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Open mike 06/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 6th, 2021 - 93 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 …

93 comments on “Open mike 06/04/2021 ”

    • Pat 1.1

      Disappointing…..this quote is emblematic.

      "Nana points to the rise in house prices as an example of this: New Zealanders selling pre-existing houses to one another is not a productive use of capital; New Zealanders investing more in new builds, thus increasing the housing stock, is."

      Pardon?…now whether its a problem of misreporting or a fundamental misunderstanding of productivity is not clear but it is wrong.

      And then theres the complete absence of the role of energy plays in productivity.

      You cannot address productivity when understanding is so flawed

      • mikesh 1.1.1

        "Nana points to the rise in house prices as an example of this: New Zealanders selling pre-existing houses to one another is not a productive use of capital; New Zealanders investing more in new builds, thus increasing the housing stock, is."

        Pardon?…now whether its a problem of misreporting or a fundamental misunderstanding of productivity is not clear but it is wrong.


        • Pat


          Building new stock does not necessarily increase productivity…indeed it can reduce productivity. In fact its worth considering that decades ago the average build time for the standard 3 bedroom home was 14 weeks , it is considerably longer now.

          Productivity is a measure of output to work…..and that work has been enhanced by the use of energy….energy that is increasingly less available.

          • mikesh

            It is true that work can be enhanced by energy, but capital is also a factor. Building houses is a more productive use of capital than investing it in existing houses.

            • Pat

              It is more 'productive' to invest in new stock than existing stock in that it 'produces' something but that is not the measure of productivity rather it is a measure of capital stock.

              And yes capital is a factor of productivity because that capital is also required to make the energy available and convert it to a usable form (though it must be recognised that it is not always necessary or desirable) and therein lies the productivity issue….an increasing ratio of capital is required to access that energy leaving less available for production.

              AKA declining EROI.

              • Pat

                Think of it this way'

                a dwelling requires a hundred rocks in its construction.

                an individual can move one rock per hour to where its needed.

                If thatindividual spends 5 minutes making a yoke so he can move 2 rocks at a time hes (roughly) doubled his productivity with little capital investment .

                If he spends a day making a barrow that allows him to move 4 rocks at a time he has quadrupaled his productivity but his capital investment is greater,

                If he spends a thousand hours building a motorised vehicle to move a hundred rocks at a time he has increased his productivity a hundred fold but he has invested considerable productive capacity in building (and running) that machine.

                If he only needs to build one dwelling is it worth investing a thousand hours in a motorised rock moving vehicle to move one hundred rocks?

                He has this great rock moving machine so he builds a lot of dwellings because he can, but theyre are not needed…is that a productive activity?

                he then finds that the fuel needed to run his machine is further and further away and he spends a lot of time (and fuel) that is needed to run his machine so he is spending more and more of his time getting fuel and less and less moving rocks….his productivity is declining.

                at some point (relatively easily calculated0 it is more productive to move the rocks by hand again.

                And then there is the usable lifespan of the dwellings (or anything) being constructed…if you only need to rebuild that dwelling every century then it is more productive than building one that only lasts 50 years…..work to output ratios.

              • mikesh

                There are various factors that influence 'productivity'. Availability of energy is one, but there are also, capital and the way it is employed, and educational outcomes; and there may be others that I can't think of offhand.

                If capital is ‘wasted’ increasing the prices of existing houses, rather than building new ones, this will hardly enhance productivity.

                • Pat

                  It is important to think in terms of 'real' capital (or resources)….not monetary value.

                  Available energy is not simply 'a factor' in productivity it is the underlying source of our ability to produce at the level required to support our most basic of needs….without it we cannot produce anything like that which we require.

                  In other words, the basis of our productivity is available energy….if we have only muscle power (or lower EROI energy sources, in some instances, negative EROI) then what we can produce will be considerably reduced…..'money' dosnt solve that.

                  It is I submit already the cause of declining productivity

                  • mikesh

                    I also think in terms of resources. Capital is simply the value invested, or which is available to be invested, in productive resources. In days of yore waterwheels and windmills were used to grind grain. These primitive machines embodied capital, and without that capital the energy sources that drove those devices, wind and flowing water, would have been pretty useless. Energy resources just exist. Capital is the human element that makes use of energy, and is perhaps, therefor, the more fundamental concept.

                    It seems tragic that the supply of one of the energy resources we use today, namely fossil fuel, is diminishing, and in any case may become unusable due to global warming; however, this not to deny the value of capital in productivity. Building a new house is productive, but I think Gareth Nana held this up as an example of greater productivity because the question of housing, (though no doubt he could have used other examples), is topical at the present time.

