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Open mike 02/02/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 2nd, 2022 - 165 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 …

165 comments on “Open mike 02/02/2022 ”

  1. Blade 1

    I said a while ago National would be better off not chasing the temperamental middle demographic vote, and instead go in the opposite direction.

    So I was happy to see Luxon move in that direction. After the troops did a Wim Hof at their party retreat to show voters National is now full of vim and vigour, Luxon announced National may raise the age of superannuation entitlement.

    That is playing with political kryptonite, and will go down like a lead balloon with many. But perceptions will slowly change as the reality of New Zealand's economic woes becomes apparent. It will then be seen as a sane and sensible action to take.


    Talking of the economy, the Aussies are a little bit worried about their inflation rate reaching 3.5%. I forget what ours is?

    • Ross 1.1

      Luxon announced National may raise the age of superannuation entitlement.

      Labour should do likewise. It’s inevitable that changes will be made to Super. Bill English went into the 2017 election with that policy…and got more votes than Labour. But I suspect it’s more than just Super that will be reviewed with a new Government, it’ll be tax rates and spending on health, education and welfare.

      • Nic the NZer 1.1.1

        So you attended Osbournes presentation to the National party? And he explained its good politics to plunge your economy into recession as treasurer?

        • Blazer

          Yes Osborne was their 2nd choice…they wanted….former Tory P.M

          'David Cameron made about $10m (£7m) from Greensill Capital before the finance firm he lobbied on behalf of collapsed, according to the BBC.'

          • Nic the NZer

            Well hopefully the whole National economic strategy isn't determined by the whim of who bothered to show up to talk.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              No one from UK could turn up anyway.

              They would have been zoom speeches. Sounds more like Osbourne is another 'old mate' like Key

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2

        English went into election with 'kick the can down the road' policy to raise super age in 2037-40

        20 years from the date of promise


        Today the Cullen Fund to support future Super payments is worth $58 billion.

        By the time they start to draw on the money its projected to be over $150 bill

    • lprent 1.2

      Don't know about inflation as I haven't seen figures for either country. I am not sure that either nation produces a measure of inflation.

      There is a proxy in the consumer price index – which is a completely seperate measure.

      We have a annual consumer price increase of 5.9% for 2021 and Australia with a different basket for their CPI had 3.5%. But you really have look closely at the baskets because they are quite different.

      Both had large increases in fuel and rental costs.

      Our one includes house prices, construction material costs and the costs of vehicles, which I can't see any mention of in the aussie one. Those had very high increases here.

      If you are relying on the CPI measures as a comparative measure between nz and aussie, then you have successfully identified yourself as a financial idiot. You have to look at what is in the basket.

      • Blazer 1.2.1

        'Our one includes house prices,'….you sure about that?

        My understanding is it doesn't,hate to see how high inflation would be…if it..did.

        • lprent


          My italics – note that the percentages in the quote are just for the final quarter of 2021.

          Quarterly change

          In the December 2021 quarter compared with the September 2021 quarter, the CPI rose 1.4 percent (1.5 percent with seasonal adjustment).

          • Housing and household utilities rose 2.0 percent, influenced by higher prices for home ownership (up 4.6 percent) and actual rentals for housing (up 1.2 percent).
          • Transport rose 3.9 percent, influenced by private transport supplies and services (up 5.4 percent) and purchase of vehicles (up 1.9 percent).
          • Recreation and culture rose 2.1 percent, influenced by other recreational equipment and supplies (up 2.4 percent) and audio-visual and computing equipment (up 4.7 percent).
          • Miscellaneous goods and services rose 1.7 percent, influenced by other miscellaneous services (up 3.5 percent) and personal care (up 2.1 percent).

          …hate to see how high inflation would be…if it..did.

          So now you know that it may do. I haven’t looked into the basket to see exactly what “higher prices for home ownership” cover. But the rise is following the house mortgage interest rises pretty closely.

          I know that in my case, the only major costs of home ownership (outside of principal repayments) are interest rates, body corp fees, and rates. The latter two go up, but not in the order of 4.6%. If I was on a floating rate that percentage rise would be about right. That is why I am currently fixed for another 2.5 years, and considering selling my property to make my partners (or a new property) mortgage free.

          • Blazer


            Stats NZ includes changes in rents, the cost of maintaining houses, and changes in the price of new homes – but not the land they are built on – when it calculates the CPI.

            'Can we trust our inflation figures? | Stuff.co.nz

            • lprent

              Yeah that doesn’t surprise me. I didn’t look too far down the chain.

              However I was answering someone talking about inflation (for which there are many definitions – like the effects of debasement of currency), who was then probably comparing apples with oranges with the CPI measurements of two different nations using different CPI baskets to calculate a proxy for their price inflation.

              It is difficult enough for economists to do this, most of the journalism profession is usually totally bemused by it, and its isn’t something you can directly compare. It depends almost entirely on what is present or not present in the basket, and what is important to the particular nation you’re looking at and what they value. For us, clean water is almost a given – but you don’t have to look too far away to find countries where that is major living cost.

              The OECD does a pretty good attempt to try to get comparable figures. But realistically, I’d say that the best measure across economies is probably a year on year comparison of The Economist’s Big Mac index. A single consumer product with all of the costs of labour, capital and various grown or manufactured food stuffs inside their particular market.

      • Blade 1.2.2

        ''If you are relying on the CPI measures as a comparative measure between nz and aussie, then you have successfully identified yourself as a financial idiot. You have to look at what is in the basket.''

        Fair enough…let's not use Aussie as a comparative measure.

        • lprent

          Nope – just don't use the CPI figures to compare. It is fraught with comparison problems.

          Instead look at comparable measures.

          • Blade

            I think I will stick with New Zealand's economic data ( TWI etc).

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Australias CPI for December quarter was also affected by their lockdowns where they could acess data so they used estimates

            They also have an interesting figure

            'Trimmed mean annual inflation, which excludes large price rises and falls, increased to 2.6 per cent, the highest since June 2014.'

      • Patricia Bremner 1.2.3

        Our son in Oz says those missing items would double the CPI rate. Their home has gone from $520 000 to $820 000 in 10 months in Varsity Lakes and it is a separate 3 bed 2 bath duplex. $2*aprox per litre, petrol (not the taxes on it of course.)

