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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Yawn news

UMR has just telephoned to complete a survey on One News. Oh joy, at last I could tell someone what I think of Tony Vietch and Simon Dallow. I feel much better now.

Yes, Bill Ralston is pissing the Govt. dividends away on desperate opinion polling. What a waste. He obviously has no idea - just keep changing everything around and keep polling - while the ratings slide. Each time something changes it's one more reason to change to 3 - because One becomes less "established" and "familiar." I don't think he understands that. Sure, rejuvination is always necessary, but not Tony Vietch - he's repulsive - most people I know cannot stand him for even one second. Automatic turn-over. Simon Dallow's a smarmy know-it-all creep too. They just aren't likable.

And so there will be more gnashing of teeth etc. at TVNZ HQ and another panicked response to claw back the Auckland market. More "Your news" bullshit? It's just patronising crap - meaningless cack. The questions about whether a news show gives me "opportunities to contribute" to stories is clearly aimed at the One news ad campaign. Well it's stink. It's not talkback - it's a network fucking news broadcast! If a show is good I shouldn't have to contribute should I? Don't they know what the news is? Are members of the public really supposed to add to news stories? Ridiculous.

So here are the questions and also how I answered them (has been abbreviated):

All questions related to news shows 5:30-7pm

Where do you get your news from?: internet/newspapers/tv/radio/magazines/word of mouth

Which evening news do you watch mainly?: 3

Have you watched One news at all in the last few days?: Yes

Have you changed news shows in last year?: yes

In past few months have you considered changing channels and watching one news?: no

Your ideal news show? (0=not important - very important=10)

fresh/dynamic 5
comprehensive national news 10
politics 10
weather 0
feeling I can relate to presenters 6
international 10
providing me with opportunties conribute to stories 0
being established/familiar 1
providing stories that enable me to understand how this news will impact on my life 6
sports 3
latest news as it happens 9
feeling respectful/doesn't talk down to me 8

Which feature most important?: national news
Which feature least important?: weather

How do the news shows measure up? (0=very bad - very good=10) One news/3 news

international 5/8
fresh/dynamic 2/8
politics: 5/8
national: 6/8
contribute: 3/3
respectful: 0/9
latest: 6/8
understand impact: 6/7
sports: 4/8
presenters: 0/10
weather: 5/6
established/familair: 1/9

Compared with other news sources? (0=very bad - 10=very good) One news/3 news

adds value: 4/8
new angles/perspectives stories: 3/7
handles stories already covered: 5/7


One news presenters (0=very bad - very good=10)
Simon Dallow: 0 reasons: smug/combative unscripted asides to Neil Waka/patronising and condescending/smary/know-it-all
Wendy Petrie: 0 reasons: smarmy/light-weight/non-intelligence
One news additional comments: sack Tony Veitch/less weather/stop sacking everyone - except Tony Veitch and weather presenters: sack them.

3 news presenters (0=very bad - very good=10)
Hillary Barry: 7
Mike McRoberts: 8


Seen any ads for 3 news/prime/one news?: yes: magzines/newspapers/billboards/buses (and mail drop for one news)
Seen any ads for Sky news?: no

What do you recall about one news ads?: "your news" /wendy is hot says taxi driver
What is message you take from one news ads?: changed presenters/ratings battle

Ads for news (0=very bad - very good=10) one news/3 news
more likely to watch show 0/6
believable 0/6
new information 0/2
different info 5/5
enjoy watching it 0/1
points are relevant 0/1
seem more appealing 0/3


Age/occupation/main grocery shopper/income/renting-owning/adults in household/ethnic group(s)/rural-urban/children/sky tv


Oh so very harsh on One. Ralston killed off Judy - for no good reason - what do you expect!? I added that Tony Marsh is hot and that's the only good thing about the weather on either channel, but forgot to say that Pippa Wetzell on weather duty would be a great move for One. Unfortunately without devoting serious stalking time this is all I could find (it certainly looks like her but the site is in Chinese):

UPDATE: A quality control person rang back so I got to record my advice on regime change in the weather department. I insisted that "Pippa is hotter than Wendy" be added also.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Taking it up the ARPES

Treasury's long-term plan of introducing road pricing tolling on public roads inches closer today with the close of public submissions to the Ministry of Transport's $2.3m Auckland Road Pricing Evaluation Study (ARPES).

The officials of the Auckland City Council are as cock-a-hoop as Treasury about charging people money for nothing in return. And as the officials will also expand their bureaucracy as well as revenue what else would you expect. NZ Herald reports the usual council bitch/fight:

Last-ditch pleas by members of the council's centre-left majority for the whole charging idea to be scrapped because Auckland's public transport system was far too inadequate to replace car trips failed to head off a 10-6 vote to crank up investigations.
They were unable to sway their team leader and Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker, who called for more road-pricing investigations to learn how to wean Aucklanders off their "love affair with the car".
But the council watered down a draft submission from officers which would have accepted the desirability of introducing road-pricing to Auckland, rather than just studying it in greater detail, as called for in last night's vote

So it seems Hucker has been successfully captured by the officials it seems - not so his fellow travellers (or should that be commuters?). There's more reservations than Las Vegas:
Senior Labour councillor Richard Northey led a rearguard effort to wipe road-pricing off the map, saying roads were part of the public domain on which people still needed free access.
Cathy Casey said road-pricing was "weasel" language for tolling and it would discriminate against city workers forced by high property prices to live in far-flung suburbs.
"We are completely out of touch with the public mood."

But the right wing less so:
Mr Milne said he would like to think roads would never have to be charged, especially if Auckland received the money it deserved from the Government, but it was crucial to gather more information.

More information on how to screw ourselves over? More information that will waste thousands and then millions of dollars on paying officials and Deloittes for more reports on things that we don't want? What is he thinking? Hmmm... maybe: How to get all those yucky poor people off the roads and into the risibly substandard, under-resourced, ill-considered, poorly-planned public transport so The Man in his 4 litre company car can get a clear run into town? And Hucker's motivation? A trip around the world studying the "options" perhaps?

What about rationing cars so that eco-friendly ones don't have to pay? Environmental concerns? No. What about getting more people per car? No. No - it's all quite explicitly about only two things: Reduce congestion and Raise revenue.

This is not about solving the morning peak congestion per se - it is about how to implement systems of tolling. So for what it was worth I made my online submission:

(1) Reactions and comments on the study and its findings:

Focus on congestion and revenue totally overwhelms considerations of environmental affects and how to get more people per vehicle as well as no focus on countervailing public transport initiatives.
HOV/HOT lanes are excluded and rejected out of hand as a form of solution - this is neglegent.
Tolling options do not include other reasonable solutions such as improving the internal flow of traffic by improving and widening intersections, tunnels etc.
Seems like the dead hand of Treasury is all over this one.

(2) Whether road pricing is a good idea as a means to manage congestion and raise revenue, given its other potential social, economic and environmental impacts:

No it's a bad idea. It discriminates against those who are not wealthy, taxes a public asset that ought to be free like the rest of the roading system that has already been paid for, holds captive those who must use those roads at that time, has no alternative except shoddy public transport to those successfully excluded from driving through the cordon, will create increased traffic congestion at the boundaries and is a bureaucrats wet dream and a nightmare for everyone else.

(3) If the government were to enable road pricing, are there any areas you have identified in the report that could be improved or problems that would need to be overcome?

Don't introduce road pricing - then there won't be any.

(4) If the government were not to enable road pricing, what other feasible alternatives are there to meaningfully manage congestion, acknowledging the significant investment the government is already making in additional roading and public transport?

The problem is "the significant investment the government is already making in additional roading and public transport" is being mis-spent. The North Shore bus lanes next to the Northern motorway is taking forever and yet an entire new viaduct exit to Nelson Street from the Southern Motorway can be built right next to the existing one that was perfectly good and be completed in less than two years. Money is being squandered. Priorities are askew.

Auckland is beset by too many organisations supposedly looking after public transport. Auckland needs a single transit authority mandated to build and run an integrated rail system using all rail corridors and creation of lines all over the city like any normal metropolis. This authority needs to be focused only on rail - ferrys, buses etc. will just distract and we will end up with what we have now as attention is diverted. A model could be the Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority Act 1950 where the lines of accountability, finance etc. are clearly spelled out. It may take 50 years to complete the network - but what will we have in 50 years from now on our current plans? - Road pricing and a few bus lanes.

You cannot propose road pricing without adequate public transport alternatives.

Our outlook must be 50-100 years not 5-10. The councils must stop making ad hoc 1-3 metre strips and must commit to taking 10-15m for the sake of our future requirements.

Intersection improvements are often also mis-handled. The recent Symonds St-Newton Rd-Khyber Pass dogleg realignment doesn't even have a bus lane to go into Khyber Pass. This sort of mistake is negligence. Tunnels could also be made at various points to increase traffic flow as there are many opportunities for this esp. in the area around the outskirts of the CBD.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

One year old today

One year and 254 posts ago this blog began:

The intention is to convey ideas, provoke debate, provide a forum for discussion and irritate people and institutions that deserve to be so disturbed, always with a view to reform and advancement of ourselves, our society, our state, and our world. Kia ora.

I would like to think that original mandate has been faithfully executed and that it will continue.

And I don't quite know how to put this, but it started because I couldn't make a comment on the conservative right wing anti-Public Address (at that time) unless I had a blog. And I felt compelled to put them right on Iraq. You see I had to have a blog - they forced me to participate. And in doing so found that with them, as with others, I had at least some elements of ideological overlap along with the usual concern/contempt for the MSM. It is amazing the hypocrisy, lies, cover-ups and routine scandals that bloggers have brought to our attention that the MSM have either neglected to report or have in fact created by their poor standards.

After a few exchanges bloggers seem to know which topics are fruitless pursuing through the comments section and so things have settled down to the point of co-existence, co-operation and even centrism.

There have been many highlights, many solid posts, many choice observations as well as the frivilous and non-starters. The betting odds with the election date and then the election result was great fun - many bloggers were good enough sports to put their cred on the line - it was a very worthwhile project. Oh, and I got it right and Centrebet et al got it wrong. I was immeasurably pleased to have bet the big boys at their own game.

