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Open mike 04/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 4th, 2021 - 112 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 …

112 comments on “Open mike 04/05/2021 ”

  1. Matt McCarten is spearheading a campaign against worker abuse in the wake of the pandemic.


    [tidied up link; anything after question mark (mark included) can usually be deleted]

  2. What is wrong with this idea?

    Imagine, – Tiwai Aluminium Smelter has been repurposed to recharge iron powder, the iron powder is being shipped to Huntly and burnt in modified coal fired boilers. As well as being burnt in other industrial heat applications around the Motu.

    Why aren't we doing this, can anyone tell me?


    [tidied up link; anything after question mark (mark included) can usually be deleted]

    • Sacha 2.1

      Because we have renewable electricity instead, I'm guessing.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Principal of conservation of energy, the potential energy of fine iron powder turned into heat then requires as much or more energy to convert back from Ferrous oxide ( rust) to iron again, using, you guessed it, copious quantities of heat

        eg' Mesh Belt Furnace: In the mesh belt furnace the iron oxide is transported by a conveyor belt through a furnace in which hydrogen is added at 800-1000°C. The iron oxide is reduced to iron, which sticks together because of the heat, resulting in a layer of iron. This can then be ground up to obtain iron powder.'

        The only reason they are looking at this at all is the 'heat' required by many industrial processes cant be efficently supplied from (renewable) electricity.

        So no beer in a carbon neutral future

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.2

      Thanks for this, I hadn't heard of it and it is very interesting – exciting even.

      Potentially, it is a safe and convenient way to store and transport large amounts of energy collected from intermittent renewable sources (solar, wind), allowing high intensity energy use at distant locations at any time. Potential to replace fossil fuels in industry as well as shipping – and shipping has looked very difficult to decarbonise.

      A lot easier to transport metal / rust, than hydrogen or batteries!

  3. Sacha 3

    How we already have a segregated health system, Nats. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/300290195/john-tamihere-we-already-have-a-separatist-healthcare-system

    We are told to never doubt our scientists and experts in this pandemic environment who are wheeled out constantly.

    Those same experts know that Māori generally contract cancer 10 years in advance of their fellow New Zealanders. Are those Māori screened for these cancers early to ensure that they get a better shot at recovery or longevity?

    The answer is no.

    Someone who is not a Māori has clearly made a decision that Māori people will be consigned to a more gory death by blocking access to early cancer testing.

    If the shoe was on the other foot, it would mean non-Māori would not be screened for cancer until they were 70. Can you imagine the storming of Parliament by those folk if they had that visited upon them?

    • RobbieWgtn 3.1

      "Someone who is not a Māori has clearly made a decision that Māori people will be consigned to a more gory death by blocking access to early cancer testing."

      The daily smoking rate for Māori adults is 28.7%. Māori were 2.77 times as likely to be current smokers, and Māori women were 3.6 times as likely to be current smokers, than their non-Māori counterparts, after adjusting for age, and gender

      Someone who is a Maori has clearly made a decision that will result in a more gory death by engaging in riskier health addictions.

      • mac1 3.1.1

        The issue is more complex than a one cause (smoking) answer.

        Cancer impacts more heavily on Māori, with large inequalities in the experience and quality of care from diagnosis to treatment to outcomes.

        Māori have a higher incidence and higher mortality from for all cancers compared to non-Māori.

        Inequalities in cancer death rates are increasing, which is a major reason for the 8 year gap in life expectancy for Māori compared to non-Māori.

        Survival rates for Māori are poorer, with disparities in access to all cancer services.

        Māori are nearly twice as likely to die from cancer, even though they are only 18% more likely to have cancer. One reason may be that diagnosis comes when the cancer has reached a more advanced stage.

        Māori have the highest rate of lung cancer in the world with three times the mortality rate and a 7 year gap in life expectancy compared to non-Māori. This high mortality stems mostly from late presentation, delays in treatment and low surgical rates for early stage disease.

        The emergency department is the most common method of entry to secondary care. This suggests that access barriers (e.g. financial, cultural, geographic) may still exist in the primary care sector along with other factors influencing late presentation such as patient fear.

