Open mike 06/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 6th, 2022 - 175 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

175 comments on “Open mike 06/01/2022 ”

  1. Tony Veitch (not etc.) 1

    The clusterfuck that is Australia at the moment.

    I have absolutely no doubt that if the Natz were in power, this is exactly what we would be now facing.

    I’m not religious, but thank God for our Labour government.

    With the new New South Wales premier, Dominic Perrottet, in charge, the chief health officer, Kerry Chant, was sidelined as the new policy to “let it rip” was rolled out.

    In one previously unimaginable act, the premier, in a double act with Scott Morrison, announced a lifting of all restrictions including mandatory mask wearing and QR code check-ins.

    As case numbers exploded, a week after they were removed, QR codes and indoor mask wearing were reinstated – but the horse had bolted.

    • Ad 1.1


      Also the US White House has shifted from "contain" to "manage".

      Pretty much the definition of politics being pulled years later to align with reality. Heading for 1 million dead.

    • Blade 1.2

      Tony, I would wait until the fat lady sings before making assumptions like that. However, the Aussies made a dumb decision deporting Novak Djokovic. But, the Aussies know how to stand up to China…how to deal with foreign criminals and by the looks of it, not be swayed by famous people at the border. Our Labour government is incapable of any of that. Covid may not be the reason Labour lose the next election ( should they lose?).

      ps- I forgot to mention regional defence. Labour believes we are safe down here in Never Never Land, even though we have a dictator just up the road so to speak.

      • Gezza 1.2.1

        Who is this dictator "just up the road so to speak", Blade?

      • Louis 1.2.2

        Blade "Our Labour government" has proved itself more than capable, also, New Zealand has one of the best Covid19 responses in the world, under "Our Labour government". Facts back up Tony's post, not assumptions.

        • Blade

          All I said, Louis, was Tony may be premature lauding the Labour governments Covid effort comparative to other countries. Tony MAY be basing his argument on our low Covid death rate. That may be a false measure when Kiwis start looking to get out of Stalag Aotearoa. If talkback is any measure, there seems to be many Poms ready to move back to Blighty. The main reason given is there is nothing certain in Aotearoa – things change constantly, or advice is contradictory. Then we have staff shortages in our main government sectors. Our supermarkets ( mine anyway) are starting to look decidedly Venezuelan. I have lost track at the number of overseas orders I have had cancelled because USPS and other postal services have stopped deliveries to New Zealand. The list is endless. I say the Labour government has been very lucky with their Covid response and our economy. In the end, in the cold light of day, we may have been better off with 2000 dead but a thriving economy; a less stressed population and overseas people seeing potential in NZ, instead of giving us a miss.

          • Tony Veitch (not etc.)

            I'm sorry Blade, but most of what you wrote is just bollocks!

            Long term, 'Stalag Aotearoa' may become the norm. Have you, by any chance, heard of climate change? The old tourist industry is dead and is never coming back.

            Our supermarket shelves may look Venezuelan, but that too may become the norm. If we are to have any chance of staving off climate catastrophe, globalisation has to be scaled back.

            Finally, I've never yet heard someone argue in favour of 2000 dead – because that number of bodies, inevitably, would lead to a paralysis of business, as has happened in many countries.

            So I repeat, thank God for our Labour government.

            • RedLogix

              inevitably, would lead to a paralysis of business, as has happened in many countries.

              Given the huge majority of COVID deaths are in people well past retirement age I'm not sure how that logic works.

              • mpledger

                In NZ, 2000 deaths would equate to 567,000 infections – say half of those are workers – than that is 10% of the workforce. They wouldn't all be sick at once but it would sure put small companies and short-staffed companies behind the 8-ball.

            • Graeme

              Well empty supermarket shelves are happening right now in Australia, not from panic buying, there's nothing to buy, half the drivers are sick or isolating with / from covid. And early days yet.


              And they thought lockdowns were destroying the economy…

              • weka

                yikes. That explains this yesterday (I didn't get at the time why she posted it).


                • Graeme

                  Yeah, once the essential goods supply chain starts falling over things can turn to custard very quickly and very comprehensively. I really hope Australia can keep it all together but they aren't in a good place and it's not getting better yet.

                  Thankfully we haven't gone there yet and have the luxury of being able to observe and plan.

                  • weka

                    do you have a sense of how much of the current freight issue is sickness vs self isolating after a positive test?

                    • Graeme

                      From the ABC article,

                      Yesterday the federal government removed regular COVID testing requirements for truck drivers in a bid to ease pressure on the strained testing regime.

                      "We need truck drivers to keep on trucking," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

                      "And that system is under strain because of the high case numbers.

                      "But that is the nature of Omicron, you have just got to keep pushing through."

                      So it's looking like they've removed the testing requirement for drivers so they keep working while they are infected. Looks like too many were testing positive, not because the testing regime was strained.

                      Fuck I hope this doesn't go bad

                    • weka

                      same. Like many I have family in Oz, trying not to think to closely about it.

                      do we know what the rate of omicron is in Australia?

                    • RedLogix

                      Traffic volumes here in Brisbane right down, lot's of people just staying at home regardless of what their status is. It's going to be an interesting few weeks, but Omicron peaks fast.

                      I'm going fishing in the local creek tomorrow. surprise

            • McFlock

              Finally, I've never yet heard someone argue in favour of 2000 dead – because that number of bodies, inevitably, would lead to a paralysis of business, as has happened in many countries.

              But not just because of the deaths, or even the infections.

              I know folks overseas who have been mostly living in self-imposed lockdown for years. So that's their disposable income not going on theatres or bars. Then there are the others who work from home, but maybe not as productively.

              The let it rip crowd, especially those owning hospo businesses, seem to think that it means a return to the before-time. It just means our GDP turns even more to shit.

          • Stuart Munro

            If talkback is any measure…

            Thankfully, it ain't.

          • Foreign waka

            Re Supermarkets – Venezuelan would be a compliment. I have been to 4 (!) supermarkets today because any of these either lacked salad, greens in season – these are NOT imported products. Another had no, please read again, no meat on the shelf- at all. Also not an imported product. I have asked one of the staff and they said that the delivery truck is late. They would need 4 plus hanger to get the shop filled. But I can tell you what really is happening. Firstly, online shoppers get priority and any stock that is there will be gone by the time you get to the shop as picking is done outside shop hours. And secondly, the buying model is still on the now well outdated model of just in time. To be honest and I have been through the east of Europe in its darker days when war was a constant treat and even acted on, the supermarkets here look like these except when you go to the posh ones in town. But it won't be long when the veneer falters there too.

            As for this government, it is not really doing anything. Look at Law and order. How many people are getting killed every week and always children amongst them. Anybody with half a brain will ask why and conclude that NZ has a serious gang problem. But what are the answers of Kāinga Ora to those who are living next door to hell? Oh well you have to move. Just wait until the anger reaches crisis point.

            Unemployment, defined by work of 1 hr per week – the stats are a farce. Billions are squandered and many who have an education and are young enough will leave once the pandemic looses its grip and borders open.

            I am by upbringing and conviction left leaning but this government is anything but. Appeasement policies to keep the certain groups quiet and the rest just has to belief and pray.

            And yes to a certain degree some policies do look like the ostblock policies of decades past. Many will say that it is OK but this is only because they have never experienced what that means.

            • Blazer

              You either live in ..Eketahuna…or are ..exaggerating.

              • Foreign waka

                Neither, Wellington – the capital city of NZ no less. And absolutely true. Shame on you to think that I lie to put a story out.

                I have lived here for almost 4 decades and never have seen something like it.

                Feel free and visit supermarkets around Wellington and make your own assessment. Compare also the ones around wealthy city dwellers and the less fortunate.

          • bwaghorn

            How do know a plane full of poms has landed???

            You can here the whineing after the engines stop!!!!

            • Blade

              How do you know the average kiwi is as thick as pig shit?

              When the Poms stop whining and disembark from their plane…they move into the top echelons of the union movement.

          • weka

            putting aside for the moment that if we did live in Stalag Aotearoa the Poms wouldn't be allowed to leave (and it's a long way to tunnel even for the ingenious Brits).

            How is the USPS issue the NZ government's fault?

            How much of the supermarket issue is due to global supply chain issues?

            "In the end, in the cold light of day, we may have been better off with 2000 dead but a thriving economy"

            Wow. In order to be able to get quick deliveries from overseas and international tourism, you think it's ok to trade that for 2000 dead NZers?

            • Blade

              ''How is the USPS issue the NZ government's fault?''

              It's not. But transport problems are about to hit Aotearoa big time, and indirectly that is going to put pressure on the government as our economy starts to stagnate. You can't sell non existent products. Or create products without raw materials.

              ''How much of the supermarket issue is due to global supply chain issues?''

              I would say the majority for many products. See above.

              ''Wow. In order to be able to get quick deliveries from overseas and international tourism, you think it's ok to trade that for 2000 dead NZers?''

              The dead don't need food, money, medicine or hope. The living do! A decision I hope we never have to make.

              I fear for people like you who may not be ready for WHAT may lie ahead, or be able to accept your life is about to get way worse. In fact I don't know if I am mentally prepared. It's been awhile since I had to do 'hard times.'

              • weka

                I fear for people like you who may not be ready for WHAT may lie ahead, or be able to accept your life is about to get way worse. In fact I don't know if I am mentally prepared. It's been awhile since I had to do 'hard times.'

                People like me? I write posts about the Powerdown and resiliency.

                What transport problems.

              • Blazer

                Do not fear Blade.

                Aotearoa is one of the best countries in the world to live in given your scenario.

                We have plenty of water,power,food and infrastructure to service our population.

                I think we can even survive without filipino farm workers and Indian truck …drivers.wink

                • Blade

                  ''We have plenty of water,power,food and infrastructure to service our population.''

                  Maori will decide how much of that you receive, Blazer.

                  Be strong!

                  • Blazer

                    Is that you Don…you brash,racist…bastard?laugh

                    [RL: Over the line. Take a day off.]

                    • Blade

                      You always had trouble controlling that vicious Lefty temper. The good thing about blogs is they allow people to empty their hate filled souls. Let it out, son. I don't hold that against you.

                    • RedLogix

                      Mod note

                  • Blazer

                    To be blunt…Blade…I always temper my responses to you ,because I know you are not the sharpest knife in..the drawer.laugh

                  • weka

                    and you can stop with the baiting over Māori. It's tedious and starting to look like deliberate trolling.

                    • Blade

                      Weka, I'm not baiting over Maori. I know what's going on behind the scenes. I doubt you do. If you do, please advise what you know and we can debate the issue.

                      I have seen racism in Maori institutes. I have have watched Pakeha be denigrated for being white. And nobody from our gutless media down does anything…except agree Maori are always right. And then provide more taxpayer money.

                    • weka []

                      Irrespective of your personal views as just expressed, when you throw out racist tropes casually, it’s going to get moderation attention eventually. The idea that Māori control water,power,food and infrastructure in NZ is both factually wrong and had nothing to do with the conversation.

              • Louis

                USPS has temporarily halted deliveries to a number of countries like Australia as well due to Covid19, so its not just New Zealand.

          • Blade

            3 News:


            This one is interesting. Usually the Left can rely on overseas votes at election time. But will that be the case this time? Will people forget?


            When people lose hope…the weirdest things happen.

          • Louis

            Luck has nothing to do with it Blade and there is nothing certain in the entire world that's struggling with a global pandemic. Would that talkback you are referring to have a decidedly right wing slant about it? imo I'm not sure that would be a true measure of anything, besides which, people are free to leave, if that is what they want.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Russian scientist measures Auckland plastic pollution:

    In late 2016 she spent a fortnight in waders collecting water and sediment samples from 18 streams from Slippery Creek in Papakura to a stream in Shakespear Regional Park in the north.

    That was the easy part. She then spent a further four months sifting plastic particles from organic matter for further analysis under a microscope and then a spectrometer to pin down their composition. The result was a paper on Microplastic pollution in streams spanning an urbanisation gradient, published in the journal Environmental Pollution.

    The good news. “We didn’t find very many microbeads,” she says. The purposefully designed microbeads in facial scrubs and cleansers were banned here in June 2018, following a consultation that saw more than 16,000 submissions in support of the ban and none opposed. While the ban makes sense, microbeads are not the major source of micro-plastic pollution in Auckland’s waterways.

    Instead her hunt revealed mostly fragments of plastic, almost 80 percent, followed by fibres and films. The mesh of her collection net was fine enough to capture any particles in water bigger than 15 microns (1 micron is one millionth of a metre). In the lab the micro-plastics ranged from 63 microns to 5000 microns. In all Nadia isolated 3309 particles via microscope and then confirmed their identity through spectroscopic analysis. The films were mostly acrylate polymers used in paints and coating materials, the fragments, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), common plastics found in everything from construction materials to cars.

    The bad news is that the concentration of micro-plastics in Auckland streams matches that found in much more densely populated northern hemisphere cities. On average Auckland’s waterways have between 17 and 303 particles of micro-plastic per cubic metre of water and between 9-90 items in each kilogram of sediment.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    A lovely mini documentary from the fabulous Ash Sarkar on SUVs, with the meta that if you stop fighting culture wars long enough you can actually discover that even a businessman in a pinstrip suit in Kensiongton with no formed political views can agree that SUVs are a problem.

    And man, does the “hedonistic treadmill” comment resonate – I spent a half day in Mangawhai the other day and my God, the hedonistic treadmill of the material culture of Pakeha NZ was so on display, and it is just so damn ugly.

    • Ad 3.1

      In NZ the diesels generate 44% of NZTAs income, but pedestrians and cyclists and electric cars deliver $0.

      Yet government directive is for more and more spent on public transport and active modes.

      Wouldn't be surprised if Minister Wood changed every single vehicle to have to pay RUC, by 2024. One consistent user-pays policy. Tradies and farmers in particular would appreciate the level playing field.

      And more urbanites get off their combustion-propelled asses.

      • alwyn 3.1.1

        Perhaps while we are about it we could take away Minister Wood's stretched BMW Limo and give him a bus pass instead?

        I guess that is never going to happen though. It would mean that he had to mix with the common people and he is far to important to have to do that.

      • lprent 3.1.2

        I wouldn't oppose RUC, provided they that process is as painless as using the AT parking app. However if you're going to do a tax change on transport, then it should be done correctly – and target where the costs go. That is mostly for road maintenance at various levels, handling accidents, and increasingly to ETS. There is also the relatively minor cost of installing new roading and transport routes.

        Wouldn't be a problem for this urbanite – I will only do a 1-2 thousand km per year in a 1500cc hybrid.

        Going to RUC, dropping fuel excise taxes on petrol to the same kinds of rates as for diesel and finally going fully digital on registration would free up more of my time and be a whole lot cheaper for me.

        Not sure how they would do RUC on bikes. But I do less than 1000km on the e-bike each year as well.

        However the RUC should be based entirely around max load axle weights and number of wheels to accurately reflect road maintenance costs and overspec roads to handle max high axle weight vehicles.

        That also means that other motorists should not subsidise trucks, SUVs, and overweight tradie vehicles.

        Personally I don't think that the tradies and farmers would like that much as it would likely increase their RUC rates for the current vehicles. The trucking industry will scream. However the costs for that can go straight on to the cost of goods and services provided – thereby leaning towards a a more efficient economy.

        But at least it would provide a more accurate economic framework for transport change in the future and remove paradoxical hidden transport subsidies.

        • Ad

          So little wear and tear from bicycles that RUC wouldn't be proportionate.

          Heavy truckers will want to see their 40%+ contribution spent as you suggested on road maintenance.

          • alwyn

            There may not be a great deal of wear and tear on the roads from bicycles but there are very large costs in actually providing the road surface for the cyclists to ride on. A new cycleway from Ngauranga to Petone in Wellington is estimated at $190 million for 4.5 kilometres. Should the cyclists pay for the building and maintenance of the route? If not, why not?

        • Dennis Frank

          provide a more accurate economic framework for transport change in the future and remove paradoxical hidden transport subsidies

          Making govt genuinely greener, but is Labour capable of that? Would be excellent. USA has retained such subsidies for a century. Oil, coal. I marvelled how they survived unscathed through the era when righteous rightist abhorrence of such achieved hegemony (Reagan's team) and deduced that pragmatic pork barrel politics will always defeat purist ideology.

        • alwyn

          Is your car always parked on private property and not on the roadway? Would it make any difference to you if all parking on public property had to be paid for?

          • lprent

            It wouldn’t worry me at all – in fact personally I’d prefer to have all public parking metered – becausue that is effectively what I have right now.

            My car is usually parked in our apartment's garage (ie private property).

            Most of the places I go I am usually parked on private property (ie customer parking) or on metered parking which in Auckland I handle with the AT Parking App.

            BTW: We have metered parking outside our apartment building these days. It has massively improved the availability of parking. The overall cost of parking for my usage patterns is minimal.

            Right now, I have the car on the road because we have been short of a FOB required to drive it and we have stacked (ie one car behind another) in the garage. That is the current task on my post-lockdown list of tasks

            So AT metered parking at home or work. Not killing my budget.

      • Cricklewood 3.1.3

        The sooner they do that the better, can be calculated on vehicle size.

      • pat 3.1.4

        I expect that all vehicles will be required to have a GPS tracker installed with automatic billing in the not too distant future….Victoria have had a similar set up for their toll roads for sometime now.

        • Ad

          Nearly all big NZ private fleets do that now.

          • pat

            Then the infrastructure is already in place…it is only a question of time, post election 2023 perhaps.

          • Graeme

            How well does that work?

            Does that allow them to separate on and off highway usage. Quite significant for a farmer or contractor where a large proportion of usage is off highway.

        • bwaghorn

          Tracking every vehicle?

          Cant see that happening, I have know problem at but theres a lot paranoid and or dodgy people who wont wear it.

          • pat

            Yes, i imagine there will be resistance from some and there will be enforcement issues but I cant see an alternative especially if there is a drive to reduce petrol/diesel use.

            I expect the penalties for non compliance will overcome a lot of that resistance , though of course not all.

            • Robert Guyton

              The vaccine strategy!

              • pat

                If you like… have an alternative?

                Non compliance to society's rules always carries penalty of some form….only the form the penalty takes varies , not the fact.

            • Graeme

              A lot of the resistance would evaporate if the system accurately separated on and off highway usage. Quite significant for farmers and like. Since some form of congestion or graduated charge would be part of the package this shouldn't be too hard, provided it works as it says on the box.

              The resistors will just pay maximum charge everywhere.

              • pat

                Provided it works as described….and I envisage there will be instances when it dosnt, but assume they have those issues in Victoria as well, nethertheless it is the system they have,

            • RedLogix

              Ubiquitous surveillance being one of the better known end-points of the civilisations. Vernor Vinge

              A comment like yours above would have been torn to shreds here 10 years ago. I remember suggesting such things sarcastically and getting dumped on by everyone – the exact reaction I'd hoped for at the time. But now real life overtakes irony.

              It's all flipped, the authoritarian left on display here feels secure enough in it's political dominance that 'freedums' are sneered at knowingly, and the resisters are dismissed as paranoid, dodgy or 'anti-vax'.

              • Robert Guyton

                It is striking, RedLogix, to find ourselves in the situation you describe, but description and interpretation are everything and very fluid substances. Seemingly sinister situations may or may not be what they seem. "Ubiquitous surveillance" sounds sinister, but ain't necessarily so: much discussion should be had on that very point but keeping it focussed and arriving at an unassailable point of view will be a challenge in these interesting times.

                • RedLogix

                  We're not too far off the point where tracking, recording and storing every moment 24/7 of everyone's life, everything we all say and do, can be done. It would have the remarkable effect of greatly reducing crime, especially those always difficult ones of a sexual nature where there is rarely independent evidence. Every act of sex would have a legal record of every moment that can be analysed by an AI to ensure legal consent was present at every moment for instance. Then we could change the rules retrospectively and get the 100% conviction rates desired. Well obviously we'd confine this to right wingers, white supremacists and the anti-vaxxers who annoy us – but think of all the crimes, frauds and conspiracies that currently go undetected that would be exposed by this. Finally the world might be a safe place.

                  Yes you can accuse me of an absurd argument here – but my point is that while 20 years ago this was science fiction, today's it's feasible. And there is a non-zero fraction of people who would embrace it.

                  What direction do you think surveillance technologies are heading in – toward more intrusiveness or less? And where do we draw the line?

                  • Blazer

                    Apparantly the measure is simply….'nothing to hide…nothing to…fear'!frown

                  • pat

                    Lol…I find it somewhat ironic that such a champion of 'mans technological advances' is now railing against such.

                    Which political party do you think will campaign against road use taxation via some form of monitoring?…the Greens perhaps?…. and should a party do so what alternative will they offer?….and ultimately what support will they receive?

                    Its easier all round to throw baseless emotive slurs into the mix

                    • RedLogix

                      I find it somewhat ironic that such a champion of 'mans technological advances' is now railing against such.

                      Do I need to explain that all tools can be used both constructively and destructively?

                    • pat

                      How about explaining a likely alternative….or explaining how observing a highly likely trajectory equates with 'authoritarianism'?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Do I need to explain that all tools can be used both constructively and destructively?"


                    • RedLogix

                      Thumbscrews might well do as a useful woodworking clamp – in a pinch.devil

                    • pat

                      Apparently not

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Thumb-screws as a woodworking clamp?

                      That's stretching it!

                      Edit: No, yes, your “at a pinch” was very good – my (above) was muddled – I was thinking rack. I defer.

                    • RedLogix


                      You were the one advocating for all vehicle usage to be GPS tracked by government – it's over to you to justify it.

                      My alternative has always been consistent – developing and introducing the technologies that actually decarbonise are what's important and primary. Social engineering and ubiquitous control of people are secondary – and mostly not needed.

                      Notably whenever I try and talk about the former I get a queue of people here telling me how it cannot be done, yet the same people seem remarkably keen on the latter.

                    • pat

                      Advocating?…thats BS and you know it.

                      So you have no viable alternative nor can you justify the slur.

                      "Fuel taxes and road user charges could be abolished and drivers tracked by GPS if one of the options from a review of road taxes is adopted by the Government."

                      "The Government currently collects about $4 billion a year from fuel taxes and road user charges. The revenue is currently used to build and maintain roads, and other transport projects."


                      Not sure what world you live in but it bears little resemblance to the one i inhabit.

                    • RedLogix

                      bwaghorn said:

                      Tracking every vehicle?

                      You said:

                      Yes, i imagine there will be resistance from some and there will be enforcement issues but I cant see an alternative especially if there is a drive to reduce petrol/diesel use.

                      I expect the penalties for non compliance will overcome a lot of that resistance , though of course not all.

                      Maybe we could implement a triple rate RUC on back-pedalling. laugh

                    • pat



                      Learn to pronounce


                      1. regard (something) as likely to happen.




                      1. 1.

                        a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

                      Is english your second language?

                      …and your (politically) viable alternative to raise the 4 billion plus revenue?

                    • RedLogix

                      You clearly spoke in support of universal vehicle tracking and stated:

                      I cant see an alternative

                      I'm happy for you to keep digging this hole as deep as you want – but I'm not wasting time and energy on this any further.

                    • pat

                      Weak….you have no ability to support your position.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    What you are describing has moved very slowly, imo: I expected rapid implementation of "ubiquitous surveillance" especially when the first camera was installed on our village's main street (watching for the vandals who stole the ornaments off the big outdoor Christmas tree) but it all seems to have gone off the boil.

                    The screws perhaps, are being tightened slowly and I suspect, in an uncoordinated manner – these functions are very convenient for all!

                    In any case, we have all willingly signed-on for a raft of "behaviour markers" – from cellphones to bank cards. As I was asking (above) should we consider these actions sinister (from the implementors) or naive (from the users)?

                    I don't know that you left/right thread is as valuable as you think – the acceptance of greater surveillance doesn't seem to me to be driven by the examples you cite.

                    • RedLogix

                      The screws perhaps, are being tightened slowly and I suspect, in an uncoordinated manner – these functions are very convenient for all!

                      True. Implementing such a system all at once could only be done in a totalitarian state like the PRC has done. The western world sleep walks into it one easy step at a time, each one justified by the latest crisis.

                      I don't know that you left/right thread is as valuable as you think

                      Agreed – in the end it doesn't matter what your political leanings are, it's the power imbalance between the system and the individual that matters here. And yes there are plenty of other ways to illustrate this question beyond the intentionally provocative example I gave.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "The western world sleep walks into it one easy step at a time, each one justified by the latest crisis."

                      Do you believe there's a political/industrial, co-ordinated, focussed, "party" driving the expansion of surveillance?

                      Or is circumstance/ease of doing business/convenience/love of novelty etc. causing the progress of the state of affairs?

                      In other words, who's causing this, the deliverer or the receiver?

                    • RedLogix

                      Do you believe there's a political/industrial, co-ordinated, focussed, "party" driving the expansion of surveillance?

                      I mostly doubt there is 'smoky back-room full of the cabal's elite goons' meticulously planning their next step in world domination. That reduces the issue to a cartoonish us vs them depiction of good and evil.

                      The real question is where this line passes through each of our own hearts.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      The line that passes through the heart of each of us?

                      That, and pathologies that exist "out there" and how we might protect ourselves from those.

                • Blazer

                  'ubiquitous/mass surveillance is'bad'…..'bulk collection'..however is…acceptable.cheeky

              • pat

                Not sure what your point is?

                You wish to suggest that we wont have some form of road use taxation? (we already do)

                Or that societies dont penalise rule breakers?

        • Cricklewood

          There's no need, Rucs as the are will work and im sure the system can be tidied up.

          Congestion can be done with a transponder if we decide to go in that direction.

    • Gypsy 3.2

      Given that the absolutely NOT fabulous Sarkar is 'literally a communist', if she doesn't get her own way, she'll probably try to crush all opposition in the usual communist fashion.

    • weston 3.3

      Ash Sakar,s ok i guess i watch her on tiskey sour like her male counterpart better dont like fake finger nails much isnt she just pointing out the obvious ? that the rich like to drive big cars ?havnt they always ?.Its pretty obvious the money arround in mangawhai for sure you hardly ever see an old bomb anymore .

    • Foreign waka 3.4

      Sanctuary – 3:
      You should visit the Porirua area and you will find out very soon that it isn't the pakehas with the work materials on the back of their suv's driving around. Another one of the hate messages about "white people"?

  4. Blazer 4

    We care about human rights overseas but………….

    ' housing had become a “speculative asset” in New Zealand rather than a “home”, citing low interest rates coupled with an underdeveloped rental housing system with inadequate tenant protections.'

    Housing in New Zealand 'a human rights crisis', UN report says |

  5. dv 5

    Auckland landlord ups rent $50 to $900 per week due to 'overwhelming response'

    Got me curious about other high rents.

    Trade me shows 544 properties over 1000$ a week, the top is 5000$ pw

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Food for thought…

    Adams is pushing the Labour stealth agenda thesis:

    Jacinda Ardern — and her senior ministers Nanaia Mahuta and Andrew Little — appear to have adopted the tactics of the Cuban revolutionary leader Jose Marti, who wrote in 1895: “I have had to work quietly and somewhat indirectly, because to achieve certain objectives, they must be kept under cover; to proclaim them for what they are would raise such difficulties that the objectives could not be attained.”

    Already attracting attention overseas…

    The debate over giving matauranga Māori equal status with physics, biology and chemistry in the NCEA science syllabus — sparked by a letter in the Listener signed by seven eminent professors — has become so inflammatory that famous US and British public intellectuals, including scientists Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and Jerry Coyne, have pitched into the fray and made it into an international cause célèbre.

    Cool if true, but I bet Graham Adams is talking that dimension up. I haven't even noticed any advocacy in the media attempting to explain what part of matauranga Māori ought to be included in science. Can anyone here elucidate this?

    Here is a resource for insight:

    Science and mātauranga Māori do not seek to do the same thing. Mātauranga Maori is knowledge – knowing about things (such as preparing poisonous karaka berries for eating). Science is about finding out why and how things happen (such as why and how karaka berries are poisonous and how preparation removes the poison).

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      Brycwe Edwards is running yet another site dedicated to the primary interest of right wing "think tanks" – scratching an income by grifting for cash from right wing business “sponsors”. Graham Adams starts with the big lie strawman and it goes downhill from there, but insincere race baiting is clearly thought to be a winning product to be pushed by a political right that has no economic solutions to the problems of the 21st century so seeks power by the jerking the levers of crude 20th century settler racism.

      • Bearded Git 6.1.1

        Bryce Edwards is a devious little weasel much beloved of the MSM-and so by definition tending towards the Right politically. One should always read carefully between the lines of anything he posts.

        • Patricia Bremner

          What Bryce does not say is as important as his collection of supporting voices.

    • Ad 6.2

      The "road blocks" were done almost entirely in cooperation with NZPolice.

      The curriculum cooperation is consistent with a broad cultural shift across every single government department and quite uncontroversial.

      3 waters shifts assets and staff to delivery higher water quality. Thats it. The only guarantee is that the consumer outcomes will be higher than what local government controls delivered over a century.

      So Adam's is simply as tiresome aa Trotter on so called racial divides.

      The Ardern government has decided to spend its political capital somewhere useful and I congratulate them.

      • Jenny how to get there 6.2.1

        The government should be applauded for taking into account the concerns of local Iwi to protect their addmitted vulnerable communities, and supporting them with the state forces.

        Democracy and justice is not constrained to a narrow vote of the majority of the population every three years. (Sometimes the minority are right).

        The right to protest, trial by jury, enshrine democracy and justice at the micro level.

      • Corey humm 6.2.2

        Spend it's capital somewhere useful LOL there's five motels across the road with me all full of people who live in them there are 200,000 empty homes in NZ that could house half a million people but the pm doesn't think it's an issue, every new build I see is an unoccupied town house unsuitable for families and even then they get snatched up as soon as they are brought and sit empty spending political capital on real solutions to housing instead of doing pr announcements about consents issues would be useful.

        Spending a small percentage or two of her capital on marijuana reform, labour are now to the right of the democrats and south Australia and obtaining medicinal marijuana is harder than ever but no capital spent there

        Then there's this thing called her being the minister of child poverty … No capital spent there in fact she should fire herself from that portfolio.

        Poor brown and poor white and everyone else need houses, a stronger safety net and the removal of the fear of the cops busting down their door and ruining their lives over a damn joint more than they need social engineering programs.

        You applaud the prime minister, I condemn the prime minister for only ever using her political capital to rule out doing anything substantial or to woke social engineer.

        She is a political coward and a conservative and the sooner she will be remembered only for COVID because otherwise she is a complete disappointment who got everyone's hopes up for change and then did nothing for two terms but manage the downward spiral of this country.

        • Blazer

          ' there's five motels across the road with me all full of people who live in them there are 200,000 empty homes in NZ that could house half a million people but the pm doesn't think it's an issue, '

          Yes ,I've seen the empty houses issue blithely dismissed here because we 'don't have reliable data'.

          We know when Vancouver introduced a mere 1% levy on homes empty for 6 months or more without good reason,that there was a 25% reduction in empty homes ,quicksmart.

          23,000 living in motels,2billion plus Govt subsidies to landlords…!

          No problemo.

      • Foreign waka 6.2.3

        ROFL….. Billions and billions have been already spend with nothing to show for. That will continue. Meanwhile law and order is something the pakeha invented, LOL

    • Blade 6.3

      ''Can anyone here elucidate this?''

      Yes, no part, if you apply the definition of true Western Science. The problem science has when defending its rationale against Maori mysticism is Western science does not follow its own tenets. Funding and paid for outcomes has corrupted science in my opinion. But sciences worst crime is they are no longer interested in following the evidence once that evidence becomes uncomfortable to the status quo.

      Given that, why shouldn't Mātauranga Māori not consider itself an equal and viable alternative to Western science?

      • RedLogix 6.3.1

        Best comment yet. yes

        Mātauranga Māori is a legitimate and valuable part of that vast human heritage of observational knowledge that was hard-won by humanity over millennia. No-one wants to discount or diminish it.

        But the only people who confuse it with modern science are those who either those who don't understand what science is, or are too gutless to say so.

        • Gezza

          Exactly which Western sciences are you talking about when you talk about modern science?

          Our universities have been calling lots of fields of study "science" – particularly in the Arts and Social Sciences fields.

          My personal belief is that we are talking primarily about Maths+Physics+(maybe) Chemistry when we talk about modern science.

          All the others appear to me to be primarily observational sciences. And some of those are highly speculative.

          • RedLogix

            Fair point.

            In terms of the classic STEM subjects, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology there is an increasing shift from hard data, to noisy imprecise data – and the tools to interpret it become more difficult not less.

            For example expressing concepts in most of physics can be done with rigor and formalism using mathematical tools. Much the same with chemistry, although statistical methods start to dominate. By the time we get to modern biological systems we no longer express much in deterministic equations, but a multitude of high order models and causal inferences. The tools shift and become harder to use but the modern world we live in is testament to it's astonishing success to date.

            The social sciences always had the legitimate vision of emulating the same success – but many have failed to grasp just how damned hard that was going to be. And far too many of it's practitioners lacked the deep mathematical and logical skills necessary to do it well – and this is really quite understandable. Student who are interested in people are not so often also interested in the abstractions of mathematics and logic necessary to design, implement and analyse their experiments well. Instead they tend to uncritically stuff their raw data into a stats package and trust that the pretty graphs outputted will get the paper published.

            As you say a lot of social science papers lack rigor, are rarely cited, lack repeatability and skepticism, are ideological and speculative. They aren't science either.

            • Robert Guyton

              It's in the biological sciences that matauranga and science get overlaid and integrated..

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.2

        Yeah, I'll echo RL, acknowledging your good response. My take is the Labour caucus decision to endorse mM (matauranga Māori) as a policy strategy exploits the dichotomy between the original concept of science (mostly knowledge/gnosis, publicised via reasoning from evidence) and the in-crowd definition that has emerged since the 19th century.

        As a physics grad I naturally defer to the mana around the latter. As an alternative thinker for even longer, I naturally see the inadequacies & deficiencies of the latter.

        Perversion of science via arbitrary or politically-biased funding decisions is way more obvious in the US scene, but is indeed apparent here too as you imply. And the question you ended with is indeed the key to advancing the policy. Unless sceptics pull finger & do some work rather than knee-jerk complaints, I have no real problem with mM. It needs to be contestable, but conservative laziness & lack of intellect could provide no contest.

        • Gezza

          I have no real problem with mM. It needs to be contestable, but conservative laziness & lack of intellect could provide no contest.

          How do you mean Mātauranga Māori needs to be contestible?

          It is often wrapped up with mythological concepts as a means of facilitating memory.

          So for example the mātauranga around growing and harvesting harakeke (flax) is spoken about in Māoridom in terms of the plant being a whanau, with children at the centre of the plant, so flax leaves are cut from outside – the tūpuna leaves.

          • Dennis Frank

            How do you mean Mātauranga Māori needs to be contestible?

            Contestable in designing legislation (select committee scrutiny), then in how the policy is implemented. I meant re the "debate over giving matauranga Māori equal status with physics, biology and chemistry in the NCEA science syllabus".

            We don't know enough to be more precise at this stage. So the thing will advance in credibility if it is framed for consensus. If framing is partisan, opposition gets more opportunity for leverage…

      • Gypsy 6.3.3

        It's not an 'alternative'. Mataurangi Maori is not science, it is valuable observational knowledge which also happens to be intertwined with Maori spiritual concepts. Science attempts to explain natural observations with reference to the natural world. There are numerous observations of the natural world in the Bible, but that isn't science, and shouldn't be taught as such in schools. Nor should matauranga Maori.

      • Foreign waka 6.3.4

        If this equates to the mathematical science that made it possible to get the mars voyage under way please bring the proof. Otherwise, in the field of science NZ will become the laughing stock internationally.

        I am aware that this sounds offensive but I can reassure you, this is what will be seen in the very competitive field of science. BTW Science always was competitive, never benevolent.

        Traditional lore is present in all cultures and is not called science.

        As for the assertion the science based on mathematics and literature to record this – it is distinctly not Western but middle eastern and Asian.

    • Gypsy 6.4

      "Can anyone here elucidate this?"

      The infamous Listener letter was prompted by a Ministry of Education Technical Report (Ministry of Education, 2021a) which recommended:

      1. "Parity in the Māori school curriculum for mātauranga Māori with other bodies of knowledge
      2. Discussion and analysis within the NCEA of the ways in which science has supported the dominance of Eurocentric views, including science’s use as a rationale for colonisation of Māori and the suppression of Māori knowledge
      3. Discussion within the NCEA of the notion that science is a Western European invention and itself evidence of European dominance over Māori and other indigenous peoples."

      Matauranga Maori is a knowledge system that has valuable insights, but it's fundamental basis is Maori spirituality, and as such has no more place in the education curriculum than any other religious text with similar claims.

      • Dennis Frank 6.4.1

        Righto. Thanks for that clarification! I agree with whoever wrote the report that the three recommendations are worth considering. Here's why:

        Re #1, such curriculum parity serves to implement Te Tiriti – inasmuch as the principle of racial parity can be read between the lines of that. Happy to concede that yourself & others may not be able to discern it lying there! Doesn't matter. Maori will. Plus sufficient numbers of pakeha who give credence to the spirit of the treaty (rather than the colonial artifact itself) to be politically crucial to our future.

        Re #2, that will serve as useful education to get participants up to speed on the ways science has been misused in governance – provided that suitable examples are both found and deployed in the instruction.

        Re #3, it seems supplementary to #2 and one may need a microscope to spot the difference between them. Americans would undoubtedly deem their exclusion culturally offensive. Some would likely call it racist (inaccurately).

        • Gypsy

          " I agree with whoever wrote the report that the three recommendations are worth considering. "

          In a sociology context, not a scientific one.

          • Dennis Frank

            a sociology context, not a scientific one

            Yes, insofar as the former is more relevant, but I really meant in a political context in general & Labour's collective interests in particular (whilst declaring I'm not a Labour supporter I do support their hamfisted attempts to make progress – in principle)… indecision

  7. Jenny how to get there 7

    The 'Little Parliament' strikes again.

    A victory for democracy, and justice.

    BLM protesters acquitted over pulling down of slave trader statue

    ……"We are ecstatic and stunned," said Rhian Graham, one of the four protesters cleared by a jury of criminal damage following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Unreal, the shit going down in the USA…

    The girl, Arianna Delane, was reportedly asleep in a front room of a Houston apartment at around 3 a.m. when an unknown assailant fired several shots into the second-story unit, hitting her in the torso. She was left with a punctured lung and liver, and three broken ribs, a family friend told local outlet KHOU-11.

    ABC13 reporter Mycah Hatfield said the apartment where Arianna was wounded was the same one where members of Floyd’s family gathered to watch the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck until he died.

    Although Arianna’s mother rushed her to a hospital straight away, police reportedly did not arrive until around four hours after the incident, reported CBS DFW, a local outlet. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Tuesday that his department launched an internal affairs investigation into the response time.

    Derrick Delane told ABC13 he had reason to believe his home had been targeted, not simply unlucky. But Houston police have not yet identified any suspects.

    • Gezza 8.1

      Could just be coincidence. Gun crime is so rife in the US and Floyd had connections with drugs, so maybe his family do as well. Not enough information in that article to suggest anything particularly out of the ordinary or "unreal" to me.

      One to watch – for the outcome of the internal investigation into the police delay in attending, though.

  9. Anker 9
    • A question for all you well informed covid vaccination people (hopefully you don’t mind me picking your brains…
    • we are booked to get our booster soon. Have had two Pfizer to date. A friend of mine told me in passing you are better to get a different vaccine for your third jab.
    • Anyone know.?
    • I have not be following covid so much, just doing all the stuff to be safe for self and others (especially the medical people)
  10. joe90 10

    Of course Soimom is a fan of the multimillionaire representing the second-poorest state in the union who denied his own constituents desperately needed relief in a pandemic.

    Because poor people.


    Why Grant Robertson should listen to US Senator Joe Manchin

    Simon Bridges05:00, Jan 06 2022


    The reason is that, in an evenly divided senate of 100, Manchin’s fellow Democrat, President Joe Biden, needs his support to pass the sweeping $2 trillion (yes, trillion) Build Back Better plan​.

    Manchin, though, on the eve of Christmas, decided to vote against the bill. His view is that the US already has high inflation, that inflation is hurting workers and families in his state, and that all the spending in the proposal would simply fuel that inflation.

    • Nic the NZer 10.1

      Simon managed to mention the last time inflation was even higher than present. It was due to a GST increase price adjustment imposed by National.

      He also mentions that wages grew by only 2.4% and below inflation but fails to note the likely implication of that is that the increase will likely not be sustainable and will be a short term price adjustment.

      Maybe try again when you figure out how to get most people above inflation pay raises, Simon.

      • Foreign waka 10.1.1

        The only way to do that is with two implementations:

        Remove GST on rates (its a tax on the tax)

        Remove GST on fresh vegetables and bread

        Monitor all prices whether retailers increase their margins and impose Tax penalties if they do.

        This would make a real difference to the vast majority of people, working or on a benefit. It is color blind, race neutral and helps children the most.

    • joe90 11.1

      Stewart rows it back.

      “I do not think J.K. Rowling is antisemitic. I did not accuse her of being antisemitic,” Stewart said. “I do not think the Harry Potter movies are antisemitic. I really love the Harry Potter movies, probably too much for a gentleman of my considerable age.”

      Stewart added, “I cannot stress this enough. I am not accusing J.K. Rowling of being antisemitic. She need not answer to any of it. I don’t want the Harry Potter movies censored in any way. It was a lighthearted conversation. Get a fucking grip.”

    • weka 11.2

      I don't get it, possibly because I've not see the films nor read the book. Are the goblins in the film true in imagery to the descriptions of the goblins in the books?

      • arkie 11.2.1

        I haven’t read the books but some have argued the imagery of the films seems to have played on antisemitic stereotypes of bankers:

        It is not often that I am stopped in my tracks. But the press photography from the new Gringotts wing of Warner Bros’ Harry Potter Studio tour positively shrieked with antisemitic tropes; the long-nosed goblin, his natty suit, clawed fingers caressing a pile of gold coins. When I positioned a Gringotts shot alongside a series of cartoons from Nazi Germany’s Der Stürmer, it did not seem out of place.

        • weka

          I get that bit, just wasn't sure if the books are the same (and whether JKR is responsible for the film imagery). I'm guessing there is some similarity (the film just didn't make this up), but everyone is talking as though we've all read the books and seen the film.

      • Sabine 11.2.2

        goblins are beings that live underground, are associated with minind, minting and gold. Generally referred to as small, cunning, some what mean tempered, and involved in 'banking'.


        Physical appearance

        Goblins were short and fair-skinned, as they spent very little time outside. They had very long fingers and feet, dome-shaped heads and were slightly larger than house-elves. Griphook, one of the hundreds of goblins working at Gringotts, had a bald head, pointed nose, and pointed ears. Some had dark, slanted eyes, and some goblins even wore pointed hats.[4]

        Now one can argue that the fact that the Goblins are the bankers is 'anti semitic' per se. However, the words above are the words from her book.

        the goblins in the film looked like that

        now according to John Steward his words were taken out of context, 'fuck news week' he said, and fwiw, i honestly believe that if he would have thought that about the Goblins that he would have been in a really good position to point that out 20 Years ago when the films were first relieved as host of the Daily Show.

        Maybe this really is just another thing that poeple want to be truth about the witch from scotland who believes that non males used to be called something, something particular that no one really can't quite remember anymore.

        and again with trigger warning, the daily fail reporting where the left dare not go to

        But Jewish fans were quick to note that the author has consistently called out anti-Semitism in recent years; including as a frequent critic of Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership of the Labour Party and when she refused to join a cultural boycott of Israel.

        And Dave Rich, director of policy at Jewish charity the Community Security Trust, told MailOnline that Rowling had been 'very supportive' of the Jewish community.

        He said: 'JK Rowling has been very supportive of the Jewish community in recent years and tweeted repeatedly against antisemitism, so it is hard to imagine that she used anti-semitic caricatures in her books. Sometimes a goblin is just a goblin.'

        Comedian David Baddiel also waded in, adding: 'The goblins in Harry Potter need to be seen not in a simplistic #teamRowling vs #antiteamRowling way but in a many-centuries long, deeply subconsciously embedded cultural context.'

        Author and literature expert Nicholas Jubber told MailOnline: 'Rowling appears to have followed traditions in British fantasy literature. The old German word, 'kobold', gave us the word 'cobalt', signalling the association of these creatures with mining for precious ores. So it makes sense that goblins would be linked with vaults and underground storage.'

        One could argue that the description of goblins is based on old – very old anti semitism that goes back to medieval times, but for what its worth, i don't think that JKR really did go there.

        So either someone tried to use John Stewart to smear an accomplished but opinionated and unimpressed author of the best selling books series, or John Stewart did try to smear the very opinionated author of a best selling book series and he got a call from her lawyer. And i would bet a dollar that she is way richer then he is. Take your pick.
        Last, i hope that the NZ Herald has it in them to also print the fact that John Stewart is saying NO i did not say nor mean that. (not holding my breath though)

        • weka

          One could argue that the description of goblins is based on old – very old anti semitism that goes back to medieval times

          I was wondering if they arose originally because of anti-semitism in the middle ages, but google didn't help.

          • Sabine

            In the german story telling a kobold (goblin) is a magic small being. Can be good, can be mean, depending on the situation. Is often blamed for mechanical failure. Is associated with metals, mining, minting, hording. A mixture of a dwarf and an elf. A person, that should you cross one, you have to be honest with, show no fear, and above all don't try to bs your way out if you are having issues with them. Small but mighty, easily annoyed, angered, dread full temperament. Kobolde in german story telling are many things, but they are always small, cunning, not easily frightened, full of magic, and should never be taken for fools.

            Rumpelstilzchen is a bit of a goblin.

  11. Peter 12

    Kind of funny if the only Australian courts Djokovic gets access to are the law courts.

  12. Gezza 13

    Here are the pooklets videoed on 2 & 3 January 2022. They've just started turning blue in front and on the underside. It always seems to happen suddenly, almost overnight.

    And here they are when I first videoed them on 8 December 2021, then about a week old:

  13. Blazer 14

    Natz finance spokesperson Simon Bridges should do some research on Manchin…

    Why Grant Robertson should listen to US Senator Joe Manchin |

    Manchin has done virtually zero to help West Virginians.

    Senator Joe Manchin has a net worth of $5million, according to Ballotpedia.

    He reportedly makes $174,000 annually from his job in the government.

    When the Senator is not working, he can typically be found aboard his $250,000 boat.

    Joe Manchin’s Dirty Empire (

    • Stuart Munro 14.1

      Well – that explains Simon's (JLR was my Chinese bagman) approval.

      • Blazer 14.1.1

        Well when I heard Simon was the Natz shadow finance minister,I realised Robertson would have a walk in the park.

        I still remember Simons shitty deal with Anadarko…talk about N.F.I!

        • Stuart Munro

          We may joke about him – but we really need an opposition that would compel the govt. to lift their game.

          Robertson needs to be coming up with a few solutions to improve the housing affordability crisis irrespective of the abysmal quality of opposition members.

          • Blazer

            No argument there Stuart…the housing crisis could be solved by 'lunchtime' imo.

  14. McFlock 15

    dude tweeting that a disease is nothing to worry about, as 96% of people are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms. Good body of evidence. Passes the initial wikipedia test. That disease?


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    6 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
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    6 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    6 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
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  • District Court Judges appointed
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  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
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    1 week ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
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    2 weeks ago

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