Open mike 08/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 8th, 2023 - 99 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 …

99 comments on “Open mike 08/12/2023 ”

  1. observer 1

    "I am constantly underestimated"

    That's the PM's opinion of himself. Yes, a direct quote. Such a modest man.

    (note: the headline says Hipkins but read on for Luxon as well)

    Chris Hipkins opens up on what went wrong at the 2023 election | The Spinoff

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    It's like when the ball bobbles around between hands when players try to grab it simultaneously. Hipkins, not a player, naturally doesn't see the rugby analogy.

    Hipkins admitted the government tried to bite off more than it could chew. “In retrospect, the seeds of the Labour government’s defeat can actually be seen as far back as late 2021, or even potentially as early as the time we first took office in 2017,” he said.

    “We formed a government in 2017 pledging to be transformational. But we made a few mistakes relatively early on in our time in office by not being more specific about the transformation we are proposing. We probably tried to transform too many things all at the same time.”

    And off to one side there's Twyford, puzzled. "What game? Where?"

    “We made a lot of sacrifices during the pandemic and that undoubtedly took a toll on the public support for the government. But it was the right thing to do… A succession of ministerial scandals didn’t help the mood that had already hardened against our government.

    Strange, that. The whole point of ministerial scandals is to scale up the sacrificial thing. Why else would Labour sequence them?? It's like he's not seeing the pattern. And he doesn't explain why voters scooted off in response to serial sacrificing.

    Wheel in a theologian, is my advice. So many centuries of christians sacrificing all over the place must surely have embedded traditional wisdom. One need only tap it. Aspiring political consultants can build a career on traditional sacrificial wisdom mining. Labour need to rope in a few & turn them into a focus group.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/08-12-2023/chris-hipkins-opens-up-on-what-went-wrong-at-the-2023-election

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    I'm with Bomber on the relation between economic policy, Deborah effing Russell, equity, and Steve Jobs' iPad:

    The Greens managed to overcome their alienating woke dogma and sell the Wealth Tax, why the Christ can’t Labour? https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2023/12/07/greens-managed-to-explain-a-wealth-tax-and-david-parker-had-already-built-one-it-was-labour-who-lacked-the-language-of-conviction/

    Too soon to call. Just have faith that Labour will get it right eventually. One could rope Christ into it, I suppose, although Bomber restrains himself to the hint. Popular opinion has had it that the Second Coming passed by un-noticed, due to Christ choosing an incarnation of obscurity rather than contention since the latter didn't work out too well last time. Working in mysterious ways is sensible recycling of the parental stance.

    • Craig H 3.1

      Greens are only really selling Wealth Tax to the converted. Labour have to sell it to the unconverted swing voters at a high enough level not to lose elections which is a lot harder.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Good point, Craig, & swing voters aren't homogenous. Despite being reasonably adept at getting a sense of political groups, I'd feel little confidence in my ability to respond intelligently to a questionnaire on the topic. I'd default to literary flair real fast. An essay on the topic could get me going but the problem with scientific education is that one feels obliged to do actual research. Credible social science research requires diligent effort.

        But then it'd be more interesting to just shoot the breeze with strangers on the topic. Perhaps one could combine the two?? However I disagree with the Greens on principle: the deep Green view incorporates resilience design. That means sustainable economic policy. The Greens haven't figured that out yet, explicitly, tho one would hope some have intuitively.

        So you go classical & use Plato's formula for the class wealth differential, then compare with other political initiatives that also target a simple ratio. That gets your developmental trajectory headed in the right direction When I entered into my second term with the Greens (after the 2014 election till 5/6 years later I asked the westie Greens in Ak to discuss it but they freaked out at the prospect. Perhaps because I waved my double-sided single page essay advocating it at them! Aghast at my optimism that they could drop down into deep Green that fast! surprise

        Regardless, my solution to the inequality of wealth problem could get traction on the basis of common sense: in the referendum, ask voters what proportion between high & low they want. I advocated 7 due to it being the magic number – I'm trialling the notion that there's more substance to it than you'd think (if you're a sceptic). Which I've always been. An experimental approach to life is widely used, so the path leads to consensus…

  4. Grey Area 4

    Hipkins doesn't get it.

