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Open mike 13/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 13th, 2021 - 163 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 …

163 comments on “Open mike 13/12/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    First ducklings of the Spring: Dawn Fawny – with Phil, Shane, Simon, Winston, Chris, Julie, Anne, Megan, Amy & Nicky 😀

    Spare a thought for busy mums…

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Bomber analyses Labour, then offers them a manifesto:

    Labour have failed us over 4 years because they had no plan to scare the public service into serving the public.

    That's because public servants are expected to serve the public in whichever incidental fashion suits them. It's not as if they have an employment contract that requires them to serve the public, right? If they did, someone would have publicised it by now. However, I do have an open mind on this point, and it's possible that there's a secrecy clause in their contract that prevents them telling the public about it. The establishment has always been real sneaky about that kind of thing.

    They need 5 big Radical Centre ideas that actually do more than woke virtue signalling to challenge inequality and poverty .

    1 – Use Public Works Act to seize 90% of all golf courses in Auckland.

    Yeah, had that idea myself a while back. Racecourses too, in any city.

    2 – Feed the bloody kids – all of them!

    I read in the msm the other day that child poverty was the reason the PM gave for deciding to enter politics. I presume the reason she hasn't put public money where her mouth is is that Grant won't let her. No no, that can't be right. Such expenditure is always a caucus decision so blame the Labour hive mind.

    3 – Financial Transaction Tax

    Just as essential as it was 30 years ago when first adopted by the Greens. Labour & National are addicted to neoliberalism, so progress remains impossible.

    4 – Legalize Cannabis

    Just as essential as it was 50 years ago when I first got high. Transcendence suddenly got a hell of a lot easier. Conditioning dissolved. I couldn't believe how much bullshit society had managed to insert into my thinking! That's why 45% of Labour voters are scared of it – they seek to retain control via ignorance.

    5 – Free Public Transport

    User pays is preferable generally but I'm willing to go with this socialist experiment – provided that the costs are accounted publicly so voters can make an informed decision, weighing the total cost against the benefits of less traffic congestion.


    • Ad 2.1
      1. Local government issue

      2. Massive programmes already

      3. Far better ways to achieve the same end without capital flight risk

      4. People didn't want it enough

      5. Needs a supportive local government voted in

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Excellent example of how Labour operates. laugh Way better to offer a bunch of feeble excuses than just one or two! You should offer your training services to them – would be a useful supplement to the parliamentary induction course for new MPs.

        There's the mental health benefits too. It must drive Labour MPs crazy, the persistence of Labour supporters in expecting them to produce suitable results. A comprehensive tally of reasons why progress cannot be expected on any matter of serious public concern would be a great boon for the Labour caucus. wink

        • Ad

          They are the wrong priorities, offered for the wrong reasons, trying to solve the wrong issues.

          But sure, go invent another crisis while Labour has just solved the last one.

    • Gezza 2.2

      public servants are expected to serve the public in whichever incidental fashion suits them. It's not as if they have an employment contract that requires them to serve the public, right? If they did, someone would have publicised it by now.

      No, they have employment contracts that simply require them to carry out the prescribed duties of their position in accordance with the Public Service Code of Conduct, government & departmental policy requirements, and any lawful instructions they are given by their superiors.

      However, I do have an open mind on this point, and it's possible that there's a secrecy clause in their contract that prevents them telling the public about it. The establishment has always been real sneaky about that kind of thing.

      There certainly wasn't when I left the Public Service in 2007. But there are provisions in both the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act that prevent public servants from releasing certain information as described in those Acts.

      The term Public Servant is a misnomer really. One thing that became clear at the time of the Lange/Douglas administration and thereafter was that we were not Public Servants (or Civil Servants), we were Government Servants.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        we were not Public Servants (or Civil Servants), we were Government Servants

        A vital distinction, methinks. I have, once or twice onsite here in the past, pointed out that a specific clause directing the servant to provide public service, inserted into their employment contract, would increase the likelihood of appropriate performance.

        The idea that a public service employee contract ought to service the social contract is perhaps radical, due to being obviously essential as a governance design principle. Everyone knows govts proceed via ad-hocery rather than intelligent design. However I still believe we'd get better outcomes.

        • Gezza

          All you'd get is conflict, confusion, and internal and legal disputes.

          The notion of the public service comes fundamentally from the concept that government workers are employed to provide government services to the public. But those services are always constrained by such specifications and criteria as the government (via Cabinet) stipulates and/or signs off on.

          So there are always people who don't qualify for a public service under government policy. Those people naturally complain about how public servants are treating them unfairly. And that certainly does happen – Judicial Reviews say so and judges direct departments to reconsider cases where they are held to have erred.

          But in many – perhaps most – situations, it's the government's policy criteria that rules people out from receiving a public service or benefit. If you ended up with a contract provision that was in conflict with government policy you’d just have a mess.

          • Dennis Frank

            All you'd get is conflict, confusion, and internal and legal disputes.

            I doubt that. Seems like the standard defensive attitude taken by someone invested in the status quo: "New rules are too hard! Wah wah wah!". Like a two year old.

            There may be some merit in your other paragraphs & I'll allow the experienced insider the benefit of the doubt. However you seem indisposed to see systemic failure from the perspective of the public who experience it.

            Strikes me the analogy to the Hippocratic Oath applies. Doctors don't need rules & bureaucrats to delineate their behaviour insofar as the oath guides their conscience & hence their behaviour. I'd expect the contract clause I suggested to operate on a similar internalised basis.

            • Gezza

              I doubt that. Seems like the standard defensive attitude taken by someone invested in the status quo: "New rules are too hard! Wah wah wah!". Like a two year old.

              I've been out of the public service for over 14 years, e hoa! But I was a head office dude primarily who worked in a wide variety of roles including policy making, operational policy development, systems development, comms, forms and publications and in particular simplifying information for both staff and the public with a 2 year stint in the middle working with lawyers on appeal authorities and then feeding that back into the system as training material.

              It's not that new rules are too hard. it's just that I know the pitfalls in your simple-minded proposal, put forward by someone with no relevant experience who doesn't know his arse from his elbow but thinks he's on to some brilliant novel idea and has to take a snide pot shot like some snot-nosed kid everybody's ignoring in the playground.

              It's not novel – and it wouldn't work, for the reasons I've outlined.

              However you seem indisposed to see systemic failure from the perspective of the public who experience it.

              More BS. You have no idea what’s happened in my life and why I retired early. I’ve had plenty of experience of dealing with the public service from the user end, and run into the same kinds of problems others report.

