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Open mike 03/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 3rd, 2020 - 88 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

88 comments on “Open mike 03/08/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    You may think Biden is beating Trump, but more likely the pandemic is beating him – with considerable help from himself.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/donald-trumps-america/300071961/donald-trumps-campaign-in-crisis-aides-attempt-lastminute-reset

    "Why don't I have a high approval rating?" Trump asked before answering himself: "It can only be my personality. That's all."

    Shoulda read Shakespeare. Character flaws are the historical explanation for self-defeats. Personality is just the mask a character wears.

    Trump continued to express support for the doctor, Stella Immanuel, after a reporter informed him she had also claimed alien DNA is used in medical treatments. When pressed, he abruptly ended the news briefing and walked away.

    So them Roswell cadavers are still coming in useful, eh? The masterful way Trump refused to yield to the temptation to expand on the topic was impressive though.

    One top Biden campaign official acknowledged the Democratic campaign strategy is often to stay out of the news when Trump's behaviour is particularly inflammatory… "It is absolutely a strategic decision," said a Biden official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal campaign tactics. "We don't let him pull us off of our message and we don't play his game."

    I wonder if the Dems will ever decide to release their message to the media? It seems that Labour here are copying their Brer Fox strategy, so it must be effective…

    • Ad 1.1

      With Trump's likely defeat, the interesting question is how and at what speed to recover from Trumpism and from the total wreckage that the US will start off in 2021?

      A couple of good thinkers have a go at what a post-Trump reconstruction effort could start out here, comparing it to Americas after the Civil War, the Depression, and World War 2:

      https://www.salon.com/2020/08/01/on-the-de-trumpification-of-america-it-definitely-wont-be-easy-but-it-must-be-done/

      And of course, while Trumpism has made the Covid-19 ocial and economic crisis worse, New Zealand is in need of the same thorough reconstruction here as well.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        From your linked article, this:

        Foreign Policy in Focus editor John Feffer… writes that "Trumpism — which lies at the intersections of racial and sexual anxiety, hatred of government and the expert class, and opposition to cosmopolitan internationalism — is not so easily rooted out." In part, that's because it's "a political chimera with the head of an establishment machine and the body of a radical social movement."

        Radical conservatives rebelling against a conservative establishment, led by a pillar of that establishment – such an unlikely scenario that when I first reported it here four years ago there was a chorus of scoffing and denial.

        Understandable, since most commentators here seem mainstream to me. Reluctance to admit that the gfc was a coldly calculated culling of the American middle class because of the spectre that it might happen here, perhaps. After all, the middle class had been the engine of social progress for two centuries! Closing down that vital swathe of mainstreamers was genuinely hard to believe.

        Anyway, the grievance of survivors will keep them hostile to the authorities for the rest of their lives, probably. Feffer is being optimistic, even unrealistic, in considering that rooting them out is even possible. And that "racial and sexual anxiety" dimension seems too American for me to render intelligible!

        We next get the usual denial of the design-flaws in representative democracy:

        "Pathocracy is the situation where dangerously disordered personalities predominate in positions of power." Hughes said. "Such individuals' propensity for violence and greed, their incapacity for basic human empathy and their disordered perception and cognition, which renders them unable to ameliorate their distorted worldviews with reality and reason, mark them out as a danger to others." We may not be a full-blown pathocracy yet, Hughes and Mika agree, but we're headed in that direction.

        Their system selects such reps due to the zeitgeist effect, right? Spit the dummy, admit it then. Hughes continues with "nations seldom learn from their descent into pathocracy". Well, a nation could facilitate learning from traumatic democracy if political psychologists explain the cause & effect relations in the media, eh? But they are still hiding. Hughes is partially qualified (https://disorderedworld.com/about/) and gives it a reasonable go.

        The ideas Hughes cited were that "inequality is good," that "religious freedom [so-called] trumps public good," that "in the Civil War, the wrong side won," the myth of "American exceptionalism," i.e., "the idea that the U.S. is a unique, morally-superior civilization destined to guide the world" and "the myth of redemptive violence," meaning "the belief that good can triumph over evil only by means of conflict."

