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Open mike 05/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 5th, 2020 - 108 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

108 comments on “Open mike 05/08/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Winston tells Luke Malpass about working with the Greens, then throws a curve ball at China:

    Peters still stands by the choice that NZ First made at the last election. He claims that National is a “shambles” and that “nothing changed in that party”. “We don't always agree, but we shook hands to try and make a Coalition work and work it has, and I'm proud of it.”

    “I get on with James fine. Yep. I really do. And I've had some great conversations with him. I spend every day feeling sympathetic to them. I really do.” “Well, I think he's got a nightmare to deal with. Putting my cards on the table … seriously. I feel for him the way I felt with Jim Anderton, who was on the phone day and night and I thought no one’s got the stamina to handle this.

    “You're looking at your opponents. You're looking at your policy, you've got your cabinet, you've got all your departments and everything else. And you're spending all your time trying to manage the party. I feel sorry for James.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122342034/election-2020-winston-peters-on-why-nz-first-gets-the-money

    NZ First is also credited with knocking the Auckland Light Rail on the head, an issue that became an albatross around the neck of Labour and, in particular, Transport Minister Phil Twyford. NZ First says it never blocked the project, because it was never shown any costs for the project. “Can you tell me what the cost of the light rail is? We didn't stop light rail, we demanded to see the costings."

    You can imagine Twyford freaking out: "Hey, nobody told me the cost of the project would have to be calculated!"

    He is also clearly sceptical of the National-led Government’s decision to sign New Zealand up to the belt and Road Initiative, an international nation-building initiative where China often provides loans and Chinese workers and supplies to build infrastructure in other countries. “Remember they signed the OBOR [One Belt One Road]? They don't call it OBOR any more, one belt, one road. It's belts and roads, but they signed over. And when I asked my counterpart foreign minister Wang Yi what does it mean, he said he’d get back to me?"

    “Well I'm still waiting to see what it means. I know my country has signed a memorandum of understanding, what do you think it means, I'd like to know in detail,” Peters says he told the Chinese Foreign Minister.”

    Xi has obviously told his foreign minister that explaining the meaning of the agreement would take too long. Understandable. Words in such documents tend to mean different things to different people and even getting regime officials to agree would be hard enough, let alone foreigners!

    Ardern, if re-elected, may have to give some thought to whether the thing has substance or not. She could see it as a useful ruse to lull everyone into thinking Aotearoa is China-friendly…

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Winston's "there's one good Green, the rest are useless" is the same ploy as National's "Jacinda's good but the rest are useless". Mind you, it's common knowledge that in NZFirst, Tracey Martin is good and the rest are useless smiley

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Greens have been opposing business as usual for more than half a century now. In civilised countries where non-violence is the cultural norm, activism has only an economic cost usually. Elsewhere, it's life or death:

    The number of murders of people defending the environment reached its highest yet in 2019, with a global total of 212, up from 164 deaths in 2018. On average, four were killed a week. Countless more have been threatened, detained and silenced in attempts by illegal organisations, industry and governments to stop communities from protecting their land.

    In 2019, Colombia topped the Philippines with the highest death rate of land defenders, with 64 activists killed. Half of all reported killings took place in these two countries. Global Witness expects the true death toll to be much higher, with many incidents going unreported.

    Globally, mining and agribusiness were the biggest industries driving attacks against defenders and activists. The logging industry saw a steep rise, with 85 per cent more attacks worldwide recorded since 2018 against defenders opposing the industry.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/environmental-activists-deaths-murder-climate-change-colombia-romania-a9651826.html

    • Incognito 3.1

      Air pollution has major effects on health in New Zealand

      In 2016, air pollution from human-made PM10 was associated with an estimated [4]:

      • 1,277 premature deaths (27.2 per 100,000 people)
      • 236 cardiac hospitalisations (5.0 per 100,000 people)
      • 440 respiratory hospitalisations (9.4 per 100,000 people)
      • 1.49 million restricted activity days (31,839 per 100,000 people)

      https://www.ehinz.ac.nz/indicators/air-quality/health-effects-of-air-pollution/

      A silver lining of Level 4 lockdown was a huge drop in measured air pollution in our major centres.

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1

        Serious question.

        A silver lining of Level 4 lockdown was a huge drop in measured air pollution

        How many of us would be willing to go into occasional Level -4 type Lockdown solely for the purpose of reducing air pollution?

