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Open mike 07/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 7th, 2020 - 110 comments
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110 comments on “Open mike 07/05/2020”

  1. gerard byrne 1

    good onya NZTA, give yourself legendary status.

    [deleted], all legenday nzta employees who tried to ruin my wifes career.


    NZTA broke health and safety laws, spent over 200 grand of taxpayers money on lawyers, threatened us if my wife continued her case against them they would ruin her career, 

    threatened suppliers with loss of work if they employed my wife, using unsigned contracts.

    [Snip. Im sorry Gerald but these comments are potentially defamatory and best that they be removed now. The link to the judgement remains and I recommend that people read it to see what has happened – MS]

    we have been visited by police several times from false accusations made ba a nzta employee, one accusation was ,  "she was running around in the paddock doing a chicken dance", when they made this accusation against my wife, she was 600km away. haha. when presented with the evidence they just threw it away and said they didnt believe us.

    NZTA legendary status for being able to do this to someone and get away scott free. 

    Increase their funding i say (sarc)

    [lprent: I see that MS has already looked at this.

    I have also deleted the names at the top. A brief scan of the judgement showed that one was misspelt and I couldn’t find one of the others. Possibly referred to in the judgement as A or B. Generally if you want to refer to people or events, then use what is already in the public record, or what you can directly and truthfully testify to yourself.

    Please remember that if legal action is taken over comments made on this site, then I am also in the legal firing line as well. I will act accordingly to protect my time. ]

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        That's gobsmacking.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.2

        "She took NZTA to the Employment Relations Authority which dismissed her claims.  Byrne then went to the Employment Court" and "Employment Court rules NZTA breached confidentiality clause".

        So the ERA is a bullshit scheme?  Or did it lack authority to dispense justice?  Definitely indicates something seriously wrong somewhere…

        • Gerard Byrne

          Hi Dennis Frank, 

          thank you for your comment

          yes you hit the nail on the head. NZTA made many untrue allegations providing no evidence and all of their witnesses didnt have to appear.

          even more the ERA granted nzta extra security for their staff who were afraid of my 5'4" wife.

          they also awarded nzta extra costs

      • Paddington 1.1.3

        Hi Gerard…I wish I could say i'm surprised, but sadly I'm not.  I'm in the centre of an issue currently with Auckland Council that involves behaviour ranging from incompetence to downright nastiness.  And all on the ratepayers.  I'm glad your wife fought on.  Go well.

        • Gerard Byrne

          thanks paddington, if you hang in there (its bloody hard) sometimes justice does actually prevail for us plebs

    • Ad 1.2

      Crikey that's a long time for Mrs Byrne's name to be cleared. Good to see her reputation clearer and a clear direction for costs for her.

      That also names a lot of lower-order names within NZTA.

      And a lot of HR processes gone drastically wrong in a lot of detail.

      I know a lot about NZTA's internal culture, and concur with the judge.

      As we are about to see with the Transmission Gully PPP failure, a government organisation with this amount of power in society truly wrecks things when it goes wrong.


      • JanM 1.2.1

        If my experience as an ece teacher (now retired) coming from Auckland to Whangarei is anything to go by this sort of prejudice towards newcomers is all too common in the north

      • ianmac 1.2.2

        A good outcome eventually Gerard. Hope your wife gains peace.

        • Gerard Byrne

          Hi Ianmac,

          yes she has thank you and her faith in the NZ Justice system is restored.

          bit hard to get peace when nzta employee is still calling the cops on us and videoing us, but meh to them.

      • Gerard Byrne 1.2.3

        Hi Ad , unfortunately the awarding of costs doesn't cover the expenses incurred while fight the extremely pitbull type nature of the lawyers from NZTA on the taxpayers money

        • Ad

          True. I won't minimise that straight financial cost.

          But the exposure of NZTA's processes and people in the decision is pretty strong in the scales. That looks like it counts for something. 

          • Dennis Frank

            Hey Ad, check this out from the court finding:  " [27]  NZTA had engaged WSP Opus as principal advisors/consultants of the Northland Bridges Project (the Project).The Project related to three sites where one-lane bridges were to be replaced with two-lane bridges. WSP Opus was responsible for the business case of the Project, procurement of design and construction, and contract management. [28]  There was no signed or final contract between those parties, although there was a draft document."  https://www.employmentcourt.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Decisions/2019-NZEmpC-187-Byrne-v-NZ-Transport-Agency-jud-131219.pdf

            So the NZTA hired them to build the bridges without signing a contract!  That's so dodgy you'd suspect Bridges (Simon) authorised the deal!  "They're all hicks from the sticks up there, nobody will notice."

