Still hope for TPPA

Trade Minister Tim Groser is going to Atlanta for negotiations which could conclude the conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Groser had been playing hard to get for the meeting, indicating a willingness to attend only if there was an improvement on the “wholly inadequate” offers of dairy market access from the heavily protected agricultural sectors in the US, Canada and Japan. . . 

Groser said last week that New Zealand negotiators could “see a very good deal for New Zealand in everything except dairy and I don’t know to characterise the deal there because it’s not a deal we could accept.”

Since then, there’s been a flurry of reports in US and Canadian media suggesting that the US is pressuring Canada to accept more dairy products from the US as part of a deal that would begin to prise open the US dairy market for New Zealand and Australian dairy products. . . 

Dairy market access is especially politically sensitive in Canada because the country faces a federal election on Oct. 19 and the country’s dairy sector is highly protected, using a system of supply management intended to match local dairy production volumes with domestic demand.

However, it appears the Harper government’s political calculus is that a dairy deal would hurt its electoral chances most in Quebec, where it is already comparatively unpopular, and that there would be political damage in being seen to walk away from a new Asia-Pacific deal and some kudos in being able to demonstrate trade opportunities for Canadian firms. . . 

This means there is still hope for the TPPA in spite of strong opposition from protected industries and those whose politics blind them to the benefits of free trade and the costs of protection.

Dairy interests must be very powerful in Canada because everyone else pays dearly for its trade barriers which increase prices and reduce choice.

Eric Crampton has a suggestion to change that with this speech he’d like to have heard from a party leader:

“Right now, Canadian dairy prices are much higher than they need to be. Mothers pay too much for infant formula; families pay too much for cheese. And the system as a whole doesn’t even benefit dairy farmers any longer: getting into the industry is expensive because buying quota eats up whatever benefits the system provides to farmers. But there is a better way.”

“We are committed to protecting the quality of dairy products on store shelves – as we are with every food product sold in Canada. But we don’t protect food quality with 300% tariffs for vegetables, fruit, or thousands of other products that cross our borders each and every day. For that, we use food inspections. The dairy quota system isn’t necessary for protecting food quality.”

“Today, we are buying back all of the dairy quota and opening the borders. Farmers should not see their retirement savings wiped out by a policy decision from Ottawa. We are able to afford to do this because dairy prices, in a competitive world market, are low enough that we can fund the buyback with a levy on all dairy products sold in Canada while still keeping prices lower than they are now. And those levies will disappear when the bill is paid in full. Canadians will have better access to the world’s products, and Canadian agricultural producers will have better access to world markets.” . . 

The economics are simple, the politics are not but Not PC shows how difficult life would be without trade in a post on the $1,500 sandwich.

. . . What would life be like without exchange or trade? Recently, a man decided to make a sandwich from scratch. He grew the vegetables, gathered salt from seawater, milked a cow, turned the milk into cheese, pickled a cucumber in a jar, ground his own flour from wheat to make the bread, collected his own honey, and personally killed a chicken for its meat. This month, he published the results of his endeavour in an enlightening video: making a sandwich entirely by himself cost him 6 months of his life and set him back $1,500. . . 

Few but the strongest anti-trade people would suggest we go back to that sort of subsistence existence.

But here in one of the freest economies in the world some people still don’t understand how much we’ve gained from free trade. The transition from the highly protected economy we had wasn’t without casualties but the gains were worth the pain.

The TPPA will bring more gains and since our borders are already so open we have little to lose.

137 Responses to Still hope for TPPA

  1. andrei says:

    TPPA is not about “Free Trade” – that is a Trojan horse, an empty slogan

    It is really about surrendering our sovereignty and the sovereignty of our elected representatives to a group of unelected gnomes from foreign lands who will make the rules we have to adhere to which will benefit their cronies and not the New Zealand people or their interests.

    But does National actually represent us or is it busy distracting us with nonsense over a flag while it sells us down the river

    I suspect the later


  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    Hear hear, Andrei. The most frightening element is the power of the ISDS.

    There are multiple cases of where Governments have been forced to pay millions to companies because of law changes for the good of local citizens.


  3. Mr E says:

    Loved the video. I laughed.

    Enjoyed your huffington post link. Interestingly most of the cases promoted were environmental ones.

    Do you think the TPPA will result in businesses suing the Govt over environmental standards? Do you think our environmental standards will change drastically because of TPPA?


  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    It is possible that a future NZ Government may want to have tighter restrictions on oil exploration or fracking and have oil companies sue. This Government has been so generous with many oil companies as regards their responsibilities with any spill, tax cuts, low royalties and free seismic surveys ($25 million) that I can imagine any changes will be challenged as demand and profits drop for oil.

    We have so many farms being bought by overseas investors and many processing plants are also being built here that any attempt to reclaim future control of our local industry will also be fraught.

    I am also concerned about how many conservation areas have been opened up for exploration and future mining (Victoria Forest Park) and what will happen if any discoveries may be not be allowed to be exploited.

    Our Government does not have a good record in protecting our interest, the Rena disaster cost us $50 million because the paperwork to protect us from the costs of a shipping disaster wasn’t done and the EPA was supposed to ensure oil companies had good disaster management strategies but just read the summary.

    The necessary tightening of any environmental protections will probably be challenged.

    I wrote about my own concerns about the oil industry’s potential impact in our Green Party Magazine (page 10):


  5. Mr E says:

    “future NZ Government may want to have tighter restrictions”

    “any attempt to reclaim future control of our local industry will also be fraught.”

    “necessary tightening of any environmental protections”

    Control, restrictions, tightening. Three words that describe your approach so well.


  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Control, restrictions, tightening”
    To ensure we retain sovereignty over our natural resources and key industries, you bet. A laissez faire approach to foreign ownership and control will end in tears. Things are bad enough already, Mr E, and your she’ll be right attitude is a bit naive.

    You must remember castigating me for daring to suggest that Fonterra should be giving greater support to organics and we need to encourage greater diversity in the agricultural sector. You were so angry that i dare suggest such things and now our new National MP is saying the very same. You must understand that most of the thoughts I share here are not just my thoughts but reflect the views of those I consider wiser than me and they generally prove to be correct.

    This Government hates scrutiny of what they are doing or exposing the problems they are causing. Mike Joy is a ‘traitor’, Jane Kelsey is a thorn in Groser’s side, Dame Anne Salmond is ignored (it’s hard to criticise a New Zealander of the Year), Rod Oram is tolerated and Geoffrey Palmer is still highly regarded overseas…but I believe these people generally know what they are talking about and know much more than the bunch of mainly lawyers and ex government bureaucrats who are making all the decisions for us now with very limited consultation.

    National stuffed up the implementation of Novopay, killed Solid Energy and Relationships Aotearoa, McCully’s Saudi bribe failed, their handling of the Sky City deal was hugely flawed and a number of Ministerial decisions have been overturned by the courts for being illegal or due to poor process. I don’t trust this Government with something as complex as the TPPA that is being influenced by highly paid corporate lawyers and only corporates have seen the documents. Dodgy, dodgy, dodgy.


  7. Paranormal says:

    DK – the loss of sovereignty you complain about is a direct result of being a debtor nation. The reason for that is the cost of social welfare (both financial and societal) that will only increase with your policy settings.

    The only way to ensure long term sovereignty (other than becoming a North Korea like pariah state – which seems to be the direction green policy wants to go) is to start living within our means. If you think you can manage things better through your Canute/Muldoon type controls and restrictions you are sadly mistaken.


  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, having a low wage, commodity based economy is our greatest economic problem. As you would know from National’s pronouncements, beneficiary numbers have dropped.

    The biggest social welfare cost by a massive margin is superannuation. The other growing costs are Working For Families (subsidising wages) and the accommodation supplement (due to the shortage of low costs houses).

    Last year we spent 11 billion on superannuation (16% of crown revenue) and less than half of that was spent on all other benefits.

    If you are going to make outrageous claims about social welfare being the cause of our indebtedness then you need to have facts to support it. Of course one of the biggest causes of Government debt was the tax cuts to the rich. This caused a drop in direct tax revenue from $44 billion in 2008 to $33 billion a few years later. The Government then had to borrow to make up the shortfall and demand bigger dividends from SOEs and Government departments like Housing New Zealand. Of course this has been problematic because it caused Solid Energy to crash and delayed maintenance to state houses has reached $1.5 billion.

    Signing the TPPA will just gut our domestic economy as more of our businesses and properties are overseas owned the costs of medicines skyrocket and profits are sucked overseas rather than being spent here. Super dumb!


  9. Will Dwan says:

    Killed Solid Energy? What would “leave the coal in the hole” have done to it? The rest makes about as much sense, but that stood out.


  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will I would love to have claimed responsibility for stopping the digging up of good agricultural land for low grade lignite, but it was the drop in world coal prices and the lack of a market for lignite briquettes from the $30 million plant that really did it. Obviously being encouraged to borrow and invest in coal related developments while the world market was predicted to collapse was foolhardy in the extreme. Poor oversight and greed caused almost $1 billion in losses.

    What is truly ironic is that Solid Energy divested itself of its biofuel arm and yet biofuels are now a growth industry:


  11. Paranormal says:

    Dk your knowledge, thinking and logic are so narrow and ideologically blinkered it is a waste of time trying to enlighten you. But lets try a couple of items to see if we can start you thinking.

