Open mike 10/04/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 10th, 2022 - 173 comments
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173 comments on “Open mike 10/04/2022 ”

  1. Ad 1

    So, question for the morning, will the four new water entities be able to trade water with each other? i.e. is this the formation of a national water market?

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Depending how the aussies vote, there's a reasonable basis to suspect our PM could have a successful political career in Oz:

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has once again been ranked Australia's most trusted politician.

    The latest Ogilvy PR Believability Index surveyed 1000 Australian voters in February and found that 44 per cent of participants trust Ardern more than they trust any Australian politician.

    This is not the first time New Zealand's Prime Minister has been voted Australia's most trusted politician. In 2019, research company Millward Brown polled 1400 Australians and found Ardern scored a believability rating of 77 out of 100.

    Ogilvy's Believability Index found Ardern ranked ahead of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the country's leader of the opposition, Anthony Albanese.

    A total of 10 per cent of voters in the poll had strong negative feelings towards Ardern, while 34 per cent expressed strong negative feelings towards Morrison and 19 per cent for Albanese.

    So if she feels she's done her dash here, and Labour once again loses an unloseable election there, she could emigrate. Oz Labour would love the chance to break their habit of picking losers as leaders. They'd probably organise to stage a party election for the Labour leadership as soon as she joined up. She could make history by becoming first person to lead both countries…

    • Janice 2.1

      She would have give up her NZ citizenship and become an Aussie to sit in their parliament.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Do you mean the dual citizenship option is unavailable? An old friend of mine has dual US/NZ citizenship. I'd be surprised if our relationship with Oz is so distant that the USA is closer.

        • Koff

          Barnaby Joyce, Australia's current DPM, had to resign and then renounce his NZ citizenship before entering Parliament again. Like many of the 600,000 NZers here he didn't know that he had NZ citizenship – he was brought to Oz when he was a small child and just assumed he was Australian.

        • RedLogix

          Koff is correct – Australian law does not permit dual-citizens to serve in their Federal Parliament. I'm not sure how far down the political chain to State and Local govt this law applies, but they are generally much more cautious about covert influence from people who do not necessarily share their interests than NZ is.

          • Dennis Frank

            Such exclusivism seems peculiar. Perhaps the relic of a nationalist past? I mean, there was that trend of US corporate leaders to get staff saluting the flag each morning yet they still allow dual citizenship.

            Do the aussies still sing waltzing matilda at moments of peak nationalism? If ScoMo gets them doing it at his rallies he could win another term…

            • RedLogix

              I would call it a sober appraisal of just easily the politics of smaller nations can be subverted by cash and the soft power inducements of larger ones.

            • Foreign waka

              NZ is a sovereign nation, why would we want an Australian PM????

              • Dennis Frank

                We wouldn't. Dumbing down is already bad enough. However, it does serve the cause of biodiversity. I have no problem with immigrant aussies trying to repower jingoism here. Can't see any such ever getting to be Nat leader but why not give them a try? Revival of tie me kangaroo down sport would be an intriguing cultural morph for young Nats to get into.

                • RedLogix

                  You really need to live and work here for a period Dennis. Modern Australia is really very multi-cultural. The office I work in right now has a vibrant mix of Indian, Asian, Black African, Bogan and a token Kiwi – all of whom cheerfully give each other shit on a daily basis.

                  The same on all the major project sites I have been to in the past decade – huge diversity. And over time this is seeping into their political system.

                  But they do demand demonstrable loyalty to Australia. Which despite my globalist instincts I do believe is reasonable.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Sounds good, fair enough as far as it goes. Perhaps the imminent election will produce a result in accord with that.

                    they do demand demonstrable loyalty to Australia

                    In what form? Unless you mean mere sentiment. Am I loyal to NZ? Not in a zillion years. Am I loyal to Aoteraroa? I feel like I ought to say yes to that. Mere sentiment though. I can't think of how I might express that feeling via meaningful action.

                    • RedLogix

                      Am I loyal to NZ? Not in a zillion years.

                      Then who are you loyal to?

                      If the answer is Xi Xinping, or Vladimir Putin then I do not want you anywhere near political power. Anywhere.

                      I agree that ascertaining a person's true intent is impossible, but holding a second passport that is a free ticket to somewhere else if the shit hits the fan does not suggest commitment. Does it?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I acquired a sense of self as a global citizen in the mid-1960s & that has remained the basis of my identity.

                      If you were to reframe the query as belonging, I've always felt I belong here. However the neocolonialist political infrastructure is just as inadequate as it was back then so I wouldn't expect any intelligent person to commit to loyalty to it.

                    • RedLogix

                      I acquired a sense of self as a global citizen in the mid-1960s & that has remained the basis of my identity.

                      And sincerely – good for you. No irony intended.

                      However most people are going to retain a sane sense of loyalty to their homeland to a larger degree than you. You may be an outlier in this respect. A sense of belonging and loyalty can be thought of as layers of an onion; most people have a core and unshakeable loyalty to family, then to the place and community they grew up in, then more broadly to the nation.

                      Expanding our moral horizon to encompass the whole of humanity is to add a whole new layer – a now urgent and vital moral project – that will re-shape the purpose and face politics in this century. But this does not necessarily imply that our existing loyalties will vanish either.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yeah. However, some folk are born to be humanitarian – I know that due to my mother being an exemplar. The global view comes naturally to them since it is innate.

                      You may be an outlier in this respect.

                      And in a bunch of other respects too – been a constant theme of my life since childhood. Had to work on how to get an interactive communal context going much of the time!

                      a now urgent and vital moral project – that will re-shape the purpose and face politics in this century

                      Definitely a priority learning curve for any player in the game of geopolitics. I feel sorry for the poor buggers! Brainwashed into nationalism from a young age, floundering forever in the morass of a globalised world…

                • alwyn

                  Don't tell MICKYSAVAGE what you think. His namesake, the real Michael J Savage, was born in Australia and was, presumably, an Australian citizen.

                  Even if he was an Ocker the NZ Labour Party must have given him a fair suck of the saveloy.

                  • RedLogix

                    Back then the idea of the Commonwealth still held a lot of cultural currency, and the political distinction between Aus and NZ was less contentious.

                    While I didn't know MJS was an Australian – I'm not in the least surprised. (So was Russel Norman if my memory serves me.)

                    • alwyn

                      More than half the New Zealand Prime Ministers were born outside New Zealand. It has got a lot better but even in my lifetime there have been 2 who were born overseas. They were Fraser, 1940 – 1949 and Nash, 1957 – 1960.

                      Nash was the last one though. Everyone since then has been Kiwi born.


                      You are right about the multi-culturism in Australia though. Even when I lived in Melbourne from the late 80's to mid 90's you saw it, There were quite large areas where you were likely to find no one speaking English as a first language. Greek and Italian were very common with an ever increasing number speaking Vietnamese.

                      I personally thought that they were very sensible to allow only Australian citizens to have the vote. We should do the same. Compulsory voting still seems a bit of an imposition though.

  3. Ad 3

    North Island in for 3 tropical systems inside 10 days.

    That's a sticky Autumn.

    New Zealand Weather Forecast (

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Here is a fascinating interview from DW "Conflict Zone" with a former deputy Russian foreign minister. The guy was in Moscow, so obviously had to mind his "ps and qs". But, very insightful none the less.

    One of the worrying things that both the interviewer and the Russian guy agreed on was that the prevailing doctrine of "mutually assured destruction" that supposedly derisked the use of nuclear weapons has basically been torn up.

    Going forward, the world is going to have to factor in the possibility of an obsessed/crazy dictator with a finger on the nuclear destruct button, and who is prepared to use it, even if it means personal and national self-destruction.

    • DB Brown 4.1

      "Going forward, the world is going to have to factor in the possibility of an obsessed/crazy dictator with a finger on the nuclear destruct button"

      This has always been the case. There's humans in charge of all these devices.

      When told as a child at school one might 'tuck themselves under their desks' in case of nuclear attack, meanwhile reading how these weapons flattened cities in Japan… the assurances of authorities were always a bit of a joke.

      The narrative, going forward, will be just as suspect as it's always been.

      "Red's under the bed!"

      It's not the Reds, it's the f'n leadership, it's always the leadership.

      Precision strike for Putin!

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Russia is absolutely no longer functional communist state, although it's refusal to repudiate the monsters of it's past hangs around the current leadership as a very bad smell. After all Putin and most of the Kremlin heads are ex-KGB in one way or another, an entity that has direct history into the Stalin era.

        This is the extraordinary thing about Russian politics, first of all how power is deeply centralised into Moscow, and how narrow the entry points are into Russian political management. It makes for an isolated and brittle polity, steeped in both professional and cultural paranoia.

        What we have to fear most of all is the chance that the Russian military might collapse, and faced with a choice of a humiliating defeat interpreted by the Kremlin as an existential threat, there is the real possibility – I would rate it as 20% odds – that Putin is capable of retreating to an impregnable bunker and launching a civilisation ending assault as an ultimate act of nihilism. We just cannot tell and this is why NATO and the rest of the world have had their hands heavily tied in their response to the Ukrainian butchery.

        The deeply mad thing about this war is that the Kremlin has made all of it's paranoid fantasies about the world hating them come true.

        • DB Brown

          "The deeply mad thing about this war is that the Kremlin has made all of it's paranoid fantasies about the world hating them come true."


          Maybe a massive bounty? If all those Oligarchs have had their fortunes frozen (have they?) perhaps they'd be up for a pot of gold. You don't get to be an Oligarch based on moral principles, surely.

        • tsmithfield

          I agree Red. Except I hope that the probability (for all our sakes) is a lot less than 20%.

          It is a very thorny problem for the world to deal with. What to do with someone who is threatening nuclear weapon use if he doesn’t get his way? Appeasement will simply encourage such a person.

          Probably one thing in the world’s favour, somewhat paradoxically, is Russia’s relationship with China. I think the worst case scenario you describe would be more likely if Putin felt totally isolated with no future at all.

          But, the relationship with China probably means this isn’t the case. Hopefully, China will end up performing a moderating role in this conflict.

          • RedLogix

            Yes – thorny is a terrible understatement. I suspect there would be more than a few realists in Europe right now – in their military especially – who are frankly terrified.

            Otherwise my comment to Ad below would be pertinent in reply to you.

          • Ad

            If that threat of Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine is taken as a reality, refer Russia back to Able Archer and Steadfast Noon and don't blink.

            • Sanctuary

              They didn't nuke Kyiv when Bojo was in town, embittering the fanatic remain voters at the Guardian.

        • Treetop

          See Imran Khan has been ousted from power in Pakistan. Khan met with Putin at the Kremlin on 24 February the day of the Russian invasion into Ukraine.

          Do you think that not being able to rely on Khan that Putin is less secure?

          • RedLogix

            Yes I saw that just a short while ago – but done no research on it. I would imagine New Delhi will be paying a lot of attention though.

            Hypothetically the best outcome would be a new Pakistani leader capable of ending their long-standing conflict with India. That would take the immediate pressure of the Indian govt to maintain their military reliance on Russia.

          • Ad

            An unstable Pakistan is likely to be better for China than for the US. China has the construction deals, ports, and rail+road corridor.

            How Chinese investments are capturing Pakistan′s economy | Asia | An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 02.08.2021

            • Treetop

              I was aware of Khan wanting to strengthen trade. Money from the US dried up in Pakistan once the US left Afganistan. I am not sure why Khan was ousted, reliance on trade with China might have been his undoing.

              The new regime in Pakistan could be anti Russia and want more traditional influence on its people.

          • Dennis Frank

            Unlikely that Putin's security depends on any PM in Pakistan:

            Pakistan, a nation of 220 million, has struggled with political instability since its formation in 1947, with multiple regime changes and military coups. No prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term under the present constitution of 1973. Khan's ouster comes just short of four years in office


            • Treetop

              Putin will not want instability on the border with Pakistan.

              Economic and foreign policy decisions as well as Khan trying to block the no confidence vote in him are the reasons stated in the link you supplied.

              What is going to happen next when it comes to international politics?

              • Treetop

                Correction Russia does not share a border with Pakistan.

              • Dennis Frank

                What is going to happen next when it comes to international politics?

                Good question. The science of complexity tells us that the trajectory of complex systems is a random walk. To be more precise, it consists of long periods of stasis (stable states) and indeterminate switches between those.

                The indeterminacy is ruled by tiny triggers (butterfly effect). Thus tipping points in climate change.

                If there's a trend in global politics you can point to that falls into the category of next, I suggest a focus on supply chains. Currently dysfunctional, lurching into motion at times, frozen into temporary stasis at others. You can see the microcosm effects on empty supermarket shelves. So the viability of global trading as the basis of the economy is in question, plus that of neoliberalism – the ideology that uses it in politics. The sensible thing for states to do is reorganise on the basis of a resilient economy – but that requires intelligent design.

                We know few govts are capable of that. Necessity being the mother of invention, we await sufficient panic & paranoia to trigger that shift…

        • Francesca

          "Refusal to repudiate the monsters of the past"

          As far as atrocities go RL, why do you so steadfastly refuse to repudiate Ukrainian atrocities?

          Incidentally , where is the independent investigation into both Bucha , and now Kramatorsk?

          Kramatorsk is easily solved, as the serial number of the rocket is clearly visible.

          Whose inventory does it belong to?

          Same for the serial number of the Toschka lobbed into Donetsk city central area, purely a civilian zone, killing some say 23 , others 20, and injuring 28.That one is known to come from the Ukrainian army

          I share your concerns about nuclear annihilation .Lets not forget the near misses in the past, and in these days of heightened tension , a mistake is more likely to happen than not

          Mearsheimer is also warning about this, a brief 20 minutes of your time

          Worryingly , he sees no way out .Incidentally, knocking off Putin as so many ridiculously suggest, would inflame matters even worse.There are many hardliners way more ruthless than Putin who would seize the moment to come to the fore.

          • RedLogix

            As I have said before – the entire accountability for this butchery lies with Putin the moment he sent his military over the border.

            In war everything else is irrelevant semantics.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              I'm in total agreement here.

              The complexity may be in the why but the person who made the call is the one responsible.

              • Francesca

                I'm still a fan of the Geneva convention

                Should we not have had the Nuremberg trials either?

                Because in war shit happens?

                Are we throwing out the notion of war crimes?

                For one thing, if one side treats their prisoners of war decently, the other may reciprocate .Are you willing that soldiers of any side should be summarily executed?

                Having said all that, I agree, anyone who starts a war carries ultimate responsibility for that war, but it does not excuse individual acts of savagery, and a free pass for torture of any side

                The scenario you are suggesting, everyone loses their humanity, and so it goes.

                There's no scenario in my mind where its ok to excuse barbarism .But there we go, you men and your blood lust, gotta have its way

                • aj

                  I think the future is bleak Francesca, some things never change. War is hell.

                  Our hypocrisy on war crimes makes a rules-based world, one that abides by international law, impossible


                • Descendant Of Smith

                  I've been anti-war my entire life so I don't know how you have gone from I think Putin is responsible to all the other of your assertions.

                  My influences include a teacher who was imprisoned in NZ for being a pacifist and the Whanganui Quaker settlement amongst others.

                  You from your consistent postings are far more aggressive than I'll ever be. Let's not pretend either than violence is just a male thing either. Women are as capable of violence and hate as men are. Plenty of Queens sent their armies to battle.

                  And lest we forget.

                  "At least 30,000 women died here. Some were gassed or hanged, others starved, died of disease or were worked to death.

                  They were treated brutally by many of the female guards – beaten, tortured or murdered. The prisoners gave them nicknames, such as "bloody Brygyda" or "revolver Anna"."


  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Rather early to issue a postmortem on the govt but intrepid rightist has a go anyway:

    Now it has the ring of a Culture Club farewell tour playing to shambolic dive bars while still dreaming of the packed stadiums of yesteryear.

    Could frame it as thoughtful sleepwalking instead. Would be just as accurate.

    Outside of Covid, this administration has a terrible record. Inequality, if you care about that metric, has deteriorated. The only way a working family can now obtain a house is through inheritance. We are toiling longer, with unemployment having fallen, but the wages being earned are worth less thanks to inflation.

    Few things better define the Ardern government than the Auckland Harbour cycle path. Announced with great fanfare then quietly forgotten. KiwiBuild, the Provincial Growth Fund, transparency, mental health funding and even the entire Well-Being budget framework have all fallen over.

    Overstating the point somewhat, but it's true that govt policy delivery remains underwhelming. Labour would argue that neoliberalism is all about talking the talk. It never has tried to provide a plausible basis for walking the walk.

    Where legislation has been passed, it has created perverse outcomes. The poor now struggle to get credit, thanks to changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act. The poor now have to pay more for their petrol cars, thanks to the tax on dirty petrol cars. The poor now struggle to cover the cost of groceries as prices rise faster than wages, thanks in part to changes to the mandate of the Reserve Bank away from a single focus on inflation.

    Other than increasing benefits at nearly the rate of inflation, the Ardern Government has achieved close to nothing outside of Covid

    Yeah but Labour are a middle-class operation. Tokenism is the expected way to treat the poor. I thought everyone knew that by now.

    It is a mistake, however, to write off Ardern. She has not been tested in either of the last two elections. We do not know how this prime minister will perform when the barbarians are at the gate. She remains popular and is one of the most impressive political operators we have seen, and is a master of both the parliamentary and media arenas. Luxon may yet falter, and Ardern has the better of him at Parliament’s question time.

    On form, that's true. Current form, however, puts a question-mark over it. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Not to Oz! So is she tough enough to turn this term into solid progress? That's the question she ought to be pondering.

    • Psycho Milt 5.1

      "Outside of defeating the Persians, the govt of Themistocles had a terrible record…"

      • DB Brown 5.1.1

        The word 'shambolic' in the opening quote quickly illustrates the nature and calibre of the article.

