Covid and the latest polls

Written By: - Date published: 8:13 am, November 12th, 2021 - 148 comments
Categories: act, chris bishop, covid-19, greens, health, jacinda ardern, labour, national, nz first, polls - Tags:

The results of two polls were leaked yesterday.

David Farrar’s Curia poll had Labour on 39.3%, down 5.5%.  National were on 26.2%, up 3.7% which historically would have been considered disastrous but not too bad for recent results.  Act were on 15.9%, down 0.7% and the Greens were on 8.6%, up a healthy 2.2%.  NZ First was down 1.9% to 1.7%.  Hopefully they are terminal.

The net result?  Labour + Green is down 3.2% and National + Act is up 3%.  So it is a shift but not hugely dramatic.

The Talbot Mills poll had Labour dropping 5% to 41%.  National only gained slightly from 22% to 24% and Act went from 16% to 17%.  And the Greens went from 7% to 9%.  So again Labour + Greens went from 15% ahead to 9% ahead, a 3% shift.

I am not surprised at the Green’s improvement.  I mean this with the utmost respect to the Green Party and its supporters.  Some of them have struggled with the concept that they should accept vaccination for the greater good.  They have a deep mistrust of conventional medical technology and do not accept that they should surrender their right to make sovereign decisions on what goes into their body just so that we avoid the worst effects of a global pandemic.

I get their angst.

For me I am a tribal leftie that believes that we are best when we collectively act in support of the common good.  Surrendering my personal right to refuse medical treatment in support of the collective good was an easy decision for me.  Besides Covid is an awful virus and I prefer to take steps to make sure that if and when I contract it the consequences are not too dire.  And I trust the science.  I just wish that some of the leaders of the major nations in the world did the same.  If so we could be in a much better position than we are now.

Locally last year’s stratospheric poll results were because the Government had done so well.  Seeing off the Covid infection and returning ordinary live in Aotearoa New Zealand to normality, albeit without overseas travel, as the rest of the world burned and we watched so many of their citizens die instilled most of us with a deep trust of Labour.  The past couple of months where delta has shown that it will avoid measures that worked against earlier Covid strains.

Especially in Auckland there is a growing sense of dread.  Covid is hunting out the weakest in our community, the elderly, the frail and those with compromised living arrangements.  If ever there was a class war virus it is Covid.

And National has continued to play politics with the issue.  This morning yet again Chris Bishop was on Radio New Zealand complaining about MIQ and saliva testing.  How the latter in particular could have stopped this latest incursion has not been explained.

Meanwhile Health Board areas are hitting the 90% target for first vaccinations and the goal of 90% second vaccinations is approaching for some of the health boards.

Infection numbers and hospitalisation rates are going up.  But so far ICU numbers are relatively stable or increasing slowly.  Although deaths occurring at home are of deep concern.

If infection rates and hospitalisations peak in the near future then  I suspect support will bounce back.  If not in historical terms this is still a strong showing by Labour over National although a long drawn out battle with Covid could be morale sapping.

148 comments on “Covid and the latest polls ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    Now the s$%t has hit the fan its harder for the govt. The own goal of the 3 waters mandate will be loosing support for this govt.y

    • lprent 1.1

      I don't think that 3 waters has much of opposition outside of the self-interested.

      What has been clear for decades is that outside of a very few places in the country, the waterways the water quality in rivers, lakes and harbours has been deteriorating at an alarming rate, and there has been insuficient investment in water supply and sewerage systems.

      I don't see the regional and local concils coming up with ANY plans that are coherent and address the problem. I just see them trying to preside over a deteriorating system, and unwilling to charge users enough to fix the problems.

      Pleading for capital from government by the likes of LGNZ is pointless. They have shown themselves incapable of dealing with it at a widescale.

      Currently three waters looks like best approach on offer. So that is what is worth supporting. After all how else are we going to reverse the current drift towards stupidity about water resources held by the whole country.

      • barry 1.1.1

        I sort of agree with you about the 3-waters. The opponents are not offering any better solutions and the status-quo is not an option. However it is noise that hurts the government in the polls. It could become an unnecessary own-goal.

        A better solution might have been to put the offer on the table, and at the same time legislate to make councils (and potentially councillors) liable for breaches. Making it non-optional feeds the narrative of Labour being socialist control freaks.

        We know that councils don't invest enough in hidden infrastructure. Councillors get elected to keep rates down and it is easy to economise on maintenance. Maybe the rate model is unsustainable and better funding mechanisms are required.

        • McFlock

          Noise is all national have. They'll make it about anything.

          Same for the exploitative farmers (not the "good" ones, of course, just the ones who give others a bad name and drive their tractors around town), who seem like they would let the rivers and aquifers run dry and then demand the government fund a desalination plant to keep them going.

          There are legitimate issues re:assets used to leverage debt, but they tend to get lost amongst the noise.

      • Kiwijoker 1.1.2

        Weren’t councils directed to start rating for infrastructure depreciation about twenty years ago?

        If so, show me da money!

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Now the s$%t has hit the fan its harder for the govt. The own goal of the 3 waters mandate will be loosing support for this govt as every mayor in the country is against it.

    Covid spreading largely through the unvaccinated will over run our health system.That will loose labour lots more votes.

    People dying in home isolation will already have a negative effect.

    All the countries who reckoned they had high vaccination rates and opened early are now struggling except NSW which has a much better funded health system. Why is New Zealand hoping its not going to get out of control.

    • Red Blooded One 2.1

      Hey Tricledrown, if there has been an update since this Newsroom article could you link to where you learned that "every mayor" is against 3 waters.

      The majority certainly but not every.

      The actions of the Government re Covid was always going to be a moving feast of votes. Their unprecedented support last election was never sustainable but time will tell if minimum deaths at the cost of some business and freedoms turns out to be appreciated or unacceptable by the majority of voters.

  3. lprent 3

    Pretty good result for the government and supporting party heading up to the middle of a second term.

    I am pretty pleased that the confidence and supply agreement with the greens is working out. They haven't had the massive drop in support that was so evident when National husked out their supporting parties in 2011.

    It happened to NZ First, but I suspect that was mostly in response to their very negative actions in the last term. Defining yourself as part of the problem doesn't seem to be winning votes even in NZ Firsts current opposition.

    It is currently working for Act in opposition – assisted by their new MPs being nearly completely invisible and ineffective. The problem with that is that it also doesn't convert protest polls against National into actual votes at elections. Act still look like a one person party – and he looks like he is chasing every wee pocket of the disgruntled – and he looks as incoherent as this week's protests.

    • mac1 3.1

      For me, watching Seymour in the House and elsewhere, he does not seem to have the essential gravitas to be a serious contender. He comes across as a joker, and a heckler, observing from the sidelines but one who'll never get onto the main field of play.

      As for the polls. 50% mid second term is not bad for the government. The doomsayers and those critics who describe the government as 'a shambles' are denied by the actual figures.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    I've had a few conversations with that guy John Hart whose tweet you recycled – met him at a Green Party conference in 2015. He went on to become a GP candidate in the 2017 election. A farmer. I suspect the woke faction drove him out after that.

    Good to see you making the point about the left & the common good. I got that from Jeanette Fitzsimons 30 years ago (usually I disagreed with her).

    I get the feeling that we are in transition. Ebbing govt support produced by apparent failure of the containment strategy, imminent surge in cases to come. Fickle public mood. Only four deaths is the govt's strong point but it may get lost in the wash.

    • roy cartland 4.1

      I'm sure you know Mike Joy's position; he's not anti-farmer at all. He doesn't blame the actual workers, but the industry. The ones that set the rules, make the money and ultimately poison the land. Farmers who just want to get out of debt are made to use a backward method.

      If the Greens and the actual farmers (or those who really want to farm sustainably) could ally, we'd be streaks ahead.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Mike Joy

        I suspect a professional ecologist is constrained to avoid the politics of democracy. If he jumps out of that career into the Greens I'd be inclined to rejoin just to support him. Unless that happens we just get his intervention into politics from the ecological consequences viewpoint.

        Farmers are getting a steer from their Fed nowadays though, in the right direction. I agree with your point re financing of agriculture but dunno to what extent that remains problematic.

        • lprent

          One of the problems with the Fed has been that it appears to be far too susceptible in the way that it lurches so strongly toward the opinions of the few who are currently running it at whatever time period you're looking at..

          They probably need to look at their governing system to try to reduce that level of authoritarianism. It is pretty dangerous long term when you're dealing with systems that are easy to damage through immediate self-interest and really hard and costly to reverse damage on in subsequent decades. Waterways, soils, erosion, disease spreading, etc.

          • Dennis Frank

            That's a good point – which probably applies to any national organisation. One could cite the Rogernome cabal in Lange's govt as illustration. I also see the GP Executive as typical of the phenomenon!

    • Nic the NZer 4.2

      The argument Mickey makes here is riddled with holes. The govt didn't force him to be vaccinated, he choose to be vaccinated. You can be against vaccine mandates while still thinking that vaccination is a good idea, and you can also be wary of pharmaceutical company lead studies while thinking enough study has been completed to move ahead (one hopes Medsafe personal take this mentality).

      • Dennis Frank 4.2.1

        Good point about the nuances. I'm doubled-jabbed as a result of weighing the pros & cons – despite being someone who hasn't trusted the govt since naive adolescence 56 years ago. Risk management is the relevant psychology (insurance industry exists on that basis).

      • RedLogix 4.2.2

        Another nuance that's easy to overlook is that there will be at least some who have reservations about the relatively novel mRNA vaccines, and would have been more open to a choice of something like AZ that I had here in Australia.

        For people thinking along these lines, rightly or wrongly, being labelled 'anti-vaxxer moonbat' is completely alienating.

        • Subliminal

          My wife tells me that AZ is available now in NZ. Just apply to your Dr.

          • RedLogix

            Thanks. You prompted me to check the latest information. Seems promising but a bit confusing:

            An Advance Purchase Agreement of 7.6 million doses was signed with AstraZeneca. This vaccine needs two doses, so this amount is enough to fully vaccinate 3.8 million people.

            AstraZeneca is a viral vector vaccine and can be stored at normal fridge temperatures (2C to 8C) for up to 6 months.

            Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals age 18 years of age and older. However, provisional approval does not mean that we have committed to using the AstraZeneca vaccine in New Zealand.

      • Gypsy 4.2.3

        Thank you. You speak for many of us.

  5. Ad 5

    No one is going to vote on the success of enforcing public health measures.

    ACT's trajectory hasn't finished, and won't peak until NZ gets into full traffic light.

    To put a floor under Labour's fast fall, it's on Roberston to form a 2022 Budget that provides direct visible and fast help to a great majority of voters.

    Otherwise the voter question is: do I want another term of Jacinda's competent-but-timid?

    • higherstandard 5.1

      'Competent' … Lol. Talk about polishing the turd.


      'Some of them have struggled with the concept that they should accept vaccination for the greater good. They have a deep mistrust of conventional medical technology…'

      I really do think this is misrepresenting the vast majority of greens who are vaccinated and are not moon bats.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1

        Do you know the PM? Your scathing comments need some context.

        "Polish a turd" needs explanation.

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    Let's face facts…this was a PR fail, the mask slipped and the declaration that those with valid concerns about the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer product were put in no doubt that we are cast far into the margins. We are not part of the team of 5 million ,and the fact we are not even allowed to have public discussions of our concerns is, to say the very fucking least, concerning. In a democracy and all that.

    And this, a few days later, when one of the 'hecklers' had valid questions to the Prime Minister about how the Pfizer product is not doing that well in Israel. Does she have a plan for when we will need mass roll out of boosters? Ducking off because non -"accredited" questions arise is not the mark of a true leader. It was cowardice. And simply fueled the conspiracy theory.

    Way to go…and not very bright PR.

    Refusing to acknowledge that there have been adverse effects from the Pfizer product way beyond what can be expected and minimising the heart inflammation problem (which vaccine in history has ever attracted over 4000 complaints of "chest discomfort", not to mention the actual diagnosed myo and peri carditis?)

    And the vaccine mandate for health and disability workers which directly affects my partner and myself? Again, there is no room for discussion for the reasons for being concerned about possible side effects that could exacerbate existing conditions. None at all. And even if we could get a doctor to issue a certificate…this can be vetoed by the Bloomfield. And any exemption lasts for only six months….just about as long as the Pfizer product might work to keep Covid symptoms manageable. If you're lucky.

    And finally, while I have a spare minute…why the fuck did our Ministry of Health/Public Health not immediately, when it became clear early last year that certain co-morbidities featured highly in the ICU statistics, issue advisories and provide supports for healthy eating and exercise and supplementing with Vitamin D for those most at risk?

    All the eggs in the brand new vaccine basket…foolish.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      I hear you Rosemary. All of this could have been avoided a year ago – but instead we had to drive everyone into polarised binary camps – for and against vaccines and aligned along political lines.

    • barry 6.2

      There are NO valid concerns about the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer vaccine.

      6 months ago, I was happy to wait to see how it worked elsewhere. It has now been shown to be incredibly safe and effective. It compares very well to any other vaccine that we take without any thought (except for a few misinformed people).

      The only question is how long it is effective for. The evidence is still coming in (people are rushing to judgement based on a few studies), but even where it seems to be losing effectiveness against infection it is still incredibly effective against serious illness. We may need boosters next year (particularly if 10% of the population refuse to get the first 2 doses.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.1

        There are NO valid concerns about the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer vaccine.

        Surely sir, you jest?

        You do understand that some of us are immune to the tactic deployed by politicians of all hues that relies on 'saying a thing (even if untrue) often enough will eventually make it real in the eyes of the voter'.

        • barry

          None of those papers indicate any valid concern.

          The nejm paper is actually a glowing recommendation for the vaccine, and surpass effectiveness figures for most other common vaccines. "protection against hospitalization and death persisted at a robust level for 6 months after the second dose."

          Yes, there is still a question about the ethics of vaccinating 12 year olds. The protection they get is small given the low chance of severe disease. However the protection the vaccines confer on others around them is not insignificant.

          The calculus goes: everyone will get exposed to covid over the next year or so. NZ will not be excepted. The combined effects of the vaccine and exposure have to to be taken together. We have had 1 death and a handful of severe reactions to the vaccine in NZ. We have had 33 deaths and hundreds of people have been in ICU from the virus who have nearly all been unvaccinated.

          There is no ambiguity. For all but a very small number of people (who will be given exemptions) the benefits of vaccination are overwhelming.

          I think you should listen to our health department rather than "doing your own research"

      • weka 6.2.2

        There are NO valid concerns about the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer vaccine.

        I'm so sick of this blatantly ableist position based on personal belief in the science god.

        Here's actual rheumatologists (not Dr Googles) talking about autoimmune flares post vaccine,


        Systemic rheumatic disease flares after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination among rheumatology outpatients in New York City

        Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for patients with systemic rheumatic diseases (SRDs), who may be at increased risk of severe outcomes post-COVID-19.1 However, as patients with SRDs were not included in the mRNA vaccine trials (ie, Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2) and Moderna (mRNA-1273)), no data exist regarding whether these vaccines might trigger SRD flares. Sparse data suggest that other vaccines may be associated with SRD flares,2 3 possibly from molecular mimicry triggering immune activation or non-specific adjuvant effects. As SRD flares are associated with disease deterioration, increased flares could have serious clinical implications.4

        Both the flare and non-flare groups used medications for prevention and treatment of vaccine side effects (table 1). Most SRD flares were characterised as moderate to severe (57.3% after first vs 62.4% after second dose), and as qualitatively ‘typical’ SRD flares (70.9% after first dose vs 68.2% after second dose). Flares were predominantly reported as joint pain, joint swelling, muscle aches and fatigue (table 1). While 27.7% of flares started 1 day after vaccination, 61.4% began after 2–7 days and 10.9% occurred more than 7 days later (table 1). Most SRD flares resolved within 7 days of onset, but 26.2% lasted for 8–21 days and 8.9% for >21 days.

        Interim data from our cohort demonstrate that >85% of patients did not report an SRD flare post-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. This information is reassuring and can help inform vaccine decision-making for patients with SRDs. Although we did not collect laboratory studies, most SRD flares were described as ‘typical’, suggesting these symptoms are not vaccine’s adverse effects being misreported as disease flares. However, when patients did flare, the majority of flares were reported as moderate to severe, with some lasting >3 weeks. Therefore, it will be important to follow these patients prospectively, as well as to perform analyses which incorporate potential confounders to identify predictors of SRD flares post-vaccination. Whether vaccine manufacturer is an independent predictor of SRD flare remains to be determined.

        my emphasis.

        Two things there. One is that the research just hasn't been done, so anyone claiming that the vaccine has been proven to be safe is talking out of their arse.

        Two, is the MoH monitoring this? Do you or anyone claiming safety actually know? I'm not talking about the adverse reaction register, I'm talking about clinicians making sure that disabled people aren't just thrown under the bus, again.

        It doesn't help when the public deny these issues. Instead it makes the lives of chronically ill people significantly harder. And it bolsters the anti-vaxxer argument.

        Note: this isn't an argument against the vaccine programme.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Two things there. One is that the research just hasn't been done, so anyone claiming that the vaccine has been proven to be safe is talking out of their arse.

          I was trying to be (uncharacteristically) polite…but yes, sounds like loud, rattling smelly farts to me.laugh

          • weka

            it's the whole positioning of a drug as being Good and Benign, as if all drugs don't have negative impacts that need to be taken into account in the cost/benefit assessment. It's just straight out dishonest and for some reason this is deemed acceptable when it comes to vaccines above all else.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Without dragging readers down a rabbit hole…this 'thou shalt not question the safety and efficacy of vaccines' rule has been promoted with extraordinary vigour for about ten years now.

              And speaking with the parents of severely vaccine injured children at various disability functions over the past twenty years the complete denial that that routine vaccine had anything to do with this new brain damage in their child has been the single biggest factor contributing to total vaccine rejection.

              • RedLogix

                And speaking with the parents of severely vaccine injured children at various disability functions

                This is a can of worms I've been avoiding all along – but to keep it short – been there done that. Make what you will of this.

              • weka

                this is my understanding too. That and the historic problems with adverse reaction reporting.

                However. Wakefield fucked up, badly, twice. And that's a huge factor alongside social media.

                The other point I would make is that we don't actually know. I know parents who believe their child was vaccine damage, but there is literally no way to know if they were nor not. It's a bloody mess with a blind and ableist medical system on one side and parents often without medical literacy on the other.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Wakefield fucked up, badly, twice.

                  Whoa. Hold the phone. Never, ever, (and I have said this here on TS before) have I had a conversation with the parent of a vaccine injured child who has autism. Ever. I have never met anyone who claims their child's autism was caused by a vaccine. And I've met a number of children with autism and their parents. I just want to make that perfectly clear…again. The Wakefield debacle hampered efforts to bring vaccine injury out of the shadows…largely due to the showboating from both sides.

                  These children were perfectly 'normal' (hate that word) and meeting all their milestones as recorded in their Wellchild book.

                  Then, routine vaccine. High temperature…really high and not responsive to the medical recommended pamol. Almost always have febrile seizures. Sometimes severe. Quite often it will be acknowledged in A&E that hyperpyrexia can be a side effect of some vaccines. It is the fever and/or the seizures that can cause encephalitis which can lead to permanent brain damage.

                  Where a tie with Wakefield comes in is not with the measles component of the MMR vaccine but the original mumps component…caused quite a bit of bother and was handled very poorly by the authorities.

                  Like with the current mass vaccination program…refusal of authorities to admit and acknowledge and support those injured only fuels the hesitancy in family and friends.

                  • weka

                    yes, my point about Wakefield was that he completely undermined the people who had genuine issues. Probably set all that back by decades.

                    There are unfortunately plenty of people with kids with autism who believe it was caused by the MMR vaccine, and other parents who are vaccine hesitant or anti-vax because of Wakefield and the social media drive to connect autism to the vaccine.

                    • Ross

                      There are unfortunately plenty of people with kids with autism who believe it was caused by the MMR vaccine, and other parents who are vaccine hesitant or anti-vax because of Wakefield and the social media drive to connect autism to the vaccine.

                      Hannah Poling’s parents have been paid a lot of money, probably in the millions, to support their daughter. Her vaccination led to autism. The problem that some people have is that they see vaccines as the primary cause of harm. Vaccines may instead be a secondary factor.

                      The CDC in the US has acknowledged that vaccines can be a secondary factor in causing harm. I would have thought that was quite a significant admission.

                    • Ross []

                      An interesting article about vaccines and the admission that they can lead to serious harm.


