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Open mike 06/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 6th, 2020 - 107 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

107 comments on “Open mike 06/05/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    This has got to be he best use of A-wim-a-weh in a long, long time – and it's both funny and politically effective:

  2. McFlock 2

    So, this is pretty funny. US business as usual, a couple of ex-sf with a few dozen Venezuelans got caught trying to sneak into Venezuela to start a revolution. How is that funny? The G Gordon Liddy wannabe in the US who ran the op tweeted it. Then nuked any slim chance of his guys not being done for it to the max by claiming them as his personnel. So much for maybe being smugglers driving the boats or something less than active participants in a coup.

    Even the Bay of Pigs was better run than that.

    Only discrepancy is the guy tweeted 60+2US, the Venezuelans have 21 including the yanks. So maybe some got away. But I'm not sure there would be more yanks – a guy I'm reading a bit at the moment consistenly gives the figure of 2 SF advising a company/120pax of Cambodians during Vietnam, so 2:60 seems consistent with that.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      Indeed amusing. Folks will assume Pompeo is behind it but I favour Balsonaro. Anyway there will be a fervent ferment of conspiracy theories (probably happening already on the twit site)…

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Having spent a year working in Latin America, I'm aware of just how little most of us are informed about the region. I'm absolutely not pretending to be any kind of authority, but it's worth pointing out that it's a complex region in it's own right and that reflexively blaming the US for everything that goes wrong is tedious. There are many other actors in the region just as capable as the Americans for this ugly little fuck up.

        Blaming oil is pretty silly. No-one want Vene oil at the moment and certainly not the US who have plenty of their own.

        Where Venezuela got it badly wrong was the same mistake the Cuban's made; inviting Russia and China to gain a platform in the Western hemisphere. The Americans don't mind who you trade with, they don't even really mind if you run a socialist economy. But you have to be on their side against communism. Like it or not that was the deal, and most Latin American countries worked out where the trip wire was out decades ago.

        And in an time when oil prices are heading negative, US sanctions or not, Venezuela is in deep trouble. Anyone with money has left, along with anyone with a marketable skill. Hell anyone who could walk has left. What remains is going to be a humanitarian catastrophe. Insisting the glorious socialist experiment must be carried forward, regardless of the human cost, has Stalinist undertones reminiscent of the Ukraine disaster.

        • KJT

          “The Americans don’t really mind if you have a “socialist economy”
          Yeah sure, they forced regime change in over 80 countries because they “didn’t really mind”.

          The USA "squeezing their economy until it bleeds" Britain embargoing State bank accounts, and all the other economic warfare against Venezuela, had nothing to do with it?

          Because, Socialism!

          Chavez Government, had a State share of the economy, less than New Zealand's, by the way.

          And turning to other countries for help, was, after, the USA, fucked them, not before. Just like Vietnam.

          And. Why mention Venezuela. There are a plethora of examples of right wing, extreme capitalist dictatorships, imposed by the USA, which are a lot worse off.

          You are right. You don't have a clue.

          • RedLogix

            There are a plethora of examples of right wing, extreme capitalist dictatorships, imposed by the USA, which are a lot worse off.

            I'd be interested to know exactly which Latin American countries you have in mind. No problem finding examples from the 80's, but anything current?

            Venezuala has plummeted from the richest Latin American nation to collapse in less than a decade. That kind of incompetence is barely distinguishable from malice.

            Even a broad outline of the whole story is quite complex, but in a nutshell Chavez went out of his way to buy a fight he was never going to win. The large majority of the 200 nations on earth manage to find a way to live with the US without incurring total economic sanctions, so it's clearly not an impossible ask. Moreover it's not only the US which has sanctions; quite a few other nations have been persuaded to introduce them as well. Hell even Saint Obama got in the act.

            Does this mean the US is always reasonable, that business interests don't play some part in their foreign policy? Of course not, every nation runs policy to suit their interests, and none are above criticism. Just as for instance NZ doesn't like aspects of Australian policy around deportations.

            There is plenty of blame game to go around, but it has to be the worst kind of incompetence and folly that allowed policy disagreements to escalate to the kind of dread consequences the Venezuelans have visited upon themselves.

            • KJT

              Even the most competent Government, which I don't think Venezuela's is, would have struggled to cope with the deliberate economic destruction, visited on Venezuela from the outside.

