Theft is theft

Thought for the day:

If you or I steal money, it is theft. We get taken to court, and get fined or go to prison.

Interesting! As Double Dipton would say, it’s all about perception.

$15 an hour – sign the petition

Yesterday the Unite Union launched a petition for a Citizens Initiated Referendum on immediately increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and eventually increasing it to 66% of the average wage.

Now I’m normally no great fan of Citizens Initiated Referenda – largely because it seems too easy to get leading or misleading questions, like that in Larry Baldock’s silly smacking one, approved.

But Unite’s one to increase the minimum wage is worth supporting. An adult in a full time job should have a reasonable standard of living without getting into debt or relying on charity or income support. $15 an hour – $600 a week – is a good start.

Unlike superannuation or benefits the minimum wage is not automatically increased each year. By making it 66% of the average wage (the same as the married rate for superannuation) it will keep the lowest paid New Zealand workers out of poverty.

If you want to help gather signatures for the petition you can download petition forms here.

Meanwhile, Melissa Lee seems to have made a fool of herself (yet again) at the Unite Union’s candidate forum. Lee quipped “I think I am currently on $2 an hour”.

Actually, she is on $131,000 a year, plus expenses. I doubt workers on the current minimum wage of $26,000 a year (if they work 40 hours a week) would have been very impressed.

Melissing the evidence

No, this post is not about Melissa Lee. I’ve had enough of her, and am rather bored with her stupid antics!

It is about missing the evidence. It is about David Carter, Minister of Agriculture, and about factory farming.

On Sunday, in response to the Mike King pig farming expose, Carter said (May 17th):

No I didn’t know to the extent to which they were confined other than for farrowing purposes.

Well, we could all believe that. But, unfortunately for David Carter, he had received this letter from Dr Michael Morris of the Coalition Agaisnt Factory Farming four years ago:

We also enclose a copy of a peer-reviewed publication reviewing sow welfare and concluding that severe confinement of sows is unacceptable from a welfare perspective.

Again thank you for taking the time to meet with us.

Carter was also advised of this peer-reviewed research.

Seems that David Carter was right in the thick of the coverup of barbaric farming practices after all.

Carter’s comment: “No I didn’t know to the extent to which they were confined other than for farrowing purposes” seems to be looking very thin in the context of the evidence that has emerged.

My pick is that he’s yet another apologist for factory farmers. Change the Government and nothing changes re animal welfare. Must be time to Party Vote Green next election!

How to kill a blog thread

Interesting times over at Kiwiblog over the last couple of days.

The Melissa Lee hopes for second place thread was running rampant. Natty types were (shock, horror) suggesting that National supporters in Mount Albert should tactically vote for Russel Norman.

By 10.06am yesterday the thread had attracted 95 comments, most of them rubbishing Melissa Lee.

So what does David Farrar do? At 10.19am, he publishes a post about abortion.

And, on cue, all the attention moves to that thread and the “Melissa concedes” one becomes very quiet. Very clever.

I presume Farrar has the voluntary euthanasia post already drafted for the next time Melissa stuffs up.

Melissing in Action – again!

Just picked up this media release from Russel Norman:

The people of Mt Albert deserve a political leader who is prepared to publicly debate the electorate’s issues, so Melissa Lee should engage at tonight’s community meeting on SuperCity proposals, Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“I call on Melissa Lee to front up and debate the issues. Preparing a statement for someone else to read out just isn’t going to cut it. The people of Mt Albert need a representative who is willing to engage in public debate.

“The fact that Melissa isn’t debating at Owairaka District School tonight suggests that National is not serious about contesting the Mt Albert by-election.”

I guess that after the debacle over the SH16 motorway stopping South Auckland’s criminals from burgling in Mount Albert, Melissa’s minders must be worried that “in the heat of the moment” she might reveal Christine Rankin as her preferred nominee to chair the Auckland Transition Authority.

Still, a very poor look that Melissa won’t front.

UPDATE: It just gets worse and worse for poor Melissa:

Starts off almost okay for her, but the second half is where it all totally falls apart. It’s just gotta be a race between Russel Norman & David Shearer now. Not even the most biased Nat supported could surely vote for someone this incompetent.

I think her best quote was “I’m all over the place”, which was probably the one thing she said in her interview we can rely on.

Melissing In Action

Well, hasn’t it been a great week for National’s Mt Albert candidate Melissa Lee!

First, the dodgy election video from last year’s general election campaign, and now the “motorway would keep South Auckland criminals out” comments.

Aside from the outrageous prejudice exhibited against South Aucklanders in those comments, I’ve been pondering the logic behind them all morning. And I think I’ve finally got it.

Last year Keith Locke gave me a copy of a letter from Bryan Jackson, Acting Chair of Transit NZ (now NZTA). Jackson states in that letter:

The forecasts of unconstrained growth in Auckland suggest the Waterview Connection will be at near capacity in 2015.

What that means, in effect, is that it will be fully congested as soon as it opens. So I guess that’s how Melissa reasons the Waterview Connection will keep South Auckland’s criminals out of Mount Albert – they’ll be so discouraged by the traffic jams resulting from it that they’ll find somewhere else to burgle.

Clever Melissa! Wonder what she can stuff up tomorrow.


The word “corrupt” was bandied about by the National Party a lot when they were in opposition. Day after day, they targeted Labour in Parliament using the term to refer to Labour’s 2005 election pledge card.

So how ironic it is to see this story on TV3’s Campbell Live last night, involving none other than National’s Mount Albert byelection candidate Melissa Lee:

It is alleged Lee continued to involve herself with making election programmes when she and her friend and colleague Pansy Wong were themselves part of the programme.

Even more damaging, it is alleged that she used NZ On Air funded Asia Down Under staff and equipment to make a National Party campaign video.

From where I’m sitting, there’s only one word for that!

Maybe Ravi Musuku will have a reason to complete his webpage after all.

Hat Tip: The Standard for the video

UPDATE: As John A points out at The Standard, Asia Down Under doesn’t appear in the National Party’s electoral expenses return either. This just keeps getting more interesting.