        These can all be seen as different forms of narcissistic fantasy and, more specifically, collective narcissistic fantasy. The more we cling to such fantasies, the more our shadow grows.

        Jung used the shadow as a dimension in the personal subconscious in his therapy but the collective shadow has subsequently been integrated: https://www.thesap.org.uk/resources/articles-on-jungian-psychology-2/about-analysis-and-therapy/the-shadow/

        Hughes sees the beginnings of a solution. "Citizens' assemblies, such as have been put in place in countries such as the UK, France and Ireland, are one possible means of re-establishing practices of democracy which can heal divisions and undermine the appeal of dangerous demagogic leaders," he said.

        In his native Ireland, that process played a crucial role in repealing the constitutional prohibition on abortion, as well as advancing a set of climate-change recommendations, all passed by majorities of at least 80%, which helped inspire a wave of climate-change citizens' assemblies across Europe and elsewhere over the past year.

        Good news, and symptomatic of the natural resilience in humanity. Let's hope this group psychodynamic gets traction in the USA soon.

      • mauī 1.1.2

        I know what'll work.. Once the closest thing to a change agent is out of the way, put an old guard incapacitated establishment neoliberal in charge. Socialist nirvana here we come!

      • AB 1.1.3

        This description of Trumpism is very good, though not original: "a political chimera with the head of an establishment machine and the body of a radical social movement." Similar things have been said in various quarters for a while.

        The observation that the body of the "radical social movement" is not totally irredeemable or deplorable is also good, though it acknowledges that this body has serious ingrained issues of racism, exceptionalism etc.

        The overall drift however seems to be that this radical body needs to be calmed down and put back in touch with democratic values, and that inequality reduction should be part of that settling process. It seems an inadequate response and unlikely to succeed – compared to the possibility of that radical body being attached to a different head that has deeply moral and humanist values, such as whatever succeeds the Sanders movement.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Labour is practicing the same strategy here as National continue to flounder.

    Goldsmith on RNZ completely out of his depth.

    The only policy he offered was for people to cash in Kiwisaver or redundancy money and tax credits to set up a business.

    Most of these people will have no business experience, Then 58% of small businesses fail in there first year 70% after 2 years.In these times of the biggest economic shock in modern history it is foolish to even contemplate setting up a business especially without any experience.
    Film Flam economic policy;

    Hollow promise from Hollow man .

    Desperately out of his depth.

    • tc 2.1

      Goldsmith's lived a life in the trough. The hardly hitting books, following blinky about etc there's zero commercial accumen….unless you count tranzrail.

    • I Feel Love 2.2

      I wonder if a party will one day float the idea of us pulling out our KS as a form of unemployment insurance, the "Hardship Withdrawal" of KS is unemployment insurance under another name. The reason KS was set up is because we're so useless at saving, Parties using taking out money out of our super just reinforces the fact of how useless we are at saving.

      • Sacha 2.2.1

        Yes, more of the same. Selfish short-sightedness is deeply ingrained in our national character since the 80s. And if a left-leaning govt builds up a savings vehicle, a subsequent right-leaning govt pillages and undermines it – see ACC and Cullen funds.

      • AB 2.2.2

        They do seem to regard Kiwisaver as a sort of magic money tree that you can keep going back to over and over again. Maybe they are half-aware of how absurd they sound, but can't help themselves. Most likely, they suggest these things because their ideology gives them such a horror of State-led initiatives, that they have to imagine that there's a way out of the Covid hole that is led by the individual brilliance of business-people.

      • Nic the NZer 2.2.3

        You should probably re-evaluate the idea that New Zealanders are behaviourly bad at saving (as a cause of low private savings rates). This is because in GST accounts the identity S-I =G-T + X-M where S-I is the difference between savings rate (including debt repayment) and the investment rate, G-T is the govt budget deficit and X-M is the current account deficit. This relationship is true by accounting so it holds always. One implication is that the private sector doesn't have the space to save while the public sector is saving (e.g the govt is running a budget surplus). Especially so if the trade balance is in deficit.

        This relationship has demonstrable implications for countries savings rates, so countries with high levels of private sector saving tend to run budget deficits as well as vice versa.

