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Open mike 17/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 17th, 2021 - 63 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 …

63 comments on “Open mike 17/05/2021 ”

  1. Morrissey 2

    Now the Russiagaters are holding up LIZ CHENEY as a defender of the rule of law

    Saagar Enjeti sums it up perfectly: "This is Lincoln Project-level idiocy."

    • Ad 2.1

      There will be far more weird moral loops within the United States by the time the current President figures out which Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats are in play to get his ambitious programmes and budgets over the Senate 51 vote line.

    • Pete 2.2

      You have to admit it is funny to have criticism of someone not dealing with the issues, the "conversation or substance."

      Of course there is a new way of dealing with any conversation or issue which will become classic, a perfectly valid technique: simply state, "Fake news."

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      "Gates said he thought affiliating with Epstein would encourage the financier to commit money to global health initiatives, but that the money never materialised."

      'Gates isn’t the only tech mogul with ties to Epstein – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk each met with Epstein at least once, years after after Epstein was convicted."

  2. Morrissey 3

    Bill Gates re Jeffrey Epstein: "I wish I'd never met him."

    When Gates "stayed late" at Epstein's house, who else was there? Bill Clinton? Rudy Giuliani? Donald Trump? Alan Dershowitz? sad

  3. KSaysHi 4

    Eugenie Sage's article on seabed mining linked below.

    Alan Eggers, from Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR), claimed in a recent opinion piece that the company has the marine and discharge consents it needs to start mining the seabed in the South Taranaki Bight. This is incorrect.

    For the past seven years, Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust, Ngā Rauru , Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, Forest and Bird, Fisheries Inshore NZ, the NZ Federation of Commercial Fishers, Talley’s Group, LegaSea and many others have vigorously contested TTR’s proposals.

    It's great to see so many large groups opposed and that we can hope the Supreme Court rules against TTR. Better yet is the member's bill which could end this nonsense once and for all:

    Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has a member’s bill before Parliament which would prohibit seabed mining around Aotearoa/New Zealand. It deserves to go to select committee so public views can be canvassed.

    Over the past 200 years, the oceans have absorbed a third of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities and 90 per cent of extra heat associated with global warming.

    Oceans have a huge role in mitigating climate change.

    Rather than allowing the large scale disturbance of seabed mining with long-lasting and potentially unforeseen consequences; oceans deserve our care and protection; because we depend on their good health.


  4. weka 5

    Can someone please explain this public messaging? What’s the science saying on transmission via vaccinated people?

    “ CDC Dir. Walensky: “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”


    • Treetop 5.1

      Scientists are currently doing research on all aspects of Covid, the problem is that health workers and people rely on the research which scientists are doing.

      Covid can be unpredictable, and people need reassurance now.

    • Andre 5.2

      This appears to be the latest CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people:


      Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. How long vaccine protection lasts and how much vaccines protect against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants are still under investigation.

      At this time, there are limited data on vaccine protection in people who are immunocompromised. People with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications (for instance drugs, such as mycophenolate and rituximab, to suppress rejection of transplanted organs or to treat rheumatologic conditions), should discuss the need for personal protective measures with their healthcare provider after vaccination.

      • weka 5.2.1

        Weird then that they are saying go back to normal life if you’re fully vaxxed. Or is this poor MSM reporting?

        • McFlock

          I know a guy who is immunocompromised (transplant recipient). His "normal" isn't the same as my "normal".

          As for the fully-vaxxed being able to return to what they did pre-pandemic, it largely seems to be a reasonable call. The evidence might not be beyond all reasonbable doubt yet, but it seems to be going in a pretty solid direction. If 80-90% reduction isn't in one's personal safety zone for clubbing, nobody is forced to go out.

          I would say that things like "turning up to work even though one has a cold" should be not just discouraged but actively punished as a workplace safety hazard, these days. Not because of the pandemic directly, but because it showed use how healthy we could be if we generally took basic precautions regarding infectious disease.

          • weka

            yeah, I'm hoping that one will stick too. We'll see.

            • McFlock

              bloody jinxed it, I did. Colleague came to work sniffling and coughing after having yesterday off sick.

              We sent him home, but there shouldn't have been any need to tell him.

    • KSaysHi 5.3

      Notice they don't care what you are vaccinated with – an ineffective Chinese vaccine will be fine, so "comply" seems to be the message they want to get through.

      My understanding which is a bit out of date (December last year) is that there isn't evidence that transmission will be prevented. In order to do that a vaccine must confer sterilized immunity, and there are three other criteria that also must be met but I can't recall them.

      • Andre 5.3.1

        Their guidance will most likely be for those vaccinated in the US with a US-approved vaccine. At the moment, those are Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.


        This moment of scrambling to get out of the pandemic isn't yet the time to drill down to the fine details of what to do about those few that have come from overseas with less effective vaccines, or those that think it's clever to obtain falsified vaccine documentation.

        And the CDC guidance says the risk of getting covid and transmitting it is greatly reduced (not eliminated) for the fully vaccinated.

        • weka

          Really? Because your previous quote suggests they don’t know. So this is about public health messaging, and thus far it looks like they taking a bet that it all works out fine. Imagine trying to get Americans to go back to hand washing, masks, social distancing if they’re wrong.

          My guess is they’re weighing up the value of enticing people to fully vax against that risk. Or maybe they’re going fuck it, we’re not going to get herd immunity so may as well do the best we can at normalising.

          • Andre

            Have you fully read the CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people and the background info in the "growing body of evidence" link?

            • weka

              No. Have you?

              • Andre

                Yes, I have read them.

                And I don't get it how anyone might think they can come to an understanding of why an organisation might make a particular decision without doing even the bare minimum of reading what that organisation publishes about what went into that decision. Second and third and fourth hand interpretations from other people are more likely to lead to a bum steer than understanding.

                • weka

                  Most people don’t read primary sources and rely on the reporting and interpretation of others. One of the reasons I ask questions on TS is because people here are relative well informed. We can’t all read everything.

            • Editractor

              I did, looking especially at transmission by vaccinated people.

              Their introduction states "In addition, a growing body of evidence suggests that COVID-19 vaccines may also reduce asymptomatic infection, and potentially transmission."

              Their growing body of evidence on transmission by infected but vaccinated people comprises just two studies: one listed in Table 1b (this table is not cited in the text) showing a 54% reduced risk, presumably of transmission; and one described in the text providing indirect evidence of reduced transmission based on reduced viral load in vaccinated people.

              Their conclusion states "Vaccinated people could potentially still become infected and spread the virus to others. However, the benefits of avoiding disruptions such as unnecessary quarantine and social isolation may outweigh these potential residual risks."

              With regards to transmission by vaccinated people, this sounds very much like public health messaging .

              • McFlock

                There was also a section about the relaxing of rules aiding in increasing the uptake of vaccination.

                The Scottish study with 54% was the reduction in household members who got covid after their household member who was a healthcare worker got vaccinated. So it doesn't rule out other avenues of infection, just demonstrates that unvaccinated that healthcare workers are a vector into their households. It's a bit of a proxy for actual transmission, like post-vax viral loads.

                So there are a combination of factors all leading to the general message that vaccination means you don't have to isolate at home and disinfect the mail-order deliveries every day.

              • weka

                Thanks. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place, and another rock given low uptake rates.

                Going back to normal in th US is a powerful incentive to get vaccinated. I feel for the people that can’t though. Is anyone advising or helping them?

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.4

      Can someone please explain this public messaging?

      For me, this whole Virus shit has provided a feast of public messaging grading and comparison. How those vital health messages have been constructed and delivered. More than once I have the distinct feeling that we have been 'worked', for want of a better word…massaged and gently manipulated.

      But then, I'm just an old cynical conspiracy theorist. wink

      • weka 5.4.1

        I don’t have too much of a problem with using known messaging techniques to get public health messages out. So long as there is transparency. And people are free to disagree and critique 😉

        in this instance, I don’t understand the CDC position and was hoping someone who did would explain.

        • Sabine

          from talking to friends in the US they don't understand either, so will continue to wear masks when out and about. Some have visited friends and relatives – all vaccinated of course – but that about it is. I guess its to get some commerce going again in the hospitality industry.

          another friend who is a biostatistician in California expects cases to raise again and she believes that the vaccines can be considered effective if the death toll stays low. 🙂

          • Andre

            Continuing to wear masks, physical distancing, hypervigilance around symptoms etc will still be good things for those willing to carry on with those practices. The will reduce transmission of all air-transmitted diseases such as flu, not just covid. Most of my rellies in the US have gotten used to doing all that and will continue.

            But there's a large segment of the population that finds all that onerous. So relieving the restrictions when conditions have reduced remaining risks down to a reasonable level, and they've done their bit by getting vaccinated, is a reasonable balance.

  5. Ad 6

    This contains some excellent graphic maps breaking down land ownership across Australia, including massive increases in Aboriginal land title, foreign ownership, state ownership, and pastoral leases.


    Anyone know if Landcare or OIC done something similar?

  6. RedBaronCV 7

    Be good to have a lot more detail on what these proposed investments are likely to be. There has been at least one study that shows wealthy investors do little to benefit NZ. Where are the factories employing locals. I'm with the stuff commentators who don't think they should be able to

    buy passports ( and I'd include moving here to live as residents – make it investment only)

    buy land buildings or existing businesses. lease only.

    Import more people to work in their businesses.

    Be good to see greenfields investment that benefits local workers with high wages. Why do I think that is unlikely to happen.


    • RedBaronCV 7.1

      And how is any of this going to help our young people buy a first home? Or increase social housing.

    • Janet 7.2

      If they are going to invest to improve sustainability in NZ , like replace all the imported pet food and pet litter products with NZ developed and made product, YES. If it is about more tourism , space stuff and unnecessary technology NO. If it is buying up more of our land and property, NO. New Zealanders really do have the right to know in detail what is going on here before it goes on.

  7. Byd0nz 8

    Very poor response by our PM in regard to the Israeli/Palastinion situation.

    Nothing short of condeming Israel for it's illegal occupation which is the root cause of the troubles woud suffice.

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      As it ever was.

      This comment sums up the response by the West in recent decades:

      I know there's an outcry around the world to de-escalate but I have not seen any determined effort, so, unfortunately, we cannot see de-escalation unless somebody steps and actually has a plan for peace."

      Determined effort is what is missing.

      And of the cause of violence this time? Look no further than our friend Trump:

      There had always been tensions in the region, but a major trigger this time was the former US president Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords which “created a lot of tension and that tension and anxiety hasn’t been resolved because President Biden doesn’t take it back so it’s still on the plan and that’s quite significantly problematic for Palestinians”.

      Biden seems paralysed too.


      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1.1

        "Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords"

        Nothing to do with Palestinians – it was a normalisation between Israel and UAE ( who werent even combatant state). More important normalisation, including diplomatic recognition were with Jordan and Egypt previously.

        That this minor event could 'create a lot of tension and anxiety' is vastly overblown in the context of the daily life of Palestinians compared to rich Arabs in Dubai.

        • Muttonbird

          Nothing to do with Palestinians.

          Indeed. Perhaps that is why they are so pissed off about it.

      • aom 8.1.2

        The situation could be resolved by the US in next to no time. All it would need is for the $3.8 billion p.a spent on Israel for weapons to have humanitarian conditions attached. Will they do it? Nah.

  8. Sabine 9

    oh boy,


    The neighbouring property is owned by C94 Development and the company is now taking legal action against Lal over the boundary stoush. It wants him to move the house or pay $315,000 in damages.

    “It’s a nightmare for me. I wake up in the middle of the night and think 'how am I going to solve this?'” Lal said.

    Pinnacle Homes had hired Hamilton-based company HQ Designs to come up with the plans and file the building consent for the house.

    Lal said HQ Designs architect Nitin Kumar filed the building consent and Auckland Council approved it. The council is ultimately responsible, he said.

    “The council checked everything and approved the building consent. But the council didn’t cross-check that it was supposed to be one metre within the boundary.”

    Lal said he just wants to find someway out of the whole mess.

    “Everyone seems to be blaming someone else.”

    He said moving the house would be the cheapest option, but that’s money he does not have.

    “I’m already paying $1000 a week for the mortgage on this house and the rent for the other place where I’m living.”

    Auckland Council was contacted for comment, but did not respond by deadline.

    the people signing off on building consents, do they know what they do? Or do they get paid for attendance and fees collected?

    • weka 9.1

      Was the house built too close to the boundary, or was there unclarity on where the boundary is?

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        nope reading hte article it seems the Council missed something, signed up and the build got build.

        The council checked everything and approved the building consent. But the council didn’t cross-check that it was supposed to be one metre within the boundary.”

        • McFlock

          Dunno the legal nuances of it, but the designer's being a bit precious about his role in the stuff up IMO.

          HQ Designs Nitin Kumar said when he filed the building consent he asked the council to cross-check it against the resource consent for the site.

          “I clearly noted it in the building consent and said they needed to read it in conjunction with the resource consent. It’s the council’s responsibility to check it.”

          Even if he's not legally responsible at the end of the day, checking his plans against the resource consent himself would have been a bit of professionalism that prevented all this. He knew enough point it out to the council, after all.

    • Ad 9.2

      It's true that Council staff make mistakes when there's massive demand in Consents as there has been through 2020.

      It's pretty important that you understand Sabine that the pressures they face actually mount up to be insurmountable.

      Auckland Council have had 2 suicide instances recently. That gives an indicator of the culture that many face of public abuse, internal bullying, and job insecurity.


      • Gabby 9.2.1

        The least they can do is pay to move the house by 1 metre.

      • Sabine 9.2.2

        Non of that negates the fact that the fellow has a house where it should not be, and that he does not have several hundred thousands of dollars to make up for someone elses mistakes. Money he not has, and money he should not be responsible to spend.

        This is the failure of the Council to a. hire enough people to do the job, b. pay the people enough to do the job, and c. to ensure that the council is a non toxic work place..

        And just imagen if that work place is so toxic how bad it must be for someone who just wants a consent correctly signed of so that he can build his house and not be saddled with debt due to an incompetent or overworked council staff.

        • woodart

          council dont lay out foundations, or do the job of the surveyors. maybe you should think about that before running off at the mouth. council inspectors are there to make sure the building code is complied with, NOT to hold the hands of incompetent contractors. IF, there is a toxic work place at the council, I would suggest much of the blame could be layed at the feet of experts like you, who are very quick to apportion blame, but very slow to suggest how to improve things.

          • Sabine

            In this article it is quite clear that the blame lies within the council. Someone has got to be responsible, and generally it is the one who signs off on the job. Or else we do away with council and build as we want with the same result.

            But i get it, its all the poor fellows fault, for trusting the developer, the builder, and the council and still got fudge all worth a dime or two.

            • woodart

              "the article is quite clear. " yes, of course it is. its also bollocks. the builder, surveyor and developer will be quickly closing ranks,leaky home saga all over again. but ,if you get out from behind your p.c. and spend time on a site, council inspectors are there to make sure the building act is being followed, got nothing to do with building inspector where the house is situated. building inspectors checking that out would quickly be told by subbies to butt out and stick to their knitting. the fault lies equally with surveyor, builder and developer.

              • Pat

                lol….in my experience that would be a bloody stupid thing to do and the lead contractor would quickly tell the subbie to fuck up or fuck off.

                • woodart

                  yes, you are correct pat, but as low men on site totem pole, subbies try to flex their muscles. as you say, lead contractor is god. should also know how to read the comic(plans) and know where house should be located. interesting to read the article and imagine the deals being done to shovel liability away.

              • Pete

                1). A media story and people are quick to jump to conclusions and make judgements with the bits of information which have made it into print.

                2). People make mistakes. Well other people, not us residing on keyboards.

                3). Being on keyboards affords us the luxury of knowing who should've done what and when and why.

              • Brigid

                "council inspectors are there to make sure the building act is being followed, got nothing to do with building inspector"

                The requirement to site a house within a metre of the boundary pre-dates the 1990 Building Act.

                Of course it's the inspectors job to check that it has been sited properly and if this had been done it would have been discovered at the first inspection of the foundations.

                I don't think you are very well informed at all.

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