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Open mike 05/11/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 5th, 2021 - 263 comments
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263 comments on “Open mike 05/11/2021 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    We commemorate the discovery of the gunpowder plot today. Sceptical readers ought to refrain from reading further lest the historical evidence of conspiracy make them realise conspiracy theorists can get validated by facts, which insight is sufficiently threatening to their peace of mind that it could tip them over the edge into mental illness.

    So a bunch of catholics stored casks of gunpowder in the cellar beneath the House of Lords, hoping to blow the thing sky-high. Fawkes, a mercenary soldier, was on duty waiting for the right time to light the fuse. It was a plot to assassinate the immigrant Scot James 1 who replaced Elizabeth 1 as monarch. Unfortunately some conspirators tried to save catholic lords by warning them to stay away from parliament that day, and one showed the king his warning letter. So much for religious solidarity!

    James was protestant. He ordered the cellars be searched and the rest is history. "When asked by one of the lords what he was doing in possession of so much gunpowder, Fawkes answered that his intention was "to blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains."

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

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      I still miss having the sky rockets and especially bangers on and around Guy Fawkes….not having them has messed up one of the best fun times of year, not for me anymore of course (well maybe just a little) but for all those kids who will never get to have that experience, a time of year that for me and my mates growing up back then, was held in higher regard than even Christmas day could deliver.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        You may be younger than me. Half the houses in any suburban street had massive bonfires early evening – when it got dark they piled it on and flames shooting up higher than rooftops were sometimes seen.

        The Guy got paraded around homes in a wheelbarrow by kids during the afternoon, to collect pennies. Then he got put up on top of the pile of wood.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.1

          Must be a bit younger, I never saw anything like that, no in my time we just used to fill our pockets with Thunderbolts (until they got banned ,then it was down to the lower powered Double Happy's) a couple of blocks of lightweight but fun Tom Thumbs and off we would go…I seem to remember getting matches to light our explosives was our biggest problem…yeah we used to get into all sorts of trouble, and I loved it!

          • Gezza 1.1.1.1.1

            I absolutely loved firecrackers at & around Guy Fawkes night as a kid in the late 60s & early 70s. Tom Thumbs, Double Happies (our main “ammo”) & Mighty Cannons, especially.

            There were also some half-size Short Double Happies at one point.
            I recall showing off to some neighbourhood friends, lighting the fuses & holding on to the other end of that 1/2 sized DH, pointing it away from myself, & letting it go off while holding it out at arm’s length. Until one exploded at the base & blew some of the skin back from my thumb & forefinger. 😱 Stupid boy! 🙄

            Me n me mates from the hood used to go round blowing things up with Double Happies. We’d build little forts out of ice lolly (used to call them TT2) sticks, & blow them to smithereens. 💣 We’d also make mounds villages in the soil & blow them up too. 💥

            We make pipe-guns n cannons out of bamboo tubes. Drill a hole in the jointed end, put a firecracker in thru the open end, & poke the wick thru, then stick a small pebble in behind that, light the fuse & BANG! Shot bro! 🔫

            I’d go absolutely spare if I saw kids doing today doing the damned stupid, dangerous things we as boys used to do with those mini-explosives.

            A builder in our street owned a vacant section next to his house. He put on a big bonfire for the street one GF nite. All the neighbours attended. It was well-managed, hoses & fire extingusiher on hand if needed. Parents supervised the kids & made sure all that the skyrockets were safely pointing upwards out of their bottles, & that littlies had only comparatively safe sparklers to play with.

            Best Guy Fawkes night ever. The nuns told us at my primary school we shouldn’t really celebrate Guy Fawkes night as Guy Fawkes was a Catholic. Looking back that seems rather bizarre.

            • Sanctuary 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The rite of male passage that was holding a double happy in your finger tips at arms length when it went off…

              • Treetop

                Do you remember the Tom thumbs how the wick used to come out of then so easily? Boys in my neighbour hood used to wire them up to a double happy or two.

          • solkta 1.1.1.1.2

            Pockets were a particularly stupid place to keep your double happies. My mate did quite a dance when a piece of hot fuse dropped in his pants pocket which was bulging full.

            • ianmac 1.1.1.1.2.1

              When in the 4th Form maths class, a cracker and box of matches were secretly passed around the room. Who would do the deed? I did. The teacher noticed the little puff of smoke from the lit match. I started loosing my nerve and tried to hide the burning cracker in my pocket. No good. Bang! A super loud noise, enough to call the teachers from each of the rooms on either side to burst in. Three strokes of the cane. Worth it? Yea!

              • Adrian Thornton

                Yeah three strokes I could handle pretty good, but six in the same spot from the woodwork teacher would always get your eyes wet..funny it was just normal back then, but I would have never let anyone do that to my kids when they were at school.

                • alwyn

                  We had one teacher who never actually had to cane anyone. He could bring people to tears by just lining them up and getting them bent over.

                  He had played Cricket for New Zealand and tennis for the Province. He would line the pupil up, offer them forehand or backhand and then, when one was suitably terrified tell them to sit down because "If I do cane you I would cut you in half".

                  Amazingly it worked every time.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Did you get the purple stripes? I think they're caused by burst blood vessels, blood that coagulates under the skin. I lost count of the times I got six of the best. Not that I was a rebel leader, merely a feisty copycat.

                  I recall getting six of the best at least twice in the 6th form for insolence to a teacher, despite wearing the silver badge of a school councillor. Blending the roles of authority figure & subversive came to me naturally – never even wondered at that!

                  In our top class there was a macho competitive culture which mainly featured contenders who got caned the most and a sport in which mockery of teachers triggered the caning (via use of wit). Prevalent ethos mid-1960s was elitism: teachers were plebs.

              • mac1

                I gave up caning voluntarily having been challenged by a friend and colleague when he refused on conscience grounds to be my caning 'witness'. I then realised what caning was doing to me, as well as to the boys- it was pure revenge.

                I told all my students that I would use other methods of discipline. One day one boy interrupted in throwing chairs around a classroom at interval said to me, "Ah, but you don't cane, sir." I looked at him and said close into his face, "But in your case, Thommo, I might make an exception." End of argument, but I will never know whether I meant it…..

                I had been caned as a student, once by my Latin teacher for performing unsatisfactorily in a test in what is now Year 12. He gave me three of his best. I stood up, looked at him, and said, "You raised a bit of dust there, sir!" as the motes floated in a beam of sunlight.

        • Gypsy 1.1.1.2

          Ah, those were the days.

          • mac1 1.1.1.2.1

            A thought occurred to me that there is a certain justice in that we rejoice in the banning of caning, acknowledging the custom of the time and that we have moved on in our thinking and our approach, on the day on which we acknowledge also the leadership and foresighted approach of Parihaka in our history and development.

            I acknowledge the prophetic and social leadership of Te Whiti o Rongomai and the people of Parihaka and what I have learned from them. The journey towards more just and lasting ways of peace is ongoing.

            We saw caning banned in Aotaeroa/NZ, then physical punishment of children.

            What could be next?

            • Descendant Of Smith 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Caning and bullying went hand in hand.

              Prefects would send you to be caned just cause they could and the teachers would compliantly cane you. Didn't even need to have done anything – wearing glasses, coming from the wrong town, being the smallest in the class, playing soccer or simply for entertainment purposes cause the prefects were bored – all those things were deemed worthy of caning.

              Wasn't just red marks either – plenty of time blood was drawn. Was caned almost 100 occasions in the third form.

              Violence as an exertion of power. All it taught me is that power corrupts and that being violent to those who have already experienced violence is such a pointless exercise. It isn't a deterrent in any way shape or form. Caning was pitiful compared to the hidings I got from my father. (The "never did me any harm" proponents are just dickheads).

              It does the reverse – reinforces that violence is a means of control / holding power. I'll never get New Zealanders desire to punish people – it seems ingrained. Whether it's physical like in the gangs or psychological like in the religious groups (e.g. ostracism from your families if you leave the church) or individual like the battered wife it is all part of the same mental brush that has been used to control people for centuries – well tried and true.

              We love you, we are your family, it is us against the world on one hand – you can't exist without us, you will be punished if you leave on the other.

              It is the game Judith Collins plays with her only National can save you from the evil Labour – double down if you cross me.

              • Subliminal

                I like your prefects story. This is how violence works in the West. Would an analogy with Afghanistan be too long a bow to draw? A US military installing a system of prefects that called in drones or air support to keep their rivals in line or just through boredom and the punishment dished up with a similar amount of disdain.

    • Stephen D 1.2

      Great explainer here, Nick Knowles via the BBC

    • Matiri 1.3

      I grew up in the South of England and Bonfire Night was a big thing, we moved to NZ 20 years ago. Our town had an annual bonfire night parade where everyone would march shouting "Burn the Pope", all culminating at the race course with a bonfire (guy was on the top!) and big fireworks display. All free.

    • gsays 1.4

      Thanks Dennis for opening up with this subject.

      It is heartening to see quite a few fond comments and not a mention of scared horses or frightened cats…

      • gsays 1.4.1

        I took up making pyro as a hobby a year or so ago.

        A by-product of making charcoal – lump charcoal for BBQ and bio-char for the soil.

        Largely limited to orange (charcoal and iron) or white (aluminium powder) effects.

        Fascinating and rewarding, from making tooling eg ball mill for crushing charcoal through to the anticipation and reward of the ohhs and ahhs of a Catherine Wheel.

        • Dennis Frank 1.4.1.1

          bio-char

          I learnt about that a while back but have never used it. Soil here doesn't need it (volcanic). Interviewed (during my half-year stint on GreenPlanetfm) a couple of specialist agri advisors who were promoting it.

          Sounds like you ended up entertaining kids. Not many folk are successful alchemists nowadays! smiley

    • Stuart Munro 1.5

      It's a curious thing, but a terrorist, being in possession of a decent sized bomb, and the means to trigger it, is not usually apprehended without doing so. James was not the most popular monarch, but his intelligence operation seems to have been pretty competent. The capture of a catholic scapegoat was a coup for the new monarch that helped overcome suspicions about his own religious status. The easiest way to procure such a scapegoat of course, is to fund the bomb plot in the first place. Fawkes had a history as a mercenary for catholic causes.

      The innocent policeman has little or no chance of catching Fawkes fuse in hand without elevating parliament to its eternal reward – but for Fawkes' paymaster the feat is simplicity itself.

      • Dennis Frank 1.5.1

        Yeah it's a feasible senario. The historical record (whether accurate or written by the winner as usual) addresses your point about his agency. To blow the thing as martyr upon discovery he would need proximity to fuse & flame:

        The King ordered Sir Thomas Knyvet to conduct a search of the cellars underneath Parliament, which he did in the early hours of 5 November. Fawkes had taken up his station late on the previous night, armed with a slow match and a watch given to him by Percy "becaus he should knowe howe the time went away". He was found leaving the cellar, shortly after midnight, and arrested. Inside, the barrels of gunpowder were discovered hidden under piles of firewood and coal.

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

  2. GreenBus 2

    I am genuinely in two minds about NZ having to make drastic changes to the way we live and work. I totally believe CC is real and a huge threat to life on this planet. I believed it way back when I first saw "An inconvenient truth" by Al Gore and was disgusted by reaction to it. Made sense to me, but big business and Govt weakness the world over has pillored Gore and the many that followed the same message.

    However, if NZ makes drastic changes and achieves 50% reduction, how much difference does it make when the big emitters like the USA and Europe do SFA

    and the world carries on with only the slightest reduction in those huge numbers, and in many cases are increasing. Is it worth the pain for NZ to go from 0.17 % contribution to 0.085%. The big boys need to do more.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      The same issues revealed by the effort to vaccinate the NZ population bedevil the global effort to counter climate change. Contrary thinking, misinformation, fear, despair, politics…the list goes on.

      Those who hold that mandating for near-100% vaccination will perhaps support a global mandate for greenhouse gas emission reduction and such measures.

      The multi-pronged approach to vaccinating, mask-wearing and so on, have produced significant results, but also rebellion and idiotic behaviours that contradict the effort.

      Perhaps that minor battle is but practice for the major. Perhaps climate change is practice for when we address species and habitat extinction and then the big one; humanity’s barely-restrained impulse to destroy itself 🙂

      • francesca 2.1.1

        Robert, I'm beginning to feel that though my trust in science is not wavering, when it's in the hands of for profit corporations, who mishandle data and don't follow established protocols, my trust wobbles. For the moment, I'm going along with it all, getting my booster shot probably , when it becomes available, mask wearing etc, but I am beginning to have some sympathy for those still unsure about the vaccine. As far as vaccinating children 5-11 I'd draw the line .

        “There’s just a complete lack of oversight of contract research organisations and independent clinical research facilities,” says Jill Fisher, professor of social medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and author of Medical Research for Hire: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials.

        from theBMJ article above

        In autumn 2020 Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, Albert Bourla, released an open letter to the billions of people around the world who were investing their hopes in a safe and effective covid-19 vaccine to end the pandemic. “As I’ve said before, we are operating at the speed of science,” Bourla wrote, explaining to the public when they could expect a Pfizer vaccine to be authorised in the United States.1

        But, for researchers who were testing Pfizer’s vaccine at several sites in Texas during that autumn, speed may have come at the cost of data integrity and patient safety.

        https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2635

        Lets just hope this was a worst case outlier, but the lack of oversight is not very encouraging.

        It just doesn't seem right to be now depending on data after the fact, when the vaccine's out of the stable.

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1.1

          Careful there fransesca or you'll cop a ban for anti vaxer misinformation spouting.

          Evidence that Pfizer's trials fell short of what can be reasonably expected was surfacing late last year.

          And the UK JCVI issued this carefully worded statement in September, after earlier quite intense discussions over vaccinating older children.

          A bit of a shit show to say the least.

          • francesca 2.1.1.1.1

            And here am I Rosemary, obediently fully vaxed, trusting that Medsafe has done due diligence and interrogated Pfizer's safety data, trusting that the safety data is impeccable,trusting that the desire for profit is trumped by earnest contract researchers doing their scientific best .trusting our health officials with their public announcements so confidently asserted

            eg

            Claim 6: The vaccine has not been shown to stop you catching SARS-CoV-2 or passing it on to others

            The vaccine has been shown to prevent you from catching SARS CoV-2 and passing it on. Claiming that it has not is false. Data from countries that have achieved high coverage are able to report the effects such as Israel and the UK.

            https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/the-eight-most-common-myths-about-covid-vaccines

            Of course that was published in April this year and things have moved on a pace.How much can I trust about what is being said now, and what will be asserted just as confidently in 6 months time

            And yes, I am probably about to be burned as a heretic,I'm starting to feel like one

            • Peter 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The data is impeccable about covid 19 being the cause of death and serious illness.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.1.1.2

            Imho anti-vax misinformation spouters deserve everything they get.

            We ‘poor Kiwi dupes’ are climbing up the Covid-19 vaccination rankings, and now sit on 77% at least partially vaccinated, equal with the Italians who have tragically lost an estimated 1 in 400 people to the pandemic.

            Meanwhile, roughly 1 in 180,000 NZers have succumbed to te virus, and we all know the best ways to maintain that eviable record.

            Unite against COVID-19
            https://covid19.govt.nz

            Misinformation” vs “Disinformation”: Get Informed On The Difference

            Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are all desperate for information. Where did the virus come from? Is there a cure? How can we keep staying safe? Will life get back to normal?

            In the case of COVID-19, information can be a literal life-saver—when it’s true. Wrong information doesn’t help anyone and can even make things worse. And like a virus, wrong information can spread, causing what’s been called an infodemic.

            And now more than ever, we are seeing the spread of two forms of wrong information: misinformation and disinformation. These two words, so often used interchangeably, are merely one letter apart. But behind that one letter hides the critical distinction between these confusable words: intent.

            • francesca 2.1.1.1.2.1

              How would you categorise the intent of the BMJ article?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Don't have time to read the whole BMJ article, but it's (main) intent appears to be to inform on (intentional) malfeasance during Pfizer’s testing of vaccine safety.

                This most recent article response ('penned' by Hawaiian physician George Bussey) caught my attention for it's clear intention.

                This article is interesting from at least two vantage points. First, it pointed out the problems associated with profit-driven research companies that often cut corners on their processes. But I think more importantly, it unfortunately allowed those who doubt vaccine safety and efficacy to reinforce their pre-existing biases against the COVID vaccines and what has in fact been demonstrated in real world data – that they are safe and are effective but do wane in efficacy, thus requiring eventual booster/third doses (and perhaps ongoing doses at some as yet to be determined frequency).

                Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. We need better oversight of research companies for sure. But in the end, Pfizer and Moderna (and J&J and AZ to a lesser extent) have provided the world with excellent protection against COVID-19 disease and death.

                https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2635/rr-11

                [Please provide a link or reference for this quote or I will delete it – weka]

                [link provided]

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  I don't have time to read your entire comment DMK as I have stock to tend, a disabled partner to care for and housework to do but…

                  Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

                  …caught my eye.

                  How about you meet those of us with well founded concerns about the Pfizer product half way and agree we not throw the stuff at our babies and youngsters until we're 100% sure its safe?

                  • SPC

                    Others will be vaccinating 5-11 year olds before us – so we once again will have the advantage of time … as to identifying any vaccination issues.

                    We don’t have the vaccines available yet. And if we booster the oldies first with the inflow of Pfizer next year – then Novavax vaccines become an alternative option.

                    For mine, as with 12-15 year old males, there is objectively little advantage to their health (as near all will be asymptomatic), it would be to reduce community spread.

                  • UncookedSelachimorpha

                    Nothing is 100% safe and setting that as a standard will kill a lot of people.

                    If getting vaccinated is 99% safe and not getting vaccinated is 85% safe, then it makes sense to get vaccinated.

                    • McFlock

                      pretty much.

                      Even if this trial was flawed, how many millions of pfizer doses have been given out? 250 million in US alone. More than enough to bring out any remotely plausible adverse effects.

                    • weka

                      if they messed up the trials how do you know the pfizer is 99% safe?

                    • weka

                      McFlock, assuming adequate or good adverse reaction reporting processes.

                      What research is being done on people with chronic illnesses outside of the heart/lung/kidney ones?

                      I think it's most likely that the pfizer vaccine is safe enough to be used en masse, but there will be a small number of people harmed, why do we have to marginalise them?

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha

                      Weka – I address this question in a comment below.

                      I agree you should not marginalise people who suffer from an adverse reaction to the vaccine. But it is important not to allow the frequency of these adverse reactions to be dishonestly exaggerated, resulting in many more people being unnecessarily harmed by the disease.

                    • weka

                      they are marginalised by default. Once because we're not honest about vaccine harm, and twice if they end up disabled and needing a benefit. We are just really, really shit at looking after chronically unwell people in this country.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I certainly agree with you that we should "not throw the stuff at our babies" until we're sure that 'stuff 'does more good than harm, and even then parents should be choosing whether to catch what's thrown.

                    Is anyone suggesting that we throw the Pfizer vaccine at our babies?

                    • weka

                      so you would oppose vaccine mandates on childcare and ECE?

                    • Shanreagh

                      @ weka.

                      Childcare workers and ECE workers ie the adults I don't have a problem with requiring them to have the vaccine.

                      Children, especially this younger cohort, I think need a bit more time.

                    • weka

                      I am asking specifically if you oppose a mandate that any child in childcare or ECE has to be vaccinated against covid (including periodic boosters).

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I'm undecided – don't know enough about the health pros and cons. If I was forced to generate a reckon then I would be against mandating vaccinations against COVID for under-fives for now, but my reckon is less useful than the reckons of health experts, imho.

                      Don't think there's any move afoot to vaccinate Kiwi babies against COVID-19. But vaccine safety trials for babies/children aged 6 months – 4 years are underway.

                      Colorado COVID-19 vaccine trial includes infants as young as 6-months [4 November 2021]

                      Dr. Myron Levin, who is overseeing the clinical trials, is hopeful the vaccine could be available for all children six months and older by the end of 2021 or in early 2022.

                      It is amazing. We continue to see the rapid success of vaccines for all ages. These vaccines are safe, effective and critical to keeping children healthy, while also helping end the pandemic,” said Levin, a professor of pediatrics and medicine, and an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Ultimately, every age group from six months on up will be covered by a vaccine,” Levin said.

                • Francesca

                  Well it rather vindicates those who are still anxious about the vaccine,how could it not ?

                  It's not exactly encouraging those who would like to believe it was all hunky dory,like myself who totally believed the clinical trials would be so safeguarded that it would be impossible to doubt them

                  And yet here we are

                  • weka

                    this is the problem with the vaccines are completely safe and do no harm narrative. In all likelihood the Pfizer vaccine probably does have a high level of safety, but being dishonest about the problems creates greater distrust. I think that people who have great faith in science often fail to understand how this works for people who don't have that faith (and I'm not talking about hard core anti-vaxxers here).

                    • AB

                      Not sure it's a case of having "faith" in science – rather it's about doubting it less than we should doubt other things, because of the empirical nature of its methodology. While also recognising that the methodology is not perfect and can be corrupted by the desire to make money.

                    • weka

                      trusting science more than other ways of knowing because of a belief that its empiricism trumps other empiricisms and other systems of knowledge, and holding that belief strongly despite the known flaws in the applied methodology. That's faith 🙂

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I don't understand where the "it's all hunky dory" narrative is coming from. Yes, public health experts are advocating the use of vaccines to reduce COVID spread and severity of symptoms, but the idea experts are claiming COVID-19 vaccines, or indeed any vaccines, are 100% effective/safe just doesn't add up – who is pushing this idea, and why?

                    For a vaccine to be perfect, the human immune system would have to be perfect. And yes, for most people their immune system offers fair-to-excellent protection against many pathogens (that's what evolution has selected for, and not just in humans), but imho that doesn't mean we can't/shouldn't try to give it a helping hand (be it vit. D supplements and/or a safe vaccine against a novel virus) when needs must.

                    Where might civilisation be now without effective COVID-19 vaccines?

                • weka

                  mod note.

                • francesca

                  At the bottom of the BMJ articl you can click on responses

                  They are worth reading

                  I think that's what dmk is referring to

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Link for George Bussey's (rapid) 4 November response:

                Rapid response to:
                Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial

            • weka 2.1.1.1.2.2

              Imho anti-vax misinformation spouters deserve everything they get.

              Right, I'm getting bloody sick of this, on all sides.

              We know that Rosemary accepts that the covid19 vaccine gives partial protection, because she has said so. She engaged in some hyperbole (it's not a real vaccine) and then so did you (the bit about placebo).

              There are a lot of semantics going on, people weaponising them to uphold their own pov. I've seen this in other heated debates and it makes the debate worse.

              If someone makes a false claim of fact on TS, then address that by pointing out the problem and providing correct information.

              If someone expresses an annoying opinion, then again, address that.

              Rosemary isn't an anti-vaxxer as far as I can tell. That you can't tell the difference between an anti-vaxxer and the issues she is trying to raise suggests to me you don't understand what she is saying or doing, or you don't like what she is saying or doing. Either way, I'm asking you to stop with the bickering and undermining, and stick with the politics at hand.

              I have likewise been asking Rosemary to provide links and explanations (which she has been doing).

              • Gypsy

                Well said. You have been very even handed with this issue, and it is appreciated.

                For me, I'm pro-vaxx but I also believe this is very much about informed choice. I have serious reservations about the 'moral panic' that has been created by our government in particular, and the division it is causing. While we live in this state of madness, 81,000 people are facing delayed healthcare, potentially hundreds have had their cancer treatments disrupted, and all for a target that may well be impossible.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Rosemary isn't an anti-vaxxer …

                You would be right weka, I'm not. But I am resigned to wear that label because most here who throw that slur around cannot seem to grasp that it is possible to be very wary of these new mRNA shots (especially having closely followed the science for the past 18 months) while accepting of most other conventional vaccines. The old 'if you're not for all of them you're against all of them' is strong in this lot.

                The only conventional vaccine I am unlikely to ever have is whatever passes for the flu shot du jour. (There are very good reasons why many health workers have to be coerced and threatened to take it, not that the rabid pro -anything- that- calls -itself- a- vaccine vaxxers would accept any of those reasons.)

                One of my jobs this morning is to clean and sterilise the needles being used to jab our poor old ewe…takes me back to the days when we used to clean and sterilise all the needles and syringes before and after the weekly immunisation clinic my dad ran in his general practice in the UK back in the sixties and seventies. I especially enjoyed putting a fresh edge on the bevel of the needles with a small bock of frosted glass before we bunged them all into the benchtop autoclave. Those were the days.smiley

                • weka

                  Heh.

                  I was thinking about autoclaving this week while contemplating a powerdown post and what plastics we could do without (most are just bad design and capitalism). Medical use was the obvious one, but even there, we could use metals for many things instead, if we had to. Do we have to? Yes, but unlike the current mandates, most people seem happy to wait until our backs are against the climate wall (when it will be too late).

                  • Brigid

                    Metal scissors, used in hospitals, are used just once. These are used to cut bandages, tape etc. My daughter, who works at starship, keeps us well supplied.

                    So even some metal instruments used by the health industry are adding to the plastic waste we produce. Perhaps there's an economical reason to chuck rather than sterilise.

                • Shanreagh

                  You don't have the flu shot? .

                  What is the problem with the flu vaccine?

                  There are very good reasons why many health workers have to be coerced and threatened to take it,…..

                  Why does my Dr belive that a flu injection is a must have for me as a person? Why does my Dr have flu vaccination clinics? Is he totally misled and is misleading me?

                  I have had influenza twice now. 1975/1990. It is not a heavy cold. It is a life threatening illness for some, it was for me. It left me with having to use inhalers for the best part of a year, a weakness in lung function that means I cannot take cough suppressants, because my body does not know now to cough, a natural reflex to bring up phlegm. It predisposes me to lung infections. As soon as my Dr was able to get permission for me to get the vaccine I was having it and now have had it for over 30 years.

                  I would not wish it on anyone. Having worked in a health setting I was not aware of any great resistance to the flu injection. Staff saw it as a preventative for themselves and others. The ones who could not take it were mainly from the people who had reactions to albumen/egg whites which is a constituent of the injection.

                  I know you have concerns about Covid.

                  Please don't let this stray into anything that could prevent people from taking advantage of the flu vaccine when it is offered to them. Influenza has been tracking at lower levels this year and last as we have limited migration, movement and encouraged masking and social distancing.

                  https://info.flutracking.net/reports-2/new-zealand-reports/

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Thanks weka. If Rosemary's assertion that the Pfizer vaccine is "not a vaccine" can be characterised as hyperbole, then it's time for me to bow out of this debate, or (as you would have it) "bickering".

                Fwiw, imho this (@10:33 am):

                not throw the stuff at our babies

                is hyperbole, whereas a claim that the Pfizer vaccine is "not a vaccine" is a straightforward example of misinformation.

                A few more unashamedly pro-vax (pro-health) links, and I'm done.

                Covid vaccines for children are coming. So is misinformation.
                Medical professionals and misinformation experts are warning that the push to vaccinate kids has already been seized on by groups looking to spread anti-vaccination messages.

                San Diego doctors combat misinformation surrounding the COVID vaccine for children

                https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines/get-the-facts-about-covid-19-vaccination/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-pfizer-vaccine/

                Unite against COVID-19
                https://covid19.govt.nz

                Edit: Happy to accept that Rosemary isn’t anti-vax.

                • Shanreagh

                  Good post DMK.

                  There is no future in trying to bend minds on the Covid vaccination issue. Adult people take it or not knowing the consequences.