        • Pat 2.2.3.1

          sadly that formula is based on a closed National economy…when you have free movement of capital the equation dosnt apply

          • Nic the NZer 2.2.3.1.1

            That is obviously untrue Pat. The part X-M is the foreign sector (as I commented already).

            • Pat 2.2.3.1.1.1

              and yet you contradict yourself with the statement…

              "One implication is that the private sector doesn't have the space to save while the public sector is saving (e.g the govt is running a budget surplus). Especially so if the trade balance is in deficit."

              If the trade balance is in surplus (or there is FDI) then the the space to save is increased…and ipso facto the inverse.

              • Nic the NZer

                Yes, as you have identified the current account can provide the space for saving. There are however reasons to consider this less relevant including that its extremely difficult to influence in an open economy and that all trade balances internationally net to zero.

                Its still basically informative (if a simplification) to consider the trade balance to be what it is and the other two to be the ones being traded off in terms of saving.

                I gather you have conceded that your claim in 2.2.3.1 has been flatly refuted.

                • Pat

                  you gather incorrectly

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Interesting. That relationship follows from how GDP accounts works so you must be saying that GDP accounting is invalid for an open economy.

                    Do tell us when you have finally vanquished the wind mills.

                    • Pat

                      lol…GDP accounting is currently the subject of much derision…and for good reason.

                • Poission

                  So if we have both a current account surplus,and record household savings at present (which we do),we see also the need for the RBNZ to borrow less to fund the current account deficit,and a decreased inflow requirement for overseas capital,would not the government deficit reduce accordingly.

                  • Pat

                    it would depend on the (required) source of that deficit…i.e. whether the deficit is in NZD or FX

                  • Nic the NZer

                    "So if we have both a current account surplus,and record household savings at present (which we do)", then these two add to give the government deficit (G-T) term in the balance, e.g you can always solve for the other term having known the other two terms. If a current account surplus is larger than the savings balance then the government balance will be in surplus (though that's extremely unlikely).

                    Note, you have described both a current account surplus and a current account deficit in the same paragraph. If the country is running a current account surplus then yes its foreign held debt is reducing. On the other hand it doesn't really make sense to think of the RBNZ borrowing to fund the current account. To some extent people overseas may be holding $NZ balances which they could use to make purchases from the New Zealand economy, but more likely they will have invested somewhere so it actually shows up as net foreign ownership of the New Zealand economy. If they do hold onto the $NZ cash (rather than exchanging it, e.g giving it to somebody else, via the FX markets) then they are really just entitling themselves to make purchases from New Zealand later on. That's true if they transform the $NZ cash liability for a $NZ govt bond liability which pays a small interest rate, but still doesn't present any real alternatives when its later repaid for actual use of that money.

                    Also the RBNZ is simply part of the government accounts.

    • Gyles Beckford did a good job of picking Goldsmith up for claiming the low level of government debt in NZ is a legacy of the Key/English junta, when in fact it is the legacy of the Clark/Cullen government.

      • Just Is 3.1.1

        When Key won Govt in 2008 there was Zero Crown debt, by 2011 the country was in recession,this was mainly due to incompetence, introducing Tax cuts regardless of the economic problems, CHCH.

        They blamed the GFC, 3 years later than every other country had recovered.

        Key borrowed $120B to cover the shortfall in Tax income that they had incorrectly estimated, deliberately.

        More than $60B was still owing the new Govt was elected in 2017.

        National have zero Economic Expertise, zero

        • Treetop 3.1.1.1

          I made a comment at 4.1 about Nat billboards. I forgot to mention that wording Better economy is used as well.

          So the Nat tax cuts were paid for in part by those who got them.

          Why did Key borrow for tax cuts when the country could not afford it?

        • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.2

          Unfortunately the narrative your presenting could not possibly be true. This is due to a recession being a fall in GDP and the government budget deficit being a term which adds directly to GDP.

          It is however possible to get hold of the series going into GDP and see that the actual cause of the recession was a large shift towards saving during the 2011 period. The govt deficit was to a large extent caused by that shift.

          https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/m5

          Here is an overview of how to analyse the series. Note some of the parts are not recorded directly in the spreadsheet and must be found from the series given.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectoral_balances

    • I Feel Love 3.2

      Thanks Sacha, something interesting I picked up there was he wants "certainty & stability" for employers, yet quite happy for employees not to have the same. National still coming off as negative.