Continuous improvement in the format has been noticeable since December and other moves involving other people are in the preparatory stage. Mr Bradbury has assisted occassionally in his own orthodoxly/conspiratorially leftist way with content and I thank him for adding that balance.

I tried to run some best posts of 2005 in January and found there was far more than I had expected. So apart from the list below I'll leave you with my most useful contribution to date:

Philisophically Made has been posing many a soul-searching, life-the-universe-and-everything questions recently and in particular what the point of a blog is, exactly. I gave them my definition:

"The least popular people using the widest possible medium to convey the most unfounded ideas to the smallest possible audience for the minutist of effects."

Give, or take, that's pretty much it really.

Best book review/insult to Russell Brown's professionalism: Brown's land of the light weight crowd

Best first warning: Don't Panic!

Best second warning: "A rapid and substantial market-led exchange rate depreciation" esp. 12:30am 7 Sept.
Just passed the US$0.71c barrier in trading- buy US$ now with your Kiwi - it won't be much more affordable than this. Esp. in oil futures. Kiwi buys €0.57c is at the moment that's also too high.

Most heart-warming comment: "...we owe you big favour, and we got it on our mind to do good to you, because we, well one of the fascist bros make four thousand dollar on your previous recommendation about the ‘Rapid sudden decline of the $NZ”, and sure enough, probably your classical economic outlook which put you so firmly in the center..."

Best David Slack impersonation: If NZ history was 24 hours in a flat

Best Idiot/Savant impersonation: Secret government and their agents

Best Herald-bashing: Junior Dumb Pratt Award Winner Announced

Best trashing of a Sunday Star-Times editor/scooping of Russell Brown: Credibility divide

Best TV review: Gormsby show 7 periods too long

Most uptight immigration critique: On the language of immigration esp: "I don't so much see the river Tiber frothing with much blood as a squat tiolet down which we are flushing our heritage and future."

Worst call: Goff: September poll! "3:17pm today, Parliament. Phil Goff has just said "When the electorate goes to the polls in September." Bullshit. I give the odds on that at 5-1."

Best post title about an embattled Labour Minister (current): Thai to foul up Field (Taito Philip Field)

Best post title about an embattled Labour Minister (former): Exit, stooge left (Dame Ann Hercus)

Only meme I know I definitely started: Why did the chicken cross the road?
UPDATE: And possibly this one ?. The timing and content is spooky.

Most practical republican ideaConstitutional convention blog: new agenda

Most so-crazy-it-just-might-work idea: Public Holidays Reform (Transition to Republic) Act 2005

Best bureaucratic accountability (individuals): Labour's home to Dr Cock-up

Best bureaucratic accountability (departmental): Time to cut the M-FAT

Best sarcasm: Are Exclusive Brethren "mainstream," Dr Brash? Really? A fringe group of control-freak, wife-abusing, bible-bashing, pathologically insecure white men are linked to the National party? You don't say.

Most short-lived satisfaction: He was a skater boy - I said, "See you later, boy." esp. On Nandor failing to get back: good fucking job - the lazy, complacent bastard... Maybe he'll get his act together now, or retreat entirely, he's going to have to think about that because, Nandor:
You're fired!

Best public service/petition to Governor-General: 18 November - Confiscation Day

Most uncharacteristic restraint (obituary): Lange: The reason I wrote ill of you, from time to time, was because you could never live up to the high expectations you had made it possible to believe in.

Best silly season post: Queen Street: Is it really about the trees?

Best post with documents the Crown claim are seditious: Solipsism redefined/Does anyone care?

Best use of Ben Thomas: Of Muslim mobs, the NZ Herald and the student press

Best avoidence of running "those Danish cartoons": Islamo-facetious

Best use of an old Maori proverb: Fuck you - pay me: Loose bitches need short leashes.

M Bradbury guest blog: Media lies 102

-------------------------GUEST BLOG: M BRADBURY------------------------

Media lies 102

Last week a little moment in history passed without ANY comment. I won' t throw myself into a pit of rage over the fact that the mainstream media in their usual blind pursuit of the trivial and mediocre didn' t bother to look over their shoulder at this event, I mean who likes to remind anyone that their coverage of an issue was so full of official propaganda that it would make Goebbels smile.

The event I speak of was Waco Texas. 13 years ago the fiery Armageddon David Koresh had prophesised to his followers came to pass. The cover up and white wash of the officially sanctioned murder that was committed that day against members of the Branch Dividian by the FBI should be held high as an example of how the corporate media act as propaganda merchants and dis-information spreaders that effectively allows the US government of getting away with murder.

For those of you who have been blinded by the official story, let me enlighten you:

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, exercising its mandate to "regulate" firearms, refused all invitations from cult leader David Koresh to inspect his licensed weapons. The A.T.F. instead opted for fun. Under pressure to explain a number of bungled operations, the ATF phoned local media the day prior to their Branch Dividian raid to try and drum up good PR and deflect criticism that they were a heavily militarised, budget bloated pack of incompetent morons. More than 100 A.T.F. agents, without proper warrants, attacked the church's compound while, overhead, at least one A.T.F. helicopter fired at the roof of the main building. Six Branch Davidians were killed that day. Four A.T.F. agents were shot dead, by friendly fire.

There was a stand-off. Followed by a 51-day siege in which loud music and rabbits screaming was played 24 hours a day outside the compound. Then electricity was turned off. Food was denied the children, and the body of one of the Branch Dividians was run over 6 times by a tank on the front lawn - that will make those inside the compound feel less frightened.

Meanwhile, the media were briefed regularly on the evils of David Koresh. Apparently, he was making and selling crystal meth; he was also - what else in these sick times? - not a man of God but a paedophile. The new Attorney-General, Janet Reno, then got tough. On April 19 she ordered the F.B.I. to finish up what the A.T.F. had begun. In defiance of the Posse Comitatus Act (a basic bulwark of fragile American liberties that forbids the use of the military against civilians), tanks of the Texas National Guard and the army's Joint Task Force 6 attacked the compound with a gas deadly to children and not too healthy for adults while ramming holes in the building. Some Davidians escaped. Others were shot dead by F.B.I. snipers.

In an investigation six years later, the F.B.I. denied ever shooting off anything much more than a pyrotechnic tear-gas canister. Finally, during a six-hour assault, the building was set fire to and then bulldozed by Bradley armoured vehicles. God saw to it that no F.B.I. man was hurt while 77 cult members were killed, of whom 27 were children. It was a great victory for Uncle Sam, as intended by the F.B.I., whose code name for the assault was "Show Time."

The only ramification from this day of horror came on its anniversary two years later, when At 9:02 am on Wednesday, April 19, 1995, a highly decorated Gulf War veteran, who had read about what had really happened at Waco, exploded a van bomb outside the federal building in Oklahoma City killing 168 men, women, and children. His name was Timothy McVeigh.

The fundamental lesson of consequences was missed by the American mainstream media and as we can see by their involvement in the Iraq war has still yet to be learned.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

For want of wisdom in Solomons

The Solomon Islands is in turmoil - yes, again.
NEWSFLASH: 12:27pm Wed 26/04/2006
NZ Herald reports:

Snyder Rini has resigned as prime minister of the Solomon Islands, the AAP news agency reported this morning.
The Associated Press reported Rini told members of parliament he was quitting "so all MPs can come together so this country can go forward."
Rini stepped down shortly before he was due to face the biggest test of his fledgling Administration - a confidence vote in Parliament.
Parliament will now vote in a secret ballot for a replacement to Rini.
People were rejoincing in the streets at the news, Newstalk ZB reported.
A Solomons radio presenter told the station that Mr Rini faced defeat in the no confidence motion when he arrived in Parliament today.
He went out for 15 minutes to consider his position and, when he returned, announced his resignation.

National Radio has just had the Solomons Director of Govt. Communications saying that five on the govt. side including 4 Ministers went over to sit with the opposition when parliament opened! Maybe Rini forgot to appoint a whip? He will continue as caretaker.

Not so sure about the secret ballot procedure.
NZ Herald reports the real foreign minister Defence Minister wants a firewalk:
Mr Goff plans to arrive on Thursday, the day after a no-confidence motion is due to determine whether Snyder Rini has retained the numbers over the past week to form a Government.
"Mob rule simply isn't going to be tolerated and those that engage in it will find that there are consequences," Mr Goff said last night.
"It's important to get the message across that the rule of law applies to those who are governed and those who are in Government alike. The new Government is going to have to work very hard to ensure that they do win public confidence, that they are working for all Solomon Islanders and not for a few."

Wagging fingers at the locals might make sense to the aloof cocktail officianados at MFAT. Their manifest and multitudinous failings have been highlighted before with regard to their policy of endemic neglect. But when our armed forces are detaining opposition MPs, holding the nose of a country so it can take it's IMF/Australian medicine and protecting the interests of corrupt politicians and businessmen then to many Goff's visit will be salt in the wound. It's supposed to be "helpem fren" not "arrestem fren" or "Jailem MP"

Stuff reports in a tone tweaked a bit higher:
Zero tolerance for violence in Solomons
"It's certainly not our intention to meddle in what their political process legitimately puts up," Mr Goff said.
He said a worst case scenario could have involved a raid on the police armoury and freeing of people currently locked up on criminal charges.

Well we can't have that. But the following item may put that claim in context - and after the arrests of MPs many are scratching their heads. Reading the Maps' analysis:
When mainly Australian and New Zealand troops occupied the Solomons under the banner of RAMSI in 2003 the country was in the grip of a crisis that had been manufactured in the offices of the International Monetary Fund. Under pressure from the Australian and New Zealand governments, the Solomons had implemented IMF 'reforms' that devastated its economy and profoundly destabilised its society. RAMSI's occupation has only exacerbated the crisis.
In the two and three quarter years it has occupied the Solomons, the RAMSI force has made it abundantly clear that it acts on behalf of the Pacific's big states and international capital, not on behalf of the people of the Solomons. Like the army occupying Iraq, RAMSI's soldiers are exempted from prosecution or even investigation under Solomons law. They have authority over the Solomons' own police force. Soon after landing in the Solomons RAMSI had begun making sweeping arrests - by the anniversary of the occupation it had detained 700 people, most of whom had not faced any sort of trial. In August 2004 eighty of these detainees staged a rebellion at Rove Prison in Honiara. After breaking out of their cells and overpowering guards, the prisoners shouted slogans condemning their 'inhuman treatment'. Most had been held in solitary confinement for a year. Despite the protest, hundreds of people are still detained without trial in the Solomons.

