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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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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Over $300m returned to COVID-hit travellers
    The Government’s Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to COVID-19, Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says. “Working with the travel sector, we are helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
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    3 days ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
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    4 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
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    4 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
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    5 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
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    6 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
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    7 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
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    1 week ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
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    1 week ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
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    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago