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Open mike 07/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 7th, 2020 - 55 comments
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55 comments on “Open mike 07/12/2020 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Could someone please explain to me why Labour is suddenly required (with just a week of sitting days in the house) to implement policies it promised it wouldn't, or it didn't campaign on or are nowhere to be found in it's manifesto?

    As far as I can tell, the demands are coming from Greens (total votes – 162,000) who DEMAND Labour (total votes 1,443,000) do it's bidding on tax and climate and from sundry flotsam and jetsam of the left who could barely manage to get their deposit back amongst them if they actually ran for office demanding Labour use it's absolute majority to act in an imperial way that, if the boot were on the other foot and there were 77 National, ACT and Maori party MPs, would have then predicting the imminent stamping of the jackboot of fascism on the throat of democracy?

    I just don't get it. Labour won an absolute majority because of Jacinda's brilliant handling of COVID. They didn't win because they promised radical tax reform or drastic climate change action, so why would anyone expect them to and have an utter snowflake meltdown when they don't?

    The oddest thing is that no one on the left has yet worked out Ardern’s leadership style. Jacinda likes to be dragged “reluctantly” to the consensus – no, we don’t need masks. Until the public screams for them, then she implements them, but only on PT which is enough for now. No, we don’t need to use the military on the border – until the public is screaming for it then, OK. Expect her to wait until the public is completely wanting a wealth tax or climate change action before she will “reluctantly” move to break a promise.

    • Stuart Munro 1.1

      They were elected to govern, in response to a term where they governed the Covid response.

      Sitting on their hands through a housing crisis and whining "It's market forces, what can I do?" is a failure that will lose them a healthy chunk of that unprecedented support.

    • gsays 1.2

      You answer your own question.

      Folk hollering for action on housing affordability and alleviating poverty (call it inequality or child poverty), are the ones you refer to with "Until the public screams for them…"

    • Phillip ure 1.3

      y'see sanctuary ..

      as a paid -up member of that 'flotsam and jetsam' you refer to..

      I would like to point that your claim that ardern/labour offered s.f.a…is correct ..

      and if you took the short-view..ok..

      now..I dunno about the rest of the 'flotsam and jetsam' ..but this f&j looks a bit further back…

      ..to 2016 ..where I believed the (seemingly) heartfelt pledges from j.ardern to 'transform' the lives of the poverty-stricken….(and do a bunch of other 'transformational' stuff…but we'll stick with the poverty one for simplicities sake)

      now..along with many others I believed j.ardern…back in 2016..

      and to now finding that in her 4th year of power…j.ardrn is pointing back to the paltry $25 increase from last year..as the example of her ‘transforming’..is dismaying..to say the least..

      and need I remind you that not one of the 42 recommendations of the welfare reform group..(set up by ardern)..has been fully implemented…a couple of examples of incrementalisation on part of a couple..

      so I hope this helps to explain why this f&j is somewhat pissed..

      I am looking back at a litany of broken promises from j.ardern..

      and meanwhile…in the 4th year of her turn at the helm..

      those suffering in 2016…still are .

      the country/system is fucked/broken on so many levels…and needing wholesale reform..

      and we are just getting more of the same…more neoliberal-incrementalism ..same as clark..same as key…

      with j.ardern just the latest of these 'leaders' to just not care enough…to do anything meaningful about what blights us..

      and your use of just that recent manifesto…as the whole basis of yr argument/refuting the plaints of the f&j's..and just ignoring all those previous 'heartfelt' pledges from j.ardern..

      really is sophistry/spin of the highest order…eh..?

      • Sanctuary 1.3.1

        Yes, but I guess I am applying the Fermi paradox to voting – if there is so much demand for action, where are all the voters?

        • Phillip ure

          perhaps..like me.. remembering those promises..

          and still waiting..

          and you point the finger at the people/voters..?

          I am talking about the words/promises of j.ardern…

          are you saying they are/were said just to get elected ..?

          and that those waiting need to take to the streets..?

        • Tiger Mountain

          Passivity and alienation reigns for much of the underclass and precarious/low wage employed; 35 plus years after the mass Rogernomics layoffs, and 30 years after the Ruthanasia MOAB–cuts to the working class never made up, let alone increased. Organised workers power, private sector in particular, gutted by Bill Birch and the 1991 ECA.

          Ignoring that sector drags the rest of the country down. 28 $bill for the Reserve Bank to do with what it will, massive COVID bailouts to profitable companies that did not even need the money!–and which in many cases never reached the workers who had their leave confiscated to boot.

          Not even a few hundred lousy bucks Xmas Bonus for beneficiaries. There will be reaction into next year–as signalled by the 70 NGOs pushing for benefit rises and the 42 Working Group recommendations to be implemented.

    • Ad 1.4

      Good description of her style.

      Ardern's Facebook and Twitter accounts are so huge she could probably crowdsource new policy anyway.

      It's also really easy to forget how bold Labour have been in other areas. No other New Zealand government has dropped over $30 billion in 6 months just to keep business and jobs sustained.

      Not making tax changes (other than to the top rate) is a signal that the government understands how brittle the entire society is let alone the economy. They much prefer printing money and throwing it out the window than tax changes to property. Keep protecting the propertied class and they will keep voting you back in. Roll on 2026.

      • greywarshark 1.4.1

        How about printing money and giving some out to people around Christmas and the holidays. Good for business and will bring some families together resulting in some connectedness and a little happiness. That would be a nice change in NZ for the strugglers. It would be appreciated and be more respectful to the poor than randomly firing notes at crowds who have to compete and fight for the folding stuff like children at a lolly scramble.

        • Ad

          But that's exactly how it would be reported. There's no political upside to helicopter cash like that – especially not after the Warehouse debacle.

          • greywarshark

            There is an upside from the poor receiving assistance at Christmas which can be linked to helping those suffering from Covid lockdowns and restrictions who haven't had help in other ways.

            You lack imagination Ad in your political judgments.

            • Ad

              They might surprise us, but there hasn't been much surprise so far. The big job subsidy scheme has ended. If the economy was tanking you might have seen another one of those packages like they announced in December 2017.

              It hasn't.

              They will leave their surprises for Budget 2021.

          • Phillip ure

            @ ad..

            but the corporate welfare is ok..?

            • Ad

              We're still only just over 5% headline unemployed.

              The corporate welfare is OK.

            • gsays

              Certainly landlord welfare is trucking along nicely in the form of Accomodation Supplement.

        • Gareth Wilson

          Say what you will about the Joker, at least he used real money.

    • NOEL 1.5

      Just before one of the lockdowns the only candidate who got his opportunity at our community get together was the Labour Coromandel candidate.

      At the time Free Range Stats had Labour to been able to govern alone.

      I asked would Labour bow to other parties if they could govern alone.

      He said he didn't know. I suggested he have a word with Jacinda that if I voted for him I would expect that they don't.

    • weka 1.6

      It's the Green Party's job to pull Labour leftward and greenward so I can't see reasonable criticism there. But I have also found it odd how many of the general public are talking about the mandate thing. Surely the mandate is to do what they said they would do (which isn't much)? Otoh, obviously some Labour voters at least assumed Labour would do more, I'd like to know why.

  2. Treetop 2

    For people who require counselling due to Whakaari a group of psychologists and counsellors in the Bay of Plenty are providing the sevice for free. ACC only funds counselling for a work related injury or injury relating to force.

    It is not good enough when an incident like Whakaari occurs and ACC are not providing counselling. This should not be left to the health system.

    Support people of those injured and emergency workers who attend incidents when counselling is required it needs to be funded.

    I expect that there are gaps in counselling for the terror attacks which occurred on March 15 2019.

    • Treetop 2.1

      ACC covers a work related mental injury and mental injury that was a result of a physical injury.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Amazing how like a solvent compassion and real service are displayed in government agency circles. They just disappear into the air a bit like methylated spirits; in this Whakaari case, the spirits of tragedy remain.

        Further on Whakaari.

        • Treetop

          It appears as though no one was aware of the danger of being on Whakaari or if they were they failed to speak out.

          It is about picking up the pieces when it comes to exceptional incidents when government agencies played a part in a traumatic incident. Woodhouse who had a lot to do with designing ACC did not forsee a Erebus, terrorist attack, Pike River, Cave Creek, Whakaari, Royal Commission into Abuse in Care.

          ACC legislation has not caught up with the psychology of today when it comes to the impact which an exceptional incident can have on people who are not currently covered.

          First responders are not covered for accumulated mental injury. It is my understanding that it needs to be a specific incident.

          ACC needs major change when it comes to mental injury caused by organisational failure. Someone needs to take responsibility when people have been irresponsible.

          • greywarshark

            Certainly the ACC rules need to take in the mental stresses. We are all under constant mental stress these days, trying to work out a life pattern from what is offered, and come to terms with it never being what it is said to be. As Manuel would say Que'?

            My idea about it all. Any added trauma can break the synthesis of an individual set up between brain and mind, whereby the brain registers reality and the mind processes it for a memory of something understandable and acceptable.

            We have to be like the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland and here are some good quotes – I think only humour will see us through:

            #1 “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said: ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’

            ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.‘”

            2 ″‘You couldn’t have it if you did want it,’ the Queen said. ‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.’

            ‘It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day,″ Alice objected.

            ‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.‘”

            https://bookroo.com/quotes/the-white-queen (I have a feeling that this is an Oz site.)

            • Treetop

              Until real change occurs with broken down systems those caught up in the broken system are being harmed by it.

              We all have daily stress in our lives. The area I am interested in is stress which warrants an inquiry and emergency/first responders being impacted in their work and a schedule 3 claim under ACC. I want to see all in the above being covered for a mental injury with or without physical force.

              Another area which requires change is what is accepted and not accepted when a ACC whole person impairment is done.

              Since the inception of ACC I have seen the legislation for a mental injury be watered down. ACC is hard to navigate and a lawyer is required for an historic or a complex case.

  3. Anker 3


    some excellent research on partner violence in NZ.

    I am concerned that an unhelpful ideological framework for understanding domestic violence may capture the decision makers and muddy the waters. I raise this having read an article by Dr Debbie Hager, newsroom this morning. I don’t disagree with all of it. Will try and post the article soon

    • gsays 3.1

      Thanks Anker for the link, interesting reading.

      Here is the link to Dr Hager's Newsroom article.


    • gsays 3.2

      A lot of what Dr Hager reckons, is contradicted by the evidence in the Dunedin Study, eg. from the Newsroom article –

      " There are men who are harmed, and women who abuse, but primarily it is men’s violence against women and other men."

      contrasted with

      "About 27 percent of women and 34 percent of men among the Dunedin study members reported they had been physically abused by their partner. About 37 percent of women and 22 percent of men said they had perpetrated the violence." from the study.

      Dr Hager is of the understanding that it is male power at the root of this family harm. I suppose if you are inclined to "study hegemonic masculinity" you are bound to come to the conclusions she comes to. Again this is at odds with the Dunedin study. It cites mental ill-health as part of the problem –

      "Abused Dunedin women were three times more likely to suffer a mental illness than nonabused women. The male perpetrators were 13 times more likely to be mentally ill than nonperpetrators. The types of mental illnesses among perpetrators varied; they included anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol and drug dependence, antisocial personality disorder, and schizophrenia."

      Also – "The rate for female perpetrators was virtually identical to the rate for female victims, and the rate for male victims was nearly identical to the rate for male perpetrators."

  4. Bearded Git 4

    A CGT is really off the table now because (IMHO) most of the CG's have already been made and CGT will never be imposed retrospectively.

    It follows that a Wealth Tax or a Land Tax is what is needed….though a first good step would be a 10 year "bright line" test.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      What about death duty, stamp duty and such so we can regain some of the unearned income tax we didn't get before from a very profitable commercial transaction?

  5. Andre 5

    Uh-oh. It's 2020, so of course the undead can get covid too. Yes, Oozy Ghouliani has it. As if judges weren't sufficiently unimpressed just talking evidence-free shit in their courtrooms, now they'll be wondering if he's been superspreading in them as well.


  6. lprent 6

    I've been using firefox 83.0 on ubuntu 20.04 for the last few days. It is really pretty damn good by my usual criteria – as it doesn't get in my way when I'm working.

    It is way better than when I last tried for longer than just page testing – which would be a year or possibly two ago.

    Yesterday and today it is usually snappier than Chrome reloads on this sites pages and a couple of others that I commonly use – like recently Stack Overflow, wikipedia, ars technicia, and businessdesk.

