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Open mike 01/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 1st, 2020 - 173 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

173 comments on “Open mike 01/06/2020”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Man, those American police are something else. Aggressive, badly trained, heavily armed and often hopeless infiltrated by the far right. American policing is yet another failure of the American state.

    And the violence? It seems to me it is voice of the unheard in full throat.

    • Molly 1.1

      For anyone who reads Chris Hedges – he has an article on Truthdig from 2018 called The Coming Collapse.

      In it he discusses the political options available in the US, and the Trump presidency and while he ends with his perspective on how societies collapse. Written two years ago, the added pressure on society and the economy of the Covid-19 pandemic is not included but he relates his experience of watching the collapse of Yugoslavia.

      "… An economy reliant on debt for its growth causes our interest rate to jump to 28 percent when we are late on a credit card payment. It is why our wages are stagnant or have declined in real terms—if we earned a sustainable income we would not have to borrow money to survive. It is why a university education, houses, medical bills and utilities cost so much. The system is designed so we can never free ourselves from debt.

      However, the next financial crash, as Prins points out in her book “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” won’t be like the last one. This is because, as she says, “there is no Plan B.” Interest rates can’t go any lower. There has been no growth in the real economy. The next time, there will be no way out. Once the economy crashes and the rage across the country explodes into a firestorm, the political freaks will appear, ones that will make Trump look sagacious and benign.

      And so, to quote Vladimir Lenin, what must be done?

      We must invest our energy in building parallel, popular institutions to protect ourselves and to pit power against power. These parallel institutions, including unions, community development organizations, local currencies, alternative political parties and food cooperatives, will have to be constructed town by town. The elites in a time of distress will retreat to their gated compounds and leave us to fend for ourselves. Basic services, from garbage collection to public transportation, food distribution and health care, will collapse. Massive unemployment and underemployment, triggering social unrest, will be dealt with not through government job creation but the brutality of militarized police and a complete suspension of civil liberties. Critics of the system, already pushed to the margins, will be silenced and attacked as enemies of the state. The last vestiges of labor unions will be targeted for abolition, a process that will soon be accelerated given the expected ruling in a case before the Supreme Court that will cripple the ability of public-sector unions to represent workers. The dollar will stop being the world’s reserve currency, causing a steep devaluation. Banks will close. Global warming will extract heavier and heavier costs, especially on the coastal populations, farming and the infrastructure, costs that the depleted state will be unable to address. The corporate press, like the ruling elites, will go from burlesque to absurdism, its rhetoric so patently fictitious it will, as in all totalitarian states, be unmoored from reality. The media outlets will all sound as fatuous as Trump. And, to quote W.H. Auden, “the little children will die in the streets.”

      As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready."

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Recently I've been reading Neil Howe's The Fourth Turning which takes a completely different view of how major cycles run through modern history,

        You may find this video interesting

        • Dennis Frank

          I've watched the first 5mins, paused it. That point about Abraham Lincoln's generation & how youngsters formed their views caused me to intuit that he's on the right track. Identity politics theory suggests we identify with a group if the social context we emerge into provides thinking around important stuff held in common that we share.

          Peer groups seem to form in teenage years quite naturally, suggesting a biological basis. Shared identity gets generated in opposition to parental constraints. Which then generates an inter-generational dialectic. The extent, depth & strength, seems to vary however. Ours was extreme – those that followed, much less evident. The punks were rebel poseurs, they never accomplished anything substantial as a generational zeitgeist.

          • RedLogix

            Peer groups seem to form in teenage years quite naturally, suggesting a biological basis.

            That's really interesting; while I try to avoid the trap of biological determinism, biology should never be ignored either. It often provides a good set of pre-suppositions, or starting points, from which the trajectories of human behaviour can be traced.

            I'm still digesting Howe's work; perhaps what I like most of all his ideas are not dead-ends, like so much incoherent rage that passes for punditry these days.

            • Dennis Frank

              Another interesting glimpse of his theory (@ 27mins): "Every era we're entering is an era in which everyone who last experienced it is disappearing." That poses a problem for the communal transmission of wisdom: put your oldies out to pasture & ignore them, you lose their gnosis just as it is becoming relevance in current circumstances.

              • Sacha

                If only there was a way of storing and transmitting knowledge that did not rely on one-on-one discussions..

                • weka

                  wisdom and knowledge are different things, albeit interrelated. Experience is a different thing again.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    True. What we learn from experience can be articulated as wisdom or knowledge. We have to cross the bridge between self & other to achieve that, of course. Wisdom transmission seems to require some kind of interpersonal resonance at a deeper level than knowledge.

                    The bridge is the third element in the triadic structure of relationships (which people experience as binary interactions). A digression into metaphysics – but I'm doing it because relationships are invisible!

                    • Incognito

                      I don’t think you can transmit wisdom as such unlike knowledge. Knowledge is a necessary ingredient of wisdom, but not sufficient.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      As someone who has constantly tried to do it throughout life, I know how rare acknowledgment indicating success is. But you can always see instances from tradition & culture, cited in literature as timeless truths, referred to as pearls of wisdom. So people do believe that it is possible.

                    • Incognito []

                      Clearly, we’re talking about different things, as usual. If people believe that wisdom can be transmitted then so be it. I believe you can transmit a seed in the mail, pop it in fertile soil, water & nurture it, and a large magnificent tree will grow over time. That, to me, is wisdom. Everything else is just words and word salads.

          • Dennis Frank

            I'm now up to 13mins, still an interesting dialogue. Found this:

            According to the theory, historical events are associated with recurring generational personas (archetypes). Each generational persona unleashes a new era (called a turning) lasting around 20–22 years, in which a new social, political, and economic climate exists. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory

            I've always gone with turnings every seven years though. Steiner's view – although I didn't get it from him. I note an implied multiple by three achieves a correlation between the two. The theory would have to explain that before gaining more adherents.

        • Molly

          Will put aside some time to watch it. I prefer reading to videos mostly.

          (Have to take my library books back soon, so will have a look for the book there while there. Looks interesting, but I hope there are some solutions proposed as well as the theories.)

      • SPC 1.1.2

        Half of that applies to us, its a summation of any nation state of neo-liberalism. The Five Eyes group going down together.

        The USA had one goal post WW2 build up an international regime that would survive its decline. And then came the PNAC era and now Trump. 50 years of work trashed.

    • Ad 1.2

      Until this riot, crime in Minneapolis was trending consistently downwards for years.


      In fact crime had been trending downwards across the entire state for 17 years.


      Nationwide, a lot more people shot by Police are those classed white, and those numbers have been falling. But it's the black people where those numbers are not falling. Here's the breakdown of US shootings broken down by race.


      • dv 1.2.1


        2019 deaths

        White 370

        Black 275

        Black pop % is 14%

        275 shooting of black is 39% of deaths cf to the black pop of 14%

        • McFlock

          I'd also be surprised if those numbers were based on an authoritative central registry with mandatory reporting from all law enforcement departments, as opposed to tabulated news reports.

          The US has some fucked up rules around reporting firearm deaths and the collation of police-caused homicides, ISTR.

          Unfortunatley the stats site wants me to pay to see the source.

    • Gareth 1.3

      My jaw dropped when I saw this:

      • Sacha 1.3.1

        Psst: If you put the tweet link on a line of its own, this site will automatically embed and show it here.

      • weka 1.3.2

        that's the scariest thing I've seen in a long time.

        (I edited your comment so the tweet embedded).

    • Cinny 1.4

      Absolute insanity, trump driving division and flaming the anger.

      Big shout out to the Meidas Touch for their style of sharing information, much respect.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I was looking at the Order of NZ's members today and I noticed a deceased member is Clarence Beeby. I've always thought it a scandal a university is not named after him – I believe Victoria University of Wellington wants a new name to distinguish itself from all the others, why not rename it Clarence Beeby University? Probably our greatest educationalist with one of the colleges of the original University of New Zealand is a great idea IMHO, and I am sure all those coporate managers who are running our universities as a last stand for neoliberalism nowadays will hate the place being named after a socialist, so there is another good reason.

    • Peter 2.1

      By philosophy and deed it seemed that Ministers of Education like Tolley, Parata and at the end Kaye had never heard of Beeby.

    • swordfish 2.2

      Very progressive force in education.

      Good friend of my Grandmother's (she was active in the Wellington Region Labour Party & heavily involved in progressive currents in education through the 1930s-50s). He introduced the IQ Test to NZ & my Mother & Uncles / Aunties are pretty sure they were the first kids in the Country to do the test in the 30s (because of their Mother's friendship with Beeby … they probably bordered on experimental guinea pig status).

    • Sacha 2.3

      But it will get mixed up with all those other Clarence Beeby Universities and students customers will be confused about which brand they are buying.

    • patricia 2.4

      A brilliant suggestion. Beeby was an original.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    If the pandemic socked Trump with a straight right, the riots have followed up with a left hook to the jaw. Woozy, the champ struggles manfully on, but now Biden's status as front-runner is firming up.

    "A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden clearly ahead of President Donald Trump. Biden's up by a 53% to 43% margin among registered voters in this survey. But it's important to put individual polls into context, and that context continues to show Biden's in one of the best positions for any challenger since scientific polling began in the 1930s." https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/31/politics/biden-maintains-strong-position/index.html

    "There were more than 40 national public polls taken at least partially in the month of May that asked about the Biden-Trump matchup. Biden led in every single one of them. He's the first challenger to be ahead of the incumbent in every May poll since Jimmy Carter did so in 1976. Carter, of course, won the 1976 election. Biden's the only challenger to have the advantage in every May poll over an elected incumbent in the polling era."

    Biden's strategy of becoming winner by default is looking good due to those double blows fate has inflicted on Trump. Biden even seemed statesmanlike in that speech quoted here last night. The staffer who wrote it is a good hire.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      Those polls, as we saw in 2016, are as trustworthy as a denial of wrongdoing by either Trump or Biden.

    • Anne 3.2

      Now be fair Dennis Frank. I'm sure that speech belonged to Biden but yes, it does help to have a good speech writer in the mix. 😉

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        I'm open to that possibility Anne. My problem with Biden is that he hasn't ever showed evidence of such thinking previously, which is the reason for my scepticism.

        I'm way more anti-Trump than I was some years ago. I went from seeing him as buffoon to seeing him as natural expression of the anti-establishment zeitgeist in 2015, then hoped he would mature into responsibility in office. He failed.

        • Andre

          Biden may yet prove to be an exception to that old dog/new tricks cliche. But even if he just makes a reasonable choice for veep and hires an ok cabinet, then spends his four years doing a Weekend at Bernie's, the last three and a bit years will make it feel like a holiday.

          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, exactly. And wouldn't surprise me if the political wind is blowing US centrists that way right now! Polls only capture those who are willing to support the candidates already. Those who create election outcomes aren't counted…

            • Andre

              This time around there really isn't much by way of idiots ranting about how Biden is as bad or worse of a neoliberal establishment shill than Trump, or that putting the Cockwork Orange in the Oval Office will be good because he will bring the revolution sooner. Which is a bit odd, since the neoliberal thing is truer of Biden than it was of Hillary.

              No doubt those idiots are still out there, but maybe they're just not getting traction. Maybe it's because now that Crassius Cray-cray has an actual record in office it's harder for the loonies to project their fantasies onto him. Or maybe Joe fkn Biden wasn't the revolution they were expecting.

              • Dennis Frank

                There's good grounds for expecting worse to come:

                “Let’s face it,” actor and Trump supporter James Woods tweeted recently, “Donald Trump is a rough individual. He is vain, insensitive, and raw,” to which Trump blithely responded: “I think that’s a wonderful compliment. Thanks James.”


                In July 2016, shortly before Trump became the Republican nominee for president, I was interviewed by Jane Mayer for an article in The New Yorker that was eventually titled “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All.” Mayer described my experience with Trump over the 18 months it took me to write The Art of the Deal. During that time, I spent hundreds of hours with him.

