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Open mike 06/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 6th, 2021 - 81 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 …

81 comments on “Open mike 06/09/2021 ”

  1. GreenBus 1

    Countdown to take knives and scissors off their shelves as a reaction to Lynmall incident. https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/knives-taken-off-supermarket-shelves-in-new-zealand-after-terrorist-attack/ar-AAO7X5n?li=BBqdg4K.

    Just imagine the weapons to be found in a hardware store. Slashers, pitch forks etc and the list would be endless, taken across all trades and services. If NZ is not immune from terrorism then maybe it's time to lock down all dangerous items, like cigarettes and spray paint?? haha. H & S might blow a fuse with all the work going forward.

    • McFlock 1.1

      It's probably more about helping their staff and customers feel safe, rather than actual OSH.

      Leave it a while. Not many people going into mitre10 right now, anyway.

      • Tricledrown 1.1.1

        More 10 visitors more likely to be big strong builders cowardly attackers wouldn't last long .Besides building stores are not usually in city centres.

        • Forget now 1.1.1.1

          Why should it matter if building stores are in city centres or not? I guess tradies and farmers are more likely to have knives on them as a matter of course, but such a work tool (especially if folding & unlockable!) isn't really much of a weapon. "Big strong builders" are certainly not the only customers at hardware stores, and who can say for certain how they would react in a moment of crisis if not trained for it (and even then without warning)?

          I don't think I would call the Lynn Mall Terrorist cowardly; deranged – sure, but it has to take some level of courage to perpetrate such attacks with a melee weapon rather than a firearm, vehicle, or explosive. He had to know that his options afterwards were likely; death, deportation, or prison.

          Saw this on RNZ earlier and still have the tab open:

          Tomlinson, a paramedic of 10 years… said there were three or four of them "yelling at him and giving him instruction to drop the knife".

          Them being involved was quite impressive, he said.

          "I've had years of emergency training to deal with emergency situations, but for those people they didn't have that.

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/450843/man-chased-by-lynnmall-terrorist-says-kiwis-stood-up-for-what-s-right

        • GreenBus 1.1.1.2

          Mega10 in my hometown is at a mall, next to Countdown, Harvey Normans and many more. Everytime I shop Mega10 there's 200-300 people in there. The Cafe and Garden centre full of woman and children. Builders all outside in the drivethru. It would be hideous if an attack was to happen. How many tradies are black belt in self defence, not many I'd think the rest would take cover. I hope this doesn't become a new normal terrorist attack, nearly impossible to stop.

    • Ross 1.2

      You are right, Greenbus.

      It is little more than virtue signalling, especially when you see the plethora of glass bottles in supermarkets. Of course if police were aware that their subject had an obsession with knives, they might have reasonably been expected to be stationed in the relevant aisle.

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        Captain hindsight strikes again: your "reasonably expected" is a bunch of BS before the fact.

        As for the term "virtue signalling", maybe you could try getting your head around the fact that a lot of people get weirded out in similar places after something like this.

        Is that feeling rational? Nope.

        Is it normal? Yep.

        Do staff like working in places where everyone instinctively keeps an uncoscious eye on who is loitering near the kitchen utensils? Nope.

        Do customers do the same? Yep.

        And if basic human consideration isn't a motive for you, do businesses like to see their customers happy so they come in and buy stuff rather than going somewhere else? Most definitely.

        So sure, mock companies showing a bit of awareness about normal human reactions. Says more about you than them.

        • Ross 1.2.1.1

          You mentioned the Lindt cafe terrorist attack.

          Police were criticised for their lack of urgent action. They inadvertently killed one of the hostages. The terrorist, like ours, was on bail at the time of the attack. It is very sad when history repeats itself.

          An urgent inquiry is needed here to ensure whatever mistakes might have been made are not repeated in the future.

          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-40024143

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.1

            Not urgent.

            Careful, methodical, and precise.

            Like the coronial inquiry you linked to, released ~2.5 years after the attack.

            Guess what – we'll have a coroner's inquest, too. And multiple other reviews. You're calling for action that has already, in some instances, begun.

