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Open mike 08/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 8th, 2023 - 103 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

103 comments on “Open mike 08/03/2023 ”

  1. Jenny are we there yet 1

    Extending the franchise.


    Goldsmith raises not extending the franchise to 16 year olds to youth crime. Doesn't Goldsmith think that practicing civics and letting them have a say might help empower some disempowered young people?

    Government looks set to ditch Jacinda Ardern's attempt to lower voting age

    Glenn McConnell05:00, Mar 08 2022

    ….it’s a distraction of officials’ time. Simply, they should be focused on violent crime, youth crime and delays in the court system.”


    I can almost hear. tough on crime torys like Goldsmith calling for harsher penalties for your offenders, chanting; 'if you can't do the time don't do the crime.'

    Young people deserve adult punishment, but not the right to vote which might empower disempowered young people to lift their horizons above the immediate?

    • RosieLee 1.1

      16 year olds are mostly still at school, have not finished their education,worked, or paid taxes. I do not want adult votes cancelled out by someone with a sense of me/me entitlement who gets all their information from social media.

      • Graeme 1.1.1

        votes cancelled out by someone with a sense of me/me entitlement who gets all their information from social media

        Can you please explain how a 16 year old who is still at school, and will be part of a (presumed) civics curriculum if this happens, will be any different, or more of a threat to our democracy, than a very large portion of the current over 18 electorate.

        • weka

          it's the presumed civics question that interests me. Is that an actual thing?

          Can we make adults do it too?

          • Graeme

            I read a piece a couple of years ago around the start of the things arguing that civics curriculum and 16 were closely linked because it would be more relevant.

            In my education we got a very good civics component (Upper form at Kelston Boys in early 70’s) and were engaged enough to see right through the Dancing Cossacks in 1975.

            • weka

              they should start teaching it now in depth whether the vote gets lowered or not. Start at the beginning of high school. It's such a basic for democracy.

              I don't remember being taught it at all, but I might not have been paying attention either. I did vote the year I turned 18 in the general election.

              • Well, it all depends on what you mean by "Civics" – NZ government and comparative governmental systems are already covered in the NZ social studies curriculum – in several ways at several different ages/stages.

                Here, for example in Level 5 (which is roughly equivalent to Year10)

                • Understand how systems of government in New Zealand operate and affect people’s lives, and how they compare with another system.
                • Understand how the Treaty of Waitangi is responded to differently by people in different times and places.
                • Understand how cultural interaction impacts on cultures and societies.
                • Understand that people move between places and how this has consequences for the people and the places.
                • Understand how economic decisions impact on people, communities, and nations.
                • Understand how people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability.
                • Understand how the ideas and actions of people in the past have had a significant impact on people’s lives.
                • Understand how people seek and have sought economic growth through business, enterprise, and innovation.
                • Understand how people define and seek human rights.


                Year 10 is the last year where AFAIK Social studies is mandatory – once kids are in Year 11 (what used to be 5th form), they are starting to make choices about subjects, and can opt away from soft sciences.

            • Jilly Bee

              There were probably some enlightened secondary schools teaching Civics then. I recall it being suggested that it should be taught in all secondary schools and the then Prime Minister, Rob Muldoon vetoed it straight away as being an insidious communist plot.

          • AB

            Can we make adults do it too?

            I'd guess there are plenty of 16 year-olds who would think that's a good idea.

            Although I am slightly uncomfortable about 16-year-olds voting, I'm not really convinced that the majority of them lack some necessary component that the majority of adults actually have – or that such a lack could be addressed by civics education.

            In reality, civics education would become a contested space like the compulsory teaching of NZ history – ripe with culture war opportunities and filled with denunciations of 'wokeness'.

            It's an academic argument anyway – most adults oppose it because they are scared that 16 year-olds would legislate to take their stuff away and stop them eating meat or flying on aeroplanes more than once a year.

            • weka

              I was thinking of the basics like how MMP works, and what local government does. Shouldn't be hard to teach that in a neutral way (assuming there was a will to neutrality!)

              I'm relieved it's not a goer tbh. It's a complicated issue with lots of aspects factoring into it. For me it's mostly why 16 and not 17 or 14. Or 5, lol, to which one progresssive I know said he supported young children voting.

              • weka

                thinking about it you are probably right. How to teach Te Tiriti without making some people's heads explode.

              • AB

                Yeah the thing about boundaries is a headache. It's a playground for reductio ad absurdum arguments that can run in all directions – "if 16, why not 10" or "if 18 why not 30", or "if we don't start till 18 why not stop at 60"?

                It would be best to settle on an agreed age of adulthood and apply that everywhere. What cuts across that compromise though, is the idea of inter-generational fairness. If young people cannot vote – should there be some auditing of legislation for inter-generational fairness, just as there is for compliance with the BORA? (But the results of the BORA-compliance audits are often ignored I believe)

                • weka

                  auditing for generational fairness makes sense. We should be doing this anyway. However I'm not convinced that people who have the right to vote get treated fairly in that regard eg Māori adults can vote but are outvoted by Pākehā interests. Wealthy mainstream people have more sway than poor and fringe people. And so on.

                  I'm in favour of increasing democracy by participatory means. One person one vote really is a low form of democracy.

                  Not sure about the age of adulthood. Sex, drinking, military, driving, leaving school, youth rates, lots of things don't match up neatly by age. How would we decide which ones to change?

              • Descendant Of Smith

                We learned all that stuff at school in the 60's – even practised mock court sessions to understand how the legal system worked as well.

                Even learned about tsunami's even though we lived hundreds of miles from the sea.

                Didn't realise they'd stopped teaching this stuff.

                • weka

                  apparently something is in the curriculum, in Social Studies, but it's voluntary (for the school I guess?). I couldn't find the actual content.

                  • arkie

                    This is the online portal: https://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum/Social-sciences

                    edit to add: Admittedly I am unable to find the content also. All of the curriculum is undergoing a refresh that will be implemented fully in 2026 apparently.

                    • Try this one

                      Here, for example in Level 5 (which is roughly equivalent to Year10)

                      • Understand how systems of government in New Zealand operate and affect people’s lives, and how they compare with another system.
                      • Understand how the Treaty of Waitangi is responded to differently by people in different times and places.
                      • Understand how cultural interaction impacts on cultures and societies.
                      • Understand that people move between places and how this has consequences for the people and the places.
                      • Understand how economic decisions impact on people, communities, and nations.
                      • Understand how people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability.
                      • Understand how the ideas and actions of people in the past have had a significant impact on people’s lives.
                      • Understand how people seek and have sought economic growth through business, enterprise, and innovation.
                      • Understand how people define and seek human rights.


                      Year 10 is the last year where AFAIK Social studies is mandatory – once kids are in Year 11 (what used to be 5th form), they are starting to make choices about subjects, and can opt away from soft sciences.

                    • weka []

                      where’s the bit that tells the teacher how to teach this,

                      Understand how systems of government in New Zealand operate and affect people’s lives, and how they compare with another system.

                  • AFAIK there is nothing that tells a teacher how to teach a topic in the NZ curriculum.
                    It's outcome focused – and is deliberately designed to be non-specific.

                    "Understand how systems of government in New Zealand operate and affect people’s lives, and how they compare with another system."

                    So, at the end of the 'teaching' the student should be able to demonstrate that they understand how systems of government work in NZ – and compare these to those in other countries.

                    There are lots of different ways a teacher might approach teaching this topic – and lots of different resources they might use for the compare and contrast element.

                    When my son did this last year, they used print, online and film resources. And, were required to produce a report contrasting NZ political systems and their-country-of-choice (each one in the class had to choose a different one) – in a range of specific areas (from memory these included: Political structure (Democracy, Monarchy, Oligarchy, Autocracy, etc.); popular involvement (who can vote, does your vote make a difference); Decision-making structure (who runs the government, courts, etc.) — and a whole lot more – I think there were 10 questions which had to be covered.

                    This was IIRC about a 4-6 week block of work in the Social Studies curriculum.

                    Having said that – I'm sure there are lots of targeted resources on the Dept of Education sites – to assist with resourcing teaching in this area.

                    • weka

                      are you saying that this is literally the only guidance given?

                      "Understand how systems of government in New Zealand operate and affect people’s lives, and how they compare with another system."

                    • What guidance do you need?
                      It's an outcome – which is intended to be able to be objectively measured.

                      The curriculum gives deducational outcomes which have to be achieved/demonstrated – it doesn't tell a teach how to teach.

          • Jenny are we there yet

            I recall the so called 'civic lessons' we had at my high school during election season. But not fondly.
            In the '70's the Cold War was at its height and our teachers were earnestly trying teach us the value of democracy. In social studies class we were made to take part in a mock election. Not allowed to debate any real issues. Not allowed to take part in the real ballot we were given a fake ballot. The lesson I took,was no one cared what we thought. The whole thing was pointless and disempowering. We felt patronised and we let the teacher know it.
            I hope things aren't done that way any more.

            Because this is not how civics should be taught, or how civics is learnt.

            Civics is learnt in the doing.

            If you don't give people a voice, they never learn to use it.

            If you don't give people choices they never learn to make them.


            8 March 2023 at 9:06 am

            it's the presumed civics question that interests me. Is that an actual thing?

            Can we make adults do it too?

            The answer is an emphatic, No!

      • Red Blooded One 1.1.2

        A large portion of over 16yr olds or "adult votes" get their sense of me/me entitlement from equally entitled radio and TV personalities. I don't think it's a policy worth dieing in a ditch over but there are equal arguments for and against. I'm not sure my vote preference would've changed between 16 and 18.

        • Visubversa

          Mine certainly did. I was raised in a very middle class environment and the first political action I was involved with (at 17yo) was a demonstration IN FAVOUR of New Zealand's involvement in the Vietnam War. I had a placard with a quote from Churchhill! However, after the demo – my companion and I got talking with a couple of chaps from the PYM (Progressive Youth Movement) who were demonstrating on the other side of the road, and we decided that they had the better arguement. Next Friday evening we were on their side of the pavement – and that is where I have been ever since.

      • bwaghorn 1.1.3

        Not wanting people with a sense of me me entitlement cuts most voters out!!!

      • roy cartland 1.1.4

        Where do people who grew up before homosexual law reform, still "remember the war" and whose parents called England "home" get their info from? Radio Rhema? Maybe their votes should be stripped as well.

        How about immigrants? Maybe those that work in: <farming><arts><government> should be disenfranchised.

        What about anyone that has Facebook – were the VFF nutters all 16yos?

        • Visubversa

          I was 36 years old when Homosexual Law Reform came in – I remember the Vietnam War and I certainly do not listen to any religious radio. Nobody is talking about "stripping votes" I hope – this is about extending the franchise. The rest is hyperbole.

          • weka

            A few people make the argument for removing the vote from retirees. It's a piece of political inanity that demonstrates they don't understand the developmental differences between an old person and a child. Differences which are at the heart of why not that many people support lowering the age.

      • gsays 1.1.5

        I know of quite a few 16 and younger that do pay income tax, let alone GST.

        As for entitlement and selfishness being a barrier to voting, surely that includes landlords.

        TBF, I would suggest most vote for their self interest, but we have elected and re-elected governments that have only paid lip service to CC. Perhaps having a few more idealists vote would be a circuit breaker.

      • Anne 1.1.6

        The other side of the coin:

        There are a great many young people today who are so much better informed and who are more intelligent and mature than their senior counterparts.

        But on balance, I don't see any desperate need to lower the age to 16. Waiting two more years is nothing. My generation had to wait until we turned 21 and if – like me – you turned 21 soon after an election – tough bickies. I didn't get my first vote until I was closing in on 24.

      • Heather Grimwood 1.1.7

        To RosieLee at 1.1 : Your comment shows it's own me/me frame-of-reference. I am not a teenager taking umbrage, but in my tenth decade, acutely concerned for my greatgrandchildren ( one sixteen, more soon to be ) and their peers in their future.

        I find much understanding of important issues in teenagers I know.

        Please consult those teens in your own circle when you find a relaxed conversational moment. I think you might be surprised, even comforted.

      • Jenny are we there yet 1.1.8

        A nasty generalisation and slur made against the young people of this country, by RosieLee

        "I do not want adult votes cancelled out by someone with a sense of me/me entitlement…" RosieLee

        Young people with no right to vote on the issue, will inherit from us a badly degraded biosphere. Not having the vote, they have rallied in their thousands in our cities' streets for real government action on climate change. Of course this generation would want young people's voices cancelled out, so we can carry on doing what we are doing..

        I want youth voices cancelled out by someone with a sense of me/me entitlement….

        There you go Rosie, fixed it for you. No don't thank me.

      • Jilly Bee 1.1.9

        Rosie, I don't want to get my adult (retiree) vote cancelled by other older citizens who get their daily brainwashing from nothing more than ZB Newstalk and their Natz sycophants.

      • Corey 1.1.10

        You don't want people with a me me entitlement who get most of their information from social media from voting ?

        That describes the majority of voters on both the left and the right.

        Also teenagers pay tax but if not paying enough tax should exclude people from voting there's a lot of people in NZ who shouldn't vote.

        Why shouldn't the people who will have to pay for and live with the consequences of decisions made by today's governments get a vote when the citizens who won't live for the consequences or pay for the policies of today's governments get a vote.

        If 16 year olds can't get a say, why should pensioners? Why should the rich or unemployed vote? In fact let's make it so noone can vote till they pay their student loans.

        Next Should we require voting eligibility be granted only to those who pay more into the tax system than they get out? This would make many working class and working poor families and many who are on subsidized medications and regularly using subsidized healthcare ineligible for voting.

        Fair is fair!!

  2. tWiggle 2

    I wondered whether we could have 'youth' MPs, a couple of seats in the current Parliament set aside specifcally for 16-20 y voters, similar to the Māori seats. Like the Māori electoral roll, those 18-20 could opt either to join this roll or the main electoral roll.

    • weka 2.1

      I'm not convinced about lowering the voting age to 16, but this idea of a youth roll and seats in parliament is good. Not sure it would work because of the numbers, but I like the thinking. It's a transition, from childhood to adulthood. It would increase awareness of youth issues and encourage youth to stand in general seats/lists. It could up awareness of how MMP works. Lots to like.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        I think lowering it to 17 makes sense. That includes 6th form and is an age when many people start to understand what is going on in the world and have opinions.

    • That is a great idea tWiggle.

      After all, we tell them their future is bleak, but "hey keep waiting to have a say in our direction."

    • Mike the Lefty 2.3

      If we had an upper house we could do this, it wouldn't have the powers of the HoR but would be a start.

      • tWiggle 2.3.1

        Oh please, no! An upper house strikes me as a layer of pigs in troughs we do not need, as we are not a federal democracy. Even worse, a crony-laden, bloated House of entitled Lords!

        Keep it simple, and easily accountable. I like our government structure a lot, MMP, Māori seats and all. The only wobbly bit is the strategic stand-down of one party to safeguard a coalition partner, eg. Epsom.

  3. tWiggle 3

    RNZ morning report today covered the anomalous position of banks as the four largest profit-making concerns in NZ. This is not usual in other OECD countries. There is a push for a Commerce Commission enquiry to investigate how and why this happens. RNZ asked about the influence of ex-politicians in bank directorships as a contributing factor to their political power.

    This is relevant also regarding windfall profit tax.


    • alwyn 3.1

      "ex-politicians in bank directorships".

      Why are you so worried? As far as I am aware there is only one former MP on a Bank Board in New Zealand. Just one.

      I would think it would be more useful if we looked at the directors of some of the failing SOEs in New Zealand to see whether there would be something to gain by replacing former political party hacks on their boards. Railways might be a good place to start. What role have they played in not planning for the Cook Strait ferries to be replaced. Were they asleep at the wheel and didn't look at the ferries getting old to the extent that they are now collapsing regularly and spend most of their time moored in Wellington.

      Were we right to put old political relics like Mike Williams and Maryan Street on the Board?

      • Who owns the ferries Alwyn? What do "Supply lines" mean to you? Do your homework. The new terminals are designed to take hybrid rail ferries from 2025, and are part of a planned programme to replace an aging fleet. Your slurs are just deflection of the poorest kind.

        Banking needs to offer ten and fifteen year mortgages. The gouging has to stop.

        NZ has Australian owned banks who cream it, aided by such as Key. 200+ points above the base, and slow to pass that to savers. A Commission of Inquiry, which in Australia showed many sharp and even unlawful banking practices, would reveal the same here no doubt.

        • Tricledrown

          Simon Power was working for the ANZ at one stage.The big 4 pay no tax in NZ and are pushing services in NZ that were deemed illegal by the Australian banking enquiry resulting in huge fines against all the big banks and AMP.NZ allows Cartels free reign in our unregulated markets .NZ has no real competition in any sector making NZ one of the most expensive countries to live in.The free market policies were supposed to free up competition the reverse has happened.NZ would be better served by having an economic union with Australia at least their SEC has the clout to make the banks do the right thing.NZ just gives the supermarkets,Banks,fuel cos,Power cos, a god telling off but the reality is that nothing changes.Just spin.

        • gsays

          It isn't just Key aiding and abetting.

          Claire Matthews, RNZ's go-to on all things banks, thinks they make big profits 'coz they are big businesses…

          No mention of creating credit/debt by entering keystrokes nor anything about fractional reserve banking.

      • tWiggle 3.1.2



        The RNZ interviewed Adrian Stubbs over the bank review, who has questioned ex-politico appointments to banks before. Most OECD countries have a sensible 'restraint of trade' period of at least 3 years before you can move into the finance sector at director level after leaving Parliament.

        • alwyn

          The story you link to has nothing to do with whether Key should be able to be a bank director because he had been an MP.

          It was whether key, as the ANZ NZ Board chairman, along with the BNZ chairman should be able to be on the Main Boards of the ANZ and NAB, who own the BNZ, in Australia. Being on both boards could be a conflict of interest as the ANZ (NZ) and ANZ Group interests could differ. The same applies to BNZ and NAB

          It was nothing to do with Key's previous occupation.

      • SPC 3.1.3

        James Bolger Kiwi Bank (contrarian vs the others – the black mirror glass ones)

        Jennifer Shipley NZ board of the China Construction Bank.

        Don Brash ANZ

        Simon Power Westpac

        John Key ANZ Bank.

        OK William English (just about everywhere not bank), so not all former party leaders (Todd Corporation Limited and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets probably do as much investment in business as the retail property mortgage banks).

      • Scud 3.1.4


        Who the bloody hell, decided to scrap a one of the Ferries instead of refitting her because it was cheaper to her scrap her?

        Then fluffed around realising, oh shit we need a replacement but instead of doing the more sensible & smart thing to do & order new one RO/RO Rail Ferries!

        Let's buy a one 2nd hand one trick lemon & delay the replacement process as much as possible?

        Would you please explain what NZG was in power at the time & why they didn't want to spend a single cent on critical infrastructure such as new RO/RO Rail Ferries?

        • alwyn

          Labour have been the Government for, if I remember correctly, five and a half years.

          Obviously they saw no reason to do anything about getting new ferries to replace those which are now almost worn out.

          Why on earth did they ignore reality?

          • Incognito

            I'd have thought you'd be better informed. New ferries have been ordered.


            • alwyn

              I shall correct the second sentence.

              Obviously they saw no reason to do anything in haste and took three and a half years to order new ferries to replace those which are now almost worn out. that means only wasting about two and a half years I suppose.

          • Scud

            It's was Labour & the NZF Coalition that finally ordered the 2 new Ferries (should've been 3) but costs blew out because the Nat's fart ass about delaying like old women at Country Women's Association meeting!

            If you want proof mate? I'll go back through my NZ Rail Observer, Oz Rail Digest Magazines & bombard you like Ukraine Artillery Fire Mission. Plus throw in Winnie's press releases before the election & after the election for shits & giggles.

            Who were quite damming in National's stupidity & arrogance at delaying the ordering for the new Ferries but hey we aka National want to be better economic managers than Labour!

            Just like National not wanting to invest in Defence Infrastructure & especially in new Defence Married Quarters & Living In Quarters for NZDF Personal. so let's cap NZDF Married Quarters Tenancy for 6yr to save money & boot service personnel after 6yr!!

            Do you want some proof for as well?

            Just buy the latest Nth & Sth Mag for that btw.

        • tWiggle

          They didn’t ignore reality, Scud. Seems like the ones we have are on stopgap lease until new ones arrive in 1-2 years.


          • Scud

            The Muppets tired to do it on the cheap when they paid off one instead of putting it into a refit to get through until the new ones entered service, as it was cheaper to buy or lease a 2nd hand lemon that has KiwiRail & taxpayers more $$$ than the cost of the refit of the paid off ferry.

            Now the lemon has finally been paid off, which should've never entered service in the first place because bastards (National & Treasury) didn't what to do the job properly & spend money to do it right in the 1st place.

            Because they all had an Anti Rail Agenda until Kaikoura Earthquakes blew up in respective faces & realise Rail is part of NZ's Logistics Chain! But they still starved it of decent funding, which is still going to bite NZ in the ass in future regardless who's in Government!

  4. Ad 4

    So if polytechs are centralised now and run by the state, high school is run by the state, and intermediate and primary school is run by the state, and we already subsidise early childhood education up the wazoo, why is the early childhood sector in private hands and not run by the state?

    It's time to nationalise early childhood education.

  5. adam 5

    Erin Brokovich flagged as a terrorist. What a sick little world we live in.

  6. arkie 6

    Does anyone know the maths of how our MMP parliament would be shaped in the event that a large party received the vast majority of their vote share as electorate votes?

  7. Sanctuary 7

    I hope Chris Trotter is surrounded by family today, he will need the support.

  8. mikesh 8

    "No tax without representation." So perhaps persons 17 and under shouldn't have to pay tax if they are earning.

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      If representation were a criterion only the upper income quartile and Treasury wonks would pay tax – government doesn't pay any attention to anyone else.

  9. SPC 9

    Given the nature of the social media global village we live in this is not surprising

    In the US Congress the new speaker Joseph McCarthy has formed a committee to stalk people in government positions on Capitol Hill (and is also removing some Democrat Reps from their committee positions).

    And at the same time, they come for Campbell, Maharey and Dyson here …

    It begins with mobs on the streets and ends with the installation of a government to complete the job (over there no more “stolen” elections).

  10. tc 10

    Hope there's a proper investigation into the chemcouriers truck which went up in flames today.

    Was it carrying what it shouldn't be ? Had incompatible categories of chemicals together ? Serious questions as that could've been alongside much denser population close to the motorway as it moved north.

  11. arkie 11

    Today is International Womens Day:

    The theme for this year's IWD, 'Embracing Equity', highlights this. What it's saying is that for women – as with every other group of people who face disadvantage, discrimination and bias – equality is not enough. It's also acknowledging that women – just like men – are not one homogenous group: there's intersectionality at play here, too. Giving everyone a pair of shoes is one thing; making sure everyone has a pair of shoes that fits is another.


    • SPC 11.2

      International Women's Day, also known as IWD for short, grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised annual event by the United Nations (UN).

      The seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman's Day.

      The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin, communist activist and advocate for women's rights. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, and they agreed on her suggestion unanimously.

      It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011, so this year we're technically celebrating the 111th International Women's Day.

      Things were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day. The first theme adopted by the UN (in 1996) was; Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.

      International Women's Day has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, in politics and in economics, while the political roots of the day mean strikes and protests are organised to raise awareness of continued inequality.


  12. Herodotus 12

    Hopefully our leaders will take note of stress within the hospitals and rethink the Dunedin rebuild, but then again the same people who have reduced the scope of Dunedin are still there. Perhaps the govt needs to think long term and to make better decisions, we can only hope 😢.



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