    Hipkins didn’t have regrets about the policy bonfire or his decision to rule out a wealth tax, he said. In his analysis, “it wasn’t a campaign dominated by policies, it was a campaign dominated by sentiment.”

    His wealth tax call and policy bonfire were when I finally gave up on Labour. The "sentiment" I felt was yet again a sense of betrayal.

    I hoped Labour would do some serious, honest soul searching post-election, but it appears not.

    • observer 4.1

      Come on, that's just obligatory public comment by Hipkins. It's no different from MPs in any party saying "We all support the leader!" just before dumping the leader.

      The soul-searching is definitely happening, whether Hipkins is part of it or not. He remains leader because it makes no sense to have a leadership contest before Xmas. Not because he'll be there in 2026.

      • Grey Area 4.1.1

        Fair enough but I hope Hipkins has been told by his colleagues and party faithful that he screwed up big time with his tax call especially. It was politically expedient but it burnt me off and maybe others. I've consistently voted Labour in electorates but now my interest and votes are with Te Pati Maori and the Greens.

        I fear Labour will remain centre left neoliberals.

        • SPC 4.1.1.1

          The loss of left wing votes from Labour to Greens and TPM did not cost them the election.

          43.34% was less than NACT’s 46.6% and if NZF got over 5% they said they would go with National.

          It would have been around 45% to 47%, if NZF was failing to get over 5%.

          The election was won and lost in the debate over living costs, if Labour had backed Greens on a cap on rent increases at 3% and proposed a windfall tax on banks to finance an adjustment to the IETC it could have got close.

        • Populuxe1 4.1.1.2

          Labour didn't lose because it was too centrist. That's utter nonsense. It was elected for another term in a landslide because of Covid, and it largely lost because of a lot of resentment from the way the second Auckland lockdown was handled and swing back to usual voting patterns. You can fear whatever you like but the rump of the electorate remains closest to the centre.

        • Chess Player 4.1.1.3

          Curious – why would you vote for TPM or Greens when they will never be in power?

          They haven't yet learned that politics is the art of the possible, not a stridently principled place at all.

          And in terms of Labour, I think they've cooked their goose this last election – National is now moving towards centre-left, but still with the neo-lib background, as they have been shunted that way by ACT. Nowhere else for them to move, if they want to be continue to be a major party, not become a minor party.

          I don't think anyone really knows what Labour represents any more.

    • Jester 4.2

      Just my opinion, but I don't think Hipkins will lead them in to the next election. But I also think they would be silly to get rid of him now.

    • Pat 4.3

      "As he sets out to reclaim control of the political agenda, Luxon has an unwitting and unlikely ally – the Labour Party. Though Labour may be beginning to understand it is no longer the Government, it seems yet to appreciate that that did not happen by accident. Labour was voted out – overwhelmingly – because people did not like what it was doing, or the direction in which it was taking the country. The incoming Government’s early actions have not changed that voter sentiment."

      https://newsroom.co.nz/2023/12/07/pm-cant-just-dismantle-labour-policies/

      Waiting…

      • Robert Guyton 4.3.1

        The narrative promoted by Labour's "opposition" convinced a sufficient number of New Zealanders to vote against the then-Government. The core of those voters already hold the view that Labour and the Left always "take the country in the wrong direction" – it only required some of those who believe the same of the Right as well, to accept that this time around, the story from the Right was true.

      • SPC 4.3.2

        Yeah na.

        National said they were robbed in 2017 by NZF's coalition choice and were well in it as to polls until the pandemic 2019-2020.

        And people forget Labour/G/TPM 44.34% in 2017 and 41.58% in 2023. Hardly a significant change.

