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Open mike 15/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 15th, 2023 - 81 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 …

81 comments on “Open mike 15/03/2023 ”

  1. arkie 1

    Very uninformed person makes very uninformed career choice, then argues teachers don't want/need extra pay:

    When I became a secondary school teacher, I had a fairy tale idea of what this career would look like. I pictured bright-eyed, eager students who wanted to learn.

    I envisioned school holidays would be paid vacations that I could waste away at my leisure.

    I thought, like the other jobs that I had held, that staff meetings would happen once a month, if that.

    I thought parents would appreciate us. I thought society would respect us.

    I got into this job because I want to make a difference. I want to help teens get a brilliant education so they could go out and take on the world. I want the best for all of them.

    And you know what won't help? More money in my pocket.

    So please don't pay me more. Just provide me more time, and fewer students in my classroom.

    I promise you the results will speak for themselves.

    The writer's name has been withheld to protect their identity.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/131492676/im-a-teacher-please-dont-pay-me-more

  2. Reality 2

    Monday night had Jessica M-M on TV1 saying we needed to get to know Luxon better following on from that night's polling. Last night Shane Reti was practically pleading with those watching to get to know him better because he is the greatest. Luxon has been Opposition leader long enough now for people to have made up their minds. What more do we need to know about him that we don't already know. He has had plenty of air time and screen time and Jessica M-M particularly is very supportive of him and is slightly caustic when she talks about the PM in my opinion.

    • Roy Cartland 2.1

      Shane Reti's comments were absolutely vomitous. He mentioned twice that we needs to see more of Luxon's "parts", twice about Luxon needing to "reveal" more of himself, and a running theme of Reti's close proximity (between, behind, after hours) to Luxon.

      Something of a Smithers

    • Peter Kelly 2.2

      I was bemused by the Nat's desperately pleading with us to like their leader. If after all this time and all of Luxon's gaffes and backtracks they think Luxon is suddenly going to become inspirational they are clearly living in fantasy land. Time for them to admit allowing JK to anoint Luxon was a huge mistake and draw a 'leader' out of the hat and then providd some coherent policy.

    • Sanctuary 2.3

      Labour strategists must be right chuffed with National at the moment. Against the cost of living crisis, national disasters and covid related inflation they lead in the the polls. As the cray-cray influence of the Fox News GOP right infects more and more right wingers so their political vehicles become more and more unelectable.

      This isn't much of a problem in the USA where the far right has limitless resources, a full on media propaganda arm and has captured the judicial system to enable a whole raft of voter suppression and gerrymandering measures that means they don't have to worry as much about being popular enough to be elected in a fair election. But elsewhere, this style of politics has made the right unelectable.

      Let's be honest – Labour is running a small target policy and on being the grown up in the room against an out of touch opposition ideologically marooned in the worst excesses of 1990s neoliberalism and full of Evangelicals intent on culture war politics. The trouble is the evidence is growing that this makes the right politically irrelevant in any sort of fair election. From Biden's victory, to the US midterms, to Albanese's win in Australia to the upcoming rout of the UK Tories the public are tiring of the infantile political distractions of Plutocrat populists. For all the horse race enthusiasm of the pundit class, that is the facts that matter.

  3. SPC 3

    Anyone else noting that Google is playing a captcha cop game on VPN use?

  4. weka 4

    latest round of culture wars bollocks (bollocks on both sides)

    • SPC 4.1

      Pithy response award to

      Dr Sereana Naepi, a lecturer in social sciences at University of Auckland, said: “At best Te Pūkenga doesn't have separate email lists for academic and professional staff, at worst their CEO and the wider leadership team hasn’t read the Education and Training Act 2020.”

      The "information" that staff are public servants and are not allowed to have (public) political opinions is dubious.

      • Shanreagh 4.1.1

        Yes well I think the separate lists is more the correct happening.(Cockup rather than conspiracy)

        Even then most of the academics I know would look at these style guides as they usually give the best advice in not offending people unintentionally.

        Unless offending is part of the game in your academic work, you mostly want to get your message/research read by as many as possible.

