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Open mike 12/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 12th, 2020 - 237 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 …

237 comments on “Open mike 12/05/2020 ”

  1. I hate to say it but Piers Morgan in the UK has got this exactly right-why are 100.000 people a week are still being permitted to enter the UK at airports without quarantine or testing? Well worth a watch.

    • James 1.1

      Indeed. Remember when Simon Bridges was calling for the same here when we had overseas travellers arriving and going on their merry way


      • ScottGN 1.1.1

        James the short answer to your question is no. Nobody remembers or cares about that stunt which seems like ancient history now.

        • James

          I’m assuming that people who came in contact with thosetravellers or who contacted Covid from arrivals may disagree with you. But nice to see you parroting the governments line on simply dismissing questions.

          Imaging the benefit of having done this before the traveller from Ireland arrived and it stopped the matamata cluster and saved a life ?

          • ScottGN

            Still doesn’t change the basic answer to your question though – no one remembers or cares about a social media poll whose only purpose was to push a particular political line.

          • satty

            I guess the National Party had a press release ready for the eventuality of a very early 2-week quarantine by the government…

            "Irresponsible 2-week quarantine for visitors is killing the tourism industry and hundred thousand of jobs are lost."

            Spinning this thought a little further, I expect the National Party to seriously question the extremely early easing of restrictions to Level 2 in case of increased COVID 19 cases in the near future.

          • fender

            And imagine if that bar owner had followed the directive to not have large St. Patrick's day gatherings. Or imagine if the traveller had self quarantined as requested!

            • James

              Since you made the comment – how about showing that the traveller was ever asked to self quarantine ?

      • ScottGN 1.1.2

        Nice try though.

      • gsays 1.1.3

        Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.

        • I Feel Love

          Bridges "Close down faster, open up faster, the medicine is worse than the cure!"

          • Treetop

            Being irratic is not going to get the job done. Being level headed and patient is what is required.

          • dv

            Tax cuts

            Bonfire of regulations.

            • Treetop

              Add Goldsmith to being erratic. Just heard on 1 news he wants the levels reviewed weekly. Covid-19 has a minimum 2 week isolation transmission/ period. Probably the levels are already being reviewed weekly by the cabinet.

              I cannot see any gain occurring by reviewing the levels weekly unless it is to prevent a second wave which cannot be controlled.

              The opposition need to get it how destructive the virus can be and how rapidly this can occur.

              • Wensleydale

                I watched him with Jack Tame last night. It was basically "Economy, economy, economy, and the economy. Furthermore, economy, economy. Oh, and have I mentioned the economy?" It was like listening to my fifth form maths teacher explaining algebra all over again. The man is drier than the Sahara and has the charisma of a public urinal.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.4

        True James but, as the article says, the government was already moving in this direction:

        "On Tuesday, she said her COVID-19 committee has discussed toughening up quarantine and expected final advice on that shortly."

        The fact is that the NZ government, while not being perfect, has made the right calls. Boris is an idiot and has behaved like one.

        • Muttonbird

          Yep. About this time Bridges started doing press releases and standup solely to 'call for' measures which were already being actioned.

          It was his way of appearing relevant.

          Now he has the butchers and bakers committee to which he can summon people and cross-examine them.

      • Gabby 1.1.5

        Slick Bodges has bleated so many things, he's bound to have been right about something accidentally.

      • weka 1.1.6

        James, remind what Bridges' plan was for how to quarantine the tens of thousands of people returning to NZ?

      • Incognito 1.1.7

        It was a stunt and to harvest e-mail addresses. It is still on-line with no update, no nothing and events have long overtaken it. It is and always was a political con. Bridges promised not to keep the collected contact details. Has he kept his promise? Maybe he needs an emotional junior staffer to delete it for him so that he can claim plausible deniability?

        This is what a genuine petition looks like: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/121481937/nelson-airport-petition-to-be-taken-to-parliament

    • Treetop 1.2

      The resources required to isolate even returning citizens and residents are not available. Trusting people to self isolate would have a fail rate. Testing has its limits. In saying this you need to start somewhere if the risk is very high.

      The NHS would be rationing health care.

      I have followed the pandemic in Britain and the US on how over whelming and tragic the pandemic has been. Economic recovery is going to take years in both countries.

    • Anne 1.3

      Bearded git @ 1


      Actually he said something last week I totally agreed with too except I've forgotten what it was. It's called old age. 🙁

      He has also walked back on some of the cruel things he said about Meghan Markle who I rather like. She's got guts.

      Perhaps Covid 19 has brought out the best in him. Maybe.

  2. McFlock 2

    Hmm. Apparently the findings of the Finnish UBI experiment were released last week.

    Something to mull over.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      With such a small sample I don't see how anyone could credibly attach significance to the outcome. The report seems to ignore the stats angle. Social science research does need to have a robust design approach to survive critical appraisal. On the face of it, seems a waste of money. Perhaps I'm missing something – when something's too obvious it makes me uneasy. But unless other readers can validate their attempt, I predict the political impact will be negligible.

      • Pingao 2.1.1

        2000 people is a reasonably robust sample size.

        • Dennis Frank

          "The response rate for the survey was 23% (31% for the basic income recipients and 20% for the control group), which is typical for surveys." If there were 2000 respondents, I agree with you, but I can't see that in the article.

          I did misread their presentation though – 73/78, took it as people rather than reading the header.

    • Nic the NZer 2.2

      This seems to coincide with my expectations. The participants felt (probably were) slightly better off economically but were not significantly better off in finding a job. This is because the unemployment problem is driven by total number of available jobs not the motivation (or other impediments) of those to find them. For the most part unemployment is not to do with the individual its an emergent property of the aggregate system.

    • RedLogix 2.3

      Thanks for spotting this. Same response as Nic, the positive outcome aligns with my expectations.

      Survey respondents who received a basic income described their wellbeing more positively than respondents in the control group. They were more satisfied with their lives and experienced less mental strain, depression, sadness and loneliness. They also had a more positive perception of their cognitive abilities, i.e. memory, learning and ability to concentrate.

      – In addition, the respondents who received a basic income had a more positive perception of their income and economic wellbeing than the control group. They were more likely to find that their financial situation is manageable and that they are protected financially, says Minna Ylikännö, Head of the Research Team at Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland).

      The basic income recipients trusted other people and the institutions in society to a larger extent and were more confident in their own future and their ability to influence things than the control group. This may be due to the basic income being unconditional, which in previous studies has been seen to increase people’s trust in the system.

      This improved perception of wellbeing is not insignificant; even on a relatively small scale as this, with 2000 participants still embedded in a wider society, the impact was real. I would claim this positive impact would likely compound if an entire nation participated.

      As for the virtually null employment effect, again for a small trial and absent any of the necessary tax reforms that would come with a full scale UBI, I would not expect much change here. The good news is that it refutes the old argument that given a UBI people would be lazy and not seek work … even in this limited trial there is no evidence to support this contention.

      Overall I'm delighted to see this result.

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.1

        improved perception of wellbeing is not insignificant

        Yes (if the stats are credible). That's the key point: stakeholder psychology. If you enact UBI as an entitlement deriving from citizenship, all become part of the whole in more genuinely integral way. It has a massive effect on how people feel about their place in society, I believe.

        Contrast that sense of belonging with the current social darwinism: people extract their income from WINZ according to their luck in personal interaction with the local little hitler.

        • RedLogix

          The other big impact would have to be on the standard of management in many small firms; too many employers lazily exploit their worker's reluctance to leave a shitty job, but in the long run this does no-one any favours.

          1. A UBI would increase selective pressure on employers to do a better job, value their employees more and improve productivity

          2. Less stress, anxiety and depression will directly link to better health, less sick leave and again improved productivity.

          3. More people are in a position to take time out of their working life to study and gain qualifications. Again a better educated workforce and improved productivity.

          4. Combine this with a policy to encourage worker stakeholding in business (profit sharing as one form), increases personal agency, improvement seeking and would likely see workers keener to contribute to business success. Improved productivity again.

          The key to getting a bipartisan support for a durable UBI, one that is accepted across the political spectrum, is understanding the value it can bring across the whole of society. If the left wants to get a generous dignified UBI, one that approaches NZ Super for instance, then we have to understand what value it would bring to the right leaning sectors of society in order to successfully negotiate something we can all be happy with.

          • Sacha

            The productivity problem in NZ is with the bosses, not the workers. Still, making it easier for workers to vote with their feet might at least start signalling which managers/owners need a kick up the jacksie.

          • SPC

            I agree that labour mobility would be improved with a UI. And ultimaterly productivity.

