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Open mike 04/02/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 4th, 2022 - 161 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 …

161 comments on “Open mike 04/02/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    It's a classic top-of-the-market sell-off:

    Facebook reported its first-ever quarterly decline of daily users globally this week, sending its stock price plummeting by 23 percent in intraday trading on Thursday… wiping at least $200 billion in market value from Mark Zuckerberg and the Masters of the Universe.


    The Masters will rebound, of course. They always do. As long as the left continues to hold hands with the right in supporting the system, the super-rich will get richer…

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Yesterdays announcement by the PM https://thespinoff.co.nz/live-updates should be known henceforth as “white flag” day.

    After a lengthy and at times magnificent placing of public health before private profit, the pressure from the NZ ruling class, finance capital, petit bourgeoisie and Natzo driven media must have become too great for the Labour Caucus.

    What might have been…in terms of a different Aotearoa/NZ.

    • Ross 2.1

      Yeah nah the Government finally saw the light and realised that any more Charlotte Bellis-like debacles could prove fatal.

      Some people get it.

      Covid is real, but so are car accidents. Vaccines work, but so do seatbelts and speed limits. We do not ban cars and driving completely, but we also do not allow people to drive without a licence or at 200kmh. We allow people to ride their bikes but (at least in New Zealand) we compel them to wear helmets.

      Analogously, just like we ought not to ban cars in their entirety or abolish all speed and motoring regulations, we can strike a balance in our Covid policies. Vaccines and boosters can be promoted and masks mandated in high-risk areas without relying on crippling restrictions or isolationist border policies that close off Aotearoa to the rest of the world. It is clear that the benefits of the MIQ system are out of all proportion with the risks from Covid.

      Structural issues are important to consider, of course. Covid has a disproportionate impact on certain groups – and we should be aware of this – but so does any aspect of public policy, from gambling and food policy to actions such as driving. Driving is much riskier for young people, yet we do not necessarily restrict everyone else’s habits to accommodate this fact. These questions of priority and aggregation are not new. Covid is not exceptional in this regard. Public policy is always full of complex moral considerations that require balancing and aggregation.

      My fortunate experience with the disease should not be generalised nor taken for granted, but it is something that should also not be forgotten. Covid is not a harmless disease, as the tragic rates of mortality and morbidity associated with it show worldwide. At the same time, it is important to recognise an important fact: for the vast majority of vaccinated persons, Covid will not be a serious illness.


      • Ross 2.1.1

        The writer of that piece also says:

        “Life is full of risks and bad things, and we cannot make ourselves paralysed by them. Even those who previously championed a zero-Covid approach – notably the University of Edinburgh’s Chair of Global Public Health, Professor Devi Sridhar – have since acknowledged that we need to move on from restrictions and live with the virus in our community.”

        He is absolutely right. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, and life isn’t necessarily fair. But we carry on living, just as we should.

        • mpledger

          The UK's change of elimination was lost pretty early. It's not an acknowledgement that he was wrong but an acknowledgement that there was no other choice.

        • AB

          life isn’t necessarily fair

          The existence of natural unfairness does not constitute a reason for adding a layer of human-created unfairness on top. Rather, it constitutes a moral imperative to do the opposite.

          But what the hell – I'm over dumb righties trotting out the "life isn't fair" mantra to justify the various built-in sociopathies of their ideology.

          • arkie

            Indeed, the point of society since it's very origins has been to transcend the state of nature through collective action.

            Years ago, the anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about clay pots, tools for hunting, grinding-stones, or religious artifacts.

            But no. Mead said that the first evidence of civilization was a 15,000 years old fractured femur found in an archaeological site. A femur is the longest bone in the body, linking hip to knee. In societies without the benefits of modern medicine, it takes about six weeks of rest for a fractured femur to heal. This particular bone had been broken and had healed.

            Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, you cannot drink or hunt for food. Wounded in this way, you are meat for your predators. No creature survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. You are eaten first.

            A broken femur that has healed is evidence that another person has taken time to stay with the fallen, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended them through recovery. A healed femur indicates that someone has helped a fellow human, rather than abandoning them to save their own life.


          • Ross

            dumb righties

            I’ve got no idea who you’re talking about. I’m to the left of Karl Marx lol

            As for “adding a layer of human-created unfairness”, I’m sure that Charlotte Bellis and many others who have tried to enter MIQ would agree with you. By abolishing MIQ, we will be eliminating that human-created unfairness.

          • Blade

            ''But what the hell – I'm over dumb righties trotting out the "life isn't fair" mantra to justify the various built-in sociopathies of their ideology.''

            Dumb Righties? Well, that’s to be expected.

            Before you mouth off, you should check the backgrounds of people who supposedly are scions of priveldged blue blood stock.

            Yeah, sure their are some of those chinless wonders around. They wouldn't know a Maori if they tripped over one, they move in such rarefied environments.

            But that does a disservice to those who have worked hard all their lives, build businesses up and made something of their lives. They then decide to shout themselves a Porsche and what happens: lefties whinge about da fillfy rich living on the backs of workers.

            Back in the 90s, my boss had a Porsche. He told me he would get the fingers on a regular basis. Once someone yelled abuse at him; ran out and keyed his car. Being a top of the line turbo model, he paid big money to get it fixed.

            Bob Jones reported similar.

            There's nothing wrong with our ideology. That's why National gets big support from the Asian and Indian communities. These folk know the difference between lala land politics… and real word politics.

            Life ain't fair – fact. That doesn't mean you can't change your fate.

    • Blade 2.2

      Over the top nonsense, TM.

      ''Natzo driven media ''

      The default setting of our media is portside. Has been for a long time. However, they are prepared to go off the reservation now and again when they either want a sensational story…or they are just over an incumbent government.

      Any guesses which is which at the moment, TM?

      ''What might have been…in terms of a different Aotearoa/NZ.''

      What might have been? Bhutan with a 1984 mentality?

      • weka 2.2.1

        What might have been? Bhutan with a 1984 mentality?

        Everyone is happier, has a house to live in, and has a job?

        • Blade

          Your joking…right?

          Or are you doing a cunning reverse comparison?

        • Tiger Mountain

          Yes weka, exactly that kind of thing! There should not be one hungry or homeless person in this land of plenty. But we are clearly a “Tale of Two Cities” kind of country and have been for some decades.

          COVID exposed the neo liberal state all over again–two tier benefit system, digital divide, overcrowding, emphasis on needs of business and finance capital first, managerialist culture in the public service etc. Working class voices were rarely heard in the media, those quietly getting public transport to a low paid job to help keep things ticking over.

