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Open mike 14/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 14th, 2021 - 119 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

119 comments on “Open mike 14/05/2021 ”

    • Incognito 1.1

      From Noel’s link:

      Report of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response: making COVID-19 the last pandemic

      In May, 2020, with COVID-19 affecting just about every country on the planet, the World Health Assembly requested the WHO Director-General to initiate an independent, impartial, and comprehensive review of the international health response to the pandemic. He asked us to convene an independent panel for this purpose. The members of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response have spent the past 8 months examining the state of pandemic preparedness before COVID-19, the circumstances of the identification of SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, and responses globally, regionally, and nationally, particularly in the early months of the pandemic. The panel has also analysed the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic on health and health systems, and the social and economic crises that it has precipitated.

      Apparently, Noel reckons the most salient point is something about a fee increase, which seems to be missing and ignoring much …

        • Forget now

          Firstly; Noel, that article is from April 2020 (14 months is a long time in a pandemic), so quite out of date with its focus on what Trump and Bolton are doing.

          Secondly, that is one of the things this report makes specific recommendations to address:

          The World Health Assembly to give WHO both the explicit authority to publish information about outbreaks with pandemic potential immediately without requiring the prior approval of national governments and the ability to dispatch experts to investigate pathogens with pandemic potential with rapid and guaranteed right of access.

        • Incognito

          Right about what? About you writing a non-intelligible context-free clickbait headline comment with a non-descriptive link?

          Yes, I guess I would be right about that. Maybe you can avoid this in future, yes? That would grand, thanks.

      • Forget now 1.1.2

        There seem to be three options:

        1. Do nothing, and all affected countries will separately pay as they go during the next pandemic.
        2. Adopt the recommendations of this report to: "Establish a high-level Global Health Threats Council", and use the already established systems and resources (with admittedly extra funding to support the extra work) of the WHO to implement this.
        3. Develop various regional Pandemic Preparedness Councils from scratch. Which will not have established systems or resources, and may not too work well together when the next Global Health Threat occurs.

        Of the three options; 1 is just gambling with the lives and livelihoods of everyone in the world. Though within any single year it may be the cheapest, in the longterm; it is likely to be the most expensive. 3 would be better, in at least allowing some internationally coordinated preparation, and possibly more responsive to regional needs and cultures. However, there would likely be a lot of redundant duplication (which is good for resiliance, bad for expense), and in a Pandemic with a mutating virus; no one is safe until everyone is safe. 2 seems the cheapest and best of the three options.

        Unless you just don't like Helen Clark, or the WHO; Noel? In which case, I am not willing to see more people die to assuage such petty concerns:

        The message for change is clear: COVID-19 should be the last pandemic. If the global community fails to take this goal seriously, we will condemn the world to successive catastrophes.

  1. esoteric pineapples 2

    Independent journalist Aaron Mate of The Gray Zone explains in this video how inspectors of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) went in person to investigate the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria but found that although people had been killed, it was not through a chemical attack. However, their findings were not included in the final report due to political pressure. They have since spoken out about this but to no avail.

  2. Rosemary McDonald 3

    The New Normal.


    Interesting piece. Demands discussion. Uncle Ashley and Aunty Nikki pretty much saying that despite vaccination, level 2.5 Public Health measures will need to be in place if the borders are opened to tourism.

    On the back of Our Leader's address to the People That Matter most.

  3. Janet 4

    Dr Ashley Bloomfield is considering….in NZ Herald today

    “Opening up the border to vaccinated tourists to resurrect this country's tourism industry could require Kiwis to return to life at Covid alert level 2.5.

    Because it could provide the financial boom that Kiwi tourism operators need. Pre-Covid, the industry was worth $40.9 billion to the economy.

    This would mean New Zealanders are being asked to subsidise tourism because many New Zealand business and activities would be down-sized and restricted again eg: Gym class sizes restricted and funeral attendee limited etc. and all New Zealanders daily lives are again impacted in many small but very annoying ways by social distancing and mask wearing.

    Tourism was already out of control and spoiling NZ and it is a fickle business – as covid has proven. I say no to returning to Level 2.5 to let tourists in.

    • Graeme 4.1

      Dr Ashley just told a part of our tourism industry to go away and grow up.

      Tourism, and by that I mean the whole industry including domestic, wouldn’t be able to operate profitably at Level 2.5. Most businesses wouldn’t be able to trade for long. We know, we’ve been there, and a lot have been there several times.

      But there’s some in the industry who can’t or won’t realise that the world has changed and won’t be going back the way it was. Hopefully they will depart the industry in a reasonably orderly fashion before they and those around them are too badly damaged.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.3

      Yes. The tourism industry is overated. Maybe its something like the 'new car assembly' industry, once it was gone with the high prices with it, we then wondered why 'it was a thing'.
      Many of the 'industry' numbers include all local tourism and they count all hospitality spending 'as tourism'…. and they now moan as the tourists on longer visas themselves provide the staff.

      In Australia they found they are 'nett Tourism exporter' as Aussies spend more on tourism overseas than it brings in.

      We have more in bound tourists for our population size but are still big spenders offshore.

