Open mike 14/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 14th, 2022 - 227 comments
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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 …

227 comments on “Open mike 14/01/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    A new media platform is being constructed, but no timeline & I wonder if the performers that will emerge on it have been pre-selected.

    This year will see the birth of an entirely new outlet, The Platform, being put together by former Magic Radio/RNZ/and TV3 broadcaster Sean Plunket. If you run out of platforms, the only option is to build your own. The radio station and website will offer an anti-cancel culture format.

    You can buy a t-shirt which leaves no doubt on political positioning. Its logo is “Join the Resistance”. Plunket says the mission of The Platform is to “beat the hatred fuelled by taxpayer-funded media and cultural commissars who use your tax dollar to stifle public debate”.

    Studios are being built (including one in Queenstown) and staff hired for the new platform, which has funding from an unnamed private backer.

    I like the robust intention to defend freedom of speech but any such good intentions will be self-defeated if all we get is a bunch of right wing zombies like Fox News.

    • Peter 1.1

      The tax-payer funded media "stifling public debate" in our region is the local democracy reporter.

      Because there is someone doing that job we get to find out stuff we likely would not know and have better understanding of things going on in the community.

      The rabid approach of Plunket is to attract a rabid audience which can accuse everyone and everything else of being rabid.

      • Ross 1.1.1

        A long article about Plunket and his new venture was published last year.

        • Gezza

          From the article:

          He refuses to confirm it – citing client confidentially – but Plunket also had a role in the revival of Te Paati Māori in last year’s election, media training candidate Rawiri Waititi, now an MP and co-leader.

          Fascinating. But explains why Waititi is so very good at “shock jock politics” stunts & statements that always seem to me to be deliberately provocative & aimed at generating immediate media interest & widespread free publicity.

          • Gezza

            I’d add that that article by Andrea Vance is a good piece of journalism. Gives a comprehensive look at Plunkett, his background, & his quite varied career.

            Who knew that Sean Plunket was once a staunch advocate for more Te Reo Māori to be used on air than just “Kia ora” during Maori language week when he was broadcasting with RNZ years ago? I sure didn’t.

            • Robert Guyton

              Sean's woke-as.

              • Gezza

                My sarcasm detector went off immediately. Plunkett’s style seems to be to criticise everything. Once he criticised RNZ for not using enuf Māori language. Now he’s moved on to criticising political correctness, wokism, & probably whatever the gummint’s doing.

                There DOES need to be more open public discussion & debate on Treaty-related issues, imo. It’s only through such open & honest dialogue &debate that Māori & Pākehā can reach common understandings of each others’ positions & compromise or at least accord more respect to their sometimes differing viewpoints.

                Stifling that debate could leads to more people becoming more enticed by, or entrenched in, hostile “anti-them” positions & suspicions about “what they’re really up to” that we really don’t need.

                Plunkett’s most likely going to attract a lot of anti-Māori Pākehā whiners, but it will be interesting to see if any Māori are interested in ringing up & debating him or his callers on these kinds of issues. That’s really what we need to hear.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Why would anyone with a brain, bother?

                  • Gezza

                    Because there are quite legitimate points to be made for against various issues & matters of interest to Kiwilanders by commentators & proponents who don’t get much of an airing on mainstream tv or on radio.

                    Martyn Bradbury on Waatea sometimes does this sort of thing well, holding discussions on topical issues with guests with opposing viewpoints. Curiously, his guests always seem to behave very well towards each other, usually with a lot of good humour. I’d like to see & hear a lot more of this kind of thing than the lukewarm efforts of Newhub Nation & Q+A, & RNZ doesn’t do talkback or current affairs debates/discussions.

                    Whether Plunkett’s new platform would be used in this way remains to be seen. If it’s just a right wing complainers’ echo chamber, it’ll just be competing for the same audience as Newstalk ZB.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Legitimate points made on Plunket's show don't "get an airing" they get dismissed, smeared, besmirched, lampooned, poo-pooed etc.

                      Plunket has the pretence of "balance" about him, but his base political bias always dominated the show.

                      Good riddance.

                    • Gezza

                      Shouldn’t be a problem for you then, Robert. You can just ignore him as the local equivalent of Radio Fox News. Probably so can I. But I don’t mind waiting & then seeing what the show’s actually like.

                      Better imo to have a media outlet like this where people can air their grievances openly than to suppress all dissenting views from the current political, scientific, cultural or historical orthodoxy being unquestioningly promoted by governments or various politically or culturally biased arbitrators like the RRC, BSA, & Waitangi Tribunal from being heard.

                      The reaction to the Listener 7 academics criticising the teaching of mātauranga Māori as part of the classical sciences curriculum (as opposed to teaching it under other subjects) & the organising of a petition to attack them was deplorable, in my opinion.

                      They had a perfectly legitimate viewpoint to express which should have been widely debated. In the process people would have got a better understanding of both pure science & māturanga Māori. There’s a place for both to be studied & to be seen as equally valuable in their own space & context.

                    • Blade

                      ''Better imo to have a media outlet like this where people can air their grievances openly than to suppress all dissenting views from the current political, scientific, cultural or historical orthodoxy.''

                      And there you have it. One way to stop conspiracy theorists ( and me on occasions) major gripe about never being heard. Being able to express an opinion is a great release valve for many that may just save lives down the line.

                      I must say as this pandemic carriers on I am starting to side more and more with some conspiracy theories. It's not that I believe there is a one world government, or the Masons have signed a pact with the Greys…or that Robert is a cryptid. But it seems to me vested interest groups and governments are using Covid to get the global population under more control by limiting choice and travel, and having the global populations relying more on official organisations and controls while limiting free expression.

              • Blade

                But Robert, isn't the narrative meant to be Plunket is full of anti Maori cant.

      • Blade 1.1.2

        ''The rabid approach of Plunket is to attract a rabid audience which can accuse everyone and everything else of being rabid.''

        Do you remember why Plunket lost his job at Magic Radio. Peter?

        Do you remember why Peter Williams PROBABLY lost his job at Magic Radio?

        What about poor Bansksie? He forgot the woke powers that be don't have a sense of humour.

        If Plunket gets this show up and running I will guarantee it'll have a major following. ZB and Magic…or whatever it's now called, will lose many listeners.

        I just wished I was a millionaire. I would bank roll Plunket for any court proceedings that are bound to follow his talkback shows.

        Time for utu. It's been a long time coming.

        • Robert Guyton

          Plunket's a plonker. Williams was worse. Laws is a lout.



          • Blade

            Don't worry, Robert. We won't give a hoot about what you and your ilk think. You have National Socialist Radio. We will have Plunket. But I bet many Lefties will be listening on the sly, mainly for two reasons – the excitement and to be offended. Lefties love self flagellation. And unlike NSR…we will have the small mercy of not hearing bird calls or token Maori phrases every few seconds.

            Laws, when he's not talking about sex, has some really good ideas. He had one idea that would have in my opinion solved many of societies ills.

            • Robert Guyton

              It's been over 50 years since I outgrew Plunket.

            • Blazer

              And what idea was that?

              As for self flagellation….it begs the question.

            • Gezza

              I’ll probably have a brief listen. Right wing radio’s a lot more entertaining than pretty boring middle-of-the-road left wing RNZ. But I wouldn’t want to have it on all day. One gets pretty bored after listening to a constant stream of talk back complainers, many of whom clearly aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box, though they obviously think they’ve got great insight other Kiwis lack.

              • Blade

                Its all about the topic and host for me. If it's a good topic and the host knows how to rark a caller up, I will listen. I only have a couple of small windows each day to indulge.

            • Stephen D

              So, let me get this right. Here in Aotearoa we have one mildly liberal radio station that never rocks the boat aka RNZ.

              We also have a rabid right wing newspaper and their vocal outlet, the Herald and ZB. Both of which have wide circulation and currency.

              Yet the righties amongst us are so terrified of RNZ and the apparent thought control it has over the voting nation they're desperate for another rabid right radio station.


          • Puckish Rogue

            I thought Michael Laws idea to heavily subsidise bariatric surgery was a good idea as it would save lives, save money down the track and vastly improve the quality of life for quite a few people

            • Blade

              His other great idea was voluntary sterilisation. That would have an immediate and long term positive affect on society.

              First, it would be a great screening tool for rooting out potential feral parents. Any person willing to sell their reproductive rights to the state obviously holds parenthood in contempt.

              The P epidemic would also allow drug uses to be sterilised. The line at clinics would be long with druggies that are cold turkey needing fast cash. Drug addled parents are the last thing a baby needs

              Laws suggested $10.000 dollars for each sterilisation be paid to the recipient.

              I would pay the recipient $1000 cash for instant gratification. And the rest into their bank account.

              People who get their lives together, could at at later date, attempt to have the procedure reversed in order to have children. Again, that would be another great screening tool especially as the state wouldn't be paying for the reversal.

              The Problems:

              1- Women. Babies are cash in the bank. Plus all the subsidised benefits from car tune-ups to school uniforms women on benefits receive. A woman wouldn't need to be too bright to work out the money see receives for childcare right up to the child's teenage years would be way more than $10,000. The solution – women pocket $25.000 for the snip.

              2- The odium from Liberals, Maori and the media. Many of these folk would rather live with a increasing welfare state, dead neglected babies and overwhelmed social services, not to mention crime. Unfortunately many have jobs thanks to the status quo.

              Another great idea that will never see the light of day

              • Puckish Rogue

                I'm not against it, I think its a good idea.

                But only if they're allowed to store sperm and eggs, that way they can still arrange to have kids but will certainly cut down on unplanned births.

              • Gezza

                Unfortunately many have jobs thanks to the status quo.

                I can follow your argument above for those who are unemployed on multi-generational welfare, but I don’t quite get that bit. How is some of these folk having jobs a problem?

                • Blade

                  Sorry, I will clarify. Many objectors to such a scheme would rely on our broken society ( in my opinion) for their jobs. Eg social workers need broken people to help. Maori organisations collectively rake in billions to help wayward Maori. Hospitality and alcohol retail receive a huge injection of money each week from this demographic. Such a scheme would eventually impact on their employment by producing less clients and patrons.

          • Patricia Bremner

            There were no comments following that article. "Nuff said.

        • Peter

          I indeed know why he (and they) lost their jobs.

          Something to do with "If you want to throw shit around, do it in your own house."

          He has and no doubt will. A perfect example of the 'free market' I suppose.

          • Blade

            ''I indeed know why he (and they) lost their jobs.

            Something to do with "If you want to throw shit around, do it in your own house."

            That was enlightening, Peter. And why did they lose their jobs?

