Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Five further thoughts

446 Responses

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to linger,

    I think Labour have to learn to work visibly, consistently, and cheerfully with the Greens (and others). During the next three years, they need to work as a team, among themselves as well as with other Opposition parties.

    Helen Clark's symbolic peace-making with Jim Anderton was a big step in looking like an alternative Govt in the face of the Shipley-Peters morass. Since Clark departed, the party she led has reverted back to FPP type.

    Much as I hate to admit it, though, the recent election result does seem to indicate that voters respond to a “strong leadership” message more than to any individual policy.

    And Danyl @ the DimPost also agrees, saying that stability and coherence are bigger voter magnets than good policy and values.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    The hero to zero trajectory can be remarkably short. A 2011 Facebook fan page for Chch Mayor Bob Parker reached North Korean levels of adulation - 13000+ likes - before suddenly imploding.

    Edit: Simon G has already said the words I was going to write.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to tussock,

    Or they could build another HVDC connection from the dam up to the Waitaki one, upgrading the giant inverters to handle the load. But that still doesn’t spread it far enough, because you’re adding the extra generation. They’d need to add more HVDC and get it all the way to Auckland.

    Or they could just hook them to to the South Island grid (likely a link from Roxburgh to Benmore) and rather than losing 1/3 that energy going over Cook Straight they encourage industry in the lower half of the South Island by charging 1/3 less. Our local economy has be decimated by National, jobs removed and/or moved to Christchurch, no one wants to say anything because, well Christchurch, but we're hurting here and we have a government that doesn't care a whit about us

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    time for the whitless to start whittling!

    ...we have a government that doesn’t care a whit about us

    They don't really care about the people in Chchch either, just the money and influence while its flowing - it's like the 'Greenbait' season is open!

    Same boat, lets start mutiny mutterings...

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    ....young and old political journalists can feel some love to, cause it’s all about journal love.

    Will no-one think of their issue....

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    pow wow to the people..

    They can’t shift it, there’s no lines.

    Sans a smelter, they could build power-hungry data server farms,
    or maybe a huge battery charging station and ship them up country...

    Hell electrify the South Island rail system,
    or maybe a partnership with the Dairy industries,
    run the power through all the bovine urine
    to create a huge phosphorus industry?


    ...if only we could transmit energy tellurically or atmospherically,
    just where are all Tesla's old papers?

    Otherwise I hear Karen Walker is doing great things with sugar bags....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    server farms at Tiwai point is a perennial suggestion .... cooling by dipping big coils in the southern ocean ..... having more fibre running across the Pacific would be a requirement - redundancy and speed would be a must have

    (changes in the speed of light would also help)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And Danyl @ the DimPost also agrees, saying that stability and coherence are bigger voter magnets than good policy and values.

    To be fair, not quite what he was arguing there. I agree with him that for non-tribal voters, policy doesn't mean a great deal if (fairly or not) the parties concerned are seen as incompetent, scary and prone to being the political equivalent of the Saw franchise. And that's not only true of the left -- I'm not being facetious when I say Tony Blair's biggest ally was the Tories, who seemed determined to make themselves incrreasingly unelectable, and don't even get me started on the ALP. When you're making Tony Abbot look an attractive proposition by comparison, you're doing EVERYTHING wrong.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I agree Paul; Auckland has its own problems, mostly population -based.
    Use the power in the South Island.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to tussock,

    low paid menial shit in the cold

    Hey, we’re still doing it :-)

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    the tower of babble...

    ... an excited young suit ... declared he’d voted for “Mister Muldoon” ... Three years later the election night coverage was swarming with his clones, all reviling Muldoon as a disgraced charlatan.

    Suitability is a cloth run thing...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    server farms at Tiwai point is a perennial suggestion...

    Ah!
    But not just any old server farms though,
    gotta think ahead, these will be special,
    World Data Heritage sites, like that
    Seed Bank/Ark in Northern Europe,
    in which will be kept a crucial mirror copy
    of all the Net's Cat Pictures and Videos
    - taonga - safe for future generations!

    People will pay for that!

    PS: Might have to change the name
    to summat catchy like 'Wai IT'
    or 'IT Wai' (IT by the water?)
    before they call our Bluff...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    My feeling about Labour was there were no real strong attacks on National's policies. They needed to spout some one-line quotes that would be picked up by Paddy Gowers. Something like: "Our debt has increased by $16,000 per man, woman and child since they gave the rich a tax cut." Make the fact wrong so that when the right try to correct it, it still comes out as a freaking huge number. Labour has got to be seen as the reasonable and fair economic managers they are and paint National as the tax-cut and borrow party before they will get any traction. Vote Positive just didn't cut it.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Helen Clark’s symbolic peace-making with Jim Anderton was a big step in looking like an alternative Govt in the face of the Shipley-Peters morass.