      • Sacha 3.2.1

        he wants “certainty & stability” for employers

        Those bold capitalists he represents need the rest of us to underwrite the risk that they claim justifies their greater share of the pie. Pathetic.

        • I Feel Love 3.2.1.1

          He was bemoaning that Govt are putting compliance costs onto business, but if business doesn't pay then who does? Govt? I just thought these free market libertarian types want small, less Govt, yet they want that same Govt to cover business costs.

  3. dv 4

    I see Judes complaining about Natz hoarding being removed, Does she not realise that they have had to removed because of the leadership change(s)!!!

    Duh

    • Treetop 4.1

      I have noticed a lot more 1m x 1m National Party billboards with just writing on them. No doubt billboards with National Party candidates have had to come down. With the selection process in places like Clutha there would be no electorate candidate billboard.

      I would like to know how many billboard changes in the National Party?

      Strong team, more jobs are on some Nat billboards.

      Yeah right! is missing.

    • Chris T 4.2

      Personally never understood the whole hoarding thing.

      I don't even notice them driving round. They kind of just blend in with the real estate signs.

      It is just sanctioned graffiti

      Do some people actually vote for a party based on a photo and slogan?

      Find it odd

      Having said this I have a fairly flat roof and am in Johnsonville so if any political parties want to pay me shitloads to put one on my roof for incoming planes. Just ask!

      Don't care who. It is a highest bidder thing

      yes

      • Muttonbird 4.2.1

        It's important. As you well know many people, by far the majority, don't follow politics as closely as we do. Some will have absolutely no idea who their candidates are. This needs to be advertised and a face put on the name you are going to tick in the polling booth.

        Everyone knows Jacinda Ardern of course but what about the poor National Party? They need to let the country know who their latest leader is. And I'm thinking there might be one more change, at least, in that space before the election…

        • Sacha 4.2.1.1

          As you say, putting a face to the name. They made more sense under FPP where the local electorate contest mattered.

          • greywarshark 4.2.1.1.1

            Chris T That's the innovative thinking that NZ sorely needs.

            And National are indeed offering more jobs – putting up hoardings; they like them because hoarding is their national bent. They hoard the money of workers, and lay it on the ground and drive over it in their expensive conveyances. It's a sort of Sir Walter Raleigh's cloak sort of thing, for them there shall be no puddles and damp.

        • Chris T 4.2.1.2

          True about some people not following it, but what is the point of just having loads of big photos of Key for 9 years every where and a wee photo of the local person some times, or the same thing now with Ardern?

          I think even the thickest know who the PM is, and the ones too thick to get that bit would have trouble using a pen to vote.

          • Incognito 4.2.1.2.1

            Familiarity AKA brand recognition. That’s what advertising is all about.

          • lprent 4.2.1.2.2

            …big photos of Key for 9 years every where and a wee photo of the local person some times, or the same thing now with Ardern?

            Why not consider the default hypothesis? That experience is that procedure is what works in elections.

            If you start with that as a premise, then you may want to consider why it shouldn’t work. I’m sure we will have convulsions of laughter as you formulate a series of ideas of alternate realities.

            • Chris T 4.2.1.2.2.1

              True.

              I suppose they wouldn't do it if people weren't stupid enough for it to work on.

              • Incognito

                <sigh!>

                It’s not about people being “stupid” or “even the thickest”; it is simple basic psychology that works!

                People who seem to think they’re immune to advertising because they’re too clever or something are really the ‘naïve’ ones, IMHO.

                • Chris T

                  I'm not immune to advertising.

                  I am to photos of people on the side of the road

                  • Incognito

                    How do you know they’re photos of people? Do you recognize (any of) them? If yes, job done 😉

                    • Sacha

                      They were wearing leotards. 🙂

                    • Incognito []

                      I’m having flashes of Flashdance and other 80s fashion crimes.

                    • Chris T

                      Wouldn't have a clue who any of them are.

