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Open mike 01/12/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 1st, 2022 - 64 comments
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64 comments on “Open mike 01/12/2022 ”

  1. dv 1

    May be an image of text that says 'W Labour WE'RE FIXING OUR HOSPITALS AND IMPROVING HEALTHCARE $2,200m $2,000m $1,800m $2,136M 2019 $1,600m $1,400m $1,200m $1,000m $1,307M 202 $800m $600m $431M 2013 $788M 2018 $400m $867M 2020 $700M 2021 $200m $200M 2014 $OM 2015 $0m $150M $OM 2017 2016 VOTE HEALTH NEW NFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING BY YEAR OF APPROPRIATION($MILLION)'Telling graph.

    [image resized]

    • dv 1.1

      Thank you

      Interesting 2018 Was more that nat from 2013 to 2017

      And 5 yr Natz was 781m (including 2 yrs of 0 )cf
      to Lab 5 yrs of 5798 mil

    • Sabine 1.2

      A more telling graph would be the money spend directly on healthcare vs money spend on the reform of the department of health, the DHBs and other new and improved burocracy. National did underspend or refuse to fund, and Labour spend the last year re-creating NZ Health in what hopefully will be a better system then the DHBs.

      So in essence how much did N spend vs L say on recruitment of nurses and doctors? How much on renovations of fixed assets, how much on new machines / what machines and then how much was spend on consultants.

      • Anker 1.2.1

        $11.1 billon on Health reforms over four years.

        I posted the link a few weeks back. Can repost if required.

        The question is, is our health system in better shape now or pre 2017 Labour govt?

        Even factoring in covid, its pretty clear it is in a worse state. My evidence for this is the almost daily articles about Dr's, nurses saying they are at breaking point. I have posted many links on this in the past few weeks.

        • Macro

          So how long do you think it takes to train up doctors and nurses to be able to compitantly work in critical situations such as Ed and ICU? And how long does it take to rectify 8 years of neglect in health infrastructure and capacity?

          • Anker

            I have posted before Macro about what Dr Ian Powell says in his columns (former head of the Salaried Medical Specialists).

            When Labour came in, he told the then Minister of Health, David Clark, that there were 3 problems facing Health in NZ. Workforce shortage, workforce shortage, workforce shortage. That was over five years ago. Had Labour of acted on this, we would now have trainees graduating or even with one or two years under their belts in ICU and ED. Last week we heard that Andrew Little was finally considering paying student nurses for their placements, after the NZNO had been suggesting it for sometime. I have posted here previously at least two articles about student nurses feeling highly stressed and contemplating not completing their training. Some of the reasons being have to travel big distances to do their (unpaid) hospital workforce training and receiving no petrol money or assistance with parking. I also posted an interview with Shane Reti on Q and A and as I recall, he talked about having had costing down for a new medical school. Many GPs are reaching retirement age.

            Andrew Little has prioritized a health restructure during a pandemic, rather than addressing the workforce issues. NZders will pay the price

            Can link to previously posted articles if requried.

            • Jimmy

              Shane Reti would make an excellent health minister. Seems crazy having an ex union leader in charge of health.

              • Anker

                I would have expected much better of an ex union in terms of managing health. IMO Little has shown nothing but contempt for the health workforce.

            • Macro

              prioritized a health restructure during a pandemic, rather than addressing the workforce issues.

              You know one of the reasons for the Health restructuring is simply to address the issue of stretched resources and inequitably distributed resources (ie access to health determined by post code rather than need) – but you knew that anyway.

              The workforce issues would not be fixed in 5 years – last time I looked it takes at least 7 years for a doctor to be let loose on the general population.

              For specialist nursing ie holding post grad nursing quals is just as long.

              The entry requirements for post grad nursing requires candidates to:

              hold a current practising certificate and must have three years’ equivalent full time practice in the area they intend to prescribe in with at least one year of the total practice in New Zealand;

              To simply blame the current govt for the run down state of NZ Health is simply blinkered and partisan. The previous Nat govt, with their persistent under funding of Health (as clearly seen from the graph above) resulted in NZ's Health service ending up in a parlous state. It will take years to turn that around. Hospitals (eg Whangarei's) completely unfit for purpose. The low payment of Health professionals has resulted in large numbers flocking offshore. We staff our hospitals and aged care facilities from lower paid countries off-shore. Once re-qualified and NZ citizens they then depart to higher paid positions in Australia America Canada and UK). My son-in-law as evidence.

