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Open mike 05/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 5th, 2022 - 116 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 …

116 comments on “Open mike 05/03/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Media alert: Kim Hill has a selection of worthy topics today! I'm going for these

    8.10 Emerson T Brooking: combatting Russia’s disinformation campaign

    9.05 Michael Schur: The Good Place creator's quest to be perfect

    10.05 David Wengrow: rewriting the history of humanity


    • Ed 1.1

      I wonder if Kim will invite John Mearsheimer on her show one week.

      • aj 1.1.1

        She managed Nils Melzer a few weeks ago, on the political persecution of Julian Assange.

        I doubt Mearsheimer would be permitted under the current tidal wave of pro-west propaganda.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Update on Labour's big play for this year:

    The government is expected to push its three waters reforms – which would put drinking, storm and waste water management in the hands of four organisations – through Parliament this year. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta is set to receive advice from the governance and accountability working group on how to address councils' concerns on Monday, after they were granted a seven-day extension.

    The group's terms of reference include bottom-line requirements from the government that the water service entities give effect to Treaty of Waitangi, ensure "good governance" and board selection processes, ensure the entities remain in public ownership, and retain balance sheet separation. The latter is a financial term for the separation of ownership and control over assets being borrowed against, and would enable the water service entities to borrow much larger sums for repairing and improving water infrastructure.

    Cabinet documents, from before the legislation was delayed, estimated the bill would take up to nine months. OIA documents show the delays to reform legislation announced in December mean the bill is expected to be introduced in "mid-2022". That would mean the bill would be still undergoing Parliamentary scrutiny during the October local body elections – something Mahuta had hoped to avoid.

    "Previous conversations with you and other ministers have indicated a strong desire for the first Bill to be enacted around mid-2022, in advance of the local government elections. To meet this timeframe, we estimate the Bill will need to … be referred to select committee in December 2021, at the latest," a briefing to the Minister stated.


  3. Dennis Frank 3

    In the days before the invasion, Russian TV broadcast a session of President Putin's 30-member security council. The BBC includes a photo showing the immense distance between the top dog & the underdogs, along with profiles of the top underdogs…


  4. Stephen D 4

    Some good analysis of the whole anti mandate protests.


    Dr Ian Hyslop explains why it's urgent we address the social and political divisions that enabled the Parliament protest rather than "disparage the feral mob and order another latte"

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1

      disparage the feral mob and order another latte

      Them's disparagin’ words, but Hyslop's article is a good read – ta.

      However, it is also clear that this protest was about more than vaccination mandates – it was about Covid more generally, perhaps symptomatic of associated fatigue and frustration. It was also about disinformation, misinformation, and experiences or perceptions of social exclusion. The protest gathered an unusual and disparate group including alternative lifestyle adherents, some people affiliated with fundamentalist churches and, at the edges, radical Neo Nazi extremists. The conflation of individual freedom and national identity is reminiscent of the Trump phenomenon in the US and the rise of narrow right-wing populism globally: a populism often cynically supported by private capital.

    • KJT 4.2

      The meme that this is a "division" rather than a small minority of the stupid, doesn't reflect reality. It gives the idea that they are a far bigger group than they really are.

      Why didn't we hear about , "division" during the many times larger anti TPPA, anti AGW and gen zero protests.

      Perhaps as those, unlike the Wellington one, were really supported by a significant number of people.

      The current Wellington Pro Plague, along with the Pro Polluter protests are extremely noisy and disruptive, but certainly not reflective of the views of the overwhelming majority, who find the foolishness obvious.

      By the way. Most of the people objecting to vaccine mandates, and travel restrictions, seem to be rather comfortable middle class Wallies. Workers and the ones at the dirty end of the Neo-Liberal stick, largely seem on side with protecting public health. About 300 to 2 in my workplace voted to make vaccination mandatory.

      • Hongi Ika 4.2.1

        The Blue Collar Workers are accepting the mandates as they have to work and put food on the table and pay the rent.

        The White Collar Workers have houses, assets and cash flow they are the ones jumping up and down and screaming.

        • Ad

          That was them in the protest at Parliament right?

          All those asset owners, jumping up and down screaming.

          • Barfly

            Maybe some of the "asset owning classes" were happy to finance aspects of it rather than "get their hands dirty"

            "After all I didn't where I am today by getting my hands dirty" (hat tip to Reggie Perrin)

        • KJT

          Blue collar workers, used to working together for the good of their community see the sense in mandates and other public health measures, to protect those close to them.

          The there are, entitled brats, who have never had any concern for those around them…….

      • ozaki 4.2.2

        The divisions are divided.

      • Patricia Bremner 4.2.3


    • weka 4.3

      please take this discussion to the Convoy post.

  5. Jenny how to get there 5

    World leader who has ordered his nuclear forces to "High Combat Alert", loses touch with reality.

    "the alleged ongoing air strikes of Kyiv and other large cities are gross propaganda fakes," the Kremlin said in a statement.

