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Open mike 09/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 9th, 2023 - 113 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 …

113 comments on “Open mike 09/03/2023 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    It's lovely when the National Party show themselves to be a) incompetent, or b) dishonest. Here they quote their new best friend, Rob Campbell, but get ministry and agency mixed up, by ineptitude or design. Those are the only two explanations.

    Either way, it feeds into the narrative they can't be trusted.


    • Ad 1.1

      National have finally found their vector into the election, and it's health.

      Not tax, race, property, wealth, transport, defence, education or anything else. Call it weird.

      Test is simple: if you had a thousand bucks from any source, would you choose a public hospital now rather than having to go to a public hospital?

      Labour's Verrall is getting her lunch handed to her.

      • alwyn 1.1.1

        " would you choose a public hospital now rather than having to go to a public hospital?"

        Is that really what you meant to ask? If so what does it mean?

      • Barfly 1.1.2

        I am going to a hospital (public) for a laparoscopy tomorrow – no desire to go to a private hospital even if I had the money for it. I am looking forward to practising suppressing my gag reflex (sort of)

      • Corey 1.1.3

        The only people I know who think our health system is acceptable are people who don't need to use it!

        I've spent the last three weeks in an out of ED and A and E in extreme internal pain but can't get a GP appointment for a bloody referral for a specialist.

        My dad's life has been turned up side down for the last two years waiting on a surgery.

        My mum was in a crash in July and broke bones in her neck and is in 24/7 constant agony and is on the waiting list for a surgery and can't get a GP appointment.

        With average 6 week to 2 month gp waiting times honestly it's alarming how many people I know who are in the same boat and the stories I hear from friends in the health system is terrible.

        Yes I know COVID was responsible for much chaos in the health system but you could still get an appointment in a week in 2020 and 2021.

        Many people in the health system will tell you that centralizing the health system during a pandemic was ill thought out and far too much money was spent on management rather than end user results and quality of life for employees.

        Also the new bosses are threatening all health it staff with their jobs being off-shored.

        Right now I'm in constant paint, if we had the option I'd prefer my family be able to go private because we are never going to get sorted by the public sector which is totally falling apart despite amazing nurses and doctors.

        • ianmac

          I was given a doctor's appointment for the following day.

          A visit came up for today's visit to the orthopediac specialist. As I left him, the nurse handed me a note to take to radiology. At radiology they handed me an appointed for spinal injection for the 4 April.

          I am so lucky but really feel for those who have agonisingly long waits. Oh let's hope that the revised Health System does even out the patient access and treatment.

        • Where are you Corey?surprise

        • Graeme

          My SO is waiting for a quite complex procedure to fix an unfortunate outcome from an urgent surgery 3 years ago. Lots of ducks to line up for this so it's not really a set time, just when it happens it we will get a weeks notice.

          One thing that is being stressed is, DON'T GET COVID. A positive test and you're not having a general anaesthetic for a couple of months. Doctors told us that it's playing merry hell with surgical waiting lists with some patients arriving for surgery and having to be sent home because of a positive covid test. So the theatre sits empty that day.

      • Bruce 1.1.4

        But in the real world without the national spin, I went to local A and E at 11 am, at 11.51 while at labtests the chemist called to tell me the pills the doctor had prescribed were ready to be picked up. Cost $19.50 for the Dr, $5 for the pills. I've had to go a few times lately with recurring infection the longest has been 2 hrs.

        1st world prompt quality service. I'll go public everytime.

        • Belladonna

          Meanwhile in the real world, ambulances with critically ill patients (you have to be to even get an ambulance in Auckland ATM) – were turned away from Auckland Hospital on Monday night.

          I don't know where your A&E is – but it's clearly not in one of the large cities which are undergoing a constant crisis level of demand.

          The hospital was so full, patients who needed a ward bed could not be admitted straight away and took up space in the emergency department.

          Some were waiting there two and a half days, she said.


          Please don't dismiss this as a one-off incident – this kind of crisis situation is a regular occurrence at all Auckland A&E departments – as has been reported multiple times in the media.

          • Bruce

            I am in near central Auckland, I think the local closes at 9pm . Shortages are world wide problem, blaming the current govt for political point scoring is not helping.

            • Belladonna

              I would assume then, that your 'local' is one of the private clinics (e.g. White Cross). Because, I simply do not believe that anyone can walk in to Auckland Hospital A&E and be seen in 51 minutes. [Unless, of course, it's a life-and-death situation]

              • woodart

                last time I went into a white cross(p.n.), I waited for over an hour to be seen,(short staffed ,surprise,surprise) and was finally seen in a dirty room with cracked plastic covering on the bed, no pillow protector. surprisingly rundown for a ten yr old building. the doctor was bemoaning his client numbers, went from owning his own practice with 1500 patients, into white cross(aus owned), now has 5000 clients on his list.

                • Apparently Bruce has a different experience (although he's yet to confirm which A&E he attended).

                  Last time I went to North Shore A&E – about 5 months ago – with my elderly mother after a serious fall – we waited 12 hours to be seen – on a very quiet evening, with little sign of obvious strain on the systems (waiting room wasn't full, etc.).

                  Ordinary demand is over-stressing the systems – let alone crisis periods.

                  [please fix the typo in your user name, thanks – Incognito]

                  • Incognito

                    Mod note

                  • Bruce

                    I wasnt going to bother replying, your beliefs are your beliefs not my problem. The sign on the door says 'urgent care 8am to 8pm' its were we in this suburb go if you have had an accident or its an emergency. We are not high decile suburb , the premisis are being refurbished and I would consider them quite flash. Believe what you like.

          • ianmac

            Belladona .."were turned away from Auckland Hospital "

            Should read …"were redirected to other hospitals."

            • Belladonna

              Well you could read it that way.
              However, someone with a critical health issue in an ambulance having to travel an extra 30 minutes – it would pretty much feel like "turned away"

              Regardless of how it's phrased, it's not exactly a sign of a health system which is robust and able to cope with even every-day workloads – let alone high demand periods.

              What do you think waiting for 2.5 days in emergency to be admitted to a ward feels like?

      • AB 1.1.5

        if you had a thousand bucks from any source, would you choose a [private] hospital now rather than having to go to a public hospital?

        Some thoughts:

        • I would need a lot more that one thousand to be faced with that dilemma
        • If it was a non-routine (i.e. non cash-cowable) procedure, where the expertise is in public sphere, there would also be no dilemma
        • If I had the cash, it was a common procedure, and private promised shorter wait times and more comfortable surroundings, I would go private
        • I also care (in a general sense) about the experience of others, not just myself

        However I do take your point, The Nats are putting in a decent effort at discrediting the public system. Obviously their primary aim is to harm the government. But one of their secondary aims is to do exactly what you ask – drive the public into the arms of private health providers and insurers.

        • Ad

          Arguably National are in government already, having caused:

          – killing off worker insurance

          – killing off public media merger

          – squashing 3 Waters and decapitating the Minister

          – completely reversing transport policy and its funding including Waitemata Harbour Crossing and light rail, Wellington light rail, and most cycleway projects

          … so now, not unreasonably, they are going for the health reforms, at least as effectively as Helen Clark did through 1997-98.

          We are long past the point where Labour look identical to National.

          In reality Labour are now just subbies to National.

        • Belladonna

          If I had the cash, it was a common procedure, and private promised shorter wait times and more comfortable surroundings, I would go private

          It's not just "shorter wait times" for many routine (but still life changing) operations and procedures – there effectively *is* no service offered at all.

          By the time they have waited (often immobilized with pain) for months, they'll find themselves dropped off the list, or with others placed higher due to critical need.


          This article was last year – when Covid was a factor – but hospital wait times for non-urgent surgery have not improved – and the deferred wait list just continues to grow.

          The report from the task list outlined actions which should happen – but gave no timeframes. And basically acknowledged that workforce shortages are the key factor (anything else is pretty much re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic).


          • Tricledrown

            Nationals history on health funding is abysmal .Nationals last 9 yr stint under John Key cut funding per citizen by 20%.National make one health issue that happens to be in the limelight fund that issue ie breast cancer ,Fund that solution then starve the rest of the health sector.The problem is staff shortages exasperated by Covid .Every country is trying to fill the gap with migrants from poorer countries NZ no exception.Australia likewise but they can attract NZ health workers with better conditions and up to 40% higher wages.National and Labour cannot offer those wage rates or anything near that.National effectively froze healthcare workers wages for 9 years using migrants to keep wages down.Those poorer countries than us are now being targeted by wealthier countries than us to rebuild their health workforces.Only increasing wages and conditions can fix the problem.When has National ever increased wages of any sector!National are crying wolf hopefully one to many times

        • woodart

          moaners here should try rocking up to a private hospital and ask for immediate service. they will be told to go away and make an appointment, as private hospitals run on short staff, and the surgeons mostly work for public health and only moonlight at a private for 1-2 days a week.they arent like u.s. private hospitals on tv, with tons of staff standing around, waiting for you.

          • Belladonna

            No one "rocks up" to a public hospital for non-urgent surgery (things like knee replacements), either.

            You get a referral from your GP (assuming you can afford to go)

            Wait months (if you're lucky) to get an appointment with a specialist in the public health system.

            Many are turned back at this point – and the specialist won't even see them.

            If the specialist thinks you qualify (i.e. your agony is sufficiently great), then you'll go on the waiting list for non-urgent surgery in the public health system.

            At any time, you may drop off the waiting list – because the management have re-jigged the criteria (to reduce waiting lists), or just lost your paperwork.

            Assuming that all of your cards to this point have turned up trumps, you'll get an appointment for surgery. Which can be (and very frequently is) cancelled at any point right up to the time you're prepped for surgery. Reasons for cancellation are mostly to do with understaffing, and hospitals cancelling 'routine' surgery to staff emergency care.

            Contrast with the private system.

            Your GP makes a referral to a specialist.

            The specialist books you in for an appointment to review your case and decide on treatment (note, you will get the treatment, you're not going to be bounced back as 'not sick enough'). This may take a fortnight or so. Maybe up to a month or 6 weeks for a very busy specialist.

            Your surgery is booked within a month (some variation due to the type of surgery and the specialist's workload) – but really rare for it to be longer than this.

            It is incredibly uncommon for surgery to be postponed for any reason (apart from ill health of the surgeon).

            So, to compare. Private system, you will have had your operation within 3 months (at the outside) of your GP referring you. Public system – you won't have even been seen by the specialist at that point; you may never qualify for an operation; and even if you do, you will have months (if not years) of pain on the waiting list.

            [please fix the typo in your user name, thanks – Incognito]

            • Incognito

              Mod note

            • Mike the Lefty

              When you say it is incredibly uncommon for surgery to be postponed I assume you're referring to urgent or acute surgery because elective surgery is postponed routinely for the slightest excuse.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              That's an interesting 'compare and contrast' of "non-urgent surgery" in NZ public and private health systems – as someone who's never 'gone private', I'd be interested to know and understand the reason(s) for any differences.

              What's Dr Coleman up to these days?

              Private equity paid $746m for hospital group [19 Sept 2022]
              Evolution had taken Acurity Health Group private in 2014 in a deal valuing the company at $112m. Former health minister Jonathan Coleman became chief executive of Evolution in 2018 and is still on its board.

              Evolution Healthcare nurses strike for better wages, conditions [19 October 2022]

              Your Money and Your Life: Private Equity Blasts Ethical Boundaries of American Medicine [18 May 2022]

              In her harrowing new book, Ethically Challenged: Private Equity Storms US Health Care, political scientist Laura Katz Olson documents how private equity firms are reshaping health care in the U.S., circling in to buy dentist offices, mental health facilities, autism treatment centers, rehab facilities, physician staffing services, and myriad other providers, forcing them into bare-bones, bottom-lined focused “care”.

              In a nutshell, PE seeks to invest or acquire equity ownership in companies and flip them fast for a higher price. They’ll get that higher price by any means necessary – chopping staff, cutting corners, and loading the company with debt along the way. The idea is to buy, squeeze, dump, repeat. Private equity is now a major player in the health care sector, with investments accelerated in recent years at a mind-blowing pace ($100 billion in capital invested in 2018 alone).

              LP: It’s interesting that PE players and firms don’t tend to be household names. They’ve really managed to fly under the radar. Can you mention a few that came up a lot in your research? Folks to look out for?

              LKO: Bain Capital, the PE company that Mitt Romney still profits from, is one. The Carlyle Group has really been involved in recruiting high-ranking people from the government – one of its co-founders, David Rubenstein, served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during the Carter administration. George H.W. Bush became a senior member of its Asia advisory, and so on. KKR, of course, is one of the biggest. They control a lot in health care.

              • Belladonna

                The primary reason for difference in the experience between public and private is (obviously) demand.
                Screening out (through price) a large chunk of the demand for surgery, allows private operators to structure their operations to meet the need within acceptable timeframes.
                If there are more people in need, who can afford the services, then there will be more private health providers offering these surgical operations.

                In the old days (1980s) going private was more around quality of post-op care (nicer food, better environment, etc.), and a bit around being able to schedule ops to the patient's convenience. These days, it's more about getting the operation at all – so weighing up quality of life.

                My familiarity with the time-frames is with my Mum, who urgently needed eye surgery (high risk of blindness if no quick intervention) – 3 weeks to go private, 9 months (minimum, and no guarantee of the surgery actually going ahead) if she relied on the public system. We all chipped in to get her private surgery.

                Note, that the DHBs (and I'm sure the new National Health Agency will continue the practice) have historically paid private hospitals to carry out non-urgent surgery on public list patients (as a way of reducing the public health waitlist backlog).

                [last couple of paras in this article, refers to the practice as standard]


                Whether you think this is a good practice or not, probably depends on whether you or a family member benefitted from getting the surgery actually done.

                I'm not quite sure where you're going with your referencing of the US system over private equity.

                The point of private, is that you can just go elsewhere, if the service quality drops.

                I'd say that many of these in your US example would be services offered under the US Medicaid umbrella.

                Pretty sure that the Mayo Clinic isn't going to suddenly start offering low-quality, bare-bones services.

                And, in any case, if you think that public health is so great in NZ – why would you care about the quality of private provision!

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I'm not quite sure where you're going with your referencing of the US system over private equity.

                  My point? That the purpose of PE companies that own private health systems is profit. That's PE's reason for being.

                  The primary reason for difference in the experience between public and private is (obviously) demand.

                  So (obviously), the (in)ability to pay – iniquitous 2-tier health 'care' systems offend my sense of decency. Some may see/have no problem with them, but I favour expanding the capacity of Aotearoa NZ's public health system cf. for-profit health systems that exacerbate inequality. It’s a lefty thing.

                  No prizes for guessing the countries with healthy public health systems.

                  Countries With Healthy Public Health Systems
                  Countries perceived by respondents as having comprehensive public health systems tend to have attributes in common such as universal health care; better health outcomes like longer life expectancy; and substantial social spending.

                  • Belladonna

                    Sadly NZ appears nowhere on the list.

                    Switzerland is an interesting example (actually in lots of ways) – but in this case in health. I have a friend of Swiss extraction – though now a long-time Kiwi citizen – and we've had many dinner-table conversations over the differences between the social systems in NZ and Switzerland.

                    I was surprised to hear from him that all hospitals in Switzerland are privately run and health care is funded through private (mandatory) insurance (though the Govt does top up for the very lowest incomes)


                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Sadly NZ appears nowhere on the list.

                      Sad. Aotearoa NZ ranks only 11th overall (sandwiched between Denmark/Netherlands), which is not so great for a remote little multicultural island. Still, some don't know how lucky we are, or were.

                      Delving into the rankings, our "Well-developed public health system" score is 63.6, far behind Denmark (100), Germany (94.6), Sweden (94.2), Norway (90.2), Canada (89.4), Switzerland (84.7), U.K. (80.4), Netherlands (79.1), Finland (76.6) and Belgium (73.4).

                      So there's certainly room for improvement, but at least we're on a par with Japan and Australia (63.3), and France (60.4).

                      And well ahead of the USA (35.0), so best not to go (any further) down that (private equity/health) road, imho. Just one ranking, of course.

                  • Belladonna

                    Yeah, about Switzerland then.

                    I note that you've made no comment on their very different style of public health provision – combined with their (much higher than NZ) public health ranking.

                    Nothing to say?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Looks like a good health care system, if expensive compared to neighboring EU countries. As long as all Kiwis could access quality health care in a timely fashion then why not.

                      Or we could try Denmark's health care system, since that country has the highest ranking. Nothing's ever perfect. There's always something to grizzle about – inconvenience abounds. Just as long as it's not life-threatening.

                      Nothing to say?

                      Under a basic healthcare plan, between 80–90% of your medical costs should be covered. For a more comprehensive list, please see the Swiss government’s website.

                      Switzerland Healthcare System Pros and Cons

                      Why is Switzerland’s Healthcare so Expensive?

                      Switzerland is renowned for its expense, but many expats are still surprised by how expensive healthcare is, especially when compared to neighboring EU countries. Switzerland’s healthcare system is known as one of the best in the world, but also one of the most expensive.

                      On average, Swiss residents spend nearly 10% of their salary on health insurance costs.


                      • Because basic healthcare is mandatory, every resident in Switzerland is entitled to the same coverage and standard of care. This means that even if you have a pre-existing condition, a Swiss health insurance company cannot deny you coverage, nor can they charge you exorbitant amounts when compared to someone who does not have a pre-existing condition.
                      • Depending on your age and the insurance package that you choose, you will pay this same fee for as long as you are in Switzerland. If you get sick or injured, your insurance rate will not increase.
                      • Healthcare standards across the country are high, and expats will have no problem receiving excellent care no matter where in Switzerland they require treatment.


                      • Healthcare in Switzerland is expensive, and you will pay for most treatment out-of-pocket and be reimbursed later.
                      • Any stay in Switzerland exceeding 90 days requires health insurance. Even if you are only moving to Switzerland for half a year, and feel that you are generally healthy, you are legally required to get private health insurance.

                      Medical insurance companies are not allowed to profit off of basic healthcare plans. Instead, their money comes from what they make off of other schemes.

          • tWiggle

            Reading the other day that, if not covered by reasonable workplace health insurance, middle-class Americans are now paying up to $15k per year each for adequate health cover. Wouldn’t you rather pay $5k of tax?

            • Belladonna

              The problem with your calculation is assuming that it will only be $5K in tax.

              I suspect that you'd be paying the $5K+ and then topping up with insurance in any case. Medical costs in the US are frightening.

      • woodart 1.1.6

        "if you had a thousand bucks from any source, would you choose a public hospital rather than (fixed before lunch) a private hospital?". dont know what planet you are on(planet key?), but the room rate for most nz private hospitals is around $2500 a day, thats without any meds, operations, aneithetists,etc. let me know what you think you are going to get for a grand at a private hospital, getting a mole cut out?

      • SPC 1.1.7

        2020 payback

        First Campbell (Adams for chair), then Pharmac (Maharey) then ACC (Dyson)

        They waited for any sort of public comment from Campbell for the play, because he supports the Maori Health Authority (NACT ending) and the principles of co-governance.

  2. weka 2

    Dudes, you too can be a lesbian if you want! Just self ID as non binary and you’re all set to go. Don’t even have to bother IDing as a woman.

    • weka 2.1

      On a more serious note, that’s Stonewall UK, a large, well funded and incredibly influential gender identity lobby group advocating for the erasure of lesbians. If there is no common word for female homosexuals, how do we know lesbians exist?

      this sits along side the coerced girl dick movement, where lesbians are pressure to sleep with trans identified males. That’s trans women who are male heterosexuals (some TW are male homosexuals). Lesbians get banned from dating apps for saying female only.

      in Tasmania, there’s a fight between lesbians and the human rights organisation over whether lesbians are allowed to run female only events that exclude TW who say they are lesbians (ie het males).

      I’m seeing lesbians online talking about having to meet in secret so they avoid all of the above. That’s lesbians being pushed back in the closet.

      • adam 2.1.1

        This is misogynist horse shit.

        Bullying culture writ large.

        • weka


          It's alarming the degree to which body hate/dissociation is driving the big cultural shift. Genital preferences are transphobic can only come from people with no respect for our physical selves or nature.

      • Leighton 2.1.2

        Completely bizarre for activists to conflate sexual preferences with transphobia. Do these people also think that gay men are misogynist?

        • weka

          Lesbians have been at the forefront of pushing back against gender ideology (for a very long time). Gay men are increasingly pushing back now too, because they're being told they should have sex with female bodied people (trans men), and if they don't want to they're transphobic.

          It's utterly bizarre.

          Liberal genderists will say, oh, no, that doesn't happen, what we mean is that if you have a blanket ban on sleeping with trans people then you are transphobic. But if a male TW is heterosexual, self IDs as a lesbian, only wants to sleep with lesbians, and advocates for that socially and politically, then how is this anything other than telling lesbians to sleep with men?

          There is this idea that TW who have surgically and hormonally transitioned are akin to women, but this isn't true either (they have altered male bodies, not female bodies). But self-ID means any man can say they are a woman and they are to be believed, and not many of the much larger group under the trans umbrella bother with surgery, or even hormones.

          All of that could have been avoided if the genderists had coined new terms and had respected women's boundaries. But that wouldn't work because AGP males in particular have a need to be validated as women, and there is a strong colonising vibe to the whole thing.

          Not all TW obviously, plenty of TW who aren't arseholes and who respect women's boundaries. This is about the political movement of gender ideology.

        • Visubversa

          They think gay men are transphobic if they say that they are not interested in "mangina".

          As there are more and more young women who think that they can identify their way out of their oppression and away from today's pornified version of femaleness, and as many of these young women are not same sex attracted, they identify as Gay men.

          The "Cotton Ceiling" has its companion – the "Boxer Ceiling". Trans men insist that a "strap on" is just as good – and not only that – they come with a "bonus hole". Gay men who react to that concept with the same mix of derision and repulsion as lesbians do to the suggestion of "girldick" are met with similar abuse, but not in quite the same volume or intensity.

      • Visubversa 2.1.3

        Stonewall has no interest in the continuing existence of Lesbians, except as a concept for the sexual interest of the heterosexual autogynephiliac men who make up the majority of Stonewall supporters and beneficiaries.

        Stonewall's chair – Nancy Kelley has described Lesbians who are not interested in "ladydick" as "sexual racists" on UK television. Stonewall's representative giving evidence in a British courtroom compared Lesbians who objected to being pressured into sex with male bodied people who uttered the magical incantation "I identify as" to white South Africans trying to hang on to their privileges after the fall of Apartheid.

        Stonewall has been completely captured by the big $$$$$ behind Gender Ideology and has turned its back on the same sex attracted people by and for whom it was founded.

      • Corey 2.1.4

        Stonewall is an irrelevant homophobic organization that is far too buddy buddy with big pharma. We don’t call ourselves gay or lesbians anymore we call ourselves homosexuals, because an authoritarian ideology has highjacked and changed the meaning of the terms. They even tried to change same sex attraction and same sex relationships to same gender attraction stone wall has gone from saying you can’t change your sexuality and that calling homosexuality a preference is homophobic to saying that sexuality is a mere preference and you’re a bigot if you exclude opposite sexes from your dating pool.

        Full on 1984 stuff .

        • Red Blooded One

          I obviously didn't get the memo, Corey. I'm happy to refer to myself as Gay / Homosexual or part of the Rainbow Community. What "we" are not is a single group called We. I wont speak for you if you don't speak for me.

          • weka

            no-one can call themselves progressive on this issue if supporting organisations and movements that are pressuring gay and lesbian people to be bisexual. That's conversion. If you are ok with that personally, that's for you. We're talking about politics at the societal level.

            • Red Blooded One

              Where in my comment Weka did I say I support any organisations on this thread. An apology is in order from you. Corey used the term "We" call ourselves Homosexual. I pointed out "We" don't all call ourselves one thing or another. I just believe in live and let live. I'm a bit tired of you riding shot gun on this site on your pet issue. Before you get your Moderators Pen out, maybe due to your passionate beliefs on this issue you should consider not moderating on just this topic due to conflict of interest.

          • Visubversa

            You are quite right in that there is no single group in the "Rainbow Community. What we have is same sex attracted people force teamed with a bunch of straight people. Straight people with medical conditions, straight people with fetishes and paraphyllia, straight people who want to be thought of as "progressive" or "trendy". They are all speaking instead of or for same sex attracted people to the extent that our voices are swamped.

          • Shanreagh

            I think perhaps you have missed the point a bit RBO. smiley

            Corey was not commenting at a singular level but at a societal level.

            The waves of changing terms that are nominally to include all within the ambit turn out to have very specific and non inclusive definitions around them.

            Very telling is the reference to 1984 with the echoes of 'better' for those who fit the made-up (oops who said that) definitions

            Full on 1984 stuff .

            The 'we' is all of us having the right/ability to define ourselves in our own ways. especially important in terms of sexuality. But with the important caveat that our definitions and pride in ourselves should not be at the expense of anyone else and their own lived in experiences.

            This is why women for instance are saying born women need to have protections and why women/women attraction also is a fact of life and needs recognition and protection as well.

            These words by AB below sum up the beauty, souls and hurt we are potentially talking about

            “Nobody can command that other people be attracted to them. It is an entirely private, internal and mysterious process. Therefore all attempts to coerce attraction (by physical, emotional or social means) are illegitimate.

            Conversely, nobody can denigrate, insult, express disgust at, or call for the elimination of people (or classes of people) they are not attracted to. That is because their own lack of attraction to them contains no objective information about those other people.”

    • Molly 2.2

      Their About page is as offensive and logic free as this video.


      Raising visibility for lesbians by surrounding them with non-lesbians…

      About the term “lesbian”

      Our aim is to have an inclusive European and Central Asian lesbian network. We insist on calling it a lesbian although we recognize that, as with any category or label, it may be contested and insufficient to describe the diversity of our communities. We are aware that many previous lesbian gatherings have struggled with issues about who should or should not be included at the conference. However, using the word “lesbian” is part of the political struggle for visibility, empowerment and representation. We therefore use “lesbian*” in our name with an asterisk, so as to include anyone who identifies as lesbian, feminist, bi, trans or queer, and all those who feel connected to lesbian activism.

      • weka 2.2.1

        Raising visibility for lesbians by surrounding them with non-lesbians…


        The way language is being used in that quote has a kind of sly manipulation that sets my hackled up. It's a form of colonisation while pretending to be about diversity and sweetness and light. It looks exactly like neoliberalism.

      • SPC 2.2.2

        The inclusion of bisexual females is hardly problematic, nor the non binary females who call themselves gender queer, nor transsexuals (who seek legal status as "transgender" women and who have a peference for female partners).

        This is an organisation working together in feminist solidarity.

        • weka

          they include males in their definition of lesbian. This isn't working in feminist solidarity, it's undermining women's rights.

          • SPC

            Sure calling transsexuals, legally recognised as transgender women, males, is your choice. They did say they would rather work together to realise solidarity.

            • weka

              are you saying that you believe TW can be lesbian?

              • SPC

                Two can play at the game, do you regard males who become transsexuals as repressed homosexuals if they then prefer male partners?

                • weka

                  no. I consider them transexual women who are homosexual and male. . Don't know where you get the repressed bit from.

                  That they are male probably only comes up in relation to women's rights and sexuality issues.

                  • SPC

                    So a transsexual who prefers women partners you would regard as a heterosexual and male?

                    Don't know where you get the repressed bit from

                    "gay men internalised their homophobia and "transed away the Gay"

                    Open Mike 6 March thread 7.

                    • weka

                      Link please if you are going to quote.

                    • weka

                      So a transsexual who prefers women partners you would regard as a heterosexual and male?

                      Assuming you are talking about someone who was born male and transitioned to be a trans woman, then yes, they are transexual/TW (gender), male (biological sex), and heterosexual (sexual orientation).

                      It becomes really obvious when considering two people having sex. If one of those people is a lesbian, she is attracted to other women, not men who have transitioned.

                      There are also bisexual women who are attracted to both male and female bodies. Some of those women identify as lesbian.

              • SPC

                To (half) answer the question

                1. two transgender women marry, is it same sex or same gender?

                2. a transgender woman marries someone born female, is it same sex or same gender?

                We call same sex relationships between females, lesbian ones.

                atm there are only same sex, or heterosexual marriages.

            • weka

              They did say they would rather work together to realise solidarity.

              That would be a good thing. But not when it is at the expense of lesbians and other women. It's unnecessary to do that.

              • SPC

                Is supporting transsexuals getting recognition as women, an including them (if they want someone identifying as a woman as a partner) a threat to women?

                Is including non binary born females, gender queer who have female partners?

                I realise that gender identity is becoming problematic, but what this group is doing is not.

                It’s common cause not a social group.

    • AB 2.3

      Nobody can command that other people be attracted to them. It is an entirely private, internal and mysterious process. Therefore all attempts to coerce attraction (by physical, emotional or social means) are illegitimate.

      Conversely, nobody can denigrate, insult, express disgust at, or call for the elimination of people (or classes of people) they are not attracted to. That is because their own lack of attraction to them contains no objective information about those other people.

      Seems to me that these principles are universal and could be invoked without any reference to the contemporary obsessions with identity and gender, or to the rather mad 'cult of the self' more generally.

  3. joe90 3

    Sinead O'Connor was right.

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — St. John Paul II knew about sexual abuse of children by priests under his authority and sought to conceal it when he was an archbishop in his native Poland, a television news report has alleged.

    In a story that aired late Monday, Polish channel TVN24 named three priests whom the future pope then known as Archbishop Karol Wojtyla had moved among parishes or sent to a cloister during the 1970s, including one who was sent to Austria, after they were accused of abusing minors.


    • weka 3.1

      well ahead of her time and totally able to see the truth.

    • Ad 3.2

      Peter Murnane lays out several centuries of Catholic hierarchy sexual abuse and defense in vivid and toxic detail in his book from last year: "Clerical Errors", and has a go at both causes and conditions. Notable focus on Australasia.

      One of the hardest books I have ever read.

      Worse than Dostoyevsky or Solhestynyn.

      • joe90 3.2.1

        Coincidentally, I came across these articles about a 14th C Inquisitor sent to France to root out Jews, Cathars, and unorthodox beliefs.

        Peter Murnane would've made his list.

        The Inquisition was a long campaign by the Roman Catholic Church to eliminate unorthodox beliefs and practices in Europe by use of interrogation, torture, and even execution. The purge continued sporadically for more than 600 years with the purpose of securing Roman Catholic religious and political control over the continent.


        Part 2 in a three-part series of the transcribed interrogation transcripts of nonbelievers caught in the Inquisition. These are the words not of celebrated writers or famous philosophers but of three villagers in 14th-century southern France, as well as the man who interrogated them for unorthodox thinking—Bishop Jacques Fournier.


        • Ad

          Brother Murnane is well known for attacking the Waihopai Spy Base and being convicted for it.

          He's been censured by his Order but is long past giving a flying fuck about that.

    • tWiggle 3.3

      Catholicism in Poland formed an important counter to anti-clerical Soviet rule, and became closely linked with national identity as a result. In Soviet times, the last thing the local Church wanted was a hostile State poking its nose into what were viewed as internal matters. Hence, in part, the burying of events that could be used to discredit the Church.

      Wojtyla was a Catholic conservative, not much into happy-clappy reforms and women playing a greater role. And he must have been a consumate politico, to swing breaking the tradition of Italian popes. Getting to be Pope cemented Woytyla's position as a neo-nationalist saint in Poland.

      After the fall of communism, the Church lost ground, as it was no longer needed to support national identity. More recently, it has lost members to more modern Christian sects. But in the last few years, conservative rightist politicians in government have struck a strong alliance with the catholic Church, promoting hard anti-LGBT and anti-abortion positions, and throttling media freedom.

      Last week, according to the Guardian, the 15 yo son of an opposition MP killed himself, following the disclosure in the government-controlled press that he had been abused by a paedophile involved in LGBT activism (along with others). Complicating the story was information about the abuse had also been suppressed, presumably to not discredit the LGBT movement. Complicated.

      However, the wrongs of the neo-nationalist saint and his organisational decisions are finally, rightly, being called out in Poland, which is really only just now dealing with this history of institutional abuse.

  4. Ad 4

    Gee imagine if the Minister of Health had a tough reputable Board chair to protect her from National eviscerating her all week and continuing to election.

    Labour cabinet failing to understand what Boards are for, and paying a big price.


    • Cricklewood 4.1

      Basically the ministers been hung out to dry… Given bullshit numbers to use in the house.


      Going to be a shit show if they can’t get accurate numbers together and only say so when caught out.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        All state Board chairs and Ministerial office staff can now repeat back to Hipkins the old maxim of power:

        First they came for the Board Chairs,

        then they came for the staff,

        then they came for me.

        Reap what you sow Hipkins.

        • Shanreagh

          I agree Ad.

          Aided and abetted by not picking up on or clarifying the definition that MSM & the Nats are using for a public servant.

          I worked as a public servant for around 42 years and this year is the very first time I am being bombarded with shXt to try to convince me that board chairs and members of boards entities appointed by the Govt that is in power are public servants. During this time I was at various stages working as an advisor within the process of putting up names for various boards.

          Usually these people we nominated, who were uniformly 'best for the job', were appointed while at other times some of the names of other people, known to the Ministers etc were appointed. Mostly these fitted the criteria of being 'best for a job' and in a minimum of times they were probably 'political' appointments. Though political appointments were often those to HC (US, UK etc) roles by MFAT.

          At no stage ever, ever, ever were these appointees considered to be public servants. Often they had their own legislation or fell within other government forms of terms/conditions/remuneration eg there used to be information from Treasury as to what daily rate etc they were to be placed on. As a Board or company secretary to these entities we had all sorts of registers such as Conflict of Interest etc that these entity appointments had to sign/update, etc

          So by letting the Nats define

          1. what a public servant is,
          2. not forcefully rebutting the Nats wrong presumption, and,
          3. then not defending the ability of a person appointed as a member to one of these entities to have a life outside this appointment ie making them into political eunuchs

          The two parties Nats/Labour have set us on the slippery slope where all appointees are presumed to be political ie because they are people during a time when a vacancy came up and the Labour or Nat govt was in power.

          We have embarked on the slippery slope that will end with the expectation that all appointees will be expected to hand over their memberships when a new Govt is appointed a la the US system. We might also set ourselves up for another import from the US where we vote on the membership of our local Conservation boards, entities, at the time of the General Election.

          There are two important points:

          members of statutory boards are not public servants within the common statutory definition

          members of statutory boards are not all political appointments unless you use a ninny-ish definition that anyone appointed to a board during the term of a Govt is deemed to be a political appointee holding a party political view.*

          * my experience is that on boards the members set to with a will to do the functions of the board with the best endeavours that they can. having served as a board/company secretary to at least 3 of these I can say, hand on heart, that party politics did not come into it.

          I did come across several Nats later who had a view that everyone appointed a was a party political appointment including one very sad case where a former apolitical appointee, the health sector also, found out they were not going to be reappointed at the expiry of their term by reading a Press Release. No letter of thanks was ever forthcoming from the Govt (Nat at the time) for the years of service this person had put in on various boards etc in what was his very specialist field.

          I am very sad that the Labour Govt seems to have gone down this route as well.

          They had an opportunity to educate the public about the nuances and separations of power that we work to in NZ. They had a chance also support the very great number of people on Boards/entities and whose political persuasion was/is not a factor in their appointment. But no.

          So busy agreeing that the Nats had a point that I wonder if they are wanting to be Nat-lite as others have said.

          We have people who were politicians and who retired and were appointed to boards/commissions. usually these people are pretty clued up and public focussed, a factor in wanting to stand for parliament in the first place.

          The name of the late Chester Borrows springs to mind. Hekia Parata is another.

      • Belladonna 4.1.2

        It begs the question of just how reliable any of their data is.

