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Open mike 04/10/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 4th, 2021 - 127 comments
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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 …

127 comments on “Open mike 04/10/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    Light but steady rain at Pookden Manor when this was taken. A Flight of the local Sparrow Squadron flies in for lunch.

    View post on imgur.com

    • Molly 1.1

      More of a Sunday morning post (20 min long).

      But my kind of influencers…

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        Roast the roots for tea. good coffee ersatz in times of hardship, but also nice tea and good for the liver. Small leaves are good in salad and bigger ones can be used in a boil up (if nothing else better is there). In Europe dandylions got patches on which they were planted for harvesting.

        I am considering actually 'planting' some in a spot so that i can harvest the roots for tea.

        • Molly 1.1.1.1

          I've always loved the cheeriness of dandelions, even when as a child we were digging out of the lawn with a butter knife.

          My partner and I are more relaxed in our own. On the list to plant is chicory – the blue dandelion.

          (But oh, the amount of sugar going in @ 5.10!)

          • Sabine 1.1.1.1.1

            Sugar is a natural preservative. You can not make jam/marmalade without sugar.

            Unless you are happy to set it with a gelling agent such as gelatin, agar agar, quinoa seeds, yellow pectin / apple core, pear core or the skins thereof but then you have a shelf life of 3 days max, which is not what they are doing, they are stocking up the larder with preserves. Sugar binds water and thus prevents mold. Sugar and salt are the two natural preservatives that are easy to find and easy to use.

            Also, it is jam, so how much would you put on a slice of toast?

            • Molly 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I know. It's just been a while since I made jam, or cooked with sugar.

              Also, have been without an oven for three years. Very impressed by all the cooking equipment shown, and somewhat envious.

      • francesca 1.1.2

        Whereabouts is this Molly?

        looks east European or Turkey

  2. observer 2

    The Pandora Papers:

    A week ago John Key's opinions about Covid were all over the media. Relevant experience and expertise: none.

    So this week the same media should be banging on his door and asking the tough questions about the Pandora papers and international finance. Something he actually does know about.

    They won't, of course.

    • Jenny how to get there 2.1

      John Key was mentioned in the Panama Papers, a simlar huge leak of the criminal activities of wealthy politicians and financiers. (John Key is both).

      I wouldn't be surprised if John Key's name pops up in the Pandora Papers, as well.

      Even if the newshounds do try to sniff him out, they will probably find he has gone to ground.

      John Key only politician directly named in Panama Papers …

      https://thestandard.org.nz/why-was-john-key-singled-out-by-panama-papers-hacker/

    • Forget now 2.2

      Our financial regulations were under the control of former money-trader Key for nearly a decade, in which time the Cook Islands finally abandoned the ghost of an independent currency and fully adopted the NZ$. I seem to recall the NZ$ was at one time during the Key regime, the 6th most traded in the world (though don't know from where to trawl out a link for that).

      http://www.paclii.org/ck/legis/num_act/caa2005200/

      So it was with some interest that I read this BusinessDesk piece (unfortunately directly quoting violates their website policy). Paraphrasing; the Cook Islands, Samoa, & Vanuatu are specifically mentioned as tax havens or "soft regimes". NZ, and not Australia, is mentioned 4 times as a "venue for a country office"

      https://businessdesk.co.nz/article/policy/nz-in-a-rogues-gallery-in-pandora-papers-disclosures

      A 2001 presentation for Latin American clients explored apparently legitimate ways Asiaciti could help a hypothetical Mexican businessman who held offshore assets that “have not been declared to Mexican revenue authorities” and who did not expect to need to bring the money back to Mexico.

      It proposed shutting down existing structures in the Caribbean and instead setting up a trust in New Zealand that would own a company in Singapore, which would in turn hold the businessman’s offshore assets.

      Asiaciti also promoted the use of a structure available in Samoa, known as “creditor controlled companies”, using legal loopholes to minimise or avoid tax in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the US.

      “The Samoa CCC can be an effective entity in which to accumulate foreign source income and to defer liability to domestic taxes,” Asiaciti staff said in a technical briefing note issued in July 2014.

      https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/03/offshore-provider-accused-of-failing-to-follow-money-laundering-rules

      • roblogic 2.2.1

        Being PM of NZ would be a great opportunity for some insider trading (via suitable untraceable third parties of course)

        • Patricia Bremner 2.2.1.1

          Being PM of NZ would be a great opportunity for some insider trading.

          Depending on the character of the incumbent.