        Pre-planned, I would.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        I really do wish those figures got more air-time. Maybe then people would realise that owning and driving a personal car pretty much equates to purposefully killing people and that it may actually be themselves.

  4. Andre 4

    Deconstructing Jonathan Swan's interview of President Corrupt. Conman. Traitor. Deranged. Dotard. that featured at least 17 lies in 35 minutes:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/04/politics/fact-check-jonathan-swan-axios-hbo-interview-trump-coronavirus/index.html

    Sample reactions:

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-yo-semites_n_5f297faac5b68fbfc8884637

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-axios-interview_n_5f290ee6c5b656e9b09fc1ec

    Meanwhile, over in the bearded-sky-fairy segment of the Cult of the Tinyfingers Twittertwat, one of the head acolytes is letting it all hang out.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jerry-falwell-jr-pants-unzipped_n_5f28f0b1c5b68fbfc88716ba

  5. What a disappointment and a wasted opportunity. The "Falling into a coma" post was all too accurate, it seems.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/a-2nd-term-pm-for-crises-and-the-status-quo

    • Ad 5.1

      Her approach is also the best way to splinter the right, and it's working.

      • Pataua4life 5.1.1

        As many here like to point out we operate under a MMP environment splintering the right doesn’t matter as long as the right is growing which at this point is debatable

      • AB 5.1.2

        It appears it may be shrinking the right – which is more valuable than splintering it. There are trade-offs though: if you shrink the right by becoming it, have you really shrunk it? Anyway, it's early days yet.

    • Robert Guyton 5.2

      A conservative approach from this Government would ordinarily be reason to criticise them, but these are not ordinary times. Gnawing at Labour's leg for not completing promised programmes would be fine under ordinary circumstances, but COVID 19 changed the situation radically. Jacinda and her team's position and actions are entirely appropriate for the circumstances that exist right now. National can whine and grizzle (and they will) but that doesn't change the reality of the situation; fortunately, Jacinda et al are not taking National's bait. They are marching to their own tune and that's the one New Zealander's have been hearing since COVID 19 appeared and one they know is genuine. In my opinion.

    • weka 5.3

      it's also possible that they didn't have the capacity this year to manage the covid crisis and develop a bold new policy platform.

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    What are the figures for influenza cases in New Zealand over the winter, anyone know? I'm keen to know if my prediction that there would be few if any cases, was accurate.

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        Wow! Thanks, Pingao, that's comprehensive stuff. Looking at the main graph, I'm going to claim that I was right smiley

        • RedBaronCV 6.1.1.1

          Big difference! hopefully fewer people have ended up in hospital so they can catch up on other health needs. And I guess we aren't importing strain variations with the borders and quarantine.

      • Matiri 6.1.2

        We're both signed up for Flu Tracking – we get a weekly questionnaire to complete which takes less than a minute then you get shown the graph which is interesting to compare with news about covid testing numbers.

        Also flu jab numbers were well up this year after a big push by MoH around lockdown.

    • Janet 6.2

      Have been thinking along the same lines as I have not run into any coughers, snotty noses or sneezers so far this year. I wonder if raising the awareness of personal hygiene for covid control has impacted. Also why are we not requesting negative tests before people leave the borders of the current countrys they are in before flying home to NZ – as the Tongans had to do before flying home yesterday. That would take away a lot of risk at the border and do a lot to avert a second wave.

      • Robert Guyton 6.2.1

        "I wonder if raising the awareness of personal hygiene for covid control has impacted".

        Indeed. Plus not importing the flu virus from "elsewhere".

        Closing "The Warehouse" over lockdown probably accounts for much of it smiley

        • Sabine 6.2.1.1

          lock down ended 27 april – so the warehouse has been open now for a few month.

          personal hygiene would have helped but i would put more emphasis on a. a double heating allowance for the elderly and beneficiaries, b. better insulation in many rentals, and above all our really unseasonably warm 'winter' with hardly any cold days at all but days sitting at a balmy 15 degrees in middle nu zillind. This might be different in the south island, but i have friends currently eating outdoor tomatoes in Auckland.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2

        Also why are we not requesting negative tests before people leave the borders of the current countrys they are in before flying home to NZ

        Because we can't pass laws for other countries.

        Of course, we could say that any aircraft that doesn't forward a full list of confirmed tests won't be able to land here. But, then, do we actually then trust those lists/tests? I know I wouldn't.

