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Open mike 09/02/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 9th, 2021 - 60 comments
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60 comments on “Open mike 09/02/2021 ”

  1. KSaysHi 1


    Fonterra cleared the cows from 16 farms and is using the land to dispose of wastewater, which could be leaching a colourless, tasteless and odourless pollutant into private drinking water supplies.

    It was on his runs that Neville Ross first noticed cows were slowly disappearing from local farms. In 2017 most of the stock vanished from two farms. A year later they disappeared from a third Cambridge farm.

    "Some places you realise there's no animals – at all – for like a year."

    Neville's not a farmer, he's a cop and has been part of Waikato's police force for 42 years. Despite being a detective sergeant, when the working dairy farms became ghost farms, it didn't weigh on his mind. All three were owned by Fonterra. If it was a case of cattle-rustling or alien abduction, the multi-national dairy giant would have sounded the alarm.

    • Treetop 1.1

      The CEO of Fonterra is paid to do this and the board would have known about it. I draw the same link with the previous Air NZ CEO when it comes to a 3rd party contract and the CEO and board at Air NZ dropping the ball.

    • Roy Cartland 1.2

      If I was a conscientious farmer, trying to do my best by the environment and make a living, I'd be outraged by this tarring with the dirty-dairy brush.

  2. Ad 2

    Use the train! Save the planet!

    Three carriages total this morning, too full to get on, utterly standing room only start to finish. Top work Auckland.

    Back to the car I think.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      hah … was my life for five years commuting from the Wairarapa. Only upside was I got nicely toned leg muscles.

    • Treetop 2.2

      The passengers on the train you boarded were taking a risk as no social distancing was able to occur.

      How long does the train trip take?

      • Ad 2.2.1

        40 minutes is usual, but 50 minutes today.

        Most were wearing masks.

        And cycling is ridiculously unsafe here, so little alternative.

        • Treetop

          The temperature would increase if no decent air conditioning. I would not want to be 8 months pregnant on the train you boarded.

          • DukeEll

            so cure how the train is always something someone else has to catch to save the planet. action is for everyone.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Mr Wagstaff has to go…NZ workers need a central labour organisation (NZCTU) leader with some spark and class left conviction. Yet again the Govt. is gifting employers COVID assistance that could be going straight to the relevant workers.

    Has Mr Wagstaff ever dealt with a slippery private sector employer one wonders, or checked out the MSD roll of dishonour of employers that trousered COVID assistance that they were not entitled to, and or did not need? The mediation service and employment court are currently clogged with literally thousands of cases of forced and stolen annual leave, dismissals and other lockdown related matters.


    Helen Kelly, and dare I say it, Jim Knox would likely have said “pay it directly to affected workers, bring in 10 days sick leave immediately, NZ workers will take appropriate action against any employers not showing good faith over this payment”…not Richard’s waffle as per the RNZ link.

    • Treetop 3.1

      Would it help to have a tribunal a bit like the Tenancy Tribunal or to enlarge the employment court?

      I can draw a link between an unfair employer and an unfair landlord. It would be awful if both are being experienced together.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Kleptocrats will save us apparently, through the magic of under-regulated markets.

    Russian billionaire investing in Kiwibuild to help housing crisis | Stuff.co.nz

    • francesca 4.1

      It does annoy me intensely that we fast track people like this ,(Peter Thiel being another)into NZ.

      They seem to be the worst thieves of their own country's wealth and will be bringing the same mind set here. I suspect he likes NZ because of the unfettered opportunities he sees in real estate

  5. Tricledrown 5

    Govt books in much better shape than first expected.

    Robertson says he is going to keep a tight lid on spending and get tough on house prices by the end of this month.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    There's a technology out there that might make hydrogen viable for transport – goop.

    Powerpaste packs clean hydrogen energy in a safe, convenient gray goop (newatlas.com)

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Yes I saw that the other day. If this can be industrialised at scale it might prove a dramatic game changer – a really effective electrofuel will be one of the pivotal factors to push fossil fuels out of the picture fast.

  7. Sacha 7

    Putin won't like this..

  8. Forget now 8

    Nurses work long irregular hours, for insufficient pay represented in negotiations by a union that many suspect is not on their side. I can't imagine how nightmarish that must be when combined with an MIQ work environment.

    "I can never hug anybody, and nobody wants to hug me. People step away from me if they know I'm in managed isolation. They literally go 'oh my god get away from me'. So, it's lonely."…

    *RNZ has agreed to change the names of the nurses, as they fear they will face retribution for speaking out.


    • RedLogix 8.1

      Yup. The human cost that's been overlooked. This country owes these people a great deal more recognition and recompense if this crisis is going to stretch out into another whole year.

