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Open mike 14/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, February 14th, 2015 - 149 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen 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 …

149 comments on “Open mike 14/02/2015”

  1. happy valentines day – everyone..


  2. les 2

    looks familiar…’The second change with personalization is that it’s not just entertainers whose PR crews carefully hone an image of ordinariness. It is now much more apparent in politicians, Nigel Farage being an obvious example. Widely publicised photographs of Farage holding a pint of beer conform to an older tradition in election-time iconography. But more sinister is his tactic of appearing humbly and “amusingly” tongue-tied at least once in most of his filmed appearances (a habit proven winsome by Bush and, subsequently, Boris Johnson).’ from a critique of R.Hoggarts…’The Uses of Literacy’.

  3. Paul 3

    The Herald have been pimping this finance billionaire for a while.
    Now we find out that Bill English has been helping make moment of of education in New Zealand.

    ‘An American equity fund manager who wants to open charter schools in New Zealand was introduced to Ngai Tahu leaders by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English.’

    This country continues to slide further and further downhill.


    • David H 3.1

      And the NZ education system ends up as an. If you can pay, your child will be educated system. Free education killed off within 9 years by the NACTS. Really makes me want to meet an NACT Polly in a dark alley one night. Charter Schools what a nightmare. I really do worry about what sort of world my son will grow up in.

      • music4menz 3.1.1

        Not sure what the link is between ‘If you can pay, your child will be educated…’ and your reference to charter schools. Charter schools are not fee paying.

        Your statement that ‘Free education killed off within 9 years by the NACT’ isn’t true either. Are you claiming that state education was free at the end of the last Labour government but is fee-paying now? Really.

        You also seem to have a few personal issues with aggro if you are making threats about meeting ‘an NACT Polly in a dark alley one night.’

        I think posters here on the Standard have been banned for far less than threatening fellow NZers with violence.

      • freedom 3.1.2

        “Charter Schools what a nightmare. ”

        That’s a bit harsh. 😉 Charter Schools or Partnership Schools (CS/PS) are not the issue.
        Poorly planned, poorly run Charter Schools and Partnership Schools certainly are.

        CS/PS ;
        ;receiving per child funding of up to seven times that of State Schools are a problem.
        ;not answerable to the same education standards as State Schools are a problem.
        ;not answerable to the Official Information Act are a problem.
        ;not answerable to the Ombudsman are a problem.
        ;not having to report the same information as State Schools are a problem.

        But Charter Schools or Partnership Schools as an idea are fine. They already exist throughout NZ and have done so for many years in many different forms and have regularly proven to be successful and popular. Those that existed before 2008 seem to have two major differences to the new bunch though. Firstly they are more closely aligned to the reporting, standards, accountability, protocols and the funding levels of State Schools. The other, more important difference would be those Schools were set up to help educate kids, not simply profit off them.

  4. Paul 4

    Doctors in NZ and Australia demand transparency over the TPPA.

    ‘But despite a letter published today in The Lancet — and signed by 27 health leaders in Australasia as well as the US, Canada, Malaysia and Chile — Trade Minister Tim Groser this afternoon reaffirmed the Government’s stance of not releasing controversial TPP negotiating documents.’

    A government of the corporates, for the corporates, by the corporates.


    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.1

      @Paul. Dr Monasterio has explained very clearly the potential impact of TPPA on this country in the Herald article.

      “Otago University senior clinical lecturer Dr Erik Monasterio, one of the co-lead authors of the letter, claimed the agreement threatened governmental ability to deliver affordable health care and legislate to protect public health and reduce health inequities.

      “And all the while, the text is shrouded in secrecy,” he said.

      “The negotiations are not about the way most of us think of trade — you and me buying and selling things.

      “Instead they are protecting the massive investment profits of multinational companies that are bigger than the whole New Zealand economy.”

      Dr Monasterio described the TPP as “an unprecedented expansion” of intellectual property rights that would “push up the cost of affordable and life-saving medicines, hitting hardest the already vulnerable households in New Zealand and other countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia”.

      He also feared governments could be sued for protecting health — but governments cannot sue back.

      “This will stop important health initiatives on tobacco, alcohol, the obesity epidemic, climate change, antibiotic resistance, and other major future challenges,” he said.”

      And this, folks, is just one aspect of the TPPA.

      NZ could be sued by mining corporations if we make laws that prevent them from exploiting our environment.

      Here is an example of how Investor-State Dispute Settlements work from the Canadian NAFTA experience.

      “Quebec Fracking Ban Lawsuit Shows Perils Of Free Trade Deals:
      OTTAWA – Free trade critics say a $250-million damage suit being pursued as a result of Quebec’s moratorium on fracking is proof Canada needs to be careful in negotiating trade pacts around the world.

      The Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club and Quebec-based Eau secours say the suit by Lone Pine Resources Inc. (TSX:LPR) shows that trade deals that include investor protection clauses are a bad idea because they can prevent governments from passing laws to protect the environment.

      The groups are asking Lone Pine to drop the suit before a NAFTA panel, but company president Tim Granger says he is going ahead unless Quebec lifts its moratorium on fracking for natural gas under the St. Lawrence River.

      “As an organization we, in good faith, purchased leases, we paid rentals and then to just have been stymied, that’s not acceptable,” he said in an interview.”

      Is this what we want for NZ? Wake up NZ!!

