Open mike 19/02/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 19th, 2024 - 68 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 …

68 comments on “Open mike 19/02/2024 ”

  1. SPC 1

    Our leader has enjoyed another day at Big Gay Out, once again chaperoned by his minders Willis and Bishop.

    After this morning’s State of the Nation speech, Luxon had defended the coalition Government’s planned changes to sexuality and relationship education guidelines, RNZ reports.

    New Zealand First – one of the three coalition parties – had campaigned on removing “gender ideology” from the curriculum. The guidelines were first introduced in 2020 by then-NZ First MP and associate Education Minister Tracey Martin.

    “We will always have sex education in New Zealand schools. It’s so critical, so important,” Luxon said.

    The curriculum should be age-appropriate and parents needed to be consulted, Luxon said.

    Schools had been interpreting the guidelines differently and there needed to be consistency in delivering the curriculum across the country.

    An expert panel would be working on the changes to the guidelines, he said.

    School consultation with parents is one reason for different approaches, thus lack of nationwide consistency (parents have been able to opt out their children).

    Gender ideology (where it was once homosexuality) and age for sex education are the major contentions.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/pro-palestine-protest-luxon-confronted-at-big-gay-out/MRJQAOL4IZFV3JIYFL2F2RRJFU/

    • "Gender Ideology" is the antithesis of homosexuality. It denies even the existence of same sex attraction. Children should be educated on the basis of the fact that in humans (as with all mammals) sex is bi-modal and immutable.

    • Tabletennis 1.2

      SPC “Gender ideology (where it was once homosexuality) and age for sex education are the major contentions.”

      Indeed, and sex education should be age appropriate. I hope most people will agree with that.
      And it should be based on facts rather than fantasy (the stork and babies) or an ideology (‘some parents make a mistake when they ‘assign’ your sex at birth).

      Resist Gender Education- 7/2/24- wrote An open letter to the NZEI and PPTA :
      Kia ora Mark Potter and Chris Abercrombie,

      Both seem to be denying there is an issue to be discussed.

      UN Convention on the rights of the child
      Article 28/3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of IGNORANCE and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods.

  2. SPC 2

    While National is working on how to get away with something

    allowing foreigners to buy up high country land, waterway land, coastal farmland, beach front land, fisheries and any urban land for new builds – a future where half of us pay rent to foreigners for a home – an end to the idea that a nation state has any sovereignty not up for sale.

    they are also resorting to questioning other old shibboleths "a government has a workforce of its own" and "paying people welfare" to distract us.

    The Big Tobacco and Big Oil fan boys are nothing if not predictable.

    On welfare there is a bit of confusion.

    Pre election he mentioned a focus on those under 25, contracting out oversight of that group.

    In the state of the nation, he noted the increase on Job Seeker Benefit since 2017 (presumably he knows this is a function of the unemployment rate and also of the health of the aging workforce, as it includes those once on the sickness benefit – worldwide lockdowns and long covid have had an impact).

    Luxon's government would be targeting those who had been on welfare for many years, he said.

    "I won't apologise for making tough choices to support young people off welfare and into work, because 24 years languishing on welfare means no hope. It means no opportunity. It means no dignity from work."

    Presumably he is cognisant that National were in government for 9 of the last 24 years (2008-2017).

    "And if you don't – make no mistake – there will be consequences. Our government will support you – but there will be sanctions if you don't take that support seriously.

    If that had worked 2008-2017 …and Labour did have a form of it 1999-2008 and National in the 1990's.

    "Now that won't be popular with everyone – but we will do it, because I am not prepared to write off a whole generation of young Kiwis."

    He should note that the policy did not stop young people becoming long term unemployed in the past.

    Maybe he should consult John Carter about employment programmes and internships (to reduce the need to import migrant workers).

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350183890/watch-state-nation-fragile-christopher-luxon-says

    • Kay 2.1

      Conveniently being overlooked/wilfully ignored in the discussion is how our economic system relies on a minimum amount of unemployment in order to keep inflation down. Of course, the government knows this, but it's SO much easier to blame and punish the plebs, rather than say it out loud and spoil the illusion.

      That speech to me had undertones of facism (yes I am going there). Pick an enemy and blame them for your country's woes. In this case, too many bludging beneficiaries slowing down productivity. They must be punished for their crimes, ie having the audacity to exist. Force them all into work and our country will be great again (and you people who don't need it will get your tax cuts.)

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/509415/why-should-poorest-lose-jobs-to-get-inflation-down

      • Tony Veitch 2.1.1

        That speech to me had undertones of facism

        "Victims of social prejudice far from confined to inter-war Germany were readily to hand: prostitutes, homosexuals, Gypsies, habitual criminals and others seen as sullying the image of the new society by begging, refusing to work, or any sort of 'antisocial behaviour."

        Hitler: Nemesis – Ian Kershaw.

        The CoC is not there yet, but give them time!

      • Anne 2.1.2

        "Pick an enemy and blame them for your country's woes."

        Right on target Kay.

        I was one of many thousands thrown on the scrap heap in the 1990s. It happened to coincide with my mother's deteriorating health so I went on the DPB which was – courtesy of Ruth Richardson – an absurd pittance. They were very tough years with a mortgage to service, and made ten times worse by the treatment meted out to me under the stewardship of Christine Rankin's version of WINZ. When I discovered they had me under surveillance for suspected fraudulent behaviour it nearly finished me off.

        I think NZ is in for a repeat of the 1990s and it doesn't just apply to beneficiaries but also to Maori. We have already seen how they are using Maori as a scapegoat for the country's woes including woes we know don't even exist – at least to the extent they are trying to make out.

    • SPC 2.2

      And the detail, Stuff missed reporting the bit explaining where he got his 24 years "data" from

      Nowhere

      "MSD has told us that for the 2000 young people receiving a youth payment or young parent payment, they are now expected to spend an average of 24 years of their working life on a benefit – 24 years. Up almost 50 percent in just three years," Luxon said in his speech.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2024/02/campaigner-slams-prime-minister-christopher-luxon-s-comments-about-welfare-system.html

      So it is a change in MSD forecast for a particularly vulnerable group – youth payment and young parent benefit. A 2020 forecast compared to a 2023 forecast.

      And from that he said

      "I won't apologise for making tough choices to support young people off welfare and into work, because 24 years languishing on welfare means no hope. It means no opportunity. It means no dignity from work."

      He'll save them from that like he has already saved us from $200B of unfunded transport projects (such as a 2 three land road tunnels and a rail tunnel under Auckland Harbour).

    • george 2.3

      The constant targeting (even during the last 2 years or so) of people who have either serious ongoing mental health issues, are caregivers of elderly and/or disabled family members (for a pittance – saving the state many thousands) and anyone else now lumped into the crucible of "the jobseeker benefit" is now turning to outright harassment even under the "liberal Labour Party". These are folk who are clearly unable to work, yet are dragged back in and out of WINZ repeatedly to prove some kind of point. Its time we saw government tackling the tax dodgers and white collar criminals sucking society dry.

      • Kay 2.3.1

        But those tax dodgers and white collar criminals vote (predominantly RW) and we can't go upsetting the base and the donors. There's quite possibly some politicians who wouldn't be too keen on an IRD audit either.

        Being able to convince all beneficiaries/low income people to vote would significantly change the makeup of parliament, and really is our only hope. But that's the aim of the exercise- beat people down so much that they give up on the voting process, making it easier for RW governments to succeed.

    • bwaghorn 2.4

      allowing foreigners to buy up high country land,

      Wonder when the groundswell muppets will be out protesting national?

  3. SPC 3

    Conditions were "rough" due to the "economic mess" left behind by the Labour government, and New Zealanders were "voting with their feet", with a record net 44,500 New Zealanders leaving the country last year, he said.

    In a number of areas (with emerging world shortages) there is a category of workers who get paid much more in Oz than here (and better work conditions) medical staff and teachers. Military and police can do the same (otherwise the pandemic delayed move to well-paid mining jobs).

