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Open mike 14/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 14th, 2020 - 302 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 …

302 comments on “Open mike 14/08/2020 ”

  1. No Right Turn puts his/her finger right on the pulse of Natz party thinking in a post on Wednesday. http://norightturn.blogspot.com/

    Obviously, Collins wants all the time she can get to have Brownlee spread conspiracy theories. But its also quite revealing that her instinctive reaction is to try and abrogate our democracy for her own advantage. The National Party is showing us exactly who they are: instinctive authoritarians who think only of themselves, who will happily try and sabotage a critical public health response if they think it helps them.

    The right’s inclination towards dictatorship [or should that read ‘firm and effective government?’] is apparent and mirrors the stance taken by Trump and many other right wingers around the world.
    My bold.

    • Just Is 1.1

      And the Media go along for the ride, supporting the born to rule meme.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Good point TonyV(notetc) Keep thinking and commenting won't you. Good understanding and we hope, resulting in good actions.

  2. Andre 2

    Repugs go next level beyond dead people voting: dead people tweeting.


  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    It is surely time for the Govt. to action making cash payments to all citizens, administered by IRD. The scale of the shitstorm about to hit will be beyond WINZ/MSD capacity even if the funds are made available.

    Wage subsidies seem pointless for some sectors that are moribund, and “Covid capitalists” had a field day rorting the high trust subsidy model.

    A basic income for all citizens needs to kick in asap, so at least people can have food security.

    • Sabine 3.1

      Rent and food security – we need both. One or the other alone is not keeping society healthy.

      Also needed is a legal way for people stuck in moribund leases of commercial property to get out withouth having to declare bankruptcy first or pay tens of thousands of dollars to the landlord to make up for his/her losses, while getting nothing for ones own losses. We are all in this together, right?.

      Absent of that, a mortgage, rent, bill holiday for any period of Level 4 – 2 as most businesses can't operate and people don’t take home enough money to pay for both, residential live and business life. There is only so many times you can shut your businesses down (those that can not operate from home but must have commercial properties, licensed and inspected) until they shut down for good.

      I have been saying that now for a few month.

      As for he Labour campaign, please use the funds you wanted to use to entice us small businesses to re-hire staff, or to get some of the previously employed but newly unemployed to start their own businesses and use it for rent/lease/mortgage/bill relieve. It would be a better use then expecting someone to open a business in times like these.

      Make it a Covid Payment – 480 pw to anyone not working and making money, and increase the payment for unemployed people to that amount. We know that that amount is enough to keep up a semblance of life and thus protect society.

      • I Feel Love 3.1.1

        Yes to all.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.2

        Good points Sabine. I did not want to write another list, just make the point that it is now time to just start delivering funds to those guaranteed to spend it, rather than filtering the borrowed billions through a hundred schemes and dreams–a pretence that normal still applies, or somehow will again. It won’t.

        Also public transport could be designated fare free and free Wifi nationwide too would all assist. Who will pay for it? The workers of the country, paid and unpaid of course!

        • Adrian

          People are spending, we were in Akaroa for a few days and locals were saying it was their best trading winter ever. Look at the Auckland cluster family, they were spending around the north.

        • Sabine

          That is why i listed the 'bill holiday', most of it would be water, rent, electricity. If we can put a safeguard in that would allow people who default on these bills and allow for it to be paid back in increments – depending on income – that would take away the need for giving out money and keep our people in their homes.

          Water, electricity are to some extend public / private goods and the government could put down a foot and demand that no utilities will be cut off during these trying times. Public health begins at home.

          Public Transport should have been free to all for the longest of time, considering that it is us the workers that have paid for it. – Reminder, the government has no money, it gets it from us the Tax payer.

          I understand the wage subsidy as a flattening of the unemployment curve. It did that well. But the second wave is coming as certain as night follows day.

          So this time i hope for a decent UBI announcement paid for by the IRD as you said.

          Last, i would like to see the government start putting out information on how to vote safely during a pandemic. This is what i came up withI.e. download your ballot online, ballot drop off boxes stationed by dairys with an armorguard dude – emptied once/twice a day. Just use your voter code, download the ballot, fill out and drop off. That would work for a very large part of the country. And social distancing standard voting for those that want to go in person.

          • Anne

            Sabine. You need to be in parliament!

            • greywarshark

              Rent control is coming, has come hasn't it? It should be reviewed six-monthly but not necessarily lifted.

              Special circumstances for landlords to apply for interest-free loans to fix leaky roofs etc on ordinary houses might be good. For apartments, loans for tenants to take legal action to enforce work perhaps. They need to be able to challenge the positions of their unit agents (forgotten the right description), and the head builders, who can't just turn and blame their sub-contractors.

              Food vouchers for supermarkets without total authority to scrutinise and control, except to limit cigarettes, and wine, beer to one bottle or 1 litre highest level.

              Then stand behind regions that want to create local currency, with printing and material costs for weekly Spending Vouchers for say 10 credits, handed out to each caller each week at some central office, adults or children. Encourage them to be spent and circulated in that one week and leave to the local 'market' to find ways to use them; who will accept them having found themselves where they can on-spend them. Talk about it being a 'Treasure Hunt' for the search to find who will accept them. 'Pay with a Voucher and a Smile' would be the slogan.

              Getting stats would come from printing numbered tick boxes used each transaction and write where, and report to the local paper radio station, on the highest numbers, give publicity each time to different businesses or groups accepting them.

              Get a bunch of school kids or unemployed to do the office work. It is a working example of local economics, the way that official money works stripped down to view. Each week there would be a new colour, and they would have to be spent in a week. It would start slowly until people got used to it and networks built up for exchange of goods or services on a regular basis. They could act as full payment or part, like a discount. They would have to be noted in a register for tax purposes, as discounts or promotional give-aways.

              If it became integrated and well-used in the community, there could be a meeting with locals, and see whether it could be expanded to be more for certain people. To see whether more people could be added to the business side, so that there were networks amongst businesses providing a satisfactory circulation for them, and overcoming prejudice against it amongst citizens. (It would seem like play money, insubstantial, to many as we have never understood what money actually is; just tokens or written agreements with an intrinsic promise to pay given official and legal backing, circulating in the economy and managed for maintenance of value using quantity measures, supply and demand, inflation controls etc.)

  4. ScottGN 4

    Nats have wheeled out their ‘Harvard trained doctor’ Reti to try and clean up after Judith and Gerry.

    • Sabine 4.1

      Harvard trained sociopath. That is what the elite schools stand for. Well trained sociopaths.

      • Tricledrown 4.1.1

        Ivy leaguers are from the ultra wealthy aloof Narcissistic elite.

        They only care about their wealth no one else's

    • greywarshark 4.2

      Shane Jones went to Harvard too. It seems to be like the elite school for capitalists or understanding how to work with them. Is it possible to go through one of these institutions without being overcome by the hegemony of the prevailing zeitgeist?

    • lurgee 4.3

      Watching him on TVNZ this morning he seemed to be refusing to back up Collins and Brownlee's rantings and bout non-co-operation and dark conspiracies.

      Perhaps he is looking beyond the election, aware that he has a future – either in in politics or medicine – and Collins and Brownlee do not?

  5. Gristle 5

    Well, Collins and Brownlee have displayed an degree of ineptitude that will have National caucus members shuffling backwards when it comes to answering the question "who did you vote for to be the leader?"

    National's polling looks light of 35% minimum that Collins stated that validated a leader's credibility.

    My guess is that party cohesion will continue to diminish as the Collins/Brownlee twinset fails to provide the firebreak it claimed it could achieve.

    So who is next? Mark Mitchell? The mercenary stepped in US military and intelligence ties? Chris Luxton, freshly elected strongly carring Christian fundimentalist and corporate concerns?

  6. tc 6

    Hooton calling to let covid in on granny. Not read him, I’d need a shower if I did, so don’t know if he states how many deaths he'd be happy with ?

    He's probably written out the national party election run sheet and now gets to provide 'comment' from his media soapbox. Granny keeps serving it up.

    • Tricledrown 6.1

      He should tell all the Doctors ,Nurses frontline workers older people those with compromised immune systems who are going to have the highest rates of contracting Covid 19 getting serious complications and dying ,Tell them to their faces the sniveling coward.

      After his disastrous effort in Wellington

      His opinions are those of a deranged man continuing in his own little bubble of complete ignorance.

      • roblogic 6.1.1

        I thought his article was realistic.

        • We can't keep jumping in and out of lockdown
        • People need social and family connections
        • Periodic outbreaks will have to be tolerated and managed
        • For most people, COVID is no worse than the flu
        • The disease will be mitigated by faster testing, better tracing, more handwashing, improved treatments
        • Flu vaccine only works for 2/3 of recipients, a COVID vaccine may never eventuate
        • It took 20 years to eradicate small pox

        Lockdown life can't go on forever. A 1% risk to people in rest homes should not be cratering the economy and quality of life for everyone else.

        • Andre

          It's not a 1% risk to people in rest homes, if you're in the rest home demographic and you get it, the most recent data I've seen suggests it's in the region of 15% to 20% likelihood it will finish you off terminally. That 1% is the current best rough estimate of the case fatality rate across the entire population.

