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Open mike 11/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 11th, 2021 - 114 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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114 comments on “Open mike 11/04/2021 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Ideology is like your favourite music – all the notes you need are there and everything seems perfect when you hear it. You never need notice the notes that are missing.

    If you want a perfect example of this, consider the brouhaha that greeted the opening of the 1km of rainbow cycleway on Karangahape road built for the bougie gay and gay adjacent crew of inner city Auckland. It cost well over five million dollars (an eye watering $5,400 per metre), value for money we are told. Then jump in your car and take a look at the muddly, rutted, sorry state of affairs that is the car park at the Avondale markets (frequented by thousands and thousands of less fashionable types working class types) on a rainy morning.

    So many perfect notes making so much beautiful music up on K road though.

    PS – the toal cost of the K rd upgrade in north of 18 million dollars, or $18,000+ per freaking metre. Anywhere else in the world there would be calls for an inquiry at what looks like a case of price gouging by contractors but not here. After all, NZ has no corruption.

    • Forget now 1.1

      Bigotry is like a fart of thrash metal blaring through the early hours. There may be some music in there, but mostly it's ugly noise to those in the blast radius.

      Define "gay adjacent" for us Sanctuary. You may have a point about the price of the K road cycleway – maybe you can make it without the homophobia?

      • Sanctuary 1.1.1

        I have to confess my original post was designed as a little experiment to see if the propositions about liberal identity politics and class put forward by Ash Sarkar in her Double Down News segment are valid (see I think open mike yesterday). I am not that interested if your identity feels threatened to the point of vulgar tortured analogy, Because I think that is just boring. But as you post seems to show, Sarkar's proposition we can't escape identity politics because that is largely where politics are at right now is true.

        The problem, as Sarkar eloquently pointed out, is the bourgeois outrage of your liberal identity politics puts recognition by the state and it's actors above self organisation, and your priority is more the distractions of political conflict on the terrain of identity than you are about asking about the underpinning ideology as to who and why those contracts were let to redevelop K road. And that's was kinda the entire point of my post, so thanks for playing.

        PS – The PM self-described herself as "youth adjacent", are we to presume she was consumed with a dislike of those who consort with young people? Perhaps you could enlighten me on the PM's view of young people?

        • Forget now

          Sanctuary, I am mainly onsite to find interesting links that I might otherwise been exposed to in other fora. I haven't read every word on OM daily for many years now. A link to Sarkar's post would be nice – in fact any links to substantiate any of your points wouldn't hurt.

          So; you were writing to provoke a response, and now claim that; someone questioning your bizarre claims, is proof that they would have responded that way even if the original assertion had not been made?

          I am starting to remember why I don't much bother commenting on NZpolitics blogs anymore. People here are just too desperately clever about how they say things, to bother much about what they are saying.

      • Ad 1.1.2

        Conflict in Auckland's gay activists is intense and has been for over two years. Too many foolish splits and outrages

    • Sacha 1.2

      The projects labelled as 'cycling' ones end up bundling huge underground services upgrades etc. K Rd is no different in that sense. You may be conflating the rainbow pedestrian crossing with its perpendicular cycleway.

      • woodart 1.2.1

        good point sacha. too many people look at a $$$ figure and dont think about the services below ground that are included in costs. in many parts of the country, services like water, sewerage etc are over 100 yrs old and either way too small or in case of pipeing, completely knackered, earthquakes,ground settlement etc. and now with extra internet demanded as well as other undergrounding, cycleways are far easier to dig up than heavily trafficked streets.

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    Western world media collectively expose their deep rooted ties to the political status quo by shamefully remaining silent while Julian Assange is made an example of, for all the world to witness, of what will happen to anyone brave enough to expose their lies, corruption and murderous wars .

    • Morrissey 2.1

      Some—not all—of the exalted intellects on RNZ National did not "shamefully remain silent" during Assange's torture by the state; they joined in the persecution. Those who laughed at his plight, and mocked him, include: Jim Mora, Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, Graham Bell, Chris Trotter, Lisa Scott, Susan Baldacci, Caitlin Cherry, Zara Potts. Here are some of those witty commentators "yukking it up" in June 2013….

      SUSAN BALDACCI: Julian Assange is a little bit paranoid.
      MORA: Oh yes? Hur, hur, hur, hur!
      SUSAN BALDACCI: Yeah, he claims that being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, he is deprived of his human right of getting enough sun.
      MORA: Is it a human right to get enough sun?
      SUSAN BALDACCI: That’s what he claims! He claims that being not allowed to leave London is violating his “human rights”.
      MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
      LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
      CHRIS TROTTER: Haw haw haw haw haw!
      SUSAN BALDACCI: He thinks he should be allowed out of his Ecuador embassy hideout to sunbathe.
      MORA: He can get out on the balcony, where he gave that speech!
      LISA SCOTT: Yeah! Ha ha ha ha ha!
      CHRIS TROTTER: Yeah! Ha ha ha ha ha! Or get him a sun lamp! THAT’s what he needs!
      LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha!
      SUSAN BALDACCI: He he he he he!
      TROTTER: I suspect the ambassador’s just sick of the sight of him! “Are you ever going to LEEEEAAAVE?”
      MORA: Sun lamp! Get him a sun lamp!!!
      LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha!
      MORA: Back after the news!

