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Open mike 18/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 18th, 2022 - 144 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

144 comments on “Open mike 18/03/2022 ”

  1. weston 1

    Holy crap i mustve shit the bed !! Fijoas have been falling for a week or so round here very welcome they are too but im struck by how big they are this year ?cause of the wet spring maybe ? Others are telling me that the incidence of moth infestation is not as bad as last year .Certainly was bad though in some of the peaches .

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Greens double their poll rating by doing nothing. Who said zen politics doesn't work?!


    • roblogic 2.1

      Picking up the Left vote, sick of neoliberal incrementalism

    • weka 2.2

      polls are all over the place.

    • Barfly 2.3

      I would say I am probably a natural Labour supporter but I have voted Green in the last two elections as I feel they are more environmentally and anti-poverty oriented and at points I have had concerns over their survival. The sort of thing I have found off putting from the Greens is stuff like the reclaiming off the word "cunt" it was a "WTF" for me I didn't "get it" then I don't now and doubt I ever will. Apologies for the rambling comment.

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.1

        smiley I shared your reaction at the time. I kinda reframed on it after pondering awhile. Language does shape our world. Her explanation made sense on the basis that males had hijacked the word and turned it into a perjorative. So she did it as a liberationist feminist thing – reclaiming the word.

      • Bearded Git 2.3.2

        Pretty shallow if you vote for all the other parties that will do little about CC for that reason Barfly. Look at the big picture not the fringe elements-the media will of course play up the "cunt" issue, but then they should know.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Several years since I posted here about Substack, so here's an update:

    Substack is an online newsletter platform: it was founded in 2017 by developers Chris Best and Jairaj Sethi, and writer Hamish McKenzie – a New Zealander who was raised in Alexandra and edited Critic, Otago University’s student magazine, in 2004.

    Pretty much anyone can create a newsletter: once you’ve done that, people can sign up for it and Substack will email the newsletter to all your subscribers. It also provides an online WordPress-style platform where writers can interact with their readers.

    You can sign up to a newsletter for free, or you can choose to pay for content, with writers deciding what they charge. Generally, Substack takes a 10 per cent cut of paying subscriptions, and the rest goes to the content creator. All in all, more than half a million people have paid Substack subscriptions, and the top 10 writers earn nearly $30 million every year.

    The Detail talks to two former writers for mainstream publications who’ve turned to Substack about whether it’s changing the media game for the better.


    • lprent 3.1

      The biggest hassle that I have with sub-stack or protean is that it is difficult and expensive to follow multiple people at once when you're only interested in reading some of each authors work.

      Currently the only single author sites that I pay for are Politik and Phoronix. The former has a low article rate but is in depth on the type of analysis that I want on national politics. The latter, well it is the best news place for linux and the relationship to underlying hardware.

      I have the same issue with pay walled media sites.

      I subscribe to a number of newspaper/magazine media, but generally just the best international ones. My criteria tends to be ones that I will read a quarter of their articles in the morning read. But many media just don't hit that.

      For instance I like reading Fallon's (now guest) economic/political writing on the Herald – but I'm not going to buy a subscription to the Herald to get it. Same for about 4 other authors on there. The articles in the Herald are just too damn uneven. I scan the headlines most days, but seldom want to open more than one or two articles.

      I'll scan Stuff, RNZ, ABC.au, BBC.world in preference for an overview.

      I'd prefer having a pay per use model at the NZ Herald, rather like the Auckland Transport parking app (which I love) or the AT bus dongle. Don't know why no-one seems to want to do that. Technically it is possible using exactly the same model.

      Media site subscriptions are a pain unless it is The Economist – which gives me about a ~80% read article rate.

      It was why I had to dropped Medium. Lots of good opinion articles. Highly uneven. Eventually I wasn't reading them because I already knew what each author was likely to say on politics history or science, and the usefulness of the technical was limited. I dropped down to about a 10% article read rate. I really wanted pay-per-view there.

      I almost dropped Washington Post last renewal. But when I did, they came back with a offer that I couldn't refuse – about a 10th of the full rate. I guess they tracked what my actual usage was.

      So I donate to Stuff because I use their site as the main local news overview pickup.

      I donate to wikipedia because I love their random page. Nothing like getting bored and flicking through and scanning pages of information. That is when I'm not using wikipedia as a entry point to fact check or initial research on a topic.

      I've trained Google Chrome's 'Discover' to give me the weird and wonderful opinion links in tech and science – which now has a ~50% read article rate… 🙂

      "New COBOL contender emerges: gcobol"
      "ASUS warns of Cyclops Blink malware attacks targeting routers"
      "Eight RS232 Ports, one ethernet port"
      "Canonical updfates the Ubuntu logo in time for 22.04 LTS"
      "In 2045: Alpha Centauri"
      "10 amazing exoplanet discoveries"
      "C isn't a programming language anymore"

      But really I want a conglomeration site like Discover which picks up from all over the place, learns my interests and reading level, and that I pay per view – mostly to the author.

      Sounds like a retirement project.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Interesting feedback. I agree with pay per view, in principle. I'd prefer a tick box system though – placed at the end so you can tick it to register your opinion that it was worth reading. And the billing to then happen monthly. That way it would be easy to monitor the expense and the frequency of approvals.

        My reading identifies me as a dilettante, notoriously so inasmuch as visitors have been known to try counting how many books they can find lying open with bookmark in place on various tables, chairs etc around the place – often in piles of same. I did a count once & reached 24 despite being a tidy person by nature.

        So I share your online tendency. I'm allergic to paying anyone so tend to cruise around doing a brief scan of topics on any site. I have been a regular payer to Wikipedia though. I'd pay for a provider service if their qc was up to my standard.

        • lprent

          …notoriously so inasmuch as visitors have been known to try counting how many books they can find…

          I used to have piles of completed books around. Just because I read at least one book a day, and more like 8 fiction in a day when I relax.

          However I offloaded the extensive paper library in 2012 after moving it around 2 houses when my partner needed a bigger workspace for editing a documentary. I'm now up to ~90% of the paper library as epubs.

          These days my library is Calibre running on my servers with a couple of offsite repositories. I seem to be buying most of my books on Kobo at present. Periodically I batch them, strip the DRM and toss them into Calibre. I mostly use FBReader as my reader using ODPS from my servers.

          FBReader is good enough that I’m contemplating using their SDK as a core to do my own reader. There are a few features that would make a better reader like the kobo font-sizer.

          I've dug through the epub open source enough to know that it'd be a pain doing it from there.

          I'm allergic to paying anyone

          I don't mind paying. I just don't like wasting my time. Paying to waste my time with reading rubbish (eg NZ Herald) feels like a sin.

          • Dennis Frank

            Calibre looks useful. I actually can't read for pleasure on a screen – physically unable to relax with one for some reason. Consequently the e-books option has never appealed. However I can see that it would be useful for sourcing text from nonfiction books to illustrate blog comments by expanding or proving points.

            Such copying saves having to type it in or run it thro ocr. If there was a way to hook it up to TS it would benefit essay-writers. Expand the resource base considerably! Book writers tend to include more interesting stuff than the more superficial online writing culture provides…

      • roblogic 3.1.2

        Substack is great. Subscribed to David Farrier's Webworm (free). I thought Medium was really cool as well, until they locked it down and tried charging users to read more than 10 articles a week. Screw that. (there are browser extensions to get around it, but I just don't care enough to go to Medium much these days)

        RSS aggregators were pretty nifty and I used a few of them over the years. Found some neat blogs. But eventually it became too tiring/tedious to curate all the crud.

        So now I am like a magpie, getting bits off TS, TDB, Twitter, RNZ, NZHerald, Stuff. And occasionally foreign outlets when something significant happens overseas. I follow TheRegister and HackerNews and a few tech journos on Twitter, it's enough to get the gist of what's going on.

        There are also useful tools like Outline.com and Bypass Paywalls that will get you full access to most news sites. DuckDuckGo is good for finding stuff that Google doesn’t want you to see. Plus a big shout out to Sci-Hub for the occasional academic paper that would normally cost an unreasonable amount of $$$$

        • lprent

          Partner reads Webworm. I had the problem that after reading it a few times I could predict at the start of a article what he was likely to say from the title and first paragraph.

          I originally paid for Medium because of the useful articles on the Android display API plus discussions on some of the languages and libraries that I don't use and was vaguely interested in the philosophy of (like flutter, react, haskell, kotlin etc). That was how I started to write in kotlin. I spread to the political, history, and science from that. But it simply wasn't deep enough and usually lacked links to deeper material if I wanted to delve deeper – one of the things that wikipedia was good on (and mass media is usually terrible at).

          I magpie as well. But I have a basic set of sites that I go through every day – typically between 0630 and 0830 while I wake up, have breakfast, coffee, and before I start thinking about work.

        • Dennis Frank

          I checked out his archive & found the Bill Gates conspiracy one – based on a public media even, great context! yes

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    We ought to give Labour credit for this lurch out of the 19th century into the 21st:

    Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti… says the refresh of the school curriculums is scheduled over the next five years and it will be progressed in stages. The social studies curriculum is now out for review as well. "Also the vision for young people and this is an exciting part of the curriculum, this is the first time in this country that we've got a vision for young people that is created by young people."

    The PM said

    The curriculum has taken three years to develop… It would be very rare to find a country that didn't teach its own history so I think this is about New Zealand joining the pack

    Just gloss over why it didn't happen in the 20th century. Try to ignore all the years that Labour was in govt then without feeling the need to drag education out of the 19th. Just feel good that it's finally happening.

    She acknowledges NZ finally joining with other countries that teach kids their nation's history without any explanation of Labour's part in why it took more than a century to do it. Still – this is genuine evidence of Labour being transformational. Well done!


    • Blazer 4.1

      This is wonderful to see.

      Financial literacy is something I think needs to be taught at an…early age.

    • KJT 4.2

      Clarks Labour did introduce a researched and comprehensive new curriculum while in Government.

      Of course this took time.

      To be dumped for Nationals return to the 1890's, emphasise on 3/R's and rote learning. National's low standards ended up coming at the same time as the new curriculum. Leading to an inivitable and typical right wing education stuff up.

      No one in teaching is surprised that education standards in everything, including the 3R's, has dropped since. As it always does when right wing zealots get their sticky beaks into teaching.

    • AB 4.3

      Paul Goldsmith was reported this morning on breakfast tv as saying that the new history curriculum divides people into "oppressors" and "victims". Will be interesting to see how far the right gets with this line. It's bollocks, but still a promising line of attack for two reasons:

      • It aims to erase any suggestion that the current distribution (maldistribution?) of wealth/power was unjustly arrived at, i.e.. it allows people to believe that they are fundamentally decent
      • It appeals to people's desire for national unity
      • Dennis Frank 4.3.1

        Binary folk will always default into a binary framing. Their brains can't function without doing so. Oodles of third alternatives are always evident to anyone with an open mind. I bet most settlers & maori would fit more accurately into the opportunist category, for instance.

        Recall that Taranaki tribe who bought a ship from the Brits, sailed off to the Chathams to do genocide on the peaceful islanders? Extreme opportunism!

        • Blade

          You are wrong there, Dennis. The late Sir Paul Reeves said in a speech ( to paraphrase) '' We came to your lands (Chathams) long ago'' There was no mention of genocide. I wonder if the new history curriculum will mention that with as much detail as Parihaka is recounted?

          Dave Seymour was disappointing in this interview. He made few pertinent points in my opinion.


          • Dennis Frank

            A history lesson for you:

            In 1835, around 900 Māori people from Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama were welcomed to the islands. This group arrived in two waves. The first arrived on 19 November 1835 via the hijacked European ship Lord Rodney and carried 500 people along with guns, clubs and axes. This first group killed and hung up a 12-year-old Moriori girl.

            The second group arrived on 5 December 1835. With the arrival of the second group "parties of warriors armed with muskets, clubs and tomahawks, led by their chiefs, walked through Moriori tribal territories" and "curtly informed the inhabitants that their land had been taken and the Moriori living there were now vassals."