      • alwyn 1.2.4

        That is not correct. The basket of goods used to calculate the CPI in Australia does not need to be the same as the one in New Zealand. The basket of goods is chosen to represent the goods bought by the average urban household in the country concerned. These are not likely to be the same in both countries. The CPI reflects the change in the cost of that basket from one period to another in the particular country you have chosen your sample for. Thus the CPI numbers can be compared between countries.

        There are a lot of problems with using the CPI as a measure of inflation but the one you are talking about is not one of them. The real problems occur with quality changes in the goods and with substitution effects as the relative price of goods changes within a country from period to period.

  2. RNZ Morning Report reporting right now on house prices with the word "slowing" prominent in the report. And then it continued by reporting that NZ's annual house price rise is 27%.

    "Already ridiculous house prices go up 27%" should have been the headline, and that headline should have been at the top of the news.

    • vto 2.1

      yeah nah, thats old news and is not what is happening right now. sales have gone off a cliff – watch for the corresponding effect on values over the next months. values always lag sales.

      and of course now jacinda is going to have the opposite effect – with house values dropping into election year.. incumbents are always turfed out in an environment of dropping house values.

      doom, we're all doomed

      • arkie 2.1.1

        incumbents are always turfed out in an environment of dropping house values.

        I wouldn't think it would be a liability with numbers like this:

        Three quarters of Kiwis want house prices to fall and almost half of us want them to fall substantially, according to the latest 1News Kantar Public Poll.


      • Bearded Git 2.1.2

        good point vto-I had heard that house sales are tanking.

        Perhaps this should have been mentioned by RNZ in its report.

        • lprent

          The prices aren't tanking yet. Just the sales of housing, and increasingly the supply of housing to sell.

          We have pretty much gotten to the point where it is increasingly difficult to find somewhere to buy because potential sellers can't find much in their price range anywhere where they want to live.

          For instance we could do with a larger living area – because both of us can work from home. But we only have a 55 sq metre apartment and working on top of each other doesn't work for us. Like to sell two apartments on the CBD edge. But we can't afford to buy anywhere in Auckland – which one of us needs for other reasons. But the prices in every urban area with reasonable support systems are ridiculously expensive

          So I rent a workspace and we keep our two apartments and keep killing the mortgages. We have at least a query from realtors seeking to see if we want to sell every week. That doesn't include the increasingly desperate bulletins about amazing sales prices in our area from many realtors that are just about our only snail mail these days.

          And that is what people are doing – they don't sell because they can't afford to even buy what they already have.

          I’d be surprised if the price of ‘normal’ housing drops much. At least not until a lot of cheaper new builds get past being consented, actually get built and wind up on the market.

          Just some of the speculative prices on the high end of the market will get hit.

        • Graeme

          Word from agents is that sales are tanking because they haven't got anything to sell. Alongside that buyers, and banks, are getting cagey that prices aren't going to keep climbing.

          Real Estate windows around Queenstown are filled with properties they've sold over the last 6 months with only a couple of live listings. Know of one agent who's been driving a tractor for a balage contractor most of the summer.

          But no talk of contracts defaulting and construction going hard out.

          • weka

            why have people stopped selling?

            • Graeme

              No one's got an answer for that yet.

              Possibly fear of not being able to get back into the market if they were to sell if prices suddenly took a leap.

              More likely everyone is pretty happy with where they are and enjoying life in Whakatipu. Unless you are completely dependant on tourism (which is a small subset of the local economy) things are pretty rosy around the town. Like there's more 'Hiring Now' signs than Real Estate signs.

              Granted discretionary retail has been all over the place in the last six months too, can understand RE being the same.

              • Patricia Bremner

                devil more hiring signs than real estate signs.
                Yep change is happening..like hanging on for the ten years to avoid the tax?

                • Graeme

                  Possible, and I hope so too.

                  If that turns out to be the case it will be a fundamental change in the Queenstown community. In the 90's a local politician who rose to be deputy mayor often said that the town turned over half it's resident population every two years. I would agree with that assertion.

                  That made the town socially stratified around when you arrived so after you've been here a while the town gets rather small. Long term residents tend to ignore the newcomers because they will be gone in a couple of years and the newcomers can't break in so get pissed of and leave after a couple of years. Explains a lot of the attitudes to the place by people who've left.

                  Move that residency out to 10 years and we might become a more cohesive community.

  3. observer 3

    I wish John Campbell would talk less and just listen to his interviewees, and challenge what is said. He lets so much go by.

    e.g. Luxon (TV1) just cited 3 examples of an extra burden on business: new public holiday (Matariki), minimum wage increase, and increased maternity leave.

    So do National now oppose any of those 3? It's classic "have it both ways" … mention them for your base but then accept them for the wider public. Journalism 101: follow that up and nail down their position.

    • dv 3.1

      Didn't mention the billion $ wage subsidy?

      • Sabine 3.1.1

        Again, the wage subsidy was supplied via Winz to the employers – who had to prove that they had a loss of 30% in order to secure this wage subsidy, and then was via the employer given to the employees.

        In essence, the wage subsidy was an unemployment benefit that was paid out by Winz via employers so as to not overload Winz with requests for benefits as businesses that are shut down for long periods in time generally don't keep staff on their books.

        There might have been some very large businesses that have abused that system and they should be rightly called out and be expected to refund that wage subsidy, but for the smaller businesses – and Auckland with its 3 month lockdown was a good example for that – that is not the case. The money received went to workers.

        The only payments that businesses got – again if they had that magical drop in revenue of 30% – was the resurgance payment and the wage subsidy for themselves.

        • Nic the NZer

          I do hope you highlight that your wages are merely, in essence an unemployment benefit, with each pay day.

          • Sabine

            My wages are my income that i raise/earn for myself via the work i do for either myself, or for someone else.

            Unemployment benefits are something you are entitled to if you have worked and paid taxes for a certain time.

            But then you were just trying to be smart, right, and the money that YOU earn is just your unemployment benefit. Right?