              • Dennis Frank

                I get it. You've become so invested in the status quo that you're incapable of considering the possibilities of public service reform and consequently rule out plausible suggestions whilst on autopilot… sad

                • Gezza

                  No, you don't get it, but you're going to bluster and blunder on convinced of your own brilliance regardless because that seems to be something you're good at.

                  To achieve what you want doesn’t need to be in individual employment contracts – disaster lies there. Instead, it needs to be explicitly stated in the operational policy.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    It's not about me. It's about doing social reform. Reformers make improvement suggestions. Can you think of any other way that reforms get initiated?

                    • Ad

                      Through political parties generating mandated policy positions. As per last 6 centuries of Parliamentary and democratic precedent.

                      No one in Labour or Greens gives a flying fuck about Bomber. But you went there.

                      You're not very good at this.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Dennis

                      Anybody can make a suggestion. People do it all the time. But you also have to look at whether they're practical and doable.

                      I've already suggested how you could achieve what you apparently want by a different mechanism. And I KNOW that that way works. I've seen it done, in my own department.

                      But I made that suggestion via an edit, so you might have missed this.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      You're not very good at this.

                      Depends what you mean by this. I've already cited various ways I've changed the trajectory of Aotearoa so don't expect me to provide another rerun of our history. It would be too repetitious for readers.

                      you also have to look at whether they're practical and doable

                      As I usually do. Contract changes are. Happen constantly.

                    • Gezza

                      Pfft. How many public servants’ contracts have you actually seen?

                      And you still haven’t addressed the issue of where the contracts might be in conflict with government policy requirements.

                      Give it up, Dennis. Sorry, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      you still haven’t addressed the issue of where the contracts might be in conflict with government policy requirements

                      That's an interesting dimension of the situation. I can see why you think it's a problem big enough to file the proposed reform into the too-hard basket. I just can't see why you assume such defeatism would be acceptable to reformers.

                      I suppose there could be a philosophical & moral divide between the in-crowd & others, eh? Is the public interest paramount or not? I'd say yes. You may not. Should govt policy be allowed to defeat rights held in common? I don't believe so. I believe the public have a natural right to be served in their mutual interests, regardless of whichever govt decides to prevent it.

                    • Gezza

                      God you're making a right meal out of a very simple situation for which there's a simple solution that works and doesn't cause the immediate complications a specific (but notably vague) clause directing public servants to provide public service, inserted into their employment contract, would invariably cause.

                      Is the public interest paramount or not? I'd say yes. You may not.

                      So, on a day to day decisions basis, who decides what IS the public interest? Your favourite online news outlet or tv news channel?

                      Should govt policy be allowed to defeat rights held in common? I don't believe so. I believe the public have a natural right to be served in their mutual interests, regardless of whichever govt decides to prevent it.

                      1. What rights held in common are you talking about?
                      2. What is the role of government policy then?
                      3. Who decides what is in the mutual interests of the public, when the public can't even all agree on which MPs should be in government, and thus what their mutual interests are?
                      4. And how are you expecting any government servant to provide public services on a day to day basis when these things are highly arguable and never cut & dried?
                    • Dennis Frank

                      Perhaps you haven't had a professional career outside the public service as well? If you had, a comparison of the relation of performance to corporate (in the wider sense) ethos may have prevented what seems to be your lack of comprehension.

                      Also, you may not have thought about how employment contracts relate to behaviour in business.

                      My thinking around this stuff is informed by experience & reflection on these dimensions.

                      What rights held in common are you talking about?

                      Those that derive from equity in a demos. The one that I mentioned is the most relevant of those.

                      In regard to your supplementary questions, I don't see it as appropriate to be prescriptive. Normally social reforms get produced by discussion, co-design, and consensus decision-making. Not for me to pre-empt that process.

                    • Gezza

                      Perhaps you haven't had a professional career outside the public service as well? If you had, a comparison of the relation of performance to corporate (in the wider sense) ethos may have prevented what seems to be your lack of comprehension.

                      Wrong assumption yet again, Dennis. That's how I know the solution lies in putting service requirements in the operating instructions & internal departmental guidelines (which are requestable under the OIA), not individual employment contracts for all public servants.

                      I'm afraid the lack of comprehension is on your part, not mine. I'm going to leave this discussion now and let you womble on by yourself, if you insist on doing so.

            • McFlock

              So how actually do you see that clause working for, say:

              • An analytical services analyst processing internal and external information requests at, say, MSD?
              • An immigration officer matching visa requests to the guidelines dictated to them?
              • A DHB funding & planning officer?

              Because to me it sounds like a meaningless platitude.

              Closest I can get is universities have a statutory obligation to act as "critic & conscience" of society, which they do by allowing academics to say (largely) whatever they want publicly under the uni banner.

              But how would your clause work – public servants can do whatever they want if it's in the "social contract", regardless of whether the government elected by the people thinks it's in the social contract?

              • Stuart Munro

                You shouldn't think of the clause being routinely used for corrupt ends as the Key government, and in particular the Brownlee Satrapy would have done.

                People working within large institutions are frequently conscious of failings of those institutions, often failures that can be remedied relatively easily. A public service clause gives such public servants, not merely the right, but the duty to amend the worst forms of systemic dysfunction.

                Before Rogergnomics corrupted our civil service, many of it's members prioritised public service without needing a legal reminder – but now we live in a Falstaffian age, when corrupt officials merely pretend to public virtue, much as Falstaff pretended to the feudal virtues of chivalry.

              • Dennis Frank

                I see the thing working analogous to the Hippocratic oath – already made that clear upthread. Partly works as a conscience prompt, but ethos is more powerful since it is collectively produced.

                how would your clause work

                Like any other. Once written into a contract it embeds in the psyche. Well, conditional upon the employee signing their personal commitment to it! Signing up obligates performance.

                Then reality plays out & the thing gets tested in various situations. I never thought Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill would grow legs & run, and be still running now. So I get your scepticism re a meaningless platitude since that is exactly how I took her proposal. But the law worked regardless.

                • McFlock

                  The repeal of s59 "ran" because it was clearly defined: punishment isn't a defense for hitting kids.

                  Once written into a contract it embeds in the psyche. Well, conditional upon the employee signing their personal commitment to it! Signing up obligates performance.

                  Jeebus, don't tell me you're the sort of chap who reads and decides whether or not to agree to the full terms and conditions of every piece of software you buy.

                  The only time I look into my employment agreement is if the tearoom runs out of milk.

                  • Gezza

                    Dennis is what we saw too many of in our department as it went thru years of interminable top-down restructurings every 3-5 years with every incoming new CEO or GM.

                    It basically nearly fell over several time because the Group Management Teams these people recruited to make their own mark on the institution were too full of "Ideas Men" like Dennis.