        As well many academics are asked for things like literature reviews, extended analyses on papers of relevance to a Govt Dept and many of these paid works do abide by standards set by the employing agency. Many contracts do include the expected style and any deviation is simply not paid for and it is a waste of money.

    • Anker 4.2

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/131490591/te-pkenga-tells-academics-not-to-say-words-like-staff-students-or-treaty-of-waitangi

      Arhh, yes controlling speech. George Orwell foreshadowed it in 1984.

      It is worse than bonkers. And of course it relates to the workings of gender ideology where it is people who menstruate etc.

      Remind me again how much the Polytech merger has cost? And this is what it has bought us

      • weka 4.2.1

        Having a style guide isn't controlled speech, nor Orwellian. Lots of organisations have style guides. If you want to make the argument that there is something Orwellian about this particular style, can you please make an actual argument?

        How does it relate to gender ideology?

        • SPC 4.2.1.1

          Presumably the advice to use the gender neutral terms spouse or partner.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.1

            which makes sense when you don't know the sex or gender, or marital status, of the person being referred to. It's not akin to replacing the word woman with people who menstruate.

          • Shanreagh 4.2.1.1.2

            The terms spouse or partner have been 'around since Adam was a cowboy' as they say. Mid 1980s? Just like using Ms/Mr.

            I don't have a problem with a style guide, most PS agencies have them and in the olden days we used to have a publication called

            The PS Style Guide that covered all sorts of things such as

            1. use of the Oxford comma
            2. indenting and when you use it…….
            3. etc
            4. etc

            This was very useful when drafting things like Gazette Notices, Orders in Council

            Every Govt Dept that I ever worked in supplemented this with a department/agency specific style guide. I guess you could grab anyone of these and have a media beat-up on it.

            colours and sizes of dept'l logos

            salutations

            when to use the shortened version of long dept'l names

            use of both dept'l names etc etc.

            (Australian but we had one similar) https://www.ops.gov.ie/app/uploads/2019/09/Plain-English-Style-Guide-for-the-Public-Service-2.pdf

            https://www.publicservice.govt.nz/assets/DirectoryFile/New-Zealand-Government-Identity-Technical-Style-Guide.pdf

            then there are the special guides for writing for an audience who gets info on line

            https://www.digital.govt.nz/standards-and-guidance/design-and-ux/content-design-guidance/writing-style/

            then we have specialist writing and style guides for writing for Ministers etc

            https://dpmc.govt.nz/publications/writing-ministers-and-cabinet

            If this is a Govt agency then the employees are Public Servants or belong in the State Sector and Codes of Conduct apply covering being impartial.

            My understanding, having employed 'academics' in a Dept is that the usual PS Code of Conduct applies except when they are discussing their specialty so you would not expect an historian employed by Ministry of Culture or Treaty Unit to suddenly come out and comment on fluoridating water or Three Waters using their qualification in the history of Magna Carta to give these views credence.

            Not being up on the pay arrangements, are all employees of tertiary orgs now employed by Te Pukenga including all academics ie tutors, profs etc?

            What a beat up fuelled by ignorant journos aided and abetted by disgruntled and ignorant (on this issue) academics.

            Aimed at public servants whose rules of employment prevent them from defending themselves and so presenting an easy target for bullies.

            Also special attention is paid to being correct on Maori matters. The Crown is the other Treaty partner.

            These agencies are crown agencies so surely out of all the people employed in the Govt sector ie for the other Treaty partner then we have an expectation that these matters will be addressed/standardised.

            And again this is not new.

            In a land dept prior to 1987 we had the equivalent of Maori Language style guides. I had several papers checked by both Pakeha & Maori academics and then by one of a group of eminent Maori who had an interest in what we were doing before it was presented to a UN agency audience, also in 1986/87.

        • Cricklewood 4.2.1.2

          It sort of does control speech, you'll quickly find that if you don't use the preferred language your opportunities quickly evaporate in the organization, will also be brought up in performance reviews etc.

          • Anker 4.2.1.2.1

            100% Cricklewood

          • weka 4.2.1.2.2

            I'm going to guess you're not objecting to the punctuation and grammar guide. Which bits are a problem exactly. That when writing official documents they want the organisation to be called by its name instead of the megapoly?

          • Shanreagh 4.2.1.2.3

            But why wouldn't you want your language, your tool, along with your brain, to be the best and most effective both for you and for your employer?

            Do surgeons moan & groan because 'people' ask them to to sterilise their tools or use the most up to date ones. Do they moan at hospitlas that employ them who have these expectations?

            So why shouldn't a person using their language tools for an employer not be guided by the employer as to the standards they expect?

            As well most Style Guides are guides only, usually circulated for comment etc and if you did not take the chance to comment or indicate on a letter by letter basis why it may not be correct why do you moan when it is commented upon.

            If it is still being commented on by the time a performance appraisal time comes about then you may not have shown that you have learned.

            If you are writing for a Minister, for a cabinet paper, policy papers there are ways of doing this just as Drs, when writing scripts have to write them in certain ways otherwise they don't get filled.

            I don't find this very convincing I am sorry Cricklewood.

            Or are you saying that employers have taken issues with possible racism, sexism, ageism etc in speech in the workplace?
            .
            I did have a couple of staff that I had to ‘counsel’ about this. In the end we came to an agreement that he would act as if the Depts stds were a cloak that he put on as he stepped out of the lift on the way to work and left on throughout the working day. Mainly racism and sexism. The racism part, funnily enough, disappeared when he married someone who was Maori. The sexism never did.

        • Anker 4.2.1.3

          A quote from the article I posted above. "words they should and should not use"

          The row over academic freedom at Te Pūkenga – the country’s largest tertiary provider – has rumbled on after it emerged staff have been issued with a list of words they should and should not use.

          “Staff were told they should not refer to the organisation as a “megapolytech” or say “merge” – even though those terms describe how it was formed. “We always refer to ourselves as Te Pūkenga.”

          The guide discourages gendered language, for example: “We also use: spouse or partner – not husband, wife”.

          how dare my employer tell me how to refer to my husband…….

          • weka 4.2.1.3.1

            They're not talking about personal communications, the style guide is for writing official documents so that there is consistency across the organisation. See Shanreagh's explanation above. No-one is taking away your ability to call your husband husband.

            I have far more of a problem with this from the Stuff piece,

            Last week Te Pūkenga staff were told they are “public servants” and must separate their personal views from their professional roles.

            • Shanreagh 4.2.1.3.1.1

              I only have a problem if it is not correct that they are public servants.

              PS are bound by a Code of Conduct. this does in effect separate their personal & political views from their professional roles

              Of course this does not stop you putting the best views forward to any policy based on your skills, research & life experiences within your workplace. Your brains are your tools and they are expected to be used! This is why diversity in workplaces is so important. In giving voice to views. policies, procedures we need to have a different experiences and views working with us.

              If you want to engage in politics most PS are quite careful about doing anything that calls into question their impartiality, thus leading to their suitability for continued employment being called into question and losing their jobs. There are many ways to express your concern within the departmental setting and even whistle blowing mechanisms, contact with any Inspectorate doing their jobs etc.

              When I was a PS I was never a member of a political party and neither were most of those I worked with. Of course we had our views and we voted, but we tried not to bring them to work.

              If we were doing something that could put us in the spotlight then it was no problem to clear this and give a head's up to our employers.

          • Shanreagh 4.2.1.3.2

            It is not academic freedom it is a style guide.

    • Shanreagh 4.3

      Weka, I was going to follow up with Ani O'Brien but it is futile, from past experience.

      Sometimes I cannot get over how sheltered and naive people like her are, have they never worked for an agency where there is a concern for correct writing & image.

      This applies even to most large private sector employers who are very concerned about who & how people get to speak for them.