RAMSI has also felt free to intimidate the population of the Solomons and over-rule the country's government whenever it has felt the interests of international capital have been threatened. In March 2004, for instance, the Solomons' remaining public sector workers voted to stage a national strike to demand a pay rise. In an effort to avert a strike, the Solomons government announced a meagre increase of 2.5%. RAMSI's response was swift: the head of the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union was summouned by RAMSI staff to the Australian embassy, where he was warned that he was 'destabilising' the country. Shortly afterwards a RAMSI representative handed the same union leader a written warning that if he did not revoke the pay claim Australian aid to the Solomons would be suspended. Eventually the union capitulated.

Yeah, sure it may have been ripped off a lefty site, but if it was us under that sort of outside pressure and intrusion wouldn't we feel, slightly, angry? And Richard Prebble agrees,(which was also noted by this Brisbane paper) with the over-zealous policing angle at least:
Aussie caused riot
The Solomon government both illegally and legally bribes MPs to support the PM. Last election the average bribe was Solomon $40,000, eagerly accepted by MPs broke from having over spent on their campaigns.
The legal bribery is a cabinet of 19 for a parliament of just 50 MPs! The Taiwan government generously funds politicians to keep recognition. It is the logging companies keen to keep the unsustainable logging of rain forests doing the serious bribery. Aussie Federal Police firing tear gas at a peaceful demonstration caused the riot. There is very little anti Chinese feeling.
Most Chinese were born in the Solomon's, speak pidgin and are Solomon citizens.
The crowd was outraged and the riot spontaneous. Canberra should hold a proper inquiry and then pay, in the Solomon way, compensation.

And after the Palm Island riots and the charming way the Aussie police, judiciary and administration treat Aboriginals before and after (with the media completely avoiding the before, ie. cause bit) it was probably only a matter of time before the Aussie tactics in the Solomons would degenerate into a Palm Island x100. The Aussie tactic is to never think about what has caused the problem (because it is probably them!) and instead pour in troops armed to the teeth and start putting a bit of stick about. Mungo like bash! Bash, bash bash! Mungo like!

And the Aussie media (online at least) aren't really giving the Solomons melt-down any priority in their coverage despite the human and political investment. At least their coverage gives some details. Some very disturbing and unsettling details that cast a cloud over the Aussie handling of the (or should I say their) judiciary. 9MSN:
Opposition MPs accused police of doing the government's bidding by only arresting and charging three of the opposition MPS, two of them in custody and unable to attend a debate of no-confidence in new Prime Minister Snyder Rini scheduled for Wednesday.
Bartholomew Ulafa'alu told the house that "police should not be interfering in the normal workings of parliament".
"They are not criminals, only suspects. They should allow them to do their job in parliament."

Fair point wouldn't you say? The Labour party never had Shane Ardern arrested and imprisoned before he was tried for his parliamentary tractor protest:

When opposition MPs walked out of the 50-member house, Rini's 25 government MPs voted in former prime minister Allan Kemakeza as deputy speaker.
Down the hill at the Magistrates Court, Dausabea sat dejected in the barred dock as Magistrate Kieran Boothman rejected his defence counsel's argument that he should consider the political risks of refusing his client bail.
The no-confidence vote is scheduled for Wednesday but with the opposition two down on numbers, it might withdraw the motion rather than risk losing it and having to wait another 12 months before being able to table another such motion.
Magistrate Boothman noted the prosecution alleged Dausabea spoke in Pidgin to about 200 people in front of parliament telling them to go and do what they liked after Rini was voted in as PM.

"I'm satisfied that the risk of allowing the defendant to go free would be too great in the present tinder box situation of Honiara," Boothman said.

Now Keiran being an Aussie a name as Dinky-di Abo-killer Cobber Bluey I'm not really going out on that long of a limb to assume that Magistrate Boothman is an Aussie. (The Police Commissioner is an Aussie too). Now he's already made that call that he's guilty and that he is taking the political situation into account in locking him up. Doesn't he understand that doing this is more likely to activate a tinderbox? It's hypocritical in the extreme to mention politics and then dismiss political realities in a 25-25 deadlocked parliament, pre-judge a man, an MP, as guilty (of saying do as you like apparently) and exclude him from the democratic process - especially in light of his other comments reported in the Sydney Morning Herald:
The magistrate, Kieren Boothman, remanded the MP, Nelson Ne'e, in custody until May 8, [...] Ne'e was charged with managing an unlawful society of 10 or more people and incitement to cause harm as well as intimidation of Anna Nuaiasi, wife of a government MP [...]
But Mr Boothman said: "The court does not recognise that. It is just another day in Honiara. I am not interested in politics. I am interested in the law."
Mr Boothman said it was likely the rampage of arson and looting that destroyed a large part of the capital last week was "directed" at the Chinatown district after advance planning.
"It is not a political game when buildings are burning in the street," he said.

Well, there's that Magistrate mouthing off again about supposedly not caring for politics and yet siding with one group, assuming guilt and making musings about how things were planned. This just sounds extraordinary. If I was an opposition supporter I would assume a breakdown in the judiciary had occured and that the police force was politicised and out of control. Since the foreigners are doing all this I would, therefore, want the foreigners to leave. John Howard's appointment and support of a paedophile-helping Governor-General doesn't really give you much confidence in who he appoints to other jurisdictions does it. And then there is Iraq.

And finally Indymedia has a fascinating rundown on the who's who and why's and wherefores in the drama:
There have been allegations that powerful businessmen – mostly Chinese, or waku as they are known in Solomon Islands – pay large sums of money to Members of Parliament in order to ensure that any government that was formed served their interests.

In last yesterday’s election for Prime Minister there were three candidates who tussled to win the allegiances of the fifty members of parliament. They were Job Dudley Tausinga who was nominated by the Grand Coalition, Snyder Rini nominated by the Association of Independent Members of Parliament (IMP) and Peoples Alliance Party (PAP) coalition, and Manasseh Sogavare who led the Social Credit Party.
But, it was Sogavare who tipped the number scales towards Snyder Rini’s camp. After losing the nomination for the Prime Minister candidacy to Tausinga, he deserted the Grand Coalition, pulled a couple of Members of Parliament with him and formed his own group.

There were allegations that he was bankrolled by some Asian logging companies and prominent businessmen like Bobo Dettki and Robert Goh who were concerned that a Tausinga-led government would not serve their interests.

Rini, on the other hand had the support of Tommy Chan, a wealthy ethnic Chinese businessman who is also the president of the Association of Independent Members of Parliament (AIMP) and who owns the Honiara Hotel where the AIMP/PAP group camped in the lead up to the election of the Prime Minister.

Because of these connections it has been alleged that some members of parliament deserted the Grand Coalition after having been offered, or paid large sums of money by those with deep pockets and connections in the shady corridors of Solomon Islands business world. Former Prime Minister, Francis Billy Hilly, for instance, claims that some parliamentarians were offered between SI$30,000 and SI$50,000 to abandon the Grand Coalition. This, of course, has not been verified.

The protest against Rini’s election as Prime Minister was, therefore, a result of widespread public perceptions that Asian – especially Chinese – businessmen bribed Members of Parliament into supporting Rini and the ‘old guard’ who served their interests.

Rini’s history of close relationship with these businessmen did not help. When he was Minister for Finance, for example, he gave many of them tax exemptions that cost Solomon Islands millions of dollars in potential revenue.

So, basically it's a fucking basket case. And the brains of the operation are the Aussies... Haiti anyone?

ANZAC Day 2006

Maori TV had a telethonesque marathon broadcast from dawn to 11:30pm. Well done to everyone involved (incl. Mr Bradbury). It had everything. As far as a lesson in how to conduct public broadcasting goes it was a big, juicy slap right across the face of TVNZ.

I observed my own minute of silence at 1pm. And then got out of bed.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Australia: a haven for rapists?

'Allo, 'allo, 'allo - what have we here then?

Trial for former policeman on sex charges
24.04.06 1.00pm

A former police officer extradited from Australia on historic rape and sexual abuse charges was today sent for trial in the High Court.

The man, whose name is suppressed, faces allegations from two girls, then aged between 12 and 16, comprising four counts of indecent assault and one of rape, all in Rotorua in 1980.

In the High Court at Wellington today, Justice Ronald Young remanded the man for trial from June 26 with pre-trial matters to be considered before then.

Bail was today continued, but Justice Young was to make a decision on its conditions later this week.

The man had over two decades of service in the New Zealand police.

Not sure if it can be added to the John Dewar File or not.

I wonder why this extradiction from Oz went smoothly, whereas getting Catholic kiddy-fiddlers back to face the music is fraught with inherent unfairness and so they should be free in West Island according to Australian federal courts?

On Friday, Justice Rodney Madgwick ruled that aspects of the New Zealand judicial system and the length of time since the allegations would make it difficult for the men to receive a fair trial.

He said despite the seriousness and distressing quality of the allegations, it would be unjust for the extradition to go ahead.

"(There is) very likely to be a high degree of unfairness to the applicants," Justice Madgwick wrote in his judgment.

"Further, such trials would occur without the guarantee of a strong warning by the judge to the jury as to the very real problems in meeting such old allegations.

"In Australia the applicants would have such a guarantee; Australian courts would not permit any such trial to occur without such a warning being given."

Ahhh... so fucking what. I hope the NZ authorities appeal this slanderous ruling.

