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Open mike 18/03/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 18th, 2021 - 67 comments
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67 comments on “Open mike 18/03/2021 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Goodness me, the NZ media seem to have spent most of yesterday interviewing slurring people about the America's Cup.

    • Jimmy 1.1

      Hopefully the win will be good for employment and the NZ economy. I'm sure all the businesses down at the viaduct appreciated it. I find it a bit ironic that you have the huge crowds of people all close together cheering, then when they catch the bus or train home, they have to put a mask on.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        Only the poor will catch the bus, the rest will drive home in their cars.

        • Incognito

          Unhelpful negative stereotype AKA another simplistic bumper sticker.

          With the AC and St Pat’s Day some people may have made the right decision to use PT instead of drinking & driving.

      • Foreign Waka 1.1.2

        You should read the news, NZ is technically in a recession after a GDP drop in the December quarter.

        Last sentence in the article in Staff:

        “With the domestic economy having already recovered its lost ground, further growth will be harder to come by in the coming year.”

  2. Sabine 2

    [RL: Deleting this comment for blatant and repeated racist references]

    • McFlock 2.1


      • McFlock 2.1.1

        To clarify without triggering a mod, Sabine's comment was about the latest mass shooting in Georgia where a local sherriff officer said the guy who allegedly murdered 8 people (including 6 women of Asian descent, a number that does not reflect the demographic pyramid of Atlanta Georgia), was having "a really bad day".

        People around the world were touched by his sensitivity for the emotional well-being of the murdered alleged murderer.

        And anyone who suggests ethnicity might be even a partial a motive for the words of the sherriff or the actions of the murderer is making an horrendous assumption that might require moderation, so I for one won't touch that angle with a bargepole.

        • Sabine

          Thank you for that. There was nothing in my comment that was racist.

          A white man killed 8 people, one of the a white women, 6 of them asian, 1 white man, and one hispanic man is still in hospital.

          That is not racist. That is what happened.

          and a white cop made excuses as to why the white man did what he did.

          He had a bad day.

          If that triggers moderation then we will never be able to discuss racially motivated violence and gender motivated violence and the fact that white men seem to get easily protected by the cops in the US.

          And please everyone, killing 8 people, driving 30 miles to three different places to do so, calling out ' i want to kill all asians' is what this white cop considered ' that thing'.

          If it looks racist, sexists, then maybe it is. Even when we don't like what we see, even when what looks at us maybe look a bit like us.

          • joe90

            White men are never terrorists, they're never thugs and they're never irredeemable.

            That's what white supremacy is.

            [RL: White men are perfectly capable of evil – exactly as I said a few days ago. As indeed are all humans, regardless of whatever fashionable identity we care to label them with. But substitute the word ‘black’ or ‘yellow’ for each time the word ‘white’ was used in that comment and everyone would have instantly seen it for what it was.]

    • joe90 2.2

  3. Jimmy 3

    I find this very sad. Perhaps the charge should have been murder as a 21 year old should know punching an infant several times is very likely to cause death.


    • Sabine 3.1

      No of course we can not expect such.

      Mitigating issues must be found. Responsibility is always on the victim never on the perpetrator.

      6 month on home D will surely show him.

      a friend of mine is emergency fostering a 4 month old. the baby came to them 2 month ago after it was so severely bashed that it had broken rips, extensive injuries to head and body, brain swelling etc. It will be permanently deaf as a result, we are just happy i thas not lost its eye sight as initially we thought that might be also. Luckily it started tracking movement when the swelling reduced. It appears that the bloke who beat that baby to an inch of its life is still wondering about the community. Violence is us, and we don’t give a fuck.

      • Jimmy 3.1.1

        That is very sad to hear. I hope karma catches up with the piece of shit that did that to the baby.

        • Foreign Waka

          I really hope law is catching up with him. Because it seems toddlers are fair game in NZ.

          • greywarshark

            We've all been toddlers and tend to carry on what we learned right from the first – pre-speech. Answer to violence – love our young people and help them to find their skills and enable them into work.

            Once a baby is on the way they go onto a special program where they plan how they are going to manage their tasks and there is assistance from government as they carry out their own program and find a house and place and work. And they can reassess what they will try for. And then there will be less negativity and violence in their behaviour for others to notice.

          • Jimmy

            I hope you are correct too, but it seems our laws / judges are too soft on these types of people.

      • Anne 3.1.2

        Responsibility is always on the victim never on the perpetrator.

        Hit the nail there Sabine. There are plenty of perpetrators out there who are never brought to justice because they know or are related to powerful people – and in the past at least a few of those 'powerful people' have been among the highest in the land. Disgraceful.

  4. weka 4

    One of the battles in the sex/gender wars. In the UK the Office for National Statistics, which runs the census, had included guidance on how to answer the gender and sex questions in the census that has this week been ruled illegal. I will link below to an explanation of this, and we should be paying attention in NZ because StatsNZ including the Minister are intending to make changes here too. Upshot is ONS were telling people they could answer the sex question with their gender identification rather than their biological sex.

    Someone on twitter clarified what the legal guidance is, and their tweet was removed. Most likely what has happened here is that someone has reported the tweet and the twitter moderator doesn't understand what is going on and has been instructed to remove tweets that look like they're talking about biological sex in reference to trans people.

    This is in the context of tweets being regularly removed for talking about biological sex within the sex/gender wars.

    • weka 4.1

      The UK ruling,

      Fair Play For Women have today won their High Court challenge against the Office for National Statistics. The ONS has conceded that the proper meaning of Sex in the Census means sex as recognised by law.

      The High Court has now ordered “What is your sex” means sex “as recorded on a birth certificate or Gender Recognition Certificate”.

      The Guidance accompanying the question “What is your sex?” is now published, on a final basis, and directs everyone to answer according to their legal sex for the remainder of the Census.

      Jason Coppel QC for Fair Play For Women argued that the sex question in the Census is “a straightforward binary question, not a choice” at the initial hearing on 9 March.

      Sir James Eadie QC for the ONS had argued that sex was an ‘umbrella term’ that includes a range of concepts such as ‘lived’ and ‘self-identified’ sex. He also claimed that asking about a person’s sex as recognised by law risks a breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which relates to privacy. The judge Mr Justice Swift disagreed. He stated that Fair Play For Women had a “strongly arguable case” and granted an interim order that forced ONS to immediately change its Guidance.

      This case establishes that sex is a distinct concept in law, not something shaped by how a person feels, and that organisations need not worry about asking people their sex when they need to do so.


      • weka 4.1.1

        This is clearer. The guidance was saying people could answer the question based on "the sex recorded on one of your legal documents such as a birth certificate, Gender Recognition Certificate, or passport." Passports and other ID in the UK are issued on the basis of gender self-id, not biological sex.

        https://archive.ph/dmZQt#selection-1227.93-1227.215 (The Telegraph).

        • Anker

          I have very strong views of this. I am against the gender self i.d. and very disappointed the first we have heard from our new Minister of Women's Affairs is that she is reserecting the gender self i.d. bill. So basically prioritizing the desires of men who want to become women over women whose sex was female at birth….

          By the way, I think the most accurate way of knowing the true rate of trans gender would be to refer to the Dunedin Multi- disciplinary study. That’s where you would find out the true rate.

          Women whose sex was female at birth have a completely different lived experience that men who want to transition. We are the ones who have grown up with sexism and misogomy. We are the ones who face the perils of being physically weaker than biological men (even after men transition to be women, they still retain much of their muscle mass and height advantage). We are the ones who have all the attendant problems with being the one's who carry children and give birth to them. We are the one's who experience health concern with our female reproductive system. Anyone remember that classic feminist text "Our bodies our selves" ?

          I am utterly against the self gender id bill and I feel betrayed that one of the first things our minister of Women Affairs has announced is the gender self id. But I don't believe I will be listened too. I will be shouted down as anti trans etc.

          I see the actor Ralph Fiennes has come out in support of J K Rowling saying that he can't understand the vitriol against her. Neither can I

          • weka

            I was hoping the UK situation would have progressed further so that by the time we got to the public debate here it would be easier. Still, the GCFs have done some amazing work, including the one above about the census.

            One of the problems with counting trans people is that there is no clear definition of what trans is (unlike biological sex). There is disagreement even within the trans communities about whether gender dysphoria is a central part of the trans experience (I think it's not necessarily, gender dysphoria is probably at least partially to do with living in the patriarchy, but then that opens up the issues of cross dressing men, men who want to identify as women but have no desire to transition, men who want to be a woman only some of the time, and male people who are non-binary and who want access to women's spaces).

            Given the politics, and as you mention the great difficulty in discussing this publicly, I think the only way we are going to get something equitable is to look at trans rights and women's rights and be honest about the conflict while also upholding the needs of both groups. Otherwise we're going to be in a major cultural war like other places. I suspect this will harm the left in NZ, especially the Greens who seem oblivious to how many women will object to self-ID once they understand what it means. Most women, most people are supportive of trans rights in a more general way, but start to have concerns once they dig down into where the politics and social movements are going. Sooner we can talk about it openly and honestly, the better for all concerned.

            • Anker

              Thanks Weka completely agree.

              I find myself defending my rights and identity as a women. This is seen as anti trans.

              I remember when I lived in UK many, many years ago seeing a documentary about a trans women. It was a great documentary and I felt deeply compassionate about the women involved.

              But if you look at the debate and I read about the experience of lesbians in the US and the UK it seems like some very bad things are being directed against women, by the trans activists.

              I often feel like the boy in the emperors new clothes. Am I the only one who can see that men who want to be women aren't biological women and the language being used is bloody ridiculous.

              Women are always expected to accomodate and put others needs before their own. So it feels we are not able to defend our biology, without vitriol.

              • weka

                I don't know if you are on twitter, but there are large numbers of women (and some support from men) organising and discussing these issues. Best to set up a pseudonymous account, because yes, there are strong forces attacking women trying to talk about the issues (trans people are getting attacked too, and there are third party actors with their own agendas, trolls, MRAs, and people intent on sowing discord). It can be full on, but you don't have to tweet, it's just easier to follow the GCFs on twitter if you have an account. Some of the UK GCFs are doing incredible work and offer solidarity. I also follow trans people on both sides of the war, and lots of detrans people.

          • Treetop

            I strongly agree with your 3rd paragraph.

      • RedLogix 4.1.2

        Now I am really confused.

        Just as well this isn't a comment on the topic.devil

    • bwaghorn 4.2

      Since a census is about eating information so countries can deal with issues, wouldnt make since to have to boxes ?,one for your birth gender then one for your current gender so government can get an accurate idea of how many people are born into genetically confused bodies.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Indeed. There are two questions afaik. One about biological sex, and one about gender ID. The first one was the one that had the bad guidance. ONS appeared to be using the census to allow people to validate their personal identity rather than collecting statistics.

      • McFlock 4.2.2

        Can't remember the thing about the two-box strategy offhand, but it's a freaking nightmare looking for a bureaucratic middle ground. It doesn't exist.

        On the one hand you have both sides of the trans debate, but also there are various issues regarding sex labelling at birth relating to various intersex degrees and conditions.

        And then you have how many people will get confused or screw up questions with any degree of complication (regardless of how activist they might be), and how you incorporated unexpected responses into the dataset.

        Incredibly grateful I'm not with StatsNZ lol.

        • weka

          unfortunately ONS decided that gathering sex stats wasn't that important, and Stats NZ seems to be going down the same path. Most people know what their biological sex is, it's not that hard to understand. Agencies can do the mahi with intersex people to figure out if the census is the best place to collect stats on them or if something else needs to be done. Intersex and trans are different groups of people and shouldn't be conflated (even given there are some people who are both). Whatever happens with intersex, and gender ID, we need stats on biological sex that isn't clouded by gender ID.

          The two boxes don't need a middle ground, they need to be separate questions, they're eliciting different categories of information/data. The problem appears to be that some people now don't want to talk about biological sex. That's fine, but changing national stats collection because of that is not reasonable.

          • McFlock

            If it were that simple, it would have been sorted the first time they looked at it (rather than backing away after their first look at the intense and contradictory submissions).

            And bear in mind, this is only from the submission side of the collection/collation/analysis/distribution process. Having two variables means that any analysis then has to figure out if the best option for their outputs is to favour one or the other or have some convoluted rule regarding the exponential possible value combinations for the two together.

            All for something that I doubt would significantly affect 99% of health or social research outputs the census is used for.

            • weka

              Maybe have a read of the submissions made by researchers and stats bods in the UK about the range of problems with the censuses in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and why sex data matters.

              Shaw has said that gender is more important, and for most purposes sex isn't necessary. He didn't ask women, looks like they specifically avoided asking women. And in the UK there has been massive pressure on academics, scientists and government employees to not talk about the issues. People are losing careers over it and being attacked in some pretty nasty ways. It's an incredibly unhealthy atmosphere, and at the very least public confidence in the government over data collection is at risk.

        • weka

          agree about the confusion. The first place I'd start with that is the government and NZ legislation, which is a hot mess of historical usage not keeping up with changes in language and concept use (sex, gender). Historically people have used gender = sex as well as gender = the social construct. Gender ID politics are pushing governments to abandon sex and the concepts and language need updating fast and clear communication to the public and the protection of biological sex as having meaning and use. Many people are still using gender to mean sex, but others are taking them to mean social construct. Worse, some people now believe that sex is a social construct. It's a fitting bloody mess for the end of the world.

          • McFlock

            I'll touch on the bureaucratic aspect of the census, because it's something I work with. But I won't get into the trans debate again because we fundamentally disagree on this issue and I have better things to get angry about at the moment.

            • weka

              ok. I can't see how the data side and the human side can be separated like that.

              • weka

                and, it's not the trans debate. It's the debate over the conflict of rights that affects trans, NB, GNC people of both sexes and all genders, intersex, and women.

                • weka

                  or at least, I'm not debating trans, I'm debating the sex/gender wars (plenty of trans and women on both sides), and most of what I read and comment about is women's rights, not trans people's rights.

              • McFlock

                Because actually gathering and working with the data is a different problem to what that data represents or is felt to represent.

                • weka

                  sure, I'm just not sure that the connections between those can be severed (or at least I would find it odd to talk about the data separate from the reasons the data is collected).

                  • McFlock

                    In the case of the census, the reasons for collection are generally unknown in the specifics. There are regular products that have evolved over time into common use, but the actual research questions being asked (and the required granularity in the answers) are unknown, and people come up with new uses every year.

                    Sometimes it's a denominator, so we know the rate at which something happens in the population. E.g. homicide rate.

                    Sometimes it's numerator and denominator, e.g. counting housing ownership rates.

                    Most statsnz consultation papers I've read on census questions have a pretty broad basis for what sorts of things the question might be used for, and what different answers might mean or how they can be summarised, but the actual research is constructed by folks asking their own question and going "there's something vaguely along those lines in the census".

                    If it was designed with a narrow use profile in mind, it'll be no good for other uses. This is the problem with the current sex/gender question. But there's no broader-use design for this particular question area that will satisfy all groups.

  5. Chris 5

    The expected jibe towards Ardern, but a refreshing read nonetheless.


  6. greywarshark 6


    All this thought about changing Royalty, it is work for idle minds who find chaos and the collapse of anything in society exciting to write about as long as the writer is standing away from the edge.

    Peck peck at Meghan and Harry. Talk talk by them. Diana suffered the unhealthy attention. They are just feeding the publicity becoming Victims of the Year. The media will eat them up if allowed, and take bites out of royalty because they can and they like to build celebrities then take them apart like lego figures.

    The Queen has held out for some order while the Barons rage on. The Royal Family are far better than anyone else I can think of. Speculation in the media, speculation in housing, it would be good if some people took up an occupation where they physically did something with a good outcome for society.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1

      The Royal Family are far better than anyone else I can think of.

      Certainly some (most?) of the Royal family are pretty good. The Queen of the UK (and other Commonwealth realms, including NZ) is admirable. Considering 'non-royals' (btw that's most of us), Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg spring to mind. Nelson Mandela and Fred Hollows weren't bad either.

      The essence of the human being is our capacity to help others. – Hollows

      Just as well it's not a competition.

  7. McFlock 7

    Fluoridation to be the call of DG Health, not local authorities.

    Good move. It's a health matter, not a local policy issue. Actually, general water quality should be in it, not just fluoridation. General things like lead, gastro bugs, nitrates, etc. Separates the reporting and monitoring body from the maintenance and supply body.

    • Bazza64 7.1

      Yes a good move, prevents fringe groups with too much spare time forcing their weird views on the rest of us. And also frees up local councils to get on with what really matters.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.1.1

        …fringe groups with too much spare time forcing their weird views on the rest of us.

        It would seem that includes most of the rest of the world…


        A Cochrane review estimates a reduction in cavities when water fluoridation was used by children who had no access to other sources of fluoride to be 35% in baby teeth and 26% in permanent teeth.[8] Most European countries have experienced substantial declines in tooth decay without its use. Recent studies suggest that water fluoridation, particularly in industrialized countries, may be unnecessary because topical fluorides (such as in toothpaste) are widely used and caries rates have become low.[2] For this reason, some scientists consider fluoridation to be unethical due to "the debilitating effects of fluoride toxicity" and the lack of informed consent.[11]

    • RedBaronCV 7.2

      Regardless of personal fluoridation views I do have some issues with how this is presented.

      The implication is that all the 6500 hospital admissions come from unfluoridated areas. Probably not.

      That all the people who do not currently have a fluoridated supply actually have a public supply that can be fluoridated- there are a lot of people in this country who don't really have a public supply to hook up to – rather than having one but being against fluoridation because "other people know what is best for them health wise".

      So the dental health downside is unlikely to as severe as the article makes it out to be.

      And of all the things that "do nothing Labour " could do they choose to pick a fight with a vocal group of people who would like a choice about their drinking water.

      • McFlock 7.2.1

        Media and pollys gonna media and polly, I guess.

        If you really want to get into it, about the best datasource is the community oral health survey of schoolkids. Not perfect, but the schools in fuoridated zones have lower mean decayed/missing/filled teeth (and higher "caries-free") numbers than schools in unflouridated areas. This is a pretty typical publication in the area. It works, it's safe at 0.7-1ppm, it saves teeth, and it's cheap.

        But we also have a pretty significant oral health equity problem that fluoridation doesn't fix.

        • RedBaronCV

          Yeah I get the fewer caries but the media release discussion is more than a bit disingenuous. At what point does this type of release promote the drawing of basically fake conclusions – more fluro water less hospital admissions. We don't need this type of "fake" promo from government and health departments. Right up there with the IRD "testing about 640,000 kiwisaver transactions" – i have a flying pig for you!

          Why not just fluoro school supplies if it's kids that are the concern.

          • McFlock

            Kids are the primary datasource, not the sole concern. They're also the low-hanging fruit of deservingness, easy for the pr.

            Because we have such shit access to adult dental care, I doubt there's anything like the oral health survey for adult dental health.

            But if Ashley makes the call in a year or so there will be a run of articles on back-room bureaucrats poisoning communities etc etc.

            Meh. I'm trying to zen the stupidity of others a bit more these days.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.2

        More data….


        Compares fluoridated and non fluoridated/% caries free/dmft/ethnicity/at age 5 and age 12 and a nifty map showing the numbers in various regions.

        and…access to fluoridated drinking water. (with another nifty map.)

        But at the end of the day…you can chuck a shit tonne of fluoride into the water supply but you can't make them drink it.

        • RedBaronCV

          Yeah I get the data but are those without access even on supplies that can be fluoridated? And are the hospitalisations kids from these areas. The data needs a lot of filling out not the yeah yeah of the press release. And honestly aren't there a ton load of other urgent things that need doing by labour? Rather than picking this fight?

  8. greywarshark 8

    Another example of the nihilistic National Party who say a lot about how smart they are, but every time they open their mouths put their feet into them.


    Seven workers from the show have been approved for critical workers visas by Immigration New Zealand for their tour "It's a Kinda Magic", which starts next month.

    The National Party said it was a kick in the guts for families who were separated from loved ones and desperate for a place in managed isolation.

    National might not have realised that the tight ship economically, that they have been running along with past 'Labour', have made consumerism an important part of the economy, and made the creatives and entertainment one of the big employers and earners for the younger generation.

    Concerts are big earners, and they also keep people's spirits up in a kinder way than resorting to drugs and alcohol in addictive amounts as we see happening. So stop crying crocodile tears you nasty Gnats. Bite your own bums you mosquitoes.

    • McFlock 8.1

      Also, a Queen tribute act is more the nat demographic than HP Boyz or the Wiggles. Might be shooting their support in the foot with that one lol

  9. greywarshark 9

    Green news – great to see.


    The Plant and Food Research study found having more native plants near crops could attract insects that help with pollination and combat some harmful pests.

    Figures from the Ministry for Primary Industries showed insect-pollinated crops such as kiwifruit and avocados were worth about $2 billion to the national economy.

    Co-author of the study Dr Melanie Davidson said more farmers were starting to restore native flora and this research showed they would be rewarded for their efforts.

    "What it means for farmers is that with the improved pollination you can increase your yield but also you're increasing the resilience of your system because you're not just relying on your potentially managed honeybees that a lot of farmers bring in," Dr Davidson said.

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