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Open mike 02/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 2nd, 2020 - 161 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 …

161 comments on “Open mike 02/03/2020 ”

  1. Parts of yesterday's Government Kiwisaver announcement make sense, like changing default funds from conservative to balanced – young investors in particular should consider at least a balanced fund, if not a growth fund.

    But the headlines were on banning default funds from 'fossil fuels'.

    New Zealanders’ savings in KiwiSaver default funds will soon exclude investment in fossil fuels, the Ministers of Finance and Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced today.

    “This reflects the Government’s commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change and transitioning to a low-emissions economy,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said.

    Climate Change Minister James Shaw said rules set down by previous governments have allowed New Zealanders’ hard-earned money to be used to support the fossil fuels companies that are the leading cause of the climate crisis.

    This has been criticised as Government interference in the investments of private individuals, and sets a bad precedent for future governments applying more rules to Kiwisaver for their own policy purposes.

    Talking of future governments, it looks likely it will be a future government that actually defines the rules.

    Newsroom: Three questions about the KiwiSaver fossil fuels ban

    There’s no definition of “fossil fuel production” in the Government’s press release. There’s also no information on whether the Government is going to give default KiwiSaver providers guidance on what exactly it means by “excluding investment in fossil fuels”.

    When Newsroom asked Kris Faafoi’s office for clarification, spokesman Peter Stevens told us only: “The Government will provide more detail on the threshold and definition of the exclusion before calling for tenders, as part of the process to appoint new KiwiSaver default providers.”

    With no details yesterday's announcement looks like more of a PR exercise setting Labour and Greens up for this year's campaign, with the actual rules to be defined by the next government. NZ First did not feature in the announcement.

    So the actual rules may be loose and left up to the default Kiwisaver funds.

    Or they may be wide ranging and specific, banning investments in fossil fuel extraction (obvious) but also companies who use fossil fuels like energy producers, airlines, shipping and transport, and also plastics. Companies that invest in ‘fossil fuel’ companies like banks?

    This could be counter-productive. Some fossil fuel companies are big investors in alternative energy technology and production.

    A vague feelgood PR exercise says nothing about it will actually mean.

    • Sacha 1.1

      This has been criticised

      By whom? Sounds like something that just magically happened when you phrase it like that.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        Does it matter? I could do a lengthy comment on criticisms but thought it best to focus on the key questions.

        Do you think it is fair criticism?

        • Sacha

          We can often weight a criticism by knowing who made it, yes.

        • Sacha

          I presume this is another instance where you have copied and pasted an entire post from your own blog as you have done recently, Pete. Says a lot about those who comment there that they would take it at face value.

      • OnceWasTim 1.1.2

        By whom? The usual suspects from the Empire @ Sacha

        Oliver Hartwich for one.

        • Sacha

          I saw Oliver's tame economist whinging about it yesterday. The sheer effrontery of a govt thinking it can know better than the sacred market!

    • Sacha 1.2

      Some fossil fuel companies are big investors in alternative energy technology and production.

      And they thank you for faithfully relaying their greenwashing. Tiny fraction of their spend.

    • … sets a bad precedent for future governments applying more rules to Kiwisaver for their own policy purposes.

      Well, yeah, the right is often an ethics-free zone that sees someone doing something on the grounds of ethics and interprets that as a precedent for doing stuff on the grounds of self-interest. Only a concern troll would present that on a thread here as evidence for not doing stuff on ethical grounds, though.

    • Gabby 1.4

      Crikey petey, next thing you know we'll not be trading with ppl who've upset the yankers. Where will it all end?

    • Ed1 1.5

      "With no details yesterday's announcement looks like more of a PR exercise"

      In fact it shows a government that understands the investment markets, and appreciates that time will be needed to sort out the detail of the policy with the assistance of professional investment managers, including management of the NZ Super Fund. Meanwhile, without any particular companies being names, investment managers have the opportunity to quietly, and without any significant impact on market values, dispose of some obvious investments over a short time. Wanting the prescription before the diagnosis is stupid, wanting policy details without consultation would be stupid, and criticising the government for protecting values for New Zealanders with Kiwisaver accounts is the sort of unthinking knee-jerk response anyone can read most days on Farrar's dog-whistle blog.

      This policy is timely, and I believe will be well supported by most New Zealanders. It is an extension of ethical investment rules, which were introduced some years ago with equal professionalism and concern for maintaining orderly markets.

  2. I can't reply in the thread.

    "I presume this is another instance where you have copied and pasted an entire post from your own blog as you have done recently, Pete."

    Another false presumption. I haven't.

    And if you checked times you would see that yesterday I actually created a post out of a comment I made here because I thought it worth replicating.

    Are you aware that replicating and copy and pasting are kind of a features of using the Internet?

    You have a habit of nit picking about things that are irrelevant. Is targeting people an attempt to divert from the content? If you really wanted to contribute you could try addressing the issues.

    You’re not ‘weighting’ criticisms, you’re often entirely dumping on messengers.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      "I actually created a post out of a comment I made here because I thought it worth replicating."

      Pete George

  3. Sacha 3

    Highly relevant to those of us without unlimited time to spend online. If I want to read the tired right-wing witterings of Farrar, Hartwich, Hosking and co I can go seek them out. Nice try slipping them in here without attribution. Such a service.

    • Sacha 3.1

      Oh, and be sure to whinge about this on your blog.

    • I haven't 'slipped' any witterings of Farrar, Hartwich, Hosking in here unattributed. I haven't seen what any of them have said on yesterday's announcement.

      If you have limited time perhaps you could focus on the issues rather than run diversions and make false aassumptions.

      You still haven't addressed the issue raised.

      I thought that when Kiwisaver was introduced apart from providing incentives to join Kiwisaver and organising default providers the Government was supposed to stay out of investment decisions.

