Open mike 02/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 2nd, 2020 - 260 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

260 comments on “Open mike 02/10/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Now, sure, people should sell their own stuff and make good money.

    But in the moronic tradition of Navman and Rakon, another New Zealander sells out a fast-growing tech company that he led and grew to a multinational who will suck it to a husk.

    This is who they are:

    David Hughes is an exceedingly smart and driven guy, and I have little doubt that he will generate more innovations and companies. But seriously we need more New Zealanders to hold on and grow these tech companies.

    It was good to see the Greens make some albeit minor policy noises on tech growth yesterday.

    It would be a whole bunch better if Labour came out and generated a technology version of the PGF – but instead of throwing largely meaningless chunks of money at dying seaside villages, they actually built a new economy.

    • Stuart Munro 1.1

      We used to have one – it was called the DFC – until some plonker decided its job was to be an investment bank, and couldn't run it as one.

  2. Andre 2

    For fellow American politics weenies, here's a good longish piece arguing for eliminating the filibuster, examining the points usually raised in favour of keeping it and providing good counterarguments for every one.

    Sorry, not gonna do a tl;dr. Either you're interested enough that all the points and nuances raised are of interest, or the whole topic is sufficiently meh that a tl;dr adds nothing anyway.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.1

      Makes those who complain about NZ's MMP/Voting system look quite silly

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Oh, I dunno about that. Just because others have it way way worse shouldn't stop us pointing to actual problems in our system and pushing to fix them.

        • arkie

          Absolutely, it's never a good strategy to conflate criticism of one thing with support for it's contrary.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            @2.1.1 and Okayyy it was just a comment : ) ….So what dont you like about MMP/NZ's voting system? I'm quite happy to be voting here in NZ than…Murica : )

            • Andre

              The 5% threshold strikes me as undemocratic enough to really need fixing. The coat-tailing provision, particularly combined with the high threshold, strikes me as an egregious violation of democratic fairness.

              As a theoretical concern which has only eventuated a few times in the MMP era, the way parliament is supreme means there is really only one veto point for checking government behaviour. Which is the vote in the House. A second veto point strikes me as a better balance against overreach, but three or four veto points (eg US) is too many.

              Amen to better here than the US, though.

            • Draco T Bastard

              So what dont you like about MMP/NZ's voting system?

              It's better than the US system but its still anti-democratic as the people have little to no say on governing themselves.

              • PsyclingLeft.Always

                Yea its a hard road getting the People to vote as it is….youve prob heard the same as me when talking…"ah why vote, its a waste of time" or "Nah, it only encourages the pollies".

                Fark and these are people on Benefits/low paid Workers/Just generally being shat on.!

                I've tried really hard to get some kind of move on them…but really feel this is why nothing changes. Is it apathy? Years of being crushed? Dunno….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Centuries of the politicians only listening to the rich. When there's lots of noise, lots of community support for something and the politicians ignore and do whatever they want that benefits only business then people really are going to come to the inevitable conclusion that voting is meaningless.

                  • Pat

                    It isnt easy but it is the best method

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, modern tech allows for a better method. One where everyone could have their say on policy and not just who fails to represent them.

                    • PaddyOT []

                      That could be true but I like to think that voting also sends a message applying overall public pressure for change.

                      At the core some/ many politicians like power as their driver to be in Parliament; voters can play on pollie candidate's vanity. Populist Pollies come out with lots of pretty prizes at election time when they read the room just to have power. I'm sure Judith is having an 80 000 car giveaway if you buy a ticket..

  3. Heard on RNZ news (sorry, can't provide a link) that over 40% of all worldwide misinformation of Covid-19 originated, through news media both on-line and mainstream, from Trump!

    And Collins admires him!

    Does anyone need a better reason for not voting Natz?

    • Ad 3.1

      Trump has delivered for the US like few in recent memory:

      – Likely 3 Supreme Court appointments – Republicans haven't had a chance to tilt it this far right since Nixon

      – Stupendously massive tax cuts

      – Withdrawal of most US troops from Middle East, and an accelerated thaw in relationships between Arabian countries and Israel

      – Renegotiated NAFTA towards US interests

      – Implemented a new regime of US policy interests internally, and a near complete disavowal of unilateralism

      – Total smashing of US political norms including ethics, conflicts of interest, and self-dealing

      – Permanently disempowered mainstream media as an accountability force, in favour of social media

      – Rebuked the power of the US military-intelligence establishment, to ensure that they are politically answerable once more

      – Permanently upset postwar US-European relations

      – Faced up to China's damage and downsides like no other world leader around

      Apart from the tax cuts and the self-dealing, the Democrats and Sanders would have begged to deliver that list themselves and wouldn't have been able to.

      I don't like him, but he's made a fast and major mark on US politics.

      • Andre 3.1.1


        Stupendously massive tax cuts – for the very highest incomes and wealthiest at a time when the economy was doing well and no economic theory supports cuts at such a time, which ballooned an already high budget deficit

        Withdrawal of most US troops from Middle East – hmm, there's some dispute around the reality of that perception:

        Renegotiated NAFTA towards US interests – made tiny changes that other NAFTA partners went along with because they were so ineffectual, in order to avoid antagonising the particularly vindictive buffoon looking for a splashy rebranding exercise.

        Total smashing of US political norms including ethics, conflicts of interest, and self-dealing – you're saying that like it's a good thing, and no, it's very unlikely that any Democrat or even Sanders would want to even try for this.

        Rebuked the power of the US military-intelligence establishment, to ensure that they are politically answerable once more – uh, no, it's more of a partially successful attempt to turn what should be a non-partisan service to the entire American people into a partisan political campaign tool. And no, it's very unlikely that any Democrat or even Sanders would want to even try for this.

        – Faced up to China's damage and downsides like no other world leader around – and utterly botched it because of focusing entirely on his personal interests ahead of the interests of the country, significantly increasing China's worldwide influence and decreasing America's, along with enabling Xi to tighten his authoritarian grip on China

        • Ad

          Few on the left dont like it. Me neither. And it will take a term to determine his success.

          But mostly the Dems wouldn't do the above because they are timid.

        • RedLogix

          Ad's list is important, not so much because it's open to interpretation, but because it reveals just how much has been happening despite the absurdist political theater the Dems have thrown up this past term.

          In behind the gaudy light shows around Russia-gate, Trump's personal flaws, the doomed impeachment process and the endless obsessing over stupid trivialities (like the damned bleach comment), the Trump administration has actually been doing things. As in contrast to the Obama period when talking about them dominated the game. And almost all of those broad changes that Ad has listed, have more or less gone relatively uncommented on here and in the msm, compared to the amount of wasted time and energy gone into attacking Trump personally and trying (unsuccessfully so far) to tear the man down.

          And it's why, despite regarding Trump as an individual deeply unsuited to the office, I've generally held back from joining in the pile up.

          Win or lose, love or loath him, Trump is going to leave the USA and the world to an extent, a changed place in ways we really need to start paying more attention to. I've endeavoured to head in that direction this past year with more comments in a geopolitical vein, looking to examine how rapidly the ground is shifting under New Zealand's strategic position, and what our options might be.

          • Andre

            That idea that all the rest of the damage done by the demented dotard flinging his feces at the Oval Office walls hasn't received attention is a favourite talking points of that peculiar segment of Dem-hating self-styled left, but it's not grounded in reality. It may be what's seen by a small portion of the population with frankly peculiar news diets, however.

            As for Obama not achieving anything, in that short window when there were sufficiently large Dem majorities to actually achieve anything legislatively, they achieved the biggest expansion of healthcare to those who previously didn't have access, and put the country onto a sound fiscal footing after the disaster left by the previous Repug administration. Both of which are Big Fucking Deals, regardless of how much denial purity progressives may be in about it because it doesn't live up to what they wanted.

            Yes, Dolt45 has indeed dramatically changed the world. Uniformly for the worse. No matter how much apologia gets put out for his idiot supporters and even those that can't see why he should be opposed, because of some kind of fanciful false equivalence they delude themselves with.

            • RedLogix

              You carry on with the turd flinging all you want, it clearly gives you some satisfaction at some deep olfactory level.

              In the meantime I suggest you're missing the main events.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Win or lose, love or loath him, Trump is going to leave the USA and the world to an extent, a changed place in ways we really need to start paying more attention to. I've endeavoured to head in that direction this past year with more comments in a geopolitical vein, looking to examine how rapidly the ground is shifting under New Zealand's strategic position, and what our options might be.

            NZ's strategic position is, ATM, fucked. Reasons include but are not limited to:

            • Sold off a large part of our economy to large private foreign interests that we have to now keep happy
            • Failure to develop our economy due to free-trade thus limiting our resilience to global economic shocks
            • FTAs signed up to that prevent us taking the actions that we need to
            • The ongoing downsizing of our defence forces and the failure to produce our defence capabilities onshore

            Unfortunately, none of our politicians or the people seem to realise just how badly off we are and still seem to think that we live in a benign world despite the evidence that its still mostly shark eat shark.

            • RedLogix

              Yes. I'm happy to agree with those observations; and especially to note your final sentence. Far too much naive thinking is in evidence everywhere you look.

              We have two opportunities however, one is to engage in more depth with ASEAN as a strategic group, and the other is the very interesting proposed CANZUK alliance. Here's one take on the idea:


        • Draco T Bastard

          which ballooned an already high budget deficit

          Of course, a government deficit is pretty much meaningless as the government is the issuer of the currency

          The added inequality is the problem.

          you're saying that like it's a good thing

          Actually, it is as it removes the US from the pedestal that they've put themselves on.

      • All the above may be true (though as Andre points out, is open to interpretation and refutation) but he also told the American people covid would go away when it got warmer, advised them to drink bleach and shine a uv light inside themselves somehow, and not to wear a mask. That covid is just like the flu – which is the point Collins made yesterday – no worse than the flu – which is a damn good reason not to vote for the Natz – she's ultimately as anti-science as the man she admires!

        • Ad

          200,000 dead and his base holds at 40%+.

          That's a mighty political feat no current Democrat could achieve.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            "That's a mighty political feat no current Democrat could achieve."

            Who would be proud of that !?

            • Ad

              I've been around long enough to know that if it happened on the Dems watch, they and MSNBC would be spinning it just as hard as Fox and OAN.

          • Stuart Munro

            More to do with Fox/Murdoch than Trump.

    • satty 3.2

      Instead of finding reasons to "not vote for National", of which there are plenty, it might be interesting to come up with some points supporting a "vote for National"… Nothing springs to mind (immediately).

      • Well, I'll take up the challenge.

        If I were in the upper wage bracket, the Natz tax cuts would give me a little more to salt away in the Cayman Islands, far from prying IRD inspectors.

        If I were a farmer (and irresponsible) I'd welcome not having to be environmentally careful – more money to pay my bank for the loans that have me by the balls.

        If I were in the health field (as a money making activity, not a practitioner) I'd welcome the chance of covid getting in. There'd be plenty of bucks to be made out of a panic!

        On the other hand, I think Judith wouldn't let covid in. She'd scare it away! She sure as hell scares me, so I believe her.

        If I were a motorist (and I am) I'd look forward to the Natz roads getting me to the next traffic jam quicker.

        If I were an unscrupulous employer I'd welcome more opportunities to screw my workers, such as firing them on day 89, cutting their lunch breaks and having them work for below the living wage.

        There may be many other reasons to vote Natz but these are a few I can think of.

      • gsays 3.2.2

        A peek into a Nats voter's mind. A refrain I have heard a couple of times is "Why should I pay for other children's food?", disgraceful, I know. I feel the need to shower after typing that.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.3

      Talking about fake news and propaganda….

      Leaks expose massive Western propaganda op in Syria proxy war

    • Adrian Thornton 3.4

      " And Collins admires him! "…and I see no NZ news media is covering what she admired..his support of Israel…not a murmmer from the NZ press. I wonder why that is? seeming as most NZ press take every and any opportunity to slot in a Trump stroy.