            • Nic the NZer

              Just thought it was worth highlighting, and dispite your mental gymnastics, that the wage subsidy was paid via employers to maintain existing employment relationships and minimise employment disruption of the lockdowns. That even worked as designed.

            • pat

              "Unemployment benefits are something you are entitled to if you have worked and paid taxes for a certain time."

              Not in NZ they are not….unemployment benefit is not conditional on previous tax payment or employment….you can receive unemployment benefit if you have never done either, it is not an insurance scheme….nor should it be.

        • Jimmy

          And the wage subsidy of $600 a week only equated to $15 an hour for a 40 hour week. Many businesses had to top up.

    • tc 3.2

      Journalism 101 <> tvnz/rnz.

      Campbell's playing the game of morning tv for his paymasters.

    • Suzie did quite a good job with Luxon today on RNZ Morning Report where she picked Luxon up on his policy to open the borders and dump MIQ immediately thus allowing many more Omicron cases into many parts of NZ. She asked him something like "but if we do this won't it risk overloading the health system?".

      Immediately Luxon was in trouble and went into full bluster.

      We need to see more journalists taking Luxon-waffle to task-he is getting a free ride.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    You've never seen lateral thinking in local govt, right? The Swedes are proving it is actually possible:

    Crows are being recruited to pick up discarded cigarette butts from the streets and squares of a Swedish city as part of a cost-cutting drive.

    The wild birds carry out the task as they receive a little food for every butt that they deposit in a bespoke machine designed by a startup in Södertälje, near Stockholm. “They are wild birds taking part on a voluntary basis,” said Christian Günther-Hanssen, the founder of Corvid Cleaning, the company behind the method.

    The Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation says that more than 1bn cigarette butts are left on Sweden’s streets each year, representing 62% of all litter. Södertälje spends 20m Swedish kronor (£1.6m) on street cleaning. Günther-Hanssen estimates his method could save at least 75% of costs involved with picking up cigarette butts in the city.

    New Caledonian crows, a member of the corvid family of birds, are as good at reasoning as a human seven-year-old, research has suggested, making them the smartest birds for the job. Günther-Hanssen said: “They are easier to teach and there is also a higher chance of them learning from each other." https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/01/swedish-crows-pick-up-cigarette-butts-litter

    If this scheme proves effective, it'll become a classic example of inter-species symbiosis extending into urban habitat. Ecologists may even recognise a cross-cultural intelligence underlying the interaction if it embeds…

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Hope those crows don't get beak-cancer!

    • Koff 4.2

      I honestly don't think that there are enough New Cal. crows, a unique species, in the whole of that territory (NZ's nearest neighbour) to be imported into Sweden to pick up a billion ciggie butts!

      • Dennis Frank 4.2.1

        Good point but maybe the Swedes have been breeding an immigrant population? Insight into these cunning critters:

        Taylor’s fascination with New Caledonian crows stems from when he was studying animal behaviour at Oxford in 2002. He saw a video of a crow bending a piece of wire to make it into a hook and using that hook to fish a bucket containing food out of a tube.

        “As a young student, that really caught my imagination and I was just fascinated with what was going through this crow’s mind," he tells Jesse Mulligan. "It turned out that there were a couple of scientists at Auckland University, Gavin Hunt and Russell Gray, who were already working out of New Caledonia and studying the crows. That’s how I ended up coming over to Auckland to work with them.”

        He says that while a bird making a tool out of wire might seem quite simple, in the animal kingdom its unprecedented. “Not even chimpanzees, our closest relatives, have shown these kinds of behaviours in the wild.”


    • Patricia Bremner 4.3

      Better still, support people never to smoke, so no butts.

  5. Jimmy 5

    I have to admire Stuart Nash for going on Newstalk ZB with Mike Hosking and Mark Mitchell. Struggling to talk about Charlotte Bellis and the embarrassment it has caused but good on him for fronting up.

    • lprent 5.1

      Who in the hell listens to Mike Hosking or Mark Mitchell. The former is a ignoramus who is apparently proud of his inability to read or comprehend anything more complex than a slogan, and the latter is literally a dickhead – he seems to think that being male excuses him from thinking before he speaks.

      Well – I guess you listen to them 🙂

      • Jimmy 5.1.1

        "Who in the hell listens to Mike Hosking"

        Quite a few people by the looks of it. I know this is from April 2021 but I don't think too much has changed in the ratings.


        • Blade

          Ah, it's the pressure, Jimmy. It makes people lose touch with reality. yes

        • lprent

          Actually that is a completely stupid and kind of an irrelevant measurement. When you have time look up how it is ESTIMATED.

          It doesn’t tell you how many people are actually listening. I don’t know exactly how our measurements are made. It either measures a small sample of devices with monitoring equipment looking tuning and a device being on in a time slot – but doesn’t measure how many people were in the room or if they were listening. Or it gets a small sample of people writing down what they are listening to.

          Those figures are then inflated to approximate total number of radios turned on. Personally the only place I ever hear radio is in cars, or in some industrial workspaces. If more than 5% of the people in those spaces are listening to the radio, I’d be surprised.

          I think that those estimates are grossly over inflated especially if you’re looking at how many people are actually listening to the idiots blathering.

          Compare that with a site like ours or any online current affairs site where you can look at how many people are reading articles, roughly how long that the page is visible, refreshing pages to read comments, and even where the page has been idle for too long – so you can regard it as stagnant. Those kinds of figures actually have some rigour in their measurement.

          Broadcast media estimates are just fairy tales and only useful for looking at percentage gains or losses – and even those you have to look for bias because of the tiny sample sizes.

      • Muttonbird 5.1.2


        Hosking this morning, with Mitchell was demanding the border be open. What naturally follows from this is 'let it rip'.

        31 rest home residents died from Covid in NSW a couple of days ago*. This is what would happen in New Zealand if Hosking had his way. There is no 'sort of' doing pandemic response, it's either robust, or it's not.

        Britain recorded 219 Covid deaths today. Italy 479. Adjusted for NZ this is 16 and 44 respectively. Hosking and NACT consider these countries to be free, open, over Covid and out the other side. To them, this is the picture of success.

        Decent Kiwis, National and ACT party voters excluded by definition, would be horrified by this.