        There was a manufactured protest against the mandates and pro Maori policies and a successful effort to blame government for rising costs and failure to be transformational – and otherwise a mislead of voters as to the nature of the tax cut plan. Heavily assisted by the funding from the rentier class of society.

        • Gabby 4.3.2.1

          If Labour can't be bothered demonstrating that so-called pro-Maori policies are actually pro-everybody policies, they can't want to govern too much.

          • SPC 4.3.2.1.1

            It is not a matter of not being bothered. National ran their usual divide and conquer campaign, reprise of Kiwi vs iwi.

            The entire working class had the offer of more state housing, assistance to own, tenants rights and housing standards, rising MW and the Fair Pay Agreement industry awards, more generous welfare – food in schools.

            However implying that the Labour government was pro Maori and National and its partners would not be, was the way the party of the "middle class" tried to divide the working class.

            It reminds on the American south, there the federal minimum wage applies and it is low. It achieves one thing it keeps the more poorly educated in poverty and in housing areas apart from others. Income disparity to maintain segregation. The white poor would be better off with a higher state minimum wage, but the disparity in income between them and others would diminish.

      • Robert Guyton 4.3.3

        Oh, Peter Dunne wrote that! Ha!

        "That means Labour’s first task over the next three years is to show humility as a prelude to regaining the public trust once more. Sneering at the new Government’s actions is not the way to do that, and simply plays into Luxon’s hands that voters were right to make the change they did."

        Poppycock, Peter.

        Hipkins et al are fully justified in lampooning Luxon/Peters/Seymour for their spiteful behaviours. Revealing the details and ramifications of, and motivations behind the actions of the coalition, is the job of Opposition parties and necessary for democracy's sake.

      • Grey Area 4.3.4

        Dunne makes some good points.

        I wonder if the national caucus is now sitting there saying: "Now what do we do? You mean we have to come up with some actual policies?"

        "He is not a political streetfighter like Chris Hipkins, neither does he demonstrate Jacinda Ardern’s sense of occasion, Bill English’s overt compassionate conservatism, or John Key’s optimistic enthusiasm. "What we have seen so far from Luxon is a more cautious, head-down approach, aimed at getting on top of the job and managing the process of government effectively. Luxon seems less driven by drama and histrionics, and more by doing his job properly and efficiently."

        Dunne just confirms for me that Luxon is an empty vessel lacking the skills or character to lead a country.

        • Robert Guyton 4.3.4.1

          Like silly-putty, he can be, and is being, moulded into shape.

        • Pat 4.3.4.2

          And what does that tell you about why the Government changed?

          The new PM is anything but inspirational, he's inexperienced and the Government appears to lack any ideas other than dismantle recent policy….and yet they now lead the Government with a reasonable majority in the house.

          And we have been here before…a newly elected government that arrives with no fleshed out policy but a mandate for change.

          • Robert Guyton 4.3.4.2.1

            Mandate for change?

            They've created that idea to suit themselves.

            Surely their mandate is tied to their promises.

            Citing "mandate for change" is a strategy for doing whatever they can dream up.

            The proposition is a crock.

            • Pat 4.3.4.2.1.1

              Surely you are not so obtuse Robert….they are the government ipso facto they have the mandate to implement that which they campaigned upon.

              Whether what they campaigned on is sensible or comprehensive or even beneficial voters determined that they preferred it to the alternatives.

              • Robert Guyton

                They campaigned on "change" and are therefore justified in any change they care to make?

                And you wonder if I'm being obtuse?

                Surely you don't believe they have carte blanche?

                • Pat

                  Our Parliamentary system does indeed give them carte blanche….though not without consequence.

                  However to date (and its only been a little more than a week) they havnt done anything unforeshadowed.

                  As was just mentioned on RNZ , everything that has happened to date was campaigned on and should be of no surprise to anyone.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    A tiny detail mentioned one time by an ACT politician, might indeed surprise a National voter, when it's suddenly front and centre of Government action.

                    NZF voters likely didn't vote for, or even know about details of ACT's policy list.

                    So, surprised? Many will be.

                    • Pat

                      Which tiny detail may that be?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      ACT's "to do” list was famously/reportedly complex and extensive; very few voters will have been aware of the details therein.

                    • Pat

                      Again, which tiny detail?…perhaps you are referring to the repeal of the smokefree regulations?

                      There is opaque….and then theres (deliberately) obtuse.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Nick Rockel (we like him here 🙂 says,

                      "But for others they must wonder what’s left? Given that so many of the coalition’s priorities are those from the two minor parties. Policies that fewer than 10% of the population voted for, which they have no real mandate to deliver. Was it really all to put National in charge of administering other parties policies?"

                      See more here:

                      https://nickrockel.substack.com/p/your-circus-your-clowns

                    • Pat

                      "So we're going to stand here today and, of course, we're going to oppose this. We're going to oppose it not because we disagree with the end points. I've seen as much clinical harm from smoking as anyone in this House, but we do disagree with the pathway and the process, and we will not tolerate collateral damage when those goals could have been achieved with a different mechanism—in fact, this Government's own mechanism. All we asked for was a change in schedule, and they said, "No." They can answer to small retailers. They can answer to communities when small retailers leave. This will be part of your collateral damage that you will answer for.

                      This bill is flawed; this bill will not achieve the 2025 goal. We believe in that goal; we want to get there. This is not the pathway to get there. We have an alternative proposal; we have a plan. Thank you."

                      National spokesperson Dr Shane Reti in the House in 2022 in response to the 3rd reading of the Act.

                      https://www.parliament.nz/mi/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20221213_20221213_24

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Dr. Ciga-Reti would say that, wouldn't he, co-habiting with ex-Big Tobacco folk as he was then and is now. He was clear in his statement, especially where he claims, "We have an alternative proposal; we have a plan."

                      If that plan was made clear during the campaign, I missed it. Perhaps you have it filed away somewhere, Pat? If so, I'd appreciate the chance to view it.

                    • Phillip ure []

                      Heh..!..'dr ciga-reti'..

                      Very good…!..is it yours..?

                      It will stick…

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Hi Phillip – not mine, though I wish…

                      I cadged it off someone else.

                    • Pat

                      That National opposed the Smoke Free Act as amended by Labour in 2022 should not surprise anyone Robert.

                      Hardly "A tiny detail mentioned one time by an ACT politician, might indeed surprise a National voter, when it's suddenly front and centre of Government action."

                      As we know the Coalition agreed upon the policy however it was not contrary to anything National indicated.

              • Pat, Robert is far from obtuse. That comment is a deflection. Talk to the topic rather than making rude personal comments please.

                • Robert Guyton

                  No worries, Patricia, I'm not offended: one man's obtuse is another's opaque and I was shunted from here a while back for being just that 🙂

            • Tricledrown 4.3.4.2.1.2

              Mandate for change Crock from the man that looks like a.

              Peter's last stand will turn to custard every minor support party looses popularity most loose there representation in Parliament.

              The coalition has made big promises and given Nationals history of running a yoyo economy . Tax cuts will fuel a sugar hit for a very short time causing inflation followed by higher interest rates Austerity! Just like the 1990s .No cumulative growth the off again on again no real gain.

          • mikesh 4.3.4.2.2

            and the Government appears to lack any ideas other than dismantle recent policy…

            And those ideas, the pro tobacco and pro landlord policies, are not exactly edifying.

            • Pat 4.3.4.2.2.1

              "Whether what they campaigned on is sensible or comprehensive or even beneficial voters determined that they preferred it to the alternatives"

        • So that wasn't Luxon crouching and snarling at Question time from the Opposition benches???

      • Craig H 4.3.5

        Seems pretty clear in local discussions that the Labour caucus has worked out that it wasn't an accident.

    • Hipkins has to go. He will do fine as a minister.

      Robertson is eloquent, has a great sense of humour (unlike Luxon) has done a good job in finance, is across all the issues and supports a wealth tax. He should be given a chance to roll Luxon in 3 years.

      • Sanctuary 4.4.1

        Anyone who thinks Peters will allow Seymour to be deputy PM for 18 months is nuts.

        we'll be back at the polls in two years, tops.

    • The Public wanted a wealth tax. Chris Hipkins did not, and consigned us to the bin. Hipkins will be good in Opposition, but needs to reflect that next time many supporters like me will have died or be too ill. He needs to inspire NZ… is he capable?

      Peters is determined to wipe any Labour gains away, and is actively supporting the most destructive governing group in NZ's history, and he is full of bile, but has few concrete plans.

      Luxon is a blinkered thinker, and he will not care about collateral damage. Buckle up. His hubris is huge. He tends to believe his own press, and belittles others he disagrees with. (Bottom Feeders and Nitpickers.)

      Seymore will strip rights as quickly as he is able as Minister of Regulations. Then it will be back to the snake oil pit of Charter schools, no ministries for Maori Pacifica and Human rights. He talks of "human rights" but he means "we will all be the same"

      Will Labour morph to a people based party again? Well under Hipkins I never felt included.. I could feel the frustration of those on the front-line. We were never asked for our opinion. So 4 men all with too much hubris imo.

      • Populuxe1 4.5.1

        Rubbish. The only people who left Labour over the lack of a wealth tax would have voted for the Greens. None of that impacted on the overall left vote block. Labour lost because of a perception that Covid was over saw established voting patterns return, and National et al were able to exploit a lot of resentment at how the Auckland lockdown was handled, the vacuous absurdity of proposed changes to our hate speech laws, and Labour's inability to communicate Three Waters and co-governance clearly.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Any thoughts on Brownlee's First Day?

    He has a good sense of humour, as seen in past debates. He showed how challenging the early-days as Speaker can be, despite his extensive experience in the House – keeping the flow going, remembering names etc. is obviously very challenging first time up. Curiously likeable, despite his politics, but we shall see. If he warps process to shield his mates, we'll enjoy lambasting him 🙂

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      He is the classic speaker – a long serving politician who knows the arcane rules inside out and no longer has a dog in the fight ambition wise, seeking to round out a thirty year career in politics with a successful stint as a respected speaker before heading off into semi-retirement on various boards and Qangoes.

      When he dies he'll get a new school named after him and everyone will beam happily on the occasion of the opening, where some mercifully short speeches will be made, a relative will cut the ribbon and various slightly stale and lukewarm light refreshments will be served.

    • Grey Area 5.2

      Yes it will be interesting. I've always thought him grumpy, rude and arrogant but he may enjoy the role and try and do a decent job.

      If he ends up more in the mould of Lockwood Smith than David Carter then Parliament will be a better place.

      • Robert Guyton 5.2.1

        He can be. Gout, perhaps? 🙂

        He tells an engaging story, when he wants to.

        He's a bit huffy-puffy though – I hope no one winds him up too much. Luckily, Winston's of his side this time. Chloe might push his buttons. Certainly some in Te Pati Māori will

      • Dennis Frank 5.2.2

        The tv quiz show host who never seemed anything other than airhead may have coped credibly as speaker tho my brain seems reluctant to entertain the notion – as for Carter, the best that could accurately be said concedes that he persevered as a struggler. Brownlee could grow into it but the prospect of seeing the big picture on any point of contention could trigger brain paralysis.

  6. [deleted]

    [Please respond to the latest Mod note for you before you continue to comment, thanks – Incognito]

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Lloyd Burr for AM co-host. yes Hope he ramps up them subtle eye-rolls!

    AM host Ryan Bridge is set to host a new 7pm current affairs show on Three replacing The Project.

