Open mike 12/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 12th, 2023 - 68 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 …

68 comments on “Open mike 12/12/2023 ”

  1. Ed 1

    The best article I’ve read yet about the new triumvirate.

    Verity Johnston nails it.

    There is no honeymoon : just the morning after..

  2. Drowsy M. Kram 2

    It’s been observed that our coalition government's intention to scrap the smoking ban will help fund tax cuts that benefit landLords such as Luxon and Willis.

    New Zealand scraps world-first smoking ‘generation ban’ to fund tax cuts
    [27 Nov 2023]
    Health experts say axing plan to block sales of tobacco products to next generation will cost thousands of lives.

    Unorthodox’ retrospective cut in taxes on landlords [29 Nov 2023]
    Restoring interest deductibility for property investors will cost Government tax coffers a projected $900 million. And in a ‘highly unusual’ twist, some investors may be refunded for tax paid earlier this year.

    NAct's cold equations will get Kiwi excess deaths back on track – think priorities.

    Excess Deaths in the United States Compared to 18 Other High-Income Countries [22 March 2023]
    Targeting health behaviors may also substantially reduce mortality. Each year in the U.S., smoking accounts for 450,000 excess deaths, physical inactivity accounts for 190,000 excess deaths, high salt intake accounts for 100,000 excess deaths, alcohol consumption accounts for 64,000 excess deaths, and low intake of fruits and vegetables account for 58,000 excess deaths. … The role of cigarette smoking may be particularly important given the historically high rates of smoking in the U.S. compared to many of the other countries examined, and the long latency period between smoking and excess deaths from cancer and heart disease. Health behaviors are also linked to social conditions—improving educational attainment, poverty, and inequality may give rise to healthy behaviors.

  3. Sanctuary 5

    Can anyone explain to me why Phil Twyford still has any sort of role in the Labour front bench?

    He barely hung on to his seat, and he was a weak and bombastic minister whose failure to deliver single handedly dealt two massive blows to Labour's credibility in government over Kiwi build and light rail, failures for which he was rightly sacked.

    Yet this morning he turned up up at around 6.50am on RNZ to talk about Luxon's brazen immigration flip flop and predictably he was f*cking weak as piss water. He ummed and ahhed, he even made excuses for Luxon ("Opposition is poetry, government is prose" FFS!). He wouldn't commit Labour to anything different and he argued points of policy detail in a tone of voice which indicated he didn't really give a shit.

    For Christ's sake man – it isn't hard. First, you excoriate Luxon for flip flopping, call him a PM who pronouncements can't be trusted by the public, state that Winston Peters is in control of immigration and say this is evidence the PM is weak and easily led, say his flip flop vindicates Labour's policies and that it is going to be three long years until sanity is restored by dumping Luxon, Peters and this government.

    Twyford was a hopeless minister and he sounded disinterested and ineffective now he is in opposition. If he is only turning up to eat his lunch and draw his salary he needs to be discarded for someone a bit hungrier and bit angrier.

    • Craig H 5.1

      All the Labour Immigration ministers have departed as have most of the Associate Ministers, so there's not a lot of experience available in the portfolio currently.

  4. Monday

    Free from Nick's Kōrero – do we really want to outsource our water management to corporations and investors, and who's providing the advice to do so?— Nick Rockel (@nickarockel) December 10, 2023


    #WATCH: The Mayor of Lower Hutt says the region faces "a decade of astronomical rate increases" as it needs to fix more than 200km of water pipe.— 1News (@1NewsNZ) December 10, 2023

  5. We are seeing the beginning of a new Māori cultural moment – standing up to the self-serving lies of groundswill/anti-3w/cookers and old farts longing for the days of Pakeha hegemony

    Te Papa should remove English version of the Treaty of Waitangi – Māori legal expert | RNZ News

    Misleading treaty exhibition at Te Papa is corrected after 25 years. ✊🏽— ALL (@AotearoaLib) December 11, 2023

    • SPC 7.1

      It's a good way to drive publicity about the issue. *

      That said, if the exhibit is to be historically accurate the original English translation and its difference to the Maori language one needs to be acknowledged, not hidden.

      After all, to rewrite it, is to contest in the same field as those (majoritarians) who want to re-define the principles of the Treaty.

      Part of the reason for opposition to UNDRIP maybe the status of Maori as indigenous and thus their language in the treaty, as per international law *

      • roblogic 7.1.1

        The word "translation" is the problem. The vandalised English version isn't a translation, it conveys a significantly different meaning than Te Tiriti O Waitangi, the document in Te Reo Māori signed by the chiefs in 1840.

        Te Tiriti is the agreement with legal standing, not that English thing that cedes sovereignty.

    • Molly 7.2

      These people represent themselves and their own perspective – not all Māori.

