Open mike 09/07/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 9th, 2022 - 96 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 …

96 comments on “Open mike 09/07/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    “We are committed to reinvigorating the country’s railway after decades of under-investment.

    "This helps us get more of our growing freight volumes off the roads and on to rail, reducing congestion and transport emissions," Dr Clark said.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/hillside-construction-contract-awarded

    Fantastic ! Cmon Labour…more of this ! Ignore Nact…and just get with the Positive Action.. I’m so pleased about it. : )

    • kejo 1.1

      Excellent project. Ive beeen watching the demolition and wondering if reconstruction was really going to happen !! Only 10% of staff to be apprentices though? Considering the skills shortage and the age of many tradesmen these days I think it should be much more than this. As an aside, the oldfashoined "railways" and also the "post office" were great sponges of surplus labour. Economically inefficient but socially efficient. Which would you rather have ? Take your pick.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.1

        Hi, absolutely MORE Apprentices ! Labour should be going for it…to put a stake through the neolib rogernomics (I was gonna say heart but …No heart )

        I am ever hopeful : )

    • Hunter Thompson II 1.2

      Just watch the trucking lobby PR hirelings spring into action as a result of that announcement.

      Of course, it's only talk from Dr Clark; we'll have to wait and see if anything actually gets done to revive rail.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.2.1

        Hi, yea the Truckers lobby def have the BIG voice. However I have seen some new spine from David Clark….so I'll be watching…with Interest : )

        Also…Michael Wood…is Involved. Gives me more confidence too. !

  2. Well, for my sins, I just sat through 49 minutes of corporate babble from Chrissie Luxon! I think I needed a babble-fish in my ear to interpret for me!

    I don't recommend anyone else doing so, except from the point of self-flagellation!

    But at about 10 mins to 15 mins he disses this country (what a contrast to Jacinda) and at about 35 mins he tells his audience what he thinks should be done here – deregulation!

    Honestly, the man has learned nothing from 40 years of letting the market decide – leaky homes, cattle viral diseases and so on.

    So, you've been warned:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyD2O5o56x0&t=38s

    • DavidJ 2.1

      The context is important. Policy Exchange is a think tank that seeks to influence public policy. Luxon was a bit 'wooden', but he certainly didn't diss NZ, and the contents of the speech were mostly on point.

    • Blade 2.2

      This man is Labour's saviour. Why would you want Labour to win the next election? Every social and economic indicator for a healthy country is, or is about to, go South. Do you want Labour burdened with another three years of trying to rule with a caucus that's tired, discredited and out of ideas? And a public that is increasingly over this government?

      Listening to Luxon's speech, people who think he'll be a pushover in the leaders debates, may have to think again. Luxon is gaining more of that glib political-speak politicians are famous for. The way he weighted his talk straight away gives voters a clear demarcation of where his priorities will lie.

      [please provide some back up for this statement: “Every social and economic indicator for a healthy country is, or is about to, go South.” – weka]

      • weka 2.2.1

        mod note

        • Blade 2.2.1.1

          Backup was provided early Sunday morning, Weka. But my post wasn't published.

      • Blade 2.2.2

        Health:

        Quote:

        ''As many as half the country's GP clinics are not enrolling new patients, and others are asking people to wait weeks for an appointment.''

        That's just one area of our health system. Others are just as bad. That's an emergency situation in my opinion. If ordinary people are feeling the pressure, what of those from the lower socio-economic demographic of society?

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018845827/gp-crisis-about-half-nz-s-clinics-not-taking-new-patients

        Housing:

        Quote:

        “It’s a sad indictment of our country that even as 25-30,000 people are trapped living in temporary and transitional housing, the government is selling state houses to private developers,” Bernie says. “I understand they are selling it to fund long-term intensification plans, but this worsens the current problem, which is already at crisis levels, in the hopes of catching up later. The impact will be felt for generations in Health, Education and Justice outcomes.''

        While National has contributed to housing problems, the fact is National aren't in government. Transitional housing has destroyed areas of Rotorua's CBD. The problem is now out of control, and I can't see the incoming National government improving matters. I have previously offered my solution to this problem.

        https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2206/S00076/housing-crisis-no-time-to-be-selling-public-housing-stock-monte-cecilia-housing-trust-ceo-bernie-smith-says.htm

        Economy:

        What the boffins forecast and state is usually of no interest to the ordinary person. Economists can't even agree amongst themselves for a simple reason – they don't know. The vagaries of global events are always a sword above national economies across the globe. For an average person such as myself, what I do know is my local dairy has closed. My favourite cafe is now operating 5 days a week. Businesses I have dealt with for years are no more. Empty shops are a dime a dozen in my town. People I know are leaving our shores for good. And I break out in a sweat whenever I shop at my local supermarket. A supermarket claiming to have NZs lowest prices.

