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Open mike 14/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 14th, 2022 - 218 comments
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218 comments on “Open mike 14/03/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    A shake-up to the country's waste system is hoped to cut down the near 13 million tonnes of waste New Zealand sends to landfill every year.


    Well…… after how many …Years? This should have been front and centre …when Labour/Greens first elected. But at least its ALMOST here. There is a link to Input…Please help make it happen !


    Re the Food WASTE going to landfill. Absolutely disgusting !….but why isnt Home Composting mentioned ? For a Garden…to you know, GROW stuff : )

    • Belladonna 1.1

      I'll be interested to see what happens. Have been *very* unimpressed with Auckland's effort. The proposal is to add an additional charge to rates for food-scrap collection – not possible to opt out. Collection proposed to be fortnightly.

      This is nuts for several reasons:

      • No recognition of the people who already compost all (or virtually all) of their food waste – they then have to pay for a service they don't use.
      • No comprehension of just how unrealistic this is in a highly urban environment (apartments, town houses – both already have significant challenges accommodating the current 2 bin system)
      • Fortnightly. Can you imagine the smell ….. Yes people *could* freeze their scraps – the number who actually will is minute.
      • Not allowed to add green or garden waste. The 'hard to compost in a backyard operation' stuff. e.g. flax, noxious weeds, rose clippings, etc. That is a service many home-composters *would* actually sign up for.
      • Competitors are already undercutting the council – for waste collection.
      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.1

        Hi. Agree with your points. But were there no preliminary submissions in Auckland? In my area we have been asked options of a smaller Red rubbish bin…and whether food scraps and green waste. I did add in my submission that also a smaller Blue glass bin would be good for some. And some advice/Info regarding Home Composting and ReCycling. Also ReThinking. I hope thats possible : )

        • Belladonna

          Oh, they asked people's opinion, and then ignored it. Fairly standard for AC operations.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.2

      New Zealand was among the highest generators of waste per capita in the developed world, with each person on average sending 750 kilograms to landfill a year.

      In 2019, waste contributed to about 4 percent of New Zealand's total greenhouse gas emissions.

      The Green Party said anything less than a transformational national waste strategy and waste legislation would not be enough.

      Its waste spokesperson, Eugenie Sage, said to tackle the climate crisis the country needed to think about waste completely differently from the old fashioned approach that successive governments had encouraged.

      "We need to go from an economy that is inefficient and degenerative by design to one that is regenerative by design. We need to think about waste as something to avoid, not something to send to the landfill," Sage said.

      "Whether it's food scraps from home, or construction waste from building new homes, most of what we use should be able to be repaired or the component materials recovered and transformed back into the same or better products."


      An average 750 kgs per person to landfill ? Thats shockingly bad. I have lived Sustainably for decades. Dont air travel, Bike everywhere possible (and thats a lot of possibles Work,Town etc : ) Most Importantly I Think before I buy. Could I get from a Re-Use shop? Is it Sustainable? once start : Easy

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Local government minister Nanaia Mahuta said she accepts responsibility for two parts of the three waters reforms she "got wrong", amidst speculation she may not remain in her local government portfolio for long.


    She underestimated public ignorance of the water supply system, apparently. The other was the pr campaign, which seems to have been poorly done. She refers to resentment in local government. Since the current shambles was institutionalised by multiple generations of local government, it's totally understandable that the wankers are aggrieved by expectations that they can no longer operate the shambles in the normal incompetent manner.

    Her diffidence perhaps derives from Labour's political culture. Ideas such as responsibility and accountability being automatically ruled out. She feels insecure swimming against that tide of delinquent conformity, it seems.

    The ad campaign depicted a range of water failures, which laid blame at local councils, and cost $3.5 million.

    Telling the truth often does have a cost, but perhaps it needn't have been so high.

    The Government is currently considering the results of a three waters reform working group, which attempted to resolve an impasse over some of the most unpopular aspects of the reforms.

    The working group recommended the co-governance model will be preserved, which will likely mean water entity boards split between mana whenua and councils.

    At some point, it will become advisable to explain to media & public that co-governance derives from the Treaty. Labour's reluctance to tell the truth is normal, of course, but they will have to cross this Rubicon eventually.

    I'm assuming their pr company failed to do so in the pr campaign – the Herald reporter would have included it in the report if they had. Or perhaps everyone is assuming everyone else already knows that?? With Labour it's always hard to spot the boundary between delusion & reality…

    National's local government spokesman Simon Watts said the interview showed Three Waters was "past saving".

    Obviously he's keen to prove that National can do wishful thinking as well as Labour can. Even better?

    He said that even "with the superficial changes recommended by their working group, Labour's Three Waters agenda is still fatally flawed".

    He immediately failed to cite any such fatal flaw. So yes, marginally more delusional than Labour.

    National agrees reforming Three Waters is necessary, given the state of New Zealand's water issues, but it prefers a more decentralised approach.

    "National would keep the 'local' in local government by encouraging councils to collaborate, contract or form CCOs, and letting communities decide what's right for them – not the Beehive," Watts said.

    Since when has encouraging councils to do something ever worked?? Since never, you dork! What a loser. Governing requires enforcing a law on them.

    • Tricledrown 2.1

      Dennis Labour is playing right into Nationals hands on this and if Labour doesn't drop it.

      Labour will loose the next election.

      Phil Goff is against it.

      Dunedin will be subsidising other councils who haven't upgraded their water supply.

      Dunedin has spend $400 million on upgrading its water and sewage.And is in the process of spending another $100 million $85 million on the southern system $15 million plus on george St the main St.

      While Wellingto and Auckland need billions spent.

      City people will be subsidising rural towns and farmers.

      This is a complete schemes.

      Putting in Maori Co governance is undermining democracy why not elected governors.

      That will ensure National will win.

      Then a new bearaucracy on top of councils and regional councils .

      More taxes as we have seen with regional councils who have built massive bearaucracies around themselves increasing rates well beyond inflation rates.

      Labour should drop it all together.

      Everyone is hurting with price rises Massive Rate rises.

      The last thing people want is another entity digging into everyone's back pocket.

      Govt should just front up with the money for the projects that need fixing through a loan facility . Where there needs sewage systems to be fixed rivers cleaned potable water provided irrigation water regulated.

      Do it through Central govt have a separate from govt loan facility.

      Some sources say this 3 waters could cost $1.8 billion a year.

      Auckland needs billions to fix their mess which has not been upgraded in decades by local bodies winning the vote by not upgrading.Wellington is a mess.

      Farmers have polluted rivers now don't want to pay.

      Allocation of irrigation boiled down to first in first served.

      Irrigation should be equal distributed in a fair manner with charges covering run off mitigation and clean up.

      This should be done by local councils with specific govt funding.Charges falling to users.

      No need for another bearaucracy which doesn't guarantee no privatisation or democratically elected officials.

      Labour will loose the next election.

      • Belladonna 2.1.1

        Agree with much of this, Tricledrown.

        Government already have the capacity to deal with Councils who are unable, unwilling or dysfunctional when it comes to delivery of basic services (they put in Commissioners – and, if Tauranga is an example, they never go away).

        NZ already has an effective partnership model when it comes to delivery of services across local government areas and with national government – it's NZTA.
        A model along those lines to fund infrastructure and share expertise – would have been a win/win – and without huge layers of unwieldy bureaucracy.

        It looks, more and more, as though the driving force behind 3 waters isn't water infrastructure reform, but to ram through a co-governance model, that the government can then use as a template for other agencies.

        But, I agree. If Labour go to the polls with 3 waters and Maori co-governance, they will lose, and lose heavily.

    • gsays 2.2

      Less about the issues, I was mightily impressed to see Mahuta put her hand up and say 'I got it wrong'. Earned kudos from me, FWIW.

      • Belladonna 2.2.1

        It was a pretty weak admission: 'I underestimated people's ignorance' (not, I did not communicate the issues and solutions clearly) and 'Councils felt a high level of sensitivity because they felt blamed' (not, I operated in a thoroughly unethical manner, both lying to Councils about opt out possibilities, and conducting a public advertising campaign which was heavily critiqued as misleading, and was canned early as the PSC opinion was that it was propaganda not explanation)


        As is typical of politicians, even their 'apologies' attribute blame to others.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Did you know Putin infiltrated the Labour Party here back when he was a KGB agent? Sir Bob Harvey knew, and told Jim Mora all about it yesterday:


    He took a photo of the young Putin around to visit his old mate Jonathan Hunt (ex Labour minister & Speaker of Parliament for yonks), showed him the photo & asked if he remembered this guy showing up at Labour party meetings in the old days & Hunt said he did! Said he didn't know who the guy was – so Sir Bob told him. surprise

    • Anne 3.1

      Very interesting story Dennis.

