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Open mike 17/10/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 17th, 2019 - 153 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 …

153 comments on “Open mike 17/10/2019”

  1. Formerly Ross 1

    Judicial reviews take time.

    Meanwhile, Massey University has cancelled a feminist conference due to health and safety. Who would’ve thought that a university could be so craven.


    [this is the third offtopic comment I have had to move. Please read the previous moderations from yesterday. I don’t know if you haven’t seen them or are ignoring them, but count this as an instructional ban. It’s better not to do spray and walk away commenting on TS, but instead revisit one’s previous comments, any mod notes and replies and think about them before commenting again. 1 week off, which I will remove if you reply to this comment acknowledging the moderation and agreeing to not keep posting off topic – weka]

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 1.1

      mod note for you Ross.

      • Formerly Ross 1.1.1

        In what way was it off topic? You were suggesting that free speech seemed to be under threat, and I was in agreement. 

        As for moderations yesterday I have no idea what you’re referring to which perhaps isn’t surprising given that there’s nothing in the relevant threads about this.

        And those reading this thread might wonder why I said what I said about judicial reviews. Context is everything.

        [Use the Comments list to find replies to your comments. The onus is on you to do this work if you want to keep commenting privileges. I’m happy to explain the off topic issue, but only once you’ve read the moderations and indicated you will abide by them. In the meantime please don’t change your commenting details to skirt the ban. – weka]

  2. Andre 2

    Nick Hanauer as readable as ever on why the economic story lefties need to be telling is how putting money into the hands of people that actually spend it on actual activity is good for the economy, and how putting money into the hands of those that use to play games of big boy's monopoly as bad for the economy.


    • The Hanauer article starts like this:

      The greatest trick that trickle-down economics ever pulled was its simplicity. The rules of trickle down are so easy to explain that even a child can understand them.

      Which is so simple and direct that you want to read it all.   Which I will.
      But Groucho Marx's ironic comment came to mind.  His request when hearing about childish simplicity was:  Send someone to fetch a child of five!

  3. Sanctuary 3

    I see AOC is endorsing Sanders. More to the point, she just made sure that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2024 or 2028 with her radical credentials intact.

    Make no mistake – she is a once in a generation politician with just the right combination of nous, charisma, pragmatism, conviction and thick skin and she will be president.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Agreed. I actually wrote a post advocating for her to be the nominee but then realised the constitution has this weird age restriction.

      • Sanctuary 3.1.1

        Why do i think AOC is the real deal? Because look at what isn’t.

        Here is a chilling warning for all those who think Jacindamania means much beyond keeping the other lot out. Listen to this broadcast and replace Liberal with Labour and Trudean with Jacinda…

        "…Trudeau – only liberal of that kind in what was a very difficult period for liberal around the world he was was able to hack the formula on how you keep the politics of the 1990s, how you keep third way liberalism going in a world where it is under assault from both left and right… he was to do that by basically channeling a version of the elite consensus in Canada while also ceding ground rhetorically at least to what people wanted… so there are lots anxious people, working people, middle class people who want a government the act on climate change, that is interested in the redistribution of wealth, who think inequality has gone to far, who care about the right of indigenous peoples, you know who basically support a social democratic policy agenda and Trudeau was able to embrace that pretty well at least rhetorically. I think a lot of people who vote liberal thought they were voting, you know, for a left of centre government that was going to do those things and after his election that was very much how it was received…  …just amplified his false  bone fides as a transformative and progressive figure… and he has led a pretty technocraatically minded, not particularly ambitious government that I think you can see the contradictions in rhetorically embracing all these cause I mentioned while persuing a market friendle, centre right agenda that doesn't antagonise… ..wealth or power…"


        Part 1 of this youtbe cast also contains some very interesting observations on Elizabeth Warren which basically conclude she is just a vulnerable as Hillary Clinton to Trump's anti-elitism.

        • weka

          The problem for NZ is what to do if Labour don't have an up and coming AOC. It's not like such a person can be manufactured. Worse, even the slow process of nurturing incoming candidates is likely to block an AOC in Labour because of the culture within Labour and who they want.

          We got lucky with JA, not because she is an AOC, but because she enabled the change of government. The issue for me isn't that she is never going to be an AOC (that was obvious at the start), but what we on the left do about the overall situation?

          I still think the Greens are our best hope within parliament, and that more Green MPs would see a move left. But that's a window that won't be open forever. If the only way the Greens can effect change is by becoming more mainstream, then that's what we will end up with. I'll be really interested to see what the party list looks like next year.

          • Sacha

            Swarbrick is the closest we have to Ocasio-Cortez.

            .. if she can be bothered staying in party politics long enough, given other ways her generation can see to make change happen.

            • weka

              She is really good. Next election and how many MPs the Greens get is going to be a key point for the party, and for the country. Time we stepped up or wear the consequences.

              • weka

                She was 7th on the list last time. That needs 6% of the vote.

                • Ngungukai

                  Greens will definitely out poll NZF at the next Election.

                  • lprent

                    I wouldn’t bet on it. The basic electoral difference between these two parties has always been that the supporters of NZF don’t talk much to pollsters but do get out and vote. Whereas based on past evidence, Green supporters tend to blow the wind but consistently don’t vote.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Good comment there weka, I agree that JA is most definitely not AOC, and we unfortunately don't have anyone coming through (once we sadly lost the wonderful and heroic Helen Kelly) that has the proven track record or depth of character that will be needed to lead a transformational political party into the face of what would be overwhelming negativity, personal attacks etc from the Right, the media and probably most damaging of all from the liberal 'Left' of Labour itself…just witness what has been leveled at Corbyn and to a slightly lesser extent Sanders.

            The one thing I will say about AOC is that, yes she is breath of fresh air in US politics ( The whole Squad are), and I am a fan, but at the same time, we should collectively just cool our jets a bit on holding her up to high just yet. Lets just see how she develops and what she does over the next few years. 

            The only reason that Bernie and Corbyn have survived this far is solely because of their consistency and unblemished records..AOC needs to build at least some of that same sort of stable base for herself. It is that (high moral and ethical)base that gives both Corbyn and sanders their power in what is a brutal ideological battle that is raging..and we must win.

            Turn Labour Left!

            • greywarshark

              Turn Labour left.   It reminds me of Margaret Thorn's book 'she wrote her memoirs, ‘Stick out, keep left’, published posthumously in 1997.

              Here is her bio from Te Ara.   A wonderful woman, and truly whole-heartedly always supportive of Labour, along with her equally wonderful husband Jim Thorn.   If Chloe Swarbrick is similar then she is to be treasured and supported.


              And also remembering the wonderful Helen Kelly!   RIP.

          • Ngungukai

            Next Government will probably be a Labour/Green Coalition, NZF are on it's last legs I feel.

    • marty mars 3.2

      + 1 yep she is awesome!!!

    • aom 3.3

      …. and Tulsi Gabbard as her AOC's VP!

      • Sanctuary 3.3.1

        Gabbard is to centrist. I haven't actually thought about who her running mate would be though.

    • AB 3.4

      The best sign that she is smart and effective is that  one of the most persistent attack lines consists of calling her  'dumb'. It would be nice to hope that even if Sanders doesn't make it himself – he helped create the conditions that made an AOC presidency possible. And to see a 29 year old woman pick up a  torch kept going by a 78 year old man tells us something about the failures of those of us who came in between. 

  4. A 4

    Landlords are greedy.  That's the only issue here..not lack of housing, but lack of affordable housing.


    • David Mac 4.1

      I try to get as much as I can for the things I sell. I think most of us do. We all have the potential and regularly exercise our ability to be greedy. Nobody can open a box of chocolates and have just 2.

      The disconnect is not us and the deadly sins we wrestle with, it is using a fundamental requirement as a vehicle for greed. Thriving to make a better life for our families is as old as humans.

    • Jimmy 4.2

      Private landlords are increasing their rents as the govt. has increased the compliance costs for them and also using this as an excuse to increase rents even more. I think some have exited the market due to extra compliance becoming too hard.

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        I think landlords are getting on the bandwagon of seeing themselves as victims.    (I think Landlords is becoming a dirty word.    So as lavatories became toilets, or if USA bathrooms, the landlord is now to be called a Rental Provider.   I think that will cause a rueful smile amongst housing market watchers.

        I was interested to see this ad in a Nelson paper. 

        Rental Providers Meeting
        Nelson Property Investors invite non-members to join us for free at our next meeting on Tuesday 22 October 7.30 pm at Honest Lawyer Monaco.
        (A bar designed in mock Tudor? style.   Monaco is on a peninsula due to be overwhelmed by sea level rise.   – Just to background the state of things in Nelson.)

        Andrew King Executive officer NZ Property Investors is speaking on why the Government does not seem to love us anymore.
        Ask for newsletter @ NelsonPIA@xtra.co.nz

        The advert is supported by Summit a local real estate firm.

        The property investors of NZ have had lots of help and advice from the sector, while the ordinary citizen looking for an affordable home has every barrier possible raised against them, and little practical interest by governments in helping them to find a home of their own, no matter how humble.  

        The glossy monthly magazine NZ Property Investor at $8+ has been publishing for years with encouraging articles such as in April 2009, Tina Chan:$25 million portfolio at age 24 and in June 2008 Laurence Pope: 24 years old, 16 houses, 1 street called the Angel of Harlem in Paeroa.

        In March 2009 – A heading was 'Don't have all your kiwifruit in one basket – try renting by the room.'     These are old articles, old but not defunct as the item below from 2019 indicates that the 2009 advice still stands.

        That is what happened recently to aggrieved house owners featured in the Nelson Mail who signed an agreement with a property manager that was not specific enough in its conditions.  The Ministry of Biz, Innovation and Emp.-truncated (MOBIE) as I call them, after Moby the unfortunate whale, are looking into this housing company to see whether they have been innovative enough.   https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/114889533/property-owner-changes-locks-in-middle-of-night-after-subletting-shock

        Meanwhile nearby farmer-oriented Tasman Council are trying to prevent someone from settling in a tiny house because it ought to have wheels and they have not been fitted, because of circumstances after the delivery of the house from Christchurch.    So everything is against the wishful house owner.

        Also Labour did a brainfart and cancelled the SHA policy that had been set up with a sharp and decisive guillotine stroke that left a number of schemes which were in train, legless.    Isn't that a lot of mixed metaphors or something!   But a worthy description of the outcome of Labour's fatuous announcements and actions concerning housing.   This is so true that kind hearts cannot give an alternative view between their positive pronouncements about their policies and the outcomes we would see, and the stark reality.

        This is an example of the bad news that people are taking in about Labour and housing.    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/115726045/theres-nothing-else-we-can-do-say-young-family-after-subdivision-plan-scuppered

        It may be enough to scupper Labour in 2020.   So maybe they need to have another brainfart.   Try building State houses enabling people a tenure for a 5-8 year period on a stable rental, and encouraging them to look after it well and then get backing for a reasonably priced house to buy at reasonable interest.   It would be a better approach and step up from low rents for life, and also from selling up State houses that are needed for others.

        Also starting people off in Co-housing tiny houses where they belong to a community that looks after the place with pride, and which receives support and encouragement from the State by say being lauded as good models and getting a free barbecue fun day each year.   It would be a positive motivation and bring great reward to the government from setting a good standard for others to emulate.   Also having some pilot projects where building trade trainees work under the supervision of experienced licensed builder employers, building their own future small homes.   What a great idea!   Let's do it.   Clap and shout everybody, make it so!

        • Prickles

          Hi Greywarshark, have you seen the housing they are putting on the new subdivision on the corner of Lower Queen and McShane's here in Richmond? Uninviting is about as positive as I could get. Someone I was speaking to this morning asked me if they had windows along the front or chicken wire – and I knew exactly what he meant. They really do look like rows of chicken houses. No doubt they will still sell at $500K+ Gotta love TDC.

          • greywarshark

            Hi Prickles    I think you mean this.  https://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/109165819/buyers-snap-up-properties-at-richmond-west-development

            The row of uniform housing – like old style British housing except 'detached'.    (Looking at the view of the Poutama Stream townhouses.)  Depressing.

            Compare it to the suburb I lived in in the 1970's which gives an option of style of housing, fencing off the front and planting trees and having a place where you can be back and front going about your life without being on show.



            • Prickles

              That's definitely the subdivision but the reality does not match the pictures in the article. What they are actually building are two storey square boxes, each one slightly offset from their neighbour. As my friend said yesterday, far more like chook houses than homes. Not at all appealing.

              And don't get me started on the new commercial subdivision off Queen St with it's first building starting construction this week. A solid concrete (fire) wall on each of the east and north boundaries. No windows, no redeeming features – and consequently will be no natural light from those aspects and no morning sun. Instead all the windows will face directly west and cop the harsh afternoon sun – air conditioning all summer and heating all winter and no doubt lights on all day. Not even a tip of the hat to eco-friendly design. The first of many down that new road I guess.

              • That bit about design and sun and shade and light – as you say not even a tip of the hat at important considerations.   Picture of four solid citizens with $ for eyeballs.    They are samples of many who have not had a new idea since the millenium, and before.

                I lived in Australia in the 1970s and note the style of housing being built here is often off the same plans they used then.   Or it has gone to 'brutalist' modern square boxes, or ones with soaring porticos for two-storey graceless mansions squatting right up to the boundaries.   (If two families are side by side, the kids could set up the old fashioned communication system – stretching a string or wire between houses with tin cans on the ends as speakers and receivers.  Fun to try out.)  

                And what is noticeable, having space to plant trees for amenity and shade is limited and may be forbidden by liens? imposed over whole subdivisions which I detest.   Also having space, sunlight and air movement down the side of houses with room for a ladder even, so repairs can be carried out, is not often seen.

        • gsays

          You ask/say that landlording is becoming a dirty word.

          Since becoming an adult, I have found it to be repugnant to profit  from someone's home and shelter.

          The idea that you can leverage, write off losses against yr tax, be non-compliant consequence-free and exploit power and market imbalance is wrong.

          Just my opinion, but one that is not shared by a sty full of politicians, Wellington and local ones.

          • greywarshark

            The thing is houses are expensive.    Someone has to pay for them and if someone else uses them then it is reasonable there is a charge.

            But, what I think has happened in the inflationary housing market (but not counted in our inflation index), is that rented properties cost to tenants is based on the property value frequently reassessed.    So someone who is paying a fairly high rental in 2015 costs, and is still in that house in 2019, will have likely had their rent hoisted even if the landlord has incurred no extra costs such as maintenance.   So the tenant ends up paying the equivalent of a 30% return on investment say, while it was only 8% return in 2015.

            (These calcs are examples, but it helps to get the understanding of the complaint of greed.    And the more return the landlord gets, the more he/she can borrow to put down on another property where the whole thing will be repeated.    Each property has to be done up a little to attract the tenant, then can be ignored largely till they leave and even then they can be blamed for what used to be called fair wear and tear.)

          • Bazza64


            are you saying that landlords should not make any profit on rental property ownership ? Not sure how you could make this work in the real economy unless you had state control to enforce it

            • gsays

              I feel there are some things that should not be profitted from e.g. water, electricity, police force, health care. Now perhaps internet access.


              The idea that we can rent houses to each other as a driver of our economy is, well… fucked.

              The tax advantages that come from landlording don't feel just or equitable.

              I understand that this  ^   ^ may be offensive to some, but hey, it's just my reckons. 

              BTW, 'real economy' gave me a snigger. The economy is a fiction.

              • Bazza64

                You could also add to that list, housing & food. The other side of that transaction in that someone has to provide these goods at no profit to themselves, which in theory sounds great, but in the real world (read "real economy") every man & his dog isn't interested in investing/working for no profit.

                In Venezuela the price of chicken was regulated by government to keep it down to a price that everyone could afford as it was deemed a "life essential". Guess what happened –  eventually you couldn't buy chicken at the government price as there was no money in chicken farming, so the chicken farmers went broke or deserted the industry before they did.  

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Bit like they do in that bastion of free enterprise New York then.



              In June 2019, the New York State Legislature in Albany enacted the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.[22]

              • Makes the rent regulation system permanent, so they will not sunset at any time in the future without an act of the Legislature to repeal or terminate them.
              • Repeals the provisions that allow the removal of units from rent stabilization when the rent crosses a statutory high-rent threshold and the unit becomes vacant or the tenant's income is $200,000 or higher in the preceding two years.
              • Limits the use of the "owner use" provision to a single unit, requires that the owner or their immediate family use the unit as their primary residence, and protects long-term tenants from eviction under this exception by reducing the current length of tenancy required to be protected from eviction to 15 years.
              • Limits the temporary non-profit exception to rent stabilization by requiring units to remain rent-stabilized if they are provided to individuals who are or were homeless or are at risk of homelessness. Provides individuals permanently or temporarily housed by nonprofits status as tenants while ensuring that units used for these purposes remain rent stabilized.
              • Repeals the "vacancy bonus" provision that allows a property owner to raise rents as much as 20 percent each time a unit becomes vacant. Repeals the "longevity bonus" provision that allows rents to be raised by additional amounts based on the duration of the previous tenancy. Prohibits local Rent Guidelines Boards from reinstating vacancy bonus on their own.
              • Prohibits Rent Guidelines Boards from setting additional increases based on the current rental cost of a unit or the amount of time since the owner was authorized to take additional rent increases, such as a vacancy bonus.
              • Prohibits owners who have offered tenants a "preferential rent" below the legal regulated rent from raising the rent to the full legal rent upon renewal. Once the tenant vacates, the owner can charge any rent up to the full legal regulated rent, so long as the tenant did not vacate due to the owner's failure to maintain the unit in habitable condition. Owners with rent-setting regulatory agreements with federal or state agencies will still be permitted to use preferential rents based on their particular agreements.[23][24]
              • Sets Maximum Collectible Rent increases for rent controlled tenants at the average of the five most recent Rent Guidelines Board annual rent increases for one-year renewals. This bill also prohibits fuel pass-along charges.
              • Extends the four-year look-back period to six or more years as reasonably necessary to determine a reliable base rent, extends the period for which an owner can be liable for rent overcharge claims from two to six years, and would no longer allow owners to avoid treble damages if they voluntarily return the amount of the rent overcharge prior to a decision being made by a court or Housing and Community Renewal (HCR). Allows tenants to assert their overcharge claims in court or at HCR and states that while an owner may discard records after six years, they do so at their own risk.
              • Lowers the rent increase cap for Major Capital Improvements (MCIs) from six percent to two percent in New York City and from 15 percent to two percent in other counties. Provides the same protections of the two percent cap going forward on MCI rent increases attributable to MCIs that became effective within the prior seven years. Lowers increases further by lengthening the MCI formula's amortization period. Eliminates MCI increases after 30 years instead of allowing them to remain in effect permanently. Significantly tightens the rules governing what spending may qualify for MCI increases and tightens enforcement of those rules by requiring that 25 percent of MCIs be inspected and audited.
              • Caps the amount of IAI spending at $15,000 over a 15-year period and allows owners to make up to three IAIs during that time. Makes IAI increases temporary for 30 years rather than permanent and requires owners to clear any hazardous violations in the apartment before collecting an increase.
              • Requires HCR to submit an annual report on the programs and activities undertaken by the Office of Rent Administration and the Tenant Protection Unit regarding implementation, administration and enforcement of the rent regulation system. The report will also include data points regarding the number of rent stabilized units within each county, application and approvals for major capital improvements, units with preferential rents, rents charged, and overcharge complaints.
              • Strengthens and makes permanent the system that protects tenants in buildings that owners seek to convert into co-ops or condos. Eliminates the option of "eviction plans" and institutes reforms for non-eviction plans. Requires 51 percent of tenants in residence to agree to purchase apartments before the conversion can be effective. (Currently 15 percent of apartments must be sold and the purchasers may be outside investors.) For market-rate senior citizens and disabled tenants during conversion, evictions are permitted only for good cause, where an unconscionable rent increase does not constitute good cause.
              • Removes the geographical restrictions on the applicability of the rent stabilization laws, allowing any municipality that otherwise meets the statutory requirements (e.g., less than five percent vacancy in the housing stock to be regulated) to opt into rent stabilization.


              • Edit
                Oh wow.  Thanks for that DoS. How they have acted to prevent the egregious behaviours that landlording has led to for centuries involves a lot of thinking and rules. If housing was free, people would not value it as the expensive work of skilled people. If having a place costs, then it must not become an exploited necessity.

                It's not even idealistic to say that things should be free, it is wrong.    Everyone has to put something into the system somewhere to keep it going for the people wanting it.    On a simple basis, people have to turn out for the community when it is planting season for food crops and help get them in, then they have to be weeded, and watered, and debugged, perhaps they need light pruning to ensure the fruit is a decent size.    Then there is the crop available.    The story of the Little Red Hen which none of the other animals would help with the work, and were then refused any of the crop, comes to mind as being very relevant.

                Water seems free, but some humans want it and will take it all for themselves if they can get away with it.   Maori have the principle of kaitiaki over it, and people like Milan Ruka have drawn attention to the need to watch over it.   He wasn't being paid to begin with, but there is a group effort now.  


                https://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/MTYwMDA=   Witness exposes farming shame  2017 

  5. Reality 5

    Was good to see Andrew Little slap Simon Bridges down over the new anti terrorism legislation on tv last night.  He was brief but blunt.  Time for a bit more of that from the Government.  

    • Naki man 5.1

      Angry Andy hasn't got the numbers so he will have to learn how to negotiate if he wants to get that legislation passed.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Naki Man   You are so wise.   Which Party do you advise on points of practice to enable successful negotiation?    And have you been able to get things going in your own rohe?   Negotiation seems to be really important these days when authorities seem to come down hard, rigidly and punitively on people looking for solutions that are different from whatever has been BAU for years.

  6. Pat 6

    "Harold Wanless, emeritus professor of the geology department at the University of Miami and an expert on ice melt and sea-level rise, warns that the historical record suggests that ice melting and sea-level rise will not proceed linearly but in pulses. The earth is entering such a pulse now, Wanless believes, so it may not be decades before Norfolk and its naval installations experience larger, more frequent, and more debilitating flooding. Those impacts could occur much sooner, Wanless cautions, perhaps as soon as the 2020s. Under such a scenario, protecting low-lying regions such as Norfolk could become practically and financially impossible; managed retreat may be the only real option. “Places like Norfolk need to recognise this fact,” says Wanless, “or we’ll just have local, state, and federal governments pouring money into the ocean”.


    The greatest threat to the US military is at home

    • gsays 6.1

      I had a dark chuckle upon hearing there will be a Formula One Grand Prix awarded to Miami shortly.

      The irony was brilliant, Miami being a very low lying city.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        More info about Norfolk, USA and the USA Navy.

        One of those places is Naval Station Norfolk, a vast complex in southeastern Virginia whose 80,000 active-duty personnel make it the largest naval base on earth by population. The ships and aircraft stationed at Naval Station Norfolk have historically patrolled the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.

        But in May of 2018, as part of the Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy “to deter Russia and China,” the Navy announced that it would be expanding operations in the Arctic Ocean. Rising global temperatures were melting polar ice and opening sea lanes in the Arctic, enabling access to sizeable deposits of natural resources, including oil.

        To counter anticipated Russian and Chinese claims on those resources, the Navy has reactivated its Second Fleet, which had been deactivated eight years ago by the Obama administration; it’s based at Naval Station Norfolk.

        (Notice that it in its sights are natural resources, including oil and concerned about Russia and China claiming them.  The USA prepared to fight tooth and nail to be in control of the planet and its resources.)

      • Pat 6.1.2

        indeed…one that already has clear day floods…although I imagine the course is well clear of that threat…or maybe not

  7. Pat 7

    Bridges bonkers!….or is he?

    "These boundaries corralled not only ordinary citizens, but their leaders as well. Step outside them and the retribution could be swift and savage. People who look back wistfully to the days when “consensus” reigned, tend to forget the level of exclusion required to give it effect."

    Mr Trotter does a good job of expressing the self evident


    • ianmac 7.1

      Maybe Pat, that is why Bridges and Bennett look smug in the House even when delivering the idiotic. During QT Opposition questions often have key phrases repeated again and again even when they have been answered. We hear the words but Bennett/Bridges are sending an entirely different message to their supporters. 

  8. ianmac 8

    New household water regulation? Any one else aware of this?

    Last week I was at a meeting where the new regulations were outlined. Every household in NZ must be able to prove that the water going into all buildings is pure. Baches sharing a water source must upgrade and have a monitored ongoing testing process. Filters, ultraviolet light, or pure sources will be needed. Towns and cities must also show purity. Waste water and rain water disposing will also come into scrutiny.

    A new Ministry is being set up with regulations to be promulgated by the end of the year with 5 years for systems to be in place. 

    • Janet 8.1

      Is tanked roof water counted in this too ? 

    • Dukeofurl 8.2

      The new Water Regulator and treatment requirements

       "Extending regulatory coverage to all water suppliers, except individual household self-suppliers"

      • David Mac 8.2.1

        Ahhhh "Except individual households." Gotcha.


      • ianmac 8.2.2

        Hang on. I think that the statement is just stating the current position.

        In addition, private water networks and self-supply households were exempted from meeting any drinking water standards, he said.

        "Almost a million New Zealanders were drinking water from water sources with little or no regulatory oversight."

        A dedicated drinking water regulator would close the many loopholes, he said. 

        A bit ambiguous but more detail to come. Our source was an agent of the District Council who was giving us a verbal heads up. Therfore detail to come.
        Edit oops: “Extending regulatory coverage to all water suppliers, except individual household self-suppliers” – Herald

    • David Mac 8.3

      These announcements every few months about the ongoing improvements raising the mandatory standards of our housing all come with a disclaimer: 'Up go rents.'

      A few years ago it was decided that tenants should no longer be held responsible for maintaining the batteries in their smoke alarms. It is now the landlord's responsibility.

      Tenants can now not be held responsible for costs for damage beyond the owner's insurance excess or 4 weeks rent, which ever is less. The owners insurance excess amount and details must now be included in all tenancy agreements.

      So water filters are next…. Muggins tenants will need to do the council's job for them. Quality household water filters are a bit like computer printers. It's not the purchase price so much as the ongoing filter element replacement. It's unlikely tenants will be held responsible for paying for the supply and installation of a new filter element every few months. Landlords will be held liable, tenants will pay the bill.

      I've lived on unfiltered tank water for most of my life. I got a tummy ache once that I traced back to the tank. I had been lazy with the regular maint. Those on tanks aren't those being hospitialised, why target them? 

      Despite sufficient rainfall we didn't capture rain off roofs in Sweden, had to drill for it and let soil filter it first. When the wind blows the right way clouds of muck float over from the Russian, Latvia, Lituania etc side of the Baltic Sea and acid rain falls on Sweden. The Chenobyl cloud was on it's way to Sweden on those same winds. We don't know how lucky we are. I miss John Clarke.

  9. Andre 9

    Holy flaming shitballs. This is diplomacy as conducted by greatest stable genius dealmaker the world has ever been blessed with.


    Just … wow.

    • Dukeofurl 10.1

      I thought Peters was suing them for breaching Work and Income laws regarding privacy.

      So Discovery now means  the person sued has to prove their iinocence

      Wonder what the questions Bennett hasnt asked are ?  …oh thats right  its from Newsroom so  they got the inside info from her

  10. Siobhan 11

    Even the Guardian are having to acknowledge Bernies power and the Medias desire to drown him out……

    "If the question looming over Tuesday’s Democratic debate was “has Bernie still got it?” the answer was yes. He still had it – for the 10 minutes or so that he was allowed to speak. Even though Bernie Sanders has far more donors than Elizabeth Warren, and has consistently been among the top three candidates in the polls, he was given less speaking time than Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke, candidates who have been registering as low as 1% in polls recently."


  11. logie97 12

    Air New Zealand

    So the ex chief executive, John-Key-endorsed-Luxon, is moving to politics with great fanfare.

    His replacement at Air New Zealand – another  golden boy – apparently faces challenges.

    Quote from Stuff "Making New Zealand exciting again…


    So remind me, what made Luxon so brilliant that Foran has to improve on?

  12. joe90 13

    Too easy.


    • weka 13.1

      not only that, but drafting women happens in some places and can easily happen in Canada. Men can never give birth.

        • weka

          Men in my sentence above was referring to sex not gender. But sure, I'm totally good with transmen being in the conversation about abortion and other men not.

      • Grant 13.1.2

        My understanding is that Canada has a volunteer military and doesn't use conscription so no-one is 'drafted' in peace time and certainly not women. Women CAN serve in all branches of the military if they want to but that's a different matter. Canada passed special legislation for conscription of men in both World Wars but didn't rely on it heavily as most Canadian service personnel were volunteers. The legislation lapsed in peace time. My guess is that even if the Canadians were fighting a hot war they would be most reluctant to conscript women into front line roles but who knows what the future holds?

  13. Robert Guyton 14

    Language is important; the labels and phrases we us in discussing climate change/ global heating are hugely influential and have to be updated at this point. The Guardian has done it. We must do it also.


    • The Guardian people are leading the way in good journalism I think.   And honestly going out asking for people to front up with donations while making their information open and free to the public.   Others also need funding but are blocking off the major part of items till you pay.   So The Guardian is wearing their heart on their sleeve and we must love them for that in these trying times when knowing now might make all the difference for making important changes with vital outcomes years hence.  So even little bits keep the wheels turning.   We can all help to crank up the engine.

    • weka 14.2

      Very good. I'd noticed global heating. I'd prefer them to use biodiversity and wildlife interchangeably but I understand the rationale.

    • Macro 14.3

      That is why I have tried where ever possible over the past 20 odd years to refrain from the use of "Climate Change" – which has always been a euphemism – preferring to use the term Anthropogenic Global Warming – because that it is what it is. AGW is causing our Climates to change right now. And we need to address the human activities that are causing the rapid heating of the troposphere.

  14. A 16

    I don't agree with the idea that a man, possibly wanting to access a women's only area (such as a refuge, toilet, women's prison, rape recovery group, dressing room at the local pool…) should be able to just sign a declaration stating that he now identifies as a women and, and suddenly he is granted access. Creepy, and dangerous.

    Now obviously it's different if you've gone through the extensive process that a reasonable person would expect, and you identify as a female. 

    Who are the twits who disagree?  Massey University that believes discussing this should be banned.

    • Who would think that being fair to people who are different from the norm would lead to such swingeing problems.    Where does it stop – the demands and extensions to suit the minority of individuals?   And taking from the rights of women who generally are more vulnerable than men, more in need of a place where they can feel safe?    The demands are aggressive, and in general women are not.     It has taken big efforts, sometimes aggressive, for women to be able to move amongst male society and be treated with the same respect as any person should expect; this demand to intrude on women's space is like an invasion.

    • McFlock 16.2

      I think that any productive discussion on this issue in the way you have framed it would first require all participants having the same idea of what "a reasonable person would expect". Starting with a guarantee that all "reasonable" trans-exclusionary people have a shared idea of what that threshold is.

      Because for some, there seems to be no "process" that can be completed for them to accept that a trans woman is a woman, or a trans man is a man..



      • Dukeofurl 16.2.1

        You mean  like a  process for a person to identify as black or maori or jewish even.

        is it really even an issue , but instead a stick to beat those who arent  binary?

        Is the internet safe , is crossing the road safe. 

        The  code words like  safe or  'process to identify' are really about  telling trans people especially – NIMBY

        • McFlock

          Pretty much, especially when you compare the actual threats e.g. trans women face from men compared to the threat trans women present to other women.


          • weka

            what about the threat to women from men?

            • McFlock

              Shared by trans women.


              • weka

                Obviously, although I think that transwomen get specific harm from men. Some overlaps for both groups, but both TW and women have their own issues with men that the other doesn't.

                That doesn't answer my question though. If the issue for women isn't threats from transwomen, but from men, why should women not have a say in how society enables men into women's spaces?

                • McFlock

                  Except it seems that everyone has their own definitions of "men", "women" and "transwomen".

                  Definitions that often serve as excuses to exclude.

                  • weka

                    I definitely have a definition of male and female that is exclusionary. Exclusionary isn't inherently bad. Are you suggesting that women should accept a very loose definition of woman or female and the attendant problems with that in regards to men, because trans people also have needs?

                    • McFlock

                      I think it's a bit like comedy, where "punching up" (joking about the powerful in society) is often funny but "punching down" (joking about the weak and marginalised in society) is frequently lazy and bullying. If the comic is in a more powerful demographic, a lot of their "punching down" material  would be "punching up" and funny if delivered by someone else.

                      That line is a big part of the exclusionary discussion, I think. E.g. men dealing with the fact that there's a "womens' room" on campus was a case of them getting over themselves and making an accommodation for someone less powerful. But somewhere along the transition a man becomes a trans woman, and in a more invidious social position than most other women.

          • Psycho Milt

            …compared to the threat trans women present to other women.

            I haven't noticed any feminists saying that trans women present a threat to women.  I have noticed them saying that allowing men access to women-only spaces is a threat to women, and that that is in effect what is being demanded by trans activists.  

            • weka

              there are GCFs who believe that TW are threat to women in female only spaces. This is a problem for feminism and GCF specifically (some of it's fear based, some of it is transphobia, some of it is caution).

              I also don't think it's that cut and dried. There's a difference between a rape crisis centre and toilets at a theatre. There may be safety issues in some sports too. The problem I have is that the discussions around this are so polarised and often nasty that it's almost impossible to work through the issues.

      • weka 16.2.2

        that's the nub of it. How does society decide what is reasonable? Especially when there are huge pressures on either not talking about this, or only talking in certain ways.

        At one end there are outright bigots who think trans people shouldn't exist, at the other there are people who think that there is no such thing as female (or that female is outdated and inherently oppressive) or that anyone can be a woman. It's a mess.

        I'm not sure people need to have a shared idea of what the threshold is (nor that GC people specifically should). We don't have that expectation in other social/political areas.

        • McFlock

          The threshold problem is that some folks portray "trans" as signing a sheet of paper that says "I'm a woman", running into the ladies' toilets for whatever reason, then signing another sheet of paper to go back to being a man. Whereas others won;t accept a trans woman as a woman even if there were some miraculous gene-editing procedure in addition to all the surgical and hormonal procedures.

          It's not my monkey or my circus. It's not my decision to make. But that doesn't mean I can't see that a massively victimised minority is being further victimised by another victimised group, often because of a simple sign on a door.


          • greywarshark

            They won't be prevented from going to a toilet like some sort of untouchable, but they just won't have free access to wherever they like on whim.

            • McFlock

              Except they already are. And women who don't look "womanly" enough are also abused and victimised on the assumption they are trans.

              • weka

                I agree, it's bizarre that some people think that trans ppl aren't at risk. There are also now reports of girls not feeling ok to use mixed-sex toilets at schools. We're not that good at sorting this out yet.

                • Dukeofurl

                  Reports ? I hope they arent  US right wing 'reports'

                  • weka

                    Nope, from the UK where a lot is changing fast and without much public consultation (or with bad consultation). But it doesn't take much thinking to get to teenage girls not wanting to share bathrooms, manage periods, do girly stuff around boys. Also younger girls and what they feel comfortable with. We have single sex spaces for good reasons.

          • Dukeofurl

            Yes . Theres this false idea that segregated but public spaces must  be 'safe'. All public spaces  should be safe for women  or non binary.   Women  or children arent safe  in their  homes either, that applies to same sex relationships. 

             When I lived in Australian large city decades back , a friend lived next to a  small pub  in the inner city that  identified as a 'lesbians only' bar.  He said there were fights outside  when it came to closing time, I didnt believe him until  I did see it happen.

            Safety is an issue  even when men were excluded , as they were then.

            Thats why I think  safety  has become a code word for  lesser rights for non binary people and the whole idea of  people who dont  identify with gender norms.

            • weka

              Meanwhile, feminists have decades of work now demonstrating how women are at risk from men and what to do about it.

              That there is violence in lesbian relationships doesn't change that most women and trans people are at risk from men, not from women. No-one is arguing for absolute safety, people are talking about making spaces safer. Safety for lesbians in their own communities and relationships is an issue for lesbians.

              Men thinking that they get to have a say on what is safe for women isn't new, it's tedious.


              • Dukeofurl

                Men arent saying what is safe for women.   

                Excluding men or excluding non binary  doesnt make a  space 'safe for women' as a 'political  argument', which is what we are doing.

                We are just repeating whats happened with all  signature womens rights issues from getting the vote,  equal pay,  womens control of their bodies and so on .

                Women have opposed all of those things happening at the time  and still do.

                An example is the group opposed to the current decriminalisation of  abortion laws in NZ  , headed by women.

                • Dukeofurl

                  In the broadest sense  SAFE is a  risk assessment  as  absolute safety is  chimera.

                  There is  no evidence  that  excluding non binary people makes a  'space' safer.

                  Plenty of evidence women only spaces are safer not  totally safe.  Not sure where the evidence for allowing for trans women  for example ,make somewhere less safe , instead  prejudice is  being used.


        • Sacha

          We don't have that expectation in other social/political areas.

          Really? If there were 'race-critical' whites concerned about 'threats' to their traditional spaces like country clubs and ivy league universities if coffee-skinned people are allowed in them, we would not wring our hands about what degree of racism is OK, surely?

          • Psycho Milt

            Maybe it would help if men on the thread didn't equate feminism with racism.

            • weka

              that would definitely help.

            • Sacha

              Unless your feminism is essentialist discrimination, there's no equation. Racism and sexism have obvious parallels, without even going into their intersections.

          • weka

            Not sure how that is relevant to what McFlock was referring to (and my reply to him), but maybe I misunderstood what he meant?


            • Sacha

              Not at all. McFlock wrote:

              I think that any productive discussion on this issue in the way you have framed it would first require all participants having the same idea of what "a reasonable person would expect". Starting with a guarantee that all "reasonable" trans-exclusionary people have a shared idea of what that threshold is.

              You replied:

              that's the nub of it. How does society decide what is reasonable? Especially when there are huge pressures on either not talking about this, or only talking in certain ways.

              At one end there are outright bigots who think trans people shouldn't exist, at the other there are people who think that there is no such thing as female (or that female is outdated and inherently oppressive) or that anyone can be a woman. It's a mess.

              I'm not sure people need to have a shared idea of what the threshold is (nor that GC people specifically should). We don't have that expectation in other social/political areas.

              I imagined a parallel in race identity, and in US terms as that seems to be a place we are importing these ideas from. One counter to the final sentence is all it was.

    • gsays 16.3

      The twits that disagree are akin to our feminist sisters in the 60s and 70s pioneering and making the radical mainstream.

