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Open mike 19/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 19th, 2021 - 87 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

87 comments on “Open mike 19/05/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Perhaps an invidious comparison, but the Australian Federal budget will be compared to ours on particular for lines associated with public sector pay, and for major projects, and for speed of economic expansion.

    Workers have had mobility constraints for a year, and the $$ signals will count in their future skill and degree location plans.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      I wouldnt believe much about the Australian budget spin coming from the federal governments spin doctors.

      Even on the local levels , a project before last election for 'car parks' at train stations in Melbourne liberal electorates was 're-announced' this time as costs had risen substantially ( or were more realistically calculated), so some stations were dropped and others changed because the land was earmarked for housing!.

      The Defence budget had all sort of headlines about extra spending, but the Australian Strategic Policy Institute , who keep track of such things, said the amounts were only a miniscule increase above last years 2.04% GDP to 2.09%

  2. Ad 2

    This is a good little piece on why an elected Wellington Councillor set against Maori wards changed his mind:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/125137817/city-councillor-why-i-changed-my-mind-about-mori-representation

    As of last night, Napier Council has yet again punted the idea down the road.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/hawkes-bay/125166968/hastings-district-council-vote-to-establish-mori-wards-in-2022

    Whereas Hastings, just 15kms away, yesterday voted in favour of Maori wards:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/hawkes-bay/125166968/hastings-district-council-vote-to-establish-mori-wards-in-2022

    Great to see Mahuta's legislative changes having a real effect so fast.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Hastings may be just down the road from Napier, but Hastings District covers all of Hawke's Bay proper and Napier is only the urban enclave .

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Had my first vaccination yesterday, some observations on the system as I experienced it.

    I got notified on Monday evening via text and email that I had been booked for Tuesday late afternoon (one woman behind me in the queue had had just two hours notice of her vaccination, that is quite alarming!). The text message invited me to confirm the booking via a link.

    First problem – the link required me to "reset" my password (never having logged in before). The password required characters, upper case & I think a special character. When this was done, it took me to a login page where I was prompted for username and password. Only because I am familiar with technology was I able to work out the ID number quoted in the text message must be username. For those who struggle with technology this would be a bit of a barrier, I bet the call centre gets calls about it all the time!

    Second problem – At the moment, there are only two vaccination centres in Auckland, one in Mt. Wellington and one in Elliot street in the CBD on "level 4" of a building there. I chose the CDB location because I live near a railway station. However, the vaccination centre has no street signage in Elliot street indicating which entry to use or how to get to level 4. You have to wander around a bit to find where it is. Obviously, parking in the city is a nightmare if you don't have ready access to PT. If you are disabled getting to the vaccination centre would be a real struggle.

    Once there, you have a filtering team who visually sight your phone booking to stop random walk ups.

    Then you proceed to a second checkpoint where you are given a consent form to fill out which requires your NHI number. How many people know this? I know mine, but only because I have a big brain 🙂 They check your ID and booking, and bizarrely, ask if you know why you got a booking – no one around me had much of a clue on that one, but they manually wrote down the answers anyway. Who knows what for. Also, this second checkpoint makes the whole confirmation of booking rigmarole questionable, if they check you off in the system manually then why not simply offer a system where you can just turn up with your phone booking, they scan a barcode and away you go? Why the double handling? You are then handed a consent form to fill out.

    Then you proceed to checkpoint three, where they check you consent form, explain consent AND MANUALLY RECORD AT LEAST YOUR MOBILE NUMBER INTO A LAPTOP FOR THE FOLLOW UP SHOT NOTIFICATION. I asked about this, since they clearly had my number for the booking. I was told that was the booking system, this is for the vaccination system. Now… words defeat me. Is the DHB really running two booking systems in parallel with no intersections & MANUAL data inputs? REALLY? The odds of error in transcribing information go up exponentially – how many thousands of times will mistakes be made when tired and harassed staff enter wrong numbers?

    From there, it was smoothly done, as you would expect from the professionals who actually do (rather than administer) health. The whole experience took around 45 minutes.

    My over all impression is it is system designed by health bureaucrats who have only ever designed booking systems to act as part of a suite of tools for rationing access to healthcare. It will be made to work by the informed, motivated and middle class. And the current setup, if my experience is any guide, has bugger all chance of scaling up for the mass rollout successfully.

    Personally, I would have put the army in charge. hey took the MIQ system off our utterly useless DHBs and made it work. They are the last mission orientated branch of government. They would have simply said "mission: needles in arms. How do we do it quickly and effectively?" And gone on and done it.

    Oh and the sooner the DHBs are gone, the better.

    PS – I am so grateful the government has kept us safe and given me a free vaccine, Thank you NZ Government!

      • Ad 3.1.1

        You should add commentary if you are going to put a link up.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          Fair enough.

