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Open mike 11/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 11th, 2021 - 123 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 …

123 comments on “Open mike 11/05/2021 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    I am a trenchant critic of this timid majority Labour Govt. for not facing up to the biggies such as mega state house build etc…but…I can still celebrate the useful reforms that have proceeded such as school lunch implementation.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/kaitaia-college-serving-nutritious-cuisine-only-as-school-lunch-programme-expands-in-northland/NU3TIEX4HIUKERYQ6MFEBRAQ6Q/

    For those that may not know, Kaitaia based Bells Produce including its Pukepoto market gardens, mentioned as a supplier in the article, is now owned and operated by the commercial arm of Far North Iwi Te Rarawa as they like others in Tai Tokerau move into horticulture.

  2. RedLogix 2

    If you're doing any project that requires electronic components, the lead times are not pretty at the moment. Chipaggedon is a thing and it's spreading across the board.

    Quick tip, any large orders, tell your vendor as far out as possible to help them with planning. Then work with them to prioritise the items you need. Chip shortage is going to hit everyone and everything.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    No doubt there will be cheering from some at the news that the toxic waste dump that is most of Facebook is going to be even more bereft of fact.

    Wee snippet in the 7am news on Natrad this morning… (find it here at 5.20) https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/news-bulletin/story/2018794963/radio-new-zealand-news

    …"Facebook is now removing groups and pages which discourage people from getting vaccinated regardless of whether the content is true…."

    I can't find any printed article that specifically states that this is what Facebook intends, although there are any number berating Facebook for failing to eradicate vaccine 'disinformation and misinformation'.

    It is a concern that it is considered to be the best line of attack to suppress truth when the Official Narrative is losing ground.

    • Incognito 3.1

      Wow! The Official Narrative, no less!

      Hannah said the anti-vaccination leaflet often arrived in people’s letter boxes at the same time as official Covid-19 information on the vaccine plan.

      “Which is really concerning, because obviously it creates a sense of like-for-like,” she said.

      Data suggested the people heading anti-vaccination groups were closely related to anti-1080 efforts, gun control, and anti-5G, Hannah said.

      “All of these hot-button issues are interconnected and the people who are spearheading these conversations on social media and at public events are talking to each other.”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300292070/antivax-leaflet-campaign-being-investigated-by-advertising-standards-authority

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1

        The gist of my post, Incognito, is that Facebook considers deplatforming groups disseminating truth an appropriate response to any content that discourages vaccination.

        Do you think this is a good idea? Are you comfortable with this level of censorship?

        Who determines what facts/truths are acceptable?

        Simply pulling up just one of many of the 'oooh this is really scary stuff because it is not what the government is telling us!!!' quotes is just dodging the issue.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1.1

          Its core medical knowledge. Its not really up for dispute over whether its factual.

          As well its in FB terms and conditions that they can moderate opinions….. in this instance that dispute core medical knowledge…like a supermarket can search your bags as a condition of entry . They decide.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.2

          Yes – this is a tough one. This is the kind of discussion I really don't know how to resolve and is very difficult for public health authorities to manage.

          One I agree that we have zero information on the long-term safety of these new generation vaccines. That health authorities don't want us thinking about this is not reassuring at all.

          Secondly there is good reason to be concerned about the evolutionary pressure we're putting the virus under by vaccinating during a pandemic. Again zero long-term information is available.

          And thirdly there is a reasonable possibility that these highly targeted vaccines will not only be less effective against new mutations, but that they may even block the action of latter more broadly acting ones that could be developed.

          And finally – are we comfortable with the idea that maybe we'll be needing annual booster shots as we do with seasonal flu?

          All these are open questions that we just don't have good answers for at present at a population level, but for the time being for any individual the risk of harm from a vaccine is orders of magnitude lower than the risk of getting serious COVID. The only way we will get solid information is by watching places like the UK and Israel which have taken the lead with aggressive vaccination campaigns. So far Israel is looking good – but it's early days yet to say anything much about the longer term impacts.

          Here's my plan – I avoid crowds in indoor spaces, I'm still taking 2000 IU VitD daily, I have a small stock of Ivermectin as an emergency measure only, and I'm booked for an AZ shot later this week.

          • Incognito 3.1.1.2.1

            Yes, good informed discussion is needed, as always. Are Social Media such as FB and Twitter the right place to enable and ‘moderate’ and even lead this? Are they conducive to healthy or harmful [pun] debate?

            Not all those vaccines are “new generation”.

            Your second point is academic and has been surpassed by events, e.g. in the UK and Israel and other places around the World. NZ cannot watch from down under and expect to be immune from any consequences of mass vaccinations elsewhere. How long should we wait?

            Your third point is also a research question that cannot be answered in a meaningful way by lay-people.

            I’d imagine that people who are at higher risk from Covid would be more comfortable with yearly vaccinations like for the flu than people who think they are bulletproof. Are you talking about individual or population level?

            Seeding doubts and keeping or turning people vaccine ‘hesitant’ might well lead to negative consequences and open Pandora’s box to problems down the track.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.3

          The Official Narrative must prevail, at all cost. Right?

      • RedLogix 3.1.2

        This seems like a good place to drop this cute little shanty heart

    • gsays 3.2

      I am with you on this Rosemary.

      While the subject is kinda irrelevant the actions are chilling.

      I am surprised how quickly nuance, tolerance and the willingness to hear a dissenting voice has gone from exchanges or debates. Thus us particularly true here on TS.

      While it was occuring before, the Trump presidential nomination and election really exaserbated things.

