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Open mike 11/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 11th, 2020 - 109 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

109 comments on “Open mike 11/02/2020”

  1. Andre 1

    All the talk about laws and regulations is all very well. But if the agencies that are tasked with ensuring compliance aren't funded and resourced, or worse, captured, then it all counts for shit. If a government just spent a term on making sure everything already on the books was actually being enforced, that would probably make more actual progress than a ton of inspirational ideas …


    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      +1 Totally agree.

    • Ad 1.2

      If only we had that kind of scrutiny put onto our society.

      Sure, we rank really high in lack of corruption.

      But we are run by a handful of oligopolies, monopsonies and state monopolies. For some reason with two main supermarket chains we have massively expensive food compared to Australia. Same for petrol. Same for electricity. Same for phone and internet. Near-monopolies for primary and secondary education. Don't get me started about environemental regulation, or air and land transport regulation, or local government, or water pricing. Many other fields: mess and gradual decline, and corrosion to New Zealanders wealth, property, and happiness.

      But without exacting and strong anti-competitive capacity, we have no one that brings the kind of fear that the ACCC does when it cracks the whip.

      We argue endlessly about changing laws.

      But if the agencies that are tasked with ensuring compliance aren't funded and resourced – and respected – well ……

      • Andre 1.2.1

        We rank high in lack of perceived corruption.

        But a lot of the laws and regulations that the wealthy and high-income put great effort into avoiding and evading in other jurisdictions aren't even on the books here. So no need to avoid and evade, just reap the benefits of fleecing easy targets.

    • Ain't that the bloody truthiness. Shame is that in NZ, it seems to have taken a while for the law and regulation makers to realise  that some of the enforcers had been "captured" quite a while ago.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Well, watching Bryce Edwards talking to Duncan Garner just now, I'm thinking this donations saga could sink NZF.  They were even talking about an early election.

    Voters seem not to have liked King Shane, and NZF coming in at 3.5% in the latest poll puts them in vulnerable territory.  If the SFO prosecutes, they may end up in the margin of error come the next poll.

    Bryce reminded us that it is history repeating itself – NZF had a similar controversy way back, and the NZF foundation was established as internal reform from that.  So it's a situation created by lawyers, for lawyers.  Brian Henry's reputation is on the line…

    • Incognito 2.1

      What is the margin of error for the NZF poll result (i.e. 3.5%) in that poll, Dennis? You have a degree in Physics so you should know the answer.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Well I haven't checked that one – I was just going on the standard margin of error (+/- 3%).  Given that social reality is created by mass perception, the popular perception that Seymour is likely to get one or two more ACT MPs into parliament has no basis in statistics but is influential nonetheless.

        Same type of thinking applies to NZF, despite the confident assertion of pundits that history will repeat itself via Winston barnstorming it over the threshold as usual.

        So I'm suggesting that a counter-narrative may emerge.  NZF sinking into the margin of error may cause some of their support base to shift allegiance.  That small group could become critical to the election outcome.

        • Incognito

          Well, I’d suggest you do check. By not checking and by perpetuating your unchecked statement that NZF could sink into the margin of error, you are not only following popular perception but you are feeding it too. This clumsy use of statistics whilst claiming that public perception has no basis in statistics is incredibly poor framing and sloppy narrative. But hey, I’m all for dumbing down public political discourse; it seems to be the preferred way.

          • Dennis Frank

            I think you're missing the point.  If that poll has a different margin of error, all it means is that the kind of people who take statistical measures of uncertainty seriously will think it is important.  That group is so tiny that the political relevance of their collective opinion is negligible. 

            Most people assume that any political poll quoted in the media uses the standard margin of error.  Social reality gets created by such mass perceptions.  Not that I'm claiming most voters even think about such things!  Quite the contrary.  🤨

            • Incognito

              Yes, we know you’re stubborn 😉

              NZF polled at 3.6% in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll.

              The margin of error for NZF is about 1.16%.

