Get a haircut and get a real job

Written By: - Date published: 5:19 pm, October 24th, 2021 - 63 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

I haven’t been out of my bubble much but I suspect there’s an uptick in the number of skinheads and longhaired hippies. This will throw people who judge a book by its cover. My Covid coupe is starting to resemble that of an extra in the musical Hair but without the other perks.

Once the Covid traffic light changes to red, I’ll floor it to race to a hairdresser. Quite a few have disappeared already and there will be longer queues than for a testing station at the beginning of an outbreak. The lead-up to Christmas is always a bad time to book an appointment anyways.

I guess it will involve a lot of paperwork to ensure the haircut is done safely. Barbers may have to brush up on their bikini trim techniques to work around the mandatory facemasks. It’ll be lots of fun, no doubt. I also assume the mall Santas will be cancelled this year.

I’m lucky enough to have a job where my hairdo doesn’t affect my ability to do my job and I’d like to think that I’d be re-hired easily if it came to this. In NZ, we firmly believe we must not discriminate based on appearance and we not only tolerate but also celebrate diversity. Don’t we? Obviously, being vaccinated against Covid does affect my ability to meet the requirements of my employment if/when my boss says so because our Government has made it so. If you read that sentence without blinking an eye or raising an eyebrow, you should stop reading this and go to OM or somewhere else. Pretty please.

Presumably because of urgency consultation by government is even less optimal than usual and even unions are less involved, which is ironic for and under a Labour Government. The overdue Health Protection Order covering health and disability, education, and prison workers was announced by Government only yesterday (Saturday) and during a long weekend for the whole nation.

The mythical bubble of kindness has already burst and made way for a cynical hard-line coercive approach to meet the 90% vaccination target with or without which we will ‘enjoy’ Freedom Day before Christmas AKA the show must go on. I’d never have thought that we would follow Plan Boris here in NZ.

I’d have more problems working with an office psychopath than with an unvaccinated colleague irrespective of their hairstyle, for a very simple reason – no need to explain. But psychopaths have rights too AKA Human Rights and these must be respected and are protected by (international) Law. In fact, it is pretty legal to be a psychopath as long as you don’t harm anybody else and don’t get caught.

Socialising with workmates or friends will be different when we all have to wear facemasks, carry a vaccine certificate + photo ID, scan, and maintain social distance once inside a bar or restaurant. It kinda kills the whole experience – I really enjoy watching people, particularly their faces, but now I have to look at their amateur haircuts done with DIY kits bought on Trade Me. But Kiwis are a malleable lot who will happily conform to the new rules imposed by the authoritarian government and wear the Covid niqab as a badge of national pride and honour and socio-civil obedience.

Far from being a social butterfly who goes out at least once a week I not only lament the ‘new normal’, I resent it. This virus is starting to really piss me off and I wish it would just go away and leave us alone. With a bit of luck it’ll become endemic over the next 5 years or so and we can or will treat it as almost any other infectious disease. However, as we have seen with the security measures put in place after 9/11, once these authoritarian measures are in place they’re almost impossible to unwind even when their intended impact and effectiveness arguably have waned. This is yet another example of Kafkaesque development with Frankensteinish rules & regulations supported by Orwellian methods of mass manipulation and control management that is stifling and suffocating not only individual but also social agency.

Besides the infantile (but not always futile) attempts at political point scoring and other usual forms of ego-wanking, finger-pointing, and blame-gaming there’s been very little real robust critical analysis of what’s happening at the moment in our society and how the plates of (central) political power are drifting and shifting due to human forces generated by the pandemic. In addition, there are potential fault lines of social division opening up. This is a huge worry.

63 comments on “Get a haircut and get a real job ”

  1. Barfly 1

    "I’d have more problems working with an office psychopath than with an unvaccinated colleague"

    Well for me having severe hypertension, diabetes, alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency and blood type A – I ll take the vaccinated psychopath for 10 points please frown

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    Keep safe Barfly. smiley

  3. Shanreagh 3

    This gentle soul on the vid under asks us not to be afraid of the unvaccinated.