                    They'd come up with some (what they thought) was a brilliant, breakthrough idea that was completely impractical and when asked "Fine, how will that actually work in practice?" we'd get "That's your job to work out. I'm an Ideas Man".

                    They never lasted. They were soon shown up to be basically too bloody thick to know their ideas were impractical. But God they wasted an awful lot of our time that could have been spent delivering actual services to the public.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    It hasn't stopped the hitting of kids but seems to have considerably reduces the level & incidence of the behaviour.

                    Re software contracts, that's a sham. Written by lawyers to protect corporations. User consent is made a condition of usage to make the sham seem all-powerful – just another example of perception prevailing over reality.

                    Re delivery of suitable public service, I often wonder why the lesson of Cave Creek didn't get learned. Public pressure made the Minister fall on his sword eventually but the system protected the actual killer(s). Same as Erebus…

                    • McFlock

                      All very interesting, but how would your public service contract clause have prevented Cave Creek in particular?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Well it would make usage of nails instead of bolts on a multiple-person load-bearing platform way more unlikely. Accountability mechanisms plus enforcement are also required to create a credible public service. So the full design for this utilises several operational and ethical principles.

                      Another vital one is public accountability. Folks can't be confident of governance processes when they see wrongdoers being protected by the system. They know that type of institutionalised behaviour is morally wrong.

                      Punishment of whistleblowers is still happening sometimes too (as in the current bullying saga) – because managers believe they can still get away with it, presumably. Residual colonial mind-set?

                    • McFlock

                      Well it would make usage of nails instead of bolts on a multiple-person load-bearing platform way more unlikely.

                      How would a clause in an employment agreement do that?

                      If anything, not strictly adhering to apparently over-cautious plans and requirements for qualifications in order to complete a public amenity quickly is a laudable example of putting public service ahead of simple paper-pushing. And it killed people.

                      Sure, you can jump to whistleblowing protections or whatever you want, but signing a commitment to "serving the public" in an employment agreement would not have solved anything in that instance.

    • Pete 2.3

      I don't play golf, never have, never will. Seizing golf courses? If spaces are needed for housing how about seizing Cornwall Park? Want more green spaces? The Auckland Domain and Western Springs?

      How about a return to a Transit camp on the slopes by the Museum? Such would be powerful symbolic scab in a prominent place as a reminder of our failure as a society.


      • Molly 2.3.1

        Auckland Council owns a few golf courses (some are private). In 2018, the leasehold fees for Remuera received by Auckland Council were $130,000/yr. (PDF page 47) for land valued in 2018 at 734 million a return of 1.77%.

        Membership costs for Remuera golf course would put it out of the range of many Aucklanders, so access is economically given.

        Cornwall Park has over a million visitors a year, and access is universal. As density of household dwellings increases, well designed and accessible common green spaces provide immense benefits in terms of well-being for members of the public.

        That being said, I wouldn't want Auckland Council to use any pivotal green spaces for housing, UNTIL they provided really innovative housing models and paid for it themselves (or with the investment from Government) with the intention of housing people and providing suppression to the market.

        Else that money will be spent on consultants, advisors and within Private Public Partnerships that will provide a return to the private, and result in housing that investors that could afford those golf club fees will invest in for the equity return.

        Because it bears the repeat viewing – George Carlin:

        Innovative housing – 8 House – Copenhagen surpassing the Sleepyhead Estate posted a couple of days ago.

        8 House – uses around 2.5 hectares built for 2010 USD 130 million

        Commercial uses, including retail space, a café, a day care center, and offices, are placed near the base, so that they can benefit from direct contact with the street, while the different types of apartments — townhouses, flats, and penthouses — are stacked above. And in order to provide the residential units with daylight and views of marshes and grazing lands that sit directly to the south, they raised the building’s northeast corner to 10 stories, sloping it to only one story at the diagonally opposite corner by stepping down each successive line of apartments. The result is plenty of variety in the building’s precast-concrete structural components.

        The most unusual aspect of 8 House, one that stops just shy of gimmicky, is a continuous open-air ramp. Along with stairs and elevators, it provides access to the townhouses and penthouses as it loops around the building, stretching from the street level to the top floor and back again. More than any other feature, the ramp is intended to imbue the mammoth complex with a sense of community: “Where social life, the spontaneous encounter, and neighbor interaction are traditionally restricted to the ground level, the 8 House allows them to expand all the way to the top,” explains Ingels. The resulting environment, according to the firm’s promotional literature, is a “lively urban neighborhood” with the “intimacy of an Italian hill town,” even in the midst of Copenhagen’s flat-as-a pancake terrain.

      • RosieLee 2.3.2

        Race courses? Rugby fields? Of course.

        My only reservation is that, very often, they are in places which will cause huge traffic congestion in places which cannot take any more infill housing unless the plan specifies roading considerations and improvements.

        • Molly

          Access to public transport (or other alternative modes is a priority. It is also mor likely as you go towards the city centre.

    • Gezza 2.4

      4 – Legalize Cannabis

      Just as essential as it was 50 years ago when I first got high. Transcendence suddenly got a hell of a lot easier. Conditioning dissolved. I couldn't believe how much bullshit society had managed to insert into my thinking! That's why 45% of Labour voters are scared of it – they seek to retain control via ignorance.

      I call BS on that. That calls for speculation & mind-reading attempts on your part, Dennis, when you actually have NFI why they voted against it.

      And in the majority of cases I expect they were simply concerned about issues like stoned drivers causing havoc & deaths on the road, stoned kids & rangatahi failing at school because unable to concentrate, latent schizophrenia being triggered in some teenagers & the deleterious effects on brain development of under 25s if cannabis use becomes more prevalent by youngish kids than it is already.

      Waka Kotahi was running an anti-drugged-driving campaign with constant TV ads throughout the time this Bill was being debated online and in Parliament. I'm sure that had some effect on voters too.

      • Robert Guyton 2.4.1

        Dennis is right.

        Deep down, conventional (timid, conservative) thinkers fear the game-breaking results of other-than-ordinary experiences that alter perception to a degree that accepted-but-not-defensible cultural norms are revealed as nothing but…accepted-but-not-defensible cultural norms.

        That's the root of opposition to cannabis use. Layered on top of that are the multitude of rationalisations…

        • Gezza

          Dennis is right.

          Link to evidence, please?

          You've obviously not had a teenager of yours develop severe schizophrenia after experimenting with dak.

          And I'm saying what I said above after being a daily user of cannabis for most of my adult life since my mid-20s, and therefore wanting to conclude that it's fundamentally harmless.

          Early on, before I got used to it, I had a (thankfully minor) car accident under the influence when I got distracted by something I got temporarily fixated on.

          As a muso, I loved listening to and playing music while stoned. These days, my emphysema stops me from wanting to smoke dope. It's another issue heavy users eventually face.

          • Robert Guyton

            Emphysema stopped you?

            Not boredom, as described by RedLogix?

            • Gezza

              WTF are you on about now? No, I never got bored with it.

              Still waiting for your evidence "Dennis is right".

              • Robert Guyton

                Will you provide evidence that cannabis smoking caused your emphysema?

                • Gezza

                  I never claimed that it did.

                  Look, as you apparently already know you don't have any evidence to back up your bold, but very bald, assertion, based on nothing but your feelz & personal prejudices, that “Dennis is right”, just accept that now everyone knows that's the situation and we can let it go at that.

                  I’m moving on.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I still think Dennis is right.

                    He fell into the same "trap of assumption" upon reading your comment: "If getting high caused yours, I'm sorry to hear that!", so you might like to challenge him also, over his mis-comprehension. For the sake of fairness.

                    Is your "bald" allusion a reflection of your on-going fascination with the leader of the Nats?

                    • Gezza

                      I still think Dennis is right.

                      Ah. Now we're getting somewhere. Your "think" is your personal opinion, reflecting your sharing a similar bias to Dennis. That's a long, long way from "Dennis is right", which he's most likely not.

                      He fell into the same "trap of assumption" upon reading your comment: "If getting high caused yours, I'm sorry to hear that!", so you might like to challenge him also, over his mis-comprehension. For the sake of fairness.

                      Dennis, you've cocked up yet again. Don't read more into what I write than what I write. If I meant cannabis caused my emphysema I'd have written that.

                      Is your "bald" allusion a reflection of your on-going fascination with the leader of the Nats?

                      No, it's to contrast with your hirsute pix. Your bald statement has no backup data to support it. It was a hairy contention that turned out to be devoid of cover.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Never the less, Dennis is right.

                      Moving on…

          • crashcart

            Tell me, were the people you bought your weed off checking IDs and concerned around the age of their customers? If they were can you be sure that the current criminal black market in general is?

            Making weed legal and selling it from actually controlled vendors provides a real ability for government to set age restrictions on who can and can't buy it. My hope would be that this would provide an opportunity to actually decrease the number of under age people experimenting with it early. It also allows quality standards to be set so consumers are aware of what dosage of THC they are getting. Also not going to have to worry about their weed dealer trying to sell them on P or some other far more harmful drug.

            Either way the current decision to add tobacco to a list of criminally controlled drugs shows this government is still on the "prohibition works" band wagon. Can't see anything changing for a long time.

            • Gezza

              I'm not saying the right decision has been made. I'm just taking issue with the suggestion what amounts to laziness & moral cowardice has been demonstrated by those who voted against legalising cannabis.

              I believe people did check this issue out and that some voted no according to reasonably well-informed viewpoints after doing so, or after seeing the clear ill-effects of over-use of cannabis in their local communities, or with individual whanau members.

              The thing about cannabis is that the government will never be able to stop very strong weed from being available and the black market for that will continue I believe to be very lucrative for those who're selling it now illegally.

          • Dennis Frank


            If getting high caused yours, I'm sorry to hear that! If it happened to me I'd want to warn others.

            I've cycled into & out of the habit a bunch of times over the past half century. I did notice once that the main reason I needed to ease off was breathing becoming less easy – but that phase passed long ago. Another time about a decade back I was diagnosed with osteo-arthritis & doctor said since I never smoke tobacco that it must be from the cannabis. Took a few years to rectify that but not a problem now.

            I reckon the downside is due to over-use. Like driving fast, it's extremes of drug use that are problematic rather than usage itself.

          • Robert Guyton

            Were we restricting discussion to "heavy users"?

          • Robert Guyton

            Have you tried using elecampane to ease the discomfort/perhaps cure, emphysema?

            Find some fresh elecampane root, slice/dice it into a pan of water. Heat over an element. Breathe in the vapours. It's a remarkably effective treatment. In my opinion. I think. I've believed for some time now. My experience tells me.

        • RedLogix

          Cannabis is something most people are going to try sooner or later, but honestly after a while it's boring and you're supposed to grow out of it by the time you're 30.

          • Robert Guyton

            You're supposed to?

            I'm not a cannabis smoker, but am puzzled by your "supposed to".

            Who supposes?

            • weka

              boring people.

              (sorry Red, you left the door wide open for that one).

            • RedLogix

              Not my problem if the concept of growing up has eluded you.

              • Robert Guyton

                Growing up is a concept?

                I thought it was learned experience.

                • Tricledrown

                  Grow up an old saying that meant grow up instantly now like.

                  If all those Drinking alcohol could do the same.

                  The British Medical Journal published a list of Drugs and their harm .

                  Alcohol and Tobacco were in the top 3 Cannabis was way down the list.

                  When you look at deaths attributable to use in NZ.

                  Tobacco 4,000 too 5,000 a year

                  Alcohol 550 a year.

                  Cannabis 1 a year.

                  Those who say grow up need to do some as well.

          • Blade

            Quite true, RL. In my experience most people on dak after 30 are losers. However, I'd say more around 35 is when the 'switched on'… 'switch on' .

            • weka

              I think this says more about who you hang out with than anything.

              • RedLogix

                The kind of people I hang out with get routinely drug tested because operating heavy plant and machinery while out of it is a hazard to them and all their workmates.

                No matter how enlightened they belive themselves to be.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Rupert Sheldrake's a fan.

                • Ad


                  And same for the 150,000 plus NZers in our field.

                  Note also drug-drving legislation grinding its way through NZ Parliament.

                • weka

                  the people I hang out with tend to smoke socially and intermittently, and they don't generally smoke at work (although I've known plenty of people that do, or used to, I'm guess work place testing has changed that).

                  Basically recreational use where people are having fun.

                  I also know people that self-medicate, for various reasons, all power to them.

                  Most of those people are older than 30. They see cannabis the same way as alcohol, a way of adding to the pleasures of life.

              • Blade

                Add P to the mix and we can include people I don't hang out with.

                • weka

                  If you don't know people over 30 who smoke recreationally and never go near P, you're missing out on some interesting people and great conversations.

                  • Blade

                    That's what some have told me. I always ask if they have a photo album. In amongst them telling me about their ''creative juices flowing' they usually produce some photos ( mainly digital).

                    I look through it with them until we get to a photo that's fairly recent – 'geez,' I say, ''you've aged.' They usually ask me what the hell I'm talking about. I can do that with many ( not all) P Jockeys. P isn't a drug that likes to be moderated. To be fair, it's one drug I haven't tried. And it's one drug I will never try.


                    • weka

                      so you have some prejudices against cannabis smokers by the sounds of it.

                    • Blade

                      Yes, Maori cannabis smokers.

