Open mike 14/02/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 14th, 2023 - 199 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 …

199 comments on “Open mike 14/02/2023 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Looks like the weather just re-set the government.

    If you go through the big budget lines there will have to be some change:

    – transport both road and rail reallocated to maintenance and rebuilds. Less spent on public transport subsidies with even fewer using them. Some projects like IREX (the ferry port rebuilds) saved due to the accelerating need to replace the failing ferries.

    – MSD and Housing as both agencies reallocate for emergency accommodation, broken houses, shunted families

    – Transpower rebuilds for greater resilience with faster and larger storms returning

    – A decrease in expenditure in the South Island and an increase in the North Island north of Hastings.

    The policy response to the stalled integration of stormwater, water and wastewater across the top of the North Island: that question of 3 Waters just got sharper.

    We can already see the great sucking noise from the Auckland Council proposed budget, as major projects are stopped, and service cuts likely. Expect similar from Thames-Coromandel, Far North, Whangarei Council, Tauranga City, and many others. Mostly they will just be fixing roads and all the pet projects just die.

    Since today is the re-opening of the Parliamentary year, a smart Prime Minister would start with further policy re-sets including strong signals on what shifts to expect from Budget 2023. Our very own Frank Underwood will do that over the next 48 hours.

    • weka 1.1

      Now is the time to do a transition budget, not pretend climate change isn’t happening by putting funds into BAU roading instead of public transport.

      How long can we keep rebuilding infrastructure before we can’t keep up? Ak should be a massive wake up call.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Go right ahead.

        I'm sure the Green Party are ready to table their 'transition budget' at just the same time as Robertson does.

        The Greens will also then be able to signal what they would reallocate starting this week as Parliament re-starts.

        [I don’t have anything to do with Green Party policy or their functions in parliament. Authors here write for themselves not parties, unless stated. It’s election year, please stop talking to and about me as if I represent the Greens or am an active member, I’m not. – weka]


      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.2

        Ak should be a massive wake up call.

        yes and not just Ak – in October we'll find out how many ‘sleepy Hobbits’ live in NZ.

        Bad weather blasts North Island tourism's hopes for a bumper summer to help recoup pandemic losses [31 January 2023]

        Trees down, power out and debris on Waikato roads as worst of storm passes [14 February 2023]

        Some will still chase The Good Life (can't blame 'em) as it recedes from sight in the rearview mirror, but the past is a different country – we don't live there anymore.

        Oh, the good life,
        Full of fun seems to be the ideal.
        Mm, the good life,
        Let’s you hide all the sadness you feel.
        Please remember, I still want you.
        And in case you wonder why,
        Well just wake up to the good life.
        Oh, talkin’ ’bout the good life.
        Just the good life,
        For you and me.
        (The good life).
        For you and me.
        (The good life).
        For you and me.

      • Belladonna 1.1.3

        Public transport needs roads to operate on. Given the massive roading infrastructure damage across the country (just look at the Coromandel), I think that there's going to be huge investment in roads, and little left over in the way of subsidies for PT.

        The rapid shut down of the train network (both in Auckland, and across the country) demonstrated again the weakness of trains in times of emergency – just one landslip over a rail line shuts down the whole system. Whereas with roads, you have a realistic possibility of being able to divert around the area.

        Trains are good for getting lots of people efficiently in and out of a CBD, and as an alternative for long-distance freight hauling. But they are nothing like as flexible as a roading network, for all of the myriad of different things people use it for.

        • weka

          I didn't say don't fix roads, I said stop fixing things as if we are going back to normal. Please reread my comment so you know what I was talking about, because you are arguing a response to something I didn't say.

          Public transport needs roads to operate on. Given the massive roading infrastructure damage across the country (just look at the Coromandel), I think that there's going to be huge investment in roads, and little left over in the way of subsidies for PT.

          This is not transition thinking. Design at this point should be building infrastructure that transitions us to post carbon. So build roads and PT at the same time, with integrated design.

          I agree about rail and roads. What we need is to design around resilience, but also mitigation. Resilience means you don't put all your eggs in one (or even two) baskets. Mitigation means drop GHG dependency as soon as possible.

          If we believe the crisis is here, now, very serious and needs immediate response, then it makes no sense at all to try and restore to BAU. We should be looking at each infrastructure failure, assessing what function it serves, how it's going to work over the next few decades (or appropriate time frame), and look at how those needs can be met in the best way.

          My question for the rebuild as was people, is whether you can see the time when we can't keep up with repairs. The time when the events happen so frequently that we don't have the labour, materials, or money to keep repairing. We can wait until we're in that situation and then we're fucked, or we can start doing sustainable and resilient design now.

          And above all else we absolutely have to transition off FF, or there is no future.

          • Belladonna

            "So build roads and PT at the same time, with integrated design. "

            Given the insane amount of money it's going to cost to repair major roading infrastructure, where do you think the money is going to come from, to provide PT subsidies as well?

            Your transition plan seems to pre-suppose that we're all going to retreat to some form of local small town – cut off from the rest of the world. This isn't a vision which is widely shared – or realistic for the majority of NZ (nor for those small towns, once they run out of the essential supplies to keep themselves running, which are imported – either from NZ, but more likely from overseas)

            Looking at the Coromandel for example – examining the widespread and repeated roading failures, flooding (both stormwater and tide related), and landslides. What kind of 'resilient design' do you envisage? Or, would your solution be managed retreat for the whole area? Because, repairing roads to enable PT (buses – because rail isn’t viable), is going to cost just as much and be just as long-term unsustainable.

            • AB

              That's the scale of the financial hole we have dug ourselves into. We have to repair broken infrastructure right now to prevent immediate social and economic collapse – while simultaneously having to design, plan and build something else that won't get demolished again every few years.

              It's the sort of hole you end up in when CC deniers are allowed to wield substantial economic and political power for 25 years. The level of taxation needed to get out of this hole is so high that it would cause a revolt. The system cannot heal itself – we're in the sh*t.

            • mikesh

              Money is not a problem as long as we are using our own currency.

            • mikesh

              Looking at the Coromandel for example – examining the widespread and repeated roading failures, flooding (both stormwater and tide related), and landslides. What kind of 'resilient design' do you envisage? Or, would your solution be managed retreat for the whole area? Because, repairing roads to enable PT (buses – because rail isn’t viable), is going to cost just as much and be just as long-term unsustainable.

              Everything would have to be looked at on a case by case basis. For example, it may well be that the Coromandel would have to treated as if it was an island, and connected by a ferry service.

              • So no interior roads at all? Because it would seem as though you'd need a heck of a lot of ferry infrastructure. Just looking at the map, and doing a back of the envelope calculation, you'd be looking at around 40 or so ferry stops to service the existing communities. And, the interior ones would have no service at all.

                I'm assuming that this would be a state-run service (as the SH network is), since there's a high risk that commercial operators would cut it, if the usage numbers didn't stack up. [e.g. The existing Coromandel ferry from Auckland has just been cut by Fullers. And they've made no reversal of this decision, despite the SH failures, which are going to take years to repair.]

