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Open mike 17/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 17th, 2021 - 142 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

142 comments on “Open mike 17/09/2021 ”

  1. The militaristic alliance recently announced, AUKUS, is misnamed.

    It should mirror the power balance in the group, while more reflecting Australia’s real position.

    USUKA

    • Gezza 1.1

      Aukus: China denounces US-UK-Australia pact as irresponsible
      Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the alliance risked ‘severely damaging regional peace… and intensifying the arms race.’

      He criticised what he called “the obsolete cold war… mentality” and warned the three countries were “hurting their own interests”.

      Chinese state media carried similar editorials denouncing the pact, and one in the Global Times newspaper said Australia had now “turned itself into an adversary of China”.
      … … … …
      [The Guardian also reports that Teresa May has grilled BoJo in the House of Commons, demanding to know: “What are the implications of this pact for the stance that would be taken by the United Kingdom in its response should China attempt to invade Taiwan?”]

      In reply, Boris Johnson was careful not to rule anything out. “The United Kingdom remains determined to defend international law and that is the strong advice we would give to our friends across the world, and the strong advice that we would give to the government in Beijing,” he said.

      “‘A stab in the back’
      France has also reacted angrily to the new pact, because it means Australia will now abandon a $50bn (€31bn; £27bn) deal with it to build 12 submarines.”

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58582573
      (BBC explainer – 2nd embedded short video gives useful background info & shows other countries’ claimed territorial boundaries, which China refuses to recognise)

      (Also:
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/joe-biden-forgets-scott-morrisons-name-in-aukus-security-pact-announcement/GGCZXFJQRW6J5WH5OIJ6ZJUX7E/ – a bit of a worry …? 😬 )

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Note carefully – it's China making all the 'adversary' noises here. You cannot do diplomacy with someone who won't pick up the phone.

        As for 'intensifying arms race' – these guys really have irony superpowers.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Great to see the French protesting about their own commercial fuckup.

          Commerce is the most important part of modern international defence.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes – the word I'm hearing is that the French govt has every reason to be angry at how their own industry has dropped the ball here. It's hard to know from the outside, but all the noises were that the contracts were not off to a good start and the Australian's increasingly became aware that what was going to be delivered was neither value for money – nor going to serve them well.

            Diesel electric subs with lead acid batteries can be very good in some contexts as the Swedish designs have shown – but in the vastness of the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans they have very real limitations.

            Personally I suspect that after the recriminations, tearing of sack-cloth and some head rolling something will be sent the French direction to calm them down. You gotta feel for the French Ambassador though – a massive loss of face.

        • Gezza 1.1.1.2

          This, on RNZ’s website today, RL

          “Does China have a grand plan to take over the world?

          Yes, says a landmark book on China’s rise, which has sparked debate among China-watchers, partly because of its quality, partly because of its methodology and partly because the author is now in a position to influence US policy as an advisor to Joe Biden on the National Security Council.”

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/stories/2018812622/wolf-at-the-door-does-china-have-a-grand-plan-to-assert-its-power

        • Gabby 1.1.1.3

          Buying nuke subs is pretty funking big adversary noise.

            • woodart 1.1.1.3.1.1

              who else buys nuclear subs?

                • joe90

                  Also, South Korea has launched a ballistic missile from a conventionally powered submarine and their nuclear industry likely has the technology and experience to make short work of going the whole hog.

                  https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/09/new-dawn-first-time-a-modern-non-nuclear-submarine-has-fired-a-ballistic-missile/

                • woodart

                  an intention is just another word for a dream. in the case of nuclears subs, I would say, wet dreams. it has taken thirty years for china to fit a nuclear reactor into an old soviet designed, ukrainian built ,engineless hulk, that was left behind in 1990 when soviet union fell over. To design ,build ,pay for, and run a nuclear sub is harder than sending man to the moon.

                  • joe90

                    At it's peak the Apollo programme employed 400,000 people, had 20,000 external organisations at it's beck and call and an unlimited budget.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program

                    • woodart

                      you can get into space now relatively easily, staying for three months at the bottom of the sea with a nuclear reactor hasnt got any easier.

                    • joe90

                      Not bad for an outfit that supposedly had to fit a nuclear reactor into an old soviet designed, ukrainian built ,engineless hulk, that was left behind in 1990 when soviet union fell over, eh.

                      //

                      Over the past 15 years, the PLAN has constructed twelve nuclear submarines—two Shang I class SSNs (Type 093), four Shang II class SSNs (Type 093A), and six Jin class SSBNs (Type 094), two of which were awaiting entry into service in late 2019. Equipped with the CSS-N-14 (JL-2) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the PLAN’s four operational Jin class SSBNs represent the PRC’s first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent. Each Jin class SSBN can carry up to 12 JL-2 SLBMs….China’s next-generation Type 096 SSBN, which will likely begin construction in the early-2020s,will reportedly carry a new type of SLBM. The PLAN is expected to operate the Type 094 and Type 096 SSBNs concurrently and could have up to eight SSBNs by 2030….

                      By the mid-2020s, China will likely build the Type 093B guided -missile nuclear attack submarine. This new Shang class variant will enhance the PLAN’s anti-surface warfare capability and could provide a clandestine land-attack option if equipped with land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs).”42

                      https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/RL33153.pdf

                    • woodart

                      google varyag. nothing supposed at all . it was how china got into the aircraft carrier business. truth IS stranger than fiction .

                  • McFlock

                    Liaoning was completed in ten years from arrival in Dalian.

                    Which is not a bad timeframe for that sort of vessel and its associated technology. Might not defeat a CVN group, but definitely has potential to make a splash in the South China Sea.

                    • woodart

                      have you researched the complete story? wiki doesnt put up the whole amazing saga i.e. being towed around in circles in black sea for nine months because first chinese owners went broke after it left ukraine , and nobody wanted an engineless ,unsteerable hulk entering any port. turkey refused to let it into the bosporous. the filipino tug crew werent payed for a yr. it actually took about 25 yrs from first launch to being semi,usuable . if china hadnt pissed around with nuclear, and had gone straight to conventional power, they could have had it going in half that time ,for a fraction of the budget. but hey ho , boys always want the shiniest toys . nz missed a golden opportunity. we could have got it for 20 mill, parked it in auck harbour ,and had a floating rugby feild/ events facility.

                    • McFlock

                      lols at "first Chinese owners".

                      You do know it wasn't anyone other than the Turks holding up its passage through the Bosherous? 25 years is misleading: mothballed for almost ten before China even bought it, then a stall from the black sea before a tow the long way around because Suez was worried about groundings.

                      As for choosing to install a reactor, sounds odd if it's the culmination of the Chinese carrier plan (or the PLAN plan lol). But if it's an initial testbed platform with unknown but expected expansion requirements, maybe no so much. Shandong is gas boiler, not nuke. But if they want to retrofit higher power sensors, or an emals, or a rail gun, or all of the above, chances are they'll go with the vessel with electricity in reserve.

                      Not to mention fewer ship to ship fuel transfers if they want to take a jaunt out of SCS into, say, the Indian Ocean, project a bit of power there. Still have to do it for the aircraft fuel and stores, though.

                      These guys aren't stupid. Like most effective governments, they have a long term plan – much longer than the US 4 year cycle. PRC is designing and building some high-level stuff, and is working methodically to achieve parity with and then surpass a declining USA. They have the discipline and cash to not just build the stuff, but to train hard on how to use it (unlike the Russians). Apparently they still need a bit of work to develop reliable long range high performance jet engines, but they're following a steady programme of development across their armed forces.

                      At least their carrier restbed works, unlike the US with their Zumwalt destroyers. Lots of power, and a gun they can't fire.

        • Janet 1.1.1.4

          Was it not predictable that China with its very unbalanced male / female ratio from years of an “only one baby “ policy, could become expansionist both economically and politically?

        • Subliminal 1.1.1.5

          Thats an interesting take on the state of world diplomacy. First up we have Biden agreeing that Putin is a killer and then Blinken attempting to lay down the "rules" to Wang in Anchorage. If the only reason you pick up the phone is to yell abuse, not much diplomacy will get done either

      • Sanctuary 1.1.2

        Hard not to see the British involvement in all this as the hubris of boomer imperial nostalgia and their politics of gerontocracy (see this as evidence for the prosecution – https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/imperial-measures-uk-return_uk_61439407e4b07ad8c8dd2c6a ).

        The UK currently has an aircraft carrier parading about Asia while they make noises about a return to the China Station and a presence east of Suez. There seems little concept in the UK about how offensive the optics of this might be to the Chinese for whom their century of humiliation is as fresh in their memory as yesterday while militarily it shows a wilful act of forgetting of the lessons of the the painful catastrophes of 1942 when Japan ended the illusions of the British Empire in the humiliation of crushing defeat in Malaya. It also just reinforces how much an ancillary of the United States the UK is these days – the carrier has mostly operated US Marine Corps F-35B aircraft and the British wouldn't dare risk a carrier anywhere near China without American support.

        The hubris of the British is mind boggling, and while the British are trying to carve out a post-Brexit place for their brand of Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism the wider meta (including the French anger) is it illustrates nicely the struggle with reality the Europeans have in general when confronted by evidence of the pivot of the centre of world power from Europe to North Asia and the loss of their accustomed place at the top of American considerations – this piece today in the Guardian is telling in it's expression of largely impotent European fury at the US failure to give their concerns precedence in a whole number of places: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/16/aukus-deal-showing-france-and-eu-that-biden-not-all-he-seems The Europeans had better get used to paying their own way in defense, the Americans have sensed tomorrows world will be made in a dynamic Asia, not a moribund Europe. Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, only having a few dozen operational jet fighters is a nonsense that cannot continue.

        Anyway, given the track record of the Australian defense industry there is no guarantee these submarines will ever even materialise from Adelaide. More likely, the Aussies will end up leasing some of the newer 688i boats before sometime in the next twenty years just buying Virginia class submarines, if they whole thing isn’t cancelled as the hopeless financial over-reach of an aspirational middle power.

        • Gezza 1.1.2.1

          “Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, only having a few dozen operational jet fighters is a nonsense that cannot continue.”
          … … …

          Yep. One of the things that bozo Trump got exactly right, even though it infuriated them. NATO really had come to lazily rely on the US to handle the grunt work of providing & paying for most of the equipment & military assets for European defence, & were not even sticking to their agreed budgetary contributions to the Pact.

          I hope Biden’s not letting them off the hook over that.

          • Craig Hall 1.1.2.1.1

            But given how much the US spends even as a % of GDP, why wouldn't anyone in an alliance with them rely on them heavily? Isn't that basically what everyone is getting by signing up with them?

    • Tiger Mountain 1.2

      Nice one Tony. Last gasp of the Anglosphere? US Imperialism seems to be under real pressure, Aussies have always been their Deputy Dog in the Pacific, and UK–what a joke country these days–situated in Europe but somehow thought they could leave…

      Surely a good time for Aotearoa NZ to ditch 5 Eyes forthwith, and employ an independent foreign policy as a Pacific Nation.

      • francesca 1.2.1

        John Mearsheimer, influential political scientist described as the most influential "realist" in US foreign relations circles states it pretty baldly

        “You’re either with us or against us,” he continued. “And if you’re trading extensively with China, and you’re friendly with China, you’re undermining the United States in this security competition. You’re feeding the beast, from our perspective. And that is not going to make us happy. And when we are not happy you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be. Just ask Fidel Castro.

        https://caityjohnstone.medium.com/australia-continues-its-plunge-into-authoritarianism-and-military-brinkmanship-c6478b5fb3ec

        Incidentally John Mearsheimer has always posited that the US was to blame for Russia's actions in Ukraine.He advocates friendship with Russia to prise it away from China. A friendship devoid of a desire for peace, rather the drive to maintain US global hegemony

        His views are pretty much aligned with brute force

    • bwaghorn 1.3

      I saw some footage recently of Xi tripping the coloured, (standing out the top of a limo) I thought to myself that's one scary fucker.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    "The Murder Wagon" – now that's pretty funny!

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/covid-outreach-disaster-as-online-poll-sees-vaccination-bus-named-the-murder-wagon/

    "The Government is dealing with a Covid outreach debacle today, after the decision to put the naming of New Zealand’s vaccination bus service to a social media poll backfired, when users across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram voted narrowly to name the service “The Murder Wagon.”"

    • weka 2.2

      lol, I suspect this will hit most with people over a certain age. When did fast speed drills get rolled out in NZ?

      • alwyn 2.2.1

        The early ones must have been in the first half of the 1950's. I believe that the School Dental Nurses weren't allowed to use them. My parents started to send me to a dentist when I was still at Primary School because they thought the reduced pain, for me, from a high speed drill was well worth the extra cost to them. That was certainly before 1955.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          We had low speed drills at primary school in the 70s. The Murder House was the common name for going to see the dental nurse (not the dentist in town). I'm guessing it changed around that time (mid 70s?)

          • bwaghorn 2.2.1.1.1

            I'm sure those ropes that drove the drill used to slow down when the nurses pushed down on them . Late 70s galatea

    • Jenny how to get there 2.3

      Talking about renaming things. Judith Collins has expressed her dismay that New Zealand is not allowed to be a member of AUKUS. Since AUKUS is basically a nuclear pact, Collins would have us ditch our nuclear free status to join what she calls, this select group.

      To make it more palatable to New Zealanders opposed to nuclear treaties, AUKUS be given a cuddly makeover AUKUS becomes AUKUSNZ, pronounced Aw Cousins, to reflect out superiour common Western European, (white), warrior culture.

  3. Gezza 3

    “There is widespread political scepticism as government watchdogs launch a review into key agencies’ actions in the lead-up to the LynnMall terror attack earlier this month.

    Police, Corrections and intelligence services are to go under the microscope.

    ACT says the government has already promised to fix gaps in the law, while the Greens and National say the review will miss important questions …”

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/451648/scepticism-as-government-watchdogs-launch-review-into-lynnmall-terror-attack

    it will be interesting to see what changes, resources, or other action, if anything, come out of it the review. It probably needs to be done. On Newshub nation last weekend, channel-surfing, I caught the tail end of a segment where a presenter was asking Kelvin Davis about a report obtained by some news agency under the OIA that appears to have mentioned Corrections Dept is monitoring some 135 people with extremist views.

    • Gezza 3.1

      An eminently readable piece in Stuff Opinions today, talking about the breadth of Islamic beliefs in NZ’s Muslim community in NZ:

      “…
      Why there are several conservative people present in western societies, why some become extremists, and others become more tolerant and open minded, is very hard to understand.

      But one way to comprehend this is by understanding the difference between Islam (faith) and Islamism (ideology, or in other words, the fundamentalist version of islam).

      By the end of 19th century, many Muslims were living under European rule, and their power was diminishing.

      Turkey and Malaysia went towards secularism and reformism versions of islam. But some Middle Eastern regions went towards Islamism, and the idea that Muslims are lagging behind the west because they are not good Muslims. In this version, they need to be devoted Muslims and reject the influence of the West in order to gain back glory.

      Islamist groups (Islamism inspired) were there before 9/11, but after this incident, the rise of Islamist groups helped shift some Muslims away from their national identities, towards a more exclusive Muslim ummah one.

      When some of these migrants with Islamist thinking (Muslim ummah) come to New Zealand and other western countries with preconceived conservative ideas, because they cannot change the society here by preaching or by force, they become even more conservative in their own thoughts.

      They will sometimes start doing hardcore rituals with even more passion, they will meet with only other similar mindset and ethnic backgrounds.They will celebrate only their own festivals and become wary of all other thoughts.”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/126399499/not-every-muslim-is-extremist-the-difference-between-islam-and-islamism

    • alwyn 3.2

      I can give you the full details of this review now.

      They will simply play the song The Countries In the Very Best of Hands from the musical L'il Abner. In other words they will assure us that they did everything perfectly.

  4. Ad 4

    More from multiple radio commentaries on COVID stripping away the covers of national poverty, when you're:

    – unused to using a landline phone

    – don't have a car to travel around

    – can't physically move easily

    – deeply distrust the system

    – have multiple and complex co-morbidities

    – don't have time or energy in the day due to multiple responsibilities

    – don't have a cellphone

    – haven't kept physical records

    – have reason to fear state authority of any kind

    And shoutout to all the NGOs who work with such people, particularly at this time on vaccinations.

    Sure hope those people designing planned structural changes to the health system are watching.

    • Andre 4.1

      How do these people deal with other everyday necessities of life such as getting their groceries?

      edit: also, how many people are genuinely in this kind of position?

      • Ad 4.1.1

        By my description they are both people living an outsider existence occasionally intersecting with systems, and also people who have a large set of services focusing on their needs.

        On your second question: by Christmas this year we are about to find out.

      • Gezza 4.1.2

        I assume some Māori kaumatua, & Pasifika elders, in this situation have whanau & aiga members who normally help them out with shopping, go as support persons to their dr’s and other appointments etc?

        And perhaps Pākehā elderly or disabled on their own are plugged into state-funded aged-care caregivers & welfare groups (eg from churches or community groups) who have been doing this sort thing for them.

        The elderly Sri Lankan widow next door has been visited twice daily for over a year by state-funded caregivers. Those visits cease in lockdowns, & her adult kidz & grandchildren seem to pick up the slack.

        • Ad 4.1.2.1

          There are major contractors of Registered Nurses, rehabilitation people, ACC specialists, parole and back-to-work people who do things for difficult people, multiple times a day. It's what we pay taxes for.

          • Gezza 4.1.2.1.1

            Down in Welly region, the contracted agency caregivers/helpers are often strictly limited in what specific care duties they can/will do, Ad. They’re seemingly very concerned about their liabilties should something go wrong & that they might be in the gun for under occupational safety & health regs.

            Those who are contracted to provide housekeeping services are confined to doing housework once a fortnight, & it’s limited to putting the vacuum cleaner over the main areas of the house, mopping kitchen & bathroom floors, & doing & hanging out any washing.

            While it’s a great help, they don’t do things like dusting or Spring Cleaning,which means elderly people who can’t manage these tasks eventually wind up with accumulated dust on everything & spills in cupboards/pantries not cleaned up etc.

            I’ve had experience in dealing with them. Sometimes the person gets someone who agrees to do these little extras off-the-careplan out of kindness, or for a bit of extra cash under the table.

            It’s less likely to happen when there are multiple caregivers, rostered on for different days. And there are some days when caregivers don’t turn up. They’re often under pressure themselves, getting asked to fit in an extra client – sometimes across town. My heart goes out to them. They work hard & many find it rather stressful.

            • Ad 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes we are just having adventures in advanced eldercare at the moment, covering every single bodily function and household task for living 24 hours a day.