            • Robert Guyton

              Pandemic and Climate denial.

              For starters.

              Good riddance.

              • Blade

                Don't lose it, Robert. I find it alarming someone with contrary opinions to mainstream thought, who expresses those views in a comparatively small sector of the media still manages to generate such invective as you express.

                Maybe its not only supposed dumb, red neck, right leaning listeners that we should be worried about?

                • Robert Guyton

                  "I find it alarming someone with contrary opinions to mainstream thought, who expresses those views in a comparatively small sector of the media still manages to generate such invective as you express."

                  Like some of those fruit-loop American politicians who find a Platform on Fox?

                  Well, yes, invective earned, I reckon.

            • Peter

              Undoubtedly they lost their jobs because of 'the market.'

              The media company running the radio station relies on advertising. Advertisers would not want to be associated with views seen to be obnoxious, nasty, distasteful, objectionable or whatever negative by a large number of the public. It would affect their 'brand.'

              It's not to say that offence could be taken all the time but the risk that it would be there sometimes, (or was there) would be a risk not worth taking.

              If we had a much larger population there'd be a sizeable enough market for 'anything goes' radio. Like in the US.

      • miravox 1.1.3

        The tax-payer funded media "stifling public debate" in our region is the local democracy reporter.

        Also, we know who is funding your local democracy reporter, and where editorial control lies.

        Sean Plunket's 'open forum' doesn't extend to discussion about who his backing his new venture, and how much say that backer will have.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      A convention of cacophonous buffoons with an audience to match.

      • Blade 1.2.1

        Meets the nasal whine of liberals complaining to the BSA and Race Relations Commissioner because they are offended…once again!

    • millsy 1.3

      It will probably have Trotter and Bradbury on board as the token lefties.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.3.1

        Jealous they didn't give you a call?

      • Robert Guyton 1.3.2

        Bradbury would fit.

        Green-bashing's de rigour on the Pete, Sean & Michael Show.

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.3

        That would be good, eh? enlightened Would signal to everyone that it was using a bipartisan basis. Would be likely to produce an ethos of diversity rather than monoculture.

      • Blade 1.3.4

        I would pair Trotter and Hooton. That would be exquisite political commentary. A few years back I believe the Sunday Star Times ran them together leading up to an election.

    • Shanreagh 1.4

      I like the robust intention to defend freedom of speech but any such good intentions will be self-defeated if all we get is a bunch of right wing zombies like Fox News.

      But, but, but…they'd be our right wing zombies! Home grown and probably related to my cousins next door neighbour's step-aunts mother's great uncle.

      • Robert Guyton 1.4.1

        Many of whom will be listening-in.

        I used-to. In order to learn how the jocks do it (shape opinion and warp/disparage dissenting views) but it was frustrating enough to greet news of their expulsion with cheers 🙂

      • Dennis Frank 1.4.2

        Probably closer than six degrees of freedom. Kiwiblog is too braindead, the BFT even worse, so all I'm looking for is an option that does better than both.

        From a design perspective, if they go for the middle ground instead of preaching to the converted, they will almost certainly succeed…

      • Patricia Bremner 1.4.3

        devil small places and the ties that bind.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Prince Andrew has been stripped of his titles & ranks by the Queen:

    Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "With the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.

    All Prince Andrew's roles have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect, and will be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family, a Royal Source said. He will stop using the title 'His Royal Highness' in any official capacity, they added.

    Would have been better for her to switch him to His Royal Lowness! That would have created a certain je ne sais quoi in the public mind…

    • Tricledrown 2.1

      The Queen is also the Head of the CE.

      Having a scandal like this is almost as bad as marrying your cousin.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        smiley marrying your cousin

        It was doing that quite often that caused the inbreeding that produced the royal families. Which is why the royals of Britain/Germany/Russia were cousins during WW1 and caused the war to be often referred to as a family spat. The Kaiser visited Queen Victoria during family get-togethers before he became macho.

        • Gezza

          As a minor side issue you may find interesting, Dennis (not meant to deflect from the main topic of what an embarrassment & rotter Prince Andrew seems to be), I only recently learned while listening to a history of the Tsars that, altho it predominantly affects males, Queen Victoria carried the haemophilia gene that afflicts the intermarried European royal families:

          “Haemophilia figured prominently in the history of European royalty in the 19th and 20th centuries. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, through two of her five daughters – Princess Alice and Princess Beatrice – passed the mutation to various royal houses across the continent, including the royal families of Spain, Germany, and Russia.

          Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, also suffered from the disease, though none of her three elder sons did. Tests on the remains of the Romanov imperial family show that the specific form of haemophilia passed down by Queen Victoria was probably the relatively rare haemophilia B. The presence of haemophilia B within the European royal families was well-known, with the condition once popularly known as “the royal disease”.”

          • Dennis Frank

            And on that basis, if you use memetic theory as originated by Dawkins, mental belief patterns are just as likely to be disseminated through a family as are the biological links. I'm not a good example (being non-conformist) but I often notice how various attitudes & stances on topics link me to my parents.

            Just an interesting thing to reflect on eh? So with the royals, you get the operative born to rule shared entitlement tacit assumption.

            That features historically with dramatic continuity. To verify this, one need only research the word lord. A meme conferring hegemony for millennia!

            • Gezza

              I think it’s cool someone has invented menetic theory that can be used to also encompass what we all know happens in hereditary monarchies. They believe they are special because they are from centuries back literally born to rule. Whether as the monarch or as the hereditary owners of estates & titles. And they simply grow up learning that at their parents’ knees & from how flunkeys treat them with deference.

              Similar senses of entitlement to be treated as a cut above the hoi polloi are often demonstrated by the offspring, partners or spouses of those who are filthy rich (whether nouveau riche or old money), celebrities, or politically powerful (or any combination of those).

          • Robert Guyton

            Andrew is an "embarrassment & rotter"?

            Sounds awfully top-hole!

        • Sanctuary

          George V and Tsar Nicholas were basically twins, which caused a lot of contemporary as well as recent scurrilous speculation….

          • Dennis Frank

            Cool photo! smiley I was admiring the finery until I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to be unimpressed by bling.

            But yes, a strong resemblance indeed. Interesting that the one on the right has that glassy-eyed look that one often sees in 19th century & early 20th century photos, whereas the one on the left seems grounded, with total focus.

          • mary_a

            Cheers Sanctuary ( for the neat pic.

            Going to take a guess here who's who … Tsar Nicholas on the left, George V (Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather) on the right? For first cousins, the resemblance is remarkable!

            • Gezza

              I think you're right. From an image search for Tsar Nicholas II & George V, Nicholas has the slightly more receded hairline. Difficult to tell them apart in many images.

              In their finery, Tsar Nicholas has the more bling. Must have been rather time-consuming getting dressed up in all that regalia, even with the assistance of a manservant.

              • Sanctuary

                Yes – the picture was taken during the wedding of the Kaiser’s daughter Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia. The wedding, an extravagant affair, took place on 24 May 1913 in Berlin.

                The wedding became the largest gathering of reigning monarchs in Germany since German unification in 1871, and one of the last great social events of European royalty before World War I.

                Tsar Nicholas II is in the uniform of the Westphalian Hussars and King George V in the uniform of the Rhenish Cuirassiers (German Cuirassiers wore white) – their respective German regiments.

              • mary_a

                Gezza ( … Wouldn't want to be running late.Or imagine needing to use the bathroom!indecision

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Inequality is traditional, which is probably why it persists despite years of people (including myself) complaining about it. Once I took the radical approach of proposing a simple solution to the Greens who were promptly baffled into a consensus that they couldn't possibly support any attempt to overthrow the status quo.

    Anyway, property rights derive from English common law, in which the commons was enclosed by individual land users, bit by bit, until none was left and private property reigned supreme. Natives got restless. Pushback by indigenous folk citing tribal rights to common land produced this:

    I am a Georgist, and according to the Georgist worldview, Native Americans have no special claim to any land, just like the rest of us. But since few are familiar with that economic ideology, I leaned instead on a principle described in John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government, now known as the labor theory of property or the “homestead principle.”

    To the Georgist idea that land is owned in common by all living people, Locke added that by mixing one’s labor with the land, one encloses it from the shared property because people own the products of their labor. If, for example, you make the effort to grow corn on an acre of land, you come to own that acre of land, so long as there is still plenty of land left for others to use.

    Stuart Reges is a Teaching Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington where he teaches introductory programming classes. He took a principled stand, and the leftist honchos in the university hierarchy censored him.

    I contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and on January 11th, they sent a letter to the university protesting its response. As a state school, FIRE pointed out, the University of Washington is bound by the First Amendment, which means that any limits on speech must be content neutral:

    First, the Allen School’s requirement that faculty must use the university’s chosen land acknowledgment statement or refrain from speaking on this topic in their syllabi is an impermissible viewpoint-based regulation, violating the First Amendment rights of all faculty.

    Second, UW’s censorship of Reges’s syllabus and creation of an alternative course section are retaliatory actions taken against Reges due to his views, violating his First Amendment rights.

    The thing could go all the way to the Supreme Court – if it does, expect the conservative majority to side with Reges & slap down the leftists. I haven't quoted all the interesting parts of the report so recommend reading it instead. Thoughtful stuff.

    • kejo 3.1

      Where does this fit into common law ? A publicly owned [75% Ch Ch Council 25% Govt] private company makes a hostile takeover bid for a rural town [Taras] to build an environmentally defunct airport [seemingly financed by the taxpayers]. I stretch things a bit but you get my point ?

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        From a Green perspective, the problem with common law is that it arose from feudalism. The lord was generally considered paramount by virtue of conquest, hegemony, whatever, but the commons was a notion deriving from common usage within that conceptual terrain of the patriarchy.

        So the Green ethos features equity as a principled basis for common ownership instead. Needless to say, leftists have struggled to grasp this radical notion during the half century since it became intuitively obvious to me – which is why it still fails to feature in the leftist political party advocacy. Despite the obvious leverage it would give the left due to common ground with indigenous peoples!

        I'm not aware of the Chch public/private scheme you refer to but it looks like the traditional hybrid used originally by royalty (royal charters for the first corporations). So it is a tool of the residual patriarchy. Unprincipled.

        • kejo

          Sorry! I should have been clearer. I,m talking about the Christchurch International Airport Company,s attempt to build another international airport in Central Otago. I see the historical link to royal charters

          • Dennis Frank

            I get the picture. Now if they allocated shares to all stakeholders the region would be empowered by equity. Instead, they are likely to default to the shareholder model, in which capitalists invest to control the money flow.

    • Ad 3.2

      Stuart Regis should just stake out 5×5 metres on his Uni faculty lawn, grow corn, claim his title, and see what happens.

