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Open mike 11/04/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 11th, 2022 - 94 comments
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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 …

94 comments on “Open mike 11/04/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    The Greens are planning "constitutional considerations that will be decided at a special general meeting". https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/04/08/green-party-may-scrap-rule-requiring-male-co-leader/

    The Green Party has led the political field when it comes to progressive leadership models. Its male and female co-leader requirements began with Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald, then to Metiria Turei and Russell Norman, and the current duo Marama Davidson and James Shaw.

    The party is now looking to go further, with a proposal for one co-leader to be female and the other any gender or identity.

    It hasn't alienated enough kiwi males yet, so this change ought to complete the job. The asymmetric gender imbalance in the Green support base needs to be tilted further to the extreme, to force the remaining men away.

    Former Green MP Sue Bradford says it's a good move… "I think it's very progressive that the party is seriously taking this option," Bradford said.

    It's an option that could potentially see two female co-leaders, clearing the way for a Marama Davidson and Chloe Swarbrick duo.

    Obviously it hasn't been sufficient to park the party in the extreme left cul-de-sac for twenty years. They need to dig a hole in the back of that and hide down it.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Gareth Hughes saw this coming years ago.

    • AB 1.2

      It hasn't alienated enough kiwi males yet

      Perhaps they imagine that young men – who now find themselves legitimately out-competed by young women in education and the workplace for the top marks and entry to the best courses and jobs – will just welcome another defeat as legitimate punishment for the crimes of their fathers and grandfathers.?

    • weka 1.3

      Is this a way of saying that men will vote against having women in charge? If the status quo has been male dominant (and still largely is), then men aren't willing to reverse that for a time, equity must be either male dominant or exactly 50/50?

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        Given that there was no obvious differential when the party formed – during my first five years inside the proportion of male to female members always seemed like parity – I actually have no insider knowledge on what made it tip.

        Best guess: the natural empathy of women makes them more sensitive to the Green ethos. One could also argue that kiwi males have an encultured reluctance to do big-picture thinking…

        • weka

          right. So tweaking the co-leadship rules is a much lesser influence than the way NZ men are generally. Even left wing or green leaning men apparently.

          • Dennis Frank

            green leaning men

            Those will be alienated by the tweak. It sends a powerful signal: you aren't valued, you aren't even wanted.

            They'd go blue-green if the Nats weren't such control freaks. Faced with a choice between dumb & dumber, they are forced into realising that democracy doesn't provide them with a realistic option at present.

    • weka 1.4

      The asymmetric gender imbalance in the Green support base needs to be tilted further to the extreme, to force the remaining men away.

      What are you basing that on? Quick look at the latest Roy Morgan (as a starting point),

      10.5% support for GP

      11.5% women

      9% men


      Is that really such a big difference?

      Compare to Labour

      32% vote

      40.5% women


      How are men forced away by having policies that seek to redress the inherent sexism bias in parliament?

      • weka 1.4.1

        in other words, how can you be sure you're not pointing to the sexism in NZ men as much as anything?

        I'll see if I can find the data from pre-Ardern.

      • Dennis Frank 1.4.2

        What are you basing that on?

        Reporting of stats on the gender-differential in the Green supporter base in recent years. Can't recall any particular such instance.

        How are men forced away by having policies that seek to redress the inherent sexism bias in parliament?

        I wasn't assuming they are. I think there's more to it. Plenty of guys support the principle of gender equality. Dunno when it was last measured by poll but I reckon it would be around half (maybe even more). I think it's more that the Greens aren't much good at talking the lingo of the land to kiwi males. I always could but I've always been untypical.

        • weka

          If you weren't assuming they are, what did you mean by this?

          The asymmetric gender imbalance in the Green support base needs to be tilted further to the extreme, to force the remaining men away.

          I'll take the RM, limitations notwithstanding, over vague references to an asymmetric gender balance in GP support. Especially when we compare it to Labour.

          I think it's more that the Greens aren't much good at talking the lingo of the land to kiwi males.

          This I agree with. It's the whole cultural fit thing. But then I've seen plenty of left wing men moan about the GP and I'm not sure they would support them even if they could speak the lingo, so I reckon the GP should stick to its knitting.

          • Dennis Frank

            what did you mean by this?

            I was interpreting the subconscious motivation in the current group mind controlling the GP. I bet there was no way they were ever going to be honest enough to admit it to each other. They're leftists.

