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Open mike 13/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 13th, 2021 - 74 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

74 comments on “Open mike 13/05/2021 ”

  1. Jester 1

    I really do think Jacinda needs to get rid of Mallard. He's become the albatross around her neck. Judith is of course using this as an opportunity to get at Jacinda and will continue to. Mallard is probably due to retire soon anyway, but this really doesn't reflect well on Jacinda.

    'Outrageous;' 'embarrassment': Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern trade letters over Trevor Mallard saga – NZ Herald

  2. joe90 2

    Yup, Mallard's the problem.



  3. Chris 3

    How the heck can Stuff let this pass as opinion? It might be Ben Thomas' opinion, but it's worse than Kelvin Davis' speech after the last election, and that was appalling.


  4. joe90 4

    The murderous euphoria of the Israeli far right who're getting everything they want and the hopelessness of Palestinians who get nothing. Two states.

  5. Jimmy 5

    Watching TV3 News last night, there was the piece on a further $8m required to go further in to Pike River mine. Also the piece on people laying down in front of Parliament protesting that drugs required to keep them alive are not funded.

    IMO, if the govt. has a spare $8m, I would rather it went towards funding the drugs required for the living.

    • joe90 5.1

      And let the white collar criminals off the hook, again?

      Do the job properly this time.


      • Jimmy 5.1.1

        I would rather the money went to saving the lives of people that are still living. If we had unlimited supply of money then I guess they could do both.

        • Sabine

          well there is the money spend on the americas cup, on amazon, and such …..

          we seem to have money to waste, it seem the problem really is the 'spending'.

          But yeah, heck, lets play the ones against the others, while the third party laughs all the way to the bank.

          I wonder how much surplus this labour government is gonna leave the next national government for tax cuts. 🙂

        • Gabby

          Think of the future victims of the pike river management mobsters jimmy.

    • Noel 5.2

      Claim is that the fan must be recovered. Original plan was there would sufficient forensic evidence in the area where the mandate stopped. Review will reveal who is correct?


    • Incognito 5.3

      As a thought experiment: a group of cancer patients are given a new drug. They’re told that the new pill is quite safe. Next day, 29 patients are found dead.

      What do you do? You move on and pretend there’s nothing to see here, that nothing will bring back the dead, and the money is more useful for ‘the living’? Should the Crown inquest into the death of six epilepsy patients be scrapped because that money can be spent better elsewhere, e.g. for housing homeless people?

      People need answers to help them find closure. People need answers to ensure and be assured that systems and processes of accountability are in place and functioning to uphold these principles. People need answers to be able to avoid/prevent similar mistakes being made in future. These things take time, can be quite costly, and are painful for some.

      Welcome to politics; it is everywhere and always present.

      • Jimmy 5.3.1

        Unfortunately we do not have a never ending supply of money and it must be allocated as the government sees fit. IMO if $8m will keep a number of people alive, it is a better use of those funds than finding remains of dead people. I believe around $52m has already been spent.

        • McFlock

          There's the systemic benefit of finding out what went wrong, but there's also the possible safety improvement if someone who did something dangerous (e.g. tampered with a gas detector, or authorised unsafe equipment) might still be working in the industry, as yet undiscovered.

          And of course your comment assumes that the $8mill will go to keeping people alive rather than paying down govt debt.

        • Incognito

          Ok, you didn’t add anything new to your opinion, you just repeated it. As for those anti-cancer drugs; they’re not miracle drugs or cures. Some patients do suffer severe and almost life-threatening side effects in some cases and there’s absolutely no guarantee that they will work or even work well in all patients. These are much more ethical dilemmas than issues about money although the latter does play a role, of course. For example, PHARMAC makes recommendations based on cost-utility analysis using QALYs; they don’t decide on Pike River and could not apply the same analysis, for obvious reasons. It takes political and public debate to decide on cost-benefit analysis, where benefit is much broader and wider ranging than utility per se; not everything can and should be counted (!) in terms of life & death because we are humans and live in a human society.