                    • weka

                      racist as well then.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      It's all coming out in the wash.

                    • Blade

                      Yes, Maori cannabis smokers. That said, I believe all drug use should be decriminalised. I have had a gutsful of governments regulating our lives.

                    • Blade

                      Dear, Robert. Before you pass judgment you should ask for context and why I think that way.

                    • Blade

                      ps, the same goes for you, Weka. But I doubt anything I write will change what seems to be the standard company line.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Why must we ask?

                      Can you not include your reasons in your first comment?

                      If not, why not?

                    • Blade

                      I'm not a happy chappy at the moment. I just lost a detailed reply to the moderator regarding the video clip I posted. Unless he/she wants a reply I won't repeat myself.

                      I will also add my dislike of Maori cannabis smokers is based on my personal experience with the damage cannabis has brought to the Maori community. It's also based on the experience of two relatives – one a Taiwhenua social worker. The other a drug councillor working for a DHB. Both are now burnt out and retired. The drug councillor, although an ex gang member and very staunch, refused to treat P addicts. Should the moderator want names to prove I'm not talking shit he/she need only ask and I will forward details to them. I'm not racist.

                    • weka

                      Probably should have led with that Blade. If you post things that look racist, it's hard for people to not think you are racist.

                      If you were trying to be provocative then you can see how that works out here.

                      I'm not sure how your explanation relates to not liking Māori cannabis users instead of being angry at say dealers, or governments that keep people in poverty culture.

                    • Blade

                      ''Probably should have led with that Blade. If you post things that look racist, it's hard for people to not think you are racist.''

                      It didn't cross my mind given this blog is full of trite one sentence comments from Robert.

                      ''If you were trying to be provocative then you can see how that works out here.''

                      No, I wasn't trying to be provocative. I was just stating a dry factual comment. That said, I can see your point. I will in future provide context for comments other posters on this blog may find contentious.

                      ''I'm not sure how your explanation relates to not liking Māori cannabis users instead of being angry at say dealers, or governments that keep people in poverty culture.''

                      That's where the Left and the Right hive off. The Left has no time for personal responsibility. They have a raft of excuses as to why people – especially Maori- are disfunctional. The Right says everything renders down to personal responsibility. There can be no meeting of the minds over these stances, so it's a wasted effort debating the issue.

            • Bruce


              To name just a few who make this life a little more interesting ,

              • Dennis Frank

                I didn't know about this one:

                Abraham Lincoln surprise

                “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica.” (from a letter written by Lincoln during his presidency to the head of the Hohner Harmonica Company in Germany)

                • Blade

                  With a wife like he had, hemp would truly be a sweet trip.

                • Bruce

                  . Alexander Dumas

                  “When you return to this mundane sphere from your visionary world, you would seem to leave a Neapolitan spring for a Lapland winter — to quit paradise for earth — heaven for hell! Taste the hashish, guest of mine — taste the hashish!”

                  I thought this summed it up pretty well.

                  But for me the whole drug debate comes down to different strokes for different folks, it seems altering consciousness is part of being human and the ways to do this are endless . To require that a majority would agree on one and win a referendum is looking for a way to fail.

                  I wonder if the homosexual law reform would have survived a referendum or the new one on deciding if your a boy or girl but the govt mandates that these choices are within the law yet is to afraid to allow the right to choose your own poison demonstrates their fear of different thinking.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    their fear of different thinking

                    Indeed. Normalcy is a powerful syndrome. I was fortunate in that my first job after graduating was in television, and my clients on the job were the cream of the Auckland advertising industry & the Aotearoa film industry. That was '75, when ads were still mostly shot on film before being transferred to videotape for editing & eventual broadcast.

                    And it was cool to wear jeans to work. Unheard of at that time! So there's me, hair down to my shoulders, operating wrap-around push-button console with vision & audio mixers etc, which looked like the cockpit of a 707 or whichever Boeing was the latest, and the hotshots with million-dollar accounts sitting in a semicircle behind me, issuing various instructions & comments based on whatever changes they saw on screen that I made.

                    Everyone took it for granted that some of us were high at the time but the ethos was that as long as the product got made according to plan, who cared? Hell, even the general manager & managing director were into it – and they wore suits. Well, not always…

      • Dennis Frank 2.4.2

        you actually have NFI why they voted against it

        Yes I do. A combination of ignorance and bigotry. Everyone knows that alcohol causes most of the harm you speculate they use to rationalise their prejudices.

        • Gezza

          I think most people have tried dak. It's not ignorance. And bigotry is a wild call you can't back up with anything but your own reckons.

          Booze is another topic altogether. This is a discussion about cannabis.

          Pathetic whataboutist attempt at diversion.

    • Ross 2.5

      Racecourses too, in any city

      But where would all the horses race? Horse racing is a multi billion dollar industry. That ain’t going to happen.

      • Dennis Frank 2.5.1

        They were put on the city fringe during the colonial era, right? No reason not to recycle that thinking in local government.

    • Corey Humm 2.6

      There's nothing stopping them decriminalizing marijuana and most of parliament said they'd support decriminalization they could do that under the pretenses of making medical weed more accessible which good lord they need to, 49% of NZ voted in favor of legalization, decriminalization is a decent compromise.

      The other stuff wouldn't do much… A transactional tax wouldn't do anything but piss off millennials and gen z and make prices go up.

      Really what they need to do is create a govt owned building company that builds houses cheap and quickly and sets cheap prices and do everything possible including a CGT and rma reforms to get it done.

      Go harder on land lord's with more pro Tennant legislation.

      Implement all of the welfare and mental health working groups suggestions.

      Reform tax and working standards for gig workers.

      Get food , power costs down as much as possible.

      Free uni to nurses and doctors.

      Some major dental policies.

      My favorite a death or inheritance tax (not going to happen )

      And to ban empty pie warmers! They are unpatriotic Every pie warmer must be fully stocked 24/7 ! 😛

      • Dennis Frank 2.6.1

        A transactional tax wouldn't do anything but piss off millennials and gen z and make prices go up.

        When I first encountered it 30 years ago I agreed with the idea because I realised it was a tax on capitalism – just like gst is a tax on consumerism.

        So the basis logic these two share is that excessive trading feeds the govt, enabling better govt provision of services.

        I get that folks who trade a lot won't like the idea. However I'd like to live in a world with less capitalism & less consumerism, so I like it. I also discern an underlying ethical principle: govt ought to tax bad stuff, not good stuff like income. Therefore income tax is wrong.

  3. Ad 3

    Most interesting to see the United Arab Emirates stepping up its diplomatic game, both in hosting the massive World expo track meet, but also in hosting the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett over the weekend. The second is a small wonder, but a wonder nevertheless.