Friday, April 21, 2006

M Bradbury guest blog: The media are lying pieces of shit 101

---------------------------GUEST BLOG: M BRADBURY-----------------------

The media are lying pieces of shit 101

One of the reasons I hate the media (and folks there are so many) is because of the sheep that follow the corporate media line that we need to go to war. We saw it in Vietnam (don't you love how the Gulf of Tonkin was a load of bullshit and that the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy DID NOT COME UNDER ATTACK FROM THE NORTH VIETNAMESE NAVY yet that was the reason America escalated the war that killed 3 million, led to the secret bombing of Cambodia which led to the distabilization of the government there which led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge which led to the killing fields ALL OVER A LIE Hahahahahahahahahaha, lap it up right wing bitches), we saw it in Iraq (where are those fuckwits from the right who were baying to get involved with our mates for that little pack rape of misery) and we see it now with Iran.

"But Bomber Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map" - really? When did the president say that?
"I saw it on the news", you saw what on the news,
"Um, they said it", who said it?
"The news people I think". Right, you think you saw something the news media (some of whom are owned by the weapons makers who sell more guns when the media start wars) told you?

OK kids, well HERE is what the President ACTUALLY said - NOTE THAT HE DOESN'T SAY HE WANTS TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP - you sheep - he quotes the old bloke who had a nasty funeral whoopsy, Imam Khomeini, he doesn't call for it himself - are they wise words to speak? Well it depends if you saw the US as the great satan who sponsored a regime so brutal it could turn a secular society into a theocracy - kids, here is what the man said - please don't believe TV3 or TVNZ again - it would make my tone so much less venemous....

"They say it is not possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism. But you know that this is a possible goal and slogan. Let's take a step back.

[[[We had a hostile regime in this country which was undemocratic, armed to the teeth and, with SAVAK, its security apparatus of SAVAK [the intelligence bureau of the Shah of Iran's government] watched everyone. An environment of terror existed.]]] When our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian revolution] said that the regime must be removed, many of those who claimed to be politically well-informed said it was not possible. All the corrupt governments were in support of the regime when Imam Khomeini started his movement. [[[All the Western and Eastern countries supported the regime even after the massacre of September 7 [1978] ]]] and said the removal of the regime was not possible. But our people resisted and it is 27 years now that we have survived without a regime dependent on the United States.

The tyranny of the East and the West over the world should have to end, but weak people who can see only what lies in front of them cannot believe this. Who would believe that one day we could witness the collapse of the Eastern Empire? But we could watch its fall in our lifetime. And it collapsed in a way that we have to refer to libraries because no trace of it is left. Imam [Khomeini] said Saddam must go and he said he would grow weaker than anyone could imagine. Now you see the man who spoke with such arrogance ten years ago that one would have thought he was immortal, is being tried in his own country in handcuffs and shackles [[[by those who he believed supported him and with whose backing he committed his crimes]]].

Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime [Israel] has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world."

Mr Bradbury can be heard on National Radio 4-5pm today.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Westfield's Downtown Asiania Fleamarket

In the same small area, most without walls - let alone partitions, strewn amid the concourse around the busy escalators at Westfield's Auckland Downtown Shopping Centre on Customs Street are clustered the following collection of retailers:-
  • Lunch bar

  • Fishmongers/sushi

  • Cobblers/Key cutters

  • Chinese massage

  • Socks

  • Hairdressers

  • Juice bar

  • Supermarket

  • Nail polishers

  • Pharmacy

  • This is for all purposes a third world/Asian/peasant mess - the story of our modern colony: pouring in immigrants, squeezing them into an environment (reproducing an environment) that they thought they had escaped from, and all paying a foreign company for the privilege - while the local city council actively facilitates it by appropriating public space (that was right outside) for a bus depot and removing all the food carts that were once there.

    I find it disgusting. I find people being massaged in the open and in full view of the cobblers, the fishmongers and people buying socks - and let's be clear there is less than 10 metres between all of these units/stalls/areas - as disgusting, depressing. The hustle and bustle of a cramped, fire hazard Asian rabbit warren with zero personal space and privacy in an undignified frenzy coming to a Westfield mall near you.

    It is disappointing to me (and maybe even to Asian immigrants) to find in Auckland the adoption of some of the negative aspects of Asian norms. I would definitely put the cramming together of inappropriate stalls as one of these. This is not to say that an Asian immigrant thought up the floor lay-out: it could have been a Jewish/South African/English management decision that thought that Asians would be suitable for the task. The point is that these changes set precedents and allow a slide in standards to occur. Foreigners have different ideas and expectations: some change, some do not, some ideas we like and incorporate, some ideas we incorporate when we should not.

    I find the reeking stench of vinegar and fish sauce that wafts out onto the street from Chinese eateries to be offensive. But what can I do about that? I find the no-eye-contact behaviour that leads to shuffling, milling, swarming, queue-jumping and all manner of unnecessary congestion to be routinely infuriating. But what can I do about that? I find the spitting all over the footpath to be repellent. But what can I do about that? I find the active resistance to communicate in anything other than minimal broken/pidgin English to be grossly disrespectful. But what can I do about that? And then there's the driving habits... All of these problems will intensify if the levels of immigration remain constant - they will not abate. It is us who will abate. It is our own greed and incompetence that has created the ugly, cheap, soon-to-be-slums, worker-hostel-type "apartment buildings" all over the Auckland CBD and beyond. We have imported students instead of exporting our knowledge. It goes on and on; but I do think that it is the calibre of the immigrants rather than their nationality/ethnicity that is the central reason for failings. A sophisticated, educated and urbane Chinese is a light year away from the poorly dressed, family reunification type elderly/middle-aged, hoiking peasant who can't speak English having full-on megaphone arguments outside his $2 shop/diary like he was still in in Maosville, China.

    Chinese can be harsh on each other too, of course. Keith Ng's insights into the rorting of the education system at Victoria University of Wellington to pass substandard Asian students are as instructive as they are disturbing and deserve a much wider coverage than the blogosphere.

    The lefties do possess some powers of observation. This time a tale from Auckland University:

    "Asian people are REALLY bad at moving in crowds. You might have assumed, as I did, that being as there are huge crowds in cities around Asia, they would have a natural talent. But the direct opposite is true - Asian people have exceedingly bad crowd behaviour, and that is why the crowds get huge.

    While it is true many Western people are thoughtless in large crowds, I believe enough of us show the benevolent attitude that causes crowds to work that our crowds remain manageable."

    Well I put it mainly down to not making eye contact. I have bolded the bit with which I totally concur. I will also say that at Auckland University it was the huge swarms of Asians (in the Commerce papers) that insisted on stampeding their way into lecture theatres while people were trying to exit. And everyone else (non-Asians) who were behaving well and doing the rational thing of standing back while the people exit naturally join the queue of Asians jostling akwardly and unneccessarily towards the door because that is what crowds do. It takes just a few people to set a bad precedent and lower standards for everyone. Unfortunately it is more difficult to set a good example if the gap you leave for a person to exit is immediately taken up by a surging Asian horde intent on getting in first. Is this a manners issue - an intelligence issue? Like the spectre of the Chinese motorist seemingly in a world of their own and oblivious to the anarchy they are creating by attempting a four point u-turn in the middle of Queen St at midday in their 4WD (I wasn't the only one staring in utter disbelief at that one), it is our own inaction and (perhaps British?) hesitance to publicly rebuke that encourages the poor behaviour.

    A friend of mine used to think all this talk was racist slander until he moved into an apartment building occupied by mostly Asians on Queen St. Then I couldn't shut him up about how they would charge into the elevator without looking as soon as the door opened - meaning the people inside would have to fight their way past them to get out. Maybe it's a use-it-or-lose-it mentality? A resource-stripping mentality? A desperation/survival mentality honed through ages of civil unrest, war, famine and pestilence? Whatever the reason it has meant that we have had to either accomodate this behaviour or try to educate or police it back out of existence. For example the Auckland city council has had to put no fishing signs in Chinese at Western Springs to stop them catching eels. There was a case where some Asian fisherman were caught in a South Island canal with a net across it. These may be the more obvious breaches of rules that until now we did not have to inform people of actively because it was assumed we all knew the rules. With mass immigration from countries with nothing in common with us that assumption is over. The problem is that for every blatant regulatory infringement we stamp out there will be an annoying infringement of etiquette that may be even worse that we will be powerless to prevent - and in all likelihood "too nice"/"gutless" to have a meaningful and honest public discourse about how to solve it.

    This phenomenon is not limited to Asians either. How many lessons about ethnic equality and respect do some of our European, South African and Australian immigrants need? How many lessons on gender equality do Muslims need? Was it not the boat loads of British immigrants who stampeded over Maori rules and order and then had the temerity to validate every ghastly violation to the point of war, looting, rape and murder with the imprimatur of Majestic authority? How many generations of immigrants who know nothing of the history of our nation have stood on it's threshold and promised to (as one Asian put it) "grow this country up." ? Into what? Another colony? Another outpost for their prejudices? To grow us into another form of them? To reinforce the everyones-an-immigrant myth? To value the outsider instead of the native? To mortgage our future to those for whom this country will never be home and to change our country so it will never seem like home to us anymore?

    Our house is flooding and the government keeps running the tap. New Zealand started as a speculative foreign venture based on perpetual immigration and permanently increasing land prices. The class of people that grew wealthy on that premise have held political power from day one. We need to change that definition, that purpose, that economic model, that social agenda, that political regime of the past if we are to become fully independent.

    And finally, *breathes out, removes armband and walks off torchlit podium* on the positive side on Easter Monday it was (from my limited ring-around) the "Kiwi" cafes that were extorting a 15% surcharge - while the Thai(?) run place had a modest note in the window saying they would have nothing to do with it. We could learn something from people like them.

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Christchurch: I'll cut you up

    You just can't trust those Mainland peasants with liquor - at least that's what they think about themselves!

    To an Aucklander their voluntary "one-way door policy" of locking everyone out of pubs and clubs at 1am (they want to make it 3am) to solve their ills is idiocy on roller skates. Forcing people to crowd into bars where the owner will have a monopoly every night is simply insane. Quite apart from the complete denial of any possibility of a mature, grown-up, developed, sophisticated drinking/entertainment culture ever coming into being it will result in more of the violence and mayhem that it purports to solve.