            Symptomatic of their credibility problem is the fate of John Hart. A young farmer, dead keen about the authentic Green cause, got rated on the candidate list but not far enough up to get into parliament. Has subsequently dropped out. Identity politics is extremely corrosive nowadays.

    • Corey Humm 1.5

      It would be one thing if they had a requirement for two gender unspecific co-leaders but to take away the male co-leader and keep the female co-leader requirement borderlines on both misandry and as a member of the LGBT+ leads me to think the Greens see Trans women as men by putting them in the former male co-leader role.

      This is stupid and not as progressive as they think and honestly

      Everytime I think …. Yeah …. I'll vote Greens next election… They come out with some ridiculous, stupid identity politics box ticking policy like this rubbish.

      I reckon Labour should do some sort of seat deal with Top, if TOP are sensible they'll take it, Top who in 2017 and 2022 got a hell of a lot of votes from males of all ages who used to vote Green.

      If anything the greens should get rid of the co-leader requirement and just put Chloe in the leadership.

      Honestly…. I was probably only considering the greens cos I hadn't heard them say anything in months…. The less we see or hear of the greens the more likely people are to vote for them , then the greens open their mouths and we're all like yeah na , no thank you.

      Put some trans people in caucus by all means, hell if you get some great trans mps make them co-leader, but don't say "trans women are women but they don't qualify for the female co-leader role but dw we'll change the male co-leadership role so you could have that, bugger men we only have two and we don't even want them in our caucus "

      That's offensive to trans people, males and mind boggling to a lot of people.

      If you must be more gender inclusive get rid of both co-leader requirements.

      Poor old much maligned James Shaw who kept the party alive in 2017 should go and join Top. He'd be much better treated I'd wager.

      I wanna vote green but gosh they make it difficult

      • Dennis Frank 1.5.1

        I've voted Green for 11 consecutive elections but next one I'm likely to not vote – last time I did that rebel thing was 1975. angel

        • Patricia Bremner

          You vote for Luxon then.

          • Dennis Frank

            Naughty, Patricia, to misrepresent the political stance of someone else. Always better to be honest & tell the truth. Even for leftists! angel

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    The dame gives us an interpretive context for co-governance: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/anne-salmond-te-tiriti-and-democracy-part-3

    In the third part of her examination of the Treaty of Waitangi and democracy, of governance and constitutional reform, Dame Anne Salmond questions if casting the Treaty as between two races rather than a multilateral agreement has harmed NZ's progress.

    In the 1987 ‘Lands’ case, Sir Robin Cooke argued that the Treaty of Waitangi created ‘a partnership between races,’ between ‘Pākehā and Māori’ or between ‘the Crown and the Māori race.’

    I suspect the judge didn't realise he was being racist back in '87. Thought he was articulating tradition respectfully, I bet. Given that the signatories were sovereign rulers, to what extent is it realistic to include the people anyway?

    it is clear from the Preamble that there are many different parties involved in Te Tiriti, including the Queen and the ‘persons of her tribe,’ the rangatira, the hapū, ngā tāngata māori o Nu Tirani (the indigenous persons of New Zealand) and the Governor, and that this is a multi-lateral, not a bi-racial agreement.

    Okay, well done. Chalk one up for the dame. Is she first cab off the rank in noticing this? I don't recall seeing that preamble cited anywhere before.

    Individuals may identify with the kin group of either parent, and kin groups define themselves by reference to an apical ancestor. As time passes, non-indigenous incomers may even have whānau named after them – the Manuels, the Stirlings, the Jacksons, the O’Regans etc.

    In the logic of whakapapa, ideas of weaving, or binding, or currents flowing together in a river abound. The notion that these interwoven, ever-changing kin networks can be split into two distinct, timeless ‘races’ – ‘Māori’ and ‘Pākehā’ – does not fit well with this relational framing. Nor does the idea of ‘race’ have scientific credibility

    The judiciary will have to scramble to catch up with this Green view. Perhaps she could organise night classes for them?

    • RedLogix 2.1

      I was firmly told that ToW has nothing to do with race – it was a contract between the iwi chiefs and the Crown. Everyone else was to line up for the crumbs.

      As a foundation document is was a remarkably good effort for the era – effectively Maori became the first indigenous people anywhere to become full citizens of the global super-power of the day, the British Empire. Deal of the century.

      But the relevance of both the Crown and the iwi elites as parties to the contract in 2022 is much diminished. NZ is a modern nation of diverse immigrants from all over the planet – and in this Seymour is perfectly correct.

  3. Ad 3

    Expect zero houses to be built on Ihumatao this term. Top work SOUL, Prue Kapua and the rest of the idiots.