      Now the intention is to dictate what can't be invested in to some unknown degree. The ban on illegal investments is really just trying to sound good without making any real change (I hope no schemes invest in illegal activities already).

    • Gabby 3.3

      I'm familiar with Evilgnome and Horeskin, but who's Fartwich when it's at home?

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Please can someone post the link to the interview currently airing on Natrad between Kathryn Ryan and the NZ Midwives?

    Their pay parity 'negotiations' span two governments, and they are presenting a petition to parliament prior to the Budget in the hope that the intrinsic worth of community midwives is not dismissed.


    I sense some deep politicking here, and will listen again to previous interviews when I have time.

  5. Stunned Mullet 5

    In the past two years, more mining applications have been approved on conservation land than in the two years prior to the 2017 announcement there would be no new mines on conservation land.


    If correct this is pretty damn depressing.

    • The proposed ban on mining conservation land is yet another instance of an environmental policy that probably could have gotten past Labour but won't make it past NZ First. People who want the environment taken seriously should vote Green, or Labour if the Greens really piss you off that much. Voting for other parties is a vote for hostility to the environment.

      • Stunned Mullet 5.1.1

        The Winston First party will hopefully disappear at the next election. That the current Labour and Green members were unable to stop this happening on their watch is as I have stated depressing.

        • Psycho Milt

          It's depressing, but inevitable given the hand the voters dealt. Regional development is a core feature of NZ First's pitch to voters and these mining applications are in places like the West Coast, so what measures would be available to Labour and the Greens to stop NZF opposing a mining ban? Parties don't compromise on the core areas of their appeal to voters.

          • bwaghorn

            Well maybe labour and the greens need to come with more than a few token cycle ways for the provinces . We dont all want to leave small town nz for the horrors of the big smoke.

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        Hang on, again NZ First is to blame? Seriously, is that why labour gone into coalition with them, so they can be the blame game? Have you got any supporting documentation for this, or is this just 'bash NZ First' first policy?

        As for the greens, why on earth would anyone currently vote for them? Why?

        disclaimer: I voted for the Greens in the last election.

        • Robert Guyton

          Why would anyone vote for The Greens?

          Because without a strong Green vote, Labour voters will fail to get their team into Government.

          • Sabine

            not good enough a reason Robert, also not supported by evidence.

            • Robert Guyton

              If you held the deciding vote, Sabine, that would get The Greens in, to govern with Labour only, you wouldn't cast it?


              • Sabine

                Why do you say that? Again, as i said ' i am tired of voting for the lesser evil'

                that does not mean i won't.

                I would hold my nose, grab a barge pole, and simply utter 'there goes nothing' and i would cast my vote and i would hate every second of it. Ain't voting grand?

                It does say a lot about you tho, that you equate fair critisim with a non vote. But maybe that is the reason why the current lot rather would try to convert a no mates voter then try to appleal the non voter. Again, appealing to the Non voter, the disenfranchised voter, the forgotten voter, the voter no one gives a shit about, and that includes the future voter is in hte too hard basket. And that Robert, is why nothing gets done.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "that does not mean i won't. "

                  "As for the greens, why on earth would anyone currently vote for them? Why? "

                  Well now I am puzzled – you won't vote Green, as explained, and you're not planning to abstain from voting, so which party has earned your support?

        • Psycho Milt

          One party in government is focused on protecting the environment, and one party in government is focused on promoting regional development via extractive industries. You don't need me to provide documentation to figure out which is which.

          As to why anyone would vote for the only party that’s focused on protecting the environment, is that a serious question?

          • Sabine

            non of the parties in government is occupied with 'the environment' or else we had already better rules and free public transport. 🙂

            But we have parties that have it in their interest to appear to be doing something, paying lip service mainly and a wee bit of tinkering on the fraying edges and of course EV's paid for by the Taxpayer for on of the richest classes in this country.

            But if you want to put blame on one of the parties in Goverment as being the one to blame for something then yes, i feel it is ok to ask for a link that would support your claim. Unless of course you are making this claim not because it is based on anything but because you want to bash one party in the current coalition. Btw, you might need that party in the next election to again form a coalition. Just sayin.

            As for the Greens, yes my question was totally and utterly honest. I see absolutly no reason to vote for them. Non what so ever. If i want something like the current Green crop in parliament i can vote for labour and get exactly the same, nice words and very little action. Maybe a red ribbon. If they feel generous.

            • Robert Guyton

              Do you think it possible, Sabine, that The Greens are thwarting the Government's efforts to protect the environment?

              • Sabine

                I frankly don't know what they are doing, and sometimes i wonder if they do.

                To me it feels that we have a whole bunch of apprentices in the Green Party but no trainers with skills and expertise. So we get a lot of paper signing (meaningless as the Rio Papers, the Paris Papers and all the other dead trees that went into the shredders), meaningless blablabla in the meantime we don't address the current (since at least last year) drought, we don't address our road issues, we do nothing to entice people to live on a smaller foot print, we do nothing to save water, we promote 1 billion trees of whom 20% are natives and there for the keep, and the remaining 80% are for 'harvesting' etc etc etc, but i am to feel good about these guys promoting EV which need fossil fuel mining (lithium is a fossil fuel) and i just can't. That's it.

                I have no hope that this current Green Party will do anything but apply a little green blush on what otherwise are simply business decisions that will make good for the few and be disastrous for the many. (I neither have any hope in Labour for that matter, but i do know what the no mates party will do, and fwiw, they will do what they say, they always do – see the US where they have gone back to the 80s and finish what they could not then).

                But above all, i am tired of voting for the lesser evil, for giving crumbs to those that needs loaves while giving the whole bakery to those that are already morbidly obese. And that is what currently has been done.