      Some (lots), are quick to label conspiracy theory, add an ad hom and walk away.

      • WeTheBleeple 3.2.1

        Yes. Way too easy to be reactive biff toys about and exit stage left than think about stuff – because there's so much damn stuff to think about. It's as much mental health as it is ignorance. And yes, Trump has a lot to do with it. Willingly or not, he got us all to stamp our feet petulantly and act a little less mature.

        If you query the vaccine… the historical anti-vaxxers spring to mind, many of which were deeply steeped in idiocy, and are a danger to public health.

        And of course, the tinfoil hat type anti-vaxxer will be absolutely LOVING this, where, as RL points out (3.1.1.2) there are questions to be made.

        By the time you've qualified genuine concerns you're already being shouted down and nobody wants to know. Because FEAR. Genuine, palpable, background level fear, all this time. We want off this ride.

        So freaking messy. To me it seems the virus is already proving adept at staying ahead of our efforts, because we are not working together as a race we are self obsessed. We're disjointed by geography, tech levels, economics, politics, patents, religious beliefs and breakdown of trust in institutions.

        Herd immunity will require some herding.

        • Patricia Bremner 3.2.1.1

          We The Beeple, another worry is side effects which are ramping up. "Black Mould" which kills 50% of the infected is now happening in India.

          • Patricia Bremner 3.2.1.1.1

            Sorry Sabine missed seeing your contribution on this

          • WeTheBleeple 3.2.1.1.2

            That's misleading (kills 50% of infected – when you're discussing covid 'side effects') so let's clarify a bit.

            Mucormycosis kills 50% of people who get it. It is rare, it is not contagious.

            It is rare as it requires a weak immune system to overcome. Recovering covid patients have weakened immunity via the virus and some medication… and so mucormycosis is, as one would predict, more prevalent in covid patients.

            This seems largely restricted to India where environmental conditions favour the fungi. It's a perfect storm of conditions right there right now.

            It could possibly be an issue in other areas of similar climate. Where health systems are not overwhelmed air filtration and temperature control where patients are recovering could reduce infection rates considerably.

        • gsays 3.2.1.2

          Spot on WTB, especially yr last paragraph. So easy to see where we are different from each other, don't want to acknowledge our commonalities.

          Probably why I enjoy the soil, food, gardening and permaculture threads. Despite gardening being a VERY political act.

      • Incognito 3.2.2

        To me, the main issue in many debates on sensitive and complex issues is that people assume equivalence of voices, i.e. the veracity and validity of their opinions, arguments, and even facts are equal. In almost all cases, this not the case, which is almost (!) impossible to accept for some (…). This doesn’t mean that one voice should be silenced, so to speak, but it does mean that that voice may not have and cannot demand equal weight in the debate and ultimately in the decision(s).

        Governments have a legal and moral duty to govern and act in the best interest of all people, which in practice means in the interest of many. In almost all cases this allows people to choose, at least in a free and democratic country. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate is a binary decision, but it is not a purely individual one. If I choose to get vaccinated I won’t harm anybody else. OTOH, if I refuse to get vaccinated I might cause harm to somebody else, in future, when I catch the infectious disease and spread it to others. If I cannot get vaccinated, e.g. because of a pre-existing medical condition, I’d really like it if everybody else whom I might get into contact with chooses to get vaccinated, but can I demand this from them? Similar thoughts apply to climate change, for example, where harm to others may eventuate and occur in the next generation.

        • WeTheBleeple 3.2.2.1

          Kids are beginning to win court cases against their governments for failure to protect them by not acting on climate change.

          https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/09/europe/climate-lawsuits-governments-intl-cmd/index.html

          How will governments protect their citizens if many citizens refuse protection? Will the fear of lawsuits promote enforcement?

          It's an interesting conundrum.

        • gsays 3.2.2.2

          Can't argue with any of that (apart from the idea that a vaccinated person can't harm anyone else, but I don't wanna get bogged down in that…).

          What I was getting at is our new found propensity to other, to pop people into a category therefore to not have to listen. eg pointing out inconsistencies in 'The Russians!' stories makes you a Putin fan.

          With that in mind, Cheers for your efforts in moderating this place, I don't always agree with what goes on, then again the ref hardly ever gets praised.wink

          • WeTheBleeple 3.2.2.2.1

            Hehe. I totally deserved my last wee 'break'.

            • Incognito 3.2.2.2.1.1

              Respect!

              I have to be brutally honest with you; I don’t know how I should deal with your situation and take into consideration (the) mitigating circumstances, knowing what I know now about you. It weighs on my mind.

              Moderators are not cannot be mind readers or psychologists, for example, and they don’t know the personal history & situation of commenters. When I do know something about them, e.g. because of what they have divulged in their comments, I tend to give them more slack.

              It is never personal, despite what some seem to think, but to me it is somewhat of a poisoned chalice moderating comments by other people. I wanted to put this on record here.

          • Incognito 3.2.2.2.2

            Cheers!

            Moderators don’t always agree either among each other about what goes on here. That’s life but we all try our best and can always do better.

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.2.3

          …but it does mean that that voice may not have and cannot demand equal weight…

          Ah! The old 'all truths are equal but some are more equal than others' argument.

          Must jot that down on the barn wall.wink

        • Sacha 3.2.2.4

          Timely. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/125082710/mums-internet-research-on-vaccines-doesnt-make-her-an-expert-court-decides

          Judge Mahon said the mother believed anyone could read the information on the Internet and reach an informed view, and she did not accept the expert’s view before her own.

