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Open mike 10/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 10th, 2020 - 159 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

159 comments on “Open mike 10/05/2020 ”

  1. Former supporters express disgust at National’s antics under Bridges (thread)

  2. Sacha 2

    Huge. Winz have been breaking the law and screwing applicants for decades: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/416266/work-and-income-wrong-on-benefits-and-redundancies-for-decades

    Up until Friday, Work and Income's site continued to say that if a person received a redundancy "your payments from us will start once [it's] finished".

    RNZ has asked Work and Income and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni a number of further questions about how long the practice had been in place; the number of people affected and whether back payments may need to be made.

    A spokeswoman for the minister said Sepuloni had not been aware of the issue but had asked officials for a briefing on Monday. They had advised it was an "operational issue".

    • This has been brewing for a few days. What MSD/WINZ still fails to accept is that it's all "operational" now. The master-of-the-universe generic senior managers no longer have to count beans as their raison d'etre; shift resources and worker-bees in their traditionally miserly (and usually silly way). For some it took a while to get used to. We've seen that with the need for the COVID19 Immigration emergency legislation and border control in the early days of the lockdown.

      But the idea that senior public servants have been breaking the law has never been that much of a big deal when it comes to a stoush – as people like @Anne could attest, the worst that can happen is a Peter Principle type shunt sideways and the temporary shame of having to apologise.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        The problem for citizens is that we have failed to grasp the point that the PTB have decided the country is to be run as a business, eg our local ed institute has become a limited company. We should be demanding business controls and methods on our government employees. Government is trying to have it both ways in following past governmental practices, and principles which they once had. Now if they aren't doing what they are told from above, ie the Government which is now their CEO through the Minister's powers, then they should be dealt to in the normal commercial way. Employees don't turn round to the boss and say this is how we do things so stuff off.

        • Sacha

          Govt is like a company's board of directors, but yes they are allowing behaviour from the agency's CEO and managers that should result in corrective action including termination.

          But first that Minister needs their colleagues to agree this is a problem, which we know they have managed to shun for decades. There are now fresh beneficiaries who already have the habit of voting and lobbying but will their voices outweigh the punitive ones?

        • OnceWasTim

          Well all I know, being someone who's been in and out of the public service over 40 years with increasing 'seniority' is that there's been a marked change in ethos – especially after the 80s reforms. And that's not as someone yearning for 'the good old days'.

          Sure there were always muppets at the helm in SOME places but never to the extent that some departments/ministries/agencies are now the CEO's little feifdoms that shalt not be challenged – either by the media or by a Minister who is expected to carry the can. Even if he/she does go through correct process.

          ADMITEDLY, this is a bit harsh, but as a CEO, paricularly since corporatisation in the 80s, you can be a total sleaze that rubs up against people in a lift; an "I was only joking" racist or misogynist; a "do as I say not as I do – this is my little empire" regardless of any code of conduct; you can leak cabinet papers with the intent of embarrassing your Minister because you don't like his/her politics; manipulate KPIs and all the kaka; you can ignore being chastised by judicial officers even after more than one rebuke – even from some of the most senior and experienced members of the judiciary; you can be parachuted in from offshore to take up the reigns provided you have an impressive business-based C.V. but without any cultural understanding of lil ole NuZull – even when there are suitable local candidates; you can have really high staff turnover and a high number of pending employment court cases without someone asking why; you can even be an old dodderer that goes in and out of losing your marbles that should have been put out to pasture and who doesn't have the good grace to retire.

          I always thought public service reform was one of the first things this government should have tackled – it would have been a lot easier to be kind and transformational. There certainly needs to better oversight.

          The current issue the Ombudsman is having with Corrections should not be happening.
          This WINZ/MSD thing should not have happened for as long as it has.
          The visa queues with immigration should not have been allowed to build up as much as they have for as long as they have without somebody screaming – publicly if necessary.
          Various NZTA debacles with the battles of the egos.
          MPI failures
          The shit that could blow up with Health. Ashley Bloomfield has been pretty spectacular. He's a clinician however and my impression is he's been let down by some of his senior 'team' with the usual careerist aspirations

          Various academics and others have a few good ideas for reform. Chippie himself has obviously thought about it quite a bit.
          Not really sure what's to be done about changing the culture in a lot of cases but I do think the SSC has been a bit too complacent and not pulled up some of these masters of the universe earlier. They probably need to watch employment issues a little more closely and challenge CEO's and senior management when they see high staff turnover or numbers of employment court cases brewing. In fact they probably should have a division that deals with them directly – either that or some independent agency.

          But I rave and have better things to do

      • Gabby 2.1.2

        They're hanging in there hoping for a change of government so they can work with their soulmates again. Meantime they must demonstrate loyalty to their natsy overlords.

        • Sacha

          Labour governments have done nothing about this either. We need to root out neoliberalism from all parties before the problem will be fixed.

        • New view

          Gabby you talk like WINZ acts independently of the Government. They are one and the same. It’s like you believe JA can’t be connected to what they do and how they act. It’s like some people here think WINZ was created by the Nats and Still exists to serve them. If that’s how you think you need to grow up and get real.

          • SPC

            Provided with evidence that WINZ has been operating outside government policy for decades, that is what you have to say?

            The real issue is whether the government has the balls to confront the neo-liberal consensus which will consign government to high levels of debt in and related incapacity – via GFC and now pandemic.

            And this will mean confronting those in MBIE and Treasury who will resist government every step of the way.

    • KJT 2.2

      I can confirm they have been telling people that, and that they have to use up savings, at least here, for decades.

      • ianmac 2.2.1

        Yes KJT. It was decades ago that the process was to use up all redundancy before being allowed to get the dole. Made the redundancy pay a bit pointless.

      • bill 2.2.2

        So back on the early 00s I was hit with that crap (stood down for several months) and remember being doubly pissed off when (this is what I understood at the time and until just yesterday) Benson Pope changed the shit around redundancy and extended stand downs soon after.

        Seems I was wrong on the Benson Pope front – that nothing was changed and that there was nothing to be changed.

        And of course, I'm guessing there is zero avenue for recouping my losses given the time that's lapsed.

        • Chris

          There's a whole range of statutory provisions available to MSD that allow them to fix errors regardless of the time that's passed. Given you went without a payment for several months the decision's clearly wrong, therefore once that mistake has been brought to their attention they have a duty to fix it. Of course most people who try to do this are hit in the first instance with some functionary saying 'the computer says 'out of time' now piss off'. But this is wrong – MSD has a duty to fix its mistakes regardless of how long ago things occurred.

          There is what can be a complex 'out of time' review/appeal process which would potentially get you the result you're after. But I don't think you'd need to use it because, again, from what you've described MSD has clearly stuffed things up, which means they have to sort it out. This is over and above any perceived barriers around the three month timeframe for review applications. They have a duty to fix errors and that's that.

          Further though, this redundancy matter is such a mess across the board that the government could end up inviting people to bring their cases to them to get sorted out, in which case you'll avoid having to go through the laborious process of explaining to the bureaucrats what you're wanting. Under normal circumstances trying to explain they have a duty to fix decisions they agree are wrong is almost inevitably met with the old 'out of time, go away' trick, but if the government invites people in then you'll be spared the enjoyable experience of having to work your way up the food chain until you find someone who understands vaguely what you're saying.

          On the wider issue, it will be very interesting to see how the government responds to RNZ's claims.

  3. Andre 3

    Our Cabinet as they contemplate whether to go to Level 2 …

  4. ScottGN 4

    Trump’s handling of the Covid crisis is starting to cost him support amongst older Americans, a usually reliable demographic who are vital to his re-election chances.


    • So Trump is out of favour with old people, young people, blacks, latinos and women. You can't win an election on the votes of middle-aged white men. He is toast.

      • Andre 4.1.1

        Maybe, maybe not. Those obsessed with taking down Biden by whatever means they can find may yet end up handing a lifeline to Donasaurus Wrecks.

        • adam

          Yeah lets not talk about the sexual assault. Why give a rats ass about the female of the species. Trump is the worst and anyone who does not oppose him is not one of us.

          • McFlock

            Must be my memory failing, but I don't recall much from yourself in 2016 about trump's litany of offending? Weren't you more of a "but her emails" kinda guy back then? Glad to see you got woke /sarc

            • The Al1en

              My take is similar to Bill Maher's – Why Now?

              Not why not then? As there are myriad reasons why victims don't come forward straight away, and alleged victims deserve to have a fair hearing, but why not before the primaries? Why not before the field has narrowed to two?

              • McFlock

                The most obvious answer is because if there was a chance he was going to lose the primary, there's no reason for her to do so as he'd most likely fade into obscurity.

                Now there's a good chance he'll be president.

                Look, some folk will be exploiting this for purely partisan reasons – because they're repugs, or they're pissed their guy didn't get more support in the primaries, whatevs. But it's still good she came forward.

                Not many here had Biden as their first choice even before the allegation, but I don't think a voice from on high (sounding like Obama) is going to tell Biden to withdraw so a better (but slightly less popular with the dems) candidate can parachute into an open convention unopposed. Barring a miracle, come November it's going to be between Biden or the current fool.

                • The Al1en

                  I remember we've agreed in the past that even though Biden wouldn't be in our top three candidates, against Trump, he'd certainly get our votes.

                  Aside from a charge, trial and conviction, that won’t change for me.

                  • McFlock

                    "We" not including the recently-woke, of course 🙂

                  • Andre

                    A charge ain't gonna happen, let alone a trial. In April this year, Reade filed a criminal complaint about the alleged assault, but didn't name Biden as the alleged perpetrator. Let alone that it's past the statute of limitations.

                    In case you missed the last discussion about Reade's credibility, here's a deep dive into things she has said in the past. It's a tangled mess of changing stories about things significant and insignificant.


                    • The Al1en

                      I'm not going to dismiss her claim out of hand knowing she could well be telling the truth, in which case, she's a victim and fully deserves our full support.

                      Having said that, if there's isn't a charge laid and upheld, and seeing as there isn't supporting evidence where the guy admits to grabbing lady parts or walking in on teen beauty pageant contestants in states of undress, it's got to be laid to rest so America can get on with turfing Trump out.

                    • McFlock

                      Unless she's demonstrably inventing allegations for political gain like the project veritas own goal, I don't see any reason to parse and find fault with the complainant's credibility. It'll just end up like the pillorying Blasey-Ford got, and further intimidate all potential complainants against coming forward to out their abusers.

                      And for what?

                      It won't shut up the fools latched onto the accusation like limpets who just want to support their own political agenda.

                      If sexual assault is a vote changer for some voters, dolt45 is still way worse.

                      And no matter how odd her behaviour, that's almost never a valid reason to dismiss accusations of this sort.

                    • bill

                      So pray tell Andre. How can anyone make the claim that "Alexandra Tara Reade's accusations of sexual assault against Joe Biden appear very questionable once the story is fully investigated", when the entire fucking point is that there is no investigation of the allegation at present?

                      Unless the idea of "investigation" is to "witch-hunt" the character of women making allegations of sexual harassment/assault against powerful men and dismiss any of them found wanting? (No need then for any pesky "investigation" of the alleged perpetrator.) 😉

                    • SPC

                      Donald, Julian, Brett and Joe – the allegations made against each and the consistency of commentators here and elsewhere.

                    • Andre

                      It's a long ago she said/he said with no actual evidence, vague enough to preclude any chance of finding evidence. If there's an interest in trying to come to an opinion about what someone likely did or did not do, what is there to go on beyond an assessment of the various parties' credibility? Particular when one of the sides is a long-term politician whose only politically viable position is a blanket denial, which has been duly stated, and is of zero value in shedding light on the situation.

                      Personally I don't think she's currently inventing allegations from the whole cloth right now. I think she likely did suffer uncomfortably creepy experiences in Biden's office that shouldn't have been tolerated, but it's also likely that embellishments of the story happened years ago, shortly after the incident(s) happened.

                      But I do think she's being used by Ryan Grim, Katie Halper and Krystal Ball to try to do some swiftboating.

                    • Macro

                      @ bill

                      The difficulty with the allegation made by Tara Reade is that as opposed to other allegations by other women against prominent men, in this case, there is no real substantive supporting evidence. Yes a couple of her friends have now said that they remember her saying something along the lines of what she alleges, but in the past these same friends have told a different story. The statement by her ex-husband in the divorce papers says that there was some sexual harassment, but does not say by whom, and harassment is different to sexual assault.

                      Laura McGann has been investigating this matter for over a year now after Tara Reade approached her with her story.

                      In April 2019, a woman named Tara Reade reached out to me with a clear, consistent story to tell about her experience as a staffer in Joe Biden’s Senate office in 1993. I spent hours on the phone with her, and many more tracking down possible witnesses and documents, trying to confirm her account. (…)

                      Holding powerful men accountable takes a mountain of evidence

                      Reporters who’ve succeeded in forcing powerful men to be held to account relied on an incredible amount of reporting to do it.

                      For example, Irin Carmon, who, along with Amy Brittain, exposed Charlie Rose for an alleged decades-long pattern of sexual harassment, had pursued the story for years. When their exposé appeared in the Washington Post, it was built on accusations from eight women, three on the record. Carmon and Brittain found consistency across the women’s stories and strong corroboration of each account:

                      There are striking commonalities in the accounts of the women, each of whom described their interactions with Rose in multiple interviews with The Post. For all of the women, reporters interviewed friends, colleagues or family members who said the women had confided in them about aspects of the incidents.

                      Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein fell in 2017 after Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times published the accounts of dozens of women who said Weinstein had assaulted or harassed them over the previous 30 years. Ronan Farrow published another story shortly after in the New Yorker, an account that included 13 accusations of sexual assault, three of them rape. All three reporters have gone on to write books about the incredible lengths they went to in order to get the story.

                      Eight women have now said they’ve been made uncomfortable by Biden in public settings. Reade is the lone woman to accuse him of sexual assault. This is a situation out of her control, but it means that reporters can’t build a story about Biden around a pattern of behavior, where multiple accusers boost one another’s story. Instead, reporters are looking at Reade’s account in isolation — and that account has changed.

                      When we spoke a year ago, Reade told me the only named sources she could give me were her deceased mother and the friend I spoke to. A recently uncovered tape of her mom on Larry King Live appears to corroborate Reade’s claim that she was struggling in Biden’s office in 1993, but does not include an assault allegation. When I reconnected with the friend I spoke to last year, who had previously told me Biden had not assaulted Reade, she told me a version of the story that matched Reade’s latest account. (…)

                      Where this leaves us

                      All of this leaves me where no reporter wants to be: mired in the miasma of uncertainty. I wanted to believe Reade when she first came to me, and I worked hard to find the evidence to make certain others would believe her, too. I couldn’t find it. None of that means Reade is lying, but it leaves us in the limbo of Me Too: a story that may be true but that we can’t prove.


            • bill

              That's dogshit commentary right there McFlock – even by your own very low standards.

              Utterly unimaginable that someone might decry both sexual offending and corruption, yes?

              Probably only possible for someone to either dismiss or diminish sexual offending while promoting corruption, or vice versa – for you. In your world.

              Yup, I guess that must be it.

              Of course, you could always search the archives since your memory is failing and make a comment based on what someone has actually said rather than slinging the same old tired tribal crap. Though in that instance, I guess you'd be left asking how someone managed to walk and chew gum at the same time 🙂

              • McFlock

                The point wasn't about what was said. It's about what does not appear to have been said, while at the same time saying a lot about something else. One can't quote a vacuum. And yes, I did use the search function.

        • Macro

          Speacking of Donasaurus Wrecksus….


          Hello, Peter Ludlow here, CEO of InGen, the company behind the wildly successful dinosaur-themed amusement park, Jurassic Park. As you’re all aware, after an unprecedented storm hit the park, we lost power and the velociraptors escaped their enclosure and killed hundreds of park visitors, prompting a two-month shutdown of the park. Well, I’m pleased to announce that, even though the velociraptors are still on the loose, we will be opening Jurassic Park back up to the public!

          Now, I understand why some people might be skeptical about reopening an amusement park when there are still blindingly fast, 180-pound predators roaming around. But the fact of the matter is, velociraptors are intelligent, shifty creatures that are not going to be contained any time soon, so we might as well just start getting used to them killing a few people every now and then. Some might argue that we should follow the example of other parks that have successfully dealt with velociraptor escapes. But here at Jurassic Park, we’ve never been ones to listen to the recommendations of scientists, or safety experts, or bioethicists, so why would we start now?


      • Sacha 4.1.2

        You can win an election if enough people stay home or are deliberately disenfranchised.

  5. mac1 5

    Meanwhile in Matamata the owner of the pub where its cluster developed is being shown some empathy by the locals. He asks, with reference to the PM's 'self-professed perfectionism' whether this has gone too far. He is reported as asking."But at what cost?" thinking no doubt of the economic consequences.

    I ask at what cost to the prospective but certain contractors of the virus who are protected by our government's measures?

    Matamata had a new case last Thursday. If that case is related to the cluster outbreak, how many iterations of the infection cycle have taken place since around March 17 some 54 days ago? What would have happened in Matamata if that town had had no measures taken over a 54 day period?

    The pub owner is essentially asking at what stage we put profit and income over health and heightened mortality.

    The old people in America, it seems from the comment above by ScottGN, have a distinct preference in that debate.

    [Link trimmed – Incognito]

    • gsays 5.1

      Just in the interests of fairness to the man, I think it is Bungard, a local Sport shop owner that is quoted saying "..at what cost…"

      I heard an interview on RNZ yesty with both men. The bar owner, Henderson, seemed very moved and humbled by events and Bungard sounded like a typical money, money, self important, small-town, bigshot.

      • mac1 5.1.1

        Thanks you, gsays. You are indeed correct and I would alter that statement if I could.

        I guess that's also why we should put references to our sources so that we get 'peer-reviewed' and our errors and omissions pointed out.

