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Open Mike 07/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 7th, 2018 - 172 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 …

172 comments on “Open Mike 07/01/2018 ”

  1. Stunned Mullet 1

    Richard Nixon: I am not a crook !

    Donald Trump: I am a very stable genius !

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    If there are green people reading this please search and watch Dane Wiggington on YouTube.

    We are approximately seven years away from total ozone collapse.

    • James 2.1

      And yet the reports show that the ozone is repairing and the situation is improving.

    • Andre 2.2

      Although a search for said individual without the youtube bit may help you decide how much time you want to spend watching those videos …

  3. James 3

    Read this in the herald this morning. It’s like she wrote it for some of the posters here.


    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Yes, because right wingers never get outraged about anything at all 🙄

    • reason 3.2

      Yesterday James wrote a stupid and insulting post where he insulted posters here …. as well as Gerald Hope, the bereaved father of Olivia Hope …. and a lot of other New Zealanders

      In this thread I give a hat-tip to Psycho Milt for posting up … ““In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.” …. This was the research I hazily recalled.

      I could not be bothered doing a internet search for a troll such as James …. even with his needling and projection of his own dishonesty or stupidity onto me.

      James ….. ” I remember the results of a study (also without a citation) that showed the more stupid a person they go insult the original comment and change the topic – without proving a shred of anything to disprove the original comment made.

      speaking of “wank wank” “…..

      I can not help but wonder whether there is a ‘troll effect ‘ wherein trolls believe other posters are as dishonest and malevolent as themselves.

      Do you think this way James ??????

      • Ed 3.2.1

        Like the Herald, James brought back unhappy memories for the families.
        Them – for profit, which is despicable.
        I have no idea why James brought the topic up, but he stooped to a new low that day.

        • James

          I doubt that they read this blog.

          And I was simply commenting on news of the day in open mike.

          I thought it interesting.

          • reason

            Well why didn’t you simply write something along the lines of … ‘ I find this interesting but it probably won’t sway the doubters’ …. or something like that.

            It was your ‘Dunning–Kruger’ “no doubt” and “nutters” statements of fact that crossed the line and made it into a trolls post.

            Bloody poor form ….. especially towards Gerald Hope ….. who would know more about the case than rude punters on the internet.

            And while Ed thought that you, james, had stooped to a new low ….. I think you did that when you were decrying ‘leftie’ posters for pointing out the higher rates and increase of suicide that cruel and punitive national/ rightwing / tory policies cause…..

            You really are quite happy in not giving a fuck about a lot of things …

            • Ed

              What I find the most repulsive about James is the fact he comes on this site and brags about his rich, privileged life.
              Were he to read some of the most poignant contributions from some posters, he would be aware that quite a few of our posters have real challenges they face in life.
              But no.
              There is not a shred of empathy.
              6 days ago I said I would never press reply to James again.
              This is now the last time I refer to a troll’s comments.

              These are paid disrupters who will continue to land on these shores.
              Danegeld only encouraged the Vikings.

              • James

                I have sympathies those with real issues. No time for people who are just bitter and envious posters who hate people who they perceive to be better off.

                As for the paid meme that you have pushed so so many times and always failed to backup – I’ll add it to the list of Ed’s lies.

  4. veutoviper 4

    Warning, link is to Heather du Plessis Allen.
    Meant to be reply to James at 3.

    She should take her own advice which is not to get picky,angry etc at the smallest indiscretions …

    Talk about a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    • James 4.1

      Should your warning not say “warning – author is not part of our wee echo chamber and may think differently therefore please heed this trigger warning”

    • Sanctuary 4.2

      Heather du Plessis Allen can be relied upon to bring to the nation’s attention whatever issue de jour is troubling her superannuated hubby.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    James. this is funny!! That writer is always angry about something or other in her articles, which are generally shallow. Often she pontificates.

    She fails to realise the “rage” is a symptom of the feelings being expressed by the general population towards opinionated uncaring comments by often well to do people

    How dare we not accept their opinions as facts!! How pushy and stupid of us!! We should know their opinions are superior, therefore true. Yeah right!!

    Rage builds over time. It is caused by unrelenting attacks. Attacks meant to deminish.
    Memes repeated over and over. She says her friend made a mistake about the “Lipstick on a pig” comment …. No!! She and 98% of the populace felt outraged at that!!

    Rage can lead to revolutions!! Luckily ours led to a Coalition government instead.

    • James 5.1

      Are you folk having trouble working out the reply button this morning?

      Your comment about “well to do” people gives away your agenda.

      As for your “rage” there are pockets – but the majority of people are quite normal and happy.

      • Molly 5.1.1

        Her examples are selectively picked, and show little understanding of underlying context. As usual.

        “As for your “rage” there are pockets – but the majority of people are quite normal and happy.”
        Interesting definition of normal there – rageless – out of pocket – unhappy.

        It is normal to have resistance when your values are constantly being eroded by processes beyond your control. Sometimes that manifests as outrage.

        • OnceWasTim

          Having once been a resident of Wellington’s Eastern suburbs; and familiar with the antics of some members who claim membership of the 4th Estate (even Bill Ralston does that sometimes); and someone who had a close relative confiding in me the relationship of a husband as a ‘daddy figure’ – I could make a prediction.
          Pretty sure HdPA will outlive me though, so I won’t be around to see the result.

          In the meantime, the best that can be done is to donate to Women’s Refuge because there goes a person that’ll be in need sometime in the future

      • patricia bremner 5.1.2

        No James, most reporters are “well to do” they are not in the lower income bracket, especially Hoskings and others, ie Morgan.

        • James

          Actually they are generally not paid that much at all. Pointing out the highest paid is a poor example. But generally reporters are non on huge salaries

          • patricia bremner

            Heather is not poorly paid.

            • james

              You stated “most reporters are “well to do” – and im pointing out that MOST are not.

              pointing out some of the highest profiles ones in NZ makes a stupid argument.

  6. Ed 6

    It’s ok to be outraged, Heather du Plessis-Allen.
    Even if your own life is comfortable, others are not.
    Your articles could be about writing truth to power.

    Something to be outraged about #1

    ‘‘New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the world. Eighty per cent of incidents go unreported — so what we know of family violence in our community is barely the tip of the iceberg.’


    • James 6.1

      It’s good netiquette to use the reply button when not replying to me.

      I think the point is that some people are continuously outraged over everything. It’s all part of the snowflake mentality.

      If you stop being bitter and outraged over everything you will see how good we have it.

      • Molly 6.1.1

        “It’s all part of the snowflake mentality. “
        These buzzwords such as “snowflake” used without further explanation, are for the intellectually lazy.

    • James 6.2

      And post your edit.

      Somethings are ok to be outraged about.

      Somethings are not.

      Partner abuse – outrage.
      A good steak vs a turnip as a base of a meal – shouldn’t outrage.

      Problem is some people (Ed) cannot tell the difference and run around being offended by everything and everyone (who has more than them)

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        who made you the arbiter of outrage? And where were your outraged comments about Tony Veitch the partner abuser?

        • James

          You can look them up. But confident I didn’t support vetich.

          And not outraged. Disgusted yes. And believe he should have gone to jail for what he did.

          • McFlock

            I looked up posts under the Veitch tag, and couldn’t see you anywhere. Where was your “outrage” or “disgust”, not your “lack of support”?

  7. James 7

    Tesla could be the first electric car manufacturer to go broke.


    • Ad 7.1

      Tony Stark goes all Icarus.

      Check that share price out: so much heat, so few good fundamentals.

      Once he’s finished the swan dive, someone like Ford, Amazon or Alphabet to scoop up the remains and do something useful with them.

      Best watch those Lithium-exposed stocks as well.

  8. Ed 8

    It’s ok to be outraged, Heather du Plessis-Allen.
    Even if your own life is comfortable, others are not.
    Some people don’t have it good.

    Your articles could be about writing truth to power.

    Like Alison Mau.

