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Open mike 02/07/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 2nd, 2021 - 80 comments
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80 comments on “Open mike 02/07/2021 ”

  1. tc 1

    Euro 2020 looks to be possibly be another super spreader event with returning supporters.

    When hungarian supporters acted as usual do by clumping together roaring their side on about a week ago the authorities in the stands simply stood back and let it go. No choice really having invited the scenario onto themselves.

    Bring on the olympics say the authorities so maybe we could have a covid coefficient of sorts attached to sports to see who can spread the most effectively.

    • Sabine 1.1

      The olympics this year are going to be a royal ass shitshow. Nothing more nothing less.



      second link scroll down a bit to see the curve curve upwards. Wheeeee!

      • Treetop 1.1.1

        The Olympic Games are going to be a spectacal. I will not be watching the games as the fallout is not going to be pretty.

        • Sabine

          yep, ditto here.

          • Forget now

            I'm not the biggest sports fan anyway, but yes if anything deserves to be ignored it is this year's Olympics. Avoiding buying anything that is Olympics branded would be a good idea too – if you can even afford to buy it in the first place.

            Weird news out of Samoa yesterday – I don't agree with the occupying (nominally caretaker) government on much. But I do wish NZ would do something similar, if less unilateral, in withdrawing support for kiwi athletes who are endorsing this Olympic disaster through their participation.

            Samoa's caretaker government has said the country's athletes will not be competing at the Tokyo Olympics… Minister of Communications, Afamasaga Rico Tupa'i, said that with reports Japan has a 500 daily infection rate, the Cabinet decided prevention takes precedence…

            Samoa's Olympic committee said later on Thursday that it was only withdrawing its weightlifting team from the Tokyo Games.

            The committee's president, Patrick Fepuleai, told Reuters that Samoa's other athletes who were already overseas would attend.


            • Sabine

              If you have look at the second link on my initial comment, the daily cases are well over 500. Good on them. And Japans own vaccination rollout was a bit of a shambles, so yeah, its gonna be a shitty show but then money must be made.

            • Treetop

              I like most sports.

              I cannot support the games as there will be a cover up with deaths following the games. Maybe there needs to be a tally for the games when it comes to related Covid cases and deaths, this would not be easy to do but genome sequencing would help.

  2. The same when you saw the crowds at Wembley for the England V Germany game. Expect the number of cases in the UK to spike.

  3. aj 3

    Make the spike bigger.

    • David 3.1

      Be interested to know the split of hospital admissions between the 85% of the eligible population who have received at least one dose and those that have declined.

      Yes, people in the UK, across Europe, the US and other places are getting COVID. But they are also getting back to life.

      One simple example July 2021 and London has tennis and crowds. Meanwhile in the hermit kingdom , January 2022 and the tennis is canceled because we have no COVID plan to progress beyond lock downs and MIQ.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        Anecdotally, in Salt Lake City my cousin (respiratory intensive care doctor) and her husband (emergency dept doctor) are dealing with an uptick in cases. Almost entirely unvaccinated.

        In many ways. they're finding it psychologically tougher to deal with now compared to the much higher peak end of last year/early this year. Because most of the cases they're dealing with now could have been so easily, safely, and cheaply prevented, but weren't for whatever idiot reasons.

        • Sabine

          Yes, that is what i hear from friends who live there.

        • gsays

          That psychological impact would be akin to patching up the victims of a drunk driver and the driver themself or the junkie and their various predicaments.

      • Andre 3.1.2

        If you google something like UK covid breakthrough cases, you'll get a veritable cornucopia of useful info like https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/25/uk-closely-watched-with-its-vaccine-program-and-surge-in-cases.html

        But the UK mostly used the Astra Zeneca modified adenovirus vaccine, which has lower overall efficacy and maybe has a greater loss of efficacy against newer variants, compared to the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines.

        In NZ we are using the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, so our percentages of breakthrough cases will probably look more like the US numbers where Pfizer and Moderna are the large majority of vaccines given so far. Breakthrough infections in the US appear somewhat less common than in the UK.