              Hmmm I well remember the 2007 Nat advertisement "Stop waving goodbye to your loved ones!" Well no sooner were the Nats in power than they changed the provision for aftercare of those suffering brain injury. 100 specialists dealing with such conditions were immediately out of a job and nothing for them in this country. So Aussie just got 100 qualified specialists, just like that – my own family are never going to return. Now running 3 small hospitals in Perth.

              • Anker

                I am not claiming National did a great job in terms of heath in NZ. Although I do believe Shane Reti would make a great Minister of Health or even PM>

                Labour and Littles focus should have been on the training and retention of staff and the importation of the health workforce from overseas. This involves everything from settling pay disputes, increasing pay significantly and valuing the workforce rather than being in denial that public health is in crisis as Andrew Little does

                Setting up Health NZ has inevitably put them behind as you don't just set up a new agency and its all good to go. As I mentioned before my contact at Health NZ tells me it is chaos and in their considered opinion it won't achieve the goal of equity.

                What is the health system? If. you get sick with a broken leg, cancer, a heart attack, an autoimmune disease, have a car accident etc, etc who do you need to be there in adequate numbers. The people with skills, training and experience. Not the bureacrats.

                One of the articles I posted recently quoted a group of Drs who said the only change they have seen from the re-structure is the new logo.

                But go ahead believe the bureacrats will make all the difference. Having worked in health in the 1990s I can tell you that what happened in Wellington made absolutely no difference at all. As long as our staffing levels were o.k., it all rose and fell on the expertise and clinical competence of the nurses and Drs and other allied workers at the coal face.

                • Shanreagh

                  Mmmmm those faceless 'bureaucrats' are always worth a bash aren't they?

                  Would the critics of everything to do with the health sector and reforms be able to cobble together an argument without having access to these people to criticise? When I worked in the health sector the 'bureaucrats', but we called them staff rather than the pejorative, that were absolutely relied on at a high level were

                  • clinical coders
                  • work flow analysts – needed in looking at ED and out patients work
                  • accountants with a specialty in health accounting
                  • waiting list case managers

                  Then we have the bureaucrats staff that any large organisation can not do without:

                  • payroll
                  • HR
                  • supply/stores management
                  • info tech people including librarian type people who specialise in (health)
                  • (medical) tech word processors/PAs etc.
              • Anker


                Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand) told the union it would not allow newly graduated doctors to start working in hospitals until next year, NZRDA national president Dr James Anderson​ said.

                Anderson said Te Whatu Ora cited supervision and orientation concerns as the reason why.

                It “makes no sense”, he said: “We have a workforce we so desperately need, qualified, ready and willing to work, and yet Te Whatu Ora won’t employ them for another two months.”

                Anderson said the “excuse” of supervision and orientation concerns, “is in our view, exactly that”.

                It seems Health NZ is the obstacle here. So rather than helping the over worked Drs in crisis they are an impediment. But of course the Professional Managerial Class think they know best

                • Shanreagh

                  While I understand your concern re staffing it does the cause no good to leave off some points, these were in the article that you attached.

                  a) the proposed changes were discussed/consulted on

                  'A spokesperson for Te Whatu Ora said the 20 DHBs that previously comprised Health New Zealand went through extensive consultation before the change was put in place, to strengthen training, staff welfare and services to patients.'

                  b) the overriding reason is this

                  'He said the shift from November to January enabled newly-appointed first-year doctors to be supported into practice, particularly with more senior staff on leave over the Christmas and New Year period, and ensured new graduates got a break before starting their careers.

                  “New Zealanders can have confidence that, as in previous years, this will not affect our ability to staff services over the holiday period.” "

                  I have lived next door to one of those senior orthopaedic surgeons who trains new staff, for many years. He often has some time off in Dec/ January. Apart from a little time with both sets of elderly parents he is usually at home doing things like building a new deck, blobbing out, going to outdoor concerts etc etc.

                  Even though he is on leave when there are huge numbers or complex injuries to road accident victims he is on call and about 90% of the time during these holidays he is called in.

                  NZers regularly drive their cars into each other, into bridges or power poles over the break. When the remaining staff cannot deal with the injuries he will go in to operate. Having done this he then goes in daily to check on the patients he has operated on.

                  Last Christmas/January break he was flown to Chch, while on leave, to help operate on badly injured road accident victims. Having done this he stayed down there to be on call for his patients for a week.