    Where do you think we might be as a nation if Muldoon hadn’t scrapped individual savings for super and brought in National ‘pay as you go’ Super?

    What position do you think the country would be in if the majority of the $11bn spent on welfare was left in the private sector for productive use?


  12. Paranormal says:

    It seems DK that biofuels are only ascendant due to crazy, climate change induced, subsidies. Wonder how they are really fairing with the current cheap price of oil and the realisation that the science is actually settled.


  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Where do you think we might be as a nation if Muldoon hadn’t scrapped individual savings for super and brought in National ‘pay as you go’ Super?”

    Paranormal, it is widely understood that Muldoon’s election bribe was the stupidest ever. Given the huge and growing cost of superannuation, wiping the newly started savings scheme has put the country in a much more economically vulnerable position. We would now be a leading economy if Muldoon didn’t mislead the country:

    National cutting back Kiwi Saver will have a similar impact. It is so shortsighted and incredibly stupid.

    “What position do you think the country would be in if the majority of the $11bn spent on welfare was left in the private sector for productive use?”

    I don’t know where you get your figures from, we spend about $4.5 billion on benefits and these include invalids, returned servicemen, and those with mental health and intellectual disabilities. To throw them all into the care of charity and the private sector will just see more people on the streets. $11.5 billion currently has to go to superannuation because of Muldoon’s actions (and growing).

    You don’t understand the health and education costs that we are also lumbered with if we don’t ensure our most vulnerable are well catered for. It is more expensive not to support them (around $10 billion a year):

    Paranormal, oil companies get around $500 billion globally in subsidies every year and now many biofuel companies are paying their way and doing well against their heavily subsidised competition. Thanks for the link, to the ocean research showing how the oceans are contributing to the emission problems and making things worse:

    “The oceans not only take up heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they are also sources of various gaseous compounds, thereby affecting the global climate.”

    I am pleased you finally agree with me on the settled climate science.


  14. Paranormal says:

    DK in modern parlance your reading comprehension of the article would be a “Not Achieved”

    As for the figures – I simply used your $11m welfare figure above, otherwise known as Super.

    How would those health and education figures you believe I don’t understand look if we hadn’t been breeding for a living for a living for generations.

    Thank you for agreeing the lunacy of Muldoonist type socialism you promote is deluded and will drive us further into being tenants in our own country.


  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I’m sorry but your logic and arguments just passed by me completely. It seems that you actually agree with me that Muldoon’s stopping of Labour’s saving scheme was stupid and you obviously believe that the article you linked to says something different to what it does. It also seems that you actually think that young women on welfare ‘breed’ for a living when statistics show that few remain on welfare for for long and there isn’t enough money to do it anyway.

    The policy referred to is Labour’s removal of work obligations for sole parents with young children on the DPB. There is no evidence that anyone ‘breeds for a business’ or that imposing work obligations change fertility outcomes. Relationship breakdown is a major
    cause of women becoming sole parents.17 At the 2006 Census, two thirds of sole parents had been previously married or in a civil union. When a spouse dies, or the relationship becomes violent, access to the DPB contributes to the protection and wellbeing of the child.
    Over time, of those people depending on DPB, less than 25% give birth to, or become sole caregiver to, more children; and of that 25%, roughly 6% (around 1,500 women) have 2 or 5 more children while on a benefit. Far from breeding as a business; as at December 2012
    approximately 50% of DP beneficiaries are caring for only one child.19 On an annual basis about one third of the benefits are cancelled as sole parents leave largely for work or new

    Click to access 130402%20CPAG%20Myths%20and%20Facts.pdf

    You are a truly remarkable, but very confused man (I presume your are male given your highly misogynistic comments).


  16. Paranormal says:

    It must be a wonderful place where you live DK, where there is no intergenerational welfare dependency.

    The last time I looked it takes both a male and female to breed. Does that then make me a misogynist or is it that in your world the women are capable of parthenogenesis?


  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal there is intergenerational poverty and dysfunction, especially amongst those who have been under state care and abused as children. If we stop state sanctioned abuse (80% of our criminals and those incapable of consistent employment have been under CYFs care) then we will have largely solved the problem. You appear to think that stopping welfare payments will solve it, but that is just a punitive economic solution that will actually cost more in prison and health costs. You support cutting welfare and throwing people in prison for longer, but I would love to see evidence of this being a long term solution. The way you talk about these people “breeding” means you think of them as sub-human, I would hate to think how you treat any animals in your care…good grief!


  18. tom hunter says:

    Chuckle. One refutes these arguments with links and argument – and then they just pop up again, and again, and again …..

    Of course one of the biggest causes of Government debt was the tax cuts to the rich. This caused a drop in direct tax revenue from $44 billion in 2008 to $33 billion a few years later.

    Since lazy debaters simply re-blurt the same stuff I see no reason not just cut and paste my earlier arguments.
    This is always a fun economic modelling exercise: prove that the drop in tax revenues comes from the % reduction rather than the recession.

    In fact, as JFK figured out 30 years before Reagan, cutting tax rates actually boosts tax revenue. Of course Kennedy faced an almost reductio ad absurdum situation in that he wanted more tax revenue to spend, but could not imagine boosting income or corporate tax rates higher than they were (90% on the top bracket), which forced him to take a punt on the alternative argument – which worked. I’d bet DK and company would simply have rammed taxes higher in USA-1961 and then sat back wondering why the money wasn’t rolling in.

    The Government then had to borrow to make up the shortfall and demand bigger dividends from SOEs and Government departments like Housing New Zealand. Of course this has been problematic because it caused Solid Energy to crash

    and again…..
    The only evidence you have for this is the Government demand that their multi-billion dollar “investment” should have made a return at least equal to what one could get stuffing it into a savings account.

    There’s no evidence at all that the government was squeezing “extra” out of Solid Energy, and no evidence that the company’s borrowing was specifically to pay for dividends – which would be pretty stupid. They borrowed to invest in Capex – which is what any business sensibly does, you don’t pay out of cashflow for that – and those investments failed to turn the trick.

    Obviously being encouraged to borrow and invest in coal related developments while the world market was predicted to collapse was foolhardy in the extreme. Poor oversight and greed caused almost $1 billion in losses.

    Poor oversight and greed are encountered across many organisations, both private and public, and have caused the slow decline or rapid collapse of hundreds of companies over the last two centuries. Just look at the corporate makeup of the Dow Jones Index or the Fortune 500 over the last 50 years alone.

    That’s why it’s incredibly stupid for the government to continue to own the likes of Solid Energy. If the GFC had held off for another year or two, National would have flicked it and the taxpayers would not be wearing a $1 billion loss.


  19. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tom you are defending the indefensible, in 2009 the Government sucked $169 million of dividends of Solid Energy and encouraged it to borrow to invest in developments like the lignite briquetting plant. They were sucking dividends of all SOEs to make up for the tax shortfall and Solid Energy was too vulnerable to survive the demands. The tax cuts to the rich was supposed to be fiscally neutral because of the increase in GST, but the income generated from this was much lower than expected.


  20. farmerbraun says:

    ” tax shortfall ”

    -government over-spending-

    FIFY Dave 🙂


  21. tom hunter says:

    in 2009 the Government sucked $169 million of dividends …

    The government has $400 million invested and from 2005 to 2008 its annual dividends from Solid Energy were zero, $20 million, zero and zero.

    No wonder National demanded a return in 2009. The five year average is 9.45%, which you could have got by putting the money into DJ index funds, even with the GFC. What’t the point of taking the extra risk of investing in a coal company?

    DK’s idea of fiscal responsibility and smart economics is to invest $1 billion into a coal company and demand no return on it.

    …. and encouraged it to borrow ..

    Actually in 2009 National blocked dingbat proposals from Solid Energy for “investments” encouraged by Labour – see Mallard’s excited ideas about the Southland lignite fields for example. The company’s proposals showed coal prices soaring away into the future.

    They were sucking dividends of all SOEs ….

    Comparing the four years from 2009 to 2012 with the previous four years, average dividends actually declined at Meridian and TVNZ, stayed roughly the same at Genesis Energy, while big dividend lifts were apparent at Mighty River Power and Landcorp. Debt levels were also not universally increased. For example, Landcorp’s borrowing stayed in the same ballpark while TVNZ’s fell considerably.

    Another fact fail DK. Won’t stop you of course. If I check back in another couple of months I’ll find you saying exactly the same thing.


  22. Dave Kennedy says:

    “DK’s idea of fiscal responsibility and smart economics is to invest $1 billion into a coal company and demand no return on it.”

    My idea would be not to have invested any more in coal, and encouraged the development of biofuels arm (rather than get rid of it).

    English was totally supportive of the lignite developments, he promoted it enthusiastically around Southland in many meetings and turned the first sod of the now mothballed briquetting plant.

    The Government’s lignite dreams crashed around their ears and proof of its own culpability is the treatment of Don Elder. He wasn’t held responsible for doing as he was told but allowed to go on gardening leave on full pay ($1.3 million a year).

    Coal has been a disaster, but this Government never learns it is now giving oil companies super incentives to drill in our territorial waters, $5 million in tax breaks and $25 million in free seismic surveys. With the dropping demand for oil and low prices, this strategy will end in tears too. National has to wean itself from its love of fossil fuel.


  23. farmerbraun says:

    ” National has to wean itself from its love of fossil fuel.”

    Would you like to rephrase that Dave?


