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Open mike 06/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 6th, 2021 - 331 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 …

331 comments on “Open mike 06/12/2021 ”

  1. Luxon’s first rearrangement of the deck chairs today!

    Will Maureen Pugh continue her meteoric rise up the rankings?

    Will Simeon Brown get a pair of long trousers?

    Will Gerry Brownlee be shown the door and told not to barge through it?

    Will Judith Collins be given the chance to advocate crushing a few more cars.

    Will Jacqui Deans (of H2O fame) be given the Science portfolio?

    Will Stuart Smith (well known climate denier) be given the Environment portfolio?

    I’m all aquiver with excitement!

    • Blade 1.1

      Not much for the Tories ( and voters) to look forward to. Still, if National offers good policies like kicking He Puapua to the curb, I think voters may hold their noses and vote blue.

      I would save your quivering for when Jacinda realises she can no longer dodge the hard questions like she did with Mike Hosking, and decides to shoot through.

      • bwaghorn 1.1.1

        If luxon survives to the election debates will he ask Ardern to wear flats or will he carry a little box to stand on??

        Or maybe hell bring back the flare to hide some disco platform shoes under!!!

        • Blade

          Maybe Luxon just out debates her and the voters realise the Empress has only been wearing a G-String. The mental fog clears and the fawners lose all hope of a promised land?!

          • Red Blooded One

            Awh Blade, how cute, you sound like a little boy who secretly has a crush on a girl and pulls her pig tails to get her attention. The PM sure has you triggered.

            • Blade

              l love your irony 'Red Blooded One.'

              • Red Blooded One

                I love you think there is irony there. I admire the PM and the way she has handled the country, to date, with all that has been thrown at her, but I don't idolise her and she is as capable of mistakes as you or I. Those who kneel at the alter of Hoskings however, cannot recognize her successes and only have negative things to say.

              • Robert Guyton

                Was Blade alluding to "iron", with his "irony" and the role iron plays in making blood red?

                Is he/she/they that clever??

          • observer

            That's a familiar tune.

            With each new leader it's been sung again: "Simon/Todd/Judith/Chris will deal to the imposter. Definitely this time, we were only joking those earlier times."

            Then the so-called lightweight PM turns up to Question Time … prepared. That's not fair!

            • Blade

              You may be right, Observer. I agree with your first sentence. Please ask Jacinda if she could turn up prepared to take on Mike Hosking. It should be a breeze if she's prepared.

              • observer

                Prepared for what? Rational debate, sure. But at some point it's obvious that it's a waste of time.

                This is from last year, and it's only got worse since.

                • Blade

                  Ah, yes. Of course Mike can only form opinions on available information. That assumes the government releases such information and stops having brain fades and spells of telling porkies.

                  Talking of rational debate, Jacinda won't appear on ZB, but when channel surfing I have come across her on a couple of occasions giggling and talking vacuous nothings with equally vacuous radio hosts.

                  Maybe the chattering class thinks different to you?


                  • observer

                    The Sun is the biggest-selling newspaper in the UK. Other Murdoch media (Herald-Sun) top the charts in Australia. So what?

                    "Shit sells" is not a new insight. Been around since cavemen drew porn on the walls. (The cavemen now ring Newstalk ZB instead).

                    • Blade

                      "Shit sells" is not a new insight.''

                      I agree. Seems Robbo and Chris have no problem with Hosking. They can spin shit on their feet like ALL good politicians. But not Jacinda. She has a short song sheet that does not allow much room for going off the reservation. There's also a theory Labour are keeping her fresh for the election by minimising her shortcomings.

                    • lprent

                      Blade… Useless incompetent idiots grunting in unison about vacuous and unreal questions like "why won't you throw the borders open so we can take overseas holidays" as Mike Hosking and his favoured fellow idiots do is just idiotic shit.

                      It'd probably be better if Mike Hosking had ever bothered to educate himself on basic science. But it appears that how to get to a state fashionable dishevelment is about as far as his intellect was willing to go. As it is, his viewpoints have as much relevance as your inability to deal with risk and uncertainty do.

                      Like “Robbo and Chris” , Hosking states his ideal world – completely unrelated to reality and whines about why it doesn’t happen with a magic work. Just another useless parasite with no idea about how to work with the real world.

                      Not worth dealing with because you all appear to be as thick as shit in a pigpen.

                    • Blade

                      Seems by the comments regarding Hosking, we may have a problem.

                      Let's see, his ratings are skyrocketing, I would presume because people for a variety of reasons are looking for someone who can still ask a question and has a different opinion from the Tova and Jessica show. The more these new recruits listen to Mike, the more his opinions will resonate as they watch another glib performance by Jacinda and subconsciously make a comparison.

                      As for Iprent's reply to me :

                      ''Not worth dealing with because you all appear to be as thick as shit in a pigpen.''

                      Well, I'll let retrospective history decide who was right or wrong. Talking of pigs – I see another story is brewing. Cops from all over NZ are being sent to Northland to man road blocks.

                      Man, that Maori Caucus has some ''grunt', huh!


                  • Blazer

                    Try facts…Ardern has not said she will not appear on Hoskings rant…just that it would not be a weekly thing.
                    Hoskings show is for people who can’t think for themselves.
                    Assume you are an avid..fan.

                  • Tricledrown

                    The other squak back radio shows are constantly being cancelled re booted to be shutdown again .

                    So hosking is running a monopoly.

                    Given National disaster in opposition National are rallying around shock jock for the very well off Hosking because Nationals opposition can only cry wolf.

                    Talk Back radio where the Plymouth Brethren stalk the talk back hosts and Jacinda.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "Mike" doesn't "form opinions on available information": "Mike" interviews "Mike" to learn what "Mike" believes, then declares, with authoritative timbre, Mike's-reckons!

                • Jimmy

                  Hipkins, Little, Woods, Nash and Robertson all seem to be able to turn up. Surely Jacinda being the "communications expert" would be the best qualified.

                  • Patricia Bremner

                    Why bark if you have a dog?

                  • Tricledrown

                    I would say she has her hands full with a young child. Dealing with the big cry baby Hosking who thinks he is more important than everyone which would you do quality time with family or bombastic horrible Hosking.

                    • McFlock

                      Like many multi-privileged individuals I've encountered, I suspect hosking would be outraged at being treated like a toddler while actively behaving like one.

                  • lprent

                    There is a reason for that. She has several other jobs.

                    Running the government at a strategic level in the executive council, acting as the crowns prime minister and being answerable to that, organising legislation, organising regulations, being the leader of the Labour caucus, negotiating with a support partner in parliament, dealing with briefings from the civil servants across a range of portfolios, dealing with a pandemic, as well as being a mother to a small child, organising a wedding, and probably a few other things that I have forgotten.

                    And yet in your lazy and fatuous wisdom, you seem to think that her most important task want her to deal first with a self-important idiot like Hosking?

                    Are you really as bloated a fool and puffed up parasite as Hosking is?

                    • Jimmy

                      All other ministers manage to go but it looks bad that she has 'thrown in the towel' as the questions are too hard for her and her weaknesses are shown up. She still has time for shows such as Jono & Ben for the fun questions.

                    • Sacha

                      'Questions too hard', Jimmy? Hosk must be glad for listeners with such low expectations.

                    • lprent

                      She still has time for shows such as Jono & Ben for the fun questions.

                      You mean that she prefers to avoid a humourless parasite with a notable predilection for arbitrarily inventing precedents that no-one else noticed in the previous hundred years.

                      Basically Mike Hosking is in my view an misogynist idiot, a poor interviewer, and appears to only be listened to by a demographic that seldom (if ever) votes for Labour. And largely by the stupid end of that demographic.

                      I have no idea why anyone from Labour would interview with him unless they have a electorate filled with high numbers of that demographic or who are pushing unpalatable to that small portion of the voting public. So that would be ministers telling them what their taxes are doing.

                      A hardworking mum and PM shouldn't go near that dick. She should deal with someone civilised.

                    • Jimmy

                      "Basically Mike Hosking is in my view an misogynist idiot, a poor interviewer, and appears to only be listened to by a demographic that seldom (if ever) votes for Labour. And largely by the stupid end of that demographic."

                      As you say it is your view only, as I believe he has the number 1 rated show and ZB are the number 1 rated station. Obviously not everyones view.


                  • satty

                    What would you say if the Prime Minister would do every single interview?

                    The Labour Party is a one-trick pony?
                    They have no depth?
                    It's a dictatorship?

                    Like every good organisation, it's about the team, collaboration, sharing the workload, up-skilling, resilience… Looks like Labour is on the right track.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  Thanks Observer, for the reminder of how bad it was. I stopped listening and my mood lifted. I hope the PM’s mood has as well.

              • KJT

                That is not an interview.

                With Hosking's it is just him telling us what he thinks.

                Why would any Labour politician bother to sit down to be subjected to his ignorant "reckons" without being allowed to finish a sentence.

              • Subliminal

                Why? Mike Hosking is a complete dick. Last time I saw him on tv he wore those pre ripped jeans the kids wear. Narcissist would describe him well. Wouldn't really matter what the PM sai in reply he'd still be a complete dickhead!

          • garibaldi

            "Lose all hope of a promised land". I guess you believe Luxon is offering a "brighter future", just like his bestie did. Dream on Blade.

            • Blade

              Luxon can offer no such thing. All I'm hoping for is he stops the damage currently happening to this country. You will get rough indicator about Luxon’s intentions to change the course of this country by watching these two indicators:

              1- How he deals with Maori.

              2- Does he stop the Winter Energy Payments.

              Also, how short the voters memories are will play a part.

              • Pete

                Specifically, what do you want him to do in 'dealing with Maori'?

