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Open mike 10/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 10th, 2021 - 158 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

158 comments on “Open mike 10/05/2021 ”

  1. Jester 1

    They need to sort this quickly. Front line workers shouldn't be penalised for getting vaccinated.

    Covid-19 coronavirus: Many port workers missing out on vaccine, union boss says – NZ Herald

  2. The rise of the ghost development.

    Have there been infil houses built in your street?

    Are they still standing empty months aftter construction?

    Micky Savage penned a post on the 30,000 empty houses in Auckland, (Now 40,000)

    The Labour Government echoing the cries of the National opposition bought into the myth of not enough houses, the result was a building frenzy and now many of these newly built houses are standing empty, just waiting to be bulldozed.

    We should have had an empty homes tax like they have in Vancouver.

    Now it's too late.

    Bring in an empty homes tax now and the banks and receivers will be even quicker to call in the bulldozers to avoiid paying it

    • Treetop 2.1

      An empty homes tax would be a good idea and it could be scaled.

      It is never too late to rebalance the housing market or for the government to go back to the old state housing model (government control and funding) with modification where needed.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        NZ never has had the State provide the majority of rental accommodation even at the height of State housing building post WWII.

        • Treetop 2.1.1.1

          with modification where needed.

          State housing needs to become competitive with home investors.

    • Peter 2.2

      The way the numbers are written here casually suggests there are 40,000 empty newly built houses in Auckland standing empty, just waiting to be bulldozed.

      Is that so?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Infill housing… standing empty. Yes.

      Ive noticed that too. The ones Ive seen arent completely finished yet. Ive assumed its because they are rising in value so fast , why sell them now

    • Muttonbird 3.1

      Almost zero useful information in there.

    • Treetop 3.2

      Is the rent that a landlord gets considered as income?

      If so a new tax could be implemented on a rent increase. Zero or minimal tax for a minimal rent rise and hefty for a hefty rent rise.

      • mikesh 3.2.1

        I am inclined to think that the rental income should be tax free, but replaced by a property tax based on the value of the value of the property.

        • Treetop 3.2.1.1

          The most political taboo sentence in NZ which is causing the most harm, is no new taxes on property.

          Put another way the government are prepared to fund the social problems caused by the high rents and homelessness (and everything ugly as in between) but not to do what is needed. Tax to stop the gluttony of home investors.

      • Peter chch 3.2.2

        Treetop, One of the great things about the NZ tax system is its simplicity. What you are proposing would be a chartered accountants wet dream.

        Differential tax rates just encourages tax avoidance and creates yet another layer of unproductive government workers to arbitrarily administer it.

        Must be a better way.

        • Treetop 3.2.2.1

          I knew a comment would be made about how impractical a tax on a rent rise would be.

          I think it would be effective when it came to an improportional rent rise. The average home is now worth $900,000. Never enough for the landlords who have wealth in mortar. The line needs to be redrawn, some renters are suffering financially and emotionally and the homeless are the worst off. Extensive social and personal problems are being experienced by those who struggle.

          When it comes to Work and Income the abatements for earnings above the allowed extra income there is a system to manage that. A system can be designed at IRD for rent increases.

          “Must be a better way.”

          Separate way of doing rental income???

          • Peter chch 3.2.2.1.1

            Treetop, personally I think a meaningful Capital Gains Tax and one that is enforced.

            Kill the speculators after capital gains and that will pressure rents downwards.

            • Treetop 3.2.2.1.1.1

              Capital Gains Tax is a politically taboo word.

              Homelessness is not a politically taboo word.

              It is necessary to do what you say, but the government will cut their nose off to spite their face.

              • greywarshark

                I think that was a wise comment Treetops. I like some of the other ideas, but not to bring in something that doesn't stop rents from rising merely because the value of the property is rising because of housing inflation – that's through the roof!

                Perhaps there should be an allowance for landlords to put rents up annually at the rate of the CPI and also if there was a rise in bank interest. Anything higher than that would have to be justified by producing documents showing remedial work done on the place, plus a physical inspection by a tax inspector – they miss nothing!

                • Treetop

                  What has driven housing inflation to go through the roof?

                  Yes some sort of index needs to be used for a rent rise.

              • mikesh

                “Capital Gains Tax is a politically taboo word.”

                A capital gains tax would also be pretty ineffectual. What is needed is a tax that is collected on a regular basis – annually, half-yearly, or suchlike – not one that is collected only after the house is sold.

                To have any effect a tax would need to impact on a landlord's regular outgoings.

                • Mike, I understand your logic, but many landlords really are struggling from a revenue point of view, particularly as they have increasingly been loaded with additional expenses (insulation, heat pumps etc), and the phased removal of interest deductibility. Their entire investment model was based on capital gains.

                  Add on an additional tax, and almost certainly many will exit the market. Yes, that may be good for house prices, but I suspect the number of rentals available would dramatically drop, and consequently and ironically rents would increase.

                  This problem (rentals for tax free capital gain) was many years in the making. CBT is not a quick fix but would stop the speculators without harming the landlords in the here and now.

                  • mikesh

                    Mike, I understand your logic, but many landlords really are struggling from a revenue point of view,

                    Many landlords seem to have made some poor business decisions. It's about time we put them out of their misery. The alternative, CGT or Brightline Tax notwithstanding, will allow the present situation to continue indefinitely.

                • Treetop

                  A property investors tax which treats the profit as secondary income.

                  Home investors have caused too much economic impact on the housing market, they have become like the banks in the US who caused the 2008 recession. The banks are also part of the problem financing those with collateral in the housing investment market.

                  • mikesh

                    A property investors tax which treats the profit as secondary income.

                    I would leave rental income untaxed, and replace it with a property tax of some sort. Of course, with rental income untaxed, expenses would not be deductible.

                • Jimmy

                  Like "Rates"? Or charged with the rates.

                  • Treetop

                    Yes or a CGT each year.

                    I do realise that the recent brightline test extention and the gradual loss of tax relief on interest for a housing loan will help. Whether or not this will be enough to rebalance the housing market will take time to be seen. I'd go full hog and just do what is needed immediately.

          • Treetop 3.2.2.1.2

            unproportional not improportional.

            • Forget now 3.2.2.1.2.1

              Disproportionate.

              eg; There is a disproportionate amount of housing left vacant by landbanking profiteers considering NZ is swamped with both; primarily, and secondarily, homeless people. While maintenance & repairs may be safer & easier without occupying tenants, there has to be a limit. An empty building is not a residence, and should not be protected as such.

              • Treetop

                I have burst out laughing when I saw disproportionate as I was none the wiser until your comment.

                An empty building is not a residence, and should not be protected as such.

                I think I recall insurance providers needing to be told about homes being vacant after a time period.

                • Forget now

                  Actually, Treetop; I mistook this thread for 2.2… rather than 3.2… so my comment was a bit out of place, being more about empty houses than rent control. Though they are but different aspects of the same issue. That stuff article didn't seem to be the NZI one that Swarbrick referred to (in link below), but Jimmy seemed to be saying that there's been a bit of a flurry recently.

                  This passage stood out to me:

                  In a market like ours, renters are price-takers. There’s no bargaining power, and a sense of impermanence that itself creates constant upward wrenching of rents as landlords welcome new tenants at an increased price.

                  When you can’t put down roots, there’s no sense of belonging nor ownership and no incentive to invest in what could be your community. Kids move schools with each new neighbourhood. You can’t plan for a future you’re not afforded.

                  https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/may/09/everyone-deserves-a-decent-secure-life-its-time-new-zealand-talked-about-rent-controls

                  • Treetop

                    I hope Peter @ 2.2 gets back to you!

                    Housing security is a basic human need so a person can flourish.

  3. Muttonbird 4

    Ultra-conservatives kill 70 schoolgirls in Afghanistan:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/my-sister-had-so-many-dreams-kabul-blasts-kill-nearly-70-schoolgirls/GO7JJSXSSCJMZTXVFYXJA3U6VI/

    The political right and their extreme hardline factions all over the world are responsible for the very worst atrocities we see today.

    • Treetop 4.1

      Afghanistan was always going to be another Vietnam. Senseless killing and fear until forced compliance and control is in the hands of those who commit the carnage.

    • I Feel Love 4.2

      Utterly heartbreaking.

    • Peter chch 4.3

      Sadly most Islamic dominant countries are Conservative or, as you say, 'ultra Conservative'. The problem in these countries is religion, the more conservative the religion, the more 'right ' it tends to be.

      • Peter chch 4.3.1

        Even in NZ, try visiting a Mosque. You will be made very welcome, but sadly the males and females are directed to separate rooms for prayer.

        • bwaghorn 4.3.1.1

          It's really weird that we allow that in nz! Try set up any male only section in a pub ,club or golf course and there would be an uproar, but chuck a bit of religion in and it's all good.

          • I Feel Love 4.3.1.1.1

            Try to set up boys or girls only schools in NZ … Oh, we do have single sex schools here … Sheesh.

      • RedLogix 4.3.2

        From a geo-political perspective the land-locked, highly mountainous and fractured landscape ensured that Afghanistan was always going to be a relatively poor, tribal, fractured and conservative society. The elements of this play out everywhere.

        That this geography is overlaid by an extremely conservative version of Islam is partly an accident of history, and partly a consequence of a religion that still struggles to separate state and mosque.

        That the nation also lies at a strategic node in Asia, meaning it has been repeatedly invaded by everyone with an army for millenia, contributes to a highly insular political outlook.

        Add all these things together and this horror bombing is merely another blood drenched paragraph in a massive volume of endless tragedy. And it seems no-one knows how to write an ending to it. Leave Afghanistan alone and they scribble more crazed prose like this; invade to impose modernity and they rebel with equal ferocity.

        I'm not sure that it's at all useful to try and attribute 'blame' to a Gordian Knot like this – the roots of it are entangled deep in geography, history and ill-fortune. The scum who committed this bombing are of course absolutely culpable, but beyond this?

        • greywarshark 4.3.2.1

          RL is so right about the invasions. They go back to Persian Conquests – Median c. 678 BC–c. 549 BC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medes

          While relatively little detail is known, parts of the region of nowadays Afghanistan came under rule of the Median kingdom for a short time.

          Afghanistan partially fell to the Achaemenid Empire after it was conquered by Darius I of Persia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasions_of_Afghanistan#Purpose

          Help Afghanistanis by buying a war rug! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_rugs

        • Adrian Thornton 4.3.2.2

          @RedLogix, " Leave Afghanistan alone and they scribble more crazed prose like this; invade to impose modernity and they rebel with equal ferocity. "

          Seriously….did you mean that to sound as racist as it is?

          I know you are an imperialist at heart, but you usually hide it's racist root ideology a bit better than that.

          • Peter chch 4.3.2.2.1

            Adrian, RL's post is no way racist. He explained very clearly why they are like they are today, a point further expanded upon by Grey.

            The only bit RL missed is that the city dwellers in Afghanistan are very different, and want modernity, but the tribal areas are as RL said.

            And as for racism, I had a Afghan taxi driver a few months back. I have never heard such unadulterated racist bigoted hate. Cuts both ways.

            • Muttonbird 4.3.2.2.1.1

              It reads like, 'we, the powerful and just' can either "leave Afghanistan alone", or "invade to impose modernity".

              Adrian has a point, but I suspect it's simply arrogance and clumsiness from RL, rather than deep-seated racism.

              • Adrian Thornton

                " I suspect it's simply arrogance and clumsiness from RL, rather than deep-seated racism."…I know it is a serious thing to call someone out as a racist, but RL has a serious habit of describing the people living in third world countries in the way he did right there, like an old school imperialist (he is like listening to BBC archives sometimes)…personally I think he might be way too enamoured with his sacred 'geopolitical' world view, which is very problematic IMO.

            • greywarshark 4.3.2.2.1.2

              Peter chch I think that's a unique point – that the city dwellers and the tribal areas are coming from different places.

              That has happened in India too and probably at the base of the terrible street crime which I think was of a group of men raping and then killing a young female student in a miniskirt (because she was improperly clothed in their beliefs?), and they attacked her male companion also.

              • Grey, TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) wrote a great book 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' about his time in the Middle East in WW1.

                Different area, but his insights I think are applicable to Afghanistan today in many ways. The desert Arabs were ultra conservative. The city Arabs largely embraced the Turkish and Western ways. The hill Arabs were altogether different again, as were coastal Arabs. Then you have religion (not all are Muslim by any means). Different sects within the religions. Differing tribal groups with differing culture. Bit of a tangle.

                I well remember a book written by Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, a senior Taliban and Ambassador to Pakistan. Commenting on the destruction of the Buddhas in Bamiyan, he said (paraphrased) 'they might be Taliban, but not all Taliban have the same views. We could not stop them even though we tried'. Complex area for sure!

    • Adrian Thornton 4.4

      " The political right and their extreme hardline factions all over the world are responsible for the very worst atrocities we see today."

      I think you left out the most important one…the extreme centre and their hardline fractions who are also all over the world causing untold misery and death…which only plays right into the hands of all the religious and political right extremists the world over, creating a cynical symbiotic loop that often benefits them both.

      • Peter chch 4.4.1

        Yes but not just 'right'.

        The USSR in Afghanistan engaged in total war from 1979 To mid 80s. 3 million refugees fled to Pakistan, from where the Taliban developed and the medieval theocracy of the next 20 years Spread across the border back to Afghanistan.

        • Adrian Thornton 4.4.1.1

          Well yes and no, yes the Russian invasion was a disaster for the people of Afghanistan, however the US had started arming and supporting the anti communist Islamists for their own reasons well before the '79 invasion and that group armed by the US is the 'medieval theocracy' that you speak of., which is exactly my point, the west (extreme centre) support/arm/enable even the most horrific leaders around the world if it suits their purpose…regardless of down stream negative effects on the population of those countries or their neighbours.

          BTW If the Russians or Iranians had armed the Taliban to the level that the US armed the Mujahideen, the US would have left Afghanistan a long time ago.

        • millsy 4.4.1.2

          The USSR was asked by the communist Afghan government for assistance in fighting internal enemies. In fact, the Russians were very reluctant to get involved at first, to the point that they suggested to president that he may need to water down his policies a little bit.

          • Peter ChCh 4.4.1.2.1

            Thats like saying, quite correctly, the South Vietnamese government asked for the US help. It kind of misses the mark.

    • Serenity 4.5

      I think you will find that this was a religious sectarian event by the Sunnies against the Shias. A religious disagreement rather than a political act against those whom they do not consider true muslims..

      • Muttonbird 4.5.1

        It is still an act by conservative extremists even if in a conservative society.

        It is the conservatism which defines them; religiously, socially, and politically.

