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Open mike 08/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 8th, 2020 - 209 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 …

209 comments on “Open mike 08/08/2020 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Good news on a potential Covid 19 cure

    • Andre 1.1

      Do either of these videos present any actual trial results with usefully large numbers of patients? Or are they just talking heads blathering about why ivermectin has theoretical reasons why it should work, and overall it's the hydroxychloroquine false hype all over again?

      Ivermectin has been talked about as a potential therapy for Covid since at least April, and I've been keeping an eye out for significant useful trial results. But all I've seen so far have been results from poorly-designed small-sample trials that showed smallish improvements that overhyped the actual benefits achieved.

      And no, I'm really not interested in sitting through 30 minutes of video to see if there might be some nuggets in there that could be communicated in a written article that would take no more than a couple of minutes to read.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        The drug has been used on numerous Covid 19 patients in a number of different countries around the world with a 100% success rate.

        [that’s a claim of fact on a serious matter and as such it needs clear backing up. Please provide that back up with a link, and a quote of the specific words you believe back it up (or a time stamp if it’s a video, but it needs to be *very clear, I don’t want to use my Saturday time chasing this up). Thanks – weka]

        • Andre

          Oh really? Where can I find out more information about these miraculous success stories? Because the searches I'm doing using terms such as ivermectin covid trial results are only showing up those flawed small-sampled small-result trials and a lot of apparently unsupported hype.

        • weka

          mod note for you TC.

        • The Chairman

          From 1.31 in on the first link.

          • Robert Guyton

            So, nothing written anywhere? Just a snippet from the video you posted?

          • weka

            thanks. What I see is a single person claiming the 100% cure, but with no other information. Imo this doesn't met a standard to claim "The drug has been used on numerous Covid 19 patients in a number of different countries around the world with a 100% success rate." At best what you could say is "Thomas Barodi is saying that Ivermectin in trials is producing near 100% efficacy, here's the citation for that"

            That's the claim of fact you have backed up (that this man said this), and that's all that is needed.

            What we don't know is if Barodi is correct, what the facts are that led to his opinion. If he goes on to cite research, my suggestion is that you post that, because most people (myself included) aren't going to watch all that video.

          • Andre

            Here's the most factual report I've found of what appears to be the Bangladesh trial that Borody apparently hyped as the most impressive:


            It's roughly 60 patients trialling ivermectin versus 56 patients given a hydroxychloroquine regime. These are very small numbers, there was no control, it doesn't appear to be a double-blind trial, some studies suggest that use of hydroxychloroquine in fact increases the risk of death and may otherwise worsen outcomes.

            The results hyped as impressive were recovery in 5.93 days and negative PCR test at 8.93 days, versus recovery in 6.99 days, negative PCR test at 9.33 days, and two deaths. That's a very small improvement in outcome, especially considering the possibility that administering hydroxychloroquine in fact worsens outcomes. Let alone the known problems in biased reporting of outcomes in trials that aren’t double-blind.

            In terms of a counterview, this piece seems relevant:


            • weka

              that trial in India would be the basis for a larger RCT surely?

              Not sure of the ethics of a trial that had an untreated control.

              • Andre

                The control usually isn't zero treatment, ie just park 'em in a bed and watch what happens. The control group is usually given what is currently the best known practice.

                I don't know what that is at the moment, but I haven't heard of things much beyond putting patients on their stomachs, possibly medication against clotting, possibly immune-suppressants against cytokine storms, clearer guidelines on when and how to use ventilators etc.

                AFAIK, everything that is directly anti-viral still definitely falls into the experimental unproven category that should be considered a trial and not a proven therapy.

                • weka

                  yep. Haven't looked in the past month or so, but was under the impression that they're still trying to figure out treatments.

                  It's pretty clear that all the initial experimentation started and continues on the wards. This is war zone stuff.

              • The Chairman

                That trial in India would be the basis for a larger RCT surely?

                Yes, As stated in the last link. There are currently at least 18 randomized controlled studies now planned or ongoing that have been disclosed to the U.S. government alone.

                Not only is this really showing good potential as a cure but it is also being touted as preventative for front-line workers.

                However, there are vested interests (see links below) at play here. This would largely make the need for a vaccine null and void.



  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Deep south insurgent:

    in the Waitaki electorate, a bloke is standing who quite cheerfully admits he doesn’t know anything about politics, but is keen to give it a go. His name is Daniel Shand and it seems the 37-year-old moved to Cromwell from Whanganui a few months ago.

    Shand says he doesn’t have any positions on anything. He’s waiting for people to tell him and if necessary will make up something later because politicians don’t normally do what they say anyway. This is clearly a man who could go far.

    Honesty is an unusual ploy for an aspiring politician but it could strike a chord amongst voters who are seeking a refreshing option.

    In 2019, he ran for the local council in the Whanganui District, where he promised he'd make "everything better".



    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Instead of waiting for people to tell him he could look at finding ways to do a referendum of the electorate and then combine the results into a cohesive whole. If he does it well, he really will go far.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Not enough time left but I do agree in principle. If he does the door-knocking and succeeds in establishing a rapport with enough folks, he'll get a sense of the mood of the electorate fairly soon.

        A clever person can rapidly synthesise a coherent package of initiatives from the process (after musing on the feedback awhile) as you suggest. I hope he has a partner to consult with about that (males are not known to be adept at emotional intelligence).

        • Draco T Bastard

          Doesn't need to do door knocking – just needs to set up a Loomio group. Still, will need to ensure that only people from the electorate are signed in which I'm pretty sure Loomio will be more than happy to help him with.

          Does Emotional Intelligence Depend on Gender? A Study on Undergraduate English Majors of Three Iranian Universities

          Results showed that there was no significant difference between the genders on their total score measuring emotional intelligence, but the genders did tend to differ in emotional self-awareness, interpersonal relationship, self-regard, and empathy with females scoring higher than males.

          • Sacha

            Are some local campaigns using Loomio?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Not as far as I know which is a pity. Used well it could transform our democracy.

          • Dennis Frank

            Well, that makes Iranian culture look good – or at least that tiny portion studying English at uni! I bet that similar research here would establish a "significant difference between the genders" (likewise in Oz, England). Emotional repression in male behaviour was the cultural norm when I was a kid. Showing feelings was unmanly, so boys were disciplined not to.

    • mary_a 2.2

      @ Dennis Frank (2) … living in Cromwell, I am in the Waitaki electorate and thinking of giving Daniel Shand a go. I will suss him out in person listening and hopefully having a chat. However, I'm liking what he's offering already.

      With the exception of our current PM, a breath of fresh air is well overdue in our stale political system. Maybe Daniel Shand is the guy to turn the tables on what's there at present.

      At age 74 and a Labour/Green voter, I'm not afraid to try something new, if I consider it's (they are) likely to be a progressive asset to NZ and future generations.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        I will suss him out in person listening and hopefully having a chat. However, I'm liking what he's offering already. With the exception of our current PM, a breath of fresh air is well overdue in our stale political system. Maybe Daniel Shand is the guy to turn the tables on what's there at present.

        Cool, I like your attitude. Folks look askance at anyone aspiring to be populist – understandable due to notable examples being rightist – but someone who genuinely wants to serve and enhance the common good ought to be encouraged.

        I sense he's irreverent enough to tread the fine line between cynicism and authenticity, and with a humorous stance he can make that work.

        My suggestion is to see if you can challenge his brain in a friendly way – like ask him how to find common ground between parties, for instance – although best if you do your own natural framing. You may already have questions & points of view in mind, but if not your interaction will work better if you head in with one or two…

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          "His name is Daniel Shand and it seems the 37-year-old moved to Cromwell from Whanganui a few months ago. Pity he didn’t stay in Whanganui – there’s no telling how many votes he might have got there."

