Open mike 07/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 7th, 2021 - 134 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

134 comments on “Open mike 07/08/2021 ”

  1. KSaysHi 1

    Our leader has a sane and balanced approach while the rest of the world is in the middle of batshit crazy. I love the PM for this:

    One thing Ardern ruled out was a vaccination pass within New Zealand – a system in which vaccinated people would have more freedoms, such as access to restaurants and concerts, while unvaccinated people would not.

    Most people will be vaccinated in any case, and business owners are stressed enough as it is. Perhaps Ardern has recognised that there are racial differences in uptake and a BBH is NOT the way the handle things. Either way I am relieved NZ will give the stress seen overseas in the US and Australia a big miss. Bless you lady x

    • RobbieWgtn 1.1

      "…there are racial differences in uptake…". Nothing to do with race/ethnicity, all to do with commonsense, education, intelligence, gullibility etc for which a wide distribution is found all over the world so no need to keep making irrelevant excuses.

      • KSaysHi 1.1.1

        BLM in association with a Human Rights organisation in the US are starting a campaign due to the large discrepancies. Imagine 40% of your neighbourhood not able to buy groceries or socialize with everyone else? It's facilitated social disintergration and a massive political overreach.

        • KSaysHi

          Remember those communities in the Far North and East Cape that blocked access during the initial Covid scare? In some places there are no doctors. On the East Cape where my whanau are they have a nurse that travels the region and once a week those who need regular nurse attention get it. There aren't even any chemists. Population mostly Maori. They would have to travel far, far away at great expense to get vaccinated.

          • Incognito

            Although is self-evident from the URL, just for mauī and for you, here are some empty words.

            You don’t seem to be well-informed on some matters that you comment on here on this site:


            • Rosemary McDonald

              Yeah, awesome with the mobile vaccine wagon…a great initiative and I imagine that because the health services are so absolutely fucking precarious on the Coast, the locals will do just about anything to avoid needing actual day to day health services.

              We worth a watch…

              • Incognito

                I know of elderly people in Auckland region who were in the earlier groups for whom it was highly inconvenient to travel and the mobile clinic came to them, twice, to vaccinate them. As far as I know, none of them has died from the vaccination or the disease. I know you cannot bring yourself to see anything positive in what your re-named Misery of Health does – talking of infantile name-calling – because you must paint everything B & W. You realise who is the worst mind-fucker of all fucking with your mind?

                This must be one of your all-time favourites:

                Bye now, have a nice day.

            • KSaysHi

              I am aware of that, and the helicopters. Can't see that trust will be anywhere near 100% given the neglect of the region for a number of years. Roading, schooling (which was an issue back in the 1980s), maternity well before the rest of the country had problems.

              Some still have dirt floors. Hard to build rapport under those circumstances with decades of neglect in order to take the quackzines.

              • Incognito

                Sure, there are and will be trust issues and simply parachuting a few vials + needles is not going to be sufficient to encourage any let alone high uptake of Covid vaccination. It will take considerable effort, but fortunately some people are trying their hardest to help their own people in their communities. It is so sad that some come here to piss on every single positive move and criticise just about everything that is meant to help people who need it the most. It is sad because it doesn’t do one bit to build trust; all it does is pushing people further apart and away, providers and recipients. As a result, lives could be lost. But hey, it is just a rant on a blog, isn’t it?

              • DukeEll

                These are of course very good reasons for not allowing anybody vaccinated some additional freedom of movement.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.2

        That font of All Truth, Stuff, came close to an actual truth the other day as the latest in their Vaccine Propaganda series looked at "Covid 19 Vaccination Myths…".

        It makes sense for people to think about what they put into their bodies, and the Government’s treatment of certain groups of people when it comes to healthcare – Māori and Pasifika, women, the disabled – has been questionable, and inequitable.

        Oooh! I thought….

        ….Stuff is going to do a deep dive into why these groups have the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy and make suggestions about what steps the government could take right now to show Maori, Pasifika, women and disabled people that they are truly valued by immediately addressing those inequities that have produced such an abiding lack of trust in both the health system and the government.

        But did they heck as like.

        More waffle, and a discussion about the latest alphabet soup of an idea with the oh- so- inspiring infantile title of FLICC…because we all are going to respond so well to more mind-fuckery from those…

        … behavioural scientists [who] have developed a framework for the five techniques of science denial, known by the acronym FLICC: fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, cherry-picking, and conspiracy theories.

        On a day to day basis, and prior to Te Virus blighting the globe, it is the above groups of people who have been at the very sharpest end of policies that have seemingly been designed to make our already challenging lives so much more difficult. And repeated calls for some basic initiatives to ease some of these challenges have fallen on deaf ears.

        Raising benefits to enable a dignified life, especially for those on the erroneously named Supported Living Payment….fail


        Affordable healthy food….fail

        Addressing disparities between ACC and MOH for disability supports….fail

        And so on. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum.

        Maori, Pasifika, women and disabled…that's a very high proportion of the population… and the effects of the acknowledged "questionable" treatment in accessing health care has had effects that are far from mythological.

    • Andre 1.2

      Ardern has a really dumb habit of ruling things out that can have serious repercussions in the future. Capital Gains Taxes was just the first.

      It's quite easy to imagine the situation evolving to one where the virus easily passes from an infected unvaccinated person to a vaccinated one, while vaccinated persons that get infected are still very unlikely to pass it on. This may already be the case in places like Israel, UK, and some of the states.

      If the situation evolves here to something like that, then a Labour refusal to implement a completely reasonable measure since as a vaccination pass as used in overseas countries would be enough to push my vote to National in 2023 if they were promising one.

      Now, if you really really don't want to get vaccinated, then I suggest your best strategy is to try to persuade as many other people as possible to go and get vaccinated. So you can freeload off the community immunity those others will provide you.

      Because if we don't achieve something close to community immunity and therefore eliminate the need for draconian measures such as level 3 and level 4 lockdowns, tolerance for those draconian measures won't last long nor will tolerance for the unvaccinated that make them necessary.

      • Incognito 1.2.1

        Has Ardern ruled it out indefinitely or was it merely paraphrasing of her preference by the interviewer?

        • Andre

          Dunno. It appears that in her actual quoted words she's left some wriggle room, so it could be poor paraphrasing by the reporter. Or maybe there were other words that were more definite that weren't directly quoted.

          Hopefully it's the wriggle room explanation and it's a sign that Ardern has learned to not unnecessarily hand out rods to be later used on her own back.

          • Incognito


            I find it hard to parse the words of politicians at the best of times. I think this is intentional. I’m more of a say-what-you-mean-and-mean-what-you-say kind of person but half the time I don’t know what I’m saying and the other half, I don’t know what I really mean wink

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.2

        …while vaccinated persons that get infected are still very unlikely to pass it on.

        You might want to put the smug on pause there Andre.

        Fully vaccinated people who get a Covid-19 breakthrough infection can transmit the virus, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Thursday.

        "Our vaccines are working exceptionally well," Walensky told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death — they prevent it. But what they can't do anymore is prevent transmission."