                    • Pat

                      As said originally it was unclear whether it was misreporting or misunderstanding but the quote is a complete misunderstanding of what productivity is….too many are confused by the application of 'money' which is merely a (inefficient0 method of rationing.

                      Energy resources may "just exist' however they are not unlimited, nor is our ability to utilise them….as we are finding out.

  1. Ad 2

    Big ups to the government for their inaugural passenger trip between Hamilton and Auckland. Enjoy the 2.5 hour trip and spectacular media coverage.

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      Isn't that a nonsense? Talk about setting up PT to fail. No one is going to choose to commute 2.5 hours (subject to transfer times at Papakura, which means the Southern line being closed for signalling/track/emergency service incident at least once a fortnight) with just two super early trains (departure times from the Tron are 5.46am and 6.28am) to Papakura and two home (4.42pm, useless for commuters and 6.25pm which assumes you can leave work and get to Britomart before 5.30pm for THE ONLY CONNECTION HOME). Sure, it might be a useful commuter rail if you live in Huntly and work in Hamilton but otherwise, it is a near useless service whose failure will be used as a stick to beat PT with in general by opponents of PT.

      The politicians need to bite the bullet and announce an electrified, upgraded (as in level crossing separated) 125 (= top speed 125kn/hr) service bet Hamilton and Auckland, with the goal of extending it to Tauranga to build a "productivity corridor" linking up that population triangle.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        It would be a lot of rail capital used if it weren't used by passengers.

        And Waikato politicians have resisted contributing for well nigh 2 decades.

        Putting effort into attracting attention and customers is the only start they can make.

        Simply making another announcement just won't cut it now.

      • Sabine 2.1.2

        the train takes 2.5 hours for 93.5 kms? hamilton to papakura? Or doe that include the leg from papakura to brittomart?

        i agree, that is a service set up to fail for lack of passengers that have 5 hours a day to waste on commuting.

        its not that our overlords can't its that they won't do.

        • Incognito

          Commuting by train is not or should not have to be a waste. I’ve seen people read whole books on the train 😉

          • Sabine

            again Incognito, are you snarking or just trying to rail someone up?

            I have commuted for work. By bike to train station 10 min, lock bike at bike park, hop on train, 30 min later arrive at Munich airport – with four stops inbetween – just enough to have a cuppa at the coffee cart part of the train, leave trainstation, take light raile aka S-Bahn to final destination another 15 min, then walk ten min to office.

            so together some 90+ kms inclusive biking and walking less then an hour with a train running either way every fifteen min at peek commuter hour. Oh and that was over 20 years ago. Train was packed, costs for commute were tax deductible and did i tell you about the coffee cart where you could also get a feed if you ended up working late?

            So dear Incog, if this is the best the government can do, i suggest you take two books with every time you hop on the train, and take food, and don't forget your toilet paper – you know a bit like the old days in the late 19th.

            Mind that is our government, a dollar short and several centuries late.

            • Incognito

              again Incognito, are you snarking or just trying to rail someone up?

              Nah, I love a challenge.

              I know people, here in NZ, who commute daily by train and actually work on the train. I kid you not.

              Most people, however, like to have some ‘down-time’ and plug in the ear-phones, listen to music and chill. It is no different in European cities.

              BTW, when you read the NZH, you don’t need to worry about toilet paper; I’m not quite as old as you to remember the “old days in the late 19th” [sic] 😉

              • Sabine

                5 hours a day is a long time to work while not on the job, and to read books.

                but its ok, you get up for that train at 5.30 so that you may be at your job at 9 am, then you leave on the dot, no staying longer cause you only have that one train back out, so that you arrive at 7 pm at home.


                that is not challenge, its animal poo delivered by containerloads. And i have spend all my working days in Europe going to work by train. This is the most pathetic announcement since the last anouncment of the travel bubble that was pushed out to today. Pathetic, uninspired, several dollars and years to short, Labour!

                50 km per hour. …………hahahahahahahashahahahah we are not even aiming for the low hanging fruit anymore we just grab the rotten stuff of the ground now.

          • Bearded Git

            Agreed Incog…and according to the RNZ report this morning this train has an excellent ride, great coffee, free wifi and ample tables to use a laptop on. The 1.5 hours would never be wasted, and the RNZ report says it will take 73,000 car trips off the road annually.

            It is a first step, but a good one, and only costs $90 million.

            Meanwhile numpty Dylan Thomsen from the AA wants $930 million EXTRA (above the present massive budget) spent on the roads over the next 3 years to repair the roads. How about this was spent on public transport instead?


