Open mike 16/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 16th, 2022 - 181 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

181 comments on “Open mike 16/03/2022 ”

  1. Jester 1

    Sounds like NZ is opening up sooner than expected. This is great, although several on here seemed to like being closed to the world.

    A few bad polls really gets things happening.

    Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Tourists from Australia allowed back in New Zealand next month, others to follow soon after – NZ Herald

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      Some people have short memories. Remember what happened last time we let people from Australia in?

      Covid happened.

      • Alan 1.1.1

        covid is already happening here big time, have you not noticed?

        • Muttonbird

          Yeah, and it came from Australia. Why invite even more in at this time?

          • Jimmy

            The rest of the world is opening up and moving on, we need to as well. Time to start living with it.

            • Tricledrown

              Caution has served us well keeping covid Alpha,Delta and Omricon at bay using the ditch has meant our economy,health system and death rate has the best results of any country in the world.Bar none Jimmy .

              • higherstandard

                statistics – we are all orders of magnitude more likely to catch Covid from someone currently in NZ than from an overseas arrival.

                economics – the extra income and additional workers entering will be welcomed by many.

            • Shanreagh

              You seem to. conveniently forget that we are weeks/months behind the rest of the world in our outbreaks. Surely it is foolish to follow a timetable set by others that may not be relevant to us here in NZ at this time. Or are you an 'open up and too hell with it' supporter?

              Measured approaches have suited us well and will continue to do so. There is no rush while we are still surging with Omicron surely?

            • McFlock

              If the rest of the world jumped off a cliff, should we follow?

              • Shanreagh

                Jimmy seems to think so…..we just learn to live with it and if that means jumping off a cliff because other places have then so be it.

                NB before we have actually had it go through and peak.

                Methinks more looking at what is happening here in NZ and less looking at what is happening other places in the world could make a difference.

          • Herodotus

            What do you know that the rest of us don’t? Few of the outbreaks into Auckland were never confirmed as to how. There were cases of tourist having COVID confirmed eg Wellington but no community outbreak.

      • dv 1.1.2

        With numbers we are getting , it appears covid is already in.

        (Yesterday USA 17k, nz 15k infections)

          • lprent

            This has been known for at least 6-9 months. The effectiveness of these vaccines wears off.

            It will take moat of decade at a minimum to figure out the cocktail of properties to get vaccines that are close to sterilising and that last for a long time. It will then take a even longer time to be sure of that.

            It alwasy seems to puzzle uncreatives that everything in engineering from building bridges to making vaccines or medicines is an incremental process towards perfection.

            I guess it is because they never create or do much themselves.


            • Shanreagh

              If you get Covid the antibodies that are built up are transitory. The transitory nature of the antibodies was found out very early on after people thought that herd immunity could work for populations and it was found it did not.


              They found that reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 in people who had not received a vaccine could occur as soon as 3 months after initial infection, with a median risk of reinfection within 16 months, under endemic conditions.



              'Various studies have shown that an immune response involving memory T and B cells emerges after covid-19 infection. But people’s immune systems tend to respond in very different ways to natural infection, notes Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh. “The immune response after vaccination is much more homogenous,” she says, adding that most people generally have a really good response after vaccination. Data from the clinical trials of the leading vaccine candidates have found T and B cell reactivity.'


              I have said/thought all along that it is the relationship of the corona virus to the common cold virus that is its biggest strength as a virus, to give it human characteristics it can 'duck and dive' and be 'nimble on its feet' and is a bit of a shape shifter.

              It makes sense to me that the annual influenza vaccine could come with or without a covid booster. I know I would be a starter ……

              Lprent I take your point about being creative is taken…..all creativity is incremental in my view. Eureka moments are few and far between and I much prefer Pasteur’s view that ‘Chance favours the prepared mind’. It applies everywhere from science to actual art. Another way is ‘practice makes perfect’ or rather than ‘perfect’ opens your eyes to other possibilities.

            • Blazer

              I would love to see your evidence that it has been 'known' for 6-9 months.

    • Peter 1.2

      I guess there are some who think nothing happens unless there is a poll coming or been to indicate action is needed.

      It's like vaccine mandates and other steps in the covid battle. Did people really expect mandates would be on forever, borders would never reopen, MIQ would be permanent? That big groups would never be able to gather?

      • Shanreagh 1.2.1

        Yes agree…obviously all those protestors at Parliament failed to react in a common sense way

        Did people really expect mandates would be on forever, borders would never reopen, MIQ would be permanent? That big groups would never be able to gather?

        and probably answered 'yes' to your question. Some maliciously of course and some just went 'oh right if XXXXX (insert favourite antivax/mandate mis- & dis-information spouting group) says so it must be right.'

    • lprent 1.3

      Jester is just a fool.

      This was all announced by November last year. Got delayed by a month due to the Omicron outbreak.

      Yawn… I bet the fool doesn't know the rest of the seqence because that would involve paying attention. Something that that fools have a deficit of.

      • Shanreagh 1.3.1

        Yes agree but but you can't expect anyone to pay attention, or think or even remember back to November 2021 can you? Heavens that is at least 4 months ago.

        Caution has served us well, a staged reopening has served us well, being flexible in bringing actions forward or back depending on circumstances at the time has served us well. I am actually hearing some around saying perhaps we are being too hasty…..

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Top US general (retired) provides a military appraisal of the invasion.

    PETRAEUS: there are many reasons for the Russians' abysmal performance. First of all, they're fighting against a very determined, quite capable Ukrainian force that is composed of special ops, conventional forces, territorial forces and even private citizens, all of whom are determined not to allow Russia to achieve its objectives. They are fighting for their national survival, their homeland and their way of life, and they have the home-field advantage, knowing the terrain and communities.

    But beyond that, the Russians are just surprisingly unprofessional. They clearly have very poor standards when it comes to performing basic tactical tasks such as achieving combined arms operations, involving armor, infantry, engineers, artillery and mortars. They are very poor at maintaining their vehicles and weapon systems and have abandoned many of them. They are also poor at resupply and logistical tasks.

    The Russians also have found it difficult to go off-road. Their wheeled vehicles get mired in mud very quickly. The ground is not frozen the way they had hoped it would be. Even tracked vehicles seem to be getting mired in mud. And the Russians are just not performing sufficient preventive maintenance on their equipment.

    I've served in mechanized units, with a mix of tanks and armored personnel carriers. And every single time you stop, the driver and the crew members are outside checking road wheels and final drives, pumping grease, topping off fluid levels. If you don't do preventive maintenance, then you will end up with such vehicles breaking down.

    Beyond that, the Russians just have relatively unimpressive equipment, given the investment supposedly made over the past decade or so. They certainly don't have equipment comparable to what the United States has.

    they didn't crater the runways in Ukraine in the first hour of combat the way we did in Iraq in 2003 to completely deny the Iraqi Air Force any opportunities to take off. In fact, the Ukrainian Air Force is still flying.

    The 40-mile traffic jam we saw outside of Kyiv — this is just incompetent movement control for which normally there is doctrine and organizational structures and procedures. And then it took them days just to disperse that 40-mile column into the tree cover as opposed to being out in the open.

    The Russians have been unable to take down the Ukrainian command and control system and unable to take down President Volodymyr Zelensky's access to social media and the internet. So, their cyberwarfare capabilities that seemed impressive in earlier campaigns, when the Russians took Crimea in 2014 for instance, are a whole lot less impressive this time.

    Usually, the rule of thumb for urban warfare is that it requires at least five attackers to every defender. In this case, I'd argue it may be more than that because the Ukrainians are so resourceful. They will work together to prevent the Russians from taking urban areas the way that infantry and combined arms normally would do, such as the way the United States military cleared and then held cities during the Iraq War in, e.g., Ramadi and Fallujah as well as parts of Baghdad and other cities.

    Such big-city battles require you to take every building and clear every room, and then you have to leave forces behind in each building or else the enemy will come back behind you and reoccupy them. So, it's incredibly soldier-intensive. The Russians have nowhere near enough soldiers to do that even for Kyiv, much less all of the other cities.

    It appears that they have taken more fatalities in the first two weeks of the war than the US took in 20 years in Iraq; somewhere around 5,000 or so by most accounts, which is just stunning.

    I think that the Biden administration has performed impressively, and I say this as someone who publicly criticized the administration for the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and the conduct of the withdrawal in August 2021.

    All this suggests what he calls an ongoing quagmire, and it makes the prospect of a negotiated resolution the only way out…

    • Blazer 2.1

      Interesting critique coming from a General in an army that had every resource and couldn't defeat the Taleban in….20 years!

      Ukraine is being wrecked and a negotiated peace is urgent.

      Ukraine feels betrayed by the U.S guarantees it was given Q1 2021.

      Too much face to lose for Russia to withdraw.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Conventional wisdom had it that Afghanistan is unique due to terrain, tribalism, guerilla warfare type conditions. They fought the British Empire to a standstill. The Russians spent years there back in the '80s & couldn't win. The US ignored tradition out of hubris, I reckon, and learnt the lesson for themselves, afresh.

        • Macro

          The US ignored tradition out of hubris, I reckon, and learnt the lesson for themselves, afresh.


      • Tricledrown 2.1.2

        Blazer the pentagon said it would take a much larger force to maintain control in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Politicians made the decisions.

        Empires like testing their military so they can learn and test how good their tactics and equipment if you win a war outright there is no ongoing military spending

        The military industrial complex.