  4. Jenny how to get there 4

    8 hours ago

    A Syrian colonel has been sentenced to life inprisonment by a German court for committing crimes against humanity.

    There can be little doubt that as time goes by, there will be many more of such convictions for those identified as taking part, in what is arguably the first genocide of the 21st Century.

    Syrian ex-colonel gets life sentence in German 'crimes against humanity' trial

    …..The German court sentenced the former Syrian colonel to life in jail.

    Anwar Raslan, aged 58, was found guilty of overseeing the murder of 27 people at the Al-Khatib detention centre in Damascus, also known as “Branch 251″, in 2011 and 2012.

    He sought refuge in Germany after deserting the Syrian regime in 2012.

    Prosecutors had accused him of overseeing the murder of 58 people and the torture of 4,000 others at the detention centre, but not all of the deaths could be proven.

    The defendant, wearing a green winter jacket and listening to the verdict through headphones, remained emotionless as his sentence was read out in court.

    More than 80 witnesses, including 12 regime deserters and many Syrian men and women now living across Europe, took the stand to testify during the trial, with around a dozen also attending the verdict.

    • Blazer 4.1

      There wouldn't be enough jail cells globally, to contain the number of candidates guilty of crimes against ….humanity.

      Every American president would be a shoe in.

      • Jenny How to get there 4.1.1


        "If everyone is guilty of something, is no one guilty of anything?"

        ….Tu quoque is considered to be a logical fallacy, because whether or not the original accuser is likewise guilty of an offense has no bearing on the truth value of the original accusation.

        What is 'whataboutism'? | Merriam-Webster

        Here's a question for you Blazer;

        If you think the Assad regime and its henchmen are not guilty of crimes against humanity, because every other leader and regime are just as guilty.

        In your opinion Blazer, are there no lines that can be crossed because others are doing or have done the same things?

        Would you for example, be prepared to come to the defence of Adolf Hitler with the same argument?

        • Blazer

          The point is consistency.

          At one time Assad was welcomed to stay and did at Buckingham Palace.

          He's not welcome now.

          Crimes against humanity is a very broad charge .

          The facts are that hypocrisy exists and often its conveniently over looked.

          'Whataboutism' is fairly recent label ,which I'm not really convinced cancels out a rather vintage one='pot calling the kettle…black'.

          My statement stands ,your interpretation of it is…flawed.

  5. Ad 5

    Prince Andrew, now just Andrew Windsor, is heading for the pedophilia register.

    The British monarchy is a linchpin of global patriarchy and it just got one founding pillar pulled out.

    She needs to stay in her Undead form a few more years so we can savour the green fumes of British royalty's rotting live corpse. It's a good reminder to rid ourselves of them.

    Looking forward to the women's magazines spinning this one.

    • Ross 5.1

      Prince Andrew, now just Andrew Windsor, is heading for the pedophilia register.

      I don’t think so. He hasn’t been charged with a crime. But the civil claim, which may or may not be meritorious, will undoubtedly see his wallet lighter.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Doesn't need to be proven: he's on the Undead list already.

        The shunning will be more excruciating that anything out of The Crucible.

        No child or grandchild contact, no income, no career, there won't be so much as a cave that will house him.

    • Peter 5.2

      The Queen has stripped him of roles and rank and titles? The old British tabloids would've somehow turned that into something like, "Queen in stripping row."

    • Jenny how to get there 5.3

      "And we will never be royal…"
      (thank goodness).

      My hope is that this becomes the anthem played on high rotation at the next attempted royal tour of NZ.

      The nobility of the commons as captured by Lorde;

    • miravox 5.4

      He's still titled a duke, unfortunately, and has his estate. They protect even the worst of themselves (except if those who want out).

      • Dennis Frank 5.4.1

        That right?? An investigative journalist ought to look into that. If true, did the Queen allow him that one title to remain, perhaps conditionally? Or is it one that she cannot remove? I'd bet on the former option.

  6. Adrian 6

    I think you might find Ad that the age of consent is 16 in the UK so not much chance of a pedo conviction there, and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, the photo of Windsor and Giuffe, 17, at the reported time and place does not appear to show someone being held against their will and not delighted to be in the company of royalty. It will be an interesting case even though I think Epstein is a deviant arsehole, association with arseholes only appears to be a hanging offence if you happen to be a brown NZer in Australia.

    • Ad 6.1

      Not quite sure you get what the Queen has done here.

      Stripped of all titles and patronage, he's socially radioactive.

      His own mother just disowned him as indefensible.

      No media will touch him, no income, no family contact, he has just been erased from every network of his existence.

      And the media are just getting started.

      • Tricledrown 6.1.1

        He might need to go on the pension and find a council flat if he is lucky enough.

        • mary_a

          I wonder if a place can be found for Mr Andrew Mountbatten-Windsor in one of London's homeless shelters? I don't think his mother will be housing him anymore.

    • mary_a 6.2

      Adrian (6) … I think it depends where the alleged sexual assaults took place. In NY, the age in which Ms Roberts Guiffre is claiming she was assaulted in that US state, comes under statuary rape. However I stand to be corrected on that point.

      Regardless of age, if any sexual assault against the will of the claimant was forced upon her by a defendant, then isn't that classified as rape?

  7. Blade 7

    I went to post a reply to someone yesterday regarding climate change. The main part of that reply would have centred around a long list of eminent scientists who reject present CC theories being touted by consensus opinion – both public and scientific. My argument would then have hived out by showing where their main points of contention were.

    I had many links from previous research, but was shocked to find many of those links don't exist anymore. Then I found this… it offers an explanation. Mainstream internet( oxymoron??) seems to be cleaning house of us supposed climate change deniers.

    The list may exist elsewhere. But I have no desire to look.

  8. arkie 8

    So Labour have legislated to let private banks have free reign over determining who is worthy of a mortgage. Thanks to a change to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, banks have to crack down on applicants' spending before they can approve loans. This has had some outrageous outcomes:

    The couple had a $63,000 mortgage and many years of work ahead of them. They wanted to increase their mortgage by $80,000 to get the repairs done.

    Anderson-Robb applied to her bank, which she has been with for nearly 20 years, but was declined the loan because of a trip to Kmart in Invercargill, a $100 spend at the Warehouse, and a credit card she had not used in over a year, she said.

    Bank staff also queried her husband's daily trip to the dairy to buy a drink for when he was at work.

    First time buyers and low income people are being hardest hit by this, intended to crackdown on loan shark type lending:

    Changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act at the start of December were intended to protect vulnerable borrowers from loan shark lenders.

    Banks are now requiring detailed breakdowns of applicants' spending habits before approving mortgages.

    Dunedin's MoaMoney Mortgage and Investment director Asher Ingram described the new rules as a "forensic analysis" of an applicant's bank accounts.

    "Every single thing is under the spotlight now and it is having a really negative impact," Ingram said.

    The law change was intended to deal with loan shark type lending, but it was hitting first home buyers the hardest.

    Labour continues to tinker at the corners, making life harder for those not already on the property ladder, but at least they can say, not us, it's the banks!

    • Sabine 8.1

      But these rules will benefit with anyone who has cash assets and fixed assets, just as last years super low rates benefitted those that had cash assets and fixed assets. Also what housing crisis, after all most of our homeless are warehoused and stacked like cordwood in motels, and that is housing right?

      • arkie 8.1.1

        Quelle surprise! Who would've thought relying on commercial banks results in lending decisions being made along commercial lines? So much for an alternative to neo-liberalism; outsource it all to the PMC, everything will be commodified so the purity of the market can cleanse it all!

        Labour are evidently happy just to manage the decline.

    • Ad 8.2

      Banks own our national moral direction already. They addict us to excessive consumer and asset debt spending.

      I sure hope Robertson is dusting off the regulatory impact statement for an amendment.

      • Sabine 8.2.1

        to achieve what?

      • arkie 8.2.2

        It is the addiction to 'market principles' that has held Labour back. For example Kiwibank was an excellent opportunity to reshape the lending market. It could have been sufficiently funded to take on the Governments operating accounts, it could have offered higher interest rates on savings and lower lending interest rates, used these to outcompete the international banks. But adherence to ideology of 'business knows best' lead to it's underfunding and consequent lack of competitiveness.

        • Ad

          You don't have a right to a mortgage.

          Kiwibank are not social welfare.

          Labour pays for your first home mortgages through state and employer contributions to Kiwisaver. Which remains the best and fastest way to get your deposit, outside of Bank of Mum and Dad.

          • arkie

            When housing is commodified, a mortgage is necessary to purchase a place to live. Surely people have a right to be housed, ergo, in a 'housing market' the state should be on the people side, not the markets.

            All government is for social welfare, otherwise you aren't governing for the people, you're just working to maintain the status quo.

            The Government has an obligation to eliminate the requirement of inheritance or generational wealth to accessing home ownership. You know, equality of opportunity and all that. otherwise you're just managing the exacerbation of existing strata.

          • Blazer

            You should have a human right to shelter/home however.

            When the Govt provides a subsidy of over 2billion to private landlords,and houses ' 23,000 in motels you would hope their would be a fairer more efficient use of capital.

            The average stiff spends more on rent than they would on mortgage repayments.

          • Sabine

            Labour pays for your first home mortgages through state and employer contributions to Kiwisaver.

            Labour pays no such things. The employers contribution to Kiwisaver are paid for by the Employer.

            So if anything, one could argue that the Employer helps people get money into the Kiwi saver. I would also like to point out that you can only access so much of that fund for a mortgage, and also only under certain circumstances. Never mind the fact that the Kiwi Saver is also paid for by the Employee.

            So again, Labour pays nothing to no one.

            Any benefits on the Kiwisafer that comes via the Government comes via the government – be that Labour, National, Act (quite possible in the future) and the Government is funded by the tax payer who are also the ones that can’t afford houses in many cases in our fair land.

            Again, Labour – the Party and its assembly of beige suits – pays nothing to no one in the Kiwi Saver.

            • Ad

              It would only have taken you 30 seconds on to deliver you from your usual woeful ignorance.

              Government structured Kiwisaver to ensure it can be used as deposit for a first home.

              Government isn't the main direct contribution but does provide up to $500 per year.

              It binds business and employee to save. There are different rates of saving. And different kinds of Kiwisaver fund, to acceleraye the way you want.

              Not everyone will afford a first mortgage even with this government-structured assistance. But more have.

              Kiwisaver is a motivational structure to save that didn't exist before, and over
              3 million New Zealanders are on it.

    • Blazer 8.3

      I find it very hard to believe that the banks will suddenly strictly adhere to any CCA guidelines.

      Their exposed form suggests they will not forego profits and this 'forensic' requirement is a red herring.

      We know how prudent their lending is already, with robust stress testing!indecision

    • millsy 8.4

      WINZ clients have had to put up with this shit for the past 30-odd years. Now it's the turn of the middle class mortgage belt.

      • arkie 8.4.1

        Ideally we would have a Party in Government who campaigned on an end to neo-liberalism, with a long and storied history of world-leading social welfare and innovative egalitarianism.

        Alas, we have the NZ Labour party.

        • Sabine

          Any day now they will fix that. Any day now. And they will bring dignity back to Winz, and kindness, and instill a deep seated desire in the Winz Drones to actually help the people in need rather.

  9. pat 9

    Well well…..things are getting so bad thought horizons are expanding.

    "Only the Māori can speak authoritatively about the sort of economy and society produced by living self-sufficiently in Aotearoa. From the beginning of the fourteenth century, until the late-eighteenth century, the inhabitants of these islands lived entirely without outside contact or assistance. All production of food, tools and medicines was internal, as was the trading of goods and services. For roughly five hundred years, in a multitude of small communities, Māori lived entirely alone in these islands at the bottom of the world. At any given moment between 1300CE and 1800CE, however, it is generally agreed that the combined population of these isolated human settlements never exceeded 150,000 individuals."

    I wonder what event/thought made CT write this piece?……theres plenty of candidates.

    • Gezza 10.1

      After reading the article the troops to Cuba & Venezuela threat sounds like something of a throwaway remark that is solely intended to illustrate how Russia feels about Ukraine possibly joining NATO and thus having their opposition/enemy right next door on their border, and is pretty unlikely to actually be in the serious planning stages by Russia.

      Russia has mobilised 100,000 troops and placed military hardware along its border with Ukraine, while issuing a series of security demands that Nato has said are impossible to meet, such as removing troops from eastern members of the alliance and a block on any membership application from Kyiv.

      It’s hard to say where things will go from here but I’d bet provocations will go on, but the stalemate will continue because neither side wants to push their luck too far and start something they can’t predict the end of.

      • Blazer 10.1.1

        I understand they have sent elite troops to protect Maduro in Venezuela .

        It is geo political gamesmanship but I believe their resolve is serious.

        • Gezza

          They do have some troops and advisers in Venezuela:

          As regards elite troops, possibly you are thinking of this? (I wasn't previously aware of this event.)

          It is geo political gamesmanship but I believe their resolve is serious.

          Re Ukraine, I think you are right about that. Moving that number of troops and that amount of equipment to the border will be an expensive operation. Russia's not flush with cash. They wouldn't have done that were they not serious in their resolve to get some kind of backdown from Kyiv.

          Whether they'll go any further and actually mount a serious offensive attack, I still doubt, B. I could be wrong – but were they to do so it could spin horribly out of control. I know Putin's often happy to push the envelope but how much risk he'll take here is hard to calculate. He's certainly not a fool or a straight out gambler.

          • Blazer

            Who wants to die for Ukraine,French,U.S Nato troops?

            • Gezza

              Ukrainian troops probably will. Beyond that it’s difficult to tell what the various calculations are.

              The Ukrainians have been taking part in regular regional military training exercises with NATO troops for years & have recently been undergoing a programme of changing their equipment to conform NATO standards.

              But Ukraine’s latest request for admittance to NATO was apparently rebuffed.

              Putin’s stated red line has been there can be no NATO missiles capable of striking Russian cities stationed in Ukraine.

              The US and NATO allies have said they are open to discussing restrictions on each side’s military exercises and missile deployments in the region to cool the temperature.

              Do Russian troops want to die for Ukraine? If Putin calculates wrongly & all or some NATO countries including the US support Ukraine militarily should it come to a Russian invasion?

              Putin’s not rash enuf in my view to bet on a win for Russia as a certain outcome. This is Putin’s Cuban Missile Crisis equivalent. I’m pretty sure there’ll be a diplomatic solution – if necessary worked out on the quiet (like there was with that crisis) while they are bombastically facing each other off in public.

              • Blazer

                My bet is Putin will win this showdown.

                Ukraine knows they need real commitment from NATO…they will fold imo.

                Russias military arsenal is ..impressive.

                The U.S have no appetite for engagement,Germany want no part,and the french are bluffing.

  10. Ad 11

    The ruling today by the US Supreme Court against Biden's employer vaccine mandates is a seriously massive win for the anti-vaccine movement and for libertarians globally.

    This is now a massive and live global legal argument.

    David Seymour, Hipango, Billy TK Junior, Bishop Tamaki and Bill in particular will take comfort in its reasoning.

    Hard to understate the surge this gives the movement.

  11. Tricledrown 12

    The US will suffer especially Republican states.

    Hopefully it backfires on the GOP.

    The toll on people and the economy will show other countries how stupid the let it rip mentality is.

    Other countries will be motivated to do the right thing and not follow the GOP.

    • Puckish Rogue 12.1

      Yeah I know.

      Who in their right mind would go to a state that doesn't mandate masks, what kind of idiot would do that:

      “If I had a dollar for every lockdown politician who decided to escape to Florida over the last two years, I’d be a pretty dog-gone wealthy man, let me tell ya,” DeSantis said at a press conference.

      “I mean, Congress people, mayors, governors, I mean, you name it. It’s interesting though, the reception that some of these folks will get in Florida,” he continued. “Because I think a lot of Floridians will say ‘Wait a minute, you’re bashing us because we’re not doing your draconian policies, and yet we’re the first place you want to flee to to basically to be able to enjoy life. And so I’m not surprised to see that continue to happen.”

      Oh yeah some interesting stats here, compare New York to Florida and remember Florida has a higher percentage of elderly:

  12. James 2 13

    In breaking news, the US Supreme Court has struck down the massively wide vaccine mandate on businesses over 100 employees but narrowly upheld healthcare worker mandate.

    The law is, of course, different here in NZ and such a decision is not greatly legally relevant. However, it is instructive and positive signalling for those of us who still believe in democracy and human rights, and are wary of massive corporate and Government power.

    In particular, the Supreme Court said:

    "Although COVID-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most….COVID–19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases."

    As has been clear from the start, the start vaccine mandates and passports in NZ and abroad are hideous, overreach, segregationist, ineffective, and divisive. They are the antithesis of NZ society.

    I would love to hear the scrapings of Authoritarian-apologists on this site, how, particularly now with double vaccination so ineffective on transmission and protection against (a far less serious) Omicron, and the utter patheticness and unrealism of booster shots every few months, our continued vaccine mandate and passports, extending forevermore, is even remotely justified in a free and democratic society.

    It was one of the worst exercises of state power and coercion in our dark history, and now is beyond a joke. Every month the vaccines effectiveness seems to be less and less than told yet we continue to throw hard fought principles and rights continually out the window.

    Is anyone willing to put reason, democracy, and proportionality before their ideological partisanship and fear to admit such mandates and passports was, and is, so wrong?

    (And before you go crazy accusing me of all kinds of anti-vax witchery, I got double vaxxed and are not opposed to a targeted, limited healthcare worker mandate, given exposure to higher risk).

    • Puckish Rogue 13.1

      It was a stupid law. Certainly all government workers were not being forced to vaccinate and why only over a 100, who not under a 100.

      “Two-hundred twenty thousand Americans dead,” Biden began. “If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this: Anyone who is responsible, for not taking control — in fact, saying I take no responsibility initially — anyone that is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.”

      So lets pass the buck:

    • Dennis Frank 13.2

      Statists exist on the left & right even if mostly on the left. The basic notion is the matrix – a web of ties that bind individuals into society. Why Thatcher denied society's existence, right? As futile as Canute commanding the tide not to come in.

      Since the state is sovereign, it rules over citizens. Supreme Courts are only relevant inasmuch as cases can be brought against the state, and they may determine that the state has over-reached, and find it in breach of the constitution. That may be the basis of the news you have reported. The state then has the option of creating a fix to the problem via new legislation…

    • GreenBus 13.3

      James 2.

      I would love to hear all that crap come from someone that doesn't finish their rant with "I got double vaxxed". Put your health where you mouth is and spare us your hypocrisy.

      It shows that you don't believe your own bullshit.

      Also I believe the so called fear is mostly from a few retards about "how dangerous the vaccine is", not the health professionals/state about the real risk from the damn virus.

      • James 2 13.3.1

        Actually, I agree – good point and I'm being hypocritical. I greatly dislike prefacing or ending with "I got double vaxxed" because vaccination status has no bearing on the quality of arguments or the morality or legality of a Government or society action.

        However, we live in a country where anything remotely questioning of vaccines and now, vaccine mandates and passports, is generally automatically deemed 'anti-vax' misinformation.

        You'll notice I talked exclusively about vaccine mandates and passports, not vaccination as an individual choice – which I'm for. Nuance, again, is lost in a society who cannot reason and relies on demonisation and fear.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Don't worry, I'm a hypocrite as well. I'm anti mandate yet got vaxxed to keep my job.

          • Robert Guyton

            We are all hypocrites: I know Big Oil has lied about climate change, yet I buy their product. Anti-vaxxers say Pfizer is corrupt, don't use their product, but some (you?) still do.

            It's not possible to live in society without being a hypocrite :-

            I guess its a matter of reducing your hypocrisy as low as you can get it.

    • Robert Guyton 13.4

      James 2 writes:

      "The law is, of course, different here in NZ and such a decision is not greatly legally relevant."

      then continues:

      " … vaccine mandates and passports in NZ and abroad are hideous, overreach, segregationist, ineffective, and divisive. They are the antithesis of NZ society."

      So, as you were then, I suppose.

    • Try travelling overseas without a passport, which contains one hell of a lot more information on it than the vaccination passport.

      There's a lot of hysterical crap talked about the vax passport.

      • James 2 13.5.1

        I'm not going to repeat everything I've responded to Robert Guyton's comment below, but this argument is beyond weak.

        – There's no human right for a non-citizen to enter another country; it's a jealously guarded perogative of the other state;

        – Getting a passport doesn't require you taking a medical procedure that involves internal treatment of a recent vaccine;

        – Not having a passport simply means you can't travel to another country; it doesn't mean you lose your job, can't get a coffee, can't go across the ferry, are excluded from your tennis club, or are demonised in your society.

        Passports are a pretty proportionate, reasonable, and ordinary response to the need to organise international travel, protect state borders, and enforce fairly ordinary laws.

        Frankly people like you scare me stiff; you seem almost eager to live in a socio-technological controlled society where your every interaction is based on state assessment of your citizenship grading. More passports, more! More control, more!

        • Robert Guyton

          "Passports are a pretty proportionate, reasonable, and ordinary response to the need to organise international travel, protect state borders, and enforce fairly ordinary laws."

          Where to begin.

          Pretty proportionate (you'll need multiple injections – multiple!!!

          Reasonable – only because you accept them – I personally, do not and won't travel accordingly.

          "Ordinary" response? – you mean, been around for a while and few complain?

          Pretty ordinary bar to set there, James 2.

          Slavers used the same argument as you.

          • weka

            sorry, what? Arguing that passports for international travel are proportionate is akin to the arguments used by slavers?

            • Robert Guyton

              Slavers argued "But everyone's doing it"?

              That is: our behaviour is ordinary.

              • weka

                I'm still not getting it. Are you saying we should do away with passports for international travel?

        • weka

          Is there a human right to do these things?

          • keep one's job (as opposed to having a job)
          • drinking coffee in a public establishment
          • crossing Cook or Foveaux straight by ferry rather than airplane
          • attending one's tennis club

          In the same way we don't have a human right to travel at will, we don't have a human right to do a lot of things. Some of us are afforded the privilege of those things, some more than others.

          I think there are issues around using information tech by government. Lots of them.

          But they existed long before the pandemic, which makes me wonder if the people protesting a lot now are more concerned with conceptual liberty. Why the passion about vax passes and not say police in NZ trialing face reconition software? Or the government's long standing policy of restricting the movements of beneficiaries? Or how our medical information is now being stored and accessed?

  13. James 2 14

    PuckishRogue – I think we have different reasoning but a similar conclusion on the US system.

    But I was referring more specifically also to NZ's divisive Government vaccine mandate and passport system, particularly in an era of Omicron, as well as the utter rubbish and excessive corporate power exercised by NZ companies and Govt agencies wrapping up mass vaccine mandates as 'workplace health and safety' crap to avoid taking responsibility for what is a massive political choice and power.

    I've read the infamous 'mass formation psychosis' theory and I'm pretty sceptical of its scientific basis, but there is definitely something gone absolutely wobbly in our society on Covid. The more lockdowns, vaccines, mandates, masks, etc have beenshown to be ineffective (Netherlands is simply the most recent example of this), massively costly, divisive, and immoral the more people seem to defend coercion and control.

    They're like Trump supporters biting harder on election conspiracy the more the Courts rejected claims.

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Mass formation psychosis. It sounds like the name of your friend's failed high school band.

      it is the theory recently espoused by Robert Malone, MD, regarding public health behavior. Malone posits that promoting messages encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, among other scientifically validated pandemic communications, is an attempt to hypnotize groups of people to follow these messages against their will.

      Against their will?? 🙄 I disagree with this theory due to noticing long ago that the sheeple are dead keen to be hypnotised by pretty much anything the wind blows in.

    • Robert Guyton 14.2

      A Government that divides?


      Everyone and anyone should be able to get into a car and drive whenever they wish!

      This totalitarian Government requires, nay demands licenses! That's a document, right there! Call it a "driving passport" if you will!

      Break out the placards! March on Parliament!

      • James 2 14.2.1

        Are we really still on equating vaccine passports and mandates with a driver's license and stop signs? Really, I was hoping for a bit more. But for about the billionth time let's put that rubbish in the bin, where it belongs.

        – A driver's license or seat belt is not an injection or medical procedure literally inserted internally and that continues for months. I don't know about you but a seat belt I can simply take off, or a driver's licence I can simply give back, and that is ridiculously different to a medical treatment for a very recent (and sharply declining efficacy) vaccine.

        – Not having a driver's license will, for the far majority of jobs, not get fired/refused to be hired nor demonised and your professional career lost. At most, you'll get a fine from a police officer. Nor will it ever stop you from exercising human rights such as free movement in NZ or every day human activities.

        – There is no actual human right to drive – it's a privilege. There is a human right to refuse medical treatment reflected in the BoRA, multiple treaties, human dignity, and was borne from hideous forced medical treatment during WW2. To compare the two is the equivalent of an anti-vaxxer saying they are being treated like Jews.

        Some say tyranny is the enforced absence of nuance, which you seem to be the expert on. Your childlike level of argument is that either you have to accept all and any Government control, or none. Does anyone actual live in that cuckoo world? I give your answer an F.

        • Robert Guyton

          Yes, we are "equating vaccine passports and mandates with a driver's license and stop signs?" and that's because no one has yet addressed the issue fully; do you feel that you are only partly constrained from driving through a stop sign, because it's merely a law, and not a human right to do so?


          Do you feel your "right" to travel freely about the planet is constrained by the oppressive demands to be vaccinated against diseases found outside of the country?


          • James 2

            Yes, I do feel constrained if I must a accept an internal injection and medical treatment to have my job, grab a coffee, see my brother.

            Especially when I thought I had a human right to choose my own medical treatment, partly thanks to the endless suffering of thousands of Jews and other "undesirables" deemed by the Nazi state to have no personal autonomy. (And, thanks to poor intellectually disabled people who had forced sterilisation deemed necessary by medical "experts" at the time. Medical experts have a very patched history).

            Of course state power and discrimination can be justified. As we'd both agree for a driver's license, for example.

            But nobody has made anything coming close to such a justification. Especially for a vaccine that already had limited impact on transmission and efficiacy strongly declined after a few months – even before Omicron almost completely evades it.

            Your argument is we do X, so we can do [wildly different] Y. OK, we cull diseased livestock, so we can cull diseased humans. A difference you say? Human have a right to life you say? Gosh.

            • Ad

              The social contract isn't free.

              Pay up.

            • Robert Guyton

              "But nobody has made anything coming close to such a justification."

              The Government has. As they did for car licenses. And helmets for motorcyclists. And bicyclists.

              This is not new.

              This is just the latest outcry from the disaffected.

              There were similar outcries when car licenses were proposed. And when helmet-wearing for motorcyclists was proposed. And cycle helmets.

              • weka

                similar but different.

                Would you be ok with taking a medication you were opposed to if the government mandated that you had to take it in order to take part in civil life in NZ?

                It's about bodily autonomy. I think the mandates are exceptional not routine like a drivers licence or cycle helmet. They push the edge of our human right to not be coerced into medical treatment.

                • Robert Guyton

                  What are the perimeters of "civil life in NZ", weka?

                  Are non-vaxxed people excluded to any significant extent from "civil life in NZ"? Or are they subject to some inconsequential restrictions; inconsequential, in light of the potential harm of the effects of a pandemic sweeping through NZ?

                  • weka

                    What are the perimeters of "civil life in NZ", weka?

                    This is indeed the question that we are all being asked now.

                    I'm vaccinated but don't have a vax pass (yet, will probably get one). It hasn't really affected me much, it's been relatively easy to work around.

                    For other people it will be a bigger deal. I'm guessing some parents will struggle esp with young kids. People who live already marginalised, low income lives being excluded from the few places they feel safe/welcome/comfortable is actually a big deal.

                    I'm not saying don't mandate (I consider them a necessary evil). I'm saying don't minimalise the impacts or the politics. It's not the same as requiring a driver's licence or bike helmet. The only way that argument works is if one believes that vaccines are Good and Safe and that people who don't want them are just wrong headed.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I've not argued that they are the same. They are though, analogous; there's something to be learned by considering them in tandem.

                      As to minimalising the impacts – well, I haven't heard much at all of the negative impacts – just some inconveniences for some – it seems to me that the wilfully-unvaxxed have found work-arounds, much of that building their tribe and enjoyable tribal activities – I don't see this as a bad thing. Has there been great harm and serious set-back for non-passport holders? I've not heard or seen much about that.

                    • weka

                      I also see that tribe stuff as a positive, and am looking forward to seeing what creative initiatives come out of that. But the people I know doing that are well resourced in one way or another and are used to being the counter culture.

                      I think there are non-vaxed people making a bit deal about the passes who are probably actually ok beyond the personal affront they feel. But as I said, I have some concerns about already marginal people being further marginalised, and the ostracisation vibe on top of that is probably going to cause problems.

      • Sabine 14.2.2

        So there is no difference between a Cop – a government employee, trained to aks "Papiere Bitte" or 'driver lisence', and the shop girl that is to ask anyone if they have a vaccine pass. No difference at all, right Robert, its like apples and oranges they are all fruit, unless they identify as vegetables. Right?

        • Robert Guyton

          There are differences, yes, Sabine but also striking similarities. Ignoring those is an easy way out for the anti-passporters.

          • Sabine

            Dude the one is a legality that is enforced by Police, people trained and paid to put up with the shit, and the other is something that is supposedly to be enforced by the public.

            Now if the government wants to have these passports/lisences then the government needs to put up and employ some more coppers to assure compliance. I nor you have any legal rights to ask anyone for their lisence even if we assume them to be driving drunk. The best we can do is call the coppers.

            But i guess, the government don't want to be seen as draconian or even totalitarian with cops standing at the entrance of a mall 'Papiere bitte'. Why one might end up thinking this government is down right ugly.

            • Robert Guyton

              It is awkward, Sabine, that's for sure and requires patience from all.

              A shop-owner or someone employed by them may have "no right" to demand to see proof of this or that, but they are able to require certain things of their customers – after all, it's their "space" customers are entering. If a shop-owner deems someone to be undesirable, they are within their rights to refuse to serve them – this can be tested in the courts if need be, and if they want their customers to wear masks, they can state that, and they'll be supported by law, I believe. That a "mere slip of an employee" asks this of a customer, is of no consequence – irritating to some, but not a valid complaint.

              • Sabine

                This lisence bullshit is not worth the paper its printed on if the Government is not able for reasons of funds, or plain cowardice to put more cops on the street to enforce their laws. And putting cops on the street to enforce vaccine passport usage is not going down well in the country were there currently are actually not enough cops to keep up with crime, murder, and illegal driving. Never mind the really bad look of Joe and Jane Cop having to ask people 'Papiere bitte'.

                Any person who is hurt by some irate customer after being asked for a vaccine passport is hurt on account of a lazy government that wants laws enforced, but don't want to put paid and trained enforcers on the street.

                Maybe you could volunteer to be such an enforcer, you seem suited to the task. You are already making all sorts of excuses why it should be citizens to play coppers without pay, training and fancy hat.

                The government wants this lisence, then the government carries the duty to enforce the use of this lisence.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Why would someone be hurt in response to a request to see a passport?

                  Lowly shop-assistants ask for money from customers all the time.

                  Are they being assaulted for that?

                  • Sabine

                    You are playing dumb, and that is sad.

                    like this

                    oh but then we can call the police right?