          “In other words, the mother’s Internet research, which had found multiple sources of data opposed to vaccination, meant she could have an opinion which could carry the same weight with the court as that of the expert.

          “She felt that her detailed Internet search of articles on the issues enabled her to reach her own, equally as authoritative conclusions on the risks of immunisations for her children.”

          Nope.

    • New age shaman, antivaxer, covid denier, white supremacist, neo-nazi, Q-anon conspirators, inhabiting the same online chat groups, involved in the storming of the US capital building.
      In the real world and online.
      Should they be treated the same?

  4. Sabine 4

    New Covid mutation.

    https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/what-is-triple-mutant-variant-of-covid19-virus-bengal-strain-details-1793991-2021-04-22

    Amid this, a new variant of the virus causing Covid-19 has been detected in West Bengal.

    The 'triple mutant variant' (also being referred to as the 'Bengal strain' of Covid-19) is reportedly more infectious than other strains.

    Reports suggest that while this variant is predominantly circulating in West Bengal, it has also been detected in samples from Delhi and Maharashtra.

    Experts say at present there is no conclusive evidence to comment on the impact that this variant can have on vaccines but the presence of E484K mutation in it is a cause for concern.

    E484K is a major immune escape variant and is also found in a number of emerging lineages across the world. Immune escape variants are those mutations that help the variant to evade the immune system and possibly result in compromising vaccine efficacy.

    and a sobering read on India by Arundhati Roy

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/28/crime-against-humanity-arundhati-roy-india-covid-catastrophe?fbclid=IwAR0p9ImUGZfubcrWxXL0QbIQuxp8A1P9lM0gm4PcB28MvTg1rO9DCSYPh6E

    and this in regards to the new mutation
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/10/who-classifies-triple-mutant-covid-variant-from-india-as-global-health-risk-.html

    A WHO official said Monday it is reclassifying the highly contagious triple-mutant Covid variant spreading in India as a “variant of concern” at the global level.
    Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, said the agency will provide more details in its situation report Tuesday.

    • Forget now 4.1

      The more times a virus replicates, the greater the chance for individually low-probability viable mutations to occur. Which will be selected for, or against, by environmental pressures. Even if people care nothing for the wellbeing of others, surely they can see that; no one is safe from SARS-CoV-2 until everyone is safe from that virus?

      I have typed that paragraph (or similar) many time over the last year, though it always seems to bear repeating. But as a decaying cherry oozing on top of your triple-layered cake, Sabine; there is also this peril for Indian infected:

      A rare black fungus that invades the brain is being increasingly seen in vulnerable patients in India, including those with Covid-19, as the health system continues to struggle in the midst of the pandemic…

      Covid-19 was creating conditions for the infection to take hold. People’s immune systems were being compromised by the virus, and mucormycosis was being seen in particular in patients who also have diabetes.

      “We give a lot of high dose steroids now to people with Covid-19 if they end up in intensive care as the steroids help to treat inflammation, but the steroids unfortunately also suppress your immune system.

      “So that’s why we don’t like giving steroids to patients longer than we absolutely have to. We’re trying to decrease your inflammation with the steroids but that actually means your ability to fight normal infections, like fungus, is also compromised.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global/2021/may/11/what-is-the-dangerous-black-fungus-being-seen-in-covid-patients-in-india-mucormycosis

      Fortunately, it looks like NonSteroidal-AntiInflammatory Drugs (eg ibuprofen) are not associated with negative health outcomes for COVID. Though this study is more about nonprescribed usage in Britain, so may not be generalizable to therapeutic NSAID use in India.

      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanrhe/article/PIIS2665-9913(21)00104-1/fulltext

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Hipkins has come out swinging… saying that plenty of coverage of the public servants pay proposals are inaccurate . hes never used word 'freeze'

    'I'd completely reject the notion that this is austerity. Saying that we want the people on the lowest incomes to do disproportionately better than those on the highest incomes when it comes to spending additional money on salaries is not austerity. It's the opposite of it."

    • Sabine 5.1

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300303904/government-in-damage-control-over-public-sector-pay-freeze-ahead-of-meeting-with-union

      He also introduced new language for discussing the pay restraint’s bands.

      “The guidance breaks down three categories for public sector pay, ‘lift’ (those at $60,000 or below), ‘adjust’ (those between $60 and $100,000) and ‘hold’ (those above $100,000).”

      This was the directive by dear Grant yesterday, i guess the memo got around, now if the pesky journalists and nurses and doctors and other non understanding people would just do as they are told. tsk tsk tsk. No candy for them.

      • Nic the NZer 5.1.1

        Ba, ha ha ha.

        Adjust, because what public service employees need is their pay to be specially reviewed by the PSA for exemplary service to earn any salary adjustment.

        And they have apparently decided that money will be saved over all despite measures specifically to Lift incomes below 60k.

        Now, if only Chippie could have explained himself more clearly the whole missunderstanding could be avoided. In fact he could probably still redeem himself by announcing systematic above inflation increases for everyone on under 60k instead (which is surely what he meant to say), though treasury would have a hope of costing that up correctly, and it doesn't sound like a cost saving.

        When they get hold of a dictionary, it should become apparent why, the public correctly equates cost savings with austerity.

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.1

          Hipkins quote from ghostsww above.

          'I'd completely reject the notion that this is austerity. Saying that we want the people on the lowest incomes to do disproportionately better than those on the highest incomes when it comes to spending additional money on salaries is not austerity. It's the opposite of it."

          Just a one word description of Hipkins' statement above – rhetoric!

