I don’t believe anyone’s saying “you should work longer hours because family” but, when you advertise your bank as equivalent to any other bank, you need to mean it.
This. And I don’t think I’m a corporate tool for believing that if you’re going to offer a service (and charge handsomely for it) you should support it properly. Cue the first world problems eye-rolling (I sympathize) but David and I are going to London for a friend’s wedding in August, and will be stopping over in Hong Kong to visit family. And we're going to be on a very tight budget all the way. Don’t really want to miss a flight because we can’t close out a hotel bill.
It’s healthy for someone to be keeping the pressure on, but I’m not sure Willie actually serves Te Whakaruruhau by focusing almost exclusively on it.
Well, you missed your calling in the diplomatic service there Russell. :) Honestly, Willie is entitled to his opinion but I really wish media would stop presenting him as some kind of disinterested observer because he just isn't. Perhaps inevitably, given New Zealand's media scene is a village and its not as if mainstream/Pakeha media outlets don't sledge the competition with unedifying glee. But watching him sledging public radio, and prosecuting some kind of bizarro vendetta against Mihi Forbes in particular, isn't adding anything worth having to the korero.
We have fully-staffed Treasury and IRD with the requisite analytical skills, public duty and powers to address these issues
But you know what Treasury and the Inland Revenue Department does NOT (and never should have) the public duty or powers to do? Write tax legislation.
I reckon Facebook and Apple are two good cases to make an example of. You don’t necessarily need a law change – more aggressive enforcement of existing laws, including testing grey areas in court, could get us on a good path.
Which is all very nice, and I don't disagree, as far as it goes. But you actually need to properly resource "more aggressive enforcement" and if you don't, corporations that make hundreds of billions every years from aggressive global tax avoidance will sure as hell pay for a downright feral defence.
I wonder if the fact that IRD etc do nothing about it has anything to do with politicians holding shares? or am I being too synical
I think you're being way too cynical, or cynical in the wrong direction. Because I don't see any government going into an election year trying to make the political case for a sharp increase in Vote IRD.
I'd also note that we're talking about tax avoidance here NOT tax evasion. It's pretty rich blaming civil servants for lax enforcement of a tax code that was all to often deliberately designed to be riddled with "grey areas" from the start.
I admit I still struggle to call it "marriage equality" rather than "same-sex marriage", just on factual grounds.
Well, up to a point. I think we might want to be very careful to nuance that where the "T" in LGBT is concerned. ALL trans people deserve equal access to marriage (and civil unions), full stop and period.
but I did not see or hear anyone shouting her down
Uh, on reflection I think we might me talking past each other. I'm pretty sure I've never said anyone got "shouted down" but I'm not proud to admit you can do an awful lot of unpleasant sledging without getting picked up by microphones sitting directly in front of people. Again, Marc, I'm going on people I've talked to I trust -- and aren't prone to drama queening.
I went also for a walk through the Viaduct Harbour development, seeing all these nice developments for the filthy rich, who park their luxury yachts in the harbour outside. That is the “affordable housing” for those earning enough, at the upper end of course
Another reality check, Marc -- find me any city on the planet where waterfront residential property is cheap. Look, I don't think you're going to find anyone around here perverse enough to argue property bubbles are good things or easily deflated. But you really think yesterday's shenanigans are going to do shit about that? If anything (and I'm wide open to be proved wrong)the contrary appears to be the case. I'm not pretending the Unitary Plan was, is or ever will be perfect. Nobody is. But it was a series of meaningful steps in a much better direction that hoping unconstrained sprawl will magically create a liveable city for anyone other than those rich pricks you despise so much.
Somehow we are on the wrong track in this country, where the rich have gotten even more rich, own their nice patches and more, and where most struggle to afford their homes, which ever more of them can only rent. This country is stuffed, and neither central government nor Council seem to have the answers.
And that’s going to be fixed by the Quaxian fantasy of endless sprawl until Hamilton and Whangarei get absorbed into Mega-Auckland One? Be really careful what you wish for, Marc, because there’s plenty on the current Council who would be quite happy to see all those icky poor and brown people as far out of sight as possible. Take another look at the social geography of Sydney some time. And then take a look at the history of “intensification” in Hong Kong, because I suspect the people using that city as some kind of urban planning bogeyman wouldn’t have cared about the people who were dying in low-rise slums there either. Hong Kong’s public housing projects may not be pretty or large enough for villa fetishists but they actually saved lives.
P.S.: And re those claims that young representatives were “shouted down”, that is not true either.
Just for the record, Youth Advisory Panel deputy Chair Alex Johnson's account of that meeting is here.
When Flora, justifiably nervous with the responsibility and the tense atmosphere in the room, pointed out that we were the youngest people present by a lot, and that she felt the “weight of our generation” on her shoulders, she was met with heckles of “poor thing” and “aww” from the crowd. I would like to believe that some of that was genuine sympathy and not sarcasm or condescension. However the vociferous response we got through the rest of our presentation – when mentioning the struggles young people face with housing and conveying the impression that property owners are pulling the ladder up behind them – would suggest otherwise.
I don't think Alex is lying, Marc. And from what I've been told by other people in the room -- all of whom I trust and none of whom have axes to grind -- he was positively restrained. What they told me was worse than "some disapproving comments" and in the time I've covered local government I've seen exclusion motions passed for less. When it comes to arrogance, condescension and closed-minded dishonesty, Generation Zero has nothing to teach the likes of Richard Burton and Bernard Orsman.
Seriously did Len Brown steal Bernard Orsman’s lunch when he was a kid?
No idea, but I think we've have to raise Zombie Freud to run intensive group therapy to get to the bottom of The Herald's obsession with slut-shaming Len Brown's penis out of office.