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Open mike 02/09/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 2nd, 2019 - 89 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 …

89 comments on “Open mike 02/09/2019 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Looking forward to seeing the results of Fonterra being taken to the Financial Markets Authority. Would have been better if Landcorp had done it, but at least someone has the heft to hold them to account.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12263812

    • Dukeofurl 1.1

      Big companies can have big problems…whats so new about that.

      Its a cooperative which HAS to take the milk …every day whether it wants it or not. It cant say during peak season, we are cutting volumes by 5% this month as the market for milk powder is weak or the cheese factory is past its production limit. No siree.

      Ask sheep and beef farmers about the joys of not having a guaranteed buyer at the same price all year, and you have to pay to deliver to the works.

    • Graeme 1.2

      Why anyone would invest in these non-transacting Fonterra shares escapes me.

      You're not a transacting shareholder, so have very limited rights and say over how the company is run, and you're giving your money to farmers, and Theo Spierings, to play with. They may pay you a dividend, in a good year, maybe. And your shares may hold their value, on a rising market with a string of good years.

      Otherwise bend over and look like you're enjoying it.

      This could become a telling commentary on New Zealand corporate and investor culture. Not holding my breath though.

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    Sterling work from Kirsty Johnston and Chris Knox behind the Herald paywall.

    While the 'experts' have been rabidly and wrongly apportioning blame for the measles outbreak to the 'anti-vax' movement the real reasons for the declining immunisation rates have been largely ignored.

    Those of us who have tried to point out that blaming so called anti vaxxers has simply made the situation worse have been dismissed…or worse.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/2018686731/nz-s-heart-breaker-rheumatic-fever-rates-on-the-rise

    "Vaccination rates are dropping across the country as fewer families immunise their babies.

    Now, in the midst of a measles epidemic, a Herald analysis of immunisation data finds just 77 per cent of six-month-olds are now getting their vaccines on time.

    While the debate has been centred around the impact of the anti-vaxx movement, the numbers paint a different picture.

    Plummeting vaccination rates are being driven largely by the failure to immunise babies born into poor or Māori families – not by parents deliberately opting out. "

    • Dukeofurl 2.1

      Oh dear Rosemary … so you are an anti-vaxxer

      [don’t start – weka]

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1

        Oh dear Rosemary … so you are an anti-vaxxer

        Err…how do you arrive at that conclusion?

        • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1

          from the wording you use

          'While the 'experts' have been rabidly and wrongly apportioning blame for the measles outbreak to the 'anti-vax' movement.

          But of course thats my opinion on your wording . Can you correct my mistaken view?
          People decline medical treatment or interventions all the time, thats OK.
          What is a plague is those people who actively campaign to get others not to immunize, those are generally called anti -vaxxers

          As I found further down about the 1990s massive epidemics , low immunization rates – the aim of the anti vaxxers- make epidemics spread.

    • Poission 2.2

      Stuff has a detailed series of articles issued today with some very good reporting,finding that it is the antivax movement ,and detailing the effects of the perpetrators .

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/114545019/antivaxxers-target-new-parents-while-others-nurse-their-critically-ill-kids

      https://interactives.stuff.co.nz/2019/09/parent-trap-vaccination-measles-immunisation/

      The question arises that should NZ call a measles emergency? Invocation of the Civil defence act emergency powers would enable suppression of the transfer of false information during an epidemic.The censor would be required to review any information imparted etc.

    • Anne 2.3

      It's a mix of both Rosemary and you know it. Trying to hide behind the well known fact that poverty stricken families are also failing to have their children immunised does you no favour. This has long been the case and until these families are better educated and better informed it will always be the case.

      Anti-vaxxers have a great deal to answer for, and I think it is about time the government rolled out a campaign to counter the pseudo scientific crap being spread across the internet. It might look impressive to the gullible of mind but it is still crap.

      Babies and toddlers in particular are going to die due to this latest epidemic, and those peddling the anti-vax myths have to take their fair portion of the blame.

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.3.1

        Anti-vaxxers have a great deal to answer for,

        You're going to have to provide some evidence to back that up Anne. It is simply too easy to blame 'anti-vaxxers' for declining immunisation rates.

        And are you assuming that these 'anti-vaxxers' are part of some organised group whose major mission is to convince parents that all vaccines are bad?

        It is just as likely that the individuals who make up the 1300 claims of significant vaccine injury accepted by ACC since 2006 have whanau and friends who have been influenced by these events.

        Seeing a previously 'normal' child now in a wheelchair being peg fed and having to be suctioned to clear secretions because of the vaccine induced brain damage sends a powerful message. Having our health authorities deny/dismiss that these adverse events happen….or worse…not warn parents that a very high fever and resulting seizures after a vaccination is not normal…is negligent.

