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Open mike 01/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 1st, 2020 - 148 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

148 comments on “Open mike 01/07/2020”

  1. Ad 1

    With the Chinese economy looking like it is recovering a bunch faster than that of the United States and Europe, New Zealand needs a fresh wave of highly connected, wealthy, democratically-minded Chinese to immigrate here. 

    We should open our doors to those in Hong Kong who want to flee the brutal new Security Law that is requiring most of the human rights groups to shut their social media accounts, destroying the last vestiges of resistance to Xi Jinping's endlessly tightening totalitarianism. 

    Who knows, perhaps some of those pro-democracy protesters could come in under refugee status now that as of today New Zealand has increased its refugee intake to 1,500.

    Auckland and New Zealand generally need a fresh generation of bilingual speakers to provide entrepeneurship, capital and cultural diversity to redouble that which they brought here in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    And it would be a great example for New Zealand to stand on the world stage and be proud as a democratic, open society by opening their doors to those of Hong Kong who wish to come and who qualify.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      It's all dirty money though, isn't it. That's what cause the housing crisis in the first place so going back there can't be a good idea.

    • mauī 1.2

      Yes.., and perhaps we could embrace Drury's idea and start building luxury homes for these downtrodden 'elites' in a place like Queenstown. That would be the kind thing to do and it would also help our construction sector…

      • Ad 1.2.1

        The natural place for Hong Kong expats is Auckland – that's where Mandarin and Cantonese communities are already very strong. We sure need to keep our construction workers engaged here.

        • Adrian Thornton

          Aahh..good ol' Ad, King of the short term thinkers..guess thats why he is such a avid supporter of this neoliberal centrist freemarket Labour, yep they really are made for each other.

          • Ad

            Good to see you're standing with the hard-right Trumpites and European xenophobes.

            Chinese have been here for over a century and have proven to be an exceedingly hard-working, productive and culturally rich addition to New Zealand. 

            We are effectively in a 1946 moment, and it's about to roil the entire world. 

             This is where the real left get to stand up for people. 

            • RedBaronCV

              Er plenty of migrants have been hard working and productive. Should we assign particular characteristics  to a race country or ethnic group?

          • greywarshark

            I think Ad  may be outside the box that you are in Adrian.   He is just being pragmatic.    We have to try and manage our way out of the mess that we are in.    Just black and white solutions are not suitable, what is the right medicine for our illness, in the right amount.    The problem is that we may not be able to control the amount of medicine and how often taken.

            • Draco T Bastard

              He is just being pragmatic.

              Proposing a stupid idea that will likely bring harm is not pragmatic.

              We have to try and manage our way out of the mess that we are in. 

              ATM, that means leaving our borders closed.


        • Adrian

          Lets just hang on a bit, we already have 1 million Kiwis with an automatic right to walk right in and a fair few of them are thinking of doing just that. Can we even accommodate them even if only 250,000 came without real housing and job problems.

          • Incognito

            Think of what they can do for our GDP. It has been our national (lower case) MO for years. How to grow the economy? More milk powder and more immigrants. Keeps the wages down and unemployment up. Sell a few SOE’s, give middle NZ a tax cut and raise GST, and Bob’s your uncle. Home owners have been creaming it. Apparently, farmers are now having an anal aneurism because the Greens had the temerity of proposing a wealth tax; over their dead animals bodies.


            • greywarshark

              Let's bring back estate duty and stamp duty too and spread that tax burden fairly over the country on a percentage basis.    That would be a case where percentages are fair for the poorer people, they always work from a base sum.    Estate duty should be also on deemed portions in trusts, valued at present valuation, or at part of those market prices before a present slump.

              There is no reason that three-year marriages should result in good payouts to partners, but the tax department can be always a bridesmaid and never a bride when it comes to getting a proportion of the loot built up on the reasonable reliability of this country’s laws and stability.

          • RedBaronCV

            And an interesting piece in stuff on some of the australian crowd who make up potential returnees. About  two thirds are potential returnees and I feel sympathy for persons 1 and 3 who appear to have left after being slugged by over competition in entry level employee markets and the low wage economy here.

             Person 3 was more interesting. The NZ passport was a second passport and I estimate that out of a 30 year working life around 14 years had been spent here and 9 years in Australia. The net cash assets from this work life appeared to be around $100k (low?) and no mention of property ownership. It was not clear if an australian passport had ever been applied for. Now he is thinking of returning (to collect our welfare I assume) along with an american wife who appears to have never set foot in New Zealand.  They could of course choose to return to the UK or the USA

            I can't help feeling there is something very wrong with this scenario and we are allowing ourselves to be taken for a ride..

            And yes I do know about the work issues under the Clark government and no at the time I did not approve of the decision.


            [Link fixed]

        • Foreign waka

          I don't want to be unkind but Auckland is basically a slum with high-rise buildings and a small elite that desperately holds on to yesteryears way of society strata. Hardy a place that screams value, democracy, planning, equality, etc….

          Those who are used to that environment will not find anything wrong with it. Naturally.


    • francesca 1.3

      It'd certainly  bring in the Yankee dollar

    • AB 1.4

      I realise Ad is trolling, but "wealthy, democratically-minded" is probably an unconscious oxymoron on his part. The rich will always use their wealth to influence the democratic process and tip the table in their direction. The best immigrants for the long term health of a society are highly technically skilled (i.e. not 'business skills') and not wealthy. And if we go into the contents of their minds at all, we might want to add 'equality' and ' environmentally' to 'democratically'.

      • Ad 1.4.1

        It really is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time. 

        We need to dust off our histories of 1946. The worldwide migration this is going to force is going to make the post-Syrian European crisis look like a Mollie Woppie picnic. 