          In a nutshell, they’re aware of the issues, many of which the general public has no inkling of, and have been working hard on it. This is not straightforward, not the least because of every DHB doing its own thing, as always, but there are significant improvements coming soon. Meanwhile, people can be vaccinated and the vaccination schedule is currently tracking as planned, ahead even. On a personal note, I think they’re doing a marvellous job.

          • Sacha 3.1.1.1.1

            there are significant improvements coming soon

            A national booking system will be handy. Who knew that integrating separate components would make things harder and slower to deliver..

        • mauī 3.1.1.2

          You should add commentary if you are going to put a link up.

          Thank you.

    • Sanctuary 3.2

      Bloomfield’s comment has the worrying out –

      "…Dr Bloomfield acknowledged the programme was huge and ambitious, with the aim of nearly 8,000,000 doses of vaccine to be given before the end of the year.

      However, he told Checkpoint, "we are ahead of our scheduled delivery at the moment."

      "At the moment" means he has a CYA (Cover Your Ass) way out if the whole thing collapses in a welter of hissing steam, twisted track and recriminations in July/August.

      • Incognito 3.2.1

        It is what it is and they’re making a big effort and cynicism and sarcasm are not going to change that. Please tell me the Lotto numbers for the next draw, thanks.

      • mac1 3.2.2

        "at the moment' can also mean just that. He also said 'currently". What we don't know is the question to which he was giving an answer, as the 10 minute radio excerpt started with an introduction by the interviewer and then launched into a statement by the interviewee, Dr Bloomfield, without any preceding question or conversation starter.

        Did the conversation start like this, “Dr Bloomfield, so how are things shaping up at the moment?”

        'At the moment' was also used in the context of further 'ramp up of the vaccination programme and if used in that context is also a fair description of progress and intentions.

        'At the moment' also gives a factual reference as the facts are known in current time whereas in the future is planned and hoped for but still unknown. It does give the idea that currently there is a plan which is even ahead of its projected path.

        I'd not be worrying.

        If there was no plan, if currently the projections were behind schedule, if Bloomfield had a history of failure or exaggeration, if indeed the facts were not known, then 'at the moment' I might be worried.

      • Tricledrown 3.2.3

        Sanctuary you are looking for all the worst case scenarios yet you have been vaccinated but not for stupidity.

        Pfizer is under huge pressure to get vaccines to countries that actually need them because of massive death tolls and over run health systems in countries where variants are mutating and may render your vaccination useless.

        Entitled spoiled brat. Every country is vying for enough vaccine just look across the ditch. They had the astra geneca vaccine ready to go and started their program it was cancelled due to 2 younger women suffered blood clots.Now Australia won't be starting vaccinating till December.

        We are on a War footing with this Pandemic we all have to make sacrifices.

        Sanctuary your abuse of Ashley Bloomfield reflects very badly on you.You are deliberately scaremongering .look at how popular Judith Collins is doing what your doing.

        • Sanctuary 3.2.3.1

          Ummmm… OK.

        • Ad 3.2.3.2

          No they were allpractical logistical concerns.

        • alwyn 3.2.3.3

          "Now Australia won't be starting vaccinating till December.".

          What do you mean by this statement? At the moment Australia has carried out about 3.1 million vaccinations, which is a faster rate than we have achieved. That figure was for 17 May.

          I was talking to a friend in Sydney yesterday and she had been vaccinated a couple of weeks ago. Where did you get the information you are quoting?

    • gsays 3.3

      As this is my curret hobby horse, I am keen to know if these (the booking and vaccination systems described by Sanctuary), are designed in-house or sub contracted.

      In a similar vein, the ransom ware issue at Waikato DHB. Is this dealt with in-house or will there be a bill to add insult to injury?

      • Sanctuary 3.3.1

        My guess is they are bespoke to each DHB, as would be the method of design delivery (that is, in-house or sub-contracted). The system should have been designed and implemented by the MOH as part of a national coordinated public health response, but we all the the MOH is an eviscerated policy shop these and lacks the capacity to do something like this – hence the government health reforms!

        I am probably a bit better qualified than most to comment on this system, since it intersects with my professional skills. The system as I described would be a fine one for the flotsam and jetsam that might slip through the cracks and turn up, or as part of the manual backup for disaster recovery or for people without access to phones or email, etc. But it seems to me there is considerable scope for automation that would reduce error and speed up the process. For example, the text message could contain a QR code. Upon sighting your booking at the first check point you simply scan the code which updates the booking system & sends your phone an update text with another QR code. Once you've done the consent form and been vaccinated, a second scan of the second QR code would update the vaccination system. How hard would that be? A couple of days in a design workshop, roll it out now and iteratively improve it based on feedback/experience.

        • Sacha 3.3.1.1

          Some DHBs are using Excel spreadsheets for this. The privacy requirements in health add some complexity but as you say not enough to justify the level of faffing around on display now to the wider public.