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.1.1

        If you, like me, are concerned about the loss of sovereignty if the TPPA contains an Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause, then the following article will show you are not alone.
        The following link is to a scholarly study carried out to assess the impact of ISDS rules on environmental regulation with respect to the TTIP (a parallel Trade agreement to TPPA between US and EU.)

        “Investor-state Dispute Settlement under TTIP – a Risk for Environmental Regulation?”
        Rules on ISDS in TTIP could have a chiling effect on environmental regulation in the EU and the US”

        “The authors conclude that rules on ISDS are not necessary in an agreement between two highly evolved, rule of law legal systems. By contrast, such rules create significant risks for environmental regulation, because of the broad wording of investment rules and the largely unpredictable manner in which they are interpreted by investment tribunals. States may have to compensate investors for taking legitimate environmental measures. The study recommends not to include such rules in TTIP”


        It is well worth flicking through the full report.


    • Rodel 4.2

      Chomsky says the US was unhappy to lose control of China in 1949 when they became independent so the US felt that they no longer controlled all of the world and now US corporations want the TTPA established mainly to isolate China and minimize its influence in the world of commerce. China is apparently not included in the TPPA even though it is a major Pacific country.
      Is Chomsky wrong?


  5. gsays 5

    morena all,
    i have a request of the standard community.
    i have a frame for a hoarding on a busy rural road in the “armpit of the manawatu”

    i want to put a short, straight forward message on it, to act as a seed in the minds of those who read it.

    ideally the message would be unifying, apolitical, and not a single issue (pollution, economy, food politics.

    for example bill hicks “it’s just a ride” is spot on but too abstract and needs context.

    thanx in advance for any suggestions.

    • Change, please.

      Who Do You Love?

      Future Now

      • phillip ure 5.1.1

        @ trp..

        a).. beggars’-pitch..

        b)..ad for dating site..

        c)..exemplar of tired political-cliche..(with disturbing tinges of dun(ne)..

        ..of course i wd go with ‘stop eating animals- why doncha..?’..

        ..or..’end poverty/inequality – now..!’

        ..of course dunne has polluted both of those words – as stirring calls to action – for the forseeable future..

        ..both ‘future’ and ‘united’..

        ..it’s a shame..’cos they were good words..

        ..before he beiged all over them..

    • weka 5.2

      “i want to put a short, straight forward message on it, to act as a seed in the minds of those who read it.

      ideally the message would be unifying, apolitical, and not a single issue (pollution, economy, food politics.”

      What is the purpose of the billboard, gsays? If it’s not political and you want it to reach everyone in a way that brings them together, what is the intended result?

      • gsays 5.2.1

        hi tracey,
        as bill hicks says, if we realize we are all one, we will not keep building nuclear weapons.

        to get folx to aspire to higher ideals.
        to perhaps get them to throw off some of their self imposed chains (money, being left or right wing, sexuality).

        when we realize and act as we are one, it will not matter what lying prime ministers say and do.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.3

      1) He who dies with the most toys…
      2) A life of caring is a life of meaning
      3) We are stronger working together.
      4) Co-operation not competition.
      5) Human freedom not market freedom.

    • Incognito 5.4

      One grass seed does not make a field.

      One grass seed can make a field.

    • freedom 5.5

      or JUST MORE SPIN ?

      WHO GOT THE $$$ ??

      and it would be remiss of me not to add the message now appearing on billboards and buildings and highway signs in many parts of the world

      GOOGLE WTC 7


      • Colonial Rawshark 5.5.1

        LOLOLOLOL very nice haha!

      • phillip ure 5.5.2

        @ freedom..

        ..’wtc 7′..


      • gsays 5.5.3

        cheers freedom, i am right with you ref wtc 7, however as i have found when you dip your toes in that pool, people seem real fixed in their thinking and are quick to pigeon hole you, (and therefore ‘know’ what you are about).

        i was accused of being right wing last time i was involved in a 12/9 discussion here on t.s.

    • JanM 5.6

      *Who do you belong to?

      *He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

      *Who do you trust?

    • “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” (Einstein)
      “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” (Mark Twain)
      “If you are going through hell, keep going” (Churchill)

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 5.8

      Community must exist for NZ to thrive

      The common wealth of this country needs to benefit us all

      8 hour working day, 40 hour working week

    • Molly 5.9

      Depending on your size. I’m thinking you need a series of signs, with a little bit of humour and pertinent points.

      An easy theme is to do it in the style of upcoming television shows, and change the sign monthly. People – even if they don’t agree – will be watching for the next one.

      Eg. coming soon:
      Sabin’s Heroes – with a picture of Key as Sgt. Schulz – I know nuzzink!
      Groucho Marx – with sign about not wanting to be a member of the club etc.

      I’ve been out shopping, and am totally non creative at present but the book covers/posters being posted pre election would have a few good ideas.

      • gsays 5.9.1

        cheers molly,
        that gave me a good chuckle.
        nothing wrong with being current.

        in my heart of hearts i know, being the character i am, i will do this once and that will be it.

        after all i am talking about a big bit of plywood, painting it white, putting on slogan and (as they say on tv) walk away.

        love the images you have put in my mind.

        • Molly

          hi gsays,

          I get where you are coming from… so perhaps the most pertinent for the Manawatu crowd would be –
          A Tui kind of graphic along the lines of:

          Government debt:
          2008 $18 billion
          2015 $100 billion

          Good economic manager – Yeah, right!

          On reflection, that approach could be used for highlighting a number of issues.
          One hour a week counted as employed – Yeah, right
          Legislation pass under urgency – yeah, right
          Iraq because we care – …
          Dirty Politics is OK because “everyone” does it …
          TPPA is secret because it is so good – …
          We do not collect data on ordinary NZers – ….
          I don’t ackshully remember what my office was told – ….