    • Cinny 4.1

      ROFL !!!!!!!!!!!! To be released before the US election 🙂 Dang!! That should ALWAYS happen.

      Thanks for sharing such fantastic news Andre. Sacha is a genius!

  4. Pat 5

    Voting open in 24 hours.

  5. Rosemary McDonald 6

    Of course all the card-carrying Lefties who frequent this site will have also received the email asking for support for the Make Work Safe campaign.

    If not…

    Kia ora Rosemary,

    My name is Kit, and I work in homecare support. We go into people’s houses to help with their dressing, showering, toileting, and close personal care.

    At the start of the pandemic, I didn’t have masks for every client I visited. None of us did. The Ministry of Health said that we didn’t need them unless a client had tested positive for COVID-19 – and then that person didn’t even have to wear a mask when we did their cares!

    It was a terrifying time. My friends asked me to stay home, because if I catch COVID-19 I will get very sick. But I couldn’t leave my vulnerable clients. I also couldn't afford not to work. It shouldn’t be this hard to have a say in your health and safety at work. That’s why we need a major review of our current health and safety law.

    at least 20 people working in homecare got COVID-19. And one in ten cases so far have been people who caught this disease doing their jobs in health sector – which isn’t ok. We need to change the law.

    Sign it…now…please.smiley

    • Treetop 6.1

      Foolish to have not provided masks for both the consumer and the carer.

      So people were not worth a $2 mask when in level 4 due to community transmission being at its height. Even at level 1 a mask should be provided.

      • weka 6.1.1

        at that time the MoH's position was that masks weren't an important part of containing spread. International opinion varied in this too. MoH were wrong, and bungled the handling even given that. I don't think it was primarily a funding issue, probably more to do with the culture within the MoH around disability.

  6. ScottGN 7

    Overseas voting has been underway since Wednesday but, yes, early voting starts tomorrow. The end is in sight!

    But if any party has anything they can throw out there to really shift the campaign expect to see it in the next few days.

  7. Dennis Frank 8

    Shane Te Pou is a former candidate, campaign manager and executive member of the Labour Party.

    For as long as they've existed as a political party, the Greens have annoyed me. Before MMP, they were spoilers who split the left vote, aiding and abetting the Tories in the process.

    Since 1999, they have luxuriated in minor party status, allowing Labour to do the heavy lifting while never missing a chance to showcase their superior virtue.

    I'm an inner-suburban bungalow-dweller these days, but my politics were forged in brown working class communities and the trade union movement. From that perspective, the Greens can come across as insufferably sanctimonious… but I'm now of the view they should form part of the next Government.

    Credit to Shane for his reframing on progress & how to get it happening.

    They could bring a sorely needed jolt of radicalism to what threatens to be another term of cautious incrementalism. These unprecedented times demand boldness from our leaders, and I'm not seeing as much evidence of it from Labour in this campaign as I would like.

    Frankly, the Greens' proposed wealth tax is a much better idea, although not perfect it is both serious and sensible. In fact, I was a little disappointed when James Shaw said the policy won't be a "bottom line" in post-election talks. It should be.

    Speaking of Shaw, I ended up being impressed by his handling of the Green School issue. He delivered one of the most fulsome mea culpas I've seen from a New Zealand politician, and it's gratifying that polls seem to suggest it's reversed the party's slide.

    To be fair, Shaw has been a consistently strong performer over the term of the Coalition Government. The fact he has emerged as one of the more respected ministers within the business community is testament to his competence, pragmatism and broad appeal – three attributes not typically associated with the Greens.

    I hope his switch typifies a trend in leftist thinking in Aotearoa. Consensus politics is a bitter pill for ideologues & it's easy to understand why they prefer to stand on the sidelines and rage against the system. But doing so doesn't win them the will of the people. What does win is practical politics. Find common ground, then negotiate solutions that most players can gamble on, as likely to work.

    • Uncle Scrim 8.1

      Thanks, a good post and interesting article. I see the Greens as the last 'movement' in NZ politics, a grouping of people who believed in something rather than simply being a vehicle for gaining and holding political power. Labour were a movement until about 1925, National never were, NZ First never were, ACT probably were briefly when they were founded but certainly haven't been since Prebble and Hide led them. (Social Credit probably were a movement, less so as they gained popularity under Beetham, but FPTP meant they never got to wrestle with the choices smaller parties face now)

      I've been amazed at some people in the past (including immediately post-election in 2017) suggesting the Greens should consider a coalition with National. A ‘normal’ party might consider that but a movement never would. Of course being a movement in politics brings the inevitable challenges of choosing between complaining from the sidelines vs compromising/ 'selling out' to incrementalism.

    • Good post Dennis.

      I keep telling my Labour Party friends that a party vote for the Greens is a vote for a more radical and progressive Jacinda.

      If only people read your post above, rather than listening to Tova O'Brien's media beat-ups.

      • tc 8.2.1

        Tova's appears to have the role this election that Gower's had the last few.

        With Patrick doing the debates and those doco's on the referendums it was time to put a fresh face on the ankle deep political approach TV3 revels in.

        Every time I heard her on the covid updates she was effectively wasting a question trying to get a 'gotcha' moment out of JA and MB.

        This is what passes for journalism these days apparently.

        • Chris T

          She came back home from being an overseas correspondent and took over his role as political editor when he moved to what ever he is now (which seems like a weird pointless role), so stands to reason.

    • Ad 8.3

      With just 2 days to go to voting start, the Greens are timing this end of their run better than I've seen in the last four elections. It bodes well.

      I sincerely hope they are ready for a no holds fight for Cabinet slots. There's plenty of upward pressure within Labour caucus from the 2014 and 2017 MP cohorts.

    • Adrian Thornton 8.4

      Good post, and I would completely agree if the Greens didn't have such a centrist as their co-leader in James Shaw..damn shame about that..will still probably vote Green, but with very little enthusiasm….actually none.

      “They could bring a sorely needed jolt of radicalism”…that was a joke right?..if not it just shows to what a crazy low bar we have let ourselves slip too…NZ Green party radical..holy moly!

      • Bearded Git 8.4.1

        Adrian-one of the Greens policies (of many) is for a Wealth Tax that will bring in $7.9B a year that will be used to tackle poverty.

        How radical do you want them to be exactly?

    • weka 8.5

      "In fact, I was a little disappointed when James Shaw said the policy won't be a "bottom line" in post-election talks. It should be."

      This is daft. The Greens don't have bottom lines, they have high priorities. The wealth tax is a high priority in post-election negotiations. The Greens having a bottom line would mean they are willing to let National govern again rather than compromising if Labour won't agree. This is what a bottom line is. There are multiple really good reasons not to do that.

      Better framing here would be "I'm pleased that the Greens have made the wealth tax one of the their top priorities for a coalition agreement, but they will need more of the party vote to have a chance at achieving that".

      Is Te Pou going to vote for them? Is he telling others to party vote Green? Because the Greens in govt is necessary but not sufficient for a jolt of radicalism. What we need is *more Green MPs next time round.

      • Dennis Frank 8.5.1

        The Greens having a bottom line would mean they are willing to let National govern again rather than compromising if Labour won't agree. This is what a bottom line is.

        Valid technical point there! Shane was just doing a personal stance reframe. He's conservative, but I suspect he'd concede your point if he'd thought about it. He must have had plenty of career experience as negotiator, eh?

      • Enough is Enough 8.5.2

        It will be a very interesting negotiation if Labour drops 2 or 3 points but everyone else more or less stays where they are, which would mean there is no prospect of a National Act government.

        In that situation the Greens should push really hard on things like wealth tax and go to the extent of brinkmanship with Labour. For example give us a wealth tax or we are going back to the polls.

        Jacinda and Grant will not run the risk of being punished by the electorate for a second election. In my view they would have to concede.

        • weka

          The Greens would not run the risk of a second election, being hated by the electorate and ending up out of parliament. Pretty sure that if it came down to it Labour would be ok with that outcome.

          In any event, this election the most likely thing would Labour as a minority govt and the GP on the cross benches. I can't see Nact gaining enough vote to mean a hung parliament.

          • Incognito

            I’m not too sure that Labour would want to take the risk either because of the alleged momentum of National-ACT.

            • weka

              yep. Have to see I'm a little on edge despite Labour's polling and won't be counting any chickens until they are hatched.

              • Incognito

                You’d be delusional if you weren’t on edge; I think we all are, one way or another 😉

  8. Dennis Frank 9

    Stuff's Joel Maxwell gives us a glimpse into Maori politics:

    It is a debate – more of a discussion – between Labour’s Adrian Rurawhe and the Māori Party’s Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, for the benefit of whānau of the iwi Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai.

    Whānau from around the country and overseas are watching the event online, popping in comments, and questions for the two candidates.

    The Kāpiti Coast town of Waikanae offers some of the strongest evidence you can imagine of this interdimensional overlap between alternate political universes. At Whakarongotai Marae there is a wharenui (meeting house) with light tumbling through stained-glass windows at one end, and a formidable view of the Tararua Range from the front door. I’m told the wallpaper on the western end dates back to 1822. I try not to touch it.

    The latest polling for the electorate puts Rurawhe ahead but there’s about a third of voters undecided. Speaking before the debate, even he says polls of Māori electorates are unreliable.

    The Māori Party’s housing policy would halt immigration beyond existing New Zealand residents bringing family members into the country and visas for skilled workers. One of the moderators, Mahina-a-rangi Baker, asks if the party is scapegoating migrants.

    Ngarewa-Packer says they would be open to a kōrero on changing policies – but they had 1000 members polled inside the party, and only 38 disagreed with the immigration decision.

    There's a clever question from the floor – what if people voted for Ngarewa-Packer, and get Rurawhe in on the list, where he is ranked at 24? It's a twofer.

    He tells the audience to get out and ask whānau whether they're registered to vote, and then to tell them who to vote for. “Because,” he says to howls of laughter in the audience, “if they don't know how to enrol, they probably don’t know who to vote for.”

    What I liked about this is the sense of emotional intelligence that comes through. People being human, no ideology-driven robotic stuff. Plus humour!

  9. greywarshark 10

    So what does each political party think the role of the welfare state should be for the next three or so years? And what role does the state play in getting people back into jobs?

    To debate those issues, and more are social spokespeople Carmel Sepuloni for Labour, Tracey Martin for New Zealand First, Louise Upston for National, Nicole McKee for ACT, and Jan Logie for the Greens.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Reading down the various comments to questions about welfare from the women, Labour sounds willing to do something and refers to transformational (which can unfold a coloured brochure in everyone's mind with different pictures and words on each), and Green Jan Logie sounds the only one with definite ideas that will help lower income and beneficiaries and at one stage says they will lift them out of poverty.

      Oct 2, 2020 8:24 AM RNZ Live

      Greens spokesperson Jan Logie says the Green has got a policy of a guaranteed minimum income which would lift every family over the 50 percent poverty line.

      The rest come up with the well-worn-out empty comments that mothers should be in work, that help should be temporary, that overall numbers are too high so taking a top-down squashing targeted approach to welfare.

      The mood of the other parties is so anti-human it reeks of the thinking that historic heroes for better treatment of the poor fought against in the 1800's. I've been reading one of Anne Perrys books centred round old and horrid Britain; we are on our way back there unless good and determined people work to prevent it. Others will look idly on in distaste at the sights and crime that occurs, and their only response? To shrink away, or call them undeserving sinners (haughty religious). This is from the Inspector Thomas Pitt series – 'Death in the Devil's Acre', Ch.3.

      The older slums had housing areas with 'a curious mixture of societies that lived quite literally on top of each other' – good houses for the successful. Below were smaller houses with lodging-rooms for clerks and tradesmen….

