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Open mike 15/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 15th, 2021 - 134 comments
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134 comments on “Open mike 15/09/2021 ”

  1. gsays 1

    I just caught the tail end of this story and was left with the feeling 'Get on with it'.

    Emissions are reduced, trucks are off the road and containers are moved through the provinces where they are needed.

    Apart from Nick Legget and some other industry lobbyists, what is the delay?

    From these uninformed eyes, ships running on batteries would be more viable and likely than electric trucks.


    • Gosman 1.1

      How about you get together with like minded people and create a shipping company to focus on the domestic shipping routes?

      • gsays 1.1.1

        Did you read the link?

        There are funds available, my query was why the delay, what resistance is there?

        • alwyn

          The funds that you nominate as being "available" are only there if you accept that

          1. The taxpayer is required to contribute an initial $30 million. More will have to be provided later.

          2. By law no foreign shipping line will be allowed to carry cargo from port to port in New Zealand, and thereby compete with the monopoly position of the subsidised company.

          I'm sure that the Union is in favour of the scheme. To bad about the New Zealand taxpayer of course.

          Or can you find some other way of reading the story you link to?

          • gsays

            I am down with 1 and 2.

            A point 3 could be a saving on road maintenance, which I am down with too.

          • Tricledrown

            Alwynger you have just read one side of the story and pushed your anti everything that involves govt expenditure.

            Exporters are struggling to get just in time container space for our mainly agricultural economy.

            I know one of the top meat export managers they would like the govt to step in and provide a reliable shipping company to make sure their product makes it to market and on time.

            Alwyn your another ideologue who thinks the market kows best.

            To prove that you want our economy put in a straight jacket so business has both its hands tied behind their backs.

            Alwyn if the straight jacket fits wear it.pragmatism comprimise reason does come into your thinking.The free market cargo cult.

        • Gypsy

          I'm not sure it's 'resistance' as in opposition to the plan. The initiative requires a law change, and that does take time.

          • gsays

            I wasn't up to speed that a law change was needed.

            As they have the numbers, I hope it isn't a lack of will.

            Wouldn't stop lobbyists lobbying though.

            • Gypsy

              Based on the article you linked to, the proposal has the support of the maritime union and the 'former head' of Pacifica shipping. I've seen comments on the government spending angle. In this case it would seem that $30m of government investment could lead to benefits to local shipping companies and their customers. I wonder if with projects such as this we should roll the capital cost into a levy on those companies that repays the investment over time.

      • Incognito 1.1.2

        Even for a dogmatic free-market acolyte such as you that’s a pathetically lazy comment. However, it seems one of the few left in your repertoire, as I have seen you grasping for it more regularly lately. Difficult times for free-market devotees.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.2

      Might have to get the scows back into business…


  2. Gristle 2

    The easiest way to reduce NZ car and truck CO2 emissions is to drop the speed limit to 80km/h.

    Side effects can include:

    Reduced incidence and severity of traffic accidents and injuries and mortalities.

    Increased freight demand for rail and costal shipping.

    Increased use of public transport.

    • Nic the NZer 2.1

      I thought most cars performed at higher efficiency at 100km/h or more, rather than 80km/h. Is this not true?

      • satty 2.1.1

        From a physics perspective the energy required at 100 km/h is significantly higher than 80 km/h Wikipedia – Air drag – Power example:

        A car cruising on a highway at 50 mph (80 km/h) may require only 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) to overcome aerodynamic drag, but that same car at 100 mph (160 km/h) requires 80 hp (60 kW).[23] With a doubling of speed the drag (force) quadruples per the formula. Exerting 4 times the force over a fixed distance produces 4 times as much work. At twice the speed the work (resulting in displacement over a fixed distance) is done twice as fast. Since power is the rate of doing work, 4 times the work done in half the time requires 8 times the power.

        The speed goes in as square, so increasing the speed from 80 to 100 is a 25% increase in speed, but over 50% in power. In an ideal scenario, with the higher speed the overall duration is lower, the increase is back to 25%. From my experience, the ideal scenario often doesn't come into play: When you reach a city / traffic light and the faster cars are often standing a couple of meters in front of you.

        In the equation for air drag another important component apart from the speed is the front area, so a SUV requires more power / energy than a smaller car.

        • Andre

          There's a lot more to it than just air drag.

          There's all the auxiliaries on the engine, rolling resistance of tyres and powertrain components, efficiency map of the engine etc etc.

          In general, minimum fuel use per distance happens when the car is in its highest gear at an engine speed a bit above where it might start labouring if you put your foot down, which is generally in the 1500 to 2200 rpm range.

          In older cars with higher drag and less gear spread, maximum fuel efficiency came around 60 to 80 km/hr. Newer cars with better aerodynamics and much wider gear spread could easily find their best economy point above 100km/hr.

          • alwyn

            From my personal experience I found the easiest way of reducing emissions was simply to buy a hybrid vehicle. I changed from a Honda Accord Euro, with reported emissions of 214 g/km of CO2 to a hybrid Camry which produces a reported figure of 107 g/km. I certainly found that my fuel consumption halved, from an urban figure of about 9.5 l/100k to about 4.8 l/100k. The gain is less on a long trip but is still significant if you have any hills at all.