              Imagine if it had been Bridges, mob. Or the barely capable back benchers in Labour.

            • Mpk

              Yes I suppose they could have just bit the bullet and accepted something like Colombia or Honduras. Interesting tbat even after a successful coup against Chavez the people took to the streets and succesfully got him released. Funny thing to do if you really don't like the guy. And of course the embargo on Venezuela has nothing to do with their poverty? To the extent that the US navy is now parked off shore? I guess we're all free to believe what we want to…

            • Mpk

              Oh great. So Colombia and Honduras are now great places to live. Sure. If you say the right things. But if not your death is not a pretty affair..

              • KJT

                And Haiti.

              • RedLogix

                The same is true of a very long list of countries. The kind of liberal freedom of speech you are accustomed to here in NZ is largely confined to a relatively short list of about 30 nations.

            • KJT

              Watch. Bolivia.

        • McFlock

          The presence of US PMCs in the group ups the odds that someone in the US knew of it and gave tacit approval, at the very least.

        • solkta

          the same mistake the Cuban's made; inviting Russia and China to gain a platform in the Western hemisphere. The Americans don't mind who you trade with, they don't even really mind if you run a socialist economy.

          What utter nonsense. Castro aligned with the Soviet Union out of necessity. He was not even a Communist at the start of the revolution. At first the US was not overly concerned about the revolution but when Castro nationalised US owned assets this quickly changed with the CIA backed Bay of Pigs attempted invasion (April 1961) .

          Cuba had of course been invaded by the US during the Spanish-American war. At first the Cubans had hoped that the US would support them to independence by joining with them in their fight to free themselves from the Spanish. What resulted though was the seizing of key assets by US interests. Hello new boss same as the old boss.

          Faced with inevitable further aggression from the US Castro had no choice but to turn to the Soviet Union for protection. This led to the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962) when the Soviet Union attempted to put nuclear missiles in Cuba but were met with a naval blockade from the US. While the Soviets had the good sense to not start WW3 and turn back, this action made it clear to the US that the Soviet Union would not tolerate an invasion of Cuba. And so the Revolution endured.

          I know a bit about this through the best paper i took at Waikato, a stage 3 paper Sociology of Revolution. It covered the revolutions of France, Russia, China, Cuba, Nicaragua and Peru. It was fascinating.

          • RedLogix

            France. The Terror

            Russia. The Gulags

            China. The Great Leap Backwards

            Cuba. Decay and stagnation

            Nicaragua. Violence and refugees

            Peru. A century of conflict and the Shining Path

            None of them exactly a fine endorsement for revolution. All of them have history fraught with betrayal of their principles, conflict both internal and external, and economic stagnation.

            Sure revolution must look theoretically attractive sitting in a nice warm, comfortable university classroom (all made possible by an evil capitalist system) … but they rarely turn out quite so sweet for the poor bastards cursed to live through them.

            • KJT

              Venezuela. Democratically elected Government. Not revolution.

              New Zealand. First Labour Government. Democratically elected.

              Roosevelts New Deal. Democratically elected.

              Norway. "Taking their country back. Democratic.

              It is not "Socialism" that requires, revolution!

              • RedLogix

                Of those four, three are relative success stories, they tell us how socialism can become successfully embedded in a productive, prosperous economy. But it's not an automatic given.

                Why Venezuela failed so dismally is not just a story of US perfidy; it's also a story of a democratic govt that wanted to be a revolution, and in doing so became an object lesson in over-reach.

                • KJT


                  The USA regards Latin America as their toys.

                  Bolivia, is the latest example.

                  • RedLogix

                    Yes the Western hemisphere is the US's sphere of influence. For better or worse it's how great powers always behave. There are no exceptions to this rule, demanding the USA be different is a fools errand.

                    Let's see what wikipedia has to say:

                    Traditionally a strong ally and supporter of Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Iran, President Evo Morales has been publicly critical of U.S. policies.

                    That looks like a flying start to the same path Venezuela headed down. Then there is the cocaine issue that of course parks a fucking great bus up the nose of US drugs policy.

                    Yeah I can see this working out just fine. /sarc

                    Because by my reckoning, by any historic comparison the USA has been a relatively benign great power compared to virtually all that proceeded it. Sure there is no objection to being critical of US foreign policy, but to avoid becoming obsessively paranoid about it, I find it helpful to ask "compared to what?"

