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Open mike 01/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 1st, 2020 - 184 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 …

184 comments on “Open mike 01/08/2020 ”

  1. ScottGN 1

    Martin Van Beynen. How the National Party’s default settings are just so wrong for the times we live in.

    And finally, painfully it seems that the political commentariat are realising the scale of the political realignment that’s likely at this election. Every published poll since May has had Jacinda Ardern and Labour heading for a majority.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      "The latest International Monetary Fund forecast has global growth dipping to -4.9 per cent." Degrowth is now in the pipeline.

      It will probably have to occur for a while until mainstreamers start to notice, and then the media will get over their aversion and start reporting it. Normalcy is a state of mind and operates like conventional wisdom.

      Facing a reality not previously encountered takes quite a lot of unconventional wisdom. Like turning the Titanic around, after the fraught consensus-building process of agreeing that the iceberg really is looming dead ahead.

      So National & Labour are likely to produce alternative economic plans prior to the impact of the election, but such difficult endeavour takes inordinate time. Not business as usual is a hard thing for both bunches of neoliberals to think about.

      • Gabby 1.1.1

        Mainstreamers that aren't already out of work, you mean? Media not reporting it? Where'd you get that quote you led off with? When is prior to the impact of the election?

        • Dennis Frank

          Where'd you get that quote you led off with?

          I took it from Scott's second link.

          Media not reporting it?

          Degrowth. Media mainstreamers are averse to reporting a new reality, in normalcy. The conceptual breakthrough that awaits them is when one of their own succumbs to the `emperor's new clothes' effect. That will happen when the fastest slow learner realises the emperor of economic growth is no longer wearing clothes, interprets the drop in gdp as degrowth, then says so!

          When is prior to the impact of the election?

          When the election gets so close that the risk of delay becomes greater than the risk of announcing the plan too soon.

          It ain't a tortoise & hare race, eh? Think tortoise & tortoise. The plans must gestate in the collective minds & processes of National & Labour until the time seems right to launch them. Remember that they both issued schematics of those plans not long ago, and the media commented on how they seemed identical and equally simplistic. So now the challenge is to differentiate!

          Q: how can one bunch of neoliberal drones seem cleverer than another?

          A: fakery

          • Gabby

            So you conclude the media aren't reporting something from a media report?

            • Dennis Frank

              Of course not. I conclude that as a result of the consistent pattern of their failure to report it. What, you think I haven't waited long enough already?

              Well, how long is a piece of string? I'm impatient by nature. A single failure suffices, for me. But yes, if you must wait until a pattern of degrowth denial by the media is well-established, I trust you will report each failure that you notice to us here, and tag it with the correct number in the sequence, so we can watch the sequence develop until it triggers the threshold of your pattern-recognition.

              • Gabby

                Don't let your impatience impede your understanding. Wait though, you're not just pretending the media are in denial to suit some point you want to make about your perspicacity are you? That would be a tad sly.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Nope, it's elementary. Media denial is proven by lack of contrary evidence. Even you ought to be able to figure that out. Try harder.

          • Sacha

            Malpass is not a 'media mainstreamer'; he is a doctrinaire rightie.

    • tc 1.2

      Most of the "political commentariat" are shills for National and to keep banging on with their trumping neoliberal memes shows they're owned and not reporting objectively. Relax though as Hosk will maintain the indignant rants.

      Collins and Boag have also done a great wrecking job by reminding everyone how DP and that 'win at all costs' are still very much the playbook with national. They don't give a F about the people and Jude showed NZ over ILG she's into those tactics despite denial.

      People aren't that stupid and the polls reflect that IMO. JA deserves to govern alone.

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        Most of the "political commentariat" are shills for National…

        Except for the most of the "political commentariat" who people at Kiwiblog claim are shills for Ardern and for Labour.

        I guess the "political commentariat" is people who say things you disagree with, as opposed to the intelligent well reasoned journalists you agree with.

        In many people's eyes Ardern does deserve to govern alone, but alas she least needs a few ministers to pad out the Cabinet and to front on the bad news.

        • Sacha

          Goes beyond any party sympathies. For instance, Malpass is a hardcore libertarian cheerleader who has worked for 'thinktanks' of that persuasion in both NZ and Australia.

          Look at the story Scott linked to in #1, bearing that in mind: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/122310902/election-2020-how-do-you-run-against-elimination

        • Ok Pete Who are these marvelous managers in National? Their “Cabinet” is looking very shabby at present.

          You are repeating the meme, "They only have Jacinda" when talking about Labour, with "alas she needs a few ministers to pad out the Cabinet"

          Journalists who were "truth tellers became targets during Key's time. It is good to see one vindicated to some degree.

          We look at the record and behaviour of these people. When their hyperbole draws the attention of theWorld Press, you can hardly accuse us of only attacking those journalists or commentators we disagree with. That is disingenuous.

    • Uncle Scrim 1.3

      As the biggest global event since WW2, it seems entirely reasonable that COVID-19 will lead to some sort of political realignment or shift in democratic societies, as happened in and after the 1930s Depression (eg Roosevelt in US, Savage/Fraser in NZ) and WW2 (eg Labour's election victory in UK in 1945, the NHS etc).

      It will be hard for any opposition party to argue for smaller government, tax cuts and especially anything that might be seen to weaken the health system. Hard too for National to attack Labour for carrying out pretty much the same economic policies as the British and Australian conservative governments have done during COVID.

    • AB 1.4

      Weak piece from van Beynen which doesn't look at underlying causes. Labour is popular right now because for a period of a few months it has told business what to do and insisted that it behave itself. It has put private power under democratic control in the interests of the health of every citizen. A majority of people love that – it's how their families work.

      Sure – as things get back to normal Labour will roll over and let business walk all over it again. But it's been nice while it lasted.

      • RedBaronCV 1.4.1

        That is a very insightful comment- having business behave itself. In terms of the election frankly I don't expect huge policy gobs ( as everything is in flux) but I would be content with a direction of travel.