        Wants to keep it's budget an in peace time those budgets get cut.

        Look at NZ no Airforce just a scare force.

        The US has learned that much of its equipment didn't work dust and a determined guerilla army with little resources showed the US military up.

        Russia is finding out the same lesson but with out the deep pockets of the western alliances.

      • Gosman 2.1.3

        What guarantee did the US make in Q1 2021? It certainly wasn't that the US would militarily attack Russia if they invaded. That would have required Ukraine to be part of NATO or to have a formal defence pact with the US. The most that the Ukrainians should have expected is EXACTLY what the US is doing now which is imposing extremely tough sanctions on Russia plus both financial and military aid.

        • lprent

          The US did make a security guarantee in 1994. Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. Obviously the Russians have spectacularly failed to live up to its provisions in the first 3 parts since 2014 when they annexed Ukrainian territory, directly encouraged and supported separatist successions, and started a sequence of a number of economic attacks on Ukraine.

          Ukraine. Memorandum on Security Assurances

          Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America,

          Welcoming the Accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon state,

          Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

          Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,

          Confirm the following:

          1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.
          2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
          3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the Principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.
          4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.
          5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state.
          6. Ukraine, The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.

          This Memorandum will become applicable upon signature.

          Signed in four copies having equal validity in the Ukrainian, English, and Russian languages.

          There is a summary of analysis on wikipedia about the agreement.

          Under the agreement, the signatories offered Ukraine "security assurances" in exchange for its adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The memorandum bundled together a set of assurances that Ukraine had already held from the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) Final Act, the United Nations Charter and the Non-Proliferation Treaty[1] but the Ukrainian government found it valuable to have these assurances in a Ukraine-specific document.[25][26]

          The Budapest Memorandum was negotiated at political level, but it is not entirely clear whether the instrument is devoid entirely of legal provisions. It refers to assurances, but it does not impose a legal obligation of military assistance on its parties.[1][26] According to Stephen MacFarlane, a professor of international relations, "It gives signatories justification if they take action, but it does not force anyone to act in Ukraine."[25] In the US, neither the George H. W. Bush administration nor the Clinton administration was prepared to give a military commitment to Ukraine, and they did not believe the US Senate would ratify an international treaty and so the memorandum was adopted in more limited terms.[26] The memorandum has a requirement of consultation among the parties "in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning the … commitments" set out in the memorandum.[27] Whether or not the memorandum sets out legal obligations, the difficulties that Ukraine has encountered since early 2014 may cast doubt on the credibility of future security guarantees that are offered in exchange for nonproliferation commitments.[28] Regardless, the United States publicly maintains that "the Memorandum is not legally binding", calling it a "political commitment".[29]

          Ukrainian international law scholars such as Olexander Zadorozhny maintain that the Memorandum is an international treaty because it satisfies the criteria for one, as fixed by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) and is "an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law".[30]

          China and France gave security assurances for Ukraine in separate documents. China's governmental statement of 4 December 1994 did not call for mandatory consultations if questions arose but only for "fair consultations". France's declaration of 5 December 1994 did not mention consultations.[1]

          Scholars assumed at the time that Ukraine's decision to sign the Budapest Memorandum was proof of Ukraine's development as a democracy and its desire to step away from the post-Soviet world and make first steps toward a European future. For 20 years, until the 2014 Russian military occupation of regions of Ukraine,[31] the Ukrainian nuclear disarmament was an exemplary case of nuclear non-proliferation.

          It certainly gives the direct justification of military and financial support by the US and UK since Russia has invaded Ukraine.

          My big issue with this is that Russia has effectively destroyed nonproliferation agreements. At the time that this was signed, Ukraine had the 3rd largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. While they didn't have the launch codes, what they did have was a lot of enriched uranium and plutonium, plus the local knowledge about how to create tactical nuclear weapons.

          I doubt that Russia would have invaded if Ukraine had tactical nukes. Those large formations of Russian armour would have been sitting ducks. The damage to Ukraine would have been less than the indiscriminate bombardment of cities and the civilians in them that Russian dumb weapons has been doing in their current list of atrocities.

          What the US, UK, EU and everyone else is doing is the absolute minimum response required to stop a tactical anti invasion nuclear arms race from aggressive fascist style states like Russia.

          Because all security guarantees of ‘neutral’ states outside of military alliances "the Ukrainian nuclear disarmament was an exemplary case of nuclear non-proliferation." are now demonstrated to be a pitiful shield. If you have one set of idiotic arseholes like Putin and his flunkies – then there will be more.

          • roblogic

            As well as re-starting nuclear proliferation, Russia has effectively destroyed the possibility of a buffer zone of neutral states, and it has alienated potentially friendly neighbours. Even Switzerland has called it “a gross violation of international law” and imposed sanctions.

            I appreciated this narrative background to the war, with perhaps a slight nod to Shakespeare…
            The King Must Die

          • Dennis Frank

            Your conclusion makes sense to me. I wonder how many of the movers & shakers abroad have figured it out yet. Folks like Kissinger & Brezinski probably got it immediately. I hope they spread advice around & into the NSC & CFR particularly.

            There's a lesson along the lines of Chamberlain/Munich to be learnt at the top level of western geopolitical decision-making. Time to start brainstorming a redesign of the incentive-structure of the UN Security Council, to ensure compliance with membership conditions & deter military adventures…

    • Molly 2.2

      Is this the same Gen. David Petraeus, that was exposed as a media manipulator, lied to the FBI, and warmonger that contributed to even more harm in Iraq and Afghanistan?

      IIRC, it was Rolling Stones articles I read back then, but unfortunately they are behind a paywall.. So, here's John Pilger, writing for the News International confirming the first which is relevant now:

      You have talked about ‘wars of perception’ in which the news media plays a major role. What do you mean by this?

      The term belongs to General David Petraeus, the current US commander in Afghanistan, who wrote in the 2006 US Counterinsurgency Manual that what mattered was not so much military superiority as persuading the public at home that you were winning, regardless of the reality. In other words, the public is the true enemy of governments that pursue unpopular colonial wars which can only be ‘won’ if the public is successfully deceived.

      Another Pilger piece in the Guardian, is a reminder of the role of media in times of war and has a timely closing paragraph, given yesterday's court decision:

      In my film, I asked Assange how WikiLeaks dealt with the draconian secrecy laws for which Britain is famous. "Well," he said, "when we look at the Official Secrets Act labelled documents, we see a statement that it is an offence to retain the information and it is an offence to destroy the information, so the only possible outcome is that we have to publish the information." These are extraordinary times.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Yes, I noticed that stuff at the time. When top military guys do pr, they usually spin on behalf of their govt – which became evident to me in the late 1960s (Vietnam War) – but observers must develop the habit of relating their comments to context to interpret them accurately.

        Since he's now retired, we can be reasonably confident he has no current political agenda. His reputation is sufficiently flawed (by incident such as those you cited) that he would be unlikely to be offered an ambassador's position, for instance. He mentioned that he has been a Biden critic. Therefore it's very likely that he's a straightshooter in the above appraisal…

    • lprent 2.3

      The problem for the Russian negoitiators is that they are effectively losing as Ukraine are holding them to a standstill and the sanctions bite into the a Russian army resupply.

      There is no point in Ukraine conceding anything apart from ceasefire while the Russians withdraw and pay reparations. And Ukraine enters NATO.

      That last is because Russia has no credibility. Having broken their security guarantees already. They have nothing else to offer.

      • Sanctuary 2.3.1

        The Ukrainians said last night they've mobilised almost 100% of their available reserves. That is almost 900,000 men. That is a game changer. The war is now a stalemate. The Ukrainians have fought the Russians to a standstill but lack the means to counter attack. A negotiated way out for Putin is urgently needed.

        • Gosman

          Wars of attrition favour those on the defensive and the current deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine make it highly probable they will continue to lose much more troops and equipment than the Ukrainians UNLESS they spend considerable efforts to eliminate pockest of resistence in their rear areas such as around Sumy, Kharkiv and Chernihiv. To do that will takes weeks of brutal fighting and they will have to give up any chance of taking Kiev.

          • Stuart Munro

            It's probably going to come down to rail.

            Russia is doing better in the south for the moment, and, should they take Mariupol they will be able to run rail north with desperately needed fuel and other supplies. Of course, rail makes a lovely target too, and protecting long lines from drone and Ukrainian partisan attacks may tax an already rather busy invasion force. (No doubt Ukrainian forces are even now reading The Seven Pillars of Wisdom in anticipation.) Many of the north south rail lines are already in place, including branches to locations of interest like the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.3.2

        The Russians have 300 Billion in cash reserves left (after sanctions), has low national debt and most importantly it has the largest gas and oil reserves in Europe…those reserves alone with their ever increasing rising prices brought on by the sanctions/war will in effect fund Russia's war…China needs gas/oil, so no problem in selling it….not to mention the other commodities which Russia has that the US hasn’t sanctioned like Titanium, which without would effectively put a stop the production of aircraft in the US.

        It seems clear that Putin has long planned for the potentiality of his red lines not being meet in the Ukraine, and has prepared for a long and brutal war if his demands for Ukraine are not fulfilled.

        It is also pretty obvious that at some point soon, Putin will weaponize his big stick of gas/oil supply to Europe as winter bites….this conflict has a long way to play out yet if Putin doesn’t get what he perceives is in the best interests for Russian security in the long term.

        Ukraine will never be in NATO, not unless Russia is defeated in a full scale war….and no one has the stomach for that insanity…..we hope.

        For Wall Street, Russia Has Become ‘Bulletproof’

        • Dennis Frank

          Dunno if that Forbes opinion from two years ago has relevance to Russia's current situation though.

          • Adrian Thornton

            It was just there as a guide to the underlying financial stability Russia had sought to (and did) establish going into this conflict….I know historical context is not your thing Mr Frank, but if you did spend a little more time researching in that field in future, you might well find it useful in understanding what is happening in the present…then hopefully your comments would reflect your new more nuanced understanding going forward…and what a relief that would be.

            • Dennis Frank

              I ain't no mister. Recycling antique colonial titles is an unusual habit for a leftist to retain. Why do you feel the need to do it?

              • mikesh

                Nice piece of sidestepping.

                • Dennis Frank

                  You get folks who seem to automatically expect others to engage with their internal melodrama. They use a bit of delusional framing here & there in their commentary as a lure. Tedious, I know, but they seem to believe doing so is an integral part of leftist political praxis.

        • Subliminal

          Your last paragraph is spot on Adrian. Failure by the West to acknowledge this means that either Russia succeeds or world security spirals down. The US is as usual ok with Europe going down in flames while watching from the sidelines except that Russia would not have initiated this existential struggle unless they at least believed they had enough reach to include the US.

          On the economic front there is a good article in naked capitilism about the effect of the memories of the 90s on the Russian psyche. This is the decade by which all hardship will be measured in the knowledge that this was the attempt by the west to break open Russia. That they survived, seems nothing short of a miracle to many and it was Putin who took them out of this dark place. The fact that the well off and those who profited from the pillage of the Russian state are now feeling finacial pain is just an added feature of the current refusal to allow Nato any further inches to the east

        • Tricledrown

          Adrian a red warning bar saying the article is more than 2 years old.

          The Russian foreign reserves were US433 billion now US$ 300 billion with much of that frozen.

          Forces said the rubble is stable .

          Now worthless.

          Just about all of the claims in Forbes are no longer relevant.

          The Russian economy is in free fall and will be like Germany 1919 or Zimbabwe.

          In the next few month's.

          Hopefully putting and end to Putin the last megalomaniac to lead Russia.hope fully.

          • adam

            Look I put much into economic sanctions stopping Russia, but so far they have not constricted their economy by double digits. So I would not say

            The Russian economy is in free fall and will be like Germany 1919 or Zimbabwe.

            You need to understand Russia has a lot of natural resources, and by a lot ,I mean a hell of a lot. Other countries will stand up and take them, just not the west. So I can't see the Russian economy going into free fall at all.

            Now if people like our last PM John Key had not set the financial system up, so the oligarchs and people like Putin could hide their money behind shell companies. Then I think the economic sanctions could have been targeted towards those oligarchs and Putin and been way more effective.

            But once again we (the people) are screwed over by the Tory idiots in their never ending greed fetish.

          • Adrian Thornton

            @Tricledown, "Adrian a red warning bar saying the article is more than 2 years old"…my answer to Mr Frank above, obviously applies to you as well…. maybe dig a little deeper….

            "The Russian government’s extensive involvement in the economy and the money it is still making from oil and gas exports — even with bans from the U.S. and Britain — will help soften the blow for many workers, pensioners and government employees in a country that has endured three serious financial crises in the past three decades. And as economists point out, Iran, a much smaller and less diversified economy, has endured sanctions misery for years over its nuclear program without a complete breakdown."

            "On Sunday, the diplomat stated that out of the total amount of Russia's reserves, which amounts to a figure of $640 billion, about $300 billion had been seized."

            "Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that nearly half of the country's roughly $640 billion dollars of gold and foreign currency reserves have been frozen in the wake of Moscow's ongoing war on Ukraine."

            Maybe you and some others around these parts would do well to keep in mind that in the minds of most our demented press/politicians we are in a state of War with Russia ourselves…so by extension most of what you will be hearing/reading on this subject with be permeated to some degree with state propaganda…which is of course always exercised in times of war.

        • joe90

          The Russians have 300 Billion in cash reserves left

          So they can afford to pay for their own civil aircraft.

          They'll be grounded, or fall out of the sky, whichever comes first, within six months because of Russia's inability to maintain their airworthiness without manufacturer support.

          • adam

            This is Putin being a 2 year old, and stealing someone else toys because they stole his.

            Not sure if there is an economic benefit for Russia here, as you say they can't maintain them.

        • Gosman

          If Russia's end goal was to make Europe bend to his will through the use of his oil then he should have started the War BEFORE winter rather than at the end. He has given Europe plenty of motivation AND time to source additional energy supplies.

          • Adrian Thornton

            "If Russia's end goal was to make Europe bend to his will "..not all of Europe..just the Ukraine as far as I can tell.

            • Gosman

              Well except he wanted Europe to tacitly accept his hegemonic position over the areas of most of the former Soviet Union and not to try and encourage these nations to join the EU.

      • Byd0nz 2.3.3

        Your good at calling other people ‘fools’ l.prent,but if you only take a one sided point of view and dismiss out of hand the other sides points, then your analysis is flawed. If one only relies on western media for information on conflicts, then you are sorely misled judging by passed conflicts where Western media lies have been exposed, ie Saddam’s WMD etc etc.

        • RedLogix

          Russia’s war in Ukraine have become a perfect demonstration of the 'horseshoe theory' according to which the extremes of Left and Right must converge.

          And proof that both fascism and marxism are sibling ideologies – both vile and contemptible.

          • Tricledrown

            Redlogix couldn't agree more the Spanish civil war. The Soviet Union,China.

            Just another brand of fascist dictatorship.

          • Byd0nz

            Don’t see where this fits in regards my comment. Besides you have a poor political nounce if you think Putin is a Marxist lol how dumb

            • Tricledrown

              BydOnz National Socialism = communist dictatorship.

              Putin is a Dictator who treats his country and people in the same way as a National Socialist dictator in all but name.

              Same in China etc.Communist dictatorships turn into National Socialism.

              [Strike #2. Read the Moderation note for you – Incognito]

          • adam

            Off topic Redlogix – are you dry mate?

            Also any chance I could get your view on what happening in the national election over their.

            I watch the ABC, which is making it hard to get a feel for anything, as they seem to be very weary of upsetting the Coalition in any way.

          • AB

            If you change "Marxism" to "Bolshevism" you might be on to something. One is a vanguardist, authoritarian political movement and therefore comparable to fascism, the other isn't. You'd still have to show that Putin is a species of Bolshevik though, which could be a fun exercise.

          • roblogic

            As is any ideology when taken to authoritarian extremes.

            At the moment we live under the crushing weight of capitalist exploitation that drove colonialism and slavery, and is now destroying the planet itself.

            It is Fox News style fearmongering to characterise Marxism and left wing thought as the road the Stalinism and gulags.

            Economic and political equality are good things to aim for.

      • alwyn 2.3.4

        Do you think that Helen Clark was excessively pessimistic then? She said this about a week ago.

        "The best-case scenario is there are talks that establish a basis on which Ukraine and Russia will live in peace, side-by-side.

        “That will probably mean Ukraine will need to accept it is a neutral country. It doesn’t want to be in a recreated Warsaw Pact with Russia, but it probably can’t ever be in NATO either. It is a classic buffer state, where great power interests are either side of it: it is the meat in the sandwich, and when Russia has felt the buffer’s gone, that’s when it’s gotten very, very angry.

        “I can’t as I sit here see a best-case where Ukraine is able to say, ‘we’ll join what we want and do what we want’. That’s probably unrealistic.”

        I'm afraid that she is almost certainly right. Whether we like it or not Russia is a nuclear state with a crazy leader. If he decides that he is going to be overthrown he just might to something really mad and try using a tactical nuclear weapon. Just a little one of course but he just might try it rather than have what he sees as his, and therefore Russia's enemy on his border.

        I think the only way Putin will go is is if he has guarantees of his own impunity from penalties and keeps all his wealth, and that Ukraine and the other boundary states are neutral.

        The trouble is that would mean he would have to accept that other states keep their promises. Would he do that given his own record in such things?

        The idea that Russia has no credibility and therefor no ability to stop Ukraine joining NATO is, unfortunately, delusional.

    • Sanctuary 2.4

      "…Beyond that, the Russians just have relatively unimpressive equipment, given the investment supposedly made over the past decade or so…"

      Russia's defense budget is sixty billion US per year. Most of the investment was in small numbers of advanced weapons with the hope of foreign sales that could get production lines open and fund deployment of this equipment to Russian units. The T-14 Armata "wonder tank" is instructive here. After a protracted development from the cancelled T-95 (started in 1988, cancelled in 2010) this 4th generation MBT was first seen in public in 2015, where it broke down. The Russians announced they were buying 2300 of them with deliveries complete by 2020. This was subsequently scaled back to 100 as a test batch to be delivered by 2020, now pushed out to 2025 with some reports saying less than fifty will ever be made. The reason they are not in mass production is rampant corruption, financial mismanagement and very high loss of skilled personnel, and lack of foreign sales to actually fund the production lines.