          The root of the word [rhetoric] is from Greek ῥητορικὴ [τέχνη] roughly meaning 'the art of speech'. We haven't learned much valuable new stuff over what they knew about one thousand years ago. Doh!

          • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1.1.1

            Goes both ways…. the professional class has turned salary whinging to a high art form

            [image resized]

            • Nic the NZer 5.1.1.1.1.1

              The problem with that version is that there was zero media interest in public service pay until the govt announced this was an area of cost saving (an idea which came from out of nowhere).

              When this started it was started by Chris and Grant and it will go away again when they announce above inflation pay hikes for those under 60k which will grow the public sector wage bill, not shrink it.

              • RedBaronCV

                When the only general labour market announcement that anyone appears to have taken any notice of what sounds like an austerity wage freeze – the problem just may not vanish under spin. Nothing to rein in the rest of the wild west labour market.

                But hey we are putting places aside for so called "critical" workers to keep that pesky labour market under control. So much for training locals and creating workable jobs for them. Doesn't sound like the importing employers are required to train locals either. Plus some of them seem to want the government to meet the costs of them coming with more handouts to them.

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/442297/miq-spaces-for-skilled-workers-dairy-farmers-request-turned-down

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  Critical workers means that …. not your labourers, fast food workers, truck drivers that were used under the skill shortage category before.

                  The openings in MIQ hotels arent that great in number to be worth while other than for highly skilled professionals and some technical staff

      • Craig Hall 5.1.2

        If only the written guidance from the Public Service Commission had actually said that…

    • Phillip ure 5.2

      I'm with hipkins/the government on this..

      putting a hold on pay increases for the highest paid to focus on raising the incomes of the lowest paid seems like an extremely sound idea to me…

      (as long as they follow thru on the second part of the prescription tho'..feet to the fire to ensure that..)

      and/but they get a 1/10 for their selling of this good idea tho'..

    • Sabine 6.1

      I am in situation that i find conflicting. I have a possum in the are that i see every now and then on the fences of our properties. Very funny actually when it freezes and pretends to be dead. To some extend the ugly beaast is cute.

      I guess i should shoot it or something, and I am not gonna lay traps as there are other critters about. Chances are they too are considered a pest. What to do?

      But yes, this country needs to get rid of fences and replace them with hedges.

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        It's so far down "the list" though, isn't it. In any case, the possums would probably prefer a hedge to a wire (I know I would).

        • Sabine 6.1.1.1

          IT should be on top of the list.

          One thing that i miss is the 'common' right to get to places crossing farm land in a respectable way, as we have in mainland Europe. Yes, fences are used but not to the extend as i have seen here. The mind can not comprehend. The tractor roads that criss cross fields (not for cattle) are used by bicylists, hikers, and link from village to villages, very much like many of the old pilgrim routes. Here the tractor is on the Motorway competing for space with the cyclist. The mind can not comprehend.

          And hedges, fruit bearing hedges would be such a good solution at least to the visual aspect of the fences, and yes, the environment.

          I guess unless we introduce the human species back into its natural habitat nothing much will change. We need to be taught how to be wildlings again.

      • alwyn 6.1.2

        "replace them with hedges".

        Yeh! Bring back the gorse hedges of yesteryear. Such a glorious golden look. They early settlers were so thoughtful when they brought in gorse as a hedge plant.

        On second thoughts, as someone who lives in Wellington and has spent decades trying to keep it out of my garden, I think I would prefer that they stick to wire fences.

        In the meantime I think you should shoot the bloody possums. If you are allowed to buy a rifle of course.

        • Sabine 6.1.2.1

          you have heard of hazenut, almonds?

          Europe ain't the UK. We have a lot of hedges in Europe and non of them are gorse. In fact the only time i have ever seen that plant is here in NZ. And besides it has its uses as it is a good nursery plant for other more desirable trees. Its nature makes it a hostile environment for pests that would otherwise munch these saplings away.

        • Robert Guyton 6.1.2.2

          Oh, alwyn – gorse, really, is that all you can see? I'm reminded somehow, of Eeyore, can't think why…

    • Janet 6.2

      Question . Why are these people being paid tax payers' money to claim information that anyone working in the field has known for a very long time.

      Check out facebook.com/automatedbaitstation The most recent post is about the extraordinary level of reinvasion with data to support it.

  6. Forget now 7

    How can any police officer not be aware that they should probably ease back on the choke holds after the Chauvin trial? But apparently Taupō cops are just that clueless – even when being filmed:

    Witness Terina Wall was walking down Ruapehu St at about 4:26pm the day of the arrest when she saw a group of youths standing outside with three officers. She told Newshub when she got there, there was "no disruption" coming from the teens, nor was there any swearing.

    The boy seen in the video was standing at the window and asking officers for his vape back before they restrained him, Wall says. He wasn't trying to make physical contact with police…

    The part of the incident shown in the video happened after all but one of the boys was detained by police and were in the police car. The 14-year-old's mother said in a message to a relative the teens were detained for having "fake guns with the orange tips". Wall says she didn't see or hear any imitation guns.

    When the teen was pinned to the ground, all Wall says she heard was him shouting "you're hurting me".

    "That's when I started yelling at police saying you don't need to put that much pressure on his neck," she says.

    "He wasn't trying to get away from the cops, he was just trying to tell him he was hurting. He was just trying to keep himself safe."