                  There is an issue on children. If children are not recommended to have it then it the need for the vaccine is elevated to a level for the parents to make a decision to have the vaccine themselves as a protector, then the teachers as a protector. . .

                  Side effects are set out in numerous places including on the Medsafe site. Every person that I know of who has got it got a list of these to watch out for when they leave after having the vaccine. I would put mine up but cannot find it ATM.

                  Please do not let it spin into an anti vaxx free for all. For example querying the efficacy of other tried and true vaccines. I am referring to the influenza vaccine. Can we just follow the science on this one please for now?

                  I am afraid that next we will be asked to take an open-minded look at poor hard done by Andrew Wakefield's /sarc/ work on the MMR vaccine wink

                  • weka

                    There is no future in trying to bend minds on the Covid vaccination issue. Adult people take it or not knowing the consequences.

                    This is daft. If people can't change their minds, how did we get from a slow vax rate to a fast one? There are a myriad of stories around of people changing their minds.

                    Please do not let it spin into an anti vaxx free for all.

                    Are you kidding? we're not even close to that here. I get that you are in the all vaccines are all good camp, and that this means you have a lot of faith, but it appears to be blinding you to what people are actually saying.

                    There's been very little anti-vax commenting on TS in the past year. Anti-vax is a social and political positioning that says all vaccination is bad. It stems largely from Wakefield, and isn't the same as non-vaccination.

                    Part of the reason we don't have a lot of that here is because we require a high standard of debate. All that's happening today is that I'm making sure it applies all round. No-one can call someone here an anti-vaxxer unless they can demonstrate that the person actually is. It's a form of disinformation to call someone like Rosemary and anti-vaxxer. I'm pissed off to have to be pointing this out.

                    We don't all agree on the benefits of science or how the results of research should be interpreted and used. On TS we are here for robust debate, not an echo chamber.

                    • Shanreagh

                      I have not called Rosemary an anti vaxxer. I have not called anyone an anti vaxxer. I have not said anyone is spreading disinformation. I am not spreading disinformation.

                      I just don't get the need to be talking about adult covid vaccinations at this relatively late stage and then morph into queries about the flu vaccination in the same breath.

                      I am not in the all vaccines are good camp especially not in the disparaging way you have said it.

                      The Covid vaccine for adults has been available for some time. My sister had hers in Southland in late July/early August.

                      The substantive arguments for and against have been known for some time for adult humans to assess. My view is we do not need to rehash them all here.

                      We are possibly now into adult resistance territory. How able are we to change the mind of a still hesitant person? Do we want to? Do we need to? WE is in the widest sense. That is probably a better query? So that is a slightly different query than is this Covid vaccination stuff a good thing?

                      The key question now is the proposal to vaccinate children against covid. The science is not definite here, or rather there are stronger & more interesting/informative ethical arguments about vaccinating, or not, people who are in our care, people who cannot themselves read and assess the literature.

                      Can we have a debate on that rather than a rehash of Covid for adults?

                      Can we leave positioning re vaccinations other than Covid out of it for another day? Please? .

                    • weka

                      It's pretty hard to get people to stop talking about something (don't think about the elephant in the room and people will think about it). Best bet is to post on subjects you want to talk about instead.

                      In this instance you replied to a comment by DMK that was part of an active conversion between them and myself which was about all those things I mentioned, and you started by saying 'good post', so I assumed you were jumping into that convo.

                      I was talking to someone yesterday who just got vaxxed, was previously undecided and really didn't want to. If we want to get to 90%, then yes, we still need people to change their minds. If one believes that unvaccinated people are all anti-vaxxers, then it's hard to see how people can change. But they're not all anti-vaxxers. Nuance helps a lot here.

                      Also going to point out that despite what you believe about time frames there are still people with access issues.

                      And, there are still people with legitimate health concerns.

                      You may feel that all the matters are settled on adult covid vaccination, others feel differently.

                      Because the 90% target is very important, I see the debate as very pertinent politically.

                      If it's stressing you, focussing on other topics in OM helps 👍

                • weka

                  @DKM,

                  you appear to have missed my point and are instead focused on semantics. Ok, so let's dig down into it:

                  Thanks weka. If Rosemary's assertion that the Pfizer vaccine is "not a vaccine" can be characterised as hyperbole, then it's time for me to bow out of this debate, or (as you would have it) "bickering".

                  You objected to Rosemary's presence on TS and thought she should be banned, because you believe that she spouts misinformation. You called her an anti-vaxxer. That was a spurt of misinformation.

                  In the link to an earlier convo, she implied that she believed that the efficacy rate of the covid vaccine was placebo. Again, that's you 'spouting' misinformation.

                  I don't really care, because it's low level and it's easy enough to address (and thanks for acknowledging she is not in fact an anti-vaxxer). But I do object to the hypocrisy.

                  It's obvious from Rosemary's comment that she thinks of vaccines as something particular (am guessing they're meant to be sterilising vaccines). I disagree with her, you disagree with her, lots of people do. And so it is on us to respond and point out where she is wrong and how.

                  She expressed an opinion. She didn't post a 90min video with no explanation that was meant to demonstrate that it's not a vaccine. She didn't spam the site or post and run. If you think her comment is an example of misinformation or disinformation a la anti-vax on FB, then you've really missed how things work here.

                  People are free to post all sorts of stupid shit on TS, provided they abide by the site policy. We all post shite from time to time. Including you and me. Personally I think there was a lost opportunity with the not a vaccine comment to talk more in depth about what a vaccine is and isn't.

                  The value in having people with dissenting opinions is that if forces us to hash out and understand complex issues. We need this more than ever at this time. Your dissenting comments are still welcome, there's just a boundary around how we talk about other people here and how we call them on their comments. And like I said, it's all sides.

                  • Shanreagh

                    @weka

                    DMK's I comment on posts that are clear and logical, not necessarily because I agree with them. In this case I thought his points were well reasoned and logically argued. I love a well argued point, I don't have to agree with it though.

                    I don't believe all unvaccinated people are anti vax. I have not said this. In fact I have 2 unvaccinated friends who are immuno compromised, one is working with her Dr to have access to some thing(?) not sure what it is, in late November. So she is unvaccinated.

                    Others such as on the Coast or North Auckland have access and cultural issues. These are being addressed. They too are unvaccinated but not necessarily anti vax. Though a group vaccinating teachers in the eastern BoP was faced with what they called a 'wall of misinformation' when they began their journey there recently.

                    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/11/revealed-why-locals-in-the-eastern-bay-of-plenty-are-refusing-to-get-vaccinated.html

                    If it's stressing you, focussing on other topics in OM helps

                    I am a big girl now and can work out what stresses me. winkDiving off topic into the efficacy of other vaccines does not stress me but it does make me wonder why there was the need?

                    I wonder why the muddle up with the figures from the report Rosemary posted on last night. At least three posters noted this but there has been no word about the mistake since. Posts 3 & 4 here.

                    . https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-04-11-2021/

                    My last post in this part of the thread. Cheers

                    • weka

                      you appeared to be saying people shouldn't be talking about a political issue, on a political blog. The other time this happened recently was on the sex/gender topic.

                    • weka

                      I wonder why the muddle up with the figures from the report Rosemary posted on last night. At least three posters noted this but there has been no word about the mistake since. Posts 3 & 4 here.

                      What's your actual point here? When I look at that thread I see a lot of discussion. Did it get clarified (whatever the muddle was)? If so, what's the problem?

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      I went back to that report a couple of hours ago to try and sort out the numbers…in the interim the 4 "show table" links have been disabled.

                      Making sorting things out a tad difficult.

                      This is the second time that I am aware of that the Safety Report has had errors, or has been altered after being published.

                      To be transparent they should make a note that there has been an error or omission that required a change.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    You [DMK] objected to Rosemary's presence on TS and thought she should be banned, because you believe that she spouts misinformation. You called her an anti-vaxxer. That was a spurt of misinformation.

                    Sorry to waste your time – in order to stem the tide of misinformation, perhaps we could agree that what I objected to was Rosemary's efforts to spread misinformation about the Pzifer vaccine on TS.

                    I’d prefer that you [Rosemary] didn't discourage people from getting vaccinated, which is clearly what you're doing with mis/disinformation along these (nonsensical) lines

                    Bearing in mind Sabine, the Pfizer so-called vaccine neither prevents infection or transmission of the virus.

                    By definition it is not a vaccine.

                    I don't recall thinking or asking that Rosemary be banned, and have (in the past) credited her for providing a link to a most enlightening TEDx talk by Prof. Christine Stabell Benn. It's true that some of Rosemary's comments did cause me to wonder if she might be an anti-vax, "but no longer." Anti-vax or not, however, the "By definition it [the Pfizer vaccine] is not a vaccine." assertion remains misinformation.

                    In the link to an earlier convo, she implied that she believed that the efficacy rate of the covid vaccine was placebo. Again, that's you 'spouting' misinformation.

                    The point I was trying to make (poorly) was that if, as Rosemary claimed, the "Pfizer so-called vaccine" was not a vaccine, then (short of invoking some supernatural agency) it's observed efficacy might best be attributed to the placebo effect. The purpose of my comment was to highlight the absurdity of the misinformation.

                    My objection is not to Rosemary, but rather to some of her opinions, just as I disagree with the opinions of a few other commenters here.

                    Not trying to 'win' this exchange – that would be futile. Simply expressing my opinions, just like Rosemary and everyone else.

                    • Shanreagh

                      @ Weka 4.03pn. The point was that the figures put forward by other posters later were not the incorrect ones. The correct figures were those quoted by others ie 118 not 169.

                      The reason for the deletions back down to the 118 number was included in the original report and the sentence explaining was quoted in full by at least two posters. I am not sure how this could have been missed and why the need to stick to a figure of 169.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Weka@ 3.57. I am not really able to follow what you are saying.

                      I think there is a difference between an issues based discussion and a politically based discussion. I am/was participating in & having an issues based discussions on whether we need to rehash arguments for and against adult vaccines. This is not a political discussion which would be quite different.

                      I don't recall the sex/gender item except to say my opinion as a woman is that the legislation put out by the Government on the changes to the birth certificate issue has the ability to work against all the things that bio woman have fought for over the years, including safe spaces.

                      Taking away womens' rights so a group equally deserving of recognition in their right can be recognised is well….I am speechless actually but glad to see that people are coming to the defence of Kathleen Stock

                      This above is an Issues based discussion.

                      That it was put out by a Govt at such (relatively) short notice and with such perfunctory, at first efforts to involve submissions, is a political argument. That groups such as Standup for Women had to take judicial action to enable them to hold totally non threatening meetings has something to do with the way the amending legislation was modelled politically.

                      One of the greatest strength of TS, for me, is that we can discuss issues and not every issue needs to, or does have a political dimension tagging along behind.

                      On some RW boards they are quite unable to discuss an issue without someone saying 'that is a bit of a leftie thing to say', when it was a just a thing to say ie it had no political dimension. Those kinds of boards were every single thing is deemed political are totally, totally boring.

                    • weka

                      I don't think you are wasting time, I think this actually needs to be hashed out because this is a long haul debate, and I want there to be dissenting opinions here for the reasons I have stated.

                      "By definition it [the Pfizer vaccine] is not a vaccine." assertion remains misinformation.

                      Did you or anyone ask what she meant?

                      I quite often see people reacting to Rosemary's comments thinking she has said something that she hasn't. She uses a particular style of commenting that not everyone gets.

                      In this case, as I said, I agree with you and disagree with her. But I also suspect she simply meant that the stuff in the syringe shouldn't be called a vaccine because of the lower efficacy rate.

                      But then I've already said that and you still seem to be missing my point: it's fine to disagree, it's fine to point out where people are talking bollocks, but there's a line and I'm trying to name it here. It's not just you, I'm seeing it a lot.

                      The purpose of my comment was to highlight the absurdity of the misinformation.

                      Sure, but as I said, in the process you also misled and again today, which is why I got involved. Again, not trying to pick on you alone, just seeing this gap where people are talking past each other (presumably because many of us hold strong beliefs and the debate is sometimes tense and there is a lot at stake).

                      btw, I thought you were wanting her banned because you said "Imho anti-vax misinformation spouters deserve everything they get." and linked to a conversation where Rosemary was in the process of getting banned.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    In this case, as I said, I agree with you and disagree with her [Rosemary]. But I also suspect she simply meant that the stuff in the syringe shouldn't be called a vaccine because of the lower efficacy rate.

                    That's a good point – I'm not aware of any generally accepted efficacy threshold above which an immunogenic agent qualifies as a vaccine. The scientific consensus appears to be that the Pfizer stuff qualifies.

                    Maybe Rosemary meant that the stuff in the syringe shouldn't be called a vaccine, but that's not what she wrote – could be a matter of style, but her comment came across (to me) as a statement of fact – "By definition it [the Pfizer vaccine] is not a vaccine." I accept the possibility that she meant to convey something else.

                    btw, I thought you were wanting her banned because you said "Imho anti-vax misinformation spouters deserve everything they get." and linked to a conversation where Rosemary was in the process of getting banned.

                    Rosemary was the first to use the phrase "misinformation spouting" in today's Open Mike. My "misinformation spouters" link was to an OM comment I made over two months ago about Rosemary's "By definition it [the Pfizer vaccine] is not a vaccine." statement. I didn't mention ban/banning then, and wasn't thinking 'ban' when I linked to it today. Have tried not to use ‘b words’ in comments for at least the last year.

                    I do believe spouting/spreading misinformation about vaccines during a pandemic is unhelpful, and that people who do so deliberately deserve any negative outcomes they accrue from that behaviour.

                    • weka

                      thanks for clarifying.

                      Rosemary definitely has a distinct commenting style that not everyone gets. Not sure how much that was an issue with that comment. I still think that she could have been asked what she meant. So while I agree that posting inaccuracies is a problem, so is jumping on people and building a culture around that instead of debate that includes actually understanding what is meant. This is by no means only an issue on this topic.

                      There was some conversation for a while about 'not a real vaccine' because it's wasn't complete in the way say a measles vaccine is (you get it once, it provides full immunity for the rest of your life). Which was in the context of early messaging and debate about the covid vaccine which wasn't pointing out the limits of the vaccine.

                      Some people want to talk about that stuff, and it's not been the easiest conversation to have here.

              • gsays

                Thanks weka, from me too, for your even-handedness on this issue.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.2

          Francesca, I share your confusion and so, I'm believing, does everyone else. Contradictory evidence abounds; analysing that morass of opinion and data is too much for most people; perhaps all people, and we are left to make sense of it all by other means. Compiling information that has integrity, while at the same time avoiding the traps that those who don't come to the same conclusions 🙂 seems to be the trick. Forming a belief though, seems a mistake, as new information that is convincing, but doesn't fit the decided-upon belief, causes a fracturing in confidence and usually, a hunkering-down and concretion of belief, something we know can lead to foolishness/ideological inflexibility/religion etc. The vax issue is but one of the many that are testing us presently. We will, I think, all experience a caterpillar-turns-to-soup extended-moment, then emerge, butterfly-like, into the light of a new day…or perhaps something more realistic – a thoughtful, forgiving, generous world of humans-as-they-will-be. 🙂 With regards the vexed issue of understanding and adopting a position re: vaxxing – I talk with my mates about waka, and the fragility of a single-hulled craft on a broiling ocean and the value of out-riggers, as many as can be imagined. By that I mean, take advice from trusted friends who you've known for yonks, either in person or by reputation. I rely on the positions taken by people who have taken worse positions on other matters, over time, and under pressure. It disturbs me how much credence younger "anti-vaxxers" of my acquaintance, assign to people they've only taken notice of in the past wee while, and their blind-acceptance of claims made by people who have made irresponsible claims about other issues in the past. They seem blithely unaware of the backgrounds and blind-spots of these "advisors". This irks me 🙂

          • francesca 2.1.1.2.1

            Well like I say Robert, I'm still wanly waving the science flag, rather than depending on trusted old advisors who may be great for relationship advice etc, how to deal with aphids and curly leaf, and why do kaka beaks get sudden death syndrome, or do I get a hybrid or full electric, when it comes to the arcane mysteries of vaccine science,I prefer the medical journals

            When it comes to end game capitalism, and the need for wealth to keep on generating wealth at the expense of humanity,corruption in corporations,I just read what I can, my friends are so diverse I get the full gamut of reading matter.But I think all of us can see the writing on the wall and it doesn't read well .Sure the likes of wannabe media stars like Damien de Ment can be easily discounted, not so much the BMJ

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.2.2

            Contradictory evidence abounds; analysing that morass of opinion and data is too much for most people; perhaps all people,

            That's an exceptionally pertinent comment, I struggle with this as much as anyone.

            In this age of unlimited bandwidth the only constraint on information is our attention span. That means we have to filter out the majority of data and we can never be certain of whether something seemingly small but important got missed.

            This to my mind is the unspoken flaw in our science centred world view; it works well when the domain of interest is so constrained that we can reasonably know everything relevant. Mathematics is the prime example of this, where we can rigorously analyse a problem with watertight logic. But as science expands it's horizon the data becomes increasingly divergent, contradictory and imperfect.

            But humans always operated day to day in a messy world of imperfect data – and we evolved something I call observational intelligence to deal with it. Another common name for it is intuition. It's that remarkable capacity for our subconcious to extract meaning from chaos.

            Unguided and ill-prepared our subconcious mind is entirely prone to all usual the psychological flaws, such as confirmation bias and negativity sensitivity. But when the well-trained, experienced and reasonably informed scientific mind is also teamed with a strong observational intelligence – well I'd argue this is the best humans can be – and our best bet to trust.

            The other reliable clue, is to watch for people willing to give the opposing evidence it’s due, and change their minds when the data changes.

            • francesca 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Now that I can thoroughly agree with

              I'm in a state of wobble at the moment,which I know will change when further info comes to light

              You can't be partisan and emotionally stubborn over these things.

  3. francesca 3

    I'm hoping this sort of thing isn't widespread . A whistleblower revealed what should have been found by proper oversight .She noted several poor practices during the covid vaccine trial,alerted the research organisation, (Ventavia)and later the FDA.The only consequence was her being fired on the same day as her email to the FDA.The FDA failed to make an inspection at the research site

    Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial

    https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2635

    • weka 3.1

      I read 3/4 of that last night. Did they actually say anything about how this might impact on the safety of the Pfizer vaccine?

      • francesca 3.1.1

        Not really,just that the data from that particular clinical trial might not be trustworthy,and the implication that there is lack of oversight for all the research contracts.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I'm guessing people will be careful about what they say so as not to undermine the vaccination programme, and for legal reasons.

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1.1

            ..people will be careful about what they say so as not to undermine the vaccination programme, and for legal reasons.

            Double tick.

      • Editractor 3.1.2

        It won't because we have much larger amounts of real world data now, data that are in the open for everyone to see and analyse.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1.3

        Skimming the article, the whistleblower complaints relate to one contractor – responsible for around 1000 participants at 3 sites. The entire trial included 44,000 participants across 153 sites. The FDA audited 9 sites but this did not include the 3 sites in question.

        The problems reported were bad practice, but seems were around poor procedure rather than deliberate production of misleading data etc. There is a mention of “falsifying data” in the introduction, but the description of what was actually done (entering data late and changing data without recording the change) is not necessarily falsification to change the outcome, but can be poor recording procedure (for example, data entry errors may need to be dealt with, but how/why they were dealt with needs to be properly recorded and justified). But the contractor in this case does sound shonky.

        One thing that any study of this type will include is "site" as a factor in the data analysis. If the three sites in question gave significantly different results to other sites, this would have been immediately obvious. This is one reason to run a trial across many sites, using many research organisations (as they did).

        In actual use, the Pfizer vaccine has proven to be very safe and effective, with Medsafe NZ reporting 1 likely vaccine death from about 7 million doses. Many organisations (e.g. every nation's health authorities, plus other research organisations) have monitored and analysed the safety of the vaccine since its rollout. They confirm its safety and importantly, are independent of Pfizer.

        The understanding of the safety profile of the vaccine is now far greater than was possible from the first clinical trials. The whistleblower complaint is important for improvement of future clinical trials (and to encourage Pfizer to pull its socks up and the FDA to audit more), but doesn't change the current understanding of the safety of the Pfizer vaccine.

        For the Pfizer vaccine to be significantly dangerous (while all the available data and reports indicate it is safe), would require thousands of unassociated people across many countries to be successfully participating in a conspiracy, which I do not believe is the case.

        • francesca 3.1.3.1

          Well that is my point. It took a whistleblower to point to deficiencies that should have been picked up by effective oversight.When there's not effective oversight you can have poor results.The population is willing to participate in vaccine rollouts on the presumed rigour and reliability of the safety data. If we're going to rely instead on real world data , why bother with the trials?

          The research outfit in question wasn't audited or visited, instead its data was accepted and it was contracted to do trials for child vaccination

          All this after having fired the experienced researcher for pointing out shortcomings to the FDA.This time , there may be no harm done, but it really points to the need for a tightening up of protocols and more frequent monitoring

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Leftists doing lunacy again? Unsure of what theyr'e meant to be standing for, need help to figure it out?

    The New York Times columnist Ezra Klein… summarized the essence of popularism as the belief that Democrats “should do a lot of polling to figure out which of their views are popular and which are not popular, and then they should talk about the popular stuff and shut up about the unpopular stuff.”

    Politics 1.01 for the simple-minded, in other words. Not the high-minded – they do weird intellectual pc-driven shit like critical race theory:

    Republican Glenn Youngkin stoked the flames of white racial fear by promising to outlaw so-called Critical Race Theory (CRT), code for any educational instruction about the realities of racism and oppression in this country. CRT is a law school construct and is not taught in any pre-college schools in Virginia or anywhere else, but it nevertheless sufficiently alarmed white voters that they turned out in record numbers and propelled Youngkin to victory

    McAuliffe certainly didn’t campaign on CRT and did his best to ignore it. But his cautious and conflict-avoidant ostrich approach failed miserably, in part because Democratic voters were not nearly as motivated by the bland popularism approach as Republicans were by what they saw as a threat to their racial identity.

    Bland works for the left here, yet fails miserably there. The deep psychology driving the differential sends the signal that cultural matrix is primary behavioural motivator.

    Democracy being a numbers game, we get data-modellers dictating political strategy:

    the analysis suffers from several fundamental mathematical flaws. Ironically, given the future-oriented image of tech-savvy Democratic data crunchers who champion the framework, the primary flaws of popularism stem from adherence to anachronistic models that are of limited use in today’s rapidly changing society.

    Whereas motivation is actually the key. The writer points to enthusiasm as the differential producing last year's results:

    In the 16 seats flipped by Republicans last year, an average of 34,000 more people came out to cast ballots for the Democratic candidate than in 2018. The challenge for Democrats was that Republican votes jumped by 54,000 votes per district.

    Being bland isn't working for the Dems. Folks would rather have something to believe in, that gets them fired up.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/04/democratic-strategists-are-embracing-popularism-but-theyve-got-it-wrong

    A 2020 Gallup poll found that 70% of 18–34-year-olds supported “reducing the budgets of police departments and shifting the money to social programs,” more than twice the 32% level of support of those over 50.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/04/democratic-strategists-are-embracing-popularism-but-theyve-got-it-wrong

    Redefining socialism therefore ought to be the intellectual agenda of leftists, right? Sanders failed to deliver it, Corbyn failed similarly. Those guys just blatted out ancient shibboleths from their early years as activists. Will younger contenders engage this challenge? The political market seems to be demanding what leftists are strangely reluctant to supply.

  5. Peter 5

    Leftists doing lunacy again? Just that had me on a mad search seeking the headlines: "Fraud claims in Virginia election," "Dead woman voted," "Voting machines linked to JFK Jnr site."

    Not a skerrick.

  6. Gezza 6

    .
    Patricia Bremner
    4 November 2021 at 10:41 pm

    We are in Rotorua Gezza. Are you managing ok? We used to have family in Waihi and Whakatane so this was close but not too close.

    Norm spent quite a bit of time in Wellington in the 60’s when he was with McKenzies Ltd. So we are aware of the weather.. 4 seasons in a day similar to here.

    Our roses are just beginning to bloom, the blossom was great ’till we got the wind. Rotorua has a great display of tulips, finishing now sadly.

    Currently our son can’t visit as Hamilton is in Lockdown, so we feel for those in Auckland., where Norm’s brother and wife have been separated from family on Waiheke for 11+ weeks. Hear is hoping Christmas is better for us all. All the Best.
    …………………………..
    (Apologies to all for my disrupting OM with a bit of personal chit chat, but I feel among friends here, & promise to do so only briefly.)

    I am doing more than ok, thanks Patricia. The condition I have been diagnosed with is serious & progressive. There is no cure. I am asking my creator to help me become NZ’s first case of spontaneous cure or remission.

    But if that is not to be, then the package of care being wrapped around me – DHB-funded, State-funded, & also volunteer-driven – is so warm & dense that it made my eyes water, & I intend to live as fully, as independently, and as long, as I possibly can in my wonderful streamside home, gratefully using all of the support that is being provided to me by a bevvy of absolutely wonderful, kind & caring human beings.

    I have a tuakana (older sibling of the same sex) & our married kid sister (66) in New Plymouth. I’m a Taranaki boy, as well as a loud & proud Wellingtonian. And a teina (younger sibling of the same sex) in Nelson. My sister & bro in law drove down from NP & stayed for 4 days to help me tidy up my property & so my sister could accompany me to my GP to check on the rather unusual constellation of symptoms that characterise my condition & saw my sister charged with taking me in for admission to Welly Hospital via ED a fortnight ago.

    My foot-long lawns were mowed, pavers de-weeded, brick garden de-weeded & trimmed, & overgrown trees chainsawed back from their overgrowth – still plenty of tree branches left for my beloved birds to perch in & sing. When I returned home yesterday my kitchen was spotless, the fridge full, including UHT milk for my much-loved milky coffees. All I had to do was clean the toilet.

    My teina and his wife flew over from Nelson to visit me in hospital (sis in law has family here, so they caught up with them too).

    My retired couple neighbours, who my sister asked to clear my letterbox daily are falling over themselves to do anything they can to help me. She is a retired clinical psychologist. GSOH, both of them. Last night she sent hubby over with a lettuce, peppers & olives salad & a huge dish of pasta, pineapple, shredded chicken, & fresh asparagus in sauce dish of restaurant quality.

    Today she is popping in some time to tell me how things went yesterday at the Group Family Conference she attended yesterday with a 14 year old young offender, part of the group who smashed my & several other neighbours’ car windows in May, & succeded in steaking theirs & writing it off in Johnsonville. I understand he comes from a very good family, & that his parents are mortified at what he has done & the bad company he has been keeping.

    My chemist yesterday personally delivered my hospital-prescribed meds to my door & told me if there’s anything else I need, just let them know & someone will bring it round straight away, or during their lunch break, or on the way home.

    I caught up with my sister & bro in law via Facetime video call last night. They will return when all the support arrangements are in place & I have worked out a regular schedule to complete the list of jobs they were helping me with.

    I fear my days as a self-described “happy hermit” may be over & my social life will be exploding. So I am just feeling happy & blessed to be living in this house, at this time in history, in this wonderful country, that provides so much care and support for people in my situation.

    PS: I had some great adventures on my walker in Welly Hospital, and saw some fascinating sights down on the bench seat in front of the Main Entrance. I realised quickly that the new fashion season colour for women is apparently Tan, & my favourite sight among many (including tuis everywhere in the flaxes in their native-bush filled gardens) would have to be the dude on the Harley Davidson who pulled up at the lights wearing a long black trenchcoat, black thigh boots, black face mask, & unmistakeable Darth Vader black crash helmet. Sadly, the lights changed & he roared off somewhere, to a galaxy far, far away, before I had time to whip out my cellphone & catch him on video.

    And all my roses are blooming their hearts out. 🌹 😀 🐧 ☘

    • Molly 6.1

      Thanks for updating us all, Gezza.

      Your love of life and the wonders you bring to my attention add a moment of quiet (and welcome) reflection to this commenter. I hope to enjoy your online company here for a long while. I'm glad that you feel well-supported, and have little of practical use to offer but as a musician you might enjoy the focus of the young guitarist on this:

    • Gezza 6.2

      Palmerston North Rescue chopper (I was told) landing on Welly Hospital rooftop heliport.

      View post on imgur.com

      I was still there when it took off again. It flew backward and was an awesome sight, but my phone was busy stabilising the video I'd just taken of four Mongrel Mob members so obviously sharing a joint in the No Smoking area at the front of the hospital because I found it amusing, so I couldn't catch the superb flying by the pilot.

    • Whispering Kate 6.3

      Gezza I enjoy your tales of the creek friends you have at the bottom of your garden.

      Your bench sitting and observing reminds me so much of the fun I have always had "people watching". Whether it is waiting rooms at the eye clinic at Greenlane, strap hanging on tubes, waiting at bus stops, even eating in restaurants or being in courtrooms sorting out what the people in the dock's sentences will be. The wonders never cease. I am never bored as I have my busy brain working overtime. You see, by the time I have to move on I have sorted out everybody's lives, their jobs, their partners and whether they are happy or sad. My other half says its intrusion or nosiness but to me its just having a curious mind and its like a passing parade of the world all around us.

      My very good thoughts are winging your way in this latest journey in your life. Kia Kaha.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.4

      Hello Gezza, thank you for your cheerful reply which was uplifting in spite of the serious nature of your health. Use all the aids personal and practical Gezza, which I am sure you do as you mention your walker.

      To remain independent as long as I have with polio impinging on old age, I found making a list of any daily struggles, talking with my Doctor or his Nurse Practitioner, I found there were aids and even aides I could call on.

      You are right about losing your Hermit Status lol, and you will learn to cope with the caring "How are you today?" which is meant kindly but needs to be dealt to before real conversation begins. Having an agreed timetable of when works best if you are not used to large numbers of visitors.
      Tan is the new colour? Blast does nothing for me, I am a plum pink person lol.

      All the best as you and your near family adjust to your new reality. (Perhaps family could put a clear section in the fence so you may sit and watch your water friends as we enjoy the glimpses into their world via your great commentary. )

      • Gezza 6.4.1

        Thanks Patricia, but all I have to do is open the gate. If they don’t simply fly in, they just typically wander in & out at will thru the gate. Most of the pook babies I’ve seen raised & have videoed have first encountered my back yard by doing precisely that as
        i didn’t want their adult whanau leaving them unprotected when they flew up and over the fence.

        Apart from the eels of course. As I am still independently mobile without my walker, my mind is already turning itself to how I can get myself safely down approx 15 m of bank to the Eel Spot to resume feeding Elvira from her feeding stick & (more importantly perhaps) back up again.

        Clearing away the creeper bit by bit, a rope, & going up & down along a sloping path in short stages looks eminently doable. I already know how to pack my jacket pockets with her food in sealed containers.

        • Patricia Bremner 6.4.1.1

          Perhaps a zigzag path to soften the drop?

          • Gezza 6.4.1.1.1

            Yes. It kind of already is. Some time back I dug steps in at various convenient points where there are tree branches, trunks, or plenty of strongly embedded creeper for hand holds. Mostly I just have to trim the creeper back where it has overgrown in the months I wasn’t using the path.

            I like to keep the path hidden from view on the other side to avoid the possibility of someone seeing me regularly go down it to feed Elvira who just might decide, despite her protected status in the Greater Welly region, that she’d be good kai.

  7. vto 7

    I laugh these days when people claim that communism and socialism have failed… China anyone? US anyone?

    Go the community-ism.. because we are communities first and foremost right?

    Go the social-ism.. because we social first and foremost right?

    And the so-called alternative, capital-ism, isn't even a frikkin' alternative. Capital-ism is just a bunch of tools designed to suck the life out of whatever they are limpited onto.. It is absolutely NOT a system..

    There is only one system that operates on this planet, and that is the system of social…. people coming together to achieve an end.

    The US government is the biggest socialist organisation in the world.

    NZ's two biggest businesses, Fonterra and Foodstuffs are cooperatives – completely socialist structures.

    The limited liability company is a socialist structure.

    Everything we do is socialist. Everything. Not a single person has got anywhere solo – never.

    In fact, when humans avoid their innate socialist being they shrivel up and die. Dead.

    The vilification of social-ism and community-ism by the capital-ists has been the greatest con of the last 80 years.

    Don't let people brainlessly and unthinkingly say otherwise

    2c for the day and back to work…

    • Gezza 7.1

      2 cents worth? That's some bloody good, clear thinking there, vto. Worth more than 2 c, imo. And food for more thought on my part.

    • I Feel Love 7.2

      Every country has socialised their vax rollouts, no libertarian vax rollouts.

      • Sabine 7.2.1

        Well it would be double dipping if the countries bought the vaccines with tax payers money and then charge the same tax payer for the shots.

        but in saying that, i can very well see this happening in the future. Give it another two or three years of boostershots.

        But the point of vto i think is making is that anything paid with tax payers fund – funds collected from all of us – is socialism by large, considering that all pay for it and all profit from it.

        • vto 7.2.1.1

          My point was kinda wide and all-encompassing…

          Pointing out that the vilification of social-ism is bullshit and should be called out, because everything humans do is socialist – everything.

          the local rugby team, the knitting club, every workplace with more than one person, every workplace with just one person but who integrates with others (which is everyone), every government bar none, every social gathering, every company with shareholders, every country, city, town, village…

          it just goes on and on..

          humans are nothing but social

          it is this very recognition which should be underpinning all of our politics…

          … but the 'capital-ists' have very successfully diverted … to their tultimate and supreme advantage.

          someone tell me this is wrong

          • Sabine 7.2.1.1.1

            It ain't wrong at all. You are totally correct. No one build anything by themselves, we – te hangata – build all of it, and in our current set up – we pay for everything. Every single thing.

            But i guess that the church of the individualist would like to keep us bamboozled with us thinking we are all these rugged individuals that need no others, and here we are Covid….and we understand that we totally depend on the others. I

            Hence when i preach my covid mantra i call for 'physical distancing' not 'social distancing'.

            If there is a comment of the day to be declared, yours here would be my choice.

        • Patricia Bremner 7.2.1.2

          "Flu shots are free to those who need them on health grounds, firms pay to avoid the use of sick leave.

          • Shanreagh 7.2.1.2.1

            Yes this is so for me now…..take it from me though up until I passed the age where it was free, in most years my Dr had to make an application for approval for a free one for me. Some years I had to pay even though he was able to get approval to have access to the vaccine so he could vaccinate me.

            Every time I had to pay I made a claim on my health insurance and every year it was declined as they did not reimburse for preventative stuff.

            As far as vaccinating at work many places would issue a refund and several years at two workplaces we offered staff the flu vaccination with the Drs/nurses coming to our workplace. The health agency I worked for was more focused on minimising the side effects from getting influenza than looking at it from a straight sick leave point of view.

    • Scott 7.3

      I'm never quite sure what people mean by socialism.

      We have a good mix where the government sets the rules to prevent the excesses of free markets it seems to me. People are free to work and build wealth and enjoy life.

      Cuba is probably the best example of an honest attempt at at a state controlled economy and no New Zealander would enjoy living there.

      • vto 7.3.1

        Cuba, Venezuela, Soviet Union, North Korea, the list goes on that people refer to as examples of socialist states failing. The reality is that it wasn't the socialist nature of society or humans that caused the failure, it was other things – USA pulling the financial rug out from under being the main one. .. nothing to do with social-ism.

        People coming together to achieve an end.

        Investment bankers are the biggest socialists of the lot, financial markets the same,

        we have been sold a con

        • RedLogix 7.3.1.1

          Exactly how did the US cause Stalin's Terror in the 30's, or the Maoist catastrophe's in the 60's when China has isolated itself from the world? Or Pol Pot's killing fields? Or North Korea's degenerate hermit kingdom? The dominant drivers in each of these was internal – the US largely seeking to contain the catastrophe in response.

          Or in Latin America where as a result of internal intense polarisation that killed off all the moderates, the US was often left with a choice of extremists to work with. Well that was never going to play out nice either.

          Yeah it's true that the Yanks can be ruthless when dealing with regimes they don't like – but given communism's appalling record I'm kind of on their side with that.

          • vto 7.3.1.1.1

            Morning Red. None of those points you've made relate to the social or community nature of society, they relate to the leadership. You have actually confirmed my point – namely that the failure of those places was due to factors other than social-ism or community-ism.

            This is the great con that is the main point of my points. We have been told that social-ism and community-ism caused the failures, but they didn't. And that suits the capital-ists down to the ground

    • RedLogix 7.4

      Step back again vto. Humans have tried three major forms of economic enterprise – medieval fascism, socialism and capitalism.

      All three have existed in an era when growth was the dominant paradigm – and arguably capitalism turned out to be the one most adapted to this. This was not necessarily a bad thing – the massive human development of the post WW2 period cannot be sneered at.

      And as you say, we cannot sneer at the role of socialism. It's deeply embedded in many of our structures and virtually all governments lean on it's precepts to some extent or another.

      Nor is the idea of the 'strong leader' that is embedded in heart of fascism entirely without merit – the role of the outstanding individual in leading change and transformation cannot be dismissed – no matter how collective minded you want to be.

      But when each of these political modes is taken to a singular extreme they fail miserably – capitalism tips over into neo-liberalism, socialism into communism and conservatism into tyranny. Maintaining a healthy balance of all three modes is arguably the best bet for a healthy political economy.

      Equally it can be argued that given that all of our economic and social models arose out of thousands of years of a growth or expansion dominated world – that all three will prove ill-adapted in their current forms to the post-growth world we are fast heading into. Uncharted waters ahead.

      • roblogic 7.4.1

        Subsistence agriculture, hunting and fishing, and close-knit tribal communities have been the traditional structure of homo sapiens since the dawn of time. Only in the last 20,000 or so years since the last Ice Age has our population exploded and required more complex social structures.

        Modern society has a deep sickness at its core, caused by disconnection from nature, and from one another. Our creature comforts are also a prison.

        • RedLogix 7.4.1.1

          As you might guess I'm not a big fan of the noble savage trope. As a pre-agricultural species we never exceeded more than about 10m humans on the entire planet. If you want to argue we should return to this state – which plainly you are – then logically you are also arguing for the mass death of over 7b humans.

          Our creature comforts are also a prison.

          You should ask the truly poor people of the world about this.

          • roblogic 7.4.1.1.1

            I take no pleasure in destruction of humans or the natural world. Merely observing that our vast population (and modern lifestyle) is unnatural and the cause of most of our present calamities. But we are an ingenious species and may yet figure out a way to get through this.

            In no way am I saying we should all join the "truly poor people of the world". Just pointing out that there are downsides to our unprecedented material wealth; human flourishing is more than possession of lots of stuff.

            • RedLogix 7.4.1.1.1.1

              If you would reframe that "Modern society has a deep sickness at its core" as materialism, then I could work with that.

              Let me try for an analogy – imperfect as they always are. Imagine a beautiful house – it can be whatever you would like. It might indeed be an ideal home for any family, but the people who live in it are not happy. Despite their material comfort they've neglected to connect with each other in a meaningful, purposeful way. Their relationships are cold or dysfunctional and as a result – despite their material comfort – they're spiritually miserable.

              Is demolishing the house the obvious way out of this problem? Was the house the cause of their misery – or that the people living in it had become blind to the invisible realities that would have unfolded an authentic purpose to their lives? Things like discipline, consideration, kindness, responsibility and loyalty that lie at the heart of a successful family life?

              • Gezza

                “But when each of these political modes is taken to a singular extreme they fail miserably – capitalism tips over into neo-liberalism, socialism into communism and conservatism into tyranny. Maintaining a healthy balance of all three modes is arguably the best bet for a healthy political economy.”
                …………………….

                So true. You are a fellow student of history whose perceptions I often appreciate, RL.

                • RedLogix

                  I've been reading your recent updates with respect. It's courageous of you to be this open and vulnerable on an internet that so often punishes good intentions.

                  But you're assured that you will not be on your own here.

                  • Gezza

                    Thank you. But what little courage I sometimes display is aided by a forum that allows the use of pseudonyms. True courage is displayed by those who post openly under their real names. Those are the folk who I consider show the utmost intestinal fortitude & I admire them greatly for it.

                    All I ask is may I never lose my sense of humour here. 😀

              • roblogic

                Thank-you for that thoughtful reply. Generally agree with the last paragraph, but have a small nitpick — the house can indirectly cause a lot of problems if it causes externalities like billowing smoke from the fireplace, sewage runoff into the garden, and irate neighbours from parking the family fleet of 6 tonne SUV's all over the place

      • vto 7.4.2

        I need to take full issue with your first sentence Red "Humans have tried three major forms of economic enterprise – medieval fascism, socialism and capitalism". There is no equivalence between the three in the way you present in that sentence. That is my whole point.

        Further, economic enterprise is a minor component of societal structure, which my point was about. It is a sub-set only. That point should underpin all else, including economic matters.

        My point was very wide and all-encompassing, in trying to point out that there has only ever been one model of societal structure – the social model.

        Fascism is not a social structure. The strong sole leader still rests entirely on the social-ist nature of society, which is unchanged.

        Capitalism is not a social structure, it is merely a bunch of leeching tools which attach themselves like a milking machine to the great smelly mound of humanity… that great smelly mound which never changes and is social-ist. People always do everything together Red. Everything. And that is the very definition of social-ism.

        Further, the 20th century prosperity was not due to capitalism, it was due to the social structures put in place e.g. the welfare state in NZ, and due to rapid technological advances (which also stemmed from social-ism – name a single tech advance that wasn't invented without people coming together to achieve it… there are none… all achieved by the social existence of humans i.e. social-ism).

        The other important and often forgotten point here is that capitalism is nothing new – it has always existed. It has always been sucking at the teet of humanity, no matter fascist, social-ist, libertarian..

        We have been sold a con Red. The con that says that social-ism doesn't work and is something to avoid. Most everyone has sucked that in until what I write above is somethign they cannot fathom…

        … but think Red, in simple terms. Humans are socialist – we come together to achieve all ends. This reality must underpin our politics. It doesn't.

        • RedLogix 7.4.2.1

          I need to take full issue with your first sentence Red "Humans have tried three major forms of economic enterprise – medieval fascism, socialism and capitalism". There is no equivalence between the three in the way you present in that sentence. That is my whole point.

          Where did I say they were in any fashion 'equivalent'? I'd happily write whole essays on the manner in they're not equivalent and obviously different – be grateful I didn't.devil

          And nowhere did I attack socialism either; what you're reacting to is that I haven't indulged in the required ritualistic sneering at capitalism. It makes you suspect my motives.

    • Patricia Bremner 7.5

      Yes Vto, in the face of adversity people rise to the occasion with few exceptions. We are as you say 'social beings'. We are shaped by social experiences, and do not thrive without them.

  8. Byd0nz 8

    The greatest threat to NZ regarding climate change perhaps, will be the influx of greedy super rich refugees, looking for a beautiful place to live, but their money wont do FA for the benefit of NZ.

  9. Ad 9

    Imagine if an aggressive private digital attack firm was successfully sued and required to disclose every single one of the governments it was enabling to oppress their peoples' journalists, activists, elected opposition, and other citizens.

    The Facebook-WhatsApp lawsuit against NSO in the United States is likely on current momentum to deliver this result.

    This isn't the Panama-papers thing where we see what the rich do to hide their money.

    This is what governments do to rip open every single piece of your life if they don't like or want you. This is the company at the core of Pegasus.

    We've already had a lower U.S. federal court previously ruled against NSO’s claim of sovereign immunity from being sued for allegedly hacking 1,400 WhatsApp clients.

    NSO appealed.

    Unfortunately for them, the U.S. Commerce Commission just banned them.

    Spyware firm NSO and others added to US banned Entity List (computerweekly.com)

    “The United States is committed to aggressively using export controls to hold companies accountable that develop, traffic, or use technologies to conduct malicious activities that threaten the cyber security of members of civil society, dissidents, government officials and organisations here and abroad,” said US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo. It's under the Bureau of Industry and Security.

    I think the next and higher court will take good notice of this ruling.

    If NSO loses and it is ordered by the US judiciary to expose its foreign government intelligence clients, there could be a giant and unpredictable impact on the Israeli cyber offense sector and even beyond.

    Oyes, they are an Israeli company.

    A court win would of course rip away the veil from a great machine of state oppression from multiple countries.

    Quite a lot riding on this one.

    • ianmac 10.1

      Ouch indeed pat!

    • SPC 10.2

      The unfreezing of the permafrost – release of methane to come …. while in the present we belatedly initiate efforts to reduce methane release from oil/gas fields.

      As for depopulation …

      COVID may result in a shorter lifespan.

      And South Asians are more vulnerable to COVID

      https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59165157

    • Dennis Frank 10.3

      Nice bit of writing there from ole Chris – till the end, where he seemed to suggest that belief and hope are rational. Rationalists would freak out at this crazy notion!

      Putin has been demanding answers from his top scientific advisers. Being Russians, their answers were likely a dark mixture of pessimism and fatalism.

      I got a better guess, based on Russian traditionalism: vodka!! Boris showed the way. Vlad is too much of a control freak to head down that road – but it won't stop the Russians taking their usual way out of normality…

      • Poission 10.3.1

        Vlad understands the purpose of control.

        He also is helping Europe with control of their methane emissions

    • Anne 10.4

      Pat @ 10
      Fifty years ago, the NZ Meteorological Service was well aware of… what was known then as the "Greenhouse Gas Effect" which later morphed into the phrase "Global Warming". It was discussed extensively among staff and occasionally related items released by the Met Service would appear in newspapers, on radio and TV. There was no NIWA in those days so the responsibility fell on the Met Service.

      The Service was derided and sneered at for their efforts. I mean, what do scientists and science technicians know? Nothing. Any scientist who didn't learn to keep his/her mouth shut was shunted off somewhere where they could no longer be a nuisance.

      Sadly most of them have gone now, but how nice it would have been had they been able to collectively say "We told you so. Who are the loons now eh?"

    • RedLogix 10.5

      “The only possible solution is sudden and massive depopulation.

      Chris is perhaps using here a rhetorical trick of using a mouthpiece to say something he cannot say himself.

      As I've said a few times, if your plan relies on mass death of billions to succeed – you have gone beyond the all the monsters of history combined.

      • SPC 10.5.1

        China has done the one child thing and despite ending it – enabling two and maybe 3 children, their population has peaked. India still rising.

        European, American and Australasian populations will continue to increase – via immigration.

      • pat 10.5.2

        A writer using a rhetorical device!….surely not?

        A plan or a prediction?

      • Patricia Bremner 10.5.3

        No Red, climate change may add us to the extinctions, as we are the top predator who watched the demise of the amphibians who were the 'canary in the coal mine'

        • RedLogix 10.5.3.1

          Way too often for comfort I see people making the argument that because climate change could drive humans extinct the solution is to drive humans extinct – or something along those lines.

          • Patricia Bremner 10.5.3.1.1

            If we take world wide notice of the warnings nature is giving us and act we may survive, if we don't many won't.

            Knowledge is fine, but collective will is difficult to harness. All the agendas get in the way, and time is short. So yes, there is a fear and a sense of fatalism and futility. That is part of the human condition.

            Those trying to bring about change are ridiculed for doing too little too late. We all want solutions.

  10. Today is a day of sadness and reflection for Aotearoa as we remember Parihaka. Forget Guy Fawkes day. Fireworks belong to Matariki celebrations.

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Let's do this. Would be good to see the Parihaka folk launch a campaign to get it made by enactment of law. yes

    • James the 2 11.2

      I'm glad you use "Aotearoa" instead of the name of our country.

      "Aotearoa" is the name of a new regime that some prefer – hence the use of it and desire to eliminate or negate many established traditions and customs in New Zealand in favour of a new Weltanschauung, as you suggest.

      The use of "Aotearoa" is therefore now synonymous with a broader Day Zero reset to our country – an attitude similar in design to Kampuchea or Mynamar – which were un-voted, top-down coercive changes associated with ideological purging. Some, of course, argue this is a justified reaction to past actions in NZ, although that completely undermines the approbation given to the 'forcing' of the English language also in the past, and reveals its true purpose as a quest for vengeance by 'forcing' back to a language spoken fully by about 3%.

      It's also completely antithetical to democracy, but the Maori Party are refreshingly honest when they admit their vision for a "tiriti-centric Aotearoa" is not a democracy.

      Any other party in Parliament who openly admitted to a vision of New Zealand that is not a democracy would, rightly, be castigated. However, this in 2021, and any challenge to the deification of the "te Triti" or fetishisation of Maori culture is verboten in extremeis, upon the penalty of that pain of pains: the claim of racism.

      I suspect this is all partly why only 9% actually want "Aotearoa" as our name, but that 9% overwhelming comes from political and cultural elites and those on the social justice Left living in the Twitter bubble.

      (Cue claims of racism, or softer nudges that I cannot see past my white privilege or "you have a long way on your journey").

      [please provide a citation (quote and link not just a link) for this: “the Maori Party … when they admit their vision for a “tiriti-centric Aotearoa” is not a democracy.” We require people to back up claims of fact, especially on controversial topics. Thanks – weka]

      • weka 11.2.1

        mod note for you James the 2.

      • roblogic 11.2.2

        "ideological purging" you mean like the forcible colonisation of these islands and imposition of a Dutch name on the new colony, after Abel Tasman arrogantly claimed to "discover" what Kupe had already navigated 7 centuries previously?

        Te Reo and the Maori cultural renaissance is nothing to fear. Surely seeking cultural connection to history and a unique indigenous language is something that a "conservative" (as presumably you are) would applaud?

        I assume you've been digesting too much of the right wing narratives and fearmongering about "critical race theory" from America. They have a sordid history that right wingers seek to cover up for good reason. Race is the defining problem of that culture. The reason the working class votes against its own interests so often is entrenched racism. They don't want black people to get a handout. And There is a similar dynamic here – – the right wing resents and hates the "poor" who they demonise as lazy criminals etc. While whitewashing white collar crime and running a two tier justice system and benefiting from the spoils of vast confiscations of Maori wealth.

        In other words, fuck off.

        • Shanreagh 11.2.2.1

          While it may have a big nod to the US nuttiness, the great ReSet and CRT it also has leanings to our own home grown nuts (NB not macadamia) who were around a few years ago (I see at least 15 years who'da thunk it?) purporting to find 'evidence' in Northland that blew out the theory of migrations.

          From this they were able to neatly dispose of any requirement to acknowledge our own first people etc. It had a link in to Don Brash.

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

      • Ad 11.2.3

        The Maori Party want to establish their own parliament, among other things, which given Kingitanga has been around for a while doesn't feel particularly controversial.

        Mana Motuhake – MāoriParty2021 (maoriparty.org.nz)

        • RedLogix 11.2.3.1

          Where do you see the logical outcomes here?

          Does the Treaty partnership model hold? Do we head down the path of 'separate development' as a Maori Parliament might imply?

          Or do we give up on democracy altogether and revert to iwi supremacy as some interpretations of the Treaty strongly suggest?

          • Ad 11.2.3.1.1

            I know this isn't the topmost policy area for a government with more pressing issues … but …

            A first step that's coming New Zealand's way next year is the new version of the Resource Management Act. There'll be some stronger place for Maori as Treaty partners particularly in their Kaitiaki role.

            A second step, if Mahuta can get away with it, is in the installation of Maori with 50% voting rights on the new integrated water entity boards. You may need to polish off your lineage and come back for that one. 😉

            The third move is in the establishment of the Maori public health agency to parallel the general one. That restructure is well underway and the Maori Board already named. After the Maori NGO response to COVID, expect much greater corporatised devolution of services to Maori-based companies.

            Inside most of the big commissioning agencies, big bidders are required to demonstrate specific Maori outcomes – that's going to get a lot stronger.

            They are incremental steps, but they bring a lot of public money with them.

            A pretty natural step after that would be a yearly hui with government-of-the-day on post-settlement Maori organisations and their place in New Zealand society – particularly in the mature ones like Ngai Tahu, Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui. That would reflect both their corporate strength and the density of iwi-state partnership. Essentially you form an official political economy of Maori with the state and break it out of this bit-by-bit approach currently.

            After that the frog is on way to being boiled.

            Next step would be to hold a decent-sized conference on the Constitution as they did in 2000. Shake some post-settlement arrangements about how Maori engage with any government of the day.

            My reckons to start with.

          • Dennis Frank 11.2.3.1.2

            Interesting questions, which bring to mind similar others. Kupe was described to us as Maori when we were kids, but the genetic link of Maori to Taiwan established early this century suggests his ancestry was from one of their indigenous tribes – so what follow-up genetic analysis has been done on Maori origins?

            If Moriori are the real indigenous people of Aotearoa, why do we tolerate Maori invaders stealing their entitlement? And did the Waitaha really arrive independently centuries earlier?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waitaha_(South_Island_iwi)

            • RedLogix 11.2.3.1.2.1

              Given how dramatically human populations have moved over millennia, how conquest, displacement and enslavement have been universal features of all societies – exactly what weight should we give to the idea that any group putatively the 'first' to arrive at territory, or merely the most recent to overrun it, should have primacy over it into perpetuity?

              We might want to start thinking about a more sophisticated model than this.

              • francesca

                Maybe when we started to think that conquest followed by occupation was not the fully humane model to follow, thus the Treaty etc.

                • RedLogix

                  Exactly. I've said elsewhere that the Treaty was in many ways a bold and idealistic attempt at a break with the past on both sides. It was never going to turn out perfect – but that doesn't mean we should lose sight of the optimistic origin narrative that it represents for all peoples living in this land.

                  Reducing the ToW to an ethnic power struggle strikes me as heading in completely the wrong direction with it.

                  • James the 2

                    Exactly! By moving from a position in (wrongly) idealising the Treaty as the good old Brits doing good by the natives, we've instead moved to an unanchored demonisation of anything tied to colonialism. I believe it was also an imperfect stab to offer something better in a history resplendent with conquest as often the default – on both sides. Instead the Treaty is becoming a brick to hit and blame and test more recent ideologies.

                    Sadly that's where I believe the current Maori caucaus, Iwi elites, and academic activists want to go. There is great power in the forever victim narrative and the notion of the Treaty as a 50/50 Partnership, as an attempt to radically redefine New Zealand society and its political system away from the democracy we have is (representative democracy in a unitary system). And to do that without any need for a democratic mandate and with the ability to discredit challenge by wielding the moral force of the "racist" and Treaty narrative.

                    It is an ideological position, not a legal or historical reality, and pursued via the boiled frog approach.

                    The UN Declaration is also the biggest smokescreen on the planet. It is non-binding for one. NZ signs heaps of non-binding declarations with little care – why do we very suddenly treat this one like a constitutional document of supreme importance, when the UN repeatedly pull us up on failing to fulfil actual binding treaties? Because some smart academics realised it can be (mis)used to buttress existing ideological campaigns.

                    The Declaration was also specifically drafted to make by states to include:

                    "Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people, group or person any right…construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity" of a state.

                    "The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination".

                    So nothing about is to impair a state's political or territorial unity and it emphasises that democracy, equality, and non-discrimination underpin the whole document.