                The catalyst for my shift came after a friend sent me a long paper written by Vince Greenwood, a Washington, D.C.-based psychologist. Greenwood makes a detailed clinical case that Trump is a psychopath, a term that is now used nearly interchangeably with sociopath. Psychologists continue to debate whether it’s legitimate to diagnose anyone from a distance without the benefit of a clinical interview. In Trump’s case, his life history is so well documented that a thorough assessment does seem possible. As I once did up close, we can observe every day which psychopathic traits Trump manifests in his behavior. The highly regarded Hare Psychopathy Checklist enumerates 20 of them. By my count Trump clearly demonstrates 16 of the traits and his overall score is far higher than the average prison inmate.

                “What makes Trump’s behavior challenging to fathom is that our minds are not wired to understand human beings who live far outside the norms, rules, laws, and values that the vast majority of us take for granted. Conscience, empathy, and concern for the welfare of others are all essential to the social contract.

                And that's where I made my shift eventually. There's a functional difference in humanity involved here. Just a question of whether he's stable, habituated to that world-view and partisan stance of his, or unstable. If the latter, there will be signs of increasingly erratic behaviour as pressure increases due to sliding poll ratings…

                • Andre

                  The really dangerous moment will come when the rotting rage papaya finally realises it's over for him.

                  That he's run out of fresh rubes to offload his problems onto, that those that have the power to bring him down weren't well enough locked onto him that they would also go down with him, and therefore won't give him a free pass.

                  That's the moment he will really lash out with zero fucks given about consequences, that the more people he hurts with his ragegasm the better in his mind.

        • Morrissey

          …. hoped he would mature into responsibility in office.

          Those masterly strategists Von Schleicher and Von Papen hoped similarly in 1932.

          • Dennis Frank

            😊 and were outmanouevered by a goddam watercolour artist! How galling!

            • Morrissey

              They thought they were smarter than he was. Von Schleicher perished in the Night of the Long Knives, but von Papen lived until 1969. They remind me a bit of another pair of Germanic ne’er-do-wells, viz., Messrs Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

  4. Treetop 4

    Will the message finally get through to those in the police (USA) who think they are above the law?

    The cost of the riots from damage to buildings and the national guard is going to be expensive at a time when there is high unemployment and a pandemic.

    Make America Great Again, there is NOTHING in the USA that is great these days due to having a president who is so absorbed about electioneering and his own position.

    • francesca 4.1

      Another good piece by Caitlin Johnstone exposing the hypocritical PR machine of the Land of the Free


      “It is common in autocratic countries for journalists to be swept up in arrests during protests and riots, but rare in the United States, where news gathering is protected by the First Amendment,” claimed the article’s authors Michael Grynbaum and Marc Santora.

      Followed by a torrent of refutations from (the wrong sorts of) journalists

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        "…in the United States, where news gathering is protected by the First Amendment."

        Julian Assange used to believe that lie.

        • Macro

          The journalists being arrested are predominantly black and coloured. This is more and example of systemic racism in the police force than an attack on the 1st amendment.

          • Sacha

            But how else to shoehorn Mr Breen's crush into the conversation?

          • francesca


            Where do you get that from?

            Caitlin's article actually features predominantly white journalists, all carrying press credentials.

            She could also have included the Australian journalist,Tim Arvier , dragged out of his car by the cops, or Kaitlin Rust, Tv reporter shot with pepper bullets, also white, or the reporter who lost her eye to a rubber bullet ,Linda Tirado

            Of course, the most publicised arrest has been the CNN reporter Omar Jiminez, and he was black, but while racism seems to infect the entire police department , there has been equal opportunity for arrests amongst journalists

          • WeTheBleeple

            That's just not true. Journalists are being attacked, gassed, shot at, and they've clearly identified themselves as press. Black, white, latino… you're just guessing and you're wrong.

            The cops are doing Trumps bidding. You know, the media is the enemy. Also they don't want us to see the violence they're now inflicting en-masse, right across the states.

            Protecting the filthy rich, shooting at anyone else.

            • Macro

              There are numerous reports by journalists on twitter and the msm in the US highlighting the fact that white members of the media have not been targeted. However their black and coloured colleagues have been. There have been instances of media being attacked by protesters eg. A Fox News team in Washington last night outside the White House.

              • francesca

                Guardian article below that begs to differ

                Your sources?

                Be interested in all points of view

                • Macro

                  Just a few

                  From Axios Reporter Alexi McCammond

                • Macro

                  This twitter thread has many more

              • Sacha

                From twitter, I saw early reports mainly about racially-targeted attacks but later ones suggesting a broader anti-reporter focus.

          • Morrissey

            The two horrible phenomena go together, I'm afraid.

          • adam

            Jenn is not black, but the cops just beat her up.

    • Sanctuary 4.2

      Both judicial and extra judicial right wing white violence is a routine element of US history. From the various massacres (usually white washed as "wars") of first nations that culminated at Wounded Knee to the attack on the bonus army, the numerous instances of anti-union violence like the Ford massacre and Haymarket martyrs to the Tulsa race massacre, Oklahomo City bombing, police riots and any number of far right inspired mass shootings to the lawless and racist militarised policing now being exposed by the ubiquity of mobile phone cameras, this is how the repressive capitalist US state retains control of anyone of colour or of those who dare to dissent.

      Having said that, watching a whole lot of tik tok, twitter and news feeds of US police in action I am simply astonished at what a violent rabble they are. In place of training and discipline they use violence as a first resort, and an extraordinary level of violence at that – immediate recourse to various firearms, tear gas and hyper violent arrests.

      Look at this rather grainy bit of footage of Korean riot police in action. Now, Korean political violence actually has a much more ritualised anthropological element than what we are seeing in the USA – a riot is a more "routine" aspect of Korean politics. But the thing to note is the high level of training and discipline in these riot police (I suspect the Korean police chief is a student of ancient military tactics, the various lines are manoeuvering in a way that would make even the most severe Centurion – is that a testudo I spy? – crack a whisp of a smile). By contrast, US police are seen arguing with people, operating in ragged lines, using firearms indiscriminately, getting isolated, displaying ill-disciplined violence etc etc etc.

    • McFlock 4.3

      Cops don't pay for reconstruction.

      A common refrain from twitter is that the cops have enough protective gear and ammunition, while medics in the US are using rubbish bags as protective gowns.

      The cops are proving their worth as protectors of the privileged and controllers of the oppressed. They will get funding increases after this.

      • Treetop 4.3.1

        "Cops don't pay for reconstruction."

        I did not say who pays.

        There are a lot of oppressed people hurting in the USA who are venting and need to be reassured and listened to.

        • McFlock

          Cops already "get the message" – there are actual and clear repercussions on them only for the crimes that get caught on camera. And then there are the ones who can move from department to department when their tide of misconduct catches up with them.

          They get rewarded for this stuff. This proves to them and the elite that they are needed.

  5. Macro 5

    Just sickening – and this is the current POTUS.

    Warning – graphic description of sexual abuse

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Trump intends to make Antifa a terrorist organisation, according to media reports, on the basis that he believes they hijacked the protests.

    historian Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, credits ARA as the precursor of the modern US antifa groups in the United States and Canada. In the late 1980s and 1990s, ARA activists toured with popular punk rock and skinhead bands in order to prevent Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other assorted white supremacists from recruiting. Their motto was "We go where they go" by which they meant that they would confront far-right activists in concerts and actively remove their materials from public places. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifa_(United_States)

    Antifascist is good. Random property destruction, mindless. I was bemused seeing the protestors trashing CNN's headquarters on the tv news last night. Loathed by Trump & the right as liberal/socialist, CNN became a target of the rabble because it is a pillar of the oppressive establishment, I presume. So much for the validity of left/right framing…

  7. Reap what you sow……. perhaps the greatest truism of all when we Oldies reflect on life.

    Maybe it is finally harvest time in the USA ? I hope so, but a lifetime of watching them fuck everything up does not bode well.

    It is time for us to study what we have sown. We have shafted Maori since the day we landed. We have deliberately created a society with a shameful level of poverty with burgeoning social and health problems.

    Never vote National – they are always on the wrong side of social and moral issues.

  8. Seems to me journalists are definitely being targeted in the protests…by both sides, that's how toxic it's all become


  9. Treetop 9

    There is a revival for drive in movies. Nice to see a drive in concert being done so people can participate in person.

  10. SPC 10

    Given the wage subsidy first round expires 12 June, the government should decide on June 8 to go to Level 1 from June 12. And for the sake of employers deciding on staffing levels indicate this asap.

    • Incognito 10.1

      Can you please explain what difference Level 1 would make to people currently on the Wage Subsidy Scheme?

      • SPC 10.1.1

        You are aware that the first phase covers workers in businesses that are down 30% of income. When that goes to a smaller number of businesses down 50% of income, there will be those not longer eligible. How many staff those employers can keep on beyond June 12 sans wage subsidy will be determined by their ability to generate the revenue or not. They will have different revenue projections for Level 1 and 2. And the uncertainty adds to their business risk.

        • Incognito

          They will have different revenue projections for Level 1 and 2.

          I can take your word for it but an explanation with a few examples would carry more weight 😉

          What is the main difference, in your view, between L2 and L1?

          • SPC

            Number of punters that can be packed in at the same time. The gap does diminish with each loosening of Level 2.

            • Incognito

              I went out for dinner the other night and couldn’t tell we are in L2 still. What punters are you referring to?

              • SPC

                Who can argue with yoursay hearsay.

                So we can rest easy knowing that business has no problem continuing at Level 2.

                • Incognito

                  I’ve asked you several times for an explanation and you have not been forthcoming with one and now you react all defensive and make silly statements. You might have been talking about hospitality, retail, or something else. It could be based on reality or perception, or indeed on hearsay and anecdotal evidence. We will never find out this way, will we? What a wasted effort.

                  • SPC

                    Na, you've played with a pedant's bat.

                    The media is full of stories of concerned business folk wanting certainty about when it goes to Level 1, want it at Level 1 now. Because it affects their revenue, and the wage subsidy for their staff is expiring.

                    • Incognito

                      No, I’m genuine.

                      All those noises in the media that are becoming louder every day demanding L1 now don’t explain or justify dropping the Alert Level. What has going from L2 to L1 to do with the Wage Subsidy Scheme expiring other than coinciding in time, for obvious reasons? Is L1 magically going to extend the Scheme and L2 is not? What is the compelling difference? Why would revenue go up under L1 as opposed to staying in L2? The border will remain closed regardless. Do you want them to open tomorrow? If not, why not?

                      I understand that many people are concerned, I get that, thank you, but again, that is neither here nor there and no argument or justification in itself.

                      It seems that you and others are arguing for L1 for the sake of it and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is mass-psychology, not much else, as far as I can tell.

                      If that’s me being a pendant then you’re the evasive one. All you’ve given so far is vague soundbites and headline stuff. Can’t you give a link to a decent analysis if you cannot provide one yourself in your own words?

                      And while you’re at it, maybe you can give us the reasoning for why we’re still in L2? That is the other side of the coin but you have been silent about it as if there’s no reason at all.

                      I assume you’re aware that Cabinet will review the situation in a week’s time, on Monday 8 June? This was signalled some time back so there are no surprises.

                    • SPC

                      Na you are not. Your second paragraph was a massive effort at distraction, diversion and confusion.

                      Many businesses will lose wage subsidy for their employees from June 12. The number of employees they retain from then will be impacted by whether we are at Level 1 or 2 – because it impacts on their expectations for revenue.

                      If there is no evidence of community spread by June 8, and the time related practicalities …

                    • Incognito []

                      Oh jolly, you’re suggesting I’m liar because I posed a bunch of questions because you have, so far, refused to provide any clear answers. And you still give me this waffly emotive runaround BS without anything specific or substantial except something about “expectations”. Are you repeating the same line because you’ve got nothing better, is that it? It is fine if this is the case but just say so and I can start peeling the potatoes.