                Infrastructure is interconnected – you can't look at it on a 'case-by-case' basis – roading infrastructure to Hahei – has an impact on access to Whitianga – and both are impacted by a decision about SH25 north of Waihi. [Although, perhaps you mean that you could look at Coromandel in isolation to proposed infrastructure solutions for the West Cost of the SI?]

                I can see this ferry supply solution being workable for people with holiday homes, and summer-season tourists – but not being a great solution for year-round inhabitants.

                Do you see this (reducing services) as one way of enforcing managed retreat?

                • mikesh

                  So no interior roads at all? Because it would seem as though you'd need a heck of a lot of ferry infrastructure.

                  Access would still be available to East Coromandel via Waihi, though it would be a rather roundabout route for Aucklanders. Still, my suggestion was just an example of the sort of thinking we should be engaging in

          • Ed1

            I cottoned on to BAU ("Business as Usual"?) but not FF – "Friendly Fire"?

        • weka

          Here's what I said,

          Now is the time to do a transition budget, not pretend climate change isn’t happening by putting funds into BAU roading instead of public transport.

          The BAU roading vs PT was Ad's framing. I was saying that instead of that self defeating binary, we can do transition responses.

          • Belladonna

            And, a practical example of a transition response would be?

            • weka

              I'm writing a post about it 👍

            • Drowsy M. Kram




              After a relatively benign (for some) 70 years, during which the human popn of spaceship Earth tripled and civilisation reached peak convenience (for some), we live now in pressure cooker-times with many facing a less certain future.

              Sure, building back better to preserve the status quo a little longer (a decade or two should do it!) is attractive (if expensive) – just don't imagine that 'better' roads will necessarily prevent worse (conceivably much worse) inconvenience in future. Try not to sweat small stuff/inconveniences now – we're survivors.

              Once there's a wider acceptance of the fact that increasingly resource-hungry 'peak convenience' is behind us, we can begin to allocate more resources to mitigating a slide into 'peak inconvenience' (coming soon to a place near you) – boosting resilience, working with Nature – we're all in this together, passengers for a brief time on spaceship Earth.

              When Transition means Transition, and when it doesn’t
              [12 October 2022]

              I talked about how the word Transition was very precious to me, and that it means that we need, in everything we do, to act as if this is a climate and ecological emergency.

     define Transition as “movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change”. George Monbiot beautifully dismisses those who suggest that burning fossil fuels can be part of a transition by saying that it’s transition “in the sense that chocolate fudge cake is a transition to a low calorie diet”.

              Writing in ‘The Transition Companion’ in 2011, I said “the starting point for Transition is that the future with less oil, and producing less carbon emissions, could be preferable to today. Its aim is to act as a catalyst, a pulse, an invitation; to galvanise the shift towards a more localised and resilient community”. It expresses itself in many different ways, as an inner process, as people leading by example, as an approach rooted in place and circumstance, as a cultural shift, as an economic process, a storyteller, a tool for turning problems into solutions. That’s what Transition is. And the moral of this story is to never let anyone tell you otherwise.

              • weka

                very good, thanks for quoting Hopkins.

              • "Once there's a wider acceptance of the fact that increasingly resource-hungry 'peak convenience' is behind us, we can begin to allocate more resources to mitigating a slide into 'peak inconvenience' "

                And there's the nub of the issue. I don't think that we (as in either NZ or the rest of the world) are anywhere near acceptance that 'peak convenience' is behind us.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Some will never accept that 'peak convenience' is in the rearview mirror, and would drive off a climate change cliff just to show how right they are.
                  (Re-)Education it the key – works best on those who want to learn.

              • ianmac

                The stats show that the worlds birthrate is falling significantly. This would lessen the pressure on BA U, -as long as the trend does not deepen to vanish as zero.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      I am not sure if anyone has absorbed the scale of the insurance event(s) that have occurred in Auckland in past three weeks or so. Everywhere in Auckland there are still piles of dumped carpet and water damaged detritus on the side of the road. In just my work team of ten two were badly affected by the floods, one had a tree land on his house last night (minor damage, but insurance will be involved) and talking to another team leader yesterday she told me two of her team had lost a roof and been badly flooded respectively.

      Multiply that anecdotal impact across the city and the insurance claims are going to be huge. It isn't "just" poor areas affected either now – soon you'll hear ad nauseum across the MSM the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the middle class when they are told their house/holiday home is now uninsurable.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        It's lower direct impact than Christchurch earthquakes, but it's spread across about 50% of New Zealand's population, about 60% of its rail network, about 70% of its public transport network, and about 60% of its GDP production and of its consumption.

        Included in that is what would have been peak dairy production across the northern half of the North Island which is the dominant portion of our export income.

        Not only does the imapct require a major Budget reallocation, it also requires a budget reallocation by about a million households and 2.5 million New Zealanders. So yeah it's a biggie.

        • Hunter Thompson II

          Speaking of Christchurch, do you know what sort of rebuild has been undertaken in that city?

          Has the design incorporated 21st century thinking to allow for climate change, energy efficient buildings and other innovations or did they just try to recreate what was already there?

      • Anne 1.2.2

        Living as I do close to a clifftop row of top of the range mansions that are sitting on land precariously close to falling into the sea, I am having some difficulty dredging up the compassion and sympathy normally expected for people in such situations. Will purchase earplugs to block out the noise coming from the affected area.

      • Belladonna 1.2.3

        In Auckland, not so much the middle class – but the seriously wealthy inhabitants of highly renovated hilltop mansions, built as close as they could get to crumbling cliff edges.

        The Council knows that these people are highly litigious – and regularly take the Council to court to get 'permission' to build what they want where they want it. And are notorious for cutting down, killing off and otherwise damaging any trees which impinge on their prized views.

        One has already been in the papers threatening to sue the Council in a class action because of the stormwater damage to his property.

        We need to set statutory set backs from cliff edges – and require owners to remove all decks, swimming pools and other associated infrastructure from within this area. For some, those with severe landslips, this will also include the house.

        At the other end of the spectrum – why is KO building new housing subdivisions in a flood plain?

        Super low-lying areas are always going to be at risk of flooding (regardless of whatever flood mitigation measures you put in place).

        • Visubversa

          Yes, I consented a bunch of stuff for the sites on the Torbay cliffs. This included something called "cliff nailing" which is what you try when you have removed all the trees to improve the view and the sandstone/mudstone of the cliffs starts to crumble. It involves various sorts of mesh "nailed" to the cliff face with long wires and vegetation being encouraged to grow on it.

          Someone was making a shedload of dosh from it and I have no idea if it actually worked.

          • weka

            I don't think there are any easy answers here, but I'm tending towards the idea that if the government ends up bailing people out, it should be for a replacement average house, not replacement value for the property lost. We've known about climate change for half a century.

            • Belladonna

              EQC would (I think) cover the land value, for red-stickered properties. IIRC, Christchurch showed that the actual cash-in-hand value of this, was a lot less than people were expecting.

              I'd like to add that this should be depreciated if the Council can show you contributed to the damage (removing vegetation on cliff edges, building additional structures, etc.). But suspect the litigation won't be worth the effort.

