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Open mike 10/10/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 10th, 2021 - 131 comments
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131 comments on “Open mike 10/10/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1


    "Originally published by Māori Television

    A Mongrel Mob leader accused of helping a Covid-positive sex worker obtain documentation to travel to Northland has lashed out at the allegations and threatened legal action.

    …Hawke's Bay Mongrel Mob leader Harry Tam says the claims levelled by former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters are not true. "If Winston said it, he needs to prove it… If he's not going to apologise, we will need to look at legal action," Tam said.

    Peters appeared on TV3's Newshub on Saturday morning levelling the allegations which had been circulating on social media and encrypted messaging app 'WhatsApp' on Friday night.

    "This person came here with a gang member assigned essential worker status, falsified the reason she was coming," Peters said. "[She] engaged with people at a hotel in Whangārei… and went to a marae up North which hid her from the public and, dare I say it, the police. The police got a warrant to arrest her."

    Peters claimed the Government found out about the situation "days and days ago".

    "How he got up North, that is very difficult to understand in terms of the permit system, but he brought in, under false premises, this woman with him. The rest, sadly, is catastrophic," Peters said.

    Tam told Te Ao Māori News that Peters was off the mark, while he had travelled to Tāmaki under a government exemption to support efforts to get gang members vaccinated, he travelled alone and had never been to Northland since arriving in Auckland.

    Tam said mainstream media had been irresponsible in its coverage of the allegations first raised by a reporter at an impromptu press conference on Friday evening.

    'It's the media's job to check these things.'"



    What a hoot. Will be interesting to see where this goes, if anywhere. Tam must not be short of money for lawyers….

    • Forget now 1.1

      You missed out this paragraph while cutting around the photo; Gezza. It seems to be the core of the issue:

      Tam told Te Ao Māori News, Peters was off the mark, while he had travelled to Tāmaki under a government exemption to support efforts to get gang members vaccinated, he travelled alone and had never been to Northland since arriving in Auckland.

      “I didn’t bring anyone with me. Where did he get his information from? What is his source?’ he said.

      Peters may be too used to having parliamentary privilege! But he was not speaking in parliament, and he's not even an MP anymore. A reminder why it is important to cite sources, and always use the term; allegedly (however sarcastically), in any potentially defamatory statement based on hearsay. Particularly onsite where unfounded speculation may sometimes put TS at legal risk and waste mod time.

      • Gezza 1.1.1

        I think you skimmed over my post too quickly, Forget now?

        That paragraph is in there. The only bit that isn’t is your quotation:

        “I didn’t bring anyone with me. Where did he get his information from? What is his source?’ he said.”

        which I figured readers could see when they clicked on the article link.

        • Forget now

          The quote was the paragraph I was referring to; Gezza (the preceding paragraph was included for context – probably should have italicized for clarity). So your omission was intentional? I assumed that you had simply made a cut and paste typo.

          Just watched the original Peters interview, which was a bit embarrassing really. But he certainly wasn't being taken out of context. Relevant section starts at 1:30 mark on video. The interviewer goes out of his way to offer Peters a lifeline at 2:13 "How do you know all this?…", but he'd rather drown:

          "I am absolutely certain of my sources, otherwise I wouldn't be saying what I'm saying," said Peters, urging the media to verify the claims with officials.

          "Let them deny it, and they won't. But when the press was told yesterday at 6:30pm by Minister Hipkins that he didn't, that simply wasn't true. Frankly, we will never get through this crisis if we aren't transparent and honest."


          • Gezza

            Yes, I just watched the whole interview. Peters seems to have dug himself into a hole over the claims Tam & the infected exemption letter cheat travelled together. It remains to be seen whether Peters subsequently issues a correction and/or Tam actually initiates Legal proceedings.

            But, beyond that issue, Peters got in some solid body blows against the government for other shortcomings. In particular, that the Health Dept adopted completely the wrong strategy for prioritising Māori & Pasifika vaccinations in not involving Māori heath orgs in the rollout – a claim which is being made increasingly often in numerous media sources.

            Also in the very slow vaccine supplies we had to start off with.

            • Jenny how to get there

              From the Left and the Right, and the Centre;

              Winston Peters is, a "political pro." (Amanda Gillies). A "political predator" (Mark Richardson). An "opportunist" (Duncan Garner).

              Peters is all these things.

              "Whenever there's civil unrest, when anything's going down no matter how small the group might be, Winston is in there politically grandstanding." M.R.


              The rough sleepers, drug users, sex workers, prisoners, the gangs, are the lowest and most alienated and marginalised sections of our New Zealand society.

              It was always known, (and feared), that if the virus got into these marginalised communities that the virus would be hard to contain and would spread like wildfire.

              I see the infections in the gangs as a symptom of the government's failure to control the virus, not the cause of it, as some like Peters are trying to make out.

              It is notable that these groups were not singled out for blame and scapegoating, until after the drop in alert level, which just as predicted by some experts, infection numbers reversed their decline and started rising again.

              Lockdowns are like herd immunity, the harder the Lockdown, the more people who practice it, even the few, who don't are protected.

              It will be interesting to see, (from an epidemioligist modeling point of view), if the irresponsible actions of the two alleged sex workers who travelled illegally throughout Northland on their business, spark off a major outbreak.