        Trouble is… with suppressing discussion about vaccine adverse events and casting all who have concerns about possible side-effects from vaccines into a pseudo criminal group who are personally responsible for every single case of measles that ends up in hospital you're simply going to drive the discussion underground.

        Surely it would be better to be able to have open and transparent discussions…instead of resorting to name calling?

        • weka 2.3.1.1

          might do a post on this. Have you written about this Rosemary? I'll pull up our previous conversation, but was wondering if you'd published on this.

          I got a copy of the Herald article, it's pretty clear where the issues lie.

            • Rosemary McDonald 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Okay…so we have a bunch of trendy 'yummy mummy' midwives catering to the well heeled of Auckland. These are the folk with spare $$$ to be 'educated' about vaccines and immunisation.

              How many of the un-vaccinated measles sufferers parents attended such a course?

              Not many. If any.

            • Psycho Milt 2.3.1.1.1.2

              From that Stuff article:

              Herne Bay, one of the wealthiest places in the country has seen rates for all milestone ages fall from 93 to 84 per cent in two years.

              A few kilometres across the city to the east in Glen Innes – among the bottom quarter of most deprived suburbs in the country in 2013 – rates rose about three percentage points in the same time.

              We've had a decade of social-media-spread fear-mongering about vaccinations, and this data is backing it up – falling vaccination rates doesn't map to areas of social deprivation.

              • weka

                The reasons for not vaccinating vary, and in the most vulnerable populations access remains the core issue, not anti-vax material. Afaik this has been the position of the MoH for a long time.

                This doesn't mean anti-vax material isn't also an issue, but railing against social media use while we could instead be urging the govt to increase access seems stupid.

            • weka 2.3.1.1.1.3

              ta. Interesting counterpoint, their graphs are hard going though.

            • McFlock 2.3.1.1.1.4

              5% decline rate @ 8 months.

              Surely the lowest-hanging fruit – and possibly the difference between herd immunity and a nationwide outbreak.

        • Climaction 2.3.1.2

          1300 claims accepted since 2006 vs 759 cases in 6 months.

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.3.1.2.1

            Climaction. I am almost at the point of begging here. Ffs can someone please find the New Zealand data that records the number of cases of measles and the number of deaths from measles each year since 1940…like this…https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/measles-deaths-by-age-group-from-1980-to-2013-ons-data/measles-notifications-and-deaths-in-england-and-wales-1940-to-2013

            Then, perhaps, we can have the conversation as to whether or not it is acceptable to dismiss and diminish those who have suffered significant injuries due to vaccinations at a rate of over 100 per year.

            Bearing in mind that the majority of cases of measles resolve with no lasting effects.

            • McFlock 2.3.1.2.1.1

              Have you considered asking statsnz or the ministry of health?

              • Rosemary McDonald

                The very best I've found is this…https://surv.esr.cri.nz/PDF_surveillance/AnnualRpt/AnnualSurv/2017/2017AnnualNDReport_FINAL.pdf

                ….which thwarts my bid to gain stats back to 1940 because,

                " Measles immunisation was introduced in 1969 [18]and measles has been a notifiable disease since June 1996. " Wtf? Not a notifiable disease until 1996? For the supposed Death Plague?

                Grrr….the frustrating thing is that it is difficult to assess what has not been accurately measured. One has to wonder why the data has not been collected or collated into one document like the UK stats. No wonder we're left with readily discredited anecdata.

                Calling Hanlon.

                • McFlock

                  It's not the "death plague". It is, however, an infectious disease that kills a larger proportion of the people who get it than the vaccine that prevents it.

                  But no, I meant literally email or call the ministry of health or similar.

                  For deaths, try trawling the NZ yearbooks – they stop reporting measles deaths separately apparently in the early 1980s, though before then measles deaths are reported. Went to listing major causes of death.

                  Who's Hanlon?

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

                    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

                  • weka

                    I find stats pretty good to deal with. Not sure MoH is worth the hassle unless you know exactly who to ask.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    It is, however, an infectious disease that kills a larger proportion of the people who get it than the vaccine that prevents it.

                    Ah. The Greater Good Argument. Small comfort for the child who loses The Lottery .

                    There should at least be acknowledgement of these injuries and proper compensation. In recognition of the sacrifice.

                    • McFlock

                      Compensation like ACC?

                      Better comfort than losing a "die from measles" lottery.

                    • weka

                      The greater good argument would be more sound if it did take into account people damaged by vaccines. At the moment there's a taboo on speaking their names. That's just shitty. Maybe the next greater good argument is that we can hide those people because it helps a better vaccine engagement. Meanwhile, we run a shitty neoliberal economy that sacrifices large numbers of people all the time, and the public debate around measles is hating on anti-vaxxers instead of expecting the MoH to do it's job better and make access to the MMR vaccine much easier.

