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Open mike 02/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 2nd, 2021 - 96 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 …

96 comments on “Open mike 02/05/2021 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Here's a very good piece on health risks and how to interpret them, starting with the pause on the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines due to the very very small but probably real slightly elevated risk of a of a rare type of blood clot after vaccination than the general background incidence of that very rare blood clot.

    For AstraZeneca's vaccine, we know that of the 54 million doses administered in the EU and UK by early April, 223 cases of CVST blood clots were reported — an incidence of roughly 4 events per million doses. With background incidence of CVST ranging from 5-15 cases per million people per year, it is tempting to infer there is no significant elevation due to the vaccine. But emergent cases of post-vaccination CVST seem to coincide with low platelet count, an unusual combination potentially hinting at a deeper association.

    Yet making a causal connection is a fraught affair. Both typical CVST and the vaccine-associated CVST are so vanishingly rare that even a handful of recorded events can skew interpretations, rendering estimates of their true incidence intrinsically uncertain. Incidence itself varies with age, sex, and other risk factors – the conceptive pill, for instance, is associated with a 7-fold increase in CVST risk for women aged 15-50. Available data is transient and subject to change: originally it was thought this condition might only affect females, a position which has evolved with growing evidence. Complicating things further, COVID-19 itself is associated with both increased risk of CVST and reduced platelet count. This in effect blurs the picture, making it less clear whether associations might be due to the vaccine or the pandemic itself.

    https://www.salon.com/2021/05/01/how-the-public-misunderstands-vaccine-side-effect-statistics/

    It then goes on to touch on how other risks are misinterpreted and misused by misinformation artists, such as IARC classifications of potential cancer risks which specifically does not look at the magnitude of an increased risk but only at the strength of evidence for there actually being an increased risk.

    The whole thing is really worth the read, it does a good job of clarifying some complex ideas.

    edit: note that this is really just of background interest. The vaccine almost all of us will get in New Zealand is the Pfizer vaccine. The only serious risk I’m aware of so far is rare cases of allergic reactions, which are safely dealt with by staying at the vaccination site for fifteen minutes or so after vaccination. Other side effects include temporary swollen lymph nodes and temporary period changes for some women, as well as the expected effects of sore shoulder and generally feeling a bit off for a day or two.

    • Anne 1.1

      Totally with Customs on this one.

      If, after efforts to educate and inform individuals of the facts relating to the Covid vaccine, they are still falling on deaf ears because idiots are listening to quacks then… you're fired.

      The case of the small group of people who suffer from conditions which make it unsafe for them only have to produce a certificate from their doctor (or whoever) and every effort can be made to re-establish them to non front-line activities.

      These anti-vaxxers are currently demanding compensation because they have lost their jobs. Compensation? What for? Self-centred idiocy?

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300290121/covid19-nine-customs-border-workers-fired-after-refusing-jab

      • Andre 1.1.1

        In the case of the Pfizer vaccine we're all about to be offered here in NZ, so far the only reports I've seen of serious medical concerns are the allergic reactions. So if someone with a history of allergic reactions wanted one of the other vaccines, I'd be quite sympathetic. Although even in the case of a reaction as severe as anaphylaxis, it seems that waiting in the doctor's office for half an hour gets past the danger period with staff on hand to safely deal with it if it does occur. I haven't noticed any reports of deaths from anaphylaxis due to the Pfizer jab, but it might have happened if they hadn't stayed for a while after getting jabbed.

        It seems the usual groups of people with genuine medical reason to be wary of vaccines in general – the immunocompromised, those getting cancer treatment etc – can quite safely get the Pfizer vaccine. It just might not do them much good if their immune system isn't working well. So they will likely still be reliant on herd immunity for their protection.

        Personally, I'm of the view that job loss should be just the start of potential consequences for being so fkn antisocial as to refuse free vaccination. If someone refuses vaccination then gets the disease, they should have to pay for their treatment rather than getting it for free, as well as paying for the treatment and other related losses of those they go on to infect.

          • Andre 1.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for that.

            But that report only covers what has been observed in New Zealand. The numbers involved are too small to be likely to pick up a very rare but serious harm caused by the vaccine, such as the blood clots that might be caused by the J&J and AZ vaccines (which we are not, repeat not, getting here).

            On the other hand, those early vaccinations will include significant numbers of Maori and Pacifica (to whom we all owe thanks for taking on the risk of being on the frontline of keeping the rest of us safe). That may be helpful in producing data to reassure vaccine-hesitant Maori and Pacifica that are concerned there haven't been vaccine trials that have included people with similar genetics to theirs.

            • Incognito 1.1.1.1.1.1

              There are three reasons to look at local data even though the numbers are low: 1) obviously they are more relevant because of ‘demographics’; 2) they may be trusted more than some overseas sources; 3) they are on the only vaccine currently rolled out in NZ, AFAIK. Of course, because of the staged roll-out of the vaccine, the numbers cannot be taken as representative and thus not as predictive for the larger general NZ population.