        *My wife's dad is in a dementia unit. He's still around to see his grandkids because of our government's response. If NACT were in charge he would have a much, much higher chance of either being dead, or fighting for his life without knowing what was going on.

        Hosking don’t care.

        • Blade

          ''Decent Kiwis, National and ACT party voters excluded by definition, would be horrified by this.''

          You still are making the mistake of basing a successful government Covid response on the number of people who haven't died thanks to this governments protocols.

          But what about long term?

          The suicides. The business closures. The people hitting the streets after losing rental accommodation. Rampant crime, Lost opportunities both socially and businesswise. The list goes on.

          We should put opening up the border to a nationwide vote.

          I know the result would be '' OPEN THE FUGGING BORDER.''

          That would leave people like you with a chicken little approach to this pandemic to stay at home and ride it out..while the rest of us got on with life while accepting catching Covid was a near given…with the possibility of death.

          I also think your comment I quoted was just plain nasty.

          • Muttonbird

            I just don't think you get it. Twice our Covid response has delivered world beating outcomes with regard to human life. To deny that is flat out dishonest, which is not surprising.

            Given we have beaten back the thing twice, why would we do anything majorly different the third time?

            In fact we are doing something different this time and that is accepting that it will enter and spread but the idea is to slow it down as much as possible. We do that with restrictions on the border, restrictions on large gatherings and continued public health measures like maintaining work bubbles and mask wearing.

            I'm not sure you'll be able to point to examples of increased suicides, 'people losing rental accommodation', and rampant crime. You are just projecting there.

            Sure, some businesses have closed and no doubt there are some lost opportunities but it is a 1 in 100 year pandemic. I think you are being deliberately ignorant about the realities on the ground in the more affected countries. Pretty sure people there are feeling much, much worse.

            I'm just putting two and two together with the statement about National and ACT Party voters.

            • Blade

              ''I'm not sure you'll be able to point to examples of increased suicides, 'people losing rental accommodation', and rampant crime. You are just projecting there.''

              By chance Kerre McIvor was talking to someone regarding youth suicides. This person said youth self harm was up over 100%. I don't know the context. But it was on this morning and should be in the archives.

              Accommodation: I have previously cited personal examples of that.

              Business: I have lost over 5 businesses I regularly deal with. Here is the latest. It's up for sale. I doubt it will sell. Growers like me will lose a great source of parent stock that probably can't be replaced.


              Ok.. you and I are not going to agree on anything. So I will ask you one question:

              Who would win a referendum to open up the borders?

              • vto

                "Who would win a referendum to open up the borders?"

                You're in lalaland if you think people want the border opened up. The only fools to want that have been the Conservatives who have always wanted us to follow Boris, Trump and Bolsonaro into multi-deaths…

                If we had done what you said we would have had in excess of 12,000 deaths.

                Sometimes conservatives are so frikkin' thick

                A referendum would say ‘keep the border closed’

                edit: plus such a route would in fact have been worse for business… check the comparable stats with countries with huge death lists… your points fail

                • Blade

                  ''You're in lalaland if you think people want the border opened up. The only fools to want that have been the Conservatives who have always wanted us to follow Boris, Trump and Bolsonaro into multi-deaths…''

                  Folks, in true Lefty fashion, VTO disagrees with me. He knows Kiwis would vote to keep the borders closed.

                  I say he's full of crap. ( VTO- vote to open). A referendum has already been held on talkback a few times. Time and again apart from the timid, the call has been: ''we are vaxxed open up.''

                  But, but, too many Righties on TB!

                  Then of course we have MSM. Again the sentiments have been similar in many of the interviews I have heard.

                  No doubt there is a solid core of Kiwis who want the borders to remain shut. They believe we are an Island to oneself. They will be the first to bleat when essentials and professional help isn't available because there's none.

                  • McFlock

                    Talkback referenda, huh?

                    NZ is indeed not an island. The word is "archipelago".

                    • Blade

                      ''NZ is indeed not an island. The word is "archipelago".''

                      Please allow for licentia poetica.

                      I'm just following everyone else laugh

                  • lprent

                    I say he’s full of crap. ( VTO- vote to open). A referendum has already been held on talkback a few times…..

                    Now I know that you aren’t worth reading. Talkback is the last refuge of the unevolved gullible angry sheep of our society being led around by a conniving guru figures who can talk up a storm. It is also a teeny fraction of our society.

                    It is like you are recommending that paedophiles should determine our laws governing children – and probably by people with fewer morals. The haters, angry people who want to ruin everyone else seem to live on talkback.

                    • Blade

                      I see talkback as the opinion of the man on the street minus the bias of MSM and blogs and newspapers.

                      ''Unevolved gullible angry sheep.''

                      I don't consider myself that. But maybe I can't self reflect. This year will certainly answer that question.

                    • McFlock

                      Talkback is the opinion of the stupid man with a chip on his shoulder.

                      The genre revolves around some fool having the time to make a phone call so other fools can hear them whinge about something to someone who is not in a position to resolve their complaint.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Perhaps, Blade, we could help you see beyond your self-described blind-spot?

                    • Blade

                      'Talkback is the opinion of the stupid man with a chip on his shoulder.''

                      I'm afraid you are wrong.

                      Today I learnt about panel beating and insurance. Panel beaters do little work now because of the construction of new cars. They just replace parts. A car can even be written off because of hail damage.

                      But hey.. remember this. Talkback will be a major factor in taking this government out.cheeky

                    • Blade

                      ''Perhaps, Blade, we could help you see beyond your self-described blind-spot?''

                      Perhaps you first need to do a 'deep check' on yourself?

                    • weka

                      Today I learnt about panel beating and insurance. Panel beaters do little work now because of the construction of new cars. They just replace parts. A car can even be written off because of hail damage.

                      I'm curious what the discussion was around that.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Blade, you said: "But maybe I can't self reflect".

                      I sensed you were on the brink of self-awareness, and kindly offered to give you a wee nudge.

                    • Blade

                      ''I'm curious what the discussion was around that.''

                      Started to listen on the fly. Simon Barnett's daughter has a car with a dent. The dent had never been a problem for a warrant test until this year when it was. She took the car to two panel beaters. One who wouldn't sign off on work done…another panel beater did ( I don't know the context) sign off on the work done.

                      That lead to what I assume was an ex panel beater ringing up, and also a man from a car or Insurance agency/ firm explaining things further.

                      Also discussed was new rules for Jap imports. Any rust must be fix before the car can be sold.

                      That's the jist of the conversation from my understanding of what I heard.

              • Shanreagh

                Re suicides…this view on suicides goes against what i would call reputable sources


                So unless you have something better than a reckon from the radio I'd prefer to believe the experts thanks.

                Why the impatience to open the borders…we are still working on Omicron. You surely would not seriously be suggesting opening the borders right now? I have every confidence that the borders will be opened, when it is the best time, health-wise (and health wise = economy-wise) has been the stance that has got us through so far.

                While you may have more knowledge about the link it does not say the business is for sale that I can see…..more a sensible looking at selling methods for pick up. perhaps their couriers have let them down and that is why they are not selling to the rest of us. I see one of the partners is working full time on Covid issues. Anyway I have completed the contact form.

                • Blade

                  ''Re suicides…this view on suicides goes against what i would call reputable sources''

                  The interviewee ran an organisation/ help centre for troubled youth. I didn't quite hear which because of static.

                  Of course attempted suicide and self harm probably won't show up in the stats?

                  That said, fair point. I will accept your link.

                  ''Why the impatience to open the borders…we are still working on Omicron. You surely would not seriously be suggesting opening the borders right now? I have every confidence that the borders will be opened, when it is the best time, health-wise (and health wise = economy-wise) has been the stance that has got us through so far.''

                  That will depend on a government decision The problem is, by the day, more and more people are losing faith in this government. I know this is a Lefty blog, but the ability of posters to gloss over obvious government blunders time and again is staggering.

                  ''While you may have more knowledge about the link it does not say the business is for sale that I can see.''

                  That is correct. All customers received a private email announcing the business is for sale.

                  • McFlock

                    Of course attempted suicide and self harm probably won't show up in the stats?

                    Definitely a consideration, when actually verified. But then of course even conflating self-harm with a suicide attempt (big fucking "whoa nellie" there), any increase in attempt would be contrasted by the nominal (if not statistically significant) decrease in completion.

                    • Blade

                      ''Definitely a consideration, when actually verified. But then of course even conflating self-harm with a suicide attempt (big fucking "whoa nellie" there), ''

                      You need to be careful there – the two can be inter changeable. Somethings the experts have to sort which is which. Generally self harm is considered a category by itself.

                      ''Any increase in attempt would be contrasted by the nominal (if not statistically significant) decrease in completion.''


                    • McFlock

                      You need to be careful there – the two can be inter changeable. Somethings the experts have to sort which is which. Generally self harm is considered a category by itself.

                      You talked about "attempted suicide and self harm" together. That's a problem, as you state. They can be different things, and are often difficult to distinguish between. Heck even intentional vs unintentional self harm can have a lot of problems – was risky behaviour a fall, or a jump? Was a jump an attempt at suicide, or self harm?.

                      ''Any increase in attempt would be contrasted by the nominal (if not statistically significant) decrease in completion.''


                      If attempted suicide is up, but completed suicides are down, maybe an inadvertent byproduct of lockdowns is that people are left alone less often and get discovered before the outcome becomes permanent. And are the mental health issues associated with lockdowns, or living in a pandemic?

                      Sure, there are research projects going on into this area right now, but at the moment it's all reckons. The melieu of outcomes sure as shit won't get resolved here, and probably not for years after we start loosening up on tourism visas again.

                  • weka

                    That said, fair point. I will accept your link.

                    Good. Because if I see you running lines like this again without an actual reference I'll probably step into moderation mode.

                    We're in a global crisis, I take a dim view of people politicising suicide.

                    We want robust debate here, which means a bit of work for commenters. We all put out our reckons, and that's ok, but when it comes to claims of fact on important issues, please check your facts first. It's not hard to google suicide stats, and this is an issue that's been talked about a lot.

                    • Blade

                      ''Good. Because if I see you running lines like this again without an actual reference I'll probably step into moderation mode.''

                      The source was mentioned – ZB talkback Kerre's show. And no, I didn't look it up because I didn't know I would be quoting it.

                      Notice how I can accept a point… unlike many on this site?

                      ''We're in a global crisis, I take a dim view of people politicising suicide.''

                      Yes, I'm well acquainted with suicide. That's why I'm not politicising.

                      You must remember the context when I was asked to explain the suicide numbers. It was about youth. I stated in my original post:

                      " But what about the long term?"



                      ''Which number matters more – the rate or the total number?

                      ''Both are important. The total number represents each individual who is suspected to have died by suicide (or, in the official data, the number of people who have been found to have died by suicide). Each one of these people was important and deserves to be acknowledged.

                      However, the rate is more helpful in comparing suicide data over time because it helps to adjust for population size. It is also more meaningful in helping us to understand how suicide impacts different populations such as Māori and non-Māori. Because the number of Māori is smaller than the number of non-Māori, we need to know their rate per hundred thousand to see that the Māori suicide rate is much higher than the non-Māori suicide rate and know Maori need targeted suicide prevention initiatives.

                      Does New Zealand have the highest suicide rate in the world?

                      ''No, but we do have one of the highest youth suicide rates in the OECD.''

                      In hindsight, I ceded the point because I didn't explain myself in a clear enough manner.


                    • weka

                      In hindsight, I ceded the point because I didn't explain myself in a clear enough manner.

                      Yes, this is what I am pointing to. Nothing wrong with saying that you heard something on the radio, but you could easily have googled suicide stats since the pandemic began before using what you thought you heard in your argument.

                      And yes, made your point more clearly. But still getting something to back it up.

                • mauī

                  St John reported a 30% increase in mental health / suicide related callouts in 2021, which does backup Blade's claim.


                  • McFlock

                    Well, kinda but not really.

                    Blade made a categorical statement about youth self harm and linked it to suicide. St John is talking about mental health callouts up to and including suicide, while mentioning self harm callouts in children (patients under 14). There is often a distinction in the literature between "children (0-14)" and "young people (15-24)", as these groups have very different needs.

                    Look, nobody is saying lockdowns aren't tough or don't likely exacerbate a number of problems such as mental health problems, self harm, or family violence. That's one reason the government stopped using them (although I personally regard that policy with trepidation).

                    But have lockdowns saved thousands of lives? Definitely. Have they increased suicides? Nope.

                    • mauī

                      Dude, there were 2,500 more mental health related incidents that required a St John ambulance in 2021.

                      This is about as good as evidence you can get for what Blade was talking about.

                    • McFlock

                      Really? Blade was talking about suicide and intentional self harm.

                      What about episodes where someone has run out of meds and not been able to restock, for whatever reason? How did the pandemic affect regular mental health consultations – did it lead to poorer-quality care in people for whom self-harm was not a significant risk? Were co-occupants usually calling about the behaviour of people who were stuck at home and more able to be monitored than if they'd just disappeared for a few days? Similarly, were self-harm events noticed by co-occupants when they would have been literally covered up by the time people normally got home? Are people getting ambos called to home when they would otherwise have had cops called on them in the main street? Heck, are the cop pickups for similar cases up or down?

                      Sure, the surface water is swirling around suspiciously. Is it a giant drain? Is it a fish for dinner? Is it a maelstrom that'll suck a person down 800ft? All we know is that it's swirling suspiciously.

                      This is about as good as evidence you can get for what Blade was talking about.

                      Nah. It's a hint. Much better evidence would be more precise analyses of ambo case notes. Even better evidence than that would be a combo of the NMDS admissions dataset, the outpatients dataset, and of course the primhd mental health database. Throw in some case studies and qualitative interviews, you've got the bulk of a solid thesis.

                      But that takes more effort than going for broke on the basis of a very large-grained statistic from a single referral organisation.

                    • Blade

                      ''Ohs said there had been a concerning rise in the number of mental health and suicide attempt incidents.''

                      That from Maui's link.

                      You give a lot of reasons why and why not that could be true or otherwise.

                      What you are really doing is doing my work for me. Does it matter what the cause is, and what category a problem comes under?

                      From my orginal post:

                      ''But what about long term?

                      The suicides. The business closures. The people hitting the streets after losing rental accommodation. Rampant crime, Lost opportunities both socially and businesswise. The list goes on.''

                    • McFlock

                      I'm not doubting the figures of mental health incidents. But suicides haven't increased. And you're trying to lump them together.

                      With your original comment, "the suicides" don't seem to have increased at all.

                      Business closures, homelessness, and crime? Some might have increased due to the lockdown. Or was it due to the pandemic?

                    • Muttonbird

                      Increase homelessness is due to amateur landlordism, absentee landlords, and Airbnb'ers.

                      Increased crime is due to Peter Dutton.

                    • Blade

                      ''Increase homelessness is due to amateur landlordism, absentee landlords, and Airbnb'ers.''

                      Have you ever asked yourself what the government is doing regulating private landlords?

                      If a tenant doesn't like their accommodation, they should bugger off. It should be called democracy.

                      This is how screwed our country is.

                      In another post I said the hallmark of this government is about being fair. But being fair in socialism means people have to suffer because socialists have no idea about business.

                      In this case, both the landlord and tenant are victims.

              • Muttonbird

                By chance Kerre McIvor was talking to someone regarding youth suicides. This person said youth self harm was up over 100%. I don’t know the context. But it was on this morning and should be in the archives.

                There is no way I'm spending one nano-second looking up Kerre McIvor's archives.

                It's up to you to provide the proof that 'youth self harm is up over 100%' and not by linking to a lunatic caller who rang into 1ZB.

              • Blade

                The ZB archive for Kerre's show has not been logged as far as I can tell.

                ”Lunatic caller who rang into ZB.”

                I can promise you this was no lunatic.

                • Muttonbird

                  Some facts, any facts, would be great.

                  I'm also (sort of) interested in the demise of the tropical plant wholesaler which you claimed was proof of the evils of Jacinda's totalitarian over-response to Covid.

                  Could you please expand on this nutty theory?

                  • Blade

                    Sure, this is going to sound nutty.

                    They couldn't operate under the conditions this dopey hapless government has foisted on this country.

                    From their site:

                    ''We are currently only taking orders for pick ups from Waipu and deliveries to Northland. Sadly, we will not be selling plants to the rest of NZ until further notice.''

                    Notice the word Sadly?
                    And now they have done the numbers and realised that under Jacinda they have no chance of recovery, so the business is for sale.

                • lprent

                  That is one of the problems with talkback – transient, hard to find, and when you do get it, you have to spend ages finding whatever you’re looking for – if it existed at all.

                  Not to mention that you have little idea of any validity of the veracity of the person making the claims because they will state as fact without having to provide links.

                  In other words – talkback is mostly interesting bullshit, with about as much validity as talking to another idiot in bar.

                  • Blade

                    Not my fault the session hasn't been archived. I have popped an email off to ZB. I would hate to disappoint you.

                    • lprent

                      Perhaps they should take lessons from RadioNZ who seem to have theirs up shortly (ie within minutes) after the program finishes for any of the talk-talk sessions.

                      From the times I have looked at commercial radio archives or seen judgements on their sins, there always seems to be missing material. I suspect that somewhere in the backend there is a lawyer censoring what is defamatory or unlawful.

                      But even then to find that something is missing. it is tortuous having to slowly work your way through long recording finding the bit that you wanted to re-listen to. It’d be nice if they just got a machine to transcribe it with timestamps. That would make the pearls of wisdom searchable.

          • Patricia Bremner

            Blade suicides have decreased, Check the veracity of your assertions.

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.3

        "Who in the hell listens to Mike Hosking or Mark Mitchell."

        Jimmy & Blade.

        That's two (almost quite a few).

        • Robert Guyton

          Oh, plus Mike and Mark (double the audience, right there!).

          • fender

            Oh I hear his pathetic borderline tantrums via Media Watch when they highlight his flip-flop goldfish brained reckons. His credibility is shot and he should've been given away years ago.

            • Muttonbird

              I was listening to the Hosking/Mitchell double team against Nash this morning. An embarrassment to broadcasting. Nash should withdraw from this slot like the Prime Minister did. This type of fuckwittery from Hosking does nothing at all for the well being of decent New Zealanders.

              • fender

                "….withdraw from the slot….."

                Should do, but then you're accused of running away from the "tough questions". It's a hit job they play, probably rehearsed, that is easily soaked up by the gullible. I would think some decent people have been manipulated by this form of propaganda.

              • Blade

                Please provide a link so I can check this out.

                Oh, and Muttonbird, don't listen to talkback. You will find NSRadio a better fit for both your health and your political views.

  6. vto 6

    So when is this government going to bring in a government loan scheme for people wanting to buy their first home? It is easily the best possible solution to several ills and is long overdue. And would secure many many votes. Isn't it a no-brainer?

    • Blazer 6.1

      Election year I imagine.laugh

    • vto-that might put further pressure on house prices….though as we discussed above house sales are now starting to plummet so it might be a good time to do this.

      • vto 6.2.1

        Yes, it would increase the number of buyers, which does put pressure on the market. But that is no reason to not do it. Perhaps how it worked in the olden days should be checked.

        The pressure on our 'market' today comes from investors. It is all investors who have caused this great massive increase. They should be turfed out. Imagne a 'market' in which only owner-occupiers could buy and sell – it would all be much more realistic and reflect the true need for housing, rather than reflecting central bank monetary policy, govt investment settings and tax rates, or anything else to do with money rather than a bed at night. It is all shitted up imo ('scuse language)

    • mpledger 6.3

      With more people able to buy, there will be more competition so houses prices will rise.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.3.1

        Yep, I wouldn't throw any more petrol on that fire, in terms of increasing the amount of money that can be directed to purchasing real estate.

        Either increase housing supply or decrease potential to make speculative profits (e.g. CGT, empty house tax, rent caps etc).

  7. Koff 8

    More on the benefits of the free market, according to the would-be PM with 7 homes

    "Australia had approved 60 suppliers and had enough tests to offer them up to schools, Luxon told Morning Report.

    "If Australia has approved 60 providers that have met their standards we should just adopt those same [companies]."

    "I would also use the private sector, the big businesses like Mainfreight and Air New Zealand and Foodstuffs and Zuru Toys, who have big procurement agencies and divisions – get them out here procuring supplies for us."

    Obviously Luxon hasn't been paying attention to the RAT shambles across the ditch.

    Private suppliers, with slack federal government oversight, importing unapproved, dodgy RAT tests and charging exorbitant prices in a tight market to those who can least afford it.

    • Blazer 8.1

      A brilliant idea from Christopher7…

      'National announced on Tuesday it wants rapid antigen tests in schools – students and staff tested twice weekly, like they do in Australia.

      "Why in New Zealand, do we accept that, 'Oh sorry, we just didn't get the rapid antigen tests last year'," Luxon told reporters.

      There are 800,000 schoolkids in New Zealand. Our current supply of 5 million rapid antigen tests wouldn't even last three weeks, and that doesn't even take into account teacher tests. There would need to be millions and millions of tests available. '-Newshub

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        Ol' Luxxy's a nitwit!

      • Gypsy 8.1.2

        Simple answer…the government sat on their arses.

        "And up to last week that meant that the only immediate source the government could find was what businesses had already ordered themselves and, no matter what language you choose to use, those supplies were requisitioned by the MOH. The irony of all of this was that for more than two months there was an offer on their table from a company called Kudu Spectrum to deliver 1 million tests every 10 days with offers of up to 30 million delivered in six weeks. The offer also sat between 50 and 60 per cent below what the Government, and businesses who were lucky enough to find a source, were being charged at the time."

        "Today I heard that the Government has placed an order for a further 20 million. If they had moved eight weeks ago when the offer was first made, those supplies would be here already."

        And then along came the private sector:

        "A week ago, working alongside the lawyer representing Kudu Spectrum and business leaders like Don Braid at Mainfreight, I finally got through to the MOH and within a day the first order for 5 million was placed."

    • Patricia Bremner 8.2

      Poor deluded boy. It is harder to do than say.

  8. lprent 9

    Looks like I fixed the comments gong to trash problem.

    As a result of a problem getting a automatic update of a LetsEncrypt SSL certificate yesterday, I turned Cloudflare on.

    There has been a change in caching strategy.

    So let me know if you have problems with caching. In particular if you aren't logging in:

    • getting pages where the comment fields are filled out for someone else.
    • finding that replies sidebar is set for someone else.

    I got a booster shot yesterday. I feel tired, stiff and somewhat sore this morning. Definitely not up to my usual focus of writing code at a going to market level. So I took the day off to prevent making costly errors.

    Lucky for this site as I had time to drop down a few levels – not so good for my employer.

  9. Reality 10

    Luxon on breakfast tv – thinks a Matariki holiday, minimum wage increase and increased maternity leave are all unnecessary because of the cost to "business". Is that all Nats think about. Well-being and decent working conditions for the majority are an extravagance in his wealthy view. For one with so much to want to deny so little to so many, is a "let them eat cake" Marie Antoinette would be proud.

    • Blade 10.1

      ''Cost to business". Is that all Nats think about?

      Good question. If I was asked to render down the belief systems of Labour and National into one sentence, it would be:

      National: How many chickens can we get in the pot?

      Labour: It's ALL about being fair.

      Not the best of choices.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        That's 2 sentences.


        Makes you gag, Blade?


        • Blade

          ''That's 2 sentences.''

          Depends on how you perceive things, Robert.

          Given you wear a monocle over your left eye, your range of vision is of course blinkered.

          Thanks for another waste of space post. Although I have to admit I liked your post yesterday.

          • Robert Guyton

            "Yes, we are truly blessed to have the love child of David Cameron and John Key as our next prospective leader. Since we know God is on his advisory team, I’d keep an eye on Luxon making greater use of those “faith based organisations” for his welfare policy delivery. (It worked in the 19th century after all.) Otherwise if elected, a Luxon-led National government appears to be readying itself to deliver another same old package of tax cuts, public service cutbacks, punitive law and order policies and all the other budget-balancing, austerity measures that failed New Zealand previously."

            Werewolf – clear-sighted.


            • Nic the NZer

              Looks like the honey moon was unexpectedly brief. The media is already poking the holes is what he announces even as he puts the policy to the media. Even with no internal dissent Luxons leadership appears immediately on brittle foundations.

              • Patricia Bremner

                So hence the rise of …. drum roll…. Nicola Willis.

                (rumours might be right)

                • Robert Guyton

                  She's a Smarty-pants, alright!

                  • Stuart Munro

                    It's a positive change from the sub-morons that typify National – but you know they'll punish her for that.

                    There is little chance of them breaking through the decades of brute stupidity and incontinent greed to operate in the public interest as they are paid to.

                • Nic the NZer

                  If the drum roll lasts too long, or Luxons politics are too amorphous, she will have difficulty differentiating herself.

            • Tony Veitch (not etc.)

              From the Gordon Campbell link:

              It feels uneasily like we’re watching a hologram of a political leader, one pre-programmed to play only the Solid Gold National Party hits of yesteryear.

              Luxflakes has nothing to offer NZ that hasn't been offered by Key and English, Bolger and Shipley!

              NZ, beware the sugary-tongued serpent!

      • Blazer 10.1.2

        I know the answer Blade…

        it depends on the size of the chickens and the size of the….pot.

        • Blade

          You are the only true socialist on this site, Blazer. Know your enemy… and stay away from the pot, while offering the kids candyfloss.

  10. Adrian 11

    Remember last year when we opened the border to visiting Aussies…and nobody came.

    Albeit, shortly after we had to go into lockdown. Opening a border is not a panacea, sensible people are reluctant to even go to a cafe let alone holiday in another country and it will be like that for quite a while yet.

  11. Blazer 12

    Pfizer cost $36.50 per dose for NZ Govt.

    Government paid $36.50 per dose of Pfizer vaccine (msn.com)

    'In initial deals with the US government, Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine costs $19.50 per dose, compared with $15 for Moderna's shot, $16 for Novavax's, $10 for Johnson & Johnson's vaccine and $4 for AstraZeneca's.'the Sun.

    @todays ex rate-$US19.50=apx$NZ30….

  12. Adrian 13

    100 bucks to stay well! Cheap at twice the price.

  13. Jenny how to get there 14

    So much for providing housing low income New Zealanders and cooling the housing market.

    1 in 5 Kiwibuild homes are being made available to private landlords and investors to buy.


    • 1 in 5 houses to end up on the open market

    However 433 of the 2177 houses will have the KiwiBuild brand removed from them and will be sold on the open market, further to the KiwiBuild reset announced in September 2019.

    It should be a condition of every Kiwibuild sale that any rent charged for these government built homes must not exceed 25% of a tenants income.

    So one in five houses that were meant to be “KiwiBuild houses”, ring-fenced for first-home-buyers, will be sold on the open market.


    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      You havent checked your dates . Those figures are from Feb 2020.

      Every kiwibuild ballot is over subscribed for some time now.

      You need to be able to find the front door to comment you know.


      • Jenny how to get there 14.1.1


        2 February 2022 at 1:23 pm

        You havent checked your dates . Those figures are from Feb 2020.

        Every kiwibuild ballot is over subscribed for some time now……

        I was aware of the date contained in the linked news article. 2020 is not that long ago.

        ghostwhowalksnz I have read your link, nowhere is it stated that Kiwibuild homes are no longer being sold on the open market.

        Houses that are built for Kiwibuild, but are then sold on the open market have their Kiwibuild designation removed.

        Why is that?

        Does this mean that houses built under the Kiwibuild scheme, but sold to speculators and landlords wouldn't show up on any subscribed or over subscribed list of Kiwibuild houses?

        Maybe I should have written; Houses built for Kiwibuild, but removed from the total, and sold on the open market to private speculators and landlords should have their rents fixed at 25% of a tenants income

        29/09/2021 · "Only those homes bought by or available to purchase by KiwiBuild eligible buyers are included. If any KiwiBuild homes are offered for sale on the open market they will be removed from the Kiwibuild total."

        • ……If any KiwiBuild homes are offered for sale on the open market they will be removed from the KiwiBuild total.
        • Market and affordable housing built or enabled by Kāinga Ora (including Hobsonville Point) and homes built through the KiwiBuild programme, which are available or have been sold on the open market.


        ghostwhowalks if, (as you seem to be claiming); houses being built for Kiwibuild are no longer having their designation changed to be sold on the open market, then you shouldn't have any problem with the government putting in a stipulation that these houses rents should be fixed at 25% of tenants income as a condition of sale.

  14. So, far as MIQ is concerned and 501s from Australia, I find it really galling that we have have a dedicated MIQ facility effectively giving priority to crims from Australia:


    I can understand why they have a dedicated facility given that a lot of them probably have issues that require specialised attention.

    However, wouldn't it be better if the government used our limited MIQ spaces as an excuse for delaying the return of these people who are likely to cause trouble here in NZ so that we can let more deserving kiwis back in.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.1

      Theres a whole lot of special groups for MIQ spots.

      Going to Antarctica, thats around 900 foreign nationals per year.

      medical professionals relocating to NZ , thats 300 per month.

      National sports groups representing the country, entertainers Maybe 10 per month ?

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        Surely a way to stick it to the Australian government would be to tell them they had to apply in the ballot like everyone else.

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    Democracy breaks out within the National Party:

    The National Party will allow its MPs to vote with their conscience on the Government’s proposed conversion therapy ban, after controversially forcing its MPs to collectively vote against the bill at the first reading.

    “National Party members hold a range of views on this bill, and intend to vote as a matter of conscience during the remaining stages of the bill,” the party’s contribution to the select committee report stated.

    The Justice Select Committee received 107,000 submissions on the bill, and more than 800 oral submissions were heard on the bill. The bill remained largely unchanged by the committee, which made recommendations that clarified the bill’s wording, including the type of actions that constitute conversion therapy.

    The proposed ban has divided the National Party’s caucus, with a faction of liberal MPs wanting to support the ban, and a faction of socially conservative MPs being opposed. The party’s youth wing, the Young Nats, has also decried the party’s opposition to the bill.


  16. William 17

    "The FDA accepts legal aid from Pfizer and delays releasing licensure pages till May"


  17. Whispering Kate 18


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