          Does anyone know why Shand moved from the North to the South island? IDMWALAIM (“I don’t mind where, as long as I’m Mayor“) syndrome?

          "I might meet a few new people and maybe a nice girl. So if you're not interested in voting me into Parliament maybe we could go out for a coffee instead."

          • greywarshark

            DMK That reminds me – another polly footloose, Michael Laws moved around being Mayor etc on the basis of looking alert and having plenty to say. So I guess, this other Whanganui guy thinks 'What a lark', get known for being a bozo, and people vote you in as they know what to expect.

            …two terms as Mayor of Whanganui (2004-2010), terms as a councillor on Whanganui District Council,

            So there is a precedent. More positions, seems to have no trouble beating locals to the tape.

            Laws has won several political positions, including two terms as a Member of the New Zealand Parliament for the National Party (1990–96) and New Zealand First (1996),

            two terms as Mayor of Whanganui (2004-2010),

            terms as a councillor on Whanganui District Council, Napier City Council, and Otago Regional Council, and terms as a member of a district health board.

            In Parliament he voted against his party on multiple occasions and defected to the newly founded New Zealand First party, but resigned Parliament the same year following a scandal in which he selected a company part-owned by his wife for a government contract.

            Laws currently holds one political position; he is councillor and deputy chair of Otago Regional Council

            Laws has also been a media personality, working as a Radio Live morning talkback host and a longstanding The Sunday Star-Times columnist. In these roles, Laws caused controversy, such as calling Governor-General Anand Satyanand a "fat Indian" and comparing him to a comically obese character from Monty Python. Laws resigned all positions in 2014 to take full-time care of his youngest children, after their mother suffered a severe stroke.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Internal Revenue officials are moving ahead with plans to consult on and, eventually, adopt recommendations from the Tax Working Group on environmental taxes, Marc Daalder reports here https://www.newsroom.co.nz/greenroom/ird-planning-consultation-on-green-taxes

    The TWG framework was labelled as "useful groundwork for future work on environmental taxes" but IRD officials did raise one concern with the project. This had to do with hypothecation – "the practice of recycling revenue raised from a tax or levy toward a particular earmarked purpose or segregated fund".

    "The TWG considered that hypothecation of environmental tax revenue would be useful in the medium term as it can reinforce the intent of the tax, address equity concerns, and enhance transparency. The issue of hypothecation also has close relevance to the idea of a just transition; a transition to a low carbon economy that is fair and supported by the populace," officials wrote.

    "It would be useful to have an agreed Government position on when it is appropriate to hypothecate revenues raised from environmental taxes."

    I don't like bureaucrats who attempt to bamboozle the public with obscure long words. It seems to be a legal concept: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothecation

    Rationalising what is traditionally known as ring-fencing can be better achieved by calling it purpose-driven funding. I agree that the design is sensible, but public relations is usually not achieved via gobbledygook.

    • Gabby 3.1

      In praxis, what is your objection to bamboozling people with bafflegab, and will it manifest itself in axis any time soon?

      • roblogic 3.1.1

        long words bad. you not use big words to mess up my head! it hurt brain cells.

        • Sacha

          it hurt discussion

          • McFlock

            Never really bothered to get a handle on the meaning of this "praxis" that's been knocking around here lately.

            Feels a bit like the period a few years ago when anyone who'd watched a couple of youtube videos was claiming "autodidactic" learning that made them knowledgable about a field.

      • Shanreagh 3.1.2

        You're doing well with this example, especially using 'praxis' .smiley

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Graeme Dobell clocked up quarter of a century as parliamentary journalist & provides a primer on ` How Oz politics works' which seems valid here too…

    The best list I’ve seen was written more than 20 years ago by John Kerin, who was a Labor cabinet minister for a decade:

    • You are always on your own.
    • Other people will always let you down.
    • You will inevitably let others down.
    • In the longer run, the best policies are the best politics, but do not tell the rank and file, the prime minister or the mob.
    • Policy analysis always beats the divining of chickens’ entrails, opinion polls or the consensus of editorials.
    • Some of the best policies are carried out by stealth.
    • The choice between seizing the moment and compromise is always vexed.
    • ‘All political careers end in failure.’ – Enoch Powell

    Dunno about policy analysis beating chickens’ entrails or opinion polls – depends on the quality of the analysis, surely?

    The game hasn’t changed much, to judge from the laws of politics handed down in 2012 by another former Labor minister, Lindsay Tanner [edited]:

    • Everyone in politics exaggerates everything all of the time.
    • It’s vital not to offend anyone who matters.
    • No one ever complained about consultation when they liked the outcome.
    • The further from responsibility you are, they more left-wing you become.
    • There are no options allowed in politics, only announcements: when you publicly speculate about a possible policy approach, the media will treat this as a commitment to implement it.
    • The most important thing is to look like you’re doing something: actually doing something can be expensive, risky and annoying to other parties.


    • greywarshark 4.1

      Add to your comment above DF this advice on how to cope with questions in political life from me; that guy from Whanganui at No.2 who says he doesn't know anything will be set up to go to our simple No.8 wire Parliamentary System (even with MMP which was shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted).

      https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-07-08-2020/#comment-1738178 Thanks nga taonga radionz.

      This from DF on 7/8 OM No. 3 gives an example of one of the question diverting approaches that alert pollies can use.
      Asked by Corin Dann what Labour’s tax and economic policy was, given postal voting would start in just over four weeks, she pointed to the Government’s track record and its current five point plan for Covid-19 recovery, focused on retraining. “That five point plan really is giving a very strong indication of the momentum we want to maintain should we be re-elected. What we’ll be doing over this election period is yes adding some additional aspects, but I would flag to voters not to expect to see large scale manifestos that are a significant departure from what we’re doing,” Ardern said.

      See what she did? He asked what the policy was & she didn’t tell him the answer, but instead delivered the verbal equivalent of “Hey, look over there!”

  5. Herodotus 5

    On the rich tax the Greens propose. How can it be ? Should I die my partner benefits from life insurance that allows for a mortgage free home in one of Auckland's burbs. Now The Greens believe that now my partner is rich: house $1.5m (yet in another centre the same functioning family house would be only 1/2 the value) so taxed $10k p.a. . Yet with a take home of $40k would entitled to WFF, 1 child at Uni would be entitled to financial assistance because their parent is considered poor and in need of govt assistance. So according to the Greens you can be poor and rich at the same time, and according to the govt the family is surviving on an income $10k less than what they consider liveable. Silly isn't it ??

    • Barfly 5.1

      I thought it was 1% over 1 million and 2% over 2 million

      "now my partner is rich: house $1.5m……. so taxed $10k p.a"

      1% of 500k = 5k not 10k

      • Bearded Git 5.1.1

        Barfly is right…it is 1% of net wealth over $1 million.

        I love the Green's Wealth Tax-I think they have it balanced well. If implemented it will significantly help to reduce poverty which is its purpose. Finally a party is willing to do this.

        Labour will rule it out in the election debate because Labour is a pale shade of progressive.

        The CGT is too complicated and will bring in less dollars. A Land Tax has potential.

        • Gabby

          Are they looking at wealth held in foreign trusts?

          • solkta

            Individual wealth held in trusts will be included, through a combination of ‘see through’ provisions, general anti-avoidance tax rules and a tax rate of 2% as a backstop for those unwilling to tie a trust’s assets to an individual. If a trust is clearly linked to a particular person as a beneficiary of that trust, the trust’s wealth will count towards that person’s wealth. If it is not clearly linked to anyone(for example, a discretionary trust with a large number of beneficiaries), the trust would get treated as its own person for tax purposes and taxed at 2% on all assets, with no million dollar threshold. This is similar to how trust income is already taxed at the top income tax rate by default–we are carrying this approach over for the wealth tax.

