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Open mike 01/08/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 1st, 2022 - 130 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 …

130 comments on “Open mike 01/08/2022 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Guyon Espiner's interview with the PM this morning was, on the surface, robust. But the extraordinary thing about the interview, and the follow up discussion with the political editor, was how it was framed as a vigorous defense by the journalists of the neoliberal status quo – tax cuts are more efficient, the government itself is the problem for not following the advice of neoliberal civil service, the issue for the journalists seems to be the very concept of an active government.

    Lately we've been hearing an increasingly hysterical defense from National and most of the establishment MSM of the Thatcher/Reagan monetarist settlement and demands we return to that status quo with the usual prescription austerity, running down of government services, tax cuts for the rich, wage suppression via unchecked immigration and housing bubbles.

    With the rise of dark money propaganda – which of which will be subject of zero curiosity or scrutiny from an establishment MSM happy to re-print press releases from a thicket of false fronts set up by the the likes of Jordan Williams – It is going to be a very dirty election in 2023. A lot of fat cats are relying on the right returning us to the true path of Rogernomics and they are willing to pay what it takes.

    • Belladonna 1.1

      Just listened to both the interview (linked above) and the follow up with Jane Patterson (it's the second topic she addresses, after the proposed legislative change to close the NZF electoral donations loophole)

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018851597

      I didn't hear any "vigorous defence by the journalists of the neoliberal status quo" It's the job of journalists to ask hard questions – I'm sure many listeners would have been wondering 'why not tax cuts?' – which I thought that Ardern answered very effectively (tax cuts are inflationary long term, the targeted payment is less inflationary, and is short term)

      The points made by Patterson in the follow-up were:

      • This was rushed through, and less than perfect targeting is the consequence.
      • IRD gave advice that they didn't have the capacity to target more specifically.
      • Opens the government to charges of un-targeted spending [which the NP are exploiting]
      • bwaghorn 1.1.1

        I think the payment is a farce, short term populist rubbish , cut taxs on under $30 000 and pay for it with a raise on $70 000 and above ,

        Ironically I get the payment because last year I was under the cut off even though this year I'm above the cut off.

        • Descendant Of Smith 1.1.1.1

          And many partners with disabilities don't get it because they had no earnings and get neither a benefit nor ACC.

          This is a very much abandoned group – when I started work many employers paid an extra allowance for people who had non-working partners, you could claim a tax rebate if your partner earned under a certain amount and a few other things like life insurance rebates.

          Now all the costs fall on the one partner exacerbated by Labours decision to remove underage partners from NZS.

          Many of us who care for unwell partners will be working well past 65 simply to get the mortgage paid off and to try and save some money for retirement once that as done. The extra $6,000 to $7,000 in tax I pay over a couple earning the same amount each year over the last 30 years is the difference between paying my mortgage off already and being in Kiwisaver.

          I'm still fortunate however that I have been in a position where I have been able to support my partner. This isn't the case for many.

          Very few people in politics advocate for this group. Peter Dunne was probably the last. It does grate a little, despite understanding the practical aspects as to why this has occurred, that people overseas are getting this payment while non-working partners get zilch. Many like mine have worked in the past when well – it wouldn't be impossible to set up a system where they could apply for the payment.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.3

        David Parker was on Morning Report today saying that 1% of the cost of living payments would have gone to the wrong people.

        Later on Morning Report (or maybe it was at the start of Nine to Noon) I heard that there is a mechanism to repay wrong payments and a mechanism to stop the next two payments simply by gong to the website if somebody is receiving the payment wrongly.

        Yet again the media, including RNZ, is going well over the top and misleading the public in order to slam Labour.

        Meanwhile on this afternoon's RNZ Panel people came on saying the $350 would be very useful as a short term alleviating measure. And David Slack made the point that this is a measure in addition to raising benefits, Working for Family and raising the minimum wage and increasing the winter fuel allowance, which are far more important measures helping the low paid implemented by this government.

    • Anne 1.2

      Totally agree with you Sanctuary.

      The Espiner interview was an attempt to create a political storm around a minor glitch in the Cost of Living Payment to those on the lowest incomes. The vast majority of payments are going to people living in NZ, but a minority living overseas have been caught up in the system – as was expected. The amount involved will be infinitesimal in the scheme of things. Jacinda Ardern clearly and succinctly explained the problem and it was simply brushed aside by Espiner as if she had never said anything.

      A calculated storm in a tea cup designed to be a supposed example of "sloppy policy done on the hoof" as postulated by Jane Patterson, whose cynical and often inaccurate analysis of government action and policies prompted me long ago to rarely listen to them.

      The sense I got from both those interviews is that they were pandering to the middle classes who resent even a small payment to those on the lowest incomes at a time of considerable financial stress.

    • AB 1.3

      Agree Sanc. It was a maddeningly stupid piece of radio. But anything that is targeted will have problems at the boundary. Either individual injustices over who is included and who is not, or administrative issues of insufficient information to draw the boundary cleanly. It's a primary reason why universality is a good principle in social policy. If you can get support for it. Labour's caution on universality and insistence on targeting causes problems for themselves.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Also, interesting 2016 piece from the Rand corporation on Fascist Russia's "Firehose of Falsehood" propaganda techniques, the effectiveness of which is played out frequently on this site in relation the Ukraine war and whose malign hand can, IMHO, be seen in the online support for Trumpism.

  3. Belladonna 3

    Thought this was an interesting take on whether NZ is becoming a more angry society – referencing organization psychologist John Eatwell.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/the-front-page-guns-rage-and-racism-has-nz-become-an-angry-nation/DGE5QSKOBBWHWUFQV3CWXBFGPM/?c_id=1&objectid=12541740&ref=rss

    Some take-aways:

    • Prolonged periods of stress actually have a biological effect, making us quicker to react in potentially stressful situations
    • Your ability to control your reactions also diminishes – where you might have walked away or vented to a friend later – you now react emotionally immediately.
    • Feelings of anger towards those 'in control' – people don't remember what they said, they remember how it made them feel.
    • Emotional anger (e.g. towards mandates) doesn't dissipate. It needs to be acknowledged.
    • Charismatic leaders (e.g. Tamaki & Molloy) harness that anger to get people to follow them.

    Key quote

    "I think there does need to be an acknowledgement of the anger rather than just putting it down to misinformation. We need to engage with all parts of society if we want them to be on board," says Eatwell.

    And that there's a ripple effect. Being kind ripples outwards – as does being angry and/or unkind. We can all make a difference….

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      Yes. Caught my eye at 5 am and I was immediately struck by the complete inappropriateness of the attached photo.

      Guns! Rage! Racism!

      And a photo of a bearded chubby white dude being led away by two cops.

      Didn't see where it says he was arrested (and eye gouged by the cops) when he and his mates at the Freedom Village were defending the Precious Portaloos from being removed by the cops.

      Didn't see any photos of his mates…arms linked and all jammed together…who were predominantly Maori.

      These people were unarmed.

      No guns. No racism. And any rage was understandable in the face of the cops trying to make real the "river of filth" narrative.

      I'd say to the mainstream government funded media "Do better."

      But they're way beyond retrieval.

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.1

        Alienating and marginalizing is a pretty core social control mechanism.

        We tend to be intolerant of liars, and of those that offer violence.

        The Freedum crowd offered a range of both – why should they then enjoy immunity to the normal responses their anti-social behaviour invites? If we treat their false (and known to be malicious) grievances with undeserved respect, we will get even more of this dangerous folly.

        Police should have moved them off on day one.

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1

          One question Stuart Munro.

          Do you know of anyone who had such a severe reaction to a Pfizer injection that they would not risk having another?

          Someone who thought their heart was going to explode, perhaps?

          We tend to be intolerant of liars, and of those that offer violence.

          Is there any chance of you seeing this from the point of view of the Pfizer injured? That they were lied to when told it was safe? That they see the mandates as an actual physical threat? Along the lines of…"Take another shot of what put you in the hospital or you'll lose your job."

          • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.1

            I know a fellow who suffered a stroke the day he was vaccinated, and, initially many of us thought that the vaccination was a factor. He was not detected early, spent a month in hospital and still has significant loss of function. But it transpires that the vaccination was not a factor.

            I'm afraid that the people beating up the antivax rhetoric are simply not to be trusted. They have an agenda to obtain power or notoriety or money, and they do not serve those with anomalous medical outcomes in any way whatsoever. They are quacks and charlatans, and must be treated severely to deter both other prospective charlatans, and to make it crystal clear to naive members of the public that these scum are not competent medical authorities, nor are they worthy of their sympathy.

            Now, if you have a group of Pfizer injured persons, I am sure that competent medical practitioners will go to considerable lengths to find them alternative treatment options – but obdurate ignorant antivaxxers should not expect to work in medicine or education.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    "…Didn't see where it says he was arrested (and eye gouged by the cops) when he and his mates at the Freedom Village were defending the Precious Portaloos from being removed by the cops….

    Oh dear. You be crazy.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.1

      You're going to have to do better than that Sanctuary.

    • Belladonna 4.2

      Perfect example of continuing to alienate and marginalize…..

      • Sanctuary 4.2.1

        Hey, if someone says something crazy, I call them crazy. Call me old fashioned, but there it is.

        • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1

          Sane people can say crazy things, QED.

          Rosemary's like a dog with a bone on this issue. That can't be healthy, given the fight-back she gets every time she brings it up here.

          From this distance Rosemary appears to pick and choose examples and positions in order to bolster her beliefs. No doubt we all do that and when we do, it's useful (and healthy) to acknowledge that tendency and attend to it as far as we can; self-analysis and positive introspection seems a useful tool in forging a balanced, realistic world-view.

          Probably not helping the discussion, but I do like to put my spoke in whenever there's passion in a discussion 🙂

          • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1.1.1

            From this distance Rosemary appears to pick and choose examples and positions in order to bolster her beliefs.

            You care to give examples of where I have done this? I think I have been very consistent in my position on this issue.

            I am healthy, thanks. I don't really care what 'fight-back' I get on this issue here on TS. I expect the usual responses from the usual people…all very ho hum.

            I do feel it is important that an alternative viewpoint is entered into these discussions. Else the record will not be reflective of the reality.

            A bit disappointing that there is so little sympathy here for those who had severe adverse effects from the Pfizer product.

            And I simply can't believe that I am the only person who comments here who has spoken to people who had such a severe reaction to one Pfizer shot that they would not ever risk having another.

            • Stephen D 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Regarding inoculations, immunisations and medical science in general. Medical science, including endless jabs, and medications have kept me alive since the day I was born.(70.25)

              So forgive my skepticism about a minute number of millions of vaccines, having side effects, and causing angst.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 4.2.1.1.1.2

              And I simply can't believe that I am the only person who comments here who has spoken to people who had such a severe reaction to one Pfizer shot that they would not ever risk having another.

              I'm one of those (I suspect very many) people who hasn't spoken to (or seen first-hand) anyone with a severe reaction to being jabbed with the Pfizer stuff.

              But even if I had, that wouldn't have put me off getting my five vaccinations (so far) this year. Boosters 1 (in Jan) and 2 (in July) against Covid, plus the annual jab against influenza, and (a first for me) two (Shingrix) vaccinations against shingles, which my GP reckons will last at least 7 years, so that's good.

              Nurse: Needles don't bother you then?

              Tony: Me? No. I've had too many of them, my dear. I've 'ad the lot. Got arms like pin cushions. Yes, I reckon I've 'ad a syringeful of everything that's going in my time. Needles the size of drainpipes some of 'em. You name it, I've ‘ad it!

              https://archive.org/details/BBC_Radio_4_Extra_20211009_110000?start=2699
              [@45 minutes] laugh

              • Incognito

                I have not met any person with serious adverse reactions caused by the Pfizer vaccine, which is telling with over 11 million shots administered in NZ (and through work I meet and hear of a lot of people). I have many friends and colleagues who did get Covid and were feeling pretty crook from it. I had a few very distant relatives overseas dying from Covid.

                All the hype around Covid-19 and the new ‘experimental’ mRNA vaccines certainly increased anxiety levels among many. I was hesitant too, waited a long time before I got my shots, and did my research homework first.

                https://theconversation.com/anticipating-a-side-effect-makes-it-more-likely-youll-experience-it-this-could-contribute-to-vaccine-hesitancy-180331

                • weka

                  Probably reality falls in between. I think Rosemary both exaggerates and doesn't have the skill or the willingness to parse severe adverse reaction from panic attack from coincidence.

                  but likewise, there are people who did have reactions, this was being discussed last year in medical circles. Severe to you might mean carditis. For someone with an autoimmune disease it might mean a relapse that few other people notice. Many of those people won't be recorded well in the medical systems. Haven't looked in a while but I doubt much research is being done. And afaik the Pfizer testing excluded people with chronic illnesses.

                  • Sacha

                    I have heard of some major reactions, as I would expect with any immunisation programme of this scale.

                    The population-level benefits of this public health initiative outweigh those individual harms, unfortunately. I do not know of any way to reverse that without causing more harm to more people.

                    This is very much like a world war. Collective action, individual sacrifice. Been the same for centuries. We are not special. People get hurt so that others may be free from it.

                    Our feelings about that do not outweigh or veto other sources of evidence or the body of professional expertise about what works. I would not wish on anyone the burden of the decisions that have been made in our name over the last few years. Glad to see Ashley Bloomfield getting out in one piece.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      The population-level benefits of this public health initiative outweigh those individual harms, unfortunately. I do not know of any way to reverse that without causing more harm to more people.

                      How about telling potential Pfizer product recipients that there are risks associated with the product, and for some people the risks from the product might outweigh the risk to them personally from being infected with the virus?

                      If they are in the 'high risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death' category due to age, or co- morbidities then there might well be a sound argument for taking the Pfizer product.