    It is all so obvious. If you lock people out they will be angry. If you lock people out they will find "dodgy" places to go. If you lock people out then the civilised peoples of nations outside the South Island will conclude that they are visiting a barbarous back-water of regression. If you lock people out they will think that Jim Anderton is in control. If you lock people out you are a bloody idiot.

    The Press report is hilarious:

    Mike Prebble, manager of central city bar Coyotes, said there had been a few fights in the city about 1am as people realised they were going to be locked out.
    "When you get that amount of people in one area, you are bound to get some fights," he said.

    In CHCH that is. Of course, any congregation of a few dozen South Islanders will automatically lead to violence. In Auckland there is a tendency not to. Maybe they are all pussy/sissy/girly metrosexuals who don't want to get their man make-up messed up - or maybe they are just far more civilised.

    And their precious bumpkin Mayor"

    Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore said if a permanent lockdown was the best way to curb alcohol-fuelled violence, then he supported its introduction.
    The city's image was being tainted by "drunken slobs" who showed little or no respect for people or property

    Well the city's image is tainted by neo-Nazis proudly strutting around and His Worship too scared of them to let an anti-racism march go ahead in case it provokes violence (!?) - quite apart from the goofy Moore himself although no doubt full of good intentions.

    And then this gem:

    "We want people to have a good night out, but we'd prefer them to go home to bed early," Moore said.

    Do you love that, or what? Sure, they'll all go home early like good Protestants, say their prayers and get a good kip... This guy is on another planet.

    A TVNZ report puts it all in glowing terms:

    A lock-in policy trialled in Christchurch bars over Easter is being hailed as a success by police and many bar owners.

    The one-way door system trailed on Thursday and Saturday nights meant that those already in bars after 1am were allowed to remain but nobody else was let in.

    Inspector Gary Knowles says on Thursday night people were a bit confused about the policy but the problems were ironed out on Saturday. He says initial results are very positive.

    Knowles says they will now talk to licensees and their partner agencies about their experiences and look at having a six month trial of 3am lock-ins.

    The Hospitality Association in Canterbury says feedback has mostly been positive.

    But the owner of Foam Bar, Mike Dunlay, says the lock-in means people don't leave and keep on drinking. He says for many people moving between bars is a normal part of a night out.

    That's right - it is normal for many people in places (such as Auckland) to go out and behave themselves at all hours. Many may dine or attend a show and then want to go to a bar, (horror!) after 1am - even after 3am - especially other hospo workers. People keep on drinking - that's great for the owner, not for the patrons. Everyone having to rush to bars before the curfew - praying they don't start up some tdisagreeable musice that they will be forced to listen to all evening. And after selecting your bar right at the curfew time a whole bunch of drunks will pour in no doubt each time. So you are trapped with these hoons and can't go anywhere else. It just sounds apalling.

    Dear, dear Christchurch, the rest of the world laughs at you once more.

    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    The John Dewar File

    Dewar, John

    File: Open
    Status: Unclassified
    From Stuff report:
    Former police chief to stand trial
    12 April 2006

    Former Rotorua CIB chief John Dewar was committed for trial in Hamilton District Court today – but all details around the case have been suppressed.
    At the end of a three-week depositions hearing, Judge Thomas Everitt ruled this afternoon that Dewar, 53, had a prime facie case to answer on four separate charges.
    However, the judge continued and extended suppression orders relating to the nature of the charges and all evidence presented.
    Dewar was remanded on bail to appear next month.

    UPDATE 25 APRIL 2006:

    Russell Brown has pointed out this site: Historic Rape Claims blog that has all the news articles in a lethal chronology of police cover-up and intrigue. It's a sobering read - from whence the following is sourced:

    Investigator 'joined in group sex'
    NZ Herald: February 14, 2004
    by Eugene Bingham and Phil Taylor

    The scandal over the alleged cover-up of a claimed police pack-rape deepened last night with fresh allegations of inappropriate sex in the force - this time against the officer who originally investigated Louise Nicholas' complaint.

    The former detective inspector in charge of the Rotorua CIB, John Dewar, who handled Mrs Nicholas' accusation that she was raped by three officers, was last night accused, with one of the alleged rapists, Brad Shipton, of having group sex with another woman. The woman claimed on One News that she was manipulated into having sex in the mid-1980s with Mr Dewar, Mr Shipton and a third officer, Clint Rickards,
    A Police Complaints Authority inquiry found that Mr Dewar had failed to record and investigate the allegations, actions it said showed a gross lack of judgment and competence.
    There are also further questions about the relationship between Mr Dewar and Mr Rickards amid revelations that Mr Rickards gave a verbal reference for Mr Dewar when he was employed as human resources manager for St John in the Waikato about two years ago.
    TVNZ said it had an affidavit from a former Rotorua woman saying she formed a relationship with Mr Shipton after suffering a family tragedy in the mid-1980s. She said that she agreed to the group sex at the time but now believed the officers had abused a position of trust. "I was vulnerable and really upset at the time and they preyed on that emotion and that is what got me into that situation," she said. Most of the sessions involved Mr Shipton and Mr Rickards, although one was with Mr Dewar, whom she said Mr Shipton described as his boss and friend. The woman said Mr Rickards would use a police car to drive her to meetings with Mr Shipton near Tauranga, where they would have roadside sex. She said that her last contact with any of the men was within the past two years, when Mr Rickards rang to ask her whether she was happily married.

    NZ Herald report (Hat tip: Big News)
    Rape inquiry documents relate to different case
    03.02.2004 By PHIL TAYLOR

    Documents provided by a former policeman to show he did a good job investigating pack-rape allegations against three policemen appear to relate to another case in which those men were not among the accused.
    John Dewar, a former police inspector, is accused by Louise Nicholas of not properly handling her complaint of a pack rape to cover for the policemen, who were his colleagues.
    He provided the Herald and TV3 with documents which he said showed he had done a good job investigating the matter and had been praised, including by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) at the time, Sir John Jeffries.
    The Herald believes the documents cannot and do not relate to the pack-rape allegations against Clint Rickards and former policemen Brad Shipton, a Tauranga District councillor, and Napier car salesman Bob Schollum. Mrs Nicholas alleges that incident occurred in a house in Rotorua owned at the time by the police department.
    Herald inquiries indicate they relate to the police handling of a case alleging other police officers had committed sexual indecencies on a woman living in Murupara between 1980 and 1983.
    The documents were dated between June 1994 and January 1995, the latter being the date on the letter written by Sir John in his capacity as the Police Complaints Authority.
    But Judge Ian Borrin, who took over the PCA role from Sir John, confirmed to the Herald the PCA became aware of allegations of a pack rape in Rotorua by police using a baton only in May 1995, four months after the date on Sir John's letter.
    Mr Dewar was quoted on 3 News on Sunday night as saying he stood by the professionalism of his inquiries into the Rotorua allegations and that the documents would prove he did not compromise the inquiry to protect his colleagues.
    TV3 quoted Mr Dewar saying the Jeffries letter showed that although Mr Dewar personally believed Mrs Nicholas, his bosses had agreed there was not enough evidence to lay charges. Mr Dewar said this meant that if he was found to be incompetent, so were a lot of others.
    Mr Dewar implied to the Herald another document - which says Mr Dewar "carried out a full inquiry" - related to the pack rape and baton incident. This document deals with allegations made about police based at Murupara.
    The names of those accused were blanked out but Mr Dewar told the Herald they included Mr Rickards, Mr Shipton and Mr Schollum. Subsequent Herald inquiries indicate this complaint was about three other police and that neither Mr Rickards, Mr Shipton nor Mr Schollum was based at Murupara.
    The Herald contacted Mr Dewar last night but the line went dead.

    "The Herald contacted Mr Dewar last night but the line went dead." - Love it.
    But it get's more explicit in this NZ Herald report:
    PM urges people to speak up in police inquiry
    17.02.2004 By AUDREY YOUNG, political editor

    Prime Minister Helen Clark is urging anyone else with a complaint against the police involving sexual misconduct to come forward quickly if they want it considered by the approaching commission of inquiry.
    "People should come forward as quickly as possible so the commission can get on with its work," she said yesterday after announcing the two presiding commissioners.
    The Government selected Justice Bruce Robertson of the High Court at Auckland and no-nonsense former public servant Dame Margaret Bazley to run the commission of inquiry investigating allegations of historic rape and cover-ups by police.
    The commission was ordered after claims by Louise Nicholas that police staff in Rotorua subjected her to sexual assaults between 1980 and 1986 and that a police investigation was mishandled.
    Assistant Commissioner Clint Rickards is one of three officers accused of pack rape in 1986 and has been stood down from his Auckland City district command post.
    Waikato district police commander Kelvin Powell is alleged to be implicated in complaints of indecencies Mrs Nicholas says occurred between 1980 and 1983 in Murupara when she was aged 13 to 15.
    Further allegations have been made, including one by Judith Garrett, who took an unsuccessful private prosecution alleging she was raped in 1988 by a constable at the Kaitaia police station.
    And last week, former Rotorua CIB chief John Dewar, who investigated Mrs Nicholas' complaint, was accused by a woman of having taken part in group sex with one of the former officers named in the Nicholas complaint, Brad Shipton.
    The police have begun their own investigations into the complaints separate from the commission. The terms of reference are expected to be finalised within days.
    The commissioners will be able to trawl through police records but under the law they will not be able to review the record of the Police Complaints Authority.
    The Government will also put on hold legislation proposing the renaming of the Police Complaints Authority - possibly to add further amendments should the commission of inquiry deem it necessary.