          It's deeply misrepresenting reality to claim that for most people, COVID is no worse than flu. Because COVID is known to cause significant numbers of long term disabilities even in young people that get it. My nephew is one of those still struggling with severe effects almost 6 months after getting it. Flu doesn't do that.

          Right now, a bit of patience around the possibility of a vaccine is warranted. Several have already started phase 3 trials where it's given to tens of thousands of subjects to check how effective and long-lasting it is, and to check for potential rare safety issues. This is the final trial before initial rollout. If any of the candidates are actually successful, and there's enough candidates using enough different approaches that the chances are pretty good at least one will be, then early next year might see a vaccine available. That's not long to wait, weighed against the suffering and death that would be caused by letting the virus loose.

          • roblogic

            Thanks Andre for the fact checks. I am sick of lockdown

            • Andre

              Yeah, the rules around what can and can't be done in lockdown could certainly do with some tuning. I get it that it's onerous for some people. Even if it's not for me, being an introvert an' all.

            • woodart

              you are sick of lockdown. where do you live? if it is anywhere in New Zealand, you are a whinger. we havent had lockdown for two months! I am sick of self obsessed whingers.

              • roblogic

                So you feel that mental health and other negative impacts of lockdown should be ignored? That the government is beyond criticism? That reporters should not offer independent analysis?

        • Sabine
          • We can't keep jumping in and out of lockdown – Yes we can actually, we can do it regional, town by town etc as we are right now doing, the centre of the outbreak at one level the rest of the country on another.
          • People need social and family connections – works best when social connections and family are not dying of a preventable disease
          • Periodic outbreaks will have to be tolerated and managed – we are doing this right now
          • For most people, COVID is no worse than the flu – and then they learn that they have neurological damange, coronoary issues, blood clots, memory issues, fatigue syndrom and all the other jazz but hey, its no worse then the flue https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/health/coronavirus-recovery-survivors.html
          • The disease will be mitigated by faster testing, better tracing, more handwashing, improved treatments – true, once we actually start understanding how the disease attacks the bodys as it seems it does different things to different people, but one day sure we will understand this illness, like we understood Polio, measles, Black plaque etc.
          • Flu vaccine only works for 2/3 of recipients, a COVID vaccine may never eventuate – knowing this we might need to come to understand that we will live with it for a long time, and that yes, it is worse then the flue.
          • It took 20 years to eradicate small pox – we have yet to eraidcate the common flu.

          Lockdown life can't go on forever. A 1% risk to people in rest homes should not be cratering the economy and quality of life for everyone else. – why yes it actually can. We have had lepers colonies, we have quarantine stations for superspreaders, we have the same with ebola etc etc etc. I know that the illnesses i just listed are commonly found in what we call affectionalty 'third world' countries, but Covid is no more no less deadly. 1% risk of the people in rest homes? and the doctors and nurses, and the children, and the healthy young people, and the healthy not yet in a retirment home ., and and and.

          My guess is you are safe and secure enough to write a lot of people of as it won't happen to you, but what if you kid gets it and two weeks later its your wife on a respiarator in the hospital? Or maybe we just stop pretending to care and go all out Mrs. Oravida/Trump let it run rampants and if people die by the thousands it is what it is. So as long as it ain't you?

          children and covid




        • PaddyOT

          Not so fast on those ' it's mainly old folks' notions.

          In June: Individuals with age under <65 account for 4.5–11.2% of all COVID-19 deaths in European countries and Canada; 8.3–22.7% in the US locations, and WERE the majority in India and Mexico.

          Covert eugenics for breakfast anyone ?

          To be noted is that death rate varies in different locales and death rate also varies between communities of differing socio-ethnic makeup.
          The unknown is how the virus WILL evolve and behave eg. Could gain more virulence and or a strain evolves that increases mortality rate.

          Global tally now 20.6 M recorded known infections. To date 749 000 known deaths from Covid 19 is 3.6% death rate once infected.

          Currently 8.5 M of these are infections are in only 2 countries the US and Brazil. Both countries letting the 'herd' type methods take its course.

          So, who is to be a soothsayer predicting whether the Covid virus behaves itself in the same manner in NZ as other countries if we opt for herd methods– one and a half thousand deaths a day ?


      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        Radionz had Professor Sir David Skegg on this morning and he spoke truth to our difficulties. I'd put him alongside D-G of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield as very good on info.


        I think it was Skegg that compared us to Sweden as an example of how well we have done. They have a population 5 times higher than us, and our figures by five are much lower.

        But we just have to try harder, stop the gaps he said. I think one way is to do much more testing with more open criteria h at present older aged people in the community should have it more easily available – it starts to rise noticeably after 50!

        Here are some North Europe figures:

        So there was a substantial voluntary lockdown in Sweden – yet it wasn’t nearly as effective in reducing the spread of the coronavirus as the compulsory lockdowns in neighbouring Denmark and Norway. Cases and deaths rose faster in Sweden and have been slower to decline.

        Sweden has about 8200 confirmed cases per million people as of 12 August, compared with 1780 in Norway and 2560 in Denmark. (For the UK it is 4600 and the US 15,400.)

        Sweden has had 57 deaths per 100,000, compared with five in Norway and 11 in Denmark. (For the UK it is 70 and the US 50.)

        Sheridan’s* analysis suggests that young people – whose spending makes little contribution to the overall economy – were least likely to change their behaviour and might have undermined the voluntary lockdown. Among people aged between 18 and 29, spending dropped far less in Sweden than in Denmark….

        That said, Sheridan’s spending comparison suggest that the economic impact was only slightly reduced by not imposing a more effective compulsory lockdown. “It’s very little in economic costs for saving a larger number of lives,” he says. * Adam Sheridan at the University of Copenhagen


        Also – https://eveningreport.nz/2020/08/07/keith-rankins-chart-analysis-covid19-comparing-australian-outbreak-with-high-incidence-european-countries/

        • greywarshark

          Covid-19 and economies. In the comment above there is mention of Sweden compared to Denmark.

          This from UK. Business rules okay!

          The Telegraph hard-liner journo Allister Heath has written a scathing report blaming the Brits bad economy on 'arrogant quangocrats and state “experts”'. Sweden wins over Britain for less deaths per capita and Less recession. But doesn't mention Brexit at the beginning of the piece which is all I have access to.


        • Just Is


          Sweden does NOT have a population 5 times larger than NZ.

          It's current population is 10,860,350, ie 10 million.

          The death rate is at 5800 as of today

          • greywarshark

            Oh ta Just Is. I thought I heard the 5 number but only half-listening and then couldn't find the figures I wanted to verify it. Sorry about that, thanks for correction.

            So say we have half the population of Sweden, and at their death rate, we would have had about 2900 deaths. A sharp contrast to our own number – 22! That extra number if we had let the virus roam free could have taken out all the thinking heads, and pointy-ones too, on The Standard. That would be a disaster for the country in my opinion.

            All our stats nicely displayed! See under – covid 19 nz stats

        • Paddington

          " I think it was Skegg that compared us to Sweden as an example of how well we have done. "

          Skegg was also highly critical of the recent testing regime. He's been joined by other health professionals like Des Gorman (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12356368), who are critical of the governments recent responses.

    • Enough is Enough 6.2

      Covid-19 is not going away, it will not be eliminated and will certainly not be eradicated.

      As the WHO has said – we must learn to live with it.

      Closing the country down everytime there is an outbreak is not a sustainable plan.

      We need to be having the conversation about how we as a country live with and manage the disease.

      • Muttonbird 6.2.1

        This is true. I am hoping as more tools become available; better testing, improved treatment, vaccine etc, a more realistic plan will become achievable without major loss of life.

        New Zealand has its unique challenges with respect to Covid-19; poor housing, underfunded health system, temperate climate. These things make us highly susceptible.

        • Paddington

          I'm not quite sure what you mean by underfunded in reference to the health system.

          1. In 2016, NZ was 15th/35 OECD countries in health spending per capita (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_per_capita).

          2. In the most recent data, NZ was 20th/46 OECD nations, and right on the OECD average (https://data.oecd.org/healthres/health-spending.htm).

          3. NZ's health expenditure per capita has risen substantially since 2000 (https://knoema.com/atlas/New-Zealand/Health-expenditure-per-capita), under both National and Labour governments.

          Health systems are voracious beasts when it comes to spending, but the evidence shows NZ has delivered significant increases in spending over a sustained period.

          • Tricledrown

            Paddington you are wrong the cash amount on health spending doesn't mean there has been increases in health spending.

            National increased health spending by 1% per year inflation was 2% on average so that is a 9 % decrease then the population increased by 20% over those 9 yrs .a reduction in health spending per capita of nearly 30%.That was where your tax cuts came from.

            Health costs inflation runs at 7% per annually so to say we have had increases health spending is not true.Thats where your tax cuts came from.

            • Paddington

              “National increased health spending by 1% per year”
              That simply isn’t correct, based on the per capita figures in the source I quoted. Do you have a cite for your figures?

