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Open mike 05/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 5th, 2021 - 393 comments
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Step up to the mike …

393 comments on “Open mike 05/12/2021 ”

  1. Foreign waka 1

    A few things stood out for me this week.

    The art exhibition in Wellington, Hilma af Klint, a must se for anyone into paintings.

    Porirua banned vehicles on the beach. Halleluja. Who in their right mind is allowing cars and bikes on a recreation area where toddlers and kids run around.

    Up north is an infestation of gangs that is not being dealt with. And unrelated, a seperatist state within the state in the making. All under the disguise of covid.

  2. Adrian 2

    The police have apparently confiscated over a thousand firearms lately mainly from gangs according to a reported comment last week, plus large amounts of meth etc, but this fact was merely an aside to the main story of anther gang stand off. Why don’t we hear more of these success stories , is it because they are “ good news “ stories and don’t fit the infantile media predeliction for drama? The violence problems are probably patch protection and limited supply of shit making it hard to earn money. They will eventually fight themselves to a standstill.

    • Peter 2.1

      Have there been stories in the news recently of arrests in cases involving drugs, wads of cash and guns where the alleged offenders are gang members? Yes.

      So infrequently as to be called "uncommon"? No.

      Do I regularly see views expressed about the police letting gangs do what they want, that the police are not "going after" gangs? Yes.

      • Sabine 2.1.1

        I dont' think it is 'the police' that let Gangs go about their business per se. I think it is simply that the Gangs have grown quite large over the last few years, while the police is still essentially the same force.

        But depending on where you live, you are more likely to see Gang members then a Cop. I know where we are here, the only cops we see is in cars driving by.

        Bring back Cops that walk the beat and show a bit of presence on the street.

        • Gezza

          Yes. That means more police & actively policing on the beat in the Community

          Police are then more in touch with & approachable by the communities they are policing, the communities are more likely to report crimes & criminal activity (especially if police are FROM their own communities) as they are happening, & mutual trust & communication is built up between the police & the people they are supposed to be protecting from crime & helping.

    • bwaghorn 2.2

      The main supply that needs to be cut off from the gangs is recruits, you do that by giving our young tane hope for an exciting rewarding future,and a sense of belonging.

      • Foreign waka 2.2.1

        So where are the parents, or any of their whanau? We hear so much about to protect the kids but in reality its just a lot of bs. Kids are on the street,youngsters or shall I say gangsters in the making not yet 17 year old breaking in, doing drugs bevause the adults know that there is no consequence. Meanwhile deaths of toddlers have really not reduced. It is a culture thing alright. Question is what type of culture. Sick of hearing excuses. Adults can make choices for them and their families. Not to do so is just abdicating responsibility.

        • Robert Guyton

          Where are the parents?

          Dealing with their own trauma in what ever way they can, is my guess.

          It's an intergenerational thing.

          • Foreign waka

            Sorry, its BS. You haven't seen any trauma, ask those refugees that come from war torn countries. Hungry to learn, to contribute and to participate.

            To many excuses to get away with doing nothing, laughing about to stupid tax payers working long hours for minimum pay and maintaining the "lifestyle". I can tell you that many out there have enough of this. None of them academics who are government employees being paid for – yes you guessed it, the taxpayer. Naturally, this needs to be extended too. So lets study some more find some stories to tell and get the ball rolling at all ends but not for those who are actually working their ass off.

          • swordfish


            Virtue-signalling from someone living in a quiet little South Island settlement a long way from all the violence & mayhem.

            Have a wee think about the trauma of their innocent victims for the first time in your life… have a think about how your highly paternalistic excuse-making (see what a Heroic White Rescuer I am ! … am I not just a little bit Special ?) … is enabling nightmare scenarios for innocent people …

            Try to walk in the shoes of elderly people suffering massive violent intimidation from these sociopaths …. as opposed to prioritising your own prestige enhancement amongst your generally affluent little cadre of smug middle to upper-middle class Greenie chums … each of whom would be screaming their cowardly little New Age-Fantasist heads off if they had to live with these Nightmare situations for just 24 hours.

            • Robert Guyton

              I need to live in a gang-infested suburb, before I'm qualified to voice an opinion on gangs?

              Big ask, that.

              Guess I better not say anything about mining on the moon, or angler-fish.

              My comment wasn't proposing that traumatic events in life excuses behaviours later on, but was an attempt to explain one of the factors leading to such behaviours. I suppose, to mollify you, I should burst into an anti-gang rant, replete with demeaning slurs on anyone who doesn't do the same, but I won't as others are filling that niche.

        • bwaghorn

          I made no excuses, absolutely parental responsibility plays a part . But it's more complicated than that, me and some of my mates used to drink in the filthy few pad in tauranga as 17 year olds,taken there by our rugby coach,yet none of us became gangsters, which tells me it's either in you or not,

          So you can wash your hands of those that do join up,and beat them and thier parents with a stick ,or you can ask how do you get in and stop it happening.

          • Foreign waka

            Assuming a lot here. NZ is a good country that deserves better than this. So many don't value what they have but constantly begrudging what Miami lifestyle is due to them. Get a job, learn, contribute to the community. Make sure that the next generation has a good upbringing. So many other parents over hundreds of years have been able to do this. Oh yes, it takes a bit more than leaning back, having a beer and bob is your uncle.

            • aom

              With regard to your social opinions, perhaps a few drinks at the local gang pad would be a good start to a much needed socially oriented education programme for you Foreign Waka.

              • Foreign waka

                Firstly, how would you know what I have seen and experienced so far? I don't need to be with criminals, in fact I try to stay away from them. Gangs are a scourge and responsible for so many crimes that seem to be now excused at so many levels.
                The question is what type of society NZ wants. If this continues those who can will move to AUS or UK, and this country will slowly become like Mexico’s worst cities.

                • Byd0nz

                  I wouldn’t go to either lands you mention, have been there but wouldn’t live there. NZ is not unique in having gangs, in fact one would be hard pressed to name a country free of gangs, none as bad though as the US administration gang or the UK equivalent.

                  • aom

                    FW – who cares what you have seen or experienced, the aim of conversing on someone else's territory should be for you to listen to what others have experienced. Besides do we have more than just an assumption that you have never committed a criminal offence and are therefor entitled to condemn others?

                    Besides, prejudicial, self-opinionated pricks are also a scourge and are responsible for creating an environment of fear and distrust. By all means, encourage others to move to Australia or the UK. Before they leave, don't forget to alert them to the fact that our worst gangsters are currently created in Australia. They should be warned that the problems of deprivation, race, poverty and criminal behaviour are UK and Australian specialties.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      the fact that our worst gangsters are currently created in Australia

                      Though Oz is by no means innocent, it cannot be forgotten that in most cases the persons returned by Slomo are the next generation of folk obliged to flee their homeland by the lack of opportunity caused by the comprehensive failure of Rogergnomics. Had Rogergnomics, or any of the other irresponsible economic fantasies floated over the last several decades had any merit whatsoever, NZ would have been the best place for those families to succeed.

                      Treasury should hang its head in shame.

        • observer

          Well, the public decided that the entry-level drug crime should remain lucrative for the kids who want to be in gangs, so they can graduate to more serious drug crimes later.

          Led by Paula Bennett and the voices of fear, we voted to protect the gangs' income and do nothing for a few more years, rather than finally facing up to the problem.

          Adults make choices, and sadly, that was ours.

          • Subliminal

            Its completely a no brainer. How it is that on the one hand we can rant against gang violence and demand "action" yet on the other hand not be prepared to take the simplest and most effective "action" that would defund gangs in one easy step, with the added benefit of wrapping addiction into the health sector where it belongs. Many here seem to take pride in referencing the hell hole of Mexican gangs without acknowledging their source. Drug trafficking is a lucrative and violent operation. All that is required is to remove the lucrative part of the equation and the violence will follow. The violence part of the equation signifies that there is nothing you can do to dissuade some people that have fallen outside of society from choosing gang life. Not tough on crime, not three strikes, not even the death penalty. But remove the money and it all just fades away…

            • Pete

              " … defund gangs in one easy step…" and " … nothing you can do to dissuade some people that have fallen outside of society from choosing gang life."

              There you go, the problem identified. There is a market for drugs. If there were no market for drugs they couldn't fund themselves through that.

    • Sabine 2.3

      they find a bit of meth here, and a tone of it gets distributed there.


      In the meantime everywhere else Gangs do what they wish.

    • alwyn 2.4

      You have a long list of claims there, with support for them being limited to such statements such as "a reported comment last week".

      Can you please provide links to these stories you say you have seen?

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    "Ganging" together is a natural response to trauma.

    Healing the trauma of "young tane" will be part of, and has to be concurrent with, healing the trauma civilisation has inflicted upon us all. We'll not be healed until we care for and nurture everyone in our societies.

    • Gezza 3.1

      In the meantime, societies have to ensure there are measures in place to protect the vulnerable & innocents in communities from harm & injury by those committing crimes that cause harm, damage & destruction.

      That’s why police are a necessary feature of modern societies.

      History & psychology show there are also going to always be a number of individuals who are dangerous to others because they will prey upon their fellow humans owing to their personality defects, or say, their apparent inbuilt need to pursue control of others & their resources.

      Pretty well every society throughout history has had to recognise & provide a means for dealing with this problem.

      That said, there’s no doubt we need to build (or rebuild) a more inclusive society, & if we could make less environmentally destructive & consumerist that would be great. I’m very much into repairing & repurposing worn out products.

      • Blazer 3.1.1

        'History & psychology show there are also going to always be a number of individuals who are dangerous to others because they will prey upon their fellow humans owing to their personality defects, or say, their apparent inbuilt need to pursue control of others & their resources.'

        Ain't that the ..truth!…..somewhere between 1-10% of …society .wink

        • Gezza

          Absolutely, tho I dunno what the exact percentages are. They exist at all levels of society. Psychopaths & narcissists feature among them.

          Some of them commit actual legal crimes against their fellow human apes & some of them at the top end successfully manipulate the political system so that their predations upon the rest of society are not legally crimes & are not even noticed by many of their victims.

          • RedLogix

            When I studied this some years back the generally accepted number for psychopaths was around 1%.

            The definition of psychopathy boils down to an innate inability for empathy. Not all of them are destructive or evil, many will adapt as 'high functioning' and learn to operate relatively normal – if somewhat peculiar lives. From an evolutionary perspective they may even be considered to have a purpose, being able to make harsh decisions in a crisis that others would shrink from.

            Sociopathy by contrast is considered a learned behaviour and covers a suite of dark personality types. What percentage is very much dependent on how elastic you make the definition, but 5% was the number I read.

            • Puckish Rogue


              I'd say that the majority of prisoners have a distinct lack of empathy in that they only care about themselves and they blame their victims for being jailed, if they even think of their victims at all

              Any ideas on how much of this is learned behaviour vs natural?

              • RedLogix

                Low functioning psychopaths who lack the insight and impulse control to manage their condition are very likely to wind up in prison. Unfortunately for them and their victims there is literally nothing that is known to treat or improve their condition once they have reached puberty.

                Another aspect I recall reading years back, was a study done in NZ Prisons that identified 90% of inmates as having some form of undiagnosed brain injury, usually from concussion.

                Combine this with drugs, and social dysfunction right from birth – yeah many of the people you look after PR had the odds stacked against them.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Well that's depressing

                  • Gezza

                    There was a doco on TV1 a year or two back (might have been a Sunday special?) about the number of FASD kids born to heavy drinking young mothers who were already entering the prison system here & what an epidemic of them those working with them in this country said we would be facing in the next few years.

                    They made particular mention of how easy it is for gangs & miscreants to persuade these intellectually & emotionally challenged kids to commit crimes or do stupid & dangerous stuff.

                    If they’re right about the predicted tsunami of these cases, given our already heavy boozing culture, THAT’s really depressing.

                    • JO

                      Teina Pora was such a victim, who could forget that young man's terrible punishment.

                      A quick facts check found this excellent article. With a medicalert bracelet, young people with FASD and their families would have better access to help, while more information about some of the people they deal with would greatly help the Police in their work.


                      People with FASD can flourish with targeted help and support. We need to at the very least ensure that their rights as disabled citizens are upheld.9 They should have access to good-quality health provision, especially early screening and assessment, but they should also be acknowledged as having a neuro-disability that warrants life-course provision of support, and the right to be the definers of what that support might entail to enable them to live good lives in the same way as people with other impairments can live good lives. Teina Pora lost 21 years of his life in prison, yet he showed great ‘virtue in deficit’ and was poorly compensated, but his story compels us to intervene and ensure the next generation of Pora’s are treated better and helped before the damage is done.

                  • RedLogix

                    Yeah I can see that.

                    But it opens up another view. Life is not fair, it cannot be made fair. People are all different – and some people just get the short straws.

                    Absolutely criminals are accountable for the actions that got them convicted – there is no backing away from this.

                    But they are not accountable for the conditions that led to those actions.

                    Once we disentangle these the path becomes clearer. Everyone suffers a disadvantage of some kind, there literally are no perfect people. Which is why the only measure that matters is being just a little better than you were yesterday. Everyone can do this.

                    And that's not so depressing.

                    • Foreign waka

                      The excuses become mind-boggling. There is something called right and wrong. Theft = wrong, Murder = wrong, Intentional damage = wrong, killing own children in drug rage = wrong, traumatizing old people = wrong, intimidating other people = wrong….. No amount of circumstance needs detangling of this. It is morally and ethically bankrupt to find an excuse for inflicting terror on others. Because this is truly terror.

                    • Subliminal []

                      Well, just to detangle a little of that, terror is a well overused word these days. In your property rights before human rights world I guess maybe there is terror involved in someone pinching your wallet but methinks you over egg the situation somewhat as is the tendency of all absolutists.

                    • RedLogix

                      Read my comment again please. Where I said:

                      Absolutely criminals are accountable for the actions that got them convicted – there is no backing away from this.

                      No excuses, I'm completely with you on this.

                      Same time not everyone gets the same deal in life – shit really does happen. And we can take responsibility to reduce the amount of unnecessary shit in people's lives.

                      Both of these ideas are in play – but far too often we get them tangled up and trip over the resulting moral mess.

                    • Blazer

                      Perhaps we need to eliminate all short straws,or maybe even…all long straws toosurprise…hang on that means all the straws would be…equal.

                      God damn commies,pop up…everywhere!

                    • RedLogix

                      Perhaps we need to eliminate all short straws,or maybe even…all long straws toosurprise…hang on that means all the straws would be…equal.

                      Impossible. What would you do about IQ, height, attractiveness, being born in a geographically desirable country?

                      What would you do about personality traits like diligence and agreeableness that are correlated with success? What do you do about raw talent? Athletic, intellectual, artistic?

                      What would you do about children born with disabilities? Or with dysfunctional parents?

                      There are far too many dimensions in which people are different and disadvantaged for any system to make all straws equal in any meaningful fashion whatsoever – and all the attempts at imposing equal outcomes have ended in catastrophe.

                      Just a really bad idea.

                    • Gezza

                      If you eliminate the short straws & the tall straws that means the remaining straws left are theoretically equal. But if the short & the tall straws were actually needed for straw society to function properly, then the straw society may actually ultimately collapse as it's unable to support itself.

                    • roblogic

                      "attempts at imposing equal outcomes have ended in catastrophe"

                      So we should all just give up and not try to make the world better?

                      Sorry, no can do.

                    • RedLogix

                      So we should all just give up and not try to make the world better?

                      How about starting with making yourself better? When you get good at that then maybe you could expand this to your family and then perhaps the wider community in some small, careful manner. This you absolutely can do.

                      If even some decently large fraction of people did this, the world would quite quickly become a better place.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "How about starting with making yourself better? When you get good at that then maybe you could expand this to your family and then perhaps the wider community in some small, careful manner. This you absolutely can do."

                      My philosophy as well, though I'd say, "I'll start with myself..etc…"

                    • AB

                      Life is not fair, it cannot be made fair.

                      Yes – totally. But you missed a third point "… but it should not be made less fair" i.e. it is useful t differentiate between natural and man-made unfairness. Add that third point and you actually have a useful aphorism.

                    • Blazer

                      just not in the mood for strawman…arguments …today.indecision

                    • roblogic

                      No, "making myself better" is just one self-centred step. How about "not making shit worse". For example our child poverty stats are a totally avoidable inequity caused by deliberate government policies implemented by sociopaths.

                      It's a systemic evil that we should all be ashamed of.

            • Anker

              My tuppance worth on the situation with gangs, criminals and what can be done etc.

              The Dunedin Multi disciplinary Study found that the kids that achieve good outcomes, i.e no crimilality, low teenage pregnancy rates, low drug use, etc could be predicted as young as three years old. The definiting characteristic of this group was they showed good self control. Think of this in terms of emotion regulation, ability to excercise good impulse control and it makes a lot of sense.

              But of course people want to come up with ideological reasons why kids grow up to become violent criminals (according to the study, that is a mixture of nature and nuture).. Colonization is given often as the defining reason for that. This kind of overlooks that most Maori are great citizents.
              I am not saying that if a kid grows up in an violent abusive environment they are immune from that. But the reality is there are a lot of kids who do grow up in that environment and turn out o.k.

              We should make good use of the evidence about good self control though. it would be pretty easy to teach in schoold.

              • Pete

                In a group I was in yesterday there were three people with family as teachers. One has a son, one a spouse another a mother in the business. Each mentioned the incidence of their family member and their colleagues being told to "fuck off" by kids.

                Is it easy to teach good self control in school? And deal with the conditions that lead to actions (as mentioned above)? The power of the limited time at school compared to outside school is meant to, and should be able to overcome what is instilled from birth and reprogramme the individual? Who then goes home.

                Expecting some 16 year old kid to get out of bed each morning with the attitude of "my life is what I make it, I am going to choose to be a good productive citizen and get a job and go to work each day"?

                When no-one from their house for three generations has done that? When they have a dire upbringing?

                Simplistic solutions abound. Ban gangs, chuck them all in jail, build more prisons, don't let them wear certain clothes, etc etc. A ruthless, draconian state is called for.

                Decisive action putting the rights of the mass ahead of any rights of a minority is demanded. Funny then that when mask wearing is called for the sanctity of individual rights becomes all important.

                • Anker

                  Pete, I don't disagree with anything you have said.

                  I realize what I said must have come across as a simplistic solution. it is one psychological technique that should be considered.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes – I recall Celia Lashlie saying something very similar – that many crims could be quite easily predicted a decade or more earlier when they were in pre-school.

                  From memory the DLS used a hybrid personality measure they called impulsiveness which I read as combining extroversion/introversion, neuroticism and diligence from the OCEAN model. They grouped children into five bands based on observation of their behaviour in pre-school play settings:

                  • Reserved – shy and prone to withdrawal – about 5%
                  • Introverted – social, quiet and typically preferred the company of only one or two others with whom they were close – about 15%
                  • Normal – the largest group who could adapt happily to any social setting
                  • Extrovert – highly social, loud and preferred large groups in which they were prominent, but well tolerated by others. About 15%
                  • Uncontrolled – prone to making themselves an unwanted centre of attention and highly impulsive. Again about 5%

                  Poor life outcomes were highly correlated with both the Reserved and Uncontrolled groups – the latter winding up in prison at much higher rates. In particular if children from this Uncontrolled group of 3- 5 yr olds went on to experience any form of child abuse, particularly as 5 – 8 yr olds their chances of imprisonment sky rocketed.

                  I may have some details fuzzy as I'm going on memory here, but the opportunity for early and effective family intervention is apparent. But making it stick in the real world would be challenging to say the least.

                  Peterson draws strong attention to the importance of play in this 3 – 5 yr old groups in forming social behaviours, developing empathy and learning boundaries. In particular rough and tumble play with fathers teaches what is fun and what is not, learning the boundaries on risk, and how to control yourself.

                  And it’s no accident to my mind that the prison muster is hugely dominated by men who lacked a stable, loving father figure in their childhood.

              • JanM

                School too late – needs to be preschool

  4. Blazer 4

    pssst…I heard…

    that….Nicola Willis has been asked not to wear high heels when she appears…with Christopher Luxon ,National's latest great hope.

    • dv 4.1

      So Luxon will be Nationals tallest dope?

    • Gezza 4.2

      Quite likely to be true, I imagine. How trustworthy is your gossip source?

      • Gezza 4.2.1

        Bugger. In preview that was set at 350 width and appeared in full image width.
        Not worth even using the insert pic feature here, imo. Too arcane.

        They’re both about the same height in that pic.

        • weka

          you have to add the width on edit, not in the original comment

          • weka

            The URL is missing from your comment. Post it again and I'll put it in.

            • weka

              fixed now.

              • Gezza

                Thanks weka. I’m posting from my iPad2.
                The Edit feature doesn’t show up on this device.

                On Pete George’s now closed down YNZ WordPress site all you had to do was post a valid https/ link ending in .jpg & it would display (already sized) in the comment field.

                Not sure why it’s so complicated here, but no worries, I just won’t bother to post pics when on me iPad2.

                • Hanswurst

                  Now that's a burn.

                  • Gezza

                    Not meant to be. Just an observation, for whatever it might be worth (or not).

                    Blogmeisters all seem to set their sites up differently. Pete couldn’t seem to set up an easy Edit function, which several,of us would have liked.

                    While the Edit function on TS doesn’t appear when I post on my iPad, it’s a very handy feature to have when I’m using my Win10 laptop, given my abominable pre-Post Comment proof-reading record these days.

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.2

        In the picture (supplied) don't you think Luxon looks a little…insubstantial?

        • Gezza

          Doesn’t appear to be as lean as you in selfie pics that you’ve posted.

          But how do you mean, exactly?

          • Robert Guyton

            Oh! The pic's been taken down now! It showed just the deputy, standing alone – not necessarily forlorn, just alone…

            Christopher was nowhere to be seen…

            • Gezza

              weka or someone may be resizing it in the background. The original showed them both together.

                • In Vino

                  It doesn't show their feet… Makes me wonder if Luxon is standing on tip-toes!

                  • Gezza

                    Why? There’s at least one pic of them walking up a corridor together in Parliament on the day they were announced as the new Leader & Deputy Leader.

                    Not sure what shoes Nicola’s wearing but in the pic they appear to be roughly similar heights. Luxon’s very obviously not walking on tip toe.

                    • In Vino

                      Just a joke, Gezza. I know a slightly short person who, in group photos, is noted with some mirth for going up on tip-toes just as the camera button is to be pushed. It amused me to think of a serious politician doing the same.

                    • Gezza

                      Fair enuf, .in Vino 👍🏼

                      It’s interesting how much space has been taken up (wasted) diacussing what so far appears to have just been an unsupported rumour from an apparently malicious rumour-monger with a track record & penchant for doing precisely that on blogs. 😐

                      I should have known better than to expect something more concrete to emerge from said individual. Although he’s also known for setting a trap & lying in wait for someone to comment along those lines & then ping them with a link to a source.

                      Then accuse them of an unfair allegation. Just a mind-game.

                      You get all sorts of reprobates on blogs. 😎

                    • In Vino

                      Some name-calling in that reply, Gezza, without naming the target person. 'Malicious rumour-monger', 'reprobates'..

                      Or, to my mind, at least the equivalent of name-calling. Whether you use a name made up to suggest a vice, or just accuse of a vice makes little difference to me. The message is there.

                      Beware the narrow line that separates saintliness from sanctimony.

                      If you are aiming at Robert Guyton (I hope not) I can only disagree with you. And I have been reading TS for several years now.

                    • Gezza

                      Go back to the very start of the rumour, In Vito.
                      Wasn’t Robert who psst’d.

                    • Gezza

                      🙄 Soz. * In Vino

                  • Hanswurst

                    Or the piled-up carcasses of his enemies.

          • Gezza

            Look, Robert, if you’re struggling for a sensible explanation, don’t worry. Just ignore my question.

            We’re (mostly) adults here & we can all recognise a sly dig poorly disguised as humour when we see one.

      • alwyn 4.2.3

        He trusts the source totally of course.

        It is probably his rather over active imagination.

        • Gezza

          Hard to know.

          Appears at this stage to be a shoot & run.

          • In Vino

            It seems to me that he was referring to Luxon not being there at all in the photo he saw. How is that a sly dig at anyone?

            • Gezza

              Who knows, with Robert? He’s having a sly dig at National leaders’ heights further below. It’s what he habitually does, then calls it “humour”.

              One wonders if he thinks children should be taught that’s “humour” in the playground?

              When a photo doesn’t display fully here I often click on it to get the link & go look at the photo on a separate tab. Why did he wait so long to reply to my question?

            • Gezza

              Oh, sorry In Vino. Wires crossed there,

              Alwyn & I were talking about the person who first posted the rumour that Willis has been asked not to wear high heels when appearing with Luxon.

              That wasn’t Robert.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.3


      Though high heels do make women's legs look better via stretching the health issues alone mean its just not worth it

      • Robert Guyton 4.3.1

        Or Christopher might take one for the team and strap on a pair instead?

        • Gezza

          Luxon wearing women’s high heels? Seems very unlikely. What makes you suggest that he might?

          • Robert Guyton

            Some men's shoes have high heels – they're sometimes called "elevator" shoes. Luxon might not like being "the same height" as his deputy.

            • Gezza

              Elevator shoes are not usually referred to as strap-ons though.

              You might be right. He might not like being the same height as his deputy, but all we seem to have backing this idea at the moment is a rumour.

              Some men are so sensitive about their short height they actually become extraorinarily pugnacious & go around picking fights with other men in an aggressive sort of overdrive known as “short man syndrome”.

              Luxon doesn’t strike me as that kind of dude. Not yet, anyway.

              • Robert Guyton

                Muldoon was short.

                Key is short.

                Luxon is short.

                They all come up short, in my estimation 🙂

                [RL: When in doubt avoid stigmatising anyone on the basis of an immutable characteristic.]

                • Robert Guyton

                  *note to weka

                  I'm not intending this comment to be short-shaming.


                • Gezza

                  Well if they're short, they are hardly likely to come up tall, are they are.

                  Although tv cameras seem to be kind to short people.

                  So, you're a heightist, then, Robert?

                • RedLogix

                  Mod note

                  • weka

                    how is describing someone's short height a stigmatisation?

                    • RedLogix

                      Height has no more relevance to a political discussion than weight.

                      (Disclaimer – at 186cm in height I declare no conflicting interests in this matter.)

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Don't want no short around here… You got to pick them up just to say hello…

                    • weka

                      "Height has no more relevance to a political discussion than weight."

                      Sure, but if we excised everything that wasn't directly relevant to politics it would be a dull place. Why this comment and not the ones about shoes?

                      And shutting down punning will shortly lead to more dullness.

                    • RedLogix

                      A few years back I had occasion to fly across the Pacific for work purposes a number of times. When boarding the flight there would be two parallel lines of passengers, one for First/Business/Premium Economy – and another for Economy. Being an A380 both queues were reasonably long and thus decently representative. And on each occasion I could see the average height on the first queue was noticeably taller than the second.

                      Then there is the ruthless female sexual selection for males taller than them. So yes height does matter at a very deep level, especially for men. Life is not fair for anyone and cannot be made to be.

                      And I understand humour is one of our coping mechanisms for this. It helps us confront the shit in our lives and come to terms with it in a non-threatening fashion. Nonetheless we all understand there is a difference between provocative and witty – and just plain mean and witless. Somewhere there is a boundary.

                      For the purposes of moderation I draw the line at using a person's immutable characteristics which have no moral relevance.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Immutable characteristics?

                      It would be quite a stretch to claim that a short person could become a tall person, I suppose.

                      Otoh, I was a short person for much of my early life, so I can empathise.

                      Religion and culture aren't immutable, so, all good?

                    • RedLogix

                      Religion and culture aren't immutable, so, all good?

                      There are a number of reasons why a comment might skate on thin ice – pointless abuse, defamation, advocacy of criminal violence, and morally stigmatising entire groups of people on irrelevant grounds.

                      But whether any given comment actually falls through the ice depends on context – and that's always a judgement call.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Gender then? No mention must be made of Christopher's (supposed) male status?

                      On second thoughts, immutable..?

                      Eye-colour? Number of limbs…it gets complicated…

                • Robert Guyton

                  Okay, I'll try:

                  Muldoon's height cannot be accurately determined.

                  Key's height is a matter of debate.

                  Luxon's height fluctuates, depending upon the observer, somewhat like the location of an electron.

                  • RedLogix

                    That works yes

                  • Anker

                    "it would be quite a stretch to say a short person cobld be a tall person"

                    as it is to claim a man can become a women. But if you refute this claim you are called a transphobe. Just ssaying……………..

          • bwaghorn

            Or a pair in the other sense and cope with the fact that hes vertically challenged and not instruct his deputy to go flat, of course the deputy could woman up and tell shorty to get fucked and wear the shows she wants to .

          • Brigid

            To makes his legs look better of course.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I think its too early in the morning to be talking about strap ons

      • millsy 4.3.2

        Ok Commander Whitford.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Hi Millsy, I'm not surprised you don't know much about this (as it involves women) but heres a couple of links for you to educate yourself:


          'Long-term use of high heels can lead to another problem: a shortened Achilles tendon. A tight Achilles tendon is linked to plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. High heels can also aggravate a deformity called Haglund’s, which is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel typically referred to as “pump bump.”'


          'High heels change their wearer’s walking pattern. The average person who regularly sports heels takes shorter and more forceful strides when walking than those who regularly wear flat shoes. These types of steps can put extra pressure on the knee joints, which may lead to osteoarthritis (the erosion of cartilage between bones, causing bones to rub against each other).'

          'When wearing heels, the body must adjust and shift its overall weight and center of gravity to compensate for the heel of the shoe. The higher the heel, the higher the risk of lower back, hip, and knee issues.'

    • Sabine 4.4

      Got a link?

    • Rapunzel 4.5

      Remember when the media had a field-day because the PM wore "flats"

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Graham Adams spotted an historical parallel between Ardern & Lange. Unlikely, I thought, but he makes a compelling case. Both captured by a cabal, having to present as leaders of an agenda they don't like.

    The agenda was set out in He Puapua, the blueprint for Maori self-determination. It was commissioned by Cabinet in March 2019 and delivered to Nanaia Mahuta, the Minister for Maori Development, that November. A highly redacted version was released to the public in October 2020 — nearly a full year after Mahuta first received it.

    Significantly, not only was its partial release held back until after the general election but Winston Peters says he wasn’t given the report before the election in order to prevent him criticising it during the campaign.

    A full version was not released until March this year after repeated requests were made under the Official Information Act.

    Ardern has insisted He Puapua is not government policy and most commentators have accepted her assurance entirely at face value — despite the increasing number of its recommendations that have either been enacted or are in the process of being enacted.