              You’re welcome.

        • veutoviper

          Well Dennis, I will counter your counter-narrative by suggesting that the opposite may occur – whereby a group of voters (from across the left/right political spectrum) could also step into give one of their votes to NZF to ensure they remain as a centralist balance.  I know a number of people who are considering exactly this. 

          The NZF party of today is a very different animal to the one that existed pre 2008 with Peters spending his time in the wilderness revamping the party into one supported by a much wider age range and range of views to that previously. Both Lprent and I have written here on TS on this many times over recent years.

           Sure, Jonesy is a bit of a weak link but the other NZF MPs have been doing a very credible job in their various Ministerial roles and support roles – eg Tracey Martin and Ron Mark as well as Peters himself as Minister of Foreign Affairs.  

          We don't hear much of Fletcher Tabuteau, but IMO he, rather than Jonesy, is the one who is being groomed as the next leader as reflected in his roles not only as Deputy Leader, but also as understudy to both Peters and Jonesy as Parliamentary Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development.

          • Dennis Frank

            An excellent response.  All makes sense and I hope you're right.  The public mood is fickle and I liken it to a river, in which you get eddies where the local flow sometimes runs up-stream (only in the vortices).

            In that analogy the boulders in the river represent structural adjustments in social reality such as SFO investigations/prosecutions.  They cause whirlpools in the overall flow.

            So these narratives and counter-narratives are sub-groups large and small of the body politic, in which the river represents the meta-narrative (deep context).  Some folks are more tribal than others, some more moral than others, some more strategic in their political thinking, some just reactive.  Political motivations are always a potent brew that is fermenting!

      • Sacha 2.1.2

        The margin actually varies for each party.

        Had a conversation with a polling expert a few years ago about that (which I can't find right now) but here is a similar point made concisely by one of NZ's leading scientists: https://sciblogs.co.nz/guestwork/2010/01/25/summer-of-stats-part-7-margins-of-error/#comment-30526

        Shaun Hendy says:

        27/01/2010 at 6:20 am

        I suspect the uncertainty analysis used in sampling theory is based on the binomial distribution. If that’s the case then the “margin of error” is roughly two standard deviations giving (a 95% confidence interval) *if* there are two parties with close to 50% support each.

        But really the margin of error shouldn’t apply to the poll itself – rather a seperate margin of error should be applied to each party’s level of support.

        So if in a poll of 1000 people, the Nats poll 50% support, we would estimate a margin of error of 3.1% in their support.

        However if the Greens poll 5% support in the same poll, we would estimate a margin of error of only 1.4% (i.e. 2 sqrt(p(1-p)/n) where p is the true level of support, estimated here by the sample statistic, and n is the sample size).


        • Sacha

          Stats professor Thomas Lumley adds even more detail – plus a handy graph that shows how it works in real historic political polls: https://www.statschat.org.nz/2014/07/02/whats-the-actual-margin-of-error/

          If I could insert graphics in comments, I would put it here. https://www.statschat.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/NZ_opinion_polls_2011-2014-majorparties.png

        • Incognito

          The margin actually varies for each party.


          The quoted margin of error only applies to a poll result of 50%.

          Still, people who should know better continue spreading misleading narrative and thus are helping to dumb down debate 🙁

          • Sacha

            I have done it myself before learning about the topic.

            • Incognito


              Some people refuse to learn for some strange reason!?

              The MSM could make a tiny effort to educate their readers but they also seem to prefer to keep it simpler than as simple as possible.

              Once you know that the usual 3.1% margin of error only applies to a party polling at 50% you cannot unknow it.

              • Sacha

                Some media people seem quite happy to unknow things that get in the way of a story. Declining professional standards and ethical vacuums..

                • Incognito

                  Sadly true but here on The Standard we can offer a little light educational experience for those who don’t mind it 😉

              • Andre

                 " …you cannot unknow it "

                Dunno about that. The topic has come up a number of times previously here at TS. Yet ISTR sometimes just a few weeks later, some people involved in those threads were again talking about parties 'falling below the margin of error'.

