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Open mike 10/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 10th, 2022 - 145 comments
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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 …

145 comments on “Open mike 10/03/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    ‘Take it seriously’: Dunedin Covid patient

    "I’m used to being unwell from autoimmune diseases, but this is a whole new level of unwell.

    "Everyone who says it’s just a cold I think may be in for a very rude awakening, especially if they have any form of underlying conditions."


    Long Covid must be taken seriously as Omicron dominates – experts

    Professor Harvey White, a cardiologist and director of the Green Lane Cardiovascular Research Unit, also warned that the development of long Covid should not be trivialised.

    "You could have heart attacks or strokes in the future, or brain fog affecting your memory and thinking, or fatigue affecting your ability to work or take part in recreation."


    No mild flu this. Absolutely needs awareness and precautions. And Vaccination !

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1

      The behaviour of Highlanders players who ignored requests from cabin crew to wear masks on a flight home from Wellington has been labelled "unacceptable".

      A person on the flight, who wished to remain anonymous, said players were walking around the plane without wearing masks and some were continually asked to put their masks on, but ignored the cabin crew.

      One player was said to have walked on the plane without a mask and ignored requests to put one on.


      wtf ! Just boofheads. No role models for sure : (

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        I thought refusing to obey cabin crew instructions was a crime?

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          If a member of the crew deems behaviour disruptive, they have the right to take measures they think reasonable to prevent the passenger from continuing that behaviour. When the aircraft lands, their actions may include:

          making the passenger leave the aircraft, possibly under police escort
          refusing to carry the passenger on the remaining sectors of the journey shown on their ticket, and
          reporting the incident on board the aircraft to the relevant authorities with a view to prosecuting them for any criminal offences that may have been committed.


          Hi.just home and seen this? Not sure if applies. But of course Highlanders ! Probably the worst aspect was CEO Roger Clark being onboard

          “I was on the plane as well, so I did see a couple of guys that weren’t wearing them.”

          Well….why didnt he say something?

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.2

        At this point, you would think the seriousness does not need to be explained.

        We are two years, six million deaths and countless cancelled events into a pandemic. New Zealand is at the height of its Covid-19 outbreak.

        Yet there were still some Highlanders players who ignored requests to wear masks on their flight from Wellington last weekend, just days before it was revealed Covid-19 was in the camp.

        It almost defies belief.


        For sure. Not only literally letting the side down, but they role model for kids ! Were they really that boofheaded? Hope theres some consequence for them.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Behind the Herald's paywall is a Hosking assertion that Luxon has made Ardern look out of touch. I bet he hasn't been able to prove it. I reckon she did it all by herself. He just happened to be standing around nearby at the time.

    Trotter goes deeper:

    Though they dare not admit it, the Neoliberals have lost control of the machine. All they are capable of now is presenting increasingly implausible explanations for why everything has gone so very badly wrong. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/03/10/reports-of-labours-death/

    National & Labour locked in a battle to the death, each trying to out-bland the other. Death via boredom. Nobody else notices because same old shit is normal.

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      But haven't you, as a sensible centrist, always argued for bland incrementalism? Nothing too drastic otherwise the pendulum might swing too far from safety.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        I've presented here as a radical centrist. If I happen to accidentally advocate something sensible it's likely due to pragmatism – serving the cause of the common good does often involve pragmatic compromise in the middle ground.

        The problem with the middle way is that incrementalism often doesn't solve a serious social problem in a suitable time-frame. Thus climate change. Radical action to prevent it caused sheeple to go "Gah!" and mill around nervously in the middle of the road with the whites of their eyes in a mass showing.

        A radical wearing sheeple clothing can herd them towards the gate incrementally. Another could bark at them to get a hurry-up. So what we need from Labour & National is individuals capable of steering the bland majority in the right direction. That function could be performed by the Greens and ACT but they're both intent on also fronting as sheeple currently.

        No need to worry though. Back to the future is getting another re-run via the free- trade deal with Britain. Sheeple can therefore hallucinate electric-powered tankers heading north full of mutton just like in the old days…

    • pat 2.2

      One of Trotters better pieces.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Biden fumbles ball, but hasn't quite dropped it yet:

    So it was striking on Tuesday when first the Pentagon described a Polish offer to send planes to the US airbase in Ramstein as “untenable”, and then the deputy US secretary of state said the US had not been consulted about the plan. Part of the problem was that the Polish proposal was subtly but critically different to a scheme that had previously been discussed in private.

    In its original, US-conceived iteration, the proposal was a trilateral deal whereby Poland would hand over the MiGs to Ukrainian pilots to fly into their homeland, and the US would then provide some substitute planes. Boris Johnson, an enthusiast, described the plan as “rent a MiG”.

    So instead, in a game of diplomatic pass the parcel, Poland tweaked the proposals so the planes would be sent free of charge to the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany, rather than being flown out of Poland into Ukraine. The move would literally take Poland out of the line of Russia’s fire since the plan could be labelled as that of the US, Nato or the EU.

    Poland also suggested other frontline Nato countries with MiG planes should match its plan, a proposal directed at Slovakia and Romania. If executed it would mean Ukraine had 70 extra planes at its disposal.

    The Pentagon’s response – “it is simply not clear to us that there is a tangible justification for this” – was swift. Passing the parcel back, it said any decision to hand over planes ultimately rested with the Polish government, although it did not kill off the proposal altogether.

    Buck-passing is a novel way to win a war, so I guess we have to credit the Democrats for clever tactics. Putin will be baffled, never having heard of pass the parcel. Explaining that it is actually a buck won't improve his advisor's standing either. Shuffling stuff around is confusing enough. Pretending to do so without actually doing it ramps up the effect.

    Either way the public spat is a setback. Over the weekend the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, had said a plan involving planes was under active consideration. The upshot after this mini-debacle is Russia retains air superiority. Ukrainian pilots who were being trained in Poland to fly the planes are now grounded with no machines with which to defend their country.

    Keeping Putin guessing is good. The uncertainty principle. Lulling him into a false sense of security by rolling over & playing dead. Who said Democrats are thick?

    The episode may have lessons for both sides.

    That's profound. It raises the hypothetical possibility of such lessons being learned. Back in the real world, action man looks glum. "What the hell am I meant to be doing??"

    The possibility of making the MiG-29s available first appeared publicly on 27 February, when the EU made the unprecedented decision to provide military aid to a country outside the bloc. The first tranche of equipment for Ukraine is expected to amount to €500m (£417m), but up to €5bn is to be spent under the European Peace Initiative. It was then that the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that aid for Kyiv would also include offensive weapons, including planes. At that point it became clear that the planes would only be MIG-29 and Su-25, because Ukrainian pilots only have experience with these machines.

    Right, so a fortnight has passed while western political leaders have twiddled their thumbs, trying to figure out how to turn this plan into action.


    • Sanctuary 3.1

      I think they should just leave the MiG-29s on the border with the keys in the ignition and let Ukraine's farmers and their tractors do the rest. “Yuri! Do you see what I see???”

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Good thinking, but it may not be required. Breitbart is reporting a u-turn by Poland's govt:

        The Polish government confirmed on late Tuesday that it has made its entire fleet of MIG-29 fighter jets available “immediately and free of charge” to Ukraine.

        Poland will send its entire fleet of MIG-29 fighter jets to the U.S. Air Force base at Rammstein in Germany, the Polish government said in a shock statement Tuesday evening… Although the MIG-29s are not the most advanced or effective fighters NATO could theoretically supply to Ukraine, they have the key advantage of being an airframe Ukraine already operates, so Ukrainian pilots, ground crews, and supply chains would be ready to operate donated aircraft straight away.


        • DB Brown

          Why would you link to Breitbart?

          Two day old news that isn't even true.

          • Dennis Frank

            Two day old news that isn't even true.

            How do you know? You expect readers to believe you automatically?? To invalidate that Breitbart report you need to produce evidence that it's invalid.

            What that report makes clear is the unilateral decision of the Polish govt. So the control freaks in Biden’s admin are trying to forbid that move…


            • McFlock

              Sigh. It's diplomacy, you doofus.*

              The deal the yanks were proposing was Poland gives fighters to the Ukraine, then the US helps out a nato partner to get new jets. That's two separate actions, so deniable as a "nato" move. The poles don't like it because the Russians will be very pissed at them.

              The "deal" the poles tried to switch it to was the poles giving planes to the yanks who would give them to the Ukrainians. That's a multilateral action from nato nations, thereby an escalation in direct military assistance from nato. That escalates tensions in a big step rather than a cautious tiptoe to the brink, so increases the likelihood of mushroom clouds.

              *ok, a bit harsh, but the line is a good one. Preferably yelled by someone in a tv show with a white house setting

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah I get that. Thing is, European nations can do their solo thing regardless of any NATO constraint, right? So it looked like Poland was doing so, plus presuming Germany would also, to help Ukraine.

                Think of it as doing an end-run around the US blocking position. And re multilateral action from nato nations – don't we have to see formal declarations from NATO officials to believe that's happening? Yes!

                So seems like unilateral helping of Ukraine by some European states is proceeding on the basis of expediency. Biden's paranoia re nuclear threat is understandable but his timidity re appropriate helping isn't…

                • McFlock

                  Nah, Poland's offer was to send the planes to Rammstein (not the band).

                  That requires the explicit blessing of the yanks.

                  Whereas if the Ukrainians just fly the reflagged planes home from Poland, the yanks just go "gee, pal, you seem to be short a few aircraft. How'd that happen? Here, have some Gen4's on us, and be more careful next time".

                  • Incognito

                    Interesting that you mention the band (in brackets) because they are popular in Russia but not with the Russian authorities.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    True. What if the Poles get the Germans to host the planes temporarily though? In an airport of their own, I mean. Hypothetical at this stage.

                    I suspect the Poles may feel apprehension about dealing with Ukraine direct, lest Putin enter them onto his list of next invasions at #2. But you could be right.

                    I wonder how weak the German leader currently feels. His armed forces chief declared himself "pissed off" last week. I gather things are alarmingly run-down due to the peace dividend from the end of the Cold War. Caught between not liking deference to the USA and being realistic, I guess…

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, the poles definitely don't want to piss off russia too much. Especially if dolt45 gets re"elected", Nato ain't going to be much protection with him pissing in the pool.

                      Germany's a funny one. Chronic readiness problems, especially in the navy, from what I've read. But also some really interesting new equipment that is just coming to maturity and deployment – like the Puma IFV. And not in a "well, block A flies but can't fire the cannon" F35 or a "we can afford to make, like, six" way like the SU57.

                • McFlock

                  Basically, so far shit like manpads and atms are defensive. NATO making a clear move to provide offensive weapons like jets is a step up, and the nuclear minefield is one place we really want potus to tread gingerly.

                  As it is, Russia's quick shunt "back to the USSR" with only state TV and no maccas might end up solving the Putin problem pretty quickly. Not sure where he can bail to in order to avoid doing a Ceaucescu, either.

  4. Jenny how to get there 4

    With it's ground assault increasingly bogged down, The Russian military turns to its tactic, honed in Syria, of bombing hospitals.

    Isis, Neo-nazis, any pretext will do.

    Russia-Ukraine live news: Strike hits Mariupol hospital complex

    Russian attack hits a children’s hospital and maternity ward in besieged port city, Ukrainian officials say.

    Russian–Syrian hospital bombing campaign

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    • joe90 4.1

      A war crime here, a war crime there…



      “We are here to help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in any way we can,” Raed Al Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, told me in an interview. Putin’s goal is to break the will of the civilian population, he said, and there are no limits to the savagery of his troops. “The Russian military has no principles. They respect no human rights. They have no standards or ethics,” Saleh said. “The Ukrainians are facing the most ferocious, unethical, criminal killing machine that exists in the world today, which we have been facing for the last seven years.”


      There are some things the Syrians have learned not to do. Do not give GPS locations of medical facilities to the United Nations, which may claim it needs the information to keep them safe. The Russians will use that information to target them. Never let Moscow have any say or control over how humanitarian aid is distributed, even when it’s a U.N. program. The Kremlin will use that power to starve out civilian populations, as it is doing in Syria now.


  5. Sanctuary 5

    My probably ill informed quick take:

    The Russians have been fought to a standstill/crawl in the north west, north and north east and in the south east the strong defenses erected by the Ukrainians post 2014 are also holding out against attacks from the Donets region.

    In the south the situation is a lot worse for the Ukrainians, since they can't simply defend fixed urban defense zones and conduct guerilla warfare against logistics lines. The Russians hold a major advantage there in manoeuvre warfare. The Russians are attacking from the breakaway republics west towards Mariupol and east towards Mariupol from the Crimea, whilst simultaneously attacking west towards Odessa and northwest to secure their flank (and capture significant nuclear and hydroelectric energy generation infrastructure) along the lower Dnieper river along a line running roughly Kherson to Zaporizhzhia.

    The concern is that capturing Mariupol will allow the thrusts from the Donets and Crimea to link up and thence thrust north to outflank and unhinge the Ukrainian fixed defenses facing Donetsk and Luhansk. which would force the Ukrainians into the open and into a general retreat to the northwest that would be threatened with defeat in detail by a double envelopment from a thrust developed from Zaporizhzhia aimed at Kharkiv and also from Mariupol towards the direction of Izyum/Chuhuiv. This is why the Ukrainians will hang to Mariupol as long as possible. Similarly, the fall of Odessa would release significant Russian forces for an attack either along the axis Uman – Vinnytsia and then either towards Kyiv or Lviv (or possibly both) or more likely (in my opinion) towards Cherkasy to secure the west bank of the Dnieper, link up with the attack that should develop along the Kharkiv-Poltava direction and on to Kyiv along both banks of the Dnieper – the control of which will also significantly reduce Russian logistics problems.

    All in all, the position of the Ukraine is grim unless they can somehow mount some sort of significant and successful counter attack in the Mariupol battle that achieves something more than a short term tactical success.

    • Gosman 5.1

      There are a number of elements wrong about your analysis.

      The Russian army's biggest weakness that is being shown up in this War is their logistic capability. They are struggling to supply the large force to the West of Kiev even though it is only about 150 km from the border with Belarus. The reasons behind this is that the Russian army relies heavily on railways to move the bulk of troops and supplies and they have far less road transport available.

      Down south they have made a lot of progress across the lower Dnieper river towards Odessa and have linked up to the East with their forces based in the Donbas it is true however the further they move the more tricky their supply problems become and it is complicated by the fact that there isn't as extensive East – West rail network in the South as there is in other parts of Ukraine.

      What this means is that the Russian army is vulnerable to attacks against their extended supply columns and will not be able to bring as much power to bear against opponents the further they go in to Ukraine. If they do not capture Ukraine from the North and/or East in the next two weeks what happens down south isn't going to make much difference.

      Ukraine also has the entire West of the country around Lviv to fall back on if needed which will make the Russians job of eliminating military threats almost impossible.

    • pat 5.2

      Its entirely possible the Russians are in no hurry to end the conflict in Ukraine and stalled convoys to Kiev are by design….they certainly dont appear to be under threat.

  6. Peter 6

    There's a headline on the Herald online today: "Top school failed to safeguard students, says complainant." It's to do with allegations over sexual harassment by a teacher.

    Last week they had a story, " Top school…" something or other. Today's one is Tauranga Boys' College last week it was Westlake Girls' High.

    They have a way of describing some schools as "top" schools.

    I wrote to the Herald last year and asked them if they had a list on the wall of the office which classified schools. And if there was a list of institutions which were to be called "top" schools whenever they were referred to. I asked what criteria were used to determine which was a top school and which were just 'schools.'

    I don't think they printed my letter. (I do understand that online stories and headlines might not be in the print edition and so the letter may not have been relevant in the print environment.)

    So what is a top school? A story comes up and someone whips through examination results? Checks out Education Review Office reports? Goes through results of sports competitions and representative team lists? Dips into their prejudice and pre-conceived notions baskets?

    The funny thing is that searching the Herald site for 'top' schools easily brings up stories about sexual abuse, bullying of pupils, bullying of staff, drunk pupils, poaching top sports kids from other schools, fighting and assaults.

    How many incidents of very concerning behaviour have to happen before a school isn't a top one? Is there a severity graph? How many decades of not having any untoward claims against it and how many mountains of positive achievement behind it before an ordinary, no adjectives needed school gets to graduate to being a 'top school'?

    Today's story described the school as a "prestigious all-boys school." How much of the prestige is down to organs like the Herald continually defining it as a top school?

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      It is our not so subtle class system in action.

    • AB 6.2

      Good on you for asking that question of the Herald. You won't get an answer though because "top school" just means one that archetypal National-voting Herald readers would consider sending their kids to. It's a loose constellation of characteristics that may include but is not confined to: not many brown kids; in a suburb with relatively expensive houses as this is a form of triage that excludes non-professional parents; good aggregate exam results; offers a prestigious alternative to NCEA; has family connections; has a reputation for sporting prowess.

      'Top' schools do not need to be private – extremely expensive housing in some suburbs is just as effective as an exclusionary device as private school fees. In both cases, wealthy parents are using their money to buy a supposed advantage for their kids over the kids of less wealthy parents. (These same parents probably believe they have a principled commitment to equality of opportunity.)

      The proper response to this is to a.) attack excessive wealth and b.) ensure that the education system is so good that any supposed advantage gained by going to a 'top' school is illusory.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.3

      Yes and under the "added value system " the Nats favoured, the "Top Schools" often failed in that arena as well.

  7. alwyn 7

    "a bridge to sell"?

    Is that the $800 million dollar boondoggle Wood was going to stick in the shadow of the current Auckland Harbour Bridge?

    Given that they apparently spent at least $50 million on preparing for it before sanity prevailed there must surely be something there to sell.

    [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.]

    • Tricledrown 7.1

      They could have bought half an insis computer nearly or some shares in South Canterbury Finance a lemon carrier a hospital computer system that doesn't work some Charter schools.

  8. I don't know how long the west will be able to refrain from intervening in this conflict, despite the risks of a direct confrontation with Russia. The Russians are committing some dreadful human rights variations, and could be on the verge of pushing this conflict to another whole level.

    For instance, Russian forces have just bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol:


    They have confirmed using thermobaric weapons


    And now the possibility of Russia using chemical weapons is being flagged as a distinct possibility:


    The world just can't stand by and allow this sort of barbaric action to continue.

  9. Sabine 9

    an excellent dairy about Covid, and long Covid in particular for those that are interested in such things.


  10. The Chairman 10

    Fonterra has tweaked its Covid-19 vaccine mandate policy to allow unvaccinated employees to continue working through a daily testing programme.


    Seems Fonterra is one of the first employers to allow unvaccinated staff to continue to keep their job via daily testing.

    It will be interesting to see how many more companies/employers will follow suit?

    • Sabine 10.1

      It would be interesting to see how manay companys have a 'don't get tested, just call in sick' procedure in place.

      The milkman that i spoke to today basically states that night shifts had to be cancelled and others run at 2 – 4 staff where it should be double the staff.

