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Open mike 03/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 3rd, 2020 - 51 comments
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51 comments on “Open mike 03/12/2020 ”

  1. Treetop 1

    Hong Kong has lost its autonomy. I compare this with what happened when Germany did this to Austria in the late 1930s. This is destabilising, trust is eroded when autonomy is taken from citizens.

    • aom 1.1

      Just like when under the Brits then eh?

      • Ad 1.1.1

        No. Nothing like "what the Brits did".

        Britain provided for democracy, rule of law, right to property, independent judiciary, freedom of association, and an entire constitution.

        China is quickly eradicating all of that.

        • Treetop 1.1.1.1

          Autonomy in Hong Kong should be one country two systems.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.2

          Aaahhh yes that’s right Ad, nothing beats the smell of good ol’ British colonialism in the morning…..yep it’s this sort of good old fashioned white man colonialism that gives colonialism such a good name wherever it has ruled all around the world…

          • Treetop 1.1.1.2.1

            I agree with Ad that Hong Kong was better off when there was a treaty with Britain.

            It is always better when a country rules has its own self determination.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.2

            Ad listed a number of features of British colonial rule. What exactly are your objections to any or all of them?

      • Treetop 1.1.2

        I had a good friend from Hong Kong for 20 years, he saw the fate of Hong Kong when Britain left. Many changes have been made by China in Hong Kong since Britain left.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I have friends who were white Hong Kongers, born there and educated in NZ, who saw Hong Kong as home. One, a lawyer with a prestigious law firm all her life, saw the writing on the wall ten years ago and left to set up shop in Manila. her brother was a successful businessman in Hong Kong and he has also moved to Manila.

    They are taking their money and expertise and moving on. Hong Kong is dying. It will revert to a backwater full of the (to the CCP) politically suspect.

    • Treetop 2.1

      It is evident that culture can coexist but government cannot coexist with culture unless there is autonomy for the people who occupy the land.

    • RedLogix 2.2

      And what you're touching on there is that Hong Kong (and the other harbour cities in southern China) were historically always somewhat apart from their northern neighbours, geographically, economically and culturally.

      And unless the Beijing-centric CCP is willing to accommodate this, there will always be resistance.

    • Brigid 2.3

      You don't seriously expect us to believe the Phillipines are now the beneficiaries of these people's largess?

      Their money no doubt remains where it was when they were in Hong Kong, in the Caymans or some such.

  3. joe90 3

    Best ad ever.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    They reallly don't want NZ workers – comments on these articles are spelling out the real story in spades.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      edit
      From Stuart;s link. Telling points.

      …Multiple potential employees contacted the Otago Daily Times citing weeks-long waits for a reply to applications — if a reply was received at all — for jobs listed on orchards or vineyards throughout the region…

      When Unions Otago members looked at horticulture and viticulture jobs in Central Otago on the Work the Seasons website they saw "obvious hurdles".
      There was minimal information supplied about the jobs on offer, many did not describe minimum hours of guaranteed employment, which days, hours, and times of work, nor the duration of season, Mitchell said.

      Pay-rates were largely not advertised; those that did only guaranteed minimum wage.
      While some offered accommodation no other information was provided, such as who paid for it, nor did they specify which "Central Otago" location.

      To claim Kiwi workers were not interested in jobs that were not properly defined seemed "a bit disingenuous"…

      Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan would not be drawn on the issue, instead referring the ODT to Central Otago Labour Market Governance Group chairman Stephen Jeffery for comment.
      Jeffery said the industry had recently employed a labour market co-ordinator in Central Otago and that role might help alleviate the applicant backlog.

      The neo lib response from the government – which underlines that it cannot sit back and leave it to business to run the country, they are too busy with their own immediate requirements and have no national good juice in their veins. They have to think of profitability and managing costs. Do hens have targets for how many eggs they will lay, as they go about their head-down task of pecking insects from the ground and looking out for the daily feed of grain from above?

      Ministry of Social Development director industry partnership Amanda Nicolle said it encouraged employers to provide as much information as possible to job seekers on their advertisements, and to keep in touch with those who apply.

      "We provide a suite of tools for employers to help them manage the recruitment process, including keeping applicants up to date."
      She said like many job boards and notice board type sites in New Zealand, the listings available were user-generated.