        It's a rapidly changing environment and so, so hard to keep up with the latest science.

        Last week, the agency released a study that showed the Delta variant produced similar amounts of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they got infected — data that suggests vaccinated people who get a breakthrough infection could have a similar tendency to spread the virus as the unvaccinated.

        "If you're going home to somebody who has not been vaccinated, to somebody who can't get vaccinated, somebody who might be immunosuppressed or a little bit frail, somebody who has comorbidities that put them at high risk, I would suggest you wear a mask in public indoor settings," Walensky said.

        • Andre

          All the more reason to get vaccinated.

          edit: Sure there’s a few pieces popping up suggesting that infected vaccinated people may be just as infectious as unvaccinated. But the broad consensus still seems to be that the vast majority of transmissions are from unvaccinated to unvaccinated.

          Because the vaccinated are much less likely to be infected, and much less likely to have a severe case. As well as being on average somewhat more socially responsible.

          • David

            I share your sentiments Andre. I fail to see why those you choose not to be vaccinated should be afforded the same privilege as those that do.

            I equate it to where we use to be with smoking. The minority that had the right to smoke everywhere. In planes. In restaurants. In public spaces. Passive smoking for everyone. Then we woke up and smokers were marginalised to their homes and dedicated areas.

            I see absolutely no issue with vaccine passports. This is where the free world is moving. You don’t want the vaccine. No problem. Just accept the restrictions as smokers now do.

            • Andre

              The difference being that with smokers it's just their cancer sticks being excluded, whereas with covid it would have to be the entire person excluded. But then, covid is significantly more dangerous than occasional doses of second-hand smoke.

              So there would need to be some places they would still have to have the right to go – to get food, clothing, necessary government services. maybe public transport. Those places should then require universal masking.

              Anything else else not reasonably in the category of a necessity of life and citizenship, keep 'em out. Especially anything that might involve extended times in close proximity to random strangers. Bars, restaurants, theatres, galleries, concerts, sports events, street markets, libraries …

        • Brigid

          Of course vaccinated people are very likely to pass on any virus they happen to be exposed to. No epidemiologist worth listening to will tell you otherwise.

          Your immune response is not active in the mucus members of the airways, so naturally if you walk into a room full off infected people coughing their hearts out, the virus will attach itself to your mucus membrane and then you can cough sneeze, breathe over anyone and be assured you will pass the virus to them.

          What the vaccinated person wont do though is produce a mutated virus as the immune response will have disabled it before it gets the opportunity to replicate.

          One reason amoungst many that show why vaccinations are useful.

          • weka

            What the vaccinated person wont do though is produce a mutated virus as the immune response will have disabled it before it gets the opportunity to replicate.


            • Brigid

              I don't see the relevance of your link.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                11Right to refuse to undergo medical treatment

                • Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.
                • Andre

                  Who is proposing forced vaccinations?

                  What is being proposed with things like a vaccination pass is restricting some privileges. Not rights, privileges.

                  It's also worth noting that of the numerous rights that have been recently been curtailed under section 70 of the Health Act due to the public health emergency, the right to refuse medical treatment was not one.

                  16 Freedom of Peaceful Assembly was curtailed.

                  17 Freedom of Association was curtailed.

                  18 Freedom of Movement was curtailed, and is continuing to be curtailed.

                • The Al1en

                  And in certain circumstances the state, via the courts, already has the ability to override some refusals with a compulsory treatment order, for example.

                • Brigid

                  Who has said they don't have?

                  • Rosemary McDonald


                    This research shows that perceived coercion is not restricted only to psychiatric care and is relatively commonly reported by patients during medical admission. Confirmation that coercion exists in routine medical care may reflect on the persistence of paternalism in current general medical practice. The long term outcomes of patients who believe they were coerced during a medical admission are unknown but could influence the willingness of these patients to seek health care in the future.

                    Referring back to the Stuff article I linked to at 1.1.2 (which I hoped would actually take a deeper look into why certain groups are vaccine hesitant) I am wondering if there has been further research looking into which particular groups of patients were victims of medical coercion.

                    Maori? Pasifika? Women? Disabled?

              • weka

                I don’t either, looks like a mistake on my part, pasting the wrong thing

      • DukeEll 1.2.3

        Don’t you see the inherent unfairness in allowing fully participating members of society more societal freedoms than members of society who for personal reasons refuse to engage and participate?
        pretty obvious to me

        • Andre

          I don't think anti-social arseholes who refuse to avail themselves of a simple, safe, and free precaution should be allowed to roam around completely free while presenting a real risk of spreading a very nasty disease.

          Nor do I think the rest of society should be required to submit to draconian alternative suppression measures to pander to the idiocies of those anti-social arseholes.

          • RedLogix

            There you go – I think this comment of yours pretty much covers off the link you wanted me to provide earlier on.

            I figured rather than bother searching all I had to do was wait a bit.

            • Andre

              See if you can work out how what I've just said in my comments today is different to what you asserted I said a while ago. That you were never able to back up. Along with the big long list of other assertions you made that you didn't back up.

              I'm moderately confident your reading comprehension skills are up to it if you try hard enough.

              • RedLogix

                So you're quite happy if people don't get vaccinated then? No problemo?

                This is getting very confusing.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  This is getting very confusing.

                  Too right.

                  To add to the challenge there are so many complex parts to this pandemic, so many contradictory aspects that I doubt anyone really understands what is going on and what's likely to happen next.

                  Less right. The idea that personal confusion and/or misunderstanding (about complex subjects/topics/events) necessarily means that no-one "really understands what’s going on" is, imho, unsound. When, as is usually the case, I don't understand what's going on in an area outside my very narrow field of expertise, I tend to trust the consensus opinions of expert scientists and clinicians. Not for everyone, of course, particularly if a consensus opinion conflicts with one’s personal worldview or value system.

                  Claiming Credibility in Online Comments: Popular Debate Surrounding the COVID-19 Vaccine [6 August]
                  At times of crisis, access to information takes on special importance, and in the Internet age of constant connectedness, this is truer than ever. Over the course of the pandemic, the huge public demand for constantly updated health information has been met with a massive response from official and scientific sources, as well as from the mainstream media. However, it has also generated a vast stream of user-generated digital postings. Such phenomena are often regarded as unhelpful or even dangerous since they unwittingly spread misinformation or make it easier for potentially harmful disinformation to circulate. However, little is known about the dynamics of such forums or how scientific issues are represented there. To address this knowledge gap, this chapter uses a corpus-assisted discourse approach to examine how “expert” knowledge and other sources of authority are represented and contested in a corpus of 10,880 reader comments responding to Mail Online articles on the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in February–July 2020. The results show how “expert” knowledge is increasingly problematized and politicized, while other strategies are used to claim authority. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of sociological theories, and some tentative solutions are proposed.
                  Keywords: COVID-19; health communication; user-generated content; reader comments; social media; vaccines; vaccine denial; conspiracy theories


                  • RedLogix

                    Do you remember how this time last year your consensus experts were assuring us that COVID was a nice stable virus and very unlikely to mutate enough to cause problems for the vaccines? Or how travel bans were not needed because that would be racist. Or how it's couldn't possibly be a lab escape. Or the clinical experience of physicians all around the world was irrelevant unless backed up by massively expensive trials that only big govt or pharma could fund.

