Open mike 10/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 10th, 2021 - 78 comments
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78 comments on “Open mike 10/08/2021 ”

  1. Jester 1

    The 79/90 Tauranga port workers that worked on the ship should have been vaccinated months ago (or not been allowed to work on the ship). Why are the govt giving them until the end of Aug/Sep to get vaccinated when delta can come in to NZ now. Seems very risky to me. Workers if not vaccinated should be stood down.

    • Maurice 1.1

      Unfortunately it appears that the mRNA "jab" does not prevent infection and virus transfer. The "vaccinated" can transfer the virus just as easily as the untreated.

      • Andre 1.1.1

        The mRNA jab makes it much much less likely a vaccinated person will become infected after an exposure, compared to an unvaccinated person.

        Furthermore, for the very few vaccinated people that become infected, the disease is very likely to be mild and short, with a much shorter time of peak infectiousness compared to the unvaccinated.

        Don't get taken in by the clickbait that overhypes and sensationalises the very rare breakthrough infections. It really has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated overseas.

      • David 1.1.2

        Jab does not prevent infection and virus transfer

        This is a point made several times on TS the past few days to which I ask myself so what?

        Preventing transfer is not the point of the vaccine. The point is to make COVID much less likely to be a serious health problem if you get it.

        • Sabine

          Because if you were to tell all the people that the reason they have to get injected with an 'unknown' substance is to keep the underfunded medical system from collapsing you might find that people would be even more hesitant.

          Disclaimer: I am fully vaccinated, marked by the beast, full of 5G and then some.

          • bwaghorn

            Gee sabine you managed to get a vaccine in the 3rd world hell hole that nz is lucky you

            • Sabine

              I did not 'manage' anything. I literally got told to show up and get one. 🙂

              As per the government grouping and roll out i did not expect to get vaccinated / invited anytime before October/ Nov.

              So indeed i was 'lucky' to be invited by the Maori Authority that ran the vaccinations here in nowhere NuZillind as 'wider' whanau. Thanks Te Arawa!

        • Maurice

          Preventing transfer is not the point of the vaccine. The point is to make COVID much less likely to be a serious health problem if you get it.

          Precisely my point – jabbed or unjabbed would have made no difference to virus transfer from the ship. The transfer from the infected on that ship could have taken place on hands or skin with no requirement of infection. The port workers may well have been less likely to have serious health problems BUT the transfer could still take place.

          • David

            But it does make a difference if you are jabbed or not when you scale the argument up to New Zealand and not just the port. If we actually had a vaccinated population we don't need to rely on riding our luck all the time least we find ourselves like Australia, where their luck has run out.

          • Andre

            Evidence from actual people, rather than extrapolating from viral loads, suggests that breakthrough cases after vaccination are significantly less likely to infect others compared to unvaccinated cases:

            Health Ministry data released in late July indicates that 80% of the vaccinated individuals who experienced breakthrough Covid infections did not infect people with whom they came in contact at public places such as concerts, restaurants, gyms or event halls.


      • Sabine 1.1.3

        And who cares really?

        The question stands, why is the government giving these long lead times for 'at risk' staff", but then is blaming the 'non vaccination rate' for border worker on mis-information and anti vaxx.

        It however would be nice to know how many of these workers have vaccinations booked, how the booking system in the Tauranga area is working, how the overall vaccination status is for the Tauranga area, how many vaccinations centres are there, are they fully staffed all the time etc.

        Btw, in Rotorua here no vaccinations on Sundays. But then in a pandemic it is important to not work on Sundays. Would that be double wage?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          The question stands, why is the government giving these long lead times for 'at risk' staff", but then is blaming the 'non vaccination rate' for border worker on mis-information and anti vaxx.

          Maybe the government is giving these long lead times because a more aggressive mandating of te jab could be ammo for the anti-vaxx brigade. Steering a country through a global pandemic; piece of piss, eh? We really don’t know how lucky…

          Free from Covid-19, New Zealand plans border reopening amid labour shortage

          Coronavirus: A timeline of how the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is evolving
          Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 202,872,000 with over 4,297,000 deaths and over 143,933,000 recoveries reported.

          Australia has reported over 300 daily new cases of Covid-19 as the seven-day rolling average of cases continues to rise.

          Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, reported 283 new daily confirmed cases as infections spread from Sydney to regional areas on the East coast.

          In response to a sharp rise in local transmissions, authorities have imposed strict lockdown measures upon millions of people, including military patrols in western regions of Sydney.

          Australia’s largest outbreak so far this year has been driven by a low vaccination rate and the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant.

          • Sabine

            then no one should complain about the people not being currently vaccinated.

            That is actually all i am saying. 🙂

      • McFlock 1.1.4

        Well, yes it does. Just not perfectly, and not always.

        But nobody ever said vaccines would be 100%. That's just a little bit of interpretation from the quack brigade.

  2. Cricklewood 2

    Whats the incubation period for delta? Hope we're not going to do a solitary test a couple of days after a potential exposure and say we're safe… surely we need to put exposed workers into a longer self quarantine. The stakes are very high. Paying the port workers to quarantine seems a good deal to me.

    • Sabine 2.1

      The Chinese researchers who studied viral loads in people infected with the delta variant also observed that the incubation period with delta patients was shorter compared to the original strain. With previous variants, the virus was detectable in infected individuals an average of six days after exposure, but with the delta variant, that window was shortened to four days.

      The change in incubation period could indicate that the delta variant is better able to invade cells and can replicate faster than previous variants, which can help the virus spread. The shorter window also makes contact tracing even more of a challenge for public health departments that are already overburdened.

      • Cricklewood 2.1.1

        Still unloading on friday/sat i think so will need another round of tests at least

  3. Muttonbird 3

    Uh oh.

    Iceland is experiencing its worst Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

    That's despite near-total vaccination levels. And what Delta's doing there may now be a sign of things to come for others.

    The small island nation of 357,000 citizens has become a case study of the effectiveness of vaccination against the Delta mutation.

    • Andre 3.1

      There remains a big difference in outcomes. Vaccinated people are much less likely to get severe disease. From the Harold link:

      Reykjavík hospital data reveals infections remain proportionately far higher among the unvaccinated. But vaccination only offers moderate resistance to contracting the disease.

      The big difference, however, is in the severity of the symptoms.

      Previous outbreaks of non-Delta variants among much lower vaccination rates claimed 29 Icelandic lives. The latest outbreak – despite its size – has so far claimed none.

      Iceland's government is not discouraged.

      "Evidence shows that the vaccines used in Iceland protect about 60 per cent of those fully vaccinated against any kind of infection caused by the Delta variant of the virus and over 90 per cent against serious illnesses," director general Bryndís Kjartansdóttir said.

      "About 97 per cent of those infected have mild or no symptoms."

    • David 3.2

      Iceland had 55 cases and 0 deaths on the most recent data available (8 August).

      With a 357,000 population, high vaccination rates and a 95% efficacy (not 100%!) its inevitable there will be cases … but of course that doesn't make such a salacious story.

      • Muttonbird 3.2.1

        You find that story "salacious"? That is pornographic, obscene, indecent, improper, indelicate, crude, lewd…

        The point is, vaccinations are not enough on their own to avoid major stress on health systems. The idea we are going to throw the doors open to the world's Coronavirus carriers once we are 70% vaccinated is a very dangerous idea.

        • McFlock

          The point is, vaccinations are not enough on their own to avoid major stress on health systems.

          Given that some people (including folks with a reasonable handle on what was required) didn't expect any vaccine for as much as five years, we can probably look towards some cautious optimism.

          I wonder if anyone's working on a vaccine targeting delta specifically?

    • Macro 3.3

      Meanwhile in the southern US states..

      Covid hospitalizations surge in US south as unvaccinated urged to get shots

      • Louisiana now leads the nation in new Covid cases
      • Intensive care units near capacity in multiple locations

      With just 37% of residents fully vaccinated, state data indicated that unvaccinated people accounted for 90% of hospitalizations in the state. One hundred and eighty one people died from the virus in Louisiana last week.

      Similar results are being experienced in Mississippi and Alabama.

      I think it is fairly clear now that whilst vaccination may not prevent an infection from the delta variant, it limits the severity. And the indications are that people with less severe symptoms are less infectious.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Another right wing lunatic unmasked in presumably soon to be ex-Hurricanes board member Troy Bowker. Of course he runs that symbol of neoliberal capitalism, the parasitical private equity firm. Mind you, he has invested in the Hurricanes so he clearly thinks he has purchased a certain amount of immunity from the consequences of his racist outburst.

    • Shanreagh 4.1


      How difficult would it be to kick him off the Hurricanes board if he is also an owner as his Linked in profile says:

      Part Owner / Board Member


      Mar 2018 – Present3 years 6 months

      Wellington & Wairarapa, New Zealand

      Since when do we go around asking people what % they are of a race?

      • Nic the NZer 4.1.1

        Didn't that question tend to come up for Paul Tito as a Maori All Black representative?

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Aye and Christian Cullen.

          There was quite a good paper on the whole subject and whether capitalism was much more of a driving motive behind the move.

          Personally I love the fact that we don't determine ethnicity by percentage in this country. I've seen the perverse effects this has in Canada for instance where parents are classed as indigenous and have to carry a reservation card but their children are not and have to get permission to go onto a reservation.

          The notion in NZ that either you whakapapa back or you don't is a much better concept and no different to me having Irish or Scottish or Welsh heritage in that respect. People generally do need a sense of belonging.

          The question of the experiential existence of being Maori before being selected is really one for Maori to address. From an external perspective I have no problem with people who haven't had close links to their marae etc being selected – I suspect that being in that environment would likely help them along a journey of some sorts, but do not see that my opinion should really matters any more than as a non-religious person I should have an influence about how Marist teams are selected.

          I remember sitting on interviews with a well respected kaumatua who when young people turned up to their interviews wearing their carved bone matau or koru or manaia asked one simple question – when were you last on a marae? Probably about 50% had never been.

          In many respects I can see that too is a useful question for Maori All Black selection – not necessarily to deny people the opportunity but to understand what work may be required with that person to imbue them in the Maori All Black environment.

          I suspect that the pendulum has swung back from the commodification described in this paper and that is likely a good thing. The modern Maori All Blacks I certainly view as a recognition and celebration of Maori culture and its ability to adapt- the same as kapa haka and so on. We should be mature enough to see it in that light – certainly not as an example of reverse racism.

          I only wish we could get the same enthusiasm by Maori for cricket – there is so much natural talent out there and many of the best players I played with over the years were Maori – economic forces have meant that much of that talent has been lost.

    • Shanreagh 4.2

      Hurricanes management do not support MR Bowker's comments

      And oddest of all in view of his % comments ai the fact that he donated to NZ First whose leader at the time was Winston Peters who probably could be asked about his % (sarc)

      just to round things out for Mr Bowker.

      He has apparently donated to Stuart Nash

      He's an odd one all right. All that money and it still does not stop him putting his big foot in his own mouth.

      • Shanreagh 4.2.1

        The usual way to determine if a person is Maori ie for Iwi Authorities is to accept a person who can whakapapa to an eponymous Maori ancestor. Percentages are offensive and, thankfully, a thing of the past. They give no indication if a person is Maori in their day to day life. I believe to go onto the Maori roll you aver that you are Maori.

        While I know that Troy Bowker has been overseas he has been back for 8-10 years and surely this is enough time .to understand what is what here in NZ.

        I wonder what he thinks of the proposal re Aotearoa and He Puapua/ Similarly enlightened as his taking on of Sir Ian Taylor I am sure.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    The ghost of Max Bradford and his 1990 electricty reforms came back to haint us last night.

    Who else had their power cut off last night?

    • Grumpy 5.1

      True…..but…….how long ago was Max Bradford? How much new generation and transmission has been built since then? I mean serious generation, not a couple of wind turbines which should have backup in case (as last night) the wind doesn't blow?

    • Gabby 5.2

      Cutting it off without warning was a 'nice' touch. Can't help wondering if one or two companies thought a bit of misery in the middle of winter might be good for business.

      • Nic the NZer 5.2.1

        Grid energy needs to balance instantaneously (or energy shuts off). There is almost no storage on the grid where excess can be reserved for future demand.

  6. Matiri 6

    Perfect storm last night with the NI power outages – downed power lines, peak demand as coldest night of the winter, very still so no wind turbines operating.

    • weka 6.1

      the key word there is demand. Instead of increasing supply, which will then be outstripped by more demand (think perpetual growth, extreme weather events, increasing population), we can shift to steady state.

      The big push removing wood burners and replacing them with heat pumps was understood at the time to be a really stupid idea.

      Passive heating, localised solar and wind, super efficient wood burners, all that tech exists right now

      • Cricklewood 6.1.1

        If the grid is so strained now what effect will much larger numbers of plug in cars have? They'll load the system en masse after the evening commute.

      • Grumpy 6.1.2

        All parties in the electricity industry make their profits from deferred capital expenditure. Because they are "allowed" a prescribed return on investment, they just keep revaluing their assets upwards and not putting anything into future planning.

        • Craig H

          Agree, that always struck me as a stupid ratchet effect – increase rate of return, revalue assets upwards accordingly, then repeat the steps…

    • Cricklewood 6.2

      Poseidon flagged it yesterday morning in general debate, for the life of me I dont understand why we couldnt warn people via an urgent news release asking that we avoid running non essential appliances to help reduce load and avoid mass shut offs.

      • Nic the NZer 6.2.1

        Wouldn't say that post is related. The demand spike highlighted is for a different time period from last night.

        • Nic the NZer

          Not convinced demand notification can make a difference however. Brownouts are rare so the focus on this will be very occasional, and its possible to think about the brownout as a notification that grid energy balance has failed (insufficient energy is available right now).

      • Poission 6.2.2

        The situation today is unchanged,the peak consumption period tonight is at risk.

        Today we are using the emergency peakers for generation ( diesel and oil) .

        Huntly three is yet to operate as there appears to be insufficient coal reserves.

        • Nic the NZer

          They are supposed to cover the peak, are they not? And are more expensive (all of real, nominal and environmental terms) rather than typical though.

          What should be supplying instead, tonight? And why?

          • Poission

            There is an absence of wind generation in the NI,the only wind seemed to come from Woods/Ardern at the press conference.

            Reducing demand in the NI would be the first option.

            • Grumpy

              Yet the North Island has the biggest population increase and landlords and Kianga Ora are installing electric heating at vastly over specified capacity………..of course the other option is not to reduce demand but increase supply.

              • Cricklewood

                Failure to address infrastructure while at the same time massively increasing population goes back to the last National govt possibly earlier.

                Its why housing, hospitals,public transport even the national grid are fast becoming a shit show.

                We really need govt both national and local to really focus on getting these core responsibilities caught up.

                • Grumpy

                  Yet the legislating of minimum heating requirements came from Labour with apparently no consideration of the supply side consequences.

                • alwyn

                  "the last National govt possibly earlier".

                  Both earlier and later, I would suggest.

                  The last hydro dam of any size was the Clyde Dam. Construction started in 1982 as part of the Muldoon "Think Big" projects.

                  Since then have had, and can validly blame, the Labour Governments of 1984-1990, that of !999-2008 and 2017 until today. The National Governments to also blame are those of 1990-1999 and 2008-2017.

                  There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of politics.

            • Nic the NZer

              What do you propose if there is not enough wind to keep them operating across the peak period?

              • Poission

                I doubt if there will be sufficient wind for tonight,where there will be significant frosts.

                There are tools in the emergency supply models such as operating standby generation at hospitals,prisons etc.In addition ask commercial premises to reduce vanity lighting overnight (such as skytower etc)

              • Grumpy

                Look at places like Manila. Ports have links to the reticulation networks that allow ships to plug their generators into. You might be surprised how much you can get out of a container ship! Probably more efficient than burning diesel at Huntly to transport to Auckland.

            • lprent

              Reducing demand in the NI would be the first option.

              Hard to do if at the same time you want to push towards plug-in electric vehicles or even e-bikes.

              The demand has been reducing rapidly in the NI anyway. My household power usage has dropped by nearly a half over the last 20 years mostly from the increases in efficiency in a electric utilities. Computers (my largest power hog), screens, lights, TV, heating, music systems, fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, dryer.

              The only things that I haven’t changed for more efficient items are the stove top, oven, and range hood.

              The problem is that (especially in the Auckland / Hamilton / Tauranga region that the population has also skyrocketed. That means that while individual electricity demand has dropped, the total demand has increased.

              • Poission

                I was looking at the very short term 17:30 -19:30 tonight.

                My solar in chch is at present generating 5kw,usage around 1.2 kw, just going to pay my power bill for the month of $56.

                • alwyn

                  What a shame that sunset today in Christchurch is at about 17:30.

                  Where is Joshua when we most need him?

                  • Poission

                    The thermometer in my conservatory is 23c,passive solar here will heat the house tonight to around 16c,life is good.

                    • lprent

                      Out normal overnight temp in the well insulated apartment runs at about 20-22C. That is with a a couple of windows opened during winter for ventilation. ~5-10cm on the front window. The bathroom window open about 10cm. That provides just a little breeze overnight.

                      In summer of course we just open everything up to get the breeze to stop the interior temp from rising over 24C.

                      If I could convince my partner to look at the overnight external temp and wind forecasts and to not to open the windows when it is expected to drop below 10C overnight or the winds are going to be strong, then the usual computer generated heating is sufficient to keep the interior temp above 20C.

                      This is the relationship problem of an native Aucklander getting involved with a woman from Southland. At 11pm the exterior temperature is usually far higher than it is in the early morning. And I typically am in bed by 10pm reading. She goes to bed around midnight after the late night work session.

                      In winter this is a pain. I usually have get up at about 3-4am when I start freezing and close the bathroom door to stop the wind whistling through the apartment. At 2359, the exterior temperature may be 10C like it was on Monday. At 0400 it may be 4C like it was on Tuesday, and out interior temperature had dropped to 16.5C.

                      BTW I recommend fast CPUs and water coolers as convection heaters. Have a threadripper or two running in a well insulated apartment and your usual problem is how to reduce tempatures.

                • weka

                  is that enough excess to run an EV?

                  • Poission

                    There will be enough surplus to charge a storage battery (which is in the planning) an ev or plug in hybrid is in my retirement plan.

  7. tc 7

    Golden opportunity to rip apart the scam our power industry's become Megan woods.

    The first step is to show kiwis how dysfunctional and self serving the Bradford reforms were.

    Another privatisation failure.

    • Pete 7.1

      Will Megan Woods still be in the job? We talk about emissions from cattle and no doubt those outside my window are emitting right now. Then again a silly cow was just on the radio emitting crap, calling for the resignation of Woods. The great party conference in the weekend may have emboldened her I suppose.

      • Anne 7.1.1

        … a silly cow was just on the radio emitting crap, calling for the resignation of Woods. The great party conference in the weekend may have emboldened her I suppose.

        Yeah… in the Herald there's currently a sustained campaign of letters to the editor re-various minsters. They are short and always end up with a smart-arse quip denigrating the minister. The quips all have a familiar ring to them. In other words, one person is composing the letters then emailing them out to National members who are in turn submitting them to the Herald as their own work.

        Its a well known political ploy the National Party in particular use extensively.

  8. Forget now 8

    This is some good investigative journalism for a student paper! Also gets pretty unpleasant at times, so I won't quote from all links. This one is from the accompanying guest editorial:

    In this week’s issue we have two pieces that are the result of six months undercover in Action Zealandia, a neo-Nazi group with members across Aotearoa. For the investigation, I met with six different members of Action Zealandia, had voice calls with two leaders, and was in their online chats for most of this year, all while maintaining a secret identity. Pretending to be someone you’re not, particularly someone who is hateful and stands for so many things you vehemently oppose, is not something I’d recommend anyone try…

    Their members are mostly incompetent, but the group is nonetheless dangerous to society. Despite their horrific beliefs and harmful actions, it is important to remember that members of Action Zealandia, or white supremacists, Nazis, and far-right extremists in general, are not ‘monsters’. They are human. I do not say this to inspire sympathy, but to avoid falling into the comforting trap of creating a level of separation between ‘us’ and ‘them’, between society and its hateful fringes…

    history tells us, there isn’t a solid black and white line between “normal person in society” and “total Nazi”. Once we acknowledge that, we can see how dangerous white supremacist ideas can seep into the mainstream and become a torrent.

    This is perhaps the most concerning issue – though fascists inbedded in the military, and the risk of further hate crimes are strong competition. Even if they don't succeed in complete infiltration, with enough sockpuppets and a loud enough voices, a small focused group can convince a political party that there is strong public support for a change in certain policies. Especially if they are desperate to avoid irrelevancy:

    Members frequently discuss covertly influencing existing political parties to further their white nationalist agenda. They believe the Social Credit Party is their most promising option and frequently reference plans to take over the Social Credit Party. Members attended a public Social Credit Party meeting in Ashburton in May this year.

    Several members also debated infiltrating and “reinventing” the National Party to spread white supremacist ideas to a greater portion of the population.

    A strategy document circulated to members in July reiterated these plans and outlines several others. The document prioritises working on a new approach to spreading their message, with new platforms and multiple different websites to appeal to a broader audience. They want to encourage further audience and supporter participation. Reiterating plans for political infiltration, the document stipulated concentrating on “weak” electorates first and training specifically chosen people for these roles…

    The document also provides directions for minors attempting to join Action Zealandia. “If applicant is too young, do not turn them away totally. Ensure you give them a list of directions of what they can do to help spread our message – mainly amongst their friends at school. Think about how we can make the youth help before they're old enough to join.” Previously, the leader of the Wellington chapter claimed teenagers as young as 13 had reached out to join.

  9. Descendant Of Smith 9

    The interview this morning on the news was PR murky – arguing forecasted demand against supply provision without actually saying whether:

    A: They got the forecasting wrong
    B: The generators couldn't deliver to what was forecast

    I basically got the impression the forecasting was cocked up without anyone saying that directly.

    • tc 9.1

      Network resilience was one of the many principles torched by the Bradford reforms.

      Deferred/cancelled or simply ignored in pursuit of that precious ROI for shareholders, lines trusts etc.

      This is the inevitable outcome and guess what….nobody’s fault as designed.

  10. Ed1 10

    On the news this morning was the release of another Climate Change report that referred to more extreme weather events – giving it appears fires in places like the USA and Greece, and perhaps cold weather without accompanying wind near Hamilton . . .

    The extent to which we are getting weather events that are outside previous experience, may make it difficult to predict electricity demand at that time – doubtless there will be some changes to models.

    Also on the news was the observation that SUVs now represent something like 55% of new vehicle purchases, which was reported as at least partially explained a 13% increase in vehicle emissions.

    For electricity, we clearly need to investigate easing both demand (through local storage such as batteries?) and supply (by bringing back some of the wind projects that were deferred when there was talk of smelter closure, but also by better insulation of houses etc).

  11. RP Mcmurphy 11

    Had to laugh at Hariet Hubbard on the opposition benches claiming that the government are rude and wont listed to her because she knows everything. NO wonder the nationals love her because she can sidestep every argument with puritanical foot stamping as if parliament is some sort of church where farting and telling the truth is not allowed especially when the bill at hand is rectifying the nonsense from the collins reforms to the family court.

  12. RP Mcmurphy 12

    btw I do not speak the Maori Language and reserve the right to translate any and all language back into English.

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    7 days ago
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    7 days ago
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  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
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