      • KSaysHi 1.1.2

        Somewhere in NZ a group of lawyers are rubbing their hands together in glee. What a pointless and misinformed (in regards to employment law) move. I hope they pay through the nose for attempting to coerce "informed consent". Totally with the workers.

        • KSaysHi 1.1.2.1

          Fechney, who is advocating for several other Customs workers in a similar situation, said the Government should be paying the sacked workers compassionate compensation.

          “If you're going to terminate, at least do it in a redundancy setting,” she said. “They gave up their own health and safety to protect the borders.”

          The worker was also given the option of remaining employed for four weeks while Customs searched for suitable jobs at other government agencies, such as Corrections.

          “None of my clients were interested in that,” Fechney said. “There's a big difference between working in Corrections and working in Customs.”

          Fechney said her clients were also irked that their certificates of service said they had resigned from their roles.

          “It makes it feel like it is their choice to leave, but it’s not their choice.”

          As someone who advocates for people with disabilities I wonder how many of them have just been discriminated against to boot. The vaccine may not suit everyone, and with some types of medication or illness the reactions will vary. These workers are acting within their rights despite intense pressure to conform and I’m disappointed more people here aren’t behind them.

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.1

            I am comfortable that their rights are being fairly balanced against everyone else's. There is no 'right' to cause death or injury to other people.

            • Treetop 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Is there a middle ground other than a redundancy payment?

              Employment and not being vaccinated is going to come up in other jobs.

              Working in customs and not being vaccinated is an employer issue when it comes to public safety. In saying this a person working in customs who has been vaccinated could still become infected and pass it on.

              Covid is making a person's choice of job untenable if employment is dependent on vaccination.

              • Treetop

                Can an employer disestablish a position due to a requirement not being met to fulfill public safety?

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.2.1.1.2

              Yep, plenty of situations in workplaces that require compliance with health and safety, e.g. wear a hardhat, use eye protection, drive the forklift safely etc. People who refuse to comply are often held to account and if necessary, terminated, for their and other's safety.

              If I said wearing a hardhat causes brain cancer – with no reasonable evidence – probably wouldn't fly as an excuse.

          • Anne 1.1.2.1.2

            These workers are acting within their rights despite intense pressure to conform and I’m disappointed more people here aren’t behind them.

            So, you didn't read Andre @1.1.1 then? No, I suppose not. You might become better informed on the subject.

            If the workers who refuse to conform simply because they can, or for reasons of a crackpot conspiracy they've fallen for, then they must face the consequences.

            Why should they be allowed to potentially expose the other 80% of the working population to Covid infection out of self-centred intransigence.

          • Andre 1.1.2.1.3

            These workers are acting within their rights despite intense pressure to conform and I’m disappointed more people here aren’t behind them.

            Doing the extremely low risk and low cost action of getting vaccinated has a personal benefit, and fulfills a responsibility to the community of taking reasonable precautions against negligently causing harm to others. That community responsibility aspect of it is something that is generally associated with 'left' politics.

            Whereas insisting on being free to negligently cause harm to others, in this case by potentially spreading disease, because rights, is something that's more associated with the likes of ACT and other uglier parts of 'right-wing' libertarian politics.

            • RedLogix 1.1.2.1.3.1

              There's no need to be quite so obnoxious about it. Bodily integrity and the right to choose what is done to it is a core human value, and one that we should only traduce in the most extreme circumstances.

              Enforced mass vaccination is one of those borderline cases that we should approach respectfully, acknowledging that there are important principles at stake on both sides of the argument.

              Personally I'm going to queue up for my jab when the time comes, but I'm not going to go full-metal authoritarian about it either.

              • Andre

                You have no idea how much effort I'm putting into holding back from saying what I really want to say on the topic of those that think they have some kind of right to negligently become disease spreaders.

                • Incognito

                  Good effort 😉

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Self centred shitbag youtubing asshats without a skerrick of sense, decency or honor demanding attention and special treatment because really, they are cunts.

                    Hope that helped Andre. I held back too.

                    [Take a week off to chill out. I find it curious that you did this given your comment on OM yesterday about your famous friend in the UK but perhaps I’m the only who finds this inconsistent behaviour – Incognito]

              • Andre

                BTW, I've yet to see anyone arguing for enforced mass vaccination. So that's a strawman. There's just been arguments for accountability and for removing those who refuse to vaccinate from employment positions where they are an undue risk to the general public.

                • RedLogix

                  removing those who refuse to vaccinate from employment positions where they are an undue risk to the general public.

                  Well you need to draw that line clearly. What exactly constitutes 'undue risk' here? Front line MIQ workers clearly fall into that category. (And I'm not against this – for example when travelling to Latin America for work purposes Yellow Fever vaccination was mandatory, or I didn't go.)