    The teen was "going with the motions" and wasn't trying to resist arrest, she adds. Police put his knee on the teen's neck not once but twice during the incident.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/05/family-outraged-after-police-officer-puts-knee-on-teenager-s-neck-during-disgusting-arrest-in-taup.html?ref=ves-vid1

    So did the police just mistake vapes for guns and then refuse to admit their error? Sure the (no angel, blah blah blah) 14year old kid was never going to get the vape back, as it is illegal for them to have been sold it. But the police officer was supposedly the adult in that situation.

    Also, if you are in the area; "a peaceful protest against "lawless behaviour" has been organised for May 22 at 1pm outside Taupō Police Station".

    • Sabine 7.1

      So did the police just mistake vapes for guns and then refuse to admit their error?

      if the police mistakes vapes with orange tips for guns 'with orange tips?' then the police needs to be send back to police school and shown the difference of vapes and guns.

      I honestly doubt that they misunderstood, and it should scare us if they did.

    • gsays 7.2

      I had high hopes for the Police with the appointment of the new commissioner but they are fast fading.

      This story, the video I posted a day or so ago of an officer kicking a handcuffed guy on the ground in the head and earlier, in April, the cop shoving a teen to the ground after a verbal exchange. (The youngster was stationery, telling the cop not to call his girlfriend a skank).

      Accountability, extra training and support/mentoring are needed.

      • Forget now 7.2.1

        & within the last hour, there's this (again with a 14year old kid!):

        14-year-old was bitten as he ran away from the car he was driving in rural south of Hamilton two years ago.

        The IPCA report noted the young person spent two days in hospital after being bitten on his leg by the dog.

        It said the injury was "severe" and he may need skin grafts in future.

        IPCA chair Judge Colin Doherty said the level of offending did not warrant a police dog being deployed to bite him.

        "While there was no issue with police using the dog to track him, the offending that he had possibly been involved in was not at a level that warranted a police dog being deployed to bite him," he said.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/442303/use-of-police-dog-to-bite-fleeing-teen-driver-not-justified-ipca

        Though Waikato police are still making excuses; "fast-moving and dynamic situation" seems to be the goto line these days. There is no mention of any penalty, or even retraining, for the doghandler who sent their beast to maul a child.

        • gsays 7.2.1.1

          Ahh yes, I heard that too.

          My response was when will the animal be put down?

          Hard sell what with the prime time propaganda reality tv shows Puppy training or whatever they are called.

  7. Jimmy 8

    This judge has actually handed down a decent sentence – over 8 years in jail (probably only serve half of that for good behavior???). But still serves him right.

    Nation's biggest tax fraudster who stole $17 million jailed for 8 years and 6 months | Stuff.co.nz

    Lets hope it's a decent judge that sentences this bloke from Countdown and ensures the public are safe from him for a long time.

    Countdown rep overwhelmed with emotion when speaking about 'traumatic' Dunedin stabbing | Stuff.co.nz

    • WeTheBleeple 8.1

      About time they gave a decent sentence to a fraudster. They do far more than simple economic damage. They damage trust and create rifts. They sow doubt and confusion by their very nature con-artists. And they're never guilty, like the creep in the story who stole 17M and thinks he's all good.

      I've dealt with a couple of these. Sociopaths – and every mug who's not learnt hard lessons climbs right up their ass. Then communities become divided as the fallout begins to emerge. They take sides, while the con artist takes all.

    • Forget now 8.2

      His assumption of being beyond the law is just staggering, Jimmy. These words seem like they come from a Bundy acolyte "sovereign citizen":

      Bracken told the court he had always done what his accountants and his bank had asked.

      “I really tried hard to get it 100 per cent right … I can put my hand on heart and say that. I don’t consent to sentencing and being kidnapped … I want to go home to my family. I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said…

      Bracken’s wife Margaret Bracken told the judge the family felt like Bracken was being kidnapped and the decision on his punishment should be up to his hapū.

      “You have no rights,” she told the judge.

      Justice Lang said Bracken had not presented any evidence to contradict the Crown case, and he rejected Bracken’s assertion that it was a legal entity that had offended, not him, and he shouldn’t be jailed.

      “Sadly the courts are required to sentence people to prison every day of the week. You are no exception to that process,” Justice Lang said.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/125089267/nations-biggest-tax-fraudster-who-stole-17-million-jailed-for-8-years-and-6-months

      Though (if he is not lying through his teeth), if any bank, or accountant, did assist him in running his tax-scam; surely they should be in court right alongside Bracken?

      • WeTheBleeple 8.2.1

        Problem is people of this nature will gladly destroy others lives to maintain their illusion of self. He'd throw whole firms of accountants to the wolves if it lessened his sentence.

        IRD can follow the money rightly enough. If others are involved they'll know.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.2

        " because he had not consented to being charged."

        This angle keeps popping up … its fairly recent angle that some nutters believe you have to 'give consent' for being arrested or charged over offences.

        His claims about following the advice of banks and accountants has to be seen in that light, its a fantasy world hes living in.. Criminal proceeds action now follows and they will find out they will be loosing practically everything

        • Forget now 8.2.2.1

          Maybe they are confused with the right to not consent to medical treatment, manwhocannotdienz?

          That happened to me the other week; with police coming over and detaining me on my doorstep for an hour until an ambulance arrived and tried to cart me off. But they eventually stopped pressuring me after I got them to accept that I didn't consent, and to admit that I wasn't under arrest. Basically for being an inconvenience in persistently seeking medical help elsewhere.