    Housing Progress On Ihumātao Land Hits The Wall | Newsroom

    What we would have had in Mangere by now from the deal struck by Te Warena Taua with Fletchers is 40 homes for those who whakapapa to the area out of a total of 480 on the project.

    Whereas over on Bastion Point the Ngati Whatua Orakei lot are going gangbusters.

    • Belladonna 3.1

      That's a positive outcome for SOUL. Their desire is for zero building to go ahead. Delay has no downside from their perspective.

      Also co-governance… [from quoted article]

      The governance group will consist of seven members, made up of three Ahi Kā representatives, a Kīngitanga representative, two Crown appointees and one observer from Auckland Council.

      So, all SOUL need to do (assuming they control the Ahi Kā votes – which appears likely) is to persuade the Kīngitanga rep to vote with them, and no development will happen ever.

      What I don't know is how permanent this governance group is. Because the risk is, that if nothing has happened before a National/Act government gets in (which will happen eventually) – they'll simply dismiss the group.

    • Poission 3.2

      Economically it would make sense to build later.US lumber prices for example have dropped 30% in the last month (at a seasonal time they should be increasing.

      US internal freight rates have also dropped by significant amounts,indicating the wisdom of the masses ( deferring consumer spending) and reducing inflationary pressure.


    • weka 3.3

      Māori have good reason to not trust the Crown, and this is another example. The Pākeha dominant system is too stupid to figure out sustainable and resilient solutions (including culturally appropriate) to the housing crisis other than BUILD MOAR HOUSES, which isn't an actual solution, it will just perpetuate it. Why should Māori lose out further because of that stupidity?

      • Ad 3.3.1

        It would have been a papakainga next to an existing papakainga.

        Nothing stupid about it.

        • weka

          Correct me if I am wrong, but it would have been a shit load of middle – upper middle class housing for the private property market, which would fuel local and wider property values. That's the big stick in the spokes of the housing crisis solution, and it's one of the stupidest things we are doing as a society. Not quite as stupid as AGW, but up there.

          I get that there are people who are ok with the compromise. But the people who oppose that have solid rationales and values based positions too.

  4. joe90 4

    Non-state cryptocurrencies – company scrip of the 0.01%


    Peter Thiel Shreds $100s and Mocks the Unwashed Masses at Crypto Conference

    The billionaire used his Miami Bitcoin 2022 keynote to rip several hundred-dollar bills as an opening bit and lambast the anti-crypto "gerontocracy" of finance.


    After a brief and boring interlude of opining on Bitcoin and Ethereum, Thiel offered his thoughts on why crypto was lacking mainstream adoption. If you asked anyone else that same question, they’d likely offer opinions backed by tangible evidence: that the world’s already buckling technological infrastructure can’t support an energy-sucking Bitcoin wallet in every pocket, or that these currencies are too volatile to be useful for everyday transactions. But if you ask Peter Thiel, the lack of mainstream appreciation is the result of the utter failure, intentional ignorance, and desperate maneuvering of the world’s banks.

    “Bitcoin is the most honest market in the world. It’s the most efficient market,” Thiel said, “It is telling us that the central banks are bankrupt, that we are at the end of the fiat money regime.”


  5. got up early this morning and watched the breakfast telly. first up was jenny coffins with a nasty whine that really got to me. JA swas too polite but if that is the sort of crap that tvnz deems in the public interest then coffins has got to go asap

  6. aj 6

    The Military Situation In The Ukraine

    Jacques Baud is a former colonel of the General Staff, ex-member of the Swiss strategic intelligence, specialist on Eastern countries. He was trained in the American and British intelligence services. He has served as Policy Chief for United Nations Peace Operations. As a UN expert on rule of law and security institutions, he designed and led the first multidimensional UN intelligence unit in the Sudan. He has worked for the African Union and was for 5 years responsible for the fight, at NATO, against the proliferation of small arms. He was involved in discussions with the highest Russian military and intelligence officials just after the fall of the USSR. Within NATO, he followed the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and later participated in programs to assist the Ukraine.


    We used to think that Russia's economy was the equivalent of a small European country.

    Maybe never before has an economy's importance been so grossly misjudged. French economist Jacques Sapir explains…


    • francesca 6.1

      Such great links aj,thanks

      Impressive credentials too

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        • joe90

          Charming vox pop.

          • RedLogix

            And while Caspian above talks to the geopolitics, the mythology is important too:

            But Moscow continues to accuse Kyiv’s “Nazis” of “horrendous crimes”.