                  But start casting the net wider and suddenly you start catching a lot of people with far less choice around their employment.

                  I suggest this because I note you’re in bed with people like WTB who seem broadly undiscriminating about who they’re calling out as cunts here.

                  • Incognito

                    I think that’s unfair on Andre; WTB is having a week off and Andre did not ask for WTB’s ‘help’. If he had, or if he had applauded it, he would be having a week off too.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yup. Fair cop – I posted before I saw your moderation. I withdraw the offending para and apologise.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ta

                    • Andre

                      I kinda viewed that as just part of the rough and tumble of robust debate. No offense taken and no apology needed, to me anyways.

                      Given that, is it still the done thing to accept the apology, to the extent that it applies to me?

                    • Incognito []

                      It is up to you to accept an apology in good grace or just take it as given and leave it at that and move on. Be the change you want to see is one of my favourite mottos, but easier said than done 😉

              • greywarshark

                RL Mass vaccination should be approached carefully, with questions about its safety, and answers given to the questions of informed people, with medical and scientific backgrounds, also advocates for the poor. I myself have read that some people in poor health are not able to deal with the vaccine properly and are more likely to fall ill. What consideration is given to this?

                Apart from that all that grandstanding about one's individual rights don't stand up when there are invisible germs causing great swathes of sickness around, and people's living is at stake through economic recession because of it. The people refusing may have to live together on a distant farm till the matter comes under control. Then if they infect anyone, it will be one of their own kind.

                • RedLogix

                  Society has to strike a balance between both the rights and obligations of the individual – and similarly the state. This is one of the enduring, eternal themes of politics – exactly how do we strike the balance when the ground keeps shifting under us.

                  Keep in mind that it's very easy for a majority to insist we give up individual rights in the name of collective safety, while the reverse pattern is a distinctly uphill battle.

                  However in this instance I tend to agree there is a good case for as many people to be vaccinated as possible (all other things being equal) – but that the state should employ the least coercion necessary to achieve it. Overreach would be hugely counterproductive, and especially so if anything went wrong.

                  With that in mind I'm sticking to my original thought that if we're going to go down the path of mass vaccinating then we need to go about it as respectfully as possible. Abusing and demonising those who are not initially on board (and there always is a spread of people from early to late adopters for anything new) will only generate resentment and unnecessary resistance.

                • Incognito

                  Assuming we reach a level of 70% of people vaccinated, there will be an awful lot of Kiwis who you’d isolate on “distant farms”. Don’t mind their children though, they’ll be fine. And don’t mind the economy, it’ll be fine too. I have no idea what “their own kind” of Kiwi is supposed to mean but I don’t like the sound of it one bit, as it elicits a strong vibe of othering with me.

                  • greywarshark

                    edit
                    If there are two points of view and neither will or can afford to concede, then each side is the 'other' to the alternative side. Can't get past that. When things go rogue, times are very tough, if some will not change, are infected with illness or possible illness that can be passed on, those who want to defend against it and protect themselves and all citizens, must see those who won't as 'others'.

                    Face the fact, holding hands and singing kumbyah doesn't cope with negative and spreading menace.

                    • Incognito

                      I believe vaccination was not going to be mandated by (this) Government. Your ‘policy’: lock up 30% of all Kiwis who are unvaccinated in distant camps farms until they submit and become like you!? All I can say is that totalitarianism is no stranger to the Left crying

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2.2

          Not so fast Ksays

          the story also quotes an employment lawyer

          'Auckland employment lawyer Catherine Stewart said employers of workers required to be vaccinated were likely to be able to substantively justify dismissing an unvaccinated employee.'

          So no cigar or as you strangely think, some moneypot to be claimed. Even before the flu vaccines become common the death numbers from that in bad years would be horrendous by modern standards. ( In US could be 100k p.a in the 1950s)

  2. lilman 2

    Well after reading the Government driven He Puapua document I find I shall be moving to Australia,my wife and I decided last night.

    As from Monday we shall actively be seeking a shift to Queensland and shall leave this country after 57 years of hard work.

    We shall take with our investments and attitude,we are done.

    • Ad 2.1

      Would you mind citing what you are talking about?

      Is it this one?

      https://iwichairs.maori.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/He-Puapua-for-OIA-release.pdf

      If you are worried about co-governance as a principle, I suspect you will not be the last couple to leave.

      I agree that there's a lot that's attractive about Australia. Just make sure you have enough to make you fully independent of the state until you can become citizens. Because otherwise life will get reasonably hard.

    • aom 2.2

      Off to the land of the pre-1960's "Abbo hunts" and blatant anti-indigenous racism which makes NZ look positively progressive.

      Make sure you don't return as a 501 and enjoy using you investments to support you thorough unemployment, health scares etc. while getting nothing in return for your taxes. Far better than looking forward to the prospect of living in a society with a multi-stream form of governance that redresses its past eh?

    • Byd0nz 2.3

      Good riddance.

    • Incognito 2.4

      You’re taking all your property in a suitcase? Just asking.

      Oh, before I forget, say Hi to Pauline.

      • Ad 2.4.1

        Well, just note that He Puapua delivers the leader of the National Party a mighty and timely gift.

        She is fully on record opposing the Maori health entity. So you don't do that without testing it with your constituency.

        The Orewa speech as over a decade ago, but we are by no means all woke yet.

        • arkie 2.4.1.1

          Ben Thomas disagrees:

          Former National government press secretary Ben Thomas said Collins' strategy shows her leadership is clearly under pressure.

          Whether there is an imminent threat to her leadership or not, it is clear that she feels under intense pressure about her performance and leadership.

          "It looks as if she is casting around for any kind of temporary sugar hit she can get in terms of a brief bump in the polls to take that pressure off," Thomas said.

          Collins' current strategy was not one which would win her an election, he said

          "The racist separation card is always tempting for oppositions to play. Since Don Brash in Orewa … there has been this idea you can magically pull yourself up in the polls by talking about one-rule-for-all and racial equality.

          "In fact, that's not a strategy which wins elections," Thomas said.

          Te Tiriti is a founding document of this country, if someone is uncomfortable with this, then perhaps relocating is best for them.

          • Ad 2.4.1.1.1

            Let's check after the next poll.

            • arkie 2.4.1.1.1.1

              A poll bump is not really the gift you may think it is, even if it takes pressure off Collins’ leadership as Thomas says.

              The only poll that matters is in 2023.

        • Incognito 2.4.1.2

          How JC will handle this political opportunity is the question. So far, it seems it will not gain her much political capital and National might just be a through-passage to ACT and some fringe parties that will suck up disenfranchised voters. No wonder David Seymour can’t wipe the smile off his face.

          Instead of leading a robust political debate, JC has reached into the depths of despair and for the Don Brash toolbox, which has only one gadget in it. How did it work out for Don?

          The sad thing is that JC and Don advocate status quo that (already) is a separation between two peoples with divisive institutions with systems and processes that not only have resulted in inequity but also have propagated and worsened it. JC and Don are divisive, polarising, and populist.

          The reviews of the shambolic National Party that led to National losing badly and ACT doing extremely well is crystal clear about what needs to change in the National Party to improve their chances at the next Election in 2023. It is also crystal clear that it doesn’t fit with JC’s desperate attempt to cling to power as Party Leader. JC will be the undoing of National and she’s already well down the track.

          One cannot argue against a 7-year gap in average life expectance between Pākehā and Māori.

          • Andre 2.4.1.2.1

            How did it work out for Don?

            Wellll, Don of the Deadbrains got to 39.1%, well up from English's effort of 20.9% in 2002. That was enough to get within 1 seat of potentially being able to put together a governing coalition with fellow walking undeads WinnieFirst and the Hairdo from Ohariu. Oh, including sockpuppet Rodders too, of course.

            I doubt that reactionary element within New Zealand has receded far enough to not be a threat if the right conditions come together.

            • Incognito 2.4.1.2.1.1

              Depending on which version, Don is a mere blot in and on NZ History books. As per usual, many refuse to learn from the (their) past and repeat it, because ‘this time it’s different’. Desperate, cynical or stupid, you be the judge. I agree with you on the growing socio-political influence of “reactionary element within New Zealand”; it is the Left that has been in retreat and for a while now, which seems unstoppable, liking melting glaciers in the SI.

              • Poission

                As per usual, many refuse to learn from the (their) past and repeat it, because ‘this time it’s different’.

                At the turn of the last century (1900) we had 2 acts of parliament passed to enable better health outcomes for the public of nz in general,and for Maori Authorities specifically to manage Maori health outcomes.

                The health act 1900,and the Maori Councils act 1900.

                WHEREAS reiterated applications have been made by the Maori inhabitants of those parts of the colony where the Maoris are more or less domiciled and settled, forming what is known as Maori· centres and surroundings, for the establishment within those districts of some simple machinery of local self-government, by means of which such Maori inhabitants may be enabled to frame for them-selves such rules and regulations on matters of local concernment or relating to their social economy as may appear best adapted to their own special wants:

                EG 16. It shall be lawful for the Council of any Maori district constituted under this Act to make, and from time to time vary or revoke, by-laws respecting all or any of the matters following, that is to say,-(1.) For the providing for the health and personal convenience of the inhabitants of any Maori village, pa, or assemblage of houses. (2.) For enforcing the cleansing of houses and other buildings in a dirty and unwholesome state. (3.) For the suppression of common nuisances. (4.) Por the prevention of drunkenness and sly-grog selling. (5.) For regulating the proceedings of tohungas, and the punishment by fine of those (whether European or Maori) who practise upon the superstition or credulity of any Maori in connection with the treatment of any disease.

                http://www.nzlii.org/nz/legis/hist_act/mca190064v1900n48237/

                • Incognito

                  Fascinating, although a little before my time; I was thinking more of JC and Don. I’d love to read more about this legal history although I have no idea how relevant it is and there’s so much else to read (and write!). Any insights?