      A'la Germaine Greer. Only she's now on the oppressors side.

    • weka 16.4

      "Massey University that believes discussing this should be banned"

      I doubt this very much. They've said a non-university group can't use their premises for a meeting. That's a very long way from banning the discussion.


      • Psycho Milt 16.4.1

        True, but they've also declared their support for freedom of speech in a press release announcing they're using H&S as an excuse to prevent speakers from expressing unpopular opinions on their campus.  Actions speak louder than words, and their actions are those of an opponent of freedom of speech.

        • weka

          Unless they want to prioritise safer culture for trans and NB people so their voices can be amplified. Freedom of speech looks different to the people whose voices are least heard.

          I don't agree with the decision, but I don't know if it's political, lobbying, or they just got so many threats of violence they decided to bail.

          • Psycho Milt

            Massey's action suggests gender-critical feminists may be the people whose voices are least heard on this issue.  Not that I'm trying to argue with you – neither of us agrees with the decision, after all – just feeling grumpy at Massey dipping itself in shit again, because I work there and it's getting embarrassing to tell people that.

            • weka

              Lol, I'm sure it is.

              My personal position is there are differing needs (trans/NB people and women) and the current discourse pits them against each other. GCFs and trans activists/allies both make this a war, and bystanders, and bigots, add to the fray. Lots of people getting damaged in the process and rippling out effects.

              So while I don't agree that SUFW should be shunned, I also think that the needs of trans people are valid and should be part of the process. At the moment it's almost impossible to have that conversation.

        • McFlock

          I would be happy to see a court look at it.

          It would dovetail the council judgement quite nicely to draw a line, especially if the finding is against the university.

          • weka

            I'd be interested for a court to look at just so that Massey have to be honest about their reasons. I doubt that a court process is the way to solve the conflict for society though.

            • McFlock

              I'm not certain they're being dishonest, to be frank. I'm pretty sure their legal opinion would be a summary of the case law around health and safety requirements and might be based around bullying-caused stress, or a public order hazard. Lawyers can think up all sorts of stuff.

              I just suspect that their threshold for risk elimination is more absolute than a basic "reasonableness" assessment of the hazards of this event.

              • weka

                I also think it's most likely about the cultural safety of trans people, but I think there is a public interest in knowing if threats of violence were made.

                I wasn't thinking they were being dishonest so much as unclear. Their statement was very brief and didn't explain their reasoning. I assume that was deliberate. There's probably a useful public conversation to be had about what H/S legislation covers (and doesn't cover). I haven't seen that convo yet re Massey.


                • McFlock

                  Yeah the brevity was almost certainly calculated. Even going back to my ROAR ("right of admission is reserved" – we might decline you entry) days on the pub door, only a fool gave precise reasons, and you never got into a debate if you were busy (sometimes it was a fun way to pass the time if things were quiet, though).

                  Specific reasons can be refuted, or compared with other punters. Vague reasons firmly applied leave no wriggle room. And if the specific reason is illegal, you get in trouble (never worked a bar with a maximum age of entry, but they did exist around town and probably still do).

      • Dukeofurl 16.4.2

        Non university group can use their rooms/lecture theatres according to their  "rooms" handbook

        The specific site


        "With over 500 bookable spaces across three cities, our team will find the perfect venue for your event. Whether you need a meeting room, lecture theatre or ballroom we have the venue to suit. We understand the importance of matching the most suitable venue to your group type, size and budget."

        An application is  involved  , so presume there is some procedural steps.

        • weka

          Non-uni groups can request to use the rooms. I don't think the university is under an absolute onus to say yes to every group.

    • arkie 16.5

      You Might Be a TERF if…

      19.) Claim that when you work to halt the propagation of anti-feminist stereotypes it’s empowerment, but when trans people work to halt the propagation of anti-trans stereotypes it’s censorship.

      This is site and page includes many handy definitions and examples of trans-exclusionary behaviour and attitudes. It also has a good history of the issues. I would recommend a read for those who want to know more.

      • gsays 16.5.1

        Thanks for the link arkie.

        I realise I have lived a privileged, sheltered and uncomplicated life.

        This issue is interesting to observe evolve, watching norms move.

        It is akin to environmentalists and the issue of damming rivers versus renewable energy. There are compelling arguements either way. 

  15. David Mac 17

    It appears China have just taken steps to lease an entire South Pacific Island. The residents of Tulagi in the Solomons with it's natural deep water harbour are not sure what's going on.


    • David Mac 17.1

      If I was China I'd be establishing a holiday resort at Tulagi. Bulldozing out an international airport capable of handling big passenger jets (and bombers). Dredging the harbour so it can accommodate the largest ships in the Chinese Family Fun Cruise fleet (aircraft carriers). Guests will need 1000's of rooms (barracks) and several golf courses. (They're just golf courses, the Chinese brass have developed a taste for the stupid game).

      Those citizens that accumulate 2000 citizen points in a single month will be entered into the draw for 3 fun-filled days at Tulagi. Winners just need to record the conversations they have at the border.

      I still miss Clarke.

    • Ngungukai 17.2

      Evidently China are also building a fishing port on Penrhyn in the Cook Islands 500km north of Rarotonga. You have to take your hats off the the Chinese they are not stupid ?

      • David Mac 17.2.1

        Yes, we work with a 5 year plan, they work with 100 years. Step 1. Become richest country in the world. Step 2. Take over world. (Not through invasion, through buying it.) Beat the West at their own game.

  16. Ian 18

    I wake up every morning and thank the lord I Bypassed Massey and studied  at Lincoln. I a have allways preferred Corriedales and Coopworths  to those flighty Perendales.

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago

  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago