (but not in the numbers they have). TVNZ hoped that the social media element would have brought more younger viewers in which wasn't a completely stupid strategy seeing as a younger demographic do want a current affairs show that deals with their record unemployment, their record poverty and their record debt. Sadly Seven Sharp was never going to be a vehicle for that. Seven Sharp is there to provide a safe, depoliticized advertising space, it isn't about subversively standing up for those on the bottom of the heap and as such is failing abysmally.

People will vote with their remote and they are.

While Seven Sharp was expecting a dip, they can't have imagined the train wreck it has become. I love how TVNZ news boss Ross Dagan says 'it's too early to judge Seven Sharp'. Mate, how in denial are you? Losing over 200 000 viewers in one week? People have judged Ross and they are damning in their judgment.

The winners here are John Campbell, Mark Sainsbury and the current affairs viewing audience who are now watching something far better than Seven Sharp. The losers are every single person involved in Seven Sharp and the National Party. Campbell Live's focus on the real issues rather than the pap of Seven Sharp mean the Government have to deal with a public slowly waking up.

Campbell Live deserve a standing ovation. The clock must now be ticking to end Seven Sharp.


List of organizations supporting MANA's 'Feed the Kids' Bill

As MANA's 'Feed the Kids' Bill builds up to the vote in Parliament, more organizations are lending their support...

Anglican Church,
Auckland Action Against Poverty,
Child Poverty Action Group,
CTU Rūnanga,
Every Child Counts,
Methodist Church,
NZ Educational Institute,
NZ Nurses’ Organisation,
NZ Principals’ Federation,
Poverty Action Waikato,
Save the Children,
Te ORA (Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa): Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association,
Te Rōpū Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora (Māori Women’s Welfare League),
Unicef NZ,
Women’s Refuge,
Zen Peacemakers Aotearoa.


Dear World - we are very, very, very sorry for Richard Prosser

Prosser wanna cracker or Prosser is a cracker?

When I first heard what Prosser had said, I thought that it was some crazy nonsense he had written a decade ago in Investigate Magazine. His demands that young Muslim men can't fly on 'our airlines' just sounded so 2002. You know what I mean? The sort of mutant thinking warped within the shadow of 9/11 by frightened idiots.

Then I read it's something he wrote a couple of weeks ago, the catalyst being a temper tantrum he threw over not being able to take a pen knife onto a flight???

Let's ignore the staggering racism, let's ignore his bullshit reasoning and let's ignore that the only on flight terrorism NZ has ever faced was from a woman on a regional flight and a pakeha trying to fly his plane into the Sky Tower - let's just focus on Prosser and the political ramifications.

If this news gets global and causes vast anger, Winston has no choice but to sack him. The last thing anyone wants here is a global incident caused by this dickhead.

Frankly I just don't think NZers share Prosser's Muslim bigotry. Our racism is casual and always focused at Maori or Asians because they threaten Pakeha economic dominance, NZs 30 000 Muslims don't really do that and Prosser's words will probably have a detrimental impact on NZ First's poll ratings.

Why Brendan Horan had to be kicked out of the Party, but Prosser's hate seems okay are double standards that are not helping NZ First.

I said the political freak show Winston brought in on his coat tails would implode before 2014, I just didn't think it would begin so quickly.


Why Key & National won't support the Living Wage

I fear all the amazing work the SFWU have put into a Living Wage will fall on deaf ears in this Government.

The new Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges, claims that the Government want to raise the standard of living via the minimum wage. If that is true, sadly many NZers will die in poverty before they see any horizon out of poverty. Between 1997 and 1999, National didn't lift the minimum wage from the pathetic $4.20 per hour. From 2000 to 2008, Labour moved it from $4.55 to $12.00 and since then Key has taken it to $12.50 up to $13.50 in 4 years. Just another example of how NZ is better off under Labour than National.

We shouldn't be surprised that our vacant aspiration multi-millionaire leader who lives in a bubble world of wealth has zero empathy with the poor. For all of John's "I grew up in a state house' shtick, the welfare Key enjoyed was gold plated, where as today it's shit encrusted.

Let us not forget as conveniently as the mainstream media has what John has said about the poor while he's been the Prime Minister. He described a Universal child payment last year as 'dopey'

John said that the poor required food parcels, not because of the economic policy he implemented, but because it was their own fault...

Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key
Prime Minister John Key says beneficiaries who resort to food banks do so out of their own "poor choices" rather than because they cannot afford food.

...then there was what John Key told Church leaders in December of 2010...

“If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”

...Key hates poor people. He blames them for the poverty they live in and he doesn't think any would die if he cut off their benefit. His $50-$200million wealth insulates him from poverty and a genuine understanding of the pain those on the bottom of the social heap have to endure.

The true tragedy for NZ's poor is that Key's vacant aspiration and empty optimism routine cons so many of them into voting for National when National's policy is counter productive to their interests. The two bob tory phenomena is made more bitter when you consider how our inequality has soared to it's highest level under Key.

John Key is the aspirational piece of cheese forever out of reach of the rat, promising salvation if they just work harder. The reality is that many NZers work their fingers to the bone and have nothing but National's hollow promises to put on the table at the end of the week.

We need a social floor in NZ and it is the Government's responsibility to build that social floor. MANA's 'Feed the Kids' Bill will be debated mid year, that is an attempt to at least stop the hemorrhaging. The SFWUs Living Wage is a means to start reversing the scourge of poverty, but it's attempts will make no headway with this Government.

