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Open mike 12/06/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 12th, 2022 - 60 comments
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60 comments on “Open mike 12/06/2022 ”

  1. Peter 1

    The Opposition intends to introduce non-consorting laws that would stop convicted gang members from associating with one another.

    Apparently once issued, the specified gang offenders would be prohibited from associating or communicating with one another for up to three years.

    Does that mean we can't have family get togethers at Christmas or funerals?


    • Joe90 1.1

      They're confused.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        That is a ridiculous concept for law.

        Are they also planning on repealing the Bill of Rights Act? Which is pretty much what they would have to do to pass this.

        • RedLogix

          The Bill of Rights is not a set of absolutes. Context is still important – for example we had no problem with the NZ government effectively preventing me from associating with my frail and elderly father for over 2 years during the COVID crisis.

          Nor do I imagine that criminal entities like the Mongrel Mob that actively repudiate the law enjoy quite the same protection under the Bill of Rights as say a political party or a union.

          • Belladonna

            For an example of the way an association is banned overseas, you could look at the neo-Nazi groups in Germany. Where any and all associated symbolism is illegal to buy, sell or possess, and groups are legally not allowed to form.

            It doesn't work in preventing the groups forming (haters will always hate), but it does give the police effective powers to raid and shut down groups: e.g.


            These are political groupings (albeit, unsavoury ones to the majority of us), rather than criminal ones (by that I mean that they aren't engaged in full-scale drug dealing and associated criminal activity) – but the mechanism of suppression would be the same.

            • lprent

              It doesn’t work in preventing the groups forming (haters will always hate), but it does give the police effective powers to raid and shut down groups:

              Basically it doesn’t work in Germany (as you point out yourself). It won’t work here.

              I’d bet that you can’t find a case where suppression of that kind has ever worked anywhere at any time over a timescale of a few generations. All it does is to push groups underground and typically makes it larger and longer lived. It is roughly the equivalent of putting makeup over a cyst to hide it…

              • Belladonna

                I think that it's arguable that it doesn't work in Germany. It certainly doesn't work 100% – and nothing (apart from North Korean style social suppression) would or could.

                I do believe that it has a suppressant effect, and a social stigma effect (people in general in Germany really, really dislike Nazi symbolism and disapprove of the people who choose to associate themselves with it).

                Given that National have yet to release any details about how this would potentially work in the NZ legislative context; combined with the current resistance from Courts to impose serious sentences for actual crime (as opposed to a theoretical 'consorting with' crimes) – I don't believe that it's likely to be an effective policy in tackling gang crime in NZ.

                But, it sure has popular appeal with a large swathe of the population who (rightly or wrongly) are feeling highly unsafe in the current gang warfare environment.

                Please note, many of these are Labour supporters – or centrists who voted for Ardern in 2020. We're not talking about right-wing gun nuts – but ordinary people who are concerned that the next 'random' shooting is going to hit their house, car or kids; or ordinary small business owners who are getting to the point where their business is uninsurable because of the risk of ram raids.

                In my own Auckland electorate, there have been two drive-by shootings, and 4 ram-raids on shops in the local (small) shopping centre 5 minutes walk from me. You bet that I'm not feeling anything like as safe as I did 3 years ago. I try not to do knee-jerk reactions – but I really do understand the visceral fear that some families are experiencing.

        • alwyn

          Why would you have to do that?

          All you need to do is get the Attorney-General to state that, as David Parker has done in this link, "I have concluded that any limitation they pose on rights are reasonably justifiable under s 5 of the Bill of Rights Act.".

          That's all, now just move along.


        • Blade

          Hard times call for hard measures, Iprent. If Labour and successive governments had really gotten heads around L&O we wouldn't be in this situation.

          Legal niceties aside, how will it be policed? We'd need a quasi citizens group with limited legal powers given present police numbers? National are just tinkering.

          Why not just brand them domestic terrorists and move from there? Probably because it would cause too much pain in certain sections of society.

          The man himself and the exceptions to Nationals tinkering and proposed gang legislation.


          • lprent

            Why not just brand them domestic terrorists and move from there? Probably because it would cause too much pain in certain sections of society.

            You haven’t read the NZBORA? It is really short and clear. Declaring them to be domestic terrorists makes very little differences to anyone’s rights within our legal system. It doesn’t give anyone an ability to trample over freedoms to association.

