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Open mike 18/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 18th, 2021 - 112 comments
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112 comments on “Open mike 18/05/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    I'm liking the buildup of supportive protest and social media noise within all those Arab autocracies who ruthlessly enforce Handmaids Tale-scale patriarchy and murder any dissenter.

    It's a good internal pressure to see, and shows those states who signed up with Israel over the last year to have in reality zero diplomatic sway with Israel. They sold so much diplomatic integrity and receive near nothing in return. Great lesson in autocratic exchange.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      The booby trapped “Abraham Accord” adds to the steaming pile of Trump era legacies.

  2. Jester 2

    'Scene setting' immigration speech labelled confusing by critics (msn.com)

    "He said the sector is short of between 300-500 nurses despite campaigns to employ New Zealanders and paying well above the minimum wage."

    How much above minimum wage do they pay and why are NZ'ers not interested in working. Must be more to it.

    • RosieLee 2.1

      Not wanting to take on student loan debt?

      • Sabine 2.1.1

        That plus not having enough money to study and rent a place and live, plus the student loans that need to be paid by hook n by crook.

        But we have come full circle, our own leave to work somewhere else for better wages and higher living standard, and we import poor workers f rom over seas who see us as better wages and higher living standard. And thus we all have become economic migrants. Priced out by our own Greed.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.2

      Anyone trained to be a nurse should be being paid WAY over the minimum wage! And way over the living wage too.

      Remember – the minimum wage ensures poverty while the living wage is the absolute bare minimum for a dignified life.

    • gsays 2.3

      A big part of the problem is having 'nurses' and minimum wage in the same sentence.

    • RedBaronCV 2.4

      Funny how we always seem to have nurse shortages but police – not so much. Why is that – wage structures for an historically female occupation – cost of training?

    • Ed1 2.5

      New Zealand has for many years sought immigrants with professional qualifications as a substitute for training enough of our own people. So we have doctors and nurses from India, the Philippines, etc; with transition difficulties relating to professional qualifications. My dentist is currently working 6 days a week; one of the dentists in the practice has left to start a family, and it is very hard to attract new dentists. We allowed some doctors to enter during the Covid crisis. A balance is needed; we do not want to stop the useful exchange of ideas from having overseas trained professionals. but I believe we should be a little closer to being self-sufficient . . .

    • alwyn 3.1

      Halt. About Turn. Quick March.

      You are so out of date. As Minister Nash has announced people like Thiel are the ones we want to come to this country. There are going to be a couple of hundred special visas to attract people like him to come to New Zealand.

      ""We want targeted, high-quality investment that establishes frontier firms, brings skills and technology to New Zealand, Nash said."

      "These [border exemptions] would allow more than 200 wealthy international investors to come to New Zealand over the next 12 months, Nash said."

      So no more disparaging comments by anyone about Mr Thiel. He is, according to our Government, a leader in the saving of New Zealand. Make him welcome and throw rose petals in his path. Don't you dare make him think he is not welcome.

      God knows, considering the total incompetence of the current Government, we need someone to save us.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.1

        alwyn, if "total incompetance" is your descriptor of choice for our current government, how would you describe the current opposition National party? Just curious, as a phrase more damning than "total incompetance" might come in handy.

        With the variants’ spread outpacing vaccination in many places, the Asia-Pacific region’s success at eliminating and keeping out Covid means its economies continue to dominate the Ranking. The top three—Singapore, New Zealand and Australia—are able to provide a pre-pandemic quality of life for their populations, with the exception of international travel, which is basically shut down to prevent the virus from slipping back in.

        NZ has lost the top spot (just) to Singapore in Bloomberg's 'COVID Resilience Ranking', but it's crystal clear that a majority of NZ voters simply don't see things alwyn's way.

        Patience little alwyn, patience laugh

        • Tricledrown

          Alwyn if we followed National and ACTs prescription for dealing with the pandemic our country would be an economic basket case. Drowsy M Kram Given Singapore is now having an outbreak of Covid these measurements are BS. We should be proud of our efforts.

          Alwynger your myopic views are laughable and NZ voters show how much of dreeb you are. Desperately flailing around like Crushed Collins self inflicted unpopularity gives us all much hilarity.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Given Singapore is now having an outbreak of Covid these measurements are BS.

            Hope they're not BS – I've been reassured (and proud, not that it’s a competition) by Bloomberg's 'COVID Resilience Ranking' which (with the exception of the most recent ranking) has put NZ on top since its inception.

            A combination of nailing the virus and rolling out vaccines at one of the fastest rates in Asia saw Singapore top Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking this month, dethroning New Zealand for the first time in our measure of the best and worst places to be in the pandemic era.

            Maybe that ranking is updated monthly(?) – who knows what the future holds.

        • Sabine

          Singapore today


          Seven of the 38 community cases have tested "preliminarily positive" for the B1617 variant, which was first detected in India.