              • BevanJS

                It's bonkers that we don't check or train vaccinators to deliver vaccine into the exact system they're intended for, for efficacy and reduction of potential harm. takes 2 extra seconds. Doctors and Vets do it every day.

                How many million vaccine doses have been delivered in NZ at the time you read this?

                Maybe 1 in 15,000 accidentally go into a blood vessel, there’s a couple in your deltoid and maybe 1/2 of those people's systems respond badly?

                How many maybe have inflamation issues, fueling the anti-vax fire because we're lazy, like most of the world with vaccine delivery training?

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Like all medications, the Pfizer vaccine can have side effects.

          The paper quoted provides some evidence that people with SRD can have a flare after vaccination, but the estimates of the rate of flares following vaccination are really quite weak.

          It is a self-reported email survey of people with SRD, with only 42% of people responding (so for example – did the other 58% not respond because they felt fine, or did they all get such a severe flare they couldn't do email, or….?). There is no control data against which the post-vaccination flare rate is compared – for example, comparison with the rate of flares that occur in an group without vaccination (I know someone with severe SRD who has flares for all sorts of reasons, often unknown).

          As usual, there is also the comparative risk. People with SRD seem to do worse when they get Covid 19:

          Conclusion: Patients with systemic rheumatic disease hospitalized for COVID-19 had higher risk for hyperinflammation, kidney injury, and mechanical ventilation than non-rheumatic comparators. …. These findings highlight that hospitalized patients with rheumatic diseases may be vulnerable to poor COVID-19 outcomes.

          • weka

            Oh ffs. Yes, that is the whole fucking point. People are running around claiming that the vaccine is Good and Safe, but there are multiple groups of disabled people who were excluded from the vaccine research so we don't actually have the research to be basing decisions on.


            And, again with the ableism,

            but the estimates of the rate of flares following vaccination are really quite weak.

            aka, let's not bother with a small % of people whose lives are badly impacted. Seriously? Is that what you actually believe?

            • weka

              and you know what? The problem here isn't that the belief that everyone should be vaccinated. It's the way in which disabled people are being treated as disposable.

              This is such an absolute bullshit position from liberals and the left, and Rosemary is right, this stuff is throwing petrol on the anti-vax movement fire.

              Look at the rate of disabled people that are vaccine hesitant and consider that we have legitimate concerns.

              • Craig H

                It's a real bind though – Delta is particularly brutal (it's about as bad as polio in terms of transmissibility and death rates), and until recently with medical treatments, the various vaccines were the only thing we had found to be effective short of closing up shop completely, except that as Auckland has discovered/shown, closing up shop isn't feasible long term, nor will it be enforceable long term (if nothing else, eventually someone else will be voted into office on a platform of eliminating lockdowns and other restrictions). Not doing anything is going to see a lot of people, including disabled, dead or really struggling with long Covid.

                Or to put it another way, if it's not vaccines, how are we going to protect disabled from Delta? Is opening up treating them as disposable as well?

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              "aka, let's not bother with a small % of people whose lives are badly impacted. Seriously? Is that what you actually believe?"

              I commented on the technical limitations of the reported study. I did not say "ignore those people" etc.

              The technical limitations mean the study is less useful than a stronger study would be. And the people that would benefit most from a stronger study in this case, are people with SRDs.

              That is not to say the study authors made a mistake – they have run a preliminary study which is a good way to start the investigation of a question. The problem is using this study to say "xx% of people with SRD will experience a flare because of the vaccine" – the study does not support that type of statement with any certainty.

              • weka

                you appear to have missed the point then. I didn't post that as evidence of good research, I posted it to point out that the research hasn't been done, so consultants are left with running surveys in order to figure out how to help their patients.

                You could have said, wow, how bad there's been no proper research done. But instead you marginalised disabled people ("the rate of flares following vaccination are really quite weak") and then used your response to talk over the issues (vaccination is still better).

                Do you understand why I made the original comment?

        • barry

          That letter highlights a need to follow up these patients to see if there is any concern. There is no attempt to show the statistical significance of the reports. The letter also says that it is CRUCIAL for these patients to get the vaccine.

          Of course this vaccine is new. The same happens with any medicine. The test groups do not include all possible variations and more knowledge will be gained after it starts getting used.

          It is already clear that most (all or nearly all) rheumatology patients are much better off for having the vaccine.

          Additionally: Rheumatology patients are often encouraged to temporarily discontinue use of DMARDS after vaccination to enhance the immune response. Flares can be expected as a result. I would hope that people concerned would be checking in with their GP or other medical professional.

          • weka

            there is a difference between better off with the vaccine and the claim you make that,

            There are NO valid concerns about the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer vaccine.

            You are just flat out wrong. I've given you one example of specialist consultants explaining the issues for one set of chronically ill people. Multiple that by all the other chronic illnesses that we have no data for, and reconsider your position that there are no valid concerns.

            • weka

              and to spell it out. If someone has a flare, that's a medical issue that needs attention. If someone has a flare and they can't cope, that's a medical and social issue. If they have dependents, it's another social issue. If the flare stops them from being able to function in their lives (think buying groceries or going to work or getting money from WINZ), that's a social and health issue.

              And all of that can be cumulative and compounding. Which you would know if you actually listened to what disabled people are saying. Labour would too.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            Excellent summary I reckon!

            • weka

              please point me to where this is being done,

              more knowledge will be gained after it starts getting used.

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                The paper you reported above on SRDs is a good example. That study gathered new and additional information from ongoing vaccine use. There are many other studies doing the same thing in relation to other questions.

                • weka

                  ok, so now you are saying the survey is generating useful data? I thought you were saying it wasn't really.

                  Either way, I personally think it's inadequate, and it's hugely problematic that nearly a year in, they're still not doing rigorous research on this.

                  Barry believes that there are no valid concerns about the vaccine. I presented evidence that there are, and that we're still not very good at managing this.

                • weka

                  There are many other studies doing the same thing in relation to other questions.

                  Would you mind giving some examples?

                  • UncookedSelachimorpha

                    There really are many, so I won't include a long list. For example, the below look in more detail at specific groups who likely weren't explicitly examined in the first clinical trials of the vaccines:

                    COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients with Severe Asthma on Biologic Treatment: Safety, Tolerability, and Impact on Disease Control
                    M Caminati, G Guarnieri, V Batani, E Scarpieri… – Vaccines, 2021

                    COVID‐19 vaccine response in people with multiple sclerosis
                    EC Tallantyre, N Vickaryous, V Anderson… – Annals of Neurology, 2021

                    Safety and immunogenicity of one versus two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 for patients with cancer: interim analysis of a prospective …
                    L Monin, AG Laing, M Muñoz-Ruiz, DR McKenzie… – The Lancet, 2021

                    Covid-19 vaccine immunogenicity in people living with HIV-1
                    L Nault, L Marchitto, G Goyette, D Tremblay-Sher… – bioRxiv, 2021

                    COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy: coverage and safety
                    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2021

                  • UncookedSelachimorpha

                    The original clinical trial for the pfizer vaccine did include over 40,000 people, which would be expected to include people with a variety of existing health conditions.