      'Beneath…were the sagging tenements and cellars of the very poor, sometimes packed so full of humanity that [numerous] families shared one room. The stench …was choking. Rats teemed everywhere, so that an untended baby might well be eaten alive. And more children died of starvation or disease than reached an age of six…

      Among this warren of alleys…were the sweatshops, the rooms where broken-down lawyers or clerks drafted false affidavits, account books and receipts, where forgers practised their art, and receivers of stolen goods made bargains. And..gin mills, doss houses and brothels…'

      We already have some of these things, in different form but in parallel with this. And from the comfortable middle class, all that is forthcoming is 'shoulds'. They don't really care, don't want to help, they look to blame and throw that back on the shoulders of the strugglers and let businesses exist that live off their misery and squeeze them for any money they manage to accrue.

      So vote for Greens, for an active country where people aren't beaten down by others callous and blinkered self-interest. We could be usually happy, healthy and well-respected, and be able to cope with the unhappiness that occurs in a helpful, practical and effective manner. At present we aren't even trying, and the problems are building and multiplying.

  10. anker 11

    Two things for this morning. I commented yesterday on Daily Review that NZ had gone to number 156 on the covid worldometer in terms of number of covid casses. Today we are 157

    It seems the msm are doing an almightly push for Judith and Rimmer as if they are in with a chance, saying Judith won the debate (Tv3 Tova etc) Can't see anything about how patronizing Judith is of Jacinda or critiquing Judith for calling her "dear". Why?

    In 2020 surely we recognise that patronizing a woman (even if you are a woman) is completely unacceptable. If it happened in the workplace and the debates are the workplace, then there would be grounds for a PG. Why isn't anyone in the msm calling Judith out on this?

    • ianmac 11.1

      Anker. What does this mean? "NZ had gone to number 156 on the covid worldometer in terms of number of covid casses"

      • Andre 11.1.1

        If you go to the Worldometer covid page, and sort it by the "covid cases" column, New Zealand is #157 on that list. So 156 countries have had more reported covid infections than we have had.

        If you sort by the more useful metric of covid cases per million population, NZ is #167, or deaths per million, we're #170. Even that is misleadingly high because of how many of those cases are actual imports that were infected overseas but reported as ours because they were detected in our managed isolation.

        • Worth noting too that the list contains 215 countries (and includes the 2 cruise ships) so NZ at 157 has done exceptionally well.

          • anker

            Disagree Tony.

            If you look at the countries that fall below 157 mostly and I repeat mostly they are very small countries indeed, such as Cypress.

            • Tony Veitch (not etc.)

              That's not really disagreeing with me. If, as you say, and I agree, most of the countries lower down on the list are small, then we have done exceptionally well among the 'large' countries.

              Many of the countries further down, like us, are islands too, which helps.

        • anker

          Sorry Andre I am sure you didn't mean it this way, but felt a little mansplained by you jumping in and answering the question. Anyway I was off line for a bit so couldn't respond and I could see you had a point of view to get across.

          I know Covid stats are very complex and simple numbers alone don't give a true picture. I was just observing a trend and I think a trend that it valid to observe. Whatever the population countries that are keeping the lid on things, like NZ and are therefore going down is a good indicator. As are cases/deaths per millon.

          Chinas rates have really slowed and in fact the much vaulted Sweden now has more cases possibly more deaths.

        • weka

          "because of how many of those cases are actual imports that were infected overseas"

          Wouldn't that be true for other countries too? (I guess the proportion might be different depending on how many citizens were outside each country trying to get back in).

        • Incognito

          A surrogate measure of the Government’s efforts and the population’s compliance to keep the people safe is the number of tests per million: NZ #40 (lower number is better).

          How well did Government measures and population compliance protect fellow Kiwis against death from Covid, assuming these statistics are correct and accurate in all countries (which they are not): NZ #168 (higher number is better).

          The number of cases per million is the least meaningful stat, IMO, for reasons already stated by other commenters but also because it does not say anything about the seriousness of these cases and the long recoveries and lasting damage of some: NZ #167 (higher number is better).

          In isolation, none of these stats tells the whole story but taken together, they go some way to allow a cautious comparison between countries. Ideally, this would be combined with the stringency measures enforced by governments and the ‘effective’ stringency (for which there is no official measure AFAIK).

          • Andre

            Tests per million considered alongside the test positive rate.

            A government that has done 195,000 tests per million population to find 369 positive cases per million (positive result rate 0.19%) has by any objective assessment done a better job protecting its citizens than a government that has done 327,000 tests per million population to find 22,600 positive cases per million (6.9% positive rate).

            The first government put in vastly more effort to find its very few cases and really had very little reason to waste effort expanding its test programme, whereas the second government is throwing a probably inadequate effort at finding those affected by a massive out-of-control epidemic, even though it has tested more of its population.

            • Incognito

              Indeed, the numbers alone don’t tell the true story. Timely testing & tracing is critical for effective management of the pandemic.

  11. Chris T 12

    "Even that is misleadingly high because of how many of those cases are actual imports that were infected overseas but reported as ours because they were detected in our managed isolation."

    This theory only works if you can say the other countries aren't the same circumstances.

    • anker 12.1

      Whatever a countries circumstances their options are the same.

      Close borders.

      Lockdowns early and hard versus varying degrees of later and laxer.

      Quarantining new arrivals eg c-p our quarantining to the UK farce.

      Test and trace, rapidly or less so.

      China has all but defeated the virus without having the luxury of watching and seeing how it unfolds.

      No one will every convince me that NZ superior position globally is not down to JA listening to the scientists and acting with her strong superior team

    • Drowsy M. Kram 12.2

      Chris T, hope you'd agree that NZ has achieved comparatively good COVID-19 health outcomes. Not that it's a competition, of course. "We don't know how lucky we are"!

      If I could choose between the COVID-19 health outcomes of:
      Brazil (679 deaths per million)
      USA (641 deaths per million)
      UK (621 deaths per million)
      Sweden (583 deaths per million)
      Ireland (365 deaths per million)
      Canada (246 deaths per million)
      Australia (35 deaths per million)
      New Zealand (5 deaths per million); then I know which 'shambles' I'd pick.

      • Bearded Git 12.2.1

        Norway has 50 covid deaths per million.

        No wonder it closed its border with that amazingly successful shining light of capitalist non locked-down Sweden, with its 583 covid deaths per million. (sarc)

      • Chris T 12.2.2

        Of course.

        I was just saying you can't just say something is misleading "because we measure X" without checking which other countries figures are better after measuring the same X.

        Sorry. Was just something I thought. Just ignore.

      • RedLogix 12.2.3

        Absolutely NZ did the correct thing, went hard and early into lockdown and border closure back in March.

        At that time we were using ventilators inappropriately, we didn't have any effective treatment protocols, and there was much to learn about what appeared to be a totally novel virus. The case fatality rates were awful, hospital systems in many places were being overwhelmed and the global medical system was frankly making a mess of it's response. Based on that information we had to be concerned, we had to act to contain the risk of a runaway pandemic that might have killed tens of millions.

        Now the picture has changed; we now use ventilators rarely as a last resort, various treatment protocols are proving very effective in reducing fatalities and serious complications. There is now almost no chance we will see an out of control spiral of damage from this virus.

        Medical researchers all around the world (except notably the so-called developed 'first world') are trialing many low cost approaches and drugs, many with promising initial outcomes. These so called poor countries don't have the luxury of sitting around waiting for expensive drugs or vaccines, they just have to get on with the tools they can afford. That our media and medical authorities seem uninterested in these promising developments is barely surprising, but disappointing all the same.

        And politically I get a real sense that many Labour supporters who will be understandably delighted in how Ardern's COVID response has so dramatically bolstered support for her govt, now seem rather attached to the idea that if some lockdowns and border controls are good, then more must be better. This is clearly not true, NZ cannot close itself off from the world indefinitely.

        It's my sense we're now moving into another phase of this pandemic. Being nimble and effective going into it was good, managing the same trick going out of it will be even better.

        • anker

          not wanting to be a pendant Red L but my memory is that our borders closed to China in February. I was due to get on a plane to the UK in mid Feb and remembered feeling relieved that Australia, Singapore and NZ closed its borders to China around the same time. But probably you meant full border closure.

          • RedLogix

            Fair call.

            And apologies for the snarky response last night, uncalled for.


            • anker

              Oh Thanks Red. Didn't notice it, maybe I missed your comment. I know sometimes I get worked up about things and get a bit snarky

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          "It's my sense we're now moving into another phase of this pandemic."

          I hope your 'sense' proves correct, but keep an eye on the (reported) number of active infections globally, heading towards 7.8 million (with 66 thousand in a serious or critical condition) and still increasing. To my way of thinking we will enter a genuine new (epidemiological) phase once the number of active infections globally shows a sustained decrease. I'm also be mindful of the longer-term health outcomes of COVID-19 infections, symptomatic and otherwise.

          COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness and persistent symptoms, even in young adults and persons with no underlying medical conditions who were not hospitalized.
          Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 affects people over time.

          Covid-19’s long-term effects:You just don’t want to get this virus if you don’t have to

          Regarding "NZ cannot close itself off from the world indefinitely.", NZ isn't closed off at the moment. I would prefer that the process of further opening up be cautious and gradual (this is a novel virus), so that we don't risk our enviable health outcomes to date. I don't support the idea of returning to BAU, but if we must, then let it be gradual – what's the downside of giving people more time to consider alternatives?

          We're all in this together – stamp it out, keep it out!

          • RedLogix

            I understand the motive to stay on top of this virus, no-one wants to giveaway the gains that have been made so far.

            Yet the bigger picture is more promising than I what our media is telling us just yet. Remember how it took them all of four months or so to get around to telling us how useful Vitamin D is? Well there is plenty of promising work out there which isn't getting any cut through yet. To be honest the only reason why is that most of it is coming from relatively poorer countries who can't afford expensive treatments, yet there are interests in the developed world who really don't want the competition.

            Interestingly there is good evidence the virus is not quite as novel as we initially thought, and large fractions of the population already have at least partial immunity to it.

            And while infection rates remain high, the case fatality rates are dropping. It isn’t going to spiral out of control.

            Or to put it simply, if we started giving prophylactic Vitamin D to everyone over 60, combined with our now much stronger testing, tracking and treatment protocols … there really is little reason not to start opening back up in a controlled fashion. BAU may be a dirty word to the extremists here who seem to harbour quiet fantasies of collapse and chaos in order to progress their agendas, but for the rest of us … well the rest of us have plenty to get on with.

            The word here in Australia is they expect to be able to open up Trans-Tasman travel at the start of December. That's not too far off.

            • solkta

              The word here in Australia is they expect to be able to open up Trans-Tasman travel at the start of December.

              Yah dreammin mate.

              Did you or have you even bothered to look at the long term effects of this virus? As someone who has had a lifetime of ill health as the result of a virus i say get away to you.

              • RedLogix

                I'm not the one doing the dreaming.

                I hear you on the long term complications; there is still every reason to treat this virus with respect. But now we know:

                1. Wash your hands

                2. Wear a mask in high risk public locations

                3. Avoid crowds indoors

                4. Keep up the social distancing, especially with people outside your bubble

                5. Get plenty of sunshine or take Vitamin D

                6. Eat well and do what works for you to improve your health

                All simple stuff that cost virtually nothing, and will reduce the risk you are concerned about dramatically.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              "The word here in Australia is they expect to be able to open up Trans-Tasman travel at the start of December. That's not too far off."

              Seem to remember when word was that trans-Tasman travel would open up in September. I've a parent in their eighties living alone in Caloundra – we used to visit at least once a year, and they would hop the ditch once a year too, but it's been phonecalls only this year. So I hope you're right (although looks like Queensland won't be the first state out of the blocks), but even the best-laid plans (of mice and men) gang aft agley in these pandemicky times, and ‘phonecalls only’ isn’t the end of the world.

  12. Dennis Frank 13

    A troika of journos has compiled a nifty appraisal of the pros & cons of cannabis law reform:

    Research shows 15% of men and 8% of women in NZ used cannabis over a 12-month period in 2012-13. Legalising cannabis could save the NZ justice system a staggering NZ$11.4 million a year.