        Sure our economy is still in reasonable shape. But if this is reasonable, what's it going to be like next year as our government continues to strangle our biggest export earner with red tape, while global forecasts look more dire?

        https://economics.rabobank.com/publications/2022/march/new-zealand-two-sides-of-the-same-coin/

        Crime:

        I've covered that ad nauseum. Enough said.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/counting-crime/

        Maori:

        Problems related to Maori. Perceptions about Maori. Maori funding. Reverse racism. These issues will be a major reason why Labour is heading back to the opposition benches. In my opinion they have been hamstrung by their Maori caucus. How else can you explain weird decisions like making Nanaia Mahuta Foreign Affairs Minister? What did Labour and NZ receive in return for such an appointment…perceptions of impropriety.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/nanaia-mahuta-family-member-appointments-officials-launch-review-into-working-group-positions/OOJNOICEGOD724N6SZ6JW2BL7I/

        Now, I understand most people on this blog don't have a problem with this incessant focus and lush funding by Labour on things Maori. Even as their European culture is being cancelled right under their noses. What needs to be understood is many others outside of their ideological bubble do have a problem with Maori and the perceived wasted taxpayer dollars supporting them.

        And let's not forget this guy below. Mikey (ZB 5.56 am 6th July 2022) said they had never had a problem getting Tukaki to appear on his show. But calls asking him to front went unanswered. Was his CV not checked because he was Maori and everything would be kapai?

        https://dailytelegraph.co.nz/news/investigation-reveals-matthew-tukakis-cv-wasnt-checked-before-appointment-to-top-government-job/

        [ok, I think we’re done now. The mod request wasn’t for yet another round of your anti-Labour rhetoric. You made a claim, I asked for back up. If you want to know why this sat all day on a Sunday before being released, it’s because it was going to take so much of my time reading and parsing what you said. I’m sick of the racism in your comments, sick of the trolling, sick of the continual anti-Labour reckons, and referencing vague talk back. You’ve been warned about nearly all of that multiple times and I don’t want to be spending any more of my time on this. 6 month ban – weka]

  3. Patricia Bremner 3

    Could we have a more up to date photo?/photos? The man has gained weight and a rather belligerent expression. This pearly whites version flatters him.
    He is not harmless and holds dangerous challenging views of us, to the point he could never be “representative”.

    • weka 3.1

      Who are you talking about?

      • Alwyn 3.1.1

        I think she must be talking about the MP for my electorate.

        It is Wellingto Central and the sentences from the second one on all seem to be appropriate. A bit harsh perhaps but kindness doesn't always appear to be the norm for comments does it?

        • Patricia Bremner 3.1.1.1

          Alwyn, this is not about kindness.

          It is about an ego driven man who thinks he has all the answers.

          His religious beliefs do not align with the bulk of Kiwis.

          He talked several times as though he believes we are "bottom feeders" and now he says "business is soft looking to Government " Wow.

          Then he says we need to open up. OK. We get HE is over covid… never gave that or the war a mention.

          He has no grasp of the world complexities. He thinks trade and open borders will solve all . Tui.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.2

      Thanks Weka, I forgot to preface those comments to the video speech by Christopher Luxon which was provided by Tony Veitch (not…). For some reason it did not connect as a reply?blush

      • weka 3.2.1

        looks like the reply function might be acting up again. What device were you using? (and if on a mobile was it the Mobile or Desktop version?)

  4. pat 4

    The wielding of power….

    “One thing I have learned is to keep our market share below 5%, and don’t undercut Gib prices. As long as we do both of those things we are OK. But as soon as we step over that line, then we have hell to pay.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/129088441/how-to-build-a-plasterboard-monopoly

  5. KJT 5

    The article didn't say where the competing plasterboard comes from.

    Gib is reliably consistent in quality. Which is why builders like it, despite cost and supply issues.

    Can't say the same for some of the imported competing products. Found plasterboard with voids, rocks and rubbish inside.

    It may be a case of "be careful what you wish for".