      Back in the late 1960s my father retired and joined the Russian Friendship Society based in Auckland. He had a fascination with Russia which dated back to the early 1920s when, as a young British soldier, he was part of a secret mission to Archangel in northern Russia to rescue members of the Romanov family and others who had managed to escape the Bolsheviks. I think he still had a bit of a romantic notion of Russia and he wanted to learn to speak Russian with a view to returning for a visit sometime.

      In the early 1970s something happened which caused him to get out of the society post-haste. He never told anyone what it was, but he did tell my mother it was a very dangerous organisation to belong to. I suspect that society was set up and run from afar by the KGB and my father was approached by someone within it and he ran for cover. I wonder if it was a young Putin. surprise

      • Tricledrown 3.1.1

        The Russian fisherman socialised with locals the ordinary Russian fisherman hated their senior officers many of them kgb .

        The officers used to pile the bs on after being on the pass with them several times I would question the senior propagandist.Who the common sailors pointed out.

        I asked him about how Russia was so far behind the west in technology and general freedoms .like electronic calculators and freedom to listen to music etc.

        He brought out a very basic calculator then reeled which bands were allowed to be played on Russian radio.

        The sailors said don't believe anything he says it's all BS.

        • McFlock

          Dad was in the merchant marine in the 1980s and had a story about meeting some russians in a bar. They all got on well, and the westerners got invited back to the ship. Then they ran out of booze, so broke into to medicine cabinet and got the alcohol there.

          Eventually the doctor came in, saw the bust open cabinet with a look of worry, then noticed the western sailors with the crew and looked terrified. Then he saw the political informant pissed as a newt in the corner, and the look of relief was overwhelming.

          The wellington squatters don't know shit about oppression.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      Trump will be impressed maybe now the shoe is on the other foot .

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.3

      Bata brand shoes in western countries was run by the family who left Czechoslovakia. We would have used British Bata who relocated to Toronto in mid sixties.
      Its to silly that Putin was a shoe sales man for a Canadian based company .

      • Francesca 3.3.1

        Greenpeace is at present flotillaing and pressing the govt to sanction and freeze Alexander Abramov's assets here, on the basis that he's a friend of Abramovich who is a friend …supposedly of Putin .They get their info from a 10 year old biography of Putin written by one Chris Hutchins who has never been in the company of Putin, let alone interviewed him .But I wonder if Hutchins has anything to say about Putin (who really does not speak English with any fluency)moonlighting as a Bata shoe salesman .A thick Russian accent , very poor English, would not make a very convincing shoe salesman , let alone a spy trying to go incognito in NZ.I so want the story to be true though

      • Shanreagh 3.3.2

        Bata was opened in NZ in 1948. They continue to make gumboots just down the road and over the hill from me in Happy Valley/Owhiro Bay. They have an outlet store there too. They used to have a factory in Wainuiomata. Very popular when I was growing up were the Bata Bullets.

        So he could have been a salesperson for the NZ branch……….


        • Treetop

          No bull, I worked at the Happy Valley/Qwhiro Bay Bata shoe factory in 1976 – 1977. I remember the Bata bullets, the brown boots and the slippers.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          No doubt part of the British-Canadian firm , not the eastern bloc Bata

          And they are going to employ a russian who has 'cover as a czech or german' to makes sales calls on the small kiwi shoe shops which existed at the time ?

          The 1980s when Putin was in his 30s was when the NZ shoes industry killed off by tariff reform and general rogernomic.

          There was plenty of 'useful' people living in NZ that the KGB could exploit for the high level secrets that we had – Not.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Environment Minister David Parker proclaimed a Transforming Recycling plan yesterday, including a "universal" kerbside food waste collection: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/463243/government-plans-to-shake-up-new-zealand-s-inadequate-waste-recycling

    Could be the RNZ reporter was being adventurous with language, or Labour could be serious about extending the scheme throughout the universe.

    Parker said food scraps make up more than a third of a typical household's rubbish each week

    Composting them enriches your soil, enabling you to grow your own veges. Labour apparently assumes most citizens are too useless to do that. And his scheme incorporates back to the future design:

    A bottle deposit system will allow people to receive 20 cents per bottle they drop off at designated collection sites. He said some of the machines would operate like an ATM, taking the bottles in exchange for cash.

    "The container deposit scheme will reduce litter of beverage containers by more than 50 percent – that's the overseas experience. That's a big drop and some of that litter created is quite dangerous, with broken glass and things," Parker said. Queensland has recently implemented the same system and its Productivity Commission found it cost 93 cents per household per month to establish, he said.

    So this is a Green move by Labour, to their credit. Only around half a century overdue, so the establishment is gradually getting its act together… 🙄

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      All hail the return of the Sunday morning local Scouts fund raising bottle drive! Search the shed, scour the garage! The big soft drink bottles and wine bottles are best but with a minor grumble we'll take the 750ml beer bottles as well! The 330ml beer bottles are hardly worth it, we’ll rub our chin and ummm and ahhh and look up and down the street but you still get 5c each I suppose, so OK we will take them off your hands.

      • Belladonna 4.1.1

        Yep, my Scout is fundraising for Jamboree. He'll be in!

        Now, lets get milk out of plastic and back into milk bottles – another revenue stream for the teen entrepreneur.

    • alwyn 4.2

      I wonder what the CO2 emissions will be from this scheme? If you have to take your waste containers to a designated site in order to get your refund you will probably have to drive there. In order to make it simple that probably means that the machines will be at the current landfills. How far is it to your local landfill and how much CO2 will be produced when you drive there?

      • aom 4.2.1

        Oh for fucks sake Alwyn – this is getting to be beyond a joke! Did you not read 'designated collection sites'? From experience in the UK, Spain and Portugal, drop-off points are usually located within short walks of home. Are you one of those who can't get past an immutable link between arse and car seat? /sarc!!!!

        • alwyn

          The total amount said in this story is

          "A bottle deposit system will allow people to receive 20 cents per bottle they drop off at designated collection sites.".

          That was all, except for the throwaway line "Dairies and supermarkets may also be used as collection points".

          I want to know Where they will be and how many of them will there be. Unless they can say that I am entitled to expect that we will be rather like our existing recycling system where they will be available at the land fill, and they won't be readily available just a short walk away.. Just what persuades you that they are really going to be so readily available as you dream?

          I would also like to see how supermarkets are going to be persuaded to get involved. It isn't like providing recycling bins in the way they do now. hey will have to have someone, or something that will check the items, count them and pay for them. You can't just dump them in a large pin and expect to somehow get paid for them can you?

          • aom

            I want! I want! I want! Are you a self-entitled child who wants its bum wiped before doing the business. No doubt if the Minister had all the micro-managed ducks in a row, you would scream about the Government being anti-democratic. Please stop being so tiresome.

    • Sabine 4.3

      Taking the recycling bottles to the shop for cash was our allowance, ditto for paper and metals, and pig farmer used to do the rounds of restaurants to collect the food waste once or twice a week. Our current foodwaste is simply because we are wasteful.

      It could be very easily made, have huge dumpsters/cages for glass – sort by white, green, brown/red, ditto for cartonage/paper and have these conveniently located on supermarket grounds so that at the time of shopping you do your recycling.

      • alwyn 4.3.1

        Your allowance? Same here. However in New Zealand, at least as I remember it the deposit only applied to soft drink and beer bottles and the bottles went back to the beverage maker when they did deliveries to the shop. All beer bottles were the same and made by ABC who collected and cleaned them and then supplied them to the breweries.

        This new scheme is going to apply to all types of containers as I read it and the shops won't be in any position to sort them all by the different manufacturer surely?

        • Barfly

          won't be in any position to sort them all by the different manufacturer surely?


          It says recycle not refill please pay attention

          • alwyn

            Yes. Manufacturer wasn't meant to be what I was trying to say. Type was the intended meaning. I don't expect a corner dairy to have a machine that counts and sorts the different types of recycling and rejects the non-recyclable stuff so either they have to do it manually or it all has to be done at some central site.

        • Sabine

          you can make this 'recycle' thing a PHD thesis and re-invent the wheel if you like.

          In germany Beer is sold in crates of 24 bottles, each bottle gets 20 cnts and a dollar or so goes on the crate. The empty crates are dropped of at the supermarkert, the drink markets, or the automated drop off some bigger drink markets have. The credit will be applied to your next purchase unless you have it paid out. So when you go and buy beer, soft drinks, lemonade etc, you bring your empties.

