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Open mike 04/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 4th, 2020 - 70 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 …

70 comments on “Open mike 04/08/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Grab something to ensure you don't fall over. Govt has done something clever. It incorporates strategic climate change response policy with comprehension of how complex systems interact. I kid you not:

    This is what is known as a “cascading impact” in the report, in which “a primary threat is followed by a dynamic sequence of secondary hazards.”

    It is called the National Climate Change Risk Assessment, and has been developed by the environment ministry. Befitting the complexity of the topic, the main report weighs in at a hefty 133 pages. The technical report that accompanies it is more like 245. https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/03-08-2020/more-than-heatwaves-new-report-details-biggest-climate-change-risks-to-nz/

    Basically, the report looked at 43 risks, and then assessed them on a scale of urgency (to quote – “measure of the degree to which further action is needed in the next six years to reduce the risk”) and consequences (how nasty things will get if and when they do.) The thing that makes these assessments important is that they are interconnected with each other, and interact with each other in potentially unexpected ways.

    So there. If you didn't already know James Shaw is a vital politician, give some thought to how this got produced!

    The report picked out ten major threats, breaking them down into five domains. These risks are all seen as needing urgent action within the next six years. [these are listed on Spinoff]

    Dr Judy Lawrence from the Victoria University Climate Research Institute… suggested it was another step towards “the implementation of coherent adaptation across New Zealand.”

    And NIWA’s chief climate scientist Dr Andrew Tait said “the key risks identified in the report clearly show where we need to focus our climate change impacts and adaptation scientific research over the coming years to reduce our nation’s vulnerability and enhance adaptive capacity”.

    So what happens with the report now? It will be fed into the great beast of bureaucracy, and within two years the government will be required to respond with a National Adaptation Plan. Work on that is already underway, which is nice given the urgency of it all.

  2. millsy 2

    Our education providers still rabbiting on about letting in international students


    Time and time again this really pisses me off, our schools, unis, and polytechs were set up to educate NEW ZEALAND STUDENTS, not make money off international students. They really need to be putting the needs and interest of NEW ZEALAND students first, second and first, but they are still on and on and on about wanting to educate the ones from overseas, as that is all they ever talk about.

    Our education system is completely fucked, so many young people are falling through the cracks, because the international students matter more.

    • Adrian 2.1

      There is a benefit to having overseas students but its not all monetary. Students get to know those from other cultures and particularly in universities the friendships, collaboration and joint brain power make the post uni networks vital for international co-operation in finding solutions to things like pandemics, climate change and diplomacy.

    • francesca 2.2

      Education became an industry , not a public good yonks ago when a free university

      education became no longer a Kiwi right

      Now degrees are purely meal tickets, and must be sufficient to pay the considerable student debt

    • RosieLee 2.3

      I don’t have a problem with overseas students if they are paying their way and the courses have some integrity – and they go back home once they have their qualification/degree/whatever.

      What really brasses me off is that the whole industry has become a scheme where students get residency out of it, then proceed to bring in goodness knows how many family members. It’s a massive rort.

    • RedBaronCV 2.4

      They are determined aren't they? Particularly the private providers of "language courses". And of course if they get them in then they will want the work visa's and residence visa's next. If we made it very clear that there is no visa selling scam any more – I'm sure the enrolments would plummet without help.

      In time I would anticipate seeing the actual student undergraduate exchange scheme working again ( it's not urgent and basically students swop between countries) where a fee is paid to a uni here but the study is done here and at the overseas university.

      The high schools need to make up their minds. One minute they are short of teachers, the next they want more students. The universities can fix their problems by cutting the excessive wages at the top and putting some of the accommodation into the local rental market. Then they could get creative and maybe share junior staff with any local high schools that are short – on a part time basis. With support they would bring up to date knowledge a taste of university style teaching and the skills to fill any gaps.

      The private colleges -why not shift the teaching staff to offshore campuses?