    The thought has not crossed my mind actually as all of those I am sharing time at the moment, (reduced numbers from normal) have shared our vaccination status and not one is unvaccinated by choice. A couple are immuno compromised and will have special vaccines and treatment but still will be vaccinated as much as they can be.

    I am still mask wearing and will continue to do so. Pretty much second nature now. .

    The hard point for me is that some of the hostile anti vaxxers that I have been in convo with on boards are also anti maskers as well. So I guess I will be treating unmasked as unvaccinated.

    I want us to get to the 90% (I have no doubt we will and will with time to spare and over the 90%), adopt the traffic light system, get businesses cranking in Auckland and see what happens. I suspect many of the non vaxxed will find their 'social' (as opposed to those with deeply held and considered views) anti vax status a bridge too far.

    Having had the misfortune to work with a pyschopath in a voluntary job and being quite unprepared having never come across one before, I think that working with an unmasked unvaccinated person would come in equal place. One bad for the soul and the other bad for the health.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      There's a better than 99% chance you'll survive an encounter with COVID unscathed, the office psychopath – not so much.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.2

      The unvaccinated include children under 12 years of age. We are helping them by being vaccinated which reduces the opportunities for the virus to transmit, but I imagine some Grand parents will be nervous once school starts.

      We all know how quickly norovirus spreads among children, and know from past experience schools are vectors for infection. There will be anxious parents scared for their children who have diabetes or other issues which could be difficult with covid.

      The unvaccinated should be afraid of the virus, they are 33 times more likely to succumb to it. The unvaccinated scare me, as they could perhaps become vectors of new resistant variants.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        The information I'm seeing is that there is probably not a lot of difference in transmission rates between vax and non-vax.

        The important and valuable benefit of the current vaccination technology is they substantially reduce the chance of hospitalisation and death. But they are not a sterilising vaccine – this means even vaccinated people still get infected and will pass it on.

        If you are already vaccinated, well done. You have the best protection available and you should not be afraid of other people, vaccinated or not. Keep up with all the other sensible measures, mask properly indoors, keep social distancing and consider low cost, low risk interventions like Vitamin D supplementation.

        The reality we have to face is that all of us will encounter COVID sooner or later – and some of us will get very ill or die. People we know, maybe even you or I. I don't want to pretend otherwise – but this is an enemy we should face knowing we've done our best to prepare for and get on with our lives fearlessly. The odds of getting through are quite good really.

        • Patricia Bremner 3.2.1.1

          RedLogix I don't think your first statement is quite correct. Most experts are saying even though viral loads may be similar vaxed or unvaxed, transmission rates appear to be lower in the vaxed..(overseas and here). Otherwise how could the R rate be lowered by vaccinating a population?

          • Gypsy 3.2.1.1.1

            " transmission rates appear to be lower in the vaxed.."

            There's this recent study that has this:

            "At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days (Fig. 1). In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people."

            "The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated."

            "The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants."

            Of course RedLogix is correct – being vaccinated appears to significantly reduce the severity of symptons, and therefore the strain on the health system.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Didn't Subramanian and Kumar's recent European Journal of Epidemiology paper, that you linked @3.2.1.1.1, ring any alarm bells?

              In summary, even as efforts should be made to encourage populations to get vaccinated it should be done so with humility and respect.

              A classic case of seeing what you want to see, I reckon, and I should know!

              Vaccination rates and COVID-19 cases: a commentary of “Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States.

              The manuscript from Subramanian and Kumar shows a lack of vaccine efficacy on Covid Incidence. However, this paper suffers major pitfalls : inadequate outcome, lack of confounding factors, inadequate time period (7 days), inclusion/exclusion criteria not respected, causal inference from inappropriate data, and erroneous interpretation of the data. We comment on these issues in detail and show that Subramanian and Kumar’s paper is flawed and misleading.

              • Gypsy

                I hadn't seen that, so thanks. As my comment below to KJT shows, I'm not taking sides in this, just trying to be over the research. I have a number of vaxx hesitant people in my circles of contacts, and I'm finding trying to convince them to get vaccinated a frustrating process.