    Something to be outraged about #2

    ‘Alison Mau: Don’t waste your breath excusing the Rhythm and Vines groper.

    : It’s heartbreaking to think that young women taking part in one of summer’s great pleasures – hanging out with mates at a festival – cannot do so safely, whatever they choose to do with their boobs. It’s heartbreaking to see the feeble-minded, rape-apologist abuse that 20-year-old Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller has faced since she was assaulted at Rhythm and Vines a week ago.

    Actually, scrub that. It’s not heartbreaking. Too late for that. Our hearts have been breaking over this shiz for generations. Thanks to the revelations of 2017; the Weinstein monster and Louis CK’s uninvited masturbation and all the many, many others, we’re all bloody furious.

    It’s enraging, not heartbreaking. You can see, hear and feel this among women young and old on social media and in interviews on mainstream platforms. It’s in the words of the organisers of Times Up, the campaign formed by Hollywood women that promises to help women from lower paying industries get justice in sexual harassment cases‘


    • James 8.1

      You are literally running around the Internet looking for things to be outraged about. That would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        Whataya reckon about those coked-up All Blacks! Outrageous!

        • Ad

          I prefer them coked up.
          Gives a good snort to their Haka.

          • eco maori

            I have already warned OUR Mighty All Blacks about what I see that is going on in OUR World media I think the way to combat this is to get everyone asoseated with the AB to sign a confilct of intrset contract .Kia kaha

          • greywarshark


          • OnceWasTim

            I do too.
            …. and have you noticed? With apologies to an Edmonds cook book – the harder they (our sporting oikons) rise, the harder they fall.
            Awe ,,,, shame eh?
            I better turn on Skoi New Australia to see who the latest is

        • Ed

          Linked to an issue at 6, the All Blacks have been in the news for domestic violence.

          Joking about their abuse of drugs is no laughing matter. When these sports players get drunk, some of them hit their partners.

          New Zealand’s game.



        • greywarshark

          That applies to you James. Self-knowledge – lacking – tragic!
          Psychological projection I think. Just lie down on this couch and tell us about yourself and your concerns. No on second thoughts don’t!

          The Babylonian Talmud (500 AD) notes the human tendency toward projection and warns against it: “Do not taunt your neighbour with the blemish you yourself have.”[8]

        • Incognito

          Hmmm, perhaps this is the reason why AB scrums often collapse near the side-line: the white line 🤔

          Edit: Easily fixed with a ‘white line test’ 😉

        • chris73

          Well they’re young (mostly), supremely fit, spare time and excess cash so its not surprising

        • James

          Since you make the comment – show me just one current all black team member who has been caught taking coke ?

          • Robert Guyton

            Caught? Nah, mate, Richie showed them how not to get caught . Doesn’t mean they’re clean though, does it and the word is, they’re filthy with it! You reckon there’s no substance to the claim 🙂

            • james

              I prefer some evidence before I state as a fact – of which you have none.

              But to clarify – are you stating as a fact that Richie McCaw showed other All Blacks how not to get caught taking cocaine?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You sound quite outraged at the suggestion.

                • james

                  Not really. I think it more pathetic.

                  Its just sad that someone would try to make such allegations against somebody (and a high profile person at that) with zero evidence.

                  • BM

                    Yep pretty stupid stuff, especially from an elected councillor.

                    The only thing I can think of is that Guyton’s been hitting the nettle wine a bit too much.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke


                    High dudgeon indeed. Go fuck yourself, James.

      • Anne 8.1.2

        Sit down and read Alison Mau carefully James. And then read HDA. There’s no comparison. They both were published today. One is written by a very intelligent woman of considerable substance. The other is shallow and adds very little of consequence to the harassment debate.

        You set out at ‘3’ to enrage the already enraged on this site. You succeeded, but this time you got it wrong. I wonder if you have the guts to ‘apologise’ as the gentleman in Mau’s article did?

        • Ed

          We need more outraged not less.
          ”The anger window is open.”

          From the article.

          ‘They came together in anger, says co-chair of the Nike Foundation Maria Eitel, not because they wanted to “whine, or complain, or tell a story or bemoan. They came together because they intended to act. There was almost a ferociousness to it.”
          As far back as early November – and doesn’t THAT seem like eons ago – Rebecca Traister wrote in New York Magazine that “the anger window is open”.
          “This is ’70s-style, organic, mass, radical rage, exploding in unpredictable directions,” she wrote.’

    • James 8.2

      This one sums up the outrage mentality that HDA was writing about perfectly.

      • Stuart Munro 8.2.1

        You and HDP confuse enkratês with virtue – a cheap trick. There is a place for anger, especially in a country as ravaged by corruption and neoliberal misgovernance as NZ.

        Do not go gentle into that good night,
        Old Soper should burn and rave at close of day;
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  9. Ed 9

    It’s ok to be outraged, Heather du Plessis-Allen.
    Even if your own life is comfortable, others are not.
    Some animals don’t have it good.

    Your articles could be about writing truth to power.

    Like Holly Button and Matt Walker.

    Something to be outraged about #3
    Animal cruelty at rodeos

    ‘A call to action from the Animal Justice League New Zealand resulted in approximately 60 people taking part in a demonstration outside Canterbury Rodeo today.
    “The turnout was greater than anticipated, which shows just how quickly people are learning about rodeo cruelty and agree that the government should implement a full ban on rodeos in NZ,” said a member of the group.
    “People from town and country united, to send a clear message to organisers and attendees that New Zealanders are sick of animal abuse being touted as entertainment,” Animal Justice League NZ Spokesperson Holly Button.’


    Mr Walker said the president of the Canterbury Rodeo Club, Jono Reed, then came over and in front of about eight security staff told him they did not want any filming that would cast rodeo in a negative light.

    “Is that really acceptable? [I told him] it seems like you’re trying to censor out unbiased and independent filming from the event,” he said.‘


  10. Ed 10

    It’s ok to be outraged, Heather du Plessis-Allen.
    Even if your own life is comfortable, others are not.
    Our environment doesn’t have it good.

    Your articles could be about writing truth to power.

    Like Peter Anderson

    Something to be outraged about #4
    The state of our waterways

    ‘In 2009, 70 percent of bathing sites were suitable for public recreation. Today, that figure has dropped to 58 percent.
    Peter Anderson of Forest and Bird said land intensification is a significant cause of the water quality crisis.
    “The level of intensification has got in front of the ability to manage the environmental impacts from that intensification. Canterbury is at the forefront of it,” he said.
    Mid-Canterbury crop and dairy farmer Ian Mackenzie said the government’s plan to end irrigation loans is the wrong answer. He said that as well as boosting grass growth, irrigation can also dilute polluting nitrates in the urine from livestock through techniques such as managed aquifer recharging.
    However, Mr Anderson said that doesn’t address the underlying problem which is that we have too many cows.
    “There’s no treatment of the effluent of cows. We need to think differently if we’re going to try reduce the impact of land intensification.”


  11. red-blooded 11

    How about we stop responding to a smug troll who is (ironically) simply looking to provoke outrage?

    This is a really interesting and though-provoking article about the end of life/assisted dying bill, using the experiences and opinions of a guy with Motor Neuron Disease who says that 10 years ago he would have opted for death but now he treasures every moment of life. He feels the bill discriminates against the disabled, implying their lives are worth less than the able-bodied. Worth thinking about.

    • Union city greens 11.1

      How about we think for a minute before posting so all points that want to be made, especially the same one, can be contained in one outing instead of being strewn down the page like rant man dribble.

      Tedious. 🙄

      • Ed 11.1.1

        4 separate points actually.
        All that should provoke outrage.
        And all worthy of debate.
        One thing they’re not is tedious.

        The 4 separate points

        Domestic violence
        Sexual abuse

        • Union city greens

          Same point, four examples, should have been in one post.

          It makes your outrage like a meme generator stuck on ego boost.
          Show some courtesy, Paul, and think a bit before hitting submit.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I fail to see why calling people’s attention to those four issues requires you to cut ‘n’ paste huge screeds of other peoples’ work while adding little of your own.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2

      Almost everything I read on the subject makes me change my position at least twice.