                    • Incognito []

                      I see …

                      I think even the thickest know who the PM is, and the ones too thick to get that bit would have trouble using a pen to vote.

                    • Chris T

                      The PM isn't one of my local candidates/

                      frown

                    • Incognito []

                      Are you saying neither the PM nor the current Leader of the Oppo features on the billboards in your neck of the woods, only candidates whom you don’t recognise? What are you doing here on the leading political blog of NZ? Showing off your ignorance of your local candidates?

                • Chris T

                  No. I was saying I have no idea who the local people are apart from the giant image of Ardern everywhere.

                  But I agree I could have worded it better.

            • Kiwijoker 4.2.1.2.2.2

              It’s subliminal Soiman

          • Treetop 4.2.1.2.3

            They probably would not be interested in voting or get the voting day wrong.

    • Cinny 4.3

      Regarding hoardings……there are no hoardings for maureen pugh in the whole of the Tasman part of the electorate, except for 8 hoardings in a row on one fence (including judith hoardings).

      Even in the places she usually has her hoardings, there are none. Maybe locals don't want a national party or maureen hoarding.

      I'm thinking it's a demand issue, rather than a supply issue.

  4. Sacha 6

    A Council transfers some of its functions to local iwi – first time this has been done despite local govt law allowing it for last three decades: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/422595/iwi-takes-over-council-s-functions-for-first-time-in-nz

  5. Jum 7

    RNZ interviews two brave young women recounting their experiences at the hands of the 'most trusted profession' firefighters and the disgusting behaviour by all levels of that 'most trusted profession' to drive them out if they didn't shut up about the bullying (of men and women) the rapes and the sexual and physical assaults of so many firefighters going into a (to them) loved occupation.

    The top guy supposed to be setting up mechanisms to prevent these old men using their imbalance of power didn't even seem to know what he was setting up. He also did not accept that the management of said firefighting service was to blame. Yet the old men who committed these atrocities have been promoted to, guess what, management positions.

    But the worst part of what I heard from the interviews was when the young lass went to fellow female firefighters to get some support to stop what was happening, they turned their backs on her. And we wonder why there is so much domestic violence and rapes and killings of women still. Once men know that women will not stand up for other women in such awful situations, then men, both young and old, know they are free to continue their attacks. We can all wax lyrical about the good stations with the equality of codes for all firefighters in those 'good' stations, but where are those 'good' stations when these women, being abused, could be daughters, sisters, even mothers. It is sickening to hear this from the 'most trusted profession'.

    Ardern needs to follow this closely, go to visit these stations, make it clear that all New Zealanders who actually want their girls and women, boys and men, to live safe lives in any profession are watching. Don't bother to ask Collins; last time I saw her as Police Minister she was talking lovingly about 'my boys', with a woman police officer standing right beside her.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        That is sad news. I really respected firefighters, thought they had good values, good expertise, good camaraderie to all.

        • I Feel Love 7.1.1.1

          Nope, you never seen images of them using their hoses on protesters at the polices bidding (sure, overseas, but not to say it couldn't happen here)? Absolutely, I respect the job, saving peoples lives at great risk to themselves, they truly are heroes, but I don't kid myself they are also just do what they're told.

    • Just Is 7.2

      I blame Keys normalization of this behaviour, instead of rejecting this type of behaviour, he became part of the problem.

      Where was the 4th Estate?

    • Gabby 7.3

      It is unfair on the decent brigades not to make public which brigades are in the shit over this.

    • Morrissey 7.4

      I find it astounding that the NZFE spokesman is the utterly discredited ex-military buffoon Rhys Jones. They could not have appointed a worse P.R. person.

      You might remember Jones if you watched Kay Ellmers' and Annie Goldson's superb 2013 documentary about New Zealand's shameful involvement in the destruction of Afghanistan:

      Footage of Rhys Jones and Wayne “Inane” Mapp blithering confusedly about SAS troops being there to “mentor” the Afghan “forces”, and then being immediately undercut by the infamous photo of Willie Apiata and an SAS comrade striding through Kabul, with guns smoking. Commander Shaun Fogerty sounds off about the publication of the photo: “very disappointing.”

      https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/10/review-of-he-toki-huna-new-zealand-in.html

      • Gabby 7.4.1

        No idea, but Tracy Martin seems fairly happy with FENZ contracting people to investigate complaints.