            • RedLogix

              Hard to tell, but from my experience it's not necessarily dodgy for work to commence before a final contract is signed … especially where there is an ongoing professional relationship between the parties.

              And both parties might well want to see some preliminary investigation and design work done in order to fully understand the scope and risks before signing the dotted line. Whenever you are dealing with groundworks of any kind, there is real potential for nasty surprises.

              • Gerard Byrne

                no signed contract after at least 18 months and then using that to wield the power stick to pursue personal agendas?

                dodgy as in any third world country mate, let our 2.9th world here in NZ

                • RedLogix

                  I've just finished scanning the judgement. It's clear NZTA have acted very poorly in this matter and thoroughly deserved to lose this case. It reflects very badly on someone's judgement that they allowed a non-work related disagreement between neighbours to escalate into this kind of debacle.

                  In my 35 yrs in the engineering /tech field I've been close to similar problems of a breakdown in trust between professional colleagues a few times. It's never easy, and rarely ends well. I'm sorry you and your wife have gone through this, because I know exactly how it feels.

                  Having said that, I note that at least one small part of the story involved you disparaging NZTA on various blogs (sec 136 -138) which probably didn't help matters.

                  The judge clearly notes (sec 116 and 117) that both parties allowed their judgement to be clouded by personal animosity. 

                  My advice to people caught up in this kind of legal battle is to always keep in mind what their ideal outcome would be once it is all over. You certainly want resolution, but you also need to be able to live life without this becoming a perpetual burden on you and everyone else. You need to get to a redemption of some kind. And you certainly want to do everything in your power to avoid walking into this kind of mess ever again.

                  Best wishes.

                  • Gerard Byrne

                    there was no civil dispute between the parties until my wife lodged her complaint, then over 130 accusations were made against me and my wife to paint a picture of a certain behaviour.

                    after two years of being videod by nzta all they have is me giving their employee the fingers once.

                    you will find that i didnt disparage the nzta in any blogs, as they tried to get an order against me for my comments, but had to withdraw it because no untruths were told.

                    my advice to people getting into anything with the nzta is expect to be defamed, ridiculed, visited by police on several occasions, laws will be broken to ruin you, they will spy on you , use their employees to threaten your employer,

                    even after an outcome you will still be spied on and visited by police, which is happening to us even during lockdown!

                    the nzta employee who we have the civil dispute with is now in another with a 77 yr old man, and has had several disputes with other neighbours.

                    they just dont like the truth being told about them.

            • Gerard Byrne

              the team in northland do need to be audited at the very least.

              One of them is also involved in the waikato expressway fiasco.

              He also has a little black book that was presented in court that has very disturbing observations in it.

    • Gerard Byrne 1.3

      Hi lprent and MS,


      my apologies but the names mentioned are all named in the document.

      witness A and B were not any of them, they are two other nzta employees.

      there is nothing untrue in the allegations and can all be proved with evidence

      • lprent 1.3.1

        Not a particular problem – just a learning issue for you.

        For the moderators,  you have to state some facts explicitly if you want to use them and there might potentially be a problem for us. In this case just saying that "these names/events are all in the judgement" or words to that effect would probably have been sufficient. That shifts the liability to you, and if we find them to be incorrect, we will ban you from the site and point the liability to you.

        You also need to be accurate when dealing with issues that are potentially legal issues. Imagine if you by accident managed to get the incorrect name – that was in fact correct for some other real person – you effectively just accused someone of a deed that they didn't do.

        We don't have much time to read everything and we'll take the approach that if something isn't clear and potentially a legal issue for us – then it gets zapped.

        In this case I literally scanned the whole judgment in 10 minutes while eating breakfast. It wouldn't surprise me if I missed a name or two. I'd noted that you'd misspelled a name for one, checked your comment history and found that it was limited. ie we don't have a history for you that leads us to trust what you write based on our experience.  That was already way too much time for me to spend on a comment. Re-reading it again would have been a waste of my time.

        So separately, MS and I exercised our default moderator option – excise the potentially liable parts of the comment.

        Besides it helps you learn good habits about what you can do on the site. BTW: read the policy.