          When i was a kid, it was the kids that went shopping for the adults. We were the little schlepp mules for our elders, beer, cigarettes and two salads for tonight. 🙂 The bottle money was our reward for walking to the shops with two bags of empty soft drink bottles and two crates of empty beer bottles between me and my brother or cuzzies. Heavy as, lots of stopping and starting, but yeah, we made some money every now and then. Great job.

    • Gabby 4.4

      This may come as a shock frankie, but universal free healthcare isn't for everyone in the universe either.

      • Dennis Frank 4.4.1

        That right? Goddam. I suppose it goes to show how influential simulations have become. Fool some people all the time & all the people some of the time works well.

    • felix 4.5

      This is a step backwards. The whole problem with recycling presently is that the incentive structure is all geared toward consuming more and more plastic containers. The recycling centres are incentivised by being paid by the tonne for "waste diverted from landfill" so the more plastic they process the better. The consumer is incentivised to keep buying it because it gets picked up at the gate for free every week.

      If we actually want to encourage ever-increasing use of plastic containers then we couldn't have designed a better system. If we want to reduce it then we're going about it all backwards.

      Reduce, reuse, recycle – in that order. Recycling is the least effective of these approaches and should be the last resort only, not the goal.

      • adam 4.5.1

        Reduce, reuse, recycle – in that order. Recycling is the least effective of these approaches and should be the last resort only, not the goal.

        Thought that was worth repeating.

      • weka 4.5.2

        all of this ^

  5. Blazer 5

    World wide sanctions on super rich not welcomed by International banking behemoth Credit Suisse..quelle surprise.

    Very generous political donors to Biden and Johnson,funnily enough.

    The Financial Times had revealedExternal link last month that a group of hedge funds had taken over some of the default risk relating to $2 billion (CHF1.84 billion) of Credit Suisse loans to “oligarchs and tycoons”.

    Credit Suisse denies hiding assets of oligarchs – SWI swissinfo.ch

  6. Sanctuary 6

    No one in China in an official postion will publish anything without being sure it doesn't conflict in any material way with the debates within or position(s) of the Chinese Communist party.

    Which should make this Chinese commentary on the war in the Ukraine uneasy reading in the Kremlin.

    I see China acting as the global peacemaker as the only way out for Putin if he wants to stay in power as well as allowing for the Ukraine to retain it's sovereignty.


    • alwyn 6.1

      Do you think this was written by the Chinese Government as an explicit warning to Putin and his supporters to make peace now, or lose all Chinese support?

      It certainly doesn't mince any words does it.

    • Barfly 6.2

      That article is quite encouraging

    • Dennis Frank 6.3

      Thanks for that. Good to have a view from someone with regime status!

      Russia’s ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine has caused great controversy in China, with its supporters and opponents being divided into two implacably opposing sides.

      This article does not represent any party and, for the judgment and reference of the highest decision-making level in China, this article conducts an objective analysis on the possible war consequences along with their corresponding countermeasure options.

      This guy knows how to frame things well, so as to inform others via a balanced view.

      At present, public opinion believes that the Ukrainian war signifies a complete collapse of U.S. hegemony, but the war would in fact bring France and Germany, both of which wanted to break away from the U.S., back into the NATO defense framework, destroying Europe’s dream to achieve independent diplomacy and self-defense.

      This view of Chinese public opinion comes as a total surprise. I can only conclude that they have been led to it by regime media framing.

      Germany would greatly increase its military budget; Switzerland, Sweden, and other countries would abandon their neutrality.

      With Nord Stream 2 put on hold indefinitely, Europe’s reliance on US natural gas will inevitably increase. The US and Europe would form a closer community of shared future, and American leadership in the Western world will rebound.

      Not what other Chinese will want to hear!! I hope he doesn't get yanked for being a heretic. Pounding rocks with a sledgehammer all day is no fun.

      The new Iron Curtain will no longer be drawn between the two camps of socialism and capitalism, nor will it be confined to the Cold War. It will be a life-and-death battle between those for and against Western democracy. The unity of the Western world under the Iron Curtain will have a siphon effect on other countries: the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy will be consolidated, and other countries like Japan will stick even closer to the U.S., which will form an unprecedentedly broad democratic united front.

      Yes, this does seem inevitable now. His third and fourth points provide a rationale for this grim conclusion:

      China cannot be tied to Putin and needs to be cut off as soon as possible… Unless Putin can secure victory with China’s backing, a prospect which looks bleak at the moment, China does not have the clout to back Russia.

      Xi has a dead rat to chew on. His geopolitical strategy with Putin had been developing so well. Xi will be reluctant to accept that Putin has derailed it but all the signs point to that. Putin has to pull a rabbit out of his hat to switch fate onto a different trajectory – one in which he survives in power, and without Russia being seriously diminished.

      China should prevent the outbreak of world wars and nuclear wars and make irreplaceable contributions to world peace… A just cause attracts much support; an unjust one finds little… To demonstrate China’s role as a responsible major power, China not only cannot stand with Putin, but also should take concrete actions to prevent Putin’s possible adventures. China is the only country in the world with this capability, and it must give full play to this unique advantage.

      He makes a compelling case, and we ought to expect Xi to be persuaded. That may have already happened. Watch for a diplomatic initiative from him.

      • Stan 6.3.1

        All this will surely backfire on Russia/Putin as all the states on his western borders will be arming up and joining NATO if not joined already.

        I'm no expert, but I'm expecting Finland, already very well prepared for a Russian invasion, to give in to what's going to be overwhelming public opinion which will be pro joining NATO.

        Who's going to win in all this?

        USA, the west in general. Arms companies.

        As long as an unpredictable Putin doesn't go all out and use a nuke, either in Ukraine or a border state like Poland.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Finland previously had decided to replace its existing US made fighter jets with another expensive US fighter the F-35.

          Finland has no problems with a 100 years of being on Russia borders, theres even a name for it Finlandisation. Big difference to Slavic Ukraine

          • Puckish Rogue

            Of course Finland isn't worried because Russia still remembers what happened last time…

  7. Treetop 7

    Were Zelensky to have given Putin Donbas, Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea would this have been enough to have prevented the wide spread bombing of Ukraine?


    • Blazer 7.1


      It seems Russia wants guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO,and that there are no build ups of military arsenals near its…borders.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.2

      The armchair general has spoken

  8. aj 8

    I see China acting as the global peacemaker as the only way out for Putin if he wants to stay in power as well as allowing for the Ukraine to retain it's sovereignty.

    That's an interesting article.

    China will become more isolated under the established framework….

    …. but what if the framework is being changed? Russia and China are forging stronger financial ties. Russia is considering it's own set of sanctions and has set up a debit/credit card system with UnionPay, one of the largest largest card payment processing organisations by volume of total payments, although currently mostly within China. Nordstream dead? but China still a eager customer.

    The current oil price repercussions may just be the tip of an iceberg.

    Russia's judo kick to the western financial gut


    • aj 8.1

      Financial Times article below just throws more smoke in the faces of those of us trying to read between the lines. The clue may be “US Officials say …. ”

      Reality is, the only people who know what is going on are the main players at the top. Good to hear on the news that talks between Russia and Ukraine are on-going. (Every so often I want to believe what I read and hear on the news)

      US officials say Russia has asked China for military help in Ukraine

      White House fears move is sign of increasingly close ties between Beijing and Moscow

      It also raises fresh questions about the China-Russia relationship, which has grown increasingly strong as both countries express their opposition to the US over everything from Nato to sanctions. China has portrayed itself as a neutral actor in the Ukraine crisis and has refused to condemn Russia for invading the country. The US has also seen no sign that Chinese president Xi Jinping is willing to put any pressure on Putin. The two leaders signed a joint statement in Beijing last month describing the Beijing-Moscow partnership as having “no limits”, in another sign that the two capitals were drawing even closer together.


  9. Stephen D 9

    On Putin and polls.


    “While examining hundreds of thousands of Russian public opinion survey responses from 2003-19, I have found that merely being exposed to public protest depresses approval of Putin and his regime,” Noah Buckley, a political science professor at Trinity College Dublin, wrote in a recent op-ed for The Conversation. “Members of the general public learn about regime misdeeds from these protests, and discover that there are more dissenters in their society than they may have previously assumed. In other ongoing research, my co-authors and I have found that when Russians find out that Putin’s approval levels are not as sky-high as they thought, their own feelings towards him sour substantially.”

    Maybe change from within will come. Eventually. Probably not in time to save Ukraine.

