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Open mike 05/06/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 5th, 2021 - 50 comments
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50 comments on “Open mike 05/06/2021 ”

  1. Jenny How to get there 1

    I don't know, maybe I am being negative but when there are not enough homes and waiting lists for urgent life saving hospital treatments Couldn't 760 million could be better used somewhere else?

    Howsabout giving the Nurses their pay rise?


    • Sacha 1.1

      You noticed the $800m duplicate road to Whangaparaoa in the same package? Or the $1500m duplicate road to Levin. Unlike nursing salaries, they come from the same budget.

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        NZTA are likely to be playing silly buggers anyway by proposing a built solution that is way over 20x the original price, with a #LiberateTheLane trial coming soon.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      "Howsabout giving the Nurses their pay rise?"

      Those on $80-90k are doing Ok, its the ones down $50-60K who should be looked after and would be.

      Sheeesh the sense of entitlement from highly paid people

  2. KJT 2

    Or we could take the opportunity to build much needed pollution reducing infrastructure, for the future, giving an economic stimulus, while interest rates are low.

    Pedestrian and biking infrastructure, public transport, rail links and coastal shipping.

    And use the extra taxes generated to give overdue pay rises. To cleaners, orderlies and Teacher aides as well as those who make the most noise.

    • Jenny How to get there 2.1

      Maybe the new bridge could solve the cycling crisis and the housing crisis.

      circa-1800-a-watercolour-by-j-varley-after-a-print-of-1787-of-london-picture-id3271422 (1024×523) (gettyimages.com)

      • Macro 2.1.1

        Now that's an idea! Or they could put some platforms underneath so people could sleep under it. /sarc

        Just what are the priorities of this Govt? A bridge for a few thousand entitled people or looking after the 40 thousand homeless and rough sleepers?

        Running 12 ferries carrying 100 @ 10 minute intervals from 3 different sites would be far less expensive, and more convenient for walkers and cyclists. The HMNZS Tui used batteries for propulsion when minesweeping in WW2. So the ferries could also be similarly powered.

        • Jenny How to get there

          You are absolutely right Macro, I just googled it, there are already battery powered ferries operating around the world. Some of them are huge. And could easily get thousands of bicycle riders across the harbour.

          But that is not what this is about, outspoken cycling enthusiast Emma McInnes exposes her motive for the new bridge.

          "I think we're underestimating the fact that people will use it just for the joy of being able to walk over the water, to stop in the middle of the bridge, take photos, to go over on a jog in the morning, walk their dog, take their kids over… I think people are underestimating how popular a bridge like that would be."

          Cyclist and urban designer Emma McInnes

          Auckland harbour cycle and pedestrian bridge facing criticism from both sides (msn.com)

          Danfoss powers up the world’s strongest electric ferry Ellen – YouTube

          • Sabine

            Sure it would be popular for those that are near it, and can access it, but would it be good spending?

            Who cares, in the end our overlords will spend the public dime any which way they like.

          • greywarshark

            "I think we're underestimating the fact that people will use it just for the joy of being able to walk over the water, to stop in the middle of the bridge, take photos, to go over on a jog in the morning, walk their dog, take their kids over… I think people are underestimating how popular a bridge like that would be."

            Cyclist and urban designer Emma McInnes

            What Jenny quoted above is a fine example of the thoughts of the movers and shakers in society from the middle class. From shared pathways where they can ride their expensive bikes on footpaths where people want to walk. Where they have sufficient money to enjoy life, and presumably have friends and family also, and perhaps weekends and regular work for them to have a personal life, they have no real consideration for anything but themselves and their class. Shops with stylish furniture and expensive jeans that come already slashed – they are needs not wants and all their group are wearing them!

            Don't anyone say that class is defunct; those without money and options for the future are truly declasse'!

            • DukeEll

              From the most pleasant and expensive suburbs to the slightly less expensive but no less pleasant suburbs, a place to ride expensive bikes in pleasant weather

          • alwyn

            " And could easily get thousands of bicycle riders across the harbour."