                    Have you not noticed that all the official public health information that you're shilling for just also happens to ensure a number of big corporations – all with a remarkable history in this field – will make a great deal of money, with any risk to themselves conveniently legislated away?

                    The obvious narrowness of this approach, and the reasonable chance COVID will escape it, is absolutely worth considering. Because given the possibility that the current vaccine programs don't end the pandemic – what next? Eternal lockdowns? Endless 'booster shots'?

                    The challenge goes even further. This pandemic is a global problem, it will continue to haunt us unless and until we can devise a globally co-ordinated response to it. Yet so far each nation has pretty much acted in isolation, ensuring a patchwork response. After all you're all on board with the idea of the people of NZ acting collectively, but no-one seems to be willing to consider the idea of the nations working together in the same manner.

                    In my view there is a great deal to be discussed and learned from this terrible event – but the constant shouting down from people convinced they're always correct is not going to have a happy ending in my view.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Do you remember how this time last year your consensus experts were assuring us that COVID was a nice stable virus and very unlikely to mutate enough to cause problems for the vaccines?

                      RL, they’re not just my consensus experts – they belong to everyone.

                      No, don't remember that – have you got a link to refresh my memory? I do remember experts saying (based on the evidence available at the time) that coronaviruses have relatively low replication error rates, but don't remember any expert assurances that this would guarantee Covid-19 variants of concern would/could not occur, or guarantee the complete success (eradication) of a mass (global) vaccination approach such as the one currently underway to curtail the spread of, and harm to health by, the virus.

                      Fwiw, I believe that the global Covid-19 vaccination programme currently underway will be a success in terms to protecting many people from serious illness and/or death due to Covid-19 infection.

                      Tbh I prefer the narrow expertise of experts to the (aimless?) self-justifying reckons of 'I told you so' amateurs, but (as you know) that's just me.

                    • RedLogix

                      A quick search on "covid vaccine escape" yields enough published papers all examining this question. They seem to have different things to say about it – but all admit to the strong possibility of it. Likewise every single one of the questions I've raised are all sourced from individuals with both qualification and experience in the relevant field.

                      But of course all these heterodox views must be just 'amateur reckons' or 'fake experts' and should be sneered at. My point is simple – no-one is omniscient and consensus of experts or not, none are immune to scrutiny or challenge.

                      I believe that the global Covid-19 vaccination programme currently underway will be a success in terms to protecting many people from serious illness and/or death due to Covid-19 infection.

                      Which at least for the moment seems to be holding true- that’s truly good news. But of course it doesn’t address the question of what it they do not succeed in eradicating COVID – as for example we managed with smallpox. What if Te Virus just keeps on evolving more infectious and more lethal variants? What are the implications for policy then? Are we not allowed to think and discuss these possible scenarios or do we just have to wait and react to them after the event – forever on the backfoot against this crisis?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      RL, what's the relevance of your "covid vaccine escape" comment (@1:55 pm) to my request (@1:33 pm) for a link to support your contention (@12:48 pm) that "this time last year" [Aug 2020] 'my':

                      "consensus experts were assuring us that COVID was a nice stable virus and very unlikely to mutate enough to cause problems for the vaccines."

                      Still happy to consider evidence supporting your contention, but this time last year only the CanSino and Sputnik V vaccines were available, and just for emergency use.


                      Absolutely agree 100% with your comment:

                      "…no-one is omniscient and consensus of experts or not, none are immune to scrutiny or challenge."

                      I’ve made more than enough mistakes in my area of scientific expertise to recognise the truth in that.

                      I'll continue to put forward my points of view, which are often based on consensus expert scientific opinion (sometimes even when that opinion is at odds with my own beliefs) and often (but not always – see above) ) at odds with your points of view, and in this way try to contribute to the culture of debate that flourishes here.

          • Fran

            Haven't you guys heard of our Bill of Rights? Your draconian, discriminatory ideas are horrifying.

            I get you believe with your whole being that vaccination is the answer to the pandemic but discriminating against people on the basis of a medical treatment is a very scary proposition.

            We haven't sorted sexism, ageism or racism yet and you want to add medical ism. Way to go.

            • McFlock

              If you have a better option, present it.

              Because at some point, person A's right to stupidity butts up against person B's right to life.

            • Frank Macskasy

              Fran, how that does square against my Bill of Rights not to be infected by Covid mutations that unvaccinated people will be brewing and spewing out at us?

              There's an old saying that your rights to freedom end at my nose.

              Never were truer words said.

              • RedLogix

                unvaccinated people will be brewing and spewing out at us?

                Disgust oriented language is one of the core methods used by ideologues to demonise and eventually persecute 'out groups'? The trend I'm seeing here at TS toward this is pretty damned disturbing.

                But that aside I'm interested to know why you think mutations cannot occur in vaccinated people. Is there some technical reason for this?

              • weka

                Fran, how that does square against my Bill of Rights not to be infected by Covid mutations that unvaccinated people will be brewing and spewing out at us?

                Which particular right in the Bill of Rights are you referring to Frank?


              • weka

                not to be infected by Covid mutations that unvaccinated people will be brewing and spewing out at us?

                I'm also starting to have concerns about the 'pointing the finger at the leper' rhetoric developing around this. Having a political position is one thing. Using language that is promoting divisive disgust towards sections of the public is another thing.

                I'll argue against that language, but people should know that it's on the moderator's radar now too, so maybe have a think about how this is being talked about. What we don't want is the debate around covid on TS escalating into flame wars.

              • Fran

                That is some extremely emotive language there. The only people passing on the virus are those who have it, vaccinated or unvaccinated. Discrimination on the basis of a medical treatment is scary.

                I understand that fear is driving this but why the need to demonise people? This kind of thinking is a very slippery slope to a very nasty place.

                Lastly, what happens if the next issue where people are demonised for disagreeing with the perceived correct thinking is political, or racial? Oh, hang on I think history is littered with examples of that. Oh, and it is currently happening in other parts of the world.

                Definately a slippery slope.

            • weka

              I get you believe with your whole being that vaccination is the answer to the pandemic but discriminating against people on the basis of a medical treatment is a very scary proposition.

              It's the unacknowledge problem with the left. We have values around rights up until we disagree with them. This coupled with NZ being very poor on protecting disabled people's rights, often the ones at the sharp end of the medical stick, definitely raises alarm bells for me.

              In NZ, the only reasons I can see for arguing for forced covid vaccination is economic and freedom of international travel. The former is complex and needs debating. The latter, hmm I smell hypocrisy. Where has everyone been while the state has limited the freedom of international travel of beneficiaries?

              The other aspect of this is that we don't have a silver bullet vaccine, and we don't yet know how transmission is going to play out among vaccinated populations. Plenty of people with faith in that, and they may be right, but we don't know yet.