                • Blade

                  That's a very good question. First get rid of Three Waters. That said councils will have to do something about water supply, no questions about that. Central government may have to meet councils half way regarding upgrading water infrastructure.

                  Second, rescind councils right to vote on Maori wards without a public referendum from ratepayers.

                  Third, review all funding of anything Maori. This Labour government has been criminal in its use of taxpayer funds for supporting things Maori because it's the 'cool' thing to do. An example is funding to get Maori vaccinated. Hell, that's the job of the Taiwhenua.

                  I could cite a whole heap more, but my KFC has arrived.

              • Robert Guyton

                Luxon "deals with Maori"?

                How … colonial of him.

                • Blade

                  Deals with…not deal to. Maori want a separate political and constitutional agenda. Luxon will then have to ''deal with them.'' By the way, if you have plans to visit the Ureweras in search of native Wine Berries for your food forest, I wouldn't. You will wind up in the pot with the wine berries. Some would say, about time?

                  • Gezza

                    Some might say you’re cruising for a bruising from a mod for that low blow. 😠

                    • Blade

                      Yes, that thought assailed me after some reflection. However, I have feasted and will move on before being moved on. I clicked the link to Chris Trotters article. He's a great writer. Like Matthew Hooten, he reigns in his political preferences and sums up the political landscape very well.

                  • weka

                    I think Robert is more likely to end up sitting down for a kōrero and trading recipes. Perhaps you are projecting.

                    • Blade

                      Weka, things up that way are becoming tense. Expect problems over the holidays.


                    • weka

                      @Blade, why would there be trouble? DOC closes tracks for safety reasons at times.

                    • Blade

                      First there are people turning up who know nothing of the closures. Things then get tense.

                      Some Tuhoe are claiming sole rights of guardianship over Lake Waikaremoana. As usual, there are usually faction within a tribe.

                      Assaults have been reported. I cannot verify that, but have it from a good sources.

                      Quote from the article:

                      ''Allan said the iwi cannot make the closure of the area permanent. However, she seemed to be at odds with the board, and was told a different opening date.''

                      Add to this the fact many Tuhoe want Tamati Kruger and the Tuhoe Authority Board (?) out, and you have a crap show coming to town. It is not outlandish to say the government may lose control of this area. It may become annexed. I think this started on Nationals watch.

                    • RedLogix

                      An old and very close friend of mine was instrumental some decades ago in setting in motion within DOC the idea of working more closely with Ngati Tuhoe in the Park management. I heard him speak to this several times and I've no doubt the original intentions were good ones, and I fully support them.

                      A constructive relationship offers so much to both parties, both are sitting on an environmental and cultural treasure.

                      Instead we've gotten this mess, the direct result of woke tribalism. My friend would be rolling in his grave.

          • Tricledrown

            Blade Luxon is another Bill English Boring as batshit .No charisma.Just a windup toy.

            If Jacinda is only wearing a thong men will throng to Labour.

    • mac1 1.4

      The answer for Stuart Smith is no. The climate change and environment shadow portfolios are with Scott Simpson.

  2. Continuing the theme:

    Will Barbara Kuriger get animal welfare?

    Will Mark Mitchell get the shadow portfolio of mer . . . defence?

    Could Penk and Hipango share a secular affairs portfolio?

    The only one to make logical sense would be for Share Reti to be given Health, but that'll probably go to Chis Bishop.

    • Michael Woodlouse for housing (and homelessness)?

      • Nic the NZer 2.1.1

        Woodhouse knows every (official) homeless person in the country by name.

        • mary_a

          Nic the NZer … even the homeless invisible man too eh?

          • Tricledrown

            Woodhouse minister of the outhouse.Maybe the National whip he will be able to whip a couple of homeless people into the opposition ranks to bolster their numbers no one will see this as they will be invisible.

            • Robert Guyton

              "Minister of the outhouse" – also, excellent!

              There's such a talent pool, right here, on The Standard!

          • Nic the NZer

            Yes, in fact the only way to get into Woodhouse official list is to be a figment of Woodhouse imagination.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.2

        Absolutely. "Minister for homelessness" will be the title.

        • Blazer

          The competition would be hot for 'Minister of Dumb Ideas'….Luxon might keep that for…himself.

    • Gezza 2.2

      I’m going to be very interested in what Shane Reti gets.

      At least when Luxon’s announced his spokesperson porfolios we’ll finally have something a bit meatier to analyse & speculate on than his rather bland & anodyne comments to various media to date.

      He’s still got several problems to overcome:

      1. his caucus might still be disunited & prone to infighting (Collins is unlikely to let go of her existing animosities)
      2. he doesn’t have a huge pool of talent to choose from
      3. the government has the Treasury benches. Anything his team come up with that look like gaining them major traction with voters, Ardern’s govt can likely steal, give it a Labour twist, & just implement their own version of
      • Blazer 2.2.1

        Christopher7's problem with Reti…is he doesn't want him to become too popular.

        You would think he was a natural for health,but let's wait and..see.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.3

      all “honourable” mentions, but you really got me with sell sword Mitchell and Barbara Kuriger

    • woodart 2.4

      all 33 shipmates will be given important tasks, even if most of them are only good for swabbing the decks. one thing loxon will have learnt at corporate is that meaningless titles can keep the rabble happy. luzum will need to lean not to stand near railings while vice-captain willis is behind him. if anybody can steer the natanic away from icebergs ,it will be willis.

  3. Adrian 3

    Chris Bishop for Health…yay, we’ll all be on the compulsory sausage roll diet!

  4. Blazer 4

    Did you know that Jacinda Ardern is worth $25 million!

    No I didn't…but it is the latest misinformation being peddled around by the desperate.

    Google it and you will find at least 2 websites that state this nonsense.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Luxon the Greenie?

    Environmentalist Dame Anne Salmond ​sat on Luxon’s Air New Zealand sustainability board from its inception in 2015 to early 2020. She said his passion for climate change was “absolutely genuine” and he participated in all the panels and implemented all recommendations.

    “We investigated absolutely everything: biofuels, electric flights, how to reduce emissions through the way in which flight is managed at airports with circling planes, how to lighten planes; every aspect of the technology and management of the airport, the flight process. It was cutting edge,” she said.

    Luxon also had some innovative ideas about how to tackle climate change and enhance sustainability across the country, she said. It included a deal with iwi in Tairāwhiti Gisborne to improve economic growth in the area. “I think that engagement was again genuine. The sustainability panel and Christopher went out to the regions and talked to leading figures both among iwi, but also in rural sectors about how to deliver sustainability to the country.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/127150848/national-party-leader-christopher-luxons-climate-credentials

    • observer 5.1

      May well be true, as a CEO. He could lead and make his directives happen.

      But now he has a caucus to persuade. One which could barely stomach the Zero Carbon Act. With many MPs not even convinced of climate change or the urgency.


      • Gezza 5.1.1

        His Deputy Nicola Willis is a major supporter of Climate Change initiatives.

        He’s not likely going to be able persuade her to change her mind. She’d be a logical candidate for that spokesperson role under Luxon’s leadership.

        • observer

          Optimistic, I'd suggest. If we've learned nothing else about National MPs in the past couple of years, it's that minds change at the drop of a hat (or poll).

          Willis was one of the bedwetters (to quote Simon Bridges' own book). Muller in, then Collins in, and now Luxon in.

          Like her colleagues, Willis was so principled that she did not say a single word about the train wreck of Collins' leadership – until it was over.

          Whoever is in charge, whatever the policies are, they will stand and nod. It's the Debate Club background of Willis and Bishop: the game is all, there is no moral core.

          • Gezza

            Optimistic? Maybe. I get your point about the Debate Club; debaters learn how to easily switch arguments on & off at the drop of a hat.

            But a complete turnaround makes Willis vulnerable to attack because there’s plenty of past pro-Climate Change activity by her to point to & loudly question her suddenly switching sides.

            They’d have to rely on majority NZ voters’ generally pretty poor memories & lack of interest in politics outside of ekection time to get away with this. Can’t see Labour or the Greens not going on the attack accusing National & Willis of hypocrisy &/or double talk.

            I don’t see Luxon as any kind of threat to Ardern in the Preferred PM stakes at the moment (she’s still got the female vote, even with some if it’s just becos she’s female), but Labour as a govt are vulnerable in a number of key areas often listed here.

            It’s possible Luxon could exploit Kiwis’ curious (probably media-induced) amnesia around election time, but we’ll just have to wait & see.

        • satty

          At the last general election Nicola Willis flyers in her constituency the first one (before Judith Collins leadership) did have one point about environment / climate… at the bottom of her list, with the top point being not enough roads in the Wellington region. After the leadership change the second flyer did not mention anything about environment / climate change at all. So it looks like Judith Collins did change her mind.

          Until the National (Pollution) Party announces strong policies around reduction of agricultural methane, river pollution / nitrate reduction, significant reduction of transport emissions… the roles around Environment and Climate Change have the main (and only?) purpose to water down any real progress.

    • Red Blooded One 5.3

      He sure lightened the flights out of Kaitaia, dumping them altogether, and maybe it's his environmental credentials that mean we have no AirNZ presence in and out of the UK anymore, and here I was thinking he just did it because all he cares about is the "financial bottom line"

    • AB 5.4

      Sounds a bit like a frantic effort to avoid the obvious conclusion – that we will need to find a way of gracefully ending mass tourism and mass air travel in a way that does not financially and mentally destroy the people who work in it. Luxon sounding like a bit of a techno-fantasist when it comes to climate change – that we can leave the whole mad and depressing superstructure of 'business', profit-seeking and consumption exactly as it is, and just swap out a few technologies underneath.

      • Stuart Munro 5.4.1

        It's a good idea – but a number of high end exports like live crayfish depend on air freight to reach their markets. Unless and until government can stimulate the development of other options, maybe something like this, they will continue to shovel money at sunset industries like Air New Zealand – and invest in fictitious forestry in Brazil to cover the carbon debt.