          SINGAPORE: A total of 38 new community COVID-19 infections were confirmed in Singapore as of noon on Sunday (May 16), of which seven were "preliminarily positive" for the B1617 variant from India.

          This is the highest number of community cases reported since Apr 14 last year when 40 community infections were reported. Singapore's "circuit breaker" started on Apr 7, 2020.

          Twenty-one of the new community cases are linked to previous infections and the remaining 17 are unlinked. Of the new community

          as for the other class favorite Taiwan


          Much-needed COVID-19 vaccines should be coming to Taiwan soon, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance said on Monday, as the chip-producing island's limited supplies run short during a spike in cases that has left the government scrambling for supplies.

          A surge of coronavirus infections in Taiwan, one of the world's COVID-19 mitigation success stories, has led to its stock of 300,000 doses rapidly running out, with only about 1% of its 23 million people vaccinated.

          But Alwyn is correct in so far that if it is ok for one government to import rich people for something, then it is ok for another government to do the same and people should simply no longer moan about our rich people importing rich people for the supposed better of the country.

          Also, everyone here should keep in mind, that closed doors only work so long. And we here in NZ are as vulnerable to an outbreak today as we were last year.

        • alwyn

          I'm sure that a majority of New Zealand people don't see things my way. So what? I think that Mahatma Gandhi got it right when he said "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth".

          What do I think of the current Opposition? Pretty useless but not nearly as bad as the current Government. I think they would at least be getting people vaccinated in much larger numbers that is happening today. Why are they not using the facilities at the Medical Centres around the country? Why do they want to set up completely independent organisations when all the Medical Centres have nurses who are trained in providing vaccinations? I had my flu jab there. No problem, no waiting and no semi-trained person doing it.

          Why can't I get my Covid 19 vaccination there? What is with this useless lot that they can't even use the available facilities?

          When Covid 19 gets free in the community, as it will with the open borders to Australia, we will see whether people remain happy with the flim-flam from our leaders. We have been promised the vaccine is available. Well get on with it. A rate of 2% fully vaccinated doesn't cut it.

          By the way my description was "total incompetence" not "total incompetance". I wouldn't generally comment on spelling errors, as I am guilty almost every time I post something but if you are going to quote me at least get the quote right.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            What do I think of the current Opposition? Pretty useless but not nearly as bad as the current Government.

            We can agree to disagree – OK?

            When Covid 19 gets free in the community, as it will with the open borders to Australia, we will see whether people remain happy with the flim-flam from our leaders.

            Ever hopeful alwyn – may all your dreams come true laugh

            A combination of nailing the virus and rolling out vaccines at one of the fastest rates in Asia saw Singapore top Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking this month, dethroning New Zealand for the first time in our measure of the best and worst places to be in the pandemic era.

            The tiny city state has gotten locally-transmitted cases down to near zero thanks to border curbs and a strict quarantine program, allowing citizens to largely go about their everyday lives, even attending concerts and going on cruises. At the same time, Singapore has already administered vaccines equivalent to cover a fifth of its population, an aspect of pandemic control that other virus eliminators like New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan are lagging on.

            But if there’s one lesson from April, it’s that vaccination alone isn’t ending the pandemic.

            • alwyn

              "Ever hopeful alwyn – may all your dreams come true"

              That is, for me, a nightmare, not a dream. I am in my middle 70's and hence in the group for whom Covid 19 is a very serious, and possibly fatal disease.

              I would have the vaccination at once, if I could. As it is, in spite of all the rubbish being spouted by our "leaders" it isn't available to me. In fact none of my friends and acquaintances, except for those living in care facilities have had a chance to be vaccinated. Why not? Seeing Hipkins, Little, Verrall and Henare bravely getting an injection on TV doesn't help people in my age group does it?

              As for your last comment. Of course vaccination doesn't end the pandemic. It is likely to keep a lot more people alive though, isn't it? It isn't going to help us if we shut down the country and the economy either, unless we lock it off from the world completely and permanently. Our rulers aren't going to do that are they. There is nothing as restless as a politician who can't get their jollies from going on world trips.

              • Incognito

                Sounds like you’re in Group 3, which means:

                Expect an invitation from your local DHB from late May


                Was very easy to find for someone who can use Google and has more than just a passing interest in it. Unless it doesn’t suit your narrative to look it up, in which case you’re just trolling again. But you’d never do that, would you now. Alwyn?

                • alwyn

                  The original statement from Hipkins, back in March, was that the vaccinations would start in May. That has now drifted back to telling us that we can expect to hear something from the end of May. Not even in May, but from the end of May. That is quite different to what we were being told 2 months ago I would say.

                  It isn't terribly reassuring that it is followed by the rather wooly "Time frames are approximate and may overlap. The actual start dates will depend on …….."

                  Sorry but it has slipped and is slipping further it appears.

                  • Incognito

                    It shows that it pays to stay up to date, instead of whingeing & whining here that “it isn't available to [you]” and blaming our "leaders" for your ignorance. Meanwhile, your risk of contracting the disease is pretty low, wouldn’t you agree? Your risk of getting the flu is probably higher; did you get your flu shot? If I were you, I’d stay home and avoid electronic devices because they’re known breeding places for all sorts of nasties, worse than toilet seats.

                    • alwyn

                      "avoid electronic devices because they’re known breeding places for all sorts of nasties, worse than toilet seats."

                      Please God. Don't tell me are one of those people who think the height of jocularity is to take a photocopy of your arse while sitting on a Xerox machine?

                    • Incognito []

                      Alwyn, please put down the device and go wash your hands and your mouth with hot soapy water. Quarantine for 14 days before you touch the device again. Bye now.

                    • McFlock

                      Funny thing, really.

                      Toilet seats are known to be dirty, so get cleaned regularly.

                      Keyboards, mice, remotes, even touch screens… no so often. But they are often good places for moisture and bacteria from our (and other people's) fingertips.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                That is, for me, a nightmare, not a dream. I am in my middle 70's and hence in the group for whom Covid 19 is a very serious, and possibly fatal disease.

                Agreed alwyn, it would indeed be a nightmare for some. The difference between us (and apologies in advance if I'm misreading you here) is that you seem to see that nightmare as inevitable (under this apparently incompetent Government at least), whereas I believe it's avoidable. I'm basing my belief on NZ's Covid-19 health outcomes to date.

                No community cases today; that's getting on to three months since the last reported COVID-19 case in the community – go Team Five Million!

                As for your last comment. Of course vaccination doesn't end the pandemic.

                It wasn't my comment, but I would have been happy to make it. Don't drop your guard.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  We followed the directions in the govt pamphlet emailed and received a reply, and a confirmation email with date time and venue 48 hrs later.

                  Pretty good, as Lakes is running behind!!

          • Tricledrown

            Alwynger the Truth is the Truth 10% of Adults 389,000 have received the first dose of Vaccine in NZ .given one dose is enough to give a high rate of immunity 60% .You are not living up to your own high standard.

            Alwyn trolling just for the sake of trolling.Our most vulnerable the elderly have been vaccinated by the end of July those over 65 and those with medical conditions that make them vulnerable will have been vaccinated.out breaks before that time could be bad but not as bad as before the initial vaccination role out.NZ is still in one of the best situations in the world.

            Scaremongers like yourself Alwyn take great pride in spreading BS.but as history has shown purveyors of misinformation are despised.

            Look at your leader crushless Collins crushed by the weight of the BS she has been spreading

            • alwyn

              " the elderly have been vaccinated by the end of July". Really? You mean they might be, not that they have been don't you. If you knew it to be the case can you please tell me the Lotto numbers for this week?

              We were told back in March that Group 3 would start being vaccinated "in May" and the implication was certainly that it would begin at the beginning of May. Now it is that it will start by the end of May. Rather different isn't it?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Rather different isn't it?

                Is it? Maybe vaccine rollout plans will need to be revised, possibly more than once – it’s not always going to be plain sailing, so don’t bet the farm.


                Our tax dollars at work.

                Group 3 – being vaccinated from May

                People who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19

                If you’re in group 3, you can expect an invitation to be vaccinated from your local DHB from late May. There are about 1.7 million people in group 3, so you may not get an invitation immediately.

                With such a large group of people, DHBs need the flexibility to respond to the needs of their local communities. At times, this could mean vaccinating some priority groups ahead of others.

                You'll be able to get more information on your local DHB’s website once vaccinations for group 3 start.

                Vaccine rollout information by DHB

              • Matiri

                No complaints from our little rural community of 1000 people – 40% of us across all age groups vaccinated already! We have a medical centre with an aged care facility so staff and residents were high priority. So as not to waste any precious doses it was offered to the wider community. Awesome organisation from Nelson Marlborough DHB – if this is a taste of how good the new Health NZ will be, bring it on!

              • Tricledrown

                Boo hoo Alwynger very few countries have had their vaccine rollout on time most of the few countries who have,actually needed it rolled out early because of high rates of covid deaths and over run health systems.

                Your self centered selfishness rules your life.

                While countries where variants are mutating which could undo any vaccination program leaving your cohort no better off maybe worse off as newer variants seem to be more easily transmitted.

                Given most people get up to date news from around the world your obsession with denigrating anything to do with this govt with your lies and 1/2 truths ie propaganda.this makes you look like a perpetual whynger and no one likes a whinger.

      • weka 3.1.2

        He is, according to our Government, a leader in the saving of New Zealand.

        Labour want investors who donate millions to Republicans? I doubt Labour have said anything about Thiel. Which means you are either lying, again, or trolling. Give it a rest.

        • Sabine

          I think his comment is more about People here being very unhappy that Peter Thiel got a citizenship from national and now it seems we are doing the same but under Labour, and for both its under the guise of 'investment'.