    • Sacha 3.4

      Is the DHB really running two booking systems in parallel with no intersections & MANUAL data inputs? REALLY?

      Welcome to Health IT. The two systems you mentioned are run by different parts of the system – one by your DHB and one by the Ministry vaccination people.

      As you say the potential for mistakes as well as wasted effort is huge. Multiply by the 3000 separate IT systems in the Northern region alone.

    • weka 3.5

      That’s a great write up. Not particularly surprising to those of us that have to engage with Health regularly, so many systems are broken now by neoliberalism and the Key government doubling down. Add in the stress of the pandemic year.

      also concerns about how much simple fix solutions are being patched on top.

      this btw is a big part of the horror at the left wing idea that a UBI should remove WINZ and replace disability income with MoH services.

    • Tricledrown 3.6

      My Wife has had both shots now no problems what so ever other than a sore bruise from the intra muscular jab.

      Given the breakdown in Waikato DHB IT system I am glad they are keeping hard copy.

      No doubt other questions will be for statistical reasons.

    • Stan 3.7

      Hi – your experience sounds like a hassle.

      Just to describe my COVID vaccine experience. Had mine last month – both at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. Online booking system very easy to use, text and email confirmation of appointment. Lots of free parking, easy to find as signposts all around.

      Had the jab 4 minutes after arrival, out of the building 25 minutes after (obligatory 20 minute wait in case of reaction). Staff were cheerful and professional.

      Repeat jab – just the same.

      My only problem: very sore arm for 24 hours! But, at least in Christchurch, the system worked perfectly.

    • Jenny How to get there 3.8

      "Personally, I would have put the army in charge…..

      They would have simply said "mission: needles in arms. How do we do it quickly and effectively?" And gone on and done it".

      Sanctuary

      The army is a great idea. They could set up field hospitals in High School playing fields around the country, like they would do for disaster relief, able to get as many people through them as possible, as quickly as possible.

      They have the tents, the medics, the experienced admin. for such undertakings, gained in relief missions in the Pacific.

      Let's do this.

      The mission: Herd Immunity post haste.

      Operation: Kiwi Freedom

      • Sacha 3.8.1

        The army would still need systems for tracking and inviting people.

        • Jenny How to get there 3.8.1.1

          Sacha3.8.1

          20 May 2021 at 8:26 am

          The army would still need systems for tracking and inviting people.

          I wouldn't think this would be problem.

          NZDF admin. armed with field laptops have performed admirably in co-ordinating disaster relief operations in much more arduous situations.

          • Sacha 3.8.1.1.1

            Disaster relief is not the same as coordinating vaccination for millions of people. But keep believing whatever you want to.

            • It is not what I believe, it is a suggestion.

              And I am open to the idea that it is not a good sugggestion.

              I would have thought a vaccine roll out mission would be less arduous than a disaster relief mission.

              As South Auckland was the site of the last cluster, and as it has been deemed a particularly vulnerable area. I would start with an army field hospital erected on the grounds of Papatotoe High School, and keep it open and lit up 24/7 until community saturation is achieved, from there move it on to other South Auckland High Schools. Then start again for the second dose.vaccination.

              If nothing else, such field hospitals set up around the motu on High School playing fields plugged into the schools power and lit up with lights at night, open 24/7 with military personal and vehicles, would be a dramatic visual reminder that this is a serious issue and that maybe we should all rock up at the local high school field hospital to get our jab.

              • Incognito

                This vaccine rollout is a little more than simply giving a few people one or two jabs. The Budget 2021 should have given you some idea of the scale & scope, but let’s put up a few tents with a few uniformed staff with a laptop and we’re done, yes!? If you wish to make a suggestion, please put some effort into it and try make it a good one. If you don’t believe in your own suggestion, why make it in the first place??

    • Anne 3.9

      Sanctuary @ 3.

      Thanks for that description of your experience. It explains a significant cause of the delays is bureaucracy gone mad. I guess it depends on the individual DHBs and it wouldn't surprise me if Auckland is the worst… too many cooks spoiling the broth.

      I'm in the 'old age' category which is supposed to begin at the end of this month. What's the bet it doesn't get properly underway before the end of June by which time they will have (hopefully) ironed out the problems.

    • George 3.10

      Yup and after all that myself and a colleague have been sent an email and text the next day saying we missed our appointment. So I called three times to be told firstly that yes I was there and my second appointment is logged in the system, and I will get an email during the week. After that week lapsed and no appointment arrived I called again to be asked was I certain I had attended the first and did a receive a reminder email for it and I need to call back… and on the third call after another two weeks because I was told to, because the person (s) in the first call had no answer for me, I was told to just go in with my card.

      So much for the working booking system. I am wondering how many people are going to be out there with just one dose of the vaccine? Quite a few I think and there's absolutely no record of it.