      And they all want the government to do some thing – so much personal responsibility

    • JanM 2.5

      Exactly – I don't know how they have the nerve to complain while they have such a huge percentage of under-performing NZ pupils to focus their tiny minds on. How did we get this bad?

    • Cinny 2.6

      Instead of taking international students, maybe zoned schools could simply take more kids that live outside their zone.

      Problem solved.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.6.1

        If each educational institution can demonstrate that they have purchased a comprehensive insurance policy to cover the costs to NZ society of Covid-19 importation (via students), then maybe let their meal tickets in. But the insurance better cover full costs, including compensation for Covid-19 disability and death.

        • Incognito

          AFAIK, it is compulsory for all international students to have health and travel insurance whilst studying here in NZ.

        • solkta

          Gosh, how much would they compensate me if i die?

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Insurance companies are in the business of putting a price on human life, and if the current Government's efforts to safeguard the health of NZers are anything to go by, then education providers who depend on overseas students better have gold-plated insurance policies in place before students arrive.

            I think this Government has enough sense not to let them back in anytime soon.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Social science research illuminates how partisan alignment constructs social reality:

    Associate Professor Grant Duncan… and colleagues led the Stuff-Massey University survey of voter attitudes, which drew more than 70,000 responses… The survey is a reader-initiated survey, as opposed to a poll… https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122327028/tick-tick-podcast-survey-shows-powerful-polarisation-along-party-lines

    Asked how good a job medical professions have done in controlling the spread of the disease, responses showed there was a difference depending on party preference. Amongst Labour supporters, 96 per cent agreed medical professionals have done a good job. But for National supporters, the figure was 69 per cent.

    The difference was even starker when asked if the Government’s overall response was successful. Almost 98 per cent of Labour supporters said the response was successful, but for National supporters it was only 40 per cent.

    So the binary structure of parliament creates a schizoid electorate. People end up seeing the real world through the lens created by their partisan belief system. Reality gets warped into two different social realities, co-created by each bunch of partisans.

    • Incognito 3.1

      Pity those poor souls who don’t align with a partisan belief system and whose social realities are not warped and co-created by a bunch of partisans. Woe is them!

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        Don't know what I'd do without my witchdoctor.

        • Incognito

          I thought regularly reading a political blog might help me out and warp my reality into something I could Kling on to.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.2

        The non-aligned tend to pity the partisans, actually. 😊 That consensus embedded during the seventies and was deepened further by Rogernomics a decade later.

        If the social scientist had achieved transcendence, he would have thought to use a non-binary frame to design his questions. However, reluctance to admit the reality of that third of the electorate continues to afflict academics. Will they awaken to the reality that has existed since the '80s? Not as long as their ivory-tower bubble protects them.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      Considering there are not that many National supporters these days it's a skewed opinion.

      40% of 25 to 33% support Nationals poll figures .

  4. I Feel Love 4

    I hope the cops are looking at this fellow, esp if he has access to arms, ugly online behaviour https://www.newsroom.co.nz/young-act-faces-more-questions-over-online-harassment

    • ianmac 4.1

      Yes Love. Seems funny that these events have raised so little response compared to the Young Labour fuss over a non member of the Labour Party.

      One of the men at the centre of a Young ACT sexual harassment inquiry was previously removed from the organisation’s online forums for Islamophobic comments in the wake of the March 15 attacks.

      This revelation comes as the ACT-affiliated youth organisation grapples with widespread issues regarding sexual harassment and abuse, rape culture, and inappropriate and potentially harmful behaviour in online spaces.


      • Rapunzel 4.1.1

        And that "non-member" gets another mention at the end of the story despite being unrelated in every way – how many years will it be dragged out to supplement other stories. It was purely political that that ever made the papers let alone was prosecuted – we had teens most families know the things that can happen at the hands of foolish youth – just thankfully in that case it didn't involve a vehicle would have been my relief as a parent but that reference is well past its use by date

        • I Feel Love

          I am bemused when RW women finally realise those that use terms like "femnazi" are anti women, it's like they think they're immune to the libertarian males sense of superiority. And has been shown by the firemen, etc, not only RW males, but just seems if you listen and read the RW rhetoric it's very exclusive, single visioned, superior, super man.

  5. greywarshark 5

    What is boring about this election? I find myself totally on edge. Thinking about the future, yes – we do have to keep on at our politicians, but put effort into understanding their difficulties which are increasing. Some of that is because they are having to make changes in their thinking – National is faced with a reality that it can't talk its way out of, can't offer the luscious life or the one that suits those who hold the reins. Some of the difficulties are from those who can't move from their comfy chair, the lifestyle option they have achieved only to be told it is unsustainable. What, no way; overseas trips, buying what I want, regular upgrades to the latest – this heaven can't come to an end!

    But ideas for doing things differently are coming from many people, and Covid-19 is forcing change. So keep on thinking about the problems and how they can be remediated and help the political parties with your ideas, but also put public pressure on the background people who are too advanced to push barrows, they have more sophisticated means to jerk politicians, and us, around.

    Why doesn't TS start a citizens bank of knowledge – dividing the major considerations into groups on-line – eg one – People's welfare – subgroup housing and skilled and informed people put their ideas and advise government from a platform of informed intelligence mixed with practicality and understanding of the pros and cons.

    I note we are importing people from overseas to take leadership positions when we should have 'the knowledge' to traverse and navigate our own territory. We should not become 'introverted' but at present we are patsies for accepting that others can do things better. I think often it is that they have a background in shedding staff, introducing technology, and running things cheaply. We could do that too, but seek better ways. We have cut off the arms and legs of our own abilities in order to get rid of the shambling and self-indulgent approaches of the late 1970's. Now we need to renew the body of NZ capability and 'zeal'.

    And in there somewhere, how to provide decent health care so as to keep bad conditions to a minimum. This was the goal I thought which had been broadcast to the peeps in the past. Let us have now, a good working relationship between skilled hospital administration together with staff and skills leaders, and skilled health spending providers in government.

    Looking at Christchurch which has had a stressed population and hospital building needs suitable to cope, since the earthquake and now is in crisis for money and about to shed staff – that is feared. (And hospitals are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff really.) The fact that they are so busy and the mental health part all over the country and especially Christchurch I have read, is an example of the affect on humans from Ayn Rand neolib economics and the coldness of heart and mind that comes from the lack of humanity of that cult.

    On Christchurch – https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/122328114/canterbury-dhb-calls-emergency-meeting-over-staffing-numbers-loses-two-senior-executives

    A useful paper on Capital Charges to Hospitals:-
    Every six months district health boards (DHBs) are required to pay the Government a ‘capital charge’ on the Crown’s capital (equity) investment received by DHBs. The charge, which is currently set at 6% p.a. (see footnotei), applies to any DHB operational surpluses as well as any capital funding provided by government. In 2017 this totalled $174.2 million (Table 1).The expectation is that the charges will be funded from DHBs’ existing baseline funding. At budget time this means operational funding for DHBs is significantly less, in reality, than is allocated.

    This shows in 2017 Canterbury had to pay back to government – $16.1 million. This is a complicated system that complies with the crooked thinking of neolib economics which has hegemony over money and land use in NZ and there needs to be actual transparent government allocation based on need, checked for effectiveness done efficiently, not this claw-back idea with a real estate mindset.

    (I’ve been changing this around to make it better so apologise to anyone who has been following.)

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      I always get the feeling that we import people for leadership positions precisely because they have no stake in the local social economy and can be reliably compliant with the most outrageous neolib demands no matter how much they destroy the local community. Labour will need to tackle -and it won't be easy- the hiring policies of the Sate services commission. Thank goodness Ashley Bloomfield had the job not the previous incumbent.

