Open mike 17/10/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 17th, 2022 - 132 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 …

132 comments on “Open mike 17/10/2022 ”

  1. Ad 1

    The German Greens are still finding it tough to support electricity generation from their existing nuclear power plants. Not sure why they are making this so hard. Winter snow starts in a couple of weeks.

    German Greens lay out nuclear power position amid federal government infighting | News | DW | 15.10.2022

    [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.]

  2. RedLogix 2

    I understand what engineers are doing.

    Where? You show scant evidence of this in anything I have seen. Where for instance is anything mentioned of the billions of dollars being spent on sustainability programs and development?

    I wrote extensively on the Kaya Identity some time back – which is located absolutely at the core of this question – and summarised again in my comment above. Crickets.

    Keep in mind I am still an author and you have a long standing pattern of harassing me by abusing your power of moderation with vague and unspecified allegations.

    [I’m under no obligation to write about anything, nor am I under obligations to spend my time addressing issues that other people raise. I also don’t need to defend myself against the shit you make up about my views, politics and motivations. Just like all the other authors, we choose what we write about and how we spend our time here. If you wanted genuine engagement on these issues, all you had to do was come back with your questions and points without the harping at me, or telling me what I should be writing about or doing. Banned from all my posts for the rest of the year – 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.]

    • Ad 2.1

      Should those two young kids ever get a degree and go to work, they will figure soon that it is better to work on an actual completed project that actually changes the world for good.

      If, with an activist criminal record, the two of them prefer to work for a pittance at some activist group then they will remain in righteous penury.

      Canned soup for dinner it will be.

      • mpledger 2.1.1

        Many leaders/almost leaders have started out on their path as activists – Nelson Mandela, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn.

      • RedLogix 2.1.2


        My argument was concise and accurate – green activism puts all of it's energy into telling us either there are too many people, or the people need to consume less and reduce their standards of living. The first two terms of the Kaya Identity.

        The first is a moral question – if your plan requires fewer humans to succeed – fail.

        If your plan requires everyone to live in a poorly defined hippie poverty forever – then fail.

        People who want to solve the problem put all of their energy into either improving energy energy efficiency or reducing the amount of carbon required to produce energy. The last two terms of the Kaya Identity.

        Your response is a mix of incomprehension and abuse of power. Gives me zero confidence in your motives.

        • weka

          I have no problem with you putting out your arguments on TS, even the ones I disagree with. Sometimes there is an issue where your comments are off topic under my posts but like with any other commenter this is easily resolved by moving them to OM.

          But making up things about my beliefs is not acceptable.

          I'm also not willing to deal anymore under posts with the near constant picking at me as an author. eg in your comment you again question my motivations instead of just arguing your points about the topic.

          None of what I have just said is outside of the normal way things happen here.

          • RedLogix

            Sometimes there is an issue where your comments are off topic

            My comment was by any sane definition entirely on topic – indeed if went concisely to the heart of the matter. You just didn't like it.

            Until the Green Party's around the world drop their irrational opposition to nuclear energy I will continue to loudly question their motives and those who support them.

            Actual nuclear physicist on topic:


            • weka

              I was talking generally about some comments being off topic. I didn't say your comment in the Sunflowers | Oil post was off topic. If it was I would have moved it.

              You just didn't like it.

              I don't even remember what the comment was tbh. Having a very busy few days. But again, you think it's appropriate to define my views, and each time you put those little jabs in, it confirms that I need to set a boundary.

            • arkie

              Here's another youtube video from a scientist.


              TL;DW: Both sides of the nuclear power argument have an agenda.

              Nuclear Power
              Pro: Climate friendly, takes up little space, produces on demand.
              Cons: Expensive, Non-renewable, won't have significant influence on climate change within the next 20 years, Unpopular.

              Is Nuclear Power Green? It's complicated.

              • lprent

                Cons: The nuclear industry has a demonstrated inability to manage to solving their plant lifetime waste issues.

                When you look at the footprint through centuries of high level waste half- life, then the space issue is large.

                After it demonstrates an ability to stop their chamical and radiological pollution for half a century then it might be worth looking at. For theoment all thatbis apparent is that there has been 70 years of preety dangerous accilmulating pollution.

                • RedLogix

                  The nuclear industry has a demonstrated inability to manage to solving their plant lifetime waste issues.

                  Only really a problem if you want it to be:


                  And this really only applies to the early generation PWR reactors that utilise their fuel very inefficiently. There are several ways to build 4th Gen reactors that consume almost all their fuel (including waste from older reactors) and create a much smaller waste volume that only needs safe-keeping for a few hundred years. Geologic storage is perfectly appropriate for this.

                  It would also be helpful if anti-nuc greenies would stop raising irrational fears about storage sites and allowed some to go ahead as the Finnish have done.

                  I have outlined this at least a dozen times here over the past few years, but the 'waste problem' keeps getting trotted out – even when the risk it poses is tiny compared to the climate change problem it addresses.

                  • lprent

                    There are several ways to build 4th Gen reactors that consume almost all their fuel (including waste from older reactors) and create a much smaller waste volume that only needs safe-keeping for a few hundred years.

                    That really isn't my point. After all you can go back over the last 70 years and see exactly the same kinds of claims being made about every reactor type and their waste.

                    Geologic storage is perfectly appropriate for this.

                    You can assert this. However you cannot point to a single place where this has been tried for long enough to find out. Now I’m not an engineer by training. However my science degree is in earth sciences. And I’d assert to say that an engineer who asserts that is a just a fool. They are arguing without sufficient evidence to support that claim. Every long term nuclear dump site I know of so far has had unsolved problems before, at or after end-of-plant-life.

                    Nuclear disposal of even medium levels has never been tried in geological terms. All we have had is things like dropping waste into the oceans – and now becoming a problem when we now work the deep ocean areas for comms lines – because the containment has failed. We’ve had above ground waste leaking into ground water systems. We’ve had closed nuclear plants dropping low and medium level waste on land by sea shores in rusting iron barrels.

                    Basically we have had experiments done by bloody pig-ignorant engineers who haven’t put in the controls to find out what their experiments did after they got them off their hands.

                    There have been 70 years to demonstrate that waste can be minimised and that the disposal is safe. It hasn't been demonstrated.

                    Instead we have waste piling up in dangerous locations and so far (as far as I am aware) exactly one open disposal storage that looks like it may be viable. The one that just opened in Finland. About 70 years after the first reactor. In 3-4 decades we’ll have some idea if it will work. I’d also note that they have put in extensive experimental monitoring – it is just as interesting to me if they manage to maintain that for long enough to get useful results.

                    I'm perfectly happy to have builds of a few demonstration reactors based on new principles. To test new disposal techniques. But I also require evidence that these techniques actually work before building more.

                    But those will require decades of testing to prove that they actually work and don't have process bugs is the only way that counts – as monitored tests. They are many decades of testing away from the kind of wide deployment you’re talking about.

                    Deploying site systems that don't have viable plans for the whole operational lifespan of the plant, and to its disposal is how the nuclear industry got in this mess – and you appear to be wanting to repeat the stupid experiment?

                    And it isn’t like we are lacking alternatives that have had decades of continuous testing in wind, solar, various geological battery systems, etc. The only thing that hasn’t been fully tested yet is using lithium battery banks – and the testing for that is slowly making it clear what the issues are.

                    The unknown risks – the ones that really really cost at and after end-of-life are becoming known. Wheras the nuclear industry is still fumbling in the dark ages of just starting to try to find that out.

                    It would also be helpful if anti-nuc greenies …

                    It isn’t the ‘greenies’ that you should be concerned about. There aren’t that many technical people outside of the nuclear engineering fanboys who think that the nuclear industry has done their job well enough to be trusted with dangerous materials at scale.

                    Their outright scepticism about the long-term value of nuclear technologies in open economies has fuelled the body politic’s scepticism. In the closed economies the devastation of whole landscapes by previous generations of engineers with no long-term time horizons has even managed to convince their current day engineers that there may a be few issues about how they operate on a biological and geological basis.

            • Bearded Git

              Wind and solar are cheaper than nuclear so it is far from irrational opposition from the Greens.

              NZ is lucky that it has massive base load capacity from hydro and thermal

              • RedLogix

                SWB is cheaper and faster in the short term but nuclear provides a more stable supply with far fewer capacity and operational constraints.

        • Adrian Thornton

          I like the way the guy who has been the biggest defender of the 20/21 Century Western Capitalist/Imperialist project here on the TS…an ideological project that in its brief tenure as chief hegemony of the planet has squandered the one and only blimp in human history that provided us with free energy, for short term gratifications and capital gains with absolutely no long term aims or visions for the future of humanity (except maybe for their capacity to produce or more importantly consume ) much less the planet (except maybe for the amount that can be extracted from it)…the ideology that now that is on its death bed, leaves us with a Climate Armageddon as our inheritance…this same guy comes on TS all righteous…the gall.

          Though I will say this…following that death cult (and defending it all the way) over the cliff right into the fires raging below shows the dedication of real fundamentalist that’s for sure…which I guess I can respect on a certain level, as I too am a fundamentalist…the difference being my ideology is the correct one…Socialism.

    • RedLogix 2.2

      Gutless abuser of privilege.

  3. SPC 3

    It looks like global pension funds are in trouble, their bonds (historic asset) are falling in value as interest rates rise. Yet because of (short version) investment decisions they are having to sell some of their assets. So it's not looking good for share markets. Some see a winter of energy shortage hardship in Europe followed by government and financial industry sector in crisis mode managing both the sustainability of some pension funds and the blow back of yet another private market failure.

    PS Don't panic (ours should be fine – Kiwi Saver is a new scheme thus has smaller sized liabilities to continuing inputs).

  4. Tony Veitch 4

    Keen-eyed observers will have drawn the lesson that tax cuts for the wealthy, without any indication of what cuts in public services will be necessary to fund them, are a recipe for disaster. Even keener-eye observers, here in New Zealand, will have seen the obvious parallels between Liz Truss and our own National party. Christopher Luxon has at least had the benefit of a trial run of the policies which he has threatened to impose on us.

    Is Luxon capable of learning from the mistakes of other hard right Tories?

    I doubt it. If the Natz win in ’23 (God forbid) then we’re probably going to go the same way the UK will over the next few months.

    At least, we can’t say we weren’t warned!

    • X Socialist 4.1

      I see Jacinda has not ruled out working with Winston Peters. That's strange given the narrative the Left, and everyone else for that matter, tar him with. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. The problem for Peters is ACT has most of his policies covered.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        I call BS on your claim about NZF policies cf. ACT. You haven’t provided a single link and example.

        You also failed to support your claim about Jacinda Ardern not ruling out NZF/WP.

        Still, you may find it strange when you’ll get modded in the near future; you’re one of the laziest and sloppiest commenters on this site.

      • SPC 4.1.2

        Winston Peters is for higher wages and training of local workers before immigration. Neither is ACT policy. NZF has only one bottom line for coalition (whether National or Labour) – no inclusion of ACT or Greens.

        • X Socialist

          I said ''most.'' However, I should have been more circumspect. These points from Winston's speech.

          ''1-First – to defend one law for all in our country, and

          2-First – to defend democracy of our country.''

          That covers much ground between ACT and NZ First when formulating policy,

          It's the nexus that has the majority of NZers concerned even if they intend voting Left.

          Now if you were a swing voter, where would you put your vote? On an old campaigner who has stuffed the country around on numerous occasions? Who's capricious behaviour has turned many voters off for life? Or would you want a young politician who has worked hard. Who isn't scared to call bs when it's needed. And isn't scared to stand up to Maoridom and the Left? Better yet, if you like Winston's policies, but can't stomach voting for him, ACT has a similar focus around law and order and democracy. Those are the two big concerns with voters in my opinion.

          People are writing Winston off. I wouldn't, especially if he comes to an accord with all those small one issue political parties. It would be a political beast made in hell, but It would probably cross the 5% line.

          • SPC

            Sure, he is one law for all majority rule.

            The old unreconstructured assimilationist …

            He has a chance – there is still a 1-2% base. And he will be going for 1% from ACT, 1% from National, 1% from Labour and 1% from the fringe parties (3 to 2%). Most in the provinces. Better than 50/50.

            The attention might take oxygen from TOP (now less likely to get from 2 to 5%), but help the MP (now more likely to get 4 seats c2.5-3%).

            • X Socialist

              ''The old unreconstructed assimilationist''

              In my view you either have democracy, or you don't. If you argue democracy is the tyranny of the majority in favour of European, then what's the alternative for Maori? Maori already have special privileges plus all rights given to European. Although historically that has not been the case.

              Tomorrow on TV One is the Doco 'No Maori Allowed' It's about historical racism in Pukekohe. That should keep the troops happy.

              • SPC

                The restraint on majority is in the civil liberties and human rights protections (whether formed in a constitution, or a Crown in parliament system). That might well include indigenous peoples and those with Treaty rights.

              • Have all the rights of the European.

                That is not correct. Until very recently Maori could not build individual homes on their land. It is still collective homes.
                They had to fit in with our world view. Now we are being asked to consider theirs and be more fair….. kicking and swearing begins by a racist few or by those who hold the cake!!

              • Incognito

                Equal rights is necessary but not sufficient as many social, economic, and health indicators have shown.

                • swordfish


                  As long as affluent middle class professionals like your good-self volunteer to do all the suffering & sacrifice (in health / housing) for 'Equity' … then fine … but we both know it won't even remotely be you & your chums … it'll be poorer, lower & low-middle-income non-Maori – already greatly financially disadvantaged – who'll be transformed & scapegoated into second class citizenship with few if any rights (my Parents currently being the perfect example).