      • Sanctuary 3.10.1

        Well it is working for me, I got my second appointment text message promptly yesterday, and I logged into the booking system and confirmed. But in my view this is at least as likely because I am technologically literate and motivated as anything.

  4. Pete 4

    1) Maybe those who designed the system attended our schools before we plummeted in international test rankings. 🙃

    2) But if there were to be some problem, health specific or otherwise, somewhere, with one person out of hundreds of thousands, media companies would be fighting each other for the best headlines. The scandal, the shock, the disgust, the disdain, the calling for the Minister to resign, the Government to resign, Bloomfield to resign, the DHB to resign.

    We're in a scared shitless environment where accountability rules and doing things for 'just in case' reasons is the rule.

  5. Muttonbird 5

    National Party embedded journalist, Thomas Coughlan, duly pimps for his masters, painting them as astute and effective political craftspeople, brimming with competence and kindness.

    He seems to say it was Chris Bishop who has saved us from Covid-19, and somehow Simeon Brown is the last line of defence between gangs and your children. He claims Nicola Willis and Erica Stanford are showing the government how compassion is really done.

    Coughlan even applauds the National Party's energy in asking 20,000 questions of public servants every week as if it's s new thing, rather than wasting simply what it is, wasting precious resources. Remember in 2017 when Bill English said they were going to be the bestest opposition ever? Flooding ministries with redundant questions is what they did then. How did it help anyone?

    Only, after all that, at the end of this puff piece, Thomas Coughlan admits that the only way for the National Party to improve its fortunes is to win Lotto in the form of an Orewa speech or finding Jacinda.

    To me, equating Orewa with Ardern is a little bit revolting but par for the course for the National Party and its media handlers.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300310699/live-judith-collins-on-the-state-of-the-national-party

    • Tricledrown 5.1

      National no mates ,Collins latest comments are that no one is interested in politics now.

      Then says Nationals support has gone up 1 1/2% yeah right what ever ,she doesn't understand she has lost 12% support.The fact is the rights over all support has gone down ACT down NZfirst down,JLR Billy TK party collapsed.National picked up less than Labour of these voters.

  6. Incognito 6

    So let’s focus on the issues and avoid accusations of racism.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/take-care-with-the-term-racist

    A very good piece by a Professor of Philosophy who argues that the use of words in a context (i.e. language) can be helpful or unhelpful in/for public debate and dealing with issues.

    So the terms ‘racist’ and ‘racism’ come with a lot of baggage and should not be used lightly.

    In my view, this critical thought can be applied to many words such as ‘war crime’ and the many ‘-isms’ that are peppered around in mainstream and, above all, social media.

  7. Sabine 7

    NZ at its finest.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/125098964/the-state-paid-1300-a-week-for-a-room-in-emergency-housing-where-a-boy-was-murdered-but-what-did-it-do-to-keep-him-safe

    Over priced rubbish emergency accommodation, a father who beats his child to death with his new lover, Winz paying 1300 a week for a room temporarily but not 350 a week for 6 month, Child services, Social Workers, etc all absent.

    One dead child.

    Maybe the only department that should suffer teh love of the Labour Party need for reconstruction and reshuffling is not the Health Department (try funding that one for a while and see if it changes anything) but Winz. Just close that inhuman hell hole down, fire anyone who work there – frankly they made enough money of pure misery and start from scratch and maybe find people who are not already dead inside by the daily onslaught of manmade misery.

    Just another dead child.

    Do we care?

    • Treetop 7.1

      For a long time I have been concerned about the death of children and the involvement government agencies have with the family.

      Housing history is an indicator of how a parent is coping. Living in emergency housing is stressful and it is unsuitable for a struggling parent.

      Work and Income need to take some responsibility as Work and Income put the child into emergency accommodation. Work and Income are not social workers BUT they are dealing with complex situations where there are vulnerable children who have a stressed parent/s.

      • Sabine 7.1.1

        The point is that once these people are in this type of accommodation it seems there is no one ready for them. Not Winz, not Child Youth Services, not social worker, not anything nothing nada. And it is always the weakest that pay.

        • Treetop 7.1.1.1

          I do not know how much more serious it can get than a 5 year old boy being murdered. The signs were there that the little boy was being maltreated. He was exposed to arguing, being left on his own, controlling signs from the father, a woman who Winz may not have allowed to be there. Meticulous follow through was not done by MSD.

          The Privacy Act is part of the problem when it came to the welfare of the child.

          Would it help to tie the child to both the parents Winz or IRD number (a suffix) and MSD could use it when a complaint was taken?

          • Sabine 7.1.1.1.1

            no, what would help is getting people into proper accomodation for at least a year up to two, so that they can sort their mental issues, employment issues, etc and that the kids can go to a preschool or a school where hopefully such issues would be picked up.

            instead they got a room, for 1300 a week and a wet handshake. Never mind the dead kid.

            • Treetop 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Proper affordable and stable accommodation is the answer. It is the children who are falling through the gaps.

              A person has a suffix on their bank account to manage their finances. A vulnerable child is being harmed psychologically, emotionally and physically and the state are not keeping track of the child when the state are aware of either or both parents being erratic or an assessment is not asking the right questions.

    • Siobhan 7.2

      The fact that "neither the police nor the Social Development Ministry (MSD) is actively monitoring incidents of crime, violence or family harm in this type of housing, but do encourage people to come forward if they feel at risk.".. would suggest 'We' ,as a society, and a people obsessed with gathering and fussing over statistics around the "Property Ladder" and the "Economy" and so called "Productivity" are a long way from caring.

      If its not measured does it even exist?

      ..oh, and I forgot ..we even measure "Well-Being". ffs.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/101066981/nz-government-to-lead-world-in-measuring-success-with-wellbeing-measures

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/police-msd-collecting-no-data-on-crime-at-emergency-housing/A65IS67WBGZK4IF5RH4VCXNYYE/

      • Treetop 7.2.1

        Just not good enough that stats are not being kept.

        The well being of children is also the responsibility of the community to intervene anonymously so the child’s care can be checked out.

        • Siobhan 7.2.1.1

          Ideally …yes ..people should intervene.

          Unfortunately "Community' is not such a strong concept these days with most renters moving basically every year, even home owners don't hang around long, and for those in areas full of emergency housing it becomes next level; meantime with the online world taking centre stage people no longer interact with others be it at the bank or the library or the supermarket; no night classes encouraging people of different socio economic groups to meet as equals, … just hundreds of facebook friends when we don't even know our neighbor.

          I have a pet theory…back when I was small, cars broke down and overheated alot..and people would always help, because there was that sense that you never knew when you might need help yourself …..but these days ..cars are reliable…people all have cellphones..so its everyman for himself…self reliant self contained (and slightly paranoid) units…and that mentality permeates society..

          Though in this instance it seems that the point of community intervention had already been passed. There was clearly no way for individuals to offer the smallest degree of help to that poor child without creating an even more fraught situation…meantime the people we pay to protect children seemed to be actively ignoring the situation.

    • Tricledrown 7.3

      On top of systematic failures no one notified oranga tamariki about the disfunction happening even though several people new it was happening. The owner presented a knife in another incident.

      This sort of behaviour is widespread govt agencies don't have the capabilities on any level to deal with these situations to able to provide a safe upbringing for disadvantaged children.

      Taxes need to go up to get enough money to provide housing to train specialist caregivers

      It's always an band aid to fix a gaping wound.

      No one wants to work in child protection because the wages are crap the work load is 3 times the safe amount to prevent worker burn out and good outcomes,

      • Sabine 7.3.1
        • we can either raise taxes on those that can afford it.
        • we can stop giving money to those that don't need it (cough Bezos, cough Americas Cup etc) and use these few dollars as far as we can.

        *we can do nothing, and every other week we find another dead child, or handicapped child (the one little urchin that i know here in Rotorua was beaten into deafness by her father) and bury them as the little unwanted babies they ended up. and every time we do this we short change our society of a potential genius that may would have been responsible for a cancer cure, or something. But hey, right. Money?

    • Chris 7.4

      It was a national government that created the emergency/transitional housing disaster, but I agree Labour has taken the same unplanned and haphazzard approach to dealing with homelessness. It started when Paula Bennett was the minister responding to the swathes of people sleeping in cars by placing people in motels. The criticisms then started flowing but every response from this point on was simply to deal with those criticisms without considering what those responses were doing to families.

      In one sense the problem has come full circle. For example, for many people sleeping in vehicle becomes the only option after other attempts to be somewhere have failed, such as sharing with family or kipping down in a garage. The stresses of overcrowding and not having anywhere to be – a place that a person can call a home, that is secure, warm, gives an opportunity to be alone within etc, are often what's experienced before taking to the streets or sleeping in vehicles.

      Then the government's policies around emergency abd tranistional housing kick in which puts the person or family back into circumstances not dissimilar to the situation that created the need for government housing assistance in the first place.

      The government needs to wake up and realise that a lot of emergency housing situations, particularly what's called transitional housing, resemble conditions that people need to escape, and are not better than where someone's come from.

      • Sabine 7.4.1

        This problem is government made and bipartisan .

        You know what it is? A national disgrace, and both parties are at fault for doing nothing much then applying little strips of band aid onto gushing wounds. And society pays the price, and little kids.

        • Chris 7.4.1.1

          The whole emergency/transitional housing "initiative" has been a complete failure. This should'd be surprising because every single step in that process has been completely unplanned and designed solely to avoid criticism and embarrament around the provious step. This all started with the public embarrassment the national government faced over families sleeping in vehicles. Their response: put people into motels at up $2k a week and make the person or family responsible for paying it back. Things went quickly downhill from there.

          The message to government, now, should be that their response to homelessness is for many worse than what the response was meant to address.

          • Sabine 7.4.1.1.1

            I know, i have been yelling about this for a while. And while National charged the cost of it to the hapless recipients of this charity, the Labour government is taxing 25% of ones benefit to pay for this largesse. Its fucked up beyond believe, and for those that need help, well, i guess there is none.

  8. weka 8

    Following on from my question the other day about why the CDC was telling people that once they’re fully vaccinated their life can go back to normal.

    Yankees confirm 8th positive diagnosis of #covid19 this week, in a player who was fully vaccinated and previously had Covid during the offseason. Yankees: "All of the positives are breakthrough positives, occurring with individuals who were fully vaccinated." (h/t @JGolden5)

    https://twitter.com/megtirrell/status/1392945389846863874?s=21

    so much we still don’t know. I get the pressure to rush but can’t help but feel we’re missing important parts of the process.

    • Sabine 8.1

      ITs testing time now. They have a large part of their population vaccinated and now they need the proof that it works as intended. The last final 'test phase' so to speak. I am a bit cynic that way.

      Again, there are political reasons, and for what its worth, Biden on his last visit to a Ford Plant wore a Mask. Go figure.

    • Treetop 8.2

      Important parts of the process are being missed and will be missed until vaccination efficacy is known when it comes to prevention, transmission and fatalities.

      Like Sabine said a “final test phase.”

  9. Jenny How to get there 9

    On news of some US millionaires protesting that themselves, and all other less selfless millionaires to be taxed more.

    Millionaires who support raising taxes on wealthy launch protests in front of Jeff Bezos' home

    James Fleury 21 hrs ago

    Millionaires who support raising taxes on wealthy launch protests in front of Jeff Bezos' home (msn.com)

    What a great idea, why haven't people thought of this before?

    How about this; Instead of wage freezes to pay for the covid recovery and fix the housing crisis, – we tax the rich more.

    Yeah – I know the naysayers, will say that the rich people will just leave the country.

    Really?

    Try and find a low tax country that has a neo-lib economy with lax labour and health laws that isn't damaged by covid-19?

    To remind them how fortunate they are to be in this country, the government could put a massive exit tax on rich emigres leaving the country. 'We don't care if you leave, just not with all your unearned income.'

    If wealthy millionaires are that important to the country’s economy, ,Maybe the organisation of Patriotic Millionaires could be encouraged to come here to replace them?

    But probably not, as they are more likely to be loyalto their country that let them become rich

    • McFlock 9.1

      millionaires saying billionaires should pay more tax? Or local tories would still call it the politics of envy lol

  10. Sabine 10

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/125163632/christchurch-social-housing-tenants-awardwinning-vegetable-garden-ripped-up

    Why can't tenants just grow some veggies to make ends meet, or poor people? Well because the owner can just rip up your award winning veggie garden while you are away without even having to advise one. Cause complaints, and well other bannable words. But then apologizing seems easier to be upfront and work with the Lady and her award winning veggie patch.

    Pearce said ŌCHT applied to the council for funding to do the work, but the application process took time and was unsuccessful.

    On April 18, the maintenance team advised the tenancy team the work would start in May 2021, but no-one told Wang.

    “We should have told our tenant. We didn’t, and for that we are very sorry, and we unreservedly apologise.”

    Pearce said ŌCHT was reviewing its approach to communicating with tenants about exterior works.

    Once the grass is sowed, Wang will be left with a strip of dirt one metre out from the fence line to grow her vegetables in.

    Neighbour Mark Long felt she had been treated unfairly.

    He has never complained about the vegetable garden, but was aware that others had.

    “I don’t see the reasoning behind it, but I’m not the authority,” he said.

    Long was not aware if growing crops was outside the terms of their tenancy.

    “The lady is very talented in the garden,” he said. “It’s wrong, she’s lived here 10 years.”

    • Treetop 10.1

      It would be nice if someone could donate portable garden beds. To deprive an 80 year old of her hobby is mean spirited. The small area not destroyed could be used to raise the plants to go into the portable garden beds.

      Was wilful damage done to her garden?

      • Sabine 10.1.1

        it was scrapped of the face of the earth. She will be provided with a strip of a meter alongside a fence.

        • Treetop 10.1.1.1

          I would like this case go to the Tenancy Tribunal. At one point she had permission from her landlord. Had a date been given that the garden was going to be ruined the outcome would have ensured that plants would have been harvested.

          So what can and can't a shared area be used for?

          Has it got to the point where everyone needs to have their backyard zoned?

          • Sabine 10.1.1.1.1

            She was not told. Treetop, she came home and her garden was gone.

            Yes, everything now needs to be zoned, written down, signed off, three copies, etc etc.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1.1.1.1

              "She received a letter in December 2019 from ŌCHT saying it planned to turn the garden into grass in the “next short while”. It let her keep one area until after the vegetables had been harvested, and"would turn that area into grass in April/May 2020, the letter said."

              It seemed as there was a separate communication for her to replant because of delays, which she did but the original plan happened anyway.

    • Stuart Munro 10.2

      This is the reality of renting in NZ – be you never so reasonable, someone can come in and wreck all your work and then use boss logic to "stand by the decision". Shame the lady can't run them through the courts.

      • Sabine 10.2.1

        it just shows the reality of what a 'tenant' can do or not. And hopefully it shuts those downs that always come up with, but the poor surely they can grow veggies like i do in my own garden. Right right?

        • mac1 10.2.1.1

          Absolutely, Sabine. The ability to grow one's own veges demands some basic things. First, time as a tenant long enough to complete a cycle of ground preparation, seed planting, through to harvest. Time as a tenant long enough to consider it worthwhile to invest time and energy into 'building up the soil' with compost bins, soil enhancing crops to be dug in. It requires money for seed, fertiliser even if only lime, tools, watering gear. It requires good neighbours not to trample or steal crops. It requires some security of tenure.

          This is all why community gardens and plots are so important. I lease one with a mate. Great craic as we work together, food enough to feed ourselves and give a third away, soil build up from couch infested grass cover to highly enriched ground that bears heavily, water laid on, security against theft and security against landlords ending tenancies or having to move from home.

        • gsays 10.2.1.2

          My understanding of that was that another 'tenant(s)' complaining about access to a washing line.

          My heart broke reading that story this morning.

          Where I work unreasonable complaints from a small minority seem to carry inordinate weight. I heard a quote from Joseph Needham that authorities like OCHT could use for complaining NIMBYs- 'The dogs may bark the caravan moves on.'

    • Westykev 10.3

      Unfortunately is anyone surprised by this? It is after all Christchurch and her garden was obviously not Anglo enough.

      If there were concerns about the space the garden was taking why did the landlord not help by putting in some garden bordering. Arseholes

    • Gabby 10.4

      What sort of arsehole complains about a neighbour's vege grden.

  11. Sabine 11

    no matter what you do, don't get sick, and don't get sick enough to need surgery, here its christchurch, but it could be anywhere.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/41-surgeries-at-christchurch-hospital-cancelled-after-surge-of-acutely-unwell-people/2R4ZCG4OASMMTZJEPGSNLTERRY/

    A shortage of beds has forced 41 overnight surgeries to be cancelled at Christchurch Hospital.

    The Canterbury District Health Board has confirmed that the pre-booked surgeries had to be rescheduled last week.

    Acting executive director, planning, funding and decision support Ralph La Salle said the hospital was swamped with surgeries that did not require an overnight stay.

  12. Morrissey 12

    Steven Donziger

    New York lawyer Steven Donziger represented indigenous people in Ecuador in a landmark case that won them a massive judgment against Chevron Texaco in 2011. Chevron was found responsible for decades of oil pollution in the Amazon.

    However, with billions of dollars at their disposal and refusing to accept the verdict, Chevron has worked to have Donziger disbarred, his bank accounts frozen, a lien put on his apartment, exorbitant fines charged to him, and have him prohibited from earning money. As of August 6, 2019, based on criminal contempt charges, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest.

    This frightening travesty of justice is happening only blocks away from the headquarters of the New York Times, which, as he mentions bitterly in this interview, has steadfastly ignored this case….

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/18/nobel-laureates-condemn-judicial-harassment-of-environmental-lawyer

  13. ghostwhowalksnz 13

    Talk of Auckland Port moving again.

    Always miss the obvious location , the industrial zone alongside the Steel Mill on the Waiuku tidal river. Has existing rail link and electric grid connections. Road connections are the best of all other options. Depths of channels even at low tide – from marine charts- show 12-14 m almost as far as Clarkes beach . The depth at the heads is 25-40m plus There is the shallow stretch a few km offshore but thats only for 2.5-3km between 12m depths. Most ports including Waitemata have dredged channels leading out to open ocean. Rotterdam thought of as a major deep water port has a dredged channel into North Sea of about 20km for large containerships and for larger oil and bulk carriers it extends to 80km off the coast to 20m plus depth

    • Ad 13.1

      Best of luck Mr Mayor.

      From a guy who can't manage a water company, or a transport entity, and your Council finances are chaotic, why would you think you can bully the Ports board any more effectively than you've failed to do over the last year?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1.1

        What strange comments, totally devoid of meaning or relevance .

        The weather has caused the shortage in dam storage, but its beside the point as the lowest levels reached are still in the 40% range. Its not a savings bank which is meant to be over 70% at all days , and last 2 years the rainy days didnt come- driest in over a century

        The Council owns the shares for the Port company, theres is no bullying involved when you tell them to shape up.