    - Will "not be able to review the record of the Police Complaints Authority."? I hope there's a reason for this other than to cover up for the police... oh, that's right there isn't - it is to cover up for the police - That's the purpose of the Police Complaints Authority. And you like how it is a "renaming" of the PCA not actually reforming it - putting the word "Independent" in front of it, ie. misrepresenting it, will make it all better.
    NZ Police News : Need for clarity around historical allegations ...
    Two of these were investigated by then Detective Inspector John Dewar. Mr Dewar did not investigate Mrs Nicholas’ complaint against Mr Rickards and other ...
    www.police.govt.nz/news/release/1242.php - 14k - Cached - Similar pages

    - Returns a "Not Found/The requested URL /news/release/1242.php was not found on this server." That's unfortunate isn't it?
    And for a Who's Who of NZ police rape (allegations) peterellis.org.nz is very detailed.
    And from the Herald again
    Ex-detective charged over police probe
    06.05.05 By NICOLA BOYES

    A former detective who investigated complaints against police made by Rotorua woman Louise Nicholas has appeared in court charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by suppressing her allegations.
    John Dewar, now the human resources manager for St John, had to be directed towards the dock by his lawyer Giles Brant when his name was called in the Hamilton District Court yesterday.
    The 53-year-old stood impassively before Judge Anne McAloon as he was remanded on bail to reappear in court on June 2.
    He did not plead to four charges of attempting to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice between 1993 and 1995.
    Dewar was chief inspector of the Rotorua CIB when Mrs Nicholas went to police in 1993 making allegations against now former police officers Robert Schollum, Bradley Shipton and now Assistant Police Commissioner Clint Rickards.
    The charges allege that Dewar suppressed her allegations.
    The Police Complaints Authority has twice investigated Dewar's handling of Mrs Nicholas' allegations. One report congratulated him on a job well done and the other said he showed a gross lack of judgment and competence.
    The Crown, represented by prosecutor Brent Stanaway, alleges Dewar attempted to pervert the course of justice during the trial of a man, who has permanent name suppression, by giving inadmissible hearsay evidence on December 7, 1993, and again on June 8, 1994.
    It also alleges that between May 10 and July 12, 1995, Dewar manipulated Mrs Nicholas during a police review initiated following judicial criticism of his evidence given at the trial of the man.
    Finally, the Crown alleges that between January 13, 1993, and July 13, 1994, Dewar suppressed allegations Mrs Nicholas made against Messrs Shipton, Schollum and Rickards.
    Dewar's bail conditions include surrendering his passport and living at his home near Hamilton.


    Of course I don't know what is or isn't being suppressed here - his name certainly isn't - so I don't know whether any of the above information is relevant or not.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Israel/Iran: why don't the rules apply?

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He's a sort of Chuck Norris of the Middle East.

    I can't add anything to the recent hubbub about what the US is planning for Iran and their obvious timeline to make nuclear weapons, except I do want to hear Ahmadinejad say something like this:

    "Sure we will give up and dismantle all our nuclear weapons plans, uranium enrichment programme and go back to full IAEA/Non-Proliferation Treaty/inspection regime compliance etc.if Israel agrees to do the same."

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Dopey old Jim thinks he's a Russian Monarch now

    Anderton's philosophical kin, Harry Anslinger, the US's first "Drug Czar"

    On National Radio today Jim Anderton referred to himself as a "*chuckles to self* Drug Czar *chuckles to self*". A tin-pot, third rate propagandist who knows that if anyone feels good after taking a substance that it must be banned. What a cock. "Harm prevention"? more like "Happiness prevention".

    Junkie daughters do suicide from time to time. I don't care who's fault that is - whether the parents are to blame, or whatever. It's a tragedy. Move the fuck on.

    Oh and thanks for pricing local port off the market by the way. Thanks a lot.

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    ANZAC Day: 1@1 (Discussion Document)

    Respect, solidarity, observance.

    ANZAC Day

    1 minute of silence at 1pm

    The eerie wail of sirens, evoking war-time memories, echoing our link with the past and joining the nation in a brief moment of collective contemplation. A reverberating spectre on a chill autumn afternoon. A formal end to the ANZAC commemorations.

    At 1pm on ANZAC Day sirens will sound continuously for one minute to mark the end of the commemoration period of the various morning services conducted throughout the country. This will be an opportunity for those who were unable to attend a dawn or morning service to participate in a commemoration activity by observing one minute of personal silence for reflection and contemplation while the sirens are sounding.

    Such a co-ordinated event will show solidarity with veterans and respect for the fallen in a unique and nation-wide moment that will become a regular fixture for the country. The television and radio broadcasters should also participate in this event.

    The transition from the realm of the dead to that of the living.

    Just as the playing of the "Last Post" or conch shell blast signifies the beginning of the commemoration period and the tapu nature of the services that follow, so the 1pm siren will signify the end of the day's honoring of the dead and the lifting of the tapu - back to the noa (or open/free) part of the day - where the sombre ceremonies of the morning make way for the honoring of the living and marking the beginning of enjoyment and celebration of the veterans, their families and the community as a whole.

    Military installations, civil defence units, fire brigades, prisons, race courses, museums, trains, ships, businesses, clubs, organisations and individuals that have sirens (or horns etc.) capable of a continuous and consistent blast are asked to sound their sirens for one minute commencing at exactly 1pm. Conch shells and other instruments may also be suitable. National Radio's time pips are considered the correct time and may be the best practical way of ensuring accurate co-ordination.

    Commercial participation

    Recordings of a siren or a radio broadcast of them could be played through speakers in public areas if no siren is available. This may be suitable in shopping malls, supermarkets, large retailers, casinos, airports and other buildings and areas that have a public address system. This should be preceeded by instructions on the nature of the event and expectations of a minute's silence.

    As 1pm is legally the end of observance - an "extra" minute shows a token of respect and an act of involvement of businesses towards the commemoration of ANZAC Day.

    Although this idea is a private initiative that is very basic in nature it may nevertheless be appropriate that the Department for Internal Affairs or some other competent government department in co-operation with the RSA and other organisations issue some guidelines for their preferred method of observance for this event.

    Initial reactions and concerns

    To start with many people may not understand what is occuring or why and may not recognise the solemnity of the event - others indeed may be alarmed or mistake it for a fire signal or a civil defence emergency. Some may well be mistaken as to what they have witnessed - the following year they will be participants.

    There may be some concern that sirens trigger feelings or memories of terror and fear and that the Fire Service and other emergency services will be resistant. As a regular feature of ANZAC Day however it will be unlikely (after the first year) that this will be the case. Many other countries use sirens in a similar way with no adverse affects.

    Additional reasons

    As a way of highlighting the inadequacy of our civil defence warning system the absense of an ability to signal a warning via sirens will hopefully spur the local authorities into making the necessary investment into a warning system. The Mayor of Waitakere City has recently commented on this.

    As the Fire Servce recommends an annual test of smoke detectors at the change of daylight savings time so everyone's siren equipment could be tested for one minute on ANZAC Day.

    Alternative scenario

    A 10 sec blast immediately before 1pm signalling a period of 1 minute silence, followed by another 10 sec blast to signal the end of the minute's silence.

    Statutory recognition of the 1pm end of ANZAC Day observance:

    ANZAC DAY ACT 1966
    s.3. Observance of Anzac Day—
    (2) Where Anzac Day does not fall on a Sunday, it shall be observed up to one o'clock in the afternoon as if it were a Sunday, and after that hour on that day such activities shall be permitted as may lawfully take place after noon on a Saturday...

    s.172. Restricted hours of operation—
    (1) A holder of a casino licence must not conduct casino gambling on Christmas Day, Good Friday, or on Anzac Day between the hours of 3 am and 1 pm...

    RACING ACT 2003
    s. 44. No racing on certain days—
    A betting licence must not be issued for races on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday, or before 1 pm on Anzac Day...

    s.14. Conditions of on-licences—
    (2) It is a condition of every on-licence granted in respect of a hotel or tavern that no liquor is to be sold or supplied on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, or before 1 pm on Anzac Day to any person other than—...

    s.37. Conditions of off-licences—
    (1) It is a condition of every off-licence that no liquor is to be sold or delivered on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, or before 1 pm on Anzac Day...

    s.3. Shops to be closed on Anzac Day morning, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas Day—
    (1) Subject to sections 4 and 4A of this Act, every shop shall remain closed—
    (a) Before 1 pm on Anzac Day; and...

    This is a dicussion document.
    After discussion (in the comments section) of the merits/practicalities of the proposal I may then re-write it and circulate it to the RSA for their consideration.

    Saturday, April 08, 2006

    Letter from the Editor

    Dear readers,

    The Lord of the Blog has finally removed this blog from the "Left" and placed it in the "Centre". At long last. I think Mr Farrar had problems reconciling that anyone who thinks Maori are worth as much as Pakeha could be anything other than left wing :)

    Unfortunately in a blogocracy that is weighted heavily towards right wingers of a conservative stripe (of whom most are white - and the Maori ones being even more conservative and strident) and a minority of Lefties made up of feminists, Labour party apologists and Alliance die-hards it has been very difficult for this blog to find any "natural" constituency despite many overlapping areas of consensus/similar interests. If we take the blogosphere more widely we can add to that list frivilous/tepid personal blogs and geekdom to the component parts of which this blog would find no natural counterparts.

    So, I have decided to interpret this as meaning you, dear reader, are currently visiting a boutique blog, an élite blog, a premium blog. Since December and the move to a better looking, more information-rich format and a commitment to "free-to-view premium content" (esp. film reviews) there has been a lift in the quality (at least it feels that way), and certainly a lift in the diversity of subject matter. Translating that into traffic is a task made harder by lack of incoming links from other blogs and perhaps to a much lesser extent an unwillingness on my part to post items other than that which interests me personally.

    There have been several issues (eg. dog micro-chipping, recycling arsons(?) etc.) where this blog has been ahead of the news. Not that anyone - apart from you dear readers - would have known. There have been many ideas floated too that deserve more interest than they will ever receive. As the first anniversary of this blog (27 April) approaches, I will make a full report closer to that date.


    Friday, April 07, 2006

    NZ house/French doors

    Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Minister of Foreign Affairs

    05 April 2006
    Media Release

    Peters signs agreement with Niue and France

    New Zealand, France and Niue have today signed an agreement to fund a new multi-million dollar government administration block as part of reconstruction efforts following Cyclone Heta.

