Open mike 07/04/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 7th, 2024 - 41 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 …

41 comments on “Open mike 07/04/2024 ”

  1. Stephen D 1

    This could work so well in Auckland. But the pearl clutching in some of our wealthier suburbs will kill it.
    Our local politicians don’t have the courage to force it through.

    • Visubversa 1.1

      And it has also been seized upon by a bunch of conspiracy nutters who are telling the gullible that this is all part of a dastardly plot to force us all into high rise apartments.

    • Anne 1.2

      It will start to happen in Auckland within the next ten years out of sheer necessity. As we move into an era where people simply cannot travel from one side of Auckland to the other due to permanently grid-locked roads, they will start screaming their heads off. Many of them will be the same entitled thick-heads (we've all met them) who oppose such concepts now, but when it starts to seriously affect them will be demanding that "something be done about it".

      And that something will surely be along the lines being created in Paris with modifications to suit our geographical location.

      • Stephen D 1.2.1

        I suspect you’re right, Anne. It was beginning to happen under the unitary plan. Now kicked to the curb by the CoC.

      • Obtrectator 1.2.2

        " …. when it starts to seriously affect them will be demanding that 'something be done about it'"

        By, of course, that government that they're usually so anxious to banish from their lives.

  2. Dolomedes III 2

    I thought the school strike was supposed to be about climate change, so why can I see Palestinian flags in the photo, and a Maaori sovereignty flag in the video?

    • Incognito 2.1

      Because in Aotearoa – New Zealand the people have such rights protected by BORA.

      This is a political blog site for robust and genuine (political) debate, so why do I see RW trolls here?

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        "This is a political blog site for robust and genuine (political) debate, so why do I see RW trolls here?"


        Loving that.

    • Anne 2.2

      That's because some youngsters chose to use the occasion to protest about something else, no doubt without the knowledge of the organisers.

      Does that mean the school strike should have been called off because a bunch of kids turned up with flags that weren't in keeping with the subject matter of the march?

      Either you are the village idiot or you are trying to start a flame war. I suspect the latter.

      • Dolomedes III 2.2.1

        Without the knowledge of the organizers?

        According to OneNews, "A coalition of Toitū Te Tiriti, the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, and School Strike 4 Climate are leading the event."

        • Shanreagh

          So what was the concern again?

          The organisers knew, the students took the chance to protest about other things they were concerned about.

          Hopefully you were not trying to whip up hysteria about your straw man reckons.

          But you wouldn't be doing that would you?

          • Gareth Wilson

            If someone is a strong supporter of Israel, do you want to convince them that climate change is a serious problem? If so, how did this event help to do that?

            • weka

              I tend to agree. This isn't movement building, it's silo building.

              The lack of coherent strategy is so depressing

    • weka 2.3

      Māori have always been at the forefront of climate action. You are sounding either stupid or racist.

      • veutoviper 2.3.1

        Maaori were also probably well aware of Dolomedes III – aka Dolomedes dondalai

        "Dolomedes dondalei is a species of large fishing spider endemic to the main islands of New Zealand.

        It (this species):

        • is a nocturnal hunter
        • grows up to 7 cm across, including legs. Body length is 12–18 mm in males, 18–25 mm in females.
        • has distinctive features of the male pedipalps and female genitalia
        • weigh less than a gram and are covered with hydrophobic hairs
        • lives under rocks
        • is nocturnal, most active two hours after dusk, and hiding under stones and logs in the daytime
        • is cannibalistic, opportunistically eating other spiders, and females sometimes eat smaller males after they mate – or lure them to be eaten, even if the female has already mated. Males may possibly mate with newly moulted virgin females to avoid sexual cannibalism.
        • is attacked by parasitic wasps which paralyses them, sometimes even pursuing them underwater, and drags them to a nest to feed its larva. Their eggsacs are a large part of the diet of nestling fernbirds.

    • bwaghorn 2.4

      Grumpy old mutt, barks from the porch

  3. Kay 3

    I was waiting to see the full effects of the annual Winz April Fools Day joke.

    SLP core benefit- a whole $18 increase.

    TAS deducted by $4 for having the audacity to increase my income, taking said increase to a whopping $14.

    Rent about to go up at least $20/week next month, in other words, yet another year of income going backwards.

    Current rent = 54% of total income (core benefit + max 3 supplements)

    • weka 3.1

      I don't think many people realise how that works. Fucked me off no end to see people across the spectrum praising their mainstream party of choice for raising benefits, when the reality in our bank accounts is much different.

      • Shanreagh 3.1.1

        Yes surely it wouldn't be so hard to increase supplements by the same percentage…..also doing it with tax brackets. They could do this easily enough, its not as if they are all working with abacuses to work these things out.

        However it does remind me of looking at wage worker determinations when wages were frozen. In those days these groups were a mix of reps from Public Sector employers and union reps. We worked togther well and mostly achieved as much as we could to people on low wages (this was prior to neo-lib and the ‘shock, horror’ regime change about unions & working people) One of the team looking at the determination worked out that the notice had been terribly poorly drafted and did not include allowances.

        Cue everyone working out how to achieve an increase by applying the cost of living increases to wages to a typical range of allowances across a huge range of workers covered by the determination (Public Sector employees). Took absolutely ages to do but we a were all pretty pleased to give our wage workers a justified raise and possibly to secretly give the fingers to the mean and measly Govt ('though I couldn't possibly comment") .

        • weka

          I'm not sure it is that simple. Every beneficiary gets an individually calculated amount of accommodation supplement, disability allowance, and temporary additional support. The way those supplementary benefits are calculated (ie the formula they use), is why increase the core benefit can decrease the amount that goes into bank accounts each week. To change that they'd have to change the formula and what would require policy change and IT redesign.

          It's possibly just TAS that does it, and that definitely needs an overhaul anyway. Not going to happen under NACTF, and Labour wouldn't touch it. It might be possible to raise the core benefit so much that the TAS formula doesn't become punitive, but I have no idea how much that would be. They need to raise the benefits of people who can't work anyway, so someone should do the mahi on this.

          • Kay

            Honestly Weka, there's always going to be some excuse not to do it. "Too complex", "IT", etc etc. The plain fact of the matter is, their system of punishing core benefit increases- and by extension, the relationship rule, the receipt of a one-off modest monetary gift, etc- by finding a way to reduce the entitlements, is nothing more than a way to minimise the welfare bill. Not that you'll ever hear that said out loud.

            • weka

              I didn't say it was too complex to fix. I was letting Shanreagh know that it's not as simple as just upping the supplementaries, because of how the formulas work.

              They could up the cap on TAS of course, that probably wouldn't be too hard and would relief a lot of poverty in one go.

              • Shanreagh

                They could up the cap on TAS of course, that probably wouldn't be too hard and would relief a lot of poverty in one go.

                I think this is the one I was meaning, the comment by Kay that they had taken $4.00 off because another arm of the same dept had increased benefits thus increasing 'income' .

                I didn't turn my mind, sorry, to the more individualised supps. These would be more difficult to increase across the board.

                Noting also that there is/was much work that Labour, in govt did not do on this, or other reccomendations in the WEAG report on 'Restoring Dignity to Social Security in NZ"


                • weka

                  it's not another arm. It's the single WINZ staffer applying the TAS formula, which automatically includes all forms of income, including supplementary benefits, core benefit, earnings, and interest if the person has savings or investments. There will be other things for parents.

                  When they put all the income and costs into the formula, they end up with an amount that shows how much costs the beneficiary has relative to income. It's meant to help people who don't have enough to live on. But TAS pays 30% not the full amount. That's the cap. They could instead pay the full amount. Bear in mind this is a hardship grant.

                  TAS caps are enforced poverty. The Clark government did this.

                  • Shanreagh

                    The other arm I was meaning was the policy division of WINZ providing input to Govt on the appropriate levels of increases to benefits.

                    Then interpreted by your case manager

                    Am about to get over my WINZ PTSD and go to see if I can apply for the Accom suppl now that my rates/CoL are going sky high. I've put it off until now. What you & Kay have said have made me nervous.

                    Has anyone ever used an advocate?

                    if so what were your experiences

  4. joe90 4

    And to top off the weirdness, to spread the fungus infected male cicadas sans genitals pretend to be females to lure uninfected males into attempting to mate with them.


    Trillions of cicadas will emerge across several U.S. states this spring in an event one expert dubbed "cicada-geddon." Not only are more cicadas than usual expected this year, but some of them will be "zombie cicadas" that are infected by a sexually transmitted fungus that makes them hyper-sexual.


    Matthew Kasson, an associate professor of Mycology and Forest Pathology at West Virginia University, says both of these broods can be infected by a fungal pathogen called Massospora cicadina.

    Once the cicadas emerge from the ground, they molt into adults, and within a week to 10 days, the fungus causes the backside of their abdomens open up. A chalky, white plug erupts out, taking over their bodies and making their genitals fall off.

    "The cicada continues to participate in normal activities, like it would if it was healthy," Kasson told CBS News. "Like it tries to mate, it flies around, it walks on plants. Yet, a third of its body has been replaced by fungus. That's really kind of bizarre."

    • weka 4.1

      the third horseman of the apocalypse sits back and has a smoke, thinking on his work.

      • gsays 4.1.1

        If you aren't aware of it, may I introduce you to Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Book or series is brilliant.

        David Tennant and Michael Sheen are gorgeous and Frances McDormand does a great God.

        Amazon/Prime Video.

      • joe90 4.1.2

        third horseman of the apocalypse sits back and has a smoke

        Bro's are saddled up and ready to roll.


        This is serious. To find out more in detail I urge you to check out THIS LINK. Meanwhile here is a summary:

        Vets are being advised to wear full PPE (personal protection) if seeing a cat with neurological symptoms, after forty cats died on a dairy farm in New Mexico. The virus has proved 100% fatal and cats die within 24-48 hours.

        This avian-origin virus has now proved capable of infecting a wide range of species including humans (a Texas dairy farm worker has tested positive). In March, investigators collected samples from several animals in Texas and Kansas. Wild birds, cats, and dairy cows were tested because they showed illness signs. "Further testing of these samples indicated the presence of avian influenza A(H5N1)," the TDSHS said. A press officer from the TDSHS confirmed in an e-mail that sick cats tested positive for the virus.

        THIS IS A HIGH-RISK VIRUS. Globally, from 1 January 2003 to 26 February 2024, 887 cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus were reported from 23 countries. Of these 887 cases, 462 were fatal (CFR of 52%) — Source, the W.H.O.

        Five Texas dairy herds have now been reported as infected. U.S. officials have identified H5N1 bird flu in roughly a dozen dairy cattle herds across 6 states. The similarity of internal genes from wild bird and cattle sequences suggests direct transmission from wild birds.

        Is it safe to consume dairy products? The answer for RAW products is NO. The virus has been detected in unpasteurised milk.–H5N1-now-confirmed-in-11-US-farms-Cats-die-within-48-hours?

  5. Phillip ure 5 of the poorest countries on the planet…announced earlier this year a total ban on ice vehicles entering the country..

    New zealand…not one of the poorest countries on the planet..has promised to do this in 2040…

    Kinda underwhelming..that

    • Michael Scott 5.1

      Volkswagon has developed a synthetic fuel for ICE vehicles which they say could be swapped for fossil fuel at service stations.

      ICE engines are using it today.

      Car magazine UK describes the process

      "It’s carbon-neutral fuel made in a lab. The process works like this. Enormous filters suck carbon dioxide out of the air and separate it into its raw elements – carbon and oxygen. At the same time, an electrolysis station (powered by renewable energy, naturally) rips the hydrogen atoms from plain water.

      The carbon and hydrogen gathered from these two processes can then be combined in the correct configuration to produce any combustible fuel you want, be it petrol, diesel or even kerosene for the aviation industry. Oxygen is the only waste product from the process and, currently, Porsche simply vents it to atmosphere. In effect, the plant works like a massive artificial tree – and the fuel it creates can be tipped into any compatible combustion vehicle without any modifications to its engine."

  6. Phillip ure 6

    Mike king has a mullet..

    I have a mullet..

    I challenge mike king to a mullet smackdown..

    And I would put my money on me..

    His is more styled (short-sides)..

    But mine has more substance..

    (It's my hair-protest against this regime..

    the mullet as a badge of protest..)

  7. joe90 7

    "Tell me who your friends are, and Ill tell you who you are"



    @chrisluxonmp now we all know you love a photo op……….. I’m curious why you haven’t posted photos of your Atlas Network Meeting in Wellington the other night? We see you!!

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