    • Tricledrown 5.5

      All of those environmental initiatives were started on Fyfes watch.With the rising price of fuel in would be stupid not to improve fuel efficiency like every other airline is doing.

      • satty 5.5.1

        Correct. It would be interesting to see how Air NZ fuel consumption (per passenger kilometre or whatever KPI exists) changed compared to other airlines… more likely it was linked to stay competitive (main driver) and, as a byproduct, appear more environmental friendly.

  6. observer 6

    No surprise here: Luxon and National are out of step with the public. Housing should be an area where the government is vulnerable – but not to the Right.

    Poll results: investors unloved by public

    National opposed the (limited) offshore buyer ban, and have stood with the portfolio investors against tenants and the modest reforms. That has to change, or they will lose again.

    • Blazer 6.1

      Maybe that poll will encourage this timid Govt to grow a pair and really get to work…and yes Jacinda …200,000 empty homes do need addressing.

      • gsays 6.1.1

        I agree, if vaccine mandates can be rolled out licketty split, then housing could be tackled with a fraction of that resolve.

        Sinking cap on pollies (and trusts they are linked to) property portfolios. After all, they are setting an example.

        Squatters rights.

        Remove the property investor grant accommodation supplement.

        Further tax jiggery pokery, dis-incentivising making money from another's shelter and home.

      • Barfly 6.1.2

        Blazer where is the 200,000 homes empty figure from?

          • Ed1

            The Vancouver initiative should be adopted, wit the money raised being required to be used for renting to low income New Zealanders.

            • Blazer

              Damn right Ed.When Vancouver introduced a 1% levy of RV, on houses empty for 6 months or more ,the count dropped by 25% quicksmart.

              I believe they were increasing the levy to 2 or 3%.That would really fix it.

          • weka

            How many are holiday homes?

            • Blazer

              There are a % that are empty for good reason

              They can be tracked by water/power use if necessary.

              Even if 25% or even 50% were legit…there is still a huge inventory that could help solve this housing crisis.

              • weka

                yes. It would help to know the reasons.

                • Blazer

                  I suspect the main reason is landbanking.

                  When houses earn more every week sitting empty, than poor Joe Lunchbox with a wife and 2 kids to support can earn …..there is something screaming to be…fixed.

                  Poor old Joe pays more in rent, than it would cost to service a mortgage on alot of houses,but he's not working hard enough…apparantly.

                  • weka

                    Yes, but I don't think the debate is going to advance until we know the actual numbers rather than guessing.

                • Blazer

                  Here in Auckland,empty homes are numerous and easily spotted in many suburbs.

                  Definately not ,holiday….homes.

                • Blazer

                  Yes I guess 'we don't have the exact data'….very handy excuse to do nothing.

                  And Vancouver data is …Vancouver…all good.

          • RedLogix

            Aside from the fraction of houses that will be empty for routine reasons – the ones we are concerned about are empty because the risk free capital gain is more attractive than the decidedly more risky, and much lower cash flow from tenanting the property.

            It really doesn't matter who is in power – they can crank on the tax and fiscal rules all they want, unless we address the fundamental supply and demand imbalance the outcome will remain the same.

            And most of this can be summarised in two phrases – dysfunctional building industry and dysfunctional council rules.

            • Blazer

              How about disincentives to own more than say 2 properties.

              The things you mention are factors,but not the main ones imo.

              • Gezza

                Isn’t the biggest problem getting such policies put into effect that too many MPs on both sides of the House own multiple properties ?

              • RedLogix

                It would make very little difference. The main reason why people do not own their own home is that they do not qualify for finance.

                This obsession with hating on landlords from the left is one of the main reasons why nothing ever gets done.

                • Blazer

                  So as prices rocket up ,investor/landlords leverage their increasing equity to dominate the market .

                  Thats the reality.

                  As for-

                  'This obsession with hating on landlords from the left is one of the main reasons why nothing ever gets done.'

                  You just cannot be serious!blush

                • RedLogix

                  Yes I am serious. If every landlord put their property on the market tomorrow, very little would change. Same number of people chasing the same number of houses.

                  leverage their increasing equity to dominate the market .

                  The banks also look at cash flow and risk. Most landlords only have one or two units for a reason, it's not 'easy money' and the bank is unlikely to fund them into more. Only relatively small number have the risk appetite and the skills to leverage in the manner you suggest.

                  Again – the main reason why most people rent is that the banks will not lend to them.

                  • Blazer

                    Most landlords have alot more according to Valocity figures produced here a number of times.

                    'If every landlord put their property on the market tomorrow, very little would change.'

                    Are you on drugs!!!-prices would plummet!

                    • RedLogix

                      Most landlords have alot more according to Valocity figures produced here a number of times.

                      Yes I looked at that and was unimpressed by the hype – the data still shows the large majority still own less than 5. As I said there's a more to it than just 'leveraging equity' as you seem to think. There is a whole complex of issues involved on all sides that most people never properly take into account.

                      I've been over this ground before – the left wing visceral hatred of landlords will never change. And it prevents any clear discussion.

                    • Blazer

                      @RL…so you're sticking with this!

                      'if every landlord put their property on the market tomorrow, very little would change.'

                      The left supposedly hating landlords theory hardly holds water either…if that was the case left leaning Govts would make it onerous to have multiple properties.

                      The accomodation subsidy shows its a rigged market regardless.

    • Tricledrown 6.2

      I would say at least half of those homes unoccupied are second homes for holidays away from any employment opportunities.

      England has a room tax unoccupied houses are taxed for being empty that's why not many unoccupied.

  7. gsays 7

    I have learnt a lot of things since I discovered The Standard. This is largely due to the range of views and life experiences. From carbon issues and radical ideas to deal with it (thanks Bill), permaculture, soil health, and food forests (Robert), feminism and the challenges involved with inclusion (weka and crew), dealing with the Health Misery (winkRosemary), the dangers of ideology and the whole Covid thing.

    I have stopped using the word hysteria, (because of it's etymology) even though it often seems appropriate. As a consequence I have to try a little harder with wording.

    One of the key lessons is, what is OK to have a go at someone over and what is 'below the belt'. That largely boils down to what someone can control vs what is beyond their control. Choices, like belief systems, politics etc are fair game. Body shape and apperances, family links, age, sexuality (I mean that in the '80's sense of the word, it could have changed by now…) are cheap, easy and say more about the flinger than the flingee.

    This sermon was issued in the hope we can lift our game a little and not go for the 'low hanging fruit' regardless of how we may feel about the other.

    • francesca 7.1

      Good on you Gsays

      You have always come across as fair minded, the least likely to use abusive language

      I appreciate your comments

      • gsays 7.1.1

        Cheers, francesca.

        I find it real interesting, the vectors where there is often agreement with someone and yet with other issues, you wonder where the hell they are coming from.

    • Blazer 7.2

      Shaving your head so you present with a 'shiny pate' is fair game by your criteria…correct?

      • gsays 7.2.1

        I couldn't possibly comment on another's motivation for shaving their head.

        I don't know why and it's none of my business, plus there are far more legitimate reasons for getting stuck into Luxon. His inconsistency with wanting a more productive economy and his lanlordiness for example.

      • Anne 7.2.2

        This is a genuine question and relates to all men with shaved heads. How do they keep them so smooth and shiny? Granted, it doesn't grow back as quickly as facial hair, but surely they don't shave their heads every few days etc. 😮

        • Tiger Mountain

          The shaved head thing among business class types seems rather creepy for some reason–do they rub and bump heads behind closed doors over a Steinlager Pure or something…

          Trades people and others doing physical work have a reason I guess–sweaty comb overs not a great look. But these days surely any hair style goes, I know people with a full head of hair that shave or have #2 length for a change.

          I was looking for a grooming kit in store yesterday for a younger family member and spotted that yes, there are indeed dedicated head shavers available, and a range of bonce lotions and bronzers!

          • RedLogix

            There is absolutely nothing creepy about it. Once a man starts to thin, it's simply better looking to go full shaven.

            It's not ever going to be an issue for me personally, but if it was that would absolutely be my choice.

            • lprent

              I pretty much run with a number 2 head and beard shave.

              • Makes it less freaking hot when riding a bike.
              • Still leaves enough hair for a wick effect when the temperature is hot and humid (like today).
              • Doesn't get in my way.

              It never goes shorter because I really don't want to waste time shaving the pate or face every few days – too much effort. And I used to prefer having some hair to reduce sunburn issuses. Not so relevant these days as I’ve been balding out for the last decade.

              I use the Wahl on the beard every 2-3 weeks so I don't chew the moustache too much. Get a No 2 haircut every few months so that I don't have to have to aggravate the rotator cuff injuries trying to shave the back of my neck.

              The only time my hair gets much longer than a no 3 is when I'm really deeply into a project and I spend a year or two doing very long hours. Then I start heading through a mad Einstein look towards a retired biker.

            • swordfish


              A man who wants to make a splash always shaves his tongue:

        • Editractor

          Given the smoothness, Luxon likely uses a razor. He shaves his face every day so why not his head every few days? By now he is probably very proficient at it and can do it quickly, or just pays someone to do it.
          And everyone is shiny under studio lights without makeup. A head just has more area to shine and reflects ceiling lights better.

        • McFlock

          Shaving the thinner head of hair stops the long wisps of hair on the thin part from catching the light and looking like a halo. And it looks tidier, too.

          Two broad types of shaved heads:

          • full head of hair, but shaved for whatever reason; and
          • thinning hair shaved

          The first brings up a 5 o'clock shadow quickly.

