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Open mike 06/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 6th, 2020 - 145 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

145 comments on “Open mike 06/03/2020 ”

  1. observer 1

    The invisible MP is re-selected. Usually parties and candidates make a big fanfare about this. He must be the only MP in Parliament (possibly in history) who doesn't want more media coverage. Presumably he has no ambitions beyond being an ATM for the National Party.


  2. Jimmy 2

    Sounds like the lady who was the second confirmed case of corona virus may have the fourth case in her family too being her husband which I guess is not surprising.


  3. Robert asked me to look into the Jami-Lee Ross claims in Parliament yesterday that substantial donations ($150k) originating from China have been paid to the National Party.

    Ross claims to have had no knowledge of this while he was a National MP, and said "I doubt the National Party knew at the time that the money was foreign", but called on them to pay the money back.

    I think context here is important. Ross is currently being prosecuted by the SFO over donations so will have been careful protecting his defence in that case with what he said.

    He acknowledges that the SFO information he received was through the current court proceedings, and was not able to table documents because of the sub judice rule.

    Ironically Winston Peters tried to argue that the sub judice rule was being applied too rigidly – he uses the rule to avoid speaking about matters before the court involving himself.

    Also of interest was that prior to Ross' speech he appeared to collude with Peters in asking questions touching on the topic of donations in questions to the Peters as the Minister of Finance,.

    Both Ross and Peters have obvious grudges against National and want leader Simon Bridges dumped.

    Both Ross and Peters are at real risk of failing in September's election, with National a major factor.

    Both Ross and Peters have associations with Whale Oil, The BFD and Cameron Slater et al. The BFD appears to be a virtual campaign tool of NZ First and Ross, and daily dumps on National, Bridges and other National MPs (and will likely to be promoting Ross' allegations today),

    So yesterday's revelations are unlikely to be solely done as moral whistle blowers.

    This is designed to make connect National to China and the Chinese Communist Party, and has already achieved that to an extent, as would be the intent (the court case seems unlikely to be scheduled before the election).

    It could get more embarrassing for National, who have already had bad press over donations.

    But will it help Ross and Peters? We will have to wait a few months to find out.

    Full transcripts from e Question Time and General Debate here:


    • Muttonbird 3.1

      This is designed to make connect National to China and the Chinese Communist Party.

      Surely National did that all by themselves. They are still doing it.

    • observer 3.2

      Sheesh. Game commentary.

      Will it help National, or Ross, or Peters? Maybe, maybe not, but it's hardly the issue that matters, is it?

      Our democracy is being eroded by an influx of money from a system where policies are not debated or voted on. They are merely purchased.

      Note: system. Not nationality, or ethnicity. Being Chinese isn't the point. Being a dictatorship is. Simon Bridges should try being leader of the opposition in China. He'd have bigger problems than Trevor Mallard.

      • Pete George 3.2.1

        "Our democracy is being eroded by an influx of money from a system where policies are not debated or voted on. "

        That's certainly an important issue for our democracy, but I'd prefer to see evidence on it, more than what self interested MPs trying to keep their political careers alive are dishing out.

    • I should add that Peters, Ross and Slater/WO/BFD et al all have histories of making big accusations and claiming to have evidence and then not producing it, or underwhelming with it.

      We won't get all the details on this until Ross' prosecution ends up in court. He seems to be trying to rush the revelations, but that will be selectively.

      • Anne 3.3.1

        You're trying make spurious links between JLR and Winston Peters without any evidence whatsoever. Winston Peters has a long history of talking about money matters related to politics. He was also part of National once and knows how they operate.

        Think… the Winebox saga of the 1990s. The link to National did not equate to any involvement by National, but all the guilty parties in that affair were known to have close ties to them. I doubt there was any collusion between Peters and JLR over the topics they chose to speak on yesterday in the House.

        And what pray tell me does Slater have to do with the price of fish apart from an attempt to link them both to the discredited fellow.

        • Pete George

          WP and JLR working together in QT yesterday:


          WP trying to assist JLR in Debate on Prime Minister's Statement:


          The BFD have been shilling for both Ross and Peters for years and continue full bore today.

          • Incognito

            The BFD have been shilling for both Ross and Peters for years and continue full bore today.

            When did the BFD launch?

            • Pete George

              February last year, but it's well known that it was a little more than WO with a makeover with an attempt to distance themselves from legal and financial problems. Most of the same people seem to be involved, and using the same dirty methods.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                So you're saying Judith Collins is involved?

                We all know there was bad blood in the national party from when Michelle Boag et al tipped over Cameron Slater's dad for National Party president hence the Collins faction including Cameron Slater vs the Boag faction that's been antagonistic for a long time..

                Slithering in and out were players such as Jason Ede out of John Key's office, Carrick Graham, Simon Lusk and quite a few others.

                So when you say most of the same people seem to be involved you presumably are referring to these people.

                • Sacha

                  Same people at the blog end.

                • As far as I've seen Collins has distanced herself and kept her distance.

                  I haven't hear of Ede since 2014.

                  Graham seems to have learnt from getting burnt, he's got his own legal problems as result, and seems to have distanced himself.

                  But the same core seems to be still trying to progress their agendas and still promoting nasty and dirty as essentials in politics.

              • Incognito

                So, the BFD has just celebrated its first birthday anniversary and you said it had been shilling for years. Would you call that sloppy or misleading journalism, Pete?

                • You're ignoring what I said. Your blogging is sloppy again.

                  The same people have done the same sort of shilling for NZF since 2017, using WO and now BFD.

                  It's well known that Whale Oil was switched to The BFD about this time last year. The same people own it and are running it, and the same dirty politics agendas are obvious. Some things have flipped, National was once using WO as a proxy for dirty politics and NZF and Peters were frequent targets, now National is the primary target and NZF the primary beneficiary. At about the same time as this flip Peters’ and NZ First’s lawyer started to represent Slater in defamation cases he was involved in.

                  But same people peddling dirty politics in a similar way.

                  If you read what journalists write you would know that it is common to refer to WO and BFD as virtually the same thing (with different names and a makeover). They sometimes inflate Slater's influence, that's diminished, but others continue with what they've done for a decade.

                  I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve by playing dumb on this. It looks like you're trying to defend BFD dirt mongering – do you think it's ok if parties you don't like are the target? Actually Labour and Jacinda are frequent targets of their dirty smears as well, that's just overshadowed by the anti-National agenda.

                  • Sacha

                    They are guns for hire. The dirt is supplied.

                  • Incognito

                    I take accusations of being sloppy seriously and will stand corrected if/when necessary. I screw up regularly, if you must know. OTOH, you don’t seem to care about your sloppiness and it has a negative effect on your credibility, which is why I’m ignoring the other stuff you said and stay focussed on the issue at hand, which is your sloppiness. You’re trying to divert my attention away and distract me with bolshie conspiracy stories and DP.

                    But same people peddling dirty politics in a similar way.

                    If you read what journalists write you would know that it is common to refer to WO and BFD as virtually the same thing (with different names and a makeover). [my italics]

                    You were sloppy, virtually speaking. Hiding behind others is no excuse, just admit it; it won’t hurt as much as you think it will.

                    I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve by playing dumb on this. It looks like you're trying to defend BFD dirt mongering …

                    Just as well, I’m neither dumb nor sloppy then, in this instance, at least. You’re diverting attention away from the real issue: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06-03-2020/#comment-1689522

                    • "stay focussed on the issue at hand, which is your sloppiness"'

                      "You’re diverting attention away from the real issue…"

                      I understand that you seem to be obsessed with portraying my 'sloppiness', but you really don't know that this is classic diversion tactics?

                      You're the one who keeps trying to divert.

                      Check this out (Press editorial):

                      The photos of the journalists, who had both investigated NZ First and its donations, were then published by right-wing blog The BFD, the successor to the notorious Whale Oil blog that was at the heart of dirty politics in 2014.

                      Note "The BFD, the successor to the notorious Whale Oil blog"

                      The Whale Oil blog was alleged to have run campaigns on behalf of backers, sometimes using false bylines. Similarly, The BFD used an improbable byline in its expose of Espiner and Shand, making it impossible for the ordinary reader to know who or what the blog is acting for. Peters, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, has still not clarified what he meant by "we".

                      When the dirty politics scandal erupted in 2014, Labour and the Green Party were outraged and National moved to distance itself from Whale Oil. Labour's Grant Robertson wrote that "Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics". Peters called for a commission of inquiry.

                      That was six long years ago. This time it is Labour's much-vaunted positive campaign that risks being tainted by dirty politics. Voters will look to Ardern to set a moral example and remind them, and NZ First, that there is no place for such practices in her Government.


                      Try make it about me if you like, but your diversions are very sloppy (in my opinion).

                      [The issue is not what you want it to be, Pete. The primary issue is the donations. It is not DP, WO, the BFD, or anything of that kind; these are a different issue and worth attention too but they are not the same. You were sloppy about the BFD. I’m fast losing patience with you and your next comments here will decide whether you keep your commenting privilege here in election year or whether you’ll be restricted to your own blog. I don’t care either way – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 4:58 PM.

                    • You're the one who started the WO/BFD diversion.

                      If you want to see how close WO and BFD are, this explains some of the many connections.


                      [No Pete, it was you who conflated the two stories @ 3 (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06-03-2020/#comment-1689422). I have no interest in playing your diversion game about the SFO story and linking it to WO/BFD. If you pull this on me again I’ll ban you till after the election – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 5:13 PM.

                    • I don't care either way either whether you want to hover a ban threat over me. I think it's a gutless reaction, and accept that's an opinion that you may use as an excuse, but so be it. It's quite funny but also sad you are pinging me for 'diversion' when that's what you've been targeting me with here for some time.

                      You can do what you like here, but do you realise you can't restrict me anywhere else (that I'm aware of)?

                    • Incognito []

                      For the record, Pete:

                      You can do what you like here, but do you realise you can’t restrict me anywhere else (that I’m aware of)?

                      Wrong! I cannot do what I like here in the sense that you seem to be implying. I’m bound by the Policy and Rules as much as anybody is.

                      Wrong! I’m not restricting you here. You can pretty much say what you like here, it is a free forum for robust debate, but you cannot divert or derail and make up stuff in lieu of hard evidence. If you want to speculate and/or opine, that’s fine too as long as you make it clear that this is what you’re doing. You can raise pretty much any issue or topic but you cannot conflate things and generally, you should start a new separate thread. Connect dots when appropriate but leave the fantasy stuff out or separate, at least. Expressing concern usually leads to a ‘debate’ about the concern per se and the one concerned, particularly if this commenter has form. This in itself is a distraction/diversion, intentional or not, but something that Moderators here have been trying to stamp out. If the ‘culprit’ refuses to budge (!), even when it has been pointed out to them and they have been asked to change their ways, then they’ll find themselves parked outside for a while, particularly in election year.

                      Correct! You can knock yourself out anywhere else and even link to it here, using sound judgement. Moderators on/of this site only concern themselves with happens on this site and what they can see happening on this site.

                      I don’t care either way either whether you want to hover a ban threat over me. I think it’s a gutless reaction, and accept that’s an opinion that you may use as an excuse, but so be it.

