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Open mike 04/02/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 4th, 2021 - 74 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 …

74 comments on “Open mike 04/02/2021 ”

  1. Incognito 1

    Morrissey will be re-connected to Aotearoa-New Zealand as of tomorrow. Oh boy, how we have missed him!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/124138004/aucklands-northcote-point-ferry-services-resume-after-two-and-a-half-year-wharf-closure

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      Yes we do, it's always nice have a little more balance in the conversation, which many find him good for encouraging.

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        It was a message to and for the man himself who’s been chomping at the bit to be allowed back on the field ploughing his favourite tracks. As long as he keeps his tracks straight and narrow, he’ll do just fine here with likeminded ploughers. You’ll be pleased to know he’ll be back tomorrow.

    • Anne 1.2

      I enjoy Morrissey's 'the panel' rundowns. Yes, he embellishes but more often than not there's a grain of truth in his descriptions.

      I gave up on the panel a long time ago because I was fed up with the "bob each way" attitude of the hosts, plus most of their guests. There were some exceptions eg. Joe Bennett who was a breath of fresh air but I don't think he participates any more.

    • Brigid 1.3

      We have.

      And if one finds his linking to his own blog tiresome there's never any compulsion on anyone to read it.

      His bullshit metre is far more attuned than many I believe.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.3.1

        I should, um, be so lucky as to have Morrissey's sense of humour and, ahhh, fun.

        Hur, hur, hur, hur…

      • Incognito 1.3.2

        You may want to read the Policy, particularly the section on link-spamming. In addition, there’s case history that you seem to be unaware of.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    National still whinging about slow vaccine roll out when GSK are saying they are developing a vaccine that will be effective against different variants.

  3. AB 3

    Inadvertently found myself watching TV One's Breakfast show simultaneously with RNZ's Morning report. The currently standard question was wheeled out concerning the vaccine by both outlets – "what about people who refuse?" No mention of the more important problem that will inevitably hit with the vaccine roll-out – premature calls from National and 'business' to open everything up too early, thus putting at risk those still unvaccinated. Countering this coming avalanche of tripe is going to take up all Ardern's time and ability.

    • Anne 3.1

      On the topic of the vaccination rollout, my tolerance level towards the anti-vaxxers has expired. They are scaring people away from vaccines in general and the Covid vaccines in particular. It's got to stop.

      The softly, softly approach involving education and informing them is hogwash. Most of them are beyond rational comprehension.

      Now is the time to enforce some form of punishment because they pose a real danger to the community. Denying them employment opportunities on the grounds they refuse to be vaccinated for Covid would be a good starting point.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        If someone has been offered a free vaccine and they decline (without good medical reason), then I'd be all for charging them the full cost of all medical expenses incurred in treating them should they subsequently get the disease. Plus all the expenses for those they go on to infect.

        For all vaccine-preventable diseases, not just covid.

      • Ed1 3.1.2

        I think punishment is looking at it the wrong way. There really isn't a problem while we retain strict border controls and MIQ / Isolation. When the vaccination programme is completed there will be a group of people not vaccinated with medical exemption, and a (hopefully small) group who have refused vaccination. As we relax border controls there will be concern about the period of effectiveness of the vaccine, but also concern about the possibility of new strains developing that may be partially resistance to the vaccine. Those who have not been vaccinated are effectively our coalmine canaries – they are more likely to become infected. In that scenario it may be reasonable to require them to be tested – public health experts would need to determine the frequency, but I would expect once a week to be not too intrusive while giving a reasonably early indication of community infection. In the event of community transmission, they may need to be isolated – again health experts would be able to determine such requirements on a scientific basis.. We do need to remember to be kind – most are likely to be victims of mis-information, and if there are now adverse side effects from the vaccine I would expect the number refusing the vaccine to reduce over time.

        • Andre 3.1.2.1

          Some vaccine refusers are on the grounds of the vaccine being an unwanted and perceived to be unnecessary medical procedure. I'll hazard a guess many of those would refuse testing on the same grounds.

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.2.2

          I think punishment is looking at it the wrong way.