            After all any such law wouldn’t be hard to take an reapply it to the domestic terrorism (as I see it) of Groundswell, or NZ Initiative.

            Besides, I fail to see why this has the National party piddling in their bloomers. The police have dealt with exactly this kind of issue multiple times in the past. We still have various types of gangs, drug cartels, picket lines, rampant criminal capitalism, rebellious youth, synthetic drugs etc etc.

            Society and the police deal with them over and over again despite the idiotic chicken-littles and their pathetic posturing.
            The National party dickhead laws passed on each of those occasions that have done exactly nothing.

            What works is to just deal with the problem using the usual processes with some time and patience. It isn’t like any of this is a new problem.

            Legal niceties aside… We’d need a quasi citizens group with limited legal powers given present police numbers?

            I’d be happy to demonstrate to any such body why they shouldn’t exist. I have a large set of resistance strategies for dealing with socially retarded wannabe brown-shirts that I have spent decades wanting to test. I have restrained myself from doing so – because of those legal niceties. Remove the legal niceties, and I’ll be happy to demonstrate why the legal niceties are something that is pretty essential to maintain.

            I’m not exactly a pacifist. To learn some of the required techniques was among the three reasons that I joined the army in my youth. While I’m probably getting to be a bit old to be really active, I’m sure that I can help out any resistance with ideas and techniques.

        • Shanreagh

          I am aware of the US anti consorting law RICO.


          Tighhtly framed laws like the RICO type seem to have some success in the US. There are serious predicate offences including 'Terrorism'. This makes me wonder if our terrorist laws could be used.

          Looking at the success that joint ops – Customs, overseas justice & policing agencies and our own police seem to have against the importation of drugs does make me wonder if there is a key need for a tweak to our domestic laws. Perhaps going down the RICO way with investigations of criminal enterprises rather than individual crime might be a way. I am sure that many of these gangs would have little trouble in in fulfilling the predicate crime requirements.

          Though the going after gangs has elements of a moral panic.

          While we just cannot have drive-by shootings because of the risk to innocent people, when it comes to crime and impact on the wealth and welfare of the country the diversion away and starving of our tax system by various means has more impact on a Govt's ability to fund its programmes. Tax evasion. Some of these programmes may be ones that would nip in the bud, the conditions leading to gangs being seen as attractive.

      • KJT 1.1.2

        What happened to"freedom of association"?

        Nationals stated rational for removing compulsory Union membership.

        Mind you I have long given up expecting moral consistency from National.

        • Belladonna

          I think that you'll find that National were arguing there that no one should be required to join an association (union in that case).

          It really is a completely separate issue from banning 'criminal' associations, which is what they are discussing here.

          No lack of consistency.

          Please note, this doesn't imply I agree with National – but I don't believe your comparison holds water.

          • Blade

            Well said. Two separate issues.

          • KJT

            Freedom of association.

            Cuts both ways.

            • Belladonna

              I don't think so. National's argument is 'freedom' as in 'not compelled to'.

              No one is compelled to belong to a gang (or any other social or political group). It's a choice you make. Even if you choose to belong, no one is compelled to wear affiliation patches, etc. – you can choose to *not* wear them. Choices have consequences.

              Not at all the same argument.

              In the oooold days public servants who actually interacted with the public (lots didn't, purely backroom boys and girls), were forbidden to wear any affiliation pins, jewellery, etc.) IIRC, this was originally instituted to stop the wearing of Masonic emblems (but am open to correction, here)

              The reasoning was that the Public Service should be absolutely politically and socially neutral. It fell over in the 70s/80s, when employees wanted to 'express their solidarity' with various political causes – rainbow pins, anti-nuclear badges, pride emblems, etc.). I still feel it's wrong. Neutrality is an important principle.

              So, there is some social history on the side of stopping people wearing insignia in public spaces.

  2. ianmac 2

    Mitchell spokesman on National Law and Order is challenged by Jack to explain the detail of the Gang "solution." What a crash! Mitchell is a superficial empty vessel.

    From 6:45 minutes.


    • Yes! Presented with evidence that the Western Australian laws were not all that effective by Jack Tame, and upon which the Natz had based their ridiculous fear-mongering, he couldn't answer, so just ignored it.

      A train wreck of an interview – though I suspect the Natz were sensible to send Mercenary Mitchell rather than Luxon – he'd have been a complete disaster!