      As to the hospitals – over the country we should get roughly equal outputs for the same operating dollars. For the capital builds a rolling programme based on age, need and throughput so that we do the most important first. The capital charge is pretty much rubbish – if it goes up with a new build and then operating costs (which are basically staff) are reduced – it's like shooting yourself in the foot. We also need to acknowledge that fewer bigger higher tech hospitals is probaly the direction of travel. With another path for community based care.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2

      Thanks Grey for that very nice comment (all of it) @5.

      "National is faced with a reality that it can't talk its way out of, can't offer the luscious life or the one that suits those who hold the reins. Some of the difficulties are from those who can't move from their comfy chair, the lifestyle option they have achieved only to be told it is unsustainable. What, no way; overseas trips, buying what I want, regular upgrades to the latest – this heaven can't come to an end!"

      Will we continue to damage ourselves, one-another, ecosystems, etc. etc., or will Covid-19 provoke re-evaluations that are sufficiently widespread to mature into genuine resets? A few months ago I thought the pandemic would be a momentary blip before 'civilization' resumed its BAU course, but maybe some progressive societies can at least begin to consider alternative, sustainable futures.

      "If COVID-19 were spreading across a stable and resilient world, its impact could be abrupt but contained. Leaders would consult together, economies would be disrupted temporarily, people would make do for a while with changed circumstances, and then, after the shock, things would return to normal. That is not, however, the world in which we live. Instead, the pandemic is revealing the structural faults of the system, which have been papered over for decades even as they’ve been growing worse. Gaping economic inequalities, rampant ecological destruction, and pervasive political corruption are all results of unbalanced systems relying on each other to remain precariously poised."

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Lawyer Liam Hehir is a writer, columnist and former National Party activist, but he's adopting principled adherence to a parliamentary tradition. Why? Abortion law reform, and

    Whanganui MP Harete Hipango, who is pro-life, wrote a Facebook post that was critical of the lack of gestational limits in the new law.

    Government supporters and surrogates online were quick to lay the controversy at the feet of National leader Judith Collins, demanding that she answer for Hipango’s views on the matter.

    Since her party is a “broad church” in a way that Labour is not, that puts Collins in an awkward position. The fact that the Leader of the Opposition is herself firmly pro-choice makes it even more difficult for her.

    The political advantage in holding Collins accountable for the views of her colleague is, therefore, clear as a bell. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/politics/politicising-social-issues-bad-for-national-bad-for-everyone

    Writing as a Roman Catholic, I will be the first to admit there is little stable ground between the views of Hipango and, say, Jacinda Ardern on “life” questions. Taking a strident approach that leaves little room for good faith disagreement is not going to persuade anyone.

    One risk is polarisation. Provoking internal strife within National may well result in the party becoming a more doctrinally pro-life party. That would give us two big parties with more uniform but opposite views. A foreseeable outcome of that is the stepped-up importation of American culture wars that see delicate issues become party political footballs.

    Seems to me Liam is on solid ground here. We don't want an Aotearoa with yet more braindead partisan polarising – we've got enough already.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Since her party is a “broad church” in a way that Labour is not

      Yeah nah.

      • I Feel Love 6.1.1

        The "broad church" National thing is recent, Labour was always referred to as being broad church, I reckon it's a Hooton thing. Reminds me of a covers band poster I saw years back, "we play all kinds of music, from ACDC to Led Zep!", about as broad as National.

        • RedBaronCV

          Liam misses the point doesn't he? Overall the community has become more "pro choice" and the MP's are just reflecting this? More so on the left than on the right? I was actually surprised at how, compared to previous abortion debates, just how little smoke and fire the latest changes caused. Labour also signaled the changes in it's party platform.

          As for Judith – she needs to make it very clear whether tightening the current law is part of the official party platform (if there is one) or not. And how likely it is to be included in the future. In which case reports from Harete need to make it abundantly clear that she will push for this to be included in the platform. And that should lose her the election. If national want to revert to a right wing fundy christian type party then I suspect it will be a small one. Judith may need to do some thing here to keep national as a broader church.