          Peter Thiel has made money of NZ, i doubt he has made any investment that trickled down, and i am sure the same can be said of the 200 hand picked individuals that are allowed in under Labour. Time will tell, as time always does.

          • alwyn

            Your first paragraph is exactly what I meant Sabine.

            I have no idea about whether anything he might have invested in in New Zealand has been good or bad. I'm not really interested in the man. However he is exactly what the Labour Government has just said they are interested in attracting to NZ.

            • Robert Guyton

              I'm in agreement with Alwyn here; Nash's announcement concerned me greatly.

              • alwyn

                Actually it is probably a little unfair to blame Nash personally. I see he was simply giving a speech written by, or at least for, Kris Faafoi., who was ill and needed a substitute at the event.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Perhaps so; the authorship doesn't interest me, it's the thinking that concerns me.

          • weka

            Two left wing critiques:

            1. Thiel’s ties to fascism

            2. letting rich people buy residency

            Alwyn’s comment wasn’t so much about that as using the issues to slur Labour and troll TS

            I will be interested to see who Labour have invited in. I’d be surprised if there were people as politically problematic as Thiel, although I can see that mistake being made. More likely the issue will be that they chose growth over climate action, ecology and social concerns.

            • Sabine

              At this point i consider all people that are at the richness level of Thiel to some extend 'faschist'. It comes with the power, the money, the class. You and i are not part of that world.

              And to be honest, i don't think much more about that. The rich will make way for the rich, it has always been like this. What gets me about this 'express process' of applications is that we have people here in this country whose spouses can't still get here for various reasons. And these are people who are here on a skilled visa, many of whom work in our health sector and other crucial areas and we have no issues of NOT bringing these people in.


              The announcement also follows increasing pressure on the Government to reunite migrant families split up after the borders closed to non-residents last year.

              Nash said little about this, except that the Government acknowledged the difficulties those families faced, and they were working on solutions as circumstances allowed.

              And this is happening currently under a Labour Majority Government.

              • Tricledrown

                It's funny how Thiel funds white supremacy and christian fundamentalism when they are both anti gay in a big way.

                He is in the robber baron category and can run to a bolt hole like Liberally minded NZ should the US turn to shit.

              • weka

                Different meanings of fascist I guess.

                I’m not a fan of wealth visas and I’d prefer the money was secondary to family, community and culture in the settings , but given most of NZ wants this govt I guess the smaller picture is who are they courting? They could do a better or worse version of the neoliberal position. Preparing myself to be disappointed although tbf that might be influenced by the fact that Nash ended up doing the announcement.

                • Sabine

                  These guys will do no more good then Thiel has done. And i would like to point out that Thiel is considered polite and connected company among his peers and the worlds governments. And that should tell us a lot about our governments.

          • RedBaronCV


            Well it looks like this is how it is going to work for "rich investors". They get residency, invited to speak at a major business conference, want to bring their workforce in from overseas. Total entitlement.

            What is in this for the ordinary resident here. Less than nothing. Where is the "training locals", donations to the community, tax payments. It's all about what we are going to do for him not what he is going to contribute to the well being of the country.

            • Chris

              Why do people think Key's opinion matters? He's a money man. He doesn't know about anything else but money and how to screw pople out of it.

      • Ad 3.1.3


        The government has made one negative signal to local investors about housing, but failed to provide a positive signal about what they would like locals to invest in instead.

        From the valuations that have occurred in New Zealand, there are hundreds of billions of dollars waiting to be fruitfully reinvested in productive enterprises.

        Well due for this government to set out an investment plan for New Zealanders about what they want, not just what they don't want.

    • AB 3.2

      Wealth should be a disqualification for immigration to this country. With wealth comes unacceptable levels of economic power and political influence – frequently bolted on to loony RW ideas. It effectively creates a new category of uber-citizen, with power over the lives of people already here. Disappointing that Labour's imminent immigration 'reset' appears not to have understood this.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        Misunderstand or know damn well what is highly likely to happen?

        Peter Thiel after all trousered $30 mill on a $7 mill investment, via a “buy back option” with New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) that Steven Joyce helped set up.


        • mac1

          That $30 million plus interest neatly covers the cost of his NZ bolthole house and land, and the two $10 million donations to GOP candidates.
          Those sums also give an idea of the influence that kind of money can buy, and lets us be aware that his resources are huge, and he has an interest in New Zealand at least as a citizen.

      • RedBaronCV 3.2.2

        Totally agree about the wealthy investors. We could test and see how genuine they are by stating upfront that no individual investor will get a residence visa or passport out of this. Then lets see if they want to continue – in which case they want to take advantage of a community that can work together.

        They should also be required to make substantial and ongoing gifts to the NZ community. Let's see what they would propose! Over the years we have had successful New Zealanders give some very substantial donations to the country out of the wealth they made. Wellington is currently getting a children's hospital built thanks to one of these gifts( all credit to Mark).