                    No on in this country other then the polititians that cook that shit piss poor lazy lawmaking up should have to put up wit that shit, no sandwich maker or shop keeper is paid enough to be the brown shirt of the government, just because the government is too shit scared of hte optics for either hiring and paying brown shirts or asking for volunteers from the public to enforce its piss poor badly written laws.

                    The government wants mandates, the government can then organize to have these mandates enforced, be that with volunteers, police or the army.

                    What the government can not do is push that role over to people who are not trained, nor paid by the government to enforce compliance for the governments rules – that is what we have and pay a police force for. .

                    And now I leave to continue to play dumb old person with a beard, as sad as that is.

                    • Robert Guyton


                    • Robert Guyton

                      So, reading the link you provided 🙂 I see an anti-vaxxer berated staff – are you blaming the Government for his behaviour?

                      Those sorts of situations will arise/have arisen (in our own shop, more than once) but I've never blamed the Government, just viewed it as a "hot-point" that gives everyone an opportunity to sharpen their point of view.

                      Did you expect that the pandemic would be managed without ruffles?

                    • weka

                      I see an anti-vaxxer berated staff – are you blaming the Government for his behaviour?

                      Pretty sure she is blaming the government for the staff being the ones to have to deal with it.

                      In that case, subway just need to employ some security staff.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Should impoliteness toward staff be dealt with by police?

                      Seems an awful lot of extra work for the People in Blue to do 🙂

                    • weka

                      It’s not impoliteness in a pandemic if they’re breaking the law and making transmission of a contagious illness more likely. That’s the whole point of the mandates. The protestor needs to be removed as soon as possible and in a way that doesn’t put staff and customers at risk.

                      Have you seen this?


                      He wasn't assaulted, Mitre10 staff were within their legal right to remove him from the premises.

                      Imagine that situation where we have an omicron outbreak and the stakes are even higher.

                      I don't think it's the job of the police, I think large stores like Mitre10 and subway should be hiring security staff. I don't know what smaller businesses should be doing. I think this is probably Sabine's point, that there is additional tension and conflict now over what we had before and it's being left to businesses to sort it out.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "It's my human right, not to wear a mask"

                      Nice reply,
                      “You don’t have to come in here, mate!”
                      I’m with the staff.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Does Mitre10 stock black spray-paint?

                      A puff of that on the lens of his phone and he'd head home, frustrated.

                      You gotta think these things through.


                    • weka

                      I was cheering on the staff.

                      There's something here about about what people are going to do when other people are being arseholes in a pandemic. In this sense I'd prefer the government not to have been so casually authoritarian about the whole two NZs thing, but it works the other way too. If you're going to be that antisocial, you can probably expect someone to give you a slap at some point.

                    • Gezza

                      God, what a moronic chump that anti-masker was.

                      (It would have been better if the Mitre 10 dude refusing him entry and "personhandling" ( wink ) him out the door had a mask which fitted properly and wasn’t continually slipping down past his nose and mouth as he talked.)

                      But good on the Mitre 10 staff for how they handled that.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  The Government is us. We voted them in with a majority in MMP. The Government does not gain anything except the ability to warn us if we have crossed paths with someone infectious. All the rest is in twisted minds. Fortunately most citizens are sensible and practising kindness.

                  Seeds of discord need watering with suggestions… some here do that at every opportunity.

              • Blazer

                I was in a mall in Auckland this arvo .

                Me and most others were wearing masks.

                I saw 2 people coming up the escalator not wearing them.

                I asked a security guard nearby what the protocol was….he said we can not enforce people wearing a mask in the mall.

                • weka

                  Are masks mandatory in open malls?

                  I think the police are the only ones that can enforce the health orders.

                  And some people have mask exemptions.

                  Security guards can escort someone of the premises who has been tresspassed though. Even staff can do that (see the mitre10 video). Some retailers aren't going to do that for a number of reasons. I'd be more concerned if the two people were being dicks about it eg insisting on standing close to people.

      • alwyn 14.2.3

        People used to be free to drive. Then in 1925 the Government of the day ruined everything by bringing in drivers licenses and we have gone downhill ever since.

        Actually I don't think my father ever had to have a driving test. He started driving in about 1919 which was long before there were any tests in New Zealand. When they introduced the licenses I think they went to then drivers without any test. I wouldn't put money on that being true of course. I'm not like Clarke who knows the details of all the regulations that affect his mates.

        My father in law was probably worse. He was somehow given a license that allowed him to drive every single category of vehicle and they kept renewing it like that for about 20 years. It took that long before someone asked him whether he was really qualified to drive the lot. He answered honestly and thereafter he had the very limited license all the rest of us have.

        • Robert Guyton

          "People used to be free to drive"

          Yep. And blacksmiths set up as dentists.

          Did you know that it's against the law to put your fingers in someone else mouth?


          • alwyn

            "it's against the law".

            Really? No I certainly did not. My children, and grandchildren for that matter, are all criminals then. When very young they all seemed to have a fascination with the idea, if they were held close enough to reach.

            On the other hand I don't think people under a year old can be held criminally responsible.

            • Robert Guyton

              That's right. Professionally, I mean.

              No blacksmith can legally put his or her or their fingers in your mouth (for the sake of extraction, for example).

              At least, this is what I've heard.

              • Brigid

                So I can rest easy knowing that while the blacksmith is shoeing my horse, if she/he feels inclined to put their fingers in my mouth (for what ever reason), I can advise them that such a practise is not legal.

                That's got to something to be pleased about.

    • Shanreagh 14.3

      We are not yet in an 'era of Omicron'. Omicron is at our borders not yet in our communities. So we have reports that Omicron may be 'milder' but more transmissible. The current strain out in out communities is Delta and this is definitely not milder.

      I wonder what the reaction would be if the coming variant was found to be more severe than Delta. I am picking that there would be plaudits all round for the far-sighted measures to get on top of the spread of such a severe disease.

      We are living at the time when hindsight, which is always 20:20 is with us as we speak or do now.

      We have spoken about this so-called fear thing that some posters are trying to foist upon us…..we are all supposed to be running around with our hair on fire about Omicron. I sense that there is a calmness about the populace as they go about NZ. They are being careful, doing the masking, scanning, physical distancing and listening to what is happening, being advised and will get ready to spring into action once called. Our vax rates are getting up and up and with the coming action to vaccinate children we hopefully will be well prepared.

      The fact that the coming variant may be milder has, Green Bus says, allowed the anti vaccination 'experts' free rein, again.

      We could have been facing a long term with Delta as it spread through the country, as it is now.

      • Sabine 14.3.1

        We are totally in the Era of Covid, be that Alpha, Delta, Omicron of what ever next is coming.

        We have been in this Era since we went into lockdonw end of March 2020.

        Omicron is here in NZ, in our MIQ facilities and with Delta is only one person away from a full fledged outbreak.

        As far as Delta is concerned, it is still spreading.

      • James 2 14.3.2

        "The fact that the coming variant may be milder has, Green Bus says, allowed the anti vaccination 'experts' free rein, again."

        I presume then you would prefer Omicron to be less mild and harsher than Delta? That would presumably then allow us to mask up even more, get back into lockdowns, and clamp down on those 'anti-vaccination experts' and remove their free rein to show how wrong and stupid they are?

        I thought Covid was the actual enemy here and we would welcome a weaker strain. Seems I'm wrong all along. But thanks for clarifying this is not about Covid but rather silencing people with a set of beliefs, or human rights, we don't really like or agree with. Cheers.

        • GreenBus

          James 2

          GreenBus does not say any of that. Your the 3rd commenter to say that?

          I want Omicron to be milder and in fact I want the whole kaboodle to just go away.

          No more Virus, mandates lifted, masks off, concerts all go.

          Actually, wearing a mask and showing a passport doesn't worry me at all. It is such a trivial thing to worry about, there are bigger fish to fry!

          If mandates are not lifted at the end of this, THEN I will be concerned, but I have full confidence they will be and will not engage in fear mongering that one.

          • James 2

            You prefer to just engage in two years of rabid fear mongering and dislocation of society for a disease that, even at its worst, killed less than 0.5%?

            This why I gave up on this website – not because everyone won't agree with me (I enjoy a spirited debate) but there is so much emotional, blind, and inconsistent reasoning.

            Covid is not making us wear masks, mandates, and the rest of the extreme measures. That is the Government and bureaucracy solely in charge of that. Of course if we remove it all, there may be a cost – there is also a huge cost with having it. The level of intellectual dishonesty to pretend our response is normal, proportionate, inevitable, or even vaguely democratic is astounding.

            The idea that someone's rights, whole sectors of society, are just demonised and excluded from jobs, families, society, for some 'indefinite emergency' (that's an oxymoron beloved by authoritarians) is fine or that it is is 'trivial' shows how much we no longer think or act like a democracy. You have bitten so deep on a narrative that rights are now privileges and democracy is dangerous, the wormhole won't go any deeper. There is no reasoning with such ingrained unthinking, such blind compulsion to one fear beyond anything.

            • Robert Guyton

              " two years of rabid fear mongering and dislocation of society"


            • Patricia Bremner

              Go to Australia mate, they agree with you. We voted in support of protection from covid. You are conflating that with voting against freedom.

              92000 cases in NSW and very little in the way of medical help or food in the shops. Others are dying because the systems are in disarray, with most in denial like you.

              They are holding sports and other things with no mention of covid.

              29 died last night. Too bad, collateral damage. Drive on by. Scomo will send them thoughts and prayers.

              This hyperbole about "Freedoms". You are in Bill's square.

        • weka

          I thought Covid was the actual enemy here and we would welcome a weaker strain. Seems I'm wrong all along.

          Almost certainly you are, because milder =/= mild. There's been a lot written about omicron along the lines of these two things:

          • it's too early to know how omicron will play out
          • current research shows considerable problems being caused by omicron

          We may get lucky and omicron or another variant turns out to be mild. We're not there yet. In NZ, the pro-omicron position is basically saying let's shift from very low infection/death/disability rates to higher rates so that we can get back to normal. But we wouldn't be going back to normal, we'd be transitioning into a different pandemic state where more people were dying, workplaces were disrupted, and more people were getting hospitalised or long covid.

          • Shanreagh

            Good points Weka.

          • James 2

            Weka's strategy is to come in late, say little, and pretend his short assertions are the final word in their self-endowed authority.

            It's not. The position is to accept and respond to this as a endemic, like other risks we face – not some leftover elimination strategy of authoritarians.