    Folks cycle in & out of usage. Interesting that of regular users women are half as inclined as men. There would be fascinating biological reasons for such a massive differential, but of course the mind/body interface is always deemed too hard for mainstream scientists to explore (so they default to ignorance continually).

    Mainstreamers in general still think legislating to make one kiwi in six a criminal is cool wacko arbitrary decision-making. It's how mainstreamers think. Bipartisan consensus that wacko is good.

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      research found Māori are more likely to be convicted on cannabis charges than non-Māori.

      Could be a key point. All it takes is traction in the public mind: the status quo institutionalises racism. Therefore cannabis law reform is essential!

    • Dennis Frank 13.2

      Over the past two-and-half years, street gangs in New Zealand have grown by more than 30%. The illegal cannabis market, estimated to be worth NZ$1–3 billion, potentially funds these gangs to some extent.

      Get a gaggle of economists together & task them with establishing a causal link. Just joking! But what other reason is there for the sudden spurt in gang growth? Mainstreamers will immediately think of maori males returning home from Oz, then realise they must not say so.

      Gnosis that gangs are better than jobs, in the minds of young males, could be widely held I suspect. Depends how easy the money flow actually is. Fortunately gangs are just as well-protected by private property rights as capitalists are, so mainstreamers are protected from the truth. Phew! Got out of that one! Thank god!

    • Prickles 13.3

      Only observation of my own circumstance and that of friends of a similar era – but may provide something of an answer as to why more men than women continue with regular use. Everyone I knew through my twenties smoked – some more than others but it was rare for someone to not take the joint if one was passed around. That noticeably changed once we started having babies.

      For myself, I was very conscious that I needed to give my baby the very best start in life that I possibly could so of course alcohol and smoking weed were immediately off the agenda – even from before I became pregnant. Then once baby was born, breastfeeding also put it aside. Once bub was weaned, I tried again to smoke but the anxiety I experienced about not being in full control of my faculties whilst being responsible for a little human being far overwhelmed any desire to continue smoking. The occasional glass of wine returned to the menu but smoking never did. Many of my friends felt the same way.

      Our partners of course, didn't experience becoming a parent the same way – there was no need to stop or even slow down as they weren't growing or feeding an infant. The cynic in me also saw that if I was sober and straight then there was no need for both of us to be so alcohol and weed continued to be important components of social events for my partner. And still are though he is no longer my partner.

      Yes, anecdotal only but widely observed.

      • Dennis Frank 13.3.1

        Thanks, and that fits with my experience too. In my circle of friends/family usage has remained habitual for some, is sporadic for others, while some haven't used it for decades.

        As far as I know my daughter hasn't tried it, and is about to turn 40 (without children). I know two women on the cusp of 70 who still get high fairly regularly, both life-long habits combined with high-earner social status (one with child, one not). Those who switched from long-term regular usage earlier in life to non-usage did so out of discovering that the straight life worked better for them.

        Coming up to eight years since the last time I got high. Since I'd cycled in & out for long periods of both prior, I haven't totally ruled out a further switch but it remains highly unlikely. Why? The straight life is less stressful nowadays, and I can handle the shit that perennially emanates from straights better…

      • woodart 13.3.2

        good comments. more factual for more kiwis than alot of the bullshit posted here and other places.myself and alot of my same age (60+) male and female friends are lifelong partakers. never led to anything harder, most are gainfully employed, home owners, parents, grandparents. taxpayers, solid citizens. interesting to see many are against proposed new laws , because they dont want to see large corporates take over what has been diy .

    • Drowsy M. Kram 13.4

      "of course the mind/body interface is always deemed too hard for mainstream scientists to explore (so they default to ignorance continually)"

      Why might you default to such ignorance continually? Guessing that you don't really expect your carping style to influence minds. Still, easier than just getting on with it eh? wink

      Mind-body therapies alleviate pain in people prescribed opioids
      "The researchers examined over 4,200 articles to identify 60 previously published randomized controlled trials on psychologically oriented mind-body therapies for opioid-treated pain. The randomized controlled trials included in the study involved more than 6,400 study participants."

      The Mind Maze – Early life experiences that shape adult health of mind and body

    • Incognito 13.5

      When I read those boring binary generalisations and idiosyncratic ignorance by you I have to think of sitting in a waiting train at a station with another waiting train beside it that is slowly taking off, giving the impression that I/we are moving forward when in fact it is the other train actually moving (in the opposite direction).

    • Sacha 13.6

      Interesting that of regular users women are half as inclined as men. There would be fascinating biological reasons for such a massive differential

      Why would you jump to that conclusion? No evidence it is other than social reasons.

  13. greywarshark 14

    Chew the gristle Labour. Bowalley Road on the unthinkable – so think now – Marx said a mouthful (below).
    It gets worse. Labour, in its pride, has ruled out a deal in Auckland Central. So, unlike National and Act, if Labour’s numbers end up being even marginally fattened by “strategic” Green voters returning to the fold, then that extra fat could kill its chances of re-election stone-dead. By contrast, Act can fall below the 5 percent threshold without denying its National Party ally the additional seats needed to govern. Perhaps it’s time for Labour to ask itself exactly how badly it wants Helen White to beat Chloe Swarbrick?…

    Surely, there must be something Labour can do to hold its Covid Converts in place? Yes, there is, and it can be summed-up in a single word: “Fear.” Jacinda and her colleagues need to pivot away immediately from their current message of rather complacent optimism, and towards the imminent threat of a National-Act programme of ruthless economic austerity. Scare the bejesus out of the nurses and teachers Judith Collins is forever appealing to. Make them feel the fear of cuts and lay-offs as Paul Goldsmith – egged-on by David Seymour – plays Edward Scissorhands with public health and education. Make all those 45+ women hear, in their mind’s ear, the demented cackle of Collins on election night as she discovers how many of her sisters have fallen for her “Nice Judith” routine.

    Marx and Engels – The Communist Manifesto:

    "…uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones…All that is solid melts into air".

    • Trotter is mostly, and scarily, right in his analysis. Tribal National voters will be relatively easily scared back into the National fold.

      Where Trotter is wrong, and where he is always wrong, is that he cannot recognise that the Green "brand" (for want of a better word) is strong-the Greens have a solid voting base of 6-10% based on a consistent and well thought out policy platform.

      A party vote for the Greens is a vote for a more progressive Jacinda-led government.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        I hope so BG. Thanks for that cheering thought. I am on edge and feel that many of the comfortably off are so wedded to the right wing, that they will always fly in circles in that direction, even when it loses some of its feathers. That's their default flight path so hope the wind doesn't change.

      • Sacha 14.1.2

        Colonel Trotter also can't get his head around the Greens maybe not even wanting a seymourish deal. Sees them as an appendage.

    • Pat 14.2

      maybe if they had 2 months (and the impact of no more wage subsidy) ….but two weeks (and Judiths persona) is too great an impediment

      • Bearded Git 14.2.1

        It's a worry that if the election had been 2 months later she might have been PM….ugghh!

        • Pat

          even if they had 2 months i cant see it….Collins' appeal is too limited even amongst the Nats…they may have improved considerably but not enough I think to form a Gov…especially if NZ First is gone.

    • Uncle Scrim 14.3

      Not a well-reasoned analysis to me. When Trotter says:

      It is important to recall that in 2017, with “Jacindamania” in full-swing, Labour could attract no more than 37 percent of the Party Vote. That was 7 percentage points shy of National’s 44 percent.

      It's also important to remember that in 2017 support for the Key-English government also remained in 'full-swing', even after Key's retirement, with English getting a similar % to what Key got in his 2008 victory. And that afterglow remained in place for many voters under Bridges, despite his own personal unpopularity. That has changed, and I don't think it's just because of Covid, nor even just because of National's chaos and failings this year.

      As I mentioned elsewhere, the last CB had Nat-ACT on 41%, the same as they were in June, in the only CB taken under Muller (when it was Nat 38%, ACT 3%). Lab-Greens were on 54% compared to 56% in June. The previous RR and CB polls in mid-late Sept had Nat-ACT on 36% and 38% respectively. There's no evidence of a trend back towards National – at this point anyway.

      if we just look at CB polls, which some say tend to overestimate National’s vote cf RR, the last four have had National at 38 (June), 32 (July), 31 and 33 (both Sept).

      • Stuart Munro 14.3.1

        The Gnats were on pretty much fulltime media life support under Key, but, though they're still a long way from impartial, there has been some movement, especially from Stuff, which now requires that facts ground opinion articles.

        It is hard to tell how much this corrosive element, fact, is responsible for the collapse of the confidence bubble of National's economic skill, but whatever the cause, they have lost the 'mandate of heaven' aura that once sanctified their silliest presumptions.

        • greywarshark

          Probably Trotter's approach is corresponding with the bounce back from Labour's high polling and that following the affect of the leader's debates. That people can wiffle-waffle so fast in a short time and on such spurious grounds shows they are weathercocks and this is a blustery spring. Damn the date being pushed so far forward.

 Tiger Mountain set out the timeline well.

          Just recapping, Scoop's coverage of the situation producing the election postponement:

          Ardern said her decision was based on public health concerns and was “in the best interests of voters and our democracy.” In fact, it was a political compromise in response to demands from the opposition National Party, which has been lagging in the polls, and the right-wing nationalist NZ First Party, which is part of the government. National claimed that the Auckland lockdown meant it could not properly campaign, and that Ardern gained an “unfair” advantage from her daily COVID-19 briefings.

          Significantly, Ardern’s announcement came the day after Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, leader of coalition partner NZ First, revealed he had written to Ardern stating his preference for a delay. He publicly released the letter, he said, to make sure the governor-general knew a majority of parliament, including NZ First and National, wanted a delay. It amounted to a threat to break up the coalition and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election, if Ardern did not accede.

          I wish that it had been delayed by two weeks, that 14 days would have meant that the Covid-19 cluster was sorted and contained reasonably. The election day would have been tomorrow – Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, you're only a day away… sang Annie. But not to be. As TM says ‘purgatory’.

          • Stuart Munro

            You're only a day or two shy of being able to vote tomorrow anyway.

            Trotter's a bit of a girl with the curl really – he has some great insights from time to time – but his sometimes his depression gets the better of him. I recall his calling for Corbyn's resignation just before Corbyn swept all before him to take the UK leadership for example.

            The delay didn't do much for Collins or NZF – and Ardern will likely have a third term if the Greens survive. The only person changing their ranking will be Seymour, it seems, but this might be good in the long term – in the lume of Jacinda's limelight his absurdity will stand out.

    • RedLogix 14.4

      On this I rather tend to agree. The poll numbers, nice as they are, have lured more than a few rusted on Labourites (here's looking at you Ad) into playing the gamble that they might govern on their own. I've nothing especially against this outcome in principle, but if it comes unstuck there will be very big tears before bedtime.

      And what is so easily overlooked, is that elections always tighten the gaps. Telling a pollster any old rope six months out from an election is one thing, ticking the boxes on the day is another. And that's when people tend to return to their political roots.

    • observer 14.5

      Going on about Auckland Central is a reliable indicator of keyboard-interviewing, which is Trotter's hallmark.

      It wasn't "Labour's pride". It was solid analysis of the evidence. (I can't really be bothered to explain this for the hundredth time, so let's just wait for the election result to finish the argument, Labour winning the seat, the Greens over 5% and the silent non-apology from Trotter and fellow fantasists).

      • greywarshark 14.5.1

        The solid analysis maybe from one preferred perspective though. Prismatic thinking is needed these days as the wind blows and the shapes and the lights shift.

        • observer

          Nice poetry. For analysis, I prefer numbers … as in, every poll ever taken, and election results.

          Anybody who thinks Epsom = Auckland Central can't be bothered to do any research, and so I can't be bothered with them.

          • greywarshark

            If the two electorates were different solid analysis would show that. Other perspectives could show up other electorates that would be better suited for consideration.

            And always when looking at other polls and other election results, and the present situation, it would be obvious that anything done or observed from the past has not led us in NZ and done by Labour, to good results. If they had we wouldn’t be in our present dire situation. Everything from the 20th century viewed as a whole, has been wrong – unsatisfactory and so relying too much on the past is only likely to repeat it, and without change, is as the saying goes – the act of a mad person.

