Open mike 12/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 12th, 2021 - 314 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 …

314 comments on “Open mike 12/12/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Robert Patman is useful this morning on the NZ-China relationship.

    New Zealand isn’t naive about China – but it doesn’t accept the Aukus worldview | Robert G Patman | The Guardian

    He gives a little hint at what we should be doing better, but doesn't mention the use of multilateral trade agreements.

    But it's more use that the NZDF paper this week.

    • francesca 1.1

      Once again that fuzzy concept "the international rules based order "

      crops up .

      Whose rules, whose order? Deliberately fuzzy so it can be reinterpreted quickly when the geopolitical need arises

      States may not act in compliance with this “rules-based order” because they do not consider themselves bound by the “rules” it consists of, and in fact they are not. This creates the added danger that the use of this new term will come to undermine the credibility of international law.

      So if we're to strengthen international law, we need the most powerful to lead the way

      • Ad 1.1.1

        No one here need worry about differences between Russia and Germany in the degree of force in their definitions of international law.

        The most important codes for international behaviour relevant to New Zealand are found in our multilateral trade agreements: CER, CPTPP, ASEAN, PACER Plus, and RCEP, plus all the big Asia bilateral ones we are in on.

        Those, plus the defence cooperation agreements that our tiny NZDF gets involved in, are what pretty much constitute our international rules based order here.

      • Blazer 1.1.2

        The 'most powerful' have a complete disregard for international law…when it suits…them.

        That is crystal clear.

    • Gezza 1.2

      At least he reminds readers that the NZ government has not ignored the more concerning aspects of the CCP’s behaviour internally, in the South Pacific, & in the South China Sea & has noted its concerns with the PRC government (which didn’t go down all that well, IIRC).

      The fact that we don’t want to join in with the AUKUS’s & the QUAD’s sabre rattling – or, at least, not at this stage – seems to have protected us from China trade retaliation.

      But we are very vulnerable to that. It’s a pity Patman’s article didn’t go on to address that issue. We urgently need to diversify our markets & our traditional English-speaking allies in the US & Canada & Britain, in my view, should be doing a lot more for us than they are on that score.

      • Blazer 1.2.1

        You saw the 'concern' of our traditional ally Britain…when they joined the EEC…!

        • Gezza

          Sometimes, in your seemingly obsessive head-over-heels rushes to post very brief sarcastic remarks, your points get left behind, unsaid, in the dust cloud.

          You know that Britain has left the EU now, right? So, one might reasonably expect that someone with a few actual clues in Boris’s cabinet might see some opportunities in upping trade with the former colonies & dominions, especially those who still recognise HM as their Head of State.

          It’s something of a puzzle that they haven’t clicked on to the possibilities of going all out to bolster Commonwealth trade & other linkages. Obviously the wrong kind of Tories are in power there. Although, looking the fracking shambolism that IS Bojo, that was always probably a foregone conclusion. The Tories, like National here, have lost their way & don’t know what they stand for any more, except for still looking after the toffs.

          • Blazer

            Sarcasm or not…its reality…these fairweather friends couldn't care less about NZ really.

            British farmers especially ,oppose NZ agriculutral imports.

            So saying there has been some movement on tariffs ,a gradual reduction I understand.

            Also remember the Rainbow Warrior aggression by France…these traditional allies…looked the other way.

            • Gezza

              Re France, I don’t think we’ve ever considered ourselves allies of the frogs to any great extent.

              Our alliances have been of the “Where Britain goes, we go” variety. We just ended up with the frogs sometimes being there alongside usG becoz the poms have tended to help them out & try & stop them from surrendering to whoever too early.

              We Kiwis don’t get involved in French-driven peacekeeping missions in the Sahel, or elsewhere. And after the Rainbow Warrior bombing we learned never to trust the dodgy bastards. (And Yes. Our traditional allies were notable for looking away & thus shitting on us then too.)

              Since WW2 we’ve had kind of an understanding that where the US goes, we go, because they saved us from the Japs back then, & we’ve been a bit worried about in past decades about international commies taking over in SE Asia. But the yanks can’t count on us to join their illegal invasions of other countries, like some of their lackey lap dogs eg Oz, Canada, & the UK. Maybe that’s why they talk us up as friends but don’t behave towards us like mates in the trade arena.

              I take your point that the poms aren’t showing much trade interest & that our primary producers will face stiff resistance from their pollies protecting their farmers (which I understand, & which protectionism Trump has now made fashionable again) & I see Lynn has now made some informed comment on the rather limited deal we have signed with the UK below.

              But I’d sure like to see greater trading between Commonwealth countries as a trading bloc, & it seems to me that Britain could drive this. Except for the fact they have a blond-haired idiot as a PM who, policy-wise, doesn’t seem to know his arse from his elbow, & spends most of his time generating scandals.

          • lprent

            They already have "New Zealand secures historic free trade deal with the United Kingdom" October 21st

            Problem is that it mostly a commodity trade agreement from this end. Which has revenue but limited profit either in taxable income or employees. And pretty limited simply because we have moved on long ago.

            Having worked with UK parts of my last employer for the last few years, I'd say that the biggest problem with the UK in terms of our rapidly developing intellectual property industry is that they are in exactly the wrong timezone for us. It is a total pain in the arse working with them as they start work about the time we go to bed and vice-versa.

            Plus it is probably the longest trade route we have, and one of the longest flights.

            Overall pretty useless except for counter cyclic produce. This is reflected in the high points of the press release.

      • Ad 1.2.2


        Our general posture is: "Do the minimum to stay on side with Defence allies, and the maximum to sustain our trade relationships".

        If there's nothing more to take out of China's trade hits against Australia, it's simply:

        Assume crouch position and tread softly where elephants dance.

        • Dennis Frank

          You can also dance counterpoint to the big binary, using the old zen technique of always sliding past, moving into spaces recently vacated. Kind of like learning to finesse Ak traffic flow, so you cruise into a gap just before competitors get there.

          Not that Labour/National are capable of such expertise, of course. But it remains a workable option.

  2. Jenny how to get there 2

    Reminiscent of the of the notorious Bum Fights where well off college kids paid homeless men to fight each other. Filming these brutal conflicts for their own amusment.

    Anti-vaxxers with the moral turpitude of pond scum have paid a man desperate for money to take their shots for them, so that they could pose as being vaccinated.

    This is evil on so many levels, it is hard to comprehend.

    1. Many anti-vaxxers believe (wrongfully), that being vaccinated against Covid-19 is actually worse than catching Covid-19.
      If they truely believe this, then how then can these anti-vaxxers countenance risking this man's health?
    2. Posing as being vaccinated so that they can socially mix with others at public events, possibly helping spread the contagion to unsuspecting members of the public and serving staff. Is another level of vile.

    Vaccinologist and associate professor Helen Petousis-Harris called the behaviour "unbelievably selfish" and taking advantage of somebody who needs some money.

    It could cause serious harm from the people who are not vaccinated, saying they are, and spreading the virus, she said.

    • dv 2.1

      The names must be known.

      They must be tracked down and dealt with.

      • Gezza 2.1.1

        Gawd luvva duck! These people are pond scum.

        Agree they should be tracked down & dealt with quite severely if possible. But, even if theu could be identified, what could they even be charged with?

        As if the police haven’t got enuf to do! 😠

      • Sabine 2.1.2

        If we could just put something – a marker or a sign or a symbol – on their clothes so that they easily identifiable, then we could easily round them up and put them into camps. All of them. And then there will be no more covid ever.

        • Robert Guyton

          Exhalant writes interestingly about the antivaxxers.

          "In other words, if you feel that many of the narratives you’ve no doubt come across feels “constructed”, it’s because, well, they are.

          They are the product of overseas influences and influencers, that have little to no relation to our more domestic issues here, and the reality of how we’ve acted by and large as a country – pulling together for the common good."

          • Patricia Bremner

            Yes Robert, a well balanced description of the ferment occurring and well expressed, including the right using this. The fact that doctored videos of the PM are circulating, reminded me of National and Act wanting "Parody" videos. Hand and Glove?

          • weka

            Pretty sure you would have known people who didn't vaccinate their kids long before covid or even the rise of the anti-vax movement post-Wakefield/MMR.

            The reasons people don't vaccinate are varied and can't be neatly squashed into the 'evil, US influencer' box. Yes, there are people manipulating the situation (this is the age we live in), but I think it doesn't help us to frame it so heavily in this way (it's a dominant narrative on the left), because we want diversity of thought and understanding, and we want to not make a worse rift than there already is.

            • Ad

              Unless excluded on medical grounds, they frame themselves.

              • weka

                As people who are not vaccinated.

                Not as people sucked in by overseas narratives with little bearing on NZ life.

            • Jenny how to get there


              12 December 2021 at 9:23 am

              Pretty sure you would have known people who didn't vaccinate their kids long before covid or even the rise of the anti-vax movement post-Wakefield/MMR….

              And you would be right.

              Who wouldn't have known of people espousing alternative lifestyles with anti-vaccination views. Surely we would all know someone with their views shaped by a rejection of the science and reason of the enlightenment, in exchange for a 'wholistic' new-age mysticism.

              That such people are supsceptible to falling for far right conspiracy theories should not come as any surprise.

              Nazi Hippies: When the New Age and Far Right Overlap

              …..Some people are astounded that New Age hippies could have any overlap with extremist conspiracy politics. But it happens. This week, I want to look at another period when the New Age overlapped with far-right politics, with disastrous consequences for the world — Germany in the 1920s and ’30s….


              • weka

                nope. Nothing to do with the new age.

                I still know people who have chosen to not vaccinate. They're not anti-science, they're not new age hippies, and they're not allied with Nazis or the far right.

                I'm suggesting we stop treating non vaccinated people as Other, and understand the wide range of dynamics going on, not just the 'point at the nazi adjacents' thing.

                • Jenny how to get there


                  12 December 2021 at 2:03 pm

                  ….I still know people who have chosen to not vaccinate. They're not anti-science, they're not new age hippies, and they're not allied with Nazis or the far right….


                  Do you possibly know what their motivations are?

                  • weka

                    yes. For some it's about personal autonomy in health care. Or a belief that there are better ways to manage their personal risk of covid. Or not having high faith in the medical system, especially with regards to this particular vaccine and the timeframes of development. Or all of that.

                    I know for myself it's been extremely weird having this alien set of chemicals injected into my body. This is why I talk about the 'science is god' position. I'd prefer people be more honest about their beliefs, that they are beliefs, and acknowledge that humans are more than science-based beings, and have additional ways of knowing, making decisions, relating with the world.

                    • Jenny how to get there

                      Thank you for putting the welfare of others, above your personal reservations and fears.

                      You are a good person.

                      What was your experience?

                    • weka

                      Thanks Jenny. It was also self-interest, I consider myself to be a reasonable risk of covid were I to contract it.

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    P.S. I too know people who have chosen not to vaccinate, who are not new age hippies and not anti-science, or on the far right.

                    When I ask them why, the answer I usually get, is that they have been threatened by committed anti-vaxxers in their family, that they will cut them off, if they get vaccinated.

                    One friend has had to move out of the family home and live in the garage, himself and his partner have been threatened by the their anti-vax daughter and his partner who live with them,

                    • Robert Guyton

                      It's very gratifying to read a discussion such as you and weka are having about your different experiences with Covid and vaccinations, Jenny; it's polite, reasonable and accomodating and shows, to my mind anyway, how progress can be made even when the issues are difficult 🙂

                • Robert Guyton

                  "I'm suggesting we stop treating non vaccinated people as Other, and understand the wide range of dynamics going on"

                  I thought we were doing this?

                  There is a vein of behaviour running through the "group" who aren't vaccinated; those who shout about their rights at the supermarket, make fake bookings at restaurants, post vehemently on Facebook etc. that capture more attention than the wide range of "modest" objectors, so it's natural that the "short-hand" impressions and responses given online would highlight those people.

                  • weka

                    I don't know about natural. I think it's unhelpful, sloppy politics, intellectually sloppy, and too often based in prejudice. We take better care when talking about other social dynamics. I assume with this one, people don't care because the Others are Bad.

                    If people are online to slag off (I see this a fair amount on twitter), then that's what they will do. If we're here to talk politics, I think it's worth digging deeper and gaining a better understanding of the range of dynamics. It's a dynamic itself that otherwise thoughtful lefties don't want to or won't.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Do you think it's "intellectually sloppy and too often based in prejudice" when people talk about the influence of outsiders/Qanon/fomenters of discord on people here in New Zealand?

                      It seems to me a significant problem.

                    • weka

                      Of course not. That's part of the picture.

                      I'm saying there is a tendency to make that the whole picture. That's the problem. Monoculturing the understanding of vax resistance/hesitancy.

                    • weka

                      the people I knew in my twenties, into alternative health, had homebirths, and chose not to vaccinate their kids, absolutely nothing to do with Qanon, Wakefield/MMR, and the term anti-vax didn't exist afaik or at least the movement that we know now didn't.

                      Those people haven't disappeared, but they are quieter than the anti-vax crowd. Would be interesting though to see how many have chosen to vaccinate themselves against covid or not.

                      I also think that the dynamics of why Māori who aren't vaccinating aren't. The idea that they're all being sucked into Qanon is too superficial. Colonisation is obviously a big factor here.

                      One of the most fascinating aspects of the whole thing is the eclectic mix of people involved in the covid protest movement.

                    • RedLogix

                      the people I knew in my twenties, into alternative health, had homebirths, and chose not to vaccinate their kids, absolutely nothing to do with Qanon, Wakefield/MMR, and the term anti-vax didn't exist afaik or at least the movement that we know now didn't.

                      For what it's worth – that was us.

          • Sabine

            What on earth are you trying to say?

            Care to be honest and outspoken or would that just make you look like someone who would approve or marking, rounding up and locking up people whom you disagree with?

          • Ad

            95% of New Zealand will simply never have to deal with the unvaccinated … other than in blogs and message boards.

            The remaining few can just talk among themselves online.

            They brought their isolation on themselves do tough luck.

            They are just stupid like Sandra Goudie and will be shunned from public participation.

          • mauī

            I get the same feeling reading Exhalant as I do David Farrier, basically it's an effort to discredit or ridicule the opposition view, and not to engage in good faith with any of their arguments.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Why Maui? I felt he was referring to online infiltrators who were gathering up our groups who were protesting and steering them towards losing trust in the state. Building memes of deliberate harm. That many protestors were having their cause hijacked. What worried you particularly?

        • Blazer

          I suggest just shaving their heads…no need to go …overboard.

            • weka

              I hope those are joke thumbs, but still in poor taste.

              • Sabine

                i think they are "i approve thumbs"

                Jokes ran away in tears a long time ago.

                • weka

                  I was trying to look on the bright side. Vain hope.

                  • Sabine

                    When you stop looking at the 'bright' side, which in essence is just lighter colored shit, you will actually see what is there.

                    Leave hope, go with reality.

              • Blazer

                You have to understand Weka,that Sabine often uses satire….and sometimes that is reciprocated in the same…vein.

                • weka

                  I know what Sabine was saying. I'm unclear on what dv meant.

                  • Blazer

                    Do you agree with Sabines solution….given she confirms its ..genuine?

                    • weka

                      where did she say she thinks we should actually put symbols on non vaccinated people's clothes, then round them up and put them in camps?

                  • Dv

                    I wa reacting to the subtle implication to Luxon .

                  • Blazer

                    here is where she says it…

                    'If we could just put something – a marker or a sign or a symbol – on their clothes so that they easily identifiable, then we could easily round them up and put them into camps. All of them. And then there will be no more covid ever.'

                    • weka

                      That's very pointed satire. She's not saying she thinks we should actually do that. She's saying (I think) that there are problems with the vaccine pass in the context of rising fascism, as well as taking a poke at people saying things like

                      The names must be known.

                      They must be tracked down and dealt with.

                      (dv upthread)

                      You said,

                      Do you agree with Sabines solution….given she confirms its ..genuine?

                      I don't know what you are trying to say tbh.

                  • Blazer

                    hard to understand what Sabines position is TBH…given she emphasises….

                    'And let me assure you once again, I do not joke. That is the difference between me and you, I don't joke, ever'

                    Of course there is the possibility that she excludes satire from 'joking' when she says it….and aligns it with 'joking' if someone else says it.

          • Sabine



            yeah, history rymes. Would your shaving the hari also apply to men, or they are good?

            Oh the lovely left, right and centre, hardly any difference between the lot.

            • Blazer

              Yes of course it would apply to men.

              I would like to see the leader of every right wing party have their head shaved,so their bald,shiney ,pate willcool identify..them clearly.

              • Sabine

                Yep, i agree we can start with the Labour Party. I can see our non male leader look awesome with it. As they are the ones currently in power and are making the decision that have you frothing at the seem.

                Honestly, i never thought i see the day were the socalled left and right are virtually the same. Ugly.

                Just as a reminder, because History always repeats itself, this is the lament from some German fuckwit who voted for the Nazis, was happy to be a Nazi until the Nazi decided that he was not enough of a Nazi.

                First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
                Because I was not a socialist.

                Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
                Because I was not a trade unionist.

                Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
                Because I was not a Jew.

                Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

                Always keep that in mind, that once you start going down that road that there is no return, and you too will have to re-confirm your allegiance lest you get your head shaved or worse. Also the Germans too shaved the heads of their women, the Race Traitors, the ‘degenerate’ women, the ‘scolded’ women.
                But then, you are just a taking the piss, a bit of a laughter at the lighter colored shit, right?


                • Blazer

                  It was a response to this post of yours…

                  'If we could just put something – a marker or a sign or a symbol – on their clothes so that they easily identifiable, then we could easily round them up and put them into camps. All of them. And then there will be no more covid ever.'

                  No one would connect that comment to say…Jews and Concentration camps….would they!….sheesh….you must be made of…cement.

                  • Sabine

                    yes as a direct response to this Person here.


                    12 December 2021 at 7:03 am

                    The names must be known.

                    They must be tracked down and dealt with.

                    I guess you did not see that? Yeah, non so blind as those that don't want to see. And let me assure you once again, I do not joke. That is the difference between me and you, I don't joke, ever. And you are plain enough to think that joking about these things, or even just asking for these things, that 'they must be tracked down and 'dealt' with is good left wing discourse. Or some other bullshit.

                    And with this is wish you happy marching in lockstep to a brighter and most certainly shit smeared future.

                    • Blazer

                      I now believe you 'don't joke…ever'….tragic.

                      If you think your sentiments elevate you to some holy ground…you are not only humourless but…deluded.

                    • Molly

                      @Blazer. I find some 'jokes' rather inane. Point scoring rather than providing any form of insight or information. I try to refrain but occasionally am tempted into the pitiful myself.

                      On the other hand, I appreciate the piquancy of Sabine's comments. They always require you to stop and think, and consider if this perspective has any truth in it. Humour vs insight – insight for me is preferred.

                      (With that said, I also find Sabine one of the most entertaining on this site. Depends on your sense of humour, I suppose.)

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Get out while you still can, Blazer!

                  • Blazer

                    @Molly… Sabine informs us…she does NOT joke…Ever.

                    On that basis ,I'm not sure her idea to round up the unvaccinated,put a symbol on their clothes and intern them in camps is a practical or reasonable…solution.

                    • Molly

                      AFAIK this was a response to previous comments, so context is important.

                      We likely disagree as to humour.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Some here find your jokes "inane", Blazer, as they do mine.

                      I find yours mostly hilarious and nuanced.

                      As Molly says, "depends on your sense of humour".

                • Tony Veitch (not etc.)

                  OMG, it annoys the shit out of me when people compare the anti-vaxxers with treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany.

                  It may have escaped peoples' notice but the Jews had no choice. They couldn't suddenly decide not to be Jews, and if they did, the Nazis decided they were still Jews.

                  Anti-vaxxers, as far as I am aware, make a deliberate choice to be anti-social – then complain when society points the finger at them. And they can always rescind that decision without consequences. They choose not to!


                  • Ross

                    It may have escaped peoples' notice but the Jews had no choice.

                    Some Jews did leave Germany.

                    By the time the final ban on Jewish emigration was issued on 23 October 1941, around 275,000 people had fled Germany – more than half the number of Jews who lived there in 1933.

                    But putting that to one side, some people cannot be vaccinated as it could be injurious to their health. And has been discussed, the vaccinated can pose a risk to others. Treating this as a cut and dried issue isn't terribly helpful.


                    • Tony Veitch (not etc.)

                      The usual facile response from the right.

                      "Some Jews did leave Germany." And all anti-vaxxers are welcome to leave NZ with my blessing. Let them migrate to . . . Austria, for instance.

                      Of course there will be immuno-compromised people, and they have my full sympathy. They need to be protected from the anti-vax fws.

                      Yes, vaccinated people can contract the disease and can pass it on, but are a) unlikely to get a severe dose and b) are unlikely to pass on a severe dose to someone else.

                      I have zero time for idiots who somehow think they are protecting their precious right to die of covid be refusing to be vaccinated!

                    • Ross

                      The usual facile response from the right.

                      Except I'm firmly on the Left. 🙂

                      Ultimately, vaccination is a matter of personal choice. You don't have to like the choice of others. You're welcome to protest.

                • Jenny how to get there


                  12 December 2021 at 10:16 am

                  Yep, i agree we can start with the Labour Party….

                  …..Just as a reminder, because History always repeats itself, this is the lament from some German fuckwit who voted for the Nazis, was happy to be a Nazi until the Nazi decided that he was not enough of a Nazi.

                  First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
                  Because I was not a socialist……


                  ….Always keep that in mind, that once you start going down that road that there is no return, and you too will have to re-confirm your allegiance lest you get your head shaved or worse. Also the Germans too shaved the heads of their women, the Race Traitors, the ‘degenerate’ women, the ‘scolded’ women…..

                  Commonly referred to as 'No Jab, No Job' Our government has imposed mandatory vaccination; on teachers, on border workers, on GPs, on hospital workers, on the NZDF.
                  Our government has enacted these mandates to protect the public's health, especially those vulnerable members of the community.
                  To compare our government's vaccine mandates to the fascist persecution of socialists and Jews, is a dirty slur on our government and an insult to the memory of the millions nurdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

                  If we must make comparisons with Nazi Germany. The misogynist messaging, Qanon and Trump banners and Confederate flags carried on the anti-government protests, plus the smashing of shop front windows, and theories of a world wide conspiracy, that rival The Protocols of Zion in their falsity. Are all indications that anti-vaxxers are the ones with an ideology more reminiscent of the German nazis of the '30s and '40s.

        • McFlock

          Well, no. Camps would be stupid. I read today that unvaxxed aucklanders are ten times more likely than vaxxed ones to have covid, based on the outbreak infection rates, so sticking them all together would have a huge risk of a massive outbreak from the get-go.

          Nobody would want that. I just don't want someone's kooky "health choices" to risk my own health – "passive anitvaxxing", sort of thing.

          We also ban smokers from bars while they present a risk to others.

    • Molly 2.2

      The article is light on information. It's not good that this has occurred, but it'd be good to know more and consider how procedures could be tightened up.

      Requirement for ID or proof of address at the first shot perhaps?

      Fix the process.

      • Blazer 2.2.1

        'Requirement for ID '-now there's a bold…/initiative!

      • weka 2.2.2

        Requirement for ID or proof of address at the first shot perhaps?

        That's a barrier for some to getting vaccinated.

        I’m guessing that paying someone to get vaxxed for you is an outlier. Will be interested to see what the investigation yields.

        • Molly

          Yes, I understand. That may be complemented by address verification for those without (MOH sends code similar to TradeMe process). You'd need another option for those without fixed addresses.

          But really, I'm talking about bolting the empty horse stall.

          We had over a year to design and bulletproof vaccine processes. We didn't take advantage of that time, as far as I can see.

          • weka

            What would you do with walk ins? Not everyone books via email.

            • Molly

              Considering that the vaccines are linked to NHS numbers, having some form of access to that information to ensure that those numbers are only used once, might have mitigated that.

              Like I said, the MoH had a year to identify problems and design solutions. They didn't use it well.

              • Molly

                … vaccine passports are linked to NHI numbers…

                • weka

                  yes, for obvious reasons. But the state is less concerned with people getting a pass than they are will getting people vaccinated.

                  • Molly

                    As I said previously, any suggestions are academic. That boat has sailed.

                    They had a period of planning available they did not use well (in my opinion). System processes could have been tested for robustness and possible loopholes, and those weak points identified and fixed.

                    I'm not saying they are completely inept – just that they could've done better.

                    • weka

                      yes, but you haven't said how.

                      I can't see how to prevent this kind of fraud and make vaccination as accessible as possible in the timeframe. Am open to suggestions.

                    • Molly

                      I have, but they've been discounted for not solving all. The MoH had over a year to get sorted. I'm commenting between garden showers. In the far distant past, when I was studying systems analysis and programming, one of my favourite parts was the testing stage, trying to break my code, and identifying problems in the solutions I had come up with. I find this process automatic, and enjoy it, even if means that I have to redo work. I think the MoH processes appear to be the result of putting something together that works, but not undertaking rigorous testing. You and others may disagree, but the fact that someone can get vaccinated ten times, means a weakness was not identified and therefore has not been addressed.

                      The hospital uses my name and DOB to look up my NHI number. So does the privately owned Labtests.

                      Everyone entering for a vaccine would have that information.

                      A process that included similar access may have avoided the possibility of misuse, alongside use of personal id, address verification and possibly access to photo data from DIA and the MoT.

                      What the combination of approaches would have done, was allow the non-id, non-verified group to have another process added (eg. photo record) that could utilise a face-recognition program to look for duplicates).

                      You have to identify it as a problem first, and then work on possible solutions. They didn't identify it in their testing and robustness phase.

              • weka

                as far as I can tell, he was only using each NHI number once. He went in with someone else's name each time, so that the vax record showed that person as being vaccinated. That's the point.

                The highest priority for the MoH was to get as many people vaccinated as possible in a short space of time. My understanding was they didn't use ID for the same reason we don't with voting: it creates barriers. 'Fuck, forgot my ID, made a special trip, will come back later, don't get around to it' would be one scenario but not the only one.

                When someone goes into the nurses room or wherever to get vaccinated, then their details get recorded/checked in the vax registration system. I would have thought that was sufficient checking. It would tell the nurse the name, NHI, and existing vax status of anyone presenting. If they're not in the system, then presumably more checks would be done.

                If the issue here is one of fraud, then the fraudster could take a birth certificate as a form of ID and there would be nothing to stop that happening. So there's a balance between encouragement and protecting the integrity of the system from fraud.

                I can't see how requiring ID or an email registration would help with that (don't think it would be too hard to jimmy the email registration either).

                If they discover that fraud is widespread I guess they'd have to look at that, but it would still be weighing up the risk from the fraud and the risk of barriers to vaccination.

                Given that Māori access to vaccination (and others' access) is a core aspect of NZ vaccine programmes (not just covid) and that access is related to things like ID, registration etc, I can't see how the MoH got it wrong here. No system is infallible or perfect.

        • Blazer

          Who in NZ would not have I.D of some description.?

          Even illegal immigrants would have something surely.

          • joe90

            Some time ago a mates octogenarian lame-duck flatmate/boarder keeled over with a thump and was ambulanced/admitted with what was thought to be a stroke. That evening my mate received a panicked call from the hospital. The event was deemed an unsurvivable brain bleed, the old boy was unconscious, the only ID he had was an expired cossie club membership with his name wrongly spelt so they had no idea who he was and he was dying. No NHI, no medical records, no police record, nothing.

            The good news is that he survived and woke up weeks later. He's back on his feet and recently started talking.

            Thirty plus years below the radar is no mean feet.

          • Craig H

            It happens, usually because they've lost their birth certificate and had no need for it until they apply for super.

            • Jilly Bee

              I can attest to that Craig H. I recall my mother applying for her National Super in 1971 – she had to apply for a birth certificate and that's when the fun started. She mistakenly thought her name was Evelyn – had been known as that and had used it throughout her life with no problems. After a fair bit of faffing around she discovered her first name was infact Evalyn – end of problem.

            • Blazer

              So they never drive,open a bank account,travel overseas,become parents.

              I guess they have never been to prison or needed any clearance for employment either.


              How can they apply for Super without even a tax record?

              • weka

                If someone has a birth certificate, or say an IRD bill, how does this prevent fraud as outlined in the article? If a birth certificate is required to get a vax, they present with the bc of the person who is paying them to get vaxxed in their name, and give that person's name.

                • Blazer

                  Some form of documentation may help to prevent fraud at the very least.

                  A birth cert would at least give an indication of age….the 10 people could be in the same ballpark age wise I guess,but a couple of questions confirming details on the BC,might find this fraud out.

                  I still can't fathom how it works.

                  A man just walks in and says his name is Bob Smith and is vaccinated and then what records are produced?

                  The story is a bit light on details…did the 9 people all then confess and say they paid him,or did he decide to volunteer the information…because???

                  • weka

                    When you get vaccinated the nurse enters the information that you have been vaccinated in their system on the computer (looks up your details when you arrive). I assume this is a MoH database, and it's what is used later to generate the vaccine pass.

                    Fred Dagg walking in with a non-photo ID that says he is Bob Smith is not more secure than him walking in with no ID and saying he is Bob Smith. Assuming Bob Smith gave him all the details ahead of time.

                    I would guess the article is light on detail because they don't want to give other people tips on how to do this.

              • Craig Hall

                It's a relic of a bygone age, and when I came across them in my old job, was most commonly housewives who married a husband whose name is or was on all the accounts, and whose grocery shopping was either in cash or on a weekend with the husband driving, or just walking to and from the shop. Super eligibility currently is people born before 1956 (1957 next year), so if they had children in the 1970s, entirely possibly that ID never came into it for them, or that they got by with a birth certificate which they have since lost. The other similar case is the same people (usually women) having ID like a passport, but it's long since expired.

                The other place where ID is hard is people with disabilities either at birth or a young age, especially if they live with their parents and everything is done by their parents. They often have some form of ID like their birth certificates and perhaps an EFTPOS card, but not driver licenses or passports, so can struggle with strict ID requirements.

          • Patricia 2

            Many street dwellers / just out of prison / just out of mental heath wards / homeless people have no I.D. That's why many have no bank accounts. Banks state it is a privilege to have a bank account – not a right. In days gone by the BNZ had to give a bank account to anyone who applied because they were the Government bank. Now we have no Government bank and a big group with no bank accounts. Some clients think their prison discharge papers complete with photo will assist their cause ; sadly it does the opposite.

            I have worked with these groups for over 30 years and we struggle to get photo ID and then a bank account. A real mission when the person is from overseas – during lockdown near impossible to get birth certificates.

            • Blazer

              How are prisoners identified before they are convicted if they have no I.D.

              I realise they are photographed and fingerprinted but if they just give any old name their records would be incomplete.

              My understanding is most homeless people are on benefits….how do they obtain those with no I.D.

              I guess having I.D and carrying/producing it are different.

              • weka

                I'm on a benefit. If I lose my birth certificate and driver's licence I'd still be on a benefit but I'd have no ID.

                • Blazer


                  Learn something every day.Who needs I.D.

                  Maybe this fraudster had an incentive to get vaxxed 10 times that had nothing to do with any other real people.

                  If say, he received a $50 grocery voucher or a box of KFC,just for presenting,that might do it.

                  • weka

                    Have you ever voted in a polling station in NZ. No ID is needed. They have a list of registered voters, and they check after the election that no-one voted twice in different places.

                    It would be much harder to get vaxed with fake names. The fraudster is reported to have been paid.

                    There was a rumour going round the other day that a prominent anti-vaxer got pinged trying to get vaxed using a false name. Someone recognised them. No idea if it is true, but it does suggest that false names (rather than using a real name of someone else) is harder to get away with.

                    • Blazer

                      If your premise is that you can be on the electoral and vote without any I.D ,the whole system is easily compromised.

                    • weka []

                      That’s not my premise. I am telling you don’t need ID to vote if you are on the electoral roll. The electoral roll is what is checked, voting on the day is checked *after you vote not at the desk. It’s a very secure system.

      • miravox 2.2.3

        IIRC at the start of the vaccination drive there were massive attempts to be inclusive of people with histories that might prevent them from being vaccinated -e.g. people fearful of authority for one reason or other so vax centres gave assurances that people would not need I.D. to be vaccinated.

        • Molly

          That's valid.

          But IMO it's factor to include in consideration, not a replacement for a solution.

    • Blade 2.3

      I find it hard to decide who is more reprehensible – the idiot who subjected himself to 10 vaccine jabs, or the pricks who paid him.

      But the worry for me isn't much about the unvaccinated. What scares me is our strategy regarding Covid and Covid control is based on the Covid jab being safe. That is yet to be proven long term. If you want to see society collapse overnight; long term side effects showing up will do the trick. Should that happen, roles will reverse with vaccinated people becoming the new ''enemy,''

      As a social experiment ask your health care professional or someone who's vaccinated if they are scared of long term side effects. Most will unequivocally say ''NO!' They will tell you the science is done and the vaccine is as safe as possible. Unlike those not vaccinated, these folk are less psychologically prepared to be wrong.

      Meanwhile, many good people are being excluded from society. I recently saw a dad being excluded from watching his son play basketball. The anger was frightening. He kicked a potted plant to pieces. He was middleclass, white and clean cut.
      I just cannot see society remaining coherent without something giving way for the worst.

      • weka 2.3.1

        yep. I can see it being okay-ish if it's short term (maybe 6 months or do). But if the restrictions on access stay in place long term I think we're going to see an even nastier division than we already have. We should be paying attention, but as usual the left is largely happy with coercing people into social change because many thing god is on our side and we will inevitably win.

        • Cricklewood

          I'm refusing to have a passport as I firmly disagree with the idea that we are going to lock people out of society based on vaccination status and that we have extended that all the way down to 12 year old children.

          Thus far there is a pretty decent black market forming for some services and a small list of freindly hospo venues who aren't checking passes on a 'secret handshake' type signal which is softening the blow.

          ButI'm also aware of a couple of people who are becoming increasingly distressed and and angry to the point where I'm actually seriously worried about them.

          Sadly I think the damage is done in many ways, myself I feel I dont have a political party I can vote for any longer so won't bother again.

          I really hope they dont extend passports etc down to 5 year old children next year because that will cause a far deeper rift…

          Imagine banning a 5 year old from the library…

          • Gezza

            This is the kind of level of simmering resentment some people are expressing that might just explode into trouble, even violence, at an iwi checkpoint.

            I imagine police are going to be very wary of this eventuality, especially the possibility that a few antivaxers & (some “anti-Māori-separatists”) might decide to drive a protest convoy to one of them to demonstrate & demand free passage on the roads to visit their Pākehā – or Māori – friends or rellies.

            If (patched or unpatched) gang members or associates who are whanau members of nga tangata whenua staffing the checkpoints – or even just the Māori checkpoint dudes themselves – decide to threaten anyone who says “I’m going thru” there could well be physical altercations at these roadblocks.

            To date, there have been few if any ugly incidents at iwi-run checkpoints, but as frustration & confusion grows with the passport & trafgic light system, this might not continue to be the case.

            I’m going to be interested to see if the tv networks cover many checkpoints.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            I'm refusing to have a passport

            As one of the vaccine refusniks this sends a shard of clear light into what could become a very, very dark place. Thank you. In more politically sophisticated nations many are doing this. The memory of "Papers please!" is recent.

            Have no doubt Cricklwood that for many of us who have taken this path it has been the foaming, spittle flecked wild-eyed explanations from experts and politicians as to why young adults, teenagers and very, very young children whose risk from Covid is infinitesimally small must, must have the Pfizer Product that has truly frightened us into standing our ground.

            This is a hill many of us are prepared to die on.

            Reason, rationality and science have been replaced by….something.

            The first time mRNA vaccines have ever been used on humans and there are no long term safety studies, and there are very real safety signals for heart damage especially in young people, and they plough ahead as if they have not a care.

            • solkta

              This is a hill many of us are prepared to die on.

              Yes, literally it would seem.

            • joe90

              The memory of "Papers please!" is recent.

              Really? Do tell.

              • Cricklewood

                Well, my partner grew up in the Eastern block. She has direct memory of 'papers please' and she finds some of the things happening here quite frightening.

                • joe90

                  So, no recent memory in Aoteoroa.

                  • weka

                    she's obviously talking internationally, and, we have a fair number of people living in NZ who have come from places with authoritarian governments and where such rules have existed .

                    • joe90

                      Comparing public health measures to the Falangist terror at the hands of a ruthlessly brutal Guardia endured by people I knew undermines and devalues their suffering.

                      Ditto Yellow star and Apartheid comparisons.

                    • weka

                      minimising the Dawn Raids didn't sit right with me either.

              • Cricklewood

                Well the Dawn raids were pretty damn close…

                • Cricklewood

                  Actually it's not even close it was exactly a case of show me your papers for a segment of NZ society.

                  Police and immigration officers would conduct dawn raids, forcibly entering houses to demand proof of residency,

                  • joe90

                    Golly, visa holders are required to provide proof of status.Who woulda thunk it./

                    BTW, a wegie jock I know couldn't get enough points to immigrate legally so in 1973 he and his wife took a world cruise and jumped ship in Wellington. They blended in well with their blond hair, blue eyes and newly minted kid so they were never ever going to be subjected to the indignities of dawn raids let alone be challenged about their status.

                    Government jobs, residency and citizenship were a doddle. He retired a couple of years ago as one of the lucky last on the old gold plated Government super scheme.

                    • weka

                      the Dawn Raids were the government asking politely for proof of visa status, yeah right.

                    • joe90

                      Immigration policies of the day were politicised with a dog whistle. Dawn raids were the racist enforcement of those politicisatised (dog whistle) policies.

                    • Gezza

                      Well he was sweet as. That was superb timing.

                      Brits weren’t restricted for immigration to NZ until 2 April 1974.

                      All he ever had to after that was show evidence he was living in Kiwiland as his primary place of residence on that date & he and his family got residence permits & returning residents visas if they wanted to travel.

                    • weka

                      yes, I understand. And I think there are limits to the 'present your card' thing too.

                      But, Sabine hails from a country where this was an actual repressive tool, and she uses hyperbole to point to the risks of this kind of state intervention. It's not like a state goes from happy, smiley to fascist overnight.

                      My concern (in part) is that if Labour normalise this long or even medium term, then National are quite capable of entrenching something worse once back in power and if we have another acute or ongoing emergency.

                      This concern sits in the context of my other comment about the coming storm and how liberals seem largely complacent about that as if Jacinda will be around forever and will keep us safe.

                    • joe90

                      Well he was sweet as.

                      As jock said himself, white people from the old country. Although I do recall a German electrician I worked with having immigration problems.

                    • Gezza

                      Germans, and even Yanks, needed to apply for residence visas, and residence permits when they arrived.

                      Prior to April 1974, the only non-NZ citizens who didn’t were the Brits.

                      As I recall there were a few letters to the Editor from Colonel Blimp types who thought we were impudent colonials restricting the free movement of those of the salt of the earth, pride of the old Empire pommy bastards, but overall the new requirements went into place with comparatively little fuss.

                  • joe90

                    And I think there are limits to the 'present your card' thing too.

                    Under a health and welfare umbrella health professionals and particular trades are required to present proof of qualification/registration, entry to major work sites requires numerous proof of competency certificates/substance tests and sanitary plumbers require proof of relevant vaccinations.

                    Why should public health and welfare requirements be any different?

            • weka

              … as to why young adults, teenagers and very, very young children whose risk from Covid is infinitesimally small must, must have the Pfizer Product…

              Not challenging your personal choices, but I don't really understand why this is hard to understand. People can make up their own ethical minds, but the rationales for the vax programme in NZ are clear.

              1. protect as many individuals as possible from getting covid, getting bad covid, dying (and presumably getting long covid, but MoH being MoH that's not at the front of their mind)
                1. to lessen illness and death, including across the population
                2. to lessen hospital overwhelm and the many consequences of that

              If you are not a child/young adult and live in a house with a child/young adult the child can bring home covid. How is this not clear?

              I expect they are also looking at the impact of caring for kids/YA with covid as they recover.

              In addition, some children and young adults get covid, long covid or death from covid. I've never been able to find the actual death rates from measles pre-vax, because vaccination has changed so much of that, but this seems akin to that. We mass vaccinate children, who would be otherwise perfectly ok with measles, to protect the few who might get disabled or die.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                I've never been able to find the actual death rates from measles pre-vax,

                Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find.


                Frequency of Complications of Measles, 1963

                Twelve of the children studied (0.2 per 1,000) are
                known to have died after measles, and 610 (11.5 per 1,000) were
                admitted to hospitals as a direct result of the disease.

                Six children are known to have died with pneumonia and one
                with severe bronchitis. One of those with pneumonia was a
                deaf-mute with spastic quadriplegia and severe mental defici-
                ency, one had chronic encephalitis, and one had asthma. The
                child who died of bronchitis had mongolism and congenital
                heart disease. One child with severe fibrocystic disease had
                pneumonia and died from the original disease two days after
                discharge from hospital.

                Of the 61 persons with encephalitis or impaired consciousness
                four were stated to have been in prolonged coma and four
                others died. One child, already mentioned, who died of pneu-
                monia had pre-existing chronic encephalitis ;

                The demand for accurate record keeping under NHS was Stasi like..I know, my father was a GP in Derby when this survey was conducted. This was specifically conducted as a cost /benefit exercise prior to the roll out of the measles vaccine.


                • weka

                  thanks Rosemary! Bookmarking that one.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Here's a commentary from the same edition of the BMJ…


                    Impossible to copy and paste the interesting bits.. but it should be required reading for those with a genuine desire to gain a little insight into vaccine history.

                    The authors explore the very real possibility that the new vaccine could actually make some children very ill and ask…

                    "And are we to classify fits and convulsions during an attack of measles as "neurological complications" whereas if they occur after a live measles vaccine they are a "consequence of high fever"? "

                    Nothing new under the sun…

          • Robert Guyton

            "Refusing to have"?

            Don't you mean, "chosing not to have"?
            Cricklewood? Your vaccine passport, I mean.

            • Cricklewood

              Yes its my choice to refuse to download my vaccine passport.

              I am generally against widespread mandates but I feel especially strongly that mandates which effect and exclude children as young as 12 are a huge mistake that will have very long term social consequences.

              For those kids in Auckland there is no access to council facilities so Libraries, Mueseums, Wintergardens, Dance, Clubs, School sports and School trips and the list is much longer.

              • weka

                I think we sometimes forget just how unique NZ is re covid. The alternative to the mandates isn't free range, as you were. Or even Level 4 one a year or so. It's rolling, hard, extended lockdowns. That's all kids affected and restricted access to all those places.

              • Robert Guyton

                How can you "refuse to download" something that is optional to download?

                There's no requirement that you download your passport.

                There's just the opportunity to do so.

                Why do you frame your choosing not to download, as a refusal?

                Did you feel obligated?

                By whom?

                • weka

                  there's a lot of pressure to have a pass. This pressure is part of encouraging people to get vaccinated.

                  Fortunately most of the places I deal with have been great while I've been waiting for mine. But the govt messaging, framing even, and from others, has been Two NZs.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Sure, there's lots of pressure to present a pass, but zero pressure to download one.

                    Refusing to download seems … illogical.

              • Robert Guyton

                Cricklewood – do you see any difference between choosing not to do something, and refusing to do something?

                There is a difference.

                And it's important.

        • observer

          That Stuff article also highlights the lack of self-awareness and empathy among those who believe it is all about their rights.

          For example, the unvaccinated real estate agent and partner complain that:

          Vendors can also decide if they want vaxxed and unvaxxed viewers to open homes – which the couple suspect will make their job, and listings, difficult.

          So people can decide if they do/don't want to let people into their own homes who are a greater risk than others. (Obviously they might then reduce the number of potential buyers, so it's a choice that they are willing to make despite the possible financial loss).

          That seems an entirely reasonable right. On what grounds must a home-owner (seller) invite an unvaccinated real estate agent or potential buyer into their own home? The agent chooses not to get vaccinated, and so others choose not to engage his/her services. A basic right, a free choice.

          • Ross

            On what grounds must a home-owner (seller) invite an unvaccinated real estate agent or potential buyer into their own home? The agent chooses not to get vaccinated, and so others choose not to engage his/her services. A basic right, a free choice.

            You say that as if there is something wrong with being unvaccinated. In fact, there is nothing wrong with it. If someone was badly injured and needed my urgent assistance, would I have free choice to walk away from them? They might be unvaccinated, or have HIV, or hepatitis, or whatever. Oh sure, I could walk way. But I wouldn’t.

            A recent study found that “peak viral load did not differ by vaccination status or variant type” and that “fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts”.

            So if we exclude vaccinated people from taking part in society because such people could be infectious, where does that leave us?


            • McFlock

              Dude, even if there were nothing wrong with it, people are still entitled to choose who is allowed into their damned home.

          • Cricklewood

            Sure, but it is a thin end of a bloody big wedge… should somone be be able to ask and be able to decide if I want someone with say Hepatitis or HIV in my house?

            I honestly think some aspects of our Covid response are going to create problems which are far longer term societal issues. Imagine if a truely authoritarian government emerges and uses the precedents set to ram through some truely dire legislation…

            • weka

              Hepatitis and HIV aren't spread through the air by someone coughing.

              I have concerns about the slippery slope, but this is not a good example to use.

              • Ross

                Hepatitis and HIV aren't spread through the air by someone coughing.

                I don't recall saying they were. I referred to someone who "was badly injured and needed my urgent assistance". I could walk away or I could assist them. Alas, some would choose the former even though the risk of harm to them is very low.

                The idea that the intention of saving a person's life could result in the death of the rescuer is intimidating and reduces peoples' desire and availability to help cardiopulmonary arrest victims. The outcome of reduced use of CPR is reflected in the increase in the morbidity and mortality of the event. Studies carried out by Brenner report that about 50% of physicians would refuse to carry out mouth-to-mouth ventilation in strangers and 7-14% would not perform mouth-to-mouth ventilation on victims with AIDS. Another study reports that, although 68% of the interviewees would perform chest compressions on an unknown victim of cardiopulmonary arrest, only 15% would perform mouth-to-mouth ventilation. A number of other papers report similar findings. In the great majority of cases, the reason for the reluctance to immediately start CPR is the fear of catching transmissible diseases, especially HIV.



              • Cricklewood

                Yeah extreme example, but with HIV in particular I think there is still pretty widespread social stigma and fear so I can absolutely imagine a case where people could be emboldened to ask etc.

                • weka

                  do you not see the difference? It's not just a matter of degree.

                  • weka

                    People have a legitimate, immediate health concern reason for stopping an unvaccinated person coming into their house.

                    Not such reason exists for someone with HIV. Rejection of someone with HIV is based in prejudice.

                    To what extent rejecting of non covid vaxxed people is also based in prejudice is pretty hard to tell at this point. I think there are people who are prejudiced whose risk is low (they won't for instance stop going to the supermarket but they will make a big song and dance about their local 'everyone is welcome' cafe), so the prejudice is real, but we can't dismiss the legit concerns as well.

          • Blazer

            'Vendors can also decide if they want vaxxed and unvaxxed viewers to open homes – which the couple suspect will make their job, and listings, difficult.'

            Poor RE agents!-they would crawl across broken glass for a listing in this market ,so I'm sure they'll…cope.

          • weka

            So people can decide if they do/don't want to let people into their own homes who are a greater risk than others. (Obviously they might then reduce the number of potential buyers, so it's a choice that they are willing to make despite the possible financial loss).

            This seems reasonable to me, given the state of covid in NZ.

            However, there's a difference between:

            please don't come in if you are unvaxxed


            fuck off unvaxxed scum

            There is a difference between the mandate, and how it is applied socially.

            Not having a vax pass is actually a pretty big deal for some (not so much for others). What I have a problem with is the lack of compassion or the outright glee/revenge/punitive vibe. I don't find it too different from right wing positions against beneficiaries (get a job you lazy fuck and pull your weight for society).

            The main difference is some on the left believe their beliefs should trump everyone else's over the wellbeing of community cohesion. I'm not suggesting people have to like it, I'm saying that far too many people haven't learned yet that in the coming storm we will need solid working relationships with people we disagree with.

            It's like people are acting as if covid is the only crisis happening and soon society will go back to some happy normal, as if all the other shit like rising fascism, climate break down and ecologicial collapse isn't a thing. It blows my mind.

            • Molly

              " I'm not suggesting people have to like it, I'm saying that far too many people haven't learned yet that in the coming storm we will need solid working relationships with people we disagree with."

              I agree with this, weka.

              Writing off people that have different actions or opinions on one thing or another is ludicrous and short-sighted. Always has been. Figuring out how to navigate that successfully in order to keep dialogue and community going is one of the most difficult and fascinating problems we have to solve – right in front of us, and many choose to ensure factions are created. It is of vital importance that we try to resist the urge to do so.

              • weka

                this stuff actually scares me more than covid.

                I spend too much time online though. Can't say I see the 'fuck off scum' attitude locally (although I am sure it's there in places).

      • Molly 2.3.2

        As a social experiment ask your health care professional or someone who's vaccinated if they are scared of long term side effects. Most will unequivocally say ''NO!' They will tell you the science is done and the vaccine is as safe as possible. Unlike those not vaccinated, these folk are less psychologically prepared to be wrong.

        The failure of messaging to acknowledge any negatives, provides a firm and concrete anchor for those who look for truthful answers not platitudes and government reassurance. 'If they lie/don't tell the truth on that, why should I believe them on anything else?' That's a foreseeable human nature response.

        Messaging that promotes the priority of the vaccine in the toolkit against Covid is – as many have pointed out – likely to diminish the compliance of the other effective methods of transmission reduction: masks, physical distancing and sanitising.

        I guess we'll see how this plays out.

        • weka

          I have concerns about long term side effects (mostly that it's an unknown and the science bods weren't convincing in the 'we've had enough trials' stuff).

          I've also found the hard core anti-vax narrative of 'many of you are going to die soon from the vaccine' abhorrent. I don't believe this, but I do think they are doing a form of manipulation in that messaging. So I kind of understand why the government would be not going anywhere near talking about it. Not saying this is the most useful strategy, just that I can understand it. I'm much more in favour of explicit informed consent and transparency, but we don't have that in other areas of medicine either.

          I am hoping they will up the messaging about the other tools going into Christmas.

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.3

        Is the potted plant okay?

        (Won't somebody think of the plants!!)

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.4

      I reckon this guy should be nominated for entrepreneur of the year…not only is he extracting $$$ from those willing to pay for his services but he is, hopefully, conducting his business at venues who will also pay reward incentivise whateves to have the vax. He could be onto a winner. Up here it is Warehouse, Pak n Spend and meat vouchers and a rough guestimate could see him 'earning' about $3000.

      And completely anecdotally and therefore very probably bullshit but one never knows in these interesting times… I'm told there are certain members of our wider New Zealand community who are not choosy what goes into their bodies and are usually short on the cash required to sustain certain recreational activities and are offering their services to the vaccine hesitant in exchange for the $$$ for a point bag or two. Capitalism and the free market…got to love it.

      • Blade 2.4.1

        Yes, capitalism is the best of bad bunch. Let's take what you have written and (gulp!!) talk about Michael Laws. A great Tory with a great resume – he saved Wanganui ratepayers plenty of money. Anyway, Michael, as a talkback host, posited the idea of a $10.000 dollar payment for any feral wanting to be voluntarily sterilised.

        I honestly think it's a great idea. If we had a referendum I believe it would pass with a good margin of support. Think of all the societal problems we could start to mitigate. Less Kahuis, less gang bangers, less aimless hobos, less malcontents and way less children who are simply ignored and not loved.

        I write this as another child is admitted to hospital in a serious condition.

  3. RedLogix 3

    A lovely ABC piece on wildflowers in WA. I got to see some small patches of these as I visited places around Perth this year, but the pics in this article surpass anything I had imagined.

    • francesca 3.1


      Our orchid season is well underway too .Both ephemeral and those with permanent structure , at least 27 species in our small catchment.Tiny but incredibly various.

    • Macro 3.2

      Yes a truly lovely piece of work on the WA wild flowers. They are quite amazing to see. WA has had a relatively wet season this past year year after a continuous series of dry years. The country around Geraldton is quite amazing when the rains have come. A nice place to visit.

    • Molly 3.3

      Thanks, RL. Great Sunday morning read.

      The painting done by the Badimia women was lovely.

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.3.1

        Lovely indeed…and rightfully not cheap. I am tempted by the mugs, and I've a water warrior woman friend who wears earrings…

        • Molly

          Great site.

          I have a similar small painting given by a friend's father who stayed with us for a couple of months (Chilean, but residing in Australia for the last 30 years), but the art on offer is absolutely calling my name. My wallet is the only thing standing in the way.

    • Koff 3.4

      Balanced unfortunately by the large fire in Leeuwin-Naturaliste national park (Margaret River area) which has destroyed quite a bit of the karri forest there. Dry in the west and sodden in the East in Oz! Hope to cycle the Munda Biddi trail in October next year if Covid / WA state rules allow so should be in wildflower country.

      • RedLogix 3.4.1

        Yeah – WA had the wettest winter this year and the moment I got on the plane back to QLD it all followed me.

        Australia really is so different to NZ in so many ways – massive cycles of flood, fire and drought that bring dramatic destruction followed by radical regeneration. It's a crazy country.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.5

      Thank you Red Logix, a beautiful sight, and the paintings full of life. I had a teacher friend who moved to WA. For years I would get her letters starting out… "Still a tourist Trish." I can see why, such diversity.

  4. Gezza 4

    Miserable grey, rainy, slightly chilly morning at Pookden Manor in North Welly today. There’s a gentle occasional Southerly breeze, which explains the cool temp.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Literally as I type this we can hear the booming call of an Australian Bittern, the wonderful morning laughing ritual of a Kookaburra and a Whip bird's unique sound.

      All within 20min drive of downtown Brisbane.

      • Gezza 4.1.1

        I note the Bittern is described as the Australasian Bittern.

        That Eastern Whipbird’s got a real cracker of a sound. Can hear immediately how it got its name:

        What I like about where I am, RL, is I don’t even need to drive 20 mins to access the wildlife here. I’m living in the middle of a modern city suburb – and IT comes to ME. 🙂

        • RedLogix

          Sorry I wasn't clear gezza – it's just after dawn here and we're sitting in our tiny studio unit looking out the window having our morning coffee and VitD.

          Later on our resident Brush Turkey will come poking about as well:

      • Macro 4.1.2

        I hear the call of a korimako and kept awake last night by the ruru.

        • Robert Guyton

          You're fortunate, Macro, to hear those birds. I too lose sleep to the birds; my wife's a "Robyn" and wakes me, every morning, to listen to the dawn chorus which down here begins with the chiming and clonking of one particular tui whose job seems to be corralling the other birds and giving them a rev-up in preparation for the day ahead. Why it chooses the kowhai just outside our bedroom window to broadcast from, I don't know. I can hear that he/she is provoking/reacting-to several other tui somewhere in the distance; like roosters, they are encouraged to hear a response to their own good efforts. A great swell of bird song then fills the air, for a while, then tapers-off as the various birds busy themselves with this and that, and I drift back to sleep as Robyn gets up and takes on the day 🙂

          • Gezza

            Does the birdsong taper off during day, though, Robert. I wondered about the same thing.

            The dawn choruses start really early here, before 5 am when it’s still dark, with quite a variety of birds participating. My favourite is a local song thrush. And Blackie, my young blackbird resident cock songster, has a very broad repertoire which has quite surprised me.

            He has a signature phrase that he inserts into his calls that I’ve never heard from any other blackbird. Hard to describe. I’ve been videoing his performances, hoping to catch him doing it, so I can send it to fellow bird-lovers, & maybe post here, but Blackie for some reason doesn’t do it when I’m recording him.

            Back to my original question at the start though. Does the birdsong taper off during the day. About 2 years ago I made a point of going outside & listening, hard, for the birdsong, trying to filter out the rest of the cacophony of noise that comes with daylight in a city suburb. Car & truck engines, motor mowers, people hammering or sawing in their bsck yards, sirens on the motorway, folk going by, chatting to each other, telephones ringing or giving notification alarms, wind rustling in the trees.

            As I identifed each such sound in turn, I “filtered it out”, mentally. Was quite surprised that it was actually possible to do.

            At the end of this day of monitoring it was quite clear to me that the dawn chorus level of birdsong is going on all day here. It’s just that all the other daily sounds drown it out. You hear the level of audible birdsong increasing again in the late evening here, as the day’s other competing sounds drop away again.

            • Robert Guyton

              Yes, I share your view about the day-long-ness of birdsong, Gezza. In my observation @8:46, the reason for the birdsong falling-away is my relapse into sleep 🙂

              I think about birdsong a lot; we have forest all around us and therefore, birds. I've baskets hanging below the roof of the veranda in which birds nest and raise their replacements. A tortuous quince tree in front of the house serves as a perch for the parent-birds as they prepare to return to their nests, with straw, grubs, whatever. A bold blackbird has claimed the space at the backdoor and lords over it all day, bark-bark-barking at our black panther, the seemingly harmless "Blackberry", encouraging him to move away from the cat-biscuit saucer, so she can enjoy the cat/bird treats. She brings her off-spring and teaches them proper ettiquite, for safety's sake. I've noticed that bellbirds/korimako will appear in an instant if you direct water onto the ground, even briefly – they are drawn to the sound, perhaps to drink, and I wonder if much of their song isn't reflective of the sound of falling water (peeing produces the same result). I'm also interested in where birds spend the night. If ever I wander through my forest at night time, without a torch, I startle a bird or 2 as I go; the seem to be tucked-in amongst the leaves. They'd need to feel secure from cats. Most of them, I suspect, sit tight as I blunder about, and don't startle and reveal their whereabouts. My garden overlooks and estuary and so the sounds of wading birds and seabirds makes up much of our bird-background noise, at night! As the tide comes, unseen, in, the waders let each other and us, know. As well, schools of small, night-swimming fish cause great commotion when located by the estuary-dwelling birds; this excitement swells loud enough to wake me, on a still night. Oyster catchers, as they wing from estuary to coast, passing over my roof, peep loudly-enough to, yes, wake me, but that's a fleeting effect. I can ramble on about birds for a long time, but won't as I have to finish the ribbing now.

              • Gezza

                Beautifully described scenes there, Robert. I can almost hear, see & smell the birdsong, the water, & the air.

              • Robert Guyton

                ribbing=gibbing 🙂

                It's funny, calling "Forest & Bird", "twig & tweet".

                Hall's diary – is it interesting, Macro? I'm guessing it is, given you typed it out. I know "Hall's totara".

                • Macro

                  Yes Hall was quite a determined man. An independent spirit who was quite apart from the rest of the community. Here in the late 19th C the hills were being laid bare as the Native forests of the Coromandel were being stripped bare for timber and posts for the miles of underground tunnels.Hall took it upon himself to purchase some of the land and replant it with any tree he could lay his hand on. He recorded each one and made a note of its progress – week by week. We have some amazing specimens redwood, oak, and Norfolk Pine as well as many indigenous trees.

                  The Korimako makes a visit to check out the nectar in the Kowhai outside the bedroom window.

          • Macro

            the chiming and clonking of one particular tui whose job seems to be corralling the other birds and giving them a rev-up in preparation for the day ahead. Why it chooses the kowhai just outside our bedroom window to broadcast from, I don't know.

            Hehehe yeah got one of those too! And yes! sits in the Kowhai outside our bedroom window too!

            We are fortunate to live just 100m as the bird flies from the oldest arboretum in the country the William Hall Arboretum, and the scion trees of the Totara William Hall (or more commonly called the bastard totara because they didn't split as nicely as the other). We have a copy his diary here typed out from the original.

    • Ad 4.2

      In Auckland we've never had flowers as dense as this in Titirangi.

      It's a Brisbane spring in both temperature and humidity.

      So weird after 2020-21 that every sign is of optimism and growth.

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        Here in Riverton, the Giant Himalayan lilies are flowering – a metre above my head!

        The blooms fill the air with the scent of, I say, cinnamon, but others with a more-finely-tuned sense of smell say ylang ylang or jojoba, or some such.

      • vto 4.2.2

        yep, seems all plants are profuse this season..

        i've even got bananas .. way down southwest

        • Robert Guyton

          Bananas, as in the fruit, rather than the tree?

          Lucky you!

          I have a tree, taller than me now, but no fruit (yet).