        A whole lot of praxillation.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.2

        smiley Voters are notoriously fickle, sadly. Yet democracy was designed on that basis, back when rationalism ruled the thinking of all key players.

        a worldview that gained wide assent in the West and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics. Central to Enlightenment thought were the use and celebration of reason, the power by which humans understand the universe and improve their own condition. The goals of rational humanity were considered to be knowledge, freedom, and happiness.

        You can tell how well it worked by considering how knowledgeable everyone is, how free they are, and how happy they are.

    • Treetop 5.2

      Would a National and Act coalition have done any better?

      I reckon more homeless and the health system would have been crushed.

    • Ad 5.3

      The Great Communicator needs to communicate their successes while leavened by some failures:

      Crime: down

      Poverty measures: equal or down

      Unemployment: record down

      Housing waiting lists: up

      House prices: stabilising

      Public health: up

      Economy: stable to up

      Export income: up

      River and lake quality: down

      Conservation estate: down

      Road toll: steady

      CO2 production: same as 2005, but up 26% on 1990

      Skills scarcity: up

      Inflation and interest rates: up after 10 years of 2-4%

      Government accounts: public debt up but income up

      Anyone commenting on this government's performance needs to include actual facts not more Mood of the Nation bullshit.

      • Incognito 5.3.1

        Damien Grant would love it if his personal opinion would be(come) “Mood of the Nation bullshit”.

        For example, to put all the blame on the Government for inflation is a simpleton’s reckon. Home owners who have just received their recent Notice of Valuation will be dazzled by the large number after the $-sign. The number of new building consents is sky-high. The PGF was a left-over from NZF and Shane Jones and Labour promised to end it at the last election.

        Of course, simpletons lap up Mr Grant’s reckons in their typically uncritical fashion.

        • Ad

          I thought the PGF was awesomesauce.

        • Poission

          Housing cost inflation has increased 50% under labour,34% over the pandemic period.Most under the last 2 years due to imaginary money (qe) and low interest rates.

          The expected interest rate increases to constrain inflation over the next 2 years will remove 3% of GDP from the real economy to the banks in interest charges alone.

          • Incognito

            Again, what choice did RBNZ have? QE happened all over the world; we were damned either way.

            Diminishing the role and influence of (foreign) banks in this FIRE economy on hyper-steroids is a Herculean task.

            • Poission

              The RBNZ at the start actioned the correct approach,due to the absence of vaccines,this allowed for a circular economy with both increased local savings (due to lockdowns and travel constraints) in November they hesitated due to the Delta event,and in hindsight may have been a wrong action.

              The governor at that stage should have been also jawboning both politicians and the press,that housing inflation was a significant stability risk both for the economy and potential buyers.

              Every major recession has been predicated by low interest rates,and low unemployment,that is the future if government macro economic policy include both debt and increasing fundamental costs,without producing productivity improvements.

              we need to move to a quasi war economy,without having to realise draconian austerity policy in future days.

              • Incognito

                The productivity problem has been around for years and no Government has been able to crack it – the RBNZ is not the right tree, but Treasury and MBIE are. If the RE in FIRE would stand for Research Enterprise (or Research & Entrepreneurship) instead of Real Estate we would not be having this convo, I reckon. Compare the PGF with Callaghan Innovation, for example, and discuss which one was more successful or likely to be successful longer term and why.

                • Poission

                  PGF was to enable provincial NZ,to grow,improve services,and allow for provincial job growth. The intention was this would reduce internal migration from the provinces to the larger metros (with all their accompanying problems) Lower cost housing,reasonable infrastructure etc.

                  PGF was also for more investment into rail,(which now shows foresight) there were issues with some of the tourism ventures,and a lot of the provincial spending was low cost where money stayed more often in the local economy,and not to large multinational construction companies.

                • pat

                  Callahan?…think you may be surprised about their support for NZ productivity.

                  Care to provide some examples?

                  • Incognito

                    Yeah, sure, go for it!

                    • pat

                      Well that makes a lot of sense

                    • Incognito []

                      Compare the PGF with Callaghan Innovation, for example, and discuss which one was more successful or likely to be successful longer term and why.

                      Why would I take up my own suggestion/invitation that was for another person??

                    • pat

                      Examples of Callahan benefiting NZ productivity was the request

                    • Incognito []

                      You were going to surprise me/us?

                    • Poission

                      Here are Some,PGF

                      i) Upgrade of existing city line ( non kiwi rail) in Whanganui,that allowed direct loading onto container train units by a number of meat works and a dairy factory.

                      This reduced trucking through both the city to marshaling yards ,and in some cases to Palmerston North.(cost around 3m)

                      ii) Alliance Lorneville, raising the height of the venison slaughterboard to enable cattle production.This extended the work season for the workers,and increased beef capacity that had to trucked out of the province at seasonal peaks (around 5 mill)

                      The saving for the above project allowed investment in the co generation energy plant on site.


                      i) Ab equipment investment in research and application for multiple heavy equipment mantainence programs,most of the equipment already has onboard systems,so really just a PBX system.

                      Most likely very usable application for an international company like AB.

                    • pat

                      Apparently you have none, whether thats surprising or not to you I dont know.

                    • Incognito []

                      Nope, not a surprise to me at all.

                    • pat

                      At least The AB Equipment shareholding resides in NZ

      • Bearded Git 5.3.2

        Ad. Some more actual facts.

        House prices are still going up 18% a year according to the latest stats-don't belive the headlines. I do not regard this as stabilising.

        Labour has built, and is building, a lot more state houses-Key/English sold them off.

        Labour has significantly increased the minimum wage to $21.20.

        Labour has introduced a clean car tax.

        I could keep listing things that are not in your list but can't be bothered. I do think that Labour needs to publicise its achievements, which are numerous, better or the opposition's tactic of saying they have done nothing (a la Key) will stick.

      • RedLogix 5.3.3

        Skills scarcity: up

        Inflation and interest rates: up after 10 years of 2-4%

        Both of which are global phenomenon driven largely by the fact that 2022 is the year in which fully half the Boomers – the largest post-War generation in most places on earth – enter retirement. On doing so we take with us 40 or more years of skills and experience that are not being replaced at the same rate, and we instantly transition from being massive capital savers, to capital consumers.

        I was listening to one of our VPs responsible for one of our major core business units last week. In it he was saying that two things keep him awake at night in the face of record orders, one being the obvious chip shortage crippling delivery – but long terms was finding the talent to meet the astonishing growth opportunities now hammering on our door. Globally at the moment we have over 1,000 open positions, most good, rewarding jobs in a great industry. A fair chunk of this will be normal turnover – but it also explains why doddering dinosaurs like me are still working instead of quietly collecting NZ Super back home.

        So no I don't think it fair to land that one entirely at Labour's doorstep.

      • Belladonna 5.3.4

        Crime is down? Really? It certainly doesn't seem like it, both from media (I know, only bad news is reported) and personal communications.

        At least in Auckland, it seems as though gun crime has gone through the roof.

        And, the police just don't bother turning up for burglaries or 'minor' crime – or investigate, even when there is CCTV footage showing the criminals provided to them.

        It's definitely feeling worse than pre-Covid.

      • DukeEll 5.3.5

        How about the fact that the state housing waitlist is up 500% since 2017, which is the year of the election that Jacinda promised to end homelessness and fix the housing issue?

  6. Ad 6

    So when NATO is expanded this year right across the Russian border, through the accelerated accession of Finland,

    Finland and Sweden could soon join NATO, prompted by Russian war in Ukraine – CNNPolitics

    and likely also that Sweden joins, we are going to have to see a revisitation of the Charter for European Security signed in November 1999. This is what has been the framework for post-cold war Europe in peaceful co-existence until now.

    Charter for European Security | OSCE

    Its provisions include “the right of each participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements including treaties or alliances, as they evolve, as well as the right of each state to neutrality”.

    But, good old Sergei Lavrov adds, the charter “directly conditions those rights on the obligation of each state not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of other states”.

    So in Lavrov’s interpretation, that obligation means no signatory can effect a change in the balance of European security by signing up to an alliance.

    Russia holds that the charter freezes Europe’s 1999 security relationships in place, and that the subsequent enlargement of NATO represents a breach of that agreement.

    To me that kind of language challenges every EU member, including for example Ireland. As well as those who also want to join like Serbia and Montenegro.

    The question of a much larger and revived NATO is, well you've got a whole lot more mandate, what good are you going to do with it?

    To me the answer is: NATO needs to deliver more than good military defence: its purpose should be revisited and emphasise a whole lot more of its political arm, less of its military, and a far more on broader threats to its members such as climate change, refugee crises, and the undermining of democracies by oligarchies.

    Once this current war is contained and smaller, there needs to be a re-settlement of the purpose of NATO.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      All good thoughts. While no-one can rule out lingering corners of Russophobia, the dominant European dream of the past 40 years – as embodied by Merkel more than anyone else – was peace and prosperity across the entire Eurasian continent. At least it was until Feb 24. The immediate purpose of NATO now is to crush the Russian state without triggering a nuclear holocaust.

