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Open mike 16/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 16th, 2019 - 165 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 …

165 comments on “Open mike 16/04/2019”

  1. millsy 1

    Give the calls over the past years to raise the superannuation age, it would be worth looking into poverty and unemployment rates among those who are 60-64 and if they have become worse off since the NS age was last raised from 60-65 from 1991 – 2001. I don’t think that this has been looked into.

    I think it is time we thought about putting the age back to 60.

    • JanM 1.1

      Why would you put it back to 60? Most of us are still perfectly capable of working at that age, and there are systems in place for those that aren’t. There’s plenty to fix in our country before we get to that. If there’s money to throw around it would be better to raise the super rate for those that are now eligible, wouldn’t it?

      • lprent 1.1.1

        I am about to turn 60 in June. Have no intention of retiring until I can’t code well.

        But my knees ache when I get up from the low sofa and I find flights of 5 stairs discouraging when I meet them on a daily basis. But e-biking is fun.

        Not all of us can wind up writing code on our butts in a freezing aircond office. The 5 months of working outside in Singapore last year on site might have been an experience. But one that I wouldn’t want to repeat too frequently.

        I also couldn’t be a farm worker, factory worker, soldier or bar man as I was in my youth. It’d kill me fast.

        I suspect that super needs to be more flexible about giving it to people who are working, especially since the changes to secondary tax remove the clawbacks.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Well said, lprent.

          JanM…” ….and there are systems in place for those that aren’t.”

          What systems?

          • lprent

            They aren’t particularly good. But there are (or maybe were) various provisions for people to get pensions down to about age 55 if they were unable to hold down a job and had to retire early. These may have been subsumed into other benefit systems.

            • KJT

              All gone. As far as I know.

              Apart from the impossibility of getting another job after 50, let alone 55 for most, due to extreme ageism in this country.

              Just had two more of our staff permanently medically unfit to work.
              Ironically, one was only in his 40’s, from work related conditions.
              A few years ago ACC, would have helped, but now ACC, staff specialize in pretending work related illnesses are “age related” even when it relates to a previous injury.
              Now they go in the hilariously named, “jobseekers”, where some wet behind the ears, who can’t spell, takes compulsory courses in resume writing.
              While WINZ pretends they have a chance, in a job market where even fit, keen young people, miss out.

              I know many builders, nurses, seafarers, fishermen and other workers where it takes a serious toll on your body, who struggle to work to 55, let alone 60. I was lucky, as I had another trade i could do, at Management level, at 50, after RSI stopped me building. I can still cope with the physical demands of the job. Hopefully for a few more years.

              Not to mention so many, skilled and unskilled, manual workers, have had “precarious” employment since the 80’s “reforms”. With their savings and houses long gone.

              University educated paper pushers don’t have a fucking clue.

              The lucky “boomers” only ever applied to a minority. Admittedly a large one. The lives of many never recovered after the “reforms”.

              We have dumped our children, and are starting to do the same to our elderly. The “brighter future” for North shore speculators.

              Privatisation of super has worked just as well as all the other privatisations.

              • greywarshark

                I think you spell it out well,
                The ordinary working person on ordinary pay may have managed to put away some money in their lifetime if they haven’t had to move and
                have lived in their home a long time paying an ordinary mortgage.
                The rest will probably have been stuffed with high prices for housing or accommodation, by the colonial land grab from the overseas money machines.

                If a 65 year old person goes on working in their own business that is paying its way then good on them, and they should get some super and good medical help.

                If they have listened to neolib advice that benefits are bad, and being self-sustaining is good and stay on after 65 or 67 because they can and are still capable, then they take away the opportunity for another to be promoted and earn some money towards their own retirement. It is another way of boomers soaking up advantages for themselves despite being patted on the head by self-professed wise advisors on retirement.

                One of the answers is to require all capable seniors beyond 60 or 65 to do voluntary work. They will be paid their super, and their helpful work in areas of need, which they can choose, for varying hours a week as suitable to them, will be regarded as work. It would be just another form of ‘Work for the Dole’. And that is fair and reasonable practice, and beneficial to both nation and the individual when designed to fit their abilities, and personal situations in a way that enhances their lives.

                The country would be a better place to live, would rise in its standards, and the citizen involvement would result in them keeping an eye on its progress and its politicians, because they have personal, physical skin in the game. No sitting around making complaints about their theories of how things should be, totally unrealistic ones.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                An excellent summation. Thank you.

                “We have dumped our children, and are starting to do the same to our elderly. The “brighter future” for North shore speculators.”


              • One Two

                Solid statement, kjt…

                Also Lp at 1.1.1

                Cheers to both…

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                KiwiSaver has been a stunning success? How has the addition of private superfunds been a bad thing?

                Or should New Zealanders be spending all their money rather than saving it and hoping the government does what KJT wants? Idiot

            • bwaghorn

              The maori party policy of a age band from 60 through to 70 is still the best idea . If you take it early you get a bit less but im ok with that as most of sweat of the brow types live on less all our lives .

        • sumsuch

          As someone in the physical field still I concur. In the ideal reality manual workers would retire at 40, after that we are running on our rims.

    • solkta 1.2

      Lowering it to 16 would make more sense.

    • francesca 1.3

      I worked as a gardener developing gardens on several large properties all my working life, well since the age of 34. (and managed to raise 4 children on my own on that pay)
      I still have one big garden I keep on for sentimental reasons
      I can tell you I was mighty pleased to stop at the age of 65 and was ready to stop well before that

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.3.1

        So your personal circumstances should dictate public policy. Why is the left so self absorbed and willing to take handouts? That’s isn’t socialism. It’s lazy greed

  2. Sabine 2

    Notre Dame Cathedral is burning.

    I spend a lot of good times there a long time ago. Oh la tristesse!

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      The collapsing spire is a shock.