    Bennett to meet with UAE Crown Prince in historic first – The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)

    • RedLogix 3.1

      The second is a small wonder, but a wonder nevertheless.

      Yes – it's been quietly happening under everyone's noses for sometime now. The Israeli's would have been the first to understand the US pull back from the region and have been very proactive:

    • swordfish 3.2


      but a wonder nevertheless

      Dunno about that …these are the US Client Regimes in the Arab World … UAE / Bahrain / Saudi / Jordan = all key Gulf allies in the US-Israeli axis. Encouraged by the US, they've been expanding their growing ties with Israel for quite some time, but have always indicated (with an eye on domestic public opinion) that this won't extend to formal diplomatic relations in the absence of Palestinian Statehood & an acceptable resolution for Jerusalem. Meanwhile, behind the scenes they've tended to browbeat the Palestinians into accepting US-Israeli demands.

      Upshot: Arab world / wider Middle East is split between two axes … and this isn't some dramatic breakthrough.

    • joe90 3.3

      The second is a small wonder, but a wonder nevertheless.

      Little wonder they're playing nice with the suppliers of kit used against opposition activists, journalists, lawyers and anyone else they decided posed a threat.

      Human rights activists, journalists and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, according to an investigation into a massive data leak.

      The investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO’s hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.


      The consortium’s analysis of the leaked data identified at least 10 governments believed to be NSO customers who were entering numbers into a system: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Parliamentary Service chief executive has credibility problem:

    The staffer, who spoke to Newsroom on condition of anonymity, said he was told by Parliamentary Service chief executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero that both his reputation and his job security would be protected if he participated in an investigation into claims of bullying.

    However, he now feels that he wasn't protected during a media storm about the investigation, he was not rehired after the 2020 election and he said his career has been affected.

    The July incident was witnessed and partially recorded by another staff member, who filed a formal complaint. The staffer who had been yelled at initially didn't want to file a complaint or to participate, he said. It wasn't until Gonzalez-Montero initiated a meeting with the staffer and promised to protect him that he agreed to take part.

    "Raf emailed me and asked me to come into his office, explained what was going to happen and how they would support us. He told me not to worry about my career and that I would be protected," the man told Newsroom. That meeting occurred in August 2020.

    It was the last the staff member heard from the Parliamentary Service for nearly a year, he said. The investigation spanned multiple interviews with Smith and the staffer, persisted through the Christmas break and then suffered further delays due to tech issues. A draft report was released to Smith and the staffer on April 20. Before the final report could be completed, Smith resigned in June. That sparked a media storm which focused on the employment investigation and Smith's behaviour towards the staff member.

    At the height of the coverage of the issue, the staffer reached out to Gonzalez-Montero, who asked to meet somewhere other than Parliament. In a discussion at the Dillinger's cafe/bar a short walk from Parliament, the staffer pleaded for some sort of backing from the Parliamentary Service in the media.

    "I said, 'It's your investigation and you're the CEO of Parliamentary Services, you need to take control of your investigation and set the narrative right. You promised to protect me and you're not protecting me now,'" the staffer said.

    The staffer paraphrased Gonzalez-Montero's response: "'I have the whole institution to think of. We need others to come forward in the future and if I create a big tit-for-tat fight with the National Party, no one will ever come forward.' And I said, 'No, no one will ever come forward if you don't stand up and do something and protect us, like you said you would.'"


    I empathise with the staffers' disgust at his employer's betrayal. The employer's given reason for trying to weasel out of his moral commitment seems too feeble to take seriously. Not a real leader, obviously. A wimp.

  5. Atrocious interview by Katherine Ryan on RNZ just now on Rapid Antigen Tests. While the issue of false positives was addressed (because it seems that all Ryan is concerned about is the inconvenience these may cause to idiots that don't get vaccinated) the issue of the overall accuracy of the tests was not addressed.

    5 minutes of surfing shows that RAT only identify 58% of Covid cases where the subject is non-symptomatic and, even when they are symptomatic, only 72%.

    They are next to useless.

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.1

      Here's the Cochrane review…

      Using summary results for SD Biosensor STANDARD Q, if 1000 people with symptoms had the antigen test, and 50 (5%) of them really had COVID-19:

      – 53 people would test positive for COVID-19. Of these, 9 people (17%) would not have COVID-19 (false positive result).

      – 947 people would test negative for COVID-19. Of these, 6 people (0.6%) would actually have COVID-19 (false negative result).

      In people with no symptoms of COVID-19 the number of confirmed cases is expected to be much lower than in people with symptoms. Using summary results for SD Biosensor STANDARD Q in a bigger population of 10,000 people with no symptoms, where 50 (0.5%) of them really had COVID-19:

      – 125 people would test positive for COVID-19. Of these, 90 people (72%) would not have COVID-19 (false positive result).

      – 9,875 people would test negative for COVID-19. Of these, 15 people (0.2%) would actually have COVID-19 (false negative result).

      • Bearded Git 5.1.1

        Rosemary-you are cherry picking results here from one study and one company's test. The Cochrane Reports overall conclusions were as follows:

        What we found

        We included 64 studies in the review. They investigated a total of 24,087 nose or throat samples; COVID-19 was confirmed in 7415 of these samples. Studies investigated 16 different antigen tests and five different molecular tests. They took place mainly in Europe and North America.

        Main results

        Antigen tests

        In people with confirmed COVID-19, antigen tests correctly identified COVID-19 infection in an average of 72% of people with symptoms, compared to 58% of people without symptoms.

        • weka

          what's the proposed use in NZ?

            • weka

              can you not just tell us so we know the context for your comment?

              • I was trying to be helpful.

                RAT is mostly for unvaxxed and non-symptomatic people trying to travel over the Auckland border by car, train, plane or ferry. For instance if you are not vaxxed then AirNZ insists on a RAT in the 72 hours before travel.

                The best thing is that, even though the government is funding it and it doesn't take long, it is a hassle….a further incentive to get vaxxed.

                But as I say and reference above, it is about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot.

                • weka

                  thanks, BG, appreciate the explanation.

                  If I understood your comment above, there's an up to 42% false negative rate?

                  People with symptoms shouldn't be travelling right?

                  Which leaves the small number of people without symptoms and no vax pass. Of those a small number will have covid and of those just under half will get through the border and onto a plane/ferry on a false negative test. Did I get that right?

                  I guess it's some kind of slowing down the spread thing. The other option is to stop people without passes travelling, which is another level of state intervention altogether.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Errr…I provided a link to the entire article. I copy and pasted the bulk of the actual data.

          How the fuck is this "cherry picking"? You didn't even provide a link to the RNZ piece, never mind any actual data.

          • Bearded Git

            What a charming person you are Rosemary.

            The link I referred to had finished seconds earlier on RNZ and it takes RNZ a few minutes to make the audio avialable-any semi-cognizant person on The Standard could work this out.

            You did NOT report the overall conclusions reached by the Cochrane Report as I did.

        • Tricledrown

          The Cochrane report said the accuracy of their findings needed to be tested in the real world.

          The cochrane report also referred to the WHO recommendations that 3 rapid tests were needed to provide accuracy.

          Also there wasn't any comparative testing between different brands although they said some brands were more accurate than others.

          • Bearded Git

            The three RAT tests for accuracy makes sense Tricle-thanks.

            But that means you would have to have a RAT test every day for 3 days in a row before travelling from Auckland. The useless Katherine Ryan interview, which is where this thread started, did not explore this at all.

    • Tricledrown 5.2

      Not if 3 tests are carried out as opposed to just one.

      Rapid antigen tests cost $10 each so at $30 compared to $200 for a PCR test its a good alternative.

      But rapid antigen testing is not very accurate in the first 3 days of infection and after 10 days. But in the 7 days of full Infection it is accurate with repeated testing.

  6. Stephen D 6

    The latest Jonathan Pie.

    Thank God we don’t live in the UK.

  7. observer 7

    I note that the video posted by Blade in Open Mike yesterday is still up, despite the entirely false and defamatory claims made in it. If it is acceptable now to promote baseless QAnon conspiracy theories about leftist pedophilia and “Pizzagate” on the Standard, then something is seriously wrong.

    If anyone needs more information about who these people are, and the lies they promote, this is a good place to start.


    I don't know if the video is hosted here because moderators are unaware of its content. It would be useful to have this clarified, and to know if The Standard is now copying Slater's BFD (where the video is also published).

    [my position thus far is that the commenters dealt with the problem pretty well. We don’t remove content, even stuff we disagree with, unless there is a compelling reasons: it puts the site at legal risk, it’s doxxing someone, it’s abusive, it has tone/language that has the effect of excluding people, it’s spam etc.

    The Standard didn’t publish the video, it provided an Open Mike space for people to talk. I see content in Open Mike over the years that I strongly disagree with, and I’ve seen discussions here that I find hugely problematic politically especially for women and Māori. Someone said in the past day that Māori can’t be trusted with power. We don’t censor those conversations, we curate robuste debate.

    I agree that Qanon is an order of problem different from that, but the principle remains – argue against what you disagree with (which you have done, thank-you). We are here for the robust debate and lefties need to be exposed to ideas that we find abhorrent, and political dynamics that dangerous, if we want to keep sharp, informed and able to navigate difficult political territory.

    In this case, I learned some things. I learned that that particular video is popular, is basically Qanon but is made well enough that it might be hard to tell (propaganda technique), and that David Farrier has written a critique. I also learned that the commenter that put it up wouldn’t say why or what they think of it, so my attention is piqued there.

    If I had removed the video, none of that discussion or learning would have happened.

    There’s a line here in terms of telling us how to run TS. Saying you think it’s a terrible thing to see here, and you don’t understand why it wasn’t removed is fine by me. Suggesting that we are intentionally publishing such content like Slater does is likely to piss off moderators, because that’s patently not true on a number of levels. – weka]

    • Molly 7.1

      I really don't want to watch this video, observer. But I will be tempted to if you are making such vague reference to its inherent evilness. I did a few skip throughs when you first posted, but it looked like such crap I couldn't imagine that it would be persuasive.

      Given your feelings on the topic, can you post timestamps to the most representative parts of the video that you think will support your request for removal, then I promise to go and have a look and add my voice to yours if I consider you to be correct. I really do not want to watch the whole thing in order to make that judgement, and I'm guessing the moderators would be loathe as well.

      • observer 7.1.1

        As a useful alternative I recommend this summary from a reliable source:


        Salon is a reputable website and the author's description of the contents is accurate.

        • Molly

          Thanks, observer.

          I don't really want someone else's summary (although posting that link under the original comment might be of worth). I would prefer to have someone's first hand reference to the questionable material.

          I think leaving the link provided by Blade, is a reference point for those that do watch it. It gives a historic link to Blade's perspective. Good or bad. The video looks like badly edited propaganda to me, the parts I watched provided its own bad review.

          Are you worried about its persuasive capacity, or are there legitimate concerns about "porn, extreme violence", and where are they located on the video?

        • Maurice

          "Salon is a reputable website and the author's description of the contents is accurate."

          Not a universally held opinion!


          Salon has a far left bias in its daily reviews of domestic politics and provocative cultural topics. The American Journalism Review described Salon's political views as provocative and liberal, while many readers have noticed a uniquely progressive, Northern California style in the website’s content. Accordingly, the AllSides Bias Rating™ for Salon is far left, a rating we have a medium confidence level in. A majority of nearly 3500 AllSides community members agreed with this rating, while 29 of those who disagreed gave Salon an average bias rating of 70. This score falls in the middle of the lean left bias, but it is not enough evidence to change Salon's rating.

    • weka 7.2

      I responded in a mod note above.

      • Robert Guyton 7.2.1

        Your mod note is good, weka.

        The poster of the video and their diffidence around commenting, is the issue, as you so elegantly noted.

        • weka

          Yep. I could have put the video up and asked for people to talk about it as in left wing critique or strategising.

          I will go back and make the embedded video into a non-clickable link.

          • weka

            done, it's not an easy click and share thing now, and we won't be adding to the view count.

  8. UncookedSelachimorpha 8

    Ardern demonstrated Labour are clueless around housing in the 4pm briefing.

    Continues to defend house prices and says she doesn't want a significant drop. At the same time she says she wants more people to be able to access homes and wants improved "affordability". Claims Labour are pulling all the levers. Says she is trying to increase supply (while at the same time not wanting prices to drop significantly?).

    The only people Labour are clearly commited to is the investor class. Renters and the homeless just have to hope for the best, and navigate the whims of the “free market”.

    • weka 8.1

      this will be the undoing of her. All that respect will drain away, even land owners can see how stupid and untenable Labour's position is. Treading water and hoping the ocean will go away.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        People who have bought houses in the last years are shit outta luck so to speak should prices drop, specificially in the high increase value areas of CHCH, WLGTN, AKL, i hear Dunedin is the next hot spot for speculators. If the prices were to drop, and funnily enough i can actually see that happening albeit for different reasons, there will be a good million odd people + whanau that would be underwater worse then 2008 and the sub prime market. These people can neither afford to sell their house, nor sell up and rent to get out of an underwater mortgage. That is the reality of everyone who bought a house anywhere in this country above a value of 600.000 in my books. So everyone who bought a Dacha on the 'equity or fake money', who bought cars, or who simply managed to buy the family home etc is fucked. They can not afford interest rates to go up, they can't afford to sell for lesser value, and the very best the Government can do atm is to not rattle the market more then that and just house the unfortunate or those less inclined to take the risk of a mortgage in motels out of sight out of mind if they find themselves homeless, and fwiw, that seems to be working a treat.