        • JO 2.2.1.2

          From a folder in the attic, so to speak, which contains things that seemed to shed a little beam upon the lean and hungry look of yonder Cassius – and still do perhaps. Article by Tom Pullar-Strecker.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/78614536/qa-panama-papers-fallout-has-only-just-begun?rm=m

          What has this got to do with New Zealand?

          No New Zealand clients of Mossack Fonseca have been named, but it would be surprising if there weren't any.

          The Inland Revenue Department is trying to negotiate access to the Panama Papers and has advised anyone with dodgy dealings that may be exposed to come forward before it knocks on their door. New Zealand journalists are also seeking access to the documents.

          Anything else New Zealand needs to worry about?

          New Zealand features as one of the 21 "tax havens" used by Mossack Fonseca and its clients, though Prime Minister John Key has rejected that label.

          The issue is that New Zealand is the only country in the OECD where foreigners (other than Australians) can set up trusts without having to register their own identity or any material details of their trust's affairs, and they don't' have to pay tax here on their overseas profits.

      • alwyn 2.2.2

        I find it hard to see what these Pandora papers have to do with John Key. The main point of the "businessdesk" article is that the activities are going on in New Zealand today. You may like to consider the fact that Key retired as PM about 5 years ago and that we have had a Labour led Government for the last four years.

        You really should be asking why they haven't done anything about it shouldn't you?

        When I followed that link I happened to notice a reference to another of their stories. This was on Little's re-organisation of the Health system to centralise everything with the abolition of the DHBs.

        https://businessdesk.co.nz/article/health/health-systems-ships-passing-in-the-night

        The author of the article, Dr Powell, regards the proposal as an unmitigated disaster as far as I can see. It is a new organisation that is being promoted without any reason for it being promulgated. Oh well, what is another shambles to add to the current Governments record?

        • observer 2.2.2.1

          "You may like to consider the fact that Key retired as PM about 5 years ago"

          This was also true a week ago.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    The Herald appears to be paying a price for encouraging its columnists to white-ant the Covid response.

    The sooner it goes belly-up and is replaced by something with a soupçon of actual journalism, the better.

    • Much better to follow the science rather than read the Herald.

      Having said that Michael Plank has just been interviewed on RadioNZ's Nine to Noon. He is not an epidemiologist, but is a mathematical modeller so his views need to be looked at in that light. The key point he made was that there is a great deal of difference in the outcomes between 80% and 90% vaccinated. 80% sounds like a waste of time. (I am assuming Plank's percentages are of the population over 12 years old-Ryan did not ask).

      Portugal has vaccinated 88% of its ENTIRE population, and rising.

      Assuming Portugal can achieve 90% of the entire population, why can't NZ? I think NZ should look at gradually opening the borders once we have achieved this, and NOT before.

      https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        Yeah, it's the effect of each person who gets it infecting, on average, X number of other people within say 2 weeks.

        Reff of 3 means that starting with 1, then 1+3, then 1+3+9, then 1+3+9+27 (total 40) can have it within a couple of months.

        Reff of 6 means 1, 1+6, 1+6+36, 1+6+36+216 (total 259) in the same period.

        80% isn't a waste of time as such (the people will still get lower effects and infections), but we would need to stamp it out much harder and faster than if we were at 90+ vax of total population.

      • alwyn 3.1.2

        " I think NZ should look at gradually opening the borders once we have achieved this, and NOT before."

        Are you seriously suggesting that you want to remain locked up forever? The chance of us reaching that percentage of the population, including our Maori communities, is only infinitesimally different from zero, at least in my opinion.

        • DS 3.1.2.1

          Opening up means thousands of deaths. Unless you want thousands of deaths, we must remain closed. It's really that simple.

          Closed borders are not the same as lockdowns, of course.

        • Bearded Git 3.1.2.2

          NZ has had arguably the world's best Covid response to date.

          I think we can get over 90% using carrot and stick.

  4. Stephen D 4

    A must read on the Spinoff.

    Time to do something about the tech giants.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/03-10-2021/we-regulate-big-oil-and-big-tobacco-its-time-to-do-the-same-for-big-tech/

    Is it legally possible to tax turnover, not profit?

    • Sabine 4.1

      How would other business cope with that? Because that would be a huge change, and it would affect anyone else too, not just tech companies.

      Maybe can we just start giving these guys such as Bezos from Amazon big tax write offs and other tax gifts to come here and create nothing much? that would be a good start.

    • Craig Hall 4.2

      It's certainly possible, but would work better as a minimum tax e.g. tax on profits but not less than 5% of turnover (to pick a random number out of the air), than as a replacement for income tax on profits, not least because that would incentivise industries with low or no wages if labour costs couldn't be offset against income before taxes were calculated/paid.