        At the moment I think it would be fair to say that National represent letting business and overseas actors run all over the country again with zero concern for the bulk of citizens, with a very large side dollop of righteous fundamental holly roller.

        Labour will do better long term if they make it clear that they see business as a sector that has to be modified community needs.

        The Greens might be better to really focus on business being pushed in the environmental direction and into better redistribution towards the low paid but with more emphasis on the part the international wealthy play in this and the level of competition that the workplace settings play in this.

        Funny too how the media demand policy from Labour but give the right a free pass although the right rarely disclose their true agenda anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      Quoting first link:

      Restating National’s reason for existence is no easy task. It could start by reminding itself who it really represents, whose interests it is there to protect and promote.

      National is there to represent the rich and to make the exploitation of the poor by the rich easier. They know this, they don't have to remind themselves. Their problem is that most people are truly starting to realise this and if they state it openly then they lose even more votes.

      It could stand for equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome. Civility instead of kindness.

      Yeah – no. National has never stood for that. In fact, they stand fully against that. They know that the rich have much more opportunity and they're out to keep it that way by keeping everyone else poor.

      After all, equal opportunity can only come when everyone has the same access to the same level of resources.

      Does it all matter? Would it be the end of the world if National’s failure to re-establish its relevance meant it withered and died.

      Yes, it matters because getting rid of the rich is what we need to do to truly become a prosperous nation.

      It’s obviously important for our democracy to have a healthy opposition and National is all we have got at this stage.

      Its important for democracy that all voices and ideas are heard, debated and those chosen by the people are researched. It's not important for democracy to have an opposition.

      Public support for democracy depends on the other team having a reasonable prospect of governing one day.

      That is an outright lie.

      Public support for democracy comes from people feeling that their say is heard and that the path that the people choose benefits them and their direct family.

      The concept of government and opposition actually prevents that.

  2. Andre 2

    Impotus Americanus, most corrupt of all Oompus Loompitica.

    • Sabine 2.1

      Oh well, i guess the swamp is drained now?

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Yep. So now we have full view of the noisome creatures that lurk in the muck at the bottom and how they get their jollies down there.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Kim Hill is interviewing the author of this examination of Qanon (on RNZ): https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/qanon-nothing-can-stop-what-is-coming/610567/

    Social realities get co-created. Conspiracy theories have been escalating in recent decades and having a US president promoting one or more of them ramps their influence up into the top level of politics. Next step: geopolitics! 👽

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      When theories are promoted as alternative realities, they can become resilient and adaptive. As complex memes, they achieve contagion and currency.

      "QAnon does not possess a physical location, but it has an infrastructure, a literature, a growing body of adherents, and a great deal of merchandising… In the face of inconvenient facts, it has the ambiguity and adaptability to sustain a movement of this kind over time. For QAnon, every contradiction can be explained away; no form of argument can prevail against it."

      Conspiracy theories are a constant in American history, and it is tempting to dismiss them as inconsequential. But as the 21st century has progressed, such a dismissal has begun to require willful blindness.

      Sceptics tend to make greater fools of themselves than conspiracy theorists. The denialism that drives their dismissal makes them seem more pathetic. They deny the evidence that makes the conspiracy theory superficially plausible. So other sceptics who prefer to be grounded in whatever social reality seems profoundly real have to distance themselves from both groups.

      This transcendence of the binary creates a triadic structure in society: true-believers, disbelievers, and agnostics. Amongst the agnostics, you get those who are genuinely interested in the theorising, but require a better match with reality than that proposed by the competing binary nutball groups.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        The hero myth was identified by mythologist Joseph Campbell in 1949. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces) When you combine it with the tyranny/freedom mental axis, to produce Trump as liberator from total control of everyone by the deep state, you get traction in the mass mind.

        In its broadest contours, the QAnon belief system looks something like this: Q is an intelligence or military insider with proof that corrupt world leaders are secretly torturing children all over the world; the malefactors are embedded in the deep state; Donald Trump is working tirelessly to thwart them.

        Next step is to use the internet to make mass contagion more influential. Memes defeat other memes in the process of social darwinism:

        If the internet is one big rabbit hole containing infinitely recursive rabbit holes, QAnon has somehow found its way down all of them, gulping up lesser conspiracy theories as it goes.

        Then achieve democratic authenticity by identifying with the will of the people:

        To believe Q requires rejecting mainstream institutions, ignoring government officials, battling apostates, and despising the press. One of Q’s favorite rallying cries is “You are the news now.”

        Waken everyone! Warn them, about Democrats

        promoting “mass hysteria” about the coronavirus for political gain: “What is the primary benefit to keep public in mass-hysteria re: COVID‑19? Think voting. Are you awake yet? Q.”

        • aj

          Meanwhile in the real world …. the interview with Oliver Stone was also interesting. I think the Vietnam experience will be viewed in the future as a more telling moment in history than it is even now. I was a teen at the time and it didn't fully sink in, and watching documentaries now what gets to me is the pure fear in the eyes of the conscripts sent there. Stone nailed the zeitgeist of the time so well, and long may he continue to produce rock the boat documentaries and films.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.2

        "Sceptics tend to make greater fools of themselves than conspiracy theorists. The denialism that drives their dismissal makes them seem more pathetic."

        Really? Equating skepticism to denial(ism) is just weird – maybe it's a conspiracy laugh

        "Scepticism is integral to the scientific process, because most claims turn out to be false. Weeding out the few kernels of wheat from the large pile of chaff requires extensive observation, careful experimentation and cautious inference. Science is scepticism and good scientists are sceptical.

        Denial is different. It is the automatic gainsaying of a claim regardless of the evidence for it – sometimes even in the teeth of evidence. Denialism is typically driven by ideology or religious belief, where the commitment to the belief takes precedence over the evidence. Belief comes first, reasons for belief follow, and those reasons are winnowed to ensure that the belief survives intact."