                      (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33716331/)

                      There is no justification, in public health terms, for mandating a product that fails to prevent infection or transmission of the target pathogen.

                      And there is something extremely weird in telling someone (who is at very little risk of serious illness from Covid) that they have to have a second or third shot when they have recovered from the serious adverse effects from the last one in order to keep their job.

                      A bit like sending a seriously injured soldier back to the front when the stump has healed over.

                    • Sacha

                      There is no justification, in public health terms, for mandating a product that fails to prevent infection or transmission of the target pathogen.

                      Gosh all those public health experts must be wrong then.

                      Risks were communicated.

                      Like I say, wartime not business as usual. Needs of the many, etc.

                    • weka

                      The population-level benefits of this public health initiative outweigh those individual harms, unfortunately. I do not know of any way to reverse that without causing more harm to more people.

                      This is very much like a world war. Collective action, individual sacrifice. Been the same for centuries. We are not special. People get hurt so that others may be free from it.

                      This is pretty much how I see it too. The thing that would make a difference is if as a society stepped up and helped the people harmed. Even knowing what Labour and the MoH are like, I'm still disappointed we didn't do better on this. Collective action cuts both ways if we want to retain it as an ethic.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    I think Rosemary both exaggerates and doesn't have the skill or the willingness to parse severe adverse reaction from panic attack from coincidence.

                    Really? Panic attack? Hmmm…shall we have a discussion about how it was initially denied that myocarditis and pericarditis were an issue?

                    Do I need to remind you, yet again, that although there was an alert put out by the MOH in July 2021, officials felt it necessary to issue another, more strongly worded alert to all medial professionals in late December 2021?

                    https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/Alerts/comirnaty-myocarditis-reminder.html

                    A lot of fuss and bother for panic attacks.

                    You could, out of respect to the people who took the trouble to report adverse events, peruse the CARM reports for the past 18 months … https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/vaccine-report-overview.asp

                    …..and compare the rates of reports for the Pfizer product with the rates of reports for the flu shots. https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/reports-and-promotion/Spontaneous-Reports-Influenza-Vaccination-2020.asp

                    And notice that the rate is many times higher per dose for the former.

                    And can you tell me why there is no mandatory reporting of adverse events for a product using a novel technology? ( If I am wrong about this I am happy to be corrected.)

                    Btw. None of the four people I know who had heart issues post Pfizer shot are the panicking type. Not at all. All of them willingly took the shot. None of them would take another. Ever.

                    • weka

                      Really? Panic attack? Hmmm…shall we have a discussion about how it was initially denied that myocarditis and pericarditis were an issue?

                      What's the relationship between the two things? When I raise panic attacks and the inability of some to understand the importance of assessing effect and understanding correlation =/= causation, why do you pivot to the shortcomings of the mainstream medical health system? Is that a deflection?

                      Do I need to remind you, yet again, that although there was an alert put out by the MOH in July 2021, officials felt it necessary to issue another, more strongly worded alert to all medial professionals in late December 2021?

                      https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/Alerts/comirnaty-myocarditis-reminder.html

                      A lot of fuss and bother for panic attacks.

                      Ok, so maybe you missed the point massively. Some people got carditis from the vaccine. Some people died from that. Some people had panic attacks or other health issues and blamed the vaccine when there was no direct causation. Can you honestly not see the difference?

                      You could, out of respect to the people who took the trouble to report adverse events, peruse the CARM reports for the past 18 months … https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/vaccine-report-overview.asp

                      …..and compare the rates of reports for the Pfizer product with the rates of reports for the flu shots. https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/reports-and-promotion/Spontaneous-Reports-Influenza-Vaccination-2020.asp

                      And notice that the rate is many times higher per dose for the former.

                      I have no idea what point you are trying to make here, and if you won't spell it out I'm not going searching on links to try and parse it.

                      And can you tell me why there is no mandatory reporting of adverse events for a product using a novel technology? ( If I am wrong about this I am happy to be corrected.)

                      Dunno, maybe because GPs and nurses have no easy way of assessing what is an adverse reaction in an individual and what isn't?

                      Btw. None of the four people I know who had heart issues post Pfizer shot are the panicking type. Not at all. All of them willingly took the shot. None of them would take another. Ever.

                      What heart issues? I've said it before. If this is a huge problem, then set up websites, lay out case studies, make the case. If you want to be taken seriously, that's the mahi you have to do.

                      I'm not even saying you are wrong. I'm saying that each step of the way you've presented confused and relatively useless anectdotes. I say this as someone with a solid respect for anecdata, but to be useful and credible it has to presented in ways that have rationales and meaning beyond belief.

                      You've also repeatedly signalled that you don't understand fundamentals of evidence.

                    • weka

                      and please don't come at me as if I'm not fully aware of teh shortcomings of mainstream medicine. I'm so sick of the binary thinking.

                  • Sabine

                    yes there were death in NZ due to the Vaccine.

                    https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/new-zealand-links-26-year-old-mans-death-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-2021-12-20/

                    New Zealand authorities on Monday said they had linked a 26-year-old man's death to Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) COVID-19 vaccine after the person suffered myocarditis, a rare inflammation of the heart muscle, after taking his first dose.

                    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/465103/ministry-of-health-announces-third-death-linked-to-vaccine

                    my search term: Young man dies of vaccination in NZ

                    i rememberd that young guy from the South Island.

                    So yes, people in NZ had adverse reaction to the vaccines and some died.

                    this might also be interesting to read

                    https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/educate/practice/shot-bro-adverse-cutaneous-reactions-following-covid-19-vaccination

                  • Incognito

                    A serious adverse reaction is defined as any reaction that results in death or is life-threatening, causes or prolongs hospitalisation, results in persistent or significant disability/incapacity, is a congenital abnormality or is a medically important event.

                    https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/reports-and-promotion/Spontaneous-Reports-Influenza-Vaccination-2021.asp

                    People with autoimmune disorders were advised to discuss Covid vaccination with their specialist first, as their medication could also interfere with the intended immune response to the vaccine (i.e. lower effectivity).

                    • Populuxe1

                      The booster put me on my back for a couple of days despite me not being especially delicate or congenital. Would I regard that as serious – of course not. There's a spectrum of unpleasant temporary side effects you might get from a vaccination but they're on a spectrum of relative norms one might expect with any vaccination when your body starts producing antibodies.

                    • weka

                      that's the medical view. A lesser adverse reaction to an already disabled person can be serious and not noticed by the system. I thought that was clear from my previous comment.

                      People with autoimmune disorders were advised to discuss Covid vaccination with their specialist first, as their medication could also interfere with the intended immune response to the vaccine (i.e. lower effectivity).

                      And? No-one knew what was going to happen to whole swathes of people with chronic illnesses. Still don't largely, because the research hasn't been done.

