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Open mike 04/11/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 4th, 2020 - 59 comments
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59 comments on “Open mike 04/11/2020 ”

  1. Andre 1

    How will we know a covid vaccine is safe and effective? That has become quite an interesting question since Don of the Deadbrains and his maladministration have trashed many of the organisations and structures for ensuring and monitoring vaccine safety.

    It's ironic, the way the convergence of conspiracy theorist support for the dayglo swampzilla, and his trashing protective bureaucracies and boosting of the worst aspects of pharmaceutical dodgy business practices, has actually brought about a significant risk of what used to be irrational fears around vaccines.


    Personally, I'll be paying close attention to the opinions of Dr Petoussis-Harris locally, Dr Paul Offit and Dr David Gorski in the US, as well as checking the reports and papers behind CDC reports. Fortunately, Medsafe here seem to be reliable, but I'll be looking at whether Pharmac appear to be paying full attention to Medsafe reports.

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Right wing columnist and property investment lobbyist, Susan Edmunds, goes in to bat for Damien Grant, who thought it would be a good idea to have a picture done with him smoking…


    • Tricledrown 2.1

      Grant is still making false claims in his stuff column.

      ie that the Tax payers union is an independent organization ,it's just a super pac closely connected to ACT and Jordan William's Dirty Politics.

      He has had a custodial sentence for serious offending.

    • Sacha 2.2

      Why is nobody asking if his defective character could be from more recent actions than his criminal offences?

      • Andre 2.2.1

        Possibly because RITANZ might not have cited any instances of more recent character defects, because of thinking the older convictions were enough to reject him? And that in reconsidering his application, we can expect more recent instances of defective character to be looked for and explored?

      • Muttonbird 2.2.2

        Exactly. His supporters all claim he has been rejected by RITANZ for historical crimes only. I'm not sure how they know this to be true.

  3. Peter 3

    The way things work. The Taxpayers' Union will be in boots and all today with press releases about this Herald story..

    'Fulton Hogan to keep $33m wage subsidy despite bumper profit, shareholder dividends.'

    "Notwithstanding the potential challenges ahead, morale is high, and the business is well-positioned for the future."

    The annual report showed Bruyn (managing director Cos Bruyn) was paid $1.6m in 2020 up from $1.5m in 2019, despite the reduced salary during lockdown."

    • Ad 3.1

      If the government is stupid enough not to require it back, business will keep it.

      • Tricledrown 3.1.1

        More profit means more tax back to the govt.

        So not all bad

        As the businesses ability to employ more people with the massive infrastructure build.

        If the business followed the rules no problem with me.

        Its chicken feed compared to the $14 billion wage subsidy plus the ,$60 billion given to the Banks

    • tc 3.2

      Downers, FH and Fletchers do very well out of the taxpayer funded works and maintenance.

      Ad's right about the wage subsidy, should've had hooks in it and I took Fletcher handing it back as a sign of how ‘badly’ run they've become. None of the others did.

      Cos does the rounds being a club member, FH to Downers back to FH. Over $1.5m p.a. to head up a duopoly/oligopoly business quite frankly’s a joke.

  4. Ad 4

    Here the Prime Minister lays out the rationale for the Cabinet position allocations:


    Headed by Robertson, the economic recovery key team is Woods, Parker, O'Connor and Nash. That Robertson-Woods relationship looks incredibly important:

    "As Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Infrastructure Minister Grant has been given the seniority and portfolio mix required to drive our economic recovery. I am excited by the opportunities we have here, it will be hard, but the legacy that we can leave the next generation in the way we choose to rebuild, is immense.

    That’s where our next minister, Megan Woods comes in. She remains the Minister of Housing, overseeing our extensive build programme, as well as Energy and Resources, and Research, Science and Innovation, as well as picking up Associate Minister of Finance. She will be a key part of the team looking at ensuring a renewable energy future is part of our rebuild, and I expect will work closely with our Minister of Climate Change."

    It doesn't make a whole bunch of sense until we see them lay out their economic recovery plan at the speech on Thursday – and we will also get the new unemployment figures out then as well.

    With the economic waves about to crest real high next year, the PM needs to do everything she can to strengthen this little sovereign vessel.

    • JO 4.1

      With the economic waves about to crest real high next year, the PM needs to do everything she can to strengthen this little sovereign vessel.

      Our little sovereign vessel may be safe in the harbour, but that's not what ships are for.


    • RedLogix 4.2

      A somewhat gloomier view than some, but realistic all the same.

      If the US election goes badly, and the covid winter runs out of control we are in for a bad time in this part of the world.

      The next 100 days are going to be a narrow pass.

  5. Phillip ure 5

    Good to hear rnz covering the fact that all the epidemics come from our exploitation/eating of animals…(and our deveastation of the environment in service to those ends…)….so..y'know..!

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Bernard Hickey kicks bank managers square in the gonads.

    The aggressive push-back last year from the banks, led by ANZ chair John Key, against Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr’s drive for them to increase capital levels and therefore generate lower profitability, showed where the banks’ interests truly laid: with their Australian shareholders.


  7. Brigid 7

    New Zealand writer Anna Rankin writes from Winnsboro, Texas


  8. xanthe 8

    I demand ( 🙂 ) an immediate review of the actions of the media and the opposition during the Covid response. specifically I want to know exactly what editorial discussion was had regarding the degree to which the successful response depended on public support for the measures . What editorial guidelines were being applied to ensure stories undermining public confidence were fact checked!. What editorial oversight was brought to bear on columns by hoskins etc.

    To what extent was the need "to hold to account" used to justify undermining public confidence.

  9. RedLogix 9

    An exceptionally frank read on the Australian Sino relationship from former Ambassador Geoff Raby. I'm intrigued to note this aspect:

    Dr Raby also said that for all the security concerns around China's rise, he does not believe the country actually poses an existential threat to Australia.

    He describes China as being a "constrained superpower" — the country's history, geography and dependence on international markets for resources and energy all place limits on its ability to project power.

    The nation neighbours 14 other countries, forcing it to defend a more than 22,000-kilometre-long border; it's also "an empire with unresolved territorial issues", Dr Raby said, referring to tensions over Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    It's also hugely reliant on both importing and exporting goods through the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea, which the US could easily take control of in the event of a conflict.

    Geography determines all. In this Raby is absolutely correct, there is little chance China will ever present an existential threat to Australia. The chain of events necessary for this to happen are highly problematic.

    Yet for both Australia and NZ, the problem of how to calibrate our response to an increasingly assertive and expansionist power that clearly does not share our values, is not going away. And even if China never mounts a mass invasion in this part of the world, they have plenty of opportunities to make life miserable for us if they choose.

    • SPC 9.1

      C+ at best.

      China wants dominance of its western and eastern flanks – Xinjiang, Tibet (cultural supremacy and assimilation) and Hong Kong, Taiwan incorporated and to then to assert security of its resource supply by being dominant through Malacca across the Indian Ocean to East Africa. Essentially subordinate SE Asia, India and ally to Iran in the Gulf.

      It is ally to Russia in ending NATO and isolating the USA to its continent (eastern Pacific and western Atlantic). Post NATO Russia seeks an equal relationshiip with the EU. Brexit and Trump aided that. As for us, so long as we support the regional hegemony of China across Asia to Africa and the minimalist continental role for the USA (Trump has aided that) we can continue to trade as we do now.

      Much of this is inevitable, the key determinant to how it occurs is in who leads it. If the US and EU lead the break-up of NATO, and form a relationship with Russia, then China can be contained. Otherwise, China is not contained and our 5 Eyes relationship is our vulnerability.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        China wants dominance of its western and eastern flanks – Xinjiang, Tibet (cultural supremacy and assimilation) and Hong Kong, Taiwan incorporated and to then to assert security of its resource supply by being dominant through Malacca across the Indian Ocean to East Africa. Essentially subordinate SE Asia, India and ally to Iran in the Gulf.

        Totally agree; I think I've hit on each of these points prior, and I suspect Raby's book would likely explore them in more detail. The key point is that the projection of power necessary for this Han imperialism to happen is not going to happen easily.

        Geography alone ensures this.

        But imagine if say half a dozen PLAN warships turned up in Wellington harbour and bluntly proclaimed 'all your base are belong to us'. What exactly would NZ be able to do about this? An extreme scenario perhaps, but no longer an unthinkable one. And of course the CCP has many other ways to make our lives miserable, well short of such a provocative action.

        Without partners NZ is helpless, let's not pretend otherwise.

        • mac1

          Funnily enough, I am so concerned about the threat that China poses to us that I had to look up who the PLAN were, to have warships……

    • SPC 9.2

      PS China is currently engaged in confronting Japan in islands beyond Taiwan which have mineral resources.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      dependence on international markets for resources and energy

      Something tells me that that isn't something that will last. There are, after all, reason why China is trying to grab all of the South China Sea and China itself is fairly large with significant resources on it.

      In this Raby is absolutely correct, there is little chance China will ever present an existential threat to Australia.

      Actually, he's wrong. There are numerous ways through global free-trade that China could disrupt Australia. Trade itself is a weapon as the US has shown time and again as it throws sanctions on countries that upset it.

      • tc 9.3.1

        A weapon China's been wielding over Oz recently in Beef, Cotton, Iron, Coal.

        LNG will likely be next as one of their biggest customers in commodities angles for better deals.

        Massive infrastructure that still has to be paid for so they know they've the whip hand.

      • RedLogix 9.3.2

        In this context 'existential' means military invasion.

        The trade sanctions are well underway.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Disrupt the country enough through the tools of trade, break the nation as a whole, and then invade. Would take longer but would make any invasion easier. Especially if China has cut off the necessity of imports which, if I'm reading it right, is what they're doing.

          Invasion's probably not their end goal but the possibility shouldn't be ignored either.

          • RedLogix

            Consider this, if the CCP decided to go after Australia, then grabbing NZ first would be a very likely tactic.

            This is why containing them inside the first island chain is strategically important to us.

  10. Treetop 10

    Hi, Rosemary there is a cartoon by Sharon Murdoch on stuff news today. I know you will find it sums up ACC and the ministry of health.

    • SPC 10.1

      Someone designed a system whereby drugs for illness/sickness were funded by Pharmac, and otherwise treatment was funded by the HB's.

      Thus Pharmac saved money by buying a cheap diabetes drug for Maori, so it could afford cancer drugs for middle class Pakeha. This resulted in Maori having kidney failure and thus the Pharmac saving cost the taxpayer a lot of extra money overall.

      With ACC, if they faced years of payments to an incapacitated worker which could be resolved by paying for an operation – they make sure to arrange this to save money (even in private hospitals) over the longer term.

      • Kay 10.1.1

        and thus the Pharmac saving cost the taxpayer a lot of extra money overall.

        And that really sums up everything wrong with the Pharmac 'model'.

    • Rosemary McDonald 10.2

      Hiya Treetop…yep, Murdoch most certainly can save a thousand words. That 'toon accurately sums up the difference.

  11. gsays 11

    To be in charge of Property Investors Federation, you don't need to be too logical, just greedy enough.


    After claiming that 90% of property investors only own their own and one other property, we are told the other 10% doesn't matter as that isn't many people.

    I get a tad suspicious of euphemistic titles, maybe they are avoiding the stigma of Landlord.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Yes the archaic terms 'landlord' and 'tenant' probably don't help the stupid hatefest much. I'd be quite happy for some less freighted words arose in their place.

  12. greywarshark 12

    I notice there are a lot of complaints on TradeMe about NZ Post's Courier Post having big outs for its on-line services. It apparently happens often. They are losing business I should think. Are the managers at NZ Post determined to run the government-owned business into the ground from a lack of innovation, efficiency and effectiveness – those business buzz-words?

  13. Sacha 13

    Journalism lives.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Back again. No shame. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/429819/property-investors-federation-doubles-down-on-claim-first-home-buyers-contributing-to-housing-crisis

    Oct.28/20 https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/429289/housing-boom-could-get-worse-economist-warns – The answer, help first home buyers. Step in government get your boots dirty from doing the mahi that is needed. Government used to do it, before wealthy people and Treasury told them to get the hell out of here and let us do all the running. Now we know they are just hot air with a sort of gambler's russian roulette mentality this Labour Government is on notice that you mucked up once before, and we aren't putting up with it any more. You have used up your Get Out of Jail Free cards.

    We are dependent on the market for solutions and the market is putting us in solution – a citric acid bath, mild, defoliating but how much skin can we afford to lose. Less lemons, please more lemonade, or else.

    But we know there are genuine difficulties for landlords because of the way that government chooses to handle tenancy problems, for each side, that are made worse when either side is misbehaving or too often, an extremely bad person. That needs the ability to take quick action.

    Mar.20 https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/120610224/property-investor-claims-human-rights-breach-as-govt-clamps-down
    One landlord who is having difficulties.

    One tenant stuck in China was $6500 behind in rent.
    "I now have to spend money going to Tenancy Tribunal to request their bond monies back but tribunals hearings are about to be suspended or there is a queue of two to four weeks for hearings. I have to store all the tenants' personal belongings at a cost until the Tenancy Tribunals allow me to dispose of their belongings and recoup those costs.

    "Meanwhile I have to keep paying the bank loan and rates and insurance and body corporate fees and ground lease rent and property management fees and operating expenses of the apartment…Worst-case scenario, I will have to sell the property in a falling market or declare bankruptcy and allow the property to sell in a mortgagee sale."

    This from the Property Investors Federation 'industry':

  15. greywarshark 15

    The government or its agencies can't go onto a property and fix a health hazard? This is peculiar when orders can be issued forcing you off your property if the authorities really want it for something. If they have to pass laws that enable this they had better get onto it, carefully worded so that it's not up to one minister, it would have to be signed off by Court?


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