  6. Anker 6

    I really wonder about the world we live in nowadays. What’s happened to responding to people like the shoe fetishist as a weirdo and having a giggle? Not the staff at no 1 shoe warehouse or any woman whose shoes he photographed.

    but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that the guy took pics of the kids shoes and there was always another teacher in the class. But now a trauma team is sent in and the principal feels bad cause he didn’t protect the kids…………I am sorry if anyone feels traumatised and I don’t mean to invalidate their feelings. But I wonder if it’s not more helpful in this instance saying “weirdo” and getting on with life.

    interested to hear others views. Btw I had, unknown to me, a close association with someone who had a shoe fetish, just to let you know. It was weird, but I didn’t need to make it make it my problem

    • Sabine 6.1

      the guy postes his fetish, including pictures of the girls whose shoes he ejaculated all over on fetish boards.

      So maybe this is just a bit more then a 'eewww' and a giggle.

      In the fist article it appears that one of his victims a 15 year old co-worker had her name and face plastered all over some fetish site. So the question remains, did he do the same while working as a teacher?


      According to Newshub, the employee had been posting numerous photos, with one titled 'Workmate's Converse in work locker'.

      One of his alleged victims was aged just 15.

      In January 2021 he allegedly photographed himself performing a sex act in the colleague's shoes, according to Newshub.

      Some of his posts also contained images of his alleged victims, including faces, either in the store or in the breakroom, it is claimed.

      A number of posts detailed female customers' looks, ages, and a description of their shoes………………………………….

      Newshub claim in March a post on the man's fetish profile discussed how he followed a "fit" woman home and returned to her house the next day before sniffing and spitting in her shoes………………..

      She eventually managed to identify the workplace and the 15-year-old co-worker from a photo taken of her locker which included a document with her full name.…………………….

      so maybe really there is a reason why they are following it up. Personally i would not want to be the fifteen year old.

      • Anker 6.1.1

        Thanks Sabine. Mine is a good example of a knee jerk reaction based on my own experience when I didn’t have all the information. Do you are correct.

        I do feel for the principal who is taking too much responsibility here. These sexual deviants, for want of a better phrase exist and will do anything to gain access to women and children. Here’s hoping his offending was limited and didn’t include the kids from the school.

        btw my own experience was helped by the lack of the internet.

        [typo fixed in e-mail address]

        • Sabine

          yes, the lack of internet in our time maybe was a saving grace for many abuse victims.

          I can't fault the principal for wondering if he missed signs and what they were. In any case this guy is now in prison and hopefully will be given more then a home d sentence.

          • Anker

            I don’t know that there are always signs. In my case the guy was the very last person you would expect. And don’t think his actions were criminal. Also worked with a guy, who we later found out sexually abused his step daughter. Although I didn’t respect him as a colleague never ever occurred to me he was a paedophile. Ever. Two “nice” progressive guys.

        • Forget now

          Even the link you did provide had some points of concern, Anker (boldface added for emphasis):

          a man accused of performing sexual acts with other people’s shoes for fetish websites was on placement as a student teacher…

          He’s also believed to have messaged women using fake profiles on social media asking for pictures of their shoes.

          The pictures were then posted online, along with pictures of the women, without their knowledge

          It was possible students at the school had been contacted by Wylie, or one of his aliases, on social media asking for pictures of shoes…

          According to court documents, Wylie faces two charges of behaving in an offensive manner in Number One Shoes on April 4 and April 15 this year. He also faces a charge of theft of a customer’s insole

          That's a fairly clear picture of premeditation and deliberate deception there, without even getting into the; stalking, and unsought bodily fluid deposits, that Sabine references. Though; "photographed himself performing a sex act in the colleague's shoes", could have been boldface too.

          The DSM-V distinguishes between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders, which seems an important distinction. I don't think that everyone with a; shoe, or foot, fetish is necessarily a weirdo – there is certainly room for more variety in human behavioural expression. However, when it comes to inflicting your paraphilia on others without their consent, then it becomes abuse, if not assault. It is more the violation of others, than the kink itself, that is the problem

          However, the role of internet (especially in its darker recesses) fora in providing spaces to; normalize, and even incentivize, abuse of others is becoming difficult to ignore. Yet that runs smack up into the freedom of expression argument, which isn't likely to be settled anytime soon. And, with virtual network identity and cross-border differences in regulation, that'd be a nightmare to even study (to gauge the extent of the non-consensual image problems), let alone prevent.

          I have been depressing myself this past month following the; Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. Imagining what that would have been like in the Internet age really makes me lose hope for our society.

    • gsays 6.2

      Strange you should see it that way.

      I agree with you, but I also feel the same about the impact if someone were to glimpse a trans person's willy in a changing room.

      Too many folk ready to bring their own discomfort on behalf of others, and making them 'victims' where that isn't the case.

      I do know of someone who was photographed, they are 'meh' but Mum is really trying to build a head of outrage steam.

      • Forget now 6.2.1

        The likelihood of a; trans woman, or other Assigned Male At Birth, individual being in the same changing room for you to glimpse their "willy" is fairly remote, gsays. AFAB trans-men who have had bottom surgery on the other hand might be more inclined to such exhibitionism?

        The general rule with being trans in changing rooms, or toilets, is to; avoid making eye contact, or speaking to others (if there are no unisex – generally disabled – rooms available). Never going anywhere in public alone is also an important precaution against the frequent verbal and physical abuse we encounter. Waiting for a wall-adjacent space so that you can hide what unavoidable body exposure can't be concealed with towels or other garments is recommended.

        I remember seeing somewhere that the most common answer for trans-people to the question; "What would you do first if all the transphobes in the world magically vanished for a day?", was; "go swimming". While looking for the source, I stumbled upon this, and got distracted:

        Physical activity, in particular swimming and aquatic activity, has positive mental and physical health benefits; swimming and aquatic activity participation have the potential to address health inequalities. However, {citation} show that transphobic language and the acceptance of transphobic “banter” pervade physical activity and sport environments. As highlighted above through previous research, many transgender and non-binary people experience sport and physical activity as discriminatory, prejudiced and abusive…

        The theme of not swimming for a long period of time was shared by many of the research participants and mentioned in the one-to-one interviews:

        Up until the first session [Trans Swim] I hadn't submerged in water, obviously I'd had baths, but like at the beach and swimming pools, for at least ten, twelve years I hadn't been swimming. (Joe, 22nd June 2018)

        I didn't swim all these years. Probably nine years. (Sam, 10th May 2019).

        The main reasons for ceasing to take part in swimming activities were contingent on being transgender or non-binary and linked with not feeling safe, and not feeling comfortable to display the body.


      • Anker 6.2.2

        gsays as I said earlier it was a knee jerk reaction on my behalf to the article, ie I didn't think it through, likely to do with my own experience.

        And yeah I get that this person has caused harm to some people. I think I said in my comment that I don't want to invalidate peoples experience. I guess what I was thinking and I didn't put it well is I hope they don't make people into victims over this or catastrophize it, which sounds like what your mum with a head of steam is trying to do gsays.

        Very much prefer not to see anyone's willy in a change room. I would not like that, nor do I want it. Nor would I like anyone with a willy looking at me when I change.

        I feel this way about male v female Drs. Although if I have to see a male Dr, I grin and bear it (so to speak).

        Gsays it sounds like you might be a medical professional and as such see peoples bodies regularly as part of your work., which may mean you are less bothered by this.

        I did appreciate Forget now writing about their experience (sorry not 100% sure if you are trans male or trans female) experience of changing rooms. What do you think is the solution Forget now?

        • Forget now

          I am NonBinary, or just; Queer; Anker, so that makes navigating changing rooms and toilets; more difficult, rather than less so. But if I go to the pool, it's usually with kids anyway, so we can use the family changing rooms. Though, if I go by myself that's not such an option, unless that area is fairly empty so I don't have to wait. You sure don't want to be a single trans person seen to be hanging around a kiddy area! So I don't go by myself.

          My preferred solution would be; more unisex toilets and such. Though that doesn't help much with trans-men & -women, who feel that their identity is bound up in their binary gender. Like, if you are visiting someone's house, do you ask where the woman's toilet is? No, even if there are more than one – they are for everybody! Though I guess; en suites are only for the people staying in that room. To me, the whole toilet debate seems mostly a result of public building designers wanting to cheap-out on the facilities. However, those metal-trough urinals are simply disgusting and I would prefer never to be in the same room with one again.

          If you don't want to see someone's; Willy, or Reena, the simple solution is not to perv at their groin.

          • Anker

            Thanks Forget Now.

            I agreed with your preferred solution. I think change rooms can be pretty fraught places for a lot of people. It’s not a matter of not perving at men’s Willies. But it would be a very heightened awareness that their is someone in a female changing room with one. Women are unused to this, and many are likely to feel deeply self conscious should that happen. For me it’s not about being transphobic (although I never allow myself to say I am not racist, transphobic or sexist). What I try and do is check my responses and be open to my own unconscious prejudice.
            I say I don’t think I am transphobic over the toilet issue, because I would be happy to have a trans man use female toilets. It may be in part to do with an attempted rape by a mask man in a changing room that makes me very sensitive and aware of who is in any public change room. Especially if I perceive that would be capable of overpowering me.. Aside from that, I am a woman over a certain age. I also think many women who have been sexually abused are triggered by male genitalia or the awareness that it is around. The solution of “don’t perve”, really doesn’t feel good to me. I would be doing everything I could not to “perve” but that in and of itself doesn’t feel at all comfortable.

            [same typo fixed in e-mail address]

            • gsays

              Thanks for your candidacy Anker and Forget Now. It is not an easy thing you disclose.

              • Forget now

                It's not the first time that I've disclosed this on TS, gsays. Though it may be the first it didn't turn into a flaming row. Yet.

            • Forget now

              Oops, that should have been; trans-men & trans-women (2nd paragraph), it didn't have red underlining so I missed that typo. The evolving terminology is a bit fraught and contested, but a trans-man (usually, depending on who is speaking) means someone Assigned Female At Birth (or more rarely; Intersex) who has transitioned to male gender expression.

              Simplifying; trans-man = Sex; female, Gender; man. Trans-woman = Sex; male, Gender; woman (though that's skipping a lot). Which is complicated by the fact that; hormone supplements (& blockers), and surgery, mean that trans-men often have; flat chests, beards, and sometimes willies. While trans-women often have; breasts, little body hair, and sometimes reenas (though these are more cosmetic rather than functional for breeding purposes).

              But yeah, I get what you mean about being aware of other's bodies without consciously perving. Though there is a body odour (even when freshly showered) change with hormone changes too, which seems to be connected with how clockable someone is. Also, trans willies tend to be somewhat stunted and useless – though I won't go into details there. The problem is; a lot of people's ideas about trans-people seem to come from porn, and those youthful sexual athletes are likely taking performance enhancers.

              Anyway, everyone has their unconscious prejudices. I can't stand drag-queens myself – though I don't deny that they are people with particular needs. Really, I don't think the; "trans-men are men, trans-women are women" slogan is likely to be fully socially accepted in my lifetime (though it is cute to see the young ones proclaim it so earnestly). I'd be happy with a general recognition that:

              Trans-people are people.

              • Anker
                • Hey forget now and Gsays, I am really pleased this hasn’t developed into a flaming row too! Very glad.
                • I appreciated your openness Forget Now and when people are open about how things are for them, it takes it away from debating points.. from your openness forget now, I was able to have some idea what it was like for trans gender people using public toilets. Felt so protective of that space, I didn’t pause to really consider it.
                • it’s good to share common ground. I would prefer to refer to trans people as trans people too.
                • Many years ago I lived in the UK and other than someone taking me to a show with drag queens in it, I hadn’t had much exposure at all to trans people. Then this tv personality, Claire Raynor, did a tv documentary about a person who had gender dysphasia and wanted to transition. It was an amazing doco and really was very empathetic towards the trans person. I’ve remembered it 30 years later.
                • Forget now

                  I guess it is more the; lip-synching performances, than the drag-queens themselves I dislike. Learn to sing or play an instrument! Especially now when autotune/ pitch-shifters are readily available if you feel your voice is too deep a bass for the song (or soprano for drag-kings).

                  It's really more of a; musician, than an eNBy, prejudice. Plus I keep getting people expecting me to be into that Ru Paul gameshow, and I've not been able to make it through a single episode (apparently the earlier seasons were better, and more DIY).