        Māori were more likely to have delays in receiving treatment, four times less likely than Europeans to receive curative treatment. Treatment for Māori was aimed at relieving symptoms.

        The differences in types of treatment received may reflect the stage of cancer at presentation and higher rates of comorbidity (e.g. renal disease, cardiovascular disease) for Māori, which would preclude the use of curative treatments.

        • greywarshark

          Could be that new Maori initiatives starting will make a great difference. A factor that hasn't been foremost I think, is that Maori influence each other and also that many have been getting along, making do, as well as they can for many decades, but without a clear belief and path to follow for a brighter future.

          If a hapu got together and set themselves achievable goals, health, fitness, housing, education, regular jobs, tome for cultural and family entertainment and sport, and were financed reasonably so that these aspirations could be achieved, there would be a group rise. And this would ratchet up on the success of each, and they also could institute a buddy system with a plan that the pair drew up and they would help each other to stick to it with a reward for themselves at the end.

          That could be a winning system, which may already be under way in different areas, but then there needs to be communication about it to others and what is succeeding and what needs tweaking.

        • Beverly

          Right with you there mac1. Could you add links to some of where you get your information.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.2

        Someone who is a Maori has clearly made a decision that will result in a more gory death by engaging in riskier health addictions.

        Being non-Māori is definitely the healthy 'choice' in NZ, and that’s not choice, imho.

        Ethnic inequities in life expectancy attributable to smoking [NZMJ, 2020]

        Contribution of smoking to the life expectancy gap—Māori
        Among Māori men, 2.1 years (28.4%) of the 7.4 year gap in life expectancy was attributable to the higher mortality rates from smoking attributable deaths. Among Māori women, the contribution from smoking attributable deaths was 2.3 years (32.9%) of the 7.0 year gap.

        Drivers of inequity
        Factors contributing to the pervasive and persisting ethnic health inequities are multifaceted and complex. Three main pathways have been identified: (i) differential access to the determinants of health or exposures leading to differences in disease incidence, (ii) differential access to healthcare and (iii) differences in quality of care received. These pathways are driven by different levels of racism, particularly institutionalised and personally mediated or interpersonal racism.

    • I have to agree with JT – a separatist health system.

      But it already exists in another form – the private health system. If you have a few bucks you can always get treatment in the private system, whereas you might wait weeks for similar treatment in public.

      Socialise the whole bloody lot – which certainly shouldn't preclude a specialist section devoted to Maori health.

  4. Jester 4

    Unemployment is so low, were the extra jobs for shovel ready projects actually needed?

    Only half promised shovel-ready jobs will be delivered | Stuff.co.nz

    • Sacha 4.1

      Construction industry provides few jobs per dollar. Who knew?

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        Jester Do you know and can you explain to us what criteria the Stats Dept uses to count employed and unemployed?

    • Sabine 4.2

      Actually if you care to read fully, you would see that the last time we got comprehensive unemployment numbers is Dec 20 for the last quater of 2020. We are now in may and so far have not been given the numbers for first quater 2021.


      The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, down from 5.3 percent in the September quarter.

      • For men, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, down from 4.8 percent last quarter.
      • For women, the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, down from 5.8 percent

      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.
      • The unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for following age groups in the December 2020 quarter was:
      • 10.1 percent for 15–29-year-olds (up from 8.4 percent in the December 2019 quarter)
      • 3.3 percent for 30–54-year-olds (up from 2.6 percent in the December 2019 quarter)
      • 2.5 percent for 55 and over (no statistically significant change since the December 2019 quarter).

      If you care to look at the unemloyment numbers in detail, you will see that the only group that fits that unemployment number in fact is below is men and caucasians as a group. That is where the shovel ready jobs really did some good, albeit 8000 jobs short, and that could be due to the fact that the shovel ready jobs or the Provincial Growth fund was axed by the now majority government.


      Not sure if it was done, but then i would not put it past them.

      So i would really not sprout some numbers that are literally 5 month old now, while we still wait for the government massage its current numbers into something that they are happy to show and people are happy to swallow.

      And never mind underutilasation, or the people that are not even in Winz books because they rather go prostitute or participate in the black economy then subject themselves to the kindness and gentleness that is Jacinda Arderns and the Labour Parties Ministry of Social Bullshittery.