      We ought to keep the story of the Little Red Hen in mind – she had to do all for growing the crop; at harvest time looked for workers, had to do that herself also, and kept the results for herself. Not the way a practical, well-run and effective country operates; work and organised manpower by the government, living wage with bonuses tied to results, and reasonable distribution of income to the people will keep us on our feet and ready to cope with our known future problems.

      • RedBaronCV 4.1.1

        Good on the unions for pushing back hard. Maybe the government could fund a couple more labour co-ordinators down there to get them used to managing workers again.
        Or employers could prove they can manage some thing and get together to coordinate their own needs. Imagine what employers would be saying if workers just expected the government to hand them a job of their choosing at the living rate.

        Note how some regions are bleating a lot more than others. Otago a lot but nothing really from the Wairarapa or Gisborne. Hawkes Bay – middling.

        and maybe the Otago growers could use something like this – which I thought looked very interesting.

        https://jobloads.co.nz/find-jobs

        • Graeme 4.1.1.1

          Rather odd that the incumbent labour hire services, that organised and supplied rhe RSE and backpacker labour, seem to have gone ta ta.
          Wonder why?

          • greywarshark 4.1.1.1.1

            Sounds 'sound' Redbaroncv – are you going to put in your cv? I'm a bit old, and no one would want to pay me to do what I want – to shake NZ up and get blood circulating round the polity. Seems a case of long-term inadequate invigoration and key-tapping causing frozen limbs. I think we have to view NZ as a sick but struggling to recover nation that needs physiotherapy.

            Do a Sister Kenny as she did with the Oz polio victims. Kept their legs moving so the muscles didn't shrink.

            Most contemporary doctors recommended immobilizing paralyzed limbs, which could leave patients bedridden or confined to heavy, cumbersome braces. Kenny argued that a regimen of hot compresses, stretching, massage and assisted exercise could reduce pain and even restore patients' mobility.

            https://www.workingnurse.com/articles/Sister-Elizabeth-Kenny-1880-1952-Polio-Treatment-Reformer

      • Treetop 4.1.2

        And what happens when it rains and employees cannot pick the produce?

        • KJT 4.1.2.1

          They don't get paid. Which drops the average weekly rate even further. especially in Northland. Where we get a bit of rain.

          • greywarshark 4.1.2.1.1

            And sometimes they have travelled many kms to work only to be told 'We aren't picking today' and have to turn and go back again out of pocket and out of petrol.

            Government could offer top ups to a minimum wage and help the worker, and help the country, and the welfare costs wouldn't be much higher as there would be less unemployed and less drug taking and reductions in crime. Everyone would be too busy, and saving up for the do on Friday night and Saturday's game if they weren't working that day. And there would be fun.

            I went to a sing along the other night, pleasant. It was in a room at the back of a pub, and at the bar and met a most happy fella who had been part of the team of Makos that one a cup. He was showing us all his pics of the team holding it. Let's get back to a society that has more room for fun and enjoyment of doing things together.

            One thing would be to reduce work hours. It is amazing how people get preached at for having the old lights, use too much electricity, Meanwhile these big shops like K Mart open till 11pm etc. blazing with light! Reduce hours on Sunday, open 9 am close at 1 pm., Saturday open at 8 am and close at 3pm. Alternate with nearby neighbourhoods with one having Tuesday afternoon closing, and one Thursday afternoon closing then everyone has time to do stuff during the week. They were still doing it in England in 1970.

            • KJT 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Don't agree with Government subsidy to underpaying employers by topping up wages.

              The unpaid travel time and cost, is true. Seen it happening often.

          • Treetop 4.1.2.1.2

            I expect that some people would try to make up the lost wages by working a 12 hr day.

            Not sure if this is permissible. Probably the union would not allow it.

    • Pat 4.2

      thats pretty much the case….and the Gov (of both hues) are complicit.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.3

      What they want is to only have to pay third-world pay in a country with first-world living costs.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I haven't read this yet. But the heading sounds interesting – many of us have been concerned about trade matters for yonks. So passing it on to be noted by those interested in case not seen.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/431998/report-urges-nz-led-reform-of-trade-system

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      Written by a law firm. Wonder who paid them and what material they fed them. At the moment I'd be satisfied if they stuck to trade and left out secrecy clauses and the ability to invest and buy our land and enterprises out from under us while they sue the government. Plus some countries put on arbitrary tariffs anyway so what use are agreements.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Also on top of alcohol undermining the NZ 'spirit' there are other drugs and particulary meth is sapping people's strength of mind and body.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018774875/lifting-the-lid-on-the-rise-and-rise-of-organised-crime-in-nz

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 8

    Two stories on RNZ homepage right now, adjacent on the page

    " The government's finances are in much better shape than expected, with strong domestic spending propping up the tax take. "

    and

    " A three-year-old girl whose back teeth were crumbling and painful couldn't be treated immediately because her case didn't qualify as urgent. "

    WTF New Zealand??!!?

    • Sabine 8.1

      WTF NZ , WTF government, WTF indeed.

      Austerity and a surplus for the next National Government to squander – very much as was done with the surplus of the last Labour government, all pressed out of the bodies of the poor and their children.

      And the current lot will do nothing, nothing at all, but offer a sandwich for the toothless little urchin once she gets to school. If she her second teeth will be healtier then her baby teeth.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1.1

        A situation that exposes the total lie about government surpluses being a good thing (a lie repeated loudly by both National AND Labour).

        A surplus on the books and kids with rotten teeth – mean you have failed utterly as a government and an economy (and a society). You have failed to spend where you needed to – producing a surplus which is simply a confirmation of terrible performance, not an indicator of success at all!

        • Phillip ure 8.1.1.1

          wot uncooked said..

        • gsays 8.1.1.2

          In a similar vein, Adrian Orr mentioned "…good for the econony…".

          I wanted the interviewer to pause him and ask to use other words to describe what that phrase means. Particularly in the context of house affordability.

          • SPC 8.1.1.2.1

            Absurd. In that sense good for the economy means, the RBG has loosened up finance too much and inflated house prices unnecessarily.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1.1.2.2

            "good for the economy" – the unthinking, inane justification for anything and everything. What does the economy care if things are "good for it"?

            Meanwhile things are very bad for many people.

            A problem when you make "the economy" more important than people.

    • mac1 8.2

      What does urgent mean in medical terms?

      Here's what I find by Googling. "A condition is considered urgent when it is not life threatening, but requires care in a timely manner (within 24 hours).Sep 6, 2013"

      The issue here is that what was not requiring care within 24 hours instead could have a 100 day waiting period.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.2.1

        The definition of "Urgent" is defined by the budget, under the 'rationing / austerity' model of healthcare that NZ subscribes to:

        (1) Set the budget

        (2) Adjust the definition of "urgent" as required to keep services within the budget.

        In reality, healthcare austerity just costs more in the end and hurts people (except arguably the rich who reduce their tax payments).

        It’s time to start counting the real costs of health rationing

        • greywarshark 8.2.1.1

          and running on a health insurance model. So that the budget is the object to be cared for and pandered to, and the sick person is allowed just so much mediation and medication at the time that the Budget Manager decides will happen.

          It is thinking on macro lines, though dealing with myriad citizens with micro needs. The all-knowings used to laugh and sneer at communists and their pre-planning covering long periods which were rigidly adhered to. Western nations are fine with the same procedures so that the ordinary person gets what they are given if decided appropriate, under capitalism or communism. Seeing a paradox? Go take a pill and lie down.

    • Adrian Thornton 8.3

      Well pointed out there UncookedSelachimorpha…you can be sure that little baby Neve will never have to suffer like that three year old girl in that story, or for that matter any children of any of the political class…why, because they control a medical system they don't use themselves that why pure and simple.

      If every politician in the Beehive and their direct family had to use the public health care system (as they should be made to do)…I can tell you right now we would have the world wide gold standard in public health care systems operating in New Zealand pretty damn quick then that for fucking sure.

      • mac1 8.3.1

        Adrian, what evidence do you have for your "you can be sure that little baby Neve" statement?

        Where was little baby Neve born? In Auckland public hospital, along with 15 other babies.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-in-labour-at-auckland-hospital-with-partner-clarke-gayford

        I agree with you that a good way to assure a good health system is to make its funders use it. A bit like airline pilots risking their lives along with their passengers, and acting accordingly.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.3.2

        "If every politician in the Beehive and their direct family had to use the public health care system (as they should be made to do)… "

        I agree, except I would change 'use' to 'rely on' (and this also answers Mac1's comment re Neve I think – using the NZ health system and having to rely on it are two totally different things).

        In my experience, using the NZ public health system is not bad, when they agree to do something, they usually do a good job. The problem is – they so often tell you to bugger off, even with terribly debilitating conditions, unless you can front up and pay for it yourself. You then have to hope(?) your debilitating problem becomes life-threatening or at least much much worse – then you might get free help (and a much more major and expensive intervention than if they'd just helped you in the first place!)

      • SPC 8.3.3

        This matter is in part

        1. poor diet.

        2. a consequence of the child not brushing their teeth (and maybe lack of fluoride in water and lack of such in any toothpaste).

        3 lack of early intervention.

        For middle class children there is little health care need.

    • Jester 8.4

      Why are her teeth crumbling like that at three? Being that young she should be receiving free dental treatment like school children do.

  8. greywarshark 9

    edit
    Insurance in NZ. Some firms seem a bit doubtful, and their clients should be.

    In business news from the Reserve Bank to one business that seems hollow to me. (Big online presence yet the actual direction referred to is for pet insurance? Though I saw health insurance come up too).
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/432019/reserve-bank-warns-pacific-international-insurance-over-repeated-non-disclosure

    further

    Pacific International Insurance http://www.pacificins.co.nz

    We are a New Zealand insurance underwriting company with over two decades' experience in building unique, diverse insurance offerings for our partners.

    Also connected with Rosebank Business Association. (address to pacificintins.)

    then

    Melville Jessup Weaver – I think consulting actuaries for Pacfic II Pty Ltd
    (Melville Jessup Weaver is an independent firm of consulting actuaries with offices in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand. The firm provides actuarial consulting in the areas of insurance, superannuation, KiwiSaver, investment consulting, financial analysis, and risk management.)https://mjw.co.nz/insurance-company/pacific-international-insurance-pty-limited/

    Australian interest – in Animal Insurance? From Dun & Bradstreet auditors.
    PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE PTY LIMITED
    MAD PAWS PET INSURANCE
    OTP HOUSE L 1 SE 21 10 BRADFORD CLOSE
    KOTARA, NEW SOUTH WALES, 2289 Australia
    http://www.pacificins.com.auExternal Website. Opens New Window
    Company Type: Proprietorship Subsidiary

    More Pet Insurance – this must be a lucrative sector!
    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2010/S00404/new-pet-insurer-pd-insurance-enters-new-zealand-market.htm

    Perhaps many insurances have limited 'cover' like this 'not-in-the-open' one for stock in paddocks. Interesting that the insurance company is called FMG which stands for Farmers Mutual Group which has in one form or another been going since 1905. Formed by farmers for farmers is their mantra. They have been in business long enough to know that farmers need coverage of livestock in the open air, and if not covered, how to give a clear indication of this!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/88580540/advice-to-farmers-read-the-fine-print-to-make-sure-stock-are-insured-against-theft – from 2017

    Morrow has been refused compensation by FMG and yet pays a premium of $8000 a year on a livestock insurance policy "and I thought theft would have been the essence of any policy".

    Not so, says Federated Farmers rural security spokesman Rick Powdrell, who himself has been the victim of rustling on his Te Puke farm.

  9. Adrian Thornton 10

    Looks like Biden is conforming exactly as his pro war/pro corporate history would have suggested he would..but then I guess he isn't Trump so who cares?

    Joe Biden Is Filling His Cabinet With Pro-War Hawks

    If you were hoping for a change of heart from Joe Biden after a decades-long career as a hawk, we've got bad news: his incoming team helped shape some of the most militaristic policies of the Obama administration.

    https://jacobinmag.com/2020/11/joe-biden-administration-cabinet-picks-pro-war-hawks

    Joe Biden’s New National Security Picks Are Very Troubling

    Joe Biden’s first national security hires have been consulting for defense contractors or working for industry-funded think tanks. The picks are of a piece with Biden’s entire career of backing US imperialism rather than bucking it.

    https://jacobinmag.com/2020/11/joe-biden-administration-national-security-picks-defense-department

    • arkie 10.1

    • SPC 10.2

      Biden opposed the UN authorised liberation of Kuwait (wrong but hardly warhawkie).

      And he plans to end support for Saudi Arabia bombing in Yemen – and focus on getting aid in.

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