    I found it sluggish and annoying a few years ago. Have they done some serious work on it since then?

    I don't use many plugins or anything else on browsers. So these will be current distro versions. The machine that I'm on is a 2017 Ryzen 1700 with 48Gb RAM and NVMe drive. So nothing too fancy.

    • lprent 6.1

      Looked the the upgrade list for 83

      Firefox keeps getting faster as a result of significant updates to SpiderMonkey, our JavaScript engine, you will now experience improved page load performance by up to 15%, page responsiveness by up to 12%, and reduced memory usage by up to 8%. We have replaced part of the JavaScript engine that helps to compile and display websites for you, improving security and maintainability of the engine at the same time.

      Had a look at the memory – much much leaner than chrome now.

      Ummm 82

      Firefox is faster than ever with improved performance on both page loads and start up time:

      • Websites that use flexbox-based layouts load 20% faster than before;
      • Restoring a session is 17% quicker, meaning you can more quickly pick up where you left off;
      • For Windows users, opening new windows got quicker by 10%.


  7. greywarshark 7


    I heard some of this earlier. They are being advised by a US 'expert' have Australian input etc. Can we get some NZ Investment Trust? or some viable government business share in this new area of business. So that we have real control and benefit from medicinal cannabis, not just be an outpost for some financiers gaining dominance over everything good and needed in the world, cf houses, water? Can we be really smart and protect our interests, instead of giving them away for nearly free for others to profit from? That's so old colonial-style. Have we advanced mentally to a state of sharp mental acuity?

  8. greywarshark 8

    Perhaps there was no need-o for this company's products as we have plenty of other companies soaking up every available dollar here like it's blotting paper. It just took Covid to show this in quick and unmistakeable reality. We are a country with population less than a city in more populous countries – just 5 million. Not the whole of the UK or some European country. Let's fucking get real and get down to running the country ourselves benefitting ourselves, instead of letting these elevating wealth gods spend their tainted credit here and siphon everything away. As someone said here, they want to pay workers here in NZ third world money in a first world economy and enjoy that first world lifestyle for themselves.


    The shop operated from a 27,000 square metre development, dubbed the country's biggest single retail store, and has about 100 staff.

    Five months since huge amounts of capital were poured into starting this, based on consumerism in a country that teeters on the edge of austerity, always managing to stay upright like a toddler just keeping going on its own momentum. How come capitalists say they have the answers to everything? How wasteful, destructive and short-term thinking they show themselves to be.

    Can everyone, many, a few, see this? Are we blind and stupid, dazzled by the propaganda and false images and air of success and respectability created by the public relations of the upper class? Getting us wanting, wanting, addicted to machinery, novelty and systems of sham opulence, but eventually empty and inhuman.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Back in 1984 if Nostrodamus or a modern believed version had foreseen that Auckland the go-ahead city would have local boards mulling over how to keep public facilities going, the pollies just might have paused for thought.


    Auckland local boards hope to avoid closures to public facilities like toilets and playgrounds, as they help Auckland Council to slash its expenses.

    The council is forecasting a $1 billion deficit by 2024 due to Covid-19, and has recently released a draft 10-year budget that includes a range of cost-curbing measures.

    How convenient, it is all Covid-19s fault. Not the fact that they are constantly and excessively overstretched for all facilities and services through their profligate encouragement of the freemarket and neolib disdain of government and taxes and instead to have business define the pattern of life. Well the pattern is faded, and the fashionable buy jeans that have professionally cut holes in them. That is how demented these people putting themselves forward as role models are.

    An interesting quote. Coud this happen to us under the clever and crazed who have much education and little knowledge?

    Glasgow went through a tough time in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher’s government and unemployment rose to about 26 percent in the city, he said…

    Then Thatcher came along and the jobs went which had knock-on effects, one of which was lowering life expectancy by 14 years, Stuart said.

  10. Cricklewood 10

    All I can say is wow… I never realized how much went towards film subsidies. Yet be have a massive housing and homelessness problem child poverty etc… 5% of all new spending in the last budget… more than the benifit increase combined… its just insane.


    • greywarshark 10.1

      Uncapped. Some contraceptives needed here to stop this growth in our dependent subsidised films from overseas. It was okay as a starter but should be set to get lower quickly and then held there for a while.