              There are very good reasons why the state doesn't mandate vaccination and instead adopts encouragement. We're not even at the point yet of knowing if vaccine hesitancy is an issue in NZ. I see the authoritarian position from some lefties as being largely ideological.

              • RedLogix


                Where has everyone been while the state has limited the freedom of international travel of beneficiaries?

                A very damn good point. Including the disabled.

              • Macro

                It only requires one lapse from MIQ (and we have around 2 to 3 returnees per day entering the country with one form or other of the virus) for the country to be in to another NSW scenario). In NSW it was one taxi driver, in Fiji it was 2 returning soldiers not following the rules, in Victoria it was a couple of removal men visiting the state briefly). So we have been extremely fortunate to date to avoid such an accident.

                When the inevitable happens again, will this country be as happy to do the hard yards as we did previously in support of the total population? One of our most valuable tools to avoid catastrophic consequences, and an overloading of our already overworked and understaffed hospitals is to ensure that we, as a population, are as fully vaccinated as we can possibly be.

                Yes, vaccinated people can get the virus as we all know, but the viral load will in most instances be much lower than for those who are unvaccinated, as has been demonstrated time and again. The virus then will have few vectors and less chance of transmission.

                There has been good news, too, on the subject of viral load in breakthrough cases. Researchers in Israel studied vaccinated people who became infected. The viral load in these breakthrough cases was about three to four times lower than the viral load among infected people who were unvaccinated. Researchers in the U.K. reported a similar result. They also found that vaccinated people who became infected tested positive for about one week less than unvaccinated people.

                We also now have evidence that infected people with lower viral load spread the virus to fewer people, based on contact-tracing studies in the U.S., India and Spain. This is supported by laboratory researchdemonstrating that nasal samples from infected people with lower viral load are less likely to contain infectious virus.


                • RedLogix

                  That's pretty much aligned with where my thinking is at – mRNA vaccines do help significantly. What's much less clear is whether they're going to eliminate COVID (probably not) and if over time a variant will arise that escapes them. And if it does what's the chance that all we've done is generate an even more infectious and/or lethal variant? How do we respond to that?

                  I really don't propose a silver bullet solution for this – except to continue to read, discuss and remain agile in our responses. NZ absolutely did the right thing going into this crisis, but getting out of it may well prove a much greater challenge.

                • weka

                  Sure, so three reasons for people arguing for compulsory vaccination: economics, international travel, and compassion fatigue for the team of 5m.

                  How do you see this playing out? Say NZ got 80% vaccinated, is that enough? Enough to what? Open borders fully? Open borders to those who are vaccinated? What's the risk to an unvaccinated person at that point? Do we even know? Will there be community transmission but it will be more easily containable? Will we be having cycles of outbreaks like we do with the flu?

                  What happens if new variants arise that we're not vaccinated against?

                  I'm not arguing against the vaccination programme. I'm saying that lefties arguing for compulsion or punishment or ostracisation as strategy are leaving parts of the picture out that don't suit the ideology. And, that authoritarianism on the left is always a worry. And that we have a right to refuse medical treatment for bloody good reasons that people seem willing to give up. That last one needs major discussion.

                  • Macro

                    I'm saying that lefties arguing for compulsion or punishment or ostracisation as strategy are leaving parts of the picture out that don't suit the ideology. And, that authoritarianism on the left is always a worry. And that we have a right to refuse medical treatment for bloody good reasons that people seem willing to give up.

                    There are times when a team leader has to speak to the rest of the team and say "This is the way we are going to go about this!" That was what the country as a whole (the team of 5 million) is thankful to Jacinda for saying in the early days of the pandemic. There was a compulsion for all to follow the rules. It wasn't easy, and David Clark was ostracised and lost his job for not obeying them to the full. The thing is sometimes, we we have to do something we don't really want to do, because we need to do so for the good of the whole group.

                    Now there are times when some folk cannot take a particular medication for a variety of reasons. We all understand that. I don't think anyone is arguing that someone should be forcibly made to take a vaccine if it was known that they were likely to have an adverse reaction. Children are not being vaccinated at this time because we do not know how it would affect them. But those of us of 3 score years and beyond all remember lining up for our little pink drink in the mid 50's. There was little questioning of the need to do so.

                    • weka

                      do you believe that people should be coerced in some way? eg threat of loss of income, restrictions on travel or access to public spaces?

                    • Macro

                      Port workers who refuse vaccination should not be working on covid carrying vessels. I think that is obvious. In New York in 2018 one unvaccinated child returning from overseas with measles spread the disease ultimately to around 650 young people over 80% of whom where unvaccinated.

                      As of September 9, 2019, a total of 559 staff members at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (7% of the agency) had been involved in the measles response. The cost of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene response was $8.4 million.


                      After WW2 and up until 1981 to travel overseas and to gain entry to many countries required people to be vaccinated against smallpox.

                      The policy had a few flaws: the smallpox vaccination certificates were not always checked by qualified airport personnel, or when passengers transferred at airports in smallpox-free countries. Travel agencies mistakenly provided certificates to some unvaccinated customers, and there were some instances of falsified documents. Lastly, a small number of passengers carrying valid certificates still contracted smallpox because they were improperly vaccinated. However, all experts agree that the mandatory possession of vaccination certificates significantly increased the number of travellers who were vaccinated, and thus contributed to preventing the spread of smallpox, especially when the rapid expansion of air travel in the 1960s and 1970s reduced the travelling time from endemic countries to all other countries to just a few hours.


                      Within country there is still the mandatory requirement to wear face coverings on public transport. Perhaps that should be also extended to other closely populated venues should the delta variant make its ugly presence felt here. People who are fully vaccinated can at the moment be assured that even if they are in a situation where the virus is freely circulating in the air, even as the virus will enter their airways (nose – throat) the chances of the disease developing beyond a mild infection is much lower than had they been unvaccinated.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Macro, sorry, but the article you are quoting is a little out of date, and references papers that are way out of date.

                  The latest research, and this is supported by the latest update from the CDC, is that Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals have similar viral loads in communities with a high prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant .

                  For the prevalent Delta variant anyhow.

                  • Macro

                    Yes sorry! 27 July 2021 is almost 2 weeks ago. Well out of date.

                    I'm sure you have much more up to date info. Like a Facebook post from yesterday.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Here's a paper direct from the CDC website, posted a couple of days prior to the one above. (saying more or less the same thing)


                      Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, Associated with Large Public Gatherings — Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021

                      Real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) values in specimens from 127 vaccinated persons with breakthrough cases were similar to those from 84 persons who were unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or whose vaccination status was unknown (median = 22.77 and 21.54, respectively). The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible (1); vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent severe illness and death. On July 27, CDC recommended that all persons, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in indoor public settings in areas where COVID-19 transmission is high or substantial.* Findings from this investigation suggest that even jurisdictions without substantial or high COVID-19 transmission might consider expanding prevention strategies, including masking in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status, given the potential risk of infection during attendance at large public gatherings that include travelers from many areas with differing levels of transmission.