                    • McFlock

                      Sometimes vaccine harm is emphasised while minimising e.g. measles harm. Not just deaths, but longer term conditions as well. And I doubt they'd get ACC coverage.

                    • weka

                      yeah ACC is a pretty discriminatory system.

                      The polarisation of the debate makes it hard to see all those people.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      @McFlock re vaccine harm vs long term disability from measles.

                      1300plus accepted vaccine injury claims by ACC since 2006.

                      Rightfully treated as a Treatment Injury by ACC and a fluctuating (depending on the flag over the Beehive) rate of acceptance.

                      (If there as a way of posting the OIA reply here I would.)

                      If one could prove there were errors or omissions by medical personnel in treating a case of measles that led to a death or impairment then I guess give an ACC claim a shot. Nothing ventured.

                      Let's not start a side discussion on the inequities between ACC and MOH for supports for long term impairments.

                    • McFlock

                      1: all vaccines vs measles is not a reasonable comparison of harm – what's the ACC rate for the MMR vaccine specifically?

                      2: harm from vaccine preventable diseases in a vaccinated population will be significantly smaller than the harm from those diseases in an unvaccinated population. To judge the value of vaccines, it would be more logical to compare vaccine harm against disease harm in an unvaccinated population, no?

                    • weka

                      is anyone here arguing for an unvaccinated population?

                      Another variable is standard of living. Also access to health care if one gets sick.

                    • McFlock

                      Vaccine vs unvaxxed population seems to be at least reasonably doable, as opposed to guessing the disease prevalence at some sort of equilibrium level of vaccination where the number of opt-outers or delayers is balanced by the selfish who only vaccinate when there is a threat level they can understand, incorporating any other shortcomings in health literacy or systemic alienation that might be a barrier to primary healthcare.

                      I suspect such math would be more in line with economics than the real world, and with similar reliability.

            • veutoviper 2.3.1.2.1.2

              Rosemary, you or someone else could try this link and then have a chat to Stats NZ to ask for the measles stats using the offer of help in the pop-up on the lower right hand side of the page Sorry, I am not available to do this as while I sometimes still read TS, I am rarely interested in commenting here these days.

              <a href="https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/births-and-deaths?

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Thanks vw. I just might send them an email…or…make an OIA to the Misery of Health. It disturbs me greatly that this guy Rainger/Ranger is saying..

                " The fatality rate for measles was one in 1000, Rainger said, and as the numbers rose the likelihood of a fatality did too. "

                …when, unlike the data from the UK showing the number of deaths per 1000 cases to be many times lower, there is no readily available pool of NZ stats to support such a claim.

                https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/115469156/auckland-measles-outbreak-arphs-criticises-misinformed-antivaxxers-as-number-of-cases-passes-800

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I've suggested this previously, but IMHO when the annual death rate from measles cases is low (maybe not comparatively low, but low in an absolute sense – 1 in 1000 is a low rate in absolute terms), off a historically low annual number of cases (due to vaccination programmes), then that annual death rate it will bounce around a bit.

                  For the last 28 years, NZ's annual death rate from measles has been VERY low (zero; not bouncing around at all), so for the last 28 years NZ's annual death rate from measles has been the same or lower than that in the UK, because for some of those years the UK has also had no deaths from measles, while in other years it has had a few deaths, including in 1999 when the UK's rate of death from cases of measles (3 deaths from ~2400 cases) was higher than NZ's annual death rate during our biggest 'recent' measles epidemic (in 1991), and much higher than in NZ during every year since 1991.

                  To begin to understand why there was roughly 1 death for every 1000 cases of measles in NZ in 1991, the first port of call might be health workers/administrators/managers in the thick of it – there must quite a few still around. There was probably a health review commissioned, possibly some academic analysis too. But the reasons could include, or even be largely due to, chance, just as it was probably chance that the UK had a higher annual death rate from measles in 1999 than NZ has had for a very long time.

                  There may be some risk to patient safety, in terms of health sector/worker preparedness/familiarity in treating serious (life-threatening) cases of measles associated with this year's outbreak, given that there hasn't been a major outbreak for 28 years. But, hopefully, some will remember.

                  After all, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it " wink

                  "If this outbreak is not stamped out by March next year NZ will lose its hard-earned measles elimination status."

                  https://sciblogs.co.nz/diplomaticimmunity/2019/08/21/why-is-there-a-rip-roaring-measles-outbreak-in-nz/

                  Tbh, I wouldn't try to attach too much significance to year-to-year differences in annual rates of death from measles in or between developed countries. There will have been an enormous amount of medical/academic research on this by 1000s of health professionals and researchers, and I doubt that they have missed something I'm likely to spot, and/or are trying to cover up some glaring statistical anomaly.

                  This is an informative brief presentation by a medical doctor who thinks the death rate from measles is 3-4 per thousand, which seems very high (hence ‘don’t attach too much significance’, etc.) There's also a nice (Australian) comparison of the risks associated with contracting measles and the risks associated with being vaccinated for measles – very helpful.

                  http://www.ncirs.org.au/mmr-vaccine-decision-aid/comparing-risks-measles

            • Climaction 2.3.1.2.1.3

              How many of the damaged are from the measles vaccine? 1% of the damaged a year? 5%?

              Think we need some perspective on this stat you are throwing round

    • weka 2.4

      Thanks Rosemary. I was hoping the MSM would address this. Pity it's behind a paywall. This has long been the issue, that the lowering numbers of vaccination in NZ are in part due to poor access to healthcare. The people who choose intentionally to not vaccinate are still afaik a small % of the population. I'd like to see some research done on that.

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.4.1

        Thanks weka. wink This is the sole reason I coughed up the $$$ to read work like this from a journalist I respect.

        I have linked on more than one occasion here on TS to the same databases the writers use. The data tells a different story to the one promulgated by the angry ranty DHBs who were embarrassed by their falling vaccination rates.

        It was back in March that Dr Nikki Turner attempted to counter the 'its all the fault of the anti vaxxers!!!' framing that these DHB numpties were promoting at the Select Committee…https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/384112/hospital-bosses-want-anti-anti-vax-campaign

        Sigh.

        There are two major issues that I see here…the most significant is deprivation and difficulty accessing reliable health care in some communities. Only true transformational governance will ease this. It might alsoaddress that true indicator of our third world health status….rheumatic ever and the two hundred deaths per year from preventable heart damage.

        The other issue is the fact that some New Zealand children have been injured by vaccines. Not many, but a significant enough number to be relevant to any discussion about vaccine efficacy and safety. We are not allowed to discuss these incidents without a barrage of abuse and accusations of being anti- vax and hence pro-plague.

        I suggest that folk go out of doors into their communities and speak with the parents of these vaccine damaged children.

        (And I'm not talking about bloody autism.)

        • weka 2.4.1.1

          I see it similarly. Also, the people choosing not to access from informed consent (so not necessarily the anti-vaxers, although overlaps), often have a good enough standard of living so that if their child gets the measles or whooping cough they're more able to provide optimal care for that child (thus decreasing the chances of complications). I'd love to see some research on that too, but it's another of the taboo subjects.

        • Dukeofurl 2.4.1.2

          "speak with the parents of these vaccine damaged children."

          Oh dear. I cant see how campaigning against vaccination is allowed on this site. Personal choice is fine as for all medical interventions

          The facts are

          "The death rate for measles is about one-to-three people in every thousand. An estimated 10 per cent of cases require hospital treatment, and up to 30 per cent of people will develop complications, including pneumonia, diarrhoea and ear infections."

          Thats only one of the diseases we vaccinate for as measles is covered by MMR Measles , Mumps,

          Rubella is particularly nasty for unborn children leading to severe abnormalities

          No surprise here: "The number of rubella cases has fallen dramatically since the vaccine became available in 1969. "

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/111238229/people-have-forgotten–past-measles-epidemics-killed-hospitalised-hundreds

          https://www.immune.org.nz/diseases/rubella

          [perhaps you need some time out to reread the Policy. You were warned by me as a mod, and Rosemary asked you why you were calling her an anti-vaxxer, and you’ve ignored both of those and just carried on with misrepresenting her position. I don’t want to have to spend moderator time today reading your comments to see if you’re still passive-aggressive flaming. 2 day ban – weka]

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.4.1.2.1

            I cant see how campaigning against vaccination is allowed on this site.

            Are you accusing me of campaigning against vaccinations because I suggest folk go and speak with the families of those 1300 plus people who have been vaccine injured in the past 13 years in NZ?

            Really???

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.4.1.2.2

            "The death rate for measles is about one-to-three people in every thousand.

            Errr….https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/measles-deaths-by-age-group-from-1980-to-2013-ons-data/measles-notifications-and-deaths-in-england-and-wales-1940-to-2013

            Clearly shows much lower death rate in the UK.

            Perhaps we should be asking ourselves why a supposedly first world country like NZ anticipates such a high death rate from what used to be a nasty but usually survivable childhood illness.