      • Anne 1.3.2

        I know exactly what your wife has been through Gerard Byrne.

        A long time ago I had similar experiences of spying activity plus serious bullying, intimidation and under-mining tactics by a couple of former senior Public Service managers who were attempting to gather 'evidence' against me for unfounded misdemeanours. They never succeeded because the evidence didn't exist. I took the matter to my superiors and other 'powers that be' but they all chose to believe the perpetrators who naturally denied everything. I resigned from my position – my trust and faith in senior officialdom destroyed forever.

        It is sad to see that kind of deplorable behaviour – usually against female colleagues – is still occurring but I'm glad your wife knocked the bastards off their pedestal.

        • Gerard Byrne

          thank you very much anne for your comments.

          i do sympathise with you as that is ezactly what happened to my wife. unfortunately after she resigned the nzta literally tried to ruin her employment future in nz

          unfortunately in NZ there are too many senior females who are only too willing to jump into the old boys club and destroy others careers.

          • Anne

            ….there are too many senior females who are only too willing to jump into the old boys club and destroy others careers.

            Yes that element existed in my case too. The female concerned was not a public servant let alone a senior one. But she had contacts she could use to spread wild claims about individuals she decided she wanted to destroy. Successful women – or reasonably successful as in my case – were her prime targets. I think they call it jealousy. 🙂

    • adam 1.4

      The whole ERA is a joke from woo to go  – its there to protect the powerful.

      By definition -a organisation that punches down.  

      Glad you won, but the fact it was so long and drawn, is just another example of power differentials within the whole structure. And like WINZ a broken system which needs to be radically changed or removed. 

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    TVNZ  breakfast political panel:  Shane Jones + Paula Bennett.  Must be trying to alienate their audience.  🙄

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Spinoff has a good report on the downside of public/private partnerships (roadbuilding).  I always thought them sensible in principle but the trend seems to be that they play out as a recipe for incompetence.  Lack of operational oversight of project management by a suitable govt authority seems evident.  https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/07-05-2020/the-transmission-gully-fiasco-should-call-time-on-the-folly-of-ppps/

  4. Sanctuary 4

    There was a piece on the TVNZ news last night about the impact of COVID-19 on Pacific populations in the USA. According to the report, in the US Pacific peoples are dying at twelve times the rate of the general population. They were to polite to say so, but research is now clear that PIs are in general far more vulnerable due to their generally poorer health statistics. Co-morbidities that are lethal in combination with COVID-19 like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardio-vascular dissease are much more prevalent in poor PI communities. 

    Twelve times the death rate = around 14-15% based on our current death rate of 1.2%, so if one in three Pasifika got the virus – 100,000 Pacifika infected – the expected death rate (based on this US information) is going to be 14,000-15,000 people. 

    Simon Bridges has not bothered to summon a single brown face to his committee for advice. He'd rather abuse his position to make unsubstantiated attacks on Ashley Bloomfield. His demands to prematurely reopen the economy is the casual institutional racism of the white settler elite that he represents writ large. 

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Trotter tries to make binary thinking seem sensible, fails.  "If Canberra chooses Washington over Beijing, then the Australian economy will tank. If it chooses Beijing over Washington, then Australia will be plunged into a profound identity crisis."  http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/

    ScoMo will refrain from making either of these unpalatable choices.  Trotter thinks the situation in Oz will become critical and force the choice – yet offers no persuasive reason why he believes that.

    "In geostrategic terms, a US-aligned Australasia is crucial to Washington’s new “Indo-Pacific” plan for containing China’s ambitious “Belt and Road” project. It has become a matter of some urgency, therefore, to facilitate a decisive shift in New Zealand foreign policy towards Washington and away from Beijing."

    Since when has any US Secretary of State fronted as a competent facilitator?  Kissinger, perhaps.  Dunno why Trotter discounts our post-ANZUS independent foreign policy.  You'd think a 35-yr track record of success is sufficiently substantial for expectations of perseverance to be reasonable.  Normal, even.

    "In conformity with the maxim that it is shameful to let a good crisis go to waste, the pro-Washington faction within New Zealand’s foreign policy establishment has persuaded the University of Canterbury to oversee a “pop-up” think tank dedicated to assisting the New Zealand Government “devise a resilience strategy that will ensure New Zealand’s independence and sovereignty are protected during the Covid-19 pandemic and after.”"