  24. Name Withheld says:

    Coal has been a disaster,
    You should try and get more rest before dribbling nonsense, Mr Kennedy.
    Are you deliberately ignoring the role of coal in the advancement of civilization, or, more likely, just unaware of it.
    Or are you just channeling your heroic fellow nutcase, Hansen?
    Who declares…
    “coal is the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet.”
    good grief!(TM)


  25. Paranormal says:

    Dk you’re spending too much time wrapped in your own little world making shit up. So I’m an animal abuser now am I? I have just shown your comment to my daughter who immediately commented “OMG he couldn’t be further from the truth”. My response to her was – that’s just the world DK lives in.

    I have never suggested removing welfare.

    But then again anyone that doesn’t match your worldview you consider extreme. Perhaps you should look closer at that? Maybe you are the extremist?


  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    ” National has to wean itself from its love of fossil fuel.”

    “Would you like to rephrase that Dave?”

    It was Gerry who started it 😉

    NW, Coal powered the industrial revolution and served its purpose, but it is time to move on, now that we know better. Christchurch hasn’t allowed coal fires for years, China is desperately trying to move away from it, it is the energy of the past. We removed lead from petrol for very good reason, it is time we stopped burning coal too and embrace the new age of clean energy. My reference to coal as a disaster only referred to this National Government’s fixation with it, it dominated their first energy strategy and yet crashed and burned (pun intended).

    Paranormal, I accused you of nothing, I asked a question because of your hatred of those on welfare and your reference to them “breeding” as if they are sub-human. It was a perfectly reasonable assumption that if you talk about people in such a demeaning way, that you may have other problems. You are very condemning of others but are a sensitive soul when it comes to yourself.


  27. Gravedodger says:

    Now Christchurch has diverted much of its heating requirements to electricity while the Melons are preventing any and all Hydro development.
    So it is reasonable to suggest that a coal fired station may well be needed to provide the future energy growth as Wind Turbines become further exposed for the total nonsense they are for baseline energy supplies.

    Christchurch, Palmy, The Tron and any other large metro with occasional smog issues could have a system of preventing burners on the few high risk nights that occur with a variable electricity price to compensate.
    To just blanket ban modern wood and coal burners with low emission capability is the height of bureaucratic garbage creation and now Garbage has to be transported to Kate Valley NE of the Waipara wine district and we all know how emitting that exercise is eh.


  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    GD, joined up thinking leads to the conclusion that we have declining electricity demand and the Tiwai Smelter has a limited life. why on earth would we invest in another large hydro scheme? The best approach to managing our energy needs is shifting to regional and local solutions. Blueskin Bay is shortly going to be energy independent and Dunedin developed their own small hydro scheme years ago. It makes a lot of sense to have localised energy systems and limit the considerable losses through transmission.

    While we are lucky to have hydro as our main producer it makes sense to have a combination of sources. Denmark gets 39% of its energy from wind.

    As for Christchurch’s waste management, this is an issue we need to come to grips with properly across the country. Our waste is poorly managed and households need to take more responsibility for the waste they create. 11,000 tonnes of food waste is created by Christchurch every year and most goes to landfill.

    We make 1 billion light, single use (average use time 12 mins) plastic bags a year and most end up in landfill or the wider environment. Some countries have banned their use altogether.


  29. TraceyS says:

    “Blueskin Bay is shortly going to be energy independent…”


    Raw nerve in the local community there Dave as this is what was initially sold but unfortunately isn’t going to be the result.

    Is this your example of joined up “thinking” Dave? One would think you’d be more in touch with what’s happening in one of the country’s greenest areas and home of your co-leader!


  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tell me more Tracey.


  31. farmerbraun says:

    Existing climate models fundamentally flawed ; who knew?

    Well , reality has been pointing that out for nearly two decades.


  32. farmerbraun says:

    You can read the exposition for yourselves , but what this shows is that the heating effect of atmospheric CO2 has been exaggerated by a factor of 5-10.

    Of course this says nothing about the emissions of NOx and SOx from coal burning , but those emissions are relatively easy to recover on a commercial scale , and have economic uses as fertiliser.

    Expect to see a lot more electricity generation from clean coal installations in China and India ; possibly also Germany.


  33. Dave Kennedy says:

    FB, I appreciate and respect your views on organic farming but find your active refusal to accept the realities of climate change concerning. It will always be possible to find the occasional dissenting voice and to throw up a mathematician who has found flaws in ‘the’ climate is hardly conclusive evidence. For a start there is no one model and thousands of scientists have been working on separate pieces of peer reviewed research for over 50 years and are coming up with similar results. I would love to see more details about his work and the reviews on it. I do get the feeling that you believe if you can find a few scientists and mathematicians who have a different view it throws doubt on all the climate science. The huge mass of climate science, across multiple fields, that has added to a common view makes it pretty robust and able to withstand the odd outlier.


  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    oops “in “the” climate science model”


  35. TraceyS says:

    “…thousands of scientists have been working on separate pieces of peer reviewed research for over 50 years and are coming up with similar results.”

    Remember “groupthink”?


  36. Paranormal says:

    What a convenient forgettory you have DK. In the 70’s I seem to recall those involved with ‘climate science’ were concerned about global cooling.

    And why would you be interested in more “details about his work”? I thought you said you didn’t do science and merely relied on your chosen maharishi telling you what to believe..

    Tell me, do you feel hypocritical by first saying “I would hate to think how you treat any animals in your care…good grief!” and then following up with ” I accused you of nothing, I asked a question”? Couldn’t see any question mark in your first statement.

    So what did you teach? From this and your past exploits here clearly it wasn’t maths, science or english.


  37. farmerbraun says:

    “I do get the feeling that you believe if you can find a few scientists and mathematicians who have a different view ”

    It is all in the public domain Dave , but I warn you that it will stretch your mathematical prowess.It is not a view Dave ; it is an exposition of the fatal flaws in the IPCC etc. models which have all overestimated the influence of CO2.
    That is simply from empirical observation of 19 years with no warming as the models had predicted.

    The new exposition is not a new model ;it is simply peer review of the assumptions , and they have been found wanting.
    It only takes one person to show the error, and if that person is wrong he will be quickly exposed.

    To suggest that the majority must be right is a logical fallacy ; they have all been making the same mistake. That happens reasonably frequently in science until there is a breakthrough ; that is what we are seeing.
    I do not see why you should be unhappy about that , or be resisting confirming it for your self. Most should be welcoming this ; especially the Green Party, who have claimed to be “evidence-based”.

    It means that the poor of the world can have the same access to affordable energy that the first world has enjoyed for the last hundred years, but without the pollution (since clean coal technology is now standard in new installations.)

    The reason I am an organic farmer is because the science and the economics both stack up. Climate is no different ; if the science is dodgy , then so the conclusions must also be.


  38. farmerbraun says:

    “. For a start there is no one model ”

    No there are hundreds ; they all make the same assumptions re CO2 , and they all fail to accurately model global average temperature.
    That is not a problem.
    We can develop better models and test them against reality.


  39. farmerbraun says:

    “it throws doubt on all the climate science. ”
    Quite the contrary ; he has confirmed the basic architecture of the models – merely correcting the faulty maths.


  40. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Remember “groupthink”?”
    Not applicable to good science, Tracey 😉

    Paranormal, there is no possible excuse for your highly derogatory reference to beneficiaries ‘breeding’ as if they were domestic animals. That was totally unacceptable and any assumption of mine after a statement like that would be understandable.

    FB, when I have argued in support of organic farming here in the past, Mr E and others linked to research that they found that apparently showed that organic farming didn’t stack up. I’m sure when you went organic yourself you looked at the breadth of evidence and at actual examples. I am surprised that you don’t take the same approach to climate change. Rather than look at all the evidence to put the few counter examples in perspective, you have decided that the mass of science is discredited by a few.

    The vast majority of the world’s governments and scientific advisors have accepted the reality of climate change. They would rather not if the evidence could be shown otherwise as it is easier to maintain the status quo. Their reluctance to act before has largely been due to the difficulty of shifting the current carbon based economy to a cleaner one and the lobbying power of the incredibly rich oil industry. As I have pointed out in the past, the most significant institution still fighting against climate science is the Heartland Institute, and it is as dodgy as hell.

    Perhaps you can find me another institution that has credibility on your side?


  41. farmerbraun says:

    Sorry Dave appeals to authority don’t cut it : empirical evidence does.
    “Institutions” are not empirical evidence.
    It is the breadth of evidence that I am looking at , that leads me to the conclusion that it has not been shown that the level of atmospheric CO2 is a major and significant determinant of global average temperature.
    The models are an attempt to show a correlation between CO2 and T: so far they have not done so.
    Showing a causative relationship is therefore impossible , in the absence of correlation.
    It is that simple: no authority required- just logic.


  42. Paranormal says:

    So my allegedly bad behavior excuses yours then? How does that fit with the green ethos?

    You admit you don’t understand what I am getting at, and your comments clearly show you have no idea. Yet you feel obliged to be outraged by YOUR interpretation of my comments. Frankly that’s your problem. Perhaps you should build a bridge, and get over it?

    Back to the point however. Have the number of children in beneficiary homes that are murdered in horrific circumstances passed you by? You talked about animals, not me.

    The murders that make the media these days are the tip of the iceberg and, sadly, will continue to be the canary in the mine until dogooders like you wake up to the damage that incentivising breeding through welfare causes. Significant welfare reform is needed.


