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Down the rabbit hole

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, November 17th, 2021 - 83 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, Judith Collins, national, same old national - Tags:

Former National MP Matt King who Judith Collins thinks is a lovely guy, is in the news again.  From Radio New Zealand:

The National Party is distancing itself from a former MP who has questioned the effectiveness of the Covid vaccine in a lengthy video that has been labelled dangerous.

Matt King was voted out as Northland MP last election after serving one term and has been a vocal critic of the government’s Covid-19 response in recent months.

Last week he hosted a 40-minute conversation on Facebook with University of Auckland epidemiologist Simon Thornley, during which the pair discussed ideas common in anti-vax groups.

In reply, on King’s public facebook page he has said this:

A week ago, I did a livestream with an experienced epidemiologist. In this livestream, I made it clear that the purpose of the livestream was to talk about the facts and figures about COVID-19 – not treatments or vaccinations.

Today’s Radio NZ report has extracted parts of this livestream out of context. I stand by my comments previously that I am against mandates, and I believe that the COVID response needs to be multi-layered – vaccinations are part of the response, not the only response.

My views are mine, and I consider it my duty to have an open and honest conversation with people looking for an avenue to discuss the issues that they have questions or concerns about. There is an avalanche of information in the public arena – however, it lacks any critical thinking.

The ability to debate issues can often alleviate concerns – discussion is a way to debate the issues. That is my intention, and I will continue to advocate for people who are looking to have an open and honest discussion, irrespective of which side of politics or issues they sit on.

It is a well-known fact that the vaccine roll-out has been a shambles, so while it might seem opportunistic to blame someone for this now, let’s look beyond the past week. It’s a shame that Radio NZ and other news outlets didn’t pick up my previous livestream on the biased media in New Zealand – and the role they play in suppressing freedom of speech in our democratic nation, and their inability to hold the Govt to account!”

I don’t think the comment was overblown.  The excerpts played by Radio New Zealand include the following comments:

  • The Vaccine does not affect the transmission of Covid.
  • Covid is as bad as a severe flu.
  • The evidence that Ivermectin is useful is epidemiologically sound and strong.

Thornley’s fellow Epidemiologist Rod Jackson was interviewed and thought that the claim was rubbish and delivered Thornley a real serve.  He said this:

“There is no trial evidence that Ivermectin works in people with Covid.  It doesn’t exist.  There are trials going on, which is appropriate, but there is no trial evidence.

This is typical of Simon [Thornley] and typical of many of the people who are against vaccination and against the New Zealand approach to addressing Covid.  And that is they pull out little bits of largely irrelevant information and don’t look at the whole context.

… This is a severe disease and we have an evidence based treatment where there is definitive evidence that it reduces the risk of severe disease and death by 95%, in that order.  And we have someone who is questioning that evidence who doesn’t know what they are talking about talking to an epidimiologist who doesn’t know what he is talking about.   I think it is dangerous, because people could die.

As for the “shambolic roll out”of the vaccine the evidence would beg to differ.  New Zealand is in the top half of the rollout in the OECD and our daily vaccine dose numbers are still relatively high.  The country is advancing towards the 90% vaccination rate, a level which many countries can only dream about.

Collins’s response is interesting.  She still thinks there is viable political support in a nation where in the near future over 90% of the population will be vaccinated.

83 comments on “Down the rabbit hole ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Cracked pots. It astonishes me how some folk dismiss pharmaceuticals made for humans but willingly hoover-up animal remedies.

    • Gezza 1.1


    • RedLogix 1.2

      Are you suggesting that if a drug is used as an 'animal therapy' this means it automatically cannot be used in humans?

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        Nope. Just commenting on the willingness of some people to assign mal-intent to one branch of pharmacology, but not another, seemingly without blinking.

      • swordfish 1.2.2

        3.7 billion doses of Ivermectin given to people over the past 3 decades … the fact that dare not speak its name.

        • swordfish

          The moment people start suggesting Ivermectin is nothing more than a Horse de-wormer … you know you're in the realms of banal tit-for-tat political tribalism.