      • woodart 4.3.1

        good post ghost. I have long thought that more money is taken out of NZ by kiwis touring overseas, than is properly bought in and spent here by foreign tourists. when proper costings are done, and things like environmental damage etc are factored in, as well as honest costings for cruise ship passengers(amounts claimed as spent by cruise ship passengers on day visits are wildly overstated), and foreign owned tourism businesses have there amounts honestly tallied(much of their revenue disappears straight back to country of business ownership, and all NZ gets is a portion of gst), tourism is NOT a silver bullet.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.4

      "Pre-Covid, the industry was worth $40.9 billion to the economy.”

      That counts ALL local tourism and ALL hospitality spending, no way is it a loss of $40 bill to GDP ( which is $200 bill per year ?).

      Takeaaway government spending from $200 bill ( which is around $115 bill) and you get supposedly Tourism is 40% of non government spending. Utter nonsense

      The GDP bounceback shows its a tiny fraction of 'lost GDP'.

      • Pat 4.4.1
        • Total tourism expenditure was $40.9 billion, an increase of 4 percent ($1.6 billion) from the previous year.
        • International tourism expenditure increased 5.2 percent ($843 million) to $17.2 billion, and contributed 20.4 percent to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services.
        • The number of short-term arrivals to New Zealand increased 1.3 percent over the same period.
        • Tourism generated a direct contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) of $16.2 billion, or 5.8 percent of GDP.
        • Tourism is our biggest export industry, contributing 21% of foreign exchange earnings.
        • The indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $11.2 billion, or 4.0 percent of GDP.
        • 229,566 people were directly employed in tourism (8.4 percent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand), an increase of 3.9 percent from the previous year.
        • Tourists generated $3.8 billion in goods and services tax (GST) revenue, with $1.8 billion coming from international tourists


        None of which shows the net position which appears to be roughly balanced by Kiwis offshore travel

        • Nic the NZer

          I would have picked NZ to be net trade deficit regarding tourism. That, for me, explains why we only run trade surplus for brief times around domestic recessions (when the income taps stop flowing briefly). But could be convinced otherwise by comprehensive statistics. Though of course any such statistics say little about anything as your fundamentally comparing non-NZers who come here to NZers who go anywhere else.

          • Pat

            roughly (pre covid) 3 million offshore trips each year by Kiwis as opposed to 3.8 million overseas travellers arriving here….duration and travel will be determining factors but would suggest that the net position is not huge either way, as borne out by trade balance numbers during covid.

          • Graeme

            From our viewpoint in the industry (very small retail that’s about 65% domestic and mid price point) a big indicator we’ve got a balance of payments issue in tourism is the effect a low NZD has on out turnover. Below .65 USD and the good times start, get below .60 and yipee. And most of the increase is domestic. International visitors, or at least the ones we deal with, tend to see New Zealand as good value at .75 USD or less.

            I hope there’s some independent analysis of the balance of payments effects of tourism now there’s counter data from the border closure. It might make a few if the cocky buggers in the industry sit down and think about what they are doing to the country

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Like I said , you cant rely on the ' tourism industry' to provide accurate numbers about the tourism industry.

          Its absurdly over inflated by including any social/travel activity – probably include movie business – which will have the 'screen industry' up in arms.

          • Pat

            Believe the stats will be drawn from arrival/departure declarations from Immigration/customs…as to income generated I would imagine there will be multiple sources including IRD but to what degree income is apportioned I couldnt say.

            It is to be expected that the industry will present the most favourable (to itself) expression

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Arrival/departure doesnt count spending. But lets look at that

              Say 3.9 mill tourists and the $40 bill 'tourist industry would suggest the average spend inside NZ is $10,000 each . That would put a couple at $20k . Thats an average!

              MBIE puts 'true' holiday spending from international tourists at $7 bill ( 2019) Thats 3.5% of GDP

              We know 1 mill are 'friends and family' visitors so likely kiwis resident offshore and such. Only 2 mill are 'holiday's others are on business etc.

              • Pat

                From your link

                Total expenditure ($ millions) $11,310 2%

                Average expenditure per person per trip $3,350 2%

                Median expenditure per person per trip $2,390 9%

                Holiday / vacation $7,029 0%

                Visiting friends / relatives $2,151 -5%

                Business $759 -11%

                Other $1,371 53%

                No spending figures for outbound but that difficult to gather

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  Excluding 'friends and family' we get $7 bill. To coin a phrase, I've have sent the $40 bill claim 'packing'

                  tears are shed in Queenstown from the highly geared airBNB rental owners

                  • Pat

                    The 40 billion is total spend including support services …24 billion of that is internal/domestic tourism…the 7 billion figure is solely international holidaying tourists spend…..and then there is another 4 odd billion from business/family/other.

                    They attribute international tourism's share as 17 billion (approximately 42%)

      • Adrian 4.4.2

        Exactly, $40 billion my arse, the bullshit pisses me off. In the last few months the industry has been saying they will welcome back the Aussie tourists as they are 40% of the market at about 3.8 billion dollars of revenue. Thats the true figure which equates to about 8 billion for inbound tourism, it also includes assumed night stays on cruise ships so its still dodgy. Kiwis banked over 8 billion extra in 2020 which analysts put down to saved spending on overseas travel.