  7. ianmac 7

    Replacement Theory

    Last night I came across an interview withRobert Pope Chicago University who analysed the people who participated in Washington insurrection and have been processed by the courts.

    Of the 420+ so far:

    96% White

    86% Male

    2/3 were 34yo or older with a cluster in the 40-50yo.

    They had families and jobs

    45% were business managers, CEO, doctors. Lawyers etc.

    7% were unemployed.

    90% were not members of gangs/militias

    The all important Driver of the rioters was their overwhelming belief in the “Replacement Theory.”

    This is where White people fear that the emerging rights of the minorities will push out the whites.

    Half of the participants came from the Blue (Democrat) areas and were Trump supporters. The indicator was from areas where there was a decline in White population.

    The more rural the area the less likely that they would be to participate.

    They were all GOP supporters.

    The University carried out a Gold Standard Survey of the General Population.

    4% of the USA population believe that the Election was stolen and that they would support a violent response.
    The survey focussed on the Replacement Theory.

    PS I hope my notes are accurate. One might wonder if Replacement Theory is behind the National Party currently raising fears of minority gaining rights? Maybe.

    • Anne 7.1

      45% were business managers, CEO, doctors. Lawyers etc.

      All I can deduce from that is that many US doctors, lawyers and CEOs in the US have poor deduction abilities, are not well educated and lacking integrity. For Americans who are supposedly professionals to actively participate in violent insurrection against the state is mind boggling.

    • Tricledrown 7.2

      Fanmac getting his name right would help Robert Pape his research showed most of the 377 charged so far came from towns and cities where migrants of different ethnicities were becoming the majority .White insecurity fearing of having non white people in charge .

      • Tricledrown 7.2.1

        Fanmac Robert Pape's research also showed that most were motivated by white supremacist conspiracy theories promoted by the likes of Qanon .

        • ianmac

          Thanks for the correction to Robert Pape's name Tricledrown. The number given by him last night was 420 so far. And yes the different ethnicities becoming the majority is the point.

          Perhaps the fight back from coloured people objecting to unwarranted arrests means that coloured people gaining "rights" in the eyes of whites, cause the fear, even if those "rights" should mean "equal rights" rather than greater "rights."

    • Incognito 7.3

      It would be so helpful if you’d provide a link, next time.

      Here it is, for everybody’s convenience: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/amanpour-and-company/video/studies-show-capitol-rioters-were-majority-white-men/ [transcript available within link]

      • ianmac 7.3.1

        I just made notes from the You Tube item that I stumbled on. My skills did not stretch to how to link it to here, but I will backtrack so next time…. Thanks Incognito.

    • Macro 7.4

      Further to the issue of the Capitol Riot Just today the NY Times reports

      Top law enforcement officials say the biggest domestic terror threat comes from white supremacists.

      Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas told senators on Wednesday that the greatest domestic threat facing the United States came from what they both called “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

      “Specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” Mr. Garland told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

      The cabinet secretaries’ comments reflected a dramatic shift in tone from the Trump administration, which deliberately downplayed the threat from white supremacists and similar groups, in part to elevate the profile of what former President Donald J. Trump described as violent threats from radical left-wing groups.

      Last year, a former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence branch filed a whistle-blower complaint in which he accused the department of blocking a report about the threat of violent extremism and described white supremacists as having been “exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent targeted attacks in recent years.”

      Merrick Garland added that “if there has to be a hard hierarchy of things that we prioritize,” the Jan. 6 attack would be at the top because it most threatened democracy. “I have not seen a more dangerous threat to democracy than the invasion of the Capitol,” Garland said, calling it “an attempt to interfere with the fundamental element of our democracy, a peaceful transfer of power.” Alejandro Mayorkas added that “the department is taking a new approach to addressing domestic violent extremism, both internally and externally.”

  8. tc 8

    Food price index out today. Interesting to see that one.

  9. Jimmy 11

    I hope this is not going to become a common thing in NZ. Check out people already have to deal with grumpy customers.

    Shopper pulls knife on Christchurch store attendant over fake cash – NZ Herald

    • Forget now 11.1

      Yeah, I just read that myself in the ODT Jimmy:

      the offender was attempting to use a mixture of real and fake $50 notes at Briscoes, Hornby, when the employee refused to accept the cash.

      But when the store assistant did not return the fake cash to the offender as requested, he pulled her hair and produced a knife…Briscoes refused to comment on the incident yesterday and police were unable to provide information…

      The employee, who has been working at the Hornby store for a number of years, called police and made a statement at the scene… police were able to take note of the number plate of the offender’s car in the Briscoes car park.

      So, while not just returning the counterfeit bills was obviously not the best idea, the response was way overboard. Brandishing a weapon at someone is assault, but especially so with the hair grappling! I think it was 6x the 2019 levels of violence/ abuse against Countdown staff reported with in one of the Dunedin stabbing articles (don't have link at moment)? So this seems to already have become a common thing in NZ.

    • gsays 11.2

      All too common I'm afraid.

      Our local ED a couple of nights ago had a client pull a knife and made a big song and dance but was threatening himself (his own arms and throat).

      He was post Meth bender and was seeking the drugs he would normally have.

      Police arrived quicky, upon searching his bag there were nunchucks and a loaded firearm in his car…

      • WeTheBleeple 11.2.1

        Yep. Meth is a nasty chemical that twists the mind and can turn good people into psychopaths. If meth use is on the rise these type of incidences will likely rise too.

        If we reduce addiction we can reduce the harm from/to addicts. So what are the factors that would bring meth use (and addiction in general) down?

        Addiction is a response to human suffering. Healing trauma helps addiction. Connection helps addiction.

        A holistic job. Punitive measures for addicts only exacerbate the issue by breaking families up and subjecting users to violent criminals – more trauma – more addiction – more shameful behaviour – more trauma – more addiction…

        We have to work out how to, as a society, jump off the damn carousel.

        Humans are the major contributors to human suffering. Many of them we reward and applaud. Statues to bastards dot the land. Shrines to shitheads. The issues rose from within. From gross inhumanities to the endless barrage of corporate shit telling us we are not enough… We've lost sight of community for celebrity, of succour for success.

        When we treat social animals in anti-social ways we create social disorders.

        Create community for the lost to actually return to.

        • gsays

          You are right about the lack of community contributing to mental ill-health. Lacking a sense of belonging- family, community, church or sports groups etc underpins lots of dis-ease.

          Combine that disconnect with the general fuck-wittedness trajectory of society these events are going to become more common place.

          While it is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach, micro dosing with LSD is gaining favourability. However if one is in crisis, the time to be disciplined with psychedelics has passed.

      • greywarshark 11.2.2

        Sounds like a good argument for cannabis. If all our alcohol drinkers were required to include cannabis in the golden list of drugs (with suitable limits), we would be on a great path. I hope that toilet paper is never banned, NZs are so unprogressive that they would have to be begged, to vote for its resurrection again.

  10. Forget now 12

    This is pretty saddening, though at least the text service is reaching its target demographic. It is hard to talk when your voice is raspy from crying, so I'd be glad of the text option if I was in that situation (and had no urgent tasks to keep me distracted from the pointlessness of continued existence). I think it was Camus (Myth of Sisyphus?) who said that; suicide is the only important philosophical question:

    Children as young as 11 are contacting Lifeline feeling suicidal as the helpline records its busiest month.

    In April, more than 30,000 text messages were sent and received by the crisis helpline.

    That surpasses the previous record set in March this year of 27,000 texts. It is also more than the 25,000 texts sent and received during {the 2020 COVID lockdown}.

    The majority of texts being received are from young people between the ages of 11 and 20.


  11. indiana 13

    Grrrrr! Property investors!

    "Five residential addresses have been restrained"


  12. Stuart Munro 14

    Even a somewhat pro-Gnat spinner is obliged to rebut the trolls on Stuff here:

    Ben Thomas reply In reply to thehbomb

    Nice narrative devoid of facts of course. National being re elected FAIL

    • Sabine 14.1

      If by the "jacinda government" he means the full majority the Labour currently enjoys he could be quite right actually. I for one hope that the next election brings forward some good showing by the third parties to force Labour into a coalition. The one to look for is Act which currently seems to have the most to win, the Maori Party is interesting, The Green should be in the 10%, and then there are the conservatives and others.

      Germany is currently undergoing some interesting changes. For the first time this country will have the chance at a coalition between the CDU/CSU and The Greens.


      This is a really good read on the changing times, the kids that won against the german government re climate change, and best of all some good graphics of the possible coalition agreements that could be looked at.

      And the realos in the Green Party could be making Government this year as a full partner.

      We truly live in interesting times.

      • Stuart Munro 14.1.1

        We truly live in interesting times.

        To be sure. Not very impressed with the Shaw version of the Greens myself, but they're a better act than the opposition parties. It would be nice to see a few strong voices or intellects emerge even from ACT or the Gnats – but there's no sign of such hidden depths to date. They see Trumpian politics as something to aspire to, even as even America is recognizing they were a step too far.

        • Forget now

          Davidson is co-leader of the GP, so it is not solely the; Shaw version of the Greens, SM. Especially since he has been there for a while now, so by next election I would guess that Tuiono will have taken his place (March is a bit young, and skin of his teeth list elected on specials). Though it is possible for Shaw to resign from parliament this term and be replaced without a by-election (being a list MP), I don't think his Ministerial appointments would necessarily go with him (been a while since I have read the LP/ GP agreement).

          • Stuart Munro

            Shaw seems to front for the issues I'm less keen on – Davidson seems ok. Seems to be a dearth of male talent atm – but Swarbrick might step up at some point. Surprised we haven't seen more of Genter. The Greens largely have the intellectual and policy chops the other opposition parties lack – interesting to see what use they make of them.

        • Sabine

          That is not the point i was trying to make. Have you had a look at the forecasted options for the next german government? What you will see there is that ALL options are discussed, the good, the bad, the ugly, if you so want.

          The Co Leader of the German Green Party and the Conservatives both will try to run a good government, the point is that you need to work together.

          And maybe once the people of NZ understand it they might actually demand it from their parties.

          Or else you are constantly in a stalemate where every other government tries to undo what the last government has created. Maybe we should think about that, as it is as sure as day light that national at some stage will form a coalition again with someone, the other alternative that if Labour wants to rule, it might must consider a somewhat 'unpalatable' coalition partner.

          • Stuart Munro

            Quite right – sadly NZ has to make do with a bowlderized and infantile caricature of democracy, with a slew of low-end media clowns propping them up.

            We don't seem to have many philosophizers in NZ. Maybe that really is what is needed.

            The post-Marxist folk, the pomos and so on, have largely wiped them out locally in favour of special pleading.

            There is certainly something of Nietzsche's last men about a place where the best government has to offer is a gentle decline in quality of life.

            Oddly, Baerbock has turned up in my feeds a couple of times of late – seems to be a person of character.

        • Sabine

          We don't seem to have many philosophizers in NZ. Maybe that really is what is needed. 🙂

          • Incognito

            You should really read Newsroom more often, as it is teeming with NZ philosophers.

  13. 1 April this year marked a somewhat historic moment with the increase of the minimum wage to $20 p/h. In the 2000's there was a push to "make low wages history". Now in 2021 we can claim that has been achieved, low wages are now history with the minimum benchmark of $20. That isn't a high wage rate, but neither is it low. Also in recent years the minimum wage has made rapid advances in catching up with the living wage, the difference is no where huge like it was in the mid 2010's. Low wages, at least in terms of how it was defined of $ per hour, are history.

    That does not account for under employment of course which can still render a persons weekly income low by virtue of hours worked and availability of work.

    • gsays 15.1

      Great observation george.

    • Pat 15.2

      Number of hours worked at minimum wage needed to purchase median house in New Zealand

      year 2000…..hours needed 23,178

      year 2021…hours needed 40,500

      • georgecom 15.2.1

        yes and that's not about low wages per se Pat, that's about a very big price bubble, the ratio of income to house prices. To misquote John keys infamous "I would love to see wages drop" quote, I would love to see house prices drop.

        • Pat

          Thats the point….you will not improve living standards through wage increases IF the major living cost is ignored….especially when a general wage increase is a signal to increase rents/house prices.

          The solution is to restore affordable housing costs.

          • Sabine

            Sadly, I think as a country not quite there yet to understand this dilemma.

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