  6. Tricledrown 8
    1. Even the ACT former advisor poo poos Goldsmiths dumb cashing out kiwisaver
    2. RNZ this morning.
  7. RedBaronCV 9

    With Australia having capped quarantine entry numbers at 4000 and payment by all – funny how the Nats here don't reference that – and ours at 6000.

    Should we be thinking about allocating our quarantine slots using a points system so that the most vulnerable get into the queue? If there was a clear listing of criteria with the most urgent at the top then everyone could plan accordingly. Then they can be booked on an airline rather than the person who can pay the highest airfare and who cannot be ejected from where they are ?

    Personally I'd rather see a single passport holder with foreign visa about to run out using a quarantine slot rather than a someone with a passport or residence visa that hasn't been near the country in years and has alternative living options.

    Likewise do we start expiring visa's where there has been a blanket extension granted to encourage some of the holders here to return to their country before further border limits are put in place for them (UK?)

    And wouldn't it be great for some other countries to get their act together so we are not the target for all the "we have a super special need" pleading.Like the yachts and the cyclone season – around half of french polynesia looks like it is never hit and the two most northern island groups have had 13 storms in 60 years under very specific weather conditions.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-10/national-cabinet-international-arrivals-coronavirus-quarantine/12441932

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Red Baron Your approach to border entry to NZ would be better than at present I think. Though having had say five applications put aside for more urgent cases should up someone in the priority list so they were not left in limbo.

      • RedBaronCV 9.1.1

        I think that would just encourage endless reapplications and apparently some people are already taking up an excessive amount of time.

        But if the priority rules are clear then I guess we would end up with a group 1 that can book on the planes and will take up seats for the next X months. Then group 2. With only 144000 places a year and a million plus eligible to return apparently, something has to give.

        Australia with 4000 places 5 times the population and the same number offshore as us is even more tightly controlled. There isn't going to be much trans tasman or christmas holiday travel for a while.

        Whether you would hold a small allocation for say business (so Lprent can pop off to work if he needs to!) and other last minute needs .

        But it would give a lot more certainty and stop the time wasting of the over entitled or the "I only want to come here because it's covid free. "

        Even with the numbers we have I can still see the possibility that we have to do some on off repatriation flights from say the UK. ( pre quarantine there to identify any possibles- single flight to Ohakea say- and the full quarantine somewhere in an isolated country location outside bulls or palmy?)

        and while they are at it why not just shut the gate for new applications. until people come back we won’t know if we are short of anybody (like nurses) so why even load us up with the administration. That has to be nuts.

  8. observer 10

    Read these comments by Judith Collins about Todd Muller. Then imagine a political opponent, even Ardern, saying them about the former National leader:

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/08/judith-collins-confident-todd-muller-will-be-fine-thinks-it-s-extremely-poor-form-to-backbench-former-leaders.html

    "He's still not quite right … he obviously wasn't able to deal with this issue of being the leader because of various circumstances. But you know what, I'm here."

    So kind.

    • bwaghorn 10.1

      If I was in the nats and knew 12 decents other nat mps (I know it's a long shot but there must be some) I'd split from the nats and make a new party .

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        12 might be a little ambitious. I'm pretty sure Judith knows three members of her caucus that could keep a secret without leaking. If two of them were dead.

    • Gabby 10.2

      She's lovely.

  9. Barfly 11

    Cannabis referendum

    I m in my early 60s I am what would be previously called an alcoholic – apparently these days the term is "alcohol dependent syndrome".

    If I am smoking cannabis I lose interest in drinking

    So 4 kilos of of beer a day or 1.5 kilos of wine a day or .001 kilos of cannabis a day

    Guess which my doctor says which is least harmful?

    I ask you to vote yes for cannabis legalisation in the coming referendum apologies if this is in the wrong section.