      • patricia bremner 2.1.1

        Yes, Robert. I felt very sad. A great friend and I lit candles in the Notre Dame in 1990. She was of Maori and French connections, and while we are also discussing the pension…. Marina died 5 years before she would have received it, as many Maori people do.

    • WeTheBleeple 2.2

      Yeah, I’m really hoping they’ve pulled some of the art out for the renovations. Poor Paris.

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.3

      Monument to a benevolent deity destroyed by fire???

      Perhaps a divine message?

      Demolish, clear the rubble and build shelter and support services for the city’s homeless.


      • Sabine 2.3.1

        good grief, seriously , good fucking grief.

        this chruch was started to build in 1160 finished almost two hundred years later, and has stood for 850 nows.

        go find a different tree to leave your piss.

        Just go away.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Seriously Sabine….it is just an old building.

          What does it represent to you?

          • McFlock

            Never been there, never seen it for real.

            Not religious.

            But the news saddens me greatly.

            It’s not just a religious symbol, it’s a symbol of civic and national identity, and and amazing work of art and engineering.

            The organisation of its structure and the little clues and tweaks enable us to gain a connection to the minds of its builders almost a thousand years ago. The personal touches to some of the features build a human connection with the artists long deceased.

            Whether the beams were numbered in arabic or roman numerals gives us a clue as to the timescale of how that mathematical advance spread across Europe first as a secret guild tool and then as an accepted part of “higher education”.

            And finally, the sheer mass of the imposing structure built with crude tools and human power over several lifetimes is a tribute to our ancestors and a testament to what we are capable of today.

            “just an old building”. Holy shitfuckballs. For it to be destroyed would be a global loss, like losing the pyramids or Anker Wat (again).

            • In Vino

              Thank you McFlock – well said. I have been there. I lived in Lyon for 2 years, visiting Paris only briefly.
              All of France will be bleeding over this, but you can bet that they will restore it.
              I marvelled at the restoration done in West Germany after WW2. This will be no different.
              No repeat of Christchurch Cathedral conundrum, you can be sure.
              Not sure why Rosemary is stirring. Feeding and sheltering the poor is indeed worthy, but can Rosemary really believe that cultural monuments which mark moments of civilization are of no value?
              Has a site of feeding the poor ever been recognised, let alone inspired?

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “Not sure why Rosemary is stirring. ” So, expressing an opinion that differs from what is obviously the norm is “stirring”? Interesting, and I’ll bear that in mind during the next ‘discussion’ on the perils and pitfalls of free speech.

                “Feeding and sheltering the poor is indeed worthy, (so pleased to see that actually writ, here, on the Left’s last bastion 😉 ) but can Rosemary really believe that cultural monuments which mark moments of civilization are of no value?

                Rosemary is getting crankier and more cynical as tempus fugits and has given up all hope that somehow mankind (yes, YOU) is capable of evolving much further. I’m not exactly convinced that these monuments to man’s ingenuity and enterprise and sheer determination (we’ll put aside any squeamishness that perhaps not all involved in the hard graft were fired and inspired entirely by the desire to raise the stones to the Heavens for the Glory of God) are the best places to focus our thought for a survivable future. Does one stand in awe at the astounding capability of human endeavour, or does one merely bide a wee reflecting that at least for a short time, as a species, we were actually capable of achieving Great Erections?

                Perhaps I see these as monuments to our lost civilisation?

                Because surely to God, any species that can construct something so absolutely awesomely technologically sophisticated can feed and house the poor and marginalised and halt climate change in it’s tracks?

                • In Vino

                  Rosemary, you are stirring all right.
                  Surprisingly to you maybe, I agree that mankind seems incapable of evolving much further. This is because I believe that mankind has succeeded in destroying his own environment: climate change, as we like to call it, is likely to wipe us all out – rich and poor alike.
                  I have often pondered about how those medieval marvels were built. I suspect that the blood and suffering of the poor in those days was immense – that Notre Dame is a monument to the powerful built through the near slavery and blood and suffering and deaths of the poor. The cruelty and suffering of the poor in those days was, I would say, worse than most of the poor suffer nowadays – certainly in France. So what are you really railing at, Rosemary?
                  There probably isn’t much human future (although we are not supposed to say that) and for advanced countries the poverty was worse in the past, if still morally intolerable now.
                  Yes, I too would like a nice little site where some of the poor could be fed for a little while.
                  But I would not see it as a landmark in the evolution (or devolution?) of human society.
                  You are wrong.
                  Man can construct great art, but he seems utterly incapable of creating a just society, and looks fully capable of destroying his own environment. No point in complaining – that is how it is.

                  • Incognito

                    Man can construct great art, but he seems utterly incapable of creating a just society …

                    There’s no comparison between these two!

                    Any talented skilled person can produce art in a relatively short time. Any genius can create great art within their (usually short) lifetime. It takes a whole population and many generations and (in no particular order) inspirational leaders, great thinkers, brave radical activists, to name a few, to create something that approaches a just society.

                    For the same token, it is ‘easier’ to create an image of a black hole 55 million light-years away than to let a woman shine.


                • McFlock

                  Jesus christ I’ve known some glum bastards in my time, but I’ll never understand how someone can be so consumed in being glum that they can’t take a second to appreciate something so awesome, or worry about it when it is in danger, and think that is a normal way to live.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    I took more than a second to appreciate the awesomeness….”Because surely to God, any species that can construct something so absolutely awesomely technologically sophisticated….” see, see, …”can feed and house the poor and marginalised and halt climate change in it’s tracks?”

                    Do you think, McFlock, that in the year 3019 our decedents will look around in awe and wonder at the Earth in all her rehabilitated glory?

                    Will our multi- times great grandies bathe in clean rivers and sit down to wholesome meals, safe in the knowledge that all on the planet are similarly blessed? Will they go to sleep in their homes after hearing stories about how their ancestors a thousand years ago decided that humans had inflicted enough pain and suffering on the Planet and her inhabitants and collectively undertook to Put Things Right?