      Open mike 14/06/2013

      One New Zealand journalist who did remain shamefully silent at his plight was Tova O'Brien. She was chosen to sit quietly on the panel during a farcical "World Press Freedom Day" run by the scofflaw U.K. regime just days after it had dragged Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy…..

      Open mike 19/05/2019

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        I forgot to cite one of the most brutal denouncers of them all: Noelle McCarthy.


        "Abstaining from the witchhunt would have classed the dissenter as an enemy. Stalin was supported by fanatics, cynics, sadists and moral cowards."

        —Donald Rayfield, Stalin and His Hangmen: An Authoritative Portrait of a Tyrant and Those Who Served Him (Viking, 2004)

        • Adrian Thornton

          I have sent a couple of emails to Colin Peacock and Media watch, appealing to his sense of journalist integrity to do a piece on the general lack of coverage in this moment, but the relentless coverage when Assange was being accused of rape, however sadly it was to no avail….looks like they only run their critical eye over 'soft' subjects.

          • greywarshark

            What I can find on Julian Assange lately.

            Mar.14/21 https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7165583/julian-assanges-father-takes-freedom-fight-to-canberra/

            Mar.15/21 https://www.arabnews.com/node/1504621/world WikiLeaks’ Assange suffering ‘psychological torture’: UN expert

            Undated by the Evening Standard but they are talking about the two year commemoration of Julian's imprisonment on April 11. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/julian-assange-belmarsh-prison-wikileaks-ecuadorian-london-b928720.html

            Undated https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/04/10/assa-j01.html (World Socialist Web) Two years since Assange was seized from the Ecuadorian Embassy



            • Adrian Thornton

              Thanks for that update greywarshark, disturbingly most MSM, and a good proportion of the commenters on this site are OK with the fact that while Assange is being prosecuted with anything but a fair trial, and essentially being tortured in full public view, for bravely exposing US war and political crimes… none of the perpetrators of those crimes have been suffered even the slightest bump in their lives, and in the case of the DNC, some have been promoted for their crimes.

              I guess the takeaway from this travesty, is that propaganda works..even on people who you would have thought were a bit smarter than they have turned out to be..or maybe they have just slowly become lazy and cynical as they drifted to the Centre-Right?

          • Morrissey

            In the last years of the Blair regime, Tony Bliar and his chief hangman Alistair Campbell unleashed an absurd tirade against the media, which they claimed had continually undermined and questioned the integrity of the U.K. regime.

            Shortly after, on Mediawatch, Colin Peacock failed to remind his listeners that, apart from a brief deviation by the BBC pointing out that the case for attacking Iraq had been manufactured by U.K. and U.S. propagandists and spin doctors, and poor stupid Piers Morgan falling into a trap set by Army pranksters, the major U.K. media had in fact been in lockstep with the government. Instead, Peacock pronounced in deadly serious tones that Blair and Campbell had “made many good points.”

            In 2011, Peacock defended another politician, this time one John Key, after Key had made some foolish and ignorant remarks about the mass murder in Norway carried out by Anders Breivik.

            In 2013, Peacock conducted a fawning interview with BBC journalist Lyse Doucet, which ended like this:

            LYSE DOUCET: I welcome criticism—as long as it’s not done to score a point or because someone has an agenda. … When I get negative Twitter messages, unless I think there is an agenda and I have no control over that, I respond with kindness. Some people are on a certain campaign… I always say journalism is story-telling. I listen to our competitors. I listen to Al Jazeera, and Russia Today.

            COLIN PEACOCK: [snorting] But some of those are backed by the state, aren’t they, in a way that is different to the BBC obviously….


            So, based on his past performance, I would not expect Peacock to mount a serious defence of the most important dissenting journalist of our time. sad

            • Adrian Thornton

              @ Morrissey, thanks for that insight on Peacock, I missed those important little glimpse’s into his geo political positions.

        • Byd0nz

          The world of opinion is firmly split,
          On Julian Assange and Wiki leaks,
          There is that of peaceful people,
          And that of war monger freaks.
          Peace loving folk hail him as hero,
          War lovers want to fill him with lead,
          Wiki leaks though, clearly shows,
          How democrazy is dead.

    • McFlock 2.2

      Has anything new actually happened with the case?

      • Adrian Thornton 2.2.1

        Thanks McFlock, your having to ask that question makes my point quite succinctly….yes it was two years ago that Assange was seized from the Ecuadorian embassy.

        If MSM journalists were at all concerned with keeping the spotlight on this travesty of justice, outrageous attack on whistleblowers and press freedoms, they would use every opportunity to keep pressure on power, but they will of course never do any of the above, as they are nothing more than stenographers for their corporate owners.


        Two years since Assange was seized from the Ecuadorian Embassy

        " Two years ago on Sunday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was seized from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He has been incarcerated ever since, fighting extradition to the United States where he faces life imprisonment in barbaric conditions for exposing war crimes, coup plots, mass state surveillance, torture and corruption. "

        • McFlock

          So, no. Nothing new. I was thinking there’d maybe been another court argument or something.

          • Adrian Thornton

            And again you make my point very nicely, you would have to ask people on The Standard if there is any developments in Assange's case, because you are well aware of the lack of news coverage his plight gets on MSM..thanks.