      • greywarshark 3.1.3

        David – Give us a break from moaning about this please, you and the others who keep popping up with it. The hermit kingdom is okay. We are left in this situation by the business interests of this country who took out all the import substitution business and left us with nothing much to work at in the burbs; only the farmers and tourism and selling our resources (water, houses, intellectual breakthroughs) are left.

        We are too poor, in reality, to cope with an attempt at BAU. We gave up our resilience through working to support ourselves, in 1984 when the financiers' vassals at Treasury got into the heads of Labour with exciting dreams of the future, and propaganda about average Kiwis being lazy rats.

        This is what can happen when the pressure is on and the ability to manage can not rise to meet the challenge.


      • McFlock 3.1.4

        But they are also getting back to life.

        128,000 of them? Good to hear. Because it looks like about a dozen of them a day are doing the opposite.

    • Sabine 4.1

      Well i read the words of the hairpiece and it is about National and its inability to be a proper opposition. OH my, is that now verboten?

    • Dunne was always much closer to the Nats than Labour despite having been in the Labour Party.

      • Sabine 4.2.1

        The hairpiece is in it for himself. that was always my opinion. If it is good for him its good for the country.

        But in saying that, every democracy needs a fully functioning opposition. And currently with J.C. we got something, but i am not sure about it being a functioning and principled opposition and that is to the detriment of the country. Btw, the same goes when the shoe is on the other foot.

  4. Jenny how to get there 5

    Drought + Heatwave > Town bursts into flame

    Westcoast of North America awakes to the new normal

    How did a small town in Canada become one of the hottest places on Earth?

    Eric Holthaus The Guardian, Wed 30 Jun. 2021 BST

    The unprecedented heatwave in the Pacific north-west risks becoming the new normal if we don’t act.

    On Sunday, the small mountain town of Lytton, British Columbia, became one of the hottest places in the world. Then, on Monday, Lytton got even hotter – 47.9C (118F) – hotter than it’s ever been in Las Vegas, 1,300 miles to the south. And by Tuesday, 49.6C (121F)….


    Entire Town That Set Heatwave Record Is Now on Fire

    Barbie Latza Nadeau The Daily Beast Thurs. 1 July 2021 EST

    Out-of-control wildfires fed by a historic heatwave that then created rainless thunderstorms have converged on the small Canadian village of Lytton, engulfing the entire town in flames and destroying 90 percent of it, including the city center.

    “It’s dire. The whole town is on fire,” Mayor Jan Polderman told CBC. “It took, like, a whole 15 minutes from the first sign of smoke to, all of a sudden, there being fire everywhere.”…..


  5. Sabine 6

    effn yei!


    The Government is widening the pool of people who can become Covid-19 vaccinators weeks ahead of it beginning the largest mass vaccination programme in history.

    Retired and overseas-trained health professionals and the wider health workforce can now join the scheme, after the Government changed Medicines Regulations. It will need likely need between 6000 and 6500 people with 1600 of those in full-time roles, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Friday.

    “We’re calling on retired nurses, people who have trained overseas but are not registered here, and those in the kaiāwhina workforce – who work in our health system already in roles such as healthcare assistants – to join our vaccinator team,” he said.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Strange. Thought they had already done that weeks ago?

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        Not sure about that, but fwiw, i am happy t hat they are doing it now. It is one of the unspoken issues in NZ that people from overseas that have good education and skills but don't go through the very costly and time consuming process of having these skills aligned with NZ requirement are just such a waste – i looked at the costs for my certification and decided that it was not worth the hassle and expense. So this is for once a good use of human recourses that are all ready here and don't need to be imported.

        • Patricia Bremner

          They could train retired teacher as most have had basic training in the use of such equipment, and are used to interacting with the public.

          • Treetop

            Some cab drivers and shop assistants were previously doctors. I had a good conversation with a doctor at a big store recently. The Medical Council blocks too many from practising medicine in NZ.

            About 20 years ago neighbours joint onto a unit I lived in were both surgical gynecologists and had practised in Britain. They came from a middle eastern country.

      • lprent 6.1.2

        They did announce that they were going to do it weeks ago. The key part of the article is (my bold)

        Retired and overseas-trained health professionals and the wider health workforce can now join the scheme, after the Government changed Medicines Regulations.