      • Jilly Bee 5.1.2

        I read that article which left me pretty angry – as a Matamata resident. I penned a comment to one of our local Facebook community pages, but it was not accepted yesterday, and hasn't been up to now and not likely to be I suspect. My wee rant ran along the lines of if Chris Bungard is so concerned about his financial bottom line, can he stand and eyeball his fellow residents who have become part of the Matamata cluster, which hasn't stopped growing as yet, and those families throughout the country who have lost loved ones after succumbing to Covid19 and tell them that all he is worried about is how the Government is ignoring small businesses like his in their effort to stamp out this insidious virus from our shores. You're right gsays, Mr Bungard certainly comes across as a typical small town bigshot.

        • gsays

          I get your frustration.

          Of course it may have been edited out, but you don't hear these business first folk pay due credit to the fact we are in this position and we are blessed with having options.

          The lack of self awareness in some of these capitalists is stunning.

          Me First and The Gimme Gimmes.

        • Anne

          Yes Jilly Bee this attitude angers and disgusts me too. I especially refer to the journos and their suppporters who are getting their knickers in a twist over a possible loophole in the legislation that might – in technical terms – mean that the lockdown was outside the confines of the legislation. That the rest of the world also went into lockdown soon after NZ did has completely escaped their addled brains.

          The unassailable fact is:

          the government had to act swiftly to save lives and protect the nation from a potential scourge that could have had thousands of us die. There will be plenty of time to amend the legislation retrospectively when the worst of the pandemic is over – legislation that was not of their making anyway.

          As far as I can tell, the government is paying special attention to small businesses and doing everything they can to help them get up and running again. No gratitude from some of them.

    • JanM 5.2

      My sister, who lives locally, informs me that this outbreak started with a man who came back from Ireland and was working in the bar for four days. Can't verify that, of course, but certainly many of the local people believe that is what happened.

    • Tricledrown 5.3

      It's not just old people new covid19 side effects are causing sterility in males children presenting with Kawasaki disease.

      [Please provide a reliable link because your comment sounds like misleading nonsense to me. You seem to have a habit of making assertions without providing a link to back them up. This is the second Moderation request you have to comply with but you seem to ignore them, at your peril – Incognito]

      • Incognito 5.3.1

        See my Moderation note @ 9:52 AM.

      • Tricledrown 5.3.2

        I can't get links working but the article is in today's guardian 73 cases of children who have Kawasaki like disease believed to be caused by covid 19.

        [I assume you mean this article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/09/children-coronavirus-death-kawasaki.

        Two problems, besides not linking (WTF? Do you expect other people to do the legwork for you?): 1) they don’t have Kawasaki disease but something that looks similar; 2) there’s nothing in that article about causing sterility in male children!?

        You stay in Pre-Moderation until you comply with the rules here and I’m yet to be convinced. If it takes too long, I’ll move you to the Blacklist for a while so that it frees up Moderator time – Incognito]

  6. dv 6

    There was an item in tv1 news last night about a device to measure temperature that attached to the inside of your arm. It was connected (i think) via the internet? so health could be remotely monitored. Did I get that right?

    It occurred to me that it could be modified to allow contact tracking for covid?
    Detect other devices and upload the data.?

  7. Reality 7

    I wonder if Simon Bridges takes on board any advice he is given to improve his reputation. It doesn’t seem like it. He could at least be man enough to congratulate New Zealanders for coming through the pandemic as well as we have, when compared to other countries. I don’t get the impression he is interested in people, going back to his comments about his own MP Maureen Pugh and the tone of his scornful “beneficiaries” comment in Parliament some weeks ago.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Sir Geoff reminds us that our western democracy is a privilege-based system inherited from Britain: "It is a long-standing constitutional convention that the substance of the advice from the law officers is not shared outside government in England and New Zealand." https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/10-05-2020/geoffrey-palmer-hallelujah-new-zealand-government-works/

    "Professor J Ll J Edwards, in a respected 1984 work The Attorney General, Politics and the Public Interest, stated there is “an impregnable moat” around the law officers’ opinions. Legal professional privilege applies to the crown."

    Our local Don Quixote, the leader of the opposition, is having a tilt at this antique windmill. "Bah, humbug!" "Why should tradition trump the principle of transparent governance??"

    Good question, but simple Simon hasn't actually thought of articulating it yet. Still, keeping it tacit may not stop folks noticing it…

  9. Morrissey 9

    He would defend me if I and my lawless cronies descended on a boatload of peace protestors and killed, say, nine of them. Actually, he would sit there silently as he did in 2010 and let some South American dictator do all the thinking and talking.

  10. Adrian Thornton 10

    The most important news of recent times..the godfather of rock…the originator of R&B has left planet earth…..I am sure Sun Ra will be there at his new destination ready to welcome him.

    This is a great interview….


  11. Sanctuary 11

    I've been reading the various toy throwing and hissy fits from journalists in the press gallery in recent days and it occurred to me that COVID-19 has at the moment led to a fundamental power shift between the government and the press gallery, and much of their anger and frustration can be sourced in butt hurt egos that have sensed they've been sidelined by Jacinda and excoriated by the public.

    Basically, Jacinda uses social media and the live 1pm press conferences to talk directly to the population without the interpretive filter usually applied by the press gallery. That has made the gallery heavy weights redundant, mere observers and repeaters of the PM’s news of the day.

    At the same time, the general public has had a real time front row seat to how the press gallery behaves – the petty focus on gotchas, the constant repetition of questions on trivial issues, the attempts to manufacture conflict – and has been appalled, and hasn't been slow to let the media hacks know how appalled it is. Journalists are thin skinned at the best of times, and the reaction of the press gallery to this unwelcome collision with the reality of actual public opinion has often been petulant, self-righteous and sulking with not a moment of collective self-reflection.

    • Nicely put and spot-on Sanc.

    • Adrian 11.2

      I think it is more of the fact that snidely attacking the government catches readers eyes rather than repeating government advice.

      It is all about appearing to be relevant for the print media. I noticed, and no doubt quite a few here did too that within a few days of lockdown when it was obvious that the murder rate was going to flatline ( sorry, couldn't help that ) the Herald in particular started reruns of old gruesome murder stories from years ago. The initial introduction of the stories almost read as if they had only happened in the last few days.

      What the fuck was that about ? It was about capturing readership, manipulatley, cynicly, dishonestly and disgusting. Pretty much sums up the Herald and Stuff.