            It's only really viable for those under 25 (not paid to those in FT work or FT study – have SA and living cost off the loan at a higher rate and can earn extra money from work now), but extendable via using it in lieu of a benefit for non working partners (no work test if looking after children or retraining or caring for others)

            This pandemic would be a good time to roll it out in this limited way.

            It’s a really good way to support internship and less formal apprenticeship, and the gig/casual-part-timer and entrepreneur wannabee.

      • KJT 2.3.2

        Confirms the results from the Canadian mincome experiment.

        Promising, for those of us that like evidence based policies.

    • Pat 2.4

      "- The basic income seems to have increased activity of different kinds among those who were active already earlier. Then again, for those who were in a challenging life situation before the experiment, the basic income does not seem to have solved their problems, says Helena Blomberg-Kroll, professor at the University of Helsinki"

      "In the basic income experiment, 2,000 unemployed persons were paid a monthly tax-exempt basic income of 560 euros regardless of any other income they may have had or whether they were actively looking for work. "


      "The most common income level of full-time and salaried employees in Finland was some 2,500 euros per month in 2016, according to fresh data from the country's statistics-crunching agency. Statistics Finland reports that the median of total earnings of full-time wage and salary earners was EUR 3,001 per month in 2016."


      • McFlock 2.4.1

        Yes, the emphasis on starting circumstances seems to illustrate some of the criticisms levelled at it here from time to time, while the overall satisfaction and slight increase in activity reflects the positives, lol

        I think it suggests that maybe any UBI needs to be in addition to targeted assistance, not a replacement. It's not much good if it leaves people in difficult circumstances behind.

        • Pat

          not much good indeed

        • Nic the NZer

          Of course its social science so its difficult to draw any conclusions for or against a specific model (of how employment works) but one outcome should be to compare the outcome against the reasonable models and infer how believable they are.

          If anything (so tenuously) this result implies that the idea of unemployment (specifically involuntary unemployment) as an individual phenomena due to individual motivation, or ability to conduct a job search on their income, or other individual basis was mildly rejected by this experiment. Its also a further rejection of the long run equilibrium idea of mainstream economics as a general equilibrium state has by definition zero involuntary unemployment.

          Of course this would also suggest proposing a UBI as the primary response to the technology destroying jobs narrative is not going to be an application of evidence based public policy.

          • McFlock

            goddamn, I had to have a nap before going into those fifty-dollar words lol

            Part of it comes down to why the 12% who remained "barely hanging on" had no improvement. What about their situations was such a challenge – I think that's a lively area for further research.

          • Pat

            in the long run Kalecki would disagree with you….and he has a track record

            • Nic the NZer

              I'll be mighty impressed if you can show me any reasonable Kalecki quotes which suggest whatever your saying. Especially if your saying Kalecki thought general equilibrium analysis was a reasonable idea.

    • SPC 2.5

      For mine, I would roll out a UI for those under 25, not in full-time work or in full-time study (they would get more on SA or living costs off the loan and can earn more on top of that as it is). This supports internship/apprenticeship and the casual/part-time/gig workforce.

  3. gsays 3

    Talking yesterday, and the resignation of the NZNO president and three members of the executive came up.


    The union seems to be in disarray if so many senior folk resign in the midst of a pandemic. 5 vacancies on the board including the president and the vice president.

    I did find this letter from Grant Brooks on TDB, but it sheds little light.


    In the last round of wage bargaining, the union seemed too close and comfortable with the Ministry and they massively undermined their membership with the announcement of 500 new nurses was made during negotiations.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    I wish what passes for the media intelligentsia in this country would stop pretending to be constantly confused by what are quite straightforward guidelines from the government just so they can have another little whine.

    • ScottGN 4.1

      Tell me about it! So far Morning Report this morning has just been one half-baked reckon after another.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        Corin Dann just now – you could almost literally hear squirming in his seat with pleasure as he got a moaner from hospo to say "kick in the guts".

        RNZ has turned into a parade of poor little me reckons asking for an exception.

        • ScottGN

          Morning Report is a total waste of space this morning.

          • Macro

            It should be renamed "Moaning Report". I can't be bothered listening anymore.

            • aj

              Also on morning report this morning:

              Transport spokesman: "mass transport will have stickers on seats, red means leave vacant, green means sit here"

              Suzie (spoken with great gravitas): "that's no good if people are colour blind"

              • ScottGN

                That’s when they lost me today. Utterly pathetic from Susie Ferguson. She’s another journo who’s not having a good pandemic.

                • aj

                  Suzie (Susie?) was a classic example of the nit-picking we've seen over the last few weeks. Auckland Transport, I think it was, is doing their level best to make level 2 a success.

                  Suzie was doing her best to frame it as not good enough. Yes, it's true, a person with colour blindness may have a problem, 4.5% of the population, I think. I suspect fellow passengers would assist anyone who has a problem. Kindness, people. Most kiwi's are not stupid or unkind.

            • Anne

              I occasionally tune in and them almost immediately tune out again.

    • tc 4.2

      Good luck with that….the number of jonolists asking if 10 people could be exceeded over and over and the stuff merger showed it's all about 'gotcha' and their masters checklists.

      Very few if any questions for JA and Bloomfield they've not already answered.
      No wonder she goes direct on FB,everyone in the room watching thought the jonos were like children doing the ‘are we there yet’ routine.

      • Sanctuary 4.2.1

        NZ went into a hard early lockdown because our lack of capacity to deal with a pandemic (see: Greece) focused minds in a way that perhaps, say, Donald Trump hasn't.

        NZ is moving to level 2 ahead of other countries because 1) level 4/3+KFC worked and 2) level 4/3+KFC has brought us the time required to create within our health system the capacity to implement a viable testing, tracking and tracing strategy.

        That is it. The is the guts of the story. But I don't think I've even read that in a paper in this country. But I'd really, really like to know the story behind how we built a full pandemic response capability in less than two months. Where did the kits and PPE come from? Were they result of quiet deals between NZ and other countries or did we just have to do a price no obstacle effort on the open market? What actually happened in the early days regarding testing? This looks like a dramatic story that needs telling.

        • Sacha

          But I'd really, really like to know the story behind how we built a full pandemic response capability in less two months.

          Totally. The closest so far has been Duncan Greive on the comms aspect. https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/11-05-2020/a-masterclass-in-mass-communication-and-control/

          • Sanctuary

            For example, I recall seeing the PM on a call with the leader of Singapore early on in which they agreed to keep critical medical supply links open. Is that how we got our testing kits? I don't know, most likely not – but the point is no one in the media has bothered to find out.

            It would be interesting to know how that particular verbal agreement panned out with Singapore – especially as NZ has a quiet but increasingly deep defense relationship with Singapore.

            • mauī

              The horrific truth is that we could only secure medical supplies through the trade of sentient beings.


              • Sanctuary

                I missed that story, thanks! Cows are very tasty, and proved their worth to NZ by making the ultimate sacrifice.

                • Grafton Gully

                  Cow muscle and fat are tasty and you can trim off the gristle to avoid having to chew it The stomach boils down well to tripe and a young cow's liver tastes good too. No one wants to eat cow brains or eyes, but you can boil down the bones for stock if you can be bothered. The skin could make leather. The remains "blood and bone". Pancreas, kidneys, lungs, ovaries, udders, hair, nose, uterus, bladder probably end up in the blood and bone. Hooves once made glue and jelly. You're right Sanctuary cows are worth a lot to NZ. And of course before the works they produce milk and calves, so all good !

              • RedBaronCV

                I saw that Parker had signed the trade agreement between the two countries. Good to see it working for both countries. Looks like a better idea than TPPA – maybe based on trade not corporate welfare and control.

          • patricia

            Yet even he referred to the "Void" of other Ministers standing with her. They were safe at home, keeping in touch and operating by Zoom. In their bubble.

            Far from sinister it was sensible.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            But I'd really, really like to know the story behind how we built a full pandemic response capability in less two months.

            We didn't. Civil defence and DHB's and government agencies and private sector business owners all worked on a pandemic response about 10+ years ago. A lot of work following on from previous work. Lots of things were thrashed out.

        • I Feel Love

          You missed the "Truck drivers moan about not being able to get KFC! End lockdown now!" story.

          For me it was walking the 'hood & seeing the bears in people's windows that made me realise we are in this together.

          • Macro

            For me it was walking the 'hood & seeing the bears in people's windows that made me realise we are in this together.

            Me too! But my teddies want to know when they can go and have a picnic in the woods with all their friends!

          • mac1

            How well this conversation encapsulates the political and social smarts of our PM.

            Her opposition will talk about "they" as in "They oughta do something about…." but Ardern talks about "we" and "the team of 5 million". She is about inclusion, togetherness, cooperation.

            Remember what the criticism was that Obama levelled recently at Trumpian style politics and widespread social exclusionary views of 'the other".

            He said, ""This election that's coming up — on every level — is so important because what we're going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party," Obama said. "What we're fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life."


            • gsays

              The PMs speech writers deserve a hearty pat on the back.

              There have been some great metaphors. Yesty's one about us being a wall for each other hit the right note.

            • Cinny

              Yes 🙂 And that's the key to it, people working together to rid the virus.

              Something MAGA can't seem to grasp or even comprehend. They are so hell bent on an us v's them mentality, no matter the situation or the cost. It's messed up.

        • ScottGN

          Don’t hold your breath for any of that Sanctuary.

      • mac1 4.2.2

        "No wonder she goes direct on FB". 442,000 went to FB to watch her. 2K comments which on a small sample I counted were 3:1 women. Amazing numbers. 1 in 5 households.
        How many watched the 4 pm broadcast, I wonder? All of that contact with the public without the influence/interpretation/editing of media journalists. It's on a par with Roosevelt's fireside chats.
        Can we have more political engagement like that during the election? Let the people hear. Let the journalists prognosticate after the speeches and interpret, but having journalists/media 'personalities' asking the questions based on recent performances demeans the political process.

      • Sanctuary 4.2.3

        Apparently this technique is called "performative stupidity" and it is a standard go-too for much of the NZ media. Experienced journalists and commentators pretend to not understand or fail to research something so it can be lazily mocked from a position of safe ignorance.

    • gsays 4.3

      From what I hear from other folk, the journos are a reflection of their readership.

      The amount of people that can spin their situation so that the rules don't apply to them.

      The Health Minister is a good example. Moving house wasn't against the rules, but it isn't a good look considering his other actions.

      • ScottGN 4.3.1

        Did I hear the PM say on Morning Report that she wouldn’t be firing him?

        • gsays


          If he were to be fired then he would be by now. His example was not flash for someone in a leadership role.

          • ScottGN

            No probably not. But Also probably not a career ending malfeasance either.

      • Anne 4.3.2

        You know he moved two doors up the road before the Lockdown started? But he maintained his office – presumably with the incoming owners' agreement – for a short time probably because he was too busy to shift it due to the fast moving pandemic developments.

        But of course the media wouldn't want to dwell on that because it would make it all look reasonable in the circumstances. The boxes he was seen carrying up the road were likely office equipment he transferred bit by bit.

        OMG what a terrible crime. 🙄

        • gsays

          No crime but a piss poor example.

          A lack of judgement that was repeated.

          • Anne

            So you didn't read my comment – the first paragraph in particular?

            It was, in short, a pathetic media beat-up of an unfortunate situation over which David Clark had no control. Some local Nats must have been stalking him – no doubt with the help of a nasty neighbour.

            Yes, the bike ride was a lack of judgement for which he profusely apologised and offered his resignation to the PM. It was not accepted. End of story.

            • gsays

              End of story for you Anne, yes.
              Yes I read Anand comprehend yr first paragraph.
              My point is the example that was set. The Minister of Health should be an exemplar during a pandemic. To borrow one of our PMs metaphor- he dropped the ball.

              BTW, I haven't learnt about his house moving from the press. It came from a senior nurse, who had met and spoke with the minister. She held him in very high regard and us now more than a tad disappointed in her boss.

              • Anne

                Over-reactions at a very tense time. And I would be saying the same thing if it had befallen a National health minister in the same situation.

                Btw, the walk with his bubble on an isolated beach was replicated thousands upon thousands of times throughout NZ under Code level 4. I went twice to a local beach and there were several hundred others there at the same time. No-one intruded on anyone else's space and civility was the norm. The police tacitly kept their distance and I applaud them for showing commonsense. Had there been any disregard for the outdoor rules they would have been on the scene in a jiffy.

                And it was the minister himself who informed during a short interview that he and his family moved to their new house shortly before the lockdown started. It should come as no surprise that, as far as I can tell, no media outlet bothered to report it.

    • McFlock 4.4

      Half the time media/tories complain JA treats people like children, the other half of the time they are complaining shit's too difficult and they don't know what's going on even after being told three times.

      Possible side effect of the pandemic: PM more sympathetic to giving teachers a pay rise 🙂

      • mac1 4.4.1

        "Possible side effect of the pandemic: PM more sympathetic to giving teachers a pay rise 🙂"

        My students never got a third warning. Warning number two came with that as a rider.

      • Wensleydale 4.4.2

        If people weren't so prone to behaving like petulant toddlers, perhaps she wouldn't have to treat them like children.

        "Don't go outside and wander aimlessly about. You might contract a potentially fatal illness, spread it to your family, and everyone could die."

        "But… I want to go to the pub. And the hairdresser. And McDonald's. Fascism! Police state! The shameless violation of my civil liberties!"

        "Okay. Fine. But take this shovel. You'll need it to dig your own grave."

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Legal Beagle: "This is one of those occasions where the distinction between the House of Representatives and the Parliament of New Zealand matters, so I will endeavour not to stuff it up, but it is useful to begin with the question of where the House gets its powers. In short, it gets them from Parliament. The House acts in a multitude of ways. Parliament acts in one way: enacting legislation." https://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/parliamentary-privilege-and-the-summonsing/

    Graeme Edgeler splits a constitutional hair to illuminate a dual collective function of MPs, then explores the likely consequences of the summonses issued to the DGH/CP/SG by the Epidemic Response Committee.

    "The Attorney-General also argued that there was no need for the Committee to see the advice, and that in investigating the legality of the Government’s response to the epidemic, it was potentially trampling on the role of the Courts. I cannot accept this."

    "It is the role of parliamentary committees to report to the House of action it might wish to take. If a committee considers that there is need for legislative action, it need not wait for a Court to rule that the Government behaved unlawfully."

    "Of course, the House should be careful, but there will times, as the House of Commons determined in 2018, that it’s interest in conducting its business outweighs the Crown’s interest in keeping relevant material from it. I would go so far as to say that if the law does not permit [the] House to require the production of advice from the Crown’s lawyers, it should be extended to allow it."

    So there are serious implications for our democracy at play in this saga, and readers ought not to allow the superficial impression of grandstanding to distract them – even though that impression is entirely reasonable!

    • Sacha 5.1

      Edgeler is a constitutional law expert. He has earned the right to be as nuanced as he wants.

    • James 5.2

      That was a great link thanks.

      it will be very interesting to see what happens with this.
      I find it interesting that the government is saying their advise was completely different from the draft (and it may well be). But they do seem to be pushing back in this waaaaaay too much.

      wouldn’t be shocking If the documents come out that it wasn’t as clear cut as they are saying.

      • ScottGN 5.2.1

        Pushing back way too much. Are they? Really? For my money this is in the same category as the so-called gagging email. Both issues seem to have gotten the Wellington beltway hugely exercised but NZers couldn’t really give a toss. In fact I think if you asked, most people wouldn’t really mind if the PM was seen to exercise her power a bit more overtly. That’s not say these matters aren’t important, it’s just that there’s another massive issue that’s the dominant matter right now.
        Yesterday I received an email from my work detailing the restructuring process going forward. In essence the company (which has been really successful thus far) will shrink by about 25 to 30% over the next year. So that’s 25% of my work colleagues who were advised of redundancy process yesterday. What do you think is top of mind for them right now James?

        • James

          “In fact I think if you asked, most people wouldn’t really mind if the PM was seen to exercise her power a bit more overtly.”

          perhaps you miss the point that she *may* have exercised power that she didn’t lawfully have. And more than that she *may* have received advise that it wasn’t legal.

          I have no idea what your business is – but perhaps some of them may think our business has been shot by this lockdown. We could have safely been open and this government has cost me my livelihood.

          • ScottGN

            Exactly James – she *may* have done this or she *may* have done that. Mr Edgeler’s opinion is just one of many, though I do respect his view. I’m sure mightier minds than ours will decide. That still doesn’t detract from my observation that a lot of NZers have bigger more personal issues to deal with.

            At the top of the thread you’re trying to take the high ground by claiming that the government was slow to act on border closures, yet here you’re decrying the steps they actually have taken to deal with the crisis. Make up your mind bro.

          • observer

            "this government has cost me my livelihood."

            Name the party or politician that opposed the lockdown.

            There are none in Parliament.