          Rubbish, Ed. Put the refusers up against the wall! Make an example of a few and the others will fall into line quick smart!

          We do need to remember to be kind … 'kind' be damned! No room for kindness in this Apocalyptic world! For the Good of Society we must make the hesitant submit!

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.3

        Interesting, don't you think, that Governments worldwide appear to be channeling Pilate and leaving the mandating of the experimental vaccines for Covid 19 up to employers. I guess Votes count more than actual leadership.

        Even here in Godzone much of the discussion is about how NZBORA will protect an individuals right to bodily autonomy when balanced with the Public Good.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/435569/covid-19-strong-argument-for-mandatory-vaccination-for-some-workers-law-expert

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018782231/air-nz-boss-reflects-on-tumultuous-year-in-charge

        At around 4.26 minutes Foran is asked about the vaccine and whether Air NZ would demand employees be vaccinated. He hedges.

        Retirement industry leader has no such qualms. Even in the complete absence of an available vaccine… .https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/retirement-village-operator-arvida-group-adopts-strict-new-covid-jab-hiring-policy/ATKEJO5FL7PFYMQGLRL753A4PA/ confirmed anyone joining the workforce in any of its 32 facilities across the country would need to consent to be inoculated against the deadly virus.

        A bit silly really, leaving it up to employers to mandate these vaccines, as this is conveniently playing into one of the more extreme narratives of the weird Covid Conspiracy Club that this is all about The Corporations Taking Over.

        But what is not being widely discussed is the fact that a considerable number of frontline medical staff are rejecting the Covid 19 vaccines.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/10/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy-us-health-workers

        Not just in the US… https://www.ft.com/content/c576e15f-e5b1-4369-a5f0-073b4466036f [deleted spurious text that included an e-mail address, FFS – Incognito]

        A poll released in mid-December caused surprise in Germany — the country that has been at the forefront of the race for a vaccine with biotech company BioNTech — by showing that half of surveyed nurses did not want to be vaccinated, along with a quarter of doctors. Those worries came back to the fore this week when the head of one German state said only a third of healthcare workers in his state were willing to get the jab.

        We will not escape this 'irrationality' here, as some of our frontline medical staff already have 'form' in this area.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/unvaccinated-nurses-who-refused-flu-jabs-sent-home/PGLBECDRJ2VRG3R2QFH7CWJNNQ/

        Luckily we have people like Anne and Andre who will be more than happy to force these very experimental vaccines on their fellow Kiwis who choose the precautionary approach.

        • Ad 3.1.3.1

          MedSafe has now approved the Pfizer vaccine as safe.

          No rush to roll it out, since we are in about the best pandemic position in the world.

          • Sanctuary 3.1.3.1.1

            The whole point of not rushing out the vaccine is trust. At the moment, trust in the government is sky-high. That is why acceptance rates for the vaccine in NZ are running at 75-80%. Why blow that trust, and risk a European level of distrust (only 40% of French people will have the vaccine shot) if we have the luxury of time to take people with us?

        • Sabine 3.1.3.2

          actually i don't have an issue with a nurse who refuses to get a work mandated jab to be sent home.

          She gets the right to refuse a jab, and her workplace gets the right to refuse unjabbed people at the work place.

          See, both have a choice. As for the nurse, she can always try and get a job where vaccinations are not required.

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.3.2.1

            Sabine. How about being the first regular commentator here on TS to ask themselves why a trained medical professional would risk all by refusing a vaccine?

            Think about it. Trained medical professionals refusing a common vaccine (like the annual flu jab) and/or a brand new experimental vaccine for a novel viral disease. And trained medical professionals who have spent much of the past year in the Covid trenches.

            One third of healthcare staff in a particular German state willing to get the jab.

            Think about that.

            • Andre 3.1.3.2.1.1

              That just shows how effective scaremongering can be. Even when all the facts and evidence shows there's negligible risk to be concerned about.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                What is it about 'trained medical professionals' you are not understanding Andre?

                These are not the ignorant and uneducated hoi polloi (although as a supposed Leftie that group should be your first considerationwink).

                These are those professionals who have been in the Covid trenches for a year now.