        • Sabine

          Great! i personally can't wait.

          And then it is even more dumb by anyone to sprout numbers that are neither here nor there.

          • Incognito

            Of course, numbers mean nothing on their own, as they tell a story. However, which story depends on the story teller.

            • Sabine

              The numbers are from the government, they do the story telling. I just copy paste the numbers so that people don't believe that the 'unemployment is down' is not mistaken for a one fits all. Unemployment is indeed down, for men and caucasians. All others seem to be stuck or getting worse.

              But as i said, these are not my numbers they are the one provided by the current government of NZ. Any issue with the story these numbers tell should be taken up with the ones that compiled and formatted them.

              And yes, i actually can't wait for the numbers. if anything i owuld like to get them monthly as that would maybe provide some more nuance.

            • Sacha

              Under-employment is a huge trend disguised by our ongoing official/media fixation on only one of the numbers.

              • Incognito

                It’s worse than that. Under capitalist dogma, all employment is good employment, which is why the focus is always on the ‘desirable’ or ‘good’ aspect and why people must be forced toiling their lives away earning a living at all cost. Those who cannot or do not want to be meaningfully employed shall be penalized and punished by the State. The State has indoctrinated the people and co-opted the Media to ensure Society at large does most of the penalizing and punishing and to avoid the people turning against the State when it applies sanctions on the ‘undesirables’ under the umbrella excuse of Social License (AKA mandate). Such is the power of capitalism that many people not only are ok with this but they actually actively advocate and vote for the harsh coercion of their fellow humans. This we call Democracy and Freedom. And for the China lovers here, State Capitalism is even worse, IMHO.

                • Sacha

                  Work shall make us free.

                  • Incognito

                    Ah, yes, but work and employment are two different things, aren’t they?

                    • Sacha

                      Slave labour is its own reward.

                    • Incognito []

                      Funny that you said that, I’ve recently been reading about slavery (in the US of A) and Stockholm Syndrome. Not light reading, I might add.

                  • Pat

                    you are being difficult Incognito…..what is employment ?. Work is a necessity, who does it however is open to politics

                    • Incognito

                      Dismissing me as being difficult is an easy way out but employment is paid work and not all work is paid or a necessity; work can be for pleasure as well and there’s even such a thing as a voluntary work and a volunteer worker; ever heard of a volunteer employee? Neither have I; it is an oxymoron. Sloppy thinking leads to sloppy language and vice versa.


                    • Pat

                      I dont dismiss you at all…indeed the fact I said you were being difficult indicates the complexity of the problem…suggesting sloppy thinking IS the easy way out….answering 'who' does the work required is the difficult question to be answered

                    • Incognito []

                      Ah, in that case, sorry.

                    • Pat

                      and the difficult question remains unanswered

                    • Incognito []

                      As posed, it is unanswerable.

                    • Pat

                      fair enough..it is broad. however the fact remains that there is a certain amount of work required to support the life of our population, and that 'work' is necessary…..who does it?

                      As someone getting close to the age of being unable to do much of it I ask myself (and , on this occasion , you) how do we ensure we are capable of carrying it out?

                    • Incognito []

                      Are you talking about health and elderly care?

                    • Pat

                      Neither and both….the original post was about employment (unspecified) so employment (work) unspecified is my point…and that would include health and elderly care I would expect.

                      As stated, any society only survives with the labour of its members (how that labour is allocated can vary) ….we seem to be failing to the extent that we need to import that labour from without,

                    • Incognito []

                      We can ‘import’ doctors and nurses from elsewhere but this may create a gap/need there, where they may be needed even more urgently. The global employment market is competitive, wich means the lowest bidders miss out. If we, as a country, are prepared to pay the price, then we should be ok. I just have a feeling this is not exactly what you’re asking though …

                    • Pat

                      It could be…if we believe we can remain able to match the bid…I doubt that is realistic…if that is so then we need to ensure we can provide from within…and that means we need to maximise the capability of those here.

                      We, it seems to me at least, fail to come close to that, indeed we appear to have written off a significant proportion of our community.

                      If you agree that we are unlikely to win a bidding war then what option remains?

      • Ad 4.2.2

        As you've been pointing out for a while, headline unemployment is one thing: underlying rapid growth in poverty is where the country is at.

        • Sabine

          sorry ad, but poverty is expensive and we don't have the money to tackle it. We need the money for Americas Cup rich listers entertainment, a few million bucks for the richest man of the world the sell him the beauty of nZ and keep a movie legacy, and so one and so forth.

          Just don't ask for funding to self test for cancer, or feed all the hungry kiwi kids, or make the heating supplement not a filler benefit but a permanent one for all beneficiaries.

          This government has priorities, and poverty is not one of them, unless to many people yell about it and the Polls tell dear Leader that people in the country are getting testy, and then the kindness fairy appears and will tinkle down a few dollar (fully taxed) to a deserving few.

  5. Foreign Waka 5

    Ah yes, shovel ready projects. Most of us knew this was wishful thinking at best. Now we know. Those 11 000 jobs (part, casual, full anything goes) will disappear with the finishing of the projects and then its back to square one. But now a new highly paid entity is being established. This can only mean that those 140K earners in parliament are there to have ideas, not that these need to be feasible. No no no, we need a reality check department, speak implementation unit to make sure those folks get going in the right direction, whatever that is. This is like a comedy. When are we going to build houses, get people enough paid that they can make a living? I mean that is basics really. Roof over the head, food on the table, clothes on the back. Civilizations are build on this.

    • Sabine 5.1

      i wonder how the green school is doing, have fee paying schoolchildren and their parents already received their visas?

        • Sabine

          I wonder how the kids to in NZ that currently do online learning cause their school was not rewarded with some funding – but i guess they were not green enough 🙂 They were just educating Kiwis from non rich families.


          As i said, this government and the one before had and still have their priorities.

          heck its all good, the kids returned to their not warm, mouldy leaking school. I guess someone stuck some duct tape over the leaks and considers it good now. Or go to other buildings all over town. Heck maybe they need to put a grant towards the government and call it the ‘green school’, and then maybe someone will get real exited and get them some cash.


          This country is really good at wasting money for the shiny bauble and its kids are paying the price.

          • Robert Guyton

            Damn those children learning to think in a "green" way!

            Curse them and their life-enhancing curriculum (probably exploring Anne Salmond's latest offer as we speak, the brats!)

            • Incognito

              Deport them, I say, those virus carriers and super spreaders with too much money in their pockets. Or lock them up in “distant farms”. Oh, wait …

            • Sabine

              So Robert, have you got anything to say about the Kids in lower Hutt with their school that has mold everywhere, 13 rooms that need to be demolished, and that they are now going back to ?

              Or do you only reflexivly defend something because it grew on the manure pile the Green Party? Or is that something that you like so many others seems to fall under ,sucks to be them, happy it ain't me, and besides its not a nice and green school, also i am not poor so i am not affected. As that is literally what come across.

              A nice article from last year, and of course the child of the dear leader will never go to that school. That school is for the undeserving poor. Dear Leaders child might go to a very fine very expensive private school, that may or may not be green. But it will be without leaks and food for all. That is for sure.


              So yeah, i guess the poor kids of NZ don't need nice schools unless their parents can afford a years salary in payment. So very green.

              • Robert Guyton

                Sabine – I was certain that the topic was the green school, as you began your comment with,

                "i wonder how the green school is doing"

                • Sabine

                  The problem is not what i said, Robert, the problem may be what you read.

                  This school was part of that scheme, and i would like to know if they put that money to good use, and if people are still employed to build it. After all that money they got is coming from us. The taxpayers. So yeah, we should be told how these investments are going, and if these investments will bring a benefit to all of us, or just a wee tiny small group of people.

                  So how is that school doing?

          • Incognito

            You know it was a loan in full, yes? It is in the link I gave. Was your question about the Green School in good faith or were you just angling for an excuse to flip your lid again and piss on somebody else’s success stoking envy and divisiveness?

            • Sabine

              Yes, i know that it got changed into a loan after a whole lot of brouhahah, and as i said, this government will change its tune to the Polls.

              The point is not that his school got a grant or a loan, the point is that we have hundreds of schools that actually have a need, now, for kids going to school now, and that 40 odd million that was given to these rich listers for their private school should have been spend on the schools in NZ that have mold, leaking roofs and room so bad that they must be destroyed.