            And these “horrendous crimes” were touted by state-owned Ria news agency analyst Timofei Sergeytsev as a justification for genocide.

            In an article entitled What Russia should do to Ukraine, he accuses Ukrainian citizens of being “passive accomplices of Nazism” for supporting and electing “Nazi authorities”. He describes Ukraine as being on a path towards nationalised Nazism.

            He adds Ukraine’s desire for a “European way of development” makes its version of Nazism more dangerous than Hitler’s.

            • tsmithfield

              I think the Caspian Report is great. Thanks for that link.

              You might find this video interesting as well. It gives some historic context relating to about 90 years ago where Russia attempted to starve the Ukranian population into submission.

              The point being made is that the Ukranians are movitivated by being in the right, but also by revenge. In that the history of what happened to great-grandparents still resonates with the Ukranian population. Thus, they are much more highly motivated than the Russians to defend their land because their is no way they want to revisit that past.

              • RedLogix

                Yes Shirvan has a long track record of producing well researched material. I also appreciate that he brings a non-Western centric perspective to his work.

              • joe90

                They very nearly succeeded but for Gareth Jones.

                Gareth Richard Vaughan Jones (13 August 1905 – 12 August 1935) was a Welsh journalist who in March 1933 first reported in the Western world, without equivocation and under his own name, the existence of the Soviet famine of 1932–1933, including the Holodomor.[a]

                Jones had reported anonymously in The Times in 1931 on starvation in Soviet Ukraine and Southern Russia,[2] and, after his third visit to the Soviet Union, issued a press release under his own name in Berlin on 29 March 1933 describing the widespread famine in detail.[3] Reports by Malcolm Muggeridge, writing in 1933 as an anonymous correspondent, appeared contemporaneously in the Manchester Guardian;[4] his first anonymous article specifying famine in the Soviet Union was published on 25 March 1933.[5]

                After being banned from re-entering the Soviet Union, Jones was kidnapped and murdered in 1935 while investigating in Japanese-occupied Mongolia; his murder was likely committed by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD


            • joe90

              I've seen a few of these threads recounting the building of the mythology of ethnic Russian superiority.


        • In Vino


          Sorry, but I find that a tendentious load of propaganda. May possibly be true, but more likely a bloated, hostile analysis of Russian policy.

          On the other hand, I think Jacques Baud is just telling it as he saw it all. Far more credible. How cheats really work.

          • RedLogix

            Shirvan has been producing solid and credible geopolitical analysis on a very wide range of topics for over a decade now. His work is the very opposite of propaganda – the fact of you finding this clip 'tendentious' speaks more to your state of mind than anything else.

            With that in mind – I have just the thing for you.

          • joe90

            I think Jacques Baud is just telling it as he saw it all.

            Or he could be just another Putin/Assad humping genocide denier.

            • In Vino

              So there are thousands of them, are there? And why the needless 'humping' insult? Compensating for something?

              • joe90

                Dude's vociferously defended autocratic thugs against charges that they committed crimes against humanity and my fucking language is the issue?



                • In Vino

                  Pathetic is mindlessly swallowing standard propaganda. Have you noticed that when Americans bomb, the hospitals and schools hit are just collateral damage, or even the callous enemy using 'human shields'?

                  But when the Russians bomb, suddenly it is all personalised human suffering, and dastardly conduct by those who bomb.

                  Did we get the story of human suffering when those children were killed in Afghanistan as revealed by Stephenson and Hager?

                  By the way, I am not offended by the word ‘humping’.. I just wonder why you had to resort to such a pathetic term.
                  You seem to be more emotional than rational.

                  • RedLogix

                    I understand that if your entire political outlook is rooted in a fixed aversion to the USA there is no room for anything else. That if the hated Yanks are the source of all evil, that all else must be pure and blameless.

                    You will find Alexsandr Dugin's work explains everything. And note the date on this article – 2008

                    • In Vino

                      That is nonsense. What on Earth makes you think that my aversion to the USA is greater than my aversion to Putin's right-wing autocracy?

                      My problem is that you seem to pardon the USA everything while excusing the Russians for nothing. Dangerous to my mind.

    • Francesca 6.2

      Those serial numbers are lining up


      But there's always the possibility that the DPR has managed to capture a Ukrainian Tochka.Wouldn't be the first time The DPR has increased its armoury at the expense of the UA

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Bomber on "why Jacinda is failing": https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/04/10/what-most-voters-dont-understand-about-nz-politics-why-jacinda-is-failing/

    The biggest question I get asked privately when I’m out and about socialising is ‘why is Jacinda not (insert a myriad of questions here)

    Well the historic victory she won last election didn't mandate strategic priorities – or if it did seem to, that doesn't mean delivery results from such voter endorsement. Getting Labour to produce suitable results has never been easy, so don't blame her.