              Pretty stressful when the family tries to take on even a part of what the state or private sector can do. And you easily rack over $1,000 in costs unless the subsidy provisions kick in to lessen it. Brutal time.

              Both the cared-for and the carers are worth it.

              • RedLogix

                And you easily rack over $1,000 in costs unless the subsidy provisions kick in to lessen it. Brutal time.

                Our costs got to over quarter of a mil. Why do you think we left for Aus so late in life and I'm still working 60hr weeks well past retirement age?

                And pulling night shift as I type.

        • Andre 4.1.2.2

          What might be stopping these support people from also assisting with getting vaccinations sorted for them?

          We're now at the stage in the vaccination program where, for the huge majority of the population, it's just as easy to go get vaccinated as it is to go get groceries. In fact, for two of my kids, it was easier to get them to go get their jabs as walk-ins that it is to get them to do a grocery run.

          • Gezza 4.1.2.2.1

            In Welly they either seem to have to abandon their clients in L4 lockdown, or alternatively perhaps the family of my elderly widow neighbour just asked the Care Co not to send them – because they’re usually got multiple clients, are thus a Covid-spreading risk, & not in the parent’s bubble?

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.3

        Many thousands perhaps across the country. My partner supervised a Census team one year in Northland and they needed 4 wheel drives for unmapped access tracks to remote properties, and boats to reach some potential customers in Whangaroa harbour.

        Several hundred across the region conveyed in various ways “go away and stop bothering us” despite explanations that their needs, and regional needs would be more difficult to meet if they did not participate. Some of these people get followed up and some don’t.

        Some are just obstinately, politically, or for mental health reasons, off the grid.

      • Pete 4.1.4

        I don't know how many people are run that position.

        I do know of driving up back roads in one of our regions, going past decrepit, broken down old houses and on getting past seeing washing on the line. And recently hearing someone from an affluent part of Auckland's North Shore doing the same thing in an exploration of the province. They had entered a world they didn't know existed.

        I had reason to visit a home in the middle of an ordinary suburb in one of our reasonably big cities. The way the people lived was different that the model most might have in their mind of ordinary suburban life, the depiction in tv programmes. It was the opposite of comfortable and affluent. It was a different country. It was reality.

        There is a parallel universe, a different reality. Hearing about part of that in the radio report?

        – unused to using a landline phone, don't have a car to travel around, can't physically move easily, deeply distrust the system, have multiple and complex co-morbidities, don't have time or energy in the day due to multiple responsibilities, don't have a cellphone, haven't kept physical records ….

        No surprise. Welcome to our world. Welcome to the modern society we have developed. We can have all the images in our heads of how people are and what we might want them to be like (like us?) and what they should be like. Our differences are as wide as the space between the bottom of Stewart Island and North Cape.

        The answer? The response? Crying, "They shouldn't be like that!" or "Get a bloody vaccination!" And like a magic click of the fingers it will happen. The view from the parallel universe.

        • RedLogix 4.1.4.1

          The way the people lived was different that the model most might have in their mind of ordinary suburban life, the depiction in tv programmes. It was the opposite of comfortable and affluent. It was a different country. It was reality.

          I had my first encounter with this (it was not my last) in the 80's deep in the King country near Taumaranui. It's a complex story I'm not going to share here, but suffice to say one day I discovered that someone I had learned some important lessons from lived in a tin shed with a dirt floor and open fire place.

          As a keen tramper I wasn't too shocked, it's a lifestyle I recognised. But for an elderly couple in the depths of winter it was a different story. His son told me the whanau had tried many times to get them to move – but the old man wanted very much to stay. Over time people develop intense attachments to place and history and forcing them to part with this causes more harm than good.

    • Sanctuary 4.2

      I don't have a lot of time for John Tamihere, but his comment yesterday that "these people live off the grid" resonated.

      "…Sure hope those people designing planned structural changes to the health system are watching…"

      Health is a minefield of sectoral squeaky wheels. it seems to me to be largely run by reflexively miserly managers steeped in a fetish of doing more for less who reactively try to placate with the barest minimum a never ending procession of complainers. Nurses, resident medical professionals, radiographers, middle class Maori looking for sinecures, white entitlement, big pharma, etc etc all mitigate against the powerless, the voiceless and the poor getting much of a look in when it comes to the health dollar.

      • Ad 4.2.1

        Just maybe the many years of critique by Maori of the public health system has been right.

        And if the targeted work of health NGOs really do get us beyond 85% coverage, it's time to really listen respectfully.

      • Gezza 4.2.2

        Welly hospital has, I believe, been making prioritising of delivering services for Māori for the last couple of years. Dunno how this applies to delivering services to rural Māori.

        Each hospital wing seems to have a Whanau Room (door sign not accompanied by the English “Family Room”). I’ve had (now dearly departed elders) spend varying amounts of time in the CCDHB Hospital over since 2017, & made myself coffees in the Whanau Rooms when spending hours visiting them.

        While most whanau using the rooms were perfectly fine with my doing this, did get the odd hostile stare from some whanau members, who seemed to regard the rooms as being exclusively for the use of Māori. I stopped using them after the 2nd time as I didn’t know whether they were right & felt uncomfortable intruding.

        • Gezza 4.2.2.1

          Gawd … I’m missing the edit function. Sorry for the slightly garbled 1st paragraph folks. 😕 Must try to do better on the proof-reading-before-posting front.

    • miravox 4.3

      I guess it's perspective, people who have commented so far have seen poverty, elder care ethnicity and rurality as important factors in the points raised.

      I'd like to add family violence, coercion and control as a barrier to accessing health services, including vaccination.

      Another point about mobile phones – it's just not having one – it's having to share a phone within a household. This means it's not always around, nor is leaving a message on a mobile necessarily seen by the intended recipient.

      Sure hope those people designing planned structural changes to the health system are watching.

      Yes, so do I. It's the promise, isn't it?

    • dv 4.4

      An added point about off the grid.

      Will there be some that are not aware of the pandemic?

  5. Forget now 5

    Keep your eyes, and ears, peeled for kererū (wood pigeons) this week. Though I am not so sure about cluttering up my cheapish mobile with yet another app, a paper notebook will do the job just as well – unless you have a good camera.

