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Open mike 06/06/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 6th, 2021 - 157 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 …

157 comments on “Open mike 06/06/2021 ”

  1. Jenny How to get there 1


    Let me be the first to say 'this is completely bonkers'.

    Transport Minister Michael Wood yesterday confirmed the government wants to build a new separate bridge – at an estimated cost of $785 million – alongside the Auckland Harbour Bridge, specifically for walkers, runners and cyclists.

    Bikes could take over one lane on Auckland Harbour Bridge (msn.com)

    Cycling is not a viable form of commuting for the tens of thousands who cross the Bridge every working day.

    The government are spending $785 million indulging the leisure-time activity of cycling enthusiasts.

    • Ad 1.1

      It wasn't a viable form of commuting either along SH16 until they built a dedicated cycle way there. 2 years and tens of thousands of people a day later …

      Same for Tamaki Drive-Quay Street.

      When they build it, they will come.

      And they get yo work same time or faster than a car.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        So where is any evidence to support your claim that this crossing will have any major daily usage ? Take a look at the population close proximity to the bridge and what destinations there are that warrant the pop. to cross to the other side. For a start there is no demand to cross over for schooling.

        We hear when it suits the govt on evidence basis decisions, I haven’t seen any compelling evidence by the supporters put forward, just a nice to have and spend what will be close to a $Billion, and we are told commencing construction “hopefully mid 2022.

        • Sabine

          there is not. but the good people of herne bay and ponsnobby might actually consider voting for a different party next time, say the greens or say some other party. And than labour might actually have to go into a coalition with all the other parties. Its future planning at its finest – for labour. After all these guys need jobs.

          Never mind the broken bridge in Ashburton, which is costed at 30 mil give or take a few and which NEEDS to be rebuild. Heck, they could just build a new bridge and leave the old for pedestrians and cyclists for peanuts all things considered.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          SH16 ' tens of thousands of people a day later …'

          They do daily counts and its not 10sK per day for that cycleway. Plus it was just a minor part of the roadway and construction not a special build

          • Incognito

            For the actual figures: https://at.govt.nz/media/1985751/april-2021-cycle-counts.xlsx

            Create the opportunity and they’ll take it or moan about it until the cows come home, on Open Moan.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Thanks , my Excel license no longer works on this desktop, so Ive just put in Google sheets to do so.

              The answer is 500 or so for weeks days . The highest 1031 was a easter holiday .
              Id happily replace the cycle way with a LR line and then we could say 10s thousands per day'

              • Incognito

                Why replace, why not have both? What is it with this either-or reasoning? Money? Space? Or just good-old binary thinking that seems to be a hallmark of neo-liberalism, i.e. my gain is your loss.

        • RedBaronCV

          As we transit to a green economy I would like our public spending to be of the highest quality. I don't see that this government even has an operating framework that it runs these decisions through to give some order of priority. And frankly I don't see this spend which covers largely high income areas of Auckland passing any sort of evidence based tests. Would it be better spent on solar subsidies or insulation in poorer areas.

        • Incognito

          Since when is $68.50 close to $100? When it suits your narrative, obviously.

          Plenty of students cross the Bridge daily. AUT has its North Campus on the ‘wrong’ side of the Bridge.

    • Sacha 1.2

      If you had not already been saying the same thing for days now, you might indeed be 'the first to say'.

      What do you want to hear that people have not said yet?

      • If I had been sayiing it for days now, that really would make me the first. to say the $785 million pedestrian/cycle bridge was bonkers.

        I had started off talking about the bikeway proposal, not the new bridge proposal. And that a fare free bus lane would be far better way than a bike lane in getting thousands of drivers out their cars, better for the climate, better for the environment.

        Then the government's new bridge proposal broke,

        I had been expecting to see a post on it.

        Not seeing one I did my own.

        Yes I think a $785 million biking, walking, skate boarding bridge crossing the Waitemata preposterous, ridiculous and quite frankly 'bonkers'.

        Maybe when the shock has worn off, anyone who thinks this a good idea, could do a post on it?

        • Incognito

          You were pissing all over the recent post on cycling with 20 mostly negative comments so far: https://thestandard.org.nz/cycling-politics-is-winnable-politics/.

          With commenters such as you writing another post on this topic is like opening a hornets’ nest. Why don’t you write a Guest Post if you feel so strongly about it instead of thrashing posts and comments by others?

          • Incognito1.2.1.1

            Why don’t you write a Guest Post if you feel so strongly about it…..

            I thought you would never ask.

            • Incognito

              I’m starting to think that English is not your first language, as you seem not to understand the difference between ask, suggest, and demand, for example.

          • Sacha

            I guess some people will always read 'winnable politics' as 'whineable'..

          • Incognito

            7 June 2021 at 12:01 am

            …..Why don’t you write a Guest Post if you feel so strongly about it instead of thrashing posts and comments by others?

            Done and sent.

            P.S. Feel free to thrash it as much as you like

            • Incognito

              I can’t and won’t ‘thrash’ your submission for a Guest Post for two reasons:

              1. It would be rude and disrespectful to a Guest Author;
              2. I don’t receive anything sent to TS, as it is above my pay-grade, and thus I don’t get to handle your submission.

              Good on you for putting your money where your mouth is and I look forward to the final version appearing here on TS in due course, which will hopefully stimulate robust but constructive debate.

              • Jenny How to get there

                Naa thrash it all you like, don't pull your punches I need to see any weaknesses in the argument I put up.

                Here's a taster…..

                …..A fare free busway with an option for bicycle stowage is a cheaper solution than a new bridge and can be implemented immediately. All of the infrastructure is already there.

                On a personal note.
                I recently took an intercity bus trip to the East Coast. At Gisbourne the bus was boarded by a number of cyclists who stowed their bikes in the copious luggage compartment for the journey to Taupo. At Taupo they got off the bus, took their bikes out, and continued their journey by bike..

                It occurs to me that every bus should have these luggage compartments, for stowing bikes prams etc…

                ….The government are considering giving one lane possibly even two lanes over to a bikeway as a temporary measure, until the new bike bridge is completed.
                As well as, a three month trial of a bikeway.