        • RedBaronCV 6.2.2.1

          We could insist that they have a negative covid test in hand as they enter our passport control at the other end. There used to be vaccination cards that had to be presented. Provider to be either approved or if the tests are wrong no more using that provider. But as just in time tests get better though – spit on a piece of paper is one being developed – it's very feasible. Dodgy test immediate deportation on the return flight – same as other issues.

        • anker 6.2.2.2

          BTW a relative is flying home from the UK in November. She has to have a clear covid test 4 days before travel to get on the flight………….a good precaution I think

          • I Feel Love 6.2.2.2.1

            If our quarantine wasn't as awesome and tightly guarded we really would be fucked, we seem to catch a couple of positive s every few days, so thanks to all those working their arses off at our borders.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    At the "Auckland’s Future, Now" event Key said:

    "universities should be allowed to bring in international students"

    Mayor Phil Goff said:

    "There was no point calling for an early end to New Zealand's border closure, he said.

    “We would be mad to do that.”"

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/122338065/relax-border-restrictions-to-soften-covid19s-economic-blow-sir-john-key-says

    • Morrissey 7.1

      The business report on RNZ National this morning informed us that former Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe is also calling for the government to "leverage" our Covid-free status. He is apparently "highly critical" of the New Zealand government's bureaucratic caution.

      Fyfe is displaying the same level of due diligence and responsibility as he did in March 2011, when he went on television and claimed, in high seriousness, that it was "perfectly safe" for New Zealanders to fly Air New Zealand to Tokyo, and that there was no evidence to suggest that the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant posed any danger whatsoever. In fact, it was later revealed, at the very moment Fyfe was trying to assure people that there was "nothing to worry about", the Japanese government was engaged in urgent talks and seriously considered ordering the evacuation of Tokyo.

      A few years before that epic display of ignorance and fatuousness, Fyfe had embarrassed the Clark government by hiring out Air New Zealand planes to the Australian Air Force to fly Australian soldiers into Iraq, in contravention of New Zealand law.

      Far from paying any sort of penalty for these massive breaches of trust, Fyfe is still being appointed to consulting positions by the government. He is admired by (surprise, surprise) Mike Hosking…

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12339795

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        A few years before that epic display of ignorance and fatuousness, Fyfe had embarrassed the Clark government by hiring out Air New Zealand planes to the Australian Air Force to fly Australian soldiers into Iraq, in contravention of New Zealand law.

        Pretty sure that wasn't in contravention of NZ law – but it was definitely against what the government and people of NZ wanted.

        Fyfe is proving himself a typical CEO – profits for the bludging shareholders before anything else. Which just proves, yet again, just how bad capitalists are at being any good for a society.

      • AB 7.1.2

        Good-natured derision followed by a solid ignoring is probably the best approach.

        i.e. to use a sporting analogy, let anything wide of off-stump go with a little smile of satisfaction and then block the straight ones

    • Poission 7.2

      He also said.

      He said universities should be allowed to bring in international students and the Government should lift a ban on foreign buyers.

      Allowing them to invest in property in New Zealand would help support the construction industry, which was going to need assistance, he said.

      Seems to be at odds with the underlying consensus I am hearing.

      Such as increased work for tradesman from renovation, and deferred maintenance.Far more sustainable.

      • Peter 7.2.1

        The best way to sort out the housing situation is to bring in 50,000 tradies from overseas. Do they build housing for the 50,000 immigrants first or attack the housing shortage?

        If it's the latter, where do they live in the meantime?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1

          If it's the latter, where do they live in the meantime?

          That's not the capitalists concern – making a profit is.

        • Gabby 7.2.1.2

          Where do they live? Are there not vans?

    • bwaghorn 7.3

      Goff's very next line was that we should let skilled workers in though!

      If (BIG IF)we can manage more in quarantine I think we should to .

      Totally user pays for students and workers .

      • RedBaronCV 7.3.1

        We are still getting people back in. but what "skilled workers does he have in mind" and why can't we start using home grown talent. We used to manage most of our activity quite nicely thank you without constant imports of people. Most of the boomers are still available to train people. But mainly I think a lot of businesses (particularly overseas owned ones) are going to have to get used to paying better wages to allocate the talent correctly.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1

          Most of the boomers are still available to train people.