                    • Macro

                      I think McFlock below sums up my response to your above comment. That paper has some questions concerning its methodology and conclusions, and has as yet not been peer reviewed. What it does show is the fact that even if you are fully vaccinated is the risk you still face if you go into a space where there are highly infectious persons particularly with the delta variant without using appropriate PPE. The study was after all based on a super spreader event.

                  • McFlock

                    Some interesting comments below that paper, but it's out of my field.

                    Be interesting to see if it survives peer review. Feels a bit off with its charting, the analyses seem light on math and exploration of the observations, and some assumptions and proxies seem to be doing heavy lifting. But we'll see.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      There are two papers.

                      The one with the comments is in pre print and concerns an outbreak in a county in Wisconsin with a very high vaccination rate and was posted on 31.7.21.

                      The other paper which was posted on the CDC website on the 6th August actually had an earlier posting on the CDC MMWR site on the 30th July. Concerns an outbreak in highly vaccinated Massachusetts.

                      Both found that the viral load was similar for vaccinated and unvaccinated who tested positive for Covid (Delta).

                      Cue panic and doubt and shock and factchecker outrage.

                    • McFlock

                      there was only one when I started typing.

                      See, here's the thing: individual papers that provide enough evidence to drastically change knowledge to date are few and far between.

                      What we have are some papers that seem to limit themselves to people who became symptomatic. Indirect assumptions are then made from pcr cycles that the viral load between symptomatic people seems to be similar. I, and I'm pretty sure you, have no idea whether those assumptions are particularly accurate with regards to (what was the phrase?) "semi-quantitative information" in this instance.

                      Now, maybe this means we'll still have to have the covid app when we get up to a certain level of vaccination. Maybe a new vaccine needs to be developed against delta. Maybe vaxxed close contacts will still need to go into isolation.

                      What it doesn't mean is that vaccines aren't an essential part of addressing this public health threat. Even if the first of those papers gets through peer review without significant alterations.

                      They didn't take shortcuts developing the vaccines, and they shouldn't take shortcuts deciding vaccines aren't necessary, no matter what you think "It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice" might mean.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals have similar viral loads in communities with a high prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant [Riemersma et al., 31 July 2021]
                    While vaccines continue to provide outstanding protection against severe disease and mortality, the durability of this protection cannot be reliably predicted. Therefore, it is essential for public health policy to encourage vaccination while also planning for contingencies, including diminished long-term protection.

                    If the conclusions of the Riemersma et al. manuscript pass peer review, then that would reinforce the desirability of high vaccination rates. Interesting comments on the pre-print server though, e.g.

                    Its irresponsible and borderline unethical to publish data like this, the MIQE guidelines made clear what publishable qPCR data should look like. These sorts of publications undermine the impact of properly performed studies with truly actionable data. The authors should know better.

                    The Riemersma et al. manuscript may yet share the fate of a now retracted paper previously highlighted on The Standard, in which "The authors also strongly advise against vaccinating children."

                    Retraction: Walach et al. The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccinations—We Should Rethink the Policy. Vaccines 2021, 9, 693
                    Serious concerns were brought to the attention of the publisher regarding misinterpretation of data, leading to incorrect and distorted conclusions.

                    A third paper (Brown et al.) is more circumspect in its conclusions.

                    Finally, Ct values obtained with SARS-CoV-2 qualitative RT-PCR diagnostic tests might provide a crude correlation to the amount of virus present in a sample and can also be affected by factors other than viral load. Although the assay used in this investigation was not validated to provide quantitative results, there was no significant difference between the Ct values of samples collected from breakthrough cases and the other cases. This might mean that the viral load of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 is also similar. However, microbiological studies are required to confirm these findings.

              • Foreign Waka

                Thank you. I see a lot of fear and consequent witch hunt mentality which strikes me as not very encouraging.

                To ask for compulsion, it would be very much a knee jerk reaction. At what point will a nation becomes a dictatorship. where do we set a precedent and what is next? If a person is concerned and agrees to get vaccinated, freedom of making a decision is clearly observed. The person who is not getting vaccinated has decided to take a risk. There maybe religious, medical or other reasons involved and who are we to judge.

                • McFlock

                  The person who has decided to not get vaccinated is taking a risk with other people's health, as well.

                  Getting to population immunity is a public health measure, not personal health measure.

                  For covid, if we decide to open up even while some individuals without contraindications in real life decline the jab, every single outbreak linked to or transmitted by a wilfully unvaccinated person should be boldly labelled as such.

                  • weka

                    People make personal decisions that affect the health and wellbeing of others all the time.

                    Where should the complusion start and end? Say we have a Nat govt in 2023 (unlikely I know, but still possible) and they want to tie benefit entitlements to vax status. Are you ok with this?

                    • Andre

                      Say we have a Nat govt in 2023 (unlikely I know, but still possible) and they want to tie benefit entitlements to vax status. Are you ok with this?


                      If Labour and the Greens spend the next couple of years continuing restrictions past the point of reasonable need, ie after all of us that want vaccination have had a reasonable chance to get it, in order to pander to the idiocies of those that refuse safe and free vaccination, then that would be enough to push me to vote Nat in 2023.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, no, I wouldn't be ok with that because it does nothing about wealthy individuals.

                      I don't particularly think that covid reaches the level for "compulsion", despite what the chicken littles believe about new variants.

                      But there might come a time where some virus walks the land and the choice is literally between 100% vaccination (for those who don't have actual contraindications) and hundreds or thousands of dead despite all other containment efforts.

                      That's the other end of the sliding scale from where we are at now, a scale of the inherent conflict between bodily autonomy and the lives of others.

                      What if passive anti-vaxxing becomes demonstrably more harmful than passive smoking?

                    • McFlock

                      If Labour and the Greens spend the next couple of years continuing restrictions past the point of reasonable need, ie after all of us that want vaccination have had a reasonable chance to get it, in order to pander to the idiocies of those that refuse safe and free vaccination, then that would be enough to push me to vote Nat in 2023.

                      That seems counterproductive. They's just open up the borders without fixing the vax rate lol

                      Once the initial rush is over (or even before then) further efforts to make vaccines available to different communities can be explored, then some good old social pressure like they did with smoking. Really plug that shit.

                      And then if actual penalties become necessary (doubtful at this stage) then they need to apply to the groups most likely to decline the vaccine (as opposed to have difficulties accessing it).

                  • Foreign waka

                    Its worth to take others comments into consideration.


                • weka

                  "The person who is not getting vaccinated has decided to take a risk."

                  yes, but as others are pointing out it's not a personal risk alone. Vaccination is about herd immunity, so choosing to not vaccinate needs to be understood in that light as well.

                  For me the case against compulsion is that we need to retain the right to refuse medical treatment, and we can do public health better via engagement than force.

                  Quickest way to ramp up the conspiracy theory movement in NZ would be for the government to bring in compulsory vaccination. I think we would see a large amount of civil disobedience and an increase in division in society. We'd probably see a change of government in 2023 as well.