          The second looks shiny because the hair is thin and the skin has little between it and smooth bone. It can be quite difficult to light on stage because of the contrast and reflectivity of the top of the head compared to the face under overhead lights. "Stage" makeup isn't usually needed in a lot of theatres these days (theatres are small and the lights are awesome and of infinitely variable colour, rather than monotone gas or lime), but even so one or two actors still put a bit of foundation on the top of their head, just to cut down the contrast.

          As long as they don't apply too much and bounce around the stage, then the powder can fly off like little puffs from a steam engine – but that also happens with the quick "powder the hair to make it look grey" trick, too.

          • Anne

            Gosh. I know so much about men's bald heads or near bald heads now.

            I'm trying to imagine lprent during a "mad Einstein" phase. Not a pretty exercise.surprise

    • Anker 7.3

      Gsays 100%. I couldn't agree more. So well said.

      These petty comments about peoples appearance are childish.

      And actually I think Labour have a lot to fear from Luxon. I really do.

      • Gezza 7.3.1

        A lot to fear from Luxon? 😳

        Why – and in what areas, Anker?

        I don’t think Luxon’s a major problem for Labour yet. What do you think I’m missing?

        A return to Dirty Politics style campaigning perhaps?

        • Anker

          Well Geeza, I think Luxon has made a pretty good start.

          He is likely to unite National because I suspect he hasn't been part of the factions.

          I really somewhere today (and have been searching for the link) that Anne Salmond has come out and said she worked with Luxon at Air NZ on reducing carbon emissions and he was serious about doing so. Sorry I will keep looking for the link. Apologies if I hallucinated that one. I also think pulling the plug on three waters and possibly the housing agreement with Labour about being able to build up without council approval are absolute vote winners. Lots of voters are against both. I am not saying anything about either policy, but there are votes in cancelling them both. There are many votes to be captured in doing something about law and order and the gangs etc.

          Also Labour are massively vulnerable right now

          • Blazer

            Dennis has posted the link here today.Look no further.

          • Gezza

            Also Labour are massively vulnerable right now

            Yes, they are, but they own the Treasury Benches. Plenty of time for them to focus group & monitor the polls, & steal & Labour-tweak any policies that Luxon comes out with that look likely to pull significant numbers of voters National’s way.

            Luxon’s still got to get the female vote off Ardern; not an easy job in my estimation because for some women that’s more based on feelz than logic, and that’s not meant to be a criticism. Many people faced with tuff choices ultimately make their decision on who feels likely to be the best of a bad choice.

            But you’re right that I suspect the ructions in National’s caucus will likely now end becos they must now all realise that to undermine their 4th leader since losing the Treasury Benches will likely be the end of National as a credible leading opposition party for the next election.

            Dunno about Collins though. Dirty Politics showed she can sink damned low & get miffed with her boss’s decisions.

          • observer

            I also think pulling the plug on three waters and possibly the housing agreement with Labour about being able to build up without council approval are absolute vote winners.

            On the housing agreement …

            Here is Nicola Willis (in her own words, not mis-reported or "out of context" or any other excuse).

            Willis on the housing accord with Labour

            There are plenty of other similar comments by her, all recent and on the record. If she pulls the plug on something she supported so proudly, the repercussions would be terrible for her. Her words would lose all meaning, henceforth. She literally stood at the podium in the Beehive, next to Megan Woods, and promoted the policy.

            I honestly can't think of any leader or deputy who has done such a thing, in decades. The issue would not be housing, it would be trust. Gone for good.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Perhaps Chris Luxon hopes that would keep Nicola Willi's "challenge" aborted?devil

              • Treetop

                Were Luxon to knock Luxon out what would Reti do?

                I do not mean check if Luxon is concussed but stand for leader?

    • mary_a 7.4

      yes gsays.

  8. gsays 8

    For the cricket tragics, this is a lovely, light read about Ajaz Patel, our current sporting hero.


    This come from a site afterthewhistle.co.nz/

    As for the rest of the team, if you can't say something nice…

    Gary Stead is beyond criticism because of the last two seasons, but..

    Latham looks a little like captaincy is impacting his batting, both Southee and Jamieson bowling aroind the wicket when there is a tireless left armer spectating, Ross Ross Ross…, the toss, we miss Boult.

    I figure it has been a LONG, challenging season, and this visit to India was a bridge too far.

    A little early perhaps, two days yet to play, but well done Kohli, Ashwin and co for a real testing series.

    • Treetop 8.1

      A test like no other. A 10 wicket bag in a single innings.

      Do you know which countries the other two players who got a 10 wicket bag represented and who they played?

      A very bright future for Ajaz Patel.

      • gsays 8.1.1

        Only 'coz I looked it up.

        Jim Laker for England vs Aussie, 2nd innings to secure victory, Anil Kumble for India vs Pakistan, also 2nd innings and to secure victory. Kumble's in 27overs, Ajaz Patel in 48.

        Both Laker and Kumble were at home, therefore making Patel’s effort the superior one.

        • Treetop

          For a Blackcap to do it against India in Mumbai when the player was from Mumbai. Even though a loss to us a win for us.

          Talk about a personal best he put on such a show, shame I did not see it. But a player to follow.

          Yes Patel's effort the superior one.

          • Treetop

            Silly me the bowling is over but not the batting. I apologise for not checking.

            Crazy where I have been staying for 3 weeks as the house goes quiet at 10.30 pm and starts up again at 6 – 6.30 am. A puppy is also full on. Home tomorrow.

            • Patricia Bremner

              You sound like you need a rest Treetop.smiley

              • Treetop

                Yes I do. I spent 30 mins with the GP last week. Had a lot of lab tests.

                The Standard has been buzzing the last 6 months and limited time to read comments. I do not do Facebook or any other social media. Constant Covid news as well.

                Laughter is the best medicine and I have the ability to laugh at myself.

      • alwyn 8.1.2

        I asked a rather similar question yesterday. It was asking who got the other wicket when Laker got 19 in a single test.

        Mac1 knew the answer, I was really impressed. He must be as much of a Cricket tragic as I usually am.

        Incidentally the answers to your question are Laker, for England vs Australia in 1956 and Kumble for India vs Pakistan in 1999.

        • mac1

          I admit I have spent a bit of time as a lad on the bank at Lancaster Park. I've even visited cricket grounds in the off season. Mind you, that was to stand on the turf where my cousin defied Australia's bowlers for eleven hours to draw a test. What was the ground?

          • Puckish Rogue

            We need a bit (a lot) of Greatbatch today…and tomorrow (hopefully)

            • mac1

              Well played, sir! One of the great things about cricket are nicknames. Greatbatch's was 'Scones'. Hadlee was 'Paddles" but the best I ever heard was an English wicketkeeper whose nickname was the "Ancient Mariner".

        • Treetop

          The Richard Hadley, Lance Cairns, the two John's days (slowest batting openers ever) I could not leave the room unless it was between overs.

    • Anker 8.2

      I agree that that it must have been a long challenging season for the Black Caps. How many stints in managed isolation.

      Yes missing Boult, Conway and Williamson in this game.

      They are still the very best cricket team to me though.

    • Puckish Rogue 8.3

      Its fair to say this game probably hasn't quite gone to plan…but it doesn't take away from the achievements of this team of the last couple of years laugh

      I'm still heartened by the strength of this team and, more importantly, the depth

      There is a surfeit of riches in the middle order.

      Will Young looks a decent replacement for 'The Boss'

      Conway unfortunately looks like he might make a decent fist of opening and I only say unfortunate because he should be the replacement for 'The Boss' but he has to open

      Mitchells made a great start to his career but it looks like he'll be in a battle with Ravindra for the important number 6 position

      Ravindra does open for Wellington but, remembering what happened to Ken Rutherford, I'd sooner see Ravindra stay at 6 and work on his spinning

      Hell Tom Bruce and Dane Clever both average over 40 in FC cricket and can't get a look in so that says something to me

      So our batting stocks are looking good, our wicket keeping/batter stocks are also high (selection prediction in the future for Max Chu) but for some reason we just can't seem to produce two good openers at the same time

      Our fast and fast/medium bowler supplies are good (keep Ferguson away from tests from now on)

      But again our spinners (Patel aside) just aren't up to international quality and its not their fault

      We need the Cricket board to designate at least one province to focus on spinners, prepare spinning pitches, conduct more spinning camps etc etc

      However to end on a positive note, easily the best team NZ cricket has produced of any period!

      • alwyn 8.3.1

        I'm afraid that their performance in this test was in the mold of Crusher at the end of her time at the top. What is the third disaster that is going to hit you PR?

        • Puckish Rogue

          I think we can all agree there's been enough disasters for anyone

          I'm looking forward to period of being bored

      • gsays 8.3.2

        Great analysis, I agree the best team we have produced.

        As we have seen in the past, success like this, gets the youngsters wanting to play.

        C'mon parents, your local cricket club could do with your time.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Love to see another Polynesian player come along and smack sixes or take wickets

          • Tricledrown

            More likely to see PI playing the shorter versions of the game.

            The cost and time required of the longer version 4 and 5 days is to much for large poor families.

            But krickitee players could be encouraged to play 20/20 ,40 or 50 overs and indoor cricket.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    “Here comes the conman
    Coming with his con plan.
    We won't take no bribe;
    We've got (to) stay alive.

    We gonna chase those crazy –
    Chase those crazy baldheads –
    Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown.”
    –Bob Marley

    Should be noted that Rastafarians do not necessarily mean a bald headed person with the term bald head, it denotes some one without dreadlocks, and from what I can gather sometimes a generic reference to exploiters and oppressors, but certainly a non Rasta.

    • Gosman 9.1

      The original Rastafarians were a bunch of race supremacists.

      • arkie 9.1.1

        You are incorrect.