    • observer 6.2

      She is the Shadow Attorney-General. She does not even understand the law – or she does, but deliberately lies about it.

      Collins should have sacked her immediately.

      Get past the "polarising" cop-out. David Parker, Chris Finlayson, Michael Cullen – up to the job. Harete Hipango – not.

    • gsays 6.3

      Collins responded to this criticism, ie, Hipango making some out there comments about late-term abortions and Hipango being a Catholic. The party leader said on conscious issues, MPs can speak and act as they see fit, not tow party line.

      • Stuart Munro 6.3.1

        I guess that consideration is necessary, given that a majority of National MPs seem to be, at best, semi-conscious.

      • observer 6.3.2

        But this is NOT about casting a conscience vote. Of course she was completely free to do that.

        It is about Hipango's subsequent post. Have people commenting here even read it? Please do, it's appalling:


        A dishonest personal attack on the PM who had voted exactly the same way as Judith Collins. I repeat … this is the Shadow Attorney-general. Let that sink in.

        • greywarshark

          The bad attitudes of the Catholic Church to females were shown up in the film about the imprisoned women forced to work in a sort of borstal as laundry workers in the film The Magdalene Sisters.


        • gsays

          I was more pointing out Collin's (lack of ) leadership chops.

          I repeat … this is the Shadow Attorney-general. Let that sink in.

          I shudder at the views held by some who seek high office. Not a deep well of talent to choose from either.

  7. lprent 7

    Site was offline for an hour..

    Automatic payment on the domain failed to go through somehow. I'd preloaded the credit weeks ago at the domain provider. Had to do it manually.

    grr for the want of $33.12 inc GST..

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Grinds teeth. It's all part of a conspiracy to stop us talking – Help look 'I'm being oppressed', (Monty Python).

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Midday news, RNZ, reported National "will have a rolling maul of policies for the election campaign", according to Judith Collins.

    This idea that the electorate are rugby fanatics guided by rugby thinking seems somewhat antique, but it does provide Labour with an opportunity for a classic response:

    "They never have a clue where the ball is. Watch it passing along our backline attack, so we score under their goalposts as their maul continues to rumble forward."

    • gsays 8.1

      As a rugby analogy, it is rather shit.

      The rolling maul is against the most important facet of rugby union, a contest for possession. It is a dour spectacle that at it's heart features obstruction.

      Perhaps the analogy is apt after all.

  9. Pat 9

    So the wealthy having fucked the rest of the world both socially and environmentally are ramping up their lobbying to use their ill-gotten gains to access one of the few bastions of sanity left in a collapsing world…..no thanks.


    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Yeah, we don't need any more bludgers rich people.

    • RedBaronCV 9.2

      I've said before that we should raffle 52 places to reside here for 2 years then they have to leave. BEO $1billion and only a limited amount of money can be spent in those 2 years so the kids have to go to state schools, no asset purchases no political or any other donations they have to live as a pretty average kiwi for re-education purposes and they have to spend so many hours as a community volunteer like a foodbank. Any violations you get tossed out.

    • greywarshark 9.3

      With all their money, they are going to buy us up as their nature reserve! I think of the Scottish initiative I know of where people on an outlying peninsula of the Highlands got together, raised enough money to buy out the land they lived on and it is held in a Trust and with a Foundation, providing the legal basis. It isn't on the roading system of Scotland, you have to get to it by boat. They run it as a farming, silvicultural, nature reserve and it is flourishing, not declining as was previously when owned by some celebrity. Tourism like this is sustainable.

      http://knoydart.org/ This is the Home Page of the Knoydart Foundation:
      Our aim is to manage the Knoydart Estate as an area of employment and settlement without detriment to its natural beauty and character. To seek and encourage the preservation of its landscape, wildlife, natural resources, culture and rural heritage.
      Our current top priorites are to replace our hydro scheme and the renovation of three properties to provide affordable homes for local families. You can help by donating below.

      Achievable, modest aims that enable progress.




      If you read the Wikipedia history it can be seen how the land and with it the people, became like Monopoly properties which situation eventually the people tried to rise against, unsuccessfully. NZ should not entertain the further disrobing of what was once a proud little nation, now with many ragged and others dressed in finery; to go poetic about it.

  10. joe90 10

    Same as the old bosses.




    • Andre 10.1

      Outside of Florida it won't be significant, for Latinos or anyone else. But it could shift a percent or two of Florida voters, enough to tip it. As long as Biden doesn't neuter this by choosing Bass as his veep. And Florida is 29 Electoral college votes, more than Michigan (16) and Wisconsin (10) combined.

  11. Peter t 11

    A law unto themselves?

    What is the purpose of the IPCA if their findings are simply ignored?


    • RedBaronCV 11.1

      That's a pretty serious thing to ignore. Right up there with policing Palmy with guns as if part of the city was a warzone. Where are they getting these cops from – they seem to think they are in charge of the rules and can do what they like.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        'They' are lowlife, and I am here to deal with them. That could be the thought of that officer. You wouldn't accept such behaviour from a bouncer.
        Before he was handcuffed and arrested, an officer was captured on CCTV firmly placing a foot on his head, kicking him several times and also punching his head.

        Being fair to the officer, one kick may have been overlooked, but this guy was out of control. And just as bad as the guy he was arresting actually.

        In the USA in some parts, they call police 'the nation's finest' or similar. But when they start internalising that, they slide down towards lowest fast. It sounds as if the NZ police are taking that superior attitude, and then watching on tv or on-line how the USA police actually behave.

        Or perhaps they go on manouvres with them, like the defence forces do with regular visits from the USA to gee us up, with interesting scenarios like an uprising against an elected leader, and what army, and probably police, would do to rout out these terrorists. You have to show them who is boss, that's all, these civilian troublemakers.

        And that is probably how some of them are thinking right now. Compare that hard-line approach which was taken to this man when he was lying on the ground. And then how softly the justice system treats men who are vicious and stalk and kill previous partners, and perhaps choose to mistreat or kill their children. It seems that entitlement to violence is a strong current that lives in our society. Is it predominantly male? How can this tendency to be disrespectful of others be turned around.

  12. Cinny 12

    Question please, do valedictorian speeches cut into parliamentary time, thereby limiting the time allowed for bills to be passed before the house closes?

  13. I Feel Love 13

    iFascinating and terrifying doco on Imelda Marcos & her children, specifically her son Bong Bong, how they are slowly building up power again, slow & steady, legally, but using all their ill gotten funds, buying votes, arresting opponents.

    It’s called the Kingmaker.

  14. Muttonbird 14

    Henry Cooke doing a good job of just doing his job. I bet he'd like to skewer Collins but credit to him he plays this with a straight bat, until the last sentence:

    National is trailing Labour by a huge margin in recent polls.



    • ScottGN 14.1

      And hopefully someone will point out that National is so rich with policy they decided to take it all down off their website.

      • Muttonbird 14.1.1

        Hopefully someone will also point out her attitude toward retirement. She described it as "a rainy day" when announcing her insane and widely condemned raiding of Kiwisaver for business start ups.

        Retirement is not a rainy day, it's supposed to be be a great day.

      • Herodotus 14.1.2

        Nice deflection, still does not address the lack of policy from labour – how can we measure (potentially) the next govt. ?

  15. joe90 15

    They're done.

  16. observer 16

    Ardern in her seat for Lees-Galloway's valedictory speech. Classy. In character.

    Collins was not there last week for several National MPs' speeches. Also in character.

    (but, you know … "same same! both sides!")

    • Anne 16.1

      She knows that what he did was no different to what screeds of male MPs on both sides did before him. She also knows he let himself and his family down and that he knows it and is deeply remorseful. She made sure she was there as a gesture to him of support and respect.

      "Classy" is her middle name.

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