                Or maybe they were just going for a wind-up.

                • Incognito

                  My impression is that with some here they only have a cursory read of the OP and/or other comments before they dive in to give (it) their 2 cts.

                  In other words, they did not actually learn a thing and therefore cannot unknow it 😉

                  Your point is valid in all other cases though 😉

        • Dennis Frank

          Just his opinion.  Misinterpretation of stats has always been endemic.  Amongst academics as much as others.  I did pass the second year statistics exam at the University of Auckland, but that was in 1969 so I don't consider myself an authority.  From your link:

          "So what is a ‘margin of error’? It’s a measure of how accurately the results of a poll reflect the views of the whole ‘population’. In a political poll, the whole ’population’ means all potential voters. The margin of error tells you how confident you should be about drawing conclusions from the results."

          That's exactly my grasp of the relevance of the margin of error.  Application to a small-polling party in the manner described by others seems irrational.  Voodoo, almost.  But if someone can supply a rationale for this bizarre behaviour I'm open-minded & will give it due consideration.

          • Sacha

            Your opinion vs Shaun Hendy's. Hmmm, let me think..

            • Dennis Frank

              Don't be guided by authority figures.  That's always been the slippery slope to hell.  Figure it out for yourself.  Note how the paragraph I quoted outlines the rationale for interpretation.  The margin of error is clearly specified as pertaining to the whole.

              This provides no rational basis for inventing an entirely different margin of error to apply to individual political party ratings.  Unless anyone can provide an accepted rationale for doing so, my advice to readers is to beware of attempts to con them with bullshit…

              • Sacha

                There's authority, then there's credibility. You did read the piece by Thomas Lumley? And as I said, an NZ polling expert told me exactly the same. I even worked up a result set graphically based on the numbers from one of his company's polls. Just need to track it down around the pesky day job that some of us have.

              • Andre

                So if you aren't persuaded by a world-class physicist that routinely uses very sophisticated statistics for his day job, maybe you'll find a "How-to Guide for Dummies" from dummies.com more to your taste?


                • Dennis Frank

                  No, because I graduated with a BSc in Physics, and statistics was part of the prescription.  Specialisation, and the extent of relevance to the real world, of anyone who progresses further down that rabbit hole, cannot be generalised.

                  And that mathematical exposition you linked me to contains no relevant logic to the question at hand.

                  • Andre

                    Now I'm intrigued.

                    Can you point us to anywhere that explains the frankomatho relevant to this situation?

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    To my understanding a margin of area is used alongside a p-value to make it useful.

                    If a party gets 50% and a margin of error of 3.5%. And the p-value is 0.05. We can say, with 95% certainty (that 95/100 times), the party in question has between 46.5% and 53.5% support. So, even incorporating a margin of error, there is still room for error.

                    All the calculations should be performed for each party or the poll is a nonsense.

                    Also, the type of analysis is critical.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yeah, it's all about interpretation.  Media framing of the results does the rest.  I think this red herring about different margins of error is only of technical interest.  I haven't seen anyone make a case for it as an issue of substance.  If they were capable, they would have done so.  Then it would become a moral issue for broadcasters to get right…

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      @Dennis. A separate margin of error is crucial. A 3.5% margin of error on 3.5% support is considerably different to 3.5% on 50% support. The first is nonsense and does not belong with the data. You've got this point wrong by a considerable margin, even factoring in a wide margin of error.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      No I did not!  Your first statement makes sense, but my point was that the margin cited applies to the entire poll.  That's how the media frame it to the people.  When in Rome do as the Romans do!

                      My original point was that slipping down into that margin of error is likely to change a sufficient number of minds to affect identity politics polling & potentially the election result.  Of course that will be largely dependent on any prosecution resulting and verdict.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      OK, I get what you're saying but it wasn't clear. This is media error if only one margin of error is given for varying figures in the polls. This is bad form and should not be mimicked as it's entirely wrong. Possibly, as you allude to, a deliberate minimisation of (coalition) minor parties by media players – cos that's a thing.