              And then give money to some rich listers for their private enterprise under the guise of shovel ready jobs and not a moment before .

              • Incognito

                So, you just grab any excuse, even manufacture one here, to piss on things. You cannot let escape any opportunity to drag the PM (AKA Dear Leader, FFS) down and even drag her child down into it.

                You know the famous movie scene:

                I’ll have what she’s having!

                Well, to me your comments are the exact opposite of that.

                • Sabine

                  I have said exactly the same last year – namely that there are schools that have a greater need, in some cases even an urgent immediate need, and that they should get first dibs on any money the government hast to throw about.

                  Government has a responsability towards our children, be that to assure they have enough to eat, live in decent housing or go to safe, warm, non mouldy schools fully equipped with the tools that are needed to educate them and give them a chance for a future.

                  And once they have fulfilled that obligation and then if there is money left in the kitty they can then go and distribute that money to the greatest benefit of all. I do not change my opinion like underwear. And in this case I still believe that it was not a good decision. Full stop there.

                  But feel free to take my comments as you like.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              You know it was a loan in full, yes?

              It miraculously morphed into said loan only because of the very loud thoroughly righteous public outrage.

              • Incognito

                Why do some (…) commenters here insist on being and staying ignorant yet think that they ride the moral high-road and know it all?

                “Just to be clear, never, ever was this a 100 per cent grant – not at all,” Chris Edwards, Green School New Zealand chief executive, said on Wednesday. “The application was for a 25 per cent grant – the rest was a series of loans.”


                • Rosemary McDonald

                  So many 'everses'…

                  …and yet, confusingly, James Shaw is quoted thus just the day before.

                  “As a politician, admitting you were wrong is one of the hardest things to do. We’re expected to be infallible. So much so that we can forget that people prefer their leaders to be honest and compassionate.

                  “Becoming a Minister means being willing to question your decisions in public and, if necessary, correct them,” Shaw said.

                  But it looks like correcting the decision will be difficult.

                  Shaw said the Green School had approached the Government to find a solution, but he was staying out of any negotiations because it would be in appropriate for a Minister to intervene.

                  “These discussions can take time, and whatever you think of the process, Ministers cannot insert themselves in commercial negotiations,” Shaw said.

                  He said that the best thing to happen now would be for the funding to be converted into a loan.

                  “My personal view is that the best way to do this is that support for the Green School to come in the form of a loan, rather than a grant. That would ensure the money is paid back in full,” Shaw said.


                  Seriously…hats off to anyone who has managed to sort the fact from the fantasy and the double-handed butt-covering surrounding that embarrassing little shit show.

                  • Incognito

                    I’m not confused; are you? Part was a grant and part was a loan. Which part confuses you? I’m aiming for clarity; are you?

                    Anyway, this thread is not about the Green School, never was. It is just a hook put up by Sabine.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Hang on a minute Sunshine…you threw out the old "ignorant" slur…

                      Part was a grant and part was a loan. Link, please?

                      Take it up with James Shaw…he's the one who appears confused.

                    • Incognito []

                      If the shoe fits …

                      Which bit did you miss in the quoted text plus link here: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04-05-2021/#comment-1790914?

                      I believe James Shaw is not confused and has moved on. Please let me know if you need any further assistance with clearing up your confusion.

                      Have a nice day or, as you prefer, SSDD.

        • Jimmy

          I didn't realise the original principal resigned after the $11.7m grant / loan fiasco. I guess its not surprising given the bad publicity received. I have to agree with Sabine on this one, would be nice if the government could find a few million for either a grant (or even a loan) for the Hutt Valley school.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Rebuilds/repairs for all state schools are $100s millions per year, but after 9 years of neglect the backlog is huge

            '“The first wave includes around 40 schools and has a budget of up to $1.3 billion'


            • Sabine


              the link dates to July 2020

              so we can assume that the Lower Hutt School is still waiting for some of that 1.9 billion to tinkle down.

              3 JULY 2020

              Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme

              • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
              • Hon Chris Hipkins

              Prime Minister Education

              Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years.