      • RedBaronCV 5.2.2

        Gee James – if I am reading your posts correctly – nothing was really right about the lockdown or the documents or anything here in New Zealand. That's pretty sad and I know that you must be upset. But do cheer up – I saw that someone flew to the USA the other day so that must still be a possible journey. You could catch a flight there and enjoy a lockdown which is pretty much the direct opposite of the one here. You most likely would feel much more comfortable and therefore a lot happier – rather than being miserable here.

      • Incognito 5.2.3

        When, where, and who said it was “clear cut”? It can’t have been that legal genius (I forgot his name, for the briefest of instants), because he’s not part of Government.

    • lprent 5.3

      The two key points in that piece – assuming that some of the hair splitting is correct (which to me seems unlikely).

      It is parliament that could have the authority and

      But, assuming they have been served facially valid summonses (ie signed by the Speaker, etc.) I do not think it proper for the Solicitor-General and Police Commissioner to even technically risk being in contempt. It is not enough for them to do nothing while the Attorney-General seeks a solution, if the summons exists, has been served and has not been stayed, they should comply

      My bold.

      Effectively that is exactly what happened in the UK in 2018.

      Does anyone know if the ERC has actually requested that from Mallard? Or was it like the 'lack of information' that the tone-deaf loudmouth was pushing Bloomfield with. Bloomfield has responded to that (see below) essentially saying 'you haven't asked' with a polite sub-text of 'pillock'.

      The issue for me is really about ineffectual idiotic grandstanding on the ERC ny blowhard looking for headlines and votes rather than being effective. If he’d wanted to be effective rather than grandstanding, my guess is that he could have just asked rather than demanding. And I gather that access to the advice was offered


      • Dennis Frank 5.3.1

        signed by the Speaker

        That's interesting. Did the mallard duck? A shrewdy, him. May have issued them without signing. "Ah, dearie me, an omission." Distracted by something else, perhaps, at the time. Or maybe blame the junior staffer involved.

        All good fun, but I suspect he did sign them, since Parker declared he wants the Privileges Committee to examine the issue.

        • Dukeofurl

          Up to your usual tricks Frank

          "But, assuming they have been served facially valid summonses (ie signed by the Speaker, etc.)

          Yet you run off that has been signed by Speaker, and assume what Mallard has done.

          The AG has referred to the Speaker the privilege claim, not the Privilege Committee

          • Dennis Frank

            You're wrong: "I suspect he did sign them". Do try to read what I wrote before mouthing off. 🙄

            • Dukeofurl

              read what I wrote ?……cafes arent open yet and yet this is your word salad

              "That's interesting. Did the mallard duck? A shrewdy, him. May have issued them without signing. "Ah, dearie me, an omission." Distracted by something else, perhaps, at the time. Or maybe blame the junior staffer involved."

              A 'suspect' requires evidence but you just make up more happenings before falling flat on your face over what Parker did. You should put on an orange wig and do satire..theres money it doing it that way

      • Dukeofurl 5.3.2

        UK in 2018 was different , regarding the legal Advice on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement – which was to be voted on later by the Commons


        It wasnt a Committee of the Commons it was the full parliament. First on a motion from Keir Starmer to publish the Legal advice , as the Government abstained passed without a vote.

        Later when the May government refused to publish the advice the Commons again on vote of the full house passed a motion that it was contempt (311 votes to 293)

        Of course Bercow as Speaker was egging all these motions on. Mallard would rule them invalid in NZ and national doesnt have a majority to pass its motions

        Edgeler is being highly misleading to suggest The Commons was 'exercising a power.' and then that the UK Commons translates to an NZ Committee.

        Its seems to be 'car boot lawyer' level advice

        It was a straight out partisan vote

        A similar situation happened with the legal advice over the Iraq war, defeated by 283 to 192, as Blair had a large majority.

        • lprent

          In NZ, select committees are an arm of parliament have essentially the same powers as parliament – if the speaker or possibly the privileges committee decide to pursue whatever they were after.

          However conventions are really hard to overrule simply because the speaker hoards those for a real issue, rather than something like Simon Bridges posturing like a tone-deaf and incompetent fool.

          In the UK, Bercow while being a conservative MP, saw that there was sufficient support across the house and across partisan lines for more information, and there was a clear need for it as the information being provided to the house to make legislation on was (ummm) excessively groomed. That was why he was rightfully pushing it. The speakers primary job is to protect parliament from passing bad legislation or going into disrepute for doing it and to promote informed debate in the house.

  6. A 6

    Just a reminder that the core benefit is income tested, not cash asset tested. This means you could have say $1,000,000 in the bank and still qualify for any of the core benefits.

    However the income from your money would be taken into account.


    • I Feel Love 6.1

      RW "a whole bunch of ppl have lost their livelihoods!"

      me "thank goodness we have social welfare, but it really should be higher, less punitive, couples should be able to claim, etc.."

      RW "Well I wouldn't go that far…"

    • weka 6.2

      The interest from $1M would fail the income abatement, but it would be interesting to know what amount of asset cuts off the eligibility.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        You just make sure any return on the $1m does not come to you during the relevant time. Trusts are very handy for owning things like houses on your behalf as well.

        • McFlock

          and, of course, you can just spend that million at $25k a year for forty years. As a topup to the benefit.

        • weka

          WINZ require beneficiaries to declare Trusts. Not sure what the rules are around assets in Trusts and if they count them in the asset test.

        • weka

          I was thinking more about the redundancy payments and at what point the income from interest negated the benefit. It's probably reasonably high.

  7. Observer Tokoroa 7

    It's my money and …

    Over the past few weeks, Tauranga and Auckland have done nothing but worry about their money. They are shedding crocodile tears into all the land and tarmac, night and day.

    Even the Sky tower is throbbing miserably away, covered with money measles. They don't give a damn about a thing called Covid -19. Not a single thing.

    Which is why we have to take the money off them. They have had untold years of placing the Nation into Poverty.

    Just to begin with, they will not have free Health. Or any benefits – whatever.

    In Short, All Businesses, Lawyers, Builders and Share Holders, Financiers, will be levied to realistic amounts.

    The days of Upping the cost of Electricity – are over!

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Interesting legal bullying stoush in Labour: "Labour MP Louisa Wall is preparing to take legal action against her own party over a bid to oust her from her Manurewa electorate, Newsroom understands."

    "The threat of a court case played out in the public eye stems from the party’s decision to accept a late nomination from lawyer and recently-appointed Waitematā DHB board member Arena Williams, seen as a viable threat to oust the incumbent." https://www.newsroom.co.nz/politics/2020/05/11/1167589/legal-action-looms-over-labours-manurewa-selection

    "There was a feeling that Labour’s national headquarters was overreaching into the local selection process to push out candidates who senior MPs did not like, or who were not fully compliant with the messaging from the top of the party."

    • Wayne 8.1

      For some reason the Labour Party leadership has had quite a beef against Louisa for some time. For some reason they don't see her as a team player. Even though she has more success than most MP's in getting members bills through into law.

      I hope she wins her case. It is very shonky practise for HQ to accept a late nomination, especially against a sitting MP. To do so, means that HQ is doing more than applying the rules, they are actively trying to remove an MP. And they are doing so without regard to proper process.

      It is not as if the rules are unclear. There are specific time frames that are well understood. Would be candidates are expected to comply with them. And if they don't, well that should be that. They had their chance.

      • lprent 8.1.1

        I suspect that the issue isn't so much the Labour NZ Council, but more what happens inside the electorate. From the link above one of the challengers was

        longtime electorate organiser Ian Dunwoodie

        (which is rather unusual)

        Dissatisfaction from long-serving branch volunteers is understood to lie at the heart of the challenge to Wall.

        This isn't exactly abnormal in Labour electorate organisations. Volunteers have choices of just walking away (essentially what I did in Mt Albert after looking at David Shearer for a while – plus it allowed me to put more effort here) or trying to mount a challenge (which appears to be what is happening here).

        It is not as if the rules are unclear.

        Yeah right – it is clear that you haven't read the Labour constitution which is, in my view, a moderately incoherent accumulation of about 100 years of amendments put forward and debated at Labour party conferences – that badly needs a bit of a rewrite by a constitutional lawyer. Because you can find something in there to argue just about every position.

        Williams also declined to comment and referred questions to Labour Party president Claire Szabo, who told Newsroom the party's governing body had "worked [throughout the selection process] to reflect the spirit of our party's democratic principles, and has taken care to follow the party's constitution, in accordance with our legal advice".

        This is the latest version of the rules and constitution as held by the electoral commission. All 120 pages of it.

        • Anne

          I suspect that the issue isn't so much the Labour NZ Council, but more what happens inside the electorate.