                      Almost alternate facts, fudging with stats.

              • Incognito

                This provides no rational basis for inventing an entirely different margin of error to apply to individual political party ratings.


                Out of a couple of million marbles you pull 1,000 marbles and 36 (3.6%) of those are NZF marbles. How many NZF marbles are there in the total pool of marbles? With 95% confidence, 2.44 – 4.76%, and with 99% confidence, 2.08 – 5.12%.

                • Sacha

                  Pearls, swine.

                • alwyn

                  So. I guess we can say that if an election was held today there would be around a 99% chance that New Zealand First would be gone from Parliament. Your numbers would say that we have a 97.5% chance that NZF will be below 4.76% and 99.5% they will be below 5.12%.

                  Looks like a pretty good bet that Winnie would be gone to me.

                  And that is before his case was shot off to the SFO.

                  • Andre

                    Well, that would be true if it were a genuinely random sample of those that would actually turn out to vote. But working out who is actually going to vote, how to contact a random sample of them, and ensuring supporters of different parties are all equally willing to answer questions is a bit harder than pulling marbles out of a jar.

                  • Incognito

                    Nope, but nice try 😉

                • Dennis Frank

                  Okay, let's try the moral angle.  Polling companies feel constrained to provide the media with results on a sound moral basis, right?

                  So, if you & Hendry were right, the reports they supply, that the media corps pay for, would contain the specified different margins of error for each political party rated.  Do they?  Can you provide evidence?

                  • Incognito

                    What is the margin of error of the results?
                    The maximum sampling error is approximately ± 3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. This is the sampling error for a result around 50%. Results higher and lower than 50% have a smaller sampling error. For example, results around 10% and 5% have sampling errors of approximately ±1.9%-points and ±1.4%-points respectively at the 95% confidence level.


                    The morality stuff is off the mark, IMO.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Right, they don't specifically, but they do support Hendry's position on the issue.  So when the media interpret a minor party as rating "below the margin of error" (and that is the sense in which I made my original comment), do you (& Hendry and others) tolerate the misrepresentation as normal/traditional rather than condemning them for unethical behaviour?

                      Bear with me on this, because any dispute on what's right and wrong with some aspect of social reality has a moral basis, eh?

                    • Incognito []

                      That quote indeed supports Hendy and specifically includes the same numbers.

                      As I said before, MSM are not doing a good job IMO but it is irrelevant whether I or Hendy tolerate and/or condemn them for that. I pushed back on the demonstrable ignorance here, because I can. It is up to this site’s readers to educate themselves or stay ignorant. I can see no logical reason why one would be wilfully ignorant; fear does not seem to play a role in this, for example.

                      I don’t think this is primarily a moral issue but quite a simple one of correct versus incorrect use & interpretation of very basic statistics. It does raise an interesting point though as to how MSM and the general public deal/cope with really complex issues and Laws of Physics (physical constraints) when confronted with Climate Change. It is full of advanced modelling stats! Better not discuss that under this post though 😉

                      Edit: Oops! This is OM, duh!!

          • Incognito

            Applying the margin of error to smaller parties may well be more relevant for the simple fact that we have that 5% threshold. Applying the incorrect margin of error and digging in is highly irrational.

            Based on the latest poll, we can say with 95% confidence that NZF falls below the 5% threshold (3.6 + 1.16 = 4.76%). However, 95% confidence is actually quite low because one in twenty times the true result will be outside the margin of error. If we want to be 99% confident the margin of error increases to 1.52%. In this case, we cannot exclude the possibility that NZF is above 5% (3.6 + 1.52 = 5.12%) and there’s a 1% (one in hundred) chance that the true value falls outside the boundaries of the margin of error.

            These basic stats haven’t changed since 1969 and it is neither Voodoo nor bizarre.