                    Now that is my pragmatic hat talking. My idealist sees the same story and takes this to the next level, pointing out that the problem is not the USA in itself, but the paradigm of unlimited national sovereignty all nations are operating to.

                    If by hypothetical accident of history it was any other nation that happened to be the global superpower at this time, China, Russia, India, Saudi, France … does anyone imagine we would not have the same litany of complaints? Of course not. The problem is not so much that that USA stands for 'Unlimited Supply of Arseholes', it's that the nature of unconstrained sovereignty combined with superior wealth and military strength turns out to be a bad combination for everyone else. Always.

                    • KJT

                      Then there is Brazil, of course.

                      An even better example of US fuckery starting.

                    • KJT

                      "Cocaine issue".

                      Like Columbia? But the USA likes that Government.

                    • RedLogix

                      At least the Colombians pretend quite strenuously to oppose the drug cartels and make quite a good show of it.

                      But you keep missing the point; this is how all great powers act, not just the USA. I note that you never bring up any examples of how the Russians or the CCP have acted in their spheres of influence. (Wanna talk about Chechnya?) Or the British … or any other empire of the damned in history.

                      Sure feel free to indulge in your anti-US bigotry here at length. You've done so for years, and while I've taken the time to point this out, I doubt you will move from your emotional investment in this.

                      But it's a dead-end argument that goes nowhere. Imagine if you were to get your fondest wish and the entire USA was wiped off the map tomorrow. The day after some other super-power would be in business and nothing would have changed.

                    • KJT

                      Strawman. Much.

                • KJT

                  The three are examples of how, Socialism, makes for a productive, successful, economy, not, the other way around.

            • solkta

              Why can't you ever reply to what i have said about what you have said? Why can't you concede that you might just be wrong?

              But no rather you have to throw up a straw man so that you can carry on with your game of wack-a-lefty:

              Sure revolution must look theoretically attractive sitting in a nice warm, comfortable university classroom (all made possible by an evil capitalist system) … but they rarely turn out quite so sweet for the poor bastards cursed to live through them.

              All i said was that i had studied a number of revolutions and found them fascinating. I also find Nazi Germany fascinating but that does not mean that i fantasise about fascist overthrow of democracy and the rule of law.

              What is fascinating is both the successes and the disasters. And the mangling of Marxist theory as each group (not French) adjusts this to fit their context and own ideas. I read Lenin's State and Revolution, for example, and thought it was the most cherry picked load of Cartesian bullshit i was ever likely to find. He was rushing to finish this manual for the revolution as the revolution had already started. On his deathbed he apparently said that every Marxist for the past 30 years had totally misunderstood Marx (including and in particular himself) and to go back and read Hegel, and beware of Stalin. This is not to be taken though that i would think Marx's ideas unproblematic. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat was always a fraught idea. Likewise the Anarchist ideas of his rival Bakunin who argued that the State needed to be smashed from the outset rather than being seized and utilised until it "withered away". Both men though were writing in a time and place where they could not conceive of working people gaining power by any other means. British working class men only got the vote at the end of WW1 when battle hardened troops were returning with fresh knowledge of the success of the Russian revolution.

              In Cuba Castro tried the democratic road but Batista seized power in a military coup and cancelled the elections. Things went from bad to worse, to even worse. Sure revolution might look theoretically unattractive sitting in a nice modern stable western democracy with a proportionally representative voting system and the rule of law.

              • RedLogix

                OK that's a lot more nuanced and makes more sense.

                Castro aligned with the Soviet Union out of necessity.

                And that may well have been his biggest mistake. The US would have been irritated with his nationalising of US assets, but they would have gotten over that. They would have tolerated his socialist ambitions even, but when Castro made an alliance with the Soviets that was the trip wire that was never going to be tolerated. They even have a name for it.

                That's the point I'm making here; the one thing the US will not tolerate is a Latin American nation providing a platform for the Soviets (and now the CCP) in the Western hemisphere. Like it or not that is how they define their interests and everyone in the region knows this.

                That Chavez and now Maduro have chosen to deliberately, and quite unnecessarily confront the US on this policy was only ever going to end in tears. For their people.

