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Open mike 01/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 1st, 2020 - 76 comments
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76 comments on “Open mike 01/12/2020 ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Imagine if this official response had happened after Pike River? https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/431772/whakaari-investigation-worksafe-charges-10-organisations-three-directors

    Worksafe’s CEO:

    “This deeply tragic event was unexpected, but that does not mean it was unforseeable,” he said.

    “The victims – both workers and visitors – all had a reasonable expectation that they could go to the island knowing that those organisations involved had done all they were required to do to look after their health and safety. But had they? That’s the question WorkSafe was mandated to investigate.

    “After the largest and most complex investigation WorkSafe has ever undertaken, we have concluded that 13 parties did not meet their obligations and should face charges in court.”

    • Treetop 1.1

      A thorough investigation is owed to those who died and those who were injured. Where there were safety issues which were not considered there needs to be a criminal penalty for this.

      I cannot recall a fortnight like the last one when it comes to the mention of lives taken unexpectedly and when scrutinised this was likely to have been preventable had people who were in charge not have made the wrong decisions.

      Erebus, Christchurch terror attacks, Cave Creek, Whakaari, Pike River and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

      ACC was never set up for the above as organisational failure has occurred. The ACC process is not easy to navigate and it can be adversarial.

      Those who want and need answers are entitled to get them and reasonable compensation for loss of life, income, health and loss of support from the deceased.

    • Ad 1.2

      Fair enough as it goes, but the legislation enabling the White Island prosecution arose from the Pike River disaster among other events.

      So its not a black and white comparison.

      WorkSafe is better than the Pike River prosecution context.

    • Stuart Munro 1.3

      I have to say, although this is Worksafe's job, the regulatory culture of prosecuting the survivors is pretty backward. We see the same routinely from the MSA.

      Where is the fence at the top of the cliff ?

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        It was supposed to be the people/entities who have subsequently been charged.

        They're not prosecuting the survivors, they're prosecuting the fence-builders. If there's overlap between the two groups, so be it.

      • Sacha 1.3.2

        You build the fence out of case law from prosecutions – making it more likely that all organisations will prioritise safety because it may cost them if they do not. That's how it works everywhere else.

        • Stuart Munro

          I'm not sure case law does the trick. Institutions in principle can learn from prosecutions and develop more responsible cultures. But smaller operators of the kind typical of NZ are often wiped out by the combination of whatever misadventure followed by prosecution. With their loss, whatever institutional learning was possible is also lost. We need, as a country, to be smarter than that.

          • Sacha

            Operators being wiped out sets an example to others, building their institutional knowledge and culture. Big missing ingredient in NZ workplace safety compared with say Australia.

  2. Treetop 2

    Where is the fence at the top of the cliff?

    There is no fence at the top of the cliff. Were there a fence it would be well written legislation on safety and responsibility. Notice no one puts their hand up and says we were in charge of the safety of those in our care or we did not tell people that there were hidden dangers. Any medical procedure the adverse effects need to be explained.

  3. Anker 3


    this is meaty. A couple of people on the post on Stuffs apology to Maori, criticised it as virtue signalling etc, etc. but owning up to the bias against Maori abusing their kids and presenting this picture of Pakeha kids who have been brutally abused, truly gets the message home.

    • Phillip ure 3.1

      I have to respect the fact stuff is doing such a detailed autopsy of their past/racist failings..

      this to me says this is much more than an exercise in virtue-signalling..

      and that there is no intention on the part of stuff to go back to those bad old-days…

      now we wait for similar self-examinations/mea culpas from the other long-standing media entities ..

      ..all of whom share the historic-guilt stuff has admitted to..

      in summary: to my mind this detailing by stuff just underlines the sincerity of the exercise..

      • Chris T 3.1.1

        In my personal opinion (yes, see the disclaimer)

        I am beginning to think after today it is just a cynical, starting to look like a self indulgent campaign by Stuff. Especially given the timing and heading into xmas slow news time.

        But I am sure it will come out in the wash, and it will be interesting to see how their reporting changes next year.

        I am not holding my breath.

        • Shanreagh

          I agree. But I think if a cynical & self indulgent campaign can achieve improvements leading to an end to systemic racism in Stuff then perhaps it is worthwhile. You know, the old ends justifies the means argument.

          And yes, slow news time coming and now there is an ability to fill the columns with chest beating and mea culpas.

          I would far rather that they had made the change for the better and then told us, perhaps they may not have needed to tell us as the improvement would have been noticeable……

          Do you think it will lead to a doing away with the verbal brawls and 'gotchas' questioning we saw after the pressers on Covid? Also from the opposite angle will it lead to more competent investigative stuff? Sometimes even short articles end with the meaty questions unasked and unanswered and I think…..



          • Chris T

            I think it will be an in-depth introspective spread out till xmas and then by about february/march next year, by then everyone will have forgotten, and it will just go back to as it was.

            But then I might be wrong.

  4. KSaysHi 4

    “The fact that we have to sneak around to worship God, in fear of criminal prosecution, is alarming.”

    A story about faith being driven underground in the UK, I found it an interesting read especially given the contrast with NZ. Not being a religious person it isn't entirely clear to me why everything can't be done via Zoom, guessing fellowship is just as important.

    We need to remember stories like this when people like David Seymour push for an end to the Human Rights Commission.

    • Chris T 4.1

      I can't see how it is being driven under ground.

      It seems to be a bunch of idiots trying to break the law……probably a sin. They are all going to hell.

    • joe90 4.2

      Funny how the virus doesn't seem to give a rat's about their religion.

  5. Adrian 5

    But where do you draw the line at risk ?. The dangerous precedent here is that the Great Walks and all others should be closed, as for instance weather forecasters can not guarantee that a extreme blizzard on the Milford Track or anywhere else may kill some trampers and would face prosecution because the risk is “ unexpected but foreseeable “ which has to be a contradiction in terms.

    The Tongariro Walk should be canned immediately, and any landowner cannot possibly give permission for anyone to cross farmland or any type of land in case there is an earthquake that loosens a rock that hurts someone that GNS has not predicted.

    It is a very dangerous precedent to make to hold scientists responsible for the eruption of volcanoes or the rupture of faultlines.

    • weka 5.1

      I think there is a big difference between tramping and volcano tourism. I can judge the weather, I have no way of knowing if a volcano will explode.

      There is also a difference between people choosing to tramp of their own accord, and those that pay a company to take them on a trip.

      Metservice went through this some years ago after a flash flood drowned some students on a school trip. Metservice hadn't predicted the amount of rain. Might be worth looking at that process (they weren't charged with anything).

      I'll wait for the details of the charges with Whakaari before forming an opinion. I think the issue is about whether it's a random thing that couldn't have been predicted (the weather oddity, but this will become more normal with climate change), and something that could. eg how was risk being assessed, and were the tourists and workers given full exclosure of exactly what the risk was.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        …a flash flood drowned some students on a school trip.


        I vividly remember this awful tragedy. (One of my kids had attended a school camp at the same place. I had to pick him and another lad up early as they were both sick and the weather was truly shit on that day. The rain in the immediate area of the camp was particularly ferocious.) The weather was atrocious on the day of the tragedy, and the forecast for the North Island clearly warned of 'rapidly rising river levels.' As the news unfolded it was truly baffling that instructors would take kids out on such an adventure when the forecast warned of such an eventuality.

        • weka

          there's no doubt that the trip organisers were majorly culpable. I was commenting on the Metservice side because it's relevant to the charging of GNS this week. Probably poorly worded on my part.

          "From the inaccurate weather report (the word "thunderstorms" was omitted from the MetService fax)"


          • greywarshark

            I'm interested in how hopeless the online Metservice is. They have reorganised their page setup, which wasn't bad but can't get faster changes on the weather chart online. By the time it is hosing where I am I expect it to show something on the screen, but it might show a big 0.

            It is quite handy for checking between radio announcements but a placebo if it isn't up to scratch a lot, and could lead to a false optimism and death.

            • solkta

              I find the rain radar to be extremely accurate. The thing works in real time and updates every seven minutes.

              • greywarshark

                When I look at the rain radar it shows what has happened and I want an idea of what will be soon or near future. I look at the one that shows the rain in yellow and blue. Is that what you watch?

                And I also expect that the whole system will be more responsive to changes, I have the feeling that it is on a two hour change. But even so usually it should register rain likely within the next two hours. Yet I have looked and the panel will show no rain at all for the whole of the day while it is raining outside, though on the occasion I am quoting I can't remember whether it showed some at night.

                • solkta

                  I want an idea of what will be soon or near future

                  As i said, the rain radar "works in real time and updates every seven minutes", so every seven minutes it will tell you what is happening right then which will save you looking out the window. Worst case it tells you what was happening seven minutes ago while also showing you how that weather has moved over the last hour enabling you to make a very good prediction of what will happen in seven minutes time.


                  with the radar set to your location it shows an area larger than the rain could travel in two hours. Your guess on how it will unfold over a couple of hours is probably as good as theirs.

                  • greywarshark

                    I guess I can wet my finger to site the wind direction, and study the clouds from my encyclopaedia, now is that a stratus or cirrus. The cumulus have all gone so it is not looking good etc.

                    • solkta

                      You can see what the wind direction and speed is on the rain radar. Or you could if you didn't just want to have a whinge.

                    • greywarshark

                      I'm allowed to have a whinge when something doesn't fit my needs. Of course you may be one of the NZs who accept everything and never complain, or put forward an idea different from the norm.

                      In general if you don't have an opinion and a viewpoint about anything you just get what others decide to dish up. Maybe that is why we are on our knees in our dear country trying to salvage NZ from going down the gurgler as a truly developed country.

                    • solkta

                      ok then don't use the rain radar and keep on whinging.

                    • Phillip ure []


            • weka

              I use MetVu for rain forecasting. Generally more accurate than Metservice.


      • gsays 5.1.2

        I have been reliably informed by a couple of geologists they were forbidden to go on the island, because of the islands excited state.

        They were flabbergasted that tourism was allowed to continue.

        • greywarshark

          This is an example of what you get when government adopts the view that business knows best and should be left to make decisions that are appropriate. There is a bunch of chickens come home to roost at the moment; questions about the SIS and how government here had got it wrong because they are a bunch of insensitive twerps under the control of USA even bigger twerps and racists, the Pike River situation gets mentioned, the CTV collapse where the engineer in charge wasn't even one at all (do I remember that right?) and the man appointed was not experienced enough. The buck can't be passed to him, it didn't sound as if he had much responsible mentoring.

          Now the White Island thing and I put up the other day that GNS had a new system of monitoring ready to go, but in the right way of doing things the Island people should have been checking each morning to see if the indications were for greater risk. And have been warned that they should have been closed for two or so days anyway which would have hurt their pockets, but ultimately been for everyone's good. They might have taken visitors out and stayed on the boat, or just landed and looked across so they could say they were near an active volcano at half price.

          It seems banana republic fumbling to me. I have doubts about going on things here myself now. There is a carelessness and callousness showing up that just contrasts with the emotion that flows when something bad happens. It's just sentimentality when the real caring comes from preventing things happening, and making sure that there are limits to risks, warnings given with specified safety items to be worn and carried, strict limits on the route etc.

          And I think also hanging over everything , the knowledge that people will have to pay a cost for emergency assistance not too high, but expected immediately or someone will be detained till paid for those who initiate trips and excursions that go wrong for a foreseeable risk. It isn't on that the public purse, which can't afford to provide decent health and education for those at the bottom, can pay to help those who have the option to choose to enjoy risky recreation. The country can't afford it. Full stop!

    • Editractor 5.2

      I really can't believe that GNS Science is being prosecuted because it failed to predict the volcano. Perhaps the charges involve the processes around their work, for example maintenance of equipment and transfer of information to appropriate agencies.

      But who knows? Maybe it will be like the prosecution of Italian scientists around the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009 – https://www.theverge.com/2014/11/11/7193391/italy-judges-clear-geologists-manslaughter-laquila-earthquake-fear

      Here's a view on the charges from a NZ academic working in earth sciences – https://www.thespinoff.co.nz/science/01-12-2020/why-scientists-should-welcome-charges-against-gns-over-whakaari/

      He says "But this must not be about blame", but isn't that exactly what a prosecution is meant to ascertain?

      • Treetop 5.2.1

        Blame will not undo anything. It is about preventing such a tragedy from occurring again, discovering what happened and supporting the injured and the bereaved families and compensation for the disability and loss of people. When an organisation failed in their duty of care compensation is warranted. ACC is a no fault scheme so ACC cannot prosecute. Workplace accidents are a health and safety issue which need to hold people to account.

  6. RedLogix 6

    It's worth noting that relations between Australia and China are plummeting to a dangerous new low that could easily have serious implications for NZ. Clearly Beijing has determined to make an example of Australia with a series of economic and diplomatic offensives that show no sign of abating.