            That might be a bit difficult to do. Where are you going to get the thousands of cyclists from?

            According to a recent report in the Herald Fullers carried 12,000 cycles on a total of 2,600 ferry trips in a 4 week period. That works our at an average of 4 or 5 per trip, and more significantly an average of about 430/day. Assuming that these are generally return trips that is only about 215 individuals who used the service each day.


            I'm not from Auckland so there might be other ferry operators but I don't know of any significant operations except the Fuller ones. Are there any which might affect my calculations to any degree?

            Where are the thousands of cyclists going to come from?

            An unfortunate additional calculation is that it would seem our all knowing Government is planning to spend about $3 million per regular cyclist who currently takes their bike across from the North Shore to Auckland. I wonder if the ones who go from Devonport would actually cycle all the way around to the bridge if one was built? Should we assume $4 million? Or perhaps $5 million? That's for the ones who might actually use the bridge.

            • William

              Perhaps some of them could be those who are presently dissuaded from using their bike because they can never be sure if they'll actually be allowed to travel with their bike!

              That's what that article on Stuff (not the Herald) you linked to is actually about.

              • alwyn

                Sure it was. However when you read it you discover that there were 53 out of 12,000 who had to wait for the next ferry. Like NZ cyclists everywhere they complained bitterly and at length.

                Well tough luck. They would have missed that ferry anyway if they had had a puncture wouldn't they? There is no form of transport I am aware of that guarantees that everyone who turns up, unbooked, for a particular trip is 100% sure to get on. I remember one occasion in Wellington when the local Green Party members, about 200 of them from memory, were going to hold a weekend conference in the Wairarapa. They all turned up at the Wellington Railway Station to board the train. This they did, as soon as the train was at the platform.

                They were not at all popular with the regular passengers who had to stand for the whole trip. The Greens of course hadn't considered the fact that they could have warned the Railways that there would be a lot of extra people and that more carriages could be provided to cater for them.

                • William

                  "Like NZ cyclists everywhere they complained bitterly and at length."

                  My observation, especially after last Sunday on the Harbour Bridge, is that it's motorists that complain bitterly and at length.

                  There's an interesting contradiction in your comment above where firstly you say

                  "There is no form of transport I am aware of that guarantees that everyone who turns up, unbooked, for a particular trip is 100% sure to get on."

                  and then regarding the possibly apocryphal story about the Wairarapa line you say

                  "They were not at all popular with the regular passengers who had to stand for the whole trip."

                  At least they weren't left to wait for the next trip, which you regard as perfectly acceptable. Or is this just you 'complaining bitterly and at length' about not only cyclists but also Green Party members?

            • Jenny How to get there


              5 June 2021 at 2:34 pm

              " And could easily get thousands of bicycle riders across the harbour."

              That might be a bit difficult to do. Where are you going to get the thousands of cyclists from?…..

              We won't get them.
              Despite those that think cycling is a serious alternative way of commuting for the 20,000 commuters displaced by the cycle lane.

              Of course this is not really about crossing the harbour at all, but more about indulging the leisure activity of bike enthusiasts who want the experience of crossing the Harbour Bridge

              I was just trying to show these diehards that there are alternatives at much less cost, that is if they really want to take the bicycle to Takapuna beach.

              • alwyn

                I'm sorry. Yes you were doing exactly that and I misinterpreted your comment. I should have read what you said more carefully before responding.

        • Ad

          EV Maritime are already advanced in design for construction for fully electric 200 passenger ferries for Auckland.

          That would bring down the carbon production from public transport by 20%.

          It's just one of the post-combustion projects this government has underway.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Any sort of public transport is more efficient than cars and rail and shipping is even better again, by a huge amount.

            Doing electric ferries first is about the worst idea around.

            • Andre

              Ferries account for nearly 7 per cent of Auckland’s public transport journeys, but their large diesel engines produce 20.5 per cent of all public transport emissions in the city.