  43. Dave Kennedy says:

    FB, what constitutes ’empirical” evidence? If the example you linked to is one then i can find you hundreds that take a different view.

    Nonprofit professional science institutions (Royal Society etc) are involved with the peer reviewed process to ensure any research can be verified and be accepted as valid and credible. NASA and other state funded institutions are still bound by professional ethics and are careful to ensure good process.

    Most of the skeptic scientists that others have linked to here are generally operating outside mainstream institutions and the credibility of their science is generally questionable. Monckton isn’t even a scientists. I could link most of them to either the Heartland Institute or to an oil company.

    Your mathematician has links to an Australian denier oragnisation and his maths and his science is fully rebutted here:


  44. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, the murders and abuse will only stop if we deal with the cause. I would love to know what your version of welfare reform would be. Mine would probably reflect the recommendations from every review done of CYFs over the past 20 years that haven’t been acted on.

    If it will make you happy I will apologise and withdraw from my suggestion that you may treat animals with the same disdain that you treat beneficiaries. I wonder if you will apologise for referring to them as if they are animals?

    Anne Tolly was asked to provide evidence of the numbers of young mothers who are continuing to have children while beneficiaries and having them removed into state care. She wasn’t able to and those who work in welfare felt Tolley’s comments were unhelpful and the % is actually very small. What is your evidence? Hearsay and scuttlebut?

    I am no naive “do-gooder” after 35 years of teaching and working with troubled kids in high needs classes. I know the sort of backgrounds our violent offenders had as kids and how we have failed to give them the right support or change their behaviour before they developed into dangerous angry adults.


  45. farmerbraun says:

    “what constitutes ’empirical” evidence? ”

    Actual measurements.

    Not model projections.


  46. Dave Kennedy says:

    I think you will find heaps of “actual” measures amongst all the climate science. FB 😉 Scientist have been actually tracking the actual changes for decades, the models are used to predict future outcomes and most have found to be conservative as time passes.


  47. farmerbraun says:

    “Your mathematician has links to an Australian denier oragnisation and his maths and his science is fully rebutted here:”

    “Your mathematician has links to an Australian denier oragnisation and his maths and his science is fully rebutted here:”

    That is rubbish Dave. The mere fact that you use the word denier labels you as . . . well, I don’t have to say.

    He clearly states that he accepts the architecture of the climate models ; he just says that they contain some errors.
    He is saying it in front of the whole world and will be proved wrong if he has erred.

    His maths and science have not been rebutted – the papers have yet to be published. You made that up. 🙂

    And competent mathematicians, including our own Michael Kelly , of the Royal Society , are scrutinising every part of it.

    But why do you hope that he is wrong?
    So far , so good.


  48. farmerbraun says:

    “I think you will find heaps of “actual” measures amongst all the climate science.”
    Of course . I was referring specifically to the failure of reality to conform to the model outputs for the last 19 years.
    Dangerous warming has not occurred for that time., and there is no reason to believe the outputs of the current unvalidated models.
    Is there?


  49. farmerbraun says:

    “the models are used to predict future outcomes and most have found to be conservative as time passes.”

    But you will not produce a shred of evidence to support that.


  50. farmerbraun says:

    I’ll save you the trouble Dave . Here is the evidence of the models performance vs reality.
    You may observe the divergence which appears to be increasing . But it’s early days.
    Conservative you say? LOL


  51. Paranormal says:

    And what, in your world, is the cause DK, and how will you solve it?

    BTW why should I apologise for something I didn’t do?


  52. Dave Kennedy says:

    “And what, in your world, is the cause DK, and how will you solve it?”
    Paranormal i have explained the causes and what has been recommended countless times. but just again here is my response to Sarah Dowie’s spin in the Southland Times:

    Paranormal you definitely did describe beneficiaries having children as “breeding”. If you don’t see a problem with the language you use then there is nothing more that i can really say. You are a sad man.


  53. Dave Kennedy says:

    FB, temperatures are now rising rapidly again and the graphs going back 100 years show plateaus occur at regular intervals. For all that the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the last 16 years:

    While the air temperature ended up following the models predicting lower gains the sea ended up absorbing far more heat than expected over the same period. The sea temperature models were conservative and now the air temperatures are shooting upwards again. What we are actually experiencing is great volatility than expected. the sea level is rising faster than expected too.

    Try and tell a Californian that they don’t need to be concerned about climate change 😉


  54. farmerbraun says:

    “temperatures are now rising rapidly again”



  55. farmerbraun says:

    “. For all that the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the last 16 years:”

    “on record “?
    Whose record would that be? Certainly not reality.
    And so what ? That is expected during a plateau . It has been getting warmer since 1850, and temperatures have now reached a plateau at the highest level since 1850. What was expected?


  56. farmerbraun says:

    “the sea ended up absorbing far more heat than expected ”


    LOL . You found the missing heat. Your Nobel prize is in the mail (with the cheque) 🙂


  57. farmerbraun says:

    Climate change is always a feature , and is a concern for societies that have no resilience.
    California is the perfect example of an unsustainable society.
    Who knew?


  58. JC says:

    California has a way to go before it gets the 200 year droughts it had in medieval times..

    Must have been all that smoke from the Indian peace pipes that caused the problem.



  59. Dave Kennedy says:

    FB, it is interesting that I link to multiple articles and sites to support my claims, most refer to research and you want more evidence. At the same time you provide the claims of a mathematician whose views have been thoroughly critiqued and found wanting. It is clear that you have made your mind up about climate change and you believe your handful of skeptics can throw out the work of the rest of the scientific community. You wouldn’t take the same line approach with organic farming or cancer research where the weight of the majority of evidence must drive decisions.

    JC, you obviously don’t realize that when climate change is caused by human activity it is possible to change that activity to stabilise the climate. Of course there have been climate change in the past, that is not a valid argument because there were natural causes then beyond our control. This time the climate change is our fault and the suffering it will cause (and is causing) is within our power to change. Hence the last ditch meeting in Paris to see if we really have the will to do that for our kids’ sake.


  60. Andrei says:

    JC, you obviously don’t realize that when climate change is caused by human activity it is possible to change that activity to stabilise the climate.

    Dear Dave Kennedy the climate is the archetypal example of an unstable system

    Politics is about changing human activity, usually not out of beneficent motives but usually to materially advantage those who are driving the change.

    People such as yourself have been co-opted into supporting a power grab by some very unscrupulous and thoroughly unpleasant people and you have foolishly swallowed their lies, distortions and half truths

    There are some very real problems facing humanity today – Example: do you really think those hundreds of thousands of people risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean to escape from their devastated lands, give a toss about a hypothetical melting of the ice caps a millennia hence?



  61. Name Withheld says:

    I am no naive “do-gooder”
    That is exactlywhat you are Mr Kennedy. Andrei nails it…

    “People such as yourself have been co-opted into supporting a power grab by some very unscrupulous and thoroughly unpleasant people and you have foolishly swallowed their lies, distortions and half truths ”

    Your pathetic attacks on a personal level…….
    you may have other problems.
    You are a truly remarkable, but very confused man
    You are a sad man.

    ……Reveal that apart from being bereft of rational argument you are just a loyal foot soldier of the left, trudging along in a relentless green fog of negativity.
    I know who I would describe as sad.
    Good grief!(TM)


  62. TraceyS says:

    “The net 0–500 m global average temperature warmed by 0.005 °C yr−1. Between 500 and 2,000 m steadier warming averaged 0.002 °C yr−…”

    This very current article, published (2015) in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, references several papers to which I have previously mentioned in comments (ie. by authors Allan, Levitus, Cheng, et al.)

    Dave referred to these as “outliers”.

    I will reserve my judgement.


  63. TraceyS says:


  64. TraceyS says:

    Forgive me if I am wrong but does the spatial pattern of ocean warming not show the greater balance of areas to be staying the same temperature or cooling slightly?


  65. farmerbraun says:

    Dave, I have come to the conclusion that either you do not read a word that I write, or you simply change the subject every time some inconvenient evidence is proffered.
    None of the evidence you offer leads to the conclusion that we see anything more than natural variation.
    All of the evidence I offer points to exactly that conclusion.
    If your reasoning process is symptomatic of Green Party thinking, then I can only wish you luck.
    It seems we will have to rely on other political parties to influence the direction of Godzone.
    That seems a pity to me.


  66. TraceyS says:

    Dave Kennedy says:
    October 5, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    “Remember “groupthink”?”
    Not applicable to good science, Tracey

    Groupthink is possible in any situation where people work together collaboratively.

    The way to guard against it is to learn to recognise groupthink when you encounter it.



  67. farmerbraun says:

    The refutation of papers that have yet to be published.
    Whoa, that’s out there .


  68. Paranormal says:

    DK you’ve simply espoused a bandaid approach to domestic violence in your linkwhoring. None of the ideological political points you suggest will actually get to the cause of domestic violence. But then again you are talking about domestic violence which is much wider than what we are talking about here which is the really bad outcomes for children from beneficiary homes.

    Sadly you can’t/won’t see that it is welfare that is incentivising breeding for revenue. I use that term deliberately because that is what is happening. Children are simply seen as a revenue source. Welfare is the root cause.


  69. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Sadly you can’t/won’t see that it is welfare that is incentivising breeding for revenue.”
    Paranormal, continually repeating something that actually doesn’t stack up in the data won’t make it true. Your nasty slur on all woman who use the DPB to allow them to leave violent relationships or have become widows is unbelievable. There are far more of those women than those who deliberately use the DPB as a long term income. You obviously ignored all the information I presented.