      I’m probably blocked anyway as a couple of us tried to put a different view and were subsequently blocked……

      • Anker 4.3.1

        The merged polytech is a publicly funded organisation. I think tax payers who pay for this have a right to push back on this change of the use of language

        Also this change of language has nothing to do with the imparting of knowledge and skills that the polytech is set up to do. Its ideological

        • weka 4.3.1.1

          yes, but Ani has a large follower count and she lied by calling it a ban. Can you not see the problem with that?

        • Shanreagh 4.3.1.2

          change of the use of language

          Hmmmmm we will be having a big back log then…..I came across the PS style guide in the 1970s and Dept'l style guides in the 1980s……so they have been around a while….

          What exactly is the objection to treating people with respect and courtesy and observing Te Tiriti?

          Some of the guides have standards about accessibility of language, not dumbing down, but freeing the letters from jargon and other bits that are just 'noise' to a person trying to understand things.

          Look & feel across all communications ie making sure the logo is the correct colour, the comms are clearly set out, there are no spelling mistakes etc that you are respectful are not hard concepts to grasp.

        • Shanreagh 4.3.1.3

          It has everything to do with the 'imparting of knowledge'.

          People see themselves 'reflected back' in the contacts they have with an organisation. If an organisation only wants to 'see' salutations that are Mr or Mrs or pairings such as husband and wife then it is hard for people who don't fit those categories to 'see' themselves. Many of us fought for the right to use Ms as we did not feel we should have to reveal our matrimonial status with every letter we wrote. This was when Miss was sort of used as a spinsterish demeaning way and Mrs often meant you were going to get pregnant and leave

          We (royal we should I say most public servants) want people to feel included and if this means we take care with our salutations, we don't weaponise the way the organisation was founded, we carefully use any Maori words (we represent the treaty partner, the Crown, remember.

          I cannot really see what the objection is, no story really as style guides have been around for decades.

  5. Anne 5

    Good overall analysis of where we are at regarding Climate Change and its effect on our rain intensities – and is easy for anyone to read:

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/485990/niwa-scientist-in-no-doubt-climate-change-behind-cyclone-gabrielle-s-intensity

    Though it concerns me anyone is even suggesting obliquely there is still doubt among the informed that CC is real.

  6. Tricledrown 6

    tsmythfielder channeling Tucker look how that's working with Tucker you must feel like a very proud boy promoting your Strawman!

    [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.]

    [stop harassing this (or any) commenter. This is a pattern of behaviour from you. Next time I see it, expect a ban, building on your previous bans, and bearing in mind we are handing out bans until well after the election because we want to up the debate culture here and discourage this kind of SM-esque response – weka]

  7. Incognito 7

    Aucklanders have something to think about, but not for too long – the consultation window is for a defined period only.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/131493305/alternative-to-auckland-councils-grim-budget-doesnt-gut-services

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/new-auckland/chloe-comes-out-swinging-at-auckland-council-budget-cuts

    After the recent flood damage and yet another BBB (Big-Budget Blowout – as time rolls on, they are default by their inevitability) it seems certain that some things must go off the wish list.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/131499344/billion-dollar-blowout-aucklands-city-rail-link-to-cost-55b

    Short-term thinking and ‘fixes’ tend to win the day, in local and national politics, and one day the can will have grown to a concrete-filled barrel that can no longer be kicked down the road.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/comment/dont-sell-auckland-airport-shares

  8. UncookedSelachimorpha 8

    I was looking at party health policies last night, due to ongoing personal experience with people not being treated or not being able to afford treatment in our health system – plus many similar stories in the news. As expected, the Greens seem to be the only ones with an unambiguous policy of actual free health care. Unfortunately the policy is delivered cluelessly, with this being the first strategic priority:

    1.1 Reconfigure our health system towards recognising and acting on oppressive and intersecting biases (e.g. racism, sexism, ableism, fatphobia, ageism, queerphobia, transphobia) and the knowledge and skills required to work with affected communities, such as Deaf and disabled people.

    And only three points further down do we get:

    3.5-6 Provide universal, free and accessible diagnosis, treatment and management for all illnesses and injuries — including fully-funded public provision of dental care, general practitioner clinics, ambulance and emergency services, aged care, palliative care, and mental health services.

    The first point means little to a lot of people and is confusing or alienating to people not up with the latest progressive buzzwords. I don't have a problem with the intent of point 1 – but why not swap the points around and put "FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL" as the first point? Of course free health care will benefit all the groups identified in 1 as well.

    • Maurice 8.1

      "FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL"

      Surely Tax Payer funded health care for all.

      For if it is free for ALL … exactly who pays for it as someone MUST inevitably

      • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1.1

        Not-for-profit health care for all; would prefer public, but don't care too much if the health care service provider is public or private, as long as extracting profit isn't its reason for being, and access to health services is based on need, not ability to pay.

        Myth: "Privatization" can help everyone access health care

        Canada’s health care system is built on the principle that access to care should be based on need, not ability to pay. A well-designed, adequately funded, single-payer system can provide high-quality, efficient, equitable care to restore that reality.

        Our publicly-funded health care system is certainly facing challenges. But the solutions lie in strengthening our public health care system, not weakening it.

        There is little evidence that private for-profit investor-owned corporations can provide better quality care or reduce costs. In fact, there are many examples to the contrary.

        Looking at you, Coleman.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1.2

        Free at point of delivery, obviously paid through tax and other state revenue.

        Exactly who should pay? Mainly those with the most – in particular the top 10% who have over 50% of the wealth.

        "User Pays" = "Poor Can't Use"

    • joe90 8.2

      "FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL"

      Or we could call it what it is – "single payer health care for all"

  9. Herodotus 9

    I see that the greens and labour are Totally consumed by climate change and what needs to be done immediately ahead of everything else. Or was that to say anything that sounds good and will get them re elected, pity action is telling us all what they really think, and now to have a pm who doesn’t think this is important, humanity and the planets survival above everything else, you could say the defines a climate skeptic 🤨
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/08/jacinda-ardern-climate-change-is-my-generation-s-nuclear-free-moment.amp.html

    • Anne 9.1

      Would you like to re-write your 'hate on anything connected to Labour' comment so we know what you are talking about – together with suitable links?

      Banging on about something Jacinda Ardern (who has left the parliamentary arena) said six years ago is no longer a relevant link.

      • Herodotus 9.1.1

        So the condition of the world is NOT an issue – Amazing how many on the left now are deniers that climate change is an issue worth making sacrifices for ??

        Perhaps you too along with our current PM should wear a tin foil hat out in public.

      • Herodotus 9.1.2

        Shaw said it's "very disappointing".

        He's disappointed with the lack of consultation and with Hipkins' focus on the cost of living crisis over climate crisis.

        "It's clear that the Prime Minister is very keen to win the election and he's prepared to do just about whatever it takes to do that." _ Great comment from someone that potentially in a few months time you will have to come crawling to form a government- Pity Hipkins has lost credibility and has little integrity, the guy is a total political animal and will do anything to survive even lie to NZ.

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2023/03/election-2023-red-green-friction-heats-up-as-james-shaw-says-chris-hipkins-prepared-to-do-just-about-whatever-to-win.html

        • SPC 9.1.2.1

          Given you won’t vote for the Greens

          either because of their wealth tax and or their environment first approach

          or MP

          either because of the indigenous rights co-governance (consultative) or Tiriti advocacy or their support for delivery MHA

          or Labour

          either because of their mortgage interest tax deductability or their coalition partners

          what is your point?

          Everyone knows Greens will support Labour on confidence and supply for nothing if the alternative is National or NACT.

    • SPC 9.2

      It's useful to note the issues which are raised by those who come here from time to time for this purpose, to eviscerate the left/Labour.

      The old, label them as either single issue ideologues, or insincere politicians tactic.

      Some on the left would have preferred an original focus on moving from vehicles to PT (the half fares) and e bikes (away from car transport).

      There is obviously Labour's realisation that many working class cannot afford to buy cars atm (rent/cost of living or rising mortgage cost) – which speaks to the suspension of petrol taxation.

      It's a real world moment. And no the modernisation of our car market is not dependent on financial inducements at taxpayer expense.

  10. Gosman 10

    Stuart Nash has officially resigned after initially stating he had no reason to do so.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/131505006/stuart-nash-resigns-as-police-minister-after-encouraging-police-commissioner-to-appeal-a-ruling

    He looks very foolish now. He should have just refused to speak to journalists prior to his decision to resign.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1

      Staurt Nash has resigned as police minister after admitting on radio he encouraged Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to appeal a court decision.

      Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said calling the commissioner to discuss the prosecution, and refusing to apologise for that, was “an error of judgement”. He accepted Nash’s resignation as police minister.

      Nash will continue to serve in his other roles.

      "Staurt Nash" eh. At least that error is easily fixed. Ah well, he brought it on himself.

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        If Chippy wants to be consistent with past breaches of this rule he should be sacked from all portfolios not just Police.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1.1.1

          It's the PM's call – Nashie's been reasonably popular in the Napier electorate, so he might come back – might even rise to lead the party. It's been known to happen.

          • Gosman 10.1.1.1.1

            You missed the point. He still holds other portfolios (Minister for Economic Development, Forestry, and Oceans & Fisheries). If Chippy was as strong a leader as you suggest then he should have removed ALL his Ministerial warrants.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Quite a few people will be wanting Tourism taking off him too over his stupid freedom camping ban legislation.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1.1.1.1.2

              If Chippy was as strong a leader as you suggest…

              As I suggest? Really Gosman – that's a bit strong. It is the PM's call, isn't it?

              Chippie's an experienced politician – an electorate MP for 14+ years cf. Luxo's two-and-a-bit. Lux weathered last year's Uffindell storm well, I'll give him that.

    • Red Blooded One 10.2

      What it does show is a very decisive PM who will not allow distractions to get in the way, unlike the floundering isolating LOTO.

      • Gosman 10.2.1

        Except Nash should not be a Minister of anything.

        • Red Blooded One 10.2.1.1

          Many on this site have, in the past, said Nash is too Right for the Labour Party so perhaps your opinion is right.

          • Gosman 10.2.1.1.1

            It isn't because he is too right wing but because he breached the Cabinet manual and the one involving political interfering in the Police Commissioners role.

            • observer 10.2.1.1.1.1

              That is correct, but ignores the glaring irony that the opposition are constantly demanding that the PM and Ministers interfere in the Police Commissioner's role, from crime to cyclones to protests at Parliament.

              Chris "I would pick up the phone" Luxon would presumably NOT pick up the phone after all, like Nash picked up the phone. Good to know.

              • aj

                That's a very good point, but will be lost on the public.

                • observer

                  I suspect the public would have very little interest in the story anyway.

                  It's one of those times when the opposition and media get very excited ("Cabinet manual!") and are later surprised when it has no effect whatsoever on public opinion. They really do live in their own world.

                  (If the wider public think about the story at all, they are going to be far less "outraged" by Nash, and far more that a guy commits a serious gun crime and gets off scot-free … ).

        • tWiggle 10.2.1.2

          Why? As Hipkins pointed out, while Nash had the discussion, the outcome of the legal decision was not what he advocated. Hipkins put forward that this shows our system of judicial independence was maintained. Seems fair to me. And at the time he was not Minister for Police.

  11. Peter 11

    The US is a wacky place. They have Marjorie Taylor Greene as an elected representative. Most Republicans believe the Presidency was stolen from Trump. Apparently some are totally opposed to abortion because it's killing and all killing is wrong, but they agree with capital punishment.

    I've seen pleas that school kids should have see-through bags so any guns in them can be spotted. Another school story indicating the state of what has been called the 'most advanced country in the history of the world. Bullet proof whiteboards in class.

    "Two special education classrooms at West Elementary School are currently piloting the technology, developed by KT Security Solutions, which essentially turns a classroom whiteboard into a pop-out, standalone, bulletproof storm shelter."

    https://www.al.com/educationlab/2023/03/two-alabama-classrooms-now-have-60000-whiteboards-that-turn-into-gun-storm-shelters.html?outputType=amp

  12. observer 12

    Tremain's racist (and reality-free) cartoons are still being hosted here. Inexplicable, please stop.

    • Shanreagh 12.1

      Agree with this. We did raise this before.

      I don't think the Point of Order blog is worth having to suffer these racist, vitriolic and clearly personal cartoons for.

      Readers can go directly to the blog off their own devices and put themselves down to get updates. We don't need to have a direct link here, do we?

      Please………

  13. SPC 13

    Gain of function research was suspended by POTUS Obama in 2014.

    When it resumed in 2017 some were concerned

    Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said he is concerned the framework does not include a clear process for analysing the risks and benefits of such experiments.

    “Does the benefit of this outweigh the risk and how do we determine that?”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-pathogens-funding-idINKBN1ED2FL

    At this time the debate was whether research should be limited to diseases/viruses that had never infected humans.

    In his letter, Daszak claimed that the experiments carried out by WIV would not count as “gain of function” because the bat coronaviruses involved had never infected humans.

    This is the argument used by Fauci when he denied funding gain of function research at Wuhan.

    No laboratory in the world held a virus close enough to Covid-19 that it could be manipulated to create the pandemic strain, the British zoologist whose company funded Wuhan researchers has said.

    Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance, was responding to claims that scientists had dismissed the lab leak theory because they did not want to stop doing dangerous “gain of function” experiments to increase the infectivity of viruses.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/300830407/no-lab-had-virus-similar-enough-to-covid-to-spark-pandemic-zoologist-says

    The following is an interview with him at a December 2019 conference in Singapore

    He mentions after 26 minutes – that they had a lot of bat coronaviruses they were adding spike proteins to so as to manipulate the virus. The spike proteins would make any such virus more dangerous (and as we know the mRNA designed vaccines focused on identification of the spike protein).

    The SARS 2 coronavirus is about 97% similar to some in the Wuhan lab research.

    Daszak said: “There’s really no way RaTG13 could have anything to do with SARS-CoV-2 – the spike protein and the backbone sequence of the virus are too genetically distinct to make it possible that this virus could have rapidly evolved into SARS-CoV-2 or be manipulated genetically to become SARS-CoV-2.”

    However it is not that simple. Those involved were aware of the the possibility of making consensus sequences where viruses were 95% similar.

    In a leaked grant proposal made by EcoHealth Alliance and WIV in 2018, researchers had proposed synthesising viral genomes to make a consensus sequence based on viruses that were 95% identical to each other.

    The proposal, which was rejected by US military research agency DARPA because it “could have put local communities at risk” also proposed the insertion of human-specific furin cleavage sites into Sars like coronaviruses – which could have made them very infectious for humans.

    Dr Monali Rahalkar, a Scientist in Microbiology at the Agharkar Research institute in India said the changes would have been possible with the viruses available.

    “A consensus sequence can be created if they have similar viruses or using other bioinformatics tools,” she said.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/300830407/no-lab-had-virus-similar-enough-to-covid-to-spark-pandemic-zoologist-says

  14. Ad 14

    Tough break Nash you were on point.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    The funny thing is Nash is unlikely to lose votes for venting to the police commissioner over a soft sentence amongst the voters of Napier.

    • observer 15.1

      Exactly. Public outrage: none.

      Of course he had to resign because he broke the rules, but only the press gallery and headline-hungry opposition will care.

      Luxon's lucky he has Covid and is isolating, otherwise he'd be flannelling when asked the obvious question: this sentence OK by you? (And unlike a Minister, he'd be free to answer it … but he wouldn't want to).

      • Anne 15.1.1

        So how did the media get to hear about it?

        From accounts I have read it was essentially a private conversation between Nash and Coster who apparently are personal as well as professional acquaintances. It happened two years ago and it suddenly pops up in the media.

        Foul play? Where’s Soper in all of this?

        Having said the above, Nash has a reputation for impulsive behaviour. It isn't the first time he has been in trouble.

  16. Eco Maori 16

    Ki te aha whano

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