            The advantage of the hybrid is that the engine is almost always operating at its most efficient speed. If you need more power, for a hill say, you get it from the tiny electric motor/battery combination. I might like a fully electric vehicle but the hybrid gives a good part of the benefit at a fraction of the cost.

            • Andre

              A lot of the fuel economy improvements come from using an Atkinson cycle engine. The longer power stroke compared to the shorter effective compression stroke extracts more of the energy of the burnt fuel, which means a petrol engine can get similar levels of thermal efficiency that a diesel does. With fewer of the exhaust nasties that diesels emit.

              One downside of Atkinson cycles engines is their low-to-mid range torque isn't as good, but that's where the electric motor really shines.

              Toyota, Honda and Hyundai use Atkinson cycle engines in their hybrids, Subaru didn't last time I looked. Dunno about other manufacturers.

              edit: Always keeping the engine at an efficient speed is much more the outcome of using the continuously variable transmission, or more gears in a geared tranny. The electric side of things really doesn’t help with that, except maybe when moving off from a stop.

              • alwyn

                That would certainly explain a lot of the gain. The Honda would have preceded the Atkinson cycle. It was a great car but it was starting to get tatty. I ran it for nearly 190,000 km and it ran as if the motor was brand new. The inside was getting worn though.

                On the other hand you seem to be saying that you really need to have the electric motor boost if you have an Atkinson cycle motor so I guess we can still give the credit to the hybrid car.

                I think the Camry is a great vehicle, and it costs much less than a full electric vehicle. It uses less fuel than our Jazz does, and that is a very low amount already. We get about 5.5 l/100km from the Jazz around town and yet a biggish car like the Camry can undercut it.

                edit. You get the benefit from the electric motor going up a hill. It gives the short term boost that you only need for a short distance and lets the petrol engine stick to providing the base load power.

                • Andre

                  I'm fairly sure a bunch of the latest non-hybrid engines also use the Atkinson cycle idea with their variable valve timing.

                  It's just taken a while to catch on, partly because the shorter effective compression stroke also effectively turns it into a smaller displacement engine. For a long time, manufacturers were mostly interested in maximising power output from a given engine size, so making a larger engine effectively act like a smaller one kinda went against that.

                  Lately manufacturers have learned enough that they can make Atkinson cycle engines that still put out numbers that would be adequate for a similar size conventional engine. Such as the 2.5 litre in the latest RAV4 plug-in hybrid putting out 132kw and 228 Nm. Not any kind of fire-breather to be sure, but entirely adequate even without electric assist.

                  Where the electric motor and battery in the hybrid really shine is in regenerative braking, just creeping along in heavy traffic or parking lots etc, and is better for shutting off the engine at traffic lights and other stops.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            I'm certainly no expert, but various recent analyses suggest that even in a relatively modern car you're probably better off (for fuel economy and other reasons) at 75 – 90 km/h than at higher speeds, . But many people are time poor and/or would rather not spend any more time driving than they have to, while others like to demonstrate how fast their car is.

            What's the Best Way to Cut Fuel Costs?
            Slow down. In our tests we’ve found that driving faster on the highway can really take a bite out of a car’s fuel efficiency.

            How to save fuel – the ultimate guide
            While the speed you drive at is arguably the most influential factor affecting fuel consumption, there are a number of other ways you can change your driving habits that will have a significant impact on the money you spend at the pump.

            This optimum fuel economy speed will be different for every car, but when the RAC completed its Record Road Trip in the Audi A6 ultra, that particular car’s optimum fuel economy speed was 52mph [84 kph] in seventh gear on the flat.

            Over the years the speed of 56mph [90 kph] has often been talked about as being the optimum speed. This was due to the old fuel consumption test being run at three speeds: urban, 56mph and 75mph – and 56mph was always, unsurprisingly, the most efficient of these. Typically, cars are most efficient at 45-50mph [72 – 81 kph].

            Don’t normally exceed 60 mph on the highway; do “drive 55” mph on the highway where possible.

            Use Fuel-Efficient Driving Techniques
            Your driving habits play a large role in your car's fuel efficiency, and one of the biggest factors is speed. For example, for every 8 km/h you drive above 80 km/h, it eats away at your fuel efficiency. Keeping your speed at 80 km/h or less can increase fuel efficiency by 7 to 14%.

            • Andre

              You'd probably need to do the actual test on the actual car configured exactly the sameas you normally drive to get a definitive answer. It's well known some apparently minor things can make big differences. Such as if you choose the wankmobile 21" wheels on your new Tesla, you'll get about 7% less range than if you stuck with the poverty-spec 19".

              For my Honda Fit hybrid, very gently accelerating on the flat it doesn't change up from 6th to top until it's doing damn near 100km/hr, and it's fairly quick to drop back to 6th when speed gets down near 90ish. From what I know of engine efficiency maps and the effect of gear ratios, I'm pretty confident it wouldn't be doing that if its economy peak weren't somewhere around that 100km/hr mark.