    The strategy of knocking out National support parties won us the 2017 election but because no one in the Labour leadership expected to win, there was no 100 day legislative agenda to ram through the moment you get into Parliament and if you don’t do that, the Wellington Bureaucracy will kill off any of your reform agenda for their own interests.

    The theory that the public service is the natural enemy of the Labour Party is nothing new, of course. Likewise for the complement you get if you replace Labour with National in the previous sentence.

    If you don’t arrive on day one with with a clear legislative agenda and enough mana to intimidate the Wellington Bureaucracy, you get nothing done.

    Is this feeble excuse sufficiently feeble for Labour to use? Dunno, you'd have to ask an insider.

    the truth is that the Wellington Bureaucracy runs the country and their middle class neoliberal pandering decides policy implementation, not the feckless and easily manipulated Ministers.

    Look, you can't blame Hipkins & Ardern for doing what Ashley told them to do. He was right. Got suitable results. But as regards other ministers, fair enough.

    Labour didn’t expect to win 2017 and they didn’t expect to win an MMP majority in 2020, so they’ve had no real 100 day legislative agenda to ram through and as such have been stymied ever step by the Wellington Bureaucracy.

    Yeah, we get it already. WB rules, okay? Only if you let it though. You could drive a Labour trainwreck through that hole in his logic.

    The Greens must avoid this by clearly telling voters now what they will force Labour to pass in the first 100 days of a Labour/Green Government

    Readers are sure find the unprecedented combination of Greens & force in the same sentence most entertaining – but he's probably right to hallucinate it. surprise

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      Not sure if laundering the tedious straw man takes of Bradbury's Jonanism does anyone any favours.

    • Craig H 7.2

      Not sure where this concept of no 100 day legislative agenda comes from, Labour did have one in 2017 and they largely implemented it e.g. cancelling National's tax adjustments/cuts and increasing Working for Families and Accommodation Supplement.

      Agree in terms of 2020, but an obvious issue is that they largely campaigned on being a safe pair of hands (e.g. ads with the messages of National isn't the party of John Key or Bill English any more…) and a world-leading Covid response, which makes it difficult to then ram through wholesale changes outside their manifesto or other promises. All that said, Fair Pay Agreements and Income Insurance are massive changes which have the potential to significantly impact people's lives, hopefully positively.

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        Not sure where this concept of no 100 day legislative agenda comes from

        Out of his head – new to me too. But I do agree with the likely effect of the push! I was impressed at Biden hitting the ground running after he took office. He got a huge number of executive orders out in his first 100 days – unprecedented, as far as I know – and very effectively established a post-Trump initiative.

        Re your fairness to Labour, yes we ought to acknowledge such achievements. Dunno how well they will hold Labour's vote up though. Plenty of folks wanted more.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    If confirmed, a big victory for the Ukrainians.

    • Scud 8.1

      I'm watching the Kherson Sector atm, if the Ukrainian Military can dislocate the Russians hard enough back over Dnieper without the Russians blowing up the main road bridge.

      Then we might get see the Ukrainian Armoured Corps at their finest hr?

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        From what I have seen the Ukranian artillery is far more accurate than the Russian artillary in terms of being able to hit military targets. The Russian artillery seem good at hitting cities where they can't help but blow things up. But the Ukranian artillery seem very precise in being able to hit armoured vehicles and the likes. It may be because of their drones giving intelligence along with intelligence NATO is providing.

        • McFlock

          Apparently home-grown laser-guided artillery.

          Ukraine and Russia stopped cooperating on the tech in 2013, according to the link, so it's telling in some regards that one seems to have such an advantage in that tech over the other.

          • tsmithfield

            I think a lot of it is that the Ukranians have been getting a lot of training within the NATO framework since the Crimea annexation. Hence, why they are adopting much better tactics. And, perhaps they had a lot of training on artillery usage as well.

            • McFlock

              Not directly in relation to that technology, though. That's all them.

              And don't forget, they've been fighting since 2014, so they've had plenty of time to figure out what works and what they need.