            Due to the new arrivals' hostility, a hui (council) of 1,000 Moriori was convened at settlement called Te Awapatiki to debate possible responses. Younger members argued that the Moriori could fight back as they outnumbered Māori two-to-one. Elders, however, argued Nunuku's Law should not be broken.

            Despite knowing Māori were not pacifist, Moriori ultimately decided to stay pacifist against the invaders, describing Nunuku's Law as "a moral imperative".

            Although the council decided in favour of peace, the invading Māori inferred that the decision was a prelude to war. Violence erupted and around 300 Moriori were killed, with hundreds more enslaved. The invaders killed around 10% of the population in a ritual that included staking out women and children on the beach and leaving them to die in great pain over several days.


            • roblogic

              Yikes that is horrific. Debunks the “noble savage” myth. And here I thought our worst massacre was the little known killing of 250 Maori on Moturua Island in the BOI by some French settlers

            • swordfish


              Just one (albeit notable) example of the extraordinarily brutal violence & ethnic cleansing of the Musket Wars … but best keep schtum about it … destroys the highly paternalistic Noble Savage Romanticism – grounded in Critical Race Theory & Post-Colonial Theory – at the heart of the new History curriculum.

              Eternal Māori virtue, innocence, powerlessness & pacifism at all times.

              Historical facts & moral complexity are far too yukky & inconvenient for Woke dogmatists pursuing a pure Good vs Evil Morality Tale.

              • Dennis Frank

                Of course any sensible person would trust teachers as far as they can kick them, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt to start with.

                Any lack of teacher credibility can always be exposed by a parent who primes their kid to ask the right question in class. Unsatisfactory performance by the teacher revealed in consequence can then be dealt with via a formal complaint to the headmaster, the minister of education, or both.

              • Muttonbird

                Would the Musket Wars have been so brutal had not Maori been fuelled by the white man's technology, deceit, and theft?

                Clearly they would not have been called the Musket Wars if it were not for muskets.

                • Nic the NZer

                  They would have been more noble, had they been more savages? I mean you have an open and shut case there regarding the technology.

                  It seems less clear that Maori were unfamiliar with deceit and theft from times before settlers arrived.

                • Gypsy

                  Maori warfare before the arrival of the settlers was brutal. Ever heard of Pouwhenua? Tewhatewha? Tao? Huata? Patu?

      • Bazza64 4.3.2

        Funny – your first bullet point seems to confirm Paul Goldsmith's fears.

        • AB

          As a beneficiary of the status quo, Goldsmith's primary fear is that it is examined and found wanting in terms of justice – either in its historical origins or present day operation.

          His fears are indeed well-founded – and his response is to either erase historical context, or have it defined by the winners, in order to maintain this "just world" fallacy.

          And it's a pretty good strategy, as most people who have done OK in life share exactly the same predisposition.

          • Bazza64

            I don't think Goldsmith's concern is an examination of NZ History, I think the concern is who is doing the examining & how it is presented. A definition of history by the "losers" may be as biased as one presented by the ""winners". (Winners & losers being your definition)

            European & Maori history is full of brutal acts within their own people & against other people. I hope our NZ History when taught shows a warts & all full picture. Sadly if it doesn't it will become "the history you are taught at school & then here are the other bits they didn't tell you" It will become a sad joke.

            I don't think how well you have done in life should determine how you view history.

            • pat

              The subject is so all encompassing that what is taught in schools will only ever be a selective once over lightly

    • roblogic 4.4

      Great news. I appreciated Chlöe's response to those complaining about "critical race theory" or whatever… 💪🏾

      • swordfish 4.4.1

        She’s a grandstanding narcissist who knows neither New Zealand history nor historiography.

        • Anker

          Hope you are going ok. Swordfish?

          Interesting comments about Chole. Not a fan myself

        • roblogic

          Nah she's an intelligent young Millennial, who lacks life experience, but has a fine mind and decent ethics, who wants a better NZ. Her blind spots are privilege and wokeness, but I think she is smart enough to overcome those limitations sooner or later. I like her leadership potential and outspoken socialist leanings.

          Her understanding of issues and communication skills rival those of Jacinda. A bright future.

      • Molly 4.4.2

        Unfortunately, I have a suspicion that some of the concerns raised by the letter to the Listener, regarding mātauranga Māori inclusion into the curriculum are justified, or at least worth getting more details on. If we conflate those concerns as opponents of the non-defined Critical Race Theory, we fall into the same trap as those who view Gender Critical as transphobic.


        It is openness and transparency of process and impact that will allow the public to discuss.

        I have had a conversation with someone who said that when compiling the new NCEA standards, the initial work is done by subject specialists, and then Māori representatives are asked for their input, which is then shoehorned in.

        I can see problems if that is the case. And OIR of some of the drafted standards might be the only way to see if the concerns of the letter writers above are justified, or whether the dismissal of those concerns are.

  5. Found the hardest "wordle" derivative yet … called "semantle" (h/t weka). Yesterday my score was 47. Today it was 63. 🤯

    I solved Semantle #47 in 63 guesses. My first guess had a similarity of 7.36. My first word in the top 1000 was at guess #18. My penultimate guess had a similarity of 34.71 (949/1000). https://semantle.novalis.org

    Also recommended: hellowordl, Absurdle, Quordle, Octordle

  6. Peter 6

    Free speech makes the news again.

    Michael Laws said, “I’m afraid the toxicity of social media is killing freedom of speech."

    He reckons social media was stifling expression. This is after reaction to comments he made on his Facebook page. We're coming to terms with social media and how to use it and respond to it.

    He'd written, "When did girls with lovely faces/breasts but unhealthy bums/legs become sexy?"

    I'm not on Facebook to see if someone answered his question with: "About the same time arseholes became politicians or media personalities."


    • weka 6.1

      There are all sorts of problems with FB and other social media. There are also problems with Laws being a sexist, body shaming, regressive.

      • Barfly 6.1.1

        Aww poor Antoinette Beck's "friend" it's harsh out here.