    • McFlock 14.6

      Trotter is wrong.

      Fearmongering is the antithesis to the current Labour brand. So is cutting a dirty deal with the Greens.

      Sometimes you just have to stand up, do an honest job, and let that speak for itself – even in politics. Not that I think Labour or the Greens will do it any other way.

      • greywarshark 14.6.1

        I see your point but do not agree. We are in desperate straits, and the two waka travelling along the same course should be concerned about each other and assisting each other.

        20th century thinking must be re-engineered – everything else is being done over and often thrown out. The thinking people need to examine their doctrines and those of the past. One comes to mind – 'Don't cut off your nose to spite your face', Seems obvious as a sensible caution but then people are frequently not sensible – actually being sensible is sometimes regarded as a fault. But now is the time etc.

        • McFlock

          There are many ways to assist an allied but smaller party.

          Leave policy holes or shortcomings that your ally can exploit and use for differentiation, but your opponents are even worse on – Labour has those in droves.

          Behaving with courtesy, civility, even familiarity when interacting with your allies makes sharing votes between the two more acceptable – voting for that someone else is not a betrayal.

          Make it clear you can work with them in government.

          Don't prop them up. Stand beside them.

          • greywarshark

            Also remembering that these are desperate days for NZ. Devising rules of behaviour, adopting chivalrous and fair approaches yes, but ensuring that we get a left government is what the citizens are concerned about. Ensure that in the best way that is legal and then a government run on perfectly attuned and civilised ways when in government by all means, but ensure both Parties are enabled to get into government. Labour owes the ordinary people of NZ Labour’s humble acquiescence to what we need and want: Labour and Green together.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            "Don't prop them up. Stand beside them."

            Like that. Would party vote Green even if they were self-immolating – that's a bit hypocritical (I don't admire blind political allegiance), but the Green party's list candidates give me no cause for concern.

            The National party has propped up ACT for years – 'nuff said.

            • Sacha

              the Green party's list candidates give me no cause for concern

              Whereas some of those new Act MPs are bound to appal even the most fervent righties. Should help the Nats lots in 2023.

      • weka 14.6.2

        I didn't read the full piece. What the fuck is on about? That Labour should go for +50% in case the GP is under 5%? Even if the Greens are out, and Labour is under 50%, won't Lab still have more MPs than NACT? I guess there is a risk of a big shift to the right, but atm isn't it more like L 47/48 NACT sub-40? Am I missing something about how the proportion falls out or how minority govts are formed?

        • greywarshark

          There is some fear there all right, it could be a function of all the waiting around we have been forced into and the spray of smoke that is choking. And who takes the idea of the Greens being out lightly?

          • weka

            Well Trotter has spent a good few decades dissing them, so I assume he's ok with them gone except where Labour needs them.

        • Sacha

          The colonel is missing how MMP works again. Wish he would stop flapping his gums and retire gracefully.

          • weka

            gawd, now I've just thought about who might be political commenters on election night this year.

            • woodart

              yes, if the tv get hooten,trotter and boag on election night ,Im off. all three of these fossils should be given the heave ho.

              • Pat

                Hooten and Boag are unlikely …Trotter?probably him too

                • weka

                  any particular reason they wouldn't use Trotter?

                  Will be interesting to see which rw punters they use.

                  There's always Pagani.

                  • Pat

                    Think Trotter can safely be described as yesterdays man now…am surprised they rolled him out for the last one…but then they are short on high profile (acceptable) leftists… and I use the term ‘high profile’ advisedly

                    • Pat

                      Its not that hes out of touch or wrong its just that theres 2 or 3 generations that dont relate to his perspective….and that makes bad television (or radio)

  14. Alan 15

    Labour will dump the RMA and free up housing development – great move. well done.

    This will actually achieve results, much better strategy than Kiwibiuld.

  15. Pat 16

    They're beginning to call it

    "Peters didn’t win the debate. If this had been a four-person race, he wasn’t even a medallist.

    Davidson clearly communicated the Greens’ successes and their policy platform for the next three years. Seymour was confident and assured without ever seeming brash; ready to lead a much bigger caucus. Tamihere, with nothing to lose, was a fearless and unequivocal force for Māori.

    But it didn’t seem as if Peters was here to win."

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Peters retorted: “I was born to a family of 11 children. I know what I’m talking about.”

      Social darwinism. A family that size is like a clan. You get sorted into some kind of dominance hierarchy in which age only partially creates the pecking order. Anyone who comes out of that niche a winner does tend to know what they're talking about.

      Peters had said he wouldn’t show for Newshub’s specially pre-recorded “powerbrokers” debate. The broadcaster had sent out invitations with just the faces of Greens co-leader Marama Davidson, Act leader David Seymour and Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere.

      But last night, before an audience in Auckland’s Grey Lynn, Winston Peters confounded expectations just by turning up. And he turned up in warm humour.

      Maybe he noticed that being negative didn't work?? Interesting shift by him. But a peculiar decision by the show producer, eh? Bias. Unashamed.

  16. joe90 17

    Internal polling must be worrying if Repugs are moving to suppress voting in Texas.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, ordered counties to stop accepting hand-delivered absentee ballots at more than one location, issuing a proclamation that could make it harder for residents to vote early.


    Texas has 254 counties, the largest of which is rural Brewster, which covers 6,193 square miles, larger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined.

    Harris County, which includes much of the sprawling city of Houston, has a population of more than 4.7 million people, according to the Census Bureau. The county is home to 25 percent of the state's Black residents and 18 percent of its Hispanic population.

    Before Abbott's proclamation, the county had created 11 ballot drop-off locations.

  17. observer 18

    Breaking news: Judith "zero tolerance of the virus" Collins will now ban rubbish bins, won't she? Because that's how easy it is to keep the virus out, according to … well, anybody who has been asleep for 6 months, like the Collins fan club.

    Bring them in! Keep them out! In, out, open, closed, all the plans, no plan …

  18. Ad 19

    Could Hope Hicks please just give Donald a big wet smooch.

    Share that infected love around.

    • Andre 19.1

      You ask for so much, so lightly. I know it's for the greater good of all humanity an' all, but kissing that? Eewwwwwww …

  19. weka 20

    Anyone know what would happen if Trump died or became seriously disabled before the election?

    • Andre 20.2

      If the hoax virus merely temporarily disables the Covidiot-in-Chief, then Pence becomes Acting Presidolt for the duration of the disability, and the election goes ahead normally.

      If the "no worse than the flu" permanently obviously incapacitates the Quid Pro Quoronavidiot, I'd imagine Pence still becomes Acting Preznit until after the election, at which point the 25th Amendment will get invoked and Pence becomes full POTUS. But no matter when the 25th is invoked, the election goes ahead as scheduled.

      If the "doesn't affect the young and the healthy" virus kills the self-described healthiest fittest man ever to take the presidency, then Pence immediately becomes full President and chooses a new veep to be confirmed by the Senate, and the election goes ahead as scheduled. There may be some mad scrambling to reprint ballots that haven't already been sent out and/or returned, and there may be some urgent state lawmaking to clarify that votes for Trump and Pence are deemed to be votes for Pence and NewVeep if needed.

      Similarly if Biden became ill or died, Harris would go right into the position and appoint a new VP nominee.

      Election date is set by Congress as a statute, and the only body that can change it is Congress. I really doubt the House would have any inclination to change it.

  20. bwaghorn 21

    Fuck aussie are dick heads . Why would you announce this just before an election ,it must be obvious to all but the dimest fucker that this will give opposition parties a free hot in the mischief department.

    • Muttonbird 21.1

      It's weird. How many Kiwis are going to hit Adelaide for a summer holiday only to have to quarantine for 2 weeks at a cost of $3K upon return.

      Looks rushed for political purposes.

      • Pat 21.1.1

        Watch thepressure pile on to remove that quarantine at this end

        • RedLogix

          I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over:

          [You may want to explain why you think that the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely. Framing it as an assertion is a sure-fire way to attract unwanted attention – Incognito]

          • Pat

            Tell that to Madrid, Paris and London

          • Muttonbird

            What an obscene statement.

            • PsyclingLeft.Always

              And absolute mischievous BULLSHIT to boot

              • RedLogix

                You haven't had the time to watch it. How do you know it's bullshit?

                • PsyclingLeft.Always

                  "Oh I'm quite aware that some govts and the big profit centers in the medical industry have their own reasons to want it to go on for as long as possible. And everything will be done to ensure this happens."


            • RedLogix

              Watch the video and understand why I make that claim (yes it's a bit rhetorical). What we know now means there is no reason for this to be a dangerous pandemic anymore.

              Yes it remains a virus to taken seriously (I've said the elsewhere today) and no I don't want to catch it. But from an epidemiology perspective … it's over.

              Well if we want it to be that is.

              [To avoid any more argy-bargy or worse (…), perhaps you could refrain from making rhetorical or semantic claims and stick with clearly articulated facts with links to support them, yes? If you make controversial statements, it is best to be as clear as possible without any stuff that could detract or confuse. Sticking to these simple rules of debating doesn’t guarantee a healthy robust debate but it might avoid derailing and descending into a shit fight – Incognito]

          • Andre

            I'm curious, have you ever gone looking for information on trials of using vitamin D on covid beyond just watching clickbait artists that are monetising your eyeball time?

            There are trials and metastudies out there, which seem to point to a moderate consensus that vitamin D deficiency is indeed one of the many risk factors for serious covid, but that administering vitamin D beyond what is needed to correct deficiencies provides no further benefit.



            • RedLogix

              Campbell is no clickbait artist. He's been measured and reliable the whole way through.

              Fascinating to watch people leap in and condemn, before they've even looked at the evidence and case being offered.

              • Andre

                Given that video seems to be the favourite medium of clickbait monetising disinformation artists, and that it's deathly slow at actually conveying real information, no I'm not interested in a 27 minute video. The actual information, if it was valid, could be conveyed in something that takes just a couple of minutes to read.

                If you had gone looking for actual information, you would found plenty of links to actual studies being conducted.

                • RedLogix

                  no I'm not interested in a 27 minute video.

                  Which is the usual pathetic excuse made by people wanting to avoid information that might upset their fixed ideas.

                  And the link you provided above says this :

                  How should people think about their vitamin-D intake during the pandemic? For starters, don’t view it as a silver bullet protecting you from COVID-19—there’s simply not enough scientific evidence for that. But if you’re one of the many Americans with insufficient vitamin-D levels, it may be a good idea to increase your intake—if not to protect yourself from the virus directly, then at least to improve your health more broadly. The best way to increase your vitamin-D levels is to eat more foods with a high amount of vitamin-D, like mushrooms and fatty fish. Then, make sure you’re getting enough sunlight (this doesn’t mean sunbathing or skipping the sunscreen)—especially if you’re in the northern hemisphere and the days are getting shorter.

                  Which is useful, but evades the important point. That Vitamin D is absolutely not going to stop you from catching the virus, but it's going to greatly reduce the risk of you winding up in ICU, dying or going on to have serious complications.

                  There is now a substantial body of correlation evidence that strongly suggests Vit D is important, and sufficient clinical evidence also confirming the same thing.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Read again your sentence at, you fucking spanner.

                    Have think about how you might have worded it differently.

                    [Time to take the chill pill, yes? – Incognito]

                    • PsyclingLeft.Always

                      The real RedLogix is revealed

                    • Incognito []

                      I’d like to point out that this is not a constructive comment in the discussion but a thinly veiled ad hominem. Please don’t 🙂

                    • Incognito

                      See my moderation note @ 7:58 PM.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Ah well. We here have been though a lot. Plenty of resident Kiwis are upset by the ex-pat's comment as you can see. You might want to try moderate that…

                    • Incognito []

                      I’m asking to leave the insults out. Moderation is not about protecting people from getting upset! Moderation is making sure that we have robust debate but insulting ain’t that. For the record, I’d love to push back on some of the stuff that RL has said but now I can’t because I’m wearing my Moderator hat. FYI, that pisses me off bigly.