              In a time of national crisis scapegoating and blaming is dangerous and should have no place.

              Whatever the eventual outcome. Let us hope that this is the end of Winston Peters predatory and opportunistic brand of politics.

    • dv 1.2

      Do you think Peters has been set up?

      • Gezza 1.2.1

        Dunno. He’s a wily old fox. One would think he normally has his radar on for signs of that ?

        • dv

          I am looking forward to the court case.

          • Gezza

            Me too. Peters has form for allegations that aren’t subsequently backed up by him. But he usually makes them within the protection of the House.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Must say that while I wasn't happy with the last election result it was the best result out of all the bad options

              Winston is a blight and I'd rather see National/Act stay in opposition if it meant Winston got back in

      • Anne 1.2.2

        DV @ 1.2
        It's possible somebody was set up and it flowed from there. I commented along the lines yesterday that there were some nasty right-wing political buggers floating around the North in the past, and they're probably still there.

    • Jenny how to get there 1.3


      10 October 2021 at 6:26 am


      Tam must not be short of money for lawyers….

      In my (limited) recent interaction with the gangs, what struck me most forcefully about them was their poverty.

      Count me in; if Harry Tam has to set up a 'Give a Little' page, for a legal case against Peters.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.3.1

        The lowest members are very poor, the leaders are not poor.

        • Jenny how to get there

          Puckish Rogue

          10 October 2021 at 8:57 am

          The lowest members are very poor, the leaders are not poor.

          This may be true, it may not.


          The fact is, even if Harry Tam is financially better placed than most of his gang's members, Tam would soon be reduced to absolute poverty in litigation with Winston Peters, who has far greater resources and the backing of some people with very deep pockets.

          For this reason I think Harry Tam, though he may want to, would be ill advised to take a case against Winston Peters.

          • Puckish Rogue

            No it is true, no maybe about it.

            As far as I'm concerned I'd love to see these duke it out in court and, best case scenario, financially cripple both of them

            • Jenny how to get there

              Jenny how to get there

              10 October 2021 at 8:29 am

              …..Count me in; if Harry Tam has to set up a 'Give a Little' page, for a legal case against Peters.

              Puckish Rogue

              10 October 2021 at 8:57 am

              The lowest members are very poor, the leaders are not poor….

              Jenny how to get there

              10 October 2021 at 10:18 am

              This may be true, it may not.


              Puckish Rogue

              10 October 2021 at 10:27 am

              No it is true, no maybe about it…..


              From the States:

              Why do drug dealers still live with their Moms

              ….It was John Kenneth Galbraith, the hyperliterate economic sage, who coined the phrase “conventional wisdom.” He did not consider it a compliment. “We associate truth with convenience,” he wrote,

              ….conventional wisdom in Galbraith’s view must be simple,
              convenient, comfortable, and comforting—though not necessarily true.

              ….if you were to have spent a little time around the housing projects where crack was so often sold, you might have noticed something strange: not only did most of the crack dealers still live in the projects, but most of them still lived at home with their moms. And then you may have scratched your head and said, “Why is that?”

              …the eminent poverty scholar William Julius Wilson, promptly sent Venkatesh into the field. His assignment: to visit Chicago’s poorest black neighborhoods with a clipboard and a seventy-question, multiple-choice survey. This was the first question on the survey:

              How do you feel about being black and poor?
              a. Very bad
              b. Bad
              c. Neither bad nor good
              d. Somewhat good
              e. Very good

              …..In reality, he now knew, the answers should have looked like this:
              a. Very bad
              b. Bad
              c. Neither bad nor good
              d. Somewhat good
              e. Very good
              f. Fuck you

              ….Sometimes the gangsters were annoyed by his curiosity; more often they took advantage of his willingness to listen. “It’s a war out here, man,” one dealer told him. “I mean, every day people struggling to survive, so you know, we just do what we can. We ain’t got no choice, and if that means getting killed, well shit, it’s what niggers do around here to feed their family.”

              ……Over the years the gang endured bloody turf wars and, eventually, a federal indictment.

              A member named Booty, who was one rank beneath J. T., came to Venkatesh with a story. Booty was being blamed
              by the rest of the gang for bringing about the indictment, he told Venkatesh, and therefore suspected that he would soon be killed. (He was right.)

              …..Booty was feeling guilty. He wanted to leave behind something that might somehow benefit the next generation. He handed Venkatesh a stack of well-worn spiral notebooks—blue and black, the gang’s colors. They represented a complete record of four years’ worth of the gang’s financial transactions. At J. T.’s direction, the ledgers had been rigorously compiled: sales, wages, dues, even the death benefits paid out to the families of murdered members.

              ……It would be the first time that such priceless financial data had fallen into an economist’s hands, affording an analysis of a heretofore uncharted criminal enterprise.

              ….Now, here’s what it cost J. T., excluding wages, to bring in that $32,000 per month:
              Wholesale cost of drugs $ 5,000
              Board of directors fee 5,000
              Mercenary fighters 1,300
              Weapons 300
              Miscellaneous 2,400
              Total monthly nonwage costs $14,000

              …..the money the gang took in went to its members, starting with J. T. Here is the single line item in the gang’s budget that
              made J. T. the happiest:
              Net monthly profit accruing to leader $8,500

              At $8,500 per month, J. T.’s annual salary was about $100,000—tax-free, of course…..


              As Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters was on $326,697 per year, and had to pay tax on that.

              If I had to guess, I would guess that Harry Tam would be getting way less than his American counterparts. But assuming, (just for argument's sake), that a New Zealand gang leader like Harry Tam had an analogous business plan and salary to match that of his American soul mates. Then Harry Tam might be able to match Winston Peters, in meeting the costs of litigation. Except for one difference, unlike Winston Peters, Harry Tam does not have the backing of secret wealthy donors, prepared to hide their donations in trusts and slush funds.

              New Zealand First Foundation scandal: Charged pair alleged to have deposited $740,000

              8 Oct, 2020 12:08 PM

              …..RNZ reported that the foundation collected donations of more than $500,000 from April 2017 to March 2019.

              During that period, the foundation reportedly spent more than $425,000 on campaign advertising expenses, political consultants' fees, renting and setting up a campaign HQ in Wellington, and running the party's website….


              To the States again:

              ……for the [monthly] wages that J. T. paid his gang members:
              Combined wages paid to all three officers $2,100
              Combined wages paid to all foot soldiers 7,400
              Total monthly gang wages (excluding leader) $9,500

              …..So J. T. paid his employees $9,500, a combined monthly salary that
              was only $1,000 more than his own official salary. J. T.’s hourly wage
              was $66. His three officers, meanwhile, each took home $700 a
              month, which works out to about $7 an hour. And the foot soldiers earned just $3.30 an hour, less than the minimum wage. So the answer to the original question—if drug dealers make so much money, why are they still living with their mothers?—is that, except for the top cats, they don’t make much money. They had no choice but to live with their mothers. For every big earner, there were hundreds more
              just scraping along.


              It is clear to me that there is no way Harry Tam can afford the costs of litigation, to be able to take Winston Peters to court, not unless Tam received lots of small donations from thousands of ordinary New Zealanders.

              If Tam goes down the path of litigation, for him to have a 'Give a Little' page would be a necessity. Whether it would get much support is another question.. But I would flick him a $20.

              • Stuart Munro

                Me too. I remember how he settled the MM in Dunedin – got them calmed down and stable and helping out their neighbours in South Dunedin.

                Then the Gnats wrecked all his work so they could pretend to be 'tough on crime'. Crime went up.

                • Gezza

                  Tam got the MM “calmed down” from what?

                  How did National “wreck all his work” exactly?

                  And who was committing the crime when it “went up”.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    He was a social worker, back in the day. He took a not inconsiderable personal risk and approached the Dunedin chapter of the MM. Got them their welfare entitlements, found them housing. They stopped accepting prospects.

                    How did National “wreck all his work” exactly?

                    They found 'reasons' to back out of everything that he'd arranged.

                    who was committing the crime when it “went up”

                    Chiefly a new gang, ultra violent, forget their name but they lived near Ravensdown.

              • Gezza

                Is Harry Tam still living with his mum, Jenny?

                • Jenny how to get there


                  10 October 2021 at 6:19 pm

                  Is Harry Tam still living with his mum, Jenny?

                  I don't know, but I doubt it. The US has very weak welfare provision compared to New Zealand. I would guess that Tam and his family have a state home. At least I hope so.

                  The point I was trying to make; Despite the 'conventional wisdom' gangs don't make a lot of money.

                  I am also guessing, that because of our welfare safety net, New Zealand gangs are not as viciously murderous and criminaly mercenary as they are in the U.S.

                  Thank goodness.

              • Puckish Rogue

                That's your choice but maybe consider flicking the money to a charity instead

      • Ross 1.3.2

        Count me in; if Harry Tam has to set up a 'Give a Little' page, for a legal case against Peters.

        Yeah, nah. Harry won't be taking any legal action. He knows he'd be cross-examined and would almost certainly be asked what he had to do to earn his gang patch.

        It's been reported that Harry is a convicted wife-beater. You can see why Winston won't be going to court anytime soon.

        Tam was convicted in 1994 of assaulting his wife and was sentenced to three months' periodic detention and six months' supervision.

        Mildon says she experienced abuse herself.

        "One time Harry attacked me in the middle of the night while I was in bed asleep and tried to strangle me. The police have evidence and photographs," she told Newshub.

        "Harry says I'm a liar and a violent, jealous woman, who beat him three times…. People accuse you of things they're actually doing themselves."



        • aom

          What the hell does the information you provided have to do with the legal action that has been proposed?

          Unlike your proposition, the justice system is supposed to rely on evidence relevant to the case and to exclude the irrelevant history of the person who seeks a remedy for an alleged defamation.

          • chris T

            You find it irrelevant and all cool. Others don't and all cool with that as well.

            • Jenny how to get there

              Since we are bringing up the past criminal outrages, as apparently relevant to this case: Winston Peters is a politician who has, at various times in his career, opportunistically appealed to the worst racist views and paranoia of Pakeha New Zealand against Asians and even Maori to gain increased electoral support.

              At the height of Peters Asian bashing campaign, inflamed by Peters racist rhetoric, there were a number of unprovoked physical attacks and bashings of Asian New Zealanders one of the most notorious occuring in Queen Street.