      • RedBaronCV 1.4.2

        I too assumed Ad was trolling – if only because he is suggesting that the "poor and huddled masses" who did all the hard work around the protests are going to be left behind to suffer. Very democratic not?

        Plus I'd imagine that the wealthy have long since organised a bolt hole country. I certainly remember some coming here when Hongkong changed over staying just long enough for one of the couple to score residency, dumping their kids in the local schools and then bolting back to their real life in Hongkong.  .

    • Gabby 1.5

      Colonel Comrade might be on the same page with you, he could 'liaise' with the new arrivals on behalf of the government (no, not our government). Just to maintain order.

    • greywarshark 1.6

      Hong Kong Chinese – good idea Ad.    They are keen, smart, good people, and more likely to be on our wavelength (outdated term) than many fleeing from CCP.    Not a whole bunch though please at once, which will be impossible just now but include them by all means at the same time not forgetting to be ethical to other overseas people who have paid already, worked already, want to be NZs and are good ones.    So the inevitable happens, we haven't been destroyed yet, and all those who can escape the shit of the big powers see us as a haven.   (While many of the boofheads and the sweeties here want to throw that away and find the wealthy wonkers' lifestyles soo glamorous and desirable.)

    • weka 1.7

      good news about the refugee numbers.

      Would be interesting to see our immigration settings changed to include democratically-minded 😈

    • RedLogix 1.8

      I've been thinking along these lines myself, you more or less beat me to it Ad. Hong Kongers are different.

      Most kiwis are fairly unaware of how China is not really a single coherent historic or cultural entity. In very broad terms it can be thought of in four major chunks, the bureacratic, military minded Han core in the northern Yellow River plain and centred in Beijing, the merchantile manufacturing minded groups of the Yangtze River represented by Shanghai as the largest city, the southern port cities of Hong Kong, Macau and Xian, and the fourth being the diverse ethnic groups of the central provinces.

      The southern cities like Hong Kong were historically geographically isolated from Beijing and looked outward to the wider world, particularly in terms of trade and culture. Many Hong Kongers regard themselves as quite separate from the CCP run mainland and want absolutely nothing to do with it.. The passing of these new Security laws will prompt many to find ways to leave.

      I've visited Hong Kong a few times, it’s a highly developed world city, full of surprises. Kiwis should welcome these people, they will bring much of real value with them.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.9

      … New Zealand needs a fresh wave of highly connected, wealthy, democratically-minded Chinese to immigrate here. 

      1. No we don't
      2. Any Chinese that move here are likely to be sent by the Chinese government to fuck up our democracy

      Auckland and New Zealand generally need a fresh generation of bilingual speakers to provide entrepeneurship, capital and cultural diversity to redouble that which they brought here in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

      No, we need to settle what we've got into our own culture. Getting more of the same won't help.


      • roblogic 1.9.1

        Under the Key government heaps of property owners became millionaires overnight. So now Auckland is facing a housing crisis and a water crisis and record inequality. What does resident neoliberal Ad propose? More of the same. 

      • RedBaronCV 1.9.2

        I'm with you on this one DTB if Ad is serious. We've had these setting since the 90's and the one thing that really shows out is that our GDP per head has stayed static or gone backwards. Where are the factories and post processing plants and all the other benefits that were supposed to flow? Absolutely non existent.

        Frankly for the average live out your life here citizen  these policies have made their lives worse. The number of people that take part in a "global" workforce by having multiple passports and residency is tiny and over privileged.  Yes houses may have gone up in value but if it's the only one you own then it's used for the basic service of "living in"

    • Byd0nz 1.10

      Hong Kong protesters would get a shock if they came here or say the UK, because they have better health system in HK They want freedom what, I saw a lot of American flags flying in those protest, a lot of NGO monies like NED funding anti mainland groups, there is more to life than HK dissidents money, no thanks, let them go to granny England or uncle Sam land.

    • SPC 1.11

      We should take all the doctors, nurses (and some health tech people) and teachers who want to leave (albeit they would be better paid in Oz). 

      And others in skilled worker areas (albeit …) engineers/construction to IT/finance etc  

      And the business owners who would base here and pay tax locally on their drawings/dividends from their Hong Kong activities.

      Most however will just seek British passports (to be safe) and end citizenship activity. But if China acts against those who choose this route, we might get lucky. 

  2. Andre 2

    Things might be heating up for the "two guys in a steam bath". Yep, those two guys are Pootee and his fascist-dictator-wannabe puppet. More and more is coming out about Pootee maybe paying bounties being paid on American soldiers, and Marmalardo getting briefed about it and being utterly uninterested.


    • Ad 2.1

      I'm just loving this Lincoln Project series. Such concision!

      The interviews with the Project founders are also excellent.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Such a cornucopia of rich targets.

        I'm struggling to come up with any previous example anytime anywhere of a significant national leader being so objectively crap that they have come under this kind of sustained brutal attack across a huge number of topics, from respected senior members of their own party.

    • I Feel Love 2.2

      I liked Pelosis theory, the intelligence agencies don't tell Trump because Trump would get on the phone and tell Putin. 

      • Andre 2.2.1

        Bound to be some of that going on. There's going to be a huge amount of fascinating stuff coming out in Darth Drumpfski's post-presidency.

      • McFlock 2.2.2

        via twitter – didn't he "declassify" a sat photo a while back, at much higher resolution than anything previously released?

        • Andre

          Yup. But it really just confirmed informed speculation about what resolution was possible just from the known size of spy satellites. Ie, what can you from a telescope of X diameter (2.4m from memory) orbiting Y kilometres up.

          Then there was the time Don Dementia outed Israeli assets to Lavrov and Kislyak while getting all chummy in the Oval Office.

    • Nic the NZer 2.3

      How much is that bounty the US government has out on the Venezuelan president again?