            • Dennis Frank

              That all reminds me why I decided back then that statistics was so tangential to real life that I had better things to do with my valuable time!

              For the record, none of your reasoning seemed valid.  Nothing personal.  Just no logic and a bunch of abstract assertions…

              • Incognito

                I’m not taking it personal, rest assured. I’m just flabbergasted that you refuse to grasp the simple logic and sound reasoning based on foundational statistical concepts. If polls and their associated margins of errors are so tangential to real life and you have better things to do with your valuable time then why are you wasting all this time commenting on polls, which don’t mean a thing without the margin of error??

    • mickysavage 2.2

      And shouldn't using this logic National's donations saga also sink its chances?  If anything I would say National's behaviour was more blatant and more damaging to the integrity of the electoral system.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Yeah same logic does apply to those voters in whom the notions of fair play and ethical conduct drive their identity politics.

        Tempting to read the slight downward drift in National's poll rating as due to that.  But it all depends on official investigation outcomes.  More people are influenced by authority than morality, and the establishment usually sanitises process and verdicts to produce the desired result.  We saw that with Erebus.  Official outcomes designed to protect the guilty are authoritative and an integral part of traditional democracy.

        • Sacha

          May even increase their vote. Seems to be a rightwing mindset that admires 'leaders' who get away with cheating – like Chump.

          • Dennis Frank

            Well, that mindset exists, but I reckon only amongst those already committed politically.  So I don't expect National to lift.  I think the most likely outcome will be distaste amongst uncommitted voters who follow the news.

            That group of centrists pays attention to what's going on, has a moral compass, and is likely to evaluate donations mishandling on their own common sense basis.  Plenty will be guided by the traditional notion that `where there's smoke, there's fire' regardless of outcomes of investigations.  Cover-ups cannot therefore be expected to succeed politically:  often it only takes 3% of the electorate to determine an election outcome.

      • Stephen Doyle 2.2.2

        Not disagreeing, but isn't how the news is sold to the public important. Simon, nothing to see here. Winston, RESIGN!

        • WeTheBleeple

          You saw the voracious feral media at Jacinda's heels yesterday? Disgracefully obvious partisan pen pushers.

      • sumsuch 2.2.3

        Shit, these details. I prefer the great ideas. What is possible versus what truth is and what the people need. I don't know that intriguing but do know what is good, like everyone.

  3. Andre 3

    On pollies running campaigns selling visions of things they will have precisely zero ability to actually implement …


    Yes, it's about the US and the constraints imposed by multiple branches of divided government usually controlled by opposing parties. But the constraints imposed by NZ's MMP system are a similar handbrake on doing things here.

  4. Chris 4

    An almost unbelievable story we've barely blinked at.  We might huff and puff for five minutes and say it's unacceptable but the reality is we're inured to this sort of behaviour:


    • +1.

      It's becoming quite common  ( https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/409236/woman-dies-after-sub-optimal-care-following-blood-test-commissioner ) across DHBs. 

      People may have forgotten the "sub-optimal" treatment dished out in Waikato too.

      Bean counter mentality.  I've had good and bad experiences – the bad more recently after nearly a decade of the gNat's reign of terror

      Worse than that, I've had far better treatment from a couple of different hospitals that are in a supposedly 3rd world country


    • mpledger 4.2

      To be fair, people in Chch were still pretty screwed up because of the earthquakes and it's not surprising that people lacked judgement after long terms stress.   From research I've seen 2013 was the crunch year for people going through the earthquake (not 2011 as you would think).

      I don't know what happened in this case … but in general alcoholics are very difficult to treat – being drunk and then in withdrawal can cloud what issues they have and can make  the patient incredibly difficult to deal with.   

      Ditto … If a patient said they wanted to be discharged now (i.e. was craving alcohol), chose to leave in pyjamas and chose to go home by bus then what are the staff supposed to do? Imprison them?  People are adults and are free to make bad choices but if they are competent then we have to let them make bad choices.   