    The biggest jump in welfare demand actually occurred after Richardson’s Mother of all budgets and the forcing down of wages. In real terms the amount paid out to beneficiaries is less than it was before 1991. Tour argument doesn’t stack up. Most woman do not want to be welfare dependent but when payments are too low it actually restricts their ability to enter back into the workforce into good jobs. Read the research, don’t listen to the myths and spin the continuous blaming of the poor for many situations beyond their control.

    Farmerbraun, you obviously draw different conclusions from the same material. I think we will have to agree to disagree on climate change. At least we do have areas of agreement which is more than I can say for some who comment here. 😉


  70. Paranormal says:

    And yet you still miss the evidence presented every time there is another baby murdered DK. It’s just like you refuse to see the evidence against AGW.

    I’m not suggesting it is “all women who use the DPB”. We’ve had two friends that had to go on the DPB and have gone on to have successful careers. The changes I’m suggesting won’t affect them at all. They will still have access to the support they need when they need it.

    The reforms I’m suggesting however will target those that breed for a living. Those that end up at the worst end of all the statistics and create ongoing inter generational welfare dependency and associated criminal offending. Sadly the Kumars are just one family that is affected by those that abuse the system. There are many more that don’t make the news headlines.

    You think you’ve seen it all in your teaching career in Invercargill. I would suggest you’ve been isolated in Invercargill and haven’t seen what is happening out there in wider NZ.

    Just as we’ve seen with the reduction in teenage pregnancies, if we remove the incentives, the behaviour will change very quickly. That you continue to deny the logic in that speaks more to the lefts desire to trap a voting block.


  71. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, again you haven’t established the extent of your problem and the way you phrase it is objectionable. You are determined to put all your energy into addressing a problem that may represent less than 5% of those on the DPB, which again is a small % of the total welfare spend. Data also shows that the sort of women who are likely to be in this category are those who have gone through CYFs care, they are damaged by their past and have little self worth.

    If we want to lift the aspirations of these women we need to provide the sort of support that Paula Bennett and Metiria Turei got when they were single mothers. The eduction support that was once provided has been wiped and most are being forced into low waged jobs that are little better than welfare. Metiria went from being a young Maori sole mother to a practicing commercial lawyer and an MP in ten years because of state support that no longer exists.

    When you talk about reducing welfare support it just doesn’t make sense. Welfare spending should be assessed by the value it provides, not on purely how much is being spent. Many young mothers who accidentally got pregnant (it often isn’t deliberate) are not able to reach their academic potential. You could cut the welfare spend and education support but if it locks these young mothers into a life of minimum waged jobs when they are capable of achieving much more, then they, the economy and their children miss out. Their children won’t see their mother modeling an aspirational approach to life that they would want to emulate and continue the cycle of poverty.

    I have seen what can be done with good education support for high school mothers to ensure they continue with getting good qualifications and I have read Celia Lashie’s excellent book “The Power of Mothers”. Celia described how providing the right support to mothers is the most effective way of breaking the cycle of poverty and dysfunction for themselves and their kids.

    Remember too that under this Government the gender pay gap has increased and yet most sole parent families are relying on a woman’s low income to survive…and you want even more cuts to welfare. You have no idea!


  72. JC says:

    “Remember too that under this Government the gender pay gap has increased”

    Yet NZ has the lowest pay gap in the OECD and notably better than any time of the Lab/Green govts of the noughties.



  73. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC I’m talking about trends, surely we should be more enlightened and women should be earning more in this day and age? For the last 10 years or so considerably more women are earning degrees than men and more are in the workforce. We have one of the highest levels of working mothers in the OECD and yet under National it is much harder for women to get into management positions and the party has the lowest % of women of any major party. National wiped the Pay Equity investigations that were occurring as they came to power. Female dominated jobs are still paid much less than male equivalents.

    Even Judith Collins has admitted that it is hard being female in the National Party and she has been treated more harshly than her male colleagues. We don’t need to discuss how the PM behaves around women as it is common knowledge.


  74. JC says:

    “JC I’m talking about trends,”

    No you are not.. you are trying to duck out of being caught flat out lying.. again.



  75. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 5:51pm, what’s wrong with hard? All things worth achieving are hard won in my experience.

    “Even Judith Collins has admitted that it is hard being female in the National Party and she has been treated more harshly than her male colleagues.”

    Did she?

    I suppose you are referring to this interview here:

    She says “don’t tell me that it’s easy…”

    I didn’t hear her say the bit about more harsh treatment. Annette King said something like that. Oh well, no matter, women all think the same things don’t they? So long as one woman said it….

    Just another case of a man thinking he knows what a woman said without even bothering check…disrespect!!!

    Before bleating on about sexism it might first pay to do a check on one’s own biases, eg. women share the same feelings about issues, think similar thoughts, are weak and need men to speak up for them, speak collectively for all women, and so on.

    I don’t think Judith Collins needs you to speak up for her, Dave.


  76. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, good to see you defending the harsh treatment of women in National. You could hardly say I was defending her, I was just stating fact. If you are happy to tolerate mysogynistic behaviour what does that say about yourself?
    You may be interested in this post I wrote some time ago:


  77. Mr E says:

    From Daves link

    “According to Statistics New Zealand the gender pay gap has generally been decreasing since 1998, but had stabilised in the last few years.”

    “Southland was the highest earning region in the country with median weekly income from all sources of $693 a week, followed by Canterbury at $671 and Wellington at $658 a week”

    I guess that is settled then.


  78. TraceyS says:

    Dave, the type of men I respect don’t go on a personal attack when they find out they are wrong, they front up and move on.

    You say you were stating a fact. Can you back that up?

    Please note that I did not say you defended her. I said “speak up for” which is acting as a spokesperson for – not the same as defending.

    Speak up:

    You did not defend her but you did speak up for her.

    Why did you do that? Think about it.


  79. JC says:

    You’re still lying.. and quoting another liar is still lying.



  80. homepaddock says:

    I’m not sure what gender pay gaps have to do with the topic of the post, but some of the difference is explained by more women than men in part time work:


  81. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are a slippery old eel using a similar strategy to National regarding emissions. After Labour introduced their version of the ETS, emissions dropped considerably from 2007 to 2008. After National took power and gutted the ETS emissions have increased by 13%. However they got very cross when Russel Norman pointed it out because they wanted to claim that emissions have dropped since the 2007 levels. Obviously this is disingenuous because it is claiming the gains the Labour achieved in their final year as part of the overall figures. It is the same thing you are doing with the gender pay gap 😉

    I did see the figures regarding Southland’s median wage, there has obviously been an increase since the 2013 census when pay levels were lower than the national median. Clearly economy has picked up over the past two years. It will be interesting to see if it is still the case in another year after the dairy down turn.

    Interestingly the living wage is estimated as $19.25 an hour and for a 40 hour week that comes to $770. That means Invercargill’s median wage (despite being relatively high in a national sense) is still about $80 dollars a week below the living wage. It probably also means around 60% of earners in Southland are living beneath the living wage.

    There has also been a 58% increase in working people seeking temporary income assistance.

    Working for Families (the wage subsidy) cost the Government almost $3 billion in 2011 -double what it cost in 2006- and it is now costing us over $4 billion a year to cover the wage shortfall.

    Almost 50% of workers got no pay increase last year and rents have increased in Auckland by 10% or $60 a week. A huge amount for those on low incomes and the benefit increase was only $25 a week.

    I guess that’s settled then 😉


  82. Dave Kennedy says:

    “but some of the difference is explained by more women than men in part time work:”

    Ele, how does that explain the growing disparity? Are even more women in part time work?


  83. Mr E says:

    “you are a slippery old eel”

    You are a name calling ex teacher, and member of the supposedly principled Greens. Supposedly.

    You think local wages are tied to dairy payouts, and success. And you think the National party are party responsible for Dairy growth in the region. And resultingly incomes in Southland have risen relative to other regions.

    Seriously, you may as well hand in you Green card and sign up for National. Could you be more supportive?


  84. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are a sensitive soul, I am hardly a vicious name caller 😉

    When it comes to wages in Southland one would think that they should be even higher if the trickle down theory worked. The region earns 12% of the nations export income with only 3% of the population. If productivity was being shared across the workforce then the median wage in Southland should be well above the living wage and yet a dairy worker working 10-11 hour days, 6 days a week will expect to earn around $35,000 a year. Even including accommodation etc, it is barely the minimum wage. The living wage, if one worked a 40 hour week would be about $40,000 a year.

    And yet this is what some earn at the other end:

    It’s pretty clear that the money earned in Southland largely goes elsewhere.


  85. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I will leave you to your semantic arguments, I stand by what I say. You are letting down your side down by accepting National’s misogynistic culture, it just isn’t acceptable.


  86. Mr E says:

    ” you are a sensitive soul, ”

    Why would you say that?

    “I am hardly a vicious name caller ;-)”

    I wouldn’t say vicious. Perhaps prolific is a better description?

    “When it comes to wages in Southland one would think that they should be even higher if the trickle down theory worked.”

    One would think that. You are that one.

    ” The region earns 12% of the nations export income with only 3% of the population.”

    So you are saying Southland’s productivity is great. Our incomes are above average. And that is thanks to National.

    You are a National party member?


  87. Mr E says:

    Dave makes wild accusations he doesn’t and cannot back up. Take his exit from the debate as a win. That is how I see it.


  88. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, since 2011, after the GFC ended, New Zealand was called the rock star economy and many sectors boomed like the property sector and dairying. The top income earners got huge tax cuts and the wealthiest New Zealanders saw their incomes go up by over 10% a year for five years. There has been a huge trickle up and the slight increase in the median income in Southland is a tiny fraction of what it should be. You are right, National did this wealth transfer.


  89. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Dave makes wild accusations he doesn’t and cannot back up. Take his exit from the debate as a win. That is how I see it.”

    Fully backed if you read the links Mr E, how is the Feds organisation 😉


  90. Mr E says:

    Southland has the top regional income. And you are crediting National for that. You should be a National member.

    “Fully backed if you read the links Mr E”
    Nope – Tracey queried your backing and you appeared to duck for cover. And you appear to be still doing it.

    “how is the Feds organisation”

    I would have thought you would be asking the Feds that question. I am not a Fed, though I have sent them emails. The rest is up to you and them.


  91. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are full of bluff and bluster and idle threats. Your arguments slip and slide all over the place as you avoid the tough bits and try and reshape the moot of the moment to keep within your comfort zone.

    Your attempt at forcing me to back down on my previous views through a challenge for me to face up to some actual farmers dissolved immediately I called your bluff. It also appears that I have stronger connections with the local farming leadership than yourself. I had hoped that you would make an appearance at the soil seminar.

    Over the years you have continually derided me for daring to comment on the farming industry while talking up your own credentials. You wanted me to respect your knowledge and experience as superior to my own with no way of me being able to verify that you deserve the status you credit yourself with.

    You now claim that you are not a farmer and have no real sway within Federated Farmers and you refuse to meet with me face to face. When so many of your arguments have not been based on facts or supporting links but on your personal status as someone with industry experience, your credibility is diminishing rapidly. Your sarcastic comments about my own rural connections were unwise when you refuse to verify your own.

    You have claimed that you are desperately defending the farming sector from the likes of myself (who you once describes as a serious threat to the industry because of my public views), but you are unlikely be taken seriously if you do this behind a secret identity and dubious credentials. It will be only so much hot air if there is no substance behind it.

    Tracey, it does look as though you will miss out on witnessing my public flogging that you got so excited about, but you are also welcome to attend the soil seminar.


  92. Mr E says:

    A list of untruths or weirdness…. How long can it get?

    “idle threats”?
    “you avoid the tough bits”
    “Your attempt at forcing me”
    “dissolved immediately I called your bluff”
    “continually derided me for daring to comment”
    “You wanted me to respect your knowledge and experience ”
    “Your sarcastic comments about my own rural connections were unwise”
    “You have claimed that you are desperately defending the farming sector ”

    Ladies and Gentlemen – I present to you – Dave Kennedy. In all his glory…..


  93. Dave Kennedy says:

    A good summary Mr E, apart from your initial label, you can call me the bluff and bluster buster (how’s that for alliteration) 😉


  94. TraceyS says:

    Mr E at 11:25pm, there is so much more at stake than just winning or losing.

    It can be a problem for women, especially in male dominated environments, to be heard for what they are actually saying and not for what a man prefers to think they have heard.

    Dave demonstrated this capably. First he thought he heard Judith Collins say something during an interview that the recording shows she did not say. Then he thought he saw words in my writing that were plainly not there. Even when the words were there in black and white in front of him he still prefers his own version of what he thinks I meant to say.

    Even when corrected, he clings to what he believes “she” means.

    I have met some very traditional men who showed greater respect for what I’ve got to say.

    As for the accusation of letting letting my side down, who exactly does Dave believe is my side? Why must I have a side?

    I have a message for men like Dave. I know my own mind and I’m perfectly capable of speaking it precisely and owning what I say. So please take me at face value. Don’t assume or pretend you know differently. And, when you make a mistake and are corrected, accept it like a man and move on.

    “…I will leave you to your semantic arguments, I stand by what I say. You are letting down your side down by accepting National’s misogynistic culture, it just isn’t acceptable.”

    Calling my argument “semantic” is used here as a put down. The sentence which follows it proves this point.

    I would prefer “discerning” to describe my argument. But then it’s hard to use that word in a negative way and it is one which would normally be associated more with the gentlemen rather than the ladies.


  95. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I have difficulty respecting what you say regarding gender equality when you openly support the status quo. There are so many examples of discrimination by gender in the way women are treated in the economy and within the National Party. When Annette Little pointed out the difference in treatment between Collins and McCully, Judith did not attempt to argue with that view and openly stated how the speaker is more receptive to male voices than women.

    I linked to an old blog post where I repeated the opinions of Jenny Shipley. While I disagree with her politics, her concern with how women are regarded in the business world is obviously valid. I have worked in a profession that is dominated by women and I have seen first hand the level of discrimination in pay and job security.

    Teacher aids would have amongst the worst pay and conditions of any workforce, they make up 30% of all school staff and often have to work on wages little above the minimum. Despite their responsibilities and skills and even if they have worked in a school for more than ten years, they can never be considered as holding a permanent position and their hours or job can change at a whim. Many are sole income earners who love their jobs and their good will is taken advantage of. I have seen some amazing teacher aids who have worked daily with children with severe disabilities and conditions, many even put up with daily physical abuse because they are dedicated to the children they support and appreciate that children with severe autism (as one example) can’t be held accountable for their behaviour.

    It is the complacency and lack of resolve from women like yourself who allow this ongoing discrimination to occur. Your argument isn’t discerning, it is just disappointing. You have obviously had some challenges in your life in the past that has caused you to be so submissive and compliant. There is no way you can defend this government for its obvious disregard for women.


  96. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, I have difficulty respecting what you say…”

    You seriously expected me to keep reading after that, your opening line?


  97. Name Withheld says:

    It is the complacency and lack of resolve from women like yourself who allow this ongoing discrimination to occur. Your argument isn’t discerning, it is just disappointing. You have obviously had some challenges in your life in the past that has caused you to be so submissive and compliant. There is no way you can defend this government for its obvious disregard for women.

    I have always suspected that underneath the sanctimonious green veneer lurks a truly nasty and vindictive personalty.
    The above paragraph confirms it.

    Read it again carefully and reflect on it, Mr Kennedy.


  98. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, respect is earned and on the basis of your acceptance of discriminatory behaviour I have little choice in saying this. I know lots of women who have experienced worse than yourself and they have not accepted that such treatment of them as women.

    NW, I reflected very carefully on my words and still find it incomprehensible why women would still choose to support a party that clearly treats women as second class citizens.

    Perhaps you can prove me wrong by listing the things that National has implemented that has directly improved women’s lives and addressed the gender inequity. It certainly wasn’t when it stopped the pay equity investigation and disestablished the Pay and Employment Equity Unit. It obviously wasn’t when they removed family carers of their legal rights and when Hekia Parata was told through a court decision that her actions ignored the health and safety of vulnerable young women.


  99. TraceyS says:

    “I know lots of women who have experienced worse than yourself…”

    How can you make this judgement? I have not discussed all of my experiences with you.

    “You have obviously had some challenges in your life in the past that has caused you to be so submissive and compliant.”

    I doubt that anyone whom I deal with on a regular basis would agree with that summation.

    Calling me “submissive and compliant” is just another put down.


  100. TraceyS says:

    BTW, who is “Annette Little” (@1:33 pm)?


  101. Name Withheld says:

    Perhaps you can prove me wrong by listing the things that National has implemented that has directly improved women’s lives

    Nope…not going to happen.
    This is you normal tactic of trying to “distract and divert” from your earlier excretable remarks.
    I’ll not be part of it.
    Your attack was personal and disgusting.
    Reflect on it.


  102. Dave Kennedy says:

    Who is “Annette Little”?
    Oops, a bizarre amalgamation of Annette King’s and Andrew Little’s names. Change it to Annette King 😉

    Tracey, you are quite right that i don’t know what you have experienced in your life other than what you have shared here. However you have made it perfectly clear what you believe regarding the treatment of women and I can only assume what has made you so resigned.

    When I stated it is harder for women to succeed then men within the National Party your response was:

    “What’s wrong with hard? All things worth achieving are hard won in my experience.”

    I take this to mean that you don’t think that the current situation should change and that women having to work much harder than men to achieve the same goals is acceptable.

    I don’t take that view and I thing it is sad that after so many gains for women in the past, National is quickly eroding them. We are now going backwards regarding gender equity. The fact you accept this as alright certainly points to submissive acceptance and compliance to the current regime. Do you even agree with Jenny Shipley or any of the comments in this interview?

    Ria Bond is a New Zealand First MP based in Invercargill and i consider her a friend after campaigning with her and working with her over the sale of state houses in Invercargill. When she asked her first question in the house she was shouted at by National Ministers in very sexist ways and treated appallingly by the speaker. Women across different parties joined forces to support her afterwards. For the first time she tried to table a document that she had honestly checked for public availability and you can see the result.

    You will note the constant interjections and braying from National’s benches and the comment that caused concern that Carter didn’t hear was Joyce shouting condescendingly to Ria “Aw, sweat pea..” when her tabled document was refused. Ria knew that Parliament wasn’t any easy environment but she hadn’t expected such blatant sexism.


  103. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Nope…not going to happen”.