    • Shanreagh 4.2

      Agree Ad.

      Why are they so ignorant of the way the world works around these board/entities/appointees?

      Dorks indeed.

      Who is advising? Have we got some of the Nats people acting as advisors you know the ones who did not have the wit to prevent the "am I in Hawaii or Te Puke' skirmish.

      Have they thrown out all the ones who knew how the PS works and imported those who are party politically astute but dumb in other ways or jumping at so called shadows as they are at the moment?

      For questions these would go through the Minister of Health’s office to the Ministry and usually, well when I worked at either end of the process the ministry would ask for input into questions by asking the entity for input.

      If you did not then you were on a hiding to nothing really as Ministries did not have all the info and the entities did not have the political process nous or experience.

      I wonder if the safe hands in the Ministry have gone and perhaps there are those with not much experience there.

  5. tWiggle 5

    In the https://www.publicservice.govt.nz/guidance/code-of-conduct-for-crown-entity-board-members/

    This code is dated 2020 and, based on a throwaway line in an RNZ comment I heard this am, may have been updated to add the political impartiality clause recently, catching out long-time board members

    "We are politically impartial

    We act in a politically impartial manner. Irrespective of our political interests, we conduct ourselves in a way that enables us to act effectively under current and future governments. We do not make political statements or engage in political activity in relation to the functions of the Crown entity."

    That does say in relation to the functions of 'the Crown entity', which should not preclude personal opinions expressed on other topic areas. So Campbell is in breech, while the other 2 scrape by.

    • Shanreagh 5.1

      Campbell's comments were in relation to co-governance, not Health. He was also involved with the Environment portfolio. he has lost both of these.

      I think any lawyer worth their salt could easily argue that the sentences you have bolded add to or explain (by limiting its metes and bounds) what "we are politically impartial' means aided by the the last sentence 'in relation to the functions of the Crown Entity'. So it is explanatory.

      Now if it had been just left at 'We are politically impartial' it would be a different argument.

      If this has changed since 2020 and Campbell is being judged on something new/different then that is greatly concerning to me.

      Up until now I would venture that many/most thought nothing political in relation to the entity and be careful with other expressions.

      It has never been, in my view, something that nobbles a person from saying anything for fear that some dill brain might see it as not being impartial. People should not have to resign from doing things of value in the Govt sector.

      The line has traditionally been drawn in the PS, the real PS, that should you wish to stand for parliament or local authority or say something publically that may be Govt related that you would seek guidance and may have to seek LWOP. Most PS know this.

      Entities are different in my view. The clause above is a step away from what guides the PS.

      • tWiggle 5.1.1

        Sorry, meant to be a new topic, not a reply. This topic of serious concern, apart from the mainstream messaging and alt-media pushing political ideas.

        newshub opinion piece on danger of microtargetting in NZ election messaging

        Two points: social media micro-messaging is very cheap to get wide coverage of a pre-identfied target audience; and it is not made of one message, but a bundle of potential hot topics that rapidly evolves in response to clicks, generating the most effective message packages.

        The EU has identified political micro-messaging as a threat to fair elections, and wants to manage it to protect democratic process.

      • BelladonnaA 5.1.2

        It looks as though things have changed under the 2020 Public Service Act, which explicitly mandates that Crown Agents (Those Crown Entities which are responsible for delivering serives – clearly the Health Authority) – including boards – are included in the Public Service (in some respects)

        Crown agents, the type of Crown entity closest to ministers, are also included in the legal definition of the Public Service for the purposes of shared principles, values, spirit of service and standards of integrity and conduct in Part 1 (subparts two and four) of the Public Service Act 2020. This is because Crown agents deliver by far the greatest number of services to New Zealanders and are the ʻface of governmentʼ to many New Zealanders and how people experience these important government services.


        The second paragraph under the section that tWiggle quoted is also relevant –

        When acting in our private capacity, we avoid any political activity that could jeopardise our ability to perform our role or which could erode the public’s trust in the entity. We discuss with the Chair any proposal to make political comment or to undertake any significant political activity.

        This is expanded upon in the direction from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in relation to Integrity and conduct throughout the State Sector.

        Generally, public servants acting in a private capacity have the same rights of free speech and conduct of their private affairs as other members of the public. They should, however, ensure that their personal contribution to public discussion, including any on social media, maintains a level of discretion appropriate to the position they hold. Senior public servants, or those working closely with Ministers, need to exercise particular care.


        One of the very explicit reasons for this neutrality is to ensure that "public servants" (whatever their actual job title) – have the capality to remain in their role following a change in government.

        Did anyone (even Rob Campbell) think that he could have remained as Board Chair under a National Government, following his very forthright criticism of their policies?

        • weka

          please start paying attention to when one of the moderators replies to you. And please fix you username. This is the fourth time you’ve been asked.

    • SPC 5.2

      Breech in the sense that co-governance has meaning in all areas, health (NACT want to eliminate any Maori Health Authority) environment …

      And he did not want to be silenced on such wider debate …

  6. Herodotus 6

    “Right now, across the motu, there are too many sick and injured people, and not enough resources – including hospital beds and community care … ” – Then why accept the reduction in the capabilities for the replacement hospital in Dunedin all to save a $200m – This is a VERY BAD decision ?? – How we are being totally undersold in the health being delivered to Kiwis, and we have a minister why has no feel "I spend a lot of time going and talking to them to understand the true picture and I'm disappointed that didn't come across,” she said." Perhaps Ayesha Verrall you need to LISTEN and not talk ?? then you would know to question the numbers you used !!!


  7. tWiggle 7

    According to https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/12/21/major-cuts-to-new-dunedin-hospital-design-as-budget-blows-out/

    • 421 beds reduced to 398
    • 2 operating theatres lost
    • PET scanner will now not be available at the time of opening (but presumably will become so later)
    • 450 non-clinical spaces will not be included (meaning they will be housed in other buildings, reducing convenience).

    To me, the biggie is reduction in operating capacity. The other options do not greatly affect the overall service provision to the community. So this is not a 30% downsize of core hospital services, as suggested by the article title. The cuts will not only reduce cost blowout, but also reduce build time, bringing the hospital online earlier, surely a plus.

    • tWiggle 7.1

      It's a reduction from 15 to 13 operating theatres, so not as serious as it could have been.


      • aj 7.1.1

        It is larger than the hospital it is replacing. There is space being built to almost the original specs but won't be fully fitted out in the short term. There is a lot more hot air floating about than facts.

        • tWiggle

          I notice a lot of medical people being upset on the radio and in the press but it's hard for non-med people to tell whether they legitimately represent their fields, or come from ginger groups.

          For example, I would expect the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners to be the industry voice for GPs criticising the government, but am not aware of any press releases from them regarding funding pressures on GPs. They do have an ongoing push for an equitable and transparent funding policy for GP practices, and also meet directly with Ayesha Verral.

          One problem with election year is that groups like this know it's their last chance to improve things before a potential regime change. With a NACT government, any noise like this will be rapidly squashed, and will also be ignored politically, as happened in their previous stretch. "Move on. Nothing to see here, no social problems or sinking-lid funding on our watch…".

      • Graeme 7.1.2

        Yeah, it's still a top class facility.

        Also in the mix there will need to be a surgical hospital in Central Otago very soon. I'd expect an announcement on this before the election with a facility to serve 100,000 being built within 10 years. Current population here is 50,000 and growing around 10% pa with huge seasonal peaks. Cromwell / Wanaka is about 3 -4 hours by road from Dunedin, Queenstown 2 hours to Invercargill, 4 hours to Dunedin.

        This will take a lot of demand off Dunedin and it's apparent that the new Dunedin facility is being developed with an eye to demand in 10 -20 years time when Dunedin is still around 130,000 people, the same as it has been for the last 30 years. If current trends continue, in 30 years Central Otago will probably be larger than Dunedin. Not going down well in Dunedin, but they have to learn to accept that their city is going backwards, and there centres that are growing are sick of propping them up.

        So currently if we need surgery, or urgent care, it's off to town for patient and support. No popping into the hospital to visit after work, they won't let you in after 8, so you're off to town for the week and in a motel. Manageable for people without commitments, but most people really struggle around this. Have seen some absolutely tragic outcomes because of the distance and separation.

  8. Maurice 8

    That is a bit sad – Please point out where any climate denial has been posted by me. Certainly some questions which have resulted in some good and lengthy replies from a couple of others that have been very informative. What is it that you disagree with?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill recognises unique role and contribution of Wānanga and Kura Kaupapa Māori
    Wānanga will gain increased flexibility and autonomy that recognises the unique role they fill in the tertiary education sector, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis has announced. The Education and Training Amendment Bill (No.3), that had its first reading today, proposes a new Wānanga enabling framework for the three current ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister talks to the Vanuatu Government on Pacific issues
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will travel to Vanuatu today, announcing that Aotearoa New Zealand will provide further relief and recovery assistance there, following the recent destruction caused by Cyclones Judy and Kevin. While in Vanuatu, Minister Mahuta will meet with Vanuatu Acting Prime Minister Sato Kilman, Foreign Minister Jotham ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major investment to support the safety of frontline Police and communities
    The Government is backing Police and making communities safer with the roll-out of state-of-the-art tools and training to frontline staff, Police Minister Ginny Andersen said today. “Frontline staff face high-risk situations daily as they increasingly respond to sophisticated organised crime, gang-violence and the availability of illegal firearms,” Ginny Andersen said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further laws passed to keep communities safe from gang offending
    The Government has provided Police with more tools to crack down on gang offending with the passing of new legislation today which will further improve public safety, Justice Minister Kiri Allan says. The Criminal Activity Intervention Legislation Bill amends existing law to: create new targeted warrant and additional search powers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Standard kerbside recycling part of new era for waste system
    The Government today announced far-reaching changes to the way we make, use, recycle and dispose of waste, ushering in a new era for New Zealand’s waste system. The changes will ensure that where waste is recycled, for instance by households at the kerbside, it is less likely to be contaminated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New laws will crack down on gang profits and criminal assets
    New legislation passed by the Government today will make it harder for gangs and their leaders to benefit financially from crime that causes considerable harm in our communities, Minister of Justice Kiri Allan says. Since the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 came into effect police have been highly successful in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Stuart Nash dismissed from Cabinet
    This evening I have advised the Governor-General to dismiss Stuart Nash from all his ministerial portfolios. Late this afternoon I was made aware by a news outlet of an email Stuart Nash sent in March 2020 to two contacts regarding a commercial rent relief package that Cabinet had considered. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax incentive to boost housing passes third reading
    Legislation to enable more build-to-rent developments has passed its third reading in Parliament, so this type of rental will be able to claim interest deductibility in perpetuity where it meets the requirements. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods, says the changes will help unlock the potential of the build-to-rent sector and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Law levels playing field for low-emissions commuting
    A law passed by Parliament today exempts employers from paying fringe benefit tax on certain low emission commuting options they provide or subsidise for their staff.  “Many employers already subsidise the commuting costs of their staff, for instance by providing car parks,” Environment Minister David Parker said.  “This move supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 40 years of Closer Economic Relations with Australia
    Today marks the 40th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations (CER), our gold standard free trade agreement between New Zealand and Australia. “CER was a world-leading agreement in 1983, is still world-renowned today and is emblematic of both our countries’ commitment to free trade. The WTO has called it the world’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Amendments to mass arrivals legislation
    The Government is making procedural changes to the Immigration Act to ensure that 2013 amendments operate as Parliament intended.   The Government is also introducing a new community management approach for asylum seekers. “While it’s unlikely we’ll experience a mass arrival due to our remote positioning, there is no doubt New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Progress on public service pay adjustment
    The Government welcomes progress on public sector pay adjustment (PSPA) agreements, and the release of the updated public service pay guidance by the Public Service Commission today, Minister for the Public Service Andrew Little says. “More than a dozen collective agreements are now settled in the public service, Crown Agents, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further legislation introduced to support cyclone recovery
    The Government has introduced the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Bill to further support the recovery and rebuild from the recent severe weather events in the North Island. “We know from our experiences following the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes that it will take some time before we completely understand the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago

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