    • peterh 11.3

      And they are to dumb to understand why she gaged her ministers. not very many of us want information about this virus. from here there and every where most just want 1 00pm press conferences

    • JanM 11.4

      Problem is, a lot of them are not very bright (there are exceptions, of course). When I left school in the 60s the bright ones left to go to university and 'the B team' went into job training including journalism.

      Not good – we need the brightest and the best, but how long would they last under the thumbs of media owners? We really need a news dissemination revolt!

      • Anne 11.4.1

        Back in the 1960s – and earlier of course – some of those "brightest and best" never made it to university because their parents couldn't afford to maintain their upkeep. Apart from a handful of much sought after scholarships, there was no available financial assistance and part-time jobs were few and far between. Young women in particular were affected.

        I think some of those bright ones might have gone direct to 'journalism school' because the standard of reporting in those days was ‘par excellence’ compared with most of today's products.

        • Sacha

          Most of the senior journalists were also squeezed into PR over the past few decades, tipping the balance further towards spun tattle.

        • KJT

          Oh yes. But we got "free" University.

          A lot of the "best and brightest" did go into trades and the like, because you got paid from the start.

        • JanM

          Back then there was no 'journalism school' – they learnt on the job – they were called 'cub reporters'

          • Anne

            That's right. I wasn't well up on the "press" front in those days. I guess they were paid too which KJT alluded to above.

            I went to the Auckland Dental School for school dental nurses in Mt. Eden. I started out earning seven pounds a week (or was it a fortnight – can't remember) and by the time we completed our training it had gone up to nine pounds. Nine pounds! I thought I was rich. 🙂

        • Macro

          Some of us were lucky tho Anne. My dad was a factory worker. Completing the upper sixth was sufficient to gain a fees and allowance bursary. Not a great deal but 90% of your fees paid, and small a help for purchase of text books. There were holiday jobs available then at meat works and other places. I did farm labouring to earn around 120 pounds to help tide me over the year, and the next couple of years worked for the local council gardening and mowing the parks and reserves. I also got a plum job as a grave digger! That was around 20 quid for a grave and a days work. One year (in my Stage 3 year) I was able to get all my lectures in the afternoon which allowed me to work in the morning as a cleaner. It was actually my most successful academic year as well.

          We were very fortunate to have the Fees and Allowance Bursary as we were able to finish our studies without the burden of a huge student loan hanging over our heads.

          • Anne

            Fair enough. But it was harder for young women Macro. In fact we were discouraged from having aspirations to go to university although by the end of the 60s decade things started to change. Part time jobs were also harder for us. Meat works, farm labouring and grave digging were not available to young ladies. 😉

            • Patricia 2

              Rather galling to watch brothers go to Uni and then get told that I would probably be married sooner than later so Uni would be a waste. But that was common in those days and we did as we were told.

              • Anne

                Precisely Patricia 2.

                Tell you what though… I don't do what I'm told nowadays. Better late than never. 🙂

      • RosieLee 11.4.2

        Yes. 100%

      • RosieLee 11.4.3

        Absolutely. And the B team are all now working for the NZHerald and Stuff.

    • RedLogix 11.5

      the general public has had a real time front row seat to how the press gallery behaves – the petty focus on gotchas, the constant repetition of questions on trivial issues, the attempts to manufacture conflict

      It's lazy, cheap and demeaning. If NZ learns anything from this it's just how poorly our Press Gallery has been serving us for so long. They have a vital role to perform, but who holds them to account for how well they undertake it?

      The media face not only a business model crisis with Google and FB stealing so much of their content and income, but a direct challenge to their authority with the rise of content creators on multiple platforms taking their eyeballs as well.

      And with voices like Joe Rogan demonstrating how the public does indeed have an appetite for long form material … up to 2 or 3 hours even … it's clear their traditional journalism model is broken as well. They still stand at the gate trying to control the narrative, but the fences either side have growing gaps that people are walking through, bypassing their purpose.

      With the immense flood of information the internet has unleashed on us, even the most capable minds buckle. No individual can make meaning of even a fraction of it directly. As a result we are increasingly drawn to higher level value abstractions, building sense and meaning to bring conceptual order to the chaos.

      Then we watch the Press Gallery in action and it feels like watching children squabble.

      • Sacha 11.5.1

        Worse, it feels like watching schoolkids gossip about a squabble.

        'Then she pulled his hair. Mind you he probably deserved it after what he did last week. And she shared some of her lipgloss at playtime yesterday so I can't hold it against her. Did you hear what his friends said on TakTok afterwards?' Gag me with a spoon.

        • RedLogix

          Yup … that's it. laugh

          Or as I heard a project manager memorably say after a particularly dire morning meeting "pass me a ballpoint, I need to gouge my eyes out".

      • Patricia 2 11.5.2

        What intrigues me is the complete lack of comprehension. One asks a question and has it answered then the next question is almost the same and Jacinda patiently explains again. I'd like to see their faces and have their names up on the screen so we know not to bother reading their columns.

        • Incognito


        • Anne

          What they're doing is asking the question specifically then getting the answer from Jacinda. Later when the link goes to a news bulletin on their radio or TV station it will appear to be an exclusive question and answer to their station only.

          Pathetic I know but we live in an age where 'image' is everything.

    • Incognito 11.6

      The Media industry is in deep shit and many jobs are on the line, which is aggravated and expedited by pandemic lockdown. My ego would (be) hurt too if I were to lose my job.

      • Sacha 11.6.1

        Yes, like many other people they are acting out their stress and fear – just more in public than most of us.

    • AB 11.7

      True that – Tracy Watkins explicitly says so in a piece today that is awash in aggrieved self-importance, "the backlash to any criticism of Jacinda Ardern or her Government in the current environment is a constant weight on the media's shoulders". What has actually happened is that the conventional journalism of the recent past is spectacularly unsuited to the present moment. People can see that manufactured 'gotchas', and the constant proprietor-driven sniping at the left, might actually constitute a danger to public health.

      • I Feel Love 11.7.1

        They didn't give a toss during the Key years, they are thin skinned indeed.