    For a document that allegedly plays no part in government policy, the coincidences with the changes being rolled out are astonishing. Three Waters is merely the latest instalment.


    What the two Labour govts have in common is the deceit strategy. Don't trust either the public or your party support base? Keep them in the dark. Then present them with a fait accompli. Labour thinks honouring the Treaty means giving 17% of the population 50% of the ownership. Beats me how they expect voters to agree.

    • Sabine 5.1

      If you were to follow a strategy of deceit, why would you expect any one to agree. You get the shit done and if anyone complains its a 'Fuck off peasant', after all the child is in the well, has drowned and can also rot there.

      I would not think that the Labour Party has fallen that far, well i hope they did not.

      • Foreign waka 5.1.1

        Many people I talk to seem to think that this has been introduced by the PM to get a seat on the table at the UN, a career move if you will. NZ will be left holding the baby so to speak and with those who are actually highly skilled leaving these shores. It will diminish the tax base, creating a fertile ground for some serious civil unrest in the making. Just another opinion perhaps but not so unreasonable….

        • Robert Guyton

          "Many people I talk to seem to think…"

          I see where you're coming from.

        • Subliminal

          Thats an awful lot of reckons. It couldn't just be that empowering iwi might lead to a turn around in all the negative statistics for Maori? It is possible for Maori to access good outcomes AND pakeha to do the same. It's not swapping the Maori at the bottom for Pakeha further up. We dont need to be fearful of Maori doing well

          • Gypsy

            Indeed. However He Puapua is not about Maori doing well. It is about 'some' Maori doing well. A tribal elite that are already running roughshod over the interests of their broader communities.

            • Subliminal

              I'm not sure that your "Maori elite" can be used as a reason unless we nullify all ability to govern by the Pakeha elite that are running roughshod over the interests of their broader communities. Or is it a case of one principle for Maori and another for Pakeha?

              • Gypsy

                Oh there is an elite full stop. The difference is that the Maori elite are using treaty settlements to increase their own personal influence rather than for the benefit of all.

    • millsy 5.2

      Unlike most people, here, I have read He Pua Pua.

      I don't see what all the fuss is about screeds of corporate state buzzwords that don't offer any concrete policies.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        Meant to be fuzzy.

        • Gezza

          I’ve read it. It’s not actually that fuzzy when it talks about co-governance as it progresses thru the various phases.

          • RedLogix

            Like the co-governance of Te Urewera?

            Then you get this discussion around the DoC estate:\

            “[To] provide for the delegation, transfer and devolution of functions and powers within the conservation system to tangata whenua”.

            The challenge with these models is that an unelected iwi elite wind up with an effective veto and can block any change until they get what they want.

            • Robert Guyton

              Is Te Urewera "what they (Nga Tamariki O Te Kohu) want", or is it theirs?

              If it's theirs, they should have rangatiratanga and the right to realise their desires for it, yes?

              I know there has been a deal made, parameters set etc.

              Kinda like a treaty, I suppose…

              • RedLogix

                As far as I'm concerned Te Urewera is belongs to all New Zealanders via the Crown. I've no particular concern about the iwi having good faith input to it's management – but that is not what's happening.

                They're rapidly turning into a 'no-go zone'.

                • Robert Guyton

                  I'm not surprised – Ngati Tuhoe have always marched to their own drums:-)

                  The direction taken by Labour: co-governance, shared management and world-views etc. is far and above the best thing that's happened to these islands for a very long time; we needed a significant re-set to the way things are done here and this Government has bravely set that transformation in action.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Just because one southern bloke doesn't like some action or other doesn't mean the overall principle is wrong 🙂

                      In any case, co-governance, done right, should improve the situation for all concerned, especially in the realm of the natural world; indigenous people have, so far as I can tell (and I've read, watched and talked face to face with as many non-colonists 🙂 as possible) have some very appropriate practices and views that are in alignment with my hopes for the planet.

                    • RedLogix

                      In any case, co-governance, done right, should improve the situation for all concerned, especially in the realm of the natural world;

                      Why? Are you saying that indigenous people are innately better at conservation than non-indigenous?

                      Or is it more likely that Ngai Tahu who are already a large corporate with substantial extractive interests will happily mine the Conservation Estate once given control over it?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      In my experience, the long-civilised/citified/agriculturalists are further removed from the natural environment and less able to empathise with it, than those peoples who more recently adopted those ways, meaning the latter are more able to bring ideas, concepts and suggestions on "earth care" to the table, than the former.

                    • weka

                      Or is it more likely that Ngai Tahu who are already a large corporate with substantial extractive interests will happily mine the Conservation Estate once given control over it?

                      You mean just like Labour allows?


        • Dennis Frank

          If so, good. Wiggle-room allows for consensus to come out of the select committee process.

          • Gezza

            Have you read it, Dennis?

            • Dennis Frank

              No, the thing is only relevant to political outcomes inasmuch as the govt requested it. It is a proposal only, right? I've never considered my valuable time worth spending on anyone's wishful thinking!

              However, to the extent that the journalist's thesis seems to have merit, the fate of this govt could depend on it. So, as the agenda of a minority political group that is in an extremely powerful (even if not controlling) position within Labour, I'm keen to comment on any authoritative critique.

              • Gezza

                Well, to determine whether it’s wishful thinking or whether in fact parts of it are already underway I decided to read it.

                It’s very interesting read.

                • Dennis Frank

                  I'm open to any reframing of the issue you may attempt. wink

                  My prior comments have all been supporting the govt initiative. Because the status quo shit makes it a no-brainer. If, however, Labour are being used as a stalking horse by the Maori cabal, I'll be sceptical of their credibilility.

                  I guess my current view is optimistic inasmuch as the select committee process may work well. Naive? We'll see.

                  • Gezza

                    I’m not suggesting ANY reframing of He Puapua.

                    He Puapua is not actually before any Select Committee.

                    It goes WAY, way beyond Three Waters.

                    That’s the issue. People who haven’t read it have no idea what it proposes.

                    And there is a Maori Caucus strong & independent enuf from the Covid-involved PM to possibly push it thru before she even ever finds or makes the time in her busy media-appearance-laden days to focus on it herself.

                    So, I’ve read it. And I recommend that others do so too. Not panic. Not rail against it. Just read it, and think about it.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Economist Brian Easton has this view:

                  The report’s analysis is muddled because it does not address the fiscal issues, which are clearly identified in Article One of Te Tiriti as a government responsibility.

                  My view of a constitution is that when there is no issue involving military power – as in Mao’s ‘political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’ – the foundation comes from the taxing and spending powers. Nor does the report consider the fraught question of what exactly is a ‘Māori’.

                  At one stage the Minister of Māori Affairs seemed to suggest that anyone with a Māori ancestor was Māori. That is a genetic/racial definition. My view is that it should be a matter of self-identification, but that fluidity makes a self-determination policy very difficult.

                  It is easy to be pious about self-determination – He Puapua does that well – but what does it mean in practice? https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/is-the-mori-caucus-so-dominant-in-labour

                  • Gezza

                    Why not read it yourself Dennis. See my comment to you above.

                    To each his own, of course. But I find it Quite Bizarre that you seem to want to read what others are writing about it – read all round it – but not go & read read the blimmin thing yourself.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I already explained that. Political relevance vs lack of. I'm equally puzzled that you're inclined to take a separatist agenda seriously.

                      And if it ain't actually separatist, then I'm intrigued. Why not submit an essay on it to TS if you think it has merit?

                    • Gezza

                      Not currently very interested in submitting essays on anything to TS.

                      And I’m just thinking about He Puapua & watching developments as they unfold.

      • Foreign waka 5.2.2

        A matter of interpretation then?

    • solkta 5.3

      Three Waters does not give ownership to anybody. Don't talk nonsense.

      • Dennis Frank 5.3.1

        Okay, I accept I may have been wrong to take a QC seriously. It's true that the legal establishment have always been extremely dodgy.

        However, on the particularly point, we have a binary choice of who is interpreting the legal implications correctly; you or the QC.

        Auckland QC Gary Judd came to similar conclusions when he analysed the proposed water reforms. In his analysis he wrote: “Councils now own drinking water, wastewater and stormwater assets, directly or indirectly. That will change. Only iwi/Māori will have ownership rights.


        Presuming you have equivalent legal qualifications to the QC, as your basis for disagreeing with him, why not inform us of those?

      • Gypsy 5.3.2

        Three Waters takes control away from those who have paid for the assets, and hands it to a combination of unelected bureaucrats and iwi tribal elite. What could possibly go wrong?

        • Dennis Frank

          Except that those who paid for the assets (ratepayers) don't actually control the assets and never have. Control has always been in the hands of councillors & administrators who have combined to establish a tradition of delinquent behaviour which is why so many water sources & waterways became polluted.

          We need a solution that provides competent administration instead. Nobody in their right mind would expect Labour to be capable of providing that. Our only hope of suitable reform is consensus via the select committee process.

          • Gypsy

            We elect the councillors, that how we exercise control. For the most part water resources are managed well. NZ's drinking water is up with the cleanest in the world, as one example. We have challenges for the future, but these can be met in a far more efficient and effective way than 3Waters, which is simply a back door way of handing control to iwi elites.

    • vto 5.4

      "Beats me how they expect voters to agree."


      Legislated creation of birthright privilege

      This is what most all immigrants to these islands (including the polynesians) came here to escape

      This reality is being ignored. It is not even discussed anywhere.. and it will simply rise like a pus-filled sore until it bursts and makes a mess… legislated birthright privilege = fail 100%

      • Subliminal 5.4.1

        I'm not sure what you think property laws are then if not legislated birthright privilege? Aotearoa was mostly commons when Europeans arrived. The enclosure of the commons required legislated birthright privilege to ensure the line of descent that would allow the buying and selling (commodification) of land

    • weka 5.5

      Significantly, not only was its partial release held back until after the general election but Winston Peters says he wasn’t given the report before the election in order to prevent him criticising it during the campaign.

      Diddums. He shouldn't have spent most of MMP promoting secrecy and lack of transparency then.

    • Subliminal 5.6

      This aarticle has already featured on open mike a couple weeks back. It reads like an attempt to raise the ghost of Don Brash. A pertinent comment by SPC in that thread:

      Rushing into the arms of Mr Orewa (one people one law one people one vote) because of "democracy" and the majority decides – just as settler governments back in the 19thC. A share of delivery of services to Maori as benevolence, but not partnership in the management of assets and resources because real exercise of power is "democratic" – like the regional councils enabling pollution of waterways by farmers and urban councils letting underground out of sight decay to go for decades.

      The issue is good governance.

      The politics of this are blatant – I'll call it now in every second term of a Labour government National will go all out on being anti-Maori.

      • Gezza 5.6.1

        Just a point of clarification. This is the first term of a Labour government.

        Last term was a coalition with NZ First (or more correctly perhaps with the mercurial Winston Peters, who sometimes put the brakes on them for attempted political gain).

        Are you expecting Luxon’s National Party team to come out as full-on anti-Māori during this government’s current term?

        • Subliminal

          Labour majority government is such an unusual event that I would assume that the phrase 'Labour Government' includes any coalition of which they are in the majority

          • Gezza

            Well then, it'll be interesting to see if you're correct, and Luxon continues where Collins may have been heading with her He Puapua – Demand the Debate campaign, which being largely ignored by the NZ msm wasn't getting her much traction anyway, by coming up with other policies targeting Māori initiatives under this government.

            He may not want to alienate what little support National has from Māori now. But who knows how deeply he thinks such issues thru?

  6. pat 6

    "There's no chance of a return to anything remotely resembling conventional capitalism and free private markets with the public sector now firmly in the driver’s seat following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the Covid-19 pandemic,"


    The realisation is dawning…..and the tentative voicing begins

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    A grown up reporter from the Herald produces a piece examining the whys and wherefores of Aucklanders heading North for the summer.

    We all know the players….Hone says '…if you must, vaccinated only, and we will be checking." Shane says '…come one and all we need your $$$.', which is echoed by the cafes and restaurants. All of those interviewed are relying on travelers being double vaccinated to keep them 'safe'. No mention of testing for the unvaccinated travelers. And no mention whatsoever of the emerging data that shows that double vaccinated people are catching and transmitting the virus at almost the same rate as the unvaccinated.

    Many decisionmakers assume that the vaccinated can be excluded as a source of transmission. It appears to be grossly negligent to ignore the vaccinated population as a possible and relevant source of transmission when deciding about public health control measures.

    The eggs- all- in- the- vaccine- basket approach has not been a stunning success in other jurisdictions and Gibralter, with 100% + vaccination, is going back to first priniciples and essentially cancelling Christmas.

    Way back, Ardern said probably the most sensible thing she's ever uttered through this shit show with advising that 'We all behave as if we have Covid.'.

    • higherstandard 7.1

      The population density of Gibralter is probably 200x that of NZ Rosemary.

      Even with the inevitable influx of people holidaying in the north and with some of them likely bringing COVID with them you're statically quite unlikely to bump into one of them.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.1.1

        I failed to make myself clear.

        My concern is (and the concern of the author of the Lancet letter I linked to ) is that there is this misguided impression that vaccine pass holders are safe. That they are not going to transmit the virus. Which is false. Even the Ministry of Health knows this. Why is this not being talked about?

        • pat

          "Why is this not being talked about?"

          Because it undermines hope….and that may not be a good thing.

          If transmission shows itself to be largely unaffected by the current vaccination strategy then a new source of hope will have to be found.

          • aj

            Anyone who's been awake and listening for the last few months should know that vaccinated people can catch and transmit Covid.

            But less likely, with less severe effect*

            *Pending Omicron research


          • weka

            Yes hope, and also confidence in the immunisation strategy for those that are hesitant and judge themselves low risk personally.

        • roblogic

          Because it is a false equivalence and undermines the public health response in a deadly pandemic. Those who follow safety protocols are hundreds of times less likely to catch Covid, and the vaccinated are probably 20x less likely to transmit it.

          Quacks on vax-hesitant Youtube tend to only give half the picture.

          • Robert Guyton

            I agree with the views of pat & roblogic (above).

          • francesca

            But isn't Rosemary alluding to the public health messaging that promotes getting your vax so that you can once again attend concerts and other crowd events.The messaging has been vax and party on and you'll be safe, or don't vax and spread disease and be a pariah excluded from fun events.

            Whereas the vaxed can just as easily spread the disease to the vaxed and unvaxed alike

            There seems to be very contradictory reports as to the viral load that may be transmitted by the fully vaxed, that science doesn't seem to be settled

            I totally agree with Rosemary that we need to stay vigilant, taking into account that the vax is not going to be the silver bullet

            Rosemary is pointing to the need for continued vigilance, mask wearing , distancing, which is exactly what Gibraltar is doing

            • Sabine

              Oh but people are deserving of R&W, or Womad, or other big ticket events. Deserving. So much deserving. Never mind that the past year has shown that despite being vaccinated or partially vaccinated the virus is still running circles around us.

              Never mind that half of all Omricon infections in England are fully vaccinated people. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/omicron-uk-england-cases-vaccinated-b1969545.html

              Twelve out of 22 cases in England were found in people who were jabbed at least twice

              That means that some of those that have been infected with the new variant have already received booster shots.

              I get that people want hope, but then there is hope and then there is hopeless blather about hope. And in this case hope is going to kill people because they will not mask, will not physically keep distance and will go to crowded events cause 'entitled' and 'deserving' and ‘vaccinated’.

              What shall we call our own homegrown Variant? Hope?

