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Open mike 16/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 16th, 2021 - 182 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 …

182 comments on “Open mike 16/09/2021 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    As it behooves mediocre right wing … men everywhere, Ben Thomas is a bit late to the white-ant pile on but tries to make up for it with gravitas and enthusiasm…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/126389309/the-end-is-nigh-as-judith-collins-stumbles-once-too-often

    [RL: The racist reference to skin colour has been deleted. Be more careful.]

    • Gezza 1.1

      Haven't seen any of the usual pundits defend her yet. Spose it's just a question now of how long she can stagger on in the role of LOTO until someone delivers the coup de grace, while the National party continues to bleed out the last of its credibility too.

      National is going to need a major overhaul after her departure. Shudder to think they might in desperation fatigue & despression choose Bridges as leader again.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      Snowflake alert!

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        I'd be interested to know why you think it's acceptable to casually denigrate anyone on the basis of their skin colour.

  2. Jenny how to get there 2

    Ad

    23 August 2021 at 11:08 am

    What our NZDF is doing there is evacuating people who we owe the service to evacuate……

    …..the most likely route to achieving that would have been to admit the US had been defeated and arrange a transfer of power to a Taliban-led set-up beforehand. Needless to say, few of his [Biden] critics were ready to come to terms with that reality.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/9/12/misunderstanding-afghanistan-and-the-taliban?

    Following the grotesque debacle at Kabul airport, our Prime Minister 'pledged' future evacuation of all those people we left behind who we owe a service of gratitude to during our war effort.

    If we can 'admit' that we have been defeated, if we can accept that adventurist military missions to evacuate people are at an end.

    Then our government need 'to come to terms with that reality', and begin negotiations with the Taliban regime.

    In my opinion our Foreign Affairs Minister, at the head of a New Zealand delegation to Kabul, would be the best person to step on to the world stage and successfully open these negotiations, between our two governments for the safe return of the people we are responsible for..

    A dark skinned person from a colonised people, a proud Maori woman with a Moko, would be the best representative of our secular multi-culteral country. Her official acceptance by the Taliban as our official envoy, would be a test of Taliban good faith of their stated acceptance of diversity and tolerance of both women and minorities.

    Now that civilian flights have resumed. To the honour their pledge, our government, with the agreement of the Taliban government, need to urgently send a chartered Air New Zealand plane to Kabul without delay, to rescue those we owe a debt of service to.

    Government faces mounting pressure to rescue stranded New Zealanders and at-risk Afghans from Taliban

    Thomas Manch – Stuff.co.nz, Sep 16, 2021

    The Government has been in a holding pattern since a hastily arranged airlift effort that helped evacuate more than 300 New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, and visa holders ended in late August, and possibly left more than 400 behind in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

    Mahuta has said the Cabinet will consider further what further assistance could be offered those stranded in the country….

    ….The letter, which was also signed by more than 25 lawyers, academics, and advocates, said “more action is needed” as the humanitarian needs in Afghanistan grew “by the hour”.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/126394440/government-faces-mounting-pressure-to-rescue-stranded-new-zealanders-and-atrisk-afghans-from-taliban

    Our government needs to show boldness.
    Half hearted measures won’t cut it. Any further delay even “by the hour” could be measured in lives lost.

    • Gezza 2.1

      Caught a glimpse of the last minutes of Jack Tame interviewing Mahuta (on Q+A) while I was quickly channel surfing on the weekend.

      She was basically pleading helplessness in the absence of practical assistance from our other partner countries.

      NZ seems to have been excluded from a meeting they all recently had after the evacuation mission abruptly ended.

      Given she can be a very animated & staunch Wahine Toa when pushing initiatives like Three Waters & Maori Wards, it seemed from Mahuta's comments & demeanour like there's no great enthusiasm in Govt to get off the arse & actually DO something ourselves … but as I only saw a minute or two of this interview I don't know what else was said.

      • Gezza 2.1.1

        Afghanistan: Taliban leaders in bust-up at presidential palace, sources say

        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58560923

        The BBC seems have picked up on this story that I first saw covered in The Guardian.

        If there is any validity to this story (there may not be) it might be a wee while before the dust settles from any in-fighting & we know who we are finally dealing with at a diplomatic level over there. Not sure how much respect & mana the Taliban Foreign Minister is going to accord a woman Foreign Minister.

    • Pete 2.2

      We saw the photos from the streets of Kabul and the airport. We could turn our TVs off and get on with moaning about being in lockdown.

      The panic, terror and loss of hope came in some accounts, the freaking out to get out.

      I know what should have been done, we all know. We envisaged being there with no chance of knowing what it was really like to be there.

      The Washington Post listed some of the numbers involved. (With attribution to where the figures had come from.) It's easy to say 124, 334 but dealing with Eden Park full, three times over, pouring out onto the streets? They were moved, they have to go somewhere It is easy to say what should have happened and should happen now.

      Number of people evacuated: 124, 334

      Number of flights: 778 flights — 387 U.S. military and 391 non-U.S. military

      Number of U.S. citizens evacuated: “More than 5,500, almost 6,000”

      Number of U.S. legal permanent residents evacuated:

      Total undisclosed, but 2,785 have arrived in the United States through Aug. 31

      Number of U.S. citizens who wanted to leave but were not evacuated: “100 to 200”

      Number of Afghans evacuated, currently on staging bases in the United States, Europe and the Middle East: 63,000, of whom 20,000 are in the United States

      Number of Afghans who may be eligible for some sort of U.S. visa: As many as 265,000

      Number of Afghans evacuated who qualify for special immigration visa:About 7,000

      Number of Afghan special immigration visa applicants and families: About 88,000

    • Ad 2.3

      "In my opinion our Foreign Affairs Minister, at the head of a New Zealand delegation to Kabul, would be the best person to step on to the world stage and successfully open these negotiations, between our two governments for the safe return of the people we are responsible for..

      A dark skinned person from a colonised people, a proud Maori woman with a Moko, would be the best representative of our secular multi-culteral country. Her official acceptance by the Taliban as our official envoy, would be a test of Taliban good faith of their stated acceptance of diversity and tolerance of both women and minorities."

      In most respects New Zealand diplomacy has gone backwards under this government and in particular under this Minister of Foreign Affairs:

      – The Pacific Islands Forum that we helped invent remains split and in disarray.

      – As of this week in Glasgow have zero credibility with climate-affected island states because our climate response is one of the world's weakest.

      – We are routinely ignored by Australia on multiple levels and policy areas.

      – Our aid efforts in the Pacific region are being supplanted by China.

      – Our international friends are decreasing.

      But you're right, It's the moko on a female Minister that will win the Taleban over.

      • Barfly 2.3.1

        Well Ad it does fairly scream "not a white imperialist"

      • Jenny how to get there 2.3.2

        "In most respects New Zealand diplomacy has gone backwards under this government and in particular under this Minister of Foreign Affairs:"
        AD

        If that is your truely held opinion Ad, then surely you would agree that it is time for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to step forward and reverse our ‘mostly backwards diplomacy’.

        I couldn't think of a more noble and Mana enhancing cause in which to reverse our "backwards diplomacy", than with a diplomatic mission to rescue those who served with us in Afghanistan.

        "It's the moko on a female Minister that will win the Taleban over."
        Ad

        On the contrary, it is the Moko which is most likely to offend the Taliban. Tatau is haram to Islam. Tatau is expressly forbidden in Koranic verse Surat An-Nisa' Ayat 119.

        وَّلَاُضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَلَاُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ وَلَاٰمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ اٰذَانَ الْاَنْعَامِ وَلَاٰمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللّٰهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَّتَّخِذِ الشَّيْطٰنَ وَلِيًّا مِّنْ دُوْنِ اللّٰهِ فَقَدْ خَسِرَ خُسْرَانًا مُّبِيْنًا

        The Moko is part of Maori cultural heritage. Another part of Maori cultural heritage is the challenge, Whakatara.

        The Taliban leadership have made a number of lofty claims on protecting the rights of minorities and women. They need to be challenged to honour them.

        I couldn't think of a more potent symbol, to challenge the Taliban to match their lofty words with their deeds, than for them to have to afford diplomatic status to a tatooed Wahine Toa envoy trom the South Pacific.

        Let's do this!

    • Nic181 2.4

      Afghanistan is a basket case and NZ has brought in a number of refugees. This Kiwi thinks we have done enough there. At least until the dust settles. When the UN organises Afghan refugees and the Covid question is settled we could look again. Just now we have enough of our own poor and homeless. Refugees in their own country. Let’s deal to some of those issues first.

      • Jenny how to get there 2.4.1

        Nic18

        16 September 2021

        ….This Kiwi thinks we have done enough there.

        Just spray and walk away

      • Jenny how to get there 2.4.2

        Nic181

        16 September 2021 at 12:03 pm

        ….Just now we have enough of our own poor and homeless. Refugees in their own country. Let’s deal to some of those issues first.

