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Open mike 06/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 6th, 2021 - 80 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 …

80 comments on “Open mike 06/05/2021 ”

  1. RosieLee 1

    Unbelievable. What is this LINO government thinking? Where did this public sector pay freeze come from? Are they also going to abolish all the committees and consultants they seem to rely on these days? I really hope this is a spur for all workers to join their unions and get involved in some real action. Deafening silence of any meaningful reporting or analysis the press this morning.

    • Jimmy 1.1

      Not very nice for the essential workers that worked so hard over the pandemic especially nurses, police etc.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        i understand the pay freeze is for those that make 100.000 plus and there will still be increases for those on the lower end"?

        Senior leaders and those on more than $100,000 have had their pay frozen entirely.

        The government wants pay increases to be targeted to lower-paid public servants, those earning below $60,000, who make up about 25 percent of the public sector.

        Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins said the sector had done an exceptional job responding to Covid-19, but it needed to show restraint as other private sectors continue to feel the effects of the pandemic.

        Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the modesty was necessary given the high levels of debt in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

        "Our priority are the people who earn less than $60,000 they are, relatively speaking in the public sector, low paid, bear in mind … if you're under 60, you're still around the average overall. We think that is the correct focus in a restrained environment," Robertson said.


        If one is over 100.000NZD than that person is doing much better then most. There are actually people in this country that are really doing it hard. I guess its a mixed bag of goods.

        The question about Covid frontline staff and their wages is a different one imo as they should have already be given some generous hazard payments, stress payments, overtime, and some recompensation for still living in a sort of lockdown level 4 specifically the workers that clean the plague hotels.


        • Forget now

          I imagine that oncologists, and other health professionals (see comment@10 for why that came to mind first), have large student debts to pay off, with $100,000+/ year opportunities (and importantly; better working conditions) in the private sector. So this pay freeze is effectively a death sentence for some NZers trapped in the labyrinth of the public health system.

          Because the Labour government does not want to be seen to raise taxes.

          • Sabine

            it has been proposed a few times now that the government could set up a trade aka, no studentloans or huge write offs for every year worked in NZ after they finish studying. I think that would be something a lot of people could get behind.

            The main reason for people leaving is the fact that their income full time does not allow them to live in the towns they work in. And it seems that no one wants to address this.

            The issue is not so much income as that the incomes can't keep up with rising housing costs. And we have seen nothing that would change that really, specifically in the rental market.

            • Forget now

              I think that those who stay in Aotearoa get interest free at least, so that is some incentive to remain. Academic family (no one doing their research field in NZ, so have to live) overseas are pretty much stuck there now with interest outstripping the minimum payments they can scrape together each month. Other people I went to university with have just given up on loan repayments altogether and any intention of returning home along with it.

              I do support the trade-in of existing student loans for time spent in NZ. But seriously: Fuck that entire scam! While reluctantly accepting that my generation will be burdened by those shackles until we die, surely; present day students can actually be supported in their studies without having to mortgage their futures? Ending student loans entirely, and fully funding students would be my preference.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Trade appenticeships already get the 'first year no fees' lasting 2 years as their courses are a sort of part time.

              Much was made of it being 'university students' but of course very large numbers at level 3 and 4 courses before level 5 university level were eligible for 'First year no fees'

              • Sabine

                funny story, i got paid during my three years apprenticeship, and ended up with degree and no debt at all. What a way to go!

    • Incognito 1.2

      Plenty of articles in the NZ media about it. The lowest paid public servants will still get increases and frankly they need it the most, in my view. No one will be losing their job because of this progressive move.

  2. Sabine 2

    and our homeles kids our youth also gets shoved in to motels for emergency housing and it appears they are not hte five start ones either.


    he first emergency housing motel I went into was cold, damp, and just generally unhygienic. Mould grew on the walls, the lighting was dim and faulty, and cockroaches crawled confidently around in the small, cupboard-sized room the two young people shared.

    I could not imagine sleeping there let alone living there. I felt sick just being in the building.

    And yet, this was where the young people I was trying to support to find housing had been put when they had asked the Ministry of Social Development to support them with emergency accommodation.