                • McFlock

                  That's some pretty impressive victim-blaming right there, well into the "why do you make me hit you" territory.

                  Based on the assumption that if you only try for a little bit of independence, the yanks won't hit you. They don't work that way, sorry to break it to you.

                  The State Department might do half measures unless superpower influence comes into play. CIA does not, and Wall Street does not. Or has Central and South America (not to mention Hawaii) spent the last ~150 years bringing their fates upon themselves?

                  ps They tried "liberating" Canada, it didn't work out for them.

                • solkta

                  You have the cart before the horse. The US had backed and armed Batista in the first place. They were responsible for the loss of democracy in Cuba. As Castro overthrew Batista the US held back hoping that this would just be a nationalist revolution but quickly changed tack when US owned assets were nationalised.

                  Rather than getting over this they then funded and trained Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. This included giving them bomber aircraft which they used to bomb Cuba. The Bay of Pigs invasion also included some US personnel. The US was already not tolerating Cuban independence. It was only rational for Castro to assume they were not at the end of things and that his only option was to align militarily with the Soviet Union.

        • aj

          But you have to be on their side against communism

          The problem is the the USA have redefined communism to include any government that tries to put the interests of it's own people before the interests of the corporate might of the USA.

          • RedLogix

            The corporate might of the USA is greatly overestimated. Their exports are a smaller fraction of their GDP than any other developed nation, and big business faces more hurdles in buying political influence than ever before. It is one lens to view US foreign policy through, but it's not the only one.

            For the most part the US viewed 'free trade' as a tool to develop secure middle classes, remove the social drivers of communist revolution, and develop democracy. The underlying idea was they could essential build global security based on the observation that developed, open and liberal democracies didn't go to war with each other. It was driven as much by a security motivation as the opportunity to make money.

            Unfortunately what worked in places like post war Germany and Japan, failed dismally in other places and US policy never adapted to this reality. But to blame this failure entirely on an aversion to socialism isn't supported on the evidence.

            There are plenty of developed nations, Canada for example, who run far more socialist policies than the USA does without incurring sanctions. You just have to be moderately smart about it.

            • Gabby

              Sure, they'd never use the military to back a favoured General Foods company.

        • Gabby

          Just because yankistan has its own oil doesn't mean it doesn't see benefits in controlling who gets other countries' oil.

      • Mpk 2.1.2

        In Venezuela its that lovely man Abrams who is in charge. Think Oliver North and Contras

  3. Andre 3

    Heh. Occasional White House spokesgargoyle Kellyalien Conway's hubby Moonface has upset the tinyfingers twittertwat again. The ad his group released is at the end of the piece, it's worth watching, and fuck me it's brutal.


  4. ScottGN 4

    Credit where credits due, good work from that old Labour warhorse Ruth Dyson. On Morning Report this morning, Bridges is being forced to defend the lack of Māori submitters (2 groups in 6 weeks) appearing before his Pandemic Committee, rather than extolling the virtues of his rescue package for small business. Yet another sub par media performance from the Opp Leader.

    • Sacha 4.1

      RNZ story

  5. millsy 6

    Don't write National off yet. We need to do our utmost to ensure that Labour gets another term. Simon Bridges, Mark Mitchell, Crusher and Goldsmith will ensure that the future will be that of low wages, bare bones public services, homelessness and high rents, permanent insecurity and US style health care, as well as poisoned rivers and air.

    People who have a big issue with the way the government is handling the COVID issue need to ask themselves if they really want a society where there is no welfare, no pensions and healthcare/housing is unaffordable.

    • Descendant Of Smith 6.1

      Aye that's why I'll be voting for the greens cause frankly they have a much better welfare plan.

    • RedBaronCV 6.2

      I think Labour needs to help itself too. According to the No right turn feeds they are

      – ignoring electoral reform. We need to stop the influence of excess money in elections. It favours the rich.

      – cutting out the ability for the public to have a say (even if limited ) in the RMA. That's red meat to the right. They turned ECAN into a non democratic outfit and that's defato encouragement to do more than that in the future.