      Putin has just trashed the reputation of Russian weapons, his aged arsenal is proving to be death traps for Russian troops.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.4.1

        " his aged arsenal is proving to be death traps for Russian troops." … me one tank in the world today that could defeat the Javelin (or Kornet) AT weapon?..possibly the new generation Israeli reactive armour might?

        What you and others don't acknowledge is the fact that this conflict is the first time that leading edge first line military hardware has been committed against each other on a large scale by two professional armies, in open combat since probably the Korean War (some would argue Iraq/Iran)…keep in mind the Ukraine has been flooded with western weapons, namely shoulder fired AT and AA weapons….

        If the Russians has exported thousands of Kornet AT weapons into Afghanistan or Iraq you can be sure that we would have seen the US abandon both those conflicts years earlier.

        What we are really witnessing is the demise of the modern Main Battle Tank as an effective battlefield weapon…the writing was really on the wall when the Germans produced the first really effective disposable shoulder fired AT weapon , the Panzerfaust in WW2.

        Hezbollah really sealed the fate of Main Battle Tanks in the 2006 Lebanon War when they defeated the most sophisticated Tank in the Middle East, the Israeli Merkava using only well trained and highly motivated infantry with shoulder fired weapons.

        Much in line with the demise of the worlds Battleships, the Main Battle Tank will be relegated to a role as a heavy artillery support weapon in future ( is usually used like that most of the time now as far as I can tell)..I am pretty sure the US stopped using Tanks in urban battle a while back..guess the Russians are leaning why they choose that course for themselves as we speak.

        Stupid Humans.

        • alwyn

          Do you really think the MBT lasted right up until 2006?

          I would have said it was proved to be totally defunct in 1991 when the Iraq military was destroyed in a 4 day period from 24 Feb to 28 Feb.

          In open country, and good weather, it could of course be argued that the demise of the MBT happened after the Normandy landings in 1944 when the German forces could not move their armour up to the front during daylight because of the overwhelming dominance of the Allied air power.

          • Adrian Thornton

            While it is true that the Germans couldn't move their tanks around France in 1944, when they could bring them to bear, the results in terms of moral for their own troops and demoralizing the Allied troops is undeniable… at the same time German troops without air, tank or conventional AT support, once trained and armed with Panzerfaust were quite capable of defeating all Allied armour…within range of course!!

            "Do you really think the MBT lasted right up until 2006?"…..I have always been surprised at the willingness of armies to bring MBT into urban battle scenario's in the modern era…but they still do.

          • Stuart Munro

            I'm inclined to agree – tanks went the way of the battleship, and for the same reason – air power, at least as far as battlefield use is concerned.

            But there is a contemporary use for tanks, in cowing subject populations, who generally lack the wherewithal to deal with them. A sudden abundance of AT weapons changes that calculation significantly however. Now the tankers fear the population they are supposed to be oppressing.

          • In Vino

            Oh Lord, alwyn. It was painfully obvious in Germany's invasion of France in 1941 that their weak tanks were reliant upon the Stukas and overwhelming airpower.

            Hand-held weapons outmoding tanks is a new phenomenon to most.

            • alwyn

              Perhaps you are right, and the German tanks were terrible. I am quite unable to comment as I know absolutely nothing about a 1941 German invasion of France.

              I have heard just a little about an invasion in 1940 though but that is obviously not what you are pontificating so superciliously about.

        • Sanctuary

          No one has really deployed in extensive combat an Active Protection System (APS) like the Israeli Trophy system. Trophy has had use in Gaza on Merkava tanks and if you believe the IDF PR it has been very successful.

          But here is the weird thing – the Russians have been tinkering with doppler APS systems since the late 1970s – the Drozd system, it was even deployed on 250 tanks in the early 1980s. They retired that and developed a soft kill system called Shorta-1 in the late 1980s, and built an active system called Arena after the heavy armoured losses in the Chechen war. This was demonstrated as far back as 1995.

          However, lack of funds (because none have been exported) means none have been purchased or deployed by the Russian Federation. So they've had a potential defense against top attack tandem HEAT warheads for a quarter century, but haven't deployed it due to corruption and lack of money.

          This chap, a somewhat gung-ho ex-US Navy F-14 aviator, has some interesting operational insights.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Will check that out when I get home, thanks., also good insight into the Russian tank defense systems…now I know will probably be down that rabbit hole for the next night or two. ..I know this is all wrong, but at the end of all this, it will be very interesting to see what really happened militarily, as I am sure you know, very little information coming out now from anywhere can really be trusted.

            I wouldn't trust IDF PR either, they are still traumatized by their loss to Hezbollah IMO, in no small part through a lack of fighting will and low moral at the time, which I believe is still a big problem for them now.

          • joe90

            Former Australian army officer on Poot's plans A and B going to shit and plan C heading the same way.



    • Jenny how to get there 2.5

      an ongoing quagmire, and it makes the prospect of a negotiated resolution the only way out…

      Dennis Frank

      Running out of options, a negotiated solution may be the only way out for Russia. However, Putin's personal hubris may torpedo any serious peace negotiations.

      On the Ukrainian side, after all the terrible hardship and losses they have suffered at Russia's hands Ukraine's leaders will not be in any mood to offer much in the way of concessions to the Russian invader..

      When you're on the winning side it pays to push your advantage.

      If serious peace negotiations are entered into, I imagine that Ukraine's demands will be pretty onerous for Putin to accept. Including total Russian withdrawal and ending of all hostilities, especially in the Donbass region, where Russian has been funding and supporting far right ultra nationalist Russian separatists since 2014.

      If the Russian political leadership enters into negotiations to end this war, they will be lucky to not have to agree to pay reparations for war damage.

      The Russian leadership would be best to concede to Ukraine's demands, in exchange they may be offered their continued control of the Crimea, in some sort of joint arrangement.

      If the war continues to Russia's ultimate defeat, Russia will probably eventually be driven out of all of the Ukraine including Crimea.

      Deepening the Russian leadership's problems; despite newly imposed extremely repressive laws aimed at anti-war messages and protests, .anti-war protests in Russia continue to break out.

      ……The 30,000 rouble (£214; $280) fine relates to her video message.

      …..In the video, she called on the Russian people to protest against the war, saying only they have the power to "stop all this madness".

      Marina Ovsyannikova: Russian journalist tells of 14-hour interrogation

      Published 13 minutes ago

    • Tricledrown 2.6

      The Russians bet on winter.

      I thought to myself Putin hasn't factored in Global warming.

      Today 2 fox news journalists killed by Russians.

      This could be the end of Fox spews love affair with Putin and his biggest fanboy Trump.

      Even Gopers are doubling down on putin supporters.

      The US is finally waking up to the dangers of Trump/Putin.

  3. pat 3

    Where is the NZ equivalent?

    Some very interesting and pertinent tracking of housing and credit that will apply to NZ as well.

    • Blazer 3.1

      Bernard Hickey has podcasts sometimes apparantly.

      Aussies are big buyers of NZ property.

      They like the incentives here,no stamp duties or CG tax like most developed nations have.

      • Patricia Bremner 3.1.1

        If Australians buy in NZ and they live in Australia, they still pay all tax on any property, with a deduction for other taxes paid. NZ equals no deduction.

        If a NZer buys Aussie property, all the Aussie taxes apply selling or buying.

        • Blazer

          So do aussies pay CG tax on NZ property?

          • Patricia Bremner

            Yes Blazer, friends were shocked on going to Aus, and selling their Papamoa home after they decided to stay, to have to pay taxes on their NZ sale.

      • pat 3.1.2

        It was the political party I was referring to rather than the podcast.

        If a Party espousing the policies Keen and Kline were outlining was active in NZ they would have my vote and I suspect a good number of others.

        • Blazer

          I like Keen and Michael Hudson even more…in Oz Keen 's rep has been sullied by a number of wrong calls..e.g

          Keen to climb Kosciuszko after losing bet (

          • pat

            Ah the famous bet….yes he has been wrong before, in timing….hes been right in his description however , just not how determined the vested interests were in maintaining their position.

            And zero interest rates did occur.

            Keen is unconcerned about who he upsets.

            And yes Hudson is another who describes it well…..unsurprising given his background.

  4. PsyclingLeft.Always 4

    People have spent more time online while isolating during Covid-19 lockdowns, it says.

    "As a result, it is likely they have had greater exposure to disinformation, conspiracy theories and online extremist content regarding the virus, vaccines, and government mitigation programmes."

    The report notes it is likely many of the people who have engaged with such content didn't seek it out, but were exposed to it on social media.

    Social media algorithms likely helped spread this content, it says.

    “It’s exhausting to watch,” says doctor Morgan Edwards, as she drives across Auckland to work at a city hospital. “You follow these kinds of pages and you think it’s about kids or nutrition and the next minute they’re saying don’t get vaccinated, because they’ll sell you supplements to fight off the toxins instead.”

    At an event originally presented as anti-mandate, it has become increasingly apparent that Voices for Freedom and most everyone protesting alongside them is anti-vaccine, as well as dabbling (at the very least) in conspiracy theories. There has been an abundance of accusations of conspiracy, cover-ups, government control and more towards the media from protesters.

    Influencers ?! And apart from their bizarre CT belief systems….peddling pseudoscience snake oil. As always..

    • Ad 4.1

      They could always come to The Standard and get the pure truth.

      • Tricledrown 4.1.1

        The antvax trolls tried really hard to spin there bs here and we're allowed to express their unsubstantiated views but we're shot down by many fact checkers but didn't accept the truth so got banned.