                  People who, despite being born into poverty or low income families, have always been law-abiding, civic-minded, done the right thing, thought of others … will be the ones you viciously scapegoat & punish … absolutely fucking guaranteed. Albeit, of course, assiduously camouflaged as some great moral cause.

                  Fortunately, some relatively recent polling (Aug 2021) conducted on an issue that is essentially a proxy for the broad idea of 'Equity' (as opposed to Equality) suggests most New Zealanders aren't prepared to be conned by Critical Theory BS. The 2021 Lord Ashcroft poll found that even a majority of Maori Party & Green voters supported universalist ideas rather than policies pushing ethnic discrimination.

                  Like I say, the Woke middle-class are not “The Left” … you’re a self-interested Upper-Middle Vanity Project … and your relentless moral posturing is so transparently phoney.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    "Poorer, lower & low-middle-income non-Maori" being "transformed & scapegoated into second class citizenship with few if any rights" sounds terrifying. Is there a Kiwi demographic or historical perspective that illustrates just how bad things could get for "non-Maori"?

                    Growth in life expectancy slows [20 April 2021]
                    The gap between Māori and non-Māori life expectancy at birth was 7.5 years for males and 7.3 years for females in 2017–2019.


                    Current debates that seek to revive animosities between ‘iwi’ vs ‘Kiwi,’ for example, are classic Cartesian devices – anachronistic, divisive colonial throwbacks.

                    Wokescentismiley You win some, you lose some – we all 'move on'.

                    • swordfish


                      Right, so you're confirming that affluent middle-class professionals like yourself – the genuinely privileged – are determined to scapegoat poorer non-Maori … and transform them into second-class citizens

                      … and you’ll (rather desperately) deploy very crude comparisons (lacking all context) between Maori & non-Maori as a whole (as opposed to looking specifically at poorer & low-middle Pakeha/Asians) to buttress your decidely vicious & self-interested objective … got it … good to have it on record.

                  • Who are you addressing here Swordfish? Your bitterness is becoming too personal. Are you saying discussing inequities is "Woke"? If so look in the mirror, because most of us " Self interested Upper Vanity Project…. etc…..' came from poor homes who valued Education… You know.. the "Woke" of their generation.

                    Get a grip.

                  • X Socialist

                    Thank you swordfish. That needed to be said. You are 100% right. However, there's a plethora of people ready to tell you why you are wrong. I too fear for the collateral damage such attitudes bring,

                  • Muttonbird

                    You parents do have a house, pal. Surely that is something to be grateful for.

                  • Incognito


                    Not another SF story!!

                    WP loves you heart

                    • swordfish


                      Try for something a little more cogent & plausible than the horrendously pompous dismissal "sigh"

                      Soooo Upper-Middle … soooo Russell Brown …. sooo "why do I possess such unusually refined sensibilities … I'm too morally good for this world"

                      Simply asking you to be a little less Brideshead Revisited.

                      Now, if we can get back to poorer non-Maori and how the affluent Woke are looking to systematically scapegoat them in health, housing & so on … preferably without too much in the way of Sigh.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Right, so you're confirming that affluent middle-class professionals like yourself are determined to scapegoat poorer non-Maori … and transform them into second-class citizens

                    … got it … good to have it on record.

                    ??? I provided statistical information about the absolute life expectancy and wealth of different ethnic groups in NZ. Don't understand why this equates (in your mind) to scapegoating (blaming?) "poorer non-Māori" for anything, let alone transforming them into "second class citizens."

                    I really miss Mum – she was an inspiration and offered wise counsel. I've been been taking care of Dad at home for nine months now as he slowly loses his memory and independence – he's depressed, and occasionally experiments with VSED for a day or two – such is life.

            • swordfish


              And he will be going for 1% from ACT, 1% from National, 1% from Labour and 1% from the fringe parties

              Doubt it … in broad terms, there's the potential for ACT to hoover up anti-Woke Nats (& possibly swing-voters) … while NZF (or some new Party … preferably a trad Social Democratic one) wins over a segment of disillusioned anti-Woke Labour voters.

              [No doubt both parties will be looking to supplement their support from the fringe]

              For quite a few years now, NZF has attracted (& lost) far more former Labour voters than Nats … hence, in terms of their voting-base, they’re essentially part of the centre-left constellation … so they'll be aiming first & foremost for those 2020 Lab supporters who have voted NZF in the past [there’s quite a few of them & most of them haven’t died in the interim].

              • SPC

                See my 4.01pm post below as to recent NZF voter preferences.

                I don't see ACT taking any more National "trigger issue" voters than they have already (they led the debate on these issues not National) – and certainly not any centrist who reads their manifesto. Both ACT and Greens will have to campaign well to hold their current poll support level.

        • Ed1

          There was a suggestion on radio NZ (possibly a throw-away comment!) that both NZF and ACT are in favour of seeking to do away with the Treaty of Waitangi. Sorry I was driving and cannot recall the time when the comment was made.

      • Bearded Git 4.1.3

        NZF may well do the Left a huge favour by getting 4.9%

      • observer 4.1.4

        Of course Ardern hasn't "ruled out" NZF. Is this your first election? How old are you?

        In 1996 Winston attacked Labour and National and vice-versa, and in the end NZF did a deal with National.

        In 2005 Winston attacked Labour and National and vice-versa, and in the end NZF did a deal with Labour.

        In 2017 Winston attacked Labour and National and vice-versa, and in the end NZF did a deal with Labour.

        In 2023 it's unlikely NZF will get over 5%, but if they do … NZF will do a deal with either National or Labour if they need to.

        The only time NZF were "ruled out" was when John Key calculated (correctly) that National could get a majority without NZF. He got the support of 3 other parties.

        If you think Luxon or Ardern will choose to lose rather than do a deal with Peters if they have to, you've no understanding at all of politicians or MMP.

        • X Socialist

          ''Of course Ardern hasn't "ruled out" NZF. Is this your first election? How old are you?''

          Well, deary, fairly old. I was just pointing out the political hypocrisy that goes on. Winston is slagged off by all, then if he's needed politically, all of a sudden that dog whistling is ok. It never ceases to amaze me. But more so coming from Labour who are meant to have a paternalistic eye on, and special relationship with, Maori.

          • observer

            Again, learn from history. Nothing new here.

            Winston built a career on attacking "sickly white liberals", scratching itches from the Treaty to immigration. Everyone knows who he is and what he does. It didn't begin in 2022.

            He was Deputy PM under Ardern for 3 years, because the alternative was worse. Do you think Labour voters regret that decision? Do you think they wish National had been in government for a 4th term, in a pandemic, ?

            That's the same decision as always, and no party – Labour or National has ever chosen opposition instead.

            • lprent

              Do you think they wish National had been in government for a 4th term, in a pandemic, ?

              Shudder- they would have screwed that up even worse than they did with the GFC. In my lifetime, National seem to make a fetish of wanting to doing doing exactly the wrong thing in every crisis from the UK joining the EEC to covid-19.