        • mac1 4.5.1.1

          Also what defines them is that they act in such a way, believing that differences that exist between people can justify the killing of 70 innocent girls.

  4. Anne 5

    Totally agree with Ardern's perspective on the Public Service pay freeze:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/ardern-says-public-sector-pay-freeze-excludes-the-too-many-low-paid-workers-in-nz/GQQJ5M6JAKZQ2ZOOXZS54LBCGM/

    This over the top reflex action from the PSA and CTU is disingenuous and reeks of greed in an unprecedented economic climate caused by a raging pandemic.

    The Government is extending the pay freeze in a move to reduce debt from the Covid-19 response.

    Ardern said the guidelines to the chief executives in the public sector was just a starting point and now there would be good faith negotiations with the unions.

    "Our view has been despite the times we are in we have to keep lifting up the lowest pay."

    The guidelines didn't stop teachers, police and nurses from moving through pay bands – it just didn't give any room for those pay bands to be adjusted, she said.

    • gsays 5.1

      I am curious, is the $60,000 the base rate salary or does that include penal rates eg time and a half or anti-social hours allowance?

      A general question, not necessarily for you to answer, Anne.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        I am a former public servant who worked shifts.

        No. The base salary rate does not include penal rates and shift allowances. They are earned over and above one's salary and vary from pay packet to pay packet (so to speak) depending on an individual's roster rotations.

    • Herodotus 5.2

      How disengenous is the PM. So the lack of pay band movement is ineffect a pay cut (and for those at the end of the band nothing)and in 4 years time when these get renegotiated Will the 4 year period of no movement be a starting point then add on pay increases? I think not

      Yet the PM and MO’s will be benchmarked to the private sector so their increase will be adjusted to take into account the nil increases as the Remuneration Authority needs to maintain relativity.

      “it just didn't give any room for those pay bands to be adjusted, she said.”

      Perpahs this commentary to protect the poor is to cover up all the housing issues that have been failed to be addressed by the govt and the costs that have been incurred by many.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        You really need to do something about this anti- government (read Ardern) paranoid condition you have been exhibiting for a long time now. I suggest you open up and admit you are really just trolling this site. It will make you feel a lot better. It really will.

        • greywarshark 5.2.1.1

          Unfortunately Anne this Labour government's behaviour is open to criticism. Many who visit and write on this site are interested in the treatment of all citizens by government over a wide area of responsibilities, and where the Left is drifting off the course it set itself earlier in the 20th century, not just particular areas of personal concern.

        • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.1.2

          You really need to do something about this anti- government (read Ardern) paranoid condition you have been exhibiting for a long time now. I suggest you open up and admit you are really just trolling this site. It will make you feel a lot better. It really will .

          You know Anne, don't you, that calling into question the mental health of someone who disagrees with you says more about you than it does about your victim?

          • woodart 5.2.1.2.1

            I disagree. reading many of herodotus' posts tells me more about their state of mind than reading annes posts. one comes across as open-minded, the other …not

            • Peter chch 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Well Woodart that's your opinion and as someone who has suffered her personal abuse, I disagree.

              As Grey says, this Labour government is open to criticism.

              On TS we probably agree in general with the aims, but the 'Left' is a broad church and not all of us are slavishly members of a tribe and will support them regardless of what they do. Does not make H a troll. Why are some in the Left so self righteous and abusive to even mild dissenting viewpoints?

              I think that is called democracy….

              • woodart

                "why are some in the left so self righteous that they need to find an argument that doesnt concern them". there, fixed it for you. maybe, we should all look at the u.k. and see what endless bickering does for political stability. or, how to achieve defeat out of an expected victory. democracy is NOT an excuse to constantly whinge about the little details. (that last line will start whingeing about the right to whinge).

                • Peter chch

                  Agree re UK bickering, but dissent can be very positive, just so long as it is not endless bickering!

                  'Whinging about the right to whinge'. Classic line!

                • Herodotus

                  "and see what endless bickering does for political stability. or, how to achieve defeat out of an expected victory."What is the point of victory if those in need under National are still in need under Labour ? You could read from your comments that winning is everything denying the other side at all costs is all that matters.

                  This century we had had poor opposition, who then holds the government to account ? And what of those who benefited under National now receiving super profits under the policies of the current govt? IMO those who have supported the government need to raise their voices and speak out for those voiceless soles being left behind or being treated poorly/forgotten e.g. homeless, those in slum government paid short term accomodation. What was promised and why is delivery slow or not at all or areas within NZ that need attention e.g. The Environment and its climate consequences. Sure no government is perfect and issues will get missed,

        • Herodotus 5.2.1.3

          I think some here have to open their eyes to see what is out there, or do you want this to be an ego chamber that the PM and Labour are just IT ??? This Labour party maybe the best for government at the moment given the options. BUT that does not mean to say that they do not have faults. This government (labour) has been in for 4 years now, and unless those who support do not demand that issues/faults are addressed then where do we go ??

          And unlike you I would like to see things within NZ to improve, and if you follow any of my comments you will see I am firmly for the housing market to be sorted as IMO most of the problems arise from this, and labour are NOT doing it.

        • Foreign Waka 5.2.1.4

          PM Ardern is talking about pay parity. This seem to mean that everybody will now earn the same for quite some time whilst the payback of the billions will need a bit more than that.

          The issue is inflation, already going up with rates, rents and you know "healthy" food on the increase. (Roof over the head, food on the table, clothes on your back). It would not be so inconceivable if GST would go up. If wages are not, than you earn less. If you have a mortgage it will bite as interest rates will go back up again , maybe 2022? or later. (Roof over the head, food on the table, clothes on your back)

    • Treetop 5.3

      Selective austerity. Needs to start with a CGT to stem housing inflation, exempting the family home. Ardern has lost votes by not giving a wage increase to those on 60k and landlords votes are more important.

      Is there a hidden message to landlords that those on $60k cannot afford a rent rise?

      • Foreign Waka 5.3.1

        1 million each week is pumped into landlords accounts every week. Perhaps we should look at ways to stop that.

        • Sabine 5.3.1.1

          1 million a day is spend on housing homeless in slums.

        • Treetop 5.3.1.2

          Is there another layer to the housing crisis?

          The cost of emergency housing 1 mil a day is here to stay unless the government find an alternative other than motels or hotels. A bed to sleep in is a human right.

          I could not erase Treetoo.

          [user name fixed]

    • Nic the NZer 5.4

      The govt simply made a dumb mistake reverting to the 'sound finance' view when its gone out of fashion (even with the IMF). But when the public observed the 2020 wage subsidy coming in after years/a full decade of insistance on public spending limits the game was up on that narrative and people realised that the NZ govt doesn't face a budget constraint (e.g if it puts spending into the budget then that spending goes ahead).

      While the govt are now trying to rewrite the narrative to say lower income pay rises will be prioritised, this doesn't require a spending cap but does require a review of public sector pay gradients. In fact a reasonable flattening would probably raise the public wage bill quite a bit, not shrink it.

      What I expect as an outcome is the typical, some will be successfully promoted rapidly enough to get around it. Those who don't or can't work around the pay systems in their organisations will bare the brunt with no/minimal pay advances for several years. Some will go across into contracting, actually costing more and also removing accountability for delivery out of public institutions, and some will take their efforts away from the public sector.

      • Sacha 5.4.1

        Thank goodness we do not need a talented and motivated public sector to work on anything over the next few years, like poverty and climate action.