                    A separate ethno-nationalist state, governance, or provision of services is most assuredly not required and arguably prohibited under it.

                    • SPC

                      Democracy enabled the settlers who controlled parliament to legitimise land theft. And given Maori chieftainship (self governance) was undone by theft of their land – what would compensate for that: subsidiarity of delivery of services …

                      Given the primacy of the indigenous peoples language in the matter of agreement … contested sovereignty: nationwide partnership …

                      Remember the land clearances … placing livestock in place of the Irish migrant farmers/crofters..

              • SPC

                So what's your take on our 2016 signing of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples …

            • SPC 11.2.3.1.2.2

              1st p A female line genetic link to Polynesians, including Maori. Most of the latest work is based on the archaeological record of the journey

              2nd p If … given the term is for those who settled in and whose culture evolved on the Chatham Is.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.3

      Yes, when I read this history it was shattering. I spent a great deal of time reading various reports and texts.

      The message that stayed was from the wairua of the tangata whenua.

      Yes, let us have this day as a remembrance day, and Matariki as our new beginning. Very fitting.

  11. pat 12

    Steve Keen has a new book out….

    "This is how financial crises arise. Mortgage overlending and real-estate bubbles in particular are very often the main cause. So, look for crises to happen in any country which has excessive private debt, and especially countries which have big mortgage bubbles that are nearing their peak, but have no big trade surpluses in their favor to offset the growing domestic debt burden. "

    Sound familiar?

    https://www.dw.com/en/can-we-avoid-another-financial-crisis/a-41111841

  12. Molly 13

    Enjoyed this actor in Juno and Inception, and interested in what they had to say in an interview with Oprah after their transition. They've been a recognisable public face on this issue, and all links relating to this interview (a sample below) indicate a sense of profound well-being emanating from their changes –

    Elliot Page cries 'tears of joy' in Oprah interview – CNN

    Elliot Page cries 'tears of joy' about transition in Oprah interview USA Today

    'It is life-saving': Elliot Page reveals happiness at having had top surgey – The Guardian

    Elliot Page Cries Tears of Joy While Talking to Oprah About Finally Being Comfortable in His Own Body – ET Online

    Tears of Joy excerpt from interview:

    • weka 13.1

      who they really are? Or someone with a profound experience of discomfit and distress at their sexed body getting some relief?

      • Molly 13.1.1

        My heart sank at the '…being able to touch my chest for the first time..' while demonstrably being unable to touch their chest.

        Tears of Joy…

        • Anker 13.1.1.1

          I found listening to Elliot quite moving. They had obviously experienced a lot of distress. At 34 years old making a decision to have a double masectomy is very different from kids in their teens or early 20s. I hope Elliot had a lot of very good therapy to figure out why having breasts was so distressing……..

          Having known of people with body dysmorphic disorder and read a little bit about it, plastic surgery is never the answer for them.

          Again I hope Elliot has had good therapy before going through this transition and that living as a trans man works o.k. for them. I think Roblogic below posted some research that it doesn't produce very good outcomes.

          The person is not the ideology and it is the ideology I disagree with (and the activists tactics)

          I wish Elliot Page well.

    • roblogic 13.2

      Tragic. "There is limited evidence that medical transition leads to positive outcomes."

      • francesca 13.2.1

        I wanted to be a boy up until the age of 11, then I got my first period at 14 and knew the game was well and truly up .At about 7 I was quite sure that I would grow a penis, and wanted one.Some sense that here was a centre of pleasure, and the bigger the better, that's what I thought.Hilary Mantel says she also was convinced she'd grow a penis .God I'm so glad I don't have one of those now.

        I fought with boys, built carts, (terrible clunkers with old iron lawn mower wheels and bent nails, prided myself on tree and rock climbing , hated frocks and dolls .

        Somehow or other I became glad not to be a boy, when I started fancying them

        I'm still a tomboy, an elderly one that likes climbing trees still and have lots of practical skills I had to learn being a solo mother.

        If I'd grown up in this time , I may have been interpreted differently, and also I was late to sexual maturity, which I can't help feeling was a huge advantage, more intellectually and emotionally mature.

        All a matter of degree too.I never hated my body , that must be a sick nightmare .

        But I'm not sure all trans people have gender dysphoria?

        • roblogic 13.2.1.1

          "But I'm not sure all trans people have gender dysphoria?"

          No indeed the "trans" umbrella encompasses all sorts of variations. But the recent and sudden 4000% increase in adolescents experiencing "rapid onset gender dysphoria" is a huge concern for parents, to whom it has all the hallmarks of a teenage social contagion.

        • RedLogix 13.2.1.2

          Much the same for my partner and myself to some degree. Neither of us quite fit the classic gender stereotype of our sex – but we remain enthusiastically heterosexual all the same. It all sorted itself out with time and experience.

          Puberty is often a period of confusion and turbulence – and it's why we have laws to protect young people from predatory adults who would exploit this. They probably need updating to protect them from this as well.

          Incidentally – and I know this might not run well with some people here, but you may find this fascinating:

          I'm absolutely unimpressed by Putin's authoritarian impulses – but his perspectives are often worth listening to if only because they arise outside of the standard Euro-centric consensus.

          • francesca 13.2.1.2.1

            Actually I have read that speech from Putin

            Russia is pretty conservative on these matters.They look at us with amazement I think,tearing ourselves apart with our culture wars

          • francesca 13.2.1.2.2

            So good eh Red, the way it turns out in the end.I wouldn't have it any other way now, but gosh there was lot of pain , not fitting in with the other kids, being regarded as a bit queer(in the old fashioned sense of those times), being set apart from the pack .I never much looked like a curvy babe etc, but now I can still climb trees and rock hop and run and swim and do pretty much anything I like .Function over form

          • Shanreagh 13.2.1.2.3

            That was very interesting.

            • francesca 13.2.1.2.3.1

              Not many leaders go in for these quite intellectual discussions .The Valdai Discussion is held every year .It's like a kind of forum where people from all over the world attend .Putin delivers a quite long speech there.every year

          • aj 13.2.1.2.4

            Putin. An adult on the world stage, along with Merkel. Sorry to see her retire.

          • Anker 13.2.1.2.5

            I find it fascinating that Putin is speaking about it.

  13. Jimmy 14

    Another day, another firearms incident. This one actually resulting in a homicide.

    Homicide inquiry launched in West Auckland after person gunned down outside motel | Stuff.co.nz

  14. weka 15

    • pat 15.1

      And that is why no 'policy' remedies will work for decades (the next generations)…and people are not that patient.

    • francesca 15.2

      Weka , I feel that children having the vaccine to protect the old and compromised is also a bit of a big ask of children, not really of an age to give consent.That's some burden and I wonder about the long term safety data that won't be known until down the track.

    • greywarshark 15.3

      If people are like me they don't trust anybody completely. So I have to use my judgment as to who is doing their honest best. I suggest that others also do this and don't go for emotional baggage from the past or others who want to dominate the discourse.

  15. observer 17

    Morgan Godfery sums it up very well:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/05/the-1918-influenza-tore-through-maori-communities-anti-vaxxers-risk-this-again

    "One of the great veterans of the struggle for Māori sovereignty – Hone Harawira – was manning the Northland borders to prevent the protesters from breaching Ngapuhi territory and putting its people at risk. That same night Harawira was online with another of the great veterans of the sovereignty struggle, Tame Iti, to encourage Māori to get vaccinated. Tina Ngata from the East Coast, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer from the West Coast, and the vast majority of Māori sovereignty activists in between are pro-vaccination."

    • Koff 17.1

      Plus leaders of four gangs that made a pro-vax (dot?) video with the help of prompting from Willie Jackson.

  16. greywarshark 18

    Help our environment and each other at the same time.

    Look for your own news stories as well. Don't be passive, be active.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/2018818243/t-tara-treasure-hunt
    <i>The hillsides of Central Otago are known for their golden grass and tussock slopes with scattered low-lying shrubs. But once this landscape was covered in tōtara forest. Now only a few trees remain, cryptic and scattered across the large region, and Ben Teele is on the hunt for as many of them as he can find.</i>
    (Taking this further – looking at activity in Scotland.)

    Scotland – the Caledonian Forest
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDtsExXe93Q

    TedX Talk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDtsExXe93Q

    Some other reforestry approaches from Scotland.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rGQyDbSZzU

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXophqU-rp4

    NZ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAidut1OUpE

    (If this is too many links, do your dictatorial thing, it's your loss.)

  17. Ad 19

    Anyone else getting a sinking feeling that only Auckland region, Wellington region, Christchurch-Canterbury and Dunedin-Southland are going to be the only areas that will get to 90% double vaccinated by Christmas …

    .. and most others won't get there until some time in February or March 2022?

  18. JO 20

    This thread began with one distant and unremarkable gunpowder plot. My memories of GF night are of loose kids rampaging round big bonfires while parents drank gin indoors, lots of screaming and terrified pets, such fun.

    Today is also Parihaka Day, far more relevant to us, here, now, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps owning, naming and remembering it might help to balance our obsession with Gallipoli Day, and with a minor hitman who didn't like the Scots. And his lum stopped reeking prematurely anyway.

    But I'm only a 78-year-old with a history degree, which taught me much about distant wars and revolutions and nothing about the Land Wars in my own country.

    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/occupation-pacifist-settlement-at-parihaka

    • Dennis Frank 20.1

      An admirable attitude from someone of your vintage years (I'm 72). yes

    • Patricia Bremner 20.2

      Yes Jo, it was at Training College my History Lecturer introduced me to our past. I'm near 80. Nothing at school.

  19. francesca 21

    I know the whole Russia/Steele dossier is so passe now that we have other sensations to pursue, but I always like to follow up , and it seems there sure is a can of worms

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/539391-danchenko-indictment-steele-russiagate/

    There are other links I could have used , but the RT one is the most comprehensive.Well why not, they'll be lovin' it.

  20. ianmac 22

    Sometimes I read what others have written and wish that I could have said that. Gordon Campbell is one of those on the subject "On The Calls For “Freedom” From Covid Restrictions. "

    Free markets, free minds, free choices, Freedom Days. In recent years, has any notion in the English language been so overused and so abused as “freedom?” Freedom used to be the rallying cry of the oppressed and the marginalised. Now it is the clarion call of the privileged, who feel resentful of central government and its undue concerns for those among us who have wilfully failed to optimise their options. Urban and rural, the upper 5% are yearning to break free of their chains………….

    …….Footnote Two: Strangely enough, the anti–vaxx champions of freedom appear more than willing to impose their beliefs (and the related risks) onto everyone else. To be consistent, they should be living as hermits and should never use the public health system ever again. Yet that’s not how they tend to roll.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2111/S00014/on-the-calls-for-freedom-from-covid-restrictions.htm

    • Ad 22.1

      Only a high-handed Wellington liberal elitist like Gordon Campbell could write such utter tosh.

      The people marching in the streets aren't the "priviliged", other than the Tamaki's. They are the regional marginalised unwashed, pissed enough to travel up and down the country harrassing any official they can find including the Prime Minister.

      Gordon Campbell hasn't had to be arrested in COVID-time for a basic civil right like ability to protest.

      Gordon Campbell hasn't been locked in Level 3 for months on end.

      Gordon Campbell hasn't figured the actual economic impact on lives which you can see between the low headline unemployment rate and the shocking explosion in foodbanks and Salvation Army callouts. Defend that freedom Gordon.

      Gordon Campbell shows zero ability to defend our own Bill of Rights.

      You defend the human right to speak out and to be obnoxious when it hurts, not when everyone agrees with you and it's easy.

      A third of the country has been subject to actual rights-deprivations for more time than since WW2. i.e. 95% of us can remember no other time of such sustained human rights deprivation to religion, participation, travel, etc.

      With lefties like Gordon Campbell prepared to trash protesters, it's no wonder Act are scooping up support.

      • DS 22.1.1

        The people marching in the street are morons, and prolonging the outbreak. End of story, really.

        The right to life is the one that matters, mate.

        • Ad 22.1.1.1

          Introduce yourself to the Bill of Rights one day. It will help inform your citizenship.

          • DS 22.1.1.1.1

            Introduce yourself to the snowed-under ICUs and morgues overseas. It might inform you that these idiots are, to quote a certain phrase, yelling fire in a crowded theatre.

        • James the 2 22.1.1.2

          Could you care to explain what right to life means, DS?

          Presumably it means we have a right to protection against any non-natural death?

          Should we sue the police for failing to stop every murder? Sue the Ministry of Health when I get cancer from second-hand smoke? Sue the Ministry of Transport when a drunk kills my wife?

          Except it's literally none of them. It's about prohibiting the state killing anyone. At the very, very most, it means the state taking "appropriate measures" to manage risks to life, because people die every day from non-Covid and preventable deaths. Appropriate measures to the risk and consistent with other human rights – such as the right to protest.

          If the right to life really is the only one that matters, then let's be effective about it. Let's dismiss Parliament tomorrow, appoint health academics as our governing commissars. Limit the speed limit to say, 20 km per hour. Ban smoking. Ban alcohol. Ban contact sports. Bring the army into to enforce 30 minute mandatory exercise. Ban any speech that would suggest any other right (such as democracy) matters.

          Welcome to paradise, Comrade Health-General.

          • DS 22.1.1.2.1

            You've got to love how neoliberalism's sociopathic individualism has taken root in this country. Suggesting that a moron's right to walk through the streets (rather than ranting all they like online) trumps the public's right to safety from a terrible disease.

      • observer 22.1.2

        Please read Morgan Godfery's analysis (linked above). While some may be "the marginalised unwashed", the organisers certainly are not. I have already explained who "Voices for Freedom" are, with numerous links to proper journalism, please inform yourself.

        It's simply not good enough to ignore the evidence, when the protest organisers themselves provide that evidence in their own words. Google them, they even have a website.

        This is what they are:

        • Ad 22.1.2.1

          I can't see a link to Morgan Godfery, and Mihingerangi clearly wasn't around in 1981 or 1985, but irrespective making a spectre out of some group's origins is only mildly interesting.

          This week the left seem mostly to be suffering from embarrassment that the Prime Minister was embarrassed twice in a week – a week in which their targets are showing up as fictions and their capacity to plan increasingly compromised.

          Until they pick up weapons, we have to defend the right to the stupidity of stupid people, and their right to say stupid things, and their right to shout at political leaders.

        • mauī 22.1.2.2

          My god.. that looks like a congregation of the far right in that photo!

      • ianmac 22.1.3

        I don’t mean to suggest that every champion of freedom and everyone resentful of lockdowns is privileged, although the most vocal with the readiest access to the media certainly seem to be.

        Gordon qualified the "elitist" remark in his Note no1. As others have said there is an undercurrent being orchestrated by maybe "elitist." The Farmers Protest I think are being set up by the same bunch.

        • Ad 22.1.3.1

          Our real elites are those like Murray Bolton who successfully challenged MBIE in the High Court.

          The closest such elites will get to the "freedom" crowd protests is from his private jet, over whom he will happily evacuate its in-flight sewerage sytem.

      • James the 2 22.1.4

        You are right on the money, Ad.

        "Freedom used to be the rallying cry of the oppressed and the marginalised" – now it is the enemy of many on the Left. There always has been – and should be – protests and challenge to the Government and corporate power. The larger the exercise of power, the larger the challenge and accountability should be – regardless of its source and ideological complexion.

        What's changed is now a significant chunk of the (comfortable work from home) Left rally for Government and corporate power, and against those marganlised – even to the point of gleefully pursuing a two-class citizenship.

  21. DS 23

    It is bloody frustrating seeing the likes of Chris Trotter add to the general media chorus of "let Auckland go on holiday outside Auckland."

    Loosening restrictions in Auckland is one thing. But let them stay in Auckland. The rest of the country doesn't want infection.

    • Alan 23.1

      You are living in absolute la la land DS, How is NZ going to be any different to any other country when it comes to delta? You and everyone else in NZ will face delta at some stage in the near to mid future, you need to accept that, it is reality.

      • DS 23.1.1

        Letting the disease out of Auckland would turn this country into Singapore. In short, ever-increasing deaths and a collapsed health system.

        That's a bigger issue than Aucklanders wanting to go on holiday. We peasants do not want to see Aucklanders until the disease there is back to manageable levels.

      • McFlock 23.1.2

        Even if resistance were futile, that just means we're back to trying to flatten the curve rather than eliminate it. Your "reality" is just an excuse to spread it quicker, with harder impact.

        It's been like this the entire pandemic:

        • elimination is impossible, we just need to accept inevitability
        • lockdowns won't work, they will hurt the economy
        • open a bubble
        • vax rate is going too slow
        • vax rate is going so fast we'll run out
        • restrictions are too difficult, when can we open them
        • we should loosen restrictions because people don't want to follow them
        • don't cancel christmas!

        If we'd listened to the plan b crowd last year, we'd already have thousands of dead. Maybe we won't have as many dead if we listen to the holiday home set, but it still might be the last xmas for more than the usual number of family members. But hey, who gives a shit about that.

      • weka 23.1.3

        You and everyone else in NZ will face delta at some stage in the near to mid future

        Sure, but there's a big difference between doing that now and doing that once we have high vax rates.

        Also, why hasten it? Why not allow more time for people to adapt, including the health system?

  22. Alan 24

    Why are you calling yourself a peasant?

    So you must have been very disappointed when Grant Robertson confirmed at today's 1.00 pm stand up that the government is intending to let Aucklanders travel at Christmas

    • McFlock 24.1

      The government's made a number of questionable calls in the last couple of weeks.

      • SPC 24.1.1

        Giving middle class people what they want without killing others (or not too many) is one of the differences between Labour and National (without much money or any whanau in the regions the PI will be in AK for the summer).

  23. Alan 25

    This is delta, we will not eliminate it, we are going to live with it, get vaxxed, wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash your hands, get on with life, it is your only option.
    DS can stay at home and hide under the bed if she likes, but do not expect the rest of us to do that.

    • McFlock 25.1

      Well, come the new year a lot more of us could have it due to today's announcement alone.

      • Ad 25.1.1

        Indeed. Heading for 200 a day in Auckland is pretty dark.

      • SPC 25.1.2

        One can still deny the unvaxed person access to gathering places whether in or outside Auckland.

        • McFlock 25.1.2.1

          Great. That just leaves the folks who are vaxxed but have it, maybe even asymptomatic, but can transmit it. And the ones who somehow lie about their status. Maybe they have someone else's valid QR code, whatever.

          Oh, and don't forget many will be going to family gatherings.

          It's one thing to recognise we're on the back foot controlling this thing, but invite its spread? Nah.

          • SPC 25.1.2.1.1

            We know the risk – there is going to be a role for Maori groups in Auckland to test people before they go to whanau in the holidays.

            And for the HH's to bring out rapid testing (quick result) roadblocks.

            Hopefully responsible families will get tested before joining oldies vulnerable to break through infection (era higher risk 6 month since double vaxxed, lower risk 4-6 month).

            • McFlock 25.1.2.1.1.1

              pfft. knowing and caring are two different things.

              200 a day in mostly Auckland can easily become 500 a day throughout NZ by February.

          • weka 25.1.2.1.2

            It's one thing to recognise we're on the back foot controlling this thing, but invite its spread? Nah.

            I'm still struggling to understand why they don't separate the two islands for a while.

            I did laugh when Hipkins said he didn't want to separate the SI from the rest of the country. The other way round mate.

    • DS 25.2

      NZ is actually too small for Covid (or Flu for that matter) to become endemic. If it isn't imported, it will die out eventually. So long as we keep the international border shut, and restrict movement out of Auckland, it will die.

      (Fun fact – Flu dies out in NZ annually, and is re-imported).

      BTW, I'm a bloke.

  24. greywarshark 26

    Back to the word freedom and Gordon Campbell's comment on it.

    Well before Covid, freedom’s currency had been debased. The process began in the mid 1980s. Suddenly the free market meant that the factory where you worked had been wiped out by the free influx of cheap foreign imports. You were freed from joining a union, which meant employers were free to cut your wages and conditions. Firms were freed from the attentions of health and safety inspectors which meant more people were free to die on the job. People were freed from the burden of owning public assets, thus leaving the new owners free to charge whatever they liked. Monopolies were left free to grow, and to price gouge. Thanks to the miracles of the free market, you were free to pay the same price for cheese made in New Zealand as people were paying for the same cheese after it had been shipped 18,000 kilometres to Britain. Freedom rules!

    Basically, we have all been made free to be ripped off, and free only to choose when, how and by whom. Having so much freedom can, literally, kill you. Then along came the pandemic, which can also kill you. Once again, “freedom” has been wheeled back into service. Measures that protect the public from infection are being depicted as outrageous infringements on one’s precious freedom to infect other people: your spouse, your children, your older relatives, your friends and your workmates. Your freedom to be infected, and to infect other people is being held, by some, to be sacrosanct. On social media, vaccine mandates are being equated with the totalitarian excesses of George Orwell’s 1984. https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2111/S00014/on-the-calls-for-freedom-from-covid-restrictions.htm

    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, Me and Bobby McG (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTHRg_iSWzM

    • miravox 27.1

      Thanks for this aj. I did an exercise a few years ago to work out the 50 most influential songs in my life – not the best songs, the ones or the ones I liked most – I was quite surprised that this was the top of my list. But there this was – at the top. I think I need this reminder.

      • weka 27.1.1

        what was the exercise?

        • miravox 27.1.1.1

          A few years ago my partner and I decided to rank our top 50 songs. It became clear that the context was important. there are a lot of good songs after all that mean a lot. at the time. But few stand the test of time. This one, about life, love, and moving on because you must, was also decisively feminist in my mind – a Kris Kristofferson song interpreted with power and purpose by Janis – and really just a great, great, song.

          Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose

        • RedLogix 27.1.1.2

          We could have a semi-regular post just for the music we're all listening to. Could be heaven, could be hell. devil

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  • NZ secures new Pfizer COVID-19 medicine
    New Zealand has secured supplies of another medicine to treat COVID-19, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. “In October, New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to make an advance purchase of a promising new antiviral drug, molnupiravir,” Andrew Little said. “Today I am pleased to ...
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    2 hours ago
  • Strong Pipeline for Construction Sector
    Strong pipeline ahead for the construction sector Infrastructure activity forecast to reach $11.2 billion in 2026 Construction sector now the fourth biggest employer with more than 280 000 people working in the industry Residential construction the largest contributor to national construction activity. Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams says ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Regenerative agriculture research receives Government boost
    The Government continues to invest in farm sustainability, this time backing two new research projects to investigate the impacts of regenerative farming practices, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Soil health and regenerative agriculture “We’re contributing $2.8 million to a $3.85 million five-year project with co-investment by Synlait Milk and ...
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    1 day ago
  • David McLean appointed as KiwiRail chair
    David McLean has been appointed as Chair of KiwiRail Holdings Ltd, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Dr David Clark and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson announced today. “Minister Clark and I are confident that David’s extensive business knowledge and leadership experience, including his time as former Chief Executive and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Turkey announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Zoe Coulson-Sinclair as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Turkey. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Turkey’s relationship is one of mutual respect and underpinned by our shared Gallipoli experience,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Turkey is also a generous ANZAC Day host and has ...
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    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Consul-General in Guangzhou
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Rachel Crump as New Zealand’s next Consul-General in Guangzhou, China. “China is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant relationships – it is our largest trading partner, and an influential regional and global actor,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “As the capital of ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities
    The Government joins the disabled community of Aotearoa New Zealand in marking and celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Minister for Disabilty Issues Carmel Sepuloni said. The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Advisory panel member appointed
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the appointments of Graeme Speden as the Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Ben Bateman as a member of the Inspector-General’s Advisory Panel.  “These are significant roles that assist the Inspector-General with independent oversight of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies,” Jacinda Ardern said. “While ...
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    3 days ago
  • Five million COVID-19 tests processed
    Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall has congratulated testing teams right around New Zealand for reaching the five million tests milestone. Today, an additional 31,780 tests were processed, taking the total since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to 5,005,959. “This really is an incredible and sustained team ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding for extra ICU capacity
    Care for the sickest New Zealanders is getting a major boost from the Government, with plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on expanding intensive care-type services, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. “Through good planning, we have avoided what the COVID-19 pandemic has done in some countries, where ...
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    3 days ago
  • “THE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF NEW ZEALAND’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID.”
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
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    4 days ago
  • The legal and constitutional implications of New Zealand’s fight against COVID
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Review interim report released
    Health Minister Andrew Little has released an interim report by an independent panel reviewing the national pharmaceuticals-buying agency Pharmac. Pharmac was established in 1993 and is responsible for purchasing publicly funded medicines for New Zealanders, including those prescribed by GPs or administered in hospitals. The review, chaired by former Consumer ...
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    4 days ago
  • Appointment to Network for Learning board
    Former MP Clare Curran has been appointed to the board of Crown company Network for Learning (N4L), Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. Hon Clare Curran served as a Member of Parliament for Dunedin South from 2008-2010. During this time, she held a number of ministerial portfolios including Broadcasting, Communications and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Putting home ownership within reach of Pacific Aotearoa
    Pacific community groups and organisations will get tools to help them achieve home ownership with the implementation of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Pacific Housing Initiative, said Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. In July 2021, MPP launched the Pacific Community Housing Provider Registration Support programme and the Pacific ...
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    4 days ago
  • Coastal shipping will help keep New Zealand’s supply chain buoyant
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today welcomed the release of the Coastal Shipping Investment Approach State-of-Play report as an important step towards a more sustainable coastal shipping sector, which will further diversify New Zealand’s supply chain. “This Government is committed to strengthening our domestic supply chain by making coastal shipping a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Response to Human Rights Commission's reports into violence towards disable people
    Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.   Thank you for that introduction Hemi and thank you for inviting me to respond on behalf of Government to the release of these two important reports (Whakamanahia Te Tiriti, Whakahaumarutia te Tangata -Honour the Treaty, Protect the Person and Whakamahia te Tūkino kore ...
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    4 days ago
  • Law change strengthens petroleum decommissioning regulation
    Petroleum permit and licence holders operating in New Zealand will now have an explicit statutory requirement to carry out and fund the decommissioning of oil and gas fields after a new law was given Royal assent today, says Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods. Once in effect The Crown ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Response to assist peace and stability in Solomon Islands
    The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  “We are deeply concerned by the recent ...
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    5 days ago
  • Continued growth in volume of new home consents
    In the year ended October 2021, 47,715 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the October 2020 year. In October 2021, 4,043 new dwellings were consented Canterbury’s new homes consented numbers rose 31% to higher than post-earthquake peak. New home consents continue to reach remarkable levels of growth, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Saddle up for summer with cycle trail funding
    New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year. “Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand provides additional funding to COVAX for vaccine delivery
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced additional funding will be provided to COVAX to support vaccine delivery in developing countries. “New Zealand remains cognisant of the dangers of COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to emerge. No one is safe from this virus until we all are and this ...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Community fund providing support for 160 organisations focused on women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced financial support will be allocated to the 160 successful applicants for the COVID-19 Community Fund, to support organisations helping women/wāhine and girls/kōtiro in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by the pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers reactivation package as Aucklanders reconnect for summer
    A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced a Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mobile services and broadband come to Chatham Islands for first time
    World class mobile and broadband services have been switched on for the 663 residents of the Chatham Islands, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash announced today. “This eagerly awaited network will provide fast broadband and mobile services to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect strong economy amid pandemic
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year. Core Crown tax revenue was $2.5 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
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    6 days ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
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    6 days ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
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    6 days ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
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    6 days ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
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    1 week ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
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    1 week ago