              The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to $60 million since 2018. The additional funding will be used to refurbish two of Northcote College’s heritage buildings, and relocate a third to a better location on the site. A new gym will be built, and 20 ageing classrooms rebuilt or upgraded.

              Jacinda Ardern said Northcote College is one of four projects announced today, worth $126 million, which will need hundreds of skilled workers. Design work at Northcote will start shortly, and construction is on track to start early next year.

              “Critically, this funding and our approach to look 10 years ahead sends a strong signal to the construction sector that we’ve got a full book of work lined up, and we’ll need a skilled workforce to do it.

              “These five projects alone will need hundreds of workers. We’re working on that too by offering free apprenticeships and training courses and providing support to firms to keep on their apprentices through Covid.

              “In August, we’ll make information available for the remaining schools in the programme, which is funded from a mix of depreciation funding and future roll growth.

              “It adds to the $400 million Schools Investment Package, which we announced late last year and brings forward support for schools to carry out smaller scale building and upgrade projects,” Chris Hipkins said.

          • Incognito

            You've got the wrong end of the stick; he was headhunted and offered a job he couldn't refuse.


  6. Incognito 6

    An excellent piece by Anne Salmond, which I won’t spoil or pre-empt with my own views as there’s much, i.e. almost everything, to take in from it.


    • Sabine 6.1


    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      Stunningly well thought-through and presented piece, Dame Anne!

      The final 4 paragraphs are all questions to which the answers are yes, yes, yes & yes!

      The following quote describes the present circumstance beautifully,

      "Current debates that seek to revive animosities between ‘iwi’ vs ‘Kiwi,’ for example, are classic Cartesian devices…"

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2.1

        'Great chain of being' existed across all cultures , the Inka was total ruler in an hierarchical system.

        Just the other the day the Queen of the Zulus died and thats a paramount chieftan role thats existed for many centuries and similar existed through out Africa

    • Robert Guyton 6.3

      This fragment, however, was of the greatest interest to me 🙂

      "a first burst of energy in the cosmos generated thought, memory and desire; followed by knowledge;"

  7. Reality 7

    Somehow Open Mike has become very much a focus for a few constant daily commenters who never ever see any joy or positivity in anything at all. They cannot see while many things may not be ideal, there is much to be reasonably content about in NZ. Interesting discussions involving many people's views are unfortunately not happening.

    • Sabine 7.1

      Not only beautiful, but uplifting. Hope it makes your day.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.2

      …never ever see any joy or positivity in anything at all.

      I have a good news story….

      Public Servant does their job!!!


      Unfortunately, (and not unexpectedly)…

      Minister Responsible criticizes hard working Public Servant.



      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.2.1

        Pharmac wasnt doing what they suggested it shouldnt do.

        'Potential move '

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Pharmac wasnt doing what they suggested it shouldnt do.


          The 'word' came from the OHRP. Concerned that Pharmac would react to a claim of discrimination against kids with SMA by cutting funding for paediatric cancer drugs, they decided not to represent the claim at the HRRT.

          There is the risk that the answer to any discrimination claim would be to normalise the situation by decreasing paediatric cancer patients' access to treatment funding. That would be a very disappointing outcome but it is one Pharmac has suggested it is willing to do."

          What Tolich didn't know was Pharmac had been considering for some time ending its blanket coverage for child cancer drugs – a situation that developed by historical accident.


          What is it about some here and Pharmac? It is up for scrutiny and criticism just like any other taxpayer funded organisation.

          (And considering Spinraza, started early, has 75% efficacy at preventing symptoms of SMA…)

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            They had said it was something previously they had looked at , not some thing they will do in response for the court case, which is bogus discrimination grounds.

            You make the mistake of the 'reporting' suggesting something as though its a fact

    • greywarshark 7.3

      Other sites have interesting discussions and cover what some are 'reasonably content about in NZ'. The Standard's purpose is largely to discuss what the left is thinking, doing and not doing in this country and the world. And why thinking people cannot be reasonably content. Those that are, aren't thinking about the reality of what is happening, what will happen if the right things are not done, what will happen whatever is done, how we can get ready for the future catastrophes, how we can awaken enough people to the situation and to act together with goodwill to ameliorate the process. That is The Standard's proper function, and if it doesn't do that it fails the thinking people trying to live fulfilling, happy lives, but caters for the sheeple, sweet people a lot of them, but with their heads in the sand. And we are also providing intelligence to each other about the people who are not sweet, not kind, not caring citizens and who will step over those with preventable illnesses physical and mental, to get where and what they want.