                Howsabout a Three Month Trial of a Fare Free Northern Busway all the way into the City.

                So many commuters might choose the bus that, we might find out, we won't need any new bridge or tunnel harbour crossings with multi $billion dollar price tags.

                The fare free Northern busway might free up so much traffic on the Harbour Bridge that room could be made for the bikeway. Who knows?

                Let's trial both.

                Jenny How to get there

                • Sacha

                  I'd suggest trialling bus priority lanes without making it free of charge. Otherwise you are testing two things at once and cannot generalise results.

                • Incognito


              • Jenny How to get there


                7 June 2021 at 11:19 am

                I don’t receive anything sent to TS, as it is above my pay-grade, and thus I don’t get to handle your submission.

                You get paid?!

    • Ad 2.1

      Show us you're capable of being more than a link whore with an amoeba's braincell.

      • Foreign waka 2.1.1

        This government is trodding down a track of sound bites and creating noise and lime light instead of looking at the country as a whole. This Government should be making decisions for ALL people which means a bit more thinking a bit less noise. But hey, there is always the phone pic that can make the rounds and populism that needs to be fanned with no less than 4 press secretaries, all curtesy of the taxpayer. Sigh.

        • Sabine

          Since the current Government took office, the number of communications specialists have ballooned. Each minister has at least two press secretaries. (Ardern has four).

          In the year Labour took office, the Ministry for the Environment had 10 PR staff. They now have 18. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade more than doubled their staff – up to 25.

          MBIE blew out from 48 staff to 64. None of those five dozen specialists could give me those figures for many weeks – and again I was forced to ask the Ombudsman to intervene.

          The super ministry – and its colleagues uptown at the Health Ministry – are notorious for stymieing even the simplest requests. Health’s information gatekeepers are so allergic to journalists they refuse to take phone calls, responding only (and sporadically) to emails.

          But it is the New Zealand Transport Agency that take the cake: employing a staggering 72 staff to keep its message, if not its road-building, on track – up from 26 over five years.

          well you and i and the resto of the population are not in a 'need to know' position, so we get meaningless pictures and are told to be happy. 🙂 After all, they are pretty pictures.

          This year, I have made more complaints to the Ombudsman than in any previous year. So far, every one has been upheld.

          its gonna be so funny when in the future Labor will be again sitting on the opposition bench and will shriek about the 'others who don't be transparent'. lol.

          Trust your eyes, they will tell you more about what happens in this country then any politician or journalist will ever tell you. And these press secretaries need jobs, what else would these communication specialists do otherwise?

          • Foreign waka

            Don't despair, there are many who know and see through this vail of deceptive behaviour and non disclosure. It is worse than I have seen in Europe behind the iron curtain. Pity that NZ has to go through the pain first. Humans don't learn any other way. This is why the Lange Govt and in the end the National Govt have lost. As for this lot, no amount of social media will put food on the table. The greater concern is that there is now a fear connected with the motion that if you don't agree with what this government does, you are ostracized. And this definitely looks very worrying.

            • Sabine

              As for this lot, no amount of social media will put food on the table.

              and the same counts for being able to secure a rental or buy an affordable house. And that in the end will define the next election. Not just some nice vote gathering cycling bridges. And the sad thing about all this is that our issues and problems are real. We are smack dab in the middle of climate change, we have a pandemic in its second of many years to come, we are running out of the resources the Mensch needs to physically survive and we discuss if or not what we see happening is real. Incredible. And such a waste of opportunity and skill.

              Good news though, the little Rotorua urchin in need of cleft palate surgery finally got it, after a year on a waiting list. The first smile was incredible and this 1 year old bub will now be able to almost live a normal life.

    • alwyn 2.2

      Well, well.

      A moan from Andrea Vance who is just discovering the truth of the old adage

      "He who sups with the devil must use a long spoon".

      Late on in this piece Andrea tells us that this Government makes it very hard to get information and doesn't give interviews or provide material to journalists. Then she says, as if surprised, "Because the public’s impression of this government is the very opposite."

      Well of course it is baby. Why are you surprised? It is you, and your ilk, who chose to sup with the devil. It is you who sold out to them and provided the fawning adulation they want. News? Nah. Tell us that the PM is planning a wedding and that her daughter handed mummy a lovely Mother's Day card.

      Well you forgot the basic rule of your profession "News is what somebody does not want you to print. All the rest is advertising." Andrea, you sold out to the advertising. Now you are finding out that, having already sold you soul, you don't have any leverage to demand the truth about what the Government is up to.

      And we, the Public, are left in the dark.

      • bwaghorn 2.2.1

        Yeah but they a still a better government than anything the nats are or will be capable of for years to come.

        • alwyn

          Oh well, I suppose you are a member of the public and as Andrea Vance says.

          "Because the public’s impression of this government is the very opposite.".

          You've been conned, and you love it. With journalism like Vance's you haven't been allowed to see how bad the current lot really are.

          I certainly agree the National Party is in rather a mess. Bad as they are they would still be a better Government than would the pack of numpties currently occupying the Beehive.

          • Stuart Munro

            rather a mess

            Rather an understatement – unfit to be out in public, much less running anything.

            Lazy, sleazy, incompetent and dishonest, and given to browbeating anyone who points it out.

            • Bearded Git

              Agree Stuart….."rather a mess"smileysmiley….a complete and utter shambles that may not survive….would be more accurate.

              The problem for the Nats is that there are 3 other parties who are well organised with clear and strong messages and with a strong voter base. National has none of these, and is essentially morally bankrupt.

              Appointing Crusher as leader was a disastrous further step towards irrelevance.

              Chris Bishop is shifty and not well liked in his electorate so he is not an option….maybe Nicola Willis could stem the tide? Can anyone? Nick Smith?…oh wait…

              • Sabine

                and is that not the case with all things in life? Parties re-group and rebirth. Same politics different dress. And people will vote for them. See the Grand Ole Party of the US.

        • Foreign waka

          Good lord, what a reply. You will be surprised how many out there have it up to the neck with this government. I think the next election will be interesting to say the least.

