Whaleoil General Debate

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  • Korau

    Word of the day.

    dactylonomy – The art of numbering or counting by the fingers.

    Source : http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dactylonomy

    Etymology : From Greek da`ktylos finger + no`mos law, distribution

    • dumbshit

      and I thought the Irish invented that mode of counting!

    • And if the gweens are short of fingers they just print more!

  • Michael

    Eleanor Catton calls NZ politicians as neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, shallow and money hungry politicians who do not care about culture.


    In related news, you can buy her award winning book at Whitcoulls for $35. Or £7 (about $14) if you are in the UK.


    • metalnwood

      It seems to be related to the governments investment in areas she is interested in. They are profit obsessed, shallow, money hungry because they are not taking enough of our money and giving it to her and her mates who have chosen a not so well paid career.

      Her opinion I guess.

      Edit, there is no better way to make yourself the sufferer of tall poppy syndrome than to go ‘oh woe me’ all over the world and say how bad NZ treats you.

      • Saggy

        Diva syndrome.

      • Dave

        Writers need not be poor One example springs to mind, JK Rowling, and as rich as she is off the back of her books, she started writing on her way to and from work, OnThe Train! So Elenor there are a few lessons.

        Write what people might be interested in reading

        Make it interesting, the can’t put it down interesting

        Don’t use your writing as a political platform, it is a capital venture, your kind of writing is not charitable!

    • Reaper

      At least Stuff have filed that article in the correct category – entertainment.

    • caochladh

      Well, since we are profit-obsessed, shallow, money hungry and don’t care about culture, I guess we won’t be spending any money on her “book”.

    • Luis Cannon

      A few months in Syria or Afghanistan might do this woman the world of good. Then let’s hear her opinion about good old NZ then.

    • Amanda Atkinson

      Dearest Eleanor, you really believe that don’t you? Yes. You really don’t like it here do you? No. Well, I have 1 question. What country would you prefer to be from?

    • Crookednose

      The poor deary is aligned with the watermelon party. I think that’s all that needs to be said regarding her comments.
      I wonder if she replaced all the trees cut down for her book?

      • rantykiwi

        And planted extra trees to offset the carbon emissions created by all her jetsetting around to have her ego massaged at book launches and signings.

    • Carl

      So is Eleanor going to be the new go to girl for the Greens along side Lucy Lawless and Robyn Malcom.

      • corporate refugee

        Why is it that only “entertainers” that have left leaning tendencies seem to think they have a right to preach politics to us from their public platform?

    • Second time around

      I read her book. It’s a good read, a bit slow at the start and she’s seems in a hurry to finish it from about page 700 (135 pages to go). However, unlike the very best of fiction, the story is neither particularly memorable nor insightful, in reality a glorified Mills and Boon novel with high pretensions.

    • Justsayn

      It is rather ironic that her criticism of people as profit obsessed and money hungry seems to boil down to a belief that she ought to receive greater rewards for her work.

      Didn’t I see her on TV3’s election night coverage at the Green Party party?

  • pisces8284 .

    When Kerry Porter (Macquarie Private Wealth) has finished his monologue at 6.15 on Mike Hosking’s show – can anyone remember what he has said? I don’t think the guy takes a breath, it just a never ending, wordy, written report. I find as I am getting older some people’s voices have quite a negative impact on me. There are two on Breakfast – one does the traffic (shudder) and one is a local reporter (a hard, grating voice) that make me want to scream

  • Macca

    Just heard Twyford on Breakfast news this morning criticizing John Key of having his head in the sand with housing. Really Phil? A government who is desperately trying to unravel the nightmare created by Labour which is the RMA and the even bigger nightmare of the Auckland council with the horrendous charges they have added on to try and rein in their out of control debt!

    Of course under Labour, our housing problem will be fixed in a heartbeat with the miraculous building on 10,000 houses a year with a purchase price of only $200,000 each – house and section! What a deal! The trifling fact that you can’t buy a section for less than 300 k and to build a house from scratch your council fees are around 45 k alone before you pay $1000 per square metre for the build are ignored by the Labour financial geniuses. Who was that with their head in the sand again Phil?

    • Asian_driver

      2500 per square meter

      • Richard

        You’d have to jump in a time machine and travel back 20 years to build a house for $1000 M2.

        • johcar

          Richard – I think you’ve just stumbled on the solution to the Auckland housing problem. We need a time machine!!!

          EDIT: Building a time machine may be simpler than rejigging the RMA…

          • Reaper

            Perhaps the Greens could 3D print one.

          • Asian_driver

            Time is the 4th dimension so they would need a bigger grant to get a 4D printer

        • KGB

          We built a Platinum home in rural Auckland 2007 for $920 per square meter. I agree costs have gone up since then. But if one uses standard materials, plans and fittings, a build is a lot cheaper. We built a simple brick & tile box house. No hallways, 1.5 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, internal access garage.

          • OT Richter

            You could build that type of house for $1,600-1,800 /sq.m, but the Council fees and land value will still be high. Also, people seem to have higher expectations these days, and nothing short of a house fit for House & Garden will suffice.

          • justhinking

            Expectations are a big problem. People look in expensive areas thensay it isnt fair they can,t buy a house there. What is wrong with starting small and working your way up. Not everything in a house has to be brand new

          • Dave

            Nice house KGB, but surely you wouldn’t expect the “entitled beneficiaries” to live in house without a hallway, the bedrooms opening off the living rooms might disturb the children’s sleep! Your example is the way people make housing affordable, and economics works. When we cannot afford the top solution we seek alternative arrangements or delay and work out how to afford the top solution!

          • Reaper

            Our tiny house is about 22sqm, and cost well under $10,000 to build, but would be far too ‘basic’ for most people’s tastes.

      • HR

        Price per m2 is a bit misleading. I can build you a house for under $1,000 m2 but it won’t have anything in it. Back in the bad old days houses were built to a price, think “whats your cheapest price?” So, cheapest windows, flooring, builder, cladding, kitchen etc etc etc, and it showed. Nowadays, with the advent of technology and access to information via the internet, people are more and more building to a specification, demanding products and houses that perform a specific function. Windows are a good example, double glazed with thermal bridging and argon gas filled because they perform in a specific way and provide a positive benefit. Not the cheapest, but way better.
        Compliancing costs have risen dramatically though. Each house now has compulsory scaffolding even for single level, fall protection, site safety, required safety equipment, safety signs, sub-contractor training, certificates, insurances and on and on

    • R&BAvenger

      Twyford was on One News saying something like ” The government has its head in the sand…demand is the problem”
      Yes Phil, demand that will be satisfied with more supply. Supply is the real issue, build more houses!!! Duh.

      • Bluemanning

        Merely If the left had been elected (shudder) the economy would be retarded, people would not be able to afford housing, new cars and so on plus our dollar would be weak imports costing a lot more.There wouldn’t be a left perceived problem at all. The National government have to play catch up from an inept Labour government and current AC council who allowed housing to fall way short of the quota and allowed compliance costs to escalate.

      • ex-JAFA

        Twyford would appear to want people to stop wanting to live in dwellings.

    • Bryan

      he was the same guy who was going top build 300 house in 3 months in chch after the election of they won despite all the builders and trades telling him they were booked up for 6 months easy to promise when you know it looks like you are going to lose

    • Always puzzled me, and I must confess economics was never my strongest paper at uni, that if houses are so expensive in Auckland then how come they are still selling like hot cakes and demand is still strong? Perhaps young people are having problems finding their first house, but this would be exactly the same issue in any major city. That Auckland is one of the more expensive cities to buy property is a measure of its attractiveness, not poor housing policy.
      Of course we can open up more land and build more houses but as long as demand exceeds supply the prices won’t alter much.
      People’s expectation are too high. My first house wasn’t in London where I grew up as it was far too expensive, so I moved to a smaller centre, found a job, scrimped and saved and eventually bought a small two bedroom semi. No dishwasher, garage, ultra-modern kitchen. Just the basics. And I slowly worked up from there.
      If people do want to live and work in Auckland, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, then they may not own a property and will have to rent like others do the world over. It isn’t really a government issue it is an issue of supply and demand.
      For many ‘poor’ immigrants from the islands etc, the options are still there to find low cost housing in small centres, they don’t have to stay in Auckland and let’s face it there is plenty of work in other areas of New Zealand and probably better lifestyle and housing options.

  • One for the road today:

    Demis Roussos – Forever and Ever – YouTube

  • sarahmw

    Headline front page The Press. ‘Ground attack on fire’. Pardon? Brittany and Nicole it’s a fire not a military attack. I thought there was some sort of invasion happening ,or the ground attack was on fire.

  • Hakaru

    From a list of 10 jobs no longer needed.

    10. Lector Who Entertained Factory Workers

    Broadly speaking, a lector is simply someone who reads. However, they
    were often hired with money pooled from workers to read to large rooms
    full of manual laborers to keep them entertained. Some read left-leaning
    or union publications to the workers.

    Seem appropriate for Little Andy this morning.

    • Sooty

      Was this in the days before radio?

  • rantykiwi

    It looks like the West Coast have lost their monopoly on ferals. Half a dozen Invergiggle teenagers have been caught slashing the tyres on 18 cars. They’re only aged 13 and 14 so no action will end up being taken about it, yet the tools they used to do so would undoubtedly fall into the category of offensive weapons. It’s time for a law change to ensure that crimes like this hit the real courts and carry real consequences – bring back borstals, make sure full reparation is paid (court ordered from their useless parents if necessary) and that the little scrotes carry convictions for life.

  • letrec

    9 Terrible offensive words.This article was written in the UK Telegraph by a raghead of all people,raghead rounds it off to ten.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11371874/Benedict-Cumberbatch-race-row-9-offensive-words-we-need-to-ditch.html

    • rantykiwi

      What a gay, retarded, spastic article from a cretinous half-caste. The fact a halfway decent paper would publish it truly is a sign that the PC brigade have taken over our society.

    • Reaper

      The word special is offensive? The English language is fast running out of acceptable adjectives.

    • Ilovelife

      I have always thought the modern trend to euphemisms is insane. Everyone knows that someone who is visually impaired is blind, mentally challenged is either retarded or mentally handicapped, etc, etc. Using a different word doesn’t change the condition. It is like the Americans calling a lavatory a powder room.

    • I.M Bach

      Would ‘Telegraph’ make it eleven?

  • In Vino Veritas

    Dear Eleanor Catton, yes, you have won a man booker and gotten your name on the map. For now. Of course, you are just another arts person who expects other people to pay for your inability to make a steady income. All in the name of “arts and culture” of course. The fact that you couldn’t turn a dollar before your book won a prize, is not the fault of the NZ Government, nor its few remaining net income tax payers. It’s your fault. It’s your fault, and do not make your problems my problems, and do not encourage other arts and cultural types to make their inability to make a living my fault. I should not, and do not have to pay for you to follow a “passion”.
    You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but writing books, ballet dancing, blowing the oboe, plucking the harp, swinging poi’s or building meaningless piles of junk and calling them a sculpture (amongst many other things) does not generate funds to pay for social welfare, free health, roads, pensions, police, nor defence. Oh, yes, I understand that you are a Green Party supporter, those that would print money and increase taxes to pay for all of these things, those who’s knowledge of economics and finance can be written on the back of a postage stamp with a felt tip pen. Those that continually bad mouth NZ overseas because they cannot get their own way in this country. And they cannot get their way, because the majority of people in this country think they are raving lunatics. There is a cap available, with your name on it Eleanor.

    • metalnwood

      With an investment you want a return. So if we invest in writers like herself then just like any business person investing in something there is an expected return.

      Right now the return goes to the writer. Eleanor for example will have done nicely from her book but if NZ gave her money to sit around and write it then NZ would have got nothing back from her nice to do bank account.

      If we produced enough good writers then I see no issue in giving them the help they need as long as we share in the monetary rewards, just like a business investment.

      How many people, writers, would take up that fair offer. Probably a big fat ZERO of them except for those who dont expect to ever make money from their hobby.

  • Stuarts.burgers

    Hi Eleanor if you have a problem with NZ why not hop back to Canada.

    • Disinfectant

      She could go to Iraq and ply her trade there.

  • Karma

    Eleanor Catton seems slightly bitter that she didn’t win the NZ Post book award. Given the length of book, perhaps the NZ Post judges didn’t manage to finish reading it before the judging deadline arrived. Actually, they’re probably still trying to finish it.

    • Toothbrush76

      I haven’t finished Eleanor’s book and probably never will. For some reason I have this problem with almost any book that has won a “literary” prize.

    • Rusty B

      They can’t lift it up !

    • flutterby

      I’m try…i..n….g to finish it too!
      Reminds me of year three children trying to include every adjective, adverb, simile and metaphor possible in a sentence or paragraph to improve their story writing. I read an excerpt from The Luminaries to a friend, with lovely language and turns of phrase in it, but we burst out laughing because we had absolutely no idea what Catton was trying to say. Long winded as we both said but in spite of that I am determined to finish it as it is ‘an award winning book’ and i don’t want to let it beat me.
      Perhaps with Eleanor’s gift for language she could be come longwinded about the wonderful little paradise NZ is and then Kiwis would feel she deserves to be one of us.

  • Wheninrome

    Eleanor Catton did get it in one, yes we have a tall poppy syndrome in New Zealand, but sweetheart wake up and smell the roses, it is the left leaning who hate success. The people who achieve in New Zealand are not going to knock success, what is the saying, success breeds success.

    • Blue Tim

      No. NZ’s so-called intellectuals seem to be against anyone who creates the wealth to pay for their indulgences. As my workmates and I have been working 12 hour days in 30deg + heat lately to pay our taxes so “intellectuals” can indulge themselves, I find her opinion (although she has a right to express it) offensive and simple.

      • Disinfectant

        Eleanor Catton labelled New Zealand, Australia and Canada as neo-liberal money making, dollar worshiping countries.
        I have news for you Eleanor. During the GFC, and post GFC these have been the three best countries to reside in. Full stop.

      • Wheninrome

        She was right referring to a tall poppy syndrome in NZ, she just associated it with the wrong people.

    • pak

      Or in Eleanor Catton’s case success has given her access to a wider international audience where she has chosen to slag off New Zealand. The very country she grew up in from the age of 6, and that provided the backdrop for her Booker prize winning novel. The P.M. meanwhile was gracious in his reaction to her whining, saying he respected her as a writer and was disappointed that she did not accept, as many influential international representatives at Davos for example have recently done, that New Zealand is doing extremely well on many fronts. She should pull her head in and stop and smell the roses instead of pushing her Green agenda on the international stage.

      • Aucky

        It doesn’t suit the Green agenda for NZ to be so successful under a right wing capitalist government.

        Success = contented electorate = infertile breeding ground for Green converts.

        • friardo

          Right wing???? National? They seem to have no compunction about interfering with the market. Key uses the term “centre right”, centre sort of rightish is all NZ will elect at the moment though.

    • Cowgirl

      Ironically she uses the issue to beat up the tallest poppy of them all – John Key.

      • Wheninrome

        The classic symptoms of a person suffering from Tall Poppy Syndrome and they can never see it, because it is all about them.

    • Ilovelife

      I’d say it’s all to do with being peeved that she didn’t win NZ Book of the year. What a swollen headed brat. Really, who does she think she is? Another Robyn Malcolm and Lucy Lawless I think.

  • Gaynor

    In light of Benedict Cumberbatch misguidedly using the word ‘coloured’ in an interview…….Can anyone tell me what word he should have used….I can’t get my head around this. I asked my leftie friend if she would be offended if I called her “white” she said she would be. Total confusion here.

    • Wheninrome

      “In the visible spectrum, white reflects light and is a presence of all colors, but black absorbs light and is an absence of color. Black can be defined as the visual impression experienced when no visible light reaches the eye.”
      i.e. white is a colour and black is not a colour according to Wikipedia.
      So if white is in all colours, there should be no offence. black is not a colour – this one leaves me confused, should offence be taken or not.
      As to the word “coloured” it actually relates to all colours except black so why would anyone be offended, it is creating equality.

      • PsychoKea

        To be fair only albinos and gingas are truly white,

        • Sailor Sam

          But there are no black people either, they are varying shades of brown.

    • Justsayn

      Exactly what I thought – was he meant to say “non-white”? A load of over-sensitive rubbish, and the fact he felt the need to apologise is an indictment on our TOTT (take offence to that) culture… tott tott!

    • metalnwood

      I just had a read up on it. So Coloured is offensive but I didnt see the correct alternative in the article I just read.

      It seems he was talking about inequality for non whites (very pc) finding film roles. He is British, should he say African Americans? That doest fit all ‘non whites’ as he knows lots of british ‘non whites’.

      I guess black, coloured, negro is all outdated but ‘African american’ doesn’t cut it when you talk about black people the world over.

    • Cowgirl

      I think the PC term now is “people of colour” which he’d probably have got away with. He’s just a little bit old-fashioned sometimes and used an outdated term, but I’m surprised at the filleting he’s getting. It’s not like he said something really offensive.

      • metalnwood

        Not to mention, when taken in context of what he was talking about.

        • Cowgirl

          Exactly – how do you talk about diversity without mentioning colour/race. And why does the Oscars have to be diverse anyway? I thought it was based on merit? What about all the times black people won stuff? Should we cry that there aren’t enough whites?

          • ex-JAFA

            It’ll turn into another Everyone Gets A Medal Day, and the poor old founder, Oscar Statue, will be rolling in his grave.

      • I.M Bach

        It’s ridiculous, poor guy. Fair enough if he’d used the ‘n’ word but then only non-whites are allowed to use THAT word.

        As an aside I used to have a golliwog called Marmite; is that offensive? And what on earth is Peter Jackson going to do when he re-makes The Dambusters and that non-white labrador dog (oops, I mean canine companion) makes an appearance? What was his name again? Rhymes with trigger, umm. Nah, much easier just to re-write history.

        • No, rewrite history, the dog has been renamed Blackie!

          • I.M Bach

            Really? That’s big sigh material. Next black dog I get I’m gonna call it Honky, just for fun.

        • Cowgirl

          I think the general rule-of-thumb now is don’t mention anything about anything, at any time, ever.

          • jack50

            And don’t mention the war

    • tinfoilhatguy

      I can’t keep up – just when I think I understand the rules for offending people and being offended, someone goes and changes them.

      Why can’t people just grow a thicker skin and get on with it. Stop the madness!

      • johnnymanukau.

        We all have a simple choice, we can either- CHOOSE- to be offended or not be offended. When, if being offended is dissected ,one will more than likely realize that it was just a stupid brain fart.

        • ex-JAFA

          I’m so lazy that I just find it easier not to be offended. Far too much effort to go to to take offence, especially in this heat.

    • Bobb

      Could everyone in the world be termed beige? Would that sort it?

    • yoyoyo

      non white?

    • R&BAvenger

      How about people of all races and ethnicities’, or something like that?

  • Toothbrush76

    The weather on the east coast of America is severe but just in case it is blamed on “climate change” and also classed as a result of “man-made global warming” have a look at this view of New York in 1908 from Victoriana –


    • 1951

      No bob-cat or front-end loader then either.

  • T Mardell

    “At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said.”


  • Toothbrush76

    Sorry to be on about the weather but here is a view on winter from Ireland –


  • hookerphil

    No, I am a keen and quite fast reader but have struggled and it kind of ground to a halt a few months ago. A number of people I have spoken to have said the same but have said if it is quite worthwhile if one does finish it.

  • kaykaybee

    I find it deeply ironic Eleanor Catton used India to launch her pithy attack on ghastly old NZ and the knockers?

    delivers this speech in an India still deeply steeped in corruption and
    graft, a country with an ingrained and often cruel caste system. Is it just me who thought it weird she made these comments in a
    country where meritocracy, tribal, minority religion, women’s rights
    are barely addressed and where millions of people and small children
    toil in indentured servitude often deprived of all education? Is it just me who thinks that a country where Internet freedom restrictions,
    the marginalisation of Dalits & other tribal groups, sexual and gender
    minorities, and the disabled are shunned or put to use begging for overlords was a bizarre platform to attack her own
    country that treats all as fundamentally equal under the law?

    For my part I think I know why people migrate one way and not the other!

    I’ll excuse Catton her outburst for two reasons – one her relative youth and two the fact she is an extraordinarily good writer, but she needs to get out more.

    • R&BAvenger

      The twitterati i.e. Giovanni Tiso amd most of the usual left-wing journalist subjects are going on and on about how Plunket called her “An ungrateful Hua/Hooer” on his show this morning, in the twittersphere of course.

      there is an article on Stuff now:


      Typical, there is nothing better to ‘tweet’ about.
      Plus, this is NEWS!!!????? Please let us be FREED from this ASAP!!!
      This will be a leading item on tonight’s ‘news, guaranteed.
      Little will be starved of oxygen methinks – a blessing in disguise.

  • Ilovelife

    Curious question. Don’t the people who live outside Auckland and have tiny rents and tiny mortgages have heaps of money to play with? And don’t tell me their pay is lower because in most instances it isn’t. There should be no “children living in poverty” outside Auckland

    • ex-JAFA

      Yes, but bear in mind we spend considerably more on booze to celebrate what wonderful places we live in and that we aren’t in Auckland :-)

    • Sailor Sam

      And their government benefits are not lowered, so they should have more money available for food, shoes, raincoats etc.

  • Sailor Sam

    And their benefits from government are not lower either, so more money for shoes, raincoats and breakfast. Yeah Right!