  2. Anne 2

    As someone who has scant knowledge of these matters, it does seem to me that NZ places too much emphasis on the punishment side of criminal activity and not nearly enough on the rehabilitation of the individuals concerned. Many of them are profoundly damaged mentally due to their upbringing and/or past experiences. According to this expert the terrorist was one of them:

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/450835/missed-opportunities-to-deradicalise-lynnmall-attacker-says-criminologist

    Very sad. I wonder how many of these people, if properly treated, would go on to lead useful lives.

    • Ad 2.1

      New Zealand peaked at 10,600 in 2018 and are down this year to 8,600.

      I do think you point to a really hard question:

      When every applicable part of the intelligence, immigration, Police, judiciary, and policy settings have been used on one person and they still get to commit a terror attack, what more must the state do to stop them?

      Since they forecast annual death and injury from COVID as worth decreasing everyone's human rights for, then they can do it with terrorism as well.

      It's like: we're getting ready for nationwide permanent Level 2 for public health. What about Security Level 2?

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Not sure the parallel goes through, there.

        Couple of reasons, one because it's pointless in practise and the other because it's significantly more complex theoretically.

        The yanks, and other nations, have tried "alert levels" ever since 2001. Fucking useless. Yanks ditched their colour-coding system in 2011. Most people have no idea what they were supposed to do in a "high" level as opposed to "elevated", let alone "guarded" vs "low".

        From a theoretical level, we know that if person A has a communicable virus, close contacts are all in significant danger and need to be tested.

        But if person B has a tendency towards violence in Dunedin, the next similar attack can happen in Auckland, by person Q. And nobody has a pcr-level test for individual actions, do they? Otherwise economists would all be in agreement, and correct.

        Viruses have a given probability of infection, hospitalisation, and death. We can make estimates based on those probabilities.

        The Rand corporation tried that sort of modelling for violence in the 60s, and people periodically try ever since, but it doesn't work because individuals have so much variation. The assumption-based errors are a mile wide. Every prediction with a reasonable assumption spread would point to a likelihood that includes "no problems" and "human extinction".

        • Forget now 2.1.1.1

          Speaking of people with "a tendency towards violence in Dunedin", the person (allegedly) responsible for the Dunedin Central Countdown attacks was reported on in the ODT at 9:32am on the morning of the 3rd of September. Found myself wondering if the news had made it up to Auckland radio (or whatever internet the terrorist was allowed – which I understand was subject to conditions), before he set out to Lynn Mall Countdown. There may not be a connection (difficult to ask him now), but that's a fair coincidence!

          The case for the man who allegedly stabbed four people in a Dunedin supermarket has stalled as the court awaits a psychological report…

          Crown prosecutor Richard Smith told the court today that the clinician assessing the defendant needed more time to complete their report.

          Justice Robert Osborne remanded the man in custody until November.

          The issue of name suppression, Mr Smith said, would likely be determined by the contents of the report.

          https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/crime/case-supermarket-stabbing-accused-stalls

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            People (especially terrorists) love to think of terrorists as criminal masterminds, intricately planning bold masterstrokes to hold the world in fear.

            And fair enough there was a bit of that before governments started targeting coordinators and engineers (rather than the disgruntled teens with two hand grenades and a dream). And, like plugging leaks in a roof, security started getting more professional at spotting vulnerabilities before terrorists could exploit them.

            These days, most "terrorists" seem to be, well, sad dicks or sadly disturbed/foolish individuals, generally working with badly-written crap they collected off the internet, and with a lot of personal shit going on in their lives.

            People like the coffee-bar hostage taker in Aus, who wanted the cops to get him an ISIS banner because he brought the wrong one, and was up for serious non-political charges at the same time, too.

            Sad characters, many of them.

      • AB 2.1.2

        "Since they forecast annual death and injury from COVID as worth decreasing everyone's human rights for, then they can do it with terrorism as well"

        Yeah – though there may be a hierarchy of human rights at play here. The COVID crisis involves restricting freedom of movement (arguably a lesser right) to maximise right to life (arguably a greater one). Crudely stated – there's a net increase in rights that comes out of this calculation and trade off. Whereas stopping terrorism may require going into darker territory, such as taking people out of circulation because of their opinions in order to stop a statistically insignificant amount of harm (compared to a pandemic at least). And that I feel just makes getting the right balance a whole lot harder.