                  The point about letting newly graduated doctors have a break is also valid. Up until now many would have had minimal time off as most would work over the long break.

                  So always good to have both sides of an issue.

              • Shanreagh

                Good points Macro.

                Spoken with the voice of experience. I had a very minor involvement with a govt workforce/clinical training group for health.

                From this I am left with the view that it is never as clear cut as the various groups say, they exist to push their causes and that is OK but we should not forget it. Many of the groups are single issue and do not understand how all the bits fit together in clinical training in the health sector.

                Stability of government is hugely important. Health is regularly used as an election issue and during this time there is wastage in terms of gearing up and down to meet a new govt's ideas. Health by the long nature of its training and long time frames on other issues, is a bit like trying to turn an ocean liner on a coin. It takes an age.

                Access to health services via post code is a happening thing. Although not as bad as prior to the 1990s the cries for every DHB to have the latest health bauble (not based on need) are never-ending.

                And make no mistake some health specialties are more 'sexy', as they say, than others. Some DHBs are keenly aware of this and waste no time in seeking funds for latest 'thing' when population based funding based on the actual needs of their populations is ignored. So we find that, as your family has, that painstaking and often long term rehab for the brain injured is not valued.

                Back in the 1990s linear accelerators were the 'thing' and every hospital wanted one, regardless of need based on demographics. Trying to persuade people that if they paid attention to their populations ie to the demographics they wouldn't need linear accelerators fell on very deaf ears.

                Looking after Maori child health was just not 'it', even though the chance existed to become a centre of excellence and a leader in the field.

        • psych nurse

          The backbone of the health work force are Baby Boomers at or beyond retirement age. That's the cause of the workforce shortfall, same as in Education and other professions. Think about it !.

        • tsmithfield

          The government needs to reprioritise its spending to pay medical staff competitive salaries to keep them in NZ.

          For instance, scrap the TVNZ/RNZ merger. Scrap the light rail vanity project. Give the money to the medical staff.

          • Anker

            100% tsmithfield. Except I would say, as I have said on this site before, they should never have gone ahead with the re-structure.

            This is only heresay and one person’s opinion, and so I can’t provide any links etc. A friend works quite high up in the new Health NZ. She says it is absolute chaos and that she doesn't believe it will achieve equity.

          • Jimmy

            That sounds really sensible. They will never do it.

    • Jimmy 1.3

      So they have spent all that money and the health system is worse than it was back in 2017. What a failure, thanks Andrew Little.


  2. dv 2

    Sizing need a fix please.

  3. Joe90 3


    • RedLogix 3.1

      I really only came to appreciate Fleetwood Mac later in life – and the remarkable McVie herself. Few people have the privilege of leaving such a well loved legacy.

    • Ad 3.2

      Saw them in Dunedin in 2019 at the stadium. Sound was terrible but was really important to understand their aura live. She had radiant presence.

      Also Neil Finn gave us Shark Attack.

    • Anker 3.3

      Wonderful music. Wonderful singer.

    • Jimmy 3.4

      Very sad. A very talented musician taken too early.

  4. Joe90 4

    The USSR used the false-flag attack as a pretext to cancel the Finnish-Soviet non-aggression pact.

    But sure, Ukraine should negotiate.


    • adam 4.1

      You do know the peace movement within Russia, has disappeared right?

      Anyone organising for a negotiated peace has either fled, or is in prison.

      I guess with Putin's popularity so bloody high, he can do what he wants.

      He wants war.

      He, also wants to push Ukraine back into the stone age, by smashing their infrastructure.

      Three parts to video

      1st part a great piece Victorian Election and the media.

      At 3.45 minute mark – Ukraine story.

      3rd part – friendlyjordies fire booming.

  5. Adrian 5

    What I can’t work out is if the Covid wage subsidy was less than the normal income for most recipients surely the lower amount of spending was not inflationary and then when things like spending stabilised the effects of the two regimes should be considered as a whole over the Covid years and those subsequent years giving us an average over say 5 years which should not be hugely inflationary. So what is the panic, we are just catching up and the resulting yearly total should be no different wether Covid happened or not.

    Is this another classic example of Economics Trivial Pursuit, one question, 1000 correct answers?

    • Ad 5.1

      Tsunamis have more than 1 wave even if the sine decrease is rapid.

