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Open mike 08/10/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 8th, 2021 - 206 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 …

206 comments on “Open mike 08/10/2021 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    Zero covid is good for health and the economy

    • Jenny How to get there 1.1


      Living with endemic covid, is bad for health. (and the economy).

      New Zealand’s plan for tackling Covid-19 in hospitals won’t work outside an elimination strategy, a leading intensive care specialist says.

      ICU plan won't work for endemic Covid-19 due to staff shortages, expert says | Stuff.co.nz

      • Alan 1.1.1

        this all all moot now, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back

        • Jenny How to get there

          In a major crisis defeatism is the opposite of what is needed.

          It is not all moot.

          We were crushing the virus under level 4.

          If the virus threatens to get further out of control the only way, to prevent unnecessary suffering and deaths, is for the government to reimpose a nation wide Level 4 Lockdown to eliminate it.

          • Alan

            you say defeatism, I say the Ardern government has given up on elimination, simple as that

            • Patricia Bremner

              Allan you HOPE they have "given up" as it suits your narrative?

              Rather the Government are admitting this is extremely difficult to do as there is a group of anti vax/ or non compliant/ or travelling dealers who have sick members in their group.

              Our Bill of Rights does not allow the Health Department or the Government to force medical treatment on these people, so they have used their Leaders to help… a fortnight ago.

              Some are obviously still resistant or hesitant, but the proximity of the disease and its rapid spread is causing many to rethink and they are now getting their vaccinations started.

              The spread is so wide they have asked us to up our personal defences by double jabs as soon as possible to assist in containing delta better. The boundaries have been enlarged to indicate areas of higher risk.

              They are trialing fast testing and home quarantine to support our current efforts of developing strategies to keep the virus out of the general public. They have found a system to try to help people get home even while battling this. If journalists did more to highlight the positives that might also help confidence in the methods.

              After all our deaths at 29 are too many for us, but by world stats bloody amazing.

              Given all of that.. How is that giving up?

              • Alan

                elimination as a strategy is gone, Hipkins said as much this week

                • Patricia Bremner

                  He corrected himself later. That doesn't suit your narrative so you left that bit out?

              • Jenny how to get there

                Patricia Bremner

                8 October 2021 at 11:06 am

                Allan you HOPE they have "given up" as it suits your narrative?….

                It is not Allan's narrative;
                That the New Zealand government have given up on their Elimination strategy, is the widely accepted narrative, and general consensus. My hope is that the government can recover their nerve and return to their Elimination Strategy that has served us so well.

                New Zealand gives in: How international media sees the Covid-19 strategy

                ….Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement of a three-stage roadmap to ease level 3 restrictions in Auckland marked a move away from the elimination strategy.


                Surrendering to the virus

                So, having saved us from Covid for 18 months, our government has just surrendered to the virus, announcing a "transition plan" to loosen restrictions while Covid is still spreading in the community. This is exactly the sort of insanity which has led to outbreaks and mass death in the UK and NSW, and there's no reason to think it will end any differently here.


                Jack Tame's Opinion:

                Moving Auckland to Alert Level 3 was not consistent with elimination. It was a gamble that risked the gains from a month at Level 4. The Government continued to speak optimistically about stamping out the virus, even as public health experts and modellers publicly demurred.


              • Jenny how to get there

                Patricia Bremner

                8 October 2021 at 11:06 am

                ……the Government are admitting this is extremely difficult to do as there is a group of anti vax/ or non compliant/ or travelling dealers who have sick members in their group.

                "There is no such thing as bad soldiers, only bad generals." Napoleon

                Now I am sure, that Napoleon's army had its share of drunkards and deserters and trouble makers, and law breakers, but I never heard of Napoleon blaming those elements for his failures, or the failures of his generals.

                Let's be clear this is a failure of our leaders, who gave in to the pressure to abandon their Elimination Policy.

                All the blame storming and scape goating of marginal groups like gangs and rough sleepers and others at the bottom of society, is covering up government's loss of nerve.

                "….there is a group of anti vax/ or non compliant/ or travelling dealers who have sick members in their group."

                This probably is true. But what this narrative doesn't tell us Patricia, is why, despite the activities of these people, before it was lifted early, the Level 4 Lockdown was crushing the virus. If these people were having a big effect as you claim, then the Level 4 would also have failed as well.

                They are such a tiny minority of the population their activities had little effect on the Level 4 Lockdown.

                Lockdowns work like vaccination, the more people that do it, herd immunity kicks in, and protects even the few who don't.

                And if you don't believe the Level 4 Lockdown was working to eliminate the virus, right up until it was abandoned, here are some quotes;

                …..Ardern said it was now known the Delta variant had been in the community for 7-10 days prior to the first case, and that level 4 “was the right move and has worked”.https://www.guardianonline.co.nz/news/auckland-going-to-level-3-changes-for-the-rest/

                …..Modelling suggests that if New Zealand had not immediately moved into a level 4 lockdown after one case, the daily number of cases at this point would be roughly 550 people a day, Ardern said.


                Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank said the large drop in cases does not necessarily mean the outbreak hit its peak on Sunday, because testing and processing slows down over the weekend.

                But he said given the trends of the cases over the weekend, it was likely an indication the outbreak is plateauing and the numbers were consistent with modelling projections….

                …..it’s possible we could see case numbers down to about 10 a day within the sort of latter part of September, and you know, if we can get down to that level, we’ll be in a really good position to eliminate the outbreak.”


                It is quite clear that the activities of gangs and other alleged rule breakers had litte effect on the success of Level 4.
                If the government had interned every single gang member and every rough sleeper and every suspected P dealer in the country, it would have had little effect on the success, or failure, of the drop to Alert Level 3. It was the lifting of the Level 4 lockdown that was the key failure.

                For the same reason this tiny minority didn't affect of the effectiveness of the Level 4 lockdown, they did not materially or at least not substantially cause the failure of the Level 3 Lockdown.

                The economic cost of the elimination strategy and full lockdown, was deemed too expensive to maintain any longer, and so it was lifted earlier than it should have been. (according to the modelers and medicial experts)

                Wiles 'gutted' COVID restrictions being eased

                Mark Quinlivan – Newshub,

                An infectious diseases expert says she's "gutted" COVID-19 restrictions are going to ease, with community transmission still evident in Auckland.

                …..suppress the virus rather than get to zero-COVID is disappointing.

                'We've lost level 1 now': Wiles 'gutted' COVID restrictions being eased (msn.com)

                If we want to know the cause of the failure of the Level 3 Lockdown, we need to look to the looser rules for the majority, that allowed the virus to spread more widely. And not scapegoat gangs, or other marginal groups on the bottom rungs of society, for what in essence is a failure of nerve from the leadership.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  Jenny thanks for your replies.

                  If it appeared I was scapegoating, that was not my intention though in two cases a gang person had been moving over the border and dealing, in another two hid in a car boot to try to deal in drugs. This caused cases outside Auckland. Other cases arose with essential workers crossing the border. Those who are not vaccinated could become disease vectors. Facebook has a case to answer here imo.

                  The Government has to choose from sometimes conflicting Health advice. I think the failure to bring in the spit test for daily checks has caused some cases, but lawless behaviour has created others. (Not just gangs) Gangs are a measure of social struggle. The government needs to do more there.

                  The absolute denial Hendy's models were met with, shows the pressure on the Government to lift L4. Level 3+ is still tougher than in other places. The figures tell us what was happening up to ten days earlier. My brother said in NSW they could click and collect most things all the way through.

                  Naploeon got it wrong in Russia, let's hope we do better, don’t think I am not concerned..I am.