                    Nah…it’ll be this…

                    • McFlock

                      Using it as a set-up for the next variation on your favourite theme isn’t “appreciation”.

                      And let’s not forget you started with “it’s just an old building”.

                      Idiocracy was off on a number of levels (particularly genetics and IQ). The only clip that comes to mind for this discussion is from the simpsons.

                  • greywarshark

                    Well you have all become glummer all day. This has been going on all day. Enjoy!

          • halfcrown

            “What does it represent to you?”

            What it represents to me Rosemary as an Athiest it represents all the skills artistry and passion of generations. It is NOT just an old building It represents what the western society is all about complete with its faults

            It is tragic, a priceless treasure has been semi-destroyed. Let’s hope it is rebuilt.

            Putting the Paris homeless in it will NOT solve the problems the world has today

      • Andre 2.3.2

        You really have no respect for anything but your particular little hobbyhorses, have you?

        • One Two

          You regularly piss on religious related discussions using derogatory language…along with others here…

          Respect, my foot…how hypocritical can you get…you reckon, Andre…

          My read is Rosemary was highlighting a truism of attitudes frequenting this place….while also offering thoughts on another practical use for the site …

          • marty mars

            You wouldn’t be able to understand – it’s above your empathy paygrade. Stick to telling everyone you’re brainy cos that seems to work lol

            • mac1

              Empathy is the issue. Grief for what is lost. Compassion for their pain. Some comfort in that some parts are saved.My six year old niece visited Notre Dame three days ago. She is inconsolable, her parents write, because she loved that building. She understands.

            • The Al1en

              “You wouldn’t be able to understand – it’s above your empathy paygrade. Stick to telling everyone you’re brainy cos that seems to work lol”

              Early contender for post of the day 😆

            • One Two

              You believe to know enough about my comments to make such a claim…You don’t…You can’t…becauae you’re angry and abusive…

              But through your repeated ALM aggressive abusive rants…I understand plenty…about you…your birthday spew was quite something…eh…

              Triggered by my highlighting just how full of it you are…how incorrect you were by calling me a liar…multiple times…

              I’ll re-post the lot…if you like…

              Now…if my comments bring out your feelings of inadequacy…that’s your problem, marty…

              But have the awereness to know..I’ve got your number…


            • Andre

              Oh jeez, can we all please not have yet another long thread of One Two’s content-free pseudo-delphic attempted put-downs of others’ thinking abilities and the obvious responses thereto?

              • One Two

                Asking (begging) for moderation now…is it, Andre…

                The put down was yours…to Rosemary…I simply pointed out the hypocrisy in your comment…which along with your smears and abuse…is a regular feature of your musings…

                And when you don’t like being called out…you cry for moderation…

                What is it with you ALMC guys…serve up continual abuse and derogatory statements…then ask for protection when a mirror is held up to each of you…

              • greywarshark

                Andre pseudo delphic Lol You are very readable these days.

                • Andre

                  Please let’s just leave it here. Rather than having yet another Battley Townswomen’s Guild Re-enactment of Pearl Harbor (kitten edition)

          • greywarshark

            You contentious so and so One Two. Why can’t you let other people make strong statements in their own time and way without putting your critical and negative oar in. This is an example of freedom of speech and expression which is reasonable and you are trying to crush it.

            Notre Dame soared into the air towards heaven expressing the uplifting thoughts of the puny humans who got together and built this over centuries.
            Appreciating beauty that we have created ourselves, something grand and with ‘lofty’ views and also appreciating the fine skilled work and hard graft that was put in by people who could put aside the everyday and seek a lasting monument to greatness, is part of our advanced human society.
            It is something to look at and wonder at, and embedded in it are human dreams and intellectual longings, and the complete range of human endeavour and intelligence.

            The Paris homeless are the same as the homeless everywhere, needy and ill-used. But it is barbaric to not care about the destruction of monuments to ideals that may never be realised, at least while they remain they remind us of the desire and effort to transcend the vicissitudes of life. The Taliban deliberately destroyed ancient monuments hand-carved and apparently ever-lasting. The USA and other countries have destroyed precious places to break the spirit of the people.
            Now fire in a loft has affected this building with its lofty purview. Most sad.

            People there will inevitably say – Hitler asked ‘Is Paris burning’ so how come this could happen in peacetime? There were insufficient fire-prevention installations apparently.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              “…is part of our advanced human society.
              It is something to look at and wonder at, and embedded in it are human dreams and intellectual longings, and the complete range of human endeavour and intelligence.”

              And somehow appropriate in goes up in flames.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Andre…pray tell, what is it about this building that deserves particular respect?

          • mac1

            Have you been there, Rosemary McDonald? It has immense spiritual value, similar to the spiritual uplift I saw at Glencoe in Scotland when I visited the church where my McDonald ancestor was married. Age, connection, beauty.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              No. France was not on the list of holiday destinations in my youth in the UK. Old buildings abound in the UK…bit of a yawn fest after a while. There was a certain delight when some of the Peers had to open up their stately homes to the public for money to pay their taxes….eww….having to let the riff raff in must have really hurt.

              Scandinavia…and apart from a few museums with viking longboats, the Fram and the KonTiki, I don’t remember much in the way of Scandinavians resting on their architectural or technological laurels to attract the tourists.

              Scotland, of course, being Scots and all that….yes. But only to the extent that loathing of royalty and the so called upper classes is at a genetic memory level. Yes, I do ‘remember’ Glencoe, (sniveling, slimy, treacherous Campbells, may them and all their decedents rot etc etc.) but at some point we have to move forward.

              Keeping harping back to real and perceived injustices and horrors from centuries ago benefits whom? Many a Scotsman has snotted into his glass, blaming past injustices for his propensity for the drink. At some stage one has to wipe of the chip and move on.

              Emigrate to the other side of the globe perhaps?

              • Poission

                So when the Scottish emigrated they built temples and cathedrals to the Scottish rite .


              • mac1

                Emigrate is of course what my lot did. Away from the old squabbles.Just as the old Protestant/Catholic divide was also largely forgotten in NZ. My joke with my wife is that I married a member of a Campbell-affiliated clan. By marriage we mend the old hurts. Not even an issue for us. Just an historical awareness, a cultural sharing, a part of identity.

                At Glencoe I was shown around by our tour driver who also was a Glencoe McDonald on his mother’s side. There are three islands in the loch where clans met to talk over and agree to deals and where the dead were buried, close to the water and the underworld, which reminded me of a walk along Spirit’s Bay when I was a young man.

                It’s good to seek and find the connections between people rather than the differences.

            • Prickles

              I first went to see Notre Dame simply because it was one of those things to do when you go to Paris. I was completely unprepared for the overwhelming sense of awe which flooded over me when I stood inside and looked up toward the magnificent round stained glass window. I had to sit down and just let it wash over me and found myself close to tears. It is not just a building.

              I find myself close to tears again this morning and can hardly bear to look at the photos and videos of it burning.

          • higherstandard

            One of the finest examples of French gothic architecture there is, stunningly beautiful inside and out and approaching its 700th birthday


            As iconic to the french as the opera house is to Australia or the pyramids are to Egypt.

          • Andre

            In no particular order.

            It’s hugely culturally significant. It stands as a stunning example of what beautiful works can be achieved by people working together seeking spiritual nourishment, while simultaneously standing as a reminder that all throughout history there have been small classes of the powerful so intent on their personal ends that they get off on exploiting the masses to achieve that gratification.

            The engineering of it is truly remarkable. It stands as an incredible embodiment of what can be achieved using evolutionary development with low-performance materials and very limited theoretical understanding or analysis tools.

            It’s economically significant. Notre Dame is part of the tourist drawcard for Paris.

            It’s simply aesthetically pleasing to go and spend time there, regardless of any underlying views about the religious ideas it represents.

            Yet you want to trash all this for short term relief of a social problem that can and should be addressed independently. There’s no shortage of places and ways to help the homeless that don’t involve trashing such a significant part of our shared heritage. I’m disgusted.

            edit: here’s a worthwhile read on just part of why Notre Dame matters.


            • Peter T

              I have to disagree as a kid I was dragged around these old buildings so boring to me they are just building’s.

              • Andre

                To be totally honest, at a personal level that’s my reaction too. If I’m gonna travel and brave the crowds at historical tourist attractions I’d much rather it was outside my cultural background. Give me Great Zimbabwe or Chan-Chan or Luxor or Chichen Itza or Borobudur any day.

                But I get it why Notre Dame really matters.

              • greywarshark

                Why drag your boring thoughts around on this blog Peter T?

            • Rosemary McDonald

              “Yet you want to trash all this …”

              No. And kindly don’t put words in my mouth.

              I get about the …”The engineering of it is truly remarkable. It stands as an incredible embodiment of what can be achieved using evolutionary development with low-performance materials and very limited theoretical understanding or analysis tools.” I really do….but for all that, here in 2019, how far have we evolved from those days of “the powerful so intent on their personal ends that they get off on exploiting the masses to achieve that gratification.”?

              Not very far I fear. Hence my plan to care for a facility to care for the needs of the decedents of the exploited downtrodden to rise from the rubble.

              Thank you for your reply.

              • Andre

                “Yet you want to trash all this …”

                No. And kindly don’t put words in my mouth.

                I do apologise. Your exact words were “Demolish, clear the rubble …”.

      • sumsuch 2.3.3

        They saved Jesus’s head-dress, or summat, according to RNZ news, without interposing ‘supposed’. Simple sentences beloved of modern media.

    • marty mars 2.4

      Very sad – beautiful building

    • Kevin 2.5

      I have a hunch it was an inside job.

    • Stuart Munro. 2.6


      • greywarshark 2.6.1

        I feel like a cat that has brought in a mouse as a gift. But looking at Nietzsche’s thoughts being analysed was interesting while we are thinking tangentially on religion and the value of churches. When we attempt to grapple with the confusions of the day, we walk in the footsteps of these great thinkers. Nietzsche thinks we have abandoned God and Christianity in our seeking for truth. And we will not be happy – we won’t be able to handle ‘our’ truth!

        In this sense, Nietzsche sees the Enlightenment pursuit of Truth as being one and the same with the goal of Christianity. The values of individual dignity and human equality esteemed by the Enlightenment and dressed up by philosophers in the language of rational objectivity are for Nietzsche Christian values.

        Thus, to him, the Enlightenment, far from being the repudiation of the Christian world-view, is its continuation, and a supreme example of what Nietzsche castigates as the ‘prejudices of philosophers’ (Beyond Good and Evil). The chief philosophic prejudice, according to Nietzsche, is the pretence to pursue objective truth.

        Nietzsche interprets philosophy as being successive attempts by great minds to flee from the face of reality and construct higher worlds, from Plato’s ‘Theory of Forms’ to Kant’s ‘thing-in-itself’ and, in so doing, ‘revenge themselves against life’ (Twilight of the Idols: III, 6). In its pursuit of the ‘will to truth’ the Enlightenment made inevitable its own collapse; the unrestrained pursuit of truth leads to its own devaluation…

        The death of God unleashes an age of nihilism, when ‘there is no goal, no answer to the question: why?’ and ‘the highest values devalue themselves’ (The Will to Power: 2). In other words, with the death of God comes the collapse of the very values that have dominated the West for two thousand years.

        To use the Jungian phrase, the death of God brings man before the ‘void’, from which he turns away in ‘horror’.[1] Nietzsche’s great fear is that once men come to realize the full implications of the death of God, they will conclude that nothing is worth striving for…

        • sumsuch

          Thanks for that , was wondering about him. And now why at 52 despite many snoutlings around do I still not really know what existensialism is?