            • Sabine

              So is that 1.5 hours to Papakura and then 1 hour from Papakura to Brittomart?

              That is a five hour commute daily, five days a week that comes to 25 hours just to go to work.

              What is the word that i am looking for? Oh , yeah, Productivity?

              And if you work on your train ride, will it be considered working? will you get paid for your commute?

              Five hours a day? for a min wage job somewhere in AKL or Hamilton?

              Oh but it only costs 90 million…..and they are cheap fucks too.


              oh man Fred Flintstones car is faster that that fabled train.

              • Incognito

                oh man Fred Flintstones car is faster that that fabled train.

                Fred’s car’s top speed is 25 mph, which is not faster than that train.


                FYI, Fred Flintstone is a cartoon character and not real and neither is his car; that train is real. I kid you not.

                • Sabine


                  try harder, this is not a challenge.

                  this train is pathetic, it is useless for most commuters that don't have 5 hours a day to waste in a train working unpaid or reading a book.

                  this train is pathetic because it literally travels at somewhere around 50 kms an hour if it needs 2.5 hours to get from Hamilton to Auckland.

                  this train is pathetic because it only has two departures either way, which if you have to work late , you are container loads of animal poo out of luck, cause there is no other train to take you home. And i know what i speak of, as i have many times been forced to take a later train home due to work requirements. And you would be very happy coming out of the office at 7 pm and still get home. Which in our case of the fabulous 50 km hour fast train from Hamilton to Auckland is not a given. You either make the train, or you sleep in a hotel or the trainstation and that makes it totally and utterly unsuitable for commuting.

                  But then i guess the guys got all flushed with excitement about THE TRAIN that they actually forgot to think about the logistics involved for those that use the train.

                  This is a nice to have, totally useless for its purposes and sadly underfunded program at the start that will go down as a 'we gave it a try, the operation succeeded, but the patient died' effort. But please give us a re-election for ‘trying’. How many consultants were paid good money to come up with this idiocy.

                  And trains are something that i was hoping for this motely crew of useless heissluft ballons would not manage to piss up and they did before it even started.

                  • Incognito

                    The Universe is like an open mind; it started with a light bulb moment and has been expanding ever since. I kid you not.

                    They say that dark matter cannot be detected. They are wrong; most of it hides in the blogosphere where it tries to annihilate new energy and bright ideas in a burst of pathetic commentary. I kid you not.

                  • RedLogix

                    I used the Wairarapa service for five years before we came to Aus in 2013. It has a long history going back many decades, and for much of that time ran using notoriously cold, uncomfortable ‘red rattler’ wooden carriages and slowly but surely the service was running down. But around 2005 the very old carriages were replaced by much newer ones.

                    Since then, despite numerous setbacks and incidents (and I've a long list I personally encountered, some a bit funnier than others) – it's evolved into a real success story. Basically the trains are full every morning and evening – full to standing capacity. There are real limitations with the old rail infrastructure into the region that have held back expanding the service, but the basic principle has worked – they built it, the people used it.

                    For this new Hamilton service stopping at Papakura is a serious limitation at present, almost certainly because until new lines are built into the city, it's impossible to reliably run another express service. But that's going to be fixed.

                    It won't be ideal on Day 1, but this new service will almost certainly become very popular if we continue to invest in it. The best option would be to look across the Tasman at the V-Line trains that Victoria run reliably on narrow gauge at up to 160km/hr – reducing a very similar length trip from say Ballarat to Melbourne to just over 1hr. That has to be worth looking at.

                    • Incognito

                      It won’t be ideal on Day 1, but this new service will almost certainly become very popular if we continue to invest in it.


                    • Treetop

                      What is going to get Papakura thriving so people do not need to go into Auckland to work?

                    • RedLogix

                      One of the big challenges with scheduling is that if you have to run express and local services on the same line, unless you leave really big gaps, the fast express always catches up with the slow local one stopping at all stations. Or the local trains have to frequently pull into sidings. (The Wairarapa service is constantly hindered by this effect once it reaches the Hutt Valley for example.)

                      Ideally you need a second or third parallel line that can allow the fast and slow services to pass each other without interference. And from what I recall these new lines are either planned or being built – so this Papakura limitation will likely be fixed in the near-term.

                    • Incognito []

                      And from what I recall these new lines are either planned or being built – so this Papakura limitation will likely be fixed in the near-term.

                      Not if/when that Mad Max mob is getting back into power. They seem to have many who are unwittingly (?) doing their bidding.

