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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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    4 hours ago
  • Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor to travel to Europe and US to support economic re...
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to Europe and the United States on Thursday this week to advance New Zealand’s trade and economic interests with key partners, including representing New Zealand at the G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Italy. It follows recent engagement between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Asia New Zealand Foundation Chair and Board members announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Dame Fran Wilde, DNZM, QSO, as the new Chair to the Board of the Asia New Zealand Foundation – Te Whītau Tūhono. “Dame Fran Wilde has been a trustee since 2019 and I am confident that her experience and deep ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Latest KiwiSaver Annual Report shows promising benefits for members
    The latest KiwiSaver Annual Report from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), highlights how Government’s recent policy tweaks have positively benefitted New Zealanders, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said today. “Fourteen people so far have withdrawn their funds early thanks to a rule modification made in March this year. ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Reasons for permitted travel across Alert Level boundary expanded
    From 11:59pm tonight additional reasons for permitted travel will be introduced for movement across the Auckland boundary, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “As this outbreak has shown Delta is highly transmissible, and in order to be confident of controlling its spread, restrictions at the Alert Level boundary have been ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Tenancy measures introduced to further support COVID-19 impacted businesses and tenants
    The Government has introduced changes to help ease the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on both commercial and residential tenancies. As part of the COVID-19 Response Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament, measures are being taken to help businesses resolve disputes over commercial rent, as well as provide greater certainty for landlords ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Details of interest deductibility rules released
    The Government has released the draft legislation outlining the details of the policy limiting the deductibility of interest costs on residential property investments. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the interest limitation proposals, announced in March, aim to stem investor demand for existing residential properties. They do not affect the main ...
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    13 hours ago
  • GPS sets long-term direction for housing, urban development
    The Government has today laid out its long-term vision for housing and urban development in Aotearoa New Zealand, ensuring we have the infrastructure and homes needed to nurture thriving communities in the decades to come. The Housing Minister Megan Woods says the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD) ...
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    13 hours ago
  • Government welcomes collaboration between Vector and X
    A move by Vector to form a strategic collaboration with X, (formerly Google X) to work together on the virtualisation of the Auckland electricity grid highlights the type of innovation that can help decarbonise and decentralise the electricity system, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The visualisation of New ...
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    15 hours ago
  • PM farewells Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy
    The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy completes her five year term as Governor-General of New Zealand today. “Today marks the end of an eventful term of office for Dame Patsy and I want to acknowledge and thank her for her tireless service to New Zealand over the last five years,” ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Government delivers on improving health and equity outcomes for women
    ACC cover for maternal childbirth injuries Government working to improve and strengthen maternity services The Government is laying the foundations for a better future by improving equity and health outcomes for women through amending ACC legislation and an updated Maternity Action Plan. “Amongst a suite of changes, we’re proposing to ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Speech at launch of the Dementia Economic Impact Report
    E nga mana E nga reo E nga iwi Tēna kotou katoa Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. No reira tēna koutou katoa Acknowledgements Thank you ...
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    1 day ago
  • Backing world-class innovation in New Zealand
    $12 million Government investment to support cutting-edge R&D in New Zealand by international businesses Dawn Aerospace and Merlin Labs join Innovative Partnership’s Airspace Integration Trials programme MOU signed with Air New Zealand to conduct a nationwide feasibility study into sustainable aviation fuels The Government is propelling cutting-edge innovation through a ...
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    1 day ago
  • One-way quarantine free travel dates confirmed for RSE scheme
    From 4 October RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving into New Zealand From 12 October RSE workers Samoa and Tonga from can begin arriving into New Zealand As part of a programme of work to reopen our borders and reconnect with the world, the Government has announced quarantine free ...
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    1 day ago
  • More community grants to support youth mental wellbeing
    The Government continues to make more mental health and wellbeing supports available to young people to ensure services are there when and where they need them, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “More than twenty community-led projects have now received a funding boost through The Youth Mental Wellbeing Fund to keep ...
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    1 day ago
  • Self-isolation pilot to start with 150 people
    The goal of safely re-opening our borders and developing new ways for people to travel will start with a self-isolation pilot, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “As part of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan announced in August, the self-isolation pilot will look at self-isolation for vaccinated travellers who ...
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    1 day ago
  • Poroporoaki: Waka Joseph Nathan
    E Waka e, kei hea ra koe, kua ngaro nei i te iwi e, E kawe nei i ngā rongo, i ngā mahara mōu, i ngā wawata i hua mai i a koe. E Waka e, haere ra, kei te tuahu koe o te ati a toa, Kei poho tonu ...
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    1 day ago
  • Canterbury school students get hands-on with food and fibre careers
    Secondary school students in Canterbury will have the breadth of food and fibre careers showcased to them thanks to a new initiative launched today, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) Canterbury is a collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries and SmartNZ, a charitable trust that connects ...
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    1 day ago
  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
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    3 days ago
  • Strengthened reporting will improve abortion and sterilisation services
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced new data and reporting regulations which will help improve abortion and sterilisation services in New Zealand, by painting a clearer picture of the need in our communities. “The Government is committed to ensuring everyone who needs to access abortion services can, ...
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    4 days ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
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    4 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government invests in restoring iconic South Canterbury river valleys
    The Government is investing up to $18.4 million over four years to create jobs and help restore braided river valleys, alpine and pastoral lands in the South Island as part of its Jobs for Nature programme Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor announced. Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) ...
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    4 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
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    4 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
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    5 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    5 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    6 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    6 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    7 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    7 days ago