      People will step up to a crisis for a while, but after a period they start to ask why they're paying the costs while everyone else gets the benefit.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        from the same article

        She also experienced severe staff shortages, and said things got 'significantly worse' when the district health boards (DHBs) took over employing staff from healthcare agency, Geneva, towards the end of last year.

        "At least twice a week I'm on the phone looking for staff for the next day, because I know that we're going to be short. It's hard, it's stressful."

        Lynda's pay was slashed from $50 to $35 an hour when the DHBs took over.

        She said staff at MIQ facilities don't receive hazard pay, making it difficult to retain employees.

        maybe we should just put their pay back up to what it was?

        • Forget now

          The money would be a start Sabine, but too few people cannot continue doing the work of too many nurses. They seemed pretty clear that we need either; more staff, or fewer MIQ places:

          Alison said MIQ facilities were fragile and unsustainable, and said there was only one solution.

          "We need to reduce the number of flights coming into New Zealand. The work force is not capable. There are not enough nurses."

          It might be possible to train student nurses as MIQ nurses free for course credit? I don't know their student loan equations – but otherwise where are we going to get a new lot of nurses to operate that side of MIQ care?

          The nurses' quotes have a different sense of urgency to the NZNO's mouthpiece. What exactly does "escalated those concerns" mean? In terms of improved work conditions for MIQ nurses:

          "It's distressing but unfortunately it's not surprising. Ours members have been contacting us with their distress around unsafe staffing in these facilities and as NZNO, we have escalated those concerns.

          • Sacha

            Paying properly might attract some retired,etc nurses who otherwise do not think the job is worth the risk.

          • Sabine

            Well i guess they should have NOT cut the pay then and if only as a staff retention tool.

            $ 35 with no extras to run our plague hotels err quarantine centres? And be treated like a leper oneself? Why would you even bother.

          • Stuart Munro

            train student nurses as MIQ nurses free for course credit

            A good idea – practical course element & relevant to contemporary health work. And a few perks for critical workers are overdue – wretched staffing agencies have been sucking up benefits that once would've gone to workers.

    • Treetop 8.2

      Nurses having to speak out is adding to the stress they are already under. Raising a weak link is to be praised and the nurses need to be listened to immediately by the DHB.

  9. greywarshark 9

    The ability of Radionz to bring important issues to light and report on them in a factual and informative manner must mean that we ensure that there isn't any blend with television. It is a different type of media, and let's face it goes to receptors in a different part of the brain, which must not be enabled to atrophy by government.

    The latest on nitrates and Fonterra and dairying expansion with accompanying increased pollution volumes is a case in point.


    • Sacha 9.1

      Brain receptors have nothing to do with it. RNZ has just endured less undermining of its public broadcasting culture so far. TVNZ is a disastrous mismatch, I agree.

  10. Ad 10

    Looks like the Pacific Islands Forum is a wee bit fucked. The entire Micronesian grouping has just quit en masse:


    At the virtual Pacific Islands forum held on Waitangi week it was all sweetness and light.

    In fact the Chair of the forum said that the new Chair was appointed by consensus (after an 8-9 vote). While knifing their Micronesian cousins in the back, the Chair fronts with a special brand of Pacific bullshit: "We upheld our principles and values as characterised through the Pacific Way. Central to our Pacific Way is our values of the collective good, maintaining relationships, talanoa and mutual respect."


    So far there's no official response to this massive diplomatic collapse from New Zealand or Australia. It would be a great moment for Prime Minister Ardern and Minister Mahuta to do some solid diplomatic work and make it worth the while of the Micronesian leaders to come back in.

    For a country that knows how much it relies on multilateralism – and multilateralism from a rich country to a bunch of poor ones is pretty important – New Zealand has a task that it seriously needs attending to.

    Otherwise China can just take its time and buy them off with massive infrastructure projects one by one. No rush.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1

      Kiribati seems to be 'the weakest link'. The idea that the yellow peril could increase its regional 'influence' via [much needed?] "massive infrastructure projects" is scary.

      Three of the Pacific states who have left – Palau, FSM, and the Marshall Islands – are closely allied to the United States, in compacts of free association with Washington.

      Kiribati has recently ‘flipped’ its formal diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to mainland China, leading to concerns over an increased presence and influence of Beijing over the massive archipelago.

      Nauru, a former Australian colony, remains closely hewn to Canberra and dependent on its financial support.

      Fun fact – Kiribati is the only country in the world to be situated in all four hemispheres.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        There are 4 hemispheres???

