Court of Appeal turns down Dotcom: still needs to reveal all assets

I'm coming to steal your democracy

Kim, at his old place, during happier times

In its written decision released today, the Court upheld a High Court decision that Mr Dotcom must file an affidavit spelling out the nature, extent and value of all his assets.

Mr Dotcom’s lawyer Tracey Walker said the High Court rules did not allow the Hollywood studios to go on a ”fishing expedition” relating to Kim Dotcom’s assets.

Poor Tracey isn’t adding to her CV.  Kind of got on the job as Dotcom’s star was no longer on the rise. Read more »

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A reader contribution on the transport debate

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A reader emails:

Hello Cam

After reading your blog for several months now, I have seen it steadily transforming into a voice of alternative opinion in many ways, and celebrate that.

I had been working for some time on this piece about Auckland transport, when I read your article yesterday, which sang my song.

Just wondered whether this may have any appeal for your site.

Best regards and keep up the good work


Part 1

Observations:

As a recent returnee to Auckland after over 40 years working and establishing businesses in regional New Zealand, I have recently paid considerably more attention to local body plans and actions in this region.

Joining the local area ratepayers committee on arrival, I soon hear, and discover first hand that generalised wastage/inefficiency seemed to characterise virtually all dealings of the new super city. Examples: 1. a near 200 page document of detailed technical drawings and specifications to place some traffic quietening speed bumps on a street in our area, 2. Two Council staff visit in a Council car, for a half day, to consult re spending well less than $1000 on plants in the area. When it is suggested that the most in-need areas require some soil first, we are told that this is beyond their brief and would require a completely separate department to be involved.

Accordingly, I began to pay closer attention to Len Brown’s call for underground rail for the city, which seems to be preparing to strip all available capital and then some from the City’s coffers for the foreseeable future – and beyond – at the behest of one man with a dream.

The idea of a trainset for Auckland gained great credibility under Mayor Robbie in the late 60’s, and had it been implemented then, it would probably remain a good idea today. Most people in Auckland ‘know’ this so there remains a soft spot in Auckland for the notion of ‘rapid rail’ and relatively little opposition to Len Brown’s plan.

But is it a still good idea if we start now?

There are many new ways and new technologies in the wings, some of which I have observed first hand on our travels, which may soon render an underground trainset for Auckland, a costly white elephant.

Additionally, in a volcanic city and a ‘shaky’ nation, underground makes less sense. Imagine the chaos if a Christchurch-type earthquake broke the underground rail links, after all other public transport had been seriously weakened by rail’s availability.

With these concerns in mind, I decided to look more closely at overseas systems on our recent 4 month trip to the Middle East, UK, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, France, Monaco and Italy and the following observations also factor in some of the previous experiences I have had of undergrounds and public transport in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Australia and so on.

On this trip, I visited many cities of not too dissimilar size, one way or another, to Auckland i.e in area or in population. There are few that have both the area and the population of Auckland. In each city, I paid particular attention to their public transport options and in particular their trainsets. These included Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, Istanbul, Madrid, Porto, Valencia, Granada, Barcelona, Nice, Monaco and Milan as well as many other less well known cities.

What I observed made me wonder whether this whole underground rail for Auckland proposal has been properly thought through.

Underground rail worked well, it seemed, in the sorts of high rise, high density cities that have relatively small footprints for their populations, like Madrid. Accordingly Granada, for example, is in the throes of beginning one, and I can see the point there. It is a compact city with many tourists.

Trainsets also seemed to work well in more widespread cities covering land areas like Auckland’s, even with intervening waterways, so long as they had one of the following conditions:

  1. High population (eg Istanbul, Sydney) or
  2. A long ribbon of development, as in a strip style city running along a shoreline (eg Dubai or Perth).

Read more »

The Huddle at 1740

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It’s Monday and Susan Wood is sitting in for Larry Williams to do The Huddle with Jock Anderson and myself.

Our topics will be:

  • Labour Leadership race
  • Parliament swearing in, but grumbles about allegiance to the Queen rather than Te Tiriti
  • Australia has backed off its anti-burqa law

You can listen online via iHeartRadio and normal methods.

As usual I will post the audio in the morning.

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The image softening of Andrew Little (caution: it is nauseating)

A journo in Taranaki’s local rag is happy to provide Andrew Little with a human dimension… such as it is.  By making Andrew’s cat, and how much it loves Andrew, the story

In the tight race for the Labour party leadership, a cat called Buddy is taking a lion’s share of the Little limelight.

So far, four candidates are contesting the leadership of the party that was humiliated at the polls in September and further tortured by their leader David Cunliffe’s reluctance to concede he was a deadweight.

Two time New Plymouth candidate Andrew Little’s announcement he would stand for the position hardly came as a surprise but few picked his run for the top spot would also make a star of his cat Buddy.

The black moggy has photo bombed several of the Labour list MP’s promotional pictures and jumped up onto his lap, uninvited, during television interviews.

In doing so, Buddy has become a hit with Little’s Facebook following, so much so that more than a few are asking if the cat can stand for the leadership or at least be Little’s deputy.

“When he wandered in while I was doing a television interview, I thought this was a cat with a media savvy that few other cats have,” Little said yesterday.

We can’t find much else to relate to Andrew Little.  Not is lovely family, or his kids, or the time he spends at the local surf club rescuing kids from the surf.  In fact, Andrew Little is a very plain, boring person.

Buddy to the rescue!   Read more »

Mental Health Break

An open letter to Kiwibank

Peter Osborne calls out Kiwibank for their misleading adverts.

Dear Sir

I recently had the misfortune of watching your “take the leap” advert on television, apparently aimed at those who have left the security of their jobs to set up a business. In the advert, you claim to know how this feels and that your bank also “took the leap.”

I find this not only an insult to the intelligence, but a bare-faced lie.

At no time since your bank’s inception did anyone in your organisation invest their own capital in your bank. Your bank was started off the backs of the taxpayer, and had continued that way. You risked nothing but the taxpayer’s anger. Thus your future was and still is assured – by the taxpayer. Regardless of how badly managed KiwiBank is, the taxpayer will always be forced to foot the bill.

Read more »

Map of the Day

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Hard to believe that, on balance, the middle east is relatively neutral towards the USA.  

 

Socialist paradise has highest poverty rates

Everywhere around the world where socialists are in control there is increasing not decreasing poverty.

The basic tenet of socialism is that everyone gets to be miserable equally.

Even in wealthy countries the lure of socialism soon turns to disaster.

The State of California, formerly the most powerful economic force in the United States outperforming the economies of all but a very few countries in the world, is now the nation’s leader in a category that the formerly conservative, but now overwhelmingly progressively liberal and Democrat Party-controlled state, has to find embarrassing.

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, California, which has been losing jobs to lower taxed, less state regulated states, now sports the nation’s highest rate of poverty, with almost one quarter (23.4%) of its residents living in poverty.

A depressing 8.9 million of the progressive controlled Golden State’s 38 million population are living in poverty in the once prosperous formerly conservative-run state.

Democrat-controlled Washington, D.C. came in at 22.4%

A similar study by the Public Policy Institute of California affirmed the state’s poverty rate at 22%, with some of the highest rates being in the “progressive” San Francisco area.

Los Angeles, which has been hijacked by the far left, had the highest poverty rate in the state at 26.9%.

Read more »

Te Tai Tokerau won out West not in North

Hone Harawira sold out his principles and his party, and if that wasn’t enough he concentrated his campaign up north.

But new figures reveal that he should have looked to West Auckland to secure his votes.

Auckland voters played a big role in kicking Mana leader Hone Harawira out of Parliament, new statistics show.

The newly published Electoral Commission data revealed that Labour’s Kelvin Davis heavily defeated Mr Harawira in polling booths in Kelston, North Shore, Te Atatu and other Auckland spots.

In all, Mr Davis claimed 711 more votes than Mr Harawira in the Auckland polling booths, giving him a huge boost in the marginal seat.

His overall majority in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate was 743 votes.

Mr Harawira was not only beaten in Auckland but on his home turf in Northland.    Read more »

Sledge of the Day

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and the predictable faux outrage followed…  Read more »