                      Have you read Sacha’s link to the Spinoff piece? I cannot tell from your comments.

                      Maybe this helps, as stranger things have happened:

                      Ardern said on Monday that Cabinet would consider the settings of level 2 in 10 days, on June 8, and it will meet no later than on June 22 to look at whether the country could move to level 1.

                      She reiterated that timetable yesterday, saying it was based on Bloomfield’s advice.

                      But Cabinet could decide, based on his advice, to open up level 2 even more after June 8, or consider moving to level 1 before June 22. [my italics]

                      “We have given us some space, just in case,” Ardern said yesterday.

                      “We are opening up much more rapidly than other countries, but we don’t want to jeopardise the very privileged position New Zealanders have earned.

                      “They worked hard to get us here and I don’t want to lose that.”


    • Sacha 10.2

      I'd rather our govt made decisions about pandemic response based on public health expertise. Enough examples in the world of failure to do that.

      • SPC 10.2.1

        Yeah there certainly are, the Fergusson projection for one.

        But this is more about their wage subsidy being in synch with their Level change timing.

        • Incognito

          Just as well our govt made decisions about pandemic response based on other public health expertise than the Ferguson model, which was published two and a half months ago. It is now held as an exemplar of a successful response that resulted in likely imminent elimination of COVID-19.

          • SPC

            Pandemic language

            Eradication refers to the reduction to zero (or a very low defined target rate) of new cases in a defined geographical area.

            Elimination refers to the complete and permanent worldwide reduction to zero new cases of the disease through deliberate efforts.

            We have already eradicated it, but we cannot eliminate it without border closure or perfect quarantine.

            The task ahead is to operate at Level 1 June July August until the September Oz bubble (with special entry before then – Am Cup sailors/profesional skiers – a quota of Oz skiers etc).

            • Andre

              Erm, other way around on those definitions. Elimination is the local reduction of cases to zero and eradication is the worldwide reduction of cases to zero.

              Most of the world has eliminated polio, but because it is still endemic in India and Pakistan it is not eradicated. COVID is almost eliminated in New Zealand, but far from eradicated worldwide.



              • SPC

                I googled the two words and got the B C answers displayed from the 4 on WHO questionaire (your first link). Why would google display the wrong answers and not the two correct ones A D?

                • Incognito

                  Andre is correct. Google is just a machine.

                • Andre

                  Because google happened to display a snippet from a quiz that tests your understanding of a topic, not an article intended to inform. Google's algorithms aren't sophisticated enough to catch that little wrinkle from an otherwise authoritative source.

            • RedBaronCV

              Yet already we have individuals who apparently walked unknowingly through the avatar crowd -who don't look like they have bothered with social distancing within their group. Pus the hotel has other guests and by the look of it some shared corridors etc. Doesn't look like anybody down there is taking it too seriously – are any check in staff, bus drivers etc being quarantined too ? Or do we just have a selfish hotel owner putting up a bunch of selfish over entitled wealthy americans.


              • RedBaronCV

                And if there is a shared entrance way isn't it going to be just dandy if there is an earthquake or any othe kind of evacuation needed.

              • SPC

                Yup separation is the key to effective quarantine.

                1. airports – people going through to go into quarantine and others flying out (infected Ozzies returning home and Ozzies flying out onto Enzed from September).

                2. hotels – people with the virus but without symptoms coming into quarantine and infecting those ending their time in the hotel.

                • RedBaronCv

                  Yep I feel that the quarantine's should be done in maybe pods of 5-7 days of arrivals. Keep them together and then start the next pod. plus testing of course

              • bwaghorn

                Yes the fucking government better not let this bug loose again because they are under orders from thoses dicks cameron and the hobbit.

                • RedBaronCV

                  And it looks like the hotel manager making all the soothing but no real information noises is an American via the gold coast who has been here about 5 minutes since feb 2020 – so likely to have zero social investment here. Treated the existing guests as if they didn't matter/didn't bother to inform them and it probably hasn't dawned on him that we sometimes evacuate in earthquakes – which we have had lately. Then there are all the compromised people who will likely stay home a little longer …. just in case this large group have brought something with them.


        • Sacha

          If enough people make a good case for it, govt can certainly change the subsidy timing to follow the public health advice – just not the other way around, thanks.

          • SPC

            Saying that the government is merely a cipher of the health advice received is simplifying it a bit.

            Largely it has prioritised health considerations, and I suspect it has done so because it was burnt a bit taking business opine into account early on (did not block tourists and quarantine returning Kiwis as soon as advised to).

            This has led to mistakes – they should have allowed butchers and greengrocers to open as dairies did, and the growing perception they are being too cautious on the climb back out of the lockdown.

            Such is the price of victory in that matter.

            • Sacha

              Surely you have read by now the quite practical considerations in that decision about mandatory quarantine?

              Similarly the decision about food retailers was as much about reducing risk to supply chain workers as to the public. Supermarkets are more efficient as you'd expect. Dairies were the trade-off.

              None of this is any justification for prioritising the wishes of weiners who want their level one now or they'll hold their breath and sulk.

              • Sacha

                Actually, that's a bit rude of me. It's fair for people to be concerned about the prospect of further immediate job losses and business collapses. That will happen whatever we do, for the rest of the year.

                Too many of the voices I'm hearing clamouring for 'back to normal' right now seem motivated by concern for their 'freedoms' rather than other people's livelihoods.

                • SPC

                  There were adverse business consequences for being slow to control borders at the beginning of this and the future risk is another incursion over the border.

                  There is now currently near zero risk of internal spread whether at Level 1 or Level 2.

                  We are back where we were around 1 March

                  It's the alcoholics nightmare – the hard part is done, but one relapse… But in reality it's not that bad – we now have faster reporting, better testing and tracking and a more prepared health system and business/community battle trained up. We are now pandemic ready – we were not earlier. The goal of easing the rate of spread has been more than achieved.