    One would be to actually build some 1 bedroom flats dedicated to homeless or endangered youth to live in. Include a 'janitor' aka a live in social worker, and a 'house mother' for support and maybe that would actually be a better solution to getting these children back on the track and out of living on the streets.

    I know people really don't want to think about this, but eventually it must trickle down even to the last ones that these are the adults of tomorrow and depending on how good or how bad we treat them now we can expect to be treated tomorrow by them once adults. Apart from that these kids should be in training, having a save place to go to, so that they when their turn comes can be fully participating adults in this society, rather then get lost to the streets and all that it entails. A wasteful approach to the human capital of this country.

    • Foreign Waka 2.1

      This is wishful thinking I am sorry to say.

      Sounds so familiar when you google 19th century poor:

      For the first half of the 19th century the rural and urban poor had much in common: unsanitary and overcrowded housing, low wages, poor diet, insecure employment and the dreaded effects of sickness and old age. By 1851 the census showed the urban population was larger than that of the rural areas.

    • KSaysHi 2.2

      What a mess.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Slavoj Zizek on the Horror of Tulips….

  4. Sabine 4

    hahahashahahahah, and that is why i have planted all my flowers. for the insects to come and ……..lol.


  5. Gosman 5

    Food can always be sourced from overseas. Places like Singapore are incredibly wealthy and have ZERO chance of ever being self sufficient in food supply.

    [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 5.1

      The post is about sustainability. Don’t derail comments with off topic neolib talking points

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        I think you should also move the comments I was responding to then as that had nothing to do with regenerative agriculture as well following your own logic.

        • Incognito

          Please don’t tell Authors & Mods how to moderate here, as it will end badly, for you.

  6. Gosman 6

    Let me put it to you this way.

    Imaging I have a farm of 10 Hectares. It brings in a revenue of $500,000 per year and directly supports me and 4 other people who live and work on the farm. That is $100,000 per person on average.

    The farm is subdivided and allows 100 homes to be built. Each home has one person earning $50,000 per year working from home. The same land is generating 5 million dollars worth of economic activity. That is 10 times the amount the land produced when used for agriculture and 20 times the number of people that are able to be supported (at least).

    Why would you keep the land as a farm in such a situation?

    [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 6.1

      Because of what I wrote in the post. Stay out of this discussion if you’re going to ignore the topic. Count this as a second warning.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        This goes to the heart of whether we should build homes on "prime agricultural" land. I was responding to a comment from someone who argued we should not be doing this. If you are moving my comment as being off topic can you explain why you don't move the comments that I am responding to?

        • weka

          Because that comment about food growing land is directly related to the post. It also opened a conversation about land use, which I have no problem with so long as it stays broadly on topic eg regenag and sustainability. People can argue any side of that but they have to have read and understood the post.

          Your comments had nothing to do with regenag and were blatantly anti sustainability without making any argument as to why within the context of the post. Commenting is not a free for all.

    • Gabby 6.2

      But the land isn't producing anything. It's just where the producers happen to be.

      • Gosman 6.2.1

        You are quite wrong. The people on the land ARE producing economic value. If I work from home making software and then sell it to someone I am producing something.

        • Gabby

          Your location is irrelevant. Cows have to be on farms.

          • Gosman

            Not farms in NZ.

            • McFlock

              If the land is used as a farm, the cows have to be on the farm for it to be a cattle farm, and the cattle farm is a facility of economic production.

              If the land is used for homes, by your analogy the homes have to be used as workplaces for them to be economically productive. So whther they are "homes" is irrelevant: your economic production is from industrial development, not homes for people. Why even build homes in that case? Why not just make an IT business incubator?

              • Gosman

                Except it isn't as simple as that in a modern economy. Cities are massively more productive than rural areas when you compare them at an average dollar earned per square meter level (The exception may be something like an area where there is a mine or well). Generally it would be better from an economic level to turn as much land in to urban land as possible. From an environmental and social level that may not be desirable however.

                • McFlock

                  You made it as simple as that when you invented a scenario where every single household had a member earning a full-time income from home.

                  Now you're arguing complexity. Ok. What about the longer term economic resilience of actually producing something tangible as well as moving electrons around? The long term insurance of being able to supply at least the bulk of the nation's food requirements should something affect world trade (disease, a canal blockage, an international confrontation astride a major trade route) is a good thing to have, if you want to include complexity.

        • Cricklewood

          Thats very true, bùt in saying that you could generate the same economic benefit from your home sited on relatively poor soils and the grower can continue to deprive an albiet less efficient economic benifit from the productive ground… once a house is on it the grower cant move quite so easily so I guess an economic loss there.

          We aren't so populated that we need every inch of ground for housing etc we have options and the decision to build over on our best soils is a poor one…

          Fucking hard to grow produce on Silverdale clay for example…

    • Editractor 6.3

      Try eating nothing but economic activity for a month then come back and tell us how it went.

      • Gosman 6.3.1

        If I make enough money I can but food produced pretty much anywhere on the planet.

        • Sabine

          That food will still hve to come from somewhere. So that really can lead to shortages and such.

          Fact is that we need to build to rent, heck the government with developpers nad NGO's could start that. Build to rent, rather then build crappy cheap McMansions that fall apart and thus keep the good 'dirt' for food production.

          At the moment what we do is build houses no one really can afford on the 'good dirt' needed to grow food. And building on that dirt is just going to poison that earth even more then regular emission are already doing.

          So what you are advocating is to sell a good that brings a reliable 500.000 every year (and maybe more) to have a one time profit and then pay huge amounts on food for the rest of your and the 4 workers for ever. So no, Gosman, that sounds like a bit of silly plan the longer you think about it.

          And also remember, once you sold the family silver you will never ever get it back at that price, so the question after all remains, can you buy the same thing again with the money you have? Chances are not. So now you have no more land, a crappy house on no land, and you have to import all your food.

          Yeah, nah nah.

          • Gosman

            How about the government (both central and local) gets out of the way and allows the market to determine what type of houses and where they should build them?

            • Gabby

              Because the market's rigged?

              • Gosman

                Because they have distorted it by their actions.

                • McFlock

                  Tried that in the 1990s.

                  The market preferred leaky, unhealthy slums

                • In Vino

                  Sapiens fortunam fingit sibi.

                  The market is blind, and all too often allows short-term greed to trump long-term good.

                  The market makes a reasonable servant, but a very poor master.

                  Worship of the market is a blind alley of evolution.

                  End of story.

                  • Shanreagh

                    And we have only to look back on the 1980s and 1990s (and the results today) to see where the blind faith in 'the market' has led us.

            • mac1

              Land issues locally according to the CEO of the Council are primarily caused by the deliberate and controlled release of land by the local land-banking developers at a rate that suits their profitability, not at a rate that meets demand.

              This is compounded by the market not building enough 1-2 bedroom units, instead going for the high-end 3-5 BR housing on small sections with multiple garaging.

              Further compounded by a lack of tradespeople.

              The land is available, zoned and awaiting development.

              Profit-taking- it has another suitable financial appellation in those circles- is a principle reason. It's also known as 'the market'.

              Gabby asks a fair question here.
              Is it rigged?

            • Sabine

              We need to build to rent. And yes, there i agree with you the government could be a bit more active and councils should maybe revisit some of their rules and regulations, but if really you want to see what happens when government allows you to build without rules look at any town in turkey hit by an earthquake and maybe rethink your position?

        • Chris

          You are the true Messiah.

  7. joe90 7

    A match made in heaven.


    Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief has travelled to Damascus to meet his Syrian counterpart in the first known meeting of its kind since the outbreak of the Syrian war a decade ago.


    The Saudi delegation was led by Gen Khalid Humaidan, the head of the country’s General Intelligence Directorate. He was received by Syria’s Gen Ali Mamlouk, the architect of the push to crush the early years of the anti-Assad revolution and the key interlocutor with Russian forces, which took a significant stake in the conflict from September 2015.


  8. Muttonbird 8

    Once again the Ardern government gets it right by taking a cautious line on travel to the Pacific Islands.

    Fiji is at a worrying stage with Lautoka Hospital now locked down. If even the great nations of the UK and the USA, greatest nations in the world*, can be savaged by this virus and their governments' humiliated, the Pacific Islands will always struggle if it got away.

    Best wishes to Fiji and I hope the authoritarian nature of their government will be their saving grace here.

    I do hope all business-first, right wing nut jobs in New Zealand will now shut up about their tropical holidays for 5 minutes. For the sake of our Pacific neighbour's lives.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/20 … -case.html


    • Sabine 8.1

      Muttonbird, i know quite few others who are not rightwing nutsjobs that equally want the borders to be open. heck i know a few that still believe that Covid is just a flue, that we don't need vaccinations and that we should open the borders fully. And they come from all walks of life.

      And here you have me a 'far left' person who would like hte borders shut until we have a high enough part of the population vaccined before we start letting people in in large masses.

      Go figure.

    • Treetop 9.1

      Powerless children and when they spoke out they were betrayed again. To have this acknowledged by the state is an important step to having what that child lived, being exposed. The damage which was done to that child, (now an adult) finally has a voice and has rights.

      I am not sure if the state will be addressing the part GPs (the old family doctor or doctor attached to the care home) played in knowing a child was sexually abused. I do know that no mandatory reporting was done.

      When it comes to medical records I would like to know if a GP had to write down what the physical injuries were at a general consultation and if they told the parent or social welfare if sexual abuse was the cause?

      Many children would have presented with swelling, STDS, anxiety etc. Also the way there were no electronic records.

      The terrible shadow which was cast and for some it was a long shadow.

    • Peter chch 9.2

      Yes Anne, totally agree. The 'good old days' were never good for many of our most vulnerable, that's for sure.

    • Sabine 9.3

      I would venture that it still happens.

  9. Forget now 10

    This was in the ODT yesterday. The guy interviewed is a distant friend of a friend, so; although I haven't talked to them myself recently, I can confirm the broad outline if not any individual details.

    …cancer had spread throughout his tongue and neck.

    "They didn’t really go into my survival chances at that point but if it was 10%-15% before, I knew it was going to be less,"…

    "They said, we will refer you to palliative care … After not hearing anything from Otago Community Hospice, he contacted it, only to discover his referral had not been received…

    "I also found out that the waiting list for palliative oncology is something like seven weeks, not that anyone has told me this officially.

    "There are something like 27 people in front of me in the queue apparently, but no-one has actually formally told me that.

    "I haven’t had a ‘we’re so sorry this is happening to you’ — all I’ve got is a possible treatment date which is maybe a week out from my initial ‘this is how long you are going to live’ date.


    Which by today's piece, doesn't seem like an isolated case of neglecting dying NZ citizens by their supposed public Health providers:

    The SDHB is failing to meet both 31-day and 62-day cancer treatment targets and the waiting list for radiation oncology is a record 157 people.

    Radiation oncologists were "incredibly frustrated and helpless" that systems and budget issues seemed to be failing their patients, medical specialists union Apex national secretary Deborah Powell said…

    The SDHB seemed to be incapable of responding to and dealing effectively with long-running cancer treatment waiting list issues, and that had contributed to staff burnout, Dr Powell said.

    She also doubted the SDHB would be able to find a new radiation oncologist it had been trying to recruit.

    "There are significant issues because they get paid more in Australia and in the private sector, which is also competing for radiation technologists as well."


    • Forget now 10.1

      Update from an SDHB Oncologist leaked to RNZ:

      "This is particularly evident in oncology, where patients suffer and die due to the poor access our population has to imaging services…

      "As an example the majority of the population have access to PET scanning for prostate cancer, the SDHB will not approve such scans. This requires patients to self fund scans, often those in great financial hardship, to access effective publicly-funded treatment.

      "A number of publicly funded interventions for prostate cancers in particular can only be accessed if the patient can self fund the necessary imaging. This disgraceful situation exacerbates the existing inequity between those who can and cannot pay for private imaging, affecting our rural, Māori and other disadvantaged groups particularly.

      "In summary, despite the best efforts of the radiology service, the SDHB fails our patients at multiple stages leading to poorer outcomes for those who neither have private health insurance or the ability to pay for imaging.

      "It would be unusual for me to hold a clinic in which I do not have to enquire if patients can self fund their care."


  10. joe90 11

    Obviously predatory sexual offending shouldn't be a barrier to budding flyboy attaining his FPP status.

    A Dunedin man who sexually offended against two boys has avoided a conviction.

    The 20-year-old, whose name was permanently suppressed this afternoon, appeared in the Dunedin District Court after pleading guilty to four charges of sexual conduct with a person under the age of 16 and one of sending an indecent communication to a person under the age of 18.

    Judge Kevin Phillips said giving the defendant a criminal record would “destroy” him.

    If a conviction is entered his opportunities in his chosen future career are ended, he said.


    • Forget now 11.1

      Speaking of people being destroyed (all the Trigger Warnings!):

      {The then 14year old} victim read a statement to the court this afternoon, detailing how his life “crashed” after he was molested by the defendant.

      “It was like these voices playing on repeat and I couldn't and still can't get them to leave me alone,” he said.

      “The feel of what you did to me sticks to me as a part of me.”

      In situations with other older males, the victim reported feeling “petrified” the same thing may happen again.

      While the victim initially self-harmed and blamed himself, he told the court he was now changed.

  11. Treetop 12

    Reply to 11.1

    Can another judge enter a conviction as the perpetrator pleaded guilty?

    Consent was not given, if it had been given the perpetrator would not have pleaded guilty.

    The no conviction has a reflection on whether or not a person would make a complaint. The judge has done a disservice to the community.

    Were the perpetrators name to be known other people could come forward.

    • RedBaronCV 12.1

      No matter what the judge says the "no conviction" does minimise the impact on the complainant. Not a mention of how the actions affected his study and career prospects. Plus training to be a pilot (is anybody even doing this now?) never used to be cheap so the amounts paid are tiny.

      Plus and I do find this a serious worry – there looks looks like there has been an attempt to blackmail using social media. If this is so then it is plain nasty and has ongoing consequences. That should not have been brushed aside. Any money or family influence involved?

    • Sabine 12.2

      Any words on how the actions of this young man will affect the future of his victims?

      I guess not.

    • Treetop 12.3

      I did not read the article as carefully as I needed to. Had I done so I would have seen that a person was age under 16 and there was repeated offending against them.

  12. Sabine 13

    Any day now something will change, right?


    Sick and injured patients are being left in hospital corridors and ambulances are queuing outside Auckland emergency departments as demand continues to skyrocket.

    Read More

    others with high-risk pregnancies have occasionally been transferred out of the Auckland area to give birth, because no beds are available in the region.

    Middlemore, Auckland City and North Shore Hospitals sent an alert to ambulances on Monday night warning that they were nearing maximum capacity, the Herald can reveal.

    'Staff are burned out': Emergency doctor

    Meanwhile, one Auckland emergency doctor told the Herald he was worried about the impact the increased demand was having on staff and the flow-on impact it could have for patient care.

    "Staff are burned out. Without the resources, including time and staff support, it's difficult to work effectively."

    The specialist did not want to be named out of fear of losing his job.

    • mac1 13.1

      There's nothing in the article that says why the numbers are over maximum except to hint at winter issues and Monday issues.

      Is there any unforeseen illness or other cause as to why these numbers are so high for so long that burnout is now an issue?

      Is it a question of staffing, or actual bed spaces? Are people presenting with issues that don't require hospital treatment? In other words, is it to do with doctor's visit fees? Being on a Monday, is it caused by weekend-related activities causing injury or illness?

      My last question, which is a point really, what would this mean if our hospital system also had to cope with Covid-19 illness?

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        a lot of backlog i would assume. Every time there is a lock out peoples surgeries etc get cancelled, people can't go to the doctor etc.

        then costs. Yeah, yeah, the government did something but it still is too expensive for many to go to a GP, so they go to the emergency room.

        St. Johns is as always happy for any donations to Ambulances as that service is not funded by government, so on certain days its of no use to call an ambulance.

        We have a well documented shortage of staff all across the healthsector. High costs or living and low wages don't help.

        If we had to deal with any of the covid variants we would be well and truly buggered, and considering that i doubt much investment has been done in upgrading hospitals with seperate covid wards or the like i think i'd give the system about a week or two.

        But don't take my ideas to much to heart, i am not a politician nor a nurse, so i am just summing up what one can find in the news.

      • Cricklewood 13.1.2

        It'll be a combo…

        Increased population with no accompanying increase in capacity…

        Many 1000s of people in shite housing…

        Increased housing costs making GP costs a stretch or impossible meaning people wait till they're really ill and presenting to A&E where they need admitting…

  13. Sabine 14

    ca we just cancel these events until it is safe? Surely the cricket fans, or olympic sports fans, or rugby fans can content themsevles with a bit of 'local' sports only?

    Or shall we just file this under : No one could have foreseen this, and who would'ave thought this could happen?


    • Peter ChCh 14.1

      And the Tokyo Olympics in July?

      Classic stupidity that these are still going ahead. Does the IOC not read the news of how India went from a managed Covid situation in February to totally losing control by the end of April (religious and political mass gatherings)? For sport we are all potentially being placed at extreme risk.

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        the sponsors demand their pound of flesh?

        Bread and Circuses.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 14.1.2

        Agree with you & Sabine – no skin off my nose if sports events such as the Olympic Games are postponed again or cancelled. But there's considerable pressure to demonstrate that 'we' are getting back to BAU – regarding the Olympics that pressure isn't coming from a majority of Japanese citizens, but it's coming from somewhere.

        Normal life. That’s what we want, right? Normal life. Normal life. We just want normal life. It’s happening, very quickly.” Trump (Oct. 2020)

      • Treetop 14.1.3

        The world does not need the Covid Olympics.

        Who other than the IOC want the Olympic Games to go ahead?

        When it comes to the competitors attending there are going to be gaps. Auction the medals.

  14. KSaysHi 15

    This shows the importance of selecting the right vaccine in the first place, and unfortunately the country from where the vaccine was sourced (troubling since we get so many antibiotics from there).

    Seychelles, the world's most Covid-vaccinated nation with more than 60 per cent of its adult population having received two jabs, has reintroduced.

    All schools have been closed and sporting activities cancelled for two weeks in the idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago, as infections continue to surge.

    There are currently 1,068 active Covid cases in the Seychelles, of which a third have been detected in people given two doses of either AstraZeneca's or China's Sinopharm vaccine.

    It unclear what has triggered the surge in cases but testing has detected the South African variant spreading on the islands.


    • McFlock 15.1

      A few points:

      No vaccine is the "right" vaccine against a variant that emerges after it was developed. There might be slight differences in the efficacy of AZ versus Sp jabs against the new variant, but they're the spanners we have to hand when we find this new and slightly different bolt. Maybe they work and work equally well, maybe they won't.

      Currently the Seychelles have an active case rate of 1%, but they're the size of Dunedin. Fewer degrees of separation to get that rate from a given R0.

      60% vaccination/immunity doesn't cut it and has never cut it when it comes to limiting community spread of covid.

      Interesting exercise in relative risk math though:

      pop = 100k active=1k, activerate=1%

      vaxpop = 60k activevax=330 (1/3 of 1k) activevaxrate= 0.55%

      unvaxpop= 40k activeunvax=660 activeunvaxrate= 1.65%

      So on the face of it the vaccines are demonstrably good (but not bulletproof) for personal safety, but they need more coverage in the population before one can judge their effectiveness as a community protection.

      • Sabine 15.1.1

        Israel will be the country to watch. They have just "opened" up again after vaccinations. You might need a vaccination pass to get into concerts etc, but essential they try to get back to what ever is normal now as soon as possible.

        So it will be interesting to see what happens in about 3 weeks if cases raise again, or if their vaccine drive was successful in getting enough jabs into enough arms to provide some sort of herd immunity.

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