              Those idiotic statements about what they wanted to do during covid were insane. Release border controls before the population was vaccinated- just because some of their business mates were too thick to run their businesses over the net. They wanted to do it just before the artival of beta, delta, and omnicon…

              The only political group that was stupider was Act and their parasitical shills in the taxpayers union.

          • Incognito

            Winston is slagged off by all, then if he’s needed politically, all of a sudden that dog whistling is ok.

            Such nonsense. Even on this site not all (!) are slagging off WP. More importantly, neither Ardern nor Labour have been slagging him off either; they’re simply giving him the least amount of political oxygen. You’re also losing the plot with your biased anti-Māori rhetoric; you sound like an ardent NZF or ACT supporter with very little to say and a whole lot of hot air and bluster.

        • Sabine

          And that just shows that NZF has understood one thing. In opposition you attack all the parties that are not you, after all the party is representing its voters. In this case NZF doing stuff and saying stuff on behalf of its voter base. And neither a Labour or a National voter has to like a damn word he utters. After every election however any and all parties should seek to be admitted to the governing team. Specially the third parties.

          Any party that rules out potential coalition partners on the grounds of their purity boundaries is self – selecting out from governing and pushing their agenda and promoting change. So why bother voting for people who self – select out long before anyone has cast any votes.

  5. SPC 5

    Voice to skull expose on You Tube, not Rumble.

    The story censored in western MSM for decades – this was first admitted by the DOD during Desert Storm (used on the Iraqi army) and has been a conspiracy theory ever since.

    Asian media has reported its use by Chinese police on dissidents there.

  6. Ad 6

    How to strangle to death one of our largest rivers through regulatory neglect.

    A Year On, What Has ECan Done About The Rakaia? | Newsroom

    Regulatory neglect is as Kiwi as Dave Dobbyn.

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      Not really neglect is it? It's corruption. National replaced elected ECan members to obtain non-enforcenment, same as Max Bradford was sent in to steal public power assets. And it will keep happening until those responsible face serious consequences – ie never if major parties have anything to do with it.

  7. Sabine 7

    Things that are unexpected.

    this little shortmovie that is just generally very good, excellent casting, beautiful storytelling. If someone needs a wee pick me up, this is one.

  8. I hesitate to say this – as I know that many Standardistas regard Kiwiblog as anathema.

    However, a contributor there, PaulL – has been running a fact-based series of posts – analysing the impact of tax and benefit policies on low income households – often referred to as the welfare trap.

    They (so far at least) seem to be fairly politically neutral – and focused more on stating the issues, rather than identifying solutions (I gather the 'solutions' come later in the series – but he's already said there are no wave the magic wand answers out there)

    But I've found them to be the most useful summary of the issues that I've yet seen (especially the graph visualizations of actual financial impacts on households)

    And – particularly useful in challenging the 'just work more hours, get a pay increase' rhetoric, which is prevalent.

    • Cricklewood 8.1

      The spreadsheet he's made is really useful, it's clear we really need to look at how the abatements work they're effectively punitive especially if you have to re pay at end of year.

    • SPC 8.2

      I've debated him, on Kiwiblog. It was eons ago.

      This is about the debate within National since John Key accepted Labour's 2005 WFF tax credits approach in 2008 (because there was no other way to get working families out of poverty …).

      • surprise Why would a Party/Parties, who say they need 50 000 unemployed to bring down the cost of living care about the working poor? Short answer for all their positioning and pontificating they really don't. More "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing stuff".

        • SPC

          It's not so much caring, as a realisation that WFF tax credits helped make their low wage/with growth via immigration policy more palatable.

          • Sabine

            As it did under the Helen Clark years. There is a reason Labour brought this benefit/tax in for families, and N never repealed it and will not repeal it in the future.

            At some stage Government either need to regulate the pricing of flats/houses, or we need to flood the market with rentals build by the goverment and maintained by the government, and any citizen has a right to apply for such a flat irrespective.

            Frist. cap the accom benefit. Declare a max and make that public.

            Second. build faster, more and where people are. stop moving homeless people around to warehouse in motels and expect them to find housing and jobs in places that historically have been struggling for a long time, and that in the case of some over the last few years have lost most of their local industries to covid and the resulting fall out.

            Third. if we can spend 3000 grand a week for shitty motel room somewhere without jobs and support, why not rent a house/flat directly – and cap it at market rent – non of that free market where the government gets milked as if they were a commercially used lactator.

            Right now and for a while the onus has been/is on business to pay higher and higher wages in order to keep up with a price inflation that has very little to do with businesses actually. Why should businesses be responsible to increase wages so that their staff manages to keep up with someones ursurius demands of rent? Why would the government not come in and finally regulate that market via rent caps or setting rent mirrors that need to be adhered too?

            Honestly, you can have a min wage of 50 bucks make 2000 per week and still need government assistance and not be free of the fear of homelessness if your weakly rent is 1800.

            And fwiw, with inflation doing what it does, it will get worse by the week.

            I thought that his posts were interesting reading. Maybe it just needs to be looked at from an angle where the questions is not partisan, but one that identifies an issue and how to fix it. Or we can just complain about parties that change every other year, and watch it go worse a little more one homeless family at a time, one poor family at a time.

            • SPC

              The difference is that Labour keep reducing the cost of WFF tax credits by increasing the MW and working towards living wage, fair pay and industry awards (bus drivers … ). To have more for other spending.

              Sure given the major problem is now the cost of renting and lifting the WFF tax credits and or AS in a tight market enables landlords to raise rents, we have to move to non income related policy (as we have with food in schools).

              So for me it's also a rent freeze (and some extra support in terms of tax credits and AS for those at lower incomes/benefits etc) and more income related housing. One way to do that is to buy up houses off private landlords (who are losing their right to claim mortgage interest as a cost).

              • Sabine

                It always boils down to the same. If you can not control the costs or won't it matters not how much your after tax income is, it wont be enough.

                • Descendant Of Smith


                  I think you mean families with children.

                  Families with dependent partners get the privilege of paying more tax than the same income if both were working and no help.

                • Sabine how do you control costs? When oil fertilizer lead the charge. Oil rose 39% in May alone. (Google).

        • alwyn

          Can you please provide a link to a senior MP actually stating that?

          • Patricia Bremner

            Not an MP, Cameron Bagrie supposed independent economist, recently employed by ANZ and Key.

            It is part of the rights mantra and what they did last time, along with using lots of immigrants to compete for work and the 90 day rule to cap wages for the poor, plus take away all rights to discuss work conditions.

            Then they lied and raised GST. So not much trust for their promises. Sorry Alwyn, I am not digitally smart, but you will find it if you care to google.

            • alwyn

              "recently employed by ANZ and Key."

              Your definition of recent is certainly pretty generous.

              Cameron resigned from the ANZ in 3 October 2017. That is five years ago. By coincidence it was the same month that John Key was appointed to the New Zealand ANZ Board. I really don't think that they would have been involved with the ANZ together, do you?

    • Molly 8.3

      Thanks for that link.

      Good to see some comparisons being made, instead of blanket assumptions being offered and discussed.

    • Nic the NZer 8.4

      With that framing in place there is about zero chance of employment policy being effectively implemented. The problem with the framing is it walks straight passed availability of work in assuming incentives to enter work are relevant. The relevant factors for people going from welfare to work are actually, can they find it given their skill set and location, does it offer enough hours given their total income, can they get it given their limited employment history. If work was available which removed these hurdles then many on welfare would prefer employment, just for the pro social factors. If it was flexible enough a lot of invalid welfare recipients would also be part of that.

      The framing of human employment preferences as marginally motivated doesn't describe human psychology. When this answer arrives from macro economic models they assume full employment (equilibrium market state) as an outcome.

      • Belladonna 8.4.1

        I'm not sure what 'framing' you're referring to. Perhaps you could give an example.

        From my reading of the figures – the point was that, for a significant % of the lower paid workforce (especially those with children), employment, additional hours, and even pay rises, are of marginal benefit (cash-in-hand-at-the-end-of-the-pay-period benefit).

        That's the biggest hurdle that needs to be addressed. I don't know whether there is an employment policy which addresses this.

        Right now – work is available (boy is it available! – at least in Auckland – which is, after all 1/3 of the population – so fairly significant). Employers will bend over backwards to find hours and shifts that work for you. If you can turn up reliably, and do the work – employment history doesn't matter.

        Those barriers certainly existed in the past (and may again in the future) – but aren't a big reality right now.

        However. It seems as though the benefit abatement rates are an absolute killer. It costs to go to work (clothes, food, transport, childcare – that's massive) – it would seem to me, that many people quite possibly can't afford to get a job – at or even quite a bit above – minimum wage.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Yet when benefit rates were much higher unemployment was lower. There has been consistent framing that you need a gap. Buying into this framing help keeps benefit rates down.

          Once you work out that that framing is not true then there is no reason against increasing benefit rates to make people's lives better and to ironically make them less fatigued, better fed, better mentally and in fact more suited to going to work.

          The trouble is that the bureaucrats have also been brainwashed into this thinking as well. Remember MSD's advice to government in response to giving a bigger benefit increase as per WEAG was that this gap needed to be maintained.
          Both National and Labour think this. Bunch of numpties.

          Mike Treen pointed this out some time ago.

          "The Labour government was implicitly accepting the argument that there needs to be a big gap between the benefit and a job to motivate people to work. There is in fact no evidence for that. Sweden has the highest sole parent benefit in the world yet had the highest percentage of sole parents in work. New Zealand had much lower unemployment when benefits were much higher as a percentage of the average wage."

          "But to cut real wages the employer thinks he needs the gap to grow between wages and welfare payments. You have to make living on a benefit as miserable as possible.

          In 1991, National savagely cut the rates of all benefits, including the invalids and sickness benefits. The harshest cuts were for the unemployed.

          The unemployment benefit was cut by 25% for young people, 20% for young sickness beneficiaries, and 17% for solo parents. They abolished the family benefit and made many workers ineligible for the unemployment benefit with a stand down period of up to a six months. The 1992 benefit cuts were worth approximately $1.3 billion – about the same size of each of the tax cuts handed out in 1996 and 1998. Unemployment benefits were stopped for 16 and 17 year-olds and the youth rate for 18 & 19 year-olds extended to the age of 25.

          Benefits as a percentage of the average wage fell significantly after 1985.The single person unemployment benefit dropped from 42 to 30% of the average wage by 1996. National Super for a married couple went from 85% to 72%. A domestic purposes benefit for a parent with one child went from 80% to 53%. The benefit for an unemployed couple with two children went from 95 to 69% of the average wage. "

        • Nic the NZer

          Marginal benefit is a framing of the issue, its an assumption that this is the primary motivator to human behaviour around employment. As a country we have been down the road with the policies which follow from that assumption before. There are no alternatives to this outcome because the concept is to create a significant gap in income between employed and unemployed status. We will start there and end up cutting welfare to even below minimum budgets put forward by actual nutritionists (yes, we did that as a nation), starving people into work.

          You may well be sanguine with the countries level of unemployment, but there are a bunch of things to consider around this.

          1) Our official theory of unemployment makes zero sense. It is claiming we are more than 100% employed. Now realistically when you make an estimate for a maximum and its exceeded you would conclude that your estimate for that maximum was clearly incorrect. But apparently this doesn't behave as an actual limit.

          Here's a more technical explanation of the same.

          2) In making this assumption we've decided it makes best sense to go without the output of 50,000 more people. That's an extraordinarily large amount of real output, and ongoing work history, we are giving away to a framing which is demonstrably incoherent.

          3) New Zealand has had lower unemployment rates previously. Just this happened is an era when both political parties discussed full employment as a policy choice and the modern NAIRU concept wasn't known as an acronym.

          4) The unemployment rate is only a measure of some/no employment. It doesn't measure under-employment which indicates a much larger waste (real output the country is going without) which is on-going. Including under-employment its a reasonable estimate that NZ real output could be a full 11% higher.

          5) Unemployment rates vary regionally. There are some areas and cohorts where the rate is still in double figures.

          6) Registering unemployed in statistics requires that those people are actively looking for work. Any unemployment rate above zero indicates there are people who can't find work.

          All of these points indicate the same thing, the framing (and you purportedly didn't notice) obfuscates and invisibilizes a huge amount of ongoing waste of real output. That same framing has a history of really perverse economic policy in NZ. As I said, if that framing is adopted the results have about zero chance resulting in effective employment policy.

          "If you can turn up reliably, and do the work – employment history doesn't matter.", I find this level of non-thinking astounding. Hint, the unemployed people are the applications which you already rejected (trivially) for lack of employment history. The ones who turn up reliably and do the work are employed.

          • Belladonna

            "If you can turn up reliably, and do the work – employment history doesn't matter.", I find this level of non-thinking astounding. Hint, the unemployed people are the applications which you already rejected (trivially) for lack of employment history. The ones who turn up reliably and do the work are employed

            In turn, I also find this level of wilful blindness astounding.
            We are at a time when employers are crying out for workers. They are raising wages (well above the minimum), being totally flexible on hours and conditions (part-time – not a problem!) and certainly not rejecting applications for lack of employment history.

            Yes. That may not always be the case in the future. And it may not be the case in some areas of NZ (I can only talk about the situation in Auckland – which as I pointed out has 1/3 of NZ population – so is fairly significant).

            We even have situations where schools in South Auckland are struggling to retain their 16+ kids to get qualifications, because they can walk into jobs paying well above minimum wage. [Of course, the schools are rightfully concerned over their long-term prospects]

            If people are not employed – under those conditions – then we need to be looking at the barriers – and the abatement rate of benefits, appears to be one of the strongest.

