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Open mike 11/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 11th, 2020 - 213 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

213 comments on “Open mike 11/05/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Tim Watkin has always seemed a staunch Labour supporter. He's taken a strong moral stand against the gagging order here: https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/gagging-order-is-double-dumb-disrespecting-public-sacrifice-amp-damaging-brand-ardern

    "Sent to Beehive staff from the Prime Ministers Office, it told ministers not to give interviews about the thousands of pages of official papers, minutes and advice proactively released Friday afternoon. The documents dealt with the government’s response to the virus and the email basically told the government team they’ve been managing so well and have so much pubic support, they didn’t need to answer questions about what was in the papers."

    "There's no real need to defend. Because the public have confidence in what has been achieved and what the Govt is doing," the email said. "Instead we can dismiss”.

    "Now it’s run of the mill to suggest certain lines for ministers to run, as the email did. But to simply shut down all the cabinet ministers who are meant to be part of the team running the country during a crisis suggests people around the prime minister who are getting a little too comfortable with the extraordinary – but temporary – power currently invested in them."

    "It’s dumb on a range of levels. Morally – or perhaps constitutionally – the New Zealand public has allowed this government at this time extraordinary powers and deserves at the very least in return full and frank information from cabinet. They deserve respect for the sacrifices made, not dismissal. To tell political staff to “dismiss” the questions of journalists working to keep that public informed is deeply cynical and defensive. It’s bad enough in the normal sweep of events; in these troubled times it’s shameful."

    Well-reasoned, and I found nothing to dispute. But here's the thing: look at how he is directing readers (implicitly) to blame the PM's advisers. Guess who made the actual decision to issue the gag! I get that Tim is motivated to defend Labour's brand. Fair enough – but ain't it just a tad disingenuous to tiptoe around the PM like that?

    • Dukeofurl 1.1

      What gagging order ?

      Heres David Clark

      Health Minister David Clark has rejected claims he and other Government ministers have been “gagged”, as he fronted today to announce a $160 million boost to Pharmac health spending.
      “Clark rejected today an assertion he had been gagged – or that the memo was a sign of arrogance, as several political commentators have written. “Obviously I am here.”

      He said he had not personally received the memo, but saw it after it became a story. He did not believe the Government was arrogant.
      ““I am here, happy to answer questions that journalists might have. This is the advice we have received. We have looked at that advice and then made decisions.”

      Seems he heard about the gag the same way every one else did , suggest its was advice passed around the media advisors not a PM 'directive'

      So the the Great Gag beatup falls flat on its face at the first hurdle . The health minister is happy to ask questions.Clearly its the pre budget talk fest so many Ministers will be available to the journos, pushing their portfolios but happy to talk .

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Get real. "Sent to Beehive staff from the Prime Ministers Office, it told ministers not to give interviews". What part of that don't you understand?

        • Dukeofurl

          What part of …

          I am here, happy to answer questions that journalists might have

          ....dont you understand . It was advice. And it didnt tell ministers anything , it was for media personal.

          Your tone suggests you are doing a beatup of your own

          "The email from Rob Carr, a senior ministerial adviser to the prime minister, was sent to the staff of Government ministers and to staff at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) who had worked on making public the documents. " Stuff

          • Gabby

            Rob might need to tell the media he's not all that after all.

          • Dennis Frank

            So you're suggesting that Tim Watkin & Duncan Garner, etc, got it wrong? The PM's senior adviser does not actually speak for the PM? Still looks like wrong planet.

            "The prime minister's office now says the email — which was provided to press gallery journalists hours after the Government publicly released hundreds of Cabinet papers — was a "clumsy instruction"."

            I wonder if that opinion comes from a different staffer (anonymous). Obfuscation must be an exciting game for them. 🙄

            • Sacha

              So you're suggesting that Tim Watkin & Duncan Garner, etc, got it wrong?

              Yes. Next!

            • Gabby

              Hard to believe Druncan could get something wrong, I know.

              • Dennis Frank

                But hey, this leftist shares his view: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2020/05/hubris-invites-nemesis.html

                Now I know you will want to argue that his hubris invites nemesis thesis is so hi-falutin' that it'll sail clean over the heads of folks here, and perhaps even that words ending in is ought to be illegal…

              • Dukeofurl

                As the Stuff story said , releases of Cabinet advice dont go with an offer of 'A Minister to speak on the record.'

                What Ministers will speak about is a decision they have made.

                All standard ministerial protocol.

                The reef fish will do their normal actions based on their collective mind

      • I Feel Love 1.1.2

        When National do it, heralded as "disciplined", when Labour do it, slammed as "gagging order".

        • newsense

          Omg yes. Simon has been on morning report more than any other National leader…

    • ScottGN 1.2

      Are you suggesting that Ardern herself issued the email?

      • Dukeofurl 1.2.1

        "An email from the Prime Minister's office, obtained by the Herald, directed ministers' press secretaries to issue only "brief written statements"

        Said the Herald story

        • ScottGN

          Yeah I know that. But the final paragraph of the primary comment seems to suggest the PM herself is somehow responsible. Rather than a clumsy staffer in the PMO.

          • Dukeofurl

            Thats Dennis Franks style …. stretch the facts to fit his own preconceived notions

          • lilman

            How did this happen?

            LOL, really?

            Amateurs .

          • Ad

            The Prime Minister's office always speaks for the Prime Minister.

            Clark was put up on the weekend because of the media blowback.

          • Dennis Frank

            There was a discussion on that just now on the AM Show. Garner thought it had come from the PM & Trotter not. Starting to look like a staffer may have lost the plot & issued instructions without the PM's authorisation. If a Trump staffer did that, they'd get fired. Gone by lunchtime. Will be interesting to see how Ardern handles the insubordination.

            If that's what it actually was. We await the facts still. The duke thinks the health minister is telling us the facts. Probably the only person in the entire country who would trust the health minister to do that…

            • Wensleydale

              Probably the only person in the entire country who would trust the health minister to do that…

              Tinfoil hat. Take it off your head. Not everything is a government conspiracy orchestrated by that machiavellian schemer, Jacinda Ardern. I know the right are desperately flailing about trying to find a club to bludgeon her with because Bridges couldn't score a hit if you gave him a cannon and a satellite targeting system, but let's not go overboard.

              • Dennis Frank

                Conspiracy? I didn't suggest any such thing! Nor am I a rightist. Try to get your head around what actually happened, huh? Did she instruct her ministers not to comment or not? The impression created by the email from her senior advisor makes us wonder if he does actually speak for her or not. We await clarification as to the source of the instruction.

                • Wensleydale

                  We don't know. I don't know. You don't know. But your insinuation couldn't be any clearer. "Jacinda's gagging people! Police State! The fascists are on the march!" Let's all sit down, have a nice cup of tea, breathe, and wait. Getting all bent out of shape over things that likely aren't even true is a sure-fire road to a stomach ulcer. I wouldn't want you to get a stomach ulcer, Dennis.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    You're overdramatising. My concern is around damage-mitigation. I'd rather she didn't get a reputation for hypocrisy. That does not concern you? Open, transparent governance, remember! That difference between preaching & practise easily becomes fatal. Voters get shifted by perceptions as much as reality!