              Being the engineer nerd that I am, I've even checked it doing one tank of petrol aiming for a cruising speed of 90 for my commute, and another cruising at 100. No significant difference in economy. But putting the tyre pressure up from 24psi to 32psi improved economy by about 8%.

              To really make you roll your eyes, keeping the spare tyre mounted on the bonnet of my LandRover Defender improved fuel economy by about 6%. Yes, I've checked that too.

              • woodart

                my ancient (1990) ford falcon hated 90k. it was always hunting between gears ,so was much more efficient at 100k. which makes sense when you realise it was built to cruise at that speed. this speed is one that is used worldwide to check fuel usage, so some expert from NZ saying, lets do 90k immediatley buggers up the gearing and economy of most cars.

              • alwyn

                " Such as if you choose the wankmobile 21" wheels on your new Tesla, you'll get about 7% less range than if you stuck with the poverty-spec 19"."

                Are you sure about that? Most cars that offer different sized wheels for the same car do so in such a way that the circumference of the wheel is the same whatever size of wheel is chosen. They pick a tire width and a aspect ratio so that the circumference is the same for all models. That means they don't have to change the components of the odometer between the models.

                A Toyota Camry for example offers 18 or 19 inch wheels. The tires are 235/45R18 and 235/40R19. The circumference works out to be the same.

                Unless the Tesla is a real oddball, which is quite possible of course when you look at Musk, that would imply that the only thing that would affect the mpg figure would be the rolling resistance of the tire.

                I suspect that if the results are as you say something else has changed besides the wheel size. ie perhaps you only get the bigger wheels with a more powerful engine or something like that.

                • Andre

                  I'm as sure as I can be without actually doing the tests myself. And I'm not motivated to do that.

                  There's plenty of info just from googling Tesla range wheels. Some of it is the aero (or not) design of the wheels, but some of it is purely from the tyres.

                  Here's one piece with the official EPA ratings.


                  Or if a video explainer is more your thing:


                  I haven't watched it so I'm not sure exactly what it says. But I'd expect it to start out with talking about the aerodynamics, and how usually with a bigger wheels people will also go for wider stickier tyres, and how lower sidewalls will cause a bit more hysteresis losses as the sidewalls flex a bit more.

                  In your Camry example, with a 235/45R18 and 235/40R19, the actual tread width will probably be slightly wider on the 19, and the 19 is slightly more likely to have some sort of sidewall/curbing protection feature. Both those will have an aero effect, as well as increasing rolling hysteresis losses in the tyres as they flex. There won't be much difference, but there will be a difference and it's a real difference.

                  Personally, I'm not a fan of going below 110mm nominal sidewall height. To my taste, at 110mm sidewall, cornering sharpness is already more than anything ever needed for public road driving. Ride quality decreases and damage susceptibility from potholes etc goes up quite fast as the sidewall height decreases from 110mm. The more "performance oriented" tyre compounds also wear a lot faster and cost more when you need to replace them sooner.

            • Gypsy

              "Assuming your "reduced to social factories" hypothesis is correct, what do you think might be the driving force for this supposed trend?"

              I don't have a definitive answer, but some thoughts –

              1. The commercialisation of education. I'm a supporter of NGO involvement in education delivery, so I'm not talking about that. Governments are putting increasing pressure on education institutions to cut costs, to deliver more for less. Quality education, that promotes critical and independent thinking, costs.
              2. Culture wars. This is more difficult to articulate, but there is a move to drive culture change through schooling rather than through democratic processes. For example Critical Race Theory asks questions of institutions that should be on the table for discussion. But CRT has been well and truly corrupted by militant activists on campus, which is why parents (including many african americans) are pushing back against it.
              3. Aligned to 2. above – a drive to undermine conventional concepts of rational thought and empirical science. Just look at the furore over the letter from a group of academics suggesting that indigenous knowledge "falls far short of what we can define as science". Rather than actually debate the claims, the response was exemplified by a statement from Auckland vice-chancellor Dawn Freshwater, who said the letter had “caused considerable hurt and dismay among our staff, students and alumni”. It is not the job of an academic institution to protect it's students from hurt feelings. It is their job to educate their students. Tara McAllister (who is a Māori ecologist) described the academics letter as "anti-Indigenous ideas". IMHO this is an intellectually lazy critique, typical of what all too often passes for critique. A far more sensible and reasoned approach came from Kyle Gibson, who had the rigour to actually examine the academics motivations and claims. Gibson wrote “This debacle is alarming and I think we should all be concerned. These professors are taking a stand against racism; the backlash is as ironic as it is problematic.” and “Mātauranga Māori cannot be given parity with science, because it is not the same kind of thing as science. Mātauranga Māori should be given parity with other bodies of knowledge by being regarded with the same weight and respect afforded to all cultural knowledge. There is no respect in pretending that it is something that it can not be and should not try to be.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/125940471/science-cant-be-pkeh-or-mori-its-just-science. It’s not a matter of whether or not we agree with those thoughts. It’s a matter of seeing a single robust critique amongst a sea of claptrap.
              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Agree with your first point – university funding based on course/degree completions lowers academic standards and inflates grades year-on-year.

                Some countries have a better handle on it than others, and reap the long-term benefits of education that is free for students.