    National is not planning any change – so it is mere politicking.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350183890/watch-state-nation-fragile-christopher-luxon-says

  4. SPC 4

    First Bakhmut in May 2023 and now of Avdiivka in February 2024, one wonders what the Russian target for 2025 is – maybe too easy to guess – Ukraine's surrender under a Trump presidency (this is the NATO supported nation that Trump wanted beaten by Russia to teach them all a lesson about fear and obedience – GOP first, NATO second).

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2024/02/ukraine-invasion-russia-makes-biggest-gain-in-9-months-after-taking-avdiivka-from-ukraine.html

    For now Russia will probably attack Zaporizhzhia to draw limited Ukrainian forces south and to secure the entire Donbass.

    The politics

    The White House said the withdrawal had been forced upon Ukraine "by dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction," that had forced Ukrainian soldiers to ration ammunition and resulted in "Russia’s first notable gains in months".

    Meanwhile Zelenskiy complained about

    an "artificial" shortage of weapons and said stalled U.S. aid was imperative. He praised his troops for "exhausting" Russian forces in Avdiivka, and suggested the withdrawal was partly caused by a lack of weapons.

    "Now, (the military) will replenish, they will wait for the relevant weapons, of which there simply weren't enough, simply aren't enough," he said. "Russia has long-range weapons, while we simply don't have enough."

    The war

    Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov said Avdiivka showed the need for modern air defence systems to counter guided bombs and long-range weapons to destroy enemy formations. He said artillery shells were also needed.

    In the field ammo, artillery shells, at scale air defence and the strike capacity to take out any Russian military capability within Ukraine.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/17/politics/us-weapons-factories-ukraine-ammunition/index.html

    https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/ukraine-needs-urgent-air-defense-aid-as-putin-launches-bombing-campaign/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/09/22/atacms-ukraine-cluster-munitions/

    The Russians will not take the American resolve seriously until they increase production at the atacms plant from 500 a year (double shift or offshore plant – South Korea/Japan).

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2024/02/ukraine-invasion-russia-makes-biggest-gain-in-9-months-after-taking-avdiivka-from-ukraine.html

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      A revolting spectacle, Dave & Brooke poncing it up in Ponsonby at Rainbow Parade. Is Act so keen on gays that are working class, on or wanting Jobseeker Allowance, disabled, need housing?

      Baldrick Luxury Luxon’s appearance at the Pt Chevalier “Big Gay Out” had to be the most inappropriate appearance there by a senior politician since Banksie’s. He had just given a Bennie Bash speech straight out of the 90s and seemingly expected to be welcomed…

  5. SPC 6

    Benjamin Netanyahu … where does one start?

    One he does not want there to ever be a Palestinian state. And at the moment he is content because a majority of both Israelis (prefer status quo) and Palestinians (want a peace process to result in a unitary state) also oppose a two state outcome.

    Two, he says this, with the face that has told many lies (most to fellow politicians in Israel)

    "Israel under my leadership will continue to strongly oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state," he said. "An arrangement can be reached only through direct negotiations between the sides, without preconditions."

    A man totally opposed to the existence of a Palestinian state would, if required to, engage in such direct negotiations – because he knows his own conditions would prevent any agreement.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2024/02/israel-s-benjamin-netanyahu-stops-gaza-ceasefire-talks-over-delusional-hamas-demands.html

    A new roadmap is required – Likud and Palestinians who want a unitary state have together managed to destroy the Oslo Accord process.

    1.UNRWA replaced – all Palestinian refugees given a UN Palestinian passport, a cash payment per person and one per family that lost property in 1948. And a call for every UN nation to allow them work residence (and apply quotas). Those choosing Gaza or West Bank having homes built there.

    2.The borders of the Palestinian state as per 1967.

    3.After it is established, all 1948 refugees able to live and work in Israel on their Palestinian passport (sans security exceptions). And all Jewish settlers able to remain in the WB (sans security exceptions) on their Israeli passports – with a Jewish WB settlement area police force operating within the Palestinian state police force.

    4.Compensation to Palestine from Israel for Jewish settlement of land in the WB.

    5.Combined Israeli-Palestinian-UN security control of the borders of Palestine with Jordan and Egypt and Gaza with the Mediterranean.