    Putin Denies Bombing Ukraine Cities, Says Ready For Talks If Demands Met

    WorldAgence France-Presse Updated: March 04, 2022 10:15 pm IST


    Is Putin trying to convince us that the Ukrainians are conducting false flag attacks on their own people?

    Though Russian allegations of a false flag attacks may have convinced some people in the past over Syria. Putin's useful idiots in the West will have trouble spinning this story.

    • Ed 5.1

      John Mearsheimer is not a 'useful idiot'.

      He is ' an American political scientist and international relations scholar, who belongs to the realist school of thought. He is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He has been described as the most influential realist of his generation.

      Mearsheimer is best known for developing the theory of offensive realism, which describes the interaction between great powers as being primarily driven by the rational desire to achieve regional hegemony in an anarchic international system. In accordance with his theory, Mearsheimer believes that China's growing power will likely bring it into conflict with the United States. He also holds U.S. interventionist foreign policy responsible for the crisis in Ukraine.'


      • Jenny how to get there 5.1.1

        I have no idea who John Mearsheimer is. Or what he has to do with anything.

        Apart from the glittering academic career which you have written of in your comment.

        But it brings to mind a quote I once read;

        Who is the true internationalist?

        The factory worker who speaks one language, has never left his home town, but goes to jail rather than be sent to war against another nation?


        The intellectual who has travelled, world, speaks seven languages, who supports his nation going to war against another nation?

        As to whether, John Mearsheimer, (whoever he is), is a useful idiot, or a useless one, I have no idea.

        Does he support war and oppression in foreign lands?

    • Peter 5.2

      Why wouldn't Putin try to convince us that the Ukrainians are conducting false flag attacks on their own people? You can be certain some will be convinced what he says is true and that will become The Word.

      In the Herald today David Farrier alludes (again) to the weird things being said.

      "I documented in real time Billy Te Kahika jnr's Facebook posts over that time (early Covid). Originally supporting Jacinda Ardern's reaction to Covid, within several months Billy became an entirely different beast, spouting conspiracy theories galore. He went into politics, failed miserably, and today is mostly raving about aliens on Facebook. Now Sue Gray — a more accessible, white face to the crazy — screams about dead children and vaccine deaths."


      It is undeniable that Billy Te Kahika Jnr and Sue Gray are believed, their stuff accepted as truth.

      • Hongi Ika 5.2.1

        Peter what's the story on Brian Tamaki and all his Gangster Mates ?

        • Peter

          I don't know about Brian Tamaki and his "gangster mates."

          Farrier references religious angle on the protest:

          "Many of our biggest pentecostal and evangelical churches also drank the Kool-Aid, taking their adherents down an anti-science route that questioned whether Covid was real, or if masks worked. It's one thing for a church to deny evolution, it's another for it to deny modern science that will affect public health outcomes. "All those needles going into the arm, it's like they're trying to wear me down!" said the leader of one megachurch. "We do know it has not been fully approved by the FDA …" he raved on. He was wrong.

          The media tended to focus on Destiny Church's Brian Tamaki, as he was the loudest and strangest, but it was City Impact Church pastor Peter Mortlock who drove to the Wellington "protest" to livestream his thoughts."

          Tamaki seems to have aligned his cult with the 'Freedom & Rights coalition.' With that he is carrying on his permanent electioneering. The words are 'get rid of the government," the message is "pick me." Covid and vaccinations are merely handy handles.

          Gangster mates? I don't know about that. I know a big body of loud motorbikes roaring in canyons of buildings sounds impressive to some. And threatening to others, what with the Headhunters, Mongrel Mob, Hell's Angels and so on references. No-one would believe that Tamaki wouldn't harness whatever is needed to make an impression.

          Big guys, black gear, dark sunnies, staunch demeanour? It's like a parody of American gangster movies. It's a wonder Tamaki hasn't paid big bucks (from the people who willingly give him money to buy their way into heaven) to commission the Cohen Brothers to shoot a film about him.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.2.2

        crying Sad people, some misogyny?

    • Treetop 5.3

      Every faction/side in Ukrania needs to take responsibility to ensure a nuclear power plant is not hit or damaged due to the conflict.

  6. Treetop 6

    A declaration of war against Europe was narrowly missed yesterday when bombs hit the training centre at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

    A strike at a Ukrainian nuclear power plant was my worst fear at the start of the invasion.

    I have been listening to speech after speech from the UN, Nato and the US. Words will not be enough for Putin.

    The situation is dire for the Ukrainians, food shortage, bombed hospitals, the Russian convoy. I am pleased to see that many Polish and German people have taken Ukrainian people into their home, (other near by countries as well). Poland and Germany have faced Russia in the past and will be affected economically and the threat of a nuclear explosion cannot be excluded. Germany and Poland have moved on since 1945 and they are now on the same side and they stand side by side being Nato members.

  7. alwyn 7

    I suggest that one means of settling the Ukraine invasion would be to have a duel between the leader of the Russian forces and the Mayor of Kyiv. One on one.