              • SPC

                The practicalities of a quarantine – available space – maant they had to block all tourists earlier to enable it (they did not because of concern for business MBIE etc). There was for me little risk in butchers and greengrocers remainng open (one in and one out – door opened for them) as the more numerous dairies – as for supply chains they were able to use them for deliveries.

                I think "business" have reason to think the first phase has been won and they should be given notice that they will be at Level 1 from June 12 barring an outbreak before then.

                • RedBaronCV

                  The Bau crowds want to import and quarantine

                  Thousands of international students could be flown to Wellington on charter flights and quarantined in the city as part of a plan to bring them back to the capital.

                  Well there won't be any family visits so they can take that out of the equation , who will be paying the quarantine costs which are likely to be large and it takes only one slip up – from an age group which tend to think they are invulnerable-. Oh and I suppose we are still expected to issue those thousands of part time work visa's which will far exceed any jobs saved !


                  • SPC

                    They do have student hostels and the Chinese have very few current cases.

                    But yes the student access to jobs has an impact on job availability to locals – thus a gain to the university, but not a net gain to the economy.

                    I'd do a quota on numbers – prioritise the doctorates, masters students and maybe year 3 undergraduate this year.

                    • Incognito

                      Between tuition, accommodation, student tourism and family visits, international students poured $450 million into Wellington's economy in the 2017/2018 year, supporting 4290 jobs.

                • SPC

                  If there was anything about, surely it is not all hidden by those staying home and not getting tested, or being passed on along some chain by those without symptoms – just waiting till we get to level 1 to spring forth reborn (it' not got a cunning plan to get us when we let our guard down).

                  It's like being offered anti-biotics for a cyst removal, for mine we're at risk of becoming over-medicated for our safety.

                  I do get her safety first approach. But there is no way to be risk free without closing our borders to those overseas, including returning Kiwis.

                  We should know by June 8, if there was any under the radar spread going on. So the smart play is to inform business to plan for Level 1 June 12 – unless there are new cases.

                  • Sacha

                    I'm not sure which part of two-week lag time is escaping you but as I said this discussion has already been had. Enjoy your eve.

                  • Incognito

                    I do get her safety first approach. But there is no way to be risk free without closing our borders to those overseas, including returning Kiwis.

                    It is based on expert advice and the aim is to reduce the risk, not to be risk-free, which is a strawman.

  11. joe90 11

    • I Feel Love 11.1

      There's that story about Nixon during the anti war protests outside the Whitehouse, and his secret service couldn't find him, he was amongst the protesters, talking to them. I see #bunkerboy is trending.

      • Macro 11.1.1

        In the face of civil unrest, some past presidents looking to defuse tensions granted protesters an audience. Obama met with activists in the Oval Office in 2014 amid demonstrations over the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Richard Nixon was a self-styled law-and-order president, too, who in 1971 talked about hiring teamsters’ union “thugs” to rough up Vietnam War protesters. Yet Nixon also left the White House early one morning in 1970 and made a surprise trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he spoke to students protesting the war. Nixon told them: “I know probably most of you think I’m an SOB. But I want you to know that I understand just how you feel.”

        “He didn’t know how to connect with them, but he did try to empathize and build a bridge,” Timothy Naftali, a former director of the Nixon Presidential Library, told me. “It was an awkward effort, but it was an effort—a unique effort.”


        • I Feel Love

          Yes, it was an effort, and a brave one. Bunkerboy has turned off the lights at the WH hoping no one will notice.

          • Macro

            This Op Ed by Robert Reich is particularly pertinent right now:

            Fire, pestilence and a country at war with itself: the Trump presidency is over

            You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. His verbal bombshells are louder than ever, but Donald J Trump is no longer president of the United States.

            By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office.

            He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV and tweeting.

            How has Trump responded to the widespread unrest following the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground?

            Trump called the protesters “thugs” and threatened to have them shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted, parroting a former Miami police chief whose words spurred race riots in the late 1960s.

            On Saturday, he gloated about “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” awaiting protesters outside the White House, should they ever break through Secret Service lines.

            In reality, Donald Trump doesn’t run the government of the United States. He doesn’t manage anything

            Trump’s response to the last three ghastly months of mounting disease and death has been just as heedless. Since claiming Covid-19 was a “Democratic hoax” and muzzling public health officials, he has punted management of the coronavirus to the states.

            Governors have had to find ventilators to keep patients alive and protective equipment for hospital and other essential workers who lack it, often bidding against each other. They have had to decide how, when and where to reopen their economies.

            Trump has claimed “no responsibility at all” for testing and contact-tracing – the keys to containing the virus. His new “plan” places responsibility on states to do their own testing and contact-tracing.

            Trump is also awol in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

            More than 41 million Americans are jobless. In the coming weeks temporary eviction moratoriums are set to end in half of the states. One-fifth of Americans missed rent payments this month. Extra unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of July.

            Since moving into the Oval Office in January 2017, Trump hasn’t shown an ounce of interest in governing. He obsesses only about himself.

            But it has taken the present set of crises to reveal the depths of his self-absorbed abdication – his utter contempt for his job, his total repudiation of his office.

            Trump’s nonfeasance goes far beyond an absence of leadership or inattention to traditional norms and roles. In a time of national trauma, he has relinquished the core duties and responsibilities of the presidency.

            He is no longer president. The sooner we stop treating him as if he were, the better.

  12. McFlock 12

    Those "Hobson's Pledge" jerkoffs have resurfaced again, along with the rest of the pond scum.

    Now with imagery that would have made Freud proud:


    • Macro 12.1


      • McFlock 12.1.1


        The multi-tiered racism is repulsive, but then there's the "what the hell stock photo companies do you guys frequent" question that keeps drawing me back. Was that the first image that popped up based on their google history? Or did they cycle through dozens of pictures before deciding that they liked that one the best?

        • Sabine

          would you like a bit of kink with that plate of racism?

        • arkie

          This image has been previously used widely in a variety of memes, they're aren't the originators of the format, still an odd choice.

    • pat 12.2


    • dv 12.3

      Pond scum have some use. Hobson outfit don't.

    • adam 12.4

      All I'm seeing is references to John Key..

    • Sacha 12.5

      Congrats. You have just given them a boost by linking directly to their tweet rather than a screengrab of it (if you must at all).

      • McFlock 12.5.1

        If they want to throw more money at fetracism because of my linking rather than ever bothering to learn to screw around with screencaps, that's just a bonus.

        • weka

          I removed the image, but left the link. The whole thing is rape culture. People can call it kink or laugh, I've seen one leftie today say it turned him on while he implied condemnation of the racism. But the meme is clearly about force and is blatantly misogynist and racist.

    • Muttonbird 12.6

      This is four wives Don Brash's outfit, right?

  13. ianmac 13

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-31-05-2020/#comment-1716889 @8
    Scott put up a post yesterday quoting some published odds. Thanks Scott.
    I don’t understand how they work:
    “In the UK William Hill is paying 1/7 for Labour to form government after the election versus 9/2 for National.
    In Australia, Sportsbet has Labour at 1.14 versus the Nats at 5.50.”
    I don’t even no if the odds are good for Labour or good for National?

    • Chris T 13.1

      Aussie ones mean you get 5.50 back for every dollar spent on the Nats winning and only 1.14 for Labour winning,, so Nats bad

      UK ones work differently and can't really explain that well in words

      From memory of living there for a bit (and could be wrong)

      It would be 1/7 – for every 7 pound you get one, 9/2 – for every 2 pound you get 9, so Nats bad

      Unless the Nats were to win of course as depending how much you bet you would be loaded 🙂

      But could be wrong though, and apologies if I am

    • McFlock 13.2

      You bet $7. If Labour win, you get that $7 back plus another dollar ($8 total).

      If you bet $2 on the nats, you get that $2 back plus another $9 ($11 total).

      I believe the aussie odds are the total payout on a $1 bet, translated to the above it would be 0.14/1 for Labour and 4.5/1 for National.

      So the bookmakers will lose more money if National win. Bookmakers don't like to lose money, so the simple model is that the more likely someone is to win, the less the bookmakers pay for thoe bets.

      A more accurate model is that bookmakers adjust their odds based on their betting balance, rather than the exact odds a thing has of winning. If everyone in the home team bets for the home team even though the home team sucks, the bookmakers will lower those odds because of how much they stand to lose in the unlikely event the home team wins. But that's more math than the basic odds.

      TL, DR: the bookies don't expect the nats to come anywhere close to winning, and Labour are the hot favourite.

      • ianmac 13.2.1

        Thanks heaps Chris T and McFlock. I guess those odds would “close” nearer the Election but I will adopt a nonchalant all-knowing persona with which to impress my wife. Ta.

        • ScottGN

          Sorry ianmac. I should have taken the time to explain the odds. But McFlock and Chris T have done it pretty well. The good news is the betting agencies think the election (at the moment at least) is Ardern’s for the taking. Let’s hope it stays that way. Interestingly, while the odds were much closer before the Covid crisis none of the agencies have ever had National winning this election.

      • Chris T 13.2.2

        I knew someone could put it a lot better than me instantly


  14. adam 14

    One day in the USA.

  15. Muttonbird 15

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>http://<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Protesters in Auckland showing that our team of 5 million are being let down by a small group who think they know better than everyone else. If the authorities allow this to occur then we should be at level 1 tomorrow.</p>&mdash; Winston Peters (@winstonpeters) <a href="https://twitter.com/winstonpeters/status/1267347397597818882?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 1, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    Winston Peters is doing that seductive dance he does around Election time. In this case to the National Party base.

    • Sacha 15.1

      You only need to past the tweet address onto a line of its own, not the full embed code – the system here takes care of the rest:

    • observer 15.2

      Peters and Seymour were handed an easy gift by the protests, and naturally they took it. (Muller would have taken it too but National daren't let him speak about anything now).

      I've got no problem with (minor) breaking of rules for a cause, that's always happened throughout the history of non-violent protest. Both police and marchers were sensible today, nobody was out to make trouble and there were never going to be mass arrests which would have made things 10X worse.

      But like it or not, adherence to level 2 has been finished off today. It can't be credibly enforced now, and Ardern knows she has to announce something at post-Cab on Monday. Waiting until June 22 is a goner.

      • Poission 15.2.1

        I've got no problem with (minor) breaking of rules for a cause

        Its actually a major problem due to enhanced respiration (aka yelling)and close contact within highly susceptible groups.

        Didt listen to the warning.

        Earlier she had warned that people coming together in large numbers and shouting or singing are the perfect combination for allowing Covid-19 to spread.

        Heres the physics for the transport problem.

        Fucking imbeciles.

        • observer

          They didn't listen to the warning, but then … there wasn't one. Not from either the PM or Ashley Bloomfield. (I love Siouxie but she isn't the government).

          The march was announced several days ago. It was always going to be a problem. A clear statement to the effect that it should not go ahead (emphasising health rather than heavy-handed policing) would have made a difference (it would still have happened but with reduced numbers).

          Ardern made a political calculation not to do that, presumably because she knows what she plans to announce tomorrow. If the government simply miscalculated the size of the gathering, then that is a stuff-up. We'll see.

          • Incognito

            Will the PM be making a special announcement tomorrow?

            • observer

              Post-Cab. She'll be grilled on Level 1, so it seems certain she'll announce something, even if only a change in Level 2 rules.

              No way she can now say "100 limit stays for several more weeks".

              • Incognito


                What’s the logic behind that? Because the 100 limit was breached today in several places? Does this make it safe or does it make it a mockery of the Health advice upon which the Government makes its decisions or a mockery of the enforcement?

                • observer

                  Well, let's consider it from the POV of organisations that can control the distancing and contact trace the gathering much better than a random crowd on the street (indoor events like religious services etc).

                  They will reasonably ask why they can't be allowed more leeway. I can't think of a convincing reason why not.

                  I mean, the PM could say the march was an exception and wrong and shouldn't have happened and so on, but that's a political hornet's nest she probably won't want to prod.

                  • Incognito

                    I can think of a few reasons but you’re right that controlled events are easier for contact tracing although prevention would be preferable IMO. If they’re still not allowed under L2, because the risk is still deemed too high, the questions become how it can be reasonably justified to the general public so that (most) people comply and how can it be reasonably enforced given that there are precedents now. Will be interesting to see what will change tomorrow, if anything.

  16. observer 16

    Long time no see!

    The Roy Morgan poll is back.

    Look at National's numbers, they really need to roll Simon Bridges. Wonder who they've got lined up?

    • dv 16.1

      From the roy morgan

      PM Jacinda Ardern ascendant as Labour support (56.5%) is now more than double National (26.5%) three months from NZ Election

  17. David Mac 17

    Is it because they're the colour of poo, is that why we treat them like that?

    I like to think that we're doing better here than they are East LA but there are so many indicators that make me wonder.

    It's about creating opportunities, viable pathways for all of us to feel proud. Being comfortable need not be a dog eat dog competition with those the colour of pus on a 10 metre head-start.

    I'm surprised nobody has cracked onto the significance of George's older sister Pink and her hit tune 'Breathe'.

  18. George 18

    About that princess. I am concerned that she is looking more and more each day like she are something the wicked witch stuck in an apple or maybe some focaccia… whatever. But she definitely has the appearance of a person that has become spellbound or even zombie like…stepford wifeish.. perhaps she has been kidnapped and replaced by an automaton?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • David Mac 18.1

      Are you talking about Jacinda? When you get to know someone you begin to overlook the way they look and engage with the person they are. NZ warm to her because of what is in her heart.

      Are you good looking George?

  19. David Mac 19

    Speedy Covid testing will be the next Pharma billion. When we've got that, we've got international travel. Before vaccines and effective therapeutics, we will get fab on the spot 100% accurate testing. Easy non-obtrusive testing at the terminal of departure and the terminal of arrival. (Except China, I'm a bit worried they might tell a fib.) Nothing against the folk, love them, I'm a bit concerned about the AA Milne character.

    Our tourism department have been harping on from behind the cow pats '100% Pure' for a while now. (Shhhhh). It turns out to be perfect positioning, the 100% Pure country is Covid free, guaranteed. 'Catch it here, we'll give you a bach on Hot Water Beach'.

    How many paranoid people with breathing difficulties and dicky hearts are there in the world with $20,000 to spend on their overseas holiday? Millions.

    Everyone has nice scenery. Our USP is Maori. They should be paid like they are. Should be the pointy end of our tourism and remunerated accordingly. I'd still like the opportunity to operate a motel but my customers could be coming to my town because they've been sold an adventure tour that incorporates having the tour bus raided by a fake Hone Heke and his warriors on $125k a year.

    • Poission 19.1

      PCR testing has a 30% false negative rate,you can readily assume that asymptomatic vectors are in our population,

      • David Mac 19.1.1

        Follow the money. Big profits will be made by getting good at the easy bits. 'Chew a mint flavoured strip of cardboard and feed it into a machine while waiting for customs to stamp your passport.

        Asymptomatic…their unsuspecting victims are not showing up, are they? How many days of nobody saying 'Oh shit, I've got it.' Will it take for you to surmise 'All of this aso stuff was a dead end?

  20. David Mac 20

    I think much of the asymptomatic thing is to do with people that have had a dose still registering positive, a test result triggered by the anti-body hammered virus residue that lingers in their system.

  21. David Mac 21

    A border test that determines if a guest shows evidence of 19 infection, has had it and doesn't pose a threat or a potential guest with a rising temperature. That is the Pharma challenge. It is the lowest hurdle to clear.

  22. David Mac 22

    We could adopt the National Party method for determining if an incoming visitor has Covid-19.

    How much money have you got?

    It's easy to forget how nice it is to have moved on from that mindset.

    I love you and the people that love you.

  23. Eco Maori 23

    Kia Ora


    The new free training program will be great for Maori Pacific people elderly and Wahine can all get a new trade Ka pai.

    Ka kite Ano.

  24. Eco Maori 24

    Kia Ora

    Te Ao Maori Marama.

    That would be good if whale bones could heal Kauri Dieback.

    That problem in Te Tai Tokerau is also prevalent in Te Tairawhiti to.

    Ka pai to Hoani Waitit Kura Kaupapa for your great mahi teaching te reo to tamariki.

    Having the Wairoa Maori film festival online is cool .

    Ka kite Ano

  25. Eco Maori 25

    Kia Ora

    The Am Show.

    He will be 100 % better than the person in charge now.

    I've done 4 days working with out sleep. People who can't sleep need to stop the caffeine intake.

    One reason for high risk is because minority culture tangata work all the low paid services mahi.

    Ka kite Ano

  26. Eco Maori 26

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    That's good making adjustments to NCEA and Unervsity targets to get passes for students.

    Time to get use to the changes.

    A $400 million boost if funding for science in Aotearoa was needed and is awesome.

    Ka kite Ano

  27. Eco Maori 27

    Kia Ora

    Te Ao Maori Marama.

    Shows what happens when tangata show they have had enough.

    Cool Mataini will go ahead in level 1 isolation.

    Thanks to the Gisborne District Council for deciding to consult Iwi with their plans.

    Its quite easy to see MSM do A flip flop on Maori tangata.

    Yes the Treaty of Waitangi has not been hounered some are still trying to bluff that Tangata whenua O Aotearoa are better off being colonised. YEA RIGHT it taken 250 years before they even contemplate that Pacific tangata were better sailers than them we were better at fishing many things but in some eyes Tangata Whenua are just Savages then we see that some of the americas cup yacht were designed off Pacific tangata designs.

    It will be good to see all the Tangata being taught a trade at Te Wananga O Aotearoa.

    Ka kite Ano

  28. Eco Maori 28

    Kia Ora.

    The Am Show.

    It would be great if Aotearoa lead the World and banned single use plastic bottles.

    I can see right through that.

    It would be good to see a huge company helping small companies.

    Ka kite Ano.

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