                • joe90

                  Around this time last year my mid 20s rugby head pig hunting chippie nephew came over all-a-flutter with post-vaccination tachycardia. His father had him to the ED within the hour. He was admitted and had an echocardiogram the following morning. He was given rhythm control medication, booked to see a specialist, put off work and discharged with an order to do absolutely nothing.

                  He was diagnosed with a vaccine injury but was back at work within the month. He was medicated for a while and they kept a weather eye on him and by Christmas he'd come right. Recently he got the okay to resume footie training and chasing things around in the scrub.

                  It could have been very different had his father not had the wit to get him to the ED.

                  • Incognito

                    Good that it was recognised and checked out. Acute arrhythmias after Covid appear to be rather harmless, but one can never be sure with that vital muscle. Based on your information, he’d be one of 106 reported in NZ in that age group of males (with twice as many females of the same age).

                    • joe90

                      Harmless perhaps but still bloody distressing for a young man who's never had to sit still in his life. But as soon as he started feeling better, wow. A pain in the arse is understating it.

                    • Incognito []

                      True, that.

    • More bitter and twisted, I think – and deluded into thinking the Natz would be better?

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.3.1

        So binary in your thinking.

        The whole 'If you're not for us you must be a National voter…' is just so lazy.

  5. Anker 5

    "Perfect example of continuing to alienate and margilise". Spot on as usual Belladonna and thanks for the bullet points re this article.

    "need to acknowledge the anger rather than just putting it down to misinformation"

    Exactly. Went you right off peoples concerns by labelling them as mad or bad and don't acknowledge thier emotions it builds anger. Not an exact quote.

    And yes "charismatic" leaders like Leo and Brian are around to tap into that anger.

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      Why should we give a shit about their feelings, good bad or indifferent? I don't get this assumption I should lose sleep over risking hurting the feelings of people who had the collective common sense of a startled Llama and delusions worthy of disciples of Atë.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        Why should we give a shit about their feelings?

        Oh, I don't know…it would be the human thing to do? It'd be kind? It would be recognition of the fact that not all Kiwis share your views and your experiences?

        You need to feel the Love, brother.

        https://odysee.com/@voicesforfreedom:6/freedom-village-parliament:2

      • Matiri 5.1.2

        That's a bit unfair to Llamas – they are known for their awareness and intelligence.

      • Anker 5.1.3

        "why should we give a shit about their feelings"

        My understanding of what the psychologist from the link above was saying is if we don't acknowledge peoples feelings, then that feeling (of anger) stays with them, and they are less likely to be open to logic and new information (I am not referring to you here Rosemary I am talking generally).

        If we have angry citizens who feel their feelings have not been heard the likes of Brian Tamaki and Leo Molloy will likely swoop them up. This is what I think happened or is part of what happened with Trump and Brexit.

        If the Govt brings in a piece of legislation that has a major impact on peoples circumstances, I think they have a duty to listen to them.

        • satty 5.1.3.1

          I guess this works both ways:

          My understanding of what the psychologist from the link above was saying is if we don't acknowledge peoples feelings, then that feeling (of anger) stays with them, and they are less likely to be open to logic and new information

          If a rowdy mob comes into "town" causing trouble, disruption over many weeks (on tax and rate-payers costs), they have to understand people of that town (and wider region / country) are really angry, too… and people are still waiting for acknowledgement by and apology from the protesters for "shitting in their backyard".

          And where does the government drawing a line on this one:

          If the Govt brings in a piece of legislation that has a major impact on peoples circumstances, I think they have a duty to listen to them.

          Do they have to listen to each and every one of them? Do they have to listen to 51%, 66%, 90% or even 99.9% of the people? Was there ever a legislation with nearly 100% support?

    • Robert Guyton 5.2

      Will you acknowledge the emotions of the white supremacy guys?

      Are you offended by their being labeled "mad" and "bad"?

      In all fairness, you will be, yes?

      • Anker 5.2.1

        Robert Guyton to answer your question about White Supremists and acknoleging their feelings the answer for me is I don't know. I would take advice from the clever forensic psychologist people on that one. I have never come across a white supremicist in my life. I think when I have come across prejudice, the best approach is to ask questions in a way that makes people have to reflect on their views and account for them. If you shut them done, then they are left with their prejudice, which goes unchallenged.

        It is interested that on the left there is a "don't give a shit about their feelings" at one end of the spectrum and at the other, "they hurt my feelings lets cancel them"

        a mid way is surely best?

        • Robert Guyton 5.2.1.1

          Thanks, Anker. There were people among the protest crowd that held white supremist views, including violent intentions toward politicians.

          Should those politicians have met, in person, with those people?

          • Sacha 5.2.1.1.1

            'You seem angry and deranged. Hang on, put down that club.'

            Feelings are not the only thing in the world.

        • Visubversa 5.2.1.2

          The chap from the "occupation" who posted that "when this is over and we win I am going to eat Neve" – deserves nothing but contempt. Likewise the crowd of losers who live up the road from me and have had misogynistic and anti-vax conspiracy nonsense painted on their van for months. They live in what could be called "transitional" housing -a bunch of portacabins plonked in an old car yard with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The Police are there regularly. They were at the occupation – which was probably the most exciting thing that they have done since their last drug deal.

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    And on the topic of alienating and marginalising the angry and disenfranchised….

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/300647265/veteran-officer-leaves-police-for-new-life-as-a-tractor-salesman

    A better than average piece from Stuffed, and rather than doing the reading for you ….I'll copy and paste the gist and leave it to the veteran cop to speak for himself.

    Well worth reading the entire piece as this cop has had the experience and done the hard yards when it comes to engaging with communities.

    Nine nights at the anti-vaccine mandate protest in Wellington prompted a veteran Taranaki police officer to seek a new start.

    For much of the 32 years, two months and two days former senior constable Jono Erwood, of Stratford, spent in the police he loved it.

    But he was already thinking about a change in career when he was called on to help at the occupation on Parliament grounds.

    Being amongst the hatred and conflict during the 23-day protest in Wellington in February only set that in stone.

    “New Zealanders are better than what I saw there and experienced,” he said.

    “Over those nights I had some good chats with some guys about why they were there, understanding and showing some empathy, treating them with respect.

    “There were some people with genuine reasons for being there, some good people, but there were others who just wanted to have a crack at the police.”

    Erwood said he felt the prime minister’s refusal to meet with the protestors occupying Parliament grounds had made things worse.

    “I think Jacinda could have dealt with the situation better. If I have a problem with someone, I’ll go to see them and have a cup of tea. She never gave them an opportunity, never went to just listen – but then, hindsight is a wonderful thing,” he said.

    During the protest, Ardern said focussing on the pandemic was top of her mind and the extremist language emanating from the protest was why the Government had refused to talk to the protesters.

    As the protest went on, every party in Parliament also signed on to a joint-statement saying they will not talk to the convoy protesters until they stop breaking the law.

    • DB Brown 6.1

      "She never gave them an opportunity, never went to just listen"

      Rosemary, there was a rich vein of filth, if not a river, in that particular protest. Some of them were making death threats, some were making death lists. To paint it as a crowd of the misunderstood is dishonest.