            (page 13) https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/beachheroes/pages/12689/attachments/original/1594876918/Poverty_Action_Plan_policy_document_screen-readable.pdf?1594876918

            • Bearded Git

              Soltka has answered Gabby. And the treatment of trusts, which I assume is the same for both domestic and overseas (trusts are always a scam) seems excellent to me.

          • Foreign waka

            Gabby, Gabby,Gabby…you are asking the wrong questions. You need to ask for all trusts to be included. Naturally, this will fail as every parliamentarian has such a trust and their friends own the foreign ones. So no one will shoot themselves in the foot. Whilst it is possible to put legislation through parliament in record times, this one will take decades, regardless of political hue. Don't hold your breath.

        • bwaghorn

          A cgt is very simple if you put it on all property and shares and just make it 3-5% .

    • millsy 5.2

      Either that, or have people lose their houses, cars because they get cancer or whatever, and cannot work.

      Certain sectors of society have had it way too good for too long, while others constantly struggle.

    • weka 5.3

      From memory, the policy includes the ability to defer paying the tax until sale of the property. Which means that on a $1.5m property (with a presumably increasing GV/market value), she would be accruing a tax payment of $5,000/yr until she sells. If she is 30 and sells the house at retirement, that's a total cost of $175,000. If she believes in the magic money tree of the growth economy and perpetually increasing house prices, this isn't so bad, she still walks away with shitloads of money when she wants to down size to a smaller house. She could probably even retire earlier than 65.

      If that seems unfair, consider that if she lived in Gore instead, her house would be worth more like $200,000.

      Also unfair is all the people whose partners die but who never had the ability to take out life insurance, or even save enough to get a mortgage. It's those people the Greens are trying to help, the ones who don't have enough to eat, or enough medical care, or enough lots of things.

      If you want to consider unfairness in the political spectrum, I suggest taking a look at TOP's policy and see how it stacks up.

      And yes, you can be poor and rich at the same time, as your example shows.

      • Bearded Git 5.3.1

        What is unfair Weka is people living in poverty.

        The WT will have the excellent side-effect of helping to bring down Akl property prices because owning a house worth a million will be less desirable-people will gravitate to places with cheaper houses.

        From The Green’s website:

        Andrew and Leilani have well-paying jobs and live in a jointly-owned, mortgage-free house worth $1.5 million with their kids. They each have around $80,000 in their Kiwisaver accounts and another $140,000 in a joint savings account. They each have a net wealth of $900,000 so are not affected by the new wealth tax.

        • weka

          I'm not so sure about that. If you own a $1.5m house and have a decent salary then the $5k/year can be accounted for in your financial and investment plan.

          Andre is arguing that the accrual of the tax is a significant psychological pressure, so maybe that's what would make someone move. But then they buy a house in a cheaper place with their high equity and they just drive up the prices in the new place (this already happens with wealthy people migrating out of Ak to the provinces).

          Imo the housing crisis cannot be solved by the market. I don't think it can be solved by building more market houses either. Only thing that will stop it now are either a massive GCF, or active, intentional govt intervention in multiple fronts eg rent control, building shitloads of community housing that sits outside of the housing market.

          • Bearded Git

            I'm only suggesting it will be a side-effect of the Wealth Tax.

            But if some Aucklanders with average house values (Jan 2020) of $935k move to Dunedin, average house values (Jan 2020) of $515k then this will probably, gradually, change the equation to something like $860k versus $590k which seems like a better outcome to me.

            • weka

              it's only better if you are rich. If you're not it sucks. This is exactly how the Ak housing crisis was exported to the rest of the country. Not the only factor by any means, but cashed up immigrants will always outbid locals and the property market will just keep increasing.

              I'm also doubtful that people in Ak selling up will drop prices that much.

              Also, community matters. Economically enforced migration kills communities.

              • Incognito

                I’m also doubtful that people in Ak selling up will drop prices that much.

                A ‘dynamic’ housing market sends a price signal of and on its own.

                • weka

                  how do you mean?

                  • Incognito

                    Knowing that there are sufficient numbers of buyers and sellers to move housing stock expediently and avoid long market listings sends a strong psychological signal to potential buyers and sellers. It creates a momentum of its own and it seems to me that this has a tendency of keeping prices relatively stable if not going up. It would be interest to track the numbers of sales and sales prices against the number of active licensed realtors.

                    • weka

                      this makes sense, although I've never understood where everyone's money comes from, some people must have had increasing incomes as well as assets.

                      I also can't see any significant drop in house prices so long as the middle classes are still making so much money from property. Who would want to give that up?

                    • Herodotus []

                      Well where does the money come from ?

                      there are a few contributors that have commented on how the banks “creat” money. From for a simple reason. Time past the banks where able to increase the volume of money that could be loaned out. Those older than 47+ could recall the power of the bank manager and the limits of what you could borrow, and the common need for a 2nd mortgage. It was freed up so that what you could borrow is now “limitless” this with the decline of mortgage rates feom 17% in 1990 to 2.75% currently. But there are numerous other reasons for the availability of debt.😉

                    • Incognito []

                      Some people have no to little interest in paying off (the) principal. It’s not hard for a bank to agree to the borrower paying interest-only over a five-year period. If the accruing interest is less than accumulating wealth, they win and have a good time as well. Depending on how much ‘business’ you have with one bank, you can easily negotiate a lower interest rate and other more favourable conditions. Ordinary people and wage slaves don’t generally fall in that category and don’t enjoy the special treatments that the better-heeled folks are offered by their banks. Our society and economy in many function to maintain or even increase inequality and it’s all perfectly legal.

                    • Sacha

                      Unless govt deals decisively with the flow of cheap (low-interest) money into NZ housing as a privileged investment class, prices will always stay high. Expect banks and their ilk to resist such policy however they can.

                    • Incognito []

                      In addition to a properly designed tax.

                    • Pat

                      a momentum that requires facilitation by the banks….the real custodians of real estate value

                    • Incognito []

                      Although the banks cannot force people to enter the housing market, they can send their own price signals, e.g. so-called ‘mortgage wars’. We still have a FIRE economy.

                    • Pat

                      Think if you examine it you will find its rather more fundamental than that….mortgage wars are simply a mechanism to obtain/retain market share… they dont determine the size (value) of the market

    • Incognito 5.4

      Consider yourself well-off if you live in Auckland in a mortgage-free home and don’t have to pay exorbitant rent every week.

      • Herodotus 5.4.1

        I mentioned that life insurance would make it mortgage free in this case.

        Interesting that the 2% error was pointed out But no one wanted to address that in our situation we are considered to earn inadequate income for a family to live on- but considered rich and worth taxing- All at the same time. IMO the greens show the problem that ALL parties have in very poorly thought out policy, in this case the level that is considered to be wealthy on paper at least.

        So our family is a target for living in Auckland, so then sell off all state houses in Auckland and build elsewhere and shift families to these new dwellings. Because as I read comments it is all those beneficiaries fault for being poor in AUCKLAND. They wouldn’t be so poor if they lived elsewhere logic.

        • weka

          Your second paragraph, I don't get what the problem is. Low income people can become *asset rich simply from owning a house and living in an area with a housing boom. This isn't hard to understand. I assume you're not suggesting govt policy deems low income not low income because of that. If you are suggesting that govt policy should not deem the same low income people asset rich, please explain why. I've already addressed how the GP policy takes into account inability to pay yearly.

          Your third paragraph I can't make sense of. No-one is saying it's beneficiaries fault. Beneficiaries in NZ are poor everywhere.

          • Sacha

            Yes, policy has for ages taken into account the likes of retirees in mortgage-free valuable houses but with only superannuation income. Councils have rates deferral programmes for exactly that reason. Not hard.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      Perhaps the problem is that the house is 'valued' at $1.5m – some 20 times the average wage. Instead of something reasonable like between 280k and 350k (4 to 5 times the average wage).