            Perhaps we should also talk about our shameful rates of other third world diseases.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.4.1.2.2.1

              Maybe death rates are sometimes higher during measles epidemics because public health services are stretched thinner. That may have contributed to the comparatively high rate of death (1 death in 1000 cases) during NZ's 1991 measles epidemic (7000 cases).

              In NZ, no deaths have been attributed to measles since 1991, so a big shout out to GPs and other health workers (and of course to parents who took advantage of free vaccinations for their children) for that excellent result.

              If the current measles outbreak is restricted to one or two thousand NZers then maybe the health service will be able to prevent any measles-related deaths, but I'm guessing that health spokespersons don't want to appear too confident about that, for fear of vaccination rates falling still further.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                In NZ, no deaths have been attributed to measles since 1991, so a big shout out to GPs and other health workers (and of course to parents who took advantage of free vaccinations for their children) for that excellent result.

                For the life of me I cannot find similar data for NZ…ie…number of cases of measles and number of deaths from measles per year.

                A pity, or we could have made a true comparison.

                Of course the parents of fully vaccinated children cannot claim credit for there having been no deaths due to measles because their children, being vaccinated, will not have got measles. The UK data refers to deaths from actual measles.

                I still don't understand why here in NZ there were a reported 7 deaths from around 7000 notified cases of measles while in the UK in the same year (1991) there was 1 death from 9680 notified cases.

                There is something seriously wrong with our health system.

                • weka

                  higher mortality among Māori and Pacifica people?

                  I would guess there is a big variation over time though, so your idea about getting all stats over decades makes sense.

                • McFlock

                  I still don't understand why here in NZ there were a reported 7 deaths from around 7000 notified cases of measles while in the UK in the same year (1991) there was 1 death from 9680 notified cases.

                  Because it's smallish numbers.

                  Pretty good confidence interval generator here.

                  Which statistical test to go by for these numbers is an esoteric discussion of which I know nothing. The point is that the lower confidence bound for the 7/7000 death rate for any given test is slightly lower than the upper bound for the 1/9680 rate (bear in mind the comparison numbers are in different magnitudes).

                  Does this mean there isn't some systemic difference? No. Just that we can't say for sure that either system is better than another, based on the samples we have to work with.

                  The rate ratios indicate there might me some difference using Byars, but it's not a binary "no difference/significant difference" situation. The intervals are pretty wide, and the gap is pretty narrow.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    I freely admit to a superficial understanding of statistics, and the deep stuff you're directing me towards has given me a headache. frownI will consult my stats and data advisor later.

                  • weka

                    I didn't follow that either. Do you mean that in any year there can be a wide variation because of the small numbers?

                    • McFlock

                      Basically, yeah.

                      I'm not a stats engineer (more a data tradie lol) but the gist is that we're looking at whether the difference is actually a difference in the ability of each system, or is it just broadly what we'd expect from identical systems with reasonable variation in outcomes. E.g. if the car accident rate lowered from year to year, is this just random noise in the system or have things actually improved?

                      So the statisticians created probability tests for different circumstances. Some are p-values, personally I prefer CIs. p-values hurt my brain, and people love to view their significance as binary "care or do not care about result", whereas things are more subtle than that.

                      So using Byars, our 7/7000 equals a rate of 1 per 1000 with a lower bound of 0.4/1000 and upper of 2/1000.

                      1/9680 gives a rate of 0.1/1000, with a CI range of 0.001/1000 to 0.57/1000. Obviously one rate is ten times the other as observed, but because the CIs overlap we can't be reasonably sure that the results won't be swapped the next time each health service faces an outbreak.

                      Now, they only just overlap so there might be something there if we look more closely with larger samples, but at this stage it's not a given either way.

                      A chart example of NZ child assault deaths is here. The numbers bounce about, the rates bounce about, but because the confidence intervals are so wide there probably isn't any real difference between them all. Even the lowest rate might just be an outlier, because we have so many datapoints so that might just be the way 95% CI (or 1:20 odds) rolled that time.

                      edit:
                      BTW, my math tends to fold in on itself and deliver garbage, so if anyone wants to check it please do. If I’m in a hurry or multitasking, I still find my code screws up because the alligator teeth point the wrong direction when looking for high-low pass filters lol

                    • weka

                      you know my eyes started glazing over when you said p values right?

                      I'm assuming (loosely) that it's probably both the maths and there are factors affecting actual rates (NZ being different from the UK). Having the long term yearly rates would be useful.

                    • McFlock

                      If it's any consolation, I spent 20 minutes trying to make sure my conversion of rates per ten thousand to rates per thousand went the right direction 🙂

                    • weka

                      I got Matt to check my maths recently for a post where I was working with millions and tens of thousands. I was only out by a factor of 10. That would still have been fairly embarrassing, lol.

          • weka 2.4.1.2.3

            mod note above.

        • greywarshark 2.4.1.3

          When we were trying to have an inclusive nation and counting people as citizens not human resources, there were very strong moves against TB, and there were health buses that would travel to areas where you could go for vaccination against polio. These two diseases are not totally beaten but we need now the same sort of initiative to get measles down and under control again. Capice?

          It is wrong for government and the Dept of Health to do the contract thing and lay the problem at overworked DHBs feet. The policies of the government have resulted in numbers of incoming people bringing more disease and health problems with them. Since the welfare budget was severely cut in 1991 it has never been adequate for families wellbeing, and without that income, and with fewer state houses for lower-income people we have a rolling, rising problem.

          The PM himself said he was planning on having a low-wage economy, it takes a boofhead not to see that we are not extending services to people whose needs have been neglected. And lack of quality welfare leads to lack of quality in a country's achievements and standards.

    • Climaction 2.5

      thats not correct. Waiheke, Herne bay and the coromandel are leading the trend down, and they aren’t poverty stricken.

      the science is settled on immunisation. Defending the “right to choose” to vaccinate is akin to defending the right opt out of Climate change prevention measures because of the chance of personal adverse outcomes. Humanity is at stake hear. Vaccine damage occurs at an infinitesimal rate compared to the occurrence of infectious diseases during an outbreak.

      • weka 2.5.1

        Herd immunity needs around 90% vaccinated rate (according to science). No reason why the 5% or so of the population that choose to not vaccinate shouldn't be allowed to.

        Writing off the people who have been damaged doesn’t help convince anti-vaxxers btw, it makes things worse.

        • Climaction 2.5.1.1

          so when vaccinations are at 88% of the population, that 88% should be imperilled because of the poor choices of, at that point, a critical 5%?

          Good to know that 5% of the population should be allowed to make choices that can adversely affect the other 95%, and shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it either

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.5.1.1.1

            Climaction. Defending the “right to choose” to vaccinate is akin to defending the right opt out of Climate change prevention measures because of the chance of personal adverse outcomes.

            Weird conflation…but nevermind…it is to be expected from certain groups who have an almost religious zeal when presenting their particular views.

            So, and correct me if I'm wrong, those individuals who choose not to vaccinate because of well founded concerns over adverse effects are to blame for 'imperilling' the 88% who are vaccinated.

            Excuse me…but if the vaccine is effective (as well as safe) how can the unvaccinated possibly imperil the fully vaccinated?

            And how dare you dismiss the experiences of those who have been significantly adversely affected by a vaccine.

            • Climaction 2.5.1.1.1.1

              How dare I not subscribe to your views that your hurt is of greater meaning than the families of those poor defenceless children suffering from preventable disease they are too young to be immunised against? Interesting value pyramid you live within.

              Vaccines are effective and safe. How many of the “vaccine damaged” 1300 since 2006 were from the measles vaccine? A critical part of your stat missing there when denying that not vaccinating kids by choice has no bearing on a measle outbreak

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Vaccines are effective and safe. How many of the “vaccine damaged” 1300 since 2006 were from the measles vaccine?

                Bear with me a minute. This is very difficult to ascertain as this report…

                https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/topic_sheets/adverse-event-summary.pdf …is at odds with the ACC data I obtained through an OIA. The above document states that between 2005 and 2009 that " Of the 4,757 reports, 174 (3.6%) meet the criteria of a serious report." Peculiar as ACC data shows 299 accepted claims for vaccine injury during the same period.

                There is a wee chart in the Adverse Events Summary that does indicate which particular vaccine is being 'blamed' for the adverse event. MMR accounts for 25 of the 174 of the total 'serious' reports.

                • Climaction

                  25/174 over a 5 year period. Or 5 a year. Out of how many vaccines delivered? 57000, assuming a 7% redux on births in 2016.

                  One in every 11500 could cause a severe reaction. Almost as unlucky as getting struck by lightning at 1 in 12000.

                  But lightning isn’t contagious and there is an actual choice about being outside. There isn’t a choice if you are too young to be immunised.

                • McFlock

                  The discrepancy in numbers between the two might be an administrative lag between date of vaccination, onset of adverse event, reporting date, and the date that ACC made its decision.

                  Additionally, there might be some differences in criteria – adverse events are any event within X period of the vaccination, while ACC might have different causal threshold.

                  As for 25 serious reports, "serious" includes "hospitalisations", so I suggest the number of MMR-correlated incidents in that five year period has been thoroughly outstripped by hospitalisations in the current outbreak. Probably several times over by now.