        If you are going to bullshit people get your facts right because you will always be found out.

        • Tricledrown

          Adrian 40% of the numbers of tourists Australians don't spend as much as the other 60% .

          It helps balance the billions the Aussie banks take out of our economy.

    • Ad 4.5

      Small tours of wealthy people undertaking highly curated experiences are also best for track and trace.

      So value-add and public health measures can possibly mesh.

      Minister Nash needs some hard measures and processes to come out of that $200m industry funding announced last week, to step up to Bloomfield's stern advice.

    • left for dead 4.6

      Re: $40 billion odd, over 50% is internal.

  4. Foreign Waka 5

    This must be the quintessential test of how greed can override the health of an entire population.

    We could have just thrown 16 Billion dollars out the window and now another 16 billion are to follow?


    "Data from the vaccine trials indicate strong immunity at least months after vaccination, indicating possible long-term immunity"

    Note: Indication and possible does not mean proven

    "If I get a coronavirus vaccination, do I still have to wear a mask? Physical distance?

    Yes. It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. A vaccine that is 95% effective means that about 1 out of 20 people who get it may not have protection from getting the illness"

    • Forget now 5.1

      Getting scientist to make definitive statements that something is definitely proven, without further study being required, is like pulling teeth, FW. Especially with ascertaining immunity against a mutating virus – even if the vaccines give long-lasting immunity (they haven't existed for that long) against past strains, that does not necessarily mean that they will provide protection against new variants.

      The problem is not just a vaccine's efficacy, but also the proportion of a population who are willing to take it for the good of all. A 95% effective vaccine taken by only half the population will not give that population herd immunity (depending on the Rate of Transmission) without a lot of dead people from the remainder being infected to acquire natural immunity. This Nature piece from last year gives some insight into the difficulties of calculating that moving target:

      “Most of the herd-immunity calculations don’t have anything to say about behaviour at all. They assume there’s no interventions, no behavioural changes or anything like that,” he says. This means that if a transient change in people’s behaviour (such as physical distancing) drives the Rt down, then “as soon as that behaviour goes back to normal, the herd-immunity threshold will change.”


      • Incognito 5.1.1

        One of the best comments on this topic so far! Indeed, herd immunity depends on herd behaviour. Differences in behaviour were also underpinning different actions in/by different countries. Sweden is a case in point.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Changed behaviours and self preservation happened after the influenza pandemic and tuberculosis outbreak.

          It led to gloves handkerchiefs no spitting except in spittoons brass door plates and handles, brass entry steps brass taps , brass did not allow a pathogen to live long.

          In this pandemic we are seeing mask wearing on public transport better hand hygiene coughing into elbows social distancing and using technology to scan in as helpful. The herd develops helpful behaviours, but like the vaccine they are used when a threat is perceived.

        • McFlock

          ISTR that the report (Hendry?) that persuaded Cabinet of the urgent need for a L4 lockdown had an upper incidence and mortality estimates based on zero behaviour change. But it included other estimates for partial lockdowns and behaviour changes.

          The only one that didn't end in overloaded ICU and crematoria was L4 ASAP.
          looking for link but the wifi where I am is unreliable.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      " A vaccine that is 95% effective means that about 1 out of 20 people who get it may not have protection from getting the illness"

      Any sort of medical treatment mostly doesnt have even 95% effectiveness (19 in 20) especially in the area of drug therapy.

      For the current flu vaccine which I have every year, if I dont then a bout of flu will lay me low for a week at least. With having the vaccine there may 1 or2 occasions I have very mild flu symptoms for a day or so.

      With Covid 19 , there are existing people, could be 40% who have none or little symptoms, the vaccine pushes that up as well as some sort of immunity. Then there is the herd effect where it just doesnt spread widely because reproduction rate is so low.

      • Foreign Waka 5.2.1

        All I am saying is that having the borders open for tourists poses a risk that I personally feel is under current circumstances not prudent.

        It only takes one person going up and down the country, seeing al the sites etc. to potentially put us into lock down. The elderly, the ones with underlying conditions such as asthma, immune deficiencies of all kinds will not have much of a chance. The health system will not be able to cope at all given the current issues, let alone having an influx of covid patients.

        Is it not utterly selfish to assume that a certain % of people can be sacrificed like collateral damage for those who want to open the borders?

        Also, I like to see the list of those, in private and public sector who would be approving and influencing such a move, publicized.

        • McFlock

          OK, so infected people coming here would be a given. Just common sense for looking at the likely outcome, can't pretend it's impossible.

          Two numbers in particular matter about whether vaccination will protect people: the population immunity level and vaccine efficacy. Those, together, tell us how safe we are as a society exposed to an infected person at a given vaccination rate.

          If 80% of people need to be completely immune to get to the point that an infected person (on average – nuance #1) will infect less than one other person (R0<1), and we know that the vaccine has 95% efficacy for complete immunity (nuance #2), then out of 100 people about 85 would need to be vaccinated to be reasonably sure any outbreak would fade away without further intervention (nuance #3).