          • I Feel Love

            Well, there is the horse de-wormer paste & the human version for arthritis is it? The criticism is for the bozos feeding themselves & their fucking kids horse paste & Fuck off with your tribalism bullshit, "woke" this, "woke" that, ffs.

            • RedLogix

              The criticism is for the bozos feeding themselves & their fucking kids horse paste

              Can you cite anyone serious who has advocated for this? Or are you just propping up a tired 'smear by association'?

            • swordfish


              Whoa there ! … not feeling a whole lot of love from you, my dogmatic little Woke chum.

              In fact, as Neil's best & only friend on The Young Ones once said:

              Ah, Neil, my barely-adequate psychic defences are crumbling.

        • Robert Guyton

          But do we know what's in it???

          Only 3 decades? – It hasn't been tested long-term!!!

          Was it being prescribed by conventional doctors, those puppets of Big Pharma???

          So many questions!

          Must. Do. Own. Research!!

          Mustn't be sheeple!!

        • Frank Macskasy

          Considering that Merck*, has stated categorically:

          KENILWORTH, N.J., Feb. 4, 2021 – Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today affirmed its position regarding use of ivermectin during the COVID-19 pandemic. Company scientists continue to carefully examine the findings of all available and emerging studies of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 for evidence of efficacy and safety. It is important to note that, to-date, our analysis has identified:

          • No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies;

            1. No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease, and;
            2. A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.

          We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information.

          Indications and Usage for STROMECTOL® (ivermectin)

          Ivermectin is approved in the United States under the brand name STROMECTOL. STROMECTOL is indicated for the treatment of intestinal (i.e., nondisseminated) strongyloidiasis due to the nematode parasite Strongyloides stercoralis and for the treatment of onchocerciasis due to the nematode parasite Onchocerca volvulus.

          — I'd be inclined not to use the stuff to treat myself unless advised by a trained vet.

          * Merck owns Ivermectin. So they'd kinda know what their own product is good for. 'Big Pharma', huh? Always telling us NOT to buy their products when its not appropriate… rolls eyes

          • RedLogix
            1. A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.

            So your telling us that Merck developed and sold a drug for decades that had a ‘concerning lack of safety data’?

            • Editractor

              It is a statement from Merck, so no one is telling us anything except Merck
              Merck sold a drug for decades that "is indicated for the treatment of intestinal … nematode parasite[s]…"
              It is apparent from the statement that the "concerning lack of safety data" applies to the use of ivermectin as a treatment and in a population that it has not been approved for in the US
              Or are you telling us that people infected with nematodes and those infected with coronavirus are equivalent patient populations?

              • RedLogix

                Given how pharmacology usually works the onus is on Merck to produce evidence that they are not.

                • Editractor

                  Only if they seek approval for it's use in covid patients.

                  If doctors start prescribing it off-label, it isn't Merck's responsibility.

                  Of course, Merck's statement is arse-covering, but to not supply safety data in studies when re-purposing a drug is pretty slack.

          • swordfish


            * Merck owns Ivermectin. So they'd kinda know what their own product is good for. 'Big Pharma', huh? Always telling us NOT to buy their products when its not appropriate… rolls eyes

            Merck's patent on Ivermectin expired in 1996 … so now a widely available & exceedingly inexpensive generic drug produced by other companies … zero profits for Merck.

        • DukeEll

          5% of the world gets a single dose of ivermectin each year? or do 100 million people take 3.7 doses each on average ?

          Each gutworm infestation averages around 50-60 worms, so thats treating 222 billion itchy bum causes.


        • Tricledrown

          Ivermectin is used against scabies as a last resort in NZ.

          It is a cheap ( not sheep )remedy also for tropical diseases .

          But it's efficacy in treating Covid 19 has not been proven by any respected scientific study only in a very small poorly constructed study. Lancet.

    • julian richards 1.3

      Stromectol (Ivermectin) is not for horses etc! It is a very safe and commonly used medicine for humans. For Christs sake, stop this rubbish!