    • Nic the NZer 4.3

      We do, its called GST.

    • AB 4.4

      You could look at local (NZ) turnover versus local costs and tax the difference – but it has the obvious flaw of not taking into account costs incurred outside NZ that the local operation depends on to generate turnover. These are things like IT systems, R&D, manufacturing plants, etc.

      Instead you could try splitting corporate tax into two components – a tax on profits and a social infrastructure contribution. The social infrastructure contribution recognises that no business in NZ can operate without education and healthcare systems for its workers, a viable police force and justice system, roads, energy distribution, etc, etc, etc.. You could set this contribution as a percentage of turnover – then adjust the tax on profits down accordingly so that most businesses aren't paying any more. And genuine start-up businesses might be able to get relief from making this contribution for a period of a few years.

      Such a scheme would at least partially catch the big cheats who have the resources to pretend they make no profit here. A name like "social infrastructure contribution" sounds naff, but is actually important, because it is a piece of truth-telling that bypasses the unpleasant connotations of the word "tax".

    • KJT 4.5

      Not really workable. There are huge variations in turnover/profit ratio with different businesses.

      For example, a law firm will have most of their turnover going to earnings, while a building company could have less than 10%.

      It works for comparing diferent businesses, in the same industry to detect tax evasion, however

  5. Reality 5

    Don't listen to Mike Hosking, but interested to hear if he comments on his admiration for the now resigned Gladys Berijklian today. Or John Keys's defence of secret trusts.

  6. Sabine 6

    And this shameful practice is still happening.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300418067/the-mothers-struggling-to-feed-their-babies-while-the-state-keeps-all-their-child-support

    A Stuff investigation has found more than a third of child support paid by parents to Inland Revenue, totalling more than $900m in the past five years, has been intercepted before it gets to kids.

    That’s because of a law that says if a primary caregiver is on a benefit, the Government is entitled to take the child’s support money to recoup the cost of welfare.

    As tens of thousands of women are pushed out of employment by Covid-19, more mothers are being affected by this. An additional 120 women each week applied for the sole parent support benefit in the year to October 2020 alone – a ten per cent increase.

    For these women, as their wages disappear, so does their child support.

    And for the fathers who pay out, it's just another tax.

    ………..

    And they say it creates a nonsensical two-tier system where kids whose mums are in paid work are allowed to keep the money, while the kids of beneficiaries are penalised.

    “It’s a flawed and misconceived adult-centric mechanism that is bad for children,” says Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft.​

    …….

    Stay-at-home mum Nikki and her two preschool-aged children were thrown into poverty when she split with her ex-partner. He paid child support of around $300 a week, which the kids didn't receive, while she struggled to find a rental she could afford on the sole parent benefit.

    “That money would have made my kids lives so much better, and it could have helped me to get back up on my feet faster,” she says. “They used to be able to have clothes … I can’t tell you how many meals I just didn’t eat so the kids could have a slightly nicer dinner, with vegetables.

    “I was really lucky because I was offered a state house. I don’t even know what other people do. We lived in poverty because of it, and that doesn’t seem right.”

    oh well, it is in the News, so maybe it gets discussed for a moment or two and then forgotten again.

    There is a reason why our poor people, and their poor kids are poor. This is one of them.

    • Craig Hall 6.1

      That policy is shameful and needs to be removed faster than "medium term work programme".

    • RedLogix 6.2

      Bloody with you on this one.

      It's why back in the day people used to make private child support arrangements if they could, although I'd imagine they've cracked down on these.

      The entire family break-up industry is a disgrace, it rips everyone off and leaves the kids vulnerable and worse off as a rule.

    • Subliminal 6.3

      An absolute travesty. Andrew Becroft has got to be one of the best Children's Commissioners that understands the way the State suffocates potential through abject poverty.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.4

      Oh come on!! Labour and Sepoloni, you need to remove this!! I have been a Labour supporter for Life, but that is shameful poverty caused by the State. Dickensian punitive rules for the poor and struggling need to end!! Just sent off a critical email!!

  7. weston 7

    There was a bloke on the radio this morn imagining that some people might have to give the money back depending on the outcome of Peter Ellis,s appeal .Fat chance !! Alive or dead the likelihood of him getting any real justice is slim indeed .Still making legal history by appealing from the grave is something i guess .

    • gsays 7.1

      The convictions of Peter Ellis never felt safe or convincing to me.

      This was reinforced by 'A City Possessed', Lynley Hood's disturbingly good book on the subject.