    6.Either both, or neither, have their capital in Jerusalem. And a combined Jerusalem administrative body including outside observers (Jordan and …. ).

    7.Joint administrative bodies – for the Jordan River management, economic policy co-operation, energy and water, Jewish settlements.

    • Subliminal 6.1

      Your proposed road map falls over at step one. Proposing to scrap UNRWA ticks one of the boxes that Netanyahu is so desperate to accomplish. In the immediate short term it shows a complete lack of any compassion to Palestinians. This is absolutely the only organisation with any reach in Gaza that may concievably be able to deliver aid if it ever arrives.

      Also, to scrap UNRWA is much like Seymours attempt to disenfrancise Māori by fiddling with the treaty document. UNRWA by virtue of its unique definition of a Palestinian refugee holds all decendents of the 1948 Nakba that lost the means of livlihood together with the right of return. Israel is already illegally selling rights to off shore gas fields that are rightfully Palestinian. Abolishing the right of return through the abolition of UNRWA is just the second prong of Netanyahu's scatter the Palestinians then settle the Gaza strip. It was Netanyahu that falsely set up the UNRWA sting. It is not in Palestinian interests to jump onto anything that this madman is driving.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        Support for the Palestinians on the current course would just mean more of the same for a few more decades.

        Replacement of UNRWA is not abandonment of them as refugees who need aid for a while yet.

        A right of return claim is not dependent on UNRWA existing.

        I mentioned an alternative, that enables more than being dependent on remaining in a refugee camp for yet more decades, often without right of access to local employment.

        PS Israel does not want the GS, it wants the WB.

        • Subliminal 6.1.1.1

          Does not require the wrecking of UNRWA and putting your number one step as implementing the thing that Netanyahu so desperately desires. It shows your always close to the surface lack of concern for Palestinians and your default of siding with Israel. You do understand that starvation and disease are occuring right now? That IDF snipers target whole familes of Palestinians, including the children. And your solution is to disband UNRWA because it is the sole organisation that is still able to witness this ongoing tradgedy and provide some modicum of relief??

          https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2024-02-16/rafah-gaza-hospitals-surgery-israel-bombing-ground-offensive-children

          • SPC 6.1.1.1.1

            Your framing of it that way just shows how committed to a side and continuance of the conflict that people can get trapped into.

            Agreement to it would immediately end the Gaza presence of the IDF, enable the release of hostages (and political prisoners), facilitate the coming of aid and allow refugees to decide if they want to stay or use a UN passport to get work residence elsewhere (as other refugees are allowed to do) and then exercise right of return later.

            Whatever.

            • Subliminal 6.1.1.1.1.1

              "Agreement" is the tricky thing. "Agreement" to a cease fire would end it too. Problem is that the current leadership of Israel will not "agree" to anything that does not extinguish the already fragile rights of Palestinians. They would jump at the chance to extinguish UNRWA and use any kind of delay for the rest. You appear to be against Luxon's policies in NZ. I'm reasonably sure that you would be able to see through attempts to portray social institutions as corrupt in order to disband them. The consequences of the disbanding of UNRWA don't bear thinking about. And yet you seem to be eager to fall into an age old right wing trap and discount the massive work that the agency does to provde a net of some kind in dire situations.

              Perhaps it is rather you that wishes to continue the pain and suffering?

              • SPC

                We've been involved in discussions on UNRWA and I've not once supported end of funding under current circumstances.

                https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-31-01-2024/#comment-1987470

                This thread.

                https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-30-01-2024/#comment-1987315

                And on this one.

                https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-01-2024/#comment-1987181

                • Subliminal

                  Except now you do. As a first step towards what? And item three reads like a cotinuation of the current apartheid set up. We already have a PA security responsibility subservient to the IDF and unable to protect Palestinians from settler violence. Yours is just more of the same. A PA suservient to a "Jewish West Bank security police force". Your language is also that of apartheid. You equate Jewish and Israeli and give Jewish Israelis rights that non Jews can't obtain. All this is the current situation not something new except that you wish to take even the UNRWA from Palestinians. Why? Because they have the authority to observe and document and their documents have legal standing at the ICJ?