            Nor, has there been as far as I can see, any mention of a requirement for 'full employment' or any variation thereof. Indeed, the original poster specifically discusses under-employment (and the barriers that the abatement rates for benefits, accom supplement and WFF) put in the way of increasing work hours. Child-care costs are also a huge barrier for Mums (and it almost always is Mums) with pre-schoolers. The 20 hours-free policy goes nowhere near accounting for the actual cost of child-care.

            And, yanno. It's pretty self-evident that the majority of people go to work to make a living. If going to work, working more hours, or getting a pay rise, makes you worse off then that's a pretty major dis-incentive, right there.

            I don't know of anyone who goes to work out of the kindness of their heart with the sole desire to make their employer wealthier, or to decrease their cost to the government (a truly abstract concept).

            And while there are lots of other social benefits to working – they don't outweigh the cold hard reality, that you have to pay your bills at the end of the fortnight.

            I can tell you (from experience) that there is no budgeter like a single mum who has to juggle every cent on a weekly basis – and who knows considerably more than her WINZ manager about the costs and disincentives of that extra hour of part-time work.

            It seems to me that the 'framing' is coming from you, rather than the actual original poster.

            Is there anything in the actual posts that you factually disagree with?

            Because, if we (as a country) can't even agree on what the issues are – then you're right – the chances of having an effective employment policy are indeed zero.

            • Nic the NZer

              As I have highlighted the framing is an obvious issue. In your latest reply it has some how invisibilized the fact that current official government policy is to add ~50,000 unemployed. That appears incompatible with any coming benefits from marginal rate changes. Its also invisibilized full employment as a political choice, and that this outcome is not a policy pursued by the govt. Obviously those issues are quite relevant to employment policy, as are their costs which dwarf anything relating to marginal employment choices.

              Here's a highly relevant thing relating to marginal employment arguments. Did you know they imply that unemployment is therefore voluntary?


              Ultimately this framing sets on a path discussed by Keynes.


              The assumption is that there is a trade off made between leisure (e.g unemployment) and work. The marginal difference between these is supposedly the cause of unemployment. I have in no way been claiming people go to work to make employers wealthy and that's a complete strawman anyway, your author is talking about the marginal rates relating to employment.

              Now I'm fully happy with your belief that there are some minor tinkering's around the edges which are carrot policies, rather than stick. But you should clearly be aware of the prior art hanging around these policy discussions, that this is ultimately a discussion about creating a significant gap in pay between employed and unemployed, and that if this is taken seriously the implementation will surely be of the stick form and quite destructive, that has been the prior outcome in well known cases. That also remains fully consistent with present belief systems around welfare policy (as DoS describes quite well).

              • Descendant Of Smith

                "certainly not rejecting applications for lack of employment history."

                They are still rejecting them though. Some because the applicants are Maori or Pacifika, some because they are older, some because they have children, some because they are on benefit, some because they want experience, some because they want/need to retain a pool of local seasonal workers, some because of union affiliation, some to put pressure on the government, some because they don't want to spend money on training, some because they are over-qualified, some because they are pregnant, some because they have trolled their facebook pages, some because they have previously taken out a personal grievance against an employer, some because they have a collective black-list they add to and pass around, some cause they have a foreign sounding name……………….

                And then there's those employers no one really wants to work for – shitty employer, unsociable hours, lack of safe public transport, dangerous conditions…..

                My son's friend, a good kid, always worked, never been in trouble lost his job when his employer closed. Applied for hundreds of jobs over six months. Most time never got a reply. More rejections the more he struggled. Committed suicide. Some of those employers he applied to were in media bleating about how they couldn't get staff.

  9. Molly 9

    Watching Free Speech Nation, which is covering the 16th Battle of Ideas Festival in London, so diverted on to the website:

    The Battle of Ideas.


    Throughout the festival’s history, we have always defended the need for a full and frank discussion of the problems facing society. Our motto is ‘FREE SPEECH ALLOWED’. We live in a time when censorship seems more prevalent than the days of shushing priests and damning judges, and yet things have changed. Contemporary attacks on free expression often come both from the state and from within a wide variety of institutions, from colleges to companies, museums to the media. On the one hand, censorship can take the form of legal overreach – from calls to beef up the Online Safety Bill to questions about how to deal with misinformation. On the other hand, censorship can be subtle, and is often quietly self-inflicted for fear of ostracisation.

    The pressures on free speech will be a major theme at this year’s festival, with speakers asking questions about whether cries of You Can’t Say That have affected political progress relating to anti-racism, climate change, economic growth and even the world of arts and culture.

    We aim to make all our events an antidote to intellectual silos and closed-off echo chambers. The Battle of Ideas festival is an intellectual journey, with many different routes to take through it. With scores of debates and hundreds of speakers, there will be much to enjoy for everyone on an enormous range of issues.

    The Battle of Ideas festival is serious, fun, inspiring and much more.

    Sounds both necessary and useful.

    • observer 9.1

      Sounds anti-historical.

      We live in a time when censorship seems more prevalent …

      When was the time when there was more freedom, less censorship? Name a point in history, this mythical, magical past.

      Obviously it's not the 19th century, the 1950s, or any time before the internet. When was it?

      • weka 9.1.1

        before 5 years ago?

        • observer

          Trump ushered in an era of more freedom? With the Supreme Court?

          (the event referred to is in London, so I assume we're talking globally here, which in effect means in the West, because there's not much freedom everywhere from China to Russia to Iran).

        • Visubversa

          Definitely before the dictionary definition of a woman as an "adult, human female" became "hate speech".

      • swordfish 9.1.2


        You are joking … surely ???

        Massive move toward censorship, elitism, authoritarianism & anti-majoritarianism over the last 6-7 years … driven by a self-interested Woke professional-managerial class (essentially opposed to democratic norms & genuine Social Democracy) … hand-in-hand with Big Tech Oligarchs.

        The arrogant commandeering of centre-left parties by a dogmatic, anti-democratic segment of the middle-class making fundamental changes rapidly (& preferably by stealth) reminds me so much of the Leninist vanguard tactics of the Rogernomes through the mid-late 80s.

        • SPC

          Massive move toward censorship, elitism, authoritarianism & anti-majoritarianism over the last 6-7 years

          Where, Brexit in the UK, red MAGA cap Trumpism in the USA, Bill English taking over from John Key, or do you mean females speaking up on Twitter and in MSM ….

        • Anker

          100% Swordfish.

      • pat 9.1.3

        "Obviously it's not the 19th century, the 1950s, or any time before the internet."

        Location, location . location….may be important to the context.

        Pre internet (and pre instant media) most conversation was local and in person….self censoring was and is dependent on repercussions. if you were unfortunate enough to live in a totalitarian state then the repercussions were real, but in a democracy much less so

        No longer

  10. MickeyBoyle 10

    What's everyone's thoughts on Winston's latest attempt at a political comeback?

    I have no doubt NACT will rule him out in the near future, should the left also?

    As for his rhetoric around He Puapua, Three Waters and co-governance. When will we wake up and realize that this is politically unpalatable for most and the legislation is undoubtedly going to be ripped up as soon as possible?

    Why are the left prepared to die on that bridge? Wouldn't something like poverty and hardship be more palatable and less of a vote loser?

    There is no point looking back after the election with regret and wonder why divisive policy wasn't dropped as the polls continued to fall. Act on it now and cast it aside!

    At least pretend that the contest next year isn’t a foregone conclusion.

    • AB 10.1

      Anybody who uses the word 'woke' to mean anything other than emerging from sleep, is a lazy bullshit artist. Anybody who says the English language is being extinguished is a mischevious shit-stirrer. Anybody who compares Co governance to apartheid has lost the right to not be laughed at as a matter of course. But the fact that his drivel is reported without automatic derision shows what an impressive propaganda hit job is being done on the government.

      • SPC 10.1.1

        Oh common on, there a few prophets of the word woke on this very site preparing the way for right wing tendency.

      • Bearded Git 10.1.2

        Well said AB. See my 4.9% post above.

        At 77 yo surely his appeal will wane?

        • Sabine

          We have a few posters here of that age? Should we discount their opinion because of age? If people like what he has to say they may or may not vote for him. I would like to point out that NZ just recently elected a young dude as Mayor of Gore, and one of Rotorua councilors is quite young and was just out of school when he got elected first time around a few years back, Fisher Wang.

      • Anker 10.1.3

        I have to say AB, when I am feeling a bit lazy I use the word woke as a shorthand method. I think most of us use words as shorthand. It is a bit quicker than saying people who view everything through a very narrow ideological lens interpreting every event in a way that fits their narrow authoritarian paradigm.

        For example the ignoramus who said Shakespeare was a canon of imperialism. ……. and questions whether Shakespeare was the "most relevant for decolonizing NZ". So this is a very good example of wokedom. This festival has been running for nearly 30 years, the PM and Melanie Lynskey and 140,000 other school students have attended and it involves adapting Shakespeare to our current world. Shakespeare……the greatest living playright ever! The writer who manages to write about universal human nature better than anyone!

        I am really glad Sam Neil, Robyn whatshername from the Westie programme and Michael Hurst have come up swinging against the stupidity of this decision. Deciding not to fund it, o.k. but doing so because of a crazy ideological lens some idoit has viewed Shakespeare through is an embarrasment.

        What an international laughing stock we are.

        • pat

          There is a word that appears to have fallen out of use (or been erroneously replaced) that is important…prejudice.

          'Woke' is yet another form of it.

        • Mac1

          Here's another definition of 'woke'.

          "alert to injustice in society, especially racism."

          Woke Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

 › dictionary › woke

          The meaning of WOKE is aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).

          I’d say its antonym would be unaware, racist, stupid, uncaring, inattentive………

          • pat

            The meaning of 'woke' is the ignorance of context….or prejudice

            • Incognito

              So, woke really means asleep, at the wheel?

              • pat

                What does woke mean?….it is simply a lazy shorthand imo….and overused.

                Everybody has prejudice, and most of it understandable (though not necessarily correct), if you take the effort to understand it….most dont

                It is understandable if someone has been raped say would have a negative opinion of men….in your interaction with that person you would consider the opinion in context. I have a prejudice against politicians (among other prejudices)…i am aware of the prejudice and self censor on many occasions but not always…anyone who knows me will treat my statements with that knowledge,,,as it should be, but importantly as it used to be.

                We appear to have abandoned the concept of prejudice….to our detriment

                • Incognito

                  Bias has become a moral virtue and replaced religious dogma & instruction to fill up the vacuum of and satisfy our need for certainty and direction. To avoid social awkwardness and gain acceptance, approval, and belonging we have turned to truly cringeworthy behaviour, which some not only justify and approve of but even actively encourage, particularly in that shadow world on social media that seems to dominate our on-line existence. The irony is that while I type these words I’m staring at a screen …

        • observer

          Yes, it's good that a great range of people have strongly criticised the decision, including various leftie/greenie actors, with extensive coverage of their opinions across all media, voices being freely and openly raised without any fear of consequences … legal, professional, social, any.

          Which is kinda funny, because this sounds a lot like very free speech. The thing those bogeyman "woke" demons won't allow us any more. Somebody forgot to tell all those people who are exercising their freedom, loudly.

          • Incognito

            I’m not so bothered by a few grating comments from a couple (?) of external funding assessors of Creative NZ. The Shakespeare show will go on despite the minor funding shortfall and some other applicants were more fortunate in getting funded this round. The unspoken implication is that because it is not Shakespeare it has to be culturally inferior. Go figure.

      • swordfish 10.1.4


        Anybody who uses the word ‘woke’ to mean anything other than emerging from sleep, is a lazy bullshit artist

        No, I'd say you're the intellectually lazy bullshit artist … either that or you're completely clueless.

        Woke is the perfect term for the dogmatic Critical Theory cult now culturally (& increasingly politically) hegemonic … short, snappy, initially adopted with some gusto by the ID Pols cadre themselves but now hitting a raw nerve & deeply upsetting to you / them (highlighting that the wider public have formed a very negative view of your crude, distorted dogma & its grotesque unfairness).

        Woke authoritarians would have us believe Critical Theory ID politics is all about "anti-racism" & "anti-sexism" in the most broadly-defined & vaguest of terms … but, of course, it refers to a very specific, extreme & highly discriminatory dogma serving the interests of a segment of the middle class & guaranteed to create whole new forms of social injustice on a significant scale.

        An elite, authoritarian, profoundly anti-democratic vanity project in which the professional-managerial class wields all the power & apparently gets to decide which swathes of working & lower-middle class people are to be systematically scapegoated into second-class status with few if any human rights & which segments will be greatly privileged.

        Tough shit, for instance, if you're low income & not Maori. The affluent Pakeha Woke, the inheritors of colonial wealth, have you in their sights for full-scale scapegoating & associated projection of guilt … you’ll be put through hell & blamed for it.

        You're nothing more than elitist users & abusers of the majority, outrageously indulging in ostentatious moral posturing despite your conspicuous lack of morality & ethics.

        • SPC

          A guide to the prophet about how to sell a narrative

          SOCO Rule: Less is More

          In order to be clear and to the point, and to ensure your audience hears what you have to say, your first step in crafting a message is creating what we call a SOCOa Single Overriding Communications Objective. Then create up to three key points that support the SOCO.

          Don't confuse your audience by trying to tack on additional messages. Instead, stick to your SOCO…. [+]

          Don’t sabotage yourself by trying to tack additional messages onto the three key points of your SOCO. Too many messages mean your audience will retain nothing. Stick to the point: don’t confuse your message by inserting difficult information or counterproductive associations.

          The SOCO defines the objective of your communication, while the key messages explain that objective. The SOCO acts like a compass, ensuring that your message is always headed in the right direction, and gives you something to fall back on when faced with external noise, such as questions from journalists or your audience that may be drawing you off track. A SOCO can help you turn every difficult question into an opportunity to restate your message and come back to your point.

          Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

          While creating a SOCO is the most important step, it’s no good if you use it once, or just once in a while. A SOCO must be consistent, and repeated at every opportunity. Remember: you and your team may be a bit sick of your message once you’ve got it crafted and have used it a few times in speeches or press releases. But your potential audience is bigger than that, and remembering your message is not their top priority. Repetition is key to success.

          Use your SOCO at every opportunity, sticking as close to the original language as possible. And just about the time you may be utterly bored, the public will start to wake up to your SOCO. The equation is simple: mention nine points once, and nothing will be remembered. Mention three points three times, and one thing may be remembered.

          So if you want to overcome information overload, define your SOCO, create three key points in support of it, repeat every chance you get, and rely on your SOCO as a defense against being drawn off-track.

    • Stuart Munro 10.2

      For my part I think he blew it whining about Covid response, and Shane Jones proved not to have the voter appeal to turn it around.

      We have Winston to thank, apparently, for scotching the CGT, according to Shaw, and he has also said something to the effect that NZF's position was a bought policy.

      I'm over Winston – but then I was over him when he backstabbed the Alliance to put National into government, having sworn blue and purple that he would not.

    • Incognito 10.3

      When it comes to political grandstanding and soap-boxing there’s no greater gaslighter than Winston Peters. If any minor party can get over the 5% threshold it is his; the others have no show in hell, IMO.

    • SPC 10.4
      1. It was National who signed up to the UN "directive" on indigenous rights. The public service developed He Puapua accordingly. What actually happens is still determined by those in government.
      2. Co-governance of the environment/conservation has not been a problem where it has been applied so far – and prevents the problems that emerge from councils not doing their job.
      3. Councils cannot raise the money required to finance the necessary investment in water infrastructure (some because of debt caps, others lack of ratepayers). Owning their own assets won't change that.
    • observer 10.5

      I have no doubt NACT will rule him out in the near future, should the left also?

      You've conflated National and ACT, and that's wrong. Seymour can "rule him out" because he can say anything for a headline, but Luxon is going to say "almost inconceivable". "Almost" means not. Or he'll say "not my intention" or "not planning" to work with Winston … again, meaningless.

      It's quite disheartening that the same nonsense gets taken seriously every 3 years. Why does anybody believe empty words? Why do we always repeat the same game?

      Scenario: 121 seats (one extra electorate for Maori Party). National plus ACT have 60. NZF are there, Maori Party are there.

      If (in your "no doubt" prediction) Luxon has "ruled out" NZF, then he must choose the Maori Party. Or lose.

      We know exactly what National MPs would say about that. NZF would be un-ruled out before breakfast.

      • X Socialist 10.5.1

        ''If (in your "no doubt" prediction) Luxon has "ruled out" NZF, then he must choose the Maori Party. Or lose.''

        I have been thinking about this scenario for some time. Luxon going with the Maori Party would decimate support for both parties. Luxon in such a situation should refuse to form a government. Should Labour cobble together something, it wouldn't last a three year term and we'd be back at the polls in no time for a resounding Tory win. I doubt Luxon would have the balls to do that. He would pay with loss of voter support.

        • observer

          I actually agree with you on that (although I don't believe my own scenario will happen, it's just a "if push comes to shove" thought experiment).

          National's longer-term interests would be to let Ardern cobble a government together. But leaders think short-term, because they probably won't get another chance.

          • Belladonna

            More to the point, with the current leadership of TPM, it would be a cold day in hell before they would choose National/Luxon over Labour/Ardern.

            If they are in a 'kingmaker' role, there is no doubt which way they will go – only doubt about what policy concessions they'll achieve.

            Of course, they could choose to sit on the cross-benches – and make Labour come to them to negotiate each piece of legislation. I have no idea whether Ardern (or Luxon for that matter) would find that situation workable for forming a government. (I have my doubts – but it has worked overseas – i.e. minority governments have been formed)

      • alwyn 10.5.2

        "(one extra electorate for Maori Party)"

        Do you really think that their party vote will drop below about 33,000, ie a bit less than they got in 2020, but they will still win another electorate seat?

  11. Incognito 11

    Cancer vaccines have been around for some time but mRNA vaccines for treatment of cancer are relatively new, of course, and the initial results look very promising.

    The Stuff article, as per usual, does not contain links to primary original sources of information.

    Below are links to a highly informative piece on the trial and primary investigator and the meeting abstract and have much better links embedded:

  12. bwaghorn 12

    So this caring be kind governments own report says it will cause a raise in mental health issues but are most likely to charge on ahead?

    Also letting the government set the price means farmers are at the mercy of the the government of the day.

  13. Ad 13

    Behold Emperor Xi.

    It is slightly depressing to see our main strong democracies UK and US and much of EU sliding hard rightwards into incoherence and broken checks and balances, while China's single party CCCP re-elects its leader without dissent for another 5 years.

    Few democracies can withstand comparison to China for giving order in a chaotic and economically depressed world.

  14. X Socialist 14

    Wayne Brown seems to be spoiling for a fight with the government even though his 3 waters opposition had been clearly stated beforehand. Given National are probably the next government, I think it's a prudent move not to spend any rate payer money. Why waste resources? BUT, what if Labour holds on to power?

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  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    3 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    4 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    4 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    4 days ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    4 days ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    4 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    4 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    5 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    5 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    6 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    6 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    6 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    6 days ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    7 days ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    7 days ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    7 days ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    1 week ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    1 week ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    1 week ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    1 week ago
  • $4.9m project completed with marae reopening
    A significant marae has reopened in the heart of Rotorua marking the end of renovations for the Ruatāhuna Marae Renovation Cluster, a project that provided much-needed jobs and regional economic stimulus, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones was at the official reopening of Mātaatua ki Rotorua Marae today. ...
    1 week ago
  • Pure Tūroa Limited to operate Tūroa ski field
    Ko Tahuarangi te waka – Tahuarangi is the ancestral vessel Ko Rangitukutuku te aho – Rangitukutuku is the fishing line Ko Pikimairawea te matau – Pikimairawea is the hook Ko Hāhā te Whenua te ika kei rō-wai – Hāhā te whenua is the fish (of Māui) whilst under the ocean ...
    1 week ago
  • Methane targets to be independently reviewed
    Rebuilding New Zealand’s economy will rely on the valuable agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.  Today, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers announced that an independent panel of experts will review agricultural biogenic methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Nordics: likeminded partners
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has highlighted the strong ties that bind New Zealand and the Nordic countries of Northern Europe during a trip to Sweden today.    “There are few countries in the world more likeminded with New Zealand than our friends in Northern Europe,” Mr Peters says.    “We ...
    1 week ago
  • First New Zealand C-130J Hercules takes flight
    The first New Zealand C-130J Hercules to come off the production line in the United States has successfully completed its first test flights, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. “These successful flights are a significant milestone for the New Zealand Defence Force, bringing this once-in-a-generation renewal of a critical airlift ...
    2 weeks ago

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