              For transporting people, sea transport actually seems to end up being quite energy inefficient and emissions intensive. Every instance I've looked at previously has turned out that way.

              eg https://thestandard.org.nz/maybe-we-shouldnt-take-the-plane/#comment-1644247

              and https://thestandard.org.nz/maybe-we-shouldnt-take-the-plane/#comment-1644247

              I'll take a guess that the inefficiency and high emissions is because for ferries, passenger ships etc, the actual cargo (humans) is a tiny tiny portion of the mass getting moved around. Whereas for any kind of non-human cargo, the payload is a decent fraction of the total mass getting moved, so the efficiency is much higher for shipping non-human cargo.

              I also very strongly suspect that the passenger km per litre for Auckland's current bus fleet probably isn't that great compared to passenger km per litre for private car transport. It wasn't in the 80's when I saw some actual numbers as part of engineering coursework, and it wasn't when I managed to find actual numbers for some US bus public transport systems. (It's probably going to be very hard to get numbers for Orcland's current bus transport system, because it's done by private operators and commercial sensitivity). This inefficiency and high emissions is largely due to a lot of bus movements happening with very few or zero passengers.

              The only emissions standout for public transport is when it's electrified, like Orcland's trains. Or electrified bus fleets that are happening elsewhere (shamefully not NZ).

              None of this is an argument against public transport. There's the strong social good which makes a good public transport system a necessity for a reasonably livable city. Vehicle efficiency is also only a small part of overall efficiency, there's also the demands on public infrastructure to consider. That's where public transport tends to do much better, and overcomes its usually poor energy efficiency and emissions performance.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Well Auckland is a tale of two types of ferries, where higher speed Waiheke boats are a category all their own.

                I presume they will be going only after the smaller cross harbour ferries for electrification.

                'Heavy problem' is going to be a lot worse if they bring in batteries, and like planes the drag is greater from weight alone, so they need more power and bigger batteries….

                As well I would question the 20% emissions claim made by a self interested party. Are they talking about kg of CO2 per unit volume of diesel engines…which wouldnt change for diesel used in buses or ferries or other emissions from by product of combustion.

                Then theres is the hype over something that is always just around the corner


                Wellington was supposed to have electric buses without wires to replace the trolleys…just around the corner.

                • Ad

                  Energy per battery gram is increasing density annually, and thankfully the electric car tech is quickly transferring to marine.

                  Toyota is the one to watch re Solid State.

                  Our convergence of policy goals with international post-combistion tech is fortuitous.

                  Next to watch is whole corporate and rental vehicle fleets transforming, driving the secondary market.

                  • Andre

                    It's more exciting watching jugs heating up than watching Toyota for technical developments. Toyota tend to keep technical developments very close to their chest until they're pretty much at the point of releasing them.

                    So Toyota may yet surprise us, but they haven't yet demonstrated in-house battery prowess. Their supplies come from the usual suspects – Panasonic, CATL etc.

                    So I'm finding it really hard to form an opinion on whether the mutterings about Toyota solid-state batteries are something real, or a dead-end like their hydrogen efforts.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      Power densities for batteries arent increasing as much as many like to think from lab results. However the process still requires a large number of individual cells within their own 'package' to scale up to something usable. What looks to be a larger battery for the new Ford F150 electric ute even requires an internal liquid cooling system.

                      A further note on Auckland ferries, the half moon bay run for cars and trucks uses 3 quite large ferries ( large compared to the very small one that goes to the CBD). Not many passengers who arent in cars or trucks for that service but it would consume a lot of diesel, this service is essential for Waihekes supplies – on one run they had such heavy trucks carrying road asphalt that water was around the cars and trucks tires!. A freight service also runs to Great Barrier

              • Ad

                It is both extraordinary luck and good management that this Wednesday the Climate Commission plan comes out just as central government is remaking our public service and our economy.

                Optimum moment to achieve good policy changes.

                Very much the transformational moment to engage through.

              • Ad

                All transport off our settled islands is public.

                If Auckland can require carbon-free ferries, so can Wellington, Stewart Island, Abel Tasman sea shuttles, Kawau, and the rest.

                And just like fake meat, fake cheese, organic vegetables and almond milk, yup again its the remaining midle class leading the way.

            • Ad

              Accelerated electric bus fleet replacement is also budgeted for and underway through AT.

              They reversed it in Wellington.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Yep, too much for the bus passengers – that Stuff article says it was pushy pedestrians who tried to lend a hand. When will do-gooders learn?

                  A group of pedestrians decided to try and push start the bus, but were not able to do so, the spokeswoman said.

                  One of my earliest (hazy) memories (as a very young bus passenger) was of an (electric) trolleybus driver (in Auckland) scrambling to re-attach power couplings to overhead lines using some kind of (presumably well-insulated?) stick. They didn't, and still don't pay bus drivers enough, imho.


                  • ghostwhowalksnz

                    Stick ?

                    The trolleys had long cords at the back of the bus which the driver which use to raise and lower the power poles. No risk to them from that. Trams had previously the same system for their poles

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Thanks for that.

                      It's a ‘memory of a memory’ from my preschool years (~1960) – I had/have the impression that the 'powerpoles' had accidentally detached (dewired) from the overhead powerlines, that the driver appeared to be using a stick-like implement to help reattach (guide/push) them back into place, and that it was taking him longer than he expected/wanted.

                      Thinking on it, I can't imagine how I might have had a good view of this incident from inside the trolleybus (presumably I was in the company of a parent or grandparent), but as I said it's a hazy recollection, and Auckland is only the most likely location. Still, whatever I saw it certainly made a lasting impression.

                      Whoops! During a test run on Friday afternoon, No. 3 spectacularly dewired near the Heritage Park office. Society Editor Alastair was despatched to repole, but even though he was able to unsnarl the trolley ropes, Alan still had to get out and teach Alastair not only how to reset the two trolley retrievers, but also to correct his attempts to put one of the poles on the wire. Alastair hadn’t been anywhere near the wire—he had the pole somewhere between the two and was raising it higher in the hopes that it was near where it should be. Oh dear!

                    • RedLogix

                      For what it's worth the Russians discovered a very long time ago that by strongly tapering the trolley poles and keeping the effective tip mass to a minimum they could virtually eliminate de-lining as was so common in the fleet we were operating.

                      I noticed this when I was working there and asked about it at the time. In the city I was in trolley busses were very common and I never once saw a de-lining.

      • Sabine 2.1.2

        This has been done all over europe and still exists and is in use.


        but in saying that it would be smart use of space and i doubt that the new class of architects would even be able to bend their mind around 'smart use of space'.

        • Jenny How to get there

          Dammit you are right, middle class protesters instead of demanding a cycleway on the Harbour Bridge, should be demanding that one lane of the Harbour Bridge be given over to housing. Maybe we could have a three month trial of that?

          And after three months if the houses on the Bridge are not successful in easing traffic congestion just throw them over the side.

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Sounds all right. Can you get some government funding and call for volunteers with skills to help. We might get something done then.

  3. joe90 3

    Thirty two years ago.

    • alwyn 3.1

      That really makes me feel old. It does seem just like yesterday.

      I wonder whatever happened to the man who stopped the tanks?

      • dv 3.1.2

        From a google search

        In a speech to the President's Club in 1999, Bruce Herschensohn, former deputy special assistant to President Richard Nixon, alleged that he was executed 14 days later; other sources alleged he was executed by firing squad a few months after the Tiananmen Square protests.

        But maybe,

        • alwyn

          I am reminded of a comment in an Alistair Cooke Letter from America when Duke Ellington died. Cooke finished it with something like.

          "Duke Ellington died last week, but I don't have to believe it if I don't want to"

          You are probably quite right and he is dead. I don't want to believe it though. I'll believe the last two words. "But maybe".

  4. coreyjhumm 4

    Can someone explain why it's going to take a year to phase in welfare increases? The govt said on budget day that increasing benefits creates an economic stimulation because beneficiaries spend and spend locally, what I don't understand is why wait a year to phase in needed economic stimulation when people need the help now and businesses who will benefit from increased spending need the stimulation now , some won't survive a year.

    Is it because our Bureaucrats are unable to work fast, or because the govt wants to ensure the increases won't be clawed back by deductions from other top up benefits of is it because the govt doesn't wanna increase payments while the winter energy payment is in effect (heaven forbid people had a few bucks extra)

    An economic stimulus works only if they get the cash out quickly. This is not quick.

    I also don't understand the $30-50 , why isn't everyone getting the much needed $50 ESPECIALLY people on disability benefits.

    Phasing in $20 in July then waiting till next year seems …. Pathetic and unlikely to increase spending and stimulate the economy as much as giving everyone on welfare $50 next month.

    Surely it's not that hard to legislate that msd can't deduct from other payments…. Surely it doesn't take a bloody year

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      There was an earlier rise in April 1 of 3%…have you forgotten already ?


      Politically they know that people quickly forget like you have, and stretch it for those reasons

    • Louis 4.2

      Coupled with the Winter energy payment, every bit helps. Budget announcements generally kick in the following year, on April 1st.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.3

      coreyjhumm…take heart mate, you are not alone in your frustration.


      A group of anti-poverty campaigners has called on the Government to implement its Budget benefit plans on 1 July, rather than staggering increases across 1 July 2021 and 1 April 2022, as announced last week.

      The Government announced, as part of Budget 2021, that core benefit levels would increase by $20 per week on 1 July, with additional increases to bring it up to $55 in total on 1 April 2022.

      But the Government has given no reason why these increases have been staggered.

      “People are suffering unnecessarily. We are just one of many groups who have been calling for significant and urgent increases to benefit levels for years now,” said Caitlin Neuwelt-Kearns, Researcher at the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). CPAG is part of the Fairer Future collaboration of groups, which is calling for liveable incomes for all.

      The orginization Fairer Futures' website has a Key Information page which clearly outlines the history of social support in New Zealand and reminds those who would forget that we have gone from providing decent support up to the 1980s to being the third worst in the OECD just prior to Te Virus.

      Drip feeding is just cruel, but I guess some folk just like to see others beg.

  5. greywarshark 5


    The environmental and reproductive epidemiologist predicts most couples might need assisted reproduction by 2045. ..

    In 2017, Swan and her team of researchers completed a major study that found over the past four decades sperm levels among men in Western countries had dropped by more than 50 percent. The study involved examining 185 studies involving close to 45,000 healthy men.,,

    "Sperm concentration was close to 100 million per millilitre, but now it's dropped to 47," Swan said…

    Lifestyle factors affecting sperm health and fertility include exposure to smoking, excessive drinking, lack of exercise, poor diet, and stress. Adopting a healthier lifestyle could improve sperm health, Swan said.

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which impact on our bodies' hormones, and other chemicals found in the environment were also taking a toll on sperm health, she said…

    Swan has studied phthalates, which make plastics soft and flexible, act as fragrances in personal care products, and are found in foods.
    "What they can do is lower testosterone. This has been shown in the laboratory."…

    The rise of gender fluidity and increasing numbers of transgender people could also be related to chemicals impacting on human hormones.
    Swan said when a breeding animal was exposed to phthalates, their male offspring sometimes had "incomplete genitals". The same could occur in human children, with risks of phthalate exposure highest in early pregnancy, she said.

    "How those boys are born with those smaller genitals, that is a lifetime effect and it actually is linked to them having lower sperm count."

    Phthalates were found around the planet and also impacted on the fertility of wildlife, Swan said.
    “Many studies have linked exposure to these chemicals to declines in litter size and endangerment of multiple species.”

    Watch out men (and women). Maybe you should stop drenching yourselves in nice smellies and go back to the 'sweet summer sweat' that they sing about in Hotel California.

    Then there is this: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/444119/hui-tackles-decline-of-sea-life-off-coromandel-peninsula

  6. greywarshark 6


    They have had this before. They know it happens after prolonged drought. In an organised farming community they would be super-vigilant because of past records about these outbreaks, and how to prevent them. Dont we learn – whats the use of education?

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