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Open mike 12/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 12th, 2020 - 243 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 …

243 comments on “Open mike 12/10/2020 ”

  1. Ed 1

    Interesting (and concerning ) research showing COVID can last 28 days on some surfaces.


    Such information is a reminder to us that we cannot be complacent..

    As Sharon Murdoch said in her cartoon, we need to be a lert.

    The world needs lerts.


    • Treetop 1.1

      What a combination bank notes, screens, stainless steel, glass, plastic and cooler temperatures. It is not hard to see how community transmission is spread without coughing, sneezing or talking occurring.

      Mask wearing, distancing, hand washing, testing, contact tracing and isolation, were this not to occur the number of infections would be far greater. The second wave in the Northern Hemisphere is looking far worse than the first wave.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1


        Victoria and NSW have given up on eliminating and the quote is that they are going to try to control but understand that it will keep 'bobbing along'. The point is made that there are many borders, it is a big land mass, more than NZ. And, hopefully, they have not run down their medical systems as we have.

        They are making plenty of money from us, which leads to our skewed economy, hopefully they are putting their bank and supermarket profits into useful infrastructure and services over there.

        Just to remind ourselves of the various control methods for Covid 19 from our NZESR:


        The strain of knowing that there are different strains. Oooh er!
        The six strains of SARS-CoV-2 — ScienceDaily http://www.sciencedaily.com › releases › 2020/08

        Aug 3, 2020 — Despite its mutations, the virus shows little variability, and this is good news for … virus causing the COVID19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, presents at least six strains. … The original one is the L strain, that appeared in Wuhan in December 2019. … 14, 2020 — In a new paper, experts comment on the future of …

        The coronavirus is mutating — does it matter? – Nature http://www.nature.com › news feature
        Sep 8, 2020 — Different SARS-CoV-2 strains haven't yet had a major impact on the course of the …

        Oct.5/20 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300124671/covid19-the-nz-strains-and-our-second-wave-of-coronavirus
        This is a long-form piece with lots of info and detail, thanks stuff and Marc Daalder of Newsroom. At the end there is an update on the vaccine situation which is rather cheering.

        In an audit of New Zealand's genome sequencing programme, EPA chief science advisor Michael Bunce recommended the Government prioritise genomic surveillance of the virus to monitor potentially dangerous mutations.

        "Aotearoa New Zealand needs to embrace genomic tools and analyses for long-term monitoring of viral evolution. This is not simply an academic exercise, rather there is a pressing need to monitor the viral lineages that are circulating (akin to seasonal influenza tracking)," he wrote.

        But the slow rate of mutation – just 24 a year on average – should remain a solace both to researchers working on vaccines and the rest of us, who hope to one day take one.

        • Treetop

          I see that vaccines such as the BCG are being looked at. Modifying the BCG has as much chance as something undiscovered. A proven vaccine is the best possible outcome to manage Covid – 19.

          • greywarshark

            Sounds good. Hope it works. Talk I previously heard is that we may end up with a yearly vaccine tailored to the most outrageous of the nasty dots wanting to get at us. Similar to the present flu vaccine but additional to.

  2. Jake 2

    Scanning the Herald this morning, just noted they are charging for an article that was published in The Independent (UK) yesterday….on a Murdoch leaving his father’s (Rupert) company.

    • ianmac 2.1

      James Murdoch. A wise man?

      But in his briskly analytical way, over lunch and a subsequent phone call, he tried to explain why he "pulled the rip cord," as he put it, after deepening estrangement with his father and brother and growing discomfort over the toxicity of Fox News and other conservative News Corp properties.

      "I reached the conclusion that you can venerate a contest of ideas, if you will, and we all do and that's important," he told me. "But it shouldn't be in a way that hides agendas. A contest of ideas shouldn't be used to legitimise disinformation. And I think it's often taken advantage of. And I think at great news organisations, the mission really should be to introduce fact to disperse doubt — not to sow doubt to obscure fact, if you will.

      • sumsuch 2.1.1

        I was wondering how Rupert could look himself in the face. Let alone his recent missus. It must be clear to him now it's got down to a war on democratic processes. And the affront to his journalistic instincts of Trumpism.

  3. ScottGN 3

    Richard Harman on his Politik website is suggesting that Collins has had to rejig her campaign diary in this final week. She’s now not going to Tauranga (a visit that somehow Simon Bridges wasn’t even aware of) and instead will head to Hamilton where, according to Harman , the two National held seats are now at risk.


    • Ed 3.1

      Very interesting.

      From the article you referenced

      POLITIK understands that Collins and the party hierarchy believe they have identified the MP who leaked the email. The MP cannot be named for legal reasons, but they are in the top 20 of the caucus and to put it on the record, it is neither Lee nor Simon Bridges.

      Who has a grievance in the top 20?

      Who has motive?

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        Collins has apparently confronted the MP, and three separate sources have told POLITIK that her approach was greeted with what one described as a tirade.


    • mosa 3.2

      But with Collins turning up in Hamilton wont that put those two seats in even more risk ?

    • Peter 3.3

      There is no way Collins would be going to Tauranga and the siting MP not knowing. I there?

  4. PsyclingLeft.Always 4

    Facial Recognition. Coming soon…Everywhere?

    ‘However, the aim to expand the use of biometrics for multiple uses by Crown agencies is clear in documents obtained under the Official Information Act from Internal Affairs, the police and others.’

    "The business outcome… is to deliver a fit-for-purpose and supported Facial Recognition Solution that will increase productivity, reduce cost and extend the capability across and beyond" the Service Delivery and Operations branch, said a privacy assessment of the DXC system by Internal Affairs.

    Police tender documents show they sought out a system that could be used in the future to import drivers' licence and passport photos, and masses more facial images than currently, though police deny they will use their Dataworks Plus-NEC system for that.


    No fucking way is this acceptable

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1

      "the company has been criticised in the UK for being less than transparent about how these all-important algorithms 'learn' who to raise the alarm about."


      Labour? What is the story?

    • Treetop 4.2

      When it comes to identifying a person for a specific reason proper facial recognition is required. It is the use of the information gathered which needs to be administered according to legislation which is clear and understood.

      Would you have an issue with police using a body webcam on a normal shift?

      • RedBaronCV 4.2.1

        Nothing is required! There is a big difference between some local camera on a local cop recording a personal local interaction and scanning everyone that passes a particular place or uses a particular service.

        There is no reason for surveillance of the public going about their lawful business and any law and order stuff is just rubbish. How many people would be scanned to pick up the one person in years doing some thing they shouldn't that couldn't be identified in any other way.

        Labour need to get on top of this pronto. The chilling sight of China selling the system they use on the Uighers to Iran should stop anyone in their tracks

        • Treetop

          A system which does the job and does not violate a person's freedom or rights is required.

          The police have made more than one IT blunder. Remember INCIS a computer system which flopped.

          • RedBaronCV

            Somehow we managed to identify people adequately before facial recognition. Once it's in it will be very hard to get it out. Plus extending to private firms -who thought that was a good idea.

            I'm still a no -any safeguards would be gone by lunchtime with a right wing government.

            • Treetop

              Your no is clear.

              Lazy policing methods would occur and security firms do not have the ability to arrest a person.

              I would not want to be caught up in being questioned or on a list just because my face was detected near a crime scene.

              • McFlock

                The other problem is a camera with bad lighting using technology that routinely has difficulty correctly identifying people of colour in ideal conditions has a high likelihood of not just rounding up the usual suspects, but forcing the suspects to prove their innocence because "computer says you were there".

                And a proprietary algorithm that the defence can't interrogate or examine? Not only would they have to prove the computer wrong to discount that piece of "evidence", disagreeing with it would make them look like liars and therefore lower the weight of the other evidence they present. You know, stuff like true alibis.

        • gsays

          I am with you on this RBCV, however I feel we will be in the minority.

          We have access to a bach near Taupo, on a street running to the lake with a river on one side.

          A mix of locals and bach owners concerned with crime have put a digital CCTV camera up. Thru a FB page they have lobbied folk to gauge enthusiasm for $ to maintain the device.

          Overwhelmingly in favour is how would describe the response. I have asked a couple of questions e.g., who 'owns' the data, how they intend to deal with privacy issues should they arise. Not got an answer yet….

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          4.2.1 Absolutely !! And an FYI for anyone… When the whole 5 Eyes spy BS was started. Fark I debated and pushed back many times AGAINST John Key and the nats trying to have surveillance on ALL of us.

          Now Labour is going there?

          And re the Police, SIS etc? They already have more than enough Laws and Tech to do their jobs. Have done for Years.

    • Gabby 4.3

      I'm sure the judiciary will rule it's not to be used near brothels.

  5. ScottGN 5

    Leaving aside the total bullshit around National’s lies about the Green’s Wealth Tax, it’s the target audience that’s probably the most interesting aspect.