                  • Jenny how to get there


                  • Jenny how to get there

                    The gangs are not to blame for the failure of the Lockdown.

                    The rough sleepers, drug users, sex workers, prisoners, the gangs, the lowest and most alienated and marginalised sections of our New Zealand society.

                    It was always known, (and feared), that if the virus got into these marginalised communities that the virus would spread like wildfire.

                    I see the infections in the gangs as a symptom of the government's failure to control the virus, not the cause of it, as some are trying to make out.

                    As I wrote earlier, it is notable that these groups were not singled out for blame and scapegoating, until after the drop in alert level, which just as predicted by some experts, saw infection numbers reverse their decline and start rising again.

                    During the level 4 lockdown, the Prime Minister and her advisors did single out one sector, as a source of corona virus spread during the Auckland lockdown. And it wasn't the gangs.

                    Auckland lockdown extended as New Zealand Covid cases drop to 53

                    This article is more than 1 month old

                    Experts say this week is ‘crunch’ time as country waits to see whether numbers will continue to fall

                    Mon 30 Aug 2021 06.00 BST

                    …..Epidemiologist Prof Michael Baker said he is feeling optimistic about the numbers.

                    “The best news is there is not an exponential increase in cases,” he said.

                    The biggest risk now to stamping out the virus was potential spread among workers and between people who are not engaged with the country’s pandemic response, he said.

                    On Sunday, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said there had been a small number of workplaces operating under level 4 that had seen transmission within staff – four to date.

                    “If we need to tighten up our restrictions further we will,” Ardern said.

                    Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles said the worksite transmission was a worry, because despite the sites not being customer-facing, a spread of infection between staff could result in satellite outbreaks.


                    I personally know, through friends and extended family, of 3 medium sized workplaces and one large industry that in the first Lockdown closed down, but this time worked right through Level 4.

                    Unfortunately the Prime Minister didn't tighten up 'our restrictions further' on workplaces, as she said she would, on September 20, she loosened them instead.

                    On August 30, the Prime Minister said this: "In order for Auckland to move down a level, the country must be confident Delta is not circulating undetected in the community"

                    On September 20, the PM went back on this statement as well, and moved Auckland down a level despite 6 new cases being found in the community that day, 2 that could not be identified or traced, evidence that covid was circulating undetected in the community.

                    Sometime between these two dates the PM became convinced that Auckland's Level 4 lockdown could not be sustained any longer, even if covid was still circulating undetected in the community.

                    But not because of the gangs. But because of the economic cost to business.

                    We really need to get this straight. If we are going to abandon our elimination strategy, we need to be honest as to the reasons why. And not go searching for scapegoats.

                    In another time and place, not gangs and rough sleepers, but Jews and Gypsies were the lowest and most despised and feared members of society.

                    Not to sugar coat the gangs or make apologies for them, But what struck me most forcefully during my recent, admittedly brief, interaction with the gangs, was their poverty.

                    It is poverty which makes them band together and poverty which makes ilicit sources of income from drugs prostitution extortion burglary and violence part of their lifestyle.

                    Using the gangs as a repository for all our fears and failings is an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for our own actions.

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      Jenny I wrote in another post, gang people I met when teaching, (both gang leaders) 25 years ago, wanted better for their children.

                      I think the right wing here and world wide brought pressure to bear as our numbers made them look bad. Politicking in the background?

                      Funny how all the papers world wide dissed us all at once. Then the boys club left us out..

                      I may be imagining things but…

          • Molly

            I agree. Whether the government will do so, is unlikely.

            The confusion that arises from different regional lockdowns, and varying changes to what Level restrictions are leads to greater non-compliance and apathy. That's just a human reaction to anxiety and mixed messages. (Our household operates under Level 4 restrictions for the ease of it, but this will change when the students in the household are compelled to return to their tertiary institutions.)

            Given my underlying health conditions, they have a high level of anxiety about bringing the virus home despite vaccinations.

            The messaging is no longer simple, and that is a problem worth acknowledging and solving.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Understand your position Molly, that is scary.

              • Molly

                A good high school friends working as a team psychologist for NSW health workers, said that a large percentage of the anxiety was not directly to to the virus or the restrictions but to the changing and complicated messaging from government.

                After such simple messaging – community elimination – it's natural to expect anxiety.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  We are both fragile now, but we are able to isolate. It is very hard when people have to come and go from the home.

                  I remember reading about the spanish doctor who came in the back door went to the utility room stripped off and put everything into the wash, then hopped in the shower and washed her hair, then dressed in clothing she had laid out in the morning. Every day for 6 months at that point.

                  We do not need that and I hope we never do. Good Health to you and yours.

                  • joe90

                    My sister the CCU nurse and her bloke have bought a caravan and parked it up at home. Should the unit she works at have to treat covid patients she intends cutting herself off from her family and living in it.

      • miravox 1.1.2

        From Newsroom:

        Government must release Bloomfield’s elimination advice

        This was not an inevitable outcome. Experts are doubtful that, even now, elimination is totally out of reach. The day before Ardern's announcement, University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker told Newsroom that elimination was still achievable.

        "Technically, elimination is still possible. It's just whether there is the political and social will to do it."

        Without releasing advice it looks as if the government simply lost their nerve. Even now the messaging is not clear

        On Wednesday, Hipkins was clear that something was changing.

        "As the Prime Minister said on Monday, getting back to zero cases of Covid-19 in the community is now unlikely. We need to prepare for a gradual transition to the next phase of our Covid-19 response," he said.

        Just 45 minutes later, he contradicted himself, saying, "We aren’t moving away from elimination."

        It's all a bit of a mess, and we still have no idea how this strategy is going to affect healthcare and the health workforce. The elimination strategy relied on public buy-in. This containment strategy does too, but it seems we don't have buy-in for that either. Without seeing the advice that led to the decision to abandon eliminations (but have they?), it feels a lot like satisfying middle-class focus groups.

    • Jenny How to get there 1.2

      Uh Oh

      Covid could tear through entire New Zealand between now and Christmas, expert warns

      Alisha Rahaman Sarkar 8 hrs ago

      7 Comments|10

      Fears new Covid case will spark outbreak amongst unvaccinated Northlanders

      New Zealanders who have successfully evaded Covid-19 so far should prepare themselves to encounter the corona virus before Christmas, warned a leading epidemiologist.

      Prime Minister Jacinda Arden on Monday announced that the government was abandoning its ambitious zero-Covid strategy, even as a spike in cases was reported due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Instead, the government would focus on bolstering the vaccination process and phasing out restrictions, she said.

      Covid could tear through entire New Zealand between now and Christmas, expert warns (msn.com)

      • Jenny how to get there 1.2.1

        To achieve a covid free Christmas we need to eliminate the virus before it gets to the South Island, and before it overloads our health system. To achieve this goal will requirea a Level 4 Lockdown for the whole of the North Island for at least least 5 weeks.

        To be able to do this withou ruinin small proprotors and impoverishing house holds will require a full1930s style rent and mortgage moratorium for the period of the lockdown.

      • alwyn 1.2.2

        A minor note but it might be easier not to mention Alisha Rahaman Sarkar so prominently. She is the journalist who wrote the story, not the expert being quoted. The expert is the familiar Dr Michael Baker of Otago. When I read your comment I was left curious about who this, to me unknown, supposed expert called Sarkar was.

        • Jenny how to get there

          Sorry for the confusion. It is my habit to include the biline of the journalist responsible for the report.

          Which I did by cut and pasting the headline, with this reporter's name on the next line.

          Not making clear the name of the expert, is a result of trying to minimise the amount of text in the quoted link.

    • Ed1 1.3

      Do you have a url for that chart?

      • Jenny How to get there 1.3.1

        I was sent the chart on facebook. It had no URL.

        However I see at the bottom it came from the Institut économique Molinari in Belgium.

        The Zero Covid strategy protects people and economies more effectively

        Avatar Institut économique Molinari 3 avril 2021

        ……After a Covid-19 fight lasting more than 12 months, the data show the value of the elimination strategy and contradict the idea, widespread in France, that it was necessary to choose between protecting the economy and protecting public health on the grounds that these two goals were in conflict. At this stage, experience shows the elimination strategy (Zero Covid) to be more effective in both health and economic terms than the mitigation strategy applied in many countries.

        The Zero Covid strategy protects people and economies more effectively – Institut économique Molinari (institutmolinari.org)

  2. Gezza 2


    Aspen & the pooklet, Pickles – 7 January 2018

    View post on imgur.com

    Aspen & Pickles, a month later – 4 February 2018

    View post on imgur.com

    • Gezza 2.1


      For anybody who didn’t believe me when I posted yesterday that my new stream friend, Muscovy Duck (who already seems to respond to his name, “Muscovy”) wags his tail like a happy dog when he gets a bread chunk thrown down to him – this is from 8.30 am today.

      He’s just gobbled down a bread chunk:

      View post on imgur.com

      • Patricia Bremner 2.1.2


      • Forget now 2.1.3

        You want to be careful with pūkeko around ducks. Had some in a swamp; a good half kilometer down the road from the commune I was then a part of, and they just slaughtered the ducklings in our pond when they got a chance! Also drakes in mating season really aren't the cutest.

        • Gezza

          I see nature in the raw here, Forget now. Can't ignore it or change it. The male pūkekos will kill ducklings for food. I managed to yell out & stop Bluey once from hunting a separated duckling being carried downstream in the current near him, but I didn't fool myself that he wouldn't do it again.

          It also explained the odd headless ducking I'd come across down at the Eel Spot.

          Unattached / unpartnered mallard drakes are rapists. Pure & simple. They routinely harass & terrify hens who aren't interested in mating with them, even those with ducklings in tow. When you see a female mallard in flight followed closely by a mallard drake, if she's quacking frantically she's desperately trying to avoid getting raped.

    • Gezza 2.2

      Size comparison – Muscovy drake to Mallard drakes. He's a bigger, bulkier waterbird than the Mallards. About twice their size overall, imo.

      View post on imgur.com

      No more for today, I promise ☝🏼😇

      • Patricia Bremner 2.2.1

        Watch he doesn't eat the others out of hearth and home!!

        • alwyn

          Surely of much more interest. What are the Muscovy ducks like to eat?

          • Gezza

            “Muscovy”s much too beautiful & personable for me to want to kill & eat him, alwyn.

            Looks in some ways like a goose. Perhaps Muscovy Duck tastes similar to goose, but I dunno.

            The males are MUCH bigger than the females – which also seem to look different to the males. The females probably taste like mallard or grey or hybrid duck, at a guess.

            If you really want to know how they are to eat, you’ll need to google it.

  3. Gezza 3

    I’m planning to buy a rechargeable battery electric lawnmower.

    I’m looking at buying a Swift online.

    Does anyone here have a battery electric mower & if so how do you find it?

    • Cricklewood 3.1

      Have used a couple, if you mow regularly at least once per week maybe every 5 days in spring they're great… if it gets a bit long and the mower has to work hard the batteries can run out of juice pretty quick so can make it a stop start affair… mowing on a sunny afternoon also makes it easier.

    • solkta 3.2

      I have a Husqvarna self-propelled battery powered mower. It is excellent. There is also a push version.

      • Gezza 3.2.1

        I’ve had some health issues over the past year & I’m badly out of condition. Need to rebuild my fitness & exercise my lungs carefully.

        That Husqvarna self-propelled battery powered mower sounds like it might be a good option for me.

        What model is it, solkta? Also, how big’s your lawn &/or how long does it take you to mow it?

        • solkta


          I have half an acre but all the time more is being planted in natives and food forest. As that establishes i mow less. I don't usually mow it all at once. The food forest area is all in red clover and i mulch mow that at the highest level maybe every four to six weeks or so in spring/autumn and less in winter/summer.

          The mower has many driving speeds and if you are mowing regular you will be all good at the fastest which is a fast walking pace.

          Note with this model that you need to change to a different blade to do mulch mowing as the regular blade has up pointing fingers that throw the grass into the catcher. This works better than any other mower i have used. The good news is that the catcher still works as good as most even with the mulching blade. Blades are easy to remove also as they have just one bolt with spring washer.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.3

      Got a Victa that runs two batteries and it is brilliant once you get the lawn down to required height–it is for lawn maintenance not scrub cutting. Not so good on wet grass, sharpen or replace blade annually.

      Would suggest a mid range model, the higher end ones don’t seem to offer much more apart from branding. It is liberating not to use and mix fuel, and a quieter fume free task.

    • solkta 3.4

      You might also want to consider what other garden tools you might buy in the future so that the batteries are interchangeable. The Husqvarna runs two batteries rather than one big one so that the same batteries can be used with their whole range of electric tools – chain saw, pole pruner, blower, line trimmer etc. I'm hanging out to get the chainsaw but have lots of life still in my petrol Husqvarna.

      • mac1 3.4.1

        I have a Husqvarna battery mower and weed- eater. They use the same battery. With two batteries I can trim and mow 1450 sq m lawns.

        The beauty is three fold- far less noise, fumes and fossil fuel use since they charge off my solar panels, the motor stops running when I stop to empty the catcher or whatever reason, and it's lighter. I have a stopbank slope to mow and weight is not an issue with the electric. It's able to boost its revs to deal with heavier grass and the pre-run with the trimmer on all the edges and under fences is easy as it, too is light enough to not even need a carry strap.

        • solkta

          the motor stops running when I stop to empty the catcher or whatever reason

          Took me a while to get used to that. Kept thinking "fuck i've stalled it". It good though.

    • Ad 3.5

      Bosch. Got the mower, blower, weedeater, and hedge-cutter.


    • Robert Guyton 3.6

      Lose the lawn. Rewild. Replant with 3-dimensional plants that flower, have edible leaves or fruit. We have no snakes in New Zealand, so there's no good justification for having clipped lawns. We have though, the second most vile creature; the motor mower; they're kept at bay by removing their natural habitat 🙂

      • Tiger Mountain 3.6.1

        Heh, we can all piss off home now because Robert has laid the challenge down…

      • Bearded Git 3.6.2

        smileyBrilliant…first laugh of day….and I might look at my lawn policy.

      • solkta 3.6.3

        I like to have a mown area for playing with the dog and so my daughter can do gymnastics etc. Is liking something not a justification? Also, i wouldn't be able to get my car down my long drive if planted as you suggest. Should i concrete the middle bit and sides?

      • I Feel Love 3.6.4

        I would actually love to convert my lawn in natives, I live in South Dunedin, ex wetlands, any advice on what to plant, or web pages or anything, I've been thinking about doing it for years but can't figure out how to even start.

        • Robert Guyton

          Cool. Are you wanting to recreate a wetland, or a forest? It sounds as though South Dunedin will become wetter underfoot as time goes by…

          • I Feel Love

            Wetland would be fantastic as every time it rains the lawn is flooded anyway. I'll check for that book pingao, thanks!

            • Robert Guyton

              Carex secta is the plant for you!

            • Forget now

              I like red tussock myself; it's a bit taller and clumpier than a lawn, but once it's established is pretty hardy and low maintenance. Though I am up in the hills, rather than down near sea-level. Also, if you want to go super hands-off; just dig over patch of lawn and see what self-seeds – whatever survives is likely to be pretty well adapted for that niche. Just keep an eye out for noxious weeds like dock and thistles and ragwort etc.