      • red-blooded 11.2.1

        Yeah, it’s much more complex than many arguing for (or against) it acknowledge. I do think it’s a discussion worth having, but I also think that the bill as it stands is rather loose, and I have to say the article I linked to above gives a great example illustrating one of the problems embedded within it. Who would have argued that this guy wasn’t “of sound mind” or aware of the outcome of his decision 10 years ago (when he did actually try to take his own life)? And yet he’s glad of the years he’s had since then and now finds joy in his life as it is, wanting it to continue for as long as it can.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          On the one hand I think people ought to be able to choose, and on the other I think it’s inappropriate to formalise it so long as massive health inequality persists.

  12. joe90 12

    Little wonder his base adores him.

    In the past year, we have had many of the same conversations with the same sources Wolff used. We won’t betray them, or put on the record what was off. But, we can say that the following lines from the book ring unambiguously true:

    How Trump processes (and resists) information:

    • “It was during Trump’s early intelligence briefings … that alarm signals first went off among his new campaign staff: he seemed to lack the ability to take in third-party information.”
    • “Or maybe he lacked the interest; whichever, he seemed almost phobic about having formal demands on his attention.”
    • “Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. … [H]e could read headlines and articles about himself, or at least headlines on articles about himself, and the gossip squibs on the New York Post‘s Page Six.”
    • “Some … concluded that he didn’t read because he just didn’t have to, and that in fact this was one of his key attributes as a populist. He was postliterate — total television.”
    • “[H]e trusted his own expertise — no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. What’s more, he had an extremely short attention span, even when he thought you were worthy of attention.”


    • Carolyn_Nth 12.1

      Some Trumpology on twitter today: the art of tweeting like Trump….or not.

      Mimi Kramer thread, includes:

      Suddenly, though, in the wake of this book, we get a thread that is clearly neither him nor someone tweeting presidentially. This is someone pretending to be him, trying to sound like Trump and not doing a very good job.

      Some giveaways are the word “playbook” (arguably way above Trump’s level of sophistication) and the grasp of history that the reference to Reagan requires; also the use of punctuation throughout the thread;

      also the phrase “at that” used correctly at the end of the last stanza, as it were — a rhetorical flourish that, alas, is again way above his own actual facility with language.

      Jeet Heer thread

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        Wasn’t there a thing during the election where someone noticed that the deranged tweets came from an android and the more sane tweets came from an iphone?

        So now the iphone users have hired a mimic…

    • Ad 12.2

      President Trump will keep successfully delivering for his base and for the Republican donors until late 2020 at least.

      Wolfe’s effect is simply to confirm the new standard that a President needs to achieve to remain in power.

      So far he has delivered precisely:

      – Huge tax cuts for businesses and for individuals
      – Roll back soft marijuana laws
      – Roll back transgender rights in the military
      – Drill for oil into the arctic and any part of the seabed you like
      – Full repudiation of the mainstream media
      – Massive funding support for the military
      – Strangulation of Obamacare
      – Locked up the Supreme Court for many years
      – Halved refugee quota and massive immigration crackdown from terrorist-harbouring states
      – Repudiation of intelligence and justice structures within Washington – which is his version of “draining he swamp”.
      – Put the shits up North Korea’s leadership so much that fresh dialogue has broken out between North and South Korea for the first time in many years.
      – Shifted the balance of power in the Middle East with a few largely symbolic moves

      He said what he was going to do beforehand, and he is doing it.

      Now, all he has to do in the next three years is make a start on his great barrier wall, and he is a nomination lock for the Republican ticket.

      I don’t like him, but if I were a Republican I would be calling him The Milkman.

    • Carolyn_Nth 12.3

      Odd line in a movie: was watching a recording of the 2007 movie “The Brave One” – strange movie – not very good and still haven’t finished watching it.

      But it has this odd line in the movie – could now be seen as incitement to assassination? Foster plays a vigilante killer in New York city, killing “bad” people. here she’s in a life while people are talking about the unknown killer.

  13. eco maori 13

    Some of us on thestandard site are wondering why all of a sudden there is no more articles reporting the Climatic changed weather events that has just been hammering OUR beautiful Country .
    I say that NZMEDIA is being influenced by the long tentacles of that country that just pulled out of the Paris climate change pact. Not just NZMEDIA the WORLDS Media is being influenced by this administration which is run by billionaires they let there $$$$$$$$$ influence there choices and not logic and this is why they are running a campaign to block as many articles as they can that even mentions climate change .
    There is usually a couple of articles on the Guardian about events like this unusual climatic changed weather that has hit New Zealand and at least one on these sites Euro news Niki Asian news . I have scour our Worlds media for articles about climate change for years under the Obama administration there was heaps of data on climate change not now.
    Here is a link showing how our New Zealand Media has slid down OUR Worlds ranking on freedom of speech. and ICE Lands fines for business that do not pay there lady s the same as men mhttps://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjymJfUg8TYAhULx7wKHYiqD28QFgg-MAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.massey.ac.nz%2Fmassey%2Fabout-massey%2Fnews%2Farticle.cfm%3Fmnarticle_uuid%3DF1B6840E-9487-95EF-D57E-3DD68DC4A4AB&usg=AOvVaw0FBRyqW7bHGqQqFvhMgbIden.
    Many thanks to those intelligent STARS for the Tautoko of OUR LORDYS choice of not going to Israel .
    PS Lordy don;t worry to much about the bad publicity that you are getting from FOX NEWS as all they are doing in reality is adding to your Mana . Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 14.1

      I am teaching my self how to post links please have patients while I learn this skill. As I m self taught in most of the things I have learned
      Ka pai

      • red-blooded 14.1.1

        eco maori, there’s a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page here on The Standard that can help you insert links without having to have those big long site addresses showing. It’s a bit hard to get used to at first, but I taught myself by having two version of TS open at once, with the FAQ page sitting there for me to look at when needed. Here’s a link to the page. Good luck if you decide to use it.

        • greywarshark

          eco maori
          If you get stuck just say and we will advise. Was confused by it myself – as seeing to be difficult to control the links and just have a term highlighted instead. Then, got it, easy peasy.

        • eco maori

          thanks for the tip red blooded Ka pai

  14. patricia bremner 15

    3. James, please realise, we do not share your blithe view of the world, and mostly we do not rate Heather or her husband’s views very highly.

    So you have had your excitement for the day by quoting her, and getting responses. We know you are here James. Glad to confirm it. (Oh, and we personally are not rich, but neither are we poor, so there is no agenda as you put it.)

    Had Heather written a thoughtful piece about road rage, or as Ed suggested family violence, then we could discuss the underlying reasons in both cases.

    However, as usual Heather was trite superficial and selective in writing about rage.
    Her friend may not be feeling so friendly right now, having her opinions and feelings so used.

    The other day you accused someone here of being part of an “echo chamber” yet you quote Heather as a support for your views. Oh, the irony!!

  15. Nic the NZer 16

    I think if there is anything to be learned from this episode it is that its of paramount importance for everybody to *stop* replying to James at the top of the thread. Best to keep that top of mind I would say.

  16. North 17

    Ire-onic oik outraged about outrage.

  17. patricia bremner 18

    Has anyone else noticed plants confusing the seasons? We have plants 6+ weeks early, but few bees as yet. Not the usual Rotorua pattern.

  18. Anne 19

    This may have already been alluded to on this site, but it takes the cake:


    Like snotty nosed brats in a playground they play the legal version of a fist fight cos someone pimped on them so… we’s is gonna teach em a lesson.

  19. Ms Fargo 20

    The mighty totara has fallen… We’ll miss you Jim.

  20. Reports that Jim Anderton has died. If so, we’ve lost one of the good ones.


    “Today I am a little lost for words. Jim was a huge influence on my life and someone who I will miss a great deal. There will be lot of words said about his political achievements but today I am thinking of a kind, compassionate and giving man. A man I am proud to have known and call a friend.”