      The relationship between the investigation officer and a complainant's mum, the severe editing of children's evidence and the social environment the trial occurred in were all against a just trial.

    • Gezza 7.2

      I’m quite excited – or at least very pleased – that the Court has determined that a deceased person’s mana, or reputation – together with that of his whanau, continues to have standing following the death of someone who may have suffered a gross miscarriage of Justice. 🌴

  8. Forget now 8

    Some good news on the self-contained saliva SARS-CoV-2 front!

    With help from funding from the United States Government, MicroGem has developed a simple-to-use and fast saliva Covid-19 test called "Spitfire" and it could be ready for the market within weeks.

    Discussions are already under way with MicroGem, University of Otago and district health boards about introducing it in New Zealand.

    Users of the mobile test spit into a specially designed plastic receptacle which is then inserted into a box resembling a computer monitor and processed within 25 minutes. Usually, Covid-19 tests take two to three days…

    The research and development of Spitfire was completed in the company’s Dunedin lab, with manufacturing completed overseas.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/saliva-test-developed-dunedin-quick-and-simple-use

    Removing the saliva testing from needing PCR lab time is a major advance, as it frees up those resources. Especially if the processing time can be shortened to 5 (theoretically, or even 10 practically) minutes as "The Boss" suggests in the accompanying South Today video.

    However the need for manufactured units is a bit of of a downside, especially with NZ being near the end of the world's supply chain. SHERLOCK was announced back in August and has already gained FDA approval – miSHERLOCK can be 3D printed in reusable handheld units which are cheaper and (apart from the necessary chemicals/ biologicals) don't rely so much on international shipping. There are also two other CRISPR based tests that were announced in September; DETECTR, and FELUDA, which may also have a place in rapidly-processed SARS-CoV-2 testing. But that will come down to the cost/ effectiveness calculations after independent testing which are not yet publicly available.

    As compared to the standard WHO/CDC qPCR detection method, which consumes several hours for detection, CRISPR-based SHERLOCK, DETECTR, and FELUDA have emerged as rapid diagnostic tools for the detection of the RNA genome of SARS-CoV-2 within an hour with 100% accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity… The approval of SHERLOCK as the first CRISPR-based SARS-CoV-2 test kit by the FDA, for emergency diagnosis of COVID-19 patients, has given positive hope to scientists that sooner human trials of CRISPR-based therapy will be ratified.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8450312/

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1

      Thanks – very encouraging developments for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

    • Ad 8.2

      My sinuses say thankyou

    • Sabine 8.3

      Would be nice to get, my essential worker at home has been getting tested once a week now for weeks on end, and he feels like his brain is shrinking. He coveres a huge territory and cold potentially by himself infect the half of the north island should he become a carrier. It would be so lovely to have these available – and affordable.

  9. Pete 9

    September 1: "A man has been charged with filing false candidate donations and obtaining a total of $15,000 by deception.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300396557/man-accused-of-filing-false-electoral-donations-obtaining-by-deception

    October 4: Billy Te Kahika Jr to have jury trial for fraud, Electoral Act charges

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/billy-te-kahika-jr-to-have-jury-trial-for-fraud-electoral-act-charges/NYIIR5KZGAXB6VRO2QAEBWXRJI/

    • observer 9.1

      If found guilty, since he has been one of those most responsible for promoting the conspiracy theories, and undermining public health, he should be sentenced to being breathed on by a Covid patient until he gets it.

      • mac1 9.1.1

        "until he gets it."

        I don't think he'll ever "get it". He's too impervious to logic……….. Is that what you meant?

  10. aom 10

    The issue here (ww.stuff.co.nz/national/300418067/the-mothers-struggling-to-feed-their-babies-while-the-state-keeps-all-their-child-support) starts with "Why is the State involved?"

    Wasn't it because breadwinners left their families destitute and without any support at all. It seems those who had custody of the children became supported by the State via the DPB and that this was to be recovered from the non-custodial parent. Any the excess was then to be paid to the custodial parent. Where both parents have a financially supportive income, the State is not required to be involved but binding agreements should be reached between the relevant parties.

    The next question then might be be, "Why is the State not recovering maintenance payments from so many non-custodial parents?"

  11. Ode to FJK. laugh

  12. weka 12

    Can someone please explain three waters to me in two paragraphs. No links (I know how to google), and preferably keep the satire and sarcasm until after there’s a decent explanation.

    • Graeme 12.1

      Citizens and Ratepayers loose the ability to not spend money on water and sewage infrastructure.

      Done by combining Council infrastructure into regional entities with professional management and board structures but with the minimum of elected representative control

      Kind of like Watercare in Auckland

      • weka 12.1.1

        so they're taking management and infrastructure out of council control? Who is appointing managers and boards?

        Don't know what Watercare is.

        • Graeme 12.1.1.1

          Yep, but really most of the management and control hasn’t been that flash, hence we had Havelock North and the one just north of Dunedin. Also a very bad thing in Queenstown in 80’s. And a huge wave of issues coming up from Councils that have kicked the can down the road with maintenance over the last 40 years plus

          Boards will be appointed by panels comprising Council and Iwi appointees.

          Under the new Water Services Act the professional boards and management will be accountable, elected representatives won’t be for some reason

          Watercare is the entity that manages the 3 Waters infrastructure of the combined Auckland City

          • roblogic 12.1.1.1.1

            Wellington leaky pipes, Auckland's ongoing problems with shortages, and Environment Canterbury (ECan) becoming a political football, nitrates leaching into Chch water supply.

            Poor management/ cost-cutting mentality/ capture by special interests, is endemic.

            • alwyn 12.1.1.1.1.1

              The main problem we have had in Wellington is that our Mayor(s) and Councillors have, since about the 1986 election, been devoted to building glamorous White Elephants rather than worrying about the infrastructure of the City.

              There isn't anything glamourous about the waste water system. Let's build enormously expensive cycleways for a few lycra- clad idiots. They are much more fun to waste the ratepayers money on. Well they are all collapsing.

              • Gypsy

                Same in Auckland.

              • Sabine

                same everywhere.

              • Gezza

                Got it in one there, alwyn.

                Although I spotted a probably leak in a water main on the road outside my neighbour’s place last week. I meant to report it but got busy at home & forgot.

                Driving in from the supermarket the next day (I exit via a different driveway to the entrance by our letterboxes) I noticed that the leak had quickly progressed to a very large puddle, with water gushing up in a plume about an inch higher than the water surface, & the road surface was collapsing into a hole.

                I put the groceries away, went straight online to the Council website, & reported this.
                Got an acknowledgement that it had been referred to water services, & a “ticket number”, within an hour, by email, which sayeth thusly:
                ………………………
                “Your ticket has now been passed through for the attention of our Wellington Water team.

                If you need to follow up with us please reply to this email or phone us on 04 499 4444 and quote reference number “SR-123456 etc.”
                ……………………..

                A temporary patch job was done by the end of the same day. Next morning a truck crew was back on site at 8.30am. By early afternoon the problem had been permanently fixed, the hole filled in, & a professional-looking asphalt surface laid over top.

                So, big ups WCC Water Team. 👍🏼 🐧

          • Graeme 12.1.1.1.2

            There’s also some issues around how the change will affect Councils balance sheets. At present these are underpinned by the valuation of the Councils infrastructure ‘assets’. Take them away and Council finances could get a bit wobbly. Government has wheeled out buckets of cash to solve the problem but there’s a bit of a gap between what Government is offering and Council valuations.

          • weka 12.1.1.1.3

            why not instead fix the Local Government Act so that local authorities are required to meet specific standards and be responsive to local needs?

            What are the regional boundaries being proposed?

            • weka 12.1.1.1.3.1

              I mean, isn't the Havelock North fuck up a function of values and who was on council?

              • weka

                Labour's response is to centralise and semi-privatise, instead of taking the opportunity to improve democracy.

                • roblogic

                  Semi-privatise?! I hope not.

                  One problem with local democracy is chronic shortage of funds. There was a small Council somewhere north of Auckland that buried itself in debt with water supply problems. And the tales of council incompetence are endless

                • Ad

                  They are improving democracy by proposing getting Maori represented to 50% on water for the first time in NZ.

                  It’s certainly looking like corporatisation. But there are plenty of successful variants of this in operation already.

                  Long way to go on this one, but status quo isn't an option.

                  • weka

                    "But there are plenty of successful variants of this in operation already."

                    What would be some examples?

                    Yes, improvement for Māori, this is really good. Still doesn't fix the LGA or sort out the wider democratic issues there including what happens when there is poor management. Local govt really is the lowest form of democracy.

                    • Ad

                      Just off the top of my head some successfully corporatised entities are:

                      – All of Christchurch Holdings and its entities

                      – All of Dunedin Holdings and its entities

                      – Auckland Airport

                      – Auckland Film Studios

                      – Kainga Ora's development entities

                      – Airports which are half Crown and half local Government owned eg Dunedin.

                      And yes they have all had major dramas in their 20+year existence. And there are also plenty of failues.

                      You may not know that Watercare's remit already looks after northern Waikato's water beyond Auckland. It's made plenty of mistakes but since metering and regular pricing tweaks we are far more efficient users of water than we used to be. They are required by law only to charge what is required to produce safe water services.

                      To me what is missing from the reforms is a national water price regulator. They are after all forming a system at least as powerful as the supermarket duopoly or as powerful as AIAL and CIAL.

                • Gypsy

                  Indeed. The super-city model in Auckland is deeply flawed, and it has been made so much worse by the way some of the elected officers operate., however I refuse to believe it cannot be improved.

              • Graeme

                You are always going to have those people, and their values on councils, and dominating councils.

                No one gets elected to local government saying they are going to put the rates up and dig up the streets for the next 10 years. Even an infrastructure focus is hard, voters want things they cam see, like street works and rec centres, not pipes in the ground

                • weka

                  that's two failures of democracy. That needs fixing and centralising water infrastructure won't do that. Wasted opportunity. We could be improving democracy.

                  • Ad

                    The last local government reform we had nationwide was in 2002, which softened the terrible 1989 reforms with tonnes of democratic consultative requirements resulting in lots of promises and no funding to do them.

                    The last regional reform we had was in Auckland in 2010 which under Labour promised better representation for Maori but under National-Act was turned into a deeply undemocratic beast.

                    We had a little reform last year which made it easier for Councils to make Maori wards

                    We are also due for very large reform by proxy with the three replacement acts to the Resource Management Act. Coming to a Parliament near you.

                    None of the above is going to rescue our rivers, guarantee well priced and quality drinking water, or stop it being wasted by agribusiness on its astonishing scale. Just check out the mess in Otago Regional Council.

              • Gypsy

                It cost around $80m to fix those issues, which is not that much considering the government is claiming we need to spend $185Bn on water infrastructure over the next 30 years.

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.3.2

              Most councils wouldn't be able to afford it without massive rates increases and asset sales, which they won't do.

              I did hear of a council that needs almost zero infrastructure upgrades because they did a deal with fonterra who did it for them (guesses as to what the return side of that non-transaction might be), but this isn't like power poles where you can red-tag the worst and replace them one by one over years.

              There's infrastructure that has been ignored because it was buried, infrastructure that should have been expanded with population and surface development but wasn't, and almost all of it is buried under other infrastructure so that you have to dig through/past/around them to reach what you want to repair/upgrade. And half the time it only comes to light with a burst or a sinkhole.

              • weka

                if the money is there via three waters why can't that money be there via another system?

                • McFlock

                  Funnelling central govt money to the councils who neglected their water supplies for decades?

                  Watch that lolly scramble.

              • Graeme

                We’re not to bad in Queenstown now, there’s a long line of developers Council can bend over and rape and pillage.

                A quite recent occurrence, 30 years ago some really scary shit going down. Generally into the lake or rivers. Arrowtown came close to being shut down in early 90’s. Untreated sewage being discharged from sewage ponds (not working at all) into river

        • KJT 12.1.1.2

          Government is proposing to take a huge future liability off councils.

          Hardly an ,"assets grab".

          But the storm of bad faith right wing opposition will prevent that, and we will end up with another, camel. “Ask yourself why National is so against the three waters policy. It is not to keep three waters under public control. National don’t even agree with public ownership. It is because with central Government under much greater scrutiny than council’s, makes future privatisation, subcontracting to their mates, polluting rivers and dodgy irrigation schemes much harder in future”.

          Something that has arisen because so many councils, run by inept old boys clubs, have stuffed it up.

          Not sure if the structure proposed is the answer, but business as usual is not working.

          National's objections mostly consist of inaccurate memes and Mis information as usual.

          As they cannot state their real reasons without the public seeing right through them.

      • Craig Hall 12.1.2

        This is an excellent summary.

        Two minor additions which have caused some complaining – technically the infrastructure counts as assets, so removing them from the books may affect a council's borrowing ability, and the few places that arguably don't need to chlorinate e.g. Christchurch will lose the ability to make that decision themselves.

        Longer term, there is always the possibility that National will change the deal and just sell the new entities.

        On the other hand, professionally-managed water and funding and removing the arguments from long term planning.

        • weka 12.1.2.1

          Longer term, there is always the possibility that National will change the deal and just sell the new entities.

          jfc. Longer term as in next time National are in power? So short term really if we are talking about water.