        I also assume that Jacinda does not set policy in this regards but simply is the spokesperson for Grant Robertson. The question really is, how power full is Jacinda Ardern in the Labour Party, and how power full does she actually want to be.

        • weka

          ok, thanks, I just asked this in DR https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-13-12-2021/#comment-1842871

          These people can neither afford to sell their house, nor sell up and rent to get out of an underwater mortgage.

          Why would they need to sell their house though? How far underwater are they? If there was a 25% drop, how long would it take to catch up?

          • weka

            I'm wondering how much this is also about the wider economy. eg people not being able to move for work, people not being able to borrow on their mortgage to buy shit, and so on.

        • Molly

          As I am someone who thinks it is unlikely for income to reach the stratospheric levels that are required to meet the housing inflated market, therefore the housing market has to drop.

          So, I have a proposal for that.

          (With a first tier of eligible applicants, NZ citizens that own their own home and live in it.)

          1. Housing NZ recreates its State Housing loans system.
          2. Offers applicants 0% loans, and creates the money to do that. (As payments are received that money is withdrawn from the system- making it a zero-sum game).

          Assuming that most mortgage payments are equivalent to 3 x the borrowed amount by the end of the term of the loan:

          1. For a recent buyer, this means their payments will be approx a third of the payments they have committed to with their current bank (meaning their investment is now 33% of their commitment).
          2. For a buyer who is halfway through their mortgage, they may benefit from reducing their commitment by around 30%, but they will have benefitted from rising market in terms of equity.

          This solution, provides an elegant way of ensuring those who paid the most, are not financially devastated by the required housing market fall. Second tier can be NZ citizens who own one house but do not currently live it it. Etc.

          Investors who are in the market for rental incomes, should have a business model that still works.

          Investors who are in the market for capital gains, carry the risk of most speculators.

          We need to recognise the problems that will be caused to many NZers from any housing price drops, and make provision for them. Especially those who are just trying to attain the security of their own home.

          I’d be really interested to hear other solutions.

          • Sabine

            Build to rent. Properly built to rent, with public transport, parks, schools, hospitals etc in close distance. And built to cheaply rent, without the government having to prop up outrageous rents that are either based on a huge mortgage payement or lifestyle.

            Renting is the use of a property and buying is the ownernship, and that should be reflected in how payments are charged.

            Rent cap for these rentals. Rent for life. Not everyone wants to own a house, but many would like to rent a home.

            You also then have the issue of many people wanting to relocate to NZ in the future, and they too will want houses/homes.

            And re-invigorate our rural areas where there are quite a few towns with empty houses and lack of people. Actually incentivise businesses to start up elsewhere then Auckland. I have been saying this during the Clarke, Key and now Ardern years. There are more towns to NZ then just Auckland.

            • RedLogix

              Build to rent. Properly built to rent, with public transport, parks, schools, hospitals etc in close distance. And built to cheaply rent, without the government having to prop up outrageous rents that are either based on a huge mortgage payement or lifestyle.

              That originally was our plan. We have piece of land in a provincial town that is just begging to be developed. On paper it looks good until you start adding up all the costs.

              The building industry in NZ is a joke. We can literally buy 5 duplex units in Brisbane that meet your exact description – for every 1 that we could build on our own freehold clear of debt land in NZ.

              • Sabine

                Well we can either build to rent or continue to stack people like cord wood in motels.

                Either way, something has got to give.

                As for the price of everything in NZ, it is like it always was, one sets the price and the rest will have to pay it. The government could potentially do something, but then neither Labour nor National nor anyone else will have the guts to actually do that. NZ'lers screwing over NZ'lers is probably as old as is the country.

                Not everything must function by the profit motive, last also, an unstable society is not a healthy society. And people not having homes, is not good long term for any country.

                • RedLogix

                  Either way, something has got to give.

                  I totally agree with you. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in the field, but we do have extensive experience in a number of roles as both landlords and tenants ourselves, multi-unit development and long term build and hold for rent. And we've lived in both Australian and New Zealand for extended periods.

                  When I compare Australia and NZ the two key factors that stand out for us (and I do mean 'us' – my partner is the one who does all the numbers) – are the cost of building in NZ is just a fucking rip off, and zoning rules and expenses added on by local govt.

                  Prior to the 90's local govt was a beneficial actor in the housing market, because they could borrow cheaply and develop suburban land with a long term view to the rates income it would generate. Many of the older suburbs across NZ we developed this way, and section prices were relatively low compared to the building cost.

                  One of the most pernicious things that happened under Ruth Richardson was the removal of the ability for local councils to do this – which essentially handed the land development business entirely to private operators. And they have no choice but to load all of their costs – which are considerable – onto the first buyer.

  9. weka 9

    Did anyone follow the Victorian pandemic Bill earlier in the month? Wondering how it compares with NZ's.

    eg the powers were to pass from the Chief Medical Officer to the Minister of Health. In NZ isn't it the CMO that makes the orders?


  10. Corey Humm 10

    Yep. Every December she comes out and says she doesn't wanna see house prices fall but doesn't wanna see them rise as fast as the previous year and every year she sits by while house prices break new records.

    Shes actually ring fenced the govt into not being able to do anything meaningful on housing with her captain calls which brought short term political gain and long term political pain.

    Labour are about to lose the room and instead of recalibrating they are doubling down and drinking their own Kool aid.

    They desperately need a reset and cabinet reshuffle and huge policy pr blitz in late Jan early Feb or they'll have lost the room.

    2022 is the last chance for labour to get serious and provide serious transformational change and ram through policies before election year and by the sounds of it , they'd rather do business as usual.

    Their voters aren't going to turn out for them if they carry-on the current trend and we'll have a nat/act coalition who'll make the 80s and 90s reforms look pleasent, they'll use the COVID debt as an excuse to slash, cut , privatize, abolish everything they can get their hands on.

    Labour needs a reset. If they don't get housing and inflation sorted they're toast and nobody will believe them when they campaign in opposition on change.

    If they can't provide the change necessary, eventually a political movement will replace them.

    Pull finger labour.

    • weka 10.1

      great rallying cry.

      I can't see a political movement replacing them though. Nothing is on the horizon.

  11. RachNZ 11

    Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Alan, Ow, Steve, Steve, Steve, Hey!

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

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