        • Nic the NZer 5.4.1.1

          Timing your ideologically motivated beltches wrong can be very politically costly. This is of course exactly on form from Labour who truely believe in their superior management of the economy supposedly leading to a rising economy based on govt surpluses (and paying no attention to expanding housing debt).

          Yes, the country will need an effective and motivated public sector in the near future. Labour may need to give up their 'better economic managers' mentality before this can be fully and openly adopted.

  5. Pat 6

    Cynical much?

    "The events of the past week – so at odds with the old rules of the game – would suggest that not only have the rules changed radically, but so, too, has the name of the game itself. What our politicians now appear to be playing is a game called “Holding On To Power At All Costs”. It is predicated on voters having a smaller set of principles, and a larger collection of prejudices. A greater propensity to complain, but a reduced willingness to do anything more than post their displeasure on social media. Most important of all, it assumes that voters are rapidly losing the ability to act consistently from first principles; and that they no longer expect their politicians and political parties to even try."

    https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/110320/chris-trotter-argues-labour-has-thrown-out-old-political-rule-book-and-new-game-they

    • Anne 6.1

      Chris Trotter argues that Labour has thrown out the old Political Rule Book, and that the new game they’re playing is no longer called 'Democracy' but 'Holding On To Power At All Costs'

      Holding On To Power At All Costs' ?

      Well, if that was the case Labour would be doing the opposite to what they have done. That is, not only removing the pay freeze but giving the Pub. Servants a pay increase – at the expense of the lowest paid workers in the country.

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        Not if they charm the national voter to keep them in power.

        Labour won the Covid election with a majority thanks to National voters.

        As a result, we now have a single majority party that is tinkering on all edges but hardly doing anything at all. And the opposition is useless, either shattered as the National Party, or beginners as the Maori Party or more or less silent as is the Green Party.

        And the stuff they do, comes several years late and chances are with not enough money, and oh, surely because some IT network needs to be redone, by hte highest bidder of course. Greasing hands makes for good future jobs.

        The self test for cervical cancer that has been cancelled in 2018 to suddenly have priority is the best example. But then now there is a Labour person seriously ill with cervical cancer and a minister to boot, so yeah, i guess its now important. Now a cynical person like me will say that they need to throw money at this issue now, considering that one of their own has a good chance of dying. So here the party is doing the right thing, but 4 years to late, at least for that one person that is currently undergoing Cancer treatment.

        National voters don't care one bit if poor people get poorer, if homeless people stay homeless, if poor kids schools fall apart with moldy rooms fit only for demolition. And Labour atm is by all means nothing more then National light. But with added kindness and withs some gentleness sprinkles in pretty sparkly colors..

        Labour currently is not even trying to please the left, they like their very moderate, very conservative, national voters who like a surplus, so that when national wins again, national again has tax cuts to offer.

        These two parties sit in the same boat, and they rowing in the same direction. Most of us however are not in the boat, and we are lucky when there is some debris to hold on to before drowining.

        • Incognito 6.1.1.1

          Speaking to The AM Show on Monday, Ardern confirmed Allan's diagnosis had not pushed the self-swab along.

          "No, this was part of our budget work," she said.

          "This was our first announcement that was a part of this year's budget. Obviously, quite a bit of work has gone into it. This is us responding to those calls for us to bring in a form of screening that we hope will lift the number of women involved in the screening programme of course we have existing screening but we are not reaching everyone."

          https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/05/kiri-allan-s-cancer-diagnosis-didn-t-push-govt-s-decision-on-hpv-self-swab-jacinda-ardern.html

          If you can’t ‘hear’ the Green Party you may have to turn on the ‘sound’.

          Please stop eating smoking your own chocolate dope.

          • Sabine 6.1.1.1.1

            Dear Incognito,

            considering that you are so concerned with people not making stuff up, please do not accuse people here on the Standard of drug use unless you have good proof that they do indeed take drugs. Some might really just disagree with you, and you could also get a person in legal trouble with you making up these stories.

            As for the timing of the funding of this particular test:

            The change was first promised in 2017, but attempts to get the programme funded in 2018, 2019, and 2020 were rejected.

            “It is overdue,” she said. “But we understand that a lot of thought and money needs to go into developing these complicated IT systems.”

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/125075564/cervical-cancer-selftest-to-be-available-from-2023-should-reduce-health-inequality-for-whine-mori

            from 2021 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/124534892/women-keep-dying-of-preventable-cervical-cancer-while-selftest-screening-delayed

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018790464/health-leader-baffled-why-hpv-self-test-not-govt-funded

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/300277598/gps-call-for-hpv-selftests-as-current-cancer-screening-not-as-good-as-it-could-be

            as I said, i am a cynical person, and there were more then just I who asked why the self test that was to be rolled out in 2018 was cancelled again and again for lack of funding, and now suddenly there is funding.

            Personally i am very happy that it will hopefully be rolled out sooner rather then later, as quite a few women actually have issues with a GP or an OBGYN poking around in their private parts. But excuse me if I find the sudden announcement forced by happenings rather tehn budgeted.

            Because that number of a 160 was the number for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and now 2021. Kiri Allan is just one of many.

            And consider that women in this country are already on an IT database for cervical cancer smears and mamographies, so really it must be the most complicated IT system Ever.

            • Incognito 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Smoking your own dope is an old saying.

              You were wrong about the Government’s decision/announcement about cancer detection.

              You were wrong about the Green Party being and staying silent.

              You don’t know the slightest about Government IT systems.

            • Sacha 6.1.1.1.1.2

              And consider that women in this country are already on an IT database for cervical cancer smears and mamographies, so really it must be the most complicated IT system Ever.

              There are completely separate databases for each screening programmes (with their own laws even in some cases), and NZ’s health IT systems are old and disconnected. A limited pool of suitable people is available to do the IT work, because that part of the health system has not been invested in enough by any governments in recent decades.

              That is why the change to cervical self-screening was never started. It was not "cancelled" and the hold up was of official approval rather than 'funding' as such.

              Without proper systems to manage risk and quality, no government in the world will launch any screening programme.

              Bowel screening had to wait for that too. Breast screening is up for a major IT rework, including managing over 200k women who the current system misses out. About time.

              • Sabine

                Lucky we need IT system, cause we don't have NZ first anymore.

                This thing was to be rolled out in 2018 and has been cancelled every year since, and please feel free to google this and read the pleads by variouos health official ( i have linked to some of them above) as to why this was cancelled and why it was not restarted and such. Lucky now we only have to wait till 2023 for the IT system to be rolled out or something.
                https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/125075564/cervical-cancer-selftest-to-be-available-from-2023-should-reduce-health-inequality-for-whine-mori
                Quote:

                After a five-year campaign by the medical community, highlighted by Minister Kiri Allan’s diagnosis in April, this change could see 1.4 million eligible women able to self-test from 2023.

                2017 – 160 women, 2018 – 160 women, 2019 – 160 women, 2020 – 160 women, 2021 – 160 women, 2022 – 160 women………..

                i guess the cancer treatment costs should have been taken into account as to what is more affordable, chemo treatment, lost hours worked, lost income, dead women, widowers with children etc etc etc, all cheaper then that much vaunted IT system.

                Sure, thing. Makes sense. Right? 🙂

                • Sacha

                  It has not been cancelled. Please engage your eyes and ears before your fingers.

                  There seems little point sharing any more of what I know about both screening and health IT.

                  • Sabine

                    cancelled/ pushed out / put on ice/ in 2018

                    Myself and my team felt very sad… These are young whānau, it's very sad considering that it's now a preventable disease," she told Checkpoint.

                    The government was not serving women well on cervical cancer screening, she said.

                    "It's really failing a section of New Zealand, and its failure on two counts. One, it's not reaching everyone it should reach, because that's its responsibility as a programme. And secondly, it's using a poor test, a second-class test. What they're doing now is cytology – that is now a second-class test. There is now a gold standard test, which we should be using in New Zealand."

                    Dr Lawton said she was "totally baffled" why the self-swabbing test was not freely available yet.

                    "We were not talking a lot of money here. This was supposed to start in 2017.

                    "And it wasn't just the self-testing. It's moving to the gold standard test which is looking for the [HPV] virus.

                    "The primary test was supposed to be starting to be rolled out in 2017… Australia has HPV primary testing, the UK has, we're really behind. And this is women's lives at risk because of this.

                    "The self-testing is the new technology that's come into it, which is really exciting because that's just as good as if a doctor does it."

                    Dr Lawton said the cost of providing that test to New Zealand women would be about $40 million over three years.

                    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018790464/health-leader-baffled-why-hpv-self-test-not-govt-funded

                    funding cancelled/pushed out / delayed again – Covid is the culprit

                    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/422865/funding-for-self-screening-cervical-cancer-test-delayed-again

                    Funding is requried and demands action from the government

                    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/124534892/women-keep-dying-of-preventable-cervical-cancer-while-selftest-screening-delayed

                    A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said implementing the HPV screening roll-out “requires funding and is a decision for Government”.

                    I feel very comfortable with my thought that this would still not be an issue for Grant to fund – considering that they could not find the money the last four years, and that if Kiri Allan had not been diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer, nothing much could be done. I can not see an IT system that complicated and costly, but then i don't work in Government and thus don't know how many people need to make money first on the IT system before the life of women is factured in the cost of that IT system.

                    Funding was needed for a new IT system, which would be built as a new component on the national bowel screening programme platform.

                  • Sabine

                    Sacha you saying it has not been 'cancelled' but pushed up or held up or reconsidered or or or

                    fact is the initial roll out was planned for 2018 – i have provided ample evidence of that – coming from Health Leaders in this country btw, and it is now finally been giving funding – that was asked for several times by Healthleaders in this Country – again i provided evidence of that.

                    It is now planned to be rolled out in 2023.

                    So the IT system did not receive funding in 2018 or earlier, did not receive funding in 2019, 2020, and is still not working until 2023 because it will take three years for a component to be build to be tacked on to an already existing IT system. As per my last posts.

                    So you can argue about the word 'cancelled' and disagree with me until the cows come home, but never the less the fact stands that we don't have this self test available, because Funding was not granted by this government last time and now it came about because of the negative press in regards to the 'cancellation of the rollout' due to Kiri Allens diagnose.

                    And no matter how many will protest to the contrary and that includes the Prime Minister, the optics speak for itself.

                    But feel free to believe that we really did not have the money to create that extra data base for 1.7 million women who currently get either a phone call or a letter from their GP to remind them of their anual pap smear, or the letter from the DHB to remind them of their mammograms.

                    Feel free to read all the links that i have provided for you so that you see that I in fact make nothing up, and thus don't risk to mis-inform anyone. And considering that many many health official have literally begged this government over the last few years to finally get going on this, i am in very good company in my believes.

                    • Sacha

                      You are not listening. It was never about money.

                      I am familiar not only with all the articles you have linked but with screening programmes and the NZ health system, especially the IT side. You are embarrassing yourself.

                      And the approval was in process before Kiri Allen became news. Honestly it's like watching someone try to pin reasons for a political poll result to something that randomly occurred in the same week rather than months earlier.

                    • Sabine

                      Nothing occurred randomly Sacha.

                      A prominent person of the Labour party got very very sick, due to not undergoing a pretty invasive method to obtain a pap smear.

                      The program that could have done a better job of providing said Labour person with a private at home self test was rejected/cancelled several times due to lack of funds (this is evident per the articles that i have linked to – its in the words 'FUNDING was not provided'.

                      And please provide a citation or link to the fact that the approval of funds was in process before Kiri Allen was diagnosed with a Stage 3 cervical Cancer with a 16% survival chance. Cause that is what it means to women and people with female centric plumbing who don't get tested in time due to what ever reason, and above all because they could not get it done at home.

                      It was always only ever about money, and that is the best reason i give this government. Any other reason would be callous, inhumane, and chances are has cost the live of quite a few women and others.

                      Bad press about the self tests not being made available, Health leaders pleading with government as to why this is not done and voila

                      You are embarrassing yourself in repeating that this is not connected, and that the only reason this did not happen is an IT program. It has been several years now for this much vaunted IT program to be written and implemented.

                    • Sacha

                      I sure hope you are better at running a shop.

  6. Adrian Thornton 7

    Here is an interesting interview with ex CIA officer Philip Agee..while watching it one can't help but wonder how it was so easy for so many so called left wingers to have just jumped straight into bed with this nefarious group of terrorists first over Trump/Russia and then Syria and now China (not to mention Venezuela)….the only conclusion one can come too is that these people never really believed in any progressive left project to start with, and that a deep rooted imperialist tendency was always lurking just below the surface in their hearts..who knows, but it is pretty awful when you think about it for two seconds, that is for sure.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Puts me in mind of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_Gray_Flannel_Suit_(novel)

      The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is a 1955 novel by Sloan Wilson about the American search for purpose in a world dominated by business. The main characters, Tom and Betsy Rath, are a young middle-class couple that share a struggle to find contentment in their hectic and material culture, while several other characters fight essentially the same battle, but for different reasons. In the end, it is a story about taking responsibility for one's own life.

      The novel was the basis for the popular 1956 film of the same name starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones as Tom and Betsy Rath.

    • Stuart Munro 7.2

      Putin dupes are no authority on the Left.

  7. greywarshark 8

    Winston Peters – will he ride (rise?) again? And the question about the new planned policies that bring Maori to the fore – will it lead to separatism and a schism despite attempts by thinkers to enable Maori to exert authority in ways satisfactory to them and within the purpose-built political system that NZ has attempted in fits and starts.

    https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/05/hiding-he-puapua-from-winston-may-cost.html

    • Treetop 8.1

      I reckon NZ First will return and without Winston at the helm. Winston was looking very tired during the last election champaign. Collins would be gleeful about no pay rise for public servants as this will give her milage until the next election or the person who cancels her leadership. The only saviour for the public service austerity is if WFF tops up the public service workers.

      Money borrowed needs to be repaid, how and who repays it is the question?

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        You and i via taxes, levies, rates, fines, lisences, and all the other stuff that you need to give the government a cut.

        T'was always the way.

  8. greywarshark 9

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/442209/otago-students-hit-back-at-uni-s-rubbish-plan-targeting-their-homes
    The changes to the Code of Student Conduct, if accepted, would allow the university's proctor to impose a daily fine on students in flats littered with rubbish to a degree it had "an adverse effect on the visual amenity of that place or property"…

    In a statement, the university's proctor Dave Scott said it would only be used as a last resort.
    "The vast majority of our students do the right thing when it comes to rubbish. For those who do not, the process is firstly one of engagement and education where we work closely with students to seek the desired outcomes," he said…

    Once a policeman, always…?

    2018…Dave Scott, a former police officer, spoke to media on Tuesday, hours after he apologised to the Leith St occupants for his actions. The proctor's role is essentially a student supervisor…

    Lawyers around New Zealand have said his actions could amount to unlawful entry.
    The University of Otago's proctor says he made an "error of judgment" entering a student flat and removing three bongs, but maintains he is no "criminal"…

    Scott said he entered the flat while delivering information on how to be a good host.
    He went to flat in question and found the rear sliding door "wide open"…
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/107362366/university-of-otago-proctor-speaks-about-bongtaking-incident

    • Treetop 9.1

      The university could go into the rubbish removal business and employ some of the students to clean up the rubbish outside and encourage students to not hoard rubbish inside so the next rent rise could be afforded. Diversification is good and rubbish removal is profitable.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Sounds like a sound idea Treetop – using their initiative and youthful enthusiasm. The university has tried to help I must point out,. There is mention of a trailer that comes with brooms and shovels and if they can get it to the dump its free. However I still don't agree with daily fines; if you are in a shared flat everyone has to pull their weight and the burden would go on the one most worried about it. The rest may have wealthy daddies who would pay.

        The obvious practical and timely way for those trying to cope and avoid a fine is to sneak out at night and leave it by rubbish bins away from their 'digs'. But people struggling to cope in some way, with their study to do and get in in time, it is I think hard. Perhaps sanctions like not being admitted to their favourite pub would work. They seem a boozy lot down there looking at media stories.

        • Treetop 9.1.1.1

          What about something like garden and section competitions where everyone could get a prize e.g. free rubbish bags, food cards when there is an improvement or consistency?

          As for the bigger furniture items breaking them down and a free skip periodically as required. Never should a TV or microwave be broken down.

          • RosieLee 9.1.1.1.1

            Simple – if they don't clean up their pigsty, evict them. I'll bet they wouldn't get away with this in their own homes. A free skip for furniture etc is probably a good idea, but ffs surely they can be expected to live like civilised people in a community.

    • Gabby 9.2

      God forbid students should be expected not to create eyesores and health hazards.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Did Grant Robertson not really understand who would be affected by the pay freeze? Is it a manufactured response by the lower income workers and their unions as this article seems to imply – 'the narrative shifted'? The people at the lower end of the pay band were bound to be ropable about it.

    “I don’t think that Labour was quite prepared for the outpouring from the public and in particular from the unions, says RNZ’s deputy political editor Craig McCulloch.
    “I think it was caught quite off guard by the fury and how quickly the narrative shifted to be about teachers, about nurses, about police officers….

    But McCulloch says what’s happened instead is the idea of a responsible government reining in spending has been pushed aside and replaced with an image of a miserly, punitive one….

    (Bank economist from usual cloud floating above our heads with perspective that money for the plebs comes from a pot of limited size to dependent Olivers).

    Sharon Zollner, the chief economist of the ANZ, says last year’s massive wage subsidy saw us left with a huge debt for size of our economy – we have borrowed from the future…
    “It’s a tightening up – I mean it’s inevitable – well, hopefully – that the government is going to spend less in the next 12 months than it has in the last 12 months because that wage subsidy is one out of the box. It was massive. And something would have to go terribly horribly wrong in the economy for us to need to spend that much government money again,” she says.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-detail/story/2018794549/pay-freezing-out-your-traditional-voter-base

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      So a media outlet, who has just reported 'outrage' says the Government didnt expect said 'outrage'

      The rest is rubbish a reputable organisation should check before publishing

      ' massive wage subsidy saw us left with a huge debt for size of our economy '

      Zollner , from BNZ who was wrong about almost everything and the economic impact of covid

      It was $13 bill, which wasnt 'huge' in terms of NZs economy of $200 bill.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        ghost Rubbish is it. Your opinion is always so direct and correct.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1.1

          Sharon Zollner makes my blood boil when she progosticates on the economy…surely track record counts for something

  10. greywarshark 11

    Interesting to know – https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/442210/elon-musk-reveals-he-has-asperger-s
    "Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that's just how my brain works," he said.
    "To anyone who's been offended, I just want to say I reinvented electric cars, and I'm sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?"
    .

    https://www.healthline.com/health/aspergers-vs-autism
    Asperger's and autism are no longer considered separate diagnoses. People who may have previously received an Asperger's diagnosis instead now receive an autism diagnosis. But many people who were diagnosed with Asperger's before the diagnostic criteria changed in 2013 are still perceived as “having Asperger's.”16/04/2020

    More boys than girls diagnosed, and when the diagnosis is reviewed previous ratios have decreased to about 3 male to 1 female.
    .

    https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/autisms-sex-ratio-explained/
    Would the sex ratio disappear if these diagnostic biases could be overcome?
    Probably not. Researchers have found a 3-to-1 ratio even when they have followed children from infancy and repeatedly screened them for autism, minimizing the possibility for biases in diagnosis and referral. The children in these studies have a family history of autism, however, so they may be fundamentally different from other children with the condition, says Daniel Messinger, professor of psychology at the University of Miami.

    • arkie 11.1

      When historian Edith Sheffer arrived at the Vienna archives to learn more about Dr. Hans Asperger, a pediatrician credited with identifying and defining autism in the 1940s, she was excited to learn about the scientist. Her son had been diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 17 months old.

      But Sheffer did not find what she expected. “Literally, the very first file I found on my very first day was his district party file that testified to his involvement in the racial hygiene measures of the Third Reich,” she told me.

      While Asperger was never a member of the Nazi Party, Sheffer discovered that he played a critical role in identifying children with disabilities and sending dozens to Spiegelgrund, a children’s ward in Vienna where adolescents were euthanized or subjected to experimentation. Her research culminated in her new book, Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna.

      For Sheffer, the story is also personal because of her now middle-school-age son. And in light of Asperger’s past, a movement has sprung up, spearheaded by an 11-year-old boy with autism, to change the name from Asperger’s syndrome to social communication disorder. The Change.org petition has gathered more than 28,000 signatures as of Monday.

      https://www.vox.com/conversations/2018/5/22/17377766/asperger-nazi-rename-syndrome

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Well what an unpleasant connection between the condition and the name. I can understand a desire to cut that connection. It would be good to sign that petition and facilitate that.

      • Sabine 11.1.2

        signed. Thanks for bringing that up.

      • WeTheBleeple 11.1.3

        Plenty of Aspies can't be assed with this name change. Aspies we are Aspies we'll be. People who are not Aspergers getting offended on our behalf should fuck off.

        This article is two years old thanks for bringing your faux outrage back into the light. People in ASD groups are being asked to drop this shit and leave us alone.

        Thank you.

        • arkie 11.1.3.1

          And in light of Asperger’s past, a movement has sprung up, spearheaded by an 11-year-old boy with autism, to change the name from Asperger’s syndrome to social communication disorder.

        • greywarshark 11.1.3.2

          Cool it WTB. If other people don't want the name why shouldn't they have the right to ask for the official name to change. No-one should can tell you change your way of describing it.

          • WeTheBleeple 11.1.3.2.1

            Why should I cool it. I'm not the non-ASD people using a years old article to be talking nonsense about all this. I have the condition, I research the condition. So read.

            Aspergers was used to refer to 'high functioning' autistic people. High functioning is a misnomer, most of us need help in one or more areas or we struggle to become productive members of society. Correct diagnosis and help can make a big difference.

            As a general rule all we want is to belong to a team and be able to contribute. Look at Elon's contribution, pretty damn good. I've invented things that'll help mankind too, just not as flashy, and I'm still poor, dirty smelly poor.

            The term Aspergers was officially dropped because Autism is a spectrum, and the high functioning term was problematic with people expecting rain man to show up. That's why the change, but many Aspies simply stuck with what they knew. We, as a rule, don't enjoy change (unless we pioneer it).

            My symptoms do not include genocidal. I couldn't care who Aspergers was, it's our word now even if it's going to disappear in a generation or two.

    • Gabby 11.2

      Is he preparing a legal defence?

      • greywarshark 11.2.1

        It sounds like a request for designation change. CFS has gone through different names – now Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but also Myalgic Encephylitis and others.

  11. 'Commerce Commission to Probe Building Materials Sector – Grant Robertson'

    Houses in the US and Victoria and NSW are so much cheaper than NZ. Sure, we have earthquake resilience issues that Australia does not have and are a small market, but the materials being used here are very limited in variety compared to overseas, and comparitivly very high in cost. And labour very low.

    So why such large differences in price? Lets hope this leads somewhere.

    This is the link to the article, unfortunately paywalled.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/commerce-commission-to-probe-building-materials-sector-grant-robertson/YNTDJTUVVEGEREO5JBFYNL5PBQ/

    • Sabine 12.1

      how many years will this probe need?

      Because people here have often spoken about the monopolies certain companies in NZ have in regards to building supplies?

      Three years? 🙂 Oh well, things will go better soon then.

      • Peter ChCh 12.1.1

        I won't hold my breath Sabine, although Grant Robertson does seem to deliver on his statements.

        Three years ago in 2018, Phil Twitford promised the exact same thing, but we all know what a joke he was!

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/are-building-products-a-rip-off-or-good-value/CQ7EQQZ2ASCBVECH7XLVE3ZMOA/

        • Sabine 12.1.1.1

          No matter how much of a 'joke' Phil Twyford was, he was the only one in this government who actually tried to build houses. He did not succeed, thanks to private businesses and many other factors but at least he tried.

          But for Grant to say after 9 years in opposition to National, and 4 years in government to 'pledge' a probe into the building monopolies in NZ just leaves me with one question. Where did Grant live the last 20 odd years, and how much of that time has he spend in Government? And he still needs to 'probe' the most open secret in NZ. Namely that end users are being screwed over by a few monopolies?

          Yeah, three years at least, and then we will need to vote this guy back in again, so he can 'change ' it. Right? Do you really believe that? 🙂

          • Peter ChCh 12.1.1.1.1

            So cynical Sabine! But I daresay you are right.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1.1.1.1.1

              No Sabine is most definitely NOT right.

              Until recently with the passing of the Commerce Amendment Act there was no power for the monopolies/duopolies etc to hand over their most sensitive costs and prices to any inquiry.

              A market study (referred to as a ‘competition study’ in the Bill) is a study into any factors that may affect competition for the supply or acquisition of goods or services.

              Market studies:

              • provide a means of identifying what’s going on in a market and why
              • focus on the structure and behaviour of the market itself — as opposed to a competition enforcement investigation, which focuses on the actions of a specific company
              • can provide a market ‘a clean bill of health’ or make recommendations to address any impediments to competition.
              • Sabine

                from 2012

                https://www.odt.co.nz/business/german-based-group-undercuts-fletcher-half

                major German-headquartered company is undercutting Fletcher Building by selling its insulation for half the price.

                Stuart Dunbar, Knauf Insulation general manager for Australia and New Zealand, said his business was able to supply New Zealand builders with insulation for 50% less than Fletcher products.

                He criticised high prices here and said competition was great for consumers and might help lower residential construction prices.

                "The cost of building a house in New Zealand is amongst the highest in the world because components to make houses are more expensive," he said.

                from 2014

                https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1411/S00151/inquiry-needed-into-building-supplies-monopoly.htm

                Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly

                The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

                “Competition in the building materials market is essential to lowering building costs, according to the Productivity Commission’s analysis. But Knauf Plasterboard has said it is reviewing its position in New Zealand after posting a loss in its first nine months after struggling to break through the building materials monopoly.

                https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/fletcher-defends-market-dominance/RDLFNWFKB55EW7J7F2LSN3YBWM/

                oss of wallboards division defends 94 per cent market share as outcome of inquiry looms.

                The head of Fletcher Buildings' Winstone Wallboards is defending its dominant New Zealand plasterboard position, as the company awaits a Commerce Commission ruling.

                General manager David Thomas said Winstone Wallboards had a 94 per cent market share but only because it manufactured and delivered the best product to customers.

                "People do have other options and they have had for the last 20 years," Thomas said, citing Elephant Plasterboard and other products including Chinese board.

                sorry, but it is the best kept open secret in NZ, and it has been known for some years now. But i am happy to see that someone from the Labour Party pledges to do something. Soon.

                • Gabby

                  So did Fletchers just promise to boycott any retailer stocking Knauf?

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  The disagreement with Sabine isnt over the 'jacked up' prices for building supplies. Which are there. But powers of Commerce Commission ( which isnt productivity Commission)

                  I have personal experience in the pricing of windows and doors and NZ has a proliferation of small window assemblers and each house is different sized windows.

                  With scores of different colours to choose….like 8 different 'whites'

                  Australia seems happy to have some standard sizes for group builders and maybe 12-15 colours to choose from.

                  The NZ system for huge variation is mostly used in Australia for higher end archtectural homes… which we have as well on top of the 'standard ' designs

                  • Sabine

                    I am just amused that a man who spend his whole life in politics and no where else btw needs to have a thoothless body "study" the abuse of certain businesses in NZ to see if people are being screwed over. I still think its funny. 🙂

                    My personal opinion is simply that NZ is such a small market that most people are quite happy to screw everyone over in order to make a quick buck. And it does not matter if that is the cost of milk, butter, meat, carpet, wood, or crappy bendy aluminium windows. The only time kiwis seem to spend money is when they buy houses for their own use. If its a rental everything needs to be as cheap as possible, after all the tenants will just fuck it. Everything else is she'll be right.

                    And thus it is for all businesses down to the last one.

                    And you can study that for the next decade or several, i doubt he will change anything.

                    So, you don't have a disagreement with me. You just did not like that i think this is all very funny.

          • Ad 12.1.1.1.2

            +1,000 Sabine

            Seen it both personally and professionally.

  12. Incognito 13

    It is better to be an idealistic fool than a reactive sceptic, who doesn’t believe in anything.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/rachel-peters-labour-needs-bolder-policy-changes-to-help-those-who-need-it-most

    • Forget now 14.1

      Yeh it’s a worry, Jimmy! I was there myself this morning after the school-run (fortunately not during the attack).

      Though we’re not dealing with a criminal mastermind/ terrorist here. The police didn’t even bother putting him in the car, they just walked him across the carpark to the central police station right next door.

      I have been following it here:

      https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/crime/breaking-four-hurt-dunedin-supermarket-stabbing

      edit: I see the Herald also has that bit about the bystander seeing hysterical girls, assuming they were shoplifting and detaining (presumably by grabbing) them. How is that even an appropriate response, let alone legal? Though I imagine the police had other things on their mind, so it’ll end there.

    • Gabby 14.2

      Care in the community?

    • Sabine 14.3

      It seems that random violence is showing up a bit everywhere. Stabbings today in Dunedin, the other day shootings in AKL, someone got bashed over the head in Invercargill, people killed in Wellington and Christchurch. It just seems to be way more then usual.

      Maybe its just people under stress and cracking.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 14.3.1

        Homicides are running at similar levels to previous years.

        Gun violence is definitely up and is connected to drug trade money and mostly gang members and associates ( some times other relatives like the grandmother in Favona)

  13. Forget now 15

    This is seriously horrifying, yet also strangely poetic:

    A spokesperson for the junta did not answer calls to request comment on the death of Khet Thi, who had penned the line “They shoot in the head, but they don’t know the revolution is in the heart.”…

    “I was interrogated. So was he. They said he was at the interrogation centre. But he didn’t come back, only his body,” his wife, Chaw Su, told BBC Burmese language news .

    “They called me in the morning and told me to meet him at the hospital in Monywa. I thought it was just for a broken arm or something … But when I arrived here, he was at the morgue and his internal organs were taken out,” she said.

    She had been told at the hospital he had a heart problem

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/10/body-of-arrested-myanmar-poet-khet-thi-returned-to-family-with-organs-missing

    • greywarshark 15.1

      He may have died of a broken heart. Heart seizure is a growing non-medical problem in extremist bodies around the world. RIP Khet Thi.

  14. greywarshark 16

    Water in Canterbury. When the rivers are no longer fed by snows from the mountains what will they do these farming and business pragmatists. Let 'them' suck cactus or something.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/442223/nitrates-in-selwyn-river-up-50-percent-in-22-months-federation-of-freshwater-anglers-says

    Canterbury Regional Council (ECan) is being accused of creating a monster that it can no longer control when it comes to degraded water quality in the region.
    That is according to Federation of Freshwater Anglers, which has been testing the Selwyn River and has found polluting nitrates have increased by up to 50 percent in the space of just 22 months.

    The federation's president and long time angler Peter Trolove had been monitoring the Selwyn with the help of a nitrate tester, bought with a grant from a pub charity.

    The Selwyn, which people could no longer swim in, was once a top trout fishing destination.
    "If you go back before World War Two, it was considered one of the top half dozen trout fisheries in the dominion. And they had fish counts of over 200,000 trout going up the river, and it's fallen to, well, I don't know if they find any now."

  15. Corey Humm 17

    Fascinating seeing certain sections of the left show how absolutely out of touch they are by defending high paid civil servants and bureaucrats who have failed time and time again, at the border by embarrassing the govt with the fiasco earlier in the year, in our prisons, at OT , by making horrendous decisions in health. It's amazing to see certain factions of the left defend unelected useless civil servants with too much power and calling the govt anti union while govt implements strongest pro union reforms in decades.

    There will be no solidarity with high paid MSD workers and their ilk and if the PSA thinks the public supports the people who blackmail poor people with their nudes and throw people off welfare it's so deliciously out of touch.

    If the other unions about to receive more power who represent lower paid workers side with the PSA it'll mind blowingly self defeating and HILARIOUS.

    I'm enjoying watching the wellington mafia and the green and Champagne socialists furious their mates will only get two visits to melbourne a year instead of three with an annual trip to europe (it's the bourgeoisie god given right 🤣) into some kind of attack on low paid workers from a govt that has continued raising min wage and even benefits and strengthened unions in an unprecedented economic crisis in a heavily neoliberal country.

    I can't wait for MSD workers and ird workers who spend their lives ruining poor peoples lives and telling people to live within their means with signs saying "more money for msd case managers" delicious

    • Ad 17.1

      If you thought it was bad already, just wait until the Government wants the public servants to implement policy now.

      You will find the PSA is sending them that message already.

    • Anne 17.2

      … the PSA thinks the public supports the people who blackmail poor people with their nudes…

      The mind boggles. surprise

      • Sabine 17.2.1

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/389301/ministry-of-social-development-systematically-misusing-powers-inquiry

        Commissioner John Edwards has concluded that the ministry has been unjustifiably intruding on the lives of beneficiaries.

        Since 2012, the ministry has been bypassing beneficiaries and going to third parties for information.

        Mr Edwards said that's allowed fraud investigators to collect large amounts of highly sensitive information about beneficiaries without their knowledge.

        The information collected included text messages, domestic violence and other police records, banking information and other billing records.

        As part of the inquiry, Mr Edwards said they reviewed MSD files that contained text messages between couples, of a sexual or intimate nature.

        "In one instance, a beneficiary described to us how MSD obtained, from a telecommunications company, an intimate picture shared by that individual with a sexual partner. The photograph was then produced at an interview by MSD investigators seeking an explanation for it."

        • Anne 17.2.1.1

          Commissioner John Edwards has concluded that the ministry has been unjustifiably intruding on the lives of beneficiaries.

          That started in the 1990s under the guidance of that dreadful woman, Christine Rankin. It was the start of the reign of terror known as the Benefit Fraud Squad made up of perfed police officers. They placed my 92 year old mother – who was quite frail with moderate dementia – and myself (her carer) under surveillance. They also rang a few times ostensibly to ask questions, but really checking whether I was there. I also witnessed them make a note of my car particulars parked in the driveway, so presumably they were planning to follow me in my car as well. After a very sharply worded letter to the local WINZ boss, the activity stopped.

          Since then, I have had much empathy for beneficiaries suffering a similar fate who may not have the ability to be able to do what I did and get it stopped.

          • Sabine 17.2.1.1.1

            Yeah. We have money to waste in this country. But we can't increase benefits in any meaningful way.

  16. Sabine 18

    are we allowed to find this funny?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300303904/government-in-damage-control-over-public-sector-pay-freeze-ahead-of-meeting-with-union

    He also introduced new language for discussing the pay restraint’s bands.

    “The guidance breaks down three categories for public sector pay, ‘lift’ (those at $60,000 or below), ‘adjust’ (those between $60 and $100,000) and ‘hold’ (those above $100,000).”

    your wages aren't being frozen for three years, they are just on "hold".

    oh that is funny.

  17. greywarshark 19

    Is this woman twisting the story more than a little? Especially at the end where she blames a man for believing a young woman who has lied about her age. It's All His Fault the rotter. She doesn't like males herself, but men who still like females are wrong is the message given.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/09/teenage-girls-unwanted-adult-male-attention

    • Forget now 19.1

      That Greenburg/ Gaetz victim was known to them initially through an online tag that mentioned her birthyear wasn't she, Grey? Anyway – they are the adults, she was the child; so they were the ones who had the duty to be certain about her age, even if that killed the mood.

      That said, one advantage of the pandemic has been that there have been fewer Yankee ephebophiles over in Aotearoa this past year. I don't pretend to understand why anyone would want to have sexual relations with a teenager – even another teenager! The allure of the forbidden? Something to do while over visiting their money in the NZ$ /Cook Islands tax haven? But there is apparently a fair bit of grey area between formal prostitution (restricted 18+) and sugar-daddies in our laws (blanket 16 year old consent age), or maybe just their enforcement?

      Anyway; the Guardian article is mainly about maassassin's TikTok clips of being approached by a strange man for the first time. That; "nice to meet you too", automatically parroted while her body language was pleading; "please don't kill me", was quite saddening. But then many men don't realize quite how intimidating they can appear to strangers, and it's impossible to know what the rudely intrusive (at the very least) individual's own body language was like in that interaction. It is in the Opinion section, so I can't be too upset that Donegan is giving her own opinion in response to the footage.

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