      • RedBaronCV 11.7.2

        Oh dear – sounds a lot like "poor little me" is the story today. There is also a lack of self awareness in thinking that this type of story will improve their reputation – nah.

        It's the blindness . I don't for one moment condone personal attacks on journalists but the quality of their work?!

        I expect questions that

        -expand our state of knowledge or get information released that otherwise may have been overlooked ( & here the journalist that focuses on PI & Maori issues has been pretty much on target- I'm interested in how the East cape testing went – did the road blocks contribute to this positive situation?)

        -test the boundaries of the government response and control. Where are the questions around who is controling and paying for the outsourced part of the health system response – the for profit sector of aged care and other vulnerable clients? Where has the questioning of the likes of Ryman health care taken place?

        -has an individual bad experience been backed up by systematic research and then a question in the press conference?

        Perhaps part of their problem is lack of criticism of the Key government even when it was deserved? So they don't know how to respond.

        Anyway perhaps we should continue to televise all these press conferences – and it would be very handy if we could text a few questions of our own perhaps.

      • aj 11.7.3

        Common with many media articles, Watkins was totally lacking in self-awareness

      • Grantoc 11.7.4


        What has actually happened is that the government has implemented an extremely effective communications campaign. One of the planned outcomes of this has been to deliberately sideline journalists and to undermine their credibility.

        A key element of the strategy is to control the message and ensure that every body stays on message. This includes cabinet ministers. With this kind of comms strategy you don't want any one or anything to disrupt the key messages. Journalists have a habit of doing this.

        In my opinion its absolutely imperative that the media, the political classes and the public do ask hard and difficult questions of the government at this time. We should support them in so doing instead of cynically undermining them.

        Jacinda, if she reads the Standard, is probably doing so with a smile on her face saying to herself – 'job done' – given the sycophantic reactions of many of those blogging here.

        • KJT

          What really happened is that we have been informed accurately and in detail, by the Government, and Ashley Blomfield, what their thoughts are, and the evidence behind them, for an hour each day.

          Then, the media have squeezed it through a filter of spin and bullshit, they mostly made up.

          The fact we have now seen it in real time, rather than simply getting the medias interpretation, shows up graphically how incompetent, and stupid, our media reporters really are.

          And valid and helpful to the situation, criticism, and questions, has been buried amongst the tide of media, “personality” self aggrandisement.

        • observer

          You've accurately described what governments (plural) do.

          If a PM can win 3 elections by boycotting interviews on Morning Report and going on Bloke FM to talk rugby instead, why not follow the winner's playbook to win some more?

          But Jacinda has a very long way to go. Let's start worrying when …

          she attacks the media as "knuckleheads" and demands questions be submitted in advance.

          • KJT

            Must be very tempting, after being asked the same inane question, you've already patiently answered at length, for the fourth time in 20 minutes.

        • Incognito

          That’s a reasonable set of propositions.

          Despite to tight control of communications in daily live press releases with Q & A time straight afterwards, daily updates on the MoH website, and updates & corrections on other Government websites (e.g. WINZ) with clarifications from the minister of Finance when/where necessary, there was still enough confusion around. The country was in a State of Emergency and dealing with a rapidly evolving and developing situation that was unprecedented.

          This was not the time for the press to start digging and poking holes but to be constructive in their questioning, criticism, and help to get the message out as fast and as clear as they could. By and large, the press did an excellent job.

          Indeed, the press has a job to do but they’re walking a fine line between holding the Government to account and risking confusing and alienating the public from staying the course for a little(?) bit longer and undermining the public trust that is required for this – we are still in Level 3. The press has another responsibility, which is to keep the business afloat. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to revert to gotcha tactics or shock-jock antics, IMO.

          I won’t even mention the Opposition and the fact that the Election is in just over four months.

          • McFlock

            ISTR strong and consistent comms was a key part of the pandemic plan.

            • Incognito

              Strong and consistent comms is part of good governance but in a life-or-death situation it is vital.

              Are you referring to a specific section in the Pandemic Plan? There is quite a lot in it about communication, as you can imagine, but I don’t know what you have in mind.

              • McFlock

                Damn, now I had to reread it lol

                Appendix A (p153) is the main bit

              • Poission

                In the absence of pharmaceutical intervention,effective communication is a powerful tool for pandemic constraint.

                EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR health risk communication are essential for protecting public health in the event of pandemic influenza.Reducing negative consequences relies heavily on gaining cooperation from diverse countrywide entities.Communications must successfully instruct,inform, and motivate appropriate self-protective behavior; up date risk information; build trust in officials; and dispel rumors.


                Wash,rinse repeat.

                • Incognito


                  On page 103 of the Pandemic Plan:

                  Public Information Management Strategy

                  Overarching principles

                  Public information management is part of an integrated strategy to provide leadership for the public, the health and disability sector and other sectors during a pandemic and complement the Ministry of Health and wider sector pandemic response.

                  The Public Information Management Strategy allows the Ministry of Health to explain what it is doing and to advise the public as the pandemic progresses. It is designed to avoid confusion and maintain accuracy, clarity and consistency of message. The overarching principles of the strategy are to:

                  • build trust
                  • announce early
                  • be transparent
                  • respect public concerns
                  • plan in advance.

                  This strategy recognises that information is essential to the effective management of a pandemic response, and that in a pandemic one of the most critical roles of the Ministry of Health will be to provide leadership and coordination in communications.

        • RedBaronCV

          The main point is that we don't see any hard & difficult questions being asked in these press conferences. Journalists are undermining their own credibility without any help from us. Stories and posts moaning that we don't "understand" just fuel the narrative "sigh".

          I can answer most of the questions from what we have been told previously.

        • Gabby

          So long as journalists aren't disrupting by distorting or selecting, they can leave that to Slick Bodges.

    • xanthe 11.8

      I totally agree Sanc. I really do hope the media realise what they are here for and sort themselves out before they are deceased! but either way would be an improvement now.

    • patricia 11.9

      Sanctuary @ 11 + 100 Couldn't agree more.

  12. Dennis Frank 13

    People forget how rock'n'roll was horrifying to mainstreamers back in the fifties – exemplified by the instruction to the cameraman on the Ed Sullivan Show to frame Elvis from the waist up. Seeing his gyrating crotch on national tv would have an unfortunate effect on girls. Not allowed!