      Do you equate any non-Māori protest as a consensus action for all non-Māori?

      While many non-Māori seem to support both the action and the sentiment behind it, they should be clear that it is a specific perspective held by SOME Māori that they support.

      Anything less than that is fairly racist. (Assuming that people think alike by virtue of their ancestry is racism in its most insidious and common form.)

  6. Incognito 9

    Rumour has it that they’ve run out of envelopes on the 9th floor of the Beehive and they still cannot balance the books. Only 8 days left until the unveiling of the Government’s Mini-Budget, which will be a rhetorical masterpiece of political deflection and obfuscation.

  7. joe90 10

    Rising authoritarianism around the world and a Climate Change refugee crisis on the horizon so buckle up, it's getting bumpy.

    This week, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London published the latest edition of its authoritative annual Armed Conflict Survey, and it’s not predicting much peace for the holidays. It paints a grim picture of rising violence in in many regions, of wars chronically resistant to broking of peace. The survey — which addresses regional conflicts rather than the superpower confrontation between China, Russia, the US and its allies — documents 183 conflicts for 2023, the highest number in three decades.

  8. Robert Guyton 11

    ""It's higgledy-piggledy, and it's got things they designed when they were at pre-school, and it's lovely.""

    From Stuff's article on Nicola Willis' mini-budget.


  9. observer 12

    You might recall that during the coalition negotiations, Luxon dismissed the role of Deputy PM as "ceremonial".

    The ceremony will take place in the House at 2 pm. The PM is away, so Winston gets to answer the questions as Acting PM. Let's see how many headlines he can create, and what will need to be "clarified" afterwards.

  10. Stephen D 13

    ”Two construction companies and two directors have been charged after allegedly colluding to rig bids for infrastructure projects in Auckland.

    The charges have been filed by the Commerce Commission in the country’s first-ever prosecution for criminal cartel conduct.”

    So, let’s put business in charge. What possibly could go wrong!?

  11. observer 14

    How long does it take for a new PM to move into negative polling? (defined as more unfavourable than favourable)

    Ardern: over 5 years.

    NEW POLL: PM's Favourability Goes Negative While Labour Hits A Record Low | Scoop News

    Luxon: a few days.

    Honeymoon over: Christopher Luxon drops, NZ First overtakes Act in new poll – NZ Herald

    On that basis, he should resign about now.

    • roblogic 14.1

      Luxon was never that strong, his numbers only eclipsed Hipkins late in the election campaign.

      The Nats bench is pretty lacklustre, but the Lux option seemed plausible enough to fool Kiwis briefly.

    • Bearded Git 14.2

      "the Greens have registered a big drop"

      10.8%….they polled 11.6% in the election so margin of error stuff.

  12. Ad 15

    Labour, Greens, and media would do well to actually read Naitonal's actual water policy "Local Water Done Well" in particular the CCO and amalgamation bit:

    "For many councils, the requirement to become financially sustainable will mean they need to develop a new model. We expect many will choose, on their own terms, the Regional Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) model proposed by C4LD.

    A Regional CCO model would allow for three or more neighbouring councils to own a standalone entity with the ability to access long-term borrowing to invest in long-term infrastructure, without it impacting council balance sheets. For example, councils in the Hawke’s Bay region (Central Hawke’s Bay, Hastings, Wairoa, and Napier) presented an independently costed and verified alternative where they voluntarily created a Regional CCO.

    The Government rejected this model despite the fact it could address affordability and capacity issues while ensuring clean water for Hawke’s Bay, all while keeping assets in local hands. By 2032, it would even deliver those councils and their ratepayers $18 million in operational savings every year.

    We expect a number of councils will choose to form a Regional CCO, but National will not be mandating it, or any other model. If councils can demonstrate an alternative that complies with regulations for both water quality and water infrastructure, and is financially sustainable, National will approve it."

    Back in March he said to Northland leaders:

    "Speaking on Thursday, Luxon said the region’s Three Waters assets would be managed by a single council-controlled-organisation (CCO) or equivalent, on behalf of Far North, Kaipara and Whangārei district councils"

    It is far more likely that Auckland's Watercare will move north and take over the equivalent population and water assets of Glen Eden and Henderson put together … just as Watercare have for Waikato.

    What Luxon will do is wait until the LTP's are out early next year, then encourage them to beg for a regionalised entity solution.

    It will look remarkably like the Labour proposal, but we will beg for it when we see our water rates will otherwise triple.

    • SPC 15.1

      If councils can demonstrate an alternative that complies with regulations for both water quality and water infrastructure, and is financially sustainable, National will approve it

      The Taxpayers Union claims that public service is trying to discredit their own preferred model

      working with experts in infrastructure, local government leaders, network-economics specialists, and regulatory economic lawyers, the Taxpayers’ Union has ensured there is an oven ready replacement to Three Waters.

      But our model is based on mainstream utility regulation used around the world in water, electricity transmission, airports, and telecommunications. We haven’t reinvented the wheel but have ensured there is a better alternative to both Three Waters and the status quo. It works in a very similar way to how electricity lines companies have to balance both the need for good investment, provide a reliable and safe service, but can’t overcharge or ‘gold plate’ engineer and abuse their natural monopolistic power.

      So from our end, the policy work is done and the legal drafting is about 75% complete

      Source, just get on their email list.

    • Graeme 15.2

      This model was well thrashed out through the 3 Waters process and fell over because no Councils would want to voluntarily amalgamate with the basket cases, and subsidise their deferred upgrades. How are ratepayers in lower North Island going to agree to pay for Wellington's problems, or Otago paying to replace Gore's 19th century combined sewer system,

      Not going to happen voluntarily, Luxon is going to have to press the compulsory button at some point, then we're back to 3 Waters. Other option is Government pours a shitload of money into Gore and likes, but this could get tricky politically.

      • Belladonna 15.2.1

        There might be the possibility of the Government subsidising Gore (or other smallish rural cities – under the umbrella of the provincial growth fund (or whatever it's being called this time around) – but not a hope in hell of them doing so for Wellington.

        For two reasons:

        1. There is a perception that Wellington spends its money on 'nice to have' and very expensive cycleways and town hall refurbishments – rather than on basic infrastructure.

        2. Wellington has made its opposition to the Right plain – both at a local and at a national level. The government is highly motivated to sit back and say that Wellington has made its bed and now must lie on it.

        I was very interested to hear the Queenstown mayor interviewed on RNZ recently – about the water upgrade they've put in place. Not the one (I understand) recommended by the new water authority (some form of membrane as a barrier) – but a lower cost, and much quicker to implement solution (using UV to sterilize the crypto bugs). They are now waiting for Taumata Arowai to sign-off on their solution.

        One of the concerns with the 3 waters model was the perception that the water authority (and the regulator) would go with the gold-plated 'best of breed' solution – which is unlikely to be affordable for smaller/poorer regions – rather than a 'good enough' – and/or more suited to local conditions – solution.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          NZers need safe, affordable and reliable water services – for years to come.

          "Good enough" will do for now. A "gold-plated 'best of breed'" solution sounds expensive for Queenstown, or anywhere in Aotearoa NZ, and the material components, even for some 'good enough' solutions, are sourced overseas.

          The worst that could happen is Kiwis (or worse yet, overseas tourists with their lovely lovely $$$) get sick and everyone goes back to boiling water while the problem is sorted – the main thing is to keep the power on. Maybe more Kiwis will be acting as indicators of water quality, going forward – bags not me!!

          The lack of comprehensive, cohesive visions from the two main parties for moving to more sustainable, healthy land use is striking. Primary risks to drinking water sources are agricultural pollution and the over-extraction of water for irrigation.

          This means that the water needs to be brought to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute before it becomes safe to drink.

          • Belladonna

            I can't work out whether you're agreeing with me that sometimes 'good enough' solutions are all that can be afforded; or claiming that someone (whether taxpayer or ratepayer) should pay for the best possible one.

            Affordability is a significant issue. You, personally, may be in a position to afford a ten-fold increase in water rates – but many are not.

            The point of raising the Queenstown solution (apart from the fact that it's been in the papers recently) – is that they've come up with a much quicker to implement and cheaper solution – which is also (apparently) a better fit for their local conditions. An example of water engineers on the ground knowing their conditions better than staff in a Wellington-based suite of offices.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              I can't work out whether you're agreeing with me that sometimes 'good enough' solutions are all that can be afforded…

              I'm agreeing with you, but not wholeheartedly. Don't know whether this particular "'good enough' solution" was all the QLDC could afford, or a choice.

              As the article you linked to states, that "much quicker to implement and cheaper solution" is also an "interim solution". Plans are afoot to complete a permanent system at the Two Mile plant next year, presumably at some additional cost to the taxpayer and/or ratepayer.

              UV filter installed, as required [7 Dec 2023]

              You get what you (can afford to) pay for. I sincerely hope this particular (inexpensive?) infrastructure represents value for money – time will tell. A UV reactor treats the water from one of Palmy bores, and wastewater is also undergoes UV disinfection prior to discharge into the Manawatu river.

              An example of water engineers on the ground knowing their conditions better than staff in a Wellington-based suite of offices.

              Yes, no reasonable person would suggest "staff in a Wellington-based suite of offices" know the state of the Queenstown Lake District’s water infrastructure better than the local engineers responsible for installing, monitoring and maintaining said infrastructure – that would be silly.
              Said infrastructure was sub par in this particular case, by all means wink

  13. Peter 16

    It's too late to worry about the greedy Christchurch kid in the High Chair stealing the lolly jar and gleefully pigging into it when his smartarse mate Winnie has got riverless of candy running down his chin as Lady Nicola is telling you how the world is going to be.