    • Pat 6.1

      Indeed.. our economies are inextricably linked and Oz our largest trading partner

    • Ad 6.2

      Immediately i heard the news i thought:

      That Penfolds and Henschke are going to massively discount. Woooooooo!

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        Well I guess a stash of cheap plonk could come in handy if it all turns to total custard.

        (My daughter works as a courier driver, and tells me that alcohol deliveries went through the roof during the COVID lockdown.)

    • AB 6.3

      Indeed. It looks like the CCP are rightly contemptuous of the Anglo Saxon elites – for being addicted to the rush of money from trade with China, while treating our own populations like serfs, joining every lunatic US imperial adventure going, and yet grandstanding about China's (real) human rights abuses. If we weren't such a hypocritical mess, we wouldn't be such an easy target.

      • RedLogix 6.3.1

        It looks like the CCP are rightly contemptuous of the Anglo Saxon elites – for being addicted to the rush of money from trade with China,

        Perhaps, but what exactly was it that lifted so many 100's of millions of Chinese serfs out of poverty, if it were not this 'rush of money' they gained from open trade with the world?

        As for hypocrisy, the sight of Chinese diplomats using Twitter to dish out this contempt, when they strictly censor the same media from their own people has to be pretty damned rich for a start.

        But here is the real point; no nation is perfect and there is no question Australian troops went over the line in Afghanistan. And after a painful, difficult, yet trusted investigation the Australian government has made the conclusions public. And then acknowledged the failure and is holding the individuals responsible to account. This is what you want to have happen when things go wrong.

        But for the CCP to then exploit this transparency for a blatantly aggressive purpose, a transparency they're infamously deficient in themselves, is just plain rude at best.

      • greywarshark 6.3.2

        Don't the Chinese do these things too? Could it be that we are in a MAD situation – Mutual Assumed Disgust?

      • Marcus Morris 6.3.3

        Well said AB. Couldn't agree more.

    • Treetop 6.4

      Do you think that China would do a fairer deal with a country for just the product they need.?

      What is China dependent on from Australia?

  7. Tricledrown 7

    Stuff publishing its history of racial abuse is froggen amazing.

    Stuff needs to put the light on the rest of its reporting ie economic reporting completely one sided.

    The NZ initiative and the taxpayers union one in the same the business round tables new propaganda machine,pushing 1\2 truths to make up false narratives such as how the minimum wage increases unemployment.

    When the OECD has shown it has reverse effects increasing economic activity more jobs more business etc.

    Stuff has said it shouldn't let those in power dictate what it publishes around Maori news which they admit has been biased .

    Yet they let economists who only represent big business run their poorly researched propaganda.

    • Phillip ure 7.1


      a fair call…

      they all pretty much parrot the b.s. supporting the neoliberal paradigm..

      ..(despite the evidence before their eyes of the poverty/inequality grown/fostered/nurtured by that poxy/failed economic belief-system)

      t.i.n.a. – there is no alternative – to that neoliberal paradigm ..being a favoured trope/big lie..

      and given that maori are perhaps the biggest victims of that don't-give-a-fuck about the 'losers' dictum of neoliberalism…stuff undertaking that re-evaluation of their role in getting us to this place..

      ..would be timely..

      ..would be them being seen walking the walk..eh..?

  8. Anker 8
    • Yes Trickledown! We need to encourage stuff to keep going.
    • one way to do this is subscribe
    • greywarshark 8.1

      Yes I took up an offer which gives me 6 papers a week for not very much, paid monthly. I have set up an automatic payment so they have security of payment coming regularly. Which is why they need subscriptions. Go stuff go, and yes a regular report on say the Welfare Index if there is one, instead of just the foreign exchange for today and the repetitive cries of business leaders for more of something or less of something that impedes them in their single-minded purpose to be wealth creators for themselves.

  9. greywarshark 9

    I often read that there aren't enough enterprises to invest in in NZ so people with money have to invest in houses. Peter Jackson has done marvels in opening up a business opportunity that offers employment. Yet he has a USA guy buying him out. All the keen smart guys and gals should have a special investment fund they contribute to that will back NZ greenfield developments that aren't involved in land and housing! It may be that the investor brings both cash and contacts in the USA though, which would be beneficial to Weta.