    Little Richard was even more of a dynamo & pioneer than Elvis, leader of the cross-over from black music into the bi-racial mix (mid-1950s). Dylan on the dynamo: "Bob Dylan, who dreamed of joining Little Richard’s band as a young musician in Minnesota, penned a short tribute to the rock pioneer following his death Saturday at the age of 87." https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/bob-dylan-little-richard-tribute-996935/

    “I just heard the news about Little Richard and I’m so grieved,” Dylan wrote. “He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do.”

    Dylan continued, “I played some shows with him in Europe in the early nineties and got to hang out in his dressing room a lot. He was always generous, kind and humble. And still dynamite as a performer and a musician and you could still learn plenty from him. In his presence he was always the same Little Richard that I first heard and was awed by growing up and I always was the same little boy."

    • Anne 13.1

      … instruction to the cameraman on the Ed Sullivan Show to frame Elvis from the waist up. Seeing his gyrating crotch on national tv would have an unfortunate effect on girls. Not allowed!

      I remember those waist-up frames. Fortunately I was never a great fan of Elvis Presley so I doubt his "gyrating crotch" would have had much affect on me.laugh

    • ianmac 14.1

      And the boys had no one to tell them to be kind to each other, stay safe or stay in their bubble, even if they did try to escape their rocky bubble. Thanks KJT.

    • francesca 14.2

      I thought that was a wonderful story

      In that same decade a group of Tongans heading for NZ ran aground on Minerva Reef, way out on the ocean and daily covered by water .The reason they survived was a Japanese hulk had also stranded and remained years before.They were able to perch on that during the hours the reef was submerged and salvaged wood to make a perfectly decent boat.During the few hours when the reef wasnt under water they gathered food .They lived like this for 14 weeks

      They also prayed and sang, and acted as a cohesive unit until 3 of them set off in the boat they'd made, got to a populated island, and sent back help.

      The Minerva Reef has an interesting past and is currently disputed by Tonga and Fiji

      "Minerva Reefs were claimed by Tonga in 1972 after the shadowy US Phoenix Foundation shipped in dirt and declared it a republic.

      The late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV loaded a ferry with soldiers, a convict work detail and a four-piece brass band and sailed the 500 kilometres to personally haul down the "Republic of Minerva" flag.

      As he raised his own banner, he declared it a Tongan island."

      "The reefs have taken on more significance as their possession gives rights to lucrative undersea minerals. South Korean, Chinese and Australian interests are seeking prospecting rights in the area.

      Fiji's Foreign Affairs deputy permanent secretary Sila Balawa said last year it objected to Tonga building structures on Fiji territory.

      In November 2009 the Fiji patrol boats arrived in the lagoon and chased yachts away."

      Our very own South China Sea!

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        Minerva Reef is an amazing spot, often used as a mid-ocean refuge for yachts timing the weather windows to and from New Zealand. It's one of the more difficult passages many sailors face and more than a few have been very grateful to have a few days respite inside it's relatively calm lagoon.

        • Koff

          Have been into Minerva twice, between Tonga and NZ, once heading South and again heading North, both to shelter fom crappy weather before heading on. It's certainly an amazing place as all you see around you is sea. A bit uncanny if there are huge swells breaking on the reef that protects the lagoon. There is a light beacon and a tiny sliver of sand that uncovers at low tide.

        • galaxie

          Been there myself. Awesome refuge, awash at high water, so not completely safe in a real blow. More Tiger sharks than the National party caucus.

          • Koff

            There are two separate reefs, 40 km apart. South Minerva is the largest, but more awash at high tide and not so secure. North Minerva is the preferred choice in very bad weather. It has all round protection and good holding. When either the Fiji or Tongan Navy are down there knocking down each others' flags or sructures, they sometimes kick everyone out or just come round for a friendly visit. I think most young Pacific Island kids brought up at least for a time in their village would easily cope with isolation together on a remote island (the story KJY referred to above) or stranded out at sea on a small boat. Life in most villages, even today, tends to emphasise cooperation and sharing.

      • KJT 14.2.2

        We had a look at Middleton, in daylight, years ago.

        Only a few miles off the normal track.

        A collection of vessels, there, that found it the hard way.

        It is significant that the characterisation of people as solely self interested, pervades so much economic thought, when even the most capitalist firm, depends on co-operation.

        A CEO in the USA ran one of their largest firms into the ground, trying to run it on competitive, Randian principles.

        • McFlock

          Minerva or middleton reef? ISTR an ancestor of mine drove a ship onto the latter.

          • Koff

            The Minerva Reefs are 350 km SW of Tongatapu, the southern most inhabited island of Tonga. Middleton Reef lies well off the East Australian coast. Elizabeth Reef is another reef close to Middleton with a lagoon you can get into in good weather. Ata, where the lads in the Guardian article were shipwrecked, is north of the Minervas and currently uninhabited again,. It had a resort on it for a few years before it blew down in a cyclone.

          • KJT

            Actually we had a look at both, looking at my diaries. On different ships and occasions. Minerva in this case.

            About 40 odd years ago. Hence the transposition. 🙄👴

      • Anne 14.2.3

        The late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV loaded a ferry with soldiers, a convict work detail and a four-piece brass band and sailed the 500 kilometres to personally haul down the "Republic of Minerva" flag.

        As he raised his own banner, he declared it a Tongan island."

        In 1940, under the reign of Queen Salote , my father was dispatched to Nukualofa, Tonga to train the first Tongan soldiers and he also oversaw the building of the first Tongan prison. After the grand opening ceremony he returned the next morning to find Tongan families had moved into the prison because it was better than their own accommodation. He shooed them out with a warning they would be incarcerated if they returned. (well, I doubt he used the word incarcerated but the intent of the warning was clear.)

        I learnt years later that he had been highly respected by the people of the tiny nation and he apparently got along very well with Queen Salote who, some may recall, was hugely popular at Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953.

        • francesca

          Lovely story Anne

          • Anne

            It is. Thanks.

