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Open mike 13/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 13th, 2021 - 100 comments
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100 comments on “Open mike 13/09/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    The Taliban have announced that women in Afghanistan will be allowed to study at university.

    Speaking at a press conference, higher education minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, said women would be allowed to continue their university education, but it would be compulsory to wear a hijab. It was unclear if this meant a headscarf or that women’s faces would have to be covered completely.

    … men and women would have to be taught in separate classrooms. “We will not allow boys and girls to study together,” said Haqqani. “We will not allow co-education.”

    Female students will also only be allowed to be taught by women. Haqqani also said the subjects being taught at universities would be reviewed.

    In a recent interview on the TV channel Tolo News, Taliban spokesman Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi said the role of women was to give birth and raise children, adding that it was “not necessary that women be in the cabinet”.

    Before the fall of Kabul…universities across Afghanistan had been co-educational and women did not have to conform to any dress code. The number of female students in further education had reached record highs, and institutions such as Herat University and Ghalib University in Kabul had boasted more female students than male.

    Heather Barr, co-director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch said the approach of the Taliban was one “where women are, in theory, allowed to continue some of their day-to-day functions, but only under constraints that essentially make them operate in a world that’s almost entirely separate from boys and men”.

    She said: “For many universities, and for many women and girls, it’s not going to be feasible, on a financial level and logistical level, to put these things in place. So the consequence will not be just gender segregation, it will be the exclusion of women and girls. Unfortunately I think that’s probably fine with the Taliban.”


    Doesn't sound promising. Either the Taliban leadership are not co-ordinating thinking with each other, or they are connivingly talking out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. Most likely the latter.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    lol I see Cathy Odgers blog has been taken down; can we assume she has gone to join Jordon, Ani and Cameron in LOTO's office?

  3. dv 3

    There was a piece in stuff abt 70 woman who had a medical mask exemption. Cant find the link now)

    She was denied access to Countdown.

    What struck me was the lack of help/solutions for her to get her food.

    No one suggested shopping on line and getting food delivered (15$, which is probably bus fare as she travelled on a bus to the store)

    (Yea i know 70, no internet/cards etc)

      • dv 3.1.1

        Thanks Gezza.

        (Hang my head in shame for an hr)

        • Gezza

          For heaven's sake. Why? Happens to me sometimes. No harm done.

          Point is, you spotted it & you cared. If I see something similar happen I might step in with your suggestion. 👍🏼

            • Gezza

              And the other thing they could have considered is perhaps invite her to phone her orders in in future. Cash or Eftpos on delivery.

              We need to look after our kaumatua better than this !

              • Sacha

                There are also local groups who shop for people – all it takes sometimes is connecting them up.

                • Gezza

                  Yes. I was thinking of phone in if she didn't have internet, but it's just occurred to me there may be an issue paying at the door if it's supposed to be a socially distant, contactless delivery. Possibly not an issue though if she has gloves and/or hand-sanitises before paying.

                  Whatever, either way they should have displayed a little humanity and figured out a solution for a long term, aged customer.

                • Anne

                  Some elderly folk want to go to the supermarket. For many it might be the only time they get to have a legitimate outing during a lock-down. I have joked that my trips to the local sm are the highlight of my week – a demonstration how grim it is under a lengthy lockdown 4.

                  My current gripe is how many people are ignoring the distancing rules inside the supermarket. The main culprits are entitled late 20s to early 40s Mums (got a lot of them in my neck of the woods) who think everybody should get out of their way.

                  I have a cure for that. Position yourself in front of them if you can and pretend to be concentrating on the shelf merchandise – or the waist height fridges – then move backwards straight into their overloaded trolleys. With a bit of luck some of their produce will fall out onto the floor. They soon get out of your way albeit with sullen looks n'all.

                  Best to ensure you are well padded around the rear so as not to injure yourself in the process.

    • Nic the NZer 3.2

      Looks like a poor decision by the manager.

      Its in no way the same, but I was once followed around a supermarket by security on account of bringing reuseable bags and placing items in them. I made a point of taking them to the checkout and getting the clerk to see the empty bags while repacking (asking because the security supposedly thought I would shop lift).

      Unsurprisingly it never happened again, though I shopped at the same store with the same guard working.

      • JanM 3.2.1

        Interestingly, whenever I read or hear of poor treatment of customers concerning covid behaviour it is always Countdown. Do you think it could have anything to do with it being an Australian company and therefore not quite on board with the way we do it here?

        • Gezza

          I/m in Tawa, North Welly. I mainly shop at the local New World because it's closest and I find the staff & supervisors generally more chatty & friendly. I get on well with one of the owners, used to phone her to hold made up deli meals for me.

          It's smaller than Countdown, so has a bit more of a village store feel to it. Only downside is they're not always cheaper, and they soon dispense with stock items that don't sell quickly in volume.

          Countdown operation's much larger, so I'll go there for those items. I find it a bit more impersonal & the staff not quite so friendly, but their regulars may have a different take on that.

        • Nic the NZer

          Mine was not in a NZ supermarket, and I would hardly expect to see it here.

          Just highlighting sometimes another way of dealing with dumb rules is to make it absolutely clear your following them.

    • Anne 3.3

      Hang on dv. There's plenty of us over 70 who are internet savvy, have cars and cards etc. cool

      • dv 3.3.1

        Yea I know, but just trying head off some idiot agent commenters

        • Gezza

          “Each Thursday for the last two decades she has caught a bus to shop at Countdown in central Dunedin.”

          I took it that dv was mainly concerned she may not have a car, & possibly has no one to shop for her.

  4. Sacha 4

    Does this read like a guy impaired after a major stroke?

    • dv 4.1

      Yours faithfully

      Yea right

      And how many hours will be needed for such and essential task in the midst of a crisis.

      • Pete 4.1.1

        We get it all the time from outfits like the Taxpayers' Union about the PM employing a thousand communications staff. They're needed – to attend to the mindless stuff like the Slater request.

      • Tricledrown 4.1.2

        Probably no time as there maybe no communication other than health related.

        Slater is trying to make himself look like a political mover and shaker again.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.2

      This steaming pile, assembled in grotesque mockery of the human form, Mr Slater, is back again–seriously?

    • Gezza 4.3

      No. It looks like a guy temporarily impaired for a probably very short time after a minor stroke from which he has now recovered completely.

      This is sick and ridiculous. Seems no matter how low & despicable he gets, there's always scope for deterioration.

    • Cricklewood 4.4

      Going by his previous behavior it wont suprise me if his spy has footage of them leaving Judges bay via car.

      He's sitting on it for now hoping to catch the govt out most damage possible…

      • Anne 4.4.1

        They were on a bicycle ride. You are allowed to go on bicycle rides up to a 5 km radius from your home. That is exactly what Wiles did. It has been demonstrated by Ashley Bloomfield and others that she broke no rules.

        Its my view the PM's office should refuse to supply the information on the grounds of it being prejudicial to national security. Now that would up the stakes enormously and we could enjoy the spectacle of a monumental Slater meltdown from our Lockdown 4 sofas – popcorn optional. devil

        • dv

          National security Yep that's a good idea.

        • alwyn

          "Its my view the PM's office should refuse to supply the information on the grounds of it being prejudicial to national security".

          What would you suggest when an appeal is made to the Ombudsman who then ruled, as he probably would, that there was no matter of National Security involved and ordered that the information should be released?

          That would simply leave the PM up for claims of a cover- up. What on earth is the gain in that? Why make a big story out of nothing?

          • Stuart Munro

            Better grounds is vexacious nonsense during a significant national emergency. Transcripts supplied some weeks after lockdown ends.

          • Anne

            alwyn, your SoH needs a clean and polish.

            • alwyn

              Perhaps you are right. You might think I am being too fastidious but I have never found anything humorous at all in the idea that our Government should even consider breaking the law. I consider it to be completely unforgiveable and find people remarking on it being acceptable, even if they claim that they are joking quite appalling.

              To each her own I suppose. If you make it into a position of such power I hope you will change your mind though.

              • woodart

                I think you are being simplistic by thinking of "the government" as a single united entity. its not, and never will be. go and watch the brilliant film"brazil". a single dead fly leads to total anarchy and chaos.

          • Pete

            Why make a big story out of nothing? Don't know the answer to that. I'll have to ask Cameron and Judith.

    • Chris 4.5

      He's heading towards a cliff, just like last time, the same cliff Judith Collins is hell-bent on throwing herself over.

  5. Cricklewood 5

    On my daily walk up Mt Eden this morning I was somewhat surprised to see unmasked workman cutting the grass.

    We're in level 4 I just dont see how this can be considered an essential service. The grass isnt overly long its not a fire risk and if its ok does that mean the local mowing contractor can work under level 4?

    • Anne 5.1

      I think you will find that heavy physical work makes it difficult to wear a mask.

      • Cricklewood 5.1.1

        Sure, but we're in level 4 in Auckland right?

        • Tricledrown

          So long as they are a safe distance thats not going to pose a risk.keeping grass short stops vermin.

      • KJT 5.1.2

        It does. But if people loading trucks, trains and ships can wear them………

      • Molly 5.1.3

        That is true, but businesses and/or management have had a year and a half to work out protocols and manning under different levels. If someone is working in a public place unmasked, there has been a failure somewhere.

        The virus doesn't stop transmission just because the worker prefers to work unmasked for comfort. Either accept reduced productivity or increase manning.

        • Cricklewood

          I dont get why grass cutting is even considered essential under level 4. Makes a mockery of the 'essential' bit especially when say a butcher cant open contractors cant mow grass on private property etc its the lack of consistancy that gets me.

        • Ross

          If someone is working in a public place unmasked, there has been a failure somewhere.

          It’s all about risk. If you can go to the beach sans mask at level 4, then the risk would be similar to working outdoors.

        • alwyn

          " If someone is working in a public place unmasked, there has been a failure somewhere.". Suppose we simply drop the word "working" from this sentence. It really makes no difference to the logic of your complaint and simply leaves you describing Siouxsie Wiles. A beach is a public place after all.

          Now, are you joining the people who are complaining that Dr Wiles should have been taking her own advice and been wearing a mask at the beach?

          If you see some difference between the situations perhaps you can tell me what is is. It certainly won't be a matter of proximity. People who do lawn mowing for a living are extremely careful about keeping very well clear of onlookers.

          • Tricledrown

            Alwynger She was wearing a mask and only took it off when no one was anywhere near who wasn't in her bubble.

            • alwyn

              Yes, but all I am asking is what is the difference between that and someone mowing lawns? Treat them both equally, since their situation is equal.

              If you think that Siouxsie was behaving acceptably then you should feel the same way about the person doing the mowing. If you regard the mowing gentleman as being at fault you should say the Dr Wiles was as well.

              I am asking Molly whether she is being consistent in her views.

          • Molly

            That's a stretch, Alwyn.

            As you know, I was talking about the responsibility of businesses and employers to ensure their staff, and those they interact with are kept safe, when they are permitted to operate within levels.

            You have instead gone off again on your voyeuristic obsession with two women meeting on a beach within bubble rules.

            Deliberately off topic, and somewhat stalkerish. Unfortunately, I don't think that observation will stop you doing it again. Don't worry, you are still rising to meet my low expectation of your replies.

      • Gezza 5.1.4

        heavy physical work makes it difficult to wear a mask.

        Dunno about this. I'm sure I've seen workers on building sites in North Welly wearing masks.

        And before Covid hit us I sometimes wore a surgical mask when we had Welly's infernal northerlies blowing pollen off the hills into my face when I was out mowing the lawns with my trusty push-mower for exercise.

        • Cricklewood

          Masks are actually pretty common in a range of trades, for dust especially, handling potting mix is another often very physical work invloved breaking or cutting concrete… no excuse really

          • Gezza

            Just on why they're doing it – it's windy & pouring with rain again in Welly. That'll be heading North pretty fast.

            My lawns have been left for well over a month and they now look like prairies – grass is getting nearly a foot long in places.

            Maybe they're just trying to get in before this latest dump of nature's irrigation system arrives? Gonna be a major challenge for a lawnmower here.

            • Cricklewood

              Nah just Kikuyu on the side of a hill with weed eaters not growing that quick cause its still a touch cold…

              Not causing or close to causing an hazard either…

              • I Feel Love

                Plenty of ppl wearing masks down here in Dunedin, including workers, heavy & light, & ppl just walking outside with no one near them.

            • Stephen D

              Prairies, what’s next? Gophers?😀

    • McFlock 5.3

      Well, how many people want to be within a few metres of someone cutting grass? Largely a solitary activity, in my experience.

      So the mask issue isn't really a go-er. Sure, if you're walking down the street, or might be loitering within a few metres in a park or at the beach, but if you're the only ones in the area masking isn't an issue.

      Going to the depot, loggin in/out, getting equipment – that's where the procedures for contactless transactions and masking needs to be practised.

      As for the cutting itself – yeah, there's probably a fair bit of "essential? really?" in that. But then, if one waits until it actually is a fire hazard, one can't necessarily mow everywhere at once. So keeping all of it trimmed regularly could stop any of the backlog after lockdown becoming a hazard.

      • Poission 5.3.1

        Well its not cutting the grass that is so problematic,it is wiping the ass.

        • McFlock

          That's intriguing.

          I didn't even think of the chimnny effect when looking at the top of it – was more thinking that a decent flush would act like a piston, especially for the flats below.

          The other thng that came to mind was that some places have phased out s-bend traps and gone with p-traps. A bit of information that came about when dealing with a particularly obstreperous sink blockage .

    • tc 5.4

      Interesting. L4 saw no let up in the top dressing activity which I thought had significant risks.

      Plane take offs/landing's trucks about with fertilizer etc appears essential. Seemed odd.

    • Gabby 5.5

      Hopefully you stayed well clear like a responsible citizen.

  6. Joe90 6

    Jude palin' around with a white nationalist.

  7. McFlock 7

    lol apparently onenews had some yank on doing the usual chicken little line: NZ's covid policy is unsustainable, yadda yadda, we're not vaxxing quickly enough.

    Actual interview sounds fairly pointless, but a twitter response had a nice chart for all the local doomsayers. "If these trends continue", lol

    NZ/UK/US 1st dose vax

    • alwyn 7.1

      Do you have any good reason to explain why you think New Zealand will have a vaccination rate that will continue to accelerate after passing 50% when every other country apparently slows down? Why are we so distinctive, in your opinion.

      Note I say "every other country" without having really checked all of them. Perhaps Luxembourg is different.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        Well, uk/usa seemed to have a slowdown at 45%, and we pretty much skipped that.

        But more to the point, my comment was about how doom and gloom merchants at the start of the pandemic were like "ohmagerd we're all screwed", but with other trends they, like you, are more cautious about extrapolating optimism therefrom.

        But hey, I guess we'll see. I do find the relative differences in curves quite interesting, when NZ is measured against the two apparently main countries of origin of tweets concerned about NZ's freedoms, economy, "natural immunity", and other such bullshit.

        • mac1


          Possibly our vaccination rate has not slowed down because of the higher levels of trust and confidence shown in our government's handling of this pandemic.

          The August 2021 Guardian article cited above canvasses this issue in some detail.

          This level of trust has increased whereas countries with lower levels of trust in their government have seen those levels fall further, presumably along with their government's standards of good stewardship and resultant poorer outcomes.

          I suspect what McFlock mentions above as the gloom and doom merchants have a large measure of their disgruntlement as a result of seeing a small, socially cohesive society well governed by an empathetic and left wing government which pays due attention to scientific advice from a credible civil service and trusted public health system.

          I have been in the last decade well served by this health service with several serious issues. I have trust and confidence.

          So does my age cohort as I have been involved with a telephone campaign contacting seniors during lockdown and the responses showed high levels of satisfaction with current practice.

          A confidence rating reaching at its peak in excess of 80% as the Guardian article cites is exceptional globally.

      • AB 7.1.2

        "Why are we so distinctive, in your opinion?"

        Cultural factors may help us be a relatively high performer – though this is a guess obviously. Things like:

        • The level of shared commitment to elimination in 2020 was unusual. Although "team of 5 million" is a bit cringeworthy, if there wasn't an element of truth to it the phrase wouldn't exist. We also saw that politicians who misread that mood and wanted to elevate some undefined and suspiciously self-interested notion of "the economy" above public health, got badly punished
        • The desire to punch above our weight. Yeah another cliche – but we are tiny and mostly ignored and the desire to be the best at something/anything is strong
        • Some faded remnant of our egalitarian past in which everyone mattered. In real material terms this egalitarianism was trashed from the 1980's. But there are behavioural aspects that I feel linger in the way that people at different levels of the economic and employment hierarchy interact personally.
        • Willingness to listen to and engage with the organisations that represent the interests of the most marginalised – essentially Pacific and Maori people. These are also the people most likely to not get vaccinated for various reasons.
        • Lack of a virulent far-right. We have a very strong (for want of a better phrase) "establishment right" who are determined not to let any socialist principles in the front door. But they are not conspiracist nutters – and in fact they actually want everyone vaccinated so the normal processes of capital accumulation for their benefit can continue undisturbed.

        So here's hoping.

        • Gezza

          Nice analysis. 👍🏼

        • gsays

          In regards to the team of 5 million, I thought it was mildly derivative of the 'stadium of 5 (4?) million' that was used here in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          I'd add to that the oral tradition of Maori who well remember their losses from the Spanish influenza epidemic and both the sheer volume of people (60% in some hapu) that were lost – plus all the handed down unwritten knowledge that went with them. Their fast, quick, collective and empathic response this time around laid part of the bed rock for New Zealand's response.

          This was much more a lived response and a collective interest one. Sure their are shades of similar experience in many of our European communities as well – miners, unionism, etc but you can't beat the personal.

          Maori ways of thinking are embedded in our culture – often without us realising it. As Lorde noted with her latest release in Te Reo.

          "Lorde acknowledged in a statement that while she is not Māori, one of her main realizations while making the album is that much of her value system around "caring for and listening to the natural world" comes from traditional Māori principles."

      • Tricledrown 7.1.3

        Our history of high uptakes of vaccines and the fact we have kept Covid out longer than most countries people know that to have those freedoms we need high rates of vaccination and we are seeing people aren't afraid of vaccines in this country.

    • DukeEll 7.2

      So by the mid october we will be at 60% fully vaccinated and 90% with a single jab. Amazing

  8. Tricledrown 8

    Auckland is doing it tough at the moment with the low rate of testing the govt should hand out food vouchers and food parcels when they roll up to be tested and vaccinated.

    Grant Robertson get the cheque book out. Also Auckland should be given a $ billion for council and another top up for businesses as well as those who have lost their jobs.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    Hope for National – instead of trying to make a new leader out of the odd assemblage of troughers and sow's ears the party has left, they can have a new, smart, attractive leader, and they won't even have to pay her.

    Open the caucus room doors Sophia.

    I'm afraid I can't do that Simon.

    • dv 9.1

      Like that Stuart NICE

      • Gezza 9.1.1

        I find that robot kinda creepy.

        Aspects of her remind me of Data, of Star Trek Next Generation.

        Actually, aspects of Mark Zuckerberg do the same.

        Dunno where AI learning evolution is going to eventually take us, but one hopes intelligent robots never get to a point where we rely on them to protect our environment & they figure out that at our worst we can be like a plague. 😮

    • Gezza 10.1

      A good read. Welly gets a mention or two. Wellington's got excellent commuter rail services from outer suburbs to the CBD (I took the train to & from work for about 30 years).

      Don't know if the inner-suburban bus services are all that crash-hot these days. They were frequent & reliable when I first moved to Te Whanganui-a-Tara from Taranaki in 1974 & flatted initially in Mt Victoria & then Brooklyn, before moving to the Northern Suburbs (Tawa).

      A couple of decades back there were quite a lot of conversions of vacant office blocks into private apartments in places like The Terrace. I expect there are new apartment blocks still going up in the city & the views from most will be good.

      Only problem at the moment is there are a few places I wouldn't even go in daylight in the City Centre because of well-reported issues with abuse of the public & general public misbehaviour of some of the residents recently given inner city emergency housing in the city.

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