    The activities of our Foreign Minister (on one of the few assignments that Our Dear Leader has entrusted to him) reveal his chest-beating over our role in the South Pacific is a poor joke. The fact is our government (that he says he isn't really part of) can't even be stuffed showing responsibility for New Zealand citizens in the Realm of New Zealand:

    The agreement was signed by Niue’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, HE Mrs Sisilia Talagi, France's Minister for Overseas Territories, Mr François Baroin, and Mr Peters. [...]

    “New Zealand and Niue have long had a special relationship, and this project is an example also of France’s cooperation in the Pacific."

    Today’s agreement includes France’s contribution of €530,000 to fund the construction of the building.

    New Zealand will provide additional funding and support for the completion of the project of up to $2 million under the 2004 Halavaka ke he Monuina Agreement for strengthened cooperation between the two countries.

    It is not in the interests of New Zealand or the rest of the South Pacific to have any colonial power, especially France, on our turf in any way whatsoever. "Co-operating"!? Why is MFAT encouraging France to continue it's colonial interference? To save a million bucks? Is that all our pride, all our respect, all our mana is worth? The Labour government took blood money for French State terrorism against us in the 80s and nothing in our stance has changed. Shameful. Negligent.

    Maybe the French can install microphones and transmitters in the building too. That is in their interests. New Zealand citizens having their government buildings funded by France is well over the limit. Supporting, encouraging and facilitating colonialism is what we are doing here - the exact opposite of our international commitments.

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Busy little bees, the honey pot is below the gentle jibe about our new Vice-regal representative.

    Last 20 Searchengine Queries

    06 Apr, Thu, 23:08:06 MSN Search: louise nicholas shipton
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:14:33 Google: louise nicholas suppression order
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:21:27 Google: mt maunganui Schollum
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:33:51 Google: shipton jail
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:34:41 Google: tumeke
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:35:00 Google: "louise nicholas suppression"
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:36:48 Google: louise nicolas leaflet
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:37:23 Google: louise nicholas leaflet
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:37:47 Google: "Louise Nicholas" case secret police nz
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:38:30 Google: police suppression nz shipton
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:42:56 Google: Louise Nicholas suppressed information
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:44:16 Google: louise nicholas leaflet
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:45:07 Google: Louise Nicholas leaflet
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:45:46 Google: "suppressed information" "louise nicholas" "maia"
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:45:59 Google: louise nicholas leaflet
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:46:15 Google: leaflet police "New Zealand" rape court "Louise Nicholas "
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:46:30 Google: Schollum in jail
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:47:56 Google: louise nicholas rape case suppressed blog
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:48:29 Google: louise nicholas rape suppressed information
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:55:44 Google: shipton rape suppressed
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:57:51 MSN Search: louise nicholas
    06 Apr, Thu, 23:58:10 Google: shipton rape suppressed
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:00:16 Yahoo: louise Nicholas
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:03:26 Yahoo: nicholas suppression nz
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:06:02 Yahoo: louise nicholas supporters
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:06:02 Google: louise nicholas suppressed information detail
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:06:07 Google: "Louise Nicholas" leaflets blog
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:07:13 Yahoo: louise nicholas
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:09:52 Google: Louise Nicholas
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:12:04 Google: suppression louise nicolas
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:14:46 Yahoo: Louise Nicholas suppression
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:15:08 Google: "Louise Nicholas" "suppression order"
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:15:12 Google: Schollum and Shipton
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:17:03 Google: louise nicholas suppression
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:21:41 Google: Mt Maunganui Rape Trial
    07 Apr, Fri, 00:27:14 MSN Search: louise nicholas rape allegations

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006


    If Peter Sellers and Henry Kissinger ever had a child it would be Anand Satyanand.

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Louise Nicholas: suppression/violation



    Hat tip: Three Point Turn

    Stuff reports:

    Defiant Louise Nicholas supporters say they will continue to distribute leaflets breaching court-ordered suppressions relating to the trial, despite a police inquiry.

    The women – who said they were deliberately breaching the orders – are being investigated by police and the matter has been referred to the solicitor-general's office.

    The group could face prosecution after handing out 1200 fliers to morning commuters at Wellington railway station yesterday.

    They claimed much of the suppressed information had already been published on the internet, though a check last night suggested that was not the case.

    Breaching suppression orders constitutes disobeying a court order and is deemed contempt.

    The offence carries an open-ended penalty, which can include a fine or even a jail term.

    The problem is that speculation will rage and although I don't know what the suppressed information is, how can I even discount any speculation? How can anyone tell? Must everyone guess at what it might be in order to ban it? What is acting responsibly in this situation mean?

    Eg. this blog in the comments section:

    I would love to have a copy of the leaflet to find out more. a.b
    By Anonymous, at 6:51 PM

    More = Schollum and Shipton attended Court from jail where they already are, for the pack rape in Mt Maunganui where a police baton was also used.
    By Anonymous, at 4:59 AM

    Now, I don't know if it's true or not. And no-one can claim it is or isn't without violating the suppression order by confirming it. So unless people hear from an officer of the court that what they have said is a suppression breach then I guess it stands as merely allegations?

    Are the vigilante-type actions of those women understandable? We don't know until we know the facts of what was suppressed. What is forbidden? Does it undermine justice in this instance? And if so how? I find it difficult to even speak in generalities becasue I have no idea what the facts are that we're not allowed to talk about.

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Snot the point

    --------------------UPDATE: TUE. 11/04/2006-----------------------
    Just recalled this post and comments from SirH's:-

    Submitted by RWDB on Sat, 17/12/2005 - 10:09pm.
    Russell Brown vs Tim Selwyn

    Russell Brown (pause as RWDB waits for groans, sighs to die down) published the conclusions of his exhaustive (and by exhaustive we mean "did at least one google search with the "I'm feeling Lucky" button") investigation into the relentlessly riveting politics of didymo back in October.

    Lyndon Hood notices National MP Shane Ardern's take on the Didymo "rock snot" river infestations. It was the gummint's fault, because it failed to "kill" the first two rivers where the algae was found. ("This stuff can be killed, but unfortunately they have to kill the river for a few years to do it. But surely it would have been better to sacrifice one or two rivers than let it spread through the South Island.")
    Lyndon could find no evidence that temporarily "killing" rivers is practical, or even possible. Neither can I. The Biosecurity NZ FAQ says "We know of no systematic attempts to eradicate invasive blooms of Didymo overseas."

    But then this month from Tim Selwyn, we get totally the opposite, along with some fine words about Jim "Corporate Welfare" Anderton:
    I heard that fuck-knuckle Anderton guffawing like a half-baked fool in parliament the other day when he attempted to ridicule the idea that the didymo infestation should be combated by flushing the effected rivers. He cackled that the people proposing this didn't understand that it would kill everything else in the river too. God that man is a cock - an idiotic dinosaur and apologist for every bureaucratic failing without the intelligence to grasp the big picture let alone the detail. His continued presence in the Clark Ministry at the ridiculously high ranking of No. 3 is a gauge of it's collective ineptitude.

    Didymo stuffs up rivers completely. It got into NZ somehow. The Govt. doesn't know and doesn't care how it got in and how to stop it. So while they are "controlling" the South Island it could well get in from overseas in the North Island - I have heard absolutely nothing about what they are doing to prevent that.

    Flushing is the only thing that will work. If we do it now then we can eliminate it while it is in only a few rivers. No more didymo. A South Island river fisherman friend of mine concurs. We can re-stock the affected rivers, but leaving them with didymo is to leave them dead. But the Govt. will squander this opportunity and let it spread and in effect protect it. Ruination courtesy of Jim Anderton. And we thought Marion Hobbs was useless. What a frightful legacy he will leave - wanting to destroy private property rights by having the public wander down land next to rivers and simultaneously ensuring that those waterways are infected with a virulent weed that means no one will want to do that anyway. Typical, classic Anderton: everyone loses.

    So who is wrong? Is there anyone reading with more knowledge of rivers than Russell and Google or Tim and Anonymous Fishing Man, who could enlighten us? Who is your money on?
    » RWDB's blog | 213 reads

    OK, I'll take a stab at
    Submitted by Tane (not verified) on Mon, 19/12/2005 - 11:17am.

    OK, I'll take a stab at this. I know some of the people who've been working 60 hour weeks since February on the Didymo incursion, so I think I can help illuminate the sitution. I apologise in advance for the length of this post, but it is a fairly involved subject.

    Quite simply Tim Selwyn is wrong, or at the very least, wildly inaccurate. He makes it sound like tipping a bottle or two of Janola into the river will do the trick. Well, it'll take a fair bit more than that. The Waiau and Mataroa rivers that kicked this off are about 200km long, not including tributaries. The flow looks pretty insubstantial during summer, but most of the water moves through the riverbed substrate, so there's a fair bit of it (around 30 cubic metres). Didymo, being a microscopic algae, can move into the substrate and survive there for months before being flushed back up to the surface and recolonising. One cell is all that's needed to get to where we are now.

    Killing Didymo requires a 2% bleach or 5% salt solution. So for every cubic metre of water (1,000 litres) you need 20 litres of bleach. If the waterflow is 30 cumecs (30 cubic metres per second) you need 600 litres of bleach. Per second. For many, many seconds (say 180, to ensure an adequate mix). 108,000 litres of pure bleach, dumped into the headwaters in three minutes. Quite a logistics feat, though not an impossible one (it'd only take 27 Army Unimogs, I doubt tankers would get that far). This might sound quite feasible, but we don't know if it would work. No study has been done on whether the chlorine will actually mix to the required dosage down the whole 200km strech of affected river to KILL EVERTY DIDYMO CELL. Maybe we'd need to double the chlorine, so get another 108,000 litres of bleach. Or maybe we also need to double the time span, so get another 216,000 litres. Pretty soon you're talking some serious figures. And I'm only talking about the Waiau and Mataroa here, not the Buller or any other river.