    • Francesca 9.1

      Does anyone here remember the doco series In Search of Putin's Russia , by Andrey Nekrasov, Russian liberal, and very anti Putin .A hero of the wests, at that time.(He now lives in an undisclosed "neutral " country.)

      Later he did a film with the intention of exposing more Putin crimes, megaphoning Bill Browders story of Magnitsky the whistleblower, killed in a Russian jail. During the filming, he discovered all manner of lies and flaws in the story, and the doco became an exposure of Browder.The Magnitsky Act-behind the Scenes

      The doco screening was blocked though many have now viewed it online.

      Nekrasov is against the war, still views himself as a liberal, but feels that western audiences have been deluded, and western analysts have no understanding of Russians

      an excerpt

      The West, in the form of its media correspondents in Moscow, talks to the opposition or to people who, like me, live in the West. But you don’t understand the majority. The West and the Russian upper class are united by the bourgeois lifestyle and the bourgeois worldview. But the Russian majority is anti-bourgeois. It is pleased with the sanctions which have hit the upper class, the oligarchs, and also the upper middle class. That is another reason why they support the invasion.

      He talks about the situation in Eastern Ukraine , and the nationalistic contempt towards the Russian populations of the Donbas

      I am a witness that my Ukrainian acquaintances considered the people of the East to be inferior. They used all sorts of arguments — for example that the lumpenproletariat had concentrated in the East. Is this an acceptable argument? It seemed to be in the Ukraine. Is the slogan Ukraina above all alright? I’ve heard that all the time in Ukraine.

      Pretty honest appraisal and well worth reading the lot.


      Let me save you the bother of running to google


      • Molly 9.1.1

        Thanks, Francesca.

        An article that seeks to understand, rather than simply condemn or exonerate.

        • Francesca

          Another discussion of the Slava Ukraini! slogan even our own Prime Minister used .This is a rather soft western interpretation , but to me the slogan still has troubling connections with Stepan Bandera and OUN, the organisation he founded

          Bandera is revered in Western Ukraine as a nationalistic independence fighter, but it takes some cognitive gymnastics to dissociate from the savage hunting and killing of Jewish people he was responsible for.


          Banderism is widespread in certain parts of Ukraine

          From the top on down, cops and their bosses are lining up to air their admiration for Stepan Bandera, a hero to many Ukrainians whose Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its military arm, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), fought both Soviet and Nazi forces during World War II but is also accused of carrying out murderous campaigns against Poles and Jews.*


          • Molly

            Thanks, again! I've also been reading various contributors on Savage Minds substack to try and get a fuller view of what's happening – and why.


            Your links are very much appreciated.

            • Francesca

              Thanks Molly, been following this since 2014.It's fascinating.!

              I hope out of all this will be a revival of the anti war movement and the ban the bomb campaign.I'm totally against war. I've longed for NZ to have declared itself neutral, become famous in the world for its conflict resolution, international law, international relations, mediation studies and as a venue for peace conferences.We could have become known as an honest broker and our universities would be prestigious in the world for all those studies, producing skilled and scholarly negotiators and diplomats.

              And our side hustle would be centres of learning and research .for regen agriculture ,low impact technology, clever housing design etc

              Oh what a pipe dream!!

            • aj

              Over 100 years later, not much changes. There are some stunning ironies and unintended consequences in history.

              I am astonished to learn of the extent to which America was complicit with Japan imperialism in the early 20th century. For instance here's how Theodore Roosevelt helped Japan colonize Korea

              "The China Mirage" by James Bradley.


          • Brigid

            There's also Oliver Stones 2016 film 'Ukraine on Fire'.

      • weston 9.1.2

        Thanks francesca that was really interesting .Welcome back by the way !

  10. Molly 11

    Ross Tucker is increasingly illustrating (and understanding) the frustration of being willfully misunderstood, or ignored when it comes to providing evidence and opinion on sport categories:

  11. weston 12

    Friends down south reporting lots of empty shelves in supermarkets there similar observations up north , probably wise to get that garden production stepped up especially for poor people and possibly the rich soon to get poor ?

    In any case it seems to me a closer to the land approach is very rewarding in terms of general contentment and basic security . There really is no produce that tastes better than that you have produced yourself .If you have access to kaimoana or other wild food you can live like a king or so it seems .

    Anyone else putting down a brew atm ? I had an excess of bananas recently so have made a kindof tropical brew of bananas guavas and peaches .The only yeast i could find locally in a hurry was one for cider but it seems to be doing the trick although im having problems with the drop in temperature at night as being summertime i like plenty of doors an windows open .Currently i have the fermenter propped up against the open oven door of the woodstove and have been maintaining the fire all day and into the night nontheless its pretty cool by morning so ive been invigorating the yeast after breakfast by adding one jar of of preserved peaches warmed on the stovetop.Seems to be doing the trick but of coarse im extending the fermentation process !Anyone got any ideas ?

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Just the prehistoric basis for what you are doing – reading up on it may provide a few other clues…


    • Barfly 12.2

      The lots of empty shelves is temporary – manufacturers, transporters and distributers are greatly affected by isolation of close contacts of covid cases. This I believe will pass once omicron has run its course.

      • weston 12.2.1

        Maybe barfly call me paranoid if you wish but i couldnt help thinking of the road safety sign Expect The Unexpected when i was making my earlier comment .The last couple of years have taught us that nobody really knows whats around the proverbial corner compounded by a war which could get a lot worse before it gets better .

        • Barfly

          Well living in Mount Eden I will be inside the blast radius if/when the flag goes up so I doubt I'll even have time for a "WTF !?"

    • mac1 12.3

      I use a fermentation heating belt that wraps around the fermenting vessel that keeps the temperature about right.

      My hops are about ready so I will start brewing myself. One hop bine adorns the local pub, above the bar. They’re a great, useful plant in many ways.

      It’s a busy time- beans to freeze, passata to make, tomatoes dried, pesto, quinces to preserve.

      • weston 12.3.1

        Im on 12v power so dont have the luxury of heating pads etc so will just hve to persevere in a makeshift fashion .Glad to here someones being productive though .Good work ! On the making of beer do you think its totally worth it to brew the traditional way with hops etc rather than with a simple kit ?

        • mac1

          Short answer yes but good beer can be made with a kit. The first and cheapest way to improve a kit is to buy a top quality yeast. $5 for a 20 litre brew is a pretty cheap way to improve a beer. Then I started using adjuncts such as dried malt, liquorice, demerara sugar, honey, as well as my own hops. Keep everything clean and I use plastic bottles as I can detect by pressure whether the secondary fermentation got away.

          I have not yet started with grain, even after some 100 brews in forty years. Bread, kombucha, sourdough, beer, cider, vinegar.It's all good. Best of brewing.

          • weston

            How would the secondary fermentation "get away " mac ?

            • mac1

              Too much residual sugar in the brew when bottled. Sometimes brew fermentation can get 'stuck' and the specific gravity is too high to bottle, so measures can be taken to restart the ferment around factors of yeast, aeration or warmth. If it's bottled too early, the brew may well recommence to convert all that sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide, and the pressure will blow your tops.

              Secondary fermentation gets away then. I store my plastic bottles in plastic boxes that will contain any escaping liquid should a bottle fracture.. Your nose will tell you it has happened!

              It's all in brewing books- recipes, process, sterilisation, storage, consumption.

              I even use the dregs and yeasty bits which go into my vinegar jat. My vinegar has been tested at 12% acid content and is a great cleaner, weed killer or used in plum and tomato sauce!

              I’ve just made 1.6 kg of passata and now I deserve a brew. My 8% Belgian ale brewed in 2019. Cheers!

  12. Stuart Munro 13

    @Gypsy – on the morality or otherwise of rentier capitalism.

    So, we have long since established that landlords impose a deadweight cost to the economy, preventing growth and consigning a nation state to poorer standard of living growth.

    But you have been trying to run the argument, that a landlord is a housing provider. That's not actually true – the analogue is really that of the ticket scalper – dodgy characters who insert themselves between creators and consumers who derive an income in a parasitic fashion, as long as there is a scarcity in the market. Scalpers, like landlords increase scarcity because it is profitable for them to do so, and discourage productive activity by reducing the profit available to the actual producers.

    • Blazer 13.1

      Right on song there Stuart.

      Professional landlords seem to think they are providing a public service and if they sell up all their properties will …evaporate.

      The unearned income available makes it a rational endeavour…unfortunately.

      It all comes back to the banks…how else could they make the profits they do…without mortgage revenues!

    • alwyn 13.2

      " we have long since established that landlords impose a deadweight".

      Wow. That argument is in the "My friends all say ….. " category isn't it? Now for the rest of us please explain just how your claim was established and by whom and what was their evidence?

      • Gypsy 13.2.1

        Stuart has this bizarre idea that somehow as a landlord I don't provide housing because I'm not a builder. I asked him to confirm on that basis whether or not Kainga Ora provide housing. Stuart has sensibly moved the convo here as it was getting a bit truncated.

        • Stuart Munro

          You don't provide housing Gypsy, and you know it perfectly well.

          Were you struck by lightning tomorrow (by some benignant deity) the amount of housing would be unchanged.

          • Gypsy

            Were I struck by lightening tomorrow the housing I provide now would not burn to the ground, so it would go on being provided. But if one of my tenants was struck by lightening, and I decided to leave the property vacant, then the amount of housing available would most certainly change. Get it now?

    • Ad 13.3

      Stuart, have a check of the book Generation Rent by Shamubeel Eeaqub before you make any claim that renting is always worse than owning.

      He makes further commentary on the government responses here:

      Opinion: Labour's attack on investors ballsy, shows 'generation rent' may be getting political clout against the landed gentry | Newshub

      • Stuart Munro 13.3.1

        I know perfectly well what Shamu has to say about it all – and how he changed his tune about five years back, as the costs of renting hit him. He used to be the chief housing crisis denier – he has materially depreciated the gravity of his qualifications.

        • Ad

          I don't see his writing denying much about NZ housing.

          Only that owning is also complex and has large risks.

        • Molly

          I was at this event. Struck me at the time that the incremental changes suggested would not be successful.

    • Molly 13.4

      "But you have been trying to run the argument, that a landlord is a housing provider."

      That's right. And until Kainga Ora lift's its game, that part of the market share will want returns on investment.

      Government is a housing provider than can financially quantify social, health and community benefits into their returns, and drop costs and increase supply accordingly.

      Why aren't they?

      • Brigid 13.4.1

        Because that's socialism and we just cant have that.

      • Stuart Munro 13.4.2

        The difference between the state as a rentier, and a private sector landlord, is that the state is less motivated to squeeze every last drop of monopoly margin they can out of tenants – they can operate at cost, at which point they are neutral in terms of deadweight cost, except that, by operating more economically than private landlords, they tend to attract tenants from them, decreasing the net cost both to tenants, and to the productivity of the economy as a whole.

        As with most socialist interventions, it is much better economics than the crude avarice of unfettered markets – which goes some way to explaining Savage’s enviable economic success.

        • Gypsy

          You might want to learn more about KO.

          You can get an investor update here.

          You can get the 2020-21 Annual Report here.

          KO is a massive organisation, with a huge corporate footprint. And they spend up large on offices.

          You really are shooting yourself in the foot. Which generally happens when you try to run a weak case across several conversations.

  13. Gypsy 14

    "So, we have long since established that landlords impose a deadweight cost to the economy, preventing growth and consigning a nation state to poorer standard of living growth."


    "But you have been trying to run the argument, that a landlord is a housing provider."


    "Scalpers, like landlords increase scarcity…"

    That's an assertion you haven't provided any evidence for.

    "discourage productive activity by reducing the profit available to the actual producers."
    Producers of what?

    • arkie 14.1

      Here's a little question of you: If you didn't buy the houses you currently rent out, would they still exist?

      They would, so you aren't actually providing housing, you are lending out the use of your extra houses (houses that you don't inhabit) for a fee. If you didn't have more houses than you need there would be more houses on the market for prospective owner-occupiers. Simple.

      • Gypsy 14.1.1

        "If you didn't buy the houses you currently rent out, would they still exist?"

        Possibly not. I am part of the demand side of the market, which is met at least in part when new houses are built. I’ll give you another, and very specific example. In late 2019, I purchased an abandoned unit in Auckland. The unit hadn’t been lived in for several years, and was derelict. I spent several weeks completely over hauling the property, and making it livable. Then I rented it out to a young couple, providing them with somewhere to live.

        "…so you aren't actually providing housing, you are lending out the use of your extra houses (houses that you don't inhabit) for a fee.'

        No, you are quite wrong. For example, I could choose to leave the house empty. By putting the house into the rental pool, I am providing housing.

        ” If you didn’t have more houses than you need there would be more houses on the market for prospective owner-occupiers. Simple.”
        The houses I own were and still are available to those potential owner. I’m not taking them anywhere.

        • arkie

          The housed you have bought were not built by you, they existed before you purchased them, this isn’t arguable. You haven’t ‘created’ housing by letting it out, your argument that you ‘provide’ housing is semantic only.

          For example, I could choose to leave the house empty. By putting the house into the rental pool, I am providing housing.

          You are monopolising this house. You admit you could leave it unoccupied; denying anyone the use of it. You alone have the choice whether the house is occupied. Because of this you aren't providing housing, you have exclusive ability to reduce the number of houses available to rent, and by your purchase of this house you have reduced the number of houses available for sale.

          The houses I own were and still are available to those potential owner. I’m not taking them anywhere.

          They’re all currently listed for sale then? If not, then yes, by owning them you are preventing anyone else from owning them. If you chose to leave them empty, then you prevent anyone from being housed in them. This is inarguable, but I’m sure you’ll give it a go.

          • Gypsy

            "Because of this you aren't providing housing, "

            I am, as soon as I put it on the rental market.

            " If not, then yes, by owning them you are preventing anyone else from owning them. "

            Anyone can come to me at anytime and make me an offer. Or, they could have purchased them when I did.

            Will you answer my question about Kainga Ora…do they provide housing or not?

            • arkie

              “Because of this you aren’t providing housing, ”

              I am, as soon as I put it on the rental market.

              Only semantically. The house existed before you bought it, you have exclusive ownership and control over what happens to that house which you do not need.

              Will you answer my question about Kainga Ora…do they provide housing or not?

              They build and develop new houses, yes?

              • Gypsy

                "The house existed before you bought it, you have exclusive ownership and control over what happens to that house which you do not need."

                Sure, and I choose to rent it out as housing.

                "They build and develop new houses, yes?"

                They build nothing. They have the private sector build houses, and then purchase them, or they purchase existing houses on the open market, competing with other house buyers. So, are they providing housing or not?

                • arkie

                  They build nothing. They have the private sector build houses, and then purchase them, or they purchase existing houses on the open market, competing with other house buyers.

                  So exactly like you then?

                  You are wrong though, they build and development new housing, so are a provider of housing in the ways you are not, while also being a landlord in much the same way as you. Keep searching for your semantic victory though.

                  • Gypsy

                    "So exactly like you then?"

                    YES! So if they 'provide housing', so do I. Well done, you got there in the end.

                    "You are wrong though"

                    No, I'm not. Those houses are built by private sector builders. KO are the same as any other property developer. And KO existing houses. Lot's of them.

                    • arkie

                      So if they 'provide housing', so do I.

                      Nope, they 'provide housing' by building new developments, while they are landlords like you, in that they compete with other house buyers for existing housing stock. I knew you were only interested in semantics.

                  • Gypsy

                    "they 'provide housing' by building new developments"

                    No, they don't actually build anything. They purchase new builds from private sector builders. Just like you or I could. The inconsistency of your argument is taking you down a huge hole.

                    • arkie

                      …the housing we’re supplying meets the needs of a wide range of New Zealanders.

                      Public housing – comprises the new and existing state homes that Kāinga Ora builds and manages for decades. Our development programmes replace, upgrade and add to New Zealand’s existing state homes.

                      Affordable housing – Homes in more affordable price ranges will feature in many of our new housing developments. This includes those looking for their first home.

                      Market Housing – Providing a variety of types of new homes is vital to addressing the country’s housing needs. Market homes are being built within neighbourhoods that also include community housing and KiwiBuild homes to create vibrant and diverse communities. By bringing a greater supply of homes to the general market for purchase we hope to help ease the pressure on pricing.


                      You are wrong. That is partially what they do, but as seen above they develop and build new housing. You do not. I would not be buying a house I don't intend to live in, you have, for the profit, not to provide housing,

                  • Gypsy

                    "That is partially what they do, but as seen above they develop and build new housing."

                    No, they build nothing. They are property developers and landlords.

                    • arkie

                      No, they build nothing. They are property developers and landlords.

                      More semantics. But semantics I had already addressed previously and you've still failed to grok: Developers provide housing in the way landlords do not. Developers add to the total number of houses available, landlords do not. The government developments are built with different intentions other than profit-seeking, landlord's extra houses are only for profit-seeking. But feel free to say "developers don't 'build' houses, builders do" we'll all be very impressed.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Developers add to the total number of houses available, landlords do not."

                    So? The definition of providing housing doesn't include 'add to the number of houses'.

                    • arkie


                      You think landlords do not contribute to the housing shortage, because you 'PrOvIdE HoUsInG' but as been repeatedly shown, and you have previously acknowledged, landlords are competing with other potential buyers for the extra houses they buy. In this aspect you are reducing the number (and increasing the price) of houses available for owner-occupiers. Landlords gain all the equity at minimal cost to themselves, and the housing you 'provide' remain yours exclusively after you have 'provided' it.

      • swordfish 14.1.2

        Bear in mind a few prominent Standardistas are landlords.

        • Incognito

          Some are even woke landlords …

          • pat

            Woke or not, when the (systemic) incentives are what they have been the logical thing for anyone with savings has been to herd them in one direction, The fact that direction is both unproductive and unsustainable reflects poorly on those in the position to influence such….and in recent times it raises the question about those who partake and cannot (refuse) see the risk…..and act accordingly.

          • swordfish


            Some are even woke landlords

            Landlords who only rent to Pregnant Men of Colour ?

            • Incognito

              They make their decisions based on real needs of others, which goes without saying. Therefore, they prefer to rent to homeless people with neurodiverse personality traits. Otherwise, their peers would accuse them of sexual and racist bias and defriend them on social media. Such a cancellation, although entirely based on principle and sound moral judgement, would keep the woke awake at night and lead to lots of tossing & turning with the occasional snore-groan. Spare a thought for the woke landlords, as they don’t have easy lives whilst trying to balance cold-hearted business decisions with warm-spirited and kind gestures of humanity and moral justness.

    • Stuart Munro 14.2

      Denying deadweight costs of rentseeking ativities?

      And you ACToids were supposed to be the economic know-it-alls, but it turns out just ignorant greedies

      Deadweight loss, also known as excess burden, is a measure of lost economic efficiency when the socially optimal quantity of a good or a service is not produced. Non-optimal production can be caused by highly concentrated wealth and income (economic inequality), monopoly pricing in the case of artificial scarcity,.. Wikipedia

      • Gypsy 14.2.1

        Demonstrate, in your own words, how being a landlord imposes a deadweight cost on the economy.

        You might need to explain (or even understand) how being a landlord results in "the socially optimal quantity" of rental properties not being produced.

        • Stuart Munro

          The landlord abstracts a profit based on a partial monopoly.

          That profit, like all monopoly profits, is a deadweight cost.

          Real estate inflation is another.

          I'd tell you to try to keep up, but you're clearly pulling a Putin – barefaced and untenable denial.

          • Gypsy

            "The landlord abstracts a profit based on a partial monopoly."

            What partial monopoly? Property is freely traded by thousands of individuals every year.

            "That profit, like all monopoly profits, is a deadweight cost."

            The property market is not a monopoly, so your argument fails.

            • Stuart Munro

              What pathetic rubbish.

              The scarcity in the housing market, particularly in smaller and more economical builds is well established.

              Slumlords tend to buy up affordable properties, further constraining supply. Absent the shortage, you would have few or no tenants.

              • Gypsy

                "The scarcity in the housing market, particularly in smaller and more economical builds is well established. "

                How does there being a shortage of houses make owning more than one a partial monopoly? You really have no idea, do you?

          • Jimmy

            What is a "partial monopoly"? Its either a monopoly or its not. There is no such thing as a partial monopoly.

      • Ad 14.2.2

        There is certainly an opportunity cost to the New Zealand economy of having too much capital and debt put into rental housing and housing as a whole.

        But if one cashed up ones' rental housing, where would one put say $5-$10m?

        A utility company with low risk and low return? A bank with reasonable dividends but low share growth? A tech stock out of the US? An oil company? An NZ property company focusing on commercial space leases?

        What gives the balance of sufficient safety with a reasonable rate of return, coupled with not too much grief?

        Also putting it into Kiwisaver locks it away for too long.

        Right now the safety+RoR+efficiency is still housing.

        Admittedly the government tax changes are tilting that somewhat. But tilting towards what? All that equity has to go somewhere.

        • KJT

          Most landlords depend on tenants paying the mortgage.

          If they "cashed up" they repay the loan. The equity is extinguished.

          At the moment they are unlikely to reborrow for anything useful, like an actual productive business, that entails making an effort to get a return. The equity is not re-directed.

          If enough do that however, that demand that is fueling house price and rent increases is reduced. Less of our total national income is directed towards unproductive endeavers, like paying a landlord for something he didn't produce.

          • Gypsy

            "that entails making an effort to get a return."

            Just like landlords do. Do you think rentals run themselves?

            "Less of our total national income is directed towards unproductive endeavers, like paying a landlord for something he didn't produce."

            But that doesn't happen. Rent is payment for something a landlord does produce – the service of providing a house.

        • Stuart Munro

          All that equity has to go somewhere.

          Well it should be going into the productive economy. Mind, you'd need to be unusually trusting to let it anywhere near the unwashed paws of the NZSE. Create institutions that are not trustworthy and watch investors avoid them.

          Treasury, were they competent and uncorrupted, would have been pressing for reform of the NZSE for decades – but of course they are a lacklustre bunch of rogues and fools that can barely see further than their next paycheques.

          • Gypsy

            "Well it should be going into the productive economy."

            Providing somewhere for someone else to live is productive.

            • Stuart Munro

              Exactly – and you are not doing that – all you are doing is inflating their living costs, and making a windfall profit like every other monopolist.

              You are not alone of course – there are many unethical, counterproductive and exploitive businesses – casinos for example. Good governments, or even governments that merely want healthy economies, do not encourage these sociopathies.

              • Gypsy

                "and you are not doing that"

                Yep, that's exactly what I'm doing.

                " all you are doing is inflating their living costs…"

                How? They aren't forced to live in my rentals. They could get somewhere smaller if they wished. They could go and live with family. You have no idea of their circumstances.

                "…and making a windfall profit like every other monopolist."

                There are 120,330 landlords in NZ, and almost 80% only own one rental. You may need access to a dictionary.

              • Jimmy

                How is he a monopolist? If you do not want to rent his house, go live elsewhere, no one is forcing you to live there.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Watch him quit the sector once housing is truly abundant, and he can no longer extract his unearned income.

                  • Gypsy

                    That's not monopolistic. The meaning of the word is in it's spelling. Mono means only or single or one of. If a butcher decides to exit butchery because he can't make his desired return, is he a monopolist?

                  • Gypsy

                    "It only works to the degree it's monopolistic."

                    What only works? Being a landlord is not monopolistic, by any twisted logic you care to deploy.

                    • Blazer

                      Ever played that game…Monopoly….?

                      Buy as many properties as you can…ramp up the rents ,until you have all the money of the other players and you…..win and they are…broke.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Just plain logic, Gypsy, that stuff self-interest obliges you to deny.

                      People overwhelmingly prefer their own homes even were the existence of landlords financially neutral for, which it certainly isn't.

                      The NZ enthusiasm for owning their own property was well-established long before crook and epic fuckwit Roger Douglas doomed two thirds of the country to grinding poverty and zero social mobility.

                      Your little rort is only possible in a situation of scarcity, as you know perfectly well.

                      I guess for you denial is never the longest river in Africa.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Your little rort is only possible in a situation of scarcity, as you know perfectly well."

                    I have been a landlord at times when there was no scarcity. So you really seem to not understand how any of this works.

                  • Molly

                    The problem is not those that legally provide housing and make (sometimes) substantial profits.

                    The problem is the failure of successive governments to create policies that provide all NZers with access to healthy, affordable homes – whether renting or owning.

                    (ie. Don't place all the blame on the pimps for the exploitation of vulnerable people in the prostitution industry. Blame the government for making this exploitation legal.)

              • Jester

                Absolute rubbish. Some people cannot afford to buy or do not want to. They do not have to rent off Gypsy. It is not compulsory. They can go elsewhere or buy.

                • pat

                  What if Gypsy (or all the Gypsies out there) owned all the properties for rent?

                  • Gypsy

                    What if one butcher owned every butchery? Or one florist owned every flower retailer?

                  • Gypsy

                    "A group monopoly is a cartel"

                    How do you think this group if over 100,000 landlords get together and run this cartel?

                    • pat

                      Property management companies and the property investor groups….they openly promote cartel behaviour.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Property management companies and the property investor groups….they openly promote cartel behaviour."

                    Oh so now it's cartels, not a cartel. But you're wrong. I use a property manager and I've never met another landlord from the same manager. How do you suggest this actually works, when members of these supposed 'cartels' have been telling the government for years it is stuffing up the market and they haven't listened?