      Nevermind, it does not matter actually what we do, keep restrictions its fucked, undo restrictions and its fucked also – see the UK where cases are up again, as is hospitalisation and death. And Oh, yeah, its the 'Stealth' variant that is on the rise Omicron 2.0 with a much higher viral load. Some of the stats in my link above to the DK diary on Covid. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/3/9/2084438/-28-MONTHS-LATER-The-Hidden-Toll-of-COVID-Not-Being-Discussed

      We truly live in interesting times.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2

      Nothing new there. Thats was always the option with wide latitude given to companies like them as they werent part of the 'compulsory' sector

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Russia is being squeezed out of the capitalist system:

    Last month, Russia's central bank more than doubled its interest rate to 20% in an attempt to stop the value of its currency from sliding further.

    Fitch Ratings downgraded its view of the country's government debt, warning a default is "imminent"… The ratings cut – to C from B – is the second time this month Fitch has downgraded its view of Russia's ability to pay its debts.

    The announcement from Fitch came after the US and UK said they will ban Russian oil, as they step up the economic response to the invasion of Ukraine. US President Joe Biden said the move targeted "the main artery of Russia's economy". Meanwhile, the European Union said it will end its reliance on Russian gas.

    In recent days, rival ratings agencies Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings have also slashed their assessments of Russian sovereign debt. It means the country's sovereign debt is now considered to be below investment grade, or in "junk" territory, by three of the world's major ratings companies.


    • joe90 11.1

      Harsh sanctions, plummeting exchange rates, depleted foreign reserves, a reliance on imports and the Poots responds to his economy being strangled by voluntarily cutting Russia’s export revenue. Genius.


    • Poission 11.2

      At the cost of hyper inflation,and massive wealth destruction to all other economies.

      What is being evidenced is the destruction now of wealth,mostly due to the finacialization of debt and assets exactly the same problem from the GFC.

      Say for example the non return of leased Jets from Russia becomes a 10b$ liability,or the meltdown in the Nickel market in London became a 12b$ destruction of wealth,as the investment banks start to liquidate their positions to meet call obligations there will be a flow from equities to cash,a high wealth risk in pension fund etc,and increased cash hording.

      • pat 11.2.1

        Would the collapse of western financial markets be considered an existential threat?

        Some would suggest so.

        • Poission

          not only western financial markets,China construction bank was a defaulter on calls in the LME nickel blow up.As was China's largest nickel manufacturer (and the worlds biggest stainless steel supplier) .

          • pat

            Dont think the supply of nickel will be an issue for China however….and the margin call has been deferred.

            • Poission

              the margin calls were deferred until they could raise credit,they still had to pay the calls reversing an asset to a liability at higher margins.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.3

      'Will Ban'

      But not yet, Phase out is the actual wording. By the end of the year, apparently


      I think Russian LNG is a few years phase out , but only cant come in Russian ships, other flags are fine.

    • joe90 12.1

      My precious…..

    • adam 12.2

      The real anger from everyday Aussies over the failure of the state in response to this event is getting loud.

      Mind you, 40 odd years of radical far right liberalism and what do you expect. It can't do anything because it sold everything thing off to sociopaths (ooops I mean private business interests).

  12. Binders full of women 13

    Without 3-Waters, Labour could so easily win the next election.

    • Ad 13.1

      If you evaluate this government solely in such terms, rejecting Three Waters on top of:

      – Rejecting Capital Gains and other tax reform,

      – Shrinking Kiwibuild,

      – No structural reforms to transport after multiple failures

      – No structural reform to electricity after major blackout

      – Not reacting to the Commission into State Care findings

      – Not reforming the supermarket duopoly, or the fuel oligopoly, ,

      would not be a good look.

      Beyond COVID, and without Three Waters, they would go to the 2023 election with:

      – Extension of National's Bright Line Test

      – Expansion of Kainga Ora

      – Gun reform

      – State health entity merger

      – Merging state broadcasters into new agency

      I think this Labour government would admit that they aren't structural reform experts. They've made most of their differences elsewhere.

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        What of the PR propaganda. Based on fear. The minister continually declines and Q&A time to the media. If the minister cannot sell this ,what does that say of either/both the minister and the policy ??

        From the link below the issues are mentioned BUT no mention on solutions or expected time frames that issues raised will be rectified. e.g. How and when will Buller's boiling of water be fixed by 3 waters as they will be included in the area of the South Is that aligns with Ngāi Tahu? Will this 3 water s halt any need "To boil" beaches closed due to discharge of Waste or storm water, pipes bursting ? We were sold the fear of these but NO MENTION of a guarantee going forward that such events will NOT happen under 3 waters. If 3 waters cannot guarantee that such events do not occur then this is NO better than the status quo.


        • Scotty

          I'm still waiting for Seymore and Luxon's alternative.

          • Poission

            Act policy today is to localise the assets.

            • Return water assets to councils.
            • Allow councils to enter into voluntary “shared services” agreements, gaining the benefits of scale, while retaining local ownership and control.
            • Establish 30-year central-local government agreements to plan water infrastructure upgrades tailored to specific regions.
            • Share GST revenue with councils to fund infrastructure upgrades.
            • Establish public-private partnerships to attract investment from financial entities such as KiwiSaver funds and ACC.
            • Expand the exemption from domestic supply for a single dwelling to also include all small water suppliers supplying fewer than 30 endpoint users.

            They should have skipped the first 5 paragraphs in the policy statement and stuck with the policy initiatives.

            The strength in the policy is to use the gst on rates (around a billion) to fund council infrastructure spend.


            • ghostwhowalksnz

              How come when ACT had a big say in the Super City creation they created the 3 Waters governance model in Watercare Service Ltd

              Combines water assets from 8 council entities into 1 …check

              Makes the councils 100% owners but not direct control…check

              Appointed board doesnt own but has full control of these assets…check

        • Ad

          Same as the health reforms: time to make the customer promise that my health outcomes will improve as a result of the reforms.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Little explained part of the reasons, as I think this is all his ideas.

            When the labour government gave money for DHBs to employ more nurses , some said thanks for the money but we will run it our way and use agencies, overtime instead.

            Same again for the extra money for Mental health facilities , some DHBs just dragged the chain on even starting upgrades to existing facilities or building new. They just wanted to do it in their own time and at their own pace.

            They had become little silos used to deflecting central government.

            Another example was when the pandemic struck the Auckland Regional Public Health entity just wouldnt cooperate much with the MOD and had their own ways of doing infectious diseases which they preferred. A number of Auckland based covid stuff ups over MIQ and testing were directly on the ARPHA preferred way.

      • Jester 13.1.2

        Have we had the year of delivery yet? Wasn't Grant Robertson heading up a new group (cant remember what it was called) to ensure things actually got done? Did that not get done?

    • Three Waters is the Nats best policy. smiley

      • Alan 13.2.1

        along with the no evictions policy at KO, absolute gold that one.

      • Muttonbird 13.2.2

        Pretty sure if there was a referendum on Three Waters it would sail through.

        Problem is noisey farmers are so petrified of losing control of the ability to pollute for profit they'll moan on and on until it is sunk.

        • Alan

          When long time Labour man Phil Goff categorically states that it is poorly thought through, poorly structured and liable to manipulation in the future, you know you have problems.

          Bryce Edwards has an interesting piece on 3 Waters today.

          • Muttonbird

            Meh. Curia polls to order.

            It's telling that the unsure vote is so significant and I think it shows the strength of the misinformation campaign conducted by farming interests.

            • pat

              2 seperate polls with similar results….and both some months ago (and apart) before a lot of negative publicity, including latest council rejections.

              Makes one wonder what your comment "Pretty sure if there was a referendum on Three Waters it would sail through." could be based on.

        • The Chairman

          Pretty sure if there was a referendum on Three Waters it would sail through.

          I think the individual added cost burden people would face due to Three Waters would turn many off.

          • Muttonbird

            That is typical of the short term thinking which has dragged this country down for several decades now.

            • The Chairman

              Short term thinking

              Not at all. I think the added cost burden people would face due to Three Waters would not only impact them in the short-term but also over the long-term.

              • Muttonbird

                Well, that's not what the reform programme says. The reform programme says there will be long term savings, as well as much better water quality, a well as increased GDP.

                Perhaps you don't believe it in the same way you don't believe in better housing for tenants, and the same way you don't believe in science.

                • The Chairman

                  Three waters reform model flawed says Mayor

                  In the report for Monday’s meeting, Council staff say the Government has not provided an opportunity to analyse alternative options for service delivery that may better meet the needs of communities than the proposal put forward.

                  They also say the Government needs to revisit its cost estimates to ensure the financial impacts of water reform are more accurate and transparent and that residents and ratepayers will not be saddled with unfair financial burdens over time.



                  The Council resolved on 9 December 2021 to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work cooperatively with at least 21 other co-signing councils to convince the Government to reconsider its plans to reform water services across New Zealand.


                  So the modelling is in question.

                  And alternative options for service and delivery (that may better meet the needs of communities than the proposal put forward) are being overlooked or ignored

                  • Muttonbird

                    Indeed, councils up and down the county have overlooked and ignored service and delivery which meets the needs of communities for decades now.

                    Time for a different approach.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          3 waters isnt a rivers and streams farm pollution issue

          Its urban supply drinking water and sewage disposal along with stormwater

          • Muttonbird

            I imagine nitrate leaching and water borne pathogens from farms comes under drinking water?

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              No . Regional councils cover the land use side of farming .

              Its a water treatment issue . They cant even keep easily treated infectious organisms out of the water supply

              Doesnt mean to say the 3 waters isnt a European scale answer unsuited for our spread out country. Wind down the scale and it should work out

    • Muttonbird 13.3

      And here is Dr Bryce, fresh from promoting the anti-vax parliament protests, delivering a sustained attack on Nanaia Mahuta, calling for he resignation, no less.

      The main beef is of course co-governance which betrays the real motives of Edwards and his allies. Can't let Maori make any decisions, they are not capable!


  13. Dennis Frank 14

    First electric ute recently driven in NZ. Our local free newspaper carried a report, including test drive by their reporter. It's double-cab. No price yet – it's due to market next summer: https://ldv.co.nz/product/ev-t60-ute/

  14. Adrian 15

    The LDV electric Ute is useless, it is only two wheel drive and has about as much ground clearance a as normal car as the motor takes the place of the diff. It has a towing capacity of only ONE tonne , a small caravan at most and that halves its range which is already laughably short. Wide tyres and two wheel drive means that any water on any sort of slope on pretty much any surface makes it almost undriveable . It is greenwashing at its most egregious and the weight of wasted materials makes a joke of its supposed green credentials. Better wait for the next generation that’s fit for purpose.

    • Incognito 15.1

      Better wait for the next generation that’s fit for purpose.

      Bullock trains?

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        too much methane.

        • Incognito

          True that. So, we need to eliminate everything that emits any form of carbon into the atmosphere. Or just a drastic reduction? Energy efficiency is important, of course, but so is overall energy consumption. Do we proceed in small incremental steps or should we wait for giant leaps (for mankind)? The nay-sayers seems to be binary boofheads of all or nothing and since it’s never all it becomes nothing by default.

          • McFlock

            Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

            A rocket can take us a quarter of a million miles in a few days, but takes a decade to build from scratch.

            • Incognito

              I have heard variations of the rocket ‘dilemma’ before, i.e. by the time the rocket is ready for take-off it will be overtaken (literally) by newer (i.e. not just bigger propulsion rockets using combustion as the driving force), better, and fasters modes of space transportation/exploration. Life sucks when you’re a rocket scientist.

        • roblogic

          Use horses instead of cattle for your ute replacement needs. Cooch Windgrass showed the way.


          • McFlock

            My folks knew a farmer years ago who used a bren gun carrier on the farm.

            • pat

              Do they make an EV version of the Bren gun carrier?

              Asking for a farming friend.

              • McFlock

                No, but an interesting threshold will be when tanks and IFVs go electric. Actual farm ute EVs will be well before that, though.

    • McFlock 15.2

      yes and no.

      I'd be surprised if most utes get their towbar used even annually, and there's the old joke about how often they leave tarmac, too.

      It's not a farm vehicle. But most utes aren't farm vehicles. Heck, 91% of them aren't even work vehicles.

      • Shanreagh 15.2.1

        But as I've said on here before, utes were really good for getting sour looking individuals down to Parliament for the protest. There were many of them in the convoy that I saw with the 30-40 male demographic that seems to have a problem with female leaders, sorry I read that again, female anythings.

        There are 100s of them around Wellington and as you say most are not farm or tradies vehicles. So low down ground clearance is not really important if the only gravel work it is going to do is from the tarseal then to the gravelled carpark at footie.

      • weka 15.2.2

        good grief. The issue isn't how many people use them for what, it's what the people who do need a 4WD and good towing capacity use them for in real life.

        I live in the country. People tow shit, drive distances, and drive in situations where a 4WD is an asset.

        • McFlock

          The issue is whether the current electric vehicle is a realistic substitute for a ute.

          Which means how and where most of them are used is an important part of addressing that issue.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.3

      Well then , it makes it just fine for the 90% of users who dont drive down farm tracks

      When I worked in a business that needed a 4×4 for rough site tracks , I was given a Diahatsu Terios , was so light that plenty of times could go where a Landrover had trouble, only used the 4×4 feature ocassionally.

      Those big butch utes are all show and no go.

      • logie97 15.3.1

        And most of the major manufacturers produce 2 wheel drives as well. So how does this EV compare with those vehicles. Nissan/Toyota/Ford/Mitsubishi/Mazda etc must think they have a market for their two wheel drives. Perhaps someone here can give an informed comparison rather than the opening words "They are useless…"

        • pat

          It depends what you use it for…i have a 2 wheel drive flat deck (not electric) that does what I need…in over 20 years i have only needed 4 wheel drive about 4or 5 times so the additional running/service costs of 4WD are not warranted…a capable EV 2WD would be a suitable replacement (depending on price and range) in my situation.

          If you need 4WD capability then the same limitations will apply. once available ..range and price.

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    Back to the future: minister announces plan. Basically, it means healing the state broadcaster split of 1975…

    The government has confirmed it is creating a new public media entity incorporating RNZ and TVNZ. Minister of broadcasting and media Kris Faafoi said the new broadcaster will be "an autonomous Crown entity" operational by July 2023, which will have both commercial and Crown funding. The new entity will be not-for-profit and will operate under a charter which will be set out in legislation due by the end of this year, Faafoi said. (Details of consultation carried out on a new charter for the new organisation were also published today)

    It will have "complete editorial independence" and provide news as a core service, while broadcasting on a range of platforms "including current radio and linear TV and those of third parties".

    Faafoi confirmed TVNZ and RNZ will initially be subsidiaries of the new organisation. Faafoi had accepted advice from the Business Case Governance Group he appointed in March 2021, led by former NZ First MP Tracey Martin, ahead of the decision to create the new public media entity… A board will be appointed next month to oversee the detailed design of the new public media entity, Faafoi said. He said it would include RNZ and TVNZ staff and also "shop floor" representation of the broadcasters' staff.


    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Bill Ralston's history of the thing:

      Both were part of the NZ Broadcasting Corporation from 1962, until being split split into Radio New Zealand, Television One​, and South Pacific Television​ in 1975.

      The Muldoon government then merged TV One with South Pacific Television to form TVNZ in 1980; the National government privatised RNZ’s commercial stations in 1996; the Helen Clark Labour government restructured TVNZ into a Crown entity in 2003, with a remit to be a public broadcaster under a charter but also retain its commercial performance with advertising. It was a hard ask, and the following National government of John Key dumped the charter requirement.

      And he appraises efficiency gains:

      Combining the news and current affairs operations could extend the pair’s news-gathering reach in New Zealand and the world, although various radio and television news programmes would still require their own individual staff. An amalgamation of the podcast efforts by both would be sensible, for it is part of a growing information market.

      I wouldn't blame the minister for lack of detail (blame the pandemic instead).

      details are to be thrashed out in what the Government terms “phase two” of its establishment, which will take until at least January 2023 when the new entity’s board will be established.

      Ralston is serious (but diffident) about back to the future:

      can I at least suggest quickly coming up with a name for the new amorphous entity: perhaps NZBC? That name would complete the cycle of the last 60 years.

      I'd go for something future-oriented – Multimedia Aotearoa would do.


      • ghostwhowalksnz 16.1.1

        South Pacific started as a stand alone new channel , it wasnt split from anything

        I remember going to its studio , a large hall or something on the site of current TVNZ back when the existing only channel was operated out of the old 1YA building in Shortland St

        The Radio side had their own building just off Queen St at Durham St W

        • Anne

          Yep. I worked as an audio operator for the old AKTV2 in Shortland St. for 4 to 5 years in the 1960s. The new entity sounds like an upgraded version of the original. One positive aspect was the ability of staff to transfer from radio to TV or vice versa. For those who remember TV news reader, Jennie Goodwin for example, iirc she started her career in radio and transferred to TV ending up as one of the longest serving presenters.

  16. Incognito 17

    To avoid people going apeshit (again), this is an informative article on an interesting change of how the data are acquired and reported: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/03/the-actual-number-of-covid-19-deaths-revealed-as-government-changes-reporting-approach.html

    • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1

      Cause of death it seems even in normal times is a complicated thing.

      The simple answer it seems is there are usually a number of interelated causes of death

      For most they die of 'old age' and covid seems to be an accelerator in that

      • Patricia 2 17.1.1

        A member of my extended family died today. A male aged 82 who reluctantly entered hospital because stents were leaking. Because of damaged lungs he had a great fear of Covid and took every precaution to keep himself safe. Tripled vaccinated / always masked up / not out in the community. Three tests during his stay were negative for Covid. Five days in to his hospital stay he had a major stroke. Three days after that he was diagnosed with Covid – today was his Day 2.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Patricia 2, that is a sad outcome for your family.

          It appears even the modellers got the hospitalisation rate wrong The B2a heavy viral load is sooo infectious.

          Sadly this type of situation occurs where staff and systems are pressured and the peak wave is high.

          That is no comfort at this time sadly. Our son and his neighbour are struggling with throat and cough issues and overwhelming tiredness.

  17. Poission 18

    Decrypting crypto.

  18. Herodotus 19

    Filled my vehicle up 11:20 this morning diesel $2:51 returning past the same station $2.61. No wonder the motorway is like a Sunday morning. I get the impression that those living day to day are increasing in number. These fuel increases, from talking to some have not even made their way into the cost of goods yet🙁

    • Muttonbird 19.1

      I think the motorway is like a Sunday morning because a lot of people are working from home amid our biggest outbreak of a 1 in 100 year pandemic event.

    • pat 19.2

      $2.61 for diesel…ouch, what part of the country?

      • Herodotus 19.2.1

        Manukau where all the wealth and high incomes reside in 🙃.

        The only BAU I have noticed re traffic volumes: is the school traffic. Where I work the office car park is used for school drop offs and pickups with 2 schools across the road, and at our local primary school traffic is as heavy as it has always been.

        • Muttonbird

          Yes, and that is because parents are dropping their kids to school directly instead of sending them on public transport. Another effect of the outbreak.

        • pat

          Last i saw here in Canty was about 5 days ago …$2.25 and that caused an expletive or two.

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