        • Dennis Frank

          RNZ dropped Vicki Hyde as one of their regular commentators. I suspect her ideologically-driven scepticism was pissing off their audience too much. Nothing wrong with traditional scepticism used as a reality-check in science, as described in your red herring. What goes wrong with sceptics is their natural tendency to elevate scepticism to an ideology, whence their degeneration into denial of evidence emerges from. Been seeing that tendency consistently since the 1970s.

          Sceptics are able to make a positive contribution to society & culture as long as they keep an open mind and balanced view of the pros & cons of evidence.

          Sadly, many can't. This lot give the others a bad name (the analogy with lawyers comes to mind). To err is human, and one could rationalise their inadequacies accordingly. Me, I'm not so charitable. 😇

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            "I suspect her [Hyde's] ideologically-driven scepticism was pissing off their audience too much."

            You've peaked my curiosity, Dennis – I've met Hyde (who in 2013 was appointed a MNZM for services to science), and would struggle to identify the idealogy that you perceive drives her scepticism. Could you expand on the evidence that informs your suspicion? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicki_Hyde

            "Sceptics are able to make a positive contribution to society & culture as long as they keep an open mind and balanced view of the pros & cons of evidence.

            Sadly, many can't."

            Yes, it's always sad when an opportunity to make a constructive contribution is lost – those 'patterns of behaviour' are sooo intractable, eh?

            "What goes wrong with sceptics is their natural tendency to elevate scepticism to an ideology…" – so many people going wrong!

            Conflating denial and scepticism doesn't fly, but, as you say, to err is human. wink

            Pseudoscience as Media Effect
            "The popularity of the anti-vax movement in the United States and elsewhere is the cause of new lethal epidemics of diseases that are fully preventable by modern medicine [Benecke and DeYoung, 2019]. Creationism creeps into science classrooms with the aim of undermining the teaching of evolution through legal obligations or school boards’ decisions to present both sides of a debate largely foreign to the scientific community [Taylor, 2017]. And one simply has to turn on the TV and watch so-called science channels to be bombarded with aliens, ghosts, cryptids and miracles as though they are undisputable facts [Prothero, 2012]. Deprecated by its detractors, scientific proof is assimilated to become one opinion among others, if not a mere speculation. Worse, scientific data that challenge partisan positions or economic interests are dismissed as ‘junk science’ and their proponents as ‘shills’ [Oreskes and Conway, 2010]. By echoing such statements, some members of the media, often willing accomplices in conflating denial and scepticism, amplify manufactured controversies and cast growing doubt upon scientific credibility."

  4. bwaghorn 4

    If I was in labour I would be doubling security at the quarantine hotels and toughing up at the boarders .

    We have to keep covid out .

    And itll cost them an easy win if it gets back in .

    Both outcomes would piss me off .

    • Westykev 4.1

      Especially true when Labour’s campaign so far is about Covid-19

      • bwaghorn 4.1.1

        You ain't paying attention if you believe that .!

        But it certainly is the biggest issue so rightly is front and center.

        • Westykev

          It’s the central reason for theIr success in recent polls.

          • ScottGN

            It’s a big part of their success in the polls sure. But it’s not the only reason. There’s also a growing conviction on the part of voters that the main opposition party is in no shape to bear the responsibilities of office at the moment.

          • Gabby

            What's your point?

          • Sacha

            Yes but do they even have an election campaign yet, as such?

            • Sabine

              Have they actually got enough people left to run for something?

              • Sacha

                I thought he was talking about Labour? Small-target strategy and all.

                • Sabine

                  i thought you were talking about National 'have they got an election campaing'. 🙂

                  • Tricledrown

                    Cash in some kiwi saver invest in a small business that has a 58% risk of failing in the first year.

                    That's Nationals plan.

                    Building roads 10 yrs from now.

                    Saying they are better managers when they can't even manage their caucus

                    • Sabine

                      – how dare people use Their money as they see fit, don't they know that Their Kiwi saver AINT theirs to use. How dare they.

                      People now and then need money. They can borrow it from a bank or go for their savings. If the government is smart it will look at a change in legislation that would allow people to access a certain part of THEIR SAVINGS to start their busienss, pay some healthcare costs, renovate the house, get married, have some childfren et etc etc etc – you know all that stuff that sometimes need money. And besides, 48% of businesses succeed. But then who cares.

                      I don't think anyone here is considering the No mates party a good steward of anything other then their own bank accounts.

                      But liberating the Kiwi Safer to their owners would not be a bad idea and should be considered.

      • Just Is 4.1.2

        Westykev,So, you didn't hear anything about the huge spending on Infrastructure then, the largest spend in NZs history, or the fact they've built more new homes than any Govt since the seventies.

        I suppose people only hear what they want.

        • Westykev

          I call that a wish list from a Party that has not delivered big on infrastructure since their elevation to Government. Twyford and team over promised and under delivered on housing and transport.

          I hope for New Zealand’s sake they up their game post September.

          • Just Is

            It's not a wish list, it's an achievement NZ hasn't seen in a decade.

            That's why people say Twyford was a failure cos he managed to have more new homes built in NZ than any Govt since the 70s.

            In terms of other major Infrastructural projects, there hasn't been anytime in History that NZ has planned and completed the level Infrastructure currently either starting or near completion, roading, rail, Hospitals, Schools.

            How many Schools and Hospitals were upgraded under the last Govt?

      • Uncle Scrim 4.1.3

        I think Jacinda and Labour have so far tried to tread a fine line on this. Governments still have to govern right up to election day but most election years haven't been overshadowed by such a crisis and threat.They don't want to be seen to be prioritising election campaigning over the serious business of keeping NZ safe, and if anything went wrong they'd get pilloried for taking their eyes off the ball. On the other hand, they have already got some criticism from media over allegedly treating the upcoming election as a nuisance. Ultimately the best way for a govt to retain power is to be seen to be doing a good job, while also setting out a vision for the future.