        Our country spent over $300 million fighting in that war. You are all for withholding humanitarian aid to a desparate people and make up for some of the damage this war caused them?

        So what do you think Nic, of this country spending huge amounts to have a military presence in the South China Sea as part of the military build up amid increasing tensions between China and West,.

        As we gear up for another blood bath, don't you think that this continued military expenditure on our next war, would be a better target for your gripe about taking care of own first, before helping the Afghan people?

  3. The Fairy Godmother 3

    Although some would argue that surrogacy enables infertile couples to have the child they wished for, and is therefore good thing, I would argue that no one has a right to rent a woman's body for nine months with all the dangers and problems including death that can result from pregnancy. Not to mention the harm to the child who is ripped from the mother who gave birth to it soon after birth. I believe that essentially surrogacy is the exploitation of poor women, often from impoverished countries by wealthy men. I was therfore appalled to see this bill supported by the government which will make it easier to enforce surrogacy agreements. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/proposed-members-bills/improving-arrangements-for-surrogacy-bill-tamati-coffey/?fbclid=IwAR32rNE0J0rCrgcPPi7S6Wp3-HGnESpi-sLvfazceF0ZbaqlK1Rsk2HA95A

  4. RedLogix 4

    Well this changes a great deal:

    Australia's next submarine fleet will be nuclear-powered under an audacious plan that will see a controversial $90 billion program to build up to 12 French-designed submarines scrapped.

    Australia, the United States and Britain are expected to jointly announce a new trilateral security partnership on Thursday, with a focus on aligning technology and regional challenges.

    But Australia's embrace of nuclear-powered submarines will have its political and technological challenges, given there is no domestic nuclear industry.

    The new three-nation security pact – called AUKUS – will be seen by China as a bid to counter its regional influence, especially in the contested South China Sea.

    The nuclear submarines would likely be based in WA.

    The scrapping of the French contract is a very big deal – clearly the perceived urgency has increased substantially. And of course note that AUKUS explicitly excludes NZ. Looks like ANZUS is done.

    • Gezza 4.1

      Wow. That really does read like NZ's suddenly been shunned & left out in the cold.

      To tell the truth, as the years have gone by & we seemed to have less & less powerful military assets & effective war-fighting capability (compared, say, to WW2) I've been a bit embarrassed that wherever we sent military contributions to group missions with our partner countries, we often seemed to to bludge off them for security & equipment.

      I wonder if Peeni Henare, our Defence Minister, is going to be approached for comment?

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        This will cause a gigantic stink in Australia. The Short Fin Barracuda decision was a disaster – the French have banked billions of dollars and delivered exactly nothing and they'll be laughing all the way to the bank. What a waste of money!

        The Australians will now buy off the shelf Virginia class SSNs from the Americans and get them into service ASAP. Anyone paying attention can see the US is accelerating the development and deployment of weapon systems for a confrontation with China THIS DECADE.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1.1.1

          Anyone paying attention can see the US is accelerating the development and deployment of weapon systems for a confrontation with China THIS DECADE.

          A 'confrontation'? As if civilisation didn't have enough worries.

          Please, NO disproportionate increase in NZ's military spending while Kiwis go hungry and homeless. Let the hawks play their war games – follow the money.

          Where did the $5tn spent on Afghanistan and Iraq go? Here’s where
          The gravy train for the defense industry was also fueled by the way the wars were budgeted and paid for. Congress used “emergency” and “contingency” funding that circumvented the normal budget process. For the first decade of the conflict, the US used emergency appropriations, which are typically reserved for one-off crises such as floods and hurricanes. Detailed spending oversight was minimal. And because this type of spending is excluded from budget projections and deficit estimates, it enabled everyone to sustain the pretense that the wars would be over shortly.

          The result was what former defense secretary Robert Gates termed a “culture of endless money” inside the Pentagon. The defense department made the operational decisions; managed the bidding process for contractors; awarded the contracts (largely using non-competitive bids); and kept at least 10% of the wartime funding in classified accounts.

          Why America Goes to War
          Money drives the US military machine.
          People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy,” he [Col. John Boyd] said. “They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy. It is: ‘Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.’

          Sometimes the naked pursuit of self-interest is unabashed, but even when the real object of the exercise is camouflaged as “foreign policy” or “strategy,” no observer should ever lose sight of the most important question: Cui bono? Who benefits?

        • Anne 4.1.1.2

          I wish John Clarke was still alive.

        • Jenny how to get there 4.1.1.3

          The whole thing is disgusting on so many levels.

          For instance what plans are in place for decommisiong these floating nuclear plants when they are done with?

          https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20150330-where-nuclear-subs-go-to-die

          From the disgracful climate and bush fire response,

          To the shambolic lack of any coordinated Federal response to the Covid Crisis.

          To debased groveling to the American war machine, this is the sort of thing the people of the South Pacific have come to expect from Scott Morrision and the Australian Liberal Party.

          Let us hope that the Australian Labor and Green opposition parties make this into an election issue

          I couldn't be bothered learning this lickspittle's name.

          Australian nuclear subs not welcome in NZ

          AAP Newswire – Sep 16 2021

          Australia's planned nuclear submarine fleet won't be welcome in New Zealand, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

          ….The country has been staunchly nuclear-free for decades, earning the ire of treaty partner US by declining visits from its nuclear-powered ships….

          "That of course means that they well understood our likely position on the establishment of nuclear-powered submarines and their use in the region."
          [Prime Minister Ardern]

          https://www.denipt.com.au/world/2021/09/16/5180723/australian-nuclear-subs-not-welcome-in-nz

          • Gezza 4.1.1.3.1

            I noticed on the TV One News item that they showed Scomo saying Ardern was the first person he called to advise her of their decision.

            Andrew McFarland, their “cub reporter” in Oz made a point of referring to China’s more recent “aggressive” foreign policy stances ….

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.2

        Time for NZ to ditch 5 Eyes and join the non aligned Nations movement. Bi lateral trade agreements and mutually beneficial engagement with other countries on the basis of an independent foreign policy.

        Would fit in well with a transition from New Zealand to “Aotearoa NZ”, and finally to “Aotearoa”, with a new flag, and becoming a republic. The Māori Party target of 2026 for place names could be a good timeline and allow for the necessary discussion, referenda and legislation.

      • francesca 4.1.3

        We're far too small to be effectively footing it militarily with the big boys.We've only ever been required for diplomatic cover.If it is in the US's interests to protect us should push come to shove, they will. If it's not they won't

        Look how the Americans treated their allies , us included ,in Afghanistan .

        I'm a pacifist, if we're ever to get ourselves out of the catastrophe we're in pandemic and climate wise, we need to throw all our resources into cooperation, not war and killing machines.

        I'm glad if we're out of Anzus, no more nagging to up our military spending …buying from guess who?

        Lets put our money into civil defence and natural disaster for our Pacific neighbours, fisheries patrol

    • Tricledrown 4.2

      Redlogix NZ doesn't have the budget to be in that league all we can do is be a supporter in that we hand over $5 billion in forgone taxes to Australia to help pay for theie massive military budget.

      Taiwan is being intimidated by a refundementalized China who are flexing their new found muscle.Hong Kong etc .

      We are under pressure from China in the Pacific from Chinas cheap loans with strings attached.

      Welcome to the emergence of the new colonial super power.China is playing the long game they don't have election cycles to pander to .

      NZ has increased its Defence budget markedly but delivery times are 5 yrs plus we need to spend now otherwise in 5 yrs it maybe to late.

      China has a massive technology advantage not to mention an even bigger manufactoring capability.

      Redlogix we are in a different world diplomacy is going to have to go into hyperdrive.No doubt China will play hardball with trade wars.

      Therefore we will need New markets for our products but also China owns large businesses inside New Zealand.

      Tightrope walking required.

      Good question Redlogix.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        I think all the big nations understand NZ's limited budget – but that was not a prime consideration in the past, we were seen as sharing common open society, democratic values and were valued as a reliable partner. While no-one expects NZ to get a fleet of nuclear subs, it's the over-arching trilateral agreement with the US and the UK that seems to be new – and I'd wonder if NZ was even told about the discussions that must have been going on for some time now.

        And the really interesting question that the article is silent on is what exactly will these subs be armed with?

        • Gezza 4.2.1.1

          Wikipedia says they're easily made tomahawk cruise missile capable. Tomahawks can be conventional or nuclear-tipped. So they potentially will be nuclear armed if the diplomatic temperature with China/US/Oz gets ramped up over eg South China Sea dominance/Taiwan.

    • Macro 4.3

      ANZUS was essentially done in 1986. While it has never been formally abrogated, and we now allow US nuclear powered vessels into our harbours (and turn a blind eye onto the weaponary carried) the pact is little more than an historical agreement.