        Ad your negative spin trying to divide us is in a similar vein.not unexpected from a blue blooded sycophant.Ironically.

        [Don’t you believe it:

        … but didn’t accept the truth so got banned.

        Nobody gets banned here for being a fool believing in fairies. People get banned for behaviour, mostly, e.g. when they make assertions and statements of facts that they don’t back up, especially after a repeated request by a Mod. Of course, if one asserts BS then one cannot back it up, but then they have a choice to correct/retract and apologise or get banned. Fools seldom takes the first option, which shows they’re fools.

        Don’t be a fool spreading lies about banning here.

        You’re also attacking an Author of TS accusing him of trying to divide us “in a similar vein”, whatever that means, and accusing him of being a “blue blooded sycophant”. Well, jolly good then, here’s your opportunity to back it up or retract & apologise. You’re in Pre-Moderation until then and I hope you do finally read the replies to your comments because if you still don’t I’ll move you to the Ban list for a few weeks – Incognito]

        • Incognito

          Mod note for you.

          • Ad


            Crikey I was praising The Standard and denying the idea of stable political truth as succinctly as I could. Maybe I'm a bit gnomic for these guys.

            • Incognito

              Shave off your beard and ditch the silly hat and you’ll be fine for these guys, as they don’t go any deeper than superficial appearances.

        • Tricledrown

          I'll take the ban because I am fed up to the frikken teeth to see the bs antvaxxers spewed onto this site.

          While peoples lives are at stake at least lprent stuck it to them with out holding back.

          If I made comments like lprent made against the antivax brigade I would have been banned.

          Yet you let anti vaxxers link to conspiracy sites with out any sanctions.

          I am happy to take a ban for sticking up for truth.

          [Ok, thanks for responding.

          Just so that we’re clear, you receive a ban for spreading lies about banning and accusing an Author without basis. You want to take the ban “for sticking up for truth”, with is absurd nonsense; you sound like you want to play the role of victim and martyr. As I said before, nobody gets banned for sticking up for the truth even when it is only their truth as long as they can debate it and argue their views and state them as their opinion rather than as statements of facts. The latter require backup support.

          You did not retract any of these nor did you apologise.

          You chose the ban because of some misguided stuff about anti-vax comments here on TS by some. Your ban has nothing to do with anti-vaxxers here on TS! You can argue for or against anything or anybody as much as you like as long as you can support your statements and preferably without personal insults.

          Bye for now until April Fool’s Day – Incognito]

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1.2


  5. Janice 5

    I heard that Simon is moving to Auckland. Is he going to have a go at the mayoralty? If he succeeded and brought a team with him, then one of the reasons for the establishment of the super city could be fulfilled. All those juicy assets could finally be up for grabs by their mates. The reason would of course be TINA due to the mismanagement of the left wing council.

    • Adrian Thornton 5.1

      "due to the mismanagement of the left wing council"….what Left council are you referring too?….as far as I know there isn't any serious large Left Wing organization operating within the boarders on New Zealand today….please post link to one if you know where one is, I would be more than interested….thanks.

  6. Ad 6

    My best options for National's reshuffle are:

    1. Luxon: Leader, Intelligence and Security. Also Commerce.

    2. Nicola Willis gets Finance, keeps Deputy Leader. Good experience at Finance and Expenditure Committee already.

    3. Shane Reti, jumps up 1, keeps Health, gets COVID response. Target is Little.

    4. Chris Bishop, gets Housing, keeps Shadow Leader. His target is Hipkins

    5. Simeon Brown, jumps 4. Transport, takes Energy. His targets are Wood and Woods

    6. Louise Upston, drops 1 place, keeps Social Development.

    7. Barbara Kuriger. Agriculture, biosecurity, food safety

    8. Gerry Brownlee. Jumps 8 places. 3 Waters, Foreign Affairs. Target Mahuta

    9. Erica Stanford. Drops 3. Keep education, and keeps the North Shore happy.

    10. Andrew Bayly. Jumps 4. Assoc Finance. Assoc 3 Waters. Climate. Ec Dev.

    Underneath that who cares?

    Luxon has to make this Top 10 shuffle look like the Government-In-Waiting.

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      Luxon has to make this Top 10 shuffle look like the Government-In-Waiting.

      No way is he ever gonna achieve that! After the top 4 it goes into non-event repetition. Brownlee @ #8 makes Maureen Pugh look like a viable contender. Bayly may yet evidence substance though.

      • Blade 6.1.1

        Andrew Bayly looks like a good contender given his background.

        I wish someone would have a word with Gerry. Either that, or Luxon can give him an ambassadorial role given National have a good chance of taking out the next election.

        • Blade

          Ad called it – Nicola Willis.

          • Robert Guyton

            I called it years ago 🙂

          • Muttonbird

            Willis for Finance was never in doubt. She worked for John Key once, and was on a committee of course, so has all the relevant experience.

            • Blade

              I just think she would have been better used in a free lancing role until National was entrenched in power. Having her bogged down with finance would tie her up.

              Given Nationals paucity of talent, Andrew Bayly could have been brought forward and blooded ( if he has the talent?)

    • Jimmy 6.2

      "8. Gerry Brownlee. Jumps 8 places. 3 Waters, Foreign Affairs. Target Mahuta"

      Imagine those two at a function where there was free food. I think someone once said "You don't want to get yourself caught between Gerry Brownlee and a sausage roll!".

    • James Simpson 6.3

      Robbo will wipe the floor with Willis. She is an intellectual lightweight.

      • Incognito 6.3.1

        Smug comment and stupid too; when facing an opponent it is not smart to underestimate them.

      • roblogic 6.3.2

        If she’s a lightweight then Robbo is a featherweight. Both seem pretty mediocre to me, their skills lie in PR and political manoeuvring, no real competence or expertise in their portfolios. One hopes they have decent staff and enough moral fibre to adopt policies for the greater good (beyond themselves and their mates)

      • Ad 6.3.3

        I wouldn't mess with any politician who can bring Fonterra with them.

        From experience her relationships in MFAT, MBIE, and MPI are strong at a senior level.

        Her lineage from Fonterra, to English and Key's office, then quickly to National Deputy Leader, doesn't come about by chance.

        Willis has a deeper and more senior background than either Ardern or Robertson.

        Nor should you underestimate the Wellington networks of her consultant husband.

        Willis is the one to watch.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Yes Ad, always was "in the front row" of any National Party Leader's picture" whoever they were/are. Great chess player.

          • Barfly

            No Nicola Willis listed on the NZ Chess Federation players list. So I would wager that I would defeat her in chess blindfolded and drunk devil

            • Patricia Bremner

              laughShe would play a "mean" game. She's definitely a Queen. Has that "I'll be your pawn till I'm someone elses queen" lol

        • Robert Guyton

          "I wouldn't mess with any politician who can bring Fonterra with them."

          Todd Muller, for example?

          *smiles sweetly

      • Tricledrown 6.3.4

        She is more moderate than Luxon in words but with Nationals wealth redistribution to the better off wralthy NZers.

        She hasn't got much sway.

        [Strike #1. Read the Moderation note for you – Incognito]

    • Ad 6.4

      So what it was actually was less revolutionary:

      1. Luxon. Leader, Intelligence and Security

      2. Willis. Dep Leader, Finance.

      3. Bishop. Housing, infrastructure, COVID

      4. Reti. Health. Maori-Crown relations.

      5. Goldsmith. Justice. etc. This jump was a surprise for me.

      6. Upston. Social Development, child poverty.

      7. Stanford. Education.

      8. Doocey.

      9. S. Brown. Transport.

      10. Kuriger. Agriculture etc.

    • Stuart Munro 6.5

      Having Brownlee on your team is a bit like having Greatbatch – ok against Sri Lanka, but otherwise a liability.

    • Robert Guyton 6.6

      "Gerry Brownlee. Jumps 8 places"



      You jest.

  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    How the Ukraine War Exposes Western Racism…..I would say especially Liberal racism…

    • Blade 7.1

      Yep, us Western baby boomers have never tasted war – a near historical anomaly.

      That has allowed us breathing space to navel gaze… and move away from reality into madness that currently afflicts the West. Worthy ideals like diversity and women's rights have been highjacked by self interest groups who have subverted such good intentions.

      But underneath it all, nothing has really changed as the above clip shows. We just hide our bigotry better, while pandering to madness in a vain attempt to hide our true natures from ourselves.

      • roblogic 7.1.1

        Yes, Black voices like Dave Chappelle have pointed this out for years. Academic woke cosplay doesn’t help with far deeper systemic evils like racism and poverty in America

    • Byd0nz 7.2

      Agree with your analysis of this important vid. Hope it’s watched by people here, though may not get through their entrenched bias.

      • Incognito 7.2.1

        What ‘analysis’? There was no analysis and nothing to speak of, as usual.

        Biased commenters have a disposition towards lazy comments, often nothing more than an ‘important vid’ aka YT clip, or towards overly long comments with way too many quotes and links (and YT clips).

        • SPC

          And those without any bias, have a comment that is just the right length – neither too short, or too long. All heil moderation.

          I and J (KLMNOPQR) the centrists of the alphabet.

        • Byd0nz

          Adrian said, ‘I would say especially Liberal racism…’

          that’s Adrian’s analysis, and I said, I agree. So no need for your poor response

          • Incognito

            A poor ‘analysis’ deserves a poor response. If you cannot handle this then do better.