              House value should be covered by insurance – and if you're under-insured as a multi-millionaire home-owner, then you've chosen to cover this yourself. [I'm not crying for you]

              Older homes (inhabited by long-term residents) tend to be very well set back from the edges of the cliffs – and not inflated on steriods, the way the new mansions are. So set-back rules would be unlikely to affect them.

          • Belladonna

            Probably made things worse. Nailing would fracture the cliffs, and shallow-rooted vegetation (rather than deep rooted trees) doesn't stabilize sandstone (though it's great for sand dunes)

            The only positive effect would have been to reduce the likelihood of random frequent rock-falls on passers-by.

          • Molly

            I did see the image of the Orua Bay slip and ponder (without any conclusion) whether the combination of the vegetation clearance, the redirection of water for the property above and the clay/sand composition contributed to the failure at that site.

            Interesting image anyway, as it shows the whole bank failure and not just the house.

            A couple of friends in Clarks Beach lost some of their seaward property in the last storm.

            Bugger, I thought I’d resized. Can a moderator with superior tech skills please adjust?

            • weka

              on some devices the sizing adjustment in the Comment editor looks like it's worked but it doesn't. Instead, make the comment, then click on edit and add the following just before the />


            • weka

              Incredibly photo. Would love to see what the land above that looks like. Seem to remember there were slips like this in the Nelson floods, lots of bare hillsides.

    • woodart 1.3

      agree with you. the weather and climate change will be the economic and political driver this year . conservatives crave stability, so expecting them to jump out of the warm arms of the state , into the market knows best,sod you, uncertainty of corporate chris and caculating nicola is a big ask. many councils will be knocking on the three waters door, caps in hand. many of the road washouts are water pipe failures, so the majority of roading costs get sheeted back to drainage, sewage etc. empty phrases like "giving local democracy back" wont cover the shortfall.

  2. Roy Cartland 2

    What Jacinda and now Chippy have had to deal with! Rolling disasters.

    I'm just trying to imagine how DeLuxon would approach them if he was PM.

    Perhaps he would shock and impress us all with his decisive, well-communicated and compassionate action… or perhaps it would be dithering, grandstanding, gross mismanagement of funds into the hands of incompetent 'contractors', opportunistic support packages for big business, and chaotic misery for the rest of us.

    • bwaghorn 2.1

      Luxon would be down the yacht club

      • tWiggle 2.1.1

        Just saw a news site where Luxon magnanimously allows that the emergency response is as he would have done it. I've seen a lot of this from Luxon recently, treating emergencies as political hustings, taking up airtime uselessly without putting in the hard graft. Of course, the media bothering to post his political maunderings are also keen on promoting his pr spin. On the other hand, he still manages to project an air of self-satisfied twat, even in such fluff pieces.

    • weka 2.2

      Chch quakes gave a good indication of how National would handle things. Not sure about Luxon, he seems like just another in a long line.

      • tc 2.2.1

        Like chch they'd appoint a brownlee or similar to keep a lid on it and ensure the 'right' areas get looked after.

        They treat disasters as golden opportunities for their backers.

      • Craig H 2.2.2

        Do a good job in the immediate aftermath and then tighten the screws on the longer term rebuild budget.

        • arkie

          National knew best:

          British design guru Kevin McCloud has called for local democracy to be fully restored in Christchurch so the city can become "one of the most sustainable places" on Earth.

          But he has already been dismissed as a "tourist" by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

          The Grand Designs presenter, who studied the history of art and architecture at Cambridge University, said a great city could only be built "ground up, not top down".

          McCloud is interested in the rebuild after visiting Christchurch and is judging a design competition for new housing in the city.

          "Christchurch's ambition as a city has been to make it one of the most sustainable places on the planet. You can't do that with national government intervention. You do it with local communities – ground up, not top down," he said.

          "The role of central government is absolutely fundamental, but their presence should not undermine the right of people to determine their own future, which is what democracy is."

          When asked about McCloud's suggestions, Brownlee said: "I have no response to Mr McCloud's ideas. We get lots of tourists and lots of tourists have lots of ideas and I don't respond to them either."

  3. Sanctuary 3

    My home town of Napier has had a bit of a bash, lots of power outages, the road to Hastings is out (At last! The true foe is cut off!) SH2 is out in Eskdale (I can't recall the Esk river – more a gentle stream these days – flooding since I was a nipper many moons ago), I hear the Gentle Annie is closed, the Wairoa road is closed, and the Desert road is out so there is no way into the city at the moment from anywhere.

    Dawn may reveal something approaching Bola levels of destruction on the East Coast. Let's hope not!

    Ohhh just heard the Puketapu bridge has fallen down… Like a lot of NZ, barely controlled lifestyle development has occurred in the Puketapu valley without infrastructure upgrades, so hundreds and hundreds of people rely on what is basically a 1950s concrete structure designed for rural traffic and now they are cut off.

  4. Macro 4



    • weka 4.1

      not sure what this was a reply to, but how are things up your way Macro?

      • Macro 4.1.1

        Not a reply Weka. Valentines Day so wishing love and joy to all in the TS community.

      • Macro 4.1.2

        How are things here?

        On the east coast of the Peninsula they have suffered like everywhere else, but here in Thames we have been relatively sheltered from the strong easterlies by the Coromandel Ranges. The roads have suffered from more slipping caused by the heavy rain. A house at Thorndon Bay has been inundated by a slip – again. It was already red stickered so no one hurt. The Road out of town was closed for a while as the Kauranga River overflowed its stop banks on High Tide. The resulting flood always flows onto the rugby field, but when the rest of the water subsides, as the tide goes out, the ruby field has remained inundated. The Swamp Foxes will feel well at home on their next game.

        • weka

          I was wondering what happened to the houses that were on the edge of slips after the storm 2 weeks ago. Fingers cross things get to dry out a bit now.

  5. Visubversa 5

    "So: at what point was there consensus that there was no such thing as same-sex attraction, and how did it come to be that all terms such as homosexuality, bisexuality, gay or lesbian were rewritten to accommodate members of the opposite sex?

    • Molly 5.1

      As in this conversation with the apparently perpetually confused SPC the redefinition of sexual orientation is strangely homophobic, heterosexual phobic and bisexual phobic in one fell swoop.

      As I pointed out, you could end up with a group of trans-identified gay men, creating a lesbian association with no women members (and vice versa).

      The vast amount of additional scaffolding required to support the initial lie, shows how significant the impact of ignoring the reality of immutable biological sex is.

      • Molly 5.1.1

        … AND the scaffolding is wonky and not able to take any pressure without collapse…

      • SPC 5.1.2

        And your identifying sexuality with a persons birth sex and that of their partner leads you to regard GB as being a homosexual male when with male partners.

        And I doubt that when Elliot Page marries again they will be invited to and or attend a lesbian event. Despite your definition of such as a lesbian relationship.

        • Molly

          Definitions, safeguarding and single-sex boundaries are not about accommodating specific individuals.

          (As I mentioned, I'm not interested in other people's sex lives in the way you seem to be. It's also not relevant to this discussion).