      • bwaghorn 1.2.4

        Any pass would have to have high grade security others fake ones would make it pointless how the hell you would verify foreign ones is any guess.

    • weka 1.3

      wait, people were actually advocating that within NZ there should be restricted movement for unvaccinated people?

      That's really not been well thought through.

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        No, it seems to have been a response to a question from Claire Trevett, because Aus and France seem to be heading in the direction of vaccine 'passports'.

        Such a tactic is doomed to failure, in my opinion. Masks are still allegedly compulsory on busses, and that's already a joke. No way vax cards will be enforcable, and that's even if there wasn't a massive amount of spillover between the vax/unvax populations, anyway.

        The vax-card thing strikes me as a cop-out for governments, rather than an actual infection control measure.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.3.2

        wait, people were actually advocating that within NZ there should be restricted movement for unvaccinated people?

        Andre has lots and lots of friends.

        I don't think anti-social arseholes who refuse to avail themselves of a simple, safe, and free precaution should be allowed to roam around completely free while presenting a real risk of spreading a very nasty disease.

        Nor do I think the rest of society should be required to submit to draconian alternative suppression measures to pander to the idiocies of those anti-social arseholes.

        You'd think it was the unvaccinated who are responsible for Covid 19 and its propensity for rapid mutation.

        And this is how our world will end. Probably for the best.

        • Andre

          Unvaccinated are now responsible for the pandemic being a serious ongoing problem in many nations. As well as providing the reservoir for lots of opportunities for the virus to mutate. That's why it's now commonly being called a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

          But for the vaccinated, there is still enough residual risk from the disease that the voluntary disease spreaders are still a genuine risk. Because while the vaccines have astonishingly high efficacy, they're not perfect.

          • McFlock

            I agree with all that. I just think it's unworkable. We either have a high enough vax rate to stamp out outbreaks without regional lockdowns, or we don't open the borders.

            • Andre

              I can't see that strategy lasting beyond November 2023, even if our current government is foolish enough to pursue it (barring dramatic increases in infectiousness and virulence and dramatic decreases in vaccine efficacy in the interim). I really doubt the responsible vaccinated majority will have any tolerance for antisocial unvaxed arseholes trying to keep the border closed for their protection.

              Once everyone in NZ that wants the vaccine has got it, which is likely very early next year, then reasonable border restrictions might be something like verified vaccinated citizens and permanent residents, with recent negative tests, can come straight in, while unvaccinated citizens and permanent residents do a managed isolation. Verified fully vaccinated visitors with recent negative tests may also come straight in. A hard nope to visitors not verified fully vaccinated with an NZ-approved vaccine.

              Then there will be outbreaks in local pockets of low vaccination, but hopefully they'll be sufficiently spread out that our health system doesn't get overwhelmed.

              • Ad

                The PM is doing some big show about post-Covid New Zealand on Thursday.

                • Andre

                  Hope they have TVs at the vax centre. I wanna watch as I get my first lot of Bill-Gates-mind-control-5G-microchips installed. Take my mind off the harpoon they're gonna gore me with.

          • joe90

            a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

            And the reinfected.

            Among Kentucky residents infected with SARS-CoV-2 in 2020, vaccination status of those reinfected during May–June 2021 was compared with that of residents who were not reinfected. In this case-control study, being unvaccinated was associated with 2.34 times the odds of reinfection compared with being fully vaccinated.


            To reduce their likelihood for future infection, all eligible persons should be offered COVID-19 vaccine, even those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.


            • Andre


              No doubt boffins are furiously trying to tease out whether immunity from infection is weaker and fades faster than immunity from vaccination, or whether the fading immunity is purely a function of time since the most recent infection or vaccination.

            • Ad

              Once New Zealand gets down to 10% unvaccinated we can put a bounty on their heads and hunt them all down with blowdarts.

              • Andre

                Anyone without detectable working microchips will be fair game!

                • Ad

                  Or just fire up those Painted Apple Moth planes.

                  Maybe just an air freshener squirt into mall air conditioning.

                  Or human herd track-and-tracing like the M. Bovis eradication regime.

                  Tent towns for the unwashed like Bantustans.

                  Who needs a Bill of Rights in a health crisis.

          • mauī

            Let's be clear that this is your clearly biased opinion – that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and that they are responsible, to be blamed, etc, etc.

            It also has the appearance of misinformation, case in point –

            In its latest COVID-19 update, Public Health England (PHE) also warned there were early signs that people who have been inoculated may be able to transmit the Delta strain as easily as those who have not received any jabs.

            From July 19 to August 2, 55.1 percent of the 1,467 people hospitalised with the Delta variant were unvaccinated, PHE said, while 34.9 percent – or 512 people – had received two doses.


            • Andre

              That piece notably omitted any mention of differences in outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated.

              Our World in Data sez that on July 19, about 55% of the UK population were fully vaccinated, with another 13% partially vaccinated, leaving 32% unvaccinated. So the unvaccinated, at 55% of the population, are clearly over-represented in the hospitalisation stats, while the fully vaccinated are under-represented.

              Clearly the vaccines help. Without even needing to go into the demographic analysis that the vaccinated groups skew to the older and with co-morbidities.

              For anyone interested in diving into the weeds of how stats like those presented above get misrepresented, here's a good fact-check of the Provincetown outbreak also used by anti-vaxers to claim the vaccines weren't working:


            • McFlock

              About 75 percent of the UK’s adult population has received two shots to date.

              So a maximum of a quarter of the population have half the total hospitalisations (not to mention ventilators vs non-ICU beds if they get it worse than vaccinated people).

              But please, tell us more about how 3/4 of the population seem to account for only a third of hospitalisations, and how this is somehow vindication of vaccine hesita stupidity.

              • mauī

                Worse outcomes for the unvaccinated doesn't equate to a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" however.

                Take a look at the Israel health data for instance and tell me that the vaccinated have nothing to do with cases and serious illness.

                • McFlock

                  If you don't get that a pool of unvaccinated people act as a reservoir for illness that affects everyone else (even if at a lower rate and lower severity on average), then that stupidity is everyone else's problem.

          • Foreign Waka

            Andre Most unvaccinated people are in Asia and Africa, South America. If you remember, there was a bidding war going on by the "rich" nations shoring up vaccines and the under developed nations are just left behind. They are not able to afford the prices in the open market.

            It will be the rich intrepid traveller that poses the biggest risk coming from nations where there is no national vaccination program and people are just dying. Flying is and will become extremely expensive. No biggy for the likes of the Google Billionaire.

            The uneven distribution of vaccines due to class thinking that still hasn't left the MOP of colonial nations is the biggest threat to the global health and economies. Add the underlying current I read here and one can also mention freedom of the ordinary foot folk can get lost in that small world thinking too.
            As for NZ, it is shameful that we are running so far behind the 8 ball really. There was enough time and means to get this under way.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              If you remember, there was a bidding war going on by the "rich" nations shoring up vaccines and the under developed nations are just left behind. They are not able to afford the prices in the open market.