        • Just Is

          Must be why Ardern has an 80% confidence rating, looking after NZ and NZers.

          We just happen to be in the luckiest country in the world right now, just there's a few Kiwis that haven't quite recognized that yet, they will in time.

          This Virus ain't disappearing any time soon, NZ is the Country to follow for procedural excellence, and we're still learning as we go.have we made mistakes, yes, did we learn from mistakes, yes. What more can you ask for.

          The National party are complaining about all the money being spent on Quarintine and Isolation without actually recognizing the Huge financial benefits of ploughing all those funds directly into the economy, employing people and keeping businesses operating, it's called good economic management, something NZers aren't used to seeing.

      • WestyKev…..Is that you Paula?

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      And itll cost them an easy win if it gets back in

      It'll cost them something, maybe the tail end of their list – but the party that spent so much time whining about opening the borders have scarcely established themselves as a credible alternative.

    • Treetop 4.3

      Covid-19 is a game changer on many levels were community transmission to occur. Due to good political management NZ has been fortunate in not being impacted on a social level other than when in level 4 & 3.

      I watched the premier of Victoria on TV and the emotion in his eyes told me that there was a long rocky steep road ahead for his state.

      There are some situations in isolation where additional support is needed. Ranging from medical requiring methadone to grief support for children and this needs to be provided to minimise breaking isolation.

      • greywarshark 4.3.1

        The paper headline said yesterday/today that Victoria is thinking of a NZ type lockdown. We did it early and so it tracked through well. Victoria seemed to be doing well but it was careless to have guards supposed to be keeping isolated possibly infected apart but then having sex with them. That was a poor connection in the brain of the careless young, but even worse in the minds of planners who need to allow for the little quirks and needs of humans.

        So Victoria may have to go beyond what we did and be authoritarian, and the young would hate it, but then that could be limited by showing some kindness and imagination. Set up ways of communicating so people don't get tense about family and personal problems, and loneliness. Let them watch television a lot and perhaps have classes on learning the ukelele, and put a performance on telly at the end of isolation giving kudos to those who gave it a go in the true Aussie spirit, and build citizen-pride and support. And for the ones that like reading have kindle, and then a book discussion between the isolated and outsiders. Try to get them reading, it may prevent them from joining the most illiterate period since 1820 or something, with most spending time watching mummers on TV.

        • Treetop

          Hot security guards at a hotel was tempting for a few.

          Spot prizes, grocery and book vouchers, smart phones and ipads, gardening tools and plants…

          • greywarshark

            I don't see that as bad, firms would probably give vouchers, be prepared to give something to do for the fortnight, and make a friend and customer from the situation.

    • Cinny 4.4

      Personally, I'd prefer to see the army doing security rather than a private firm. I really believe that would make a difference.

      • Westykev 4.4.1

        100% agree Cinny, we don’t want a Victoria like outbreak here.

      • Treetop 4.4.2

        Yes, a military run operation would be much better as it is required to save lives.

        • greywarshark

          The Army might like to be seen being good and reliable, people to look up to when they try.

  5. Sacha 5

    (In a brief free access post), David Cormack analyses the latest polls the right way – by bloc, not party: https://www.patreon.com/posts/39896413

    When I say opposition, I mean those parties not part of the Government: National and ACT. At the moment the opposition is on 37%. Just seven weeks out from the election the opposition is at 37%.

    For context, the poll that saw Andrew Little admit that maybe he wasn't the right person to lead Labour had the opposition of Labour, Greens, and NZFirst actually collectively at 50%.

    You have to judge each poll against itself. So in the last Colmar Brunton, which was taken when Todd Muller was leader, National was on 38% and ACT on 3%. So 41% for the opposition. Even that is bad, but now it's worse with National shedding 6% and ACT gaining 2%.

    If you compare TV3's Reid Research Polls, the opposition went from 32% to 28%, so a slip of 4%. While National went down 5% and ACT went up 2%.
    The trends are pretty much the same.

    • Treetop 5.1

      It was a good call when to release the report into Operation Burnham as the National Party poll could have dipped due to the release. The next poll will reflect the reports finding.

      There is a trend going on into inquiries involving National Party MPs and when the inquiry is of an historical event which was handled poorly this reflects on the current National Party.

      Were it not for Labour exposing the truth using pages from Hager and Stephenson's book, National and the NZDF would have gotten away with concealing the truth.

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        I do wonder which groups of voters pay attention to matters military.

        • Treetop

          No one specific group of voters and probably those with connections to the NZDF.

          • Sacha

            I thought maybe older voters?

            • Anne

              Yes. They're the ones who may have followed the saga as it wound its way through the mesh of lies denials and (maybe) even read "Hit and Run".

              The young are otherwise occupied unless they are in the NZDF and even then its likely they are not much interested as for many it represents what they would see as a bygone era.

          • Gabby

            And manboys with a hardon for armymen.

    • Ad 5.2

      I see this election as a massive renewal for the hard right in New Zealand.

      Labour has been faced with such extreme events that it has had to expand the state so fast and so far that the more defensive elements of society are getting more and more ticked off.

      National has shrunk.

      Act looks likely to get above 5%, and bring in 7-8 MPs. Act's stance on guns is well recognised as bringing in those hard core rifle owners in the Waitake and Southland electorates.

      The Conservative Party is back, and it will eat away a percentage or two in Mt Roskill and Mangere.

      The coalition of weirdos gathered around Jaimie Lee-Ross will suck .5%-1% across from NZFirst and from National.

      I'd like to see this splintering continue, to ensure Labour gets a good four terms and sinks the wooden stake through National's heart good and proper.

      Whereas on the left, the Greens are imperilled at 5% and may well be dried to a husk under the 5% threshold, leaving a unified and revived left under Ardern. The harder left has simply nowhere to go and doesn't need to. That makes for much more efficient and surefooted government.