          I AM interested in definition dismantling being used as a trojan horse to avoid open, public discussion. Including how those distortions impact on the ability to clearly define a specific group, especially when advocating politically, organising, collecting data and statistics, clear medical treatment and messaging, and safeguarding provisions for that group.

          If trans identifying men had a distinct term of their own: Eg. Femme-men – all those advantages would apply to them as well.

          Also, instead of appropriating (and thus obliterating the meaning of) the terms for sexual-orientation, create distinct terms to accommodate your new application: homogender orientation, etc.

          You've failed to give any reasons at all for the need to redefine words instead of create distinct terms, where I have provided significant reasons why it should be avoided.

          If you can tear yourself away from other people's private lives – have another crack at it.

          • SPC

            Take your own advice and stop trying to claim that people such as GB are homosexual men or EP lesbian women, when they do not do so.

            • Molly

              You've failed to give any reasons at all for the need to redefine words instead of create distinct terms, where I have provided significant reasons why it should be avoided.

              If you can tear yourself away from other people's private lives – have another crack at it.

              Not good at focusing on the relevant, I see. Despite being given repeat opportunities.

              Well, let's take another route – and have a look at the result of the confusion you are so wedded to – this time for gay men:


              • weka

                I'm curious now how much of that aggression in TM is driven by socialisation and how much by artificial levels of testosterone (and perhaps altered levels of other hormones).

                • Molly

                  Me too. AFAIK women who take testosterone can exhibit higher levels of aggression.


                  There's a noted teenage girl obsession with gay porn and relationships on Tumblr and fanfiction, related by Helena Lacroix.

                  This encouragement of girls/women to target gay men as intimate partners is disrespectful, homophobic and setting people up for failure and rejection.

                  If you wanted to cause distress and depression, this seems like a good way to do so.

              • SPC

                You can repeat that line all you like, but the fact is neither homosexual males nor lesbian females will invite, nor expect, GB and all others of the like or EP and all others of the like to join their groups and claim their identity.

                • weka

                  I can't quite understand what you are saying. You appear to be saying that lesbians and gays will be able to retain their single sex spaces. And that trans people won't attempt to take their language. Both those things have already happened. Why are you not paying attention?

                  Not all trans people obviously. But pretty much everyone here is arguing about the ideology that is regressively subsuming single sex space, language and orientation.

                  • SPC

                    Maybe because there are two distinct issues in play as

                    1. per Molly regarding a transgender woman and man and a transgender man and a woman as being in same sex relationships (when they would not)

                    2. your concern about places for same sex couples having to include those whom the hosts would not want as their guests.

                    Which is even more important where there is self ID (as psychopaths and sociopaths can use it to victimise others).

                    A wise government when forming the rules around gender ID would have allowed the ID only via a screened process (as was done – an evaluation of their circumstance and motive and a test of living as they intended first etc). And otherwise established rules whereby refuges and other places/groups (such as homosexual and lesbian ones or sports) decided their arrangements (as to safety etc).

                    • Molly

                      "1. per Molly regarding a transgender woman and man and a transgender man and a woman as being in same sex relationships (when they would not)"

                      They ARE in same SEX relationships.

                      You could more accurately use distinct terms for their relationships in regards to gender identity.

                      SEXUAL orientation is a protected characteristic in many countries – redefining the word makes it very difficult to ascertain if discriminatory practices have taken place due to this characteristic.

                      There is no need to conflate SEXUAL-orientation, with an orientation based on gender identity. Distinct terms can be created that allow those relationships to also be protected from discrimination.

                      2. your concern about places for same sex couples having to include those whom the hosts would not want as their guests.

                      Your given example is quite frankly, bizarre:

                      "And I doubt that when Elliot Page marries again they will be invited to and or attend a lesbian event"

                      I also doubt this imaginary speculative scenario. Most people – when marrying – send out invitations to a wedding.

                      weka's examples of impacts are to do with support organisations, political advocacy and social events based around shared lesbian experiences and needs, not a private event celebrating a personal relationship.

                      "A wise government when forming the rules around gender ID would have allowed the ID only via a screened process (as was done – an evaluation of their circumstance and motive and a test of living as they intended first etc). "

                      A government with adults who possess critical thinking, could have foreseen the future impacts of creating a legal fiction of sex, and found another solution for this situation. Self-ID, compounds this failing.

                      There is nothing at all wrong with being a transsexual man or woman. However, all the empathy, goodwill, surgery, medication or official documents in the world do not change the material reality of sex.

                      (Official documents either record the truth or they begin to lose all authority, accuracy and relevance. We are seeing the negative impacts of this when we look at statistics, or see how people are left out of targeting medical messaging, or how media reports people inaccurately in news stories.)

                • Molly

                  The "line" you referred to is a repeat of an invitation to explain your position, and you keep ignoring it to refer to individuals in a particularly voyeuristic manner.

                  The creation of a word to refer to same gender identity orientation would be both accurate and distinct. The attempt to conflate SEXUAL orientation with gender identity, is as problematic as doing the same with SEX itself. That is why you find it incomprehensible that people continue to use the clear definitions of words. You have committed to do otherwise.

                  How Georgina Beyer and Elliot Page refer to themselves or others is not a universal arbitration system.

                  (If Elliot Page said they were a Teletubby and in a bouncy stomach relationship with a Care Bear – they would still be a woman who identifies as a Teletubby – in a relationship with a woman.)

                  You seem to think there is something intrinsically wrong with being a transsexual homosexual male, or a woman who identifies as a man in a lesbian relationship with another woman.

                  There is not.

        • Sabine

          It will be a same 'sex' relationship if Elliot Page again partners with a women – female human – lesbians are women in relationships with women were both women were born with the female sex of the human species. It will also be a opposite gender relationship as per Gender Ideology. Both is possible at the same time.

    • SPC 5.2

      A definition saying same sex or gender attraction instead of just same sex attraction in no way erases same sex attraction.

      • weka 5.2.1

        it does. Which is why in Tasmania lesbians have been told that holding lesbian only events (that exclude males who self ID as lesbian) is breaching human rights.

        It's also why lesbians get banned from lesbian dating apps for saying female only.

        Sexual orientation is different than gender identity. People who self ID gender need to coin their own terms for the sexual orientation if they don't want to be referred to by the concepts nearly everyone else is using.

        • SPC

          The issue was a claim that it would erase same sex attraction – it was proscribed in society for a long time and never did such a thing. Nor will gender identity becoming a thing do it either.

          • weka

            ok, so lesbians going back in the closet doesn't literally erase same sex attraction, but it functionally does. You're arguing something pretty abstract in the fact of people's suffering.

            • SPC

              Given women are allowed to marry each other and date openly that's a stretch.

              Yeah sure, self ID sucks and is causing problems, but argue the case reasonably.

              • weka

                Ok, so you really have no idea what is going on. Let me list some things off the top of my head.

                1. Lesbians in Australia are banned from holding events without letting males attend.

                2. Lesbians get banned from lesbian dating apps for stating female-only in their profiles.

                3. Lesbians get told they are transphobic for not wanting to have sex with males (TW, NB males). Sometimes they get ostracised for this.

                Because of the above, lesbians are meeting in secret. Stop and think about that. Lesbians have to meet in secret.

                Then there is this. I guess the rapist was a lesbian /massive eye roll.


                • SPC

                  I guess the earthquake was a groundswell warning …

                  • Molly

                    "I guess the earthquake was a groundswell warning …"

                    What does this mean? Is this really the best response you can personally provide to the clear issues raised?

      • Sabine 5.2.2

        Lesbian is a word that has a meaning, and it will never include males. Gay males will never include females. And super straight heterosexuals will also stick to the tried and true as in opposite sex.

        Sex and gender identity are not the same thing.

        • SPC

          That's better put than some others do.

          And yet, I could respond by saying EP will not end up with a person who calls herself a lesbian and GB has not been dating homosexual men.

        • SPC

          The second paragraph would be better put as

          And yet, I could respond by saying EP the transgender man will not end up with a person who calls herself a lesbian and GB the transgender woman has not been dating homosexual men.

          • Molly

            "And yet, I could respond by saying EP the transgender man will not end up with a person who calls herself a lesbian and GB the transgender woman has not been dating homosexual men."

            Individuals can refer to themselves in any way – and it is either accurate – or inaccurate.

            Your focus on the self-regard of individuals is not a conclusive argument for redefining sexual-orientation.

          • Sabine

            You don't seem to understand the difference between sexual attraction and same gender attraction.

            Sexual attraction comes with requirments not preferences.

            Women who are lesbians will not have sex with women who have penises. Their requirement is vagina. No vagina, and by that i don't mean a flayed penis but an actual natural vagina, no sexing, no romancing, no nothing. As lesbians are sexually attracted to natural vagina, boobies, and of course the smell of women and the being of women is what is required for them to be sexually attracted to a person.

            Men who are homosexual will not have sex with a man who has a vagina. No dick, and again this is a natural dick we are talking here about, fake arm or leg rolls even fitted with a device that would get that roll to stand up will not do it. It is the natural dick, with its ability to ejaculate, the smell and feel of male that they are sexually attracted too.

            Super straight heterosexual woman will not have sex with a male that comes with fake tits and penis and an identity as 'woman' as their sexual attraction is based on male genitalia attached to a male who presents and is happy as a male.

            Ditto for super straight heterosexual males that won't have sex with a male who has an inverted penis and fake tits.

            The bisexuals are maybe a bit different as they can feel a sexual attraction to both sexes.

            The other 'spicy' so called straights that would fuck anything under moon so as long as they get to fuck they can spend eons on their preferences, it won't matter a bit to those of us who fuck on the grounds of sexual attraction.

            So good old E. Page is a lesbian, a female, who presents male. You might want to pretend that they are in a heterosexual relationship, but you could not get E.Page to ever fuck a male, as they are strictly sexually attracted to females, and if their future partner were to identify as a Transman, no they would not be in a homosexual relationship either.

            In the same sense i would not fuck someone or be in a relationship that would present female even with a penis. My requirement for sex and love is a male. Entire, unadulterated male.

            Sadly there will be some sort of reckoning for those that were harmed by this insidious ideology, the young castrated males with their inverted penises, the young de-sexed women with their flat chests and vaginal atrophy, and that is that normal people will not want to have sex with them, and will not want to pretend to be in this or that made up same sex or heterosexual relationship.

            And while it is an issue for lesbians, it also is an issue for homosexual men who do not consider people who present as man with vaginas as male or even just as fuckable.

  6. RosieLee 6

    Given the impact of slash on the flooding everywhere – here's a thought for Stuart Nash. Once the logging companies have done their felling and trimming, ban them from moving the logs off site until the cleanup has been checked and signed off by a forestry inspector.

    • Kat 6.1

      A national state of emergency. Are we witnessing an inexorable morphing back to the future, the reintroduction of a 21st century model MoW couldn't be more valuable in these days of unprecedented earthly events. The thought of someone not just being in charge but responsible (you know, where the buck ultimately stops) gives a warm fuzzy feeling, doesn't it…….

      • tWiggle 6.1.1

        Huge fan of MOW. Compare their sturdy projects with extortionate public-private road projects, with little redress to overseas behomeths for poor design and build; and DHB shoddy hospital builds. The main structural differences are that public accountability remains within government, and that the $$$ stay majorly in the country.

    • I'd say that the forestry 'slash' issue is one that could be dealt with tomorrow with a combination of central and local government legislation/regulation.

      A simple requirement for all forestry harvesting to remove and deal with slash (might be chipping, or composting, or bio-char – or any of a series of agreed-by-local-government solutions) – before logs are allowed to be removed from the site for sale.

      With very hefty financial penalties (including liability for downstream consequences) for any slash washed off.

      Not really worried if it makes forestry more expensive – ATM, they're transferring their environmental cleanup cost to the tax/rate-payer.

      That would deal with any newly harvested slash. Then existing companies should be required to clean up (either themselves or contracting others to do so), the downstream waterways to remove any washed down slash – and handle as above. This requirement would be tied to the land (so selling off the land or the forest, transfers the clean-up requirement – not letting companies opt out).

      Apart from the forestry owners/management companies. I'd think this would be highly popular with just about everyone else.

    • yes Yes Bio char or chipping.

    • Cricklewood 6.4

      It's not so much the logging companies but the forest owners that need to be targeted.

      I'd suggest we need a levy on every tree planted and harvested to fund clean up operations and we need to have a good look at the regulations around harvesting.

      Pretty clear that slash is heavily contributing to infrastructure failure.

  7. joe90 7

    Russia's national amnesia has metastasised into a national dementia.

    Never mind the 1939-mid 1941 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact when Zakharova starts squealing about how the West left Russia to its fate prior to 1943.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    A Ukraine Victory celebratory editorial from 26 Feb last year is beginning to circulate.

    Hard to say which is more delusional – Russian imperial ambition, or economic development by neo-liberal means.

    • mikesh 8.1

      In a book I was reading recently, Colossus – the Rise and Fall of the American Empire, the historian, Lyall Ferguson, points that while empires, of one sort or another, have existed since the beginning of recorded history, nationalism is something new, having started during the nineteenth century in opposition to empire, and which may not last too much longer. In other words empires may be here to stay.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.1

        It's a complex subject – but Russia, already in the throws of a demographic crisis, does not have surplus healthy male population to thrust into the mincer at Bakhmut. But then, as those of us who have survived Rogergnomics know, governments rarely act in the public interest.

        The empire as commonwealth is a promising model, but the outlying members are wont to regret joining, or forcible assimilation. Certainly a decaying state as unenlightened and frankly backward as that responsible for invading Ukraine will have no queue of aspiring members.

  9. weka 9

    From the RSS feed,

    TLDR: The Government has just declared a National State of Emergency in response to Cyclone Gabrielle, which is only the third-ever such declaration behind the Canterbury Earthquake on February 23, 2011 and the Covid Pandemic on March 25, 2020.

  10. Tell us where she's wrong, Joe90.

  11. Gosman 11

    Rawira Waititi posted on his MP Facebook page today to commemorate the 14th of February except instead of the traditional romantic side of Valentines day he is celebrating the death of Captain Cook.

    Recently Waititi was caught out on national TV not being able to articulate exactly what racist rhetoric the ACT party and David Seymour were supposedly guilty of. It is clear from his comments that it is he who is guilty of such rhetoric.

    He is quite clearly gleeful over the fact Captain Cook was killed and eaten and states explicitly that colonisation was an infection on the Pacific (which suggests that by extension the people who now live here as a result must be part of that infection).

    • observer 11.1

      Rawiri can speak for himself (the Cook reference is gratuitous) but the statement "that colonisation was an infection on the Pacific" is simply historical fact. Europeans may not have intended to bring deadly diseases with them to the Pacific, Americas, etc, but they surely did. The natives had no immunity and so the result was a catastrophe.

      It's surprising that you don't know that. Please read up a little.

      • Gosman 11.1.1

        Colonisation was not an infection. Indeed it is essentially what Iwi leaders signed up to in 1840 when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi. The English translation of the Maori version of the preamble states the following:

        "…agree to the Queen's Government being established over all parts of this land and (adjoining) islands4 and also because there are many of her subjects already living on this land and others yet to come."

        That is a explicit acknowledgement that NZ would be colonised as it talks about many British subjects in NZ and that more would follow. Maori can not claim they were unaware that colonisation was not the outcome.

        • observer

          You have deliberately missed the point.

          The horrendous death toll from infection had nothing to do with any treaty. Nobody signed up for it.

          Again, read the history. Don't pretend it didn't happen. Or worse, pretend it didn't matter.

          • Gosman

            No. Colonisation was the infection according to Rawiri Waititi not that colonisation brought infections. Colonisation didn't even bring infections. Interaction with the outside World did that. It would have happened regardless of any moves to colonise NZ.

            • Liberty Belle

              "Colonisation didn't even bring infections. Interaction with the outside World did that. It would have happened regardless of any moves to colonise NZ."

              In fact infectious diseases existed amongst Maori before Europeans arrived in NZ, including pneumonia and tetanus. According to Teara:

              "Early European visitors often described Māori as a fit and healthy people. They led active lives, and many of the infectious diseases common in other parts of the world were unknown to them. However they were probably affected by pneumonia, tetanus, gastroenteritis, arthritis, rheumatism and various skin diseases."

              From the same source, the consumption of bracken root fern also increased the chance of cancer, and "the fibrous Māori diet meant people tended to wear their teeth out, which over time led to malnutrition, disease and death.:

              Maori face genuine inequalities around health outcomes, but the solutions lie in solutions targeted at need across the entire population, not rewriting history and racist dog whistling by the likes of Waititi.

              • Robert Guyton

                "they were probably affected by "


              • Robert Guyton

                "racist dog whistling by the likes of Waititi."

                His claims are not racist, they are anti-colonial, if anything.

                Why do you say, "racist"?

                • Liberty Belle

                  His comments include a tweet (which he later denied) that describes Pakeha as an 'archaic species'.

                  He singles out for celebration the violent death of a renowned European explorer, while failing to mention the genocide of the Moriori committed by Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama.

                  In a debate in Parliament he accused David Parker of "caucasity".

                  Yes, his claims are racist.

                  • weka

                    There's a reason why we ask for people to provide evidence of claims of fact. People need to fact check, but also context matters a great deal for nuance and understanding.

                    You are making the argument that RW is racist, but we can't see if you are right because you have made assertions without evidence.

                    For instance, when I looked up the 'archaic species', this is what I found from 2021.


                    That tweet was deleted. Waititi then tweeted this,



                    I'm ok with accepting that at face value and that someone running his twitter account misrepresented his position. But even if that's not true, he still corrected it/himself and made a point of clarifying his position. I read that as the old Pākeha system that dominates is being replaced by a partnership between Iwi and the Crown representing non-Māori.

                    Can you now please provide the evidence for your other two examples?

                    • Liberty Belle

                      "You are making the argument that RW is racist,"

                      Not quite. I'm making the same claim about RW he made about DS, that his rhetoric is racist.

                      1. On the tweet, I made the comment that he later denied having made it. Whether or not we believe him or accept his explanation is a matter of opinion.

                      2. On the comment about 'caucasity', I linked to it in my post on the words 'debate in parliament'. The link is Rawiri Waititi swipes at Attorney-General David Parker for deeming proposed Rotorua Māori ward restructure discriminatory | Newshub.

                      3. The Captain Cook comment is on RW's FB page. I'm not sure how to link, so I'll cut and paste:

                      "This day 14 February 1779 our Kanaka Maoli whanaunga killed Captain James Cook with his own knife, after his attempt to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, an Ali’i nui (Arikinui) of Hawaii. They cooked him and then ate him. Cook opened the door for the British coloniser to infect Te Moana Nui a Kiwa.

                      Valentines Day is a distraction to the true importance of today for all of our peoples of Te Moana Nui a Kiwa. Not today coloniser! Today we celebrate and stand in solidarity with our Kanaka Maoli of Hawaii 🌺"

                    • weka []

                      thanks for all that.

                      To link to a specific FB post, click on the date/time stamp of the post. This will reset the URLin the address bar and you can then copy and paste that. We require the link to the post rather than someone’s FB page, because the post can disappear down a feed over a day or so.

                    • weka []

                      oh, and fair point about the distinction between calling someone racist and naming an idea or rhetoric racist.

                    • Liberty Belle

                      "To link to a specific FB post, …"


            • weka

              Colonisation didn't even bring infections. Interaction with the outside World did that. It would have happened regardless of any moves to colonise NZ.

              It's like you learned nothing from the pandemic. If colonisation hadn't happened, Māori would have retained their landbase and resources and been able to adapt to emerging diseases. They could have quarantined and controlled immigration. Instead they were pushed into poverty and overwhelmed by the numbers of immigrants arriving.

              Very large increases in the European population during this period meant Māori across the country were continuously exposed to new diseases


            • Shanreagh

              Rawiri is using 'infection' and 'colonisation' together as a figure of speech. I think an extended metaphor? simile?

              He is linking the rampant race to discover by many European nations to an infection. He is saying that because it was so prevalent you could, as a figure of speech, call it an infection.

              No doubt this colonisation did bring infections of many different kinds not resident in NZ.

              RW is speaking English. It grieves me so much that many cannot understand this. There is truly a case for plain English where it counts. But please sometimes we should be grateful for a bit more from our language. This is where those who are fluent and those who are not differ.

              I have been astounded recently:

              Michael Woods Churchillian speech about the Parliamentary protest was fiendishly, and I suspect deliberately, misinterpreted by some, others just did not understand it. Not plain enough

              The examples of print media articles from known satirists having to be labelled 'satire' I suppose in case people misunderstood them..

              I was 'had on' on TS when I mentioned my experience that the common age that Govt press releases was pitched at was 9-11years.

        • Ghostwhowalksnz

          Not all the pacific islands were colonised , Tonga merely became a 'protectorate' and today has the same form of government as when the British and others arrived

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            …and today [Tonga] has the same form of government as when the British and others arrived

            Maybe a similar form – in 2008, and particularly in 2010, there were significant changes, at least according to my Tongan stepfather.

            Tonga's king to cede key powers [29 July 2008]
            "The Sovereign of the only Polynesian kingdom… is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people," he [Hon Fielakepa] said.

            2010 Tongan general election [Wikipedia]
            For the first time, a majority of the seats (17 out of 26) in the Tongan parliament were elected by universal suffrage, with the remaining nine seats being reserved for members of Tonga's nobility. This marked a major progression away from the 165-year rule of the monarchy towards a fully representative democracy. The Taimi Media Network described it as "Tonga’s first democratically elected Parliament".

            • Ghostwhowalksnz

              To keep its form of self government and institutions from 1900 ( when came part of the British Empire) to 2008 isnt too bad, when its neighbours literally became colonies

              An absolute monarchy until more recently was what the nobility wanted.

        • Macro

          Gosman the iwi leaders did not sign the English version, almost all signed the version that was in their own language and had been explained to them by Henry Williams whom they trusted. The knew what they were signing, and it wasn't as you want to conveniently render it to be. Generally speaking internationally where a covenant between two parties is agreed the wording of the covenant in the language of the indigenous people is the wording that is given the most weight.

          When two documents conflict …

          In international law where there is any ambiguity:

          • The contra proferentem principle applies, which means that a decision is made against the party that drafts the document, and
          • the indigenous language text takes preference.

          In oral cultures such as Māori, verbal agreements take preference over what is written.

          This means that for the Treaty of Waitangi the text in te reo takes precedence on all these counts.

          Furthermore the English version signed by Hobson and at most 40 Rangatira was written after the 6th Feb 1840 from memory

          An English language version was also circulated during that time which is believed to have been written from memory of the original English-language draft, which has since been lost. It was sent out in late March and presented at hui in two locations where it is possible that up to 39 Rangatira signed it. In effect, these Rangatira would have been assenting to the content of the document in te reo Māori, as news of it would have travelled from the Waitangi signing and the discussion would have been about the content and intent of the reo Māori text since there were few who spoke or read fluent formal English in 1840. In addition, that which was verbally agreed was of the essence in the oral tradition of Māori

          But we need to go back even further to understand how Te Tiriti came to be in the first place. The concept of a covenant between Maori and the Crown was conceived by Lord Glenelg (Secretary for the Colonies) and Sir James Stephen, (Permanent Undersecretary), who were committed to seeing Maori interests protected in the colonisation of New Zealand. In fact they initially opposed colonisation, and wanted to see an independent Maori nation. However, they eventually realised colonisation was a tide they could not hold back. Instead, they opted to try to establish British law as a restraint on land-grabbing colonists. Their influence resulted in Hobson being dispatched with instructions to seek Crown sovereignty on the basis of the ''free and intelligent consent'' of Maori and to ensure their land and political rights were protected.

          Hobson wouldn't have gotten past first base on his own, and Te Tiriti was really the product of the Rev Henry Williams and the 40 Rangatira who were at Waitangi on the 6th Feb. With his son, Williams translated the English draft into Maori. He then played a leading role in explaining the Treaty to the gathered chiefs and as an interpreter at the proceedings. There were then negotiations, and a second version was finally agreed which was the version finally signed by the 400 Rangatira around the country. It is this version of Te Tiriti to which Maori assented.

          Williams and his son Edward worked on the document and further changes in its meaning were made during its translation into te reo Māori, due in part to feedback from Rangatira that they would never cede their mana (power, prestige and authority) to the the Queen; the word kawanatanga (a transliteration of the word ‘governor’, an authority delegated by the British Crown such as that exercised by the Governors of New South Wales and Norfolk Island), was substituted. The final reo Māori version is what is known to Ngāpuhi as Te Tiriti Tuarua (the second version of the Treaty written in te reo) and it was this document that was presented to northern Māori at Waitangi and signed on 6th February by about 40 Rangatira and Captain Hobson on behalf of the Queen.

          What happened in the years that followed is another story. Despite efforts by Rev Williams, and other missionaries like Octavius Hadfield and Thomas Grace, settler pressure for land prevailed.

          The Treaty was dishonoured, injustice and war followed.

    • tWiggle 11.2

      No, Cook's crew were an actual infectious agent, introducing TB and sexual diseases on the trip previous to the one where he was killed. The Hawai'ians called them out on it when Cook returned. Here is a Hawai'ian version of Cook's crew's infectiousness and his death.

      I went to Waititi's post and I didn't get the same interpretation that you did from his text. You seem a little primed to see racism, where there is anti-colonialism, which is a perfectly valid political view.

      BHN do a really cool dissection of why Seymour's rhetoric is racist, between 50 -55 min of this episode.

      Yesterday's Big Hairy News episode

      • tWiggle 11.2.1

        PS the Captain Cook death day celebration is a Hawai'ian tradition, as reported in the sbs link.

    • weka 11.3

      please link to the actual post rather than someone's FB page. If you click on the date/time stamp of the post, the URL loads in the address bar and you can copy and paste that (remove everything from the ? onwards if it's a long link) Thanks.

    • Stuart Munro 11.4

      Yes the infection rhetoric is disgraceful.

      Cook was not the first European to visit Tahiti, so the slander that he brought syphilis there is just that.

      Mind, the Europeans blamed the New World for syphilis for centuries. Brief History of Syphilis – PMC ( Archeology has since found evidence of syphilis in Greek and Roman port cities.

      Plays well as a dog-whistle to the voters he means to mislead I guess.

  12. observer 12

    Bryce's roundups are often wide of the mark, but in this case the collection of RW commentators (Hooton, Grant etc) have summed up Luxon's problem well enough. He's a phoney and unlike Key, not a good enough actor to play the role of regular bloke:

    Even bad leaders like Collins still had their cheerleaders (however deluded). Luxon has none.

    • woodart 12.1

      key could fake sincerity. luxo cant even do that. when the nats media cheerleaders are asking questions, you know there is trouble . dare they bring in willis, when misogynism is a basic nact foundation? collins was only accepted, because she acted like a male(crusher, playing with guns,etc) once she started pretending to be human, her appeal lessened to the shoutback radio set.

    • Muttonbird 12.2

      Dr Bryce did suggest National could bring in Willis in the same way Labour did Ardern. But Willis is no Ardern.

      If the electorate thought Simon Bridges was cringe they will think the same about Willis. I just cannot see Willis being up to the demands of PM.

  13. Stephen D 13

    If Nicola Willis doesn’t cut the mustard, then who?

    Bishop, Reti, Collins?

    Oh how we laugh!

  14. weka 14

    Which people are badly affected by this? People who lose their job and can't get another one? I think they would be badly affected anyway.

    • Graeme 14.1

      People who had the income to service a 90% + mortgage in an overheated market. and the bank wouldn't have given them the mortgage unless they could still service it when the market went sour. So they would have been pulling in a good wicket.

      If they loose their job, well it might be a bit tough and the bank could sell them up, but banks are reluctant to bring about a mortgagee sale if they are going to loose money, more likely to support the borrower though it. That can be a character building experience for the borrower, and they won't be so keen on the big mortgage again.

      Negative equity is only an issue if you have to sell, and history shows it only a temporary situation. The market stabilises / recovers and the borrower pays down the loan and things come right, or eventually the borrower can sell and try again.

      • weka 14.1.1

        that's what I was thinking. How many of the people who 'have to sell', have to sell? As opposed to those who want to sell but could stay put.

        I guess the problem is that the high prices mean that the gap in equity is proportionally bigger. But it's not like this wasn't always on the cards.

        • Graeme

          The "Have to sell" thing is usually real estate speak for the vendor has other things on, like moving somewhere else, or the three Ds. Rarely is it the bank, or if it is, it's related to something other than the house. It's rare that a bank will go to a mortgagee sale on a first home buyer with just a loan on the house, they'll try very hard to make it work provided the borrower does their part to the best of their abilities. But with banks, fuck about and you'll find out…

          The people who get fucked over with negative equity are people who have maxed the mortgage to build up a business and it doesn't go as well as they hoped. Run out of equity, and the ability to borrow more, in that situation and it can get tricky.

          • weka

            I was thinking 'have to sell' being people who get transferred in a job, or need to live in another city to look after an elderly parent. Or as Craig suggests, marriage separation.

            Of those, not all will be 'have to' eg the house can be rented out. But then it’s an issue if the rent doesn’t cover the mortgage.

            The business one makes sense. All of them are really about people taking on big mortgages at a time when that was a risk.

            • Belladonna

              Also the bright line test swings into action if the house is rented out. Which matters, especially with divorce, when the 'plan' is for the equity (if any) or liabilities to be equally shared between the two individuals. Bright line, means that the equity won't be fully available for 10 years after purchase.

              Certainly where divorce involves children, both parents (usually) want a house which is large enough for the kids – to facilitate shared care. [An unsung reason for the housing shortage – divorce rates, resulting in double the house space required for a single family]. And, if you're leveraged to the max on a double income to afford the house, you're not going to be able to afford an additional mortgage (or rent, for that matter).

              • weka

                half the country is used to not getting everything they want, or even most of what they want. What I'm getting at here is that the drop in market value may cause problems for people, but some of those problems are normal level not catastrophic. We need to be living within our means. A couple with three kids that divorces and wants two four bedroom houses but has an upside down mortgage, this family has some choices and it's not the end of the world if they have to make changes to the way they live and the priorities they have.

              • SPC

                Divorced couples have the option of

                1. the sleep out/caravan for the spouse (continuing to pay the mortgage)
                2. renting a one bed room place/apartment and taking turns there while the children stay in the home (continuing to pay mortgage/rent)

                Work and Income could make it easier for relationships for those on sole parent benefits (allow the DPB person to receive a payment without partner income test for up to 3 years – the term which determines relationship status, with a work test for the payment once the youngest is over 3 or 5).

                That would ease housing demand pressures.

      • tWiggle 14.1.2

        In the US, Freddie Mac and Minnie Mae mortgage financing crash, I read somewhere that banks extending loans were forced to suck up 20% of the equity loss. I agree with the lenders taking some of the hit, where mortgagee sales occur due to this large market swing.

        • Maurice

          In the US the mortgagee can simply leave the keys in the letterbox for the Bank and walk away with no further obligation but here in NZ the borrower is still "on the hook" for the remaining debt unless full bankruptcy proceedings are done.

    • Craig H 14.2

      Anyone with negative equity who has to sell e.g. marriage separations if they were first home buyers at the top of the market.

      • weka 14.2.1

        true, although of those how many have to sell? Instead the house can be rented out, or one person stays and there's a new contract around equity.

        • Belladonna

          Assuming they're maxed out on the mortgage – they're unlikely to be able to afford an additional rent payment for the separated spouse.

          • weka

            for some that will be true. For others, take in a border. I'm not saying no-one is badly affected, I'm saying that some of the people have more choices.

        • Craig H

          Seriously negative equity would be small numbers, more common would just be to have not much or nothing left after the sale and both have to rent which obviously isn't ideal long term but totally agree that it's no more or less problematic than any other time (happens every day even in high markets).

          With negative equity, that would include paying back the remainder of the mortgage, so cobbling together 2 lots of bonds might be difficult for lower-income families. That's still not particularly catastrophic unless there were other joint debts to resolve as well and someone ends up in bankruptcy over it (I know there are other options like No Asset Procedures, but not everyone will qualify for those). Obviously that's a more likely outcome if either spouse is unemployed or in a low-income job.

          Amicable separations (or at least ones who listen to their lawyers) will find a way like one stays under some agreement around equity and payments to sort it out later, or just carry on living in the same house as flatmates in the short term e.g. separate bedrooms, rent a sleepout/caravan, insulate the garage etc. Renting it out might work but yields aren't that good currently, so no guarantee that will cover even interest-only payments – still worth having in the mix of options on the spreadsheets though. Not all separations are amicable however.

  15. weka 15

    sorry, I dropped your duplicate comment in Trash, looks like you trashed the other one at the same time. Best I can do is copy and paste one of them back here. One is longer than the other, which one do you want?

    • pat 15.1

      lol…wondered what happed…longer one thanks

      • weka 15.1.1

        do you want the reply you did as well?

        • pat

          Think the reply was the end of the longer one anyway when I was wondering what had happened….post longer version and I'll edit if necessary, or add in reply.

          • weka

            sweet. I'll copy and past both, and you can copy and paste the into a new comment and set them up how you like. Sorry about that.

          • weka

            Pat said,

            Consider the following example….

            A first home buyer mid 2021 pays median price for a property ($825,000) with a 20% deposit and are carrying a $660,000 mortgage for 30 years on the most common term of 2 years fixed at 2.53%….weekly cost to service is $604 p/w.

            Fast forward to mid this year and that fixed term is due to expire and the current best rate is around 6.5%…weekly cost $960 p/w.

            Meanwhile rates and insurance have increased.(not to mention other cost increases)

            Banks will overlook negative equity so long as the mortgage (and insurance) are being maintained but when they see the mortgagor start to struggle to meet those payments they will advise sale, before arrears accumulate…. this is not a 'mortgagee sale' but is much more common than realised and when the mortgagee 'recommends' sale you have little choice.

            And in a falling market where sales are slow and credit tight there is a good chance you will be exiting with no equity….good bye your $160,000 deposit, of which a significant proportion was probably drawn down from your Kiwisaver…what chance you will manage to accumulate another deposit and re enter the market anytime soon even if interest rates revert to historical lows?

          • weka

            the reply is the last paragraph of that one.

            I'll delete it once you've made your new copy.

  16. Scud 16

    Found this article on and would be of interest to quite of few here especially those of the Pro 🇷🇺 Supporters.

    Jacobin is a very left wing & was a little surprised to see this article, it's well written & research. So it's worth reading than some of the other garbage out there.

  17. Macro 17

    Testing. Can't seem to get past 14 Feb on my phone. TS OK on computer.

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