              But vegetable/ herb gardens for spring onions and other fresh greens can't be beat! Though they're more effort and maintenance if just you want passive ground cover.

              • solkta

                Dock is my no3 friendly. Excellent for weed control and puts down a deep tap root. Easy to kill too when you no longer want it by cutting a couple of centimetres below ground level with suitable grubber. The seed stalks can be cut before the seed is wind swept and thrown where you want more.

                I let these come up through the red clover and throw the seed stalks around trees etc to save hand weeding. Works particularly well as weed control around miniature flax. Just rip and drop the leaves and then they do weed control at ground level until new leaves grow. The flax is good at growing up through the dock.

              • I Feel Love

                Thanks Rob & FN, good stuff.

          • McFlock

            South D also has a very high water table and it's salty water.

        • Pingao

          There is a book called "The Native Garden: design themes from wild New Zealand" by Isobel Gabites and Rob Lucas that has good suggestions as a starting point. Your local library should have it.

          For websites try looking through your local regional council, DOC office or Forest and Bird.

          Another option is to make contact with a local community restoration group.

      • Pingao 3.6.5

        Fire risk is a very good reason to keep the grass mown (and also as a pleasant area for people and animals to use) but I agree that lawns are pretty rubbish for ecological and environmental reasons. I am trialling using a push mower which is indeed a trial if you let the grass get away on you but is ok if you do a bit each day (And good exercise). I use a grass knife at the edges and snip away at the kikuyu just to remind it of it's manners.

      • Gezza 3.6.6

        I like having a bit of lawn, Robert. My lawns are comparatively small. I've got a lemon tree & a camellia in the back lawn.

        I don't lack for natural habitat tho.

        Just over the fence & thru my back gate I've got an entire streambank in its natural state, with pittos & various other trees & shrubs, including a few stands of summer lilac that are pretty & bring tons of monarch butterflies when they bloom.

        At the moment my very large pittosporum tenuifolium (that needs pruning back) is positively bursting with little dark purply-black flowers that put out a very strong perfume reminiscent of joss sticks. It's full of honeybees, & occasionally bumblebees, busily working the flowers.

        And the tuis love the flowers for their nectar. They get into all sorts of contortions, including hanging upside down to get at the nectar. To my great amusement.

      • mac1 3.6.7

        Robert. I'm considering planting the 40 metre stopbank to avoid the mowing necessity. At the moment it has a totara, a kowhai, a lancewood, a kauri and a kahikatea growing there along with flaxes, tussocks and irises. These plants are all inundated yearly, as the water level can rise two metres, and then endure a hot dry summer. Any suggestions for riparian planting that stay low?

        • Robert Guyton

          Low growers such as the "wiry" coprosmas, propinqua etc. would do the trick: they are tough enough to withstand floods and don't mind getting inundated. Any native shrub of that sort would be suitable; perhaps various hebe and korokia as well, would fit in nicely. Sometimes, when flax gets very big, floods tear them out and take a lot of earth with them, creating unstable stop banks.

  4. Robert Guyton 4


    “So the centre of the garden, which is a circular garden, has what I call a Maramataka compass. It has the 30 lunar houses on the outside, and on the inside it is a typical gregorian calendar one to 31 which you can just turn to whatever phase the moon is in. That will tell you in very very broad terms ‘yes this is a good time to be planting, or this is a good time to harvest or we shouldn't be doing too much in the way of sowing or complex work at this time.’”

    The second guiding principle is that Māori believe everything has a spirit – the soil, organisms, the plants. And everything has a family tree or whakapapa. So to honour Papatūānuku (mother earth) and Rongomātāne (deity of agriculture) it’s important to farm organically.

    The vegetable garden is now producing over 100 kg of green produce a week. That’s given to the older people of the hapu, and families connected to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. “The kaupapa is to get people eating better and to understand how to be more sustainable in the way they operate.”"

    This is an interesting article about an approach to gardens specific to our country :


  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Frank Macskasy puts it so well–what happens when NZ business gets the “certainty” it craves…


  6. Janet 6


    “Tourism was NZ's biggest foreign exchanger earner before the pandemic

    Tourism is not NZ,s biggest foreign exchange earner – farming is and always has been .

    Tourism is a fickle business, always has been, always will be. Those working in tourism will always find jobs on the land ….if they wished. It is ludicrous to be bring in labour from the islands when we have this situation although I understand they are work ready in all ways !

    • vto 6.1

      janet, farming only contributes 5% of NZ's GDP. It isn't the behemoth everybody thinks it is.

      And we don't actually need foreign exchange to have an economy. Exporting to survive is a myth…

      Have think about what would happen if 90% of our farming (the exported component) was stopped… think of all of that hard-working kiwi sweat and effort being pushed into our local economy rather than shipped off overseas where it is of such little use to us…

      I know this runs contrary to the capitalist strain of thinking, but you need to keep in mind the sole intent of capitalist thinking…

      • Maurice 6.1.1

        … bit tough on the 40 million people overseas our farmers presently feed though.

        • In Vino

          40 million rich pricks do you mean Maurice? Don't dare try to kid us that NZ is providing succour and relief to the starving.

          • Maurice

            When your "rick pricks" can no longer have access to the high quality food our farmers provide they will simply buy other food out of the mouths of their "poor pricks" … more than likely starving 100 million of those poor pricks.

            It is ALWAYS we poor pricks who suffer any cut back in food supplies.

      • Tricledrown 6.1.2

        vto how ever primary exports make up more than 60% of value. Farming doesn't include the value added from processing.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.2

      In Tourism the gains were matched with costs!! The public paid the costs!!

  7. Craig Hall 7


    The other side of 3 Waters – communities either unwilling or unable to afford to replace or upgrade current water systems. There are 7 mayors in that article ("Paula Southgate from Hamilton, Max Baxter from Ōtōrohanga, Don Campbell from Ruapehu, Anita Baker from Porirua, Campbell Barry from Hutt City, Rachel Reese from Nelson, and Jamie Cleine from Buller") who want it to go ahead and be mandated if necessary.

    The thing it, this report is nothing new. Everybody has agreed for the past 12 years that Waimangaroa needs a new water supply, but the council and community have spend all that time debating how to pay for the new supply.

    "If you've only got 140 connections to a water supply that costs $120,000 a year just to run, in terms of chlorination and power and monitoring and all the rest, the numbers are pretty simple in terms of what it's going to cost those people for compliant water," said Cleine. "And that's just their drinking water.

  8. Jimmy 8

    Great interview from JAG the other day! She really needs to lift her game.

    See the video from around 1:20. I guess this is the quality of MP we get under MMP.


    • Gypsy 8.1

      I'm not sure the quality of MP's under MMP is any worse than under FPP. Mind you, that interview was a doozy.

      • Jimmy 8.1.1

        Yes you do have a point there. You just don't know what you are getting under MMP. I can't even name any Act MP's other than Seymour and Brooke Van ??? Well there you go……one and a half!

  9. Adrian 9

    The only upside of Covid is that it has finally exposed the huge lie that tourism is so important to the country. The billions of spruiked advantages were merely a chimera.

    40 billion dollars a year has been found to be the complete unadulterated bullshit some of us knew it to be.

    So now the hired liars have moved into the knee jerk media. A pox on all their houses.

    • vto 9.1

      Exactly Adrian, couldn't agree more..

      … this exposure has been missed by many people (inobservant)

      … the same applies to farming and other "export" sectors, see my comment here https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08-10-2021/#comment-1822264

    • Patricia Bremner 9.2

      In Key's early reign, 2 university students came round surveying our attitudes to tourism.

      They were shocked when I said NO to the many loaded questions.

      I was asked to explain. I said "A few will get rich, but 99.9% will work long hours for a pittance now the contracts act is in place."

      I was told others were enthusiastic. I asked "Who will pay for the necessary infrastructure?" A startled look was the students reply.

      The councils that's who.. through ratepayers, and you should have that question about infrastructure in your survey. Always look at the costs as well as the supposed gains otherwise your conclusions may be flawed."

      They thanked me but I think they thought I was a grump.

  10. coreyjhumm 10

    Good lord! Former transport minister and green transport rep Julie Ann Genter who introduced the drug testing bill storms off and has a meltdown after being asked one question and an easy question about GPs saying it's not a good bill because it'll produce false positives and she just says "I can't do this" it's a bill she introduced…. Good lord… And people actually considered her Green party leadership material. If this was a former minister member of labour or national they'd be getting ripped out to hell but minor party mps seem to get away with flakey behavior , just look at the free pass all act mps get at the moment.

    This is embarrassing


    • vto 10.1

      Is it possible that all her energy is being pushed into growing her baby, leaving little for dealing with other matters? … baby first…

      Women do undergo massive physiological change while undertaking this most amazing feat…

      • Sabine 10.1.1

        Maybe the expecting birthing parent should take leave and some male should take the space and job?

        After all birthing parents can be unprepared to do their job and deal with questions while giving an interview..


        • vto

          No I wasn't implying any such thing, though it did cross my mind that someone might pipe up along these lines…

          Good on her I say… but can be difficult to ignore physiological realities which impact all humans from time to time… that's all…

          Do you think this could be the reason she looked a bit flummoxed? There is absolutely nothing wrong with this if so, nothing at all, and in fact it shoudl be celebrated, not used against her..

          • Anne

            Looked to me like they jumped out on her while she was transiting through a corridor. She looked like she is close to giving birth and was feeling hot and uncomfortable.

            Typical of nasty, entitled journos to do something like that to a heavily pregnant woman.

            • Herodotus

              Have you any proof that JAG was hijacked ? If those here take time and WATCH the full interview then you will see that it was organised. Starts with OK cool we will get going.


              • Anne

                That's your interpretation, She was "hijacked". Overly dramatic but we all know Hero-dotus is always right. 🙄

                Since they lie in wait for unsuspecting pollies every day of the working week it isn't too hard to assume they did it to JAG. Once she realised what they were up to she walked away and I don't blame her.

                • Herodotus

                  Anne, I gather from your response that you did open my link. Can I please implore you to at least review my link to the interview. It should allow you some knowledge to allow you to reconsider your approach 😱

                  • Anne

                    I saw the item both on TV and online last evening. My initial reaction was the same as yours and others. Then I reflected on the fact she was heavily pregnant, and that she had been lured into taking the interview under a false pretense.

                    It doesn't matter a damn if it was opportunistic or arranged slightly in advance. She was set up. That was obvious.

                    I'm sick and tired of this puerile form of gotcha politics no matter who commits them. There must be journos from the past who are spinning in their graves over what has happened to their once excellent profession.

                    • Herodotus

                      I am still unsure have you watched the full 10 minute interview, I would recommend any who want to pass comment on view ? As that gives greater context than the 30 seconds that was dedicated on TV and that most have viewed, and from my reading many are basing their impressions on this abbreviated (Directors cut).

            • DukeEll

              oh come on. JAG said, "I didn't do this interview expecting to be grilled"

              She is heavily pregnant and allowed off days, but not knowing why the Royal College of Physicians thought the billed was ill though through and rushed or even that they had said that is inexcusable.

              It's JAG's bill, and Maiki Sherman is not a confrontational journalist.

      • Jimmy 10.1.2

        If that's the case, why is she still in Parliament drawing a huge salary if she is unable to do her job? Perhaps she should take leave.

        I think you will find many other women who are pregnant manage to carry on working (in fact we had a PM that did pretty well while pregnant).

        • vto

          dont think it is as simple as you state Jimmy..

          • Jimmy

            Of course it is. If as you say "all her energy is being pushed into growing her baby, leaving little for dealing with other matters? … baby first…" are you not saying she may not have enough left to do her job?

            Normally would take maternity leave when the baby and the job becomes too much.

        • Tricledrown

          Mansplaining 101 Jimmy every pregnancy is different.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Being a bloke you'd know!! Right Jimmy?

        • weka

          better question would be why hasn't parliament adjusted how it operates in order to make it possible for pregnant women to do their jobs? Do we really want parliament to be operating at the level of men?

          • Patricia Bremner

            yes Thanks Weka Correct.

          • Jimmy

            Jacinda managed while she was pregnant to do her job and arguably did it pretty well.

            • weka


              • Jimmy

                So? It goes to show that one of these women was able to multi task and one (Genter) not so much.

                • weka

                  So women who can't work like men* shouldn't have proper jobs?

                  At what point should Genter resign as an MP?

                  *this is the standard you are arguing for. I would say it's actually white, middle class men, because that's who designed most of our institutions. Women work differently. So do other ethnicities. Lots to be gained by having a pluralistic approach rather than a reductionistic one.

                  • Jimmy

                    Anyone who is unable to preform their job should resign….man or women.

                    • weka

                      in other words, ignore the fact that parliament is designed for men, and expect women to resign if they can't be like men.

    • Sabine 10.2

      When you demand affirmation only, that is what you get. People who can't cope with questions.

    • Sabine 10.3

      actually this sounds like a very messy attempt to make bank via fines.

      • Molly 10.3.1

        If you get an unexpected positive, are you going to have the confidence to then request a blood test and possibly get a criminal conviction? No. You will probably pay the fine.

        My partner works in a heavy machinery industry. They have random drug tests (management included) and immediate drug tests when a health and safety incident occurs.

        The issue with drug positives (as opposed to alcohol) has always been that the test comes back positive for the presence of drugs, not the level of impairment. Positives can result from a joint taken almost two months ago, but P can be undetectable after two days. Although, P users may be more erractic and dangerous at work as a whole.

        • weka

          so a positive drug test leads to a conviction for using an illegal drug?

          • DukeEll

            If you challenge the road side tests validity it could

          • Molly

            As far as I understand from what Genter said:

            Positive saliva tests will result in a fine (similar to speed infringement notices. An instant fine, which is not a criminal conviction).

            If you have two positive saliva tests, you can request a blood test. If that test is also positive, then you will get a criminal conviction.

            The issue is dangerous driving due to drug impairment.

            The only method we have available for drug testing is for drug traces NOT impairment. Some drugs stay in the body for several weeks, others a couple of days. But they don't measure impairment. It is a very difficult problem to solve equitably, and has been an issue for many employers for years.

            The presence of drugs in the saliva test will result in an instant fine for Drug-impaired Driving, even if there is no impairment.

            The assumption that police bias harm is limited to criminal convictions, and not necessarily the distress of getting a positive result and fined when you are not impaired, – or possibly have no knowledge of the reason for your positive test – is not addressed.

            Company policies are different for drug testing. Some will have an immediate dismissal, others will request a blood test. But the issue regarding presence of drugs and the level of impairment, if there is any at all remains.

    • Patricia Bremner 10.4

      She did not want to discuss that aspect as.. It was out of left field, she was not prepared she was honest .. It was a closed binary question.. What a shock. She did not waffle lol. She walked away from a journalist…. are they God or something?

      • Molly 10.4.1

        It was a poor response from an MP who should have the information to hand..

        We don't have to cheerlead this government all the time. If a National or Act MP had done the same they would be criticised, and rightly so. Genter deserves the same censure.

        It was a legitimate question, that should have had a prepared answer.

        • Robert Guyton

          I remain unconvinced. The interview was cut as Gentre was still speaking (umm..) so we don't know if she went on to clarify. Those above swinging-in with their negative criticisms have misread the situation, in my opinion.

          • Bearded Git

            Yes I noticed that Robert. First of all they asked her questions on a matter she had not agreed to talk about then they chopped her off as she was about to explain.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Molly, they are people not bloody robots. Were you always perfect at work..? I know i was not I was human and stumbled made mistakes and had doubts.

          If I come across as a cheer leader lol perhaps it is to counter some quite partisan stuff here at times. I do not believe Politicians are accountable to the roving reporter lot, and I do not believe one shower makes a storm, except in someone's teacup.

          • Molly

            I don't need anybody to be a robot. But I do expect honest and warranted critiques to be taken in stride, and used to improve.

            As Herodotus has posted below, the interview was not a roving reporter, and Genter was given a chance to regroup and return.

            Stop critiquing my criticism, and ask if Genter could have done better. She is the MP who introduced the bill, she should have the answer.

            • Patricia Bremner

              If I recall "you don't have to cheerleader this government" I reacted to that quite within my rights I would think. We all critique each other's take on things. Weka pointed out something I accepted readily.

              Further, in her replies Genter says " we have introduced an amendment to the bill" until that goes through…

              Medical Council of Physcians are able to make submissions as well. She was asked to talk to their position. Perhaps she should have said "You should ask them" She did return, but I could not find what she said. Just a report of it. I thought it was edited poorly and left questions.

              • Molly

                Further, in her replies Genter says " we have introduced an amendment to the bill" until that goes through…

                And the amendments are reviews after several years and a sunset clause. Notably used by Bush when excusing the Patriot Act.

                I understand that drug-impairment when driving is an issue. I think the problem is a very difficult one to solve. I also think, this solution is a poorly thought out one that will both cause harm in terms of police bias and false positives, and sideline the thorny problem of getting a better solution because it has already been dealt with.

        • Pete

          It's terrible when ministers don't have prepared answers in their pockets for any question any reporter might ask at any time.

          Then again no doubt some giving Genter a hard time praised the media savvy and forthrightness of one prominent politician who they lauded for 'breaking the mould.' They saw it as taking no crap, calling the shots, the sign of strength. Mind you if a woman had copied Donald Trump …

          • Molly

            I believe that Genter should have an answer for this because it is an issue with many company drug testing regimes, so it’s not an unusual or unanticipated question.

            You might not have considered it before, but many companies have grappled with this self same issue for years. The question is not new.

        • weka

          It was a poor response from an MP who should have the information to hand..

          We don't have to cheerlead this government all the time. If a National or Act MP had done the same they would be criticised, and rightly so. Genter deserves the same censure.

          It was a legitimate question, that should have had a prepared answer.

          She did answer. Full video is here,


          As to why she struggled at that particular point and then walked away for a moment, here's the transcript of what was said in the first video,

          TVNZ: The Royal College of GPs today said the bill should be put on hold. Do you you agree with them?

          Julie Ann Genter: Um… pause… I think that, um… you know, I actually can’t do this [walks away]… sorry.

          TVNZ: Why?

          JAG: Um, I wasn’t expecting to be grilled for something the government is doing and that we’ve consistently taken a critical approach.

          TVNZ: You helped usher in this Bill, you and Stuart Nash launched it.

          JAG: Um.. [gets cut off]

          Looks to me like there is a tension between what the Greens wanted and what Labour are doing?

          In the full video she goes on to respond. Some bullshit editing there by TVNZ in the shorter video.

          I'm curious why she was being interviewed, what role was she there in? Former Associate Transport Minister? Deputy Chair on the Transport and Infrastructure committee looking at the Bill? Green Party spokesperson on Transport?

          I'll also note that Genter isn't part of the government. The Greens sit outside of cabinet.

          • weka

            I'll also say that Genter isn't coming across as smooth as one would expect from an MP (and further to my comment elsewhere about parliament and pregnancy why is she having to stand up?), but otoh, she's being transparent. At the end of the ten minute video she says clearly that the GP are critical of the Bill but they also believe that it should go ahead with their amendments because it can then be improved once new evidence is gathered. There's a typical GP nuance there, a both/and approach. The interviewer spent the whole time trying to box JAG into an either/or position. I can understand why Genter would be frustrated by that.

            I haven't been following the Bill, there may be other politics going on I am unaware of. I am curious now.

            • Bearded Git

              I thought Genter came across very well in the full interview. The Greens are really trying to make this legislation fair and workable, with a sunset clause in 5 years if it doesn't work, and they will not support the bill if their amendments are not included. She was generous with her time-the minor loss of composure should have been taken out.

              TVNZ should hang its head in shame in the way it edited the very very very short interview.

              • solkta

                Legislation that fines unimpaired drivers for drug impaired driving can never be considered fair.

          • Molly

            Apparently she introduced the Bill with Stuart Nash.

            The issue of poistive results not indicative of impairment in drug testing is a lon-standing one.

            • weka

              Yes, I understand. I found the longer interview interesting because she explained the GP rationale for still supporting the Bill despite that (assuming the amendments go through).

              The Bill was introduced before the last election, when she was Associate Transport Minister and more part of the government. Tricky position to be in now.

              • weka

                sorry, just seen you've seen the full vid and commented below.

              • felix

                She totally refused to acknowledge the issue, which is that a positive test gives no indication of impairment.

                I didn't see any nuance expressed by her at all. The issue was put to her very directly and repeatedly and she spent the whole interview weaseling about having to have two positive test results instead of one, which is just ignoring the problem twice instead of once.

                Very disappointing. Green MPs used to be better than this.

          • Patricia Bremner


          • Robert Guyton

            That is correct, weka and not difficult to read, even without the detail, given Genter's past management of issues and her integrity. My frustration was not with her, but with those who leapt in to demean her; primed, they were to take her down.

      • Robert Guyton 10.4.2

        I saw it that way also, Patricia. My take was the issue was one that has no simple "sound-byte" answer and that the explanation would take a great deal of "back-story" something she wasn't prepared to deliver. I'm interested though, in the keenness of commenters here to attack Julie Ann Genter on this issue, given her intelligent and adroit handling of so many transport issues, over a long period of time, in the face of very hostile politicians: Gerry Brownlee et al.

      • Herodotus 10.4.3

        She was ill prepared for an ORGANISED interview – Watch and be educated. The interview was on the topic no hijack by the reporter.


        • Molly

          Watched the whole interview. Reinforced my initial view, thought the reporter was both professional and prepared.

          Two issues only touched on.

          1. The evidence regarding impairment in the saliva tests is non-conclusive. The focus on criminal conviction not being possible without a blood test, discounts any trepidation or fear people may have when getting a positive saliva test without knowing why – as mentioned marijuana can stay in the blood for up to seven weeks, consumption of poppy seed crackers gives a positive test for the drug testing my partner's company uses, some medications etc. Positive tests here still don't prove impairment,

          2. The arrogant reiteration that the bill was evidenced based, but the evidence that it is based on is going to be the data collected from fines, convictions reductions in impairment accidents AFTER the bill is passed. As the journalist pointed out this is a trial-run.

          It seems that the bill was introduced because "something had to be done".

          So, here is something.

          It might not be evidence based (but just you wait), and it might impact more on more on members of the public already dealing with bias from the police, but those will be just fines, only criminal convictions based on blood tests, and even those blood tests won't necessarily determine impairment, but you should have seen what National or the Police Association would have done.