    The new show will be interview-based and mostly live in an attempt by Discovery to return to a harder style of current affairs in the primetime spot, Shayne Currie’s Media Insider column in the NZ Herald is reporting.

    “I will be leaving AM … next Friday is my last day on the show,” Bridge told viewers on Friday morning. “Thankfully I still have a job. I will be going to the 7pm slot on TV3, so that’s from early next year.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/301023223/ryan-bridge-to-replace-the-project-with-new-7pm-show

    Elderly viewers will be filled with nostalgia at the glimmer of possibility of a return to leading-edge prime-time current affairs television. Since Brian Edwards did it, everyone's been too scared. Just cos Muldoon monstered Exel. Going gets tough, real contenders toughen up.

    • observer 7.1

      Since Brian Edwards did it, everyone's been too scared

      John Campbell would like a word. His 7 pm interviews were hit and miss, but there were some decent hits.

      If Ryan Bridge is hosting, don't get your hopes up.

      • Robert Guyton 7.1.1

        Ryan's a great friend of the Right.

        • Tricledrown 7.1.1.1

          Traditional broadcasting is loosing support at a rapid pace thats why the project is being canned .Cheap alternatives will only hasten the end. Traditional broadcasting has no future the big player's have already run out of money snd are just holding on.repeats of reality shows and advertorials for thin lizzy given Mark Mitchell wants them to cover their tattoos that could be seen as a party political broadcast.

        • Populuxe1 7.1.1.2

          He's a great friend of the Right of a given value, but he also has the chops to be a good political interviewer in the same way Piers Morgan is a first class sh*t but also a first class interviewer. He may be politically right wing, but neither does he fawn on politicians, and I'm far from convinced that the Coalition is his flavour of right wing. He's not a social conservative.

          • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.2.1

            That sounds promising then. I hope he digs deep and dislodges any yellow, cyan or magenta grot he finds hidden away.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.2

        Oh yeah, forgot about him. Perhaps an exception that proves the rule. There were a bunch of times I saw him doing exactly what the situation required. Even Holmes managed that sometimes though despite his congenital narcissism.

        I'm picking Ryan will exhibit a flair for exposing weakness in the position of any politician. To serve the public interest, doing so whilst operating above the left/right divide is an essential skill. Given that media corporates are capitalist entities, finagling situations via balanced framing will remain the default stance, of course. Simulating fairness is easily done. Hipkins funding the media corporates is the role model everyone must learn from…

  8. Reality 8

    On reading Chris Hipkins' views on the election loss in the Spin-off, his words were straightforward, concise, with no jumbled jargon. On the other hand Chris Luxon again left me perplexed with his rambling, boring self-congratulatory jargon.

  9. SPC 9

    Tova O'Brien has a look at our version of the paraodox noted by someone in the 19th C – Randolph Churchill (how the extension of the franchise to the poor/working class would boost the Tories as the middle class Whigs in fear of the workers doing better would join them).

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/301023141/tova-podcast-mori-are-being-shafted-and-we-cant-accept-thats-okay

  10. Reality 10

    Was impressed with Kieran McAnulty's speech this week. Direct and to the point.

  11. Sanctuary 11

    Dear Labour,

    it shouldn't be that hard to work out what you need to do to beat plutocrat funded right wing culture war politics.

    https://theintercept.com/2023/12/04/nebraska-senate-dan-osborn-deb-fisher/

    https://osbornforsenate.com/platform/

  12. Reality 12

    A comment on Willie Jackson's Facebook made a point – will Asian shops have to remove or lessen any signage other than English? If not, why not.

    Since it was opened Te Papa has always been the dominant title which everyone uses rather than Museum of New Zealand. People are very used to this and no one is bothered. People are starting to get used to Waka Kotahi now. Just give it some time people. Everyone knows exactly what the Koru Club is even if they are not members!

    • AB 12.1

      Asian shops won't have to do that because they are private businesses – so Luxon's argument about NZers being able to "navigate their government" doesn't apply. (He means "navigate their way around their own government" if anyone's wondering wtf his ugly bit of grandiose, corporate flannel actually means.) Plus to require Asian businesses to do this would be 'red tape'.

      De-emphasising Te Reo is the price he's had to pay for getting votes and pulling together his coalition. The test of his character will be whether he does the least amount possible in this direction and does it with obvious distaste for the vindictive insanity that gave rise to it. Or whether he shows some relish for the task and reveals that he's actually just a wee bit fashy after all.

      I recently sold an old trailer to a guy. When I suggested we get onto the “Waka Kotahi” website to do the change of ownership he got a bit angry at my use of that name. It came from nowhere in what had up to that point been a friendly process. It was baffling and a bit shocking.

  13. Peter 13

    One snippet I saw recently was in the discussion about multi languages on traffic signs.

    Having ‘Kura’ and ‘School’ on the same sign was too much for some, all the confusion and so on.

    Yep, the education system is failing, our kids are dumb, the modern generation is incapable of thinking!

    Processing kura and school is too hard, learning to process such is beyond some. Having confidence in one’s ability to learn something new? No way.

    Funny how those who so prolific, fluent and verbose when it comes to rationalising the use of Te Reo are so handicapped when it comes being able to handle its basic use. Maybe the problem is they have racist attitudes.

    • Tiger Mountain 13.1

      There is a now infamous Highway 30 road sign that says–“71 km Tauranga, Rotorua 9km, 77km Whakatane, Taupo 88km.” Heh, whatcha gonna do about that one all you dual language scaredy cats…

    • Tricledrown 13.2

      Being bilingual helps young do much better at school snd life also bilingual older people have less dementia much lower rates of depression. It's an inoculation of continual mental fitness. As opposed to the haters who will suffer from negative thinking and stubborn ignorance making them more susceptible.

      • mac1 13.2.1

        Being bilingual also teaches about one's own language and culture since the act of learning another language introduces another culture and thereby enables a comparison.

        It's also good to use as a code for secrecy purposes. Our kids took ages to work out what 'une glace' meant as we discussed the merits of buying an icecream for them.

    • mac1 13.3

      Funnily enough we thick Irish and descendants of Irish have had no problems since the 1920s with dual language road signs in Ireland. The Gaelige sign is on top in italic script, and the English version is underneath in capitals, both in the same size font.

      Neither the Irish people nor visitors to Ireland have any difficulty reading the signs.

  14. SPC 14

    Ethiopia this year.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/ethiopia-just-ended-one-war-is-another-one-beginning-2023-08-08/

    2022

    The Ethiopian government and regional forces from Tigray agreed on Wednesday to cease hostilities, a dramatic diplomatic breakthrough two years into a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions and left hundreds of thousands facing famine.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/african-union-parties-ethiopia-conflict-have-agreed-cease-hostilities-2022-11-02/

    • Visubversa 14.1

      Ethiopia has the same problems as many other African "states". These relate to the imposition of various colonial boundaries with no thought to the previous separations between tribal groups, languages and customs. Add religion, poverty, exploitation and machismo and you have a recipie for these sorts of difficulties.

      They do have sort of a democracy, but if one tribal group attains some sort of dominance (like a previous Tigrayan Prime Minister,) the Amhara people resent it. There are frictions between the Oromo people and the Amhara people, and although they seem to have good comprehension of each other's languages and cultures (one of my women Ethiopian friends can tell where someone comes from by the way they do their hair, and at least one of her husbands was from a different language group) there are splits and divisions which go back centuries.

  15. SPC 15

    This is notable as to the use of metaphor by the Tory class towards those they want gone. It reminds one of a certain sort of policing by profile where the undesirable is the first investigated after a crime – and of the American practice of (no knock warrant) policing an area designated for urban renewal. And as a tactic of landlords in removing tenants by making s… up. Under new management can also refer to takeover of someones assets.

    Christopher Luxon has hit back at the opposition during his first speech in the House as prime minister, comparing Chris Hipkins to an “arsonist” who set fire to his party.

    According to the new PM, Hipkins should have quit after the election result but was instead “loitering around” at the “scene of the crime”, and described him as being “bitter, and twisted, and negative”.

    “Why is he still here when so little was achieved?” Luxon said. The Labour MPs that remained after the election had “survivors guilt”, said Luxon, naming Grant Robertson and Ayesha Verrall.

    The new prime minister said Labour had “squandered” its historic majority, crashing down to one of its worst results this year. “They started the last term with everything they needed to set up a political dynasty for the next decade but they squandered it,” Luxon said.

    But while Hipkins said the new government’s beginnings had been shambolic, Luxon claimed New Zealand was now under “new management”.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/live-updates/06-12-2023/labour-caucus-should-have-survivors-guilty-luxon

    The undertone is one of de-legitimising opposition to government, after coming into power. In business it can refer to asset stripping to line the pockets of the sponsors of the new party in government.

    • Incognito 15.1

      I think Luxon soon will have Stockholm Syndrome, as he and his party are being held hostage by ACT and NZF and their respective leaders.

  16. adam 16

    I see the Financial Times has woken up to the fact that globalisation is dead.

    Wonder if it will wake up to the fact capitalism is gone as well?

    Just under 30 min video – Specifically how the Inflation Reduction Act changes everything.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfaubxeS5HU

    • SPC 16.1

      The USA has gone for more secure supply lines, green and local. A reverse of external lower cost outsourcing (especially China). A return to local job creation.

      Europe will more likely simply adopt green supply lines as part of GW mitigation. That will be lower cost than the US subsidy for local. And thus open up opportunities for them to invest offshore.

      • AB 16.1.1

        Will be interesting to know if local people are now much cheaper to hire than they would have been without the intervening period (20-30 years maybe) of offshoring. If they are, perhaps the true, long-term goal of offshoring has been achieved – to lower domestic wages..

    • Populuxe1 16.2

      What a rich fantasy life you have. Globalisation is far from dead, it's just greenwashing itself or falling into the circle of China. As for capitalism, you are funny.

    • Tricledrown 16.3

      Recent article in Guardian says Thatcherism/Monetrist ideology come politics is a failure maybe someone can link.

  17. SPC 17

    Tame says 2 of the governments new policies will not do much harm.

    The facts have changed in meth making area, offshore large scale production at lower cost, makes local supply of less importance (except to small scale independent operations).

    And the continuance of the process for reduced nicotine levels in the tobacco sold means consumption will still fall (to patches and vaping for the greater nicotine addiction fix).

    Leaving little prospect of major interest in importing the traditional smoke (again small scale operations at most).

    If right, the 6000 sellers will lose sales – the smart ones already having created in-store vaping cabins.

    If seems the focus is going to move onto vaping policy. And hopefully low THC marijuana sales being legalised for use in nausea management and to help people sleep.

    That would create jobs and replace tax revenue lost tobacco consumption declines further.

    https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/12/08/jack-tame-are-smokes-and-pseudoephedrine-really-ram-raid-issues/

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      Market interventions are always fun: gangster economics, likewise. The govt is adventuring into social engineering on a large and politically significant front – one suspects consequent theatrics will make it seem as if the circus has come to town.

      Sideshows all over the place, journos struggling to keep up with the flow of stories. The deep Green view switches to resilience on drug policy: whatever gets you thro the nite, as Lennon pointed out. Therefore the Greens ought to create a spokesperson for the gangs & explain to them how to go green on drugs to make themselves & customers healthy. Expect Labour to change the subject…

  18. gsays 18

    I've got 12 months to squirrel away $22,000.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/133418969/aussie-electric-motorbike-maker-readying-new-zealand-launch

    Unless anyone here knows someone who can retrofit batteries into a BMW K75…

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