              The training would be more in moving from the top-down control system of the societ era into a more integrated system. The other concept is that rather than calling in artillery support with an FAC who needs to be close (or able) to observe the area, coordinating artillery with drones speeds things up. They don't need to expose themselves to paint a target and observe the fall of shot, and with laser guidance the correction is at the terminal end of the flight path rather than waiting a minute or more for the next rounds to come in with corrected coordinates. As long as the artillery is "near enough", a laser designator makes every round count.

              I don't doubt NATO training has been useful to the Ukrainians, but in the aspect of drone use and laser designation the Ukrainians might actually be ahead of NATO.

              To put it another way, the US artillery might be at the stage now that US bombing was at in the first US/Iraq war in the early 1990s. Sure, there was lots of smart bomb footage at the briefings, but really something like only 3% of the bombs they dropped were guided in any way. Whereas Ukrainian artillery seemingly has loads of guided artillery rounds they developed themselves, and possibly even integrated with off the shelf drones as well as bespoke military drones.

            • Scud

              The Ukrainian Artillery units are benefiting from a dedicated integrated joint fires cell imbeded at al levels of command backed up with its UAV & the various Forward Observers including the Stay Behind Teams of the Ukrainian SF inside Russian control Areas.

        • Scud

          The Ukrainian Artillery units are benefiting from a dedicated integrated joint fires cell imbeded at al levels of command backed up with its UAV & the various Forward Observers including the Stay Behind Teams of the Ukrainian SF inside Russian control Areas.

    • Francesca 8.2

      A lot of intelligence derived from satellites etc about Russian troop movements is supplied by NATO and UK/US intel officers to the Ukrainians .Possibly what our intel officers are also doing in London .Getting to be a fine line between humanitarian assistance and becoming an outright belligerent in this mess

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        Yes. As I have said previously, the difference between assisting and participating in the conflict is becoming somewhat semantic.

        I see Germany is supplying Ukraine with one hundred long range motorised artillery units capable of 50km targeting range.

        I can’t imagine the Russians will be happy about that as the Ukranians will be able to target the Russian artillery and equipment from a distance.

        • Scud

          That German Self Propelled Artillery piece is a very good, the Dutch had a couple units in TK at the main joint Oz & Dutch Base off in Afghanistan.

          The Ukrainian Artillery Corp are also getting a wheeled SPG from the Czech or Slovakian Governments. Which depending the on what barrel they use can fire either Russia/ WarPac 152mm rds or NATO 155mm rds with a 5rd auto loader. Ideal for shoot & scoot Fire Missions & Counter Battery Fire.

          • In Vino

            Such activities make those doing them into belligerents. ie, active participants in the war. Russia has clearly warned that it will resort to nuclear war if provoked. What part of 'provoke' do some idiots not understand?

            Very dangerous times.

        • Sanctuary

          Delivery timeline of these weapons is the second half of 2024, hardly decisive for the upcoming Donbas battles.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Retiring MP Louisa Wall: "I'm not a minister because the prime minister told me I would never be in her cabinet". Not a team player, according to Labour insiders. Really? Wikipedia reminds us she "represented New Zealand in both netball as a Silver Fern and rugby union as a member of the Black Ferns."

    So she proved she's a national team player in two international sports at the top level. I presume those Labour insiders would respond "Bugger! Hang on, Labour does factions. That makes it different."

    A sufficiently feeble excuse to work for Labour? Apparently Wall was a member of the notorious ABC faction. Long-term resentments are sufficient to prevent anyone getting ahead in Labour unless you happen to be Phil Goff.


    Wall said she thought the decision went back to a 2013 Labour Party leadership contest. "I think that it probably did go back to the open contests that we've had in the Labour Party for leadership over the years and the time when she ran with Grant Robertson specifically, I supported David Cunliffe. "I think that probably meant for them I was never part of their specific team".

    However, former Labour president Mike Williams said Wall was replaced as Labour's Manurewa candidate at the last election because she lost the support of the electorate committee.


    Ask yourself who would know if Mike's assertion were true. Wall & her electorate committee. Mike's been retired for many years. Dunno why anyone would believe him – given that he failed to cite info from the insiders as evidential basis.

    • Anne 9.1

      "Dunno why anyone would believe him – given that he failed to cite info from the insiders as evidential basis."

      Dunno why you would think he is not to be believed. He's highly regarded and still a part of the Labour machinery but not in an official capacity. He has no history of telling porkies. In fact he is regarded on both sides of the political fence – including political journos – as both astute and a reliable source of accurate information.

      From recollection he played some sort of intermediary role during that Manurewa stoush. In other words. he is the evidence.