                Refusing the vaccine.

                You must be able to do better than merely trotting out the same tired, old lines.

                Or do you believe that almost half of the doctors and nurses working in Germany are ignorant fuckwits?

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Of course! That proves it then! Almost half of the medical professionals in Germany are nutbars!

                    (Rolls eyes. Beats head on desk. Despairs of any reasoned or rational conversation to be had on this issue.)

                • McFlock

                  meh.

                  There are lots of "trained medical professionals" and other super-smart folks who have nutty ideas of one flavour or another. Most of the time these nutty ideas are inconsequential.

                  There might even be some doctors who still smoke. Does that mean smoking is safe, or the data attributing 90% of lung cancers to smoking is significantly flawed? Nope. But I think you'll find the smoking rate is signficantly lower amongst "trained medical professionals" than the general population.

                  Likewise, I think you'll find vaccine hesitancy is lower among "trained medical professionals" than in the general population. A tiny minority of people with nutty ideas does not make a consensus of opinion amongst industry professionals, be it medicine or engineering.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    I think you'll find vaccine hesitancy is lower among "trained medical professionals" than in the general population

                    I provided actual links McFlock. Perhaps you could trouble yourself to support your assertions?

                    For example… https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/124119830/coronavirus-vaccine-hesitancy-will-fade-as-more-information-comes-to-light–experts

                    The nearly one million New Zealanders who are hesitant about vaccinations should have their fears eased as more information about Covid-19 vaccinations comes to light, experts say.

                    That's about 20%. One fifth. 1/5.

                    2/3 of healthcare workers in one German state refused the vaccine.

                    Go figure. Please.

                    • McFlock

                      4 out of how many nurses refused the flu jab in your article?

                      And what was the surveyed hesitancy in the general german pop vs german "medical professionals"?

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      @McFlock. In the absence of a reply button.

                      4 out of how many nurses refused the flu jab in your article?

                      Must be a real handicap…not being able to look stuff up for yourself. However…https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/worker-fired-over-hospitals-hardline-vaccination-policy/E52E2A3Z2NXGKJBMKYBW4YSKXE/

                      Of course you will remember the infamous Nigel Murray…DHB CEO extrordinaire? He came down all hard arse when he assumed the mantle of responsibility for the Waikato DHB…just had to raise the 53% flu jab rate from 2014 to the 75% quoted in the article from 2015. Makes a good read…has opinions from doctors, unions and the like about bullying and respecting and valuing staff.

                      And what was the surveyed hesitancy in the general german pop vs german "medical professionals"?

                      You poor thing McFlock…so, well, incapable.

                      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/22/covid-vaccine-acceptance-rising-across-europe-but-falling-in-parts-of-asia

                      (There's a graph with colour and everything.wink)

                    • McFlock

                      So it looks like 4 out of roughly 3,000 refused flu jabs, of which only one (who was not a clinician) was fired.

                      As for the yougov tracker results of 22 Jan (the guardian article), That seems to show Germans overall increasing acceptance of covid vaccines to well over a majority.

                      Much googling for your "2/3 of healthcare workers in one German state refused the vaccine " seems to have found only tangential references like this:

                      A poll released in mid-December caused surprise in Germany – the country that has been at the forefront of the race for a vaccine with biotech company BioNTech – by showing that half of surveyed nurses did not want to be vaccinated, along with a quarter of doctors.

                      Those worries came back to the fore this week when the head of one German state said only a third of healthcare workers in his state were willing to get the jab.

                      So is it 2/3 of all healthcare workers, or is it half of nurses and a quarter of doctors?
                      Because it seems that the German-wide results show nurses have about the same hesitancy as the general pop (yougov had it at ~50 in dec, data of the Irishtimes data) and doctors had a hesitancy rate of half that.

                      Gosh, it's almost as if the more medical knowledge one has, the less likely one is to "refuse" a vaccine.

                • Gabby

                  Is that cos they've already caught it?

            • Robert Guyton 3.1.3.2.1.2

              "How about being the first regular commentator here on TS to ask themselves why a trained medical professional would risk all by refusing a vaccine?"

