Open mike 13/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 13th, 2020 - 205 comments
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205 comments on “Open mike 13/04/2020 ”

  1. adam 1

    When the system has been corrupted and both main parties are as sick as each other. Are you not glad you don't live in the USA.

    That said, thank goodness for working class sensibilities. And working people working for the best solutions for themselves.

  2. Ad 2

    For some reason the loss of Tim Brooke-Taylor overnight to Covid-19 makes me particularly sad.

    I'm sure it would be unwatchable tosh now, but at the time I just adored them:

    • Molly 2.1

      Me, too. Watched a season with the children about seven years ago, and they were delighted with the sheer farce and ridiculousness of the humour. A world away from mainstream comedy today. (…I still enjoyed it).

    • tc 2.2

      Rip……along with that anarchic silly style of humour sadly missing these days.

      • Forget now 2.2.1

        Good luck finding any Goodies nowadays, as a "kids show" (Cleese's guest line on the first episode), it suffered the same fate as Troughton's Doctor. I have a couple of discs, maybe a dozen episodes; though some of them are black and white (and then there's the apparteit episode…)

        Jones then Brooke-Taylor, bad year for that crew. He wrote the classic 4Yorkshiremen skit that the Python's covered at the Holywood bowl (while in the earlier "At last the 1948 show" [1967] with Chapman and Cleese).

        However, we also have to remember the twee dreck that was; My Girl and Me, with the guy from the (original) Three's Company. I remember that as a total snorefest. But I don't think he wrote it, and you can't blame an actor for working.

        • Bearded Git

          It was Apartheight……and of course Bill Oddie was the one who suffered the mindless prejudice…..The Goodies being very clever in that particular episode in parodying the Apartheid regime.

        • Herodotus

          There have started re playing this on Sky Jones Wednesday 8:30

          Good well written comedy lasts, even if the special effects are a little wonting. I see the Young Ones are also back on, remember Friday nights 11:00 just after closing time returning home turning on and being fortunate to view the 1st program. Meant had to miss out stopping off at Uncles on the way home from the pub !!

          • Forget now

            I have both series of the Young Ones on DVD too, though that's dated worse than The Goodies! At least Elton & Meyer wrote actual routines and jokes though – Bottom, that is just Meyer & Edmonton arsing around really is unwatchable.

            No one has noticed this apparently, but I meant; Man about the House (& the inferior Robin's Nest), not (rebranded US version); Three's company. For some reason I can recall Ritter's name, but not the original actor!

            BTW Herodotus, what the hell are you doing out at the pub or your Uncle's at the moment? Unless you both live on the same property, and "the pub" is your slang for a beer fridge.

            [Edit – whoops. I see the word “remember” now denoting that this occurred in the past. Will leave the comment as was as testament to my careless illiteracy]

          • aj

            … and Gimmie gimmie gimmie is back as well! One of the best.

        • joe90

          Goodies episode

          [replaced embed with a link as the formatting was clipping the sides, people can click through – weka]

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.3

      I loved The Goodies as a kid…and remember meeting Bill Oddie at a book signing when I spent a year in England as a child. Very sad to see Tim Brooke-Taylor go.

    • McFlock 4.1

      What would be bad PR to achieve through eugenics, he's happy to achieve through neglect.

  3. joe90 5

    The million or so rich Muscovites decamped to their summer homes will be doing their bit, too.

    — More than half of China's coronavirus infections reported on Sunday originated from a Russian flight to Shanghai the day before, a potential sign of the severity of Russia's outbreak, Bloomberg reported. So far this month, China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province has reported more than 100 infections imported from Russia through its land borders.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      The summer dacha is a widespread feature of Russian life. The vast expanses of wilderness, mean that very large numbers of families own, or have access to, a dacha many of which are quite traditional and modest. You don't have to be rich.

      It's very normal for the grandparents to move out from the city for the whole summer, with the rest of the family staying with them for extended periods as school timetables, holidays and work permit.

    • mauī 5.2

      Yet you're probably safer from the Coronavirus in a country with a strong state such as China or Russia. That doesn't quite fit in with the western propaganda though does it.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        When under an existential threat ALL nations react with authoritarian responses. In this context already authoritarian nations like China and Russia have a first mover advantage.

        But it doesn't follow that authoritarian regimes are always superior.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2.2

        Not so much “strong” as “authoritarian”.

        We seem to be doing well in NZ compared to many places – and we aren’t that much like China or Russia in terms of social management.

        • mauī

          We compare well with Russia and China in terms of cases per capita. Which shows the great job those countries have done with a magnitude more people and less time.

      • Andre 5.2.3

        State competence and capability (or lack thereof) appears to have a much bigger influence on whether its citizens are safe than where it sits on the authoritarian – liberal spectrum.

        • Peter ChCh

          Maui. It was the 'strong state' that led to this pandemic, along with in the last 100 years alone Sars, Bird Flu, the Spanish Flu (which originated on the Chinese border), 1968 Hong Kong flu, 1957 Asian flu, 1977 Russian flu (which originated in China).

          It is this 'strong state' which felt so weak it had to suppress the news of covid 19 outbreak, and lie to the world and its own people now by trying to present it as starting in the US or Italy.

          It is this 'strong state' that is so weak that corruption allows the evil disease petri dishes of wet markets to flourish in southern China, dispite their being largerly illegal.

          It is a myth that China is strong. Like all bullies, the bluster hides an inner fragility.

          • David Mac

            Yup, the CCP slammed Wuhan down tighter than a drum, with the exception of arteries to the airport.

            When I scratch beneath the surface I get the feeling the CCP don't care very much about you and me.

            • David Mac

              When I consider how the CCP treat the Chinese people, their own, I think I would be foolish to think that they don't consider me to be anything more than a turd.

              The Chinese are beautiful, wise and loving people. I hope they don't put up with the stooges for too much longer.

      • AB 5.2.4

        I doubt that it's that simple. Maybe you need three things:

        1. a state that prioritises the health/wellbeing of all its citizenry above the interests (economic, political) of itself, or of it's own sub-group or class
        2. a state that has the competence and capacity/infrastructure to make good decisions and act quickly
        3. a citizenry with enough social cohesion and trust in the government to do what is needed at their end

        NZ thus does pretty well on all counts as does Germany. The US and UK are doing less well because they are poor on no.1 due to treating 'the economy' as the highest good. The US is also weak on no.3. China does well generally, but it's weakness on no.1 might explain its initial secrecy and desire to limit domestic political damage. Sweden is struggling because they erred on no.2 – especially decision-making about what sort of lock-down to implement. Luck also plays a big part – as seems to be the case with Italy and Spain.

        In general therefore, you are better off with a competent leftish government and in real danger with an incompetent right-wing one. However all sorts of combinations and confounding local conditions may apply.

  4. RedLogix 6

    COVID 19 is just the beginning. The liberal global order is being dismantled before your eyes and everything we take for granted that came with it, is now going away. The world is going to pull back into mutually antagonistic blocks.

    The USA will continue to retreat into the NAFTA block, that may even be expanded to include Colombia and few others. The US military will continue to enforce the Monroe doctrine, no Eastern power will be permitted to interfere with any Western hemisphere nation.

    Brazil will descend back into dysfunction, poverty and violence. Argentina will emerge as the regional South American power due to it's isolation and implicit security.

    The EU project is sadly dying. The only nation that will emerge intact from it will be France. Germany and Russia are both dying demographically, and in their desperation will once again clash.

    Turkey will once again become a regional power, but one beset with complex security concerns, but it's influence will expand dramatically and with an ethnic edge to it.

    Britain will become a client state of the UK. The pound will dissolve and the parent will move in with it's child.

    The ME will now revert to it's usual levels of violence; the relative period of calm under Western dominance will explode into sectarian mayhem. In particular the Iranian's will take over Iraq and probably Syria, while the Saudi's will do everything they can to export violence and disruption; terrorists being by far their second largest export. Oil exports from the region will become erratic and OPEC itself may crumble.

    India will become increasingly nationalistic; Modi is just the opening stanza. A war with Pakistan is still probable, and then a victorious India will turn it's attention north to it's long standing conflict with a weakening China.

    China will not be a united nation as we currently know it within a decade. It's impossibly over-leveraged after 30 years of binge debt, it's one child policy has gutted it's demographics, and it's geography is fatally weak. Which ever direction they turn, whether by sea or overland, they cannot control their destiny. For much of it's history China was really a series of three or four very different regions, vying with each other for political control. It will default back to this condition.

    Japan by contrast has a real navy and will use it to both block China's expansionary dreams, and to provide a regional security hegemon to replace the departing Americans. Outside of China the rest of SE Asia will adjust to becoming a regional trade bloc, with powerhouse nations such as India, Japan, Singapore and Australia generating a region of relative stability in an otherwise turbulent world.

    NZ faces two major adjustments. China will fairly quickly stop being our largest trading partner and the US security umbrella will become increasingly tenuous. While there are ethnic and cultural reasons for an Anglophone alliance, involving the US, Canada, UK, Australian and NZ to emerge … geography ensures the US would need a very good motivation indeed to put military assets in harms way to protect the latter two nations.

    Australia's main concern is going to be less China, and more Indonesia. While at present the relationship is stable, the risk of events like COVID 19 destablising such a populous and vulnerable nation is real. As the largest Islamic nation in SE Asia it's wide open to exploitation by militant fundamentalists spilling out from core conflicts in the ME as we currently see in the African Sahel regions.

    This means NZ is going to have to repair it's relationship with Australia. Or it may pivot strongly toward Singapore with whom we have a good history and a strong complementary trade character. Located at the centre of the emerging SE Asian bloc, Singapore has access to the technology goods NZ needs to continue operating as a modern nation; while NZ offers the reliable agricultural goods and safe tourism/recreational opportunities Singaporeans will seek.

    The next two decades are going to see a radical reshaping of the world. Much of the gains from this second phase of globalisation since the end of WW2 will be lost, a recrudescent nationalism and extreme ideologies will blight many parts of the world. Regional security will become an intense concern and we will not revert back to our pre-COVID 19 personal freedoms for many decades yet.

    The loss of the global order, imperfect as it was, will hurt. We took it for granted and never tried to maintain or reform it … so now we pay the heavy price. Inevitably, when that price becomes high enough, we will be compelled to pick up the shattered pieces of our neglected projected and painstakingly rebuild. Or we might get lucky ….

    • Koff 6.1

      Where on Earth did you get your crystal ball from, Red? What does it predict for climate change?

      [lprent: It is probably simpler to just click on his handle in the comments sidebar or type his handle into search and just read the pages upon pages of his previous comments and posts.

      That is a more courteous find out what someone else is like commenting here than demanding that they justify their comment. Doing some reading would be a starter. They frequently say from where they are forming/getting their opinions from.

      Now that doesn’t stop you from asking specific questions about what they wrote in their comment. But open-ended questions like this dickhead one just triggers my long-honed instincts that I’m seeing a debating team troll trying to start a flamewar by badgering and forcing others to justify themselves.

      I have a fast response to that – I usually just ban them from the site for months to reduce moderator work times. They add nothing to the robust debate.

      In your case your previous comments let you off – but at the cost of some of my valuable time. But please read the site policies and learn to avoid my experienced hair trigger judgements about onsite behaviour. This is your warning. ]

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        It's a projection not a prediction. The principle I'm working from is this; since the end of WW2 and the implicit US security guarantee which enabled every free nation (those not behind the Iron Curtain) to more or less trade freely with every other nation it cared to … and we now have two or three generations who now think this, and the prosperity generated, is normal.

        But before WW2 if you wanted to trade (and that meant shipping in most cases) you had to provide maritime security. And that meant geography mattered … a lot. Location, location and defendable deepwater ports were vital. Easy access to fuel, to an industrial base, to a population with a tradition of seafaring all made a difference.

        Then for 70 years the US has made none of that necessary … a supertanker could leave the Persian Gulf and arrive in Shanghai 20 days later with perfect reliability, despite multiple strategic vulnerabilities all along the passage. Shipping everywhere became so routine that we took it for granted, we started thinking this was the normal state of affairs instead of the unprecedentedly miraculous condition it really was.