    Now I realise that David beat Goliath in the Biblical story but I would put my money on the Ukrainian representative in this encounter. His name is Vitali Klitschko. If that doesn't ring a bell try googling the name and see what his previous occupation was.

    • pat 7.1

      Steroids or not Putin is almost 70….dont think he'd go for it

      • alwyn 7.1.1

        Hell, I wouldn't go for it if I was in my physical prime and 20 years old.

        Actually I did mean the Russian military leader in the country rather than Putin. Not only is Vitali 19 years younger than Vladimir but he must be about 35 cm taller.

        • pat

          lol…Putin a black belt judoka so in his younger years he might have given it a go….guess it depends on the size of the ego

          • GreenBus

            A Black Belt at 70 years old and in good shape would still be dangerous.

            Black Belt is not to be taken lightly.

            • Incognito

              Black Belt is not to be taken lightly.

              Depends on the weight class.

            • pat

              yes a fit 70 year black belt judoka would be dangerous to joe average but Kitschko is himself a former professional world champion boxer 20 years his junior.

              Alwyn (and myself) indulging in pointless (and amusing) speculation about impossible events in the absence of impacting reality..i suspect.

              And 70 year old muscles cant cash cheques written by 30 year old minds….as much as they wish they could.

              • alwyn

                "Alwyn (and myself) indulging in pointless (and amusing) speculation about impossible events in the absence of impacting reality".

                Yes. Vitali, and his brother Wladimir, were both World Heavyweight Boxing Champions. I really doubt that any 70 year old politician, no matter his background would, survive.

                And, unfortunately we aren't going to get rid of Putin that way. Still, one can always dream about him getting his comeuppance.

    • Ad 7.2

      A dance-off, live before a studio audience, to give Zelinskyy a chance at winning.

      The question is what would they wear?

  8. Anker 8

    oMG Shane Warne has died aged 52. A real shock.

    I didn’t follow cricket when he was playing, but a great cricket commentator.

  9. Molly 9

    After recent stories of parents' distress on their babies trapped in the Ukraine – https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/aussie-parents-desperate-journey-to-reach-their-premature-baby-daughter-in-ukraine/NRLR564ON3CDLCRQAFSVKYGCRE/



    – I wondered why is the Ukraine used for surrogacy, and discovered around 2,000 – 2,500 babies are born to foreign couples each year. It's an industry.

    Surrogacy is an emotive issue. Particularly for those who are unwillingly childless.

    But an ethical and moral discussion has to be had about the wider and long term impacts regarding the 'manufacture' and 'production' of children.

    Regarding the Australian couple above:

    It has been a difficult journey for the couple to become parents.

    "They have been together for 20 years, and after suffering for seven long years of primary infertility, multiple IVF rounds, surgeries and specialists, they began their surrogacy journey and made the decision to employ the help of a surrogacy agency in Ukraine," friend Kara Pangrazio said on a Mycause page set up to help the couple.

    "As this situation is changing rapidly it is not yet known logistically how [bringing Alba home] will happen."

    Alba, who is the genetic daughter of Jessica and Kevin, is currently in the NICU suffering a small bleed on the brain as well as underdeveloped lungs and intestines.

    The surrogate mother is also receiving care in the hospital.

    "Jess and Kev came to the decision of using a Ukrainian surrogacy programme after a lot of careful consideration, including the legality, wait times in years, ethics and costs," Pangrazio wrote on the Mycause page.

    It would be good to have a list of those considerations compiled here.

    The Guardian had a 2020 article on the difficulty that arose from 'products' being stuck during the first months of the pandemic.

    Shulzhynska, a mother of two who used to work as a trolley bus conductor, went to a surrogacy clinic in 2013 because she desperately needed to pay back a bank loan. She was so broke that the clinic sent her money to buy the ticket to Kyiv.

    She agreed to carry a baby for an Italian couple, and within two months it turned out she had four living embryos in her womb. The biological family decided to keep only one and the rest were removed surgically. In May 2014 Shulzhynska gave birth to a baby girl, which she gave away to the parents. She received a fee of €9,000.

    Seven months later she went to a hospital with severe stomach pain. Doctors diagnosed cervical cancer. It took her almost a year to raise money for surgery. Shulzhynska suspects the cancer was caused by her surrogacy, although there is no proof of this. She has recently ordered crutches because her doctors plan to amputate her left leg, which is now affected by the spreading cancer.

    In 2015, Shulzhynska filed a complaint against BioTexCom alleging damage caused to her health, which led to a criminal investigation that is ongoing.

    Yuriy Kovalchuk, a former state prosecutor whose office oversaw a series of criminal investigations into BioTexCom in 2018 and 2019, says at least three other women went to law enforcement after having their wombs removed following surrogate pregnancies organised by the company.

    Princeton has published a paper on international commercial surrogacy that concludes:

    From the limited evidence available, the abuse of surrogates and children born from surrogacy is strikingly apparent. To date, developed countries have fueled demand for corrupt and under-regulated surrogacy industries in developing countries around the world. This demand has given rise to powerful corporations that operate without fear of government oversight. As concepts of parentage continue to expand, so must international family law. The Hague Convention’s Experts’ Group is the most qualified international body to champion the regulation of the industry and the protection of women and children.

    On the horizon we have tech solutions, that come with their own mountain of unexplored ethical and moral considerations. As Dr Hanna says @00:45:

    "I think there's always an ethical price. My job as a scientist is to make the technology and put it on the table. "

    Culturally, we have whangai, which may arise from either an intentional or unintentional pregnancy. Akin to non commercial surrogacy.

    What re the thoughts here on TS regarding surrogacy?

    The more I look into commercial surrogacy, the more exploitative and short-sighted it seems.

    Not sure the same holds true for non-commercial surrogacy, but there's still wider impacts than birth.

    • Sabine 9.1

      They – could of course adopt children in their home countries, all these couples that order babies from overseas birthing bodies, but that would then mean that they child is 'not theirs'.

      I find it interesting that the only interest is in the babies, never mind the birthing bodies that are left behind in the war region.

      But here is Tamati Coffey, 'father' of two babies from a surrogate mother and his bill to make it even easier to buy babies of birthing bodies for as little money as possible. Don't ever say these 'gender woo's' don't know what a women is when they need one. lol


      However we can't blame Tamati Coffey for having his priorities straight, maybe there is is a future industry for Rotorua in the making, all the unproductive uteruses of uterus havers (specially the unemployed) can be put to work birthing for 'infertile people' such as he and his husband are as two men together – despite all the myth of those afflicted with gender woo – never conceived a child nor birthed even just one.

      Personally i can see a future – a near future at that, where unemployed women could be compelled to 'donate eggs' – as work, be a 'surrgate mother' – as work, i.e. for pay as income, or sell 'surplus' breast milk for money as a form of income.. That and of course then also sex work which is work and thus…….:) its gonna be a lovely future for the things we used to call 'women' adult human female.

      • Anker 9.1.1

        Good to see you back Sabine. Missed your commentary.

      • Molly 9.1.2

        Human breast milk is already a commercial product.

        Of course, it's all for a good cause:

        Mother-of-three Megan Golub said she and her partner had turned to NeoKare after she had struggled to breastfeed her third son Oliver.

        After trying formula, "which was even worse", her partner Robin Gibb attempted to find breast milk from elsewhere.

        The firm claims to be the only firm in Europe selling 100% breast milk products and said it helped premature babies and mothers with problems breastfeeding.

        Marketing officer Jessica Preston defended the cost of what the company sells, with six 50ml bottles priced at a total of £45.

        But as usual, the profit margin is greater in other demographics:



        Running out of room to store it, the 24-year-old mum started to donate the milk to women who were struggling to produce milk on their own – until men began to approach Lamprou for her milk.

        She said: “I then started to get some enquiries from men. It started with men who were interested in bodybuilding. They say it is good for building muscle mass.

        “But then I started to get enquiries from men with fetishes.”

        After realising there was quite a large market of men looking for breast milk, Lamprou decided to start selling the two litres of milk she was producing a day – and began charging male buyers €1 (89p) per ounce.

        …As for the fetish usage of her breast milk, Lamprou said: “It was a bit strange at first giving breast milk to a guy with fetishes but as long as it is just that and not asked to show any part of my body, I don’t mind at all. I am open-minded.”

        So open minded she participates in a fetish that reduces women to lactating bovines.



        Read it and weep.

        • Sabine

          Yes, it already exist, but in my scenario a women aka human female adult (producer of ova ) can be compelled by a helpful Winz drone to get a 'job' in selling breast milk – they can feed their own kids some formula or so, get a job in -surrogacy for some people, they can get a job in selling eggs – its just a wee little surgery no harm done here no not at all, and / or sex work – its work, dignified work yes, it is, cause work is work and if you are able and fit and demand is there why won't you take it, and if you don't take it, here have some sanctions. I give it a few years.

          • Molly

            "I give it a few years."

            I'd like to say I think you are wrong, but given the current climate, I can see it happening.

      • Molly 9.1.3

        (BTW, Hi Sabine!)
        As for that bill:

        This Bill amends five Acts and two sets of Regulations to simplify surrogacy arrangements, ensure completeness of information recorded on birth certificates (hah!), and provide a mechanism for the enforcement of surrogacy arrangements (the fact that this is necessary shows a fundamental flaw).

        New Zealand law does not currently afford any automatic rights to the intending parents of a child born via surrogacy. At the time of birth, the child’s legal parents are the surrogate mother and partner, and a formal adoption process is required to complete the arrangement.(why is this necessary – have there been problems in the past?) This Bill affirms the intending parents’ automatic legal status at the point that custody of the child is transferred. It also enforces the legal obligations of intending parents if they refuse to take custody by making them liable for child support, (why is this necessary – have there been problems in the past?) even if they do not have custody of the child.

        The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), ratified by New Zealand in 1993, committed New Zealand to implementing the rights set out in the Convention. These include a child’s right from birth to know (all?)their parents and to be cared for by them (Article 7.1) and the right to seek and receive information of all kinds (Article 13(1)). This Bill requires the Registrar to also register information about the identity of the surrogate and any person who donated an embryo or cells for the pregnancy. (This isn't the case?) In this way, the Bill recognises the rights of children to know their genetic origins. (as long as it doesn't conflict with the fluidity that is gender identity?)

        My comments in bold italics.

      • alwyn 9.1.4

        "They – could of course adopt children in their home countries".

        Not in New Zealand they can't. From the reference below, which is a Government publication and is probably accurate we are told.

        "Adoptions reached their highest number in Aotearoa New Zealand in the 1970s, with nearly 4,000 children adopted each year. The number of adoptions in Aotearoa has reduced over time, with only 125 adoptions granted by the New Zealand Family Court in 2020."


        So no, I can't see it becoming a thriving industry.

        • Molly

          alwyn, do you have a comment on surrogacy?

          (Outcomes for standard adopted children are below average, independent of the adoptive family, which is another discussion in itself.)

          • alwyn

            I was replying to Sabine, at comment 9.1. The quote in the first line is from Sabine's comment. As such my comment didn't really have anything to do with surrogacy but to the implication in Sabines comment that couples don't have to use surrogacy when they can simply adopt.

            I do know a number of people who were adopted. I don't find them to have been any different to anyone else. I don't know any that were born via surrogacy, but that probably has more to do with my age than anything else. Adopting was a standard option when I was the age to be having children and I know people who followed that path. You can't really do it today though. Surrogacy was unheard of.

            • Molly

              I understand you were answering Sabine, just wanted to know if you had thoughts on surrogacy. As Sabine linked, there is a bill currently at first reading.

              It would be good to have a public discussion on what this really legislates for.

              "Surrogacy was unheard of."

              Whāngai has always been around, My mother (now in her eighties) and two other siblings were whāngai placements. It still happens, if not so often, with reliable accessible contraception and support.

              I believe Sabine has a good grasp of the wider ramifications of surrogacy, and the justifications for it – hence the adoption comment.

              Looking at the process for commercial surrogacy the ethical and moral considerations are numerous. I was hoping there would be a discussion around those points. eg. the risk of medication required for implants/egg retrieval causing cancer being borne by the surrogate/provider, the commodification of children, and women's bodies, the emotional and social impact of carrying/ having someone else carry a child, the economic situation that allows this exploitation, etc.

              • alwyn

                "Thoughts on surrogacy".

                No. Emotionally it seems rather odd to me, but that is just an instantaneous and not a considered response. Neither I, nor anyone in my immediate family had any problems procreating. Mind you my eldest sister took it to extremes. She had 4 children under the age of 3 by the time she had her fourth wedding anniversary.

                However I am not able to make any reasoned comment on the topic of surrogacy so I will keep out of the discussion.

                • Molly

                  "However I am not able to make any reasoned comment on the topic of surrogacy so I will keep out of the discussion."

                  Thanks, alwyn. I appreciate your reply.

                  I'm interested in your last statement. I would expect that anyone given information about a situation, would be able to make a 'reasoned comment' albeit with provisos.

                  I wonder if the emotive nature of childbearing and childlessness, and the obscuring factor of this makes this topic yet another that will not be sufficiently investigated and discussed before passing legislation.

                  I admit to being bored by the repetitive and circular nature of discussions around the vaccines and protests, and thought there might be some interest in examining another topic that has legislation being considered.

        • Sabine

          Not sure how adoption is handled in NZ. This article that Molly linked to was about a couple in OZ that bought a pregnancy off a low income women in the Ukraine, and that was what my comment is about.

          Disclaimer: I can not have children. Physically am not able to have children. Did not buy a pregnancy of a low income women to make up for the not having children. Did look into adoption, but choose not to go that way. Had a surrogacy offered to me by my best friend, and did not choose to go ahead, mainly for these reasons. A. my genetic material may not interact well with hers. B. nine month pregnancy is a long time on a women and her existing children. C. Pregnancy does things to womens bodies. D. Post Partum Depression is a thing. E. What if something goes wrong and the mother suffers? Just a few of the issues.

          Yes, i can see the lease of the reproductive body parts of the human adult female become a thriving business. It already is in India, Ukraine, Russia etc. During the first month of the lockdown there already was a wave of babies not being picked up by their 'parents' etc, and these babies suddenly got stuck with their birthing parents. Suddenly we know what women and mothers are.


          here from 2014 even with prices. lol



          • Molly

            Thanks, Sabine.

            It's good to read someone's thought processes about consideration of surrogacy, and the reasons why they decided against it.

            Pregnancy is not a neutral body condition. It puts a woman's body under stress, even through good pregnancies, leaches calcium, and as you say makes changes that need to be accommodated during gestation and beyond. The emotional and social costs are harder to articulate, but they do exist even if they are ignored.

            It is telling that you had a friend that offered, and also that as a friend, you declined.

            I was fortunate enough to be able to have children, and not be in the position of yearning and despair that I can understand in others. I think I would be inclined to think like you, and refuse an offer of surrogacy for some of the reasons you have stated. My partner and I would have to grieve the loss of that role as parents, but along with other life obstacles, we'd have to move on.

            Thanks for responding. We need the objective views of the reality, as well as the understandably heartfelt entreaties from those who use other women as incubators. That price list, huh?

            Families Through Surrogacy, an international non-profit surrogacy organisation, has estimated the approximate average costs in different countries:

            • US – $100,000 (£60,000)
            • India – $47,350
            • Thailand – $52,000
            • Ukraine – $49,950
            • Georgia – $49,950
            • Mexico – $45,000
    • Hongi Ika 9.2

      While I sympathize with the Ukraine we don't hear much about what the USA & Israel are doing in Palestine do we and that's been going on since 1948.

      • alwyn 9.2.1

        All right. I'll bite.

        What has the USA been doing in Palestine. Just the USA and just Palestine.

        Facts please, and supported by evidence.

      • Molly 9.2.2

        Guessing this is on the wrong thread?

    • Psycho Milt 9.3

      " It's an industry."

      Children as a manufactured commodity has to be the most disgusting industry yet invented by humans.

      • Molly 9.3.1

        Yet NZ is looking to legislate for it, without discussing or considering the wider ramifications.

        Poor democracy practice.

      • Sabine 9.3.2

        Profitable it will be. And if you take in mind that we actively promoting the 'changing' of ones sex, and that that change comes with castration/sterilization it will be a booming business once all these people realize that they can no longer have children.

        Never mind the kids that we are going to chemically castrate thanks to puberty blockers and the likes. But they will profit of the good lawmaking of Tamati Coffey and can then offer a womb rental agreement to some ‘uterus haver’ for a child that they can neither father, or in the opposite birth.

        And hence the need to legalise and regulate the market as the bill by noted 'father' of two children born to a 'birthing body' via a uterus lease agreement.

        Actually for what its worth, Tamati Coffey could have saved himself a lot of work and put forward the Ferengi Rules about womb leases and prices / costs there of.


        • Molly

          It is a profitable business. One article above states that couples pay $25,000 (I assume USD) to the business, the surrogate receives up to $10,000.

          We have to view these arrangements objectively and dispassionately in order to identify whether they are both moral and ethical. Stripping away all emotive appeals, we are treating a woman's body as a manufacturing plant. Unlike a manufacturing plant, there are no replacement parts, or ways to avoid wear and tear. Also, we ignore the impact of pregnancy on a woman's life, especially one that results in no child for that woman.

          Relating stories of euphoric or satisfied commercial surrogates, is the equivalent of using The Happy Hooker as justification for prostitution. The majority of women in commercial surrogacy are being exploited.

          The issue of non-commercial surrogacy has other considerations to be discussed, but still – as you mention – carries risks.

          Live long and prosper, Sabine.

  10. Ad 10

    So is 18,000 new infections per day as a rolling average the trigger to reverse the vaccine mandates?

    Or is it the deaths per day?

    Or maybe it's the limits to hospital ICU capacity, even without the strike?

    Or is it how many minutes of national tax will be required to restore a child's slide on the parliamentary forecourt?

    When will Ardern be able to set out specifically what the measures are by which the vaccine mandate will be determined that it can be removed?

    We have 10 days left before the commemoration of the Christchurch massacre, and 20 days before ANZAC Day.

    Get a wriggle on Government and show you can do more than emote.

    • Barfly 10.1

      'Are we there yet !?' angry

    • Poission 10.2

      The infection rate is probably underdone,due to the use of RATS and under reporting as say Dunedin or australia experienced.


      The sharp drop of cases overseas is also a good example with the CDC only using PCR tests in its figures.

      Here the death toll is now 73,and may exceed the road and workplace fatalities combined,with around a busload of fatalities a week to Anzac day.

      Australia is tracking to exceed the death toll of Gallipoli by Anzac day,(in a shorter time period)

      • Ad 10.2.1

        The government needs to start to look coherent again by the time the Christchurch and ANZAC memorials come around.

        I'm glad I'm not in the Labour caucus right now. It must be miserable.

        • Poission

          Well they missed the chch earthquake memorial as they were more concerned about the lawns and the curtains,and noisy neighbours,and so they could pass urgent legislation in this Brave New world ensuring the sanctity of Freemartins.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Polls dont reflect you 'concerns' Mr Ad

          The curia one which I watch because it comes out every month has seen a rise every month since the Nov dip ( covid lockdowns) from 44.8 in Oct

          But we know you just want to fluff Luxons pillows but dont dare do so here

        • Peter

          You should try the New Zealand First caucus.

    • Treetop 10.3

      The mandates are only as good as those who comply with them.

      I expect scanning is down. Probably getting a booster as well. I got boosted late last week and when I left I thought, that better be the last one.

      A lot of people would know family who are infected with Covid. Hard because some would want to help those with young children, but cannot risk being infected.

      • Ad 10.3.1

        By Matariki anyone who even mentions 'Vaccine Mandate' will have 18 skyrockets strapped to them and sent towards the Pleiades.

    • Sabine 10.4

      The 20+ thousand a day is our testing limit. Take it at that and do what you will with it.

  11. Macro 11

    As I once heard Muldoon say "You win some – you loose some"

    Now that Apple has left Russia, Apple Maps has put Crimea back in Ukraine devil

  12. Belladonna 12

    Interesting that Switzerland has abandoned 200 years of neutrality, and come out in support of Ukraine.


    And an interesting perspective over the announced change to legislate for an independent sanctions policy (rather than piggybacking on UN sanctions, which NZ has previously done – of course, the UN security council will never sanction Russia)


  13. Treetop 13

    Reply to Ad @ 10.3.1

    Omicron does not give a rats arse about mandates.

    Mandates have reached their full potential as far as preventing hospital admissions. Due to high infection rates no mandate is able to stop infections.

  14. Ad 14

    Governance mechanisms in water management don't usually attract this degree of analysis from the NZHerlad.

    Three waters reform: Working group frustrated by government bottom lines – NZ Herald

    The TLDR version is:

    8 October local government election car crash.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      It was done by RNZ and they just reprinted it

      A lot of gaps in the papers these days where new stories are supposed to be ( ie they fill them with a link to a story all ready mentioned.

      Im not sure of its covid related staffing problems or that the Ukraine situation has sucked all interest out of other stories and they are holding them back

  15. Molly 15

    The Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (and no, WPATH is not evidence based despite assumptions) have compared the newly released Swedish evidence reviewed policy with the draft of the updated WPATH due for release this year:

    France has also updated their protocol, following the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark and Sweden.

    The National Academy of Medicine in France has issued a press release in which it cautions medical practitioners that the growing cases of transgender identity in young people are often socially-mediated and that great caution in treatment is needed. The Academy draws attention to the fact that hormonal and surgical treatments carry health risks and have permanent effects, and that it is not possible to distinguish a durable trans identity from a passing phase of an adolescent's development.

    And where are we?


    The document as a whole shows an "affirming care" approach, at any age or stuation.

    It contains many non-evidence based statements:

    Puberty blockers are considered to be fully reversible and allow the adolescent time prior to making a decision on starting hormone therapy.

    There have been no long term follow up studies on this. Current indications are that there are significant detrimental health outcomes, including bone mineralisation, cardiac health and brain development.

    Max Tweedle on the Spinoff denigrates the paltry number (14/yr @ $53k) of gender affirming surgeries for the current annual $748,000 surgery budget, and the $4.23 million as a reason for the Rainbow Ministry. (Government provides support via other ministries to NGOs that aren't quantified).

    Detrans support is not mentioned in the article, or indeed on many NGO sites. When it is the bias is clear:

    Usually “retransition” is the term that acknowledges that gender identity is a journey of exploration, and that it is possible to transition to a transgender identity or a cisgender identity multiple times.
    The word “detransition” is most often used by anti-trans campaigners, who wish to stop people from accessing gender-affirming healthcare – either to affirm a transgender identity or a cisgender one.

    Young people receiving 'affirming health care' in NZ are doing so on assumptive, non long-term evidence based data. They will carry the consequences of the failure of adults.

    Will we require them to look and create their own support networks, on redditand elsewhere? Or will we recognise the reality that social, medical and/or surgical treatments during childhood and puberty are not benign and adjust treatment accordingly?

    It is apparent to me that NZ is not only enthusiastically late to the party, we are going to stay till the hangover is guaranteed.

    • Anker 15.1

      Thanks for posting this Molly. Good to have the update.

      And the fear is with the Conversion Practices Bill, parents and possibly some health professionals may find them self being investigated by the police if they don't affirm/confirm the young persons gender identity.

      I can't understand why people are up in arms about this.

      • Molly 15.1.1

        "I can't understand why people are up in arms about this."

        I have a comment in my head that contains a lot of swear words, but essentially I think they are 'Being Kind' instead of being aware, evidence-based, diligent and responsible.

        'Affirming health care' is a solution looking for a problem and creating one. The new Swedish guidelines states their approach clearly:

        NBHW emphasized the need to treat gender dysphoric youth with dignity and respect, while providing high quality, evidence-based medical care that prioritizes long-term health. NBHW also emphasized that identity formation in youth is an evolving process, and that the experience of natural puberty is a vital step in the development of the overall identity, as well as gender identity.

        In light of above limitations in the evidence base, the ongoing identity formation in youth, and in view of the fact that gender transition has pervasive and lifelong consequences, the NBHW has concluded that, at present, the risks of hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth outweigh the potential benefits.

        As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. Only a minority of gender dysphoric youth—those with the “classic” childhood onset of cross-sex identification and distress, which persist and cause clear suffering in adolescence—will be considered as potentially eligible for hormonal interventions, pending additional, extensive multidisciplinary evaluation.

        For all others, including the now-prevalent cohort of youth whose transgender identities emerged for the first time during or after puberty, psychiatric care and gender-exploratory psychotherapy will be offered instead. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and the number of clinics providing pediatric gender transition will be reduced to a few highly specialized centralized care centers.

        • Anker
          • Time for us to follow Sweden, but the gender activists and the likes of Elizabeth Kerekere will do all they can to ensure this doesn’t happen.

          I wonder about reposting this week day early on in the day. Any chance of this

  16. Jenny how to get there 16

    Despite state repression and censorship.

    Anti-war feeling in Russia is growing.

    The war in the Ukraine will be won/lost in Russia

    'No To War': Entire Staff Of Russian TV Channel Resigns Live On-Air

    Russia-Ukraine war: The staff members leaving the studio after resigning.

    The entire staff of a Russian television channel resigned live on-air after declaring “no to war” in the final telecast. The decision was taken by the staff of TV Rain (Dozhd) after Russian authorities suspended its operations over its coverage of Ukraine war.

    Natalia Sindeyeva, one of the channel's founders, said “No to war” in its last telecast as the employees staged a walkout from the studio. The channel later said in a statement that it has suspended the operation "indefinitely".

    The video of mass resignation was shared by writer Daniel Abrahams on LinkedIn.

    After the dramatic exit of the staff, the channel played the 'Swan Lake' ballet video, which was shown on state-run TV channels in Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The video has now gone viral on social media.

    "No To War": Entire Staff Of Russian TV Channel Resigns Live On-Air

    World Edited by Amit Chaturvedi (with inputs from Reuters) Updated: March 04, 2022 3:42 pm IST

    • Treetop 16.1

      Any alternative view or not towing the state line your life is put in danger.

  17. Molly 17

    Lost a comment.

    Too many links?

  18. Muttonbird 18

    Christopher Luxon 'absolutely' a feminist.

    Really? Not saying men can't be pro-women's rights but surely to be a feminist you have to be active in that particular field.

    Of course Chris, who ran an airline in case you didn’t know, brings up said airline as proof of his record as a feminist:

    As you look at my record at Air New Zealand where we worked really hard to build women from 16 percent of the top 100 jobs up to 44 percent in a very short period of time

    And good on him, this looks like affirmative action on steroids. I wonder if he will do the same for Maori, or will his voting base balk at that.


  19. Belladonna 19

    What is going on with the Covid testing and RAT roll out in Wellington?

    "The concerning behaviour ranges from widespread verbal abuse aimed at staff to instances of members of the public striking the walls of testing shelters with staff inside, attempts to steal boxes of RATs, and at least one assault."


    • Poission 19.1

      Just a symptom of a large scale testing stuff up, Hipkins and Verall need to be stood down.


      • Muttonbird 19.1.1

        It's a surge, mate. It's the surge. This is NZ's worst time in the whole pandemic but here we are complaining about a few queues and some arseholes trying to steal tests to sell on the black market.

        Big fucking deal.

        Do you remember what happened in other counties?

        • Poission

          Yes we all knew ,so why were they so unprepared? and why open the borders in the growth phase of an epidemic,is it because the government is thick,very thick or total imbeciles?

          • Muttonbird

            Opening the borders is something you have been wanting for some time, surely? Not sure why you are questioning it now.

            It might look to you they are unprepared because you can't buy a RAT for $50 a pop whenever you feel the need, but given pandemic response in not an exact science, I think they are doing remarkable well. The numbers certainly confirm that.

            There is comparatively no disaster here, you seem to enjoy imagining or inventing one though.

            • Poission

              I have been consistently arguing to hold the borders,Pandemic response is a known science and there are constraints,Vaccines alone are a losing strategy.This is textbook stuff.

              The strategy is called Vaccines plus,it is very workable and cost efficient and has been well signalled.

              I need to be very clear: vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis. Countries can and must prevent the spread of Omicron with measures that work today. It’s not vaccines instead of masks, it’s not vaccines instead of distancing, it’s not vaccines instead of ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well.

              Director General of the WHO


              • Muttonbird

                Yeah, and NZ is doing all those health measures plus vaccines. It's exactly those things we are doing which differs from the rest of he world. It's those things that we are doing which makes the ACT, the far right, the anti-vax, and the anti-mandate people so angry.

                All those things are exactly what this government and the country has done so well, but you are bagging them and us for it. I don’t understand.

                Personally, I think that Pfizer booster slays Coronavirus. It almost literally knocked me off my feet the next day and my hunch is it turns the Covid lion into a mouse.

        • Poission

          Here let me put it another way.

    • Molly 19.2

      My partner's employer (an essential, sorry 'critical' industry) had their order of RAT tests, prioritised to the MoH by the supplier just last week. Not the first time.

      The failure of the MoH to order and secure sufficient supply for this outbreak, is apparent.

  20. Muttonbird 20

    What a surprise. National Party members were inside the protest meeting with the anti-vax rabble. Maureen Pugh knows all about it.

    Luxon knew nothing, of course.


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