            If very low infection/death rates are our reality now then any change can only be upwards. If any change upwards is a price too much then our covid puritanism and extreme caution will never end. We are the son kept inside until the world is free from violence a and hate, only to live forever coseted and closed as utopia never arrives. Weka will retreat into a kind of obscure public health agnosticism because nothing can be certain. Democracy and our lives forever kept waiting on the phone line for a call never answered.

            Fine, do that – but keep my country out of your hellish mindscape.

            • Shanreagh

              Pssst. Step back from the keyboard and go outside please. smileyThis is getting a little over wrought.

              It is too soon to treat Covid as endemic.

            • weka

              Weka's strategy is to come in late, say little, and pretend his short assertions are the final word in their self-endowed authority.

              It's not. The position is to accept and respond to this as a endemic, like other risks we face – not some leftover elimination strategy of authoritarians.

              I love it when people can't argue the political points and when they then resort to ad homs they project like mad. Whose really asserting their self-endowed authority here?

            • weka

              If very low infection/death rates are our reality now then any change can only be upwards. If any change upwards is a price too much then our covid puritanism and extreme caution will never end. We are the son kept inside until the world is free from violence a and hate, only to live forever coseted and closed as utopia never arrives. Weka will retreat into a kind of obscure public health agnosticism because nothing can be certain. Democracy and our lives forever kept waiting on the phone line for a call never answered.

              It's not that any change upwards is a price too much, it's that we don't have the information yet on which to make a decision. In another couple of weeks we will probably have better data on omicron. Right now we have inklings and supposition.

              As for your personal feelings of being locked away, I suggest following #NZHellHole on twitter.

              If you want to argue for opening up then do that but just be honest about the price other people, not you, will pay. All the rhetoric above looks like bluster to hide the fact that you want something and you just won't say plainly what it is.

            • Bill

              This is maybe the biggest crack in the Covid narrative within mainstream press I've seen up til now James.


            • Patricia Bremner

              This is endemic when we can't defeat or diminish the effects of it it in our country.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          I thought Covid was the actual enemy here and we would welcome a weaker strain.

          'Welcome' yes, just not to the extent of ushering it in, à la rabbit calicivirus.

          People are trying to deliberately catch COVID. Here are five reasons why that’s a bad idea [13 Jan. 2022]

          Keeping new COVID-19 variants out of our communities for longer, limiting the freedom of the virus to spread (28 community cases yesterday, and 17 new community cases today, cf. ~150,000 new cases in Australia yesterday) and kill, and aiming for high vaccination rates, are all strategies that have paid off handsomely in terms of COVID health outcomes, and 'bought' Team Kiwi valuable time – a 'commodity' in short supply during pandemics.

          Omicron will get through NZ's excellent MIQ system soon enough – no need to be a faster follower of Australia's COVID case trend, imho.

        • Shanreagh

          You have misread/misunderstood what I was saying.

          The incoming variant could have been harsher or weaker. Govt/public health professionals have to scan ahead, walking a tight rope where they cannot see the far end or have any confidence that the rope is actually tied to anything at the far end. To now say, 'oh we don't need this' or that 'or may not need this or that' is basing the question on what we know now. The name for this process is 20:20 hindsight.

          I have no problems with scanning, masking, physical distancing, people using their vax passports and people not. I have no problems with the traffic light system or using science, public health or constitutional based approaches.

          I believe that those who have made the decision not to vaccinate will have made this with all the facts at their disposal. They are their own persons and can weigh up points for or against just as well as I can.

          If their decisions put restrictions on them that we as other individuals may not tolerate then so be it. Of course I feel that some will have made the decision without the best info or in a spirt of 'cutting one's nose off to spite one's face' (because their employer wanted this for the safety of their business) etc , but that is not my concern. If they want to do this then they should be/will be comfortable with the consequences.

          I do not say I prefer anything. I am saying Govts work with the info they had/have the at time……so Covid Alpha and Delta. I have tried to tease out if your concern would be the same had the incoming virus been a harsher version.

          I've had the best part of a year combatting 'odd' views around vaccinations, social contract, rights, passports vaccine and otherwise……we now have fear (ie we are all supposed to be fearful didn't you know?), over the top 'think of the children' debates……

          I really despair, the whack a mole crowd have strange arguments popping up all over the place…

          I want people to be prepared. Our vax rates for adults are creeping up and hopefully we will get a good turnout with our younger citizens who have a right not to be sick, not to grapple with the consequences of Long Covid.

          It goes without saying that if I could get hold of that Chinese bat I would kill on the spot but Covid is here now.

          We all have to do our best as individuals and as part of the country/community of NZ to combat it. Our govt has chosen to follow a path of preserving life and minimising the untoward effects on the health system. I am happy with that. I have confidence that as the pandemic eases then so will some of the measures.

          Though some are good to keep in my view…..handwashing, being careful in crowded environments etc.

        • weka

          I presume then you would prefer Omicron to be less mild and harsher than Delta? That would presumably then allow us to mask up even more, get back into lockdowns, and clamp down on those 'anti-vaccination experts' and remove their free rein to show how wrong and stupid they are?

          Stop being a dick. You're not really here enough for me to bother with moderation yet, but this kind of argument is, in my moderator opinion, trolling. We all get it, you hate the pandemic response and you have a low opinion of people who support it. But you don't get to put bullshit arguments in other people's mouths, at least not here.

    • Bill 14.4

      Jist …wow.

      What the fck is going on that a simple google search for Mass Formation – the theory of a Belgian Psychologist, not Robert Malone, throws up pages of fact check nonsense?

      Anyway. I can't readily see the Belgian Psychologists name, though I'm sure the same search a week ago would have brought him and his theory up on the first page of results. The theory has solid enough grounding. Mattias Desmet is the psychologist.

      Anyone else tickled by the irony of such a hysterical reaction from 'fact checker' orgs on the question of mass psychosis/formation? Pure dead fucking mental, I tells ye 🙂

  14. Stephen D 15

    The government books have to be managed through the raising of revenue, and spending. COVID and investing to grow the economy are major expenditures. One way to raise revenue is to raise taxes.

    Given there will be no Capital Gains Tax, what is the best and fairest way to raise taxes. Inheritance Tax, Land Tax.

    Any economists out there any ideas?

    • arkie 15.1

      Taxes are best for disincentivising particular economic activity and controlling inflation, the government would be wise to pursue a MMT style approach to its revenue.

      The purpose of the proposed CGT was mostly to disincentivise property speculation, the additional revenue would have been a bonus. It also was to have a carve out for owner-occupied property sales, so any tax that functions like that, that makes hoarding houses less lucrative, would be appreciated.

    • Blazer 15.2

      Transaction tax has been suggested as being a very efficient strategy.

      It is strongly opposed by the sectors that make a number of transactions.

      The larger the transactions the more to pay.

      If introduced it could mean a number of other taxes could be deleted.

      'A financial transactions tax is a tax levied on those buying or selling securities — stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial products. It is a favorite idea of progressives to raise money for social programs while essentially only hitting the very rich and those who make their money moving money around rather than laboring'

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Tookiepuggles… loaded all his earthly possessions in a moving van headed for Texas. "That's why we must retreat to greener pastures where we will be safe…"

      Tookiepuggles?? And greener pastures in Texas? Sounds like the old grass is greener on the far side of the hill syndrome. Hope arid desert doesn't traumatise him.

      And anyway, he who fights & runs away lives to fight another day doesn't seem to apply here. He didn't go in with guns blazing & take out as many leftists as poss before he took off.

      I bet he was born Greg Brown or something & changed it by deed poll to the wackiest thing he could think of.

  15. swordfish 17


    Re:Covid: Some of us want the Booster but can’t get it because of the callous, pig-headed bureaucracy surrounding the 4 month rule.

    First New Zealand’s initial 2-jab vaccination programme was woefully behind the rest of the World, particularly if you made the gauche mistake of not being born Maori. So most of us – including the highly vulnerable elderly with comorbidities – were forced to have our 2 jabs much later than we wanted. And now the 4 month rule is forcing us to wait longer for our Booster, despite the danger of Delta slowly beginning to circulate … and Omicron on the horizon.

    In my case, I’m on chemo and therefore immunocompromised but can’t get a booster until my 4 months are up. Tried to get it yesterday but politely refused (with a good deal of sympathy expressed, I have to say)… but against the rules, so Nyet.

    Just have to hope that when I head into Wellington Hospital for my Chemo infusion next week that Delta isn’t circulating in the hospital (more than possible given nearby businesses like Newtown Countdown were Places of Interest a week or so back).

    If I do pick it up there … I’ll be:

    (1) friggin annoyed

    & quite possibly not long after

    (2) friggin dead.

    A little leeway for the immunocompromised & others vulnerable to Covid hospitalisation wouldn't go amiss. I mean, Throw us a Freakin Bone for chrissakes as I think Austin Powers’ Dr Evil once more or less said.

    • Matiri 17.1

      Swordfish, hope your chemo is going OK.

      Have you had your 3rd primary dose? Different from the booster and can be given at least 8 weeks after your second dose. My partner had his 3rd primary dose a few weeks ago as he is immunocompromised like you, will have the booster when advised by his specialist.

      • swordfish 17.1.1

        Thanks for your best wishes, Matiri.

        Unfortunately not eligible for what they're calling the third dose (precisely the same as a booster as far as I can see … just another Pfizer shot) … restricted to those who had their 2 jabs during chemotherapy … I had my 2nd jab a couple of weeks before commencing chemo, so doesn't apply to me.

      • Shanreagh 17.1.2

        My immuno compromised friend has also had three primary doses. She and her Dr had some sort of an arrangement well before boosters were 'the thing'. From memory she had her third one in about October.

    • Pete 17.2

      Good luck with your treatment.

      You trust the professionals to give you what they think you need for your condition, and when, according to their knowledge.

      The protocol for the Covid jab was not to have the first one, followed by the 2nd one the next day, followed by a booster a week later. The timings are for reasons.

      I too am immunocompromised and am following the schedule, not demanding that it be changed on my whim or fear. I've trusted the professionals with all the other stuff I'm involved in. I reckon they've invested a lot in me and trust their advice about the booster will be about protecting not just me but their significant investment.

  16. Dennis Frank 18

    Foreign invader alert:

    An invasive and predatory ladybird has firmly established itself in the Marlborough region after being blown across Cook Strait during Cyclone Gita, says a leading bio-protection expert.

    The Harlequin ladybird was first discovered in New Zealand in 2016, in Auckland, and has been working its way south, through the country’s wine regions, since.

    The ladybirds, originally for Asia, were known to aggregate, or cluster, on grapevines and had the potential to contaminate wine production as they released toxic and unpleasant odours when threatened or crushed. The Harlequin name came from the mask-like markings on their face.