        As an aside I'm a little surprised that there hasn't been more delving into what, why and how we decided to co-operate and how we can turn these community characteristics into successful economic policy.

    • Anne 3.3

      Citizen Thiel is a psychopath. He cares not for human-kind except those who are, or have the ability in the future to be useful to him. He has the potential to be the Heinrich Himmler of the 21st century. Mind you, there are a few contenders for that.

      The NZ Govt. would do well to follow his progress carefully and ensure that he can never interfere in New Zealand's political future. He will do so surreptitiously if he thought it was going to be of advantage in some future scenario.

      And some fool let him in and gave him NZ citizenship.

      • Tricledrown 3.3.1

        Thiel invests in global businesses that don't pay tax ,he wants to keep it that way so robber barons can profiteer at will right wing nationalist governments legislate in favour of these Vampire Capitalists.

  3. Sanctuary 4

    Question – is it time to remove Chris Trotter from the update feed on the right side banner?

    His latest two pieces are doubling down on his determination to see a "pizza restaurant and child sex ring" conspiracy hidden in the He Puapua report and indicate a rapidly steepening decline into a red pilling of himself.

    Do we really need ramblings about conspiracies and news media plots represented as "left wing" opinion? Like, I don’t belong to Billy TK’s FB page and so I don’t get notifications from that…

    Or am I being over-zealous in my cancel culture impluses?

    Interested to hear other views on this.

    • Sabine 4.1

      You don't have to click and read his ramblings. Or are we running the risk of having some sort of purity darkened with specks of 'other think'"

    • Ad 4.2

      There are plenty of alternatives I agree.

      It's fine to hear from the RSA Left sometimes, but he's just so out of touch with contemporary policy formation and of Labour's internal contests there's not much grounding to him any more.

    • AB 4.3

      I would leave the link there. As someone about the same age as Chris, it's a useful reminder that being of a mature age will not make me immune from occasional outbursts of idiocy. And removing the link would only confirm his fevered misconceptions about 'free speech' being under threat.

    • woodart 4.4

      like alot of older men, trotter is struggling to remain relevant. maybe he should think about forming a duet with a redneck like nark richardson.

      • In Vino 4.4.1

        Remarkable confidence you equally old or nearly so people possess, to be sure that your judgement is so superior.

        I think you dislike his erudition because he occasionally contradicts your pet theories.

  4. gsays 5

    While not directly addressing Trotter's utterings, I found this an interesting take on cancel culture:


    From the article:

    "And after that, it’s hard not to see cancel culture as a Molotov cocktail in a Bollinger bottle. Something that’s lobbed between the two elite wine bars on the left and right side of the street, while everyone in the middle just wanders on unbothered."

    • Muttonbird 5.1

      "And after that, it’s hard not to see cancel culture as a Molotov cocktail in a Bollinger bottle. Something that’s lobbed between the two elite wine bars on the left and right side of the street, while everyone in the middle just wanders on unbothered."

      It is Christchurch. If any place in New Zealand lends sympathy to Gaughan's views, it's there.

    • Anker 5.2



      think this is a mist read article on cancel culture and how it applies to the

      “The slogan (trans women are women) functions not as an empirical statement, but as a demand to adhere to the ontological position that claims about people’s gender identity trump claims about their biological sex”

      ”we will argue that the current conflicts around gender and sex are not about trans rights, which we fully support”

      the article then outlines the shutting down of academic voices, particularly women by activists groups.

      it is the best article I have read that elucidates the issues. Written by a philosopher and sociologist.

      whether this is happening in NZ Unix, I can’t be sure, but it is definitely happening within the LBGTQ cmty in NZ

      • gsays 5.2.1

        I will have a look at the article, thanks.

        Like a lot of phrases, they soon get bandied about, often in a pejorative context. I suppose this is langauge evolving but I can't help feel it is a symptom of the binary, othering and pigeon holing way of discourse nowadays, especially on line.

        Full disclosure, a lot of my interest came because I often struggle with the angle Verity Johnson comes from. More about me than anything else.

    • McFlock 5.3

      I mean, the author places a lot on the assurance of the guy who claims online sales boomed over the weekend. Obviously the companies who cancelled their distribution orders got their market wrong. Or maybe not. I guess we'll see.

      Additionally, the permanence of "cancel culture" is not as absolute as its critics would suggest – Johnson opens with Justine Sacco, but doesn't mention that Sacco was back at the company that fired her within a few years, having continued to work in the comms industry during her time in the cold. Hardly a "beheading".

      • Anker 5.3.1

        McFlook, here’s a challenge for you. Free to take it or not of course. I posted an article above about the gender/sex debate for want of a better description. Two UK academics write about it and the impact of debate being shut down, or cancelled

        • McFlock

          The one that included death threats as part of cancel culture, alongside boycotts?

          What's the challenge? Seemed to be much of the same, with more flowery language.

