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Open mike 09/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 9th, 2021 - 61 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 …

61 comments on “Open mike 09/04/2021 ”

  1. Sabine 1

    After calls yesterday by various people in regards to the locking down the gates for Indians, dear Leader was made aware that the UK variant is now pretty much the dominant virus anywhere and that the virus is 'surging' in every other country and that thus the quick decision to keep out Indians might be considered a bit tacky or singular, or damn or maybe they are just running scared because since the beginning of this shitshow they never did anything else but by 100 ventilators (did we finally get the nurses that are trained to man these machines actually?) and our hosptial system and our medical system can not even keep up with us getting just standard sick, let alone pandemic sic.

    Never mind, she 'listened' and is doing what should have been done yesterday in order to be fair at the very least.


    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is not ruling out extending the unprecedented Indian travel suspension to other high-risk countries in order to keep New Zealand Covid-free.

    She, and her director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, were yesterday at pains to point out that outside New Zealand's borders, Covid-19 is ravaging countries such as Brazil and the US.

    Keeping New Zealand's Covid-free status was a key reason Ardern announced there will be a two-week suspension of all travel from India to New Zealand.

    She can't keep us Covid free, we never were Covid free, we currently have a hundred cases of Covid in Isolation and at least one case who got Covid in isolation. Good grief, these guys you really can't fucking make them up.

    as for the unvaccinated Guard – from the same article further down.

    "They had several opportunities to be vaccinated, they didn't take up those opportunities so we need to understand why that was. Ultimately we're getting into that phase where those people won't be working at the border any more."

    He said expectations of contracted workers in MIQ were clear when it came to vaccinations.

    However, rates of vaccinations appeared to be lower in the "fluid" contracted border workforce, with Hipkins saying this was due to rosters and the casual nature of jobs.

    The Government would now be working with the contractors to make sure the health requirements were clear, including plans for what happens to staff who were not or did not plan to be vaccinated

    so first they have the right to refuse a vaccine and give it a thought, then they leave it to contractors to make sure their staff gets vaccinated or not, then we learn that the staff who works these places are in 'casual jobs'.

    We really have no idea just how lucky all of us have been over the last year. Good grief. Good fucking grief.

    I honestly can not state just how much contempt i have for these guys. How about 'Vaccinations are mandatory' for anyone who works in the Isolation wards, at the Airport, every cleaner, every front of house, every security guard, every dog and every donkey too.

    • Incognito 1.1

      Oh well, I’ll repeat my comment here for you again: please inform yourself before you comment here, thanks.


      Ignorance breeds contempt.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        These are comments from todays article in the Herald that i have linked to? would you care to articulate a thought about that?

        Have i broken any rules that would allow you to 'moderate' my thoughts on the open mike?

        I have also yesterday stated that i support the Idea of no one coming in until vaccination of at least 70% of the population has happened to give us at least a chance of 'herd immunity'. And that includes people from O z,

        Last but least, i expect a plane load of people coming from India to be Indians and thus the majority of sick people to be from that continent, as much as i expect a planeload from the US or Brazil or Europe to be then the majority of the sick people. So personally i am happy that she now thinks of closing the border to other countries where the Virus is currently surging. She should have announced that yesterday before people complained about the singeling out of Indians.

        Third, lastly, non so blind as those that don't want to see.

        Btw, have you got anything to say to the article and the highlighted comments from our polititians and the fact that it appears that government did not work with the Contractors for the Plague hotels in regards to assuring that vaccinations are being taken up in a timely manner and that no unvaccinated staff works the plague hotels.

        This is the open mike, my comment is to the rules, i supported my argument, i am polite, i insult no one and thus consider your comment more of a feeble attempt at an insult.

        If you seek to ban me because my not praying at the altar of the current government do so, but at least be honest about it.


        • Incognito

          Have i broken any rules that would allow you to 'moderate' my thoughts on the open mike?

          This is the open mike, my comment is to the rules, i supported my argument, i am polite, i insult no one and thus consider your comment more of a feeble attempt at an insult.

          If you seek to ban me because my not praying at the altar of the current government do so, but at least be honest about it.

          FFS, get a grip! It was a comment and one that clearly went down the wrong hole with you. Your aggressive and negative style is becoming legendary and your ignorance is grating. An no, you are not polite and you do insult many because you think that they somehow deserve it!? There are bloody good reasons why they temporarily stopped flights with Kiwis from India and fairness is not one of them. Your insinuation that I seek to ban you because you criticise Government is so ludicrous that I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Get over yourself, thanks.


          • cricklewood

            Think there is a communication miss going on here, I read Sabine as direct, polite in the style it's written and feel insult is been taken where it's not intended.

            • woodart

              nah, Im with incognito on this.

              • Red

                I am on team Sabine albeit disagree with her politics and lefty solutions, some commentators are very precious and have their favourites and not so favourites, likewise unconscious bias that’s triggered simply by the handle of a commenter

                [You have used so many e-mail addresses and aliases here in the past that this one had been missed, which allowed you to circumvent your permanent ban. Not to worry though, I’ve updated the Blacklist 😉 – Incognito]

            • greywarshark

              Good for you cricklewood. You have found that The Standard is a great place to come when you have nothing to do and like to fill the hours reading some commenters contentious, reiterative opinions and arguments.

              A significant number lead nowhere, not enlightening, not suggesting practical repairs on our body politic; which is just not good enough and that fact can never be stated enough or too strongly. End of current message, to be repeated ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

        • David

          I’m with Sabine on this.

          Having a counter point of view adds to the discussion. If we limit ourselves to only the views of those who hand clap every government announcement or announcement of an announcement, what’s the point of this blog site?

          • Red Blooded One

            I don't think there are many, if any, here who hand clap every announcement by this government, that in itself is an incendiary comment. You and your like and Sabine from the opposite end of the spectrum seem to come here to constantly bad mouth every opportunity you get. If you wish to point me to a recent post where you have come here to praise the government I will happily apologize. No government will get everything right but the fact that this one seems to outrage both the left and right seems to point to it being the Centre Left Government it professes to be.

        • DukeEll

          At the rate the government is going with vaccinations, new births will keep the proportion of the population vaccinated below 10%

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            DukeEll, is that a prediction, a joke, or both?

            Bear in mind that according to the numbers less than 2% of humans have been infected with Covid-19. The real percentage will be higher, but the Covid-19 virus still has plenty of unvaccinated naïve hosts available to it and, while regional vaccination programmes will help, reversing the global tide is still some way off.

            Much to my surprise, BAU will not be resuming; we've got about as close to BAU as possible in NZ and Australia. I under-estimated the effect of this pandemic on behaviour, and the next global challenge will be along before this one’s been mopped up, imho.

        • weka

          Generally if an Author is moderating they will use [bold]. I think it's reasonable for commenters to assume that if bold isn't being used, then it's not moderation. Sometimes I make suggestions in comments that I'm about to switch into bold mode, and it's up to people to decide if they want that to happen. I'll make a note in the back end about clear lines between commenting and bold, as it's been a bit problematic in recent times.

      • Chris T 1.1.2

        From your link

        "India is currently enduring a huge Covid-19 spike with a 7-day average of about 95,000 cases. "

        Given it is the 7th largest country on earth and has a population of over 1.3 billion I would hate to imagine what the real figure is.

        Scary stuff

        • lprent

          Given it is the 7th largest country on earth and has a population of over 1.3 billion I would hate to imagine what the real figure is.

          Same thing is happening in Brazil which is at least as badly run at a federal level as India is.

          I suspect that the US and France are racing between the rate of vaccination and the rate of new variant infection. In both cases I think that they're going to get another wave of infection and deaths.

          But for NZ – what actually matters are the number of people detected in MIQ as a proportion of the number of people arriving from a particular source. If we jump from having 5 or 6 new cases per day and start climbing to over 20 per day with most of the additional coming from a just a couple of sources (Mumbai, Delphi, and presumably Dubai) we wind up increasing the risk of outbreaks as we overwhelm the available highly secure treatment spots and increase the infected density in MIQ as well.

          That is really the only issue. Balancing the immediate entry 'right' of a relatively few travelling citizens against the 'right' of those arriving infected to have effective safe treatment against the 'right' of non-travelling citizens to not get infected by a potentially lethal disease.

          Since they all have the same basic rights, the question is actually one of relative risk to the many against the risks to the few. The risk is a lot lower if we don't have too many infected people arriving in an uninfected zone. All quarantine law including ours states that pretty explicitly.

          If people want to test that, then they have the 'right' can take it up with the courts . Probably after the pandemic. But they won't get the answer that they like would like. When it comes to overall immediate widespread public safety with disease, war and contamination, then rights tend take a big back seat to risk.

          Which incidentally is what Sabines silly tantrum above doesn't move me at all. Nothing that she wrote or linked to has any particular analysis of risk here outside of what was stated by the NZ authorities about their decision.

          There is a no risk-free state with anything to do with covid-19 (or other diseases, or fire, or war or contamination). Consider the enlightening contrary case of an extreme but quite clear position. We could completely stop all imports of material and people, and all that would do is to increase our collective risk levels. Outside of what we produce inside the country – no vaccines, no medicines, no vitamins. not particular types of food to deal with the known deficiencies in the trace elements in NZ, no machine parts to keep our food, transport and power systems running, no offshore specialised engineers and medical staff, etc etc. But hey – we'd be safe against covid19! And that is all that counts right?

          I'd invite Sabine and supporters to comment on that risk case and explain if they have any disagreement with it? And why they wouldn't pursue it to prevent the risk from covid-19? After all it does appear to just be a simple extrapolation of the end result of their idiotic rants.

          I suspect they'd dislike that as well. And everything between those and the government's position is just a balance of relative risks. So they should also state their analysis of the risk case for each change every one else can asses their worth.

          Because if you can't assess risk analytically then you haven't thought it through and all will become aware that there are useless ineffectual critics amongst us and who they are. Which would be useful to know.

    • Sabine you seem to have missed (in your rant) the bit where the rest of the world is in awe of NZ for its covid response. It has been phenomenally successful.

      Of course there have been a few blips-this virus is incredibly hard to contain.

      As to India, check out my post today on the "Covid India" thread where I suggest there may be 250,000 cases or more a day in India.

      Where India alone has been the source of 56% of imported covid cases over the last 2 months, and where covid spread is now going gangbusters in India (check the India graph on the link below) it is entirely logical and proportionate for the government to do what it announced yesterday.


    • Poission 1.3

      After calls yesterday by various people in regards to the locking down the gates for Indians, dear Leader was made aware that the UK variant is now pretty much the dominant virus anywhere and that the virus is 'surging'

      Suspicions are that it is the Maharashtra double mutation that is forcing the spike in covid in India.

      The government response under uncertainty is to remove doubt,until more is known on the new variant.


  2. Muttonbird 2

    Chris Lucks In by claiming taxpayer money for living in his own house and using his own office.

    Taxpayers are paying to rent two of the seven properties in the portfolio of National MP Christopher Luxon, who is among more than a dozen MPs that use Parliamentary accommodation allowances to effectively rent property from themselves.

    I wonder where Porky the wasted pig from the Taxdodger's Union is on this 'rort'?


    • woodart 2.1

      would like to think that some good journos(?) do a followup on this, "prospective nat party leader rorting the system, has learnt from bill english ,etc,etc."

      • Muttonbird 2.1.1

        Yeah, new church fundamentalist Christians sure do know a good deal when they see one.

    • Herodotus 2.2

      So you now want MPs to pay for their own office rents and rents for where they stay in Wellington ? That is a rort ??
      does it matter who the landlord is. From memory the greens do similar where their pension fund owns the property.

      • Muttonbird 2.2.1

        Meh. Lucks-in owns the house. He doesn't have to pay rent.

        Just another example of the taxpayer enriching the already rich.