      Ditto … if the patient came back to ED drunk and was aggressive towards the hospital staff then what are the staff supposed to do – just take it?

      As I said – I don't know what happened in this case – the hospital staff could have been as appalling as the article says but, on the other hand, there are reasonable scenarios where they could have made all the right choices with the information they had at hand.

    • RedLogix 4.3

      Nah … totally inured here. Auckland Hospital had multiple comprehensive goes at killing my father. Slack diagnosis, delayed admission, sent home twice, simple problem turns into a chronic one, I found him collapsed unsupervised in the ward toilet, medical staff who repeatedly refused to communicate with us, no consistent management plan, tense meetings with senior managers who then did the opposite of what the committed to in writing, eventually sent home with a canula still in his arm hidden under a bandage, nearly dies again from subsequent infection, readmitted and put on a totally inappropriate drug regime, nearly dies again … hell I can't remember all the details now. It went on for 10 months, five discharges and four re-admissions.

      Eventually I realised the hospital system just didn't care, so we found a nursing home who admitted him and after 12 months of their excellent care he got well enough to go home again. That was 10 years ago.

      It wasn't all bad, most of the time it was more tedious than dramatic, and I don't blame the individuals working in it; they usually looked overworked, under resourced and as much trapped by the system as the patients. In most cases it was clear they were doing their best as people. That was the frustrating part, there was never anyone to yell at, to hold accountable for the repeated failures.

      After several years we finally extracted his complete medical file out of them. Pages and pages of rambling disconnected notes and jargon, there was no coherence or evidence of a plan, and none of the events that mattered were recorded. In the end we walked away from it; Dad was alive and even though his quality of life was permanently harmed, we figured we should be grateful for this and not make a misery of what we have left of his life fighting the system for years and years. 

      Having said this, I salute the people who followed up on Neil Jones’ appalling story. They will have a story so much longer and more aggravating than could be even outlined in this article. To get even this far is quite the accomplishment I would think.

      • WeTheBleeple 4.3.1

        A friend asked just yesterday in a social media post – where's the healthcare for healthcare workers. She's exhausted, they all are.

    • Sacha 4.4

      Here is the full HDC decision (which I have not read myself) behind that story: https://www.hdc.org.nz/decisions/search-decisions/2020/17hdc00497/

      • Chris 4.4.1

        Yes, which answers mpledger's attempt to say that the staff's behaviour may have been appropriate in the circumstances.

        • Sacha

          They are usually detailed in their reasoning – but 7 years later is utterly taking the piss. That's not justice.

        • mpledger

          I read the report – the medical staff were clearly at fault but there were many people who tried to get him care – nurses, general public, orderlies – so I don't think it's fair to say we're inured to this type of behaviour.   

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.5

      I know of story after story of substandard care in Nelson hospital – so much that I'd be surprised if someone had a good experience. Feels like a deliberate strategy to drive people to private healthcare – for the lucky few who can pay.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    I was at the A&E last week and saw a group of young guys come in, one was obviously in a extremely distressed mental state,  I would say from the looks of it, from (bad) drug use.

    An hour later I saw that they had been kicked out, they were still in the car park, the young man was quite obviously in a critically bad state, his mates were having a hard time managing him, I wanted t help, but had my own pressing emergency to take care of.

    All I can assume is there was no provision at the hospital to deal that poor kid in that state, it was a for me just another sign of this countries drift to the selfish liberal end game, Ayn Rand would have approved.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Despite what I've written above, I can only side with the staff in this instance. Two of my in-laws are medical people and they've both been assaulted verbally and physically by out of control patients more times than they can be bothered counting. And when confronted with these situations, their first thought is for the welfare of other vulnerable patients being put at risk. It's a no win for everyone.

      You are right, hospitals are not set up to deal with this people in that kind of state. They need to be dealt with separately in a different location and by staff trained to manage their challenges.