      • Andre 2.3.1

        You a fan of the idea that two wrongs make a right, are you? Even in cases such as this, where the tangerine turdgoblin is deeply involved in the genesis of both wrongs?

        • Nic the NZer

          No, just that for some reason your focusing on the bounty which Trump has sweet FA to do with rather than the one which he (and other members of the US administration including Pelosi) can actually do something about.

          • Andre

            Oh, so it's simple whataboutery then. I had thought your cognitive processes had advanced beyond that kind of simple distraction tactic, but evidently not. My bad.

            And since the point apparently needs to be spelled out for you in simple terms, the issue is about how Benedict Donald has responded to the possibility of Russia putting a bounty on US soldiers much more than about the bounty itself.

            • Professor Longhair

              … the possibility of Russia putting a bounty on US soldiers…

              You will, of course, be providing evidence of this dastardly crime. Something the entirely anonymous source of this wild and woolly story has yet to do. 

              We are awaiting your dump of verifiable and irrefutable “good stuff” with great anticipation, my good friend.

              • Andre

                Uh, no, that's for those in the intelligence services to do to the satisfaction of their masters, if any follow-up appears likely.

                But you too seem to have totally missed the point in your rush to indulge in another one of your displays of public political masturbation. Which is Emperor PalPutin's problematic response to being presented with the intelligence assessment, much more than whether or not the assessment is accurate.

              • Kiwijoker

                I have it on impeccable authority that it was Truthful Woodhouse who was the source, so there’s the evidence!

        • greywarshark

          Andre I applaud your word du jour for the orange tambourine – you bring expressive colour into the discourse, and may you do so till he goes to a better place – somewhere in the rust belt where they will treat him to unceasing religious ceremonies and don't believe in building big hotels, and playing with the stock market.

      • joe90 2.3.2

        Fair's fair.

        • greywarshark

          Hah.   Iran was one of the smartest places in the world once, may be again.


          …the Hellenistic Age. The Macedonian King Seleucus (died 281BC) and his Persian wife Apame ruled a hybrid kingdom that mixed Greek, Persian, Jewish, Bactrian, Armenian, Sogdian and Aramaean cultures and religions.

          With new cities, religions and cultures, this melting pot encouraged the rise of a thriving connectivity that linked urban centres in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Syria (where many of the Hellenistic sites (such as Apamea) have been devastated in recent years by war and looting). The great city of Seleucia-on-Tigris/Ctesiphon, just south of Baghdad on the Tigris river in modern Iraq, became the western capital and centre for learning, culture and power for a thousand years…

          …The Sasanians ruled a massive geopolitical entity from 224-751AD. They were builders of cities and frontiers across the empire including the enormous Gorgan wall. This frontier wall stretched 195km from the Caspian Sea to the mountains in Turkmenistan and was built in the 5th century AD to protect the Iranian agricultural heartland from northern invaders like the Huns….

          Iranian cultural heritage has no one geographic or cultural home, its roots belong to all of us and speak of the vast influence that the Iranians have had on the creation of the world we live in today. Iran’s past could never be wiped off the cultural map of the world for it is embedded in our very humanity.

          Could Iran be cleverer than today's western boofheads?   Can we wonder why they got enraged at the west messing with them, brazenly killing one of their revered Generals, and previously installing a puppet figurehead – who they eventually abandoned ignominiously?    Can we manage our way through to keep our heads above water now?    'We haven't much money so we'll have to think hard' Rutherford said or words to that effect.

          • Just Is

            Thanks for the informative history lesson Greywarshark, certainly food for thought.

            • greywarshark

              Food for thought.  Yes.   I am filling my head with new information and it's getting full I think and pass it on in case someone else is interested.   I have had an ordinary education and can see it wasn't satisfactory and now think that most of our education is directed away from learning about ourselves, the most important thing.   That was said before 1744!

              The proper study of Man, is Man. Alexander Pope

              Author Profession: Poet
              Nationality: English
              Born: May 21, 1688
              Died: May 30, 1744

              • roblogic

                one of the hardest quests in life is knowing yourself and peeling back the layers… good on ya m8

          • Gabby

            If they can shake off the iron foot of the theocrats, maybe.

          • RedLogix

            In one odd sense the historic Iranian culture could be thought of as the USA of the ancient world, the two have a lot in common, but for quite different reasons.

            Iran is geographically different to the USA in every conceivable way, but it all boils down to one factor: populated Iran is a fused, sprawling mountain system. Iran’s Zagros mountain chain fills the country’s entire southwestern third, while the Elburz dominates the northern third. The contemporary capital of Tehran sits on a plateau where the two chains meet. With an average peak elevation of 3000m, the two chains not only force out fairly reliable rainfall, but their valley floors tend to above 1000m. Unlike nearly everywhere else in the region, it actually rains in Iran where people live.  Direct rainfall enables agriculture without necessarily requiring irrigation. Lower labor requirements free workers to do other things, like going to school, practicing a trade, composing a poem or waging war. Culture here has roots stretching back five thousand years.

            Mountain living has other advantages. Anyone wanting to invade Iran must fight their way uphill into the Persian core and batter through every mountain line. This defensibility shapes Persia’s participation in international affairs. Iran isn’t a destination, but instead a knot of difficult territory that must be bypassed by those in Asia or Europe, it's just too hard to invade and hold. In this it's very much like the USA, it's geography has always made it secure.

            Unlike the dozens of city-states and empires that have risen and fallen throughout the Middle East, the Persians have art, history and culture that isn’t short-lived, incidental or fused with foreign practice but instead anchored in millennia of continuity. The Persian language and Persian customs—conservatively—date back hundreds of generations.

            But the same geography also forced them to become the first multi-cultural society. Each mountain valley had it's group and identity, making them a very heterogeneous society, but united in one thing … the terrain around them was even worse. This forced them develop an enduring Persian identity from all these disparate parts much earlier than anywhere else in the world.

            Located on the Silk Road trade route the medieval Persians managed to sustain a remarkable medieval prosperity, but two things buggered this for them. One was the invention of deep water navigation by the Portuguese, enabling traders to completely bypass them. The other is more subtle; the thousands of mountain valleys and plateaus make internal transport very expensive, and there are few large centers with necessary pre-conditions to support industrialisation.

            In many ways it's useful to think of the Persians as an ancient super-power, but one that has been sidelined by history and technology. They retain much of their cultural capital, but the nature of the land they live in has constrained their ability to adapt to the modern world.

            • Dennis Frank

              A cosmopolitan culture for so long, yet that biodiversity got clamped into a binary theology, and most religious historians derive that of islam & christianity from Zoroaster.  Here's non-academic recycling of that view:

              Iran's ancient traditions gave realms further west the first understanding of a moral universe shaped by a binary good and evil.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/04/24/the-ancient-persian-god-that-may-be-at-the-heart-of-game-of-thrones/

              Thus the binary syndrome that makes leftists hate Trump.  Life is an

              eternal struggle and combat with an evil Other

              Now Abraham came from Ur, where the Akkadian civilisation had recycled the Sumerian pantheon of diverse gods & goddesses.  So the Israelites went seriously off the rails in departing from their Hebrew progenitor.  Historians who write about this usually blame the acquisition of monotheism from Akhenaton during the Hebrew settlement in the Nile delta centuries.  Interesting how cultures long complex can shift into banal simplification!

          • Patricia Bremner

            Thanks Greywarshark,  a great follow up of the series "The Silk Road"  extract on Zorastrians the Muslims Persia and Iran cultures narrated by Joanna Lumley.

    • Professor Longhair 2.4

      My friend, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying. Where could we meet?

  3. Sabine 3

    so people that are returning are starting to sending in CVs. What are we to tell them? 

    anyone got any ideas? Other then sorry mate you are overqualified for fruit picking? 

    • Ad 3.1

      Tell them this Sabine:

      Welcome home. 


      • Sabine 3.1.1

        yes, welcome home, i hope you have enough money to last 6 – 12 month – cause on unemployment you will not even manage to rent a ditch, let alone eat. 

        welcome home honey, sadly i can't hire you, we are all gonna be shit outta luck once the wage subsidy subsides.

        welcome home you and your whanau, hopefully you are not picky n choosy cause fruit picking might be your best bet, and for your wife/husband and the kids. 

        welcome home, to what ever you find here waiting for you.

        welcome home. You are on your own. 


        is that what you are talking about Ad? 

        • Ad

          Ours is now one of the most coherent, intact, and functioning civil societies on earth.

          It's good if they brought money with them – and they usually bring it in by the truckload. That's why they went overseas in the first place.

          The newcomers wont be picking fruit. More than likely our children will be.

          • RedLogix

            Exactly. The returnees will fall roughly into three categories.

            There was about 50,000 kiwis travelling short term, most of whom have gotten home, but there will be still a few who have been stuck in odd places who have not yet been able to organise a flight for one reason or another. 

            About 200,000 kiwis in Australia do not qualify for any support there. Eventually a fair fraction of them will be forced to return if they do not have secure jobs. Probably about 50% of them over the next six months. Most will be younger adults and will likely return to family here, but not a lot of other prospects.

            Another large and hard to qualify chunk will be ex-pats who have been living and working all around the world. Many will have been earning a good income, and would return with capital and experience. How many is very hard to guess, because their decision points will all be unique based on their circumstances, but I would guess maybe another 100,000 or so over the next few years. A lot depends of just how turbulent the world becomes in that period.

            New Zealand can cope with this.

            • woodart

              interesting post redlogix. already people in the third category are spending money. houses are being bought and renovations happening at my beach, by cashed up kiwis returning. my real estate colleague confirms that sales and prices are up, mainly driven by incoming cash. dont think we are going to need to selloff any more kiwi citizenships for a while. 

            • SPC

              The internationalistas

              A fair few will be those who can do their work from anywhere in the world, and will return still employed in their current jobs. Safe trumps cosmopolitan for the next few years. 

              Others will become self employed contractors living here but applying for international jobs they can do on-line. Others will run on-line businesses and or offer themselves as consultants to local business in their industry sector. 

              Some will simply take the jobs that have been going to skilled migrants. 

              Some will simply spend a year holidaying here, or doing a post grad course, where it is safe. 

              As for the Oz Kiwi crowd who return, hopefully a lot are into construction/roading and building and truck driving – younger adults back to home with parents are ideal for seasonal work (camper van).

              Then there are the jobs that semi-skilled migrants – couriers/service stations/IT/Chorus connections have been doing. 

              50,000 migrants coming in, not. The lack of 100,000 students this year eases the hospitality sector downturn impact on employment. 

          • Sabine

            Yes dear, also Lol. Lol. Lol. 

            No they left in the first place because they could not get any jobs here. Cause the one thing NZ sucks are really is the creation of good jobs, future proof jobs with a pay above min wage that would allow them to pay life and student loans.

            And now they are back here with no jobs, no real chance to get a job, and most of them don't come with truck loads of money because were ever they lived before they did so on a regular wage paying regular things like food, rent, insurance etc etc etc. 

            But yeah, nah nah, quite a few of them will do what ever they can as 250$ per week un-employemnt is too little to live and too much to die on. And so far i have yet to see a proposal from any of the empty suits to raise this to the level of the wage subsidy so as to prevent further hardship and misery. And i don't expect to see anything meaningful about unemployment to come anytime soon. 

            As for us being the Nr. 1, our wage subsidies are still keeping many afloat. Take that away and see what happens to our Society when you have somewhere between 10 – 20% unemployment (certain regions even higher – and i am being very charitable with the numbers as i would expect them to go into the high 20s low 30s) who can neither pay food or rent on the current benefit levels.

            • SPC

              The current projection is unemployment at 9% below the original projection of 10%. 

              Some tourism economy regions of course will be around 20% – the question will be how many of those are residents/citizens and entitled to benefit support

              • woodart

                think unemployment will turn out to be a bitter disappointment for the nats.

              • Sabine

                some tourism areas will be well above that. 

                There is a reason why the wage subsidy was extended – i think they call this flattening the curve.

                I love all that pie in the sky wishful thinking. What ever gets people trhough the day. 

                But i will make sure to tell the people that are sending me their unsolicited CVs that they can just declare themselves contractors to get some 'work from home' jobs, or that they just start working in roading/building (skills and training is for suckahs), or that they just do a year living in a Van (Freedom camping with the whole family is fun 🙂 ) and so on and so forth. 

                the real number of unemployment will be known when the wage subsidy runs out and is replaced with nothing. Until then, you have no numbers to throw about. 

                • weka

                  the takeaway from this thread (apart from preparing for community resilience) is that worker rights is a big priority. If Ad and his peers' children end up fruit picking, best make sure they have better wages and work conditions than the economic migrants and working holiday crowd have had up until now. Fruit picking is honest work, about time we made it good work too.

                • SPC

                  Your reply was to a misrepresentation of what I wrote. Not your best work. 

                  As to unemployment figures, prepared to make a bet? 

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.2

      They send in a Grainne Moss CV… https://www.newsroom.co.nz/1248845/get-your-handbag-its-not-going-to-be-pleasant …problem solved.

      • OnceWasTim 3.2.1

        Yep ……….. As I just sent to Bradbury's Open Mike:

        Just another example of how good people get shat on in our neo-liberal public service


        All the good intentions in the world result in SFA
        Jeremy looks pretty intense in that Newsroom photo.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Sweet fuck all indeed.

          I wandered over to Newsroom for the link and found part 2…became so engrossed I damn near neglected my other duties.

          Why the hell Moss is still there….I reckon this issue warrants it's own post.

          PS…I have never heard of NUPE until today.  Why is that?

          • dv

            Interesting that she was A tolley appointee (against advice).

            Yes it was an engrossing read.

            • ianmac

              Tolley or Bennet?

            • Descendant Of Smith

              "The panel convened by Rennie to make the decision was an all-Pākehā lineup: deputy State Services Commissioner Debbie Power, secretary of education Peter Hughes"

              Two of the creators of the highly toxic environment at WINZ – beggars belief that the current government (naively maybe) put anyone from that era of management back in there – or actually maybe it doesn't considering some of their actions to date towards the poorest in society – not increasing benefits as per the WEAG recommendations, making the homeless pay 25% of their benefit to pay for their motel rooms, getting rid of including underage partners in superannuation – all those things make poor peoples lives harder. I can see why she would appeal to them both – cut from the same managerial mould/(mold?). Fits nicely with the earlier comments about the managerial class that were made.

      • Sabine 3.2.2

        yeah, nah nah, not relevant at all to what i asked – the people sending me CVs have not lost jobs for bullying and chances are will not be hired for their bullying nature. 

        they are ordinary people who have come home to nothing much, if anything at all. 



        • Rosemary McDonald

          Sorry Sabine. You wrote "CV" and I'm afraid that forever those two letters will pull that image of Moss' CV into my mind.

          What to do with the returning sons and daughters who thought their best futures were Overseas?

          Sadly, not all will be of the 'highly trained and qualified in a specialist field' group that seem to have the welcome mat laid out.  I'm not entirely convinced of the essentiality of making movies about virtual blue folk, but I do see the necessity of having experts dealing with the leaking shit pipes in Wellington.

          So those who can't be gainfully employed in one of the multibillion dollar projects announced by Our Leaders over the past few weeks will have to 'pivot', I believe is the current parlance, and broaden their horizons or lower their expectations.

          And perhaps consider voting for the Green party and their ending poverty policy.

          Because it would go a long way towards mending the safety net.

          If someone with a PhD in particle physics applies for an honestly advertised minimum wage casual job as a cleaner…hire them. Or not.


          • OnceWasTim

            'pivot' has become so passe @Rosemary – everybody is pivoting and they need something new.  There is a new word on the horizon. Forgot where I heard it, but immediately I did, "ultimately" I knew it'd become the new normal going forward (in that space).

            "so"…….. the best creds for something like the position of OT CEO could be experience as a used car salesman, as long as you make it clear you're also "passionate" about what you do, AND "compassionate". 

            On the other hand, as Anne Tolley has reckons, being a mother might be sufficient, although I'm not sure how the likes of Jeremy Lambert could ever aspire to such an exceptional position of CEO of OT

          • Draco T Bastard

            I'm not entirely convinced of the essentiality of making movies about virtual blue folk,

            Art is essential because it tends to reflect us.

            If someone with a PhD in particle physics applies for an honestly advertised minimum wage casual job as a cleaner…hire them. Or not.

            Most likely not. People who are over-qualified for a job don't get employed for that job and if there aren't any jobs around for what they're qualified for then they end up as long term unemployed. Its one of the ways that our present system wastes its people.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Oh, I don't know.  I'd pay a wee bit extra for a Thesis in Three with my double shot mocha. wink

    • Cinny 3.3

      Fruit picking season has been and gone in our region.

      I hear farmers are in demand should they wish to farm.