      As the NZ Official Historian notes:

      The Australia, New Zealand and United States Security Treaty, or ANZUS Treaty, was an agreement signed in 1951 to protect the security of the Pacific. Although the agreement has not been formally abrogated, the United States and New Zealand no longer maintain the security relationship between their countries

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        As a homeless automation engineer I get to randomly meet all manner of interesting people. In the past few days I've had the chance to talk with an Australian defense contractor here in WA. This is someone with a multidecade career in the AU military.

        His view is that AU is essentially indefensible with conventional weapons, and as long as our regional neighbours were willing to abide by a rules based trade order it was an acceptable risk. This no longer holds true.

        • Sacha 4.3.1.1

          Interesting. Is Indonesia still a threat?

        • woodart 4.3.1.2

          newsflash; all countries are indefensible with ANY weapons, thought sep 11 2001 would have made that obvious. it doesnt matter if the country is huge and empty or small and crowded . however, if the aussies are stupid enough to want to play bigboys with u.s. and u.k. let them go. anything nuclear powered(ships,subs, or power stations) are huge money pits , and require very expensive ongoing maintainance . cant just tie them up to the wharf and switch them off . many countries in the east have subs , and aus has had them for years, but going nuclear means going broke . yanks must be pissing themselves with laughter and the chinese will be having a chuckle as well . its all very well when you have hundreds of millions of taxpayers to pay for shiny toys, but when the cost is to be shared amongst only 25 million or so unhappy aussies , its not so funny.

          • Gezza 4.3.1.2.1

            Good point. I seem to recall Xi Jinping actually reduced the personnel numbers in the PRC Military. Altho they're increasing the number of aircraft carriers they have (to 3, I think) & they're developing stealth aircraft & other capabilities, they're going for quality over quantity. Much effort supposedly being put into their cyber-capability – not just for strategically or tactically attacking or neutralising Opponents' military assets, but also their national & financial civilan infrastructure.

            Hard to foresee exactly what any major outbreak of hostilities between China and any other “great (or budding great) power” might look like.

    • Jenny how to get there 4.4

      New Zealand's anti-nuclear warship legislation will be severly tested if the Australian Government dare try and enter or transit through our patch of ocean with one of these vessels.

      • Gezza 4.4.1

        Not necessarily. Scomo says they're not going to be nuclear-armed (if you can believe that will still be the case if “the balloon goes up”).

        And do we even really care about nuclear-propelled ships these days? Depending on various factors diplomatic & strategic our govt of the day might conceivably just say nothing if these subs routinely transit our territorial waters at the outer edges for military exercises or whatever reason.

        • Jenny how to get there 4.4.1.1

          Niether confirm nor deny?

          Personally speaking, In the interests of nuclear non-proliferation, I think the New Zealand authorities should strictly adhere to the letter of our nuclear free legislation. Australia needs to be given a warning that any deliberate attempt to infringe our sovereignty and flout New Zealand Law, will be matched with diplomatic reprisals, not excluding punitive tarrifs on Australian goods and services, not excluding banking. (Australian banking services take $3.5 billion out of our economy every year. They might take our laws seriously if they knew that profit takeing might be impacted by any reckless military advenurism to test our resolve to remain Nuclear Free.

          If nothing else, detecting illegal Australian nuclear vessels in our waters will give our navy a good work out on their submarine detection capabilities.

          • Incognito 4.4.1.1.1

            I agree, NZ must retaliate with the full force and economic might of a hobbit with a squirting pistol. All cross-Tasman sporting arrangements must be cancelled forthwith and indefinitely, including rugby, netball, and cricket, but not horse racing because we won’t want to wake up and irk Winston and the self-entitled horsy folk. We must transfer all our banking to KiwiBank. And NZ must close any travel bubbles so that no Ozzie can come here to going skiing on our slopes with pristine freshly fallen snow. That’ll show them what jingoist kindness is. Oi!

    • Anne 4.5

      AUKUS explicitly excludes NZ. Looks like ANZUS is done.

      I think most NZers accepted ANZUS was dead a long time ago and as far as I know it hasn't had any major impact on our relationships with allied nations. If the Aussies want to have nuclear submarines they are welcome to them.

      Imo, it is in our interest NOT to be a part of such an alliance as AUKUS. Let's keep our spare billions (?) to fight poverty, inequality and Climate Change – and pandemics.

      • Subliminal 4.5.1

        Right on there Anne. Rather extravagant hyping of China threats I would say. Last time I looked, China still only had exactly 1 functional aircraft carrier. Anyone with sense who looks at where there military hardware is aimed can see that there is nothing in their sights beyond Taiwan. Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong. All regions with traditional links to China. Thanks be that we aren't rushing to join the crazies! How sad the USA is no longer no. 1 but really, does that require war?

        • woodart 4.5.1.1

          good post. huuuge hyping of china's threats(gee,where have I seen that before?). if you want a laugh, google varyan(?) to find out the background of china's only aircraft carrier, very interesting .

        • Gezza 4.5.1.2

          I believe the Chinese actually now have 2 fully-operational aircraft carriers, & a 3rd under construction.

          https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-show-china-aircraft-carrier-progress-reveals-more-about-design-2021-7?r=AU&IR=T

          • Subliminal 4.5.1.2.1

            OMG! Two!

            • Gezza 4.5.1.2.1.1

              "In June, the CSIS experts who have been following this carrier's development predicted that China would not be able to launch the ship until 2022, but in their latest progress report, they wrote that "recent imagery suggests that the vessel may be ready to launch later this year."

              Well, let's call it 3, shall we, with possibly more on the drawing board? They do rather seem to be wanting more than just couple of floating platforms for lost Navy pilots

              • Subliminal

                What they have is enough to maintain control of the South China Sea and to keep Taiwan aware of their ability to use force if necessary. They could and may attempt an invasion of Taiwan if push comes to shove. Taiwan and China still have a legacy of an unfinished civil war. Taiwan manufactures the most top end semiconductors in the world and with the sanctions imposed by the USA these are an extremely valuable asset. China is unable to import the sophisticated dutch EUV machinary to their chip foundries. So China would rather not create the conditions for the destruction of these chip foundries. Perhaps the USA would be happy for them to be destroyed as they control the next most important chip foundry country, South Korea. The hyping of the China threat and absurd claims of danger to Australian sovereignty are nothing more than a continuation of the attempt to strangle China and provoke them to lash out in the direction of Taiwan. At present, China can cope with everything except being starved of high end semiconductors. At present, both sides require Taiwan intact but the advantage is with the USA in that they can and are setting up high end foundries on their own soil and can deprive China of the necessary Dutch equipment. When the US feels secure in their production they will push play on Taiwan. In the mean time it doesnt hurt to bait China and get people all worried that they are about to set sail with their 2 and 1/2 aircraft carriers to take over the whole world.

                • Gezza

                  That's an astute analysis, Subliminal.

                  I guess my concern is that with the Western Powers sabre-rattling like this Xi Jinping & Co seem to be getting more and more forceful in their statements pushing back on Western interference in their neck of the woods.

                  The way Xi's talking they seem to want to be the recognised regional superpower in Asia. They're still smarting from the Western colonialists' enclaves of over a century ago. USA doesn't belong there, as far as they're concerned.

                  I don't think they're mad-crazy enuf to start a war against the US yet, but they've got a now far-flung diaspora for support, & computers & cyber-warfare capabikity have given them the capacity to respond to insults & threats with practical demonstrations of their power.

                  My concern is mainly that someone is going to miscalculate & / or that there may be a covert cyber war between the US & China.

                • RedLogix

                  The idea that the PRC might invade Taiwan in order to take control of the chip foundries is dead on arrival for three reasons:

                  • The bulk of the actual designs come from the US. Tell me why the Yanks would continue to send these in the event of a PRC invasion?
                  • The really valuable asset is the very clever and highly skilled people who run them. They would be either long gone or make very bad indentured slaves.
                  • And a few small demolition charges set off by retreating troops would wreck the hyper-delicate installations anyhow.

                  There is no rational scenario where PRC can invade Taiwan and win anything of substantive value on the island itself. It would serve only two important purposes I can think of, one as a massive political buffer for the CCP against internal unrest, and the other as a strategic foot-hold in a critical part of the First Island Chain that would enable further projection of naval power into the Pacific.

                  • Subliminal

                    If what you state is true, why does the US not allow the Chinese access to the Dutch EUV machines? While design and operation may be difficult they can both be learnt. Without the machines there is no chance.

                    • RedLogix

                      My closest colleague at present used to work for ASML – and from a conversation we had some months back it was clear that the technology underlying these chip etching machines represents a remarkable pinnacle of achievement that would not be so easy to replicate.

                      But yes, no doubt the CCP would like to get it's hands on the IP as it has done with so many other things.

                      Setting aside the semiconductor story – tell me why you think the CCP is busy building up so much military capacity and expending so much soft political power on invading Taiwan? What exactly is gained by this?

