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Open mike 04/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 4th, 2021 - 258 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 …

258 comments on “Open mike 04/12/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    A wet & rainy morning at Pookden Manor this morning.
    So … a video clip from a sunnier day 🙂

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    CL: John, is running the country really like running a business?

    JK: That’s what the focus groups say, Luxie, so it must be true! Nah, it really is. Look, take your old business, Air New Zealand. Now, your MPs, they’re like the planes you had.

    CL: You mean they’re efficient, reliable, always high-performing and regularly serviced?

    JK: Ah. Well, I mean there’s always a few who’ll ice up, break down, leak, wander hopelessly off course, get stuck on autopilot or accidentally dump a solid block of toxic, foul-smelling material… The other parties’ MPs are just the same.

    CL: So the other parties’ MPs, they’re like the planes of your competing airlines, right?

    JK: Exactly! As long as you bear in mind that at any given time, as well as flying their own routes, they’ll also be aiming heat-seeking missiles up your tailpipe.

    CL: That doesn’t sound very Christian.

    JK: I wouldn’t use the C-word round here, Luxie. Look at your passengers. They’re just like voters.

    CL: Happy and excited about the journey they’re going on?

    JK: I was going to say grumpy about being taken for a ride.

    CL: But people love Air New Zealand. It’s the nation’s flag-carrier.

    JK: Just steer clear of the flag metaphors, wouldja?

    CL: All I want people to know, John, is I’ve arrived here with no baggage.

    JK: Ah, good old Air New Zealand! Have you tried Invercargill?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/127175599/smile-wave-and-be-pretty-relaxed-luxie

    • Gezza 3.1

      👍🏼

      Does seem to be adding insult to injury. Not a vaccinated owner’s fault if some staff refuse to get jabbed.

      • Descendant Of Smith 3.1.1

        Meh. It isn't the employers fault if an employee gets arrested, commits a crime, loses their licence, goes to a competitor, quits for any other reason, and so on.

        The government seems to have taken a sensible position about giving clarity rather than have employers taken to court by employees.

        Hospitality is interesting. Many places are doing quite well, others not so much. Pivoting, online services, etc all play a part. One of my local restaurant now sells more food through on-line orders than they ever did as a restaurant. Prior to COVID they had no on-line presence at all cause they saw themselves solely as a place for people to come to. People who have never ever been to them as a restaurant are now buying their food.

        When I was on holiday during winter once place that was normally open 3 days a week in winter had opened up for all 7 they were so busy during a normally quiet time.

        Stats NZ wage data shows pre COVID lockdown in February 2020 there were 152,202 people employed in accommodation and food services. Currently there are 150,970 – only 2,000 different. A lot of job losses will be in the accommodation sector which can't pivot as easily so something is going on that is more than what is being presented.

        This is more complex than a simple sector is in trouble, we have been locked down. No doubt places that depended on paying bus drivers to bring tourists to their shops in tourist areas will be struggling as they would find it hard to find a replacement customer base if they were highly dependent on that base. CBD businesses may be struggling a little more as well as people work from home. The struggle is clearly real for some and I don't want to minimise that in any way. Just pointing out that it isn't the same for everyone. Some are doing pretty well.

        http://infoshare.stats.govt.nz

        • Graeme 3.1.1.1

          The pivot to takeout / home delivery in hospo is interesting. here it's kept a lot of places going for the last 18 months and a local delivery business that had been going pre covid has boomed. Will be interesting what happens when leases come up renewal, most expired leases have have been retail which have walked. Any arrangements that are being made to keep tenants are subject to pretty solid NDAs.

          The commission driven retail model went fut about 23/3/20 and most folded the tent shortly after, they were first to go, and are in every downturn, there's no margin in it unless they are very vertical, then the thing really goes down the dunny when it goes quiet.

    • Treetop 3.2

      I would like to know if less staff are required under a red light?

      Initially a cost and the cost would depend on the size of the business.

      As well could the owner claim loss of wages for the one month notice period?

    • Puckish Rogue 3.3

      Like the ones here on "special leave" for four weeks to "decide" if they'll get the jab

      Seriously?

      They have the information, they didn't get jabbed and now we're understaffed and the get a paid vacation

      • Tricledrown 3.3.1

        You were complaining about the govt mandate before now you are dumping on those you were sticking up for. Also saying that when those officers leave it will be as easy because you can lock prisoner's down for 23hrs.

        Plus how many prisoner's have been immunised.

        Every body wants their human rights but that doesn't give those who are unvaccinated the right to infect others or overload our hospitals.

        Singapore is charging those who aren’t vaccinated, who have covid and need hospitalization $26,000 plus.

        More countries are having mandates and passports.

        Conehead and Rimmer are on a different planet and are seriously under estimating the damage if covid gets out of control .

        Just to score a few political points

        • aj 3.3.1.1

          The vaccine mandates are in place to protect the health system and everybody in New Zealand. Including, ironically, the unvaccinated, although they will mostly not understand that because many of them think the pandemic is a hoax.

        • Puckish Rogue 3.3.1.2

          My position hasn't changed. We were told no employment if not jabbed by a certain date but now its have a paid holiday for a month

          Yes we can go to rolling unlocks and we can cut certain tasks but as soon as we do that we get the one-sided media articles and our management are cowardly, chicken shit, gutless little gob shites not keen on bad publicity

          Last time I could be bothered checking I think prisoners were over 80% vaccinated, at least they are in Canterbury

    • Graeme 3.4

      I think Government is picking up the tab via wage subsidy and resurgence / transition payments.

      Interesting situation in hospo here in Queenstown. A lot of hospo gave the 4 weeks notice the day after the policy was announced, so the the great resignation is / has happened. For contest Queenstown is 101.8% 1st shot , a meaningless stat because of population growth (see link), but it's very high here even getting into the diehard antivax brigade. Vax status shouldn't be a staffing issue.

      Issue is that people don't want to work in customer facing roles right now, the traffic lights just focused things. So lots of hospo staff finished up last week, now the owners and management have to go out on the floor and deal with the arseoles who refuse to mask, scan or vax, and then get abusive when asked to mask, scan or prove vax status.

      Other thing is that customers are keeping their distance from hospo (and retail) because they don't want to be around the same group of unmasked, unscanned and likely unvaxed barflies. Most establishments here are going to go hard on vax passes to try and get some responsible customers back.

      • weka 3.4.1

        That stat is QL not Q 😉

        Issue is that people don't want to work in customer facing roles right now, the traffic lights just focused things. So lots of hospo staff finished up last week, now the owners and management have to go out on the floor and deal with the arseoles who refuse to mask, scan or vax, and then get abusive when asked to mask, scan or prove vax status.

        Oh good, maybe this along with the lack of cheap visitor labour will lead to an improvement of work conditions in hospo.

        • Graeme 3.4.1.1

          Hopefully it will lead to a change in customer attitude towards customer facing staff. If the customer respects the person facing them, then the customer will be happier paying for that person to have improved working conditions.

          It's not just a Queenstown thing, happening in hospo and retail nation, and world wide.

      • weka 3.4.2

        what's the 4 weeks about? Isn't notice determine by the employment agreement? Is hospo using a standard 4 weeks?

        • Graeme 3.4.2.1

          Some employers gave the 4 weeks notice as soon as the policy was announced, which is getting on to 4 weeks now.

          • weka 3.4.2.1.1

            no, I meant why are they using 4 weeks instead of 2 or 3? Is it a government requirement related to the vax mandate, or is it the standard length of time being used in hospo?

        • Craig H 3.4.2.2

          When the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 was amended last week to allow for the ministerial orders which created the Covid Protection Framework and vaccine passes, the amendment legislation also amended the Employment Relations Act by adding Schedule 3A which provides for the greater of 4 weeks' notice or the notice period in the employment agreement (paid in either case).

      • Tricledrown 3.4.3

        Your making shit up very few people will not be vaccinated according to your vaccination 101% lecture.

        All those travelling from the North Island or by plane will be immunised.

        Why should the country be held to ransome by a very small minority of nutjob antvaxxers.l

        • weka 3.4.3.1

          QL has a not insignificant % of people who don't vaccinate. And lots of people passing through. It's not NI who will be visiting this week, it's Otago and Southland crib owners, tradies and people that live in nearby areas.

          The 101% thing was a different point Graeme was making. The actual number of people without a vax cert this week is closer to 6%.

          https://covid19map.co.nz/vaccination-rates/town/

          • Graeme 3.4.3.1.1

            Hospo staff can still work customer facing if they have had with one dose, yesterday was the cutoff for first dose. The number of zero dose people around here is very small so I doubt that vaccination status is the issue. Even a lot of the previously staunch anti vax sector have quietly got vaccinated.

      • aj 3.4.4

        Been in Central Otago the last two days (not Queenstown/Wanaka) and mask wearing was interesting. In some places there were a large number wearing masks 'between' shops, in other places 0. In all shops it was near 100%

        Despite the lack of Covid here I am heartened by the cooperation of people with the pandemic setting in the lower half of the South Island. People are mostly doing the right thing. I also detect a higher mask wearing % outdoors amongst younger people when outdoors. Sometimes groups of teens/20's wearing masks or very proximate to their faces (on chins)

        • Robert Guyton 3.4.4.1

          You might have been less encouraged, aj, had you visited Wanaka – there are a number of "anti"s there who are making a point of arguing the toss when asked by kindly shopkeepers (me) to mask-up for the good of all.

          That said, I too am impressed by the over-all willingness of people in the South to take part in these protective measures, despite have no signs of the virus here, yet.

          • aj 3.4.4.1.1

            had you visited Wanaka – there are a number of "anti"s there who are making a point of arguing the toss when asked by kindly shopkeepers (me) to mask-up for the good of all.

            Does not surprise me, which is why I qualified my note. There are a large number of people who would had had the double dot but make a political point by trying it on without masks. It will be interesting once QN/Wanaka get a few cases over summer – inevitable I think.

            sad

            • Blazer 3.4.4.1.1.1

              The mayor of Queenstown Jim Boult is a case…wanted Queenstown to be exempted from the foreign buyers ban…the whole place seems like a sterilised destination for people with too much money…fancy a craft beer?-only $24 a glass!

        • Graeme 3.4.4.2

          Masking here gets really good when there could be infection around. Judith Collins came to town a couple of months ago and near panic, everyone masked up fast. This week a marked upturn in masking and scanning. We know were wide open to people from all over the country and people are taking it quite seriously.