              Are you cool with that as well?

              • chris T

                Past drink driving charges for example amongst others don't count. They get included in hearings.

                I don't have an issue either way, but the pick and chose which can be brought up I find interesting.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Lets not go down that particular road again


                'Leader Andrew Little has admitted he knew use of the figures would lead to calls of racism and that the analysis is crude.'

                • Stuart Munro

                  This again?

                  It was and is a perfectly valid linguistic technique. The only reason it became a story is that lazy and incompetent reporters figured they had a stick they could use to beat the Left. Little may have many faults, but being motivated by racism to express concern about the out of control property speculation which has pushed housing out of reach of 60% of New Zealanders isn't one of them.

                  It has no more credibility than the antisemitism slur used on Corbyn – a political vehicle for the unelectable Starmer, and a way for Israeli intelligence to negate one of the few informed voices on the Palestinian question.

                • Jenny how to get there

                  Tam is a Vietnamese name. So I guess Harry Tam triggers at least two of Winston Peters hates, Asians and gangs.

        • Puckish Rogue

          To earn a gang patch especially at the time he got his usually included rape of some description

          Not that I'm saying he did of course just that it was an accepted part of the culture he willingly chose to join.

          A rape culture one could say.



        • joe90

          He knows he'd be cross-examined and would almost certainly be asked what he had to do to earn his gang patch.

          Do you really believe the respondent's previous criminal history will counter any definitive proof that Peters made shit up?

  2. Robert Guyton 3

    What an effective strategy to get a vax-reluctant community in a particular region, to get vaxxed, pronto, would claims of an invasion by a busy, Covid-infected sex-worker be.

    • Ad 3.1

      More effective if you got sex as a reward for your second jab.

      One good prick deserves another.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        Maybe that's what the Northland case was doing? "Vaccination Incentive Contractor" sounds like "essential work" to me.

  3. Molly 4

    Concern raised (and ignored) regarding the current treatment path for children and young people with gender dysphoria:

    Top Trans Doctors Blow the Whistle on ‘Sloppy’ Care

    For nearly a decade, the vanguard of the transgender-rights movement — doctors, activists, celebrities and transgender influencers — has defined the boundaries of the new orthodoxy surrounding transgender medical care: What’s true, what’s false, which questions can and cannot be asked.

    They said it was perfectly safe to give children as young as nine puberty blockers and insisted that the effects of those blockers were “fully reversible.” They said that it was the job of medical professionals to help minors to transition. They said it was not their job to question the wisdom of transitioning, and that anyone who did — including parents — was probably transphobic. They said that any worries about a social contagion among teen girls was nonsense. And they never said anything about the distinct possibility that blocking puberty, coupled with cross-sex hormones, could inhibit a normal sex life.

    Their allies in the media and Hollywood reported stories and created content that reaffirmed this orthodoxy. Anyone who dared disagree or depart from any of its core tenets, including young women who publicly detransitioned, were inevitably smeared as hateful and accused of harming children.

    But that new orthodoxy has gone too far, according to two of the most prominent providers in the field of transgender medicine: Dr. Marci Bowers, a world-renowned vaginoplasty specialist who operated on reality-television star Jazz Jennings; and Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the University of California San Francisco’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic.

    In the course of their careers, both have seen thousands of patients. Both are board members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the organization that sets the standards worldwide for transgender medical care. And both are transgender women.

    Earlier this month, Anderson told me she submitted a co-authored op-ed to The New York Times warning that many transgender healthcare providers were treating kids recklessly. The Times passed, explaining it was “outside our coverage priorities right now.”

    This is the US, where healthcare is not standardise, but the approach seems to be consistent.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.1

      Interesting read.

      There certainly does seem to be an insistence on only reporting one side of the issue.

      I follow Blaire White on youtube and she brings up issues like this all the time and why shes for transitioning at 18 not younger.

      Her video on being pushed to do sex work was also eye opening:

      • Molly 4.1.1

        Interesting video. Thanks, PR.

        • Puckish Rogue

          A slight diversion but this guy is a former mma fighter, is a trainer, manager, cornerman, referee and commentates so he knows his stuff

          (A really good voice as well)

          This is his take on the latest trans fight, from a knowledgeable, insiders perspective.

  4. weka 5

    Homegrown weekend entertainment, thread:

  5. Jenny how to get there 6


  6. Peter 7

    The Herald online has very regular stories about broadcasters. I don't click on them. Some I know are broadcasters even though I've never heard or seen them broadcast.

    Important stories: "Why I never eat bread," or "Shock over my cat," or "Worst time of the year for…"

    Kim Hill is a voice on the radio. I don't need to know what she eats for breakfast or some personal tragedy she went through just before her 4th birthday.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      Yes agreed or some personality does a clap back or something and its the most amazing thing ever, apparantly.

  7. chris T 8

    Would never vote for the dude, but Seymour did a good job on Q and A there with an obviously biased Jack Tame.

    Was quite funny

    • AB 8.1

      Seymour has a carefully cultivated pretense of being harmless, non-scary and well-intentioned. But before he appeared on the programme, Q&A did us the service of a tiki tour through the various gruesome far-right ghouls who have been his predecessors as former ACT's leaders. I had to leave the room, there is only so much loathing one person can process.