    Replacing locally manufactured quality products, with cheaper imported junk. Where have we seen that before?

    • pat 5.1

      Thailand…and monopolies are detrimental no matter their country of origin

    • joe90 5.2

      It's made in Thailand. I've used it and the only way I can fault it is the paper finish can be a bit shitty, but nothing the final skim coat won't fix.

      You may have an issue if it's for work consented with Gib bracing calculations, too, but otherwise, it's a good product.

      • KJT 5.2.1

        Costs more to skim coat.

        Predatory behaviour is rife in the NZ building supply industry.

        Which is why NZ building materials are often cheaper in Oz.

        Replacing with imported products is not good for our balance of trade, and we often see quality control issues.

        There are other ways of addressing it.

  6. Anker 6

    https://www.savewomenssport.com/opinion

    great article by Candice Riley, a former elite athlete, debunking Shane Te Pou,s article about trans women in woman's sport

    • DavidJ 6.1

      This is an excellent response – thanks for posting. When it appeared in the Herald it was behind a paywall angry.

  7. Muttonbird 8

    Listen carefully, young, single mothers. It's not because you are young, single mothers, it's because you are filthy and have no money.

    Canterbury Property Investors Association president Shirley Berryman was surprised to hear young single mothers felt they were being discriminated against when applying for private rentals.

    Beneficiaries could guarantee consistent rent payments, she said.

    Landlords could not be blamed for being picky, due to current laws that made removing difficult tenants much harder, Berryman said.

    “You’ll choose the ones you think will put less wear and tear on your property… some people might rank higher than others, but I can’t imagine that young solo mums are being actively avoided.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/129201897/forced-to-raise-a-baby-in-motel-room-due-to-double-whammy-of-singlemum-judgment-and-racism

    • weka 8.1

      She clearly rules out the money side by saying that beneficiaries have guaranteed income.

      And she doesn't say single mums are dirty, she points out that wear and tear is an issue from an investment pov. It's not hard to understand that households with children have more wear and tear (same with dogs).

      The problem here is landlord culture in NZ is weighted towards seeing housing as stock rather than homes. Landlord associations should be giving support to landlords on how to manage wear and tear, that is is a normal part of tenancy, and how to account for that in their financial management.

      Underlying that is the shortage of homes, although BUILD MOAR HOUSES isn't a solution in the short and medium term if those houses are largely part of the investment market, because rents will go up. Plus the issues of opening the borders and more people coming to live here. We need whole system design changes.

      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        She rules out a lot, but not convincingly because the problem does exist despite her denials. It's too easy for landlord advocates to dismiss reality.

        Ruling out the money side is disturbing on two counts. If discrimination is not because of benefit status, it must be about cleanliness/poor parenting…and race.

        Also, the Canterbury Property Investors Association appears to have a policy which encourages benefit dependency (if you are not on a benefit it we won't rent to you) which runs counter to their members' cries there are too many dole bludgers.

        Property Investors Associations insist on a light touch so excepting them to provide such support is wishful thinking, and whenever there are regulatory moves from government, the shrieks to leave us alone grow louder and louder.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          Benefits are a really stable form of income in low income people. If you have a rental aimed at low income people, then many beneficiaries make good tenants.

          Ruling out the money side is disturbing on two counts. If discrimination is not because of benefit status, it must be about cleanliness/poor parenting…and race.

          this presumes bigotry is the reason for not renting. It could also or instead be wear and tear. As I pointed out.

          But sure, some landlords are bigots.

          Also, the Canterbury Property Investors Association appears to have a policy which encourages benefit dependency (if you are not on a benefit it we won't rent to you)

          where are you getting that from?

          which runs counter to their members' cries there are too many dole bludgers.

          and that?

          • Muttonbird 8.1.1.1.1

            I dunno, perhaps it is the unmarried status which is the icky thing. Seems to be a real issue for conservatives.

            Berryman states, "beneficiaries could guarantee consistent rent payments". I'm sure this is the advice she gives her members and so they might like to select a beneficiary over a working single mother.

            This might discourage young, single mothers in North Canterbury from looking for work.

            This runs counter to prevailing right wing thought (North Canterbury landlords) that there are too many people on a benefit and not enough working.

            The issues for tenants in this country, highlighted by this piece, have been going on for decades. The root of it is the amateur landlord culture which has been encouraged and allowed to become normal, Mum & Dad investors feted as beneficial providers of accomodation and morals in equal measure.

            The truth is, capital gain is the only motivation, the landlord part is inconvenient and annoying. Time to drag the residential tenancy sector into the 20th, then the 21st century by ensuring it is more secure and professionally run.

            • weka 8.1.1.1.1.1

              what I'm seeing there is a number of long bows being drawn and some random reckons about the rental crisis.

            • pat 8.1.1.1.1.2

              "The truth is, capital gain is the only motivation, the landlord part is inconvenient and annoying. Time to drag the residential tenancy sector into the 20th, then the 21st century by ensuring it is more secure and professionally run."

              What are property management companies if not professionals?

              • Muttonbird

                Not professional enough, in my opinion, by definition working solely for the benefit of the landlord and the maximising of their income.

                • pat

                  There can be no dispute they are 'professional'….and some of the worst offenders. And unfortunately also inflationary, both by their fees and incentive….all ultimately carried by the renter.

                  There is no one solution, and professionalism is way down the list of causes imo.

          • SPC 8.1.1.1.2

            What's a rental aimed at low income people?

            Do landlords really seek out tenants who can least afford to pay rent in an era where there are minimum standards for such property?

            • Belladonna 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Not professional or even the much derided amateur ones.

              The only landlords deliberately renting to the higher risk groups are either the State or specific trusts (e.g. Monte Cecilia).

            • weka 8.1.1.1.2.2

              What's a rental aimed at low income people?

              A rental with rent at a price that low income people can afford. Surely this was self evident in my comment.

        • Belladonna 8.1.1.2

          I know families who have both parents working are also struggling to find rental accommodation.

          It seems understandable (note I'n not saying right or commendable) that private landlords are going to look for the lowest risk option. They'll be looking for stable income (which, as pointed out, beneficiaries have), but also looking for low-risk of damage.

          Solo-parents (making a crashing generalization here) as a group have two strikes against them in the eyes of landlords: They have young kids – higher risk of both damage and general wear and tear; they may have undesirable associations (previous partner, new partner/s)

          The reality is that any damage is going to come out of the landlord's pocket (even if covered by insurance, it's going to mean higher premiums) – the tenants won't have any ability to pay, even if there's a tribunal order against them.

          If it's harder for families with young children to get rentals (one strike against them), then it's even more difficult for solo-parents with young children to get a rental (two strikes against them)

          In a tight rental market, most landlords don't have to take the risk.

          • Muttonbird 8.1.1.2.1

            That is certainly the explanation. But it doesn't touch on a solution.

            The residential tenancy sector needs to be moved away from amateur landlords, ‘at risk’ as you call them towards a much more robust and regulated industry, bigger players, economies of scale, spread risk, etc.

            • Belladonna 8.1.1.2.1.1

              The solution has always been for the government to take the risk of renting to the 'higher risk' sector.

              I understand that the government are working as fast as possible to increase the supply of housing, both in the state sector, and (by freeing up building practices) in the private sector as well.

              More housing (both state and private), means more options for tenants, and less ability for landlords to either hike rental prices, or exclude medium-risk tenants.

              Risk still exists – and needs to be managed, even by larger landlords (the bigger players, as you call them). And, indeed, the larger landlords are the ones much less likely to take a punt on a solo-mum, than a mum-and-dad operator. No personal connection, work entirely by risk profiles.

              I don't see how more regulation is going to improve this further. Amateur landlords will always exist – if you make it too hard for them, they'll simply switch to Air BnB – and take their properties out of the housing market altogether.

              • Muttonbird

                Fairly sure plenty of multiple house owners switched to Airbnb when it was a thing, and before changes to tenancy rules. They'll return to this when the tourists come back I am sure.

                One difference between larger landlords and amateur landlords is that tenanted accomodation is their thing. It's not primarily a nest egg to provide for round the world cruises later in life and deposit loans for young Johnny.

                And larger landlords are more likely to provide long term tenants security of tenure rather than, as you say, switching to Airbnb on a whim.

                • RedLogix

                  There always will be a certain number of houses that will be tenanted for relatively short periods – for all sorts of reasons For example a deceased property might take a family or trust some years to decide what to do with it, or a family working overseas might retain a home in NZ to return to, are two common reasons that come to mind. There will be many other circumstance that arise.

                  In all of these cases are you advocating that the house should remain empty rather than be tenanted without long term security of tenure?

                  • Muttonbird

                    A certain number, what number is that? The collection of data on the circumstances you describe has never been done well.

                    These circumstances you describe do not seem like a good reason to not have long term security of tenure for the increasing number of lifetime tenants.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK so if a rental house can only be offered with lifetime security of tenure, does this mean the landlord can never sell it?

                      Or more interestingly – will tenants be willing to sign up for leases with unlimited terms? Or were you imagining the contract would be entirely one sided – such that the owner of the property would be locked in for a 'lifetime' term, but the tenant could walk away whenever they liked?

                      Incidentally I think you would find the that big corporate landlords that we could never sell their asset would be forced to generate all of their cash flow from rents. You might find them a great deal more hard nosed about the kind of return on investment their shareholders would demand – than the ordinary mum and dad 'amateur' landlords you so despise for wanting a bit of a nest egg.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.2.2

            They have young kids – higher risk of both damage and general wear and tear; they may have undesirable associations (previous partner, new partner/s)

            Yup. The second biggest insurance claim we ever had was after an an ex smashed his way through a rather expensive set of double glazed French doors.

          • weka 8.1.1.2.3

            The reality is that any damage is going to come out of the landlord's pocket (even if covered by insurance, it's going to mean higher premiums

            This is a sure sign they're not managing the property as a business properly. It shouldn't be out of the landlord's pocket, it should be something accounted for as an overhead/expense.

            • Incognito 8.1.1.2.3.1

              Repair and maintenance costs of a rental property are tax deductible, but this doesn’t cover the full cost, obviously, it only partially off-sets that.

              • weka

                repair and maintenance costs are an overhead that should be covered by the rent as well (or capital gains I guess).

                • Incognito

                  I guess they’re generally considered one-off costs, repairs, that is.

                  • weka

                    repainting inside and carpets are periodic and expected. But unexpected costs still need contingency budgeting.

                    • Incognito

                      I’m not aware of contingency budgets being a formal part of the business set-up of rental property. It comes down to the owner’s pocket/wallet. The best ‘contingency plan’ is to avoid negative gearing and to create a wide(r) margin between profit & loss. Insurance is wise (a must) but doesn’t cover everything.

                    • weka

                      what do you mean the owner's wallet? Do you mean the rental is being run through their personal bank account?

                    • Incognito []

                      When there’s a sudden major cost to a rental property the owner will have to finance this, either from their own pocket or through a(nother) bank loan against the property. If the mortgage against the property is already maxed out then this will severely restrict refinancing.

                    • weka

                      Costs:

                      mortgage

                      rates

                      insurance

                      property maintenance/agent fees

                      maintenance (house/yard)

                      repairs

                      etc

                      unexpected repairs

                      Why would those all be factored in but not the last one? If it’s not taken into account isn’t there a risk of the landlord not being able to afford the repair?

            • Belladonna 8.1.1.2.3.2

              Ordinary wear-and-tear maintenance, yes (e.g. budget for carpet replacement every 10-15 years). Heavy soiling and/or deliberate destruction, no.

              But even with usual wear-and-tear, some tenants are harder on a property than others. It makes commercial sense for the landlord to pick the ones s/he feels are going to cost less.

              • weka

                yes, that's what I said, landlords may be avoiding solo parents, because kids cause more wear and tear (and perhaps solo parent families are perceived as causing more than double parents families, but I'd find that weird).

                However, it's not out of the landlord's pocket if they are running a business well. Wear and tear is expected, and should be budgeted for. One offs/unexpected damage are what a contingency fund is for.

                • Belladonna

                  From a business perspective, if you have to use your contingency funds (e.g. carpet needs to be replaced because of heavy soiling or insect damage – e.g. cockroach infestation) – then you have to build this fund up again. That money is coming from what would otherwise be profit on the investment – i.e. the landlord's pocket.

                  Landlords, very naturally, want to minimize both the one-off damage (hitting the contingency funds) and the wear and tear (if it takes 15 years instead of the budgeted 10 for the carpet to need replacing, then the landlord has greater profit for 5 of those years).

                  Young families are harder on the fittings – so, if the landlord has a choice, they they're motivated *not* to choose a family.

                  As I said above – for the solo-parent families – it's not the 'family' that's the added risk, it's the 'solo'.

                  Landlords are very rightly worried (from a business perspective) about ex and/or future partners and the baggage of violence or criminal activity they may bring. Especially as they are not allowed to ask about ex-partners (privacy) during the interview/application stage. [An ex-partner who died of cancer after a blameless life, is a very different risk to one who's in jail for violent spouse abuse and gets out in 6 months].

                  That's not to say that solo-parents with violent ex-partners don't deserve housing – but the added risk makes the State (or other housing charities) the appropriate landlord.

    • SPC 8.2

      Most likely she is being economical with the truth – because of laws about discrimination.

      Many beneficiaries can only afford the private market rent if they have part-time work (the others are in motels) – and they cannot do this work if they or their children are sick. A lot of the part-time work does not cover days off sick.

  8. joe90 9

    The new UK education minister sets the tone.

    https://twitter.com/clewlow_alex/status/1545151488548290560

  9. SPC 10

    One can see how the multiple property owning caucus is hurting now that the market has lost a third of the 33% pandemic gain (loose monetary policy).

    There is an on message campaign by its media team to claim more immigration is required.

    Janet Wilson (Stuff) claims the nursing shortage is one of the governments own making (it requires migrant nurses to wait two years before claiming residency) – ignoring the fact we have had a shortage for decades caused by DHB's not being able to afford the cost of fully staff wards and local training involving tertiary debt (only half qualify the population qualify for student allowances etc).

    The poor working conditions model driving Kiwis offshore fixed by immigration is what got us into this mess. They should stop digging.

    • SPC 10.1

      I should add, Oz Canada and the USA are also suffering their worst nursing shortages ever. So portraying migrant nurses as a solution for what is a global problem (aging western population and a pandemic virus undermining of the populations health) is bordering on the nonsensical.

      There needs to be student allowances to those training as nurses (only half the population qualify) and no need to repay training debt.

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        Nurses have versatile jobs, but how many (have to) do (a lot of) stuff for which they have not studied & trained at all? How many do a core nursing job without other duties & responsibilities that are distracting and a waste of their skills? Sometimes they’re perceived as magical social workers that can and must fix everything & all and these sorts of expectations are misleading and frustrating.

  10. Belladonna 11

    Looking at the re-infection rates with Covid in NZ.

    Not very high, as yet – but we've only had it actively circulating for less than 6 months.

    The ministry said about two-thirds of the reinfections happened between one and three months after a first infection.

    That's particularly concerning, as it looks as though even catching Covid doesn't give anything like even medium-term protection – and we know that vaccination is much the same.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-omicron-outbreak-reinfections-14000-people-have-had-virus-twice-183-people-three-times/VLCWZSNFA2MPT2MS2NWUOMWL3Q/?c_id=1&objectid=12536749&ref=rss

    Although it would be helpful to have a statistical analysis of the re-infections (is it predominantly groups with high levels of contact? or groups with high levels of risk? or just random members of the population!) If it's the last, it's most worrying at the societal level (e.g. you can take precautions for high levels of exposure or risk)

    Recommending a 4th booster seems to be a fairly ineffective strategy (better than nothing, if you're highly vulnerable, I suppose).

    The boosters are all against the original strain (not even Delta, let alone Omicron and the new variants – which have evolved a long way) – it's dubious that they'll give much (if any) new levels of protection.

    And, of course, you can't even take the booster until 3 months after a Covid infection – by which time, you may well have become infected again.

    I really, really want some good quality studies on long Covid (or lingering symptoms) – surely they should have some strong indications of the real numbers, rather than just projections, by now.
    I especially want to know the relative risk of Long Covid from the original variants, compared to the most recent (circulating now) ones. I get the impression that it's higher – but impressions aren't data!

    • joe90 11.1

      Unreviewed pre-print reckons it could be the presence of the spike protein long after initial infection.

      Strikingly, we detect SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen in a majority of [long COVID] patients up to 12 months post-diagnosis, suggesting the presence of an active persistent SARSCoV-2 viral reservoir.

      https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.06.14.22276401v1.full.pdf

    • KJT 11.2

      Around 14 000 reported re-infections, over 1.4 million plus reported infections, 1%, , is hardly a "High rate of re-infection".

      Which shows that immunity against re-infection after infection and/or vaccination, is working for the majority, so far anyway.

      We can consider the proportions of re-infections would remain a similar order of magnitude, amongst those who don't report positive results.

    • KJT 11.3

      14000 re-infections.

      Shock horror! "immunity isn't working".

      In fact numbers like this show the opposite.

      Considering that much more than 1% of the population have immune systems that are compromised in some way, numbers like this show that vaccination and/ or immunity acquired from infection, is currently working, to keep re-infection and infection rates down

      • mauī 11.3.1

        It's working is it? Thank goodness our health care system isn't currently under unprecedented stress and that covid infection rates and flu rates are some of the lowest in the world! Yeah right..

        • Incognito 11.3.1.1

          It’s working is it?

          Do you live in a binary world?

        • KJT 11.3.1.2

          What planet are you on.

          BTW. Our health system was under stress long before covid.

          Adding lots of people without adding corresponding health funding tends to do that.

          Meanwhile we have ample examples around the world, of what would have happened here without lockdowns and high vaccination rates.

  11. Robert Guyton 12

    "It doesn’t matter how you voted or your current political persuasion, the PM has made bold strides on the International stage that are good for NZ. If you are still hating on her despite her success, you may be a tribal right wing Troll who probably needs to get out a bit more."

    Bomber
    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/07/09/jacindas-aotearoa-new-zealand-vs-john-keys-smug-hermit-kingdom/

    • Incognito 12.1

      I believe there are Lefties who’d also consider Ardern’s overseas ‘junkets’ as avoiding putting her own house in order first, as if it is some kinda zero-sum game and this Government is some kinda one-woman show (on the road). Particularly when Labour is slipping in the polls and they’re getting anxious about 2023. Maybe some of these are tribal left wing Trolls who probably need to get out a bit more often too and mix & mingle with the other tribal trolls out there, a meeting of tribes, if you like.

      • weka 12.1.1

        probably, but there's a whole political dynamic going on that's from the right and specific to being anti-Ardern.

        • Incognito 12.1.1.1

          As you know, I’m not a fan at all of binary thinking. Not for one minute would I argue that the dynamics are the same across the board spectrum. It has very little to do with tribalism and describing it in such stereotypical terms, as Bradbury does, is quite telling. Unfortunately, I think, it that the unhelpful ‘comments’ coming from both sides could and probably will lead to the same outcome. As long as our story-telling stays one-dimensional, and thus our thinking and actions flowing from these, nothing much will change. I’d not label that as progressive politics …

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            fair enough. Tbh, I didn't read the piece, because, you know.

            I was also pointing to the left and right having different dynamics, not just polar opposite ones of different degrees.

          • Populuxe1 12.1.1.1.2

            I don't imagine a lot of the anti-vaxxers, anti-ID pols, mental health advocates, art people concerned about the lack of policy etc etc would necessarily consider themselves right wing at all. That would be a convenient fiction. There are a lot of lefties who have turned against Labour because their own individual ideological Rubicons have been crossed.

            • Incognito 12.1.1.1.2.1

              You’re right, of course, but ideology is way too big a concept for the often relatively small personal gripes & grudges that people hold, usually against something or somebody. In my book, ideology should stand for something.

              • Maurice

                Indeed – there is a modicum of "What does (name) stand for?

                …. well then I am against it!"

  12. weston 13

    Interesting piece by Tim Hayward who's professor of environmental political theory at university of Edinburgh .talks about BBC' s participation in a smear campaign against him and other academics , mentions alleged misinformation by elements of OPCW under Washingtons instruction ,considers basic understandings of what is meant by democracy and what is state propaganda , even Paul Mason gets a mention if that rings anyones bells ?!

    https://propagandainfocus.com/whose-disinformation-is-it-anyway-bbc-vs-critical-academics/

  13. Incognito 14

    Pablo commented under his own very good piece Countering coercive politics (https://www.kiwipolitico.com/2022/07/countering-coercive-politics/):

    I assume that I will be accused of being an Ardern fan boi but truth is this strategy has been developed by a very competent team of senior diplomats. She is just the deliverer of the message, and she does that very well.

    • Populuxe1 14.1

      Nats tend to show up how shallow they are ideologically by not grudgingly conceding that she has achieved a lot of the things in this tour that they wanted.

  14. Stuart Munro 15

    The assassination of Shinzo Abe has attracted condolences from many, including our own PM. But there is another side to the former Japanese PM, whose signals were not dissimilar to neo-nazi or KKK material in support of Japanese actions in WWII.

    The use of the number 731 is, in the context of Asia, as plain as neo-nazi’s use of 88.

    A Korean paper explains: Abe’s pose resurrects horrors of Unit 731 (joins.com)

    Chinese netizens are celebrating his passing – there is more to this story than the braindead morons on TVOne are likely to tell NZ.

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