                    I found this interesting – it describes the grounds on which people would be excluded from the trial enrolment for the clinical trials for the main covid vaccines. They didn't exclude that many conditions.

      • Julian Richards 6.2.3

        No concerns? Israel, Seychelles, Gibraltar, Ireland, UK, Denmark, UAE??? Really?!

    • Gypsy 6.3

      Geez you're on fire today! Great comment.

  7. Bearded Git 7

    Yes Chris Bishop whining away again on Morning Report this morning. His main point was that MIQ should be abandoned immediately. This is the guy who a couple of months ago wanted NZ to build dedicated MIQ facilities spending billions in the process.

    His other point, that saliva testing should have been introduced earlier is also dubious. The info I have heard on RNZ The Panel and at other times says these tests are 70 per cent accurate if administered by professionals and 50 per cent if self administered. Seems like the nasal test preferred by the government is far safer.

    On First Up this morning we had the very entitled Sir Ian Taylor extolling the virtues of the system he just experienced being used in the USA where saliva testing is used. But he failed to mention the faults in rapid testing or that the body count in the US is terrible and rising and winter is not even upon them. [RL: Deleted repugnant sentence. Be more careful.]

  8. Adrian 8

    Rosemary, the anti- vaxxers and anti- mandaters ( mandates designed to protect the vulnerable under the care of such ) were NEVER part of the team of 5 million, they have been on the sidelines critisising the ref and touch judges ever since this began. They are almost certainly part of the 15% or so who don’t vote, therefore they don’t count politically, but that doesn’t mean that this Government does not resile from its duty of care for them. Unlike a right wing government most certainly would. Ironicly they would both deserve one another.

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      Adrian. As soon as you used the expression "anti-vaxxers" your credibility took a terminal nose-dive. I will have to assume that the rest of your comment is similarly poorly reasoned and slur ridden.

      You could, of course, reply with your opinion of the complete dismissal by the government and their accredited media puppets of the Pfizer product adverse effects and what impact that has had on vaccine uptake. That fact that it is a forbidden subject simply fuels distrust in the government. Dumb politics. And National would have done it too.

      Or you could have a think about how much more credibility the government (any government, National would have done the same) would have had if they had not bought into the very weird 'only a vaccine will save us all' narrative that consumed the world -wide narrative so very early on in this shit show.

  9. Michael 9

    I'm less than confident in the integrity of any poll Farrar conducts for the Taxpayers Union. The Talbot-Mills poll, OTOH, is more reliable even though the principals are linked to the labour Party.

  10. Jenny how to get there 10

    In my opinion the full reckoning is yet to come for this government, for their decision to abandon their world beating elimination strategy. (for the good of the economy).

    As the health experts said at the time ending the Auckland Level 4 lockdown before elimination was achieved and the vaccination roll out was complete meant forgetting about any return back to Level 1 for the foreseeable future.

    The government's loss of nerve has left Auckland stuck in a never ending Level 3 purgatory and the rest of the country cycling up and down levels as the traffic lights change.

    The rest of the world wonders why we are repeating their mistakes.

    Lockdown protests and fears of overwhelmed morgues: New Zealand faces up to Covid peak (

    • AB 10.1

      Though a moment's reflection on the part of voters would have them realising that National would have had us in this same position over a year earlier (mid – 2020) – but without even the partial safety net of vaccination at that time.

    • Stuart Munro 10.2

      I think that's the nub of it. If we get through delta without it spreading countrywide, the vote may recover to some extent.

      One interpretation of the noisy antivax crowd is that they were created as agitprop for the deservedly unpopular 'open up' lot. Instead of the usual wretched media hacks howling into a lonely void, they get to sit back and 'interpret' the public discontent that they largely manufactured. It puts the heat on government rather than the sociopathic interests that are actually to blame.

      • Herodotus 10.2.1

        "If we get through delta without it spreading countrywide, the vote may recover to some extent." How will that happened ? Especially when we have had the promise/guarantee from the PM that Aucklanders will be able to travel thru summer/before Christmas. Anyone within the country that thinks that the remainder of NZ will escape covid is being totally naive, deluded or both. I note that University students are currently relocating to their home both from Auckland/Waikato and returning to.

    • barry 10.3

      They didn't abandon elimination for the good of the economy. They abandoned elimination because the tools weren't working any more. The tools used in China work better (though still not perfectly) but would be politically unacceptable here.

      Once they abandoned elimination then they have to choose a suppression strategy. The balance is impossible as different people are pulling in different directions and an increasing number of people don't (or can't) follow the rules. We can argue whether they should have opened shops in Auckland or not. There is only so much pressure they can withstand. In the end you go with wishful thinking like everywhere else.

      • Jenny How to get there 10.3.1


        12 November 2021 at 11:44 am

        ……They abandoned elimination because the tools weren't working any more….

        Actually the tools were working, and working very well.

        TVNZ-graph-101021-680wide.png (680×375) (

        If you click on the link above you will see that under the L4 lockdown daily infections were dropping from a high of 83 cases a day to to a low of 9 cases a day.

        On the 22nd of September, (indicated by the dotted line), the government dropped the L4 Lockdown. Eight days later, the incubation period of the virus, daily cases stopped declining and started rising again and haven't stopped.

        This was all predicted by the health experts and pandemic modelers, who had asked the government to keep the L4 lockdown on for another two weeks until elimination was achieved.

        As they said at the time, without L4 forget about achieving L1.

        And so it has been as we bump along the bottom with this interminable L3 in Auckland as the virus slowly leaks out into the rest of the country and the hospital boards prepare by hiring refrigerated sea containers to store all the bodies.

        The second dotted line on October 6 represents the government loosening restrictions again despite the continuing predicted rise in daily infections.

        I am reminded of the parable of the golden goose.

        The greed and impatience of the business sector to open up at all costs is like the greed of the villagers who murdered the golden goose to get at its eggs before it had laid them.

        • barry

          It depends on your definition of "working". People were expecting 2 months of level 4/3/2 and then rapidly back to level 1 as case numbers dropped to zero.

          There was no prospect of Level 4 eliminating the virus this time. The tail became a tentacle, and was clearly going to persist.

          The prospect of keeping Auckland at level 4 indefinitely was and always has been untenable.

          It is possible that a few weeks of level 4 now with current vaccination levels might have a chance, but most likely it would lower case numbers for a time, and they will rise again when we open up.

          I don't agree with all the government decisions, but I don't accept that they willingly gave up on elimination.

  11. Pete 11

    Things will free up. There is complaining about vaccine compulsion and lockdowns.

    The Government wants everyone to be vaccinated. Automatically some people will be determined to not do it. Antivaxxers and the ignorant won't get a jab.

    The number of Covid cases rising will see the government being blamed for not doing the right thing or enough. When people get sick and die it'll be the government's fault.