            • McFlock

              dude, I got up, had brekky, turned on the computer, checked emails, did a quiz or two, came here, and there was an extended wank about Assange. So I thought something might have happened.

              Apparently not.

              I did not wake up yearning for an update on the latest Assange case regardless of whether anything substantive had actually happened, but woe, the accursed msm is suppressing all the court days where he expertly skewers the fascistic oppressors' pseudo-legal arguments, so I had to read Adrian's latest rant to get my fix.

              Just mildly curious.

              Any thoughts on whether Biden's new AG might affect Justice Dept policy on the current case? Seems to have a wider view of the first amendment, so that could be relevant.

              • Andre

                I was kinda hoping that by now they would have made a statement that it's not in the US national interest to continue pursuing Assange, because of the "New York Times problem". I'm kinda disappointed something like that hasn't happened, it could be dealt with really quickly.

                Maybe they're too busy dealing with other shitfights, like the window is closing fast on undoing a lot of Fuckface von Clownstick's damaging executive actions. So maybe it will just be quietly dropped when the next court appearance comes around and they have to do something one way or another.

                • McFlock

                  I figure there are basically two milestones where they might back off: first couple of months of the new AG (i.e. directive to re-examine their basis for action, then the opinion suggests first amendment is an issue, so they back off), or yeah the next court date or shortly before it.

                  They sort of have to appeal the finding that their prison conditions are so awful it would be unjust to extradite Assange to the US. It's like showing their awful underwear in public, and could be used to oppose extradition of other criminals and suspects.

                  But if there's another reason to drop the case entirely, it might be a welcome exit plan. If the UK supreme court upheld that finding, there's many a drug trafficker, murderer, or even Kim Dotcom who might be interested in that precedent. Even in other jurisdictions it could hold some weight.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                an extended wank about Assange

                Nothing new – nice.

                It was recently revealed that Pope Francis sent a personal message to Assange, whose partner Stella Moris said: “After a hard night, Julian woke up this morning to a kind, personal message from Pope Francis @pontifex delivered to his cell door by the prison priest.

                The poor misguided fool!

                • McFlock

                  Can't understand why that didn't make global headlines and chirons across all channels. Truly there is a grand conspiracy to suppress all news of such importance.

                  • Incognito

                    As I said previously, Deep State buries bad news 😉 [emoticon for people who miss subtle humour]

              • Adrian Thornton

                Mate if you got up looked at TS and all you could think about was wanking, maybe you should have stayed in bed a little longer?

                • McFlock

                  I can't avoid it when you keep waving it in front of people's faces.

                  No thoughts on Garland then? He's actually an interesting pick which lends itself to a subtle and considered analysis, and could have important repercussions on this case.

              • Morrissey

                .… where he expertly skewers the fascistic oppressors' pseudo-legal arguments….

                He doesn't have to skewer anything. The scofflaw British and U.S. regimes, whose brutal power and malice you trivialize with your sarcasm, have to prove their case. They have not, of course.

                so I had to read Adrian's latest rant…

                ???? Trivializing and mischaracterizing Adrian's thoughtful contributions does your credibility no good whatsoever. But then again, who would expect anything better from you? sad

                Assange Arrested

  3. Morrissey 3


    Saturday 10 April 2021. It's 5:45 p.m., halfway through the half hour which Prime calls "News." A portly "U.K. correspondent", standing on a London street, is wrapping up the story that has occupied the whole programme so far….

    LLOYD BURR: [sententiously] It's fair to say that this is a country in mourning.

    Back in the New Zealand studio, host Janika ter Allen accepts that hilariously wrong statement with the same straight face she employed during the time she endured as Paul Henry's cheerful sidekick on TV3's horrid, best-forgotten Paul Henry Show (mercifully euthanised in late 2014, less than a year after its inception).

    A flick of the remote control takes us to TVNZ1, where a trailer for the 6pm news ends with Melissa Stokes announcing what's on the menu: "…and the HUNDREDS of Kiwi Kids helped by the Duke of Edinburgh!"

    These New Zealand "reporters" were, as usual, merely mimicking an overseas model, in this case the British state broadcaster.

    … The BBC is reported to have heavily invested in coverage of Philip’s death for fear that otherwise they would face a barrage of criticism from rightwing newspapers for showing a lack of patriotism and revealing a supposed “leftwing bias”. That was allegedly what happened when the BBC failed to sufficiently grovel to the royal family over the Queen Mother’s death in 2002. But if that is so, doesn’t it simply underscore quite how vulnerable the supposedly “neutral” state broadcaster is to pressure from the rightwing billionaire owners of the establishment media?

    If Rupert Murdoch and company can force the BBC into alienating and antagonising its own viewers with endless homilies to a royal little loved by large sections of the population, how else is the BBC’s coverage being skewed for fear of the potential backlash from corporate media tycoons? Is the fear of such repercussions also responsible for the BBC’s complicity in the recent, evidence-free smearing of a socialist Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, or the BBC’s consistent failures in reporting honestly on countries like Syria, Libya, Iraq and Venezuela – all of them in the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and Latin America that the United States and the west demand control over? …


    • Treetop 3.1

      Does there now need to be a democratic process for the time limit on a news item?

      Do people need to be told that they have an off button on the remote?