    Clark, along with other young Labour figures, worked in Anderton's Auckland dairy in her student holidays. These people were nothing if not effective networkers. What seemed like a historic rapprochement was simply the re-establishing of old ties disrupted by the fish & chips gang upstarts.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Roger Lacey,

    Vote Positive just didn’t cut it.

    especially in a year when the biggest election issue was corruption on the part of the opposing party - I think that Cunliffe should have abandoned that campaign and gone for the jugular when Dirty Politics came out, instead the biggest election story just wasn't about them

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Our local economy has be decimated by National, jobs removed and/or moved to Christchurch, no one wants to say anything because, well Christchurch

    Well I can say something as I seem to be the whipping boy for this sort of thing.
    So, when Christchurch is rebuilt and the population swollen by the imported workforce and the newly created underclass that lost their wealth to insurance fraud and property speculators, what is going to happen when the next one hits?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I was actually talking about Dunedin where things have been pretty bad under National, jobs being bled out, government departments shut down, even mail sorting was moved to Chch, cross town mail now takes 3-4 days rather than 1

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    ven mail sorting was moved to Chch, cross town mail now takes 3-4 days rather than 1

    Thanks, I didn't know that. What I have noticed is that from well before the quakes cross town mail in Chch could take that long.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Might have to change the name
    to summat catchy like 'Wai IT'
    or 'IT Wai' (IT by the water?)

    Server farms would provide an ideal replacement for the smelter when it closes. Mind you, if this government stays true to form they might be inclined to offer all that cheap, subsidised power to a shadowy US operation who already build the world's largest data storage facilities and require loads of cheap power.

    Just imagine the big fences which would go up, isolating Bluff from the rest of the country.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Tiwai point is on the other side of the bay from Bluff, no need to close it offf

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Interesting times.

    Comment at NBR. Note that a $5.30 payout requires a 30% lift in prices.

    "A 30% rebound in commodity prices over the current season and the next season is not going to happen.
    Milk supply has increased worldwide.

    China has negotiated supply agreements directly with European suppliers.

    Tariffs on Euro and US dairy imports to China have dropped.

    Chinese firms have direct supply arrangements from NZ via Mengnui, Synlait and Oceania Dairy.

    US supply is rising on the back of cheap land, cheap feed and low oil cost.

    EU goes off cap next year, Irish production is being ramped up.

    And China's GDP is dropping like a STONE. China numbers are always dubious and are used as negotiating tools.
    Chinese companies develop their strategies in concert with government officials because they are largely funded by central Chinese Govt.

    Seriously who is doing the strategic analysis in Fonterra?"

    Not paywalled - http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fonterra-slashes-2015-milk-payout-530-kgms-earnings-tumble-76-bd-162890

    Sure is interesting Chris.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    China has negotiated supply agreements directly with European suppliers.

    Suprise, surprise. During Fonterra's DCD and botulism scandals the Chinese media pointed out just how big a share of China's imported milk comes from NZ, and how big Fonterra is, and Sanlu...

    All the comments to that article are very interesting.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Note that a $5.30 payout requires a 30% lift in prices.

    Which isn't going to happen. The Chinese are rather good at playing the long game. Is it possible that our 'rock star' economy has ODed (on milk)?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson,

    It's not clear where the payout would end up if the 30% uplift doesn't come through, from the articles I've read.

    However, bad times regardless.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    and rather than losing 1/3 that energy going over Cook Straight they encourage industry in the lower half of the South Island by charging 1/3 less.

    The HVDC link loses about 3%, as far as I can see. It's mostly a load-balancer for Wellington against the North Island to let the peak generation trend to Auckland and keep the brownouts away. You'd lose about 1% more running it from Manapouri, another 1% to Auckland.

    More electricity to Auckland also reduces demand on our fossil plants, and an HVDC link for it would free up much more capacity in the conventional network as a big DC load balancer.

    But local use? It generates 11% of the nation's electricity, what nearly half of a million people and their associated jobs use without the smelter. Only it's not really designed for load following, so .... Yeh, the biggest server farm on the planet, if anyone would trust us with their data after the latest revelations anyway? Plus, cost, lag, I don't see it.

    Uh, cost estimates. The lines would be some small number of billions, the population shift of a large city would be ... far more than the Christchurch rebuild, so a hundred billion would be a low estimate. Lines every time.


    Electric grids are hard. You can't just dump power somewhere and hope someone ends up using it because it's cheap. Handling another half gigawatt down here would require complete replacement upgrades on large parts of the network, incredible increases in high use 24-hour industries, large population shifts, and would probably take decades to complete even if we had a government that didn't just leave it to the markets. It took decades just to be able to shunt 1/3 of Manapouri's output north, and that was only economic because of growth in Christchurch that's since been levelled.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report Reply

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