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Open mike 13/02/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 13th, 2022 - 132 comments
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Step up to the mike …

132 comments on “Open mike 13/02/2022 ”

  1. Ad 1

    A really useful thing about a protracted protest on Parlament with no alternative news competition is that it will accelerate government showing plans for a post-crisis country.

    The protesters' timing is poor, and coherence isn't high, but their questions are bang on.

    Perpetual crisis is the wrong way to govern, and this lot can't wait until May budget to reset itself.

    • Temp O'Rary 1.1


      I don't want to be telling moderators what to do, but perhaps it might be an idea to have a dedicated page for comments about the incompetent coup that is bogged down on Parliament grounds?

      I am not onsite much these days, and that to harvest links more than to comment myself. It is getting difficult to navigate Open Mike and there are other things happening in the world.

    • Nic the NZer 1.2

      Maybe you can find examples of govt covid plans, for which no articles were later written (in the main outlets) saying, how could they have thought that was a good idea.

  2. Get used to it folks!

    What we are witnessing in Wellington (and in Canada and Australia etc) is the first manifestation of the disintegration of society (as we know it).

    The underlying cause is climate stress, shown in this instance through covid resistance.

    As climate change begins to bite big time (as shown by the people in Westport who are stressed to the max by continual floods) society, which hasn’t yet become aware of the enormity (and the end point) of the crisis, will increasingly behave like headless chickens, to mix my metaphors, lashing out at any and everything they disagree with.

    All hopelessly futile – as evidenced by the anti-mandate crowd – do they seriously think they can change government policy?

    By the time the ‘ordinary’ NZer realises how serious and terminal climate change is, it’ll be far too late – then all that’s left is to kick in a few fence palings and scream inanities at the authorities.

    • Jenny how to get there 2.1

      Follow the money:

      The same driver of climate change denial, is the same driver of covid denial

      The main motive for climate change denial is money. The making of money is put over the health of the planet.

      The same with covid, the making of money is put before public health.

      • Sanctuary 2.1.1

        Exactly. Imagine if this was 1980, and counterspin media was being funded by the USSR and Voices for Freedom was refusing to say where it's money came from – but the SIS uncovered large cash sums coming from a splinter group of the Socialist Unity Party. The outcry would be immediate and the subsequent red scare would see a big crackdown with people thrown in jail left right and centre.

        The time has long past for our media to have a serious discussion about the influence of American hate diffusion in our politics, described by Pablo over at kiwipolitico as an

        "…approach (that) is bottom-up and grassroots in orientation, and works along what Gramsci called the trenches of civil society to push a counter-hegemonic notion of “good sense” against the hegemonic conception of “common sense” purveyed by the mainstream (elite-controlled) media. These trenches include social movements as well as social institutions in which historical and contemporary grievances can be combined into a civil resistance front…"

        We need to realise this is crypto-fascism from a United States suffering from extreme democratic corrosion and on the verge of collapse into a low level civil war (just by the by, I am still picking a soft Kemalist style military coup to occur sometime in the next 15-20 years in the USA, allowing a reset to occur).

        Our governments of both major parties need to recognise the need to actively fund counters to the destablising effects of the exporting of US style crypto-fascism in NZ.

        • Ross

          Imagine if this was 1980, and counterspin media was being funded by the USSR and Voices for Freedom was refusing to say where it's money came from.

          You seem to have forgotten that protesters are sleeping in tents and eating sandwiches lol

      • Ross 2.1.2

        Follow the money:


        Pfizer said Tuesday that surging sales of its Covid-19 treatment and continued demand for its shots should boost the company’s revenue to around $100 billion this year. The company estimated that sales of its antiviral pill Paxlovid will reach about $22 billion while the vaccine will add $32 billion.

        That is on top of last year’s sales of $36.8 billion for the vaccine, also known as Comirnaty, the highest annual sales total for any pharmaceutical product. Paxlovid sales last year totaled $76 million.


      • mary_a 2.1.3

        @ Jenny how to get there (2.1) … 100% agree.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    I think politicians need to engage with the protest group, probably with representatives of all parties so that no parties are accused of being aligned with nutters.

    The thing is, a lot of them do have legitimate gripes. In most cases, people shouldn't be losing their jobs because of personal health choices. In most cases, there are other ways of dealing with unvaxxed employees, such as regular RAT tests (if we had them).

    As it is now there are lots of angry people and lots of crazies. The worry for politicians is that there could be lots of angry crazies.

    If the politicians don't engage the angry crazies might see the need to up the ante which could end up with some terrorist act or an attempted political assassination, which would be a dreadful outcome for most of us in NZ who highly value our peace and stability.

    • Cricklewood 3.1

      Pretty much, there are now some very desperate people who have damn near lost everything.

      There's nothing to gain by antagonizing the protesters, really need to get Mallard away from decision making and work out a way to engage with them.

      As it stands mandates are now doing far more harm than good and a way needs to be found to unwind them which is now very difficult given how entrenched the politicians are in their view of the protesters.

      • Jenny how to get there 3.1.1

        If no one in the government is prepared to rein in this mad duck. Then someone from Te Pati Maori or the Green Party should call for a vote of no confidence in the Speaker for his handling of this affair.

        I am sure that they would have wide support from their fellow MPs of all parties.

        • observer


          National have no time for Mallard and would happily see him replaced but not for this.

          Do you seriously believe Luxon wants to give protesters a scalp?

      • Shanreagh 3.1.2

        As it stands mandates are now doing far more harm than good…..

        I would actually like some links to back up this opinion bearing in mind that Omicron is yet to be felt in full force on NZ. Why will the results of mandates not be useful in hospitals, schools and close contact/front facing industries?

        As far as I can see the quote by Jeff Tiedrich's from October 2021 is more appropriate than ever

        'Holy fucking shit, vaccine mandates are causing teachers who don't believe in science to quit, nurses who don't believe in medicine to quit, and cops who don't believe in public safety to quit. I'm failing to see the downside to this.'

        The Gadsden flag is being flown this morning.

        'In the 2000–10s, don’t tread on me—and the broader symbolism of Gadsden flag—became increasingly politicized. It was adopted by conservative and libertarian groups, including the Tea Party in 2009 in their platform for small government and lower taxes.

        Because some supporters of these groups have been accused of racism, their critics view the flag and motto as an expression of bigotry. In 2014, for instance, a Black US federal employee felt discriminated against by a coworker who wore a hat with the Gadsden imagery. The employee wrote that Christopher Gadsden was a “slave trader & owner of slaves,” and that his flag had become a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”

        The Gadsden flag is about as appropriate as the Confederate flag.

        So some inklings plus the Swastika about what is driving some.

    • Jenny how to get there 3.2


      13 February 2022 at 7:38 am

      …..If the politicians don't engage the angry crazies might see the need to up the ante….

      I tautoko that
      . It's time for a diplomatic outreach to these protesters before things degenerate.

      One of the clearest demands of the protesters is that they meet with the politicians.

      The protesters could be asked to choose representatives, from amongst their ranks, who they feel best represent their views to form a delegation to meet with the politicians.

      The very act of choosing their representatives may bring some order to this currently inchoate mass and also isolate the extremists among them.

      I also think Molly's suggestion of employing Maori Warden to liaise with the protesters at a grass roots level is a good idea.

      Open mike 12/02/2022

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        Their world view is that much at odds with conventional views how do you think this will help? How do you reconcile approaches with a Q anon believer?

        • Fran

          Micky I think you need to have another look at what is happening worldwide, there are anti mandate protests everywhere. The people there are not Q anon, whatever that is now, they are teachers, nurses, farmers, plumbers, builders, etc. They are ordinary people, many who voted for this Government but do not like the mandates and the segregation that is vacc. passes. Stop trying to make ordinary Kiwi's "other" that just drives division. This long time Labour supporter cannot support mandates and a two-class of people society. When kids can't play sport or go on a school camp because of this it has gone way, way too far.

          This is not a small fringe minority of people. For every person camping at Parliament or in Picton, there are many others supporting from home. Did you miss the Christchurch protest yesterday? Or the Auckland one or the thousands of people who lined the streets as the convoy went through.

          Name calling and "otherising" just shows that you are out of touch.

          • Shanreagh

            Fran, I think it is you who are out of touch. Late last night on OM I put this post up

            From the Guardian 11/2/22

            The Global 'Freedom' Movement is a carnival of crank and conspiracy – and very dangerous and counts NZ in the countries where

            "“Freedom” protests similar in form and simultaneously nebulous in broadly anti-vax/anti-mandate political goals have materialised in Britain, France and New Zealand."

            The inability to work out what these similar groups are really on about is deliberate and world wide. When aims are so opaque we must wonder. Why?


            • Fran

              Nebulous comments from the Guardian do not actually show what is happening. What is happening is that people are saying "enough". There is no funding from shadowy groups in America (Bombers "American Dark Money") or overarching world, organisation. That is a myth to make people like you look at the protesters as other. I know nothing I say will change your mind but you are on the wrong side of history with this one.

              • observer

                Counterspin is not a myth.

                I'm sure many of the people there are not alt-right, and are as you described in your comment above (at 11.20).

                But you seem unable/unwilling to acknowledge even the presence of the likes of John Ansell and Q-Anon supporters. If I was at a protest and people like that were alongside (even speaking on the mic) I would want nothing to do with them and their message. Would you?

                Wishing they weren't there doesn't make them go away.

              • Shanreagh

                Really? I know the groups that are of value to NZ and Counterspin is not one of those, neither is Destiny Church. So all the heavy 'bad actors' are just there to sing along in the rain wearing their jandals and plastic ponchos……I don't think so.

            • Ross

              The inability to work out what these similar groups are really on about is deliberate and world wide. When aims are so opaque we must wonder. Why?

              If you don’t know what the protesters want, you haven’t been listening. They’ve explained what they want, and I’ve explained what the Government should do, which would benefit the PM, the Government, the public, and the protesters. Everyone would be a winner!

        • Shanreagh

          Wise and relevant words Micky.

    • observer 3.3

      "Engage" is one of those words that we like to use, but what does it really mean? Is it just the boss saying "my door is always open"?

      If they want a meeting, what should the gov't rep say? "No, you are wrong." So the meeting is short. Achieving what?

      Perhaps s/he should palm them off with piffle ("I value your feedback", "I will take your concerns on board"). That just means "No, you are wrong" but with a soft soap. Achieving what?

      After all the "engaging", the position remains. The government policy on mandates is not going to change because of this protest. It will eventually change because of the virus.

      Of course, politicians change for one reason above all: votes. If the protesters were representing a large chunk of NZ voters, the government would "engage" with them for the same reason any gov't does … votes. Backdown, U-turn, happens all the time.

      Only the totally deluded think that this protest is winning votes (who for? Winston? Matt King? Brian Tamaki?).

      So again … what is this engaging supposed to lead to?

      • Sanctuary 3.3.1

        There is absolutely no need or desirablility in engaging with foolish dupes for far right and fascist groups. Why bother? They have practically no wider public support and if we are honest the only thing between them and a sound and heavily backed by public opinion thrashing at the hands of the police is government restraint. MPs and the speaker so far have called for their removal, but the police have yet to be directed to do so by their political masters.

        I guess the plan now is just let them increase Labour poll lead for another week until they bugger off while running constant middle class horror stories in the media of harassment of sweet young things coming and coming from Wellington's best schools along with sob stories from assorted retailers, outrage from the Law 'n' Order crowd and then shots of the mess they left behind FOR THE TAXPAYER TO PICK UP.

        • tsmithfield

          A lot of them aren't far right or fascist. A lot of them are just ordinary people who have a particular view, deluded or otherwise, on vaccines and mandates. They could well be from the left or the right.

          There are a lot of us who are fully vaccinated but do see the mandate part that is costing jobs as completely unfair and unnecessary in most circumstances. Also, with the rise of Omicron that will be spread by both vaccinated and unvaccinated, mandates are becoming increasingly pointless.

          There should be a cross-party group of politicians that meets with the protestors to at the very least acknowledge the pain and suffering that these policies have caused to affected people. If people feel that they are being heard, they will probably feel placated to some degree anyway.

          This also would take a lot of energy away from extremist groups who feed off this anger and are capable of extreme behaviour that could have drastic consequences.

          • Molly

            I hope some here will take time to read – and consider – your points before responding.

            There are a fair few here that have pitched their perspective tents and are as entrenched in their views as those at Parliament.

          • roblogic

            The mandate did not cost a single job. People who chose to ignore basic heath measures (in a deadly pandemic) don't like consequences.

            MPs rightly ignore a rabble who march alongside fascists and spew hate

            • tsmithfield

              The mandate may have been more justifiable when dealing with Delta.

              But, there hardly seems to be a point when Omicron infects regardless of vaccination status.

              And, as Omicron takes hold, there will be critical labour shortages caused by the mandate. A lot of those who have lost their jobs will be greatly missed as labour forces are decimated because people are off sick.

              • roblogic

                With NZ 90% vaxxed we have a decent shot at herd immunity lessening the impact. But yeah that small noisy unvaxxed minority is about to be hit hard by Omicron. And then from their hospital beds when they are gasping for air they will beg for the vaccine. But it will be too late.

                • Molly

                  ' But yeah that small noisy unvaxxed minority is about to be hit hard by Omicron. And then from their hospital beds when they are gasping for air they will beg for the vaccine. But it will be too late."

                  Be Kind. They are Us.

                  • roblogic

                    No need for platitudes. Warning idiots about consequences is an attempt to prevent suffering

                  • Muttonbird

                    Hi Molly. I find it kind of gross you would highjack that quote, which was made in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on people simply for being muslim, and apply it to this anti-vax rabble.

                    You didn’t know it at the time of commenting but Philip Arps, who celebrated the Christchurch terrorist attack, on Friday was on his was to join the Convoy protest, before he was arrested.

            • Gypsy

              "The mandate did not cost a single job."

              That's simply false. There are many people who have lost their jobs not because they 'chose to ignore basic health measures' but because the mandates forced their employers to terminate them. Let me give you an example. I am on the Board of an ECE. We support vaccinations, mask wearing contact tracing and so on, and we have strictly implemented all such measures. All teachers willingly received their first vaccination, however one experienced severe adverse effects. Her doctor, with our support, applied for a medical exemption, which was declined. The effects are severe and on-going. She CHOSE to receive her first vaccination, but we were forced by the mandate to terminate her because her Doctor advised against her receiving her second. Would you like some more examples?

              • Molly

                I also know of someone advised by their doctor to not get the vaccine due to their medical history. Also unable to get exemption.

                Works for Toll, who I believe has recently mandated/or proposed to mandate fully vaccinated status as a condition of employment.

              • tsmithfield

                Yes. I have a son with Crohn's disease.

                He had been symptom free for several months, but had a major Crohn's attack immediately after having his second jab that put him in hospital. The specialists said it was likely due to the jab and said he may not be able to have the booster.

                But, the MOH seems very inflexible in granting exemptions. So, if vaccine mandates and passports are extended to include the booster jab, should he lose his job if he can't get an exemption because the MOH is totally unreasonable, but my son chooses not to get the booster on the basis of medical advice from experts in the hospital controlled by the MOH?

                • Gypsy

                  "Sue McIntyre, 55, requested a formal exemption from the Ministry of Health late last year on the advice of her GP and a clinical immunologist, after experiencing a temporary bout of Bell’s Palsy shortly after her first Covid-19 vaccination."

                  “But the Ministry of Health has since declined the application and is refusing to give McIntyre an exemption. ”

                  Apparently she’s gone to have her second vaxx, so this is certainly not someone who ‘chose to ignore basic health measures’ .

                • Patricia Bremner

                  Sympathy for your son's position. Our son in QLD has a condition which has to be removed from his bowel each year, as it is fast growing and has a high likely hood of becoming cancer. He is also not having the third jab. Fortunately he works from home.

                  If the protest is about mandates, a discussion may help, but those with other reasons for being there talk about freedom, for them not others.

                  Their beliefs and attitudes about choice are in strong opposition to others having choices to vaccinate and wear masks and follow Health directives.

                  Some protestors are rude and aggressive and egg vaccinators and young children and have been known to spit on or cough on or in faces. To utter death threats and write them is not harmless. They encourage each other and it only takes one antisocial malcontent to cause real harm.

                  Trevor Mallard is being a bit provoked by the destruction of an area he personally has championed. Sadly he is sinking to silliness.

                  Those who push another agenda are well known and their piggy backing on the anger is not a surprise, using it to steer against any law and order.

                  When you get the far right, religious money and overseas political agendas driving the scene, there is small chance of agreement. Hence ‘let the energy fizzle’ attitude seems to be the current response.

              • gsays

                Those are tragic examples.

                Remember it is misinformation if 'they' do it.

          • Shanreagh

            T Smithfield I know from your previous posts that you have a good heart and want to engage and debate.

            There should be a cross-party group of politicians that meets with the protestors to at the very least acknowledge the pain and suffering that these policies have caused to affected people

            Well if we are talking 'pain and suffering' I think there are people who have suffered more than these folk from the effects of Covid, effects that have not been of their own making (unlike these). Perhaps the ones who have lost a loved one, who have got covid prior to vaccines and are now suffering from Long Covid….just to name a few.

            But no …….why meet these ones and not others…….

            I know the whole of NZ will have an appointment

        • higherstandard

          It appears that Sanctuary's mask has been mislaid.

      • Kiwijoker 3.3.2

        Obviously, a new paradigm going forward to the new normal….

    • Ad 3.4

      The Foreshore and Seabed hikoi was way more substantive and epic in scale, but the government barely engaged at all with them other than a token minor minister or two to listen to the speeches for the news cameras.

      The govenrnment has nothing to gain by directly engaging.

      • weka 3.4.1

        Clark engaged from behind the castle walls: "haters and wreckers". All the while wrangling the NZ constitution to Labour's purpose.

        • Blade

          A vicious operator, but us Righties drooled over her and the lurid accounts of how she and H2 took care of errant ministers in her caucus.

  4. Adrian 4

    Ad, this protest is’t a crisis, in England it would be considered as just another Glastonbury.

    • Ad 4.1

      Yes I've made the comparison to Nambassa before.

      All this need is a better dj and a good supply of well-regulated party drugs.

      Maybe then the PM could deign to come down and actually engage with real politics.

  5. Blade 6

    Here's what happens when energy isn't acknowledged and directed in the right direction.

    In this case we are talking of sexual reproductive energy.

    But there are correlations here with protesters outside parliament.

    It's interesting to note Catholic Church considers the law of clerical celibacy to be not a doctrine, but a discipline.

    This reads like a horror show.


  6. observer 7

    Yesterday I asked about the goal of the Parliament protesters …

    I'll ask again, in brief:

    Will they form a party to fight the next election, or influence an existing party for the next election?

    If the answer is "neither" then this is all a total waste of time. No point being anti-Labour/Ardern if you offer no alternative to the voters. She is not going to do what you want, so you'd better find someone who will, and get them elected. Who and how?

    • Blade 7.1

      Tony Veitch above comes nearest to answering your question – minus his climate change stress stuff. The average person doesn't angst over climate change.

      • Blade 7.1.1

        Robbo wakes up…and he can't smell coffee. Like I said, the longer the protest goes on, the more questions are going to be asked. The more pressure comes on the government who could have resolved this situation within days.


        • roblogic

          The longer the clown show goes on the more this group discredit themselves

        • Jenny how to get there

          Grant Robinson doubles down on the hard nosed response to the protesters taken by Trevor Mallard

          Grant Robertson says people who 'threaten, harass and disrupt' lose right to protest

          • 12/02/2022 RNZ

          "School pupils spat at and harassed for wearing a mask, roads blocked delaying public transport and emergency services and businesses shut down," he said.

          Robertson said there had also been threats of violence against politicians and the media.

          "Looking down on a protest that wants to hang me as a politician, a sign that compares the Prime Minister to the March 15th terrorist, calls for arrest and execution of me and other leaders you might understand why I believe the Police need to move them on."


          But what about the vast majority of this crowd who don't threaten or harass?

          Does Grant Robbertson think they also lose the right to protest and forcibly moved on by the police?

          Both sides are engaging in pointing to incidents of abuses and attacks. Both sides are in tit for tat struggle to use these incidents to justify their actions, in a never ending round of claim and counter claim and escalation.

          You see the problem here, Blade?

          Robertson and Mallard are determined to use the police to move the protesters on, using what justifications they can.

          The protesters are just as determined to stay using their own justifications.

          All this continued escalation makes a violent clash inevitable.

          A violent confrontation is what the extremists on both sides want.

          But I believe it is not want New Zealanders want.

          In my opinion Robertson and Mallard are at risk of causing as much harm to our government and democracy as the protesters.

          No side will look good if people are hurt, and will only be grounds for more grievances leading to further escalation, which is exactly what the extremists want.

          I think it is time for cooler heads to prevail.

          • roblogic

            "time for cooler heads to prevail"

            Mallard reached out to the group on the very first day and outlined a way for the protest to be conducted peacefully, in which case they could stay indefinitely without the need for Police intervention.

            But they tore it up, continued to play loud music, defecated on the grass, harrassed Wellington commuters, threatened the media, tried to invade Parliament (per Jan 6 insurrection), and expressed the desire to execute MPs.

            The Govt and Police are responding with great restraint.

          • Blade

            ''You see the problem here, Blade?''

            Yes, I see the problem. And there is no way around that problem for peaceful protesters. They are guilty by association.

            I get the same on this blog. Because I'm a Tory, I'm by default guilty of all the sins posters on this blog believe Tories are guilty of. There is no demarcation between Tories as a political party, and me as an individual with my own thoughts and opinions.

            Weka accuses me of doing the same by filing all my negative commentary about liberalism under the convenient banner of wokeism. Liberals are guilty by association in my books.