      • roblogic 6.1.2

        Not boding well for the stability of "The Platform"… lots of large egos on there. Without some kind of moderation, the “Free speech” outlet could easily devolve into thoughtless ranting that turns people off.

    • Craig H 6.2

      Sounds like he is unhappy that freedom of expression does not include the freedom from other private citizens making comments, judgement and even ostracism whether on social media, in a pub or in the town square.

    • Stuart Munro 6.3

      He's mentioned a real issue, but skipped over it to pursue his low tastes.

      Most are probably aware of Popper's paradox of tolerance, that An open society needs to be intolerant of intolerance.

      The rise of Trumpism brings us the spectacle of people that will cheerfully suppress the freedoms of others, claiming the protection of an enlightenment constitution that they clearly do not subscribe to.

      The right of propagandists who oppose free speech to claim their own speech is protected is necessarily less than infinite. In a moral sense they are freeloaders on their more enlightened fellows. But Laws just wants to talk about boobies.

  7. Stephen D 7

    Regarding the price of meat.

    I would really like to know why meat is as expensive as it is in the supermarket.

    A breakdown of costs in the total supply chain, from the price paid to the farmer, cost at the works, shipping to the wholesale butchery, cutting up, packaging, transport costs et etc.

    • Matiri 7.1

      You can see the beef and sheep schedules here on interest.co.nz – rural dropdown shows the various cattle schedules.


    • roblogic 7.2

      Free marketeers would tell you it's just supply and demand, and prices meeting the market. But they ignore the anticompetitive behaviour of the supermarket duopoly that has been well documented and ongoing for decades.

      ‘Extraordinary profits’: New Zealand considers breaking up supermarket duopoly | New Zealand | The Guardian

      I say, nationalise the lot. They are (like many segments of the economy) exploitative and profiteering from market power. Screwing suppliers and workers, and inflating prices of essentials.

      • tc 7.2.1

        Nationalising them isn't required. They each sell up say 25 sites across NZ which is then taken by a 3rd player (Aldi, sainsburys etc) and you have a competitive industry.

        Aldi shook up oz along with Costco but the entrenched duopoly here requires political cajones to resolve.

        That's the real issue….political will to rule for a fair deal for all kiwis.

        • roblogic

          Political will relies on opinion polls and vested interests. So public opinion is a prerequisite to any major change. And the public is quite restless and annoyed at the moment, so I do expect the government to come up with something more than the usual platitudes.

        • Nic the NZer

          Your saying two players doesn't make a competitive market but 3 will? Colour me skeptical.

  8. Stephen D 8

    A different take on Simon Bridges. And one nearer the mark of the man than the usual fawning MSM interviews.


    • Blade 8.1

      Sam Brooks is just another queer stuck in the queer bubble of believing the queer community have some relevance in mainstream life. Bridges was just being what a conservative should be – true to himself and his worldview, like Sam Brooks is to himself and his worldview.

      But I don't blame the queer community for their militancy, and attempting to push their agenda's on the world. For so long they where discriminated against. Alan Turing and Quentin Crisp are famous examples of the shit gay people had to endure.

      As an aside, someone gave me a book called ''The Alan Turing Cryptic Codebreaker's Puzzle Book.'' [email protected]#k me, you not only have to solve the puzzle… you sometimes have to work out what the question is. This blog gives me plenty of practice.sad

  9. Stephen D 9

    GDP is not infinite.


    “A report published last week by the World Health Organization (see go.nature.com/3j9xcpi) says that if policymakers didn’t have a “pathological obsession with GDP”, they would spend more on making health care affordable for every citizen. Health spending does not contribute to GDP in the same way that, for example, military spending does, say the authors, led by economist Mariana Mazzucato at University College London.”

    • roblogic 9.1

      GDP is a crude measure but it serves the interests of the corporate elites plundering the Earth, who only measure things in terms of money.

    • alwyn 9.2

      "Health spending does not contribute to GDP in the same way that, for example, military spending does, say the authors, led by economist Mariana Mazzucato at University College London.”

      The authors apparently say this, and you quote this but what on earth does it mean? Can you explain this statement?

      • roblogic 9.2.2

        It means that a healthy working populace is not valued properly by GDP measures. But around the world (especially with Covid) it has been shown that a functioning public health system is actually better for the economy than sending workers and their families into bankruptcy when someone is hit by illness or accident.

        How prioritizing health could help rebuild economies | McKinsey

        • pat

          You do realise that the article you linked to is in direct opposition to the one that is the basis of Stephen D's post?

          • roblogic

            I have read both and do not see where the conflict lies. Both argue that GDP is incomplete and measures the price of everything but the real value of nothing.

            Just like on a personal level, we take our health for granted, until one day misfortune strikes.

            Please elaborate.

            • pat

              One has its foundation in degrowth and wishes to destructure GDP (Doughnut economics) whereas the other advocates growth as measured by GDP and promotes its adoption through the measure seen as problematic by the former….they couldnt be more opposed if they tried.

              The problem the original has (doughnut) and the point I was making to Alwyn was, it is utopic without any roadmap…..great to have a vision but difficult to support without the 'how' and probably why GDP remains the poor measure we use ….the lack (yet) of a viable alternative.

      • JO 9.2.3

        Perhaps they choose to see health spending as a cost and military spending as an investment; in that mindset a fighter jet will seem a more effective acquisition than a linear accelerator and the trained staff to run it.
        Look at anything GDP measures in the desperately out of date 20th-century model: who chooses the values and categories; quis custodes custodiet?

        Is that small thought too 'simplistic'?

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    It's journos with a conscience vs zombies in Russia.

    Protesting journalist says Russians zombified by propaganda… "I was an ordinary cog in the propaganda machine. Until the very last moment I didn't think about it too much," she said.

    Before her protest she recorded a video in which she said she was ashamed to work for what she called Kremlin propaganda.

    The journalist said she was detained and questioned by police for 14 hours, and fined 30,000 roubles ($280; £210) for the video. The authorities had been convinced she had been acting on someone else's behalf, she said. "Nobody believed it was my personal decision. They suggested it could be conflict at work, relatives who were angry about Ukraine or that I was doing it for Western special services."

    "They couldn't believe that I had so many objections to the government that I could not stay silent," she said.


    Marina Ovsyannikova is a Russian TV producer who was employed on the Channel One Russia TV channel. She worked for Russia's main evening newscast Vremya since beginning of the 2000s.


    Okay, I need to explain the difference between those two job descriptions. When I was working in the TVNZ newsroom 30 years ago I cut stories for reporters & journalists, but often for a hybrid professional category called news producers. This third category were given responsibility for producing news stories on an assigned basis by the programme producer.

    Marina seems to fall into this category of a journalist who also produces tv news stories. The fact [see her wiki] that she had done so for 20 years for the state broadcaster suggests attainment of a senior position.

    Since her father is Ukrainian and her mother Russian, her identity naturally forms a bridge between the two nations. Childhood in Chechnya during the war there is probably a contributor to her antiwar feeling.

    Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at state-controlled Channel 1, was detained after she ran on to the set on Monday holding a sign saying "no war". She said she had been questioned for 14 hours and not slept for two days, and was not given access to legal help.

    "I'm ashamed that I allowed myself to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed Russians to be turned into zombies," she explained… since the war in Ukraine began, at least three journalists have resigned from top Russian TV channels: Zhanna Agalakova from Channel 1, and Lilia Gildeyeva and Vadim Glusker from NTV.


    In this report she is given a third job description. I was a video editor (the craftsperson who actually creates the product) and I worked with journos who operated as programme editors sometimes. I suspect her role was sufficiently senior that she did that editorial work as part of her normal duties.

    The four resignations we know of are probably just high-level news due to reputation – tip of the iceberg I suspect. State compulsion to produce disinformation creates a toxic work environment. For workers to sacrifice their career and possibly their safety (or even their life) it shows an intense commitment to a better alternative.

    • Anne 10.1

      For workers to sacrifice their career and possibly their safety (or even their life) it shows an intense commitment to a better alternative.

      "Possibly their safety" I think is a given. Someone needs to get her out of Russia. She's in mortal danger.

      And I agree the few resignations and the fleeing we know about is just the tip of the iceberg. I would suggest there are a great many Russians fleeing their homeland as we speak. We won't know how many until its all over – bar the shouting.

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        Could be her husband is in a position to protect her – he's also in a significant job elsewhere in Russian television. She's courageous (or naive) enough to refuse the offer from Macron.

        Russia’s Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova says she has quit her job but refused to accept an asylum offer in France… Speaking to France 24, the editor said she had “handed in all the documents” for her resignation from Channel One. “It’s a legal procedure,” she said.

        Ovsyannikova, who has two young children, said she had “broken the life of our family with this gesture”, with her son in particular showing anxiety. “But we need to put an end to this fratricidal war so this madness does not turn into nuclear war. I hope when my son is older he will understand why I did this,” she said.

        In a separate interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel, Ovsyannikova said she would not take up an asylum offer put forward by France’s President Emmanuel Macron and would stay in Russia. “I don’t want to leave our country. I am a patriot, my son is even more so. We don’t want to leave in any way, we don’t want to go anywhere,” she said.

        Despite having been freed, she could face further prosecution, risking years in prison under draconian new laws approved on March 4 that limit freedom of speech about the war in Ukraine.


        • Stuart Munro

          It wouldn't hurt to offer her asylum in NZ – the odd journalist that understands and appreciates the importance of democracy would be a breath of fresh air.

          • Dennis Frank

            I agree. Someone ought to email Mahuta & suggest she call in the Russian ambassador to make the offer! enlightenedangel

  11. ianmac 11

    The PM says that they will review mandates and passes next week.

    So "clever" Luxton and Bishop declare to media ,"We demand that mandates and passes be dropped immediately."

    When the PM announces such action next week, Lux/Bish will claim that they made the
    PM act. How clever – not.

    I demand that the sun sets this evening! And claim that I made it happen.

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      Yep, for the 20th time, and this time on a very busy Lower Hutt road, the National Party has declared this pandemic, over!

      Until it's not, then we'll have to reinstate restrictions, The Bish adds helpfully.

    • lprent 11.2

      I demand that the sun sets this evening! And claim that I made it happen.

      Ah! The intellectual basis of virtually all prototype priesthoods. Time and season management.

    • Poission 11.3

      Ahh but is only seasonal waves as Europe goes into its seventh winter in 2 years.

  12. Sabine 12

    File this under would never happen.

    Men who identify as women would never rape women in the single sex spaces that they are allowed to as they now identify as women.

    Unless of course it does. And then what?

    Well it is easy

    Deny that there is a man on the 'female only ward'

    Deny that a man could have been in the 'female only ward'

    Tell the police that there was no man on the 'female only ward'

    Disregards the Nurses, others Staff and CCTV Camera.

    Tell the women (female adult human) who got raped that clearly she did not get raped cause there was no male on the 'female only ward'.

    Instruct NHS staff to lie about men on the 'female only wards'.

    Find CTTV camera and view the contents there of, learn that indeed there was a man on the female only ward and that indeed a women got raped.

    Offer meaningless arse covering excuses to the victim who for a period of one year was told that a. there was no male on the female only ward, and b. that she never got raped at all, and thus there is nothing the Police should or could do.

    And then have a Baroness state all of that in the house, and hope that by gosh, golly and the gods that shit will finally hit the fan, while simultaneous know that nothing will happen.

    speech by the Baroness


    transcript on Glinner https://grahamlinehan.substack.com/p/baroness-nicholson-uncovers-a-horrific?s=r

    female adult human beings, are they even human, and do we care at all?

    Disclaimer: not all men rape, but the vast majority of rapists are men, and in the UK all rapists are men as in the UK by definition of the law a penis needs to be involved in that rape to make it rape. And yes, only men have penises.

    • weka 12.1

      I hope to find some time to follow that up and maybe write a post, but on the face of it that would have to be one of the worst instances I've seen of not just the problems with self-ID, but the problems with half the world, including many on the left, having lost their goddam minds.

      It's massive gaslighting of the raped woman, women rape survivors, and well, just women generally.

      • Sabine 12.1.1

        Better you write this post then me, cause i am starting to piss vinegar when it comes to these stories that would never ever happen.

        Also, there must be a better word then 'gaslighting' for the mindfuckery that we put women (adult human females) and girls (children human females) through in order to protect violent men no matter their self professed identity.

    • Molly 12.2

      I watched her speech this morning, and looked up the NHS Annex A and B documents, and got confused over the apparent contradictions in advice.

      However, Sex Matters organisation has gone through the documentation in a series of articles so I don't have to.

      Download of pdf specifically to do with Annex B here:


      • weka 12.2.1

        do you have a link to the series of articles? I find their website a bit hard to navigate.

        • SPC

          Link, click view for starters …

        • Molly

          Just a site search for "Annex B".

          Four hits, including the pdf linked above.

          Other three are articles/posts:

          NHS Hospitals: “single-sex” accommodation cannot be mixed sex

          No need for sex data on domestic abuse?regarding the impact on domestic violence refuges

          EHRC to issue guidance on single-sex and separate-sex services

          One aspect of this discussion, is that requests for clarity on this single-sex provision is often asked for, but not given. Even in institutional and government documents, the words sex, gender, and gender identity are often conflated and used interchangeably so that intention and meaning is impossible to define.

          • Sabine

            I can understand hte nurses stating that 'no men are on female (adult/child human females) only wards'

            from the daily fail….


            Nurses have been sacked for raising concerns about trans patients being placed on single-sex wards, Parliament has heard.


            One nurse said that under her Trust’s policy ‘trans rights supersede all other rights and concerns’.

            Medics are ‘inhibited’ from speaking out for fear of being branded ‘bigots’ or being sacked, Lady Nicholson told the Lords.

            paywalled in the same sense The Times UK


            A nurse has claimed that NHS trusts are “gaslighting” patients with official policy documents labelling those who ask for single-sex spaces “transphobes” and “perpetrators”.

            from the Independent


            Annex B states that trans people should be accommodated “according to their presentation: the way they dress, and the name and pronouns they currently use”, rather than their biological sex at birth.


            The goalposts have been moved and I don’t quite understand who was consulted about Annex B and where we go from here.

            “How can one reconcile this gender-friendly Annex B with a single-sex ward pledge in the main guidance.

            “At the very least there needs to be a review of what exactly is the regime that we want to support.”

            He added: “I was particularly concerned to see that effectively if you classify yourself as non-binary you can take your choice as to whether you go in a ward of any particular sex.”

            so yeah, there is a law, but then there is a rule to ignore that law, and there is a rule to demonize those that point out that law by calling htem all sorts of not kind words…………and women and girls (the adult/child human female kind) are the ones paying the price.

            But then, i guess someone is always forced to pay the piper, and why would it not be the adult/child human female kind. Its not as if they count, and have rights, or needs to respect, dignity and sex appropriate care and accommodation.

            • Molly

              Times article archived here:


              “This is the NHS gaslighting women patients,” she said. “In other policies, women patients who ask for wards to be single-sex are described variously as transphobic service users, offenders, perpetrators or those who should be given trans education sessions to improve their attitudes.”

              How familiar.

              • Sabine

                So you are needing a double masectomy and some chemo for your cancer, but we have decided that before we can do that we need to give your trans education so as to improve your attitude before we can start working on that pesky breast cancer that brings you here and no you can not expect 'single sex accommodation' even tho we should actually provide this to you,.

          • weka

            thanks. Sorry, I thought you meant they'd done a series of posts on that case.

  13. Anker 13

    Sabine thanks for posting this. I had just copied the link.

    This is what happens when the trans lobby infiltrates Govt organisations and gas lights people with statements like trans women are women.

    It is an outrage that this could happen, then the hospital denied the rape as there were “ no males” there.

    This is one of the many reasons organisations like SUFW have been trying to get across that there are some circumstances when women require their own spaces, eg bathrooms, hospital wards and prisons. For that the SUFW were utterly vilified and treated with contempt by female politicians…

    this will not be published in any NZ media outlets because there is a shut down of anything that challenges gender ideology and their spin.

    • Visubversa 13.1

      When JKR made the statement that "the be-penised individual that raped you was a woman" she was referring to the discussion at the time of the some 436 cases of rape over about 5 years in England and Wales that were recorded as being committed by 'women" In those jurisdictions, rape can only be committed by the unlawful use of a penis. So that is 436 complaints about rape, committed by individuals with a penis who demand that they be recognised as women. https://4w.pub/uk-home-office-orders/

  14. Reality 14

    Just watched the PM on Australian Sunrise tv promoting NZ as a travel destination. She does that so well, looks so charming, and has such a friendly, welcoming personality.

    Simply can't imagine Luxon being able to carry off a promotional slot with any panache at all. I suppose he could remind the Aussies he ran the airline that they may fly on.

    Watched it on the Herald website, so of course being the Herald, immediately after that up loomed a large photo of Luxon demanding restrictions be over NOW. Their editorial staff maintain they are balanced, according to a recent response to questions from the public. Never noticed that particularly.

    • Patricia Bremner 14.1

      The Herald/ Balanced? Oxymoron.

    • SPC 14.2

      He waits for the government to signal it is making a review of policy and calls for change. If he was any faster follower, he would be accused of sniffing the PM's hair.

    • newsense 14.3

      Granny Herald who was a cheerleader for the war in the Waikato?

      No the bigger question should be why they have supported Jacinda as much as they have…

      perhaps look as far as OneRoof for that

  15. Mike the Lefty 15

    As a keen history buff, I am very interested to see what the new NZ history curriculum will be like. In school during the 1970s NZ history teaching was very limited.

    • lprent 15.1

      It pretty much didn't exist. I learnt way more about Tudor and Stuart history than I ever learnt about anything in NZ.

      • KJT 15.1.1

        Must have depended greatly on the Teachers..

        In Primary school in Taranaki, in the 60's, I was taught a great deal about Māori culture and local history, including Parihaka down the road.
        To the extent I didn’t realise Pakeha had a distinct culture until years later.

        Stick games, Poi, Māori phrases and words were part of my education in that school, despite it being mostly Pakeha. (Between Ruapehu and Taranaki). Maybe it was the young, at the time, hippy Teachers?

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Second World War, Tudors – still have my copy of Rowse's excellent book The England of Elizabeth, Wakefield Settlements in a way that presented the Wakefields as pioneering heroes.

          Albert Wendt's poem post school introduced me to Parihaka and made me wonder why he felt anger that none of my European family or friends ever mentioned let alone expressed. That sent me on a journey of understanding NZ history in much more depth. Still my favourite poem.

          ALBERT WENDT

          Into the First Cold

          Once his sight and bones didn’t know the four seasons
          He was born into Samoa’s two seasons of wet and dry
          and the air’s wrap that rarely dropped below 22 degrees
          The lush forests did not ever shed their green
          and crops sucked up the soil’s precocious blood all year round

          No need for fur or other animal skin or fabric
          Apt nakedness was adequate clothing for the times
          despite the Victorian taboo of covering from neck to toe
          Not one inch of erect skin shine to be exposed
          Sex was only for procreation and in the sin-chocka dark of night

          His first taste of ice water was a shocking burn around his teeth
          then round his mouth and down his gullet and chest
          as a long-nailed finger that scraped up choking tears
          Ice cream was the only cold he loved but his family couldn’t afford it
          He learned about snow and ice from books and films

          Across the Pasefika on the banana boat out of the sun’s cling
          into a cold that seeped down into his marrow and wouldn’t let go—
          a journey from warm ease into seasick body crunched up
          in his first ever woollen clothes and shoes the seas and skies turning
          wilder darker predicting a New Zealand locked in the loneliness of cold

          First at boarding school under cone-perfect Taranaki beanied
          with ice snow and tapu the cold and homesickness gripped his every bit
          The teachers ordered early morning runs and cold showers afterwards
          to toughen the will against the invading winter and shape them
          into men who wouldn’t flinch from any kind of pain

          Rugby and military drill were the other manly prescriptions
          Twice weekly rugby practice and the game against another school and winter
          Tackle and tackle attack and attack the pain was exhilarating and beat
          the cold and forged the ideal team that would die for one another
          Winning wasn’t everything—it was the only thing

          Military drill in prickly uniforms with his courage as steely as the rifle
          he carried erectly at the epic school parades with their much medalled
          headmaster in splendid command and some of his teachers mimicking
          the decorated heroes they’d been in the Second World War others with silence
          refusing to glorify the futile leap into colonial wars’ insatiable gobs

          Left-right left-right left-right halt! Young fit acclimatised he now lived
          comfortably with the cold weather and being away from home
          But every morning when he walked in Taranaki’s compass to breakfast
          the mountain signalled not all was well with the path
          His history teacher praised Te Whiti’s stand at Parihaka

          He researched that and discovered almost 200 years
          of settler invasion fraud and theft of iwi land
          A deadlier cold slid into his throat and held him hostage
          to an anger as rich as Taranaki’s beauty and defiance
          of colonialism injustice and greed behind the eyes

        • Blade

          ''To the extent I didn’t realise Pakeha had a distinct culture until years later.''

          I had a pakeha aunt pull me up when I said the exact same thing to her. My biggest mistake was thinking Maori culture was a way forward. It's not unless you are on the public tit – then it pays well.

          We were well schooled in history when I was at school. Our teacher made it quite clear some Maori had been rorted out of land and that the crown had sometimes acted dishonourably much to the detriment of Maori self determination.

          But…and this is a no-no, he also explained the benefits of colonisation, both for Maori and Pakeha.

          • mac1

            Why do you say it is a no-no?

            I'm a history teacher from the 70s. Explain to me why the benefits of colonisation are a 'no-no'.

            • Blade

              In the modern context, colonisation is a woke whipping boy. An excuse for Maori failure. It supports woke culture.

              I can't wait to see what the new school history studies have to say about colonisation.

              • mac1

                Forget the 'woke whipping boy' ideological warblings.

                Are you telling us that the benefits of colonisation will not be taught along with the downsides?

                Because if you are, you dishonour the professional integrity of teachers, of academic knowledge, of the special understanding that history, the study of who we are, where we come from, what we have done as a human species brings us.

                Which is why history, as a branch of learning, is so important.

                And so feared by those who might feel ashamed, so liberating for those whose truth has been obscured and hidden, so enlightening for those who seek the truth and justice that come from real stories, told in truth and held up to the light of succeeding generations for their understanding and education.

                Then we can investigate whether what you allege is true- that the teaching of colonisation as an historical concept is " an excuse for Māori failure", or on the other hand is an explanation for where our society has advanced from its earlier times, for good and bad, for good intentions or exploitation.

                Truth ought not be feared. Historians teach the subject so we may learn from it and grow stronger as a society.

                The fear comes from the realisation that we might need to change, alter our ways, and make right the wrongs.

                History might teach us all that the cost of doing differently need not necessarily disadvantage us but rather benefit us all in a more harmonious and essentially just, fair and equal society.

                Thanks, Blade, for the chance to put into words why I was a teacher of history. This is so important for our maturity as a society.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  We like to forget.


                  He says Maori have done historical research as part of the treaty settlement process but there hasn't been similar work done by pakeha because the Crown does that work.

                  "The unspoken contract that goes into this arrangement is don't disrupt the amnesia, don't disrupt the intentional and organised forgetting of our history that is a huge part of our pakeha culture.'

                  • mac1

                    Regarding the rant about leaving the Māori language to die. The guest speaker at our graduation class in 1970 was the local Professor of German. He decried Māori as a second class language because it used so many borrowed words to overcome its vocabulary impoverishment.

                    He orated, naturally, in English……… what occurred to me even then was the errancy of this, and his contrary refusal to comprehend that the language he spoke in was similar with its seconded vocabulary- from French, Germanic and other sources- for example, garage, verandah, and the 30 instances I have used in these two paragraphs.

                    I wonder whether, as our German university academic for instance munched on his hamburger, did he discover what that grilled delicacy in its linguistic origins contained- beef, sauce, farmhouse bread, oil, tomato, onion, lettuce salad, mustard, salsa, all served with panache by the chef. Bon appétit!

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Yes English probably has borrowed more words from other languages than any other. It is one of its delights. It is also clear that NZ English is really starting to adopt Maori words as well – hui, whanau, morena… I hear these as part of normal conversation spoken by lots of people who are not even close to fluent.

                      And then there is the beauty of words in all languages, that have no quite equivalent expression in English that are starting to make a difference in NZ thinking – manaakitanga in how we treat people and kaitiakitanga in how we treat our environment. Terms that I just never heard growing up that I now hear often.

    • Francesca 15.2

      The Suez crisis

      TheIrish Question

      The leadup to the first world war

      thats how I remember it

    • Belladonna 15.3

      We had 'the coming of the Maori to NZ' 3 years running, when I was in Primary School.
      No idea why, or what happened to the curriculum in those years to get a double-up.
      Lots of current events stuff around Bastion Point and the Maori Land marches, and later, the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal (social studies, politics, history).

      Catholic primary school in a pretty much working-to-middle-class Auckland suburb, FWIW.

      Really, then, as now, what will matter is the individual teacher. A good teacher with an interest in the subject will teach it well, and make it interesting; a poor teacher who is going through the motions, will make it dull as ditch-water.

      Kids who have a passion for history will find their own resources (and that's a lot easier now, than it was 40 years ago); kids with zero interest will zone out in class, and forget what they've been taught in a week's time.

      • pat 15.3.1

        "Kids who have a passion for history will find their own resources (and that's a lot easier now, than it was 40 years ago); kids with zero interest will zone out in class, and forget what they've been taught in a week's time."

        And aint that the truth

  16. Muttonbird 16

    Have often wondered about the ECE industry and their capitalist, extreme profit model. Also, what are they teaching our youngest people?

    It appears some of them are teaching racist, anti-semitic propaganda via BitChute.


  17. SPC 17

    The cognitive dissonance of "man".

    Around the world, people took action. Tens of thousands turned out to demonstrate support. People-power shamed politicians into action.

    If countries want to enjoy the benefits of global trade, sports and investment, then they should agree to a minimum standard of behaviour. Civilised countries should exclude human rights abusers and genocidal maniacs. We don't need to trade only with democracies, but excluding war criminals, expansionists and murderers is not setting the bar too high.

    Corporates around the world are rightly being required to observe environmental, social and corporate responsibility standards. One of those standards should be a bar on commerce with outlaw countries

    Ukraine has become the frontline in a struggle over what the new world order will be – a moral one of tomorrow, or the paralysis of international institutions today and war-torn nationalism of the past?


    PARIS, March 17 (Reuters) – The Ukraine crisis could knock more than a percentage point off global growth this year and add two and a half percentage points to inflation, the OECD estimated on Thursday, calling for targeted government spending hikes in response.


    A peaceful resolution, rather than a Cold War with Russia – and its consequences for western capability to contain the rise of China is possible.


    Big goals are meant to be inspirational.

    So, I know I am going to get some hate for saying we should dump one of our biggest long-term goals: Net Zero Carbon by 2050.

    That goal will never be delivered. We should focus on practical goals, with meaningful milestones over the next two, five or 10 years.

    Setting smaller targets would confront the real costs of change, including the economic impacts which on many forecasts are vast.


    No more vast than a new Cold War involved weaning the EU off Russia oil an gas and the global impact on growth and inflation.

  18. Joe90 18

    Murderous little prick's boosters must be feeling real good now.

  19. Dennis Frank 19

    Former National politician and Northland MP Matt King, a Northland beef farmer, launched the DemocracyNZ Party on Friday afternoon… that he says stands for “freedom of choice” and unity.

    The party stood for “democracy and uniting all Kiwis through our common values”, he said.


    Cool! Obviously uniting the political left and political right is a task overdue for action! Their covert collusion has been going on too long.

    Not sure if he's got what it takes, mind you, but full marks for ambition. It does mean, of course, that he will be unable to issue policies that are divisive. "Aha!" I hear you say. Don't assume he actually means what he says! Well, yeah, right-wing politician, fair point. Still, it does leave him wide open to attack from hungry journalists seeing a double-standard looming in whatever utterances he eventually utters…

    • Janice 19.1

      Perhaps he is looking to attract United Future ex voters. He needs a worm!

    • Nic the NZer 19.2

      We need as many anti-mandate parties as the ballot papers can fit. Also on polling day, if none of these fits you precisely, then its best to tick all the ones you support.

  20. McFlock 20


    It’s only “targeted support” when it’s from the business district of wellington. Otherwise it’s just “welfare” not even sparkling welfare. The people deserve SPARKLING WELFARE.

  21. newsense 21

    Dear Matt King,

    the current mandates against punching Matt King in the face are offending my freedom and I would like them removed, just in your case…

    If you are sincere about bullshit freedoms which encroach on others and prevent their liberty to a much greater extent please start with this one. I’m sure we can find some takers to protest this mandate by punching you in the face.



  22. Jenny how to get there 22

    Every disgruntled ambassador sent back to Russia increases pressure on the regime.

    Everyone asks; 'What can we do to stop the war in Ukraine?'

    The answer is very little. But every little bit helps.

    Maybe we could do this.

    Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Friday announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats over the invasion of Ukraine, prompting Moscow to say it would respond in kind…..

    ….Lithuania's foreign ministry meanwhile announced that it had declared four Russian embassy employees persona non grata, a move made "in solidarity with Ukraine".

    "Russia's military attacks on civilians, civilian objects, hospitals, schools, maternity wards, and cultural objects are war crimes and crimes against humanity," it said in a statement…..


    Send the Russian Ambassador in Wellington packing

    So what if our protest makes little difference, every little bit helps. Surely it is better than doing nothing.

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