        • Herodotus

          And the greens ? What about their position of the mps pension fund owning the property that the state paid the rent on ? Are they part of enriching the rich .

          there was a case of a labour/new labour living in the kapiti coast and having her Wellington rental being paid for as she resided out of town, there are rules that the current govt has kept in place, why not ask them to change this . I think it was Phippipa debunkle from labour.

        • Herodotus

          So if I read your comments correct

          you would have no objection for an MP to own in some form a rental property in Wellington and rent it out to a 3rd party/uni student . Then to rent from another 3rd party a property ?

          perhaps to throw out a solution get the government to build a fit for purpose apartment block that MPs would stay in. Try to be helpful

          • Muttonbird

            If you have a house in Wellington, stay in it and don't charge the taxpayer to pay yourself.

            • Treetop

              Do you know who pays for a new oven or fridge or a washing machine and a heat pump or insulation and then does the landlord own the appliances? Also this could apply to general upkeep of the property garden/lawn.

              So the government pays the mortgage if you rent your own place to yourself.

            • David

              What about if you rent your electorate office off a union at mates rates and fleece (sorry, charge) the tax payer the market rate. Does that count?

              • Treetop

                Just as bad in my book.

              • McFlock

                [charge] the tax payer the market rate


                Parliamentary Service is comfortable with the arrangement saying it is paying less than the market rate.

                You might believe your own bullshit, but reality seems to disagree with you.

                • David


                  And has anyone found anything illegal with what the opposition is doing. Guess it’s another case of “bullshit” except when Labour rort the system.

                  • McFlock

                    Funnily enough, I see your comment after pressing "submit comment" for this.

                    Maybe you should consider the possibility that "thinking that nats are grasping fuckwits with varying degrees of callousness to the hardship of others, generally low levels of intelligence and a corresponding level of integrity" is an opinion that can be shared by people with diverse attitudes to specific moral questions, rather than being restricted to a homogeneous pool of fungible Labour Party acolytes.

              • Muttonbird

                Not really. Lucks-in is fleecing (sorry, charging) the taxpayer where there is no cost to himself.

                Nice work if you can get it.

                • Herodotus

                  Some background you may not have come across- You could argue with these benefits we the voter should expect more from our reps in Wellington ??😇

                  Together the accommodation allowance, and the pensions contributions, gives MPs a powerful wealth boost….

                  An MP's accommodation allowance – currently $28,000 a year – can be legally paid to the super scheme as their landlord.

                  In addition, MPs can ask for their superannuation contributions to be paid into the private super scheme.

                  MPs get a contribution of 20 per cent of their salary, and only have to put in $1 of their own money for each $2.50 contribution from the taxpayer.


    • McFlock 2.3

      I'm not overly worried about it, if it doesn't result in inflated costs for taxpayers and the buildings are used for taxpayer purposes. It's a bit smarmy to charge market rates for stuff you own, but still within the grey zone.

      I'm currently organising workshops for clients in Wellington. While I'm up there, the only reason I make the trip is work, so work pays for my accommodation. Just like work pays for my office space in my hometown.

      Now, if I lived in Wellington normally and claimed to live out of town to get the cash, or took a taxi to the airport at an inflated price and my brother was the taxi driver, that would be well wrong.

      But if a mortgage is cheaper than market rent, or the rent I charge my boss is below market rates, as long as the boss knows about it (so they can check the details), it's a bit meh.

  3. greywarshark 3

    Mike Joy with some measured criticisms which government should listen to. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/440120/polluted-waterways-why-are-we-subsidising-environmental-harm

    …While emissions of all pollutants inexorably rise and we waltz past tipping point after tipping point, we continue to talk and talk and set up working groups and commissions and expert panels. We commission reports – how this government loves a report! – and we monitor impacts, and we survey people. We do nothing real….

    (Shades of Paul Crutzen recently died finally got breakthrough about man-made climate change wile all the other muppets were calling it the Holocence Age and he got them to accept we were in Anthropocene Age. ) https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/115969257/the-anthropocene-epoch-humans-vs-the-earth

  4. Jimmy 4

    Here's a bit of a challenge for anyone good at maths.