        • Ad 2.1.2.1

          Each policy instrument applied on both entails pretty significant losses of rights, and there's no time like the whole of the population losing a set of rights to start a reasonable debate about whether state control mechanisms are really working.

          We've managed not to get too dark after the Christchurch mosque massacre. IMHO we are the more mature for it.

          But this current guy should never have been in the country. He have been deported years ago for getting here on fraudulent documents. Why they weren't able to have the Deportation hearing is beyond me.

    • Gezza 2.2

      From what I've seen over the years, Corrections is hopelessly underfunded, our prisons are full of people who're recalcitrant gang members, some of whom are violent thugs virtually running some units & sometimes even dictating terms to warders, recruitment centres for gang membership & training centres for anti-social & criminal activities.

      With chronically insufficient money or other resources for in-house education, psychiatric and psychological services for damaged individuals and mentally ill inmates or criminally insane psychopaths – like Bell & Burton appear to be.

      Attempts to divert young offenders may not actually be working that well. Last year I read in Stuff somewhere that remand prisoners were clogging up the prisons again. Dunno how the numbers are. Courts seem clogged too.

      Our mental health services are seemingly woefully under-resourced.

      I'm trying to do a bit of reading up on Islamic de-radicalisation programmes, most seem to involve extremists in custody being taught that Islam is now a peaceful religion by non-radical, orthodox Imams. Not read that much so far. But from google hits headlines they seem to be a bit hit & miss. There's been at least one notable failure in the UK, where someone actually attending such a programme after his release went on a stabbing rampage.

      Problem is Islam's a mixture of a multi-faceted religion, ideology & Islamic (Sharia) law. The Quran is pretty muddled in places. Hadiths & Sunnah also complicate what's taught. Open to multiple fatwa interpretations. Taliban, Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Sunni, Shiite, Sufi, Wahhabi, Salafists etc – all can claim they've got the right interpretation.

      Hard to shift some people's minds if they're fixated or fanatical & not naturally empathic or they've got narcissistic or psychopathic/sociopathic personalities. One criticism of the UK's programmes was that an evaluation claimed some of these radicals will tell you what you want to hear but remain dangerous.

      I expect some White Supremacists are the same.

  3. Reality 3

    Just wondering why the attacker was absolutely determined to challenge his deportation while showing such hatred for the western society he lived in here. Would it have been better for him to be back in Sri Lanka where he had family. Did he ever have a working life, friends, mosque contacts? Was he ever a student, apart from apparently initially getting here on a student visa. Nothing has come out about how he spent his time here, apart from time in prison and the various legal/immigration complications going on for many years.

    • Gosman 3.1

      I agree completely. His rationale for claiming refugee status was that his father was a government official that ran afoul of a local Tamil Tiger commander. However the Tamil Tigers were defetaed as an effective military force by 2009 and his father did not flee Sri Lanka like his son. He would have had much more support at home and should NEVER have been granted refugee status at all.

      • Tricledrown 3.1.1

        Which govt was in power when he was granted refugee status.Judith Collins was justice minister at the time and ditched reforming the laws around extradition dangerous migrants saying there was no need for such legislation now she is saying we need urgent reform of extradition.The Clark govt so called overstretch of terror laws in the early 2000's ,yet those some of those were found using and training with ak47 style guns.better to be safe than sorry.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          You may well be right. I am no fan of Collins. However that does not excuse the inaction of the current government on this issue as well.

        • alwyn 3.1.1.2

          It's all Judith Collins' fault.

          It's all Judith Collins' fault.

          It's all Judith Collins' fault.

          It's all Judith Collins' fault.

          Now do you really have anything useful to contribute?

          [you obviously don’t have anything useful to contribute today, so take the rest of the day off – Incognito]

        • Craig Hall 3.1.1.3

          It was granted on appeal, rather than by Immigration NZ in this particular case – INZ wanted to decline it and have taken all legal steps since to deport him.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      He lied on his application he had a hidden agenda .rehabilitating a fundamentalist good luck with that.