            • Incognito


            • mikesh

              and the RNZ report says it will take 73,000 car trips off the road annually.

              Yes. I did wonder how it compares with driving from Hamilton to Auckland, given congestion. And who wants to spend a long time behind the wheel of a car morning and evening. Much better to spend the time reading a book, or surfing the net, or having a game of cards with a fellow passenger.

              • mikesh

                It may be preferable to spend two and a half hours engaged in useful activities, on a train, than one and a half hours sitting behind the wheel of an automobile.

        • Stuart Munro

          It's pretty 19th century – the KTX operates at 305kph – ends up being faster than flying what with all the security and nonsense. A short leg like this would be ideal to roll out high speed rail.

          • Sabine

            The bullet train in France, Besanscon (near Swiss border) to Paris in less then 6 hours. Stopped right under Charles de Gaulle airoport, just an elevator ride up to the next floor for check in. Oh, and wifi, comfy seats, food, nice toilets and good service all around.

            Its not the can't, its the won't that is the issue with the ruling suits of NZ. They just won't.

            • Stuart Munro

              Yup – I used to fly Seoul/Daegu weekly at one point – the train was so much better. Faster overall, and you could get work done in the seating. High speed rail to Wellington would do more for carbon neutrality than 90% of the changes considered so far.

              • Sabine

                I never owned a car in Germany/Europe, why? Trains, busses, bicyle lanes, trams etc all there for your easy convenience. And with train costs being tax deductible it was cheaper then owning a car. You can still rent a car for the out of way trips, but they are very few that i could think of.

                the lack of train in NZ is due to the suits not doing their jobs. All of them. . And this is a prime example.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  You make very good points there Sabine, and of course no one who is trying to polish this pile shit is actually someone who will be spending five hours a day, six days a week commuting themselves.

                  Say someone works a full Monday –Friday job and half their Saturdays per year, that would come out at about 286 days per year, commuting those 286 days to work @5 hours commuting each day would mean that person would spend 1430 hours commuting….the average hours worked per year in New Zealand are 1762.

                  Bizarre, pointless, criminally wasteful, ill-conceived..and btw who on earth would end up using this service? The only people I can think of is low paid workers…so just another kick in the guts for them as well…this labour govt never fails to amaze me at how many ways it can disappoint..it’s almost like that is their job…do they have some sort of secret ministry of disappointments that they run all their policies/projects through before they roll them out to a disbelieving public?

              • greywarshark

                Interesting conversation Stuart – you and Sabine about transport – good to read some thoughts about ways to go from people with experience.

      • cricklewood 2.1.3

        No one is going to take that train into Auckland as a daily commute, it might see some use with someone coming up for a day or two but as you say there'll be negative stories before long. I suspect as soon as there is a service cancellation for the return journey to Hamilton leaving commuters stranded and price gouged by the CBD hotels…

        • Sabine

          Well at 2.5 hours to papakura i would not, and i love trains! Heck i would not even take that train to just go for a day to Hamilton, five hours for 200 odd k's both ways, is just plain dumb and uninspired. Look we are doing something,….something…..no one needs or want be something……

        • greywarshark

          Oh bugger knee capping by NZs who come here often and know we are so in need of some new ideas and have to do things differently. Instead of being the caustic wiseguys, work out how to get others involved and making a success of things we do. It is so f….g anger-making to be in this tiny country trying to hold its head up above water, seeing huge divisions rising in the country that will explode also in anger, and people like to sit around and criticise initiatives like a bunch of bored aristos.

          Just come here and talk about what you are doing that is good for the country, and what you have observed others doing, and stop feeding this negative smartarse BS that wastes what little time and energy we have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. If you have got a better idea, go and push it, build it, and if it proves too big and will take too long, look for something smaller and get into practice at energising your type of smartarses who can then critique themselves.

          • Sabine

            And what have you done today and yesterday and any other day before that to make NZ a better place? Oh, just kidding, it is actually not a policy of this page to gain daily right of posting here by proofing that one is a bona fide do gooder or not.

            WE are here generally to discuss what the Polititians (all of them) do that have been given the power of the people and the purse of the people to do what is best for the people.

            And part of being a democracy is to also state what is not going to work, and sadly this train is not up to the role it is supposed to fullfill, namely provide an alternative to car travel in order to reduce emissions and to get people from the car – a very convenient tool of transportation if you can afford it – to the train who is a slightly lesser tool of transportation if you can afford it. It is not even a decent thought out and planned commuter train. And yeah, sometimes things are done to fail, like to underfund a program and then complain that it can't work and thusly must be privatised. Oh, now surely Labour would never do something like that, right?

            One ways of making trains more attractive then cars is time, aka, it is a convenient tool that runs often (not just two trips mornings and evenings) , covers peak commuting times, and runs into the night to get late travelers home. This train provides non of the above. Now you don't have to believe me, you can also just complain about how i complain or critique, but then I have a right to complain and to critique, this is the government that i help finance, that rules over me if i like it or not, and that can do great harm to me should it not be a benign government. And also i have always used trains to commute, and in NZ i have always lived so close to work that i could walk/bike and bus. So i don't speak as a Labour fan, but as a user of this fabulous thing called train.

            So maybe you should rather ask yourself what you want to achieve with your constant trying to shut down those of whose message you do not approve of.

            Like everyone here you, I, and humpty dumpty for that matter have a right to express their opinions, emotions, and even their grievances so as long as they abide by the rules of the barkeep which is the esteemed provider of this blog. So really, please stop trying to shut up people. It is just sad and in bad taste.

            • greywarshark

              I think Sabine that though you have a lot of experience and ideas that I have alluded to, you may not think productively.
              NZ has to get moving to do some things that may not be perfect for the solution to our problems.

              We have given much of our autonomy away to profit-seeking businesspeople who hold back progress while they look for a better outcome for themselves. The governmental departments contract out to agencies. They are run by supposedly astute people receiving generous salaries. The outcomes however don't always measure up to expectations. The years are passing, and the consultations are long and often don't result in worthy practical outcomes. We need to press on and get things done, after wise planning, which may not be optimal.

              This next news report relating to a Chief Executive resigning in Wellington, is an example of the difficulties facing us under the present hegemony of governance and control in this country.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/439414/let-s-get-wellington-moving-director-andrew-body-resigns-after-18-months The director of the stalled transport programme Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) has resigned. Andrew Body held the position of director for 18 months.

              A recent report into the progress of the $6.4 billion project found it was at risk of failure, and suffered from poor leadership.

              It described the culture at LGWM as "detrimental to a collaborative and productive working environment", with three separate entities – Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency – all involved in funding the programme.

              With Wellington transport, three entities are supposed to put their fine heads together, but probably each has a different perspective. Here are writers for Scoop informing about the Wellington situation that is frequently echoed around NZ I suggest.

              Finding about the CBD http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=134840 Mar.19/21 Let's Get Wellington moving after 5 years is now employing a Danish concern to assess what is needed.

              What must be done and how to do it Mar.22/21 http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=134936

              Is the show over before we see the programme? Mar.25/21 http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=135003

              Preparing for more rates increases Mar.26/21 http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=135056

              (Wellington was entertaining (an oxymoron) the idea of spending $120 million on updating the library, earthquake damaged, and in its present situation near the coastline, with sea incursions due along with storm events to beware of.)

              Looking at Wellington rate rises: As well as rates ending up higher than previously indicated, residents could be facing a stack of new levies and charges. These include a sludge levy, congestion charges, levies on long term parking, developer contributions and higher rates on properties that benefit from Let’s Get Wellington Moving….

              However those costs will be dwarfed by the unbudgetted portion of Let’s Get Wellington Moving which is already running at around $1.2 billion and is expected to rise.

              Getting change by making trouble Mar.31/21 http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=135180

              (This is very informative about what activists can face when they attempt to get something done which is obviously essential; the stress, the time taken, the push back etc. This is why when something is done that is along the right lines, then activists can then turn their thoughts onto how it can be supported to be successful, not just right it off as a bit wet. There is an opportunity cost for each thing done, and to consider failure of a finished project means a loss of that, plus what could possibly have been done instead.)

          • woodart

            good post shark. no-friends nigel finds it way more productive(?) to be negative about everything . it takes real courage to actually get out in the real world and at least TRY and improve things.expecting others to do things perfectly straight away happens only in p.c. games. good post from redlogix about the wairarapa commuter trains and how they have gradually improved service and how it has been accepted. here in horowhenua we battled for years AGAINST our elected nat m.p. who mouthed off about public transport but then did his best to sabotage the same public transport. the p.n. to welly commuter train is slowly gaining acceptance and many regular users DO actually work while travelling. with free wifi and no interuptions from interoffice colleagues , productivity is higher than same amount of time in office.

            • RedLogix

              Yes it's entirely possible to 'work on the train' with decent internet connectivity. I recall one evening – after an urgent request from one of the plant operators – doing a rather significant online edit to one of Wellington's major water treatment plants control system, all the while sitting on the train going home.