                As an aside, when I chose to get vaccinated I was not anticipating never catching Covid, for me it was more about minimising the impact if I did, particularly for at least one member of of family who suffers from COPD.

          • Gypsy 3.2.1.2.1

            Thanks for posting that. Although that seems to have a different conclusion than the NCBI paper, the Lancet study uses one country, and therefore one population data set, which is a solid approach IMHO.

            • KJT 3.2.1.2.1.1

              Note the study gives the transmission rate from both symptomatic and asymptomatic vaccinated people. Which gives a more accurate picture of the transmission rate from vaccinated people with covid than several which only use the number of vaccinated people who were tested because they had symptoms.

          • Patricia Bremner 3.2.1.2.2

            Very interesting DrowsyM. Kram and KJT. Thanks xx

    • Tricledrown 3.3

      Shanreagh I avoid both like the plague .I had a boss like That once I stuck it out for 4 yrs then never worked for a boss like that again . I became self employed and only had short stints working for a boss and realised NZ largely is still stuck in the 18th century when it comes to the worker boss relationships.

  4. pat 4

    Covid is getting fingered for a lot that was already there.

  5. AB 5

    In 2020 I thought this pandemic might have some positive long-term outcomes – I don't know exactly what, but maybe some reaffirmation of the importance of the public good and power of collective action to protect and enhance it.

    Now I suspect we will come out of it worse off. We are in a sort of semi-controlled crash back into the way things were – all the grim old problems, but now with an added layer of aggressive individualism, intolerance, alienation and depression. All our possible choices from here look like bad ones.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Yes – I agree with you on this. To the point I think it's worth a post.

    • Shanreagh 5.2

      Up until I found out about the large number of unvaccinated and then some of them morphed into the hostile unvaxxed, I would have thought the same as you AB about this being the making of the country or at least a new start. So I have only been despondent for a couple of weeks now.

      Regen ag, climate change actions would follow on from an energised populace.

      I am not giving in though as I said further up the thread. I am still thinking we will get over 90%, we will do it with time to spare……it is two days though since Friday and the waiting is getting to me and the negativity is getting to me.

    • Ad 5.3

      Those food parcel queues being reported by the Salvation Army are telling the tale.

      The state has sought to fill the hole of COVID's social damage with over $60billion, and the hole is still deep.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.3.1

        People are not able to fish find seafood hunt forage for plants berries roots and fungi. Also they could not work together in community gardens, or mind children while someone worked, sing and enjoy fellowship in their churches

        Covid has made the social structures used by their cultural groups when under lock down less attractive and even dangerous So welfare and food parcels are a patch on the hardship. The Government have used businesses charitable groups and cultural contacts to distribute the millions in food and goods.

        A survey of who has become unemployed and programmes to assist people to cope while they pivot and learn new skills and become employed again is needed.

        Children who have left school early should be paid for an education day, partly by the employer, and the balance by the Government to help build their skills in tech, (math reading writing cultural pursuits sport) etc and guidance for training and further educational opportunities. Poverty of opportunity, loss of direction and hope will need to be addressed before it is normalised.

    • Tricledrown 5.5

      This is not as bad as what previous generations had to deal with.

      We have had the best run without major catastrophes in human history no world wars 60 years without pandemics.

      Our resilience has not been tested to this level since WW2.

  6. mickysavage 6

    Good post Incognito. I am working out how my respect for human rights and disdain for central control is reconciled with support for some sort of mandate, which to be frank is not too extreme.

    It all boils down to the numbers.

    Up to 90% vaccination rate for eligible people and there could be thousands of deaths. Over that figure and it could be hundreds.

    It is not an easy calculation to do on the fly.

    • Poission 6.1

      There is no final number,the evolutionary equations are infinite dimensional,the use of a number plucked out of someones arse for political gain is repugnant for a multitude of reasons,the foremost being so one can have entertainment.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.2

      I seem to recall one expert saying in answer to that % question with the answer "110%"

      Which I took to mean "As many as possible and even then there would be cases."

  7. Ad 7

    I am more impressed by the exceptionally strong social cohesion we are displaying.

    The excellent trick is that Ardern has outsourced enforcement to business and the 'traffic light' system. Those holding the lightning rod of authoritarianism are not the state but the shopkeepers: there is no human right to be served by a business.

    That's a decent BORA runaround if I've ever seen it.

    Authoritarianism one mall at a time, well, its a deep blue soft velvet glove wrapped around the hand of a big fat plushie-dog.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      That's how I see it also, Ad.

    • Graeme 7.2

      The State is still going to have to enforce the shopkeepers, publicans and pastors. I presume it will be an offence to have over 100 people in the premises without a verifiable vaccine certificate checking system. Can see police checks of this in bars, malls and places of worship. Kinda like the underage raids on the student pubs in 70's.

      Can see all sorts of fun descending on a few businesses and organizations around here.

      • Ad 7.2.1

        Yes a little.

        But the primary force applied will be the utterly more powerful force of supply and demand.

        • Graeme 7.2.1.1

          Without solid enforcement it'll be no more effective than scanning has been over the last 12 months. Looking at the bar next to us that targets a younger demographic scanning by punters is close to zero, and it's taken until very recently to get the staff to wear masks. Even our scan rate with an older demographic is pitiful and getting people to wear masks is just not worth the aggravation. Might change once there's confirmed covid around, it certainly did for a couple of days after Judith was swanning around town.

          My pick for the outcome of this as covid rolls through will be most people will go voluntary Level 4, and the place will pretty much shut down for the duration. Those businesses and customers that don't care will use the fig leaf of vaccine certificates to do what they want until either Covid or the State shuts them down. I'm watching one that's unlikely to end well and probably quite quickly, but the restrictions and support up till now has effectively been saving him from himself.

          • pat 7.2.1.1.1

            "My pick for the outcome of this as covid rolls through will be most people will go voluntary Level 4, and the place will pretty much shut down for the duration."

            Indeed …a point that many seem to be overlooking… mandated or not the level of activity is not returning to pre covid levels anytime soon.

    • Paul Campbell 7.3

      I'm actually happy with this system, I have preexisting conditions (more than one) and even though I'm double vaxxed once there's covid in my community I'll largely be staying home (back to level 3/4 for me).

      What will be great about this scheme is that I'll be able to tell which businesses the unvaccinated are using and avoid going near them – I think this is a great safety plan – this is not all about the rights of those who choose to not be vaccinated, it's about the right not to die too

  8. Cricklewood 8

    Good post, I sincerely hope we follow the path of Denmark rather than Israel.

    We're going to chop somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of our eligible population from society. Thats easily 300000 people, could run to close to 100000 in Auckland alone its going to cause a permanent scar.

    There are other solutions such as providing a negative test result etc.

    Theres already an underground network of sorts springing up in response. Haircuts etc.

  9. Shanreagh 9

    I like the traffic light system. By passing enforcement down we are also ensuring that people/businesses who want it to work for the sake of their business will make it work and will chivvy the Govt along to keep improving it so it is kept fit for purpose.

    • Cricklewood 9.1

      We'll see if it works, but lets see how long it takes to get second shots to 90 then apparently there will be a yet to be determined period of time to let those second shots take effect so minimum 6 weeks from today I expect.

      Outsourcing state functions to businesses has worked out really well in past what could possibly go wrong…

      • Shanreagh 9.1.1

        Outsourcing state functions to businesses has worked out really well in past what could possibly go wrong…

        Yes good point Cricklewood.wink

      • Ad 9.1.2

        It's the way the NZ state has functioned pretty well for over 30 years now.

        Most of the vaccine rollout has been undertaken by private contractors.

    • joe90 9.2

      Anti-vaxx gym owner/trainer I know intended dying in a ditch over the issue. Right up until the agency that refers his most lucrative re-hab clients advised him that having any unvaccinated staff or patrons on the premises could mean the cancellation of existing arrangements and an end to referrals. Booked his first vaccination on the spot and he's hoping for a period of grace while he waits for his second.

  10. weston 10

    I had a haircut once in about 83 but apart from the odd trim nothing since so i dont really get all the angst around haircuts .Ilike my hair and wouldnt want to cut it .Your post isnt really about haircuts obviously but saying stuff like "We celebrate diversity dont we ?"id have to say you gotta be kidding imo at no other time in modern history have we been more conformist especially men .

    Agree with you about the social divide though .Still think the simplest solution would be just pay people to get vaxed but not peanuts like key was suggesting make it substantive after all if its costing 2 bil a fornight for the business subsidy whats a couple to bring everyone possible onto the same page fast ?

    • Graeme 10.1

      The idea of a Christmas bonus to those that have vaccinated has a bit (maybe a lot) of merit if we're sitting just under 90% in a months time. $500 – $1000 pp just before Christmas would focus a lot of minds and give a solid boost to the discretionary economy through December / January. Similar outlay to a months business support and probably more effective

      • Bearded Git 10.1.1

        Graeme-at $500 that would be a couple of billion. But it is not a bad idea, its just that is a lot of money.

        Maybe $250 (one billion) would be enough of an incentive to vaxx?

      • Ad 10.1.2

        So let's walk through that ACT+National idea on steroids of yours.

        Just imagine the state giving $500 for Christmas to ALL Kiwis EXCEPT a less-than-10% of us who are Maori, or Polynesian, or paranoid, or poverty-stricken or mentally ill who refuse vaccination.

        It would quite reasonably be charged to be racist, classist, anti-disability, and cruel.

        • Patricia Bremner 10.1.2.1

          Tax cuts were good for the haves, and mostly missed out the have nots.

          So what would be the opposite?devil

          • Ad 10.1.2.1.1

            If you really wanted to boost incomes to the poor, you could always wipe out the tax on all benefits and NZSuper. It would be massively expensive, but it would target those with the very least income pretty accurately.

            I suspect we won't know until after the Christmas holiday season how bad the poverty has really got.

        • Graeme 10.1.2.2

          What's more racist, classist, anti-disability, and cruel, ending up with Covid ripping through the people who won't, or can't (it depends on who's perspective you see it from) get vaccinated, or do everything you can to get as many can vaccinated to try and safeguard those that can't consent to getting vaccination. Rewarding civic minded behaviour may come into the picture along with solid support for those that can't. Both groups should get support / rewarded.

          Might be just as effective as spending a billion a week on support to business, a good proportion of which is going to prop up businesses that haven't got a future and would be better shut down. The current support is very top (trickle) down and not much is getting to the consumer end, especially once you get into discretionary stuff. Putting stimulus / support into the economy at the bottom might be more effective than dropping it on the business owners because the consumers will spend that money in businesses negating the need to support those businesses directly.

          • mauī 10.1.2.2.1

            "What's more racist, classist, anti-disability, and cruel,.."

            Probably forcing medical treatments on people is much worse at a human level, but that's just me.

            If we decided we were doing all we could to protect people who couldn't be vaccinated from a dangerous disease, we should probably be looking at a collective effort on child RSV instead.

            • McFlock 10.1.2.2.1.1

              🙄

              Go tell it to Ashley. He's waiting for your great knowledge of how to prevent RSV (and RFD and RHD, for that matter. And any other health-related TLAs you've heard of in the past year).

              I'm sure there's a youtube video you can point him towards.

          • Ad 10.1.2.2.2

            If you were putting stimulus at the bottom, you would simply bring forward the budgeted benefit increases. That is appropriately targeted to the worst off.

            There are enough divisions in this society without making new ones with the State Santa only giving to those who have been good.

  11. Castro 11

    …beacuse the fault lines and social division created by having a propertied class and an underclass, combined with neo-colonial migration levels weren't enough? frown

    • Cricklewood 11.1

      Apparently not… I guess societal division is good for the powerful keeps us squabbling amongst ourselves instead of focusing on the real problem.

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    2 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    4 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    6 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    6 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
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