      The Royal family are going through the loss of a husband, a father, a grandfather and a great grandfather. The Royal family have always been easy picking for the media and the Duke of Edinburgh did not want fuss. Good on him for max 30 people being able to attend his funeral service.

  4. Andre 4

    Since my comment under the "Sustainability and learning from forest gardening" post has disappeared, I'll go to the trouble of rewriting it here:

    The final sentence of that post concludes: " … no reason this cannot be done at scale. "

    There's productivity to consider. Reportedly, the Guyton's two acres supplies 60 to 70% of their vegetarian diet. Make allowance for land area lost to house, driveway, etc, and for surplus food going off the property to others, it nets out to this food forest producing roughly the food for one person eating a vegetarian diet from one acre of land.

    How does this compare to other agricultural methods? Worldwide there's about 4.8 billion hectares of land used for feeding 8 billion humans. That averages out to 0.6 hectares, or 1.5 acres per person. But that's an average of roughly a 12x variation from roughly 0.25 acres per person in predominantly vegetarian places such as India, Malawi, to over 3 acres per person needed to feed high beef consumers such as NZ, US, Brazil, Argentina.

    Consider a middle of the pack nation such as Austria (large pdf, see p19). Their current consumption of animal products is higher than considered optimal for good health, at least by some authorities (cue Psycho Milt disputing this). In their case, merely reducing their consumption of animal products down to healthier levels would shift their food production land footprint down to significantly under one acre per person, of which half is still due to animal products and is still well above the quarter acre or so per person for predominantly vegetarian diets.

    So all in all, the Guyton's food forest looks like it's very low productivity when considered as food-production land. It seems that the Guyton's sustainability improvements come from their adoption of a vegetarian diet much more than their food production practices. Indeed, the ability to devote 2 acres to partially feeding a vegetarian diet to two people is as much a manifestation of wealth and privilege as my trying to care for an acre of bush for local ecosystem health without producing any food.

    This low productivity of the food forest means that there is indeed reason it can't be done at the kind of scale needed for it to be a pointer for feeding the masses in the future. At best, there's aspects of it that could be adapted to further improve higher productivity agricultural methods.

    • Foreign waka 4.1

      An interesting article indeed. Just wondering, people living in rural or semi rural areas are able to maintain their vege garden if they are so inclined and fruit trees which is better still. Some keep chickens for eggs and meat. How many people live like that vs urban areas where one has to fight for a parking spot or even a save bike stand. I believe urban populations are in the majority and they have no land at all.

      There are simply too many people on this planet. The situation will not improve at all, no matter how many platitudes are being presented and how many 3rd world produced sneakers are worn out on protest marches by those who go afterwards straight to McDonalds.

      • Andre 4.1.1

        As usual, Our World in Data has plenty of good info collated together about urbanisation. Yes, worldwide more than half the population is urban, and in wealthy countries the urban share is often in the 90% range.


        As population continues to grow, feeding everyone will require some mix of reducing the the per capita footprint of everyone ( which runs against the trend of when people get wealthier they want to eat more meat), and improving the productivity of the resources we use to produce food. I really can't see a pathway forward for methods that increase labour intensiveness and decrease land productivity.

        To be sure, there's plenty of good individual ideas and elements that can transfer over from regenag, organic etc to more conventional higher productivity methods. Ideas such as the value of having diverse healthy microbial, invertebrate and larger ecosystems doing some of the work now being done by massive applications of emissions-intensive chemicals.

        But it's going to be very difficult to move away from a lot of the things that make modern agriculture so productive. Personally, I'm guessing there's places for things such as micro-robots doing targeted chemical applications and pest control, as well as splashier tech such as vat-grown substitutes for animal products, GMOs that can tolerate much more stressful environments etc.

        • Foreign waka

          But all that will not do away with the population explosion.

          In order to to achieve any transformation in all countries, especially those with large populations would take decades. Far too long to combat the already increasing impact on the environment. Looking at the scale and scope of changing methods etc., there is the danger of a trade off – creating political systems that are oppressive. Greens are not immune to imposing believes, knowledge (proven or not) and self interest.

          Then there is the task of moving a generation brought up on fast food away from that in the "first world" that actually no longer exists. Especially if it is the cheaper version vs groceries and cooking. The later is a skill increasingly lost in an average household. The focus has be at home level working outwards not the other way around. Income levels have to improve a lot if we want to have birth rate sustainability too. There are many issues feeding into this but suffice to say it will take longer to address than seeing the consequences unfold. I hope I am wrong.

          • greywarshark

            When I was young…. we had cooking classes and I still have a cookbook with recipes that the young can manage or are just basic. It would be a must if the education people had any idea of what the modern individual needs to know to provide them with a toolbag of useful knowledge, if primary and intermediate kids had meal planning and fun with vegs, and how to cook with fruit so you only need a pinch of sugar and lemon peel to bring out flavours etc.

            And also how to put up a shelf, how to repair something, useful things to do with cartons, so recycling them and saving yourself $15 for shelves in a 'cubby'. Just being practical and not expecting the world to look after you, and needing it all the time. That is the trend we are being encouraged to accept, doors that open for you, voice activated blah.

            Let's get capable. How to repair a tyre, oil a chain, a squeaky door, change a fuse etc. That houses and rooms need some ventilation, how to instal a window guard slide so it can be left open a bit but safely.