    • mac1 9.2

      My understanding is that the Labour caucus selects the people to become cabinet ministers and then the PM decides the portfolios.

      " the Labour Party, for example, has provision for its parliamentary caucus to select ministers, while the National Party allows the Prime Minister to choose of their own free will." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministers_in_the_New_Zealand_Government

      So for Louisa Wall to say that it was only the PM that kept her from cabinet denies the Labour selection process. I'm sure that the PM would have strong preferences, but caucus decides. Wall's caucus colleagues decided, and there would have been strong competition.

      On the other hand, National allows the PM to select ministers and allocate portfolios, which gives the National PM much more direct control.

      • Belladonna 9.2.1

        Yeah, that was my understanding, too – but found this article from Peter Dunne post the 2020 government formation interesting. [NB: Dunne doesn't say how he knows this – suspect insider information. But, given that it wasn't immediately contracted by Labour insiders – it seems likely to be fairly accurate]


        Rather than have the Caucus select the members of the Cabinet and then have the Prime Minister allocate portfolio responsibilities, as was the norm on the last 10 occasions a Labour Cabinet has been formed, the process has been reversed this time. It seems the Prime Minister presented a full package of names matched with positions to the Caucus for its endorsement.

        While there was the opportunity for other names to be nominated, the reality was that given the magnitude of Labour’s win, and the totality of the Prime Minister’s control of her Caucus, this was never going to be a serious option.

        Technically, of course, the Cabinet was still chosen by the Caucus, but unlike any of her Labour predecessors the Prime Minister has got absolutely the Cabinet of her choice. This is actually no bad thing, as one of the faults with Labour’s traditional practice has been the selection by the Caucus of Ministers not favoured by the leadership. Those Ministers then had to be fitted awkwardly into the Ministry where they could be sources of difficulty in the future.

        • mac1

          That article by Peter Dunne twice uses the word 'seems'. To debate a 'seems, a 'reckon,' a 'surmise, is to give it oxygen.

          Why give credibility to a former Labour waka jumper? He has an agenda. Why respond? It's just his reckons……

          • Incognito

            One person’s reckons may suit another person’s narrative.

            Critical thinking is not everybody’s strong suit; parroting is much easier when you’re a parrot.

          • Belladonna

            Just found a quote from Ardern, which (given the difference of perspective) seems to support that she handled the selection of ministers and the allocation of portfolios differently. Rather than the classic Labour caucus nomination of members, which the leader then has to allocate portfolios.

            The rules of the Labour caucus are that each member gets a say on the Cabinet and get to elect the members, but party leader and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has chosen to "do things a little differently".

            "We will work through every minister's name in that room because I think it's important the team has an overall view of the proposed team and have the ability to endorse that," Ardern told reporters when asked about the Cabinet decision process.

            "We work through it as a group. Anyone is able to nominate and we're able to have a vote if required."

            Ardern later added, "The process that I use as a leader is probably a bit different than others. I do spend the better part of a week in talks with all of our members working through their expectations and my expectations and then I spend a bit of time socialising some of the decisions."

            She said what is presented to the caucus won't be much of a surprise because Ardern has spoken to each of them individually.

            "I make suggestions and the team are free to nominate others but essentially we do work through a bit of a consensus process. That's how I've done it both times and it's tended to work."


    • McFlock 9.3

      Apparently Wall was a member of the notorious ABC faction.

      Wall said she supported Cunliffe, so the opposite of "Anyone But Cunliffe". Against Robertson.

      So it might be a grudge, or could be about future stability/transition of leadership in the next few years (even if Labour win 2023 election, going by historic pattern Ardern is still likely to be replaced as leader within the next five years / two elections).

      Maybe she's been passed over for Cabinet as retaliation, maybe she just doesn't have the temperament to be a minister. Maybe the worry is that she's so proactive on social issues that it's a liability for the "Waitakere Man" vote.

      • Dennis Frank 9.3.1

        Thanks for the correction. Rather Byzantine. Obvious candidate for minister of sports. Instead, they gave it to Robertson who would probably have a problem with running on the spot…

        • McFlock


        • mac1

          I think the answer is less dramatic, as I heard Mike Williams say on RNZ just now. She did not have the support of her caucus.

          They choose. She was not chosen. As the good Rabbi said, all the rest is commentary.

          • Dennis Frank

            He's normally a good commentator with whom I rarely disagree. I just find the voice of god stance irritating. Evidence-based explanations carry more weight.