    Megan Woods MP

    • Ad 21.1

      Rest In Peace comrade. You made a difference.

      From my generation, I loved the work that you did forming the Ministry of Economic Development, rolling out a new framework of public sector coherence with the Growth and Innovation Framework, and rolling out regional economic development that really gave hope and delivery to dozens of communities right across New Zealand. And did it, unusually for the left, with sound business experience behind you.

      Others will remember the cataclysmic fights on the floor of Labour Party conferences back in the day – a bit early for me.

      Still others will remember the work for the people of Wigram electorate and of Christchurch more generally.

      Awesome to see a life well lived in service to others.

      Jim you were and are an inspiration.

    • r0b 21.2

      There’s a post up about Anderton. A great loss.

  21. adam 22

    18:51 minutes long, Abby Martin investigates the murders of social leaders, union organizers and indigenous activists in Colombia.

  22. Ed 23

    Brilliant idea.

    ‘From now on, The Daily Blog will be naming all storms hitting NZ by the names of MPs who are doing sweet bugger all and by the NZ Corporations exacerbating climate change.’

  23. Ed 24

    There is a photo in the Listener this week ( on page 2 and on page 23) which sums up the world so well in 2017.

    In the background, a massive forest fire burns.

    In the foreground, seemingly unperturbed by the conflagration, three rich white men continue to play golf on their well watered golf course.

    The photo is a metaphor for the world today.

    Anyone else see it?

    • alwyn 24.1

      Can you explain just how you know they are “rich”?

    • Grey Area 24.2

      I’m on the verge of giving up on The Standard because many here continue to feed the troll. You’re being gamed and yet you continue to respond to James.

      He is not genuine and his purpose is simply to inflame, obscure, abuse and divert yet you continue to indulge him.

      Why? He’s not very bright but seems smarter than many here who continue to be willing to let him undermine discussion.

      Please, if you care about rigorous, open debate, ignore him. Otherwise he and others like him, win.

      • JanM 24.2.1

        I heartily agree – I’m fed up with conversations being derailed because some people don’t seem to be able to resist taking the bait – it’s potentially ruining a valuable and informative site

      • Jimmy Ramaka 24.2.2

        That is why they come on to these sites “PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS”, BM was having a Field Day yesterday I think it was ?

        They are actually paid by the Right Wingers/Neoliberals to derail discussions on sites like these and influence peoples thinking, WAKE UP DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS, just ignore their comments.

        • Ed

          Let’s look at this thread (24)
          I made an observation about a photo in the Listener.
          That was ok, wasn’t it?

          • alwyn

            The reason I asked the question is very simple.
            I happen to know that golf course. It is a Public course, just like Chamberlain Park in Auckland. It can be played by anyone at all and it is cheap.
            As of the date of that photo the Green fees for 18 holes would have been $18.00 US. That is equivalent to $25.00 NZ.
            To play 18 holes at Chamberlain park today would cost you $28.00. In other words it is cheaper than the best known Public course in Auckland. Now do you really think that they are clearly rich, which was your assumption, just because they were playing golf?
            Do you somehow think that only rich people play golf? That seems an awfully bold assumption doesn’t it?
            I repeat. How do you know, or even think, that they are “three rich white men”.

            • McFlock

              Golf: green fees, clubs, carts, snappy gloves, maybe even spikey shoes
              Football: Ball. Open space. Maybe spikey shoes, if your open space is grass.

              And appealing to your experience as an internationally-travelling golfer sort of supports the assumption that golfers, as a general rule, sure aren’t poor.

              • alwyn

                And I thought you were a truly sensible intelligent gentleman.
                Still, anyone who loves a fine cigar cannot be all bad.

                Actually I have never played the course. I have a close friend, now living in New Zealand, who lived there and played the course regularly. He had always told me, at great length, about how good a course it was and how cheap it was to play there.
                I should possibly have put the word “of” between “know” and “that ” in the second sentence. It would then have read “know of that golf course”
                He was the one who rang me and told me that a picture of the place was in the Listener.

                I do play golf though. You do need clubs but they last for 20 years. You don’t really need a glove but if you do you can get one for $10 or so. You don’t need a cart. A hand pulled trolley will do and if you only want a half set or so you can carry the bag. You do need shoes but they don’t have to be spiked. In fact most clubs ban spiked shoes these days.

                Golf is actually quite a cheap sport in New Zealand and in many other parts of the world. I met a person in Scotland a few years ago who lived in St Andrews. He, a person over 65, could play unlimited rounds on all the St Andrews courses for 150 pounds a year! That included about 5 courses, including the holy-of-holies, “The Old Course”. I could have wept.
                Don’t even consider playing in Japan of course.

                No. Don’t try and defend Ed. He made a bull-shit comment based on an obsession about white male people in the US and a total lack of knowledge about his subject.

                I’m sure that, when he reads how silly his interpretation of the photo was, that he will come back and tell us that he regrets those foolish assumptions and there was nothing to justify his claim.

        • James

          Jimmy. I bet you $1000 that I’m. It paid to post here. Care to back up your “actually” statement ?

      • Ed 24.2.3

        How is my comment about the golf bad?
        I have not replied to James for 6 days despite continuous provocation.
        Are there other solutions to ridding this site of such sniping comments?
        Is ignoring the only solution?
        If you take an average day, you’ll see nearly 50% of Open Mike taken up by smarmy and unpleasant comments made by these people.
        If they are paid, they will come whatever, won’t they?
        How does the Daily Blog deal with them as they rarely appear there.

        • greywarshark

          Hi Ed You kept at it and spurred me on to take a healthy break but I’m back in the chocs, but in a controlled way.

          I think that the mods could decide that we take a democratic decision on who is a troll, and give them bans when they are pushing their luck. Or limit them somehow to three a day. Others get bans, CV vanished, Pete George likewise. It just needs a change in the rules. There can be so much criticism of what regular interested commenters say, and yet the trolls dance in and out interfering with the flow of discussion and sometimes destroying it.

          Let’s do it TS. You could announce that you think someone is a troll and if someone can find anything worthwhile to set against that then they get another chance perhaps (depends who it is – I think we know the habits of those who regularly come here).

          I have been irritated for ages and it is good to see others becoming vocal. There are those who are so combative or didactic that they cannot stop themselves replying and on and on it goes – it’s time consuming when the blog is working as it should and there is lots of discussion and different views, and that is what makes it worthwhile and I think valuable to NZ as a whole, which has had a drought of political discussion for most people, for many decades. But I’m not going to put the time in if we are just getting people flitting about with froth and spittle and sly digs. And they watch amused as they manipulate the moderators to tell us regulars off. Bah.

          So don’t let us lose the valuable thing for want of some firm rules. It’s a problem I have noticed in groups that are people’s initiatives – they want to be open and welcoming and some will have pet interests and people they want to be kind to or something. They won’t do their gardening – judicious pruning to keep the thing healthy.

          • Ed

            ‘Let’s do it TS. You could announce that you think someone is a troll and if someone can find anything worthwhile to set against that then they get another chance perhaps (depends who it is – I think we know the habits of those who regularly come here).’

            I second your motion.

  24. eco maori 25

    The muppet sandflys were swarming today I have a warning for the public these particular sandflys are transmitters and carriers of a very nasty virus this virus is not deadly but you are stuffed when you get it.
    It is called idiotitouselfrighteousbigotitesgullibleites that s the scientific terminology for this virus.
    The symptoms are started when one is flashed with a shiny object one suffer from gullibility the other symptoms only surface after six months with out treatment they turns you into a Idiot self righteous bigots so be warned stay clear of these sandflys and if you cannot keep them away use plenty of insect repellent and use a mosquito net. ana to kai . The sandflys caused a incident on the road today it looked like no one was hurt just a mess it was just before Pyes Pa school I never harm anyone I respect everything so don t put the blame on me ka pai
    One of the post I put out yesterday checked the move the sandflys and the trolls were trying to pull .I wonder what bulshit spinning lines they are going to come up with next.??????? . Kia Kaha

  25. Whispering Kate 26

    There is nothing more mind destroying that ignoring people. Freezing them out by not acknowledging they even exist. Just ignore the trolls, they are just pesky irritants. Just carry on the dialogue and leave them to their musings – in the end they will get fed up with communicating with themselves and nobody else. It will bore them and they will wander away and piss somebody else off elsewhere. This site doesn’t need them.

