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Open mike 15/08/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 15th, 2022 - 72 comments
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72 comments on “Open mike 15/08/2022 ”

  1. dv 1



    An anti-vaccination, anti-mandate group which says it wants to make the country “ungovernable” is standing candidates in local body elections to “sway the results (and) throw our weight around”.

    Voices For Freedom (VFF) openly campaigned to get supporters into decision-making positions but told candidates to hide their affiliations – prompting a warning to voters to thoroughly research candidates before voting.

  2. Peter 2

    I'm disappointed in the New Zealand 'sports media.' Rank amateurs.

    Can't understand why they haven't staked out the house of All Black coach Ian Foster and harassed anyone he lives with him about whether he's off to Argentina with the All Blacks. Surely there must be children or grand children they can hound.

    Or got some travel agent insider revealing whether his name's on the flight manifest for the trip.

    The carry on after the historic win over the World Cupholders in South Africa has all the signs of an unrequited lynch mob unhappy the coach hasn't been despatched. Elsewhere than to South America.

    A mass of rugby people are like King Canute on the shore trying to hold back the inevitable. As time travels, the days of winning the vast majority of matches against top opposition has gone. If arrogance won games the All Blacks would never lose.

    Unfortunately for them it's about resources and organising them. As the realities of the impact of money in sport, sorry I mean the sports entertainment business, bite, the rugged pioneer, embedded community spirit genesis is not enough when up against the new Big Boys.

    • Blazer 2.1

      How does the AB win at Ellis Park rate as a 'historic' win?

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.2

      It wasn't that they were losing. It is that they were playing badly and losing.

      Secondary to that from my point of view was the playing of players out of position in the starting line up – as opposed to injury. I've never been a big fan of that as it usually doesn't come off. The successes – Tana Umaga to centre for instance – are far far outdone by the failures e.g. Christian Cullen to centre.

      The playing badly was well reflected in the silly penalties given away, the poor passes – at times to no one and the poor taking of the high ball. None of those things have anything to do with the strength of the opposition really but about our own execution and skill sets. Our best All Black teams gave away few penalties.

      I don't know anyone who minds the All Blacks losing if they play well.

  3. weka 3

    If you’re using a phone to read TS (and you’re not logged in), can you please tell me if you are able to switch between Mobile and Desktop versions? Switching buttons at bottom of each page.

    • gsays 3.1

      On an Oppo, the option is there but when I hit Desktop it just relaods as a mobile version.

      • weka 3.1.1

        thanks (same for me on iphone). Have you been able to switch in the past?

        • lprent

          I think that is an issue with the infinite scroll feature. It picks up additional posts too fast. That is more of an issue now because I put a new processor in a couple of weeks ago to replace the one from 2017. It is a lot faster at pushing the infini scroll updates out.

          It should be possible to do it in a post with comments because that doesn’t have infinite scroll. It is limited by the number of comment in a post.

          Yeah that works.

          However the caching is then an issue (at least on firefox). It doesn’t update my page – even when I am logged in and there shouldn’t be caching.

          It seems to work correctly on Chrome on my android phone when logged in and when I am logged out.

          I'll have a look at putting the option into the menu

          • weka

            I was on a Post page with minimal commenting so I can get to the bottom easily. It didn't work, trying to switch from Mobile to Desktop, kept loading Mobile when I pressed the Desktop button. Once I logged in, the Desktop version loaded.

            The option in the menu would be much easier.

        • gsays

          Yes to switching in the past but it may have been a Huawei device then.

          Nothing like giving the benefit of my doubt.

    • Cricklewood 3.2

      Nope, works some days not others. Unable to comment on my mobile when it's stuck in desktop.

    • bwaghorn 3.3

      It's a bit like my sheep dogs, asking my ph to switch from mobile todesktop,occasionally it listens but mostly does what it wants

  4. Ad 4

    This local government election is shaping as a marked flashing siren for the 2023 General election.

    This is unusual.

    But here's why: 88,000 public submissions to the Water Services Entities Bill, and 10,000 seeking to be heard at Committee.

    That is a scorcher, during the local government election campaign. and a lot of furious people inacivated households

    • Sabine 4.1

      i read the 'pre-election' report on Rotorua yesterday – local government election.

      Nothing in it does the government – local or regional – any grace.

      11% local unemployment

      bottom ranking on about everything else

      a fucking shame to be honest.


      • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1

        As mainly a tourist destination, Rotorua has been affected by the fall in Tourism caused by the Pandemic.

        I read that item and wondered why the increased amount of building was poorly covered, both Government and Private.

        As someone who saw Rotorua after the GFC, it appears far busier now, but we do have people struggling with health issues caused by smoking drinking substance abuse and rising costs.

        Rotorua has many things going for it, and is still a beautiful spot.

    • ianmac 4.2

      Wonder if our District Council will declare which Candidates are Against 3 Waters? I won't vote for them.

      Note a farm poster now which says "National Will Cancel 3 Waters and Replace it."

      Curious. Not heard of any plan by National re 3 Waters.

      • Cricklewood 4.2.1

        They've consistently said that they'll repeal it. Quite a few signs around semi rural Auckland.

      • weka 4.2.2

        Wonder if our District Council will declare which Candidates are Against 3 Waters? I won't vote for them.

        Even if they're good on other policy? People object to 3 Waters for a range of different reasons. The impact of centralisation on local democracy seems entirely reasonable to me. If we were having a referendum on 3 Waters, I'd probably vote against it, not because I support the status quo but because I think the plan is not well worked through in terms of democracy or bringing people along.

        • Incognito

          Referendums are never about operational detail. Three Waters is under construction, i.e., a dog that needs grooming (and obedience training), not one that needs to be shot on the spot, which is what some (aka the usual suspects) would want. The more (constructive) debate we have on this, the harder it will be for opponents to kill it off without at least some kind of argument that may vaguely resemble reason and being reasonable. Watch the narrative and framing coming from opponents and how it will have to change as things progress. Similarly, the language from proponents and Government is also evolving – this is only natural.

          • weka

            I'm not suggesting a referendum, I'm saying that if I got a vote on the scheme I'd probably vote against it, for reasons given.

            One problem with the debate is that many on the left have taken a position of 'it's good, there's something wrong with you if you object'. I also wonder if support depends on where one lives. In the rural SI I expect the democracy issues (re local bodies) to be more of an issue than for people in Auckland who are looking at the pragmatics of three waters management because its more urgent.

            I don't even have a good grasp of what the proposal is, it's complex and already far enough in that it's hard to catch up. I looked at govt websites at one point and my eyes glazed over. So we can add the perception that Labour want to be the boss and we're supposed to trust them and if we don't well it will just happen anyway.

            The reasons against are complex. Some people object to the co-governance issues, and imo we should be having an open and very clear debate about this because there's a lot of misinformation mixed in with racism.

            • aj

              This is the sort of stuff that circulates about 3 Waters, as forwarded to me by an acquaintance.

              The very subject line is misleading – Brigitte Morton offers a top legal opinion? as usual she offers a political attack – nothing more, nothing less.

              Subject: Three minutes worth a listen as top legal opinion and a
              Queen's counsel scuttles three waters to Davey Jones locker

              Date: 2022-08-14 14:27
              So you really have to wonder if this was played to councils NZ wide
              would they react accordingly and say stay away to the Govt grab of
              their assets — by dubious means at best. Hoodwink was a term I liked the lady principle lawyer used to describe advertising by this regime to trick the people.

              "Do you believe that Nanaia Mahuta lied to the NZ public about Three
              Waters?" – Tova – Omny.fm


            • Incognito

              I agree, Three Waters is hugely complex. This is not helped by the fact that this Government appears to be aiming to kill more than one bird with one stone and is proposing some kind of co-governance, for want of a better and clearer term, as part of the implementation of 3Ws. On the one hand, I think this (overly?) complicates 3Ws, but on the other hand it might be the opportune time and even necessary (cf. recent comments by the Auditor-General about accountability issues with 3Ws).

              I feel uneasy about the confused (and binary/dualistic) messaging coming from Government re. co-governance and the many questions it has raised. Unfortunately, this apparent information vacuum has allowed opponents to hijack and control the narrative and polarise any debate from the outset.

              I think Government (Labour) has bitten off way more than it can chew and it either spits it out or it will choke on it – the people of NZ are just not quite ready for this, not while we’re in the middle of a few national and global ‘crises’ and a pandemic.

              • solkta

                How could Labour do this level of reform without taking Maori legal interests in water into consideration? Wouldn't they just end up in court? Even without the legal question i can't see how they could do it morally given their commitment to honouring Te Tiriti.

                • Belladonna

                  Given that there is no co-governance over water ATM (when it's managed by local councils), I can't see that there is an overwhelming legal case that there must be co-governance when water is managed in broader regional groupings (cf the 4 bodies to be established under 3 Waters).

                  Yes, there might be a ToW case taken (there still might), but there are many examples of ToW findings which do not inform government legislation. The tribunal was deliberately (whether wisely or not) set up that way.

                  'Honouring Te Triti' means very different things to different people. It's really dangerous to assume that your interpretation is necessarily shared by others.

        • lprent

          The basic problem is the inequities in local body capital infrastructure and water provision in all three waters.

          As a taxpayer and rate payer, I'd personally be happy with just going and providing a mandatory legal requirement for regional councils and local councils to achieve minimum standards.

          The requirement would be that if the councils were unable to achieve comparable provision standards across the whole country for water standards, waste water treatment, and storm water handling – then the councils would lose their local representation until they can.

          In other words rates, charges, levies get raised under management until they start approaching standards.

          Alternatively simply fine councils and their ratepayers until they hit basic standards. Or provide a personal criminal liability for local politicians for planning infractions that cause water deterioration.

          That is because almost all councils and regional councils have essentially been screwing up the water job for most of the last century. They haven't invested in it at anything approaching a required level..

          What I'm unhappy about with 3 waters is bailing out the self-interested and incompetent councils who have consistently (with a few exceptions) been allowing the water qualities to deteriorate.

          I'm not interested in subsidising via direct taxes the same pack of no-hoper self-interested ratepayers voting for councils that have caused the kind of water deterioration.

          For the last 30 years, the Auckland region has made a pretty concerted effort to improve water management, despite massive increase in migrant population imposed by the Key government, and the ridiculous governing arrangement imposed on us. This has meant that I've been paying for it for 3 decades.

          I'm uninterested in paying more taxes to bail out the incompetent councils in the Waikato (attempting to stop the worsening of the Waikato over the next 90 years), the exploding streets in Wellington, or ridiculous water draw rights in central Otago and Canterbury.

          Ratepayers there should have the local government removed or fines levied so that they actually find a reason to clean up their water systems and stop poisoning the land and citizens.

          Otherwise the three waters approach seems to me to be the only equitable way to achieve and improvement in fresh water. Which for NZ is a strategic resource at every level from economics to quality of life. It is also increasingly in short supply

      • Incognito 4.2.3

        Curious. Not heard of any plan by National re 3 Waters.

        BAU (aka status quo) and/or contracting it out to the private sector.

      • Mac1 4.2.4

        ianmac, it would be possible to ask the local candidates themselves at public meetings, such as those held by Grey Power…… Apart from the issue of privatisation, Grey Power has no policy on Three Waters, so a question of support or otherwise would need to come from the floor.

        • ianmac

          But Mac1, the Marlborough Council has declared us to be against 3 Waters. I have written to the Council of my belief that we must act now. Delay, delay delay is too late.

    • Ad 5.1

      Ours will look more like Welcome to Westport: 5th flood event in 2 months.

    • Descendant Of Smith 5.2

      I support three waters and would point out that councils have been not a useful stop to privatisation any more than a National government has particularly in the use of hydo for electricity production.

      Where does privatisation lead?

      IN 1980, the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet replaced Chile’s constitution with a new charter employing the principles of famed American free-market economist Milton Friedman. Forty years later the dictatorship is gone, but the constitution — and a key provision called the National Water Code that privatized Chile’s vast natural water supply — is still in effect.


    • weka 5.3

      A glimpse in to our Three Waters future when water gets centralised and/or privatised.

      Someone needs to convince me that management bods in Chch can make good decisions about hose bans in Winton or Ranfurly.

      • Cricklewood 5.3.1

        I think it's fair to say they wont, most of the time. Take Auckland as an example even though the dams were getting low due to prolonged drought and heavy usage Watercare waited and waited until the point of desperation before bringing in any form of restriction and when they did it was drastic.

        Asking what will be a fairly large bureaucracy (that will no doubt be focused on large populations centres and subject to political pressure) to make good informed decisions on a very local level is a stretch. More likely they go with a one size fits all broad brush approach.

        I can also see a day where in order to raise funds the laws are changed to allow the new entities to partially sell the infrastructure that delivers the water. Not dissimilar to what happened with the electricity reforms.

        • weka

          How to prevent future privatisation would be top of my concerns.

          I don't understand Ak water very well. Was part of the problem a conflict between the need to have water restrictions and Watercare's need for income from usage?

          • Cricklewood

            I think it actually came down to incompetence, comments at the time basically said they were sure that we wouldnt have two years of low rainfall in a row.

        • Visubversa

          Auckland water restrictions were not that drastic – you could not hose your garden or use a sprinkler. Nothing stopped you bucketing water from the shower every day as we did, or redirecting your rinse water onto the lawn. I can remember when Auckland City Council neglected the underground infrastructure so badly that people had fountains of turds, tampax and toilet paper in their front yard as the sewers collapsed, and masses of raw sewage ran into the harbour regularly during rain events. It has taken decades and a lot of $$$$$ to separate the WW and SW and to put in the big Central Interceptor to keep the poo out of the harbour. Auckland has the advantage of Watercare and a big ratepayer base. Smaller local Councils will have real problems funding the necessary remediations and should be grateful that the Government is proposing to help with the costs.

          • Belladonna

            " the Government is proposing to help with the costs."

            I haven't seen any commitment by the government, either in the legislation or in the discussion document, to assist with the cost of water infrastructure, long-term in any way. The initial payments to councils – seem to be all around financing the switch, rather than a long-term committment to co-fund. These payments are perceived, by those opposed, as bribes.


            Those payments actually aren't tied to water infrastructure or to pay down debt – it's just a short-term lolly scramble. As we see from Wellington (which has got major water infrastructure issues), proposing to spend it on supporting council-owned tenants.


            The assumption is that the larger regional groupings will be able to leverage their greater borrowing power (that level of financial manoeuvre is way above my financial pay grade, so I don't know if it's likely to be true or not). And there will be cost-benefits associated with operating at a wider level (this one, I'm pretty sure is untrue – the next service amalgamation which results in reduced costs will be the first one I've ever seen)

            The element concerning many ratepayers, especially those in areas where water is not currently in crisis, is that they will end up paying for the rest of the regional grouping to reach their current standard, before any further investment is made locally.

            I don't see anything in the legislation to prevent this happening. And, it actually seems to be a desired outcome (the Government *wants* the lowest performing infrastructure to be reformed first). Generally that form of investment is paid for out of taxes (rather than rates) or, at least co-funded by the Government (cf national roading infrastructure)

            Airy assertions (by our local MP, for example) that 3 waters would immediately fix the sewerage overflow issues after rain (no-swimming beaches in Auckland) are, in the absence of any funding mechanism for this, quite frankly, unbelievable.

        • ianmac

          It is said that the ulterior motive behind 3 Waters is for the State to by-pass the 30/30 limits which has for decades limited the Councils' borrowing.

          And hopefully the anti-privatisation plan will be established.

      • Poission 5.3.2

        Or the Chatham Islands

      • Graeme 5.3.3

        The local delivery / operations won’t change much, the same people, just different logo on the truck. Big change will be policy decisions will be made outside the local political environment.

        Not that much different to local roading. Mostly Waka Kotahi funded and managed

        • Ad

          Yes in transport there are plenty of Network Operator Contracts, Alliances and other long term (ie 5 years or more) arrangements that are pretty similar to the proposed water operator environment.

        • ianmac

          Good point Graeme. Would be like Waka Kotahi only better.

  5. Sanctuary 6

    This is a gigantic ideological moment from the only real leftie in the Labour cabinet – Michael Wood. In a gigantic injection of common sense, Wood is driving a stake through one of the the madder things done in the name of Rogernomics and is ending the failed neoliberal experiment of forbidding local councils owning public transport. Richard Prebble’s reaction will be deliciously choleric.

    Soon the people who pay for the service, administer the service, provide the service and maintain the service could all be in the same organisation.

    • Descendant Of Smith 6.1

      Now if only they would allow councils to access accommodation assistance for housing instead of helping everyone else but them – or if not give them an annual stipend for each council house they provide and is inhabited.

    • Stephen D 6.2

      Love to see Megan Woods totally nationalise the entire electricity sector.

      • gsays 6.2.1

        I have a far humbler wish (I would like to see Woods take back control of our energy assets too). that is for Minister Little to bring some of the hospital support roles in-house.

        Food, security, grounds upkeep and laundry for a start.

    • Ad 6.3

      Can PTOM be unwound and re-aggregated in time for the 2023 election?

      The origins of PTOM go back to Shipley gutting ARC and ARTA. National will seek to reverse Wood's move if they can.

      This commercial proposal in transport is the opposite of what they are doing to local government in water.

      It would help if one could detect an actual regulatory+commercial underlying sense to this government. Pretty hard to defend without one.

    • Tiger Mountain 6.4

      Yep, a significant change to the Labour Caucus usual terror of tinkering with any aspect of Roger’n’Ruth’s legacy of monetarist and neo liberal legislation.

      This win was assisted by unions whose members took direct action over many years, and pointed out the iniquity of the legislation that was stopping them getting decent pay increases, due to clauses that lowest tenders must be accepted by Local Authorities!
      So the worst employers tended to get the routes, and kept a lid on industry rates and conditions.

  6. Poission 7

    RBNZ set to continue with ratchet clause in interest rates,as it continues with first out of the block rate curve.

    Until there is a significant decrease in non tradeable (core) inflation,the hikes will persist.Here central and local government are substantive drivers with debt driven capital programs.

    • Ad 7.1

      Since you are such an avid electricity trade watcher, what generator mode switches are you observing between NZ wind, NZ geothermal, and NZ thermal given the rapid rise in the price of coal that is keeping Huntly and hence Auckland alive?

      • Poission 7.1.1

        Indonesian coal (thermal low cal) is sub 90 mt,most would still be on forward contract.China has not come back into the market there so much.

        Still maintenance season here with Taranaki TCC out for a month,Geothermal stable,wind intermittent,excess hydro (spilling).

        The colder frost days have good solar outputs for distributed generation (balancing the decrease in wind) such as 1000 mw offline now due to low wind.

        September will be tight as primary manufacturing starts and NI outages.(if wind insufficient)


        Lots of talk trying to up the ante on future stranded assets (getting thermal off balance sheets) and rent seeking for future capital works (read price hiking)

        What is needed is more renewable in upper NI,Nelson and Westcoast to reduce transmission waste.

        • Ad

          For this season, then, it sounds like the supply pressure is off.

          Presumably that means more stable spot prices and a little bit of consumer pressure off as well.

          • Poission

            The over capacity for two peaks requires baseline stability.With good hydro storage at present (little requirement for irrigation) lots of distributed solar installed over winter ( reducing late am demand and early pm demand) and spring winds coming into our peak manufacturing season should reduce risk.

            As an aside there is anecdotes of staff returning from working at home to office in OZ and UK as prices increase,be interesting to watch their CBD stats and PT.

        • roblogic

          "What is needed is more renewable in upper NI,Nelson and Westcoast to reduce transmission waste."

          Or nuclear. FFS. The lies and fearmongering are something to behold.

          • Poission

            Too expensive,and the ROI would make it uneconomic.

            By small builds we keep the capital employed to manageable returns (without high ramp up pricing to consumers) the profits are sufficient for good investments,and diversification.

  7. adam 8

    3 bags of groceries for $200, and it was just the basics.

    rent $500 and it's totally basic.

    New cloths when old ones die – nope

    Dental work that needs done – nope

    Going out for dinner – yeah right

    Gotta love this new NZ

    Only bright side, at least we don't have a Tory government to take it totally down the shitter for working people.

    • Belladonna 8.1

      Agree. An average increase of between $50-$60 on each grocery shop, since the beginning of the year. Petrol costs have come down (temporarily) – but still anything but cheap (and no, to the broken records out there, public transport just isn't an option for much of the diving I need to do – where we can use it, we do).
      And, while I can (sometimes) buy clothes from the Sallies, you can't really do the same for dental work. Wincing coming out, for more than one reason.

      Not optimistic about not having a Tory government either – both at the local and national level – left (or TBH centre-left) government is looking pretty shaky in the forthcoming elections.

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