            He may be right. Did he say that his opinion was informed by sources within caucus?? If not, perhaps he's psychic. Or just guessing…

            It would be a good idea if Labour were to start doing democracy at the local level. Creating the impression that electorate committees can be controlled by the hierarchy is a foolish move. However since the media don't seem to have enquired about the truth from committee members, idle speculation will create a political climate rife with rumour. That corrodes Labour support.

            • mac1

              The issue of whether she was on side with her LEC is immaterial to the issue I am discussing. She said she was not given a ministerial post because she said the PM said she wouldn't get one.

              I'm saying only about that issue- because all else is speculation, (and I'd have to ask why you're speculating?)- that the selection of MPs to cabinet rank is done by caucus, not by the PM. The PM chooses the cabinet ranking and post.

              So, I agree- idle speculation about LECs, PM opinions, race, gender, sexual orientation etc is just that.

              Who benefits from such?

              • Dennis Frank

                Well the Labour Party presenting itself as opaque while claiming to be transparent in govt is likely to alienate voters. The point of critical feedback is to alert the error-prone to their errors. It helps to speed up the rectification process. Some would argue that Labour are in permanent denial of their error-prone behaviour and therefore there's no realistic basis for improvement. I'm more optimistic. Same logic applies currently to the Greens.

    • Peter 9.4

      Is being a 'team player' in sports as a late teens / early 20s athlete slightly different than being a team player in politics when you're nearly 40 years old?

      • Dennis Frank 9.4.1

        Same psychology in each case. Gotta play your part in the team effort because the other members depend on you doing that. Role-specific constraint on behaviour.

  10. Here is an unusual fact that may be a fly in the ointment should Russia wish to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. That is that back in 2013 China guaranteed to protect Ukraine in the event of nuclear attack.

    • Not that I think China would nuke Russia if they used tactical nukes in Ukraine. But rather, that China may not want the public humiliation of having to reneg on the promise, so may put pressure on Russia not to use them.

      • Bruce 10.1.1

        It doesnt seem to matter to much to China that they reneg on agreements.

        • tsmithfield

          Yes, as I said, I don't think they would actually defend Ukraine against Russia.

          But on the other hand, China is also very sensitive about its relationship with the West from where it derives most of its income. They are already being warned off supplying aid to Russia. So, reneging on the agreement maybe something they don't want to be put in a position of having to do.

          That is why I think they may request Russia doesn't use that sort of weapon because it is bad for business.

          • Poission

            All China trade transaction with Russia are now in Yuan.Both China and India are now getting heavily discounted commodity products,thats 42% of the worlds population.

            • tsmithfield

              Yes. And I think that is a pointer to the future. Europe now realises their strategic folly in relying so much on Russian energy. So, they are going to wean themselves off that energy source.

              I think this may well lead to more developement of green technology, which is good. And countries like Germany will probably reactivate their nuclear power plants I suspect. When I was over there a few years ago, there was a big thing about them weaning themselves of nuclear power..

              I think they are only operating three of them now, but may need to reactivate the others.

              However, Russia is going to be in a bit of a bind when energy prices start coming back down again. That is because they will be locked into a limited market which will mean they have to discount their prices quite a lot.

              Essentially, they will become a vasal state to China.

    • Dennis Frank 10.2

      smiley Welcome news!

      During the same month in which Yanukovych was toppled, Russia sent its troops into Ukraine's territory of Crimea. Aljazeera reported that following this move, Russia reached out to China for "international support" but was met largely with silence, supposedly because of the nuclear pledge.

  11. roblogic 11

    Nurses ripped off again by our broken health system. No wonder we can't keep them in NZ. What Aotearoa offers health workers is a sick joke. Low wages, high living costs, poor working conditions, explotative rental market, & useless tax regime that rewards parasites and punishes workers.

    • Even a right winger like me can see the sense in paying our nurses properly.

      From an economic perspective we are in a world market. If we want to retain our nurses we need to pay the going rate. Otherwise we will just be training them for the Australian market or whatever. That is a total waste of our resources.

      • Nic the NZer 11.1.1

        Care to go through the list of professions your happy to see ripped off?

        • tsmithfield

          The same principles apply to any profession, especially where skills are internationally transferable. If we are losing people to overseas we need to pay them more to retain them.

          • Nic the NZer

            Fruit pickers?

            • In Vino

              A Right-Winger. No concern at all about whether a basic job should provide people with a living wage – just a dumb market-led idea that if your particular skills merit it, you may be blessed with enough pay to actually live on.

              Totally stupid idea, designed to create a hell-hole of a society.

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