                    • Wensleydale

                      Not a lot concerns me. I find being perpetually unconcerned about things is the best way to manage my mental health. (And puts me at low risk of developing a stomach ulcer.) But I understand where you're coming from in terms of not wanting JA to end up looking like a hypocrite. I guess we'll have to wait to discover the truth of the matter. I hope it wasn't an emotional junior staffer.

                    • Sacha

                      The only person who said 'open and transparent' was Clare Curran. And we all know what happened there.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Well, I see No Right Turn has a similar stance. Albeit, somewhat more forthright! 😇

                    • Dukeofurl

                      Reef Fish !

                      NRT is mostly too silly for words anyway

            • Dukeofurl

              " duke thinks the health minister is telling us the facts."

              Who said that …this is of course classic Dennis Frank word manipulation

              The health Minister was available for any questions , not gagged . Proof of the fantasy of your and others basic premise.

              "yet , Here I am"

        • Sacha

          Thank you Duke. Did not notice that you had already articulated this earlier.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.2

        I'm suggesting that the email would have been authorised by the PM – before it was issued. Anyone who believes the contrary is naive. Does the duke really think Ardern would allow staffers to issue directives to ministers?? If so, wrong planet dude!

        • Ad

          Nothing wrong with requiring message centralisation. Just good practise.

        • Sacha

          If the directive was to comms staff in Minister's offices then yes it would make sense to have come from comms staff in the PM's office (not the DPMC).

        • Peter

          This is like one of those media stories that starts out like the worst thing has happened in the history of the world and further down the page it's more than slightly different. By your 3rd post it could be that a staffer in despatching the message has added the offending bit. Rather than the PM be hung drawn and quartered for the message that should happen to the staffer. And I sense, in the event of not despatching the despatcher, to Ardern herself.

          • Dennis Frank

            True, but the gagging order framing came from Tim Watkin, remember (and others), so I was merely commenting on it as an emerging feature of our co-created reality.

            If the PM did not issue or authorise it, the issue will likely become one of employment for the staffer. Remember that damage done to the govt's reputation in the eyes of voters is crucial in an election year. Minimisation is therefore crucial to the PM to increase the likelihood of re-election.

            I bet she knows that, so will clarify who was responsible for creating the misapprehension (if she confirms it was that) or inform us that she was actually the source. If she fails to do so, it will be a sign that she is so confident of re-election that the damage done is no problem…

            • Sacha

              It is standard message control. Not a mistake. Not a firing offense. Red herring by Nats and credulous media.

            • Peter

              Minimisation is crucial? So is maximisation. That's why it happens.

        • Incognito

          He [David Clark] said he had not personally received the memo, but saw it after it became a story. [my italics]


          That must have been one clumsy directive to Ministers, but I’m sure you can fit it into your story 😉

    • Sanctuary 1.3

      Releasing documents on a Friday and managing your media message is hardly new, if not perfect democracy. This whole media outrage thing is a nonsense, a manufactured media hissy fit from a sidelined MSM that is resenting seeing a popular PM usurp their power.

      The difference is when it happened under Key the MSM fell over itself to kiss the governments arse and hold the opposition to account in the hope some well paid sinecures and baubles would fall their way in PR and as advisors.

      With a Labour government they have no such hopes so they cling to what privileges they can retain like shit to a blanket.

      • tc 1.3.1

        +100 the msm continue to display their irrelevance when it comes down to the crunch.

        JA does it better, simpler and they can’t spin it which is their only job most days.

        Time for a better public broadcasting presence, they've been a disgrace pimping nationals fwitted Trump themes.

    • xanthe 1.4

      Give us a break Dennis. there is no "gagging order" simply a normal and pragmatic approach in the face of increasing media misconduct. We are very fortunate that Jacinda has the ability and daring to go over the heads of our dysfunctional media. They are not happy about it but they have brought it upon themselves. What is upsetting the media about this the most is the amount of pushback from general public over their conduct. When they are through the denial/anger phase we just might start to see some improvement.

    • Anne 1.5

      I get that Tim is motivated to defend Labour's brand.

      You get wrong Dennis. I've been reading his pieces for years and he is not a natural Labour man. But I give him credit for trying to be balanced in his views. But he is- along with all the others – wrong in their assumptions over that email.

      It was never a blanket ban, and I'm suspicious of all the palaver it is creating. It has the feeling of engineered hysteria encouraged by a band of C/T type operators who are getting concerned by the national and international following Jacinda is receiving.

      After years of subterfuge and the manipulation of populations into thinking their ideological opponents are the cause of all society's ills, along comes this bloody woman called Jacinda Ardern who is turning their hard fought battles for personal gain and supremacy upside down.

      😮 Oh well, it sounds good.

      • Adrian 1.5.1

        Don't we all miss Malcolm Tucker.?

      • newsense 1.5.2

        Agree. Watkin is a centrist, but certainly no partisan. Could be considered liberal or broadly socially democratic, but many of his stances are pragmatic. He is certainly a neutral journo and not enamoured of Labour. He usually follows the hot story in the news.

  2. ScottGN 2

    I’m not sure who the RNZ reporter that did the piece with National Finance Spokesperson Goldsmith on Morning Report just now is, but it was a really odd line of questioning.

    Given that National would have had us in Level 2 at least a couple of weeks ago and given that almost everywhere else that has scaled back lockdown measures has had increased rates of infection, you would think that someone in the 4th estate would have the chops to ask the opposition how big an outbreak they’d be prepared to accept to get us to a lower level?

    • tc 2.1

      You forget the kiwi msm simple rule of DP logic:

      IF labour/green/nzf 'hold to account' ELSE national 'Look the other way, follow script, supply soapbox'

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Sweden apparently now will not admit to ICU anyone over 50 with co-morbidities, or just anyone over 80. This is not just aggressive triaging it is venturing into eugenics, of which Sweden has a dark history – https://www.pop.org/sweden-eugenics-world-war-ii/

    I think this helps explain Swedish exceptionalism in the face of COVID-19. As a culture, they apparently have a long tradition of deliberately maltreating the weak.

    • Dukeofurl 3.1

      I heard some where that just admitting a patient to ICU pushes the staff needed to care for them 5 fold from their previous ward. They are close to losing control.

      However if I was over 80 I wouldnt want be sedated to go on a ventilator either. The death rate is extremely high for the elderly and you may be bed ridden anyway if you survive. Even people in their 30s cant walk across the room unaided until their lungs have fully recovered many weeks later. There is strong evidence that early on people were put on ventilators too soon as the first option.

      • Sanctuary 3.1.1

        Prognosis isn't the issue. It is the refusal to treat.

        • McFlock

          Prognosis is a key element of triage.

          The decision isn't because of eugenics, it's because the machine that has a 3% chance of saving a life will probably be needed for someone who would have a 10% chance of surviving.