      The entry of Finland and Sweden – literally right next door to St Petersberg – is vividly descriptive of Putin's blunder. The almost certain entry of Ukraine within a matter of weeks into the EU is another. Kaliningrad's immediate future is wildly uncertain and Belarus is but one nudge away from a Colour Revolution of it's own. Not to mention Georgia and the four 'Stans each of whom present ongoing problems of their own. The Indians are very uncomfortable partners for the moment and anyone professionally relying on Xi Xinping to underwrite their future needs another job.

      The EU will spend the next few years urgently weaning themselves off Russia commodities as fast as possible, and anyone buying Russian oil needs to consider just how reliable that source is when the Russians themselves are making it their business to destroy oil infrastructure wherever they choose. There will be contradictions and challenges in the short term – long term the outcome is certain. Total isolation of the Russian economy to the extent physically possible.

      The moment it became clear to political capitals in the West – that the Russian military was so gutted by corruption and incompetence that it would be crushed in any conventional confrontation with the West – the overriding concern became to avoid the nuclear exchange that would the inevitable outcome of such a direct conflict. The only safe path to achieving this is to prevent Putin from achieving his goals in Ukraine – and imposing a political defeat on him at home.

      But having said all of that I agree the EU must do something more constructive with it's new found unity well beyond merely defeating Putin. The lesson to be learned is that the nation states must cede their sovereign right to commit war – for fear of the dread consequences of failing to do so.

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        states must cede their sovereign right to commit war

        Nifty moral principle you got there! Hard to disagree, so I'm not inclined to quibble. Implementation would have to happen at the level of the UNSC to be effective.

        I therefore encourage concerned citizens to lobby our foreign minister to take the initiative and propose the UN adopt this reform! angel

        • RedLogix

          Yes. And in case anyone thinks I am a complete US fanboi – I fear the most stubborn hold-out in any such endeavour would be the USA itself.

          The reasons are complex, but rooted I think in the geopolitical reality that the North American continent has made them the least dependent on global peace than any other major power. It is a paradox – the nation with the most influence globally, has the least need to engage.

          For this reason I am not optimistic about the chances of reforming the UNSC – not just Russia and China as totalitarian holdouts increasingly turning themselves into pariahs, but a USA which has been increasingly ambivalent about the post-WW2 globalisation project since the end of the first Cold War.

          Perhaps if everyone else united in a common front and gave the UNSC veto nations an ultimatum to give it away – it might stand a chance.

          • Dennis Frank

            everyone else united in a common front

            Leverage. It would take a vote by states in the UN to give it sufficient form and power – power in proportion to the number who vote in support.

            Seems like a realistic strategy for UNSC reform. Push comes to shove, those nations could retain a fall-back option to use if the USA, China & Russia joined in opposition to the reform. They could vote to eliminate the SC. Legal viability of that would depend on how the thing is built in international law.

          • tsmithfield

            I have been thinking that, once this conflict is over, the democratic world needs to find a way to encourage the formation of, and strengthening of democracies world wide.

            One way to do that could be to have a trading block between democratic nations. Entry to that trading block could be requirements such as having free and democratic elections etc.

            Simply relying on military force to protect democracies is far too dangerous and on the balance of probabilities, will result in the end of civilisation at some point in the future. As Einstein said “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

            After this conflict is at an end, I think the world as a whole needs to decide to abolish nuclear weapons as a whole. There are other weapons available now which probably can do the same job in terms of mutually assured destruction of protagonists without endagering the rest of the world if that is seen as necessary. For instance, large thermobaric bombswhich have city-killing potential

            • RedLogix

              I read this comment above with a small sense of joy. Agree totally.

              My only other small thought to add is that we should not imagine that regulating the relations between nations is so very hard. Exactly the same principle is at work inside of the nation state itself at a smaller scale, where individuals give up their right to violence and cede it to the state.

              It is just an expansion of perspective; although having said that I am very aware of the challenges.

            • Ad

              Hmmm. The UN Security Council. The UN HRC. The UNDP.

              I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself. Macron could still lose for example.

              Still, NATO's renewal is the first strong multilateral endeavour by anyone since CPTPP. A small distant bell of optimism rings.

            • KJT

              Have to figure out which Nations are "Democratic" first!

              For example will you bring Venezuela into the Group, whose Government was elected by a greater majority than the USA.

              Saudi Arabia?

              • RedLogix

                Authoritarian states routinely run 'elections' in which the ruling party gains insanely high votes. For decades.

                Probably because they're such well run, beautiful places to live I would guess.

                • KJT

                  Like the USA, and so many Governments they have installed, you mean?

                  • RedLogix

                    Why did you think that is what I meant? Last I looked most of the democratic nations routinely yield election results that are fairly closely balanced between liberal and conservative blocs around 50%. Including the USA.

                    Sometimes you get a landslide election, but usually within a cycle or two it goes back to normal.

                    • KJT

                      You're reminding me of a statement from a thoughtful Chinese Manager I worked with.

                      "In China you can change the policies, but not the party, in the USA, you can change the party, but not the policies".

                      Not far wrong!

                      Niether country is Democratic, in that the general population have no say in policy.
                      The US Constitution is specifically designed, just like the Chinese one, to ensure that the “great unwashed” can never take the power and more importantly, the money , from the “elite”.

                    • RedLogix

                      Niether country is Democratic, in that the general population have no say in policy.

                      What policy? If you mean radical far left or right, then I am very pleased you don't get much say.

                    • KJT

                      Funny, but wrong.

                      You only have to look at the legislation, in the USA for example, that is only in the interests of a few rich people, and is not supported by the majority.

                      If you consider that "extreme" then it shows how much you have gone down the "Rabbit hole".

                    • KJT

                      "Extreme Left" policies like Medicare for all, which are even supported by a large proportion of Republican voters.

    • Francesca 6.2

      I thought Montenegro joined in 2017?

      Could be wrong

      • Montenegro became a full member of the Alliance, when the instrument of accession was deposited in Washington D.C. on 5 June 2017.

  7. Ross 8

    Other than increasing benefits at nearly the rate of inflation, the Ardern Government has achieved close to nothing outside of Covid, and in many key areas the welfare of Kiwis has fallen.

    If KiwiBuild and other programmes had been delivered, the electorate might have confidence that this Government had the ability to handle the new challenges facing New Zealand. This is not the case.

    In the 2023 debates is it easy to see Luxon facing down the camera and asking an Opposition leader’s favourite question: “Are you better off today than you were six years ago?”

    Not all of this is Ardern’s fault. Her agenda was derailed by the pandemic and the paucity of competence within her caucus from which to draw talent. There are only so many portfolios you can force onto Chris Hipkins before he loses focus and begins to bait pregnant journalists trapped in Kabul.

    Quite right. Labour could, of course, acknowledge its mistakes. Saying sorry is a strength, not a weakness.

  8. tsmithfield 9

    I am surprised we haven't seen any of our Russian-apologist friends here yet spinning the claim that the attack on the Kramatorsk train station must have been a false flag attack by Ukraine on its own people, not by Russia. The argument being that the missile fragments are from Toshka-U missiles, which according to Russia, Ukraine uses but Russia doesn't.

    However, this claim has been debunked. There have been several observations of Russia bringing Toshka-U missiles into the combat zone. So, Russia definitely had the means and opportunity to launch the attack if Toshka missiles were used.

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        It is true. They do.

        But, in this case, the Russians had the missiles allegedly used in the attack. And they have had previous form in attacking Ukranian civilians in a wide variety of brutal ways in this conflict.

        So, I guess if both forces had the missiles, while the possibility of the Ukranians striking the station with their own missile couldn't be ruled out, the most likely source is from Russia.

        It might be that forensic analysis of satellite footage and the like will be able to prove conclusively where the missiles actually came from. But, until then, the most likely explanation is that the Russians did it.

        • Bearded Git

          You are probably right. But so called "goodies" often turn out to be much less principled than they claim. Think Dresden and the second atomic bomb dropped needlessly on Nagasaki.

    • Incognito 9.2

      Trying to provoke people into engaging with you comes across as rather desperate. Why don’t you give it a rest and enjoy this Sunday in relative peace and quiet?

      • Francesca 9.2.1

        Oh no Incognito!!

        I bit ..sorry

        Maybe on a Sunday we should all have a picnic and be peaceful

    • Francesca 9.3

      Those several observations you refer to Smithfield purportedly showing Russia bringing in Tochkas.

      The twitter shows a video, of Tochkas being transported

      All of the place names are within Belarus!

      There is no mention of them entering Ukraine

      The last Tochka attack on civilians was by the Ukrainians on Donetsk City, where there were no military installations, just civilians.March 13

      Many died and were wounded, including children

      Ukraine blamed Russia, said it must have been a Russian missile (maybe an Iskander which they first blamed Russia using at the Kramatorsk station?)Russia bombing Donetsk city?

      Here for a change is an Indian news report, showing the same type of tail section we see at the station

      Ok, the tail sections have serial numbers .Apparently foreign reporters have recorded the tail section at the Kramatorsk station .Easy to compare them , and find out whose inventory they're in . Could be Russia has managed to get a Tochka off the Ukrainians , could be Russia has recommissioned its decommissioned Tochkas, whatever, the serial numbers will help, so will the direction of travel .

      • The Al1en 9.3.1

        Yeah, yeah, verification required etc. etc.

        Going off your gut instinct, out of 10, what are you personally rating the chances it was a Ukrainian missile attack?

        • Francesca

          Dunno, it would seem as daft as Russia bombing Donetsk city, which is what the Ukrainians claimed
          What do you think about that Tochka attack?
          Slam dunk?
          Mistakes happen , the Tochkas are not that accurate, friendly fire happens. Russia (more like the DPR in that area,Kramatorsk being right on the frontline ,could have made a terrible mistake) That area is in the Donbas, Russia doesn’t see those civilians as an enemy target either., many of them are Russian speakers and ethnic Russians.The "Russian" message means nothing .Equally could be a message from the Ukrainians to the Russians.
          Can’t think why either side would target those civilians The serial numbers will be the most telling.
          DPR, Russia Ukraine, one of them has those serial numbers in their inventory

  9. Corey Humm 10

    Interesting comments from Wall about her resignation on Q + A, according to her Ardern made it clear she wasn't wanted in her cabinet or in her caucus.

    Wall mentioned her strong support of Cunliffe over Grant Robertson for leadership and belived that was why she was not leader and I believe her. She also mentioned anger in the party for how she worked in a cross party way to get gay marriage over the line angering labour party leadership.

    I forgot how disgraceful the labour party was in not allowing Wall to speak on the parliamentary suicide thing. That was disgusting, if Im remembering correctly, National gave wall some of their parliamentary time to speak. Despicable. So was the deselection.

    From opposition Wall did more than the front bench of labour, the front bench of labour in opposition who were dysfunctional, disliked by the public couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery and are now a useless cabinet. How dare these incompetents sledge a back bencher who actually improved people's lives.

    This interview makes Ardern look terrible, petty and makes one wonder what hoops one must jump through to get in Arderns cabinet, kiss her and Grant's arse 24/7 and never express an original thought and be able to tick off boxes.

    Because if it was based off skill and talent most of that robotic cabinet would not be there, it beggars belief that Fafoi is minister of Justice while Duncan Webb sits outside cabinet. We also have a whole generation of young talent elected in 2017 and 2020 who are not getting any leadership experience for opposition and future governments because cabinet is full of no hopers with little talent.

    Ardern desperately needs a cabinet reshuffle and I'd like to hear her side of the story why was Wall and effective opposition mp turfed out and ignored and treated at every step disgustingly by labour leadership.

    I respect Ardern, but I think her cabinet are a bunch of losers that other than Grant, Andrew, Chris Hipkins, the employment minister, the former minister of police , Kiri and maybe Carmel (maybe) should ALL be reshuffled to make way for new talent.

    Clark would have thrown loads of these people under the bus long ago.

    Now that the opposition is starting to get it's shit together it's time labour actually bled the dead wood and get it's shit together. A stronger opposition needs a stronger government which means a stronger executive.

    If Wall wasn't good enough to be in cabinet or even caucus no way these lightweights deserve to be ministers of the crown.

    Good luck to Wall in whatever she does and shame on the Labour party for treating her like this, Labour is supposedly a big tent party, clearly it'd rather be a hive mind.

    • Dennis Frank 10.1

      I've long had your critical view of Labour so nothing there surprises me. I had hoped the current lot were an improvement but it looks like they aren't.

      I didn't see the interview but it sounds like I ought to have. I hope it will alert others to the perennial deceit strategy Labour applies to its recruits. Too bad the hypocrisy is so deep-rooted – but it does explain why so few talented folk show up in their ranks.

  10. Ad 11

    If anyone wonders why Treaty issues, transgender issues, and 3-Waters don't get decent debate outside of Twitter or specialist sites like TS, here's an analysis on why:

    OPINION: No-go areas that are killing mainstream media | Graham Adams | The Platform

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      He makes some good points

      • Dennis Frank 11.1.1

        You bet! I predict this is a sleeper that will catch fire sometime soon. I find myself siding with the right for a change. Liam Hehir, who I've enjoyed making funny of online a few times in past years, has got this issue right. If anything, he's actually understating his point too much. Watch this space!

    • Sabine 11.2

      One can not ask questions when one is supposed to offer blind support, and in some cases the job of asking non questions might actually depend on being obediently supportive. We all end up losers and misinformed.

  11. Puckish Rogue 12

    [Not another spray-dump of YT spam! Come back on Good Friday – Incognito]

  12. Anker 13

    I think Adams article is really important and raises the problem with our msm.

    Although there have been some very challenging discussions on the standard about Trans ideology, I have appreciated that the debate has been and continues to be had here.

    Adams raises the issue of SUFW being deemed by a High Court Judge as NOT a hate group. Yet the trans ideology activists labelled this group a hate grooup and worked to have their platform shut down. The women in this group are mostly left wing progressive feminists. They were trying to say that biological sex matters and should be factored in in areas such as sports, female spaces, prisons hospital wards etc.

    If the article about the Greens changing their Kaupapa so the the co-leadership has to be a female and one other gender, whilst I applaude that it is deeply hypocritical of them. That is if they mean the female should be a biological female.

    • Puckish Rogue 13.1

      Surely for the sake of fairness it would be a female presenting human, a male presenting human and one other gender so three leaders is what they need?

      • Anker 13.1.1

        But anyone can present as male or female now PR……..So that leaves us nowhere.

  13. Not really much of a debate, if you go back and look, tbf.

    Following it, I'm of the opinion most readers will have seen it as a topic to avoid getting burned over by a vocal minority. Me, I just gave up 'cause I think you're shit.

    Trans rights is now a "trans ideology". It's not about trans people anymore and for some, hasn't been for a very long time.

    • Anker 14.1

      My mistake. Should be gender ideology, not trans ideology.

      The debate was/is about does gender trump biological sex. A lot of women think that in some circumstances it doesn't, e.g. sport, women's prisons, women's hospital wards, womens toilets and change rooms to name a few. No one on this site has been able to disaude me from this with any rational arguements. Very often biological sex will be more important than gender identity e.g. the swimming championships in the US where transwoman Lia Thomas is beating women and women's records in the pool, then changing in the locker room with girls while she still has her male genitals intact.

      I remember that you have a trans child and so propobably this is a painful debate to engage in as like any parent you would prioritize their needs.

      finally please don't call me shit. I don't like it

      • lprent 14.1.1

        My problem is that outside of competitive sport, which I ignore as being entertainment and waste of time and effort, I can't see how any of the other gender vs biology focuses matter at all.

        No-one so far has managed to explain to me, why wanting to shift gender matters at all to society or politics or even law for anything outside of sport.

        Sport = a small culdesac of insane obsessives and couch potatoes wanting something to easy to argue over nothing substantive.

        Basically listening to people waffling on about it has the same kind of coherence as listening to the obsessive rantings about the greatness of the Slavs – the same kind of idiotic shit that leads to bigots wars. WW2 being an exampler for the germans, japanese, and a host of other nations

        Each time this topic gets raised I get annoyed because all of the examplers are about bloody sport. Which has led me to the opinion that there are no more important and actual issues related to it.

        Of course there needs to be regulation about irreversible gender treatments. But that is a medical issue about consent and an issue for the people giving it – especially dor those who are younger.

        But that doesn't appear to be what the semi-mystical calls appear to be about. And the lack of a coherent reasoning – outside of bloody sport – leads me to view it as just another form of simple bigotry.

        • Anker

          Well just for a start I prent, here is an article that relates to sport, but is actually about safe guarding of women and girls.

          ,Lia Thomas is a trans woman, who is biologically male and beating all sorts of records in the pool against women.

          I get that you don't give a toss about sport, that's fair enough. But Lia, who is attracted to women has been given the right to change in the women's change rooms and is frequently seen in there with their genitals out.

          Women such as myself think this is a problem and so do the parents of these young female swimmers. This article I have linked relates how despite these parent's complaints there has been no reponse back.

          I am happy to continue with listing all the ways that many women feel this is a problem (just as SUFW tried to do, but were shut down).

          However before I do so, I rather hear from you that you do want to hear the other ways this ideology is problematic. You have said before that you don't want to get entangled in this debate, which of course is your right.

          • Belladonna

            And here's an example of a trans rapist continuing to commit sexual assalt in a women's prison.


            Yes….. Not all Trans….

            But, I really think that there are places (outside of sports) which need to be for women (biologically adult females) only.
            Many, many, many women in prison have been victims of rape and sexual assault throughout their lives. They really don't need to be shut up in prison with another abuser.

            And from a Swedish study which found that:
            “The study provides strong evidence that policy makers cannot safely assume (a)
            that transwomen’s offending patterns, including violent offending, will be
            significantly different than those of the general male population or (b) that they will
            be similar to those of the general female population.”


            • lprent

              In legal terms we treat women and men equally under our laws regardless of gender frequencies. Rape, infanticide, assault, sexually violating…. It is all the same standard for conviction. In the case of rape – there is a specific mention of a penis. However most cases these days are in S128(3) of the crimes act with sexual violation because then there is no need to prove penile penetration.

              Women sexually violating other women, women sexually violating men, men sexually violating women, men sexually violating men. It is gender neutral because that way it is simpler to get a conviction.

              The criminal act is all governed by the same legislation. The frequency of offending simply isn't a criteria for conviction. So why bring it up?

              So that 'study' is completely irrelevant.

              If I understand you correctly, you are arguing that a frequency of possible offending is an argument for taking pre-emptive legal action.

              It is the exact equivalent of saying that all men are rapists, and should be made eunuchs at birth to reduce future offending. For that matter that all women should have their tubes cut pre-puberty to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy.

              In other words, your implied but unstated argument (so cowardly to make it that way), is so weak that you could logically extend it to justify cutting the hands off anyone who may become a thief.

              Perhaps you should look at the moral foundations of your indignation and tell me how you can justify judging others on something that they haven't done yet – but could possibly do – because they are in the right demographic?

              • roblogic

                Unfortunately something like 95% of all violent crime is perpetrated by males. This is a vital distinction for women to make for their own safety and survival & they have to demographically pre-judge people all the time

              • Belladonna

                Unfortunately, the criminal population is pre-selected for violence, including sexual violence.
                There is no doubt that women in prison are at greater risk from male sexual and physical violence (including trans violence) – which is why there are women's prisons to begin with.

                The Swedish study showed that the rate of criminal conviction among trans women matched that of men, not of women. That is a valid point to consider.

                Are you arguing that there should be no distinction. That there should just be one prison population.

              • ozaki

                Thank you lprent. Thank you.

          • lprent

            Well just for a start I prent, here is an article that relates to sport, but is actually about safe guarding of women and girls.

            Not interested. That isn't evidence – that is you just being disparaging to me after I stated that I can't see how you take something as stupid as sport, and use it to smear a range of people who aren't participating in sport.

            It is simply offensive to me to offer that as an argument.

            • Anker

              Quick question I prent. The issue I presented you with was a factual story about female swimmers complaining because their trans gender competitor is a male bodied and the authorities have deemed that it is o.k for Lia to change in the women's change room (girls are complaining that they are exposed to Lia's male genitals). You say it isn't "evidence" but really that is semantics.Is this o.k. that these young women are forced to share what was once a single sex change room with a male bodied person? To date you haven't answered this question. YOu have deflected from doing so, by claiming it is not "evidence",

              You seemed to have also made this issue about whether sport is worthy or not and becase you don't care about it or perhaps even hate sport the issue becomes not important.

              I have no interest in disparaing you over whether you like sport or not. It's not my business and I have no judgement on that. You are absolutely entittled to your opinion on sport, but that opinion isn't really relevant to this topic.

              I am completely at a loss to understand why you think that it is "offensive to me to offer this as an arguement". You see I find it offensive that those young women have to put up with this male bodied person in their change room and when their parents complain, they get no response.

        • roblogic

          Why Sport and not the other stuff? Maybe ask the news media about what they choose to publish and what gets buried. But the statistics coming out of gender clinics is that there is a 4000% explosion in the number of young people seeking treatment. Something is going on, quite likely a social contagion amongst vulnerable teenage girls, spread via toxic social media, and enforced by vocal bullies on a moralistic cursade.

          (thread) "What's incredible is we've known for over 100 years the power of suggestibility in shaping mental illnesses and yet so many doctors in gender clinics fail to see the obvious truth. Or perhaps many see it but are spineless cowards who allow children to be harmed on their watch./11"

          (article) "But if you heard bigotry in the PM’s words, you weren’t really listening: Johnson sounded moderate and realistic. Meanwhile Labour continues to flail in the background over whether or not men can get pregnant."

          (thread analysing legal falsehoods in the Guardian) "I can’t believe I’ve had to create a Twitter account to talk about this terrible article by @zoesqwilliams. It’s wrong in many ways but I’ll restrict myself to the legal errors, which are quite extraordinary"

          (thread – cf advice from gender clinics) 'They don't just "stop puberty". They stop "growth". They stop bones developing, and becoming strong. They stop muscles stretching and filling with blood and protein. (They stop brain development.) They stop the beautiful process of human growth.' (see also)

          So while I agree that gender is a social construct, and often oppressive, there are some rather large omissions and misrepresentations in mainstream narratives. At present sports is just the tip of an ideological iceberg that threatens the rights and safety of women and children, denies biological reality, demands conformity to its (religious) edicts, and demands dubious medical procedures for mental illness.

          • RedLogix

            Excellent comment roblogic, I always saw the sports aspect as merely the smallest and most visible tip of a much larger problem.

            • lprent

              What problem?

              Please state it very clearly. Because at present I simply can’t see one apart from some frightened people making up silly stories.

              Sure there are few hothead on the trans side. Sounds like they’re a bit offensive and activist. Neither appears to be any more of an issue of being either dangerous nor chargeable. Obnoxious activists are a dime a dozen in many causes.

              • RedLogix

                I have constrained myself to only the most basic and anodyne support for the SUFW position. I am reasonably sure you don't commenting on gender related topics otherwise.

                • lprent

                  Each time this topic gets raised I get annoyed because all of the examplers are about bloody sport. Which has led me to the opinion that there are no more important and actual issues related to it.

                  It is pretty simple from my position. I wind up reading this crap here periodically. What I haven't see is a decent case or even a decent argument for changing laws.

                  I see tinges of ones periodically – mostly to do with delayed puberty. What I don't see is any actual evidence of issues that are outside the normal range of human behaviour. Humans overlap right across genders in most things when you look at the whole range of human capabilities.

                  This is at its base a issue of technology. What is being discussed (surgery, drugs) probably wasn’t possible a century ago. Just as today males can’t carry children to term, and growing children in a tube isn’t possible. Both probably will be over the next century.

                  But professional or competitive sport? If we anted to legislate society on that basis, then we'd trying to legislate on the basis of a small end of the demographic curve – where there is a difference between males and females. Also a difference between Bantu and Pygmy. Between ages.

                  That is a useless place to start a discussion on. It is also just about the only place that SUFW arguments seem to articulate about.

                  I'm just going to heap contempt on it until they either find an actual argument that applies to the range of humanity and can fit into a reasonable legal basis. Or I find that I just have to stand up in public in opposition to their measures and call down the bigots for motivations that I suspect they aren't willing to discuss.

                  • RedLogix

                    I am not deeply opposed to your position either, you make a your case clearly and forcefully. The deep inconsistency here is that if sex is eradicated as a meaningful distinction – which is the basis of trans ideology – then logically the basis of feminism evaporates along with it.

                    As has been said of nuclear war – a strange game in which the only way to win is not to play.

                    Besides the world has other problems.

                    • lprent

                      Which of the n forms of feminism are you thinking of? It has splits that make the potential 5th international look like miracle of conformity.

                      Well humanism will persist for a while.

                      But personally I'm seriously committed to geekism. rapidly getting into ageism as I acquire grey hairs, and can't see why programmers can't rule the world as engineers abrogate control of their tools to software.

                      I'm sure that differences will survive. After all you only have to look at tiktok or Instagram to see 'isms proliferating variants like a virus without copy protection.

          • lprent

            Look, I can see issues with teens – who aren't exactly the most rational – going and doing something stupid. So just clearly legislate. We do that for smoking, driving cars, drinking alcohol, using certain types of other legal drugs – prescribed or otherwise.

            While you're at it, also legislate against idiotic parents and coaches pushing kids into sports. That kind of abuse does at least as much damage to orderly development – this isn't exactly hard to find. Just read the journals of sports medicine. Or look at most sports teams that have sports wannabes trying to get into professional or even just national sport.

            At present sports is just the tip of an ideological iceberg that threatens the rights and safety of women and children, denies biological reality, demands conformity to its (religious) edicts, and demands dubious medical procedures for mental illness.

            How? Really what I'm talking about is that if someone of reasonably sound mind over the age of say 25 decides to change gender.

            What grounds do you or anyone else have for stopping them? Start from that point.

            What would be your stance. Convince me that there is an issue there. How does that affect women in any meaningful way. If you assert that it does, then where is the godamn evidence of issues? Where are the charges and convictions?

            Save your unstated (therefore irrelevant) scare points for someone who gets off on vicarious horror. I couldn't give a shit about stupid propaganda from social conservatives. That is the same crap that we heard about 'inherently criminal' to support racism, sexism, and various forms of homophobia.

            I have heard all of that crap before – to me it simply says that some idiots are upset, but don't want to admit that they have a problem with difference.

            • roblogic

              On an individual level I don't have a problem with an adult changing gender. But there is a suite of beliefs that certain activist elements feel compelled to evangelise and demand everyone comply with. Of course these activists claim to be part of some kind of rights movement. Weird how their rights are more important than women and girls who don't wish to share intimate spaces with biological males. Or have to face them in sports competition. Or have awards, scholarships, appointments that are reserved for women to be colonised by autogynephilic males who get a buzz from pretending to be women.

              Predatory males see opportunity and are exploiting it, as predicted.

              Academics who assert that women are adult human females, are routinely subjected to bullying and harassment and hounded out of their jobs. Kathleen Stock, Maya Forstater, Jo Phoenix, Rosa Freedman, Lisa Littman, Helen Joyce. (not to mention J. K. Rowling who has received uncountable death threats, or our own Rachel Stewart who was subjected to a smear campaign, and the advocacy org SUFW which is routinely slandered). Many of these cancellations are well documented, but many more are not — here are 28 examples. Also, nurses, rape victims, female refugees have been stung by activists for daring to ask for their own space away from men.

              This is a toxic movement founded on false premises.


              There is no gendered soul separate from the body. No-one is born in the wrong body. Humans are male and female. Nobody should be cancelled for using a word (woman) correctly. People cannot change sex, despite the promises of cosmetic surgery and hormones. Gender dysphoria is a psychological issue and needs compassion and care, for sure. But the solution is rarely at the end of a scalpel.

              • lprent

                In your entire comment there is literally nothing that supports anything of significance. It is all assertions, and arbitrary definitions. Essentially it reads like someone saying that others don't respect someone making up a arbitrary framework and being impolite enough to state that, and to do something about it.

                Academics who assert that women are adult human females…

                That is an assertion, probably one that is incorrect to many people. For instance teenage human females, and many pre-pubescent human females would probably find that offensive. Does the status go away with menopause? What about someone who is infertile?

                I'd take a bet that you can't find a actual scientific or even legal definition for 'women' that has any significant validity.

                It is a meaningless arbitrary societal label, and probably quite language/culture dependent from what I remember from anthro courses.

                Basically inventing a arbitrary label purely to exclude others has had a long history in the study of bigotry.

                It does tend to be quite triggering at offending others. Basically anyone who does it needs to have their mental health looked at. In this case probably some of the people you're supporting.

                There is no gendered soul separate from the body

                I'm very agnostic on what I consider to be religious fantasies. Never seen any evidence for a soul.

                As I read a lot, I have investigated the whole set of ideas across multiple religious and faith based practices in depth. I have concluded that I have no particular capacity for having faith.

                Several of my relatives do. I'm usually polite enough to ignore them or express polite disbelief when they start using it in conversations with me.

                However if anyone uses that as part of an argument related to some kind of judgement implied or explicit about me, then I tend to class them as being deliberately offensive. It is an imposition of someone else's value system on me.

                Typically I react to it in a immoderate manner, typically pulling out parts of their faith's rather poor history, by pointing out inconsistencies , by comparing it to some other faith or whatever I find most useful as a lesson.

                I'd take a bet that if I looked into the depths of these '28 cancellations' that I could find some highly offensive behaviours to others that triggered the response that they got. Why – because many of the responses described in your links are characteristic of the way that many people in a freeish society deal with bloody minded bigots trying to push their arbitrary ideas on others.

                Because most stoushes usually arise from some pig-headed fool being absolutely that they're right, pushing their own ideas do the gullet of others, and not bothering to be aware or have respect for the opinions of others.

                However the fact that tempers get raised and that people take legitimate and legal actions against others that they disagree with is neither here nor there.

                What you haven't managed to address at all is anything about the underlying issues. All you've done is stated opinions. Pointed to no substantive evidence that I could see.

                All I see is a number of people making shit up and numbers that has no particular basis in anything I'd view as substantive measurable and reproducible fact. Basically just more of the bullshit in my opinion.

                • roblogic

                  Disappointing that the opinions of eminent academics and respected feminists are so easily dismissed as bigotry or religiously motivated or made-up bullshit.

                  Sure there is probably occasional overreach in gender critical rhetoric, but there is enough substance there to take their claims seriously.

                • roblogic

                  Key claims of the transgender movement are philosophical/religious rather than supported by biology

                  1. TWAW
                  2. Gender "incongruence" is a medical condition that requires drugs and surgery
                • ozaki

                  Yes!!!! This lprent, thanks again. I usually skim the anti trans stuff on here but it's nice to have another view, thank goodness.

            • Anker

              I have no interest in trying to stop someone over 25 changing gender. That is absolutely their choice.

              There are currently 25,000 young de-transitioners on reddit who have had irreversible damage done to their bodies e.g. double masectomies, which they now regret, because as you rightly put out teens do stupid things and rather than the adults they encountered protecting them, they enabled it.

              You say so just legislate it against it. "We do that for smoking "etc. Good luck with that. Be prepared to be called a transphobe if you question affirmation and medical transition of very young children.

              The reality is that the affirmative care model which is pushed by some Rainbow groups deems that if a young teen presents as trans then you have to affirm and confirm their gender identity and then assist them to medically transition. This is what the controversy was over including gender identity in the Conversion Practices Bill was about.

              • lprent

                That is more useful.

                However, have you ever looked at the regret syndromes for tattoos, various coming of age rituals over multiple cultures.

                There are currently 25,000 young de-transitioners on reddit..

                That is an assertion. Where is the supporting evidence with the methodology to support that number. Just to give you an idea, I could probably generate a few thousand 'people' on reddit for any cause purely with a phrase book

                The reality is that the affirmative care model which is pushed by some Rainbow groups deems…

                Which is exactly what legislation is put in to control all of the time.

                • Anker

                  I completely agree with you comments about regret. Tattoos, all sorts of coming of age rituals. Our brains aren't fully developed till we are 25 years old and so teens and young adults do all sorts of "crazy" things that result in regret……..And the job of the adults around them is to help steer them away from harm….

                  The thing about the medical transition of teens, is that these treatements are often irreversable. Puberty Blockers, which use to be use to treat sex offenders, block puberty. The evidence is from the Tavistock Clinic in the UK that nearly 100% of kids on puberty blockers then transfer to cross sex hormones ie. oestrogen and testosterone. Then what often follows is surgery i.e. what is politely called top surgery ie a double masectomy and sometimes bottom surgery. It is not unheard of for young women to be given hysterectomies. When you think of how drastic these interventions are and with bottom there is a huge risk of complications, it is not hard to see that many young people may come to regret these interventions that have caused irreversible damage to their healthy bodies.

                  I have references for all of this and will post if requested. One such reference was the case study of a young woman from Christchurch who featured in a Listener article in June 2021. She was given puberty blockers around the age of 14, then cross sex hormones. A double masectomy around 18 and then a hysterectomy not long after this. At 23 years old she started to have regrets. When the journalist met her, she had facial and body hair and an Adams apple and a deep voice (all from the effects of testorone. She had realized after going through all of this that in fact she was a lesbian and didn't have a male identiy at all.

              • lprent

                Incidentally, I just dug into the Crimes Act 1961 and Summary Offences Act 1981 looking at language as an exercise. These are the mainstays of criminal prosecution in NZ and are probably the oldest active legislation

                Essentially the old legal definitions of woman and man have effectively steadily been removed since 1961. Summary Offences doesn't have any as far as I can see.

                The Crimes Act only has Archaeological mostly repealed or replaced artefacts.

                Looking for 'woman' in the un-repealed parts of Crimes Act.

                s27 on Compulsion

                (3) Where a woman who is married or in a civil union commits an offence, the fact that her spouse or civil union partner was present at the commission of the offence does not of itself raise a presumption of compulsion.

                s98 Dealing in slaves

                s178 Infanticide – there is a lot of material in here. Most of it looks pretty old. Essentially seems to to be circumlocutions around questions of insanity.

                And that it is all all. I couldn't locate any other legislation mentioning woman or women. 'Man' is also missing. As is 'boy' or 'girl'

                Essentially where required, male and female are sparingly used. A definition on genitalia (includes constructed or reconstructed), penis. Plus two sections the first is very old, and the second was added 'recently' in 1996

                s194 Assault on a child, or by a male on a female, s204A/B on Female genital mutilation are it.


                If you looked back to 1893 it was markedly different.

                At that point they were just starting to release women out of legal servitude of the husband an male relatives.

                What I'm trying to imply is that legally 'woman' just reminds me of my great grandmothers stories about what it was like when she was growing up.

          • Anker

            100%. Roblogic

    • Temp ORary 14.2

      Ta for that TA.

  14. Binders full of women 15

    Louisa was a double international wasn't she? Netball and rugby. Would have been a great minister of sports. Who got that? Oh the Min of Fin….surely he didn't need to be so grabby. Oh but he loves being a sports fan…counts more than Louisas epic ness as a person and hardworking mp.

    • Belladonna 15.1

      Yeah, but Minister of Sport is a bauble of power – you get to go to the All Bklacks games (which has probably not been so much of an issue over the last 2.5 years).

      Those are reserved for the people who have toed the party line, or who want a nice cherry on top of a difficult portfolio.

      In any case, it would have been a sad waste of Wall's talent and passion to have shuffled her off into a meaningless portfolio like Sport.

  15. Anker 16

    Binders full of women an interesting interview with Louisa on Q and A this morning. Apologies, no link.

    It was made clear to Louisa that she would never be in Cabinet (by Jacinda). Matt McCarten said on the Daily Blog podcast that it was because she was a difficult person. Louisa today said she thought it dated back to her support for David Cunliffe over Grant Robinson during the leadership contest

    • Anne 16.1

      Louisa today said she thought it dated back to her support for David Cunliffe over Grant Robinson during the leadership contest.

      That was nearly 10 years ago although admittedly the fallout continued for a few years afterwards. Louisa Wall strikes me as a very determined woman – which is laudable – but she is intolerant of others who may have had a slightly different point of view. I understand it affected her ability to manage a cohesive electorate team and it is my view that was far more likely the cause of her demise in politics.

      In other words she was a little too much of a maverick. Her new position sounds like it is far better suited to her than parliament.

      • Belladonna 16.1.1

        Any evidence, Anne?

        Because having a candidate parachuted in at late notice, over the expressed wishes of the local electorate team – doesn't sound as though Wall had problems with her electorate team (or they with her).

        And Wall's (in these days) astonishing ability to build cross-party support for legislation doesn't sound as though she is "intolerant of others with a different point of view'".

        She was shafted by the Labour machine (looking at you Claire Szabo) because she wasn't a nice obedient little sheep. Evidence is that she was replaced by a cookie-cutter Labour MP – who so far, at least, hasn't made a single noteworthy statement either inside or outside the house.

        And, it would have had to have been okayed by Ardern – which makes me think less of her.

        • Incognito

          And, it would have had to have been okayed by Ardern – which makes me think less of her.

          Do you have anything to back this up with or are you simply assuming and speculating?

          • Belladonna

            There is zero chance in hell that a party president (from any party) would de-select a sitting MP without at least consulting the party leader. Especially when the party is in government.

            Really, you think that Szabo would have blind-sided Ardern over this?

            • Incognito

              So, you’re assuming Ardern was “consulted”, formally or informally?

              And you’re speculating that Ardern “okayed” it, formally or informally?

              Sounds to me that you’re ascribing a whole lot more to Ardern than you can actually back up with facts.

              Good to know that you have nothing, which is rather ironic given that you asked for “any evidence” in your comment to which I replied.

              • Belladonna

                Still haven't seen the evidence I asked for about a speculation over the local electorate team not wanting Wall.
                If it's OK to speculate one way, it's OK to speculate the other.

                And it isn't just me speculating that Ardern had to have OK'd it – it was fairly widely covered at the time by political commentators.


                Some may be puzzled as to why Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson have not quietly intervened earlier and it is easy to surmise that they could have but were not motivated to do so.

                Rolling a sitting MP is not a usual thing….. Not a routine bit of party business that the party leader doesn't need to be bothered by.

                Do you have any evidence that Ardern protested this disloyalty to one of her team of MPs – either formally or informally?
                Her only comment, that I can find, is that it was a matter for the local electorate committee (which is thoroughly disingenuous when 3 of the 7 come from head office and routinely block vote)

                • Incognito

                  Don’t be a dimwitted fool. Just because someone else hasn’t answered your questions doesn’t mean you can make up BS and not back it up when asked.

                  In case you haven’t noticed, this is not the NZH and behind a fucking paywall, but TS and free. If Audrey Young had written that here on TS I might have questioned her too, especially if she’d just asked for “any evidence” from another commenter.

                  Audrey Young, of all people, speculating in NZH doesn’t let you off the hook speculating here on TS! That would be the logic of a dim-witted fool.

                  And you were saying that you’ve been thinking less of Ardern for the last 2 years because of Audrey Young’s speculations in NZH? It sounds like you’re somewhat biased and cannot think for yourself.

                  When you mention “head office”, do you imply more direct influence and involvement by Ardern, without any support to back it up?

                  Here’s another statement of fact that you may want to back up:

                  (which is thoroughly disingenuous when 3 of the 7 come from head office and routinely block vote)

                  You may know a lot more about the inner workings of the Labour Party, but equally, you may also make up a lot of BS. So, how veracious are your comments here really?

                • Anne

                  "Still haven't seen the evidence I asked for about a speculation over the local electorate team not wanting Wall."

                  From an online Herald article which appeared around 8pm last night which I picked up later that evening:

                  However, former Labour president Mike Williams said Wall was replaced as Labour's Manurewa candidate at the last election because she lost the support of the electorate committee.

                  So, it would seem the understanding I was given at the time was correct.


                  • Belladonna

                    So you believe Mike Williams, I believe Louisa Wall.

                    Don't really think we can take this any further.

                    Both have significant reason to cast events in a light suitable to themselves. Though, having met both, I know who I'd choose to believe.

                    • Anne

                      I think Louisa Wall is showing signs of harbouring a deep grudge against Jacinda Ardern. Whether or no she has grounds for it I am not in a position to know, but I suspect her perception of Ardern – and others – have been distorted by that grudge.

                      Having been part of the inner circles of party politics and later observing events from the periphery, I've seen it happen before. Therefore I base my judgement on my experiences and the instincts developed because of them.

                      I also know Mike Williams and I see no reason for him to cast events in a light suitable to himself. In fact I don't believe he has done so. As far as I know all he has done is confirm what happened. The Manurewa LEC requested the selection of another candidate presumably because they were having difficulty working with Louisa Wall.

        • Anne

          If I want to express an opinion in a mild and conversational way to a fellow long-term commenter I will do so Belledonna. By all means disagree with that 'opinion' but it is time you did so with more circumspection and in a less dogmatic way. Some of what you have said @ 16.1.1 does not meet the criteria of undisputed fact at all. Just somebody else's opinion.

          Oh and btw, for your information it is the Labour Party Council who control electoral matters not the leader. Parliament caucus has representation on that council but by no means do they have the final say.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      How far away from declaring war and a full draft do you think?

      This entire affair is infuriating yet somewhere in my soul I still feel a deep sorrow for all the young men on both sides both brutalised and crushed on the altar of Putin's paranoia.

      • joe90 17.1.1

        Not long. Ukraine expects some sort of outrage to help sell a general conscription.

        An unidentified person reported a bomb threat at the Historical Museum on Red Square in Moscow, a law enforcement source reports:

        • RedLogix

          I have actually visited the exact spot in that photo.

          There is so much to loose.

      • joe90 17.1.2

        Perhaps unlikely to quickly redeploy is a little optimistic. But I live in hope.

        Russian forces are increasingly refusing to reenter combat, and the Kremlin remains unlikely to quickly redeploy effective forces from northeastern Ukraine to operations in Donbas. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that more than 80% of personnel in some unspecified Russian units previously involved in combat operations are refusing to return to the front.[1] Russian commanders are reportedly refusing to release soldiers whose service contracts have expired, forcing them to stay with their units. The Ukrainian GUR (Military Intelligence) claimed to have intercepted a letter from Russian Chief of Missile Troops and Artillery Mikhail Matveevsky to several Russian training centers calling for further censorship of troops undergoing training, and encouraged propaganda highlighting the monetary benefits of serving in the war.[2] Elements of Russia’s 6th Combined Arms Army (CAA), 20th CAA, 1st Guards Tank Army, and coastal troops of the Northern and Baltic Fleets continue efforts to regroup for likely redeployment to eastern Ukraine.[3] The General Staff additionally reported that Russian Western Military District Commander Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlev (the first explicit mention of Zhuravlev since the war began) is planning to remove Major General Ivan Belyavsky from the position of the head of the WMD personnel department due to low recruitment numbers.[4]

        Institute for the Study of War

        • RedLogix

          Consider this. Just a few days ago the EU chief Ursula von der Leyen stated that Ukraine's entry in the EU would be fast tracked in a 'matter of weeks than years'.

          On the surface this is interesting enough, but takes on a new light when you consider this:

          The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is the European Union's (EU) course of action in the fields of defence and crisis management, and a main component of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

          The CSDP involves the deployment of military or civilian missions to preserve peace, prevent conflict and strengthen international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. Military missions are carried out by EU forces established with secondments from the member states' armed forces. The CSDP also entails collective self-defence amongst member states[a] as well as a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in which 25 of the 27 national armed forces pursue structural integration. The CSDP structure — headed by the Union's High Representative (HR/VP), Josep Borrell, and sometimes referred to as the European Defence Union (EDU) in relation to its prospective development as the EU's defence arm

          NATO is not the only player in town.

  16. Poission 19

    Scott Morrison becomes the first Australian PM to finish his full term,as they set the date for elections.

    France goes to the polls today in the first runoff.

    Will Macron become the first president since 2002 if Le Pen wins will her party be able to repay their debt to a Moscow bank.

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    1 week ago
  • $4.9m project completed with marae reopening
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    2 weeks ago

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