          • Cricklewood 12.1.2.1.1

            Yeah, I dont get this big rush to centralization of public assets more localization with a firm govt structure to work within and ability to apply for and recieve funding from a fund for infrastructure is a far better answer better answer in my opinion…

            Making these big entities is all fun and games until one day the National/Act partly or fully privatize it perhaps on the pretense of 'paying for covid' or decide to monetize it some other way.

            Its a daft idea for a bunch of reasons.

            • Cricklewood 12.1.2.1.1.1

              Could see the Nats for example do something similar to Bradford reforms… keep the 'three waters' intact but then add another layer of 'retailers' who then charge for water at a local level and sell those off like the power companies.

    • Forget now 12.2

      The three waters are:

      1. Storm water
      2. Drinking water, and
      3. Wastewater.

      Due to years of local government failures and resultant illness in their communities, central government is proposing removing council control of these three water systems. Instead, four regional authorities will be developed. Ownership/ control of these is being discussed with some heat and little light. Details are a bit thin on the ground. Ownership of the water itself rather than the distribution systems is a particularly fraught issue, but not directly part of the proposal as I understand it, at this time.

      • Pete 12.2.1

        Everyone wants brilliant drinking water and great systems for dealing with storm and waste water so they don't impact on waterways, lakes and ocean.

        But no-one wants to pay.

      • Descendant Of Smith 12.2.2

        It is one of those hypocritical things that right wing politicians say and then act otherwise. Councils should only do drinking water, sewerage, stormwater and roads.

        Libraries, gardens, pensioner housing, electricity, holiday parks etc all should be done by the private sector.

        Yet as these assets got sold off by those right wing politicians and businessmen who got themselves elected to councils did they move the money from selling those assets or from revenue generated if they kept them into maintaining and upgrading those essential systems.

        Lots of projects to support private businesses – Hamilton's motor racing cost tens of millions of dollars, Napier Art Deco buses 1.3 million, sister sister projects to encourage trade such as Invercargills Chinese Gardens. I've never ever seen any of these projects that were actually originally instigated by councils themselves – they have always been proposed and driven by "business people" (sometimes elected and sometimes not) and the councils have to implement them.

        So the councils have sold off many of their assets previously – or been forced to by wanky governments in the interests of privatisation) and don't have many assets left or income streams other than rates.

        Meanwhile their under-investment in infrastructure – and often the removal of the more highly paid infrastructure knowing staff for lower paid newbies) is bringing them problems that they had every chance to prevent occurring but chose not to – despite saying that that is all councils should do.

        I find it difficult to blame the council staff who fought many of these things and pointed out the need for them. Quite a few lost their jobs for standing up for this stuff.

    • Gypsy 12.3

      3 Waters is about transferring control of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater (the 3 waters) from the democratically elected councils to four regional water entities.

      It's essentially based on the 'economies of scale' argument, and is being promoted via a multi-million dollar advertising campaign and a $2.5bn compensation offer to Councils.

      The plan has been roundly rejected by the vast majority of Councils (only 7 of he 67 are in support), and as the plan has failed to gain support, the government funded hyperbole has grown to a point of misinformation.

      It's a dog of an idea.

      • Grafton Gully 12.3.1

        Councils elected by the minority of people who vote. Three waters reminds me of the Priorities piece earlier today.

        "Indeed, the Māori way of viewing things is to see the inter-relationships, i.e. the links rather than the nodes of networks. An integrated way of mātauranga Māori and Western science and of seeing both together could be the way forward"

        If this is what Mahuta is up to I'll stay interested.

        • Gypsy 12.3.1.1

          That's a terrific sentiment. But a number of aspects of 3 Waters rings alarm bells with me, including the 'we know best' approach being adopted by Mahuta etc to public opposition, the propaganda and misinformation campaign, and the idea that somehow centralising the management of these services will deliver a better result.

    • Tricledrown 12.4

      Three waters could cost individual households heaps a new tax outside rates and income tax.

      Councils who have already got high quality water will subsidise those councils who haven't invested in good water care.

      Labour are now in big trouble with Covid not brought under control Labour's honeymoon is over.If National find a new leader who connects with people the next election is going to be a close run thing.

      So now Labour's under real pressure this 3 waters has been widely rejected as unworkable.

  13. Byd0nz 14

    Freedom, Freedom, Freedom,

    Shout the angry anti vacs',

    Sick of signs of Freedom fools,

    With misinformation cracks.

    Well here's a Freedom sign,

    It will help you for your breath,

    Go you and get vaccinated,

    That is Freedom from your death.

  14. Cricklewood 15

    Seems just about everyday there's another case popping up with someone going to hospital for unrelated reasons… seems Covid is pretty well embedded in some parts of Auckland seem to be asymptomatic or cases with minor symptoms for the most part.

    Must be some much sickier people floating around surely… some of the negative quarantine hotel stories have probably made some very reluctant to seek help or get a test…

    • roblogic 15.1

      Gang members and transients find it hard to participate in "civilised" society. Contact tracers and cops have their work cut out for sure.

      • francesca 15.1.1

        Anyone living on the proceeds of crime has to keep on getting out there and doing the crime.No wage subsidies for them .And along with that they would be very averse to getting tested and being questioned about their movements and contacts.

  15. Jimmy 16

    What the hell is going on in the heads of our judges? A guy fires a shotgun at a family in a car and gets home detention?

    NZ is going to get like that movie "The Purge" shortly.

    Auckland motorway road rage shooter's jail term thrown out, gets home detention instead – NZ Herald

    • Cricklewood 16.1

      Yeah, I read that apperently he had a gun because he had suffered a 'home invasion' fucking ridiculous the guy is unhinged enough to carry it around in his car… take the time to assemble and load it then lean out the window and fire it at a car to 'scare' them… I'll bet P is involved somewhere along the line…

    • Gezza 16.2

      “Simpson appealed, saying his jail sentence was not the least restrictive outcome in the circumstances and he also should have received home detention.”

      “Justice Gault said Judge Wharepouri … gave too much priority, when sentencing the brothers, to the fact Dekota Simpson fired the shot. ‘In the circumstances, and having regard to the further evidence on appeal, I consider that was an error’…”

      “The actions of Mr Simpson and his brother put the victims and public in considerable danger, and had significant victim impact,” Justice Gault added. “But the Judge accepted that Mr Simpson did not intend to hurt the victims. The lead charge was commission of intentional damage.”

      Justice Gault said Simpson’s firing of the shot was not the only relevant factor, but there was a marked difference in sentences for the Simpson brothers. “The further evidence on appeal adds weight to the importance of Mr Simpson’s rehabilitation and reintegration, and of avoiding imprisonment as far as possible.”

      He said 19 months’ imprisonment was manifestly excessive. “A sentence of home detention also better reflects parity between Mr Simpson and his brother.”
      ………………………………

      What could have gone wrong? He hit the car’s bumper. He could have disabled the driver & caused the family to crash. I think this sounds like a case where “the least restrictive outcome” perhaps shouldn’t be available as grounds for an appeal.

  16. SPC 17

    My pick was 25-50 a day in Auckland at Level 3, after last weeks decision.

    By the time it goes to 100 a day later this month it will have spread around New Zealand and thus Auckland borders will end. And we will all have community spread at Level 2.

    When hospitals cannot cope (sometime in Nov/Dec) we will go to Level 3 nationwide in December and allow Kiwis to come in for Christmas (as Victoria and NSW are doing from November 1).

    Key has got his way.

    • Alan 17.1

      pardon? Key has not been in power fora very long time, the current government has made this determination.

  17. Joe90 18

    Elimination was important.

    Sounds to me like like the government's thrown in the towel.

  18. Andre 19

    Another day, another press conference, another whole lot of nothing about what the government is going to do to get through to the reluctants that are making it difficult to get to 90% vaccination among the eligibles (or even 95% plus of eligibles like Portugal has achieved).

    • Pete 19.1

      Suggestion: Don't watch the press conferences.

      • Andre 19.1.1

        I don't. I just check the written live blogs every now and then in between doing other stuff on my confuser.

    • SPC 19.2

      Hardly, let it spread (and maxed out ICU capacity) is more effective than gift tokens and vaccine passports (if they can be obtained without proof of vaccination).

      • Andre 19.2.1

        If the strategy is going to be let it rip goin' fowwud, I'm actually not hugely bothered about the effect that's going to have on the unvaccinated.

        But it's going to awesomely fkn brutal on our medical staff, and on anyone in need of medical care while the letting it rip is actually ripping. So if that's the plan, I'd like to know what is going to be done to protect the staff and the other patients over that brutal time.

        The only thing I can think of for that situation is the government issuing legislative instructions that when triaging needs to happen, unvaccinated covid patients are first on the list be triaged out.

        • Nic the NZer 19.2.1.1

          Unfortunate news on your good cop/bad cop strategy for revitalising National. Gareth Morgan was contacted about proposing a vaccine segregated health system during the next election. But he said he doesn't want such an unpopular idea cast beside with his most logical proposal to euthanise everybodies household feline.

        • mauī 19.2.1.2

          Thankfully New Zealand hasn't instituted an apartheid system yet, but the ugly way some smart people are talking, perhaps we're not far off..

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