          • RedLogix 2.4.1.2.2

            One cannot argue against a 7-year gap in average life expectance between Pākehā and Māori.

            Indeed the data on this outcome is crystal clear and always has been. What is far less clear is that 'racism' must be the sole and only possible cause worth addressing.

            • Incognito 2.4.1.2.2.1

              Agreed. Like so many labels, “racism” has become an all-compassing term, which makes it almost useless and counterproductive even in public and political debate. The cynic in me says that this is the exact intent.

            • McFlock 2.4.1.2.2.2

              The question isn't whether racism is the only cause of sustained generational ethnic disparities in health outcomes such as life expectancy.

              The question is whether those disparities are mostly or even merely significantly caused by systemic and individual racism in NZ. Nice straw man, though.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.4.1.2.2.3

              What is far less clear is that 'racism' must be the sole and only possible cause worth addressing.

              But it's clearly a (complex) cause of long standing, wouldn't you agree? So why not address it, along with other causes? Too tough? Not a priority?

              Collingwood must focus on truth telling and other ways to address racism, says Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt

              "Structural racism is usually something that sits within an organisation that has sat there since it was constructed with the original philosophy," Professor Larissa Behrendt said.

              "A really good example is the Australian constitution, which has a structural racism, because when it was set up it was with the view that it should allow racial discrimination to facilitate a White Australia policy.

              People come and go from the organisation, and unless they are addressing those underlying prejudices those biases still sit there.

              And what's particularly difficult in terms of change is that people who suffer from the impact of those prejudices feel it really strongly, but people who don't — who are in the group that is protected, whose values are highlighted or prioritised — they don't see it."

              Talking about racial inequality at work is difficult—here are tips to do it thoughtfully
              In order for a white person or non-black person of color to be an ally and thoughtfully engage in discussions about race, it’s crucial they do their own work to understand the privilege that shapes their world view, and educate themselves on the things they need to personally learn and unlearn in order to be a better advocate.

              Stanford scholars examine systemic racism, how to advance racial justice in America
              A summer of protest following the tragic death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans; white supremacy on full display during the riots on Capitol Hill; a raging pandemic disproportionately affecting communities of color – events over the past year have only underscored how prevalent systemic racism and bias is in America today.

    • Jilly Bee 2.5

      Well now, hopefully the IQ of both countries will be raised. Here Ra.

    • Sacha 2.6

      As is your right. Please convince any like-minded friends to do the same. Haere ra.

    • Peter 2.7

      Fair enough. There'll probably be others who want to go with you. That'll be those whose ancestors came here but didn't really want to fit in with the locals. Or maybe they wanted to fit in but their heirs and successors don't, can't or won't

      Those pioneers scarpered from places they were unhappy, where things weren't as they wished. They wanted to make new lives. The successors, unhappy with things as they are have the same gene. Farewell.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.8

      Baby boomers overboard?

      Bon voyage lilman – very brave of you in these uncertain times, so best of luck.

      And please say hi to the little Aussie battler (up Sunshine Coast way) for me – cheers.

      The melancholic torturer: How Australia became a nation that tortures refugees
      "Ghassan Hage (2003) captures this infantile moment by suggesting the worry and anxiety of White Australia circled the fear of being abandoned by the ‘motherland’. A situation that, along with the nation’s xenophobia, may have contributed to the nation’s willingness to believe that women and men were throwing their babies overboard. He argues only a people in fear of being thrown over by their own motherland could imagine such a reality. In The Gauche Intruder (2000), Rutherford interrogates the rise of One Nation and the defensive position maintained by many of its supporters to preserve the founding fantasy of a good White Australia."

      One Nation’s fantasy of defending a beleaguered moral universe – a good nation peopled by a good and neighborly people – serves as camouflage for aggression. . .. What remains invisible, and yet essential, in the shared discourse of One Nation and its critics, is this belief in a good and fair nation.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.8.1

        Australia

        The refugee intake in 2019 was 18,500 ( which includes family)

        The migration program was in addition 180-190,000 per year

        • Drowsy M. Kram 2.8.1.1

          Australia's per capita refugee quota puts NZ to shame, but they are a wealthier country and a popular destination.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 2.8.1.1.1

            Ask Japan about being wealthy and refugee intakes

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.8.1.1.1.1

              Thankls for that suggestion. No doubt Japan's history, culture and social climate (a general preference to preserve homogeneity) have influenced the number of refugees in that country. And Japan does have a fairly high population density; approx. 100 times that of Australia.