                      Don’t be a petulant martyr, Pete. Just as well, I have not banned you, but tried to engage with you so that you would engage your brain. If that’s gutless, so be it. It certainly has taken up a lot of my time with little impact, so far. As long as you follow the simple rules of commenting here (e.g. see above), I won’t have to do anything and that’s exactly how I want it to be, particularly in election year.

                      This gutless Moderator has just about a gut’s full of explaining these things to you, Pete. Make of that what you will; I don’t care either way.

                    • " you cannot divert or derail and make up stuff in lieu of hard evidence"

                      I didn't make stuff up. You nit picked, and then as I supplied evidence you got upset about it, claiming grave transgressions.

                      I don't know how I can be done for diverting from my own comments, responding to someone (you) in Open Forum. But whatever.

                      You can raise pretty much any issue or topic but you cannot conflate things and generally, you should start a new separate thread. Connect dots when appropriate but leave the fantasy stuff out or separate, at least.

                      BFD and WO are closely linked, that's widely known (and acknowledged by others in this thread) and I have provided evidence of it.

                      Slater is linked to WO and BFD. He has also been associated with JLR. WO has shilled for Peters and NZ First for the last three years or so. Peters teamed with JLR in Parliament this week. This is all related to the first comment in this thread.

                      You can be pedantic about names (WO, BFD, Slater, Xavier), but it's all the same dirty operation with Peters/NZF and JLR as obvious intended beneficiaries over the last three years, spanning a name change of the blog.

                      I don't don't see the point in filling an old thread with evidence but there's a lot of it, and if you insist I can back up what I've posted here, the evidence already provided is only a small part.

                      If you prefer this is done on a fresh thread maybe I could do that on today's Open Forum, or spread it across a few days because there's a lot of material. Would that be better?

                    • Incognito []

                      Let me spell it out for you and give you one example, Pete, because you seem unable to work it out for yourself.

                      In Daily review 05/03/2020 Robert (Guyton) asked you several times about the issue.

                      You responded:

                      I’ve got nothing on that story. You’d have to ask Ross or Peters, who seem in cahoots over getting it out. I didn’t realise it was a new story.

                      You also mentioned several times (mainly in Open mike 06/03/2020) the lack of evidence.

                      However, you decided to address the issue after all, despite having virtually no evidence and nothing much to base a story upon (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06-03-2020/#comment-1689422).

                      Somewhere midway in your comment to diverted from the issue to write about WO/ the BFD, etc. Subsequent comments continued that line. The issue got left behind, mainly because there’s not much (evidence) to go on.

                      You went on to picture JLR and WRP being ‘brothers in arms’ fighting a common enemy (National) but this is a different issue as is the role of WO/the BFD, etc. It is a nice picture, one that appeals to you, obviously (“Peters teamed with JLR in Parliament this week”).

                      You can be pedantic about names (WO, BFD, Slater, Xavier), but it’s all the same dirty operation with Peters/NZF and JLR as obvious intended beneficiaries over the last three years, spanning a name change of the blog. [my italics]

                      If you say so, Pete, I guess we’ll have to take your expert opinion for it. JLR resigned from National on 16 October 2018 but WO/the BFD have obviously been shilling for him for much longer, as you say.

                      It is all wonderful stuff, and you obviously love to write about it ad nauseam, here and on your own blog, but that was not the issue that Robert asked (you) about.

                      I recall you acting luke-warm on investigating political donations and obviously it does not have the same appeal for you as WO/the BFD, etc. There’s no shame in that and it’s worthy of your and our attention too, obviously. However, others here are considerably more interested in the issue as described by Robert and also Psycho Milt (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06-03-2020/#comment-1689522).

                      After all this effort, again, I don’t expect you to ‘get it’ or ‘play ball’. It merely functions as a record for future reference …

                      I prefer to have to do nothing about you in terms of Moderation as I have clearly stated, haven’t I?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I'd ban him for calling a moderator, "sloppy".

                      So rude smiley

                    • Incognito []

                      Can’t ban people for a clearly expressed and well-articulated genuinely-held opinion. Moderators, Authors, and even the SYSOP have been called (much) worse. In all honesty, I don’t like to ban people although some bans give a sense of enormous relief.

                    • "You went on to picture JLR and WRP being ‘brothers in arms’ fighting a common enemy.."

                      Your picture, not what I said (or close to it).

                      "I recall you acting luke-warm on investigating political donations…"

                      That's not how it happened. Robert DIVERTED FROM A COMMENT ABOUT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TOPIC (without being addressed by any moderator) asked me about a story that was breaking and I hadn't had time to look at it. I've written about donations previously, and once I had time I did address that story in some detail:


                      "…and obviously it does not have the same appeal for you as WO/the BFD, etc."

                      Obviously you are making up that up, you don't know what I think about various topics as they come up.

                      I think donations will continue to be an important issue this year and probably next, but there's a lot to come out on this yet, so I think it's difficult to jump to conclusions, particularly when someone like JLR who has already made big accusations that backfired on him big time (making a complaint and then being prosecuted himself).

                      WO/BFD are largely irrelevant in comparison, but I still occasionally expose what they're doing, and look at who appears to be involved. I'm not sure why you seem so bothered about that, because your reaction and persistence on this seem way out of proportion to something that is very common here – topics evolving as different people contribute.

                    • Incognito []

                      Your picture, not what I said (or close to it).

                      Why deny it, Pete? I’ve quoted you verbatim, and that’s the picture you painted and that came across in your various comments. So sad that you have to deny (disown) your own words and for no obvious reason 🙁 Unless you wanted to paint a very different picture, in which case you missed the mark by a long shot IMHO.

                      I’ve written about donations previously, and once I had time I did address that story in some detail:

                      Robert asked you here, on this site. It was a clear and specific question. You went on to write about other stuff that indeed is “largely irrelevant in comparison”.

                      Obviously you are making up that up, you don’t know what I think about various topics as they come up.

                      I go by your voluminous writings about WO/the BFD, here and elsewhere, and I conclude, rightly or wrongly, that it has a certain appeal for you. It would go as far as to suggest that it might be one of your pet topics. It is basic psychology that people write about things that interest them and/or are close to their heart. We’re not in high school anymore and we are not given (the) topics to write about; we can write about anything we like here. Are you the exception to the rule, Pete? Your copious comments and overall oeuvre seem to suggest otherwise.

                      I agree with you about (the) donations and I also agree that both JLR and WRP tend to overpromise; they’re politicians after all.

                      I think it is great that you continue to expose WO/the BFD, etc. I’m not bothered by that at all. In fact, I’d encourage you to do so.

                      See, it is mostly a misunderstanding between you and me. So, happy blogging 🙂

                      PS I apologise for calling your journalistic credentials into question. You obviously pay attention to detail and put considerable effort into your writings. Just every now and then, your high standard is slipping somewhat IMHO. It was meant to be provocative challenge to you to maintain and possibly even lift your standard when commenting here but it got away from me and that was wrong of me, sorry.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Pete's a tar-baby, that's for sure!

                    • Incognito []

                      The world is full of tar babies, many small and a few very large ones (and growing!). We can’t avoid them and we have to learn how to deal with them, effectively, decisively, and kindly.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Far out. Pretty sure I'd have been gone several comments ago.

                      Pete sure does get a long rope.

                    • Incognito []

                      I don’t give up, that’s how I tick. Pete’s a good guy and there’s nothing ‘personal’ between us so worth putting in the effort IMO. I’d do it for most commenters here, time allowing, and some think I’m ‘nuts’ for doing so (paraphrasing, of course).

                    • Muttonbird

                      Sure. But consistency of moderation is a thing too.

                    • Incognito []

                      I’m not sure what your point is …

                    • Muttonbird

                      My point is I have been told that arguing with a moderator, particularly after being warned not to is a big no-no.

                      I've been blacklisted because of it and that's fine, but it doesn't sit well when Pete does it with no penalty whatsoever.

                    • Incognito []

                      Got it, thanks. Not all moderation warnings are equal. Not all arguing is the same. We keep a record of moderation and commenters can lose ‘credit’/grow ‘debt’ without incurring a ban straightaway (AKA when we refer to ‘having form’). Patience levels do fluctuate (sometimes considerably so). Sometimes the line is more blurred/fuzzy. Moderation is an ‘art’ and subjective and not a simple (!) binary decision between black & white (good or bad). We may or may not see a Post on Moderation in the (near?) future and that’s all I want to say about it right now 🙂

                    • Muttonbird


                      But while commenters are asked to adhere to the letter of forum policy and are routinely picked up on any departure from that policy, moderation is a fuzzy art, issuing credit and debt according to what the argument was about and how the moderator felt at the time.

                      I think you can see why people question decisions/non-decisions.

                      You’re doing a great job, by the way!

          • woodart

            for those of us with a life, what is bfd? out in the real world , it means big fucking deal….

    • Incognito 3.4

      Not bad but why do you prefer to focus on the Wayang show behind the scenes instead of the primary issue?

      JLR and WRP both like pinstripe suits too.

      • Pete George 3.4.1

        What's playing out mostly now is the JLR/WRP show, absent evidence and even if JLR had managed to table the SFO flow chart that would almost certainly be a cherry picked fragment. It is likely to be months if not next year before all the available evidence is tabled in court.

        In the meantime, like clockwork the BFD part of the attack chimes on at 8 this morning. They're becoming very predictable.

        It is mostly a ‘National must dump Bridges and Bennett’ repeat, but includes:

        Jami-Lee Ross also outlined that Labour may well be complicit in laundering dirty Chinese cash from the patient zero of the Donorvirus, Zhang Yikun. They aren’t off the hook either.

        Interesting to see that some of those who were all for the exposure of Dirty Politics now seem to give a pass to the latest phase of DP from the same players (now with WP).

        • Chris

          Either you don't understand what is meant by the concept of DP as outlined in Hager's book, or you're actively trying to widen it to include pretty much any behaviour you don't agree with.

          • Sacha

            This is another case of political operatives laundering attacks via a blog run by unscrupulous scum, so it is closer to #dirtypolitics than the other things Pete has labelled thus. Missing a permanent staffer in the PM's office like Jason Ede but not that much different and certainly no more ethical.

          • Pete George

            It's you that doesn't understand. The book Dirty Politics was the the fourth in a series looking at various types for dirt mongering in politics and public relations. The others were Secrets and Lies, The Seeds of Distrust and The Hollow Men. National wasn't the sole target in those. The second was aimed at the Helen Clark government.

            In Dirty Politics Hager had a fairly wide interpretation of dirty politics.

            On the back cover:

            Dirty Politics continues the story that began in Hager's best-selling book the Hollow Men, investigating the way that underhand and deceptive politics poisons the political environment for everyone. If you care about integrity and ethics in politics, then this book will be disturbing but essential reading.

            There was a focus on dirty ops being run out of the Prime Minister's office, but there was evidence of much wider dirt mongering than that.

            Have you actually read Dirty Politics?

            And it went way beyond the scope of that one book. Slater versus Matthew Blomfield (there's another book on that, Whale Oil), Slater versus Colin Craig and three academics versus Carrick Graham are just examples that have been through the courts (and all are still incomplete, no judgment in the first yet, and Craig v Slater is in the Court of Appeal this month and the third hasn't been to trial yet).

            The attempt to overturn the election of Len Brown as mayor of Auckland (that was after Dirty Politics was written) was very dirty politics.

            Nottingham (and Slater) v lprent, myself, Allied Press and NZH also involved dirty politics – they tried to shut down my blog I presume because I criticised and exposed Slater and WO as well (and laughably tried to imprison me), they tried to hack The Standard, there's a long long list of dirt mongering.

            How would you define 'dirty politics'?

        • Incognito

          For a couple of days now you’ve been conflating multiple issues when the main one is how national and foreign players buy political influence through political donations.

          In this OM alone, you have mentioned the word “evidence” 5 times in the context of the SFO case that’s currently before the Court. While this is scant and we’re awaiting more, you concoct stories about JLR and WRP ‘colluding’ in Parliament; were they spotted in a café having a cup of tea together?

          You may be a recognised expert on DP but this is different from the SFO case.

          I know you love your own spin (AKA smoke your own dope), judging by your blogsite, but this doesn’t mean others here are enamoured with your conflations.

          Have you heard of Wayang?

          The term wayang is the Javanese word for “shadow”[11] or "imagination".


    • So yesterday's revelations are unlikely to be solely done as moral whistle blowers.

      Irrelevant. This isn't about who's a good person and who isn't, it's about whether National is being funded by the CCP or not.

      • Incognito 3.5.1


      • Pete George 3.5.2

        We probably won't know for some time whether National (or Labour) have received funds from the CCP, unless Ross does have compelling evidence and gets it out sooner. But he has failed to deliver on big claims in the past .

        If there have been illegal foreign donations then I would trust the SFO to be on to that. Remember that it's Ross facing charges.

        And, this might be a bit radical for you, it's possible there's more than one issue in the go here. You may not care if a (different this time) political party is using the old dirty politics crew to try to engineer political outcomes through dirty methods. I think that's also a concern for our democracy.

        If the Greens get targeted (the way WO/BFD et al operate I wouldn't rule that out) you may have a different view on dirty methods.

        • Sacha

          The Greens would have to do something smearable. Good luck with that.

        • Cinny

          petegeorge, there are three chinese business men and one ex nat MP before the courts, throw in a leaked recording of simon bridges discussing what to do with chinese donations and one dosen't have to be a genius to work it out. JS

          On a side note, are you trying to drive traffic towards a dirty blog? Think I'll give it a miss least I catch something.

          • Pete George

            I'll continue to expose a dirty blog. That means having to identify it. If people go to see for themselves how dirty they still are I don't see a problem with that.

    • observer 4.1

      Very sad news.

    • Herodotus 4.2

      NZ lost out when Jeanette retired and now hopefully her impact will be recognised on reflection of her life : what she achieved and the manner in which she conducted herself. Our parliament needs people like her to champion the case of this planet.

    • Ad 4.3

      Dont quite figure why this is hitting me hard.

      A lighthouse.

    • Stunned Mullet 4.4

      Very sad – although also comforting listening from her family this morning on the radio that she was so active, happy and still fighting the good fight right up until passing.

        • Robert Guyton

          Harry mentions Jeanette's determination to get arrested for protesting – I remember talking with her at a coal protest at the Mataura lignite briquette plant (Bill English's folly) where I believe she initially made the personal resolution and it was funny/poignant to hear that despite her best efforts to "cross the line", no one would arrest her!

        • Rosemary McDonald

          …and followed by Catherine Delahunty on Nine To Noon.

          Appropriate that her nearest and dearest speak first and at length.

          I'm not looking forward to the Current Crop of sitting MPs delivering their eulogies.

          I'm struggling to think of any who are worthy….perhaps Logie?


          A word which will be much used over the next few days.

          Perhaps we should provide a definition for those who will presume to bandy it?

          Very sad day….

    • millsy 4.5

      Seems unthinkable that 20 years ago, she was the MP for Coromandel, the last MP for a rural area that didn't advocate handing it over to the extraction industry to rip up, like the mangrove hating Sandra Goudie.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.5.1

        "… MP for Coromandel…"

        Mmmm. A conversation we had at the time was how many of the Monied Classes had opted to vote in the electorate where they had built their "baches" rather in their (usually) Auckland domiciles in order to get and keep the electorate blue.

  4. mary_a 5

    RIP Jeanette Fitzsimons. A highly principled woman who lived her life through her green convictions. She and the late Rod Donald were the ultimate green team leadership in Parliament, with Jeanette being the first and only so far Green MP to win an electorate seat. A sad loss for NZ.

    Go well Jeanette.

  5. Robert Guyton 6

    Oh no!

    Weka. Can you do a post for Jeanette?

  6. Robert Guyton 7

    Eugenie Sage posted this message and recent photo of Jeanette on Facebook:

    "Heartbroken at the passing of Jeanette Fitzsimons- she has done so much to foster aroha for people and planet and to build the Green Party.

    Harry and the wider whanau and your and Jeanette’s mokopuna – we share your grief.

    Jeanette is a taonga of the green movement. She was rare and precious with warmth, wisdom, humility and strength which inspired so many.

    Jeanette’s legacy is huge – in working alongside activists on climate, for nature, for economics where the planet matters, on sustainable energy and many other issues. She created change and brought those voices to Parliament with passion and combined them with her analysis and thinking.

    This photo of Jeanette is on her farm 10 days ago. I am hugely grateful for all you have given Aotearoa Jeanette. Arohanui."


  7. Robert Guyton 8

    Mojo Mathers wrote:

    "Devastated by the sudden death of our much loved former co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. So many memories of her over the years. She was an incredible woman – wise, staunch, principled and kind. She put her heart and soul into both the Green Party and the wider Green movement, carrying the weight of the Party on her shoulders after Rod’s untimely death. I will miss her so much. Massive aroha to Harry and her family."


  8. weka 9

    Micky has a post up for Jeanette Fitzsimons now. Please repost comments there if you feel inclined to, it would be lovely to have them in one place.

    RIP Jeanette Fitzsimons

  9. Climaction 10

    Finally! A rebuke and the right messaging to the voters about Shane Jones, Winston Peters and their corrupt, racist, climate denying vehicle for their own egos from Jacinda.

    well done, if a tad late

  10. Rosemary McDonald 11


    Finally succeed in posting a link from my phone….appropriately in relation to this bit of judicial madness.

    Seriously, your honour?

    • alwyn 11.1

      Imagine if they prosecuted everyone. There would be about 750,000 prosecutions. At $200 each Grant would have about $150 million to play with.

      Do you think that might provide an effective Border Control system to pick up coronavirus sufferers? The present activities don't seem to be too effective do they?

      • Incognito 11.1.1

        Do you think that might provide an effective Border Control system to pick up coronavirus sufferers? The present activities don’t seem to be too effective do they?

        What would you do?

        • alwyn

          I am not a virologist, or whatever the people who study these things are. I don't give opinions on things that I don't know a lot about so I would merely say I don't know.

          I would possibly approach Singapore for assistance. They seem to have effective measures in place. They would seem to have learnt from the SARS epidemic and appear to be carrying out suitable Border Control measures and to be finding, and isolating, people who are being infected within the country. I can't see them not having detected the first NZ sufferer who arrived here already in the grip of the disease but who appears to have been allowed to travel home with no precautions being taken.

          • Incognito

            Finding sick (symptomatic) people is one thing, isolating them (at the border?) and testing and getting the test result is another. How do you find asymptomatic people (at the border or anywhere else for that matter)? It is balance of mass panic and paranoia and Draconian measures that severely limit/restrict people’s freedoms (for want of a better word) (cue: Wuhan).

            As of 5 March, Singapore had 110 confirmed cases through local transmission.


            I thought your questions @ 11.1 were leadings ones but they may have been genuine; I can never tell with you.

            • Sacha

              Just more over-confident ignorant reckons, I'd say, putting:

              The present activities don't seem to be too effective do they?


              I am not a virologist, or whatever the people who study these things are. I don't give opinions on things that I don't know a lot about so I would merely say I don't know.

              • Incognito


                • alwyn

                  I'll offer you a simple example that you might understand.

                  My car won't start. The starter turns but the engine won't fire. I can see that there is fuel in the tank. That's it though. I know there is something wrong but I don't know how to fix it.

                  I cal in an expert. I get a good mechanic to fix the problem. Would you do the same or are you what used to be called an A grade motor mechanic?

                  Or would you just pretend that you are?

                  That is just the same with the conovavirus victim who arrived from Iran. He was already suffering from the symptoms on the flight and at the Airport. I certainly know enough to be able to say that he should have had some medical check at the Airport. Instead nothing was done.

                  I don't however know enough to be able to say exactly what the procedures should be. Are you any different? Or are you perchance a fully qualified expert Epidemiologist and know not only that something went wrong but exactly how to solve it?

                  Or do you just think you are such a skilled person that you can fix any problem you can see?

                  • McFlock

                    I certainly know enough to be able to say that he should have had some medical check at the Airport. Instead nothing was done.

                    Really, you know that much? What "medical check"? How would this "medical check" affect what we ask these travellers to do (hint: it doesn't. Either way, it's voluntary self-isolation because he the travellers were entering after visiting countries that we want self-isolation for, anyway).

                    You want to spend money and waste medical staff doing thousands of "some medical check" that won't actually change what happens to the passengers.

                    The government has freaking hundreds of trained "mechanics": engine specialists, tranny specialists, fuel management specialists, computer management techs, performance specialists. Every choice and step has been planned for years.There are trade-offs for every decision. The situation changes daily or even more often.

                    But Alwyn knows better, that "some check" would suddenly make NZ impervious to this pandemic.

                  • Incognito

                    I’m neither an A grade motor mechanic nor a virologist nor a fully qualified expert Epidemiologist. Nor am I such a skilled person that I can fix any (any?) problem I can see. Nor would I write/state “I certainly know enough to be able to say that he should have had some medical check at the Airport. Instead nothing was done”. You were there, at the Arrivals, were you? Nobody said anything, nobody did anything, least of all the unwell person. So many people, so little action!

                    Do you know what a fully qualified expert Epidemiologist is or does? Because I doubt it based on your claim that they “know not only that something went wrong but exactly how to solve it”!?

                    I would not judge nor give my opinion and simply state my utter ignorance and ask questions with an open and inquisitive mind. That’s what I’d do, if I were you. But you did not, did you?


                    • alwyn

                      I suggest you read this story and then decide whether you are happy with the way things at the airport were handled.


                      The person was ill on the flight. They had come from Iran. The family were worried enough to take her to the Hospital.

                      "Passengers arriving into New Zealand are given information in both English and Mandarin about the virus and if they are identified as being unwell they would be assessed and transported to hospital.

                      The health assessments are not compulsory, and passengers can opt in if they feel ill. "

                      Are you happy that assessments are "voluntary"? They certainly aren't in Singapore I am told. Any sign of a fever and you are checked I am told. And No. I can't state that as something I have seen.

                      By the way the reply was meant to be to Sacha. By the time I realised I had replied to the wrong person the edit time had elaps

                    • Sacha

                      I get that some unscrupulous political actors are stirring up public distrust of our health system's response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

                      If it meshes with an existing general distrust of authority then there is little any of us can do to reassure a determined doubter.