              I knew that in about 3 -4 km the mobile data service was going to drop out, so my edit was what you might call a high risk proposition. There was only time for one shot, and no quick fix if I fucked it up. surprise

              • greywarshark

                So maybe you should rather ask yourself what you want to achieve with your constant trying to shut down those of whose message you do not approve of.

                What's that about Sabine? You are very strong about your right to have a say and criticise quite a lot. I look forward to positive ideas from people here with nous, otherwise it just becomes a wailing wall. NZ needs people with spirit and the will to talk up the good in the country, to look to be the ones to make change, including talking up ideas and people as often as possible.

                • Incognito

                  Replying to the wrong one!

                  • greywarshark

                    I sort of tucked it in at the end as it isn't as important as the actual subject of how we get Nz moving in the right direction and support intelligent action with intelligent suggestions.

                • RedLogix

                  No mind gw – what you're saying still makes perfect sense.

                  The most legitimate role for the left will always be standing up and advocating for the weak and powerless.

                  I've participated here since The Standard started in 2008. I've seen, and taken part in myself, an awful lot of complaining. At some point about 5 – 7 years in I just wanted to say 'enough' – we know what the problems are, stop recycling endless recitations of them and start getting competent at solving them.

                  This to me is the diagnostic test between the useful and the toxic left – are you interested in constructing solutions, or just tearing down what you don't like? I know I get a lot of shit for this, but I've watched this dynamic play out over and over. In particular we've allowed the weakness and powerlessness we wish to advocate for, to become weaponised. We've turned them into fetish cards that are played to 'win all hands', turning what could be constructive, skillful negotiations of interest – into dull struggle sessions that drain everyone of energy. I sure I'm not the only one kinda over this.

                  Most of the regulars here I know moderately well by now. Well enough to get the sense that you're all by and large good people who do give a shit. Collectively there is one hell of a lot of strong passion and responsibility going on at TS. Maybe there's a chance we could learn to do something new with our time and energy here – something fresh could emerge. We just might get lucky if we triedblush

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Inequality can't be torn down, but it could be dialed back a bit.

                    I support the Green's wealth tax as a means of making the tiniest dent in socioeconomic inequality – hope that doesn't frighten the toxic lefties wink

      • Macro 2.1.4

        If you think that what you propose hasn't been investigated, then you need to do some research. That has been a wish list for a lot of people for quite some time – and it is not just the fault of politicians, that the establishment of a rapid rail between Auckland and Hamilton is not already an actuality. A rapid rail link would need a completely new line. The existing line isn't set up for really rapid rail, it goes through swamps and wetlands and choke points on bridges and all sorts of things. Even double tracking the existing line is beset with huge costs because of the terrain. Also much of the land for a new trail corridor would need to pass through Maori land. Quite rightly there is significant resistance to more compulsory acquisition by Govt.

    • Treetop 3.1

      Those who resist the little red digger could be met by a bulldozer.

      A very good read indeed.

  2. Pat 4

    So close and yet so far….Chris Trotter begins well and loses the plot.

    Why Governments are struggling to effect change.


    • Sabine 4.1

      because why would they change what works well for them? So far not one of these people in government have suffered any consequences of their actions. They are well fed, well heeled, well housed, have the best medical care and access to medical facilities tax payers can buy them and thus they have no reason to do anything more then they do.

      They are the epitome of the 51%, that is all they need to do of anything to keep their jobs and pass the exam.

      • Pat 4.1.1

        Id suggest it is nothing so self serving, for either the politicians or the public servants (though im sure it plays a role) rather it is the lack of expertise available to question the existing or develop an alternative.

        • Sabine

          well they went to Uni, studied something like communication and stuff, and are now educated?

          Are you saying that they spend all this time getting an education but learned nothing? Gosh golly hinkadodas and diddly dum, that is why thye are in politics, no one else would hire them. And the perks. So nice to be looked after for the rest of your life and all you have to be is a total failure while in elected office.

          • Pat

            Lol….im suggesting that there was a time when those in the public service were the top in their fields and had the ability to 'spot a dog' from a great distance….since the reforms those that have the ability have been drawn off to the private sector and act in their employers interests…leaving a hollowed out public service full of managers.

            Theres an excellent submission to the EQ Commission from John Scarry that highlights exactly this in great detail re the construction industry in NZ post the 80s reforms.

            • Sabine

              Sadly i never met this time.

              My whole life have i been ruled by civilan loosers with neither shame nor compassion but well fed, well housed, well looked after while they wax lyrically about the things they can't do, how they listen to then go back to goverment to tell about they things they have heard, while they tell people on the down that government ain't here to help and please here have some tens of dollars for the month and won't you please just get on with learning about the value of work. Not me the suit, you the pauper that is to elect me for another round of waver thin mints.