    If you have an unkown number, how do you calculate 90% of that number?


    • Muttonbird 4.1

      Or English?




      1. an approximate calculation or judgement of the value, number, quantity, or extent of something.

        "at a rough estimate, staff are recycling a quarter of paper used"

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.2

      The group of frontline border workers was first believed to be about 12,000 – but now officials think there's more than 16,000, meaning hundreds may not have had a jab.

      The more the merrier I say – and based on Covid-19 health outcomes those workers are doing an excellent job. Minister Hipkins reckons the number of (Covid-19) border workers is between 15,000 and 20,000.

      MBIE said by next month "all work in MIQ facilities will be carried out by vaccinated workers."

      In a statement it said employers had obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to take all reasonable, practicable steps to eliminate or control "known risks".

      "This includes obligations to employees working at the border at this time, who have a high risk due to Covid-19," the statement said.

      "MBIE provided guidance to MIQ employers from 23 March 2021 which supported them to start individual conversations with their staff about the importance of being vaccinated."


      Sounds like a plan.

      National's COVID-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says it's "staggering" the exact figure remains a mystery.

      "Staggering" Chris B and Jimmy, simply "staggering" – keep up the 'good work' laugh

      • Jimmy 4.2.1

        So the number of unvaccinated front line workers is:

        a. 10% of 12,000 = 1,200


        b. 10% of 15,000 = 1,500


        c. 10% of 16,000 = 1,600


        d. 10% of 20,000 = 2,000


        e. none of the above as it may not even be 10%!

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Well done Jimmy, seems you have answered your own question @4. Perhaps you could forward your calculations to Chris B laugh

    • Pat 4.3

      “If you have an unkown number, how do you calculate 90% of that number?”

      Random sample

    • Graeme 5.1

      Nothing in there that the last National government would have supported. They just made sure that any regulation would be ineffectual. And their mates were making shit loads out of the caper.

      It got to the stage QLDC virtually gave up ticketing them because they couldn’t collect the fine. Either the rental company couldn’t / wouldn’t chase it up or the vehicle was registered to the person who sold it into the backpacker market 10 years ago. QLDC just developed other forms if harassment which were much more efficient, both in outcome and cost.

      Very pleased the Government is cleaning up that side of the industry and taking it back to where you stayed at the camping ground it DOC camp site and it was generally well controlled.

      I can assure you that it’s a unique experience having up to 50 of the parked up across the road from your gate every night, their departure has been one of the great positives of Covid

    • Johnr 5.2

      It's all a nice theoretical idea, but, what happens to the homeless people living in cars/vans are we going to punish them further.

      Their is a carpark near where my boat is moored and 3 or 4 people discretely sleep there, one is a young uni student, she sleeps in her station wagon Monday to Friday and goes home in the weekend. There are toilets in the parking area but they lock them at night which means they have to sneak into the marina after hours. Gave the young lass my cell number in case she has any issues, couldn't think what else to do without looking like a dirty old man

      • Graeme 5.2.1

        There's quite a difference between those that are discrete and those that take over large public spaces and turn them into villages.

        My memory of the pre international freedom camping days was that you did it, but were discrete about it, or if you were near a town, you stayed at the camping ground.

        Sadly the freedom camping thing has also legitimised living in cars, if it’s fine for tourists to do it reasonably long term, then it’s harder to see the problem with families or your student lass living in their car. A sad place we’ve come too.

  5. McFlock 6

    Heh. Economist suggesting to landlords that market rates are not set as a whim of the supplier.

    Rents were not usually set according to investors’ costs, but instead driven by the limit of what tenants could afford to pay.

    “Rents are set at what the market will bear,” he said. “People will charge the maximum they can get in the market.”

    Pulling that further, someone overcharging will take longer to fill their rental and actually make less money than if they simply bore the cost.

    • woodart 6.1

      I had this conversation with a friend who was seeing $$$$ . wanted to overcharge for house. couldnt understand why he couldnt keep tenants long term, and was getting financially further behind. I pointed out that overcharging led to tenants constantly looking for somewhere cheaper, and every time they moved, the risk of damage increased, even with very careful tenants. and every week his rental sat empty, he got further behind, and would never really catch up. after three years , finally saw the light, cut the rent by 10% , sacked the rental agency, and has had same careful tenants for last ten years. lesson learned….

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Great woodart. That is good to hear. How do we share this sort of experience and advice? It's the sort of thing that comes over well in Tedtalks. Could there bea number of landlords with experiences that could speak to audiences and be videoed. Some of our doco makers might be able to organise it and find a way to get some earnings to make it viable for them. It could be announced as one of a series of 'Get your life and your country back, enjoyable and affordable'.

        I've noticed that you tend not to get stuff unless you ask for it. Sometimes you have to be brash and some people get annoyed, because many NZ don't seem to have a mid-setting between putting up with things, and getting bloody mad.

        But when times are tough, the tough get going – and all the books that I have read about war and hard times, those who are alert and achieve co-operation are the ones who make it through. We have to change our mindset as your friend did so well woodart – do you agree?

        • greywarshark

          Here us Radionz about rent controls with some comment from government about rent controls.


          …Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams says the government “has no further plans to make changes regarding rent” – so such a move is off the agenda for now.

          I guess that is all she can say with the country and all the smart middle class people riding high on their upwardly moving housing values like invisble flying carpets. I wonder if they have been reading about Roald Dahl's story 'Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator' and got caught up in the fantasy world of kids where anything can happen but comes right, usually. They might find it familiar as it is nearly as calamitous as real life is for the real people on or near Struggle Street.

        • woodart

          A positive mindset can accomplish far more than one set to outrage as a default setting. having an open mind and trying to see things from others viewpoints can be very helpful. trump sees himself as the great dealmaker , but as a self-absorbed narcissist, he is useless as he cant see anybodys elses point of view. when asking for "stuff"? try and think what the giver of stuff might need,want,etc. yes, co-operation is huge, a champion team will always beat a team of champions etc. even dealing with large faceless corporations can be advanced if you do a bit of actual personal communication(talking on the phone), rather than texting,email,etc. it shouldnt be a surprise but many workers in those large faceless corporations crave real personal contact, and can be very helpful. I learnt a lot yrs ago, when looking for sponsorship for a race car, again think about what I could do for a prospective sponsor, in return for mostly goods or services(much harder to get $$$$ from sponsors, they are more willing to do the goods or services route).

  6. greywarshark 7


    The sort of behaviour that will attract court attention is price fixing or market manipulation. Andy Matthews from the law firm Matthews Law said it was on firms to get their commercial arrangements double checked to ensure they were not engaging in any anti-competitive behaviour.

    Blah blah. When I worked for a law firm for a while I noticed that their attitude was objective, to follow the law and carry it out in all things. That was fair enough. But to leave it to them to decide on laws means that they turn to what their customers with money require, and there is little soft spot for the difficulties of ordinary people who tend to fall into legal holes quite often. Control cartels, but do help the ordinary person getting caught up in the legal mesh. It could get so bad that dispassionately it would seem better for the government to lessen the laws that can tie up people's lives. One that comes to mind is the drug-testing before being accepted for work, I have read that is very tight. Let's see legal controls spread evenly; huge interest payments on a daily rate – that shouldn't be allowed. If people cannot afford to live, allowing them to be stripped of everything and be in debt is a shame on government. That should get through their thick, self-satisfied skin.

    Also it is hard to pin down the small-time shysters setting up people in ways that sound legit, and then oh dear something goes wrong, and it's not their fault. Getting to them to serve papers to come to Court is hard and then they have a string of measures so they can wiggle out. And they do this over and over with impunity.

    It is absolute shit for the people caught out by them and the government is massively unconcerned with the way that their supposed control and punishment systems are so hard to handle. In fact a lot of the problems that people are having are brought about by the poor government measures that have cropped up under nasty neolib and user pays – (out of wages decimated by housing costs (leaving just enough to get drunk on and eat hamburgers which people resort to just to get by).

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