  6. Philip Ferguson 6

    Gay liberation and marxism on Redline. I’ve collected the articles we’ve had on the blog together. They’re mainly about gay marriage, because that’s been the dominant issue in the three years-plus since the Redline blog started, but there’s also a feature one on the 1986 law reform and there’s also one by an Irish gay activist questioning whether gay *liberation* is served by what he sees as mimicking straight, middle class values.

    The collection of articles is here: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/marxism-and-gay-liberation-on-redline/


  7. Philip Ferguson 7

    Very good piece by Otago University professor Richard Jackson on war propaganda, ‘terrorism’ and minimal journalistic standards in NZ:


    • ianmac 7.1

      Thanks Phil. Amazing collection of very significant questions. I have been trying to imagine such questions addressed to John Key but really, I come up blank. A straight answer? Never!

  8. freedom 8


    WTF ??? WTF ??? WTF ??? WTF ??? WTF ??? WTF ???



    -reply patiently awaiting moderation of course but I will say this here & now-

    I for one am very confused by the ongoing actions of TDB host. He is apparently on some crusade to attack the vitality and diversity of discussion here at The Standard. For some reason, offering a common platform to people with differing points of view is a bad thing.

    Is it really so damaging to the left to admit that within its ranks are those who think hitting people solves problems? This is not exactly news!

    • tc 8.1

      Somebody help them find the plot because they seem to have lost it.

    • weka 8.2

      Bomber as a passionate man with a big ego that’s been publicly humiliated by the alpha male (Lynn) and reacting in kind (or trying to). Now O’Dea taking his ban from ts personally and spreading lies and conspiracy. Macho politics, it’s probably not a bad reflection of what happens further up the chain, and it shows us how far we still have to go in terms of basic human relations and power.

      • marty mars 8.2.1

        both of them are just ego-wanking themselves into frenzy – i’ve got very little respect for their lines or motivation now

      • freedom 8.2.2

        “it shows us how far we still have to go in terms of basic human relations and power.” this can not be said strongly enough right now

        Yet to mention it is to invite pyromaniacs to light up the tumbleweeds of opportunity rolling through this ramshackle town we call Democracy.

        -Have enjoyed watching the scifi show Defiance. The community of diverse species shows humanity is basically really lousy at resolving problems of power dynamics.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      And Bradbury has misidentified The Standard as “Labour’s online voice”. As he must know better I assume he’s done that on purpose.

      • weka 8.3.1

        +1. Which makes him not to be trusted 🙁

      • phillip ure 8.3.2

        i find it quite strange that bradbury labels the standard as ‘labour’..(with the underlying-sneer they are more ‘conservative’ than radical him..)

        ..yet i am allowed to comment here..and i (and others) are very far from ‘labour’..

        ..and my comments wd be radical/challenging to many labour people..(worshipping clark as many do..as just one example.)..

        ..yet they are allowed/discussed..

        ..whereas any time i have attempted to post a comment @ the daily blog..that criticises the ‘voice’ there..

        ..it is censored out…

        ..funny that..!

        ..and/but actually i wd like the main-combatants to ‘get a room together’..

        ..and sort it all out..

        ..it is all far too much like that palestinian-schism scene in monty python..

        ..it is far too close to that for comfort..

        ..to my mind..

        ..and all just a bit silly…

        …we are all..after all..pretty much marching in the same direction..eh..?

    • TheContrarian 8.4

      I have, and always have had, had a particular distaste for Bradbury. He’s an arrogant blowhard. While Lynn is also an arrogant blowhard he is far more reasonable, approachable and allows for someone to call him an arrogant blowhard without moderating the comments out.

      Martyn can fuck right off.

      • freedom 8.4.1

        The site is becoming an echo chamber and has driven away a lot of good authors.
        and as for those stupid thumbs -i used to bother, now I just hit them randomly

  9. Shane Le Brun 9

    So time for my weekly Medpot blog post, this time as a rebuttal to the templated response email received from my Nelson Electorate MP on the issue.


    Alternate address for the beige haters. 🙂

    • weka 9.1

      “beige haters”? Not a good way to encourage people to read your blog 🙁

      • phillip ure 9.1.1

        @ weka..

        ..wd u like any attempts @ humour leeched out of this place..?

        ..and ‘beige-hater’ is an accurate description of those who recoil in horror @ the beige-one…


        • Shane Le Brun

          There is not too many who use the alternate address, maybe a dozen a post, but the more people the merrier. Being completely independent of PG means I can call Phil and co’s distaste as they see it. 🙂

          • marty mars

            shane if you post on his site you are not ‘completely independent’ imo. I’ve had a look at the facebook page – that is a good place to get your message out. If you keep posting on petes blog I won’t read your stuff, because no matter what you are saying, where you say it matters – at least to me.

            • Shane Le Brun

              Hence the alternative location I provide as per criticisms recieved here. I chose YourNZ as it was neither left nor right, no adds, and he was supportive of my position on Medpot, I also tried at the standard etc, but no reply…. I have never met PG personally, and didn’t follow blogs until I needed to get on one, so was not privy to the stirring that occurs over here at the standard. I also have total ownership of my own material that is never edited, and can reblog to my hearts content, unlike the restrictive conditions offered when I tried to Bombers blog……………….

              • @ shane..

                “..I chose YourNZ as it was neither left nor right..’

                um..!..heads up..!

                ..part of the reason the beige-one wears so much vitriol..

                ..is because he attempts that canard…

                ..the beige-one is right..be quite clear about that..

                ..i mean..he was a dunne-disciple..(just that is ‘enough’..)

                ..and while i welcome as many voices as possible speaking up on this issue..

                ..from left or right…

                ..tying yrslf to the s.s. beige..

                ..must paint you in that camp..

                ..and that compounded by being under that tatty/shabby-beige-flag..

                ..so your call..

                ..b.t.w..it has crossed my mind you are him..

                ..but he doesn’t have the intelligence to create yr backstory..

                ..and he has no history of pushing the green..

                …(the colour is probably too bright/jarring for him..)

                • Pete George

                  “and he has no history of pushing the green”

                  Showing your ignorance Phil. Or making things up.

                  I’m on record campaigning for it in the 2011 election, and one condition for standing for UF was to be able to promote a cannabis debate. See Cannabis deserves a decent debate

                  Since then I’ve discussed possible ways to address it with Greens and with ALCP.

                  Perhaps you should stop making things up based on ignorance and petty prejudice.

                  • yeah that’s right..yr a drug-warrior..

                    ..i forgot..

                    ..there was that article back in 2011..

                    • Pete George

                      I sounded out a wide range of people last year for a social media campaign on it. But the timing wasn’t right due to things moving the wrong way with synthetics, and no party wanted to get into it before the election.

                      If things keep muddling along disjointedly then we’ll arrive at the 2017 election with neither Greens not Labour wanting to risk being too strongly associated with cannabis reform, If they don’t get into Government in 2011 then it could be six years at the earliest before anything could start to happen, and without public pressure Labour/Greens are no going to rush into anything either.

                      So something has to be generated outside the parties to compel them to at least address medical use.

                      I know that all the main bloggers support change – Slater, Farrar, Brown, Bradbury and some if not most here.

                      Imagine what could be achieved by a non-partisan campaign being pushed across the social media spectrum.

                      However it’s likely too many would prefer petty personal battles rather than trying to achieve something.

                      To make something happen it needs concerted public pressure.

                      Would you work with me on it?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The timing wasn’t right due to widespread contempt for me, because everyone knows I’m the way to make your project fail. FIFY, Wormtongue.

                    • Pete George

                      Ah, yeah OAB, about the only thing you’ve managed here is irony. What you actually hope to achieve isn’t apparent?

                      You must have some sort of end result in mind. Or is it just ongoing attempts of futility, but it’s not just your nest you keep shitting in?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Did you suddenly become a moderator here, Wormtongue? Who’s nest are you a guest in?

                      The job of countering racist liars is never done, more’s the pity.

                    • “..Would you work with me on it?..?

                      ..i already do..’work on it’..

                      ..have been for quite some time


                    • since january last yr i have posted 215 stories/links/evidence on this issue..

                    • Pete George

                      Isolated blog bubbles of activity aren’t achieving anything significant.

                      Would you work with others on a wider campaign?

                    • f.f.s…p.g..

                      ..u said u want to get sites to work on this issue..

                      ..i am just saying you can cross me off yr list of people u need to talk to..

                      ..as i am already doing just that..

                      ..if anyone wants to trawl thru my massive archive/cache on this subject for material to use..

                      ..anyone is welcome to do that..

                      ..i can’t see what else i can do..

                      ..and the fact is the winds of change are already blowing..

                      ..but these arseholes (the nats) won’t do anything about it..

                      ..it will need a change of govt. to achieve any change..

                      ..it ain’t gonna happen until that happens..

                    • Pete George

                      Yeah well if you don’t want to try anything different for three years and then hope something will suddenly and miraculously happen because there’s some stuff on some blogs then good luck with that.

              • “..the restrictive conditions offered when I tried to Bombers blog..”

                what were those ‘conditions’..?

                • Shane Le Brun

                  all posts belong to TDB, no reblogging, and all must be original, so I couldnt use pre existing stuff, and seeing as the political right are the people who need there minds changed being stuck on a far left blog wouldnt suit my long term aims.

  10. tracey 10

    if ever the PM was simply encapsulated in his own words while showing why he his understanding of the world he lives in makes him the wrong person to lead a nation it was here

    “… Key said there had been strong interest from iwi groups and he would be “amazed” if the likes of the Salvation Army were hesitant to get involved if they saw a way to make money off the investment…” stuff.co.nz 14 Feb 2015 article by hamish rutherford

    note charities are legally forbidden from pursuing a profit motive. Read the Act…

    • tc 10.1

      Which of course none of the msm puppets pick up on and take him to task over as they lack both the knowledge and direction from their bosses to take him on.

      More of those higher standards.

    • gsays 10.2

      hi tracey, “… Key said there had been strong interest from iwi groups and he would be “amazed” if the likes of the Salvation Army were hesitant to get involved if they saw a way to make money off the investment…”

      this always makes me feel very uncomfortable, the kiwi build up a property portfolio and profit from being a landlord.

      business wise you are discouraged from retrofitting insulation, dealing with damp rooms etc.

      cue responses of ‘an insulated dry dwelling can attract a higher rental’ market driven drivel.

  11. Clashman 11

    whats happened to the “feeds”? 4 days old now.

  12. fisiani 12

    In Scotland there is an acronym in football, WATP.
    Some say it means We Are The People, but actually it means We Are Third Place.

    • @ the standard there is an acronym..

      ..it is..i.f.a.f..(pronounced ‘eye-faff’..)

      ..which stands for ‘isn’t fisi a fuckwit’..

    • tc 12.2

      For rangers supporters that will always be the dream now, behind Celtic and Aberdeen if they’re lucky. Once mighty now a basket case with sharks circling.

  13. joe90 13

    Robert Reich follows up on the sharing economy.

    My recent column about the growth of on-demand jobs like Uber making life less predictable and secure for workers unleashed a small barrage of criticism that workers get what they’re worth in the market.

    A Forbes Magazine contributor, for example, writes that jobs exist only “when both employer and employee are happy with the deal being made.” So if the new jobs are low-paying and irregular, too bad.

    Much the same argument was voiced in the late nineteenth century over alleged “freedom of contract.” Any deal between employees and workers was assumed to be fine if both sides voluntarily agreed to it.


  14. Penny Bright 14

    In my considered opinion, Pat O’Dea should not have been banned from The Standard.

    What you do with this comment is up to you – but I will call it as I see it.

    You don’t have to like it

    So be it.

    Penny Bright

    • marty mars 14.1

      look at what he is doing now on tdb – I’m embarrassed for him, I thought he was better than that but…

      and i’m sad that a Mana spokesperson has such little idea of how to interact with this blog – it’s not that difficult really it’s not and now his personal and spokesperson ideas are not here because of what? ego? pride? fucked if I know but it is all self inflicted imo

    • You left much the same comment two weeks ago, Penny, but it’s nice to see you’ve lightened up on the passive-aggressive digs at my employer.

      Open mike 02/02/2015

      Saying “what you do with this comment is up to you” does, however, come across as a bit of an “I dare you to ban me!!!!” given how your previous, far snider comment was, and remains, published.

      • phillip ure 14.2.1


        ..bite that tongue harder..!

        [Stephanie: I’m assuming this is meant in a joking way, phil, but given our previous interactions I don’t think it’s appropriate or clear what you actually mean.]

        • marty mars

          get over it tiger and put your energy into more productive stuff ffs

        • phillip ure

          (seeing as you asked..)

          it means that i have quite a strong opinion on this..(the initial banning..)

          ..but the power imbalance means if i voice it..you will ban me..

          ..hence i am ‘biting my tongue’..

          ..so i guess it is my version of a silent-protest..a turning of the back..

          ..signifying that my silence does not mean agreement..

          .(hope that clarifies that..)

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            This is utter, utter bullshit, phil. People – quite obviously given Penny’s multiple comments questioning Pat O’Dea’s ban – do not get banned merely “for disagreeing.”

            And nobody would ever take your “silence” (please note, leaving snide comments is the opposite of silence) as agreeing with anything the moderators do here.

            • phillip ure

              “..do not get banned merely “for disagreeing.”..”


              ..i think the initial banning of pat o’dea was unjustified..

              ..i think you interpreted what he said incorrectly..

              ..and it escalated from there..

              ..i think he was/is a dick in his reaction..

              ..and to my mind this one follows the pattern of the banning of bad..

              ..(even tho’ i battled with him..i wd like him back..he had much intelligent comment to make..)

              ..yes..he also over-reacted as it escalated..

              ..but i see that largely his reaction to what he felt was a totally unjustified initial censure/miss-reading of his words/intent..

              ..much as what pat has done…is doing..

              ..that is why i oppose the initial banning of pat..

              • Thanks for confirming what I’ve always suspected: that you’re happy to make excuses for someone who was 100% vile, abusive, aggressive and persistent in posting abuse well past their ban date, as long as you can convince yourself and others that I ~provoked them~. Because that’s not a completely predictable method men have used for generations to shut a woman up. 🙄

                • “..Because that’s not a completely predictable method men have used for generations to shut a woman up..”

                  ..why bring gender into it..?..where did that come from..?

                  ..yr gender is irrelevant in this case..it the moderating-decisions that are being discussed..

                  ..i made clear that i did not agree with the escalation of both bad and pat..

                  ..i was talking about the initial-misunderstanding that is common to both..

                  ..and you see absolutely no possibility that you ‘got it wrong’ in either of those cases..?

                  ..(‘wrong’ in yr initial-assesment..i am not talking about the escalations..)

                  ..you see no chance of that having happened..?

                  • My gender comes into it when there’s a clear pattern of my moderation (and other women mods, like karol) being questioned, second-guessed, and ignored while male moderators’ dictates get respected. My gender comes into it when people like you demand the publication of abusive, misogynist comments to “prove” that “justice was done” when bad12 was banned.

                    And my gender comes into it when there’s literally centuries’ worth of feminist thought outlining how men undermine women and blame them for men’s actions, and your comments fit all those phenomena to a T.

                    • right ho..!

                      ..throws hands in air..

                      ..and walks off..

                      factcheck:..i did not ask for the ‘publication’ of anything..let alone ‘demand it’..

                      ..where on earth did you get that from..?

                      (and how can this not be an example of ‘getting it wrong’..

                      ..you have accused me of something that is a total fiction..)

                      ..i asked you if there was any chance you misunderstood what was initially said..that was all..

                      ..i made the point repeatedly i was not talking about the escalations..from either..

                      ..and that i think/thought they were both dicks in that escalation..(i think this is the third time i have said that..)

                      ..and you will note how polite i am..

                      ..and is penny also questioning for ‘gender-reasons’..is she..?

                      ..i mean..c;mon..!

                      ..she feels an injustice was done..in the initial judgement of what was said..and i agree with her..

                      ..gender does not come within a bulls-roar of this..

                      ..and i think i will/shd now return to my previous biting-tongue mode..

                      ..there is so much more i wd like to say..but shouldn’t..

                      ..and y’know..!..if you are constantly looking for seagulls..

                      ..you’ll probably get to see quite a few..


                    • and f.w.i.w..

                      ..i don’t know pat o’dea well..

                      ..but from what i have seen of him..i do not doubt he is a man of integrity/sincerity..

                      ..and his long history of political actions on.for ‘our’ side..confirms that..

          • tracey

            noun: silence; plural noun: silences

            complete absence of sound.
            “sirens pierce the silence of the night”
            synonyms: quietness, quiet, quietude, still, stillness, hush, tranquillity, noiselessness, soundlessness, peace, peacefulness, peace and quiet
            “the sound of falling stones broke the silence of the night”
            antonyms: sound, noise
            the fact or state of abstaining from speech.
            “Karen had withdrawn into sullen silence”
            synonyms: speechlessness, wordlessness, voicelessness, dumbness, muteness; More
            taciturnity, reticence, uncommunicativeness, unresponsiveness
            “she was reduced to silence”
            antonyms: speech, loquacity
            the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something.
            “politicians keep their silence on the big questions”
            synonyms: secretiveness, secrecy, reticence, taciturnity, uncommunicativeness, concealment
            “politicians keep their silence on the big issues”
            antonyms: communication, communicativeness
            a short appointed period of time during which people stand still and do not speak as a sign of respect for a dead person or group of people.
            “the game was preceded by a two-minute silence in his memory”

            verb: silence; 3rd person present: silences; past tense: silenced; past participle: silenced; gerund or present participle: silencing

            cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking.
            “she was silenced by the Inspector’s stern look”
            synonyms: quieten, quiet, hush, shush, still; More

          • marty mars

            “..but the power imbalance means if i voice it..you will ban me..”

            go and check the link out again and see who did the banning phil

            You are smarting about the comments made on the thread re weka/shane.

            ffs at least be honest with yourself

            • phillip ure

              “..You are smarting about the comments made on the thread re weka/shane…”

              sorry..i haven’t a clue what u r talking about..

              ..cd u point at what i am meant to be ‘smarting’ about..?


              .at the moment..i am ‘smarting’-free..eh..?

              ..should i ‘steel’ myself..?

            • phillip ure

              “.. and see who did the banning phil..”..yes..someone else banned after the escalation..

              ..but the brouhaha started with that misunderstanding with stephanie..to my memory..

              ..if i am incorrect..i will withdraw that..but i am pretty sure i am right..

              • The “brouhaha” started with Pat making a comment in clear breach of TS policy.

                Unless of course you mean I started it all by daring to publish a post which provoked the poor, innocent man into breaking the rules, and then persisting in breaking them after a moderator advised him not to. Given the tenor of every comment you’ve ever made on my moderation, I wouldn’t be surprised. 🙄

                • weka

                  as an aside to this conversation, Stephanie, can you please clarify if this comment was moved from another thread to OM?

                  Open mike 02/02/2015

                  I think there is some confusion about why O’Dea got banned, and some of that confusion comes from how he got banned (the rest comes from people assuming he was banned for content, which is just daft).

                  Not that it matters (I don’t think it has to be visible to readers, nor that moderators have to justify decisions), and it won’t help in regards to people like phil, but it was one of the unclearer moderations I’ve seen and it took me a while to figure it out (the pattern of behaviour that prompted Lynn to ban).

                  • I’m pretty sure the genesis of the ban of pat stemmed from this thread and series of comments

                    The Northland by-election

                    sure new commenters need latitude but the onus is on them to learn the rules – end of story.

                    • weka

                      Thanks marty. That’s what I was thinking, having followed some other links today. It reads like someone commenting who hasn’t read the Policy.

                    • mickysavage

                      Pat broke a number of rules and his tone was really offensive. And he has continued the blitzkrieg against TS over at TDB. He needs to become a bit more sensitive and discrete and needs to understand others …

                    • lprent []

                      He only impressed me as being a gormless egotistical dickhead who knew very little about either his topic, or how to behave on the net.

                      That could just be because he was a newbie.

                      But I’d prefer that he does his learning in other sites. Damaging TDB is preferable to him damaging anything that I am responsible for.

                      It ius however disappointing that Mana lets them damage their name. But they do seem to a bit moribund – which is disappointing.

                    • Thanks marty, that’s where it comes from.

                      I appreciate your comment, weka, but as we continue to see with clear, undeniably-breaking-the-rules-and-being-unpleasant bannings like bad12’s, some people are just determined to undermine the rules and moderation of The Standard.

                    • weka

                      thanks Stephanie and micky. This subthread probably wasn’t the best timing or place for me to bring it up.

                    • mickysavage []

                      No problem. I think the left need to clear the air on this issue and anticipate this will happen soon!

                    • @lprent..

                      “..But they do seem to a bit moribund – which is disappointing…”

                      um..!..no…i am going to a meeting this week…

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Why Tesla’s battery for your home should terrify utilities

    They haven’t had to deal with this on the residential side yet, primarily because people can sell excess power back to the utilities at fairly high rates — a practice called net metering. But that’s hurting utilities, too, and some have tried to lower the price at which they buy back power, which has been met by furious protests from people leasing panels. If utilities lower the buyback rate too much, however, and batteries get cheap enough, people may just unplug from the grid altogether — or more likely, install systems that let them rely on it only rarely — prompting what those in the industry call “the utility death spiral.” It’s quite a bind: by fighting net metering, utilities would help make battery storage more economically viable, driving the transition to a distributed grid.

    Electricity (and other network utilities) can only make a profit if they have a huge number of people paying into them decreasing the cost per customer of maintaining the generating and distributing equipment. As the utility operators try to boost or even just maintain profits they drive customers away killing their profits.

    The problem though is that the community is better off with the entire population connected to the network with the ‘customers’ both feeding into the network and taking from it as it would make the network more diverse and thus more resilient. A single network also allows for better utilisation of the power generated. As a single network that is privately owned gets to set it’s own charges (monopoly power) and thus get super-profits the only option left for this single network is state owned and run as a government service. This gets the economies of scale that the network is great at providing while also protecting from the greed of the profiteers.

    • If the grid was Government owned and operated as a public utility, rather than a profit driven monopoly, then these developments would be applauded as they save us from building power stations, damming rivers and burning coal.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        Which means we could easily start divesting ourselves from the use of fossil fuels.

        • phillip ure

          and that won’t happen..(the power companies working in/for the common-good..)

          ..until they are re-nationalisd..

          ..thinking otherwise is just blowing smoke..

          ..and the more the environmental-consequences kick in/hurt us..

          ..the stronger will become that imperative..

          ..it isn’t a matter of ‘if’..it’s ‘when’..

          ..so..the sooner the better..eh..?

          • Draco T Bastard

            and that won’t happen..(the power companies working in/for the common-good..)

            ..until they are re-nationalisd..

            Which should tell you why they were sold.

            • phillip ure

              i dunno if they are that machiavellian/intelligent..thinking that far ahead..

              ..i think that was just good old-fashioned rightwing dismantling/privatising all/any common-good initiatives..

              ..using greed/personal-enrichment as their carrot..

              ..and if they thought they wd get away with totally privatising them..they wd have done that..

              ..they are just thieving-bastards..

              ..who steal from the common-pool..

              ..and this crew is becoming more obviously naked to all..

              ..by the day..

    • tc 15.2

      Yes and there’s billions in savings by eliminating 4 profit layers ( generator, transmission, lines, retailer) duplicated finance, maintenance, billing systems and all the management, audit, PR functions that are gorging themselves.

      Do that, wave bye bye to Tiwai point encourage customer generation and we’d provide an essential utility at a much better end price.

      Oz don’t think they’ll require extra gen capacity for decades and Germany has shut down 25% of its peak gas powered gen capacity as the customer generation has reduced demand that much.

      You’d pay back the cost of buying back Nats flogged assets in no time at all relatively.

    • tracey 15.3


      Thanks so much for this link. This is where people misunderstand Green policies. For example by labelling The greens loony hippies people overlook the very real advantages to themselves (if not the planet) by adopting Green technology. how hard a sell to middle NZ would the subsidising of Telsa batteries in conjunction with the solar panels? given the savings people can make, not hard at all. And installing into low income and State Homes? A no brainer, especially if we use the money from the sales of the electricity companies…

      • Draco T Bastard 15.3.1

        For example by labelling The greens loony hippies people overlook the very real advantages to themselves (if not the planet) by adopting Green technology.

        IMO, the labeling of environmentalists as hippies and Taliban is solely to protect the old industries, especially fossil fuels, that are destroying our environment and heading us towards the extinction level event known as Climate Change.

        • phillip ure

          the thing is..that ‘hippie/taliban’ bullshit sure has legs…

          ..how much more information/warnings do people/the-dumb-masses need..?

          ..i can understand that latest result snapping normans’ will to continue..

          ..ten fucken percent..all those years..and ten fucken percent..

          ..even most republicans in america are now ‘green/climate-change believers..

          ..to norman/the greens..the nz populace must seem to be an iceberg of ignorance..

          ..and it’s not hard to see why..

          ..all around them are flashing neon signs going ‘pull-up!..pull-up..!’

          ..but they still support vote for drill baby drill!/mine baby mine..! key..

          ..how can they not be as dumb as fucken doorknobs..?

    • gsays 15.4

      hi draco, do you have any knowledge of how these tesla batteries differ from deep cycle batteries?
      and can you explain it as you would to a 10 year old child?

      • Draco T Bastard 15.4.1

        Besides the fact that they’re probably lithium ion batteries, Nope.

        • gsays

          ok cool, i live off grid and deep cycle battery tech hasnt moved for yonks.

          the contrast between new lithium ion rechargable batteries and the last generation is remarkable. to have that appled to deep cycle batteries is exciting.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Thing is, you will want to see installations of this new tech prove themselves over 5-10 years of real life use before swapping over to the new tech.

            • gsays

              hi cr, true, true.
              i have never been an early adapter (adopter?) of tech.
              10 yrs time would be about time for us to change our battery bank.
              no battery ever dies, they are murdered

      • Colonial Rawshark 15.4.2

        Apparently they are a variation or extension of the Li-ion battery set up that they use for their vehicles, described here:


  16. Colonial Rawshark 16

    By weakening our operating systems, encryption systems, firmware, network hardware etc for their own uses, the NSA makes all of us vulnerable to attack by hackers.

    Now US cyber attacks on their enemies have taught countries like Iran how to attack the west back. As Bill Binney says – the NSA does not have a monopoly on smart people.


    • The Stuxnet story is worth reading… how some malware in off-the-shelf software wormed its way into Iran’s nuclear testing facilities and screwed up their research.

      On “Patch Tuesday” this week, a fix was issued for an exploit that requires modifying only a single bit of the Windows operating system.

      As part of our research, we revealed this privilege escalation vulnerability which, if exploited, enables a threat actor to complete control of a Windows machine. In other words, a threat actor that gains access to a Windows machine (say, through a phishing campaign) can exploit this vulnerability to bypass all Windows security measures, defeating mitigation measures such as sandboxing, kernel segregation and memory randomization.

      We have verified this exploit against all supported Windows desktop versions, including Windows 10 Technical Preview.

      A top hacker shows how it’s done in this TED talk.

      Some very interesting trends emerging. As we become more connected we are more likely to be infected. As in the movie “The Imitation Game”, the spooks won’t let on how pwned we/they really are

  17. Tautoko Mangō Mata 17

    Excellent article by Philip Matthews in the Dominion Post on the hazards in NZ for academics and intellectuals who speak out on issues.
    Dame Anne Salmond
    “This is partly because some groups with vested interests do not welcome public scrutiny of their activities and actively seek to suppress it. This happened in the Dirty Politics saga, for example.”


    The following video discusses the same issue and illustrates the awesome courage of those who stand up and speak out for the public good despite knowing the dangers. Sadly David Carr died 3 hours after the interview was filmed.

    • tc 17.1

      Yes across the ditch gillian triggs the human rights commmissioner has been attacked by abbotts mates at murdoch media in a cruel and personal manner, toady piers ackerman takes it down the odious route.

      Her crime: putting on the agenda the torture of children by both parties when in government, which is her job.

      • mickysavage 17.1.1

        Yep TC when I heard Abbott’s comments and I then found out what Triggs had actually said my first response was “Abbott is a complete and utter piece of doggie do and the world would be a better place if he was retired immediately and WTF was Labor doing …” [Edited before posting to remove all the swearing …]

    • fisiani 17.2

      Nothing that happens today compares with the pervasive climate of fear that we all endured during the Helengrad regime. Those were the days were you could be sacked from Government employment because of who your boyfriend voted for.

      [lprent: ?link I am sure that your lack of a link to support that was significant. Offhand I can think of only one oossible, and that was simply domr right wing nutters mythic incident. It relied on a pile of repeated unsupported lying from Nationals sockpuppets. Notably from their pollster.

      In fact it looked exactly like what you are doing now. If you want to replay such myths, then link to some supporting credible report so others are able to look and judge for themselves.

      You have been warned about this prior to the last time I banned you for it. If I see you do this type of smear again I will ban you for double the last time I caught you doing it. I suspect it will a long ban. ]

  18. Tweet of the day (shame we can’t embed images…this is a good one)

    We found a copy of @johnkeypm's Valentines Day card to Skycity pic.twitter.com/y4IzeT7mr7— Young Labour NZ (@younglabournz) February 14, 2015

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    Nobody Understands Debt — Including Paul Krugman

    This is one of the many times where “experts” in economics have it all wrong, and the general public’s gut feelings about banks, debt and money are closer to the truth. Bank lending is fundamentally important to the performance of the economy, and it is also fundamentally different to lending between individuals. But mainstream economics has convinced itself of the opposite propositions—that lending (most of the time) has trivial macroeconomic implications (the exception being during a “liquidity trap”), and that bank lending to individuals is really no different to lending between individuals.

    Probably one of the simpler explanations of how money works in the real world as compared to how most economists believe it works.

  20. vto 20

    John Key never fails to stick up for the ‘big end’ of town. Here he is in this article patting the back of the Foodstuff-Progressive duopoly cartel .. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/66179219/hub-raises-stakes-in-battle-for-mainland-market-share conveniently forgetting the history and Australian cities of the same population.

    And here “That’s sort of been quite standard in a lot of New Zealand industries.”

    So wrong in so many ways

    e.g ever heard him sticking up for the poor like this?

  21. vto 21

    Jeez John Key sounded like a twerp with his “serious” voice on over his calls for war. After 6 years of nothing but child-like smart-alecery and witless jokes he has no gravitas to get even remotely close to sounding grown up.

    What a dick

  22. North 22

    VTO…….slow down man……all is well…….John Armstrong’s long been reckoning that the GaucheKey’s got “gravitas”. That’s good enough for me – in my scary and sadly recurring Sarah Palin incarnations. Russia “just over there” is heavy.

    Warning ! This next observation is not for the ears of fizzy, alwyn, goosie, the late and lamentable ss-lands…….”gravitas” in this instance must be read thus – sort of “not too sure about that fulla” dyed-hair insurance type guy, hangin’ around the rugby club round 4.45 pm winter Saturdays. Buzzed to the point of embarrassment in all listeners, tryin’ to grease up the ‘player-of-the-day’. Or Richie McCaw as the case might be. The lust to bathe in glory ? This makes God ?

    We are run by a spoilt, nouveau-riche, not handsomely literate, child. With an apparently attractive gaucheness. It’s a fucking disgrace ! Go back down the years – Clark, Bolger, (omitted Shipley, Palmer, Moore), Lange, Muldoon (yes I know – spooky) , Rowling, Kirk , Marshall, Holyoake. History has not recdorded these as dishonourable people.

    There are undeniable scenarios, indicators, fuck-ups, hubris-times, to have history record that the SelfieKey set about for the corruption of our national psyche, the decency in us. For the benefit of the few. That is an ugly and unforgiveable legacy.

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    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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