              This is actually being discussed..."Vaccine divide underscores the moral bankruptcy of the West"

              What is of real concern is how rabid the anti unvaxxed are here on TS when the whole argument is moot until all of the team of 5 million have been offered the jab.

              We're barely out of the vaccine roll out starting gate and already those with just cause to be wary are being exiled or hunted down and shot.

              It's almost as if these staunch lefties have been waiting for such an opportunity to arise.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                "…and already those with just cause to be wary [of te shot] are being exiled or hunted down and shot."

                Rosemary, I hope that’s fake news – if it's true then the police should to be informed, but mind not to waste their time.

              • RedLogix

                Vaccine divide underscores the moral bankruptcy of the West"

                While I'm not going to quibble that – perhaps it might also be worth pointing out that from a global perspective we don't have any organisation with a mandate to act on this.

                The nearest we have is WHO, but as Helen Clark was at pains to point out in a recent ABC panel discussion on this – contrary to what we imagine the WHO doesn't have the ability to administer health programs unilaterally. It can observe and report, but it can only act with the express support of the nation states.

              • Foreign waka

                I don't even call them leftist but rather the new Stalinistas. The pattern fits somehow.


                • McFlock

                  Well, that seems like a totally reasonable pattern to see /sarc

                  Pareidolia meets paranoia, much?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          You'd think it was the unvaccinated who are responsible for Covid 19 and its propensity for rapid mutation.

          That's mis/disinformation. While evolutionary processes (replication errors and natural selection, albeit aided and abetted by human wanderlust) are most likely 'responsible' for Covid-19 and it's variants, 'te virus' has a low mutation rate compared to other well known viruses.

          The coronavirus is mutating — does it matter?
          Different SARS-CoV-2 strains haven’t yet had a major impact on the course of the pandemic, but they might in future.
          But sequencing data suggest that coronaviruses change more slowly than most other RNA viruses, probably because of a ‘proofreading’ enzyme that corrects potentially fatal copying mistakes. A typical SARS-CoV-2 virus accumulates only two single-letter mutations per month in its genome — a rate of change about half that of influenza and one-quarter that of HIV, says Emma Hodcroft, a molecular epidemiologist at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

          And this is how our world will end. Probably for the best.

          Yes, regrettably, not everyone will make it, imho. Evolution has equipped Homo sapiens with all the tools necessary for the continuance of this iteration of civilisation, but self-destructive social/societal patterns of behaviour have accumulated too rapidly to be corrected by evolution. Since too few are prepared to make the required behavioural changes in a timely manner, spaceship Earth is making the course adjustments for us.

        • McFlock

          And this is how our world will end. Probably for the best.

          Europe didn't end when a third of its population died from the Black Death. It didn't even end feudalism. Covid ain't going to make the sky fall.

  2. aom 2

    Max Bradford's sick joke to feed financial ticket clippers should be put to bed immediately – with a healthy dose of re-nationalisation!

    • Graeme 2.1

      Strangely there seems to be a bit of consensus within parliament on a separation of generation and retail, or other changes to the Bradford reforms.

      National Party energy spokeswoman Barbara Kuriger said the party was discussing its “Bradford reforms” of the industry and was open to the idea of structural separation.

      “It is fair to say that I am open to all options being put on the table, that being one of them,” Kuriger said.

      And the Government view,

      Energy Minister Megan Woods said in April that structural separation would “probably, maybe” need to be revisited in future but was not on her current work programme.

      She indicated the Government was unlikely to consider major reforms of the power market until it knew the outcome of its NZ Battery Project.

      The big maybe is the outcome of the Lake Onslow investigations because Onslow would make the current market arrangement untenable, whichever player controlled Onslow would have the others at it's mercy. So in this case a good old SOE generator makes sense.

      Whether the value of the generation / retail split would fall 50 / 50 in line with the Government's share holding in Meridian, Genesis and Mighty River I don't know, but it may be close. That leaves a deal with Contact and some sort of arrangement with the minor generators, most who existed pre Bradford. So probably not that off the planet.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        It would be a winner winner chicken dinner if National came out with a bold energy reform plan while Labour's Energy Minister Wood is just fluffing about with bullshit report after bullshit report, and foolish quackery like the Lake Onslow Dam that won't see the light of day until mid next year, let alone something to actually build.

        And do it in winter when everyone's electricity bill are at their worst.

        • Graeme

          Once the outcome of all the bullshit reports becomes apparent Kuriger will be doing her best to announce that, and say it's all her idea. SOP for the current national party. But it's pleasing to see that they have recognised that the Bradford reforms, and maybe the Key partial sell off, aren't really a vote winner going forward.

          What have you got against Onslow, apart from it's at the wrong end of the country.

          • Ad

            Onslow Battery Dam has zero support across the entire public service, nor in the generators. Dr Keith Turner has somehow persuaded Minister Woods and Minister Parker to form massive new generation before Tiwai Point closes and all that power gets redirected into the market.

            We also have an Electricity Agency legislative remit that appears to have little to do with the new proposed RMA discussion draft.

            There are now however 5 options contesting each other that will come out of the woodwork mid next year (they say March but whatever).

            Consultants are of course dreaming up foolishness upon foolishness in each of them. By the time anything is ready to build, whole 10-year careers will have evolved through their testing.

            Some time after that someone is going to seek funding to do one of them, from somewhere. This lot will get one more term, but it's just another whopper project that exists in Ministers' minds …

            … but will go the same way as the Waitemata Cycle Crossing, Waitemata Second Traffic Crossing, Light Rail, Wellington transport improvements, electricity system reform, housing reform, water governance reform, or anything else of substance.

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      Yes Bradford should hang his head in shame for his hamfisted privatisation of power in NZ.

      BTW aom I followed your link through to a spreadsheet that shows the raw data where NZ power has been sourced from in the last 10 months.I couldn't resist working out the percentage of power from coal over this period….It turns out to be 5.3%, not the widely media headlined 10%.

      Still not good enough. I'm sure alternative sources are in the pipeline, but this takes time. Now if we were to stop providing huge amounts of massively subsidised power to the Bluff smelter coal use would end almost overnight. (From memory my understanding is that the power lines to distribute this Manapouri power to the rest of the country will be in place next year-someone out there will know the exact details)

      • Stuart Munro 2.2.1

        Bradford should hang his head in shame for his hamfisted privatisation of power in NZ.

        Some things the citizenry have to do themselves, or watch all their assets get stolen.

  3. Morrissey 3

    Still no answer from New Zealand's leading thinker….

  4. Morrissey 4

    Getting rid of John Banks hasn't much improved this despicable organization

    Just as with NZME, the rot at MediaWorks starts with senior management….

    … Respondents also reported repeatedly hearing derogatory terms like "slut" or "hoe" used in the office.

    Twenty eight respondents reported hearing racially discriminatory language from company leaders.

    One senior employee was reported as saying “no one buys [radio station] as brown people don’t have money”, referring to commercial advertising sales.