          • I Feel Love

            But it's because their hospitals are full they have to make this choice.

            • McFlock

              yes. Specifically their icu beds with venitlators.
              Next step is to not admit some people to regular ward beds because none are available.

              And the concomitant improvised storage of bodies as seen in USA.

          • weka

            Institutional eugenics then?

            • Sacha


            • McFlock

              Eugenics is about trying to improve people.

              Triage is about trying to keep as many people alive as possible.

              So, no.

              • weka

                Racism works differently institutionally than outright white supremacists. I don't see why the concept of eugenics can't be understood likewise. It's not that the Swedish govt are Nazis, it's that the political and social decisions being made may be de facto eugenics.

                If a society sees disabled (or weak) people as lesser at a cultural level, how would this not affect decisions being made with the various parts of the system about health resource allocation.

                Until I see reliable reporting on this issue in Sweden (triaging and the basis of that), I'm theorising. It may be that the people not being admitted to the ICU are still being prioritised with good medical care (i.e. it's an issue of appropriate care). Or it might be that the decision is these people are less likely to survive and we're running out of gear, so we won't treat them (the Italian situation). How society values disabled people generally affects all of that.

                • weka

                  I mean NZ doesn't practice eugenics, yet we have entrenched institutional abuse and neglect of disabled people. It's not hard to see how that might play out if we have a major epidemic and the health system wasn't coping.

                  • McFlock

                    Yes, I think I see where you're coming from.

                    I suppose the tell would be in the comorbidities they exclude from the triage list. EG they include CF but exclude heart disease as deprioritisation criteria, even though patients at different stages of their condition might have equally poor prognoses. If we could argue one condition is viewed more commonly as a "disability" than the other.

                    But that's just the analyst in me speculating. If they're just using a standard vulnerable people list, I dunno how one would distinguish an institutional bias from a basic triage guideline.

              • adam

                Eugenics is about trying to improve people.

                That statement is either ignorant of history, or whitewashing, or just disphobic and I'm not sure which.

                And anyone who has even had a passing look at the idea, knows it operates mainly in medical circles and is opportunistic to the core.

                • McFlock

                  Fair call, it was a clumsy description poorly aimed at the idea that they were trying to create a society filled with what they saw as "better" people, be it based upon ethnicity or an undesirable tendency to "choose" poverty (or both, or whatever their boggle was).

                  They weren't about education and learning to play musical instruments, no.

              • Blazer

                eu•gen•ics yoo͞-jĕn′ĭks

                • n.

                  The study or practice of attempting to improve the human gene pool by encouraging the reproduction of people considered to have desirable traits and discouraging or preventing the reproduction of people considered to have undesirable traits.

                • This sounds like what the Nazis Aryan Race program was based on.
                • I suppose they were 'improving people too'!Unbelievable.
    • Sacha 3.2

      And another country with a past love of eugenics is.. New Zealand. You can see why disability advocates are keeping a very close eye on where the ideas of the right are veering.

      • gsays 3.2.1

        In Aotearoa, the more 'eugenicesque' policies seem to be coming from the left e.g. abortion reform, euthanasia legalisation.

        • Gabby

          Seemore Coq's a leftist?

          • gsays

            A lot of the support round these parts I would describe as left.

            Similarly a lot of opposition to both comes from the socially conservative.

            • Sacha

              Eugenicists wanted to 'conserve' the 'purity' of their population.

              Interesting motivations to untangle but I'm not hearing that about either abortion or euthanasia, are you?

              • gsays

                " Interesting motivations to untangle but I'm not hearing that about either abortion or euthanasia, are you? "

                While conserving the purity of the population doesn't come up in discussions, especially in mixed company, reforms of either make picking and choosing easier.

                Although the point of my reply was the 'left' seem keener than the 'right' for these things.

        • millsy

          Abortion reform is just allowing women to access abortions without having to go through hoops. In any case, the amount of abortions in NZ is trending downward long term, thanks to the avalibility of birth control measures.

          Ironically it is easier for men to get a vasectomy, which can be done in the primary health sector for under $400 and takes 15min. I dont see anyone calling that 'eugenics'.

      • adam 3.2.2

        Yeah. nah Sacha, the left are as bad as the right in embracing eugenics in this country. For starters a wee look at first labour government and the support for programs like the plunket and the treatment of mental health. Or the earlier Liberal government treatment of returning war veterans. Nor the tacit agreement of both main parties throughout the twentieth century to sterilize disabled women.

        And I dear say you'd struggle to find any historian back you up. Google is not going to be your friend either – except for a few loony marxist sites.

    • weka 3.3

      Can you please link to where you read this Sanctuary? I'm not finding much via google.

    • Incognito 3.4

      I’m clearly not following this. Your link directs to an article on sterilisation written 23 years ago. How is this relevant to admitting sick & elderly to ICU or not due to the COVID-19 pandemic [and where is your link for that?]?

  4. Bazza64 4

    When John Campbell on breakfast news is criticising the government for the email directive to ministers not to talk to the press, then its time for the government to take note. Labour have done a great job of managing the shutdown, but that goodwill can quickly disappear if they take the NZ public for granted.

    They may be no different to other parties that have been in charge of the country, but Jacinda did say they would govern differently & be open & transparent. So Labour will be scrambling to play down the email directive. It must have been directed by Jacinda.

    • Nic the NZer 4.1

      Any governments way of talking about what they have released (and sometimes releasing it piecemeal to setup a specific narrative) is also known as spin. In this case they seem to be relying on the outcome for New Zealand speaking for itself. There can't have been much of substance to talk about in this release.

      Also the media will quickly tire of the positive narrative. That one doesn't sell the news.

    • Dukeofurl 4.2

      There isnt any gagging according to David Clark, you know the Heath Minister

      He said he had not personally received the memo, but saw it after it became a story.
      ““I am here, happy to answer questions that journalists might have. "

    • ScottGN 4.3

      You reckon? I think you’ve underestimated the churn of the news cycle in these times.

    • Incognito 4.4

      It must have been directed by Jacinda.

      The PM directed her staff to direct Ministers’ staff to direct the Ministers.

      It would have been more direct if she’d just Tweeted them directly herself. And she has a degree in comms!? Pffff ….

  5. lilman 5

    How did this happen?

    LOL, really?

    Amateurs .

    • dv 5.1

      Just who are the amateurs here lilman.

      nz 310 cases pm, 4 deaths pm

      USA cases 4100 pm, deaths 243 pm (80,000 death)

      uk cases 3200 per m deaths 469 per m (30,000 deaths

      • lilman 5.1.1

        lol, you really are going to defend that excrement that was delivered on Friday's document drop?

        Open and Honest, that's what the PM said and what has been shown to be the actual truth. Never cling to dead corpses, they eventually sink.

        • McFlock

          Apparently the traditional Friday hide&seek doesn't come organised by subject and with a table of contents for each. So a definite increase in openness and honesty in that regard.

        • dv

          Just a small point if we had the same death rate as US we would have nearly a 1000 deaths!!