      The govt is supposed to be everything to every body with a meagre budget due to our very low tax rates.Prisons,Hospital's,education system etc all underfunded so how are we supposed to rehabilitate and have a proper mental health system ,train enough health worker and retain them. Only 8 new psychology training places for a country of 5 million successive govt's have relied on migrants from poorer countries to fill these positions as it is cheaper than training local people,who many go to wealthier countries.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        Our tax burden as a percentage of our GDP is around the average for the OECD. It is certainly not at a very low level.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 3.2.1.1

          OECD average 33.8%; NZ 32.3%. So (slightly) below the average, and decreasing?

          Revenue Statistics 2020 – New Zealand [pdf]
          The OECD’s annual Revenue Statistics report found that the tax-to-GDP ratio in New Zealand decreased by 0.6 percentage points from 32.9% in 2018 to 32.3% in 2019. Between 2018 and 2019 the OECD average decreased from 33.9% to 33.8%.

          The bar graph at the bottom of the first page puts things in perspective, imho.

          NZ is the only OECD country that formally has no social security contributions.

        • aj 3.2.1.2

          is around the average for the OECD. It is certainly not at a very low level.

          That's a meaningless statistic. The tax take needs to be wherever it needs to be to provide optimum services to the public. That is the debate, not where we are compared to other countries.

          • Gosman 3.2.1.2.1

            It is not actually. There is a widely held view is that at some level the economic performance of the country starts to diminish once the overall tax burden reaches a certain percentage of the overall economy. Now you might not subscribe to this but a significant body of people do. That is why there is push back against a much higher tax burden than we have now.

        • Tricledrown 3.2.1.3

          Gosman we have had this argument before I proved you wrong you name the country I 'all prove you wrong .Start with Australia if you like Headline taxes are all the OECD is looking at.

          State taxes average 5•5% over and above federal base tax. Then Medicare 3% then self funding pensions 9%.State stamp duties and land taxes vary.

          That's over 12% higher than NZ

          France headline taxes average 33% but healthcare tax 8% pension tax over 9% and like much of europe you pay indemnity insurance as well.my daughter and husband
          Live their and on slightly more than the average wage pay 66% tax.

          In the US taxes between state and federal the health insurance around 66 cents in the dollar.

    • Ross 3.3

      Just wondering why the attacker was absolutely determined to challenge his deportation while showing such hatred for the western society he lived in here.

      They are not mutually exclusive. He wanted to remain here possibly because he saw the opportunity to do most harm here.

    • Gabby 3.4

      I guess he hated the west so much that he preferred to stay on and attack it from inside.

  4. Reality 4

    It must have been into millions of dollars that was spent on this terrorist over many years through police, judiciary, justice system, lawyers, legal aid, possibly social welfare. I hope the proposed legislation will be water tight enough to prevent this type of utter waste of taxpayer money. There are too many other needs to be funded.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Was his intention to create terror in the community, or was it to kill people he hated? Has this been made clear (can it be made clear?)

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        Surely the later would lead to the former?

        • Robert Guyton 4.1.1.1

          I suppose so, but what I'm wondering, semantically and logically, is whether the label "terrorist" can only be applied to someone who intentionally seeks or succeeds in creating terror in a population, by employing actions that create terror, as a method. If this person struck out with only the intention of killing, not hoping as well to inspire terror in the community, does the table fit?

          For clarity, I'm not trying to minimise anything, just wondering about labels.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1

            Many organisations that were officially labelled terrorist by the governments they opposed were not in fact seeking to create terror in the wider population so if we used your definition that would seriously reduce who is officially defined as a Terrorist. I'm not stating that isn't necessarily a desirable outcome just that it needs to be taken in to account if the change in definition is adopted.

            • Robert Guyton 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I agree with your comment. Personally, I think the too-casual use of the lable "terrorist" exacerbates the fear felt by people in the wider society. Roblogic (below) describes the person as "the knife attacker" which would terrify readers and listeners far less, imo, than describing them as "the terrorist" and given that it should be beholden upon authorities to reduce the fear felt by the community, more care could be taken with applying these labels.

              • Gezza

                Interesting point.