    • weka 3.4

      so people that are returning are starting to sending in CVs. What are we to tell them? 

      anyone got any ideas? Other then sorry mate you are overqualified for fruit picking? 

      tell them the truth. Tell them that we have no idea what NZ will be like in 12 months time, or the world. We might be ok-ish (think high unemployment but a still functioning economy). Or we might be in the middle of a major GFC and our main concern is to have enough food for the coming year. Or something in between, which is probably worse than the first two.

      I'd suggest learning how to grow protein and carb crops if they don't already know. Also, get to know your neighbours and be kind to them. And get to know the people in your community that know how to build resilient communities and have been practicing this.

      Yep, unemployment and not enough income sucks. That's been true for too many for too long already. Best we learn, fast, how to do things differently.

      Also, tell them to vote Green.

      • Sabine 3.4.1

        I told my kiwi friends that so long as they can stay overseas, i .e . still have their visas and jobs to stay overseas. Keep distance, wear a mask, shower in sanitizer and stay where you are. Nothing much to come here for unless you have oodles of cash which the people that i know overseas don't have. They went overseas in the first place because unemployment and under employment in NZ sucks and they were lucky enough to find employment elsewhere.

        But to pretend that we are not going to have issues with high number of unemployment , people without the capacity to pay rent and food is foolish imo, and it seems that a lot of people like to rather be foolish then look at the world as it is.  And maybe some people just hope that we can pretend it ain't that bad, (as generally it is done) but i doubt this time around we can. 

        I read your post on the greens, and frankly it is neither bold nor future orientated. (again, the socialist in me is finding both the Greens and Labour timid in their approach) 

        The one things the wage subsidy has shown us in NZ is that it is the minimum one needs to 'live', not extravagantly but just subsistence level. So again the unemployment min income proposed by the Greens is already 150$ short at the very least. For 320 you may find a rental, but you wont' be eating, nor paying electricity nor food. So redundant. If this is not the time to talk honestly about what it costs to simply stay alive (food, shelter, warmth) then it will never be the time.   As for growing food, lol. We might want to stop pretending that we are not in a country wide drought for a start. Water is vital to growing food, and in certain parts of the country water is an expensive good. Growing food is for those that have homes, stable homes. Growing a tomato in a pot is a nice supplement, but you don't want to try to survive on it. 

        So i really really hope that someone in our government will finally just be bold. If only for a refreshing change. 

        As for telling people how to vote, i won't. Never did, never will. I don't believe that parties lead, its the people that bring about the changes. The suits will follow when they have to and not a minute before. 

        thanks for a considerate answer tho, i was wondering if anyone here still gave a shit about others. 

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Though lifting the rates must go hand in hand with rent controls otherwise increase just become a revenue source for landlords. Even the US has rent controls in most places e.g. restrictions on how much you can increase rent on your rental property in a year – even when tenants change.

        • weka

          Maybe it's the difference in perspective for those of us that were locked out of the 'getting ahead' economy decades ago. It's not that I don't have empathy for people losing their jobs, it's more that I think the solution to that isn't to try and make things like they were before only better. If people still want a big house and a late model car and a new smart phone and an overseas holiday every year, sorry, but the ecologies we are utterly dependent upon just can't sustain that.

          $325/wk is a minimum guaranteed income. Not a maximum, and there is no suggestion that this is what people should live on. You appear to have fundamentally misunderstood the policy.

          Not recognising the radical and bold approach to disabled people in the policy is hardly surprising. Working people are the really important ones right? Who cares if the Greens are proposing to stop treating disabled people like third class citizens and give them a substantial increase income as well as a dedicated income support department of their own.

          Growing tomatoes is not growing protein and carb crops. If you don't understand this, and who grows food in NZ and how and why, maybe take the time to learn. Not everyone has to grow food, those that can should. Not all of those people own or rent land they can garden on. If we think unemployment is bad wait until we're wondering where our years supply of food is going to come from.

          Yes, parliament follows us, but we still need them to enact laws. Like minimum wages and work conditions, benefit rates and so on.

          Drought in NZ is largely a human created disaster (I don't mean climate change, but local land use practices). We don't have a country-wide drought, we have water shortages in some places because humans are too stupid to adopt the systems and tech that already exist to farm/garden regeneratively and with respect for water as part of nature. Humans have been growing food for tens of thousands of years in places with lower rainfall than NZ has currently. It's not rocket science, we are just ideologically blind.

          • francesca

            Exactly Weka 

            Just like there is wealth enough to go around if its equitably distributed, there's enough water if its not squandered in  non essential car washes etc

            Community gardens are a valuable and initial step in providing food and building community.

            We really do need to have a different mind set , insread of weeping and wailing we need to get in and start doing and helping where we can

  4. Ad 4

    6 months paid parental leave, starting today. 

    Top work Labour. 

    Come on you post-lockdown couples, get to work.

  5. joe90 5

    They're so fucked.

    South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says the thousands of people who attend the July 3 celebration for Independence Day at Mount Rushmore with President Donald Trump will not be required to practice social distancing despite an increase in coronavirus cases across the country.

    "We will have a large event at July 3rd. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we'll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we will not be social distancing," Noem, a Republican, said in an interview Monday night on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle."


    • joe90 5.1

      Pro-life repugs got their death panels.


      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Has the guy in the image got an alien in his neck?    He doesn't sound as if he'd be glad to see one though.

        • joe90

          It's a tracheostomy tube.



          • greywarshark


            Rebooting Your Life: 6 Steps You Can Follow to Find a New You

            He has found a way to get over that problem for the time, and take other along on the road with him. He sounds like a Forrest Gump character – giving other people a boost as well as himself.

            He is advocating for himself and others in need of compassion, and has a website and the heading above tells about his ideas for 6 mins I think.   I didn't read it because I'm in the elderly group and at present is trying to reboot my democracy and everybody's life, mine being on the end of the plank.    I have my own version and just give some ideas here and around as I go about just keeping the old you in good repair, with some time for appreciation of what good you do already have.  