                • The Green Party was supported by 6.3% of voters at the last election. Given that, what would lead you to expect them to dominate government policy and the parliamentary agenda? Even NZ First, a party promoting regional development via extractive industries, had a higher level of support than the Greens. In other words, the government has no mandate from voters for the things you'd prefer it to have done. The solution to that problem doesn't lie in voting for parties that will see your vote wasted, or in not voting at all.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Sabine: you say you don't know what The Greens are doing, yet you discourage people from voting for them? Curious. You say also, that you're tired of voting for "the lesser evil" (The Greens – sounds more like a Kiwiblog characterisation of the party to me) leaving me wonder which party you will vote for; you will vote, right?

                  • Sabine

                    i also don't discourage people from voting for the Greens, again, Robert, don't equate critique with non voting the two have nothing to do with each other.

                    I was critical of the National government, and i will be critical of the current lot, if 'I" feel that their words outshine their deeds.

                    People do as they like, i simply see no reason to cast my vote for the Greens this time around, and won't……others will. Such is life in MMP. And besides, if Parties want to get votes, then maybe they should work for them. I am not in anyway to be taken granted for, nor am i obliged to vote for a Party that i feel is lacking in deeds. You do however you want to.

                    But i shall give no praise when i feel there is no praise due. But feel free to address any of the other points that i have raised to explain my dis-satisfaction with our current overlords.

                    • McFlock

                      The Greens are the least powerful group in a coalition that is still better than any national-led government.

                      If they were the majority member in a grnlab coalition, I might agree with a damn-them-all no-vote (or more precisely, a vote for a trace-element party that more closely matches my ideals, like when I supported the Alliance post-anderton).

                      But if you want a left wing government, vote for the leftmost party that can hit the threshhold.

          • Stunned Mullet

            …and the largest (Labour) party in government should be able to navigate a better path forward for the environment.

            • Psycho Milt

              How, in practical terms, would the largest party navigate a path that involves getting a coalition partner it relies on for the government's majority to act against its core principles?

              • Sabine

                Negotiate rather then dictate or worse not even try? Or is that in the too hard basket. Fact is NZ First is part of this government. And fact is also that it might need to be part of the next government. So maybe just drop a bit the attidute and negotiate in good faith. Also please stop pretending that Labour did not know who Winston Peters is, who Shane Jones is, and who the NZ First Party is.

                Fact is, without NZFirst, Jacinda would be the Queen of the opposition.

                • How, in practical terms, could Labour negotiate NZ First into going against its core pitch to voters? It's not a trick question.

                  • Sabine

                    Well, why should NZ First voters give in and not Labour voter? Oh is that the mind of the largest party wins? I have a bridge that says the same thing.

                    No, that is the whole point about MMP is that the Parties need to negotiate and they need to find common ground. And that does not mean that only one party has to fold all the time, and that also does not mean that only one party is to blame for the all fuck ups of all the parties all the time. That is lazy thinking of the finest. And claims to the sabotage of something by one particular party should be supported with a link that states that these things are happening.

                    And if they can't work with each other then they need to wake up to the reality that they will end up again in the wilderness. Mind, being on the opposition bench won't affect their pay cheques and perks all courtesy of the tax payer, and that includes their government issued vehicles and gold pleated healthcare.

                    • "Why should NZ First voters give in?" is exactly what I'm saying. They voted for a party that promises to promote extractive industries in the regions, which means there's no mechanism for Labour to "negotiate" a deal in which NZ First has to tell its voters that it's agreed to cutting back extractive industries in the regions.

                      The solution to the problem of a lack of government commitment to environmental protections isn't to vilify the party that's working to increase environmental protections for its lack of leverage, but to try and encourage people to increase that party's leverage by voting for it.

            • Heather Grimwood

              I am astonished at much in this column today seeming to be deliberately ( but I hope ignorantly) stating that Labour is not committed to environmental issues.

              Decades ago I belonged to the Labour Green group in the Labour Party. When Folk broke to Alliance or greens, I , though always of left persuasion decided to stay in the larger bloc and stay in Labour.

              I can assure you that issues of sustainability/ environment are an integral part of Labour concern. I have for some years belonged to a flourishing active Environmental branch.

              'Green' measures for nurturing soil etc have been known for thousands of years, but forgotten I maintain in the industrialisation and capitalising of the land's produce.

              haven't more time presently but i do wonder why the seeming mischief making above.

              • When I say "one party is focused on protecting the environment," that's exactly what I mean. Labour has elements supportive of envirnomental protection but that's not its core focus and that tends to be reflected in its actions in government. There's only one party for which the environment is its primary focus.

                • Heather Grimwood

                  to PM ( can't read the number of your comment) Thank you…I understand what you mean.

                  • Incognito

                    After reaching a certain level (depth) of nesting/threading, the numbering runs out/stops. The comment you’re replying to is by Psycho Milt @ 2 March 2020 at 11:50 am

              • Sacha

                Labour is large enough to have factions that support green policies and those that oppose them. Decisions reflect a tussle between a caucus coalition of NZF+Lab-faction and Grn+Lab=faction.

    • Gabby 5.2

      Aren't you heartened stunted?

      [3 day ban for flaming. No prewarning because you know exatly what you are doing. Expect bans to get much longer much more quickly. Yes, I am gearing up for election year, take this a warning – weka]

      • Stunned Mullet 5.2.1

        Fuck off Gabby you pointless troll

      • Jimmy 5.2.2

        It amuses me that it is fine to comment and tell someone to F$#@ off on here, but make a comment in the form of a question as per Gabby at 5.2 and you get banned?

        • Sacha

          Calling someone names oft leads to the naughty corner, as most toddlers know.

        • Incognito

          TS is just one big amusement park.

          • Jimmy

            I thought under the commenting rules you weren't supposed to abuse each other. I will re-read them sometime perhaps they have been amended.

            • Incognito

              Let me know if you have any (specific) questions. Always happy to explain/clarify without getting into a lengthy discussion about (specific) moderation.