          It also sharpens your focus when the nearest ICU bed is 3 hours drive away, if it's not already taken, then it'll be Christchurch (5 hours) or further north. If it gets bad here there will be some very lonely and distant suffering. Current plan is for people to isolate at home , which hasn't given much assurance.

        • mary_a 3.4.4.3

          @ aj .. Mask wearing here in Cromwell is quite good and as far as I know there haven’t been problems. It will be interesting to see if this standard continues once the visitors from the red regions arrive. I hope our little town and environs are respected.

          • aj 3.4.4.3.1

            I stayed in night in Cromwell, outskirts, didn't wander into the town. And the SH system doesn't go through the CBD as such. But mine host was adhering to level 3 restrictions, her personal choice as an ex-midwife. She is concerned what may happen over xmas.

            angel

            An aside, one of the biggest losses of history in New Zealand, the Old Cromwell township and the drive between Clyde and Cromwell, which I have vivid in my memory every time I take the trip south from Cromwell. The new road is so neat, the curves so well designed, but the landscape … butchered in the name of progress.

    • Sanctuary 3.5

      Let's no hear anymore of the pretense that hospo is a viable career for young people. As this guy indicates, the workforce is disposable, should have no rights and definitely no protection in law.

      • Graeme 3.5.1

        It's not just hospo that has those career issues for prospective employees. Agriculture isn't that great if you weren't born into it, and road transport and fishing aren't far behind.

        All can be extremely satisfying, and sometimes financially rewarding careers, but the employment culture can take a bit of getting used to, if that's even possible for most people.

        Hence they struggle to recruit staff.

  3. James 2 4

    So the latest Roy Morgan puts Labour down at further free-fall with 36%. One poll does not maketh a truth but its consistent with the trend. It also doesn't take into account the inevitable bump National will get from a new leader.

    Should Labour be worried? Yes, particularly if Luxon can establish a 'Labour is all hot air but we can deliver' narrative.

    Despite what some may think, I'm not a tribal Righty, I just believe in balance and I think NZ is getting fundamentally out of kilter and divided under this Govt and I am very worried at where we're going. I've never voted Right in my life but I will in the next election absolutely.

    We'll see in 2026 where my vote lies – but I think there are others who feel this way about the next election at least, particularly in response to all the coercive social programming and vast state overreach by this Govt. Overseas voters, typically Left, may turnout more, and it won't be for Labour locking them out of their own country.

    The sex gap also remains wide in the Roy Morgan poll – I know several males like myself who are now looking to be ex Labour voters. Please don't reduce this to sexism – I liked Jacinda initially, thought Helen Clark was great, and disliked Judith as a leader. I'm also not greatly enamoured with Luxon personally, despite being white and male like me. It's politics, not sex that's puts me and others off but I suspect it's a large part that keeps Jacinda's female under 50 support so overwhelming – which happens to be her own age and sex.

    • Ad 4.1

      National base floor is reached, now they bounce.

      A good shot Act hits 20s.

      I'm still confident that Labour will recover back to the 40s because the Traffic Light system enables our New Normal. Agree trend is terrible.

      Greens impressively stable for delivering zero.

      Revisit in March after holidays and new set of polls.

      • James 4.1.1

        There is nothing new, free, or democratic about the traffic light system. It's like being moved from maximum security jail to medium security but the warden telling you that you're free now, even when you behaved good and thought you were getting released.

        It's obscene for the minimal level of risk we face, but I understand more about the psychological impact on the country who has been filled up with fear and quasi-propoganda and believe that if you get Covid you just absolutely will die and everything will overflow with thousands of deaths.

        But I agree, the next few months are absolutely crucial for Labour. The problem is Labour's other plans – hate speech, 3 Waters, divided health system, etc – look far from popular.

        • Blazer 4.1.1.1

          Can't really figure out your reasons James.

          Can you tell us what you think National achieved in 9 years that relate to your concerns or are they exclusive to this administration.

          • James 2 4.1.1.1.1

            I've just said it's about balance. I know both Labour and National are neo-Liberal, but I'd rather the one not drunk on social coercion and state power. It's on a radical path to division and control under the guise of empathy whilst simultaneously doing worse than the previous National government on classic materialist concerns like poverty, house, and crime.

            I'm not unaware of the Right's failings but the idea Labour automatically makes life better and National and Act just care about the 1% is vastly oversimplied.

            Frankly I'd prefer a third party but right now I'm in 'do least harm' mode and there's a massive arrogance emanating from Labour (and cultural elites including the media) and it terrifies me. I'm not a Fox watcher, I don't subscribe to QAnon, I got vaxxed, but I am deeply concerned about society and frankly the country seems a whole bunch more unhappy than 4 years ago ago and its not all due to Covid.

            I don't expect to convert a bunch of stalwart Lefties, but you may want to consider why Labour is trending down, particularly if it continues.

            • Puckish Rogue 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You're not wrong

            • Blazer 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Balance is always good.

              -'drunk on social coercion and state power. '-National under Key reset mass surveillance of its citizens, reminiscent of East Germany in the 60's and extended the powers of the S.I.S.

              -re housing-National stood by while mass immigration and property speculation spiralled out of control,never even conceding a crisis existed.

              -re poverty-kicking people out of so called 'meth' houses,reducing the number of state houses,while investors ramped up rents is not a good foundation for attacking poverty.

              Homelessness is being addressed ,but will take time.

              -re crime-3 strikes policy is ludicrous.Locking people does not address the causes of crime.White collar crime rarely nets a jail sentence.

              The 501 debacle is to blame for the escalating gang problem.

              This Govts biggest critics are the left itself.

              Labour have a mandate to enact transformational policy and tip toe around as National lite.

              The frustrations of Covid are reflected in recent polling.

              An effective opposition should come up with real policy,not regurgitate cliches and tired ,vague promises that are never acted on.

              • Corey Humm

                I hate national but Housing and rents have gotten more expensive under this govt. Groceries power skyrocketing.

                Everything is getting harder and harder and harder and people are getting angrier and angrier and angrier because of it.

                Labour has to own this and fix this… No govt has ever had the power this govt has under our electoral system.

                Labour needs to drop the hate speech legislation and probably the three waters , these are going to be hugely unpopular.

                Our biggest threat is people staying home after six years of seeing a complacent politically correct elitist govt that is double nothing to make rents, housing, groceries, power affordable and streets safer.

                I don't endorse these views either but this is what I'm seeing:

                Working class people, young left wing men and the average voter hate this obsession with gender sexuality race and opposing speech. They are our voters but they are starting to get scared/irritated/fed up with us.

                Everytime they hear some woke excessive elitist idea from the left be it calling same sex attraction transphobic, hating on NZ as some irredeemably racist place, or people Chloe openly saying they want to close down all the prisons and get rid of police, when the media reports on gang violence, gangs taking over whole streets for funerals during lockdowns, hnz ko refusing to evict violet tennents, cyfs ot taking white families to court and saying people of different races can't raise children of different races, that we've spent billions on mental health but made no progress it all creates a drip feed narrative that the entire left is smeared with and then they spend half their income or more on rent and the rest on food and wander why the govt doesn't care about real world problems.

                Poor Maori, poor white people poor everyone are sick of hearing about oppression and nothing about class issues like rents groceries and living costs. They heart the woke stuff and they think it's absolutely nuts.

                Labour must drop the hate speech legislation and all the divisive woke social engineering. What saved Helen Clark was pushing back against the people we now call woke Ardern instead seeks their approval.

                Housing (both renting and owning not just owning) Poverty. Life lines to the middle class , making the streets safer, fixing mental health, getting living costs down are labours only priorities.

                They have two years if they don't deliver on these things more poor people will vote some angry populist like act, but many many of our voters will stay home not caring either way.

                Voter turn out and an air of being out of touch with the majoritys problems will sink this govt.

                Drop the woke stuff. Push back against the woke. Read the room. People who are struggling are getting sick of being told how privileged they are

                • Blazer

                  Can't argue with any of …that.

                  Lets hope they get jolted into action in the next 2 ..years.

                • Gezza

                  A real plea/cry from the heart that hits the nail on the head many times over, Corey.

                  Labour needs to be listening to this kind of feedback, or any party & leader smart and/or melleable enuf to market itself as intendin to target these genuine complaints is likely to seriously challenge this govt.

                  That’s how NZF & Peters got to hand the reins of now unfettered power to Labour in 2017. They’ve done little to fix these most of these problems & in some cases were making them worse, even before Covid hit.

                  Labour’s still got 2 years left to get some of their Ministers more competent at handling their departments (like Helen Clark’s were, under the close supervision of H2) & get them to deliver better outcomes instead of inertia-inhibited BAU.

                  • Blazer

                    What does H2 mean?…I do hope it is not a derogatory term applied to a person with their own ..identity…you wouldn't lower yourself to that…would you?

                    • Shanreagh

                      H2 was the nickname for Heather Simpson who was Helen Clark's Chief of Staff hence the H2. H1 was Helen Clark. Hugely talented but some times dour to outsiders, most recently looked at the Health and Disability Service.

                      https://systemreview.health.govt.nz/

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Simpson_(civil_servant)

                    • Gezza

                      I don’t think Blazer’s worked in the Public Service in a HO environment. He’s probably thus not familiar with the “business usage” shorthand of H1 & H2.

                      Clark & Simpson both had reputations for being highly intelligent, for paying meticulous attention to detail, & for asking questions about anything deemed not satisfactorily explained or up to the mark, in my department.

                      Only quality work reputedly got past H2 to H1. If it wasn’t up to scratch a call was made to the policy managers’ office in my dept to come down to H2’s to discuss it.

            • Bearded Git 4.1.1.1.1.3

              You are right James. The Nats care about the top 5% not the top 1%.

            • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1.1.4

              Labour is trending down

              For a bunch of reasons, of which you have mentioned a few. Perceptions are driven by nuance as much as substance & the relevant hinge is risk management. I suspect voters seek to shift Labour out of protectionism.

              Protecting the public works as political strategy if most voters share govt perception of risk. Greenlighting is a risk, but a gamble most people seemingly now want to take. Labour's doing the precautionary principle, assuming most folk believe it's better to be safe than sorry.

              Greenlighters see empty hospital wards, with numbers getting infected seeming to be steadily manageable. Labour's caution doesn't match circumstances but that could change rapidly, depending on omicron's infection rate.

            • Descendant Of Smith 4.1.1.1.1.5

              "I'd rather the one not drunk on social coercion"

              It was National that introduced social obligations on beneficiaries so I'm guessing you support the Greens then who oppose them.

            • AB 4.1.1.1.1.6

              I'd rather the one not drunk on social coercion and state power

              That's an absurd exaggeration of the simple necessities of effective pandemic management, But whatever – vote right if you want and give the holders of private economic power the de-regulated license to stomp all over you.

              Interesting how people focus on state power and never private power. In fact the core purpose of state power is to protect citizens from the unaccountable, undemocratic private power of other citizens.

              • garibaldi

                Exactly AB, and that is why I prefer the state controlled Capitalism of China to the "unaccountable private power" of American Capitalism (they are both dead ends, but one is failing more than the other).

        • bwaghorn 4.1.1.2

          So you would rather go green ,get an explosion of covid and deaths ,then dither around deciding what to do ,before going back to full lockdown, ? You right wingers really are dangerous

          • Robert Guyton 4.1.1.2.1

            He's just emboldened by Christopher Luxon's idiotic declaration that Auckland's hospitality industry should get the green light, right now!

            (As an aside, isn't spell-check frustrating sometimes! Write "comical" and I get "conical". Other examples are similarly amusing. "Peccary", as in, "He's a "peccary" to Muldoon's "piggy" throws up a doozy!)

            It pays to check after posting.

            • James 2 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Auckland, like the rest of the country, should be free of the ridiculous traffic light system. I thought that the day I realised this Government will never let go of control, never empower its citizens, and will always have something to justify a forever seige mentality and power – no matter how many carrots it dangles, goals we meet, risk is lowered, or over-exaggerated modelling of deaths and ICU usage turns out to be.

              This is the definition of an abusive, controlling relationship.

              I've thought all of this well before Luxon, who personally I'd give or take as a leader.

              [Dude, sort out your username and whatever devices you are using. I’ve changed this name from James to James 2. All future comments need to be James 2 or they will be deleted.

              We’ve had this conversation already, and nothing pisses off this moderator more than having to use my Saturday morning time sorting out something that I shouldn’t have to. If you use different names, it messes with our system, so please stop and pay attention. In premod until I see a decent commitment from you to doing this – weka]

              [now putting you in the ban list so I can tidy this up in the premod list. I’ll keep an eye out for your next comments in the back end, and we can take it from there. I’ll review in a week – weka]

              • Descendant Of Smith

                "I thought that the day I realised this Government will never let go of control, never empower its citizens, and will always have something to justify a forever seige mentality and power"

                That is a really irrational rabbit hole you have gone down. You really think that once the COVID pandemic is over that these things will continue?

                You think empowerment is letting people spread COVID freely?

                You think that because the restrictions stopped the spread and didn't eventuate in an overwhelmed health system like many countries overseas that the restrictions were just about power and control?

                I have a mate in a wheelchair in the US hasn't been outside his house in two years now. He has his groceries delivered and disinfects them before bringing in the house. He lives in a low-vax state. One persons freedom can be another imprisonment.

                I think to date we've got the balance pretty well right. Extrapolating that as you have is ridiculous.

              • bwaghorn

                You're being paranoid, if/when this bug is beaten life will go back to normal.

                Stand strong ,hold the line , tellho old chap.

              • weka

                mod note.

              • weka

                you have one comment held back in premod waiting until you respond.

              • weka

                now there are two.

              • weka

                now there are three. Here's the thing. Check the Replies tab, and if you are engaged in the conversation see who is replying to you. This is how mods let you know what is happening. At some point I'll just shift it all to the ban list.

              • weka

                final mod note for you above James 2. Your last three comments got binned. Please learn how to use the Replies list, if you can’t see, ask for help.

        • Tricledrown 4.1.1.3

          Snowflakes on the right when up to 95% of those who can be vaccinated are they are not going to be held to ransome by a few hold outs.

          The traffic lights are needed.

          Looking at other countries with high vax rates they are still having huge numbers of infections because they are relying solely on vaccination.

          Now most of those countries are putting the same controls as we are.

          The undermining of our strategy has backfired on National last election.

          I predict it will again as Comricon twice as infective as Delta takes over from Delta.Every 6 months a newer more deadly variant seems to be emerging this could speed up as in South Africa the doubling every day of infections massively increases the rate of mutation.

          Get real we are fighting the worst pandemic in a 100 yrs.

          The Pandemic has killed millions but that figure is under reported in most countries it could be into the 10's of millions easily.

      • Bearded Git 4.1.2

        Ad-The Greens are doing just fine-that is why they are polling well. They can't deliver much because Labour is the sole governing party.

      • DukeEll 4.1.3

        Just wait until the photos of queues of vaccinated traffic filled with irritable families and screaming kids in northland, as hone and his merry band of fuckwits stand side by with police protecting the indigent in northland. Labours popularity will just SOAR at a time most people aren’t thinking politics

    • Gezza 4.2

      Good post. Well-explained. Reflects some of my current thinking too, but I’m not likely to vote National at this stage as I don’t see enuf evidence yet that Luxon has a stable & competent team, nor any idea what his policies are.

      He seems to have started where Collins left off, barking at every passing Labour car.

    • pat 4.3

      18 months is an eternity in politics

  4. Gezza 5

    “There is no evidence suicide rates increased during the Covid-19 Delta lockdown, despite rumours to the contrary.

    There have been fewer coronial inquiries opened into suspected self-inflicted deaths between July and October this year than in the same period from 2016-2020, acting Chief Coroner Anna Tutton said.

    During the 2020 level 4 lockdown the Chief Coroner, the Mental Health Foundation, and police had to refute rumours suicides had increased.”
    … … … … … …

    That’s interesting. Some of Labour’s opponents were insisting on blogs that the lockdown would increase the number of suicides. Looks like they were wrong, thankfully.

    Who knows, maybe with more whanau closer around them some low-mooded individuals contemplating it were even detected & deterred by loved ones?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300468852/covid19-no-evidence-suicides-increased-during-delta-lockdown-coroner-says

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Another interesting indicator is 'excess deaths from all causes'. In some parts of the world the data on this in none too flash at all – but it does vary by country a lot.

      NZ has simply had too few COVID deaths for the virus to have any impact, yet we have done all the lockdowns, so we make for a good benchmark in this respect:

      New Zealand is a potentially good benchmark country, because Covid19 deaths have been too few to register on a chart of excess deaths. Thus, the New Zealand chart shows the impact on mortality of the preventative emergency response to Covid, plus any other underlying reason for increasing or decreasing deaths.

      And another article from Keith Rankin:

      New Zealand’s rosy Covid19 picture does not look so good, once we do an analysis of excess deaths. Calculating excess deaths is the new statistical procedure to evaluate the true toll of Covid19. (I did an excess deaths’ Smithometer analysis of the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand.)

      For this chart, I have selected countries comparable to New Zealand, and for which the excess deaths analysis has been done. Australia, unfortunately, seems to be slower than the others in releasing its death statistics.

      The first thing to note is that New Zealand, Australia and South Korea all had significant numbers of excess deaths pre-pandemic (although South Korea was getting some Covid19 deaths in March 2020). This suggests that both New Zealand and Australia have a social (or socio-economic) problem that is causing death rates to increase. While an aging population is probably part of the reason, this does not show up in Scandinavian countries which also have aging populations.

      • mpledger 5.1.1

        It doesn't make sense to talk of excess deaths pre-pandemic. The death rate pre-pandenmic was the natural rate of death. Excess deaths only has a meaning once the pandemic started – that NZ had a negative rate of excess deaths shows we did the right thing. It may not have been the perfect thing – that we will never know – but it's hard to know what would have saved more lives.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.1

          Suggest you read the full article to get a clearer picture of what Rankin is getting at.

      • SPC 5.1.2

        The difficulty in nurse staffing old age care homes (probably one factor) is getting worse. And with the growing numbers of those with diabetes getting older (and only 1/3rd on the best drug for managing that condition) …

        • RedLogix 5.1.2.1

          Yes – there are multiple possible explanations at work here. If public health is to mean anything at all, keeping a close eye on 'excess deaths from all causes' feels like the right starting point because it's an inherently big picture view.

          As a bit of an extension on this theme – I'm thinking it's time the medical profession started to formalise ethical public service standards on how it funds, structures and publishes research. C19 has exposed severe conflicts of interest and captured narratives. While it's inevitable there will be noisy, confusing and sometime conflicting data – more work on establishing global research standards, codes and common data structures would go a long way toward building more transparency and trust.

  5. Dennis Frank 6

    James Elliott is a lawyer offering Luxie a bit of free advice:

    Chris starts an answer to a question with the phrase “What I would say to you about that” an awful lot. It’s a filler phrase that buys you a few seconds to think about your substantive answer.

    It’s a shame he didn’t use that technique when answering the first of Lisa Owen’s quickfire questions on Checkpoint on Tuesday afternoon – “What’s your favourite animal?”. Chris answered with “guinea pig”.

    What I would say to you about that is that if the guinea pig is truly your favourite animal then I have supplementary questions. Lisa didn’t, she went with “How many times have you lied today?” Chris said none whereas I would have advised him to say “I’ve lied once today. The guinea pig is not my favourite animal.”

    Come Wednesday morning, Chris and deputy Nicola Willis were primed for a press probing by Newshub’s Jenna Lynch. Asked to name one thing the public didn't know about them Chris confessed that he likes custard squares. Nicola confessed that she had turned off the mains power when at primary school.

    Whoa! Does this indicate an earlier power play by Nicola or what! Definitely an indicator of the future, I reckon.

    Chris’ other significant confession across a range of interviews was that he likes country music in general, and Tim McGraw in particular. So if you can’t picture Chris feeding a custard square to a guinea pig to the tune of 'Two Steppin’ Mind' then you’re not tryin’ hard enough. If you can picture it then good luck trying to turn the page on that.

    When asked on the AM Show whether iwi roadblocks in Northland should be allowed to go ahead, Chris said that the situation should be monitored but allowed to play out. When asked a short while later by Mike Hosking whether iwi roadblocks in Northland were acceptable, Chris did a reset saying they were “really not acceptable”. When asked on the AM Show whether there should be general arming of the police, Chris said it was a decision for the police to make. When asked the same question by Mike Hosking a few minutes later he turned the page saying he was open to it.

    What I would say to you about that is that Tuesday probably wasn’t the end of National’s resetting, line-drawing and page turning.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/yesterdaze-the-taming-of-the-guinea-pig

    • Gezza 6.1

      So, the flip-flopping has already begun.

      Not a good sign for National.

      Luxon appears not to be keeping track of his answers, unless there’s some relevant context missing. (Always a possibility with our media journos.)

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Luxon appears not to be keeping track of his answers

        Not only that, he's demonstrating `make it up as you go along' political praxis. Bound to alienate those who prefer consistency. Will also create the impression that he hasn't really given much prior thought to topics.

        unless there’s some relevant context missing

        A plausible escape clause sometimes. Likelier that he's adept at giving answers people want to hear – the sign of a true politician. Different audiences, different answers. Journos will spot the trend & hammer him with his inconsistencies. His best response: "Aw shucks, different audiences require different answers doncha know. It's traditional politics."

    • Blazer 6.2

      Very reminiscent of Key-'what I can say is….'

      Can guarantee he will try to emulate Key in many ways.

      As he is not Key it will not work.

      I dislike both of them but, recognise Key really could fake sincerity.

      The' smiling assassin' and now the 'baby faced assassin'.

      • Gezza 6.2.1

        Some pretty nasty commenters like to specialise in “character assassination” of those people & pollies they don’t like, & to punch really low when doing so

        Personally, I prefer not to get sucked down into the mud with them & to just focus on the politics & what people actually say that’s worthy of commenting on & isn’t just petty gratuitous denigration of someone else.

        Very reminiscent of Key-‘what I can say is….’

        Actually, that phrase is one we so constantly hear from Ashley Bloomfield at his daily Covid standups I’ve come to associate it with Bloomfield.

        • Blazer 6.2.1.1

          Yes I know of one who thinks 'piggy' is o.k,so is' trumpanzee' and' xtian'

          The word hypocrite come to…mind..

          • Gezza 6.2.1.1.1

            Won’t work today, mon ami, not rising to the bait – stay down there in the mud on your own.

          • Gezza 6.2.1.1.2

            And, just as a side issue on a related topic you raised, what have you found out about the OIO’s criteria when it comes to foreign investors opening up businesses that could cost Kiwis jobs.

            • and whether or not the supermarket duopoly here actually pays tax on their NZ profits?

            .https://thestandard.org.nz/chris-luxon-is-not-nationals-messiah/#comment-1838985

            Feel free to comment in a separate thread.

            • Blazer 6.2.1.1.2.1

              The O.I.O appears to rubber stamp 99% of applications.

              My original question related to the supposed benefits of attracting foreign capital.

              I gave some examples as to why I thought it may not be as wonderful as people seem to suggest.

              I certainly will not be obeying any instruction from you to validate my opinion, as you twist and turn like a slippery eel in a …stream.

              • Gezza

                I thought as you had raised the issue you would naturally be interested in looking into it further.

                If my doing a bit of work trying to find out more about a topic you’ve raised is going to just be time wasted because all you’re really looking for is a knock down drag out scrap with someone over anything, that’s good to know & easily addressed,

                Good day, Blazer.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Here's an example of how useless the approval process and follow up is.

                  Labour will ask the Auditor-General to look into a Malaysian forestry company failing to build a processing plant as promised 20 years ago.

                  Forestry spokesman Stuart Nash says the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approved Hikurangi Forest Farms buying more than 33,000 hectares of Gisborne land in 1996. He says it was "in a large part" based on their assurance to build a state-of-the-art processing plant.

                  "That was 20 years ago and not a sod of earth has been turned. And more sensitive land purchases were made in 2006 and 2007 with the same promise. This shows how weak the enforcement from the OIO is."

                  Prime Sawmill, which operates in the area, has been denied logs to process and the company is instead exporting the logs overseas "without a cent of valued being added or a single job created".

                  The mill would pay export-equivalent prices for the wood.

                  Mr Nash says he will ask the Auditor-General to investigate the broken promises, saying they need to be held accountable.

                  https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2016/04/labour-questions-missing-gisborne-forestry-mill.html

                  Though now Labour is in government I'm not sure they have done anything to fix this.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    It was the biggest thing since sliced bread back in 2002.

                    Anderton said the new plant would be nearly double the size of Rotorua's Waipa sawmill.

                    "The new plant will be so large that it will process the equivalent of the volume of logs currently shipped out from the Gisborne port per year and will be three times the size of the largest plant in the region," he said.

                    The plant would address the "wall of wood" coming on-stream in the region.

                    It would offer the East Coast sustainable employment and economic development.

                    Over the next 20 years, the volume of logs and wood products coming from the region is expected to increase from its present annual level of fewer than 800,000 tonnes to about 4 million tonnes.

                    Julian Kohn, chairman of the East Coast Forest Industry Group, said the sawmill was a big boost for the local forestry industry and the region.

                    It also was an endorsement of the strategy to attract down-stream wood processing that Anderton, the local council and the East Coast forest industry had been working on for more than a year.

                    • Subliminal

                      Awesome DoS. Just normal behaviour from the moneyed class. Anyone who thinks they have anything more on their mind than short term profit is living in la la land. I mean who could be bothered with a productive business thst supports the local community when you can just bank the capital gain on land value? And then all we are allowed to claw back as workers are a miserable few percentage points on our wages, tied to a value for inflation that takes no account of the eye watering increases in land and housing. In effect we are forced to accept an actual decrease in our purchasing power while fat cats smile cruelly and sharpen their claws. Foreign investment as a social good?? Good grief!

                  • bwaghorn

                    Fuck sakes,they should strip them of title to the land and send them packing, ,

                  • Maggy Wassilieff

                    The Malaysian owners of Hikurangi Forest Farms sold out in 2019.

                    https://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/local-news/20190629/hikurangi-ff-sale-goes-through/

                    • Blazer

                      Wonderful…in other words the O.IO is viewed as a complete joke by these foreign investors we are told are in such ..demand!-hopeless.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      They partially sold – the parent company still owns 13%.

                      The required sawmill still hasn't been built which is the point – apparently you can just sell and not have to build what was promised and nor do the new part owners.

          • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1.3

            Who said those awful … things..?

            • Gezza 6.2.1.1.3.1

              Another attempt a personal sly dig, eh, Robert. Backing up a regular fellow-habitual detogatory name caller?

              Dunno who said “Piggy”, btw. Perhaps you should get off your arse & go find out the context of the other usages claimed?

              Instead of just being childish & attempting to join some other name-calller’s gang, why not just grow up and out of resorting to using petty personal insults if you’ve got nothing more to say?

              Xtian isn’t even a nasty name, FFS!

              X is a universal Christian symbol for “Christ”. It’s replete throughout Catholic churches (including on vestments) as an icon. Xtian is just my personal shorthand for Christian.
              No ignorant idiot has ever before protested that it’s some kind of insult. Words, frankly, fail me for that one. That shows how desperate the other name-calling moaner & you are for material to use against me.

              • Blazer

                Xtian – what is it?

                abbreviated form of Christian, often used as a derogatory term by Satanists, militant Atheists, etc. It is derived from the use of X as an abbreviation for Christ, as in Xmas

                very good-'No ignorant idiot has ever before protested that it’s some kind of insult.'

                Well maybe people who are not ignorant have.wink

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Gezza, since you're choosing to make a meal of this, fwiw I prefer Robert's "sly digs" to your attempts at character assassination.

                You [Guyton] try & sell yourself as some cuddly, harmless, bearded, eco-friendly old guy… [2 Dec]

                you have to wonder whether that makes them [Guyton] the kind of person who blindly follows murderous leaders [3 Dec]

                I read this blog to learn about news events and the ideas of innovative Kiwis such as Robert. Your incandescent indignation over jibes directed at the latest leader of the opposition National party is perhaps understandable – just wait for the next caption competition!

                It continues to puzzle me quite how, and why, this disagreement became so very personal, so very quickly.

                • Robert Guyton

                  I can tell you, Drowsy. Gezza's fresh out of the Beige Badger's stable, newly arrived at The Standard because Pete George pulled the pin on his blog, leaving his followers stranded. I visited, on occasion, and found myself in a strange land, populated by people such as Gezza who hold views that genuinely puzzled me. Try as I might, I couldn't make head nor tails of their ways. I also enjoy Gezza's pukeko and tuna posts – they're very interesting and his focus on the detail of their lives is exactly the thing I believe we should all do more of. Gezza has, in common with many of the other posters on Pete George's blog, a blind-spot (disclaimer: I do too, only it's not the one they share) and that's what's becoming evident here and what is puzzling you (I think).

                  Hope this helps.

                  Robert

                  • joe90

                    Redolent of The Chairman.

                  • weka

                    Didn't know Pete had stopped blogging. Did he say why?

                    • roblogic

                      Police were investigating his blog for boring people to death

                    • Robert Guyton

                      You'd have to ask him (you'd never hear the end of it 🙂

                    • Gezza

                      @ weka

                      “weka…
                      4 December 2021 at 7:08 pm
                      Didn’t know Pete had stopped blogging. Did he say why?

                      Reply
                      roblogic …
                      4 December 2021 at 7:35 pm
                      Police were investigating his blog for boring people to death

                      Robert Guyton …
                      4 December 2021 at 7:44 pm
                      You’d have to ask him (you’d never hear the end”

                      … … … …

                      Yes, Pete said why.

                      (Robert used to go there just to nasty-name-call & troll Pete occasionally. I’m sure he already knows Pete made a brief final posting explaining his decision, but Robert’s not going to pass up the oppo for a sly dig at someone he dislikes, is he, based on my close observations?)

                      https://yournz.org/2020/10/19/moving-on/

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Thanks for that helpful background Robert – ‘fills in’ a blind spot wink

                • Gezza

                  @ Drowsy

                  I understand that as long-term “residents” of this blog you have developed an affinity for Robert. Blogs get to be social circles for many, including myself. But if you are going to misrepresent what I say by selecting quoting me without the full context, then I’m going to repost my full comments so readers can decide for themselves who is character assassinating,

                  Robert (with Luxon) or me (re Robert).

                  “When someone like Robert INSISTS that Luxon’s a “threat to society” because he’s financially successful & reportedly has religously-based anti-abortion views – but studiously avoids explaining EXACTLY HOW either of these factors make him a “threat to society” – you have to wonder whether that makes them the kind of person who blindly follows murderous leaders whose political views they like who get into eliminating their rivals or pet hate groups by murdering them.

                  You’ll notice he never criticised Tony who said he wants to put rich people up against a wall (a cwell-known euphemism for executing them by firing squad). These types of people are among the real threats to society, imo. Their view is that the ends justify the means.”

                  I would add, these are the sorts of people who don’t speak out to stop atrocities or harsh treatments by leftist regimes of their opponents, because they support some or all of their leftist agenda. Otherwise they are outwardly fine, upstanding citizens.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Thanks for that explanation Gezza – certainly admire Robert's efforts in the real world to lead by example, and stand by my first impressions that those two comments of yours contain elements of character assassination of a fellow commenter.

                    Happy to agree to disagree and leave others to decide for themselves – no doubt there will be a range of opinions.

                    You [Guyton] try & sell yourself as some cuddly, harmless, bearded, eco-friendly old guy… [2 Dec]

                    you have to wonder whether that makes them [Guyton] the kind of person who blindly follows murderous leaders [3 Dec]

                    Fwiw, I thought 'Lux Luthor' was clever, but doubt it will catch on. Dennis' Humpty wasn't bad either, whereas 'baldy' is pretty plain.

                    The post of opposition Nat party leader has been in a state of flux. Can Christopher 'Luxury' Luxon, like 'Honest John' Key, sell himself as a man of (and for all) the people? Prime Minister Luxon? Time will tell.

                    • Gezza

                      I don’t think Luxon can do that, Drowsy.

                      Covid, in my view has sharpened everyone’s focus on the ills & fallout or blowback & unintended consequences of neoliberalism, globalism, poorly regulated capitalism, -poor job protection for Kiwis from predatory foreign investors, resulting skill shortages, & the societal & strategic upheavals & risks of creating a permanently suffering, & powerless underclass.

                      I get the impression more voters than previously are looking for the government to enact policies that look after resident Kiwis better than we have been doing, & turning on multiple property owners who’re sucking more productive investment out of the total investment pool.

                      Parties that promise to meet these expectstions will do best, in my view.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    yes Improved education, health and other social infrastructure to first support and then empower the Kiwi 'underclass' is the way to go. Hope voters will approve of funding the necessarily intergenerational transition programmes.

                    Meanwhile, a burgeoning gated community (or "lifestyle refuge / luxury escape") sector suggests that at least some good citizens have other priorities – has the 'egalitarian horse' bolted?

                    Question of the Day: Are gated communities elitist?

                    Gated secure community [SOLD]
                    Don't settle for less, come and view this modern resort and feel the sense of security. Easy living at its best.

                    This luxurious property commands an absolute lakefront position
                    To cap it all off this whole package is located in Northbrook Waters, an exclusive gated community with shared waterski boat.
                    Give your family the opportunity to live the life you all deserve and a lifestyle to be envious of.

                    Hmm, envy as a featured selling point – can't fault them for honesty.

        • weka 6.2.1.2

          Smiling assassin is the name Key was given by staff before he as a politician and when he was a robber baron.

          Some co-workers called him "the smiling assassin" for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Key

          Imo, this fits with the behaviour thing rather than the body based pejorative. It’s a colourful description of his actions.

          • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.2.1

            So, it's okay to use labels given before they become Nats, but verboten to assign them once they are installed?

            Puzzled of Aotearoa.

            • Blazer 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Christopher said that Air NZ was a' showcase'(my word) for his abilities at turning around companies…

              'Luxon inherited an airline with a strong balance sheet and “a dream team” of executives around him, and he made the most of it, she said.

              He also had a period of consistent growth with no “nasty black swan events” to deal with.

              “He had the best circumstances that I have ever seen.”-Stuff

              In February 2021, it was revealed that while Luxon was CEO of Air New Zealand, its contracting business unit Gas Turbines was assisting Royal Saudi Navy vessels, despite them blocking essential supplies like water, food and medical assistance from Yemen. Luxon claimed to "have no recollection of it" and that "it might've post-dated my time" – the latter claim being disputed by his successor Greg Foran.-wikipedia

              Christopher faced a 70% drop in profits in his first 12 months at Air….he fired over 400 employees='baby faced assassin.'-3 days ago I could link to this-today seems to have disappeared.

            • weka 6.2.1.2.1.2

              I have no problem with people calling Key the smiling assassin. He was. I generally refer to him as FJK, so you know /shrug (political slogan)

              I reckon there's a line though, and the bald thing with Luxon is probably crossing it. It's about how other bald people feel taking part in the conversation as much as anything.

              Besides, his surname is still ripe for the picking. I'm anticipating lots of vacuuming jokes.

              • Gezza

                Oh.

                Really, weka?

                So jokes about Jacinda ” ‘arderning up” & suchlike will be ok too, in the interests of a having a fair & balanced policy?

                Is that right?

                • weka

                  What does arderning up mean?

                  • Gezza

                    Never mind. I see your invitation to posters to mock your political opponent’s family & just personally mentally mark you down a couple of points for it. I had previously held you in higher regard for maturity, ethics & decorum than to think you’d do that.

                    But I’m just a poster here. Nothing that need concern you.

                    • Gezza

                      🙄 *’family name

                    • Blazer

                      No Gezza you are a 'holier than thou poster…'you are not fit to judge…anyone.

                      [generally here you can get away with a modicum of rudeness if you make a political point. Just calling people posers or taking a crack at them is frowned upon – weka]

                    • weka []

                      mod note.

                    • weka

                      yeah, you probably should look at the long history of TS and language. We're here for the robust debate, not decorum and there are really good reasons to allow people to express themselves (within some limits). It allows for robust debate.

                      If you're not going to explain what arderning up is, why bring it up? Much of the shit that gets directed at Ardern is sexist (eg Cindy), just like it was with Clark. Context matters, including political context

                      You think calling someone a plonker is ok, I think calling Key FJK is ok /shrug.

                      FJK arose out of a set of political circumstances that are directly related to Key's behaviour and the damage he was doing to NZ. It's politics and the left was righteously fucked off. Key wasn't some neutral participant, he was causing harm. No decorum there either.

                      This is one of the better posts I've written. I'm left wing and deep green and I have no problem with calling right wing neo-fascists what they are when they are literally killing the planet.

                      Moving on after FJK

                    • Gezza

                      @Blazer

                      Sorry B. Not interested in falling for your habitual tactic of sucking people in to trade petty insults for hours.

                      I will apologise for calling you ignorant re the word Xtian, though. I’d never actually come across anyone but me using it before.

                      You see the world very differently to me, B. We are in no way alike in the way we think & discuss & perceive things. You seem unable to recognise that so have to invent & assign negative motives & qualities to me that just aren’t there.

                      Over & out, mon ami. 👋🏼

                  • Blazer

                    'No, you’ve actually put that simply because you’re (seemingly) rather simple.'

                    Lucky I never said this…then.

                    Good evening.

                    • Gezza

                      Go look again at the context of that reply. That was simply responding in kind to a gratuitously insulting comment to me by Tony Veitch, returning his serve in kind, to see how he liked it. And then I moved on.

                      Not interested in slanging matches. I’m interested in reading & responding to intelligent & interesting commentaries from posters who aren’t seemingly here just to slag off their political opponents or to pick fights with other posters.

                      Bye.

                  • Gezza

                    @ weka

                    I would have thought it would be obvious that Ardern could be used for “Ardern up” (harden up) jokes. If someone who didn’t like her wanted to go down that path. For example, by criticising her for giving Hosking the flick in her morning media rounds.

                    “Ardern up & front up” sort of thing. (I’m not personally interested in doing that, I’m just explaining what I meant becos youve demanded I do.)

                    I’m just trying to establish what your boundaries are. You’ll allow TS posters to riff off or mock the National leader’s family name. Will you allow the same latitude to National supporters who post here in respect of the Labour leader?

                    Or is it gonna be like Kiwiblog when almost anything goes as long as it’s an anti-Labour poster?

                    • weka

                      If someone wants to make a pun out of Ardern's name while making a political point, then no, I have no problem with this. Saying that she should harden up is a valid political argument (which may or may not be wrong).

                      If they're sexist, I will have an opinion on that, and possibly moderate.

                      Having fun with language isn't an issue. Context matters.

                      Personally I find a lot of the nicknames people give politicians tedious. But so long as the lines aren't crossed, it's really not a problem onsite. I think I've been clear about where the lines are, I think you are either not listening to what I am saying or just arguing because you disagree. Either way, moderation is the place to learn about it. Reading other people's moderations and listening to what mods say helps a lot.

                      Or is it gonna be like Kiwiblog when almost anything goes as long as it’s an anti-Labour poster?

                      Don't be stupid. I know you don't like people taking politician's names in vain, but it's an idiocy to suggest that we're letting the site be like KB.

                    • weka

                      btw, you might want to take this social dynamic into account 😉

                    • Robert Guyton

                      🙂 I hope this sort of thing doesn't catch on here!

                      https://www.facebook.com/photo/

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "Harden up"

                    Nice point of order, weka.

                    That phrase isn't one that would ever, ever arise (sorry) from the feminine. Your sensitivity/awareness of the blunt force of patriarchal language is something we men are going to have to accomodate sooner or later (I vote, sooner!).

                    • Gezza

                      .
                      🙄

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Gezza – I have a proposal that I hope will suit you: let's not squabble any more: people are, I imagine, bored by it. I'll stop provoking you and you'll stop noticing my irritations, and I'll leave you to say whatever you think – whadda ya reckon? We can both raise the quality of the site (great site, TS!) by pulling our horns in – you on?

              • Blazer

                What about people who wear a wig…or grim faced ..assassins…

                do people really declare their alopecia or even consider it b4 ..posting!

                I would be surprised if they did.cheeky

              • Robert Guyton

                Well, I beg to differ, weka.

                An assassin is a hired killer.

                One that smiles while he slaughters, is a psychopath.

                And yet, that's all good for general consumption, coz his right-wing mates okayed it?

                Very strange.

                Lux Luther, otoh, was funny, but drew the sweaty-top-lipped ire of Gezza and seeming support from the TS community.

                Now that's a real puzzle!

                Luxona, now, is funny, but relies on Christopher's baldness (as did Lux Luther) – what to do, what to do?

                (maybe, relax?)

                I don't support the efforts to sanitise comments about the Leader of the Opposition on TS – what are we becoming?

                Puckish Rogue, I note, used a wide range of titles to describe his crush, Judith Collins, but was never held to account for his "crassness".

                Double standards, Standardistas!

                • Gezza

                  So now you’ve gone so OTT you’re equating John Key with a psychopathic hired killer?

                  Bloody hell, Robert. If you ever actually had it, you’ve either lost the plot totally or you’re now just blithering nonsense in defense of your desire to see nasty names or mocking of given or family names used freely on this blog.

                  FGS: Why man? Why?

                  Because you think it’s funny? Kids think that kind of thing is funny. Most adults don’t. Why do you think they don’t allow it in televised political debates, Robert?

                • weka

                  Smiling assassin is obviously a metaphor!

                  I do consider Key to be a sociopath, in the generalist sense. He's not the only politician or person in a position of a lot power that is.

                  And yet, that's all good for general consumption, coz his right-wing mates okayed it?

                  Did they? Not sure what you are referring to there.

                  Lux Luthor works on multiple levels, but the associations of baldness isn't a problem. It's a visual cue, not a pejorative.

                  I don't get the luxona reference.

                  Has anybody sanitised TS comments? We've long had a policy of not accepting language or tone that has the effect of excluding people. I tend to jump on people using fatphobic remarks. But I don't take the bald thing as being in the same category, and no-one's been modded for talking about Luxon's baldness have they? All that's happened is Gezza has initiated a conversation and we're talking about it and where the boundaries lie 👍

                  • joe90

                    More than a few in my berg lost the lot including their lives after being handed their DCMs.

                    So yes, actual smiling assassins.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Nice, reasonable and kindly response, weka (thanks).

                    Words, eh!

                    Some people (me and others) are very sensitive to "the words of war and oppression" – "assassin" to me is not a word to be used lightly: I "see" it when it's used.

                    Your commentary about body-shaming is fair, for sure, but not without complications: fat-shaming is pretty obviously unfair, but to ping every physical attribute ("smiling" is out – unfair to those who smile with good intent) is impossible, imo. It's a perilous path, this focus on hurtfulness; I think it needs to be pursued for the sake of those who are being hurt by it, but a measure of good humour could help prevent it from going too far.

                    Luxona, btw, = Rexona and it's easy to Google – you'll see there are "bald" tinges to the joke, but come on, relax: bald guys can take it 🙂 I reckon Luxxy shaves his noggin – in which case, he's bald-by-choice; has anyone looked into this?

                    Again, thanks for the reasonable handling of this issue.

                    • weka

                      You're welcome 🙂 I like talking through these kinds of things.

                      The line for me is whether someone is intending to be hurtful or using a word politically or playfully. Or satirically I guess.

                      Calling a commenter one is talking to a fuckwit for instance will often get mod attention because it's how flame wars start. It's not because the word fuckwit is unacceptable.

                      Calling Luxon, or Ardern, a fuckwit wouldn't bother me either so long as there was an actual point rather than just trying to wind someone up. I think Gezza has the wrong end of the stick with the partisan stuff, although we do tend to protect left wing politicians more than right.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I agree and for the record, I'm playful to the Max 🙂

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Crassness?

                  I take umbrage at slur upon my good name!

                  I was always complimentary towards the most beautiful politician that deigned to grace our parliament with her illuminating presence

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/pdKxKFjtagdgx9-MCeMMWwrWejQ=/300×0/arc-anglerfish-syd-prod-nzme/public/IY3WOU6BVBZRQDBTMZC6WC7CXE.jpg

                  • weka

                    you did get a year's ban for insulting the sysop though, lol.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "Puckish Rogue" is a "good name"?

                    Okay.

                    You certainly did apply lipstick to your squeeze and good on you for that (I admire loyalty).

                    I hope you haven't suffered too much as a result of Jude's down-turn. But I know you: you won't have given up!

                    Jude for Speaker!

              • Stuart Munro

                I'm not so sure he should escape the natural comparisons to Lex Luther and/or Dr Evil.

                Then again, I don't believe that that personification of gross incompetence and incontinent greed, Gerry Brownlee, deserves any more consideration than he showed the victims of the Christchurch quake. The physical manifestations of his lack of character are the gifts of a benignant providence to those who want to highlight his fundamental unsuitability for public office, or indeed any office at all. His recent mysterious disappearance from party roles suggests that his colleagues have come to pretty much the same conclusion.

                • weka

                  if you are saying that GB is a fat, greedy bastard with no self control, then I'd say a) you are wrong to characterise fat people like this (science shows obesity to be a complex condition with a range of factors and causes) and b) contributing to bigotry towards fat people (which is a problem).

                  I've never understood why some on the left are so blind to fatphobia being bigotry and/or why they think this bigotry is acceptable.

                  It's the same argument people had when they went after Slater for being on sickness benefit. He's a massive hypocrite for sure, but attacking him over disability simply tells the right that it's an ok thing to do. As a disabled person who has substantial experience in that it pisses me off no end. It's no different than Shearer's painter on the roof story that promoted bludger memes against people who are unwell and unable to work.

              • solkta

                and soap jokes. A karate caucus clean-up – luxon, luxoff.

                • weka

                  I can't see which comment you are replying to so don't really get your point. Obviously soap jokes aren't ok. Can you really not tell the difference?

                  • solkta

                    Vacuum jokes ok, soap jokes not ok. Nup.

                    • weka

                      you'll have to explain solkta. You may have a point, I just don't know what it is.

                    • solkta

                      You said his surname is still ripe for the picking. I'm anticipating lots of vacuuming jokes.

                      I said and soap jokes. And made a joke about cleaning caucus.

                      You said soap jokes aren't ok.

                      I don't get your point.

                    • weka

                      as I said, I couldn't see what you were replying to. Knee deep in a conversation about Key, I thought you were talking about his soap jokes.

                      Using whole sentences usually makes things clearer earlier.

                    • felix

                      So for clarity weka, what exactly did you mean by " Obviously soap jokes aren't ok. Can you really not tell the difference?"

                    • solkta

                      @weka

                      Don't know why you would think i was referring to Key when i said luxon, luxoff.

                      The joke was a reference to the movie Karate Kid where the master gets the kid to polish his classic cars as part of his training – wax on, wax off. I assumed that everybody our age would get that reference. Luxon has a real turd to polish with that caucus.

                      @felix

                      Key participated in an on air radio prison rape joke where he was asked to 'pick up the soap'. He refused to apologise and the story was reported world wide – CNN, The Guardian etc.

                      edit: rape jokes are never ok.

                  • Brigid

                    Solka might be offering an explanation of 'luxona' .

                    Rexona- lux soap. Maybe?

            • Gezza 6.2.1.2.1.3

              I’m not surprised you’re puzzled, Robert. Attempts to define when use of nasty names is acceptable & when it’s not are always going to confuse those who like to use use nasty names often. So they need to try & widen the boundaries.

              The “smiling assassin” is not that unusual a label for someone who’s been charged with the job of telling sacked workers they’re out of a job.

              Those group managers announcing similar redundancies – while trying to sound upbeat & cheerful about the sacked employees’ prospects for getting other jobs with departmentally-funded job retraining seminars – got given similar derogatory tags in my department, when it went thru a long period of disruptive serial restructurings.

              Has anyone here ever had the job of going out & telling a whole lot of employees their jobs are gone, btw? How did you do it? Like an undertaker at a funeral?

              I didn’t like Key. His eyes had a coldness about teh that suggested to me he only really cared about advancing himself & his career & fortune, & didn’t really care about other people all that much. But even if I’m right about that, that doesn’t make him the devil incarnate like some people seem to try to make him out to be.

              As I recall, he even gave beneficiaries their first increase to base benefit levels after they’d had none over several years of austerity from the Clark/Cullen regime.

              • Gezza

                🙄 *teh = them

              • weka

                that rise in benefit (for some beneficiaries not all) didn't even come close to keeping up with the rising housing costs that were a direct result of intentional Key government policy.

                Not sure why he can't be seen as the devil incarnate. Or maybe one of the devil's henchmen. He did a shitload of damage in his 9 years.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Indeed. But Gezza, being non-tribal, sees Key's good side…

                  • Gezza

                    Show me where I’ve said anything about his “good side”?

                    Stop putting words I didn’t use in my mouth. It’s dishonest.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I didn't quote you: therefore, didn't "put words in your mouth".

                      Okay?

                    • Gezza

                      Not sure why he can’t be seen as the devil incarnate. Or maybe one of the devil’s henchmen. He did a shitload of damage in his 9 years

                      Apparently you’re not a Christian & know little about their beliefs about the devil & his bad angel demon companions.

                      Key had English run a fiscally tight ship & he continued with austerity policies he inherited from the Clark/Cullen regime, while they themselves never entirely undid the damage caused by the Lange/Douglas & Bolger/Richardson administrations.

                      Key had the Christchurch earthquakes & the Pike River mine explosion whacked onto his plate. Pike River was a result of departmental downsizing changes made during the Clark/Cullen regime & continued until OSH had no actual mines inspecting & enforcement capability. In any other country OSH & their departmental bosses would be in the dock by now.

                      Now we are waiting to see whether & how the Ardern/Robertson administration is going to fix the social & societal problems they’ve either inherited or generated themselves. Covid has interrupted matters, but they are not looking flash when it comes to having a Cabinet full of competent Ministers able to get their departments to make real actual measurable progress dekivering improved outcomes.

                      They still have time, though. And Luxon may yet prove to be no real threat. It’ll all depend on who can sell themselves as the most competent team to fix the biggest problems faced by the most voters. Voters in Kiwiland have notoriously short memories. And are susceptible to “election bribes”.

                    • weka

                      "Show me where I’ve said anything about his “good side”?"

                      Here,

                      I didn’t like Key. His eyes had a coldness about teh that suggested to me he only really cared about advancing himself & his career & fortune, & didn’t really care about other people all that much. But even if I’m right about that, that doesn’t make him the devil incarnate like some people seem to try to make him out to be.

                      As I recall, he even gave beneficiaries their first increase to base benefit levels after they’d had none over several years of austerity from the Clark/Cullen regime.

                    • weka

                      that's all interesting Gezza, but I've never voted Labour and I see their culpability pretty well. But there are important differences between the two parties, even more so since Dirty Politics, the Key years and adoption of trumpian politics. I've described the cultural shift in National as akin to what Labour went through in the 80s.

                      In addition, sometimes there are politicians who take things to the next level. Key did that, and imo this is why he was brought in. Bennett did the same with welfare.

                      So you can see Key as just another politician like Ardern, and I disagree and can make that argument pretty easily (I even linked to a post about it). But regardless, the argument today is over what language is ok to use and how to use it.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Do you remember when Key, in the House, called Labour, "The Devil Beast"?

                      Interesting moment in time.

                    • Gezza

                      @Guyton

                      So you admit I never said anything about Key’s “good side”?

                      Then why imply I did?

                      And don’t be obtuse: “putting words in people’s mouths” does not require quoting them. How can you be quoting them if they never said it, FFS?

                      It means suggesting what you say (or write) is what they mean or are really saying.

                      Is your knowledge & understanding of common English phraseology really that minimal – or are you just deflecting?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Ho

                      Hum

                • Gezza

                  @weka, re my talking about his “good side”

                  Here:
                  As I recall, he even gave beneficiaries their first increase to base benefit levels after they’d had none over several years of austerity from the Clark/Cullen regime.

                  For heaven’s sake! That’s just a simple statement of fact. I made no claim about it being his “good side”. It was just as likeky to be a carefully calculated political tactic.

                • Gezza

                  This is one of the better posts I’ve written. I’m left wing and deep green and I have no problem with calling right wing neo-fascists what they are when they are literally killing the planet.

                  Ah. I see.

                  “Neo-fascism is a post-World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, racial supremacy, populism, authoritarianism, nativism, xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiment as well as opposition to liberal democracy, parliamentarianism, liberalism, Marxism, communism and socialism.

                  Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially when the term is used as a political epithet. Some post–World War II regimes have been described as neo-fascist due to their authoritarian nature, and sometimes due to their fascination with and sympathy towards fascist ideology and rituals. Post-fascism is a label that has been applied to several European political parties which espouse a modified form of fascism and participate in constitutional politics.”

                  “Groups which are identified as neo-fascist in the United States generally include neo-Nazi organizations and movements such as the Proud Boys, the National Alliance, and the American Nazi Party. The Institute for Historical Review publishes negationist historical papers which are often of an anti-semitic nature. The alt-right—a loosely connected coalition of individuals and organizations which advocates a wide range of far-right ideas, from neoreactionaries to white nationalists—is often included under the umbrella term “neo-fascist”, because alt-right individuals and organizations advocate a radical form of authoritarian ultranationalism.”

                  “[Name redacted – Gez] the Australian perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, was an admitted fascist who followed eco-fascism and admired Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British fascist organization British Union of Fascists (BUF), who is quoted in the shooter’s manifesto The Great Replacement (named after the French far-right theory of the same name).”

                  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-fascism#Australia_and_New_Zealand

                  • weka

                    ok, so you have problems understanding context, useful to know.

                    I probably should have said proto-fascist, but I think it's clear what my point was.

                    • Gezza

                      I don't have any problems understanding context.

                      You should have said something other than neofascist.

                      And you should have included a link to a definition so there's no doubt about context.

                      Good night, weka.

                    • weka []

                      No, I shouldn’t. If you don’t know how to ask or make sense in context it’s not really my problem. It’s disingenuous to suggest I mean Key is part of trad neo fascist groups.

    • bwaghorn 6.3

      Chris got to where he is by telling people what they want to hear,while cleverly getting the underlings do the real work I expect, hes going to go splat very quickly with his multiple views ,

    • alwyn 6.4

      I am curious. Do either you, or your lawyer mate have any evidence for your claim that the Guinea pig was not his favourite animal? Why shouldn't it be?

      The creature was in fact my father-in-law's favourite. When he had two young children they wanted a pet. He was, unfortunately, severely allergic to both cats and dogs. Guinea pigs however did not affect him so the children could have them as pets. Boring things? Possibly but he could tolerate them around the house and the children could enjoy having a pet. Of course they were his favourite animal.

      Do you have any reason for disbelieving Luxon? Or are you and your mate just looking for an excuse to say he is a liar?

      • Blazer 6.4.1

        I believe a guinea pig is his favourite animal without a doubt…and his favourite colour is blue,and he is a successful property investor-all good qualifications to become P.M.

        • alwyn 6.4.1.1

          In terms of property investment I imagine he might have simply been following in the steps of Helen Clark who I understand owned a number of rental properties when she was PM. At the time I thought it was a sensible investment for someone in her job. I was probably the best way to reduce the problems of conflict of interest without going to the extent of a blind trust like John Key's.

          • garibaldi 6.4.1.1.1

            Any half decent Government would not allow property investment to be the only game in town. Both National and Labour are useless because they are Neoliberals and have knowingly done all this damage to our Country.

  6. Adrian 7

    Back at the start of the pandemic I thought in a reply here that this would be the case. The same thing apparently happened in Britain in the Second World War with a lower suicide rate, it seems that when people have a greater issue or common cause on their minds that this is the case. Last week I heard Ardern mentioned that we were one of only 3 countries to come out of this with a lower overall death rate and longer life expectancy. At one stage I recall about 6 months in we had almost 2000 more people alive than would have normally been expected.

    • Tricledrown 7.1

      With Luxon and Seymour wanting to close MIQ with Omricon now proving to be many times more transmissible the rate of transmission doubling every day in South Africa this variant could put an end to opening up our borders until children and booster shots are administered.

      Opening up could have been a disaster.

      Because we have been successful in managing Covid so far the fight is not over by a long way.Many have become complacent.

      National have once again overshot their spin and left themselves looking like fools.

      While the govts cautious approach hasn't been liked by all.

      Every turn in this war on Covid ,This govt has done the best job of any country in the world.

      Not perfect but a lot better than National and ACT'S let it rip business is more important than an overun health system and a high death toll.

      In a bid to appeal to the hospitality and tourist sector Nact can say what they like to win a few votes but they aren't in charge thank god.Nacts stances keep backfiring because they are desperate to be different.

      • Gezza 7.1.1

        In a bid to appeal to the hospitality and tourist sector Nact can say what they like to win a few votes but they aren’t in charge thank god.Nacts stances keep backfiring because they are desperate to be different.

        I think you’ve got that right, there. Even tho there’ll likely be a bounce in the polls for National because hope springs eternal after the disastrous Judith Collins stint as leader, if Luxon is going to continue to oppose everything the govt does on principle he’s going to find it backfiring on him.

        People (& especially women & mums, imo) know that an abundance caution has been the best way for thecgovt to deal with Covid – and that Covid is the biggest public health threat to Kiwiland in a century. National’s blokes might be thinking differently to their wives & female partners when it comes to voting at the next election.

        Luxon should be leaving this topic alone & focussing on other shortcomings. He may not have the emotional RAM for this. Time will tell, I guess.

      • Bearded Git 7.1.2

        Omicron NOT Omricon. Don't do that to me-I'm having enough trouble trying to get it right.

  7. newsense 8

    From the Spinoff:

    ”In an earlier press statement today, which I quoted from here, Luxon criticised the move into the red setting. However, he did not suggest that Auckland should be in green.

    When questioned by media this afternoon in downtown Auckland while visiting local businesses, the new National Party leader said: “This sector here is ready for Auckland to go straight to green… there’s just no logic to his traffic light system.”

    The National Party did not support the traffic light system, Luxon said, and the country should have opened up once vaccination rates hit high levels.”

    Luxon happy to sacrifice people. At least an Australian death rate leader, possibly a BoJo. ‘I’m pro-life!’

    Question suggestion for a journo- ‘Hey Chris mate, are you as big a hypocrite as the pro-lifers in the States or are you much bigger’?

  8. Tricledrown 9

    I saw the news segment and Luxon suggested that all businesses should be at Green and no borders.

    Next week he will be backtracking saying we are to lax in MIQ because Omricon is looking far more dangerous than Delta. The numbers of cases in South Africa doubling every day.

    That could lead to a more virulent variant with more people being infected and with Omricon high rates of re infection could be a huge disaster.

    Keep MiQ in place don't buckle to those who know fuck all.Conehead and Rimmer head of to a different planet please .

    • Omicron. But you are right about Luxtonsmiley. He is all over the place. He completely drops his guard when talking to "friendly" journalists like Hosking.

  9. Dennis Frank 10

    Your dinosaur Aston Martin may no longer be an endangered species. There's a start-up industry converting classic cars: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/technology/2021/12/saving-the-dinosaurs-startups-drive-to-electrify-fossil-fuel-cars.html

    EV conversion is a cottage industry that's emerged over the past five years, and been turbo-charged by advances in battery technology and electric motors in the past two.

    At the high end, companies like Britain's Lunaz sell a 'remanufactured' Aston Martin DB6 for 1 million pounds (NZ$1.95million), or Dutch firm Voitures Extravert, which sells a reengineered 1960s Porsche 911 for 300,000 euros (NZ$500,000). At the lower end, startups like France's Transition-One have developed no-frills kits designed to electrify mass-market models like the Fiat 500 and Renault Clio in a few hours for about 8,000 euros (NZ$13,000).

    All diesels older than 2011 will be banned in large cities from the start of 2025, affecting millions of car owners. Paris wants to go faster and implement the ban from 2024.

  10. Blazer 11

    Just watched Newshub Nation ,and must say that Simon Reeves is the most professional,even handed front man when it comes to political discourse on T.V.

    Asks the right questions respectfully, without trying to impose his ego on the guests.

  11. Stephen D 12

    Luxon showing he’s on the side of the NIMBYs. Walking back the housing accord. Not sure how that will play with his Deputy Leader, who negotiated it.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/nationals-new-leader-revisits-medium-density-housing-pact

  12. Your dinosaur Aston Martin may no longer be an endangered species. There's a start-up industry converting classic cars:

    I wish someone would start an industry to fix beautiful clocks that happen to have a few years on them.

    After waiting for a week for a local jeweller/watchsmtih/clock repairer to have their clock specialist on duty I left the shop yesterday with a vow never to return.

    'I can't fix that its too old, it must be well over 40 years old ha ha I remember selling those when I first started ha ha maybe even from the 1970s ha ha .'

    To which I replied, 'I have brought in objects for you to fix that I have bought from you that are less than 5 years old and you cannot fix them so age is really not relevant'.

    Then a another customer said 'Yes me too, you said you couldn't get the parts.'

    Then I said 'what you are saying is you haven't got the parts so the age has nothing to do with it'.

    Splutter from clock repairer and assistant 'chimes' in and says, apropos of nothing, 'anyway you can see that the inside of this one is really dirty……'

    As my mother (died 2000 aged 94) would have said way back

    'The whole encounter had the flavour that I had asked the man to do an indecent act'

    and

    'there is no-one so invisible and less deserving of courtesy than an older woman' and depending on who it was she would add 'especially from an older man'

    I was recounting this to another shop owner who asked to see the clocks and he said

    Those are beautiful' I thought how much better to have started with an acknowledgement like this and then said you were sorry but you couldn't get the parts and then an option, if there was one you knew of, where they could be repaired'.

    I had always used this jeweller to buy local. Hard going sometimes as the customer service even from the shop owner and jeweller himself was like pulling teeth sometimes.

    • Bryan Dods 13.1

      @ Shanreagh

      Watchmaker training has changed. Many of them now just fit new batteries.

      The labour involved in a strip down of a clockwork mechanism has led to short cuts such as ultrasonic cleaning of the intact works.

      Many of the Swiss mechanical watch brands used common ETA movements so complete replacement or parts for those movements were readily available.

      Electronic watches needed almost zero maintenance apart from a new battery. When they took over the market the intensity of training watchmakers was side-stepped. Those with the knowledge aged and retired without passing on their skills.

      Jewellers suffered a similar fate. A well known NZ chain of jewellery stores closed its manufacturing in Northland and started purchasing from overseas suppliers decades ago. The extreme difference in labour costs made it very difficult for local jewellers to compete. This halted apprentice training and now many of the retail jewellers have no way to produce one-off handmade pieces.

      It has been the pattern in manufacturing generally for a long time now.

      Les Claypool from Primus sang about it. "Eternal Consumption Engine" laments the problem.

      Try not to take peoples' responses too personally. When they are confronted with the fact that a request is beyond their competency they tend to become flippant and defensive.

      • gsays 13.1.1

        Shellac last week, Primus this week.

        This place never fails to surprise me.

        Back in the early '90s, I had tickets for Jane's Addiction in the UK. Having a wee beer before the gig at the venue bar, it sounded like they had a Primus tape on while setting up.

        No! Primus was the support act. I had travelled 18 months listening to the Suck On This live cassette. Needless to say I was nearly spent before Jane's hit the stage.

    • Grant 13.2

      What sort of clock Shanreagh? Mechanical or battery? Roughly which part of the country are you? I might be able to advise.

  13. Anker 14

    https://www.womenarehuman.com/male-swimmer-diver-breaks-womens-sporting-records/

    wait for this here if Minister Robertson gets his “but we must have inclusion”….

    This is what “inclusion “ looks like

    • Sabine 14.1

      No this is what exclusion looks like. The dude won places 1 – 3 all by himself. No women need apply. He swam for the mens team before undrestanding that he too can be a record setting swimmer in the womens team.

      • weka 14.1.1

        Doubly fucked up is that presumably when people come to their senses and we have women's sports again, those records will stand.

        • bwaghorn 14.1.1.1

          I've stayed away from this because a I'm a bloke and b its confusing, but my o my I cant believe how stupid this shit is getting.

          If you've got or ever had balls you are/should not ever be eligible to play womans sport.

          They only grey area is those rear few born with them(balls) and lady bits,

          Why oh why is this not obvious????????

          • weka 14.1.1.1.1

            it is obvious. Some people have lost their minds (or their bodies probably).

            And you haven't heard the half of it yet. It's going to be the study of many different academics for years to come.

    • Anker 14.2

      "being trans has not effected my ability to compete in this sport".

      What sort of denial is this? Being a male gives him many advantages over women, including a larger heart, larger lungs, bigger feet, hands and arms."

    • Puckish Rogue 14.3

      Imagine if Janae Marie decided to compete against other women

  14. weka 15

    Ros Atkins is a delight to watch at this.

  15. Brigid 16

    And this one

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Artful sarcasm masquerading as political analysis.

      • Blazer 16.1.1

        and all done …'in the best possible….taste'!

      • Drowsy M. Kram 16.1.2

        Plenty of factual content and lol funny – brilliant reporting by BBC’s Ros Atkins, imho.

        The Daily Mail: Mr Johnson "attempted an impression of a traditional petrol engine, issuing a series of guttural sounds to confused delegates in South Shields."

        Senior source at No 10: "Business was really looking for leadership today and it was shambolic." "there is a lot of concern inside the building about the PM….It's just not working. Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it'll keep getting worse. If they don't insist, he just won't do anything about it."

        Michael Stirrup (Chief Executive of Waterstons): "It was interesting that he asked a group of business leaders in the north-east if they have travelled six hours down the road to Peppa Pig World and then talk about levelling up."

        Once Johnson's speech was over, one reporter asked him "frankly, is everything OK?" Bearing in mind the UK PM's life-threatening brush with COVID-19 last year, I wonder if everything’s OK too.

        People Who Survive Severe COVID-19 at Higher Risk of Death in the Following Year [2 December 2021]

    • weka 16.2

      thanks Brigid! I couldn't remember where to find it.

  16. Jilly Bee 18

    When I came to type my comment I noticed that there were 111 comments to date on Open Mic – known to cricket tragics, such as moi, as a Nelson. I'm posting a comment about those unthinking freedumb loving protestors in Auckland Domain rudely interrupting children's cricket games this morning. Sheesh, they are demanding freedom for themselves, but happy to deny it to youngsters going about lawful games of cricket at the Domain. Shame on them. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/127188571/covid19-vaccine-mandate-protesters-force-kids-cricket-match-to-be-abandoned

    • weka 18.1

      possible they didn't know and are just really bad at organising. But yep, terrible look that won't do them any favours.

    • Anne 18.2

      Ah… but what you don't understand: the freedom loving maestros believe their cause is a darn sight more important than a bunch of kids who want to bat a ball around the place. (sarc)

      I'll guarantee not one of those jibbering idiots protestors cared a damn they were destroying the much anticipated first games of the season.

    • joe90 18.3

      Oh for a couple of square drives at shin height.

    • Puckish Rogue 18.4

      I'm all for lawful, peaceful protest.

      This isn't lawful or peaceful, send in the water cannons!

    • Patricia Bremner 18.5

      Hi Jilly Bee, Yes I agree. (Did you see Patel getting a bag of 10 wickets today?)

  17. Anker 19
    • Agree Jilly Bee about the “freedom” protesters and the kids cricket game.
    • big cricket fan myself, but that’s not the issue

    if they are looking to garner sympathy for their stance, it’s hard to imagine a worse strategy (maybe kids birthday party?)

    really they show themselves up to be unfeeling and entitled

    • Anne 19.1

      They also show themselves up to be as thick as two short planks.

      • Jilly Bee 19.1.1

        Absolutely Anne, also, the parents stood around the perimeter of the pitches trying to get those short planks to walk around the them, but no they just barged straight through. I am happy and proud to say that I have taken part in more than one protest in my time, but would hope they were for far more worthy causes than what these freedumb idiots were protesting about.angry

      • bwaghorn 19.1.2

        Fucking gutless bullies is what they are,

        I'm off to have a cider now and calm down , today is making me angry.

        • Jilly Bee 19.1.2.1

          Right on bwaghorn – I'm partaking of a glass or two of Sav Blanc to calm down after a day of getting exercised about those gutless bullies in Auckland, a family member who was being less than charitable about a piece of poetry recently and beautifully written (I was tempted to tell her to get pen to paper and do better), then a Facebook friend (a National Party member), who castigated me about making fun of Simon Bridges' accent, which I took on board then calling the Commissioner of Police 'Cuddles Coster' today after commenting on some gang violence and escalation of numbers (thanks ScoMo et al). I haven't done any research yet, but going on news reports, it would seem that the special unit set up to deal with gangs have managed to make a decent effort in confiscating arms, ammunition, cash, contraband, vehicles and motor bikes among other items.

  18. gsays 20

    Patel strikes again.

    2 wickets in 2 balls in his 2nd over day 2.

    Hattrick ball coming up.

    A five wicket bag.

    • Puckish Rogue 20.1

      Nice

    • gsays 20.2

      For only the third time in test cricket history a bowler has taken 10 wickets in an innings.

      Ajaz Patel 10/119. 12 maidens in his 48 overs.

      Mumbai born Patel is a local boy done good.

      India scored 325 runs in 110 overs. Despite Ajaz antics, New Zealand couldn’t stop the flow of runs.

      Oops, snap dv

    • Patricia Bremner 20.3

      Became a 10 wicket bag!! amazing!!

    • Herodotus 20.4

      Great achievement 10fer, to be complimented by Tim southie. No protestors over there. Perhaps over in India the government and police would react less woke than they do over here. It is to me amazing that todays embarrassment did not esculate with parents telling those protestors some home truths. The police have change their current strategy as it isn’t working.

  19. Sanctuary 21

    Well I took the trouble this afternoon to contact the following who I personally know:

    Owner of a Ponsonby bar

    Owner of three hair salons on the Shore.

    Waiter at a flash place place in Commercial bay.

    Cook at city restaurant

    Barkeep at suburban (Kingsland) bar.

    All report booming business, all checking all patrons vaccine passports and all said they'd no trouble, even from those turned away.

    Beware of black propaganda from outlets like the NZ Herald.

    • Ad 21.1

      Since the infection is going to come to the rest of the country, Aucklanders just have to show New Zealanders the way: one beer at a time.

    • mauī 21.2

      Have these elites heard of apartheid South Africa? They would have loved it!

      • observer 21.2.1

        Have you heard of reality? You wouldn't love it.

        Who's your Nelson Mandela? Who's your Steve Biko? Where's your Soweto, your Sharpeville?

        Do tell.

        • RedLogix 21.2.1.1

          Then again there was the South African woman I worked with here in Australia. She's a very good mechanical draftsperson and designer, quiet, efficient and good to work alongside.

          So one day I thought to ask a bit about herself and how long she'd been in Australia. Turns out like many South Africans she loves the land of her birth and misses it terribly – but cannot go back. One day she heard her husband's car arrive in the driveway, but minutes later he had not appeared. On walking into the carport to find where he was, she found instead his decapitated body – macheted to death.

          You will never hear of his name, nor will he ever appear in any list of victims or heroes for that matter.

  20. dv 22

    Patel has bowled out India, and by that i mean he took ALL 10 wickets!! 10 for 129 Wow!!!

  21. Anker 23

    Amazing effort by Ajaz! 10 wickets

    only the third person to do this. EVER!

    excuse the shouty caps, it’s excitement not anger

  22. Patricia Bremner 24

    Asa cricket tragic YES!! Brilliant.

  23. Puckish Rogue 25

    Once again the ecstatic highs and the exquisite lows of being a Black Caps fan…

    • Puckish Rogue 25.1

      That follow on targets looking a long ways away

    • Patricia Bremner 25.2

      Too true.sad

      • Puckish Rogue 25.2.1

        53/7, not even half way to the follow on

        • mac1 25.2.1.1

          "…the ecstatic highs and the exquisite lows of being a Black Caps fan…

          Bit like politics really. One could insert most parties' names instead of Black Caps into that statement about cricket. In both cricket and politics selectors, coaches, administrators, players, crowds all contribute in a way.

          So to distract us from this current sporting unpleasantness, which NZ political party or parties, in this cricketing analogy has a team with a player capable of taking ten wickets in an innings, and which under a new captain could be all out for 62 runs?

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