              Interestingly, Nauru ranks 6th in the world for refugees as a percentage (3.2%) of its population. "Don't have to live like a refugee"

              https://www.unhcr.org/en-au/figures-at-a-glance.html

              NO ENTRY: How Japan's shockingly low refugee intake is shaped by the paradox of isolation, a demographic time bomb, and the fear of North Korea

              But many simply don’t want to move to Japan

              While economic migrants are desperate to live and work in Japan, experts told Business Insider it’s not a desirable country for legitimate refugees, and some end up in Japan almost by accident.

              The number of refugees who wish to come to Japan is very small,” Takizawa said. “Many of them want to go to Canada, or France, but there are no direct ways there, there are no refugees visas, so some of them come to Japan and then attempt to take another flight to, say, Canada. And then they are not allowed to enter so they ended up staying in Japan.

              Other times, refugees have turned down opportunities to relocate.

              In 2010, Japan launched a pilot refugee resettlement project with UNHCR to accept 30 Karen refugees a year from camps in Thailand, but the response was underwhelming.

              It was difficult to interest refugees to come to Japan. They were used to the resettlement call for the US and Canada, maybe Scandinavian countries are more well-known. But refugees are very careful when they decide. Because we don’t just ship them around,” Hebecker said.

              Some of the barriers include the need to learn a new language, a six-to-nine-month mandatory orientation course, and a high cost of living that requires both parents to work. Past research by Australia’s parliament has also found that asylum-seekers who have a choice weigh up social networks, historical ties between the new country and their home, simple travel, and a common language.

              And Japan lacks all of them,” Takizawa said.

              Amini has now been in Japan for a number of years, and despite being multilingual and passing the top level of language proficiency, he still feels like he has a “language problem” with Japanese.

              He sees Japan as a “beautiful country, a peaceful country,” one full of opportunity and convenience, where education and transport work with ease, but the government does little to help the hundreds of people it grants humanitarian visas, rather than refugee visas, every year.

              It’s a homogeneous country. I felt my family and I were treated as different people. But that’s fine. What was very much shocking to me was we had very little means of surviving in Japan,” Amini recalled. “The Japanese government didn’t provide us with some sort of assistance to survive.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.9

      He Puapua was produced by a working group under Te Puni Kokiri to 'implement the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights'

      NZ had never signed the UN declaration at the time it was adopted -2007

      However under the Key government in 2010 Peter Sharples went to the UN to say NZ had reversed its previous stance and now was a signatory

      "Labour strongly opposed the declaration, fearing it was too sweeping and labelling it incompatible with New Zealand's constitutional and legal arrangements and Treaty settlement policy."

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3599153/NZ-does-U-turn-on-rights-charter

    • RedLogix 2.10

      We came to Australia 8 yrs ago with the express intention of returning home to NZ. That intention is now wavering.

      The resurgence of Maori sovereignty/separatism is one potential factor, although it's too soon to tell how that might work out.

      Another factor I've never mentioned before is that we find the police a much more intrusive presence in NZ than here in Australia. In 2019 I spent much of the year in NZ, and recall on one drive between Auckland and Wellington seeing far more cops on the road rushing about, than the entire seven years in Australia prior. And we've noticed that the kind of petty crime and vandalism that's so rife in NZ, almost totally absent in most of Aus.

      Then of course there is the much greater opportunity in Australia. If I'd stayed in NZ I would have remained gainfully employed, but moving across the ditch didn't so much increase my income dramatically – but expanded my scope for working at a much wider scale, on global sized projects.

      Despite all the usual anti-Aussie bigotry so many kiwis are fond of indulging in (mainly I think to create a wholly unjustified sense of moral superiority) – most Australians of all backgrounds are welcoming and willing to give you a fair go. There are two big social differences however. One is that they much prefer direct and upfront communication – they don't respond to reserved or passive at all well; they want to know exactly where you stand. Secondly its a continent dedicated to giving each other shit, taking the piss and witty sarcasm. If an Aussie calls you a 'cunt' and you haven't done anything to piss him/her off recently, congratulations you've entered the matezone.

      Also doing business here is a fair bit more complex, right from relatively simple things like opening a mobile phone account, doing tax, starting new jobs, renting property and through to buying property entails more steps and issues than we're used to. It takes time to build trusted relationships and if things go wrong it can go wrong quite badly. As Ad said above – make sure you're going into a firm situation and you're not dependent on the state. Depending on your age and income there is a path to permanent residency and citizenship for Kiwis, but it's not particularly easy or cheap. And while living here on the SCV444 visa has not proved difficult in the ordinary course of events – it offers no long-term security or tenure.

      • Ad 2.10.1

        Me and my Other Half would be fine in metro Melbourne, but outside of Brisbane I think Queensland would be a harder cultural proposition for us.

        It's good that you have a proper alternative.

        By chance is there an equivalent site to The Standard you are aware of in Australia?