          • Gristle

            I think you are misunderstanding physics: the square rule law of aerodynamics is cheated here.

            Engine rev efficiency range just means that you select a gear to operate in the range and has nothing to do with the speed of the car.

            Aerodynamics on cars don't suddenly switch themselves on and off unless you are an F1 car or supercar. The 100km/h sweet spot usually extends downwards and encapsulates 80km/h.

            • Andre

              The bit you are missing is the range of efficiencies the engine operates at for a given power output.

              A modern engine that has a peak power of around say 160hp at 40% thermal efficiency simply won't be able to produce say 10hp anywhere near 40% efficiency anywhere in its rev range. Possibly only around 20% thermal efficiency.

              Nudge the demand up to around 20hp and it might have a rev range where a wider throttle gives it a thermal efficiency around 35%. Because it has less pumping losses dragging air past an almost closed throttle, and because when the spark happens there's more air in the cylinder compressed to higher density and temperature, resulting in better transfer of the fuel's heat energy. Basic thermodynamic cycle stuff.

              So it can end up the engine is only burning a wee bit more fuel per unit time for a much higher power output and higher speed, resulting in reduced fuel use over distance.

              Here's just the first random engine efficiency map I found. This one is a fairly conventional engine, from memory Atkinson cycle engines have somewhat more variation in efficiency because of the way the variable valve timing changes the effective compression ratio. But this one will do to illustrate the general idea.


              A modern compact car needs of the order of 20hp to go 100 km/hr. On that engine map it can give 20hp quite efficiently at around 1500rpm. Drop the speed to 80km/hr, the power demand drops to about 10hp (power required goes by speed cubed to first approximation), and the efficiencies at which the engine delivers 10hp are much lower.

      • Tricledrown 2.1.2

        Loss of life on our roads much lower and wear and tear on roads and vehicles much lower.

        Trucks only going 10 km/hr lower.

    • satty 2.2

      Without enforcing the lower speed limit (like significantly more regular speed camera sessions and finally increasing the speeding fines still on late 1990-levels), nobody is going to drive within the limits.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Here is some of the best analysis I have seen on the events in Afghanistan, and especially on the post take over tensions within the different fractions of the Taliban leadership…well worth your time if you have any interest or curiosity the future of Afghanistan and the region in general and or course the way in which the US conducted their occupation…fascinating stuff.

    The interview is with Antonio Giustozzi. Senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and visiting professor at King’s College London. His books include "The Islamic State in Khorasan" and "The Taliban at War."

    • Gezza 3.1
      • "if you have any interest or curiosity [in] the future of Afghanistan and the region in general ✅
      • and the way in which the US conducted their occupation ✅

      fascinating stuff."

      I'll have a gander …

  4. Tricledrown 4

    In Dunedin we have Vandervis promoting conspiracy theories and ivermectin.

    He may have had a chance of becoming mayor thats gone what an idiot.

    • tc 4.1

      Sounds like he's done everyone a favour admitting his deliberately provocative ways.

      A career in TalkBack radio/ MSM appears more suitable.

    • Forget now 4.2

      Here's the link for Tricledrown:

      ‘‘It is very unhelpful to have anyone pushing or spreading these views, let alone someone in leadership,’’ University of Otago Associate Prof James Ussher said…

      The ‘‘unrepentantly provocative’’ councillor disclosed this month he wanted to buy the elements of an alternative remedy, including anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin.

      Prof Ussher said the alternative treatments proposed were not supported by evidence.

      ‘‘There have been several trials that have investigated Ivermectin and they have failed to show a benefit.’’


      Vandervis is pretty much a troll, constantly looking to get his self-satisfied mug-shot into the paper and keep his public profile high. I try to avoid playing into his game, last thing I remember reading was his suggestion of; giving children matches to play with, rather than bothering with the expense of maintaining playgrounds.


      He actually won the mayoralty on FPP votes, but fortunately the Ōtepoti vote for councillors is conducted via STV! Which let the GP's Hawkins snatch the position with help from the (large) anyone-but-Vandervis vote.

      If I was to be worried about local government in Otago, I would be more concerned about; Michael Laws, and his mates, over in the ORC. Just as despicable, but far more competent – for the interests they are paid to represent (allegedly).

  5. Sanctuary 5

    When you've got Janet Wilson, Jane Clifton and Matthew Hooton all concern trolling over Judith's leadership in quick succession you just know something is up in the Kremlin.

        • Gypsy

          I had a glance. I must say her reading matter is rather 'eclectic'. Douglas Murray, Rian Malan and Simon Winchester!

          • Sacha

            I liked the part where she thinks she is a 'decent' person.

            • Gypsy

              Radio is a fascinating beast, particularly commercial talk radio. In the last year Newstalk ZB (with the likes of Hosking and HDPA) have really hurt National Radio, particularly in the Hosking slot. On one hand we have a highly popular government, on the other a morning radio host who is openly antagonistic to them lifting listener volumes. It does show the cult of personality is alive and well.

              • Gezza

                RNZ is too Woke, repetitive and dry for my taste. About an hour of Morning Report very occasionally is my limit.