                  • Climaction

                    A far cry from 1300 being a meaningful figure in relation the number involved in this outbreak

    • Ian 2.6

      Australia has 99 % vacination rate. No vacination,no playgroup,kindy or school.How simple is THAT.This is a major failure of Government public health policy.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.7

      Spot on Rosemary, the consequences of regional differences in vaccination rates in NZ, due to socioeconomic, cultural and other factors, seem to mirror trends seen in Europe.

      Measles in Europe: record number of both sick and immunized (lessons for NZ?)

      This means that gaps at local level still offer an open door to the virus,” says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab. “We cannot achieve healthier populations globally, as promised in WHO’s vision for the coming five years, if we do not work locally.

      More children in the WHO European Region are being vaccinated against measles than ever before; but progress has been uneven between and within countries, leaving increasing clusters of susceptible individuals unprotected, and resulting in a record number of people affected by the virus in 2018. In light of measles data for the year 2018 released today, WHO urges European countries to target their interventions to those places and groups where immunization gaps persist.

      Measles killed 72 children and adults in the European Region in 2018. According to monthly country reports for January to December 2018 (received as of 01 February 2019), 82 596 people in 47 of 53 countries contracted measles. In countries reporting hospitalization data, nearly 2/3 (61%) of measles cases were hospitalized. The total number of people infected with the virus in 2018 was the highest this decade: 3 times the total reported in 2017 and 15 times the record low number of people affected in 2016.

      The surge in measles cases in 2018 followed a year in which the European Region achieved its highest ever estimated coverage for the second dose of measles vaccination (90% in 2017). More children in the Region received the full two-dose series on time, according to their countries’ immunization schedules, in 2017 than in any year since WHO started collecting data on the second dose in 2000. Coverage with the first dose of the vaccine also increased slightly to 95%, the highest level since 2013. However, progress in the Region, based on achievements at the national level, can mask gaps at subnational levels, which are often not recognized until outbreaks occur.

      “The picture for 2018 makes it clear that the current pace of progress in raising immunization rates will be insufficient to stop measles circulation. While data indicate exceptionally high immunization coverage at regional level, they also reflect a record number affected and killed by the disease. This means that gaps at local level still offer an open door to the virus,” says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab. “We cannot achieve healthier populations globally, as promised in WHO’s vision for the coming five years, if we do not work locally. We must do more and do it better to protect each and every person from diseases that can be easily avoided.”

      http://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/sections/press-releases/2019/measles-in-europe-record-number-of-both-sick-and-immunized

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    1990s epidemics were greater , many thousands caught the disease. What happened then.. really dont think there was some sort of national emergency proclaimed

    "

    In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, Jim Bolger was prime minister, and New Zealand was sick with measles.

    Vaccination coverage was low and the highly infectious disease was ripping through the population. Estimates vary, but as many as 40,000 to 60,000 people likely got sick, according to a previous version of the immunisation handbook, put out by the Ministry of Health.

    Seven people died, including four unimmunised children. Six years later, in 1997, a second, smaller epidemic struck. There were 2169 cases around the country. About 950 people were hospitalised across both events, according to the 2011 handbook.

    "People have forgotten what used to happen when we didn't have such high vaccination rates," said Dr Jill Sherwood, a public health medicine specialist at ESR, a Crown Research Institute."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/111238229/people-have-forgotten–past-measles-epidemics-killed-hospitalised-hundreds

    Seems as though the reseachers say without immunisation the cases reach into the tens of thousands.

  4. SHG 4

    Because there's absolutely nothing else threatening the wellbeing of the country right now, the most tech-literate Government ever!1 has decided that it's a good time to do some pearl-clutching about adult content on the Internet.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/08/porn-crackdown-the-government-s-moves-to-stop-kids-accessing-adult-material.html

  5. SHG 5

    There's a measles epidemic, men and boys are killing themselves in greater numbers than ever before, people are sleeping in cars, carbon emissions are increasing, water quality is declining, so of course it's time for a bit of "won't someone think of the children" dead-cat distraction.

    Here are some things that have my spidey sense tingling:

    " Five draft laws have been proposed to the Minister by Family First "

    –oh neat, Family First. Just who I need advice on matters of sexuality and freedom of expression.

    " Directing the state department of education to take a direct role in educating parents of enrolled students on the harms of pornographic material. "

    –telling parents what to think doesn't sound outside the department's purview AT ALL.

    "Options being looked at include: R18 access to porn websites: Residents will have to provide age ID to have access "

    –hands up who trusts the NZ government to secure an enormous digital collection of identity documentation?

    • The Al1en 5.1

      Valid point about family first lobbying ministries, but the real question should be, with the large number of children regularly accessing hardcore pornagraphy, especially that which is degrading and exploitative of women, and the persistence of rape culture, misogyny and brutal disrespect to them in our society, can we afford not to impose restrictions on who gets to view it?

      • SHG 5.1.1

        Those too are valid points. But in the real world we also have to acknowledge two things:

        1. The NZ Government is technically illiterate. It wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to block some people's access to parts of the Internet without screwing other parts of the Internet up for everyone.

        2. One person's perversion is another person's expression of identity. If the Government blocks (for example) trans or non-binary porn for people who are over the legal age of consent, it will be a disaster.

        Perhaps you could characterise both points as parts of the same problem – it’s crazy to trust the imposition of morality on the Internet to wealthy, able-bodied, old, white, straight, cisgender technophobes.

        • The Al1en 5.1.1.1

          Adult people can perve their hearts out for all I care, but the issue is children having free access and the damage it does not only to the viewer, but those who form relationships or encounter them in the present and future.

          In the old days you found a mag on the common or under your dads bed, and that was your exposure to porn, but this digital media age has much worse content, viewed by many many more people.

          I'm not a prude, nor do I have the solution, though I think for the safety and mental well being of our younglings, something should be done, whatever it is.

  6. joe90 6

    Not a sausage from the Kremlin admitting that it was a Soviet one, too.

    German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier marked the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland in Warsaw on Sunday by asking for forgiveness for "Germany's historical guilt."

    "My country unleashed a horrific war that would cost more than 50 million people — among them millions of Polish citizens — their lives. This war was a German crime," the president said in a speech before Polish President Andrzej Duda, US Vice President Mike Pence, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, as well as representatives of 30 other countries.

    https://www.dw.com/en/german-president-asks-for-polish-forgiveness-on-wwii-anniversary/a-50247207

    • SHG 6.1

      very good point Joe90

    • The Russians' fond belief that they were hapless, peace-loving victims of WW2 is something Putin's trying to reinforce, so chances of an admission of guilt = 0.

      • SHG 6.2.1

        I thought Soviet mass-murder of Poles was accepted as canon after Krushchev's "Secret Speech"?

        • Psycho Milt 6.2.1.1

          These days, as far as Russia's concerned the war started on 22 June 1941. Quibbling about who did what before that is for bigoted, ant-Slavic westerners who want to undermine the heroic Soviet achievement because they're embarrassed at their own countries' dismal failure to contain the Nazi threat. It's going down a treat inside Russia – not so much in Poland, Finland, the Baltic Republics or Romania, mind…

  7. ianmac 8

    The response to the Bridges National Cancer "Plan" recently seemed to be heavily commented on in MSM.

    An actual Cancer Plan published yesterday seemed to have a muted response, except for the expected rapid denigrating response from National. "Too little. Too late." Strange for a National Party after 9 long years?

    • Augustus 8.1

      Unless the government already had such a 'cancer plan' in the pipeline before National presented theirs, you have to wonder why they let National and the MSM set the agenda in the first place. Who said that that was the problem de jour, that everyone has to address this week? It's important, to be sure, but why not focus on your own legislative agenda?

  8. joe90 9

    David Simon has the wingnuts exercised.

  9. Eco maori 10

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Aotearoa is no Australia just because they like using the big stick userly it is used on the people who are down and out. Aotearoa can come up with a smart solution to the measles problem in Aotearoa.

    The old health system was the best in the Papatuanuku in value for money and services. My experience with the health system is not good at all I seen the way that they discriminated against me and my mokopuna. I don't trust anyone in that system

    Ma Te wa the Kiwi build is a good move by the Coalition government to fix the last lots Houseing short they were serving themselves rubbing there hands together reaping the capital gains cause by shonkys short.

    Dorain is a powerful force from Tawhirimate and Papatuanuku we need to heed our scientists warning and drop carbon out of our lives as fast as possible.

    Ka kite Ano

  10. Eco maori 11

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Its great that our Prime Minister is taking to Ngāti Porou about our Awa Tangaroa and the state of the Fisheries on the East Coast to resolve the issues that were agreed appon in the 1980s

    Ka pai Chris these loan sharks cost Maori and Pacific tangata heaps of money with their huge interest charged on their loans to people who can least afford to pay it back Eco Maori dislike these people .

    Tangata whenua do value our ENVIRONMENT more than western society's do we know that we are part of all things in our environment be it whenua Tangaroa or Tawhirimate.

    The Tangata Whenua O Australia are being discriminated against by the Australian Crown its a very sad situation that they are in WTF it that common Tangata whenua Australia its no who's in the hinaki its who hasn't been to jail what a waste of great talenteEd tangata. Shane Phillips Ka pai with your mahi

    Ngāti Manawheno it's great to see our tamariki preforming it's better for Eco Maori to see all our Wahine stepping up to the hard mahi in Aotearoa.

    Ka kite Ano.

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