      Q-anon, white supremacists, Trump flags (just why?) & Tamaki's twisted theocracy thrown in with some anti-vax, anti-science, tin foil hats…

      Sure in hindsight some things could have been done better but this was a mob of disparate ideologies thrown together by opportunistic assholes. Talking to that crowd would be like trying to talk Trump supporters off their ledge. Provide facts for one thing they scream another idiotic bumper sticker dreamed up by Alex Jones (or add wingnut media here) at you. Just endless chaos.

      Aligning with them was the mistake genuine protestors made.

      • Sanctuary 6.1.3

        Personally I would find it difficult to imagine any circumstance where I could have had a constructive meeting with a bunch of unhinged lunatics who had spent weeks brandishing a noose whilst muttering my name when they were not howling various cray cray conspiracy theories not rooted in any sort of objective reality.

        But maybe that is just me. Maybe.

        • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.3.1

          The Left, eh, and their violence.

          https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/02/20/guest-blog-suzie-dawson-remembering-the-left/

          I don't know. The noose or the guillotine?

          I am struggling to understand how it is all fine and dandy for the so- called Left to behead life sized photographs of sitting MPs who are on a mission to sell off state assets, but it is completely unacceptable for the injured and frightened to visually remind an unsympathetic government and their pet media that in the not too distant past those who forced experimental medical treatments onto people were resoundingly punished.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.4

        You were there? In Wellington? Or some very close to you who you can trust to give an accurate assessment of the type of people who were there?

        Did you perhaps watch/listen/read anything about the protest that didn't originate from MSM?

        Or are you simply parroting what the government and their paid stenographers broadcast?

        And what would the cop in the article know…eh? The one who was there…on the ground…speaking with the protestors…the good, the bad and the downright ugly?

        The vast majority of those assembled in Wellington were peaceful, and wanted an end to the unjustified vaccine mandates and recognition that for some, too many, the Pfizer product is anything but safe.

        A very successful campaign by the government and their paid up media ensured that these voices were silenced, and the rantings of the small minority of nutbars was amplified.

        A tactic as old as politics.

        • Sanctuary 6.1.4.1

          Well this is NZ, so I had two nieces who had daily views of the Wellington “protest” from their daily grind as worthy and conscientious civil servants zombie enablers of the dark combinations of the illuminati.

          One thought it an unsanitary and pointless outdoor commentary on two decades of under investment in mental health and the other was abused on three occasions walking to walk so was an early and enthusiastic advocate for the use of extreme police violence to clear them out.

        • DB Brown 6.1.4.2

          I know half a dozen of the protestors who were there, and others who blindly support them. They lost touch with reality some time ago. They speak in a hodge podge of half facts they glean from ridiculous right-wing 'media', religion and outright conspiracy.

          One, who's known me so long he absolutely knows better, accused me of being a government shill.

          Plot – lost.

          All the folks with genuine concerns found themselves shiny new friends online. Not happy with the official narrative, they let themselves be led by the nose into forming a mob. An abusive mob.

          Lie with dogs, get fleas, etc.

        • weka 6.1.4.3

          The vast majority of those assembled in Wellington were peaceful

          To save us all the tedium of going round and round the same old argument, can yoi please present the evidence you to support that statement?

          The argument here isn't that there weren't good people at the protest. It's that there were people there causing a lot of different problems alongside the good ones, and the good ones didn't address that and still don't/won't.

          Your comments consistently come across as denial that problematic people exist/ed.

          • weka 6.1.4.3.1

            Did you perhaps watch/listen/read anything about the protest that didn't originate from MSM?

            Yes, I did. I followed people on twitter who were on the ground.

            I'll also point out that the MSM isn't a hive mind, and reading MSM increases one's understanding of the situation where one has a critical mind and an ability to parse bias.

            Did you read much MSM coverage that took a more evenhanded approach?

            How come you seem largely unaware of the problems within the protest?

            • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.4.3.1.1

              How come you seem largely unaware of the problems within the protest?

              I am responding to just this question…to nutshell the issue. I have seeds to sow and seedlings to prick out and plants to water and sheep to tend.

              How about you show me where exactly I have stated that all the Freedom Village protestors were peaceful and non violent? You won't be able to, because I have never said that.

              I have said that the overwhelming majority were. Peaceful. This is a fact that even the police and security services acknowledged.

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/covid-19-wellington-protest-security-service-reports-detail-realistic-possibility-of-terror-attack-threat-from-peaceful-anti-vax-movement/TD6G32WUBVNAL7D2TRLHLNJT5Q/

              Intelligence assessments into the anti-vax movement say there is a "realistic possibility" a violent protest or terrorist act could be carried out by extremist elements linked to the "overwhelmingly peaceful" opposition to the Covid-19 vaccine.

              Four separate assessments into the anti-vax movements show a shift in concern from February last year through to November.

              And the reports, released through the Official Information Act, show an escalation in warnings from June onwards with the prediction Covid-19 "mitigation" efforts – vaccine mandates and passports – would be "likely to have an impact on the New Zealand terrorism threat environment over the near-to medium-term".

              While the intelligence reports repeatedly emphasise the broadly peaceful nature of the anti-vax movements, they highlight the vaccine mandates and passport as particular policies that might drive an individual to violence and the presence of extremist elements.

              The contrast between June and November is striking as the earlier CTAG assessments predicted any acts of violence as likely to be "an isolated instance of violent protest rather than an act of terrorism".

              By November, CTAG found the risk exacerbated by increasingly violent online rhetoric and people among anti-vax groups with personal grievances and extremist beliefs.

              The assessments accurately forecasted growing social division and protest if New Zealand went down the path of mandates and vaccine passports.

              The reports – or at least the content – would have been made available to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and at least some Cabinet ministers ahead of making the decision to pursue the mandates and vaccine passports. It shows the decision to forge ahead with a public health approach wasn't made without knowledge it could spark strong opposition.
              The Prime Minister's office did not respond to a request for comment.

              I have posted this particular article here on TS a couple of times. (As evidence that I do read mainstream media) This is not indicative of me being in denial that there were undesirable elements and influences at the periphery of the Freedom Village.

              The government were warned that imposing mandates would create an environment ripe for growing protest and civil unrest. And violence.

              But the government went ahead and imposed the mandates anyway, with no acknowledgement of those who had already rolled their sleeves up and been injured in the process. There were threats that jobs would be lost, and participation in normal society would be denied.

              And Jacinda the Kind gloated…she poured petrol on smouldering embers, and gloated. Only fools would not expect a backlash after this standout performance.

        • Robert Guyton 6.1.4.4

          Rosemary – regarding an audience with the PM – surely it was the responsibility of the non-violent, non-threat-making, non-aligned-with-dangerous-elements folk who wished to meet with the MPs and PM, to differentiate themselves, distance themselves from those elements that should not be granted such a meeting?