          For the record, no, death threats and harrassing families are not ok.

          Not taking someone's course because of what you heard about them is simply a boycott, rather than an attack upon academic freedom. Students avoid certain lecturers all the time, because of everything from political views to simply hearing the lecturer is a harsh marker and they wanted a good grade average.

          • Anker

            “Flowery language “. ….oh come on McFlook I am sure you have a bit more intellectual grunt than that!

            the authors are talking about a situation where activists shut down debate. Where academics, especially women feel too scared to speak up. Where gender ideology trumps biology (ie we are mammals and there are two sexes)…..And if you don’t chant the mantra “Trans women are women”. You are accused of being trans phobic. Btw do you agree with that statement? That if your internal feeling is that you are a women, then you are? And if anyone challenges you or doesn’t allow gender identity to trump a biological sex category then you are trans phobic.

            btw the cancelling and harassment of women in the LBGTQ community who refuse to chant the mantra of “trans women are real women” is nothing short of despicable

            • McFlock

              Frankly, I find trans people less surreal and perplexing than people who choose to marginalise and exclude them while still claiming to be part of the LGBTQ community.

              In general I suspect that being transgender/sexual is more complex, long term, and visceral than just framing it as "if your internal feeling is that you are a women, then you are".

              edit: and I was a bit hazy on terms like “ontological” when I was studying philosophy, let alone 20-odd years later.

              • Anker

                FirstlyMcFlock , I am not a member of the LBGTQ community.

                but I have close associates who are. Some lesbian women wanted the right to meet as lesbian biological women, not all the time, but they wanted the ability to do this. My understanding is that they were accused of being transphobic for this. Back in the 70s lesbians met on their own without het feminists and there were also groups of lesbian separatist feminists who met separately. No one was insisting that they be allowed to be part of these groups else they were being excluded.

                a significant number of lesbian women who support sexed based rights for women and refuse to say trans women are real women were excluded from pride. One woman who wasn’t part of that group, was on a stall inside the pride event. In her break, she went to support her partner who was protesting outside as part of the group who were being excluded. When she went to return to her stall, she was confronted by 4 large security guards forbidding her to return to her stall. This woman is frail and has terminal cancer. Remarkably she stood her ground, but they called the police to remove her. So rather than trans people being excluded, it is the other way around

                • McFlock

                  If they're not on board with the trans community, they're dropping the "T" from the community they feel part of.

                  But either way, it's not "despicable" when people having a protest to exclude others are shouted down by a counter protest to exclude them.

                  BTW, health conditions aren't always obvious – or relevant.

                  • Anker

                    I don’t know what you mean by not on board with the trans community. But my understanding is that it became a problem for some women when they were told they were trans phobic if they didn’t chant the mantra trans women are real women. And on occasion the lesbian biological women wanted the right to meet on their own. They never wanted anyone excluded by the LBGTQ community, they just didn’t want to be forced to chant a mantra they didn’t believe.
                    The despicable part of the protest was the man handling and calling the police on the elderly women who is frail, breathless, wears a hat (think cancer treatment) and told them she needed to get her medication which was in her bag at the stall she was staffing. Four burly security guards and when remarkably she stood her ground (ie refused to budge), the bastards called the police. She had a legitimate right to be at pride, was not a member of the protesting group, had worked hard for homosexual rights all her adult life and is a thoroughly good person

                    So really it is those who cry exclusionary that are doing the exclusion.

                    • McFlock

                      I mean, calling it a "mantra" is a little bit more hostile than simply not participating in the discussion.

                      As for the incident you are talking about, assisting protestors outside and then expecting to get back in is a bit like turning up to a coal-mining conference, going out to protest with the zero-carbon folk, and then expecting to go back in. Trying to play both sides will end up in one side not wanting you back.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.4

      Chris Trotter is hopefully at the back of the queue for cancellation. He can spell, uses punctuation, and has an impressive recall of NZ political history–from an insiders perspective to boot.

      As for his opinions…take ’em or leave ’em. Long distance columnists regularly argue views they may not personally hold to keep the show on the road. But it is pretty obvious from prolific pieces lately, that Chris is genuinely worried about the “Māori question” as some older lefties might put it. And Chris is an older lefty, who really can stop worrying about a white backlash. A critical mass of younger people these days are not as hateful and fearful of Māori empowerment and justice as many boomers were or are.

      • solkta 5.4.1

        Trotter has been moaning on about Maori politics since i first read his crap several decades ago.

      • greywarshark 5.4.2

        Chris Trotter does allow free speech and rousing discussion. And he monitors his posts to some extent with few posses of damning opposites that attempt to wipe out other opinions. Those with differing opinions generally have quotes from published articles even if one doesn't agree with them and discussion does take place, with the rightists. Some of the leftists here seem to find discussion distasteful. The posse system has been seen on certain topics here, and some people seem prone to pop out with a cosh for anyone they disagree with.

        Trotter comparing today's stance against that of the past is a worthy task, and an antidote to know-alls who dismiss others out of hand. As it seems that human thinking seems to go in cycles, it is wise to be in touch with the past, so that one can be ahead of the new thinking that is deja vu all over again. The cliche's are too good to dispense with.

    • McFlock 5.5

      eyup, he caused a boom in online sales and now he's gone from the company.

    • Tricledrown 5.6

      Sobering punch line a European might be fine to move on but .The brewery owner's comments were vicious and nasty .I wonder how many Maori went to his pub.unfair Consequences is what the opinion writer equated to cancel culture,political correctness was the previous excuse for bad behaviour now rednecks have a new word to avoid blame for their actions.the author said in the end it made no difference to the business as people came to his pub willing to forgive I wonder if there were any Maori amongst those patrons.

      But she was lying about not making any difference to his business as Retailers dropped all his product from their shelves .

      Most of what the right call cancel culture is cancelling mysoginistic racist sexist behaviour.

      In other words society is becoming more civilised and that's been happening since we devolved from Neanderthal 's

  5. Sabine 6


    Le Var Burton on cancel culture.

    “That’s a misnomer,” Burton continued. “I think we have a consequence culture, and that consequences are finally encompassing everybody in this society, whereas they haven’t been ever in this country.”

    He of course answered to Meghan McCain in regards to the Dr. Seuss brouhahah.

    But i for one can not stop replacing every time i see 'cancel culture' trotted out as if it had any meaning with 'consequence culture'.

    • mac1 6.1

      As the Stuff opinion piece above says, we used to call this 'cancel culture' by the term 'boycotting'.

      So, like, going forward, we're like 'it's cancel culture'.

      Why rename it? Does it thereby disguise, by renaming and associating it with a modern denigratory term 'wokeness', what we accepted as being a justifiable and moral reaction called 'boycotting? Thereby seek to make unacceptable what was a normal and effective personal rejection of a wrong action?

      A similar example might be to call what was once 'white racism' something like 'teutonic culture', or 'anti-agism' called 'boomerism'?

  6. Rosemary McDonald 7

    Interesting article from The Detail outlining and expanding on the discussion around mtf transgender athletes and the testosterone level rules that are putting these athletes health at risk.

    Mtf transgender athlete Kritsen Worley is supporting Hubbard and says…

    …she believes the Olympics are not ready for Hubbard. She thinks the system is still failing her, due to the strict testosterone limits which put Hubbard's health at risk.

    "It’s like taking the gas out of the car," says Worley. "When you lose testosterone in your physiology it’s like the car starts to shake when you take the petrol out of it. Certain functions of the body decrease or even stop functioning altogether."

    Worley says the IOC has been caught up with the social side of the debate over transgender athletes.

    "Everybody needs hormones, it’s just that we need different types of hormones depending on what chromosome type you are. And that's the problem, we've tried to homogenise gender and we've tried to compare apples with oranges.

    She says the thinking was that "if you lower an athlete's testosterone levels (of someone) who was XY chromosome that somehow that is going to match somebody who is XX. No, you're making that XY chromosome person completely unwell, long term in sport and to end of life, thinking that's going to somehow assimilate to somebody who is XX chromosome (who doesn't need testosterone to stay well)."

    The hope is, for Worley, that one day sex segregated sport will be no more.

    ...desn’t the removal of physiological criteria effectively, if not intentionally, abolish the means of objective distinction integral to male/female categories in sport? Is Worley content to see these categories disappear?

    “It would be great to move more toward the Paralympic model — ability-based categories… It’s going to take time for that evolution to occur, but the discussion needs to begin.”

    In certain sports, the gap between men’s and women’s performances has been closing for years, and Worley believes that de-segregating men and women athletes would further “raise the game” for women and catalyse progress towards parity in funding and profile.

    What this mtf transgender athlete sees as 'evolution', sportswomen (ie non-trans women) are going see as erasure. The real tragedy here is that any discussion involving pleas to slow down and consider the long term ramifications of these profound changes will inevitably have on women's competitive sport is met with howls of protest and accusations of transphobia.

    • alwyn 7.1

      "In certain sports, the gap between men’s and women’s performances has been closing for years".

      Do you know what sports she had in mind? The only ones I know much about are Rugby and Track and Field Athletics. Non segregation by sex would mean no top level competition at all for women. The best performance by woman in any of the Athletic events, and I mean the woman's world record has been exceeded by 14 or 15 year old boys in every event I am aware of. Women really don't have a chance in a non-segregated competition.

      I remember as a school boy I competed in club athletics. We had a woman member who was good enough to compete in the (then) Empire and Commonwealth Games. Some of the boys could regularly beat her, and none of us were really very good. One boy I was at school with could long jump further that Yvette William's World Record.

      That might sound like boasting but it merely reflects the facts. I am thoroughly in favour of woman's sports but they have to be separate from the men's events if they are going to be played at the top level.