            ''In my opinion Robertson and Mallard are at risk of causing as much harm to our government and democracy as the protesters.''

            Without a doubt. And Jacinda must take ultimate responsibility for all of this and what follows, in my opinion.

            Jacinda has been caught with her witches britches down. She has no right to be in this situation. The mood of the nation has been changing slowly over the last few months. That seemed obvious to most people, but not the government!

            • Patricia Bremner

              "Jacinda has been caught with her witches britches down" Misogyny much"

              So she is a witch? What does that make you? You whinge we tar you blue. You do rather ask for it. The reasoning for your accusations is far from clear.

              Are you saying she is responsible for the far right? For Qanon? For the disaffected fringe and religious nutters? Take a breath. Next you'll say she cast a spell and whipped up the storm.

              • Blade

                "Jacinda has been caught with her witches britches down" Misogyny much"

                Oh, Pete's sake, grow up you chronically offended looking for a cause person.

                ''So she is a witch?''

                Look up witches britches. None think much.

                ''Are you saying she is responsible for the far right? For Qanon? For the disaffected fringe and religious nutters? Take a breath. Next you'll say she cast a spell and whipped up the storm.''

                Lordy, no wonder the Left are the butt of so many jokes. No sense of humour.

    • Ross 7.2

      She is not going to do what you want,

      Of course she isn't – she is no stateswoman. Doing the right thing would benefit her, her Government, the public and the protestors. But her spin doctors would be apoplectic.

      As for the protesters, I'm surprised they haven't blocked the Terrace Tunnel, the main thoroughfare in and out of Wellington. Were that to be blocked, it would make the current disruption pale into insignificance.

      • observer 7.2.1

        So we are agreed on one thing: Ardern won't cave.

        So I ask again, who is going to deliver what the protesters want?

        • Peter

          No-one is going to deliver what some of the protestors want.

          Lots of the protestors undoubtedly want Brian Tamaki and his party to be in Parliament. He has been on the campaign for years with his biggest splurge being most recently. In 2004 Tamaki predicted the Destiny Church would be ruling the country by 2008.

          I don't know why his wife stood for Vision New Zealand in 2020 but he didn't. Maybe he did'n't want to be seen to be a loser.

          No-one is going to deliver what the right-wing extremists want. They want the overthrow of the country. Behind the Herald wall today is an article about Kelvyn Alp by David Fisher.

          "And Alp is no stranger to the revolutionary cause. Twenty years ago, he was the public face of the so-called New Zealand Armed Intervention Force which came under security service attention after it talked about overthrowing the government.

          In an interview with Investigate Magazine, he claimed 1500 members and said the group had access to automatic weapons.

          "The way we're doing it is perfect," he was quoted saying. "There should be zero casualties, but it'll be a Mexican standoff. We have multiple targets. We'll be taking out the enforcement arm of the settler Government down in Wellington.”

          What I've read about Alp suggests to me that he fancies himself as some big time important person with power. The reality is different. The dreams seem to be those of an unfulfilled big time loser. While he hopes to harness an army of those disaffected about vaccinations and having other legitimate gripes about life he would attract lunatics, the deluded and the mischievous.

          Genuine protestors have their wagons hitched to crazies and the malevolent.

          Let's hear out now, New Zealand run by President Kelvyn Alp and the assorted dropkicks of Counterspin along with Bishop Brian.

      • Blade 7.2.2

        ''As for the protesters, I'm surprised they haven't blocked the Terrace Tunnel, the main thoroughfare in and out of Wellington. Were that to be blocked, it would make the current disruption pale into insignificance''

        Action like that will be Phase2 of their protests if they are moved on from outside parliament.

        Should disruptive protests happen nationwide, NZ will come to a halt with a melee of everyone fighting everyone for whatever reason.

  7. Blazer 8

    Doing God's 'work'….indeed!


    Mulvihill has kept a list of the 70 survivors who made complaints and a corresponding list of brothers who worked at the home, and says 21 of 23 had allegations of physical or sexual abuse made against them: 91.3 per cent.

    Mulvihill is worried the commission will focus solely on the gravity of the offending, and not on the order’s response to complaints. She says the commission must challenge the brothers’ narrative of being unfairly treated.

    “Behind the scenes, they really don’t believe much has happened. They try to focus on the one, two or three people who have been in jail … and it was just these blokes who were bad apples.”

    Church fixer's damning revelations: 21 out of 23 St John of God brothers faced allegations of physical or sexual abuse | Stuff.co.nz

  8. Blazer 9

    'devastating …sentence'-money laundering …tip of an iceberg I bet..

    'About $8.4 million flowed through the bank accounts of Yinghui Zhang over a 20-month period, during which time his importing business was a front to avoid detection from financial authorities.'

    Auckland businessman sentenced after police target professional money launderers in covert Operation Menelaus – NZ Herald

    • roblogic 9.1

      Absolutely. Real estate agents were actively marketing NZ to wealthy Chinese as a great place to park their money and get Kiwi renters to pay the mortgage.

      If there was a protest against the corrupt finance & real estate sector I would be there with bells on

  9. Molly 10

    My partner is spending his morning talking to fellow employees who are considered contacts of positive cases. There is changing advice from Ministry over what to do.

    Just received advice from the Ministry that someone can come to work as his wife returned a negative five day test, after someone at her workplace tested positive. She has to isolate until her negative 8 day test but he can come to work.

    Another whose wife is considered a casual contact, is told to go to work even though his wife has not had the five day test result and is now showing symptoms.

    Changing advice becomes apparent as workers sometimes don't request/receive letter from the Ministry to isolate/return to work.

    Testing results also lagging. My son as a casual essential worker required a negative pre-work test. Told it'd take 24hrs. Still nothing two days later.

    For essential workers the current system in place needs to be efficient to be effective. It doesn't bode well that at the beginning of the outbreak there is already slippage.

  10. Belladonna 11

    Really, Mallard needs to be moved away from attempting to manage the protest in Parliament Grounds (I recognize this is …. challenging … since he's the Speaker).
    But he's doing himself, the role of the Speaker and the Labour Government no favours.
    The latest attempt was playing Barry Manilow at them.
    He's turning into a laughing stock.


    Mallard would not say if the tactics he rolled out were endorsed by police; “I won’t comment on discussions I’ve had with police.”

    It sounds as though he's not consulting with anyone – and is coming across as a loose warhead.

    • Ross 11.1

      As long as this song isn't played. It was played at Waco, Texas, and that protest didn't turn out well lol. And it turns out that Barry Manilow songs are considered “excessive force”. Has Trevor no conscience! 🙂

      The FBI won’t discuss details of its playlist, like why a man who thinks he’s Jesus would find Christmas carols unbearable (although maybe it has more to do with the ones chosen — the sing-along-with-Mitch Miller variety). Or why does Nancy Sinatra qualify instead of her far-more-cringeworthy brother, Frank Jr.? And why are Barry Manilow songs — according to one federal official involved in the siege negotiations — considered ”excessive force”?


      • Blazer 11.1.1

        YT comment on Manilow…


        'I escaped 🇨🇺 Cuba on a boat. We only had one tape , Barry's 1978 greatest hits. We played Barry for two days. We call him in 🇨🇺 Cuba – El hombre de la voz del cielo. – The man with the voice from Heaven – God bless the 🇺🇸 USA……'


    • Ross 11.2

      Mallard would not say if the tactics he rolled out were endorsed by police; “I won’t comment on discussions I’ve had with police.”

      I would've thought that policing was an operational matter with which the Speaker would have no involvement. There is a convention that politicians don't tell police (and judges) what to do, and vice-versa. Did police inform Trevor that they know more about policing than he does and that he should stick to his day job?

      • Belladonna 11.2.1

        My understanding is that the Parliamentary precinct (including the grounds) comes under the Speaker's mandate – so he would have to either talk to police, or delegate someone else to do so.
        But, yes, I'm sure that his antics have absolutely made the police want to inform him that he should stick to his day job….

    • joe90 11.3

      Yeah, Trev should be nice to folk who turned up with a stated intention of putting MPs before supra judicial panels to formalise their lynching.


      • Shanreagh 11.3.1

        Yes good one Joe90.

        They didn't get the hangings or the judicial right (Brett Power), they were warned not to trespass.

        If they don't like Barry Manilow or the Concert Programme then they have only themselves to blame for having to listen to them. wink


  11. Belladonna 12

    Looks as though the Government may be heading for another PR disaster.

    Mahuta has issued the standard warning for Kiwis in the Ukraine to leave (pretty much the standard boilerplate that most other western countries have put out) – but there is no accompanying mention of emergency MIQ allocations for them.


    This has the capacity to go bad very quickly (if the international posturing around the Ukraine borders actually tips over into fighting)

    All we need is for someone to be stuck in MIQ allocation backlog when something bad happens to them in the Ukraine.

    And, no, NZ should not expect other countries to issue emergency visas to give our people a safe refuge.

    • Jester 12.1

      Surely if the govt has told them to leave the Ukraine, they must offer them MIQ spots?

      That would be very embarrassing if NZ citizens had to seek refuge in another country.
      There’s only about 33 people so if MIQ cannot handle this, it is not fit for purpose.

    • Koff 12.2

      NZ citizens and permanent residents don't need to go into MIQ from mid March and if they fly via Australia they don't need to go into MIQ from the end of this month. More complicated is that most of those 30 people in the Ukraine probably (I don't know) have partners, spouses and family there. Would they want to leave?

      • Belladonna 12.2.1

        Agree that the current 'open border' day for Kiwis is mid-March. But it's now not-quite mid-February. Foreign Affairs is telling them to get out now, not in a months time.
        I'm assuming that dependants of Kiwis (spouses, children, etc.) with valid visas and travelling with the repatriating Kiwi also qualify for zero MIQ from this date (but, who knows, with MIQ). Though if they don't have a valid visa then their chances of getting one in any reasonable timeframe are close to zero (I believe the backlog is around 3 years….)

        If people don't want to leave – then the problem is moot – they've made their choice. But if people do want to leave, then it's really, really important that MIQ facilitates this, rather than blocks it.

      • Belladonna 12.2.2

        And, since there are apparently only around 30 of them – surely it wouldn't tax Foreign Affairs too greatly, to individually contact them, find out if they plan on exiting Ukraine, and where they plan to go & then cross-communicate with MIQ over the actual numbers/dates needed for those who need to return to NZ.

        You know, actual consular assistance, rather than the standard 'look at this website' instruction.

        • Koff

          I think any NZer in the Ukraine has far fewer worries about where to flee to than the 41 million Ukrainians who are stuck with whatever madness happens there (or not… many Ukranians seem to be not as concerned as the rest of the western world, or are just resigned about it all).

  12. joe90 13

    They aren’t truckers and there is no movement but there are lots of gullible fuckwits prepared to swallow over-the-top fantasies dished up by fake accounts tied to offshore content mills.

    For more than a year, we’ve been analyzing a massive new data set that we designed to study public behavior on the 500 U.S. Facebook pages that get the most engagement from users. Our research, part of which will be submitted for peer review later this year, aims to better understand the people who spread hate and misinformation on Facebook. We hoped to learn how they use the platform and, crucially, how Facebook responds. Based on prior reporting, we expected it would be ugly. What we found was much worse.

    The most alarming aspect of our findings is that people like John, Michelle, and Calvin aren’t merely fringe trolls, or a distraction from what really matters on the platform. They are part of an elite, previously unreported class of users that produce more likes, shares, reactions, comments, and posts than 99 percent of Facebook users in America.

    They’re superusers. And because Facebook’s algorithm rewards engagement, these superusers have enormous influence over which posts are seen first in other users’ feeds, and which are never seen at all. Even more shocking is just how nasty most of these hyper-influential users are. The most abusive people on Facebook, it turns out, are given the most power to shape what Facebook is.


  13. Temp O'Rary 14

    Some good news for a change – that I saw the other day whilst reading grimmer Nature articles. Log10 Y-axis scale, so the decay curve isn't as impressive as it could be.

    …the result of a near 40-year effort by international organizations and national governments to rid the world of Guinea worm, says Weiss. If it succeeds, the condition will join smallpox and rinderpest (a virus that mainly infected cattle and buffalo) as the only diseases to have been purposefully eradicated in human history.


    • weka 14.1

      not sure why your comments keep getting caught in the spam filter. Please check your user name and email address to make sure they are consistent each them.

      • Temp O'Rary 14.1.1


        It is probably that I used to comment under a different pseudonym using the same spam-magnet email. Until maybe October last year? I don't think I was banned, just had better things to do with my time.

        Edit- still getting caught in moderation, and I checked for consistency that time.

        • weka

          Ta. I’ll get Lynn to take a look at it.There used to be a bug that caught some people.

          If you were banned they would be going straight to Trash.

          Your email did look familiar, but it should free up after the first time the new user name is approved. Have you ever had a login here?

  14. weka 16

    an inkling of what a climate future might be if we don’t act now: crises coinciding,

    • Poission 16.1

      Nothing like the 1976 floods in Wellington.

      Such a downpour occurred on December 20, 1976, in a convergence zone that ran along the hills west of Wellington and extended up the Hutt Valley. More than 300 mm of rain fell in 24 hours over much of this area the kind of deluge expected, on average, only once in 100 years or more. Much of the rain actually fell in less than 12 hours, making it more like a oncein-700-years event.

      Flash floods metres high roared down steep gullies where ankle-deep creeks normally ran to the harbour. Miraculously, no one was killed by these torrents, although the Hutt motorway was severed and hundreds of workers had to be rescued by helicopter from the roof of a factory cut off by fast-moving flood water from the Korokoro Stream. Many vehicles were destroyed, some crushed almost beyond recognition



      • weka 16.1.1

        Epic photo.

        Now imagine if this happens every few years and while we're in the middle of another crisis.

        • Poission

          a lot of people could not get home,so the pubs stayed open can't see that happening now.

          • weka

            would happen in rural areas (somewhere would stay open).

          • Shanreagh

            As a precaution our work said people could stay there and we opened up the CD gear to get the blankets and some of the ones who could not get home went home with those who lived away from Ngaio Gorge. I had three workmates to stay, one bathroom with the loo in it and 4 people wanting to get to a workplace that had a strict 8.00am -4.35pm workday policy the next day.

            At the bottom of Ngaio Gorge at that time was a warehouse that stocked little screws, nuts etc with the floodwaters rushing through the labels were washed off. Lots of time spent at first trying to work out if these were the metric equiv of a 1/8th screw or a 3/8th …..later they had to throw lots out as the water made them unusable.

            Of more concern was that the flood went through a building where old files were kept……doh who could have seen that coming!

            Putting old files in a building at the bottom of the Gorge where from the earliest times the Ngaio Gorge and the Ngaio stream was a force to be reckoned with.

  15. Ross 17

    My main problem with the occupation at Parliament is the serious risk to the wider community from a potential super spreader event.

    Life is full of risks. Children playing in driveways arguably pose a much greater risk, with about 50 children having died in the last decade, and more being seriously injured. We accept that some children will die or become seriously injured.

    If we look at the data from the UK, most people dying from COVID, or being admitted to hospital, have been vaccinated. It's worth noting that 5 million NZers haven't contracted COVID. So the risk of harm is extremely low when so many people haven't contracted the virus. And the vast majority of those that have contracted it have recovered. We should be delighted with all of that.

    a very large share of the UK’s population has now been vaccinated, especially those most at risk, meaning that the small fraction of vaccinated people who still become seriously ill are numerous enough to make up a majority of hospital admissions.



    [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.]

    • weka 17.1

      Sorry, but if you don't understand the risk, I'm not willing to have the derail under my post.

      Meanwhile, we jumped from 450 cases to 810 overnight. If one of the fifteen Wellington cases is at the protest (as is rumoured), and then those people go home all over the country and don't self isolate or take precautions on the way home, it's not hard to see how the spread will be much faster.

      • Poission 17.1.1

        Wellington health (and MOH) suggest that it is only rumours

        The ministry has not provided a regional update on Sunday. They have given an update on the Wellington protest:

        There are a number of rumours circulating about possible cases of COVID-19 linked to the protest at Parliament Grounds in Wellington.

        Wellington’s Regional Public Health Unit has confirmed that there are currently no notified positive cases linked to the protest. However, we encourage everyone to be vigilant and to get a test if they become unwell with symptoms of COVID-19.


        • weka

          thanks for that.

          This presumably means they're still doing contact tracing?

          I wish they would publish details of where cases are rather than just by DHB. I appreciate there are some privacy concerns for really small places, but soon that will be less of an issue.

          • Poission

            Details and publication formats have changed under Omicron (there is a staged narrative here) and the details of the changes (and methodology) remain only with the plutocracy.

            As case numbers increase, we are putting in place changes to the way case numbers and other details are reported in our daily updates. Reporters in the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been consulted on these changes.

            We are reflecting these changes in the update today, however it’s important to reinforce that we still have the key figures included here, and available online, including New Zealand’s case numbers – by total, at the border, in the community and by DHB region. Vaccination results will also continue to be fully reported.


            Reaching into the dystopian literature ( Jack London's the iron heel)

            One and all, the professors, the preachers, and the editors, hold their jobs by serving the Plutocracy, and their service consists of propagating only such ideas as are either harmless to or commendatory of the Plutocracy. Whenever they propagate ideas that menace the Plutocracy, they lose their jobs, in which case, if they have not provided for the rainy day, they descend into the proletariat and either perish or become working-class agitators. And don't forget that it is the press, the pulpit, and the university that mould public opinion, set the thought-pace of the nation. As for the artists, they merely pander to the little less than ignoble tastes of the Plutocracy.

          • Macro

            Joe posted a tweet on yesterday's open mike where a young woman who was tested in tauranga had gone to the protest before her positive result came thru.


            Guess that is where the rumors began.

            And if true then this will certainly be a super spreader event. 🙁 and she has more trouble in store by not following the requirements to stay and self isolate until her test result is returned.

            • weka

              Pretty sure I saw something on twitter too. The tweet in Joe's comment has now been deleted.

              Thanks for the link though, because the test was alleged to be in Tauranga, so the Wellington and MoH reassurance isn't really.

          • solkta

            They have for Northland.

          • Belladonna

            My understanding (from a friend involved in doing the contact tracing) is that they are now doing only 'hard' contacts (i.e. people who are most likely to have contracted Omicron, from the initial case).
            They're relying on things like the locations of interest to prompt more general contacts to get tested.

            Caveat: This is just my understanding of her understanding of what her supervisor has told her. I don't have any verifiable source for this.

      • Ross 17.1.2

        Sorry, but if you don't understand the risk, I'm not willing to have the derail under my post.

        Oh I understand the risk very well. If you took the time to read the links, you'd realise that vaccinated people pose the greatest risk by virtue of their numbers. But – and this is the key point – the risk is low. So, reducing police numbers at the protest, all other things being equal, would reduce the (low) risk of transmission. Whether police are aware of that fact is unclear.

        • weka

          you patently don't understand the risk. The risk is from a large gathering, in close proximity, over a week, multiple people coming and going, in and out of the community, and not taking precautions like wearing masks, distancing, hand washing and scanning.

          • Ross

            The risk is from a large gathering, in close proximity, over a week, multiple people coming and going, in and out of the community, and not taking precautions like wearing masks, distancing, hand washing and scanning.

            Yeah it doesn't matter how you put it, it remains low risk. And would be even lower if some police left. Some 5 million NZers haven't caught Covid despite not being vaccinated for many months. Yet they went to restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, dairies, petrol stations, workplaces, etc where they were in close proximity to other (unvaccinated) people. Think about those millions of unvaccinated people going to such places repeatedly. How many of them caught the virus?

            Of course, if transmission was low risk prior to anyone being vaccinated, presumably it’s even lower today with 95% of the population vaccinated.

            • weka

              Dude, we’ve had almost no community transmission for most of the pandemic , that’s why so few people have had covid here. I can’t believe I had to say that.

              • Ross

                Dude, we’ve had almost no community transmission for most of the pandemic

                Dude, you just agreed with me.

                Given there’s been few community cases in the last two years, while nobody was vaccinated for many months, and while bars, restaurants, cafes and workplaces remained open, it strongly suggests that the risk of contracting the virus is low. (There’s also considerable evidence from social scientists that lockdowns had little or no effect on mortality.) The risk of harm is even lower.

                There is no justification for vaccine mandates or passes.

                [do not selective quote me, misrepresenting what I said, for your own agenda. I have little patience for this today and am inclined to see it as trolling – weka]

            • joe90

              it remains low risk

              The 800 or so new infections announced today will be the results of samples taken two and three days ago from people who could've been infectious since Waitangi day and were likely infected the week before.

              If infections are being under-reported, we're in for a rough few weeks.

              So while you're thinking about it, and wear a fucking mask and be careful.


  16. Ross 18

    It seems Stuff reads this site.

    Blasting music was a dated police tactic called crime prevention through safer environmental design – notoriously used during a 51-day standoff between dozens of federal agents and members of an religious sect called the Branch Davidians, who had barricaded themselves in their compound outside Waco, Texas.

    Federal agents played Gregorian chanting and These Boots Are Made for Walking to the cult, but deemed Barry Manilow – played by Mallard on Saturday – to be ‘excessive force’.

    That was discussed upthread this morning.


    • McFlock 18.1

      well, no, the article is not quite precise.

      Crime prevention via environmental design involves playing classical music so yoof and the homeless don't loiter, following the same philosophy as hostile architecture.

      Playing music all night and so on is about causing sleep deprivation in order to lower the psychological resolve and cognitive ability of the people in the static position. It's basically psychological warfare – see if they're still dancing to the macarena in three days.

  17. weka 19

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