    2021 is the eighth and final year of the Great Kererū Count. Everyone needs to go hard at counting kererū this year to make sure we have our full eight years of amazing data. This data will help Aotearoa understand how best to keep kererū safe for future generations…

    In the last 7 years, New Zealand citizen scientists have contributed to a total of 52,034 observations and 119,910 kererū counted which is helping create a statistically significant database to understand and secure the future of these birds.

    https://www.greatkererucount.nz/

    • Ad 5.1

      Ever seen them fly and deliberately stall in a series of downward sigmoidal curves?

      • JanM 5.1.1

        Yes – cool to watch, especially when a group of them do it in formation

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.2

        Mirovax, Many problems are caused by the contracting spiral of hiring the "cheapest" service which has things down to the bone.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.3

        Yes Ad, at Lake Rotorua at Kawaha Point. Amazing birds… rather like bumble bees!! Not very aerodynamic but amazingly effective.

    • Gezza 5.2

      Don’t see them at all where I live in Tawa, but the population’s probably doing well in greater Wellington region. Have seen them at our first house, over the other side of Tawa, where there was lots of native bush.

      I remember coming out after a hiokoi ngahere (bush walk) into the carpark at the Regional Park up at Kaitoke, the main intake for Welly’s water supply – on the way North over the Remutakas, about 9 years ago. It was berry season. Three trees in the area were so full of fat kereru the branches were literally bending under their weight.

      We’d have had trouble counting them. Never seen anything like it before.

      Wellington’s Zealandia bird reserve seems possibly to have been responsible for slowly but surely repopulating the city with native nga manu. I’ve been seeing the occasional kaka around here lately. They weren’t ever seen anywhere else in the city where I’ve lived.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        the main intake for Welly’s water supply

        I wrote the software to control that intake some years back. There's a bit more to it than most people would imagine. But a beautiful place to work – and good memories.

        There is one particular spot down at the river in the Te Marua Twin Lakes park between two large rows of trees where the kereru used to gather and swoop. Not as many as you describe though.

      • Gezza 5.2.2

        Drat. *hikoi
        Damned tiny type!

    • They are in my garden all the time at the moment feeding on the flowering tree lucerne.

  6. Joe90 6

    Preferred service provider of extremists denied being hacked.

    The page denying the hack was altered to prove the allegation.

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2021/09/anonymous-leaks-gigabytes-of-data-from-epik-web-host-of-gab-and-parler/

  7. Gezza 7

    France says its forces have killed the leader of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara region.


    One of the reasons I like watching Alazeera tv news is that it broadcasts 1-hour & 1/2-hour news shows regularly 24/7 – reporting on events globally, often in considerable detail with "expert" discussion & analysis. Lotsa World news we don't ever see covered on TV1, 3, or Prime.

    And they'll interrupt their regular schedule of documentaries & other programmes to live-broadcast breaking news (like UN Security Council Meetings, significant press conferences by World leaders – especially Great Power leaders [with English-translators] & breaking news major events like major terrorist attacks, Israeli & Palestinian outbreaks of hostilities, the Beirut port explosion.)

    They sometimes have a noticeable bias & they NEVER criticise Qatar in any way, but they will still sometimes include interviews with commentators whose views are contrary to their bias.

    Quite a few Kiwis work for them as either news anchors & hosts of 30 minute magazine-style current affairs segments, or as reporters.

    Kim Vinnell (ex-TV1) is a frequent Doha-based news anchor & CA host, as is Kamahl Santamaria (ex-Auckland, I think. Charlotte Bellis (ex-TV3) is currently one of their several go-to reporters on the ground in Kabul & got the first call (by name) for a question at the Taliban's 1st press conference. Elizabeth Purānam – Indian heritage Kiwi – was one of their anchors for a couple of years but is now one of their reporters in New Delhi.

    Channel 31 on Freeview. Worth a look sometime, imo.

  8. Gezza 8

    Afghanistan: Taliban’s Mullah Baradar denies rumours of his death
    Former head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha & Acting Deputy Pry Minisda says he is ‘absolutely fine and healthy’ amid rumours of internal divisions.

    “The news about our internal conflict the media are reporting is also not true. We have compassion among ourselves, more than a family. We assure the Afghan nation, Mujahideen, elders, and youth do not worry and there is no reason to be worried.”

    More:
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/16/talibans-mullah-baradar-denies-his-own-killing

  9. Andre 9

    Uh oh.

    A bunch of places in Tauranga have been added to the locations of interest. Presumably that's from the truck driver that had the bad luck to do a run in that short window of time between a household contact getting infected and the driver getting tested.

    Fuck I hope that doesn't lead to more of the country getting put back into lockdown.

    https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/contact-tracing-covid-19/covid-19-contact-tracing-locations-interest

  10. JanM 10

    Sorry, my technical skills are not up to providing a link but I've just read an article in Stuff citing the Wanaka couple being an example of Pakeha privilege when it comes to name suppression through the courts. Obviously unaware that he is of Kai Tahu descent!

    • weka 11.1

      The appeal against the ruling in favour of Keira Bell is being released tomorrow (UK time).

  11. Anker 12
    • Thanks Weka. I didn’t know, will keep an eye out.
    • for those on the site who aren’t aware of Keira Bell she was a young lesbian teen with a background of trauma and family violence. She presented at the Tavistock gender clinic, prescribed puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and had a double mastectomy aged 16 or 18.
    • she just then regretted it early 20s and is trying to de transition but some of the changes are permanent. She is sterile as a result of treatment. She took the Tavistock to high court and won as the judge agreed she was too young to give informed consent to such life altering procedures
    • Gezza 12.1

      That’s bloody outrageous. I’m one of those getting concerned about young teens potentially getting screwed up like this by the increasing amount of messaging to children from some quarters that they should consider whether their sexual or gender identity is maybe different from “the norm”, and to perhaps experiment.

      I went through a brief period in my teens, when I was a late developer – I was slightly built, it took a long time for any sign of a beard to appear, & I had always been so much more emotional than my brothers or male friends – that I seriously began to wonder if I should have born a girl.

      My voice never broke, it just sort of slowly descended a bit over time.

      However, once the hormones fully kicked in there was absolutely no doubt I was a hetero male. And happy to be one. And I soon got to realise that the rugged, rugby-playing farmer & fencing wire “show no emotions” males who seemed to be portrayed as the stereotypical Kiwi manly male was just that – a stereotype. I think it was my interest in rock music & folk like John Lennon who made me first realise there are plenty of very emotional males.