    Yeah?  As if in response to what threat??  Apparently "our very own Professor Anne-Marie Brady."  Gosh.  She must be Superwoman.

    "Professor Brady is not, however, without powerful friends in high places. Not the least of whom is New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Winston Peters."  Ah, the `enemy within' thesis.  Trotter follows up with nothing substantial & his attempt to beat up a molehill into a mountain limps to a lame end.

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      I agree – Trotter's biggest problem is he has stopped trying to understand the world he lives in. He has retreated to just yearning for one that is gone, and interpreting the world from an armchair there. It doesn't mean sometimes he isn't correct in his observation – but he is more and more just plain out of touch.


  6. Ad 6


    If this Transmission Gully project PPP collapses, it will signal the largest commercial failure of the government since the late 1990s. Doesn't matter which team were in power at the time. This is a multi-generational scale work and is now a terminal case: 


    "Officials acknowledged on Sunday the already-delayed Transmission Gully project would be delayed until 2021. This has the potential to blow out costs by yet-more hundreds of millions of dollars. NZTA said in February the project’s estimated costs would over-run by $190m to $1b and the completion date had been extended from May to December this year. 

    An NZTA spokesman said on Sunday the project would now not be completed until some time in 2021 and the agency was in urgent negotiations again with the PPP’s contractor CPB HEB about the project. He would not comment on the fears of those close to the project that the contractor was days away from pulling out completely and dumping the project uncompleted back on the taxpayer. The project was suspended during the Level 4 lockdown, but failed to resume with all its workers as expected last week.

    Several sources told Newsroom large numbers of subcontractors were permanently let go last week. One source said over 600 people had been cut from the project's workforce and a large amount of construction equipment had been removed from the site."


    • Andre 6.1

      I thought the way a PPP was supposed to work was the private party secured the funding, then built and operated the asset (while the public retained ownership), in exchange for a set income stream once the asset was complete and operating.

      So doesn't that mean we the public should not have yet paid anything for this since it is not yet complete and operating? Doesn't that mean the private part of this is wearing all the sunk costs to date?

      If the private party walks away now, wouldn't we the public be able to just pay for what's left to do to complete it, and then we end up with the whole thing on the cheap without having to pay all the future fees we would have had to if the private party had actually completed the job?

      Or were the original contract terms dramatically different to what that Treasury document says they should have been for a PPP?

      • Ad 6.1.1

        There are more could-as, should-as, and would-as on Transmission Gully's PPP than there are deadweight list MPs.

        Since it's not tolled, it's fee-for-access+long term maintenance. NZTA have already paid multiple times to the contractor to the PPP for over-runs. 

        I don't think anyone yet really knows what would happen with your second question. Plenty of major jobs consulted their insurers after Level 4. NZTA will be fighting hard to keep this one out of court: imagine how such a case would play in the run-up to the election. Even the NZTA Board can figure that one.

        I'm not privy to the contractual terms on Transmission Gully, but I suspect a lot of New Zealand will be in the next few months. 

        • Andre

          NZTA have already paid multiple times to the contractor to the PPP for over-runs. 

          Looking at how PPPs were sold to us for how they should work, the cost overruns should have been compensated by increased payments after the job was completed and operating. Not by up-front extra payments: those are the old-skool conventional model.

          NZTA will be fighting hard to keep this one out of court

          Yeah, the firefighters with their high-powered pumping equipment will be getting called into big law firms to clean up all the anticipatory salivation going on over this one. What with the questions around the exact legality of the lockdown orders that massively added increased costs and delays, and all that.


          • Ad


            The real concern is why NZTA awarded the Transmission Gully contract to CPB with no experience of New Zealand conditions but very good experience of making sure contract risks were put on the NZ government.

            It's less to do with it being a PPP as such, more NZTA's naivety at the time of going for the lowest cost operator regardless of contractual conditions.

            Compare with Puhoi to Warkworth where the risk sits with the Fletcher led consortium who are wearing the cost increases.


            And the twist: who was Minister of Transport at the time this went through Cabinet? Was it Simon Bridges by chance?

      • RedLogix 6.1.2

        I'd assume the private contractor has been paid out on progress so far. 

        • Ad

          I hope they release the Treasury Gateway Reviews for this one. 

        • Andre

          That's what would have happened under a conventional procurement, yes.

          But the selling proposition for a PPP is that the private contractor wears the costs and the risks until the job is done and operating, at which point they start getting paid. Not before.


          • RedLogix

            Yes. Devil meet details. Because if you are right and the private contractor is walking this late in the job, with this much sunk cost, then it's logical to guess they've decided the cost of completing is even greater than anyone wants to talk about in public just yet.

            • Andre

              Or the whole PPP thing is just a smoke and mirrors job that really doesn't transfer any extra risks and responsibilities to the contractor in exchange for the extra long term margin they expect to make out of it.

              • Ad

                If you pop over to Greater Auckland you will see that they fully agree with you.

    • Sanctuary 6.2


      "…NZTA said in February the project’s estimated costs would over-run by $190m to $1b…"

      That is a difference of $810 million, which makes that a total wild guess of a number.

      It looks to me like CPB massively underbid to get the work and/or underestimated the complexity and are now trying to blackmail the government by threatening to pull the pin. Another legacy of the genius of the minister for everything, Steven Joyce. And National like to go on how they are better managers of the economy!

      NZTA are spineless and utterly committed to roads. They’ll want to fold in a jiffy. the question is – will the government take their advice to fold?

      • Muttonbird 6.2.1

        The previous government was happy to knowingly accept woefully underbid tenders. Then construction companies started going under.

        If I'm correct, it's one of the things this government has changed.

        This government must make sure the blame is sheeted home to where it belongs. In Simon Bridges' lap.

        • Sanctuary

          "…This government must make sure the blame is sheeted home to where it belongs. In Simon Bridges' lap…"

          Just as long as once they've drawn the picture, they don't give the crayons to Simon. He'll probably just try and eat them.

      • KJT 6.2.2

        I've never liked the PPP model. 

        It transfers all the risks to the State, while any upsides go to the private contractor, in return for keeping the liability off the Government books. Until it turns to shit, as so many have around the world.

        We should have looked at the glaring examples from the UK, in particular.

        The other problem is that the expertise to manage, assess and cost projects, has been lost from NZTA, with that being left to private firms.

        Rest homes will be the next to come under the spotlight.

    • RedLogix 6.3

      Whoops. I was going to comment on this the day before yesterday when it was first noted, but deleted it because it wasn't too clear to me from the info linked to just how serious the problems were.

      I recall debating this project back when Steven Joyce announced it back in 2009. There was considerable opposition at the time, including groups like Option 3 making the case that the whole damned thing wasn't necessary.

      Having lived in the immediate area for some years I was always a bit skeptical of the original price, it was always going to be challenging terrain to build a modern road through and the costs were always going to blow out. In the end it was plain that Joyce only sold it on the basis of a lowball bid.

      Well I'd like to think all the poor bastards who've had to work on this job did their best, but it looks like they're only going to prove the critics of the project right.

      And slam one big nail into the PPP concept.

      • Ad 6.3.1

        NZTA will see the upside if the Transmission Gully PPP even gets close to failure because they will see it damaging the NZInfra PPP light rail proposal, and in effect supporting their own non-PPP light rail proposal. 

        Of course it's not the only big roading PPP they've got going at the moment: Puhoi-Warkworth SH1 is still ongoing. I haven't heard any trouble there (other than Covid-19 infections and stoppages).

        But for the super-major jobs I could easily foresee NZTA preferring Alliance-type contracts over the fully commercially independent PPP forms. 

        The stakes are now in the multiple billions. 

    • Herodotus 6.4

      Some background as to the parties involved and in particular section 19 "Disengagement". 

      Wellington Gateway Partnership

      • Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd (lead)
      • HEB Construction Ltd
      • InfraRed Infrastructure General Partner Ltd
      • The Bank of Tokyo–Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd (BTMU)
      • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)



      • Andre 6.4.1

        I'm intrigued by what might be hidden by those big bits of black. Especially since a quick skim of the visible bits didn't catch anything about disengagement before opening the works.

    • gsays 6.5

      All of that means we wait even longer for the Manawatu Gorge replacement road.

      I understand 800 workers will be moving to in and around Palmy for the project. It will be a welcomed boost to the district's involved- Manawatu and Tararua.

      • greywarshark 6.5.1

        At the same time this becomes an obvious task for change in govt – first catch your MOW and then treat it right so it flourishes  – find our indigenous ancient govt depts and breed 'em strong and good, check for efficiency and enjoy effectiveness.