The 1% have no interest in the lowest members of the 99%


Vote for Pope Bomber

So there I was yesterday listening to John Key's farcical justifications for endorsing Australia's inhumane refugee policy (I hope you are all noting that SERCO who run our private prisons also run the Australian refugee detention camps - does Key have shares in SERCO?) thinking that there was more chance of me becoming the next leader of the National Party than boat people arriving in NZ.

Then I thought, actually, there is more chance of me being made the next Pope than boat people arriving in NZ.

So with that in mind and with the Pope resigning on the same day I announce that I am stepping down from Tumeke I thought that before I announce next Tuesday what I am launching for March 1st, I'd do a quick pitch for me becoming Pope.

If elected Pope Bomber, I shall promise the following...

-The selection process will be renamed 'Pope Idol' will use a lot of false Idols.

-Pope Bomber would allow condom use, women doing what they want and the immediate dissolution of Church doctrine.

-Pope Bomber would announce that Seven Sharp is really purgatory.

-Pope Bomber is totally down with Gay Marriage, cannabis reform & a financial transaction tax.

-Pope Bomber says back to sustainable fish on Fridays.

-Pope Bomber would allow abortions and all that gold melted down and given back to the 3rd world countries it was taken from.

-Pope Bomber would cast out Talent 2 and heal the teachers, (I was asked if Pope Bomber could heal Seven Sharp and I replied 'there are some things even God can't do').

-Pope Bomber would cast Richard Prosser into an ironic hell where he has to work as a flight attendant on Muslim airlines.

And finally, if elected Pope, Pope Bomber would change the papal easter hat...

...I'm thinking that it's going to require a lot of white smoke coming from many chimneys for me to get elected.


The Matt Hicks interview: Whaleoil, Radio NZ 2 & the death of public broadcasting

The very interesting Matt Hicks interviewed me on a range of topics from Cameron Slater to Radio NZ 2 and the death of public broadcasting.

I also give some insight as to what I am launching on March 1st. It's worth a look.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I'm stepping down from Tumeke - what I have in common with the Pope today

Dear blogging whanau.

I never thought I'd ever have much in common with the Pope, but today is also the day that I am announcing that this will be my final month at Tumeke.

I think this may also be the first time in 600 years that a blogger steps down?

I began blogging as a guest blogger in 2005, took over as editor while Tim was the last NZer ever serving time for sedition and became a regular blogger when he returned as editor.

It's been a blast. Blogging is a full contact sport, no holds are barred and the bloodied noses and bruised egos are all part of the game. For those bloggers I've clashed against while on Tumeke, I at least salute you for being in the debate when so many of our fellow citizens seem asleep. I may never have agreed with what you had to say, but at least you had the courage of your convictions to say it.

Of course, it hasn't been all plain sailing. There were times when the fights got very nasty and it seemed at one stage that the word Tumeke was Maori for 'the blog Bryce Edwards refuses to reference'. The low point was the supposedly liberal Imperator Fish publishing my contact details online. Sewer tactics aside, it's been a fun and thrilling 8 years of activism and devil's advocacy.

I want to pay homage to Tim Selwyn who I consider one of the most interesting bloggers in the NZ blogosphere. His turns of phrase can make me bellow with mirth into my morning coffee. His foresight that blogs would increasingly be influencers in the news debate were well founded and Tumeke remains one of the grand old dames of the NZ blogosphere with our highest level ever of page views hitting over 100 000 in a month. I wish Tim all the best for the future.

Tumeke has also had Phoebe Fletcher and Ben Thomas (the current right hand of Minister Chris Finlayson) and even Ross Meurant as casual bloggers here as well. They are all marvelous.

All good things come to an end, and this is my end at Tumeke.

I've decided to step down at the end of the month because of an incident that occurred last year.

It was the Labour Party Conference. Watching the mainstream media manufacture a leadership coup because they were personally surprised by the shock of members and unions wanting to make the Party more democratic astounded me.

It made me realize how small and narrow the focus of the mainstream media really was. The manufactured crisis at the Hobbit, the Titewhai fetish at Waitangi, and the ease with which media are turned into a vehicle for Government spin rather than critics of Government spin are all to me, examples of what happens when we have so few avenues for a counter perspective.

As Seven Sharp becomes the new dumbed down bench mark for critical public debate, I'm determined to put together a counter weight to that narrative and start to not only challenge it, but to begin amplifying the arguments needed for us to find the solutions to 270 000 kids in poverty, a real unemployment rate in double figures and the highest rate of inequality we've ever had.

We need an economic debate, a social debate and a cultural debate that has no fear of slaughtering New Zealand's right wing sacred cows. Sadly we have a news media and hard right blogosphere that only seems to want to feed, water and maintain those sacred cows.

On March 1st I'm launching something new, consider it my media blow for a more egalitarian New Zealand. That announcement will be made next week on Tumeke.

Until then I'll see out my month here, albeit a wee bit less frequently due to organising everything for March, but it is time for me to take the next step and that next step begins in 17 days.

Kia ora and thanks for reading. I never expected you to agree with everything I said, but it was a humbling privilege that you took time out to read it.

I'm very excited with what I am about to launch. Beware the ideas of March.

Follow me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK for all the latest details.