    Another requested that a staff member "tone down the Māori".

    The survey results found 45% of women and 34% of men had witnessed some form of bullying, with most of those reports focused on senior managers or senior employees in the company's radio division. …

    • Incognito 4.1

      Was John Banks senior management at NZME or MediaWorks!? You learn something new every day …

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        No, Banks was what the senior management boffins at MediaWorks call "the talent." The likes of Sean Plunket and Peter Williams are similarly honored with that descriptor.

  5. Forget now 5

    Something about this is really setting off alarm bells to me, but I can't pin down exactly why yet. The timetable to start closing Wakari ward 11 in 3 months, without any clear destination for the patients is definitely part of it. But also; what happens to the land when the hospital is decommissioned? The secure ward is over behind trees by a road, so wouldn't get too much in the way of subdivision if; say, a DHB was so short on funding that it was considering flogging off assets to cover the co-announced boost to; Maori mental-health provider funding, on top of maintenance, and other operating costs.

    Dilapidated and inadequate mental health facilities at Wakari must be closed down, according to a new report which does not say where they would go instead.

    "Time For Change", an independent Southern District Health Board-commissioned review of mental health and addiction services in Otago and Southland, was released yesterday…

    Preliminary designs for the new Dunedin Hospital include a possible dedicated emergency psychiatric service, but mental health services were omitted…

    Mental health service reviews had been done in 2004 and 2010 but nothing had improved.

    It's taking me a while to get through the 136 page report itself. The consultancy firm; Synergia, seems to be linked with Rebstock, who I recall as an; ex-treasury consultant during the Key government. I guess it's a reputable enough company (certainly seems to get a fair few government contracts anyway) – the language they use does bring this old song to mind though.

  6. Incognito 7

    Contrary to the title, this strong and empathetic piece is mostly about the food industry.

    In essence, we are being gaslit about our health on a grand scale by these people [in the food industry] and the people in politics who help them by flying the ‘personal responsibility’ flag.

    When handling food and eating it, it pays to have clean hands.

    • WeTheBleeple 7.1

      Is newsroom normally worth reading? That was excellent.

      "The people running large food companies have been degrading our health and our kids' health and wellbeing for years with their nutritionally empty products, that they aggressively market, especially to children…"

      And taxpayers foot the enormous economic and social costs of letting these rats in the pantry.

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        Personally, I find Newsroom a source of excellent articles that delve a bit deeper than on your typical NZ news site. I think you’d like the Yesterdaze posts by James Elliott, which is sometimes bordering on brilliance, IMHO (

        • Matiri

          I particularly enjoy Mark Daalder's articles for Newsroom – senior political reporter based in Wellington who covers Covid-19, climate change, energy, primary industries, technology and the far-right.

        • WeTheBleeple

          James is a person I really like, so yes, I'd be interested in reading him. Cheers for the heads up, I have been despairing the state of most journalism lately.

          But journalism is still orders of magnitude smarter than the comments following any science article on any media, sheesh – are we really that dumb? Frightening…

          Edit: James has not lost an ounce of the old wit. Good stuff.

          Mark Daalder’s topics are my cup of tea too, thanks Matira.

          • WeTheBleeple

            And sorry for getting your name wrong – Matiri. blush

            • Matiri

              This is a particularly good article from Marc *corrected spelling 😉 Daalder – We TheBleeple

              • WeTheBleeple

                Very interesting. Going to go a bit askew from topic here. I agree that Farmers (and the rest of us) are suffering a mental health crisis which needs addressing. It is hard to not feel like a victim with the 'weight of the world' on one's shoulders.

                But, given help (support and understanding) one might go from victim to hero of their own narrative. As Shakespeare pointed out 'nothing is so good or bad as thinking makes it so'.

                From where I'm sitting, the biggest hurdle we face is mental health. Depression and anxiety make us guarded, fearful, isolated (in echo chambers but still isolated) and resentful of the 'other'. For me personally, productivity/usefulness takes a steep decline. How do we fight climate change, covid, and other huge issues when we are reduced to bickering factions or simply isolate in depression.

                I can only reach across an aisle when I am (relatively) mentally well. Tasks requiring all hands on deck require cooperation and care, while currently the climate being generated is one of conflict. Media and politicians both propagate the divides at least to some extent.

                The government needs to recognise that they can only bring the team of 5 million along for the ride if the team is functional. It is my opinion mental health is the number one priority. From the kneejerk way people react to covid and climate, we're all frayed round the edges and need some significant help to address the monumental tasks at hand.

                It's all just a bit too real. Withdrawing, or pretending there is no problem is perfectly understandable. I saw all this climate stuff coming, and thought we'd shift as weather pummelled the resistance out of us. But I did not see the mental health crisis it would create, nor the covid combo, nor the absolute inhumanity of capitalism's leaders, taking advantage of and propagating chaos.

                We can sift through the bullshit with clear heads. There are powerful forces who do not want us united in any manner. Stupid is much easier to sell to.

    • Ad 8.1

      Sushi on the rocks.

      Last time we got close to marine generation was off Pouto Point in the Kaipara Harbour. Died from objections.

  7. Morrissey 9

    Sports Talk, with DONALD J. TRUMP

    Recent inane comments by sports commentator Donald Trump will have rung a bell with former sufferers of Murray Deaker's insufferable sports talk program from the 1990s….

    … Earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump had railed against the American team in a bizarre statement.

    “If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the Gold Medal instead of the Bronze,” the former president wrote. “Woke means you lose, everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has.”

    Sports journalist Jeff Kassouf responded on Twitter with the long list of victories, which Ms Wambach then retweeted. The medals spoke for themselves.

  8. Muttonbird 10

    In a not so rare political misstep today, the leader of the opposition, Arnold Rimmer, attacked Jacinda Ardern and the NZ government for allowing rugby players (the Wallabies) into the country.

    I think, while performing his Vaudeville routine, he forgot his own audience. :nod:

    • WeTheBleeple 10.1

      Maybe, or nothing to lose while Collins is stealing news cycles for being a total clown. But, imagine if they bring the rona with them… massive gain for Seymour.

      The most underestimated villain, but a villain to beware of.

  9. Forget now 11

    Not exactly a nailbiting election, but Shaw has managed to hold onto his coleadership of the GP for another year. Whether he will continue to be male coleader still remains to be seen tomorrow. Though 4 to 116 with 20 abstentions is more than I thought the challenger would get, and does establish a precedent for Shaw being challenged closer to 2023 election:

    Shaw said he was very grateful to have such strong support from the party.

    Twenty delegates abstained from the vote, but Shaw said this was unsurprising.

    "That is quite a similar number to the people who voted against going into the co-operation agreement [with the Labour party] in the first place.

    Also, from text of Davidson's AGM speech:

    …from May and over three months we held community led engagement to help create a national strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence.

    Now that this is completed, the National Strategy and Action Plans are being drafted for Cabinet consideration in September. I am so grateful to the deep insights that people have given to inform this strategy. They gave their experiences with generosity and hope for real change and peaceful lives for all.

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