                      Some specific questions though for those playing at home:

                      1) Which tests are available for detecting Covid-19?

                      2) What are the false positive/negative rates for available tests?

                      3) What implications would that have on the resources NZ would need to deal appropriately with people identified by the tests as potentially infected?

                      4) Which places were passengers screened for having visited, on the day that person arrived at Auckland airport? Was Iran on the list on 26 Feb?

                      5) Which group of people focus on answering those questions as their regular professionally-trained job? (Clue: neither hairdressers nor politicians).

                    • Sacha

                      And so I do not need to say anything more..

                    • McFlock

                      For those of us wanting to copy Singapore's wishful temperature tests in airports, it took them 3 days to go from zero to four cases.

                      It took NZ a week.

                      There is zero evidence to demonstrate that the NZ response is anything less than appropriate to the risks we face.

                      People need to wash their hands, then wash their faces in cool water to calm the fuck down, and then wash their damned hands again.

                    • Incognito []

                      Take home message of the day: wash your hands thoroughly before and after sex and don’t touch anything during sex, least of all the T-zone. Even better precaution: cover yourself and your partner in two condoms (AKA diving suits) each, double wrapped. Enjoy!

                    • McFlock

                      Don't double-wrap condoms!

                      The two condoms wrinkle and rub against each other and are more likely to break than a single condom. If one condom doesn't make you feel safe enough against pregnancy or STIs from that particular person, don't do anything where you'd need a condom.

                      I'm mildly suprised all these public health messages have sunk in. I'm no doctor, but sometimes I'd really like them to shut up so the meeting can wind up 🙂

                    • Incognito []

                      Yes, very good point and thanks for setting the record straight.

                      Regarding the self-reporting and showing self-responsibility, at airports, for example, and self-isolating, I think there’s the usual self-denial at work. For similar ‘reasons’, people don’t see their GP when something isn’t quite right. For similar (but different, sometimes quite different) ‘reasons’, people don’t disclose that they have had unprotected sex with another and/or multiple partners. This is one reason STDs are on the rise. But people don’t hold themselves accountable and blame the other(s) and the authorities. Shame, guild, and (perceived) inconvenience come into it and are strong drivers of human behaviour, be it about sexual practices or not feeling well due to a possible infection with COVID-19.

                    • alwyn

                      Oh dear. Having to contemplate the fact that the New Zealand border security actions for the coronavirus epidemic may not be the best has proved to much for McFlock and incognito.

                      Their poor little brains have exploded. Just lie down fellows, take a couple of paracetamol (if you can find any) and have a long rest.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ummm, no, having to contemplate your obvious ignorance on display and your continued brain implosions makes my head hurt.

          • McFlock

            The people who study these things are the ones informing, directing, and often running the government's approach.

            And you might not have noticed the global cooperation in dealing with this outbreak – everything from identifying common risk factors, isolating cases, sharing pcr and antigen test protocols, vaccine development, and running treatment trials.

            We have an effective border control system. It just doesn't involve things that probably don't work or don't actually exist yet.

    • McFlock 11.2

      Statistics New Zealand told the court codes had been provided for Small to do the task online, and paper forms had been provided to him four times.

      He had been contacted several times and warned of the consequences of not completing the census.

      This dude runs a company? I bet he claims back his GST without fail…

      • mac1 11.2.1

        Stats NZ are prosecuting those who did not fill in the census but who were also rude and obstructive in their dealings with officials.

        I note that the little 19 year old twerp who got caught by the police for his obstructive activities after being searched for his behaviour outside the Mosque had previous form for being rude and obstructive. He'd been in court before for hate speech and pleaded being drunk and he said in a letter he never would be doing this sort of thing again…… He also accused the police then of being fascist thugs, and two years later he has become a fascist thug himself.

  11. AB 12

    For everyone not completely fed up with discussion of the US Democratic Party Primary – this is an excellent and fair analysis of Joe Biden – both the source of his popularity and his current limitations. Contains some surprising and impressive footage of Biden speaking in 2016. Worth listening from this point (11m15s) through to about 17m50s

    • McFlock 12.1

      Here's an interview with Biden from a few days ago.

      Older than the clip @13mins in your video, bit tired at points (as you'd expect for a politician mid-campaign), but still delivering complex points in a similar style to the clip in your link.

      • Cinny 12.1.1

        Oh dear….he's scattered.

        • McFlock

          Well, yeah, but that's the same style he had in the 2016 clip, too. He has that thing of almost finishing a sentence and then moving onto a related thought.

          • Cinny

            Dang,,, haven't watched the other clip yet.

          • Craig H

            Apparently he has a stutter and sometimes he doesn't finish a sentence if the word is one that he will have issues with.

            • Cinny

              He seems alot sharper in the 2016 clip.

              I don't think he's avoiding stuttering triggers, rather he appears to be losing his train of thought on a regular basis, it's kinda sad really.

              • McFlock

                You reckon there's that much difference? I don't.

                Either way, he can still focus on complex tasks, and not ask why they don't use the flu vaccine to fight c-19.

                edit: btw, that last bit is not a diagnosis of dolt45. I just think he’s a fucking idiot, amongst many other things

  12. Philip Ferguson 13

    Interview a few days ago with veteran British Palestine solidarity activist Tony Greenstein on the current situation in Israel/Palestine, the 'deal of the century', the Zionist campaign to get rid of Corbyn, and much more. . .


  13. Anne 14

    Oops, no Daily Review so I’ll put it here:


    Yes, its a sad day but just a bit of light-heartedness to ease the sorrow.

  14. Ed 15

    14 days ago Italy had 4 Coronavirus cases.

    Now they have 3 858 cases.

    Today we have 4 Coronavirus cases.

    Are we 2 weeks from lock down, with school and Universities locked?


    • Sacha 15.1

      Are we as disorganised as Italy?

      • Ed 15.1.1

        Well, it would appear we are not anything like as thorough a country as others at checking entry.

        This of course, is not a surprise to those of us who see New Zealand as an extreme evangelist of laissez-faire economics. We leave everything to the power of the cult of the free market.

        Personally, I’d much prefer a more interventionist government. The market cannot solve such problems.

        We have much to learn from the response of South Korea and Singapore…and China, after a slow start.


        • McFlock

          We already do contact tracing, which is a big chart of China's efforts.

          And we now have better case definitions than Italy had three weeks ago when they thought one of the earliest Lombardy cluster cases was suffering from influenza.

          What exactly do you want NZ to be doing? Pointless temperature tests in airports, or maybe spraying disinfectant around outdoors with big fog machines?

          The only things NZ are not doing, by and large, are photo-op activities with little real impact.

          • Ed

            I agree with you about the pointless temperature tests at airports.

            I would simply close down the airports for necessary time.

            Also, as maui mentioned, we need the army out and about assisting.

            Food supplies need to be taken over by the government and rationing imposed.

            And then like South Korea we need to test intensively. 140 000 tested to date.

            • Incognito


            • McFlock

              You want to lay off tens of thousands of tourism and hospo staff just before winter? How many people do you think that will kill?

              And what will the fucking army do on the streets?

              Here's the thing, our problem at the moment is imported cases. There's no point in testing everyone across the country just because 4 people have it in Auckland.

              When it gets to the point that we have cases which cannot be linked to imported cases a couple of degrees separated, that's when any more aggressive community interventions might be implemented. We need to preserve our resources (like testing kits) until they are needed. A negative result from someone at low risk of having it it a wasted test.

              But we're not dealing with the Black Death. We're dealing with something that will overload the health system and slow down the economy so people die from other things, like basic respiratory infections.

              There's no point in replicating the effects of this pandemic in our efforts to defeat it. We have a small population with only a few large population centres. There are communities for whom it will be more dangerous than others, and each needs to be managed in the way that matches its strengths and weaknesses.

              • Ed

                We are already too late.

                Swordfish nails it below when she says

                Very brief window of opportunity to contain the virus with tight border security, & stringent / exhaustive contact-tracing right at the start.

                We did not do that.

                We were beholden to the shareholders of capitalism.

                The few, not the many.

        • swordfish

          We have much to learn from the response of South Korea and Singapore…and China, after a slow start.

          Absolutely. Very brief window of opportunity to contain the virus with tight border security, & stringent / exhaustive contact-tracing right at the start. We were too lax so it looks to me like we're now going to be forced into the fallback position of slow down & delay. The response of the West in general has lacked foresight, decisiveness, honesty & transperancy. Very, very casual. Reactive rather than proactive.

          • Ed

            Totally agree.

            We are unable to act the way we need to because of the straight jacket our economic model dictates we respond.

            We desperately need a socialist response.

            • Sacha

              How is shutting airports, rationing food and mobilising the army a 'socialist response'?

              • Ed

                Socialism puts the needs of society above individual 'freedoms.'

                It focuses on our responsibilities as part of a society.

                In 2020 New Zealand we live in the cult of the individual, people having drunk the Kool-Aid propagated by Ayn Rand and her cultish followers.

                Shutting airports protects the many from the selfish luxuries of individual travellers.

                Rationing food allows everyone a fair amount of food – not just the rich, the greedy and the hoarders.

                And in a socialist state, the army is the protector of the citizens. It is a citizens' army, defending them from the reach of international capital. A socialist citizens' army would protect people from criminals, gangsters and others seeking to exploit the Coronavirus crisis.

                • Sacha

                  Ah, so if we already had a socialist state we could do those things. Until then I'd rather not shut down all our borders or let the army onto the streets thanks. Too much potential for real people to get hurt.

                • McFlock

                  Shutting down airports stops tourist money coming into the economy. It stops services coming into the economy. It even stops time-sensitive goods coming into the economy.

                  Even a socialist economy needs that stuff coming in.

          • Sacha

            We were too lax

            How do we know that?

  15. Fireblade 16

    Simon Bridges is a liar.

    Twitter Feb 21, 2020.
    "A deal is closing for the Crown to buy Ihumatao right now. It’s to be announced next week when the PM & DPM are offshore so they don’t have to answer questions".

    You can't trust the National Party. They will tell lies and mislead anyone stupid enough to believe them.


    • Ed 16.1

      Sadly many people are gullible.

      And others have been inculcated into the selfish cult propagated by the policies of every government since the coup initiated by Douglas and his crew.

      Many have no living memory of what a thriving society looks like.

      It’s sad, so sad.

  16. Ed 18

    Since my last appearance on the Standard, I have had the opportunity to discover some amazing independent voices.

    Caitlin Johnstone is, in my humble opinion, the best of the lot.

    Her unwavering questioning of the narrative we are drip fed, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute is outstanding.

    I recommend you add her to your daily reading, He recent writing on Assange, and the US Democratic Party is worth your time.

    Many of her articles are worth posts in their own right.

    Does anyone else read her articles?


  17. Incognito 19

    Asking questions or clarification is not arguing. Some commenters don’t read the signs very well and don’t know when to stop or draw the line. Commenters don’t know what goes on behind the scenes; they only see the tip of the iceberg and think they know it all (and better!). They also tend to think only about themselves, which is understandable to a point. Moderators don’t think about themselves but about this site, in the first instance, about the commenting flows (AKA threads), the quality of debate, whether some (try to) exclude others, etc.

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