  12. barry 12

    The problem for Labour is that the message has become confused. Last year it was simple – levels 1-4 (mostly in level 1), "stay home – save lives", and "eliminate the virus – go back to normal life". Most were prepared to live with the lack of travel. Even most kiwis trapped overseas are happy to give up on the idea of coming home for a holiday (if it means they can brag to their neighbours about how good it would be back in NZ).

    Now we have multiple layers of levels and soon traffic lights. The government knows there is nothing magic about 90%, but they have backed themselves into a corner so people think that once we get to 90% the sun start shining and we all go on holiday. They don't believe it and it shows.

    Where before the were reactive they looked like they had a plan. Now they are trying to manage things and they look like they don't have a plan.

    SIMPLIFY THE MESSAGING – Don't try to cater to everyone!

    • Patricia Bremner 12.1

      We watch the Covid updates on the TV one Stand up.. First we get the guesses of Jessica Much-Mckay, trying to pre-empt the Podium. 2nd we get the Podium news update.. 3rd we get a so called expert giving their unofficial view ( Gorman). It is confusing, and overlays and undermines any messages…which well may be the desired outcome as many on the journalist team seem to query all events and reasons.

    • Anne 12.2

      SIMPLIFY THE MESSAGING – Don't try to cater to everyone!

      That has been a huge problem for Labour over many decades. Remonstration upon remonstration from many of us over the years were ignored until along came Helen Clark. She listened.

      Remember the pledge card? Five simple, easily understood pledges. It was effectively their election manifesto. They romped to victory. Now it seems we are in danger of finding ourselves back in the good old days when every comment was accompanied by at least two A4 size documents, with solid typing on both sides, that nobody anywhere ever read of course.

      I exaggerate in the interest of a little humour, but those of us who have been in and around the LP for many years will know what I mean.

    • Ad 12.3

      The traffic light system is about to hit Auckland, and there's a likelihood that Labour will roll it out nationwide at the same time.

      We will all need to get our heads around it.

      It's about as simple as they can make it.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    It seems to me that Labour has been squandering their strong position by doing a number of things that are collectively pissing off a large percentage of the voting public. Of recent times:

    1. The apparent lack of preparedness for the arrival of Delta. For instance little done to boost ICU capacity that would have meant the system could have coped with more sick and thus less need for intensive lockdowns.

    2. The nasty divisions being created by the vaccine mandate that the government seems happy to encourage.

    3. Three Waters: not so much the concept which may well have merits, but rather the way it has been forced on councils, and the back-tracking on the opt-out option.

    4. Three strikes repeal: Again, not so much about whether or not the evidence shows three strikes to be effective. But rather that many would adhere to the simple logic that anything that locks nasty people away from the community for longer has got to be a good thing. Also, this move feeds into the narrative the opposition would like to push that Labour is soft on crime.

    I think Labour is quite vulnerable at the moment and is not suffering as much as it could because the opposition is weak at the moment. But if that were to change, then those disaffected could have a good reason to change sides.

  14. Anker 14
    • I would add to that Smithfield the hate speech bill and if and when parents or counsellors doing their best professional work to help gender dysphoric kids are investigated by the police and/or charges pressed many Kiwis will be highly pissed off. It could go that way with gender self ID if things unfold here like they have in The States or UK. What a shit show in the States will numerous legal cases with kids (or their )parents) suing and counter suing school boards over bathrooms and sporting competitions/scholarships
    • felix 14.1

      Yep when large numbers of voters, women in particular, become aware of the implications of the trifecta of self id law, hate speech law, and conversion therapy law the Labour and Green parties will reap what they have sown.

  15. SPC 15

    A poll taken while the pandemic situation is worsening – support for government will fall when they do not see things on the right track.

    While there is acceptance of the loss of elimination, some self-pity that vaccination is not a solution but only a management tool (such as lockdowns and wearing masks), every thing the government does to transition us from elimination and the 2022 normal is being critiqued. Whether by epidemiologists or from Team A to the Team B death squad. And then there is the insecurity of people, health to employment and business owners.

    My advice

    1. points system those OE who have places to go in Auckland and let those who pose low risk into home isolation (are they double vaxxed are those in the homes they are going into double vaxxed etc) and do it now.
    2. Maintain the Auckland border till at least Dec 15.
    3. Test every child in an Auckland school at the end of the school year (rapid test but professionally managed)
    4. Have Maori health providers test Maori in Auckland intending to leave the area.
    5. Run a campaign to support people getting tested before leaving Auckland.
    6. Use freed up Auckland MI space for oversight of infection cases – where there is risk of infecting others in home isolation (important when the Auckland border ends) and to provide better medical oversight (given insufficient capacity to manage home isolation is resulting in deaths and or deterioration leading to hospitalisation).
    7. Take all the SI to the traffic lights c Dec 15 (after school ends). Allow entry to the SI only for those with vaccine cert (air and ferry border check) – maybe with a negative test for those out of Auckland/Waikato.
    8. maintain Level 2 in the NI for areas below 90/90 till the end of 2021 and in mid Dec review this for 2022.
  16. theotherpat 16

    well on the "team of 5 million" here in the south after over a year of doing the team thing with no cases the latest debacle has most of us thinking WTF…..and now the plan seems to be let the jaffas run riot thru the country…..yes JAFFAS…..thats the depth of ill feeling even tho its not everyone there but with cases spreading and the likely hood of the north holidaying in the south has a lot scratching their heads on who exactly they can vote for OTHER than labour and labour scored a lot of tories/act supporters in the last election down here. one of the prevailing thoughts is that the system as always warned about will be overun and the problems that will bring about…..personally i have been a labour supporter from the days of Lange but like many i am wavering.

    • Patricia Bremner 16.1

      Hello otherpat. The South Island can be grateful for the lockdown, as if we had the "Open the borders" Nats and Act from last year we would not be having this conversation.

      • theotherpat 16.1.1

        i agree Patricia…if those assholes had their way we would be in dire straits still…i am for a "managed" release of the nth lol….i am really curious to see how it will be handled when covid really goes for it……probably expose a few untruths at the same time AND i know too many disabled/vulnerable….either by birth, illness or age and they are worried and worry on top of what ails them is just shite just so people can holiday and shop….we had a near miss with a truck driver who went to auckland came back down and was positive… firm and 180 people needed to be tested and we dodged a bullet…..the poor bugger was really really ill for two weeks…..he said even his feet and teeth hurt tho on the bright side he did lose 8kg smiley…..all the best,

    • Ad 16.2

      We're coming for you personally.

    • roblogic 16.3

      You do realise that Auckland is a part of NZ don't you? 90% of Aucklanders did everything right, got jabbed, stayed at home, sacrificed their sanity to give you all a chance to protect yourself. It is totally unreasonable to expect us to all stay in lockdown indefinitely.

      We didn't ask to be the main MIQ city. It was a stupid option from the start. Now the rest of Aotearoa needs to step up and do their part. Mask up, wash hands, use the Covid app, and above all get vaccinated. Stop pretending you can lock up your fellow Kiwis and be safe doing nothing.

      The enemy is a virus – but it another enemy is fear, hatred, and divisiveness. We are reaping the harvest of 35 years of neoliberal capitalism eating away at our institutions and social fabric.

      • theotherpat 16.3.1

        we dont want you in lockdown and i never said that……just on your side of the straight….lets see how the outbreak is handled BEFORE it comes here…i am vaxxed but it doesnt matter anyway…..once this gets going its gonna go like wildfire.

        and no i dispute its being selfish….selfish cos YOU dont get your way?….selfish cos we wish to protect our own?? and our communities or shall i say whanau?… because we have kept it at bay for so long??………as for divisiveness Auckland does a fine job on its own AND we have stepped up and done our part and will continue to do so.

        the situation in the nth island is what it is and lets see how it pans out….all the best.

      • weka 16.3.2

        what's the rationale for not having a border between the north and south islands?

  17. DukeEll 17

    So more have died from suicide and murder due to covid restrictions than delta covid?

    I think that would go some way to explaining the polling crises the government faces

  18. DukeEll 18

    Now this you have to read between the lines on, but certainly ticks the reporting boxes for reporting on suicide.

    ”A man in his 50s died in his Mt Eden home on Friday and another died at a Manukau apartment on Tuesday. Both deaths have been referred to the Coroner.”

    Then there was the unfortunate shooting in New Lynn that made it to the covid lists briefly

    • weka 18.1

      So no evidence that more have died from suicide and murder due to covid restrictions than delta covid then.

      • RedLogix 18.1.1

        I know of two suicides personally that have arisen directly in the context of lockdowns. Our friend here in VIC who is a social worker has spoken of this, and while she never tells us anything we shouldn't know, she's pretty clear that lockdowns make all the usual problems she has to deal with considerably worse.

        The point to make here is that while all the attention is going onto COVID deaths, no-one is even trying to count the other costs.

        • KJT

          We have been hearing constantly about the "other costs".

          A lot from those arguing from a position that is lacking in honesty and good faith.

          • RedLogix

            Are you arguing that:

            1. There are no costs associated with lockdowns?

            2. Lockdowns are somehow good for us and we should carry them on indefinitely?

            3. Or that anyone who suggests otherwise is automatically coming from a place of bad faith?

            • weka

              Obviously there are costs to lockdown, but the opening premise was this,

              So more have died from suicide and murder due to covid restrictions than delta covid?

              There's evidence to suggest that generally that is not true (link below) and no evidence presented to show it is true.

              In terms of delta specifically and the Auckland lockdown, obviously the comparison should be with deaths from delta prevented (otherwise the premise is entirely nonsense).

              Beyond that, if we're going to count costs, let's also factor in climate change and the ecological impacts of less travel vs BAU. And, the positive sides of lockdowns beyond covid prevention. I've not seen anyone argue for permanent lockdowns. I do think we are missing a massive opportunity here for positive social and economic change.

              • weka

                Fwiw, if we're trading anecdotes, many people I know like lockdowns. They like the slowing down of life in particular. This doesn't ignore the people who do badly.

                • KJT

                  Yep. I could mention several Māori youngsters, including one I have advocated for at WINZ and with mental health providers for the last 12 years, whose mental health has greatly improved, as local employers are now finding that they need to employ and train them. The National border lockdown has improved their lives immensely.

                  • weka

                    there's a whole thing that that NZ hasn't talked about. The narrative is that middle class people who could easily work from home did well, others didn't. It's way more nuanced than that. I've got a post half done on it, but wasn't sure what kind of reception I'd get, darklol, so it's not been at the top of the list. Soon though.

              • RedLogix

                Lockdown for us – especially the first long one in Brisbane was positively idyllic for us personally. It would be quite unwise for me to detail here just how fortunate we were.

                But I'm not blind to the harsh reality many other people had to deal with, and often falling on that class of people who don't have the privilege of working from home.

                Or the young woman I knew who struggling with depression, wound up stuck in isolation for months in between countries, unable to access medication, family or support and faced with overwhelming problems – took her life. So maybe I'm biased.

                That we all agree isolation and lockdowns cannot continue indefinitely is proof of their cost, while at the same time their benefit has diminished over time. The precautionary principle has expired, there is no possibility of achieving elimination and we've had sufficient time to prepare.

                And each week that passes by their political cost rises.

                • weka

                  that's not what I'm talking about though. Labour here will do whatever it does. What interests me more is the debate, and too often I'm seeing this black and white stuff batting back and forth and we're just missing the best opportunity we've had in a generation to make actual meaningful change in the face of the approaching crises (covid being the starter).

            • KJT

              No. But you wouldn't have to ask. If

              1. You read what I actually say.

              2. You didn't attribute positions to me that I've never taken.

              • RedLogix

                So from this can we conclude:

                1. Lockdowns do have real cost but because they're neither especially visible or easily quantified – we have no real idea what is going on

                2. That you agree lockdowns have a 'used by date' and cannot continue indefinitely

                3. That discussing this is not automatically to be smeared as 'bad faith'.

                Or are these not positions you've taken either?

      • KJT 18.1.2

        Almost as though having to stay home from work, take long walks with your family for many, and more security of work, and appreciation for the lower paid who stayed at work, has been good for us.

        Coronavirus: Suicide rates went down during lockdown in NZ, Australia, other countries – study | Newshub

        • Sabine

          Stats from NZ

          In the year to 30 June 2021, 607 people died by suspected suicide, compared to 6281 the year before – a decrease of 21 deaths, and a drop in the suspected suicide rate from 11.8 deaths per 100,000 to 11.6.

          “Understanding what a change in numbers and rates from one year to the next means is difficult because these numbers and rates can fluctuate considerably,” says Judge Marshall. “But it is heartening to see that the year’s figures show fewer deaths overall.”

          Among Māori populations there was a decrease in suspected suicides from 19.8 per 100,000 people to 15.8, but for Pacific populations there was an increase in the suspected suicide rate from 7.2 to 9.6.

          More broadly, there was a decrease in suspected suicides for females and males in the 15-24 age range, from 12.6 to 11.4 among females and 22.7 to 22.2 in males.

          “The suspected suicide rate and number has declined, which is encouraging. But it’s important to remember the many families who have lost someone, and I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who died by suspected suicide in the past year,” says Judge Marshall.


          It is the second consecutive year numbers have decreased, but na Nagara says the evidence shows there is a need to see a decline over at least a five-year period before a meaningful downward trend in suicide numbers and rates can be established

          I don't think that the lockdowns had anything to do with small drop in suicide numbers at all, and it seems that the Chief Coroner also does not think so.

          However, it is good to see that we had slightly fewer suicides.

          • KJT

            Any suicide is a tragedy.

            But, it is obvious that the claims, from lockdown opponents, that lockdowns have increased suicide rates, are fallacious.

            • Sabine

              We are not at our 4th wave of covid yet as are most other parts of the world, we have barely begun our journey into the valley of covid misery.

              So were i am standing is can we please stop congratulating us on our supposed superiority, can we please stop pretending that we have won anything, that we have beat delta or covid, and just be humble and downright grateful that we are not living in the middle of Europe, or India, or china, or the us, or Africa, or Russia but are on two islands in the middle of nowhere near Antarctica, which has provided us with extra time to get system and processes in place that any other country did not have. Can we just do that?

              And in the same sense as we did not have more suicide, we also did not have less due to our lockdowns. We have been lucky so far. So effn lucky, it ain't funny anymore.

              • Anne

                Sensible warning! Thank-you Sabine.

              • weka

                lucky thanks to geography but also the right people in the right place at the right time (thinking especially of the people advising Labour in the first few months of 2020).

                How we talk about our luck and our situation will affect what happens going forward. I've seen no evidence to suggest that lockdowns have caused a spike in suicides, and it's right to challenge the casual narrative of that that was posted in this thread.

                Personally, I think 2022 is going to be NZ's hardest pandemic year. It doesn't have to be, and how we talk about and debate the issues factors into that. In that sense I agree with what you are saying about counting our blessings.

                • Sabine

                  Labour had the events of elsewhere to guide it. Compare to Italy who had only China as a sample, and no infrastructure and non of the knowledge that we have here. That is not to be overlooked. They did well, and generally i have no issue with lockdowns and most of their decisions. But in saying that, we also don't have quick saliva tests – going for a brain scrape now – we had to wait till July 28th to start jabbing people in earnest, our MIQ is a mockery of human rights, and never mind our health care system that is still in the same mess it was last year.

                  so really we should congratulate us to being citizens that for the most part do it right. That they stay home during lockdowns, that they get tested, wear masks, stay distance, effectively living live in a version of L3 point 3 of their own making to protect their families, businesses – i am speaking of the essential worker, that many simply suck it up despite the full on suckery it is to protect all of us.

                  Europe is cracking for more then one reason, and Covid is just one of them. So yes, suicide, self harm, drugs use, violence, they are all slowly but surely creeping up again.

                  Maybe its time for another donation to Gumboot Fridays – they are doing work.

          • KJT

            Missing the point again.

            While you are looking for references.

            Have a look at the rates of mental health issues in countries that didn't have lockdowns. People dying around you and the constant threat of dying from covid, tend to adversely affect mental health.

            Even here you cannot seperate the worry and stress about Delta taking off, with that from Lockdowns

            But. Like all too many wingers, you cannot comprehend the "other side of the ledger".

            • Gypsy

              Missing the point again.

              1. Two of the three links I gave are specifically about lockdowns.

              2. Suicide is not the only outcome from mental health issues.

              You produce stats from 15 months ago that cover only 4 months, and draw conclusions from that. Disgusting.

              • KJT

                What is disgusting, is the self interested anti- lockdown spruikers, on the right wing, pretending to be concerned about mental health, all of a sudden.

                Where were you when we were begging for more funding and help, over the last twenty years, for the young people with mental health problems, including the ones that took refuge in our basement, often bought on by the same right wings callous disregard for their welfare and future.

                That's right. You don't give a fuck, except when it is something to attack the Government over. When they are, for once, trying to keep people healthy.

                • Gypsy

                  You have no idea what I have done. You have no idea full stop. You have shown your true colours – using an inadequate data set to minimise mental health impacts of lockdowns. It's sick.

                  • KJT

                    Weka at

                    Put it better.

                    “”Obviously there are costs to lockdown, but the opening premise was this,
                    So more have died from suicide and murder due to covid restrictions than delta covid?
                    There’s evidence to suggest that generally that is not true (link below) and no evidence presented to show it is true.””

                    “In terms of delta specifically and the Auckland lockdown, obviously the comparison should be with deaths from delta prevented (otherwise the premise is entirely nonsense).”

                    The comparison should be with the deaths, and mental health issues which would have occurred without the lockdowns. “”otherwise the premise is entirely nonsense).”

                    And. You have consistently advocated for anti-social right wing positions on TS. Why would I assume you are any different outside TS.

                    • Gypsy

                      You are as shallow as a car park puddle. I haven't argued "more have died from suicide and murder due to covid restrictions than delta covid?". I find that comparison offensive, as if this is a competition. I very much doubt your sincerity if you can;t even frame my opinions accurately.

                • roblogic

                  Chill out. Like Gypsy here I have found the latest 3 month lockdown absolutely miserable. Not being part of a happy family environment, not being able to enjoy the usual rhythms of going to work, church, and social gatherings, having weird/ selfish flatmates who drive you crazy, having mental health issues exacerbated by vast amounts of time alone stewing over painful thoughts and emotions.

                  Anti lockdown sentiment does not come from selfishness, it comes from deep loneliness and sadness, at not being able to spend time with those we love.

                  We have done everything we we asked, and now the fearful and paranoid Auckland haters want to keep us quarantined forever. It sucks.

          • Tricledrown

            Gypsy reading your posts only one had scientific evidence ,the otago University study of 2,000 plus people with Mental Health issues.

            30% said they were worse off 50% said they were the same 20% said they were better off.

            So not the mental health disaster people are trying to portray.

            You should read your post's

            • Gypsy

              I do. I would suggest that 30% feeling worse off and a 300% increase in demand for Youthline services is cause for concern. Wouldn't you?

              • Tricledrown

                Gypsy so 20% better off would be a concern to you.

                If you read your own link more people accessing help was a good thing in these times.

                Just putting out the worst case scenarios that are not backed up by your own links is a concern.

                • Gypsy

                  30% worse off, 20% better off. I'm actually more interested in the ones who are worse off. And I am very interested in the 300% increase in youthline demand.

                  I read my links. Did you?

                  • Tricledrown

                    Yes health authorities were happy about the 300% increase of inquiries to the helpline as it shows young ones weren't frightened of seeking help.

                    You left that bit out as well as other bits in your links you deliberately pushed the click bait headline.

                    • Gypsy

                      "as it shows young ones weren't frightened of seeking help."

                      So you're saying this 300% increase is from people who always needed help, and it's just wild coincidence that they suddenly aren't frightened to call now? I'll give you an A+ for ingenuity.

            • roblogic

              Do you realise that the WHO and the Lancet and the NIH all recognise that Covid has had wide ranging mental health impacts? It's a silent disaster unfolding. Denial of epidemics helps nobody.

              • RedLogix

                Worse still in the virus itself may well be directly responsible for various forms of psychosis and that pre-existing anxiety seems to be recognised comorbidity risk.

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  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 hours ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 hours ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 hours ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 hours ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    8 hours ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    8 hours ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    10 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    19 hours ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    22 hours ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 day ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    2 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    4 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books ( for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – CO2 is the main driver of climate change
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    4 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    5 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    5 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    5 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    5 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    21 hours ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    21 hours ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    21 hours ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    23 hours ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    24 hours ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    24 hours ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    24 hours ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    1 day ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    1 day ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    1 day ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    1 day ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    1 day ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    3 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    3 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    3 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    3 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    3 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    3 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    4 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    4 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    6 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    7 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    1 week ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    1 week ago

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