    • Sacha 9.1

      Parker has only bought a third of the company, and yes he offers valuable relationships in US tech and venture capital circles.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    They're not hiring New Zealanders, according to the ODT.

    Once growers get a sniff of cheap exploitable foreign labour, NZ people get the dregs, if they lucky.

    I wonder if Winz is giving out loans to go to Oz to pick – they like kiwi labourers there.

    • McFlock 10.1

      The followup today is that HR is too difficult for orchardists.

      They said they did not have time to respond to every application because, faced with a dearth of workers, juggling work with processing applications was too much.

      "We can’t be online all the time" was the general reaction to New Zealanders who claimed they had applied and got no response.

      There's an odd complaint that NZ workers are too inexperienced, yet they can get experienced workers from overseas. Seems to me they let the local workforce wither away, and now are paying the price.

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        I'd like to see those orchardists who don't have time to respond, who applied for RSEs, prosecuted for making false statutory declarations. Part of the process requires them to state that they could not find any suitable New Zealanders for the job.

        I am not sanguine of course – the big fishing companies have been making the same false statutory declarations for decades without consequences. The rule of law has come to apply only to individuals – corporates can break it indefinitely without consequences. Lesse majeste – the state is failing.

        • Sacha

          I wish authorities would come after incompetent NZ employers in general. But especially this, yes.

      • RedBaronCV 10.1.2

        The comments below these stories are very enlightening. Some orchards appear to have got off their butt and made decent plans – others not so much. There was even a start up up Gisborne way that linked workers and orchards which looked pretty good. I've lost the link to that though. But good on the ODT for exposing the orchard employers. Wonder how many of these places are overseas owned with the profits going off shore.

    • Treetop 10.2

      Is this discrimination not employing NZ citizens or residents to work in orchards?

      The mindset of the orchardists who employ visa holders over non visa holders needs to change.

      • Stuart Munro 10.2.1

        It certainly is discrimination, and I'm sure if they were a fashionable ethnic group instead of a nationality, the Human Rights Commission would have something to say about it. Not our diversity driven MPs of course – they're more concerned with the right to wear hats or disparage retired folk.

  11. joe90 11

    A small Kura spent $18,077 on a professional development trip to Calgary for three staff members and $18,133 on further travel through the United States, which included visiting Disneyland and other resorts. Meanwhile….

    The Audit Office also said it "could not obtain sufficient evidence to confirm the validity of a payment of about $467,000 for a management fee" from two former charter schools, Middle School West Auckland and South Auckland Middle School, to their sponsoring agency, Villa Education Trust.

    Villa Education Trust chief executive Karen Poole said the trust worked with a facilitator appointed by the Ministry of Education throughout the process of transitioning the two charter schools to become special-character state schools from January 2019.


    • weka 11.1

      But Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mangatuna principal Tania Hunter said her kura actually raised $67,000 from its community for the trip to Canada and Disneyland, which more than covered the $36,200 cost of the trip.

      "My school came away with surplus money. It's still in the school," she said.

      She said she, another teacher and a kaiāwhina (helper) went to Canada to attend the 11th World Indigenous People's Conference on Education in Toronto, and did not visit Calgary as the audit report claimed.

      She said the visit to Disneyland and other places in the United States came in the week before the conference, which was the last week of the July school holidays in 2017.

      "That was a one-week holiday," she said.

      She felt justified in using the money raised from the community because she and the other two people who went on the trip did much of the fundraising themselves.

      "The three people that went, we catered at the local marae for a three-day conference, we worked from 4am to 10pm, three meals and morning teas. That was $3000 being paid to the school, but it was being put aside for our trip," she said.

      "We fundraise like Trojans from external funding literally all year round."

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Thanks for that weka – disparaging remarks can present such a wrong slant. I think a $26,000 trip overseas for two in 1999ish to hook up to hip-hop groups got damned probably by Rodney Hide and was a final straw in the effort of Labour to give Maori a chance to find new ventures and strengths. The end of the Closing the Gaps that riled a lot of pakeha who tried to stop it

        Winston Peters on it: In June 2000, Winston Peters, leader of the New Zealand First party, described the program as "social apartheid". One of his downing Maori and working against their best interests which I considered made him a type of turncoat, though always perfectly tailored of course.


      • joe90 11.1.2

        Racial bias in action – almost the entire article was about the spending of a Māori school yet the Poole's [could not obtain sufficient evidence to confirm the validity] payment merited little more than a footnote.

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