            But it wasn't all lovely. My father had to split up several Japanese families who had lived on the main island for years. They were well regarded by the Tongans. The fathers were sent to Somes Is., Wellington. The families were also removed but I don't know what happened to them. I don't think that was something my father relished one little bit but he had to follow orders.

    • RedLogix 14.3

      Good story KJT. There are of course plenty of similar events that had much different endings, and it's useful to consider why sometimes these stories are dark and violent, and other times like this one, they're uplifting. Everything depends on morale:

      The kids agreed to work in teams of two, drawing up a strict roster for garden, kitchen and guard duty. Sometimes they quarrelled, but whenever that happened they solved it by imposing a time-out. Their days began and ended with song and prayer. Kolo fashioned a makeshift guitar from a piece of driftwood, half a coconut shell and six steel wires salvaged from their wrecked boat – an instrument Peter has kept all these years – and played it to help lift their spirits.

      • KJT 14.3.1

        Survival, depends on attitude, and co-operation.

        Which was why Outward Bound was founded. After middle aged women, were found to be better at surviving, than fit young men.

        Moral plays a big part. The reason fishing tackle is still part of a liferaft, fitout.

  13. Macro 15

    How to grief by Sarah Cooper:

  14. Herodotus 16

    Minister front up to give "Good News", But is it ? as we are told increased transportation costs and decline of the NZ$ – We are spending more BUT we could be purchasing less especially as the increase funding is ONLY $10m next year.

    Since 2017 the NZ$ was purchasing $0.72 US now its $0.60.


  15. Fireblade 17


  16. Herodotus 18

    Anyone could have put an argument that we entered into levels 2,3, & 4 a week or 2 too early, just right or we were a bit slow to react. From taking a walk around my neighbourhood and local walkway/beach and noticing many bubbles merge on such a fine Sunday – One thing that will be hard to argue, is that NZ has "voted" by our actions that the time to progress down to level 2 has arrived.


    • observer 18.1

      I'm sure it won't happen, but I'd kinda like to see Jacinda/Ashley announce that there's a reward for most regions, who can move to level 2 ASAP … but (stern face) Auckland and Wellington are letting down the rest, so you get an extra week's detention. To continue until you behave!

      Tamaki Drive isn't New Zealand, it's just the most accessible for the TV cameras.

      • Herodotus 18.1.1

        There is also a reverse argument, that many regions don't have the same saturated coverage and much goes unseen/unreported 😉

      • Sacha 18.1.2

        Tamaki Drive isn't even Auckland. But yes, the big cities deserve some consequences (other than death and illness).

    • Chris T 18.2

      If standing 2 meters apart in a massive line for Countdown and to then handle open piles of veggies who knows who has already done indoors once you get in, is ok, I am not sure how a few groups of people on an open beach is any different.

      Probably safer.

  17. observer 19

    This is a useful thread on the so-called Friday "dump":


    Instead of jerking knees, a discussion about what officials should do, and the practical issues of releasing information. e.g. why is witholding info until Sat or Mon or whenever better than releasing it?

    • Incognito 19.1

      Heh! He missed the most pragmatic option: make hardcopies of everything, stuff it in a winebox, throw it in a waste container, and tip off Tova.

  18. greywarshark 21

    Greece, Lesbos – far right attacks by violent thugs from many countries.


    …As part of the reporting that I do on migration and refugees in Greece, I have been to Lesbos many times, particularly in the past couple of years. I have always felt safe on the narrow, cobbled streets of Mytilene but that night, concerned that I was being profiled, I ran home, fearful that I was now a target.

    The same streets where I had once felt at ease were swiftly becoming the stage for Europe's culture wars and, within days, there would be neo-Nazis from six countries on Lesbos, who would arrive to show their solidarity with violent vigilantes. The internet would light up with dubious hashtags exhorting people to "defend Europe" or "stand with Greece"….

    …"[Our villages] gave lessons of dignity with our solidarity with the suffering of fellow human beings during the great ordeal of 2015 to 2016," it said. "No act of intolerance, blind fanaticism and violence can tarnish this honourable legacy."

    The far-right activists, who came only for a matter of days in March, used their platforms to mischaracterise and misrepresent local sentiment as largely hostile towards refugees.

    The reality on the ground and the nuanced views of the diverse community who live here, however, is invariably far more complicated and often more empathetic than they would have their audience believe. </i>

  19. Eco Maori 22

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    Greed sell us the state assets then we will fleace the many common people and run them into the ground next minute the state has to bail the assets out while the few sit on piles of cash.

    Yes there must be a cautious approach to level 2.

    Some People are already acting like 5 year olds.

    Ka kite Ano.

  20. Eco Maori 23

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    YEA we go down to level 2 restrictions on Thursday.

    Looks like local tourist are going to take a holiday good for business.

    Ka kite Ano.

  21. Eco Maori 24

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Groups of 10 is OK just for another 2 weeks some want level 3 to carry on for another 2 weeks.?

    That's awesome Maori have to preserve and protect our intellectual property rights great topic I don't do Facebook.

    That's is cool the fish's shop delivering fish and chips to Kaumatua.

    Ka kite Ano

  22. Eco Maori 25

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    The Koala bear looks like a happy bear after going through that trauma cool.

    Takes a bit for the information to sink in A.

    I could see that 3 of the biggest cluster are from boozey gathering go figure.

    I think it's more about protecting the most vulnerable to the virus the elderly.

    Cool the majority of people want to work from home.

    Ka kite Ano

  23. Eco Maori 26

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Cool all the extra funding for health care.

    That's not on mall owners bulling their tenants during this virus crisis. PROBABLY foreign owners.

    International nurses day thanks for your mahi.

    Ka kite Ano.

  24. Eco Maori 27

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    That's the way use zoom to help hold church services you can get the young to help with that.

    As someone said adapt to the challenges or you know what.

    Ka pai Ngāti Ranana using the Internet to keep their Kapa going strong.

    Ka kite Ano

  25. Eco Maori 28

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    Times are changing.

    I hope the he new police powers are only temporary.

    There you go this virus needs to be treated seriously.

    Be thankful that our government has minimise the virus impact on Aotearoa.

    So long as the mahi is achieved working from home will be positive.

    Ka kite Ano.

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