          Nuance #1: if the tourist goes to weirdoville which is full of unvaxxed essential oilists, that community is screwed without other interventions. Not matter what they think about vitamin d.

          Nuance #2: even if a vaccinated person gets covid, it's still a win if they are less infectious and less incapacitated. If we can keep them alive and out of hospital, the money wasn't wasted. If they isolate at home, they needn't infect anyone else.

          Nuance #3: basically, if infectious tourist spreads it, that vulnerable locality would possibly need to go all the way to level 4.

    • Tricledrown 5.3

      Foreign Waka 1 in 20 who have been vaccinated may get Covid but may not be hospitalized because even those 1 in 20 most won't get severe or long covid.

      If we get to 90% plus immunization rates the risk of transmission goes down so even better.

      But new variants may still be transmissable by up to 40% of those vaccinated.

      The good thing about NZ's envious position is we can watch what's happening in the rest of the world and adapt to the latest scientific knowledge.

      • Foreign Waka 5.3.1

        How many people in NZ are vaccinated right now and what progress are we making (stage 1-4)?


        According to the last reading

        389 000 people have been vaccinated, of those 120 000 had 2 doses, and this comprises 2.4% of the population. Is there an expectation that everybody just tries for herd immunity like the UK a year ago?

        • Tricledrown

          Foriegn Waka ,389,000 is 10% of NZ adults given the first dose which gives high immunity.

          The Scare mongers are saying the role out is to slow .I say BS.

          The UK a year ago didn't have a vaccine available or did it have a hard lockdown. We need to make sure countries like Brazil the US the UK India etc where people are dying the virus has mutated and continues to mutate in these populations. Until those populations are vaccinated we are not safe so for us to be safe we should not be selfish it may backfire.

          We have options one is not to panic or pander to scare mongers.

          • Foreign Waka

            I think we need to have at least 80% vaccinated before we think about opening the boarders. At least the people here, who have not just to cope with the consequences of that pandemic but also the next 2 generations paying back the 16 billion bill, ought to be reasonable protected.

            • Tricledrown

              Foreign Waka Compared to Australias $1.2 trillion .Our economy has rebounded so be thankful that the capital injection for without it our future generations would have to rebuild the economy as well as pay down this small amount of debt .When you look at our recent debt history inflation included it's around the debt National borrowed for the Canterbury rebuild.

              [spurious letters removed from user name]

  5. Ad 6

    With the IDF now rolling ground troops etc into Gaza, this is now a full lopsided war.

    I'm no supporter of Hamas but Netanyahu is the worst-ever Israeli state leader and fatally damaged its people.

    Nothing good comes from this.

    • Sabine 6.1

      I'm no supporter of Hamas but Netanyahu is the worst-ever Israeli state leader and fatally damaged its people. keeps getting elected over and over again.

      Some say that all this started to hide the fact that he is up on corruption charges and has a court case for it.


      • Ad 6.1.1

        The Wag The Dog of war is strong on both sides of this. Netanyahu certainly needs to shore up his electoral support after 3 hung elections. Same for Hamas who have elections next week.

        But ground invasion is a bigger step than standard gaming.

        • Sabine

          there is a big difference between Israel and the Ghetto that is Gaza.

          And there is a big difference between a home made rocket from Hamas, or even a donated small rocket from Syria and the weaponry that Israel has. And there is an even bigger difference between throwing these rockets on the open air prison that the Ghetto Gaza is then the defiance by the Palestianians to just roll over and die.

          One has a state, and the other does not. That too needs to be looked at. What is going on is slaughter to remove some bad news of one of the most despicable figures global politics could have spawned.

        • Sanctuary

          I think I predicted this 😉

          The question now is can Hamas inflict a level of attrition on the IDF that prevents an Israeli ground victory. Hamas can easily trade 20 or 30-1 in lives and still "win" if they kill really significant numbers of Israeli soldiers – although the outcome is most likely to be simply a return to the antebellum stalemate where Israel can't defeat Hamas without inflicting a true genocide that'll weaken support even amongst their most sycophantic supporters in the Anglosphere political elites that they've worked so hard to lock in as unconditional supporters of Israel, and Hamas win a tactical victory by surviving, forcing the IDF to retreat but are incapable of a strategic victory that’ll force Israel to the table – like breaking the blockade or really carrying the fight into Israel itself.

          Ultimately this latest war will be the third stalemate. The problem is Israel is now run by racist ultra-nationalist fanatics whose dehumanising rhetoric is dangerously similar the likes of stuff you can read in any number of rants from other certain nations who retained large, dehumanised populations in ghettoes, so this time they may try and reach a final solution to the Palestinian problem.

          • McFlock

            I reckon they've had that solution in mind since before Ariel Sharon was minister of agriculture.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              David Ben Gurion had in mind expulsion of Palestinians and he was 1st PM.

              'Ben-Gurion said that "without Deir Yasin there would be no Israel."

              • Forget now

                Deir Yasin being the unprovoked massacre of that Palestinian village by the Lehi (Stern gang) along with: The Irgun – the paramilitary (/terrorist) group that later became the Herut political party, which in turn became part of the Likud alliance.

                On April 10, 1948, one day after the Deir Yassin massacre, Albert Einstein wrote a critical letter to the American Friends of Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (the U.S chapter of the Stern gang) refusing to assist them with aid or support to raise money for their cause in Palestine. On December 2, 1948, many prominent American Jews signed and published an op-ed article in NYT critical of… the massacre at Deir Yassin.


        • McFlock

          Well, he is in deep legal ca-ca.

          But also, some successful rocket impacts make the expense of "Iron Dome" a perceived waste and boondoggle.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.2

        "getting elected over and over again"

        Its his coalition deals , hes been losing seats for some time ( their MMP is all list) for his Likud party in parliament of 120

        2021 -7 seats to have 30

        2020 +4

        2019 Sept -6

        2019 Apr +5

        2015 +12 to get 30 or 25%

        • Sabine

          Yes. and that is what gets him elected again and again. And everyone that goes into coalition with him supports him and his ideas.

    • Tricledrown 6.2

      Netanyahu deliberately set this off as he is being prosecuted and in the process of trying to form a minority coalition.

      Wars set off a rise in Nationalism.

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        Some info about Israel elections. I needed to remind myself. FYI

        Elections in Israel are based on nationwide proportional representation. The electoral threshold is currently set at 3.25%, with the number of seats a party receives in the Knesset being proportional to the number of votes it receives.
        Elections in Israel – Wikipedia

        A total of 39 parties registered to contest the elections.
        2021 Israeli legislative election – Wikipedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › 2021_Israeli_legislative_…

        Seems a good reason to keep a higher threshhold for parties to avoid proliferation of parties then splitting the vote and allowing people to slip in who are not a clear choice. We have 5% I don't think ever below 4% would be wise.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Not really that many parties win seats between 3.25 and 5%. ( I think NZ should have a minimum seats of 5 or around 4.1%)

          They just have so many parties between 5 and say 12%. Likud is at 25% or so , which is around what National got in election here, and yet they are the biggest party.

          They definitely need a waka jumping law as that is a 'full pandemic' of splitting and creating new parties/ member sharing deals.

          • greywarshark

            Oh thanks. I don't like what has happened in Israel politics so if you say stop waka jumping is good I agree.

  6. (in reply to the MICKYSAVAGE piece ..but possibly off topic so I'll dump it here…)

    "I watched the video and my initial reaction was concern that Jacinda was showing human weakness and frailty in trying to address a very complex issue with compassion. My second reaction was admiration that Jacinda was showing human weakness and frailty in trying to address a very complex issue with compassion."

    …eh? What?…is life for Labour supporters getting that desperate and cultish we need to start babbling this sort of meaningless rhetoric? Praising our PM for "human weakness and frailty" in Parliament … and in a time of a massive housing crisis and an economy increasingly built on inequality and exploitation requires something with a bit more backbone…what with Jacindas "human weakness and frailty" and "incremental change"…at this rate, before you know it we'll be dealing with Labour Leaders on par with Starmer …

    STARMER: This is not a question of left or right*. It’s a question of whether we’re facing the country. We have changed as a party, but we’ve not made a strong enough case to the country. We’ve lost that connection, that trust, and I intended to rebuild that and do whatever is necessary to rebuild that trust.

    BBC: But what does change mean in, say, policy terms?

    STARMER: It means stopping, as a party, quarreling amongst ourselves, looking internally, and facing the country, and setting out that bold vision for a better Britain . . .

    BBC: Sorry, Sir Keir, what is that vision?

    STARMER: . . . changing the things that need changing, and that is the change that I will bring about.


    …which would be funny……except this sort of lack of vision, and lack of action, is one of the factors that leads to Progressives and Centrists standing by while the Right takes power…I am increasingly worried, as we all should be, that the only reason Labour might get in next election is if National can manage to keep up their internal implosion…

    *.and I know the idea of "not Left or Right" has a certain appeal to many on The Standard

    • Sabine 7.1

      The best the country can hope for is for Labour to lose its majority and be forced to create a coalition.

      • Siobhan 7.1.1

        (groans inwardly)..yep…back to blaming their coalition partner for the lack of actual progress ..you have to wonder if the disaffected masses will buy into that narrative a second time around…

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Yes. Its a small section of minor parties who think that with under 10% the tail should wag the dog.

          • Sabine

            Heck if the dog needs the tail to get to the food bowl, then yes, the tail is wagging the dog, or else the dog goes hungry and goes no where.

            MMP is very decent system, if the Parties have a bit of respect for ech other. But if two parties think that the smaller parties are there to wipe their bums and put them into seats and other then that shut up, both Parties should not be surprised to find out one day that neither of them have friends left.

    • Sanctuary 7.2

      The Standard really has degenerated significantly recently into an axe grinding shop for any number of the terminally bitter, single issue fanatics, and intolerable whiners.

      • Siobhan 7.2.1

        …deep breaths Sanctuary, deep breaths…atleast we'll be after you with sharp axes…quick and clean…

        • Sanctuary

          Look, I get it that being wild eyed, bitter and demanding a peoples revolution or something is a luxury reserved for those in society who for whatever reason have never (yet?) got to taste the heady elixir of responsibility and Byzantine combinations that characterise complex institutions.