        • RedLogix 2.10.1.1

          By chance is there an equivalent site to The Standard you are aware of in Australia?

          Good question – honestly I haven't looked for one.

          We found regional Victoria (and many other similar towns across the country) extremely liveable – some of the best places anywhere to live and work. Melbourne and Sydney cities are just too large for our tastes, but the greater Brisbane area (which extends really from the Gold Coast right up to Gympie) has one hell of a lot going for it.

          I'm not trying to shit on NZ by comparison – it's still one of the top 10 nations on earth in my view – but honestly Australia is better.

          As for the 'cultural proposition' I think you'd be able to find a like-minded social circle in all but the most remote places. Australians are every bit as diverse in their outlooks as are kiwis – they just express themselves more openly and directly that Kiwis are accustomed to. It's not a bad thing – you know where you stand right off the bat.

          • Ad 2.10.1.1.1

            Fair enough and cheers for that generous explanation.

            • RedLogix 2.10.1.1.1.1

              Thanks. Incidentally I've just arrived in Perth this week – the local economy is very buoyant.

              At first glance it's very different to Brisbane and will take a bit of getting used to, but the quantity of heavy industry here is quite remarkable.

      • Peter 2.10.2

        On "one drive between Auckland and Wellington seeing far more cops on the road rushing about, than the entire seven years in Australia prior."

        Is that good or bad? Is it because New Zealand drivers are so bad they need policing? If there were no cops visible on the road what would the driving be like?

        Obviously your view and perception are important. As a reason for highlighting that Australia is in that way better than NZ? I find it trite.

        • RedLogix 2.10.2.1

          It might seem 'trite' to you, but the observation is real enough to us.

          Perhaps the more important point I was trying to convey is that we've noticed how we both 'feel' safer in most Australian public settings than in NZ. I'm not trying to paint Aus as any kind of 'way better' utopia – it isn't. But this is one aspect where NZ is different and not in a good way.

          • Peter 2.10.2.1.1

            Once again, you feel safer on the road between Wellington and Auckland if you see no cops. Others would feel totally differently.

            • RedLogix 2.10.2.1.1.1

              The last time I was surrounded by a lot of armed militia was on site in Panama, to protect us from a rogue union that was rioting, burning and beating up any random people (one person was killed) that they could get their hands on. In that circumstance yes I felt 'safer' with lots of security around, although objectively I was probably more at risk of one of these guys having a gun accident than anything else.

              Or the mining barge in Colombia that had a fully armed military platoon permanently stationed – again I understood as necessary when the bullet dents on the superstructure were pointed out to me. I was told not to worry much, the most recent attack was 'only 18 months ago'.

              So yes in some circumstance a security presence is a very good idea – but the very need for it tells you that trouble is just around the corner. Why NZ should need so many cops racing around on our highways and Australia doesn't is an open question I'll leave to you to draw your own conclusions on.

              And trust me Aussie drivers really are no better than Kiwis so that isn’t a strong explanation.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.11

      Good luck .. you will need it. 5.9% unemployment. Your attitude to indigenous people will not be missed.

    • Gabby 2.12

      Bye.

    • JanM 2.13

      After I read this I couldn't stop giggling but couldn't figure out why for a while. Then the answer came to me! You might start a trend and peope thinking like you might move over there in droves meaning my whanau will have the chance to be safer and happier

    • Muttonbird 2.14

      I said elsewhere on this subject:

      I can see He Puapua long being held up as an object of fear by reactionary pakeha.

      They now have something to grip feverishly with pink and shaking hands.

      Also happy to quote a comment from lilman at the same place on the same topic regarding Debbie Ngarewa-Packer:

      I saw the bar code on her chin tighten when I informed her “its their money, they earnt it and can do what they want with it’.
      God what a sour bitch.

      – lilman

      I think his moving to Queensland is a perfect fit. Not sure why he didn't do it earlier.

      • Incognito 2.14.1

        Can we please leave the sewage in the sewage pond? I think lilman has nailed his colours to the mast quite clearly and we all wish him well in his endeavours.

        • Muttonbird 2.14.1.1

          Fair enough. I didn't have time to read this entire conversation. I did think it was relevant to show lilman's true nature though.

          • Incognito 2.14.1.1.1

            It does appear that lilman only posted the comment to wind up a few here, and with some success, may I add. Even so, we don’t have to take the bait and sink to levels one is accustomed to on other blogs.

    • WeTheBleeple 2.15

      Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. I had a mate with your nickname, he wasn't prejudice or paranoid, or prone to public tantrums so it can't be you.

    • greywarshark 2.16

      Lucky you to have a job that has paid enough so you can live and save. You have done all right here, pity that you can't stay and have a go at being a bona fide citizen keen to help NZ stand tall and happy in the world, strong in principle and practice.

  3. Forget now 3

    Hey fellow political junkies! The election over in Scotland is getting very strange; at least to my eyes. It's going to be a popcorn week there for sure.

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-election-polls-what-are-the-latest-opinion-polls-for-the-2021-election-and-what-happened-in-2016-3217223

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2021_Scottish_Parliament_election

    I don't personally think much of Salmond, and those who claim he formed the Alba Party out of spite may not be too far off the mark (though he is really the second leader, but Flynn only lasted a few weeks). The party standing in the Regional (think; List, as NZ equivalent) seats only, is politically savvy. In a way, this seems to be the start of a indigenously Scots dual party system separate from the Scottish wings of the English Conservative and Labour parties.

    Time will tell. I think their 6th (Thursday evening) will be our 7th of May (Friday morning).

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      The Scottish Conservatives used to be a separate party (1912-65) known as Unionist – as in Northern Ireland, and its MPs sat at Westminister under the Conservative whip. For the Scottish parliament it has own leadership and policy driven from Scotland.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unionist_Party_(Scotland)

      Scotland has MMP just like NZ has, but with one major difference the country is divided into 8 regions with equal seats and the distribution for list seats is only done by region , not nationally. They way this works is that SNP which is strong throughout Scotland rather than only regionally like Labour, Conserv, Liberals, Greens and gets more seats than an MMP proportional result would allow.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        The new Alba party ( its where the word Albany comes from) may do better than appears from a nationwide poll, as the list seats are allocated by the 8 regions and you only have to do well in a strong SNP region to pick up seats, thats how the Greens get their seats by overperforming in selected regions

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.1

          All very interesting about Scotland. Can we be kept informed by you who know more about it than average kiwi?

        • Forget now 3.1.1.2

          I read somewhere that Alba was going with a split vote strategy (constituency vote SNP, Regional vote Alba – though don't have the link at hand), which may lead to an overhang. I haven't been able to see a formal threshold for a party to get an MSP seat, going by the last election it looks like maybe 5%? The modified D'Hondt methodology just made my eyes glaze over, but last election UKIP got 2% yet no regional seats, whereas the LibDems on 5.2% got one to go with their constiuency seats.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Scottish_Parliament_election

          The thing where constituencies for Westminster and Holyrood MPs are geographically different sizes and shapes also baffles me. But thanks for the background on the SCP Ghostwwnz. Though my interest in them is mainly see if they sink below the SLP this time after the Johnson/ Cummings feud exploding so very publicly in the leadup to election day. What happens if Sturgeon needs Salmond to get the referendum numbers after Thursday is far more interesting at the moment. Hoping for a strong Scottish Green party showing! Though would need to be around 10% for that to be an option.

  4. Ad 4

    A massive shoutout to the Rangitane people, who gifted back the 942 Hectare Pukaha Forest to the Crown after only getting it back in the Waitangi process four years ago.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2104/S00223/pukaha-forest-to-be-gifted-to-the-nation.htm

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this little patch of predator-controlled forest is now as south as the NZ Kokako actually get.

    If anyone gets to the top of these ranges, they are really a little strip remnant from Wellington to Palmerston North of natural goodness where all else from the foothills to the ocean is now solid intensive farming.

    Rangitane like most tribes were robbed. So giving this chunk back represents a major gift for them. In their shoes I probably wouldn't do the same.

    The PM was on hand to mark the occasion.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/incredibly-generous-wairarapa-iwi-gifts-p-kaha-forest-back-state

    It's going to be a great challenge to all th eneighbouring farmers to expand the predator-free zone into a proper halo effect.

  5. Incognito 5

    Heh! Stephanie Rodgers is back, kinda, and she makes for a great Sunday afternoon read: https://bootstheory.nz/2021/05/02/a-year-ago-today/

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Its unreadable… some obsession on health system using BMI ( along with age, smoking etc)to screen those who who have smaller chances of success. Oh well

      https://nationalwomenshealth.adhb.govt.nz/our-services/fertility/public-funding/

      • Incognito 5.1.1

        Yeah, a stream of consciousness is not everybody’s cup of tea but to call it “unreadable” is a little harsh, IMO. Anybody who’s been on the IVF rollercoaster knows how emotionally draining it can be for both the ‘recipients’, as well as financially draining when you go ‘private’. Modern medicine can do an awful lot but it often comes at or with a cost that cannot be defined or expressed in dollar-terms only.

  6. Incognito 6

    It is one thing to point out the problems (easy—we are all experts at this) and have great ideas about how to solve them (also relatively easy), but much harder for politicians to successfully get people on board, and then ensure solutions are successfully implemented!

    The interface between medicine and politics; an imperative and opportunity that should be used responsibly

    A guest editorial by Ashley Bloomfield

    https://nzmsj.scholasticahq.com/article/22250-the-interface-between-medicine-and-politics-an-imperative-and-opportunity-that-should-be-used-responsibly

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