    OK, so we've dumped all that chlorine in once. We'd want to do it two or three times to make sure, along with at least two manpower intensive boat and ground searches. Not sure how much that would cost. Obviously everything in the river will die, or at least a bloody great percentage of it. But that's OK, we can restock it apparently. Sadly, Mother Nature might not let us do this in an orderly fashion. What we do know from overseas research is when a heavily polluted river comes back, what you get is not what you might want. Rather than trout we might get masses of water weeds. Or native algaes might bloom in the absence of predators. Or water beetles, or Christ knows what else. It's not as simple as dropping a few trout back in the water and coming back in six months to a pristine river.

    All this effort, which may not work at all, for an algae that is bloody ugly, but as far as we know, does not destroy anything. It doesn't poison water sources for instance. The effect of didymo is uncertain, though there is a lot of anecdotal evidence. Having seen it I can understand why everyone hates it; it looks like a giant has hocked a 30m lurgee into the water; mmmmmm, phlegm, everyone's favourite. But the scientists aren't too sure if it kills fish or displaces anything else. Time will tell.

    Oh, and I should also note here, as Tim seems to have missed it, that no other country afflicted with Didymo (like Canada and the United States) has tried to 'nuke' any rivers. They put up with it, much as we will have to.

    Didymo is a shitty thing to have in this country, and much as I'd like to get rid of it, I don't reckon we can. I'd advise Tim and anyone else wanting to have a go at Jim Anderton to find a different subject (I'm sure that won't be hard). On this one, he is actually pretty damn right.


    Well, Tane, that's your story. Tane hasn't grasped that perhaps North America did not have the window of opportunity we have (had?) to destroy it. Also, that the river could be doused in the summer or dammed up in part to reduce the water level so you wouldn't need so much of whatever chemical (or whatever) to do the job. Tane's assertions and assumptions are all "I don't reckon we can" and "we will have to" - "put up with it" bullshit that got us into this trouble in the first place. It is people like Tane who are to blame. It is thinking like his that will ensure it will long have a happy home all over Aotearoa.

    TVNZ reports NIWA doing studies - trials finish June and "long term strategy" after that. Sounds a bit vague and they've taken their time (see conspiracy/reality theory).

    --------------------UPDATE: TUE. 04/04/2006-----------------------

    The slime thickens: Stuff reports:

    The unchecked spread of the invasive didymo algae in waterways could cost New Zealand up to $285 million over the next six years......from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
    Great! Now the inept biosecurity ministry can go about cobbling together a report for that dolt, Anderton, that plans a programme that will cost up to a 3 factor cost/benefit scenario (the most that they think they can scrape through Cabinet) and now we haver a figure of $285 we divide by three to get $95m. The "crisis" report necessary (mentioned in the main post) for the Minister to recite to sway the Cabinet has just been penned. It's all so hideously simple. Has nothing whatsoever, at all to do with the actual cost of eradication. They could have done that for a couple of millions two years ago. This is about growing the budget. The biosecurity bill will now be $95m over 2-5 years at least to get rid of it. And the great thing is actual real core cost is still low - and the padding, "consultation," "awareness," ie. advertising and PR can be unlimited. Anderton shoots - and a slam by biosecurity. *departmental victory touchdown dance*

    The report analyses three scenarios – a low-impact situation where the cost to New Zealand could be only $58m by 2011-12, a medium impact of $167m and a high impact of $285m.

    Under the high-impact scenario, the cost to recreational river users is estimated at $88m, the loss of native species, including birds and fish, could cost $55m, and the potential drop in tourism expenditure could be $63m.

    Ten South Island rivers are known to be affected by didymo, or rock snot. It was first identified in Southland rivers in 2004.

    Didymo has been found as far north as the Buller River and appears to be settling in Canterbury, after being found in the Waitaki and Ahuriri rivers this year.

    The worst scenario assumes the algae will reach North Island rivers within two years, but a slow down in that spread would make a marked difference in the level of economic impact, given the greater population of the island.[...]

    Fish and Game officers in Otago and Southland were monitoring didymo's impact on fish, but it would be some time before results were available.

    He hoped that trout numbers were not reduced by the same alarming level as in the US.

    Watson was concerned at reports a Biosecurity New Zealand (BNZ) survey had shown that only about one-third of people were "undertaking different actions" since the beginning of an awareness campaign warning fishermen and boaties to clean equipment to prevent didymo's spread.

    It's so an utterly useless response isn't it. Is a 1/3 compliance considered successful? No, I didn't think so either. Their policy is designed to facilitate it's spead to reach the crisis point to trigger a massive budget input. The North Island is so obviously going to be infected with a 1/3 compliance to the only policy to prevent the spread. North Island infestation is the most likely outcome within a few years - minimum. Are those North Island MPs going to let it happen in their patch as the dolt let it spread in the South Island? No, I didn't think so either. They would order an eradication report wouldn't they? And pay $95m to get rid of it? If that's what it costs - then that's what it costs, right?

    Transmission of the algae from one river to another is thought to be most commonly caused by contaminated equipment.

    "We've got to redouble our efforts and get almost all people complying."

    BNZ spokeswoman Tina Nixon said affecting attitudinal change was very difficult, but the body was pleased that 92% of South Island river users were aware of didymo.

    Of course she is - that's all they need to do to let it spread to crisis point - spent all the budget on advertising and all the surveys and research and reports about "awareness" of something they are doing nothing about. Their pathetic response is widely known and that translates to being "pleased"!

    BNZ officials were unable to comment on the report yesterday.

    Of course they were - they're all busy preparing their $95m "rescue package"

    I wonder what the Greens response will be. They are not just standing back and letting it happen they are fully supporting and praising the inaction of Anderton - their ideological enemy. Idiots. Idiots. The river ecology of the South Island is being destroyed, the North Island is threatened and what are the supposed guardians of biodiversity and the eco-system and nature doing? Paying their enemy, one of the reasons they are out of government, respects for killing the river system of this country.


    They do not deserve to be over 0.5% let alone 5%. They call themselves environmentalists? Do they? Because they aren't. The people I know who support them are first and foremost lefties and care about the environment as a distant policy add on. Their MPs are slash and burn hippies and limp communist lefties who, and let's make this crystal clear,


    I wasn't the only one who heard Jim Anderton's laboured response in Parliament last week to his inaction over the Didymo ("Rock snot") infestation (There was a story recently too of it's rapid spread along the Waitaki). Accompanied by the usual chuckles to himself, he attempted to mock a Nat backbencher who wants to eradicate it rather than grow it.

    Then the geriatric Catholic-Socialist blathered on about how proud he was of all the research that was going in to it. That is to say: is going in to doing nothing about it. Like the dolt is still in charge of regional crony/capitalist make-work schemes? He thinks we can have lots of wonderful research and schemes into doing absolutely nothing about the problem. "Here's a report from Angela that took three years about how a native insect probably won't have that much effect after all... and it's now spread to the North Island by the way because we haven't tried to eradicate it... at all... in any way, Minister" - "Great! Now let's order another report for the North Island. *chuckles to self* Gosh I'm a productive minister. *chuckles to self*"

    It may be drastic to "kill" a portion of a river, but this is temporary - it can live again and be repopulated with what was lost. But the current government idea of just letting it spread and hoping and praying that it won't eventually wind up in the North Island is delusional and negligent in the extreme. The current policy is to have the South Island rivers so thick with Didymo you can drive across them. Our South Island brethren are being ordered to sacrifice themselves. As yet I haven't heard how and what they have done to stop it entering the country in the same manner as it got here. Long term, there is no point in even their tokenistic measures if the way it got here in the first place is still open.

    The sad fact, fact is that if, if the biosecurity ministry and the fuckwads of the Cabinet were not fuckwads, were not fuckwads, then the "dead" rivers would most likely be reinstated by now and no more Didymo. Alas, the only infestestation more rampant than Didymo is political-bureaucratic fuckwadism.

    So, Anderton, like Marion Hobbes before him as biosecurity minister has fucked it up - just like the Painted Apple Moth. Same story. Small colony is "monitored" and "researched" and allowed to spread everywhere until someone must decide to get rid of it. If you leave academics (esp. female?) in charge of an eradication programme you get a 20 year research project ending up recommending it be given "protected" status to help it survive. Or perhaps recommending that Didymo's only natural enemy the malaria-carrying, Giant Stinging Screeching Killer Scorpion Swarmeatus Agonix Deathi Rampagea be introduced en mass in riverside picnic grounds to achieve a 0.03% reduction in Didymo after 50 years.

    Flush the rivers now - rather than later. How many times must they be told? Everyone washing down every part of everything with soapy water after they have been near a river that might have Didymo every time, forever is just so obviously going to fail.

    If I had a choice to wash everything all the time forever or wash the river just once, I'd prefer to wash the river. So would, I think, many thousands of frequent South Island river users.

    The conspiracy/reality theory:

    Simple extention of Parkinson's law of bureaucracy. The bureacracy will prefer to fritter away a smaller budget in order to cause a crisis that will demand a massive budget later on. The trick for them is to "catch it" at the right moment. They provide the Ministers thoughts and control the policy so it's all up to them to manipulate their dumb disinterested bosses into suddenly caring at the right moment in front of Cabinet. They must let it go almost, almost completely out of control (to precipitate a "crisis" ie. media attention, vocal lobbyists etc.) and then to present to the Minister a "rescue package" (rescuing his dumb, disinterested arse) costing basically as much as they can get away with. By refusing to deal with the issue early on when it would have only cost about $1-3m and been over at the end of year two, they can have a $10-$300m budget that starts in about year 4 or 5 and will last for two. Is it in the bureaucracy's interest to have it invasive permanently thereby making it's "management" a permanent item of perhaps $1-3m annually? No - because with biosecurity there will always be something else in a few years time to repeat the exercise. But this would be to credit them with the intelligence to be that evil.

    Oh, and you'll notice that no-one is ever fired for these things. Marion Hobbs? Yes, she was fired - but I was under the impression that was just a general incompetence thing - nothing specifically related to letting the Moth bill blow out in the tens of millions and several thousand percent.