                That said I find the ads & Hosking on NewstalkZb equally strident & unpleasant. I rarely listen to him.

                • Gypsy

                  "RNZ is too Woke, repetitive and dry for my taste."

                  I rarely listen in, but on the basis of the times I have, I agree with you.

                  "That said I find the ads & Hosking on NewstalkZb equally strident & unpleasant. "

                  It's sometimes background noise in my household. But that's about all.

                  • roblogic

                    I listen in a fair amount, about 50/50 between RNZ and Hauraki, with a bit of Coast now and then. Agree that RNZ's hour long documentaries are quite hit and miss, as are the opinionators (Te Radar is always a hit). But their music programmes are reliably great, and they have good interviews with interesting people quite often. Mediawatch and "In the House" can be fun and informative too.

                    • Gypsy

                      That clip reminded me of a critic's comment about the series 'Yes Minister' that went something like 'the program is documentary dressed up as satire'.

                • millsy

                  We need a smooth jazz/chill/lol Fi/trip hop station in this country. I cannot imagine anything worse than someone blathering on about stuff in the morning.

                  • Gezza

                    Don't get me started on Breakfast TV. I find both TV1's & TV3's offerings abysmal viewing. For different reasons. Are they typical of overseas BTV formats at all?

                    Maybe I've just become the classic grumpy old man, but the few times I force myself to watch a few minutes of either of these awful, boring shows, it's usually in the hope of catching a political interview on some hot topical issue.

                    And often as not, if I succeed, the interview turns out to be not worth watching.

              • DukeEll

                The irony of this comment….

                • I Feel Love

                  Indeed Duke. Also "woke" which means many things to many people. And the tinhat paranoid reveals, "I used to be a Labour voter" vibe type commentator. Also a Slater reader?

            • AB

              In my experience, truly decent people are more likely to say that they "try to" be a decent person. Their decency is actually manifested by their uncertainty in this matter.

            • tc

              Note it's not paywalled and in the entertainment section so everyone can get a few laughs from it.

    • weka 5.2

      I'll believe it when I see it. How many times has JC been about to be rolled?

      • Gypsy 5.2.1

        It's too soon…but it will happen by this time next year.

        • weka

          I don't remember who this was, but the other day on TS someone posited that JC is a placeholder. Makes sense to me. If true, replacing her would be a strategic move for the party and timed well.

          • weka

            not to deny there are factions in National.

          • Gypsy

            That was me. My theory is that Collins is doing the heavy lifting of being an attack dog, and the new face of national will look so much more moderate by comparison. That's why I'm picking a female (my guess is Nicola Willis) or, as a long shot, the re-branded Simon Bridges.

            • roblogic

              They are still interim options IMO. The Nat hierarchy has anointed Christopher Luxon as their great white hope for the future. There's a reason he left his top notch gig at Air NZ

              • Gypsy

                They may well have, but I suspect that narrative is waning. Politically at least, Luxon is no John Key. Key had wide appeal across NZ society, he was unencumbered by any strong personal ideology, and so was able to be both the jester and the hatchet. He was also sharp as a tack. Luxon is bright but he has religious beliefs that (regrettably in my opinion) would make him problematic in the increasingly woke world we are living in.

                • Incognito

                  Interesting. Do you think religious beliefs in general are problematic in NZ politics or specifically Luxon’s beliefs, whatever they are? And what on Earth is the “woke world” that we are living in? Is that the post-modern version of the Enlightenment?

                  • Gypsy

                    "Do you think religious beliefs in general are problematic in NZ politics or specifically Luxon’s beliefs, whatever they are? "

                    Luxon is an evangelical Christian. His personal views are socially and morally conservative. I may be wrong, but it seems to me NZ has moved on from some elements of that worldview. He has made a good attempt at reconciling his private views with public office, but I'm not convinced that would wash in the heat of political battle if he was a party leader. (RNZ did a good piece in this recently).

                    "And what on Earth is the “woke world” that we are living in? Is that the post-modern version of the Enlightenment?"

                    On the contrary. The enlightenment welcomed diversity of opinion. It promoted liberty and reason, and challenged the traditional power structures of religion and monarchies. The world we live in today is increasingly illiberal, increasingly intolerant of ideas that the power elite find uncomfortable. It has manifested in, of all places, University campuses, but it goes well beyond those spaces. Certain issues seem to attract more venom than others…trans activists are amongst the worst. And this intolerance targets people from across the spectrum. Julie Bindel is a case in point. The situation has become so ludicrous that the UK is passing a law to 'compel' free speech at Universities.

                    • Incognito

                      Sorry, you’ve completely lost me. Is the “power elite” woke or does it actively but covertly advocate/promote wokeness among the great unwashed? The latter could make some sense if its intention is to promote infighting and some kind of civil or tribal war while the elite watches on safely from above and collects the money and gains more power and control. Is that it?

                    • Sacha

                      I love that the 'power elite' is somehow academics rather than big money and the suits who do their bidding. They must be laughing.

                    • Incognito []

                      No good has ever come from academia. We all know that. I mean, what have the mad scientists ever done for us?

                  • Gypsy

                    "Is the “power elite” woke or does it actively but covertly advocate/promote wokeness among the great unwashed?"

                    More of the latter. The 'great unwashed' are (usually) sincere, but are being manipulated by others. This is possible (IMHO) because more and more places of learning have been reduced to social factories that are more concerned with inculcating social theory than teaching critical thinking.

                    • Incognito

                      I don’t see the great unwashed as some kind of ‘noble savages’ and being morally more pure and sincere than their slightly more ‘elevated’ kin. It is all a social construct and each class makes its own rules for intra- and inter-class behaviour, as has been the case throughout human history. Secondary and Tertiary Education is a little more than diploma or degree factories and there are some amazing thinkers and creative young people coming through, but they have not broken down the Walls of Power yet. Most manipulation seems to happen through various forms of media, including social media, of course. Paradoxically, among the vast desert waste lands of mind numbing crap you’ll find oases of critical thinking with some real rare gems.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      This is possible (IMHO) because more and more places of learning have been reduced to social factories that are more concerned with inculcating social theory than teaching critical thinking.

                      Assuming your "reduced to social factories" hypothesis is correct, what do you think might be the driving force for this supposed trend?

                  • Gypsy

                    "Paradoxically, among the vast desert waste lands of mind numbing crap you’ll find oases of critical thinking with some real rare gems."

                    I agree. My concern is that they will be 'drowned' in the mire of what universities and colleges are becoming.

                    • Incognito

                      The University of Auckland just achieved its highest ever ranking on the THE global list. The ‘mire’ must be widespread then and humanity is going to Hell in a handcart, culturally, socially, intellectually, and humanly.

                  • Gypsy

                    "The University of Auckland just achieved its highest ever ranking on the THE global list. "

                    I could ask whether that's an indictment of the restsmiley

            • Patricia Bremner

              Yes, Nicola getting in strategic positions in the photos.

              • Gypsy

                She made a massive blunder backing Muller, but she's smart enough and tough enough to recover from that. A big factor will be national's strategic approach to the next election. If they are serious about eating into labour's current lead, they need to present a younger and more dynamic group of principal spokespeople. Willis, Erica Stanford, Chris Penk, Simeon Brown need to feature more, alongside some of the more 'saleable' senior MP's. It;s a punt, but they can't possibly do any worse than the current leadership.

          • AB

            A place holder – literally "lieu tenant" – the most expendable junior officer in any battle.

      • Jester 5.2.2

        Like a stopped clock…eventually it will be right.

      • Chris 5.2.3

        Yes, like the bullying manager who always keeps their job. But politics is a little different…

    • Gezza 5.4

      Re Janet Wilson, Clifton & Hooton all concern-trolling over Collins' leadership …

      Luke Malpass gives Collins a surprisingly sympathetic [embedded video] interview (ignoring the headline-grabbing title) where she manages to not put her foot in it & sounds generally quite sensible & reasonable for most of it.

      Had to smile when he asks her: " How are you feeling, as leader of the Opposition?"


  6. Jenny how to get there 6

    ….Why fewer businesses are applying for the wage subsidy this time around

    ….. Newshub has been contacted by a number of employees saying they had been asked to come into work rather than stay home like they did last year, and Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Wednesday said only one application had been received by a firm with more than 500 employees.


    More companies continuing to work through Level 4 lockdown, indicates business has less tolerance for lockdown than last time.

    Increased business intolerance to lockdown will see business lobby putting pressure to lift the lockdown whether the virus is contained or not.

    The crunch time for a showdown with the anti-lockdown business lobby may be next Monday.

    Will the latest outbreak be under control by then?

    Ironically more businesses, (especially bigger busninesses with over 500 employees), working through the lockdown lessens the chance of controling the spread of the virus in the first place.

    Can the business lobby have it both ways, working through lockdown, and then demanding the lockdown be lifted if the virus is still spreading uncontrolled through the community?

  7. Gezza 7

    Getting a “Page not found” result for this press release in the Feed part of TS


    • weka 7.1

      it's there now.

      There were a bunch of broken links the other day when I was researching for the BDMRR post, maybe the government is making changes to their websites?

  8. Gezza 8

    ” The BFD explained how it came to host the now-infamous video of Wiles and her friend on the beach: “You may be wondering why it is The BFD that is making this [story] public. The simple reason is that we are not part of the Prime Minister’s Team of $55 million. This story was given to 1News”… which “spiked” the story five days later.

    “The reason given was that it wasn’t a politician so there was no public interest in the story. Make no mistake, this story was suppressed by an editor at 1News.”

    The news stories initially focused on Wiles for what was deemed hypocritical behaviour given she has repeatedly told the nation masks should be worn outside and that people should stay close to home during the lockdown. But the focus quickly switched to Judith Collins when she made the monumental blunder of calling Wiles “a big, fat hypocrite”.

    The story instantly became one about Collins’ lack of judgment and her suitability to be National’s leader. Her defence that her accusation was simply a common expression and had no connection to Wiles’ weight didn’t wash.

    Now, National looks as if it might be trying to turn the tables by exploiting the extensive suspicion that much of the media is in thrall to the government. It’s very hard to see a Facebook post by the party’s respected deputy leader, Dr Reti, asking for “thoughts” as anything other than an attempt to stir that particular pot, which is already on a rapid simmer.

    National will be hoping that as more people come to believe the media is influenced by government money, the more easily they will be persuaded that its politicians are unfairly facing overwhelmingly hostile journalists.

    A sure sign that the media itself is uncomfortably aware of the public’s perception of its Faustian bargain is the fact that the nation’s two biggest news sites have already felt obliged to deny they are operating under its influence.”

    National will also be hoping that the Prime Minister will be obliged at some point to deny that her munificent handouts exert any influence on editorial coverage — which would flush the question right out into the open.

    In fact, she has already done that twice in Parliament but the public unfortunately wouldn’t have any idea about that because — surprise! — it wasn’t reported in the mainstream media, despite the significance of the topic to a democracy.

    And it wasn’t as if the exchange in July was low-key or colourless. In fact, it was one of the more memorable exchanges in the House.

    Judith Collins asked the Prime Minister: “What does she say to people who are concerned that her $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund — which includes numerous criteria for media to adhere to — is influencing the editorial decisions of media outlets in New Zealand?”

    Grant Robertson burst out laughing, while Ardern declaimed emphatically, “I would abso-loot-ely reject that!”. Then, grinning broadly and stifling a laugh, she added: “I would put the question to the media and ask whether they agree with that sentiment.”

    It was an absurd response given the media is hardly going to be an impartial witness in its own case when it has been accused of having been effectively bought by $55 million of government money.

    However, Ardern didn’t realise she was in trouble until David Seymour asked a more specific question: “What then would happen to a media outlet that received money under the fund and wanted to report a story deemed inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is one of the requirements to adhere to?”

    Ardern’s smile vanished. She replied: “I absolutely reject the idea that there is political influence in broadcasting and media!”

    She sat down quickly to Opposition cries of “Answer the question!” — which she manifestly hadn’t.

    Yet, somehow, the Press Gallery didn’t see this dramatic exchange about a fundamental aspect of democracy as worth reporting — which again raises the question of media impartiality.”

    “One thing seems certain as the issue of impartiality comes further into focus. If Collins or Seymour asks the Prime Minister again about the media fund influencing political coverage, the exchange will be much more likely to be reported.

    While the outrage directed at Dr Wiles has already faded, the ripples from TVNZ failing to cover her chatting unmasked on the beach and paddling in the shallows are spreading a long way beyond Judges Bay.”


    Makes good points.

    • Pete 8.1

      'This story was 'suppressed' by an editor"?

      I wrote a letter to the editor of a big newspaper recently. My opinion was 'suppressed.' I wrote another last week. My opinion wasn't suppressed. I mean one they didn't print and one they did.

      Every day editors decide what stories they're going to run with, which they're going to feature, and so on. Choosing to feature a story or not as a matter of suppressing or not? Who decides what should be featured and why? Who decides what the public is likely to be interested in? Who decides if a story is a dead end? Who considers the 'why?' of running a story?

      If an All Black had cycled 5km and sat at Judges Bay there was more likelihood of it being a typical shock! horror! exposé.

      Cameron Slater was pissed off that 1News did not slaughter Wiles. He expected the story to be explode out of his strange mind as the media stop press scandal of the year.

      The cries about the poor quality of our media, the lowest common denominator way they operate, sometimes ascend to caterwauling about our media being crap.

      One agency didn't get in the gutter to play and some are upset. Nothing like blood on the floor, a feeding frenzy as sport.

      The good thing about the Wiles situation is that Slater himself got attention. The questions about bankruptcy and suggestions about the use of pleas around ill-health and avoiding financial responsibility have come to mind again.

      And that if the ordinary media operated at the level Slater has and does, and as he expected from 1News this time, he would have not been or heard from again, he would have been destroyed.

      • Gezza 8.1.1

        Slater’s really just a bit player in the overall scheme of things, in that article. The point being stressed by the grizzling Oppo Pollies & their supporters – and addressed by the writer of that Opinion Piece – is that there is a growing perception NZ mainstream media have been bought off by Ardern's government, & they are consequently not "asking them the hard questions", & holding them to account.

        Further, that some reporters/opinion writers are unfairly ignoring opportunities to report the parties & leaders who ARE, or giving them a hard time instead of the government.

        I might say, I'm one who thinks there's some truth in this. (Although Collins' claiming that they all give Ardern an easy time by simply asking "how she feels" at her near-daily standups is basically BS.)

        • Tiger Mountain

          Mr Slater is no bit player. He was a late night phone confidant of ex PM Key (as admitted in the NZ Parliament). Slater used to get first dibs on some OIA releases via the Prime Ministers Office. Slater and Collins were a tag team and seem still to be going on the recent Wiles stalk.

          Oily Whale Oil was a significant part of the Key era “two track strategy” as exposed in Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics”–whereby the godkey was the publicly likeable guy, while all sorts of very nasty shit indeed was going down behind the scenes.

          • Gezza

            Yes I know the sleazer's background, TM.

            He's obviously looking to make a comeback, tag-teaming with Collins in it up to her neck. Pity he's been given so much oxygen already. The BFD seemed to be getting minimal attention & possibly was even in terminal decline – & I liked it that way.

            All I meant was the complaining about msm media being bought by the govt & thus not prepared to properly hold the govt to account has been building for some time – without Cameron Slater featuring in the mix.

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Another right wing radio talk back host dies from Covid after espousing antvax conspiracy theories.In Colorado.

    There won't be any left soon .

    Tucker Carlson admits he lies a lot to make sure his twisted view of the world is promoted.Has refused to say he is vaccinated which means he is.

    • Andre 9.1

      There won't be any left soon .

      A few of them survive. And sometimes end up even more problematic than they were before. eg Joe Rogan.

      I gotta say though, it's a truly bizarre political and marketing strategy to promote things that make one's audience more likely to get sick and maybe even die.

    • joe90 9.2

      Good riddance to vile trash.

      Conservative firebrand Bob Enyart, the pastor of the Denver Bible Church and indelible talk show host, has died from COVID-19, his radio co-host announced Monday on Facebook.


      Enyart and his wife refused to get the vaccine due to abortion concerns, he said on his website.

      In October, Enyart successfully sued the state over mask mandates and capacity limits in churches, a rare legal victory against broad public health mandates instituted during the pandemic.

      Pushing the limits never bothered Enyart.

      He once traveled to New Zealand for the sole purpose of being arrested with a “Clinton is a Rapist” banner, according to a 1999 Westword profile.

      On his old TV show, Bob Enyart Live, the host would “gleefully read obituaries of AIDS sufferers while cranking ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen,” Westword reported.


  10. Gezza 11

    Has Lynn now done some work in the back end of TS, as promised?

    Just noticed I've been able to make several comments in rapid succession on me wee iPad2 without having the site hang & refuse to let me enter text after one or two postings, as had been happening for quite some time.

    Don't seem to need to do constant iPad re-starts, as before. 😀 👍🏼

    • Gezza 11.1

      Yes. Definitely a big improvement. Problem has disappeared.

      Thanks Lynn.

      • Gezza 11.1.1

        (Well … problem maybe not completely disappeared. Had to close out of TS & reopen the site to be able to enter text this 3rd time. But at least it didn't require an iPad restart, like before.)

  11. Gezza 12

    A dispute over the sale of a family home in Lyall Bay, Wellington, has pitted a father against two of his children, who say the property was meant to be kept in the family.

    Christine Cowan (Ngāpuhi-Nui-Tonu) buried the placentas of her children there and believed her parents agreed the house was to be hers and remain the family base.


    Seems to be a clash of Pākehā property law vs tikanga Māori & tapu Māori. Wonder how this will eventually be resolved?

  12. Gezza 13

    Claire Trevett. Latest UMR poll results:

    A poll taken in the third week of the Delta outbreak has shown a nudge up in support for the Labour Party and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern…:

    The UMR poll from August 31 to September 6 shows:

    Labour up two points to 45 per cent
    National back down to 26 per cent.
    Act steady at 13 per cent
    Green Party 6 per cent
    NZ First 4.1 per cent (seriously ??)

    (In early August, Labour was at 43 per cent in the same poll – it's lowest result since February last year, before Covid-19 arrived.)

    Preferred PM:
    Ardern back up 5 points to 55 per cent
    Collins unchanged at 14 per cent


    Polling completed before Collins latest foot-in-mouth episode.

  13. Gezza 14

    Another Auckland lockdown escaper caught ! 😡

    An Aucklander who fled the city’s level 4 lockdown to go to Whakatāne this week may face prosecution. Police have confirmed they located the Aucklander overnight on Monday and the person was taken into custody.


  14. Stephen D 16

    So now Denmark is the paragon of COVID response. Being held up as the latest model Aotearoa can aspire to.

    Pretty much everything is open. Life as normal.

    Woud we be comfortable/happy to be able to eat and drink pre COVID style, with 500 cases and a handful of deaths every week?


    • bwaghorn 16.1

      I think we will. Once the willing are vaccinated, the tolerance for lockdowns will be gone , might pay to ramp up our ICU capacity .

      part of living is dying,

    • Andre 16.2

      If it were a binary between that and level 4 (or 3), I would choose what Denmark's got.

      But I'd be happier with something a bit more like a long-term level 2 with vaccine passports and masking in public places, potential superspreader events curtailed etc.

      • bwaghorn 16.2.1

        For how long , ?

        This is here to stay(which to my shame is the opposite of what I said when it first popped up)

        I can live without concerts and big sporting fixtures but many cant and will tip out any government that try's to shit them down for years.

        Labour ain't perfect but fuck having those other2 running parties show .

        • Andre

          Oh all right. I'll settle for just vaccination passports within NZ.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          The plague had repeated but scattered events for another 8 or so years. Do we really thing life will return to normal relatively soon.

          I'm happy to have the occasional lockdown when needed for a while yet.

  15. greywarshark 17

    What the Mulloon Institute is doing in Oz. I wonder what effect they may have on fire prevention and fighting? Their determined approach to improving their ground conditions and management is registering increasing acceptance and change – but it has taken time; there have been deaths bit others carry on the baton.


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