                  • SPC

                    Not under current circumstances. Not paying attention?

                    as a first step towards what?

                    It is as part of an agreement setting up a Palestinian state. Surely that was obvious – the thing is those involved have nowhere to live. The ability to go where there were houses and jobs and retain the right to return is better than any other option – you prefer stay in a tent, receive aid, avoid disease and wait for a rebuild?

                    3.Actually says that Jewish settlers cannot have their own guns, they have a Jewish police force accountable to the PA police force, as in a branch of it.

                    You are not worth my time. Bye. All you do is lie.

  6. Ad 7

    Curious that this government took the specific step of unwinding the Auckland-Northland water entity, when in the same week Minister Brown was encouraging regions to join together to form water entities.

    https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/02/15/northern-exposure-as-councils-left-high-and-dry/

    We are one good drought away from seeing the logic of Labor's 10 regional water entities.

    • SPC 7.1

      A SI drought would first impact hydro and energy. It would show the wisdom of the Onslow dam.

      Contingency, or reserve surplus capability for water supply, is similar to energy. We are expected to conserve/lower demand in drought years.

      The government could help by reducing demand for migrant labour/population increase to generate growth.

      The drought impact on farming is why Luxon wants more dams for that reason. Fast tracking consent to build them (reducing water flows till they are filled).

  7. Ad 8

    Rod Oram describes the New Zealand economy under National far better than I could. Loved this column:

    https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/02/16/welcome-to-rip-shit-and-bust-economic-development/

    • Graeme 8.1

      It all looks rather fragile

    • Tony Veitch 8.2

      It’s no surprise National looks inward and backwards. Once again, the party squandered its time in opposition on torrid internal politics and cynical attempts to win back voters. It learnt nothing about how the world’s changing or what new and effective policies we need to keep up with it.

      So bloody bloody true!

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.3

      Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed. – Einstein

      And, from a perceptive comment at the end of Oram's "rip, sh*t and bust" opinion:

      The future is ‘less’ and that is terrifying to many.

      Acceleration's the name of the game – "volume, value & velocity" – it's a game changer!

      Shock as warming accelerates, 1.5°C is breached faster than forecast
      [14 Feb 2024]
      That acceleration moves forward the timeline for reaching 2°C of warming, for the manifestation of more severe impacts, and for systemic tipping points. Hansen warns that warming will accelerate to 1.7°C by 2030.

      I [Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters] don’t understand why you are doing a risk assessment based on a scenario that’s so below what’s actually going to happen. That doesn’t give you an adequate picture of risk. Isn’t the whole point of doing this risk analysis to understand what the risks are?

      The phrase 'palliative care' springs to mind – go well spaceship Earth.

      Mother Earth …… Palliative Care [19 June 2023]
      A comment made by a nurse in the human chain around the NAB Sydney HQ hit like a depth charge.

      Her placard showed Mother Earth with a thermometer in her mouth. I said "She looks like she's in intensive care".

      "No, said the nurse, she's palliative".

  8. Robert Guyton 9

    "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."

    Milan Kundera

  9. Kat 10

    National/Act/NZ1st politicians should be changed as regular as nappies…..for the same reason.

    I said that

  10. Luxon promises ‘tough love’ in bleak State of the Nation speech | The Spinoff

    Luxon doesn't have anything good to say in his State of The Nation. Everything is falling apart, there's a giant fiscal hole, and it's all Labour's fault. So, he has to punish the least well off with Austerity.

    A disgraceful speech with no confidence in the future of Aotearoa. He is gonna crater the economy with Trussonomics.

    I have no confidence in the leadership of Fuxon

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      Particularly repugnant was first the strategy of throwing around a large fictitious number, $200B, followed by the Farraresque method of breaking the large fictitious number into smaller 'per person, per hour' numbers:

      “They were $200 billion short. If you saved $20,000 every hour, day and night, seven days a week, it would take you over 1,000 years to save that $200 billion,” Luxon said in his speech.

      1000 years, wow, but not a hint of economic or accounting rigour applied. Just the one person saving all that, remember. This serves to authenticate the fictitious number by personalising it to you. A kind of political money laundering.

      Second, and the worst part, is the inference that 5000 or so troubled, marginalised, poorly equipped people are required to be kicked off jobseeker in order to pay for this appalling accounting deficit.

      That's 5000 bottom feeders bashed to save $75M out of a Social Welfare expenditure of about $40B. That's 0.02% savings, or $0.0017 per person per hour if you like the that sort of thing…worth it?

      • roblogic 11.1.1

        Labour had a few proposals that had not yet seen real costings or feasibility studies – funding was yet to be worked out. So it's misleading to claim that they were unfunded or a 'fiscal hole'.

        And it's disgusting to talk about benefit sanctions and austerity while giving landlords massive handouts and tax cuts to your rich mates.

    • bwaghorn 11.2

      Surly hell start by canceling tax cuts to land lords and willis Ben and Jerry's ones to come.

      • roblogic 11.2.1

        I am not opposed to tax cuts for ice-cream 😛

        Not sure that I understand the second half of your sentence correctly.

        • bwaghorn 11.2.1.1

          Sorry never very clear when rushing a rant at lunchtime.

          Willis was going to use her tax cut for videos and Ben and jerries icecream , , it was when she uttered those words that it dawned on me we have a problem Houston.

  11. Reality 12

    It's difficult to figure out that on the one hand Luxon is telling beneficiaries to "get a job, or else" and on the other hand his government is gleefully wanting to get rid of thousands of public servants. Will these thousands of workers tossed aside find it easy to get another equivalent job, pay a mortgage or rent, petrol, children's needs, rates, insurance? Luxon and Willis will sleep easily and not give a hoot about the people laid off.

    Many will head overseas. I have a young relative who is doing just that next month as her job is very likely to be disestablished. So off she goes. Not much to stay in NZ for.

    • Kay 12.1

      The other name for people who deliberately inflict harm on others and sleep well at night is "sociopath", and RW governments seem to be disproportionately infected with them.

    • weka 12.2

      I've been scratching my head over that one too. Might have been Sue Bradford that pointed out the other day on RNZ (afternoons) that it's not like public servants can up sticks and go pick fruit.

      It's some kind of cognitive dissonance going on. Or, they simply don't give a shit.

      • SPC 12.2.1

        They have to be permanent residents in Oz to work in public service jobs there.

        • weka 12.2.1.1

          I was talking about the first paragraph and NACTF's policy positions of get a job and we will take away some jobs.

  12. Hunter Thompson II 13

    Does anyone else get tired of how PR people use the word "welcome" in their media releases?

    It is usually applied by politicians when an official report is released which reflects badly on a government department. The officials involved always "welcome" the report and promise to do better next time.

    A similar reaction appears in today's ODT. There was a fatal car crash when roadside trees obscured a stop sign and a young driver went through an intersection. According to media reports, the coroner ruled that the company contracting to the local council for road signs was at fault for failing to identify the hazard (as was the council).

    The company said it welcomed the coroner's recommendations for improvements.

    • Anne 13.1

      I wonder what will happen when some judge orders a fine of say… $20 million dollars against some council for failing to do something and causing a serious event to occur. Will they welcome the judge's ruling with open arms?

      • Kat 13.1.1

        It will be all down to Luxon's fragility bs and all Labours fault…….

        I am trying to imagine if Muldoon would be impressed or shocked with this current coalition of bs……..

    • mikesh 13.2

      Without a (visible) stop sign, or traffic lights, a bit more caution is needed at intersections.

  13. SPC 14

    Since the arrival of risk assessed insurance premiums some have faced steep increases.

    But for others it has gone on and on, huge premium increases year after year after year and others are not able to be insured at all.

    The time when landlords sell some stock to go mortgage free and end insurance may have come (it is required for those with a mortgage). The other option is to form property owner insurance associations – possibly with the help of government.

    Maybe cover the rebuild cost in return for freehold land to government leasehold (future rent to government).

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/money/350182687/property-investors-say-insurance-driving-rent-increases

  14. joe90 15

    Nope, nothing to see here, folks. Just the Speaker of the US House of Representatives', the bloke with no bank accounts, links to Russian allies of Putin with lots of money.