          Did I said I was defending — your words and interpretation.

          Who do you think have handled the crisis better Trump or Ardern?

          • Stunned Mullet

            What is the point of comparing two completely different countries in this way ?

          • Andre

            And if we had New York City's death rate we would be at about 11,000 deaths.

          • lilman

            The American system of governance is totally different to NZ, to compare is like comparing touch rugby to all black test matches.

            If you argue they are the same, you simply are an ideologue, who cares what the USA does, our response is ours to measure and to compare it to others is simply spin.

            Own what you do and say, don't look to justify by comparison.

          • lilman

            Whats America got to do with us, give me one reason to compare or contrast NZ to the USA?

            This is about us as a nation, we run our own ship. Good or bad it's our reaction that needs to be critiqued.

            Don't forget it's our responsibility to be held accountable by ourselves not political ideologues or party officials.

            • McFlock

              It's easier to judge a yacht crew against another yacht crew than just by themselves – you see their decisions, and the different decisions made by other crews at the same time, and what the results were. That helps establish how fair criticism is.

              Same with judging the covid response against other countries.

              Sure, a perfect result would have no community cases and probably zero deaths. There are things to improve – e.g. testing and contact tracing. But to get an idea of the govt's overall performance, we need to judge them against how other governments reacted, and what their results were.

              Yes, we were lucky in many ways. But it's not all luck (otherwise there would be no point in criticising the government at all, as no action wouild change anything).

              The govt went into lockdown as soon as it was being transmitted in the community. Comms have been excellent, and the leadership is evident by the nation largely pulling in the same direction.

              Many other nations have failed dismally, in a variety of ways, and their mortality rate is evident.

              Not perfect. But pretty good, overall.

              • lilman

                Sorry, but 21 people died because of inaction, other countries sorted it, look at the debacle of the measle epidemic and they now say trust us, no way.

                • McFlock

                  "21 people died because of inaction"

                  Even assuming every single one of those people caught it in NZ rather than overseas and that the comment is fair by every other impartial measure (rather than expecting perfect judgement during a rapidly evolving situation), that's well near the far end of the queue to hell for pollies whose decisions killed their citizens.

                  Not just for covid, or internationally – I suspect Roger Douglas would be on the hook for more than 21 dead, for example.

    • I Feel Love 5.2

      "lol" this bot is stuck in a loop.

    • Gabby 5.3

      You already said that lilspam.

  6. Ad 6

    Why both liberal and conservative Americans want a low-carbon fuel America – but for different reasons:


    This is a set of large surveys that are broken down really well. It's a hopeful sign of collective American intelligence.

    Hopefully that base level of agreement is acted upon.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Good find. The conclusion aligns with my broad thesis that in general we should assume that both the conservative and progressive sectors of society want similar outcomes, but weight differing priorities on how to get there. Understanding your 'opponents' value drivers is key to negotiating strategies you can both agree on:

      Recent research has shown that both Democrats and Republicans strongly support renewable energy development, but do so for different reasons. Democrats prioritize curbing climate change, while Republicans are more motivated by reducing energy costs. We see these motivations playing out in the real world, where conservative oil-producing states like Texas are experiencing huge booms in renewable energy generation, driven primarily by the improving economics of renewable energy.

      Realizing the shared vision of an energy system dominated by renewable energy will mean reconciling partisan differences over how to achieve that future. While there is no single rationale that will convince all Americans to support a transition to low-carbon energy sources, our results are encouraging because we find consensus on the U.S. energy future — everyone agrees that it should be green.

  7. millsy 7

    It's plain as day that the media want National back in power so certain personalities can get those sweet sweet tax cuts.

    While state house tenants get the boot, and supermarket workers get a 10 year wage freeze

    • Wayne 7.1


      "Plain as day"? What's your evidence? In fact what is your evidence for any of your three assertions? They are just your prejudices.

      To me it is "plain as day" that National will not be offering a generalised tax cut. I also presume you specifically mean the 33% rate, which I imagine you think is the only rate of concern to your "certain personalities."

      • Wayne, it’s as ‘plain as day’ that the Natz cure for the pandemic is – tax cuts, more roads and getting tough on gangs, while their cure for the economic woes is – wash your hands and keep your distance.

        Put another way, the Natz have no fucking clue!

        • dv

          TV , Natz also want a regulation bonfire!!!

        • Wayne

          On the recovery plan, I have no doubt that National would do a better job than Labour. My evidence is the GFC and the Christchurch earthquake, though I don't imagine you would agree on that.

          The PM has shown herself to be brilliant during the covid emergency, just as she has done in the other emergencies faced by this government. However, the overall management of the economy has been nothing to write home about, with a few well publicised failures, including Kiwibuild, and the transport programmes.

          The government will need to show a new found ability to deal with the recovery to change that. Maybe they will. The budget being the first test.

          • Blazer

            'My evidence is the GFC and the Christchurch earthquake, though I don't imagine you would agree on that'

            But Wayne the two big superstars that 'guided' us through those events are long gone and…knighted.

            How deep do you think Nationals talent pool is.

            Simon Bridges is supposedly their best!

          • Ad


          • Dukeofurl

            GFC ?

            labour in Australia did a better job…national prolonged it until 2015 and were relying on the migration surge

            Christchurch Earthquakes ? They made sure on both CERR and CERA acts that judicial reviews or appeals were severely limited . Not to save lives as that was long after the events and plenty of time to carefully consider the legislation wording.

          • KJT


            It took an earthquake stimulus, a 20% increase in population, a lot of short term overly extractive industry, and a lot of book cooking, to give the illusion of economic competency.

            By the right wings favourite measure, economic growth, the effect of National was otherwise negative.

            Even after only two years this Government was doing better, by almost all measures than National did, in nine years.

            There was a degree of competence in some previous National Governments, though mostly manifested in making asset strippers, financiers and speculators richer. Admittedly also a feature of at least one, Labour Government.

            Don’t see any in the current crop. Their main capability seems to be in barking at passing cars.

          • Sacha

            a few well publicised failures, including Kiwibuild, and the transport programmes

            Which transport programmes?

          • Wensleydale

            National did such a sterling job with the Christchurch earthquakes, Gerry Brownlee has a park bench dedicated to him. The plaque on it is somewhat unflattering, but not everyone has their own park bench. I'm sure Gerry's chuffed.

          • Other people have said it but I'll contribute my mite:

            Thanks to Michael Cullen, the Natz went into the GFC with a full piggy bank, which they proceeded to squander on tax cits to their rich mates.

            Ask anyone in ChCh how the Natz handed the earthquake rebuild!

            I repeat, the Natz have no fucking clue.

          • Peter

            I'm trying to get my head around your rationale of National doing a better job in post Covid times than Labour on the evidence of the GFC and the Christchurch earthquake situations.

            Did National do better than Labour in getting things going after GFC and the earthquakes? They should have, since they were in government.

            Were they experienced in 'post catastrophe' mode or did they just learn on the job? And do it totally brilliantly? And because of how they did (the they from back then) no-one else would be as good as them in 2020, 2021 no-one else can do it as well?