              " Health costs inflation runs at 7% per annually "
              Can you provide a cite for that please?

              Also you are comparing changes in health spending. Muttonbird was referring to ‘underfunding’. The two are related, but not the same.

            • Paddington

              Further to my comment above, if you are looking at changes in spending, this article from 2018 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/102941246/do-we-put-enough-money-into-the-health-system
              makes the point that "Our per capita spending is slightly below the OECD average, but health outcomes are good by OECD standards." Surely quality of outcomes are more important than the quantum of spend?

              • McFlock

                Relative outcomes aren't always quality measures, in the same way that "per capita" measures aren't always accurate when they don't account for exchange rate or interest rate variations, and include the private sector when the issue under discussion is government funding.

                • Paddington

                  " and include the private sector when the issue under discussion is government funding "

                  The issue was never defined as being about government funding. Also, referreing to Tricledown's response, ACC, for example, is government funding.

                  " in the same way that "per capita" measures aren't always accurate when they don't account for exchange rate or interest rate variations "

                  Any data comparisons have limitations. However the comparisons I linked to show that, based on OECD comparisons, on a per capita basis NZ's health system is not under-funded.

                  • McFlock


                    Nobody has claimed that we don't have a better health system than, say, the yanks.

                    The claim was that the NZ health system is underfunded, with a specific claim about 1%p.a. by the nats that none of your links are inconsistent with.

                    The ~3% average in your USD link is neither impressive if true nor out of the ballpark of ~1% depending on how one adjusts for exchange rate and inflation.Hell, your per capita link has different data to your wikipedia OECD link, and the difference seems to be bigger than the annual average in the per capita link.

          • Tricledrown

            Paddington those OECD figures include private insurance payments and private surgery most of that cosmetic.ACC funded surgery etc.

            Check out govt statistics govt health spending.

      • Paddington 6.2.2

        That's the conclusion I'm coming to as well. The strategy of elimination sounds good in theory, but it will only work if we can hold out until there is a vaccine, and even then it relies on either compulsory vaccination of an extremely high uptake.

  7. Just Is 7

    Winston in Aus telling them the outbreak was due to a Quarantine Breach, according to a reporter who spoke to him.

    Just another reason to not vote for him.


    • peterh 7.1

      If what he says is true,he and the reporter should be held to account for withholding vital information

    • Tricledrown 7.2

      Collins saying not enough notification before going to level 3 ,how dumb is that.

      The quicker the response the less chance of spread.

      Just as well everyone knows what an idiot she is.

      • solkta 7.2.1

        and you can be sure that had the government given more notice she would be saying that they were pissing around allowing the virus to spread.

      • tc 7.2.2

        As Bloomfield said, they took 6 hours to a lockdown decision. Melbourne waited 4 weeks knowing they had community spread.

        Well done team !

    • Shanreagh 7.3

      Well his guess/opinion is as good as yours or mine.

      Point is we just do not know at this stage. I am sure that the tracing has not been been started/continuing on a predicated outcome as ruling out quarantine involvement. All cards/ideas will be on the table as to where this may have come from. It would not align with scientific method to rule anything out.

      • Herodotus 7.3.1

        I gather, that like many out there – and given the speed that the spread has occurred. That Winny has just taken a guessed from where the source originated, and taken a gamble that this is the case. If he is wrong (as he has been in the past) so what, by then the media has moved on.

        • greywarshark

          I would think that he wanted to say something positive though not immediately provable, and what he said would have been better than letting the idea that we have community spread get going and scaring the horses.

          Likely a political white lie for the sake of the country. Everything is not cut and dried in politics as we know, they have to gain wiggle room sometimes.

    • ianmac 7.4

      Hipkins this morning denies any connection with a leak.

    • Anne 7.5

      Just is @ 7
      There's a consensus of opinion among the experts that it is likely a border breach of some kind and since we now know some 60% of border-based workers did not get themselves tested for Covid 19 (for whatever reason) then he could be right.

      Not a fan of Winston but can't see it as a sackable offence.

      • Sabine 7.5.1

        oh but its Winston and then it can't be of value. Never mind that he worked quite well in the coalition, but then some seem to think that the coalition does not need him anymore, so burn the witch. Its quite dumb actually.

        • Just Is

          Sabine, my point was he made the statement while in Aus talking to the media, if it was me I would've waited for confirmation of what the reporter had suggested before announcing it in a foreign country.

          Facts do matter

          • Sabine

            i don't know much about that i don't follow the news really.

            I do get tired a bit about he bashing he receives, considering who he is, what he has done and achieved in his life, and the fact that without him we would be having a national government is just something people seem to forget.

            I get that people might want to have labour alone, or supported only by the greens, but really unless that is a given, labour might need him again to form a government and maybe just maybe keep that in mind.

            other then that, he has his own interests to pursue, and if the government has issues with winston then the government should address this. again, keeping in mind that htey might need him again.

            • Just Is

              Just heard Hipkins debunk Peters statement, as I said, don't leap before you look, confirm the remark Before you make a statement to a forign media.

              This example reduces Peters credibility, even further.

            • Sacha

              labour might need him again to form a government

              Only if National's vote skyrockets. Their current desperate actions say they do not even believe that themselves.

              • Sabine

                i would keep my eyes on some of the conservative parties.

                MMP can be a whole bunch of splinter parties – does not make for good governance but it can make a government. Germany is MMP, has been since the 50s. So i am quite aware of what can and can not be done in this environment.

            • greywarshark

              "i don't know much about that i don't follow the news really."

              That would make a difference to your understanding of current happenings and people's responses.

              • Sabine

                my understanding of the political happenings are fine. Thanks.

                However i don't read in general is the yellow press, and updates on the national parties shenanigans and the he said she said bullshit coming from NZ finest stenographers aka journalists. I have no use for that crap. Case in point i don't often comment on the 'what are they doing National/Act/others …..threads, they have no value to me". I rather read the threads of 'what they (Government) will be doing'

                But like it or not, the current labour government is courtesy of NZfirst.

                And one thing i am very certain about it is that Jacinda Ardern knows who he is, and maybe has put him exactly where he is supposed to be being whom he is.

                And again, maybe Labour will need this party again.

            • Pat

              Winston Peters, born 11th April 1945.

      • Patricia 2 7.5.2

        So how many reputable trustworthy journalist friends does Winston actually have around him ? They did him no favours when his NZ Super mistake was leaked. I'm surprised he trusts any now.

  8. Observer Tokoroa 8

    Unstable Gerry

    Is Gerry Brownlee under big stress ? Has his Boss Judith Collins been overloading him with work ?

    Both Judith and Gerry are national attack personalities, but with Gerry openly wandering around everywhere, including parliament, with pitiful Conspiratory Dreams.

    Both J and G are palpably showing unstable tendencies.

    Yesterday, Distinguished Kim Hill, had to try and fathom what on earth Judith was saying on and on. It was sad really. I kid you not.

    Judith eventually informed Kim Hill and the listeners, that she is a Lawyer.


    Is age overtaking Judith? As soon as she was appointed Leader of national, over a dozen national politicians vacated her.

    A strange entity – is national. Judith is demanding the coming election be bypassed. A whole new election to take place any old time in years to come.

    Again – I kid you not. !

    Unstable is – what unstable does !

  9. gsays 9

    Hey folks, I thought I would group source a couple of questions I have.

    One of the main roads into Palmy is Railway Road, running from Bunnythorpe to PN. It is a 100km road. Over the last decade there has been a large distribution hub built on the southern side of Railway Rd.

    Two days ago there was a double fatality in a truck vs car collision around the intersection with Roberts Line.

    Our son was involved in a collision, with a fatality in the other vehicle in Dec 2018. The other vehicle failed to give way.

    Which is the appropriate authority to lobby for road remediation? Council, NZTA or another body.

    Are petitions effective or worthwhile? What is an effective way to get traction on change?


    • Rosemary McDonald 9.1

      Good luck to you gsays…you're taking on a system that just loves to buck pass. Is is NZTA? Is is the local council? Is is the road surface or surrounding terrain or a speed factor or more to do with the type of traffic using the road. This will go on or some time.

      Is this road used by the Heavy Transport Sector? Are there humoungous juggernauts thundering down this highway at 90 kph (yeah right)? 'Cos you can bet your bottom $ they will move heaven and earth to keep the speed limit at 100kph.

      However…what is in your favour, unfortunately, is there is already a body count. This is what triggers a response from NZTA and there will be a person in your region who is the contact to get the ball rolling.

      A FOAF had reason to contact NZTA on such a road safety issue the other day. They found that investing in a toll call to the Head Office in Welly was an excellent move. Have a pen at the ready 'cos my mate's mate was nearly caught short. Helpful person gave names, contact landline and cellphone numbers and took particular care that the correct email address was given.

      In my mate's mate's case, although it concerns a state highway and there is as yet no body count in this particular area yet and it is a pedestrian/cyclist issue they were flicked to the local council.

      Good luck. (Oh, and you didn't hear it from me…but an elderly gent sidled up and suggested that a citizens' intervention might also be part of the solution.wink)

      • gsays 9.1.1

        Thanks Rosemary.

        There are trucks but their speed isn't really the issue. There are lots of 'em.

        The increase in volume of traffic, the roads intersecting with Railway Road, driver speed and impatience are bigger issues.

        I do like the direct action approach. In a younger day, with mates, tagging the Manawatu Gorge with GE FREE PLEASE didn't change politics, but felt real good.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          These folk…https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/300059289/hundreds-march-in-auckland-cbd-for-hkoi-protesting-dome-valley-dump-proposal puttheir protest signs all along te highway through Dome Valley. Due to Aucklanders being unable to 'drive to the conditions' NZTA had to reduce the speed limit in that area to 80kph…more time for the passing motorists to get the message. Very effective.

          And also with the awesome Manawatu Gorge…even the posted speed limit was too fast for me…pulled the Bus over so I could better admire the brilliant engineering.

          Sometimes, the signs are put in the 'wrong' place, or display the 'wrong' info…sometimes a traffic island is required to slow the traffic….all sorts of ways pro active folks can make a difference.

    • Sacha 9.2

      Thank you for taking that on. May not be a quick result.

      I think your regional council may be the relevant roading agency, rather than PN City Council?

      ACC used to sometimes get involved in road safety improvements, especially including fatalities.

      NZTA may also have an interest through the proposed huge rail/road interchange hub near the airport. PN Council may have a lead councillor involved in that project, though not necessarily with much clout I'd assume. The regional council may be motivated more by the big project than the current defect, though if you can paint fixing one as making the other go more smoothly that may help. Signs of an engaged local community can help, though that takes effort.

      Your local MP might be able to help cut through if you prepare something concise for them. May be most efficient avenue. Their electorate office staffers can be smart about who to approach.

      The Minister responsible for road safety (Genter in this last govt) may also apply some pressure downwards.

      Media can help when engaged at the right time, usually after you have got some evidence of pushback or neglect from officialdom. But they need someone to front and you need to be sure the public attention is worth it to you.

      • gsays 9.2.1

        Thanks for the leads, Sacha. Your second and last sentences are very important.

        It is known as a grim area – cops, ambos, ED, locals.

        The local MP is very promising, Roberts Line is the boundary between PN and Rangitikei electorates.

        • Sacha

          All strength to you. It felt a lot busier the last time I went that way than I remember as a child.

    • Ad 9.3

      Petitions get a bit lost.

      NZTA are spending a whole bunch of money near Palmerston North at the moment. It's a good time to push for safety upgrades.

      Email Emma Speight who is the NZTA Director Lower North Island, and arrange a meeting on site with the head of Transport at New Plymouth Council. That will get the wheels in motion. It's their job to attend to black spots on the network.

    • Alice Tectonite 9.4

      Palmerston North City Council is the road controlling authority, suggest contacting them. As well as speed, the lack of right turn bays at the Roberts Line intersection is poor (particularly with the large relatively new Foodstuffs distribution centre close to intersection).

      Longer term, Railway Road north of Roberts Line will close if KiwiRail's major Freight Hub project goes ahead (replaced by new road further west).

      • gsays 9.4.1

        Thanks Alice, you are right about the layout and trucks turning.

        In the collision my son was involved in, the other vehicle was coming over the railway line on Roberts Line. The driver said he just didn't see the Stop sign after crossing the rail line.

        They were being guided by Google maps travelling between Hawkes Bay and Taranaki.

        • greywarshark

          I know another place in another town with additional buildings and business that don't seem to have been planned for in roading design. It's dangerous, and also it's bad for citizens blood pressure as well when you think of the usual salary that gets allocated to these blokes and blokesses for their marvellous expertise.

      • Sacha 9.4.2

        Ta for that. Did not know PNCC's sphere would extend to there, though I guess with the airport precinct it makes sense.

    • Sabine 9.5

      the news.

      a friend of mine had people regularly drive onto his property as he was at the end of a t section and people just missed their turns ending up on his front lawn or house if too fast.

      calling council/nzta did nothing, going to the news after it happened for the third time did help. He now has a big chyron (yellow black metal thingy?) before the pedestrian walkway and since then no one missed the turn right or left anymore.

      Call the local news reporter.

    • gsays 9.6

      Got the ball rolling by e-mailing both Tangi Utikere (L) and PN Deputy Mayor and Ian McKelvie (N) MP for Rangitikei.

      TBF, Utikere has more levers to pull as he is on the local council and has replied with his PNCC hat on. He will take it to council and look at opinions about lowering speeds or other mitigations as a short term fix.

      McKelvie extended sympathies and referenced Collins' recent announcement that the road will be sorted with urgency if elected.

  10. Red 10

    Simpson’s admits on ZB no compulsory testing of people working at border, unsubstantiated but numbers out their
    that 60pc of people never had a test, From yesterday now compulsory. You could ;not make this stuff up

    • solkta 10.1


    • ScottGN 10.2

      Rock and a hard place for the health ministry though. Imagine if they had forced border and quarantine staff to get tested and we’d not had an outbreak? The same people crying madness in the media right now would be screaming blue murder about the fascist’s government’s attack on our democracy.

      • aj 10.2.1

        I took it for granted that border workers would get periodic testing, until Hipkins explained that you can't force people to take tests.

        It's a medical procedure, and I think this has already been covered weeks ago when it was brought up that if anyone in quarantine refused the day 3 and/or day 12 test, they would remain in quarantine for an additional 14 days.

        Bloomfield will no doubt bring this matter up this afternoon at 1pm

        Gorman on RNZ at the moment suggesting border workers who refuse routine covid tests should be fired, not that I consider his pronouncements to come from the Mount.

        • Rosemary McDonald


          I can see no reason why the same Health and Safety legislation won't apply in his situation.

          I too assumed these staff would be tested regularly. From what I understand…so did the PM.

          • ScottGN

            Still can’t force anyone to take a test though.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              What happens if the employee refuses to give consent?

              Most policies will state what will happen in the event an employee who is asked to take a drug or alcohol test refuses to do so. Usually, refusal without good cause will be treated by the employer as being failure to follow a reasonable and lawful instruction that is considered to be serious misconduct.

              The employer must follow a fair and reasonable process when investigating and taking action against an employee who refuses to take a drug test. If it ends up in the Employment Relations Authority (or Court), the test of justification will be applied.

              The government was passing legislation hither and thither…under the circumstances you'd think if the existing legislation is insufficient…

              Besides…I think it is pretty much a consensus that it was understood that strict, routine testing was being done all along.

              Beggars belief they cocked this up.

              • ScottGN

                Rosemary the document you’re quoting from is one legal firm’s guide for employers and their employment agreements. Nothing in there has force of law. And we know that individual employment agreements are often overridden by other acts of parliament like The Bill of Rights for example.

              • Sabine

                will you also call for mandatory vaccinations?

                or is personal choice only a thing when it suits?

          • Incognito

            A Covid test is not for drug or alcohol; different Law.

        • Gabby

          I find it incomprehensible that staff wouldn't be clamouring for daily tests, rather than cavilling about their rights. Saying we can't force them, doesn't preclude not asking them in the first place.

      • greywarshark 10.2.2

        Gorman I thought? Professor Des Gorman – Auckland University's Professor Des Gorman says he can't understand why government rhetoric about Covid preparedness and testing, wasn't matched with action.


        I feel that complacency with our success has left more than the general public in a happy state. I enquired about circumstances for testing as an older person, with connections to an essential services person, and was told no probs, wait till you have symptoms. I thought this sounds like over-confidence and unwillingness to be precautionary. A bit like the case of the Samoan back in earlier lockdown who kept being excluded despite being sick, until he was on the point of collapse. He was only a young adult.

        The trouble could be that hospitals may still be on austerity budgets, along with their capital charges amounting to ground lease of what is public land. No wonder that it is so hard to get proper provision for mental health funding.

    • Muttonbird 10.3

      If you insisted on testing airline staff, immigration, drivers, hotel workers and nurses every week you'd soon have no workers.

      • Red 10.3.1

        Well it seems to be compulsory now, so what’s changed

        • I Feel Love

          "What's changed?" What do you think?

          • Red

            I will make it a bit simpler especially for you

            Whats changed in that it is now possible to be Legally compulsory and practical to test, where yesterday it wasn’t

      • Stunned Mullet 10.3.2

        A 5sec swab once a week and they wouldn't turn up for work ? You have a very low opinion of the NZ workforce.

        • Muttonbird

          It's pretty invasive and some of these people will be on or near minimum wage. You don't appear to have much of a grasp on reality.

          • Stunned Mullet


            • ScottGN

              Is it a public health failure though? Or is it just another example of how in western democracies an ideal pandemic response sometimes finds itself at odds with democratic norms? Managing that tension is the thing.

          • JohnSelway

            What does your salary have to do with testing for a potentially lethal disease when you are on the front lines of it?

            Do you really think people are going to quit their jobs because of a weekly test but are happy to stay in work when they have a high potential of getting infected and NOT being tested?

