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Open mike 15/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 15th, 2020 - 121 comments
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121 comments on “Open mike 15/05/2020 ”

  1. Dukeofurl 1

    Just a recap over the discussion yeatserday evening on what beneficiaries are getting extra ….. some people seeming to speaking 'about' beneficiaries without any knowledge not 'for them'.

    Clearly none of you know someone receiving a job seeker benefit, so I asked someone.

    Winz dont seem to itemise these things, so his benefit this week compared to what was granted last year has risen by $72.65 per week from $218.98.

    A Winz letter says the extra winter benefit is now $40.91 pw., thus the rise in the standard benefit received pw is $31.76

    [Clearly, you’re an idiot engaging in bad faith begging to be banned. To be clear – we’re talking facts and not opinions or a difference in ideas. I’m in receipt of Job Seeker entitlement and do not receive the $ amount announced by the government. The reasoning behind that has been explained to you in through a umber of previous comments. Good-bye.] – B

    • A 1.1

      The rise depends on a number of things.

      For example if you were receiving TAS the total amount might have gone down when the base rate increases, but gone up a bit with the Winter Energy Payment.

      If you are in state housing you will get the full benefit of the base rate increases, and you would also get the full increase if you aren't so disabled that your weekly disability costs are over $61/week. Yay for you! Aren't you lucky to be so healthy because you can be wealthy(er) too.

      Ironically if you have say $200,000 in the bank you will also take the full increase. NZ is not a good place to be simultaneously weak or unwell and have no money.

      Just read they are considering extending the wage subsidy…imagine the howls of outrage if that subsidy were paid at the same rate as JSS!

    • woodart 1.2

      as someone on assisted living benefit(was called invalid benefit) we got $25 extra a week at beginning of lockdown. that makes a big difference and is the biggest increase in the 20 yrs that I have had. this increase was mostly ignored by people NOT on a benefit, but believe me, that and the increased winter heating payout has made life a lot easier. most of this money is spent every week locally, and is a master stroke by grant robertson. this money circulates in the economy and trickles up. growing things from the bottom up will always work better than trickledown myths.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        Great to hear your real experience of the difference.

      • Anne 1.2.2

        I concur with Ad woodart.

        Contrary to what some are claiming, I think this government has shown more compassion for beneficiaries – including those who are disabled – than has been seen for many years. It couldn't happen overnight but now it is happening and should be applauded not criticised.

        • weka

          that's not what is being debate Anne. What is being pointed out is that not all beneficiaries got the full $25. If that were acknowledged these conversations would go differently, not least because some of us could stop wasting our time correcting comments that are factually wrong and that have political implications.

          What I don't understand is why people will rightfully celebrate the beneficiary getting $25 but won't talk about the one that got $2 and the personal and political implications of that.

          • Anne

            Umm… I'm not sure but I think you may have misinterpreted my comment. As a pensioner, I received an increase in my pension and also the generous winter power payment and I'm grateful for it as indeed is woodart.

            My understanding is all beneficiaries were treated equally. If some weren't then there will be a reason for it. Maybe they are paying back a loan from Winz in which case the weekly increase may have reduced the amount they owe.

            That's just a thought. Don't know whether it is correct.

            • weka

              I can tell you exactly why it is (and we have been explaining for 2 days now). It's because the calculation for TAS claws back the increase. TAS is the hardship grant paid to many beneficiaries in the most poverty. I can't remember if AS does too, and there is also the issue of the abatement rate.

              Labour know this, it's not a mistake, it's by design. I think they did a *really good thing making the WEP higher, because that is a direct cash transfer that is unaffected by the calculations used by WINZ, and I suspect this was intentional because it means less political fall out than if they'd raised benefits by $65/wk. But it's only for the winter and afaik won't be this much next year.

              There are plenty of reasons to critique what Labour did with this and critiquing it doesn't mean that Labour did nothing. It just means there are still important problems in the system and the way things are being handled and we should be talking about those.

        • Chris

          So is that cause to turn our critical faculties off?

          Nobody is saying increasing the main benefit rates was the wrong thing to do, and it's great people are noticing the difference. All weka is saying, surely, is that by definition those receiving the TAS payment are the poorest in our community, but do not enjoy the $25 increase. Some will actually receive no increase at all.

        • Chris

          "Contrary to what some are claiming, I think this government has shown more compassion for beneficiaries – including those who are disabled…"

          That may well be the case, but it's not the issue right now.

          The greater the disability-related expenses a person has the greater the likelihood that person receives the TAS payment, which in turn means they will not receive the full $25 increase when it comes to the overall weekly payment. Those who receive $25 or more of TAS will in all likelihood see no increase to their weekly payment as a result of the $25 increase to the main benefit rate.

      • bill 1.2.3

        Given that the winter fuel allowance is temporary and basically goes to power companies, if $25 a week makes life "a lot easier", then something's very wrong.

        For those who actually wound up receiving $25, it should amount to 'lolly money' in the scheme of things- not a lifeline.

        Interestingly, of those commenting here who I know for a fact are in receipt of welfare entitlements (myself included), not one has indulged in any effusive rosy specs commentary along the lines of your comment.

        Odd that… must be just so many ungrateful ingrates, aye? 👿

        • Barfly

          "As someone on assisted living benefit(was called invalid benefit) we got $25 extra a week at beginning of lockdown. that makes a big difference and is the biggest increase in the 20 yrs that I have had. this increase was mostly ignored by people NOT on a benefit, but believe me, that and the increased winter heating payout has made life a lot easier. most of this money is spent every week locally,"

          This is also my experience.I sympathise for those needing TAS due to their circumstances and understand the $25 is eaten up in abatement but at least the WW payment is $40 pw this winter. Hopefully if Labour is successful this coming election there can be more improvement for the beneficiary's lot

          • bill

            Do you regard a maximum weekly addition of $25 to be much more than an elastoplast being stuck on a major arterial bleed?

            Given that $25 is probably around what many a worker might absently spend on take-away coffee in a week, doesn't it strike you as an insult that those in receipt of social welfare entitlements – who apparently need their children to be given fruit at school, and who apparently need food banks and budgeting advice, and who apparently require that the state (or some corporate partnership) feeds their children at school – are expected to be grateful and to now pipe down on the dollar amount of those entitlements?

            As I wrote elsewhere, $150 added to core benefit levels might begin to address the punitive imposition of poverty on those claiming their so-called "welfare" entitlements. The offer of a cup of coffee a day equivalent on the other hand….

            • Barfly

              I d rather labour win the next election than shell out $150 per week and lose the next election to the nactoids

      • weka 1.2.4

        Nice one, woodart. Can I ask, was that $25 for a couple? Do you get TAS or Accommodation Supplement?

        I agree raising benefits is a good thing. The problem is how to do that without some of the poorest people getting the least raise (which is what appears to have happened).

        • woodart

          live alone, cant speak for couples. very small amount of acom supplement, cheap old cottage. do wonder at others who say they didnt get the $25. wonder if their bene has deductions in it for ? some peoples finance (dis) organisation makes you shake your head.

          • weka

            Yes, once someone is getting TAS and AS, there are complicated formulas to calculate how much they get paid, and these mean that when the core benefit is raised, less supplementary benefits are paid sometimes. It's complex. I'm hoping to do a post on it, but there's a fair bit of maths and research involved. Upshot is that there are beneficiaries who got a few dollars increase not the full $25.

        • patricia

          Weka we received $25 each and the winter warmth payment. We are on the pension.

      • Cinny 1.2.5

        Yes 🙂 Woodart 🙂 I'm hearing you on that.

        When I was on a benefit the winter energy payment meant so much to our family. And for a beneficiary an extra $25 a week makes a tremendous difference.

        Have been wondering if any bene bashers are now on a benefit and getting a bit of a wake up call as to how difficult it actually is and how resourceful one must become.

        When I started working again one of the first things I brought were council rubbish bags, something we couldn't afford before. Sounds silly but it was a big deal, prior to that I'd sneak down to the park every couple of days and put our rubbish in the council bin.

        • The Al1en

          I'd sneak down to the park every couple of days and put our rubbish in the council bin

          And not leave it strewn about the place, ideally in a place of natural wonder or beauty spot. Call yourself a kiwi lol

  2. McFlock 2

    One of the senators accused of pandemic insider trading quits.

    Interesting little detail (my italics):

    However, he was criticised for publicly downplaying the seriousness of the virus, even as he privately sold equities and warned a private North Carolina business group of the stark risks it posed.

    I guess members of their version of the Cabinet Club got their money's worth.

    [further googling]

    Oh snap it really is their Cabinet Club:

    Membership to join the Tar Heel Circle costs between $500 and $10,000 and promises that members "enjoy interaction with top leaders and staff from Congress, the administration, and the private sector," according to the group's website.

  3. Ad 3

    Here's a little test for Minister Robertson since unemployment is his primary target, and o course since he put himself in the same league as Prime Minister Fraser. Here's the unemployment figures during and after WW2:

    1938 34,000

    1939 19,000

    1942 2,000

    1945 1,000

    1946 1,000

    1947-9 negligible

    Cited in WB Sutch, The Quest for Security, sourced from Labour Department statistics.

    This government should give a target of what it wants to achieve here.

    • Peter 3.1

      Targets are good. Good fodder for the media. If the number of unemployed is 116,000 (March 2020 figure) and Robertson says he has a target of 100,000 the headlines will be "Robertson happy for 100,000 to be unemployed." There'd be stuff from Paul Goldsmith about Robertson having no plan and no ambition.

      If the number drops to 100,001 the attacks will be about how he failed. If the number drops to 79,000 it would because the solid foundation that Bill English left had come into play. If Robertson had ambition and a plan and the unemployed number was to go down to 30,000 and it only dropped from 116,00 down to 40,000 Todd McClay would be going on about 'abject failure.'

      Without a number Goldsmith can say Robertson doesn't care. The good thing about that is Goldsmith not having something specific to hang his facile arguments on.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Without a target no one can hold them to account at all.

        Which is weird for a democracy that's going tits up and $50b down a hole.

        • bwaghorn

          Pretty hard to set a target while you still working out how big the start number will be . Itll be 6 months atleast before the layoffs finish ,ofcourse it is possible it wont be as bad as predicted if we are in level 1 in 3 weeks and domestic tourism cranks up .

          Beef ,lamb ,dairy and logs are good we just need the germans out eating kiwi venison and the rural sector will be chugging along strongly .

    • Heather Grimwood 3.2

      to Ad at 3 : Seems to me the reality of the gap at 1939 would have been on account of beginning of WW2.

      From 1945 or shortly after, 3% loans for ex-servicemen which were designed to ensure employment.

      • Ad 3.2.1

        Yes and a lot more benefits besides, with a whole bunch less abatement and qualifier nonsense.

    • Nic the NZer 3.3

      Target should be full employment, a phrase last heard from a government minister during the 1984 election campaign.

      As you highlight, when there is a war on all the political impediments to finding everybody work rapidly vanish.

  4. RedLogix 4

    3Blue1Brown (one of the very best YT math channels) has put up a short must watch on Contact Tracing and Tracking without compromising identity or location. It's only 7 min and as always with Grant, highly visual and accessible.


    • A 4.1

      Great video. Key point for me is that it is open source.

      Australia's tracing app is not open source and the uptake is low.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        The Australian uptake is over 30% now and growing. I'm using it and I'm satisfied the app and the law around it are far less intrusive than say Google or FB.

        Various tech sector spokespeople have backed it similarly. And the source code is available.

        It isn't perfect, but it is what we have to deal with the immediate crisis we know we have. As against the very unlikely risk of your privacy being compromised.

      • Incognito 4.1.2

        Could you please respond to your moderation if you like to keep your commenting privileges? For your convenience: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-13-05-2020/#comment-1711567. Thank you.

        • A

          It's ok. I think I'm just not a match for this site. Have fun guys.

          • Incognito

            Is that a retraction in full of the comment that triggered the moderation or an admission that you can’t be bothered taking responsibility for your comments and simply walk away?

            AFAIK, you have never been banned before. Bans are a last resort if a commenter fails to correct their behaviour here after and despite having been warned, for example.

          • RedLogix

            @ A

            The problem you have here is quite solvable. I made the case the other night that use of Aspirin, VitC, VitD and Zinc and are reasonable ideas and it's easy to find sources to back this up. The latter three items are really quite non-controversial, and I'm availing myself of them personally.

            But you stepped over a line when you suggested specific doses of Aspirin that are clearly outside of usual limits. Incognito has made it clear that this site is not going to be used to promote unproven medical experimentation.

            Keep in mind there is an awful lot of dangerous quackery out there, and the moderators have the unenviable task of trying to keep the tide of it from flooding this site. They have to draw a line somewhere, and rather than make fine judgements on a case by case basis (which no-one but a real expert really can do), it's fairest and simplest to just say no to anything that looks like a medical recommendation.

            If you can work with that, then all will be fine.

          • gsays

            Hi A, FWIW, I enjoy reading yr comments.

            Like politics, it can be wrong to be right too early.

            Also I can see the position the mods are in, feeling responsibility for what is published here.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Before anyone starts complaining about the moeny to buy new C-130J transports, just remember that they'll have a fifty year lifespan and the previous fleet has given fantastic service for 55 years.

    The slowing down pace of change in military technology is well illustrated with these Hercules transports. The Hercules first flew in 1954, and was itself a scaled up C-123, and aircraft that first flew in 1949. So the basic layout of the aircraft is over seventy years old.

    Given the accelerating implosion of the Anglo-Saxon empire – the spectacle of it's two main protagonists shambolic and chaotic pandemic response will surely have lasting geo-political consequences, the USA and the UK are clearly busted flushes at the moment – it would be foolish to think that an ANZAC (+ Singapore?) alliance as a strong middle power might not have to defend itself without much expectation of help at some time in the next fifty years against an expansionist and imperialist China, so these transports represent a good investment IMHO.

    • Anne 5.1

      The C130 is the most important Defence Force aircraft in its fleet and always has been.

      I was working in a 24/7 capacity at the RNZAF base, Whenuapai during and in the aftermath of Cyclone Bola. C130s were pounding the route to Gisborne all day and night delivering equipment, medical and food supplies plus boots on the ground. I recall watching tractors and other heavy equipment being loaded and it brought home to me how essential they are in times of natural and man-made catastrophes. We haven't experienced the latter in NZ yet but the way the US is heading, together with their puppets in the UK and elsewhere, it might not be long.

    • lprent 5.2

      They have been incredibly useful, especially with their range.

      Looking at the J model, there are significiant improvements, especially for us down in this part of the world.


      These differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391[5] composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics (including head-up displays (HUDs) for each pilot), and reduced crew requirements. These changes have improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed, and 41% shorter takeoff distance.[6] The J-model is available in a standard-length or stretched -30 variant.

      Fort Bragg report

      From the outside, there’s not a lot of difference between the two, although one telling difference is in the planes’ four propellers. On the C-130H, there are four blades on each propeller. On the C-130J, there are six blades.

      The “J” is also faster. It’s top speed is 417 mph, up from 366 in the “H.” And it can hold more weight (164,000 pounds vs 155,000 pounds) and travel farther (2,000+ miles vs 1,208 miles at “maximum normal payload”).

      Inside, the differences are more clear. The C-130H requires a minimum crew of five, with two pilots, a navigator, engineer and loadmaster. The more modern C-130J needs only three crew members, two pilots and a loadmaster.

      Inside the planes, you could fit 6 pallets, 92 combat troops or 64 paratroopers in the C-130H. Or 8 pallets, 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers in the C-130J.

      That range increase is impressive. If max loaded, it means a 130J can fly ~3200km compared to the existing ~1800km. Which means that when we need to respond to the islands there will be a lot more payload being able to to be carried. Currently they drastically lighten the load if they want to fly the 2872km between Auckland and Samoa.

      And anything is better than those Andovers 🙂

      • Anne 5.2.1

        Good God. Are those Andovers still flying. 😮

        • lprent

          Nope. It looks like they finally dropped out of 42 squadron in 1998.

          Always remember catching a ride on one from down south to Auckland in in the early 1980s at night. It was exhausting and somewhat terrifying because it wasn't flying particularly high. But it got me to the funeral on time.

          • Anne

            I did an all day trip down to Wigram via Wellington and back to Auckland in an Andover in 1988. Spent the trip in the cockpit with the crew. Beautiful weather, fantastic views. Fascinated by the piloting techniques. Wouldn't fancy the trip in bad weather though.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Interesting reading the soical media kick back against big tourism. A lot of people think as an industry it priced New Zealanders out of their own country in favour of over-charging foreigners, and there is quite a lot of resentment that the industry is now demanding taxpayer money.

    • Molly 6.1

      I think it is also that the benefits are not equitably shared, while increases in costs are burdened onto local residents and ratepayers, whether that be environmental and/or infrastructure upgrades. There was an interesting Guardian article recently about Barcelona during lockdown, which follows several years of Barcelona residents protesting about the high tourist numbers affecting their quality of life.

      There is also the issue of whether employment in this industry is robust and equitable, or a fairweather occupation.

      • RedBaronCV 6.1.1

        I must admit I feel pretty enthusiastic that the opportunity to enjoy NZ as it used to be a couple of decades ago. Employment in a lot of this industry seemed to depend on work visa holders which suggest that it wasn't paying very well plus I never quite jelled with the amount of infrastructure we seemed to be paying for or the RW vision of Milford sound.. AFAIK there was a lot of yoyo money in the sector. Yes it needs a basic amount of government money but not too much as the international side doesn't look like it's returning anytime soon.

        I'd actually like to see a little bit more tech if possible (IP pad ordering systems in restaurants etc) to up the productivity and increase the resilience of the sector

    • RedLogix 6.2

      And interestingly the Australian figures this month show a net gain from the tourism shutdown … because there are no Australian's going overseas spending money.

      I’m not sure how the NZ numbers will balance out, because our visitor numbers were almost as large as our total population, but it will be up there.

      And aligning with Molly’s comment above, I’d be very interested to know exactly what fraction of the visitor spend in NZ actually stayed here. I get the impression a lot of it was just pumped back overseas in vertically integrated operations.

      • Craig H 6.2.1

        NZers overseas spend about half of what the tourism spend is in NZ. A bit over half of our tourism is domestic, where the Aussie split is about three quarters domestic, so their industry is in a much better place to survive this.

    • Ad 6.3

      It's curious because we are a cheap destination with generally cheap products and services.

      I think it's more a reflection that most New Zealanders can't afford holidays that are more than utterly basic .

      • millsy 6.3.1

        The weekend away, for the average family costs about $1-2000. If you want to go interisland then probably double that.

        • Ad

          For many I think it's just time at home.

          Anyone remember the purpose of the Tourist Hotel Corporation?

          • millsy

            As I recall it was to build flash hotels for tourists in this country, because private investors werent coming to the party.

            It was broken up 30 years ago this year.

            And, as always, owned by oligarchs through holding companies.

      • Incognito 6.3.2

        It's curious because we are a cheap destination with generally cheap products and services.

        Not sure what you’re referring to but for Europeans we’re not a cheap destination relative to other choices and our hospitality industry is expensive compared to many if not most European places. Groceries here in NZ are most certainly not cheap.

  7. Ad 7

    I'd like to give a big shoutout to Winston Peters for closing down so many racetracks across New Zealand.

    In particular, a huge thanks for shuttering Auckland's Avondale Racecourse. This has been a decaying blight for two decades, propped up only by Jockey Club selling off more and more slices of its land.

    This is a huge greenfields opportunity to rebuild and expand the whole of Avondale.

    Demolish those old stands with dynamite tomorrow!

    I'm sure hoping to see Kainga Ora (and not those wastrels at Panuku) to get in there with a masterplan for the entire site, putting in proper parks, more cycleways than roads, easy bus stops, medium-density warm houses … and in general do there what they did a decade ago at Hobsonville.

    • Dukeofurl 7.1

      Most will likely remain as open space/sports fields as it is now. Do we really need more big box strip malls along a busy highway.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Twyford's had his eye on it for a while, so I hope he overrides those dorks at Auckland Council. As Hobsonville shows there's plenty of room for both parks and people.

      • ScottGN 7.1.2

        Not going to be a mall Duke. Panuku are redeveloping the Avondale Town Centre for that. The racecourse is slated to be redeveloped into medium density housing as Ad has said. Good to see that finally there seems to be some cut through in this. Winston’s in his element at the moment isn’t he?

    • There is a well patronized market in the weekend at the Avondale Racing Club. Lovely fresh fruit and veges at good prices. I'd hate to see that disappear ; not sure where else they could put it.

  8. Wayne 8


    A good idea.

    • millsy 8.1

      Unfortunately your 'grassroots' members in the provinces think otherwise.

      (myself, I am neither for nor against racecourse consolidation).

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Such principle you have.

        My principle is squash gambling until it dies.

        Peters is giving them palliative care and the ability to squeeze their own painkiller button.

  9. RedLogix 9

    In the past few months, the CCP's propaganda effort has gone from clumsy and aggravating, to infantile and moronic. The list of nations China has deliberately gone out of it's way to piss off is quite spectacular; inviting a global anti-Chinese backlash of unprecedented dimensions. Three decades of soft-power building has been demolished in the past three weeks. Why?

    What is Xi up to? Because we can assume the CCP is not a pack of total morons, they must be working to a plan. There seem to be two possible explanations; one is using the global anti-Chinese backlash to enflame anti-foreigner nationalist activity within China. Put simply, Xi is trying to get the world pissed off at China so that China becomes pissed off at the world.

    This feels … extreme. Yet the CCP's diplomatic actions, across so many consistent fronts, cannot be ignored. There must be an explanation for them. My sources (and confirmed by persistent suggestions elsewhere, is the COVID disaster in China was much larger than admitted to, and the CCP knows it is facing an internal crisis. The response will be massive internal repression, led by their security forces, but implemented largely by the people themselves. The precedent for this lies within our lifetimes; the Cultural Revolution, The Great Leap Forward and of course Tiananmen Square.

    The second purpose may have been hinted at a few days ago, when CCP media articles made it clear that China 'had options' to trading with Australia for iron ore and beef, such as Brazil. Wedging off large segments of a disintegrating global trade order into China's sphere of influence by feeding antagonisms, roughly splitting away from the G20 nations at a point where the USA has no interest, or capacity even, to repair the rifts. The goal may be to proactively divide the world into two trade camps, one Sino-centric, the other US based.

    The question for Australia and NZ is going to be, into which camp will we be placed?

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      We can continue to defeat binary robots by triangulating! Hey, check this out: "“New Zealand does not – and should not – always agree with China,” it said in a sentence deemed sensitive enough to be withheld from the public." https://www.newsroom.co.nz/politics/2020/05/15/1171117/sensitive-foreign-affairs-briefing-published-online

      Kow-tow in public! It reassures our forelock tuggers! Or so our official advisors believe. 🙄

      "The unredacted briefing also sets out the prioritisation order for the minister’s calls to his counterparts in other countries. At the top of the list, to be called within one week, were Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, Singapore, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, and Fiji. The next tier down, to be called within two weeks, included the US, China, Japan, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Mexico."

      Treating the US & China as second-tier nations is lateral thinking on such a scale as to leave me awed at the superb mental faculties of the advisors. Well done! Give those people a raise!

      And putting them on the same level as PNG & Mexico does indeed reflect the comparable random violence produced within those nations. When informed, Trump & Xi will no doubt gulp & think, "I see, we're not so civilised really, eh? Must do better!" Supplying moral guidance into our foreign policy, subtly so as not to offend. Such clever officials.

      "The MFAT spokeswoman said the ministry would carry out a thorough investigation of the inadvertent disclosure. However, after reviewing the document's contents they believed they had become less sensitive with the passage of time." Well yes, Xi & Trump have had plenty of time to absorb the message & moderate their behaviour accordingly… 😑

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        It's tough to write predictions, when reality catches up with them so fast.

        Donald Trump has threatened to “cut off the whole relationship” with China, as tensions between the US and China continue to rise over the origins of COVID-19.

        “I’m very disappointed in China. I will tell you that right now,” Mr Trump said in an interview with Fox Business. “There are many things we could do. We could cut off the whole relationship. Now if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion.”

        It came in response to a question about whether the US should refuse Chinese nationals student visas for sensitive science areas.

        I'm betting the CCP is aware that a de-facto 'cut off' of the global relationship with China is already happening. I've written it before, the one thing that will ensure the destruction of the CCP, is for the USA to go home; which Trump is now openly mouthing. Rather than trying to prevent the tide from going out, Xi Xinping is going to proactively play the tactic of using the momentum of your opponent to whatever advantage he can find. That will mean seizing control, doubling down on repressing internal dissent, and expanding their sphere of influence as aggressively as deemed possible.

        All this was going to happen anyway, COVID 19 is accelerating them to warp-speed.

        As for NZ, I can only feel for any CCP diplomat confronted with Winston in full obfuscate mode … he’s more than a match for them.

        • Dennis Frank

          Trump on Xi: “I have a very good relationship (with him) but … right now I don’t want to speak to him.” Folks will empathise, after several weeks cooped up with their families.

          Interesting to see the bit in that report where they refer to Trump as a "giant baby". That was the Trump blimp, actually. But maybe they can't tell the difference between the two? One full of helium, the other full of hot air…

        • Treetop

          It is going to be a long six months for China until the US election.

          No doubt two senarios one for Trump as President and the other Biden. Either way growth is going to take a hit.

          The world is being reshaped on so many levels. It would be nice if leaders strive for peace and to reduce indifference.

      • Gabby 9.1.2

        Makes sense to have the discussions before getting to the demands.

    • Gabby 9.2

      We'll be in both, like Franko's Spain, because the billionaires will want their boltholes.

      • millsy 9.2.1

        Yes, Franco's Spain.

        To futher analogise, the Labour-Green-First government is like the Popular Front in Spain against the capitalists, catholics, monarchists, traditionalists and the miltary. That is probably why it cannot seem to get anything done.

  10. I Feel Love 10

    I'm loving the sound of hearing the kids at the playground, what a joyful noise!

    • Cinny 10.1

      Hehehehe, for sure, kids in a playground having fun is one of the best noises in the world.

      However…I'm loving being back in the office with adults, no children and no "mummmmm can I have…" 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. bill 11

    Food for thought?

    China's road and beltway is slated to cost between US$4 and US$8 Trillion. US corporations have been given in excess of US$4 trillion with no strings attached.

    That's a lot of $$ US corporations have at their disposal to compete in one way or another with China's new "silk roads" that the US are not a part of.

    Meanwhile, ordinary US citizens are being thrown under the bus – unprecedented levels of unemployment, bugger all contingency plans by government that might provide for people suddenly in dire straits (2 x $1200 cheques for those who can negotiate the eligibility hurdles in a country where 1/3 of renters couldn't pay rent in April can't be said to 'cut it'), and millions upon millions losing health care along with their jobs.

    Anyone might think the idea of corporate America was to let America burn and launch itself into a brave new world that’s free of any nation state constraints or social obligations.

    • Sabine 11.1

      Anyone might think the idea of corporate America was to let America burn and launch itself into a brave new world that’s free of any nation state constraints or social obligations.

      why yes, yes that is exactly what this is. And it ain't the US alone. I look at England.

  12. Fireblade 12

    Australia has reported 30 new Covid-19 cases today.

    New South Wales +8, Victoria +20 and Queensland +2.


    • aj 12.1

      Australia has reported 30 new Covid-19 cases today.

      …and a lot of pressure to ease up. We are a long long way from establishing a two country bubble.

      And this shows that we need to be so vigilant in Level 2.

      • indiana 12.1.1

        I hope you agree that we should be planning something to create the 2 country bubble and not just wait until the statistics indicate that all is good.

        • Muttonbird

          Australia has not done what is required to deserve to be in a bubble with NZ.

          • aj

            not just wait until the statistics indicate that all is good.

            I don't agree at all. Muttonbird is quite correct. We MUST wait, but we can plan while we are doing that.. Ask how many kiwi's would enjoy going back to level 3 or 4? The answer will be none of them, and the 'two country bubble' won't happen until both of us have long strings of zero cases, with the ability to jump very quickly on any increase in numbers.

            • In Vino

              I agree with Muttonbird. We don't even know at this stage how well we have done, and Australia seems to be moving upwards now in new infections, while we are (temporarily?) at Zero.
              Indiana is the fool rushing in where angels fear to tread.

  13. AB 13

    Why court-stacking matters. Wisconsin's Republican-aligned supreme court strikes down the Governor's stay at home order as illegal and people flock to bars. What a crazy sh*tshow.

  14. Pat 14

    Listening to the reaction to the budget since yesterday it is apparent there is many competing narratives and complaints but there is one fairly common area of note….the perceived lack of an overarching plan.

    On the face of it this would appear to be a legitimate observation especially as we are in the process of spending the next decade or two's income.

    However we are less than 4 months from an election and while I expect little of substance from National, Act or NZ First I would hope that before then both Labour and the Greens can present a comprehensive and detailed plan for the electorate to support.

    Currently even those calling for such appear disjointed and vague in what it is that is desired but as Susan Krumdieck noted this morning on RNZ we know what we need to do,we need to start now, and we can learn on the job….but first we need a plan.

    Time to front Labour and Greens (coz no one else is going to do it)…and you've had more than enough time to sort one out.

    • People always say that Pat, usually those who don't support the current government.

      How can all the disparate elements of a budget be linked into a cohesive plan?

      All I know is I hated all of the mean-spirited budgets of Bill English while there were many elements of yesterday's effort I liked-free school meals, more state houses (English sold them off), a billion for NZ Rail, a billion for green issues, no f*ck*n tax cuts….and so on.

      • Pat 14.1.1

        People always say what?

        We are in the process of spending our working capital for the next decade or two…if we dont address CC with that spend then when will we?

        • bill

          if we dont address CC with that spend then when will we?


          This budget was the one presenting the perfect opportunity to either (in Jacinda's badly chosen words) “tackle climate change head on” , or at least surreptitiously line up the ducks.

          Neither of those things have happened.

          Hell, every statement from government I'm aware of has been couched in terms of economic recovery – ie, re-establishing what went before. The cunning community board members who "made it to the big time" are our government are woefully lacking are the end of us.

          • Pat

            the ducks may be surreptitiously lined up but the manifestos of both Labour and the Greens need to clarify that….I suspect that neither had a comprehensive plan previously and while dealing with covid havnt devoted any resources to it so it unlikely they will produce one in time for the election…3 years wasted?

            • In Vino

              Maybe they are wisely assuming that it would be dumb to commit to some hare-brained scheme when we have yet to find out what Covid19 has yet to surprise us with?

              • Pat

                a hare brained scheme isnt whats needed but a commitment is…and preferably before the election.

          • millsy

            Any effort to fight climate change, or de-cabonise the economy, or any of that stuff needs a "Think Big" style program.

            Anything else, you are just wasting your time (and taxpayer money).

            Rob Muldoon de-carbonised the economy more than any other clown (or clown-ette) after him.

            • In Vino

              But don't claim that it was intentional! As I remember, he was scathing about the Values Party, and never cared about the environment, except for his personal rose garden.

              • Nic the NZer

                "But don't claim that it was intentional!"

                It was definitely intentional. The priority at the time was to remove New Zealand dependence on Oil as the country had been importing inflation triggered by the Opec price hikes (as had most countries). But saying 'Think Big' was unintentional is about as bright as complaining that subsequent governments lost money on the infrastructure, its completely beside the point.

                • In Vino

                  I think you are confusing Muldoon's good idea of reducing NZ's dependence on imported oil with something Muldoon never even considered. Did he ever utter the word 'decarbonise'?
                  Not even the Values Party existed when Think Big started, let alone the Greens, and concern about carbon.

                  • Incognito

                    It sounds like something from Star Trek 😉

                  • weka

                    I agree with your general point here about Muldoon and decarbonisation. Just want to point out that the Values Party started in 1972 (also the year that the Limits to Growth report came out). Think Big was coined in 1977. Muldoon would have been aware of these things, even if he was ignoring them.

                    I did find this though,

                    • In Vino

                      Interesting – I stand corrected about time of Values Party, which I should have known. Well, I knew it, but I confused Think Big with the earlier Kapuni Pipeline.

                      I just couldn't quite remember Muldoon looking anything like a conservationist.

            • bill

              Any effort to fight climate change, or de-cabonise the economy, or any of that stuff needs a "Think Big" style program.

              Not necessarily. Cut emissions from energy by 15- 20% per year on an ongoing basis and adapt to the new unfolding environment.

  15. Pat 15

    “Such lunacy is a clear byproduct, first and foremost, of the proverbial anxiety that the US has suffered from since China began its global ascension,” it said on Friday. “Trump seems insane right now or may have some psychological problems,” another editorial wrote."



  16. Adrian 16

    De-carbonising the country completely is only possible if we don't build the 6000 homes for the homeless or the extra 4000 for state housing. It is only possible if trucks don't move the material to build them or put fridges and stoves or beds in them. It is only possible if food grown for 4.7 million people is left to rot in the fields.

    Electric transport is great but is only part of the answer, it would mean the government would need to buy every family pretty much an electric vehicle amounting to a cost that would dwarf the Covid response. And all this for a technology that still has 10 years at least to run before it's products are efficiently mature enough not to be redundant after a few years.

    Electrified transportation will happen eventually, but how do we get rid of concrete, steel, aluminium and even bloody plastic or even grow, harvest and machine and transport wood.

    The only answer that could possibly solve this problem is to kill off at least 80% of us.

    Anybody keen to go into an election, which also costs a huge amount of of even more precious metals for computers etc and energy, on that platform?.

    • Ad 16.1

      I've just seen a $240m project built without a single truck moving a thing.

      Stop with the genocidal crap.

      Do something useful and tell the greens that their next coalition negotiation has to include a limit of 2030 on all imports of ICE cars.

      • weka 16.1.1

        "I've just seen a $240m project built without a single truck moving a thing."

        What was that?

    • bill 16.2

      Something like a 15-20% ongoing annual drop in energy that produces carbon while using the remaining carbon budget to put in place those things that will be required in a world around at least 2 degrees warmer than before, doesn't entail genocide.

      Apply the carbon budget to construct housing 'fit for purpose' and produce whatever manufactured products there may be to last, rather than to throw away and replace.

      It's just maybe still do-able. But government has been kicking the can down the road, is still kicking the can down the road, and the end of the road is most definitely in sight.

  17. sumsuch 17

    Love you acute footnoters above but what matters the most? There are right wing finance types talking about sparking the next growth phase. But this prognostication leaves aside reality which none of us can humour anymore. Exherently, climate change is imperative. Inherent involves our souls. It is 't'cause', as my Lancashire socialist ancestor called it, of our age. Really hate the foolishness of us at the wall of reality approaching us. I don't have children, most of this is worry about the discomfort of my old age. Our socialist ancestors would understand and fight like fuck against the challenge. But we mumble and mrrble.

  18. sumsuch 18

    Strange I associate talking for the people with starving yourself. Seeing those who've enriched themselves as officially for the people. Let alone vile America. I will always see gaining materially being against idealism.

  19. Eco Maori 19

    Kia Ora Newshub

    Online goods that the Ion age Awsome.

    A lot of happiness on the Moana cool.

    The wild life enjoying less human activity is cool.
    Its sad that the African wildlife is suffering though.

    Ka kite Ano.

  20. Eco Maori 20

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Awsome to see more money invested in Te Tairawhiti roads they have been in bad condition for years.

    Aroha koha the 600 bails of hay donate to Hawksbay farmers from Wairapa farmers.

    Let's hope that the Pacific Island will be part of Aotearoa travel bubble soon.

    Ka kite Ano

  21. Eco Maori 21

  22. Eco Maori 22

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    That's is good the extra funding for carers.

    Some people are foolish believing 5G is that bad.

    Megan droughts we should listen to our scientists.

    Ka kite Ano.

  23. Eco Maori 23

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Te whi Haka and Vodafone team up to help keep tangata practicing safe conduct is awesome.

    The easiest way for some to make money is to steal it the Wahine art being used with out her permission is just sad.

    Ka kite Ano

  24. Eco Maori 24

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    Sports is about jobs they are professionals no.

    Schools open today for all tamariki the Mokopuna are happy.

    Remember interest rates are the lowest they have ever been that changes every thing.

    I can see the money greasing the cogs.

    That shows humanity should take the other big issues Our scientists have been warning us about the negative effects for many decades very seriously.

    Some people are like sheep 5G.

    Ka kite Ano.

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