    Thank you

    • I Feel Love 11.1

      I was a heavy dope smoker during my 20s & 30s, quit in my early 40s, I needed it every day. Never drank, the odd beer here & there. I wish a lot of my friends would give up weed, they're boring & moody when they can't find it. But, I'll be voting 'yes' as I can't stand the hypocrisy, alcohol & cigarettes being legal & pot not.

      The best thing about giving up is no longer having to listen to pot dealers boring stories & pretending to laugh at their unfunny jokes while buying weed. "First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait" – Lou Reed, Waiting for the Man.

    • Andre 11.2

      I used to tie myself in mental knots thinking about relative harms of various substances and what should be legal and what shouldn't. But that's the wrong way of thinking about it.

      The better way of thinking about it is: what causes greater harm to society and users, use of the substance itself, or the effects on individuals and society of it being criminalised?

      It seems very clear to me we do far more harm to individuals and society by criminalising substances than the substances themselves actually do. So it seems clear to me we as a society would be much better off by legalisation and management and treating the cases of harm that do result as a health problem not a criminal problem. That's even setting aside the evidence from other jurisdictions that there will probably actually be fewer cases of harm after legalisation.

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        Even with things like heroin, if the government runs safe health clinics to shoot up, supervised, using the safe government supply and needles, so many of the ills of addiction would at least be controlled. Disease, ODs, violent distributors, petty crime to finance the habit or pay the debts.

        Don't know if that concept extends to meth or cocaine, though. Different beasties.

      • RedBaronCV 11.2.2

        I've never bothered with the stuff but I'll be voting yes. The amount we have spent on cops, courts and jails over the years for less than zero result could be given to the health system. A weekly scary health lecture from Ash or someone similar would maybe scare a lot of people off it at minimal cost.

    • PaddyOT 11.3

      Speaking of the irony of it ,

      2 birds with one stone

      https://youtu.be/EZx5OgKQNrA

      OnceWasTim was looking for Wayne the other day, nostalgic over days chewing the fat at the pub, and they've found him. I think he's an extra in the video about verse 4