      • weka 5.5.1


      • RedLogix 5.5.2

        Years ago I posted a number of times on this aspect of house prices. In very simple terms:

        1. Constrain mortgage security to the 'improved value' of the property only

        2. Make all residential land 'leasehold' (instead of paying rates, you'd pay rent to the local council.

        These two options eliminate land value speculation. Alternatively:

        3. Instead of restricting LVR ratios, impose an upper limit on the loan to a value of about 12 times the imputed rental income

        Measures like this would have to be phased in over a period of a decade or so to prevent unjust disruption, but could fundamentally reshape our housing market.

        The housing bubble

        But over the years I’ve also realised there are more factors than simply banking rules involved in our housing crisis; there are many levers that need adjusting if we are to ever get back to historic income to housing cost ratios.

        • Herodotus

          The value of Auckland property has not been helped by the 40,000+ movement of people into Auckland over the last 20 years, promoted by both Labour and National to import GDP and financial success. Inability for construction to keep up and the availability of plentiful and cheap debt. Freedom of movement AND money supply has a cost😉 .

          • RedLogix

            Yes. That's the point of my last para; there are multiple factors involved. Bank rules are only one of them.

            It's actually not an easy problem for any govt to solve; although it seems remarkably easy for them to make it worse through careless policy. The law of unintended consequence is writ large on this one.

            • Pat

              Unintended consequences or unspoken policy?

              Why the assumption any Gov wishes to solve it…if not encourage it?

              • RedLogix

                While only the naive would rule out malice as the explanation for things going wrong, usually it's good old entropy that's the best explanation.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Would it be malice though?

                  The government knows, and must have known for decades, that banks create money when they make a loan. Considering the fact that most bank loans are for housing then pushing up house prices will push up the amount of money in circulation and thus increase spending which pushes up GDP.

                  And when GDP is the measure used by governments to determine if the economy is doing well or not then they're going to push things that push up GDP that they don't have to take responsibility for that also keeps government spending down.

                  Basically, it could be stupidity based upon today’s failed economic theory.

                • Pat

                  Who said anything about malice….there are multiple self justifying arguments that can be applied.

      • Herodotus 5.5.3

        The value of Auckland property has not been helped by the 40,000+ movement of people into Auckland over the last 20 years, promoted by both Labour and National to import GDP and financial success. Inability for construction to keep up and the availability of plentiful and cheap debt. Freedom of movement AND money supply has a cost😉 .

        [Fixed typo in user name]

  6. Andre 6

    A question for people to ponder: if it were conclusively shown that getting a nasty cold from known specific strains of cold coronavirus was in fact somewhat protective (say 60%) against getting sick from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, and none of the vaccines and medicines under current development actually are successful, would you willingly get yourself inoculated with those cold coronaviruses and accept having a nasty cold for a week to get some chance of protection from COVID?

    I would. No question.


    This is analogous to the first effective vaccine centuries ago, when deliberate inoculation with cowpox was done in order to protect from the much nastier smallpox.

    • weka 6.1

      Probably would (depending on how good the science was on it). Makes me also think that we may be in for future problems as covid responses drop the number of people getting common colds.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      That's may already happening. It could explain why some people get really ill with the new virus, but most people only get a mild non-hospitalised illness or remain totally symptomless.

      Recent exposure to a sufficiently similar coronavirus may be allowing the immune system to respond effectively to the novel SARS-COV-2 virus.

      How long this lasts and how reliable this mechanism might be are totally open questions, as immunity to the common cold is highly variable and usually short-lived.

  7. Byd0nz 7

    Them pesky Russians, ready to register a vaccine for Covid.

  8. I Feel Love 8

    It's good the Nats and exes are showing the country how they would have handled the pandemic, basically treated it like a night at the casino, so more Hooton, Brownlee, Bennett as far as I'm concerned. Cathy Cactus was basically saying Hooton should have been gagged by Nats coz he will be harmful to their chances, ha!

  9. mpledger 9

    It looks like Jacinda has let the business people get at her and she is looking to allow in "skilled migrants". Hopefully, this means that the country of origin is going to be vitally important – the USA, Brazil, India are all basket cases, the UK has been getting better but most of Europe is heading towards a second wave as people mix together in summer. Oz has a second peak that is worse then it's first although it's mostly contained in one-two states.

    Hopefully, it won't mean we get "dairy workers" from India who take the jobs off NZ share-milkers who have been getting pushed out of the industry. NZ dairy farms that would have been bought out by NZ sharemilkers are going to end up being bought by overseas entities and creating mega farms.

    All these industries that needed skilled migrants – why haven't they been training NZers in the interim instead of moaning at the govt for a high risk option. Why hasn't the government been advertising for people to get into these industries citing a "NZ needs you" to work in these areas until the world gets covid under control.

    Here is a graph of per capita daily cases/deaths in a range of countries I follow. We are not at any lesser risk from importing cases then any time before…


    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      I too would love to know who these super skilled migrants are that we can't run industries without them. And how long they have been here (only around 10,000 migrants have been here more than 5 years on a mix of visa's apparently) what level of training was done and where and for how long how much did it cost.What wages are being paid. If the answer to all the above questions is largely onshore here or the training time periods are very short or the wages are low – get lost. Oh and providing some job flexibility like part time roles.

      Also a number of non farming industries have made up specious justifications in the past pretending they can't access skills when they are just looking for low wage employees.

      The government needs to come clean about who they are thinking of letting in and how many other jobs they support. So yes for the disclosure yes to starting training our own and yes for the advertising locally on a broad scale with appropriate places to apply (happy for a small taxpayer dob for this – it has to be cheaper than quarantine). There are likely to be a good number out there who can, but don't know where the need is or who are hanging back (older and waiting for the young ones to go first).

      And why do there people get travel priority over say a local business who largely develops stuff here but then needs to go offshore for the final stages. Looking at the Lprents of the world here.

      And could the news media please ask these questions.
      And also about sharemilking – that was a very interesting comment about it slowly dying.


      • I Feel Love 9.1.1

        Bar managers apparently.

      • weka 9.1.2

        "None of our staff are on minimum wage and they get meals with every shift, even for a dishwasher … even our kitchen hands would be on around a $50,000 a year salary working full time, but we've had not one single New Zealander apply for a kitchenhand role in several years."

        What are the work conditions? Employment agreement? Guaranteed hours? Is she offering a full time job? Set part time hours? All that matters.

        • Sacha

          Can young people see a satisfying career path in the industry beyond one good employer?

          • Draco T Bastard

            No. They see a dead end.

            Start as a dishwasher, remain a dishwasher and nobody will ever think of hiring you for anything else. That does seem to be the nature of NZ employers.

            Changing careers appears to be something they believe nobody can do.

          • Incognito

            People have jobs, very few have careers.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          It is easy to say $50,000 per year without detailing the hours and working conditions.

          According to careers.govt.nz kitchen hands typically get $18-00 to $20-00 an hour.


          A standard 40 week would come to $41,600.

          The website notes:

          Working conditions


          • may work long hours that can include weekend, early morning and late night shifts
          • work in kitchens in conditions that can be hot, noisy and stressful
          • may travel to work at off-site functions.

          So no real recompense in that $50,000 for the long hours – no time and a half for weekend and after 5:00 work and so on.

          • gsays

            All that and the possibility of split shifts. A 'break', up to 6 hours in the middle of yr day,

            • weka

              would have been nice if RNZ asked all these questions.

            • I Feel Love

              I was a dishwasher for a few years,,hardest job I've ever had, long lulls, then intense pressure, believe it or not the same dishes are recycled all through the night! Then have to clean the chefs mess into the early hours. The waiters, chefs etc all nutters, was fun, but no one, including chefs, last long, the pressure is horrendous.

    • Stuart Munro 9.2

      The ones she has specifically mentioned are film industry people.

      "Our film and screen sector is fully operational and in other places in some cases it won't be. There are chances here for us to build innovative sectors because we are fully functioning and so let's use that," she said. ~ Newshrub

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Aussies plan Big Bang: https://www.9news.com.au/national/calls-for-newcastle-ammonium-nitrate-stockpile-to-be-reduced-or-moved-away-after-beirut-blast/8d35a6c5-7d96-4487-b499-0b48f2e39020

    Think Big is alive & well! Must've learnt from Muldoon. Oz stockpile somewhere between double & quadruple what went off in Beirut.

    The chemical is believed to be the same that exploded in Beirut, killing at least 100 people and injuring more than 4000. Between 6000 to 12,000 tonnes is stored at Orica's Kooragang Island plant in the Port of Newcastle.

    Waiting for Guy Fawkes Day, I suppose. Excellent industrial planning & foresight, and exemplary demonstration of how capitalism can provide mass extermination entertainment via lateral thinking…

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Ammonium nitrate is a very common industrial chemical and when stored in purpose designed facility and managed properly the track record of accidents is very low.

      The existing plant complies with all the current rules and design criteria. If however the community now deems the total hazard to be unacceptable (hazard = probability * exposure * consequence) then it should be the state who pays Orica to move it to a more remote location.

      And then ban any other development within a safe radius.

  11. Anne 11

    The US Government has warned its citizens to be very cautious about travelling to New Zealand because of our "23 active cases" of Covid-19.

    Despite the US recording more than 2 million cases and 160,000 deaths, the government is advising against travelling to New Zealand.

    According to the US government's travel advice website, it called for increased caution when travelling here.

    It places New Zealand at Level 2 on its travel advisory system, which asks its citizens to "exercise increased caution in New Zealand due to Covid-19".

    With that level of reporting its no wonder they're going to hell in a hand-basket.


    • Gabby 11.1

      Sounds like sour grapes. Having to put their spooks on the diplomatic payroll must be cutting into the political reward gravy train.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      As it stands, NZ shouldn't allowing anybody in from the US.

      • Anne 11.2.1

        Apart from the odd exceptional circumstances (eg. the Deep Freeze contingent travelling to Antarctica via Christchurch) that's the point. The border is closed to all foreign nationals so they can't come here anyway.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    Sir Bob the Jones (as opposed to Sir Bob the Harvey) takes an off-the-wall punt & comes up with a hung Parliament: https://thebfd.co.nz/2020/08/08/the-minor-parties/

    In summary it’s likely the three critical minor Parties will fight over about 15% of the vote. Deduct another 3% for the other various start-ups and that leaves 82% for National and Labour to scrap over. A conceivable split is Labour 44%, National with 38% and ACT with 6%. Then if the Greens and Winston don’t make the cut it’s a hung Parliament.

    He eliminated Muldoon and enabled the Lange govt by pulling 12% of the electorate in '84, so only a fool would discount his nous.

    Nevertheless, if one was to bet on the outcome, it’s likely a second term for Labour for a single reason, namely Jacinda’s huge popularity.

    Yeah, more likely at this stage. The x factor is the joker in the pack and Labour have it in their hand. Only thing likely to close the gap is how fast the recession hits. If Labour can keep on postponing the job losses, no problem…

    • observer 12.1

      “Only a fool would discount his nous.”

      I discount his “nous”, completely. Only a fool would pay attention to a fool, whose most recent achievement was suing somebody for defamation, and then giving up because he finally worked out people are legally allowed to insult him.

      His predictions are worthless, linking to them is worthless, and you can quote me on that when the election results come in.

      • Dennis Frank 12.1.1

        Takes one to know one, as they say. 😉 You actually don't really know why he dropped the court case, I suspect – although you could prove me wrong with a quote from him verifying that your assertion is correct.

        However, I admire your tacit rejection of the conventional wisdom that a week is a long time in politics, and blind faith that nothing is going to stop a Labour victory in six weeks. Staunch heroic stands provide excellent role models.

      • Morrissey 12.1.2

        Jones is a silly old fool. I'm sure he's only gotten crazier since his hilarious scenery-chewing performance seven years ago on the dreadful and all-but-forgotten TV3 show The Vote….

        After the break, Sir Robert Jones is back on the warpath. Having failed against the woman, he sets his sights on the youthful National MP for Tamaki, Simon O’Connor….

        SIR ROBERT JONES: [dyspeptic, choking on bile] He’s wearing BROWN SHOES, for God’s sake!
        AUDIENCE: [uneasily] Ha ha ha ha ha!
        SIR ROBERT JONES: You’re a thirty-five-year-old octogenarian! If you are the future of the National Party, then—- arrrrrrrggghhh!
        AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
        SIR ROBERT JONES: This is NONSENSE! The question is ABSURD! [choke, splutter, snarl] Arrrrrrgggghhhh. It’s ABSURD!
        LINDA CLARK: Pause! Just PAUSE!


        • Dennis Frank

          Simon O’Connor still presents as Dork Major from Dorksville, but I bet you he no longer wears brown shoes!! Check it out! If I'm right, chalk one up for the canny old bugger… 😆

          • Morrissey

            For the record, this writer, i.e. moi, shares the estimable Sir Robert's views on Simon O'Connor.

    • Sacha 12.2

      He eliminated Muldoon and enabled the Lange govt

      We have so much to thank him for, eh.

  13. Adrian 13

    The problem of shortage of agricultural labour in developed countries is world-wide. Even in St Emilion in Bordeaux with the most expensive wines in the world where the harvest has been successfully bought in for hundreds of years using local labour they now have to use our system of contracted short term offshore labour and itinerant travellers and backpackers. The reason why is that the young locals have moved into HR, IT and WHY in the larger centres because it is sexier than being an agricultural worker.

    Employers here know that even when a reasonable wage is offered for an unskilled starting job getting some young Kiwis even out of bed and staying on the job is almost impossible.

    Before you start on shit pay, over the fence from me there is a 65 yr old Chinese immigrant grandmother on a family Reunification visa earning over 1500 bucks a week tying down grape vines. No PhD required.

    • mpledger 13.1

      There is a good reason why a 65 year old is willing to make vine tying her career.

      If there was a career structure or a path to farm/orchard/vinyard ownership then an 18 year old might be more interested in doing grunt-work.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      The reason why is that the young locals have moved into HR, IT and WHY in the larger centres because it is sexier than being an agricultural worker.

      Well, according to neo-liberal mantra, all they have to do get the workers is to pay more and local workers will be flocking to work for them.


      You'll note that the response by the brewers, despite being the most expensive wines in the world and with probably the biggest profits as well, is to bring in cheap workers from offshore. This results in lower local wages across the board and thus higher profits.

      And, yeah, at the end of the day being an agricultural worker is neither interesting nor glamorous.

      Employers here know that even when a reasonable wage is offered for an unskilled starting job getting some young Kiwis even out of bed and staying on the job is almost impossible.

      Are you sure that its a reasonable wage?

      Many, especially farm workers, are contractors and that fine sounding contract amount sounds good – until expenses, taxes and time are taken into account. Once they are then the actual amount is sub minimum wage. IIRC, Its why the last National government had to change the law for farm workers. The rules, as they were, were turning most farmers into criminals because they were consistently paying below minimum wage.

      Before you start on shit pay, over the fence from me there is a 65 yr old Chinese immigrant grandmother on a family Reunification visa earning over 1500 bucks a week tying down grape vines.

      Yeah, but who in their right mind actually wants that job? Its not going to help them get a better job and its got a high probability of being physically damaging. It is, quite simply, the type of job that needs to be automated ASAP.

      • Descendant Of Smith 13.2.1

        After the orchardists have spent the last 15 years telling New Zealanders how fucking useless they are in order to justify more and more captive overseas workers why on earth would anyone in New Zealand who isn't a capitalist who thinks people are a commodity see them as an attractive employer now that they are in a self dug hole.

        Wonder which orchardists were using the slaver over the way in Hawkes Bay? Paying cash they were for quite a number of years with not a care in the world – pity they were not named in the court case. Wonder how much money the orchardists get back off the wage bills they pay from the overseas workers for charging them for accommodation and food – bet that runs into a net gain of millions of dollars a season. Four to a room in bunk beds – good little cost saving on your wage bill. Can't get that back from the New Zealanders.

        Agriculturalists of all people should know that you reap what you sow.

    • Brigid 13.3

      If she's earning 1500 a week she must be on piece meal, going like the clappers, breaking many of the runners, not tying securely. And you know that that job will only last a few more weeks and she wont get a job in the vineyard again til next winter as I guess picking is done by machine.

      In the event that the job is done by a young kiwi who could be bothered getting out of bed, what does she/he do when the work's finished?

  14. joe90 14

    The right's leading….

    • Morrissey 14.1

      D'Souza has possibly less credibility than Trump.

    • The Al1en 14.2

      In England, Australia and India it is pronounced “Thighland” and guess who invented the English language?

      Never heard it pronounced as 'thighland' until Trump confirmed he can't read and speak coherently at the same time.

      As for who invented the English language, a true bastard language, take a bow Angles, Saxons, Jutes, French, the need for new words arising from the industrial revolution and an empire that spanned a quarter of the globe.

      History of the English language

      • joe90 14.2.1

        The cult of tRump.

        Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

        ― George Orwell, 1984

      • In Vino 14.2.2

        Sorry, but that collection of language inventors sound horribly like a group of societies.

        When Maggie Thatcher claimed that, "There is no such thing as society, " I actually wanted to ask her directly at the time: "Who created the English language then? Please name the individuals.." She would, I believe, have had to describe a society without being able to use that word because of her previous idiotic assertion.

    • Gabby 14.3

      In Inkland, Injure and a Stroller, Dinesh d'Souza is pronounced Lying Shitweasel.

  15. weka 15

    Anyone know what essential skilled migrants Labour thinks NZ needs in order to open the borders for them?


    • Cinny 15.1

      Maybe Dr's and nurses etc, at a guess.

      • weka 15.1.1

        That would make sense. I'm also guessing fruit pickers.

        • Cinny

          RSE workers are awesome.

          • weka

            they are indeed. And there's a case to be made for offering such work to people from countries that need income. But, we're heading for a high unemployment rate, so bringing in workers for jobs we can train for quickly doesn't make sense. The issue is still about businesses not paying good wages and offering good conditions. Now would be the time to sort that out once and for all.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      Anyone the cheap business people want.

  16. Cinny 16

    Had a lovely catch up with Mr and Mrs 80+ next door. Crikey they loathe crusher and gerry. I think they invited me over just for a vent, I walked back home giggling away.

    Mrs 80+ chooses who to vote for by who she thinks would be good to live with and it aint gerry and judith lololz.

    Mr 80+ is full of praise for Chris Hipkins and thinks he would make a great deputy PM.

  17. greywarshark 17

    Mental health – I have been told that talking therapy is the most useful but is too costly so pills are dished out instead. I have also been told by a nurse that psychiatrists tend to go direct to pills, and none or little training is given to Jungian-type analysis, looking into reasons for stressed minds.

    This Friendship Bench approach would be very helpful to people under stress and trying to battle with it, and the lack of help that results from a tight-minded, tight-purse and inhuman economy-based society. I think this is the way to go while we also try to improve on present support in NZ from medical people and the government.


    So how can you help those in need if conventional medical care is not available? By utilising a large natural resource: grandmothers!

    Professor Chibanda has recruited and trained hundreds of them to talk to people about their problems on 'friendship benches'.
    They have helped about 70,000 people already and scientific studies suggest the technique works.

    • AB 17.1

      Beautiful. Could we get John Key and Rob Fyfe out of the news by sticking them on Friendship Benches? We could tell them it was a Board Directorship or something. Or would they just berate people for their bad life choices and for being insufficiently asprayshunal?

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        Sounds good AB – we need some people of stature to tell us to pull ourselves up by our bootlaces. Berating by people who are respected can do amazing things. I remember the story of the Brit Colonel in hospital who saw one of his previous squad supposed to be dying and told him off. Smarten up and get your hair cut he addressed him, I'll be checking on you. Captain Robert Wintle it was who saved the guy who remained with him as his personal assistant for the rest of his life.

        John Key et al don't measure up.

    • RedBaronCV 17.2

      Well if they are going to try this here – I'd expect payment for the grandmothers. Or are old women expected to work for free.

      • Descendant Of Smith 17.2.1

        Remember reading about this a few years back.


        I thought it was really interesting how the local language described depression.

        "No one knows how many Zimbabweans suffer from kufungisisa, the local word for depression (literally, “thinking too much” in Shona)."

        Communal village bread baking was another means of fending off that sense of isolation and loneliness that has been proposed.


      • Descendant Of Smith 17.2.2

        National and Labour would see it as an "obligation" and stop their NZS if they didn't.

      • greywarshark 17.2.3

        That is 20th century thinking RedBaronCV

        The situation is that we are not now in the economic situation that we were when old age pensions were introduced similar to now.

        We are living longer, requiring more state help to do so, and it is not the short time of relaxation before we pop off after retirement age that it was.

        We have to pull together now in a way we have not done for many decades. There has to be input into the welfare state by everyone to keep it going – not different strata with the over 65s doing nothing if they wish, and watching younger ones go to the wall.

        Older people's wisdom and skills are needed and everyone should be putting a little into the community if they are receiving some benefit, and most are – Gold Card etc with trips to Waiheke island and other joys of retirement for instance.

        The old have become a class of their own, and get treated differently. There is a tendency to cosset old people who are doing fine, and offer them special advantages which can be more needed by young parents. The papers are full of brochures for retirement homes with well-dressed attractive white haired people laughing in their attractive homes. There is a pervasive picture of the old as wealthy and carefree, or as rather dim and helpless with younger carers smiling around them looking after their needs. Most old people who haven't got dementia could do some helpful task, mentoring, passing on skills; they are not helpless but can be very self-centred. It seems to them that they deserve to be paid a pension and do nothing for the society that supports them, simply because of their age which they are always trying to extend.

        The conditions that old age pensioners expect must be a stark contrast for young people worrying about mould and damp and rising rents and food for the family and the children's coughs. Eventually they are going to think that the old don't care about them, and cease to have respect for old people. I notice my children are beginning to do that to me, and I have heard the same from other older people.

        This situation is not widely acknowledged. It is a mixed up situation where the old don't take a proper part in society which in turn then tends to treat the old as children. Which then can turn into 'learned helplessness' a term that neolib social policy regards as a slippery slide into costly welfare dependency by solo parents and which they react strongly against. I think that retired people are going to feel the callous side of officials with budgets in decreasing amounts and would do well to look at becoming part of a participatory society and government before further harsh social welfare cuts and dispositions are introduced by the charity brokers.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          I see it the other way – we just need to shift the way we tax and the things we invest in to lift productivity.

          The original thinking was to invest in people when they were young – free education, universal family benefit, etc and for them to repay that investment in their education and taxes when they were older and at their peak earnings in their careers.

          We did the first bit well and then stopped doing the second bit as they reached their peak earnings, which then meant we stopped also doing the first. We then exacerbated the situation through tax cuts and investing in population growth, tourism, overseas students o log exporting which were low cost, low productivity, low profit, enterprises.

          Re-jigging is needed for sure – taxing the higher income people more – including NZS people who work, just put stamp duty/sales tax tax on houses – much cheaper and easier to administer than all the asset testing being talked about, reduce cheap tourism that doesn't add value more than the socialised cost and so on but leave NZS alone – changing it will just cause further problems down the track. Your picture of well-off old people isn't true for lots of the population and there has been enough divide and conquer around welfare in this country. I'd argue lift the tax for those who work and get NZS and lower the age back to 60 so in fact poorer old people, and Maori in particular, can be freed up to participate in their community and be more involved in their families before they are too unwell. 60 was fine not that long ago to retire. Free up jobs for younger people. Put a compulsory retiring age at super age back into the public sector would be another good step.

          All those changes like increasing the age that get suggested just has a detrimental effect on the poor – just like Labor removing including spouses in super this year. They just condemned a whole group of society on low incomes and no savings to live off at a minimum $140-00 per week less until the partner reaches 65. That ain't going to help them or society. Makes zero difference to the well off.

  18. observer 18

    Party vote numbers make the headlines, but there's as much value (if not more) in the underlying trend of right/wrong track. It tells us if there is any mood for change out there:

    When only one voter in 5 says "wrong track", the opposition is in trouble.

  19. Ad 19

    Good launch, Prime Minister.

    • Dennis Frank 19.1

      You think? I read the Newshub live stream a while back & couldn't find anything worth reporting here. She did announce a new policy, according to the reporter, but it seemed like mere continuance of established initiatives, so no difference from coalition achievement that I could discern. But I'm not the target market, so let's hear from the converted that she was preaching to…

      • observer 19.1.1

        Or you could just watch it, available all over on this here internet.

      • Muttonbird 19.1.2

        Economic growth accompanied by worsening social outcomes is not success at all. It is failure.

        – Jacinda Ardern

        Worth the price you paid, surely?

        • Dennis Frank

          Would've been, had she equated that with neoliberalism. But of course she's no doubt figured out long ago that the word has too many syllables for the younger generations. And, to be fair, most older voters, if you quizzed them, would no doubt claim to have heard of it whilst also admitting that they couldn't tell you what it actually is. Life's a bitch, then you die…

          • Muttonbird

            Sorry but I find it odd that you, the forum's eminent centrist, is now all of a sudden critical of neoliberalism and the status quo.

            I don't particularly enjoy the Labour Party moving to the centre, in fact I am on record as despising the Kiwibuild effort, and the capitulation on CGT, but I also recognise the need to win elections and to do that you need to convince a significant number of greedy right wing people to join you.

            • Sacha

              Dennis has his own definition of terms like 'centrist' and 'mainstream'. If only the rest of us would come around to them.

            • Dennis Frank

              Yes, stealing Nat voters does work. Similar principle applied when the prior Greens co-leaders stole more than 5% of the electorate from Labour until Jacinda pulled them back in.

              Re "all of a sudden critical of neoliberalism and the status quo", you seem not to have noticed the several dozen times I've criticised both since I began to comment here five years ago. I thought neoliberalism was a joke when the Rogernomes got started and the status quo unacceptable since I became a teenage rebel post-adolescence 1964. Do I need to explain radical centrism??

              • Muttonbird

                Do I need to explain radical centrism??

                No. All centrists are extremists as far as I'm concerned.

                Extremely dull, that is.

                • Dennis Frank

                  As I suspected, you do need to discover the difference: centrists are happy with the status quo, whereas radical centrists prefer to try and catalyse a better world.

                  I get that folks like you & Sacha prefer to avoid history, but there's a good reason that their wiki has 229 references: lotsa folk have been working in that category for a long time. Earliest one there was 1969, so the page compilers are seemingly unaware of the book Beyond Left and Right, published in '68, year of the origin of the Green movement.

                  Radicals in that era knew the left & right were both parts of the establishment. That's why the riots at the Democrats convention in '68 were a mass youth rebellion against LBJ. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Seven

          • Incognito

            Life is like a willy: too short, then you die.

            • The Al1en

              Too little information lol

              • Incognito

                I strongly believe we need more gender balance in our clichés. Dennis seems to think that there are only two types of commenters here: binary and non-binary thinkers. I’ll prove him wrong by transcending his binary thinking into a radical balance in the middle (‘centre’ is too loaded a word and a misunderstood concept that conjures confusion and intellectual constipation). In other words, life is a bitch that shortens your willy, then you die. I’m working on a synthesis with ‘life sucks, then you die’, but that might take another few years; that epitaph will read like a tweet.

                • The Al1en

                  My mum has more balls than Wimbledon and St Andrews combined, and life as a bitch, which is a bad thing I said I'd jump on yesterday, is still no match for her immense cockerny sensibilities.

                  But as everyone knows, size doesn't matter, until it really does. 😆

      • Anne 19.1.3

        I expect mickysavage will deliver unto us a post sometime this weekend.

      • Incognito 19.1.4

        With the NZF ‘handbrake’ off and instead of cruising downhill to 19 September, they could floor it now. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

  20. observer 20

    I can remember when National would announce their party list with razmattaz, parading new candidates in front of the media, with much fanfare, probably playing a bit of Eminem in the background.

    Now it's Collins and Goodfellow doing a drab announcement in a drab room, timed to coincide with Labour's launch, as if they want to avoid any more damaging headlines. It's working, nobody cares.

    • weka 20.1

      I'm curious about Luxon though. I thought he was supposed to be National's great hope, he's #61.


      • Anne 20.1.1

        Just a ruse weka. So some people can be ranked higher even though they're not going to make the cut if the polls are anything to go by.

        Luxon is going to romp home in Botany so doesn't need a high placing.

        • James Thrace

          I wouldn't be so sure that Luxon will "romp home"

          Speaking to my Chinese friends whose parents are well conditioned to the CCP model of "vote for whomever's in power" that their parents are voting Labour this year after voting National for the past 3 elections because "Labour is the power"

          I wouldn't be surprised if such thinking is endemic in Botany which does have a higher than average proportion of Asian voters. You may find that Luxon and Ross will split the right vote, allowing the Labour candidate to squeak through the middle.

          2020 seems to have thrown out the rulebook, so who knows.

          • Anne

            Thank-you for that JT. It's a possibility although my instincts tell me JLR is going to bomb out badly.

            It will be one of the fascinating electorates to watch on Election night.

            • James Thrace

              Oh it'll be a fascinating night all around regardless.

              The only question remaining is just how much Labour will win by 🙂

    • Muttonbird 20.2

      It was a pathetic attempt at upstaging the PM's campaign launch.

      #Dirty Politics.

      • Anne 20.2.1

        Well, Labour will have the opportunity to do it back to them next week-end by announcing a major new policy. 😉

      • ScottGN 20.2.2

        Yeah probably (and was no doubt anticipated) but also pretty meaningless. This time round Labour doesn’t really need the airtime the campaign launch can provide that much. The whole country is listening to every word a Labour PM says on a daily basis.

    • Incognito 20.3

      The combined firepower of three present and past Leaders in the top 10 sure is impressive. What could go wrong with the ‘dream team’?

  21. joe90 21

    oh yay

    (Reuters) – The last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has collapsed, losing more than 40% of its area in just two days at the end of July, researchers said on Thursday.

    The Milne Ice Shelf is at the fringe of Ellesmere Island, in the sparsely populated northern Canadian territory of Nunavut.

    “Above normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up,” the Canadian Ice Service said on Twitter when it announced the loss on Sunday.


  22. I watched the Labour campaign launch. Very proud of our PM. All the journalists were well mannered and listened intently to the after meet. The questions were about covid problems and announced policy.
    Our PM is not too proud to use systems developed by earlier Governments if they are successful in helping people.

    Nobody mentioned J Collins and her list. Malpass and Vance probably covered that.

  23. Robert Guyton 23

    Jeepers, Chloe is smart!

  24. Sacha 24

    Bad news for local racists.


    Kiwi scientists tracking the origins of Covid-19 in New Zealand found most cases leading to infections came from North America, rather than Asia, where the virus first emerged.

    • Robert Guyton 25.1

      I did. Bought 4 owls.

      • Descendant Of Smith 25.1.1

        Yeah went years ago when Big Red was there and again recently.

        Would have to say it had gone backwards since my earlier visit and that assessment was before I knew it was up for sale. Was a joy to see the first time and somewhat sad the second. Between health issues, longevity, financial difficulty etc it needed an injection of replenishment. Having been to Zealandia this year it was a complete contrast. I don't mean any disrespect by what I said – the owners have done a really good job for many years and they were still absolutely lovely. It was just getting tougher for them.

        Didn't do the glow-worm cave the second time. That was cool first time – even just the story behind it. Don't know if that was part of the sale.

  25. greywarshark 26

    Some areas with flooding will have to have some playground Arks, on props and when it floods, people row there and have a place to be moored safely somewhere till the water goes down. That would be good for places with little high ground.


  26. joe90 27

    He allowed himself to be placed in a risky AF medically induced coma to overcome his benzodiazepam habit rather than opting for the usual treatment requiring patients to confront the mental health issues behind addiction.

    The controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has contracted COVID-19, his daughter told the Sun, a tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom.

    “He’ll get better, but he’s definitely taken a step back and it’s just really unfortunate … it’s been a disaster,” Mikhaila Peterson told the newspaper.


    At the time the elder Peterson was flown out of country for treatment, Mikhaila Peterson told the National Post father was put in a medically induced coma because Russian doctors have “the guts to medically detox someone from benzodiazepines.”

    Mikhaila Peterson said her dad caught COVID-19 in a Serbian hospital, where he’d been recovering from treatment, and had also caught pneumonia.


  27. RedBaronCV 28

    In case anyone is still wondering what are these essential jobs that we need to open the border for one news has just advised:

    Au pairs FFS. At the best of times this has always smacked of exploitation of young women for minimal income. But if your job is so important and high paid then hire somebody on a proper wage and treat them right. It can be done successfully.

    And is it just my impression that most of the statements " kiwi's won't do these jobs" are delivered by those who have lived in a society with a lot of class structure and those at the bottom are expected to "know their place".

    • I Feel Love 28.1

      the amount of NZ women I've met who did au pair work in Europe is staggering, but I think they just used the job as a way to travel.

    • Sacha 28.2

      Without seeing the story, I would not be surprised if any au pairs were already attached to the few whole families given entry like the yachties.

      • RedBaronCV 28.2.1

        Woman wanting entry for an au pair that had been organised so they could spend more time in their businesses. Not that I will go near them.

        Yes it is used for travel but so is working in pubs. Pubs pay so why should young women & childcare be exploited. Like unpaid internships it's an idea long past it's use by date and employment laws should insist it's paid properly or ditched.

        • Sacha

          That does not stack up – be different if there was already a relationship with the children.

  28. joe90 29

    But TikTok.


    WASHINGTON—A small U.S. company with ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities has embedded its software in numerous mobile apps, allowing it to track the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    Anomaly Six LLC a Virginia-based company founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications, in part through its own software development kit, or SDK, that is embedded directly in some of the apps. An SDK allows the company to obtain the phone’s location if consumers have allowed the app containing the software to access the phone’s GPS coordinates


  29. greywarshark 30

    Oil spill off Mauritius. There go our fish they will be thinking, our tourism – look at beaches after Rena below.

    …The ship – owned by a Japanese company but registered in Panama – was empty when it ran aground, but had some 4000 tonnes of fuel aboard.

    The incident, when empty, sounds like carelessness by the ship administration. Perhaps it was on auto-pilot!

    Refresh on Rena incident off East Coast, NZ 2011.
    Early in the morning of 5 October 2011, the cargo vessel Rena struck Astrolabe Reef 12 nautical miles off Tauranga and grounded.
    The 21-year-old 236-metre Liberian-flagged cargo vessel was en route from Napier to Tauranga and travelling at around 21 knots when it struck. Its bow section was wedged on the reef, and its stern section was afloat. Two of its cargo holds flooded and several breaches were identified in the hull. There was 25 crew on board Rena at the time of the grounding.


    Aftermath of Rena Oil Spill – public response largely saved the day.
    A string of researchers gave presentatations on aspects of the Rena disaster to the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry's Australasia conference at the Rutherford Hotel. They concluded the area had a lucky escape, partly because of the huge public involvement in the clean-up.
    Lead presenter, Waikato University professor Chris Battershill, who holds the inaugural Bay of Plenty Regional Council chair in coastal science, said 8000 volunteers collected 1000 tonnes of oily waste from the Bay of Plenty coastline, "at the time the largest volunteer army every deployed" in an environmental clean-up.

    • Stuart Munro 30.1

      They might be better to call on the services of India – perhaps with French financing. The west coast ports are not so far away, and have heavy oil handling and ship breaking expertise. Bad weather would hamper anything more than travel however.

  30. Art.


  31. lprent 32

    Stuff looking at the Northland seat "Shane Jones a distant third in Northland poll, meaning NZ First could leave Parliament".

    But a new Q+A/Colmar Brunton poll suggests Jones is coming in a distant-third behind the incumbent National MP Matt King and Labour’s Willow-Jean Prime.

    The poll has King on 46 per cent support for the seat vote, Prime on 31 per cent, and Jones at 15 per cent.

    Labour was ahead in the party vote within the electorate at 41 per cent, with National not far behind at 38 per cent, ACT next at 8 per cent, and NZ First at 7 per cent.

    At the last election in Northland the party vote was convincingly won by National, with 46 per cent support to Labour’s 30 per cent.

    The poll was conducted between July 29 and August 4, with 503 eligible voters polled over landlines and online.

    Basically, there isn't that much of a difference from the last election. Matt King appears to be a good solid local MP without the personal baggage that Mike Sabin carried with him. About the only thing that has been notable about him is that he is a dangerously naive scientific illiterate fool. But hey, we put up with all kinds of idiots running on faith in NZ. If he is stupid but isn't actively dangerous to others, then we tend to give them a free pass.

    It makes it hard for Willow Jean Prime to overtake with the peculiar social strata of Northland – the place that time forgot in NZ.

    But I have to say that this kind of result is exactly what I have come to expect from Shane Jones over the last few decades. Great promise. Poor delivery. And also idiotic screw ups on the way. For instance, I suspect that this one will be one of those.

    "Auditor-general takes Provincial Growth Fund's 'fund within a fund' to task"

    The Government’s Provincial Growth Fund has been savaged by the auditor-general for a lack of transparency, lacklustre conflict management and operating a “fund within a fund”.

    The auditor-general, Parliament’s financial watchdog, was specifically critical of a $30 million spend, authorised by Cabinet for “manifesto commitments to the regions”.

    That funding was approved soon after the fund was established and soon grew to $85m. The auditor-general queried why certain projects were funded from this specific pot of money.

    “It was not always clear from the documentation why certain projects were considered for funding from this part of the fund,” they said.

    The report went on to say “it was difficult to find evidence of how projects had fully met the normal criteria for the fund” and that, in effect, the “manifesto commitments” pot was “operating as a fund within a fund”.

    • roblogic 32.1

      Matt King is well spoken, he was at Horeke (up in the Hokianga) a few years back, along with Kelvin Davis and Mayor John Carter.

      King is against rail in Northland, had a twitter argument about it 🙄

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