                    • RedLogix

                      The reason is simple, whenever I suggest anything that hints even indirectly that it's time NZ started thinking about how to move into a COVID response that isn't completely dependent on lockdowns and tight border controls, a whole queue of lefties here go into panic mode and attack me.

                      We already know the media and medical authorities are frequently very conservative (often inexplicably so) in the story they're telling. We knew back in April or May that Vit D likely played an important role, but it didn't hit the NZ media until a few weeks back.

                      This pandemic is not going to be around forever, and it's nature and our understanding of it is changing all the time. Ardern's govt was fast an effective going into this crisis, full points for that. But equally we need to start thinking about how to be smart about getting out of it. They'll get even more points for that.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Incognito

                      Fair call. It was obviously meant to be rhetorical, as in any literal sense there are still plenty of cases and deaths globally.

                      But stepping back from this, the big picture is changing, and the end is I believe very much in sight. Yes it's a going to be a major problem for years to come, it will change behaviour and policies for the foreseeable future. But it's not going to spin out of control into the nightmare scenarios that looked entirely possible just six months ago.

                    • Incognito []

                      Regrettably, I have excused myself from joining this discussion, which could have been most interesting and constructive. Maybe another time but not tonight 🙁

                    • McFlock

                      Without a vaccine, we still stand to lose thousands of people if we open the borders. Lockdowns with open borders are pointless, as there will always be imported cases creating fresh clusters.

                      Until we have a jab or an actual cure that can also prevent the chronic conditions following infection, the current restrictions are sensible.

                      Best case scenario, in a year or two there are some partially-effective vaccines that can be distributed every covid season like the flu shots.

                      Because we know that if we have a government that half-arses it, then the pessimistic projections from March turn out to be an undercount.

                    • RedLogix


                      The ex-pat thing is a bit silly. I've been resident in Brisbane the whole time and our experience here has been almost identical to NZ's. And within a relatively short time we'll be returning to home and family. I'm intensely proud of how well NZ has handled this crisis, but I'm also willing to start thinking about when and how to emerge from it. Hopefully as an even more cohesive society with a greater belief in itself.

                      One of the things I observe is what people do with my relative candour about my real life. It is of course dead easy to use a pseudonym to make a very small target of yourself; a path I long ago decided was a bit boring.

                    • Muttonbird

                      No shit you are returning home. That's because 'the left', contrary to your flame post, got it right.

                      Literally every sane person in the world can see this. You now included.

                      Please take the advice of the NZ MoH and isolate for 14 days prior to boarding the flight to paradise.

                    • RedLogix


                      Without a vaccine, we still stand to lose thousands of people if we open the borders.

                      That may well have been the case six months ago. Now with Infection Fatality rates dropping and more effective treatment protocols in place that modelling is out of date.

                      Our testing and tracking capacity is now in place and working well, our hospitals are well equipped and trained to deal with it. Treatment protocols are far better tuned in.

                      As for Vitamin D, how about just watching Campbell's case (and as usual he's scrupulous about referencing his sources) and make up your own mind. If you still don't like it come back and explain why … that would make for a useful discussion.

                    • RedLogix


                      There is no COVID related gain for me to return to NZ, Queensland is for all practical purposes equally free of it and has been all along.

                      It's only the Labour run State govt of Victoria that's really dropped the ball over here. (And to some degree that may well have something to do with the relatively lower levels of winter sunshine there in Melbourne.)

                    • McFlock


                      That may well have been the case six months ago. Now with Infection Fatality rates dropping and more effective treatment protocols in place that modelling is out of date.

                      They might be "out of date", but at least they're not based on wishful thinking. People are still dying from it, even in NZ with our low numbers.

                      Our testing and tracking capacity is now in place and working well, our hospitals are well equipped and trained to deal with it. Treatment protocols are far better tuned in.

                      We can't go back anywhere close to 50k arrivals a week again. We can't reliably isolate them all, I doubt we can test them all (even the recent cluster had us near capacity, we can't sustain that as a new normal), we can't test and track all their contacts when they're here, and we can't do a damned thing if we did track them – everyone would be in constanty L4 again, and we'd overload our ICUs.

                      We had two small clusters, and to stamp it out a million people went down to L3 again.

                      Reopening borders without actual effective treatments (not youtube videos, decent peer-reviewed large scale trials and a general medical consensus) or a vaccine (a real one), thousands of NZers will fucking die. Thousands more will suffer long term illness that we're barely learning about yet. Our ICU beds will overflow, and that results in even more death.

                      This is not shit that a youtube video can solve. This is not shit that youtube can make you an expert on. We fuck up, thousands die. It's that simple.

                    • RedLogix

                      We can't go back anywhere close to 50k arrivals a week again.

                      I know, it was where I said that we need to start thinking about intelligent and controlled processes to start opening up again. Is that where you concluded I really meant 'open slather full tourism' with no controls and no quarantine?

                      Because you may want to think of it like this; Bloomfield himself has made it clear that keeping COVID out is pretty near impossible, there will be new clusters. If lockdowns are the only tool in the arsenal, just how often do you think the NZ public will tolerate this? Because each time we reach for that tool, it gets a little blunter, and a lot more damaging.

                      And simply waiting for a decent vaccine is a fool's game; you have no idea just how long it will take to arrive if at all. We could get lucky and have one by the end of this year … or it could be the end of next year, or the one after. Such a profound unknown represents a massive strategic risk.

                      Another way to measure this; at this point the CFR has leveled out at around 5k per day globally. And slowly falling. If it turns out that these new treatment approaches have a real impact, then it could easily be lower than this again. That's worth watching for.

                      Now put this into the context that over 150k people die per day globally from all causes, this means COVID represents even at this point in time some 3.5% of all global deaths. And falling.

                      And given that because generic T-cell immunity (which is different to to the specific antibody oriented immunity created by B-cells) seems to be reasonably prevalent … we may well be able to reach the fabled 'herd immunity' far sooner than initially expected when it was thought SAR-COVID-2 was going to be a totally novel disease to which everyone was going to be vulnerable.

                      This damn bug remains a real problem, and we can and should work to prevent avoidable deaths, but it isn't one of the Four Horseman scything through humanity in vast numbers. It's my view that sooner, rather than later, we're going to reach the point where COVID is just another endemic disease we have to live with.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "This damn bug remains a real problem, and we can and should work to prevent avoidable deaths, but it isn't one of the Four Horseman scything through humanity in vast numbers."

                      @RL – If 1,000,000 doesn't count as a 'vast-ish' number, then anything's possible. Whenever the decision is taken to 'move on', can we please do so with caution – I'd rather that "this damn bug" didn't scythe through another million. If it does then we’d all better hope that ‘moving on‘ wasn’t a contributing factor.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, whatever, mate.

                      There are no "intelligent and controlled processes to start opening up again". The number of people we can quarantine reliably is not much bigger than we have now. The number of people we can test without stopping all other medical lab tests for covid is about now. The more people we let in, the more leaks there will be into the community, and the more likely we'll all have to go back into level 4 again, and as you point out nobody wants that.

                      T-cells and CFRs and whatever other bullshit you want to wank on about are irrelevant. Here's the thing: if we have effective treatments, we don't get or need herd immunity. We would treat people before they pass it on to enough people that population immunity becomes a brake on the spread of the disease.. If we get herd immunity without a vaccine, that means most people got it, there was no effective treatment, and thousands of New Zealanders died.

                      New Zealand is closed for the duration.

                      Get your head around that. Whether "the duration" is until there is a vaccine, or just until enough fuckwits decide they would kill grandma just for the cruise ship trade, is moot. There is no calendar target.

                      Massive strategic risk? What a joke. The risk was that this might happen. It happened. That is the card that was dealt. Shit happened, mass global transport of people is over for a while, if you're still in the tourist hospo game you've been in denial for six months.

                      NZ is not a tourist destination anymore. We are closed until galactic economic conditions can afford our products again. That industry that popped up over the last 40 years? It's dead. It has ceased to be. They've had next to no international customers for six months. Probably none for at least another six months. It is not on ice. It has passed on and kicked the bucket.

                      Fucking deal with it.

                  • Andre

                    All of that is a long long way from your assertion:

                    I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over:

                    And in terms of the strength of consensus, it appears fairer to say the consensus is that not being vitamin D deficient will somewhat reduce risk of ending up in ICU, not greatly reduce that risk.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Redlogix, you, and I suspect all others commenting here, and indeed the vast majority of people around the globe, would genuinely prefer that the COVID-19 pandemic would simply go away, or better yet that it had never happened.

                    But it did happen, and it isn't going to go away (globally) anytime soon, vitamin D and other so-called 'treatments' or prospective vaccines notwithstanding. It seems to me that you're grasping at straws, and that’s puzzling. It's not logical. But then we're all experiencing (variable) amounts of sustained COVID stress due to its public health, economic and general societal impacts, and stress can affect one's judgement.

                    Be well.

                    "Well, as the coronavirus is raging uncontrolled in the United States because the President Donald Trump does not like bad news, most deaths happened among the Black and LatinX communities. Which is for sure not something making the Imperial Wizard Trump sad, but it made some biomedical scientists think. What if it is not the poverty, failed public health and blatant institutional racism which kills Black Americans in the pandemic, but something as simple and cheap as a lack of Vitamin D? In humans, the vitamin is naturally produced by exposure to sunlight, of which white skins takes up more than dark skin, so you see where this is going."


                    Vitamin D's effect on Covid-19 may be be exaggerated. Here's what we know
           [27 May 2020]

                    • RedLogix

                      The comment thread under that 'forbetterscience' link is more interesting IMO.

                      And I stopped reading the edition.cnn article when it started out referencing the UK Solidarity HCQ trial that is now well understood to have deliberately set out to prove a drug that has been safely used for decades was dangerous, by using doses that are well understood to be toxic.

                      And of course no-one has yet bothered to explain the Surgisphere scandal. While it completely suckered the Lancet and WHO, and scuttled research into HCQ at a politically loaded moment … exactly how and why was this large and completely fraudulent ‘study’ cooked up by a company that apparently employs just four people? Why the hell would anyone do that for just shits and giggles?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      As the COVID-19 pandemic lumbers on, there's an inevitability also to the succession of 'immune health boosting' supplements and other 'treatments' being touted as ways to limit the severity of COVID-19 infections. And that's to be expected – we all want to feel in control.

                      Zinc and doxycycline (in combination with ivermectin) had a brief run, but that's complicated.

                      • What about the Importin alpha/beta? Importins are intracellular transport proteins sometimes used by viruses to enter the nucleus and replicate their genetic material. Ivermectin inhibits the importin and this has been amply quoted as the potential mechanism of action against SARS-CoV-2. This is very puzzling as SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the cytosol. It does not enter the nucleus for replication. So the amply quoted importin mechanism is unlikely to have a role here.

                      In summary, there is equipoise. This is a term used in bioethics to define a situation in which there is reasonable doubt of whether a drug might be of use or not. Testing of ivermectin against SARS-CoV-2 in clinical trials is warranted.

                      Maybe after vitamin D it will be selenium (particularly relevant to NZ) and probiotics – I don't know, but I'm happy for those that think they do, provided that they do no harm to themselves or others.



                      The 15 Best Supplements to Boost Your Immune System Right Now

                      An important note
                      With the 2019 coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than physical distancing, also known as social distancing, and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19.

                      Currently, no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically.

                    • PaddyOT

                      After near 11 months of global SARSCOV2 there is still no conclusive evidence only small trials testing very different things with Vit D, but these small observations get mashed together to incorrectly prove a view. Campbell's video originally came out earlier this year and still pushing it yet Vit D has not been a saving panacea.

                      Supporting your view too DMK, a large scale study of people in the United Kingdom did not find evidence for a link between vitamin D levels and getting COVID-19 or having a poorer prognosis afterwards.
                      Complete data sets were available for 348,598 UK Biobank participants.


                      " We found no evidence that (25(OH)D) explains susceptibility to COVID-19 infection, either overall or between ethnic groups. Our study is the first to assess whether there is an association between blood 25(OH)D concentration and COVID-19 risk. We found no such link, suggesting that measurement of 25(OH)D would not be useful to assess risk in clinical practice.

                      Furthermore, our results suggest that vitamin D is unlikely to be the underlying mechanism for the higher risk observed in black and minority ethnic individuals and vitamin D supplements are unlikely to provide an effective intervention."

                      Further, " However, we found no association between 25(OH)D and COVID-19 infection after adjusting for potential confounders. Therefore, despite 25(OH)D concentration being lower in black and minority ethnic participants, there was no evidence that it might play a role in their higher risk of COVID-19 infection."


                      From RL, " There is now a substantial body of correlation evidence that strongly suggests Vit D is important, and sufficient clinical evidence also confirming the same thing."


                      There are small clinical trials underway concerning Vit D – testing different hypothesis on different issues but currently there is no conclusive scientific findings to support Vit D as a prevention for Covid19.

                      Yes, there is observational data out there linking lower vitamin D levels to either heightened susceptibility or poorer outcomes, but these are limited in quality in that they can’t pull apart and rule out variable causality, which equally could also be an explanation of current small study observations. Thus, they are not scientifically definitive.

                      There are so many variables that study participants are 'wrapped up in' that cannot be seperated and rigorously tested (in such a relatively short time too) that supports a global founded conclusion on vitamin D catergorically as effective in avoiding or mitigating Covid19 effects – those variances such as ethnicity, household numbers, current health status such as obesity, smokers, variables including lockdowns which meant people inside had lower vit D anyway, onto confinement isolating with infected people where infection spread is more significant as likely causation even for vit D takers.


                      A "study" also does not mean it has been completed, validated and/or accepted widely by the scientific community.
                      Different clinical trials also are not all testing the same ' hypothesis' so casually linking studies or comparison may be non- scientific. For example studies vary as to whether subject participants are free of Covid or asymptomatic or post infection. Or that they vary in focus such as before infection to test vit D efficacy in stopping spread of disease or studies after infection on the different symptoms. Trial outcomes of Vit D studies vary too as they may be for its role in pneumonia while another maybe for immunology effect and another for Vit Ds part in blood markers of inflammation.

                      The relatively short time Covid19 has been around and the many strains of SARSCoV2 also means there are limitations to making longer term definitive, big claims about Vitamin D. Study size also needs scrutiny, this one underway has 30 participants and is a short term limited study.


                      The study RedLogix's author had highlighted as substantive had just 76 subjects. The author of the piece BMJ was very selective giving incomplete information.

                      The deliberate mischief was that BMJ was linking overall T-Cell behaviour knowledge to different studies with different hypothesis being tested. He goes from talking vaccines, then linking to a child In 60’s the with agammaglobulinemia no B cells who overcame a measles infection, to SARS 1 ( not Covid19) to selecting a few high level sunshine countries but ignores many others such as India to then conflating his evidence by using a small study about ICU admittance.

                      The study target BMJ highlighted was only testing reducing ICU admission, not as a cure or preventative of Covid19 nor as an indicator or fix for symptoms.

                      BMJ created these points,

                      " The results of the first vitamin D intervention double blind RCT for COVID was published on 29 August by researchers in Córdoba, Spain. This very well conducted study produced spectacular outcomes for the vitamin D group (n=50), virtually eliminating the need for ICU (reducing it by 96%) and eliminating deaths (8% in the n=26 control group). Although this was a small trial, the ICU results are so dramatic that they are statistically highly significant "

                      Omitted was the full report on this Spain study finding it as only a very short term 'pilot' study. Only 50 people received calcifediol which " is a medical drug used to treat parathyroid problems, so it is unclear if normal vitamin D supplementation would achieve the same effect." Calcifediol is not an over the counter supplement.

                      The Spain researchers also did not measure the vitamin D3 levels of the patients, ??? but merely assumed they were probably deficient based on prior population data. ( IE. was an unscientific assumption ). The different complications each patient presented with were not analysed just that all received good hospital care.

                      Omitted by BMJ was in the conclusion made on only 2 people of 26 dying…

                      " Still, it remains uncertain if vitamin D3 levels would affect the efficacy of calcifediol treatment for Covid-19. And other possible confounders in this study that the researchers did not measure are obesity, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status."


                    • RedLogix

                      The researchers also did not measure the vitamin D3 levels of the patients, but they were probably deficient based on prior population data. Still, it remains uncertain if vitamin D3 levels would affect the efficacy of calcifediol treatment for Covid-19. And other possible confounders in this study that the researchers did not measure are obesity, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

                      That's kind of an odd conclusion as they say elsewhere that calcifediol is the primary metabolite of VitD. In other words this is what the body turns VitD into over a period of a few days. Using calcifedol directly really just speeds up the pharmacological response … which seems like a good idea if someone is very sick.

                      And given the good correlation studies that clearly link VitD with better outcomes it's fairly reasonable to go with the idea that supplementation is well worth pursuing at a population level.

                      As for not measuring obesity, ethnicity and socioeconomic status … well that's the whole point of randomised trials, to minimise or even eliminate if possible the impact of other factors. A study with 72 members isn't big enough to do this with complete effect, but the exceptionally high p value of the outcome is still well worth paying attention to.

                      Again no-one is claiming this one clinical trial in Spain is the definitive be all and end all, but it is substantive and the correct response is to get busy and try to replicate it at a scale that is totally convincing. And given that VitD is at all normal doses entirely safe, there is really no reason not to be using it clinically in the meantime. Hell it might even save some patients lives … wouldn't that be a hoot?

                    • Incognito []

                      A study with 72 members isn’t big enough to do this with complete effect, but the exceptionally high p value of the outcome is still well worth paying attention to.

                      For your edification:

                      Statistical significance is the least interesting thing about the results. You should describe the results in terms of measures of magnitude –not just, does a treatment affect people, but how much does it affect them.

                      -Gene V. Glass1

                      The primary product of a research inquiry is one or more measures of effect size, not P values.

                      -Jacob Cohen2

                      ‘Using Effect Size—or Why the P Value Is Not Enough’


                    • RedLogix

                      We found no evidence that (25(OH)D) explains susceptibility to COVID-19 infection, either overall or between ethnic groups.

                      All this does is confirm exactly what I've already said; no-one is suggesting that Vit D prevents infection.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      RL, happy to give a hoot for hope (won’t get my hopes up just yet), but not for hype – wouldn't dare speculate on why a quick COVID fix is so important to you that you would go down this well worn path.

                      "We have no idea whether vitamin D supplementation is an effective treatment or preventative for COVID-19. Hopefully that will change soon (and I can update this article), but for now the only thing I can definitively say is that anyone telling you that vitamin D supplements do or don’t work for COVID-19 with any certainty is probably wrong."

                      We’re on our own
                      Before fast forwarding to last week’s debacle on convalescent plasma, here is a recap of the Trump administration’s prior mishaps on COVID-19 treatments. The harbinger of these sagas is the hydroxychloroquine fiasco. In listing drugs that might help with COVID-19, it was logical to add hydroxychloroquine to the list due to its action against some viruses in vitro. Early studies were vague and shady in various ways, but eventually a picture emerged that it did not work. All along the way, President Trump hawked the medicine as a “game-changer” that would end the pandemic. FDA Director Hahn caved and granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on 30 March, thereby allowing its medical application without the agency’s full approval for use in COVID-19. After millions of dollars were wasted on new studies to prove that the drug was not effective against COVID-19, Hahn finally retracted the EUA on 15 June. Trump continued to promote the drug, causing conservative physicians to continue to use it and Trump supporters to demand it. In the meantime, patients who needed hydroxychloroquine for approved indications had trouble getting their normal refills.

                      Trump’s goal was not to deliver a miracle cure but to paint science into the same corner with his other enemies—academia, the media, and coastal elites. When the medical science community said “no” to hydroxychloroquine, politicians retaliated by accusing scientists of taking away hope for people. More important, this allowed politicians to use their digital misinformation machine to sow confusion. Confusion is the fuel of Trump’s political strategy machine, and it was further enhanced by Hahn’s EUA, which he then reversed.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      RL @
                      Remember how it took them [our media] all of four months or so to get around to telling us how useful Vitamin D is?

                      Well, go on then, how useful is it – I really want to know.

                      Or to put it simply, if we started giving prophylactic Vitamin D to everyone over 60, combined with our now much stronger testing, tracking and treatment protocols … there really is little reason not to start opening back up in a controlled fashion.
                      Although one “little” reason not to start opening back up would be the possibility that vitamin D supplements turn out to be ineffective in reducing the symptoms of COVID-19.

                      RL @3:38 pm
                      5. Get plenty of sunshine or take Vitamin D
                      All simple stuff that cost virtually nothing, and will reduce the risk you are concerned about dramatically.

                      Is there any conclusive scientific evidence that vitamin D supplements will reduce the health risks associated with COVID-19 infection?

                      RL @
                      I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over
                      Really? “This COVID pandemic” is over?!!! Extraordinary ‘vitamin D hype’ and hyperbole.

                      RL @
                      But from an epidemiology perspective … it's over. Well if we want it to be that is.
                      Again??? Please, RL, tell that to the families of the nearly 9,000 people who died from COVID-19 on Thursday. Fanciful and callous; but to what end?

                      Anyone else having doubts?

                    • RedLogix


                      I've made the references that are strongly suggestive of Vit D being useful to substantially reduce bad outcomes. But they simply get ignored or dumped on without being read. So excuse me if I decline to engage in more of that.

                      Elsewhere I've made it clear we need to start thinking about a strategy to open back up to the world, in a controlled fashion, if it turns out these clinical treatments can be proven useful. I didn't demand we do it tomorrow, I didn't say any of them were a cure, or any single one was a silver bullet. But I made it clear that we may well be on the verge of having an array of tools that mean we no longer need to totally rely on lockdowns and border bans to control COVID. And that it’s time to start thinking about them.

                      And this is actually a pretty moderate stance; there are other very qualified voices out there making a lot more radical claims than I am, Dr Michael Levitt for example. But I'm not endorsing or promoting that position in case this concerns anyone. Personally I think the NZ responses so far have been humane, intelligent and should be applauded, but we need to remain nimble and adaptable just as we were at the outset.

                      Is there any conclusive scientific evidence that vitamin D works

                      If we waited for conclusive evidence on everything, nothing new would ever be done.

                      And let me put this to you, what conclusive evidence do you have that lockdowns and border bans are going to work indefinitely until a 'conclusive cure' of some sort is found? There is good reason to think a third, fourth, or even more such lockdowns are going to be met with increasing resistance and non-compliance from the public. Victoria is encountering this at some scale now, and the police are responding with increasing, and frankly worrying, levels of coercion. It's not a good spiral to be heading down.

                      And finally I put this interesting data point to you. Sweden, the one European country that notoriously didn't try to crush the curve. Yes they paid for this with a relatively high number of deaths, and keep in mind I'm not advocating they were right to do this. But scroll down and look at the current daily death rate. It's peaked and now dropped to very low numbers; it's effectively 'over' for them. How the hell did that happen then?

                    • RedLogix


                      Yes Effect Size is important, but in dismissing p-values as 'uninteresting' your linked article goes too far the other way. In essence it's erasing decades of statistical results in millions of academic papers. P-values in essence tell you if an affect exists … but whether it’s a worthwhile affect has to be judged on a case by case basis.

                      (And yes I've taken the time to scan this paper you've linked to and digested the main points.)

                      not just, does a treatment affect people, but how much does it affect them.

                      Well let's break down the outcomes for the pilot study we're talking about; of the 50 people in the VitD group, only 2 went on to being admitted to ICU, while of the 26 in the control group, 13 had to be admitted.

                      It seems to me that not being admitted to ICU is a pretty decent sized affect. I'd be happy to take it and run.

                    • Incognito []

                      I provided the link because that’s where the quotes came from 🙂 However, I think the title of the article nailed it.

                      The tyranny of the P-value is one of the biggest rabbit holes in biomedical/clinical science and definitely beyond this thread. For your interest:

                      What Have We (Not) Learnt from Millions of Scientific Papers with P Values?

                      John P. A. Ioannidis [you might recognise the name of the author 🙂 ]


                      The American Statistician

                      Volume 73, 2019 – Issue sup1: Statistical Inference in the 21st Century: A World Beyond p < 0.05


                      The effect size in clinical studies refers to group effect, not individual effect. Indeed, the difference in ICU admission between the two groups in the Spanish study was large (and statistically significant so, unlikely to be caused by chance alone) but the numbers of deaths (i.e. only two deaths overall) were too small to be significantly different.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "it's effectively 'over' for them [Sweden]"

                      @RL (from your link; Oct 2nd update) – "5 new deaths in Sweden"

                      It's certainly over for those five Swedes. I could be wrong but believe that you are misjudging and so misrepresenting the health risk that the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic currently poses to NZ.

                      "All along the way, President Trump hawked the medicine as a “game-changer” that would end the pandemic."

                      5. Get plenty of sunshine or take Vitamin D
                      All simple stuff that cost virtually nothing, and will reduce the risk you are concerned about dramatically.

                    • Pat

                      As an aside, why is it that Sweden, the UK and Netherlands dont have data available for 'active cases' and 'total recovered'?

                    • RedLogix

                      "5 new deaths in Sweden"

                      Well yes, I've not the time right now to find it for myself, but it occurs to me that checking the 'excess death rate' for Sweden right now would be one useful way to determine the public significance of this number.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      But from an epidemiology perspective … it’s over. Well if we want it to be that is.

                      @RL – Maybe we’re just not wishing hard enough?

                      Health authorities have learnt a great deal about the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, but officials say the rise in deaths is set to continue.

                      "We see no sign of slowing of the death rate," Nancy Baxter, an epidemiologist and head of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health, told the BBC.

                      "There's been over a thousand deaths per day worldwide since 18 March and what seems to happen is as Covid-19 becomes controlled in one jurisdiction it gets out of control elsewhere.

                      "So I think that unfortunately we are looking at a similar number of deaths before a vaccine is actually found and distributed."

             [29 Sept]

                    • SPC
                      1. Sweden

                      Sweden applied a permanent for the duration 2.5 To make that the pandemic period reality.

                      Other nations went lockdown 3-4 to protect their health care systems (Swedish population health and health care system was judged as being good enough to cope). Thus they got better results initially.

                      With summer other nations rewarded themselves with a move to 2.0 level response and they went on holidays and so spread began to pick up again.

                      Sweden in applying 2.5 through summer was applying the tougher regime and thus fewer new cases.

                      It's now Autumn going into winter up north – whether 2.5 can cut it is an unknown. Others will now tighten to 2.5 (Sweden is already there) and 3 regionally as required. 2.5 with masks might be enough – Sweden will have to consider greater seasonal use of masks.

                    • SPC
                      1. Death rate.

                      The record suggests it is going down per number of infections (sure the number of infections was under reported earlier)

                      This should be no surprise – treatment is now better and hopefully people are taking some preventative moves – such as improving their immunity. Which is as simple as adequate Vitamin D and sleep (thus Trump's use of melatonin).

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over

                      "Bush's assertion—and the sign itself—became controversial after guerrilla warfare in Iraq increased during the Iraqi insurgency. The vast majority of casualties, both military and civilian, occurred AFTER the speech."

                      Who/what to believe? I favour a (pre)cautionary approach for NZ.

                      "The Covid-19 pandemic began last year in a city in central China, but has since grown to affect nearly every country on earth. The virus has put world leaders in hospital while exposing inequality. It has asked major questions of governments and encroached on the daily lives of billions. And it shows no signs of ending any time soon."
             [29 Sept]

                    • SPC
                      1. Sure a precautionary approach heading into winter is wise.

                      The lingering ill-health for some of those infected is reason enough for that.

                      A combination of widespread flu and coronaviras spread is undesirable.

                • RedLogix

                  Given that video seems to be the favourite medium of clickbait monetising disinformation artists

                  And if I recall correctly, YT de-monetised all COVID related material ages ago. So I think we can safely discount this assertion of yours.

                  And if you don't know that Campbell is widely regarded as well connected, well informed, totally apolitical and highly reliable …. then you really haven't been paying much attention.

                  Still if you are interested in the fascinating connection between Vit D and T-cell immunity this BMJ published article is worth a read:

                  So why are some people unable to mount a good protective T-cell response? The key to this question might be a 10-year-old Danish study led by Carsten Geisler, head of the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen [8]. Geisler noted that "When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signalling device or 'antenna' known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D,", and if there is an inadequate vitamin D level, "they won't even begin to mobilize." In other words, adequate vitamin D is critically important for the activation of T-cells from their inactive naïve state. The question of whether T-cells might also need a continuing supply of vitamin D to prevent the T-cell exhaustion and apoptosis observed in some serious COVID-19 cases [9] deserves further research.

                  High levels of vitamin D are also critical for first line immune defences including physical mucosal defences, human antiviral production, modulating cytokines, reducing blood clotting and a whole host of other important immune system functions [10]. The obese, diabetics and people of BAME origin are far more deficient in vitamin D and men have lower levels than women

                  • SPC

                    Sure one reason immunity declines with age is less Vitamin D is produced by people as they age and its possible that those with ill health place much greater stress on their immunity system and deplete stored Vitamin D levels etc.

                    • KJT

                      Having had reason to look up Vitamin D lately there still seems to be question marks over dosage, frequency, how long vit D supplements stay in the body and maximum, minimum dosages.

                      Another researcher, whose article I will have to dig up to give a reference, suggests we have only determined a few of the micro nutrients humans need? One of the reasons why a varied diet and sunshine is better than taking supplements.

                    • SPC

                      Fact is, those of colour do not get enough Vitamin D from sunshime. And here too many Maori and Polynesians have health (and housing) conditions placing stress on their immune systems (and then there is shift work – lack of sun and negative impact on sleep).

                      Fact is, as one ages, less Vitamin D is produced from sun on the skin.

                      Two knowns that can be dealt with via supplements (especially through the winter months).

                      Naysayers in this have the same impact as they do on CGT and rental property standards. Questions to obstruct what needs to be done.

                    • RedLogix


                      there still seems to be question marks over dosage, frequency, how long vit D supplements stay in the body and maximum, minimum dosages.

                      VitD is not some mysterious chemical only just discovered, we've known about it for ages and it's safe range is well understood. For almost all people, a supplement of 25 – 50 mcg per day will be perfectly safe, and higher can be well tolerated for shorter periods. Dr Fauci for instance is on record as taking 150 mcg (6000 IU) per day.

                      It's been available OTC for decades with very few problems; there is no need to be scaremongering about it. When I was working in the Canadian Arctic overwinter we were all given it to take. Everyone regularly working up there understood it's value. Notably our lead sparky who forgot to take his, came down with a monster dose of flu.

                      If you look hard enough you can find virtually anything online to contradict anything else …

                    • KJT

                      @RL. Do you actually read the journals. Or just US opinion pieces?

            • PsyclingLeft.Always

              Vitamin D….a useful Nutritional and Health SUPPLEMENT. Only


          • halfcrown

            Hey, fuckwit I take it you have tried the hydroxychloroquine together with a stiff shot of bleaches as a preventative then.

            Fucking Idiot for making that statement.

            [Time to take the chill pill, yes? – Incognito]

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            "I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over"

            WTF?! Actual mischievous bullshit. Good luck in Australia…..

          • Incognito

            See my Moderation note @ 7:13 PM.

    • greywarshark 21.2

      Interesting – the Ozzies have been after us for a while and of course their right wing mates here will be keen to have tourist flow. Now they have some leverage. Are we there yet etc? And Oz would not stop doing something that involves NZ because we might regard it as malicious.

      From the stuff link above: Today 16.52

      …Australia has finalised a trans-Tasman bubble deal that will see Kiwis allowed to cross the ditch without having to quarantine on arrival.

      But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed New Zealanders who travel to Australia in the coming weeks will still need to complete 14 days of managed isolation on their return, and pay the $3100 quarantine fee.

      From October 16, New Zealanders who have not been in a designated Covid-19 hotspot in the past 14 days will be able to travel into New South Wales and the Northern Territory, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced on Friday…

      McCormack said it was for Ardern to determine how New Zealand might welcome and manage Australians coming into the country…

      Ardern said earlier on Friday Australia's plans to open its borders to Kiwis might be “their prerogative”, but New Zealand was still not ready for quarantine-free travel from Australia.

    • Pat 21.3

      Lol…the Aussies have never been averse to meddling in our politics, nor do they do us any favours.

    • Graeme 21.4

      Morrison's making mischief all right, but is it with NZ and Ardern, or with his own State governments.

      • Pat 21.4.1

        probably both…after all we are considered a de facto aussie state

        • Graeme

          More renegade territory, kind of like Taiwan is to China…

          When I was living in WA in 80's New Zealand was seen as a state very similar to WA, but federation is a rather nebulous concept in WA, they could quite happily go off on their own.

  21. mosa 22

    About a four year term that Adern wants to give parliament the right to determine.

    This from no right turn.

    I didn't watch last night's debate, in part because I'd made up my mind how I was going to vote months ago, and in part because two status quo politicians desperately spamming pre-scripted soundbites and zingers while failing to be meaningfully different in any way bores the shit out of me. But I was unsurprised to hear that both the status quo politicians on stage wanted to extend the Parliamentary term to four years. Its received wisdom among the Wellington political establishment that three years "doesn't give a government enough time to get things done", and so obviously it should be extended. Henry Cooke has spent some time demolishing this argument in Stuff today, but I think it is missing the point. Because the length of our parliamentary term is not about whether a government can "get things done" – something which seems to be no problem whatsoever when they actually want to do something – but about democracy and accountability. And a four-year term would undermine both.

    The only question you need to ask yourself on this is "would you have wanted Roger Douglas to have an extra year to wreck the country"? Ruth Richardson? Winston Peters, with his vetos and foot-dragging? (Feel free to insert your political hate figure of choice). A three year term lets us veto them, and throw them out of office or saddle them with a difficult coalition partner if we don't like what they're doing. It is our sole effective means of keeping the politicians accountable and under control. And we should not let them undermine it.

    [Link added]

    [I’ve put the quoted text as a block-quote to make it clearer that it is a verbatim quote.

    I’ve also added the link, because you copied & pasted the whole post by NRT and in this case, it is highly appropriate to provide the link to the source 🙂 – Incognito]

    • Incognito 22.1

      See my Moderation note @ 10:20 PM.

    • Uncle Scrim 22.2

      Didn't both Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson resign/get sacked as Finance Ministers? So possibly not great examples. The governments they were part of got 6 years and 9 years in power respectively, but they held the role for 4 and 3 years only.

      Douglas was FM when Labour won in 1987 and Richardson was FM when National won the 1993 election, so effectively each could have had another three years, but both departed early – Douglas resigned in 1988 and Richardson was sacked immediately after 1993 election. I’m not sure a 4-year term would have made much difference.

      • Pat 22.2.1

        So she was…I had forgotten about that

      • mosa 22.2.2

        " Because the length of our parliamentary term is not about whether a government can "get things done" – something which seems to be no problem whatsoever when they actually want to do something – but about democracy and accountability "

        Case in point.

    • Sacha 22.3

      If it means some parties getting 4 or 8 years rather than 6 or 9 years I'd say the good may balance out the bad.

      Or we could go the other way and acknowledge the perpetual campaigning that already exists and make them undergo a less elaborate (re)election process every 2 years instead. Or even annual like a WoF..

    • mosa 22.4

      Incognito yes i normally put the source so thanks for rectifying my error on this occasion.

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