      • Tricledrown 7.1.1

        Alwyn because most sports are suited more to males.

        Simone Biles can do more than any Male on the planet.

        Women Golfers are catching up with men many Women Drive the ball as far as the men these days but are better on chipping and putting.

        The problem is Women are told they will never be as good as men.It made me laugh when Beartrice Faumoina out bench pressed all the current Allblack fowards.

    • KSaysHi 7.2

      Think we are heading towards game separation, with transgender having their own olympics, or the end of the olympics. .

  7. francesca 8

    Everybody needs hormones, it’s just that we need different types of hormones depending on what chromosome type you are

    So now the very word "woman "is being reduced to a chromosome type

    I see that as an attempt at erasure

    But what is so wrong with having a sporting category of transwomen..or transmen?

    Trans seems to be a perfectly acceptable word.

  8. KSaysHi 9

    This morning I was sent a link to statistics on hospital beds/1000 people in NZ. Freaking heck, no wonder there are problems! Note how there is a steady drop since the year 2000. It's not like the population is getting healthier.


    • Drowsy M. Kram 9.2

      That's shocking – from 8.5 beds per 1000 in 1990, to 2.3 beds per 1000 in 2011.

      include[s] inpatient beds available in public, private, general, and specialized hospitals and rehabilitation centers

      Wonder if that trend has continued over the last 10 years – hope not.

      Not meeting increasing demand: crisis in hospital emergency departments
      Hospitals across the country have reached crisis point, with several emergency departments at capacity. People are being treated in corridors, increasing numbers of staff are reporting burnout and wait times are becoming longer.

      Capital & Coast DHB said Wellington Hospital had an emergency department that was too small to meet the increasing acute demand. There were not enough inpatient beds across the hospital, it said.

      • Anker 9.2.1

        Some of that, but not all of course could be accounted for by de-institutionalization of psychiatric hospitals. The spend on schizophrenia use to be greater than heart disease and cancer. Of course now the govt is spending $ on housing and emergency housing for a lot of these people no longer in hospital

      • Adrian 9.2.2

        There’s a very good reason for the drop in bed numbers, research has shown that the less time spent in hospital, with sick people, the better the outcome for patients. I have had 2 replacement hips 10 years apart and was out the door in less than 2 days to recuperate at home, mind you if I had had my way I would have been home 10 minutes after the anaesthetic wore off. I did notice though a few malingerers who after an extended stay needed to be removed with a block and tackle.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Thanks Adrian, that's a good explanation of the trends.

          Still think a few more strategically-placed hospital beds wouldn't go amiss, particularly after two false starts for an AAA repair in Wellington hospital.

          But of course tax dollars are limited – NZ's a wealthy country, just not as wealthy as some. Hence the public appeal from Starship Hospital to fix a shortage of beds – donated last week ("He gave it for others so that others may live!")

          • gsays

            A young June Whitfield no less.

            Here is Monty Python summing up the neo liberal impact on health in 20 seconds.

        • KSaysHi

          Is time spent in beds the same as actual beds though?

          Major population bumps during that 11 year period

    • alwyn 10.1

      Some of things said in that article make me wonder if it explains why the Government is not offering Covid 19 vaccinations at Medical Centres. They would appear to be perfectly equipped to do the vaccinations. After all they have RNs who are fully experienced in giving vaccinations and have done ones like the flu jab for years.

      As this article says “Any agreement to use a private provider for any outsourcing of any public maternity services would be considered only after a government sanctioned procurement process was undertaken." and "Because DHBs have been under the pump financially, they’re trying to keep contracts down and that makes it harder for privately owned birthing centres to remain viable".

      Could it be that the reason we cannot get a Covid vaccination at our local Medical Centre, with an experienced nurse, doctors on site who would be immediately available in the unlikely event of an adverse reaction, and with full access to our medical records, is because they are privately owned and therefore not welcomed by the DHB.

    • greywarshark 10.2

      Classify giving birth as an Olympic Sport and do a league table each day with a weekly prize ,of …. – most number of groans, least time, strict control of pushing reflex etc. Make it more interesting to the general public, let them feel involved. Then pregnant women will get the proper glamour treatment. Just an idea!

  9. aom 11

    It is well past the time that the Minister of Foreign Affairs should have expressed the concerns of NZers regarding Israel’s actions to the Israeli Ambassador, with a firm hint that expulsion would not be untoward. The US Ambassador should also be called in on the basis of the President's endorsement of Israel's transgressions of basic humanitarian decency and respect of international laws. Failure to act suggests that the Government is an Israeli Occupied Territory. Ironically, that description was shaken loose at the UN when NZ sponsored Resolution 2334 at the UN, one that was negotiated when NZ had a Jewish PM.

  10. Treetop 12


    Not sure why the article has not come up. In Queensland scientists have found a way to stop Covid replicating in the lungs. A major breakthrough.

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