    The party has been forced, in the last week, to roll out some pretty crude scare tactics to try and regather one of its usually most constant voting cohorts, wealthy, mortgage free retired kiwis.

    • Treetop 5.1

      The wealthy mortgage free retired Kiwis are the new Act Party voters.

      Seymour is going to be the big winner next Saturday when it comes to a comparison on how much a leader has grown their party. His end of life bill will probably pass, as it is not harmful to others apart from immediate family starting the grieving process earlier than they would have.

  6. francesca 6

    For Greywarshark , who reads widely , a precis of how pandemics have dramatically changed societies


    • RedLogix 6.1

      This one is going to accelerate changes already in train. The Americans are no longer going to provide the default security guarantee and global trade structure; we are going to rapidly see a number of powers attempt to occupy the vacuum created. It will be messy.

      It was going to be about a decade off, now it's next year or so.

      • francesca 6.1.1

        Is it going to be a replication of the triumphalist superpower in full spectrum domination , or perhaps something more mature and multi polar, where we accept flux and negotiation.Who knows, the art of true diplomacy may come to the fore

        It's going to be a bumpy ride the next little while though

    • Greywarshark could also read 'Nature's Mutiny' by Blom. About the little ice age from about 1580 to 1670 and the profound effect it had on society.

      In the early years they burned a few witches to appease an angry God when crops failed. When that didn't seem to work the people turned to other solutions. By the end of the century of low temperatures a embryonic capitalistic system was embedded in Europe.

      A very readable and insightful book.

      Climate change is going to have profound effects on life.

      • francesca 6.2.1

        Taken note and will read


        • Dennis Frank


          global temperatures dropped approximately 1°C around the year 1400. By the 1500s, the temperature drop had reached 2°C, resulting in extreme weather events. England’s historically temperate Thames River froze over five times between 1400 and 1550, and between 1551 and 1700 it was covered in thick ice 12 times.

          Harvests failed during this period, and for a social world largely centered on grain production, this was a disaster. Peasants starved and could no longer pay their masters. Various “messiahs, seers, occultists, witches, magicians, and charlatans” proffered explanations of nature’s nervous breakdown, and a frenzy of finger-pointing led to rampant torture and burning of scapegoats.

          Blom suggests that the crisis in agriculture led to a vast reorganization of land use and land ownership, which changed social structures and power relationships. Farms and estates that once operated in a self-enclosed system began to produce more efficiently and to look to long-distance trade. To facilitate the new system of production and far-flung markets, regulatory bodies were established, and roads were built. European powers looking outward identified whole continents full of natural resources that they enthusiastically plundered, ushering in the age of colonialism.

          • Adrian

            There are monastry wine makers records that show that the cold from about 1590 was preceded by a very warm period when it was possible for picknickers to walk across the Rhine at Frankfurt even by ladies in the volumnous dresses of the day and only get their feet a little wet, according to Hugh Johnson in The Story of Wine and this year The Little Ice Age by Prof Brian Fagan of University of California Santa Barbara. Both excellent reads esp Fagans on how climate has shaped our history.

            • Dennis Frank

              esp Fagans on how climate has shaped our history

              Yeah, he continued that in another of his books, The Long Summer, which I've got. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/may/29/featuresreviews.guardianreview11

              Of immediate concern to those in western Europe is the state of health of the Gulf Stream. Once, about 13,000 years ago, a vast frozen lake in north America melted and, in a remarkably short period of time (in geological terms), dumped its freshwater contents into the Sea of Labrador. The Gulf Stream, which is only a small part of the planet-girdling "conveyor belt" of ocean currents, came to a halt. An icy chill hit Europe, and drought settled on the Middle East. This incident, known as the Younger Dryas, was a mere blip in the Earth's gradual recovery from the Ice Age, but it lasted for 1,000 years.

              At present, the icecap on Greenland is leaking cold meltwater into the north Atlantic at the same rate as the Nile empties into the Mediterranean. This alone should concentrate the minds of the politicians, economists and farmers. Halting the Gulf Stream might be Earth's compensatory way of restoring an icecap to the North Pole, but in the process it will be farewell to everything and everybody north of Morocco.

        • greywarshark

          Sounds interesting – will put it in my later file Francesca and Tony V, Adrian.

          And Dennis F thanks also – when we had a break in our regular trade with UK we went stir crazy and invited everybody to the selling-up auction.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1

      If only they were socialists…I wish!

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        It's sort of an attack on democracy really – people who are supposed to be able to form modern joined-up thoughts and put their reasoned thinking into choosing a capable leader with wide knowledge and the wisdom to apply it for the good of everyone. I don't feel encouraged about getting a good outcome from the brainwork of citizens revelling in this sort of graffiti. And witches are so passe' aren't they. Aren't they?

    • anker 7.2

      Was driving through Petone yesterday and noticed that a number of Labs signs graffitied with really facile comments like above. Facile

      Said to hubby at least when the left do this we most often show wit and intelligence.

    • woodart 7.3

      I would vote for a socialist witch, probably vote for a socialist which …

      • Pat 7.3.1

        or even a socialist switch

      • sumsuch 7.3.2

        Well, we need a war govt to deal with climate change, so that is socialism. Though National is slipping away from recognition of climate change to engineer more immediate rewards for themselves.

  7. ScottGN 8

    Be interesting to see if Ardern heads to Auckland Central in this last week? Winning is still an uphill battle for Swarbrick but she’s clearly in another league from White and Mellow.

  8. mosa 9

    " Winning is still an uphill battle for Swarbrick but she’s clearly in another league from White and Mellow "

    Yes from what i have seen of White and Mellow ( sounds like an accounting firm ) Swarbrick would be a marvellous asset for the good people of Auckland Central.

    It is a shame they don't seem to see that.

  9. ScottGN 10

    @mosa 9

    I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Swarbrick coming through the middle on election night. Be great to see that happen.

  10. Marcus Morris 11

    Yesterday I received an unsolicited and personalised email from Judith Collins. Its content, which is fear mongering at its worst, is attempting to link Labour policy to the Green's Wealth Tax proposal. Jacinda Ardern has stated quite categorically that this is not true and so scurrilous misinformation.

    It is obviously aimed at gold card holders and a number of my acquaintances, who share my indignation, have also received it.

    The serious question is, how did the National Party obtain those email addresses. If they came from a Grey Power data base or even a Gold Card data base then this must be a breach of privacy which should be investigated. Do others share my concern.

    • Brigid 11.1

      Ask the sender of this email how they obtained you email address. You could also get assurance from your grey power chairperson that they've not given it to any marketing outfit.

      But how they would get your email address from a gold card database. Is there such a thing?

    • Tricledrown 11.2

      Grey Power need looking into telling members to vote no on the cannabis reeferendum without consulting members when 70% of elderly people are for a yes vote.

  11. Janet 12

    NZ Herald 12 Oct

    “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she will reconsider a decision to deny a grieving British family entry to New Zealand.

    Ardern said this morning that she stood by a decision not to let yachts in the Pacific dock here during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    She said she did not want a scenario in which people could not fly into New Zealand but could sail in.”

    The blue water yachts sailing the world oceans have annually migrated and brought business to New Zealand when they sailed away from the tropical areas of the Pacific to avoid being there in the hurricane season. To sail from Tahiti to NZ, as this family will have to do , will take about 20 days so they will not arrive Covid stricken.

    I bet the super yacht owners and all their friends will be “facilitated” to come to NZ in time for the Americas Cup Races – but will the lovers and friends ( those that do not have “partner” status) of New Zealanders currently held at bay overseas , be invited in first. What wins MONEY of Kiwi happiness ? Right now I am ashamed to be a New Zealander.

    • Gabby 12.1

      But surely the blue water yachts have had the sense to lay up at this time. Surely they can't have thought they could drift through the carnage unaffected, munching their lotuses?

    • Ad 12.2

      Harden up Cupcake.

      • RedLogix 12.2.1

        I've done this one to death elsewhere.

        Frankly the opiniated tosh coming from people here who have no understanding of yachting and what's at stake for these people has been… an eyeopener.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          RL, frankly the opinionated tosh coming from people who appear to have a poor grasp of pandemic epidemiology and what's at stake globally has been… an eye-opener. On 2 October, you wrote (in separate comments):

          I realise the NZ left has good political reasons to want this COVID pandemic to go on indefinitely, but it's over

          "But from an epidemiology perspective … it’s over. Well if we want it to be that is."

          The daily number of new COVID infections continues to outstrip recovered cases, so the number of active COVID cases globally continues to rise. On 2 October, when you boldly and repeatedly opined "It's over", the number of active cases was apparently 7.72 million; currently there are 8.31 million infected patients.


          Officially, COVID-19 has infected less than 0.5% of humans , so it seems unlikely that "it's over", even allowing for vitamin D supplementation and whatever other 'magic bullet' / 'snake oil' straws one might want to clutch at. Apologies for doing "this one to death" (an unfortunate choice of words), but your opinion on this particular aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic are misleading and dangerous to public health, IMHO.

          Edit: Reading those two quotes again, you appear to be implying that those critiquing your opinions might want COVID-19-related illness and death to continue – pretty offensive.

          • RedLogix

            Take your complaint to WHO. They've come out this week against continued lockdowns as the only tool against Covid.

            We now have an array of smarter, less blunt, tools to help manage this disease. And in the week since I made those quotes above, it looks like a lot of qualified medical people are thinking along similar lines.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              RL, my "complaint" is that you are promulgating the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Don't lean too hard on the WHO for support; how do you imagine that organisation, or indeed “a lot of qualified medical people” would respond to your assertion that "It's over"? laugh

              We now have an array of smarter, less blunt, tools to help manage” diabetic conditions, but diabetes isn’t over.

              You can delude yourself as much as you want, but please don’t mislead others.

              • RedLogix

                It's over from a strategic perspective. Its no longer an unknown, uncontrolled threat. Which means we can start thinking about what comes next.

                I’ve made this distinction clear enough already, but obviously it suits you to pretend otherwise.

                Diabetes kills between 1 – 2m people each year, and we manage it without resort to extraordinary measures that have huge costs to the whole of society. Covid is going to eventually become something similar.

                • McFlock

                  Diabetes isn't highly contagious.

                  • RedLogix

                    All comparisons are flawed. But it was DMK who made it in the first place.

                    But let's see, we could probably stop diabetes in its tracks if govts exerted a complete totalitarian control over diet and exercise. Comfortable with that?

                    • McFlock

                      Doing it for a month or so would have minimal effect on diabetes. It would also require carefully tailored programmes for each individual, lest heart attack rates and other comorbidities skyrocket.

                      L4 for a month or so saved thousands of NZers' lives, and means we can go to sports games without it being a "super-spreader" event.

                      In short, your comparison could well make the diabetes problem worse, while the "totalitarian" action actually imposed has led to greater freedoms than many other nations currently have.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  You could have written 'It's not [anywhere near] over, yet', but that wouldn't have suited your argument/position, so you chose to deceive and wrote "It's over" – twice. And now your writing that:

                  "It's over from a strategic perspective. Its no longer an unknown, uncontrolled threat."

                  I personally believe it’s simply more “opinionated tosh” to assert that COVID-19 is "no longer an uncontrolled threat". Recorded daily global deaths have been between 4,000 and 6,000 since 28 April, and currently at 5,285 (7-day moving average) – ffs, think for a moment if the families and friends of the thousands of people who will die tomorrow due to COVID-19 infections view it as 'over' – that’s a morally repugnant view IMHO.

                  Your point of view remains a mystery to me, moreso because you previously stated that:

                  "We still have some way to go to properly understand the epidemiology of this virus."

                  I get that you want the COVID-19 pandemic to be over. I certainly wish it was over. But no amount of wanting and wishing by us will make a blind bit of difference. The COVID-19 pandemic is what it is, and it's NOT over, "from a strategic perspective" or otherwise. You're position on this issue is simply not credible or rational, and I can only conclude that irrationality is at the root of your apparent need to dig yourself ever deeper.

                  • RedLogix

                    The remarkable thing about the global daily death rate is how stable it is now. This is not a pandemic spiralling out of control. It represents less than 4% of all deaths, despite the case rate continuing to climb.

                    Also check the data we do have for the excess death rate. This paints another picture again


                    A huge bump back in March April May, and now almost back to normal. Or below.

                    We did the right move at the beginning, but the right move now may well be different.

                    • McFlock

                      a regular 10-20% increase in some nations weekly mortality is "almost back to normal"?

                      Only because the peaks before substantial numbers of people did what the governments were too cowardly or corrupt to require. So now we have places like the US, where huge numbers of people are in lockdown (voluntary or locally-mandated) for months while others hug each other at maskless political events, just to keep it ticking over.

                      I, for one, don't want to risk an "almost normal" 20% increase in mortality in NZ.

                    • RedLogix []

                      Are you looking at the same graphic?

                    • McFlock

                      Yup. I also looked at the note about the reporting lag for recent weeks, and looked at the button to "add country".

                      But most of all, I looked at the Y-axis scale.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      It's a "remarkable thing" that we can have such different opinions about what a stable global COVID-19 death rate of 5,000 (give or take) per day means for the pandemic. Your evolving position:

                      "…but it's over"

                      "…but from an epidemiology perspective… it's over"

                      "It's over from a strategic perspective."

                      is an intriguing one, but I'm not convinced your selected words accurately reflect the current stage of the pandemic.

                      Hopefully the COVID-19 case and fatality rates will begin to edge down within a few months, and your "it's over" will eventually match pandemic reality – maybe when (or if) a moderately effective vaccine is widely available. But if the COVID-19 trajectories of some other OECD countries are anything to go by, then letting our guard down is just asking for trouble.

                    • RedLogix

                      fatality rates will begin to edge down within a few months

                      And a quick glimpse of the data clearly shows that despite a rising number of cases globally, the number of deaths is stable. This absolutely means the Case Fatality Rate must be declining and has been for months … good news.

                      But if the COVID-19 trajectories of some other OECD countries are anything to go by, then letting our guard down is just asking for trouble.

                      Nonetheless the shape of these curves is broadly similar, a bump and then a decline back to nearly normal or below. Even Sweden where they never put their guard up much in the first place.

                      Someone might just look at them all and conclude that from the perspective of why we did the lockdowns and travel bans back in March … it's effectively over. Globally it's not exponentially spiralling out of control, and we now have an array of tools to manage this disease in the usual way. Lockdowns should no longer be the primary tool that govts reach to.

                      This is now the view of WHO and numerous other highly qualified medical professionals, so while I accept it's still a controversial position, it's not an uninformed or ignorant one.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Possibly morecontroversial” for NZ than for the nine OECD countries with rates of COVID-19 deaths per million at least 100 times ours. Might relaxing NZ’s border controls now be likened to gradually decreasing the concentration of fluoride in drinking water?


                      It's hardly surprising that a global pandemic would increase inequality and so hardship, but is the optimal solution really to allow the virus to spread until herd immunity (still rather contentious for COVID – remember your perceptive comment regarding our incomplete understanding of COVID epidemiology) is established? This would appear to be advocating that the total number of COVID-19 cases globally should be allowed to increase to a point were there are roughly 100 times the number of people infected – this would presumably (somehow) occur in a controlled fashion. Still, I can't help wondering if there might be some other way to alleviate poverty – some other way. After all, there really is more than enough wealth to go around.

                      Don't know about Aussie, but found these links.

                      'Fatally flawed': AMA fires back at letter
                      "However, despite the good intentions of the medial experts’ letter, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has fired back, saying the letter is “fatally flawed’ and lifting restrictions too soon would only allow the virus to spread uncontrollably.

                      “The absolute worst thing that could possibly happen would be another lockdown and it is important while this lockdown is working – which it clearly is – that it is followed through to achieve the road map the state government has set out,” AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said."

                      Then there's this.

                      “Well, what we really say is do it all,” she responded. “We say don’t just do one thing. Don’t just rely on your border closure or your mass quarantine, do absolutely everything you can because where we are seeing a failure or we are seeing a rise in cases people have focused just one thing and this is again where lockdowns can be problematic.

                      “When people come out of lockdowns they think, ‘OK, it is over, we don’t have to do all of the other things any more’ and in fact it is all the other things that really work.”

                      He then asked her whether Australia should open its borders to the rest of the world.

                      “What we are seeing that really works is strong quarantine and strong monitoring at borders,” she said. “So if you are looking at, really following everybody who comes in, really putting them in quarantine, really putting them in quarantine, really making sure that happens, then we are certainly seeing that is what prevents transmission.”

                      In order to get some clarification, Karl asked whether this means we should open the borders but still enforce a two-week quarantine once people arrive.

                      “So what we are saying is exactly, manage your borders. No whether it is open or closed but really, really manage your borders,” Dr Harris said.

                    • RedLogix

                      Seems to relaxing border controls for NZ now would be akin to not finishing a course of antibiotics.

                      Yes. I get that, we saved lives at the front end, but now we're faced with another kind of challenge at the back end. It seems to me NZ is betting the farm on an effective vaccine.

                      At present NZ is nowhere near 'herd immunity', at whatever level you choose to put that number, effectively COVID has never really happened in NZ, which is forcing us into a posture of extreme vulnerability all the while waiting on a vaccine to rescue us. Is this really a sustainable strategy?

                      As I've said repeatedly, back in March when faced with many unknowns lockdowns were absolutely the right thing to do. But in six months the ground has shifted.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "As I've said repeatedly, back in March when faced with many unknowns lockdowns were absolutely the right thing to do. But in six months the ground has shifted."

                      With over a million dead, and at least as many seriously debilitated, the ground has indeed shifted – we now know that COVID-19 is a dangerous virus. I'll behave accordingly until a reliable treatment and/or vaccine is available – it's an easy personal choice to make here.

                      As NZ progressed down the COVID alert levels for the first time, we went to a popular local resaurant to celebrate level 3 –> 2. It was a little too popular, and wasn't observing the mandated health safety rules. Haven't been back – fortunately there are plenty of safety-conscious eateries to choose from.

                      "At present NZ is nowhere near 'herd immunity'", and as you point out we don't even know if as few as 50% of the population (or even less) would need to be infected to achieve effective herd immunity (if herd immunity is even possible for this virus.) If ~50% turns out to be the level of exposure required for herd immunity, then we're already ~1% of the way down that road – yay.

                      I'm under no illusions that economic considerations will eventually dominate health concerns, but I'll get (well) behind any government, health service, organisation and individual applying the brakes and urging caution, and drag my heels every step of the way.

                      Stamp it out, keep it out – "We don't know how lucky we are…", and I'd rather that didn't become "We don't know how lucky we were"

                    • RedLogix

                      Stamp it out, keep it out

                      Nah, a completely idiotic and in the long term, impossible dream. It will fail.

                      There are only two ways out of this, a vaccine or herd immunity.

                      The article I linked to on herd immunity above is a reasonably well balanced read on this. It could be a number as high as 70% based on a simple analysis, or as low as 20% if you start introducing other considerations. Differing specialists are making various argument. But NZ has effectively taken this possibility off the table for the time being.

                      So a vaccine it is … what if we never get one? How many more lockdowns can we do?

                      And here is a WHO spokesperson speaking to the NZ situation; effectively saying the same thing as I am. Use all the tools at your disposal, but don’t rely on lockdowns as your primary tool:


                    • McFlock

                      There are only two ways out of this, a vaccine or herd immunity.

                      Vaccines create herd immunity. Herd immunity without vaccines is just infecting millions and watching people die.

                      The third way out of this is that we keep mandatory border isolation. It'll also help with the next pandemic, too.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "There are only two ways out of this, a vaccine or herd immunity." – RL @8:47 am

                      You’ve repeatedly stated "it's over", so why do we need a 'way out'? Is the COVID-19 pandemic over, and if not then why were you promulgating the idea that it was?

                      Herd immunity remains a dream until ~50% of NZers have been infected; maybe not even then. At the moment ~1,800 NZers have been infected, so one of your "ways out" consists of letting the number of people who have been infected with COVID-19 rise (gradually?) to ~2,500,000. No thanks – that's a BIG fail, IMHO.

                      I'm not holding out much hope for an effective vaccine either, but that's still a better bet than banking on at least 2,500,000 NZers being infected.

                      If you're planning on returning to NZ anytime soon then you'll have to do the 14-day managed isolation, just like everyone else.

            • McFlock

              Lucky L4 is not our only tool then, isn't it.

        • KJT

          This it what I ve written elsewhere. Note I am in the business myself.

          "While I would be inclined to support the yachties, being one myself, and living in an area where many jobs depend on boating and visitors. However New Zealand has hundreds of thousands asking for exemptions. Including industries that make a lot more than services, to notoriously frugal, cruisers. Every group that is exempted increases the risk, even if by a small amount. At the moment we have totally free movement within NZ, no covid outside isolation, and most of our industries working, unlike the USA. A resurgence puts all that at risk, including the many people, most of NZ, whose jobs depend on keeping covid out. The Government has to draw a line in the sand with our border, somewhere. As the more people we have to quarantine the greater the chances of more outbreaks. It is a numbers game. The more we let in the more risk. I'm an essential worker that travels around NZ. Very pleased our Government has kept covid away from me so far. Unlike similar people in other countries. People I knew in the USA are dead! Those ignoring the rules are somewhat arrogant, to say the least. Just look at the US reaction to those disobeying border rules. Indefinite detention without trial."

          • RedLogix

            In short, "I'm alright Jack … fuck you".

            • KJT

              So. We should fuck the entire country and the rest of our workers and businesses that can go to work.

              For the benefit of a few.

              You can fuck off.

              • solkta

                Yeh, cracks me up how RL gets all passionate about groups he cares about but shows zero regard for others.

                • McFlock

                  If we self-identify as "yachties" would he have time for "woke" principles, I wonder 👿

                  • solkta

                    you'd have to buy all them black and queer folk boats mate. If people were getting shot for sailing while black you'd see some action for sure.

            • KJT

              By the way there are a huge number of commercial ships crews that have been stuck on board for 17 months or more now. With no shore leave. Including in New Zealand.

              On many ships little or no contact with family.

              Having accidents after months of 12 hour split shifts.

              No one gives a stuff about them. accept to crucify them if something goes wrong.

              And you expect me to be worried about a few yachties. Who can fly home and pay a New Zealand crew to sail their boat to Opua, if it is that desperate.

              Already pressure from our "poverty stricken" farmers and growers to let their slave labour back in. Not to mention the education sector wanting to resume their student scam. If they all had their way, as National is dog whistling, we would be back to 10’s of thousand of arrivals per month, in private quarantine.

              If anyone should be given priority to enter NZ, it should be shore leave and repatriation for the ships crews, that deliver our groceries and depart with our exports.

            • KJT

              RL. Personally, I would be better off financially if the yachties were allowed in.

            • Draco T Bastard

              NZ does not have any responsibility to the boaters but we do have a responsibility to those here in NZ.

              Living on boats comes with risk. No point whinging about it when those risks call due.

          • greywarshark

            KJT @ 7.49 am Really good explanation of why we should be maintaining our tight line on the borders. Then the government can decide who to let in on what basis and how to handle them. Well said.

    • Brigid 12.3

      "She said she did not want a scenario in which people could not fly into New Zealand but could sail in"

      That is the bottom line. The sooner yachties understand this the better.

      • RedLogix 12.3.1

        Yet oddly enough several thousand people are arriving by air each week, all of them a much higher Covid risk.

        Kiwis are making total dicks of themselves on this.

        • Incognito

          You’re comparing people with different entry qualifications, i.e. apples with oranges.

          • RedLogix

            Covid doesn't care about entry qualifications.

            Someone who set out to sail across the Pacific is in a very different position to someone who can't fly here. There's your apples and oranges for you.

        • Andre

          Several thousand New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are arriving by air each week.

          Any New Zealand citizens and permanent residents on yachts in the South Pacific have been free to return at any time. But if they arrive with crew that aren't currently eligible to arrive here considering the pandemic situation, then those crew members won't find a welcome. And if the yacht they arrive on isn't NZ owned etc, then that's problematic too.

        • solkta

          No, i think just one, hereabout anyway.

        • Pat

          "several thousands per week"might be considered overstating it….

          "There was a net gain of 5200 New Zealand citizens between April and August this year, which was partially offset by a net loss of 3500 non-New Zealand citizens, leaving a net gain of 1700 overall."


        • Brigid

          If they arrive by air and are NZ citizens of course they permitted entry. The difference is that those coming by boat that are not permitted entry are not NZ citizens. How difficult is that to understand?

          • RedLogix

            In the normal course of events they would have been granted visitor visas. That's what they were relying on when they set out.

            If you got on a plane to a country like Australia with automatic visa entry, and half way into your flight the authorities of that country cancelled all entry, arrested you when you landed, put you in prison, deported you and fined you a sum equal to the value of your home, I think you would see this as unreasonable.

            • Andre

              That's a gross misrepresentation. They've been made aware they’re not welcome before boarding, not mid-flight.

              Circumstances change during travel. It happens. When you became aware that you're not welcome at your next intended destination, you change plans and routes before you leave where you are currently.

              • RedLogix

                Once you depart the Eastern Pacific, the only practical destination for most is going to be Aus/NZ. The route is pretty much predetermined.

                Sure it's a long slow flight with many stopovers, and the timetable might change, but the parallel is reasonably apt in my view.

                • Andre

                  Once you depart the Eastern Pacific, the only practical destination for most is going to be Aus/NZ.

                  When I was connected to the industry, there were plenty of boats doing all kinds of alternative routes that I was aware of. Sure, they weren't all cushy downwind slides, some of them were long and uncomfortable slogs upwind. But they were doable and were being done.

                  • RedLogix

                    In the right boat with a strong crew yes. But most short handed cruisers would be exhausted in less than a week.

                    Sailing upwind is doable for short legs, but for 3 – 4 weeks or more, it's not an option for most. Throw in the constant ocean swell and performance is even worse. Most cruising boats are not set up to do it for long periods, and things start to break.

            • McFlock

              Yeah, that can happen, too.

              There are no guarantees in international travel. Sailors should know this better than anyone.

            • Brigid

              Are their visitor visas still valid?

              • Craig H

                If they don't travel here, the visa remains valid until its expiry date, but they can't use the visa to travel to and enter NZ currently. If they travel here and are refused entry, then the visa is cancelled automatically under the Immigration Act.

            • Grafton Gully

              Qualified medical people are missing their employer funded or tax write off overseas conferences and sabbaticals, overseas holidays, au pairs, school student exchanges and the opportunity to host overseas colleagues. This is a source of bias towards thinking along similar lines. An elderly obese diabetic person would think along different lines I suspect, and rightly so.

    • RedBaronCV 12.4

      The family can fly out of Tahiti- and assumedly could leave their boat there as well or at worse hire a kiwi yacht broker to sail it here and sell it. It's worth $1m.

      They may not arrive covid free in NZ if they sailed with one infected person and it was transmitted to others during the voyage.

      As for cyclones -this is a fact free zone by the media. The cyclone season is Nov- April. The pacific nations closed borders at the end of March. Boats were assumedly some where safe for the last cyclone season and basically have been unable to move since.

      FP has only very limited exposure to cyclones. There has been a lot of links on that.

      • RedLogix 12.4.1

        On a small yatch either everyone has Covid or none at all. Your sequential infection scenario is exceedingly unlikely.

        Besides no-one was going to arrive and walk off the boat without testing and quarantine.

        The rest of your comment is equally misleading.

    • weka 12.5

      "To sail from Tahiti to NZ, as this family will have to do , will take about 20 days so they will not arrive Covid stricken."

      Maybe but they could still be carrying covid as latent infection. How many people on board total?

      • RedLogix 12.5.1

        Most yatchs are crewed by a couple. But the usual range of crew is between 1 and 6. More than this would be rare.

        As for latent infection, this claim would invalidate the whole basis of quarantine if we took it seriously.

        • Riff.s

          Covid 19 has an incubation period of around 5 days but it can incubate up to 14 days. Symptoms develop at the end of the incubation period. Tbe contagious period begins 2-3 days before symptoms begin and lasts for up to 10 days, or longer if symptoms persist.

          With a little bad luck, a sailor could contract covid the day they left, become infectious around day 10 and infect the rest of the crew, experience mild symptoms around day 13 and then recover. The other crew, who may experience no symptoms at all, will likely be contagious as they disembark on day 20.

          • McFlock

            The other point is that those timeframes are the most probable ones, there will be statistical outliers.

            And even if we're talking a solo sailor taking three weeks for the voyage, what if they have it upon arrival or require urgent help from within our rescue area only a part way through their "isolation"? Everyone in the crew compartment would be a close contact, and the chopper is down a crew for the next fortnight. Mostly because the sailor wants to sell their boat for a better price than in the islands.

          • RedLogix

            This scenario is the same basis on which family groups are already treated. Are you telling me that quarantine for 14 days is far too short? You should alert the appropriate medical authorities.

            • Riff.s

              It is not the same because in managed quaratine the original case would be tested on day 3 and 12, and checked daily for symptoms.

              In addition, medical authorities do acknowledge that there is a risk that undetected infections may pass through MIQ. This is why only NZ residents are permitted entry and random yachties aren't.

              • RedLogix

                Sighs … yet no-one is proposing that these yachties just get off the boat untested. As a group they've worked to develop a quarantine protocol that makes sense for their situation. In effect they'd be doing two quarantines, one at sea and another when they get here. If that isn't enough for you I don't know what would be.

                I struggle to imagine any other group arriving with a lower risk profile than these people, and they'd self isolate on arrival in the safest possible manner. At almost no cost to NZ.

                This is why only NZ residents are permitted entry and random yachties aren’t.

                This isn't the biggest political issue of the year, but it sure has uncovered just how smugly irrational and mean spirited kiwis have become over their covid situation.

    • Andre 12.6

      They want to come to New Zealand because they think they can sell their yacht quicker and for more money here.

      However, Genda said it is almost impossible to sell their yacht in French Polynesia.

      Auckland yacht brokers 36 degrees had urged the family to make the "utmost effort" to bring September AM to New Zealand because there were prospective buyers here – but none that could fly to Tahiti to view their yacht.


      • RedLogix 12.6.1

        Given that the alternative for many is going to abandon the boat where it is and likely become a total loss, this seems a reasonable motivation.

        All the safe places to store a boat in the Pacific were filled up ages ago.

        • Andre

          Their other option is (from the same link):

          Genda said the family would soon have to sail their yacht from Tahiti for over a week to the French Polynesian island of Marquesas to be safe during the summer cyclone season.

          "We hope that we spend the cyclone season [in Marquesas] and hopefully next year New Zealand will open up and then we can eventually sail the boat there for a sale.

          • RedLogix

            Not going to be an option for everyone at all.

            In order for this to be viable they need visas and funds to stay in FP for that period. Plus somewhere they'll be allowed to anchor long term. And nothing else to go wrong.

            • Andre

              It was an option for those Greman chancers that apparently decided instead to do a bandit run and see how it turned out for them (badly, they shoulda stayed where they were).

              It's an option for the family at issue right here right now.

              So far there hasn't been any of them with a woe is me story for whom it hasn't been an option. I'm gonna need actual evidence to be persuaded it's not option. Vague unbacked assertions won't cut it.

            • Craig H

              If they are EU citizens (including the UK currently), they can stay and work in Tahiti without special visas. Not much use for the North American travellers obviously.

        • Grafton Gully

          Then they should have factored a pandemic into their passage plan and activated a contingency plan.

      • weka 12.7.1


        I don't really get it. Is there a reason they can't stay in that part of the Pacific until cyclone season is finished, and then sail back to Europe and sell the yacht there?

        They started sailing in Jan, by the end of Feb it was clear we were heading into a pandemic. NZ borders have been closed since mid-march. I appreciate they are grieving, but what have they been doing all year? The complaint about the America's cup is a big rich, given they were pretty much intending to go on holiday for a year. They can put their daughter into school in the Pacific until they can move on.

    • Stuart Munro 12.8

      The America's cup is part of that whole Auckland exceptionalism thing – they think there might be a few votes in it – but real sailors, not so much. No salt in this govt's blood.

    • greywarshark 12.9

      This line from Janet catches my eye.

      The blue water yachts sailing the world oceans have annually migrated and brought business to New Zealand…

      Sounds like the godwits. These birds have been traversing the globe from time immemorial. They have birdbrains and are most adept at doing what their instincts tell them.

      Whereas humans have few instincts, but large brains and we do not seem to be adept at using them to capacity. Pity we are such a failing species that we are taking ourselves down, and the rest of the animal crew on the planet as well who had adapted and knew their limits.

      • Janet 12.9.1

        No not like Godwits, every year a different fleet of yachts arrive in the Pacific and many drop down to NZ for cyclone season shelter and boat repairs near the end of the safe sailing season, which is now. Yachts generally sail westwards along what we call the barefoot route.It takes most yachties about 3 years to sail right around the world This family left England in January 2019 . No covid in sight then.

        • Brigid

          But why is it NZs problem that they cannot now sail on their predetermined course? Why does an exception have to be made for them?

          • Janet

            It was understandable for everything to be shut done in the panic when Covid hit NZ. By now things like “yachts” coming into New Zealand should be reconsidered.

            Actually the only reason we cannot have more people coming into NZ is because of the limitation of quarantine facilities for air travellers. Anyone arriving on a yacht to any country of the world is not allowed to disembark until a health check of all people on board has been undertaken and they are signed off as OK by a health department doctor. In the current situation , if the people on board did not get a clearance because maybe the signing off doctor thought, despite the time it took to sail here, that the captain and crew may be infectious or may yet become infectious with Covid then everybody stays on board until that clearance is given.

            So really NZ could be opened up for yachties to arrive because they will not be needing our quarantining facilities.If they need to quarantine they will stay on their boats.

            New Zealand is turning away the good seasonal business that comes with the yachties for no really sensible reason.

            With the current case there is a humanatarian aspect.

            • weka

              The only people allowed into NZ are NZ citizens/residents, people on humantiarian grounds, and people that Labour believe bring some kind of urgent economic benefit. The family on the yacht don't fit into any of those categories.

              • Brigid

                "The family on the yacht don't fit into any of those categories."


                It's achingly simple.

                • weka

                  yep. If we let in yachties, then why not private jets?

                • Adrian

                  Except humanitarian, they are grief-stricken as their 13 year old son was killed by a yobbo in a small boat in Tahiti who crashed into their yacht and they wish to return home and bury him and give up the cruising dream. I can understand that completely. Bit unfair to say "Harden up ".

                  • greywarshark

                    We have the author of his story about being held on Manus Island speaking in Nelson soon. If you have a yacht you are entitled to have superior arrangements obviously, to all the other suffering people in the world.

              • Janet

                The only people allowed into NZ ….. …. limited to NZ citizens etc because of our limited border / quarantining facilities. The family on the yacht do not need to go into our border quarantine facilities – they can quarantine on board if thought necessary.

            • Janet

              Woops, More news from today’s NZ Herald…

              “New Zealand's door has been opened to overseas students again “

              • who fly into New Zealand ……

              As (next headline) “Global infections surge – a million new cases in three days”

              Sorry yachties

    • Treetop 12.10

      Does anyone know if rescues are still being carried out at sea?

      I would want to know if a cyclone damaged my yacht and I was left drifting.

  12. NZJester 13

    It is nice of Judith to have a photo OP with the man they are replacing her with after the election. I wonder if they have been discussing her big golden parachute exit out of parliament?

    • Treetop 13.1

      Once Collins is no longer the leader she will probably bailout. Her brand is not the future of National and the election result will consolidate this.

      Who wants to sit in opposition calling out to get noticed?

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.1

        It's an interesting question, the future of National.

        Some might argue that they don't have one, at least not as they are.

        The Luxon waiting in the wings doesn't seen to have any splendid new ideas, and there's no sign thus far of them going to the mattresses to sort out what they stand for that the public could conceivably swallow.

        Dreadful shame – and all on the public's tab.

        • Treetop

          My crystal ball says no future on being in government on the 18th.

          Nothing will change with the National caucus being united. Also a leadership change before the 2023 election.

  13. swordfish 14

    To buttress his argument that "a 4% swing from Labour to National or ACT in the last two weeks" of the current election campaign is certainly achievable (and thus "there is a credible path to victory for National") ,David Farrar cites polling evidence from the final stages of the 2002 campaign, suggesting the "Govt (ie Labour) dropped 5% from 46% to 41% in last two weeks".

    What DPF doesn't mention is that in the same Colmar Brunton, the National Party Opposition suffered an even steeper plunge from 27% down 6 points to 21% over those same final 2 weeks.

    In other words, far from the gap closing .. Labour's lead over the Nats during those final few weeks in 2002 opened up a little by 1.4 points. There was no "5% swing" from Govt to Oppo.


    # Lies, damned lies, and statistics

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Heh. He failed to notice that?? Maybe he noticed, then went straight into denial. False hope is better than no hope. smiley

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        Still I never like the thought of tightrope walking. I would like to have seen planned electorate party voting by the Greens and Labour, in a keen left electorate, to be sure of one in Green hands. Pragmatic and legal, politics is the art of the possible etc.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yes, strategic planning is unknown on the left still. The electorate is viewed as a market, so party providers are meant to promote their brands separately. Gambling on faith. Whereas the right get that democracy is a game, so to win you must figure out how best to game the system – not that they're much good at this in Aotearoa currently!

          • greywarshark

            Politics as a sport. If we openly treated it as such, showing how people have allegiances with the brand and the team, we would understand why there is often little intellectual power put into the process and understand the outcome better.

    • Swordfish….but that doesn't mean it won't happen this time….and if the Greens get 4.9% Standardistas could wake up to Crusher as PM and ACT with 5 cabinet posts.

      • Andre 14.2.1

        Based on current polls, the route to that happening would need 1% or 2% of the electorate shifting from Green to Labour, and a massive exodus of Labour voters to Nat.

        Former Green voters aren't gonna go anywhere but to Labour (unless the nutter faction in Greens is waaay bigger than I thought and they go to Billy Te Kookiha). So if they do bail, then the 47%ish Labour are showing in the polls goes up closer to 50% vs a combined NACT vote around 40%.

        To lift NACT above Labour, nearly 1 in 10 voters currently planning to vote Labour would need to swap to Nat. Disregarding the fact that over a quarter of the electorate has already voted.

    • millsy 14.3

      To be fair, we were saying the same thing when the margins were the other way.

  14. Pat 15

    An interesting concept that may have real possibilities although it contains a potential difficulty with the EU and its in house factions.


  15. Dennis Frank 16

    Action Station's director explains change praxis to progressives (in the hope that they learn to make it happen instead of just talking about it): https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/12-10-2020/moving-the-rock-an-election-manifesto-for-people-led-change/

    In his excellent book Strategy and Soul, US activist and educator Daniel Hunter says, “Politicians are like a balloon tied to a rock. If we swat at them, they may sway to the left or the right. But, tied down, they can only go so far. Instead of batting at them, we should move the rock: people’s activated social values. When we move the rock, it automatically pulls all the politicians towards us — without having to pressure each one separately.”

    In other words, where the people lead the politicians will follow. We, the people, just need to be clear, strategic and insistent about where we want to paddle this waka to. I think our social movements would benefit from working at the intersections of what is popular and progressive.

    There are many kaupapa where voters are more ready for change than our politicians: government-funded dental care, higher taxes for the wealthy and climate action. With a coordinated and broad-based approach, social movements could make significant gains on all three of these.

    Every campaign we win pulls the rock to a more progressive position which makes more change possible in the future. We build hope and belief by winning. We grow our power by nurturing diverse social movements, building the capacity of people to create change and shifting hearts and minds through storytelling and organising.

    So this is a community-building praxis, in which like-minded communities operate as social organisms. They appeared in our media during the latter half of the 1960s. I went on a HART demo in 1970 after several years of resolutely refusing to be a joiner, and remember how alien it felt – being part of a group of strangers.

    In the pandemic era infection teaches us there's danger in such groups. Praxis of how to drive group process to make progress happen has to become more sophisticated in response. Non-local communities are now how humans exercise social agency.

  16. Barfly 17

    I had a call from a woman representing the National Party

    after my "/lol you are calling the wrong person "

    she assured me it was just a call to remind me to vote –

    " already have thank you have a good evening"

    It gave me a good chuckle

    • Anne 17.1

      To be fair Labour does it too. I was part of numerous phone campaigns in past years. Asking people to get out and vote was the opening gambit then you took it from there – depending on the recipient's response.

      I gave up doing it because too many people were rude and just hung up. Looking back I don't blame them.

  17. Muttonbird 18

    Am hearing JA had Hoskings eating out of her hand this morning.

    I posted about this interview last week. Good to see JA's team did the right thing and got her in studio.

    • AB 18.1

      Shoring up his revenue streams for the next 3 years by stepping back from going full troppo?

      • tc 18.1.1

        Totally, the hosk is a very predictable shill for the right. His power comes from a medium we all know is dying out along with it’s audience.

  18. Dennis Frank 19

    Michele A'Court describes the sheeple styling of wimping out, then gets proactive:

    When people talk about how they're going to vote in the upcoming cannabis referendum, it is usual practice – even for those in favour of legalising the Devil's Lettuce – to clearly state they don't touch the stuff themselves, actually officer… In a nod to that tradition, I will say these things: cannabis is not my drug of choice but I was at university in the 1980s and I've worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years.

    I'm voting yes in the referendum in small part because I'd like to ditch my current drug of choice – alcohol – and replace it with a nice, soothing, legal cup of cannabis tea.

    As a balm, cannabis strikes me as a distinctly feminine drug. Despite the popular image of cannabis users being a bunch of blokes getting blazed on the strongest strain of weed they can cultivate, there is a whole other world of Mary Jane proponents whose names are more likely to be Mary or Jane.

    There is a network, for example, of Green Fairies in Aotearoa – mostly women who grow and supply the herb to assist with anxiety, provide pain relief, and offer a natural pick-me-up or calm-me-down.

    Before it became illegal here in 1927, the story goes that Mother Suzanne Aubert (currently in line for sainthood) included the plant in her remedies and sold it to help fund her community work.

    It is an entirely human thing to seek out substances that change our mood – every culture finds a leaf or berry, vegetable or fruit that they can tootle about with to come up with vodka, pinot, coffee or cocaine. [Which] shifts us from our factory settings to either a more or a less elevated state.


    • Whispering Kate 19.1

      Those Green Fairies sound like great ladies. For all the female elderly arthritic ladies and gents mustn't forget them, and those who have anxiety and stress in their lives young or old bring it on. Being a reformed non drinker for health reasons a calming balm of the devil's lettuce sounds a pretty good thing to me. Kicking back at the end of the day – when I miss my drink the most – would be wonderful. I am good at growing vegies etc in the garden and have successfully grown the most amazing specimen of the devil's lettuce once upon a time, it was wondrous to behold, I am looking forward to cultivating a couple of the plants in the corner of my garden when this reform becomes law.

      Bless these Green Fairies for they are the salt of the earth.

    • Treetop 19.2

      Why is there not an option for medicinal cannabis?

      My weeping gut cannot take meds for arthritic pain in several places and when the pain gets so debilitating I would like the option of smoking away the pain.

      When it comes to being stoned when driving I am wavering being a yes vote for legalising cannabis. Screening for being stoned is not up to the mark. The strength and 14 grams is an issue for me as well. Most other reasons to legalise can be worked around. The end of life choice is a yes.

      I am a bit stumped for the first time in voting for 40 years on giving Labour my electorate vote. I might just do a party vote this time around.

      • Whispering Kate 19.2.1

        Like you I have erosive gastritis and arthritis. The gut wont take anti-inflammatories so I just take fish oil and glucosomine and its amazing how pain tolerant one can become. I have had foot surgery and a knee replacement but I still do get out and walk and keep fit. I think there will be some leeway with driving. Its not like the elderly will be stoned witless every day. As for the euthanasia bill its a big no for me. Just can't get my head around it. Like taxes, laws are just waiting to be changed, altered, got around, loopholed you name it. So its a big nono for me. However this will be an interesting election I must say.

      • Cinny 19.2.2

        Hi Treetop, re cannabis.

        • The strength they are suggesting is at the lower end of the scale.
        • 14 gram max limit is so people don't have to visit the shop as often. Unlike say a box of beers, people won't consume 14g in a day/sitting. It would be near on impossible for one person to smoke that much weed in a day.
        • Medical cannabis under the current system is unaffordable for many, the majority of those who use it for such get it on the black market at present. Being able to grow ones own medicine changes everything when it comes to affordability. Personally am looking forward to the prospect of being able to grow a plant organically to use as ingredient in a salve for arthritis, should everything work out.
        • The best thing about voting yes is that we get to have a say on how the law is constructed via committees etc etc.

        To date, probably the best piece I've seen this election, that examines both sides of the story was Paddy Gowers last week. Here's the link

        There was also a good debate on the subject between Chloe Swarbrick and dr custard (aka nick smith).

        Mum disclosed she voted yes for cannabis the other day, she's a conservative person in her late 70's, originally she was going to vote no. Same with the old man, almost fell over when he said he voted yes, he's always been fiercely anti weed.

        Hope that is of help and all the best making your decision. How lucky are we that we get to have choices, yay for referendums 🙂

        • Treetop

          The shit doctors prescribe (enough to knock a horse out) or cause a serious addiction is a worry.

          Did you see that from 5 November a prescription is required for codine?

          I only take pain meds when I cannot get up using my own steam, cannot turn over without waking up or close to chucking from a headache.

  19. swordfish 20

    Barely acknowledged, if at all by commentators … the last Reid Research Poll found a whopping 21% of 2017 Nats planning to swing to Labour.

    Not surprising, of course, given the significant re-alignment suggested by all the post-COVID Lockdown polls … but it's worth pointing out just how massive this is … means around 242k Nats have moved to Labour (putting aside questions of turnout).

    By comparison, at the last two Turnover Elections (ie where a change of Govt occurred), only around 94k Labour voters swung to the Nats in 2008, while about 105k Nats moved to Labour in 2017.

    The closest we've come to something on this scale (assuming it eventuates) was in 2002 when 112k Nats swung to Labour (representing a little over 17% of 1999 Nat voters).

    • greywarshark 20.1

      Give them something to vote for and they will come eh!. Go on cleaving through the Slough of Despond and we can see off some of the crippling rentiers and con corporates and private equity outfits with our own versions. Use the attackers own weapons, hoist them on their own petards.

      • Tricledrown 20.1.1

        Someone worthy to vote for is my take on That.

        People generally don't like the low blows that Collins eminates like a spoilt child who doesn't get her whey will mean she will be put out to pasture ,being a negative ninny like whinny means he is dog tucker.

    • Swordfish…do you have any data on how many 18-25's are enrolled this election compared with the last?

      Also, I'm guessing the percentage of enrolled 18-25's that will turn up and vote is likely to be higher due to the cannabis issue. The Green's will benefit from this.

  20. Andre 21

    Let's imagine the Greens come out of this election strong enough that they can ram through a wealth tax. What does everybody think will then happen in 2023, and the fate of the wealth tax after the next change in government?


    • Incognito 21.1

      Firstly, I don’t think the Greens will be in a position to ram through anything. In any case, this will have to be dealt with during the post-election talks between parties.

      Secondly, it is not in their nature [pardon the pun] to try a ram through anything.

      Insisting on a conversation is not equal to ‘ramming through’, IMHO.

      • Sacha 21.1.1

        On past form they may insist on a public education campaign between now and 2023, if that's not too much trouble Jacinda.

      • Andre 21.1.2

        Ok then, let's assume the polite and respectful conversation they insist on having results in a wealth tax being implemented over the many statements so far from Labour that it ain't gonna happen.

        What does everybody think will then happen in 2023, and the fate of the wealth tax after the next change in government?

        • Brigid

          In that case I guess we know that you'll vote Nact who will promise to throw it out to gain votes from the likes of you.


          • Andre

            Very unlikely, but not impossible.

            What would need to happen for that is Labour looking tired, out of ideas, and authoritarian, and Greens to still be stuffed full of social activists and woo-meisters with very few actual grounded greens. Kinda like 2008, only worse.

            But of the people in my circles that are currently going Labour or Greens, I'd tend more to be one of the later ones to switch. Most of the others will flip somewhat more easily.

            • greywarshark

              Perhaps you will keep on watching what happens in the USA Andre and advise us on what to do so we turn the opposite way. Or perhaps you will go back and give them the benefit of your excellent analytical skills that you have honed here.

        • weka

          Ok then, let's assume the polite and respectful conversation they insist on having results in a wealth tax being implemented over the many statements so far from Labour that it ain't gonna happen.

          Ah, so you want to do a thought experiment? Seems a bit abstract to me.

          As said above, the Greens are unlikely to try and ram anything through, politely or otherwise. What Shaw is saying is that they will bring the wealth tax to the table during negotiations. I assume this includes the GMI and the ACC reforms and so on, they're not wanting a tax for tax' sake. And I take the positioning this week to be about not letting Labour treat them like some rag tags who will do as they are told. Which is a good thing, to stand up to that.

          Personally I think Lab should just give them the welfare portfolio. Sepuloni obviously isn't managing it well, and Labour can let the Greens do the heavy lifting on it for a while. The Greens aren't going to get all their policy enacted off the vote this year, but it's completely reasonable to bring the whole policy to the table and say this is our starting point, these things are very important, and remember it's the members who decide if we form govt with you or let you come to us on each piece of legislation for the next three years while we are on the cross benches.

          • weka

            this is more succinct,

            • Andre

              If that comes about and the other areas brought to the fore are actual green topics, then I'd consider that a win. But it would be a win somewhat tempered by the apparent shortage at the top of the Greens list of actual green talent and substance to take advantage of it.

              • weka

                you still seem to be under the mistaken impression that the Green Party is only meant to be about the environment, as if that is somehow separate from human social and economic wellbeing.

                But green politics has always been about the intersections of environmental and social justice.

                Getting NZers out of poverty is a climate priority. Does that really need explaining?

                • weka

                  meanwhile the Greens, after change not power, are yet again pulling NZ in the right direction. They've been doing that on climate and other environmental issues for decades and I don't see that has changed much, it's just that the policies are integrated more I guess. But shifting the debate on welfare is huge.

                  • Well spoken Weka-there is too much tribal Labour and Jacinda worship being used to justify voting for Labour, rather than debate about the policies.

                    In particular the Wealth Tax is a good idea but clearly would benefit by being modified/fine-tuned, perhaps so that it only targets the top 4% rather than 6% as now, so that it can gain more widespread support.

                • Andre

                  For me to support it, the Green Party needs to balance a strong green focus with those other aspects. Right now, that balance isn't there because the green side of things is very weak and way under-represented. I'm not interested in a radical social activism party that's trying to pretend to be something else by holding a Green tissue paper in front of themselves.

                  The Green Party can make their philosophy and politics about whatever they want it to be. But if they don't have an actual strong green focus, they shouldn't expect to attract votes from those whose actual interest is green issues just by calling themselves Green.

                  And no, moving people up out of poverty doesn't automatically improve the climate or environment. In fact, to first order, by itself it might even make climate and environment issues worse, because those people will likely consume more. Making environmental and climate improvements needs actual work and priority on those topics, not self-delusion that social activism somehow also magically creates climate and environmental improvement.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    The party weeps copious tears at this news.

                    • Andre

                      They're welcome to.

                      But if they're interested in why their vote share falls short of their hopes and dreams and previous highs, my view is there for the consideration. And I know there's other sometime Green voters with similar views. I couldn't say how common they are outside my circles tho, we could just be weirdos. Or not.

                    • smileysmileysmiley Andre we've got the message that you hate the Greens. Time to move on.

                    • solkta


                      It's OK, most Green supporters are not as self-absorbed as you are.

                    • weka

                      "But if they're interested in why their vote share falls short of their hopes and dreams and previous highs, my view is there for the consideration."

                      This seems reasonable and I would assume they are looking at why previous green voters are still voting Labour after 2017. But I think the reasons are complex. I doubt it's primarily the wealth tax, which would affect so few NZers. I think it's more likely to be a combination of the Ardern effect, along with a smaller party having been successful in pulling the larger party closer to its own platform and no longer standing out.

                      Lots of people won't see a huge amount of difference between Lab and Green and will vote on feels (they like JA). Those that look at policy more in depth will shy away from the welfare stuff, not because of the woke thing so much as most liberals in NZ are centre left and happy with neoliberalism.

                      There is probably a hang over from 2017 of perception of competence (Shaw's Green School gaff won't have helped), along with lots of new faces that people don't know.

                      Then there is covid, and I have no doubt that there is both the effect of thinking Labour handled it well, and people being afraid and wanting stability and centrism rather than radical change.

                      Weird thing for me this week is seeing a number of actual lefties saying to vote GP when they've been slagging them off all year. Don't quite know how that is supposed to work, they want people to suddenly think the GP are a good bet?

                  • weka

                    don't know what you are on about Andre. Leaving aside the referends, there are 8 major policies currently on the campaign part of the website, and 5 of them are environment focused,

                    • transport
                    • oceans
                    • farming
                    • clean energy
                    • the Green Vision for Aotearoa:
                      • Healthy Nature.
                      • Clean Economy.
                      • Fairer Communities

                    Here are the three top priorities this year, that will feature in any post-election negotiations,

                    1. Action on climate change
                    2. Halting the biodiversity crisis
                    3. Income inequality

                    "And no, moving people up out of poverty doesn't automatically improve the climate or environment."

                    No-one actually said it would though, you just made that up.

                    "In fact, to first order, by itself it might even make climate and environment issues worse, because those people will likely consume more."

                    Which is why the Green Party has an integrated set of policies based on systems thinking, not reductionist, linear, solve this problem then that one thinking.

                    "Making environmental and climate improvements needs actual work and priority on those topics, not self-delusion that social activism somehow also magically creates climate and environmental improvement"

                    Fuck sake, get a grip and go read some actual policy as well as what they've been doing for the past three years.

                    I have some problems with some of the GP positioning on things woke too. Their rigid stance on gender ID is very risky given what is happening in the UK were left wing women voters are basically now at war with the Labour Party. I just don't think that throwing the baby out with the bath water will help. On climate alone, there are compelling reasons to vote Green, not least is that Labour have no commitment to acting in time.

                    • weka

                      as for the party list, the point there is that everyone is on board with eco and social and economic. Everyone. So eg Ricardo Menendez will be supporting the enviro stuff while he works on his area of social justice, because he understands the connection between the two.

                    • Andre

                      Personnel is policy.

                      Vagueish short documents can always be interpreted and implemented in a wide variety of ways.

                      Manifesto policies that don't align with a pollies actual interests tend to get a token once-over to satisfy the notion that they're trying to implement the policy before finding their way to the too-hard basket.

                      But the stuff that gets that pollies juices going, that gets a lot of attention and effort whenever it can somehow get related to the manifesto.

                      Looking at the personnel at the top of the Greens list, I see very little actual green talent and substance, so I have little confidence serious green efforts will be made. But I see a lot of background and experience and enthusiasm for social activism I'm meh about, but I think it's very likely that's where the effort and enthusiasm will go.

                      As for the last three years, one of the very few individuals that had actual green talent and substance has retired and isn't standing this time around.

                    • weka

                      yet in the top five are the Minister for Climate, the Minister for Conservation and Associate Minister of Transport. Are they the ones not enthused about their portfolio?

                    • weka

                      Have a look at Hughes' portfolios, not a lot of enviro stuff there.


                      Unless of course we acknowledge that the GP build the enviro stuff into all their policies.

                    • But Weka, that would require Andre actually reading the Green's policies. He is obsessed with the Wealth Tax, in part because he will have to pay some extra tax because of it.

                      Let them eat cake eh Andre?

                  • Sacha

                    There is always Vernon Tava's party if you don't want your greenery with a side of social justice.

                    • Andre

                      Vernon Tava … … good one .

                      I'm not averse to a side of social justice with my greenery, but I'm not keen on a heaping helping of social activism and moral superiority with a tiny sprinkling of ineffectual green on top to hide it.

    • Tricledrown 21.2

      Andre ACT and Nstional will tax the poor more.

      • Andre 21.2.1

        Yep. So that's a good reason to not hand them a really powerful weapon they can use to grab power back in 2023.

  21. Pat 22

    Almost 1.2 million have already voted…heading for a very high turnout?


    • Craig H 22.1

      Could be a higher turnout or higher early vote percentage than forecast or both. I hope it's both personally.

  22. Sacha 23

  23. Dennis Frank 24

    Over the weekend, 453,426 votes were cast, according to the Electoral Commission. 253,616 were on Saturday and 199,810 on Sunday, taking the total number of early votes to 1,153,334.


    • Treetop 24.1

      Do you put the increase in early voting just down to avoiding an unknown community case of Covid – 19?

  24. Dennis Frank 25

    Tory hack John Armstrong:

    it becomes glaringly obvious that it is now impossible for Labour to lose next Saturday… The election campaign will rumble on. But it is likely to prove to be even more of an anti-climax than it was already likely to have been. By the time the campaign enters its final week, the participants are exhausted; the arguments have been thrashed to death.

    There is nothing new to say. If there happens to be fresh policy at hand, opponents will castigate its content and the timing of its release as an indication of desperation.

    The pressure will be on Collins to lift National’s party vote to 35 per cent as an absolute minimum is, well, crushing

    The disarray, disunity, indiscipline and disloyalty endemic in National’s caucus hardly inspires confidence that the party could lift its game to the standard at which Ardern operates.

    To the contrary, National looks less like a government-in-waiting and more like a rabble without a cause.


  25. mosa 26

    " Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron each, like Ardern, spoke the language of “hope” and “change”. Yet, ultimately, all further entrenched a poisonous status quo "

    Glen Johnson from Al Jazeera has summed up politics in New Zealand very succinctly.

    Why can't this be replicated through out our MSM.


  26. PaddyOT 27

    Campaign farce … Says Judith today,

    " We don't do wussy stuff in the National Party,"

    On border protection from Judith today more yeah..nah.. confusion.

    "She said lockdowns led by the border protection agency and minister in charge should be the last resort."

    On introducing new, unknown road tolls, Judith negates the whole point of better roading,

    " People don't mind, because they have the alternative.

    "People can always go the slower way," she said. "

    And for her claims, the only party with a tech plan, which then has a tech blunder, Judith ices the "pick me cake",

    " About National's ad error, Collins said it was a digital error that was fixed quickly and was now fine. She put the blame on the "digital people"."

    Ah, those digital people ay, they keep fecking up Natz great tech policy.

    And when you are short on answers to the media's questions today, after ' re-introducing' the same tech policy and probably some more tolls for Auckland roads, Judith looks to her inner Trump mentor,

    " I think we just out work, out compete and basically be far more fabulous than [anyone] on the other side."

    • Brigid 27.1

      Jesus she's thick

      Actually there's not much between her and Billy T K.

      They both just start spouting utter rubbish when challenged; totally illogical garbage with not a trace of ignominy or flicker of embarrassment.

    • Tricledrown 27.2

      Crushless Collins Born to rule attitude stinks and pisses everyone off.

      Last ditchDesperately throwing lies around which makes her look evil and even more unlikable.

      NZ is going to ditch the …….

  27. Reality 28

    What brilliant observations by Glen Johnson from Al Jazeera. Shows up our local media. Listened briefly to something on Newshub of some sort of discussion between their women reporters. They were like a group of 14 year old teenage girls as they giggled about someone's birthday cake.

  28. Gabby 29

    Sean Plonker can't understand why the PM doesn't want a bar of Magicktalk. Why can't snoflake Plonker's listeners join the team of 5 million? whines Sean. Maybe they could try a different station.

  29. McFlock 30

    If almost half of voters have already voted, doesn't that make a nact turnaround in this last week about twice as hard an ask?

    #heartbroken lol

    • Andre 30.1

      Shhh, don't tell St. Jude the patron saint of lost causes that she has an actual lost cause on her hands. We don't want her to give up. I'm quite enjoying the show as it's currently playing out.

      • Treetop 30.1.1

        I have had enough of Trump and I cannot wait to see the back of him. His BS and his unconvincing leadership style is in a category on its own.

        Collins will be remembered for the leader who got the job that no one wanted because of a party coming apart.

  30. greywarshark 31

    And on and on Red Logix goes – sail away I say. What about spending
    six months on a leaky boat and we'll just trudge along without you.

    And as for people arriving by air. We want to keep our airline going, on a lesser level no doubt in the future, fewer tourists etc. But to do that we have to use it and have return passengers. Comparing our airline entries and exits with people who own their own boats with lives separate from being permanent NZ citizens on land, is spurious.

    Or do you think they will put their backs into becoming transport for our people and visitors – a sort of Dunkirk. That would earn them some brownie points here. But actually they need to shelter here don't they, so they have little structural value to us in a time of crisis.

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