    /

    In 2018, a group of Russians were able to donate to Johnson’s bid for the Louisiana seat he eventually won as the money was funneled through the Texas-based American Ethane company.

    While American Ethane was co-founded by American John Houghtaling, at the time it was 88 percent owned by three Russian nationals—Konstantin Nikolaev, Mikhail Yuriev, and Andrey Kunatbaev. Nikolaev is known to be a top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    A spokesperson for Johnson previously assured in 2018 that the campaign returned the money that was given to them by American Ethane once it was “made aware of the situation.” There was no indication that Johnson’s campaign team willfully broke federal law, which makes it illegal for a campaign to knowingly accept donations from a foreign-owned corporation, a foreign national, or any company owned or controlled by foreign nationals.

    […]

    Nikolaev is also known for being a financial backer of Maria Butina, a Russian citizen who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2019 after admitting to acting as an unregistered foreign agent to infiltrate conservative political groups and influence foreign policy to Russia’s benefit before and after the 2016 election.

    https://www.newsweek.com/who-konstantin-nikolaev-money-mike-johnson-1870600 ( https://archive.li/Gl1ht )

    • SPC 15.1

      He has a bank account, just one of those not accruing interest – so it does not have to be reported.

      He probably transfers the growing balance to a family trust (property/stocks etc) and or PAC.

      The Russians probably do that sort of thing a lot to compromise and blackmail.

  15. weka 16

    People who thought 3 Waters was great, can you please explain how it would have prevented the contamination of the Havelock North water supply in 2016 (had it been in place then)? Specifics and examples please, with reference to the government inquiry report,

    https://www.dia.govt.nz/Government-Inquiry-into-Havelock-North-Drinking-Water-Report—Part-1—Overview

    • roblogic 16.1
      1. Taumata Arowai would be measuring water quality

      2. Several water treatment projects undertaken around the Hastings District since 2016 would have been funded by a 3W entity (not councils trying to save $$$$)

      3. Local 3W administration would have been more focused and competent in delivering safe drinking water, than existing local bodies

      Not a difficult exercise because the reality was, the local councils did a poor job, and under your hypothetical world, almost anything would have been better than poisoning thousands of residents.

      • weka 16.1.1

        thanks rob.

        Where's the bit on TA measuring water quality?

        re-water treatment a HN, why are they having to chlorinate aquifer water? My understanding is that the problem was with the various authorities not protecting the bores.

        3. Local 3W administration would have been more focused and competent in delivering safe drinking water, than existing local bodies

        How do we know this is true? I agree that many things would have been better than what happened at HN, but mostly the councils needed to do their job. What's the evidence that central authorities will do a better job? I'm not inherently agin centralising generally, but there are plenty of examples of central government doing stupid or incompetent stuff. As opposed to regulating so that the councils have to do their job.

        • roblogic 16.1.1.1

          Correction, TA regulates and sets standards; Suppliers maintain quality and report on compliance.

          Chlorination is a precaution to kill any germs (Campylobacter, E. Coli,…) that could be acquired along the many miles of pipes.

          I don't know if (3) is true but (according to your DIA link) poor management is another significant factor in NZ needing water reform. I took your hypothetical to mean "if 3W was fully implemented successfully"

          • weka 16.1.1.1.1

            Correction, TA regulates and sets standards; Suppliers maintain quality and report on compliance.

            Suppliers being the councils? In the HN case, that would be the suppliers that already had legislation requiring them to meet standards, which they failed to do. How does 3 Waters solve that?

            Chlorination is a precaution to kill any germs (Campylobacter, E. Coli,…) that could be acquired along the many miles of pipes.

            Did HN have problems with bacterial contamination of its reticulation pipes before the issue with the bores being flooded? Or is this broadstrokes, MoH-driven, reductionist thinking about water in NZ (all water should be chlorinated)?