        My bold. There are defined procedures for changing regulations. They generally require gazetting in New Zealand Gazette (our oldest newspaper) before they become enforceable.

        I'd say that has now happened.

  6. Sanctuary 7

    This just demands fate of Ozymandias.

    Ideally they’d both collide in orbit but I'll take either one exploding on the launch pad/in the air/on reentry and the bank the win.


    • AB 7.1

      I'd prefer some rogue technician to point them at Jupiter's gravitational field – they’d have longer to reflect on thngs. And also that they had a long list of passengers.

    • KSaysHi 7.2

      Oh, I see… on closer inspection it is a feather.

      Pitching space travel to the public annoys me given we dont have the fuels to continue international travel in the manner in which we are accustomed.

      The imagined logo was better suited.

  7. Incognito 8

    Is the Delta variant more deadly?

    Because the variant is so new, research into it is in early days.

    But Professor Turville said so far, mortality rates data looked promising.

    "Looking at the 28-day follow up after infection, the death rate for the original variants was 1.9 per cent mortality," he said.

    "So far the Delta variant is showing 0.3 per cent mortality.

    "That's super encouraging. The early signs look promising, but it is too early to be definitive."


    There is more good news in the article smiley

    • Sabine 8.1

      So that is a study from the UK which has a relatively high vaccination rate.

      How does the Delta variant act if it hits a community that has a very low vaccination rate?


      With the rapid spread of the delta variant in the United States, coronavirus cases are spiking in parts of the country, especially in areas with low COVID-19 vaccination rates.

      This has led to surges in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, largely among people who are not fully vaccinated.

      In fact, nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the United States are now among the unvaccinated, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.


      Delta is moderately resistant to vaccines, particularly in people who have received just a single dose. A Public Health England study published on 22 May found that a single dose of either AstraZeneca's or Pfizer's vaccine reduced a person’s risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms caused by the Delta variant by 33%, compared to 50% for the Alpha variant. A second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine boosted protection against Delta to 60% (compared to 66% against Alpha), while two doses of Pfizer’s jab were 88% effective (compared to 93% against Alpha).

      Preliminary evidence from England and Scotland suggests that people infected with Delta are about twice as likely to end up in hospital, compared with those infected with Alpha.

      “The data coming out of the UK is so good, that we have a really good idea about how the Delta variant is behaving,” says Mads Albertsen, a bioinformatician at Aalborg University in Denmark. “That’s been an eye-opener.”

      The good news only applies to those that are vaccinated. The rest still dies of this disease in high numbers.

    • Andre 8.2

      I kinda got my hopes up that that reduced mortality was after controlling for age and other risk factors. But sadly;

      There is research from overseas showing younger people could be more likely to be infected than older people.

      But in the places this research comes from, such as the United Kingdom, much of the older population has been fully vaccinated, which could skew the results.

      "Anecdotally we have heard that more kids are being infected," Professor Turville said.

      "But it's difficult to calculate how susceptible kids are to the Delta variant, primarily because they haven't been vaccinated.

      So the apparent reduced mortality rate could be just the result of the most vulnerable people having been vaccinated already. Well, mostly anyways.

    • McFlock 8.3

      Still way to early to make a definitive call, yeah. But nothing to lose sleep over, either.

  8. arkie 9

    A ministerial inquiry will look into the seafood sector's reliance on migrant workers and how to attract more New Zealanders into the jobs.

    "The inquiry will focus on the sector's reliance on migrant labour, and how to transition it away from that reliance. It will also examine how to accelerate efforts to attract more New Zealanders into rewarding jobs in the seafood sector," Parker said.

    New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) principal economist Peter Wilson will chair the inquiry team, which will report back by 29 October.


    Is it probable this inquiry will succeed in determining how to 'transition away' from a 'reliance on migrant labour'? Seems like a fairly euphemistic description of the labour conditions in the fisheries to me.

  9. Forget now 10

    Merry Matariki everyone! I guess – it's not official till next year. The yule traditions do translate better to midwinter than southern hemisphere christmas. It'll be interesting to see how the weekend's customs evolve over the next 30 years. Assuming the land is still inhabitable by then (which some days I'm more optimistic on than others).

    "The Matariki public holiday will always fall on a Friday, which will help more Kiwis take mid-winter getaways and support the tourism sector's economic recovery," Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood said.

    "The Matariki Advisory Group asked that we be guided by the whakataukī 'Matariki hunga nui' (Matariki brings us together)…

    "We don't want it to become a massively commercialised day like some of our other public holidays. There aren't going to be any rules that prevent that but we really want to focus on those principles of whānau and community."


    If there aren't going to be any rules to prevent it, then it will become massively commercialised. A pastic tiki day at worst, hopefully some of the tat will be made in Aotearoa.

    • Foreign Waka 10.1

      The stars will still align even if the human race is trying its best to bring death to everything they touch.

    • Sabine 10.2

      I made Matariki Stars for an order.

      I loved making them, and will make them again next year, but with a bit more finesse added as that was a short order.

      Special foods have always been associated with holidays. And yei, finally a winter holiday!

  10. greywarshark 11

    Making considered moves on how to manage our relations with China and their business style. We will need to do a lot of intelligent, pragmatic thinking.


  11. greywarshark 12

    Plastic makes things sick. Such useful stuff but we've gone wrong in relying on it.


    (What mistakes are we making at present with tech dependence?)

  12. Sabine 13

    no kidding. Like seriously! Good grief.

    A judge was wrong to let a man off the hook for secretly filming a woman in a Kmart changing room and saying “women are probably more sensitive” than men about being filmed without their knowledge.

    Christchurch District Court Judge John Brandst-Giesen granted James Edward Head a discharge without conviction after he pleaded guilty to making an intimate visual recording.

    Head had put his cellphone under the wall of an adjoining cubicle to film a woman trying on clothes in December 2019. He said he acted impulsively when he noticed a woman was in the changing room next to his and did not think of the consequences.

    During Head’s sentencing, the judge considered the gravity of the offence to be low to moderately serious


    • McFlock 13.1

      Oh thank goodness, overturned on appeal.

      Also, a link in the article suggests this isn't the first time the original judge has come to an incorrect decision and "for comments to be made impulsively when, on further reflection, they might not have been" (from stuff link above).

  13. Muttonbird 14

    Mike King, bless him, is a tireless advocate for youth vulnerable to suicide. But. he's also an angry man.

    On the AM show he directed horrible, unprofessional comments towards Ashley Bloomfield, comments that do not send the right message to young people. Comments which legitimise the very bullying behaviour which affects teenagers in a way which leads to depression and suicide. The comments Mike King made are directly counterproductive to the work Mike King is trying to do.

    And he wonders why officials are, he says, somewhat wary of him and his methods.


    • bwaghorn 14.1

      The guy has a need to be center of attention,

      Hes shitty this time due to being denied funding ,even though he missed the deadline ,according to garner on the am show this am, I missed the actual interview fortunately.

    • Sabine 14.2

      He should just be a bit nicer, maybe hold himself a little less tall so as to not be imposing and angry, maybe he should lower his voice to 'shut the fuck up' level.

      In the meantime, there is people who have severe mental health issue that are not getting the care tehy should get.

      Ah, what is a government to do. Medals don't seem to cut it anymore.

      • AB 14.2.1

        He can be as angry as he likes – it doesn't matter. What does matter is whether he's talking complete shite or not.

  14. Sabine 15

    Seriously, what is wrong in NZ.


    A teenage driver who ran a red light and hit an eight-year-old cyclist has been discharged without conviction.

    Miller’s 4WD ute collided with the boy’s bike, knocking him to the ground. The vehicle’s tyre went over the back wheel of the bike, causing the cycle to drag over the boy’s foot.

    Miller fled the scene and made no attempts to stop or check whether anyone had been injured. The boy suffered a bruised and swollen foot.

    At the sentencing, Judge Anthony Walsh noted the boy’s mother described her son as being traumatised by the incident

    Defence lawyer Julian Hannam argued the offending, with mitigation, was of low level and given the consequences of a conviction, a discharge without conviction was the appropriate outcome

    well, its all good then. Lucky he did not kill that boy cause then it would be a less low level offending, right?

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Poor unfortunate driver. The parent's attitude is one I got years ago, when a five year old jumped into a dodgem car and drove it straight at me, knocking me over. When i spoke sharply to him the thicko father with him said 'Oh he's too young to be blamed'. But not too young to be driving and not dodging.

      To read that the same thing was said by the Judge is disgraceful. There should be consequences, and it was an aggravated crime because of his not stopping to check, and running away. Definitely one the Prosecutor should request another judgment. And remedial workshop on expectations of drivers and citizens for both the boy and his mother.

      • Sabine 15.1.1

        A year building bikes for homeless and beneficiaries that would be a good thing for him.

        Every Saturday for a whole year, 8 hours. And extra education as to how to behave in traffic, and after that year he gets to build himself a bike, cause he should never be entrusted with a lisence

    • Gabby 15.2

      The driver wouldn't play rugby at all would he?

  15. Incognito 16

    By the end of this pandemic, quite a few careers will have taken a hit, I reckon.


    This is about the paper that Rosemary mentioned here: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-06-2021/#comment-1800606.

    • McFlock 16.1

      Aukema adds that he’s pleased about the controversy, because it means “the [COVID-19 vaccine safety] topic is getting a lot of attention. I’m happy about that.”

      Ah. They got people talking about vaccine safety, so it doesn't matter if their study was so flawed as to be ammunition for scaremongers.

      • Incognito 16.1.1

        All we needed is a spark or icebreaker to start off the conversation. Without trailblazers such as Aukema we would be sitting in stunned silence not knowing what to say to each other about vaccine safety. Obviously.

        • mauī

          Science is about debate and discussion. It isn't about "we are right" and everybody else is an anti-vaxer.

          • McFlock

            Science is about debate and discussion of evidence observed as impartially as possible.

            Not about creating flawed research to give "attention" to an issue that doesn't actually stand up on its own two feet.

            "We got people talking" is the scientific equivalent of a participation medal.

            edit: and retracting a publication is the equivalent of taking back the medal because you didn’t really participate

          • Incognito

            Do you have a chip on your shoulder? The paper as is is rubbish and needs major revision to pass a genuine quality test.

  16. greywarshark 17

    Pee-r reviewed paper I see.

    Will we have to leave everything to algorithms for decisions in the future, on the basis that people are too full of unreliable fancies?

    It seems from these authors that decisions should be uniform and they have found too much variation, in their opinion, between important decision makers.

    • McFlock 17.1

      It's one reason folk shouldn't place all their eggs in one basket on the basis of a single paper.

      Generally it works fine, especially if a broad selection of subject-area experts review each paper without a personal barrow to push (the cliche for reviewers of both journal publications and theses/dissertations is that there's always one you can identify by the effort the reviewer's comments take to recommend multiple papers by a particular auther get cited in the reviewed publication). But sometimes even reputable publications drop the ball.

      So wait for a few different papers to come out on any topic. A random paper is "hmmm. Interesting." Even a robust paper can have some random results, just as "one of those things". It's more about the gist of the totality of the literature in a particular subject area.

    • Incognito 17.2

      There was no ‘peer review’, it was a shambles; it is in the link, with a link to the ‘reviews’.

  17. David 18

    Wow, one news reporting Australia, like most of the western world, are moving to a COVID containment model. Meanwhile here in the hermit kingdom we remain isolated as one of the every decreasing few maintaining an elimination strategy with no long term plan.

    • Sabine 18.1

      Yeah, when they have vaccinated 50% of their population so maybe somewhere next year.

      Meanwhile today 30+ odd cases more, 13 of them whom meandered about Sidney while infected.

      So, i really don't want the government here to pontificate about doing stuff until we actually are getting some vaccine into the country again and thus increase our pool of vaccinated citizens.

      • David 18.1.1

        25% of Australia’s population have had one shot. 50% will be achieved well before us. We just scraped past 10% first shot this week. 122nd in the world and fallling.

    • gsays 18.2

      I give thanks for being in the hermit kingdom.

      Don't let the airport departure door hit yr arse if the Aussie way is so attractive.

    • Graeme 18.3

      Yeah, na, not even close

      What Scomo announced was a 50% reduction in MIQ for the foreseeable, with a sweetener of a transition to normality at some unspecified point in the future, depending on whether vaccination works. Maybe.

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