      Reality, if you are thinking of Sabine, she raises good points but doesn't take enough time to relax her mind, ready for the next onslaught of bad news and stress. For a whole day Sabine stop, don't let any bad news come into your wonderful mind, and don't go on-line. Listen, read, take in what I and other people are saying for your own good, don't try and take everything stubbornly on your own shoulders. These are friendly suggestions not combative ones. Stop argufying for a while. Give yourself a break, and us, we all can only take so much before we cry or go catatonic.

      • Sabine 7.3.1

        its really uplifting. 🙂

        • Incognito

          Is that the best you can do? Instead of addressing comments, you simply fob off others by posting video clips!? This is the second one here in OM and you’re derailing the threads of others who raise salient and valid points.

        • veutoviper

          Good choice, Sabine!

          And Grey seems to have missed that you do take days (or longer) off from time to time, including just two days ago – on Sunday May 2. LOL


          I (like many others who used to comment here regularly up to about two years ago) rarely do so now with many good people complete no shows. I just cannot be bothered with the power imbalances, delusions of superiority, personal insults and targeting etc.

          I admire your fortitude and that of others such as Rosemary, Adrian Thornton to mention just a few – even Morrissey and Gosman. Kia kaha!

          PS – totally with you and Rosemary on the Green School "loan" issue. In fact having read the thread above, rechecked with a couple of former work colleagues in the Wellington State Sector/Parliamentary Precinct who confirmed the transformation from full grant to full loan once it became public … Obviously cannot provide links!

          As someone said at 11.32am above in this thread "Why do some (…) commenters here insist on being and staying ignorant yet think that they ride the moral high-road and know it all?"

          A Queen song just came to mind – something about hammers, but won't post a link.

          • Incognito

            Hearsay doesn’t count for anything here. Please put up your evidence and I will stand corrected, like many others. Or leak it to the media so that you can cite it here.

            I’ve also observed how tribalism is rife here on TS; sub-groups gang up and then band together when one of them is challenged. Quite unfortunate, as it creates a polarising and divisive forum where robust debate is impossible and dies a sudden death 🙁

            As such, your comment only added fuel to the fire and did not (re)solve anything, which is most disappointing and quite unexpected coming from you.

          • greywarshark

            I just cannot be bothered with the power imbalances, delusions of superiority, personal insults and targeting etc.

            That's what I noticed too veutoviper. Snap!

        • Phillip ure

          A great clip sabine…and a valid/potent reply to the demand to cheer up…

          And I would like to second what veutoviper says below..

          Couldn't have said it better myself..

      • Ad 7.3.2

        Sabine is the Leader of the Opposition that we should have.

  8. Pat 8

    Department to ensure that actions match words?

    "For this term of Government we have three core goals. In addition to keeping New Zealanders safe from COVID-19, we are focused on accelerating our economic recovery and addressing the big three foundational challenges, housing affordability, climate change and child wellbeing.

    The Government is determined that we will deliver on these core priorities. To that end the Prime Minister has asked me to lead the establishment an Implementation Unit based in her department.

    The Unit will be funded through Budget 2021 and will monitor and support implementation of a small number of critical initiatives, particularly where multiple agencies are involved in the work. This includes areas such as mental health, infrastructure, housing and climate change mitigation. The Unit will report to me as Deputy Prime Minister, and will engage closely with Minister’s offices."


    • Ad 8.1

      WTF is DPMC for then?

      This is a pisspoor substitute for Ministers cracking heads.

      • Pat 8.1.1

        What do you do when you have placed your best options in positions of authority and they dont perform?….you can 'crack as many heads' as you like but ultimately even replacing them dosnt ensure improved performance.

        Its been suggested that this is a vote of no confidence in the public service but while there may be little confidence in the PS (id suggest with good reason) this appears more to be a vote of little confidence in ministerial ability.