            (You can see I have just been rereading Pollyanna, who is glad, very glad about the good things that happen and she manages to pass that on.    Honestly, I have just been reading it – what was the mindset of people going through hard times in the past I asked myself?  Pollyanna's we know.   Another seems to keep on, to relate to others and help yourself and others.)

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Darwinism at work.

  6. Bearded Git 6

    When Jock Anderson and Mihi Forbes agree that Jacinda has it exactly right re the border and Covid19, as they did on The Panel last night, National should be very scared. Anderson is notoriously conservative.

    • AB 6.1

      Anderson is also old – and maybe has a sense of his vulnerability to Covid. Meanwhile Muller demonstrates in recent interviews that his leadership style is to demand a type of impossible clairvoyance from his subordinates – insisting that there must be a plan (with timings) for  an unknowable future. 

    • gsays 6.2

      Talking to the 18 yr old in the house last night. He is a tad over what he perceives to be the highly sensitive nature of folk concerning comedy and racism. Part of this is finding his own way with leaving home and being with a building crew and their conservative attitudes.

      I mentioned 'punching-up' with comedy rather than down.


      I want to give a shout out to Mihingarangi Forbes for her explanation around blackface.

      In the context of Chris Lilley and his character Jonah from Tonga. She said that a Tongan teen/adolescent's stories are for a Tongan teen/adolescent to tell. When Chris Lilley occupies that space, there isn't room for a Tongan teen to be.

      This helps me understand Brotown, in that the stories are for Kightley, Fane etc to tell.

      Still a bit lost about Super City, Madeline Sami 'whitefacing' for a couple of her characters Linda and Ray. I figure it is about Pakeha being the dominant culture.



      • mauī 6.2.1

        So should we reinterpret tv shows like Fawlty Towers, The Office and Little Britain as not successful comedy, but simply unfunny and offensive to too many groups of people..?

        I can't see that happening. People need to laugh at themselves, the Greeks were doing similar comedy thousands of years ago.

        • McFlock

          Of course it's still successful comedy. Some of it is brilliant.

          But things like brownface are at best an intelligent, sensitive comedian having more opportunity to appropriate the expression of a minority experience (albeit in a sympathetic manner) than someone in that actual demographic has to express their own experience in mainstream media. It doesn't make it unfunny. It does raise the question "why not someone who didn't need the makeup?"

          The Fawlty thing is slightly different – I suspect recognition of the full harm that language causes makes it over-egg the effect they were going for. Audiences change over time, words change meaning, gain or lose emphasis. It's that sort of situation, imo.

          • francesca

            I think of the Carry On movies I watched as a kid , hopelessly unfunny now .They

            relied on repressed sexuality,stereotypes about women and homosexuality and provided  "naughty" thrills.

            Viewed now on vintage TV they are just puzzling, but a great social history lesson


  7. joe90 7

    What could possibly go wrong in a country where everybody and their dog has a weapon of war.


    • ianmac 7.1

      I read a few years ago that English is a second language for more that 50% of the population. Spanish a high proportion of first language. If so perhaps the White folk are nervous?

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        PS World: Of the approximately 1.5 billion people who speak English, less than 400 million use it as a first language. That means over 1 billion speak it as a secondary language

        • Andre

          Looking at where english is the dominant language, there's the US(330M) UK(67M) Canada(37M) Oz(25M) plus rats and mice. So yeah, less than 400M worldwide being english-first speakers is plausible. The vast majority of those are in the US, then UK.

      • Andre 7.1.2

        The idea of english being a second language for more than 50% of the US population is utterly implausible. Non-hispanic whites alone are 60%, and even the majority of non-whites will be US born or arrived at an early age so grew up speaking english as their primary language.

        There may be some large pockets where english is a second language for more than half the residents – Puerto Rico being the largest example, but no doubt there's some fairly large pockets along the southern border.

        But maybe that comment was just some snark from a UK pedant.

      • joe90 7.1.3

        If so perhaps the White folk are nervous?

        Nervous about being a minority because they know just how poorly minorities are treated, or something?

  8. miravox 8

    The question of Māori representation on the New Plymouth District Council is being debated again. But the debate all went pear-shaped with the representatives of all people should have their say at the NPDC Te Huinga Taumatua iwi committee meeting.  

    Poet and activist Sonya Taylor, shouted down from the gallery "racists do not deserve a fair say." The meeting was adjourned while she left the chamber. As she left she noted "Racism getting a fair say is why the oppression of Māori folks has been what it has been up to this point," 

    Recall 2014 when then Mayor Andrew Judd called himself a recovering racist and supported the Māori ward proposal. And in this day and age, who wouldn't?

    Well, the answer is here:

    "… the move was overturned in 2015 when a citizen-initiated referendum voted against it by 21,000 votes to 4285."

    The accusation of structural racism is well-founded given the only CIR that is legally binding on the NPDC is the question of Māori representation and this situation exists nowehere else in the country.

    Credit to the NPDC that they're trying to get this law removed, but hey there's not going to be much support for that it seems.

    Utterly shameful.

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Well, as someone who did actually vote for at least one Maori candidate to the NPDC last time, I see that 5:1 ratio as a consequence of historical inertia.  Take a look at this:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_marae_in_Taranaki

      Notice how the only marae in the city itself is in the outlying suburb of Bell Block – separated from the city proper by miles of countryside.  There are three in/around Waitara a few miles further to the east, then just one each in Oakura & Inglewood a few miles to the west & south. Compare that to the list of maraes in south Taranaki to see the huge difference!

      This population distribution is due to the original NZ company settlement in the year of the treaty, plus the genocide a generation earlier in which local tribes here were cleaned out by an invasion from Waikato tribes.