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    Yet another excellent bit of work from Newsroom.


    This time on our practically non existent Public Health service. No, not the hospitals and the ambulances but the folks trying to influence policy that will “look after the collective health of our nation.”

    “”The leadership position for public health in New Zealand, is held by the Director of Public Health, a position now held – after being vacant for some years – by Dr Caroline McElnay.

    It’s a position required by legislation.

    Skegg describes McElnay as very good but points out despite the title, she is not part of the Ministry of Health executive leadership team.

    “They [the Ministry of Health] have an executive leadership team which has got about 10 people on. It’s quite big, but the director of public health is not there. So, you can see the amount of priority, the Ministry is giving to public health.”

    The executive leadership team has 16 members. There is deputy director-general population health and prevention on the team, but the director of public health is not included.

    Also required by legislation is a division within the Ministry of Health call the Public Health Group.

    “The public health group in recent years has just been just a remnant actually. Just a very small number of people. You can’t even find them on the Ministry of Health website,” said Skegg.

    He believes the Ministry is “totally overwhelmed” administering personal health services.

    “There just aren’t the experts in the Ministry of Health that a country like New Zealand needs to plan and oversee public health programs and to respond to emergencies.”

    How do we score?

    Once New Zealand was referred to as the campylobacter capital of the world by food safety experts.

    It’s estimated there are 30,000 cases per year, most caught from fresh chicken. A report released in 2018 shows 60 to 90 percent of fresh chicken has high levels of the bacteria which can cause stomach illness and lead to complications such as arthritis and the paralysing Guillain-Barre syndrome.

    Skegg said the Ministry for Primary Industries has declined to lower the allowable contamination levels for fresh chicken any further.

    “The Ministry for Primary Industries won’t even agree to put a warning label on the packages to tell people.””

    Nothing much has changed….industry lobby groups and biased officials continue to failed to respond when the health of the public s at risk.

    We truly are a backward country.

    • Peter 3.1

      Is a backward country one in which people don’t cook chicken? Or cook it properly?

      • gsays 3.1.1

        undercooked chook is one of the ways to get ill.

        tossing a salad after handling raw chicken, without washing hands adequately will do it to.

        tongs, spoons, chopping boards…
        it would be great if the companies involved in chicken would lift their game.

    • ianmac 3.2

      Brian Easton has a good column on equity in health care:
      What has happened to healthcare is nicely illustrated by an international analysis of healthcare systems by the prestigious (American) Commonwealth Fund. It compares 11 countries (it always finds the US has the worst system). In 2017 it found New Zealand’s ranking was 8th (out of 11) on the equity dimension, ahead of France, Canada and the US. We were behind Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Germany and Australia.”

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.1

        Yes, Easton has written oft times about our health system, and some of his earlier work was almost prophetic.

        You’d think that a mass education/consciousness raising campaign on the dangers of under-cooking chicken would be a no brainer….especially if it were couched in more politically acceptable ‘cost to the health sector/loss of earnings’ terms . Like wise for sugar and alcohol consumption.

        But no. We’d hate to annoy our funders wouldn’t we?

        • Sacha

          I recall it’s our chicken *suppliers* who are at fault, with way more processed carcasses and cuts sporting a coat of bacteria than is allowed in other countries. If they refuse to lift their game to international standards, the solution proposed by NZ’s expert on this, Prof Michael Baker, is for govt to regulate that only frozen chicken can be supplied to the public. Tick tock.

      • greywarshark 3.2.2

        The first thing to remember about this health grading ianmac link 3.2 was that it covered only 11 countries that are regarded as developed. So we are near bottom as a country on a number of things. Would some measures indicate clearly all the lows or would some be hidden by averaging out?

        Among all adults, we came
        9th of those with cost-access-related problems,
        7th= in terms of those had skipped dental care in the past year because of cost; and
        10th in terms of those who had waited two months or longer for a specialist appointment.

        • ianmac

          His column was focussed on “equity” rather than the whole Health System. To be just ahead of USA is horrifying don’t you think Grey?

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.3

        ” Of course there was inequality in the egalitarian society before 1985, but it was rare for the rich to show it, to display, what Thorstein Veblen called, ‘conspicuous consumption’. After 1985 it became common to flaunt how rich you were.”

        Not only how rich, but how privileged. Privilege in the disability environment is exemplified by the disparities between ACC and MOH. There are two regular publications in NZ featuring articles pertaining to spinal cord impairment. Both were set up shortly after ACC were ‘persuaded’ to fund 24/7 home based care to tetraplegics (rather than forcing close family to provide unpaid care). Both publications feature inspirational tales of sporting and artistic achievements, travel and access to the latest adaptive tech. Great, if you’re funded by ACC. Tough shit if you’re not. And while both organisations purport to represent ALL with spinal impairment, they seldom publish articles highlighting the disparities and profound differences in rights and entitlements.

        The last article printed in both publications were contributed by both my partner and myself some years ago.

        We’ve given up on both organisations, as they both not only refuse to acknowledge the rank privilege of their ACC funded members but continue to publish brag pieces of how great life can be with a spinal cord injury if only one has the right attitude.

  4. Kevin 4

    Where is the media outrage over the Assange arrest?

    FFS, even Fox News gets it.

  5. gsays 5

    Having just commented on the recent Assange post I thought I would make a couple of observations here.

    I didn’t notice whistleblower mentioned at all in the post or the comments.
    In the tags list for the article, the likes of whistleblower and ‘truth to power’ are not to be found. Domestic violence, patriarchy, abuse of power are all there.

    It is hard to discuss that subject when you feel you have to tiptoe and whisper when in contrast you have folks with the fertiliser spreader on full spraying anyone that didn’t bring a rain coat.