  6. Sabine 6

    Does anyone know if the Government has put out a statement to address the economic shortfall that we will experience, in fact are already experiencing with the lack of tourists arriving at our shores?

    I am in tourist land where i am living now, and the hotels are empty, the eatery are empty, the tourist attractions are empty, the freedom campers ain't here to spoil our landscape and use our resources (Yei) ….but in saying that, people have already lost jobs, have had hours cut, and so on.?

    Anything? Because i only saw something last week, but it felt that it was more of a care package to the big tourist businesses, nothing on the lower end aka a care package for the workers and small businesses.

    I consider myself lucky as i said my small business up to serve the locals rather then tourists, but i know of a few who started up last year, and who are rightfully shitting themselves now with high leases, high compliance costs, and no customers.

    • Graeme 6.1

      The Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006 gives government pretty wide powers to do whatever is required to manage an epidemic, subject to the oversight of Parliament.  If shops are required to be closed and movement restricted I would presume the order would also include provisions that would remove the financial imperative for businesses to open.


      There’s also clauses in the ADLS lease relating to loss of access to the premises during civil emergency, I’d say an epidemic would qualify. Business interruption insurance will cover civil emergency as well. Just checked ours and I’d say we are covered. Any ensuing civil disturbance might not be.

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        I am not talking about that at all.

        I am talking about unemployed people that have lost their jobs because the tourists are not coming, will they get extra aid as they have lost the only 3 – 4 month of full time employment.

        Will the small businesses that experience hardship have a grant to apply to so as to tide them over and maybe adjust their business model so that they not close and not unemploy everyone who works for them?

        As for the government in an epidemic, i consider them to be as awesome as if an earth quake would hit. They shall arrive in a few days …or weeks depending on location, so please stock up on food, water, emergency meds and pray you not get sick. lol.

        • weka

          I saw something last week too, mostly about the part of the tourism serving the Chinese market?

          I think I also saw something about making access to welfare easier, but that might have been about future actual pandemic in the country issues.

          Like you I expect the same level of response as in a quake. Good front line responses (emergency people), but the other stuff to be pretty uneven.

      • Enough is Enough 6.1.2

        Business is going to be hit by what is happening everywhere else in the world. Even if we only ever had the one case of the virus, the breakdown in international travel and logistics is going to hit us massively. We will be open for business but there will be no suppliers, or customers for a few months.

    • Enough is Enough 6.2

      For right or wrong, the clear message from central government at the moment is keep calm.

      I think that calm is going to be disrupted very soon for the reasons you have outlined above. The tour buses have stopped rolling already. Soon its going to be the trucks and trains when our imported goods can't get into the country. International logistics networks are beginning to break down already. If ships don't sail from China, imports and exports across the globe will suffer.


      This is going to be short and sharp, but when businesses have a couple of months of limited income, and start struggling to pay the landlord, bank and IRD, the message of keeping calm will become lost.

      • Incognito 6.2.1

        It will be in the interest [no pun] of banks and IRD to keep calm and avoid mass panic. A run on the banks is the last thing they’d want. I don’t know what role and/or powers RBNZ has to maintain public confidence in the sector and ensure stability and continuation of ‘BAU’.

        • Poission

          The RBNZ has to ensure financial stability,whether the response or the rhetorical mechanisms are correct will be an open questions.

          Since the GFC the central banks main mechanism has been increased monetary supply with lower interest rates.

          The response by corporates is increased debt,to increase dividends and share buy backs to increase stock value,and little for increased productivity.

          It's not just the debt itself. Investors looking for decent yields as bank interest rates plummet have poured trillions of dollars into corporate debt markets.

          It is not as though there haven't been warnings. Last October the International Monetary Fund warned that up to $US19 trillion of corporate debt could be "at risk" if there was a sudden downturn even half as severe as the 2008 global financial crisis.

          Earnings wouldn't cover the interest bill and so companies could go to the wall, potentially igniting another financial crisis.

          The problem with America's corporate debt isn't so much the size, it is that a large portion of the money has been squandered. Rather than investing in new plants and equipment, American companies have been raising cash and handing it straight back to shareholders.


          The RBNZ interest rate cuts,will probably do little except reduce the amount of income for savers.It would need to come with significant constraints such as restriction on investors say to buy existing residential investments,as opposed to new developments.

          • Nic the NZer

            That is a wildly missleading comment. The main action taken by the govt to ensure financial stability was for the govt to guarantee and underwrite the financial systems borrowing. After that it was no problem as lenders knew they would be paid no matter what the state on the bank they were lending to.

            Interest rate cuts have been applied to try to return the economy to a state of 2%+ inflation, but largely ineffective. Probably that will be the go to response again despite having poor results for a decade now. But the lending which the RBNZ does is there to provide sufficient funds should a bank need to clear payments. There seems to be no reason to think that a fall in lending will put the interbank market short reserves with which to pay each other. I expect the same to be relevant with cash, people may withdraw more but this will just mean more cash is delivered to the banks and withdrawn. We know banks can function in such an environment and they did so before eftpos was invented. Unlike 2008 bank runs there is no underlying question of bank solvency going on here.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        Interesting hypothesis E is E.

        I was out on the roads earlier today (North Shore/Auckland) and noted a sharp drop in the traffic – something I haven't seen in this part of our world in a very long time. I also noted foot traffic was down and less large commercial trucks and vehicles on the roads. It may have been coincidence but somehow I think not.

    • Cinny 6.3

      Here in Motueka we haven't really seen any signs of tourist numbers declining. There are still plenty of freedom campers filling the car parks. Town is still busy.

      The tourist demographic that mostly comes through our town is predominatley European, especially Germans.

      Interestingly rice has sold out at the supermarket, but not pasta.

      • Anne 6.3.1

        Toilet rolls seem to have been the big sell-out on the North Shore. Getting to the stage where locals have to shop around for them. You could say that Shore folk are …. .. …. but I couldn't possibly comment. 😉

      • Graeme 6.3.2

        Queenstown feels quieter, and it's easier to find a park in the morning, but we're not seeing any change in numbers through the gallery. Turnover is back on same time last year but that was a blinder, so not surprised it's come back. We have minimal exposure to the Chinese though. Those that do aren't happy campers.

        But China is only 10% of Queenstown's market, both numbers and dollar wise, and it's an either / or thing for most businesses, if you are in that market it's pretty much all you do, apart from some activity operators that can cover the field with slightly different products for different markets.

        Part of it seeming quieter is that there's much less mad acts from rental car drivers, so everyone's more laid back on the road.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    Tbh Sabine, if it wasn't a disease impacting their businesses it could also be a global realization that tripping around the world on fossil fuel burning transport is simply not planet sustaining.

    Where we're parked up right now in our Bus, there is a sign from a previous guest detailing the cost of accommodation and attractions in the Central North Island tourist hub for themselves and their grandson.

    Prices way beyond what the average Kiwi traveler can afford. We're paying $20 per night for access to an ablution block, a kitchen and power should we need it. The only commercial campground in Hamilton wanted $47 per night.

    Unaffordable, and if that is the going rate for the swinging tourist hotspot that is Hamilton, wtf are they charging in Rotorua or Taupo?

    Seriously, tourist operators have enjoyed unfettered ability to fleece overseas travelers at the expense of their relationship with domestic customers…there's many that will not shed too many tears for those who put all their profit generating eggs in the foreign traveler basket.

    Simple law of gravity…what goes up…

    • Sabine 7.1

      To be honest Rosemary, a good large part of the countrys taxpayer depend on income from tourism to pay taxes.

      To be honest Rosemary, a good large part of the country is working in tourism because its the only job available.

      To be honest Rosemary, i think your attitude is quite callous, these workers in the tourism industry are New Zealanders, they are our brothers, sisters, and so forth, they pay taxes that can then be distributed among our needy, invalids, unemployed, used for funding our infrastructure and so on and so forth and maybe we should keep that in mind, when simply gibly write of a large part of the country simply because they are not you. Oh and pay fancy cars for our ruling class.

      To be honest Rosemary, i don't even have an RV, and i don't go on vacation, not in a hotel nor in a park, because i work 6 days a week and so do most if not all of my fellow mum and pop business owners. And thus i have absolutly no idea what you talk about when you talk about parking your RV.

      But i know something about a town where over 50 % of the working people only have about 3 – 6 month at best at fulltime employment and they don't have it this year. And people are getting scared because they can't save up that little bit extra they need to get through winter, and i don't see government address that.

      • weka 7.1.1

        I think the welfare issues needs addressing now, maybe someone can look it up?

        I have some sympathy for what Rosemary is saying too, although from my pov, being dependent on a benefit and having lived a lot in areas that have transitioned to tourism as a main way of making a living, I think COVID is an opportunity to get to grips with the massively problematic position of making the wellbeing of NZ dependent on an industry that is 1) in utter denial of climate change and 2) is basically not future-proofed because of that (or other reasons eg a pandemic or GFC).

        So, yes, welfare first, and also let's talk about not going back to BAU after this challenge passes, because there *will be others, and more often.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.2

        Last time I was up Ruapehu few of the workers were New Zealanders and even fewer were Maori.

        I saw Maori families in particular being turned away from the previously free Happy Valley as they could not afford the cost. So in my lifetime I've seen the locals pushed out of many of the jobs and they be made to pay tourist prices for their own mountain.

        I hope Tuwharetoa don't renew the lease when it comes up next.

        It's a little hard to have empathy for the principle though easy for the individual people concerned.

        And besides Paul Callaghan made the point some time ago about New Zealand won't get ahead on low wage jobs like tourism.


    • Bill 7.2

      Beyond tourism, and because coronavirus appears to be an occasion to shut down swathes of production across the world, why not take the opportunity on offer to do an inventory and never re-open production facilities that only serve as vehicles for profit? (So, y'know, permanently shut down the "shiny beads and baubles" factories).

      To spell it out for the dim of thinking…

      AGW is driven by carbon emissions and capitalist modes of production function by producing carbon as a by-product.

      • Wayne 7.2.1


        Given that most firms intend to make a profit, are you seriously suggesting the end of industrialisation?

        Almost certainly the goal will be to get firms back into full production, not to permanently close them.

        So no, Covid 19 is not a heaven sent chance for China to reintroduce Maoist communism. They have already tried that. And the CCP decided 40 years ago it was not worth the 20 million dead and the grinding poverty of hundreds of millions.

        • Rosemary McDonald


        • Bazza64


          Give Bill some credit, he will allow loss making companies to continue, so not all factories will close. Then those losses will likely be state funded & their carbon emissions will deemed "non-harmful" as they haven't come from nasty "profit making" entities

        • Bill

          No Wayne. I'm not suggesting an end to manufacturing. I'm suggesting we grasp this opportunity to end any industrial activity that produces nothing of social value – that is undertaken just for monetary profit.

          Also, fucked if I know where you're getting this idea to shoe-horn in nonsense about Maoism from.

          But anyway, you mention large numbers of dead people as a justification for not doing something, which is fair enough. So…you want to ballpark the numbers of people who have already died because of global warming? And then care to add on a further ballpark number for the coming decades?

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.2

        Thank you weka and Bill for getting part of what I was trying to convey and expanding and clarifying.

        We simply cannot keep on the way we have been for the past 50 years.

        Maybe COVID 19 is the reset switch?

        • weka

          certainly an opportunity to talk about things like future proofing our economy and then pointing out how this also benefits us in other ways like climate mitigation and ecological restoration.

        • Bill

          If we were homo sapien sapiens (wise and discerning my arse! 🙂 ), then COVID 19 would be the reset switch.

          But we're not even remotely close to living up to the name we give ourselves as a species.

          Our problems are systemic, and as we know, those in positions to make "big decisions" are wed to the very systems that figuratively speaking, have life on this planet by the throat.

      • Poission 7.2.3

        why not take the opportunity on offer to do an inventory and never re-open production facilities that only serve as vehicles for profit? (So, y'know, permanently shut down the "shiny beads and baubles" factories).

        the ivory towers being an example?


  8. indiana 8


    All the right intentions, but outcomes resulted in unintended consequences. I'm sure all of these people can claim the Metiria Turei defense if caught out.

    • Incognito 8.1

      What is the “Metiria Turei defense” and how does this apply to those students?

    • weka 8.2

      that's a badly written piece, it's basically a press release from the National Party.

      Tell us how many students enrolled, how many enrolled that wouldn't have otherwise, and then compare that to the number who apparently made false declarations. Then tell us what those falsities were, how many were mistakes, how many were outright fraud, and how many fall somewhere in between.

      What Incog said too. I take a pretty dim view of bene bashing especially where it invokes poorly informed memes about Turei.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.3

      A Nashnull sponsored “bennie bash” basically Indiana, more information and better comparisons are needed to make any real sense of that piece.

      In any event, thousands of younger NZer’s lives have been blighted by user pays student loans–for education which should be an investment in the future–rather than a finger wagging accounting exercise.

  9. Bill 9

    lol TYT reporting that Buttigeig is gone!

    Meanwhile, Warren is behind in the polls of her own state and Klober whassername isn't exactly secure 🙂

    There were reports that Bloomberg offer Yang a VP position. Seriously.

    I wonder if wee Pete is bobbing up and down pleading with Bloomberg – "Pick me. Pick me!!"

    • Cinny 9.1

      Good stuff, Bernie for the win 🙂

      • Andre 9.1.1

        Biden is likely to benefit more than Bernie. Coz there's quite a few states like Minnesota and Massachusetts where Biden is polling in the mid-teens – meaning he's on the edge of dropping below the 15% threshold and missing out on getting pledged delegates. It would only take a few Buttigieg voters to go to Biden to bump him back over 15%.

        • Ad

          Whoever the Democrat Presidential candidate is, they are going to have a hard time shifting Trump now.

          His Unfavourable numbers are now trending steadily upwards to parity by election day.


          The economic numbers that get well reported are strong – probably strong enough to handle a Corona Virus hit to GDP and employment levels.


          The peace deal his military has signed with the Afghani Taliban will bear fruit once tv images of the serried ranks of army troop off the planes.

          The Demcoratic candidate has a mighty fight ahead of them if they are to win against Trump.

          • Andre

            … and then there's the Senate …

          • Macro

            I'm not so sure – most are saying "I'm voting Blue – No matter who" When the Dem candidate is finally chosen the majority will swing in behind them no matter what.

            Here is further analysis from the Fox Poll.

            Donald Trump’s favorite cable news network released their latest poll numbers on Thursday, and it was a disaster for the president as he seeks a second term in the White House.

            According to the survey, just 32 percent of voters will “definitely” support Trump in the November general election, while 45 percent will “definitely” back his eventual opponent.

            In other words, there are more diehard opponents of the president than there are supporters, regardless of how many folks in red caps show up to his campaign rallies.

            The poll also found that, when matched up against any of the top Democratic candidates, Trump would lose. In fact, he can’t even crack 43 percent.


          • McFlock

            Not sure that realclear link supports your "trending steadily upwards to parity by election day" description. Seems pretty steady for the last couple of years (not that it matters – it's FPP, not MMP).

            But frankly any old shit can happen. I reckon Bernie or Warren will give the cheeto-in-chief a good run, Biden will probably run a technically creditable campaign that fizzles in reality.

          • Bill

            See what happens when peak deniability takes hold, and instead of taking a long hard look at why a reality TV host was preferred to a career politician, the Democratic Party shoveled and shoved "Russia!!" for 3 years straight and ignored what people were actually worried about in their lives… and then, just to top it off lest there was a chance Trump's popularity would bumble along, they threw in a bullshit impeachment to buoy his popularity.

            All that said, Sanders can walk through him. Trump's "anti-establishment" credentials are a non-starter against Bernie and he can't rhetorically tack to Bernie's left.

            He could try ye olde "Socialist/communist!!" b/s…but since Obama was apparently a socialist too, that's unlikely to get much, if any, traction

        • Wayne

          Buttigeig is out. I reckon it will come down to Sanders or Biden. Super Tuesday is likely to have a substantial boost for Biden as a result of South Carolina.

          Interesting that Buttigeig decided to announce prior to Super Tuesday. Presumably his name is already on all the ballot papers/ballot machines. He can obviously ask his supporters to vote for someone else, which I presume is Biden. But he will get quite a few votes anyway.

          I imagine Bloomberg will be out after Super Tuesday, but Warren could stay for a while yet. March 10 is the next big test. After that it could be shown to just two candidates.

          • Andre

            The next interesting question is if and when Buttigieg endorses another candidate, most likely Biden.

            Apart from the ongoing primary votes, an endorsement or not makes a difference to the 26 delegates Buttigieg has already won. If he endorses, most of those will will vote for the endorsed candidate. If he doesn't endorse, then most of those are free to vote for whomever they want in the first round.

            (I think Nevada law requires the pledged delegates to vote for whomever they are pledged to, so it's only 23 of 26 that would become free agents)

        • Cinny

          Biden is looking super old of late, I think the campaign is really taking it's toll on him.

          • Andre

            So is Bernie. Fuck me, it's gobsmacking the two most popular candidates are so old they predate the Baby Boomers. With scary old people shit in their medical histories, to boot.

            But here we are. I s'pose the upside is they can't really have "OK, Boomer" dumped on them.

            • Andre

              To be fair, though, since Bernie has been 78 for the last three decades, it might be less noticeable on him since the change isn't as dramatic.


            • AB

              Bernie is old enough to have adult memories of the time before the Thatcher-Reagan revolution. That's probably important. Biden doesn't seem to have a functioning memory at all – e.g. claiming that he was arrested in South Africa for trying to see Nelson Mandela on "Robbins"(sic) Island. To be fair, Biden's lies seem like simple beffudlement, rather than like Trump’s deliberate self-aggrandisement.

    • Poission 9.2

      Bernie has his own airforce.

      Too good to fly coach.

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        Meh. Ten minute flight means he can get there, rally, and be on his way to the next place before he would have even gotten there by car.

        And smaller planes mean smaller runways mean closer to each venue.

        In NZ terms it means he can do Invers, dunners, and chch in one afternoon.

        I can give him stick for only managing three bills in his senate career, but this is a reasonable move. US politicians have used the quickest means of covering campaign territory since railway became a thing.

      • Tiger Mountain 9.2.2

        Wait till January–Bernie’s “Airforce” will be yuge!

        Sanders flew coach for years, but his travel expanded with security details since 2016. Who cares anyway when the US Presidential Campaign is a financial blowout from start to finish. Small countries run on less. Have a look at Mr Bloomberg’s expenditure–oh thats right–he is not in major contention at the moment…

        This is the classic argument used against Green MPs–they should cycle to Wellington apparently or be cast as unauthentic–uh huh, uh huh.

        Hypocrisy is often more a charge made of convenience. David Seymour maybe should not use public roads or expect Police protection if he is a staunch libertarian, and refuse any other stipend from the stolen tax take…

      • Anne 9.2.3

        Speed is of the essence in this late stage of the campaign. If you applied your criticism across the board people would take more notice of you.

  10. Ad 10

    For those who like their thinking challenged, do check out Jonathan Boston in Auckland on Thursday on Transforming the Welfare State.

    Prof. Jonathan Boston – Transforming the Welfare State – 5 Mar

    Professor Jonathan Boston will be speaking on his new BWB book:
    Transforming the Welfare State
    Towards a New Social Contract

    ‘Eighty years ago, New Zealand’s welfare state was envied by many social reformers around the world. Today it stands in need of urgent repair and renewal.’ One of our leading public policy thinkers asks: What might the contours of a revitalised ‘social contract’ for New Zealand look like?

    Jonathan Boston is a Professor of Public Policy in the School of Government at the Victoria University of Wellington. He has written extensively on public management, the welfare state, child poverty, climate change policy, tertiary education funding, and comparative government.

    See: https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/transforming-welfare-state Copies of the book will be on sale by eftpos.


    5 March – 6.30pm


    Owen Glenn Building, University of Auckland

    12 Grafton Road

    • McFlock 11.1

      Landlords say they plan to sell their properties – or focus solely on the high end of the market – if their ability to end their tenancies with 90 days' notice is removed.


      Crocodile tears.

      House prices go down, or homes in higher-deprivation areas get gentrified, or landlords are forced to act with a bit more fairness. Which do you think is more likely to happen?

      • Ad 11.1.1

        Mostly just more gentrification.

        • McFlock

          Because these landlords choose to cater to the lower end of market with their houses in lower-income areas?

          Good luck with that. Either way, there's no reduction in the number of homes, and state houses are increasing by a thousand a year. I reckon renters can do without arsehole landlords like that – I've had my flat sold from under me. A fucking headache.

          • Ad

            No because the great majority of landlords who own only one extra flat will figure it's better to hold on just for the equity uplift, then sell after some years.

            In many circumstances there will be less grief and more benefit chucking the tenants out and just sitting on the equity uplift until they're ready to take it all and start their new lives.

            That's when the gentrifying developers come in.

            • McFlock

              Because the great majority of landlords who own only one "extra" property can afford to, and will, forego hundreds of dollars per week in rent (for years) just because, and let me check that I've got this correct, they're not allowed to arbitrarily cancel a lease without cause?

              Not even the linked article goes that far.

              • Ad

                It's happening already, especially in Auckland suburbs that are on their way to gentrifying.

                • McFlock

                  I suspect that the number of landlords with "one extra flat" beginning to do it (for fear of not being able to do their damned landlording jobs) is much lower than the property speculators already leaving 30,000-odd Auckland homes vacant.

                  Fuck 'em. It lowers their profits from the property, so it lowers the value at which they'll sell.

                  • Ad

                    Lowering the value?

                    Not so far. We haven't had much of a dip for over a decade.

                    And most I know are simply Buy And Holds. Call that speculation if you will, but:

                    The entire mortgage industry is based on speculation. Every single person with a mortgage relies on it.

                    That, and tax.

                    • McFlock

                      Every person with a mortgage needs to pay the mortgage regularly.

                      As for your observation that the property market hasn't had a dip in a decade… not the first time speculators have believed yesterday's results are related to tomorrow's. And it's always the debt-ridden non-producing speculators (in this case your mortgagee property owners who are afraid to provide housing) who get worst-bitten by that assumption.

                      If what you say about people with "one extra flat" is true, then the next economic shock will sort out their house ownership problem. Can you think of anything that might cause such a shock to the NZ property market?

                    • Ad

                      I appear to have run out of Reply thingies.

                      Plenty have been waiting for a ginormous property shock since 1988. We appear to have run out of long-wave cycles.

                      Sure, a propoerty-base-altering shock possible. But even things like a virus or two will just cool things for a bit.

                      I don't see our home ownership decline turning around much.

                    • McFlock

                      Who needs a "ginormous" shock? The discussion is about whether a drop in income from a property will affect the value of that property. Doesn't even need to be 2008-scale to call BS on the pessimism.

                      Your position seems to be that a small-scale landlord "with one extra flat" will forego $20k a year of rent for fear of having an annoying tenant who doesn't do enough to warrant eviction for cause.

                      As for the idea in the article they'll all go upmarket, I find the idea that they could have done that already but chose not to rather odd.

                  • RedLogix

                    But who are they going to sell them to? Your 'lowest quality' tenants are typically people whose lifestyles and choices mean they will unlikely qualify for a mortgage regardless of where prices go. It won't be them who buy, it will be as Ad says either other landlords who are better cashed up, or developers who want to add value to the land.

                    • McFlock

                      Or other speculators who are equally cashed up, but are better suited to add property letting to the return on their investment, as well as mere speculation.

                      This isn't about the tenants. It's about whether someone who wants to invest in property is merely a property gambler, or whether they can complement that with property management.

                      It's the difference between someone who invests in a company with money and their skill at helping it grow value, versus someone who merely places bets on the stockmarket.

            • Psycho Milt

              In many circumstances there will be less grief and more benefit chucking the tenants out and just sitting on the equity uplift…

              Not if there's a mortgage on the place there won't, and I very much doubt there's a large number of amateur landlords with un-mortgaged rental properties.

            • Chris

              Some, certainly not the majority will sell up and they can piss off. The wealthy don't choose to earn less in order to pay less tax, just as the employed who claim beneficiaries are living the life of Riley don’t quit their jobs to go on the dole.

              What will happen is that the unscrupulous or paranoid landlords will favour more a fixed term tenancy instead of the standard periodic. Desperate tenants will sign up to shorter term tenancies on the understanding that if they're good little tenants and pay their rent everything will roll over for another term. If the landlord doesn't like the tenant the lease isn't renewed – simple. This shift has been happening for a while – landlords can keep up with 'the market' via a new contract. Landlords feeling spooked by the removal of the no-reason 90 day notice will no doubt enhance the trend to the detriment of security of tenure.

  11. adam 12

    Jack off comedian points out how Krystal Ball deals with a gaslighting surrogate.


  12. Felix 13


    Im sure we have all seen the pundits talking about the king making power of the black vote in the American democratic primary, and how bernies failure to the grab the black vote in SC is a real block for him…
    Interestingly he's actually leading in the national polls with black voters, would you have guessed it from the main stream media's coverage?

  13. I see there are more people coming through our airports saying we are doing sweet fuck all about coronavirus compared to other countries they have traveled through.

    They are saying you can't even get off the plane in some countries without having your temperature taken and we need to start taking this seriously. Apparently they don't take your temperature here even if you ask them to.

    • Stunned Mullet 14.1

      meh …I've been in and out of the USA, Australia and south East Asia a few times in the last couple of months only South East Asia is doing anything significant at airports from what I've seen.

    • Sacha 14.2

      Taking their temperature reassures travellers you're doing something but it's not that useful for screening against Covid-19 which can be infectious while not symptomatic. Devoting health resources to people with unrelated fevers aint smart either.

    • observer 14.3

      "There are more people"

      a comment based on one vox pop on TV3, with one couple.

      Obviously many others would have been interviewed (that's what a vox pop reporter does) but were insufficiently grumpy to broadcast. It's called editing, it's how "news" works on TV.

      Critical faculties required.

    • McFlock 14.4

      Indeed. Why oh why are we not doing this ineffective and time-consuming thing that is rife with false positives (anyone with a cold or just a bit overheated from a flight and whatever other reason) and false negatives (anyone in the asymptomatic incubation period)?

      Also, why aren't we waving jade eggs at travellers so any ethereal interference from the coronavirus demon can be detected?

    • Ad 14.5

      There are a series of protocols New Zealand recently assigned up to that requires the construction of a much higher degree of security at all domestic facilities.

      Auckland Airport is at the start of a billion-dollar upgrade which will integrate its domestic and international terminals, and upgrade its screening.

      I am pretty sure this new virus will accelerate whole new layers of biometric testing across New Zealand, but it will take a few years as it costs millions to do.

  14. Eco Maori 15

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    The Olympics games being affected by the virus.

    I have been telling my Tamariki that rents and housing prices are only going up to get them to plan for that phenomenon.

    I know A place that has nice weather that doesn't get to hot.

    Birds are quite special and intelligent.

    Ka kite Ano.

  15. Eco Maori 16

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Global warming is making stronger storm system.

    Kea the world's most intelligent birds I lived in a whare that had them flying around it a few years ago.

    That's the way strike for the climate you people do good mahi kia kaha .

    Ka kite Ano.

  16. Eco Maori 17

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    The festivals of Pacific people being cancelled that would have been awesome to watch.

    I think that a good idea stopping Te hongi with this virus threat.

    Ka kite Ano

  17. Eco Maori 18

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    The fertilisers company's should be looking hard at providing organic products that feed the organic matter that doesn't leach into our water ways.

    Its good to see new cancer drugs being funded.

    That's sad all those Koala bear dieing.

    The new technologies is amazing virtual reality design simulation and 5G.

    Ka kite Ano

  18. Eco Maori 19

    The fucken sis sandflys are stuffing with my Wahine mokopuna

  19. Eco Maori 21

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Jamie and his Ebike is saving him time and lowering his carbon footprint heaps cool.

    That health unit needs to be cleaned up.

    Shearing was a big mainstay employer in Te Tairawhiti.

    Ka kite Ano

  20. Eco Maori 22

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    That's is cool a home made native plant sanitisation products.

    That's the way networking with other indigenous Wahine in Las Vegas with native Americans.

    Weres kim kiore

    Ka kite Ano

  21. Eco Maori 23

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    I say that using a phone is fine just not all the time.

    The new joke is Old people say young people are living on there phones. It's the only place that they can afford to live.

    I would go to Eco Inn in Taranaki

    Condolences to Jennet Fitzsimmons whanau for their loss.

    Ka kite Ano

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