              • Robert Guyton

                Sabine – those infected with Omicron in England: how bad was their illness as a result? Did they suffer only slightly? Or did they suffer equivalently to those unvaccinated people who contracted Omicron?

                • Sabine

                  That is not the point i am making Robert, but nice try at deflecting.

                  It actually matters very little if i were to get the pest, and thanks to being young and healthy and jabbed i might have little issues with it. The person who might get it from me might be an old person, with issues, and who will despite being vaccinated die. Never mind the person who can't be jabbed due to their own health issues. (But then we don't want to talk about the part of the public that is un – jabbed due to health or age, right? It would break the narrative of un-jabbed people being anti social.)

                  My point being is that this hope bullshit is allowing people to feel safer then they are. They will go to their parties, drink a bit to much, maybe smoke some of the illegal plant that makes people happy, and drop their masks, drop their distance and thus infections occur, people need hospitalisation and so on and so forth.

                  The whole point about wearing masks, keeping physical distance and spraying sanitizer is to prevent the virus from spreading. The point of the jab is to prevent those who catch the virus from dying. IS that really so hard to understand?

                  So i really “hope” that should you and others consider going for beersies and bbqusies that you keep that in mind. Your jab might keep you alive, but it won't protect you from catching it, nor from you transmitting it.
                  Fwiw, my plague door at the shop is up, will stay up, and that is that.
                  edit: and due to Virgil being a ‘essential’ worker he has a weekly test, and i have a test when he has been to a place of concern.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I'm entirely on-board with taking all advised measures, Sabine. I understand the point of your post. I believe the Government have tried very hard to convey the message that all measures should be employed by any individual to lessen the chances of the virus from doing what viruses are bound to do. I don't believe they have only broadcast one message: get vaxxed. I'm still wondering about the question I put to you, but I can live without getting an answer from you.

                    • Sabine

                      Well you have your believes and i feel that the government is currently sorely lacking in the advocating of preventative measures.

                      It's like get jabbed is a free for all, never mind all the stuff that does not work. Freedom day!

                      They are currently ONLY broadcasting the message to get jabbed, they even gave them selves some laws to created lesser citizens if they refuse to get jabbed, all in the name of health. Never mind that Mask are doing a very good job in preventing the disease from being spread in the first place. But then, hey how can one advocate for people to have parties, go out to open air concerts, drink wines and beersies and keep the darn things on? You actually can't.

                      Something to read here : https://www.pnas.org/content/118/4/e2014564118

                      As for Omricon, the virus appeared a few odd weeks ago, is running rampage in Europe right now and being detected as that variant, and I would guess that in another few weeks we will see if it is a lesser virus or just another step deeper into the shithole that is Covid. But you could actually google that and read up yourself. As anyone could. Btw, the best info in regards to Omricon would be Germany and England. And neither countries are happy atm. With Germany worrying that a Omricon specific Jab is several month – 6 month at least away, which suggest to me that the current Jabs are of no use in regards to that variant or feared to be of no use. And if that is true, then we can expect Omricon to mutate, oh the fun we have. Well, the CEO of Pfizer is 'confident' that their jabs will hold up. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-02/pfizer-executive-expects-vaccine-to-hold-up-in-tests-vs-omicron


            • roblogic

              Luckily the vaccine and passport aren't the only public health measures.

              At some point people need to try and resume social contact.

              Feel free to stay in your bubble if you want.

              Also, your second sentence is false.

              • weka

                your link is from July. What does the recent research show?

              • francesca


                And you back that up with one study that hasn't even been peer reviewed

                • weka

                  in the interests of getting to the truth of the matter, how about you also present the evidence for,

                  Whereas the vaxed can just as easily spread the disease to the vaxed and unvaxed alike

                  Because afaik it's not just as easily, nor is it minimal, but something in between. It is unclear though.

                  • francesca

                    Just going by the current surge in cases in Gibraltar.,100% vaxed. I assume , even though there are no unvaxed there (apart from the children and I haven't read that they are disproportionally infected )that the vaxed are spreading covid to the vaxed.I don't imagine the unvaxed would be any different, hence my inclusion

                    I'm no genius but I'm stumped for another explanation

                    To the degree that Gibraltar is reimposing the health protocols(which had lapsed)

                    Once again, observational.

                    Your logical processes may be different.

                    • francesca

                      perhaps it was careless to say easily

                      But I don't think there's much quarrel that the vaxed can get covid, and transmit it, and who the hell knows who those individuals might be.Hence the caution Rosemary advises.I think it's more dangerous to think the vax is the holy grail.

                    • weka

                      yes, I think the problem was with the word easily, because it implies a degree of transmissibility that I'm not sure is true.

                      Likewise, I find Rob's dismissal of the main point problematic, because he's underplaying it.

                      Precautionary principle suggests get as many people vaxed as possible and go hard on the other measures. I think Aucklanders should be freed up but I think there should be strong public health messaging on not travelling unless necessary. Labour won't do that of course, because of the economy.

                • roblogic

                  Incorrect, rubbish, bullshit. The vaccinated are not likely to get Covid, so they are not likely to pass it on.


                  • weka

                    Testing of individuals for COVID-19 can provide a high degree of reassurance that an individual does not have active infection. However, for health care workers, the risk of seeing a patient with asymptomatic infection is the more important issue, rather than the vaccination status of the patient. Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of developing severe infection and whilst vaccinated patients are much less likely to transmit the virus, transmission is still possible. This emphasises the need to focus on strong public health measures and vigilance for asymptomatic spread in the community based on thorough basic public health measures rather than on patient vaccination status alone (noting that vaccinated health care staff further reduces any risk).


                    The Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) is effective at reducing the number of people who get COVID-19.

                    It’s harder to find out how well the vaccine stops people passing on (transmitting) the COVID-19 virus. Recent studies show that the Pfizer vaccine can reduce transmission of the virus. These studies looked at the number of people infected with COVID-19 after they’d been vaccinated and their close contacts.


                    • Craig H

                      As far as I can tell, the main reduction is in chance of being infected at all (starts around 80-90% and wanes to 50% over 6 months), and then in time being infectious (hence why MIQ stays are shorter for fully vaccinated travellers). There's also a small effect of being less likely to need hospital treatment and therefore spread it there.

                      People don't seem to be much less infectious at any given time once they are infected though, just recover faster.

          • weka

            Those who follow safety protocols are hundreds of times less likely to catch Covid

            The main focus is on the vaccine. Public messaging on the need to record visits, hygiene, masks, distancing etc are backgrounded especially in relation to the vaccine and vaccinated people being carriers as well. This is a problem because we need all the tools. I get the hesitancy of the MoH to talk about this, but I hope going into Christmas they ramp up the whole package messaging.

            I couldn't make sense of the link that Rosemary gave, but she didn't link to vax hesitant people on youtube, she linked to a letter to the Lancet. The lazy slur at the end of you comment just reinforces that science is god people can't really be trusted.

            Here it is again, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8604656/

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Whew! That conversation took off in my absence! Slurs are par for the course weka from the Vaccine Believers. And it is a point of faith with them as both pat and Robert Guyton allude to.

              I prefer facts. I prefer sound clinical data and and observation, and taking a long hard look at global all cause mortality, excess mortality and vaccination rates.

              So far…and roll out Omicron ASAP…the mRNA vaccines might have reduced some severe illness and death initially but signing up to three monthly boosters is going to go down like a cup of cold sick with many.

              Hopefully Omicron will obliterate Delta, natural herd immunity will be extended and we can all move on.

              And fuck me if even some of those no hopers at Stuff haven't actually decided to do some work and scrutinised the kiddie fear porn…

              There may be hope for us yet.

              And as for this …if this doesn't take this shitshow from the ridiculous to the sublime. How low can we go?

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Talk about "lazy slurs" and "science is god people" laugh

              Got my shots ASAP because (in the event that COVID-19 began to spread uncontrollably throughout NZ) I wanted to increase my chances of staying above ground and out of hospital. That's also why I've been doing the physical distancing, masking, hand-washing, etc. etc. (even bought my first cellphone so I can scan in – so modern!), and why I'll be getting a booster ASAP.

              Imho the best way to avoid getting (and then transmitting) COVID-19 is to follow official advice on hygiene and other precautions. And the best way to avoid hospitalisation after infection is to get your shots. There are, of course, no guarantees, but that's science for you. In time, researchers will be able to build a better risk profile for Omicron, as they did for Delta and other variants.

              Bottom line: If I get infected with any variant of SARS-CoV-2, then I’d rather be vaccinated than not. My choice.

              Unite against

              • weka

                I generally agree with your last paragraph and it's nicely put.

                I would add that there will be resistance to ongoing boosters, and the science is god people are still ignoring the people with health conditions who are cautious about the vaccine. (and please don't @ me that covid is more dangerous, because that actually completely misses the point).

                Science is bloody useful and the on the ground situation is messier than the mainstream view is presenting.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I would add that there will be resistance to ongoing boosters, and the science is god people are still ignoring the people with health conditions who are cautious about the vaccine.

                  Yes, booster resistance is inevitable, much like resistance to antibiotics (which still have their place.) Maybe most "science is god people" aren't scientists – after all, who identified and characterised the health conditions that are contraindications to vaccinations in the first place?

                  • weka

                    you're still missing the point. People with chronic health conditions were afaik excluded from the vaccine trials. But even if they weren't, vaccination is about population not individuals and individuals with health disabilities still have isssues that the vax is god people refuse to consider. I've seen a lot of comments on TS along the lines of 'if you're not vaxed you're selfish/lazy and there are very very few reasons to consider negative impacts'.

                    The anti whatever lobby are full of people in alt health who understand first hand how fucking useless mainstream medicine is at chronic conditions and how often it fucks them up. I don't agree with the anti-vax position but I do agree that there are major issues and the ideology of science is god is getting in the way of solving them.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      you're still missing the point.

                      If you say so.

                      People with chronic health conditions were afaik excluded from the vaccine trials.

                      Certainly, and in some cases there might be medical and/or ethical reasons for these exclusions that are long overdue for review.

                      The need for inclusion of pregnant women in COVID-19 vaccine trials [January 2021]
                      The complexity of pregnancy should be viewed as an opportunity to generate much needed evidence through responsible inclusion of these women in research, rather than a barrier to progress and reason for unjust exclusion, which has been the norm for decades.

                      Still, generating a truly representative panel of trialists for any new medical intervention is problematic. For example, how to include a representative sample of dementia suffers and/or otherwise cognitively-impaired persons in the trial of a new vaccine, if such prospective participants cannot give informed consent? Experts and advocates continue to examine these 'exclusion issues', and the pandemic has given this area of research a kick in the pants.

                      "Vax is god people" may refuse to consider the issues associated with health disabilities – fortunately I'm neither a "vax is god" person (although I do agree with Prof. Benn that vaccines are "the largest untapped resource for improving health globally"), nor (thanks to my and others’ disabilities) a disability denier/ignorer.

                      I do know that mainstream medicine has been a literal life saver for me, but of course it's not some magical, infallible 'force' that can spare everyone from all pain and suffering. Setting aside the idea of "the ideology of science is god" (which I think is silly, and one that very few level-headed scientists would buy in to), there's plenty of on-going mainstream scientific research on ameliorating the misery of chronic conditions. And maybe even some small progress has been made – good things take time.

                      …people in alt health who understand first hand how fucking useless mainstream medicine is at chronic conditions and how often it fucks them up.

                      To be fair to "fucking useless mainstream medicine", that 'system' is not the main cause of chronic conditions, although (like any other human endeavour) it certainly makes mistakes, both individual and systemic.

                      Like you, I lament the mutually antagonistic stances of mainstream and alternative medicine – the aim of each approach is to help (or at least do no harm), and as always the patient's informed choice should be paramount. Part of the problem is that so often neither 'side' is prepared to admit that they don't have all the answers, whereas in reality even their success stories are built on (often lengthy sequences of) mistakes. Never underestimate the power of the mistake – I'm likely making several more here.

                      FORGET THE MISTAKE
                      REMEMBER THE LESSON

                      Many people repeat the same pattern of a certain mistake a few times over before they open up their eyes to it. Unfortunately, there are others who are too stubborn to ever admit their own mistake.

                      These people stop themselves from further development. It is better to face your own mistakes instead of trying to escape from them. They will never be mended that way.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Yes, it's "messier than the mainstream view is presenting", but what would be gained by swamping the messaging with endless examples of provisos and anomalies and odd-ones-out?

                  The Government has to act in a way that protects as many people as possible; complicating the messaging could hamper that effort. From the point of view of someone in the "anomalies" group, this will seem insufficient, no doubt, but attending to the general effect is how a Government must behave when faced by a threat such as a pandemic, imo.

                  If endless provisos were tagged to every announcement, the impetus would soon be lost and the strategy would fail.

                  All sympathy to this who genuinely are caught by this situation: it's not a simple one and there are bound to be oversights. I would be very interested to hear of any governance, anywhere, who have made a better job of it than ours.

                  • weka

                    I think you might be mixing up my arguments there.

                    One is the issue for people with chronic illness who are concerned about the vaccines. That's a very complicated issue spanning personal health, politics, neoliberalism, the blindness of science/medicine to whole systems and so on. I don't expect Labour to solve all that. But, they could for instance have sorted out the welfare rates for SLP (and reinstated sickness benefit) so that anyone who has an negative reaction has some kind of backstop.

                    The other issue is messaging. Here I am saying that a whole package approach makes more sense to me: vax, hygiene, mask, distance, reconsider travelling etc. I get that this is a complex time and public health messaging needs to be simple, but I do actually think Labour have got the setting wrong on this. I would think this is due to economics and stress.

                    Beyond that, the inability of the MoH to take into account diet and lifestyle is a big problem. Again, not expecting Labour to sort that one out at this time, but my argument against the science is god people is they're blocking progress.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I see, thanks.

                      As an aside, I couldn't understand "the science is god people": "god people"? How are they "science"?

                      Finally, I saw, "science is god" people.


                    • weka

                      heh, yeah I could use science-is-god people as well.

                    • In Vino

                      As one of your resident pedants, I would point out that correct punctuation like that is absolutely necessary to make the message clear in the first place.

                      But I would then be accused of pedantry, wouldn't I?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Not by me 🙂

            • Craig H

              It might not be as heavily promoted, but other measures are still in the Covid orders, particularly QR scanning at all levels and and mask wearing in a lot of situations in Orange and Red. I guess there's a question about whether it needs to be promoted heavily compared to vaccination which requires people to specifically opt in, or just left to be enforced (more or less) by businesses etc and advertised as part of their entry signage.

            • roblogic

              "science is god people can't be trusted"

              I ain't no scientism-ist. But it's the best technique that human civ has devised to understand the mechanics of how stuff works. Like all human projects it is flawed. But the saving grace of science, is that it is open to revision based on new evidence. So it tends to align with reality, especially in domains amenable to measurement and data collection.

              (Admittedly I was probably a bit OTT grumpy yesterday.)

              • weka

                So it tends to align with reality, especially in domains amenable to measurement and data collection. But has big blind spots and gaps in other areas.

                What you just said is what I call 'science is god'. You believe that science is the top of the pile. Ways of knowing are a heirarchy, lesser ways of knowing need to be kept in their place.

                I prefer a tool box approach, where each way has it's uses appropriate for time and place. They also intersect. So I'll go to the doctor if I fall and have a lot of pain in my foot, because I want an xray. Then I'll go to acupuncture to help it heal. The acupuncturist uses a different way of knowing than the doctor, and knows and understands things the doctor does not (and often cannot, because they too believe science is god).

                Science is open to revision based on new evidence, but it's limited in accessing evidence because of its narrow focus view. Narrow focus view is fantastic for all sorts of things, but it's killing the planet because it's been adopted as an overarching philosophy.

    • roblogic 7.2

      Lucky that vaccination is not all that Aucklanders have done then isn't it. We masked up and locked down, and stayed home if we had a sniffle, and got tested. Mismanagement and lies by the leaders of foreign nations makes their news reporting unreliable. Follow the science.

      • francesca 7.2.1

        Follow the science?

        Studies are still being done, new data and information arising every day .

        I'm not, I'm relying on the observational data , which can't be called settled conclusive science.

        (witness the many hypotheses and arguments about Uttar Pradesh's success)

        So many variables

        I don't have any certainties, except that the broad trend seems to be for the vaxed to avoid the worst of covid .Doesn't always work that way, Gibraltar is having hospitalisations.

        I'm willing to take the punt with the vax, even though there's so much more to be known over time.

        I'm amazed at the degree of certainty people declare, and the need to rush in and crush Rosemary

        • roblogic

          Because spreading vaccine hesitancy has real consequences and it pisses me off.

          • francesca

            Fucken ell

            She's saying what she thinks and backing it up with links.All food for thought .Do you honestly think that she's trying to persuade people to not have the vax?

            I appreciate having my ideas challenged, I think it's worthwhile

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Who is spreading vaccine hesitancy roblogic?

            The fact is that vaccinated people can catch and transmit the virus. This message is not getting out there.

            This is truth. This is fact. This is not me pissing on your High Altar of The Vaccine.

            • Tricledrown

              You are going over the top with this theory vaccines have reduced the spread as well as sickness your previous comment infers that eating a good diet is going to prevent virus spread or infection to the same level as a vaccine.

              totally ridiculous.

              You are cherry picking a common tool used by the antvax brigade stick to facts.Then anti Big pharma.

        • weka

          I don't have any certainties, except that the broad trend seems to be for the vaxed to avoid the worst of covid .Doesn't always work that way, Gibraltar is having hospitalisations.

          I don't think the government or MoH believe that the vaccine is a panacea, but instead they're wanting to limit hospitalisations and death. Emphasis on limit.

          The problem they have is that if they're up front about that less people will get vaxed which means more pressure on the health system.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            The problem they have is that if they're up front about that less people will get vaxed which means more pressure on the health system.

            Bingo, weka! It is this exactlyassumption (by the Misery of Health and their PR crew) that the vast majority of New Zealanders are as thick as pigshit…or two short planks…that is driving vaccine hesitancy and the revolt against vaccine passports.

            Practically everyone I know who has been vaccinated knows that it does not prevent infection. Ipso facto, discriminating against those who have chosen not to partake of the Communion of The Pfizer Product makes not sense from a clinical, scientific point of view. Ipso facto those taking the Communion are not doing this out of some sense of community duty, they are doing it because they fear they will be one of the very small number of positive cases that will become very sick and maybe die.

            So it would pay for the PTB to stop with the BS and be straight with folk. Treat us all like grown ups. Because the polls would indicate they are losing it…

            • KJT

              “discriminating against those who have chosen not to partake of the Communion of The Pfizer Product makes not sense from a clinical, scientific point of view”.


              In fact it does make scientific sense, because it does cut down both transmission and severity.
              No vaccine is 100% effective, which is all the more reason to get as many as possible vaccinated.
              Now there are a whole lot of studies proving this. Including ones you have referenced yourself, But you seem to have persuaded yourself that they prove the opposite

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                yes Rosemary's pro-hesitancy messaging is chilling – she hopes we will all be infected with the Omicron variant.

                Hopefully Omicron will obliterate Delta, natural herd immunity will be extended and we can all move on.

                Maybe Omicron will prove to be as harmless as she seems to think, but I'd rather wait for a professional opinion.

                South Africa Reports Rise in Number of Kids Hospitalized With COVID-19 Omicron Variant [3 December 2021]

                According to the Wikipedia page, as of 4 December there were 786 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, spread across 42 countries.

                Through comparison to other variants, Omicron is estimated to have an R0 of 12.5-17.5, though more research is needed. Delta, on the other hand, has an R0 of only 5-7. However, such assessments could strongly depend on immunity levels due to vaccinations and infections in the relevant populations.

                A study suggests that Omicron has picked up one of its mutations, ins214EPE, from the HCoV-229E common cold coronavirus strain, a genetic sequence also present in the human genome. This appears to aid in circumventing the human immune system.

                21 million currently active cases of COVID-19 worldwide.
                In the 'upward phase' of a fourth wave of infection.
                COVID-19 deaths averaging ~7,000 per day for the last two months.

                The lack of urgency about worldwide vaccination in the Global North may be partly due to the many months since the Delta variant came on the scene and the impression that COVID-19 had perhaps reached its limit in terms of potential variants. Even now, reports of Omicron causing mild symptoms have raised hopes that it will cause few problems. Any such hope entirely misses the point.

                The real significance of the Omicron variant is that it is far more infectious than Delta, has new physical characteristics and is spreading at remarkable speed. This is why it is causing huge concern in some Western European countries that are already in a fourth COVID-19 wave – even before Omicron has any impact.

                What the emergence of Omicron shows is that the WHO was right to have warned all along of the critical need for early global vaccination. The chances of that are slim at best, and in the absence of international political leadership from somewhere, we may be reduced to waiting for a post-Omicron variant that is thoroughly nasty before the required action is forthcoming.


                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Very scary headline there DMK…a little like this one...

                  JOHANNESBURG, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Higher hospital admissions among children during a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in South Africa that has been driven by the Omicron coronavirus variant should not prompt panic as infections have been mild, a health official said on Saturday.

                  "The public needs to be less fearful but vigilant," she said. Despite a recent influx of admissions, Gauteng's dedicated COVID-19 bed occupancy was still only around 13%, Maluleke said.

                  • Hanswurst

                    My chief problem with what you say is that you give the impression of being highly sceptical with regard to the effectiveness of the current vaccination options against the pandemic, but rather more credulous as regards the assertion that the Omicron variant is much milder, whereas the data available are actually far more solid on the former point, and scarcely more than anecdotal on the latter. Looks like cherry-picking to me.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    …a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in South Africa that has been driven by the Omicron coronavirus variant should not prompt panic as infections have been mild, a health official said on Saturday.

                    "Don't panic" is almost always good advice, but if would be prudent to exercise caution when considering preliminary advisories from South African Misery of Health officials as gospel? And what Hanswurst wrote. Time will tell.

                    It's elatively rare for children to have severe COVID-19 symptoms, so maybe those children hospitalised by the Omicron variant are compromised in other ways – after all, hospital managers wouldn't want healthy children occupying precious COVID ward beds.

                    But with less than a thousand confirmed cases of the Omicron variant worldwide (<20 in Australia), it's simply too soon to say. Imho the last thing we need are armchair experts suggesting that the Omicron variant could deliver global herd immunity. I wonder, did anyone make such a suggestion when Delta was just starting its run?

                    Here's a 3 Dec. update on Omicron from the NZ Misery of Health.

                    Many characteristics of Omicron are still unclear. More robust data are required to determine:

                    • if Omicron presents with different symptoms and if there are any changes to disease severity. Data reported over the next 1-2 months will be important.
                    • if Omicron is more transmissible than Delta. Data reported over the next 2-4 weeks will be important.
                    • if Omicron can escape vaccine-induced immunity. Laboratory data are expected over the next 1-2 weeks.

                    Does Omicron cause milder or more severe disease than previous variants? [Nature, 2 December]

                    Early reports linked Omicron with mild disease, raising hopes that the variant might be less severe than some of its predecessors. But these reports — which are often based on anecdotes or scant scraps of data — can be misleading, cautions Müge Çevik, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of St Andrews, UK. “Everyone is trying to find some data that could guide us,” she says. “But it’s very difficult at the moment.

                    A major challenge when assessing a variant’s severity is how to control for the many confounding variables that can influence the course of disease, particularly when outbreaks are geographically localized. For example, reports of mild disease from Omicron infection in South Africa could reflect the fact that the country has a relatively young population, many of whom have already been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

                    During the early days of the Delta outbreak, there were reports that the variant was causing more serious illness in children than did other variants — an association that dissolved once more data were collected, Çevik says.

                    All of this will take time. “I think the severity question will be one of the last bits that we’ll be able to untangle,” she says. “That’s how it happened with Delta.

              • mauī

                Yet if someone is offered a treatment to end a disease, that doesn't stop the transmission of said disease, that really makes no sense at all.

                • KJT

                  No vaccine totally stops transmission 100%.

                  In fact I cannot think offhand, of any treatment for a disease that 100% reliably stops transmission or infection.

                  Your statement is a nonsense.

                  If we only use treatments that totally stop all transmission of a particular disease. We wouldn't be left with much?

                  "Amputation at the neck" maybe?

                  • mauī

                    I thought most traditional vaccines are very effective at stopping spread of a disease, like the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine for example, here we're talking about a vaccine that has 90%+ effectiveness, and prevents epidemics.

                    Now the current RNA vaccines from what I can tell give nowhere near a 90% protection from getting the disease. This can be seen in the high numbers of cases in populations with very high vaccination rates, i.e. Ireland.

                    We should stop excusing a vax that does poorly on stopping disease spread.

                    • weka

                      Covid vaccines prevent death in people who are fully vaccinated. Are you saying this isn't useful?

                    • KJT


                      “Even the measles vaccine, which is incredibly effective, fails to protect about 3 percent of vaccinated individuals who are exposed to the virus. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine—hailed a medical miracle—was 80 percent to 90 percent effective at preventing paralysis caused by the polio virus. Breakthrough infections of flu are even more common. While the exact effectiveness of the flu vaccine fluctuates year-to-year, it ranges between 40 percent and 60 percent.

                      “Measles and polio breakthrough infections aren’t just rare because the vaccines are so effective but also because those who are vaccinated rarely interact with infected people. Even with highly effective vaccines for Covid-19, breakthrough infections are likely to keep happening because the virus is so widespread”.

                      And it will remain widespread because we have such a huge pool of unvaccinated individuals. 60% in some US States.

                      “It’s not that the vaccines don’t work, it’s that the two things in combination work better,” says Catharine Paules, an infectious disease physician at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “If you get the vaccine, you’re very highly protected against hospitalization and death, you’re pretty well protected against infection, and to further protect you against infection and potentially spread to others, you put on a mask to give that extra layer of protection.”

                    • RedLogix

                      I tend to agree. The vaccines have been very useful to reduce death and hospitalisation rates, but in country after country, often highly vaccinated, cases have been resurging back and forth all over the place. There is no obvious correlation between vaccination rates and covid case rates.

                      Which means the vaccines have not stopped the disruption. It's my hope that Omicron will do that for us – although the 'vax-only' crowd will of course take the credit for it.

          • francesca

            But the problem also is that keeping to a simplistic and somewhat infantilising message alienates those who know it is more complex and want their concerns addressed.Those concerns aren't addressed because of the worry that the messaging will become too complex for a dumbed down population

            There, trust is lost

            I'm thinking how long it took for disruption of the menstrual cycle after vaccination to be acknowledged.


            • Rosemary McDonald

              But, but…we womens are so delicate and easily upset that any slight change can trigger menstrual irregularities. Because…women. Those miraculous cases of ten- years- past- last- period 75 year olds suddenly needing to reacquaint themselves with Messers Johnson & Johnson…wtaf?

              And I've lost count of the number of people I have spoken to who have had some degree of "chest discomfort" after their first or second dose. These people are being told that tightness in the chest and 'heart flutters' are normal, anticipated reactions to the vaccines.

              But we mustn't speak of such things or we'll scare the horses. Fools.

              • KJT

                It is " mentioned" in the pamphlet you get with the vaccination.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  And does the "pamphlet" advise seeking immediate medical attention should "chest discomfort" occur, and are medical professionals all properly informed that heart issues as a result of these products should be treated as potentially life-threatening…. as a matter of course?

                  Just in case.

    • Tricledrown 7.3

      Rosemary Once again typical antivax rhetoric just taking cherry picked facts .Reading your articles fully the Lancet research is looking at the spread within households not in the community.

      Gibraltar another red herring then claiming the govt doesn't tell everyone about the risk of vaxxed people transmitting which is all over the literature.

      The facts are in NZ 20% of the population are not vaccinated they make up 80% of deaths and serious illness.

      While the fully vaccinated make up only 20% of deaths multiply out means if your fully vaxxed you only have 5% of the risk of serious illness or dying compared to being unvaccinated.

      Anti vaxxers around the world are driven by a few well healed lawyers who make big money by screwing over big companies.

      Not unlike hackers who demand ransomes.

  8. Herodotus 8

    Are some protest leaders more equal that others ?

    Why is this current group, that weekly is seen at the domain allowed to continue when others face direct police involvement. I was glad to see that those parents did not escalate.



    • weka 8.1

      Some of the XR people were breaking the law and they were selectively arrested. You know that it's intentional tactics for XR people to get arrested right?

      How were the freedom protestors breaking the law? We know that the police do in fact also selectively arrest people from those protests when they also break the law.

      • weka 8.1.1

        there are lots of ways to politically challenge the freedom protests, but wanting to suppress protest with police action is a really really bad idea. We should be very grateful that the police are treading lightly (I fully support the leaders being arrested where they are breaking covid regs).

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.2

        The freedom protesters…I had a quick look at the outrage vented here about the cricket at the Domain being disrupted. A mate is on a Faceache page that filmed much of the gathering. Looked to me that in the first instance folks were flocking towards the gathering point and completely failed to see there was cricket on. Clearly there were words spoken, and the next footage was when there was speeches from a stage set up on the far side of the cricket pitches…away from the pavilion end. The cricket pitches were completely free other than a few lads practicing their googlies, and protesters still arriving for the muster from the far side of the cricket pitches were walking all the way around. I had to listen to more than a few minutes of…actually not ranty ravings at all….in order to bring this information. The marchers were pretty much the same as those who have been marching in Europe, Canada and Australia over the past six months. Mums and dads and grandparents and kiddies and teenagers and folks on crutches and in wheelchairs and from all races and faiths. Very, very few have been of the group of obviously mentally ill Trump flag wavers.

        • KJT

          If the Whangarei lot were anything to go by, a bunch of total wankers.

          Shoving their signs in my face when I told them they were to close. Sitting at a cafe on Saturday.

          They were deliberately getting well within the physical distancing space of the other people there, unmasked of course.

          So much for others "freedom" eh?

          • Rosemary McDonald

            But surely you're double vaccinated KjT…and unless the protesters invaded the interior of the cafe… you must have been seated outside?

            One of the known hazards of al fresco dining, passersby getting into your/their space. Never understood the attraction myself.

            • weka

              pretty anti-social behaviour.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                pretty anti-social behaviour.

                I agree. Try having to weave around those pavement diners with the wheelchair.

                • KJT

                  Open space in front of the cafe. About 20m of open pavement they could have used.

                  Just being dicks.

                  And several in my circle have immune problems, as well as really not wanting to give covid to my workmates,, even if they are vaccinated, some also have vulnerable family members. And we cannot realistically distance at work,

                  People who those “freedumb” fuckwits don’t give a shit about.

                  After two years of trying to keep our workplace covid free, these idiots are really starting to grind my gears.

                  Friends in the same job overseas haven’t been able to get home for months, some have been sick, and a couple died of covid overseas, waiting repatriation off a ship to hospital. New Zealanders have no idea how fucking lucky we are, to have the chance to get vaccinated, before covid takes off here.

            • KJT

              Outside for the very Good reason that even though there is less chance of spreading covid while vacced, it is not zero.

              So. For the same reason I got vaccinated, to help protect people around me, I am not keen on getting too close to other people when it can be avoided.

    • Maurice 8.2

      Suppressing the protests – any protests for that matter – simply legitimise protest and in the extreme provide martyrs and greater support from the section of society that subscribe to the "Fair Go" doctrine.

      It also forces opposition underground and the option of much more violence.

      How many remember the Tour Protests for instance?

      • Herodorus 8.2.1

        I remember attending the Pat Hunt MP for Pakuranga around 83-84 regarding the Caveriers tour, the 81 protest extended beyond that time, I am sure the protest has been ingrained into NZ history and will not be forgotten. Looking back amazed that there were no deaths from that time.

        • weka

          please fix your username on next comment.

        • Maurice

          From my knowledge at the time that was far more good luck than good management. About then Police equipped themselves with silenced submachine guns for 'self defence' in the case of a Poilce death. Fortunately none of the escalation wished for did eventuate.

        • Herodotus

          I remember attending the Protest of Pat Hunt MP for Pakuranga around 83-84 regarding his support of the official planned AB tour that morphed into the cavaliers tour

          Sorry on phone with a broken screen means what is published was not what was intended 🤭

  9. aj 9

    This short 4 point thread hits the nail on the head

    • roblogic 9.1

      Thanks for sharing aj. Cate's fourth point is especially relevant to left wing politics.

      Four – thinking there are no Christians on the left, that the questions about conflicting Christian culture are all coming from people who have never experienced it, don't know us, don't understand us, hate us. And that's just not correct but we don't want to see that.

      A large proportion – perhaps the majority – of the global Christian church is culturally conservative. But that's not the whole story. Look at what Pope Frances has been saying – – it's like the Communist Manifesto from the Vatican! The Bible is economically quite left wing; justice for the poor is a basic theme. Most of this right wing bullcrap comes straight from America. The US Evangelical movement has gone so far off base it's turned into a heretical sect. They want to conflate their suite of beliefs with "real" Christianity, but it requires their entire corporate propaganda machine to do it. This is part of the reason that I think Capitalism is a spiritual force of deception.

      They have turned the Gospel into a get rich scheme and the Bible into a self help manual. Me, me, me. There is no theology of suffering, and the concepts of loving one’s neighbour and self-sacrifice are glossed over, in favour of triumphalist Christian dominionism. The wages of sin is death. And these scumbags are not stopping even after 700,000 avoidable deaths from Covid.

      • arkie 9.1.1

        25 If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; 27 for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.

        Exodus 22:25-27

        • Sabine

          And many evangelic churches will follow the first testament rather then the second. Jesus, the hippy and commie is the hero of the second testament.

          Something that needs to be also considered.

          • arkie

            Many are satisfied with a grab bag of highly selective scripture.

            • aj

              If you can get through the slow first episode, this is well worth watching. Remember this outfit is not limited to the USA.


            • Sabine

              You very selectively quoted some scriptures of the Second Testament, which literally is the book of the Roman Catholics, while many Evangelicals actually consider the First testament more important.

              Hence why Evangelicals will preach the prosperity gospel, and the roman catholic church still goes on about the poor even though they drown in ill gotten gains, expensive robes and expect the nuns to work for free.

              Like have you ever heard an Evangelic not only quote the beatitudes but also adhere to them?

              Feed the poor

              house the homeless

              care for the ill and invalids

              visit the prisoner?


              • arkie

                I'm afraid you're incorrect, the Book of Exodus is the second book of the Bible, immediately following another famous one; Genesis. It is very much from the Old Testament, as it is called.

                • Sabine

                  Well, again, I am german, so sometimes my english vocabulary is somewhat lacking in English.
                  But for what its worth, i am roman catholic, lived for 9 years in a convent, and we called it the 'first testament and then comes the second testament , or the as you would say the old and new testament. same thing, different color.

                  Thanks for the education.

    • A twitter response to the above:

      "And yet . . . Jesus was a socialist."

      And then there's this – Luxon's version of Christianity?

  10. Gordon B 10

    Forgive my prolix, but how about a Sunday thought experiment?

    It’s 2014, Obama is still in power, NZ is a reasonably prosperous and united – but not perfect – democracy. Social cohesion scores high and gun crime is relatively rare. Key is PM and many on Left hate it, but we basically get to live our own life pretty freely. We worry though about inequality and house prices – we self-assuredly know Labour would do 100% better on it when they’re in power.

    Season flu kills around 708 this year, particularly in winter. The death toll from car accidents is 294. Smoking (including second-hand) kills around 4500. We accept this as part of a free society – life comes with inbuilt risk we all make our own choices on.

    We believe in human rights and treating our fellow Kiwi equally. The right to refuse medical treatment, liberty, pursue our career, travel, and protest is strong. And we exercise it. None are unlimited, of course. If a child needs treatment or will face certain death, we would override a parental refusal to consent medical treatment. But it’s a high threshold – after all, this is control over our own body – like abortion (back off our bodies Key!) – and based on core human dignity. We’re not China harvesting organs, after all.

    Now imagine a virus starts that affects say, infects 10% of the population. Of those it infects, it kills less than 1%, and even then it’s highly target at those over 80 or with co-morbidities. Most of us face a very very low risk then, but we know its serious and illness and deaths concern us. How can we manage this we think? Very worried, but the figures just don’t stack up to justify mass state power, especially when we can’t trust John Key and his cronies with such power. After all, democracy is at stake!

    We worry about hospital capacity too, but closing down society and locking out family and friends from it? Are you kidding? They didn’t even do that for WW2 and the side-effects would be terrible surely. But damn, if only Labour were in power – they would surely invest and increase hospital capacity asap if they were faced with a serious virus! Bloody John Key doesn’t care about public services. But some of us also realise obesity, sports, and smoking – all choices we make – take up big chunk of public health capacity so how can we blame those who get a virus through no choice of themselves. We also know hospital capacity has been a perenniel issue.

    So a vaccine is developed, but it declines over 50% after 6 months. It has limited impact on transmission and some countries overseas ban certain vaccines for young people. Heart concerns apparently. Key’s Big Pharma mates tells us we’ll therefore need boosters every 6 months. We know it clearly helps, particularly those at risk, but some are a bit sceptical – Big Pharma wants us to sign CPTPP and change our IP laws and what about Pharmac funding for Aunty with cancer.. We know Big Pharma’s history and we’re cautious – not paranoid – with all the PR and it hasn’t had much longer-term studies. And heck, that’s a pretty short-lived protection despite what the scientists say. My arm isn’t a beer tap at will.

    Still many of us choose to go for it – better safe than sorry we think, and we should definitely get grandma and sick Aunty to get it – but a mass mandate vaccines and excluding non-vaxxed Kiwis? Are you crazy? This is not dystopia and we’re not China. We know other values also matter. This isn’t the child facing certain death, we’ve got those at risk vaxxed, and even those who get it over 99% will survive.

    And crikey, I remember measles was a once and done and that wasn’t mandated. This isn’t some minor, external inconvience of wearing a seat belt for 20 minutes to visit Mum. Whilst anxious and concerned, too much just doesn’t stack up we realise. We’ll do our best to manage but jeepers, this our democracy at stake we think – it’s not just for Christmas.

    • weka 10.1

      three problems with your thought experiment.

      1. you make some hefty assumptions about what people here believe about Labour. I don't believe a lot of what you said about them.
      2. "over 80 or with co-morbidities" is used by some as a euphemism for let 'em die or lock 'em up. Many of us knew from the start that framing the problems of covid in this way was highly discriminatory. Maybe have a look at how many New Zealanders fit into that category.
      3. you don't say what your point is. Is it that Labour have disappointed? Or Labour are just the same as National? Or Labour are proto-fascists? What?
      • Gordon B 10.1.1

        Thank you Weka for engaging thoughtfully with my ideas, rather than the kneejerk emotionalism of others.

        You are correct about making assumptions, but I don't believe I'm too far off how a fair segment of Labour supporters viewed Labour under Key and would've viewed Covid-19 under Key.

        It's hard to lay out my arguments for how disproportionate our response has been – and particularly right now – without others assuming forced euthanasia on the elderly or at risk. That unfortunately is the state of public debate in NZ still to a large extent.

        I would never argue we do nothing on Covid-19. That is obscene. But the level to which we've now bastardised democracy and society is obscene.

        As best I can tell, those 80+ make up just under 5% of the population and obese etc more – but other factors countervailing such as age. Lancet estimated earlier on around 4% of the world population as high risk of severe Covid-19.

        I could support vaccine mandates for them as the risk and benefit could possibly be justified, but I think they're already highly vaxxed so it's perhaps moot. We can focus on treatment, lifestyle, general health, and individual risk assessment by them. They would still of course be at higher risk from what I suggest – but the salient point is they are at higher risk of illness and death even without Covid. And frankly the elderly and other are not helpless infants – we need to stop treating them – and us – as such.

        We like to pretend it's all ugly and Nazi-like to calculate cost/benefit of lives and actions, but we do it every single day on health budgets, product rules, drinking regulations, insurance rates, etc. Covid-19 has become NZ's American Exceptionalism, and worse, so utterly moralised it's physically painful to see how much our media has abandoned robust and diverse discussion.

        I cannot find for life of me see how we must re-arrange our lives – continually and even despite vaccines and better treatment – in such massive, coercive, and fundamental ways for this narrow risk for most. It appears as utter selfishness masquerading as care for some.

        My point in all this was perhaps less clear than I thought. It's a few:

        1. If Key had been in power, the Left would've responded far, far more critically to National exercising the mass powers and coercion that Jacinda has under the Covid banner, and would be far from urging unity under Key or that he was doing what's best. Labour has received the tribalistic benefit of doubt and support that does NZ substantial damage.

        2. That in 2014, before identity politics hit full bloom and before the reshaping (expansion) and moralisation of "harm" and the idea society must behave in the manner that the most sensitive denominator finds acceptable, we would have been far more robust and proportionate in our response to Covid. I doubt we would have locked down (we might've) but we absolutely would not have mandates and passports.

        3. That the Left has shown a sad hypocrisy and inconsistency in its full on embracement of Big Pharma on Covid-19 vaccines.

        4. That yes, under Key, more would have died of Covid-19. But that is not is not an answer in of itself as to whether such a response by National is good or bad – there is a multitude of factors in such an assessment, beyond the simplistic (and problematic to discern) figure of deaths due to Covid-19. (E.g: I live in NYC and lock my 10 daughters up in a basement. Treat them nicely but they are locked in. All live without murder, rape, sexual harassment, mugging, flu, Aids, etc that their peers face. I therefore did good?)

        • roblogic

          It’s not tyranny mate. It’s a public health emergency, with temporary restrictions in place. The empowering legislation has inbuilt sunset clauses.

          The govt could not have asked everyone to stay home if they were unwilling. But there was real fear in the community, and that turned out to be the most sensible response.

          Lockdown sucked but it was better than some of the insanity we saw overseas by irresponsible laissez-faire right wing governments.

        • Ad
            1. The left assisted Key with multiple crises, with the same grace and hard work you see the left doing now. Canterbury Earthquakes, Pike River, Kaikoura Earthquakes, and more. What the left opposed was his corporate theft.

          So your counterfactual is flat wrong.

          1. In your counterfactual New Zealand, a New Zealand without mandates and passports would mean that the entire trading world would have shunned us. They are currently in place across the entire OECD>

          So your counterfactual is flat wrong there as well.

          1. Pharmac has enjoyed cross-Parliamentary support for years, and MEDSAFE was formed under National and supported by Labour at the time. In the two decades since we have jointly embraced the national bulk purchasing power to deal with such corporations.

          So your charge of hypocrisy just doesn't pass any muster.

          1. The very simple answer to any claim that somehow Labour's response could have been better is this: we are the best-managed country in the world.

          We have the lowest morbidity rate per million, we are one of two countries in the world whose average lifespan has risen rather than fallen in the last 2 years, and we have had one of the largest proportional economic interventions of any government, which has led to some of the lowest unemployment in the world, very low foreclosures and mortgagee sales, a very strong medium outlook, and a much more resilient nation by any measure.

          So no, on all points you are just wrong.

    • Blazer 10.2

      Are you simply saying Key or Ardern=no difference…or is there a deeper ,cryptic meaning..I have…missed.

    • joe90 10.3

      They didn’t even do that for WW2

      The power of the state during WW2 was immense. Food, fuel, and domestic goods were rationed. Production of domestic goods deemed unnecessary was banned and industry directed by the state. Able bodied men were at the beck and call of the state. Movement/employment/dismissal of civilian workers in essential industries was controlled by the state. Civilian movement was controlled by the state. News and private communications were subject to military censorship, weather forecasts were banned, and any dissent was shut down by the state. The state requisitioned WTF it liked and directed communities to prepare for invasion, build defensive/offensive coastal positions and upgrade hospitals.

      So yeah, they did all you're pissing and moaning about and more.

    • McFlock 10.5

      So 1% of 10% of NZers is 5,000 dead in a year.

      National lockdowns weren't imposed in WW2. Cool, let's say that's true without checking it. Massive restrictions and rationing were imposed, because those were measures helpful in wartime. Lockdowns help in pandemics.

      But Key would have done fuckall. He would have taken a similar line to bojo or dolt45. Fronting up at a press briefing to deliver the bad news about level 4? Key? That's a joke. He would have been relaxed about it, and Auckland restauranteurs would have been singing his praises (so, too, would the undertakers).

      We'd have had 5,000 dead, and then Key would have thrown money at the J&J vaccine because it was the only one left – he would have been too business savvy to put in early orders for a range of vaccines before the results were fully in.
      He’d have controlled the pandemic in the same way he rebuilt chch. Put Gerry of Stephen in charge and left them to take the blame for their screw ups.

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    Listening to Magic Talk Replay on the wireless just now – an interview with Christopher Luxon; startled to hear him talk about that-which-must-not-be-mentioned; baldness – baldness!! – he actually said, "lack of hair", but that's splitting…

    oh, hang on…

    Has Luxon flipped his wig??


    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Perhaps an advance warning of intervention by the pc police is called for? One could pre-empt that by converting baldness into follicly-challenged, eh? angel

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        Relax, Dennis; they've already arrived 🙂

        • Gezza

          Absolutely fascinating the extent you’ll go to, & the hoops you’ll get everyone to try & jump through, just so you can continue to abuse your political & perceived blog opponents by childishly calling them derogatory or denigratory names, or by mocking their appearance or their surnames.

          Do you advocate children doing the same thing, Guyton? Or do you try to teach them not to in case it harms kids?

          Since I arrived here I have got by by almost invariably always referring to politicians by the family name, or on occasion their first name, with no need or desire to descend into unnecessary name-calling except where I might have wanted to illustrate a point.

          And I’ve been able to do that in plenty of cases incorporating humour into my comment without denigrating them with nasty or insulting nicknames.

          You seem incapable of letting go of childishly calling people derogatory or denigratory names. Why? Whatever happened to you that set you on this path?

          Genuinely interested, of Tawa

        • Gezza 'concern trolling ' again!

          • Gezza

            Actually, I’ m talking to Robert about what has become a current issue on this blog. And I’m sticking to the topic.

            If anyone’s concern trolling, it’s you❗️

            Why not butt out of this thread, Tony, & find something else to usefully comment on?

      • Gezza 11.1.2

        One could pre-empt that by converting baldness into follicly-challenged, eh?

        One could if they were trying too hard to be a sophisticated nasty name-caller having a sly dig … but most adults would see thru that thinly-veiled subterfuge immediately & see that they apparently have another nasty name-caller on board.

    • Gezza 11.2


      This twaddle passes for political commentary from you❓

      • weka 11.2.1

        I thought you two had called a truce. Might be time to give it a rest.

        • Robert Guyton

          You're right. We did. I have.

          • weka


            • Gezza

              Robert called for a truce in bad faith.

              He has simply continued to name-call Luxon by referring to his baldness, & continuing the sly digs I’m calling him out for. That’s not a truce. That’s deception.

              So I’m asking him why he can’t let this absurd childish form of gratuitous insult go.

              • Brigid

                Why is it your business what Robert calls Luxon?

                • Gezza

                  It’s a public blog. Comments are allowed on what people say here.

                  Name-calling is a well-known form of gratuitously insulting people & bullying. It’s not remotely necessary to critique someone’s politics.

                  Why are you supporting it?

                  • Hetzer

                    As a long time reader Gezza, i would observe your observations to be perceptive and you see through the mask. Nevertheless, you are are ill advised to pursue this,( it will never end ) you will end up being banned in my opinion. Let it go is my advice.

                  • KJT

                    A lot of people left at one stage because we allowed to much "virtue signalling, tone policing" irrevelancies. Some, like you, managed to take over whole threads with it.

                    And. I will redicule the next lot of wannabee small f fascists trying to get in power in NZ, if I want to.

                    Note I've never got into having a go at personal physical characteristics, but note that I find being called "baldy" descriptive rather than offensive. Being rather short of hair on top myself.

                    • In Vino

                      Sorry, Gezza, but I don't think many here see Robert as making an "absurd childish form of gratuitous insult."

                      You yourself have posted abundantly enough to have made up the entire controversy about name-calling. I see you are getting scant support.

                      Chill pill needed.

                  • Pragmatist

                    Makes it sound like the dross on KB to be honest doesn’t it.

                    what was the phrase ? “ when they go low we go high”. Might not make any difference in the scheme, but at least we can act here like we teach our kids to act.

                  • Brigid

                    So while it's a public blog, Robert isn't permitted to make a comment that you disapprove of?

                    I don't recall reading this point in the Policy notes for The Standard

                    'Any comment that Gezza objects to, for any reason he chooses, is prohibited'

                • Shanreagh

                  Agree with this. What is the rationale for being annoyed at others descriptors. We had posters, prior to the US election, with all manner of witty and not so witty names for Trump. The world did not come to an end.

                  I worked for a politician, well two over a number of years – Labour & National. The Labour one was of the view that once people started laughing at you then you were a goner, that it was difficult to retrieve gravitas or even any attempt of being a serious person with serious issues.

                  From my point of view the things that people laugh at about others are often self inflicted so we have Todd Muller's Maga hat, we have Simon Bridges strange voice and now we have the shiny pate of Christopher Luxon or Luxona cf Rexona as some have wittily called him. These are all things that are capable of change….Muller to have been more aware and removed the hat, Bridges to have sought speech help many moons ago, and perhaps Luxon asked himself what the shaven head was saying.

                  Personally I find the shaven head pretentious and overly fashion following but this won't influence me about the politics but it does influence me about the man himself. I even worry that with NZ's harsh sunlight and no attempt being made to shield his head, that he may be asking for some form of skin cancer later in life. Again nothing to do with politics but it does influence me about the man ie vanity may be his undoing. Hats can be so stylish, just look at Rawiri Waititi!

                  So if Gezza is trying to prevent people from laughing at Luxon, if this is in fact happening, and I don't believe it is atm, then it is like trying to turn back the tide.

                  • RedLogix

                    We had posters, prior to the US election, with all manner of witty and not so witty names for Trump. The world did not come to an end.

                    No-one minds a bit of fun – but it's a spice, not the main course. When it does everyone becomes sick of it real quick.

                    Also if you dish it out – you have to be able to take it. Which far too many people cannot and the exchange degenerates into a flame-war.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Yes true. I love puns but I don't like nastiness. Trump with his futile attempts to dye skin and hair to lay claim to youthfulness really brought on the names.

                      As you say a bit of fun is the spice and not the main course. With the focus on Luxon the 'wit' about him will die when he starts talking about sensible things and we have issues to grapple with.

        • Gezza has had a go at Robert twice on Open Mike today, which pisses me off. Robert, to use a phrase, has ten times the 'street cred' of someone who hides behind a non de plume, and I, for one, really appreciate Robert's comments, and, because this is a 'left-wing' blog, his humorous digs at Natz leaders.

          • Gezza

            There’s always other kids who’ll back up a nasty name-caller in the playground, Tony.
            They’re not usually nice kids though.
            Teachers – as the adults on board – usually stop them.

            • KJT

              A question.

              Who appointed you as the resident, "tone police",adult, Teacher or whatever else you need to call yourself?

              To me, you seem to be becoming the "resident supercilious, dick!.

              Reminding me of how quickly we all had a gutsfull of Pete George.

              Goes well with Puckish Rogue I suppose, chanting “I win” because people can no longer be bothered with arguing with his Rambo delusions.

              • Gezza

                I’m just trying to have a conversation with Robert. He’s avoiding the conversation.
                You might consider me the current resident dick but I might equally consider someone who name calls or supports name-calling the same thing.
                Contributors change over time; sometimes blog standards rise & fall with those changes.
                I note there are quite a few posters from way back who don’t seem to post here any more, for example.
                I’m asking why is it necessary or desirable to allow gratuitous name calling here.
                All I’m getting is name-called by some name-callers.
                Is this a kids’ playground or a serious political blog?

                • Shanreagh

                  Gezza what has changed? Hopefully it has nothing to do with the spell in hospital? Some people in pain get short tempered. This new broom named Gezza is not one I am liking so much. Robert is the same mild Robert but you seem to have changed from a mild mannered person latterly with these interesting stream neighbours, to someone who is overly concerned with form.

                  I hope it is not health driven. My Dad and a friend got extremely short tempered before and during heart problems. When I mentioned it to a neighbour who had a sudden heart bypass op he said his cardio teams had mentioned irritability on recuperation, and he was glad they had as he could feel himself being this way and now had the chance to forestall a biting or grumpy reaction.

                  No response needed, it is written out of caring.

                  • In Vino

                    Maybe better than any of my comments, Shanreagh. Well-said.

                  • Gezza

                    I don't have a problem with Robert's contributions on political, ecological & social issues. To the contrary, they are sometimes thoughful, considerate, informative with links & well worth a read.

                    I have issues with Robert using derogatory names for pollies & people he doesn't like – but I won't go over them again, even I'm getting bored with repeating myself.

                    I also object to his misrepresenting what I say or, according to him, think, or mean.

                    Both of those things I find puzzling & not so nice aspects of this long-time poster. But there you go, it's to be expected on a left-leaning blog that there will be some who really loathe their political opponents & who will want to slag them off with low blows we wouldn't allow kids to do get away with.

                    They do the same thing on Kiwiblog re Labour & the Greens leaders. I guess I've been naive expecting a higher standard here when some folk seemingly feel what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

                    I'll apologise for my naivety, but not not for challenging the behaviour.

                    • RedLogix

                      but not not for challenging the behaviour.

                      See my note at 7:36pm below. I'd appreciate a response.

              • Gezza

                But look, KJT, I’ll accept that my standards on name-calling are obviously too high for this blog.

                A pity for me, there are some good discussions here & I’ve enjoyed reading them & participating, but if it makes the habitual nasty name callers & their supporters happy, I’ll take a break from it from now.

                A pity that Kiwiblog’s even worse for it. It’s a hard job finding a blog where people are passionate about politics & social issues that doesn’t have some reprobates tolerated if they toe the party line.

                TDB is too small for a decent breadth of views. Bowalley Road ditto. Bob Jones’ No Punches Pulled is supposedly satirical but basically just a venue for the old bugger to moan about “Māori wonderfulness”, Ardern’s uselessness, & anything else that he wants to take an uniformed pot shot at.

                But, anyway, I’ll leave you to your sandpit, with Robert. Toodles.

                • In Vino

                  More sanctimony.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Toodles. If you continue to have difficulty finding a receptive sandpit, then consider setting up your own blog. Your vids would be a drawcard.

                  • RedLogix

                    Really? For advocating a higher standard of discussion? And you want him gone?

                    This site has trouble enough not falling into the echo chamber – without this kind of shit.

                    • In Vino

                      He seems to be unnecessarily antagonizing another regular contributor on this site, with history of past conflicts on another website.

                      Perhaps loop-tape antagonism is more to be feared than echo-chamber? (Not much fear of echo-chamber here anyway, to my nimd.)

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      RL, don't think I wrote that I "want him [Gezza] gone" – did I? The last exchange that I had with Gezza ended amicably enough – seemed (to me) we were more-or-less on the same page, although it's always possible that I had the wrong end of the stick, again!

                      Imho things have come to a pretty pass on The Standard when you can't even wish someone a fond farewell, and offer a bit of friendly advice, without getting a “shit” rap over the knuckles, but I do appreciate why you might have considered it necessary wink

                      [edit] Ah, apologies, you were probably replying to In Vino.

                  • Gezza

                    A recent diagnosis means my days are seriously numbered Drowsy. I don't think I'll have enuf time or energy to set up & run my own blog. I have a shitload of more important things I have to attend to while I still have the time & physical capacity.

                    • RedLogix

                      I am aware of this Gezza and I'm taking it into account. As far as I'm concerned you're more than welcome here – but leave the moderating to the moderators. That makes my life a lot easier.


                    • Gezza

                      @ RL

                      I don’t expect any special consideration because of my medical situation.

                      I wax just answering Drowsy’s genuine question honestly, as is my wont.

                      If there was a neutral blog which was well set up, well provisioned with interesting articles discussing NZ political issues, it was well-frequented & well moderated, I’d be posting there.

                      From my observations blogs are possibly slowly dying out as venues for political discussion in favour of the tweets of Twitter users & farcebook & whatever other social media are becoming popular with those of us younger than our 60s. So there’s additionally not much point in my attempting to start up such a blog. It would see few visitors anyway, imo.

                      But … Thanks for your supportive remarks. They have been appreciated, & you at least can see that my motivation was never to attack Robert for his views on political & social issues that affect us all, one way or another.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Stay strong brother, stay positive

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Gezza

                      I've no quibble with your comment, but it does not answer my question.

                    • francesca

                      For what it's worth Gezza, I find the mocking of people's looks or voices childish unworthy and unfunny.

                      Somehow there's open season on politicians from the other side, but an outcry if a similar insult is directed at one of our "own"

                      I'm a bit inclined to take the bait, its just better to let it go.

                    • Gezza

                      Sorry, RL, I’ve been away reading up & refreshing my memory on Drty Politics on the Wikipedia page & fell asleep. I’d forgotten just how grubby that all was & how up to the neck in it Collins & Key were. Amazing Key was able essentially just to brush it all off because Hager wasn’t liked by many members of the public.


                    • Gezza

                      Sorry, RL, I’ve been away reading up & refreshing my memory on Drty Politics on the Wikipedia page & fell asleep. I’d forgotten just how grubby that all was & how up to the neck in it Collins & Key were. Amazing Key was able essentially just to brush it all off because Hager wasn’t liked by many members of the public.


                    • Brigid

                      Oh enough with the poor, poor pitiful me.

                      There are probably a fair handful of us that put up with bloody awful debilitating, degenerative, depressive conditions, but we don't come to this blog to attempt to elicit sympathy.

                      It's just as well you 'don’t expect any special consideration because of my medical situation.'

                      Because since you choose to insult and criticise others who have contributed so much for so long to this blog, you aren't getting it.

                      [RL: Take a week off until 12/12/21. No particular reason except you piss me off beyond all patience.]

                    • RedLogix


                      Mod note for you

          • Ed

            Totally agree, Tony.

            Robert is a legend on this site.

          • Gezza

            You know weka & other moderators, & numerous regular contributors “hide behind non-de-plumes”, eh, Tony?

            Cheap shot, that just ricochets into others, dude.

            • RedLogix

              I've been participating here since Lynn first set up this site in 2007. It used to be a great deal more robust and noisy than it is now; these kind of issues have arisen many times before.

              And personally while I like to think I can stand on a record of resorting to name calling pretty rarely, in reality in the many thousands of comments I've made here it's dead cert that I've broken my own rules more than once. All we can ever do is hope to do a little better today than we did yesterday.

              As for moderation – my main concern is to look at patterns of behaviour and intent. And then take the least action necessary to achieve the desired goal.

              And for a lazy moderator like me – the goal is for people to lift their own game so as I don't have to do it for them. And in this I appreciate your aspiration for high quality discussion and I fully get the irksome hypocrisy so many people so artlessly engage in and you're rightly objecting to. On the other hand the value you get from participating here should not be so dependent on other people's perfections or lack thereof. devil

  12. Adrian 12

    Gordon B ,exactly what planet are you on , this is a plague, a good old biblical plague, so it only kills the over 80s, total bullshit. One of the saddest things I have seen in the last 2 years is the photos of the roll-call of the doctors, nurses and other medical staff who died in the UK from Covid while trying to cure and alleviate the suffering of their patients, not to mention the thousands of such in the US and the rest of the world. I know many nurses , my wife among them and every day there are little tweaks of anxiety when they go off to work about whether this may be the last time they see their family. Every single one of them withvastly more humanity than a miserable prick like you. Every one of them a huge loss to their families and the health systems. So take your reckons and shove them up your arse, you miserable excuse for humanity.

    • Patricia Bremner 12.2


    • Gordon B 12.5

      You conceited little ass. Riding high as a horse on the most narrow minded thinking I've ever seen.

      Why don't you give a flying shit the 5300 who died from smoking, flu, and car accidents in that? You are a monster! Why would you accept this? Why is an aunty dying from not having cancer checked early or enough money for treatment worth less?

      Why is a Covid life worth more? Or an extra year worth years of someone not seeing their mum, or the mass dividing of New Zealand citizens, or the bankruptcy of a small business owner? Where is your compassion?!

      None of these are straight forward answers but there are massive tradeoffs in the approach you so blindly support – as there are in my approach, but I'm prepared to face them instead of shrieking hysterically.

      You're not actually providing any reasoning. All anyone ever provides on here is "people are dying!!!" like reciting a biological fact of life represents anything approaching a justification for what we are doing now in 2021 with high vaccination levels and treatments.

      Yes, people are dying, and have been dying every day since humanity started. The Government cannot and has no duty to save every Covid life. The question is with limited resources: who do we try and save, at what cost, and why?

      Not a single one of your arrogant little middle class echo-chamber sadists ever give a good reason to this. Do you know what "highly cautious approach" means? It means "someone/something else is hurting instead but we don't see it so openly, so it doesn't matter".

      All you've got is your ass ended high horse moralism and exaggeration. I said "highly target at those over 80 or with co-morbidities". And it does highly target them. From October 2020 to 30 September 2021 in the UK those 80+ made up roughly 60% of deaths despite being 5% of the population. Their mortality rate was 1996.8 compared to 9.0 for 30-39. The life expectancy of UK is 81.

      I can't make this any clearer. This is a disease of the elderly and co-morbidities by far. Does that mean their lives are worthless? Of course not and I never said that. But if you're going to close a whole country, remove basic rights of people, institute Soviet internal passports, and stunt the social, economic, cultural, mental, and financial development of a mass part of the population you better have an enormous reason better than something which kills a very very slight proportion (who are now so highly vaxxed), especially when you already willingly let thousands of other preventable deaths happen. The selfishness and arrogance is unbelievable.

      None of you provide anything vaguely rational, instead you get the self-righteous histrionics and over-heated minds. This is a country, not a hospital. We have goddam lives in multiple dimensions, not simply health.

      The public service is called exactly that – service to the public, not from the public. The public doesn't exist to serve how a hospitals feels. I'm sorry they've had it tough and I'd more than support increased pay, but Government inaction leading to a lack of polling booths doesn't negate our right to democracy just as much a lack of hospital capacity to our right to democracy.

      And for your hyperbole record, the Plague is a specific disease with a "case-fatality ratio of 30% to 60%" without treatment according to the WHO. For NZ and Covid-19, it's 0.4% right now. Just a small, gigantic difference. But don't let facts get in the way of your reasonless rant – as we now know, feelings trump facts.

      • McFlock 12.5.1

        The irony of using "histrionic", "Soviet", and "hyperbole" in that rant is pretty funny.

        BTW, how many millions do we put into road safety, tobacco reduction (and the excise on tobacco itself), and of course the annual flu vaccination programmes? Maybe contrast that with NZ's GDP rise during the pandemic (cf: the countries that tried to pretend that 'just the elderly' dying isn't an economic problem).

        Oh, and for road safety we have speed limits, licenses presented on demand, mandatory Wofs, CoFs, and registrations, and periodic renewals of all of the above. But apparently "don't infect others if you can avoid it" is Soviet? Good-oh.

  13. Gezza 13

    The Herald leads with a slightly misleading headline.


    National’s new leader Christopher Luxon says he is a “big fan” of raising the minimum wage, as long as the economy is growing enough to sustain it.

    In April Luxon criticised the minimum wage increase from $18.90 to $20, saying it was hurting small businesses and the economy was not strong enough to support it.

    Speaking to Q+A’s Jack Tame, Luxon said there were mounting costs for small businesses, with sick leave doubling and new public holiday for Matariki.

    “I’m a big fan of increasing minimum wages, but when you do it when your economy is growing around three to four per cent mark so you can sustain it,” Luxon said.

    “All that cost gets shunted across to small business to pay for. As a result, it’s a big disincentive for them to invest back in their business and actually create new jobs.”
    … … …

    Luxon said property investment had been incentivised, which was “not sustainable”.

    “That’s the issue — we’ve got massive double-digit growth in housing.

    “It’s causing unaffordability issues big-time. It’s actually incentivising people to not actually put it into a broader set of asset classes.

    “I get that. I understand you. It’s not sustainable.”
    … … …

    Is Q+A with Jack Tame worth watching today? Anybody seen it?

    • Blazer 13.1

      Just watched it.

      Tame served it up to him.

      Luxon was well prepared ,but got away with saying 70% of property investors were 'mum and dad' landlords.

      He mainly resorted to the broad Natz speak ,-his enthusiasm for Bill English' targeted approach to welfare.Support for small biz even though his career is corporate.

      Tried the humble beginnings to success line,and evaded answering alot of questions.

      Tame was persistent but Luxon would not commit to things like how many houses is too many for 1 person to own,how much public debt would he be comfortable with if he was P.M

      Re covid he did the ..the Govt was good last year but not this year line,lack of I.C.U beds,M.I.Q deficiencies.

      Tame should have mentioned NZ has the lowest death rates per cap in the world.

      He advocates the policies of the Key Govt ,increasing productivity,increased expenditure in infrastructure,the usual ones that the Key govt failed miserably on…like housing,poverty,carbon emmissions.

      Paid lip service to climate change but did make have one original(afaik)idea around NZ farming leading the way on coping with methane,and sustainable practices.

      Was adamant that reducing the herd size was not a solution.

      If he had to choose between trade with China or backing Australia/U.S interests,was unequivacol-U.S.A all the way.

      Said he spoke to Key a number of times a week,had yet to have dialogue with Ardern,and Obama was his fav international statesman.(Key arranged a visit paid for by taxpayers to come here and play golf and Luxon as head of Air was surely on the VIP guest list.

      Said one main reason he stopped going to church was too many people wanted free airfares from him=believe it or…not!

      • Gezza 13.1.1

        Great summary, B. 👍🏼

        Will watch it & check out the body language.

      • Pete 13.1.2

        I'm trying to work out why we need ICU beds for a 'just in case worst scenario' when we didn't need ICU beds for just in case worst scenarios in, say, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018.

      • alwyn 13.1.3

        Luxon would seem to have been greatly understating things if he put the figure at only 70%.

        "got away with saying 70% of property investors were 'mum and dad' landlords."

        Without going into detail, and without getting into a debate about the methodology they used, this survey found that 77.9% of property investors owned only a single property. That certainly sounds like the category widely labelled as being "mum and dad" investors doesn't it?


        If Tame had objected to the statement he would have had a great deal of difficulty in trying to justify his objection.

        • Blazer

          The new data from Valocity was posted here last week,blowing those urban myth stats off the planet!

          • alwyn

            Rubbish. Luxon apparently said, and I haven't heard the interview, that 70% of the investors were mum and dad.

            That doesn't tell you anything at all about what percentage of properties they own.

            If 9 people own 1 house each and 1 owns 91 it is true that 90% of the investors only own a single home. That is in effect what Luxon said and he is right.

            It doesn't matter that 91% of the properties are owned by 1 investor in determining the truth of his statement.

            • Blazer

              Owning 1 home that you live in is not defined as an investment…Einstein.sad

              • alwyn

                Did you even look at the title of the link I posted.

                It was talking about the fact that far more than 70% of investors owned only a single investment property, not only a single property. You really are a bit … slow… shall we say?

                Can you really not see that the absence of the word rental between "own" and "1 house" was simply a shorthand because you find reading more than a few words a strain.

                • Blazer

                  This is what YOU said,never mind your lame excuse.

                  'If 9 people own 1 house each and 1 owns 91 it is true that 90% of the investors only own a single home. That is in effect what Luxon said and he is right.

                  It doesn't matter that 91% of the properties are owned by 1 investor in determining the truth of his statement.'

      • aj 13.1.4

        Luxon also said capitalism lifted 2b people out of poverty in the last 20yrs. Forgot to mention that most of them were in China, doesn't suit his narrative.

        I thought Tame was soft on him.

        • Brigid

          Except it is never capitalism that lifts people out of poverty.

          It's socialism.

          A few examples:

          The millions spent on Japan and Europe after WW2.

          The contributions to Ireland in the 70s from the EU.

          Roosevelt's New Deal.

          Savage's creation of the welfare state and architect of state housing in NZ.

        • RedLogix

          Forgot to mention that most of them were in China, doesn't suit his narrative.

          You may want to read this important overview on the topic. And note that China was a very late entry to the economic development of the modern era – not until after the Maoist insanity had been ended.

          • Blazer

            'insanity' you say!…just 4 you.There are also more indepth videos available.

            • aj

              However you want to label China's path to growth since 1989, it's an outcome that the likes of Luxon love to attribute to capitalism without any reference to the complex factors involved but touched on by Bridget and RL.

              WION – thanks for the link Blazer.

              I rate Richard Wolff, who has a show on KPFA that seems to run at the same time as RNZ's Country Life between 7-8am Saturday mornings and wins no contest.

              Socialist or Capitalist: What is China’s Model, Exactly?

  14. Adrian 14

    Luxon is vulnerable on his investment in housing and embarrassed about it, when Jack Tame pushed on why his urge for productivity investment should be listened to when he himself choose property speculation every bit of his upper body went bright red, or it may have even been anger as he will not have been used to an upstart journalist challenging him. I do not trust him one bit.

    • Gezza 14.1

      No … me neither at this stage. Seems to be a bit of a chameleon – signs already there that he says what he thinks some people want to hear, but doesn’t really believe in what he says.

      Then goes somewhere else and says the opposite because that’s what that audience wants to hear.

      Until he comes out with actual policies, it’s anybody’s guess where he’ll take National, but if he continues down the John Key track it’ll be interesting to see if we also get a repeat of the Dirty Politics strategy.

    • alwyn 14.2

      Are you really opposed to what is defined to be non-productive investment?

      Before you say yes or no please bear in mind that all housing is non-productive investment. If you want to get rid of it you will have to stop anyone at all building houses. That of course includes everything that Kainga Ora might build, or any city council. After all, ALL housing is non-productive investment, however nice it might be to have.

      • mac1 14.2.1

        I have to ask the question, alwyn, but what does 'productive' mean, as you use it, after all?

      • Subliminal 14.2.2

        Its quite simple really. Housing should never be allowed to be an investment vehicle. The ability for pricks such as Luxon to make 90 000 per week from housing means that some poor suckers not only have to find the money to feed their families but also the 90 000 so that Luxon can sit idly by and pontificate about productivity! Where's Monty Python when you need them??

        • alwyn

          Nobody has had to find that 90 thousand. It really reflects the fact that our Government is creating and pouring money out without producing anything for the money to be spent on. With a huge amount of new money poring into the economy but no extra goods it ends up being dumped into the second hand housing market.

          It doesn't come out of the pockets of the poor though, even if it does mean that they can't afford to buy a house themselves.

          Blame Grant Robertson and the other members of our Government for this

          • Subliminal

            Oh. Right. It just magics out of thin air then. Ever heard of mortgages and rent? This is something that us a little further down the rung than yourself or Christopher get lumbered with.

      • Patricia Bremner 14.2.3

        Housing is for living in. To say "housing is an unproductive' is to miss the point.

        Good housing underpins a good life. How is that unproductive?

        Oh you mean it doesn't make money? Money isn't everything that is good in life.

        • alwyn

          You did notice that in my 6.13 comment I said at the end "After all, all housing is non-productive investment, however nice it might be to have."

          Of course it is very nice to have. And it is very nice for people who want to rent that it is available.

        • Blazer

          Houses should be for families to live in.

          They have become an appreciating asset class like no other.

          It makes 'money' alright,although investors do not intend to sell for a profit(tui).

          It is not productive in the sense that speculation leads to inflated prices and unearned income.

          Nothing is being created ,unlike starting a new business that employs people and pays tax.

          Lazy politicians and lazier banks have fueled this monster ponzi aided and abetted by RE agents and mainstream media .

          The rentier society has killed the Kiwi Dream.

          The young and skilled will depart for overseas,where they can afford property.

          They will be replaced by immigrants in service sectors as Aotearoa becomes a giant retirement…home .

          As for the poor KFC and Netflix is all they have to look forward to.

  15. Sabine 15

    Holy Mackerel – ouch.


    wear your masks – no matter how uncomfortable, just keep in mind that people who work in customer facing businesses wear masks every minute of the day other then their toilet, lunch, and tea breaks. It is not an inconvenience.

    keep physical distance – be as social as you like, phone, zoom, and even meet in person, but make sure to generally keep physical distance.

    santize, oh my gosh, buy several litres of it and spray it about with abundance.

    And last, stay local, don’t travel to far, and keep it in the family. Party hard, but smart.

  16. alwyn 16

    Pucky seems to have been very quiet lately about the wonders of the New Zealand cricket team.

    Why so? After all, Patel only has to get another 7 wickets and he will equal Laker's incredible feat of getting 19 wickets in a single test match. Won't that be something to look forward to Pucky?

    Incidentally. As a trivial pursuits question. When Laker got his 19 wickets who got the 20th?

  17. georgecom 17

    That guy from Botany says he doesn't understand the current covid traffic light settings

    guess that shows why his shower of sh…….ambles is not in government

    meantime congratulations to Ajaz patel, an immortal effort, one for the ages

    the black caps batting did their best national party impression

    • alwyn 17.1

      The Government website gives the definition of Green status as being

      "Green – used when there’s limited COVID-19 in the community, hospitalisations are at a manageable level, and the health system is ready to respond."


      Why are we not at Green?

      • In Vino 17.1.1

        Because the Covid-19 in the community is not limited enough; hospitalisations are bumping elective surgery patients even further down the calendar, and the run-down health system will never be ready to respond for many years yet. OK?

        • alwyn

          Well, if you say so. That isn't the Government story of course. The hospital system is coping wonderfully according to their spokesmen. Andrew Little was certainly spraying brave words around a couple of days ago.


          • In Vino

            Yeah – he is naturally looking on the bright side. I, on the other hand, have spoken to a few nurses..

            • alwyn

              Yeah, and I am inclined to agree with you that the health system is in a mess.

              However if this abortion of a Government give the definition of when we will be in the Green zone that they did, and then tell us what a great situation they have in the Hospitals they cannot complain when people say their putting half the population in the red zone and the rest in the Orange doesn't make any sense at all.

              Are you really saying, by the way, that you accept that Andrew Little is a liar?

      • observer 17.1.2

        Feel free to list and link all the public health experts and epidemiologists who think we should be.

        Until then, Doctor Luxon can sit down.

      • Tricledrown 17.1.3

        Envy alwyn National are green with envy over the govts response to covid.

        So undermining sabotage is Nationals identity they are trying to create a crisis that matches Nationals identity.

        • Straight out of Dr. Goebbel's notebook: repeat a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it.

          'The government's covid response is a shambles . . .'

          • Patricia Bremner

            The National Party response to the government Covid Response is predictable.frown

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          yes Maybe the Nats are green with envy and bile, or could be they're suffering from a recurrence of post-Key leadership blues – let's hope it's nothing trivial.

          Still, fifth time's a charm, and where's the harm?

      • Macro 17.1.4

        You do realise that there are over 6400 active covid cases in Auckland alone right now. There are around 70 to 80 cases a day active in the community. It took just one case to escape from MIQ just over 100 days ago for there to be now 9000 cases since then.

        And the silly prick wants Aucklanders to go around unmasked and mingling in unlimited numbers in venues inside just so a few bar owners will buy him a beer!

  18. observer 18

    Spare a thought for the poor staffer who has to keep updating the National party "team" on their website every 5 minutes. It's not just the leaders, it's the rankings and portfolios.

    Currently they have the top 3 in ranking order (so Bridges' position is now official). All the rest are alphabetical. So Michael Woodhouse is last, a place previously occupied by Todd Muller, now rehabilitated. Men without ties are doing much better than in previous Blue Teams … cool hip new Nats!


    All change tomorrow. Will Team Bridges defeat the "bedwetters"? (his description).

  19. SPC 19

    The lowest match score in test cricket is that of Pakistan in 2012 vs Oz – 59 and 53.

    So the Black Caps need 51 in their second innings.

    Patel needs 5 wickets to match Hadlee’s (9+6) 15 wickets in a test and a fiver would be only the second time someone had a 10 wicket and fiver in the same test (Laker 9+10).

  20. Jilly Bee 20

    Have just spent the last hour or so watching the pre-recorded session of Q&A. Yeah, CL was pretty underwhelming IMHO, but the comment which really got on my wick was his put down of public servants as 'bureaucrats' whose numbers have increased greatly under this Government. I would venture that most of the increase in numbers can be attributed to the Covid 19 response – the short interview with Leonora who has been employed as a contact tracer will be one of these bureaucrats who is doing an incredibly important job at present. She stated that despite being separated from her young family over Xmas, she is willing to be on duty as she said that it is an important task which needs to be done over the festive season. All power to you Leonora – you are doing an amazing (bureaucratic) job.

  21. pat 21

    Covid vaccines, gender identity, gangs…….there are more pressing issues.

    The basis of our societies….some perspective.

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