        • left for dead

          incognito ,,,, have you even looked at the link and have you put up a contra link to support your inane ramblings.

          • Incognito

            That’s the point, there’s nothing of substance except a YT clip. You may want to read the Mod note I left for somebody else 2 days ago:

            People are too lazy to construct and write a decent argument and collectively we’re losing our debating skills. This is my point, so what’s yours again?

            • left for dead

              I am tied of the in fighting,you yourself got sucked in with a long diatribe with {chairman}and he was pulling you down,it's happening time and time again.I myself say fuck all bar a few hopeful quiet barb's,but I like the links and as weka would ask a brief description,Im saying that some here would see that within this post,thanks for your reply,keep up the otherwise good work here.

              • Incognito

                Yes, I know that others like the links and that’s perfectly fine – they’re not deleted, but sometimes converted to the URL rather than embedded clip.

                Indeed, a brief description with some explanation/reason as to why we should click on it is the basic request/requirement here on TS. Preferably, a political point that can be debated. Otherwise, it’s just lazy Spam that fills precious space and distracts from robust debate.

                As to being tired of fighting, I know what you mean. I’m tired of futile exchanges too. With regards to TC, I gave him enough rope and a wee spade and he used these the way he did, which is why he’s in Pre-Moderation now and soon heading to the Ban list for a while if he doesn’t respond. Better that I waste my time on vexatious trolls than spates of others wasting their time on them at the expense of useful convos – essentially the definition of trolling. It’s a crap job, but somebody has to do it.

                Happy commenting.

  8. Patricia Bremner 8

    Reflections on Simon’s departure.
    The tears in Simon's eyes, the lack of anyone standing with him looked more like gimlet eyes has believed Judith? /he was better off without him?

    Or perhaps the coming court case means Simon has to appear on the stand?
    It would not suit the aspirations of Luxon. He has perhaps sent a huge warning to any other in his "team".

    Or perhaps he was told Nicola would be Finance, and he was offered a lesser role?
    All speculation, but the machinations in National are not over.

    • Anne 8.1

      … perhaps he was told Nicola would be Finance, and he was offered a lesser role?
      All speculation, but the machinations in National are not over.

      Sounds to me that is what happened. So Bridges decided not to hang around any longer.

      Nicola Willis is Nationals' answer to Jacinda Ardern. Mark my words, its not Robertson who is her No 1 target but Ardern. She's been raised to the highest position possible and will be expected to match Jacinda word for word and going one better. The 'one up on you' syndrome.

      She has four kids and Jacinda only has one. I've noticed recently she's even dressing like Jacinda. Brightly coloured pretty blouses with a plain coat of some sort draped around her shoulders. Anyone think that doesn't matter? To the Nats it does. Image has been their second name for as long as I've been around and that’s a long time. They are obsessed with image.

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Adrian Thornton $300 billion is nothing these days it may keep an economy like NZ going for a couple of years at best but Russia waging a War maybe a few weeks or Months.

    As poverty bites Russia will struggle to keep it army supplied its troops Morale up.The peoples protest in check .

    Putin has made a huge tactical error.

    All his oligarchs are spewing .

    This is the end of Zsar Putins corrupt regime.

    Where are they going to lock up all the dissenters.

    I am betting on a military coup not unlike how Putin came to power.

    • adam 9.1

      You get the oligarchs are protected right, they have all their money hidden behind shell companies – nice and safe. Probably in South Dakota or the Cayman islands, how that for irony. If we had been able to shut these bastards down this war would probably have been stopped.

      As it stands, I'm not sure with the lock down of any information in Russia if Putin is in trouble. I know he was not like before this. But people are funny, we know when collective punishment like sanctions are used, they rally behind leaders they don't like. Iran, North Korea, Cuba, the list goes on.

    • Byd0nz 9.2

      'This is the end of Zsar Putins corrupt regime'

      Yes I agree and look forward to a new Russian election where the second most popular Party by far could form the new Government, of course that will still be unacceptable to the West.

  10. Poission 10


    Brent futures down under a $100 and moving $40 in a week.

    tesla putting up prices for the second time this week.

  11. adam 11

    What hell!

    81 people beheading's in one day in Saudi Arabia.

    Sanctions against Saudi Arabia now please labour.

  12. SPC 12

    The Night Wolves are a right wing pro Russia (pro Putin – it's mutual) biker group led by Alexander Sergeyevich Zaldostanov who calls himself the surgeon – maybe because he thinks he is a wolverine.

    The Night Wolves are backed by the Kremlin and hellbent on restoring the empire

    wherever the Night Wolves are, that should be considered Russia.

    After fighting broke out in eastern Ukraine, a Night Wolves chapter joined pro-Russia militias battling the country’s army. The Night Wolves have been running “humanitarian convoys” into the region and …serving as a police force in Luhansk, one of two self-declared separatist republics

    They also affect a religious extremism – where same sex marriages are allowed, “tomorrow pedophilia will be fine, then sex with dead people, then eating the shit, and if we don’t stop, we will see the abyss of hell”

    In 2018, the Night Wolves organized a tour of Bosnia and Serbia under the slogan “Russian Balkans”.

    They have branches in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. There they are supporters of the Orthodox Church (Croats are Catholic, Albanians, most Kosovans and a significant group of Bosnians are Moslems).

    The Montenegrin branch of the Russian 'Night Wolves' bikers club on Thursday called on the authorities to prohibit a planned pro-Ukrainian gathering in Podgorica, warning that it could provoke incidents.

    The Night Wolves have over 7,000 members including Ramzan Kadyrov head of the Chechen Republic.

    PS The Wolfsangel (wolfshook – based on the historic wolfstrap design) is an ancient runic symbol that was believed to be able to ward off wolves. The Azov regiment is based in Mariupol, which Russia is intent on reducing to rubble.

    The warrior monk Alexander Peresvet is an iconic figure to the Night Wolves – the Russians laser weapon (for taking out satellites) is named after him.

  13. Patricia Bremner 13

    I am looking forward to showing his (Robertson)weaknesses

    Nicola Willis, did not mention what she wanted to do for us/NZ. Oh no!! It was bringing down a Minister. Basically more of the same.

    I found that typical of the nasty attack politics we see from National.

    • SPC 13.1

      I hope the Treasury boffins secure their web site before the budget this year.

    • Belladonna 13.2

      A bit of a selective quote there, Patricia.

      While you may not agree with the tax policy she's promoting – she's pretty articulate on the potential benefits for kiwis.

      She yesterday told RNZ's First Up the costs of living was increasing across the board, and consumers were paying the price for government taxes.

      She said the party would not change New Zealand's straightforward, blanket approach to GST, but changing tax brackets in line with National's proposals would offer people some relief.

      "Our package would give the average wage earner $870 per year, the average superannuitant couple $540 per year.

      "We think it's a question of priorities. Is this the time for the government to be spending exorbitant sums on things like health restructures, or is this actually a time when New Zealanders need some relief so that they can afford to keep up with the cost of living."

      • Barfly 13.2.1

        I seem to remember that minimum wage ..what was it? 45K would get $112 a year

        "National's proposals would offer people some relief. "

        Those on $55k get $800 per year.

        Luxon (as PM) would get $18,500 per year

        Plus as a man owning many houses he also plans to rid himself of that pesky 10 year brightline test and restore tax deductions related to interest charges relating to financing property.

        How the hell is this arse not being ridiculed and abused all over the MSM?

        How the hell is this arse not being ridiculed and abused all over New Zealand


  14. joe90 14

    No sanctions on anyone in the Republican Party. Says it all.

    • alwyn 14.1

      Where's Kamala Harris?

      I suppose she has demonstrated the truth of that wonderful comment from Thomas R Marshall (Remember him? He was Vice-President to Woodrow Wilson).

      Anyway it went "Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea, the other was elected Vice President, and nothing was ever heard of either of them again."

      Whatever happened to Kamala? Why has she been ignored?

  15. Dennis Frank 15

    Apparently kiwis with massive brains are about to enter drainage mode…

    Asked what the new role meant to her, Willis replied: "Women are half of the economy and often it's women who are making the big spending decisions for their household. "I see absolutely every reason why it's good to have a woman in this role, which should be very focused on how can we make sure New Zealand households are getting ahead and feel that they have good prospects for the future.

    Asked what the biggest issue in finance is right now, Willis replied: "The cost of living crisis is a massive challenge for every New Zealand household and the best thing the Government could do right now is let New Zealanders keep a little bit more of their money by providing them tax reductions in the upcoming budget. We believe that at a time when it's not just fuel prices going up, it's the groceries, it's rent, it's the interest bill, New Zealanders need some relief and we will continue to push for sensible, tax reduction."

    In the medium term, she said: "I'm deeply concerned that we are going to see a massive brain drain from New Zealand. And that's because when our borders open, I think we're going to have a lot of young New Zealanders who have given up hope. They're seeing costs run laps around their wage growth, they're seeing that the opportunity to buy a home is vastly diminished, and they're seeing that their skills are often well remunerated offshore."

    • Barfly 15.1

      One can see reasons for her rise in the National – the ability to effortlessly lie out of both sides of her mouth at the same time for a starter

    • Macro 15.2


      National slogan "Stop waving goodbye to your loved ones"

      I remember it intensely. National came to govern. 2009 they changed employment conditions for people like my son-in-law specializing in after care for people suffering brain injury (because much cheaper to employ non-specialists). Overnight 100 specialists out of a job with no prospect of employment in NZ. Fortunately for them Aussie was seeing the need for such people. We waved good bye to the family in 2010.

  16. Poission 16

    NZ covid related deaths this year now exceed the road toll by 20%,on on curve to see 450 ttl deaths by Kings Birthday weekend.

  17. Poission 17

    Current account blows up sets new record in absolute terms (in real terms we are living beyond our means)

    As a ratio against GDP it has not been this bad since Helen Clark was in charge (and then it was really bad)

    Open questions.

    i) Will the ratings agency downgrade us (adding to the cost of borrowing)?

    ii) Will the RBNZ double down on its next interest review (.25-.5)?

    iii) Will the budget constrain wasteful spending in its fiscal statement,bearing in mind that it will be working against monetary policy from the RBNZ?

    • SPC 17.1

      But he noted the deficit was still lower than at the beginning of the GFC at 5.8 per cent of GDP versus 7.8 per cent of GDP in 2008.

      That and the return to tourism revenues would give rating agencies reason to pause on any downgrade.

      • Poission 17.1.1

        Tourism is a zero sum game,such as the decrease in savings from NZ going overseas,limited spending opportunity on productive assets etc.

        The interest bill on our debt however will be increasing as is our debt.

        Net external debt (international financial assets and liabilities excluding equity and financial derivatives) increased $9.0 billion during the December 2021 quarter, to reach $172.6 billion at 31 December 2021. This was a result of external debt rising by $10.2 billion and external lending rising by $1.2 billion. The largest contribution to the rise in external debt was mainly due to a rise in New Zealand government bonds held by overseas investors.

    • Barfly 17.2

      i) Will the ratings agency downgrade us (adding to the cost of borrowing)?

      Maybe ..but also maybe not – if New Zealand's rating slips we would have to expect most other countries rating would fall further because the cost of the pandemic has utterly hammered most other economies – Even if there is a ratings slip our position in country versus country comparisons will actually improve.

      ii) Will the RBNZ double down on its next interest review (.25-.5)?

      My crystal ball is on the fritz sorry.

      iii) Will the budget constrain wasteful spending in its fiscal statement,bearing in mind that it will be working against monetary policy from the RBNZ?

      "constrain wasteful spending" – wasteful spending is in the eye of the beholder Labour will argue there is none – National will "woof, woof, woof


  18. Peter 18

    I'm a bit disappointed in Chris Luxon. He promoted Chris Bishop to No.3 in their caucus but he didn't make it clear to Bishop what the 'three' meant before going into the House today.

    Bishop must've thought Luxon said he was being promoted to "act like a three year old."

    Granted Bishop perfectly carried out what he thought Luxon's meant but he had taken the wrong message.

  19. Things got a little testy during QT in parliament today.

    But one thing stood out for me: Seymour is a more formidable opponent for the PM than Luxon – though, having said that, neither gave her much concern.

    Luxon still unable to think on his feet – all his questions were scripted.

    Willis taking the same line she took in previous shadow posts: reading out from a letter she received (real or made up) and asking what the finance minister would say to them. Easy meat for Grant.

    Bishop just being a pain in the arse!

    • Blade 19.1

      The problem for Jacinda is things will become incrementally harder in the debating chamber as our economy continues drifting South, regardless of Luxon's or Dave's debating skills.

      She and Robbo will become political punching bags. You can only defend failure for so long before the whole country calls bullshit.

      Add to that a decisive win in Tauranga ( taking back any votes lost last time) and National will be on a roll.

      It will be interesting to see which Labour members decide to retire before, or after the election, should National win. The thought of 12 years in opposition will be too much for some Labour MPs to bear.

      • Incognito 19.1.1

        The thought of 12 years in opposition will be too much for some Labour MPs to bear.

        I don’t what’s funnier, you smoking or reading the leaves.

        • Blade

          I haven't smoked in 10 years. I think four terms out of power would be realistic given Labours wrecking of the economy.( Kiwis are slow learners). Jacinda chucking in the towel would be the icing on the cake for me. The spin around that event would be top shelf.

          But l'm not clipping the cigars just yet. I'm sure Labour has a few tricks left.

          • Incognito

            I’ve not watched TV in years and don’t miss it all now I read TS.

            • Blazer

              You don't know what you're missing…MAFS…the real housewives of…??laugh

              • Incognito

                I need more reality and TS provides this with abundance – it’s fact & fantasy interwoven into a tapestry of life as we know it. It is beautiful and repulsive at the same time, just like losing your virginity for the first time. There’s a sinister sense of taboo when reading some of the comments here because I know they are so wrong but I can’t help myself – it’s my guilty pleasure, my vice.


      • SPC 19.1.2

        The 1990-1999, 1999-2008, 2008-2017 precedents suggest three terms per government is the standard in the MMP era.

        Expecting 2 terms for this government and 4 for the next suggests aberrant rather than inerrant thinking.

      • Stuart Munro 19.1.3

        The thought of 12 years in opposition will be too much for some Labour MPs to bear.

        I can see Trevor moved to tears of sympathy for the Opposition in 2027 already. In 2030 he'll probably have to install safety nets outside their windows.

      • millsy 19.1.4

        You only think the economy is bad because rich pricks arent getting tax cuts, and you cannot import in slave labour to work your plantation. You need to pay New Zealander a fair wage to do it.

  20. joe90 20

    Forge election documents and vote to let yourself off the hook. Rotten to the core.

    A group of Wisconsin Republicans who took it upon themselves to certify to the U.S. Senate that Donald Trump won the battleground state in the 2020 presidential election didn’t break any laws, state elections officials said Tuesday.


    According to the Wisconsin Justice Department analysis, Hitt and nine other Republicans, including elections Commissioner Bob Spindell, gathered in the state Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, the last day for Wisconsin to send its electoral votes to the Senate.


    Law Forward attorney Jeffrey Mandell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he was disappointed with the decision and that Spindell shouldn’t have been allowed to vote since he was one of the targets of the complaint.

  21. Jimmy 21

    Luxon explains Golsmith's promotion and says "We all make mistakes"

    IMO promoting Goldsmith is Luxon's mistake.

    'We all make mistakes': Luxon explains why Goldsmith has returned to National's top team, addresses diversity 'challenge' (

  22. McFlock 22

    So, this is funny.

    Julius Caesar's last words were possibly Greek, rather than Latin: "Kai su, teknon". In English it's "you too, child", and got flipped to the latin as "Et tu Brute".

    Everyone bored as fuck? Noice. Here's the punchline [my bold]:

    It literally means ‘You too, child,’ but what Caesar may have intended by the words isn’t clear. Tempest cites ‘an important article’ by James Russell (1980) ‘that has often been overlooked’. Russell points out that the words kai su often appear on curse tablets, and suggests that Caesar’s putative last words were not ‘the emotional parting declaration of a betrayed man to one he had treated like a son’ but more along the lines of ‘See you in hell, punk.

    That seems more in character of someone who told his kidnappers he was going to kill them all if a ransom is paid… and did.

    • Shanreagh 22.1

      That is such an interesting article from LRB.

      I had always thought that some of the unevenness in the character of Julius Caesar, as shown by the dialogue and responses that make you say 'well that was not something I was expecting or would have done' was a playwright's device to show the unevenness of JC's character. The 'et tu brute' always felt a bit too suddenly realising…..but it did seem real that at the very end the person you always felt would have your back has it, but not in the way you might have expected. I had always thought that it had regret about why he had not talked to Brutus in depth about what as going on and now could not. While not in the class of Thomas Jones this extract from

      has the more standard version.

      Plutarch has Caesar just pulling his toga over his head and dying in silence. Shakespeare prefers the more dramatic account of Suetonius who has him saying “Kai su teknon?” (‘You too, my son?’) '

      Thomas Jones and the point about some of the words being found on curse tablets is attractive to me too. In fact as I read it I had a vison of a cross between Marlon Brando (who played Mark Antony) and Richard Burton with Marlon Brando reprising The Godfather with cotton stuffed cheeks so he barely moved his mouth and saying ‘See you in hell, punk with a steely stare……not a dying scene.


  23. aom 23

    With spare time, it was decided to check out question time to see how Luxon and his shiny new finance spokeswoman shaped up to The PM and Finance minister. Verdict – surprisingly unimpressed. Luxon clearly was no match and seemed to think it was smart to go round in circles like a demented fish in a bowl repeating the tired old 'what about tax reductions for the wealthy' lines.

    The real revelation was his Deputy. If that is the best she can do, National will be in an enduring crisis and should be begging Simon to stay on. Could not credit the level of incompetence from a supposedly experienced politician. Otherwise, she seemed to dredge up the moans of three self-entitled pricks who obviously have upper average paid jobs and probably don't have families to support. "What about me and my tax cuts!!" seemed to be the cry. With the top table being such a waste of space, the quandary of who to vote for has one less party in contention, unless there are serious leadership changes.

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    Abstract: Soccer, the global phenomenon captivating millions worldwide, has a rich history that spans centuries. Its origins trace back to ancient civilizations, but the modern version we know and love emerged through a complex interplay of cultural influences and innovations. This article delves into the fascinating journey of soccer’s evolution, ...
    3 days ago
  • How Much to Tint Car Windows A Comprehensive Guide
    Tinting car windows offers numerous benefits, including enhanced privacy, reduced glare, UV protection, and a more stylish look for your vehicle. However, the cost of window tinting can vary significantly depending on several factors. This article provides a comprehensive guide to help you understand how much you can expect to ...
    3 days ago
  • Why Does My Car Smell Like Gas? A Comprehensive Guide to Diagnosing and Fixing the Issue
    The pungent smell of gasoline in your car can be an alarming and potentially dangerous problem. Not only is the odor unpleasant, but it can also indicate a serious issue with your vehicle’s fuel system. In this article, we will explore the various reasons why your car may smell like ...
    3 days ago
  • How to Remove Tree Sap from Car A Comprehensive Guide
    Tree sap can be a sticky, unsightly mess on your car’s exterior. It can be difficult to remove, but with the right techniques and products, you can restore your car to its former glory. Understanding Tree Sap Tree sap is a thick, viscous liquid produced by trees to seal wounds ...
    3 days ago
  • How Much Paint Do You Need to Paint a Car?
    The amount of paint needed to paint a car depends on a number of factors, including the size of the car, the number of coats you plan to apply, and the type of paint you are using. In general, you will need between 1 and 2 gallons of paint for ...
    3 days ago
  • Can You Jump a Car in the Rain? Safety Precautions and Essential Steps
    Jump-starting a car is a common task that can be performed even in adverse weather conditions like rain. However, safety precautions and proper techniques are crucial to avoid potential hazards. This comprehensive guide will provide detailed instructions on how to safely jump a car in the rain, ensuring both your ...
    3 days ago
  • Can taxpayers be confident PIJF cash was spent wisely?
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    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    3 days ago
  • EGU2024 – An intense week of joining sessions virtually
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    3 days ago
  • Submission on “Fast Track Approvals Bill”
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • The Case for a Universal Family Benefit
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A who’s who of New Zealand’s dodgiest companies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • On Lee’s watch, Economic Development seems to be stuck on scoring points from promoting sporting e...
    Buzz from the Beehive A few days ago, Point of Order suggested the media must be musing “on why Melissa is mute”. Our article reported that people working in the beleaguered media industry have cause to yearn for a minister as busy as Melissa Lee’s ministerial colleagues and we drew ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand has never been closed for business
    1. What was The Curse of Jim Bolger?a. Winston Peters b. Soon after shaking his hand, world leaders would mysteriously lose office or shuffle off this mortal coilc. Could never shake off the Mother of All Budgetsd. Dandruff2. True or false? The Chairman of a Kiwi export business has asked the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Stop the panic – we’ve been here before
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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Melissa Lee and the media: ending the quest
    Chris Trotter writes –  MELISSA LEE should be deprived of her ministerial warrant. Her handling – or non-handling – of the crisis engulfing the New Zealand news media has been woeful. The fate of New Zealand’s two linear television networks, a question which the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to April 19
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The ‘Humpty Dumpty’ end result of dismantling our environmental protections
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Nicola's Salad Days.
    I like to keep an eye on what’s happening in places like the UK, the US, and over the ditch with our good mates the Aussies. Let’s call them AUKUS, for want of a better collective term. More on that in a bit.It used to be, not long ago, that ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Study sees climate change baking in 19% lower global income by 2050
    TL;DR: The global economy will be one fifth smaller than it would have otherwise been in 2050 as a result of climate damage, according to a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and published in the journal Nature. (See more detail and analysis below, and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-April-2024
    It’s Friday again. Here’s some of the things that caught our attention this week. This Week on Greater Auckland On Tuesday Matt covered at the government looking into a long tunnel for Wellington. On Wednesday we ran a post from Oscar Simms on some lessons from Texas. AT’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Jack Vowles: Stop the panic – we’ve been here before
    New Zealand is said to be suffering from ‘serious populist discontent’. An IPSOS MORI survey has reported that we have an increasing preference for strong leaders, think that the economy is rigged toward the rich and powerful, and political elites are ignoring ‘hard-working people’.  The data is from February this ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Clearing up confusion (or trying to)
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is understood to be planning a major speech within the next fortnight to clear up the confusion over whether or not New Zealand might join the AUKUS submarine project. So far, there have been conflicting signals from the Government. RNZ reported the Prime Minister yesterday in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • How to Retrieve Deleted Call Log iPhone Without Computer
    How to Retrieve Deleted Call Log on iPhone Without a Computer: A StepbyStep Guide Losing your iPhone call history can be frustrating, especially when you need to find a specific number or recall an important conversation. But before you panic, know that there are ways to retrieve deleted call logs on your iPhone, even without a computer. This guide will explore various methods, ranging from simple checks to utilizing iCloud backups and thirdparty applications. So, lets dive in and recover those lost calls! 1. Check Recently Deleted Folder: Apple understands that accidental deletions happen. Thats why they introduced the Recently Deleted folder for various apps, including the Phone app. This folder acts as a safety net, storing deleted call logs for up to 30 days before permanently erasing them. Heres how to check it: Open the Phone app on your iPhone. Tap on the Recents tab at the bottom. Scroll to the top and tap on Edit. Select Show Recently Deleted. Browse the list to find the call logs you want to recover. Tap on the desired call log and choose Recover to restore it to your call history. 2. Restore from iCloud Backup: If you regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud, you might be able to retrieve your deleted call log from a previous backup. However, keep in mind that this process will restore your entire phone to the state it was in at the time of the backup, potentially erasing any data added since then. Heres how to restore from an iCloud backup: Go to Settings > General > Reset. Choose Erase All Content and Settings. Follow the onscreen instructions. Your iPhone will restart and show the initial setup screen. Choose Restore from iCloud Backup during the setup process. Select the relevant backup that contains your deleted call log. Wait for the restoration process to complete. 3. Explore ThirdParty Apps (with Caution): ...
    4 days ago

  • Justice Minister to attend Human Rights Council
    Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith is today travelling to Europe where he’ll update the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Government’s work to restore law and order.  “Attending the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva provides us with an opportunity to present New Zealand’s human rights progress, priorities, and challenges, while ...
    15 hours ago
  • Patterson reopens world’s largest wool scouring facility
    Associate Agriculture Minister, Mark Patterson, formally reopened the world’s largest wool processing facility today in Awatoto, Napier, following a $50 million rebuild and refurbishment project. “The reopening of this facility will significantly lift the economic opportunities available to New Zealand’s wool sector, which already accounts for 20 per cent of ...
    17 hours ago
  • Speech to the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective Summit, 18 April 2024
    Hon Andrew Bayly, Minister for Small Business and Manufacturing  At the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective (SOREC) Summit, 18 April, Dunedin    Ngā mihi nui, Ko Andrew Bayly aho, Ko Whanganui aho    Good Afternoon and thank you for inviting me to open your summit today.    I am delighted ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government to introduce revised Three Strikes law
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to bring back the Three Strikes legislation, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee announced today. “Our Government is committed to restoring law and order and enforcing appropriate consequences on criminals. We are making it clear that repeat serious violent or sexual offending is not ...
    18 hours ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced four new diplomatic appointments for New Zealand’s overseas missions.   “Our diplomats have a vital role in maintaining and protecting New Zealand’s interests around the world,” Mr Peters says.    “I am pleased to announce the appointment of these senior diplomats from the ...
    19 hours ago
  • Humanitarian support for Ethiopia and Somalia
    New Zealand is contributing NZ$7 million to support communities affected by severe food insecurity and other urgent humanitarian needs in Ethiopia and Somalia, Foreign Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters announced today.   “Over 21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across Ethiopia, with a further 6.9 million people ...
    19 hours ago
  • Arts Minister congratulates Mataaho Collective
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Paul Goldsmith is congratulating Mataaho Collective for winning the Golden Lion for best participant in the main exhibition at the Venice Biennale. "Congratulations to the Mataaho Collective for winning one of the world's most prestigious art prizes at the Venice Biennale.  “It is good ...
    2 days ago
  • Supporting better financial outcomes for Kiwis
    The Government is reforming financial services to improve access to home loans and other lending, and strengthen customer protections, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly and Housing Minister Chris Bishop announced today. “Our coalition Government is committed to rebuilding the economy and making life simpler by cutting red tape. We are ...
    2 days ago
  • Trade relationship with China remains strong
    “China remains a strong commercial opportunity for Kiwi exporters as Chinese businesses and consumers continue to value our high-quality safe produce,” Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says.   Mr McClay has returned to New Zealand following visits to Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai where he met ministers, governors and mayors and engaged in trade and agricultural events with the New ...
    2 days ago
  • PM’s South East Asia mission does the business
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has completed a successful trip to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, deepening relationships and capitalising on opportunities. Mr Luxon was accompanied by a business delegation and says the choice of countries represents the priority the New Zealand Government places on South East Asia, and our relationships in ...
    3 days ago
  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
    New Zealand is demonstrating its commitment to reducing global greenhouse emissions, and supporting clean energy transition in South East Asia, through a contribution of NZ$41 million (US$25 million) in climate finance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-led Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts announced ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    4 days ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    4 days ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    4 days ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    4 days ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    4 days ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    5 days ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    5 days ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    5 days ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    5 days ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    5 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    5 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    6 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    6 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    6 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    6 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    6 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    7 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    7 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    7 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    1 week ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    1 week ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    1 week ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    1 week ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    1 week ago

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