          It's yellowing slightly – any recommendations?

          I feed mine a pretty rich diet of nitrogen, one way or another, and water frequently.

          • vto

            yes bananas as in the fruit.. recommendations? grab a clump of banana trees that locals have thrown in the local dump and grow wild, plant in sunny sheltered spot with lotsa rain, do nothing, then stand in wonder at said fruiting fruit..

            don't know sorry Robert, west coast acidy soil, dense-packed unadulterated alluvial ground

            I have seen other bananas (as in the fruit) locally, but didn't ripen too well

  5. pat 5

    "Which future fuel will be best will depend on the particular system being decarbonised, but we are extremely fortunate to have the natural resources to lead the world in making this critical step change towards a more sustainable future."

    And why are we 'fortunate' to have these natural resources (in sufficient quantity)?….because we have been a low population density land mass, comparatively unexploited, far removed from major populations, something we appear determined to change for the worse.

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    Media remain quiet and compliant, no outrage of course, but then I guess it was these exact same media outlets who couldn't get enough reporting into Assange's alleged sexual misconduct that led to him being persecuted in the first place….the same news outlets that ran Russiagate relentlessly for four years, encouraged war in Syria and are now misrepresenting the dangerous stand off in the Ukraine and of course frame China as our biggest threat…and sadly of course all the same people who blindly went along with that same US propaganda aimed at Assange, Russia are exactly the same crew who now go along with the new propaganda war….

    So with that in mind, we can only come to one conclusion in regards to these people, and you all know who I am talking about here…they have proved through their public comments time and time and time again that they are nothing more than Liberal Imperilaists, absolutely disgusting…and ultimately extremely damaging to any future progressive left wing project, more detrimental than the Right could have even dreamed to be at this point IMO.

    Why the US Govt is Desperate to Keep Assange in a Cage: a Real Journalist

    War in Ukraine? NATO expansion drives conflict with Russia

    • Molly 6.1

      The silence on Assange is our collective shame.

      • Molly 6.1.1

        Greenwald has a good article on the current situation on his Substack:

        Julian Assange Loses Appeal: British High Court Accepts U.S. Request to Extradite Him for Trial

        No matter the outcome of further proceedings in this case, today's ruling means that the U.S. has succeeded in ensuring that Assange remains imprisoned, hidden and silenced into the foreseeable future. If they have not yet permanently broken him, they are undoubtedly close to doing so. His own physicians and family members have warned of this repeatedly. Citizens of the U.S. and subjects of the British Crown are inculcated from birth to believe that we are blessed to live under a benevolent and freedom-protecting government, and that tyranny only resides in enemy states. Today's judicial approval by the U.K. High Court of the U.S.'s attack on core press freedom demonstrates yet again the fundamental lie at the heart of this mythology.

  7. Ad 7

    A deeply unwanted side effect of COVID, is that I'm being forced to agree on multiple levels with John Tamihere.

    Unvaccinated Māori have a right to privacy |

    All it would take for this highly unwelcome side effect to stop, is that more Maori get vaccinated.

  8. francesca 8

    Greenwald's debate with Judith Butler and Cornell West in the Holberg debate was so clear and fresh.The others felt tired and frankly boring.(Discussing identity politics and the culture wars )

    • Molly 8.1

      Thanks, Francesca. Halfway through now.

      So far, agree with your take.

      • Molly 8.1.1

        For those without the 2 hours 30 minutes, to put aside, Greenwald cuts through the self-congratulatory waffle of the previous conversation @ 1:22:30 and quite precisely and concisely condenses it down to seven minutes of worthwhile listening.

        (In fact, only watch the rest to consider the vagueness of Judith Butler, and the resistance to consider the elite on the left have to consider they are contributing to divide as well as Fox News, and right-wing authoritarians).

        Else just skip to Glen Greenwald segments and reduce the viewing time down considerably.

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Been listening to Greenwald's part and yes I agree – what he's saying about the reasons why people voted Trump/Bolsanaro/ Le Pen etc align with my own experience.

    • Anker 8.3

      Thanks will listen

  9. Stephen D 9

    Now if Minister Verrall can bring the same rigour to bear on alcohol, we really would have a transformative government.

    • Gezza 9.1

      Yup. But the booze barons have too many of our pollies in their back pocket, metaphorically speaking.

      Ministers get ministerial limos to take them home after they’ve quaffed back a few beers, wines or shots of spirits. I imagine MPs are generously subsidised for taxi travel after they’ve been imbibing.

      Despite the carnage & domestic distress caused by alcohol, Kiwiland has a long-lived booze culture that nets the government coffers plenty & clearly no party with a decent shot at getting its hands on the levers of power wants to be the one vilified by ordinary Kiwis for reintroducing prohibition.

      • Stephen D 9.1.1

        Softly softly catchee monkey.

        You wouldn’t start with prohibition. Just start by regulating the number of liquor outlets. Then remove beer and wine from supermarkets.

        At the same time, start to tighten up the way booze can be promoted through sport.

        Might take years.

    • Anker 9.2

      Yes reducing alcohol intake would be sure to decrease violence and family violence.

      Apparently very little mention of this in Marama Davidsons report

  10. Dennis Frank 11

    In our contemporary world, reality gets socially constructed. Actually, part of it always has been but realisation of the fact took most of history to happen. Categories.

    In a statement, a New Zealand government spokesman said they were aware of media reports suggesting a senior member of the Taliban may be a New Zealand citizen. “As with all cases that may have national security implications the Government is not in a position to comment on specifics. The Taliban is designated as a terrorist entity under New Zealand law and is subject to United Nations Sanctions. New Zealand takes its global counter-terrorism commitments extremely seriously and any New Zealander involved with a terrorist group can expect to be investigated under New Zealand law.”

    So this guy doing foreign relations for the Taliban is/is not a kiwi, depending on which authoritative sources you wish to believe. Non-believers are advised to mentally create a third category between true & false to transcend the binary, & file him there.

    The foreign ministry spokesman for the Taliban is a former New Zealand resident who previously lived in Hamilton, multiple sources have told Stuff. The spokesman refers to himself as Abdul Qahar Balkhi.

    Based in Kabul, Balkhi has become a prominent representative of the Taliban regime, due to his interviews with international media and his excellent English. However, Stuff understands he immigrated to New Zealand many years ago with his family.

    Like Balkhi, two of his brothers reportedly live overseas, but his parents and other siblings remain in Hamilton… A Hamilton man Stuff understands to be Balkhi’s father confirmed he has a son with the same name as what is understood to be Balkhi’s real name… Sent a photo of Balkhi, he declined to confirm the Taliban spokesman was actually his son – although he repeatedly refused to deny it. “I’m sorry I can’t talk,” he said. “I’m not going to [say] anything about this matter to the media. I hope that you’ll accept my apologies for this. I hate politics.”

    If he's kiwi, he'll have an NZ passport.

    A text reply from Balkhi’s phone, apparently sent by one of his colleagues, said: “No [Balkhi] does not have a New Zealand passport [and] nor would he like to make any comments about his family or private life.” However, the man Stuff understands to be Balkhi’s father – who lives in Hamilton and is himself a New Zealand citizen – said “of course” his son in Kabul is a New Zealand citizen and held a New Zealand passport.

    So, in accord with the principle of non-transparent governance, our govt will neither confirm nor deny that he's kiwi. Along with the guy & his dad, this makes a happy troika engaged in maintaining the third alternative that lies betwixt true & false…

  11. Dennis Frank 12

    And a glimpse into how our history was sanitised by the patriarchy:

    Take for example Heni Te Kiri Karamu​. Also known as Heni Pore​ and Jane Foley​, this “remarkable wahine toa” was covered in a couple of sentences in The New Zealand Wars, but if the earlier book was like the Let it Be album, this one is the eight-hour Get Back movie.

    She was at the battle of Gate Pā/Pukehinahina​ near Tauranga in 1864, which is remembered as a spectacular humiliation of the British by Māori. The British had firepower and eight times the number of men, but Māori had tactics: once the pā had been destroyed, Māori emerged from covered pits and opened fire in what Belich called a “brilliantly implemented as well as brilliantly conceived trap”.

    As the British lay dying on the battlefield, Te Kiri Karamu moved among them, offering water. Her action was attributed to two different men in the years after, and at the 50th anniversary, a male water-carrier was depicted on a memorial. But among the voices from the past that O’Malley has gathered, there is an article written by Te Kiri Karamu herself, which begins: “It was I who gave water to the three wounded soldiers at the Gate Pā.” She goes on to say: “Towards evening I heard a wounded man calling for water several times, and his repeated calls aroused my compassion. I slung my gun in front of me by means of a leather strap. I said to my brother, ‘I am going to give that pakeha water’ … The bullets were coming thick and fast.”

  12. observer 13

    An interview with Christopher Luxon in which he says absolutely nothing:

    From the UK Guardian

    “Luxon’s style can sometimes resemble his office shelves. The essential architecture of a political leader is there – a backstory, a ready grin, vision statements, a fondness for the phrase “fundamentally” – but the shelves are sometimes unstocked, especially with particulars.”

    Tactically that might be fine for him and National in the short term (most people are now ready to switch off politics for the holidays). But sooner or later he'll be under pressure to show if his platitudes are a cover for his real views, or if he really is an empty vessel.

    • Blade 13.1

      I wonder how progressive Jacinda would have been without the Maori Caucus boot up her chuff?

      • observer 13.1.1

        As usual, your kindergarten diversion makes little sense.

        "How would leaders of a party be without the MPs in their party?". Not there.

        • Blade

          Your passive invective shows a paucity of intellect when your comments are critiqued.

          Let's put it another way. We know what Jacinda couldn't do when Winston applied the brakes to some of Labour’s more questionable policies. Then Winston was kicked into the sunset by voters and Jacinda was now free in the lolly shop. With Maoridom now important because of wokism, cultural correctness and a reconstituted Maori culture funded by taxpayers, you can bet the Maori caucus had her ear. But if she had been left to her own devices and without the Maori Caucus to contend with, would legislation like Three Waters have been implemented? I doubt it. It's an obvious sop to Maori and Jacinda knows it's losing her votes.

          • Gezza

            The Three Waters Legislation hasn’t been implemented yet. As far as I know the relevant Bill hasn’t even been introduced into the House yet.

            The gummint is, however, going all out on selling the idea to the public with a slick cartoon ad aimed primarily at Māori & younger voters, judging by the some of the pidgin MāorInglish used.


          • Robert Guyton

            Why do you believe Jacinda has to "contend with" the Maori caucus?

            Why don't you believe they are working alongside Jacinda?

            Why do you use terms such as "boot up her chuff" when talking about Jacinda?

            • Ad

              You have got to be kidding. Blade's counterfactual is correct.

              More fun question: without the Maori caucus, what difference would there be between National and Labour?

              IMHO not a whole bunch.

              • solkta

                I can't see how they could do that level of restructuring without addressing Maori interests in water.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Agreed, solkta. It's a very, very progressive move from Labour: integrating/blending "things Maori" seamlessly and effectively into the decision-making body.

                • Ad

                  Plenty of options other than the one chosen. But you already knew that. They just weren't interested in considering them.

              • Robert Guyton

                No, I'm not.

                Is it?

                Have you read :

                Is The Māori Caucus So Dominant In Labour?

                by Brian Easton December 03, 2021 ?
                And in any case, why “without the Maori caucus”?
                The Maori caucus is part and parcel of Labour, isn’t it?
                Why the differentiation?

                • Ad

                  They operate and caucus to differentiate themselves.

                  And our electoral legislation specifies their distinction.

              • weka

                You have got to be kidding. Blade's counterfactual is correct.

                kind of. Yes, the Māori caucus make Labour. But not on their own. They wouldn't for instance have won Labour the 2017 election, that was Little and Ardern.

                Blade seems to think that Māori MPs having a say in how Labour develops policy is a bad thing.

                More fun question: without the Maori caucus, what difference would there be between National and Labour?

                IMHO not a whole bunch.

                The climate policy. Welfare. Mining. Conservation. All the things the Greens pulled Labour leftwards/greenwards on 😈

                • Robert Guyton

                  "Blade seems to think that Māori MPs having a say in how Labour develops policy is a bad thing"

                  Blade is pushing the idea that "Māori MPs having a say in how Labour develops policy is a bad thing".

                  I wonder why Blade would do that?

                  Is he/she … fomenting mischief?

                • Blade

                  Yes, Weka. The democratic process has been hijacked and watered down in favour of Maori. Take Maori Wards for example. Maori, anywhere near the levers of power is a very dangerous thing.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Gezza was right about you.

                  • pat

                    It potentially is….especially if its unannounced, justified and subject to vote.

                    Do you trust in democracy or not?….for what is occurring currently certainly isnt democracy.

                  • weka

                    Maori, anywhere near the levers of power is a very dangerous thing.

                    I hear you. I think men anywhere near the levers of power is a very dangerous thing. And white people for that matter. Look at the state of things and who is in power.

                  • Gezza

                    Maori, anywhere near the levers of power is a very dangerous thing.

                    Easy thing to say. Some posters here might even concur at some level or other, even me. But Māori can point to their history & say exactly the same thing about Pākehā.

                    So, imo, saying that is basically meaningless without any kind of explanation to back up your view.

                    Why, in your opinion, is “Maori getting anywhere near the levers of power a very dangerous thing”?

                    Can you be specific, & cite any examples of how it’s already been dangerous? Or how it MIGHT be dangerous in future?

                    • Pat


                      How about 300,000 (roughly) property investors influencing residential property values to the detriment of the overwhelming majority?

                      Undue influence takes many forms

                    • Gezza

                      How about 300,000 (roughly) property investors influencing residential property values to the detriment of the overwhelming majority?

                      Who ARE those 300k prpoerty investors you’re referring to, where did you get that figure from, & exactly HOW are they influencing residential ,property values to the detriment of the overwhelming majority?

                      Undue influence takes many forms

                      Are we still talking here about Māori being dngerous getting near the levers of power? I’m not seeing a direct connection between your comment and mine, which you are replying to.

                    • Gezza

                      (God my proof-reading is still shithouse. Apologies for all my mistyped characters & dropout letters today, all.)

                    • Pat

                      The (roughly) 300,000 figure is relatively accurate, as determined by those that monitor such things (i.e the RBNZ)…and it is a diversion to the point…how about you address that?

                    • weka

                      How about 300,000 (roughly) property investors influencing residential property values to the detriment of the overwhelming majority?

                      How does that relate to Māori having undue influence?

                    • Pat


                      How does it not?

                      Undue influence is undue influence.

                      Especially in a democracy

                      You cant choose the undue influences you like (well you can but democracy is supposed to counter that)

                      And I trust democracy, the best of the bad options

                    • Gezza

                      @ Pat

                      The (roughly) 300,000 figure is relatively accurate, as determined by those that monitor such things (i.e the RBNZ)…and it is a diversion to the point…how about you address that?

                      It is NOT a diversion to the point. It can't be. You haven't even made your point clear.

                      I'm taking it you are saying (although you actually didn't, forcing me to make an assumption which may be wrong) that 300k property investing Māori are somehow unduly detrimentally influencing property values of the overwhelming majority of other property owners in NZ.

                      You still haven't said exactly HOW they are detrimentally affecting other property owners’ property values, nor exactly who they are unduly influencing, and how they are doing that.

                      If you're going to make such arcane comments no one is going to respond because you are being so obscure it's a waste of precious time.

                    • Pat

                      Oh dear…

                      Theres nothing to be done about the deliberately obtuse

          • Ad

            With the legislation now pushed beyond Budget 2022, three waters is going to get mixed into the remaining RMA legislation debates.

            Plenty are going to watch with interest what comes out of the Governance working group.

            My suspicion is that actual on-ground change will be slow since all staff from existing water entities are just being transferred over to the new ones.

            For Auckland in particular it's really just a small extension of the existing networks into Whangarei and a few seaside villages. Otherwise Auckland has been dealing successfully with a fully corporatised system for a couple of decades.

  13. Blade 16

    This is a cult film with over 20 million views. Called ''Out Of The Shadows'' it's great for testing you thought muscle. There are people who believe everything in the film – there are others who believe nothing and call it bs. I make no comment.

    An overview:

    The film. YouTube makes it hard to locate:

    • observer 16.1

      (deleted, not worth it)

      • observer 16.1.1

        I deleted my earlier comment, so here is a more restrained one.

        I hope moderators will consider whether this documentary should be hosted here. If you don't know what it is (and understandably do not want to watch it) there is a summary by David Farrier here:

        To those who say "open mike, free speech" then perhaps reflect on what would not be acceptable to publish on The Standard. I assume that includes porn, extreme violence, the Chch terrorist's videos, etc.

        Not my decision, of course. But I hope you know what The Standard is now publishing.

        • Blade

          There is bath water to be thrown out for sure. Your problem is you don't know where the baby is. David Farrier is welcome to his opinion.

          You may not know it, but your attitude is the most subversive element all thinkers must now face within society.

          • observer

            I am not interested in engaging with you, there is no point.

            I simply point out that you have used this blog to publish a video that is so vile it is rejected by tech companies (Google etc) in the same way that they ban illegal pornography. That's why "YouTube makes it hard to locate" (as you put it).

            You should host it on your own blog and bear the legal responsibility for your decision.

            • weka

              what do you perceive the legal issues are?

              People can post most things here so long as they're within the policy. Thanks for pointing out the problems and linking to Farrier (which I will read). I'll have a think about the video.

        • Molly

          Probably not going to watch it observer, but wouldn't a left-wing blog be the BEST place to invite critical review for the assertions within?

          For some interested in watching, a series of comments dissecting what is likely a piece of propaganda might give them pause for thought. I would expect there are many who read this blog, but don't comment that appreciate the various perspectives given. Your link to David Farrier is just such an additional piece of information. Blade refers to it as a “cult” film, which is also telling.

          (Still not going to watch it though, this kind of endless analysis is of no interest to me. Seems like there is nothing new under the sun.)

          • Blade

            The interesting thing is some themes within the film are what Lefties have always thrown at me – eg, media run by corporates. Wealth and it's influence.

            Now it's all a right wing conspiracy. It's a strange world, nothing can be taken at face value.

            • Dennis Frank

              A good way to view the culture wars is via social ecology. Everyone's comfortable in their niche. Some are adept at performing linkage between different niches, but they're always a minority (often more powerful in consequence).

              The left/right spectrum curves into a circle, so extremists from both sides find common ground where they meet opposite the mainstreamers…

            • Blazer

              Ernest Dichter and Edward Bernays were feted by advertisers the world over, for their insights into propaganda,PR, and influencing peoples behaviour through applied psychological triggers.

              It all has factual basis,and politicians know that winning 'the hearts and minds' of voters is paramount to…success.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Nobody has insights into me thank you very much

              • Blade

                Remember who introduced you to Edward Bernays, Blazer? When you have a broader spectrum of knowledge regarding a given subject, the video clip I posted becomes more discernible as to what is factual and what is crap.

                “The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today. It is a great distributor for ideas and opinions. The motion picture can standardize the ideas and habits of a nation. Because pictures are made to meet market demands, they reflect, emphasize and even exaggerate broad popular tendencies, rather than stimulate new ideas and opinions. The motion picture avails itself only of ideas and facts which are in vogue. As the newspaper seeks to purvey news, it seeks to purvey entertainment.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda''

              • Gezza

                What those two were probably most notable for was knowing how to "win hearts" by psychologically appealing directly to people's emotions en masse; after which winning their minds either isn't necessary, or their minds are now bent towards and receptive to the messaging you're wanting to convey anyway.

                Propagandists the world over have adopted their techniques as standard modus operandi.

            • Molly

              I'll let you into a 'leftie' secret, Blade.

              We are not a hive mind.

              I assume the same is true on the 'right'. Kudos on the name grab front though, right also being associated with 'correct'.

              (Will have to do an entomology search one day to see how that came about.)

            • Gezza

              Some words of advice, Blade? Take them for what they are worth.

              I enjoyed some of your earlier posts. You covered some issues that are topical in Kiwiland from a conservative/liberal angle that is not really always getting a lot of coversge in the rather woke PC msm here.

              But don’t overdo it with the number of deliberately provocative posts on a whole range of controversial topics if you’re really just doing it to find someone to insult or argue with, or to “prove” you’ve got inside info that others don’t have which somehow gives you some kind of “edge” & makes them dumbos or dangerously ill-informed.

              There are people here who will quickly run rings around you proving you haven’t done the most basic research & showing everyone how your linked items or articles are likely to be complete nonsense, pushed out by weirdos whose views have been proven to be utterly wrong or nonsensical.

              Get into debate on the issues you raise, not into attacking the posters who don’t buy what you’re selling.

              And get ypur basic facts right. Earlier today in a post about Ardern being coralled by the Māori caucus, you talked abput the government having implemented the Three Waters legislation. AFAIK the bill for this hasn’t even been introduced yet. The legislation certainly HASN’T “been implemented” as you stated.

              One thing at a time, bro. And get it right.

              • weka

                good advice 👍

              • Blade

                I will digest your suggestions and reply in full later. Regarding Three Waters. I knew that, but became sloppy with my words. Fair call. The reason for that is because I'm getting much done before I have to go away. It's a Tory failing, working for a living and trying to give good value for your money… from my perspective.

                ''There are people here who will quickly run rings around you proving you haven’t done the most basic research & showing everyone how your linked items or articles are likely to be complete nonsense, pushed out by weirdos whose views have been proven to be utterly wrong or nonsensical.''

                Are you referring to the video posted above? If so, read my opening comments…and be careful.

                Back later.

                • Gezza

                  Fair enuf. It’s important not be sloppy with your words, then there will less chance of misunderstandings or of someone needing to correct the wrong information given.

                  I won’t be watching the video. This particular post of yours is not of personal interest for me. Others are. I don’t get comment on everything, only things that pique my interest or that I feel I might have something relevant or experiential to contribute.

                  Bit I’m happy to see new posters like you getting involved in discussions here, Blade. The more the merrier.

    • weka 16.2

      I make no comment.

      This makes you look like you are posting propaganda.

      If you think there is any value in this video beyond showcasing the problems with Qanon and rabbit hole people, then just say it.

  14. Dennis Frank 17

    Disillusionment in the UK…

    The poll puts Labour on 41%, with its nine-point lead being the biggest Opinium has recorded since 2014. The Tories are now on 32%, their lowest score since 2019, while the Liberal Democrats are on 9% (+1), the SNP 5% (unchanged) and the Greens 5% (-1).

    The latest Opinium poll for the Observer also shows 57% of voters think Johnson should now resign, up nine points from a fortnight ago, as the prime minister appears to be haemorrhaging public support. Johnson’s personal ratings have fallen to -35%, down 14 points from what was already a record low of -21% two weeks ago.

    • Blade 17.1

      Boris could be in for his worst bad hair day. As a matter of interest, were you in favour of Britain leaving the EU. I was.

      • Dennis Frank 17.1.1

        Me too. If Europe's governance structure hadn't empowered the bureaucrats to such a ridiculous extent, the Brits wouldn't have got so alienated. User pays, so they decided the deal wasn't worth the price.

        I like the principle of unification (as transcendence of nationalism) but the devil's always in the detail of how you do it. Even the USA, which succeeded as a federation, now seems to be disintegrating…

        • Gezza

          The poor poms got stuck with multiple levels of bureaucracy. The scots & northern irish even more so, because they have their own local ministries as well as Westminister to contend with. The EU bureaucracy sitting over top of the lot of them, and with the double up of parliamentarians as well all sitting on well-paid sinecures in the EU’s parliament no wonder the poms got so fed up with it all.

          Their democratic rights were so buried by dual or triple layers of MPs, & civil servants in the UK, the home countries, & Brussels, no wonder they wanted out & to get back a sense of having one person, one vote determining their futures. As it used to be. (More or less.)

          I like the principle of unification (as transcendence of nationalism) but the devil’s always in the detail of how you do it. Even the USA, which succeeded as a federation, now seems to be disintegrating…

          Yes, it’s interesting isn’t it. Sturgeon’s presiding over a resurgence of Scottish nationalism that still makes it look possible at some point that the Scots may vote to break away from the United Kingdom – which I think would be a pity, but “I’m no’ a Scotty!”

          There is now serious talk in some circles that Northern Ireland might one day elect to join up with Eire.

          And in the US it’s become, to my eyes anyway, far more evident that the federation of states that makes up their union is really not that unlike the European Union, except that they all still mostly share a common lingua franca – AmEnglish.

          Different states have completely different political systems and interests. It’s not entirely outside the bounds of possibility their political & strategic divides might prompt some to seriously propose establishing a new Confederacy, only this time it would, I think, be unlikely to lead to a civil war.

          And in Kiwiland, my country, things sometimes seem to be balancing on the edge of what might become quite fractious debates about whether tino rangatiratanga guaranteed in Te Tiriti means Māori should be running their own affairs in their own nga rohe, with their own separate justice systems and laws based on rather complicated & flexible tikanga, not having Pākehā institutions & laws governing them.

          These issues are bound to bubble up with He Puapua, and the indications are that there will be a lot of fierce debate and accusations of racism and race based privilege thrown about by both sides, before too much longer. I personally can’t quite see how this is all going to pan out at this point in time. Could be very divisive & messy.

          • Dennis Frank

            Good to see you expressing that view! When Brexit became a possibility plenty of commentators here were describing it as a rw plot, then when it happened they rationalised it as delusional thinking produced by false promises. I fought a lonely battle on behalf of what turned out to be the majority of Brits for several years onsite here.

            Re Scotland, I presume a consensus based on quite a few years of weighing the pros & cons of independence keeps them in the tent. The trick, from a political design perspective, would be to figure out a suitable framing for relative independence. I gather they have done something along those lines in recent years via agreement with the British govt.

            There's a Texas independence movement which sticks its head above the media ramparts from time to time. A few months back I read James Michener's book about Texas history – fascinating! I had no idea it was such a random walk.

            I spoke in favour of a separate Maori justice system in the early '90s at the Alliance meeting where Mat Rata launched it as Mana Motuhake policy. Again, the relative independence principle applies, with the devil in the detail. I see these two showing up again in these roadblocks up north, where the devil will be secretly finagling details of power-sharing tween tribes & cops!

            • Gezza

              I think, in relation to a separate Māori justice system based on tikanga, there are going to be differences in tikanga between hapu iwi, so if the offender and victim are from different iwi that will create a question of which tikanga should apply?

              But then maybe it wouldn't be that big a problem, in that Māori will probably treat the "court hearing" as a hui, so lots of kōrero to discuss & resolve that matter at the outset anyway.

              But the other difficulty that comes up is what happens when the offender is Māori and the victim Pākehā? Who decides which justice system will apply? And will all involved accept that?

              The same question arises in the reverse situation where the offender is Pākehā and the victim Māori.

              A better approach, Dennis, in my view would be to seriously consider – in consultation with Māori customary law and NZ law legal experts – how we might incorporate tikanga concepts and practices into NZ law.

              We ought to be mature enuf by now to be able to forge our own unique laws, based on NZ's distinct social and political circumstances, taking the best of each system and melding them together?

              • Dennis Frank

                what happens when the offender is Māori and the victim Pākehā? Who decides which justice system will apply? And will all involved accept that? The same question arises in the reverse situation where the offender is Pākehā and the victim Māori.

                You're right to identify this as a key dimension of the issue. I suspect considerable thought will have to go into how a design can be made workable to suit all concerned.

                We ought to be mature enuf by now to be able to forge our own unique laws, based on NZ's distinct social and political circumstances, taking the best of each system and melding them together?

                I'd like to think so. However, synthesis is a creative endeavour few are capable of. The law is inherently conservative, defining the present in terms of the past. To make real progress a task force of legal experts would be required to produce a consensus on a design solution. I'd inform that process with a prior public process, to flush out relevant principles & precepts that folks see as essential to the prescription.

  15. aj 18

    Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, a dual graduate from Cambridge and Oxford, returned to Oxford University in 2015 as Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences after five years as Dean for Research Impact at Queen Mary University of London. A long thread on mask wearing, worth the read. Two para's for a quick summary.

    Whereas masking of Health Care Workers is medical procedure, masking of lay people is a collective cultural activity. It has social significance and moral worth. It conveys messages such as “our society is still at risk” and “I am doing my bit to protect others”.

    When, then, will it be safe for the public to stop wearing masks in indoor spaces? The answer is when there is no longer uncontrolled spread in the community. This US study confirms that if we do it before then, cases are likely to skyrocket.

  16. swordfish 19


    Milder Omicron … more evidence from South Africa:

    • weka 19.1

      watched the first 6 mins. Very good news if this is the accurate analysis. Would like to see others back this up.

      Also, what are the chances of further variants going one way or the other?

  17. joe90 20

    Also, what are the chances of further variants going one way or the other?

    It could well be that no one's safe until everyone's safe.

    Researchers are exploring a number of hunches. One is that Omicron arose in a remote region of southern Africa but failed to spread until now. Another is that it evolved in infected animals, such as rats, and then crossed back into humans. But a third explanation is gaining ground as more data come to light, that Omicron arose in a person with a weakened immune system: someone having cancer treatment perhaps, an organ transplant patient or someone with uncontrolled HIV.

    The latter possibility has sparked global concern. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to two-thirds of the global population living with HIV. For a whole series of reasons, ranging from lack of access to clinics to fear of stigmatisation and disrupted healthcare, 8 million people in the region are not on effective HIV therapy.

    Beyond the direct problems this causes with disease progression and vulnerability to Covid – people with advanced or uncontrolled HIV are far more likely to die from coronavirus – is the risk that uncontrolled HIV is driving the emergence of Covid variants.

    • weka 20.1

      so the more variants that emerge in the short/medium term, the more likely one of them will a really bad one, because of the numbers of variants?

    • Ad 21.1

      O Hilary it's not about your feelings sweetheart.

      It's simply making sure you own up to the consequences of your choices.

      • aj 21.1.1

        I think Hillary is just pointing out that the framing could have been slightly different from the time mandates were first publicly discussed. Although I suspect the end result would have been the same.

        • Ad

          Ardern framed it as softly as possible, in circumstances in which she herself held the health of 5 million people in decisions she had to make daily. Ardern herself is responsible for the civic calm and muted response to the fucking morons who set their world out in a series of excuses.

          Next time an anti-vaxxer tries to get on a plane, the Pilot should ask them before they get on, via Twitter, whether they are qualified to fly the plane after a bit of their own research. And more importantly, the Pilot can then ask the rest of the passengers if they trust that person to do so after a bit of their own research.

          Hilary can just have her groceries delivered to her in a bag.

  18. greywarshark 22


    The media focus at Parliament this week was on the impact of leadership (we gave it some attention ourselves), but the legislation told a different story. A story about the impact of a normal member of the public.

    That anyone one of us can change the law.

    Parliament told this story with two shining examples, and two different ways the public can push to change the law.</i>

    • Stuart Munro 22.1

      No confidence in this bill nor the clowns that passed it.

      They have of course no time for serious socioeconomic issues like housing – but rainbow issues, be they never so marginal, fly through as if someone had said fiat lux.

      Slavery though – you'll beat your head against a wall of corruption and ignorance for thirty years before there's any thought of addressing that one – and that only as an afterthought when a couple of shiploads with Covid come in.

      And they wonder why the public despise them.

  19. weka 24

    Honestly, I don't know what's going on with everyone at the moment, but the number of bungled format comments has increased noticeably.

    You can always check your comment and then edit it to fix any errors.

  20. UncookedSelachimorpha 25

    Resurrecting the discussion on vitamin D vs covid19 from yesterday.

    I was negative about one of the supporting articles discussed, but that isn't to say there isn't some evidence or hope that vitamin D might prove useful. A fairly strong clinical trial of vitamin D vs covid19 is underway, Coronavit. Over 6000 participants. Seems the trial should be finished already, but no results available yet – sometimes they take ages analysing samples and data.

    The results of this trial should make the situation a bit clearer I hope!

    • weka 25.1


      I really appreciated your analysis of one of the papers yesterday, explaining the limitations of using it as a reference. That was gold.

  21. Blade 26

    John Campbell about to address the nation at 7.30 and ask why we are so angry. Well, John, what job do you do? That may be a good starting point – the media.

    • Robert Guyton 26.1

      You're angry about the media, Blade?

      Then don't watch.

      • Dennis Frank 26.1.1

        Saw what he wrote @ 8, was intrigued so turned the tv on & watched the Groundswell i/v & Harawira i/v – both good viewing.

        • Robert Guyton

          Good to hear.

          You didn't get angry..?

          • Dennis Frank

            Nah. Mildly irritated due to his failure to create a teachable moment. The final segment was just a riff on Ardern's kindness message from a year or two back (?) which seemed a typical msm cop-out.

            Not saying John is a waste of space. Back when he had his own show I often appreciated his do-gooder style when it created a focus on something worthwhile. He hasn't lost his touch for that stuff. Just too superficial.

            • Gezza

              Trying to make my mind up whether to watch the programme on TVNZ On Demand. I find John Campbell these days so Woke & PC it makes me mildly nauseous to watch him, especially as he has such an oleaginous style of speaking & invariably obsequiously fawns on Breakfast Show guests with whose Woke PC views he agrees with.

              The whole cast of that Breakfast show seems to shill for every Woke & PC cause going. It’s made it boring.

              • Dennis Frank

                I suspect there's every chance you may discover better things to do. smiley

                I realised the Groundswell fellas can't be held responsible for the fringe nutter brigade their protests attract. John explored that with them & they explained that they had even formulated a code of conduct for their latest protest which got ignored by the other rabble.

                One of them mentioned how a 1080 protestor even inserted himself between the two of them leading the thing. They don't support that cause.

                Reminds me of the bandwagon jumpers who snowballed the hippie movement despite not having a clue about how to catalyse social change, thus discrediting it in the public mind via hedonism & mindlessness.

                Of course purity vs pollution in a political movement is a traditional psychodynamic. Heresies in christianity, etc. Sunni vs Shia. Nobody has ever produced a generic cure for group splitting. The philosopher in me takes a Green view of this problem, seeing it as biodiversity vs monoculture. The purist in me notes that monoculture equates to purity (as in adherence to righteous ideology) while the pragmatist in me knows that biodiversity is natural. Quite a conundrum. indecision

      • Blade 26.1.2

        Your advice was taken.

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    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister celebrates students’ space success
    Space Minister Judith Collins is applauding students from Canterbury University’s Aerospace Club on their success at the world’s largest inter-collegiate rocket engineering competition, the Spaceport America Cup. “More than 120 teams from 20 countries participated in Spaceport America Cup, with the team from Canterbury University winning in their ‘30,000 Foot’ ...
    5 hours ago
  • Address – Commemoration of the 74th Anniversary of the Commencement of the Korean War
    Tena koutou.Ki nga kaumatua,Ki nga whanau,Ka maumahara tonu tatou ki a ratou. Greetings.To the elders,To the families,We will remember them. Firstly, a special welcome to all the veterans here this morning and their families.  I want to acknowledge the veterans who are marking this day but cannot be with us ...
    7 hours ago
  • New WorkSafe board appointments to address a history of poor financial management
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says three appointments to the WorkSafe board have been made to strengthen the organisation, ensuring it has the skills and expertise it needs to carry out its functions.  “WorkSafe has faced a number of recent challenges, including accumulating an almost $18 million ...
    9 hours ago
  • Next phase of the Royal Commission into COVID-19
    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says this coalition Government is delivering on our commitment to expand the terms of reference for the independent Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons Learned. “There will be a second phase to the Royal Commission which features new commissioners and an expanded terms of ...
    11 hours ago
  • Government introduces Three Strikes Bill
    The Government has introduced a Bill today to restore the Three Strikes sentencing law, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says. “New Zealanders are rightly concerned about violent crime. We are delivering on our commitment to introduce a revised Three Strikes law as one of our key law and order priorities.  ...
    11 hours ago
  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    13 hours ago
  • Government actions strengthening Māori success
    Tākina Puanga. Ko Puanga kei runga. Ko Puanga e Rangi. Tākina mai te ara o Puanga nui o te rangi. Tākina ngā pou o te tau. Ki te whai ao ki te ao marama. Puanga or Rigel celebrations reflect a renewed energy across our communities – to acknowledge those who ...
    16 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    1 day ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    2 days ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    2 days ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    6 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    6 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    6 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    1 week ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    1 week ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    1 week ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    2 weeks ago

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