          Anyway, there is likely to be a fair bit of overlap between; sovereign citizens, anti-vaxxers, and other conspiracy theorists. Importantly, though the internet does facilitate international communication, and mass-movements; you should always check your local laws before proceeding on the basis of any plan developed overseas.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.2.1.1

            Where did you get the notion that they had to get your consent to be detained…

            Police powers in relation to person appearing to be mentally disordered in public place

            (1)If any person is found wandering at large in any public place and acting in a manner that gives rise to a reasonable belief that he or she may be mentally disordered, any constable may, if he or she thinks that it would be desirable in the interests of the person or of the public to do so,—

            (a) take that person to a Police station, hospital, or surgery, or to some other appropriate place; and

            (b)arrange for a medical practitioner to examine the person at that place as soon as practicable.

            • Forget now 8.2.2.1.1.1

              I was neither mentally disordered, nor in a public place, so that didn't apply – still good to know though. This; Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, is what I was referring to:

              Your rights under the code include…

              • a right to make an informed choice and give your informed consent before you undergo a test, procedure or treatment
              • a right to be treated with respect and dignity, taking into account your cultural needs and values

              https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/your-rights#:~:text=a%20right%20to%20make%20an,with%20you%2C%20at%20most%20times

              I thought there was also something about not being pressured into treatment once you'd refused it, but couldn't see it in that version.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Where had you been before 'they arrived on your doorstep'…they dont just turn up out of the blue and single you out.
                ‘Basically for being an inconvenience in persistently seeking medical help elsewhere.’

                I wonder why they wouldnt treat you. Personality disorders are usually not ‘treatable’

                • greywarshark

                  gww 'Personality disorders are usually not ‘treatable’

                  Are you informed on medical questions then? Or have you personal experience? Otherwise this sounds snide.

                  • Forget now

                    I don't mind the snideness too much; just because something is implied, doesn't mean it has to be inferred just so, without some creative misunderstanding. And I did make a (Phantom comic) pop culture reference/ mangling of GWWNZ's pseudonym earlier – so you could say I was asking for it.

        • gsays 8.2.2.2

          Rather than nutter, he may be expressing his own sovereignty a la Freeman On the Land.

          Very interesting school of thought, started in Canada and has enthusiasts to in many Commonwealth countries. Quite strong in Northland I believe.

          • McFlock 8.2.2.2.1

            Is that the silliness obsessed with the "hundred", or some other flavour of pseudo-medievalist mythmaking?

            • gsays 8.2.2.2.1.1

              'Hundred' doesn't ring a bell, nor the medieval vibe.

              Robert Menard had his child removed from his custody because he refused to fill out a birth certificate. He went away and studied law.

              One of the foundations seems to stem from Black's Law Dictionary and its definition of a person, a fictional construct. This is separate from the flesh and blood entity.

              Once a birth certificate is filled out a 'strawman' is created so the state (another fiction) can interact with it. Adherents to the Freeman way of thinking separate themselves from this fiction.

              • McFlock

                Ah, ok, a different flavour. That would be the "Justice Lang said Bracken had not presented any evidence to contradict the Crown case, and he rejected Bracken’s assertion that it was a legal entity that had offended, not him, and he shouldn’t be jailed." bit.

                Doesn't seem to have worked out for this one. So legally sharp he cut himself.

    • KSaysHi 8.3

      Shocking there are serious consequences. Hopefully a sign of things to come, but more likely a reaction to the defendant suggesting that as a Maori he should be treated differently.

      • greywarshark 8.3.1

        From stuff article above about giant fraud.

        John Bracken submitted false invoices for more than $133 million over four years. Bracken, 55, ran the scam through his company Bracken Enterprises Ltd, which led to him receiving $17.4 million in GST refunds that he was not entitled to…

        Crown lawyer Megan Mitchell said the crime called for a high sentence as it was the largest crime of its kind.
        She said the fraud was “repetitive and involved a high degree of planning and premeditation” and Bracken only stopped offending when he became aware it had been detected.
        She said about $12m of property had been restrained and efforts to recover this were underway but were being “vigorously opposed” by Bracken.,,

        The evidence did not disclose how Bracken used the funds he stole, but this may become clear through court action underway under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act….

        The Crown also said the company falsely claimed to have exported the products it received to the Pacific Islands. That meant the company was entitled to claim input tax credits for the products it purchased, and it was not required to pay output tax on the product it sold overseas (the sale of goods for export is a zero-rated activity for GST purposes).

        Bracken would withdraw cash from BEL’s account, or obtain a bank cheque made out to himself or the company. He would then immediately re-deposit those funds into another company account, or an account he operated in the name of “Mobile Veges”.
        This “crude but effective scheme” enabled the company to falsely claim it had purchased product worth more than $133 million and exported nearly all of it over the four years….

        There is ongoing court action against the Brackens under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act by the Commissioner of Police in relation to their assets, including their farm at Matawai, near Gisborne, valued at about $7 million.

        It is interesting the avenues open to business to evade legitimate tax. Where there could be problems that need careful thought is ibn confiscating their land, if there is a Maori connection. He was wearing a jersey with Mitre 10 logo. Is that a subtle hint for one source of some wonky invoices?

        • Stuart Munro 8.3.1.1

          I have a feeling that it is by no means NZ's largest fraud – those would be real estate trading for capital gain, without paying tax. The estimate of the proportion of tax due on capital gains in property trades that was actually paid (prior to recent changes) was 25%. Doesn't take many houses or farms at current prices to run the sums pretty high.

  8. greywarshark 9

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/442297/miq-spaces-for-skilled-workers-dairy-farmers-request-turned-down

    Understaffing – Overstocking. All our policies are stuck in the mud. Why should farmers whinge. In winter this is central normal paddock for them.

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      I saw that. They have had 18 months to train people and get their act together. As do the rest of the employers. Far better that they are allowed cheap labour to undermine the market with Labour helping.

      • Peter chch 9.1.1

        100% agree Red.

        this country has some serious attitude problems

        – employers who would rather exploit immigrants rather than train Kiwis

        – rental investors and dairy farmers who reply on untaxed capital gains rather than revenue

        – employers that spin simple tasks into Winz supported 12 week mandatory courses that disguise unpaid labour as 'work experience' (eg Z and their how to pump petrol in 12 weeks)

        And so on and on

        And what has this 'transformational' government done? Labour now represents an over educated middle class rather than workers.

        • RedBaronCV 9.1.1.1

          A look at the article also shows employers are trying to get the government to pay some of the quarantine costs. Same government that wants to freeze public sector salaries. So there is no way they will want to pay for this now is there. In fact with the pay freeze they will need to say "no" to everything won't they.

          I'm not sure that there is much of an over educated middle class left in the workforce. The whole of the public service seems pretty much upset. This same government that couldn't raise taxes on high earners or on trusts.

          But as someone from the unions has pointed out. Pay in the public sector has to be negotiated not imposed by edict from above.

          Talk about burning political capital. Labour have just made a huge bonfire of theirs.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.1.1.1

            " This same government that couldn't raise taxes on high earners or on trusts"

            A total falsehood , the bonfire is your own credibility

            'On personal income earned over $180,000 a new top tax rate of 39% will apply – this change affects 2% of earners..

            • Sabine 9.1.1.1.1.1

              yes, you are of course right. This tax here 🙂 The mighty high tax rate.

              Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says her party's new top tax rate is "best for New Zealand," and is the right thing to do during these times.

              This comes after her party promised a new top tax rate of 39 per cent for people earning more than $180,000 a year.

              That tax would only affect 2 per cent of New Zealanders, Labour's finance spokesman said this morning.

              It would raise $550 million a year, and would be used to fund health, education and would also be used pay down the Covid-19 debt.

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/election-2020-labour-ups-top-tax-rate-for-high-earners-grant-robertson/2Y4FYWV5GKIAEPPCI4J7PTREPY/

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1.1.1.1.2

              And nothing (other than the brightline shift) on capital gains – the main source of income for the truly wealthy.

              Labour – hands off the billionaires, austerity for public servants on $61k.

              • Peter chch

                Yep, and just to be clear, how many properties does Ardern and her partner own now? This is the waif that 7 years ago stated she could not afford to buy a house in Auckland.

                And in 2009 was spouting 'comrade' repeatedly in a speech at the Youth Socialist Conference. Hmm. Just another middle class wanna be. Like Che Guevara and Uncle Ho, she pretends to be one of us, but never was or will be. Just wants to screw us to make her mark.

                • mac1

                  If you don't tell us how many properties, then we are not clear, peter of chch. What is the answer?

                  • Peter chch

                    As far as I know, three.

                  • Peter chch

                    This is from public available info. Now? Well who knows.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      Public information says only family home in Mt Albert electorate. You are just spreading falsehoods arent you

                    • mac1

                      Care to divulge your public sources? As above, all I can find is a family home in Mt Albert.

                      Is your first comment also from public information? The As far as aI know answer does not cut the mustard. Is it still three? What are your sources?

                      Your answer is now “Who knows”. Exactly. I don’t believe that you do know.

                      How then are we to take the exaggerations of your comments about the PM’s speech as a young socialist? Got a reference for that so that we can check how far you exaggeration goes?

                      How do you know what the PM’s partner owns?

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                What austerity for public servants . Most are on pay scales which increase yearly to highest grade

                'Post-Primary Teachers Association Auckland regional chair and teacher Michael Cabral-Terry said pay grades stopped at Grade 11 with an annual salary of $90,000.

                $90 k isnt austerity

                • RosieLee

                  No, but for a graduate trained professional with years of service it isn't luxury either. Remember the days when a teacher at the top of the basic scale earned the same as a backbench MP?

                  • ghostwhowalksnz

                    Oh that one. Thats because Mps 'salary' didnt show all sorts of perks they had as part of the job. There was a gold plated super ,extra allowances and so on ( cheap grog at Bellamys). All was changed to be as part of visible salary package now

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  The hardship for teachers is evident

                  'An english teacher has been censured after repeatedly shoplifting items such as wine, cheese and face cream from a supermarket.

                  • greywarshark

                    That is snide gww. You seem to want to put everybody down who thinks here because they don't think just like you.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    You didn't think the mental health issue there was relevant enough to mention?

            • RedBaronCV 9.1.1.1.1.3

              A heck of a lot of profit goes into trusts taxed at the lower rates – hence the spike in numbers for salary & wage earners at $70k. The rate over $180k is up but frankly it is a token. It will catch the high earner who works for someone else – so corporate management but also the highly skilled professional. It won't get the profits from owner operated companies nor I suspect most overseas owned entities. There is room in this space for a much higher take. Nor have we ever had a complete list of all who claimed the wages subsidy.

              But hey austerity for government wages is so much more important.

  9. Janet 10

    “Yummy Fruit Company general manager Paul Paynter said the ongoing need for MIQ was a "train wreck" for growers.

    We have already spent $600,000 to bring 82 RSE workers through MIQ," he said.

    We are already 20 per cent up on labour costs. Our total labour bill for the year is more than $20 million. It's a complete train wreck."

    This is what happens when big companies buy up and amalgamate our farms. Better NZ stayed with owner operated family farms who along with their family got the work done without fuss.

    Ask yourself which way is more sustainable? Which way is “the NZ way “?

    • RedBaronCV 10.1

      Well time to sell up then. If the price is right could be a number of local buyers. No reason why the taxpayer should continue to subsidise them.

  10. Molly 11

    Considering the dire access to secure housing problem (which is exacerbated by many factors), and the (to my mind) pitiful increase in benefits that have been indicated by government, I thought of a possible way to slightly alleviate (not solve) the pressure on both issues, although it will unfortunately not be a universal benefit.

    For many years, it is been possible for homeowners to use some form of what is now called the standard cost method, to have income derived from boarders exempted from income tax calculations.

    If eligible for this method, you can have up to four boarders each paying $191/wk, and as long as the income derived from this method is more than your outgoings for mortgage interest, maintenance, food, utilities – then there is no tax to pay.
    As many of us know, this option has been used and mis-used by many over the years…

    But the reality is … that is approximately $40,000 tax free/annum. To get this in the hand at the second level tax rate of 17.5%, you would need to be earning around $48,000. A fairly big windfall for those who were already in a position to be able to purchase, and one that continues each year.

    Yet we penalise beneficiaries for any earnings at a threshold that still do not lift them out of poverty.

    One of the primary forms of support and savings we can offer friends and families in financial distress is to make place for them to stay. This choice is not available to those in state housing or on benefits. Make changes to allow this to happen, and here's the kicker, without impacting on the eligibility for state housing OR reducing the amount any/or all received in terms of income.

    To my mind, one of the fundamental tools for addressing housing in NZ is vast amounts of state (not social) housing being built. Addressing poverty requires – alongside other methods – increasing the income of beneficiaries. Whatever has been signalled by this government makes the assumption that many before it have made and many have accepted – that those who are currently unhoused and in financial difficulties can stay in statis until the promises are delivered. This is a comforting lie. Many will have their quality of life diminish, and some will die not seeing any alleviation.

    Changing one of the many punitive measures of those on income support – in this way, may mean that housing (for the interim) can be used more efficiently, and beneficiaries – at long last – can utilise one of the tools that many others have had access to – and IRD approval of – pooling resources and sharing expenses to alleviate financial hardship.

    At least until something concrete is achieved… I'm sure that many more instant regulatory changes may offset the built-in delay of some of the proposals.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Molly all the best with that idea. I wonder if we ran such ideas onto paper and posted to at least five pollies, including housing and welfare and PM and Dep PM and ? surely one would get by the barrier staff.

      Also if boarding or flatting the cost of foot, electricity, etc can be deducted from the rent to be declared, or they used to take off just 20% and put the rest as income, or was it the other way round.

      Whatever, the idea seems to ensure that benies never get ahead – ‘grind the b….s down’ is the general rallying cry, behind any PR smiles.

  11. FAB mouse 12

    Anyone know how to threaten Sky TV with "cutting the cord"?

    I'm not happy with them having Fox News or "The Outsiders" on Australian Sky News and willing to give up Sky Sport etc.

    See Youtube clip

    How to FINALLY defund Fox News (Brian Tyler Cohen interview)

    • Morrissey 12.1

      Sky has also got CNN, Vice, and the Russian, Qatari, and British state broadcasters, which are no less reprehensible than Fox.

      • Incognito 12.1.1

        Could be worse, they could include RNZ cheeky

        • Morrissey 12.1.1.1

          In fact they do carry RNZ. And on Sky Channel 83 they often carry "news" and commentary from the state propaganda units Deutsche Welle and France 24. The sun never sets, and rust never sleeps, on the Brutish Murdoch Empire.

    • gsays 12.2

      You could mention some of the many sports streaming sites that carry live sports feeds for free…

  12. McFlock 13

    British firm sends staff an email promising a bonus for working during the pandemic. Staff click on link, to find that the email was sent by the company's IT department in order to tell staff not to click on links in suspicious emails.

    Staff should have known that anything offering thanks and financial rewards would be a con, even if actually sent to them by their employer.

    • RedBaronCV 13.1

      Maybe the IT department was making another point completely. Something along the lines that you suggest above. Likely that they could have been working all hours during pandemic for zero reward. The management would have clicked on it too – wondering why there were bonus payments going out. If it was a troll – great one.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        But did people click on the link because they would click on any link, or did they work to confirm that the email had in fact been sent by their employer – as is actually was?

        My employer's IT department does a similarly inconsistent stupidity – repeatedly sends emails warning about spam and links, and then sends emails about mailbox issues with links to resolve them. And no, it wasn't a tease – they did it honestly.

        All the company in the link did was confirm to people that they can recognise legitimate emails from their employer – whether they can, or not.

        • greywarshark 13.1.1.1

          Who to believe? A long-neolib effect from too big a dose of neolib plus free-markets with Business setting moral values. What an oxymoron.

        • RedBaronCV 13.1.1.2

          My favourites used to come from the HR department who didn't appear to have much computer savvy so would send unsigned messes with attachments or who would be asking for inappropriate personal details not legal under employment law. A quick report and onforward to the IT Phishing department was mega satisfying.

          Given the HR level I imagine most people clicked in hope because it had been sent internally?

          • McFlock 13.1.1.2.1

            lol yup

            Once I even got a legitimate "your mailbox is almost full please contact us by clicking here" email.

            Reported it as spam out of general principle.

  13. Eco Maori 14

    Some cheeky bugger just pinched my truck with all my tools can you guess whom Whanau

  14. greywarshark 15

    Hi Eco Maori

    I wondered if you like this: We've Come So Far

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