  3. joe90 3

    Pommy snark is the best snark.

    The new pop-up circuit is run by Saudi Arabia’s PIF as part of Vision 2030, the cultural project that is also a way of buying influence, outreach and soft power: art, music, sport, a football club.


    So we watched as one by one players at the Centurion Club pretended to have sound reasons for joining the breakaway, and then just gave up and effectively said it was for the money. Phil Mickelson looked notably baffled and sweaty, projecting all the calm moral authority of an evangelical Republican presidential candidate squinting into the police cruiser headlights as he’s hauled out of a Las Vegas ditch in a rubber gimp vest.

    Mickelson said he was, like, really worried about the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, because that was totally bad, and in the same breath talked about how he’s really enjoying hiking and skiing and improving his work-life balance. Lee Westwood talked about people being “scared of change”


    • Binders full of women 3.1

      Many golfers who are anti the Saudi deal (as am I) have come up with pearlers like this in the golf news comments…"should I lay up and use my wedge in, or use the bonesaw?,"

  4. joe90 4

    Non denominational electoral fuckery.


  5. alwyn 5

    I wanted to see where in Wellington is flooded at the moment. Like most of us I resorted to Uncle Google which offered me some stories. One of them was at this link from a radio station.


    If you care to look you will notice that it doesn't have any date on the story. Never mind. It looked like quite a good review.

    It seemed to be quite a full account and to tell me what I wanted to know. Anyone who reads it will probably get quite a long way into the story before they begin to get suspicious about it. You will realise that it isn't referring to today when you see reference to schools being closed but I just assumed the story was from Friday. It isn't until I read about a slip on SH1 at Pukerua Bay that I got intrigued. SH1 is now Transmission Gully and isn't anywhere the old road through Pukerua Bay. Further on I find comments from Kapiti Coast Mayor Ross Church! He hasn't been Mayor since 2016.

    Shouldn't news outlets remove old stories from their websites? And shouldn't they date everything they put there? At least people like me won't worry about people who live up the coast from here based on a many year old story.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      Would prefer old news items to remain available online – imho they're a useful source of searchable info; see Papers Past. "Those who cannot learn from history…" etc.

      Yes, ideally old stories should be clearly date/time-stamped, just like comments here.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        On second thoughts I agree with keeping them.

        They should date them though, and preferably highlight the date. Mana seems to get flooded a couple of times a year.

    • dv 5.2

      SLIP ON 58. Below Seaview.

      Mana new world flooded.

  6. Ad 7

    If anyone else is tuning into the January 6th Congressional Hearings the good question to be answered is this:

    – Where did the money come from?

    – Who paid for this over two-month effort to reverse the results of an election that President Joe Biden won by over eight million votes?

    – And who paid for what almost became a military coup as well as a violent insurrection?

    C'mon Dems: Follow The Money.

  7. Drowsy M. Kram 8

    National's gang-busting social media policy nearly impossible to police, says expert [12 June 2022]

    'It will not work': Ex-cop and National MP says party's gang policy is made for headlines [12 June 2022]

    At least they're having a go…

    Officer Bridges swings truncheon at gangs [27 Nov. 2019]
    ‘Strike Force Raptor’

    ‘Gang crackdown’ wins votes, doesn’t solve problems [14 Oct. 2019]
    As the number of gang members rises and meth floods the country, politicians are reverting to the well-worn promise to crack down on gangs. Laura Walters reports on why the discussion needs to change.

    National leader Simon Bridges is calling for a crackdown on gangs, saying the Government has been “soft on crime”.

    National’s gang plan bulldust says Peters [6 August 2014]

    The more things change…

    The rise and development of gangs in New Zealand [2010; PDF]
    The Political Response (excerpts from pages 680-684)
    Despite their appearance within New Zealand cities since the 1950s, gangs
    did not become an issue of distinct political concern until the early 1970s. This was most obviously demonstrated by populist calls before the 1974 election to ‘take the bikes off the bikies’. [And crush 'em?]

    Under the assertive leadership Robert Muldoon, the National government introduced a series of laws giving police greater power to target gangs’ unruly behaviour, but it was social initiatives that were to define the era. Initially, Muldoon oversaw the implementation of detached youth workers to try and transform gangs from negative forces into pro social ones. Primarily this was done by encouraging gang efforts toward establishing
    work cooperatives to make use of government funded work schemes that had been established to tackle rising unemployment.