        • McFlock

          north south east west 🙂

          • weka

            wouldn't those be demihemispheres? Or maybe demisemispheres?

            • McFlock

              Well, "quadrant" is a 2-dimensional division where the X and Y axes go into negatives. "Octant" applies to the equivalent for a cube. But with a sphere (although technically I saw on QI that the term "oblate spheroid" is a more precise description of the Earth) the Z axis (depth/altitude) seems less meaningful, and with map geometry we're generally discussing 2d represeantations of a 3d object – the surface, not the full sphere.

              So I'd go with "quadrant", except talking about being in "4 hemispheres" is more explicit that each axis is considered seperately in the calculation.

              Totally should get back to work, though lol

              • weka

                ok, so 4 hemispheres because the object approaching sphereness was cut in half twice along two difference axes?

                Which begs the question of countries along the equator, which hemisphere are they in? But more importantly, where is the line that separates East from West to form two hemispheres? (one set of hemispheres is geographical and the other political?).

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Apparently – who knew?

          The Kiribati Islands, a remote country of 33 scattered coral atolls spread over more than 2,000 miles across the equator. It is the only country that is situated within all four hemispheres as its islands extend into the eastern and western hemispheres, as well as the northern and southern. Kiribati (pronounced Keer-ree-bas) is one of the poorest nations in the world.

          It does make sense, but the seasons and a 'top'-down approach to dividing globes that spin on an axis have captured our thinking.

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    Chris Hipkins explorations of the proposed changes to history as to be taught to students in NZ schools were very good.

    • Ad 11.1

      If all our Parliament's MPs were shunted off a cliff and we were only left with Ardern, Robertson, Hipkins, Woods and Parker running the joint, not many would notice the difference.

      • Tiger Mountain 11.1.1

        In case it slipped by anyone, since 1984 every NZ election has essentially been a vote for “continuance”–of monetarism and neo liberal hegemony. It was not on the ballot any more than the continuance of the world rotating on its own axis was, and that is exactly how Finance Capital and the rest of the parasites prefer their bourgeois democracy.

        Exploitation and oppression are to be perceived as being as natural as the falling rain…not everyone sees it that way of course, but enough do to keep the tills jingling.

        • Ad

          Not sure if you missed it but Robertson generated the largest per capita economic intervention in the developed world last year. Keynes would be proud.

          You're living in one of the best-performing economies in the world. We're contented, stable, employed, and incredibly well led. And with China, Japan, and Australia recovering very quickly, I suspect that we are in for a boomtime comparable to the mid 1950s.

          You don't know how lucky you are.

          • bwaghorn

            Just dont mention housing

          • Nic the NZer

            There is going to be an ideological struggle over the narrative going forward.

            Unfortunately Robertson equivocated at the first hurdle with the statement that he 'didn't think QE would do that' (raise house prices). He was right of course, and acting in agreement to Hickey who was supportive of both using QE to get the govt familiar with funding itself again and trying to tackle house prices maybe via a CGT. Never the less the battle is on over how much the govt QE program can be held responsible for house price rises.

            It should be highlighted that the alternatives of,

            1) the govt funding itself directly, with the RBNZ simply buying all the debt the govt issues

            2) the govt not borrowing and just spending directly

            And 3) no QE intervention and the govt matching its spending with borrowing

            Would all have resulted in the same kinds of house price hikes. In fact 3 is likely to have resulted in much higher govt bond interest rates paying (default risk free) into peoples kiwisaver so could have meant a larger price spike. But its the on going buyer race to borrow sufficient to get up another rung of the housing ladder at work here and liquidity has never restricted that.

            This debate is of course not unique and already in the UK austerians are arguing for the govt to add major economic problems to the problems presented by the pandemic.


      • Anne 11.1.2

        You forgot Andrew Little. I think he ought to stay.

  12. Tricledrown 12

    A guardian article says Facebook is cleaning up its act by stopping false news around vaccines .

  13. DS 13

    A more detailed look at Labour's uncomfortable underperformance south of the Waitaki River:

    Southern Gothic Politics II: More Bluing of Otago-Southland

    • weka 13.1

      Interesting read. Do you think electoral boundary changes are a factor in Southland?

      The rural dip in 2020 despite covid response is interesting. How does that compare to similar rural places further north?

  14. Incognito 14

    One size doesn’t fit all in education and fortunately there are other sizes too that can provide a good fit.


  15. Incognito 15

    Hmmm, shallow political governance. Who would have thought this were possible with the previous and present outstanding Government that won the popularity and majority vote last year.

    From the Feeds section: https://democracyproject.nz/2021/02/09/ian-powell-when-business-consultants-are-commissioned-for-hatchet-jobs

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