            I don't know if (3) is true but (according to your DIA link) poor management is another significant factor in NZ needing water reform. I took your hypothetical to mean "if 3W was fully implemented successfully"

            Well no, I mean implemented in the real world. Which I think is a big part of the whole point. The surface level theory of 3 Waters make sense (better water, more affordable, better control to prevent problems). I'm not sure if that is true and HN seems a good example to work with.

            I remain unconvinced that a nationally led body that uses large regional bodies will in reality be as great as people make out. I've said before I can't see how office bods in Chch can know what should be happening in Gore or Lumsden or Beaumont. This perception might be because I don't understand 3 Waters well enough, hence the questions and HN context.

  16. SPC 17

    Labour's Auckland transport plans – the big spend – part of the $200B saved by National.

    2 three lane road tunnels and a separate rail tunnel and more

    “Much of the land is already owned by the Crown. Securing remaining land is important for all future options. The draft Government Policy Statement of Transport to be released in the coming weeks will prioritise and fund this.

    “Waka Kotahi will also report back to Cabinet next year with a detailed plan for how the elements of the cross harbour plans can be phased and funded.

    “With a project of this scale we will need to keep an open mind to funding options. We are seeking advice from Waka Kotahi on this,” David Parker said.

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/phased-tunnels-second-harbour-crossing

    National will build roads and have a harbour bridge for road traffic.

    It will seek PPP road build partners, allow big trucks on them and so the taxpayer will be paying off the build for decades, as well as on-going maintenance.

  17. NewsTalkZB spreading wild exaggerations as usual

    NZDF Covid mandate ruled unlawful by Court of Appeal (newstalkzb.co.nz)

    In reality if you read the actual judgement by the Court of Appeal, it is a direction to the NZ defence forces (not the government) saying "please reconsider your mandates" not "mandates bad, Jacinda is a criminal" as implied by ZB.

    Four defence personnel took on their employers over this issue, and won. Congrats to them, they will get some compensation. The Court has nothing to say about the government policy of the time.

    From the decision:

    [176] The CDF is directed to reconsider the TDFO in light of this judgment.

    [177] The Court makes an interim order under s 15 of the Judicial Review Procedure Act prohibiting the CDF from taking any further action pursuant to the TDFO and related instruments until such time as the reconsideration of the TDFO is complete.

    Hat-tip to @CTPuzzlePieces

    • roblogic 18.1

      This bullshit headline is red meat to the nutjob element and ZB is playing its part in feeding radicalisation and hate. Just 3 hours after the headline was published, the mob is repeating their delusional rubbish on X

      1 Newshub post, there is already "Nuremberg", "Lock her up", "jail time" WEF?WHO, Klaus, "throw her to the lions" "treason charges" , "cindy" , disgusting memes targeting Ardern, "dictators", image indicating execution, 'nazis , and its only been 3 hours.
      @CTPuzzlePieces

  18. SPC 19

    National adding to bureaucracy at Work and Income. Requiring people to re-apply every 6 months.

    Given it is obvious they will not have enough staff, not in the office nor their phone system. This is clearly make work for those who lose their high paying public service jobs and get re-directed to be work colleagues by their case manager.

    Good luck to those who now have to 6 monthly re-application for the dole. Don't be surprised if a few staff mutter, “you should have voted”.

    https://www.1news.co.nz/2024/02/19/benefit-changes-govt-announces-new-work-check-ins/

  19. Ffloyd 20

    Not sure if this the right place to ask but how many years has Chris Hipkins lived in NZ in total and how many years has our new saviour luxon lived in NZ in total?( Please insert years. Thank you……… ) Luxon bleats on like he has never lived out of Aotearoa. He is the sacrificial lamb sent in by Key and cronies to finish off what Key couldn’t achieve. We will never be Americas plaything. Ever! ….This country is not for turning……Paraphrase….. Right from the beginning you could see Keys hand up the jumper. He’s still got the same sad little unevolving cretins running the narrative in the hope it will stick. Looking at you Mike Hoskins…. Oh ,there you are! Couldn’t see you. Were you standing or sitting?

    • Muttonbird 20.1

      Hipkins is done. Recently married and good luck to him but the polls and therefore the media has moved on. No immediate panic but Labour needs to turn the page eventually.

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