Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Things worth knowing

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I know, I know,
    drawers-dropping
    ruins the cadence…

    Thanks :)

    Marinkovich in his 80s heyday sported the kind of red-framed face-furniture of the type later favoured by Jim Hopkins. One decade's off-the-shelf bold statement of cutting-edge individuality became the next's must-have accessory for cracking jokes to rest home audiences.

    Indeed, and there is that pesky
    next big extinction period
    to presell to a complicit public…
    will they go for baroque,
    and pile on the ‘guilt’,
    or all green-pandering
    with hollow echoes of eco…

    Eco watch repair.
    Being just contaminates the void.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Jim Hopkins … cracking jokes to rest home audiences.

    Yes, I noticed (on telly I hasten to add) he was emceeing the ACT conference again this year…
    Where Mr Gibbs waxed lyrical about … singapore…
    Still if the US hadn’t done its classic cuckoo-in-the-nest routine, we would probably have signed the original TPPA with Singapore, Brunei and Chile by now.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So there’ll be no problem with telling us who paid for your dinner, minister?

    Over on WhaleOil Cactus K makes the point that there could be cultural mores in place around who pays for what at a dinner.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Andrew C,

    there could be cultural mores in place around who pays for what at a dinner.

    Of course, and not causing offence to one's hosts is always good practice, but if that's the case, say so! And if it's going to cause offence to say who paid, perhaps it's best to just decline those invitations because in our country, it's mightily offensive to the voters to avoid answering questions about hanging out with foreign officials.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's okay everyone -- we can move on. John Key is officially over this whole Oravida thing:

    But John Key thinks it is time to move on.

    "I think we sort of dealt with those issues. The Labour Party's sort of down in the weeds going through various aspects of it.

    "I don't think the Labour Party's ever going to move on, but I have moved on so I think that's useful."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • alobar, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s okay everyone – we can move on. John Key is officially over this whole Oravida thing

    Well I'm over wondering who paid for dinner , can't they at least ask more relevant questions ?

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    but if that’s the case, say so!

    Oh I don't disagree Matthew, I was just pointing out the aspect of who actually paid may be a non-story.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • alobar, in reply to Andrew C,

    Over on WhaleOil Cactus K makes the point that there could be cultural mores in place around who pays for what at a dinner.

    She makes the point that they wouldn't let a female pay , but even as a male in china it can require subterfuge if you want to pay the bill when dining with locals of either gender. In my experience they insist on paying for tourists meals .

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    As for the big "Who Paid?" question, it's kind of a distraction and seems to miss the point. But if I had to guess, I would guess Oravida paid. They issued the invite, right? And how would a government official get away with paying in the rather austere climate Xi Jinping ushered in? I'm not particularly bothered by who paid - it's already been pointed out that these are the rules of the game. But Collins' inability to just say suggests to me there might be some more questions worth asking, and I do have to wonder just what Oravida was hoping to get out of all this.

    Especially considering just how many NZ dairy producers/brands have had their product fail inspection at the border over the last year or two (hint: a hell of a lot more than the NZ media seems aware of, and for all Fonterra's woes, it's more often the smaller brands, especially those buying from the contract manufacturers) and the just-completed Chinese inspection of NZ dairy factories.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to alobar,

    Well I’m over wondering who paid for dinner , can’t they at least ask more relevant questions ?

    Think a little further than your perception seeing as there are many ways to unravel a story that has had the usual, "nothing to see here, move along" responses from Collins and Key. The way in which the opposition has often been stifled with the Speaker in the House continuously giving advice to National or has even interpreted answers for National and has also demanded very basic questions so as not to confuse his poor wee dears in National, has meant that one simple unanswered question has to be teased until the answer is caught somewhere. Just as Collins had today in her U Turn once discovered. National are good at obfuscation, I'd actually suggest that is more important to them than telling the public anything about their intended agenda. The question may sound trivial to you but it has a reason for being asked. Whether it was the business or the Government in China could make a hell of a difference as to what was being discussed other than the "chats about what a lovely country NZ is"
    and thus what sort of meeting it actually was.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Something worth knowing is that the policy adviser Collins took to the dinner was Margaret Malcolm, who is not a ministry appointment, but appears to be employed (via Ministerial Services, I presume) by the particular Minister, Ms Collins.

    Very little has been made about her presence at a private dinner, though she is probably another close friend, noting the Law Society connection (but that raises questions about her appointment, to me, anyway), or about the NZ ambassador's presence at the Oravida 'cup of tea' but unavailability for the private dinner, to which he was invited according to Collins. Sounds like political savvy on his part to refuse a private meeting with a high ranking Chinese border control official.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    and I do have to wonder just what Oravida was hoping to get out of all this.

    I suspect Labour are interested to see if indeed Oravida get something too and just what that sort of cronyism will do to the rest of us.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Just saying - No matter how much thin ice Collins was skating on Key/Nats have no intention of giving the oppostion any impetus from the situation.

    It appears the greater electorate has "moved on" as shown by the drop for Labour in the polls - failure to launch and a lack of competence. Cunning move by Key to extinguish the Collins issue and highlight Labours failings.

    Cunning, smug and trusted by the electorate is John Key - no matter what goes down.

    Would have thought Cunliffe would be more dynamic and looking to be more and not less than Shearer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I think we sort of dealt with those issues. The Labour Party's sort of down in the weeds going through various aspects of it.

    Perhaps someone should remind the Prime Minister that there is a difference between ordinary and noxious weeds.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Sounds like political savvy on his part to refuse a private meeting with a high ranking Chinese border control official.

    Yes, that seems plausible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Dairy me...
    Judith Collins hoist by her own petard?
    I see from this puff piece that her husband only pursued directorships so she could concentrate on politics:

    When their son James was nine, Collins went into politics, a move which forced her to rely more heavily on her mother-in-law and husband.
    "When I was practising as a lawyer, we could juggle all sorts of things around childcare. But when I became an MP...he had to take the primary role of making sure that our son was at school and fed and all sorts of things because I wasn't home at night."
    As a result, Wong-Tung decided to scale down his work and pursue company directorships.
    "He gave up quite a lot for me to be able to fulfil what I wanted to do," says Collins.

    Now we can see how that panned out...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DexterX,

    It appears the greater electorate has "moved on" as shown by the drop for Labour in the polls

    Events take weeks to show up in polls. That's more likely to reflect Labour's relative lack of action over summer after a strong start by their new leader before that..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sacha,

    Events take weeks to show up in polls.

    Yes.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I would guess Oravida paid.

    Here's where it makes a difference: if it's a personal dinner, ie genuinely a social gathering, it's not the sort of thing that should be put on the company credit card. That goes for whoever you work for- university, company, kohanga reo. A 'private' dinner is properly paid for by private individuals.
    The company/employers credit card quite properly comes out on some such occasions, because schmoozing can be a genuine business objective. The expense can (rightly) be called a business expense on the account sheet.
    If Ms Collins' friends paid personally, it confirms her claim that it was a personal and private gathering. Perhaps unwise, but at least a little harder to call a conflict of interest.
    If the company picked up the tab, it's a different story.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2109 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    and if the personal friend who paid personally is one of the owners of said company just where does the line of demarcation land?

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to bob daktari,

    if the personal friend who paid personally is one of the owners of said company just where does the line of demarcation land?

    It's not clear-cut in the other direction - quite possible for someone to pay personally for something they expect the business they own to benefit from. But if it was paid for by the company, ie through the company accounts, it's a business dinner (or they are defrauding their company).

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2109 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    This seems to be the only post where someone has mentioned MH370.

    The search is moving north. Bits and pieces have been found.

    Flotsam. But no Jetsam.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Looks like the Govt's model citizen is in the dock. Money, it seems, doesn't always buy civility.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

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