          But would we really want them training people with their outdated knowledge?

          But mainly I think a lot of businesses (particularly overseas owned ones) are going to have to get used to paying better wages to allocate the talent correctly.

          OMG, you actually expect the business community to properly use the pricing system of the market rather than whinge to government so as to bring in under-priced labour?

          • RedBaronCV 7.3.1.1.1

            Most of them are just starting to leave the workforce – so no no reason ( except blatant ageism) to suppose their knowledge and experience is out of date. Plumbing knowledge moves at a great rate yes? Just saw John Key on the news though – sounded very much like yesterday's man.

            As to business not whining at the government- not a hope the large ones seem to have no idea about personal responsibility.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Most of them are just starting to leave the workforce – so no no reason ( except blatant ageism) to suppose their knowledge and experience is out of date.

              It will depend a lot on the boomer and if they've kept up with modern techniques. And it really is an if. There are fields, especially some trades, where knowing the latest and greatest ideas isn't needed to get by and so they don't and they simply coast into retirement.

              And that's on the tech side, then we have to ask about their teaching ability which may not have been developed at all. I know plenty that wouldn't be able to teach well.

    • RedBaronCV 7.4

      Beats me why the media give so much space to the idiot personal views of ex company directors. And how slow they are to sense that there is a need to cahnge and that there are other alternatives.

      As to education and international students Chippie's onto it. Wants quality over quantity .It's a good read – points out the level of financial risk that the government has been exposed to by state funded institutions taking on so many overseas students and that they need to be of overall value to NZ not just high volume low quality courses.

      We'd like to see less of a focus on getting students in the country who have to work whilst they're studying out of financial necessity, to ones who can support themselves while they are studying," he said

      Hipkins said he hoped to see more students studying at higher levels, more students from countries other than India and China, and more New Zealanders going overseas to study.

      And then we have the truly selfish private education sector – who want to select migrants, sell them a visa with work rights , pocket the profits and bleat about how many jobs they provide whilst pushing a far greater number of people into the local workforce. Paul Chalmers for the private sector.

      However, he said ITENZ would oppose the Government if it wanted to reduce enrolments in one-year programmes that led to employment and residency.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/422694/nz-international-student-sector-more-focus-on-quality-education-than-work-rights-cabinet-papers

      • greywarshark 7.4.1

        Higher education, theories, precepts v satisfying practical trade skills.

        What about trade education with jobs at the end of it. What about learning how to make products yourself, not just be an endless consumer buying-in your requirements, looking for bargains, and expecting things to land in your lap.

        This making education a profit-oriented business takes us further into the spiralling trade in ephemeral things that actually produce nothing, just measure, report on things. A friend midwife said dourly that they were always having meetings at the hospital she worked out, otime-consuming and often producing nothing of value for dealing with matters needing attention.

        Computers – a machine to facilitate things being thought about. Computers driving 3CD? – making things by machine, that would previously have been crafted by people, so undermining human skill.

        Education – teaching enough about things to do stuff like working in retail, making up catchy phrases (PR) without much understanding of why, the background and where it fits into human life. (Space flight, going to the moon.) Doesn't teach about important aspects of humanity and interaction, and how to stop our violent and accumulating impulses.

        Economics – Learning about the way that humans generally behave, and how they and markets interact, and then how to manipulate both for the benefit of those interested in taking power in the market.

        Finance – Learning how to create credits and manage their value and how to direct the flow to where you want it, and how to deny the great mass of people from advancing financially. Treating money as if it is a finite thing, rather than a cultural thing, that is maintained by agreements that can be cancelled, negating the agreed value.

        Saw three lads walking to town after school, all about 15 one big, well-built sour looking – a bruiser, two accolytes. The language – Jesus Christ and fuck. They won't learn any fine abilities at secondary school; would be better off learning on a job doing something practical to occupy their energies, and learn with tradesmen they could relate to and with time off to add to their formal skills.

        We need to think and do something to safely cap the energies of young men and their idle minds, narrowed by their early experiences, from taking in anything but the simplest beliefs, and ripe for mass hysteria of white supremacy or black cohesion through gangs.

    • nzsage 7.5

      Thank goodness no one listens to John Key anymore.

  8. mikesh 8

    I've noticed a very good article on the Spinoff, this morning, on NZ's land and property problems, and on the British feudal system of land ownership.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/04-08-2020/why-william-the-conqueror-is-partially-to-blame-for-our-housing-problems/

    Well worth a look.

    • JO 8.1

      Yes it's excellent – thinking of the small town I live in, I liked this quote:

      As one advocate of localism recently put it: “With no community, we lack both a unit to make sacrifices for – and a unit to keep assholes in check.” We need to learn how to be neighbours again.
      As a young, resource and culture-rich country, the solutions are tantalisingly within reach. It would not take much vision for iwi or community housing organisations to create a parallel, opt-in land economy that uses land as a platform not an asset, kaitiakitanga instead of absolute ownership. It could be one that enables people to license land for a specific use and pay a small land rent that goes into community coffers – an alternative system that precludes land speculation and takes the value of land out of the house-price equation, making it affordable for communities to drive the development of quality, locally designed and built homes, business and civic amenity.

      Also, reading about the ancient roots of our attitude to land ownership, Jim Crace's 2013 Booker short-listed novel ‘Harvest’ is a superbly written 'report' from the past that resonates powerfully now. From this review:

      Crace’s narrator, Walter Thirsk, inhabits an agrarian community, a village that time seems to have forgotten, sealed against the wider world. Sealed, that is, until the novel’s opening scenes, when covetous, irruptive forces begin to smash through those barriers.
      The first harbinger of chaos is a rare visitor, a stranger who appears on the final day of the barley harvest. Arriving unarmed, the man brings with him no obvious aura of violence, but nonetheless he provokes unease. The villagers call him Mr. Quill, after the manner of his enterprise: “We mowed with scythes; he worked with brushes and with quills. He was recording us, he said, or more exactly marking down our land. . . . He tipped his drawing board for anyone that asked and let them see the scratchings on his chart, the geometrics that he said were fields and woods, the squares that stood for cottages, the ponds, the lanes, the foresting. . . . We could not help but stare at him and wonder, without saying so, if those scratchings on his board might scratch us too, in some unwelcome way.”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/books/review/harvest-by-jim-crace.html

    • greywarshark 8.2

      Thanks miesh

      Another good article from spinoff on how badly women have fared as a result of lockdown – over 60% of sales workers and over 70% of hospitality workers are female….

      More striking is the gender breakdown of those no longer employed. Employment fell 0.4% over the period, which equated to an 11,000 fewer people in paid employment. And of those 11,000, 10,000 were women. That’s 90%! While it’s hard to believe such huge numbers, it’s clear that more women have been in the firing line.

      https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/05-08-2020/11000-new-zealanders-have-lost-their-jobs-and-10000-of-them-were-women/

      I hope these women are going to be properly financially supported and not treated by lazy, sleazy, layabouts who can't hold down a job as is the attitude of too many WINZ employees.

  9. Peaceful city this morning.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    I posted a report yesterday showing how bureaucrats were helping to implement climate change policy (without pointing out how unusual this is). Just now reading Ecosophia I encountered some history of the bureaucracy dark side from a commentator, Patricia T:

    [JMG] wrote: “It so happens that the most significant result of every reform movement of modern times has been to increase the number of well-paid administrative positions in government, business, and the nonprofit sector. Poverty’s a problem? Why, then, we’ll build an immense bureaucracy to administer a gargantuan system of overlapping benefit schemes, which provide a miserable life to the people who have to survive on them, but a very comfortable life indeed to the tens or hundreds of thousands of middle-class office drones who administer them…”

    The above reminds me of a friend of mine (she died in 1994, in her eighties). She worked for many years as a social worker with the state government, back in the 1950s-1960s. Most of her time was spent in the field, going to and working directly with families, educating them so that they learned skills to help themselves… basic nutrition, hygiene, child development, cooking, canning, and other homemaking skills.

    The home office was run with an iron-fisted supervisor (a social worker who had moved up in the ranks – and who occasionally went out in the field with the social workers to check on their work) – tardiness and slacking off were not tolerated, employees had to be at their desks 5 minutes early to prepare for the day and stay for another 5 minutes to clear their desks after the work day officially ended; administrative paperwork was minimal. The supervisor made it clear that the workers need to earn their wages that were paid with tax dollars.

    Wages were fair, but modest. A college education was not required. Things changed in the following decades with less and less field work & clients had to come to the office (sometimes traveling long distances), various self-help skills were no longer taught (although a pamphlet or two might substitute), a bachelor’s degree, then later a master’s degree was required, more and more deskwork, specialized agencies (government and contract) multiplied requiring more management, more theory (‘they can’t help themselves’ – except stated in academese); a high degree of professionalism remained and employees worked hard yet less and less effectively for the ‘clients’, politics intruded more frequently (directly and indirectly). https://www.ecosophia.net/the-arc-of-our-future/

    I wish that social services could go back to ‘basics’, albeit suited to present day needs. Same for other public agencies (especially, the public health offices – don’t get me started on that one…)

    Older readers than me will recall back when public servants were expected to perform public service. Ah, those were the days, eh? I never saw them. By the time I started paying attention to cultural trends in the sixties, the ethos had already degenerated into platitudinal tokenism.

    • RedBaronCV 10.1

      Yeah well private enterprise has a dark side too. We used to run electricity out of Rutherford House – look at how many are swanning around in that space now.

  11. Adrian 11

    So unemployment has dropped. Again thousands of economists have predicted 20 of the last 2 rises of unemployment, if they were doctors the dead would be piling up in the streets, fireman… not a building left standing, mechanics.. not a car running . They are the most useless occupation in history.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    Danger, red alert, Phil Goff! A radical has been spotted within your council! https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/122333597/coronavirus-call-for-radical-green-job-plan-to-lift-south-and-west-auckland

    Tania Pouwhare, a social entrepreneur with the council, said a radical plan is needed to create higher-value jobs in the green and high-tech economy.

    Pouwhare and the council-driven Southern Initiative and Western Initiative units are preparing a manifesto for the incoming government on how to create better jobs and greater local ownership of businesses.

    Gah, a manifesto!! Neolibs everywhere will freeze in terror! Expect a panic-stricken Phil to sic bureaucrats onto them pronto!

    One has been floated at a day-long think tank called Auckland’s Future, Now, run by the council’s economic development agency ATEED. It proposed a South Auckland Resource Recovery Park – a 10-15 hectare site to recycle and manufacture products from 1.6 million tonnes of mainly commercial waste dumped each year.

    Pouwhare proposed a venture with a mix of public and private ownership, including community and social enterprises and Māori and Pasifika businesses. She said one trial project had salvaged more than 1000 tonnes of reuseable material and created 50 sustainable jobs.

    “Our big bet, our flagship project, is He Waka Eke Noa which connects buyers and clients like Auckland Council to Māori and Pasifika-owned businesses,” she said. “In the last nine months, more than $4 million has been awarded to Māori and Pasifika business who are part of our movement, creating and saving hundreds of jobs – half of that during lockdown.”

    This looks suspiciously like a viable solution to the pandemic-created recession. Policy wonks in Labour ought to focus on it!

    Former prime minister Sir John Key told the Wednesday gathering in Auckland that the economy will get worse. “We are in the very early part of a serious contraction of the economy in New Zealand – we can't afford complacency,” he said.

    He reminds us why he became PM: top politicians succeed by telling people what they already know. Live the dream! Representative democracy, ad nauseum.

  13. joe90 13

    wow

    • RedBaronCV 13.1

      Do they mean 2.7 tonnes. Some places use comma's where others use decimal points

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        nope 2700 tonnes. If it were 'just' 2.7 tonnes the impact would have been not so bad. It looks like a whole subburb was just blown of the earth with several thousand people injured and as of now some 70 odd people dead.

        A large blast in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has killed at least 70 people and injured more than 4,000 others, the health minister says.

        Videos show smoke billowing from a fire, then a mushroom cloud following the blast at the city's port.

        Officials are blaming highly explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years.

        President Michel Aoun tweeted it was "unacceptable" that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored unsafely.

        in pictures here

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/aug/04/beirut-explosion-in-pictures

        good grief.

        • Pat 13.1.1.1

          Given the size and location of that blast that 70 fatality figure must surely be a gross underestimation

      • joe90 13.1.2

        Nope, 2700 tonnes.

        • McFlock 13.1.2.1

          fuck me, that first video is insane.

          • weka 13.1.2.1.1

            was it an attack or an industrial accident?

            • Andre 13.1.2.1.1.1

              So far the only person suggesting it was an attack is the orange anusmouth delivering his brainfarts from the usual orifice. Ammonium nitrate explosions due to fire are common enough that industrial accident is a reasonable working hypothesis. Until good evidence otherwise comes along.