              And the suits ain't here to help, they are there to earn enough money to buy a house. And the only place that still allows you to do that is Politics.

              • Pat

                "Sadly i never met this time."

                And sadly nor have (the overwhelming majority) of our politicians….they dont know any better.

                • Sabine

                  The current lot has worked under a labour lead government and yes, they spend the last 9 years under key, and you know what?


                  Learning on the job is nothing they do because they don't have too, they get paid for failing. Literally.

                  • Pat

                    I suspect they learned that they wernt required to be experts in their fields….they were required to 'manage public expectations" and cover their Ministers arse…..after all, 'the market' knows best and the governments role is to get out of the way of the 'the market'

                    • Sabine

                      They learned that not doing anything is not a problem that not helping anyone other themselves is not a problem, they learned that hungry kids are not a problem, homeless newborns are not a problem, no jobs for women are not a problem, leaking state houses are not a problem, failing schools due to homelessness and hunger are not a problem, underfunded hospitals are not a problem, and so on and so forth.

                      So as with every corporate and tax payer funded welfare bludger, they learned to be nice to each other, they learned to hire each others and they learned to blame anyone but themselves for the shit they fuck up.

                      And every three years we are told that the other will be worse in not doing a single thing that would actually have an impact.

                      Give me someone without education any day, cause they are capable of learning. These guys revel in their ignorance and they eat more of it every day.

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      Hits the nail pretty squarely. Disastrous failures like privatization and mass low-wage migration don't adversely affect the closeted wonks who deem them brilliant – so they keep recommending similar sociopathic follies. Government feels they ought to respect them for their quals, and consider their manifestly lousy results 'just bad luck' or 'unavoidable consequences of the operating environment'.

      The QMS is a prime example, as is 1080 – ill-conceived and unpopular policies doomed to fail by design. Ministers accept no critical feedback on them (the Opposition bears some responsibility here – never was a more egregious collection of corrupt and ignorant self-serving plonkers assembled), and so we're stuck with non-performing policy. In my lifetime, NZ has only gone backward.

      • Pat 4.2.1

        There were (are) so many drivers to the outcome, not least of which is the removal (largely ) of progressive taxation and globalisation….whether we like it or not we are competing in an international labour market in ways that were never available pre reforms….that may change…or not.

        • Stuart Munro

          I could stomach a bit more of it had the "responsible" economists recognized that running a massive property bubble, because it increases cost of living, plays merry hell with our international competitiveness. So do most of the ill-conceived privatizations and user-pays provisions. They had to have known they were wrecking the economy – why haven't they been discharged with prejudice? Workers lose their jobs for much less.

          • Pat

            Why indeed….mind you being discharged from high position these days usually involves a generous payment and often a brief holiday before taking up an equally well recompensed position…not much prejudice.

  3. greywarshark 5

    This is what we will get if Radionz is amalgamated with television here. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018786278/local-current-affairs-with-a-heavy-aussie-accent

    This Mediawatch story showing a woman lying in a bath of jellbaby lollies was one of the main current affairs in TVNZ new current affairs show that looks likely to be full of trivia and, freak and sensational news.

    After watching or listening to such stuff there is possibly going to be a thimbleful of news that informed, responsible people need to know . Hopefully they will have a thimble-sized bit of alert brain not awash with stories about individuals in some sort of stress or ecstasy that presented for those in the public finding their own lives boring, can watch to divert themselves.

  4. Stephen D 6


    Headline says it all.

    Lets all hope/pray for a complete recovery.

    Kiri appears to be one of the better ones.

    • Sabine 6.1

      And please when the pain don't go away, when you bleed for 6 weeks non stop,

      Go to the fucking doctor.

      I had that mess, it is not nice, its deadly, it will cost what ever reproductive plans she ever has had, and fuck, why do women do this to themselves.

    • Ad 6.2

      Hang in there Kiri you are a good person.

    • mary_a 6.3

      @ Stephen D (6) … Kiri Allan's public performance during the recent earthquake and tsunami threats as Disaster Management Minister, confirmed her dedication to duty and the country, despite the very same day having undergone tests for cervical cancer. I was also privileged to see Kiri speaking in Parliament three weeks ago. She is a political star on the rise. Kiri is definitely one of the best MPs we have had in a long time and NZ desperately need someone of her spirit and calibre to continue the good work.

      I wish Kiri all the best in her health battle ahead and look forward to seeing her fighting fit back in Parliament again sometime later this year.

  5. Bruce Ellis 7

    I get somewhat cranky at the hypocrisy that seems to surround shop trading hours, and particularly on public holidays. The irony seemed to be lost on Suzie Ferguson on Morning Report this morning that she had time off, at least Friday and Monday, and sounded like she wanted to have the opportunity to shop requiring other people (generally relatively lowly paid) to be at work to service her.

    Phil Goff argued well on the issue of having some holidays rather sacrosanct.


  6. Anker 8

    Sad to hear of Kiri Allen's cancer diagnosis. Wish her all the best with her treatment. Kia Kaha Kiri

  7. Incognito 9

    The Great Train Robbery. https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2103/S00189/michael-wood-a-wanted-man-in-the-wild-west.htm

    They need a bullet train from Huapai to Auckland CBD and Auckland Airport. What are they thinking? Useless pathetic suits!

  8. Incognito 10

    If anything, Covid has given a boost to more flexible working arrangements, except for characters who still live in the pre-historic Stone Age.

  9. Treetop 11

    What are the expectations/policies that people expect from the government and how do people expect the government to deliver those expectations/policies?

    • Nordy 11.1

      You touch on an interesting question TT….it is also interesting that at times people think a government can make a decision and the result is immediate…something like the Star Trek meme, 'make it so'.

      It seems that there is a lack of appreciation for how political/government decisions get made and how they are implemented…a lack of understanding of the constraints and limitations that exist in the real world.

  10. Adrian Thornton 12

    The Joe Biden Democratic Party…in the spirit of the #meetoo movement

    You just can't make this shit up….these people are fucked in the head!, they must have no moral compass what so ever.

    Kamala Harris, Bill Clinton holding conversation on pandemic’s impact on women


    • KSaysHi 12.1

      Not this again!! How repulsive.

    • Sabine 12.2

      well for what its worth these two so far are the only ones actually talking about the fact that this pandemic has hit women probably the hardest in terms of job losses, income losses, loss of housing, plus education from home while working from home etc etc etc.

      see here the stats for NZ

      a bit more current

      And remind yourself that calling attention to this is called whinging and moaning.

      So maybe just for once complain about them being the only ones so far that are talking about this.

      • Adrian Thornton 12.2.2

        Politics are all about optics…Harris would have had full approval from the party and Biden to do this meeting, keep on mind Kamala Harris will probably soon be the most powerful person in the world.

        • The Al1en

          Optics are, as of 6 months ago, Bill is 6th most popular democrat, and 2nd most famous, with a 43% positive rating.


        • Sabine

          Adrian, women have been at the loosing end of this pandemic, even here in NZ. I have posted some links for you to educate yourself to that fact.

          I could not give a flying fudge about who raises this issue of women losing jobs, houses, every penny they have to their name so as long as it is done.

          Now if you cared about the issue rather then these two women you may talk about the hardship women here in NZ face because our dear Lady of the Land don't give no flying shite, will not talk about it, will not raise the benefits, and has nothing to say other then kind, gently, please with me.

          So really who fucking cares.

          • Adrian Thornton

            I agree with you that of course that it is a travesty that woman, the working poor etc have been disadvantaged during this pandemic, but seriously?..Bill fucking Clinton, the prick who has probably done more to make it Ok to objectify woman as pure sex object than any other POTUS in modern history, except maybe Trump? , that’s the guy you are going to OK to speak on your behalf as a woman…holy shit.

            I have heard of pragmatism, but that ain’t that, that is allowing woman’s issues to be used as a political tool to white wash a disgusting extremely powerful old white pervert pure and simple.

            You lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.

  11. KSaysHi 13

    I'd feel more comfortable with a travel bubble if the evidence for Ivermectin were properly considered. It can cut the suffering down to days which alone should have the government looking at it carefully on a cost basis alone.

    Lots of negation of the studies. This is todays Trial Site News video where they cover each side of the story – it still looks like Ivermectin when used appropriately (early on, correct dose) is a worth approval.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      At this stage it really comes down to personal choice. I purchased enough for the two of us from India about six months ago. Hope like hell I never get to use it and find out if it works or not.

  12. RP Mcmurphy 14

    another ban from facebook for telling a whining little bitch that he was a whining little bitch. hehehehehe. now I can comment on my blog or write original material instead of commenting on the idiots and mung bean anti vacationers who haunt cyberspace and social media to give their piffle/twaddle infantile opinion and cant take a robust estimate of their puerile nasty personalities and home truths. who can? hehehehehe. anyway the girls on johnkeyhasletdownnewzealand on fb at question time will keep the boogars honest.

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