    • francesca 5.1

      Strictly speaking he’s not a whistle blower, ie not working in an organisation and leaking damning info. But without him, whistleblowers do not have the means of bringing their information in to the light of day

  6. gsays 6

    As a wee gloat, I am off to the big smoke to catch The Raconteurs tomorrow night at The Powerstation.
    Very excited to see Jack White, have loved listening to him for yonks, especially his latest solo album.
    First rocker I have seen look cool with the flying V guitar.
    Bob Mould always looked awkward with his.

    First time in Aotearoa, first gig outside the state’s since 2011.
    Steady as she goes!
    Here is their newish song:

    • aj 6.1

      Lucky. Will be a great gig. Report back.

      • gsays 6.1.1

        Storming gig.

        Band tight, but still had a jam/improvising edge to it.
        The drummer had a Gene Kruper feel to some of the songs particularly ‘Gyp’ Dig the slowness.
        5 or 6 guitars on Mr Whites rack. Sorry I couldn’t name what styles there were apart from his flying V.
        A couple of sing along moments: Steady as she goes and Now that you’re gone.
        Highlights: an impromptu You don’t understand me fantastic piano, Blue veins, and a bonus Carolina drama.

        A BIG plus was no phones. There was a plan to have phones stored away in bags but they didn’t arrive so plan turned into a plea that was respected.

    • This guy used to play a flying V pretty damn good. Watch his video and you too can be a rock star!

  7. francesca 7

    Talk about blinkered TRP
    If you can’t see that there’s something off over an Interpol Red notice being issued (usually reserved for terrorists and murderers)for a sexual misdemeanour a Standard writer in 2010 was perfectly willing to admit to :

    Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law.

    you are practising a peculiar form of wilful self blinkering yourself
    The article you link to is factually wrong, the only reason the Swedish prosecutors could not interrogate Assange was their own unwillingness to travel to the UK to do so, and they were criticised by the Swedish Bar and in 2014 by a Swedish Court for this very thing.
    There was nothing to stop them doing so , and many precedents for doing so, which points to them not treating Assange the same as other individuals wanted for questioning
    Assange was available, under house arrest for 15 months ,with electronic leg manacles for questioning if justice for the Swedish women was really the name of the game.
    Long before he jumped bail in 2012
    Has anyone ever had an Interpol Red notice put on them for the same allegations?
    No wonder Assange and most of the civilised world at that time smelled a rat
    A concerted campaign to character assassinate Assange in the intervening years has served its purpose…manufacturing consent amongst the gullible so that the state can wreak its vengeance on Assange, no holds barred and shut down true journalism once and for all
    The message out there for journalists and publishers is that the only information allowed is that provided by the state

    • aj 7.1

      It seems to me so many people have lost sight of the main issue here. Patrick Cockburn nails it:

      ” “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards,” and “ha, ha, I hit them” say the pilots of a US Apache helicopter in jubilant conversation as they machine-gun Iraqi civilians on the ground in Baghdad on 12 July 2007……..”

      “……Lost in this dog-fight is what Assange and WikiLeaks really achieved and why it was of great importance in establishing the truth about wars being fought on our behalf in which hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.

      This is what Daniel Ellsberg did when he released the Pentagon Papers about the US political and military involvement in Vietnam between 1945 and 1967. Like Assange, he exposed official lies and was accused of putting American lives in danger though his accusers were typically elusive about how this was done.

      But unless the truth is told about the real nature of these wars then people outside the war zones will never understand why they go on so long and are never won. Governments routinely lie in wartime and it is essential to expose what they are really doing. I remember looking at pictures of craters as big as houses in an Afghan village where 147 people had died in 2009 and which the US defence secretary claimed had been caused by the Taliban throwing grenades. In one small area called Qayara outside Mosul in in 2016-17, the US air force admitted to killing one civilian but a meticulous examination of the facts by The New York Times showed that the real figure was 43 dead civilians including 19 men, eight women and 16 children aged 14 or under”


  8. greywarshark 8

    I just looked at Notre Dame burning on stuff a 36 second video and at 25 seconds a snippet of the next video protruded onto the screen and I couldn’t see how to turn it off. It was a skeleton thousands of years old but I didn’t want to see it then or at all.

    On line Media is very intrusive of pushing video at you. Sometimes I can be looking at a quite long text with numerous pictures in and the audio starts and then I have to go back to the beginning and turn it off – it seems the damned things are opt-out rather than leaving it to person to opt-in. Don’t like the system.

  9. Michael Nash 9

    Thoughts with France today, so sad to see a historical building go up in flames. The amount of history that may be lost is devastating.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    The Assange Gaps & Craps

    Even with all the denizens of words shoveled out by Australian Julian Assange and the Videos of his Australian friend John Pilger, we are still as war mongering as ever.

    Assange adds spice, because he has a tendency to avoid the Summons of High Level Government. He Flees and makes up highly convoluted torturous scripts between destinations.

    He is thought to be a “Whistleblower” replete with spledid sources of Sex. Sometimes Staff – it would seem. Consent being way way afar from his driving passion. His recent stay with the obliging Ecaudor Embassy left a Cat and a wall of Feces. So it is said. The Embassy got tired of him.

    Journalists and Embassies (of inquisitive mind) want to keep close to Assange – feces not withstanding. But a mere small slice of Spy – and any particular Journalist will be captured on Sovereign Intelligence by the United States of America who have 46 Bases on our Planet.

    Spies have a long Life. In prison, 35 years is the going rate. No matter where our Ozzie Julian goes – his whistle will be removed from his cat. Journalists the same.

    Wonderful thing – the Internet. Wonderful Wars – the Killing Wars.

  11. Ad 11

    Notre Dame fire.

    I’ve visited every second year for over a decade.

    Burnt out and needs rebuilding:
    good Catholic Church metaphor.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Condolences Ad, this will be very close to home for you.

    Condemnation must rest on the construction company; a monumental breach of H&S protocols. Being familiar with hot work procedures on large construction sites it seems someone has some very tough questions to answer.

    Congratulations to the firefighters who’ve pulled off a miracle to save the core structure.

    • Ad 12.1

      Cheers Red.
      It makes me want to chuck in the day job – satisfying as it is – and go work on its art conservation and structural rebuilds for a few years.

      Sure it’s just stone and copper, not God.

      But for me it carries more human sweat, candle soot, and mixed-up tenebrae dimness than anything in Rome.

    • marty mars 12.2

      lol good one

      “Condemnation must rest on the construction company”


      “The cathedral was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and largely completed by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s”


      bugger those fly by nighters are well gone now.

      Edit – I know that isn’t what you meant but I couldn’t let a joke go by.

      • McFlock 12.2.1


      • Gabby 12.2.2

        S’alright mardymardy, I’m sure arsons closer to home are equally hilarious.

        • marty mars

          Sounds like you have something on your mind that you want to fess up to. Not sure it’s a great audience for that to be fair.

          • Gabby

            I don’t go round torching taonga mardymardy, if that’s what you’re suggesting, and I get little amusement from it.

            • greywarshark

              Oh Gabby you are an example to us all. And we do take you as seriously as you take everyone else you write about.
              Yours greywarry

            • marty mars

              Good – don’t start torching treasures or buildings please cos that won’t be a good look and potentially dangerous.

              • Gabby

                You won’t mind the odd chuckle at the tribulations of those you value above the common herd though will you mardymardy?

                • marty mars

                  Is that your problem? Yes poor form finding something funny in another’s comment during these dark times. Don’t ever do it gabby you’ll get shade thrown at you – that is my advice.

  13. joe90 13



  14. Kevin 14

    “Pope Francis issued a statement late on Monday expressing the Vatican’s ‘shock and sadness’ at ‘the news of the terrible fire that devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.”’

    ‘We express closeness to the French Catholics and the people of Paris and we assure our prayers for the firemen and those who are doing everything possible to face this dramatic situation,’ the statement read.”

    No word about dipping his hand into the vast Catholic Church coffers to restore the Cathedral though. They will probably leave that to the taxpayers of France and generosity of a few wealthy individuals.

  15. sumsuch 16

    I came down here straightaway to say my piece about that piece of … John Roughan retiring from the Herald. Expect you’ve addressed it above me. ‘Wise man ‘ according to the ex-Herald editor on the weekly media watch section of RNZ National 9 to Noon. He’s been writing anonymously their editorial for 30 years. Right-wing tosser writer of John Key’s biography. Always found him densely vile. As reflective as mud. Where the Herald’s heart lies, with their 4 daily pounder columnists for the rich, leaving alone the utterly ridiculous Leighton Smith. Association with his nonsense is Trumpian, Herald. But then again you’ve had Roughan for 30 years. And enabled Whale-oil etc. Do you care about your country? Or do you put money first? Rhetorical, you strangle-tied twots.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      Hear about Leighton Smith – soothing the comfortably off for all their years.
      Can understand that a little bit of him to a questioning brain would cause despair, luckily most keep their brains in cold storage and inactive, saving them in case they are needed for some emergency later.

      Bit of Don McLean here. The Herald does all these things that Don mentions in Prime Time in his sarcastic way. It does have some factual, thoughtful stuff, but
      the thought is too often adulterated.

      Well will you take the car, or will you take the trip?
      Remove annoying hair from your upper lip
      What’s it really worth? Does she really care?
      What’s the best shampoo that I can use on my hair?
      Hey what’s the real future of democracy?
      How’re we gonna streamline the bureaucracy?
      Hey, hey, the cost of life has gone sky-high
      Does the deodorant I’m using really keep me dry?


  16. Eco Maori 17

    Kia ora The AM Show.
    The subcontractors should be payed a deposit for their work so if the main company goes broke they could get some money back.
    Captial gains tax is a must people like Mark just can’t see that all earning should be taxed not just the common poor people paying all the tax.
    Batteries technology is advancing fast now that the technology is to big to be held back by the oil barrons.
    I think it’s good that the Kenyan families are sueing Boeing for the losses of their love ones this is needed to keep big companies HOUNEST in our WORLD .
    I think that NZ Acc act is bullshit Acc doesn’t pay the injured fairly when one is injured you need more money not less try living on 80 % of your wage while injured.??????? The kicker is you can not SUE when wronged that just protects the upper class at the expense of the common person.
    RYAN I agree with you heaps of money for the church in France and no money pouring in for all the starving children around the world. Go figure. Eco Maori Tau toko the people who got arrested in Britain fighting to get human caused Global Climate change back in the MEDIA with all the distraction that have come up as of late KIA KAHA.
    Ka kite ano

  17. Eco Maori 18

    P.S went off topic but I have seen someone being under arm bowled from ACC

  18. greywarshark 19

    Some interesting older items from Radionz

    New Zealand is missing out on a multi-billion-dollar waste product industry, according to the Bioenergy Association….
    “The announcement by Queensland University of Technology that it is leading a $14 million research programme to develop profitable processes for turning livestock-industry wastes into bioenergy and other bioproducts, such as fertilisers, animal feeds, chemicals and plastics, shows what we should and could do here,” Mr Cox said.
    “That project in conjunction with Meat & Livestock Australia shows the value of cross-sector coordination.”

    Mr Cox said by 2040, biomass and waste-based industries could supply more than 15 percent of New Zealand’s energy needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent.
    “You would think that with opportunities such as this, that the government would b
    “If we can use our ability as a leading technology developer in America’s Cup yacht racing, we can use that capability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    On food and making a difference by eating different.
    full interview duration 16′ :03″

    To keep climate change under 2 degrees Celcius, the average world citizen will need to eat 75 percent less beef, 90 percent less pork and half the number of eggs they are today, while tripling their consumption of beans and pulses and quadrupling the amount of nuts and seeds they eat, according to a new study published in Nature magazine.
    The University of Oxford’s Marco Springmann, who led the research team, talks to Kathryn about their findings.
    So what exactly is a flexitarian?