            • Treetop

              Some people need to be shown what a rubbish bin is for and how to use it.

              Have some people become so apathetic that they can no longer perform a simple task?

              • greywarshark

                Simply put Treetop, the answer is Yes. So we must accept this is so and see how we can make tasks exciting enough to carry out. There was a system where putting an aluminium can in a container would give a receipt that could be used somewhere. That is the sort of thing that would produce a positive response. It's a case of thinking creatively to deal with new realities.

  5. Andre 5

    I'm kinda curious about how and why my comment under the "Sustainability and learning from forest gardening" post disappeared without trace or moderator comment, and just now my approximate rewrite of that comment in Open Mike has gone into moderation.

    edit: … and now they are visible …

    • Incognito 5.1

      There are reasons but none are directly related to you comment(s) and patience is a virtue; Moderators are not and cannot be around all the time and see and deal with everything straight away. Apologies for the inconvenience.

    • Sacha 5.2

      Including three or more links in your comment triggers moderation, as far as I recall.

      • Andre 5.2.1

        I don't think it was that. I'm well aware of the need to strip out extraneous links from the likes of wikipedia quotes.

        My first comment posted OK, then I edited a typo, and it seemed to go back up OK. Then I went and did an errand, and when I came back an hour later, it was gone.

      • Incognito 5.2.2

        No, it’s more than three links to trigger Auto-Mod. In Andre’s case it was something different and even less suspect. It all happened without any human intervention. A Mod has to review pending comments and figure out why they triggered Auto-Mod. I can tell you that sometimes it is a bit like ‘where’s Wally’ without knowing what Wally looks like 😉

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2.3

        Seven links seems OK, though no guarantees. Could/should 'link density' be a factor?

  6. greywarshark 6

    Thought from Man Ray RIP who was an artist in many ways.

    Ever since our love for machines replaced the love we used to have for our fellow man, catastrophes proceed to increase.


    It has never been my object to record my dreams, just the determination to realize them.”

    “I do not photograph nature. I photograph my visions.”

    “I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive.”

    I think that is maybe what we try and do here with words; and often achieve.


    • David 6.1

      Man Ray was a true genius. A bit of a trope, but one of my favourite works here:


      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        I don't understand that interesting trend – but it makes you think perhaps along these lines:

        The idealist philosopher George Berkeley argued that physical objects do not exist independently of the mind that perceives them. An item truly exists only as long as it is observed; otherwise, it is not only meaningless but simply nonexistent.
        Solipsism – Wikipedia

        What's under the cover? It's perhaps more interesting to ponder than confirm. Also reminds me of Christo's work wrapping iconic buildings in lots of plastic? That is very decadent and of course now not environmentally sound.

  7. Andre 7

    Vaccine politics ….


    edit: one of the comments kinda sums up my view of the idea of getting vaccines from Russia:

    But Russian damage control did a really good job here. All media mention their claim that Slovakia has breached the contract, while very few mention Slovakian allegations. If those are really true, no one sane would approve this vaccine.
    From the article:
    “The comparability and consistency of different batches produced at different locations has not been demonstrated,” the Slovak regulator said, according to the New York Times. “In several cases, they appear to be vaccines with different properties (lyophilisate versus solution, single-dose ampoules versus multi-dose vials, different storage conditions, composition and method of manufacture).”

    When there were news about this vaccine, my comment was that I believe Russian scientists but I doubt their manufacturing. Unfortunately, I was proved to be right.

    [changed format as last part of text did not appear to belong in the quoted text – Incognito]

    • Andre 7.1

      Thanks, Incognito, but that bit of text actually was part of the quote, not me. Even though it looks like what I would say, and actually did say back awhile ago about russian manufacturing vs their scientists. I can usually fight off the annoying urge to say I wuz right. I just ran out of time in the edit window trying to figure out how to get the format clear.

  8. India 152,000 recorded Covid cases today. With the low level of testing in India at present you could probably double this number-another right-wing government Covid epic fail to go with Trump, Macron, Boris, Bolsonaro, Duda, etc

    That two week NZ ban on people flying from India is going to end up as several months.


    • greywarshark 8.1

      Have special hazard suits become available to enclose passengers flying? It wouldn't be pleasant but if one had a pre-test for health, and then wore that could that enable some people who have had to travel to dodgy places for family or personal reasons, to get home? And then automatic quarantine. Not sure if it should apply to business travellers.

      India shot itself in the foot by going for flaming nationalist and fundamentalist leader. Now they need to think again but hey why worry – it's gone out of fashion in so many countries. Edict by wishful thinking and command is in instead.

      • Ed1 8.1.1

        I am not clear what you are suggesting, greywarshark – If people are being automatically quarantined, all that the hazard suits are doing is giving a little more confidence that they may not have been infected in flight (whether in their seat or when breaching the suit for toilet purposes). There have been suggestions that some pre-flight tests are not very reliable. But if a precaution is reasonable, who should it not apply to business travellers? If there are a lot of New Zealand citizens in India, it may become necessary to have a special flight just for them . . .

        • greywarshark

          I am suggesting returning family matters first, then business Ed1. To prevent distress and hardship. But case by case I guess.