      • chris T 8.1.1

        Did you just call ACT far right?


        Sorry but that is funny. In so many ways it is unbelievable. You managed to both exagerate seeming opinions of Seymour while belittling the actual affect the far right nut jobs have on the rest of the worlds vulnerable at the same time.

        Let me guess. You think Ardern is far left?

      • Patricia Bremner 8.1.2

        yes AB He models on Key, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

        • chris T

          I think comparing Seymour to Key is a bit silly.

          Seymour is good, but not Key popularity

          Admit has the easy going thing on his side. But a bit

          • Stuart Munro

            There are many possible grounds for comparing Seymour to Key. In disingenuousness they are probably about equal – but in terms of efficacy in achieving their nefarious objectives, Key rates highly, but Seymour doesn't rate at all.

    • Puckish Rogue 8.2

      Just watched it and yes he had a slow start but finished strongly and did well, a nice touch to talk about breast cancer as well

      • chris T 8.2.1

        Yeah. It hasn't been mentioned in media much, but would be interesting to know how many, not only breast cancer screenings, but also other cancer screenings have been turfed over Covid and how many mean it makes it too late.

        While idiot journalists still ask "How many deaths from Covid are acceptable?"

        Probably never will know.

        It is a stupid question given the circumstances whether it is asked to any party.

        Seymour basically just answered with "How many others are acceptable to avoid your imaginary number of Covid deaths?"

        • Puckish Rogue

          Yeah I don't like that line of questioning either.

          Like if the government lowered the speed limit on all roads to 10kms we'd probably have fewer deaths but we are all ok with (or at least accept) that certain numbers of people are going to die each year

          • chris T

            It is quite ugly and I admit I am probably being an arsehole. But we were talking about it at work the other day.

            I actually went for 650ish. (Would never say that as a politician as you would be screwed)

            Just an easy flu + car crash deaths a year.

            You could add all the cancer numbers of deaths on, but makes it too complicated.

            Obviously zero is better, but it is what it is and we have to accept/deal with the hand we are dealt

            Edit:And suicides

            • Puckish Rogue

              I'm sure all the politicians have a number to be under but I'm of the view that all the information is out there so get vaccinated or don't, mask up or don't, self isolate as much as possible or don't and lets all open up

              • chris T

                I find it a bit weird that people think the govt and opposition parties don't take into account different loss of life acceptable or unacceptable into consideration every day.

                If they didn't they would be a bit shit considering their resources.

                Ardern will have a nightmare figure, an acceptable figure and a easy win next election figure.

                She is a brainy chick

                • Gezza

                  “She is a brainy chick”

                  I see no evidence for that conclusion. While she is not stupid, she is mostly only concentrating on ONE thing – Covid. And she is voluble in deflecting & refusing to acknowledge any shortcomings in the strategies to date.

                  By now she SHOULD be well-versed in the numbers and the strategies, & she & Robertson have somehow got out of sync a time or two. Her other areas of responsibility she seems less familiar with & less on top of. Child povidy, anyone?

                  • Patricia Bremner

                    Jacinda Ardern is well versed in what is needed going forward. She is acknowledged as an inspirational Leader, and our covid stats and GDP bear this out. You may not like her style, but to say "only covid" does not flatter you.

                    Child poverty is worse everywhere because.. Covid. Our biggest issue currently. You are doing what JK used to do.. attacking strength. I C U.

                    • Gezza
                      1. Child povidy had got worse on her watch BEFORE Covid, Patricia.
                      2. Being “inspirational” is not the same thing as being “a brainy chick”.
                      3. I know she’s from the Wycaddo ruralities, so she’s got that lazy rural central Cow cocky diction, but God I wish she’d stop saying sumpthink, anythink, & nuthink, & would also learn to pronounce t’s as t’s & not d’s. Also not the hallmarks of “a brainy chick”.

                      Somebody has smartened up her te reo Māori pronunciation. Surely someine can take her aside now & smarten up her English pronunciation.

                    • Gezza

                      🙄 *Someine = someone

              • McFlock

                The thing about the speed limit is that it won't save lives if people start to ignore it.

                For all of those causes of death mentioned, the government spends literally millions every year to try to stop people dying from them. But with covid's infection rate, it's not like we can half arse it and just have an "acceptable" number of dead. That shit spreads. Even with moderate controls, we need absurdedly high vax rates across the board to avoid literally thousands of deaths a year.

                Sure, number of people dying directly from covid under different circumstances is part of the decision-making matrix, but it's definitely not the only number. Turns out a healthy society is better for the economy than being a plagueland, even if the tory narrative doesn't agree.

                And the last couple of years raises the wider question about whether maybe we've been accepting preventable deaths because we were used to them and they were lower than 50 years ago, but actually we can do a lot better if we did things like border tests for influenza, rsv, and maybe a few others.

  8. observer 10

    Stuff Comments continues to be the sewer of conspiracy theories and flat out fibs. Of course that is commonplace on social media (and blogs!) but Stuff is supposed to be a professional media outlet with moderation on their comments threads (as they claim). Sadly, they barely bother.

    Example: Tracy Watkins' column (itself bad enough) is open for lies comments. So we get rubbish like this –

    why was the prime minister a last minute cancellation on Friday for the press conference? No one was informed least of all the press gallery. She then surfaced in Rotorua only to once again disappear without informing anyone of her movements

    Yes, the PM of New Zealand mysteriously disappears and hides because it's a Conspiracy!11!!

    Anybody with Google (i.e anybody at all) could fact-check in 5 seconds and see where the PM has been. Then you chuck the pork pies in the bin. That is literally the job of the moderators employed by Stuff. Or rather, it should be. But they can't be arsed.

    • Gezza 10.1

      You did exceptionally well to find a Stuff article they were allowing comments on. These days they’re rarer than hens’ teeth.

      I don’t really understand your apparent apoplexy about the comments on Watkins column (tho I’d put her in the Sir John Key fangirl club) because from my perspective most Stuff journos have been afflicted by Jacindamania since she first rescued Labour from electoral oblivion & only a few of the opinion writers generally dare to criticise her.

      • observer 10.1.1

        The comments are not the column.

        (I don't agree with Watkins much either, but op-eds are like that, always gonna vary. Obviously not the issue here).

        The comment I quoted appears to have been removed now, after several hours, which illustrates how hopeless their system is. They only remove the lies after they are challenged – as I did in this case and I expect many others did too. Other misinformation remains and who has the time to spend their Sunday cleaning up the Stuff website? It is their job.

        They are legally and ethically the publisher, and moderating is a minimum requirement. "Opinion" is not a defence: "Ardern eats kittens" is an opinion, and also defamation.

  9. joe90 11

    The sprinkler lady has competition.

    • Gezza 11.1

      😮 I’d never heard of the crazy sprinkler lady before. OMG. What an embarrassment to her county. Has to be a US Southerner, I suppose, from the accent.

      Amerika has the best out & out wackos in the world. And probably the most of them of any country, too.

  10. Gezza 12

    “A man brutally attacked while walked home in Flaxmere says he felt a blow on his neck and ran and fell, not realising he had been stabbed. The man was then stabbed three more times on the back before he was able to get up and run again to an area with houses, where his calls for help were answered.

    Police and the man’s family are now appealing for help to find the alleged attacker behind the stabbing, which occured bout 5am on Saturday on Chatham Rd, near Chatham Park.

    The victim, a man in his 20s, told Hawke’s Bay Today he was walking home from a nightclub at the time.

    “I’m not too sure where he came from [the attacker], I just remembered seeing him by a truck and felt myself being hit,” he said. ‘I didn’t realise I was stabbed but I ran and fell – I think that’s when he stabbed my back up.'”

    The police have a description & and are asking for any witnesses or those who might know something about this to contact them.

    Man, wtf is wrong with our little paradise bubble in the South Pacific? How do so many whackos or haters end up walking our streets?

  11. joe90 13

    Best explanation yet to why the government changed tack.

    The likely net result is countries such as Singapore, Australia and New Zealand will see less suffering and tragedy than Europe or the US saw last year. Exposing a vaccinated population to the virus is different because vaccines protect people from the most harmful effect of COVID-19 infections.

    Singapore, for example, has recorded 46,637 new cases in the last four weeks, but on Thursday only 297 required oxygen and 40 people were so sick they had to be in intensive care.

    Some people still die. Last week, Singapore recorded its 100th death related to COVID-19. As of Thursday, fatalities had reached 136. As those tents outside hospitals show, the surge in cases has put the health system under pressure.


    On Thursday, Singapore reported 3483 new infections. Teo believes the true number is likely twice that, or even more. People who don’t feel ill don’t get tested, he notes.

    Some 98.4 per cent of those who tested positive in the last 28 days had no, or mild, symptoms. But for 18 months people have been living in fear. Now policymakers have to change that messaging.

    “Australia and Singapore share many common experiences.” Teo says. “Since the pandemic began, our countries have done so well telling people that ‘you don’t want to be affected; it affects you, your household, the whole community’.

    “Now we’re saying, ‘even if you are infected, it’s OK, stay at home, stay isolated, recover and that will be all right for you’.


  12. Patricia Bremner 14

    60 cases today. All but 3 in Auckland.

    How many are because of the "protest" a week ago? Throw the book at the "Apostle" and his mate because they are supposed to be planning another.

    The government should bring in the $4000 instant fines.. that caused a sudden drop in takers for protests in QLD and NSW.

    It may give our tractor friends food for thought about Novembers planned repeat.

  13. chris T 15

    OK truth.

    It is about time we had this. I don't care what you say or who you vote for. I don't care if you would never vote for another party out of some seird nutty principle I don't get.

    Rate the leaders NOW. (purely personal opinion)

    Ardern – 6/10

    Let's face it. She was a bit shit Monday and Tuesday getting the message across, when tcomunication has always been her greatest asset. Maybe her annoyed boyfriend will stop tweeting about it . And no matter how much you try to justify it, your vaccine roll out was one of the shittest in the world. And targets aren't bad.

    Collins 2/10

    Give it up love. Mate Your writing is on the wall so likely you might as well be holding the piece of chalk

    Seymour 9/10

    Would never vote for the dude, but winner on every day so far.. The fact he is even mentioned is interesting. Also did a good interview with one dumb journalist.

    • Puckish Rogue 15.1

      Ardern – 7/10 While I agree with your rating that she still manages to convince a helluva lot of people that she knows what shes doing and is in control of the situation means she gets a higher rating from me

      Collins – 1/10 The media hate her and won't give her the time of day (the fix is in) but National still shouldn't roll her

      Seymour – 8/10 Is doing very well but just needs a little more polishing

      The Greens – Conspicuous by their absence so no rating, would probably recommend that JAG never be interviewed on live tv ever again

    • Gezza 15.2

      I'll have to watch Seymour on Q+A before I rate any of them.

      • Gezza 15.2.1

        Seymour started the interview with that goofy-looking grin. He shouldn't try to smile for the cameras when it doesn't come naturally. There's nothing wrong with just having an 'interested' look on one's face when the cameras start rolling for a tv interview.

        Ok. Jack Tame I rate as probably TVNZ's worst political interviewer. He wasted far too much time trying to get Seymour to name an acceptable number of Covid deaths, when no political leader is going to go there.

        He should have been thinking on his arse & asking Seymour questions related to ACT's strategic Covid plan. Like, HOW does he propose to get MOH to work with private industry over rapid antigen testing, vaccine rollouts, exactly what additional capacity for ICU has he calculated would become available & where from, & where would it go into place. That sort of thing.

        Corin Dann would leave Jack Tame in the dust. Q+A is rooted with Tame. That's why I've given up watching it altogether. They've send an overgrown boy to do an adult's job.


        Ardern – 5/10. This week's announcements were a thoroughly confusing omnishambles. Not at all like the start of the Covid campaign last year when stuff was dropped in all our letterboxes & the messaging was expressly simple,comprehensive, & clear – at least in the English language versions. I think Ardern's credibility/ believability has taken a hit last week.

        Collins – 0/10. Dead woman walking. There is nothing Collins can do or say that will persuade anywhere near enuf voters that she would be an acceptable PM of this country. She's an unmitigated disaster for National, & everyone with a functioning brain knows it. Best thing Ardern & Labour have going for them.

        Seymour – 7/10. Actually currently probably IS the leader of the Opposition. Sounds credible, is able to make his plan sound sensible, is a good, clear communicator, handled Tame well – in fact he ended up owning the lad.

        • Anne

          He's a p***k Gezza. He dismembers the truth to the point where he doesn't even try to hide it because he knows the media will let him get away with it. I despair at the idiots out there in voter-land who seem unable to see through the shallow little toad.

          • Gezza

            A lot of that support is most likely waiting to rush back to National when Collins is rolled. As long as their next choice isn’t Bridges, or another loon.

            • chris T

              Your problem is with that is the last couple of polls show the nats are pretty much on their election numbers and it is Labour leaking the numbers.

      • Gezza 15.2.2

        @ Chris T

        Not how it looks to me:

  14. Ric 16

    At the Public Health blog yesterday Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers and Prof Michael Baker advocate for more and stricter regional borders including blocking minor roads with containers. They suggest regional areas of elimination and for now suppression in Auckland but perhaps back to elimination later.


  15. Ed 17

    I agree with Rod Jackson. If we all follow the rules, DELTA can be eliminated.

    "If you follow the rules, it works … the reason we didn't stamp this outbreak out was people didn't follow the rules," he said.

    Not mentioned is the undermining of public solidarity by the chattering classes, the Media and the Opposition.

    Don't believe Rod Jackson – Taiwan just did it.


    1. The government never quit.
    2. The public never quit.
    3. There was no chattering class undermining unity.
    4. Mandatory scanning
    5. Rapid anti-gen testing has increasingly become a part of daily life.
    6. Vaccinations
    7. Masks were mandated in all instances outside the home.

    The Long Road Back to Zero — Taiwan’s Covid Recovery

    • Koff 17.1

      Taiwan's big outbreak wasn't Delta – it was alpha. Also significant is which community the virus infects. Even Michael Baker thoughr that the level of compliance in South Auckland's most deprived wouldn't have improved if Auckland had stayed at level 4 any longer. Note that Victoria locked down hard and fast as well but has failed to quash the nasty virus because of significant lack of compliance and is now at the 1800 to 1900 cases per day level. Having said that, Singapore is getting over 3000 cases a day but hardly any serious illness or deaths with over 80% full vaccination and generally compliant population. It's not a great time to be in government and have to make such difficult decisions.

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        Very true Koff – good to see the stats behind the info. Thanks.

      • RedLogix 17.1.2

        And note that Taiwan seem to have achieved this without extensive lockdowns. The really smart thing they seem to have done is ramp up their own domestic production of comfortable and effective facemasks.

        By paying attention to details, like non-scratchy materials, design to minimise fogging of eye glasses and loops that go around the back of the head rather than irritating the ears – plus of course high grade filtration – they've made it far easier for people to use them routinely and effectively.

      • miravox 17.1.3

        "Taiwan's big outbreak wasn't Delta – it was alpha"

        So far, it seems it seems they same tools have worked to both prevent the delta transmission as well as suppress the alpha outbreak.

        Taiwan has now had five brushes with Delta, including two sizeable outbreaks. Thus far it has prevailed, and in a sense, I’m breathing easier with that knowledge. But I’m still haunted by our lapse earlier this year and hope we don’t fall prey to our complacency once again.

      1. 95% Han Chinese
      2. Well educated
      3. United long term by resistance to CPC domination
  16. greywarshark 18

    UK public servant showed how to be true to the task. Chilcot looked into Tony Blair and saw right through him. But it took seven years.


    His seven-year-long inquiry into the conflict ruined the reputation of Tony Blair, Labour’s most successful leader since Clement Attlee, by exposing his subservient relationship with the US president, George W Bush, and confirming that the UK and the US had not exhausted the peace process when they went to war to topple the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

    That decision cost 179 British lives, and the death of around 150,000 Iraqis. The wrecked country subsequently saw the rise, and later fall, of the terrorist group Islamic State, and is still suffering from the impact of the war today.



  17. Gezza 19

    Collins puts the boot in to Ardern…

    “National Party leader Judith Collins is calling on the Prime Minister to “come out from the shadows” after several days of no-shows at previously daily press conferences.

    Collins says for neither Jacinda Ardern or any of her ministers being forced to front – especially today when the Ministry of Health announced 60 new Covid cases in a written statement – is poor timing as the outbreak slowly spreads around the North Island.

    “New Zealanders will be unsettled by the news – delivered via written statement – that we have 60 new community cases today and yet our Prime Minister did not even get one of her senior ministers to stand in for her at the podium.

    “National have been critical at times about the unnecessary press conferences that were held when case numbers were very low, but if Jacinda Ardern thought it necessary to speak directly to the media then, why now with 60 cases is she missing in action?

    “It is clear there are questions that Prime Minister Ardern does not want to be asked.”

    Collins said the Government needed to front foot the role of gangs in spreading Covid around New Zealand.”

    • observer 19.1

      If Judith thinks Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Gisborne etc are "the shadows", no wonder National lost so many seats in the provinces. Again, it's all performative, role play with no meaning … the alternative whinge is "why doesn't the PM get out of Wellington and meet real Kiwis?". Yawn.

      I suppose the next page in the tired old playbook is to claim that tomorrow's post-Cab only happens because National boldly demanded it, never mind that it happens every week.

    • mac1 19.2

      The stupid thing is that not long ago Collins et al. were complaining about the daily 1 pm updates were purely political stunts and now after Ardern has been out doing great work in the provinces getting people to buy into vaccination she's accused of not fronting.

      This opposition for opposition's sake, this contrarian mood, this exaggeration and dramatics has not not worked to convince the centre. The contrarian Right will not see National back into power. Now we read that National MPs are financially illiterate.

      I knew that when a National MP grumped about high country stations selling for good prices because it would put up the local body rates on farms…………..

  18. Ad 20

    Amazing to hear so many people complain about our "loose border", after so many businesses begged us to open up again.

    Looks like 60 is going to rocket up through the hundreds though.

    Hold tight Auckland.

    • Herodotus 20.1

      Where the f is the government ? no real contact with us for since Thursday, and look at what as happened since then. There are people moving thru boarders, how does someone cross the boarder on multi occasions, I thought that there would be only the actual move? This lack of govt contact is leaving opportunity for people to fill the void left open, which imo is reducing confidence in the govts efforts.

      • Ad 20.1.1

        Auckland's rapidly heading for 90% first shot so Ardern and team are taking the show to the provinces and boonies where the resisters are. Makes good sense to me.

        • Herodotus

          We are approaching 150 cases since Thursday. Case in Katikati, A very close contact to the Northland person with Covid and there where abouts is unknown. Should those in Northland be concerned or is the MIA understood to be within Auckland? So the PM is in the East Cape taking the show to the provinces, what of a plan for those other areas that need a boost, what are the plans for them ? Is our government only 1 person and the rest are surplus, IMO the governments should have sufficient talent to cover the PM's absence ? Or are the current events beyond the govt ?

          There has been little development previously that that still warranted government announcements at 1:00, yet now nothing?

  19. Koff 21

    Collins and Seymour can hardly complain about rising case numbers. They want to 'learn to iive with the virus'. It's here in all its glory. They should enjoy its presence.

  20. It was always going to spread here and so far the government's measures have protected us from an overloaded hospital system and the threat of social conflict due to the disproportionate effect of covid on the underclass, elderly, Maori and Pasifika.

    • Gezza 23.1

      I think that’s a fair assessment.

      The early Māori & Pasifika vaccine rollout inadequacies were becoming a potential source of real anger & potential conflict but thank goodness sane heads have prevailed on all sides & things are looking much improved with some innovative approaches to getting vaccines to the actual communities concerned, after MOH finally started really listening to – and properly talking with – whanau/aiga/community leaders.

  21. DS 24

    Put the entire North Island in level 4 for a fortnight, and cut off the South Island. It's not going to stop the gang muppets, but it'll keep everyone else safe.

  22. joe90 25


    • Graeme 25.1

      Yep, parr for the course…

      I had a National candidate come in the shop one election trying to tell me how great their proposed tax cuts were going to be for me. I replied that it it would be nice to be paying tax. After a bit of bluster implying that I was some weirdo that actually enjoyed paying tax the penny dropped and he departed, very swiftly. But the expression at moment of comprehension was unforgettable.

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