    • Craig H 5.2

      I think the inflationary aspect, if any, was that businesses were propped up that otherwise would have failed as business failures have actually declined. The loss in GDP was also pretty small in the end as businesses adapted to trading in the Covid levels, even level 3, and the government avoided level 4 until Delta arrived, so the macroeconomic impact from Covid restrictions ended up being minimal, particularly compared to forecasts earlier on.

  6. Anne 6

    If this baby is removed from hospital today as the mother is threatening to do and the baby subsequently dies, it is easy to see what will happen. They, and their fellow anti- vaccine conspiracy theorists, will blame the death on the Ministry of Health and the Government.


    I listened to part of the Sue Grey interview with Corin Dann this morning. It was hard going. The woman was appalling. Full of ‘mis and dis’ information.

    I really don't think these people should be interviewed on public radio or TV. They have nothing of worth to offer.


      • Jenny are we there yet 6.1.1


        In the same vein as the absurd vaccine conspiracy theorists willfully risking their child's life.

        Months and months of Russian propaganda have convinced some people, of the absurdity that Ukraine is a fascist state.

        The result is inevitable. Some misguided individual has sent a letter bomb to what they think are fascists.


        "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire

        • Anne

          Spot on Jenny.

          That's why these conspiracy theorists are dangerous and should be constantly regarded as such by the authorities. It’s why they should not be given air time.

    • AB 6.2

      Why only the Covid vaccine – what about flu, HepA, HepB, shingles, measles, human papilloma virus, cholera, rabies, polio, mumps, tetanus, diphtheria etc? Many blood donors will have had one or more of these vaccines – actually most donors, if you look at the NZ Vaccine Schedule.

      It is largely political – aimed at painting centre-left governments as authoritarian enemies of freedom, when the opposite is true. One question is whether it is a genuinely spontaneous derangement, or if there's money behind it.

      • Shanreagh 6.2.1

        Good points.

        I had pondered why only Covid. If I was going to get down a rabbit hole about vaccinations and possible lingering effects in the blood I would go for one of those where attenuated parts of a disease were injected…… eg TB etc.

        They are crackpots and it is terrible that they are using the life of a wee baby who is not able to speak for themselves to further their views. It also espouses a view about babies being 'owned' by their parents that I disagree with.

        • Visubversa

          Fortunately, the system is quite practiced at this. For years, the hospitals have had to deal with adherents of religious cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses who do not believe in blood transfusions. While adults can give consent – children cannot, so these children regularly get made Wards of the Court so that they can get the lifesaving procedures they require.

          • Shanreagh

            Yes I have heard about those wards of court processes for children.

            I have wondered how the children are treated by their religious parents after, if they have received life saving transfusions. So whether there is a difference in the treatment/care/attention/love they receive from their parents.

            It breaks my heart reading about people who place adherence to creed, belief or religion above their children's lives etc.

            • Visubversa

              I have long ceased to try and fathom the thought processes of religious and other cultists. I have a good friend who is married to a Jehovah's Witness husband. We went to my friend's 70th birthday party some years ago. Her family had to pretend it was a house warming party for the house they moved in to 2 years previously as the husband would refuse to go to a birthday party. Imagine the sort of religious indoctrination that does not let you go to your wife's 70th birthday party. Once he shuffled off to some church thing the "Happy Housewarming" banner came down, and the "Happy Birthday Mum" banner went up.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        There's money behind it alright – most of it off-shore.

        And yes its political. Just like the climate denial thing was for decades. One of the reasons the world is heading for climate catastrophe is directly due to the influence of the deniers who were given carte-blanche by irresponsible media channels to spread their crackpot theories far and wide.

        And now it is happening in the health sector.

      • mauī 6.2.3

        Why only the Covid vaccine – what about flu, HepA, HepB, shingles, measles, human papilloma virus, cholera, rabies, polio, mumps, tetanus, diphtheria etc?

        Which of those are mRNA vaccines? Which of those were developed in less than 12 months?

      • Jenny are we there yet 6.2.4

        I agree totally, there are so many more blood borne vectors why only the covid vaccine?

        Up until covid came along, the far right and neo-fascists had been unable to find a cause that they could use to prey on people's fears.

        Xenophobia and racism just doesn't have the pulling power it used to.


    • Shanreagh 6.3

      Heavens, she is not very articulate is she? It is hard going. Surely she should do, just as Luxon should do, work to find out info to rebut the type of questions an interested lay person would ask. I wonder if she is more used to taking court cases on the papers rather than orally.

      So a case of myocarditis came about as a very uncommon reaction. Is she trying to say that blood from a healthy person/s who does not have any risks is going to get in and whip up a case of myocarditis? If so she is sadly lacking in knowledge about how vaccinations work and how the Covid ones in particular work.

      'A medical expert believes another baby in a similar condition to one Health NZ is trying to seek guardianship for would've been treated by now.' Meanwhile the date for the hearing is set for 6/12. Terrible delays caused by the parents' stance.


    • adam 6.4

      Is it true, that blood purity is the bastion of some very far right groups?

      A calling card even.

    • Tony Veitch 6.5

      That was painful to listen to!

      That poor baby, with no voice except that of it's deranged parents, could well die to make a political point!

      There should be some way, made clear to the parents and their supporters, that an adverse result (to the baby's health) would result in charges being laid. Sue Grey and Liz Gunn, in particular, should be held liable, in some way, for what happens.

      • mauī 6.5.1

        The deranged parents that are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure their child has the safest medical procedure possible? That sort of deranged?

        • Robert Guyton

          arkies comment is of the quality needed in this debate. Sue Grey had nothing like it.


          2 December 2022 at 10:41 am

          "Donated blood is tested and separated into different blood components; red blood cells, platelets, plasma etc. These are aggregated and when a transfusion is called for by medical professionals, these blood products are supplied depending on need. When someone receives a transfusion the blood doesn't just come from one donor, it is a recombined from the various collected components.

          The practice of direct donations from a singular donor, or donors of the parents choice, is not recommended by Doctors or the New Zealand Blood Service."

    • mauī 6.6

      Was there an interview in there somewhere..? It appeared more like a shouty lecture from Corin "I am the Science" Dan.

      • Robert Guyton 6.6.1

        Corin certainly was shouty, mauī but Sue Grey presented very poorly, imo. She dragged into what might have been a useful interview, heavy baggage that triggered Corin sorely and she should have known better. There was the potential for genuine empathy to be fostered, but she failed to cut to the chase. I wouldn't want her defending me anywhere for anything.

  7. joe90 7

    They’ve given away several small fortunes but Marilyn and Grant Nelson aren't quite done.

    The auditor-general is being challenged to do more to get businesses to pay back billions of dollars in wage subsidy payments that they should not have received.

    The Gama Foundation, a Christchurch-based philanthropic organisation, has filed an application at the High Court in Wellington, seeking a judicial review of the auditor-general’s overview of the scheme.

    The foundation is run by former Christchurch businessman Grant Nelson and his wife, Marilyn.


    Reserve Bank data shows that in October 2020 businesses had $22.7b more in the bank than in October 2019. 


    “In the two years since the wage subsidy scheme was introduced, there’s been a huge transfer of wealth to businesses who didn’t experience the drop in revenue they might have anticipated,” Nelson said.

    “The fact that over $750 million has voluntarily been repaid is a good indication that many times more would be repaid if recipients were asked to make repayments.”

    Earlier this year the auditor-general took a much stronger stance over the cost of living payments – within weeks of the first round of payments being made Ryan had written to Inland Revenue, recommending it “consider what steps it can take to identify how many ineligible people have received payments”.

    He also advised the department to make its expectation clear to ineligible people who got the payment that they should repay it immediately. 

    “We’re really just wanting him to do something similar with the wage subsidies because vastly more money is involved,” Nelson said.


  8. woodart 8

    I cant figure it out. on stuff presently , an odd penguin type is loseing his claim, and loseing his appeal, to a poll conducted by his company, being reported as a poll. someone else (hah!) can explain. is this karma?

  9. adam 9

    Apple users must wake up everyday smelling their own farts and virtual signalling their lords and masters.

    How scummy are the corporation, I'd say very.


    Apple hobbled a crucial tool of dissent in China weeks before widespread protests broke out from apple

  10. Poission 10

    Government has lightbulb moment,to train people ( through ngo's) to change lightbulbs and provide advice on low flow shower heads.

    ‘Auckland Council Home Energy Saver Pilot’, Ecobulb with Auckland Council, $115,000

    Training up to 10 energy assessors to provide local households with personalised energy-saving advice, supply energy-efficient lightbulbs and low-flow showerheads, and connect households to other resources and supporting programmes.


    Needs to be substantive savings for the new tech economy planned by the government,with the energy hungry and thirsty data centres for Auckland,of which they are energy intensive and require substantive water for cooling.

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