          But if you could refrain from constantly favouring those of us who perhaps may have had something of a sip from the Sisyphean cup of organisational intricacy with that uninformed and fevered opinion then that would be just splendid.

          • Siobhan

            …rather presumptuous there sanctuary ..I don't actually recall sending you my CV…but that's neither here nor there…you do realise that people can come into power and actually change things ..almost overnight…should they have that clarity of vision and determination one would hope for in a Politician that desires to rule the land?

            No one with an interest in NZ politics will forget the Fourth Labour government ( for better or worse) or the First Labour government for that matter…they are reference points to us all for various issues…I suspect Jacindas 6th Labour Governments legacy will be how nice she was after the Mosque shootings ..and how that was the moment horrendously expensive dystopic motel/slum style housing ghettos became normalised …

      • woodart 7.2.2

        quite correct sanctuary. the Standard has unfortunatley degenerated into a near constant whinge session, mostly by three or four of the terminally bitter, who have driven many thoughtful posters away.

  7. Forget now 8

    This isn't quite as insane as the headline promises, but the video footage of a marine food web in action is quite fascinating. The krill eat the plankton, and in turn are gobbled up by fish and a whale, with the fish then chomped up by a swarm of sharks, with gulls hovering to snatch the scraps:


    • Tricledrown 8.1

      I don't mean to drone on but your above post mirrors Wall st.The peasants get eaten by the middle classes who get gobbled up by the ruling classes.

      • Forget now 8.1.1

        Yeah, your trickledrown theory is pretty much what I was going for. "Whales" being a dehumanising term used by videogame execs for bigspending/ addicted players. I was going to put in a line about; the faeces falling down to the nourish bottom-feeders, as well, but couldn't get the phrasing right.

        Mostly I was just a bit miffed that it was just a drone filming oceanic predators, rather than some robotic submarine cage actually capturing a whale-shark. That would have been insane!

  8. Byd0nz 9

    This rap from a few years back still relevant.

    Holocaust Rapper. (read it in rap)

    He is a holocaust denier
    Put Netanyahu on the fryer
    Make John Kerry stoke the fire
    Coz he’s a fuckin liar
    Yea, he says, he is a holocaust denier
    Israel stole Hitlers mantle
    And imprisoned the Palestinians
    Walled them in with the blessings
    Of western politicians,
    The Jewish State will always rank
    As a land of terror
    Born by terrorist deeds
    The British turned a blind eye
    The U.S. sowed the seeds
    Why shouldn't he be a holocaust denier
    Whenever he saw the phosphorus fire
    Hearing Palestinian voices through the smoke
    The cries of infants as they choke
    American weapons of mass destruction
    Vice President firms
    Used for reconstruction
    Yea, he says, I’m a holocaust denier
    Coz that's the only way,
    To provoke their fuckin ire.

  9. Sabine 10

    oh heck but this is funny.


    Colonial Pipeline reportedly shut fuel distribution down after last week’s cyberattack, not for safety reasons, but because its compromised systems couldn’t keep track of customer bills.

  10. Pat 11


    "How does the government not know this? They put this policy in place two years ago. It will have been under development for a year before that. You would expect that in that development process someone would have asked how big the problem was, so they would know how much it was going to cost."


    • Sabine 11.1

      from your link

      But I guess that, like school maintenance, knowing means having to pay to fix it, which for an agency under constant budget pressure from a government still dedicated to austerity means a strong incentive to ignore problems and not know things until forced to.

      and that is the same with leaking roofs, rotten class rooms to over crowding and / or no heating at all.

      • Pat 11.1.1

        Yes…but that dosnt explain how a policy can be formed and implemented without bothering to acquire the fundamental information needed.

        • Sabine

          oh yes, it can.

          We have funds for 90 schools. So that is what the policy covers.

          • Pat

            "An estimated 1150 state schools burn fossil fuels to heat classrooms, but the Government doesn’t have an exact figure, or a full list of affected schools.

            This suggests the Government’s funding to date – $55 million to convert 90 schools to green fuels – will cover a small fraction of the problem."


            "But failing to switch would also carry costs. Climate Change Minister James Shaw confirmed that any offsets for ongoing emissions would need to be purchased out of existing budgets. However, he expects clean heating for schools to be arranged before 2025.

            “I'm pretty confident that at the very least we will have funded the replacements of all of those boilers in schools by 2025 [although] the actual work may not be fully complete by then.”

            • Sabine

              and the cover ones backside phrase here is

              “I'm pretty confident that at the very least we will have funded the replacements of all of those boilers in schools by 2025 [although] the actual work may not be fully complete by then

              • Ad

                From memory there's only one boilermaker of scale in New Zealand now. It's unlikely to go faster than that.

                Next target is the Fonterra boilers; Fonterra makes up about 20% of our emissions by itself, and 10% of their total is in manufacturing.

                • Sabine

                  I am sure the rest of the world has some boiler makers too?

                  • Ad

                    Timelapse to production and arrival here might surprise you.

                    Nothing complex is fast.

                    • Sabine

                      Of course.

                      T'was ever so, nothing much could be done about it, and why even bother or try. 🙂

  11. Sanctuary 12


    I don't want to be an iconclast here but nurses start on $57,000PA, I know graduate lawyers and architects who have started on less than that. Pay then rises through eleven automatic pay scales to a maximum of around 80K. That is pretty good money, especially when you consider nursing is a not particularly difficult three year degree and offers enormous flexibility to stay in the workforce if you choose to have a family somewhere along the line.

    On top of that base rate there is over-time pay that can seriously bump the salary of the industrious, and ambitious nurses can by dint of specialisation earn a six figure sum.

    Nurses work hard, but they are not particularly badly paid in the context of NZ Salaries.

    • Sabine 12.1

      Let me put it this way,

      the nurse or nurse aid, will if you need it, wash you, feed you, put your poop away, bring your medication, and do everything else to keep you alive, and happy.

      will you ever need an architect?

      • Ad 12.1.1

        Nurse Aid is not the same as qualified Nurse.

        You are confused with RN's.

        • Sabine

          Na not really confused, just pointing out that bum wiping in hospitals is an underpaid task, while drafting a house is something that can earn you money over and over again.

          but yeah, lets feel sorry for underpaid architects. 🙂

      • Ad 12.1.2

        You have relied on an architect if you live in a house.

        They may not wipe your bum, but they stop the roof falling in on you.

        • Sabine

          i have needed nurses way more often then i ever needed an architect. Also consider that the house i have was build many many years ago, a Ministry of Works house. Not sure if that architect at the time did not earn more then a nurse.

          And besides, if the architect is any good, he / she / they will earn way more money later in life then a good nurse would ever be able too.

          So excuse me if i don't have any issues with a nurse to be better paid for a few years then some architect, who may or may not is able to draft a decent house.

          • greywarshark

            An architect can design a good or bad house for living in and then that design can be built repeatedly and the houses should not need constant maintenance.

            While a nurse deals directly with people who need careful constant maintenance, and may have to lift the person involving their muscles in physical work. Nurses are vulnerable looking after vulnerable people. An architect works at a desk usually, either designing onto a screen or onto paper.

            An architect and a nurse are doing very different jobs, both important but one with numerous tiring and sometimes unpleasant and intimate tasks as part of the job; that is the nurse.

        • Brigid

          "You have relied on an architect if you live in a house."

          Utter rubbish

          Most of the houses that exist in the country have been built without the need for an architect. The house we built in the 80s that our 4 children were raised in was built without the need of an architect; we designed and built it ourselves and yes it was fully compliant with government and local council domestic building by-laws.

          All my contemporaries either built their houses themselves or employed one of the construction companies common at the time e.g. Keith Hays, Reidbuilt etc. These houses weren't designed by architects but by Architectural Draughtspersons. I know I was one.

          It was the architecture draughtperson who made sure the plans were correct and the builder who ensured the building was built to those specifications.

          Where the design fell outside the scope of NZS 3604 an engineer was employed. Not an architect. They draw pictures, that's all.

    • AB 12.2

      "…they are not particularly badly paid in the context of NZ Salaries."

      Correct – these are actually middle class salaries. But some points in mitigation:

      • middle class salaries no longer buy middle class lifestyles. This is mostly due to house price inflation and the knock-on effects. But NZ also feels like a high cost of living country generally – such as healthcare where the rich with private insurance get seen quickly by the best private specialists and the rest of us wait and wait
      • public sector nurses seem to be perpetually overworked because of staff-patient ratios designed to squeeze every cent of value out of DHB budgets through a process of finding éfficiencies'
      • as a female occupation with a high social value they observe other, more male occupations that are paid more without comparably greater skill or responsibility, and (arguably) with lower value outputs
    • Gabby 12.3

      Are they particularly badly paid in the context of dhb ceos?

    • weka 12.4

      Three year nursing degrees arent easy. They’re basically an academic degree and an apprenticeship at the same time.

  12. WeTheBleeple 13

    I can't participate in this forum any more where openly racist comments are excused by moderators. Racism AND gaslighting is a pattern, and some get pissed off and then banned for their returning salvos aimed at haters, frustrated after being repeatedly brushed aside/mansplained/gaslit after the issue is pointed out. This has been going on, intermittently, for the few years I've intermittently frequented TS.

    Some here think butter wouldn't melt in their mouth. That is because they are dead inside.

    Good luck to all the good folks. Racism is not free speech.

    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      Again, this will help 🙂

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        That was really good Robert. Getting words sorted out for meanung rather than thrown like confetti is a good job done.

        Also Robert a long while back I talked about a book where somone grew into a tree – very imaginative science fiction. I couldn't remember where at the time but have found it.

        It was Phillip Mann's The Fall of the Families series and is in Part Two of the Story of the Gardener. If you would like to read it I have ended up with two copies and can send it to you at Riverton. So if you want it just say here.

        • Robert Guyton

          Thanks so much, greywarshark – I would be delighted to receive your 2nd copy and am happy to pay the courier fee 🙂 I'm eagerly looking forward to reading it. You might email me at rguy10@actrix.co.nz and we can arrange… 🙂

          • greywarshark

            Right Robert got that – will get onto it soon – email you first.