    • julian richards 1.4

      Yes it's youtube, but worth a watch! British Dr John Cambell gives a very good UNBIASED comparison between Ivermectin and Molnupiravir using ‘current publicly available’ scientific papers.

      • McFlock 1.4.1

        The dude is well outside the scope of his training. He is not a medical doctor, his phd is in developing open learning resources for nurses.

        But he sure gets good clicks talking about medications as "Dr John Campbell".

        • julian richards

          It's simply an UNBIASED comparison between Ivermectin and Molnupiravir using ‘current publicly available’ scientific papers.

          Yes a man with a phd in “developing open learning resources” for nurses… Yes (has a doctorate in the subject). Quite useful in an out of control biased media maybe, a doctorate of learning resources for the medical profession? You would think so, if you so choose.

          If you wish to take your medical advice from journalists, be my guest!

          'Hi I'm journalist Joe Bloggs, I'll be undertaking your medical advice and treatment today.

          AGAIN (with correction), It’s simply an UNBIASED comparison between Ivermectin and Molnupiravir using ‘current publicly available’ scientific papers…. By a man with a phd in developing open learning resources for nurses. Pretty good individual to be filtering through all the noise in the media, maybe yes?

          • julian richards

            He's also a former A&E nurse… Has some very sound medical qualifications @McFlock.

            You're welcome to continue getting your medical advice from media if that's what works for you?

          • McFlock

            Unbiased? Nah. Biased towards youtube's monetisation model.

            I mean, I tend to follow the guidance of the government and the medical specialists I encounter frequently. But the media is more consistant with them than your youtube dude.

            • julian richards

              Give drinking upstream from the herd a go, you might find it has benefits. I hope that's a good conceptual metaphor for you.

              If you think the government is being non-bias… again try the above.

              If you think the media is being non-bias… again try the above.

              As for the 'big sticks' being used on many in the medical profession, IT'S POLITICIZED…. Do and think as we say you must or your career is finished. Don't you dare think for yourself or drink upstream from the herd.

              • McFlock

                I never said the media is unbiased. You're the one arguing your source is completely without bias.

                I'm arguing that a non-medical doctor does not have the demonstrated speciality expertise to be touting novel uses for medications.

                My other argument is that 1.3million subscribers is a significant motivation to pander to the nutbar brigade. Gotta love the youtube ad revenue. Dunno if he's shilling anything else, don't really care.

                • julian richards

                  Again with the dismissive labels #nutbarbrigade.

                  Such a weird time and rhetoric being cultivated so arrogantly, when any individual and/or collective thought is dismissed if it doesn't fit the common narrative of the state (predominantly)… Surely a touch of maturity and communication regarding the full spectrum should be welcomed in such uncertain times? Maybe too hopeful and positive?

                  We should and need to have mature open discussions about what is happening, where we're going as a consequence, what the principles and practices are of any major ethical decisions that will effect society (both present and future). Sadly, we're not allowed to aspire to different conclusions from the herd anymore, it's labelled as dangerous seemingly.

                  I personally would love an open televised/live streamed debate on the pandemic measures in NZ. The politicians can observe only, like the rest of us, strictly medical/scientific representatives from the full spectrum so 'we' and our government could democratically try to process the options in real time, and democratically formulate a better nuanced way forward. The world needs more dreamers right!?

                  • pat

                    "…in real time, and democratically formulate a better nuanced way forward."

                    What is democracy? I'd suggest majority rule…problematic if the split is around 50/50…not so much if its approaching 90/10

                    • Julian Richards

                      Really, you don't think it would be a good thing to have an open scientific/medical discussion (non-politicised) from both extremes and in between live streamed to the nation? Wouldn't be a democratic ballist to forge a way through this…? The 90/10 split, 'take the states medicine and carry on with your daily lives, everything will be back to "normal" soon enough if you do.' Thanks nurse Hatchet (joke).

                      Sorry, but I don't believe that for a moment!

                      Singapore, UAE, Denmark, Seychelles, Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Ireland etc etc etc.

                      Again, drink upstream from the herd, it has many benefits 👍😁

                  • McFlock

                    No, the world does not need more dreamers.

                    The world needs to fucking listen to people who have spents their lives researching highly technical fields, rather than believing everyone's opinion is justy as valid.

                    But most of all, the world needs people to recognise that just because someone feeds your own sense of self-importance and empowerment, it doesn't mean they are unbiased, correct, and/or not in it for the money.

                    • Julian Richards

                      Angry and dismissive. Don't be afraid of opening your mind to possibilities my friend. Its not that scary really.

                    • McFlock

                      You bet I'm angry and dismissive.
                      Covid misinformation has killed thousands if not millions. You're drinking upstream from the herd, but you're the one shitting in the creek.

                      Covid doesn't care about your opinions. And a youtube shill doesn't care about your health.

                      You're the one claiming your source is unbiased. Apparently he might have tens of thousands of reasons a month to tell you complete bullshit just so you can think you're smarter than all the other cows. But no, it's the hundreds of thousands of actual trained health researchers who are wrong. Not some guy you watch on youtube.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      Still angry and dismissive!

                      Im not #antivax (fashionable hashtag), I'm vaccinated! I'm pro-vax, for those that NEED it. Not everybody does… "oh won't somebody think of the children" 🤔

                      I am very concerned, and rightly so, about the constant rhetoric, dismissal, anger etc etc from people such as you're displaying… The new sickness.

                      Also, I am concerned about mRNA technologies, their history to date (cancer and AIDS), development problems (a couple major issues, I'm sure the media and state has informed you of these) etc, and their constant promotion as a silver bullet for all. There ARE valid concerns!

                      I am simply hoping (dreaming) of a mature society that can discuss both present and future impacts of a very generalised medical new holy grail.

                      Don't forget, wash your hands, social distancing, and wear your mask in populated environments. Pretty simple practices… That even the DBL vaxxed WILL have to follow… As they should.

                    • McFlock

                      You're also touting for youtube shills.

                  • pat

                    If you are going to invoke 'democracy' then it may pay to understand what it is (for all its perceived flaws)

                  • francesca

                    You're a breath of fresh air Julian

                • julian richards

                  Or do you not really care?

                  • McFlock

                    I care that misinformation kills people.

                    • Julian Richards

                      Yes, it can.

                      Drinking upstream from the herd has its benefits.

                    • McFlock

                      Hate to break it to you, but telling a fool that actually they're really smart is a favourite tactic of con artists.

                      You're not upstream of the herd. You've been cut out of the herd so someone can make money off you or your attention.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      So angry. What are you afraid of possibly discovering?

                      Let's be mature… Or at least try.

                    • McFlock

                      If I want to "discover" something about covid, I'll get it from trained professionals in their area of expertise, not youtube.

                      Edit: I like the way you bounce around references to being “upstream of the herd to drink”, then plead for maturity. Like a teenager who saw the matrix for the first time and thinks it’s profound.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      OK @McFlock, burn people at the stake.

                      You abd your experts must be solely and holy right a pit everything and everyone. There's no need to expand our minds in this era of a 'new' noval coronavirus. No lies anywhere outside your feed of information from experts (who've been wrong on a number of things… 95% effective being a MAJOR one).

                      Don't bother to look at other areas of thought. In your mind, those corners are dangerous (possibilities/dreams). So negative and boring… So sad in a time of so many exciting possibilities! Go back to your version of normal that's served the dullness so we'll.

                      [RL: McFlock has a lousy record of making threads personal like this. He’s been around long enough to know how to fly inside of moderation – but I’ve rarely seen anything from him that isn’t sneering, angry or dismissive to some degree. What he’s doing here is baiting you. Don’t take it.]

                    • McFlock

                      I never said the actual subject-area experts were perfect. But you've said your own preferred authority is unbiased.

                      We're not talking about dreams here. We're talking about covid misinformation that kills, and I have some friends who are particularly vulnerable to covid. I'd really like them to remain alive and relatively healthy.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      Wash your hands, wear a mask and keep your social distance 👍 and if you're really concerned, get tested regularly, vaccinated or not. Not too hard for you I'm sure.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      My bad @McFlock…. I forgot you only listen to scientific/medical experts in their field.

                      Get those burning stakes ready my friend 😁

                      #stayangry and afraid of everything if it serves your present state of perpetual fear and anger. No need to discuss further, we're finally there.

                    • McFlock

                      If you want to read "that dude is an internet shill commenting on a topic well outside his area of expertise, and misinformation on this topic has killed people" as "burn him at the stake", that seems to be quite the logical leap.

                    • Julian Richards []

                      Goodnight mate. You've revealed where you're coming from (fear and hate)…. Who baited who again? Enougb said.

    • Julian Richards 1.5

      Stromectol (ivermectin) is the human prescribed form.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Matt King is basically a pest and got selected because of the Nats love for ex coppers in country seats regardless of talent. He regularly used his party FB page for Climate Change denial and pushing the usual rural reactionary buttons–against Māori people in particular.

    Willow Jean Prime got elected partly on the “COVID provincial swing”, but she has been very busy in the electorate since entering Parliament as a list MP and making progress. There is no sensible reason apart from a bad habit, for Northland being a tory seat–John Carter always represented Wellington in the North not vice versa. Matt King has not accepted defeat and has been following Ms Prime around the region to openings and public events like the proverbial lost pup. Sad.

    During the first COVID outbreak the Tai Tokerau Border Control began its checkpoint and community outreach. The usual suspects went ballistic. So Hone Harawira invited Matt to spend a day on a checkpoint, with NZ Police present, to see how it was operated for himself. Mr King never showed after weeks of slagging off local iwi.

    Mike Finlayson, then Northland Regional Council member invited him several times to publicly debate Climate issues, Mr King did not respond.

    • Gezza 2.1

      Thanks for that. Useful info about a guy who always seems like something of a dodgy character, from goss & scuttlebutt I’ve picked up over the years. But goss isn’t as reliable-sounding as that thumbsketch report.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        It is just a sketch Gezza, but my claims are verifiable, Willow Jean’s online presence shows Mr King virtually photobombing some of her post election appearances, and media covered Hone’s invitation, don’t know about the Nat party Facebook archiving.

    • swordfish 2.2

      During the first COVID outbreak the Tai Tokerau Border Control began its checkpoint and community outreach. The usual suspects went ballistic. So Hone Harawira invited Matt to spend a day on a checkpoint, with NZ Police present, to see how it was operated for himself. Mr King never showed after weeks of slagging off local iwi.

      Just for context … here are a few passages outlining King's stance in a Stuff article at the time (April 2020):

      A Northland MP is calling on police to shut down the region's iwi-led coronavirus checkpoints, calling them illegal and intimidating …

      But Northland National MP Matt King said he had numerous approaches from members of the public who found the checkpoints intimidating but were too scared to say anything public.

      "People have been stopped doing their lawful business – one was a paramedic – and have been made to stop and take flyers."

      At Waitangi, local residents were stopped from going to the beach, he said

      "These are illegal roadblocks – there is nothing legal about them," the former police officer said.

      "We live under New Zealand law, and vigilante groups can't just make up their own rules, however well-intentioned," he said.

      "I encourage everyone to stay in their bubble and respect social distancing rules and for the police to get these illegal checkpoints under control."

      Whatever the rights & wrongs … this doesn't look like King "going ballistic" or "slagging off local iwi".

      • Tiger Mountain 2.2.1

        Defend a tory twat if you must for some reason that escapes me Swordfish–I did not mention King going ballistic, but many others from Mayor John Carter–initially–he is now more friendly to TBC, and other local Govt. people, Farmers and Nat leaning people in the community were scathing of roadblocks in the Northern Advocate, Northland Age papers and FB pages, and talkback.

        Many pākehā in the North have changed their tune since and acknowledged Hone was right all along about maintaining a firm border. Even ex Whangārei electorate MP Shane Reti acknowledged the several thousands of cars that snuck through before 11.59pm on the night of the first Delta lockdown.

        King is a gutless bastard who could at least have spent a few hours on a TBC checkpoint and seen what else they do regarding linking people up with resources, and just got to know some of the representatives. He could have, but chose not to.

  3. Gezza 3

    “Collins’s response is interesting. She still thinks there is viable political support in a nation where in the near future over 90% of the population will be vaccinated.”

    Collins, in the words of my very jocular late, dear ol’ da: “Wouldn’t know her arse from her elbow” when it comes to pretty much anything political (or even topical) these days, it seems to me.

  4. Tricledrown 4

    Collins is playing in the little kiddies pool of less than 10% of voters how is that going to gain more support when the adults in the room are 90% vaccinated.

    I suspect Matt King is going after vaccine hesitant vote as Northland has a very low vaccine rate. A Pure political low life.I bet you he is double vaccinated.

  5. Kiwicatlover 5

    So is trial evidence the only acceptable form of evidence on which to take action? Observational studies and in vitro tests alongside a very high safety record are now to be completely ignored are they?

    • Brigid 5.1

      Which observational studies and in vitro tests are you referring to?

      • Kiwicatlover 5.1.1

        I was referring to the various observational studies that have been carried out around the globe on Ivermectin and Covid. Generally talked about in terms of the meta analyses that have combined them because they tend to be small. Some dodgy studies that skewed the results but I believe the Tess Lawrie study removed the fraudulent studies and there was still a positive correlation. Plus of course there was the state to state comparison in India where one state issued kits containing an oximeter and meds including Ivermectin which preceded a dramatic decline in cases, whereas other states which didn't failed to see the same decline. I haven't seen that result credibly debunked as yet. Given that data, it suggests Ivermectin (the human form obviously) isn't a bad bet for early treatment of Covid should you catch it.

  6. Michael 6

    The Nats are certainly aiding and abetting the anti-vaxxers because they know the politics of hate and fear are their surest way back to power. They haven't cut their ties with Matt King, who still poses as MP-interrupted. They lend their support to the Far Right in other ways too but it cuts both ways: Peter Goodfellow and Cameron Slater, both on Far Right, provide money and muscle for Crusher to stay in office.

    • tc 6.1

      +100 which the media never pull national up on as they're playing a similar game.

      Also IMO nationals DNA is not bi-partisan compliant, makes them feel ill and not in control so they don't really do it.

  7. observer 7

    Matt King says:

    There is an avalanche of information in the public arena – however, it lacks any critical thinking.

    "It" is the single most discussed topic in the news, in the world. "It" has critical thinking pouring out of every orifice.

    King has summed up the mindset of the Facebook fools: automatically delete anything and everything that doesn't fit. Sad for a member of the public, but much worse for an MP. Willow-Jan Prime and the voters of Northland deserve a nation's thanks.

  8. Hone Harawira has been the best voice for Northland recently. Kelvin Davis should be worried about his seat in Te Tai Tokerau.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      True roblogic Hone is a straight up guy hope the govt allows Nga Puhi to operate road blocks in conjunction with police.

  9. Peter 9

    King says "It is a well known fact" of something that is opinion not fact.

    He says there's a lot of information for the public but it "lacks critical thinking."

    Just there is a perfect example of what a clod he is.

  10. Dirk Dirkin 10

    King thinks he's still the Northland MP

  11. Maurice 11

    The "rabbit holes" are now so deep and clogged with misinformation there may never be a way back. Nobody with an ounce of intelligence believes that "normal" will easily return any time soon – if at all.

    We may continue to live in interesting times!

  12. pukahu road 12

    Hone Harawira is leading the way for the whole Northland community.

    His integrity and mana make him a leading example in Aotearoa's fight against Covid 19.

    The people of Tai Tokerau are lucky to have a respected kaitiaki in their midst.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      I support that korero!

    • mauī 12.2

      Personally, I wouldn't call it leading. Much of what he is doing is following Government policy, and Governments are generally renowned for being slow moving and cumbersome, making them one of the last to lead.

      Another thing that I can't agree with, is his request for private health details of people so he can coerce them into medical treatment.

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