      • Nic the NZer 10.1.1

        Unfortunately, rather than explaining to the government that uncapped subsidies may cause an uncapped budget blowout (which is of little concern) though it may lead to a lot of films being produced in NZ. Treasury appears to be arguing there should be consequences, with suggestions about other cuts that the govt could implement in an attempt to maintain the existing deficit.

        • greywarshark

          I'm just a pawn on the War Table to be pushed around by a long stick or the tech equivalent. NZ Treasury isn't really interested in people it's the pure economic model that is so inviting. This is an example of a contract lecturer demonstrating with a pigeon how people can be incentivised to behave to ensure the model operates to maximum.

          • Nic the NZer

            Hopefully treasury are not using operative conditioning on the government. The behaviorist model of phychology has been shown to be pretty simplistic, unable to account for learning by observation and therefore unlikely to work on more complex organisms than a finance minister.

  11. observer 11

    TV1 Colmar Brunton poll out at 6 pm, for no obvious reason. Will Jacinda resign if she doesn't have the numbers? (spoiler: No).

    It would be funny if National and/or Collins go up in this pointless poll … "The people have spoken, I'm staying on!".

    Also, if the Greens are at 4.9% will the networks just decide to "give" them Auckland Central, as they have done for ACT in Epsom over many years? They should.

    • weka 11.1

  12. weka 12

    I'm curious how lefties rationalise this one.

    • observer 12.1

      Straightforward, really. It is not the responsibility of the NZ government to save the USA and UK from the consequences of their leaders' decisions. Even Brazil elected its leader.

      That's if we're talking about "the hardest hit". Not synonymous with "poorest".

      • weka 12.1.1

        I was thinking more of India and other countries where the health systems will struggle. But I'm still not sure why a country that has eliminated covid should be pushing for vaccines when other countries are still inundated with deaths. Don't even need to parse the political cluster fuck that is the US and the UK, although we might want to consider the large numbers of people that normally travel back and forth and how that will impact us if we end up with an imperfect vaccine.

        Getting frontline staff in NZ vaccinated makes sense. I don't know what the government plan is beyond that.

    • Ad 12.2

      It's reward for a centralized public health system including Pharmac and ACC and MoH, putting orders in early, rewarding a strong government with a compliant population … all brought to you by Labour.

  13. Ad 13

    Ardern demands that The Warehouse make a public apology for chucking 'free money' last weekend, but won't apologize for throwing an untagged $40 billion of our money at employers and then wondering why house prices went through the roof.

    • observer 13.1

      Fish. Basketball. Tornado.

      (is that the game, throwing unrelated things together randomly as if it means something?).

    • Nic the NZer 13.2

      I thought the problem was that they didn't chuck free money. Maybe Ardern should have given out vouchers to employers instead?

  14. UncookedSelachimorpha 14

    Yet another article with employers complaining about the lack of low-paid RSE workers and saying they can't get NZ workers.

    At no point is the pay on offer mentioned or discussed, including under the subheading "What More Can Be Done?"

    One advert I found for orchard work in Hawkes Bay (the subject of the article) indicates wages at or only slightly above minimum wage, and no guaranteed hours of work. You also need to bring your own "reliable transport" – and no accommodation is on offer, so pay for that too (all on zero-hours minimum wage!).

    These industries need to PAY MORE.

    • Maurice 14.1

      "These industries need to PAY MORE"

      Perhaps we just need to go to the Supermarket/Fruit shop/Alternative vegan Stores and voluntarily pay TWICE as much to encourage the primary providers to pay more wages?

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 14.1.1

        Paying more for goods is one of the things we need to do to pay people properly. The prices won't need to be double in many cases (for example going to $35/h from $20 is a 75% increase, and labour is only a proportion of the total production cost)

        Of course a lot of the potential customers will have more money in their pockets from higher wages.

    • Graeme 14.2

      Seems there's plenty of willing workers, so remuneration may not be the issue, it's finding 'suitable' workers that seems to be the problem.

      And 'suitable' may have more to do with the worker's ability to earn a profit for the labour hire company than their ability to pick fruit. Hence the preference for RSE workers, they fit the labour hire business model better.

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