                  • Gypsy

                    ""Some landlords are being told …"

                    'Some'. And is the person giving advice speaking for all landlords? No, there is no cartel.

                    • pat

                      The 'some' being told are those that need to be.

                      Enjoy your investment, but dont cry and seek recompense if it turns out to be a mistake.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Guess you weren't reading – there is a shortfall of 100,000 dwellings.

                  Doesn't leave a lot of options.

                  • Gypsy

                    Just as well me and the other 100,000+ landlords are providing housing then.

                  • Gypsy

                    "You are not providing anything, and are entirely dispensable."

                    Yes, and of course we know how Lenin's little escapade ended. 20 million executed. Millions more dead from famine and disease. Interestingly under that regime, you wouldn't even have the benefit of being educated about the property market, with the socialists not that happy with free speech and all that.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Be that as it may, even Lenin's regime was plagued by exploiter landlords, and like NZ, they were eventually obliged to regulate.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Be that as it may, even Lenin's regime was plagued by exploiter landlords, and like NZ, they were eventually obliged to regulate."

                    Oh, I have no problem going after exploiter landlords. Taking them out of the market actually helps the vast majority like myself.

                  • Molly

                    A comprehensive state housing build – as opposed to social housing, or the Kiwibuild debacle – would have an impact.

                    Higher taxes/rates for empty homes to help fund such a build is also an option.

                    Taking overseas investors out of the property market altogether, may help this. We can't be sure because we conveniently don't collate data, but make it that overseas investors can only sell back to NZers at the purchase/cost price and see how many houses then become available.

                    There are many mechanisms governments can use, but they don't.

                    The demonisation of private landlords is a redirection away from the greater source of the 'don't care'.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I'm not demonizing them – just reminding them that they are not on the side of the angels.

                      Governments since neoliberalism have taken a Pollyanna-like view of investors, of being an unalloyed good.

                      Policy needs to be made with a clear understanding of the socially and economically negative aspects of landlordism – sufficient that aspiring migrants offering to establish their value as real estate investors should have been rejected en bloc.

                      Moreover, landlords increasing rents in response to property price inflation instead of actual increased costs, have been a major driver of the current cost of living crunch.

                    • Molly

                      @Stuart Munro

                      "Policy needs to be made with a clear understanding of the socially and economically negative aspects of landlordism – sufficient that aspiring migrants offering to establish their value as real estate investors should have been rejected en bloc.

                      Moreover, landlords increasing rents in response to property price inflation instead of actual increased costs, have been a major driver of the current cost of living crunch."

                      Costs have gone up. The capital cost of purchase has gone up, increasing the initial outlay or financial exposure – and – increasing the costs of maintaining the purchase. Homeowners can testify this to be true, outside of the rental market.

                      Rates have contined to rise. The healthy homes requirements, applied universally (and thus sometimes unnecessarily) have increased costs, (and sometimes misused resources and energy). Any building and maintenance costs have gone up in terms of council fees, labour and materials.

                      The removal of interest costs, will have to be made up in some form. It's a peculiar perspective to not allow interest to be included as a cost, which in any other business is allowable. So the thinking is purely political grandstanding.

                      The reason that successive governments have not effectively addressed rising housing costs, is because it has contributed to the buoyancy of the economy for decades now. What political party has the fortitude to take on that drop in economy? None that I see at present.

                      There is also a large number of NZ voters whose only financial (and other social) security is in home ownership. They will be resistant to housing values coming down. Even if they own only their residential home.

                      There are landlords (and developers) that are profiting immensely from the housing market. But they are using legal tools and leverage available to them by successive government's policies.

                      The institutional beneficiaries that have gained the most are the government in terms of economy boost, and banks in terms of income.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      have gained the most are the government in terms of economy boost

                      Yeah, not really. The governments have gained a propaganda boost, by endorsing the lie that property inflation is growth. It is Treasury's non-performance that is being concealed here.

                      And it is Treasury's secret plans and clever tricks that have failed us all so badly, that it is long past time they crashed headfirst into the hot hot sun. And were sizzled up like a sausage! (Roald Dahl's Enormous Crocodile)

                      In the meantime, rentier complaints need to be taken with a dose of salts. As a class they have benefited from the exceptionally poor policies that necessitate the current reforms, and probably many more reforms are to come before our unbalanced housing situation turns the corner.

                    • Molly

                      @Stuart Munro

                      I have not seen any government proposals that seek to address the housing issue effectively. You have a point re Treasury, but I'd be more inclinedto add to the list than replace government.

                      "In the meantime, rentier complaints need to be taken with a dose of salts. As a class they have benefited from the exceptionally poor policies that necessitate the current reforms, and probably many more reforms are to come before our unbalanced housing situation turns the corner."

                      Like any issue, we should consider and examine each point on merit, not just dismiss because we don't want to cede any credit to landlords as a class.

                      When the interest policy was first mooted, both my partner and aI said, "That'll raise the rents." And it will.

                      So, either:

                      1. The policy is not about rental affordability at all but a clumsy attempt to release rentals onto the market (perhaps rendering existing tenants homeless),

                      2. My cynical view that one of the biggest expenses is no longer able to be claimed, increases book profits, and tax take, while simultaneously implying it is all the fault of landlords.

                      "Moreover, landlords increasing rents in response to property price inflation instead of actual increased costs, have been a major driver of the current cost of living crunch."

                      But my examples are actual increased costs.

                      We need to be able to recognise that, to address effectively.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Absolute rubbish. Some people cannot afford to buy or do not want to. They do not have to rent off Gypsy. It is not compulsory. They can go elsewhere or buy.

                  Rubbish. If "some people cannot afford to buy", then "some people" may be able to "go elsewhere" (the streets are comfortable at this time of year), but "or buy" is (by your own words) off the table.

                  "Some people" have fewer options than others. For example, tenants have fewer purchasing options (on average) than their landlords, which is all well and good – for landlords.

                  Universal Declaration of Human Rights
                  Article 25
                  Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

                  "The bottom 10 percent has a collective $13 billion of debt. The top 10 percent has $800 billion in wealth – more than the other 90 percent combined."

                  How did 'we' get to here? "It's not my problem" is how.


                  • RedLogix

                    The framework of this debate is backward. The core problem is not the people who provide rental housing, it is that so many other people do not qualify for a mortgage at any price – and thus have no choice but to rent.

                    • Ad

                      There's not a lot of New Zealanders or Australians with an untagged $200k savings in the bank, AA credit scores, double incomes with regular reliable fortnightly income, few liabilities, less than 2 children if any, stable careers, strong health, and can convince themselves and everyone else that they can service $1.3m of debt for 20 years …

                      … and ideally grandparents who die in their 70s.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The core problem is not the people who provide rental housing…

                      "Not my problem", "other people['s]" problem – QED.

                      Some landlords may genuinely believe that they're solving other people's problems, but it's my sense that their 'solution' conveniently locks in the problem. Imho, neo-feudalism is alive and well in Aotearoa NZ. Many who believe they are well-served by systemic inequality will resist change with every fibre of their being.

                      New Zealand risks becoming a neo-feudal society, with a property-owning class on one hand and house-nots on the other." – ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden [14 March]

                      Chlöe Swarbrick: UN-enshrined human right to housing eclipsed by investor greed [4 August 2021]

                      Housing is a human right. More than that, adequate housing is a human right.

                      This is not some new-age wokeness, or whatever the latest culture war-baiting buzzword is.

                      We signed up to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted and passed without dissent by the United Nations General Assembly. The UN was created after some of the world's most devastating wars, in hope of creating peace by enforcing basic standards for member nations and their people.

                      The succeeding 70 years, however, saw basic tenets of that contract broken as elected representatives sacrificed goals of shared security and prosperity in favour of individual greed and gain.

                      They instead gamed the system to procure untold wealth for a handful of people at the expense of the largest transient population since around the time we were signing on to the Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago. In Aotearoa New Zealand, that wealth comes in the form of owning houses, multiples of them.

                      We've lost sight of houses as places to live, now they're just assets

                      Very few people need to own more than one dwelling.

  14. adam 15

    You all get the the Russians are in full censorship mode (scummy move by the Russians), but are you getting the west is doing a similar thing. Yeah it's not so overt, just disappearing down the list to oblivion via an algorithm or self censorship and economic threats. But worryingly, more out right bans.

    • McFlock 15.1

      A bit of googling suggests "his" show was a RussiaToday show?

      So Russia Today, as a Russian state-controlled business, is subject to the economic sanctions that are a consequence of Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

      I'm sure that if someone wanted to spout Russian propaganda without being obviously paid by the Russians, they can still do it on youtube.

      • Macro 15.1.1

        And you can be sure "his" show would not have included words such as "war" or "incursion" or mentioned any atrocities. As Alexey Kovalyov, a former editor for the Moscow Times and now an independent journalist describes what life is like inside Russia’s parallel universe.

        Almost everyone outside Russia views Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine the same way: as an obscene and unnecessary atrocity.

        But that’s because the outside world can see clearly what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine. For the average Russian, the picture looks very different. They know there’s something happening in Ukraine, but it’s not a “war” — it’s a “special military operation.” And if you watch the news, which is controlled by the state, you’re not seeing images of bombed apartment buildings or dead civilians on the streets, because that’s what a war looks like and there’s definitely not a war in Ukraine.

        Indeed, Putin signed a law last week mandating up to 15 years in prison for spreading “false information” about the conflict, which includes using words like “war” or “invasion.” And while the state has largely controlled media in Russia, it has now shut down the last remaining independent channel

        • adam

          I love cancel culture, no one need facts, just accusations.

          • Macro

            Alexey Kovalyov left Russia just over a week ago. So when was the last time you were in Russia? Are you trying to tell us that he is not telling the truth?

            • adam

              "his" and his show would have said…

              • Macro

                As you will note the show was on Russian state sponsored RT. So no he would not have been able to use the words "war" or "incursion" when describing the atrocities in Ukraine. 15 years jail for that.

                • adam

                  And "he" – is An American. He worked for RT america.

                  And for the record he has called the invasion a war crime.


                • weston

                  Far as i know LC,s show like the rest of RT broadcasts out of america so NO he wouldnt be getting 15yrs jail for saying war or whatever far as i can tell their presenters have a vast amount more editorial freedom than all the msm media in lockstep with each other .Trump was right on that score a huge chunk of msm in america IS fake news Russiagate was just the tip of the prov iceburg imo

      • Blazer 15.1.2

        BBC reporter absolutely embarrassed by facts…concerning their fake news propaganda and…governance.

        About 3.30mins in.

      • adam 15.1.3

        Always a joy to see you cancel someone without any facts McFlock.

        As his show has been 8 years of anti-war messages. Even, shock horror – against the Russians.

        What next Larry King was a putin puppet?

      • aj 15.1.4

        … they can still do it on youtube.

        YouTube has also been censoring many alternative points of view.

  15. Mike the Lefty 16

    I learned something about petrol pricing a few days ago. People often ask the pertinent question: Why do we have to pay higher costs today for petrol that was actually imported and delivered at a lower cost a few days ago? Isn't that unfair?

    It seems that the price for the petrol we get right now, it is based on the price the retailers expect to pay for the NEXT delivery. At the moment the next delivery will certainly be more expensive so they put their prices up in expectation. It means they when prices are continually rising bigger profits are made, although if the prices go down they can lose.

    • Poission 16.1

      Nope,they price by what the forward contract price (50%) is and what their cost of inventory is (50%).This tends to smooth pricing,and not have large ups or downs when the market price is moving around$30 bbl in a weekly spread.

      Overall with if Russia is removed completely from the world market pricing would be around $ 150 per bbl,which is still less in historical terms then what was paid post 1973.

      Demand had been going up as had prices to meet demand prior to the Ukraine event and subsequent market shock.

      It is because fuel pricing is high visible,everyone gets to see the cost in real time,that there is a lot of angst.

      If there was say a LED meter outside ever council facility showing the daily rise of an average persons rates,there would also be a large amount of noise.

      • Mike the Lefty 16.1.1

        Thanks for the more detailed explanation.

        I got my information from Nine to Noon on RNZ so it was probably a simplified version.

      • Mike the Lefty 16.1.2

        It is interesting that most fuel retailers have already dropped their prices six days before the tax reduction comes into effect.

        You have to wonder how they can do this so readily without taking a loss, and presumably they would not want to take a loss.

        I suspect that there is a lot of b…s sold to the public by the petrol companies regarding the cost components of fuel.

  16. Jimmy 17

    My partner wanted to go for dinner somewhere expensive for our anniversary, so I took her to the BP station for a pie and a Coke!

    • Shanreagh 17.1

      Cheapskate…not even a coffee! Then you could have asked them to give you the used coffee grounds for the compost for the vegetable garden to grow the vegetables for the meal that you are going to cook for her next year! This will save the cost of the 'gold' we will be putting in our tanks by this time next year so you don't even have to drive to the BP station.

      Happy to help!

      Talk to me about solutions for the meat side of the meal!

      ha ha smiley

    • Barfly 17.2

      You're all heart Jimmycheeky

  17. Puckish Rogue 18

    This is a disgrace!

    Juicy Smollett is not only sentenced to jail but he also has to spend that time in a cell with his own attacker.

    • Muttonbird 18.1

      Amazing that Jussie Smollett goes to jail for that while Kyle Rittenhouse murdered two people and walks free, celebrated by the alt right.

      Only in America.

  18. Ad 19

    Great to see this government acting with speed and scale on fuel pricing and transport prices generally.

    • Big cuts to fuel taxes both RUC and petrol, for 3 months ie until new financial year
    • Half price public transport, for 3 months

    No impact on transport funds.

    Here I was yesterday claiming that this government wouldn’t touch fuel excise because it was fully hypothecated and would have too much impact upon road and PT users.
    Wrongly wrongwrong.

    • adam 19.1

      Good to be wrong about though.

    • Stuart Munro 19.2

      It really is the first government we've seen in forever that can actually respond to emergent events.

      Now if they can just bring that alacrity to a few other things. Food is a good bet.

  19. Peter 20

    Someone called Martin Bosley was on RNZ The Panel this afternoon. Following the announcement from Parliament he said on it being said public transport would be half price for the next three months, "Public transport is shot, it doesn't work."

    According to the net he lives in Greytown. Also on there I found,"According to Metlink, over 40 million passenger trips were made by public transport in Wellington in 2018/2019."

    Maybe there should have been the announcement, "As from Monday next there will be no public transport because it doesn't work."

    Bosley is a chef. I wonder what sort of goose would be cooked if there were no public transport. Think just of the road from Wairarapa through Hutt to Wellington. How would that work?

    • gsays 20.1

      Had the misfortune to hear him blather his self centred brain farts on the radio in the past.

      His theme, (from memory) was the young are useless. Then bemoaning the lack of suitable staff for his hospo ventures. The two issues are intimately linked. For a tosspot like him, to link investing time and money in youth and having suitable staff is a bridge too far.

  20. barry 21

    More fucking subsidies for petrol. Nothing for people who have chosen to decarbonise!

    If we gave everyone $50 would they spend it on petrol? or food?

    Why not bring forward the winter energy payment? at least then it would go to people who need it.

    • fender 21.1

      Just bowl up to the food bank in ya fucking Tesla

      • barry 21.1.1

        I go to the supermarket by bicycle. I don't need and didn't expect any government help. But what about the people that can't afford a car? They get nothing and go further backwards. Maybe they are lucky and have a convenient bus route to the food bank.

    • pat 21.2

      Yes , in a sense you are correct, however because energy (fuel) is an input in every activity those who dont directly use petrol or diesel will benefit. The cost of transport in general will (temporarily) reduce transport/production costs which will impact every other product.

      • barry 21.2.1

        so the talk about climate change being "our generation's nuclear-free moment" was all bullshit? It hasn't even got close to hitting home yet, and they cave?

        • pat

          Thats one way to look at it.

          Then there is the reality that those with the wherewithal will be required to meet the cost(s)…..and at some point , probably not too distant the RUC free use of EVs will cease.

          The infrastructure has to be paid for somehow.

        • Barfly

          Well as sure shit if they don't remain in government they can't do squat – and if you think NAct would more than squat I have a bridge to sell you

    • Ad 21.3

      You are just a complete idiot with nothing useful to say.

      "Nothing for people who have chosen to decarbonise!"

      – Half price public transport.

      Providing direct benefit to over 1,000,000 regular users

      – 1 April NZSuper increases $52 per fortnight for a single person

      – 1 April NZSuper increases $80 per fortnight for a couple

      That assists 800,000 Kiwis

      – 1 April Working for Families increases $20 per week

      That assists a further 365,000 families with children

      – 1 April Minimum Wage lifts to $21.20

      That assists a further 300,000 people

      Easily 2.5 million New Zealanders getting greater government funding in 16 days time.

      But sure, have another meaningless fact-free bitch and moan.

      • barry 21.3.1

        Apart from the PT subsidy all those were already in train. The bulk of this announcement is the SUBSIDY FOR PETROL No excuse for backsliding on climate change mitigation like this.

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