        Black Nationalism =/= Black Supremacism

        Rastafari originated among impoverished and socially disenfranchised Afro-Jamaican communities in 1930s Jamaica. Its Afrocentric ideology was largely a reaction against Jamaica's then-dominant British colonial culture. It was influenced by both Ethiopianism and the Back-to-Africa movement promoted by black nationalist figures such as Marcus Garvey.


      • Tricledrown 9.1.2

        Gosman making up stuff again but using an goebels trick of insinuating those you oppose are what you are.

        • Gosman

          Not lying at all. It was at the heart of the original religion although it has been underplayed in modern times.

          "The White person is inferior to the Black person

          …In the near future Blacks shall rule the world

          Many Rastafarians believe that following their repatriation to Africa black people will become rulers of the world, resulting in the suppression of whites. Early Rastafarians may even have claimed that whites would eventually be destroyed."


          • mac1

            "Early Rastafarians may even have claimed that whites would eventually be destroyed."

            That's a weird claim in the article that Gosman cited. "May have".

            Now in historical terms, a fact is a fact. There's not much room for "may have". Just that statement. No context or citation.

            To me that's a rubbish statement, and could easily be seen as weasel words to claim anything about the subject.

            I'm surprised frankly to see such a claim allowed and not edited.

            • Gosman

              The article is from the BBC. They are being INCREDIBLE careful about not upsetting black people with this.

              • mac1

                Maybe you're right in their intention. But my critique stands, 'May have' is an allegation, not backed up with any evidence. As an aIlegation, it's worse than factual evidence, because it's not proven. As far as I am concerned, it's not true until the evidence is presented otherwise, since I don't know anything about the expertise of the alleger etc. to even trust the messenger as one usually reliable. It hasn't even got that, BBC or not.

      • Tricledrown 9.1.3

        Even in your bbc article their is no mention of black supremacy.

        But rather the overthrow of a corrupt suppression by whites over black people.

        Then reading Wikipedia rastafarianism started out of the resentment of the white slave trader's treatment of black people .The religion grew in Jamaica where black slaves had no right so songs of freedom etc

        No mention of black supremacy another cynical attempt to create division where there are none. Goebels would be proud of you Alwyn.

    • gsays 9.2

      The beauty of music and art.

      I always took the bald heads to mean racists, ala skinhead bovver-boys. Thinking about it now, that was a young, naive Kiwi teenagers viewpoint. After all the bovver boys were getting round the U.K. towns and cities and Bob had a bunch of other oppressors to worry about in Jamaica.

      • Tricledrown 9.2.1

        I had a boot boy (a skin head wannabe) work for me back in the 1980's after the 2nd day on the job he was spouting endless fascist white supremacist bs. My wife turned up with pies and help to finish the job they were all Maori and PI. After lunch I never heard another word about his race theories he became a good friend and hung out with the Maori and PI guys.Sold all his parefenailia and has never looked back.

        • gsays

          Great story. So often these blokes have only known rejection and abuse.

          I had a similar experience with a mate who was one of the older males in a rural valley community. Another chap was known to cause family harm. My friend refused to shun him with the observation that it would only give him further motivation to lash out. The bully actually joined our building crew for a year or so.

          He did seem to mellow a little at during that time. His significant other moved on, which he took with surprising equanimity.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Great account Tricledrown. Often, if you spend time with people and gain some understanding of their cultures you are better placed to regard them as part of “us” rather than “others” to be suspicious of.

          The Auckland Boot Boys from some accounts of a punk rock friend at the time were peppered with psychos who adopted UK cultural trappings to justify their violence and racism. One of my Māori mates never recovered fully from a 4×2 attack outside the Victoria Tavern.

          • Barfly

            Ah the "Rumba Bar" days. I used to work at the Civic Tavern on Wellesley Street one night I had a bloke come with an eight inch long razor slash to his abdomen (bloody deep one to) I duct taped a clean tea towel to it to contain the bleeding while he waited for the ambulance – The Victoria Tavern was a damn dangerous place, The bloke was white fyi.

      • arkie 9.2.2

        The original skinheads were specifically non-racist and highly interested the music of Jamaica:

        The first skinheads were working class youths motivated by an expression of alternative values and working class pride, rejecting both the austerity and conservatism of the 1950s-early 1960s and the more middle class or bourgeois hippie movement and peace and love ethos of the mid to late 1960s. Skinheads were instead drawn towards more working class outsider subcultures, incorporating elements of early working class mod fashion and Jamaican music and fashion, especially from Jamaican rude boys. In the earlier stages of the movement, a considerable overlap existed between early skinhead subculture, mod subculture, and the rude boy subculture found among Jamaican British and Jamaican immigrant youth, as these three groups interacted and fraternised with each other within the same working class and poor neighbourhoods in Britain. As skinheads adopted elements of mod subculture and Jamaican British and Jamaican immigrant rude boy subculture, both first and second generation skins were influenced by the rhythms of ska, rocksteady, and reggae, as well as sometimes African-American soul and rhythm and blues.


        There still exist those who feel connected to this culture and refer to themselves as Sharps: SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice.


  10. mary_a 10

    Now Mr Luxon has visited Auckland's pretentious elite at the Viaduct Basin during his first days as National leader, will he now find time to also visit the good working people in South and West Auckland, to give him the feel of reality?

    • alwyn 10.1

      Has the PM found the time to visit her electorate at any time in the last 100 of so days?

      I believe she had a quick visit to Auckland on Air Force 1 a couple of weeks ago but never bothered to stop in the electorate she is meant to represent. Has she made it back since then?

      • pat 10.1.1

        She flew to Auckland with the US President?

      • Blazer 10.1.2

        Alwyn,I say Alwyn you are your own worst enemy .


      • Puckish Rogue 10.1.3

        Can this be deleted please

      • lprent 10.1.4

        One of the nice things about competent people is that they tend to have very competent staff. Jacinda certainly does in her electorate, both the parliamentary staff and the volunteers.

        Because my electorate of Mt Albert has been having damn near wall-to-wall Labour leaders, deputy leaders and PMs over the last 3 decades, it also has a very well-established system of representing the electorate without having a desperate need for the local MP being present for everything.

        But of course there are those (apparently like you) in less well run electorates who get have a more desperate need to be attached to the apron strings. Can I suggest that it is time they and you learnt to grow up?

    • Gezza 10.2

      Very good question, mary.

      Every good populist should give it a go & see how they get on.

      One suspects he’ll try & focus on the upper middle, the business community, & the top end of town.

      Also, will be interesting to see how he tries to connect with the farmers.

    • Puckish Rogue 10.3

      So he's visited Auckland more than the PM has?

      • Puckish Rogue 10.4.1

        So how many times has Ardern visited Auckland recently?

        • lprent

          We kind of needed the adults to be in Wellington during the pandemic and lockdowns.

          Of course there were a few less useful MPs who hunkered down in Auckland regardless of the costs to the parliamentary processes. Judith Collins did. I think that Chris Luxon did as well.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Remind me again where the then Minister of Health David Clark hunkered down?

            When, as you say, he really should have been in Wellington during the pandemic and lockdowns.

            • weka

              what, the whole pandemic? Of course, then righties would have been able to have a go at him for not being in his electorate.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Pretty sure Clark would have done something else a bit more bone-headed to get the righties all in a tizz

            • lprent

              When, as you say, he really should have been in Wellington during the pandemic and lockdowns.

              Are you trying to lie about what I said? I didn’t say that. Dangerous thing to start trying to put words in my mouth. I’d suggest you desist.

              The Health Ministry is a bit like the Police Ministry these days. It is a resourcing ministry rather than a hands on one. The Director General of Health legally has almost all of the primary control during a pandemic and most of the operational control is at the DHB level. Just as the Commissioner of Police has always held the operational control of the police (not the Police Minister) and the armed forces are run by the Chief of the Defence Force rather than Minster or Defence.

              While clearly Health is more prestigious, but David Clark’s associate Finance Minister role was larger in effect on the resourcing the pandemic response than his role at Health Minister. Robertson was already there and Clark is much more of the backroom treasury wonk in that role.

              There was no particular reason to have David Clark in Wellington during that first lockdown, a number of reason for the government to be role spread based on the unknowns back in Feb/March 2020.

              There were compelling reason for Bloomfield to be in Wellington.

              After all Parliament wasn’t running in the first lockdown like it has been in the recent one. But offhand I don’t think that there were any Ministers locked down in Auckland during this last lockdown. Everyone was a bit more prepared and had a better idea on what was happening.

              Incidentally Hipkins is based in the Wellington region, and is leader of the House – had to be in Wellington to organise teh legislative activity that was still ongoing.. I think that Little is Wellington based as well. They don’t have kids in Dunedin. Probably part of the reason why both have wound up in Health despite their already hefty workloads. It means they they can front at press conference when needed and the task can be split.

              • Puckish Rogue

                'Are you trying to lie about what I said? I didn’t say that. Dangerous thing to start trying to put words in my mouth. I’d suggest you desist.'


                You can say what you like but David Clark was one of the adults that should have been in Wellington

                • lprent

                  but David Clark was one of the adults that should have been in Wellington

                  Why exactly. I stated my reasons for not thinking that he didn’t need to be there.

                  You reply with a cowards debating technique – a simple assertion without even explaining that it is merely your foolish opinion?

                  Ar you merely a parrot for someone stupid with their ‘reckons’ -> like Mike Hosking

  11. Reality 11

    Tony Veitch (not…) – enjoyed your National spokespeople humour! Well done.

    Chris Luxon's Mercedes' journey was the ultimate in a pretentious "I am very important, I am about to be appointed to National Party royalty". Cringeworthy. Will he hire a Mercedes if he visits Porirua, Otara? That he didn't choose to stroll over to Parliament like 99% would do, spoke volumes for how he sees himself.

    Have held off forming an opinion of him so far, but the glimpses of him seen in the last few days has led me to see a very self-satisfied man, very reliant on PR direction behind the scenes, with John Key on speed dial.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      I have nothing to do with Luxon

    • Anne 11.2

      I wonder when Chris Luxon will visit South Auckland and see for himself the devastation wreaked by Covid 19.

      I wonder when he will deliver a speech of encouragement to those most adversely affected and promise his party will support the government in their bid to assist them through the pandemic.

      I wonder if he will thank the many hundreds of good people who have slogged night and day to vaccinate the people of South Auckland and to help feed the thousands who have lost the ability to feed their families through no fault of their own.

      Oh well, we can expect lip service at some point, but I suspect that will be as far as it goes.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1

        I wonder who will visit first, Luxon or Ardern

        • Anne

          Ardern has been there lots of times. But not since the last lockdown began because she was in Wellington – where she should be – running the whole country during a raging pandemic and all the other problems associated with it.

          As far as I'm aware Luxon has never been to a South Auckland vaccination centre or food distribution outlet. He just whips to and from the Airport in his local black mercedes benz not looking left or right in the process. 🙂

          • Puckish Rogue

            So, again, who will visit first, Luxon or Ardern?

            We wait with bated breath…

            • Shanreagh

              Well you might be waiting but travelling to Auckland is not something that would make or break a politician or party in my eyes.

              The business spokespeople in Auckland have largely been unsupportive of NZ's Covid direction in my view, and as well as being the epicentre of the virus they are also a centre for the Moaning Minnie virus that came in at the same time as Covid.

              Looking at those out and about in Auckland over the weekend, large numbers of whom were maskless, does not give me a good vibe.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Its not a big deal either but to some it apparantly is:

                'I wonder when Chris Luxon will visit South Auckland and see for himself the devastation wreaked by Covid 19.'

                Just thought I'd ask a couple of questions about it, specifically that Ardern has visited once to Luxons none

            • McFlock

              Well, you're a master at that.

              Luxon isn't visiting places to provide reassurance or assistance, he's visiting places so people there might have actually heard of him.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Ardern was there a couple of weeks ago. She and the Government have poured money into wage subsidies food banks marae and programmes. They have lifted the ceiling on earnings before limits kick in. They have acknowledged that this pandemic has hit some communities harder than others. To even compare a person in politics for 1 year with Ardern is naff. When he gets his team working together without complaint I will give him Brownie points. He has to earn them. Dame Anne Salmond seems to rate him. Waiting.

          • Puckish Rogue

            So she visited South Auckland?

            • Patricia Bremner

              Auckland was then in lock down, she did meet with the South Auckland Pacific Island vaccinating team .

              • Puckish Rogue

                I'm just trying to get my facts right.

                So when Luxon visits South Auckland he'll have visited as many times as Ardern?

                • alwyn

                  Now, now play fair.

                  Prior to the lockdowns Ms Ardern visited South Auckland many times. She passed through half a dozen times a week in the back of a Limo going to and from the Airport. Don't worry though. She didn't take any chances of spreading disease. I'm sure she always kept the windows in the BMW up in the same way she does on the 200 metre trip from her luxury state house to the Beehive.

  12. Ad 12

    Thousands and thousands of New Zealanders marched every week against vaccination and employment mandates,

    but 0 people marched in the streets against our deepening crisis in poverty and class entrenchment.

    I don't see anyone laughing.

  13. Puckish Rogue 13

    For all those who think the Black Caps disappointed with their performance I'll point out on a neutral ground the Black Caps beat India for the world title

    The last time India toured NZ the Black Caps won 2-0

    So there

    • "Neutral ground" is pushing it where England is notoriously favourable to the type of seamers/quicks NZ has….having said that the Indian seamers/quicks have performed a lot better in Mumbai than NZ's….bring back Waggie.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        Would it have been fairer to play in NZ or India?

        Think of it as 5 match test series. NZ has 3 wins, India has 1 win, 1 draw and a match still to complete

        So likely a 3-1-1 result to NZ, not too shabby

        • Bearded Git

          Agree that NZ has consistently played superbly and the results have been excellent under Williamson. Now they have a decent spinner too. Hope Kane’s troublesome elbow responds to treatment.

  14. Jimmy 14

    Seems like lots going on in Dunedin at the moment. Who ever said Dunedin was a boring town.


    • weka 14.1

      Staff writer had fun this morning,

      A mystery man who jumped naked on a grandmother's car has been told to hand himself in: no ifs and no butts.

      • Treetop 14.1.1

        Shame she had no cactus plants or eggs to throw at him.

      • alwyn 14.1.2

        I rather liked the bit further down on someone running into a lamppost

        "The 65-year-old driver told officers he was on his way to pick up his drunk father, but he was also drunk.".

        • Jimmy

          Yes that amused me to but in reality is bloody serious…he could have killed someone.

  15. Dennis Frank 15

    Unique opportunity to buy a native forest in the city:

    Kohimarama Forest, in the wealthy Auckland suburb of Saint Heliers, is being marketed as prime residential land. Tenders close at 4pm this afternoon. Locals say the bush is ecologically significant and is home to a number of mature native trees and birds, but the land owner said the site is not protected. Kohekohe, punga, totara and kanuka are among the native trees on the block, along with exotic species such as willow.

    A small stream runs through the heart of the valley, which paved the way for native fish to swim out to the Hauraki Gulf. The Kohimarama Forest Preservation Group wanted more time to put in its own offer for the land owned by the Melanesian Mission Trust Board.


    • Blazer 15.1

      Maybe NZ's richest man will snap it up.

      Hart has been in buying mode recently.

      He must give thanks to Roger Douglas every day of his life.

      Buying Govt Print for 2/6 was better than winning ..lotto.

  16. Adrian 16

    If we are all almost vaccinated how come there are so many stories about how badly treated such a tiny minority of self-centered dickheads keep filling up the headlines as if we are supposed to feel sympathy for where their stupidity has landed them. Are the Herald and Stuff only left to appealing to the unvaxxed market. God, how far they have fallen.

    • satty 16.1

      I was thinking the same thing over the weekend. So much noise for such a small minority. And then this opinion piece (paywall, so I only read the headline):

      Bill Ralston: National is failing to harness the country's anger

      How many people are actually that "angered" (after Auckland is out of lockdown)?

      • Farmers – They are probably never happy
      • Anti-vaccine / Anti-vaccine-mandate groups

      How much support does a political party loose when they try to include / support (extreme) minorities?

  17. Blazer 17

    Lewis Hamilton won in Saudi Arabia to draw level with Max Verstappen in F1 drivers championship .

    Sets up a great finale in Abu Dhabi next Sunday.

    Hoping Hamilton can win and overtake Schumacer, tied on 7 championships.

  18. Dennis Frank 18

    New Nat rankings are out now: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/457306/watch-live-national-party-leader-christopher-luxon-announces-caucus-reshuffle

    • 4. Chris Bishop: Covid-19 Response, Shadow leader of the House
    • 5. Shane Reti: Health, Māori-Crown Relations, Pacific Peoples
    • 6. Louise Upston: Social Development, Child Poverty Reduction
    • 7. Erica Stanford: Education, Immigration, Associate Ethnic Affairs
    • 8. Matt Doocey: Mental Health, Youth, Associate Health, Associate Transport

    Collins down to #19. Goldsmith 12, Mitchell 14.

    • Dennis Frank 18.1

      He told the media reps that his ranking reflects on-the-job performance that he has observed since entering parliament. He stressed that it's performance-based not hierarchy (seniority). Does Collins have sufficient intellect to deduce that her drop from #1 to #19 reflects her performance? Or will she decide that `he just doesn't like me enough' and leave parliament in a huff?

      • observer 18.1.1

        Collins will leave. We can write her resignation letter now, bookmark it …

        "After 20 years in Parliament … achieved so much … leader, Minister, queen … time for fresh challenges … excited about my future … grateful for the wonderful support from my wonderful caucus … my decision … "

        And Luxon's response:

        "So sorry to lose Judith … valued member of team (etc, etc)"

        It's all BS, everyone knows it but those are the games they play. As long as she leaves, Luxon wins.

        (if I'm wrong and she stays … popcorn).

    • Blazer 18.2

      First tick from me…

      He does have a SOH!-'I have deliberately selected a Shadow Cabinet of 20 members to match the government's Cabinet. I'm confident that when you put any of National's Shadow Ministers against their Labour counterparts, you'll see that National's MPs have the deep experience, the political skills, the work ethic and the intellectual grunt to come out on top every time," Luxon said.'

      • Patricia Bremner 18.2.1

        So he has spurned Collins. That could come back to bite him.

        Do I think she will leave? No. Do I think his 20 are great? No

        Has he achieved anything yet? Yes. He has the endorsement of Dame Anne Salmond.

        • Blazer

          Interested to know why you think that's a big deal..Patricia.

          Probably endorsed by Dame Jenny…as…well.

    • Gezza 18.3

      Looks like the full list:

      1. Christopher Luxon: Leader, National Security and Intelligence
      2. Nicola Willis: Deputy leader, Housing, Social Investment
      3. Simon Bridges: Finance, Infrastructure
      4. Chris Bishop: Covid-19 Response, Shadow leader of the House
      5. Shane Reti: Health, Māori-Crown Relations, Pacific Peoples
      6. Louise Upston: Social Development, Child Poverty Reduction
      7. Erica Stanford: Education, Immigration, Associate Ethnic Affairs
      8. Matt Doocey: Mental Health, Youth, Associate Health, Associate Transport
      9. Simeon Brown: Transport, Public Service
      10. Barbara Kuriger: Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety
      11. Scott Simpson: Climate Change, Environment, Associate Transport
      12. Paul Goldsmith: Justice, Workplace Relations and Safety
      13. Melissa Lee: Broadcasting and Media, Digital Economy and Communications, Ethnic Communities
      14. Mark Mitchell: Police, Serious Fraud Office, Counter-terrorism
      15. Andrew Bayly: Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Manufacturing, Building and Construction, Revenue
      16. Gerry Brownlee: Foreign Affairs, GCSB and NZSIS, Emergency Management
      17. Stuart Smith: Energy and Resources, EQC, Viticulture
      18. Michael Woodhouse: State-owned Enterprises, ACC, Statistics, Sport and Recreation, Deputy Shadow Leader of the House
      19. Judith Collins: Research, Science and Innovation, Technology
      20. David Bennett: Economic and Regional Development
        Jacqui Dean: Assistant Speaker, Conservation
        Todd McClay: Trade and Export Growth, Tourism
        Simon O’Connor: Corrections, Customs, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Associate Foreign Affairs
        Ian McKelvie: Seniors, Forestry, Racing
        Todd Muller: Oceans and Fisheries, Internal Affairs
        Maureen Pugh: Community and Voluntary Sector
        Harete Hipango: Māori Development, Whānau Ora, Children/Oranga Tamariki
        Chris Penk: Shadow Attorney-General, Courts, Associate Justice
        Tim van de Molen: Defence, Veterans, Horticulture, Associate Agriculture
        Nicola Grigg: Rural Communities, Land Information, Animal Welfare, Women, Associate Agriculture
        Joseph Mooney: Treaty negotiations, Water, Space, Associate Tourism, Associate Agriculture
        Penny Simmonds: Tertiary Education, Early Childhood Education, Disability Issues, Associate Education, Associate Social Development and Employment
        Simon Watts: Local Govenment, Associate Finance, Associate Infrastructure
        More to come…
      • observer 18.3.1

        Well, I'll give him some credit for this: he's basically told Collins it's over.

        Now I'd rather he said that directly instead of doing the old sacking sugar (you know, when your boss says "thank you for your efforts and good luck in all your future endeavours", meaning bugger off).

        But that's gonna be his style I guess. Pretend everyone's awesome while making it clear they aren't. (I've worked for those kind of bosses and didn't like it, but never mind.)

        Papakura by-election next year. No way back for Judith.

        • observer

          Oh dear, I'm agreeing with him on something.

          From Herald:

          New National Party leader Chris Luxon has decided to part with the tradition of giving the entire caucus – except new and departing MPs – a numbered ranking.

          Instead, he's given rankings to the first 20 MPs, and left the rest unranked.

          Good. It's a really stupid convention. They're backbench MPs, no need to pretend the numbers mean anything once you're below the shadow Cabinet.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Yes, agreed

            • garibaldi

              Luxon has a little more sense than I credited him with simply by demoting the pitiful David Bennett .

          • Gezza

            Yes, I thought the same thing. Why waste time & energy on the small fry. If they do well they’ll stand out & maybe get a slot in the top 20 later, with retirements & demotions of non-performers or embarassing misbehavers.

            Do they have to rank them all – or at least a bit lower down – before the election, for the Party Lists?

        • Stephen D

          And Mark Mitchell.

          Might be time for a career switch. Bet they won’t cause by elections though.

        • Stephen D

          Or, a really messy de-selection meeting.

          Order popcorn now.

      • lprent 18.3.2

        Melissa Lee: Broadcasting and Media, Digital Economy and Communications, Ethnic Communities

        Judith Collins: Research, Science and Innovation, Technology

        Clearly National has no-one technical available. Just as obviously a very low priority to them as well. Melissa Lee? Judith Collins – neither have been notably useful in any of their portfolios. A journalist will have virtually no background in understanding a digital economy. About as much as a technophobe profession like law provides in science and technology.

        Wasn’t science and technology Luxon’s last gig as well? Payback is all well and good – but couldn’t he have picked something that wasn’t as vital to emphasise the dominance posturing behaviour in?

        • Gezza

          Maybe it’s a dekiberate provocation? She was easily the worst performing leader of the lot before his elevation. And she’s always got the potential to cause disaster for them. Look at the crap she dragged them into back in the day with Dirty Politics. No indication she’s got any smarter or any nicer since. They’re better off without her.

        • alwyn

          Who are the Labour equivalents, assuming they have any?

          It looks to be David Clark or Megan Woods but what on earth would they know about the topic? They both have PhDs but their thesis topics don't really seem very relevant. Clark's was "the work of German/New Zealand refugee and existentialist thinker Helmut Rex." and Woods expounded on "Integrating the nation: Gendering Maori urbanisation and integration".

          What is their background, if any, in the field?

          • lprent

            Sigh…. Perhaps you should go and read some time. Personally I’d suggest wikipedia….

            David Clark initially studied science and medicine before heading off to theology. That is public info.

            I knew his brother because we worked opposite each other as programmers at one job. His comment was that David was as much of a geek as he was. Met him once and he certainly was. My partner knew him as one of the proctors (?) at her halls of residence in Otago (ie this is NZ) and considered him to be one of the smarter people she’d run across.

            Megan Wood’s was on the business end of the science. Ummm… “Crop & Food Research (2005–08) and its successor organisation Plant and Food Research (2008), based at Lincoln” according to wikipedia. You don’t get that kind of role unless you have a clear appreciation of the basic science. That is why she keeps getting put into those science and technology roles.

            Met her once when I went down to Wigram for a Labour party conference. We actually had a small conversation on tech and water – something that is rare for me amongst the overwhelmingly technophobe political community. She was actually interesting on the both the topics. And I have high standards on both the high-tech that I work in, and the earth sciences that I originally trained in.

            This being NZ, I’ve also run across Melissa Lee during repeated campaigns in Mt Albert. My opinion is that she seldom seems to know much about anything. Even something as simple as how to campaign at an electoral level – something that just requires a public personality, an ability to engender trust in people working for you especially volunteers, and a facility with numbers. All of which she seemed to lack – at least according to the Nat volunteers in the electorate.

            I know of Judith Collins via law friends from when she was around the Auckland Law Society. I used to annoy lawyers in the 1990s and 00s by describing their industry as the last bastion of the technophobes. After having to deal with their inability to search on platforms that are now part of LexisNexus (it was a awkward platform – but pretty damn accessible compared anything else pre-google).

            Her inability with tech is a bit of legend even amongst commercial lawyers. I can’t testify to that, but she was did come up quite a lot when looking at the more useless technophobes. Her apparent inability to look at cause and effect in her political career makes me suspect that she is just as useless at understanding the basis of science.

            But the point is that Labour has currently people who have enough background (and ability) to talk with science and tech. National seems to have lost their final one when Nick Smith got drop-kicked out of parliament.

        • observer

          And this is where Luxon's super-upbeat style really grates …

          “Judith has a real passion for the portfolio that she’s been offered there in terms of research, science, innovation and technology. She cares very deeply about it, and she’s going to be absolutely brilliant,” Luxon said.

          No she isn't. She's going to be kept out of the spotlight until she gets the hint and leaves, either before or at the next election.

          Chris, stop treating us like idiots. We know you don't want her to stick around. Who would? You know – we ALL know – that National's better off without her lurking in the shadows. So why pretend?

          • lprent

            I'd almost bet that she sticks around. There are many things I could say about about Ms Collins, but a lack of stubbornness is not one of them .

        • roblogic

          As CEO of Air NZ, Luxon got on-side with the IT workers quite early by continuing the forward thinking investments of Rob Fyfe. Unfortunately (for me) they "rationalised" a bunch of expensive contractor gigs to save money crying

          • lprent

            The only time I ever looked at a job at AirNZ, when I finally got the recruiter to give an indication of the salary range, it was ludicrously low for a full-time job with the skills they were asking for. It felt like they hadn't raised their salary range for at least a decade.

            I generally prefer full-time rather than contracts. While I'm perfectly willing to take jobs with lower salaries if I find something interesting and new to work on (like startups), this had nothing to recommend it.

            • roblogic

              I enjoyed working with the tech stack at AirNZ. Lots of complex systems: booking, baggage, check-in, aircraft loading, loyalty schemes, codeshare logic. And at the centre of it sits the ancient "Carina" system on an IBM AS400 mainframe.

      • Stephen D 18.3.3

        There won’t be one Labour Front Bencher worried about their opposition.

        • Gezza

          Robertson will certainly most likely run rings around Bridges at Question Time.

        • Blade

          ''There won’t be one Labour Front Bencher worried about their opposition.''

          That has yet to be seen. Especially Bridges v Robertson. But even if Robbo runs rings around Simon, that's not where the battle lies.

          The battle field is the leaders media presence. At the moment Luxon is laying deep inroads into the media and courting them very nicely.

          Conversely, Jacinda, for all her empathy and media support, is losing ground in that arena. You will know Labour has got the message when she turns up on Hosking's show. She said she would if she had something of importance to say. Staying relevant in the media's eyes, I believe, could be considered ''important.''

          • observer

            Well, this makes a nice change from "oh why is she always in the media … those 1 pm shows … photo-ops … sick of the sight of her … biased MSM … blah blah"

            As always, it's the coin toss. Heads – too much. Tails – not enough. But the main thing is, complain about it either way.

          • Stephen D

            Blade but not a razor.

            • Blade

              Razors blunt and wear out too fast. A blade holds a nice edge. Just ask Andrew Little. You need to open that D lock around your intellect.

          • Dennis Frank

            Kindness. She's being kind enough to allow Luxie his honeymoon. Come the next poll, if it shows anything like parity between left & right, she'll take the initiative. If the current differential persists, she'll go into holiday mode.

            The honeymoon factor is likely to become ephemeral. Hosking can't be taken seriously so long as he's too scared to run for parliament, right? So just another empty talking head. Sad. Back when he started with RNZ he did seem a breath of fresh air. Not much advantage in being glib when he can't ever seem to come up with any original angle, eh?

            • Blade

              Interesting comments.

              ''Back when he started with RNZ.''

              He wouldn't make it past the front entrance now.

              ''Come the next poll, if it shows anything like parity between left & right, she'll take the initiative.''

              This is what we want – some excitement. And ego busting. Some on this link are going to be more deflated than a teacher being forced to take performance pay by an incoming National government. I hope it's not my ego.

              • Gezza

                I do think there are signs that:

                1. more of the public are now beginning to have a problem with the bad optics of Ardern’s apparent “grace & favour” approach to allocating questions to mostly friendly female journos
                2. the journos themselves are getting bored with Ardern hogging so much their time & with her verbosity
                3. Luxion is a bit of a break from the now boring presser standup shows; he’s articulate & might even be witty. They’re probably going to give him some head room & attention in the hope of generating some excitement again.
                • Blade

                  Yes, that about sums it up.

                • Blade


                • KJT

                  You mean that Adern prefers to answer questions from those, mostly female, who actually shut up long enough to let her answer.

                  Instead of the males, and a few women, who arrogantly talk over her with their ignorant and blatantly partisan reckons.
                  Or. Who ask the same question over and over, after Adern has patiently explained it several times, in language you would think is simple enough even for a Hosking or O Brian.

                  Not surprisingly.

                  Don’t know how she does it. That situation would severely challenge my non – violent principles.

                  Watched those same twits, over the last few days,, treat Luxon with fawning respect, even though he was obviously out of his depth.

                  • Gezza

                    No. I meant what I actually said.

                    Ardern’s never really had a problem getting even constant interrupters like Hosking to shut up & let her finish. And I personally get pissed off with journos or tv or radio presenters who continually interject & don’t let their guests or interviewees finish. I want to hear their guests anwers. not their rude interruptions.

                    Some of them even introduce a new damn topic before even hearing what the last answer actually was. And Soper didn’t do himself any favours recently, moaning about not being given priority. But he may have had a point.

                    I used to regularly watch the standups live but I only infrequently bother now. The Covid measures are now comparatively complex; I find it easier to read about them.

                    As for Luxon, I’ve already explained why I personally think they’re giving him time & space & not interrupting. I’d hardly call it fawning, they’re just not interrupting much.

                    I think on Covid he’s well out of his depth. Likely on many other matters too. But compared to his 3 predecessors he’s glib & has ready, relatively brief answers. They’re bored enuf with the status quo to let him say what he likes. Tova O’Brien strikes me as more or less a supporter of Ardern; certainly no fan of National leaders.

                    • Sacha

                      Soper didn’t do himself any favours recently, moaning about not being given priority. But he may have had a point.

                      What point would that be? That he is more deserving than all his colleagues?

                    • Gezza

                      Well I can’t see what’s happening becos the cameras are focussed on the podiums, but it sometimes “sounds” like certain journos are getting allowed more questions than others. That may be an unfair perception, because we just can’t see who’s in the audience. But I’m talking about the “optics”, how it looks.

                    • KJT

                      "Tova O Brian a "supporter of Adern".

                      Could have fooled me.

                      The repeated fatuous and inane gotcha questioning at every press conference, trying to elicite something to confirm O Brian's framing.

                    • Gezza

                      I don’t know her voice. I don’t personally like Tova O’Brien (pretty sure my spelling of her surname is the correct one) at all. For the very reason you state. She seems to regard herself as an oracle & always has an angle already in mind. Her questions are so biased towards confirming her opinion they’re embarassing.

                • observer

                  more of the public are now beginning to have a problem with the bad optics of Ardern’s apparent “grace & favour” approach to allocating questions to mostly friendly female journos

                  It's really sad to see you buying into conspiracy theories like this.

                  Do you really not know what happens at those press conferences? Exactly the same thing that happened at the press conferences with previous PMs. (And it's easy to check. You can watch Key's post-cabs online if you want, e.g YouTube).

                  The only change is that now … most of the political editors or chief reporters for TV1, TV3, NZ Herald, RNZ etc are women. So instead of Patrick Gower or Mark Sainsbury or John Armstrong, the Qs are from Mutch, O'Brien, Sherman. Lynch, Trevett, Patterson etc. (Plenty of men ask Qs too, but it used to be 90-10, now it's more 50-50).

                  Basically you're saying that there are too many women in the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Now I'm sure you don't intend to be saying that, of course not. But that is the "favourite female journos" myth.

                  The news organisations employ the reporters. Not the PM.


                  • Gezza

                    Do you really not know what happens at those press conferences? Exactly the same thing that happened at the press conferences with previous PMs. (And it’s easy to check. You can watch Key’s post-cabs online if you want, e.g YouTube).

                    Thanks. I might look at a couple.

                    The only change is that now … most of the political editors or chief reporters for TV1, TV3, NZ Herald, RNZ etc are women. So instead of Patrick Gower or Mark Sainsbury or John Armstrong, the Qs are from Mutch, O’Brien, Sherman. Lynch, Trevett, Patterson etc. (Plenty of men ask Qs too, but it used to be 90-10, now it’s more 50-50).

                    Are you sure of those numbers? Seems to be mostly female voices asking questions?

                    Basically you’re saying that there are too many women in the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Now I’m sure you don’t intend to be saying that, of course not. But that is the “favourite female journos” myth.

                    No. If I meant that, that’s what I would have said. If the make up of the PPG has changed so that it’s now 50/50 or even 70/30 women to men, so what? is my attitude. Makes no diff (to me) what sex/gender the reporters & political editors are.

                    The news organisations employ the reporters. Not the PM.

                    Pretty sure everyone knows that.

                    • observer

                      Makes no diff (to me) what sex/gender the reporters & political editors are.

                      Yes, I'm sure that is your genuine answer, of course. But the point is that the fact of more reporters now being female has been turned into a political issue by Ardern's opponents. It's a troll's meme of "Jessica, Tova", not "TV1, TV3" which is the only reason they ask the questions and Ardern answers. But – as usual – it's only noticed because women are now doing the job.

                      Key joshing with Guyon Espiner (TV1) and Duncan Garner (TV3) – and even going drinking with them – got no attention at all when it happened every week. Because … blokes.

                    • Gezza

                      Oh, just clicked on your Press Gallery link & I see that it lists all members & whether they’re associate or full members.

                      It’s obvious that all those journos & editors etc who’re members of the PPG aren’t all there at the press conferences tho. Several of the tv reporters listed routinely come on the evening news reporting from out in the regions, for example.

                      So I dunno what usual core number is of those usually present at the average press conference?

                    • Gezza

                      God, look at the time. Gotta hit the sack.

                      I get your point about Key & “the boys”, but from my perspective Key got a too easy ride from the PPG journos at many press conferences too. He had a different way of handling tricky questions; he was a less voluble than Ardern. From memory he’d often just say something brief then say more and end the session.

                    • Gezza


                      • He was a lot less voluble than Ardern. From memory he’d often just say something brief then say no more and end the session.
                • Ad


                  You mean the 18% fall in popularity for Jacinda Ardern in 1 year?

                  Or the 12% fall in popularity for Labour in 1 year?

                  It's not the 'journos' Labour need to worry about.

                  It's how much they can scrape back.

    • The Al1en 18.4

      Ah, wee Eddie Munster, up to 9th in the rankings – My how you've grown, not in height, obviously, but you must be one of the few child stars to have made it from the silver screen to the 'haves' lickspittle servant. Well done, Lily and Herman must be so proud.

  19. Pete 19

    It's obviously a group laden with talent in the finance area. Not so long back Amy Adams was their guru. I appreciate she had so much to offer she shot through.

    Was it Paul Goldsmith next? Then Andrew Bayley and now Simon Bridges? If ACT overtake them at the election it could be that a majority of their Caucus would have had a turn as spokesperson. The way history has evolved though Goldsmith as a list MP won't even be there.

    Wouldn't that be a lovely irony.

  20. observer 21

    They really are so predictable, you'd love to play cards with these guys, easy money …

    Previously Muller announced his retirement. Everyone else "you mean, as long as Judith is leader?". Muller: "nah, definitely leaving".

    Judith out. Muller back. And now he says he'll stand again in 2023 … as predicted, and denied.

  21. McFlock 22

    If the only punishment is a fine, then it's legal for rich people.

    Level-breacher has to pay $1130 for endangering the South Island.

  22. McFlock 23

    $7.00 flat whites to keep the number of cafes we have? Meh. Maybe the new-normal is fewer cafes. Might solve the "employee shortage", too.

    But $7.50 flat whites for a living wage for hospo staff? So be it. My coffee shouldn't be flavoured with blood and sweat.

    • roblogic 23.1

      My local cafe does a great brunch deal – a coffee and a panini for only $13. I blame them for my lockdown belly!

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        I was totally pissed when my favourite place for "big brekkies" turned out to be an abysmal employer – $X00,000 in reparations-to-employees-scale abysmal.

        But yeah – good for my bathroom scales. They used to creak under the strain lol

    • Blazer 23.2

      Glad I don't drink coffee,wouldn't pay that with a gun to my…head.

      • McFlock 23.2.1

        Personally I often prefer that cona stuff – 5sec to pour, no banging or steaming or any of that. Never drink coffee at home.

  23. Adrian 25

    Don’t know what happened at 5.53, editing didn’t work, I’m even more tech illiterate than Collins but I suspect she’s at 19 to reflect her deep knowledge of the Covid Pandemic, because as she is reported to have said along the lines of it can’t be much to worry about as there have been 18 before it!

    • McFlock 25.1

      That was Boag.

      Collins just actively undermined every pandemic response measure she could find, or seemed to anyway. The scary thought is that she thought she was helping keep NZers safe.

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