      That structural racism doesn't accord with the dictionary definition (tacit, not overt) but I agree it does need to be flagged.  A suitable political basis for that would be comparative analysis to maori representation in councils elsewhere – if that has been done on a treaty/quota basis.  I've no idea what basis the protestors are using…

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        Many cities have a tenth set aside as fair from the takeover of land from Maori.    They retained a tenth and that gives them their land by right or the right to have an argument if it starts being encroached on.

        Taranaki got taken over by farmers and the Hawera blackface mentality is a carry-through.   I don't know what era they are in, in their minds.   Somewhere between post World War 2  and 1984 I'd say.    Since then it's all been too confusing and there is a desire to retire to past highlights and memorials.

      • miravox 8.1.2

        Yes, it's noticable to this day how proportionately-few Maori reside in New Plymouth compared to the rest of the district.

        "a consequence of historical inertia"

        Historical inertia alongside historical and current racism. People actually had to get themselves out of their chairs to instigate and vote in that referendum.

        Structural racism  can refer "to the ideologies, practices, processes, and institutions that operate at the macro level to produce and reproduce differential access to power and to life opportunities along racial and ethnic lines… embedded in societal-level institutions, policies, and practices"
        I believe that definition covers what is going on with this. 

        "A suitable political basis for that would be comparative analysis to maori representation in councils elsewhere"

        The articls states legally binding CIR only for Maori representation is unique to a NPDC. Even if the council and Maori agree on a representation model as in 2014. The people can vote it down. That's not a racist council, it's a racist act by the population.

        [Fixed typo in e-mail address]

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    Russiagate’s Last Gasp

    One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate’s origins….


    Of course the Taliban story was mindlessly parroted by RNZ this morning…seems as if fake news is fine at most mainstream news outlets just as long as it supports ones own narrative…no need for pesky things like…gasp! evidence or credible named sources.

    • Brigid 9.1

      Thanks Adrian

      For others, tl;dr?

      “The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals.”

      (my bold)

      "How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity?

      It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they’re told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media."


      • In Vino 9.1.1

        Thanks, Brigid.  Very good point.  Our 'independent, privately-owned' press sometimes turns out to be even more bigoted and biased – but this must never be admitted.

    • Morrissey 9.2

      Russiagate, that consumptive and sickly monstrosity conjured up from an ill-advised and disastrous mating of  rogue CIA operatives and the discredited far right of the Democratic Party, is still wheezing and sputtering along, as can be seen by clicking on Comment No. 2 posted on this page at 8:41 a.m. today.

  10. Barfly 10

    Russian agents offering bounties on US soldiers …why would they do that ?



  11. Cinny 11

    National MP Alastair Scott is defending his wine company's claim of more than $170,000 from the Government wage subsidy during what has been called an outstanding season for winegrowers.


    Fun facts…. vineyards were still able to harvest, wine was still sold in the supermarkets and it was a bumper grape crop this year.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      As Blinglish of Dipton proved, the rich will always take any money that they can scheme to get their hands on – no matter how immoral that scheme.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        It might suit your anti-capitalism to see NZ go down the gurgler DTB but what about the children?    

        Actually, what about the country and managing to keep its head above water.    It is hard enough keeping down the dream-sequence kiwis who still support National, the others would soon desert Labour if the economy went down.    So it is good that the wine got picked, so that people could get paid, so that it could be sold, and so there is money flowing into the economy.   Paid work at a living wage, that is the goal and making sure that people have good lives.    That's a big one as the world goes down, ice floes melting faster than expected.    Hell is people running away but going towards the edge and being powerless to stop them, and knowing it isn't a dream.

        We still have hopes of being able to turn the tide at the present.    A recession and things would only get worse.   Let's make the most of this world-wide problem and pinch the government as much as possible to make changes while we have some advantage in the world.   And also keep Labour in front to win again.   Don't count on anything remaining stable, we have to help NZ as we won't get second chances from hereon in.

        See Susan St John on TDB – https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/07/01/when-will-labour-get-it-right-for-the-worst-off-children/

        There are lots of basic improvements to be done, we won't be better off if facing a full-scale depression.    Everybody who doesn't want to do anything until it is the 'Right Thing' is just continuing the same useless mindset that brought us to the present debacle.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It might suit your anti-capitalism to see NZ go down the gurgler DTB but what about the children?   

          Never said that.

          So it is good that the wine got picked, so that people could get paid, so that it could be sold, and so there is money flowing into the economy. 

          Wine grapes, unlike eating grapes, are picked and then sold later (it says so in the article). In other words, the lockdown hasn't affected him at all. A drought would have affected him worse and I'd expect him to have plans for that eventuality as well.

          And having money flowing into the economy is easy and doesn't need to have direct subsidies to businesses. Just give everyone $100/wk and local business would have kept going.

          A recession and things would only get worse.

          Actually, a recession is likely to do more for slowing climate change than keeping business going as per normal.


    • Barfly 11.2

      O O    devil

  12. ianmac 12

    The House sitting calendar still shows 1 July as the last sitting day?

  13. Peter 13

    Nick Smith again today acting like a child in Parliament.  His recalcitrant childish apologising should be compulsory viewing by the voters down his way. Hopefully the boundary change helps his demise.

  14. joe90 14

    Meanwhile, in democratic Russia.


    (sound off if you're squeamish)


    • greywarshark 14.1

      The police stayed down a long time giving him the treatment!  

      • ianmac 14.1.1

        For 45 years I manned polling booths and the worst anger I saw was directed at the orange felt tip pen that dried up. Aren't we  lucky that our democracy is so benevolent. 

        • greywarshark

          Yes, but we can't sit back sleepily and take it for granted.   It is slipping away, bit by bit starting even before 1984 but speeding up as time goes on.  

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