          • Sabine

            Yes. That is what i see. It will be funny to see how many 'friends' labour has left to form a coalition with.

          • Anne

            @ Fw
            How come then they are leading all the polls by a very healthy margin?

            There are none so blind….. 🙄

            • Sabine

              With all polls it always is a matter of who asks, what is asked, whom is asked.

              It was the same under John Key and Helen Clark.

              I personally know not one person who was ever asked their opinion about anything a., and b. if the Question were: Did J.A a good job with Covid, i would say yes, Do you approve of her as PM – never did. Now spin this 🙂

            • Foreign waka

              I voted for labor the last time in the hope something is getting done about the poorest and the ones living in motels hotels and cars. Oh was I wrong! The only thing that changed is that the people in cars now sleep in motels. It costs the taxpayer 1 Million smackers a week and no plan to build anything is on the table. Yes, talking about the blind. I think there were many of us but we are waking up. The "healthy" margin will soon disappear if enough people are left behind who have believed in all the bs.

          • bwaghorn

            Did you vote for them last time ?

            • Sabine

              I happily voted for a losing third party. 🙂 The game is MMP and not some beefed up majority that does what it wants due to a so called 'mandate'. Unless we want to go back to the good two party system of the past.

    • Muttonbird 2.3

      'Former News of the World hack finds it difficult to get interviews in New Zealand'.

      What a surprise!

      • Sabine 2.3.1

        irrespective of us liking or not some journalists, but this should be an issue.

        Or, let me put it this way, in the future no more whinging about National not being open to journalists and questions. What is good for the goose, is then also good for the gander.

        In fact we would all benefit from some news, even if they come from people we don't like, There is no such thing as fake news, only news we might not like.

      • weka 2.3.2

        I don’t give a flying fuck about her previous employment or political leanings. Want to know why? Because she just wrote an incredibly important opinion piece on democracy. Take her name off it and read it again and tell me what’s wrong with what she said.

        unless of course you are ok with Labour running a massive propaganda machine that is both hypocritical and suppressive of democracy.

        • Muttonbird

          Since the current Government took office, the number of communications specialists have ballooned. Each minister has at least two press secretaries. (Ardern has four).

          In the year Labour took office, the Ministry for the Environment had 10 PR staff. They now have 18. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade more than doubled their staff – up to 25.

          MBIE blew out from 48 staff to 64. None of those five dozen specialists could give me those figures for many weeks – and again I was forced to ask the Ombudsman to intervene.

          I'm confused. An increase in the number of communications people in government is reducing communication?

          In reality, the media landscape has changed, the demands are ever increasing and in real time, and governments' response to that naturally changes too.

          Vance's piece seems like a bit of a moan that she's losing scoops, and are similar to Barry Soper's complaints, ie, that he no longer has priority messaging.

          It also keeps journalists distracted and over-burdened with a rolling maul of press conferences and announcements, which are often meaningless or repetitive and prevent sustained or detailed questioning.

          Seriously, wants more communication but fewer press conferences and announcements? Looks to me like Andrea just wants the information to herself and no-one else.

          • Sabine

            I'm confused. An increase in the number of communications people in government is reducing communication?

            no in the good old time of East Germany it would have been called 'amplifying the message'. Instead of a few you know have many bleating all the same thing, and more often then not actually not answering any questions, but standing there and like good parrots read some words of a piece of paper. All at an 6 figure expense paid for by the tax payer. We are so generous, aren't we?

            It also keeps journalists distracted and over-burdened with a rolling maul of press conferences and announcements, which are often meaningless or repetitive and prevent sustained or detailed questioning.

            yes, if that is the only form of communicating then it looks like your bog standard 'all attendance required' corporate meeting where you are told the 'news', while no questions are taken.

            So you can pay a whole lot of people to say nothing, which is what this government does – and this is as wrong under National as it is under Labour.
            Unless you are only for state controlled media?

            • bwaghorn

              You've been teetering on the edge for the the last year but equating labour to east Germany tells me you've gone off the edge .

              Get a grip.

              • Sabine

                I'm confused. An increase in the number of communications people in government is reducing communication?

                no in the good old time of East Germany it would have been called 'amplifying the message'

                Nothing in this equates the Labour Party to the East Germany. It is just that a communications method, and our dear Leader is a specialist in communications methods, and were you see many people answering friendly questions, others see many people touting the same script -amplifying the governments message.

                I find it interesting that you compare the Labour government to East Germany, because i certainly did not. They ain't communist enough, and they ain't socialist enough. Not enough affordable houses, no land reform etc. They are as far removed from communism as they could be.

          • weka

            It’s not an increase in communication because the positions she’s talking about are created to control. More communication officers = less access to the people who actually know what they’re talking about and can answer specific questions. I’m wondering where you’ve been the last 40 years, this isn’t new. Ardern is an expert communicator and that’s a double edged sword in a party that sees their job as primarily about control. As opposed to sharing power, or being transparent, or increasing democracy. It doesn’t hurt the left to critically examine this.

          • woodart

            good point muttonbird. as you say all media has changed hugely and is continueing to change. last years daily 1pm standup should have been a wakeup call, not because of the actual standup and journo intereaction, but because it was instantly on facebook twitter etc. hacks like soper are looking at being bypassed . trump ,for all of his faults, has shown how to bypass trad media, and trad media are worried.

            • Muttonbird

              Media are quick to promote outrage and dispossession. That's what Vance trained in and it's what she does now. The prime focus is drama reporting for the purposes of promoting the reporter/media outlet, rather than some dispassionate observation of an issue.

              Here's an article with amusing links in a similar vein; 'The Nimby photo formula', aka people with their arms folded.

              If you’ve ever read a story about a contentious local issue, you’ll have seen the photo.

              It could be about a housing development, a cycle path, or a safety upgrade to an intersection, the illustration will always be the same.

              In the foreground, a person stands with their arms folded, a stern expression on their face.


        • Sabine


        • Foreign waka

          There are now more opinion "makers" employed than ever before. If this is needed than the government has an agenda that we have not been told. That much is becoming increasingly clear. It also looks more and more like a textbook case of how to convert a country to a oppressive state. Not many cotton on to this yet but I think its starting to get noticed.