    Bellamy said the ladybirds appeared to congregate in vineyards around harvest time as they sought sweet fruits and to prey on honeydew producing insects. “When they are present in vineyards during harvest, they risk being processed along with the grapes and if this happens, then they [producers] will have to get rid of all the wine.”

    In the United States and Canada, the Harlequin ladybird has caused millions of dollars of losses in the wine industry over the past decade.

  17. McFlock 19

    So a year and a week after the capitol insurrection, a wee threshold has apparently been crossed: the first charges for actual sedition laid, rather than just property crimes, obstructing law enforcement, and all the relative minnow stuff.

    Seditious conspiracy is 20 year max, insurrection merely gets you ten years max.

    They're slowly working their way up. Dunno if it will get to the orange one, but the marching got a little louder.

    • alwyn 19.3

      So the US still brings charges for that hoary old offence of sedition. I would have thought it would have been scrapped donkey's years ago.

      I believe the last time anyone was charged with it in New Zealand was in 2006. I wonder what happened to that person. The definition of the crime seems so loose I find it almost impossible to see how you could defend yourself. At that time one clause was –

      "To excite such hostility or ill will between different classes of persons as may endanger the public safety.".

      Another was

      "To bring into hatred or contempt, or to excite disaffection, against Her Majesty, or the Government of New Zealand or the administration of justice."

      Who thinks they could avoid being found guilty of one of those offenses?

      The Law Commission called for the law to be scrapped. I seemed to go from the Crimes Act 1961 in 2008 but did it turn up in some other Act instead. It looks such a lovely lot of offences for the Crown to accuse people of.

      • McFlock 19.3.1

        If you'd bothered to click a link, you'd have discovered that the US law is much more precise than the one NZ ditched:

        If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

        • alwyn

          I know. I did look at what it said. I still think it a rather antiquated law. However I very clearly pointing out that I was, from that point on, quoting and commenting on, what the New Zealand law had been.

          • McFlock

            Yes, you were adttempting to belittle the charges and minimise the alleged offences. The former NZ law on sedition is largely irrelevant to the US law, despite having the same word.

            The US law has things more in common with the NZ law of treason, e.g. the provisions of levying war against or attempting to overthrow the government.

            Legislation against being overthrown by deranged mobs is something all governments should have, but hopefully hardly ever have to use.

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    The strength and diversity of service in New Zealand is a standout feature of today’s King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours list, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Each of today’s 182 recipients has contributed individually to our country. Viewed collectively, their efforts reflect an overwhelming commitment to service.” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    2 days ago
  • Closer defence cooperation between New Zealand and Japan
    The Defence Ministers of New Zealand and Japan have signed a statement of intent for closer defence cooperation between the two Pacific regional partners. Andrew Little and H. E. Yasukazu Hamada met to sign the ‘Statement of Intent on Defence Cooperation in Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and ...
    3 days ago
  • SPEECH: To the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2023 by the Honourable Andrew Little MP, New Zealand Ministe...
    New Zealand’s most recent defence assessment identified climate change and geostrategic competition as the two greatest security challenges to our place in the South Pacific. To the first issue, partners engaging and re-engaging with Pacific Island Countries are finding that climate change is a security and existential threat in our ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt supporting more rangatahi into training and employment opportunities
    The government is continuing to support rangatahi in providing more funding into Maori Trades training and new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes across Aotearoa. “We’re backing 30 new by Māori for Māori Kaupapa employment and training programmes, which will help iwi into sustainable employment or progress within their chosen careers” says ...
    5 days ago
  • Energy self-sufficient marae reopens with support of Government investment
    Murihiku Marae was officially reopened today, setting a gold standard in sustainable building practices as well as social outcomes for the people of Waihōpai Invercargill, Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan says. “The marae has been a central hub for this community since the 1980’s. With the support of $9.65 million ...
    5 days ago
  • First major Whangārei public housing project in a generation complete
    The first major public housing development in Whangārei for decades has reached completion, with 37 new homes opened in the suburb of Maunu today. The project on Tapatahi Crescent and Puriri Park Road, consists of 15 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom, 7 three-bedroom, 8 four-bedroom and 3 five-bedroom homes, as well as ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade Minister to represent New Zealand trade interests abroad
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damen O’Connor will depart tomorrow for London to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Trade Ministers’ Meeting and then to Paris to vice-chair the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. “My travel to the United Kingdom is well-timed, with the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (UK FTA) ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill to boost national fuel resiliency introduced
    The Fuel Industry (Improving Fuel Resilience) Amendment Bill would: boost New Zealand’s fuel supply resilience and economic security enable the minimum stockholding obligation regulations to be adapted as the energy and transport environment evolves. “Last November, I announced a six-point plan to improve the resiliency of our fuel supply from ...
    6 days ago
  • Faster ACC payment top-ups and fairer system
    The Government is making sure those on low incomes will no longer have to wait five weeks to get the minimum weekly rate of ACC, and improving the data collected to make the system fairer, Minister for ACC Peeni Henare said today.  The Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) ...
    6 days ago
  • Compulsory code of conduct for school boards introduced
    A compulsory code of conduct will ensure school board members are crystal clear on their responsibilities and expected standard of behaviour, Minister of Education Jan Tinetti said. It’s the first time a compulsory code of conduct has been published for state and state-integrated school boards and comes into effect on ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen annual conference.
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you, Mayor Nadine Taylor, for your welcome to Marlborough. Thanks also Doug Saunders-Loder and all of you for inviting me to your annual conference. As you might know, I’m quite new to this job – and I’m particularly pleased that the first organisation I’m giving a ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt to support councils with buyout and better protection of cyclone and flood affected properties
    The Government will enter into a funding arrangement with councils in cyclone and flood affected regions to support them to offer a voluntary buyout for owners of Category 3 designated residential properties. It will also co-fund work needed to protect Category 2 designated properties. “From the beginning of this process ...
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers changes to reduce pokies harm
    The Government has announced changes to strengthen requirements in venues with pokie (gambling) machines will come into effect from 15 June. “Pokies are one of the most harmful forms of gambling. They can have a detrimental impact on individuals, their friends, whānau and communities,” Internal Affairs Minister Barbara Edmonds said. ...
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers 1800 additional frontline Police
    The total Police workforce is now the largest it has ever been. Police constabulary stands at 10,700 officers – an increase of 21% since 2017 Māori officers have increased 40%, Pasifika 83%, Asian 157%, Women 61% Every district has got more Police under this Government The Government has delivered on ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister Mahuta talks Pacific ambitions at the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ summit
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta met with Korea President Yoon, as well as Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, during her recent visit to Korea.  “It was an honour to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the first Korea – Pacific Leaders’ Summit. We discussed Pacific ambitions under the ...
    6 days ago
  • Government drives $2 billion of business research and development
    The Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive has supported more than $2 billion of New Zealand business innovation – an increase of around $1 billion in less than nine months. "Research and innovation are essential in helping us meet the biggest challenges and seize opportunities facing New Zealand. It’s fantastic ...
    7 days ago
  • Achieving lift off: National Space Policy launched
    The next ‘giant leap’ in New Zealand’s space journey has been taken today with the launch of the National Space Policy, Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds announced. “Our space sector is growing rapidly. Each year New Zealand is becoming a more and more attractive place for launches, manufacturing space-related technology ...
    1 week ago
  • New science and creative technologies wharekura announced
    A new Year 7-13 designated character wharekura will be built in Pāpāmoa, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis has announced. The wharekura will focus on science, mathematics and creative technologies while connecting ākonga to the whakapapa of the area. The decision follows an application by the Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore ...
    1 week ago
  • Freedom Camping changes a win for the environment
    Protecting the environment by establishing a stronger, more consistent system for freedom camping Supporting councils to better manage freedom camping in their region and reduce the financial and social impacts on communities Ensuring that self-contained vehicle owners have time to prepare for the new system   The Self-Contained Motor Vehicle ...
    1 week ago
  • Speeding up the family court, reducing stress on families
    A new law passed last night could see up to 25 percent of Family Court judges’ workload freed up in order to reduce delays, Minister of Justice Kiri Allan said. The Family Court (Family Court Associates) Legislation Bill will establish a new role known as the Family Court Associate. The ...
    1 week ago
  • UK FTA delivers benefits from today
    New Zealand businesses will begin reaping the rewards of our gold-standard free trade agreement with the United Kingdom (UK FTA) from today.  “The New Zealand UK FTA enters into force from today, and is one of the seven new or upgraded Free Trade Agreements negotiated by Labour to date,” Prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Next steps to reform outdated surrogacy law
    The Government will reform outdated surrogacy laws to improve the experiences of children, surrogates, and the growing number of families formed through surrogacy, by adopting Labour MP Tāmati Coffey’s Member’s Bill as a Government Bill, Minister Kiri Allan has announced. “Surrogacy has become an established method of forming a family ...
    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister to attend Shangri-La Dialogue
    Defence Minister Andrew Little departs for Singapore tomorrow to attend the 20th annual Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from the Indo-Pacific region. “Shangri-La brings together many countries to speak frankly and express views about defence issues that could affect us all,” Andrew Little said. “New Zealand is a long-standing participant ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand–China science relationship affirmed
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall and the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang met in Wellington today and affirmed the two countries’ long-standing science relationship. Minister Wang was in New Zealand for the 6th New Zealand-China Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation. Following ...
    1 week ago
  • Supporting a strong future for screen sector
    5 percent uplift clearer and simpler to navigate  Domestic productions can access more funding sources 20 percent rebate confirmed for post-production, digital and visual effects Qualifying expenditure for post-production, digital and visual effects rebate dropped to $250,000 to encourage more smaller productions The Government is making it easier for the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister Sepuloni to attend 61st Anniversary of Samoa’s Independence
    Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region) Carmel Sepuloni will represent New Zealand at Samoa’s 61st Anniversary of Independence commemorations in Apia. “Aotearoa New Zealand is pleased to share in this significant occasion, alongside other invited Pacific leaders, and congratulates Samoa on the milestone of 61 ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs retailers with expansion of fog cannon programme
    The Government is continuing to support retailers with additional funding for the highly popular Fog Cannon Subsidy Scheme, Police and Small Business Minister Ginny Andersen announced today.  “The Government is committed to improving retailers’ safety,” Ginny Andersen said.  “I’ve seen first-hand the difference fog cannons are making. Not only do ...
    1 week ago
  • Government will consider recommendations of Intelligence and Security Act review
    The Government has received the first independent review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says. The review, considered by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, was presented to the House of Representatives today.  “Ensuring the safety and security of New Zealanders is of the utmost ...
    1 week ago

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