              • joe90

                Him, and the real prog-left knew who (((the perpetrators))) were.

                //

                https://i.redd.it/nc51puhbi0f51.png

                • Andre

                  Nanothermite wasn't used?

                • Morrissey

                  I agree with your caution in apportioning blame for this explosion. However, your sarcastic suggestion, via those triple brackets, that the "prog/left" is anti-Semitic is Trumpian in its dishonesty.

                  It might be incorrect in this case, but it’s by no means unreasonable to suspect the rogue Israeli regime, which has devastated Lebanon in the past, to be involved.

                  Or was it, yet again, those dastardly Russian masterminds?

                  • McFlock

                    Blaming Israel is one thing.

                    Claiming nukes were used is bloody stupid though.

                    • Morrissey

                      I agree with you. My problem is with the suggestion that criticism of, or as in this case probably, wild allegations against, that rogue state is anti-Semitic.

                    • McFlock

                      Who said it was anti-semitic? All I saw here was mockery of jerks who think "mushroom cloud" = "nuke" and similar conclusion-leapers.

                    • Morrissey

                      Joe 90 wrote: "the real prog-left knew who (((the perpetrators))) were."

                      Those triple brackets are a code used by the lunatic anti-Jewish fringe. Most of that fringe is, of course, extreme right wing.

                    • McFlock

                      Jesus christ, the ~adjacents have even appropriated punctuation now? [headdesk]

                      But in that case I'd suggest that it wasn't the unsubstanitated allegation that Israel was responsible that was antiSemitic (covertly, maybe, or foolhardy, maybe, but not outright ~adjacent), but the fabrication that it was a nuclear attack by Israel would be obviously intended to forment hatred towards Israel and Judaism.

          • joe90 13.1.2.1.2

            A biggie.

            The blast was heard 240km (150 miles) away on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.

            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53656220

            • Sacha 13.1.2.1.2.1

              • joe90

                An actual bonfire of regulations.

  14. froggleblocks 14

    Whatever the Greens do in New Zealand won't 'save' any New Zealanders from climate change either.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 14.1

      it can if we are all in this together.

      • froggleblocks 14.1.1

        If by "we" you mean "the citizens of China, America and European countries" then sure.

        Not sure what the Green party in NZ are going to do to influence them.

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          a conversation for another time, but generally we've moved on from the small emitters don't count theory, because together they count for a lot.

          and you know, the Greens’ ability to shift political and individual responses to cc is impressive given how few resources they have. (the NGOs too).

          • froggleblocks 14.1.1.1.1

            Whatever NZ does won't hold back the tides.

            Thank you for admitting that NZ by itself can do nothing.

            • weka 14.1.1.1.1.1

              no country can by itself can prevent the worst of climate change. It's a global crisis, meaning everyone needs to do their bit.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Thank you for admitting that you're an idiot.

              We must, absolutely must, curb our GHG emissions. That's just so that we can be sustainable. It helps that it would also be us doing our bit to curb global GHG emissions.

              Then, once we've done that, we can turn to the rest of the world and say 'now you.' The Greens have always been insistent that leading by example has a hell of a lot more power than just whinging.

              • froggleblocks

                I was simply replying to Weta's fanciful claim that The Greens will "save" New Zealanders from climate change.

                They can't and won't.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Before action becomes imagination; the Greens are forming the picture of of where New Zealand must be and what New Zealanders must do to get there; The Greens will "save" New Zealanders from climate change. Weka's correct.

                • weka

                  I was simply replying to Weta's fanciful claim that The Greens will "save" New Zealanders from climate change.

                  They can't and won't.

                  That's not what I said. I said that Labourites liking the GP in a 6% holding pattern won't save us from CC. You can mistake that as an inference that I meant the GP alone would save us, but what I actually believe is that we need an increasingly strong green representation in parliament in order to both mitigate and adapt, and atm that requires a much bigger Green Party caucus. In the next few terms that means a L/G govt.

                  Having said that, Robert is right. It's the Greens that are creating the culture that is necessary for NZ to act meaningfully. There are non-parliamentary groups and people doing this too, but in parliament the Greens are a necessity because of what they specifically can do.

                  • froggleblocks

                    Totally agree that we need the Greens in Parliament to force policies and general thinking that will allow NZ to better adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, as well as helping to avoid investing our scarce resources into infrastructural developments (of all sorts on all scales) that will become stranded assets in the next 20-30 years.

                    Having said that, some of the Greens policies are ideologically 'pretty' while not actually being overall sensible things to do, such as trying to achieve 100% carbon neutrality in electricity production by 2030. Getting the final few percentage points over to renewable resources will be very costly and that money could be better spent on other initiatives in the economy to prepare us for a carbon-constrained future.

                    But mitigation, adaptation and avoiding foolish investment choices are not "saving" us from climate change – the only thing that would is an amazing technological breakthrough about 3 or 4 orders of magnitude more cost effective at removing CO2 from the atmosphere than anything we have now, or sudden co-operation by 70%+ of the world's government to make drastic and near-term cuts to CO2 emissions. Neither of which are likely to happen and neither of which the Green Party of NZ are likely to play a large part in (of course they have more scope for the latter of the two).

  15. Adrian 15

    A mate who owned a fertilizer mixing factory once said that if I ever saw him leaving town at 100 mph to do a fast handbrake turn and follow him.

    • Sabine 15.1

      when u see the yellow cloud rn the opposite direction. I was told this many years ago by an old hand working one of the Orica Depots in Auckland that also had an Ammonia Station. 🙂

    • I Feel Love 15.2

      A mate of mine who worked at Ravensdown here in Dunedin said the same thing, and the fact it was near seawater/the harbour he said just a matter of time before some kind of disaster.

    • I Feel Love 16.1

      But John sez open the borders! Just a smidge, it'll be ok, he wouldn't lie to us…

      • Gabby 16.1.1

        Did Sirjonkyponyboy mention how we should go about this? Let people in who rickn they're 'pretty' clear?

    • Koff 16.2

      It's scary stuff. Qld has just closed its borders with NSW again as people have been crossing the borders telling lies about where they have come from. Mind you, Ashley Bloomfield is probably right. For NZ, it might be not "if" but "when."

      • Ed 16.2.1

        And banker Key was telling people today we should loosen border restrictions….

        Thank goodness we have Jacinda, not that financier, as our P.M.

  16. observer 17

    An important development in the Boag/Walker/Woodhouse story:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122357021/privacy-commissioner-launches-inquiry-into-covid19-patient-leak

    National should respond by saying "support decision, full co-operation, need all the facts" etc.

    But Collins and co might just be stupid enough to complain about it instead, thus keeping the story in the headlines.

    • PaddyOT 17.1

      National party cohorts will not say a peep because Commissioner Edwards states that he will not be investigating Walker and Boagy

  17. greywarshark 18

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/01-08-2020/battle-of-the-berm-the-outdoor-furniture-pitting-aucklands-authorities-against-a-community/

    This is how micro businesses being run by people making their own jobs are often treated though they are following encouragement to replace ones that would have been there if the Labour and National governments hadn't boldly strode forward and opened the gate wide to all the hoi polloi from the world.

    Reduce regulations was the cry by business and government responded. But that really meant big business, or the ones that appear glamorous and important to the officious in whatever entity gets to wield the sand-filled sock, the rubber bullet, or the supposed light-handed regulation that is rolled out to the struggling entrepreneurs.

  18. Eco Maori 19

    Kia Ora

    Whanau looks like things are going fine in Aotearoa we just have a problem with the Kiore on Mokoia island but I think we have that same problem all around Aotearoa.

    Ka kite Ano

  19. Eco Maori 20

    Ka pai

    Auckland Council welcomes the Ministry for the Environment announcement of $10.67 million for improvements to the Community Recycling Centres as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region.

    This $10 million Central Government funding will fast track the effectiveness of Community Recycling Centres through developing fit for purpose infrastructure. It will expand employment by increasing the volume of materials and the number of related activities they can undertake to work towards zero waste.

    Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced this as “a major investment in recycling.
    Link below.
    https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2020/08/auckland-welcomes-a-10-million-investment-in-new-zero-waste-infrastructure/

    Ka kite Ano

  20. Eco Maori 22

    It does not take much of a increase in temperature to make life very difficult.

    Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study.

    The growing but largely unrecognized death toll from rising global temperatures will come close to eclipsing the current number of deaths from all the infectious diseases combined if planet-heating emissions are not constrained, a major new study has found.

    Ka kite Ano

    Link below.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/04/rising-global-temperatures-death-toll-infectious-diseases-study

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