            I don't think you have thought this through

          • aj

            Like supermarket workers these people should be on a pandemic bonus. As further explained this morning, many of the thousands working 'on the border' never have close contact with the incoming people.

            But I'd have thought anyone with regular close contact should have a periodic test. It does bring up how often tests would be needed, and I think you will find that they would need to be taken every 3-5 days to ensure total capture of any virus infection. That would be quite onerous, and still may not avoid someone catching it and quickly becoming infectious for 1 or 2 days before the next test. So on reflection I'm less inclined to bag the MoH over this. This is one VERY tricky virus.

            • JohnSelway

              Anyone in close contact with people coming in from overseas should be tested regularly.

              • Muttonbird

                Reposting a comment from elsewhere which I think sums it up well:

                They do daily health checks – temperature checks, symptom checks etc – so it's not like they are flying completely blind. If anyone shows symptoms they are tested and not allowed to work. They also wear extensive PPE.

                Part of the problem is that PCR tests won't necessarily pick up asymptomatic people. That means you could be asymptomatic when tested, work your shift and then not find out until later in the day or the next day that you are positive.

                I guess PCR testing would add another layer of comfort but do you shove swabs up the noses of your workforce daily? It seems to me continuing with the daily health screening with PCR tests every few days would be the way to go.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  Reposting comments from NZ's foremost public health expert I think sums it up even better..

                  "I was really shocked to hear the director general of health say a week or two ago that they were aiming to test people [border workers] every two or three weeks, every two or three weeks frankly would be quite inadequate.

                  "But it now turns out that nothing like that was being achieved and I see the reports that more than 60 per cent of people working at the border have never been tested."


                  • Muttonbird

                    Bloomfield is NZ's foremost public health expert, I think. Gorman and Skegg weren't advising the government, were they?

                    • Stunned mullet

                      Ashley is not NZ's foremost public health expert he is NZ's top health bureaucrat his main area of interest is is non-communicable disease prevention and control.

                      I would be appalled (but not surprised) if the Ministry of Health was not taking advice from David Skegg.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Clearly they haven't been because he's 'surprised, stunned, flabbergasted' weekly testing of MIQ staff wasn't in place.

                      Skegg seems removed somehow and is one of the media's go to 'experts' when they want a story. Gorman is the other one.

                      I'd be surprised if these guys weren't invited on board but for whatever reason their hindsight advice was foresight advice.

                    • Sacha

                      Skegg is hugely respected, but not currently involved with the Ministry. Hence he was tapped as the expert advisor for the parliamentary Covid oversight committee chaired by Bridges. Gorman, on the other hand..

            • I Feel Love

              But the test results aren't instant are they? Like 24 hours? Which is why they were only testing if there were symptoms.

          • Gabby

            So, they really need the work, so you rickn they would up and leave if they had to be tested?

      • indiana 10.3.3

        You'd think that the union would have raised this as a health and safety issue…

        • bwaghorn

          Fuck a competent opposition party would have found out weeks ago and called for mandatory testing ,all they ever do is chase bolting horses.

    • Just Is 10.4


      All workers in "Quarintine" are tested around 10 day intervals, these people in Quarantine are high risk

      The remainder of people entering NZ go into 14 day "Isolation", these people are not considered high risk and the workers are at much less risk and therefore are only tested if they have been in contact with a known infected case.

      As stated by others, there are daily "Health Checks" on all staff comprising of temperature and having any symptoms consistent with the virus or flu.

      • Stunned mullet 10.4.1


        • Incognito

          Please piss off 😉

          • Stunned Mullet

            Sorry forgot that only sycophants are allowed at the standard…wink

            • Incognito

              Only mature adults who can start and engage in robust debate using clearly articulated thoughts by means of words constructed into logical sentences that convey meaningful contribution to said debate instead of relying on lazy emoticons only 😉

              • Stunned mullet

                Best you ban the majority of commenters then..

                • Incognito

                  Most respond well to a gentle hint, if necessary. Some don’t; these get weeded out (first) from time to time, like mowing a lawn. It’s all part of service & maintenance with the occasional PM.

      • Andre 10.4.2

        One of the really nasty aspects of this virus is it seems likely that someone infected will have already been near peak infectiousness for a day or two by the time they start showing symptoms. Let alone the asymptomatic but infectious cases.

        So the "health checks" of symptoms are obviously hopelessly inadequate. But then even say twice-weekly swab tests with results 24 hrs later will still let a lot through the gaps.

      • Red 10.4.3

        Can you let us know where you got that info from, and if true as you sound informed is process regularly audited against expectation and reality

        what about immigration, MPI and customs at the border, the bus drivers security guards etc

        • Incognito

          What about you read what others write here and take in all (!) the information before you shoot your scattergun of questions?

          • Red

            Now I know what it feels like to be stalked and be on the end of a fatal attraction😊

            before you reply if you decide to, I suggest with respect some self reflection

            • Incognito

              Don’t flatter yourself 😀

              I’m doing a job here and you might want to view me as your parole officer helping you with your reintegration into the community 😉

              • Red

                All good bit I think I may be heading back to the clink as parole rules seem to differ were you sit on a ideological spectrum

                • RedLogix


                  Having done it myself for years I'm vividly aware of how difficult it is to keep everyone happy while moderating. While a good moderator will do their best to be even-handed, you have to keep in mind this is a left-wing site and it has it's own social norms. Steer against them and inevitably you'll face a head wind, and there is only just so much that a moderator can do to protect you from that.

                  Incognito is one of the best mods we've ever had, and I take the view that even when I disagree with him/her, I'd sooner help than hinder.

                • Incognito

                  I’d like to follow on from RL’s superb comment by saying that indeed commenters who go against the ‘main stream’ (i.e. the centre-left and left of the political ideological spectrum) will find it a challenge here. But we (the Authors and Moderators, at least) do value opposing opinions that are well argued because they make for good robust debate, which is the raison d'être of this site. In other words, sharpen your pen, lift your game, and give it your best shot. You will earn respect for being a tough but fair opponent in debate. If you do that, Moderators will ‘look after you’. If you continue your ways, you will be “heading back to the clink”.

  11. Devo 11

    Had the usual Thursday dinner at the parents-in-law who are both big Judith fans and lifelong National voters, and even they were disappointed with the comments from the National leadership trying to undermine the health response, they even went so far as to call it Dirty Politics (don't think I've ever heard them use that term)

    They are at a big risk of alienating a large part of their core support if they continue to let Brownlee peddle his conspiracy theories

    Wouldn't be surprised to see the next public poll have them mid-20%

    • Just Is 11.1

      Brownlee going Trumpian.

      An insult to people's Intelligence, he just doesn't understand that most people are more intelligent than he is, he seems to think he's the smart one and everyone else is stupid.

      The fast track to oblivion for National, panic has set in and they're not thinking clearly about the long term negative effects.

      A complete overhaul of the party is likely after the election, Collins and Brownlee are gonners.

      If only they had Supported the Govt during this period their polling would still be at a respectable level, but Stupidity and undermining Govt policy that nearly everyone else in the country agrees with.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        On the capitalist measure – 'If you're so smart why aren't you rich' he is the smart one cf to most. Someone said yesterday he makes $288,000 pa e&oe. So 'he seems to think he's the smart one and everyone else is stupid.' has worked for him so far, don't fix it until it breaks is his motto.

  12. swordfish 12

    Newshub (50 mins ago)

    Both he (Hipkins) and Winston Peters are warning Aucklanders to prepare for an extension to the level 3 lockdown restrictions to be announced on Friday afternoon, though no decision had been made as of the morning ……

    "All of the positive cases we've had to date – and there will be some more announced at lunchtime today, at one o'clock today – all of them relate to the same single cluster. They all relate to one another. All of the testing we've done up and down the country has not identified any other cases of COVID that aren't related to this one. What we still don't know however is how this cluster came into being in the first place." ….

    Hipkins said the new cases to be announced at 1pm so far don't amount to a "heap", but new information is constantly trickling in – and that's why the Government will be leaving any decision on an extension to the lockdown in Auckland until Friday evening. …

    "This is a virus – it's unpredictable. We don't quite know what's going to happen, but we will know more this afternoon once we get all the overnight testing results in and the contact tracing from this cluster in during the course of today. We'll know a lot more to make a much more informed decision than we know now." …..

    Hipkins said with every new case so far linked back to the same cluster, there would be no justification for going to level 4….

    "Level 3 is certainly the maximum level you could justify based on the information we know now. If we started to see other clusters, or other unrelated cases, that would change things."…

    The Government will reveal Auckland's lockdown future at 5:30pm.


  13. ScottGN 13

    Danyl Mclauchlan has good piece in The Spinoff where he argues that doubling down on the Alt-Right conspiracy theory stuff is a very deliberate ploy from Collins and Brownlee. Essentially he’s saying that National knows this election is a goner and that the mythical ‘centre’ has decamped to Jacinda for the duration at least. So the party’s only hope now to save as many seats as possible, is to try and hoover up every single right wing loony vote they can.


  14. Sam 14

    Thieves speak just as kindly as you've done here.

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

    • weka 14.1

      Trolls speak obliquely just as you have here.

      Wekas get annoyed when people don't speak plainly.

      • Sam 14.1.1

        Doesn't matter when Scientology uses the same cold-call tactics. You just need to be made aware and that's that.

        [I have no idea what you are on about. But because you were on my mod radar the other day for similar, you’re getting it again now. You appear to have reference thieves and Scientology and my comments, but without explaining what you mean. You’ve also told me that I need to be aware of something and I don’t know what. This is tedious. My suggestion is you start explaining what you mean clearly – weka]

        • weka

          mod note.

          • Sam

            Yeah, you, are, using, the, same, cold, call, tactics, as, any, Scientology, recruiter, would, too, acquire, assets under management – a textbook con as ancient as religion.

            [yeah, you, are, permanently, banned, bot, bye – weka]

            • Gabby

              Thatsa lodda commas ya got dere matey.

              • solkta

                I assume that is to reflect how slow they think.

              • Sam

                There are risks involved when appealing to the population for funding. Not the least problem when full-time hours ease to part-time or casual hours so whatever productivity is generated from the nzd$150 billion corona recovery package, just 1% of that rise in productivity would fund the Welfare Groups wishlist. Not asking, just doing, would fix this.

            • Robert Guyton

              The weka has a beak of steel and an eye to match!

          • Andre

            I think someone is testing their latest beta version of a conversation bot.

    • Pat 14.2

      First it was covid…now we have to deal with bot-ulism

  15. Just Is 15

    Simon Barnet calls for all businesses to be allowed to stay open under Levels 3 and 4.

    We all know how that has worked out in the rest of the world.

    It's about time some of these business leaders started showing some responsibility and consideration of the negative effects of their ill conceived brain farts.


    • ScottGN 15.1

      I don’t see Level 4 happening if the outbreak is contained to one cluster. And given that means we’re not dealing with widespread infections and not flying blind like we were with the first lockdown I do think there is some scope to tweak the rules for Level 3 to keep as many businesses going as possible without compromising the outcome.

      • Just Is 15.1.1

        I agree that Level 4 is unlikely from what we know so far but we'll know for sure this evening.

        Keeping all businesses open increases the risks considerably, you only need to look at the Melbourne experience, the cost of keeping the economy open has exceeded the benefit, and now have a long way back to security before they can open again.

        A statement yesterday from Hipkins claimed once more that " Going hard early was the best strategy"

        • ScottGN

          Sure there’s increased risk associated with keeping more businesses open. But I do think it’s worth putting some effort into managing that risk to allow, for example, a butcher shop to keep trading under whatever lockdown we get. The rules around lockdown shouldn’t be completely inflexible (and are not necessarily the sales rules we needed for Lockdown mark 1) and remember Jacinda said in addition going hard and early we need to be nimble.

          • Red

            I agree you can try to centrally manage this for ever to control and close everything down and kill the economy and consequences of that or you can look to allow the country to adapt bottom up via spontaneous calibration supported by good education/ information and regulation / investment where needed ( as we have now re border , Health assets and resources, old people homes, social distancing, masks, hygiene, size of gathering ) People are not stupid, trust them, likewise there’s only so much control people will put up with and as per ScottGN we are not Victoria

            • Gabby

              It doesn't seem to be killing the economy. Longterm it may not play out too well for letters of commercial properties, so they may have to be flexible and agile 'n shit.

              • AB

                Quite. If there is a poorly-controlled virus out in the community – one that is very dangerous to the over 50's who tend to be among the wealthiest citizens – what is that going to do to consumer demand in the economy over a long period? Answer – a lot more harm than a few weeks of lockdown.

                What sets this government apart from most others – and from the Nats – is the quality of the decision-making. Especially their repudiation of the false dilemma of health vs economy. You can quibble with elements of their execution, but the decision-making has been pretty exemplary.

                My sense is that people who keep raising the false dilemma of economy vs health are motivated more by irritation/anger at being under personal restrictions, rather than any holistic view of the economy.

            • PaddyOT

              So what happens with schools under this 'management' .In US 97000 children infected in two weeks. They all go home don't they ?

              But just a tiny fraction die


          • Just Is


            We're still dealing with Human beings, they don't all understand the risks or don't care, there is a huge risk where interactions occur between people, rules are usually made to the Lowest common denominator.

            It's called Insurance.

            • ScottGN

              If that’s the case then the lowest common denominator is somewhere in the basement. Time to give up?
              We have the capacity to learn about and manage the virus and contact risks. We should use that skill and knowledge to try and make the inevitable lockdown as painless as possible. An no, I’m not advocating some sort of Swedish open slather, herd immunity bullshit. Just that we try and remain as flexible and nuanced in dealing with covid as we can be.

        • ScottGN

          And the Melbourne experience is characterised by a lack of focus and a timidity and inability to make decisions quickly and stick by them rather than open slather for the economy.

    • Tricledrown 15.2

      Look at the countries who have followed Barnetts Stupid Idea all have much worse economies as well as massive outbreaks overloaded health systems Doctors nurses dying.

      These business leaders should read the science and facts before putting out unworkable ideas!

      • Just Is 15.2.1

        Yes, we live in bubble down here in the South Pacific, successfully eradicated the Virus for 100 days

        A false security.

        Sweden has a death toll now of nearly 6000 and a population of 10 million, a classic example of what happens when you except high rates of death and hospitals overwhelmed with infected people.

        • tc

          Regarding Swedens herd immunity. Debates raging as to it's effectivness, it seems to be a punt rather than a proven strategy.

          We now know covid leaves a mark, it's not like the flu, it attacks organs, causes blood clots, scars lungs etc.

          Herd immunity now leaves Sweden dealing with that legacy.

          • Just Is


            Yep, Sweden has Gambled that their strategy is acceptable, nearly 6000 deaths from a population of a little over 10 million

            All those 6000 deaths had family members connected to them, I wonder if they think the strategy is acceptable, or just consider it as normal attrition.

    • Gabby 15.3

      Michael Barnett?

    • Sabine 15.4

      We are open. 🙂

      I have my plague door set up, no one comes in, order online/phone, Curbside or deliery only. Please sanitze and scan the Covid Track App. Rinse repeat.

      So yes, it can work, unless one is an idiot from elsewhere who thinks their Human rights are affected by being asked to wear a mask, sanitize and keep distance.

      Unless you are saying that kiwis are as dumb as US Americans or Englanders and even like some germans.

      However, when i look outside i see people with masks, kids with masks, men with masks, all happy to wait on their spot, sanitizing hands, and being polite about these embuggerances that covid causes.

      edit: And i hope that green grocers and small butchers are allowed to be open during lockdown 4. If people can wait for their food shopping in a line for hours on end without risk then they should be able to do a online butcher order with curbside pick up.
      Restos, Cafes, Hairdressers etc are a different thing due to close contact. But many other businesses should and could stay open.

      • Just Is 15.4.1

        I don't disagree with allowing shops who sell food products, ie the green grocers, butchers, fish shops, delicatessens on the proviso they keep to the rules.

        • Sabine

          yeah, because they would not. (insert face palm emoji)

          Seriously i have more faith in my green grocer and local butcher then i have in the supermarket staff that gets a $ 2 hazard pay for working during lockdown.

          • Just Is

            Sometimes those smaller businesses don't follow the rules to the same extent.

            I know a small dairy that was open during the last lockdown wasn't AS careful as the larger supermarkets, having said that, No infections were recorded within 100 kms of the area, so the risk was very low.

            Large populated areas like Auckland require greater restrictions, for obvious reasons.

            • Climaction

              so you're one piece of anecdotal evidence is enough for you to voice an opinion that all small businesses should remain shut?


              shilling for foodstuffs.

              • Just Is

                If your small business is selling products that aren't considered "essential" then maybe you should reconsider your thoughts.

                The Govt has offered support for those Businesses that are effected, maybe, you should consider applying for assistance.

                Or are you just making a lot of noise cos you disagree with the Govts Lockdown and would much rather be living in the states where Anything Goes

              • Muttonbird

                Jesus, inaction. Take a pill, and not the red one!

      • joe90 15.4.2

        I have my plague door set up

        A chocolate window, perhaps.

        • greywarshark

          Excellent idea joe90. Worth two faces.cheekyangel

        • Sabine

          this is what i have had made for my shop door. Perspex door, sits on a table and covers the whole upper body – even for tall man – and a cubbyhole cut in. No one gets in unless they wear a mask, sign in and sanitze. I wear a mask when people come in. And i sanitize and i santize and i sanitze.

          It works a treat. We have these little windows in buildings all over Europe.

  16. Muttonbird 16

    I see Phil Goff already has his hand out. Get to the back of the line, Phil.

    • Tricledrown 16.1

      We need to stand by Auckland in it's time of need as we are team players.

      Auckland is the heart of our economy.

      Muttonbird have a little heart.

      • Devo 16.1.1

        Yes we need to stand with Auckland

        But Goff is also an idiot. Money has never been cheaper to borrow, but Auckland Council still going ahead with austerity and job losses instead of revisiting their self-imposed debt cap

        • ScottGN

          Isn’t the debt cap imposed by central government via the Supercity enabling Act?