  14. Ad 17

    I'm all for a politically neutral public service, but ACT's Todd Stephenson is doing stuff that neither Labour nor Greens would dream of doing to Welly bureaucrats:

    Health and Public Service spokesperson Todd Stephenson said ACT welcomed the resignation of any public officials who couldn't "bring themselves to implement the programme outlined by the elected Government".

    He said public servants were employed to serve the public through the government of the day to the best of their abilities.

    “If someone believes they can’t do that because of their personal political beliefs – including the belief that some ethnic groups should be treated differently by the government simply because of their race – they should resign.

    “It’s in no-one’s interest to have top public advisors glumly going through the motions in high-paid positions when potential champions for service delivery would jump at the chance to fill those roles. In short, get with the programme or get out.”

    It's fair to say that some of the larger public sector agencies take a while to adjust to a big change of government direction, but they do generally get there and should be left alone to do that.

    • SPC 17.1

      It's should be seen alongside – Luxon not wanting any impact assessments of incoming government policy, "when it is going to be ignored". It's compendium. They see the public service role to implement policy, thus an inference of an intent to reduce capacity to advise or formulate policy (and be guided by right wing think tanks instead).

      • CharlieB 17.1.1


        It also seem incredibly ironic that they are choosing to go down this path considering the criticism they levelled at the last two Labour governments regarding transparency along with caring for tax payers dollars..

      • Patricia Bremner 17.1.2

        We need a General Strike to warn him he is there at the people's pleasure.

    • Incognito 17.2

      […] but ACT's Todd Stephenson is doing stuff […] [my italics]

      He’s not doing anything as such. He’s the Health and Public Service spokesperson for ACT and his only official role in this government is Whip for his party AFAIK

      He’s just spouting simplistic RW lines and his words and implications could be ripped to pieces mercilessly if he were somebody and I had the time.

      • SPC 17.2.1

        I'd notice, he's their public service spokesperson – given his party leader's role in the cabinet, associate finance and their (and coalition) policy of public sector cuts.

        • Incognito

          Thanks, I didn’t know that. My point stands though; he has no formal power or responsibility except to stir up negative sentiments.

  15. John 18

    Incognito your comments explain your name.

    Your comments display a lack of comprehension.

    I could assist you but doubt it would do any good.

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

    [So, your answer is “No”, which doesn’t surprise me.

    Secondly, use the Reply button when replying to and/or engaging with another commenter. This would assist the logical flow of comments aka discussion threads, which would do us good.

    Thirdly, stop trolling and start engaging.

    Bonus comment, “incognito” doesn’t mean what you seem to think it does …

    This is your warning – Incognito]

  16. ianmac 19

    Thats odd. Just watched Parliament on Demand. Government had at least 4 Patsy questions and "Sorry this does not exist" for 3 questions. Chris Hipkins, Camilla Bellich and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer from the Opposition did not replay yet their questions had been asked.

    Does this mean that the Government can blank Opposition questions?.

  17. Grey Area 20

    These people are a vengeful, dangerous, incompetent collection of muppets. Everywhere you look they seem hell-bent on doing the maximum amount of damage in the shortest possible time.

    The change to setting of road rules as I understand it made it easier for local authorities to set safer, more appropriate speed limits in their areas in consultation with their local communities. Yet these muppets disingenuously present it as a "blanket" imposition of reduced speed limits.

    To see Simian Brown smugly smiling behind the Conehead makes me want to puke.

    If I sound upset, I am. But I’m also confused. If we mobilise to make them spend more energy on simply keeping things running and giving them less space and time to wreck things, are we playing into their hands?

    • CharlieB 20.1

      "Simian".. was that intentional or was it spell check?

      Because either way.. it's very funny.

      • Grey Area 20.1.1

        Intentional. Part of me says you can't take these Muppets seriously but part of says we have to.

        At the moment we have yet another extreme weather event in the Hutt Valley but a government with CC deniers in it. We are in deep shit.

    • Bearded Git 20.2

      Somebody just texted in to Checkpoint saying that reducing the speed limit between Nelson and Blenheim has reduced fatalities by 80%

      I have not researched if this is true but I have driven this road several times and the 80k limit makes total sense on this twisty and steep route.

    • Peter 20.3

      What do you reckon – we cross pollinate in Winston and David? I mean personal responsibility and all that, we need to be trusted to make the decisions which are best for ourselves.

      So smoke if you want and drive at the speed you want? Nice day today where I was, I didn't need anyone telling me what speed I needed to be driving at for my vehicle and the road.

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