          Day after day the petit bourgeoisie whinged… those with roomy accomodation, well resourced home offices, full pantrys and an entitlement to roam the globe as they please, pressured the Labour Caucus relentlessly to end their brave strategy of putting public health before private profit.

          Selfish bludgers.

          • Subliminal

            Absolutely TM. Endless amplification of the whingeing priviledged convinces poll driven politicians to buckle. Of course, the whingeing will now only be orders of magnitude louder as the media smell the concentrating of blood. Perhaps an opportunity for the Greens if they can oppose the new direction and articulate a path. Really, managing covd has a lot of synergies with climate change mitigation. Both require powering down with a heavy local focus

            • Tiger Mountain

              “Really, managing covd has a lot of synergies with climate change mitigation. Both require powering down with a heavy local focus”

              Nice to hear someone else express that, really agree.

            • DukeEll

              you are hearing more from the privileged as the governing elite are doing less for the downtrodden than ever before. despite all the dreams and aspirations, homelessness and child poverty are up.

              I recall election promises from Labour to eliminate them. yet here they still are

          • Adrian Thornton

            "COVID exposed the neo liberal state all over again"
            Yep it exposed that alright, not just in NZ but also in every other freemarket economy run system on the planet..and it was exposed as a fact right into the faces of every single human being in every one of those countries…but will that fact be the primary discussion that will be relentlessly and deeply analyzed by our media and politicians going forward?, will there be any serious self critique by them and their role in this disaster…..sadly I think we all, already know the answer to that question.

            And we all know exactly what happens when lessons are not learned….

    • Grantoc 2.3

      The PM’s choices were stark. Listen, for once, to the people and give them more or less what they want; or, continue to impose a rigid public health response for ideological reasons that the people would increasingly ignore, and deliberately be non compliant with, and prepare to be voted out in 2023.

      Her decision to begin to open the borders was entirely political.

      • pat 2.3.1

        Dont doubt politics played its part but not 'entirely'.

        As much as many wish to dismiss it, there is real economic risk building after 2 years of restricted activity, many of the SMEs that employ the bulk of NZs workforce have survived through using savings or borrowing and paring their costs as low as possible….that only works for so long. Added to that the enabler of credit for these businesses appears about to rollover creating further demands on them in terms of debt/credit….and now Omicron is in the community likely to further restrict the already reduced activity.

        They have run out of the one thing they cant print or buy…time.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Even Howard Kurtz, Fox News reporter, is aghast at Trump:

    Trump, with his daily blasts to reporters, pounds away at the "rigged" election virtually every day. Just the other day, he said Mike Pence could have "overturned the election" – saying the quiet part out loud, rather than just contending he was insisting on a fair Electoral College count. And at a weekend rally, Trump floated the idea of pardoning the Jan. 6 defendants if he wins back the White House.

    The New York Times investigative report on Trump and voting machines pulls back the curtain on really a troubling episode, especially for those who view him as having attempted a coup. What Trump was considering went so far that even Rudy Giuliani, no stranger to conspiracy theories, tried to block the plans as being beyond the pale.

    The gist is that Trump explored having the Pentagon, Justice Department or Homeland Security seize voting machines in disputed states based on a complete lack of evidence that they had been tampered with. The voting machine theories, promoted by fringe characters around Trump, were the wackiest of all, said to include machinations involving Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.

    The Times piece says Trump ordered Giuliani, six weeks after the election, to ask if Homeland Security could impound the voting machines in crucial swing states. Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told Rudy he didn’t have the authority to do that. Trump asked William Barr if DOJ could seize the machines. Barr told the president "that the Justice Department had no basis for seizing the machines because there was no probable cause to believe a crime had been committed."

    Trump also pressed state lawmakers in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania to use local law enforcement to seize voting machines, but they refused as well. Finally, in mid-December, Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell handed Trump a draft executive order, in the Oval, directing the military to seize voting machines. The president called in Giuliani, who warned the military could be used only if there was clear evidence of foreign interference in the election. Powell said she had such evidence involving China and others.


    So there's a divide on the right between those who see any pretext to break the law as workable & those who are averse to non-workable pretexts. Trump, a New Yorker, learnt how to succeed by gaming the system. Rules can always be bent, and sometimes broken if your lawyer sees a way through. That view has been traditional in NYC since the 19th century if not longer. I'm inclined to bet that the US justice system isn't quite so malleable, and will defeat the Don.

  4. I am concerned by what appears to be an alarming trend in covid figures around the world.

    Case numbers have dropped, but deaths have continued to rise. This seems especially true of Australia and the US.

    Can it be that omicron is not as 'mild' as has been trumpeted?


    • Sabine 4.1

      Not sure about OZ, but the US has a very unhealthy population. Obesity, Diabetes, living on Oxygen tanks, bad overall health, smoking, high drug use (fentantyl, carfenantyl etc). I think what would be interested in the break down of death would be a. jabbed vs unjabbed, b. type of comorbidity, c. age, d. socio economic caste, e. living arrangements to gauge why the numbers are so high.

      I have been following the numbers in the UK and all three indicators are falling, i.e. number of daily cases, number of hospitalisation and number of death. (seven day average). Yes, it is the daily fail, but they have nice graphs that show the info in one page, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10473513/UKs-Covid-wave-falls-daily-cases-hospital-admissions-deaths-drop.html

    • weka 4.2

      what Sabine said about the US. I assume Australia hasn't peaked with omicron yet but the UK has because they got it earlier?

      Can it be that omicron is not as 'mild' as has been trumpeted?

      Whoever started and whoever ran with the narrative that omicron is mild did a lot of damage. It's less severe in individuals, but because it infects so many more people there are more deaths etc.

      • mpledger 4.2.1

        And if you look at figure 5 and see who was getting covid-19 at the latest peak in the UK, the rates are in reverse order of age from 20-29 to 80+ i.e. the older you are the more likely you are to stay out of the way. Death rates are down because younger people are catching it. Can older people stay out of the way forever? What kind of life are we condemning them too?

      • Koff 4.2.2

        In Oz, it's hard to tell about case numbers because of inaccuracies in people reporting RAT test results, but the stats do seem to show that all states are experiencing a steady drop in numbers. Hospitalisations have plateaued and not increasing, but not decreasing fast either. Deaths have averaged at about 50 to 100 a day nationwide. Not increasing, but also not yet decreasing. Most are in aged care homes and there's an enormous stink over here about the federal government (who is in charge of aged care) not having done enough to keep Omicron out (poor conditions for workers, lack of booster programme etc.)

      • Sabine 4.2.3

        That is the crux of the matter innit, that Omicron is fast, and by shear numbers of infected people can/will do as much if not more damage then the other variants.

      • Adrian Thornton 4.2.4

        "Whoever started and whoever ran with the narrative that omicron is mild did a lot of damage."…..maybe they stated it because it is a fact.
        How do you think that fact should have handled?

        WHO sees more evidence that Omicron causes milder symptoms

        • weka

          did you read my comment? I said,

          Whoever started and whoever ran with the narrative that omicron is mild did a lot of damage. It's less severe in individuals, but because it infects so many more people there are more deaths etc.

          Why are you ignoring the point I made about more deaths/hospitalisations and probably more disability?

          • Adrian Thornton

            Yes I read your comment in full…my comment was observing how strange it was to me that you seemed to imply that reporting actual facts was a mistake.

      • Poission 4.2.5

        Its as severe as delta,however due to infecting those who have prior partial immunity due to vaccination or prior infection it seems milder good example of Simpsons Paradox.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.3

      My two cents worth – consensus opinion of medical experts is that infection with the Omicron variant typically results in less severe symptoms than Delta, so it's good that Omicron has largely displaced Delta.

      However, due to an unusual combination of mutations that no one could have predicted, Omicron is significantly more transmissible than earlier variants, and so the number of people with an active COVID-19 (largely Omicron) infection has more than doubled (to 75 million globally) in the last month – by far the most rapid rise in active cases so far in this pandemic.

      And so, despite increasing vaccine coverage and improved treatment regimes (particularly in developed countries), the enormous increase in the number of Omicron-infected individuals was always likely to increase the number of COVID-related deaths.

      The current trend of increasing reported daily deaths (~10,000 per day at the moment) will continue – with any luck the numbers will peak before reaching the previous tragic 'highs' of ~15,000 deaths per day back in January (also a seasonal component to consider) and May 2021.


      • McFlock 4.3.1

        Pretty much.

        Still up in the air as to whether the math will be better overall than original covid or much worse, but there's still no room for complacency.

        • DukeEll

          Who below the age of 22 could do the math in NZ?

          • McFlock

            Well, probably anyone passing year12/13 math would have many of the tools, but to be sure about some of the stuff like confidence intervals and p values and confidence intervals, most people taking first year papers in epidemiology, finance&quantitative analysis, advanced first year stats, and maybe people who went into quant research as part of 2nd year pols or 3rd year marketing courses.

            So literally tens of thousands of young people.

            When the data eventually becomes available, of course.

    • Craig H 4.4

      Deaths tend to lag case numbers by a few weeks because usually it takes at least a few weeks to decline to that point (and is often a lot longer with modern treatment and ICU capability).

  5. Blade 5

    This government is feeling the pressure. And deservedly so. They have been found remiss on many fronts.

    HDA applied the hurt to Andrew Little yesterday. Little accused HDA of having an attitude.

    5 bars into the clip (blush clip timer not working) is a short excerpt from that interview.


    • Muttonbird 5.1

      Andrew Little is right, HPDA has a dreadful attitude.

      • Jimmy 5.1.1

        Anyone that dares to point out the inefficiencies of this government apparently has a terrible attitude.

        • Blazer

          Kate Hawkesby,Hosking,McIvor, Allen ,Russell and all the Tim's on radio…all repeat the very same lines…'hermit kingdom' is a good example.

          • Jimmy

            Seems like every radio presenter has a bad attitude. They need to get out more.

            • Blazer

              They radiate their political…bias…hard not to notice.

              Regurgitating lines by rote…good example here..

        • Muttonbird

          It's a one way street with that lot. It's shock jock broadcasting, and highly unprofessional, imo.

          Let us all reflect for a moment on Covid deaths/million:

          USA – 2751
          UK – 2304
          Sweden – 1575
          Denmark – 654
          Australia – 154

          New Zealand – 11

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        bwhahahahahaha, did she not know her place?

      • Puckish Rogue 5.1.3

        I know right, the temerity to question Andrew Little.

        • Muttonbird

          HADP shows zero attempt at balance in her 'broadcasting', if you can call it that. She has an agenda, of that there is no doubt, so let's stop pretending she's just asking questions, ok?

          I would have thought she'd be a bit more grateful for New Zealand's pandemic response after Covid killed her own grandmother in a country which has very few tools with which to fight Coronavirus.

          That she wants NZ to shift more towards South Africa's position and put rest home residents at massive risk is totally beyond me.

          As always with RWNJs, personal profit trumps societal good, even when it's your own family suffering.

  6. Blazer 6

    Not long to wait for Sandra…and others…


    It is hoped Novavax could persuade those who were hesitant to get jabbed to reconsider, as it uses older technology they will trust.

    Novavax is different to the other vaccines being rolled out in the UK, as it is made using protein-based tech – like the Hepatitis B jab.

    Professor Paul Heath, who led the trials in the UK, said: "We do believe there are people out there who have been waiting for a vaccine that has been developed with a more traditional platform, such as the Novavax vaccines.

    Novavax becomes FIFTH Covid jab to get green light in UK with 60m doses on order (thesun.co.uk)

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Had me grinning all the way through! Chris Trotter on the Hipkins debacle: https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2022/02/the-bellis-embarrassment.html

    he just kept right on digging himself into a deeper hole. The National Opposition, and their Act ally, were not slow to take advantage of the Labour Government’s folly. Unsurprising, since, when it came to ammunition, they were spoiled for choice.

    The utter madness of the Government’s response may be judged by the way it instantly devalued any and all decision-making related to MIQ policy. Whatever the Cabinet decided to do: no matter how far it went towards meeting the public’s expectations and/or criticisms; it could not now avoid being read by the electorate as a policy concession forced upon Labour by the Bellis Embarrassment.

    The madness of Minister Hipkins also provided the National Opposition Leader, Chris Luxon, with an opportunity to, in effect, piggy-back on the public interest… Luxon and his advisers, undoubtedly buoyed by the results of the latest Roy Morgan poll (showing National/Act backed by 50 percent of the voting public) could hardly be blamed for marking the past seven days as the week Fortune’s tide re-floated the Centre-Right’s boats.

    Yeah, Hipkins was the Nats' secret weapon against Labour. Wonder if they'll give him the nickname Patsy?

    Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the Bellis Embarrassment to understand is what on earth possessed those writing the rules to erect even the smallest obstacles to pregnant New Zealand women returning to their homeland to give birth. For most older New Zealanders, the rule has always been: “Women and children first – and pregnant women before everyone!” We were raised on the tragic example of the doomed “Titanic” – where men gave up their places in the lifeboats for the bearers of the next generation.

    What does it say about the current crop of public servants that they were able to create a labyrinth of rules and regulations that made it possible for a British deejay to be welcomed into this country, while denying re-entry to a stranded Kiwi woman and her unborn child?

    Well I already explained that a few days ago – they were doing their duty as operational agents of the patriarchy. Discriminating against females is an ingrained default position. One rule for all defeats humanitarian considerations any day in the public service. Special circumstances are no excuse!

    More to the point, what does it say about the current crop of Labour ministers – Chris Hipkins in particular – that they did not intervene, with righteous wrath, to put an end to this unconscionable rejection of that most basic human instinct: the urge to protect, at any cost, mothers and their children?

    Yeah, I can explain that too! Intervening to impose a policy of kindness on public servants would have meant practising what the PM preached. A bunch of hypocrites wouldn't want to do so, obviously. They knew she was just uttering meaningless blather. The possibility of implementing her advice to the people of Aotearoa probably never even occurred to them. They know they're above the people, so her exhortation couldn't possibly apply to them!

    • Anne 7.1

      From the linked piece:

      "… what on earth possessed those writing the rules to erect even the smallest obstacles to pregnant New Zealand women returning to their homeland to give birth."

      I think it is more likely those implementing the rules who were the problem, not the writers of the rules.

      And here is another example:


      He described the ordeal as “pretty horrific and distressing”.

      “The spraying of our plants seems like overkill, we would’ve been happy if someone had knocked on our door and said ‘hey we’ve had a complaint’ or something … we would’ve destroyed them if they asked us to,” he said.

      “We’re just a mother and father … good community jobs, we work in the community, we help the community with sports, we’re both in community groups and are working for non-profit organisations. We don’t understand why we got targeted in a distressing manner.

      Given the couple’s circumstances: "overkill" indeed.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.1

        I think it is more likely those implementing the rules who were the problem, not the writers of the rules.

        Except the bunny who was mis-managing admitted a few days ago that they addressed the question of whether to prioritise pregnant kiwi returnees back in October and decided not to do so. Being inhumane apparently seemed a better option to them. Naturally no reason for that decision was given to the media.

        • Craig H

          My guess would be they couldn't rank them above more serious categories like cancer patients and the like, so didn't.

          • Shanreagh

            True, or heart patients overseas.

            Also may have felt like many of us that pregnancy is not actually an illness. The over medicalisation of pregnancy was a concern of older generation women's rights issues. Cancer or heart disease are illnesses.

            A normal pregnancy is not an illness though clearly travelling during late trimester 3 can be concerning.

            There are illnesses that do happen during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, eclampsia, umbilical cord and placenta abnormalities and these are rightly regarded alongside heart failure and cancer.

            As an old time woman's libber I am doing a fair amount of twitching at what seem to me to be rather patriarchical concepts of women being sick when they are pregnant.

        • Anne

          That's interesting. Who was the bunny Dennis?

    • vto 7.2

      "Well I already explained that a few days ago – they were doing their duty as operational agents of the patriarchy. Discriminating against females is an ingrained default position."


      You didn't "explain", you assumed.

      With zero evidence


      And here you still are banging on about your own heavy sexism.


      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        So it still hasn't occurred to you that your denial could seem plausible if you thought of a more likely explanation. Any idea how long you'll have to wait for it to occur? 🙄

        • vto

          nope.. not about me… about your evidence-less statements and bias (which by your sentence above indicates that because you can't think of an explanation you let your biases fill the gap – very revealing i must say)

          oh and still no evidence I see

    • Shanreagh 7.3

      Yeah, I can explain that too! Intervening to impose a policy of kindness on public servants would have meant practising what the PM preached. A bunch of hypocrites wouldn't want to do so, obviously. They knew she was just uttering meaningless blather. The possibility of implementing her advice to the people of Aotearoa probably never even occurred to them. They know they're above the people, so her exhortation couldn't possibly apply to them!


      Is there any time that you have a good word for Public Servants? These complaints you have do not reflect the PS I loved and worked in for 36 years.

      We mostly saw ourselves as working for the public despite the neolib reforms having us work for Ministers. The ones I know took pride in doing a good job, where legislation was concerned and where decisions were required,we carefully looked at all factors and approved where we legally could do so. To approve where we could not legally do so put us at risk from litigation, rehearings and other time- and energy- wasteful happenings.

      Decisions being made in a legal context can look at the legal aspects from 'a fair large & liberal way' or one that focuses on the 'plain meaning'. Both are accepted ways of looking at legislation.

      We focussed on having the best processes to turn around decisions while still maintaining the prime focus on the legalities of our actions. Where there was a gap we focussed on letting the Minister know this and arguing for priority on legislative programmes.

      We focussed on bettering our communications of decisions, of letting people know their rights to have the decisions reviewed. We focussed on being approachable. In all of these aspects we did our very best according to our work place ways of working and the legislation/policies we were administering.

      I know that public servant bashing is what passes for thoughtful commentary in some sectors of our society. I am surprised to see it here.

      As for the Bellis case. She applied under the incorrect category, she told the decision makers to 'shove it' when they suggested she apply under the correct category, as I understand it, by saying they had all the info and left them with making a decision under the only category they could where the info was clear and where they could get support and that was that where she was living currently may be dangerous. And still she complains and you complain that decision makers were not kind.

      I am picking that should there be a review of the process that the the decisionmakers' actions, on the info they were given, it will find that the actions were justified. What also may come out is that there is the potential for tweaking the process. This is NOT the same as saying that the decision was incorrect but that we are always learning to make the process better.

      The Public Servants I worked with knew that by doing their jobs well according to the process, policies and legislation was the biggest kindness we could have for the public.

      Perhaps a reflection on the chip permanently on lodged on your shoulder together with the mote in your eye could be useful. You are weighed down.

      I for one don't value this kind of opinion.

      • Dennis Frank 7.3.1

        So it hasn't yet occurred to you that attempting to defend an indefensible system is a mistake. Plus you haven't noticed that the attitudes and actual behaviours that caused the problem need to be eliminated. Feeble excuses will never shift public opinion!

        It also seems that you haven't learnt the lesson from the deputy PM having to intervene to clean up the mess Hipkins made. You are normally perceptive, so I suspect there's a belief system between you & reality on this issue. Damage control as a political response always indicates damage done.

        Trying to blame bystanders is classic aversion to facing up to the situation. As soon as we saw Robertson belatedly conceding the error (even if only tacitly) it ought to have been obvious to any leftist with half a working brain that the mistake was made.

        • Shanreagh

          I was not defending the indefensible I clearly stated the part of your post that I took issue with.

          Yeah, I can explain that too! Intervening to impose a policy of kindness on public servants would have meant practising what the PM preached. A bunch of hypocrites wouldn't want to do so, obviously. They knew she was just uttering meaningless blather. The possibility of implementing her advice to the people of Aotearoa probably never even occurred to them. They know they're above the people, so her exhortation couldn't possibly apply to them!

          You do not seem to understand how legislation works or the decision making process works in the PS yet you feel you can criticise what went on here.

          Mere mortals who get it wrong in say Immigration cases or the area where I worked either providing wrong info, applying in the wrong category or late do not get get this OTT treatment she has. To do so is fraught as decision makers risk the charge of favouring some and not others when the circumstances are the same.

          I have had years of experiences as a decision maker in legislation, in Ministerial reviews, where this is allowed, Judicial reviews (thankfully very few) , rehearings, Ombudmen reviews in working through to see if mistakes were made…..across three different departments plus working in some health related complaints processes.

          I am really not interested in the Bellis case as an indicator of how the Public Service works, sorry. She was largely the author, deliberately possibly, I am thinking of her own misfortune. She applied in the wrong category, she doubled down on her mistake. She has succeeded because she is one who attempts to make a case in the court of public opinion. Bullying Ministers is a game for some, just as bullying public servants who traditionally don't and can't bite back seems to be a game for you.

          Many PS with decision making powers have come across the Bellis' of this world.

          They are always with us but the reality is that for every 'looka me looka me there are 100s who carefully provided the info, trusted the process or if they were disappointed and felt they had grounds took a rehearing approach. They are the bulk and they realise that if a legal decision needs to be made that it is not automatically go in their favour…..they need to do some work too.

          You mention the DPM he also said that the approval in this case should not be taken as meaning that someone can squawk from overseas and get their way or words to that effect.

          All systems need periodic review, all systems where decisions are made by real people according to legislation or policy go wonky as we are all human.

          If you know anything about the law, or admin law that governs decision making, you will have heard of the truism 'hard cases make bad law'. This is because of the precedent value so that unless the case is 'distinguished' in some way stupid rules can be set in place. This will be what is behind the DPM saying don't think anyone can jump up and down from overseas and make a big fuss and get similar treatment.

          You talk of blaming bystanders (not really sure what this means as Bellis is not a bystander) and yet this is exactly what happened in the Bellis case. She splattered all over the news and is still splattering. She did not hesitate to blame bystanders ie people other than the actual decision makers as well as the decision makers themselves.

          Anyway this is too much about such an unimportant person….

          The key point is that legal decision makers in the PS wander from the bounds of the law, to be kind, if that means approving cases that don't line up with the legislation.

          The best way 'to be kind' in a department where legal decision making is carried out is to

          have clear, but not set in stone, processes

          clear indications of what applicants need to provide,

          policy on what happens if info is not provided ie decline and new application provided or we work with you and wait.

          good processes to convey the decisions to the applicants, including rehearing or review possibilities

          decision makers who are fit for purpose ie experienced and well resourced

          legislation that is fit for purpose

          processes for delegating up if need be.

          I am quite sure any business planner worth their salt will be able to work out what 'being kind' in their own department would look like, milestones or KPIs or whatever and then flow it down to the job descriptions and person specifications and yearly work plans.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.4

      Remember when Sir John Key was in power and it seemed like every time National might falter Labour would shoot itself in the foot?

      I tell you whut, at the start of the year I thought Labour/Green would be an easy bet for the next election because the evil, patriarchal media had it in for St Jude and would then certainly move against Luxon but now its feeling more and more like pre-covid times when National/Act were in the ascendance

      That budget better be a good one

      • Dennis Frank 7.4.1

        Too early to be confident of a trend. The anomaly in ACT poll ratings is now the thing to watch. There's a huge difference between Luxon pulling Nat refugees back to the tune of 5% or so and having zero effect! Likewise for any continual drifting down of Labour or stabilising around 40%.

        If media seemed to be set against JC you have to take into account her lack of drawing centrists back across the line – which would have given them reason to talk up her prospects.

        I agree the budget is an inflexion point but primarily with regard to policy spending. It's policy delivery that will be critical from now on. That gives folks a sense of reassurance that Labour can be competent despite screw-ups.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I found it interesting that the poll didn't seem to be on stuff, newshub, nzherald or rnz or if it was I couldn't locate it

          But you are correct one swallow doesn't make a Summer and all that

          • Dennis Frank

            I meant the contrast between the one we discussed here a few days ago (a week? Roy Morgan) & the earlier Kantar poll. I don't do onsite searches here but probably not hard to find…

          • alwyn

            If you are looking for the Roy Morgan Poll it is here.


            They seem to now be doing it every month but they are never in any hurry to put it online. They are always on their website.

            • Puckish Rogue

              How many people go to their site though, in comparison to stuff, nzherald, newshub etc etc

              • alwyn

                It's probably only looked at by the political tragics. They only seem to do it for their own interest and just toss the questions in during other polling they carry out.

                I see it because I get an e-mail newsletter from them each business day with short summaries of Australian business stories. The include a link to any polls they have just published so I see them from there. I certainly wouldn't bother looking there just in case they had published something.

                It used to be a very good poll because they did it every fortnight and you could see trends. Now it is once a month and for a while it was even less than that.

  8. Covid Modelling suggested there will be 50000 cases in NZ by Monday.


    Looks like its going to be a close run thing with under 150 cases reported the other day…smiley

    Some of these organisations should give up and start interpreting tea-leaf patterns or something. They would probably be more accurate.

    • vto 8.1

      Yep. Friday last week 'modellers' said 200 cases by end of weekend. Still haven't hit that. Useless

      • Adrian 8.1.1

        Those figures are based on the nearest thing they had to go on, i.e Australian state figures. Our 94% vax rate, better mask use etc may just be working to slow every thing down. Aussies in NSW, Vic etc were more cavalier.

        Remember that back in Oct,Nov, Dec in 21 thier projections done months before for Delta were pretty much right on the money.

        • tsmithfield

          So, given all that, why are so many freaking out about the border opening up?

          • Poission

            The case load spread is low at present,due to most Kiwis managing the risk by not entering high risk situations such as hospitality, and using non pharmaceutical interventions such as masks etc, here you have the wisdom of the masses.

            The arguments for open borders and resumption of tourism is an own goal for hospitality by destroying their local market.


            • tsmithfield

              Probably people getting freaked out by modelling forecasts that don't even come close to eventuating doesn't help that either.

              • weka

                Dude, ffs, the reason we don't end up with worst case scenarios is because the NZ government took lots of precautions that prioritised health.

              • Poission

                Panic early is a wise defensive strategy under fat tail events.

                Taleb et al.

                One may be entitled to ask: as we get to know the disease, do the tails get thinner? Early in the game one must rely on conditional information, but as our knowledge of the disease progresses, should we not be allowed to ignore tails?

                Alas, no. The scale of the pandemic might change, but the tail properties will remain invariant. Furthermore, there is an additional paradox. If one does not take the pandemic seriously, it will likely run wild (particularly under the connectivity of the modern world, several orders of magnitude higher than in the past (Albert & Barabasi, 2002)). And diseases mutate, increasing or decreasing in both lethality and contagiousness. The argument would therefore resemble the following: “we have not observed many plane crashes lately, let’s relax our safety measures”.

                Finally, we conclude this section with an encouraging point: fat tails do not make the world more complicated and do not cause frivolous worries; on the contrary. Understanding them actually reduces costs of reaction because they tell us what to target – and when to do so. Because network models tend to follow certain patterns to generate large tail events (Albert and Barabasi, 2002, Garibaldi and Scalas, 2010), in front of contagious diseases wisdom in action is to kill the exponential growth in the egg via three central measures: (1) reducing super-spreader events; (2) monitoring and reducing mobility for those coming from far-away places (via quarantines); (3) looking for cheap measures with large payoffs in terms of the reduction of the multiplicative effects (e.g. face masks10 ). Anything that “demultiplies the multiplicative” helps (Taleb, 2020c).

                Drastic shotgun measures such as lockdowns are the price of avoiding early traveler quarantines and border monitoring; they can be – temporarily and cum grano salis – of help, especially in the very early stages of the new contagious disease, when uncertainty is maximal, to help isolating and tracing the infections, and also buying some time for understanding the disease and the way it spreads. Indeed such drastic and painful measures can carry long-lasting damages to the system, not counting an excessive price in terms of personal freedoms.

                But they are the price of not having a good coordinated tail risk management in place – to repeat, border monitoring and control of superspreader events being the very first such measures. And lockdowns are the costs of ignoring arguments such as increased connectivity in our environment and conflating additive and multiplicative risks.

                To conclude, as the trader lore transmitted by generations of operators goes, “if you must panic, it pays to panic early”.


          • Muttonbird

            The team of 5 million are very, very good at Covid health measures. As Adrian said we are very good at mask-wearing, social distancing, scanning, and staying in work bubbles.

            Most of us don't do anything stupid because of the, 'no-one is going to tell me what to do' attitude which exists in Australia.

            When you throw open the border you are importing very poor adherence to health measures because the returnees and foreign citizens have been conditioned to not bother, it's all too hard for them.

            Can't model the piss poor attitude of other countries accurately.

            • tsmithfield

              Except a recent meta-analysis of studies shows that lockdowns don't work and should be avoided in coming pandemics:


              From the study:

              "While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

              • Muttonbird

                Covid deaths/million:

                New Zealand 11

                Lockdowns work extremely well when you do them properly.

                • That is the problem when only one metric is focussed on: Lives lost to a specific disease without considering other important factors.

                  Firstly, we don't know what our toll would have been otherwise: No lockdowns doesn't mean no controls or restrictions at all.

                  Secondly, there are lots of other societal costs associated with lockdowns: eg: deferred medical procedures, incredible stress on business owners who faced losing their livelihoods and the like, and probably a lot of other factors that we may never know until years in the future.

                  Who knows, history may show the cure was worse than the disease.

              • Poission

                Under peer review the study seems limp .

              • Blade

                I heard about that report on talkback. A study/model by Neil Ferguson was also mentioned.

                There is debate over Ferguson's study. The problem with modelling is modelling.

                From the link:

                ''The successful code testing isn’t a review of the scientific accuracy of the simulation, produced by a team led by mathematical epidemiologist Neil Ferguson. But it dispels some misapprehensions about the code, and shows that others can repeat the original findings.''

                Sometimes the science gets lost in debate regarding modelling.

                I think studies have more relevance.


              • The Unliving

                And from Snopes we find that:

                • The paper has not yet been peer-reviewed.
                • The paper was not endorsed by John Hopkins University.
                • One of the authors of the paper repeatedly Tweeted messages equating lockdowns with fascism.
                • The paper defines lockdowns in a way that makes no sense.
                • The authors have no epidemiological expertise.
                • Of the 34 papers included in the analysis, 14 were from the field of economics, only one from epidemiology.

                There are plenty of other examples in that link of problems with the analysis presented in the paper. It's basically misinformation.

              • Craig H

                I have concerns with that analysis – their definition of lockdown includes at least one compulsory non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) which they define as including mask-wearing and border restrictions, and they are only looking at deaths, and exclude case numbers and hospitalisations. A lot of the studies are also pre-Delta, which has a higher transmission rate and fatality rate, although maybe that doesn't matter.

          • Shanreagh

            @ TS Smithfield
            Well modelling is the very last reason I am 'freaking out' as you call it about the border opening.

            My real concern is at the missed opportunities to effect real change in NZ especially on:


            climate change,

            signalling changes to our immigration regime

            opting for high value tourism rather than a commodity approach, ie stuff them in planes then camper vans and they will come

            signalling desirable change to our exports rather than cheese, milk powder and logs ie away from commodities and more processing here in NZ.

            All delivered in a quid pro quo manner ie RSE and agricultural tractors drivers will be able to come this year but next there will be a sinking lid so if you had 100 next year you will have 60 etc. To move to full time careers across agriculture.

            Huge opportunities to effect some little changes that make bigger changes have been missed. .

      • Macro 8.1.2

        Hmmmm thought you were tempting fate a bit there. Modellers right on the button unfortunately.


      • mary_a 8.1.3

        209 new cases announced today ahead of the long weekend.

    • pat 8.2

      Its important to remember that the modelling (attempts) to show the real incidence….not the confirmed testing rate. Especially in a high incidence environment the chances of finding all of the cases by testing will diminish as that incidence increases.

    • Jimmy 8.3

      Yes these modelling people are an absolute joke. Was it Shaun (80,000 will die) Hendy by any chance? How much money are we wasting on these people. And I disagree with Hipkins comment that the modelling is useful (even though extremely inaccurate) rather than no modelling. I think no modelling is actually better unless they want to try and scare the public?

      • weka 8.3.1

        What Hendy actually said. In March 2020.

        New research suggests up to 80,000 Kiwis could die from coronavirus without strict measures such as the country-wide lockdown.

        It also shows that the lockdown may have to last far longer than a month to keep the strain on the healthcare system manageable.

        But one of the paper's authors said New Zealand's speed at adopting a lockdown could mean we "stamp out" the disease much faster.


        So right at the start of the pandemic, when we didn't know how things were going to play out, modellers did the best they could. The NZ government did in fact lock down hard and early and did in fact stamp out the first wave of covid in NZ.

        You'd have to be some kind of idiot to suggest they were wrong to do that. Or heartless.

      • Koff 8.3.2

        Stuff has an article about what's happening with Omicron numbers. Hipkins was probably right when he compared disease spread modelling with weather forecasting. It's all about what could happen, not what will happen.

      • McFlock 8.3.3

        The Hendy who predicted 20-30 deaths in 400 days if we went early and hard with lockdowns, you mean?

        80k was the projection for zero change in behaviour: no lockdowns, masking, border controls, mobility changes, school closures, etc.

        Looking at places like Sweden or UK, he wasn't too far off – still overcounts what they've had by about 10 times, but then they did do half-arse some measures and lots of individuals choose to self-isolate regardless of what their stupid governments might say.

        Modelling isn't perfect, but choosing the furthest extreme from reality in an attempt to discredit the projection is as good as lying.

        • Jimmy

          Maybe I was being too definitive like Grant Robertson often is, I will look up Sweden deaths shortly as you say, he was pretty close in his predictions to them so I imagine with the population around double ours they will have close to 160,000 deaths as they didn’t lock down originally.

          • McFlock

            They didn't mandate lockdowns. That doesn't mean that everyone acted according to business as usual.

        • Jester

          "Modelling isn't perfect,"

          That's the understatement of the year!

    • tsmithfield-The Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network Trust predicted that 13,500 people would be using the new (Clyde to Cromwell) Lake Dunstan Trail by 2032.

      62,000 people used the trail in the first 10 months.

      They must be using the same modelers as used for Covid.


    • Puckish Rogue 8.5

      Look at that, something Hipkins and I agree on

  9. Adrian 9

    If ALL pregnant NZ citizens overseas were given direct access to MIQ the Government would have been criticised by the usually outraged for framing pregnancy as a medical abnormality. Considering that one of the main tenets of the 60s and 70s feminist movement was the desire to normalise pregnancy, no more of the sexist "little woman " and "in confinement " bullshit that was rife up until then. Governments are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    • Sabine 9.1

      If the government would have could have…..but it did not. It did not put up a category that said 'pregnant woman'.

      Between the misogyny of the left and the right, women will do what they have to do for themselves and their children, alive or unborn, take care of business one way or another.

      • Blazer 9.1.1

        Yet you stated Bellis should have her child in…Afghanistan, with its hopeless medical facilities!

        Reminds me of Julie-Ann Grandstander riding a fucking bike to hospital,when she's about to…drop.-hopeless.

        • weka

          Yet you stated Bellis should have her child in…Afghanistan, with its hopeless medical facilities!

          That as Sabine making a political point, which seems to have gone over your head.

          What exactly was wrong with Genter riding her bike to hospital?

          • Blazer

            Both represent a danger to the unborn child….file both under …grandstanding…what if JAG fell off her bike,heavily pregnant.

            • weka

              how many times has JAG fallen off her bike?

              • Sabine

                The point is not that. She could have, a heavy contraction, a drunk driver on the road, roaming dog, any sort of stuff could have happened. Teh point is, that she did not needed to do that, that driving in a vehicle to the hospital while being in contractions close enough to go to the hospital would have been an ok thing to do even for JAG.

                • weka

                  My reply to your deleted comment,

                  Having to sit in the back of a car while in labour (the ‘normal’ way), trying to keep my seatbelt on and wishing i could move around, was pretty much the worst part. You’re awesome Julie Anne!

                  A commenter on JAG's FB page when she posted the photo.


                  she could simply have fallen of hte bike

                  A risk assessment I think she is quite capable of making.

                  , been run over,

                  Same, and it was 2am.

                  or not made it in time.

                  Could also happen during the day in a taxi stuck in traffic. I bet she made a risk assessment here too.

                • weka

                  that's your point. My point is that if it's not about her skill on a bike, then it's about saying no pregnant women should ride bikes in labour. What about the day before she went into labour?

                  • UncookedSelachimorpha

                    …saying no pregnant women should ride bikes in labour

                    But duh… Last time I checked she was in the greens.

                    Sorry. Sorry.

        • Peter

          Afghanistan must have hopeless medical facilities and poor catering for births all right. The population is 38 million. Were they all born in some other country?

          • Sabine

            no they were all born in Afghanistan and pregnant women and children die in childbirth like they are using a hospital in Austria before the doctors there understood that washing hands after an autopsy before working on a women in labour is thing.


            638 women

            Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, according to United Nations data. Some 638 women die per 100,000 live births


            fewer than 60 per cent of births are overseen by skilled health professionals.

            that is from 2020 when the times were still good. And for what its worth, this number is the 'counted number' of women who will die in a hospital, the ones that die at home are not counted.

            But its ok, its just women, and women give birth every day, and if they die….oh well that is their lot, right?

          • weka

            Afghanistan must have hopeless medical facilities and poor catering for births all right. The population is 38 million. Were they all born in some other country?

            This is a very ignorant thing to say. Women have poor birth outcomes for a whole range of reasons, including poverty. I would guess living under the Taliban adds additional layers of risk before we even get to medical facilities. But if you have a pregnancy complication that needs specialist hospital care and there is no specialist hospital care then women and babies sometimes die. Afghanistan has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world. This is really not hard to understand.

            • weka

              Despite some improvements over the past years, Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal and newborn mortality rates in the world, and the need for specialised care is vital. In Switzerland, five mothers will die per 100,000 live births. In Afghanistan, this number jumps to 638 who will die; this does not include the 15 mothers and five unborn babies who were systematically shot dead in the maternity ward where I work a month ago.


        • Sabine

          yes, i did, and i put a lot of words before and after that snipped and you are very much taking my words out of context.

          What i did say, is i think she should find the Medicins Sans Frontiers ( the last NGO in Afghanistan that still provides maternity services to Afghani Women) and if she gets stuck there she should do a daily post/blog/podcast to shine light on the abhorrent treatment of hte women in that country. That would have made for some good news every day, and may have shamed some of those that have no care in the world about the treatment of the women in that country who are oppressed because of their SEX.

          And I would like you to remember that i also posted up a nice wordy speech of Laura Bush telling us that we should invade for the good of the women of Afganistan. Or is that inconvenient in your selective quoting.

          Fact is again, Dear Blazer, that women will do what women have to do in order to live their lifes safely, and that includes their children born and unborn.

          And just so you truly understand what i am saying,

          The benign sexism of the left is as abhorrent as the sexism of hte right. Both would like to disappear us into nothingness, the one by way of Gender WOO and self identity and hte other by way of standard old fashioned sexism. Both have the same effect, it is to the detriment of women, and to the detriment of pregnant women.

          And last, yes, she did make the government look bad, and that was solely the fault of the Government. Maybe someone needs to educate these highly educated people about sex, biology and how babies are made and born.

    • Jimmy 9.2

      How about this for radical thinking, If you have a NZ Passport and are double vaxed and have a negative Covid test prior to departure, you can come back to NZ.

      • weka 9.2.1

        and omicron covid with you.

        • Sabine

          yes, and then they go into MIQ or an isolation facility.

          We can not keep the country locked up for ever and we can not keep citizens out forever.

          What I would like to know is: Has the government of NZ done anything to help stranded kiwis get Visas overseas for the duration of the time it takes them to go home. I.e. Visas, work visas, residence permits etc.

          I'd wager a dollar that if she could have stayed in Belgium she would have. I also wager a dollar that if she had not fallen pregnant she would have not applied for an MIQ spot and would have stayed overseas.

          • Koff

            The NZ government can't really influence the immigration rules of other countries. Bellis could have applied for a residence permit in Belgium which would have got her more than the normal 3 Schengen months. She could have also gone to Britain, which has a social security arrangement with NZ (reciprocal rights to medical treatment). But anyway the whole Bellis thing has been thoroughly thrashed out here and elsewhere. I think what Afghani women have angrily said about Bellis should have been given more exposure.

            • Sabine

              No, if she had already stayed that long, i doubt she would have gotten anywhere. And Kiwis don't actually get automatically visas either. I think that the Afghani women has an easy time to speak as she is no longer in Afghanistan. See how that changes the narrative? Could she have gone to England, yeah, right Tui. Suddenly Covid is ok to get when you are a pregnant women overseas and your government don't care about you? Right.

              Again, understand that not one Country in Europe is obliged in any way to take care financially, medically and with housing of stranded dudes and dudettes from NZ just because their government could not be bothered finding a different way to running MIQ, or finding a way to keep these guys overseas safe, housed, fed and with access to medical treatment while they keep the country locked.

              Again, your rights to safety here does not over ride the rights to safety of Kiwis that are stranded elsewhere. And the egg on the face of government is because someone in government decided that her case what not of an 'emergency' enough. Maybe get annoyed at some highly paid anonymous beige suit in government who despite a lot of education missed out on 'common sense 101' while in University. But then, just because someone spend a lot of money on education does not mean they a. learned something and b. understood something.

        • Jimmy

          Probably not if you have a negative test and are double vaxed and spend 10 days isolating and having tests on whatever days they now recommend.
          No one should be left state-less.

    • weka 9.3

      If ALL pregnant NZ citizens overseas were given direct access to MIQ the Government would have been criticised by the usually outraged for framing pregnancy as a medical abnormality. Considering that one of the main tenets of the 60s and 70s feminist movement was the desire to normalise pregnancy, no more of the sexist "little woman " and "in confinement " bullshit that was rife up until then. Governments are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

      Not really. It's not hard to understand pregnancy as a normal, healthy life event that sometimes goes wrong, and that when it goes wrong sometimes you need immediate access to good health care. The only way your scenario would happen is if the government wasn't competent as messaging.

      I still think they should have had a separate criteria list for pregnant women, because as I wrote in my post the one they're using was obviously written for men and non-pregnant women. Which doesn't mean giving all pregnant women priority, it just means doing an assessment based on physical reality.

  10. Ad 10

    Westport: build a wall or move to higher ground?

    Westport flood recovery: Build a wall or move to higher ground? | Stuff.co.nz

    A few thousands ratepayers and a median income of $42,000.

    • arkie 10.1

      Civil Defence has ordered a partial compulsory evacuation of Westport after days of rain and more heavy falls expected tonight. (from RNZ)

      Right now I imagine there are more pressing concerns for those ratepayers.

    • The Al1en 10.2

      $3600 pa in rates and $6 per rubbish bag on top of that.

      My second flood in 6 months. Knew it wasn't as bad as last time so stayed put… So far.

      The town needs some strategic flood walls, to resume dredging the river (all but stopped when the cement works shut years ago), clearing up of the Orawaiti overflow channel and making some areas unsuitable for housing for good.

      I do like it here, but if I got offered the market value I had last week, or could have the same house on elevated land for the same price, I'd probably take it – Just as long as I didn't have to live next door to anyone like me lol

  11. Blazer 11

    the most ludicrous rationale I heard was….'it's downhill …most of the..way'!laugh

  12. Best quote I have heard about yesterday's decisions

    'We've moved from being a team of 5M to being 5M teams of 1"

  13. McFlock 13

    Was having coffee with a DHB colleague today. We were quietly speculating on the odds of the national party conference being a superspreader event, given their leader's insistence on wearing a mask with his nose hanging out.

    Once is an accident, but doing it repeatedly as a leader during a pandemic indicates he's whistling to the dogs.

    • DukeEll 13.1

      Was having a zoom call with a set of clients who specialise in rural recruitment on tuesday. They were taking bets on how long it would take before this government rolled back on MiQ with a bet multiplier on who would be sent out to polish this turd for the government.

      No one picked Ms Adern fronting for the good / bad news, but plenty had thursday as the day.

    • Graeme 13.2

      The town's waiting for it. Poll on Mountain Scene's homepage last week had about 90% expecting an outbreak in next week. (this week the anti mask market gets a similar no)

      Evidently the presence of, and behaviour of, the Nats was not appreciated by a lot of people around town too.

      • Shanreagh 13.2.1


        Good grief was non mask wearing, & I guess non distancing, that prevalent? How disgusting putting others at risk. I had not thought the Nats were that silly.

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