      Principles matter and not selling them matters even more

  6. millsy 7

    National in government will mean:

    No payrises for 10 years at least

    No retirement for low paid workers

    No secure housing

    User pays education and health

    [You are prone to hyperbole, which is great for starting an exercise in futility but otherwise on par with trolling. Please try lifting the quality of your comments, thanks – Incognito]

    • Tricledrown 7.1

      Millsy Austerity is Nationals Mantra in a time of recession this will compound any recession.

    • Stunned Mullet 7.2

      Really have you got a reference for any of those assertions ? They look rather unlikely to me.

      • Tricledrown 7.2.1

        Stunted Mullet 2008 till 2017 per head of population spending on health and education fell by more than 10%.

        No pay rises over the 9yrs the inflation rate averaged 1.3% wage rises 1.3% a 9% pay cut.

        Housing National sold more than they built without the Canterbury rebuild that would have shown an even bigger decline.

        More of the health system farmed out to dodgy contractors ie vaccine distribution

        Constant increases in education costs no money for leaky schools built under Nationals no regulation building codes.

        Doctors visits costing 25% more prescriptions 150% more!

        Which country were you in bottom feeader

    • Incognito 7.3

      See my Moderation note @ 8:27 AM.

    • KJT 7.4

      Actually in line with National's stated, and actual, policies until very recently.

      Raising the retirement age.

      Stopping minimum wage rises.

      Selling off State housing.

      Privatising parts of the health sector.

      All things they were already doing or have, promised.

    • roblogic 7.5

      National talks about social issues when in opposition then sells off everything that isn't nailed down when in power

  7. Sanctuary 8

    Interesting comment in a piece in the Guardian today: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/05/donald-trump-coronavirus-economic-recovery

    "…(Rick) Wilson, author of Everything Trump Touches Dies, warned: “They may end up making the situation so bad with a second wave in the summer and a third wave in the fall that we end up with a much worse set of economic challenges than if we’d taken our bitter medicine and stayed shut down until we were through the early part of this crisis…"

    Someone should show that to that to the National Party.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      Sanctuary 80% of NZers back the tough lockdown.Bridges has changed his tune as the reality of the Polls sink in to the National Party.

      • peterh 8.1.1

        Hoskings knew the way to go, should have done same as Ausse, last 6 days infected NZ 2-3-6-1-0-0 Ausse 4-11-14-18-24-24 1ncluding 1 large cluster no way will we have a bubble with them for many months

        • Muttonbird

          Yep. We can't let them in if they are not going to take it seriously.

    • ScottGN 8.2


      36 months until some kind of normality and at least 2 or 3 waves of infection. Her only surprise at how it’s panned out? That the US has been the country that’s failed so badly to deal with it.

      • roblogic 8.2.1

        Krugman's latest piece in the NYT (via Kos) lays the blame squarely on the Trump govt and its science denial and inability to ever admit making a mistake.

        Trump and company didn’t make a one-time mistake. They grossly minimized the pandemic and its dangers every step of the way, week after week over a period of months. And they’re still doing it. […]

        Trump’s narcissism and solipsism are especially blatant, even flamboyant. But he isn’t an outlier; he’s more a culmination of the American right’s long-term trend toward intellectual degradation. And that degradation, more than Trump’s character, is what is leading to vast numbers of unnecessary deaths.

        (my emphasis)

      • Dennis Frank 8.2.2

        Check out the Hopkins covid tracker: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html If you eyeball that lower rhs graph, you can see the linear global increase looking inexorable – note the mid-March inflection point when it kicked in. Then select the daily cases tag to get a more current view of the trend.

        Now, if you click on the individual countries (left-hand window) you can compare the trajectories in different countries. Note how NZ is one of those levelling-off. Note how the USA is not! Nor the UK. But then check out the daily cases window via the tag on that graph and you see that it stabilised a month ago. I bet Trump just looks at that one!

        Interesting how Russia & India seemed fairly immune for a while but no longer. I reckon Putin will be consternated by the late dramatic upswing.

    • joe90 8.3

      Rapture time.


  8. Muttonbird 9

    This was a National Government project, wasn't it?

    The Transport Agency has admitted that sections of Wellington's billion-dollar project, Transmission Gully, need to be re-laid after an error.


    The party of infrastructure!

    • Stunned Mullet 9.1

      Phil Twyford will save us.

      • Tricledrown 9.1.1

        Stunted Mullet Transmission Gully is built on a major Fault line.The Contractor will fix these areas of weakness at no cost to the taxpayer.The economic downturn will cut the amount of traffic for at least 2 years.