    • Stuart Munro 13.2

      The Waitemata will need a fair bit of work if it is to handle boats of any size – neither the channel nor the beacons are up to much. Last time we used it (in the dark on a little 200t trawler) we were out on the whaleback looking for piles with torches while the skipper was crouched over the sounder watching the water under his keel. He'd've liked a whole lot more.

      Might be issues with weather too – the east coast ports don't present the same issues if there's a bit of a blow.

    • KJT 13.3

      Slight issue that a bar builds up constantly. Not to mention the normal swell in the entrance. And that dredging will need to be constant, and will be closed due to weather, often.
      .

      The obvious location is around Orere point.
      Plenty of water within a mile of the shore. Sheltered and close to transport links, major exporters and importers, and other shipping users..

      However we will lose our “hubbing” to OZ, while everyone advocates for their own unsuitable and expensive option.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 13.3.1

        Of course the Manukau entrance requires dredging along with the final part of the channel to Glenbrook.

        As Ive pointed out dredging for their access channels is what most ports have. Dutch have super dredgers 30K to 60k size can handle the soft muds and sands easily.

        The design of the entrance channel can be shaped underwater to allow the very strong tidal flow to help keep the depth, which you probably would make maybe 25m at low tide , much deeper than necessary

        Also the size of container ship we are talking about means the wave patterns are not of concern. Even Wellington port has much worse , which closes the entrance a handful of times per year.

        Orere has no transport links, requires invasive reclamations in a sensitive area. Cant compare to the industrial zone and transport/power links already at Glenbrook
        Saves a day travel time on a voyage to Sydney or Melbourne which is what giant container ships like

  14. Sabine 14

    Well, surely everyone is able to afford 600 per week for a three bedroom a week. Right?

    Auckland rents have surged beyond the $600/week threshold for the first time.

    The latest rental data for the first quarter to March shows rents up 3.3 per cent annually to the record $603/week.

    And there could be more to come, says the forecast of one management chief.

    Kiri Barfoot, a director of Barfoot & Thompson which manages around 16,500 Auckland residential rental properties, released new figures.

    The same three-bedroom property cost $597/week in the final quarter of 2019, the management business said.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/auckland-rents-barfoot-thompson-data-shows-weekly-cost-exceeds-600/O2OICHODTJUMDNTKSR5UNRH6TE/

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      Average household income in Auckland is higher than the national average -2020- of $107,000. It wont display the detail but would be $125k per household?

      Households pay rent, very rarely would individuals be able to afford it

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        Households pay rent, of course if Mum, dad, and the kids all work and contribute to that. Mind, i think putting under 13th to work might not be quite legal, and some women don’t work for a while once they have kids. Details. Details.

        107.000 is that before or after tax? Never mind, taxable amount would be 26.230 so here you are left with 81.000 grand after tax. Mind, i have lived for over two decades in Auckland and the only people that earned that amount did not rent, they paid mortgages. But details, details. 🙂

        31.200 annual rent (if no extra increases 600 * 52 weeks) and you are left with 49.800.

        Now if you have a stay at home mum, and three kids, that is not that grand?

        Now if you are on a median income in AKL so around 48.000 grand per year, you have 40.580 left after paying tax, then minus rent you will have 781 NZD per month for your 'household', if Mum does not work.

        And how lovely of you to ignore households that are made up of single parents, single grandparents, carers of people with disabilities etc who are often the only earner and the only payer.

        But i guess that is not you?
        And i guess you heard of the Accommodation benefits? That little thing you and i finance to help individuals pay these extortion rents? You did hear about them?

        • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1.1.1

          You asked who can afford $600 pw. Dont blame me if it isnt the answer you wanted

        • I Feel Love 14.1.1.2

          Well said Sabine. FFS, rents are obscene, pure and simple.

          A friend of mine noticed a squatter on his property (old racing ground, half covered in bush, plenty of room to hide), in an old caravan. He's well away from my mates house, and no bother so mate is letting him stay. But now it's something we're both noticing more & more, caravans & vans with ppl living in them. And this is in Dunedin, there's gotta be a tipping point surely?

      • Pat 14.1.2

        The average may be $107,000 but the median is only $86,000

  15. Yum, Yum.

    On Tuesday the students tucked into a bacon, egg and kumara rosti burger, apple crisps, a mandarin, with 11-year-olds Lara Smith and Liam Hooker praising the meal.

    “It's really good,” Lara said, “The best one yet.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/125167758/local-dairy-helps-taranaki-school-beat-lunch-programme-blues

    About time.

    Of course in Japan schools have provided free lunch meals for their pupils, since forever.

    Japanese free school lunches are so good, there are special school themed restaurants catering to paying adults who want to recapture their school meal memories.

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