      I wonder how I might have reacted back then to the plethora of gender confusion identity messages that the internet seems to be awash with these days. Gezza

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        Welcome aboard. Much the same story here – and oddly enough for my partner too. Neither of us fit the gender stereotype of our sex, but are enthusiastically heterosexual all the same.

        It does make fitting in socially a lot harder but it gets easier as you age. And yes I agree that disrupting otherwise normal sexual development with drugs or surgery at a young age is flat out child abuse – it's one thing I'd definitely put an age limit on.

        • Gezza 12.1.1.1

          Even today, at 66, I’m still lean & mean. I was a bit shy & introverted back then, & not at all confident when it came to dating, seeing I was obviously not physically constructed to be a classic alpha male.

          I wasn’t into rugger. So I got into music & was delighted to suddenly discover when I got into playing acoustic & electric guitars with summa me teenage mates in bullshit bands that THAT had bird-pulling power. 🎸

          Eventually I noticed that – while I was only 5′ 9″ – I was built just like David Bowie in his Aladdin Sane days, and came to embrace my body shape as actually attractive to some young ladies.

          I muscled up a lot doing hard physical work, especially when I did all the landscaping, digging out & building log walls, & lifting & emptying bucketloads of heavy metal fill for drainage behind them for our hillside first property in Tawa. I remember glowing with quiet pride when a bass player in one of the bands I played in at The Old Bailey on Lambton Quay for 6 months turned up at my place while I was mowing the lawns in a tank top, & he said: “Jeez, you’re a muscly bugger, aren’t you.” 💪🏼

      • Anker 12.1.2

        I think Gezza that is is possible you would have been caught up in this if you were a teen now.

        It would be fine if it was just experimentation, (like getting body piercing that could be reversed,) leading some to fully transition when the were well into their twenties as Georgina Beyer did.

        If you read the Listener June 28 – July 2nd there is an article on transgener issues. Kids as young as 12 being given puberty blockers which almost always result in taking cross sex hormones. There is a tragic story of a young 23 years old who thought she was trans and and at 14 was given PBs then within a year cross sex hormones and at 16 had a double mascetomy and then at 18 had a hysterectomy. When she was about to have skin grafts to make a penis, she started having regrets. Now at 23she is trying to de-transition. She has a male sounding voice, facial and body hair and an Adam's apple. To quote this young women, she said "I don't buy this narrative that I was born in the wrong body. I think I could have lived as a butch lesbian women".

        Yes it is child abuse

        • Sabine 12.1.2.1

          and to some extend even 'conversion therapy' by transing the gay 'straight'.

        • millsy 12.1.2.2

          People having regrets about transitioning is nothing new. I remember reading a magazine about a MtoF who regretted what she did and wish she just lived as a gay man. And another guy who transitioned to female and then back to male.

          I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking things through before deciding whether or not to transition.

          To be honest, people shouldn't be allowed to medically transition until they are 18. It seems reasonable in the face of a debate which is very quickly getting out of hand.

          • Anker 12.1.2.2.1

            I agree Millsy. Nothing to stop people breaking out of gender stereotypes, but I can't imagine a bigger decision a human being would face.

            Our brains don't fully mature we are 25 years old. I shudder when I think about some of the decisions I made as a teenager.

            The trouble is it is becoming increasingly clear that if you don't affirm trans identity i.e. affirmation, then you are suppressing their gender identity. The guy from Auckland Pride in his submission on Conversion Therapy thinks that if you don't use peoples pro-nouns, under this new law, you will be seen to be practicing conversion therapy.

  12. Andre 13

    Even the Pope is finding it difficult to find much christian charity for anti-vaxxers coming down with covid.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09/near-death-of-anti-vaccine-cardinal-is-an-irony-of-life-says-pope-francis

    Lotsa gold in the comments …

  13. joe90 14

    And they said Corbyn would drag the country back to the 70s.

    Pounds and ounces are set to return to shops and market stalls across the UK in a symbolic post-Brexit victory for the Government as it sets about cutting EU directives.

    […]

    Pubs will also be allowed to sell pints in glasses printed with the Crown Stamp, which were also banned under EU rules. The Crown Stamp, used to show drinkers their glass was an accurate measurement, had been printed on glasses for centuries. It was replaced with the EU’s CE mark in 2007.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/pounds-ounces-shops-brexit-european-union-directives-1204109

  14. Anker 15

    Gosh we will find out soon. Thanks Chris.

    RL. gender stereotypes need to be broadened! Glad that is getting easier for you

  15. Andre 16

    Fkn dumb move from this government to change the pricing structure of a somewhat high-emitting product in a way that discourages efforts to reduce its use.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/126398542/lowuser-electricity-tariffs-will-be-phased-out-over-5-years

    I pay a lot more for the connection charge on my water bills than I do for the actual product I use. If my connection charge for electricity supply goes up to $1.80 a day, then that will be more than I pay now for the electricity I actually consume.

    We don't get charged a cover charge to drive onto the forecourt of a petrol station. We don't get charged a facilities cover charge to walk in to a supermarket. It grates hard that monopoly organisations are granted the power to charge us such high fees for the privilege of actually connecting us so they can sell their product.

  16. Incognito 17

    This is a highly informative and educational update on masks as an easy and highly effective preventative measure against the spread of Covid-19. Although it is lengthy, it is not technical and easy to follow.

    I particularly liked the short section Mask Use in Vaccinated Individuals.

    Highly recommended reading for those who’d like to learn and/or re-fresh their commitment to mask wearing.

    https://sciblogs.co.nz/public-health-expert/2021/09/17/making-the-most-of-masks/

  17. Gezza 18

    This is not very encouraging… ☹️

    “Principals have told RNZ most teenagers in alert level 2 areas are not bothering to wear face masks in class, even though Dr Bloomfield has strongly recommended them for pupils aged 12 and over.”

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/451672/peer-pressure-trumps-bloomfield-as-level-2-teens-reject-masks-at-school

    And I keep seeing more headlines daily about Police announcing they’ve caught yet more lockdown breakers …

  18. McFlock 19

    Interesting ODT article on why the Wanaka couple haven't been charged yet, even though other L4 breakers have.

    tl;dr: The upshot is that because the situation involved many factors to establish things like premeditation (when were tickets booked/bought, etc) then that might slow things down a bit… but the main reason could well be that because mum is a judge and the couple can afford a QC, it behooves the cops to be much more careful about which charges they lay and to triple-check the evidence for each.

    So, yeah – gotta love the privilege of wealth (and any other factor that might be indirectly related to such wealth but some privileged folks get upset about when it's mentioned).

  19. weka 20

    Bloomfield now saying finally that there is a vax target is 90%.

    if 70% of over age 12 NZers have had at least one dose, and presumably most will get the 2nd, doesn’t this suggest we are well on our way to sufficient vaccination to be able to manage outbreaks more easily?

    • Andre 20.1

      Nope.

      Bookings and first vaccinations are only at 78% of those eligible. Eligible are 12 and over, which is about 85% of the population. So those bookings plus already jabbed at least once are only 65% of our total population.

      Bookings plus those that have received their first dose had only been rising very slowly – around 13,000 per day for the previous few days and yesterday actually fell. From 3,286,837 to 3,281,238.

      Dunno whether that was just a bookings purge of people that had made bookings then gone and got their jab as a walk-in, or whether it genuinely reflects people backing out of actually getting their vax.

      edit: numbers from https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-vaccine-data

      • weka 20.1.1

        So people who intend to be fully vaccinated are 78% of over aged 12 population? This is good news, and supports what I was asking, are we on track to sufficient vaccination?

        • lprent 20.1.1.1

          and supports what I was asking, are we on track to sufficient vaccination?

          Yes but it will be tough and will slow down dramatically. We really need to get to over 90% for the currently eligible. They will need to allow shots to under 12s to get to 90% of the whole population. And I suspect that 90% will be a minimum level of vaccination in the population required. Aussie states and the UK are tending to show swamping of health systems.

          Chile has just started jabs to 5+, but of one of the Chinese vaccines (some article I recently read). Pfizer will be testing. But I haven’t seen any data. So all ages will probably be eventually able to get a shot – but that won’t be until next year after the 1st quarter.

          There are more deliveries due in in October & November (pretty sure on the latter) along with the add-ons from Spain, Denmark. Beside which the daily rate is reverting back to a more normal rate.
          https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-vaccine-data

          Current daily vaccinations

          Culm vax shots and deliveries

          • weka 20.1.1.1.1

            And I suspect that 90% will be a minimum level of vaccination in the population required. Aussie states and the UK are tending to show swamping of health systems.

            Given both don't have high rates of people fully vaccinated yet, and both have community transmission, is it useful to compare with NZ?

            Are you thinking that once under 12 vaccines are approved, it will be hard to get kids up to an 80 – 90% rate, harder than it was with adults?

            • weka 20.1.1.1.1.1

              to me it looks like time is the major factor. We needed high vaccination rates globally fast, and we just haven't been able to do that. The advantage NZ has is that we have no widespread community transmission, which buys us some time. But presumably the time between first full vax and needing boosters will trip us up if we don't get the first full ones done fast.

            • lprent 20.1.1.1.1.2

              The UK has over 80% of eligible with at least one jab and close to 70% of the whole population – which is why I was pointing them out

              https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55274833

              Note that was 4 days ago.

              It doesn't seem to have made that much of a difference except to mortality rates. Both NSW with lowish vaccination rates, and the UK with high rates are finding they have swamped health systems.

              I suspect that kids will be easier than the adults. They are more literate at getting information from the net, and they are better at discriminating against lousy information. Their parents will most likely have already been vaccinated. But I will be interested in seeing the number of kids who divorce their parents over the next year. I suspect that it will be rising pretty fast.

              There are a number of states in the US, Idaho, Mississipi, and Alabama come to mind where the health systems are are past swamped and into full blown crisis mode – they are having to do the triage in allocating resources and leaving the potentially saveable to die while they save the treatable. That burns out medical staff fast.

    • McFlock 20.2

      This seems to me to be a bit of an interpretation issue that a lot of people are clutching at:

      "In countries with high vaccination rates, COVID-19 has become a pandemic, or an epidemic, of the unvaccinated… It's not just any vaccination level, it's a very high vaccination level – we need to be at or above 90 percent and that is where everybody needs to be thinking about and that is why we have geared up our system to make sure we can deliver to that level.

      It's not like we will hit 90.00% and all controls are off. The "or above" says that maybe we will need to be at 95%, ot 98%, to avoid community transmission without MIQ or mandatory measures. Sure, they won't be as massive outbreaks as we might have faced in July last year, but it's still gonna kill people.

      So the message actually is "don't expect much before we hit 90%, after that we'll see what we're facing".

      • weka 20.2.1

        That’s pretty much my position. I would add that we can’t know until we know what the disability rate from long covid in vaccinated people is.

        my question above wasn’t saying once at 90% it’s all go. I was saying aren’t we actually on track to nearly full vaccination? I was under the impression that people thought we were failing.

        • Shanreagh 20.2.1.1

          I am doubtful still but wouldn't go so far as saying failing as I am wary of counting bookings in with actuals."Many's the slip 'tween cup & lip.'

          • Andre 20.2.1.1.2

            Polling has had the "definitely not" steady at about 7% for quite a long time. "Probably not" has dropped a bit recently but is still around the 13% mark.

            Here's a poll from back in May. I'm fairly sure I've seen more recent ones with similar numbers but haven't found them again online yet.

            https://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/618/overall-vaccine-uptake-potential-rises-to-80

            So the easy ones have already fronted up or booked. It's now moving onto those that will be much harder work, with some combo of 'incentives' and persuasion probably needed.

            It would be awesome if we could turn three quarters of the "probably not" into actual yeses, but I don't hold much hope for that.

            • weka 20.2.1.1.2.1

              they need to dig deeper into the why, and then develop culturally appropriate approaches in the same way they do for Māori and Pasifica.

              The disability numbers are worrying, but I'm guessing they make up a small proportion of the 1000 odd people surveyed, so the accuracy won't be as great.

              I also think that both in NZ and globally, there's been inadequate research into covid, vaccination and disability. There should be solid data by now on side effects to the vaccine for a range of chronic illnesses, and as far I can tell there's not.

              • Andre

                The problem seems to be that the "no" decision comes first, then choosing apparently plausible reasons for the refusal.

                While there certainly are a few success stories out there of people changing their minds after getting a huge amount of effort put into them, it's fairly rare and takes a massive amount of time resource.

                Stories of people getting the vaccine after seeing what the actual disease actually does to actual people are somewhat more common.

                Stories of people getting the vaccine because it's required for something they want are somewhat more common. Sometimes it's their job, sometimes it's being able to attend a music festival. I don't much care whether that's called coercion or incentives, it works.

                As for the idea that there hasn't been adequate research, steaming bullshit. That's the kind of statement put out by someone that's decided no, and is searching for justification for that no, and hasn't gone and looked for evidence that's out there, and if they do go and look will simply demand ever finer details until they find the level of detail where the answer doesn't exist so they can point to that for their justification.

        • McFlock 20.2.1.2

          ah, fair call.

          Yeah the folks who thought we were failing seem to me to have a large overlap with the folks who thought we couldn't covid out, then covid-delta, and then were aghast that we were "last for vaccination in the developed world", and so on.

          There will be something else to moan about. always is.

          As for where we track, there will be a period of diminishing returns for the current vax effort, as the groups missed/reluctant/failed-to-engage-with become a larger proportion of the people yet to get a dose. At that time the program will need to adapt or fail – but things like the bus and mass popup efforts are indications that they're at least trying to head that problem off pre-emptively.

          I suspect trying for 90-100% compliance in an effort that can't capitalise on existing govt contact might be a bit of a new problem in NZ. Things like the child vax schedule have 90% targets (often not quite achieved), but almost all births have contact with the healthcare system beforehand and the B4school checks are part of education onboarding, so there's a solid bracket of health contact in the window where we expect young kids to get vaccinated. A large chunk of adults haven't seen a doctor in years, so that level of reminder might not be possible.

          I'm not sure about there being a situation in my life where everyone has needed to participate, but many people haven't had official contact in that capacity before.

          Even the census showed how difficult that can be if you think a website will do the hard yards rather than really getting out and tracking folks down.

          • weka 20.2.1.2.1

            I suppose I'm more optimistic than most because my understanding has been that lowering vax rates for other illnesses have more to do with access than anti-vax rhetoric. Not that the anti-vax stuff isn't an issue, but that the MoH understood that the real problem was with say Māori and Pacifica communities where the barriers were cost, cultural safety in health services, time/transport etc.

            Pre-Wakefield, the people who chose to not vaccinate (as opposed to those who just didn't for other reasons) was relatively low, and tended to be people who looked after their health in other ways and had the resources to do so i.e. they weren't just avoiding vaccination and they could afford healthcare and other things associated with health like decent housing, nutritional status etc (would love to know how many of those people from the 70s, 80s, 90s are still choosing to not vaccinate because a lot has changed since then).

            But you are right about the difference between childhood vaccination and adult where the adults are just not in the pathways of access and knowledge.

            I'm also concerned that the anti-anti-vax bashing will make things worse, and I see the people on the fence needing calling in, not being poked with a stick. They will bring their kids and whānau in with them once they decide to vaccinate.

            These seems like solvable problems. Whether the MoH can manage that given it's bureaucratic and conservative tendencies I don't know, but agree that the buses and outreach are a really good sign. I'm wondering how much research has been done on hesitancy (as opposed to access), and the reasons for, and how outreach can reach those people.

            • weka 20.2.1.2.1.1

              was pleased just now listening to RNZ on the way home to hear Michael Baker mention long covid as an issue we will need to consider re border opening.

            • weka 20.2.1.2.1.2

              just read this,

              Kiwis hesitant to get vaccinated are mostly worried about side effects, the Ministry of Health's vaccine research shows.

              Though a new concern has emerged – that it might not be effective against new variants of the virus including Delta.

              https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/09/covid-19-latest-vaccine-hesitancy-data-shows-79-percent-of-kiwis-keen-to-get-the-jab.html

              That's what I would go hard on. Many of the hesitant people I know (and those with chronic illness concerns) aren't anti-vax. Show them the research and explain how protection works. MoH tends to be paternalistic (trust us we know what we are talking about), but the alt health sub culture don't trust them with very good reason. Those people are still reachable, just not sure if the MoH are the right org to do it.

  20. Mal 21

    I appreciate the fact there are efforts to put more social media sites out there. Especially when they actually supportive of free speech. Technically the internet is protected by free speech so big tech restricting speech harming integrity. Gab, Parler, Frank Speech (though their social media platform is not operational yet). I don't get why people call them all right-wing. Shouldn't free speech be a left-wing thing too? Idk everything feels like a hot mess.

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    1 day ago
  • Parts of Waikato to stay at Alert Level 3 for next six days
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 will remain at that alert level till Wednesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Based on the latest public health information, maintaining level 3 in those parts of the Waikato continues to be the most prudent course of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Hon Peeni Henare September 2021 Proactive Diary Release
    ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ passes world-first climate reporting legislation
    New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass a law that will ensure financial organisations disclose and ultimately act on climate-related risks and opportunities, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced today. The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister NZ UK FTA opening remarks
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I am delighted to announce today that following a conversation with Prime Minister Johnson last night, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have Agreed in Principle a historic high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement. I’m joined today by the Minister ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand secures historic free trade deal with the United Kingdom
    A boost of almost $1 billion to New Zealand GDP, unprecedented access for New Zealand exporters to the UK market UK to eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with over 97% being removed the day the FTA comes into force NZ exporters to save approx. $37.8 million per year ...
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    2 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show more people in work
    Benefit figures released today show a year on year fall of 9,807 people receiving a Main Benefit in the September Quarter.  “The Government is working hard to tackle COVID-19 and it is clear our strong response to the initial outbreak has created a resilient labour market which is providing opportunities ...
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    2 days ago
  • Health reforms bill introduced to Parliament
    Legislation central to fixing the health system has been introduced into Parliament by Health Minister Andrew Little. “Rebuilding the public health system is critical to laying the foundations for a better future for all New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said. “We need a system that works for everybody, no matter who ...
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    3 days ago
  • NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams to proceed
    NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe ...
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    3 days ago
  • Limited change to onsite learning – for senior secondary students – in Level 3 regions
    Onsite learning at schools in Level 3 regions will start from next week for senior secondary school students to prepare for end of year exams, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Secondary schools in these regions will start onsite learning for years 11 to 13 on Tuesday 26 October,” Chris ...
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    3 days ago
  • Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers
    The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector. “Our world-class workforce is vital in rebuilding the health system and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Little said. “Whether it’s bringing doctors or nurses in ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities
    Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said. The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today ...
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    3 days ago
  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
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    4 days ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
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    5 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
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    1 week ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
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    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
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    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
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    1 week ago