    • Incognito 2.4

      A well-functioning OIA that is fit for purpose is at the core of a well-functioning democracy and the delicate relationship between citizens and government. No wonder people are venting their spleen online only to find that the powers that be also want to ‘manage’ this aspect of our lives. We live in interesting times.

  2. Phillip ure 3

    So..the g7 strikes a deal to tax the tax-avoiding corporate-gougers..

    but those two aggregators of click-bait shite…herald and stuff..

    don't seem it to be news-worthy..?

  3. weka 4

    Numpty neoliberalism. For those that missed it at the time, Corbyn campaigned on free broadband.

    • KSaysHi 4.1

      And yet in the recent past they jailed people who failed to pay a licencing fee. At least they seem to have moved on from that now. What a backwards place.

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        I'm not sure they have moved on at all. All though it is apparently legal to own, or possess, a TV without having a licence it is illegal to watch or to record from it any program that is broadcast.

        Oh well, it would still appear that it would be legal to watch the greatest story ever told. I don't know if it works with a digital set but on the old analogue devices you could turn you TV on, tune it to a frequency where no station was broadcasting and you could watch the creation of the Universe. About 1% of the snow you saw on the screen was the background radiation from the Big Bang. Now tell me any other program that could compete with that.

  4. Sabine 5

    so a 'pending' problem was ignored under Helen Clark, then duly ignored under John Key and then again under Jacinda Ardern, and now the 'pending' problem has become an acute problem. Yet here we discuss the need of a bicycle bridge for well heeled and leisure lycra clad 'bikers', while the broken bridge in Ashburton is………………! Never mind we have priorities, and the government allowed for an initial 500.000 NZD to be made available to all those that have lost their stuff in the floods (surely another few hundred thousands will be made available soon) and heavy transport will just take the 13 hour detour. Right?

    It said 24,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, including 2000 trucks.

    Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury president David Clark​ said successive councils and governments had “kicked the can down the road” when it came to the bridge.

    “They have squabbled about it all the time I have been here.”

    Clark, who has lived in the area for 27 years, said there had been too many years of poor planning.

    “It’s time for central government and the district council to get on with funding a bridge.”

    Reports into the feasibility of a second bridge date back to 2006. One said there was significant congestion at the bridge during peak hours and that would only worsen as the town grew.

    The bridge has visibly dropped at the northern end.

    A 2010 report into the risks and opportunities associated with a second bridge highlighted that there were no viable alternative routes, which presented a serious resilience risk.

    “The existing bridge structure is also vulnerable to natural events (such as floods),” it said.

    There was another report in 2011, then one in 2013 and another in 2014, when the council designated land in its district plan for the proposed route at the end of Chalmers Ave and across farm land east of Tinwald. It then went about buying land for the bridge connections.

    In 2018, the Canterbury Regional Land Transport Plan, which sets regional priorities for future investment, included a second Ashburton bridge, which was likely to cost $30m.

    I guess if some lycra clad citydwellers were to storm a police barrier and all took their bicycles on to the bridge – after all light traffic is 'ok', surely the government would throw oodles of money at them for a new 'bridge'. Right?

    I hope that the Government comes to its mind, and axes that vanity project for votes in Auckland and gives the people of Ashburton a piece of infrastructure that is actually needed.

    • Herodotus 5.1

      When you have made a promise and had a phot opportunity to build a crossing for less than $80m so you cannot be called out for a broken promise you have to allow yourself some wiggle room. Even if the additional cost is over $600m but you get another chance for an announcement and another photo opportunity 🙈🙊🙉

      I do hope the govt follows public sentiment and gives graciously in kind, mental support and $$ how those in the Canterbury region have suffered.


      • Sabine 5.1.1

        And we should really pay no heed to these 'social media outings of the government'.

        We should ask where the announcement is for Ashburtons new bridge. Heck, someone could get the PM some stylish gumboots for a we Photo Op with a shovel. It would make for some positive news, actually.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          New bridge …. hardly needed except for those in a hurry. Cost benefit is probably the stumbling block and often the local council is biggest roadblock to getting going – like they were at old Kopu bridge at Thames-

          Ive checked into this and the Council wants a new bridge not far from the old one and using an existing street – residential Chalmers St- to access it from it from the town side and by pass Tinwald .

          Common sense would presume a new state highway bridge and access roads bypasses the town completely, I suppose to the western side, which would reduce through traffic and heavy trucks completely and make the town centre a safer and less fume ridden alley.

          Shop keeper hate complete by passes like this and new shopping strip malls open up alongside and draw away customers from 'the town'

          • Sabine

            I doubt the people of Ashburton really care of all of that, they would just like to be able to not drive 13 hours to the next town, or fall into the river once the current bridge gives up.

            But a good deflection from what i actually pointed out, namely that we are really good at ignoring pending problems until they become acute, and then we posture about a cycling bridge for the smallest lobbygroup in NZ. The lycra brigade from Ponsonby and Herne Bay. Who, incidentally can break a police barrier, cause a huge traffic problem for others and get rewarded with 870 million worth of pork.

    • woodart 5.2

      you are all over the place. two weeks ago, you went on(at length) about needing more cycleways public transport etc, then when a cycleway over harbour is announced, off you go on a tangent about a bridge that WAS FUNCTIONING. perhaps you should have warned the gov that mother nature was going to cut canterbury in half . if you got out from behind your keyboard and talked to engineers, you would find that much infrastructure in NZ is worn out. there are hundreds of bridges etc around the country thats are passed their use-by date. as is much of the water reticulation, sewage etc. too leap up and down and try to link a long planned bridge in one place with another recently washed out is ridiculous.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    This is bizzare

    'The Green Party says Facebook shouldn't be the sole arbiter in breaching New Zealanders' free speech rights, Marc Daalder reports

    Nobody has free speech rights on The Standard or any other social media platform..

    even weirder

    'Ghahraman also said the decision by Facebook during last year's election to remove the page of the Advance New Zealand party, which was a registered political party fairly and legally competing in New Zealand's election, raised questions around the company's involvement in New Zealand democracy."

    yeah right. Is Ghahraman doing her gig again – like previously-by arguing for the side of haters and those accused of genocide


    • weka 6.1

      Which is bizarre?