      • Foreign waka 8.1.2

        I think it would be the Air condition system that needs to be cleaned, filters exchanged etc. Hazard suits would not help really. Maintenance of the Air condition system like this is expensive and I am not sure whether Airlines will just take this as a insurance risk proposal and run with it. If anybody makes a claim they have to proof a fault – and how would this be possible? Even if people test negative of the virus before boarding, as soon as they are on the plain, that's it.

        Perhaps the cruise ships should be repurposed. It takes longer to reach the destination but it could double up as quarantine time. I am sure a deal can be reached.

        • greywarshark

          The cruise ship idea would be an intelligent approach with them doubling as possible hospital ships for those who seemed clean but had the lingering lurgy – would have to be one of the smaller ones.

          Sea transport will have to come around again like I used in the 1970s on my OE. It was all part of the experience, so it would keep the industry going for the present to use them for Covid 19 travel, and as a side issue might give us cheaper transport for mail and packages than the horrific prices we pay now for international stuff over letter size and width.

        • McFlock

          There's something about cruise ships that seems to make them petrie dishes for infectious disease – covid, gastro, you name it.

          Dunno if it's a design thing or the passengers or shitty conditions for crew. But the worry is one person with an infection gets on the ship, and by the time it reaches port 1000 people have caught it and 300 are still sick. So rather than an automatically-quarantined arrival, the damned thing swamps our quarantine and ICU facilities overnight.

          • Foreign waka

            Firstly, having up to some 400 passengers on a flight, being infected by air conditioning recycling cabin air is far more certain to be contagious. Secondly, using Cruise ships that hold some 3000 passengers is clearly better in terms of transporting more people. It doesn't mean that this is to become an entertainers dream. But you have the time on your side if corona is to be found amongst passengers and a quarantine location without using hotels and infected security guards do not even enter the scenario.

            Far more efficient and secure as far as I can see. People will appreciate that they have some time to settle down after being through major anxiety too.

            Also, getting less planes in the air also means less pollution. https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/air-travel-climate-change/

            • McFlock

              3000 passengers can end up being 3000 patients. Worse than batches of 400.

              Yes. more efficient energy-wise. And maybe operating a "liner" model rather than a "cruise" model (transatlantic vs caribbean fun park) would result in outbreaks onboard being easier to control.

              But it's not a public health tendril to be jumping for when we're already on a reasonably safe ledge.

            • greywarshark

              Less passengers, more isolation of cabins, decks etc.?

              • McFlock

                Some thoughts that come to mind:

                • Figuring out airflow so cabins are negative-pressure (makes balconies and windows an issue).
                • Figuring out deck bubbles, including crew.
                • Giving crew the same billet density as passengers.
                • Figuring out the move away from buffet into cabin service.
                • Monitoring water quality.
                • Regular "deep cleans" even during trips.
                • Keeping laundry workers safe, and keeping laundry bags in their own deck bubbles.
                • Graeme

                  All of the above will become the basis of multiple law suits once the cruise fleet has to come into port and the writs can be served.

                  The issues are intrinsic to the design of the ships and the business model so not a lot that can be done to change things without the economics going all to pot.

          • woodart

            air conditioning and buffet food are mostly to blame for cruise ships being petrie dishes. breathing badly scrubed air and coughing over the food bain marie. yuk.

            • McFlock

              Yeah. One might be able to adapt away from buffet style, but making the aircon quarantine-safe could well be an impractical refit for many vessels.

              Don't forget the living conditions for the crew, either. And the laundry setup. And the water system.

              It's a bit like hotels as quarantine facilities – if they're not designed with that function in mind from the start, there could be some fundamental flaws in a facility.

    • joe90 8.2


    • Treetop 8.3

      I'd like to know what the level of Covid – 19 is in the water and if people are being infected or picking up another strain from the water in India and Brazil?

    • Sabine 8.4

      And also check Dubai as a transit port. I understand that people fly there to book on a Emirates to NZ.

      Brazil had something like 4000 dead on the 9th. The whole world is in a fourth wave it seems, and worse even it is now the young that get it and transmit it. France is exploding with them. Germany is not doing well. Neither is Italy or Spain for that matter. US, went from 200 death a few days ago to back up 900 odd on the ninth.

      I don't care which vaccine, i want the fauci ouchi.

  9. greywarshark 9

    The 111-year-old Wharenui Pool has produced scores of Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists.
    But with the impending opening of the Metrosports Centre, it's been decided it's not needed.
    Club president Chris Averill said ongoing maintenance costs were being blamed, but the council wouldn't say what they were.

    The local swimming pool used by locals and serving their needs and wishes must go in favour of having a stadium that matches or betters what other cities have, so there! It will hold elite events that the incontinently wealthy are happy to drop their money on. Also it gives bragging rights to the city's leaders and top bureaucrats and makes them feel they are doing important work and worth their salaries, erecting iconic edifices that can gild their CVs.

    The glittering prize is unveiled:

    Dec.9/2019 https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/117978037/christchurchs-470m-stadium-plan-revealed-25000-seats-clear-roof-finished-in-5-years
    The report says a 25,000 seat mostly clear-roofed facility is the best fit for the city, and could be built within the budgeted $473 million, including running costs. Temporary seating was not included but could be added later…

    The case found the stadium would cost more to build and run than it would return in economic benefits, but notes the city faces problems without a stadium and some benefits cannot be measured.

    The consortium, called Kōtui, will bring together local and international expertise to design the $473 million state-of-the-art arena that will re-establish Canterbury as a premier sporting and events destination in New Zealand.

    Led by Australian-based stadium construction experts, BESIX Watpac, Kōtui includes Christchurch-based construction companies Southbase Construction and Fulton Hogan, local seismic engineering specialists Lewis Bradford, Christchurch architects Warren and Mahoney, and global stadium design experts Populous and Mott MacDonald.
    Watch a video about Kōtui.

    Christchurch Council has imported a Ceo from UK especially to push through budget cuts on anything and nearly, everything. That's why overseas people are so good, they don't care about anything here, and can overlook the local yokels – we are just a sojourn on their way to wealth and a house in the stockbroker belt in UK or Australia or even here.

    Springfield know all about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDOI0cq6GZM

  10. joe90 10

    But the invasion was never about oil.


  11. greywarshark 11

    How do we fit this in with our so-called principled political system? Not just based on instant stimulus to satisfy profit or other targets.


    • Anne 11.1

      It's bullshit stuff!

      Shame on the author who is playing racism in reverse. Nearly 80% of the positive Covid cases coming into NZ are from India. If this trend continues – and it will given the horrendous numbers of cases in India which are likely only a fraction of the true numbers – then they pose a real threat of community Covid clusters re-surfacing in NZ. It's untenable at the moment.

      The government had no choice but to temporarily halt the returnees from India until such a time as the situation stabilises in that country. To suggest that it is a racially biased move is not only garbage but its offensive, and those peddling it should be 'hung, drawn and quartered' in my humble opinion.angel

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        But there is the Kiwi citizens point. That is problematic.

        • Anne

          Sorry, but you can't play around with the current Covid variants. Can you imagine the uproar if the whole country had to go back into Lockdown 4 because of a return of community clusters directly related to returnees from a particular country and the government didn't do anything about it? It would be enormous and rightly so.

          The fact it is India is not surprising, but if it had been another country [eg UK] where the bulk of the cases were coming from, then it would be the UK returnees who would have to be temporarily halted.

          Some people need to use their brains. This pandemic is unprecedented in modern history. There are always going to have to be exceptions to what is normal protocol.

          • Treetop

            Our community cases are coming from MIQ. Now a case C linked to case B, tonight on stuff. Two weeks of breath holding.

        • RedBaronCV

          He's talking about people on temporary working visa's not citizens or permanent residents. So to me an overblown sense of entitlement and fake presentation.

          These are not visa's ( some probably "the buy some study that sells a work visa too") that would not have led to automatic residency. Some of these old work study visa's must be due to expire soon. Worldwide there must be plenty of people who had/ have a visa that they cannot now use including a lot of younger NZer's. That's the breaks.

          Be very interesting to know how many incomers from India are using either a second passport or a residency visa who had not been ordinarily resident for quite some time before covid hit. But we won't be told that.

          • Treetop

            That is what needs to be sorted out, the condition of the visa when a pandemic.

          • greywarshark

            RedBaronCV The title was misleading apparently – talking up spurious cases. Written by Sandeep Singh who is giving a biased viewpoint it seems.

            • RedBaronCV

              The title is definitely misleading but so is the story. Work visas are not enough to get onto the plane. My understanding is that it has to be a passport or permanent residency to get through.

              I can understand the government not trying to do too much to sort this because they can't really see the future – imagine the uproar if they simply cancelled most of them because we won't have borders open rather than letting them expire. Under the rules now many of these visas would not be issued -particularly the low grade study while you work ones. We have also been letting people stay here far too long on a mishmash of various temporary visas and no immigration system should raise "false or exaggerated hopes". Frankly for the size of the population the immigration queue seems to be utterly excessive. As to financial loss – the government has been utterly clear that this is not a factor- and plenty of people have been pushed into all sorts of situations that they would rather not be in and that has been life for a lot of us.

    • Stuart Munro 11.2

      Sorry, I didn't see you'd beaten me to the punch on this.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Nitwits turning to expensive fu..wits.


    Hamilton City Councillor Dave Macpherson said an Official Information Act request to his own council showed it had 58 requests from the lobby group since the start of 2018, costing an estimated $61,364 in staff time.

    The sheer number and complexity of requests had meant extra staff had to be employed, he said.

    "When you realise there are nearly 70 councils getting these requests on what are usually inane or irrelevant subjects, I'd say they are costing us all over a million dollars a year," Councillor Macpherson said.

    It was hypocritical of the Taxpayers’ Union, which frequently criticised councils for wasting public money, to be costing ratepayers so much, he said.

    Jordan inspires some people with positive and spiritual feelings.

    But to others the name Jordan produces stress and anxiety.

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    Indian travel ban leaves Kiwis stateless | RNZ News

    Is it just me, or does the writer reek of entitlement?

    The use of the term stateless is the kind of inaccuracy that characterizes yellow journalism – from our state broadcaster no less.

    One hopes that Tracy Martin's review will not reduce RNZ to peddling breathless rubbish like this – the writer should be with Newshub or one of the other clickbait sewers.

    • Jester 13.1

      I was just about to post this too. Over 80% of the cases coming in seem to be from India, the guy that wrote this article needs to get a grip and see sense.

  14. Muttonbird 14

    What is the protocol with Harry returning for the funeral? In NZ he'd have to quarantine for 14 days before being allow to attend, but Phil's do is just 6 days away.

    Pretty high risk to the Queen having Harry fly in from California for hugs and kisses.

  15. Muttonbird 15

    Another fascinating example of added value and productivity being stripped from New Zealand's economy by neoliberals. There is a race to the bottom, the end goal seemingly to have New Zealand produce the most raw and undeveloped primary products in the world.

    (New Zealand) wheat farmers are some of most productive in the world but the vast majority of it is sold for animal feed while the bread we eat is made using imported Australian flour.

    This runs counter to all economists' pleadings for New Zealand to up its game on productivity. We also seem to have primary industries competing with each other. Dairy, promoted so heavily under the last national government grabbing all the land for itself, whether suitable or not, then taking all the local grain that was left to feed cows.

    I'm reminded of the often used turn of phrase, "work smarter, not harder". It seems since Rogernomics we have been going in the opposite direction.


    • Andre 15.1

      Historically the quality of flour in New Zealand was very variable and often quite crap, as a result of poorly designed regulations. So when deregulation happened, a lot of users happily switched to overseas flour and got better results from their baked goods. Since then, supply chain inertia may be a large part of the difficulty NZ growers are having with selling their goods. Or maybe there's still quality issues, I vaguely remember some mutterings about significant differences in the composition of NZ wheat compared to overseas, possibly as a consequence of it not getting the extreme dry heat here that other growing areas get, or differences in trace elements.

      Here's a piece talking about the regulatory environment:

      https://nzier.org.nz/static/media/filer_public/62/f1/62f18e59-82d8-4301-9961-5e29e2ed9665/nztcwp4.pdf – yes it's NZIER, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're completely wrong.

      Here's a piece hinting that there may still be differences between NZ wheat and overseas:


      • Muttonbird 15.1.1

        So nothing to do with New Zealand conditions but perhaps the type of wheats used and probably the processing (they don't really have an answer in that article).

        I'm not surprised an artisan baguette causes less trouble than a bag of Tip-Top. are you?

        I feel like the Canterbury plains are an ideal wheat growing area. But it's all irrigated Dairy conversions now.

        • Pat

          not quite…theres still a good amount of cropping, but my understanding is that conditions do dictate the type and quality of wheat we can produce…and as much as it may grate the Oz wheat is superior for bread making…such is life.

          • Muttonbird

            Oz wheat is superior for bread making

            For terrible bread making? That seems true.

            I don't have an issue with Australian wheat. In the original article it says it's cheaper because it's grown on lower value land and for some reason it's cheaper to transport it from Australia than from the South Island.

            Part of the beauty of New Zealand is we have a variety of different conditions all within our borders. Can't see France having Australian conditions (it's more like NZ) yet their bread making is supposedly amazing.

            Australia are great a producing two things. Shiraz and racists.

            • Pat

              Then buy NZ wheat and bake your own….or talk to a baker.

              And France like Australia has a continental climate…unlike NZ

              • Muttonbird

                frown It's not about how I like my bread.

                The point of my comment is about how free market capitalism does not produce the elusive productivity holy grail New Zealand is looking for.

                It appears free market capitalism renders us in particular more and more dependent on low value primary industry.

                • Pat

                  Capitalism (free market or otherwise) rewards competitive advantage…Australia has a competitive advantage in wheat production…but our apples are better.

                  We can produce suitable quality wheat BUT we cant do it at the required volume or the required consistency…our climate is too variable which increases the base costs…its hard to be competitive when you only have one good producing year in every 3 or 4 seasons …that drives the end users to import.

                  NZ has never been self sufficient in milling wheat and to be so would require a pretty large redundancy that would impact the price significantly….id suggest the public may object to bread products at significantly higher prices than current regardless of their quality

                  • Muttonbird

                    Historically the country produced its own grain for baked products and not that long ago there were 30 or 40 mills across the country. Going back further there were hundreds of mills, according to the book, Flour Milling in New Zealand.

                    The country was self-sufficient in wheat production until government control of the industry under the Wheat Board ended in 1987, and led to imports by the mid-1990s.

        • Баба яга

          Theres still a few growing wheat in Canterbury ,especially around where I live,I buy wheat for chicken feed from a local farmer a few k's down the road from me,when I asked him why he sells it for animal feed he says it's too expensive to get the protein content high enough for human consumption.

          [That user name is immediately attracting the attention of the Moderators – Incognito]

  16. McFlock 17

    So that report that said there was no institutional racism in the uk a week or two back? Some of the authors reckon what they handed to Downing St doesn't match what Downing St published.

    Spoilers: apparently they said that racism did, in fact, exist in the UK.

  17. TheNZJerster 18

    Look like rater than savining taxpayers money like the so called Taxpayers' Union claim they are infact costing the country a lot of money daily.

    OIAs to Hamilton council cost $60k in staff time

    And as the article mentions that is just one of the many councils in NZ they are bombarding on a regular basis with OIA requests.

    "They make an art-form of spraying Official Information Act information demands to pretty much every council in the country, trawling for information that will bolster their own political viewpoint," he said.


    They are politial leaches sucking up much needed taxpayer funds to sasify thier egos.

    [fixed typo in user name]

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