    NW, then your argument collapses. The whole premise being discussed is National’s treatment of women and Tracey’s acceptance of that. The only way you can question my thinking and examples is to prove otherwise. Your refusal is telling and Tracey’s inability to defend this Government’s discrimination other than feeling offended is also revealing.


  104. Name Withheld says:

    NW, then your argument collapses

    I make no argument.

    I simply point out your nasty and vindictive nature, very thinly disguised by your sanctimonious green persona, and evidenced by your obnoxious personal attack.

    Twist and squirm, as is your wont, all you like, I have no interest in assisting you changing the subject from that.


  105. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, then you must be a hypocrite because you yourself make much worse judgements on my own motivations and views. It is noble that you are attempting to defend Tracey, but if she supports the current regime then she should be able to defend it with some supporting evidence.

    I agree that my comments to Tracey were challenging ones, but justified I believe.

    Tracey has three clear avenues of response:

    1) Justify National’s performance regarding gender equity to counter the appalling examples that I have listed. Is there a reasonable explanation for the growing pay inequity and shutting down the investigation?

    2) Agree that there is some discrimination within the National Party and its policies and explain her efforts to change it for the better.

    3) Avoiding the first two approaches by taking offense and attacking me for daring to question her views and motives and accepting her lot as a female.

    Tracey has obviously chosen the third approach and you support her.

    Gender discrimination is a very concerning problem in New Zealand society when: a huge percentage of women are subjected to sexual and physical abuse; shoulder much of the responsibilities of child care; are often on low incomes to do so; where female dominated jobs get paid much less then the equivalent male occupations; and women are being denied management and directorship roles despite being more qualified than many men appointed ahead of them.

    In the past Tracey has claimed it is a woman’s choice to take on leadership roles or not, this is true, but for those who do choose to take on leadership positions it is much harder to be recognised over men. I am aware of a number of organisations that are especially focussed on trying to reverse the current discriminatory practices that make it difficult for women in business and different professions. The fact that these are necessary at all is surely a concern.


  106. Name Withheld says:

    Twist and squirm, as is your wont, all you like, I have no interest in assisting you changing the subject from that.


  107. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, now you have lost me, what do you think is the subject and how have I changed it?


  108. jabba says:

    I will repeat what I have said for years, thank goodness the Greens have no political power in NZ


  109. Dave Kennedy says:

    Jabba, because you don’t want gender equality?


  110. jabba says:

    say whattttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt


  111. Dave Kennedy says:

    Or perhaps you don’t want a balanced budget, or a sustainable economy that isn’t at the mercy of commodity markets? Or perhaps you prefer an autocratic Government and don’t want a participatory democracy? Or it could be that you would rather be governed by a bunch of lawyers and bureaucrats than a party with business experience? Or perhaps you are wary of progressive thinkers 😉


  112. TraceyS says:

    Another avenue of response is not to waste time on the person who openly states that he doesn’t respect what I have to say.

    And that is exactly what I intend to do.


  113. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you are wonderfully predictable. When I was specific about the particular opinion you expressed that I couldn’t respect you leap to the extreme conclusion that I was referring to everything you say. You and Mr E employ the same debating style and it enables you to avoid the addressing the hard questions.

    Response number 3 it is then 😉


  114. Mr E says:

    I have never believed in the saying “respect is earned”.

    For me, respect is something I entitle to anyone, until I have reason to question it, or withdraw it.

    The Green Party seems to agree in accordance with their values.
    “Green values
    6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks”

    Dave, you have been name calling on this blog,and you are accused of personal attacks. Do you think you have been living up to your Green Party values? Or are you working outside them?

    If you are outside your ‘values’ what accountability will there be?


  115. tom hunter says:

    Folks, remember those gentle “ahhhhhhhhhh…” moments when you’ve done the work and are starting to relax: it might be a cold beer, a glass of wine – or a hot cup of tea or chocolate on a winters day.

    I present to you one of those moments …

    DOWIE NAT 17,526
    SOPER LAB 10,044
    BOND NZF 2,526
    KENNEDY GP 2,497
    STORR CNSP 719

    There! Doesn’t that feel good. And in this case the Zen moment has two sides to it, which is that the same thing that makes you feel good, makes the cranks even more enraged at how futile it all is!



  116. Mr E says:


    This might give you more to Ahhhhh about?

    2011 election – Green Party Votes Invercargill 8.42%

    Southland times article dated 3/9/2014 – Titled: “More voters eye Greens as viable option”

    “Kennedy is hoping to secure at least 15 per cent of the party vote in Invercargill this election”

    2014 Election – Green Party Votes Invercargill – 7.57%


  117. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I have stated many times how I would like to debate issues that I feel strongly about in a political forum where most commenters come from a different political perspective than myself and make the following observations.

    I have withstood some fairly vicious attacks from some for even attempting to comment with a different view (this doesn’t worry me I expected this): apparently I am a watermelon, a Marxist, a communist and a stalinist. I have been called a child abuser and many times I have been told that I have no right to comment on farming because I have “no skin in the game”. I am told I am a political nobody and even just now the election results are produced to ensure that I am well aware that you guys are dominant and I am an “also ran”. I was also described by NW as “underneath the sanctimonious green veneer lurks a truly nasty and vindictive personalty.”

    Interestingly this latest attack comes out of me challenging Tracey about the misogynistic behaviour within the National Party. I produce shocking evidence of sexism and leave it open for anyone to defend the party’s behaviour or perhaps even admit that there is an issue. I have difficulty understanding why Tracey accepts this culture so passively and even defends it, to me it is incomprehensible and I say so. The reaction my comments have drawn are revealing, not one commenter has even attempted to respond to my actual concerns: “Nope…not going to happen”… and the debate has roundly turned on myself and my “nasty vindictive nature”.

    It is so blatantly obvious that the National Party does not treat women well in the party and as a Government has deliberately ignored the problem of gender inequity in the workplace and how women are abused in our wider society. The gender pay gap has grown over the last 7 years and domestic violence and sexual attacks on women are not noticeably diminishing. National even closed down Christchurch’s Rape Crisis Centre when demand for its services had increased by 40% since the earthquake. Like Relationships Aotearoa they were refused funding because they couldn’t work within a fixed budget when there was a growing demand for their services (unbelievably shortsighted).

    Luckily Hekia Parata’s attempt to shut down Neslon’s special school for girls and combine it with a school for troubled boys in Christchurch (to save money) was stopped by the courts because of the very real health and safety concerns for the girls involved.

    I think my challenging comments to Tracey pale in comparison to the shocking treatment of women and girls by this current Government. Paranormal exemplifies the sort of attitude that exists here when he claims that too many young women “breed” for a living. Without any evidence it is a major problem he is prepared to cut welfare payments for all on the DPB…and I am the nasty one…Good Grief!

    Turn the mirror around guys!


  118. Mr E says:


    So what you are saying is, the Green party value change based on the situation? In this case you feel others have made personal attacks on you, so you think it is fine to make personal attacks back?

    Is that it? Is that how thin the Green Party values really are?


  119. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, keep up the desperate diversionary tactics so that the real issues can be quietly swept under the carpet 😉

    I think you will find that the Green Party has worked hard to retain and support Rape Crisis centres around the country, Jan Logie came to Invercargill to support ours. The Greens’ record of supporting women and addressing the shocking levels of abuse and inequity is solid.

    Sexual crimes are increasing at the same time the Government has been closing rape crisis centres and shutting down relationships Aotearoa. What good reason can it possibly have to do this when the need for both are clearly evident?

    You can accuse me of personal attacks and deride my election result (even though my team have doubled the vote since 2008 and doubled local membership over the same time), but you can’t use the very tactics you accuse me of to avoid what I am presenting.

    “In this case you feel others have made personal attacks on you, so you think it is fine to make personal attacks back?”

    Interestingly I don’t see it the same way as you. I believe I am just naming behaviours that are clearly evident in the comments and the fact that you object to me calling you a slippery eel (in jest) seems overly sensitive to me. I do think rape and exploiting female workers as a much more serious issue and I find it telling that when I speak up on these issues I get commenters diving for cover, refusing to comment, and throwing my election result at me. I also find it interesting Mr E that you spend an extraordinary amount of time either justifying yourself and your credentials or criticising mine than actually addressing any real issue.

    What did you see in the mirror? If I was you I would be extremely worried if there was no image…

    Just incase you feel that the above was a nasty comment, it was a joke as I don’t actually believe you are a vampire, just as I don’t think you are an eel. 😉


  120. Mr E says:

    There are no diversionary tactics. You are talking about how politicians treat people – about how respectful they are. I am following that path, even though I feel it is off topic and feel bad about that.

    “You can accuse me of personal attacks”

    Name calling in a derogatory fashion is personal attack. “Slippery eel” is a derogatory term that you are using ‘in jest’ trying to make fun of me.

    Several others here in this thread have accused you of personal attacks too.

    You say you are naming behaviours, but your statements don’t reflect that. You called me a slippery eel. Not my behaviours. There is a big difference. If you cannot comprehend that, I worry about your political future.

    You often joke at others expense as is obvious from your vampire and eel remarks. I don’t think that is respectful. Do you?

    Before you start pointing out my behaviour (I didn’t deride you), please note, I am not bound by your Green Party values. The question I ask is, are you?

    So how about you answer the simple question that remains unanswered.

    Do you think you have been living up to your Green Party values? Or are you working outside them?


  121. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear, Mr E, of course you’re not an eel, it’s a metaphor, and your skin probably isn’t slimy (although I can’t prove this because I have never met you) 😉

    I am surprised that even when I name and describe your behaviour you can’t help yourself. Another comment full of self justification and self righteous indignation. My values are clear, I care about the sustainable use of our resources and the the fair and equitable treatment of people. All my comments revolve around those issues.

    Your obvious bullying and attempts to discredit me through the election results won’t stop me from promoting those views. Paranormals attacks on me and his derogatory descriptions of beneficiaries won’t shift me. Tracey’s inability to recognise the blatant sexism that exists in her world is not my problem, it is hers. What ever you accuse me of pales into insignificance compared to the nasty vindictive approach this Government has to those who stick up for the most vulnerable.

    Metiria was attacked for clothes she wore and the stone cottage she lives in, the Problem Gambling Foundation had its funding withdrawn (court action ongoing), Relationships Aotearoa had its good reputation slurred and then shut down for not being able to function with a $4 million dollar funding cut and an increased workload, Christchurch’s Rape Crisis centre shut down….the list is endless. NGO’s that retain their funding are the ones that no longer question damaging Government policy or threaten the profits of industries based on exploiting the vulnerable.

    And here I am, “a nasty, vindictive Green” daring to say these things about the National party and question those who support it.

    When you try and defend the indefensible and offer no real argument other than bullying statements then I am quite prepared to challenge you Mr E. I am not perfect by any means and there are many candidates in the Green Party more deserving and able than me for a place in parliament, but at least I am standing up for what I believe beyond this keyboard as well.


  122. Mr E says:


    “it’s a metaphor”.

    You are saying I am the same as a slippery eel. It is still derogatory, disrespectful, name calling.

    “My values are clear” – yet you won’t say whether comments here fit within your Green Party values.

    “Your obvious bullying and attempts to discredit me through the election results won’t stop me from promoting those views.”

    Say whatttttttttttttttttttttttttt? I presented the Green Party results and your prediction of the 2014 result. How is that anything but factual? If your prediction of the result is a discredit, it is indeed you who have discredited yourself. My Poppa used to say “don’t count your chickens before they have hatched”.

    None of what I have said is bullying. Recognising the election results is something we should all do with pride. Even the losers. The fact that you think recognising election results is bullying makes me wonder if you are in some kind of denial. Are you Dave?

    “What ever you accuse me of pales into insignificance”

    As unimportant as you may consider respectfulness, and personal attacks, it is part of your Green Party values. Why would you consider those things to be insignificant?

    Is your behaviour here in line with those values Dave? Why is a straight answer so hard to get?

    Some days it is ok just to apologise an move on. Even for a politician. I think that is in line with Green Party values.


  123. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E I would really love to know why you went to all the trouble of researching and informing readers here about my aspirations for the Green vote in Invercargill and how that relates to my concern about National’s treatment of women? I am going to really enjoy your verbal gymnastics around that one 😉

    I had a real chuckle over your attempt to explain that it was only factual, as god knows how those facts had any bearing on the conversation if it wasn’t about trying to discredit the messenger.

    You really are delusional in the way you perceive yourself as an honest debater.

    And still not one comment or response regarding the Government’s shocking treatment of women…not one.

    Perhaps you can tell me who you emailed in Federated Farmers so that I can follow up what you tried to do but failed. I can invite them to the soil seminar and find out why they wouldn’t respond to your suggestion (or was it that jolly spam thingy). When I don’t get an email response I tend to pick up the phone.

    You are so transparent Mr E and it is truly embarrassing for you that you don’t realize it…(and you accuse me of not giving a straight answer).


  124. homepaddock says:

    I would really love to know why it’s so difficult to stick to the topic of the post and debate issues rather than criticising people.


  125. Mr E says:


    I was feeling bad regarding the off topic conversation. You are right to call it out.

    I will leave that conversation there.


  126. Dave Kennedy says:

    Apologies, Ele, I have tried to find a way of contacting Mr E directly so that our personal differences don’t bore everyone else, but this is the only forum where he is prepared to engage. My part in this will end immediately. I have a meeting to chair that I need to prepare for anyway and this has been a distraction.


  127. Mr E says:

    I should also say, for my part in off topic discussion, I apologise.


  128. farmerbraun says:

    “I would really love to know why . . . .”
    An at least two-hundred-comment thread lies therein. . . . . 🙂


  129. Will says:

    I guess that must mean TPPA doesn’t mean Taking the Piss out of Political Aspirants.


  130. farmerbraun says:

    And then Ele , you could always consider this approach to what appears to be an inevitability in the life and evolution , and ultimate demise of a blog. The average life of a blog is quite short.
    But most seem to follow a similar evolution.


  131. Dave Kennedy says:

    FB, aside from my ongoing banter with Mr E, which I agree will be tedious for most, I do like to think an alternative viewpoint encourages stronger debate and forces both sides to strengthen their understanding of their position. There are few blogs where both sides of the political spectrum spar and I value Ele’s tolerance of my presence and Keepingstock’s when he was active. Keepingstock even allowed me to write guest post once and we often chatted through emails where we had common interests.

    I also get the feeling that Will, Tom and others gain some pleasure out of pointing out where I’m wrong and I actually value being brought down to earth in a space where not everyone agrees with me.

    Ele’s original post was about the TPPA and to be honest there are some aspects that appear to be not as bad as many on the left predicted, however there are some really worrying aspects regarding foreign ownership of property and what may happen with Government procurement from now on. The assurances about the ISDS are concerning because just because we haven’t suffered previously with challenges under other FTAs doesn’t mean it won’t happen (as Canada has experienced) and our small country won’t have the resources to fight too many of them.


  132. farmerbraun says:

    “an alternative viewpoint encourages stronger debate and forces both sides to strengthen their understanding of their position. ”

    The purpose of communication is to produce awareness and understanding.

    The question about blogs is how they can be a useful medium for furthering understanding.

    I’m not seriously suggesting that Ele should contemplate what the Slog blog owner has just done.

    He is receiving posts from commenters ands choosing which of them address his opinion piece, and should be posted to the thread.
    It will be an interesting experiment .


  133. TraceyS says:

    I’ve looked back to see when the comments went off topic and who initiated that.

    Dave (September 30, 2015 at 9:43pm) was the first to mention unrelated topics (ie. Novopay, Solid Energy, Relationships Aotearoa, Sky City).

    His next comment (October 1, 2015 at 12:27pm) brought up the topics of: low wage economy, beneficiary numbers, superannuation, working for families tax package, the accommodation supplement, and shortage of low costs houses.

    “Last year we spent 11 billion on superannuation…”

    That’s not relevant to the discussion but rather an attempt to go off on a tangent.

    I joined the comments on October 4, 2015 at 3:17pm solely to correct the claim that “Blueskin Bay is shortly going to be energy independent…”

    That’s neither on topic nor true. Blueskin Bay will “shortly” be energy independent in the same way that Clyde could be considered energy independent!

    I haven’t commented on the TPPA because I don’t know much about it yet. But I do feel it is important to speak up when people spread misinformation about other topics.

    That is why I also responded to Dave’s unsupported claim (October 6, 2015 at 5:51pm) that: “Even Judith Collins has admitted that…she has been treated more harshly than her male colleagues.”

    The recording shows she did not say that (it was implied by one Annette “Little” apparently). Not Judith Collins.

    There are men in this world, I have learned, who just can not stand being corrected by a woman. There is evidence of that in this comment thread. Can you find it?

    So it is ironic that the discussion deviated into gender discrimination. I chose not to get engrossed in a detailed defense of Dave’s outrageous claims about my life and my personal views because, among a plethora of other very good reasons, this topic is very far from the original post.

    But I cannot let this comment pass:
    “Tracey’s inability to recognise the blatant sexism that exists in her world is not my problem, it is hers.”

    How can Dave presume to know my mind better than I myself? This is exactly the kind of sexism that many women face, especially in the workplace but also in some family settings. It is an approach to filling in the gaps for the woman who chose not to comment or didn’t produce the type of response that the man wanted. It is simply an appalling way to treat women.

    I have experienced this many times at work over my career. Exercising the determination to ensure that your message gets across as you intended it to be received often elicits the labels: aggressive, pedantic, semantic, emotional, or just plain “nagging”. Those are labels which are uncommonly applied to men.

    I have also experienced other forms of sexism in the workplace including sexual harassment. And I have been involved in cases investigating it. Neither provide examples of personal or professional experience which I wish to explore on a public blog. Nor would I get into a one-on-one discussion, even, with someone who tries to bait me by opening discourse with a statement that he doesn’t respect what I have to say on the topic simply because HE does not understand my choices.

    As well as the workplace, I have experienced sexism in local government and tertiary education. This is not the result of my choice to support a political party.

    My great-grandmothers fought for the right to vote and they won it. But it is likely that the battle to freely choose whom to vote for continued for decades beyond and probably still endures to this day for some women. That is the freedom to choose without undue influence of the opinions of husbands, fathers, and other men.

    So when Dave questions my voting choices and attacks me (at times grossly) based on them, notably because he can’t wrap his closeted mind around them, I quite rightly say: I do not have anything to justify. These are my choices and mine alone.


  134. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, in respect for Ele’s justified concerns I am happy to respond to all accusations away from this forum and further explain the consequences of your “choices”. Message me 😉


  135. TraceyS says:

    No thanks.


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