            There are some who think that the National Government of the day deserve a rating of 12 out of 10 for the way they handled the GFC and the Christchurch earthquake situations. They think the chance of the coalition Government deserving as high as 2 out of 10 for handling post Covid things is impossible.

            Just how many of the GFC and Christchurch earthquake Ministers from National do you expect to be in Parliament after September this year?

          • Craig H

            As someone living in Christchurch then and now, National started well, but the follow-up overpromised and underdelivered.

      • millsy 7.1.2

        Oh come on. You and I both know that National will impost a raft of huge austerity measures along with a bonfire of regulations if/when they get in. There will be a huge wall of red in to deal with, and as always, your party will send the bill to the poor, sick and retirees, just like Ruth Richardson did back in 1991.

        National have in 30 short years, gone from (at best) acceptance that the state (even if has been devolved to community level) needs to do thing, to a whole generation of National MP's and members dedicated to Somalian levels of state sector involvement and regulatory oversight.

        Bill English who people have forgotten could and would have easily have been PM during this time, makes his hatred of anything government run well known, even at community level. He even said that water shouldnt be run by councils.

        If National were in power we will be at the mercy of the profit run private sector, the middle class prejudices of the church and charity sector and the nepotism of the iwi sector when it comes to accessing social services.

        • Kevin

          Am sure gutting what remains of employment law will be near the top of the list.

    • lilman 7.2

      It this simple, 5 in my son's flat, 4 of them have lost their job, gone, not coming back.

      3 of them got a months wages, that's it.

      What future taxes? they will be on the job seeker or dole, expensive to the Govt, not productive.

      • I Feel Love 7.2.1

        Dunno if you heard, but there's a,worldwide pandemic, the whole world is in some kind of economic meltdown.

  8. McFlock 8

    Lol this guy's a bit like our Bob Jones, but a reasonable and contributing member of society:

    "If politicians aren't following the evidence, we [scientists] think they are just shitheads, basically," Doherty says, before turning his attention to economists. "Some of them are data-driven but some of them live in a data-free ideological universe."

    Aussie Nobel laureate immunologist Peter Doherty. He also thinks a vaccine might be mass-distributed in September, giving a rundown of where a number of projects are at. Which would make the herd immunity crowd close to looking like a bunch of Kodos-es.

    • Dukeofurl 8.1

      Let us know when you or those scientists and economists have any data from the future.

      No one has , thats why we have widely varying predictions, 95% of little value.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        But from your own logic 5% of them are. The trick is in telling which ones. 🙂

      • McFlock 8.1.2

        Well, I thought a bit of relative optimism from someone at the top of the specific field was interesting and something other than chronically depressing.

        And the rest of the interview has some good bits. Such a shame I just reached the paywall read limit.

        • Dukeofurl

          Paywall ? ..just turn off javascript mostly works for lots of sites, except NZH here


          But back to the vaccine which could be ready by September: "[The British vaccine] is based on a platform which actually uses a chimp virus, an adenovirus. What you do is you slot a bit of the COVID virus into the adenovirus. They are called virus vectored vaccines.

          "It's a genetically engineered virus basically. But essentially, it's the virus itself."

          Now for some more bad news. For those over 60, the vaccine may not be a complete fix.

          There is also the prophylactic way ,where you can pop a pill ( which is the cheapest option, no need for injections). That is what they did for HIV as they have no vaccine, but isnt spread by sneezes either.

          • McFlock

            thanks for javascript tip. I keep forgetting.

            The thing that really gets me about the "elimination if futile" crowd is that buying time is better than just outright surrender. The longer we keep it out, if we can, gives us time to do things better. Things that will save lives when we finally feel the full force of covid.

            At worst, delaying it also means that the people whose lives are eventually taken still had weeks or months or years alive that they wouldn't have had if we'd followed the "herd immunity" plan.

            • Dukeofurl

              Herd immunity is a myth for lots of reasons, I see that some people think it gives them personal immunity, when its a population thats protected from widespread infections. Local clusters will still occur, started in places like schools, workplaces, extended family, social gatherings , funerals etc.

              In other words still leaves those 65% who dont have anti bodies ( suggested for Sars-CoV-2, maybe different) still as exposed.

              New York may be at 12-15% level of population with anti bodies ( who really knows) , do they want to wait till 35% , does any country ?

              New York doesnt really have any good choices left , neither does Sweden, while Greece with a similar population and the opposite Covid response does.

              • McFlock

                I mean, it's not really wrong.

                It's just that getting it without a vaccine means a large number of dead people, regardless of the low percentage of deaths. Percentages always sound lower than the number of coffins they represent.

    • joe90 8.2

      A ridgy-didge Queenslander.

      ( alt link http://archive.li/nWUHm )

  9. ScottGN 9

    Sharon Zoellner the ANZ chief economist is currently on Nine to Noon. Any guesses how long it takes her to bring up her pet subject of increasing the super age?

    • KJT 9.1

      Bankers always want to privatise super.

      After all it is a huge cash cow for them.

      In reality, like most privatisations, not so good for the people relying on it for retirement.

  10. Treetop 10

    I am sick of the bleating from the opposition. Unfortunately there is going to be a lot more bleating after 4 pm today.

    From day one the dilemma Covid -19 posed was saving lives or saving the economy. This is so hard to do as social distancing is what saves lives and many businesses cannot social distance.

    There is no more normal, people will need to adapt and tough decisions will need to be made.

    • KJT 10.1

      It was never really the question.

      The economy was going to be in recession, regardless. Despite some delusional claims.

      In fact, evidence from past pandemics, and from elsewhere in this one, shows that dealing quickly and effectively with the disease, has better economic outcomes also.

      The USA, s tardiness and lack of co-ordination is costing them dearly in lives and the coming recession.

  11. Blazer 11

    This may be a good time to actually start a business.

    The risk of losing capital may turn out quite low.

    Rent holidays,tax breaks and subsidies in a brave new world of free…enterprise.


  12. Dukeofurl 12

    Well well..well

    NZ Herald owner NZME has today sought urgent Government help to allow it to buy rival publisher Stuff within three weeks, saying it is the best owner to save newspapers and jobs.

    It has filed an urgent Commerce Commission application today for the purchase – for $1 – and wants to have the transaction complete by May 31.

    In my view , let Stuff sink . The whole model of a major media octopus is so far out of date …support the smaller operators who are more agile and connected to their readers …ODT, Spinoff, Newsroom etc.

    Why pay NZH for things they just syndicate from RNZ, Newsroom, Ny Times , The Conversation when I can go to those places and many others instead of wading through the total dross of NZH, the worst paper in Australasia

  13. Sacha 13

    Has anyone provided evidence that the memo went to Ministers directly rather than their offices, especially their comms managers? That's who controls messaging, not the Minister.

    Seems like a convenient blurring for an opposition to make and media to uncritically regurgitate.

    • Sacha 13.1

      From the Tim Watkin article that Denis posted at (1) above:

      "Sent to Beehive staff from the Prime Ministers Office, it told ministers not to give interviews…"

      A senior journalist and political show producer should know the distinction by now. What a prize dunce.

    • ianmac 13.2

      Does seem an odd message and then leaked to Media. (Tova???) Wonder if we ever know who was responsible for it. Not a Dirty Trick was it???

  14. Reality 14

    From memory over many years Friday “dumps of information” have been common. Gives the media something to do over the weekend seeing they are so concerned about their employment prospects these days. The general public don’t care which day information is released.

    National must take first prize for hypocrisy complaining about this practice.

    They are so in a frenzy at the appreciation and respect so many have for Jacinda they are beside themselves like toddlers having a tantrum.

    • mickysavage 14.1

      They used to happen on the Friday before a holiday or at the beginning of a recess period. Parliament is sitting tomorrow so apart from this occurring on a Friday it does not apply.

      • Dukeofurl 14.1.1

        What the media hate a document dump that isnt given to them for exclusives first

        This one went online to EVERYONE.

        This would have provided in normal times a month worth of 'reveals', this why they really are kicking

    • RedBaronCV 14.2

      Apart from this one memo , which stuff doesn't even seem to reproduce in full just "interpreted", was there nothing else of interest in those documents? That's it? Just that? Nothing else of substance the media needed to bring to our attention?

      If so then it looks like the govt has been pretty transparent on the way through if we are only getting this bit of "gotcha". And then the media wonders why we are not impressed with them or their sense of proportion.

      BTW I don't remember similar data dumps about the Canty earthquake response.

  15. Reality 15

    Wonderful moving tributes to our PM on Facebook. It was heartening to see not everyone is bitter and twisted as the opposition and many media types.

    I have been impressed with the two women journalists who front the 1pm press conference. They are not like the shrieking ones in the theatrette. The PM also is very much in charge, which is how it should be. If she wasn’t for sure they would be then saying she wasn’t up to the job.

  16. Wayne 16

    I see Boris used the PM's analogy of climbing down the mountain. Nice to see that happen.

    • RedLogix 16.1

      I'm not sure if this is what either Johnson or Ardern intended by the metaphor, but any climber will tell you getting down off the damned mountain is by far the riskiest part.

    • RedBaronCV 16.2

      Those right wingers have no ability to innovate do they? Nice to see that you recognise they live in an arid desert where they have no new ideas so they are forced to grab for the communal ideas originated by others? Boris trying to get some reflected glow off Jacinda is he? Going for the "halo" effect?

      • aom 16.2.1

        Not only the mountain analogy but the Covid-19 Levels (5 not 4) appear to have been hijacked as well. Perhaps Boris would like to borrow our PM as well.

        • KJT

          "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".

        • RedBaronCV

          I have wondered if we could rent out Jacinda & Ash – they should get top $.

          On the oither hand we might need a fire sale to get some income off Simon Bridges

        • Sacha

          To be fair, we copied the alert levels from Singapore. I don't think anybody minds.

    • I Feel Love 16.3

      He already borrowed "stay faithful to your bubble" (without irony I may add) & the 5 levels reminds me of Spinal Tap ("normal levels go to 4, but ours go to 5!, one extra, coz we better.". Johnson is getting so much shit because no one quite understands wtf he's on about, "stay alert!" instead of "stay at home".

  17. Blazer 17

    Depression,economics,banking & Hitler..

    'When Hitler came to power, Germany was hopelessly broke. The Treaty of Versailles had imposed crushing reparations on the German people, demanding that Germans repay every nation’s costs of the war. These costs totaled three times the value of all the property in Germany.

    Private currency speculators caused the German mark to plummet, precipitating one of the worst runaway inflations in modern times. A wheelbarrow full of 100 billion-mark banknotes could not buy a loaf of bread. The national treasury was empty. Countless homes and farms were lost to speculators and to private (Jewish controlled) banks. Germans lived in hovels. They were starving.

    Nothing like this had ever happened before — the total destruction of the national currency, plus the wiping out of people’s savings and businesses. On top of this came a global depression. Germany had no choice but to succumb to debt slavery under international (mainly Jewish) bankers until 1933, when the National Socialists came to power. At that point the German government thwarted the international banking cartels by issuing its own money. World Jewry responded by declaring a global boycott against Germany.

    Hitler began a national credit program by devising a plan of public works that included flood control, repair of public buildings and private residences, and construction of new roads, bridges, canals, and port facilities. All these were paid for with money that no longer came from the private international bankers.

    The projected cost of these various programs was fixed at one billion units of the national currency. To pay for this, the German government (not the international bankers) issued bills of exchange, called Labor Treasury Certificates. In this way the National Socialists put millions of people to work, and paid them with Treasury Certificates.

    Under the National Socialists, Germany’s money wasn’t backed by gold (which was owned by the international bankers). It was essentially a receipt for labor and materials delivered to the government. Hitler said, “For every mark issued, we required the equivalent of a mark’s worth of work done, or goods produced.” The government paid workers in Certificates. Workers spent those Certificates on other goods and services, thus creating more jobs for more people. In this way the German people climbed out of the crushing debt imposed on them by the international bankers.

    Within two years, the unemployment problem had been solved, and Germany was back on its feet. It had a solid, stable currency, with no debt, and no inflation, at a time when millions of people in the United States and other Western countries (controlled by international bankers) were still out of work. Within five years, Germany went from the poorest nation in Europe to the richest.-R.W.Pennington

    • Sacha 17.1

      Did you really need to go there with the anti-semitism. Cmon.

    • millsy 17.2

      The NSDAP government (they never called themselves "Nazi's") also started one of the world's first privatisation programs, to pay for re-armament.

    • bill 17.3

      And who is or was this R.W.Pennington you've quoted?

      • Blazer 17.3.1

        The person who wrote the piece.

        If you consider it inaccurate ,you should say why as Duker does regarding reparations.

        Hard to dispute the facts of depression,inflation and unemployment at that time and the reality that the Germany economy became the strongest in Europe within a few years.

        There is nothing anti-Semitic about reality.

        [See. I asked you a pretty straightforward question and you dodged because (it seems) you’re happy to promote anti semitic tosh. The historical take on the German economy may be right enough, but to use that as leverage to promote bile is fucked in the head. And since you wanted to keep the identity of the person you quoted shrouded, and are wholly backing what they wrote, I can only assume you’re an anti-semitic fuck head too. I hope you enjoyed your time having access to this site….bye bye.]

        • McFlock

          There's a lot of antisemitism in that "nationalvanguard" article written by Rosemary Pennington 19 Aug 2015 though. So much that I won't even link to it – people can google that shit. But you'll hopefully end up on a watch list that gets cross-referenced with firearms license holders.

          It even appears to be largely plagiarised, such as the final paragraph. Although the "(controlled by international bankers)" was inserted, it comes from a book published five years previously. Many other parts of the quoted work stipulate just who the author thinks owned the banks, of course.

          Now I have to delete my browser history for today.

          • Blazer

            The conditions of depression at the time are relevant to todays situation.

            Whether you are a fan of the present financial system or not,no one can deny the reality of money expansion,interest bearing debt and its implications on society.

            Your reply is not even related to what was posted.You will always find what you are looking for if you approach a topic with extreme prejudice.

            You will end up on the watchlist now too,given you visited the site.

            • McFlock

              Yeah I will. But I don't think I'll raise too many other flags.

              relevance? I was replying to your last line.

              You will always find what you are looking for if you approach a topic with extreme prejudice.


              But also, your source is a plagiarist. The economic bullshit you copypasted I addressed elsewhere. Comment was about the WS~adjacent plagiarist you used as an unlinked source.

              • Blazer

                My last line is accurate.

                In case you are not aware, there was instability in Europe after and even prior to the Wall St Crash and the onset of the Great Depression.

                France had occupied parts of Germany to enforce compensation and unemployment was rising.

                The geo politics of post war Europe were extremely volatile with the new Communist Russia looking to consolidate its power as well as ongoing Franco/German tensions.

                Hitlers rise to power was a direct result of the German ECONOMY being in ruins.

                Who/what caused the crash,the Great Depression?

                • McFlock

                  Your last line about me being on the watchlist now, too? Yeah, thanks for that. But I suspect you read sites like that much more than I do.

                  What caused the Great Depression? Capitalism. Marx explained its faults without resorting to antisemitism, a feat your plagiarist couldn't manage.

                  • Blazer

                    Marx!.Isn't he a Commie?Is he reliable?How do we know what sources to trust?

                    I guess your 'plagiarist' managed to get published.

                    Amazing that you believe in having watchlists for political dissent.Can't think of much that is more anti freedom,anti democracy than that.

                    I think you read way too many propaganda sites.

                    • McFlock

                      you've lost the plot.

                    • Bill

                      He may or may not have lost the plot, but he's gone McFlock. I was away for most of today and have only just come back to this sub-thread. Seems you had a joyous afternoon reading up on scum.

                    • McFlock

                      helluva rabbit hole, that one.

        • McFlock

          Well, it's light on antisemitism and actually attributes other people's work, so yes it is "more palatable".

          It's still complete bollocks. Without occupying it's neighbours, the Reich's balance of payments and currency issues would have taken it back to depression. It's like saying they maxed out their credit card but it was a brilliant plan because they robbed a bank to make the payments just before the bailiffs came around.

          • Blazer

            Hmmm who is more credible ..McFlock or Henry Liu?

            • McFlock

              Hey, I can pay for all sorts of shit with gold stolen from other people. That doesn't make me a good financial manager.

              • Blazer

                You manage to continually miss the point.

                As an establishment droogue who believes in the American Dream, you equate any mention of Hitler with anti Semitism.

                The certificates as fiat currency that the Nazis issued are a relevant comparison with what sovereign govts do when they create 'money and spend it back into the local economy.

                The only one who has 'lost the plot' is you, because you seem to consider any constructive critique of German economic policy in the 30's as deserving one being put on a fucking …watchlist!

    • McFlock 17.4

      The primary public works revolved around preparing for war, and the stolen resources kept the economy from going full Weimar.

      Every time Germany took over a country, that area's gold reserves in international holdings were transferred to the Nazi economy, and whatever they could physically get their hands on, they stole. Starting with Austria. Continued with the assistance of the Bank of international settlement.

    • Dukeofurl 17.5

      problems when the very first part is incorrect…I always assume the rests of it mostly nonsense

      " Treaty of Versailles had imposed crushing reparations on the German people, demanding that Germans repay every nation’s costs of the war."

      They werent crushing, they were made to look that way for political reasons, and the end result was very little . The context for France was the 1871 war when Prussian troops remained in occupation till the reparations were paid in full.

      Every nationals costs of the war, just isnt true Britain got nothing. And for France and Belgium the costs were for their own reconstruction as the war in that front was mostly fought on their territory, Germany had barely a scratch. The costs in lives and munitions wasnt factored in nor was destruction in eastern, Italian front etc.

      As Germany paid very little , as designed, the reconstruction costs were carried by France and Belgium anyway, who also had to maintain a large standing army and construct major defensive fortifications ( Maginot line).

      The continuing story of poor old Germany and the nasty Versailles treaty is just the standard german revisionism that they werent responsible for the war.

      Since Germany didnt pay a high price they were at it again 20 yrs later, and real answer to divide the country was taken. After the Armistice in 1918 Germany should have been divided North from South. The Southern Bavarian-Austrian state along with the neighbouring german kingdoms would have catholic, linguistic conservative traditions. While the Northern state would have been protestant, liberal/socialist traditions. A NSDP run Greater Bavaria would have been no threat to France or Poland

      • Blazer 17.5.1

        'In short, during the 1920s a financial merry-go-round was in operation. US bankers lent money to Germany. The German government used that money to pay reparations to Britain and France. The British and French used that money to repay their war loans to the US bankers. The US banks made huge profits, and lent even more money to Germany. Everything was going well, until the bubble burst.

        Hitler didn't only cancel reparations payments. He also defaulted on Germany's debts to US (and, to a lesser extent, British) banks. After the Second World War, the new democratic German government accepted responsibility for the roughly 16 billion marks of debt still owed to foreign banks (plus additional debts incurred after 1945) – although in 1953 it was agreed by Germany's creditors to halve the total amount to be repaid, and furthermore the full sum would not become due until after German reunification.

        When Germany did reunify in 1990, the German government thus recommenced making payments. The last one, €70 million, was paid in 2010 and thus cleared Germany's outstanding debt from the war.

        However, these payments were not reparations; they didn't go to the victims of the war. They went to the banks which had lent money to Weimar Germany in the 1920s. Newspaper reports which refer to the payments made since 1931 as 'reparations' are using the term inaccurately.'-Quora…

        • Gabby

          Did the gold fillings help in the end, at all?

          [Maybe you would like to join Blazer so that you can cheer them up with your ‘witty’ one-liners? – Incognito]

  18. Muttonbird 18

    Mark Richardson and Duncan Garner admit they don't have much purpose.

    "I drove back thinking 'thank god you did that'," he said. "I have spent seven to eight weeks worrying. Worrying about my family, worrying about my job – worrying about my mates.

    "I've questioned, over the last seven weeks, someone can only take so much of this degree of low-level anxiety and constant worry for so long."

    Seven to eight weeks worrying? Tens of thousands of NZ families and hundreds of thousands of people live this reality every single day of every single week of every single year. Permanently, in fact.

    How nice of Mark Richardson to finally recognise how detrimental to life low-level anxiety can be for the vulnerable and under-privileged.


    • millsy 18.1

      The burden of having all that wealth and power must weigh heavily on Richardson and Garner.

      • Wensleydale 18.1.1

        What we really need in these trying times of crisis, especially if you've just been made redundant, is to hear windbag television personalities crapping on about their anxiety. Those poor dabs. I don't know how they cope.

    • joe90 18.2

      Ship B Golgafrinchans epiphanise.

  19. weka 19

    Can someone please explain what this is about? A short version of the history and state of play would be good.

    Stuff's Australian owner says it terminated talks with New Zealand media company NZME last week.

    NZME, owner of the New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB, said in a statement to the NZX on Monday morning that it was seeking urgent legislation to allow it to buy rival publisher Stuff "for $1" by the end of May.

    But Stuff owner Nine said in a release to the ASX that while Nine had had discussions with NZME regarding the acquisition of Stuff, "Nine has notified NZME that it has terminated further engagement with NZME".


    • RedBaronCV 19.1

      Sounds very conflicted. Perhaps the news media could investigate themselves to see if anyone is telling porkies?

      • Dukeofurl 19.1.1

        Ahhh ..heres the answer

        "NZME shares rose 17 per cent to 25 cents on the NZX in the wake of NZME's announcement, [but later] despite Nine's statement that talks had been terminated."

        • RedBaronCV

          Interesting – hope the stock exchange is watching the trades.

          BTW do you know if the stock exchange has required companies to file notifications of the wage subsidies they have applied for/received plus (if I had my say) an updated table of wage & salary distribution with $ values so we can see how much to trim those top wages.

  20. Logie97 20

    There appear to be several lines of thinking nationally on when to move from level 3. The majority of comments from readers on Stuff relating to epidemiologist Michael Baker are rather vitriolic and dismissive, and suggest conspiracies of various degrees. I wonder if those correspondents were offered the option to sign a waiver whereby they would not request any intervention/treatment in the event of their catching the virus, they would still be so strident in their views.

    • Wensleydale 20.1

      No. No, they wouldn't. But life is hard when you can't get your tips frosted, get rolling drunk with your homies, or go to the mall with Stephanie and Monique.

  21. Adrian Thornton 21

    Great interview, but sad to think that the centrists in the UK Labour party ( like in all "left" parties in the western world) would rather live under a right wing party than give a real progressive like Corbyn a chance…disgusting really, although I guess it has exposed how devoid of a moral or ethical centre the Liberal so called 'left' are.

    Jeremy Corbyn in conversation with Dr Bob Gill about NHS privatisation and COVID-19 pandemic

    • Wayne 21.1

      It wasn't the centrists in Labour that did Corbyn in, it was the voters in the 2019 election. They had a clear choice and they voted Boris.

      • Incognito 21.1.1

        They had a clear choice and they voted Brexit.


      • Chris 21.1.2

        Do you believe that most voters were aware of and understood all of the skullduggery and undermining that went on from within Corbyn's party? And that if they did the result would've been the same?

  22. Pat 22

    "Peters’ support for Morrison’s call has bewildered Beijing. Canberra’s shadowing of Washington’s diplomatic sallies is expected by the Chinese. They don’t like it (and have made their displeasure very plain) but they are not surprised by it. Peters’ behaviour, on the other hand, has left them perplexed. Is he acting with the full knowledge and blessing of his Prime Minister? If so, then Jacinda Ardern is deliberating putting at risk the mutually respectful and highly beneficial relationship that has evolved between Beijing and Wellington over the course of nearly half a century. If not, then what the hell is going on inside the New Zealand Government?"


    Winston running his own foreign policy?

    • Blazer 22.1

      I'm confident Beijing will be very au fait with Winstons political posturing and history and will not be concerned about it.

    • Dukeofurl 22.2

      "Winston running his own foreign policy?"

      Coalition agreement …says inter alia NZ First can have their own public position that is different for the Governments ( which would be labour)

      the election is closer than you think..4 months

  23. Andre 24

    It's just occurred to me with all these White House aides getting the 'rona – we might see an Acting President Pelosi after all!

    There's no mechanism for temporary fill-ins for prez and veep to be chosen on the fly, it's specified by statute. So if the Kumquat Pol Pot catches it and becomes incapacitated, and passes the preznitsy on to the over-boiled cauliflower Pence by the 25th Amendment, then Pence is in turn incapacitated, it has to go to the Speaker of the House Pelosi.

  24. joe90 25

    Cooperation works.

    Forty years ago, the world celebrated the vanquishing of a formidable foe, smallpox, which had maimed and killed millions for centuries. On May 8, 1980, the World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been eradicated.

    That milestone, reached while the Cold War still raged, is an example of what the public health world can achieve when it works together — and is particularly resonant in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign against smallpox took 21 years and required not just vaccinations but tracking and isolating new cases.

    “We learned a lot of lessons in smallpox, but one of them is the absolute necessity of coalitions,” William “Bill” Foege, one of the architects of the smallpox eradication program, told STAT.


    Though there is currently no vaccine to prevent Covid-19 infection, the surveillance and containment approach, as it is called, forms the basis of the recommended strategy to contain the new disease. Test to find cases. Identify everyone they’ve been in contact with. Isolate the sick and quarantine the contacts while they might be incubating the disease.

    “You hear with coronavirus about contact tracing and how difficult that is. That’s what we were doing with smallpox,” Foege said, noting back then the work was done without computers or cellphones.

    In May of 1974, in a single state in India, 1,500 smallpox cases were being identified every day. “And every one of those cases involved a new investigation. So 1,500 investigations a day,” Foege said. “I’m surprised now, with all of our communications and things, that people think tracing Covid-19 is too difficult.”

    Within a year of using this containment approach, transmission in the state, Bihar, stopped, Foege said.

    Foege, who is a legend in global health circles, called the idea of defunding the WHO “illogical.” He warned the United States risks isolation on the global health stage if it pursues this approach.


  25. Andre 26

    Heh. Marmalardo gives a graduation address …

  26. Dennis Frank 27

    Listening to the PM's press conference, hearing her repeating "kiwis will be spaced out" and "we will all be spaced out" in the plan for level two social situations, took me way back. Half a century ago, I was frequently in social gatherings where all were spaced out. I bet plenty of other listeners went into the same time warp! Disappointing to hear nothing about retaining mask-wearing as precaution though. 😷

    • Gabby 27.1

      Doesn't surprise me in the least. You're coping well, considering.

      • Dennis Frank 27.1.1

        So far so good. If another decade comes my way, I may even start to suspect that my time of testing may produce a verdict of success. I appreciate your verdict for now!

  27. David Mac 28

    Mr Trump's style of leadership is reaping as it sows.

    I guess when you're on the big money it's best to just trot along behind the blustering buffoon and bite your "You're making a capital dick of yourself right now Don" tongue.

    "Mr President, please don't step outside, you're nude."

    " No I'm not."

  28. David Mac 29

    Our supermarket duopoly have paid for their kids' Harvard educations over the last month. Bribes inclusive. Every food $ we used to spend elsewhere has pretty much gone to one of two companies.

    They should be telling every staff member "You have all worked harder than you're paid for. Under conditions you aren't paid for. Your pay under Alert level 4 and 3 will be doubled."

    I think it's the least they could do, those guys have made millions on millions in the last month. Oh how I longed for KFC we all chucked those $ down Countdown's throat.

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