      • Sacha 5.2.1

        a unified and revived left


        • Ad


          Our government has never been more redistributive, or more Keynsean in the scale of its deficit spending, since Muldoon's second term.

          It has utterly massive nationwide support, and support within the Labour Party, for a young and charismatic and effective leader. That hasn't occurred since the first term of Helen Clark – if then.

          And it's done so while becoming the most popular government in living memory.

          • Sacha

            That's lovely but how does removing the Green party from government make the left either unified or revived?

            • Incognito

              Don stop at Government, the Greens might well be ‘removed’ from Parliament altogether. United we stand, divided we fall.

              • Sacha

                And parliament is not the only avenue of influence for the left either.

                • Just Is

                  Who do you place the blame on if the Greens don't make it over the line?

                  I like the Greens, I hope they're part of the next Govt, but they can't complain voters don't support them, they need the policies that attract a broader range of punters

                  • Sacha

                    We weren't talking about that, but their comms has been weaker in recent years. Only need to secure one on twenty voters though – not the same 'broad' church as Lab or Nat.

                    I do not see how removing the Greens from parliament builds unity. Seems like FPP thinking.

                    • Just Is

                      No, not really, I think its just we've got a Govt that has become extremely popular, a lot of that due to the response to the pandemic, both support parties are struggling to gain traction even though they are part of the solution, its just the voting public aren't associating those support parties with the pandemic policies, they're not seen promoting the policies or involved in the daily announcements.

                      I agree the Greens need to improve their coms, they've stumbled making announcements about policy, they've allowed the media to control the policy emphasis, rather than making sure the policy is promoted in a way that voters can aspire to.

                      I give you their Tax policy release as an example, great policy, but the media immediately described it as the Wealth Tax, that ends up as a discouragement, they needed a clear identity for the policy, like, Tax restructuring policy and made sure it couldn't be renamed to something the voters would want to reject.

                      I'm confident the Greens will make the cut, you only have see how many here will party vote them to help them on their way.

          • McFlock

            MMP giveth, MMP taketh away.

            The Greens are essential to parliament because parties need friends to govern. Sure, Labour might be able to govern alone come election 2020, but what about 2023? Monolith parties lower the odds of being in government if they don't have coalition partners.

            The right are in trouble not because they have new minor parties fracturing the vote, but because the new minor parties are largely similar in nature (and extremely nutty).

            NZ can't support the Greens, the Environment Party, the ZeroCarbon Party, and the OrganicNZ Party. But the Greens should be able to get 5%.

            If we lose the Greens this election, to whom will Labour turn when they drop to 45% in 2023?

            • Just Is

              Exactly, very good point.

              I think Labour recognizes that too.

              Even with a majority to Govern alone, I still think the Greens will be part of the next Govt, even if it's just for improved representation, and very good for democracy.

            • Andre

              Winston rose from the soft fresh earth lining his crypt that he had been resting in from 2008 to 2011. So Greens missing out this time isn't necessarily permanent. Especially if they take the time to reflect on the relative weight they give to environmental issues versus other issues in relation to the demographics where they draw their support.

              • McFlock

                Yeah, but Winston's kind of special like that. Dude has come back from the dead so much that Hammer Films want to make movies about him.

                I don't think policy weight is the issue for the Greens – I think they just have a same problem as ACT (although significantly more base support). When their natural coalition partner is dipping a bit, they have a bit more room. When their natural coalition partner is super-popular, they get overshadowed.

                But I still think their voice is important to have in parliament.

                • Andre

                  Maybe not policy-weight as the important factor, but people-weight.

                  I couldn't bring myself to vote for Greens when their highest profile people were the likes of Tanczos, Bradford, Kedgley. Because it really didn't seem to me their hearts were in environmental issues, but that Greens were a stalking horse for other agendas.

                  Then when there was a bit more heft on the environment side with the likes of Kevin Hague, Kennedy Graham, Russell Norman as well as Hughes, Sage etc, I found it easier to choke down the idea that the likes of Steffan Browning were part of the package. For the coming election, I feel like the environmental substance has been whittled down to Shaw, Sage, Genter – which feels like quite a step down from where things were.

                  • McFlock

                    I'm sort of half and half on that one (personal dislike for Tanzcos aside – on at least one occasion he got pissy with doorstaff when the "don't you know who I am" didn't count as a backstage pass).

                    MPs neglecting a party's platform just to wank on about a single pet issue is a bit shit. But also I'm not sure how a party serious about fundamentally altering how we as a society operate in relation to the environment can do so without looking at social, economic, and post-colonial issues.

                    From my point of view, the existence of poverty is every bit as much a part of the values of an environmental party as the discussion of whether NZ national parks should be returned as close to a precolonial state as is possible. Poverty is a direct result of capitalism. It's as wasteful to people as clearfelling or overfishing are to "the environment". I have no idea why any group would want dramatic change in one but be opposed to any effort spent on the other.

      • Ad the hard right has always been here. Put a moustache on the Act Leader.History repeating?

        Little man, big ideas, gathering all the malcontents together for what? What Policy/Vision is he offering?

        While we battle the virus he is planning. He has been attached to National, but now is trying to relevant in his own right (Pun intended)

        We laughed at the twerking… "Nek Minnit"…….??

      • Treetop 5.2.3

        I am not sure if there is a Clutha electorate Act candidate. If there is, this would be competition on and the National voters might split their vote.

        Low end for Seymour is 5 seats and high end is 10 seats.

        • Graeme

          Basil Walker was ACT candidate for Southland but he resigned and is now standing as an independent in Invercargill, he's also put in an audacious bid for the Tiwai smelter

          So looks like ACT are going to be looking for a candidate in Southland too

          • Treetop

            What is it with the Clutha seat that the electorate MPs tarnish and potential candidates do a runner?

            • Graeme


              And generally not getting candidates, and then MPs who are up to representing the place. The place puts very high demands on it's MP and will quickly destroy someone who's not up to the demands of the job. Certainly did the last two in, with style.

              The electorate has a very conservative rural part in Southland, combined with a very liberal, go get it, part in Queenstown and Central Otago. It's one or the other with very little cross over, the two parts of the electorate may as well speak completely different languages, really they do.

  6. Adrian 6

    How does this happen? According to the Herald a woman traveled from NZ to England in January then came home in March just before lockdown and then on July 20 flew to Sydney where she tested positive on arrival .? She must have dual citizenship but how does she test positive 4 1\2 months later when she thinks she may have had it when feeling sick after coming back in March. Did she not get a test then, was it a false neg if she did?

    Stranger and stranger.

  7. Anker 7
    • She arrived in Sydney on the 6th July. Quarantine till the 20th. 11 days later or thereabouts a positive test. Might she have picked it up in quarantine? Sydney? Who would know……scary to think she might have picked it up in the UK in January. I traveled to London mid February arrived home on the 28th. Was visiting an unwell relative so didn’t go touristing. Walking freely around local shops. No hint of what was about to come although I was following covid closely. Trip home on edge a little and practising hand hygiene etc…
  8. RedLogix 8

    I've been aware of this issue for a while now, but I'm rather startled at how many people are at risk here:

    Normally hundreds of small yachts sail here from the South Pacific each year to wait the cyclone season out, from September to May.

    But this year, with the borders closed because of the pandemic, they're stranded with nowhere to go.

    Guy Chester is moored at the island of Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia, and is growing increasingly anxious, as the window closes for the yachts to make the voyage here – he says they only have a few weeks left, and still need planning and application time.

    He's been appealing to New Zealand's government since April to create a border entry exemption process for those on small yachts in the Pacific to come to New Zealand before the cyclone season starts.


    This is straightforward, and very low risk. By the time you've made the 10 day passage from Tonga or Fiji on a small yacht, you've pretty much isolated anyway. And when you do get to Opua, another week on the boat and a couple of tests represents a very low burden on the quarantine system.

    • Koff 8.1

      These are foreign (i.e. not kiwi) yachties in French Polynesia who pre-covid would have planned on spending the cyclone season in NZ (or Australia). French Poly is relatively safe from cyclones and in fact many European yachties (not under visa restrictions) spend several years there. Any yachties who have to leave French Poly (e.g. for NZ) cannot land in the Cooks, Niue or Tonga making it a 14 to 20 day trip direct, so basically within quarantine timing. Fiji has opened up under strict conditions but is not a safe cyclone season layover. Can't see the NZ government allowing non NZ yachties in yet, at least until after the election (cyclone season doesn't really begin until November) despite the low health risk.

    • Sabine 8.2

      i don't disagree with you but

      they had all year to get back to their home countries and did not?

      Or is that a point we don't want to discuss?

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        The closing down of borders and constantly changing rules has impacted many people very hard. I recently met a couple who spent 73 days at sea in SE Asia, being bounced from place to place before finally arriving in Darwin with literally no food or water left on board. This is not an uncommon story.

        The trade wind sea routes also mean that if you are in the Pacific, your most feasible destinations lie eastward, and this means ultimately landing up in NZ or Australia at some point. If your home nation is Europe or North America, sailing back upwind to get there is not a simple matter. And until very recently even getting back through Panama was not possible.

        And in reality for many, their boat is their home, their only significant asset. Abandoning it and catching a plane back to the country they are nominally citizen's of is a highly non-trivial demand to make of them.

        NZ has long had a marine industry that has quietly done very well from a steady flow of boats arriving here; now is the time to extend a generous hand when they really need it.

        • Sabine

          ah, that makes sense.

          Thanks for the clarification.

        • Koff

          A good accurate description. However having made the passage westwards once myself, the prospect of spending another year in French Polynesia rather than risk the perilous long trip all the way to NZ seems a lot safer and pleasanter. The other issue is that all the foreign boats from last year are still 'stuck' in NZ (and Oz) meaning there is little safe mooring space left in in marinas for another lot.

    • Ad 8.3

      Immigration approvals are just a mess.

      We've seen it even for the America's Cup teams.

      It's the World War Z of immigration policies.

    • Some yachts do the Tonga-NZ trip in 7 days.

      • Koff 8.4.1

        Normally, yachts would island hop through to Tonga then down to NZ via Minerva lagoon if necessary. But all the islands west of French Polynesia are inaccessible making it a 2000 nautical mile trip from Bora Bora with the worst bit at the end – not sensible even if NZ allows entry

    • Gabby 8.5

      So what happens if Guy just sails here regardless?

      • Koff 8.5.1

        Even before the pandemic, yachties intending to sail to NZ had to inform Customs at least 4 days before arrival with all info about who's on board, where they were sailing from and their health status. They could only go to the Q (quarantine) dock in Opua or Marsden Cove and wouldn't be allowed on land before an inspection by Customs, Biosecurity and Health. If Guy, whoever he is, just turned up he would have been fined heavily and possibly arrested. Dunno what the protocol is now as only NZ citizens and residents are allowed to sail to NZ. Guess they have to work it out before they leave Australia or French Poly with Customs and any days they haven't spent at sea (subtracted from 14) could be spent tied up to one or the other of the Q docks and only released after a negative test (only guessing!).

        • Gabby

          Ok, so he could set off and he's not going to be sunk on sight as long as he lets people know who's coming and he's prepared to quarantine. Doesn't sound too oppressive.

          • RedLogix

            No it isn't like that at all. If he just turned up without good reason (such as a genuine sailing emergency) there would be heavy fines, and lots of unhappy consequences.

            Most sailing people are highly aware of the often complex arrival procedures necessary in every country and do their best to comply responsibly wherever possible.

    • Treetop 8.6

      What about a yacht used for drug smuggling?

      The smugglers are not going to say we picked up 50 kg of meth from a dingy and the person loading the drug had a cold.

      If ligit bad time for yacht sailing between countries.

      • RedLogix 8.6.1

        Authorities are very aware of the Pacific drug smuggling routes, monitor traffic closely and are generally quite good at catching bad actors. Quite a separate issue.

  9. ianmac 9

    The exit of so many socially liberal women at the same time leaves a gaping hole in the so-called broad church of the National party that will cause it to list to the religious right.

    Audrey Young (I bet she was weeping tears of anger and disappointment when writing this) expands on the rise and rise of the MPs who are religious Right. (But Wrong to me.)


    • Sacha 9.1


    • ianmac 9.2

      From Audrey:

      Fast forward to Thursday and you saw Kaye and Adams describing with pride their work on the abortion legislation, the euthanasia bill, gay marriage, and other Rainbow issues.

      Their work has been strongly opposed by a group of hardcore Christian colleagues, mainly first-term MPs, who include Hipango, Loheni, Simeon Brown, Chris Penk and Paulo Garcia, along with more experienced MPs Simon O'Connor and Alfred Ngaro, who briefly flirted with the idea of starting a Christian Party.

      The religious conservatives in National have been more visible this term than before because of three factors: greater numbers of MPs, more issues around which to organise, and the fact the party did not have a strong liberal leader like John Key.

      His departure gave the right greater freedom, permission if you like, to speak out with impunity.

      Simon Bridges and Todd Muller are not part of the more zealous group although, as conservatives and Christians, would also have given heart to the hardliners.

      • Red Blooded One 9.2.1

        I suspect the hardcore christian members will be emboldened by their new leader Christ-opher Luxon when he takes over from Crushed Collins.

        • ianmac

          It is not yet clear what the balance will be when the votes fall after September 19 and it is yet to be seen how some of the new MPs such as Christopher Luxon will project their Christian views on others.

          The chances are there will not be the surplus of polarising issues there have been this term.

          But the exit of a swag of social liberals means keeping a balance between liberal and conservative within National is expected be a greater focus for the party's board particularly in its list ranking.

          When the Christian Party demised many years ago, I seem to remember a plan to not bother with a Party but instead get individual strong Christians elected to operate from the inside rather than the outside. Maybe they have succeeded?

          • Draco T Bastard

            So, National has now become the Christian Party?

            • ianmac

              Yes Draco. Since God is on their side they will mightily hew down those who would defy the Chosen Path to Rightliness and Judith will blossom shrouded in iridescent halos. Alleluya!

              • Treetop

                Might go the other way for Collins not being a good fit for the leader of the National Christian Party due to her unchristian values.

      • Sacha 9.2.2

        Thanks, Ian.

  10. joe90 10



  11. vto 11

    its like a horror movie

    this virus pounding at the doors

    trying to get in

    scratching at the handle, in through the lock, under the door

    screeching "let us in, let us in…"

    • Sacha 11.1

      "Is that you again Judith?"

    • Chris T 11.2

      It kind of isn't really.

      Our boarders are pretty much closed.

      If the current govt could get their collective shit together for long enough and not let people in isolation rock off to Countdown every 5 minutes it should be alright

      • Sacha 11.2.1

        I know right, that skyrocketing community transmission is proof they aren't keeping many of them in there. Wish we were more like the Strayans.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Is this a conspiracy theory that has worked on our economic system?

    Economist Brian Easton says a fellow economist had the good oil but was scuttled by the econo-nasties.

    We tend to propose economic policies without thinking of their wider repercussions. It is just so easy to say ‘we should do this’ and ignore the consequences. This was nicely, and sadly, illustrated by a recent controversy between Keith Woodford, retired professor of agribusiness at Lincoln University, and the NZIER, which wrote a report on the contribution of agriculture to the economy. It argued that the sector’s contribution was small (4 to 5 percent of GDP); Woodford argued that the estimate was misleading about the significance of the farm contribution.

    Bryan [Philpott] would have been irate, because the analytic framework the NZIER report was so limited. It seemed to be saying that the farm sector was so small we could almost neglect it. That would encourage those who want to diminish or even close down the agricultural sector.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Economists on the run

      The problem, of course, is that economists have been giving bad advice for decades and, even after the lessons of the GFC, don't seem to have any other advice.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    • PaddyOT 13.1

      DracoTD, the NZ scene has a significant national body collective? It was a long fought effort to be recognised; now not only receiving charitable funding but receiving significant funding from MSD and ACC.
      The body's agencies are working on the ground addressing an overwhelming workload of needs.
      Each of the client coming into different agents nation wide, IS the expert on their own lives. The goals for 'remedy' come from their own voices. Support is multi faceted for all dimensions of a person's story and needs; not just abuse issues either nor ironically a single gender or ethnicity, exclusive place. New agencies are underway still spreading into further locales. There is enormous support from a wide collective of grass roots and NGO's all working collaboratively to affect change .( And no, Paula despite your claim in your valedictory speech, you never visited- and in a funding round- nor another high profile dissenter, ' never mind them' pollie.

  14. Just Is 14

    Today is the third anniversary of Jacinda Arderns elevation to Leader of the Labour Party.

    Andrew Little has said he never regretted passing over the reins, the rest is history.


    • Andrew deserves our thanks and gratitude, as he was big enough to acknowledge her.

      This was the beginning of a remarkable Leadership example from both of them.

      Jacinda Ardern is seen as a shining example of sound Leadership.

      I wish her "Good luck and health" in these demanding times, may she lead for years.

  15. Muttonbird 15

    Australia's Covid 19 toll has doubled in the last two weeks since they had effectively eliminated.

    Watching the conversations of resident Victorians around the place it's clear they and their government have no idea about proper pandemic response. This can be applied nationally too. The mixed massages and concessions which led to this horrible 'second wave' (it's not a second wave, it's just a first wave not dealt with properly) are still front and centre of policy there.

    For instance, did you know that construction was, is and apparently always will be classed as an essential service? Did you know all Australians were allowed to go to work, even during their highest level of lockdown, if they were unable to work from home?

    It's clear the Victorian people and government have no intention of doing what is required and they are now reduced to managing the unmanageable.

    The Victorian and federal Australian governments' botched response gives us a very clear picture of what life would be like in New Zealand had the National Party been in charge here.

    • Just Is 15.1

      In the beginning, the Australian state Govts started their own lockdowns as the Fed Govt was missing in action, they finally came to the party and literally copied the NZ system and Morrison was even mimicking Ardern and her demeanor, I remember watching him thinking he must have had a brain transplant, speaking more softly and with emotion, must have taken a fair bit of training.

      • Muttonbird 15.1.1

        I don't believe they got close to what we did.

        Another example is our bubble concept. Here, we knew very well we were to not mix with anyone outside or family unit – for five weeks.

        In Australia, as far as I can tell, you could mix with anyone as long as you were in a group of no more than two people.

    • Muttonbird 15.2


      The state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Friday confirmed a New Zealand-style lockdown was being explored – restrictions which saw all businesses closed except for essential services.


      Let's hope they get it right this time.

      • Just Is 15.2.1

        How much is it going to hurt their economy?

        Remember when the right was arguing that we should already have the Borders open, aren't we lucky they weren't in charge.

        • Draco T Bastard

          How much is it going to hurt their economy?

          It won't.

          The economy has never been the finances.

          Remember when the right was arguing that we should already have the Borders open, aren't we lucky they weren't in charge.

          Very. Because if they'd been in charge they would have destroyed the economy to keep the rich rich.

          But then, that's what National always does.

    • greywarshark 15.3

      The mixed massages certainly must have had a big affect on the rising number of cases in Victoria.

      • Muttonbird 15.3.1


        The VIC authorities are doing themselves and everyone else a disservice by claiming the situation the find themselves in now is due to one single quarantine lapse.

        I just don't buy that and what it does is minimise the considerable flaws in the rest of their approach which, left unfixed, will result in many, many more deaths.

  16. Muttonbird 16

    TikTok is regularly used as a platform to pillory and satirise Trump.

    So he bans it.


  17. Reality 17

    We should not forget National and business and universities jumping up and down demanding we open the borders before it was safe. Strange isn't it, they have gone pretty quiet about that these days. They were also saying Australia was doing better than we were!

    But we must not get complacent. Daughter in Australia says too many people there were selfish idiots.

    • Muttonbird 17.1

      Daughter in Australia says too many people there were selfish idiots.

      It's true, but where does the complacency come from? It comes from complacent and compromised leadership.

      Those conversations I mentioned above show the Australian federal government’s relief packages were unwieldy, slow and hard to access. Wage subsidies in NZ were central to the calmness with which we all approached the very well thought out lockdown. Clear and compassionate leadership from JA got us all on board.

  18. Reality 18

    Muttonbird, true. It was very clear here, apart from some initial issues about what was or was not essential and untidy issues were quickly tidied up. The daily PM and DG briefings kept us well informed and they reminded us what was expected of us. It became essential viewing. I don't think daughter in Australia had that level of clarity.

    • My son in Australia and many others tuned into Jacinda and Ashley's reports, as the advice was universal and clear.

      Others did crazy things, like 3000 gathering for a party.

  19. I Feel Love 19

    Hooton quit, 70 or so days…

    & laughing arse off at NZ First attack ads against the Greens, apparently if I vote Greens I get a Unicorn!!!

    • Anne 20.1

      He sure is NOT living in the land of reality. But then it has been my observation that he hasn't for a long, long time.

  20. Sacha 21

    Winston's imported brexiteers sure are providing some strange campaign advertising guidance..

  21. Just Is 22

    Mathew Hooton has resigned from the National Party and has stated that National have a good chance at winning the upcoming election.

    I will say no more.


  22. Sacha 23

    Hooton has resigned from his party job. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300071836/matthew-hooton-resigns-as-national-party-staffer

    “I’m pleased to have contributed to getting some of National’s basic messaging done, including the standard sump speech, and also to have helped kickstart the A to Z policy process again.”

    • observer 23.1

      Friday: Hager wins.

      Saturday: Hooton loses.

      The dark side does not always triumph.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1

        We all watched Star Wars and we know that the Dark Side always loses – even if it is after millions of deaths that weren't necessary.

    • Andre 23.2

      If my 'rithmetic is correct, that lasted 6.0 Scaramuccis.

    • Robert Guyton 23.3

      "“I can’t justify the impact on my family and other personal and professional responsibilities for seven weeks."


  23. Muttonbird 24

    Amazing how many Tories suddenly want to spend more time with their family.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      To conservatives family is all important – unless you're more than a generation away in which case you're nothing.

  24. joe90 25


    • Andre 25.1

      Wonder if that really unnatural blotchy orange colouring is photoshopped or just bad lighting.

  25. joe90 26

    You couldn't make this shit up.

    On second thought, maybe it was too soon.

    One of the first cruise ships in the world to resume sailing since the coronavirus-caused worldwide halt to departures in March is experiencing an outbreak of the illness that has already sent people to the hospital.

    Norwegian expedition cruise company Hurtigruten late Friday said four crew members from the 535-passenger Roald Amundsen were admitted to the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, Norway, earlier in the day after the vessel docked in the city.


  26. NZJester 27

    Political lobbyist Matthew Hooton resigns as National Party staffer


    I wonder if him and Judith could not get along or there is somthing more?

  27. Robert Guyton 28

    "Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp just told @manidunlop on Midday Report he "completely forgot" about a briefing which said civilians were possibly killed during Operation Burnham."

  28. Sacha 29

    Hey, Hoots has resigned. Spread the word.

  29. brilliant Oz headline ….

    James Murdoch resigns to spend less time with family

  30. Sacha 31

    Great Belgian headline!

    Moonshot brings back fromage

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