                A common definition of terrorism is the "systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective."[2] However, unlike some other jurisdictions,[3] New Zealand has actually defined terrorism in an Act of Parliament

                The major piece of terrorist-related legislation in New Zealand is the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.[4] The Act was introduced by the Government to strengthen its counter-terrorism powers, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States.[5] The Terrorism Suppression Act defines terrorism, in New Zealand or elsewhere, as an act that "is carried out for the purpose of advancing an ideological, political, or religious cause"[4]and with the following intention:

                1. to induce terror in a civilian population; or
                2. to unduly compel or to force a government or an international organisation to do or abstain from doing any act.

                And if it results in one or more of the following outcomes:[4]

                1. the death of, or other serious bodily injury to, one or more persons (other than a person carrying out the act):
                2. a serious risk to the health or safety of a population:
                3. destruction of, or serious damage to, property of great value or importance, or major economic loss, or major environmental damage, if likely to result in one or more outcomes specified in points 1, 2 and 4:
                4. serious interference with, or serious disruption to, an infrastructure facility, if likely to endanger human life:
                5. introduction or release of a disease-bearing organism, if likely to devastate the national economy of a country.

                Alternatively, instead of the listed outcomes, "it occurs in a situation of armed conflict and is, at the time and in the place that it occurs, in accordance with rules of international law applicable to the conflict".[4]

                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_New_Zealand

                I think the LynnMall stabber revelled in the panic & terror he plainly did cause. As did the mosque shooter.

                How would you define a terrorist?

          • Nic the NZer 4.1.1.1.2

            Terrorism is usually defined as the use of violence to influence politics or political leadership.

            I conciously noted this when when seeking entry to the UK and that the definition on the form was clearly something the UK govt was guilty of in Iraq. Of course the same can be said of certain NZ institutions like the SIS.

    • Craig Hall 4.2

      The main thing holding it up was appeals as far as I can tell. Maybe instead of throwing the whole thing out, fund the appellate tribunal better (delays have been an issue for years) and expedite the appeals in these instances?

  5. The knife attacker's family wrote a heartfelt letter to his Kiwi victims…

    LynnMall terrorist's family: 'We are heartbroken' | RNZ News

  6. Stephen D 6

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/126293423/peter-williams-to-retire-from-magic-talk-radio

    And not a moment too soon.

    I can forgive a good golfer most things, but not racism, misogyny, and stupidity.

  7. just started reading this book, written by TVNZ journo Jehan Casinader in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks. good stuff for mental health in these crazy lockdown days.

    This Is Not How It Ends: How Rewriting Your Story Can Save Your Life by Jehan Casinader (goodreads.com)

    • weka 7.1

      Just started reading this. He's a compelling writer, but the first chapter is surprisingly intense for something written for seriously depressed or stressed people.

  8. weka 8

    More good stuff from Sarb Johal,

  9. Gezza 9

    Curious thing. I only discovered today this site has a policy apparently conforming (or similar) to Ardern's policy of not naming the Christchurch or LynnMall terrorist attackers – which I will respect, of course, if I want to post about these attackers here.

    My personal view on this is different tho. As soon as their names were publicly known & suppressions lifted, I've been perfectly content to use them. It makes life easier. And it doesn't make any practical difference to how they're portrayed.

    But … I'm 95% sure that with the Christchurch terrorist, once suppression was lifted, all our msm tv channels & Stuff & Herald continued for months to not publish or use his name.

    Ardern's applying the same policy to the LynnMall terrorist. Which is fair.

    But all the msm tv channels & online news outlets aren't. They all seem to be naming him. (Making it difficult to post some links.)

    Why the difference? Anybody got views?

    • roblogic 9.1

      no need to give twisted psychos (or their pathetic manifestos) a moment of fame

    • lprent 9.2

      Yawn… You are probably looking for a conspiracy when none exists. This is a volunteer site where volunteer moderators have limited time to moderate. In the case of the ChCh terrorist, the suppression lasted throughout his trial and may even be still in place. I don’t know because what the suppression orders are in place isn’t listed in a searchable form anywhere that I know of.

      Apply Occams razor and look for the simplest explanation rather than a complex or ideological conspiracy. Just assume lack of time.

      It is entirely possible that a moderation was plugged in when suppression is in effect and not changed afterwards. This makes it easier for time constrained moderators to ensure that suppression breaking comments are not added to our site – and allows us to not have to approve every comment – thereby slowing the debate. It also means that I don’t get to spend time in court because of some dickhead commentator.

      I did a brief look and didn’t see a moderation for Lynmall guy. But since I never bothered to find out his name, that isn’t conclusive.

      So live with that possible constraint. There is of course another alternate explanation. There is an automatic constraint based on the number of links in a comment. That is there to cause problems for spammers and astroturfers..

      You seem to be using quite a lot of links… ~11 in the last comment that I had to release – most of then appear to be copies from where ever you copied the text from. Could you constrain those down. And use the quote control when you use quotes so that others know what are your words, and what are those of others. Italics are less useful than a specific quote tool.

      • Gezza 9.2.1

        Sorry, I wasn't clear. I understand your site policy. It's fine. I've posted elsewhere where the names were able be used once suppressions lapsed.

        What I'm curious about is why the mainstream media seem to be applying a different rule. Naming this guy as soon as suppression was lifted. Name suppression was eventually lifted for the Christchurch shooter but media carried on not naming him for some time beyond that.

        PS: Yes, sorry – I’ve noticed my article excerpts have been a bit long, with double-ups. Will try to cut them back in future.

        • Andre 9.2.1.1

          There was an element of suspicion the Christchurch fuckwit was a glory-hound, in his own perverted demented way. Hence his live-streaming. Not using his name is a minor means of denying him the twisted recognition he craved.

          With our New Lynn fuckwit, there doesn't seem to be the same suggestion he was in it for personal gain. Unless maybe he thought there were 72 virgins waiting for him in the afterlife. In any case, he's dead now, whether his name gets used or not has no potential effect on him. Nor is using his name, or not, likely to be influential in whether others get inspired to copy-cat his repugnant actions.

          • Gezza 9.2.1.1.1

            That's an interesting point & makes sense. I see Newshub made a point out of naming the Chch shooter when others still weren't.

            Straight off the bat the news chiefs all agreed on one thing: we were going to keep naming the alleged gunman. The Prime Minister had said she wasn't going to name him and implored others to do the same; she didn't want him to gain the notoriety he sought. But the editors were of one mind: in covering his trial, we would name [redacted].

            Won't post the link cos it names him.

            Link for quote.

            [If you copy someone else’s words to this site, you have to either link, or provide a clear reference. If the URL contains a word that might be a problem for the site, let the mods deal with it. In this case, I added the link via a phrase instead of straight, as you can see. You can do this yourself if you use the comment editor, ask if you are not sure – weka]

      • weka 9.2.2

        LynnMall guy's name is in the Moderation list (down the bottom). Comment in back end.

      • weka 9.2.3

        left a note for you in the back end about something else.

    • Incognito 9.3

      As soon as their names were publicly known & suppressions lifted, I've been perfectly content to use them. It makes life easier. And it doesn't make any practical difference to how they're portrayed.

      This site is not a (commercial) news site or part of MSM.

      It is also not about making your life easier by turning their names into household names.

      They don’t deserve name recognition or fame.

      It could stoke a competitive element with other deranged who would want to go down into the history books as the ‘greatest’. Nobody needs that.

      I’m sure you’ll find a way to say what you’d want to say without the need to name them.

  10. Dogma 10

    We don't like different opinions here do we? That's okay, it's been moderated to the point of irrelevancy. Perhaps the knitting circle of conformist views gather round the small kitchen table to share the echo chamber when alert levels permit.

    [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.]

    [Looks like we have a sockpuppet here!

    I just love it when banned commenters try to bypass their ban and then draw attention by preaching to us about moderation here and being an echo chamber. Such stupidity is rare and it never stops to amaze me.

    This sockpuppet is now banned permanently – Incognito]

  11. bour 11

    do we like difference of opinion on this site or do we moderate it to an echo chamber of irrelevance?

    [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 11.1

      Read the site Policy and find out. I’ve changed your name to something not designed to wind people up. No point in starting out as a troll, is there.

    • Stuart Munro 11.2

      Much depends on whether the opinion is informed.

      Prejudices – vagrant opinions loitering without means of support – may attract rebuttal.

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    3 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    3 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    4 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    4 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    5 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    6 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    6 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    7 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    2 weeks ago