      Dalder’s opening sentence is an odd construction, I had to read it three times to understand what he is reporting.

      I’m not a particular fan of Ghahraman, she’s a bit of a loose unit politically at times, but here I’m just left with questions around what is her actual position. Not the best Newsroom piece.

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        i find it quite simple

        Rather then leave the moderation solely to private entities she suggest that that rules and regulations are provided by the state as to what falls under these categories and that FB should then follow that legal framework rather then its own, or together with its own.

        this comment here i think states it quite clearly

        Ghahraman said Facebook's willingness to accede to stringent hate speech laws in Germany, where any symbol from the Third Reich is banned, showed it would follow New Zealand content moderation guidance as well. However, she also criticised the company for potentially failing to follow New Zealand's data privacy laws.

        And yes, she should be critisising the company, as the company should follow NZ privacy laws in regards to its "NZ customers".

        • weka

          Yep, got that bit, think it’s a good idea. What I don’t get is where she thinks the lines should be drawn once goby has that power. Also how to stop that power being abused. I’d rather have a Labour in charge rather than FB, but what about NACT? Or a NZ Trump?

          • Sabine

            the point is you can't stop that.

            So what you must do is legislate, set rules and regulations and then deal with the political changes when they arise – as they will. There will be a NACT or N /Coalition of sorts, and there will be a LGreen or L/Coalition of sorts. So what must be done is to work for rules that pass the muster of all – so that another government don't undo the work of the previous government. And under MMP that actually works quite well.

            So she is right, it is now that the government should look at what can be set as 'nevers'. In Germany that is anything to do with Nazi'sm. – You try to salute or shout a Heil Hitler – you will find yourself locked up and fined etc.

            It does not prevent people from believing this shit, but it prevents outright promotion of it, which is i guess the best that can be done.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              The swastika rules are just a legal requirement in Germany – but only banned when used as symbols or messages for anti constitutional organisations

              But they can be used "Swastikas and other banned symbols can, however, be displayed in Germany if they are used for "civic education, countering anti-constitutional activities, art and science, research and education, the coverage of historic and current events, or similar purposes"


              Not sure how this about symbols is related to Advance Party or even Facebook and free speech.

              "The logo of the banned communist party KPD and symbols associated with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State are also considered anti-constitutional and thus illegal."

              The KPD star with hammer and sickle is banned in Germany if used for political purposes

              [image resized]

              • Sabine

                Yes, there are distinction between hate speach and education.And i guess some find this hard to understand and/or to accept.

                I guess NZ will find this out when it gets on with teaching history as it happened rather then the white wash mess that is currently thought in NZ.

                Anecdotally, Sister Gisela – who was a Student at the University of Munich during the war years – to become a teacher, had a box full of stuff. She took that box to the class room once a year, to show us what method the Nazi Party used to 'brainwash' the population if you so like. It was a very big moving house box full of cards, posters, postcards, playing cards. Sticker books, newspapers, etc full of Hitler and his henchmen. It was articles upon articles about how the people greated him in Austria and what was then the Sudeten Land. And the last thing she showed us was a Flyer from the White Rose, and then we learned about the Siblings Scholl. We were eleven years old. That is called education. Then the box went back into the darkest place in the convent.

                I have no issues with people finding these laws so confusing that they stay a way from it if they can't understand the principle, of 'don't be a Nazi, don't promote a Nazi, don't deify Nazism", and if you do, prison and fine.

            • weka

              Again, I understand that. What I don’t yet know is where she thinks the line should be.

              we know the Greens have suppressed gender critical debate within their own party, so I think it’s an important question

              • Sabine

                Maybe start with something simple. The AFD +Alternative for Germany – is a legal party albeit on the extreme right. That is legal and their free speeching is protected by the law, that includes FB. However individual Members are not free to speechify how refugees in Germany are lesser humans and a certain moustached man would have had a solution for it. And if they were to do so, FB would be in its rights to shut them down, and FB would be following certain laws should say Nazi regalia be displayed. Should AFD be posting such things and displaying Nazi regalia or symbolism then FB would also be in its right to shut their site down. Again, German law does actually protect FB should they do that. Start with the obvious and start providing a legal frame work that makes sense.

                • weka

                  What would be a NZ example?

                  • Sabine

                    What gets me more often then not overlooked online, is violence against women , racism, and religious intolerance. Start with the easy.

                    I can't tell NZ – and will never – how to handle their own past – i am a migrant and really don't have enough knowledge and i also don't have skin in the game as i have no children. But i think the discussion around how to teach NZ History in the future will raise this question more often then not and hopefully some good will come from it.

                    • weka

                      so violence against women on FB. Where should the setting be?

                    • Sabine

                      @ weka

                      simple as currently when you review 'violence against women' (and i am talking here about the bog standard biological women who identifies as such and is a she / her in this case) chances are that it will not 'infringe' on community standards.

                      Maybe we need to define then in this country what really constitutes 'violence against women' and then we give this list to FB and state that if people report these instances you shut down the account.

                      And then you roll this over to violence against all others. Start with something that we know happens.

                      and also maybe let FB now that breastfeeding in NZ does not fall under porn, because that is the only time boobs get censored. When a baby is latched on.

                      But surely Weka, you too could find a sample that could be used? Or else, we do nothing and heck, no harm done?

                  • Sacha

                    Tiriti-denial seems constitutionally similar.

                    • weka

                      what would be some examples? Are you thinking of someone running a group on FB and telling lies about the Treaty in the context of overt racism?

                    • weka

                      Top contender. Still not sure how it would work.

                    • RedLogix

                      The problem arises simply because the people promoting 'de-colonising' have always been remarkably coy on the details of exactly what they propose. Into the vacuum rushes all manner speculative ideas – some more palatable than others so to speak.

                    • Sacha

                      Brash's lot fit the bill, yes.

                    • Sabine

                      yes, That one would be an excellent one.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Facebooks hate speech moderation standards ( from the Objectionable Content section)

    'We define hate speech as a direct attack against people on the basis of what we call protected characteristics:

    race,ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and serious disease.

    We define attacks as :

    violent or dehumanising speech, harmful stereotypes, statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt, disgust or dismissal, cursing and calls for exclusion or segregation.

    We consider age a protected characteristic when referenced along with another protected characteristic.

    We also protect refugees, migrants, immigrants and asylum seekers from the most severe attacks, though we do allow commentary and criticism of immigration policies."

    Theres others for Safety, Violence and Criminal behaviour , Bullying and harassment, Human exploitation etc

    • Foreign waka 7.1

      Orwellian. But many don't even know what that means. Maybe its objectionable.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        Well, no, I'm pretty sure many of the broadcasts against Eastasia would have run afoul of Facebook's policy.

  7. Incognito 8

    Censorship or ‘human error’, the effect is the same.


    People get really ‘antsy’ when they believe their online rights have been curbed and their search results and comments are being monitored and possibly ‘managed’.

  8. Sabine 9


    this is quite cute and very awesome. This we rat actually did five years of mine sniffing and is now retiring. Glasses fogging up stuff. Riveting reading. Honestly.

    ast year, Magawa won a British charity's top civilian award for animal bravery — an honour so far exclusively reserved for dogs.

    Read More

    • Giant rat wins animal hero award for sniffing out landmines in Cambodia – NZ Herald

    "Although still in good health, he has reached a retirement age and is clearly starting to slow down," Apopo said. "It is time."

    Magawa has cleared more than 141,000 square meters of land, the equivalent of some 20 soccer fields, sniffing out 71 land mines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance, according to Apopo.

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      One of the tutors at Waikato spent a few years with Apopo – a great initiative. There are a few things bio-sensing might be harnessed for, not least of which might be Covid, but also some forms of cancer. It has been used with Tb.

  9. Rosemary McDonald 10

    Sound, solid advice from South Auckland doctor.

    Keep up with the hand-washing, covering coughs an sneezes and maintaining a safe distance when respiratory viruses are around.

    Last year, under Covid 'rules' , hospitalisations due to Respiratory Syncytial Viruses fell dramatically.

    We've gone back to our sloppy ways…

    But he said last year there was an 80 percent drop in cases, because of Covid-19 precautions.

    "I think it's back to those important public health strategies, washing your hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbow and particularly looking after your babies by keeping away from them young children and old people when you've got respiratory stuff going on.

    "It was amazing and particularly great that the disadvantaged kids got a break last year – but it's back."

    Dr Trenholme said he is worried because there has already been a rise in RSV cases this year.

    • weka 10.1

      Really wish NZ would put some effort into this.

      • gsays 10.1.1

        This and scanning in at premises.

        It is a matter of when, not if, we have a community outbreak, IMO. The complacency/arrogance/indifference of folk will be our undoing.

        I was gobsmacked in a recent exchange here on TS, 'I shouldn't have to upgrade my phone to sign in' or some such piffle. Then the same conceited piece of work is one of the loudest complainers of the vaccine roll-out.

        To my mind these two activities are or should be linked. High compliance in registering movements entitles one to complimentary vaccination(s).

        • weka

          My comment was about handwashing etc in relation to limiting the spread of cold and flu.

          As for scanning, sorry to break this to you, but no-one here scans. And they won't so long as the perception of risk is low. What we need is systems that can be booted up rapidly if there is community outbreak. I don't think the South Island has had community transmission for a year.

  10. Incognito 11

    This Government likes to take advice but not to invest in scientific research. Especially early-career and emerging researchers are finding it hard here in NZ. No wonder they’ll disappear overseas once the pandemic has waned. The system is broke(n), but Dr Woods and Dr Verrall are asleep at that particular wheel.


    • gsays 11.1

      For a crowd that wants the country to pivot from exporting raw products to higher paid industries, you would think this was a no-brainer.

  11. Herodotus 12

    After enjoying Fight for the wild re preditor free 2050

    I was wondering if anyone knows if doc are intending to make Stuart Is preditor free ?as think what an is that size would be in providing an amazing lifeboat for many our our native species. I could not find anything on the internet. Many who have been there have commented what a place to visit. And that the wonders it provides in its current state with introduced species is breath taking. I tip my cap to all those volunteers and amazing DOC staff out there.

    • weka 13.1

      Lol, Aucklanders be very jealous.

      I’m not a hater so much as frustrated that we can do such clever engineering but can’t figure out how to build low cost housing using that same discipline.

      btw, that landscape is where they had to pour concrete into the hills after engineers said this is a dodgy af place to build a dam given quake potential. Damn the science, and the High Court, Muldoon stomped all over both and nature with his big thinking.

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        And again, what gets me, it seems that this is only for cyclists as as a wanderer/walker i would not like to compete with these guys.

        It is that single use that is so wasteful.

        Oh we can figure out low cost housing, but 'the market' won't allow for it, and the government won't build it in the place of 'the market'. With all things, we have the money, but we don't spend it wisely. But some well to doer Aucklanders get to travel to there and then they get to bike there. Never mind the homeless or soon to be homeless.

        • weka

          The ironies and classism abound, although I expect high use from locals and Southland and Otago people especially in the first year.

          completely agree about the single use. Betting it’s a beloved project for someone or some group, and from pre covid/tourism collapse, but we really have to move past this reductionist thinking to looking at whole systems.

          • Incognito

            Some people are so quick to judge.

            The Lake Dunstan Trail links the townships of Clyde and Cromwell.

            The trail offers cyclists and walkers an easy 55km ride (Grade 1-2) through unique and fascinating landscapes so characteristic of Central Otago as it journeys along Lake Dunstan, the Kawarau River and the mighty Clutha River Mata-au.


            • weka

              Can you reconcile that with the volume speaking photos?

              • Incognito

                I can.

                • weka

                  Lol, I meant sharing with the rest of us.

                  • Incognito

                    Spectacular views of a trail and not a single suggestion it was for lycra-wearers only; perception is not reality. In fact, the Stuff article did mentioning walking but was obviously written from a cycling PoV.