    I was told once years ago, if somebody is irritating you or causing you psychological harm then just walk away from them, give them away, shrug them off. There is no cure for what they offer so give them up. It works.

  26. Ed 27

    Sydney today
    47 degrees.

    Another record – not in a good way.
    I was listening to Dr Kevin Anderson the other day.
    It’s looking more and more like we’re heading for catastrophic climate change.

    ‘It was 47.1 degrees Celsius in one part of Sydney, Australia on Sunday afternoon.
    Penrith sweltered under what was the highest temperature ever recorded in the Greater Sydney region, on a day of baking heat that saw international tennis cancelled and residents flock to the beach in droves.
    The observation station, to the west of Sydney towards the Blue Mountains, reached 47.1 degrees just before 2pm.’


    Here is Kevin Anderson.
    Makes for sober viewing.

  27. Ed 28

    A simple way you can make a positive step in the world and reduce your plastic footprint.
    Use your own cup when ordering a takeaway coffee.

    ‘The UK throws away 2.5 billion paper coffee cups every year, with just one in 400 estimated to be recycled..’

    I wonder what our numbers look like….


  28. Ed 29

    I learnt several things from this interesting article:

    1. The article claims New Zealand is the most deforested country in the world. Hope that is wrong – or that’s another depressing statistic about our environment.

    2. Our use of toxic weed killers is getting into our waterways.

    3. European and British tourists see themselves as ‘greener’ than us.

    4. We produce little organic food.

    5. Europe and the UK have stricter laws about the use of glyphosate thanks.

    Some thoughts and questions ……

    I wonder if that affects our cancer rates.

    The charities who raise money for cancer don’t/won’t broach any such subject as they are dependent on corporate money.

    Is New Zealand the most deregulated state in the OECD apart from the failed Trumpian reality states of Umrica?

    Are we the Alabama of the Pacific?


    • joe90 29.1

      Blue-leaved wattle, boneseed, cathedral bells, Chilean rhubarb. climbing spindleberry, pinus contorta, wilding pines, several varieties of barberry, evergreen buckthorn, heather, old mans beard, Asiatic and giant knotweed, California bulrush, purple loosestrife, African feather grass, Chinese pennisetum, nassella tussock, and woolly nightshade are just a few of the more 300 invasive and production pest plant species in the Whanganui – Rangitikei region.


      • Ed 29.1.1

        Aren’t there less devastating poisons than this?

        • joe90

          Some species have run rampant for more than a century because of a lack of viable control methods and other, later, arrivals have taken hold in a way nobody could have imagined.

          Do you really think the people trying to eradicate these pests are all gung-ho about how they go about their task. They’re not. They’re well qualified realists facing facts; if these species aren’t eradicated all we’ll be left with is vast swathes of dead, strangled native flora, jiggered, grow-nothing pastures/arable land and waterways choked to death by aquatic pests.

          • francesca

            oh bullshit
            Foreign weeds only get a foothold on disturbed land and the margins of bush ,as does muehlenbeckia for that matter.The idea that mature bush can be overrun by foreign plants is ridiculous.
            The article ED was referring to pointed out the use of Glyphosate to clear hillsides for pasture.That kind of wholesale poisoning when mechanical means are available is ecological madness
            And waterways are successfully cleared in many parts of NZ by the use of white carp, who don’t breed in NZ waters, are totally vegetarian so don’t compete with native species to any degree, and dont muddy the bottom of lakes.
            Glyphosate is like the Final Solution, and its overuse leads to plant resistance, just like antibiotic overuse has led to superbugs.
            We do need to get smarter, and some things we just have to live with .For instance, regarding wilding pines as carbon sequesters, which may have greater value than sheep

            • Ed

              Thanks for all that information Francesca.
              I always worry when people use the expression TINA ( there is no alternative).
              It was the term used by Thatcher to force through the neoliberal laws in Britain in the 80s. I therefore distrust the expression a lot !
              I was also quite taken aback by the tone joe90 used in answering my straightforward question. ‘ do you really think?”
              Anyway, it is good to hear there are alternatives and depressing to realise we are not using them.

            • joe90

              The idea that mature bush can be overrun by foreign plants is ridiculous

              You’ve not seen the jasminum polyanthum in the Moeawatea, have you.

              to clear hillsides for pasture

              The Parapara spraying is in preparation for the planting of hillside retention and forestry.

              .For instance, regarding wilding pines as carbon sequesters,

              Local tramping club members have been dedicating their weekends to eradicating wilding pinus contorta on the central plateau tussock country for more than fifty years, and along comes a know nothing.

    • Graeme 29.2

      #1 Yep, my understanding is that we’ve got less than 5% of our pre-European forest cover remaining. Too late go digging for a source, but I think I got that from F&B. Not sure if that includes the DOC estate.

      Happy to be corrected, but try and find a good stand of remnant bush in Southland, Canterbury Taranaki or King Country. They were solid bush pre-European

      • Ed 29.2.1

        Thank you
        A sad statistic.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Before you go believing and then repeating it everywhere, get the facts straight.

          Or you (and anyone else who believes the things you repeat) might be satisfied by someone telling you they were going to implement forest cover of 20% of pre-settlement levels and you wouldn’t realise that meant felling another 9.6%.

      • Robert Guyton 29.2.2

        Southland? Fiordland National Park? That’s a good stand. That said, I’ve long despaired at the clearances – pasture grasses are our most devastating invasive weeds. Hoofed animals the worst threat to forests.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 29.2.3

        This from Te Ara:

        Around 1000 AD, before humans arrived in New Zealand, forest covered more than 80% of the land. The only areas without tall forests were the upper slopes of high mountains and the driest regions of Central Otago. When Māori arrived, about 1250–1300 AD, they burnt large tracts of forest, mainly on the coasts and eastern sides of the two main islands. By the time European settlement began, around 1840, some 6.7 million hectares of forest had been destroyed and was replaced by short grassland, shrubland and fern land. Between 1840 and 2000, another 8 million hectares were cleared, mostly lowland or easily accessible conifer–broadleaf forest.

        By 2000 New Zealand had only 6.2 million hectares of native forest. Most of it was on mountainous land and was dominated by southern beech.

        So, the percentage of pre-settlement forest remaining is:

        6.2/(6.2+6.7+8) x 100 = 29.6%

    • Rosemary McDonald 29.3

      I nearly posted that article yesterday Ed…it being a topic close to my home….literally.

      What did I learn about agrichemical use in New Zealand after shit got real in the sky over our house back in 2010?

      1)We use, as a nation, a shit ton of various pesticides both domestically and commercially. And because we use so many, some pests are developing resistance so folk increase the concentration and use a shit ton more.

      2) Most people assume that these chemicals are ‘safe’ else they would not have been approved for use. Most folk trust that ERMA/EPA are there to protect the environment upon which we all depend.

      3) I learned that these Hazardous Substances are approved for use providing the instructions on the Label and the Material Safety Data Sheet are followed.
      I’ve spoken to a Regional Council enforcement officer who did not know about either of these legal documents. Never mind the average Joe Blow who wanders down to Bunnings and grabs a squirty bottle of Bugs and Fungus BeGone from the gardening section containing carbedazim and chlorpyriphos …if Joe read the MSDS (he wouldn’t though because Bunning’ s, despite it being a Legal Requirement, would’nt have one available) he might decide that death by diarrhea doesn’t sound too good and use the old dishwash instead.

      4) I also learned that and Approved Handler’s certificate (which qualifies a person to use many of these agrichemicals can be obtained via the internet….and many Approved Handlers would not know a HSNO classification if it bit them in the bum….or that Enforcement twit from the Regional Council.

      5) I also learned that there are something like 20 different Acts pertaining to the use of agrichmeicals, so you’d think that those who use said chemicals would be held to account by some official from some government department if they failed to meet their legal obligations for safe use. What is everyone’s responsibility is no-ones.

      6)I also learned that when push comes to shove it is the Regional Council with its powers under the Resource Management Act who theoretically man the Hotline if one feel that said Discharge into the Air has had an adverse effect on one’s land, crops and water supply…not to mention people on the ground inside what is the spray zone since the the chopper came over your property and dumped a hazardous substance on said land, crops and water supply.

      7) I also learned that the Regional Council can simply choose not to do any investigation whatsoever…even ignoring their own Regional Plan’s Idiot Guide to investigating complaints of off target application of agrichemicals.

      8) I thought I invented the term Agrichemical Trespass…because that’s exactly what it was…but to my utter dismay I discovered that no…there was once, back in the heady days of New Zealand parliamentary history before Labour completely sold its soul (and National never had one to lose)….actually an Agricultural Chemical Trespass Bill… sponsored by Jill White and then Nanaia Mahuta. In 2000.


      and …”Now, after three years in the ballot system the Bill has been drawn and was to be introduced into Parliament sometime in September. But Labour caved in to the nozzleheads. Pressure exerted by ERMA and Steve Vaughan from MfE caused Environment Minister Marion Hobbs to “persuade” Nanaia Mahuta to withdraw the Bill, on the promise of a full review of spray drift (how many does that make in the last ten years?). ”

      The same article states that the Green s adopted the Bill but I’ve not heard a dicky birds about it since….https://organicnz.org.nz/magazine-articles/pesticide-report/

      They did, as promised, set up ATMAC…which produced this…https://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/agrichemical-trespass-mac-report-nov02_0.pdf

      ….but lets not get too excited because none of the recommendations actually bore edible fruit…so to speak.

      BUT….one can, by Law, defend one’s land, crops, water supply and persons if one feels that trespass in occurring….providing one does not land any blows.

      And I have that in writing from the Judge. 😉

      (Oh…best not get me started on cancer etc…I could go on for hours…and possibly break TS with links to dozens and dozens of peer reviewed research papers that should make our Environmental Protection Authority and our Ministry of Health ban about a dozen real nasty bastards from use. But no…maybe another time… 🙂 )

      • Ed 29.3.1

        Thank you
        Your comments are very informative, educational ( for me) and depressing.
        They reinforce my thoughts about NZ being a Wild West outlaw country – not in a good way.

        One day I’d love to discuss cancer and (IMO) the charities failure to deal with the issue. IMO they are now part of the problem.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “…and depressing.”

          Mate…you have no idea.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “One day I’d love to discuss cancer and (IMO) the charities failure to deal with the issue. IMO they are now part of the problem.”

          Because they got my partner’s name while he was in hospital fighting for his life after chemo for Leukaemia, the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation put him on their ‘give us money’ mailing list. Because they refused to answer our inquiry about what research was being done in NZ on occupation and exposures and various types of leukaemia we biff their envelopes straight in the bin.

          Ditto with breast, bowel and prostate cancer….

          There are no $$$ in prevention.

          • Ed

            So sorry to hear that Rosemary

          • Incognito

            Hi Rosemary,

            I’m sorry to hear about your partner.

            I’m not sure I fully understood your comment(s) so please bear with me.

            My guess is that the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation simply doesn’t know what kind of research is being undertaken in NZ. There is no central comprehensive database of (all) medical research in NZ and there are also many different sources of funding of which charities are just (!) one. (NB there are, of course, centrally collected and analysed patient stats in NZ albeit collected through the various DHBs) For technical questions and the likes they often would (and should) have to consult experts and those are always overcommitted with patient time, etc.

            NZ is a small nation and obviously relies heavily on research from overseas. I think that from a clinical point of view research is predominantly focussed on (curative) treatment (and palliative care) and treatment options and this immediate focus moves to early detection & diagnosis as the next priority. From a scientist’s point of view the focus appears to be more on understanding the mechanism of disease that could (ultimately) lead to better treatments. The effects of occupational exposure and its association with the development of cancer may be relegated to a level of lower priority and/or less interest; it may be more relevant to regulatory agencies such as OSH and ACC in NZ but to my knowledge these institutions don’t fund research. This is a little ironic as prevention is better than cure. This is not a NZ thing but a global observation and/or phenomenon.

            The NZ Cancer Society puts a lot of emphasis (and money!) on prevention and reducing cancer risk and has been trying really hard to get the important messages out to the general public (incl. schools and EC centres). For example: https://auckland-northland.cancernz.org.nz/reducing-cancer-risk/

            For quite a few cancers the main/major possible causes and risk factors are fairly well understood now. For example, obesity is associated with increased risk of a number of cancers (e.g. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/obesity-fact-sheet#q3). Indeed, many cancers share common causes but some have quite specific ones. Unfortunately, it is much less clear what causes leukaemia. The story is actually very complex; you may have heard about the controversial study early last year that purportedly concluded that cancer is mainly down to ‘bad luck’ – here’s a good write-up about it: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/03/24/reports-that-cancer-is-mainly-bad-luck-make-a-complicated-story-a-bit-too-simple/.

            I hope this addressed your comment(s) and provided some useful info for you and/or others here on TS.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Greetings Incognito, and thanks for your response.

              You might be familiar with this….

              “Leukaemia and occupation: a New Zealand Cancer Registry-based case-control Study.”

              McLean D , et al https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18953052

              and this….https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18032530

              “High risk occupations for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in New Zealand: case-control study.”

              Mannetje A

              and this…”Pesticides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”



              ….and those are just a few garnered from Pubmed…

              Much research from Europe…with Odds Ratios for some types of pesticides that make even a statistically challenged person such as myself sit up and think.

              this nugget…. http://hazelarmstronglaw.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Occupational-causes-of-malignant-neoplasms-of-lymphatic-and-haematopoietic-tissue.pdf…. is really interesting since it was originally published by ACC. ACC’s new website has not heard of it…but luckily for us this lawyer had saved it.

              Despite a poster in the haematology clinic listing pesticide exposure as a possible cause of some leukaemias we got zero interest from the medicos when we named the pesticide my partner had had extraordinary exposure to….a chemical which was designed to be a spindle toxin…interfering with rapidly dividing cells…including human lymphocytes at frighteningly low concentrations.


              Evaluation of thresholds for benomyl- and carbendazim-induced aneuploidy in cultured human lymphocytes using fluorescence in situ hybridization.

              Bentley KS

              (Just one of many published papers on this pesticide…like this one dating back to 1977..https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2110979/pdf/jc721174.pdf

              which clearly states…”Undoubtedly, these benzimidazole compounds
              will become useful as experimental tools in the
              study of microtubule structure and function in
              cells. Their use, however, in agriculture as fungicides
              and, quantitatively on a minor scale, in veterinary
              medicine, should be reconsidered from the
              point of view of their mechanism of action. Interference
              of MBC with nuclear division in mammalian
              cells has been found to occur in vitro (27, 59,
              67) and in vivo (59, 67). This implies a potential
              genetic risk for man. The toxicology and genetic
              effects of benzimidazole compounds have recently
              been reviewed by Seiler (59). We agree with him
              that the use of pesticides with this type of action
              should be restricted.”

              And yet, we still, here in Godzone, allow this shit to be loaded into helicopters and sprayed with no controls or regulatory enforcement whatsoever.

              And it may be of interest to look into other uses of carbendazim…(2-methyl benzimidazole carbamate)….like replacing formaldehyde for protecting goods from rotting in transit…(it can’t be detected…)

              Ah, good times.

              • Incognito

                Hi Rosemary,

                I’ll gladly help, if I can, but this is getting quite specific & technical for OM/TS. That said, OM might be a little like the news-cycle, i.e. short-lived and I think (hope!) it’ll be o.k. to use this space & forum for now; we can go offline if necessary.

                I am/was not familiar with the stuff that you linked to and it would require a lot of time & effort to really get into this and review it properly. However, it appears to be a topic that is and has been on your mind so I’ll give it a shot anyway 😉 [it’s rather long; my apologies beforehand]

                I noticed that a few papers that you linked to were quite old and science does move on, sometimes very fast. When looking at a paper in PubMed I often look at whether it has been cited in/by other PubMed Central articles (RH side of the screen). Another option to use is LinkOut – more resources beneath the Abstract on the PubMed screen.

                The ACC Review (Issue 38) was published over 10 years ago and was “[A] distillation of best practice reflecting ACC’s current position” at the time. As such, it used some data that are now quite dated/out of date, e.g. the New Zealand incidence rates of leukaemia were from 2002 (ref. #6). More recent stats give slightly lower numbers and there has not been an increase in the rate of leukaemia or NHL over 10 years (2006-2015) (https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/new-cancer-registrations-2015-final.xlsx; published 14 Dec 2017). The wording in the ACC Review is careful and although associations between occupational exposures (to known risk factors) and haematological cancers have been observed “the results have been inconsistent”.

                Any treating haematologist will be focussing, first and foremost, on diagnosis, treatment, and management of the disease and (much) less so on any possibly association with an occupational origin/cause.

                Leukaemia and occupation: a New Zealand Cancer Registry-based case-control Study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18953052). This study was published in 2009. It reported associations between occupation/industry and adult leukaemia but did not show any association let alone a causative link with a specific occupational exposure.

                High risk occupations for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in New Zealand: case-control study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18032530). A very similar paper as far as I can tell published a year earlier. Interestingly, one of the citing PubMed Central articles was a much more recent one:

                Occupation and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Its Subtypes: A Pooled Analysis from the InterLymph Consortium (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26340796); published in 2016. Again, the conclusions are cautious and tentative without pointing to an (occupational) exposure to a specific chemical:

                CONCLUSIONS: Our pooled analysis of 10 international studies adds to evidence suggesting that farming, hairdressing, and textile industry-related exposures may contribute to NHL risk. Associations with women’s hairdresser and textile occupations may be specific for certain NHL subtypes. [my italics]

                Pesticides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1394159). Published in 1992 this paper reviews other even older studies and again just showed that the rising incidence of NHL coincided with a rise in the use of pesticides, particularly of a certain class of herbicides prior to and during that time period. It appears to ignore that there usually is a (long) lag between exposure and the manifestation of cancer. Again, one of the citing articles is quite telling:

                Investing in prospective cohorts for etiologic study of occupational exposures (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25603935); published in 2015.

                From the Abstract:

                Prospective cohort studies are perceived by many as the strongest epidemiologic design. It allows updating of information on exposure and other factors, collection of biologic samples before disease diagnosis for biomarker studies, assessment of effect modification by genes, lifestyle, and other occupational exposures, and evaluation of a wide range of health outcomes. Increased use of prospective cohorts would be beneficial in identifying hazardous exposures in the workplace. Occupational epidemiologists should seek opportunities to initiate prospective cohorts to investigate high priority, occupational exposures. [my italics]

                Evaluation of thresholds for benomyl- and carbendazim-induced aneuploidy in cultured human lymphocytes using fluorescence in situ hybridization (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10633176); published in 2000. This study looked at cells in the laboratory and showed that these two related agricultural fungicides caused changes in the number of chromosomes in the white blood cells. However, it did not show that the compounds also caused haematological cancers. In fact, one of the citing articles is on a similar/related compound of the same class of benzimidazoles that showed that its active metabolite also caused changes in the number and structure of chromosomes in cells in the lab as well as in treated animals. The last sentence of the Abstract is quite telling:

                Based on the lack of carcinogenicity of this class of benzimidazoles and the intended short-term dosing, it is unlikely that flubendazole treatment will pose a carcinogenic risk to patients. [my italics]

                Genotoxicity of flubendazole and its metabolites in vitro and the impact of a new formulation on in vivo aneugenicity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26443851); published in 2016.

                I’d better leave it at this to avoid raising the ire of the TS powers that be 😉

                For further technical questions and assistance you could try and contact Associate Professor Andrea ‘t Mannetje, for example; her contact details are available online.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Incognito…firstly, I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I am seeking help of any sort…I’m not.

                  With all due respect, Incognito, you could be anyone….an academic, an analytical chemist, a politician or a plant protection product peddler….

                  And while you seem to be keen to reassure me that there is no solid scientific proof of chemical ‘A’ being linked to disease ‘B’ and this is why (presumably) these chemicals are still in widespread use and I shouldn’t be too concerned….I recall medical professionals (but not actual doctors) sidling up to me and whispering that they simply knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some agrichemicals cause some leukaemias. Even the densest nurse (the one who just did her job and asked no questions and never went beyond the boundaries of her limited training) surprised me one day by telling me how much she’d learned about farming and horticulture just chatting to her chemo patients.

                  You quote from the abstract for the Bentley paper….did you read the entire paper? Very interesting…and even more so because this research was funded by du Pont..who held the patent for benomyl and carbendazim. I say held…not now, its anyone’s…and since then most developed nations have effectively banned the widespread use of both benomyl and carbendazim… but not here, ’cause we’re special.
                  And I notice you didn’t mention the truly ancient paper from 1977 I linked to.
                  That wee gem…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2110979/pdf/jc721174.pdf I found in the references for a Ministry of Health Food Safety paper justifying the MRL for carbendazim (2-methyl benzimidazole carbamate MBC) being set at 10 times higher than in Europe.
                  Rips my undies that I can’t link to it…but the writer of the paper had also zoomed in on a few supporting words in the abstract and introduction…and clearly failed to read through to the “Interference
                  of MBC with nuclear division in mammalian cells has been found to occur in vitro (27, 59,67) and in vivo (59, 67). This implies a potential
                  genetic risk for man. The toxicology and genetic effects of benzimidazole compounds have recently been reviewed by Seiler (59). We agree with him that the use of pesticides with this type of action should be restricted.” bit.

                  So…on we go, same as always, spraying nasty chemicals with gay abandon and implying that those with concerns about the potential adverse effects on humans and other organisms are uneducated tinfoilhatwearers.

                  Here in Godzone it is considered perfectly acceptable for one person to contaminate another person’s land, food crops, water supply and family with a hazardous substance.

                  Because Science says it’s OK.

                  Phew! I’ll sleep well tonight.

                  Thanks, Incognito.

                  • Incognito

                    Hi Rosemary,

                    First of all I’d like to apologise for the misunderstanding and for possibly coming across as patronising. It was my genuine intention to help.

                    Indeed, I could be anyone and my pen name here on TS is deliberate so that people can only judge me on my writings and nothing more and nothing else.

                    Now I have put a bit of time into reading the material and thinking about it I’d like to share my views, also on the off chance that others stumble on this thread. My views are a little divergent from yours 😉

                    You have probably heard the platitude that science is never settled and this is certainly true for medical science. I personally cringe when I hear somebody stating something with absolute certainty, particularly in the context of science, and most definitely in the context of cancer. In a similar vein, science cannot and must not ‘say it’s o.k.’; it creates and tests knowledge and establishes its boundaries, presents data & information, and simulates & predicts real and/or virtual situations and/or scenarios with associated probabilities (statistics; boundaries). As with all human endeavours, science is not perfect or flawless; in the ideal case at a given time, it’s our best attempt at understanding & explaining stuff – it is fallible though.

                    Yes, I did read the Bentley paper. I could point out the limitations of this paper for the extrapolation to living organisms from living cells in culture in the lab. The point is that the two mitotic spindle inhibitors (i.e. benomyl and its active metabolite carbendazim) don’t directly interact with DNA but bind to a protein called tubulin (NB very effective anti-cancer drugs are tubulin binders/inhibitors, e.g. Taxol/Paclitaxel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paclitaxel). As indeed expected, this causes changes in number and structure of chromosomes when cells divide (NB white blood cells don’t divide (in blood); it’s the stem cells in the bone marrow that undergo cell division that ultimately produce the (fully differentiated) blood cells). However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these compounds also cause cancer and due to the lack of any strong supporting evidence they are classified as possible carcinogens. The authors concluded:

                    In conclusion, the results of this study and the studies of Elhajouji et al. [21, 27] demonstrate that the induction of aneuploidy by mitotic spindle inhibitors exhibits a characteristic dose–response pattern which includes a threshold. The shape of the dose–response curve is similar to that of a ligand-receptor mediated mechanism of action, in this case, the binding to tubulin and the inhibition of microtubule function. Only when the critical threshold concentration is reached and a sufficient number of spindle fibers are affected is aneuploidy induced. Therefore concentrations below the threshold are expected to have no biologically adverse effect.

                    I did not mention the paper from 1977 because it’s indeed “truly ancient” and because my comment was already getting very long (same again this time …). Based on their knowledge & understanding at the time (in 1976) they stated an (informed) opinion but not a fact!

                    I believe the following links to that Ministry of Health Food Safety paper that caused you to shred your undies: http://www.moh.govt.nz/notebook/nbbooks.nsf/0/A5111CB953FDC9D9CC256C45000F5AE4/$file/Benomyl%20residues%202000.pdf.

                    Since you mentioned “water supply” you may also be interested in the following document (1309 pages!), which is one of the Datasheets for the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality Management for New Zealand: https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/datasheet_2.3_pesticides_sept_2017.doc. It contains shed loads of data on carbendazim, e.g. “[A]ll benomyl registrations were voluntarily cancelled by registrants, effective in January 2002.” and “[S]ince 2014 benomyl is no longer able to be manufactured in or imported into NZ.” (pg. 106 bottom).

                    Should you be concerned? Yes. Should you lose sleep? No, not in my opinion.

                  • Incognito

                    Hi Rosemary,

                    One major and quite possibly the main reason why benomyl usage stopped, worldwide, was the fact that the target organisms (i.e. fungi) rapidly developed resistance to it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benomyl).

                    I thought it was interesting to read that NZ had also stopped benomyl usage as such and thought you’d be interested too; I don’t think this amounts to being “being just a tad deceitful” 🙁

                    I’m aware that carbendazim is the active metabolite of benomyl. In fact, I mentioned it twice in my comments above. Also, on pg. 613 (https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/datasheet_2.3_pesticides_sept_2017.doc):

                    Benzimidazole fungicides include benomyl, carbendazim, fuberidazole, thiabendazole, thiophanate and thiophanate-methyl. They all generate MBC (methyl benzimidazol carbamate), either as the principal active ingredient, or as a breakdown compound formed on mixing with water. [my italics]

                    I agree that carbendazim has many biological effects but it does not act directly on DNA and there is currently not enough evidence for a causative link to the development of cancer in humans, which is the reason why it (still) is classified as a possible human carcinogen. In addition, because its primary action is through interfering with tubulin, there is a safe dose below which no biological effects are (can be) observed, the so-called threshold (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dose%E2%80%93response_relationship). This is different from ionizing radiation, for example, which has a direct damaging effect on DNA and therefore has no safe dose or threshold (although this is a controversial topic, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis).

                    I did not “cherry pick[ed] [a] quote” and actually cited & quoted (with links!) a number of quite long and complicated technical documents; they all are freely accessible via the internet for your or anybody’s perusal. I started to engage with this material (and you!) only a few days ago and I have no personal interest in this other than a (intellectual) curiosity (and a somewhat misguided wish to ‘help’).

                    You mentioned before (@ 10 January 2018 at 12:01 am) “a Ministry of Health Food Safety paper justifying the MRL for carbendazim (2-methyl benzimidazole carbamate MBC) being set at 10 times higher than in Europe” and I provided a link; was that the paper you were referring to? If so, could you please point to the “justifying” section? I note that many of European MRLs are set at the detection limit of ca. 0.1 mg/kg.

  29. Ed 30

    100 grams of black beans vs 100 grams of beef

    Black Beans win on all three rounds

    Round 1 Price

    Round 2 Nutrition

    ‘Black Beans

    130 Calories
    21g Protein
    0g Total Fat
    0g Saturated Fat
    0mg Cholesterol
    8g Fibre

    2.9mg Iron

    Ground Beef

    270 Calories
    26g Protean
    18g Total Fat
    7g Saturated Fat
    80mg Cholesterol
    0g Fibre
    2.3mg Iron

    Round 3 Sustainability

    Water Used per Gram of Protein

    Black Bean: 5.0 Gallons
    Beef: 29.6 Gallons

    Greenhouse Gas Emissions in CO2 per kg produced

    Black Bean: 0.56kg
    Beef: 15kg



    • weka 30.1

      yeah nah. NZ local beef vs black beans imported from China, I bet the figures for both climate and water are different when measured properly.

    • James 30.2

      Round 4 – taste. Subjective I know – but I guess most Kiwis would prefer a beautiful steak than a cup of black beans however served.

      That’s why we sell tons of beef and import not many black beans.

      • weka 30.2.1

        I don’t think so. Both can be cooked well or badly. The reason we eat steak and not black beans is cultural and historical.

        • McFlock

          We do eat shedloads of haricot beans. Usually from a can and in tomato(ish) sauce.

          But really, they complement each other – I actually had beef stir fry with a five bean mix a few days ago. I’m at one extreme – had a dietician who managed to get me out of the habit of eating a roast, just the roast, nothing else, on a plate – but if I’d replaced the beef with just another bean, it would have been quite unnice.

          • joe90

            Same here, lots of canned beans but I haven’t looked back since I cottoned on to Geeta’s, a great, high turnover supplier of dried beans/dahls and all things deliciously aromatic.

  30. Ed 31

    Fish and Game have commissioned an opinion poll about the issues New Zealand are most concerned about.

    Some of the results

    On a positive note

    75 percent of which said they were extremely or very concerned about the pollution of waterways.

    77 % of those surveyed said they were extremely or very concerned about the cost of living

    Worryingly /depressingly

    39 % of those surveyed are not concerned about climate change.
    32 % of those surveyed are not concerned about child poverty.


  31. Ed 32

    A crash is coming this year.

    This article touches on it.
    Simple statistics and probability tell us that.

    ‘But a downward turn lies somewhere ahead, be it a recession, slump or, God forbid, crash. A necessary part of the energy of economic cycles comes from the ebbing of each wave.
    History suggests that the next recession is not far off.
    The current expansion, though relatively weak, has been steady since June 2009, making this the third-longest upward climb on record.’

    And then there are all the economic and political factors that will trigger a collapse. Of the crises proffered below, I think Chiina’s Debt bubble will be straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    And if it is that, NZ will be hit hard.
    A dairy industry laden with debt will buckle.

    ‘. It’s not hard to imagine shocks that could trigger a drop.
    Democrats could win control of the House and ignite an impeachment crisis.

    Mueller’s investigation could take an unsettling turn.

    The Federal Reserve could raise interest rates faster than the economy can digest them.

    Or the opposite: The Fed could move too slowly and smoldering inflation could catch fire.

    China’s debt bubble could burst.

    North Korea could erupt.

    Or the very real threat, dreaded by Trump’s own economic advisers: The president could deliver on his trade war threats.’


    • One Anonymous Bloke 32.1

      If a recession is coming to the States, it’s likely to be driven primarily by the Republican Party slashing public spending.

      That said, I have as much expertise on these matters as Drehle, which is to say none at all.

      Any chance you could start using “blockquote” to make it easier to determine which parts of your comments are cut ‘n’ paste and which are your comment? It’d be the polite thing to do.

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