    Indeed, given political realities that exist with times of hardship, I believe that social policies targeting gangs may be more likely to occur in times of economic prosperity, when the wider public are more amenable to offering assistance to marginal groups. But, either way, the cancelling of the work schemes also signalled the collapse of the political belief that the gang situation needed social redress as well as a law and order focus; and the latter once again rose to monopolise the country’s gang response.

    While the gangs had been difficult to counter, they had proven to be an effective means by which to garner electoral advantage. I argue that with a mix of good intentions and cynical politicking, political leaders have done more to create wider public fear of gangs than the actions of the gangs themselves.

    The political response to the rise of LA-style street gangs in the new
    millennium contrasted with this suppressive approach. With the government commissioning a study on the phenomenon – the first in more than two decades – the social causes of gang formation once again came to the fore. I have, however, suggested that this political change may prove temporary. Certainly, the politics around patched gangs have remained largely unchanged. Although certain legislative attempts at banning patches garnered a great deal more scrutiny than gang laws of the past, the broad cross party support for organised crime legislation is evidence that the perception of gang dominated organised criminal activity remains firmly entrenched. Any political turnaround to a more balanced and evidence-based appraisal and approach to patched gangs appears unlikely.

  8. joe90 9

    Fascinating yarn about a Google engineer who'd been conversing with AI chat bot LaMDA. He reckoned LaMDA was becoming sentient.

    https://archive.ph/qgVxc (wapo)

      • Nic the NZer 9.1.1

        Penrose argument doesn't stack up to me. He says there is something quantum mechanical going on which produces consciousness, but we know there is no microscopic difference between human brains and most kinds of animal brains. They are both made up of the same kinds of cells.

        What is different is the macroscopic structure of those brains and those differences should therefore explain the difference in intelligence between humans and animals. To me this suggests there is some quite significant part of intelligence which follows from human genome. Whereas if Penrose is correct and its about the microstructure of the brain then there should be a smaller intelligence gap between humans and animals than is present.

        I also believe there is a certain very basic level of rudimentary intelligence in some creatures which has been simulated at the neurological level by computer. Again if Penrose is correct this should be insufficient to describe those creatures thinking.

  9. observer 10

    The lead story on TV3 (Newshub) was the growing, disturbing threats to the PM online. Worth watching.

    But they fudged the issue. Vaccine mandates are not the prime motivation. Nor is any other policy, like gun reform. These can be subject to robust debate, including protest, without death threats.

    Christchurch councillor Sarah Templeton correctly identified the issue. Misogyny.

    After all, she has been subject to the same online vitriol, and she has no role whatsoever in deciding government policy on anything. What she does have is a vagina.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend WTO meetings
    Trade Minister Damien O’Connor travels to Europe today for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12). While at the WTO he will meet with ministerial counterparts from other countries to discuss bilateral and regional trade and economic issues, and progress New Zealand’s ongoing EU-NZ FTA negotiations. He will also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government takes bowel cancer programme nationwide
    The Government’s lifesaving bowel-screening programme is now available across the whole country, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The programme has been successfully rolled out across the country over five years. In that time, cancers have been detected in 1400 people as a result of screening. Thirty-five per cent of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to New Zealand General Practice Conference and Medical Exhibition
      Tēnā tātou katoa Kei ngā pou o te whare hauora ki Aotearoa, kei te mihi. Tēnā koutou i tā koutou pōwhiri mai i ahau. E mihi ana ki ngā taura tangata e hono ana i a tātou katoa, ko te kaupapa o te rā tērā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • O Mahurangi Penlink at the construction starting line
    The new O Mahurangi Penlink transport connection in north Auckland has passed another milestone following the signing of the construction alliance agreement today, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. As part of the Government’s $8.7 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, O Mahurangi Penlink will provide growing communities in Silverdale, Whangaparāoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Principals’ Federation Conference 2022
    Tena kotou katoa, It’s a pleasure to be here with you today.  Thank you for inviting myself and my esteemed colleague Minister Sio. I do want to firstly extend the apologies of the Minister of Education Hon Chris Hipkins We have lots to catch up on! The past two and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding boost to empower women to farm for the future
    Women will play a significant role in how New Zealanders farm for the future, and new Government funding will help them pave the way, Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri said. “We’ve committed $473,261 over two years through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago