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Open mike 12/12/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 12th, 2019 - 94 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

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94 comments on “Open mike 12/12/2019 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Environment Southland releases draft climate change action plan


    "Cr Robert Guyton thanked her for not glueing herself to the door, a tactic used by Extinction Rebellion members in other protests.

    Council's draft plan was formulated after it committed to applying best practice and best science to its responsibilities and "accords urgency" to developing a climate change action plan in July.

    That was in response to councillor Robert Guyton asking the council to declare a climate change emergency, which councillors voted against, eight votes to four.

    The draft plan, which Guyton praised on Wednesday, worked towards ensuring that council programmes and projects take account of climate change adaptation considerations or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible."

    • greywarshark 1.1

      I guess this is a start for Environment Southland after the July 2019 thumbs down on declaring a climate emergency.

      The draft plan…worked towards ensuring that council programmes and projects take account of climate change adaptation considerations or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible."

      I guess also that this link to SciBlogs will be the popular reading with Environment Southland councillors to learn about the climate change scientific findings and what methods are acknowledged as being good and practical to deal with the issues of today thinking of tomorrow also.

  2. greywarshark 2

    Political parties at present when they get into government, are so risk averse that they delegate all their coalface work to agencies to which they set impossible targets, and rthen efuse to exert control over saying 'It's an operational matter." This means that agencies can treat the people in unsatisfactory ways that are unexpected in a democracy with educated people, and government can stand aloof saying they are following best practice, or some other useful, amorphous phrase. This results in government not having a stain on its hands over the unsatisfactory mess that builds – it's not us they say – it's the individuals working for the agency. If faults occur, managers get fired or shifted sideways, but it's a systemic fault not just an individual one; not an exception to the rule.

    People and their needs are being sidelined constantly as the government falls down this systemic fault line. An example is how the police take control, exert their authority over decision-making in the name of safety and preventing deaths. They are risk averse in their own interests. Yet they will act in a way that leads people to die by chasing drivers who refuse a demand to stop, and say they do this to protect others from possible injury or death. Yet their behaviour causes deaths of car stealers and drivers over the speed limit, and other uninvolved people in cars, and also pedestrians.

    Now we see them police and their Minister, Stuart Nash, refuse to allow others to recover bodies from this volcanic island, because there is a definite risk of it erupting again explosively and without definite warning signs that would indicate a likely time. There can be no attempt by anyone, because the police have superimposed their own risk averse culture on those members of the public prepared to sacrifice certainty for the sake of others. We cannot allow this to continue. People power is needed in civil situations, and we do step forward and can carry out risky successful operations, and are not just dependent on official provision.

    It is part of life, there are different levels of risk to everything we do. We learn to mitigate them, and control the risk, for example in using electricity which is a powerful killer used in the USA as an execution device. Yet electricity powers our technologically modern world.

    We need to take calculated risks carefully using the knowledge and experience of practical people. We cannot leave those bodies lying putrefying on the island while we wait for the sign of likely explosion which is forecast as probable. The world is looking at us and we can't do another Pike River, where police prevented experienced mining personnel from making reasoned and informed decisions about taking risk to recover bodies.

    People who are dead are still important and need to be honoured in burial by their families or connections. The tourists who come here expect to be respected as important people; they will demand respect and resolve to return their people, particularly while they are still recognisable and in one piece! They will not accept the institutional denial of worth which was meted out to our Kiwi miners as at Pike River.

    • Ad 2.1

      Ministers of Police don't exert influence over Police operations. Full stop. Have far less influence than other Ministers.

      Expect a Royal Commission next – everyone can see Pike River over this.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Yes Ad. "Ministers of Police don't exert influence over Police operations. Full stop. Have far less influence than other Ministers. "

        That's the problem, how to keep Ministers from becoming little H…s, and how to drive the prancing ponies without reins. And how to have a police ombudsman that doesn't view them like the Laughing Policeman, and find every reason to give them a soft landing.

        So you think likely Royal Commission? If improved, I wonder whether Scandinavian police may do better than the model we follow? How to be tough, wary where necessary but working with community on good terms?

        • Ad

          We can take Scandinavian Police advice on White Island as soon as they grow a volcano.

          Iceland will be taking advice from us.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        More a Cave Creek than a Pike River, I suspect.

    • weka 2.2

      "People power is needed in civil situations, and we do step forward and can carry out risky successful operations, and are not just dependent on official provision."

      Can you give a few examples of risky operations carried out by civilians in NZ where it's not about rescuing people at risk of death?

      There are good reasons to have people in charge during an emergency like this and afaik agencies have good working relationships in NZ eg LandSAR works with police and CD. One reason is to protect the public. Another is to protect rescue crews from having to put themselves in danger if there is another set of people hurt. The police will also have workplace regs to be working within.

      I don't have a good sense of what is going on in Whakatane, but I don't see what the rush is for recovering bodies. You say risk averse, but I'm curious why that is a problem. Why do you think it is appropriate to risk lives to recover bodies within such a short time frame?

      Sacha said this yesterday,

      Pike River was different because the mines rescue experts believed it was safe to go in right after the initial explosion and the Police stopped them.

      None of the expert first responders in this situation are saying that the island is safe enough. Just some armchair warriors.

      If you have evidence that the experts believe it is safe to go to Whakaari but are being stopped by police, I'd be interested to see that (I might have missed it). Experts being Geonet/GNS, CD, and the rescue crews on the ground.

      • Sacha 2.2.1

        Police boss adds another reason not to do a rush job: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/hasty-body-recovery-could-compromise-white-island-victim-identification-police-say

        While one pilot told media last night it would only take 20 minutes to recover the bodies, Mr Clement says rushing into it would also risk damaging evidence around the body – evidence that will likely be needed to help identify people.

        "The more time we can spend with the body when we uplift it from the circumstances in which they've done, the more likelihood that we can preserve that evidence.

        "Because we'll get no thanks whatsoever if we reach a situation at the end of this where we're not able to sign off on identity."

        • weka

          it's almost like the people with expertise know things we don't.

          • weka

            sarcasm aside, there's also this thing of what it's actually like to be involved. I think many people lack imagination. I don't, so I can parse from that careful few sentences what might happen to the bodies when removed. Also from listening to the pilot RNZ interviewed who wasn't giving details about injuries. This is fucking grim and traumatic stuff. I know people are upset and triggered, but maybe we need to take a breath and consider what we might be missing. The glaring thing about twitter on the first day was just how many people were jumping to all sorts of conclusions, but in the end it turned out they were just plain wrong.

          • Sacha

            Sorry I see you had already mentioned that aspect below. Busy day at the office.

          • Sacha

            Polishing the armchairs..

            • Incognito

              One of many positives of the internet is that it allowed a plethora of polymaths to fully blossom and share their pearls of wisdom with hoi polloi. A polymath without the internet is the same as a falling tree in the forest without witnesses: it doesn’t make a noise.

  3. Macro 3

    How cool is this!

    Boris Johnson 'hides in a fridge' to avoid Piers Morgan interview



  4. millsy 4

    Jeremy Corbyn has 24 hours left as leader of the UK Labour Party. I hope he makes the most of it.

    I would imagine that the Blairites will have regained full control of the party by this time next year.

    Liz Kendall (who is bascially Josie Pagani's UK clone) will be leader, and will be supporting war, privatisation, austerity, deregulation and Isreal's extermination of the Palestinian people.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1

      I HOPE you are wrong!!! Fingers and toes crossed.

      But the only hope is if young voters who have recently registered come out in force – to a degree not seen in recent history.

    • Bill 4.2

      Jeremy Corbyn has 24 hours left as leader of the Opposition! 🙂

  5. Alice Tectonite 5

    Which experts on volcanic hazard/risk have been saying it is safe to go anywhere near the vent?

    Actual experts i.e. volcanologists (local chopper pilots are not experts in this field).

    Edit: meant to be reply to greywarshark, threading has screwed up

    • weka 5.1

      yep. Things in the public domain (i.e less information than what the police have):

      Wikipedia page on Whakaari says there were 3 more explosions after the first one. The reference is a Stuff article but it's a live update on so I can't find the specific bit

      "GNS will not send a scientist to the island with a recovery team.

      "The level of risk right now is far too high for sending on of our staff out there," volcanologist Nico Fournier said.

      "You wouldn't jump in a car that engulfed in flames if you've got nothing in there, if it's your child you would. That acceptability of risk is the important conversation. It's not the same for a scientist as for response agencies."


      Police may consult with next of kin when determining whether to make a quick recovery.

      A quick uplift strategy, where the recovery team gathers all the bodies as fast as possible, would be the safest option for the recovery team but could degrade the bodies and make identification harder.

      However, if families indicate they are willing to take that risk, police may consider it.

      Same link. Pertinent point there is that it takes time to work through these issues, there are complexities here. It's less then 70 hours since the first explosion. A lot has happened in that time.

      There's a map in this link that shows where lava and rocks landed (and how many) after the 2016 explosion, and the path that tourists normally walk when visiting. That might sharpen some people's minds a bit,


      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        I do make the point that police and all involved should be working together with people experienced and practical.

        • weka

          afaik this is exactly what is happening. I'm not sure what you are saying. I thought you were saying that the police are acting in their own interests, and that they're wrong to stop people from doing their own rescues.

          • greywarshark

            I am sorry that i wrote such a long piece without making a clear point.

            • Sacha

              I'd say Weka summarised what you said pretty well. If that's not what you meant to say, then don't.

            • weka

              yeah, I thought I got the gist of the long piece, it was the later comment that didn't make much sense in light of that.

    • mauī 5.2

      Most earthquake experts wouldn't approve of search and rescue teams getting people out of collapsed buildings either with an immediate danger of aftershocks.

      • Psycho Milt 5.2.1

        We're not talking here about rescuing people, we're talking about recovering dead bodies. Having some appetite for risk is all very well, but there has to be some benefit that's worth running the risk for, and in this case there's none – zip, zero, nada, nix. The people who didn't make it off Whakaari are dead and will remain dead regardless of whether anyone moves their corpses from one place to another. No improvement in their situation is achievable.

        • weka

          It's for the families. So there is a good benefit, although I don't understand the desire to rush.

          Have to say that I personally would be ok with the relevant agencies taking their time in this kind of situation were it my relatives or close friends, but then I seem to have a different relationship to death than some. I might feel differently if they were dead as the result of a crime (not sure).

          Police are now saying they may liaise with families about going in earlier, but this would mean less time for recovery and the risk that bodies are damaged and making it harder to ID them.

          • Sacha

            I do understand the pressure from families to rush when another eruption could bury or vaporise their fallen relatives forever. However, for all of human existence not all deaths have resulted in a recoverable body to aid grieving. Sad, but unavoidable sometimes.

            • weka

              it is sad. I'm of the group of people that considers dying in nature an honourable way to go and I would be more than happy to have my body left behind for those reasons. Not sure if my family would, but I suspect so.

              Many people in the outdoors take the view that dying doing something you love is acceptable. This raises the issue of what tourists are doing in nature in the first place, but a conversation for another time I think.

              • weka

                and I certainly understand that the families will all have their own processes. My comments here are about the people commenting (i.e. people not directly affected wanting to rush).

          • Psycho Milt

            It's for the families. So there is a good benefit, although I don't understand the desire to rush.

            Exactly. I get that the families want their relatives' bodies back so they can have a tangi/funeral, but society has a much higher obligation to avoid adding to the body count than it does to retrieving the dead bodies. It should be a no-brainer that no-one goes in until it's safe to do so, and yet the news media are talking about the urgent need for "rescue" missions to "retrieve loved ones," as though there were live humans on Whakāri desperately awaiting rescue. There seem to be a lot of people in our society who really can't cope with the idea of death.

        • mauī

          I can't find the article now, but a tourist operator bought 12 injured back on helicopters and I think the guy said they were refused permission to go back out again immediately to recover more people.

          I agree with what you're saying, but it is different when there's an opportunity to save lives.

          • weka

            there were multiple helicopters that went out and rescued all the people that were alive. Some of those were the tourist operators already in the area, and I think two rescue choppers went out as well. I've not heard anything to suggest that anyone was stopped from rescuing live people.

            Listening to the RNZ interview with one of the pilots (it's a really good interview to watch), one of those teams checked the area twice and ascertained that there were no people left alive. They made the decision to leave the bodies of the dead people (an entirely reasonable decision imo given what they were dealing with). My reading of that is that the police knew that afternoon that it was very unlikely that anyone was left alive.

            Pilots (and I assume locals with boats) have since been refused permission to go back and recover the bodies.

      • weka 5.2.2

        "Most earthquake experts wouldn't approve of search and rescue teams getting people out of collapsed buildings either with an immediate danger of aftershocks."

        Maybe, but they may also say it's not their decision.

      • Alice Tectonite 5.2.3

        Not really relevant to my question. Generally accepted taking higher risk when saving lives, but that's not the case here. Helicopter pilot that did 45min search saw no signs of life.

        How many people do you want to put at risk to recover bodies? Especially when the volcanic tremor is going crazy and the chance of another (& possibly larger) eruption is even higher than it was the other day.

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    Go Greta! Person of the year. Most excellent.

    Also, there's the nifty new 6 seater electric plane a Canadian airline just flew. Still needs to jump through some hoops but for short distance flights the electric option is orders of magnitude cheaper to run. Over 170 electric plane designs globally that are being worked on as we speak.

    Hope people are taking this whole Christmas corporate-money-grab thing in sustainable stride: local business, natural clothing, useful tools, native or fruit trees, predator control, insect housing, tourism experiences… So many things one might think up to gift instead of the usual plastic crap, excessive cheap chocolate and nylon socks. I welcome ideas on this theme.

    • weka 6.1

      tis very good news about GT.

      Electric planes, what's the GHG cost of the research, and then eventual production (cradle to grave)?

      • Andre 6.1.1

        At this stage, it's unlikely that there's any solid cradle-to-grave studies of emissions from electric aviation. Yet.

        However, we can get a reasonable idea from cradle-to-grave emissions from electric road vehicles, and for those the conclusions are pretty clear.

        First and foremost, the question really is what are the emissions of the electricity sources the manufacturers use, and what are the emissions of the electricity suppliers used to charge.

        For electric vehicles, worst case is if the energy source for manufacture and recharging is coal burnt in a standard thermal plant. then a new battery electric vehicle is better than a new fossil vehicle after about 10 years of average use. But fossil road vehicles have appallingly inefficient engines, can't regeneratively brake, and spend time time idling which burns fuel but does nothing useful. An electric aircraft built and recharged using coal-fired electricity is probably significantly worse than a fossil aircraft. Because an aircraft turbine engine is general more efficient than a road vehicle engine (and is near the efficiency of a coal-fired plant), there's no opportunites for energy recovery from braking, and very little idling.

        At the other end of the energy supply emissions spectrum, an electric vehicle built and recharged with zero-carbon electricity is better than a dino-juice vehicle after only a few months of use. And since aircraft emissions footprints are much more associated with the fuel they burn than with energy used to manufacture them, I'd expect electric aircraft to be proportionately that much better than dino-juice aircraft.

        R&D and disposal/recycling emissions are such a small part of cradle-to-grave emissions they don't really need to be considered.

        I suspect you're looking for grounds to argue that we can't continue to fly even in electric planes because of the emissions involved in their manufacture. But if/when we get to zero-ghg electricity supply, that's going to be a really difficult argument to make. Because the emissions that aren't directly related to where the electricity comes from really are tiny. And will go even smaller if the push to go to zero-ghg gets strong enough to do things like push aluminium smelters into using inert anodes rather than carbon anodes.

        • weka

          thanks Andre.

          "For electric vehicles, worst case is if the energy source for manufacture and recharging is coal burnt in a standard thermal plant. then a new battery electric vehicle is better than a new fossil vehicle after about 10 years of average use."

          My problem with your analysis is that it compares EVs with FFVs (manufacture, or usage) as if those are the only two choices. A third comparison should be with not replacing the FFV and using less transport. So manufacture Eplanes, but use them for essential services not shopping trips to Sydney*.

          Your argument is green BAU, which sounds goodish in theory but ignores the elephant in the living room: emissions are still going up at the time we need them to be dropping fast.

          If we were doing all the right things your analysis would make more sense. But we are so far in overshoot that we're going to need to reduce consumption everywhere we can to stay within the carbon budget.

          You also haven't accounted (I think) for the power GHGs from mining, transport and so on in the cradle to grave processes. When we reach some point of all power generation being post-carbon, then the maths you talk about will make sense but only if we didn't use more than our carbon budget in doing do.

          Worse case scenario is the one we're already in, but apparently can't accept because of the lag timeframes I guess. We're in the process of blowing the budget on trying to replace FF with green power. That no-one is doing these analyses tells us a lot.

          *also, in the meantime, while developing Eplanes, we are stuck in the cycle that means we need more FFplanes flying to keep the economics right, which means building more runways etc (and all the GHGs associated with that), and then all the extra infrastructure associated with the travel (hotels, roads) and so on. The analysis isn't linear, it's a web. Again, all that blows our carbon budget on stupid fucking shit at time when we're not even sure best case actions will prevent catastrophe.

          • Andre

            Somehow, this came to mind. Dunno why …

            • weka

              because your denialism stops you from making a coherent response?

              The irony is that if we'd paid more attention to the values of the Amish, or say the Luddites, we wouldn't be facing the potential of catastrophic climate change. But some people really do think that flying at will is worth the risk, in part I think because they fear nasty/brutish/short and lack the imagination to see a future where we dial things back, make way better use of the tech we have, and still live really good lives.

              • Andre

                I'm fine with departing the thread when it looks like you're getting ready to deliver your usual sermon that regenag and powerdown is the one and only true path and anyone suggesting alternatives is pushing false idols.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Merry Christmas WtB

      I can recommend socks with possum fur. Soft mmmm.

  7. weka 7

    And this next comment –>

    • weka 7.1

  8. Adrian 8

    How to depress Auckland house prices!

    Whakaari was a minor eruption with awful consequences, most NZ hospitals that can treat burns are at max capacity, and over ONE MILLION square centimetres of skin required for grafts.

    An Auckland eruption would be of unimaginable proportions.

    • Sacha 8.1

      Fortunately Auckland's vocanoes give a few days warning. But it would be catastrophic, yes.

      • Janice 8.1.1

        I have often wondered which politician or CEO would be brave enough to give the call to evacuate all or part of Auckland, due to a possible volcanic activity warning. Just imagine the chaos on the motorways.

        • Sacha

          It will be car-nage.

        • weka

          be nice to think they have an actual plan.

          • James Thrace

            This is a perennial issue in New Z isn't it. We always react rather than put in place mitigation strategies and plans to deal.

            We know where we live. Yet in the aftermath of Whakaari, everything has been ad hoc from woe to no.

            A proper functioning country would have plans to deal in the aftermath of an eruption ( did the tour company??) and be able to effect the plan to recover bodies and the like.

            Just like post CHCH. Just like post pike river. And now. NZ has been shown to have the affliction of short termism and "she'll be right" in every aspect.

            All the plans for the alpine quake will come to nought unless we have concrete abilities to do what needs to be done in the immediate aftermath. So far, I'm not seeing that.

            And i say this knowing full well that it can be situational, but let's be honest. Whakaari wasn't an unknown risk. Why was there seemingly no plan to deal with eruptions when tourists were there and how to cope if fatalities were incurred?

            • McFlock

              I'm not so sure about that level of criticism at the response to Whakaari. It seems to have been pretty solid to me. The letdown has been from BS media demands for action before the volcano has calmed down, and from some of the companies involved.

              The difference between pike river and whakaari is at PK the experts identified a window of safety that they wanted to exploit, and the cops overruled them. GNS doesn't want to touch Whakaari with a barge pole at the moment, which should probably tell a bit to the cops and anyone else considering going there.

              The emergency response to chch was actually pretty good. The rebuild… not so good.

              I would have thought that there's only one plan to follow in an eruption: GTFO and don't come back until it seems to have calmed down.

              • weka

                I think there were some issues about which authority Whakaari falls into geographically and thus planning isn't as advanced as it might have been? Nevertheless I think things went remarkably well on the day, I haven't seen anything that suggests there were fuck ups.

                I'm less confident about the South Island's preparedness for a really big quake. Even less confident about how we would manage in a tsunami (the couple of practice things I've seen looked depressingly bad). I'm not sure this is a criticism of CD (I'm guessing they were underfunded in the Key years) so much as it just takes time to make all the things happen and it doesn't appear to have been a priority. I still expect chopper pilots and such to step up and do their thing.

                • McFlock

                  There's also such a thing as overplanning.

                  Incident management training is more important than nailing down exactly how many patients go to which hospital – e.g. the DHB folk will be trained to call around for where to escalate specialist-requiring patients at the time, because if you plan down to that level months out, Auckland's unit might be full when you need it for your emergency. And that training will apply to bus crashes and epidemics, as well as eruptions.

                  • weka

                    I feel way more confident of hospitals' ability to deal with whatever they need to deal with (not least because they've had practice).

                    I'm thinking more about the general public and knowing what should be happening. Looking at the number of people on Monday (some being outright dicks) about how the police should go to the island to rescue people suggests that too many people don't have a good grasp of what goes on in a situation like that. I'm guessing lots of people will expect to be rescued when the time comes.

                    • McFlock

                      Which brings in the general principle that people should have emergency kits.

                      Not that I do, but I only have a week before the gout meds wear off and I'm immobilised in agony if I don't stroke out after the bp meds go. I'm one of the dead extras in any disaster movie.

              • weka

                eg do you know what to do in Dndn if there's a big quake that could trigger a tsunami? Do you know what to do if you're in a coastal place you don't normally spend time in?

                • McFlock

                  Dunedin has hills and I have a moped, lol

                • Sacha

                  Wouldn't a quake in Dunedin be from the Alpine Fault, in which case that city would be the least of our worries?

                  • McFlock

                    dude! "The least"? Ouch lol

                    We do have some smaller faultlines and very old buildings, too (there's been a flurry of brick churches being sold or demolished, relatively few being strengthened).

                    • Sacha

                      I'm saying if that fault goes off, the most harmful impacts will be further north. Dunners may have some collapsed masonry, as a consolation. Really wouldn't want to be anywhere in Welli though..

                    • weka []

                      I think it depends where the quake is. If the AF shifts nearer Wgtn more of an issue there, but it could go further south, in which case the lower West Coast and southern lakes areas will be hit worst (lots of slips, bridges gone, people cut off. Not that many deaths though, unless the lakes seiche). Sudden loss of the national grid generally and I don’t think that will be back on quickly for the SI. Some of the hydro infrastructure will go too.

                      The Tsunami risk for Dndn is from faults on the east coast?

                    • McFlock

                      There's a chunky fault near Taieri that's given a couple of decent shakes over the past few years, too. It's not just the alpine fault.

                    • weka

                      It was after reading about that some time past that I decided the only safe place to live in NZ is Lumsden.

          • McFlock

            they seem to.

            Damned if I can understand it, though.

            • weka

              interesting, they're not suggesting people evacuate.

              • McFlock

                It might be too big – like maybe evacuation would only be a small part of CM [if] a little volcano started rumbling there, but north shore would be unaffected. So mention of greater auckland evacuation would most likely kill people by jamming thoroughfares with panicking people, and completely needlessly.

                • weka

                  didn't quite follow that. No localised evacuation because the panic would cause wider mobilisation that could kill people?

                  Someone said earlier that Ak volcanoes give a few days warning so there is technically time to evacuate.

                  The fact that we don't know says a lot though.

                  • McFlock

                    No I meant more no "evacuate greater auckland" plan because if all of Auckland needs evacuation, there probably won't be anywhere to evacuate them to.

                    Most emergencies, even big ones, will have localised evacuations of greater and lesser radii. If there's a mass evacuation from safer areas, the traffic churn will bugger responses for the people who actually need help or evacuation.

                    • weka

                      They're not telling people there will be localised evacs though, they're telling them to go inside and close the windows and doors.

                    • McFlock

                      And if an evacuation is needed, civil defence will knock on windows and doors in the area requiring evacuation. Just like they do with bushfires.

                    • weka

                      seems odd not to say that on the website.

                    • McFlock

                      These sorts of instructions usually need to be clear and very simple, and the mention of evacuation in leaflets has been demonstrated to cause more harm than good.

                      Alternatively, the material was designed by committee rather than professionals and they missed that bit.

                      One of them Bureaucratic Uncertainty Principle things 🙂

  9. joe90 9

    But no say for the millions of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank who can't vote even though almost every aspect of their lives is influenced by Israeli occupation.

  10. Andre 10

    Some interesting thoughts in this piece about the new left vs the old left vs centrists and where the Labour and Democrat parties may go in the future if they lose their upcoming big elections with hard-lefties at the top of the ticket.


  11. joe90 11

    But Corbyn…


  12. Adrian 12

    If the kids were really worried about Saving The Planet and making a hero of Greta they would get their lazy little bums out of mums SUV and walk or bike to school.

    I live in one of the flatest, driest towns in NZ and yesterday I had the misfortune to time one of my rare visits to the town by trying to drive past the local girls high school only to be thwarted by what seemed like hundreds of Urban Assault Vehicles.

    "The children are concerned about their future ". Bullshit, not in practice they're not.

    Ironicly, the country kids who are bussed to and fro mostly seem to complete the journey home from the bus stop on bikes left in farmers properties next to the stop or walk.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Pingau 12.1

      Maybe it is a private school. I think all kids in NZ should normally be able to walk or bus to school. I realise times have changed and time seems to be short and parents want to make sure their kids are at school on time and safely but I can't help wishing that private schools were done away with and all kids had to attend their local school unless there were exceptional cicumstances.

      • Adrian 12.1.1

        Nope. Only girls high school in town. 1200 students, seemed like 900 UAVs. Buses only for country kids more than 8kms or so from town.

        • Pingau

          I know what you mean re the SUVs and schools. Not sure you should blame the kids though.

          • mac1

            I taught at this Girls' College in the early 70's, There was no issue then with Urban Assault SUV's. Then, no student drove to school. Then cycles were used, girls walked to school and the country girls as they do now were bussed in.

            As a boy I rode first a tricycle, then a bicycle to school in ChCh. On rainy days mum drove us to school, sometimes, bike in the boot. At University I rode a bike or took the bus.

            At Training College I rode a motor-bike.

            Something changed. I don't know why……..

      • Sabine 12.1.2

        no, a big part of the rush hour madness is that pick up school time starting at around 2.30 and finishing an hour later. Depending on where you live it can be utter chaos and madness. Also it seems that there is a bit of a competition going on on who can afford the biggest SUV or Urban Assault Vehicles.

        kids could walk or bike, but in many areas they don't – they get chauffeured about by Momma's Taxi Cab.

  13. Billy 14

    What ever happened to the anti-imperialist left?

    Feels like you’all got punked.

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