                    I have to say that I find this pitting of cyclists against car drivers or cyclists against walkers symptomatic of many of the ‘debates’ we’re having nowadays, particularly the political ones (which doesn’t leave many others). I thought it was all about sharing, inclusivity, finding common ground and, ideally, consensus, i.e. the opposite of what’s been happening more and more in recent times.

                    Work’s calling.

                    • Sacha

                      Let the unicycle commute commence!

                    • weka

                      Wasn’t a pitting of cyclists and walkers against each other, but pro tourism leaders against the same who refuse to address climate, ecology, housing, preparing for what’s coming.

                      As I said not hate so much as frustration. I remember when they ripped up the rail lines in Central to build a bike track. It’s a lack of vision of the bigger picture and urgency of the situation that bothers me.

                    • Incognito []

                      Apologies, although I replied to you, it was not all (!) about you or your comments in particular, but more of a general moan from a growing general sense of frustration. Sorry, I should have made that more clear.

                    • weka

                      all good yes And yes, agreed about the frustrating nature of polarised and pitted debates.

          • Graeme

            The Whakatipu trails are heavily used by locals and visitors, both cyclists and walkers, and carry a surprising amount of commuter traffic. Use well in excess of most expectations. During lockdown they were almost too busy.

            The CO Rail Trail is well used but it's taken a while for the associated support businesses to get sorted and understand the opportunities. Still a stunning resource, both for biking and walking in whole or parts with some great day walks / rides. Every time I've been on it I've only met New Zealanders, mostly from Central. Want to walk it depths of winter some time, staying in the pubs along the way, there's plenty.

            The Southland trail from Kingston through Mavora to Walter Peak is a bit of a fizzer, but that doesn't have much population along it so is tourist only.

            The Lake Dunstan trail is a stunner. Only word to describe it. I've been through there before the lake filled on a bike and it was quite an adventure along the farm and hydro tracks. The 'clip-on' section avoids a very steep track over the mountain. I'd say this trail well be very well used.

            I did a lot of work on the local trails and it was a hoot watching all the local true blue landowners having meltdowns about the trails coming alongside, and in some cases right through, their properties. They couldn't say much since it was all John Key's idea, but Bill had to do a bit to pacify a few. Amy Adams got her nickers in a right knot about the Dunstan one too, goes right past her place.

        • The Al1en

          The article states it isn't single use with reference to runners and walkers sharing the trail

          • Sacha

            But where is the housing on it – people want to know!

            • The Al1en

              No houses because trolls live underneath bridges lol

            • weka

              You know there’s a housing crisis locally right?

              • Sacha

                On our tourist cycle tracks, even!

                • weka

                  More like via local council and businesses.

                  • Sacha

                    They have little influence over financialised housing 'markets' and councils get funding with strings attached about what they do with it. Tourism infrastructure is not from the same bucket as housing, strangely enough.

                    Sometimes a cycle track is just a cycle track.

                    • weka

                      Councils have lots of options for responding to the housing crisis and they choose not to take them.

                      Let’s see how much CODC is shifting its tourism focus post covid. I will be surprised.

                    • weka []

                      Btw, seeing housing as outside of council purview, and not seeing the connections between tourism and housing in that part of the country is a definition of the silo rather than system thinking I mentioned.

                    • Sacha

                      There is seeing the world you want to be true, and what is there. Progress requires acknowledging both.

                    • weka []

                      Of course. Could have done without the mocking and instead talking about that.

          • Incognito

            Nowadays, people don’t read, they react, to what they think they’d read if they did in fact read it. Too much effort goes into moaning, IMHO; it is 95% of reality.

            • The Al1en

              I 95% agree or +95%

            • Stuart Munro

              You should expect a bit of moaning. Bad governance leaves a mighty long tail.

              It will take decades to halt the rise of inequality stemming from the Rogergnomic …experiment. Those exposed to its effects need something more substantial than the incremental rises to welfare payments announced thus far, which will like as not be erased by the next ripple of incontinent greed from the rentier set. The government has done many positive things, but it has not set things to rights. Not remotely.

              • greywarshark

                Too much of government action is putting on band aids. They can be helpful in healing if underneath them is prepared. clean and healthy, otherwise they just lead to festering!

                I fear that their only option for change is leaps and bounds. They are leaping out of multi-educators bleeding the polytech and training system, so there is going to be one control and one ring will bind them all. Same with hospitals and medicals, and they want one tech system which when it can be effectively hacked will make us all ill. And that sounds like another expensive overblown contraption like the old police Incis system.

                Maybe they're in the stranglehold of this neolib smaller government where every man, ambitious woman, and their dogs can sniff out goodly salaries telling us how we are all wrong and they can put us right. And these consultants and CEOs seem to get away with things very close to fraud! Pollies have to pass the work to them, it is the system, and we are the meat going through the grinder and coming out as mince. Perhaps their only option is to change the whole system, throw it out, and start again hoping for better. That is very inefficient as far as using human and other resource and skills go. But efficiency and productivity are just words to wave round like a magician distracting the peeps, while other things get done by sleight of hand.

          • Sabine

            As i said, I would not want to compete against the cyclists and runners as a walker, others might feel more comfortable with it.

            • The Al1en

              You also said…

              it seems that this is only for cyclists

              Which is why I posted it actually isn't.

              • Sabine

                i know that it is 'intended' for cyclists and for walker /runner

                And then i said, I would not want to 'compete' for space. and then It 'seemed' to be only for cyclists, judging on the width of the track. All of it is "MY" opinion. Not what the article said.

                So yeah, it can be 'intended' but it ain't 'inclusive'. I can see a whole lot of people not trying to be on there together with some cyclists that want to go at speed and without stopping. Its a bit like the track linking Whakamaru and Mangakino. You do not want to be on certain spots on this bicyle track/walkway as as pedestrian when you have on both sides lycra clad aucklanders / wellingtonians/ and other entitled people on bikes. They will tell you to get outta ways, cause after all they paid to be there.

                And generally the track is used mainly by cyclists over summer. Go figure.

                • The Al1en

                  I don't care about your fixation in equating cycling to excesses of the middle classes, I disagree with it on the whole as I still see biking for many as a form of transport, whether that be because they don't have cars, access to public transport, or have decided to lose a few carbon emissions as part of the effort to beat climate change.

                  As part of my job, I plant and maintain areas along the new Kawatiri trail, and have been there many times from very early on to late afternoon. While not as spectacular as the one in the news above, it's also a shared track with narrow choke points, boardwalks and even a swing bridge, I've witnessed no collisions, near misses or anti social behaviour from either walkers or cyclists alike.

                  Along with the pleasure walkers and gaggle of lycra 'tour de francers', I also see kids riding to and back from school, people going to or back from work, and seniors doing the track for some safe, low impact exercise. What's not to like with that? Fresh air, burning calories and not using petrol.

                  To finish, I originally replied to your stating "it seems that this is only for cyclists". My comment that the article says it isn't still stands.

                  • Sabine

                    'seems'. 🙂 personal opinion. nothing to do with anything else then that.

                    I don't equate cycling with nothing, and i am not sure this path was even concepted under Labour, i think it was key the king of the mother of all cycle ways up and down the country. so really don't care. so its not even political.

                    Same with the Harbour Cycling bridge, again not something i would use, but to each their own. My point equating that bridge to the one that needs replacing in Ashburton is simply raising the question of need vs wants, as both bridges made it in to the news virtually the same weekend.

                    All i said is that I would not use this track as a person who now walks, competing with cyclists. That is literally all i said. To me it seems that this track is not suited for both. Maybe that is more to your liking? And the future will tell how suited it is to its intended dual purpose.

                    And i live in Rotorua which is as cycle friendly as it gets and its beautiful here for that.

  12. weka 14

    Useful references here.

    • weka 14.1

      “That scientists coming to the issue from two different angles reach the same conclusions about a given dataset should foster confidence in the scientific process and the conclusions reached by both groups.

      Please make sure to use both citations when disseminating.”

      • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1.1

        In the conclusions

        "The research conducted so far has studied untrained transgender women."


        and a correction says :

        "EH and TL have given talks and engaged in the mainstream media and academic press regarding the biology of sex and how they have concluded that this should impact sporting categories."

        We can say they have an agenda

        DR E Hilton is research technician at University of Manchester, and not a published researcher in Sports medicine at all

        'Division of Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine '


        So we can say its not worth much at all.

  13. coreyjhumm 15

    So it turns out labour aren't raising benefits they are just moving money from payments around like musical chairs and deducting payments from other top ups and getting praised for literally doing nothing. Some people will be worse off

    The audacity. The shame. Shame on Labour. Shame. I'm so mad and done. This pathetic increase gave people hope and it turns out the pittance is all an illusion and now when someone wants to increase welfare middle nz will go crazy saying they are giving too much to beneficaries because of this bullshit and lies.

    How is it so difficult to ring fence funding so people actually get extra. Does labour actually want people to get extra or did they want a nice pr story. NOONES getting anything extra. The yearly inflation increases also get swallowed up and see people getting less.

    Honestly. I'm starting to miss the nats because atleast they didn't hide their hatred of beneficiaries labour is worse because it tell us it love us and is giving us $80 extra since they got in. No they arent. The only increase they've done is the $20 covid increase and winter energy and it's funny how they could do that increase last year without it cutting into other top ups but not this grand much praised increase that is taking a legitimate year to implement. Wtaf

    What a bullying arrogant lying joke this government has become and I'm a party member. Refusing to do interviews, being forced to court or by the ombudsman to release OIAs, shouting down opposition and journos and turning select committees into a circus when people ask questions they wanna hear. Bugger the tories I hate them but this govt is yuck.

    How many goddamn legions of consultants and pr gurus did it take to come up with this lie of a welfare increase!?! Spin spin spin spin

    I see the upper middle class get billions and billions for their cycle lanes and get to run around lecturing poor people about how ignorant evil and privlidged we all are and what do the poor get ? An end to ruthensha ? Was that a good spin for the Twitter crowd …. Yeah thanks so much for giving us money we already get and telling us it's new funding

    Lies. Spin. Misdirection. Spin.

    Who cares who wins next time. It doesn't matter it genuinely doesn't matter. Happy nice sweet lies from labour or insults and abuse from national neither side gives a flying f about the poor.


    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.1

      'So it turns out labour aren't raising benefits they are just moving money from payments around like musical chairs and deducting payments from other top ups"

      Any evidence for that ?

      Your link is actual increases like this

      Sole Parent Support from $386 last year to $406 this year and $434 next year

      You misunderstand what 'top ups' or Temporary Additional Support are about.

      'Temporary Additional Support is a weekly payment that helps you when you don't have enough money to cover your essential living costs"

      Only up to 13 weeks , and clearly the benefit increases will mean 'dont have enough money' will reduce.

    • gsays 15.2

      I suppose this is part of what having 4 press secretaries gets you.

      FWIW, my Mum is 80 and each week I hear the gratitude from her with the amount she gets on the pension.
      “Never would get that with Judith in charge…”

    • Barfly 15.3

      That was a rather incensed diatribe – I am a beneficiary and I am both surprised and grateful with the number and amounts of the increases I have received as well as those which I will be receiving. My situation has improved markedly – I regret that yours has not.

  14. Incognito 16

    Waiting-person (M/F), there’s a fly on my radar!


    This is so cool.

    Edit: there’s a spy on the wall.

  15. Stuart Munro 17

    Although the object of proposed changes to Immigration monitoring seem well intended, we have had an accreditation system before – in fact we have one now.

    Immigration Minister ​Kris Faafoi said reports of this type were “concerning” and said “if this type of behaviour were to eventuate, employers would be at risk of losing their accreditation and therefore not able to hire any migrants”.

    I guess he's trying not to frighten the horses, but systematic criminal exploitation of the kind that was normalised under the Key Kleptocracy, should not only result in loss of accreditation, but massive fines to fund full damages to exploited workers, together with loss of residency status. You want to set up as an employer criminal? Go somewhere else – NZ doesn't need you – we've far too many like that already.

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