      • Gabby 9.1.2

        The TA have their best people on it.

    • ScottGN 9.2

      Ha. Yes, Simon Bridges was National’s Transport Minister still insisting in 2017 that it would be finished on time and under budget.

      • Tricledrown 9.2.1

        Simon can't build bridges (10 in Northland promised 1 delivered)

        Simon should be taken to the employment tribunal for bullying and intimidation.

        But he is making a bigger dick of himself than ever.Distracting and attacking the chief medical officer.

        Victoria was on par with us in quashing outbreaks then suddenly 35 new cases in one new cluster.

        Simple Soimon should stop being a clusterfuck and show he can build bridges .

        • Gabby

          Suddenly, privileged advice must be made public, unlike Pike River, cos it's umpreesudentud.

    • mauī 9.3

      Infrastructure designed, planned and carried out by National. But according to the Nats spokesperson a couple of days ago… all Labour's fault!


      • Sacha 9.4.1

        From the RNZ story:

        The mistake appeared to be in the laying of the road.

        There are multiple layers underneath the asphalt you drive on, and if not correctly done the road will fail the necessary tests to get the sign off and has no chance of standing the test of time.

        Below the asphalt, layers of rock are mixed together with smaller sand-like bits and a small amount of cement, which then gets compacted.

        If the mix is too wet or gets moved around too much the small bits of fine rock and sand fall to the bottom making it hard to compact down properly, and problems arise if if asphalt gets laid on top of that.

        What with this project and the recent PekaPeka and Waikato expressways, how has our roadbuilding industry forgotten how to do their basic job so thoroughly?

        • Brigid

          "Below the asphalt, layers of rock are mixed together with smaller sand-like bits and a small amount of cement, which then gets compacted." I wonder if Charlotte Cook just made this up or if it is actually why the roads are failing.

          If a person has ever noticed how roads are constructed they'll know this is not how.

          Considerable work goes into forming the base course before fines are added. New Zealand soils, where the soil is compressive clay, poses considerable problems for the roading contractor as the subsoil is prone to contraction and expansion. Hydrated Lime, not cement, is spread once the substrate is laid and compacted to stabilise the road bed.

    • Herodotus 9.5

      Please read what you link – This appears to faults in methodology and implementation.

      Hard to blame Nat in this case, they don't lay down subgrade, subbase etc. perhaps pull off the eye patch just once 🙈🙉🙊

      "Process errors have occurred at isolated locations on Transmission Gully"

      ""A quality control process is in place to identify such errors, and a set construction method is used to remove and replace the material, which is recycled for use elsewhere on the project.""

      after failing a "compaction and moisture test"

      • Muttonbird 9.5.1

        We know they loved to direct government agencies to accept the lowest tender.

        • Herodotus

          So that is an excuse for roads to fail ??? Don’t think so. So if a govt accepted low tenders for Kiwibuild ?? Never 😉 it may surprise you what was involved in those tenders and guess what ?? Many business were cut out due to not being able to be competitive with the low tenders. So it’s not JUST under a National govt.

          • Muttonbird

            Nobody else has been building shitty roads which require remedial work in the last decade, just National. Waikato expressway, Kapiti expressway, and now Transmission Gully.

            "Do it on the cheap" is their motto.

    • gerard byrne 9.6

      NZTA dont give a rats arse mate.

      this is their priorities.



      over 200 grand taxpayers money to try and ruin my wifes career because our neighbour who works for nzta doesnt like us.

      go nzta go you are real troopers

  9. Gosman 10

    A hospitality sector working group – yeah that will be helpful to have another talkfest.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 10.1

      Feel free to comment again under the post, but this time provide some actual content eg cite the history of hospitality sector working groups. Don’t sound bite and stop trolling. Putting you back in premod so I can see the comments as they come through.

  10. aj 11

    Bridges performance with Bloomfield at the epidemic committee won't have won many votes today. Back to his worst.

    • observer 11.1

      Bloomfield's self-control is super-human. I don't know how he does it.

      At the 1 pm press conference a journo starts with "can you guarantee … ?"

      My answer, shouting at TV: "Of course he can't guarantee because it's human life you f***ing idiot with zero grasp of basic medical science!"