          So true. My former experiences as an LP official back in the 1970s and early 1980s tells me that there are always conflicting ambitions within local electorate organisations which occasionally break out into all out war. It applies equally to National as it does Labour or any other political party. They're often very tricky to handle and malfeasance is not uncommon.

          I have no knowledge of the background here but personality clashes between old hands and relative newcomers is usually at the bottom of it.

        • Wayne

          Rule 8.2.2 seems reasonably clear.

          I presume the notice seeking nomination actually had the closing date of nominations on the Notice. I would have thought that in this situation you either get your nomination in by the due date, or you miss out.

          It is not obvious to me from the Rules and the Schedules that that a late nomination can actually be accepted. To do so would require the NZ Council to override the Rules, but where is their power to do that.

          • lprent

            You will note that there is nothing to say that your assumption is correct? There is also nothing to say that a late nomination cannot be accepted.

            If you look at 8.2.2 and 8.2.4 in conjunction, they effectively say that there are two time limits that much be met. But they're not definitive.

            As far as I can see the actual hard limit is the Q&A session in section 8.6. There isn't any report of that happening.

            • Wayne

              Well, I guess the Court will inform us one way or the other.

              • lprent

                That is my guess.

                I have read a few decisions based on the rule book for NZLP and the odd one for the National party.

                I get the impression that the judges weren't impressed by quality and tightness of the coding phrasing.

      • SPC 8.1.2

        As you would know she was part of a minority in caucus supporting Cunliffe for leader, but he won because of party member support. And she has been on the outer with caucus since – the notable MP passed over for posts in 2017 (basically an invitation to the electorate to mount a chellenge).

        Here she has lost local electorate support, the faction of the older white heterosexual men Hawkinesque is making a challenge seeing her position as weakened because her support for transgender activists has upset feminists.

        Basically the centre did not not like the look of what the local electorate was throwing up as next Labour candidate and so parachuted in someone else.

    • xanthe 8.2

      remember that the Labor party was in total dissarray prior 2017 and there has been a series of high profile gaffes and misconduct since. The whole mess is held together by jacindas personal popularity and ability. Expect a Purge! It has to be done.. "lets do this"!!

      • Bearded Git 8.2.1

        Yes only polling at 55% Xanthe….Nats languishing in the 20's…or maybe teens by now?

        Move to Oz if you want to spell it Labor

    • bill 8.3

      Louisa Wall would belong within whatever remains of a left wing presence in NZ Labour, yes?

      • Dennis Frank 8.3.1

        Heh. You're asking the wrong person! Fwiw, my two cents, an identity politics frame would indeed seem to locate her there. Using an economic lens (traditional leftism), who knows?

        • bill

          It was more intended as a question for anyone. I wouldn't equate identity politics with "left", but hey…

          • xanthe

            I do believe the purge to be successful will remove those who hold their place by virtue of their "identity". Ability needs to become the new metric!

  9. ScottGN 9

    Simon’s trying to take credit for the move to Level 2, “it was our idea, we’ve been calling for it for ages…”.

    Good grief.

  10. Adrian Thornton 10

    Yet another Russia gate wheel falls off…..

    Bombshell: Crowdstrike admits 'no evidence' Russia stole emails from DNC server

    • bill 10.1

      No evidence of a hack.

      Charges against the Internet Research Agency dropped.

      Michael Flynn deliberately set up.

      The Mueller Report and the Steele Dossier and toilet paper.

      'Funny' how no-one of a liberal disposition has anything to say these days after being so agitated over anyone who was calling bullshit at the time.

      And the next time an intelligence agency makes a claim but says it can’t release any fcking evidence to back their claim up, you think those same liberal folks will pause and reflect or rush to sing in the chorus? 👿

      • Adrian Thornton 10.1.1

        Yeah, I have to say this whole Russiagate thing ( and then Bernie's sad demise) has left me pretty disillusioned with politics in general and the liberal (so called) left in particular, the ease in which so many people who I really thought were intelligent observers have allowed themselves to be manipulated has been quite incredible to witness.

        I was watching a Trump speech attacking the Chinese over Covid 19 last night and was reading he comments, which were about as stupid as you would imagine and then doubled, I pointed out how easy these Trump supporters are lead around by Trump to my wife, her retort was "how is that any different to most liberals" ..sadly she was right, and I had no answer.

  11. Sanctuary 11

    Just had a look at jacinda Ardern's FB page.

    her last five personal update videos have the following viewer figures:

    455,000 (last night, still going up)




    1, 600,000

    895,000 average views.

    These are phenomenal numbers. Simon Bridges gets in the few thousands range. These are the sort of figures you expect from a super star entertainer, not a PM of a small country in the South Pacific. Her cut through over the head of the MSM is simply incredible.

    • ScottGN 11.1


    • xanthe 11.2

      yup no wonder they pissed off. they thought they controlled the message and politicians just had to put up with it no matter what. well they were wrong! jacinda is way over their heads.

  12. AB 12

    NCEA from Level 2 onwards. Our local high-school is now removing some elements of the curriculum and the associated assessments – thereby reducing the total number of credits available for the year. I'm OK with that if it applies to all schools in the country – and NCEA's mania for assessment is one of the things that makes it so ridiculous in the first place anyway.

    However, if 'elite' schools can get away with it, they will certainly not do the same thing. Because the purpose of elite schools is to deliver an advantage for the children of rich parents over the children of poorer parents – they will see this as a grand opportunity to deepen and extend that advantage.

    • Peter 12.1

      Don't worry about elite schools and their educational programmes.

      Over a few weeks we've heard about fruit pickers and farm workers being needed and workers in other menial jobs. I can see it now, around the breakfast tables of the elite, parents encouraging Giles and Penelope, Millicent and Oliver to take up careers picking apples and packing Kiwifruit.

      And when the kids are at their elite school there'll be the inspirational speeches from principals or headmasters or rectors or whatever fancy tag they've got. "Your country needs you! Head to the provinces! And bursting into song;

      "You an’ me, we sweat an’ strain

      Body all achin’ an’ racked wid pain,

      Pickdat fruit!

      Lif’ dat bale!

      Do dat work!

      You cannot fail! ……."

      And after rousing, exciting and moving their charges to lives they previously didn't know existed, retreating to counselling sessions to deal with the most terrible impact of the pandemic in New Zealand: The First XV they'd bought and cultivated to prove their superiority, not being able to go out and smash the schools they'd bought the players from.

  13. tc 13

    I see luxon gets a soapbox about public transport out east in granny, his new role must be a cruise with no electorate to serve officially yet.

    Someone needs to remind him national f'd up akl with supercity and their well documented lack of infrastructure spend on akl transport

    • Sanctuary 13.1

      I saw that, it seemed to be about AMETI. That project has taken far, far to long.

    • observer 14.1

      Classy response from PM when asked about this at her 1 pm presser:

      "I feel sorry for anyone who's sick" (not verbatim quote, but gist). Nothing more.

      One important political skill is knowing what NOT to say. For politicians that's not as easy as it seems. They often like to add a little dig … it's hard to resist.

      She resisted. Which was far more effective than any dig.

  14. aom 15

    Obviously, some of the purveyors of liquid fueled mayhem now want to move into the realms of becoming facilitators of viral catastrophe: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/drinks/300009889/were-gutted-bars-cant-open-until-one-week-after-first-day-of-alert-level-2. Do revenue fueled bar owners think that Wellingtonians have forgotten the scenes at Courtenay Place the weekend before L4 when the need for restrictions was 'smack you in the face' obvious. Hopefully when the alcohol only outfits are able to ply their trade with a few restrictions, there will be tight policing and quickly imposed shut-downs so that they learn that there are bounds to self-serving irresponsibility.

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    "China has issued a stern rebuke to New Zealand, urging it to "stop making wrong statements" on the issue of Taiwan's membership of the World Health Organisation or risk damaging the two nations' relationship. The comments came from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who told a news conference in Beijing that New Zealand's stance was a violation of the "one China" policy, which he said is the political foundation of our bilateral relationship." https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12331174

    "Expressing a "personal position" last week, Peters told reporters: "In the interests on international health you want every country in an international organisation designed to improve the world's health. It's just logic.""

    So what we have here is a communist fella trying to pretend that NZ said something wrong in response to a personal opinion expressed by Winston. Well, who would expect a communist to recognise the right of an individual to express an opinion? It takes a certain amount of intelligence to figure out there's a difference between a person and a country. Communists lack that.

    Complexifying the situation is the traditional policy of both China & Taiwan: One China. Each claiming to be its rightful representative. Is Taiwan a country, as Winston suggests? Yes, a tradition of around six millennia of indigenous occupancy – before annexation by a Chinese emperor a few centuries back. Seems to be de facto independent currently, too, ever since WWII. Winston ain't wrong!

    • aom 16.1

      Well how disturbing – a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman reminds the Minister of Foreign Affairs that he is not entitled to very publicly express an opinion that undermines a political foundation of a bilateral relationship. Should there be no consequences, not even polite reminders, for breaching terms of formal contracts? The rights and wrongs of China's relationship with Taiwan are not the issue – what is, is that the Minister should be more circumspect, especially when trade worth billions of dollars annually are at stake. Ministers have lost their portfolios for less.

      • Gabby 16.1.1

        IS the one china policy the foundation and basis etc etc, or did china decide that?

        • Dukeofurl

          One China Policy is , but not the One China principle which says that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the PRC.

      • SPC 16.1.2

        Winnie's statement of support for Taiwan as an observor at WHO is government policy and regarded by us as consistent with our one China position. We have it based on the fact that Taiwan is self-governing and part of a world where collective action is taken during a global pandemic.

    • bill 16.2

      k – so imagine if he'd said Wales ought to have WHO membership. Or Scotland. Or Catalonia.

      That wouldn't be seen as messing with the internal affairs of a foreign country?

      He's the foreign minister and knows full well that NZ recognises the Peoples' Republic of China – just as it recognises Spain and the UK.

      • Dennis Frank 16.2.1

        That analogy works if those countries have de facto independence – which they don't. Yet. I see the global trend as being toward devolution. A more nuanced view is as much realpolitik as clinging to the 20th century frame – if you factor in the future to balance the past. In the present, you can be creative in tilting the balance one way or the other as needs be. On that basis, I acknowledge Winston's style.

        • McFlock

          You might see it as a global trend, PRC sure doesn't.

          The main issue isn't so much with the position Peters took, as the diplomatic tone he used. I.e., nondiplomatic.

          The position was broadly consistent with NZ's position on Taiwan, but the key to that is to not be too obvious about it.

          I suspect it was partially a domestic PR job, partially that Peters doesn't like being treated with the same arrogance he has for everyone else, and partially that he'd like to see NZ pivot more strongly towards the US and pissing off the Chinese is a way to do that.

          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, nothing there I'd disagree with. But rather than pro-US, I'd go with a stance balancing them & China. Equidistant, as in the equilateral triangle. Applied metaphysics: best way to reframe a polarity. Averse to metaphysics? Use the old term from the protest movement back in the 1970s: non-aligned.

            • McFlock

              What you would prefer and what Winston would prefer are different things

          • bill

            The position was broadly consistent with NZ's position on Taiwan

            Not quite understanding that statement. NZ officially recognises the Peoples' Republic of China. That means officially, they do not recognise the Republic of China (or whatever Taiwan calls itself).

            So then it's absurd to suggest NZ would/should petition for Taiwan to be a part of any international body comprised of nation states.

            • McFlock

              Some of the subtleties are expanded upon by a newsroom bit.

              Sometimes, diplomacy is a bit like Schrodinger's Diplomacy: both things are true until someone makes a big song and dance about it, upon which the other participants are shocked and outraged that such a thing could ever have happened.

              So yeah, it's like if members of a multinational organisation decided Catalonia had some practical input or involvement that Spain was not reflecting, and as long as nobody said Catalonia was independent (e.g. got a vote at the table of independent countries), Spain would ignore their presence. Spain wouldn't be happy, but for the sake of practicality just might not see them there, and "believe" the comments that Catalan presence is purely as observer status, alongside first nations representatives and the Vatican.

              Another example of Schrodinger's Diplomacy was the letter of the two sorries, after a PRC fighter and a US intelligence aircraft collided, the Chinese pilot being killed and the spy plane made an emergency landing at a Chinese airbase. As part of the diplomatic resolution, the US sent a letter to China saying it was sorry such a thing had happened. China graciously accepted it as "I'm sorry I did this to you", the US described the contents as "I'm sorry to hear this thing happened to you". Neither forcefully corrected the other, both sides walked away with both interpretations being true because nobody observed exactly which meaning it contained.

              Needless to say, Peters would have loudly told the media exactly what he thought the letter meant.

        • bill

          In the present, you can be creative in tilting the balance one way or the other as needs be.

          What do you mean "needs be"? That signals an acceptance or approval of one country messing with the internal affairs of another. Are you suggesting that if the so-called Russian interference in the last US elections had been for real (in terms of suggested scale and influence) that you'd have approved?

          Does it mean you approve of sanctions, blockades, governments fomenting civil unrest in foreign countries and attempted coups (any objection being merely at the level of 'style')?

          • Dennis Frank

            No, I was referring to how one uses the triadic structure of time (past/present/future). People assume pragmatism rules. Not necessarily. If you look at history using a geopolitical frame, you see key players like Kissinger, Metternich, Talleyrand, using rulers like pieces on a chess board.

            Now, when they do so, they factor in consequences. Into their planning, and the advice they give to rulers, I mean. So its not just realpolitik that determines the top-level outcomes. They are playing trajectories of development and evolution (in the broader, social, sense) as much as they are playing the status quo.

            I'm not suggesting Winston is in that league, of course, but I do see him operating with an intuitive grasp of power dynamics in foreign policy, along those lines…

            • aom

              Keep digging Dennis. Your esoteric ruminations are becoming more intriguing each time you respond.

              • Dennis Frank

                I try to provide a positive alternative. I'm aware that deep context looks too murky to most readers. But like any other contrarian I know convention is the path to boredom so must spice things up somewhat. Really, the point I was making is likely to be self-evident to any good chess player. They have long since become adept at seeing the consequences of moves many moves ahead. The best say they see an entire spectrum of likely trajectories in their minds at each play. I don't claim that ability!

            • bill

              So, not messing with internal politics, merely positioning or alignment – which is a wholly domestic decision and therefor not quite gelling with Winston sounding off on another country's domestic affairs.

              • Dennis Frank

                He actually wasn't "sounding off on another country's domestic affairs". He was letting them know he sees Taiwan as a country. Which it is. Realism. Why are you so keen to swallow the communist line? They get off on telling others what to think. They even tried to tell him what to say. He demonstrated considerable restraint in not telling them to fuck off, eh?

                Did you notice the media story the other day in which Jacinda was quoted referring to Taiwan as a country? So they're on the same page.

                • Dukeofurl

                  Consistent with NZ previous policy

                  "An MFAT briefing on the issue ahead of last year’s World Health Assembly noted New Zealand had provided in-principle support for Taiwan’s involvement in international organisations “where it has practical benefit, in particular in organisations and issues of New Zealand’s national or global systemic interests”, with a focus on substance and technical engagement over symbolism, and provided its participation did not imply statehood."

                  The ringer statement

                  "Nor is it necessarily inconsistent with the one-China policy that New Zealand adheres to (distinct from the one-China principle, which holds that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China).


                  Which makes me think why do we even care that Stuff sinks or swims when we have material of this calibre

                • bill

                  He was letting them know he sees Taiwan as a country. Which it is.

                  It's no more a country than Scotland is – ie, it isn't recognised as such in the international community of nation states and their legal frameworks.

                  Or, if you just automatically think of Scotland as a country, then think in terms of Catalonia – same thing.

                  Or maybe throw aside any analogies and just think of it in the real terms of a defeated ruling clique taking off and fortressing themselves on a country's off shore islands – that they themselves had insisted Japan should return to Chinese rule – where they then instigated single party rule for decades.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Okay, what you're not factoring in is the difference between country & state. No mere technicality! I suggest you read the wikipedia page on sovereignty. Country is a colloquialism – it is in common usage as a general term. The UN & international law refer to states. This usage is structural, restricted, deriving from rulership of large geographic domains. If you look up state as a definition you'll get the gist of how it differs from country.

                    Taiwan is recognised as a state by some countries, I think, but not most. I vaguely recall it was a UN member (representing China) but was displaced when the UN recognised the communist regime as rulers of China. It is the recognition by other sovereign states that is the crucial signifier of sovereign status – and that principle derives from the earlier geopolitical practice of monarchs in foreign policy.

                    • bill

                      Yup. A country has no legal standing unless it's a recognised state. And NZs international relations are based on legalities.

                      I guess any country (state) that recognises Taiwan has no diplomatic relations with China.

                      Looks like 1971 was the year that they were no longer recognised as representing China at the UN (Just prior to Kissinger visiting China, yes?)

                      It's their shit to sort out (the political adversaries and the poor fucking Taiwanese who're stuck in the middle).

                  • Sanctuary

                    "…It's no more a country than Scotland is – ie, it isn't recognised as such in the international community of nation states and their legal frameworks…"

                    God you spout some utter tosh sometimes. The Republic of China (ROC) was a sovereign state on mainland China from 1912, and the Kuomintang has a continuous link as the governing party that sovereign state since that time. The CCP was the victorious faction in the Chinese Civil War and the PRC was declared in 1949. The ROC has as strong legal claim to be the legitimate government of mainland China and an extremely strong claim to be both a de facto and de jure sovereign state, since it maintains it's own armed forces, ststem of government and laws. And Taiwan at least respects the rule of law and is a democracy, unlike the Orwellian regime in Bejing with it's lawless dictator and his murderous mates in the CCP.

                    Scotland WAS a sovereign state, until the act of union in 1707. Scotland does not have an army, although it retains some internal governance structures. It isn't a sovereign state now, otherwise they wouldn't have had a vote on devolution, would they? If you don't believe me there are several excellent Wikipedia articles will will act as an excellent primer to filling the gaps in your knowledge on the topic.

                    Catalonia has never been a sovereign state, being part of the kingdom of Aragon from the early/mid 12th century and since 1469 part of the kingdom of Castille and Aragon which is the direct ancestor of the modern Spanish state.

                    • bill

                      The Republic of China (ROC) was a sovereign state on mainland China from 1912 , and the Kuomintang has a continuous link as the governing party that sovereign state since that time .

                      China went through a revolution and the Nationalists who governed were defeated in that revolution and so no longer the government.

                      btw – Taiwan was hardly a bastion of democracy under Kuomintang's declared state of martial law until 1987, aye?

                    • McFlock

                      China went through a revolution and the Nationalists who governed were defeated in that revolution and so no longer the government.

                      So by that logic, the PRC does not have dominion over Taiwan, because the PLA did not defeat the nationalists on Formosa. 2 Chinas, 2 systems.

                    • bill

                      You know the whole ceding of Taiwan by Japan was messy as fuck, right?

                      Anyway. I'd actually like to know what the Taiwanese (not the Chinese) inhabitants of Taiwan want. (They didn't fair at all well under those decades of dictatorship)

                    • McFlock

                      apparently that doesn't matter, because the KMT beat them, too so no longer a government there.

                      Assuming statehood's sole criterion is military success, of course.

  16. mac1 17

    Election to proceed on September 19 if at Level 2 or lower.

    Who wants to go back to Level 3?

    • ianmac 17.1

      Simon says, "Yes me. Me. It would be wisest as I have always said, stay in Level 3 much longer. This shambolic Government rushed getting out of Level 3 and must return. All the people want to."

    • bill 18.1

      Earlier this month Bunnings Warehouse cut its salaried workers pay and hours by 20 per cent until it could trade "normally" and has been working with landlords on rent reductions.

      And since the wage subsidy was intended to safeguard employment, Bunnings will be paying back the wage subsidy received for soon to be redundant workers?

      Or, minimally, they will be offering all affected workers a generous redundancy package (even though I suspect there are no redundancy provisions in their Agreements)?

      • Pat 18.1.1

        the workers will be made redundant at the end of the subsidy period …as to redundancy provisions I would expect that which is in the agreements would be implemented….small comfort for those impacted Id suggest and as commented earlier it is but the beginning of many more to come

        • bill

          I get that subsidy period will have ended. I'm suggesting Bunnings had already gone most of the way to deciding what was going to happen, and so acted in bad faith when they accepted the wage subsidy.

          Employers like Bunnings tend to have redundancy clauses that run (very loosely) along the lines of "In the event of redundancy, the employee will not be entitled to any redundancy payments".

          All that aside, I agree this is just the beginning – that apart from small businesses genuinely going belly up, many bigger players will use the situation to 'rationalise' (or whatever the term that's in vogue is)

          • Pat

            "I get that subsidy period will have ended. I'm suggesting Bunnings had already gone most of the way to deciding what was going to happen, and so acted in bad faith when they accepted the wage subsidy."

            Working to the letter and not the spirit is to be expected

            "Employers like Bunnings tend to have redundancy clauses that run (very loosely) along the lines of "In the event of redundancy, the employee will not be entitled to any redundancy payments"."

            You may be surprised to learn not…corporates tend to have redundancy clauses (not withstanding casual employment and contractors)…it is SMEs that are more likely to not have.

            "All that aside, I agree this is just the beginning – that apart from small businesses genuinely going belly up, many bigger players will use the situation to 'rationalise' (or whatever the term that's in vogue is)"

            Ah 'Rationalisation"…a blast from the past…and something Ben Bernanke said had been defeated…..shows what he knew. SFA

            • bill

              corporates tend to have redundancy clauses

              I've been privy to a fair few corporate EAs from my "past life", and don't recall a single one that included redundancy entitlements. If Bunnings EAs have, then yes, I'd be genuinely surprised.

              • Pat

                then be surprised…they do…6 and 2…my experience the past 40 years is as stated above. I dont like corporate culture but when it comes to redundancy the facts are they tend to have and honour them (as said casuals and contractors aside)..that dosnt mean its a great model

            • RedBaronCV

              Yep looks like stores they are likely to have wonted to close anyway. Just taking advantage. But I wouldn't be surprised if their turnover held up pretty well. Overseas holidays are gone so people may spend more on their houses. If it does i would expect any wage cuts to be back paid?

              • Pat

                They experienced what all businesses have(and will)…a splurge of pent up activity and then a reduced turnover…yes they were marginal pre covid but many businesses were…the reduced future turnover (discretionary dollar) means regardless of what gov support happens short term means they are not viable in the reduced environment….the sooner we understand that the better….the only question really is which businesses will capture that reduced churn.

      • patricia 18.1.2

        They closed two stores in December. They took 32 million in wage subsidies. Covid pushed a teetering model?

    • Graeme 18.2

      Interesting that it seems full steam ahead on site clearance for their new Queenstown store.

      • Pat 18.2.1

        Interesting but maybe not surprising….and who knows how secure.

        A moveable feast

  17. Treetop 19

    Just saw on 1 news a Japanese experiment. People at a buffet and self serve. A glow in the dark paint was applied to hands. 30 minutes later the paint (substitute virus) was so obvious in a darkened room on surfaces. Hand washing is so important after touching surfaces.

    • Sacha 19.1

      Worth a watch – short clip speaks louder than words:

  18. Dennis Frank 20

    "Economist Tony Alexander said people like the idea of “seemingly free money”." Astonishing! I wonder which equation he used to work that out.

    "The idea of a “helicopter payment” – a lump sum of money paid out to all New Zealanders to encourage them to spend – has been mooted as the country ponders its recovery from Covid-19 disruption." https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300010347/new-zealanders-want-payments-from-government

    The lolly scramble is no longer an integral feature of kiwi social life, but govt choppers doing local community drops would resonate with older folk as they send their grandchildren out to scoop up the dollars.

    "Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr suggested a $1500 payment for all adults would be a “firestarter” for the economy." The kids may need a wheelbarrow.

  19. Fireblade 21

    Australia has 22 new Covid-19 cases today.

    Victoria +15, Queensland +6 and Western Australia +1.


    • In Vino 21.1

      Didn't Paddington like to make envious comparisons, casting our policies as murderous for the economy, and Australia's as far superior? (Seem to remember Bridges burbling on in a similar manner..)

  20. bill 22

    “Matter of fact, there’s some major Republicans who are already forming ‘Republicans for Biden,’” the former vice president said. “Major officeholders.”

    That's a direct quote from the guy who said he could imagine having a Republican as his Vice President and having Republicans in his cabinet.

    If you want to see him come out with that Republicans for Biden stuff (inbetween his good wife doing all of his speaking and reasoning for him) then jump through this link to an 11 min vid of accompanying opinion.

    Or this one for the take of Krystal Ball of Rising.

    There's a cyclical idea of change that suggests fluid states of change get slowed by increasing inertia until, finally, a crystalisation occurs and things burst apart and a new period of fluidity emerges.

    Anyone with a skerrick of awareness knows there's been a coalescing of the so-called opposites within the realm of liberalism's representative democratic framework these past decades.

    Jenny Shipley was the first politician I heard suggest that parties across the tiny political divide should just merge and be done with the pretence (NZ Labour and the Nats in the 90s).

    Maybe Jenny's idea is finally coming to fruition in the US?

    I can't see such an obvious expression of corporatism as any Biden/GOP dealings would represent, going down well, ending well, or lasting long

    • Ad 22.1

      This is one of the groups you are thinking about.

      The Lincoln Group includes Kelly Conway's husband, actively working against Kelly Conway's clilent.


    • joe90 22.2

      Wishful thinking.

      • bill 22.2.1

        That's a reference to two years ago joe90, and…nothing to do with what Biden was claiming.

        • joe90

          Bitcofer's saying her opinion remains unchanged.

          No matter what party talking heads do or say, rank and file repugs remain wedded to their MAGA convictions and are unlikely to swing toward Biden.

          • bill

            That may be true.

            But the point of the comment was to highlight a kind of attempted amalgamation of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party…not about how people are likely to vote.

  21. Hands up all who think Soimon will survive till the next election.

    Given that this site is riddled (not unlike TDB) with expertise (or at least experiences) of the political class, I'm genuinely interested – if we could keep it kind of 'simple' and not turn it into a battle that tries to demonstrate how utterly smarter and more pontifcatingly accurate ye are to me

    I've got an anthem for Soimon (and Pulla, and probably quite a few others for that matter):


    It's why I can only take TS and TDB in small doses although both are valuable vehicles for the humble peeps to contribute – IF they can get past the fucking ego-driven agendas at play that'll argue to the death at times. Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!! don't they have better things to do?

    I appreciate that @ Wayne is still grieving over the demise of the leisure suit and bobby socks and has had imagination bypass surgery. James and a few other just want to show how fucking smart they are and like others, argue to the death (sorry about your livelihood @James – it must be humbling to have to become a dole bludger – or are you jiss jiving? but the Whurl is in turmoil in case you hadn't noticed).

    I suspect it's better to just watch and chuckle.

    But …. really – giviss ya thorts on the Great Pretender Soimon. Supposedly he's so tuff he can take it – not unloik Pulla. OR all the others ….. from the Jevon's with their new-found (equipped with mamma Hannahs), to the fucking Goldsmiths that are about as charasmatic as a fart in a lift trying to shift blame onto the closest to the door.

    • Fireblade 23.1

      Simon's massive ego and arrogance will ensure he survives until the next election and he will take the National Party down with him. Here's my anthem for Simon's failed leadership.

      Lonesome Loser by Little River Band

      Have you heard about the Lonesome Loser? Beaten by the Queen of Hearts every time. Have you heard about the Lonesome Loser? He's a loser but he still keeps on trying.

      • OnceWasTim 23.1.1

        Let's just hope the Queen of Hearts (almost typed the Queen of Hearst) isn't Judith

        • Fireblade

          There is only one Queen of NZ politics and her name is Jacinda, our PM. heart

        • Grafton Gully

          Simon will survive and thrive because he is a kiwi battler and kiwi battlers vote.

          • KJT

            Forgot the sarc. tab?

          • In Vino

            So depressing. A highly-trained lawyer who seems to have no sense of language, something lawyers should be acutely aware of. Not our Simon. (Graduate from Harvard???) In trying to express the adage 'The cure is worse than the disease', Simon says 'The medicine is worse than the cure'. Spare me days – any semi-educated person knows that in older parlance, the medicine and the cure were the same thing. But not our Simon.

            This is depressing because so many Kiwi Battlers, supposedly the future of our enterprising country, still, apparently, support Simon's leadership.

  22. joe90 24

    Uncle Sam the loan shark.

  23. Herodotus 25

    Just viewed during TV1 news 6:19 about level 2

    "Please rememer to be patient, as some shops may need to limit customer numbers"

    Can anyone see anything wrong with this message ??

    • mac1 25.1

      Spelling mistake "rememer"? 🙂

      • Herodotus 25.1.1

        I cannot take credit in spotting the error, the teacher in the family noticed. Just goes to show how well educated our teachers are 😉. Even if some on "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" blog don't value our teachers.

        • mac1

          I note that MP Stuart Smith has apologised for his off-colour comment supporting a National Party staffer who criticised our PM as addressing the nation as if she was talking to six year olds, the intellectually disabled and Labour Party members.

          In his apology he said in his defence he had not read the five line tweet before agreeing with it.

          He then further said that he "did agree that the Prime Minister does give off a schoolteacher type persona which grates with a lot of people including me."

          Run that statement past "the teacher in the family".

          I am a former teacher married to a former teacher with a teacher daughter.

          Two things from Stuart Smith's statement. What evidence does he have to claim that a lot of people agree with his opinion of 'school-teacher' persona. Why is he locked into a six year old's mentality? What did he do to get that attention, and why is he so sensitive about it?

          Secondly, is an apology that stigmatises a thousand people in his electorate, all those teachers and their spouses, their children, their parents, their school board members really an apology?

          • mac1

            That thousand number refers only to the teachers in the electorate. 70 electorates and 70,000 teachers in NZ in round figures. Add family and those connected to education you have a lot of people to piss off. A lot of voters.

        • Treetop

          I won't lose any sleep over your spelling mistake.

          • In Vino

            Herodotus – I am a semi-retired teacher, and I am horribly disappointed that the obvious typo was what you were after. I spent several seconds looking for deeper, more serious implications. Damn!

          • Herodotus

            24:13 into the link – I did not with a wee smile that an item preceding this was about ECE works achieving a well deserved pay rise with focus of improving the quality of education 🤫


            • mac1

              Herodotus, did you notice the misspelling of 'hopsitality' and the incorrect use of 'less' rather than 'fewer' in the same announcement?

              • Herodotus

                My appreciation of the language, spelling and grammar is somewhat lacking I would be the 1st to admit to. I am indebted to the teacher in the family to have noticed one error. I know Peter Williams is not one who is prized here, yet I recall a few instances when live he grammatically corrected a few news items, and I appreciate those who do take standards seriously and occasionally I can still learn and implement the learning. But thanks mac1 for pointing out those 2 other observations.👍🏾

  24. ScottGN 26

    Some clever dick sub at the Herald has titled a piece by Jason Walls on the enabling legislation for Level 2 rules, ‘National moves to block law…’. What planet are these guys living on? National can’t block any legislation in the House, they don’t have the numbers, that’s why they are the Opposition.

  25. Anne 27


    NZ is currently best in the world.

    US is the worst.

    Can we expect a Trump inspired rant about dishonest fake NZ in the near future?

    Also, scroll down to Sarah Cooper’s latest. “Obamagate”

    • In Vino 27.1

      Anne – please note that the Nats are unlikely to keep on quoting Australia as the country which brilliantly did the same as us without 'killing the economy.'

      If Australian infection rates keep rising, Nats will become as silent about Australia as they now are about Sweden.

      But beware. We may stay on top, but given our premature (to my mind) drop to level 2 we could also get what Australia got – a new, climbing infection rate..

    • solkta 27.2

      He will probably look at this world map and claim we don't even exist:


    • Macro 27.3

      Do you actually think he can read a graph like that and comprehend its meaning?

      He can't even comprehend a tweet that is critical of the Dept of Justice under his "minder" Attorney General Barr.

      This just last weekend.

      • Anne 27.3.1

        Do you actually think he can read a graph like that and comprehend its meaning?

        No. But there's a few people at WH who might understand and they could explain it to him. Like… they could cut out all the other countries and just leave the US at the top and NZ at the bottom.

        Mind you that presents the strong risk he will think it means the US is at the top cos its the greatest country in the world and NZ's at the bottom cos its the horribilest. 🙄

        That is assuming he knows there’s a country called New Zealand. He thought Jacinda was Justin Trudeau’s wife remember.

  26. Eco Maori 28

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    It will be awesome moving to level 2 tomorrow.

    I hope the government will take care of the workers.

    I feel sad for those people who are in a crisis already.

    Ka kite Ano.

  27. Eco Maori 29

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    That is a good organisation Te Matawai establishing Te reo Maori in Maori whare.

    Cool seeing Auckland transport employing Maori contractors to do mahi at some Marae.

    Ka kite Ano

  28. Eco Maori 30

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    Back to level 2 YEA.

    Correct times have changed it will be a waste of money propping up business that are just going to fold once the support stops. It will be better to invest in new enterprise.

    Yes I seen the teeth today and yesterday.

    Its like Back in the days of old when you just to had work 40 hours a week to have a comfortable life.

    Ka kite Ano

  29. Eco Maori 31

    Love you my cousin 😇

  30. Eco Maori 32

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    That's good 50 billion economy stimulis program.

    I we had a reunion with the Mokopuna.

    Ka kite Ano

  31. Eco Maori 33

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    I think that Tangata whenua Pacific and the common people can climb high up there ladders of life with the economic stimulis program.

    1. billion dollars invested in environmental control and Doc is very cool.

    Ka kite Ano

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