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    3 hours ago
  • Celebrating the success of Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award winners
    28 young achievers who have been in the care of Oranga Tamariki or involved with the youth justice system have received Oranga Tamariki Prime Minister Awards in recognition of their success and potential, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. At the awards ceremony in Parliament, Kelvin Davis congratulated the rangatahi ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025
    Public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025 Immediate focus on phasing out largest and most active coal boilers Government agencies required to purchase electric vehicles and reduce the size of their car fleet Green standard required for public sector buildings The Government has launched a major new initiative to ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Government fulfils election undertaking on new top tax rate
    The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. “This will only affect the top two per cent of earners. It is a balanced measure that is about sharing the load so everyone ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Sir Robert Martin re-elected to UN Committee
    New Zealand welcomes the news that Sir Robert Martin has been re-elected to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni. “Sir Robert has been a lifetime advocate for persons with disabilities and his experience brings a ...
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    7 hours ago
  • New rules to protect Kiwis from unaffordable loans
    The Government is making sure all consumers who borrow money get the same protections, regardless of where they get their loans.   “Building on the work to crack down on loan sharks last year, we’re now making the rules clearer for all lenders to help protect borrowers from unaffordable loans” ...
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    12 hours ago
  • New visitor attraction to boost tourism
    The opening of the first major new tourism attraction since the global outbreak of COVID-19 closed borders to international travellers will provide a welcome boost to visitor numbers in our largest city, says Tourism Minister Stuart Nash. Mr Nash has this afternoon taken part in the official opening ceremony of ...
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    1 day ago
  • Govt moves on drug checking to keep young New Zealanders safer this summer
    The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Next year the Government will develop and consult on regulations ...
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    1 day ago
  • Public Service Commissioner reappointed
    Minister for the Public Service Chris Hipkins announced today that Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes CNZM has been reappointed for three years. The Public Service Commissioner is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. “Mr Hughes’ reappointment reflects the need for strong leadership and continuity to ...
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    1 day ago
  • Pōwhiri marks the start of a critical year for APEC
    New Zealand kicked off its APEC host year today, with a pōwhiri taking place on Wellington’s waterfront with local iwi Te Atiawa, and a number of Government ministers welcoming representatives from the other 20 APEC economies. “APEC is a hugely important international event, and New Zealand is hosting amidst the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Speech at APEC 21 Opening Pōwhiri
    9am, Tuesday 1 DecemberTe Whare Waka o Pōneke, Wellington Central He Mihi Kei aku rangatira no ngātapito e whā o te ao huri noa, tātou e huihui mai nei. Tēnā rā kōutou katoa. He tangiapakura ki ngā tini aituā kei waenganui i a tātou, ka tangi tonu te ngākau ki ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government extends business debt relief to October 2021
    To assist with the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19, rules allowing affected businesses to put their debt on hold have been extended by 10 months. “New Zealand’s economy is recovering better than we expected, but the impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching and some businesses need continued support to keep ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bill introduced to support workers with 10 days sick leave
    The Government is delivering on a key commitment by introducing a Bill to Parliament to expand sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “COVID-19 has shown how important it is to stay at home when people are ...
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    2 days ago
  • Progress on pay equity for DHB staff
    Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. If ratified, the agreement between the Public Service Association and the country’s 20 District ...
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    2 days ago
  • Iconic Milford Track officially reopens
    One of New Zealand’s premier hikes and a cornerstone of the Te Anau community, the Milford Track has officially reopened, “From today, hikers booked on the popular Great Walk will be able to complete the walk end-to-end for the first time since early February,” Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Support for farmers beefed up ahead of La Niña
    Further funding for feed support services and new animal welfare coordinators will help farmers who continue to feel the effects of an extended drought, says Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor. “In March this year, I classified the drought in the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chathams ...
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    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Christchurch Hospital campus redevelopment
    Canterbury DHB will be better placed to respond to future demand for services and continue to deliver high quality care, with the next stage of the campus redevelopment programme confirmed, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower ...
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    5 days ago
  • Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers’ Joint Statement
    The Defence Ministers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom reaffirmed their nations’ continued commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), and commended the achievements over the past 49 years as the FPDA moves towards its 50th Anniversary in 2021.  The Ministers recognised the FPDA’s significant role ...
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    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding protects health of Hawke’s Bay waterways
    A joint Government and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project will invest $4.2 million to protect local waterways, enhance biodiversity and employ local people, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   Over two years, the Hāpara Takatū Jobs for Nature project will fence 195km of private land to exclude stock from vulnerable ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Year border exception for seasonal workers in the horticulture and wine industries
    2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week while in isolation From January ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government increases support for New Zealanders to work in seasonal jobs
    The Government is offering further financial support for unemployed New Zealanders to take on seasonal work. These new incentives include: Up to $200 per week for accommodation costs $1000 incentive payment for workers who complete jobs of six weeks or longer increasing wet weather payments when people can’t work to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government receives Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mos...
    Minister for Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti has today received the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, and will table it in Parliament on Tuesday December 8. “I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency
    The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today.                                       “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every ...
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    6 days ago
  • Call for urgent action on Pacific conservation
    A declaration on the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis and the need for immediate, transformative action in the Pacific was agreed at a pan-Pacific conference today. The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is taking place this week across the Pacific.  Minister of Conservation Kiritapu ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech from the throne
    E aku hoa i te ara o te whai, Kia kotahi tā tātou takahi i te kō, ko tōku whiwhi kei tō koutou tautoko mai. Ko tāku ki a koutou, hei whakapiki manawa mōku. He horomata rangatira te mahi, e rite ai te whiwhinga a te ringatuku, me te ringakape ...
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    6 days ago
  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
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    1 week ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
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    1 week ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to consider recommendations on DNA use in criminal investigations
    The Minister of Justice has received the Law Commission’s recommending changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations. The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Wakatū Nelson regional hui on trade
    First, I want to express my thanks to Te Taumata for this hui and for all the fantastic work you are doing for Māori in the trade space. In the short time that you’ve been operating you’ve already contributed an enormous amount to the conversation, and developed impressive networks.  I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Primary Industries Summit
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the significant contribution the food and fibres sector makes to New Zealand and how this Government is supporting that effort. I’d like to start by acknowledging our co-Chairs, Terry Copeland and Mavis Mullins, my colleague, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
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    2 weeks ago