      His answer was rather more restrained. As always.

    • Red Blooded One 11.2

      Yes, appalling from Bridges. Good on Michael Wood for calling him out on it. There would have been some frosty exchanges after the cameras went out.

      • aj 11.2.1

        Michael Wood for calling him out on it.

        +100 serve that was totally deserved. And should have made the news. To infer that Bloomfield was a government shill was disgusting.

  11. Sam 12

    Weka reminds me of Te Ururoa Flavel when he was trying to get rid of Hone Harawira from the Māori party. So passionate yet so wrong.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 12.1

      as far as I can tell, you’ve got a permanent ban.

    • Incognito 12.2

      I have added another 6 months to your ban so it’s rapidly becoming semi-permanent. It always amazes me how those who are banned continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

  12. Reality 13

    Bridges is a thoroughly nasty character. Doesn’t have any redeeming qualities at all. Dr Bloomfield on the other hand is a thoroughly decent and well qualified person who most reasonable people would take notice of. Hence the nationwide admiration for him. People know it when they see it.

  13. Stephen D 14

    Pablo on point again.

    “In the end, NZ’s response has been quintessentially democratic. Not because the pandemic emergency response committee is chaired, at the government’s behest, by the Leader of the Opposition. Not because it has allowed for full throated criticism of its actions and used its emergency (coercive) powers very selectively and discretely. Not because it put science above partisanship and politics when addressing the threat. Mostly, because its balancing approach encapsulates the essence of democracy as a social contract: it is not about everyone getting everything they want all of the time, but about everyone getting some of what they want some of the time. In other words, it is about settling for mutual second-best options.

    That may not be always the case in NZ and democracies elsewhere. But it is what has been done in this instance. Beyond the positive statistics of the policy response itself, this is the most significant and enduring achievement to come out of this crisis.”

    Full article here: http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2020/05/between-push-and-shove/

  14. greywarshark 15

    Regenerative agriculture is perhaps showing us a formula for regenerative democracy.


    …On the organics front, an almost 40-year ongoing study by Rodale Institute has shown that organic farms produce 40% more yields during times of drought as compared to conventional farms, in part due to higher levels of organic soil matter.

    Similarly to soil carbon, there is little peer-reviewed science from NZ on the drought resilience of organics, or the suggestion that regen ag reduces nutrient run-off from farms. I came across plenty of anecdotal examples during the process of researching this article, of farmers saying that their pastures retain more water and are more resilient to drought, after they transitioned to regen ag. A partnership between data analytics platform Takiwā and Australian company EcoDetection hopes to provide better insight into levels of nutrient runoff from individual regeneratively managed farms, using state-of-the-art nitrate and nitrite sensors. Read more about that initiative in our story featuring Mike Taitoko….

    Something useful will come out of that nz-oz connection. Can we have some discrete ones and by-pass the heavies in Canberra? Go for individual states that try to establish their own zeitgeist.

    • weka 15.1

      this would be high in my list of reasons to get substantially more Green MPs in government. Shifting a big chunk of govt support for farming to regenag, including research.

      btw, not sure why your italics tags didn't work, might have been the . . . . , but I changed them to quotes.

  15. Observer Tokoroa 16

    Is he unwell ?

    Simon Bridges is a massive embarrassment. Does he really need to scream in Parliament, dragging his tiresome Babel behind him?

  16. Eco Maori 17

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Let's hope that it will work out OK.

    The dryest summer on record for Tamiki Makaru that was pridicted by our scientists.

    Maybe there should be A online template for A virus health and safety plan for small businesses.

    Ka kite Ano

  17. Eco Maori 18

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Well I say that our government has done a good job leading Aotearoa and Tangata Whenua through the virus issues.???????????.

    Te Marama is shining bright tonight

    Ka kite Ano.

  18. Eco Maori 19

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    We do need to plant billions of trees.

    The new Auckland water restrictions time to get tanks and catch rain water many positive effects from doing that.

    Ka kite Ano.

  19. Eco Maori 20

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Banks are just using this situation to fleece people.

    Making the safe moves down the levels is better than taking big risk.

    Ka kite Ano.

  20. Eco Maori 21

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Its great to see all the Aohai and koha of Kai in Aotearoa during these hard times.

    Ka kite Ano

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