        • Ad

          The quandary of this government is that the Ministers are performing fine but their sum totality is underwhelming. To me that bespeaks a Prime Minister with out the muscle to get the most out of her team. They need head-kickers to shift major entities: you can do the list of the poor performing state entites.

          Subbing the job out from Cabinet and PM's office to DPMC and SSC then to this new one is an illustration of brittle leadership at the top.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Muldoonism is long gone , but seems its still lamented.

            Virtually no ministers have any powers you suggest, only a few exceptions allow them to 'direct' the relevant department ( thanks for your opinion mInister !) and in some cases its proscribed to even give an opinion.

            • Ad

              No one is suggesting doing away with the Policy/Executive split.

              But as you can see from the actions some Ministers have taken in this second term across Health, Public Health, Customs, Housing, Reserve Bank, Tertiary Education, Water regulation, and more, Ministers very much have powers to cajole, force, bully, remove, shame, defund, and merge entities to do their bidding to achieve policy aims are still strong … and under this government getting much stronger.

              Since it needs spelling out to you: the entities that I see the government is finding real and sustained resistance to their policies are:

              • NZTA, Airways, MPI, NZPolice, parts of MBIE particularly Energy and Immigration, TVNZ, multiple DHB's, Corrections, MoJ esp Courts, Electricity Authority, and Commerce Commission.

              So if you ranked Ministers, and then ranked their respective Departments, you'd find quite different scores often.

              • greywarshark

                No one is suggesting doing away with the Policy/Executive split.

                Why? The alternative that we have is not working well either. Oh constipated Again! I suggest we need a different diet, before we die of it.

            • Pat

              What exactly is "Muldoonism"?…..please elaborate

          • Pat

            By your own comment it is obvious the Ministers performance is anything but 'fine'….if it were fine there would be no need to invent another layer of oversight

    • Jimmy 8.2

      Great. So now we need another department to blame when things don't get done. Why are we paying these ministers so much? They are obviously not getting things implemented as why else would we need this unit. What happened to the year of delivery?

      • Pat 8.2.1

        Id agree they are failing to implement change (and failing badly) however I would suggest that is a better problem to have than the previous administration who were comfortable to oversee a public service not required to administer change

  9. Reality 9

    Greywarshark – thank you for your thoughtful response. I readily agree we must always be ready to challenge what is not right or fair. But the sun often shines, the sky is a lovely blue, there are lovely flowers and trees to enjoy looking at, we get pleasure from meeting up with friends and family. So sometimes we can be happy and/or reasonably content, surely? And smile about something amusing. But still have concern for those who struggle. People who are positive and can enjoy themselves, even when things may be difficult, are those who I prefer to interact with.

    Yes, your second paragraph was spot on.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      I look for the best in things Reality. But think of this period as a phony war. Can we prevent it? Sure as eggs we will have climate change and if we don't start now the authorities will end up pushing us round with army bodily removing us to …where? and prison terms for protest etc. So don't sit around having tea and cakes too long will you. I have that once a week, go to music nights, occasional beer and wine. You don't need to become an ascetic just a well-rounded person coping with the thoughts of likely dystopia, and finding some answers that are good for us all. Kia kaha.

  10. Ad 10

    Rest In Peace Brian Corban.

    NZ rail owes you a lot.

  11. greywarshark 11

    From a man who was a 9 year old child that Social Welfare put into Cherry Farm Hospital against the experienced doctor's advice.

    The patients were very disturbed and mentally ill, he said.
    "They were making noises, wailing and making unusual movements with their bodies and faces. I remember thinking to myself what the hell is this and I was still wondering where the cherries were.

    "I went into a foetal position and the patients starting coming at me in every direction."
    He was constantly medicated at Cherry Farm to keep him quiet and then discharged six weeks later without there ever being a mental illness diagnosis

    He first went to the Epuni Boys' Home and then Hokio Beach School.
    At Hokio he was raped at least hundreds of times by older boys.

    "I can't exactly say how many times I was raped while I was there but my guess is 200 times based on my experience of being raped every day and every night and the amount of boys who were doing it and, as I stand here today, how would anybody like to be raped 200 times in just one place."

    (What is happening in our prisons at present I wonder and fear?)

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