        • gsays

          I'm all for a reboot of MOW. Even with those accusations of inefficiency. benean 

          There is a lot to be said for a state agency that does trades training.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Farrar watch:

    Dutifully, and following on from Simon's attack on Ashley Bloomfield yesterday, David has begun his attack on the DG of Health.

    What one does the other does. It's a two pronged attack.


  8. Andre 8

    Scary times in Russia, especially for medicos. I'spose defenestration is easier and quicker than polonium tea.


  9. So apparently the knobhead on the tv3 breakfast show thinks he'd do a better job at running the country than the much vaunted JA

    Mark Richardson slams Government, says he'd do a better job as Prime Minister

    Highly doubtful seeing he couldn't even be the best in his chosen field and, unless you count being an insufferable shock jock for effect, fails on tv as the biggest tool on the home renno show, not to mention making cricket unlistenable with pathetic analysis and obnoxious wittering.

    There may be a piss up in a brewery he could organise, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    • Tony P 9.1

      Maybe he's angry because The Block just got canned for this year.

    • Sanctuary 9.2

      The rampant egotism of these media morons is incredible.

    • Wensleydale 9.3

      Careful, mate. If you carry on like that there'll be a puff piece in Stuff about poor Mark Richardson being bullied by horrible internet trolls and how his kids cry themselves to sleep at night. It's been a while since the last one.

    • Dennis Frank 9.4

      Ah but is he going to put his money where his mouth is?  Stand as candidate for the Nats, I mean.  Hosking's too scared.  Talk is cheap but folks make character judgments on actions, not talk.

      • McFlock 9.4.1

        Talk is cheap? I suspect he's paid many times the income of an essential worker.

  10. Rosemary McDonald 11

    So.  Under Level 2 those pathetic bastards who have been pining for attention from their hairdresser can be comforted that the Orders from Above have dictated that masks must be worn.

    Because, I guess, it's a tad difficult to faff with some narcissist's locks from a safe distance.

    Cast your minds back just a wee while to when Uncle Bleeding Ashley was steadfast in his determination that those providing homebased care for frail elderly and disabled need only wear a mask if the person being cared for was a confirmed or probable Covid 19 case.

    What the fucking fuck?

    • gsays 11.1

      Good point, Rosemary.

      While I know this suggestion may raise yr hackles…

      I would like to see all in-home carers/assistants etc bought back under the DHB  umbrella, rather than working for all the various middle-men, ticket clipping parasite companies. Companies that are seeking to make a profit from the allocation of the  health budget that provides care for the elderly, disabled etc.



      • weka 11.1.1

        Everything under the DHB is a profoundly depressing thought, although I agree about the ticket clippers.

        Maybe a compromise is non-profit NGOs?

        • gsays

          Non profit NGOs could work. Anything to get away from the race-to-the-bottom/tiered essential services. 

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.1.2

        This has been the call for years…those needing support services being caught in the middle of the pissing contests between the MOH, DHBs and ACC and the various contracted providers.

        None of that lot ever, ever put the needs of those requiring care to the front.

      • adam 11.1.3

        The commodification of the sick, elderly and disabled has be a utter disaster.  

        There was a reason social democracy created and used the social model in the area of health care.

        Because the monetary model has never worked in health. Only dullards and ideological purists think their business model in health works. 



    • weka 11.2

      jesus fucking christ.

      Did they say if it's workers only or customers as well? (it's not clear from the MSM).

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.2.1

        "Jesus fucking christ"

         Yep..and a few more expletive.

        It was Ardern.  She said…'….masks, masks for the hairdressers '.  At the one pm stand up.

        I went a bit apoplectic.

        I hope her ears caught fire.

        Metaphorically speaking that is.


  11. Rosemary McDonald 12

    And it's only very recently that the guidelines for PPE use have been updated.

    Healthcare workers at all levels were crying out for masks and 'permission' to use them for weeks. Having some bureaucrat repeatedly state that wearing even the basic surgeons mask was unnecessary unless there was disease present has done real damage to the relationship between frontline healthcare workers and those at the top who set the rules.

    I guess it comes down to the personal experience of the politician or bureaucrat (or the science communicator du jour).

    Clearly they have a much better understanding of proximity issues for hairdressers than they do of the same for frontline healthcare workers.

    • weka 12.1

      Did a report on the problems with homecare and PPEs come out today? (haven't caught up yet).

  12. Ad 13

    I am just loving this Lincoln Project work against Trump. 

    This time they undo the Trump family relationship with China:


    • Andre 13.1

      They aren't just going after the Fourth Dorkman of the Shitpocalypse, they're going after his remoras too.

  13. SPC 14

    Today Grant Robertson said that the government is to walk back its planned 2020 budget focus on redirection of the economy as to global warming because of the extra debt and a priority of focus on economic growth. 

    He notes the higher debt in Europe and USA and his rationale provides them reason to do little more than they are. It's a blame the GFC, and or the pandemic, for limited goverrnment will/capacity to deal with GW. 

    Positive – it should provide the oxygen for the Greens to return to parliament.

    Negative – the government is wedded to the capitalist debt model and will be complicit in using this as an excuse for continued poverty, homelessness and a second rate health care/welfare/aged care system.   

    • Nic the NZer 14.1

      This is exactly the wrong decision. The New Zealand economy (despite reasonable support during lock-down) is going to emerge in a highly depressed (high unemployment) state. In this state there are more real resources available to be put to use implementing the economic redirection (and lower employment in the status quo parts of the economy).

      The financing (how you pay the people many who desperately want the work anyway) is particularly irrelevant in this case, it neither restrains the governments ability to employ people towards its initiative or negatively impacts how the economy performs while implementing these reforms.

      No doubt Robertson was got to by treasury boffins and its a real shame. He needs to be well enough informed to put them (and their ideology) in their place when this happens rather than undermining the government and their ability to implement public policy.

    • Pat 14.2

      "The government was focused not only on rebuilding the economy, but on rebuilding it better, he added.

      "In the midst of the crisis and our desire to return to a sense of normality, we should all acknowledge that things weren't perfect before Covid-19 hit us.

      "There are few times in life when the clock is reset. Now is the time we should address these long-term issues. It is a privilege many countries won't have. It's not one we should squander," he said."


      Not sure where you draw that conclusion from….might pay to wait until next week.

  14. Gosman 15

    Looks like most of the restrictions in the first 10 Days of Level 4 lockdown were not legal. Oops!


    • KJT 15.1

      Why does it matter. All but a few idiots complied with them voluntarily, because they made sense.

  15. Herodotus 16

    Thank you so much Water Care, our Mayor and council – It is MAY and we are now told there is to be a water restriction put into place. How we are not well served by some of our leaders. Goff is all smile and wave. "We have had a long, hot summer with less than half of our normal rainfall, which means our storage dams have fallen to around 46.5 per cent, well below the 76 per cent average for this time of year." So we act NOW 



    • ScottGN 16.1

      Did you not know the water restrictions were coming? It’s been signposted for months. We were told weeks ago that restrictions were almost certainly likely but imposition of them had been delayed while the level 4 lockdown was in place in order not to put anyone under extra stress.

      • Herodotus 16.1.1

        Why wasn't this in place in February graduated in implementation  e.g. turn of tap when brushing teeth, toilets only flush when its brown, water gardens by hand held hoses, no washing of cars, etc 

        In August 2019 we had this August Average 89% Aug 19 73%. And then we had "Auckland: Record-breaking low summer rainfall. Depending on which rain gauge you look at, summer 2019/20 was the driest, 2nd-driest or 3rd-driest summer on record."  yes with all this preceding our current situation I call it Incompetence some may try to argue with the FACTS.



        • Pat

          so you are now demanding water restrictions from when exactly?….mid 2019?

          • Herodotus

            January, with increasing severity of restrictions, as the drough continued Is that good enough for you !!

            Another who challenges others, OK then what about your thoughts/contribution then ?? was Mat the correct time then ??  

            • Pat

              I think you unreasonably expect perfection…the hoped for summer rain hasnt eventuated and there has been a call to restrict use for  a month ..

              "Under usual circumstances restrictions would kick in at about 51 per cent during autumn, Jaduram said.

              Amid a dry start to the month and on the back of a summer that saw just 35 per cent of average rainfall, the city's storage dams on Thursday dropped to 49.7 per cent – the first time they'd fallen below 50 per cent since the drought of 1993/1994, when storage levels got down to a frightening 36 per cent.

              The historical average for this time of year is about 77 per cent."


              You could increase storage capacity but I suspect youd object to the rate increase to fund it…..but given CC I expect youll have plenty of opportunity in the not too distant future.

              • Herodotus

                25 Feb "Auckland's longest dry spell on record was finally broken last weekend, with Saturday's rainfall marking the first time there's been more than 1mm of rain in 47 days. " add this to what I liked from August 19 position- So we had a record dry period in Feb and No action from Watercare. I think action was required. And comparing to 1993 Auckland then did not have the Waikato river available as a water source IMO is nothing more than diversion tactics, and that Watercare was nothing more than Hoping the Weather would cover for inaction !!!


              • RedLogix

                Agreed pat. Judging exactly when to bring in water restrictions is a tricky business to get right.

                I saw the process happening in Wellington one year, and it was fascinating just how much care and judgement was put into it. In the end we were saved by decent rain that arrived with less than 48hrs to spare.

    • Pat 16.2

      Forward planning is incompetence now??

    • ianmac 16.3

      The nil rainfall is the lowest for 4 months ever recorded for Auckland.

      It is not the current low water level so much as the forward warnings that Auckland's summer supply is at risk.

      So said the Head of Watercare.

      • mickysavage 16.3.1

        The big issue is that if Watercare was not pumping Waikato water for all it was worth for the past few months Auckland would be in an absolutely chronic position.

      • Herodotus 16.3.2

        Then why as per my above comment was the August 19 storage 73% vs an average of 89%. Not sure how starting with a storage level 16% below the average with what has transpired over this summer is Forward warning of risk ?? that requires urgent action now- To me someone has been missing in action. I understand you are not of recent vintage from reading your contributions but I can recall 1993 and calls such as: placing a 2l bottle of water/brick in the cistern of a toilet to save water and the flush it if its brown, and the need to take action of a leaky tap and more. Such calls have been lacking under the current situation- We have been saved by the Waikato river uptake this time.
        And in Feb Watercare requested govt to take more from the Waikato

        • Ad

          They put that application in to the Waikato Regional Council 7 years ago. 

          The request in February was for direct call-in from the Minister since they'd been dicked around for so long.

    • solkta 16.4

      Seems like quite a different system to Whangarei. Your "Stage 1" restriction says no domestic hose use. Whangarei went to "Level 2" on February 26 which banned sprinklers and irrigation systems. Then we went to "Level 3" on April 16 which bans hose use, gardens can still be watered with a bucket.

  16. joe90 17

    He’s dead set on starting a war.

    In another move aimed at consolidating control over policy and messaging, the Trump administration is sending a White House loyalist to serve in a key Defense Department policy role that officials are worried is aimed at weeding out civilians not loyal to the president, Foreign Policy has learned.

    Michael Cutrone, who has been detailed as Vice President Mike Pence’s top national security aide for South Asia, is set to arrive at the Pentagon to serve in a behind-the-scenes role vetting Defense Department officials for loyalty to the president, according to two current administration officials.


  17. Pat 18

    'It's fantastic': MP thrilled flights to Queenstown resuming"


    Yep…might be when the taxpayer is paying for your ticket….there might be a different response from the public when the fares are released

  18. aj 19

    Listening to the National Party over the last two weeks, I was under the impression Australia was almost 'business as usual' and achieving the same results as New Zealand. Not if this report is correct.


    Scott Morrison wants Australia to get back on the job. But what does a Covid-safe workplace look like?

    I'd already thought it must be closer to us, if this was true

    Since late March nearly 800,000 Australians have lost their jobs. Millions more have had their work hours reduced or are working differently.

    Unemployment is predicted to rise to between 10% and 15%.

    Centrelink has been overwhelmed with people applying for the JobSeeker payment.

    The negative impacts of prolonged unemployment on mental and physical health has been long recognised, and unemployment could emerge as the major public health crisis from COVID-19.

  19. ScottGN 20

    Barry Soper’s Shock! Horror! Government Bombshell! ‘They Had No Right To Lock Us Up!’ Column from this arvo has has undergone quite a substantial re-write on the online Herald after the A-G released a statement saying that the so-called leaked advice from Crown Law that Soper received was just a draft report and not the final advice given to the government.

  20. adam 21

    A left wing solution to a mutation. Those who know more than me can explain the findings from the report in this LA Times piece. 



    As Rationalist nation say – we need a UBI and we need to keep a lid on this. Corona ant going away and a mad push to get back to work will undo all we have done.  








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