      • Gosman 13.1.2

        Does that mean ageism is a system designed by young people to keep old people subjugated? If so, how come old people in NZ generally get a much better deal than younger people?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          … how come old people in NZ generally get a much better deal than younger people?

          Ageism is a system put in place by older people to keep the youth subjugated?

          What’s behind New Zealand’s shocking youth suicide rate?
          New Zealand has by far the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world.

          Maybe racism cuts ‘both ways’ in NZ, but some cuts are deeper than others – indeed, some wounds are fatal.

          New campaign says ‘give no voice to racism’

          Triple Jeopardy: Complexities of Racism, Sexism, and Ageism on the Experiences of Mental Health Stigma Among Young Canadian Black Women of Caribbean Descent

          Adultism at the Root of Youth Maltreatment in A. S. King’s Still Life with Tornado
          The emphasis on the perspective of young people provides an informative understanding of youth subordination, parental power, and adultist discrimination in an effort to challenge such practices.

          The Pain of Youth
          How ageism harms young people in our society
          Ageism is one of the most rampant, yet least spoken of, forms of prejudice in our society. The prejudice against and discrimination of people based on their age may not be as big a problem as capitalism. But we’re going to need to address our ongoing and systemic domination of the youth eventually.

          • Gosman

            According to your logic then there can be no charges of Ageism labelled against younger people acting against older people.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              According to your logic then there can be no charges of Ageism labelled against younger people acting against older people.

              Sorry Gosman, I can't follow your reasoning. Are you saying that according to my logic younger people cannot hold ageist attitudes towards older people? If so then you may have misinterpreted my words – people of almost any age can hold ageist views, and people of almost any age can be targets of ageism. Individual consequences of ageism will vary tremendously.

              Some may consider the 7-year disparity between the average life expectancy of Māori and non-Māori to be (at least partly) an outcome of systemic racism.

              And some sensitive souls will perceive the 'pale, stale, male' epithet to be racist, ageist and sexist.

              But one example cuts deeper than the other. Being non-Māori is definitely the healthy 'choice' in NZ, and that’s not choice, imho.

              Ethnic inequities in life expectancy attributable to smoking [NZMJ, 2020]

              Contribution of smoking to the life expectancy gap—Māori
              Among Māori men, 2.1 years (28.4%) of the 7.4 year gap in life expectancy was attributable to the higher mortality rates from smoking attributable deaths. Among Māori women, the contribution from smoking attributable deaths was 2.3 years (32.9%) of the 7.0 year gap.

              Drivers of inequity
              Factors contributing to the pervasive and persisting ethnic health inequities are multifaceted and complex. Three main pathways have been identified: (i) differential access to the determinants of health or exposures leading to differences in disease incidence, (ii) differential access to healthcare and (iii) differences in quality of care received. These pathways are driven by different levels of racism, particularly institutionalised and personally mediated or interpersonal racism.

            • McFlock

              Well, according to the video about racism that you're distracting from, in that case the word you're looking for is prejudice.

              According to the video, ~ism is systemic, prejudice is individual bias, which seems a reasonable and simple distinction you are trying to avoid.

        • Robert Guyton

          Don't be silly, Gosman.

    • Gosman 13.2

      Can you give examples of this racism ?

    • WeTheBleeple 13.3

    • weka 13.4

      Please let me know what you are seeing WTB. Unfortunately if it's another author there is not a huge amount that can be done, more possible with commenters. Either way I'd like to know.

  13. Ad 14

    Fortune 500 just ranked Jacinda Ardern as their pick for Number 1 of world's greatest leaders this year, with the commentary:

    "Jacinda Ardern had already sealed her position as a great leader early in her premiership of New Zealand, by empathetically steering her country through the aftermath of a terror attack and the deadly eruption of a volcano. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and Ardern targeted not just suppression of the virus, but its complete elimination. Though there have been a few scares, her strategy largely proved successful; New Zealand, a nation of nearly 5 million people, has seen fewer than 2,700 cases and only 26 deaths. Ardern and her cabinet ministers took a six-month, 20% pay cut in 2020 to show solidarity with people who had lost their livelihoods owing to the pandemic.

    Ardern’s party won landslide reelection in October, fueled by her star power, her straight talk, and the fact that her government’s heavy restrictions on international travel made it possible for life to continue with relative normality within New Zealand’s borders. She has also adopted world-leading climate and gender-equity policies. In March, New Zealand became the first country to require that banks, investment managers, and insurers disclose the effects of climate change on their businesses. And last year, Ardern’s administration made it easier for women to negotiate with their employers for more equitable pay."


    We don't know how lucky we are.

    • Adrian 14.1

      She's a treasure alright.

    • Robert Guyton 14.2

      We don't know the extent of the changes being wrought 🙂

    • Patricia Bremner 14.3

      They don't even mention mycoplasma bovis, the banking reforms, and just now Kiwi Saver Default scheme overhaul. Yes Jacinda Ardern is a gem.

  14. Morrissey 15

    A collection of egregious media depictions of the Israeli assault on Palestine

    Radio NZ's dismal parroting of Israeli government talking points, and the simply laughable TVNZ "news" coverage, should be added to this thread…..

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