          Did the "good guys" do that, making it clear to the politicians that the meeting would not endanger them? If that didn't happen (I believe it didn't happen) then the failure to broker such a meeting sits with the "good" protesters, not the parliamentarians, imo. I'd like to hear your view on this.

          • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.4.4.1

            Of course some groups tried to get the attention of the House…with the view to speak on behalf of the vaccine injured and those medial professionals with real concerns about the mRNA shots and the measurable negative effects of lockdowns and mask wearing for all. All MPs were instructed not to engage with the river of filth.

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-omicron-convoy-protest-trevor-mallard-outlines-terms-for-mps-to-engage-with-protesters/AK4RTKQFCN3KOXK7RSLVECMVIE/

            I think you know this already.

            • Robert Guyton 6.1.4.4.1.1

              My question was (and still is) did those groups clearly dissociate themselves from the mad fringe?

              If not, being rejected by the politicians is hardly a surprise.

              Keen for your answer.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                This is tedious Robert.

                Did the 'good protestors' disassociate themselves from the 'bad' ones? What do you think… yourself being a veteran of many protests? Where all and sundry are free to attend?

                There was a sign on the gate exhorting all to come in peace and love.

                What does that imply?

                • Robert Guyton

                  Perhaps I wasn't clear, Rosemary, sorry.

                  I mean: when the protest leaders were pressing the Government for a meeting, did those protest leaders/organizers, in a gesture of good faith and wise strategy, describe the threatening element of the protest and distance themselves from them and their threatening behaviour, in order that the Government might feel safe in entering into face to face meetings?

        • Stan 6.1.4.5

          Hi, Rosemary

          There's no evidence currently that the vaccine has caused the widespread harm that you state. There's a long list of possible side effects which have been well documented but the vaccine is as safe/safer than most of the currently available common vaccines for other illness.

          I know it's only anecdotal, but in my day to day work, I see the usual mix of illness and injury from all causes. I have seen significant numbers of very sick patients with COVID (who have needed antiviral medication, admission to hospital, sometimes ICU care), as well as flu and RSV. I have also seen a few very strange illnesses brought on by COVID that I've ever seen with flu or any of the other respiratory viruses so I think there's still a lot we will find out in the future about COVID infection that we don't know.

          I've seen large numbers of patients with with COVID vaccine side effects but zero serious illness arising from it; I've seen none of the deaths that the COVID vaccine-sceptics allege are in huge numbers throughout the country.

          Should this change, and COVID vaccine is found to be as harmful as you think it is, I (and all the other frontline workers) will be the first to change our views. I hope that vaccine sceptics like you will be able to listen to those who are in the best place to know.

          • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.4.5.1

            ….but the vaccine is as safe/safer than most of the currently available common vaccines for other illness.

            Interesting you state this as fact.

            You have checked out the CARM reports for both the Pfizer product and the flu shots? And seen that the per- dose adverse effect reporting rate is many times higher for the Pfizer shot?

            Anedotally…the people I know who have had serious adverse effects from the Pfizer product, and who will never risk another shot, have all had many other 'available common vaccines.'

            With nothing other than a sore arm in the way of adverse effects.

            As a 'frontline worker, can you tell me who is collecting data specifically from those of us who have not partaken of the Pfizer product and have had Covid 19 and have clearly failed to succumb? Is anyone out there in medical land at all interested in our Covid 19 experiences?

            Since there is no longer an actual control group for the Pfizer product (since the original trials were unblinded and the placebo group offered the shot) there is, to my knowledge, no official comparison being made between the two groups.

            Pity…medical science has been poorly served here.

          • Sabine 6.1.4.5.2

            at least three people are 'considered' to have died about it, considered as they died pretty much after their shot.

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/465103/ministry-of-health-announces-third-death-linked-to-vaccine

            that is easily found via google.

            Being safer does not mean people will have issues with it. And we should be able to discuss this without poopoo'ing peole who have a different opinion on what safe means to them.

            Fwiw, i know a whole heep your young women who are enjoying longer periods, heavier bleeding, blood clots the size of two dollar coins etc etc etc since their three jabs. But i guess those that don't menstruate might not consider this a harmful side effect.

            • Incognito 6.1.4.5.2.1

              at least three people are 'considered' to have died about it, considered as they died pretty much after their shot. [my italics]

              That sounds like they died on the spot, which is false/misleading, as myocarditis takes time to develop to a fatal stage (although it can be remarkably fast). Your link mentions death a week after vaccination.

              The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) has received a number of reports of menstrual disorders or unexpected vaginal bleeding following vaccination with Comirnaty. Medsafe conducted a full review of the cases, as well as the international published literature, and post-marketing safety reports provided by the Sponsor (Pfizer). No evidence was found to suggest a link between vaccination with Comirnaty and menstrual disorders.

              https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/Alerts/comirnaty-menstrual-disorders.asp

              Monitoring ongoing.

              Summary of reported deaths

              Up to and including 30 June 2022, a total of 171 deaths were reported to CARM after the administration of the Comirnaty vaccine. Following medical assessments by CARM and Medsafe it has been determined that:

              • 137 of these deaths are unlikely related to the COVID-19 vaccine
              • 23 deaths could not be assessed due to insufficient information
              • 8 cases are still under investigation.
              • 1 death was determined by the Coroner to be due to myocarditis following first dose Covid-19 (Pfizer) vaccination.
              • 2 deaths were likely due to vaccine induced myocarditis (awaiting Coroner’s determination).

              https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/safety-report-44.asp

      • It's a bit like saying the Jews should have personally spoken to Hitler and politely told him he was wrong and to leave them alone. (Not quite sure that's the right image I'm trying to convey!) Perhaps more like the Jan. 6 protestors wanting to speak to the President – no, that’s not quite what I have in mind either! lol

        The only thing Jacinda could have told them was – Go home!

        I can image how that would have gone down!

        • Anne 6.1.5.1

          She did tell them to “Go home!” Time and time again. A few of the more sane among them took her advice. With a wooden gallows with her name on it in front of Parliament for all to see, there's no way her security detail would have let her go near them. And rightfully so!

          • Belladonna 6.1.5.1.1

            Yes. And I'm sure that the powers-that-be told the anti-Springbok Tour protesters to "Go Home!" multiple times as well.

            With, I'm sure, equal success.

            Regardless of the rhetoric of some of the protesters – it's is undeniable that there were plenty of people who'd never been on a political protest in their lives before. Who packed up their kids, pets and lives, and went down to Wellington to express their profound disapproval of the actions of the Government.

            Whether they were 'right' or 'wrong' really doesn't matter. What matters is that they were (and many still are) profoundly convinced that they had a grievance over the way they had been treated by the Government.

            Telling them to "Go Home!" is utterly dismissive of them and their concerns. And simply fosters the divisions in NZ society.

            Talking to people (even people you dislike and/or think are misguided, pig-headed and just plain wrong) is part of what politicians have to do.

            • Anne 6.1.5.1.1.1

              Yes. And I'm sure that the powers-that-be told the anti-Springbok Tour protesters to "Go Home!" multiple times as well.

              False equivalence if ever there was one.

              Telling them to "Go Home!" is utterly dismissive of them and their concerns. And simply fosters the divisions in NZ society.

              Jacinda Ardern did not tell them to "Go home – exclamation mark." That is a false innuendo. She was asked by reporters and journalists to the effect "Have you a message for the protesters?" On the basis it was an illegal protest, she advised them to "go home." She said it in a calm, measured and respectful tone of voice.

              I suggest misrepresenting the prime minister's response to a question is fostering divisions in society.

            • Sacha 6.1.5.1.1.2

              Telling them to “Go Home!” is utterly dismissive of them and their concerns. And simply fosters the divisions in NZ society.

              We are talking about a movement deliberately fostering social division and unrest, drawing on overseas tactics and finance. The parliamentary occupation was hardly a one-off.

              Politicians refusing to talk with agitators spouting nonsense and threatening violence is not 'fostering division'. There is no security service in the world who would allow a national leader to sit down with those particular people, no matter how many oblivious hippies were alongside them singing and crapping on the lawn.

              Do you seriously expect any rational conversation would emerge? Or is it just about helping Tamaki and the nazi hangers-on feel better that they have been heard? We have seen how appeasing fascists turns out. No thanks.

    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      "And on the topic of alienating and marginalising the angry and disenfranchised…."

      So, Rosemary, do you feel the white supremists, "angry and disenfranchised", should be accorded the same courtesy as you recommend above?

      • Ad 6.2.1

        Ardern's tactic over 5 years is: never allow anyone else control the media message. Especially not dirty people.

        She's a lot worse than Clark or Key for that: exceedingly brittle.

        Ardern is now really struggling to generate any kind of persona different from a set-piece wonder in front of a mike stand – which she did for over a year. Then did more set-piece mike stand wonder for three months this year on the international circuit.

        She won't speak to oiks if she doesn't have comms control – and never will.

        • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1

          When you write, "oiks" do you mean those folk who carried a gallows to the steps of Parliament?

          Those "oiks"?

    • Populuxe1 6.3

      That's weird. When I want the PM to hear me I email her office.
      You could try a letter if you're more traditional – postage is free to Parliament.

  7. Anker 7

    Thanks Rosemary. This cops story support what the psychologist was saying in the interview.

    • Visubversa 7.1

      Don't forget the number of Police deaths following the Jan 6 invasion of the Capitol. Nobody with half a brain is going to put the blame for those on the other defenders of American democratic processes.

      • Nordy 7.1.1

        You need to remember V you aren't engaging with logic or rational argument. It's a waste of time trying to explain the facts or use logic when those you are responding to aren't.

  8. AB 8

    Went into Farro in Grey Lynn (2nd time ever) on Saturday. Nice place to shop, the way food shopping should be and might have been if we had stopped supermarkets in their tracks 50 years ago. Quality stuff but scarily expensive. Nobody unmasked. Zero. The rich didn't get rich by being irrational.

    • Belladonna 8.1

      Yep, I shop at Farro …. with care. It's great for some things (excellent quality meat and cheeses) – but I do the bulk of the grocery shop at Pak n Save.
      Just too expensive, otherwise….

      Was there on Sunday – at the Constellation Drive store – majority masked – but not all.

      A couple of the specialist food shops that I go to occasionally (when the weekend uber-service-for-the-teen takes me in that direction), require masking to enter. I guess that they are sufficiently secure in their customer base, that they can afford to do so.
      They do offer a call in and pay online service, with pick up on a table outside – if you are unable to mask for any reason.

      Hearing anecdotally from friends in retail, that abuse from the public over requests for mask-wearing is continuing and accelerating – both in highly wealthy areas – Parnell/Remers, etc., and in more middle-class ones (if anything in Auckland can be called middle class, these days!). They're just not willing to have their staff cop the abuse – and nor should they have to.

      Observationally – mask-wearing is continuing to drop in general.

      • Visubversa 8.1.1

        Pak'n'Save Mt Albert this morning – store very busy – saw 2 people only without masks.

        • Belladonna 8.1.1.1

          At Glenfield Mall this afternoon (had to drop in and collect something from a shop) – approx 10% masked…..

  9. Nordy 9

    I see NRT has made the elementary mistake in the 'plugging to loophole' item available on the feeds of thinking the donations court case on currently is prosecuting either National or Labour. It isn't. It is a prosecution against people who made or facilitated donations.

    • Belladonna 9.1

      The loophole (hopefully) being plugged has nothing to do the case/s currently in court.

      It's entirely due to the horse-and-cart-sized gap in the legislation that the NZF case revealed.

      [I still believe that the judge was wrong in his interpretation of the law – but belt-and-braces – better to legislatively and finally close any apparant loophole]

      All parties (or at least all of the ones currently in parliament) are in agreement that this needs to be stopped very firmly indeed. They're only in disagreement about the legal mechanism for doing so (Labour/Greens want to use their current bill; National/Act don't agree with the matters already covered in that bill, and want a separate piece of legislation they can support 100%).

      The current case is primarily prosecuting the donors, but also insiders within the parties who facilitated the deception.

      Zhang was aided by people on the inside. For the National Party, that was Ross; for the Labour Party, it was one of the men with name suppression and the woman.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/129380629/paintings-wine-coverups-and-a-royal-honour–crowns-case-in-political-party-donations-trial

      • Nordy 9.1.1

        NRT incorrectly stated Labour Party officials are currently being prosecuted. They aren't. The link to a press item to the current case is a description of party officials giving evidence as witnesses (not being prosecuted).

        • Belladonna 9.1.1.1

          Given that the Labour party ‘insiders’ all (apparently) have name suppression – you must have some inside knowledge to state so categorically that they are not Labour Party officials.

          • Nordy 9.1.1.1.1

            No – I just know how to read and not to make things up.

            • Belladonna 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Categorically saying that the case isn't prosecuting either National or Labour – is a bit disingenuous.

              Because there are very clearly people who 'used to be' party members (I'm sure they've very quickly been given the boot) from both National (JL Ross) and Labour (people with name suppression) who are facing charges alongside the donors.

              There is no way that the donors invented this scenario themselves – there were bagmen within the parties who were handling and facilitating this evasion of Electoral law donation reporting requirements.

              It may be sloppy language/usage from NRT – but your statement doesn't pass the sniff test, either.

              • Nordy

                Keep changing your story and you might eventually get to what I actually said about the NRT comment.

                • Belladonna

                  Keep dodging and diving, and you just might approach reality.

                  You can only keep pretending that Labour is perfect for so long…..

                  Your quote
                  ” prosecuting either National or Labour. It isn’t. It is a prosecution against people who made or facilitated donations.”

                  Reality: The people being prosecuted include both the donors and people who were (at the time) inside the party facilitating the donations.

                  There are no clean hands here….

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    There are no clean hands here….

                    It can be a mucky business, Politics; dirty even.

                  • Nordy

                    No one is suggesting the Labour Party is perfect. This case is a case against individuals, not political parties. The fact that party officials are testifying as witness supports this. If you have evidence that the two parties (including their officials) are on trial then why don't you provide it, rather than speculating, as NRT did. Finally, if those with name suppression turn out to be party members (I don't know whether that is the case) that does not mean that the political parties were guilty of anything. Asserting they are is simply a further example of misinformation, which is sadly all too common these days.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    The mis and disinformation surge has attracted a fair amount of serious treatment here in NZ, in part no doubt due to events like the Christchurch shooting.

    The Royal Society has had a couple of decent speakers on the matter.

    I encourage people to familiarize themselves with the Disinformation Project, who have put out some study on the occupation of Parliament grounds, and continue to monitor what seem to be a group of bad and/or foreign actors.

    Byron Clark also has a well researched article on the occupation, which, oddly, even has links to the New Federal State of China campaign.

    • AB 10.1

      Looks like wedge politics to me. A tactic for splitting the left that's as old as the hills. When you go to TBD and hear people who consider themselves to be the 'real' left sounding like right wing libertarians, you know something is afoot.

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        If so, it's a new variant – Trumpism seems to be a factor.

        The Murdochization of our media has chained the watchdogs that once guarded our state from malicious actions of this kind.

  11. Ad 11

    So here's a question for you pundit prophets.

    GDP growth is unstable but still good.

    Gross domestic product: March 2022 quarter | Stats NZ

    Unemployment is very low at 3.2% with underutilisation at 9%.

    Unemployment rate remains at 3.2 percent | Stats NZ

    But now the borders have flung open to our inbound tourists as of 29 July. So demand for tourism jobs and travel jobs is skyrocketing.

    Thousands of roles up for grabs at Auckland Airport job fair (1news.co.nz)

    And competition between companies for staff is just massive.

    We're going to have to start pulling more out of NEETS, long term welfare dependency, and jail to do good stuff.

    So can we get to 2.5% unemployed?

    • Stuart Munro 11.1

      So can we get to 2.5% unemployed?

      Easily – once wages and conditions catch up with employer rhetoric.

      To date desperate shortages of workers have not caused a lot of pay bumps – it's more common to get one by changing employers than to be offered one in situ.

      • Belladonna 11.1.1

        Not sure what you mean by pay bumps. Friends in hospo are advertising and willing to pay more than $25/hr for kitchen hands, and dishwashers (no experience, just a work ethic – i.e. turn up for their shift)
        It's a heck of a lot better than minimum wage or jobseeker benefit.

        • Sabine 11.1.1.1

          Do as Tamati Coffey and his partner did, just sell the lease. Let someone else do that. Btw, that lease got sold to some Non Kiwis who are going to put a US Franchise – some rip of Mexican pre-cooked, deep frozen food. You don't really need any staff for that.

          • Belladonna 11.1.1.1.1

            I know nothing about Coffey – but know how much strain and pressure that friends in hospo in Auckland have been under in the last couple of years.

            Can absolutely understand that it becomes too much, and people want out.

            And, yes, lots of hospo businesses fail – and there's an argument that we're exploiting low-wage workers when we dine out (at restaurants keeping prices low).

            But what's the alternative — that we only have mega chains (which, BTW have salaries at the rock bottom) and high-priced tourist-dollar fine dining (which I certainly can't afford to go to regularly)?

            • Sabine 11.1.1.1.1.1

              He and his partner had two Hospo businesses in Vegas on Eat Street. Did ok until they kicked out a lady for not wearing a mask and in the end the town stopped going there. So they sold their lease. It was bigly in the Herald. The reason i say they sold their lease is because if you sell your business usually the name / theme stays. The indian fellow how bought Tamati and his partner out of the 'Our house' and 'Ponsonby' bars will gut the places and put in a US American Franchise that serves gentrified mexican food.

              Fwiw, Tamati killed his business by kicking out a Maori lady and it did not go well with the locals.

              Yes, when the re-alignment is finished that is what you will have, fast food for the masses and very high priced fatty beef for the rich.

            • Grant 11.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s not just about money, although until the minimum wage rises hospo workers were certainly underpaid. It is much more about the bullying, and generally abusive behaviour which is widespread practise by owners and managers and which has been acknowledged publicly by senior players in the restaurant business. This is what really affects the quality of life for people on the bottom rung in hospo. Many of them are permanently sad if not clinically depressed about having to go and spend another shift being treated like shit. I watched my daughters experience in this ‘industry’ for over a decade; heard her work stories and tried to comfort her as the tears fell. I tried to talk her into resigning (after counselling her on how to manage the toxic behaviours failed) , but she was too proud to go on the dole so continued jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire for years as she tried to find a good employer and a workplace with a non-toxic culture. I suppose such places must exist but locating them is a little like trying to translate lead into gold. I have a very jaundiced view of the personality types who decide to invest in an industry which is known to operate on such a perverse business model.

              • Belladonna

                What's on offer ATM is a heck of a lot more than minimum wage.

                I agree that some hospo businesses have been dire for bullying and staff welfare (some are good – others often absolutely appalling).

                The good news about the worker shortage is that workers can get some of the issues addressed – or just pick up their pay cheque and shift to a better workplace. Or out of the industry into something else (all of those customer-service skills are highly transferrable).

                Most of the people I know in hospo are working in small restaurants/cafes/bakeries (just one in a high-profile restaurant) – these are the local businesses that I support, and want to keep running. They improve the quality of my life and my community.

  12. Sabine 12

    New Zealand has a shortage in synthetic estrogen. Woot Woot!

    I am on hormone replacement therapy thanks to a hysterectomy blablabla……

    Today i take my refill to the pharmacy and was advised to call well before my patches run out to get a refill as they can not guarantee that they can fill that prescription.

    Oh well. I guess its just the times.

  13. Joe90 13

    Ethnic Russians remain safely tucked up at home while poor minorities from the colonies autonomous regions do all the suffering and dying.

    Sounds familiar.

    • arkie 13.1

      It’s not a surprise that military recruitment has regional variance. Here’s another example of it, but with a different framing:

      Looking at each state’s share of recruits by the number of 18-to-24-year-olds in the state determines how well or how poorly a state is doing compared to its recruitable population. By that measure, the top five states in 2016 were: Hawaii, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Florida. The five places with the smallest share of recruits were: Washington D.C., North Dakota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckdevore/2020/02/19/states-that-defend-uswhere-do-our-military-volunteers-call-home/?sh=3dfd638c534c

      • Populuxe1 13.1.1

        Except that you're comparing apples and oranges. The US has a voluntary professional military. Russia has compulsory service for all able-bodied males between the ages of 18 and 28.

        • arkie 13.1.1.1

          In that they are both types of fruit, yes, but okay. What is similar between the two methods of recruiting is independent access to higher education mostly precludes military service; in Russia if you are a student you aren't subject to conscription and there are numerous other legal ways to avoid it.

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