          Why aren't you thankful? Didn't you know something had to be done?

          • solkta

            It seemed to me that Genter was trying to screw the discussion from whether there was evidence that the tests would be proof of impairment, which the medical science seems to be saying they would not, to whether there is evidence that the legislation would reduce drug impaired driving. It looked dishonest to me.

    • mac1 10.5

      I read the article.

      It has two paragraphs that don't make sense grammatically as they are both lacking main clauses. The meaning is therefore unclear. These two paragraphs relate to reaction from medical authorities.

      "What’s more, the criticism by health professionals declaring the testing framework for oral fluid and blood tests is “not supported by reliable scientific evidence”, according to the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners.

      The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists adding “the presence of drugs…does not directly relate to impairment”. It says further research is needed. "

      Is the criticism by health professionals not supported by reliable scientific evidence or is it the testing frame work not supported?

      How reliable is poorly edited and unclear reporting?

      • Molly 10.5.1

        Alcohol testing can determine the presence of alcohol in the breath and blood, which is useful to determine impairment at the same time.

        Drug testing can be positive when the person is no longer impaired.

        eg. Presence of marijuana up to seven weeks after use,

        Narcotic positives if you have consumed poppy seed crackers,

        Positives from some over the counter and prescribed medications etc.

        It's the assumption of impairment that is different when it comes to immediate alcohol test results, and certain drug test results.

        Genter should have an answer for this because it is an issue with many company drug testing regimes, so it’s not an unusual or unanticipated question.

    • AB 10.6

      She's normally pretty good at answering questions, but appeared to lose it briefly. But I don't really care for two reasons:

      • it's a brutal job and I'm surprised it doesn't happen a lot more
      • I'm satisfied that her intentions are generally good and motivated by a healthy underlying ideology. Therefore 'competence' arguments don't carry much weight unless there's a systematic and repeated pattern of not doing a good job of something. Intentions and values are what matter most – you need a layer of competence on top, but while it's necessary it's not sufficient on its own
      • McFlock 10.6.1

        Yeah, it just looks like a bad day at the office. Especially if she wasn't aware of the RCGP announcement that had just happened.

        Could she have handled it better? Sure. Is this typical of her ability/behaviour in interviews? Not from what I've seen, by any stretch.

        JAG on an off day is still better than Collins on a good day.

      • felix 10.6.2

        Looked more like deliberate dishonesty than incompetence to me. The only incompetence displayed was her inability to get away with it.

    • Ad 10.7

      As Minister she was proposing a law that would enforce behaviour on footpaths between skateboarders, people, bikes, scooters, and other modes. Unenforceable garbage, quickly shelved.

      • Patricia Bremner 10.7.1

        Are you saying more of the same?

        • Ad

          Transport should have been a gift portfolio for the Greens, but Genter just wasn't up to it.

          Genter is simply past her use-by date.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Genter is simply past her use-by date.

            Disagree – 'be kind' appeals to me. The times they are a-changing, and I'm enjoying having a few more MPs with a Gentler political style in the mix.

            Not every voter is a fan of dull punch-drunk pugilistic politics and all the wasted emissions that go with it. Peace, and love.

            • Ad

              We could all do with $165k worth of backbencher kindness for being neither in government nor in opposition, but hey unicorn rainbows.

              FWIW the legislative effort against drugged driving is totally necessary and I hope the bill makes it into law, in some form. Otherwise employers and insurers will just enforce it by stealth.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Unicorn rainbows, stardust sparkle ponies, and babies indeed.
                Irritating and confusing for some, and a revelation to me – more please smiley

  11. 1838 cases in Victoria today. Pro-rata for NZ that would be 1399 cases.

    I just hope "suppression" ends up as elimination in NZ, at least until some time next year, otherwise this could be a rough ride.

  12. Tricledrown 12

    If we can suppress covid till 5 to 12 yr olds get vaccinated then we can breathe a little easier.

  13. Tricledrown 13

    Chris Bishop saying gangs are certainly not your local rotary clubs .After being confronted by TV1 reporter saying gangs handing out food parcels.

    From the tobacco merchant of death, 5,000 deaths a year no gang comes near that toll.Chris Bishop tobacco spin doctor.

    • bwaghorn 13.1

      Pablo Escobar did alot for his local community, just saying

      • Ad 13.1.1

        I know, right? There's a real community support network among the modern KKK, then there's the services to Broolkyn's Mink population by the Genovese's, the liberation of female sexuality from patriarchal regulation that modern gang management provides, the art bestowed to human society by the Borgia's, essential contributions to epistemology from the Spanish Inquisition, astounding advances in logistics, aircraft technology and human mechanisation from the National Socialists, the beautiful fresh fish that our fishing slaves provide to us, and indeed all the great stories of human redemption that we would never have had if criminals had not given us so much over so many years. With such gratitiude it just makes me want to suck up a line of coke.

      • Forget now 13.1.2

        The Magdalena River isn't dealing too well with Hippo Escobar's shit. Though unsurprisingly, the local tourist guides don't care if others pay the consequences for their profit (which brings to mind tourism operator attitudes in locations nearer to home). The "unconfirmed reports" of miracle sterilizing dartgun chemicals (at end of video) doesn't mention the price, or dose.

        Since being introduced three decades ago by the notorious drug lord, the giant animals have multiplied and are threatening local biodiversity…

        Fishermen complain they only catch half as many fish and are sometimes forced to protect their boats from animal attacks. Others say they are polluting water systems with their droppings and hurting biodiversity because many local species can't compete with the large animals.


    • Patricia Bremner 13.2

      The British worked with the Russians to defeat the Germans. Then when that crisis was past…

    • Patricia Bremner 13.3

      devil Tricledown Chris not suitable for leadership then?

  14. Gezza 14

    Tova O'Brien still twisting the knife (so to speak):

    "National leader Judith Collins has received a brutal report card from the business sector – the traditional bread and butter backers of the National Party.

    In this year's Mood of the Boardroom, the big dogs of the business world, and even farmers, have gone on the record calling for Collins to go.

    Collins is described as "hopeless" by Devon Funds Management principal Paul Glass, who said she was 'Labour's best asset.'"


  15. Tricledrown 15

    Why not start a war on drugs then make oxycontin freely available. Then set up trusts and shell companies and give the biggest nz player a knighthood while your about it.

    Big tobacco has killed more people than wars.

  16. Forget now 16

    I am all for recognizing Māori perspectives in Aotearoan history and technology, but this just strikes me as going out of your way to take offense!

    "We measured black carbon or soot in those ice cores – there are six altogether and our objective was to study atmospheric chemistry over the past 2000 years," McConnell said.

    "So two of the ice cores are from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and the other four are from continental Antarctica, maybe 2000 kilometres south of where the ones from the northern tip of the Antarctic are from and we can tell from that array (of cores) – because of atmospheric circulation and using climate models and so forth – that these emissions had to come from poleward or south of 40 degrees south latitude…in New Zealand you don't really have much of a natural fire cycle.

    "[The year 1300] is when the Māori arrived and settled New Zealand and started using fire for land clearing and things like that."…

    University of Waikato acting dean of the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies associate professor Sandy Morrison said the study was "devoid of context, devoid of cultural understandings and is yet another example of what we have grown to expect from western science".

    "It relies on measurements, modelling and silo thinking and the paper whether intentional or not, posits Māori as the 'naughty' offenders.