        Well now that's going away … and geography is returning.

        • Peter

          Ah, that's the new world order. One without the WHO, WTO, NATO the United Nations and whatever else Trump's getting rid of. I can imagine that. When you're so great again you don't need anybody else.

          I can see all the American companies making their pharmaceuticals at home, workers arriving and departing for work in their football, baseball and basketball gear all made in America. And all the factories churning out whatever the world needs, well the world inside America's borders because globalisation is done and dusted, the world starts and stops at the border.

          The rest of the world will be distraught, no more so than the Middle East. Last week I heard Trump say the USA had given them something like a zillion zillion zillion trillion dollars, just to help them but now he wanted it back.

          Your projection can't match the one in the President's head. His picture will be supervideosonic with octophonic sound on the hugest screen. And you know that the best combination of John Wayne, Henry Fonda Bruce Willis, Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford won't come close to equalling the hero in his one.

        • Graeme

          Your projection supposes that the United States of America remains united. How much stress would the USA endure before the union falls to bits and the Civil War re-ignites? At that point everything changes.

          It is sad that the EU project is dying, it promised a lot for the world. I was discussing Brexit with a young French couple who didn't like what was happening. They said "The EU is the price of peace" Loosing it will be a very large price for human civilisation to endure.

          • RedLogix

            Your projection supposes that the United States of America remains united. How much stress would the USA endure before the union falls to bits and the Civil War re-ignites?

            That's not an unreasonable idea, and given the narcissistic intensity of their cultural wars and a hyper-partisan Washington it's not unthinkable.

            More likely however the American people will do what they do whenever events slap them in the face; they furiously overreact and dramatically reorganise themselves. Both the Republican and Democrat parties are going to have to reshuffle themselves in the aftermath of Trump. The multiple COVID 19 debacles at every level of government (from Trump downward) will prompt some serious reworkings of their governance.

            This ability to adapt, plus their invincible geography ensures the USA will remain the most prosperous and powerful nation well into this century.

            They may even expand their formal territory. For instance the Canadian state of Alberta has far more culturally in common with the USA than the rest of the country, and as impossible as it sounds the border states of Mexico might consider merging with the USA, for security reasons alone.

      • lprent 6.1.2

        Koff: Read my warning to you above.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        US foreign policy has been more or less rudderless since the end of the Cold War. Successive presidents have been reactive rather than visionary; now we have one that is downright destructive.

        Cultural and political polarisation has definitely undermined the US response to CV19 and they will pay a very heavy price for this. But as Winston Churchill said' "You can rely on the Americans to do the right thing, once they have exhausted all other options".

        They will react in two ways. Domestically there will be a reconstruction of their internal political capacity; both the Republican and Democrat parties will undergo a major reshaping of their internal alliances. In foreign terms they have already concluded that having supply chains vulnerable to disruption by nations, like China, who are both unstable and potential opponents, is a deep security risk. Watch US manufacturing return to the NAFTA region as fast as possible.

        • SPC

          So soon after Trump trashed NAFTA

        • Barfly

          "India will become increasingly nationalistic; Modi is just the opening stanza. A war with Pakistan is still probable, and then a victorious India will turn it's attention north to it's long standing conflict with a weakening China."

          Then the world experiences "the great dying" as nuclear armed Pakistan says 'well stuff it we're going down – you are all coming with us" bingo nuclear winter

          • RedLogix

            Possible, but more likely India will focus on taking out the key strategic Pakistani capacity and the whole exchange will be over before lunch. The regional consequences would be horrendous and shock the world dreadfully.

            But as for a 'great dying' we'd have to be very unlucky for that.

            • Graeme

              It would be more the 'great shrinking' as the world shits it's self and goes back into it's shell and slows down even more.

              The other nuclear threat would be in east Asia with a possibly united (and nuclear armed) Korea leading to Japan developing nuclear arms. I'd say they would have the ability and it wouldn't take long, if they aren't all but now.

              • RedLogix

                Japan developing nuclear arms.

                Indeed actual nuclear bombs are pretty much 1940's tech and any industrially capable nation can build one within a week or two. It's the delivery systems that are typically more challenging. Getting a missile to go a 1000km or so is fairly easy, getting them around the world without interdiction and landing accurately much less so.

                Which is why the nuclear threat is most acute between nations that are close neighbours. Especially when one of them is downwind ….

            • Barfly


              The pair modelled the impact of 100 explosions in subtropical megacities. They modelled 15-kilotonne explosions, like the Hiroshima bomb. This is also the size of the bombs now possessed by India and Pakistan, among others.

              "The immediate blast and radiation from the exchange of 100 small nuclear bombs killed between three million and 16 million people, depending on the targets. But the global effect of the resulting one-to-five million tonnes of smoke was much worse. “It is very surprising how few weapons are needed to do so much damage,” says Toon."

              I agree that 100 may be a hard number for them to reach..but Pakistan a country with long history of supporting Taliban and Al Qaeda (under the surface) experiencing a nuclear annihilation…well lets give Israel a couple for good measure and then…..

              • RedLogix

                For the purposes of argument I've tried not to dwell on all the worst case scenarios at once … but yes anything is possible.

            • Forget now

              Yes, we humans may talk a big game. But, we are way too insignificant to cause something on the level of the PT Extinction event.

    • RedLogix 6.3

      Britain will become a client state of the UK.

      Correction: Britain will become a client state of the USA.

      • SPC 6.3.1

        Outing the fact that the Court of Saint James (Skull and Bones freemasonry) has been Area 51 Deep State all along …

        • SPC

          It would seem those Brexit voters who imagined they could trade with the world did not count on Trump trashing the WTO, thus the USA is set to colonise the island, even as NATO lies in ruins.

          • RedLogix

            Yes. On the nail. The Brexit timing could not have been worse. Their initial vague idea was probably to leverage their old trade links with the Commonwealth, but that door is slamming shut as we type.

            Their only option now is to negotiate with the USA, who will obfuscate until they've crushed the Brit's will to live.

            • ScottGN

              Why is the door slamming shut on British links with the Commonwealth?

              • RedLogix

                Canada is now firmly locked into NAFTA and it too is rapidly becoming a satellite state of the USA.

                All other opportunities are now at the far end of suddenly less than secure shipping lanes. Argentina is in geographic terms the next best, but the two countries have more than a few historic and cultural barriers to overcome.

                South Africa, nope.

                India, maybe but exactly what? India is not going to tolerate anything remotely like the colonial era relationship, and all the advantages accrue to them.

                Hong Kong is gone. Malaysia maybe.

                Australia and NZ are literally the last men standing at the far end of the world. Australia mainly exports mining ores, and Britain consumes very little of this. Agricultural exports yes. And what exactly do we want from them?

                The old Commonwealth opportunities are not impossible, but will be no substitute for the EU. And that's before we start contemplating the fate of the City of London's immense financial trade.

    • Treetop 6.4

      Post Covid-19 will see a economic, a political, a social and a psychological adjustment.

      Do you think that the threat of a nuclear attack is increased in a country by a country?

      The health system will undergo a lot of change (preparedness) and scientific research will be adequately funded.

      The human race has become more reliant on essential service workers who keep a country running and I can see that this is where job growth will be increased. Countries will no longer bring in as many immigrants to fill the job vacancies.

      The world has slowed down and the many reset buttons will be activated. There is no carrying on, as how it was pre Covid-19 in many areas.

      • RedLogix 6.4.1

        Yes. Disease is our ancient enemy, and suddenly borders have taken on a psychological weight again. After we eliminate COVID 19, NZ is going to be sequestered behind it's vast ocean moat for many years. The fall of the global order is going to be paralleled by the rise in the nation state … and this reshapes more than we like to think.

        Do you think that the threat of a nuclear attack is increased in a country by a country?

        As deeply unpopular as it is to say this, the MAD doctrine has worked. There has been no great power war for 70 years. But now the rules are changing, no longer do the Americans provide a handbrake on regional conflicts, nor will the prohibition on proliferation hold for long.

        The ones to watch out for are going to be the smaller nations when faced with an existential threat from an impossibly larger neighbour. Think Poland vs Russia, Pakistan vs India, Saudi vs Iran, Nth Korea vs anyone else.

        Countries will no longer bring in as many immigrants to fill the job vacancies.

        Yup. Demographics are going to matter again as well. Ageing countries are going to struggle.

        • SPC

          the fall of the global order is going to be paralleled by the rise in the nation state

          How are we financing our pandemic costs … whose borrowing facility? Debt is the noose around the neck of the nation state. Imperial capital is growing in power over democracy, not declining. If the future is corporates extracting profit from broke nation states and faith based charities taking over case management of the poor – this is the takeover by the American God and its mammon.

          • KJT

            I think there is frantic work going on behind the scenes, to make sure the rule of corporate and banking power, that is scuppering the EU, and reduced the capability to respond to this crisis’ , continues to expand worldwide.

    • KJT 6.5

      "The ME will now revert to it's usual levels of violence; the relative period of calm under Western dominance will explode into sectarian mayhem"

      "The relative period of calm under Western dominance".

      Are you bloody joking?

      • RedLogix 6.5.1

        I wrote that especially for you KJT devil

        • SPC

          And the decline and break-up of China was written for ….

          • RedLogix

            I've posted extensively on this elsewhere. The default assumption of the past decade has been the inevitability of Chinese, and in particular CCP, global dominance. Yet the world has seen this kind of bloated over-reach before.

            China, or what passes for it in this region, will remain important. But the iron authoritarian grip of the CCP is what has held it together as continuous political entity for 50 years now, and when tyrannical 'strong men' political regimes falter … the outcome is always the same.

            • SPC

              For mine the American withdrawal from the world is based on two things – first, the failure of ME military adventurism has hurt their pride (NATO's standoff with Russia is a relic) and second, awareness that China was leveraging WTO membership to become the worlds major economic power.

              China has a billion people and its GDP per capita is still growing.

              But the iron authoritarian grip of the CCP is what has held it together as continuous political entity for 50 years now, and when tyrannical 'strong men' political regimes falter … the outcome is always the same.

              1. When they falter.

              2. China had borders before it had a communist government, and now has a proud nationalism.

              3. The fall of a regime rarely causes the break up of a state, it only changes priorities.

              • RedLogix

                COVID 19 may well be God's way of teaching the West something about Chinese geography.

                And their history.

                The idea that's it's been a continous 5,000 yrs of national history is mostly a nice idea sold to naive Westerners.

                The very geography of the country has created four major regions with very different views of the world. And the great interior has dozens of significant minority ethnicities. None of this has a stable history.

                Yes the CCP retains power as long as it can ensure employment and relative prosperity for most of the population, especially the Han. But when this falters all bets will be off. A credit bubble at least 300% of GDP, bad debt levels that consume most of it, a demographics that is ageing faster than Europe and extreme vulnerability to external events that will dramatically disrupt raw materials … almost ensures something bad will happen.

        • KJT

          Yeah. Figured that much of a denial of reality, could only have been intended to be, provocative.


          • RedLogix

            Still if you imagine the ME is some kind of peaceful hippie nirvana you really need to do some serious reading.

            In very simple terms there are four major ME ethnic groups. The Turkic peoples, last dominant during the Ottoman Empire,mostly Sunni. The Arabic peoples centred in Mesopotamia, Syria, Iraq and Saudi, a mix of Sunni and some Sh'ite. The Persians in Iran and their hillbilly country cousins in Afghanistan, almost all Sh'ite. And the poor bloody Kurds whom everyone takes sadistic pleasure in treating as target practice and rape meat.

            All of these groups have at least a millenia of bloody conflict at every level. Even when notionally united under an Islamic empire, they tended to treat infidels like Jews and Christians better than their co-religionists.

            Yes the West has mismanaged it's alliances in the ME repeatedly. The barking idea that somehow the Yanks could invade Iraq and 'nation build' it into something like Illinois had to be right up there. The 'necessary evil' of their alliance with Saudi will remain a shameful moral stain on their credibility for decades to come. The significance of the Khashoggi murder is that it undeniably rubbed into the American noses what a feral pack of feudal degenerates the Saudi regime really are.

            But if you imagine that when the Americans leave, that somehow peace will break out all over the place … then it's not just me being delusional here.

            • KJT

              Who said it was peaceful. Not me. "Reductio ad absurdum".

              The history of Western meddling causing conflict, in the middle East, goes way back in History, but claiming the artificial borders introduced by Western countries, the many regime changes imposed, the arms sales to the middle East, the support of totalitarian Dictatorships, proxy wars, and all the other meddling, did not cause the current mess.

              And is somehow ameliorating it.

              Is delusional.

              • Gabby

                I think h picked up the trick of demolishing an argument nobody made during his time in 'Nam. Or the Newfoundland fisheries.

                [Maybe it is time for a change. Instead of snide remarks, you start making a positive contribution to threads or keep quiet. What do you reckon? – Incognito]

            • KJT

              From your own words.

              What the "West" has been has doing in the Middle East. Iraq is just one of many, that have had, the treatment.

              "Yes the West has mismanaged it's alliances in the ME repeatedly. The barking idea that somehow the Yanks could invade Iraq and 'nation build' it into something like Illinois had to be right up there. The 'necessary evil' of their alliance with Saudi will remain a shameful moral stain on their credibility for decades to come. The significance of the Khashoggi murder is that it undeniably rubbed into the American noses what a feral pack of feudal degenerates the Saudi regime really are".

              The “West” put that regime and many others, there in the first place.

              • RedLogix

                As long as you remain trapped in the narrow idea that the West as the sole source of all evil in the world, you'll be unable to see the big picture. Up until the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the West had relatively little influence in the ME, yet there merest glance at their history going back millenia, even well before Islam, shows that it always has been one of the three most unstable regions in the world.

                All the European colonial powers had to do was nudge a few of the more tottery pieces around the board, and blammo the whole house of civilisational cards would rearrange themselves. There was never any problem in motivating hostile factions to go to war in the ME, the problem was stopping them once the goal had been achieved.

                It really only turned to custard when the West tried to put boots on the ground and make the place 'civilised'. Then of course everyone would unite against them.

                • KJT

                  You are arguing against something I have never claimed.

                  Gabby had that correct.

                  • RedLogix

                    Well your original argument was "Are you bloody joking?" Not exactly a nuanced interpretation of ME history was it? What did you actually intend to say? Articulate your argument clearly and then I’ll address it.

                    Originally the Brits wanted to destabilise Ottomans during WW1, then came the Balfour Declaration and Israel, then came the Saudi oil. Since then the western interests in the ME have revolved pretty much around either protecting Israel's and/or keeping the necessary oil flowing.

                    That meant keeping the place relatively calm as opposed to the local warlords/wannabe empire mongers careening across the landscape. For the past 100 years the West has been wrestling with the problem of how to manage these two important assets, highly exposed in the most hostile and unstable parts of the world. The solution hasn't been pretty, but for the most part until recently, it has worked.

                    Now the rules are shifting. Israel now has a defacto alliance with Egypt, Jordan is largely under it's control, Syria and Iraq are demolished and only Iran and Turkey present possible threats. The Saudi military is extended to it's max just using wedding parties in Yemen to hone in their weapons. So Israel isn't the big issue.

                    And from a strategic perspective, US energy independence means that it no longer needs ME oil. And under Trump the rest of the world can go to hell for it.

                    The Americans will of course continue their war on Islamic extremism, so they're not necessarily going to vanish from the ME entirely, but there will be no more troops, no more regime changes, no more US supercarrier groups in the Gulf of Persia. Drone strikes and special ops will carried out with minimal PR will be the new battle plan.

                    And once everyone in the ME realises this, it will be back to BAU. Essentially it will be a three-way gun fight between the Turks who will want to secure their southern border, the Iranians who hanker for their Mesopotamian Empire of old, and the Saudi's who think GOT is for amateurs.

                    • Paddington

                      I have thoroughly enjoyed your thoughtful contributions to this discussion Red.

                      "Israel now has a defacto alliance with Egypt…" which it has had (for better of for worse) since 1979. Egypt has an Embassy and Consulate in Israel, and vice versa. Israel has had a peace treaty with Jordan since 1994. My point being that Israel is quite capable of being at peace with it's Arab neighbours when there is goodwill on both sides.

                      "Since then the western interests in the ME have revolved pretty much around either protecting Israel's…" That's not going to change any time soon. The US and Israel are hand in glove, and strategically the US needs Israel as an ally in the ME.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Paddington

                      Appreciated. For some years now I've been trying to develop my interest in the global perspective, and with time to do some more reading lately …

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    KJT, 25+ RL comments in today's OM alone. Don't expect good faith responses when he's spread this thin – he'll tell you what you claimed.

                    • Incognito

                      This is not helpful IMO.

                    • KJT

                      We are all getting a bit stir crazy.

                      Best to leave me and RL to it.

                      Though I’m trying not to get sucked down the rabbit hole.

                      It is a unnecessary distraction from trying to complete a considered post about, solutions.

                    • Incognito []

                      Fine with me, although it does tend to dominate OM a little, which is not your doing per se.

                      I’m in the middle of writing a post as well, in between checking here, and I’ll race you 😉

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Apologies Incognito (and to KJT for interfering.) RedLogix is knowledgeable on a wide range of topics and often writes from personal experience, but I've had difficulty understanding his positions on some issues. It's likely that I simply lack the experience to appreciate his more nuanced viewpoints, and withdraw and apologise. If possible, please delete my comment at 5:20 pm.

                    • Incognito []

                      No worries. I too struggle with many in-depth discussions on topics I don’t follow closely or at all and I usually skim read these. I do trust some commenters to keep it civilised even though they may strongly disagree, unlike others

                      Some commenters are fortunately more receptive to a friendly hint than others are 🙂

                      Although I technically can delete your comment (thread), we don’t usually do this unless it is at the very extreme end (which yours isn’t). It can stay as a little reminder to others and it shows balance, transparency, and fairness, I’d hope 😉

                    • KJT


                      Of course if you would like to debate anything we have said…. Go for it.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Thanks for understanding. The Standard is a great source of info, and entertainment, even more so lately. As an example, for the last week "Dalek Relaxation for Humans" [joe90] has been a daily tonic.

                • Poission

                  The resurrection of the Ottoman empire (and middle east instability) is also applicable to Sultan Erdogan.

                  the greed and avarice seen by the distribution of economic relief to his family.

                  Turkey also announced a $15-billion stimulus package on March 18, which was one of the lowest in the G20 countries, and had only allocated $300 million to families in need. However, the struggling economy did not stop Erdogan from holding the first tender for his controversial Canal Istanbul project, in which his close family members, including his son-in-law and the Minister of Treasury and Finance, Berat Albayrak, and the mother of the Emir of Qatar have personal financial interests.


            • Foreign waka

              In this time were we all feel a bit despondent and tired of hearing all these theories about who will take over the world whilst we are vulnerable with the prospect of getting gravely sick, having our liberties taken away under the same "excuse", I stumble across some YouTube videos of the US Democratic Congress women Katie Porter and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I so hope that those ladies and many more, including those behind the scenes do not let up.

              It was a confirmation that not all is lost, that there is hope. However small.

              Happy Easter everybody.

              • RedLogix

                I hear you. I've no desire to add to anyone's burden at this time. But honestly no-one is forcing you to read this thread …

                • Foreign waka

                  RL – You misunderstand, I am perfectly fine with your post. In fact, there is not enough of constructive comments and contributions in the mainstream. My aim was to add a glimmer of hope so to speak, if you watch the ladies in action, you will know what I mean 🙂

    • SPC 6.6

      Germany and Russia are both dying demographically, and in their desperation will once again clash.

      More likely they will embrace after the end of NATO and have a strong regional focus EU-Russia FTA.

      This would be the vital gambit in any containment of China, but given American hubris is more likely to occur only because they have gone home to take a domestic dump when Berlin refuses to spend more than 1% on defence.

      • RedLogix 6.6.1

        More likely they will embrace after the end of NATO and have a strong regional focus EU-Russia FTA.

        That will likely be the opening gambit. It's rational and in principle I'd love to see it work. Hell it could work.

        But history has so many comebacks on that.

    • Ad 6.7

      I take your note you're making a projection not a prediction. Let me propose a different projection, one that's a bit more uneven.

      States that reacted fast and had will come out of this bloodied but unbowed. The net effect is the CPTPP+Belt and Road countries will group together a bit stronger. Others less so.

      China. Recovering fast. Those countries that supply oil, gas and mineral resource to China will be strengthened, because that is where their national interest lies. The price of oil looks likely to remain so low that Chinese manufacturers are just going to cream it in recovery mode. That motivates its big suppliers like Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Russia. With all the government relief projects globally, Chinese steel etc will be in high demand. There's no longer any threat to China's breakup because after Wuhan everyone understands the only thing holding prosperity together is CCCP stability. Their destiny is solidified as it always has been: one deal at at time.

      United States. If Trump doesn't leave office, that country will be weakened for many years to come. If Biden gets in and really is able to marshall the whole of the Pentagon into recovery, and implement an even stronger Obamacare 2.0, then it recovers somewhat faster but will take a full term at least. It retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan but retains full capacity to sustain oil through the Strait of Hormuz.

      Canada. Whither the US, so goes Canada. It's the true minor twin of the United States, and with car making and tourism gone, and fracking nearly dead, it's the one with the most to lose tied to the future of the United States. Only BC and the grain states hang in ok.

      Japan. The best example of managed decline for a people and a nation I can think of anywhere. No threat to anyone, not particularly protectionist, could defend itself if it really needed to … but otherwise an entire nation shrinking into aged care. But thankfully they love our stuff and will keep buying it.

      Indonesia. ASEAN seems to be holding up fine, in no small part due to Indonesian policy and security drivers. It's done so for decades. Australia has imagined military threats from Indonesian militants since the 1960s – but in reality both got wealthier and more stable, and successfully divided New Guinea between them successfully. I do see it as virus-vulnerable and can't see good projections out yet.

      Australia, honestly, is going to do great out of this crisis. All its systems have held up well. Many of its main customers are recovering fast. It will remain one of the richest per capita countries in the world. Though their prime ministers' smile might not be as sweet as ours, Australia will emerge as one of the premier model countries of the world.

      New Zealand will take longer to recover than Australia because it was so tourism and foreign-investor reliant. It will be a diminished country through this loss. It will start to recover when its borders open again to the world, and probably not before. We'll both still militarily mostly align with the United States, but otherwise we will continue to follow the money. I'd call it he 'walk-and-chw-gum' strategy.

      I can see why people worry about the existence of global institutions in the next 20 years.

      Even the Pope worries about the future of the EU today. I'd agree the WTO is on its last legs – and New Zealand has been a recent beneficiary of its previously strong judicial arm. And the WHO has been damaged through this virus crisis. Maybe the UN retreats to being a lot smaller, kills off a few of the high-humanist entities like UNESCO.

      But we are not without the capacity to build new global institutions as well. The Paris Accord was one. Back in the day OPEC was another. Strongly functioning global carbon markets are another. I would not be surprised if there are regional blocs which form over healthcare for immunization and large-scale medical manufacturing.

      So far, too, I don't see any major wars breaking out to be able to run a full 'empire-breaking-anomie' scenario. There's been remarkable international stability throughout. Blame and anger will of course come. But there's growing and shrinking without major war. States that have strong social welfare are holding on to it. States with a national healthcare system will redouble them, and the rest will want one. All central banks have reacted better than in 2008-9.

      The cohesion so far is impressive.

      • Poission 6.7.1

        New Zealand will take longer to recover than Australia because it was so tourism and foreign-investor reliant. It will be a diminished country through this loss. It will start to recover when its borders open again to the world, and probably not before.

        We will recover faster by elimination,which does include strict border controls.As both NZ and Aus,at present have the ability to eliminate COv.,there would be some ability to have trans tasman tourism within the next 12 months.

        Australia is already signalling that international tourism (for them) is dead in the water,and in the abscence of a vaccine will be for some time.

        For NZ we will see no migration inbound (excluding repatriation of nz citizens) with mandatory lockup.The elimination of 170000 inbound on temporary work visas will be a constraint on blowup of unemployment here.

      • RedLogix 6.7.2

        Great. I really appreciate the intelligent response Ad.

        There are four legs to geopolitics. Guns, butter, geography and demographics. Your analysis above is strong on the 'butter' component.

        But it rather neglects the other three. From a 'guns' perspective the USA will remain impregnable in it's North American continent, short of some idiot lobbing nuclear weapons their way, which given their retreat from the world, fewer and fewer nations will be motivated to do so. But for decades to come they will retain by far the world's most powerful navy. No-one will touch them in their hemisphere, their military will have almost nothing to do. Already it has drawn down global troop deployments to minimal levels. At most they will retain some critical bases for special forces deployment and drone wars carried on out of public sight.

        By contrast China is constrained in every direction. They can only control their trade by exerting constant hard and soft power over numerous neighbours. Most of whom are either deeply wary or suspicious of a CCP hegemon, and some like Japan and India are more than capable of exerting themselves on the ocean, while the vast undefendable emptiness of Central Asia means that overland routes are inherently vulnerable.

        My core assertion is this; that the implicit US Naval security guarantee (dating from post WW2 Bretton Woods agreement) has meant whole generations have grown up not understanding the significance of geography, because the global order made it less relevant. Now it's ancient logic is rushing back to fill the vacuum.

        Japan incidentally has found a remarkable way around the ageing workforce trap. The large majority of Toyotas are not made in Japan, automation meant they could de-sourced their production … not to low cost countries like China or SE Asia … but directly into their target markets in the USA and EU. Despite decades of apparent stagnation, Japan has actually been quietly thriving and is positioned as the world's best manufacturer just when the Chinese will falter.

        Demographics does matter, but in the developed world there are only four regional groups with the kind of balance that ensures a thriving domestic economy, the USA/Mexico combination, Argentina, France and oddly enough New Zealand. Everywhere else is going to struggle with ageing populations now largely constrained to the domestic scope.

        Much of the rest of your comment I agree with, which is why I'm not trying to paint a catastrophic doomcultish picture here. There will be many elements of cohesion that will keep things glued together for the foreseeable future, but it will look a very different world to the one we all grew up in.

        • Ad

          I commented less on guns because no major power has used them against each other since the Cold War. There's still plenty of detente to go around.

          We're not in disagreement about Japan managing itself.

          I can't see any dispute about Australia either.

          I'll probably wait until tomorrow's Treasury releases of its economic scenarios before commenting too much further on New Zealand's situation.

          I'm interested that you see that the US Navy is retreating and posing a critical risk faced to global trade. The US isn't giving up its naval bases – not Bahrain, Guam, Kwajalein, Singapore, or Okinawa – and hasn't signaled it's doing so anywhere as far as I'm aware. In the southern and eastern Pacific it's got them all over the place. If we were going to see a hot war, it would be on the Korean Peninsula before it were to be anywhere. The US and China have strong intersecting interests in preventing that.

          China has been generating a few naval bases around the place, but by contrast to the United States it tends to form more of its security around the soft power of trade deals. Its actions are definitely more aggressive, and are seeking some more territorial influence, but there's nothing resembling a Monroe Doctrine. This approach has worked for them since the late 1970s. They prefer to build pipe networks more than military networks. They'd prefer to gently bring Taiwan back into the fold through democratic means than anything else.

          But if we were talking about legs of stability, governance is the one to watch for me.

          The Prime Minister has today signaled that we are going to have to have the most sophisticated and effective border controls in the world. The very steep slippery slope to manage is that Singapore's model of very high surveillance becomes our own. We have seen the effectiveness of a Chinese system relying on total surveillance data to notice and assess everyday actions of its citizens, as it operated across Wuhan.

          Singapore's growing influence in our policy circles is also the bridge to Chinese cultural and governance influence in New Zealand. If I were looking for a new strategic inflexion point for New Zealand, let's keep tabs on how many times Prime Minister Ardern keeps mentioning Prime Minister Lee Hsian Loong.

          • KJT

            Far from "retreating", the US Navy is making it's presence felt all around the world, including the South China Sea and the Pacific, to the extent they are overextending their operational capability, beyond their ships and staff's ability to cope.


            They are blockading Iran. Cutting off, “Freedom of the seas”, and boarding ships in international waters in violation of “free passage”.

          • RedLogix

            I'm interested that you see that the US Navy is retreating and posing a critical risk faced to global trade.

            The retreat so far has been less physical, than political. Since the end of the Cold War every US President has failed to give their foreign policy any real direction or purpose.

            Clinton was great at handling events, but lacked any strategic direction. He simply failed to follow through and let that critical decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall go to waste. Instead of using the 'peace dividend' to reform the UN and drive new urgency and purpose into the global order, he let Russia degenerate into the oligarchy mess. Under Clinton the US made the crucial mistake of thinking that capitalism would 'rescue' the Soviets, when in fact what they really lacked was sound governance.

            GW Bush had one foreign policy focus from 9/11 onward, the manhunt for Bin Laden … in the wrong country and the utterly misguided invasion of Iraq. Nothing else got done and crucial alliances suddenly started cooling.

            Obama could do a wonderful speech, yet oddly enough at a personal level he remained highly disengaged from both Washington and the rest of the world. Cerebral and intelligent, he was never prepared to dirty his hands with the mess of the real world.

            Then Trump. Nothing I can say will add usefully to the mountain. Except that when he talks "MAGA" he's signalling not the restoration of a global US hegemony, but the rebuilding of the US economy and hastening the retreat from globalism as an idea. There is no-one in his cabinet who vaguely supports the idea of internationalism, the UN or the order they created post WW2.

            Through all of this the US military machine remained intact, and the Navy in particular retains all of it's capacity. The bases scattered throughout the oceans will never be let go lightly, from an operational perspective they are irreplaceable. But lacking strategic direction, the US military was over the years tasked to have a crack at 'everything'. With no clear priorities, no end-goals in mind, every crisis grabbed their attention, whether it was a good idea or not. Often without even an operation idea of what the end-game was going to be. Post Cold War the machine just kept rumbling on, often blundering into unwise quagmires, rarely directed to a sound purpose.

            This phase however is passing. Crucially there are now fewer than 300,000 US troop deployments globally, the lowest number since WW2. And it continues to fall. The US will not in our lifetime ever put boots on the ground in large numbers again. An aggressive Chinese missile program will ensure the US Navy pulls back from making itself an unnecessary target near Asia. Every passing year the US feels less and less obligation to alliances it made decades ago.

            The question the US can no longer find a good answer for is why? Why expend so much treasure on policing a world that they no longer need all that much.

            Edit: Your points on Singapore are well made and the raw material for a whole other discussion.

          • Shanreagh

            'Singapore's growing influence in our policy circles is also the bridge to Chinese cultural and governance influence in New Zealand. If I were looking for a new strategic inflexion point for New Zealand, let's keep tabs on how many times Prime Minister Ardern keeps mentioning Prime Minister Lee Hsian Loong'

            I had the thought also that perhaps the two countries (Singapore/NZ) working together now might also mean working together on airline transit issues as well once we do allow outbound travel. So going to Europe etc transits through Singapore only.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.8

      “India will become increasingly nationalistic; Modi is just the opening stanza. A war with Pakistan is still probable, and then a victorious India will turn it’s attention north…”

      I doubt there would be an obvious victor in that particular war, if it goes full throttle.

      • Treetop 6.8.1

        Yes a famine would be a serious matter due to the planet being interconnected. This is being seen with Covid-19.

    • Treetop 6.9

      What is ME? @6,7th paragraph.

  5. Gabby 7

    So what's the bad news?

    • RedLogix 7.1

      I should have told you ten years ago ….devil

      • Gabby 7.1.1

        Weren't you working in Communist Russia? The Antarctic? Sub Saharan Africa?

        • RedLogix

          Russia wasn't communist when I was there. The Canadian Arctic is at the other end of the world, and I never made it to the African continent. I'd score that as 0.5 out of 3.

          Unlike many commenters here I'm reasonably open about my real life. I comment on many things, sometimes abstractly, sometimes in intense political and cultural terms … but I also try to keep it grounded in my own experience and background which I merge into my comments from time to time.

          Exploiting that openness to score points is something most people here have the decency not to do …

          • Gabby

            No wonder Africa's in such a state.

            • RedLogix

              Your sniper's cover isn't as good as you imagine it is …

              • alwyn

                It is a complete waste of time trying to converse with Gabby, Red.

                In fact it is a waste of time even reading what he says. I have never seen a comment that wasn't just a jibe at a commenter with a misspelling of their name.

                Don't waste your time on him.

              • Gabby

                Hard to know what to make of that. You fit in a military career along with everything else?

                • RedLogix

                  No. It's just that you're clearly an intelligent and capable person, yet your demeanour here has been consistently peculiar, to put it politely. Sometimes you can be droll and funny, but often way too cynical.

                  Yeah sure I put up a long and detailed comment above … a big fat target if you like. What have you contributed?

    • Nick 7.2

      Or we might get lucky ….

    • Macro 7.3

      Stirling Moss has died aged 90. sad

    • aj 7.4

      Wow, lockdown has made for some very bleak projections. I have hope for the future, lets face it in the end hope is what keep people going.

      Noam Chomsky has always been an optimist and in this 59 minute interview on Democracy Now! sticks to his guns after an equally bleak disscection of current events. Amy Goodman has asked….

      "Noam, we only have a minute, but I wanted to ask you, as we speak to you at your home in Tucson, Arizona, where you are sheltering at home, where you are staying at home because we are in the midst of this pandemic, to prevent community spread and to protect yourself and your family: What gives you hope?"

      NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, I should say that I’m following a strict regimen, because my wife Valeria is taking charge, and I follow her orders. So Valeria and I are in isolation.

      But what gives me hope is the actions that popular groups are taking all over the world, many of them. Some of them are — there are some things happening that are truly inspiring. Take the doctors and the nurses who are working overtime under extremely dangerous conditions, lacking — especially in the United States, lacking even minimal support, being compelled to make these agonizing decisions about who to kill tomorrow. But they’re doing it. It’s just a — it’s an inspiring tribute to the resources of the human spirit, a model of what can be done, along with the popular actions, the moves to create a Progressive International. These are all very positive signs.

      But you look back in recent history, there have been times where things looked really hopeless and desperate. I can go back to my early childhood, the late '30s, early ’40s. It looked as though the rise of the Nazi plague was inexorable, victory after victory. It looked like you couldn't stop it. It was the most horrible development in human history. Well, turns out — I didn’t know that at the time — that U.S. planners were expecting that the post-war world would be divided between a U.S.-controlled world and a German-controlled world, including all of Eurasia — a horrifying idea. Well, it was overcome. There have been other serious — the civil rights movement, Young Freedom Riders going out into Alabama to try to encourage black farmers to go to vote, despite the threat, serious threat, of being murdered, and being murdered themselves. These were some — this is examples of what humans can do and have done. And we see many signs of it today, and that’s the basis for hope.

    • weka 9.1

      does it apply to NZ?

      • joe90 9.1.1

        I imagine Bloomfield and the government are working towards lowering the spread line.

        What worries me is the propagation of the dangerous claptrap that opened yesterday's OM and the notion that it only takes 1 in 6 to take that shit seriously and flout the rules to make it nigh impossible to get the spread below that line.

        • Graeme

          Judging by how assiduously the other 5/6 is policing (narking) lockdown shirkers I'm hopeful that New Zealand will succeed in eliminating this virus. It'll ebb and flow, but we're better than that.

          • Forget now

            Really Graeme? There are no lockdown breakouts that are not immediately seen and reported by 83% of the population? Even at night? All the drug users have decided to forgo their daily dose and start devoting themselves to the preservation of a society that despises them?

            Sorry, that sounds bitchy. I am a bit on edge here. My point is more that; effective policing of the lockdown has to come from within a person. External repression will fail due to a lack of enforcement officers and facilities. If people don't believe that a government is acting in their interests (anti-vaxxers may be wrong, but that doesn't make their delusion any less sincere), then they will only obey when compelled.

            I am not convinced that we are better than that.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          I do keep wondering where we go from here…?

          So we "flatten the line" so that our health system is not overwhelmed? But that does not eliminate the virus.

          The government is talking about dropping down to level 3, with a lot of physical distancing, hand hygiene, etc, Alongside this will be continued C-10 testing and contact tracing, with the system ready to deal with future "out breaks" as they happen.

          Along with this will be border controls, quarantine and managed isolation, which will limit the spread of C-19. But, how long do we continue with this? And what level of personal surveillance can a population tolerate indefinitely in a well working democracy?

          What will be the new normal for a livable life, business, government and community? This virus may die out, but then what about the potential for another one?

          Or will we adapt with new forms of living, architecture and design for public places, as happened in response to early 20th century epidemics?

          • SPC

            It might be a case of the vulnerable not working and the aged social isolating.

            Using masks in queues and enclosed public spaces and continued social distancing. A school closing with any outbreak.

            The sad thing is only a vaccine (not a given) and herd immunity (intermittent lockdowns as required along the way to ease pressure on the health system) will allow the return to normal.

            They will really have to flu vaccinate as many of the active as they can, it will be bad enough those with cold or strep throat wanting COVID testing when track and trace capability will be vital.

            Exercise as can. A winter of Vitamin D capsules and sleep and await spring.

          • Graeme

            This pandemic is entirely due to the increased mobility and social interaction of global society in the last 20 or 30 years. Hop on line and buy a ticket to anywhere, starting at $49.

            That's all over.

            If Covid 19 had popped up in Wuhan in 1990 it would have been an regional curiosity that killed several hundred thousand people and caused huge upheaval in China, but didn't spread far outside. In 2019 it was global within days.

            We're going to have to learn to stay much closer to home, and maybe shrink back to a much smaller, closer and slower society.

            • weka

              "We're going to have to learn to stay much closer to home, and maybe shrink back to a much smaller, closer and slower society."

              Which fortunately is a really good thing in terms of addressing the climate and ecological crises, as well as many of our community and social issues. The trick here is to change the narrative from that being regressive/repressive to it leading to improved lives for most of us.

              • Graeme

                Yeah, the natural world moves in mysterious ways.

                Will be interesting to see how many people get to like this slower, quieter, cleaner world. Maybe a lot of us won't want to go back to how we were.

                Whakatipu is certainly a much nicer place right now without the noise and hustle, and lots of people are noticing, even the development crowd, begrudgingly.

          • joe90

            If we lower the rate of transmission below a certain rate, put spot fires out and control the border the virus will peter out.

            The level of control and how long it lasts compared to being dead?

            However long it takes, I reckon.

            • Bruce


              Then some goverments just don't care as long as there is money to be collected

            • SPC

              In our case controlling the border comes with a cost – lost tourism, and those locals able to (afford and have the time) travel will include those social isolating (age).

              But at what regime can we keep it under the line once the original imported spread has been stimied with this lockdown and tougher quarantine of arrivals – 4 or 3 or 2?

              4 and 3 take down a share of hospitality/recreational/sporting activty sectors.

              • Graeme

                We have been working through this with our business planning. In Queenstown's situation we're not operating as a domestic tourist economy really until level 1 because of restrictions on un-neccessary travel. Bars, restaurants and non-essential (discretionary) retail could open at level 2, but it would be for locals only so business levels would be around 20%, if that.

                Once internal travel restrictions can be relaxed then we should have a business because New Zealand's inbound tourism numbers and receipts are similar to our outbound. That outbound will have to have their re-creation in the domestic market, won't be the end of the world.

                Relaxing the restrictions to soon would be a disaster though. We've seen the spread from the Queenstown Hereford and Bluff wedding clusters. That happening again would be another lockdown, and would be community transmission next time. We were lucky with those two clusters that they were reasonably confined groups, not a couple of plane loads of independent tourists spreading it far and wide.

                • SPC

                  The bullet dodged, inbound tourists from China with the coronavirus.

                  • Andre

                    Or a group tour returning from Italy.

                  • Graeme

                    Fark yes. Fortunately we don't have a large exposure to that part of China, and by the time CNY came around the Chinese government had effectively shut down outbound tourism, and we backed that up.

                    The biggest tourist risk was from US, again very, very lucky. At risk New Zealanders appear to have been dealt with adequately as the results indicate.

                    The Hereford conference was scary, we had several symptomatic people through the gallery and were very careful for 3 weeks afterwards.

    • Editractor 9.2

      I found the start of this kind of confusing.

      Does he really make a lot of assumptions ("probably", "about" "~", "-ish", "they're crude numbers", "in the right ballpark") and then say "they're no longer really hypotheticals"?

      Did he really extrapolate his peak death rate from just 4 data points?

      Why does he use "peak deaths per day" and not mortality rate? Leading to…

      Why is he talking bout 300,000 deaths PER DAY at 100% infection? Is he saying that everyone remains permanently infected and will eventually die? And surely the deaths per day can't stay at 300,000 if the population keeps getting smaller over time.

      • weka 9.2.1

        I stopped watching at the point early on where he said 1/3 of a millions cases in the US, but his chart was showing 500,000.

  6. Ed1 10

    The response to the pandemic has been generally very good – from the big political decisions through to detailed assistance for affected groups. Naturally there are glitches at the edges, but our public servants have been working very hard to make sure these are kept to a minimum. I suspect in many cases supply lines have been stretched, and distribution of PPE has had glitches; it has been in the interests of the ''big project'' to not publicise every problem from the top, but inevitably some need publicity – and that is the reason why Simon Bridges had a smug smile on his face as he told New Zealanders that they should contact him or his MPs if they had any problems – why ask the people that can fix the problem when you can generate a "gotcha" moment to make the government look bad by actually telling the department responsible?

    Still, and you probably realise this was coming, a small seem to have been missed from the income support provisions. Provision has been made for payments to School relievers – they often regularly provide assistance to several schools, and are vital when teachers are sick; but strangely relievers for early childhood providers are not. I don;t know how many there are, but this seems to be a simple mistake; possibly as simple as those dealing with schools being different people in the Ministry of Education than those dealing with ECE. Hopefully it can be resolved quickly, and backdated to when they ECE centres closed.

    • JanM 10.1

      The mass privatisation and profit driven focus of ece in the last decade or two has had many undesirable consequences – I guess this is one of them

      • Ed1 10.1.1

        Fair comment, but I suspect relievers for private schools are getting some funding based on recent work volumes; and there are quite a few not-for-profit kindergartens.

  7. SPC 11

    An alternative to ventilators.

    Breathing machines that are relatively plentiful, such as those used to treat sleep apnea.

    This technological fix is happening at the same time as a bubbling medical debate among physicians over whether too many coronavirus patients are being placed on traditional ventilators that some argue may do more harm than good. They added a filter to the exhaust valve so virus particles expelled from the patient’s lungs don’t endanger hospital workers and an alarm system to warn nurses when a patient might be in trouble.

    In social media and online discussions, some emergency medicine physicians suggest that existing Covid-19 protocols may need to change and that with some patients, ventilators may do more harm than good.

    Kyle-Sidell and the Italian doctors both argue that it might be better to avoid putting Covid-19 patients on a ventilator for as long as possible, and use sleep apnea machines instead.

    Ventilators work by forcing air into the body under pressure. Over time, this pressure eventually damages tiny air sacs in the lungs, and can harm the patient just as much as the coronavirus that is attacking the entire respiratory system. In New York, city health officials reported this week that 80 percent of Covid-19 patients placed on a respirator have died, according to the Associated Press.

    Less-invasive machines, such as the BiPAP or anesthesia devices, may be a solution for patients whose lungs are not completely destroyed by Covid-19, but still need to maintain oxygen levels.

    • weka 11.1

      from what I can tell there's a debate going on among ICU staff about best protocols and this is changing over time as experience is gained. Hopefully we will get some solid research backing this up soon. Not sure what's happening with Chinese and other earl countries' experience and the Western medical people, you'd hope there's a big body of evidence already from January and February this year.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        There's always a debate. If it's not ventilators vs cpap, it's start them at high-flow vs low-flow and all sorts of other stuff.

        Doctors love arguing (sorry, "presenting papers") about that stuff. Always a good opportunity for me to sneak out and have a cup of coffee.

        This might be a good way to ease demand for ventilators, and will probably save lives (gotta be better than nothing), but the high mortality rate from ventilation is a bit like the high mortality rate for CPR: if you're in a situation where you need it because the specific organ is damaged (e.g. heart attack vs lung damage), it simply changes "almost certainly dead" to "probably dead, but it might work".

        • weka

          this was ICU staff in the UK who are treating covid patients sharing various protocols in a teleconference and one of the doctors doing a long thread on twitter about what is and isn't working. Quite medical, so aimed at other ICU/frontline staff.

          Medical treatment adapting over time seems normal enough to me, as does doing that swiftly in a crisis. But I don't think it's a stretch to say that in those specific conditions (overloaded NHS) with this specific virus, they are still working out best practice. Happy to be corrected on that, and I will try and find the twitter thread.

          • McFlock

            Yeah, but they're still unlikely to flip a 20% survival rate to an 80% survival rate for patients they would have previously intubated as usual but put on a CPAP instead. The basic symptom is a pneumonia that isn't dramatically out of experienced norms.

            But if it delays ventilator use then that's another way to "flatten the curve" by lowering demand for the more scarce resources.

    • ianmac 11.2

      Crikey SPC. Imagine the dilemma facing doctors. Ventilate. Don't ventilate. If the forced ventilation is damaging what a disaster for the ailing desperate patient.

      • weka 11.2.1

        they're experimenting now. Another good reason to flatten the curve, or in the case of NZ do everything to eliminate.

    • KJT 11.3

      Really nice if CPAP, machines can be used.

      A proportion of the "at risk" group, own one already.

      Though I suspect it could simply be that by the time someone needs a ventilator, their chances of surviving are slim, anyway.

      Like CPR. The survival rate is not good. But, a chance is better than being certainly, dead.

  8. Ross 13

    A well-written piece by Peter Goetsche, Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen:

    Toilet paper is sold out in many countries, as if we had an epidemic of cholera. I do not understand this. And I do not understand why Corona is the only thing that matters when millions die from malaria, TB and prescription drugs they didn’t need. Where is the perspective? Is eternal life awaiting us if only we can avoid dying from Corona?

    The hysteria has some positive effects. Teaching people to wash their hands and not coughing in others’ faces will undoubtedly reduce deaths, also from influenza and other viruses.

    But the harms are colossal for our national economies and ourselves. Quality of life has been reduced for billions of people and mortality from other causes goes up. Businesses go bankrupt in droves, which increases suicides, unemployment increases suicides, and depression pills increase suicides. Some people, even children, who are worried about dying from Corona have been put on depression pills, and we know that they double suicides not only in children but also in adults. Foolish doctors can be similarly dangerous as foolish politicians.øtzsche-The-Coronavirus-mass-panic-is-not-justified.pdf

    John Ioannidis makes the same point re mortality from other causes going up:

    Flattening the curve to avoid overwhelming the health system is conceptually sound — in theory. A visual that has become viral in media and social media shows how flattening the curve reduces the volume of the epidemic that is above the threshold of what the health system can handle at any moment.

    Yet if the health system does become overwhelmed, the majority of the extra deaths may not be due to coronavirus but to other common diseases and conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, trauma, bleeding, and the like that are not adequately treated. If the level of the epidemic does overwhelm the health system and extreme measures have only modest effectiveness, then flattening the curve may make things worse: Instead of being overwhelmed during a short, acute phase, the health system will remain overwhelmed for a more protracted period. That’s another reason we need data about the exact level of the epidemic activity.

    • Andre 13.1

      To bastardise a saying: Only two things are infinite. The universe and stupid whataboutism. And I'm not sure about the universe.

    • Stunned Mullet 13.2

      Good grief Ross do you go out of your way to find dodgy academics to cite ?

      the one bit that immediately caught my eye was his claim that..

      and depression pills increase suicides. Some people, even children, who are worried about dying from Corona have been put on depression pills, and we know that they double suicides not only in children but also in adults.

      and lo and behold you go to the article and the citation he uses for this claim is a link to Amazon sprucing a book that he wrote.

      He does appear to be somewhat conflicted in his views.

    • Poission 13.3

      Toilet paper is sold out in many countries, as if we had an epidemic of cholera. I do not understand this

      Obviously an IYI,where the logical answer is more people are not using work,or restaurant etc to alleviate their bodily functions,and supply chain issues arise.

      In short, the toilet paper industry is split into two, largely separate markets: commercial and consumer. The pandemic has shifted the lion’s share of demand to the latter. People actually do need to buy significantly more toilet paper during the pandemic — not because they’re making more trips to the bathroom, but because they’re making more of them at home. With some 75% of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders, Americans are no longer using the restrooms at their workplace, in schools, at restaurants, at hotels, or in airports.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 13.4

      It is reasonable to consider Covid19 and control measures in contrast to other problems I suppose. To look at one of the claims in that document – concern that Covid19 control will increase suicide:

      " we know that they double suicides not only in children but also in adults…"

      Suicides in all of Italy, 2016 = 82 per million (over 12 months)

      Deaths in Italy from Covid19 = 322 per million (so far, in under 3 months)

      Seems to be a difference in scale, even if you doubled the entire annual suicide rate (while the author is actually only referring to suicide among those using anti-depressants – and whether the link in that case is causal is a question!).

      I am suspicious that some of the Covid19 “deniers / doubters” are motivated by their own inconvenience or financial interests, reminiscent of fossil-fuel companies and climate-change denial etc. And to hell with what is good for everyone else.

      • Ross 13.4.1

        Seems to be a difference in scale

        The author wasn't comparing suicide to Covid-19. He was saying that hysteria associated with Covid-19 could lead to more depression and more suicides than would otherwise be the case. The second writer discussed that more people could die from heart attacks, strokes etc than would otherwise be the case. Another commenter here yesterday quoted a Lancet article in which it was discussed that a number of children had died in Italy because their parents had been slow to act. The parents didn't want to inconvenience health professionals and were worried their children might contract the virus. That's a byproduct of the intense media attention given to the virus in addition to poor advice or communication from politicians.

    • McFlock 13.5

      So your first one is a fool who doesn't see stopping a pandemic as the right thing to do because they think it's plausible that more people will kill themselves than die from covid, and the second one doesn't apply to NZ because 19 rather than whatever we'd be on without a lockdown. A few hundred new cases yesterday, maybe?

      • Ross 13.5.1

        your first one is a fool who doesn't see stopping a pandemic as the right thing to do

        Hmmm I must confess I can't see where he says that. And feel free to lay out your professional credentials so I can compare them to his.

        We discussed yesterday that Iceland isn’t in lockdown and the sky has yet to fall in there. And as we discussed, the Icelandic government likely chose to avoid lockdown for good reasons, not because it wants to see people suffer.

        • Poission

          , the Icelandic government likely chose to avoid lockdown for good reasons, not because it wants to see people suffer

          What reasons are those?

        • Incognito

          That’s not how good faith discussion works here, Ross. You lay out your arguments and then other others can challenge these with their counter arguments. This can lead to a number of possible outcomes. It may be that you end up agreeing to disagree. It may be that you reach some level on consensus. It may be that one or more assertions are found to be inconsistent with facts. Et cetera.

          Hiding behind somebody else’s credentials does not make a strong argument. It is known as authority bias. Your credentials are the same as of other commenters unless they use their real-world name and can claim special knowledge and/or expertise in that way.

          You are still not making concise unambiguous points, which leads to long comment threads that descend into frustration and futility. You have done this with CC and now you’re doing it again with the COVID-19 pandemic response. In other words, you have not changed your behaviour pattern and MO.

          So, this could go two ways. One, you change your way of debating here. Two, I’ll put you on the Blacklist to free up people’s time & effort for more constructive exchanges, as has happened before (AKA you have form, which means your ‘credit rating’ here is low).

          I give you this warning in a comment, not a Moderation note. I don’t want you to argue with me or litigate past moderation. I want you to take heed and make the appropriate choice if you want to keep your commenting privileges here.

          In other words, don’t test our/my patience and don’t push your luck.

          FWIW, there are some (…) good points to make in your comments, but you fall short of making them well and expanding on them. Lift your game or leave.

        • McFlock

          We also discussed how Iceland has a higher fatality rate, so the sky fell down for those people.

          And try comparing NZ with a country that hasn't banned gatherings of over 20 people – level 3 is almost as effective as level 4, but obviously not to the same extent. Try a level 1 or 0 nation, like Trumpistan.

          As for your first dude, I simplified his message for you, because you obviously failed to read it the first time. It's not his credentials I'm debating, it's your malformed understanding of what he wrote. Start with the title of his paper.

    • One of the 1 in 6 referenced in Joe90's embedded video at 9 above.

  9. observer 14

    Idiot reporter at 1 pm presser asks PM if Winston is breaking the rules because he's fishing. Twitter Outrage follows … ignoring the fact that he is literally standing on his property, in his own garden, as isolated as it gets.

    Entertainingly desperate Gotcha-mania. But I'll be glad when the "hunt and dob" days are over. Too many Kiwis seem to be enjoying it.

    (coincided with Fireblade post above)

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        That's actually quite beautiful.

        • Koff

          Think it must be Whananaki, just north of Matapouri on the Northland East coast. Winston's rohe. He has a property there which must be where the photo was taken. Lovely place to be locked down in!

          • Macro

            Yes definitely Whananaki. And Matapouri is one of my fav beaches too.

            Talking of catching fish from your backyard, I remember my uncle some years back catching a kingfish out of his bedroom window which was just metres from the Kawhia Harbour, and when I was i the Navy we would set a line out of the classroom window at Devonport, Several fine snapper were had for lunch one day.

      • Herodotus 14.1.2

        Out of sight out of mind and worried that NZ1 will be no longer come Sept20.

        Mr Peters thinks to himself …. "I know how to create a "news worthy" story" So watch the news tonight I will be on it. Job done, profile increased !!!

        • I Feel Love

          Peters can troll like the best of them. Great picture.

          • weka

            yep and yep. Hook line and sinker.

          • bwaghorn

            Bit of a dick head thing to do posting a photo . There a whole lot of people playing the game locked down doing it tuff that dont have the luxury of fishing from the lawn .

            • Peter

              I could put up photos of us swimming in our pool but I shouldn't because there are a whole lot of people playing the game locked down doing it tough who don't have the luxury of swimming?

      • joe90 14.1.3

        What's not to like about wandering out to waters edge on your own ranch to catch mullet on the incoming.

    • Anne 14.2

      I recall the 'dob in a beneficiary a day' scheme which was introduced in the late 1990s under the dubious guidance of one, Christine Rankin. An analysis found that 72% of the complaints were malicious and had no basis in fact.

      I suspect the same is going on here only this time its in conjunction with Police and not MSD.

      • Tiger Mountain 14.2.1

        Dark times, there were state sponsored TV ads too, urging people to keep an eye on their neighbours and “dob in a bludger”. Some fiesty demos were organised by Students, the Auckland Unemployed Workers rights Centre and many others too… “burn Shipley burn!…”

        The 90s marked the end of “Social Security” as it had existed under the 1964 Social Security Act. Roger’n’Ruth’s legacy was kicking in. Beneficiaries were successfully othered and demonised. John Key had grown up courtesy of a Widows Benefit, but a generation later as PM declared Beneficiaries needed “a kick in the pants”.

        As for Covid 19 curtain twitchers–there have long been New Zealanders enthusiastic for junior Stasi duties.

        • Anne

          … there have long been New Zealanders enthusiastic for junior Stasi duties.

          I could write a book about past experiences of Kiwi Stasi types. Also an American who turned up in the mid 1980s when the stand-off with the USA over nuclear ships was at its peak and who managed to install himself inside the NZ Defence Force courtesy of another Public Service department.

      • KJT 14.2.2

        I suspect we have the curtain twitchers, to blame for the total no boating, swimming, fishing ban etc.

        The cops probably got sick of being called out, and the dob in lines clogged, for someone fishing off their front lawn.

        Easier to just have a blanket ban, Rather than distinguishing between "activities that may possibly need rescue services", and those that don't, wasting police time.

        • Anne

          To be fair, the 1990s episode was a political move, whereas the latest example is borne out of a pandemic. You're right though. The curtain twitching local stasis have probably been clogging the police lines of communication.

          I bet they're the same people who as kids (in my era at least) used to line up in front of the teachers' desks after the lunch break to report on the misdemeanours of the rest of us. I was strapped on the hand for one that I never committed. Pretty sure I probably got my own back on the sniveling little shit who did it. 😉

          • KJT

            There is a level where I would dob someone in, myself.

            However I Know that some people locally were Facebook policing, and saying they were going to report, everyone that walked or cycled past their front gate, they didn’t recognise as a local.

            Stopped after a while. The cops probably gave them a talk about wasting their time.

      • Forget now 14.2.3


        Do you have a link for that study (I do like my primary sources)? Curious to see the percentage breakdown (and criteria) for which dobs were

        A/ Factual

        B/ Nonfactual

        C/ Malicious

        D/ Nonmalicious

        Mainly to see how many were classified as Factual and malicious (AC) versus nonfactual and nonmalicious (BD). BC or AD would be more commonly expected.

        Personally, I think of the dob-in system as being akin to crowd-sourcing. Which means most of the power in that relationship remains with those who defined the initial parameters, and those entrusted with editing/ monitoring the project (apologies to those who actually know something about computers and are cringing at my clumsy terminology).

        Is there an immense potential for abuse? Hell yeah.

        So what's the preferred alternative? Even more prevalent surveillance cameras and ankle bracelets? Deputising newly unemployed as street wardens? Letting people die?

        • Anne

          Do you have a link for that study…

          No I don't Forget now, but it was well publicised at the time. The actual story came out a year or so later (from memory), after the scheme had been summarily dismissed by the incoming Labour government along with it's creator, Christine Rankin. There will be facts and figures somewhere.

          • Forget now

            Thanks KJT, though Anne seemed specific about that 72%, so I assumed that she had the analysis to hand (but then random snippets of fact do have a way of sticking in mind). And she was referencing the 90s National policies, whereas your link is from 2018 and pertains to those of the Key government.

            That 20% figure is a peculiar choice I feel. Why were only 67% of claims investigated? Of which 31% were deemed justified, so why express that as 20% of the gross dobs?

            Maybe missing something, will re-evaluate.

            • Anne

              This is all I could find Forget now but somewhere between 1999 and 2001 there was an analysis which was publicly released containing the figures – some of them anyway.


              I remember it because I was a casualty of a malicious claim – on the DPB at the time looking after my elderly mother who had dementia.

              • Chris

                I remember those tv 'dob in a beneficiary’ ads from the late 90s, Anne. The line was something like "benefit fraud, it's a crime", and had the figure of $64 million spread across the screen. I also remember that figure being challenged. I think the government statistician eventually said the figures were inflated.

    • Foreign waka 14.3

      Because they have never experienced the true extend such mischief can cause. Other countries have seen the value of dodge in your neighbour, from Germany to Argentina.

      The behaviour is a profound lack of character of a person, being a mixture of cowardice and sadism. I just hope that NZ has only a few but at least we now know who they are.

  10. Adrian 15

    3 weeks or so ago I made a prediction to my adult kids that if we got this response right more kiwis would be alive at the end of Lockdown than would normally be the case. Less road deaths, murders, accidents both work and home but I forgot about something Saint Ashley said today about our expected flu etc toll may well be a lot lower this year because of social distancing. I suspect suicides may well be lower too, it something that happens in wartime surprisingly.

    Wouldn't that be shit hot to be the only country to keep more of its population alive than any other. Olympics might be next year but we could get to only Gold Medal that matters in this one.

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      "something Saint Ashley said today about our expected flu etc toll may well be a lot lower this year because of social distancing. "

      Yeah – I got a thrashing here on TS for suggesting that a few weeks back.

      Just sayin'

    • ianmac 15.2

      Well said Adrian. Did you get your grapes picked?

      • Adrian 15.2.1

        Yes thanks Ian, and the harvester crew took the whole thing really seriously including one hardcase I know who I would have expected to be pretty casual so I was really impressed. My young 30ish nieghbour who runs a few trucks moved out into a shed at his place because he didn't want to endanger his kids just in case, they don't see much of him over harvest anyway. Impressed with how the industry has behaved.

        One bonus is that a mate had made some 90% grappa that he had paid the full excise on so he made it into hand sanitiser with a few essential oils to stop it drying skin out, put in 1/2 litre spray bottles and gave it to mates. It must be the most expensive spray in the bloody world, astronomical excise duty on that proof, I don't know wether to drink it wash in it. Hint: alcohol in sanitiser doesn't get levied but he got stuck with it because too difficult to market it at the moment.

  11. Forget now 16

    So is it an Easter Monday thing these days to have no posts except Open Mic? Or just a coincidence?

    I do note that the last two were both from Weka. Maybe just that everyone else is busy?

    But busy at what? It's not like the long weekend is much different to any other day of level 4 lockdown. I mainly confine my comments to OM these days; so I don't inadvertently derail another thread, but I do like to read the longer, more carefully researched pieces.

    • weka 16.1

      It's a lot of work to do a big post. Even the shorter ones take time and effort, esp now because it's important to get things right.

      I've been averaging a post a week this year, for a range of reasons. Micky has been doing daily posts for a long time and basically carrying the site. I don't begrudge him any time off at all. Ad is a regular author and he's not posting every day and nor should he have to. Lynn has a full time job, and the tech support for the site, before he gets to write posts. Incognito and I are doing most of the moderation. Best way to get more posts out of me is to lower the moderation load 😈

      My own experience of Level Four is that while the routine of my day hasn't changed much I have less energy and less patience for things. Stress is real, as is the need to take things easy for many people.

      And yes, it's often quieter on long weekends.

      • Forget now 16.1.1

        Stress is indeed real, and you are not the only one who has burnt through their entire hoard of patience before the lockdown's ended. So I wouldn't put too much hope in you having a lower moderation load anytime soon.

        I am not doing much this week (kids back at ex's), so could contribute something if that'd help? The research is not a problem (except when I run into paywalls), rather; keeping the word count down, and not getting too finicky on details. Even have the laptop back to myself again!

        I am sure there are others here who would be willing to pitch in too. Though obviously, subject to being proof read for trolling. Which probably would add rather than subtract from your burden now I consider that… Just a thought.

        Your volunteer work here is certainly appreciated!

        • weka

          I can definitely take a look at something you write. What were you thinking of writing about? Yes, word count, good to keep initial posts in the 400 – 800 word range I think, but see how you go.

          If the email you use with your login is a real one, I can email you some guidelines and then you can send me a draft.

          • Forget now

            I have no idea at the moment what I would write about. Blogs are at their best when you feel you are talking with, rather than being lectured to by, people.

            Probably, I will see some thing on the Lancet (really appreciating the no paywalls for COVID articles policy there at the moment) or someplace else. Then see where that takes me… Today, I have been thinking about how hard the lockdown is for Trans people with domestic violence issues; but the shitstorm of comments that would fall on some one doing that piece is not going to make anyone's moderation workload easier!

            So yes, send me the guidelines (it's a spam-magnet account with fictitious name, but I can remember the password). I will probably use Open Office word processor and send as email attachment, if that'll work with the system?

            Though surely there must be others who feel capable of knocking out 500 words? RL must have done that in OM today alone!

            • weka

              cheers, will send the guidelines later today.

              Yeah, probably don't start with something that's going to increase mod load 😉

              Something coming out of medical research would be great.

              Do you know about scihub for free access to science articles?

    • Treetop 16.2

      As long as Open mike is not removed, there will always be something to read and comment on.

      Authors always need to be on their toes with the moderation.

    • Incognito 16.3

      I find myself busy all the time and time just seems to fly!?

      I would like to respond to your comment about inadvertently derailing a thread. I think that if you genuinely want to reply to a comment, address the content, and stay on topic, it is actually quite hard to derail. If you’re not sure, you could always start a new thread.

      Some commenters can react in ways that might come across as rude, thrashing, aggressive, or what have you. This is often a mix of idiosyncrasy (‘habitual mannerisms’) and familiarity (with the one they’re responding to). You know the saying, familiarity breeds contempt? I think there’s an element of that here too on TS and sometimes this is the predominant factor why people react the way they do. We do, however, encourage robust debate.

      In other words, give it a go, if you like 🙂

    • Adrian 17.1

      Spot on mate !

    • joe90 17.2


      So if things are looking really bad
      you're thinking of givin' it away
      Remember New Zealand's a cracker
      and I reckon come what may
      If things get appallingly bad
      and we all get atrociously poor
      If we stand in the queue with our hats on
      we can borrow a few million more.

      We don't know how lucky we are, mate

  12. pat 18


    "BlackRock, one of the world’s largest investors in banks and fossil fuel companies, has been hired by the EU to work on potential new environmental rules for banks."

    The EU is self destructing.

  13. pat 19

    "US President Donald Trump retweeted a call to fire his top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci Sunday evening, amid mounting criticism of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic."

    the last sane voice in Trumps ear is about to be fired

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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #15 2024
    Open access notables Global carbon emissions in 2023, Liu et al., Nature Reviews Earth & Environment Annual global CO2 emissions dropped markedly in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, decreasing by 5.8% relative to 2019 (ref. 1). There were hopes that green economic stimulus packages during the COVD crisis might mark the beginning ...
    1 day ago
  • Everything will be just fine
    In our earlier days of national self-loathing, we made a special place for the attitude derided as she’ll be right.You don't hear many people younger than age Boomer using that particular expression these days. But that doesn’t mean there are not younger people in possession of such an attitude.The likes of ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Farmers and landlords are given news intended to lift their confidence – but the media must muse o...
    Buzz from the Beehive People working in the beleaguered media industry have cause to yearn for a minister as busy as Todd McClay and his associates have been in recent days. But if they check out the Beehive website for a list of Melissa Lee’s announcements, pronouncements, speeches and what-have-you ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • National’s war on renters
    When the National government came into office, it complained of a "war on landlords". It's response? Start a war on renters instead: The changes include re-introducing 90-day "no cause" terminations for periodic tenancies, meaning landlords can end a periodic tenancy without giving any reason. [...] Landlords will now only ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Repeal of Good Friday and Easter Sunday as Restricted Trading Days (Shop Trading and Sale of Alcohol) Amendment Bill (Cameron Luxton) Consumer Guarantees (Right to Repair) Amendment Bill (Marama Davidson) The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • At last some science
    Ele Ludemann writes – Is getting rid of plastic really good for the environment? Substituting plastics with alternative materials is likely to result in increased GHG emissions, according to research from the University of Sheffield. The study by Dr. Fanran Meng from Sheffield’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Something important: the curious death of the School Strike 4 Climate Movement
      The Christchurch Mosque Massacres, Covid-19, deep political disillusionment, and the jealous cruelty of the intersectionists: all had a part to play in causing School Strike 4 Climate’s bright bubble of hope and passion to burst. But, while it floated above us, it was something that mattered. Something Important.   ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • The day the TV media died…
    Peter Dunne writes –  April 10 is a dramatic day in New Zealand’s history. On April 10, 1919, the preliminary results of a referendum showed that New Zealanders had narrowly voted for prohibition by a majority of around 13,000 votes. However, when the votes of soldiers still overseas ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • What's the point in Melissa Lee?
    While making coffee this morning I listened to Paddy Gower from Newshub being interviewed on RNZ. It was painful listening. His hurt and love for that organisation, its closure confirmed yesterday, quite evident.As we do when something really matters, he hasn’t giving up hope. Paddy talked about the taonga that ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Top 10 'pick 'n' mix' at 10:10 am on Thursday, April 11
    TL;DR: Here’s the 10 news and other links elsewhere that stood out for me over the last day, as at 10:10 am on Wednesday, April 10:Photo by Iva Rajović on UnsplashMust-read: As more than half of the nation’s investigative journalists are sacked, Newsroom’s Tim Murphy shows what it takes to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Winston Peters’ Pathetic Speech At The UN
    Good grief, Winston Peters. Tens of thousands of Gazans have been slaughtered, two million are on the brink of starvation and what does our Foreign Minister choose to talk about at the UN? The 75 year old issue of whether the five permanent members should continue to have veto powers ...
    2 days ago
  • Subsidising illegal parking
    Hopefully finally over his obsession with raised crossings, the Herald’s Bernard Orsman has found something to actually be outraged at. Auckland ratepayers are subsidising the cost of towing, storing and releasing cars across the city to the tune of $15 million over five years. Under a quirk in the law, ...
    2 days ago
  • When 'going for growth' actually means saying no to new social homes
    TL;DR: These six things stood out to me over the last day in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy, as of 7:06 am on Thursday, April 11:The Government has refused a community housing provider’s plea for funding to help build 42 apartments in Hamilton because it said a $100 million fund was used ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
    As the public sector redundancies rolled on, with the Department of Conservation saying yesterday it was cutting 130 positions, a Select Committee got an insight into the complexities and challenges of cutting the Government’s workforce. Immigration New Zealand chiefs along with their Minister, Erica Stanford, appeared before Parliament’s Education and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's six-stack of substacks at 6:06 pm on Wednesday, April 10
    TL;DR: Six substacks that stood out to me in the last day:Explaining is winning for journalists wanting to regain trust, writes is his excellent substack. from highlights Aotearoa-NZ’s greenwashing problem in this weekly substack. writes about salt via his substack titled: The Second Soul, Part I ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • EGU2024 – Picking and chosing sessions to attend virtually
    This year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) will take place as a fully hybrid conference in both Vienna and online from April 15 to 19. I decided to join the event virtually this year for the full week and I've already picked several sessions I plan to ...
    3 days ago
  • But here's my point about the large irony in what Luxon is saying
    Grim old week in the media business, eh? And it’s only Wednesday, to rework an old upbeat line of poor old Neil Roberts.One of the larger dark ironies of it all has been the line the Prime Minister is serving up to anyone asking him about the sorry state of ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Govt gives farmers something to talk about (regarding environmental issues) at those woolshed meetin...
    Buzz from the Beehive Hard on the heels of three rurally oriented ministers launching the first of their woolshed meetings, the government brought good news to farmers on the environmental front. First, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced an additional $18 million is being committed to reduce agricultural emissions. Not all ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Climate change violates human rights
    That's the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights today: Weak government climate policies violate fundamental human rights, the European court of human rights has ruled. In a landmark decision on one of three major climate cases, the first such rulings by an international court, the ECHR raised ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Which govt departments have grown the most?
    David Farrar writes –  There has been a 34% increase over six years in the size of the public service, in terms of EFTS. But not all agencies have grown by the same proportion. Here are the 10 with the largest relative increases between 2017 and ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • What’s to blame for the public’s plummeting trust in the media?
    Bryce Edwards writes  –  The media is in crisis, as New Zealand audiences flee from traditional sources of news and information. The latest survey results on the public’s attitude to the media shows plummeting trust. And New Zealand now leads the world in terms of those who want ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Something Important: The Curious Death of the School Strike 4 Climate Movement.
    The Hope That Failed: The Christchurch Mosque Massacres, Covid-19, deep political disillusionment, and the jealous cruelty of the intersectionists: all had a part to play in causing School Strike 4 Climate’s bright bubble of hope and passion to burst. But, while it floated above us, it was something that mattered. Something ...
    3 days ago
  • Cow Farts and Cancer Sticks.
    What do you do if you’re a new government minister and the science is in. All of the evidence and facts are clear, but they’re not to your liking? They’re inconsistent with your policy positions and/or your spending priorities.Well, first off you could just stand back and watch as the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's day. First up is James Shaw's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Right to Sustainable Environment) Amendment Bill, which does exactly what it says on the label. Despite solid backing in international law and from lawyers and NGOs, National will likely vote it down out of pure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Top 10 'pick 'n' mix' at 10:10 am on Wednesday, April 10
    Luxon in 2021 as a new MP, before his rise to PM and subsequent plummeting popularity. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the 10 things that stood out for me from me reading over the last day, as at 10:10 am on Wednesday, April 10:Must read: Tova O’Brien describes ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • What’s happening with Airport to Botany
    One of the few public transport projects the current government have said they support is the Airport to Botany project (A2B) and it’s one we haven’t covered in a while so worth looking at where things are at. A business case for the project was completed in 2021 before being ...
    3 days ago
  • Bishop more popular than Luxon in Curia poll
    Count the Chrises: Chris Bishop (2nd from right) is moving up in the popularity polls. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: These six things stood out to me over the last day in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy, as of 7:06 am on Wednesday, April 10:The National/ACT/NZ First coalition Government’s opinion poll ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Silmarillion Fan Poetry: A Collection (2022-2024)
    It’s been some time since I properly exercised my poetic muscles. Prose-writing has been where it’s at for me, these past few years. Well, to get back into practice, I thought I’d write the occasional bit of jocular fan poetry, based off Tolkien’s Silmarillion… with this post being a collection ...
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is not causing global warming
    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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: What’s to blame for the public’s plummeting trust in the media?
    The media is in crisis, as New Zealand audiences flee from traditional sources of news and information. The latest survey results on the public’s attitude to the media shows plummeting trust. And New Zealand now leads the world in terms of those who want to “avoid the news”. But who ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Dead on target
    My targets for today are: 1 newsletter sent out by 4.30pm 800 words of copy delivered to a client by COB, as we say in the world of BAU1 dinner served by sunset GST returnSo far so good. Longer-term targets are: Get some website copy finished before I get on a plane on Saturday ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The PM sets nine policy targets- and in case you missed the truancy one, Seymour has provided some...
    Buzz from the Beehive Targets and travel were a theme in the latest flow of ministerial announcements. The PM announced a raft of targets (“nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders”) along with plans to head for Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines. His Deputy and Foreign ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Unwelcome advice
    Yesterday He Pou a Rangi Climate Change Commission released two key pieces of advice, on the 2036-40 emissions budget and the 2050 target. Both are statutorily required as part of the Zero Carbon Act budgeting / planning process, and both have a round of public consultation before being finalised and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • In a structural deficit, the only real tax cut is a spending cut
    Eric Crampton writes –  This week’s column in the Stuff papers. A snippet: Tabarrok warned that America had two political parties – “the Tax and Spenders and the No-Tax and Spenders” – and neither was fiscally conservative. In the two decades after Tabarrok’s warning, the federal government ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • A Return to Kindness?
    New Zealanders are a pretty fair minded bunch. By and large we like to give people a go.Ian Foster, for example, had a terrible record as a head rugby coach. Like not even good, and did we let that bother us? Yeah, but also Nah. Because we went ahead and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    Geoffrey Miller writes –  This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Back to the future, with a 2032 deadline
    Aiming to look visionary and focused, Luxon has announced nine targets to improve measures for education, health, crime and climate emissions - but the reality is only one target is well above pre-Covid levels. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Why Rod Carr is optimistic farmers can beat climate change
    The future of farming went on the line yesterday when the Climate Change Commission presented its first review of New Zealand’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. The Commission said New Zealand’s target was unlikely to be consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of holding temperature rise to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Grifters, Bigots & Booling With the Dawgs
    Hi,I hope you had a good weekend. I was mostly in bed with the worst flu of my life.Today I’m emerging on the other side — and looking forward to what I can catch of the total solar eclipse rippling across parts of America today.Whilst hacking through a cough, I’ve ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Goldsmith spots a cost-saver in his Justice domain – let’s further erode our right (under Magna ...
    Bob Edlin writes – Chapter 39 of the Magna Carta (from memory) includes the guarantee that no free man may suffer punishment without “the lawful judgment of his peers.” This was a measure which the barons forced on England’s King John to delegate part of his judicial authority ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Is Global Warming Speeding Up?
    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). Thanks to climate change, 2023 has shattered heat records, and 2024 is continuing where last year left off. With this devastating ...
    5 days ago
  • Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister!
    Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister! She is going to talk to Jack on the TV!It's hard to watch Jack on the TV without thinking to yourself:How can anyone be that good-looking,and also be even brainier than they are good-looking?Talk about lucky!But also, Jack works for the TV news. So ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • There’s gold – or rather, energy without carbon – in that rock, but Jones reminds us of the Tr...
    Buzz from the Beehive Oh, dear.  One News tells us an ownership spat is brewing between Māori and the Crown as New Zealand uses more renewable energy sources. No, not water or the shoreline.  Ownership of another resource has come into the reckoning. The One News report explained that 99% of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Bad faith from National
    One of the weird features of the Zero Carbon Act was its split-gas targets, which separated methane, produced overwhelmingly by farmers, from carbon dioxide produced by the rest of us. This lower target for methane was another effective subsidy to the dairy industry, and was the result of a compromise ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Israel’s murderous use of AI in Gaza
    This may seem like a dumb question– but how come Israel has managed to kill at least 33,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including over 13,000 children? Of course, saturation aerial bombing and artillery shelling of densely populated civilian neighbourhoods will do that. So will the targeting of children by IDF ...
    Gordon CampbellBy ScoopEditor
    5 days ago
  • Total Eclipse of the Mind.
    All that you touch And all that you seeAll that you taste All you feelAnd all that you love And all that you hateAll you distrust All you saveEarly tomorrow morning as the sun is rising in Aotearoa many people across North America, from Mexico to Canada, will be losing ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • So why do that degree… here?
    A report – and discussion – from the university front line… Mike Grimshaw writes – I have been involved in numerous curriculum and degree reviews over the decades and in all of them the question always skirted around is: “If you had to leave now with ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The hunt is on for an asterix for farm emissions
    The Government is setting up its own experts group to review the goalposts for farmers to reduce methane emissions. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy as of 9:06 am on Monday, April 8 are:The Government is setting up ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, Japan and the Philippines. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Kaka’s diary for the week to April 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to April 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is scheduled to hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4 pm today. The Climate Commission will publish advice to the Government this evening.Parliament is sitting from Question Time at 2pm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #14
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, March 31, 2024 thru Sat, April 6, 2024. Story of the week Proxy measurement via Facebook "engagement" suggests a widely welcoming audience for Prof. Andrew Dessler's The Climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Their Money or Your Life.
    Brooke van Velden appeared this morning on Q&A, presumably paying homage to Margaret Thatcher. The robotic one had come in an 80s pink, shoulder-padded jacket, much favoured by the likes of Thatcher or Hosking. She also brought the spirit of Margaret, seemingly occupying her previously vacant soul compartment.Jack asked for ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Truth pulls its boots on
    It's a lot easier to pull off a lie if people don't know much about what you're lying about.Sometimes, watching Christopher Luxon, you get the impression he doesn't know all that much about it, either.​​ That's the charitable interpretation. The other is that he knows full well.He was on the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Those of a certain vintage in this country will recognise that as a paraphrasing of the much celebrated Paul Holmes sign-off from his nightly current affairs show, yes, he of the “cheekie darkie” comment infamy (that one aimed at then-UN Chief Kofi Annan, and if unfamiliar with what followed in ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Are You Missing Kindness Yet?
    In my last newsletter I asked how is Luxon this out of touch? Many of you, quite wisely, don’t do the Twitter thing so I thought I’d share a few of the comments from the cross section of humanity that you encounter there.The comment from Clandesdiner@boglyboohoo, not sure if that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • How NZ and Taiwan differ in disaster preparedness
    Peter Dunne writes –  Taiwan and New Zealand are two small island states with much in common. Both are vibrant, independent democracies, living in the shadow of an overbearing neighbour. (Admittedly, Taiwan’s overbearing neighbour has far more aggressive tendencies than our at-times overbearing neighbour!) There is a strong ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Bryce Edwards writes – Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Nearly a month of it
    Hello! There has not been an omnibus for about three weeks because covid and bereavement got in the way.Here’s what you may have missed if you’re not a daily reader.Life’s Little Victories - I think I’ve dodged COVIDTwo Bar Blues - I haven’t Relentlessly Negative - Things seem to be ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coastal court action flies under the radar
    Graham Adams says NZ’s coastline may end up under iwi control. Former Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson is known for his forthright and sometimes combative language. In 2022, in discussing opposition to co-governance, he referred to “the sour right” and “the KKK brigade”. Last week, in ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    1 week ago
  • Does a Fiscal Debt Target Make Sense?
    Do we treat the government finances with the common sense that household’s manage theirs?It is a commonly held view that we should treat the government as if it is a prudent household. We don’t when it comes to its debt. Currently the government says it wants to constrain its net ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely connected with. As Oceans and Fisheries ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Spite destroys success
    The clean car discount was a real policy success in pushing electrification of transport. It worked so well that EV adoption was running five years ahead of the Climate Commission's targets, giving us a real shot at decarbonising light transport. National killed it out of pure spite. And as expected, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    13 hours ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    14 hours ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    18 hours ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    18 hours ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    20 hours ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    23 hours ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    24 hours ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    1 day ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    2 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    2 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    2 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    3 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    3 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    3 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    3 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 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 us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    4 days ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    4 days ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    4 days ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    4 days ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    5 days ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    5 days ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    5 days ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    6 days ago
  • $4.9m project completed with marae reopening
    A significant marae has reopened in the heart of Rotorua marking the end of renovations for the Ruatāhuna Marae Renovation Cluster, a project that provided much-needed jobs and regional economic stimulus, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones was at the official reopening of Mātaatua ki Rotorua Marae today. ...
    7 days ago
  • Pure Tūroa Limited to operate Tūroa ski field
    Ko Tahuarangi te waka – Tahuarangi is the ancestral vessel Ko Rangitukutuku te aho – Rangitukutuku is the fishing line Ko Pikimairawea te matau – Pikimairawea is the hook Ko Hāhā te Whenua te ika kei rō-wai – Hāhā te whenua is the fish (of Māui) whilst under the ocean ...
    7 days ago
  • Methane targets to be independently reviewed
    Rebuilding New Zealand’s economy will rely on the valuable agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.  Today, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers announced that an independent panel of experts will review agricultural biogenic methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ and Nordics: likeminded partners
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has highlighted the strong ties that bind New Zealand and the Nordic countries of Northern Europe during a trip to Sweden today.    “There are few countries in the world more likeminded with New Zealand than our friends in Northern Europe,” Mr Peters says.    “We ...
    1 week ago
  • First New Zealand C-130J Hercules takes flight
    The first New Zealand C-130J Hercules to come off the production line in the United States has successfully completed its first test flights, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. “These successful flights are a significant milestone for the New Zealand Defence Force, bringing this once-in-a-generation renewal of a critical airlift ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to rephase NCEA Change Programme
      The coalition Government is making significant changes to the NCEA Change Programme, delaying the implementation by two years, Minister of Education Erica Stanford announced today. “Ensuring New Zealand’s curriculum is world leading is a vital part of the Government’s plan to deliver better public services and ensure all students ...
    1 week ago
  • New Ngāpuhi investment fund Chair appointed
    Ben Dalton has been appointed the new board Chair of Tupu Tonu, the Ngāpuhi Investment Fund, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Finance Minister Shane Jones. “Ben brings a wealth of experience in governance and economic development to the position. He will have a strong focus on ensuring ...
    1 week ago
  • Education should be prioritised ahead of protesting
    Students should be in school and learning instead of protesting during school hours, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “If students feel strongly about sending a message, they could have marched on Tuesday when there was a nationwide teacher only day, or during the upcoming school holidays. It has become ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering on Local Water Done Well
    Cabinet has agreed on key steps to implement Local Water Done Well, the Coalition Government’s plan for financially sustainable locally delivered water infrastructure and services, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says.  "Councils and voters resoundingly rejected Labour’s expensive and bureaucratic Three Waters regime, and earlier this year the Coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Peters to visit New York, Washington D.C.
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will engage with high-level United States Government and United Nations officials in the United States next week (6-12 April).    The visit, with programmes in New York and Washington D.C., will focus on major global and regional security challenges and includes meetings with US Secretary of ...
    1 week ago

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