    Someone who eats red meat once a week maximum and otherwise eats predominantly a plant-based diet of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains, Dr Springmann says.

    Dietary guidelines are often out of touch with scientific knowledge but this is as cutting edge as it gets, he says.
    “Think about it as technological innovation, but an innovation for diet.”
    Less animal food production would reduce deforestation and freshwater consumption, but increased water efficiency will still be required and support given to farmers in adopting more sustainable and non-polluting practices, he says.

  19. Eco Maori 20

    Eco Maori backs the climate change CHAMPION’S all around Papatuanuku
    Thousands of people have taken part in the civil disobedience protests, blockading four landmarks in the capital in an attempt to force the government to take action on the escalating climate crisis.
    Now the activist group Extinction Rebellion says it is planning to step up its action to disrupt rail and tube lines in London.
    A spokesman said: “People really don’t want to do this but the inaction of the government in the face of this emergency leaves us little choice.”
    Ka kite ano links below .


  20. Eco Maori 21

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

  21. Eco Maori 22

    We need to have more respect for OUR WILDLIFE as we are the guardians of that wildlife for OUR decendints come on wake the fuck UP
    New research shows the Maui’s dolphin is sliding closer to extinction, but it is far from the only species struggling to cope in New Zealand’s water, forests and rivers. Environment reporter Isaac Davison looks at 10 mammals and birds that are clinging to survival.
    Top 5 birds
    1. New Zealand Fairy Tern
    Ka kite ano links below


  22. Eco Maori 23

    Kia ora Newshub.
    Well if the Prime minister says its not the correct time for a capital gains tax so be it.
    Well most big construction projects go up the Auckland City rail project will save the country a lot of carbon from being burned.
    Its sad about the church in France Lloyd looks like you need some Kiwi Kai.
    That’s cool that food aid is reaching the poor people in Venezuela it doesn’t have to be like that.
    I have seen a few shocking videos.
    How do we know what the preserve or the amount of prosessed meat those people eat in that study was the meat grass feed or what I will take it with a grain of salt. There have been many conflicting story on eggs sugar salt WTF.
    That’s the way the Mana Wahine of Sudan taking the power of Sudan government and getting equal rights for Wahine KIA KAHA Mana Wahine from ECO Maori.
    Yes the big tech companies need to start protecting the people. Ka kite ano

  23. Eco Maori 24

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

  24. Eco Maori 25

    Here you go Whanau OUR Austrailian tangata whenua cousins have it much HARDER thank us . We can thank OUR tipuna for every thing we have now but Tangata Whenua O Aotearoa are being treated like 3 rate people in OUR own Whenua Ma te wa this is going to change as we will have the power to rule it won’t come eazy we will have to be on OUR toes as the cheats that don’t want MAORI to have the Mana will use ANYONE they can and use ANYTHING they can dream up to suppress tangata whenua Wairua Mana and these people have the power of the state to USE to keep Maori down but NO WE WILL WIN IN THE END
    The family of an Aboriginal woman who died in custody in Perth last week say she was mistakenly arrested by police who did not check her identity before restraining her in her mother’s house, hours before she lost consciousness.
    Cherdeena Wynne, 26, died in hospital on Tuesday, five days after she became unresponsive while handcuffed by police on a side street off Albany Highway.
    Less than two hours before falling unconscious, the mother-of-three was arrested and held on the ground in her mother’s house in Victoria Park, according to her family, in what they say was a case of racial profiling and mistaken identity.

    Deaths inside: Indigenous Australian deaths in custody

    Her mother, Shirley Wynne, and grandmother, Jennifer Clayton, are calling for eyewitnesses to come forward.
    Her death comes 20 years after her father, Warren Cooper, died in custody after being found unresponsive in a police watchhouse in Albany. Cooper was also 26 years old.

    “It’s time for this to stop,” Clayton told Guardian Australia. “I have lost my son and now I have lost a granddaughter.” Ka kite ano links below . P.S we will fight for all our indignous cousin MANA


  25. Eco Maori 26

    Whanau you see Whanau Bob Eddy Peter and many other musical artist waita ring true to this day some from hundreds of years ago .
    The wicked get stronger close freind worste enemy worste enemy best freind .
    I have had a revalation the other day that made all that has happened in my past become logical and from that revalation I have figured out the sandflys have had me on there radar for 32 years .
    The revalation that I have been working on for 3 month’s tell’s me why some people from te tairawhiti were treating Eco Maori so bad they did not know who they were stuffing with now they no my Mana .
    Whanau if you have been head down ass up working hard and treating everyone with respect and you FIND that you have gone know were your { maunga is still a ant hill }some one close is shitting on YOUR MANA so look closely into your past and present and find the persons shitting on your MANA and keep a close eye on them
    Ka kite ano P.S It could the state shitting on your mana to some of the people were actors for the state.

  26. Eco Maori 27

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

    This song fits my revolution quite good.

  27. Eco Maori 28

    Kia ora Newshub.
    Ma te wa for the capital gains tax Jacinda will have plenty of TIME to chase that goal you know that old saying better to wait till the time is correct than push shit up hill.
    Animals spear parts for humans is just around the corner.
    I the crooks are drawn to the honey business and Manakua honey is big money and draws more crooks that guy looks like the fall guy.
    Many thanks to all the people who put their time and effort in to protesting about climate change in Britain and around the world to get the story out there OVER trumps interference of the true information on climate change around Papatuanukue.
    Yes I seen the Tau toko for ECO Maori last night people are learning the TRUTH Ka pai I say NO more Ka kite ano P.S I’m glad I was to busy this morning I would have been to exposed to judy. Keith is one of my favourite actors

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  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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