    Aue! Sure, 1300 may not be the best date for the initial settlement of Aotearoa – which more likely predates that by several centuries. But as a date for when populations had become large enough for their fire use to become recognizably embedded in the polar ice record, that is not unreasonable. I don't feel any outrage myself, because I don't think everything is about me (or my identity) personally.

    Victoria University of Wellington's Dr Holly Winton said via the Science Media Centre that "black carbon is important for our climate because it absorbs sunlight warming the planet.

    "Due to the very small size of black carbon particles, a few nanometres in diameter, winds can transport black carbon thousands of kilometres from the location of the fire. Black carbon from Southern Hemisphere fires reaches as far as the pristine Antarctic continent. The record of black carbon in Antarctica ice cores provides a history of past fire activity."

    Winton said ice core records drilled by the New Zealand ice core program in the Ross Sea region – located directly downwind from New Zealand – would provide additional information about black carbon and help answer some of the questions raised by the study.

    "Further geochemical evidence may pinpoint the source of the black carbon by linking the organic chemistry signal in the ice core to specific types of vegetation."

    • Brigid 16.1

      "Goodness knows why Māori are primarily emphasised, and for what purpose this article was written."

      Agree with that considering Patagonia and Tasmania were also suggested as sources of the carbon, and that Maori didn't have the resources or tools to fell vast tracts of bush. I can't imagine much NZ native bush will burn without being felled and dried first. The first non Maori settlers proved that.

    • Gypsy 16.2

      " I don't feel any outrage myself"

      I do. At Sandy Morrison's comments. Science should never bend or sway to offence.

  17. georgecom 17

    todays vaccination rates are good reading.

    60,000 second dosers – 1.5% of eligible population

    20,000 first doses – 0.5% of eligible population, that is a significant lift from last weeks trends

    • Patricia Bremner 17.1

      Yes I think reality has hit and complacency has ended. If soon younger children can have a one third dose, we may have a really good shield Then we must aid our Pacific Neighbours to widen cover.

      • georgecom 17.1.1

        its seems some countries have only recently started vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds, some still to approve under 17 or 18.The likes of Chile and Cuba are now vaccinating under 12. Whether it's one reduced dose of a vaccine or2 reduced doses for under 12, either will go a long way to helping limit covid circulating.

  18. Andre 18

    What the actual fuck??!!??

    Our government are enjoying getting all of us bent over and reamed by Rio Tinto, so they're trying to extend that reaming beyond 2024?

    That's quite the fkn insult to all of us, coming on top of their planned removal of the low user fixed daily charge, which is going to massively boost electricity bills for those of us that have made the effort to be conservation and emissions-reduction minded and use less electricity.


    I'm getting tired and angry about this government failing to harden up and show some spine and stand up to those shitting on the vast majority of us, such as big multinationals, and those among us that refuse to vaccinate. I guess they find it easier to shit on us instead.

    • McFlock 18.1

      fucking call their Bluff [giggle] and charge them through the nose once they've cleaned up their shit.

      Thing is, people are now seriously thinking about replacements for it. Diversity in employers, the opportunities of the port and the electricity supply.

      You sit under the Sword of Damocles long enough, you start planning for what to do if it falls, and some of those options begin to look better than the thing hanging over your head all the time.

    • Ad 18.2

      If Minister Woods wanted to do something useful about the electricity market, she could always put the hard word on Meridian to decrease its market share by selling Manapouri … for which Rio Tinto would I am sure be very interested buyer. Then Rio Tinto can figure out an appropriate margin for itself.

      However, any more really large un/employment questions the government doesn't have to answer right now, is TBH a good thing.

      We are in economic shock as it is.

      • Tricledrown 18.2.1

        Ad the National grid needed upgrading to transmit the amount of power manapouri produces so it makes sense to keep Tiwai going in the meantime.

        • Andre

          That grid upgrade is well underway and scheduled to be complete long before 2024. So Meridian will be able to sell that Manapouri power to the rest of the country for a much better price than the guesstimated 3.5cents per kWhr they're just about giving it away to Rio Tinto at.

          Just in case you need the reminder, you're probably paying between 25 and 35 cents per kWhr for your power.

          • Ad

            Is there some model showing that it would be cheaper across the country if we got access to all that generation?

            With our barely-regulated system, I suspect that even if there was, the errant official would be taken out and spaded into the ground together with their report.

            • Andre

              I haven't seen any such modelling.

              Wild-ass guess, I suspect what would happen is most of the time it would indeed be cheaper. But Genesis would likely find some way to keep Huntly ready to pounce whenever there were HVDC link or other grid issues to send the spot price spiking, so on net annual averages it would work out about the same.

              • Ad

                I don't believe any cost savings would be passed on. They would just justify it to the EA through their AMP, and it would be very hard to prove otherwise.

            • Tricledrown

              Remember Max Bradford.

          • Tricledrown

            Andre fact check winter of 2023 before the upgrade is finished. Not what your claiming.

        • Ad

          Transpower run those lines. That has little impact on the price Genesis sells its Tiwai Point power for.

          But agree. It took 10 years for the Tiwai Point deal to get the go-ahead and more to get the industry going.

          No-one's even shaking the tin for a big on-site replacement. It's just concepts.

      • Andre 18.2.2

        Yah, jobs hostages.

        The gift to Rio Tinto that Rio Tinto keeps squeezing and squeezing and squeezing. A couple more rounds of this and we'll be paying Rio Tinto to take the power, instead of them still paying a derisory token amount like they do now.

        • Ad

          We're all subsidised up the wazoo, and looks like we will be for a while.

          Government don't appear to have any economic development strategy at all.

    • alwyn 18.3

      "I'm getting tired and angry about this government".

      So, what are you going to do about it? You are going to mutter and moan but then, come the election you are going to vote for them again aren't you?

      Why should they care what you say? It's what you do on election day that matters and they have you there. Meanwhile they will probably do exactly what they did before the last election. Promise that they won't give a subsidy in their public statements while promising to provide one in their secret correspondence with Rio Tinto.

      Remember this story?


      As an alternative I suppose you could come to your senses and vote for someone like ACT. They might do exactly what you moan about, and which Labour are going to do anyway, but at least they won't lie about the subject and they will be a great deal more efficient about it than the current lot of drones in the Beehive.

      • KJT 18.3.1


        ” but at least they won’t lie about the subject and they will be a great deal more efficient about it than the current lot of drones in the Beehive.”

        ACT supporters. Always good for a laugh.

        Maybe it’s the 5G nano particles?

        Or. Did I miss a sarc. tag?

        • alwyn

          "Or. Did I miss a sarc. tag?"

          I'm afraid that what you, like most worshippers at the temple of St Jacinda, missed was getting any reasonable quota of brains when they were dished out. Shame for you but they can't provide top up arrangements on those.

      • Andre 18.3.2

        I'm sure I can rely on you to supply regular reminders of what an act of monumental moronism it would be to vote for ACT.

        Others that aren’t regular readers of your offerings might not be so lucky, however.

      • miravox 18.3.3

        Te Pati Māori haven't had a misstep yet. I think I'd rather my vote went that way than to libertarian gun nuts.

    • Anne 19.1

      BG @19

      I agree. 😉

      • alwyn 19.1.1

        After a great deal of serious consideration I will go along with your judgement Anne.

        I also agree.

        • Shanreagh

          I tried to bring this out by holding a candle under the missing writing as we used to do as children when secret writing in lemon juice. . After doing this and reading the now visible invisible writing I also agree.

          My laptop is burnt though…why did this happen? wink

    • Jester 19.2

      This is the best comment yet.

  19. logie97 20

    Waste Water testing for traces of Covid.

    I wonder what percentage of non-urbanised communities have their own septic tanks rather than being connected to a mains sewer system. Just a thought.

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