      • WeTheBleeple 5.1.1

        A padded drunk tank to sleep it off and trained psyche staff – that's how St Vinnies in Oz deal with that type of client.

        • mpledger

          The problem is that people with head injuries and people who are drunk have very similar symptoms so a lot of the time people can't be left to sleep if off. 

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.2

        " They need to be dealt with separately in a different location and by staff trained to manage their challenges. "

        Exactly. And there are no such staff or facilities available. Zero. I have seen the exact situation described by AT myself. And know people turned away in that situation who then commited suicide or crimes.

      • Chris 5.1.3

        And so even after seeing the HDC report do you still "side with the staff in this instance"?

      • Adrian Thornton 5.1.4

        That is my point, we live in a society where many people abuse drugs and alcohol regularly, you would think that we would have long ago made provisions to deal with the inevitable results..quite bizarre really when you think about it for a minute or two.

        I agree with you that the hospital staff shouldn't be left to deal with the messy chaos that that type of abuse often results in.

    • Sacha 5.2

      You saw them in the carpark, or you saw them being kicked out?

    • McFlock 5.3

      Funny coincidental use of the term "critically bad".

      If they're "critical" in the technical terminology, then they won't be disrupting the Ed department and can be treated. If they're disrupting ED, they're endangering the lives of other patients.

      Now, there is an issue about providing healthcare to people in acute mental distress (not due to drugs/alcohol) vs providing that healthcare to people who are in that state due to drugs or alcohol – they might need to be held for their own safety and monitored, but ED is not the place for that. The police pick up drunks, but they're not really equipped for people who might be in danger of death – and sometimes people die in custody because of this.

      Every so often there is talk of sort of an intermediate facility, where the people are monitored more closely and medical staff beyond basic first responders are available, but I'm not sure one has ever been established in NZ.

  6. Stephen Doyle 6

    Courtesy of NewShub.

    National MPs Nicky Wagner and David Carter retiring after election, Sarah Dowie will not contest Invercargill,

    More rats and ships?

  7. Sacha 7

    Seven months to remove a lying political advert – the ASA is absolutely useless:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/119414501/national-lose-appeal-over-facebook-ad-ruled-misleading

    Complainant Adam Currie said it had taken far too long for the decision to happen, meaning the ad was live for seven months.

    "I made the complaint in July last year – the original decision was not made until the  September 9, and now the ASA is finally forcing the advertiser to remove the ad – after it's had seven months to mislead the public," Currie said.

    "By this timeline, an ad reported today would be allowed to run until the beginning of advance voting for this year's election."

    "It's shameful to allow the public to be misled for so long, but it's important that people are aware that National is putting out ads that are factually misleading."

    ASA chair Hilary Souter told Stuff the body generally expected ads to be removed during the appeal process if a complaint was upheld against them.

    I find her general expectations totally reassuring, don't you? What a watchdog!

    • Anne 7.1

      Beat me to it. 

      Just imagine the uproar if Labour or the Greens – or NZ First for that matter – left a misleading and mischievous ad running for seven months while waiting for the Authority's decision.

      • Sacha 7.1.1

        Not much point in a regulator that relies on parties being decent.

      • Roflcopter 7.1.2

        Well, there was the pledge card… and then Labour went and retrospectively changed the law so it was OK.

        • Sacha

          Wasn't that about the funding of it, not the content?

          • Anne

            And Parliamentary Services had approved the spending as being lawful. The Auditor General of the day concluded it might not be lawful but he declined to order the money be returned to the parliamentary purse. Labour returned it anyway. 

            The Natty boys and girls do love false equivalences.

            • I Feel Love

              The pledge card? There's probably people voting this election who weren't even born when the righties first got their knickers in a twist over that "scandal".

  8. Andre 8

    From the "weird shit" files: Donny Dotard cultists are now claiming Romney voted to impeach to cover up his own connections to Burisma. Yes, this is actually happening.



  9. WeTheBleeple 9

    Vernon 'touchy' Tava is spending a lot on facebook ads. Today he's claiming a victory because a supermarket's addressing plastic – which has nothing to do with him and a lot to do with the work of his arch enemies – the Greens. Misleading, lying, fraudulent… I'd appreciate it if this cretin was scrutinised more closely by TS writers. Where is their money coming from? Does NZ need a party built solely as a personal vendetta. How many other women, other than my girl, has he put hands on in public?

  10. adam 10

    More bs from cnn. 


  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Undecided are way ahead in New Hampshire:  "Only about half of likely primary voters in New Hampshire say they have definitely decided for whom they will vote".

    "Bernie Sanders holds on to his lead on the eve of New Hampshire's Democratic primary, the final CNN tracking poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center shows.  In the final numbers, 29% of likely primary voters say they back Sanders, 22% back former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 11% support former Vice President Joe Biden, 10% support Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 7% back Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The rest of the field falls at 5% or less."



  12. Jimmy 12

    Bob Jones of to a s-s-s-s-stuttering start in his court case. Yesterday calls his own lawyer a goose for referring to him as Sir Jones, and today seems to have mis-placed his hearing aid!

    A comedy of errors.


    • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.1

      I have no doubt that if Jonesie wasn't rich, this would all still be happening just the same. We have the best justice money can buy.

  13. mosa 13

    Senator Nina Turner gives a very good interview and makes some pertinent points on the so called " bernie bros "

  14. David Mac 14

    Winston cut a coalition establishment deal for NZ First that gave them every opportunity to shine.

    A billion dollars to ignite Provincial NZ. A launch ramp for Shane Jones to rise, the heir apparent.

    That's a thousand million dollars, you'd think it would be enough to generate a 3rd page story about a young guy starting his apprenticeship, I'm not seeing them.

    Do you need more money Shane, is a thousand million not enough?

    Money is never the answer, it's a thing, solutions start with people and Earth.


  15. David Mac 15

    Dear Mr Jones,

                             I understand you have lots of money earmarked to improve NZ. We've got a shortage of houses bro. Can you spend some of your money teaching lots of people to make houses please.

    Yours in anticipation,




  16. Eco maori 16

    Kia Ora The Am Show. 

    Its good that Auckland City mission has opened a 15 beds safe whare for homeless Wahine.

    That's is awesome A2 Milk donating 3 million to help fight the virus in Wuhan.

    Everyone has been warned about the changes to our weather the effects of human cause climate change deniers is councils don't heed the good advice and end up in a mess.

    We should treat Wai as a taonga use less for humans leave more for Our wild Wai environment.

    Lloyd its cool that BP fuels Company has plans of changing to a carbon neutral company.

    Yes there is to much high carbon footprint concrete in the World we need to use more engineered wood products that actually stores carbon to replace concrete were we can. 

    We do have to make big cuts to Aotearoa carbon footprint Transport =Electric vehicles Farming = minimise Wai use Organic food products and minimise methane products plant trees in the correct place.

    Ka kite Ano 


  17. Eco maori 17

    Kia Ora Newshub. 

    That's is cool 1000 new emergency houses and investing 300 million in providing service to the needs of homeless people. 

    Ka kite Ano 


  18. Eco maori 18

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News. 

    That's awesome 24 million to target tangata whenua homeless people. 

    I think that the tangata in Maori home lands rual comunitys should be preparing for their whanau to come home.

    This case of the rich man vs Wahine tangata whenua answers a question I have asked my self with the rich mans supporters. 

    Ka kite Ano 

    • Eco maori 18.1

      Kia Ora The Am Show. 

      We have had extreme weather events all around the Papatuanuku and still the human cause climate change deniers spin their lies. 

      That's was just a bit of Maori humour the photo thing.

      The economy and tax take grows under a Labour lead government.

      Decades ago does seem like yesterday.????? 

      Good on Adele for losing weight. 

      Ka kite Ano 


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