                      Clearly it’s been an independently governed nation for many decades. The Taiwanese ROC government gave up on it’s claim to mainland China long ago – yet the CCP are not willing to reciprocate even in the smallest detail.

                    • Subliminal []

                      I'm not able to cut and paste on this phone but can link you to an article by Chas Freeman that categorically states that the prevailing thinking in China wrt Taiwan is that it is the US backed bastion of the losing anticommunist side of the unfinished civil war suspended by the US. Note 3 at the bottom. Totally agree that any conflict over Taiwan will result in the destruction of Taiwan. This is a feature not a bug for US zero sum thinking. The US can only get China to take this road if they are completely desperate. The pull out from Afghanistan to focus solely on the Pacific suggests that the US believes they are at this point. I of course have no way of knowing but the sudden abrupt attack on foreign money into China and attempts to shore up the support of those lower down the heap suggest that heat is building in a supposedly cold war.

                    • RedLogix

                      Totally agree that any conflict over Taiwan will result in the destruction of Taiwan.

                      And less obviously the destruction of the PRC. While the CCP is very keen on projecting what a strong and rising power it is – and how resistance is futile – the truth is more complex.

                      There is no other major nation more dependent on external inputs and outputs, on it's ability to trade with the world, for it's very survival. Everything from energy, food, agricultural and industrial inputs then across to access to all the global markets necessary for it's export focused economy is dependent on the ability of ships to sail safely in and out of Chinese ports.

                      China cannot even feed itself without these ships. And if it invaded Taiwan the very least thing that would happen is that every marine insurer in the world would immediately declare the region a conflict zone and require every customer to get the hell out of Dodge. And that's before their customers cancelled every order for years out.

                      And while any invasion would kill millions of Taiwanese – all captured on video – it's also a well defended island and would inflict a heavy cost on any invasion force if chose to. For all these reasons the CCP's preferred route is simply to intimidate Taiwan into surrendering it's sovereignty.

                    • Subliminal []

                      All of which is obvious and brings us back to the point of the exuberent hyping of the China threat. Given everything that you say above, how exactly does China pose a threat? A nation that requires the good will of neighbours near and far planning to invade Australia?? Its absurd.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well China could recognise Taiwan and stop promising to invade them. That and the daily military flights pushing the boundaries of their airspace.

                      Little things like that might help to look like less of a threat.

                      (And that's before we explore the bombast being run for internal consumption by the state controlled media.)

                      A nation that requires the good will of neighbours near and far planning to invade Australia??

                      From a strategic perspective gaining control over Australia would at the moment be easier than Taiwan as it’s far less defended. And there would be a great deal more to gain for about the same cost. It’s not an altogether absurd possibility.

                      Hell all the CCP would have to do is sail a couple of it’s larger fishing boats into Wellington harbour and NZ would fold before lunchtime if the Yanks didn’t object.

                    • Subliminal []

                      Well at least I know that when it comes to China you really are in lala land if you believe it would be easier to invade Aus than Taiwan! A lot more to gain! Hahaha! China in a forever war in Australia. Of course in this scenario everyone else is just standing back laughing at poor old Aus being invaded by China. The USA just watches as hundreds of thousands of the PLA sail past. Not to mention logistics! The Taliban kicked out the US with next to nothing. We could and would deal with a couple of trawlers. Your grip on reality is seriously questionable. China invading Aus is laughable in the extreme. There is nothing to gain simply because of all the shipping troubles outlined above even if they could gain a toehold. Sorry. You cant have it both ways. Taiwan impossible but Aus doable. What a joke

            • alwyn 4.5.1.2.1.2

              Two carriers? You do realise that that makes them second equal, with Italy and Great Britain, in the carrier operating league? Only the US has more.

              • Subliminal

                Precisely. The point being that if you only have one overseas base (Djibouti) and two aircraft carriers then you lack the ability to support any kind of invasion. The Chinese military configuration is totally locally focused. The Chinese have openly stated that they consider Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan to be part of China. You may or may not agree with them but to then use this as a demonstration of their agressiveness on the world stage is ludicrous. Tibet was reintegrated in the 1950s. Hong Kong was always on loan and Taiwan was even regarded by the US as the legitimate voice of China for many years.

                • RedLogix

                  The Chinese military configuration is totally locally focused.

                  Geography. So far Beijing has no choice but to constrain itself to acting in it’s local region.

                  But their ambitions can be measured by the very global scope of the BRI and their colonisation of Africa.

                  • francesca

                    They're not military ambitions .You think China isn't allowed to trade and invest in Africa.Colonisation of Africa?Hmmmm that has a familiar ring to it

                    • RedLogix

                      Yeah but when the west does the same thing it gets called 'genocidal hegemonic empire' or some such.

                      Trade yes – but as many nations have discovered to their dismay trade with the PRC seems to come with a lot of strings attached.

      • Jenny how to get there 4.5.2

        Anne

        16 September 2021 at 10:45 am

        AUKUS explicitly excludes NZ. Looks like ANZUS is done.

        AUKWARD,
        American, United Kingdom, With Australian Radioactive Deal

    • Gezza 5.1

      Tino hātakēhi! (Very funny)

      Oz is basically the permanent South Pacific supercarrier for the US. Where the US goes, Oz goes. I don't think they have an independent foreign policy.

      Aren't they a bit stuffed for trade with the Middle Kingdom now that China has expressed its displeasure by stopping buying so much coal off them?

      • Nic the NZer 5.1.1

        Reminds me of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, from the film The Pentagon Wars.

      • Tricledrown 5.1.2

        Making light of a very real problem looking at the US new foriegn policy is that they have shown they can't win a sustainef conventional war.

        This why Australia is going for the Nuclear option.Australias existing subs have never left port it is another white elephant.Looking at the french subs they may have been another massive white elephant with delivery times unknown capability unknown other than being able to stay ay sea for a couple of weeks.

        Australias Airforce is at its weakest point for several decades selling most of its F18's to Canada in favour of the untested over priced f35 lightening 11 which has numerois faults and very expensive fixes and upgrades only 4 have been delivered and they have been grounded.

        The f35 could be a complete lemon especially as it needs a massive level of ground support just to stay flying .Software and electronics technictians are in very short supply and Defence force wages aren't going to attract many if any.

        While peace is a grand ideal in the real world if we don"t have signifigant capability in this part of the world we mayne asking for trouble.

        We only have a scare force we need to support Australia by helping them where we can.

        • Gezza 5.1.2.1

          We only have a scare force we need to support Australia by helping them where we can.

          Our force is so bloody scarce these days it seems like Australia usually even needs to help us help them. Maybe their Defence wallahs have just decided we're not worth having in a major defence alliance as we bring so little warfighting capability to the bonfire?

      • Stephen D 5.1.3

        Coal is a side issue.

        It’s iron ore that keeps the Aussie economy afloat. If or when China stops buying that, the Aussies will know China is really pissed off.

      • woodart 5.1.4

        yes, if aus were thinking ahead, they would have bought coal powered subs .

    • Ad 5.2

      Yes great clip.

      Imagine what the Kiwi version looks like.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        As I type this I can see the Garden Island base. This is no hypothetical.

        • Ad 5.2.1.1

          Well good to hear you are closer to home than you have been.

        • Macro 5.2.1.2

          Gezz you were up early!

          How's the weather up the road in Freeo? My mokopuna live down the road in Baldivis. 🙁

          BTW in the 1970's I was teaching Control Theory at Philomel – I understand we were the only training facility in the country to be doing so. The down stream was that in the early '80's with the combination of the introduction of open-ended engagement, and "think-big", there was a huge exodus of highly trained control electrical artificers to projects such as Glenbrook et al. By then, I was then director of manpower planning on the Naval Staff. Tying up frigates was the consequence, until we could restrict the exodus of certain trades and raise pay rates to match civilian pay.

          • RedLogix 5.2.1.2.1

            How's the weather up the road in Freeo?

            I'm based in Rockingham/Kwinana for the moment. Weather this winter has been remarkably wet and windy. Enough to make all the kiwis homesick. wink

            • Macro 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Awww wish i was there. Played golf on the Rockingham Golf course a year or two back – along with the kangaroos!

              • RedLogix

                Interesting you should mention Control Theory. From my perspective industrial automation has four broad disciplines:

                Sequential logic – originally the domain of the electromechanical systems used by the automotive manufacturers to run their huge assembly lines. These became PLC's in the 70's.

                Process control – originating in the petrochem world they started as typically pneumatic instrumented systems that evolved into DCS technology. Their prime application was in oil refining, but this extends now to all the processes that produce the feedstocks of virtually every modern material you can think of.

                Motion control – is arguably the oldest. The very first implementations were attempts at auto-pilots on large ships in the early part of the last century. It gained a great deal of theoretical foundation during the intense efforts to improve battleship gunnery in the decades leading up to WW2. These started as astonishingly complex mechanical computers (the Directors on the Iowa class battleships were astounding devices) which then morphed into Servo systems when electronics came along.

                And finally the new kid on the block are Safety Systems. Essentially an evolution of existing automation technologies to ensure hidden faults are captured, redundancy, data integrity and security to ensure high levels of availability and on-demand capacity.

                While these all used to be quite separate trades and technologies – there has been a strong convergence in the past decade. The best vendors now have platforms that credibly perform across all four disciplines in the one package. My user name doesn't necessarily mean what people think it does. wink

                While most people are very aware of IT and telecoms technologies because they use them every day – there is a lot less visibility on what we do. Yet in 2021 there is literally nothing about the modern world that we do not touch in some capacity. We've long been the Cinderella of the tech world – but arguably we have more fun. We get to play with big toys in real-time and it's deeply satisfying to see big equipment and plant get up and go, or implement productivity or efficiency improvements that make a real difference.

                It's a great direction for any young adult to head into – I only just wish I had more decades ahead of me because the best part is yet to come.

                • Macro

                  The gunnery fire control systems in the Leander Class frigates were developed in the 1950's, and as you note above, based upon technology developed in WW2. Our task at the Academic School, was teaching the mathematical theory involved in the technology.

                  I remember one time I was in HMNZS Taranaki as the Training Officer and we were on a gunnery practice off the Alderman Islands to the east of Coromandel. A single shot from the 4.5" gun took out the target behind the tow-plane (which was the object of the exercise after all). So that was the end of that. 🙂

    • RedLogix 5.3

      What of course has changed in the year since this skit was made is that Australia has discovered just how crudely China is willing to weaponise that trade.

    • Brilliant clip Sanc, just brilliant.

    • Jenny how to get there 5.5

      Lenin wrote; "Politics is concentrated economics"

      I tend to agree.

      We are spending all this money and effort to protect our trade routes through the South China Sea. And who else has trade routes through the South China Sea?

      That's right, China does.

      And who else do you think is spending a fortune to protect 'their' trade routes?

      Does all 'this' appear to be a recipe for conflict?

      You bet it does.

      "When I spoke with my counterpart in the UK we had indicated, despite the Covid restrictions, our willingness to play our part,”

      "They wanna have a war to keep their factories.
      They wanna have a war to keep us on our knees.
      They wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese.
      They wanna have a war to stop industrial disease.

      They're pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind.
      They wanna sap your energy, incarcerate your mind.
      Give you "Rule Britannia", gassy beer, page three.
      Two weeks in España and Sunday striptease."

    • McFlock 5.6

      yeah, that clip is still bollocks.

      For a start the assumption is that international tensions and trade patterns are constant to the level that a multibillion dollar multi-year defense strategy can be implemented in time to face a threat the simple model deems worthy of defense.

      Secondly, having the ability to push back against regional powers expanding their sphere of influence to, say, appropriate large swathes of maritime resources and control sealanes to trading partners other than those regional does not preclude trading with those regional powers.

      Thirdly, why would a regional power bother to trade if it can just take?

      • Jenny how to get there 5.6.1

        McFlock

        16 September 2021 at 4:53 pm

        yeah, that clip is still bollocks….

        You think that clip is bolix McFlock. Which part? The part where the gathered Australian military top brass ludicrously refuse to aknoAwledge which country this military escalation is against. And instead resort to vague platitudes about promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. And on being pressed to be more specific are reduced to giving hesitant nods, rather than give a straight answer?

        Reality trumps art;

        THE WHITE HOUSE

        BRIEFING ROOM

        Background Press Call on AUKUS

        SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

        I do want to just underscore, very clearly: This partnership is not aimed or about any one country; it’s about advancing our strategic interests, upholding the international rules-based order, and promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

        https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2021/09/15/background-press-call-on-aukus/

        • McFlock 5.6.1.1

          I thought I was pretty clear.

          There are many reasons to use soft words and diplomatic language, not least of which is so people determined to be outraged can't use those words as an excuse to throw a tantrum. Geopolitical, or blogwise.

          • Jenny how to get there 5.6.1.1.1

            These military chiefs do not have the courage to admit to us that they are gearing up for a war with China.

            McFlock, you can excuse their evasion and misdirection all you like. But it is all part of preparing the public for war.

            The first victim of war is truth. Our military chiefs are just getting an early start.

            By not naming the enemy, the military top brass can all claim to be innocent, and taken by surprise when hositilites do inevitably break out. That way they can escape any blame for escalating or provoking the tensions that lead us up to open military conflict. And conveniently, for them, be able to accuse the other side of launching a surprise attack on us. While they act all surprised and innocent to help inflame public outrage against the 'treacherous' enemy. All to create the political environment and war hysteria necessary to maintain public support for continued and escalating hostilities and bloodshed.

            In truth, both sides are just as guilty of wanting and preparing for war.

            Like gangsters fighting a turf war each side seeking a monopoly over territory and resources, while accusing the other side of being the aggressors.

            This is why we have to hide behind platitudes about ensuring regional security, and protecting trade routes etc. Behind the platitudes we are basically arming ourselves to the teeth actively increasing regional insecurity in preparation for a war 'to destroy our economic rival and enemy'.

            Politics is concentrated economics. War is politics conducted by other means.

            As Shakespear said “many a truth is said in jest”

            Still think that clip is bollix?

            • Jenny how to get there 5.6.1.1.1.1

              While we can laugh at a parody of the Australian miltiary brass squirming when they are put on the spot to name who they are preparing to go to war with.

              New Zealand's military leaders are little different in hiding behind platitudes and evasions to hide their war plans.

              New Zealand maritime security strategy targets China

              John Braddock – World Socialist Web, 28 June 2021

              The 40-page document, “Maritime Security Strategy—Guardianship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Maritime Waters,” was officially launched on June 17 at a conference hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) Centre for Strategic Studies, following its publication in December by the Ministry of Transport….

              ….While not naming China, the Maritime Security Strategy cites the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and refers to unspecified efforts “to frustrate the current norms and behaviours” that in turn threaten the “integrity” of the maritime “rules-based order.”

              https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/06/29/nzma-j29.html

            • McFlock 5.6.1.1.1.2

              Yes, geopolitics is all about "both sides".

              Soft, diplomatic language is used in order to avoid escalation to the point of confrontation, while military capabilities are increased in order to leave any opposition (current and future) unable to have an advantage.

              Thirty years ago the main likely opposition for security in Oceania was Indonesia. Exercises were based around opposition forces with fictitious names that happened to look similar to Indonesia.

              These days it's forces that look equivalent to China. China are developing nuclear carrier capabilities, hypersonic missiles, and 5/6gen aircraft, just like the yanks. Fair play to them. Who do you think they are spending those billions to confront?

              Ever hear the expression "speak softly, but carry a big stick"?

              The reason is that if you do not carry a big stick, someone will thump you no matter how softly you speak. WW2 comes to mind.

              But if you carry a big stick and speak loudly, someone will have to speak equally loudly in order to look as big and strong as you. Then we have two loud buffoons with big sticks yelling at each other, so one waves the stick a bit more, and sooner or later it will come to blows.

              WW1 comes to mind.

              Yes, that clip is still bollocks. Because the headline the next day would be "Senior Aussie military staff admit preparing for war with China". If China was looking for a pretext to end some multilateral effort without losing diplomatic chips, that would be it. Japan exiting the League of nations springs to mind, but these days it could involve something like GHG emmission target, just to have an extra five years of emmissions-based production before going back into the agreement. Or maybe they don't like the way multilateral negotiations about fishing in the antarctic ocean are going.

              Sure, it's a funny clip. But that script would cause a diplomatic incident if it actually happened.

  5. Cricklewood 6

    Good article in the Herald written by Dr Chris Gale arguing the the visceral reaction to the Wanaka couple is the Product of a campaign of fear it makes some very good points and offers food for thought.

    ''At the end of all of this nobody is going to remember how compliant you were with the rules, but your neighbours are going to remember how much you cared for them.''

    • Pete 6.2

      Unfortunately a newspaper article with selective quotes may present a limited view of a person's perspective.

      "Part of the anger towards the couple came from a ''prolonged campaign of fear'' from the Government and the media over Covid-19.

      ''Everybody is being told over and over that they should be scared,'' he (Gale) said.

      Does he really think the Government is running a campaign of fear? And governments around the world the same, since many clearly have had similar approaches to dealing with their public?

      To not run a 'campaign of fear' what should the government have done? Not turned it into a big event by having daily conference updates? By not saying anything? By saying "There's a wee situation, but nothing to worry about?"

      Gale is quoted as saying, "People were being told if they followed the rules then New Zealand could stop the virus, but it was not as simple as that."

      Here is the news, nothing is "as simple as that" when it comes to the virus, from day one and every day since. The only simple thing is saying the government is running a campaign of fear.

      • Cricklewood 6.2.1

        Its a worthwhile opinion, there is a risk of a deep societal faultline… neighbours turning on neighbours etcwont end well. Look at what happened to Dr Wiles on the back of percieved rule breaking…

    • Foreign waka 6.3

      It was also very interesting to note that at the same weekend there was a gathering of some 300 mob members in Auckland despite official limits are being completely ignored. Police were "monitoring".

      Fear? From 2 rich people flying south? I think we are being hoodwinked.

      • McFlock 6.3.1

        that gathering might keep auckland in lockdown, sucks to be in auckland.

        The essential holidaymakers put the rest of the country at risk.

  6. Sanctuary 7

    NZ's defense problem has got nothing to do with money, really. Modern weapons do cost eye watering amounts but the general slow down of technological development means well maintained weapon systems now have lifespan of many decades.

    Our problem is persuading anyone in a country with a small population that a military career is worthwhile. We've got a deeply demilitarised society with an elite consensus that is chronically incapable of taking defense seriously. No one wants to serve in the armed forces. They can't keep two infantry battalions fully manned or keep 105 armoured vehicles oparional with enough trained drivers and mechanics. The Navy has ships that have spent their lives tied up due to a lack of crews. The military is primarily seen as a gigantic trade training scheme and once people are qualified in easily transferable skills they leave.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Yes. We've largely taken for granted the relatively secure environment we've enjoyed since the end of WW2. Two or more generations have grown up thinking that somehow the world owes them their happy little place in the sun. Well that little illusion is rapidly unravelling.

      And the same generations have also been persuaded that the entire Western enterprise is vile, and NZ specifically is a genocidal colonial enterprise that really isn't worth defending. Rude awakening ahead.

      In the long run the only thing that will ensure the peace and security of NZ, and by extension – all of humanity – is a rules-based global order with the authority and capacity to prevent arms races and nation-state conflict. I've written to this theme many times.

      • Gezza 7.1.1

        How do we get there? Sadly just not possible under the present UN & 5-Great Power Veto-holding Security Council setup – that's looking more & more like the defunct & utterly useless League of Nations pre-WW2.

        • Sanctuary 7.1.1.1

          We are going to have a pick a side, but we'll put off that evil day for as long as possible.

        • theotherpat 7.1.1.2

          i think what it will take will be an utter calamity of some sort so that something better can rise from the ashes….proverbially or in reality…..humans seem to be quite stupid and vested interests are intent on their own way….hope/work for the best and plan for the worst i reckon.

          • Gezza 7.1.1.2.1

            Experience to date (in fact throughout history) is that so long as Great Powers exist there is sadly, but realistically, little prospect of something better arising from ashes.

            We've gone thru a short period when there was ONE global liberal democratic superpower & altho they're too blind to see it they've behaved appallingly.

            The human ape, being what it is, apparently as a species has a virtually inexhaustible capacity to find things to war over – land, resources, religion, ideology, "national interest", politics ….

            Look around the world. Our higher brain functions seem to be far too easily overridden by our animal brain's drive to survive & to dominate other perceived threats in order to do so. And we are too susceptible to the often nefarious people in charge who can so easily manipulate us to do their bidding,

            It can get a bit depressing until one reminds oneself that it's always been like this & somehow humans still have managed to recover from disastrous local, regional or global wars & started over again with a certain amount of optimism there can be something better.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 7.1.2

        Two or more generations have grown up thinking that somehow the world owes them their happy little place in the sun.

        An odd framing, imho – I certainly enjoy my little place in the sun (none of that about today though), and never thought the world owed me such.

        Nor do I consider "that the entire Western enterprise is vile", or that NZ "is a genocidal colonial enterprise" – is there evidence that "the same generations" have be so persuaded en masse? What are these assertions based on – fact, or belief?

        How do we 'win‘ this one and preserve our "happy little place in the sun" a little longer?

    • Gezza 7.2

      I think you've summarised the situation pretty well there, Sanctuary.

      Our air defence attack capability is down to a few sitting-duck P3 Orions & C-130 Hercs dropping bombs on beaches.

      From watching a Maori TV documentary series following a party of DF recruits at Waiouru, it looks like if rangatahi tangata whenua with 28th bn whakapapa didn't turn up & enrol every year it'd be deserted.

      • Sanctuary 7.2.1

        Defense procurement in NZ is whole other story. Our politicians are largely ignorant of military affairs and defer their decisions on equipment entirely to the military professionals. Those professionals ALWAYS opt for the most capable platform they can get, regardless of actual mission profile and what numbers they'll actually need.

        The responsibility for LAV purchase fiasco lies in the first instance with the army brass hats, who got what they recommended but also with the politicians, who uncritically gave them what they wanted.

        The Navy got more patrol ships than they had crews for and the inshore patrol boats are to big to be economical for local pottering about and to small for deep water operations.

        The NH90 helicopter is a highly capable battlefield transport that also cost a fortune, limiting the purchase to 11 and are gold plated for their usual role of SAR and disaster support. We needed at least 16 airframes, New UH-60Ms would have been a better choice IMHO. The P-8 is a highly capable aircraft but the purchase will come back to bite us money wise. We got four when we need at least six and the huge cost of the four we are getting does not include the traditional price gouging on software updates and the like the US indulges in, let alone the UAV purchase and integration that is meant to be integral to it's us in the medium and long term. The P-8 mission profile – high altitude ASW – means the airframe isn't really aerodynamically suitable for low level fisheries surveillance and that means the airframes will wear out quicker and the fuel consumption (and hence per sortie costs) higher.

        It goes on and on.

        • Gezza 7.2.1.1

          Just by-the-by, at Xmas last year I was chatting to a cousin-in-law who's a mad keen fisher. Often goes away on fishing expeditions with mates who own decent-sized launches, some of which occasionally they take far out to sea, beyond sight of the mainland, and may stay out there overnight if both the fishing & the weather forecast are good.

          He was telling me that when they do this, it's not an uncommon experience to have an RNZAF P3 Orion suddenly appear & check them out on a low flyby. He says you have no idea they're there until they swoop past – they're so quiet.

          Yes, those LAVs seem to have been a complete waste of money. Defence has been such a low Govt priority for decades now that I imagine expectations have by now dropped so low in our Military they’ve given up seriously arguing for more & better.

          • Sanctuary 7.2.1.1.1

            When I was a lad I worked on a crayfishing boat with my old man off the East Coast. One day we were silently staring over the side as another cray pot was winched to the surface when suddenly the scream of an engine saw us both jump about six feet in the air as a pair of Skyhawks streaked past at about 100ft above us. They both shot up and did victory rolls in opposite directions before disappearing around Cape Kidnappers, probably having a good laugh at our expense.

            As a young man of around 20 at the time I will never forget how green with envy I was at the exuberance and freedom of those jet fighter pilots.

            • Gezza 7.2.1.1.1.1

              I can identify with that. Travelling from Welly to my turangawaewae in New Plymouth every year to see my olds via the Foxton Straight we sometimes stopped at a "Moa House" cafe (now burnt down) & my missus & I would often see & hear the Skyhawks landing or taking off at nearby Ohakea airbase – or even flying huge loops in the sky.

              Impressive to watch them fly straight & level & then zoom up at a steep angle.

              I'm old enuf to remember seeing our Vampires & Canberras flying here, and even once saw a touring UK Vulcan bomber – with that awesome howl:

              (Thank heavens it was in the days before car alarms were ubiqitous !)

              I was pissed off that we never got replacements for the Shyhawks. The little soldier boy in me wanted F-16s.

        • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.2

          I hope Oz doesn't live regret its purchase – US gear commands exceptional prices, but it's not always the best of breed.

          The Swedes have quietly produced some pretty good subs for a while now.

          Slomo of course was never the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he ought to think a bit about the Greek parallel , unless his game plan is to rat a raft of national assets to cover the debt. Probably is.

          • RedLogix 7.2.1.2.1

            The core strategic problem for any AU defense planner is the sheer size of the continent. It means that any assets are going to be both concentrated and with very big gaps between them. Missiles arrive very quickly and are extremely hard to defend against, and once a few airborne divisions land somewhere remote it would be extremely hard to dislodge them with conventional warfare.

            In many ways it’s easier to defend a relatively small place like Taiwan where you can focus your efforts on a few strategic points.

            Essentially AU needs a deterrent and they have nothing land-based that will serve that role. Their surface navy is also far too small and vulnerable – so subs it is. Diesel electrics simply don't have the range when compared to the oceans they have to operate in and crucially spend too much time in port where they are a target.

            Only nuclear subs with their 6 month or more deployment endurance are fit for this purpose.

            • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Only nuclear subs with their 6 month or more deployment endurance are fit for this purpose.

              I think it remains to be seen what form any Taiwan Strait conflict may take, and it may well fall short of all out conflict, which would hurt both sides badly. In such circumstances, the capacity to remain undetected is a significant advantage – allowing one to be the responder, not the target of initial hostilities. Much depends on how regional dominoes fall – if Indonesia offered logistical support to Oz, or to China, the map reads rather differently. Japan, at present, seems disposed to contest expansions near some island possessions, and the Philippines, though not cashed up enough to deploy major forces, has lost enough face and fishing rights to offer Oz friendly ports.

  7. "Team of 5 million", "We are all in this together", "He waka eke noa"

    Sports teams, business people and entertainers using MIQ spots | RNZ News

    • Incognito 8.1

      C’mon, the show must go on.

      • roblogic 8.1.1

        Yeah great. Fully half the MIQ places taken by the glitterati, no booking required like the plebs

        • Incognito 8.1.1.1

          One fast way of getting out of the quagmire of being a pleb is to become an influencer, no offence to online celebrity chefs because they’re wonderful and witty and they can cook. Shame there’s no frigging flower left in the supermarket because those shows make me drool. Just about anything makes me drool these days, or cry, or frigging angry.

    • Sanctuary 8.2

      During WW1 when rationing was introduced in the UK there was controversy over barley – there wasn't enough for both brewing and livestock feeding. The "beer vs. bacon" argument flared briefly, but in the end beer won, because people like their distractions in grim times.

  8. Tricledrown 9

    The health system is not up to coping with opening up to covid when vaccination reahes 80 or 90%.

    No where enough nurses doctors and other health proffessionals it will take at least five years or more to train enough people to do the job.

    Bringing in more has been the go to before the pandemic. Are we going to steal health proffessionals from poorer countries leaving them worse off.What are govt plans to cope when they can't keep Covid out.looking at other countries with better funded health systems 200 deaths a week would be the best case scenario.

    Our hospital system in Auckland can barely cope with 40 covid serious illness cases 1,000's of cases would overun our over burdened existing hospital system.The govt needs to get a plan going and show us how this will work.

    • Cricklewood 9.1

      You'd think with all the time the last lockdown brought us the govt would have being beavering away building resilience, preparing for the inevitable etc etc…

      Even though its a reasonably small outbreak in part thanks to Auckland sucking it up at level 4 you read that we are letting people out of quarantine early without test because capacity… no wonder hard lockdowns are the go to response some hard questions need answering.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/09/covid-19-alleged-quarantine-escapee-sent-home-after-just-10-days-without-being-tested.html

    • Andre 9.2

      Just put up a bunch of tents in the far corner of the hospital carpark as the unvaccinated covid patient ward.

      If they're unvaccinated because they don't trust the medical establishment and put their faith in de-wormer, vitamins C D and Q, crystals, poking pins at their qi, a bit of spinal snap crackle and pop, essential oils, magic water, what have you – they can keep their faith in those remedies and take their chances on being last in the queue for calling on the medical establishment they had previously rejected.

      • roblogic 9.2.1

        A bit tough on children who caught the plague because their parents are idiots

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          children don't matter in a world of healthcare based on value judgements rather than universality.

          We might want to ask why healthcare should be limited to people Andre hates when there are plenty of other people doing stuff that harms themselves or society.

          • roblogic 9.2.1.1.1

            I want a doctor like this

            • Andre 9.2.1.1.1.1

              18 months ago my cousin and her husband in Salt Lake City were doctors with that view to their work. They're now both psychological and physical wrecks from putting in waaaay too many hours trying to keep unvaccinated covid patients alive.

              edit: and they’re unsuccessful way too often for anyone’s mental well-being.

              • roblogic

                This is why we lock down.
                Our hospitals already triage patients and occasionally get it wrong, seems pretty bad to chuck someone out into the carpark if they dont have a vaccine passport

                • Andre

                  Once everyone has had reasonable opportunity to get vaccinated, lockdowns for the sake of idiots that refuse vaccination will be pretty fkn unpalatable.

                  By about a week's time from now, everyone in Auckland will have had reasonable opportunity to get their first jab. So nine weeks from now (one week to finish first jabs, six week gap, two weeks after second jab), everyone will have had reasonable opportunity to get fully vaccinated (except under 12s).

                  After that point, I will certainly have big problems with the idea of more lockdowns. I'm fairly confident the rest of the large fully vaccinated majority at that point will also find further lockdowns unpalatable.

                  • woodart

                    you seem to on here alot critisising people who havent been, or dont want to be vaccinated, yet only two days ago you were saying that you were one of very few in your workplace that hadnt been jabbed. hypocritical maybe???

                    • Andre

                      I said I was one of the last ones to get jabbed, and I got my first on Tuesday last week.

                      When my age group opened up on I went online and grabbed the first booking slot available at a local jab centre, which was for 18th August. Which ended up being the first day of lockdown, and the only day that vaccinations were cancelled.

                      Then the 7th was the first available slot when I went to rebook. Between the 18th and 7th, walk-ins had mostly been discouraged, so I simply left my booking as it was and fronted up at the appointed time. Y'know, coz scheduling is a whole lot easy when people make and keep their appointments.

                      Go ahead and call that hypocritical if that's what flushes your toilet.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I'm fairly confident the rest of the large fully vaccinated majority at that point will also find further lockdowns unpalatable.

                    Lockdowns in response to outbreaks have been and will continue to be unpalatable but tolerable; preferable to "I'm vaccinated – let 'er rip" imo.

                    Pleased we didn't rush down the UK/US 'freedums' path – no hurry eh?

                    When will life return to normal? Health experts on a possible exit strategy to the pandemic [March 2020]
                    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he believes the country can “turn the tide” within 12 weeks, while President Donald Trump has suggested the U.S. can open up again “fairly soon.

                    Promises promises!

                    • Andre

                      So how long would you be happy for the willfully unvaccinated to hold Auckland hostage in lockdowns for? After all, you're sweet, you’re not in lockdown, you can roam around as much as you want (except to Auckland).

                    • Andre

                      For the purpose of forming my opinions, I get to decide.

                      Those opinions are partly informed by the experiences of some I know that are actually involved in knuckling down and trying to get vaccinations into arms in remote areas. And finding it's much more a resistance issue than a lack of resource issue.

                    • roblogic

                      Exactly, the vaccination drive so far has only worked for people who

                      • can travel
                      • can get time off
                      • have a phone
                      • pay attention to govt messages
                      • care about "the rules" or working in "the system"

                      not everyone enjoys such privileges

                    • Sacha

                      By about a week's time from now, everyone in Auckland will have had reasonable opportunity to get their first jab.

                      Oh, I see. 'Remote areas' like Auckland.

                    • Andre

                      @Sacha: everyone in Auckland can just rock up to a vaccination site and get the jab. Today. Tomorrow. Every single day over the coming week.

                      Over the next week, even essential workers will have had a day off when they shouldn't have other activities taking all their time. Because we’re in lockdown. People should be either at home, maybe at work if they’re essential, and doing essential activities such as grocery shopping, getting vaccinated and other healthcare. Nothing else

                      If someone is in Auckland and they haven't had their first jab within a week, it's because they choose not to make the very minimal effort needed to get it. They have had reasonable opportunity to get vaccinated.

                      Auckland has had capacity for walk-ins and drive-ins for most of a week now. It's how two of my kids got their first jab. In south auckland where a lot of resource was thrown at it early on, people have been able to get vaccinated as walk-ins for well over a month. That's how the young people I work with got fully vaccinated well ahead of their age group.

                      If it takes driving a vax bus around and knocking on people's doors and a practitioner having an extended discussion to get someone vaccinated, the seriousness of the pandemic makes that worth doing. But let's be clear, that's people unreasonably taking up a huge amount of resource for something they should be simply dealing with themselves. It's not because they're being discriminated against or somehow it's more difficult for them, it's that they are choosing to be difficult.

                    • Sacha

                      everyone in Auckland can just rock up to a vaccination site and get the jab

                      You are really not listening. So I will not waste any further effort talking. Enjoy your day.

                    • Incognito []

                      Access to Bethells Beach was cut off due to the recent floods 😉

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I think you're sweet too Andre.

                    So how long would you be happy for the willfully unvaccinated to hold Auckland hostage in lockdowns for?

                    When you frame it like that, not long at all – but then I'm no politician.

                    Safe vaccines that quickly end the pandemic. It’s ending. Normal life — that's all we want," he said. "You know what we want? Normal life. Normal life will finally resume, and next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country."
                    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/live-updates/2020-election-campaign/?id=73702022

                    https://covid19.govt.nz

                    • Andre

                      I'm touched. It's been at least four decades since the last time someone told me they think I'm sweet.

          • Macro 9.2.1.1.2

            Unfortunately with covid alive and well and rampant in an only partially vaccinated community, (even at 80 – 90%) putting up tent hospitals is going to be the exact scenario. It is only fair that those who have refused to uptake the vaccination should not deny access to the many others in the community who need intensive care for a variety of other reasons.

            The evidence is clear. Those who have been fully vaccinated have a greatly reduced need for hospitalisation from covid. Those who are unvaccinated with covid by and large are those filling the hospitals. I posted a day or two back a graphic of NZ's experience in the latest outbreak which clearly illustrates this fact.

        • Andre 9.2.1.2

          Yeah, that is a downside. Perhaps we could split them out and give them proper care and treatment.

          • McFlock 9.2.1.2.1

            Triaging on likelihood to participate in practical therapeutic efforts.

            Not a value judgement, just whether or not one should bother prescribing treatments to someone who probably won't take them.

      • Nic the NZer 9.2.2

        Marketing not your thing. National also asking if you are interested in running the new health ministry.

        • weka 9.2.2.1

          Andre's prepping for voting National at the next election. I kid you not.

          • Nic the NZer 9.2.2.1.1

            Even National (and their right arm ACT) are not going to front a policy of vaccine passport healthcare. I expect only a short executive career for Andre where he is cleaned out as a "left-wing" stooge after the election.

            Of course his policy contribution will do way more to revive National than his vote ever will.

      • Cricklewood 9.2.3

        Yes lets do that for Alcoholics, smokers, people who get whooping cough, measles and got knows what else you could be vaccinated against…

        Healthcare only for the virtuous…

        • Andre 9.2.3.1

          If people start missing out on healthcare because the system has been broken by idiots refusing a very safe, very effective and free disease preventative, you might be surprised where the public conversation goes.

          So the availability of a free, safe vaccine – and the existence of a large populace that refuses to be vaccinated and urging others to refuse – in some people's minds changes the debate. Not only among laypeople and the commentariat, but among healthcare professionals.

          "I can't tell you how many emails I've had in the last 48 hours talking about this; those of us working with the National Academies right now are going around and around on this issue," Dr. Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in a Zoom interview.

          https://www.salon.com/2021/09/11/care-rationing-ethics-vaccination/

  9. John G 10

    That RNZ article is trying to overegg things a bit I think. I agree the numbers of "extras" coming in seems a lot. However November to march is up to 22 weeks (depending on when you start) At 4900 beds per fortnight that makes over 50,000 beds available. Suddenly the numbers of extra's don't seem so big.

  10. Herodotus 11

    Great to hear our medical staff having been recognised in shout outs at 1:00

    perhaos with the additional $7b COVID fund, something more tangible to show our appreciation could also be given say a simple $1,000 to all hospital staff, and if some argue that that misses out on some then be more generous and enlarge the group.

    • Ad 11.1

      Just solving the Nurse's pay dispute would be a start.

      They clearly have the money for it.

      • Herodotus 11.1.1

        The nurses pay dispute imo will not happen pre Christmas so to do anything would be a great positive token of appreciation. And my idea of such a payment would be wider than only the nurses. There are many who contribute at the front line to our health system. Even PaknSave workers have been given a 10% loading to their rates.

        • gsays 11.1.1.1

          The Nurses pay round is looking less likely to be resolved quickly as the DHBs are now trying to put the staffing levels on the back-burner and resolve 'at a later date'.

          Just like the Pay Parity which has been dragging on since National were in power.

          Not surprisingly, the Nurses have pushed back on that and see it as one of the primary 'planks' of negotiations.

  11. Incognito 12

    Out of curiosity, what is the definition of “lockdown” here in NZ? Is it Alert Level 4, 3, 2, 1, or all of the above?

    • Andre 12.1

      I had always taken lockdown as levels 3 and 4. In both those levels, freedom of movement and freedom of association are severely restricted to personal bubbles, workplaces and homes.

      Whereas level 2 and lower, you may go where you please and visit whom you please, subject to a few much less onerous conditions such as venue capacity reductions and PPE use.

      • Incognito 12.1.1

        Ta

        So, the definition is somewhat subjective? I guess we also have different tolerance levels for these ‘lockdowns’ depending on personal circumstances, et cetera.

        • Andre 12.1.1.1

          I guess if you asked a government official, they would call level 4 "lockdown", and level 3 "restrict". At least, that's the wording on the official alert levels descriptions.

          https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/about-the-alert-system/

          • Incognito 12.1.1.1.1

            Indeed, it appears that Level 4 is labelled “lockdown”. So, Level 3 and lower are still acceptable then once the vaccination roll-out has runs its course?

            Personally, I find some of the Alert Level 1 measures restrictive, but I can tolerate them for a medium-long time although not indefinitely. Level 4 is a pain in the proverbial, but they are relatively short-lived.

            My attitudes will change over time and depending on what’s going on in the rest of the world. I hate to think that we might end up being the ‘Albania’ of ‘North-Korea’ of the world, but at the same time, I cringe at Plan B.

            • Andre 12.1.1.1.1.1

              To my values and priorities, level 3 is still an unpalatable level of restriction on freedom of movement and freedom of association, once everyone has had reasonable opportunity to get vaccinated. I don't much care whether some government publication calls it something other than lockdown, it's still lockdown as far as I'm concerned.

              At a family level during this lockdown, my dad in Northland has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. He needed to go to Whangarei Hospital for a scan, 2 hours drive each way. In level 2 or lower I would have gone to drive him, but as it was, mum ended up driving him. That's the most single-day driving she's done in decades, by a long way. They crashed on the way home, trivially minor injuries, but wrote the car off. He has heart issues sufficiently serious that there might not be anesthetists willing to work his operation, but if he does go under the knife I would really want to go see him beforehand. Because there would be a significant chance he wouldn’t make it out the other side. But we probably won't get out of level 3 (lockdown as far as I'm concerned) soon enough.

              I'm sure many other families have had to deal with much more serious life-changing issues and been prevented from getting together by the movement restrictions we currently have.

              • Incognito

                I’m sorry to hear about your dad, but it kinda emphasises what I argued about personal circumstances and experiences colouring one’s attitudes towards pandemic restrictions and thus to anything that might speed up or slow down lifting those restrictions. I guess this is the proverbial open door.

                Over time, the ‘negative’ aspects will start to outweigh any of the real and perceived benefits of those measures. The question for me is to what extent high (?) vaccination levels are going to be sufficient to relax those restrictions and what sacrifices are we prepared to make?

                Of course, you are worried about your dad, but should you be worried about him catching Covid-19 upon lifting restrictions? Equally, should anybody be worried about elderly relatives catching Covid-19 even when vaccinated? I won’t attempt to pre-empt your answer.

                • Andre

                  As for what my elderly parents might think about the risk of getting infected vs not being able to have family and friends visit, they would be very very strongly on the side of having people coming visit and let the infection chips fall where they may.

                  Particularly after everyone has had reasonable opportunity to get vaccinated. That moment in their area came and went quite a while ago. As I understand it, the local practitioners are now at the stage of putting a lot of individual effort into trying to get local maybes turned into vaccinees. That moment of everyone has had reasonable opportunity in my area isn't very far away.

                  For most of my parents lives they've lived with the risk of much more serious diseases than covid, that weren't always held at bay by vaccines with the astonishingly high effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine.

                  As for the idea that they might have to forgo having people visit for the sake of protecting people that refuse to protect themselves, I won't put their reaction in writing here to save moderators the trouble of permanently banning me.

                • Gezza

                  I've needed to go to Welly hospital for a follow up chest-x-ray scan – looking at a potential malignancy in my left lung.

                  I'm now paying the price of a life-time (since age 14) hard-to-kick addiction to cigarettes – severe emphysema. The Respiratory Clinicians' suspicion of a tumour in there too was a nasty shock & meant two specialised scans last year to see what's going on in there.

                  My scheduled 6 month follow-up scan 3 weeks ago during level 4 lockdown had to be rescheduled when we got to level 2. I had it last week. The good news is that there's been no change & the radiologist & others in the multi-specialist team has concluded no other changes, & no malignancy.

                  Which is obviously good, but it really has brought home to me how lockdowns place immense stress on the health system & anxiety for the patients.

                  Also, how desperately short of staff our hospitals seem to be, even BEFORE Covid-19 ended up putting them under even more pressure. Wellington Publc Hospital is a real United Nations & has been for many years. It couldn't cope without huge numbers of doctors & nurses from overseas.

                  It's a major worry how our public health system is going to cope when right around the world Health administrators are going to be chasing the same qualified resources.

  12. ianmac 13

    I think atheists rely more on Science:

    Ryan Struyk@ryanstruyk

    US vaccinated by religion via new Pew poll:

    90% atheist

    86% Hispanic Catholic

    84% agnostic

    79% White Catholic

    73% White mainline protestant

    70% Black protestant

    57% White evangelical protestant

    • joe90 13.1

      By dog, it's muh right to get covid.

  13. Jenny how to get there 14

    Here's an idea. You probably shouldn't be selling nuclear subamarines, if you can't remember who you are selling them to.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/16/joe-biden-forgets-scott-morrisons-name-during-historic-pact-announcement

    • Jenny how to get there 14.1

      Hey Joe, who did you sell that nuclear submarine to?

      “some fella down under”

      Can you be more precise?

      I dunno, some fella, in some country, below the equater?

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