              I have some questions, Rosemary.

              I'm presuming you asked yourself that question: what was your answer?

              Also, if we are to give credence to those people because they are trained medical professionals, what are we to think of the position taken by the other trained medical professionals; those who believe the vaccine to be necessary?

              Thanks.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                …why a trained medical professional would risk all by refusing a vaccine?

                I know that in relation to the flu vaccine, the incidence of people becoming very ill after having the jab is so high that it has almost a given that a surprisingly high number of recipients will 'get as sick as they have ever been' within days of being vaccinated.

                The research to support the safety of the flu vaccine is there for all to read…https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/03/13/richard-smith-who-is-most-likely-to-have-side-effects-to-flu-vaccination/… (/sarc since you probably won't read the article) and in the absence such hard 'evidence' medical professionals have to fall back on what they know best. Observations of themselves and their colleagues and patients. If you have not met anyone Robert, who can relate a "I'm never having another flu vaccine' tale, then I suspect you have been living a lonely existence in a deep cave. I am close to someone who has been eligible for a free flu shot since forever because of significant physical disability who has never been pressured to avail themselves. Even after having treatment for leukaemia. His GP and other doctors he has seen over the years have never once questioned his flu vaccine free status. I personally have observed at least half the residents of an elder care facility become very ill a few days after a mass flu vaccination session. A ridiculous number died. The oldies who refused the vaccine remained well. And so on.

                Of course there are other reasons why nurses refuse flu shots. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410084/ This makes for a good read…considering they note a 4-40% uptake of flu vaccines in the studied populations.

                … if we are to give credence to those people because they are trained medical professionals, what are we to think of the position taken by the other trained medical professionals; those who believe the vaccine to be necessary?

                You make a very good and valid point there Mr Guyton. I guess it comes down to personality, life experience and our right to reach our own conclusions based on the same 'evidence' and learnings received by those who choose the other path.

                For instance…two people might attend the exact same degree course in agriculture or horticulture, achieve similar grades and have, after the same amount of time, attained similar levels of success in their subsequent careers.

                One farms conventionally using agrichemicals and externally sourced fertilizers and imported feed such as palm kernel. Makes a profit. The other farms organically, perhaps bio -dynamically, and operates a completely self contained system. Also makes a profit.

                Both of them 'believe' they are farming correctly.

                We could extrapolate this metaphor and discuss the relative sustainability of each system…but maybe another time?

                I don't know…and I have given this much thought over the years having come from a medical family. I do know that merely dismissing and disrespecting others for their differing viewpoints is not conducive to progress.

                • Incognito

                  I do know that merely dismissing and disrespecting others for their differing viewpoints is not conducive to progress.

                  QFT

                  (/sarc since you probably won't read the article) … If you have not met anyone Robert, …, then I suspect you have been living a lonely existence in a deep cave.

                  Nice one, respectful and not at all dismissive.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    I am sure Mr Guyton won't choose to take it personally. After all, he's proven himself to be perfectly capable of apparent disrespect and dismissiveness when defending his particular point of view. Any one who can spend the best part of a couple of days publicly defending his hero's shameful support of an elitist private school can handle a gentle jibe or two. Surely?

            • Sabine 3.1.3.2.1.3

              i have.

              and i stand by my comment.

              she does not have to get jab, and her boss does not have to keep her hired.

      • Brigid 3.1.4

        Punishment has been shown to be a poor incentive and wont address the problem.

        In fact the threat of punishment will have the anti vaxers screaming from the hill tops that their civil rights have been infringed.

        You don't shut them down or threaten them, you make sure you're louder than they are.

        • Stuart Munro 3.1.4.1

          Actually I think you do shut them down – better not to let their stupidity infect others, or pretend that their position is tenable.

            • Andre 3.1.4.1.1.1

              How can you tell who is anti-vax? Just say something critical about anti-vaxxers and wait for all the people to claim they're "not anti-vax, but … "

              • Stuart Munro

                I'm not saying every version of vaccine scepticism is automatically outrageous – but a number are being exploited, notably by the likes of Billy TK, to mislead and radicalize vulnerable people on grounds as specious as nanite tracking devices, Gates or Soros world domination schemes, and apparently pedo rings.

                These may be discarded without regret in the same way unsupported allegations are wont to be moderated in this forum.

      • Andre 3.1.5

        For anyone looking for actual info on what's been happening in terms of side effects and vaccine reactions, the USA Today piece below is a pretty good summary.

        https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/01/28/covid-19-vaccines-cdc-safety-data-pfizer-moderna-coronavirus/4281434001/

        tl;dr At the time the article was written, at least 22 million Americans had received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Pfizer and Moderna are both the newfangled mRNA vaccines that have never been used before in either humans or animals AFAIK.

        Of direct reactions that can reasonably be directly attributed to the vaccine, the worst were 50 cases of anaphylactic shock, all of whom rapidly recovered.

        There are some reports of people getting rare diseases or dying from rare causes shortly after receiving the vaccination, but the rates of these incidences appear to be lower in the week or month after getting the vaccination than the normal background rate of how many random people would be expected to get those diseases in any given week or month. Just like the scare stories of very elderly Norwegian nursing home residents dying shortly after getting vaccinated, but it turns out that if anything, the death rate after vaccination is similar or possibly even lower than the normal death rate of those nursing home residents.

        So, 22 million examples of people getting vaccinated against covid and the worst that can reasonably said is 50 cases of anaphylactic shock that rapidly recovered. The close comparison is 27 million Americans diagnosed with covid so far, of whom over 460,000 have died and nobody has even tried to work out how are long term disabled from long covid.

        Nor is there even the slightest hint of there being any kind of common vaccination side effect that takes a longer time period to show up.

      • weka 3.1.6

        how do you tell the anti-vaxxers from other people who don't vaccinate? Or remove livelihoods from all?

    • Enough is Enough 3.2

      There is always going to be level of un-vaccinated and there is always going to be at least 10% of those who are vaccinated, who are not protected.

      Those people will be at risk when the border opens and consequently people will die.

      Closing the borders was Jacinda's easy decision. Reopening them, and with it, exposing at the very least, 10% of our population to the virus and potential death, is going to be a much much bigger decision for her.

      • Janet 3.2.1

        I would imagine that incomers who can prove that they have been vaccinated would not need to be quarantined when the borders open. Those who are not vaccinated would still have to quarantine . Right ?

        • Andre 3.2.1.1

          After all those in NZ that want to be vaccinated have been vaccinated, yes, that would be a reasonable position IMO.

        • Enough is Enough 3.2.1.2

          That's probably a good solution. It will still be exposing 10% of the population to the virus

  4. Ad 5

    Another day in New Zealand 2021:

    Unemployment down to 4.9%, underemployment down, more people off benefits, Maori employment up:

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2102/S00014/employment-rises-on-back-of-strong-economy.htm

    A record number of new houses consented in the last quarter:

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2102/S00052/record-number-of-new-homes-consented-in-december-quarter-media-release.htm

    The dairy payout is going for $7 per kilo of milk solids:

    https://www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz/rural-news/rural-general-news/dream-start-for-dairy-prices

    Medsafe have approved the Pfizer vaccine, even though we're in such good public health condition that there's no pressure to roll it out:

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2102/S00019/pfizer-vaccine-good-news-but-where-is-it.htm

    The Climate Commission's proposals are welcomed as good for us, achievable and affordable:

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2101/S00095/climate-change-targets-achievable-and-affordable-experts-say.htm

    And while the National Party still struggle to rebuild themselves, this Labour government continues to ride high:

    https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/8629-nz-national-voting-intention-january-2021-202102010459

    • Pat 5.1

      "Unemployment down to 4.9%, underemployment down, more people off benefits, Maori employment up:"

      and yet…

      "As at the end of December 2020, the number of working-age people on Jobseeker Support increased by 44.1 percent, compared with the December 2019 quarter. The proportion of working-age people receiving JS has been increasing since the December 2017 quarter."

      https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/2020/benefit-fact-sheets/benefit-fact-sheets-snapshot-december-2020.pdf

      Think a Mark Twain quote is in order

    • Sabine 5.2

      For women the unemployment % is 5.4 % vs men 4.5%. An increase of 0.9%. But i guess its ok.

      In the year to the December 2020 quarter, there were 25,000 more unemployed people:

      • 11,000 more men were unemployed.
      • 15,000 more women were unemployed.
      • The unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the following ethnic groups in the December 2020 quarter was:
      • 3.7 percent for European (no statistically significant change since the December 2019 quarter)
      • 9.0 percent for Māori (no statistically significant change since the December 2019 quarter)
      • 9.6 percent for Pacific people, up from 7.2 percent in the December 2019 quarter
      • 5.2 percent for Asian, up from 3.4 percent in the December 2019 quarter.

      https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/labour-market-statistics-december-2020-quarter

      then per Pats link above 12.6 % of working age people receive 'a' benefit of sorts. That would 389.000 odd people in Dec 20 up from Dec 19 which was 314.000 odd people.

      As at the end of December 2020, the number of working-age people on Jobseeker Support increased by 44.1 percent, compared with the December 2019 quarter. The proportion of working-age people receiving JS has been increasing since the December 2017 quarter.

      It really just depends how one reads these stats….right?

      Houses consented ain't houses build. We discussed that already during the Key times when the then government regularly touted the consented builds as a proof of something. How many of these consented buildings will result in affordable houses?

      Medsafe approving a vaccine that seems to work is the smartest thing they can do, just because we don't have a full breakdown now, does not mean we will have one in the future. Again, anyone thinking that this is over needs to readjust their thinking. We have just started. So yeah, approve the vaccine, get it in with a bit more urgency and start vaccinating please. As for us not needing it, so far we have been several times lucky that he virus did not escape managed isolation. How many more times do you think we will get lucky?

      The labour party riding high today means nothing come election day in 2.5 years. Seriously. Ditto with the Nats. Who will take over from J.A? The same suits that could not win an election before they pushed her out?

      • Incognito 5.2.1

        Houses consented ain't houses build. We discussed that already during the Key times when the then government regularly touted the consented builds as a proof of something. How many of these consented buildings will result in affordable houses?

        Sure, but …

        Heslop said that consents indicate an intention to build, and most home construction was completed within a year or two after a consent was granted, although Covid-19 related delays might have affected some construction.

        “Typically, high levels of new homes consented are followed by high levels of building activity in following quarters, which has wide benefits for the economy.”

        Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr has estimated that the conversion rate of consents into new dwellings would be between 80 and 90 per cent. [original text is hyperlinked]

        But for Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod, the data showed consents had continued to defy gravity and indicated a period of strong home building was on the cards over 2021. [my italics]

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/real-estate/124150087/record-building-consents-reaching-levels-that-could-surpass-their-1970s-heyday

        The Medsafe approval is provisional.

      • RedBaronCV 5.2.2

        And are we still issuing work visas for such skilled occupations as call centre workers?

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      NZ's balance of payments have been recording surpluses during the pandemic, largely due to the halting of international travel and the subsequent stopping the outflow of cash on holidays and jet fuel. meanwhile, unemployment has FALLEN despite the crippled tourism and tertiary education sectors.

      So my questions are – has NZ been living beyond it's means with all that cheap travel for the middle class? And would we be better off in terms of our environment and economic resilience if we made international travel a much, much more expensive thing?

      • Nic the NZer 5.3.1

        Its important to understand what these payment shifts are doing. Its also important to understand that they record aggregate behaviour not the actions of a coherent economic entity.

        The balance of payments shift records the NZers working for overseas payments vs those paying for things overseas. This increases income going to NZers. But its the overall increase in GDP which drives unemployment and the major shift in spending is the governments large scale support for the economy which has most supported increased NZ savings rates (savings, like balance of payments, subtract from GDP) with stable employment.

        On the other hand was any group living beyond its means, no the people most causing the overseas payments appear to have the ability to pay, and the export sector was not earning enough to make it up was occurring. But that situation can and has occurred to countries for decades and appears economically viable in many cases (including in New Zealand).

        Maybe there is a case to be made for less access to air travel, but its not an economic case.

    • Herodotus 5.4

      Great news, our family and many others will now benefit as we will no longer need to donate time and services to our local food bank. The Otara budget service, Sallys etc you are now not needed.

      Those homeless will now be able to live in a new house consent.

      The government can now take a holiday as there is nothing for them to do. 🥳

  5. Jimmy 6

    The name Justin Bergman will be known as one of the stupidest people in NZ.

    Justin Bergman accused of invading race track at Wellington Cup Day – NZ Herald

  6. McFlock 8

    A sequel to [day before] yesterday's court appearance by someone who claims to not be a legal entity, lol.

    So today (unclear whether she was actually arrested or appeared via her own means) she was again in the court, the judge established her identity (albeit somewhat informally), and entered a not guilty plea based on previous documentation.

    Preliminary appearance out of the way, court date for trial set for a couple of months later, and the system moves inexorably forward.

    Hopefully she gets an actual lawyer between now and then.

    • Andre 8.1

      She's just a 'vessel', huh? Cue Nikes and trackpants for the next comet that swings by. Not sure how to arrange the $5.75 in the pocket in NZ, maybe an American fiver and three quarters will be just fine.

  7. Ad 9

    Awesome to get another public holiday next year. Big ups there Prime Minister.

    And also great to see that like Easter it will be set around its own calendar rather than the Gregorian.

  8. joe90 10

    All class.

    /

    • Macro 10.1

      Also need to know that AOC has been the subject of many death threats.

      She’s been called everything from a “wack job” to a “fucking bitch,” but only recently did she admit that she gets regular death threats, too.

      In a Vanity Fair cover story, Ocasio Cortez — who is the youngest woman to have ever been elected into Congress — details how she has faced the near-constant threat of danger. According to Vanity Fair, one of her first death threats came barely one month into her first term representing New York’s 14th District. A Coast Guard lieutenant and self-proclaimed white nationalist was arrested hoarding a stockpile of guns with a plot to kill Ocasio-Cortez, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and others. At the same time, the freshman congresswoman's basic rights to privacy were not respected when a right-wing outlet published paparazzi photos revealing her home address. Only after her office complained did the publication blur her address.

  9. joe90 11

    Who knew.

    Tax cuts for the wealthy have long drawn support from conservative lawmakers and economists who argue that such measures will "trickle down" and eventually boost jobs and incomes for everyone else. But a new study from the London School of Economics says 50 years of such tax cuts have only helped one group — the rich.

    The new paper, by David Hope of the London School of Economics and Julian Limberg of King's College London, examines 18 developed countries — from Australia to the United States — over a 50-year period from 1965 to 2015. The study compared countries that passed tax cuts in a specific year, such as the U.S. in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan slashed taxes on the wealthy, with those that didn't, and then examined their economic outcomes.

    Per capita gross domestic product and unemployment rates were nearly identical after five years in countries that slashed taxes on the rich and in those that didn't, the study found.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tax-cuts-rich-50-years-no-trickle-down/

    • McFlock 11.1

      Goddamned reality and its well-known liberal bias…

    • Gabby 11.2

      Clearly the tax cuts have not been big enough.

      • Macro 11.2.1

        Exactly!

        That's why Trumpy gave himself and Bozo and Musky an all, a bigly xmas pressy in 2017 which will trickle down sometime soon. Just like the best amazing and beautiful Health care programme.

  10. Incognito 12

    It appears that Labour is on a path to transform Education in NZ to become more generalist, which is a good thing, in my opinion. However, it may be culling too much of the good stuff in their zest. The consultation process seems flawed according to some stakeholders and indeed, I seem to have missed the critical political debate. What’s going on?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/124143562/in-an-age-of-digital-disinformation-dropping-level-1-media-studies-in-high-schools-is-a-big-mistake

    According to some, one of the problems is a lack of “curriculum leadership” but not surprisingly, the MoE disputes this.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/435774/experts-urge-overhaul-of-school-system-following-falling-student-achievement

    Changes to the history curriculum are the topic of Micky’s post today.

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