          • Macro

            Exactly. As Goff explained in the interview Auckland is already at the limit of its debt to borrowing ratio. Even a low interest loan from Govt could not be accepted. The reason for such a cap in borrowing is essential. I live in a municipality that borrowed heavily for infrastructure in the 1920's – early 30's and immediately following the start of the Depression went bankrupt when a high proportion of its residents became unemployed. The town was placed into administration from which it did not emerge until 1947. The results of the austerity are still evidenced today in the poor civil engineering work around the town generally.

        • Red

          We already have borrowed 50b as a country, just because it’s cheap it does not mean you just borrow more. People should not loose site of what 50b is, while technically not the case this represent a claim by overseas investors on 200 years of Fonterra (our largest exporter)profits

          You can’t just keep borrowing or printing money, eventually lenders work it out or you have hyper inflation The economic capacity of your economy To produce good and services must keep up with the debt and money supply, to not to do so it will end in tears (

          • Just Is

            Key borrowed $120B, to pay for the Tax cuts, no one blinked an eyebrow.

            Now we have a very good reason to borrow rather than incompetent Economic management.

            When the Coalition Govt took the reigns in 2017 that debt from Key was still in the high $60B

            • Tricledrown

              That's when the books are balanced $55 billion net debt.

              Only because the Cullen fund grew by $20 billion and the ACC fund grew by a$20 billion.

              Core crown debt grew from $20 billion from 2008 to2017 to $120 billion subtracting assets and savings makes it look a lot smaller.

              • Just Is

                When Key took office there was zero crown debt

                The Cullen fund was dipped into and contributions stopped under Key

      • Muttonbird 16.1.2

        I'm a jafa.


    • Anne 16.2

      Ahh … no. The handout is to maintain essential services and ensure the much needed restructuring work can continue. To close them down would mean many thousands more out of work.

      The council has already lost billions in revenue and had to borrow money to keep afloat. I don't want them loading any more debt onto us rate-payers.

      • Stunned Mullet 16.2.1

        Thank you Anne … agreed 100% from another long suffering ratepayer.

      • indiana 16.2.2

        So why the 5% rates increase then?

        • ScottGN

          It’s 3.5%. And Muttonbird is right everybody pays rates either directly as a homeowner or indirectly as a renter.

      • Muttonbird 16.2.3

        Every resident is a ratepayer, Anne.

        Interesting breakdown of Auckland City revenue here. Rates account for 40%, the rest is fees, fines, fares and dividends.

    • Sabine 16.3

      ha he is late, Rotorua and Taupo already send their incresases with the last bills.

      3.5% – i am such a lucky girl i get to pay my rates and that of my commercial landlord.

      So it might be easy to blame Phil, but please put some blame on all the other Mayors that have done exactly the same.

    • tc 16.4

      Goff can't control his own council's behaviour financially.

      Sure let's help kiwis but not via nacts supershity

  17. weka 17

  18. swordfish 18

    RNZ Graphic

  19. Fireblade 19

    New cases in Tokoroa.

  20. Andre 20

    Anyone seen up to date info on how many of New Zealand's COVID cases actually got the virus genome fully sequenced, and what the rate is for fully sequencing the recent arrival cases?

    The latest I've seen is an August 7 preprint saying 649 cases, which would be a bit over half of all the confirmed cases by then.

    If that dataset is complete, and the genome of the latest case doesn't match any previous cases, then that points towards a non-human means of transmission such as the coolstore idea. Good luck finding traces there BTW, any infected articles likely moved on a while ago.

    Info on the genome of the current cases:


    A piece from a while back with a lot of good info on what the genome tracking tells us:


    • Hooch 20.1

      I’d be interested to see the genome sequence compared to the cases that were picked up after flying out of NZ. The Korean dude and woman who tested positive in Sydney. Then you’d know if it had been circulating here for ages undetected.

    • Gabby 20.2

      Or someone flew in from Australia and brought it with them.

      • Andre 20.2.1

        Well, yeah, but they would have had to have got false negatives on their day 3 and day 12 tests, and then at least one link of a transmission chain within New Zealand that hasn't been detected. Or maybe aircrew plus an undetected link in NZ. Very unlikely looking at any particular individual, but considering the thousands of people that have come through the border, sheer weight of numbers certainly makes it possible.

  21. I’ve not read on The Standard of anyone’s experiences getting a Covid test, so here goes.

    I’m in the virus free South Island (which should be still on Level 1 IMO) but I had a headcold and my GP suggested I get tested.

    I wasn’t allowed into the medical practice, but had to use the tradesman’s entrance around the side.

    The nurse came out looking like a nurse in an ICU in a hospital! Full face visor and plastic from head to toe. Was I that infectious?

    I wasn’t really looking forward to the swab, for who likes anything stuck right up your nose, but she told me the swallow (distraction therapy I think, by the time I’d accomplished one swallow and was thinking about the second, it was all over). She'd backed me up against the building's wall so I couldn't ride with the thrust and twist!

    Not particularly unpleasant, and of very short duration. Not even particularly intrusive.

    Now I’ve got to consider myself infected with Covid until my test result comes back. I’ve been banished to the spare bedroom!

    As I joked with my wife, if the result comes back positive, damn it all, we’ll have to spend 2 weeks in a 5 star hotel, courtesy of the government.

    Well, there are worse things in life.

    • Anne 21.1

      That was not unlike my flu jab during lockdown 4.

      We were instructed to knock on the front door of the medical clinic to let them know we had arrived then go wait in our cars. A receptionist came out and called our names and one by one we disappeared round the back to be met by a nurse who emerged from a shed dressed like she'd just stepped off a Sputnik spaceship. We sat in a wooden chair on the pavement and instructed to turn our face away from the nurse while the jab was executed. The nurse disappeared back inside the shed and we were free to trundle back to our cars where we waited 10 mins in case we started frothing at the mouth. (oh, that's a wee bit of a lie.)

      On the face of it, it must have looked like there was an awful lot of hanky-panky going on.

    • observer 21.2

      Thanks for that. Interesting insight.

      "if the result comes back positive, damn it all, we’ll have to spend 2 weeks in a 5 star hotel, courtesy of the government."

      I expect people will be looking at the polls a week or two before the election and deciding whether or not to get tested. wink

      If Jacinda is well ahead and the virus is not in the headlines, I'll deal with any symptoms by hiding under the duvet until taking my test the day after the election …

    • ScottGN 21.3

      I had a test the first week back at work under level 2. I’d been sent home from work with a sore throat and was asked to get a test, which I did at the White Cross in St Luke’s. Certainly a bit uncomfortable but nothing major and I would rather have it than the thing the optometrist sticks right on my eyeball when I’m having an eye test – that really freaks me out.

    • Kay 21.4

      I was advised to get one during the last L4 lockdown because of some run of the mill viral symptoms, but in context of the times…so happily agreed to and they set up the appointment for me.

      It was a bit of a hassle for me. In my own bubble, can't drive so no choice but to get a taxi there. I didn't want to tell the driver where I was going, just got him to drop me off nearby! Checked in and was given a mask to wear, then went to the tent. Like you said Tony, the nurses in full PPE- pretty scarey stuff to be that close to, knowing why it has to be like that. Got asked tonnes of questions and had the test process explained to me very well.

      I'd heard a couple of horror stories about the pain involved with the nose swab, but the reality was I didn't even realise he'd done it. It was the throat one that had me gagging, but I would have no problem at all doing it again if necessary.

    • aj 21.5

      Came back south from Auckland 3 weeks ago, faint cold erupted next day (from grandkids) A few days later as cold was leaving me testing regime seems to tighten and I half thought about it.

      Now that we have new cases and I had a slight residual cough, I happened to drive past a testing centre and went in. No queue, all done in 2 minutes, easy peasy, don't know what the fuss is about. Certainly not a brain probe (not that I've ever had one)

      I will probably be the most unpopular person in New Zealand should that come back positive in the next 48hrs

  22. Andre 22

    Here's a good piece that's explores the difference between agonistic opposition, where one acts in the interests of the country by exploring flaws in what the government is doing and working to find better ways and boost one's own prospects by demonstrating better skills, and antagonistic opposition where the goal is simply to try to harm the government to boost one's own relative prospects and the interests of the country be damned.

    Guess which one the current Nats are going for.


    • Incognito 22.1

      Thanks. I was meant to comment on it but hadn’t got around to it 🙁

      The three comments so far are a ‘mixed bag’ …

      • Andre 22.1.1

        At, wags gets to the nub of it …

        • Incognito

          Indeed, the Oppos have got their heads stuck so far and they think it is all and only about them; they don’t give a toss about NZ and Kiwis. Instead of minimising Government screw-ups, they live and feed off them, like blood-sucking parasites, as do the Media; a hellish alignment.

    • Stunned mullet 22.2

      Question …. can you recall an opposition in NZ ever being of the non-antagonistic variety ?

      I'm getting on and certainly can't recall one in the last 30 years or so.

      • Andre 22.2.1

        No. But the antagonism has been of varying degrees. For instance, I don't recall the opposition being anywhere near as uselessly spitefully antagonistic after the Christchurch earthquakes as we're seeing now.

      • gsays 22.2.2

        Yes, Jacinda Ardern's opposition, briefly before the appropriate rise to power.

        If you can look through a different lens then you would see that the raising of the standard of politicking has continued by the PM's team since then.

        Despite the 'bucket of crabs' type behaviour from Crushed's mob. eg Gerry 'Tin-Foil Man' Brownlee.


  23. Wowee this virus is easily caught then… very easy.

    Rotorua will be sweating on their results as well.

    • Sabine 23.1

      It seems that people so far are good about it.

      Quite days, good compliance with mask wearing, signing in to get into places etc. '

      Resigned that we be next on the list is what i would call it.

  24. Imodium 24

    I am hoping there will be some form of apology from the government for this border botch up .

  25. Sabine 25

    the first thing i said to my partner was to go to the church of these guys from auckland. Surely they went to church i said.

    just now https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122447905/family-with-covid19-attended-mngere-church-congregation-told-to-get-tested

    Some of the bigger outbreaks in hte US have been linked to church attendance.

    • Patricia 2 25.1

      They should be setting up a COVID test site at the Mangere church ; enough people of interest there to warrant immediate investigation. Rather than have them all trundle down to the local test sites to wait for hours and possibly pass COVID on to others.

      • Sabine 25.1.1

        Yes, and the religious leaders should be the first to get tested followed by their families to remove any negativity.

        Again from friends in the State, considering the way the virus travels and sets up shop, it is the singing which is the most dangerous part of the exercise.

        A lot of Pasifica and also Maori go to church – for some it is the biggest part of their social life. So yes, when i heard South Auckland i was like, go call the local religious leaders – all of them – and call for tests.

  26. observer 26

    National party's strong united team, latest episode:


    I'd be fine with Ardern delaying the election until Oct/Nov, gives them more time to snipe at each other.

    • AB 26.1

      That National has bled a few points to ACT in recent months suggests that a loony RW libertarian strain has always been present in National. This confirms it.

  27. PaddyOT 28

    Strict lockdown vs Economy

    "Countries that have implemented successful lockdowns are generally doing much better economically than countries that have not – illustrating that the ‘choice’ between ‘health and economy’ was always a false dichotomy.”

    "Lockdown 2.0” would deal a significant blow to the New Zealand economy but allowing the virus to take hold would be much worse," economists say.

    Chief economist Dominick Stephens said, "the long-term impact of another lockdown would be only incremental.
    Apart from the travel and tourism sectors, the economy had shown to be capable of bouncing back “very rapidly”.

    ” ..economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the idea that New Zealand would be better off with a lighter lockdown and higher rates of Covid in the community was “bulls…”.

    International data from recent months had shown that New Zealand’s economy had rebounded through 100 days of no community transmission much more strongly than countries that still had it ( covid19) circulating."
    It would be better for the economy to eliminate the virus each time it flared up, he said.

    If you don’t eliminate you’ve just lost a lot of output [and] jobs, for no reason.”

    Stephens said stringent lockdowns were still the best economic plan because the country could not afford to let the virus take hold.


    Treasury update today
    https://treasury.govt.nz/publications/weu/weekly-economic-update-14-august-2020-htmlThe NZ Activity Index shows economic activity was above 2019 levels in July.

    • greywarshark 28.1

      At 6.1.2 I put up one that had a look at the effect of lockdown and economic conditions as opposed to lite lockdown. Also put up one that goes through to The Telegraph which is ranting about Sweden doing a bit better than UK and only a few more deaths. Mind you a thick layer of opinion over a thin layer of actual numbers.

      • PaddyOT 28.1.1

        Thanks for that, I did read your posts and sought to look at the NZ predictions: later waiting for the Treasury report put up each Friday. Treasury also publishes commentary on the international outlook each week.

        Of interest was the Chief economists view that lighter type lockdowns are considered detrimental to the economy based on NZ scenario vs what has happened in economies in other countries. China’s .position now was also a comparitive study

        • greywarshark

          I thought while people are thinking about it they could pick up on various comments already in the line especially as I had gone to the net for some outside stats.

          And AB further up by 15 makes the point that the 50s and up are both those being hit by the virus in increasing numbers as age goes up, but also the bigger spenders in the economy which is another objective reason for not going too hard on lockdowns for the 'older person'.

          In the New Scientist above they make the point that the Swedes shopping etc during lockdown did not spend enough to keep the economy high, and resulted in more cases; so the game was not worth the candle, old saying.

          Oh if you are looking up something solid for facts, could you pass the link on, or in some cases the keywords – if the link foes from here to the moon. It is helpful not to have to search around for the right mix of words to get onto a source.

          • PaddyOT

            Pinning the whole Covid19 impacts down to any data has its shortfalls as any links found are only a limited 'snapshot' of a particular time and place and arguably within a day swiftly changes.

            On the view of lighter lockdown methods vs strict lockdown my choice is strict lockdown for reasons in prior posts.

            For one, a rolling the dice method of light lockdown, plays at the idea of choosing whose lives matter.

            A yeah nah , it's mainly old people and a tiny fraction of others who will die so whatever, but "I" can have my freedoms and $$$, is deplorable imo for NZers to contemplate. As in link in prior post it was under 65s who suffered most in Mexico and India.

            The other unpredictable for round 2, how will NZers behave ? Anecdotal I know, but in the first days of L4 last time a whole group of neighbours acted defiantly and held regular ' beersies' at each other's houses.

      • greywarshark 28.2.1

        Mmm Chesswas who did he play rugby for? Golly thinks young up-and-coming Chairman of local Nat political party, 'This job is easy. All you have to do is question whether the government is doing anything right? Easy as, same question whatever they are doing. Everyone here is behind me, thinks I'm the cat's pjs. Nothing to this political lark.'

    • woodart 28.3

      lets get all the economists projections over the last three months, and see how many were correct.I would think, very few.

      • PaddyOT 28.3.1

        Yes, you do that then ! Good luck.

        Follow the links, they were not MY findings, but the current snapshot of the chief economist and Treasury.

        You can compile all your analysis of what was predicted in the last 3 months by the actual what really did happen with Treasury hard data as one source to solve your dilemma.

  28. Gabby 29

    So Roger Bridge has stood down. I think that Merv fellow should have the decency to step forward and clear poor Roger of any suspicions of devious behaviour.

    • Robert Guyton 29.1

      So was it Roger who lied, on camera, about his alter-ego – or was it Merv what told the whopper?

  29. ….and even more National Party divisions….Roger Bridge (AKA "Merv") has just resigned.

  30. Muttonbird 31

    The cheek of this guy! Australia's death toll went from 102 to 375 and counting under his watch and he lectures us?


    Not only that but we are infected because of people coming from his country.

  31. Just Is 32

    29 and 30

    Sounds like the rats are jumping off the sinking ship

  32. Robert Guyton 33


    Jacinda Ardern has consistently raised her shield against the slings and arrows of her outrageous political fortune, drawn her sword, and marched forward unflinchingly. Perhaps it also explains why so many New Zealanders have been willing to follow her.

    Many, but not all.

    It is the dirtiest of Humanity’s multitude of dirty secrets: that any display of genuine and unselfconscious excellence is bound to inspire the envy of those who, deep in their hearts, know they cannot – and will never – match it. This envious response to demonstrable talent is so deeply ingrained in a certain type of New Zealander that our culture has given it a name: “The Tall Poppy Syndrome”. It is our country’s curse: so few lofty flowers; so many secateurs."

    Pretty excellent stuff from Chris Trotter!


  33. greywarshark 34

    I see that a secrecy control imposed on killer of cop is to be lifted.

    Do we know who killed the Uk woman Grace Mullane? Has his name suppression been lifted? Why was it allowed for him, even after he was found guilty. The secrecy is unsettling, when others have to bear the brunt.

    Was the Court feeling sorry for him, so unfair that he should have to take responsibility for killing a woman while he was merely taking his pleasure on her? The whole thing has been horrid, and why he should be protected is amazing. Has anyone kept up with this?

  34. Observer Tokoroa 35

    The weird Innocence of defending Lawyers / Judges

    There is obviously money to be made when Lawyers and Judges keep open defences for patently obvious Criminals.

    The unfortunate person Grace Mullane, has weirdly been blamed for not having a live body or a death.

    Her loss of breath, death and burial was apparently her own fault. Even though I believe she had no weapons with which to save herself. Not strength, nor Gun, nor Help, nor Police.

    So the Lawyers, seemed to claime the Killer was just having fun.
    So much so, that he actually dug a hole in the ground and hid his victim.

    Then proceeded to find another would be women within hours.

    Good money for the Crims defenders. Outrageous. Family Mullane had to wait many months for a decent Hearing.

    There is far too much Criminal activity in New Zealand. Vile Vicious Murders. It is time we put a Distinct end to it ….Pronto

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  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago