Open mike 19/10/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 19th, 2022 - 116 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 …

116 comments on “Open mike 19/10/2022 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Good to see the PM step in yesterday and reconfirm full funding for the Shakespeare Festival.

    Creative NZ were morons both in decision and in publishing their reasons.

    Very very bad case of WokeBubbleItis.

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        Exactly! Where there’s (political) will, government money magically manifests for pet projects and hobby horses of and for the chosen ones. It must be coming up to an election. GST on management fees for super schemes was dropped equally fast after and as soon as an angry mob started howling. Who needs lobbyists to get this Government to pay or not pay for anything? Ardern and Mahuta will fold like cards on Three Waters after tomorrow, just wait for the Friday afternoon dump.

      • Sabine 1.1.2

        20 May 2022

        'Disappointing' kapa haka funding fails to reflect cultural importance – Te Matatini

        6:12 pm on 20 May 2022

        Liam Brown, Henare Te Ua intern

        Te Matatini are welcoming a well overdue funding increase following this weeks Budget announcements, but say it falls short of providing equitable funding for kapa haka to flourish in Aotearoa.

        The Government announced $1.2 billion for Māori in this year's budget. From this, $18 million has been made available for the celebration of te ao Māori and preservation of taonga, according to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

        Previously, the Government funding for kapa haka was $940,000 in 1998, which was increased in the early 2000’s to $1.248 million.

        Since 2016, this figure has stood at $1.948 million – the baseline boost in funding from this years budget brings that figure up to $2.948 million per year

        from here.

        i would like to point out that in NZ people fundraise for Firetrucks, Ambulances, Rescue Helicopters, Sports events, Kindergartens, School activities, and so on and so forth. And that many of the items donated to these fundraisers come from the local community, and their businesses.

        Fact is, that without Fundraising in NZ your house would burn down, you would die in your hallway of a heart attack, you would not be rescued of that mountain if you break your legs, and that most sports would not happen.

        edit: somewhere i saw a proposal to take that 30.000 for the shakespeare festival that is enjoyed by many irrespective of their ethnicity, and maybe that fund should be given to education and be part of the curriculum.

        disclaimer: I have watched and still watch Kapa Haka since 2000.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.3

        Shakespeare in schools wasnt 'fully funded' . It was something like 10% of the program costs that Creative NZ picked up and is now coming from education budget.

        I didnt see the Shakespeare events covering travel costs at all

    • Anker 1.2

      It is good Shakespeare will be funded, however there needs to be an inquiry into the extent of Critical Race theory in Creative New Zealand and in the (so called politically neutral) public service.

      Jacinda has bailed out Creative NZ to shut down the outcry about their funding decision (Shakespeare = Cannon of imperialism, doesn't fit with decolonizing NZ). Of course now the Kapa Haka group are saying what about (in terms of funding) us and others will do the same.

      Jacinda's solution to shut down the scandal that is decision making at Creative NZ will create more problems.

      • SPC 1.2.1

        Why not purge the entire "Frankfurt School" from all government jobs?

        • swordfish


          Well, not the Frankfurt School – that was a very early precursor to contemporary Critical Theory and it focused first & foremost on class rather than ID fantasy-politics.

          But certainly the remarkably crude, authoritarian, quasi-religious Critical Theory Cult (with its nihilistic Year Zero tendencies) … definitely purge the living hell out of those jumped-up illiberal little dogmatists so happy to force their extreme & socially-destructive ideology onto an unwilling public (by stealth if they can get away with it) … precisely as you would if L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology Cult, for instance, had quietly made substantial inroads into the Public Service and was in the process of inflicting its bizarre dogma on the Country.

          I mean, just the sheer bare-faced arrogance, self-entitlement & anti-democratic elitism of you pompous narcissistic blowhards. The moral posturing so transparently ludicrous … the desperately-disguised self-interest so obvious.

          • Ad

            Adorno would have funded Shakespeare.

            Heidegger would have funded Kapa Haka.

            But Marcuse wouldnt fund either.

          • pat

   do have a delightful turn of phrase.

            worry not Swordfish, all their efforts will prove counterproductive.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            extreme & socially-destructive
            bizarre dogma
            sheer bare-faced arrogance
            anti-democratic elitism
            pompous narcissistic blowhards
            moral posturing
            transparently ludicrous
            desperately-disguised self-interest

            Yep, nearly there – tax cuts anyone?

            Liz Truss’ ‘trickle-down economics’ is dead. Now the UK faces an uncertain future [18 Oct 2022]

            • Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt ripped up almost all of the tax cuts Truss had promised, cut short her flagship energy policy and made clear there would be cuts in public spending to come.

            Liz Truss’s New Economic Agenda Looks a Lot Like the Opposition’s [18 Oct 2022]
            After a blowback over her budget-busting tax cuts, Britain’s prime minister has junked her free-market plans and adopted several measures favored by Labour.

            Liz Truss Is Finished [18 Oct 2022]
            Prospects for the Tories are not much better. After 12 years in power, exhausted by Brexit, the pandemic and growing factionalism, they find themselves at the mercy of Mr. Johnson’s ambition, their own inadequacy and their members’ hunger for culling the state against the country’s wishes. Their choice of Ms. Truss was part error, part final roll of a doomsday cult. Britain, contrary to stereotype, is a kaleidoscope of opinion, not two resolutely opposed factions. The majority accepted Conservative rule for more than a decade. But Ms. Truss, bringer of market chaos and international condemnation, is where that consent ends.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.2

        Was Kapa Haka even applying for funding from Creative NZ ?

        meanwhile it seems the Schools Kapa haka is resourced by the Education budget and of course like Shakespeare in Schools they have other sources of funding open to them

    • How one online rant about Shakespeare became a near fact-free global news story. Sam Brooks at the Spinoff tells the full story. Another beat up from media who didn't delve deeper into the story.

      • Molly 1.3.1

        The article doesn't relate how the funding criteria for the "the recurrent Te Uru Kahikatea Programme which funds organisations on a three-year basis" was very recently changed, affecting cope, eligibility and likelihood of success.

        Organisations seeking Kahikatea funding will need to show how their proposed programme of work delivers to at least one of three features of Creative New Zealand’s Investment Strategy:

        • diversity and reach
        • dynamic arts
        • a resilient arts sector.

        The link directly to this funding criteria request at Creative NZ is broken – understandably.

        The pdf can be found on the Creative NZ website though.

        I think there needs to be more information gathered and assessed before concerns are summarily dismissed.

      • Anker 1.3.2

        Thanks Tony. I don't read the Spinoff cause I don't want to give them the clicks.

        However I read many other articles about Shakespeare, including the one where three of NZ's most prominant actors decried the decision and I also listened to Stephen Wainright and the CEO of the Shakespeare group being interviewed.

        My main point is that people giving advice to Creative New Zealand appeared to apply Critical Race Theory to funding the arts. This seeks to view everything through a "its all colonisation and that's bad " lens. They said something very similar to this, about the need to de-colonise NZ and Shakespeares focus a cannon of imperialism. The CEO of creative NZ signed off the letter to the CEO of Shakespeare. So endorsed the advice.

        IMO this decision has made NZ a laughing stock internationally (and completely overlooked the fact that the Shakespeare in school encouraged kids to apply their own lens to the work of the Bard. Apparently Stephen Wainright never attended a performance.

        If the Spinoff has anything to add, feel free to quote or emphasize that there is something I am missing from this debate. Otherwise I feel I know pretty much what I need to know.

        • Incognito

          The gist of Tony’s link is that the majority of media reports in NZ and overseas are near fact-free.

          It is your choice to remain willfully blind to new information that challenges your views; it is called confirmation bias.

          • Anker

            I think you are missing what my point is. The reason Shakespeare was turned down was because the people who decided who gets funding associate him with imperialism and think he doesn't fit with decolonising NZ. It recks of Critical Race Theory. And it has made NZ look utterly ridiculous imo. There was a big outcry from a range of people. I read articles from three left wing commentators on this, I read a couple of things on Stuff which supported CNZ, I listened to interviews with the CEO of Creative NZ and the Shakespeare group. I might have even read a thing or two in the international press. I think I read pretty widely.

            Love the willfully blind comment though. I would have thought I was one of the least offenders on this site. There are numerous commentators here who absolutely refused to read a range of sources. I have gone from being tribal labour and supporting all they do (rivalling Mickey Savage in this respect) to critiquing what they are up too. And I am still able to give them credit where its due (although mostly this is around Covid).

            When I first heard the reason for not accepting Shakespeare, i.e decolonization and a cannon of imperialism, I thought how f…g stupid. Despite listening to range of views nothing has changed my mind. But I will get the Spinoff article a read.

            • Incognito

              I get your point and I am challenging it, which is what we do here on TS, from time to time aka robust debate.

              Like so many others, you have taken a couple of piss-poor comments from a couple of external peer assessors out of context and extrapolated them as signals of something rotten in the state of Creative NZ if not NZ itself. There was a loud outcry of outrage and then a bandwagon effect aka storm in a teacup.

              It is not just what you read, but how you read it.

              I'll stick with my comment about you being wilfully blind, for now. You have already missed a pertinent piece of info from a comment of mine that you were replying to a few days ago and you have clearly stated that you didn’t want to click on Spinoff and read that article. It’s not like you’re donating a kidney, is it?

              I think you’re also misrepresenting MickySavage. He may be a tribal Labour supporter but he can also be highly critical of Labour and still support them! It’s called constructive criticism.

              You still seem to think that those poor comments from those assessors were the sole reason for not continuing the funding for another 3 years and I’m personally confident enough that you’re wrong.

              Good for you to read that article; a fresh perspective may help you gain better insight into this and who knows, it might even change your opinion somewhat …

              • Anker

                Well at least we agree that there were a couple of comments that were piss poor, but I would go much further than that.

                I know for a fact (from inside information) that the public service has workshops running, the focus of which is decolonising the public service.

                Two external assessors made the comments, but the CEO signed off the letter to the Shakerspeare festival. So he endorsed the comments.

                What right do you have of accusing me of being willfully blind just because I don't agree with your take on the issue of Shakespeare funding? You see it one way "storm in a tea cup", I see it another. As I said, I have read a number of articles on this issue and listened to two interviews. I also ended up reading the Spinoffs article. So what that I didn't read thoroughly enough/or retain a pertinant comment you made on this issue. I actually have a lot of stuff going on at the moment.

                I don't know whether the comments the assessors made were the sole reason not for funding Shakespeare, but it in my view a crazy ideological lens that the assessors have commented from. Actually it wasn't about the funding for me, it was about the fact that there were two people assessing arts funding who were ignorant enough to hold such views and the fact that their CEO endorsed them.

                I don't think people quite realise on this site how sick to death many NZders are of the overpaid PMC with their ideological stance, thinking they know what's best for everyone.

                • Incognito


                  I call it as I see it and I’ve already explained my reasoning: wilfully blind (i.e. biased) and suffering from apohenia with a bit reading incomprehension thrown in for good measure.

                  The CEO signs off on the decisions made by the Arts Council, in this case. He’s not going to litigate their decisions.

                  Exactly! You don’t know what other comments were made in the 11-page report nor do you know how the other 61 proposals fared and what comments they received. You, like so many others, have created a near fact-free narrative out of thin air and turned it into a shit storm in a teacup believing that the Titanic has just hit a CRT iceberg and is taking water.

                  I note that you are starting to sound like that clownfish: the meaningless squawking of a mindless parrot.

                  Have a good night.

                  • Anker

                    Incognito you are going too far in what I consider to be personal attacks on me e.g. willfully blind, sounding like a clownfish the squaking of a meaningless parrot. Also commenting on my reading comprehension is really a low blow. I have admitted on a number of occassions on this site this can be a struggle for me.

                    I utterly reject I am being willfully blind on this issue. As I have repeated often enough, I have read many articles on this issue.

                    You obviously have very strong feelings about this issue, but I would ask you to stop personally attacking me.

          • Anker

            O.k. I have just read the Spinoff article. There is nothing new here. Creative NZ chose not to fund Shakespeare. 58 out of 62 applications were successful. This I already new.

            Yes the issue was framed by some as cancelling Shakespeare. Anyone who read those articles would know that it didn't mean Shakespeare couldn't continue.

            Again I want to reiterate from my own perspective, that it was the reason given for not funding Shakespeare by Creative NZ. The canon of imperialism and it not fitting with de colonizing NZ (I thought this was rather played down in the Spinoffs article).

            This is a prime examply of the stupidity of seeing everything in this country through the lens of colonization and being intent on "decolonising". The public service has been injected with this sort of bullshit (and the Spinoff is a vechile also for this bullshit),…..

            I am pleased there was such a backlash against the reason to cancel the funding from Creative NZ of Shakespeare. It shows me that at least some people in this country can see through it.

            • Incognito

              Good on you for reading it.

              Anyone who read those articles would know that it didn't mean Shakespeare couldn't continue.

              Really? You wrote:

              They took the advice of someone on the cancellation of the Shakespeare festival………….. [my italics]


              He has made our country look like a laughing stock has lead to the PM intervening to ensure Shakespeare continues. [my italics]

              You could have fooled me that you didn’t mean what you said to sound like you did.

              This is a prime examply of the stupidity of seeing everything in this country through the lens of colonization and being intent on "decolonising". The public service has been injected with this sort of bullshit (and the Spinoff is a vechile also for this bullshit),….. [sic]

              You believe your own spin and smoke your own dope, which is called being biased.

              I am pleased there was such a backlash against the reason to cancel the funding from Creative NZ of Shakespeare.

              Shakespeare was never cancelled; one group had its tiny funding proposal not funded, which was only about 10% of their total budget anyway and for an executive assistant and succession planning. Keep repeating the same BS often enough and you might think it was a sonnet written by the Bard himself.

              • Anker

                Thanks for your apology above Incognito. And I am not always a calm commentator here (I admire very much for example Molly and Weka who really seem to be able able to calmly argue their points)

                I understand how its easy to get heated in these debates and I was pretty hard about Creative NZs decision (calling them stupid and ignorant).

                I have been thinking a bit about the discussions on here and how perhaps letting off steam about that which we feel passionate about serves some sort of positive purpose in discharging frustrations about the world. And then there is the sharing of information which can and sometimes does help us re-think our positions.

        • Molly

          Anker, I read it. Ironically it does what it accuses on the tin. Some relevant facts are omitted.

          Pg 9 of the pdf linked above shows changed criteria that is unlikely to apply to any Shakespeare programme.

          Pg 10 clarifies further:

          The new funding priorities are:

          ▪ Māori-led organisations

          ▪ Pasifika-led organisations

          ▪ programmes and activities that build and maintain resilience and adaptability in the arts sector

          ▪ innovative arts and business practices that develop new models of value creation

          ▪ activities that engage or benefit under-served communities.

          Creative New Zealand considers the following communities as being currently under-served by our funding programmes:

          Asian New Zealanders, young people and youth, regions outside the main centres, Deaf and disabled communities, and LGBTQIA+ and rainbow communities.

          • Incognito

            What a load of bollocks!

            Right above the bullet points that you copied & pasted:

            Not all organisations need to deliver to the following funding priorities. Creative New Zealand still expects to fund a wide range of activities, provided they deliver to the Investment Feature Outcomes. However, proposals that strongly align to one or more of these priorities are likely to score highly in the ‘Priorities’ area of the assessment statements (see Section 5.4).

            Have you looked at the 58 successful applications? They make a fine example of Cultural Cringe Theory \sarc


            • Molly

              Thar's your interpretation, Incognito. And it may be right.

              (I've successfully applied for government community grants totalling over $250k, but I admit I could be wrong.)

              The writer of the article above dismisses concerns without detailed scrutiny. I thought it could have been done better.

              The successful applicants are listed – with amounts – but I couldn't find details on what the funding was for. Perhaps you have a link?

              • Incognito

                Just look at the stats and the wording:

                In April this year, 62 arts organisations were invited to submit a proposal for multi-year funding under the Kahikatea investment programme, with 58 proposals accepted. The Arts Council sought proposals that could reflect its Investment Strategy features of: diversity and reach; dynamic arts; and a resilient arts sector.

                Creative New Zealand received many strong applications; it was those with the greatest alignment with its strategic priorities that were successful, and the Arts Council has made the best possible investment decisions within a tight fiscal environment.

                No, I’m afraid I don’t have descriptions handy of those 58 successful proposals.

                • Molly

                  Thanks, incognito.

                  I did look at it, and the wording, but usually find that the detail behind what people receive funding for is the most informative.

                  (I know I use such information from past grants when I do applications myself.)

                  I was just wondering if you had the link – thanks for looking.

                  • Incognito

                    Sorry, but I haven’t looked; I just don’t have a link or info handy.

                    The wording can be ambiguous, I agree.

                    However, piecing together a few things (i.e. speculating), I’d say that the relatively small amount of money asked for by the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand simply didn’t align well (enough) with the (assessment) criteria. In addition, the request was for funding for an executive assistant and succession planning, which seems a rather poor fit to the criteria. Perhaps (!) combined with some laziness and/or complacency, after 10 years of receiving funding from Creative NZ, the proposal was weak(er) overall compared to the other competing proposals in a tight (aka highly competitive) funding round. Regardless, hardly a reason to raise the alarm about pending cultural doom and Culture Wars, as some would have it.

                    • Molly

                      I agree that could be the case. It's hard to tell without more detail.

                      My point was that the article posted, did not show how it had investigated and dismissed the claims. From my perspective, it had duplicated the approach it criticised.

                    • Incognito []

                      I thought it was a darn good article. In fact, I’d been thinking about writing a Post about the whole saga – Did the Fairy Godmother save Hamlet’s Life? – and that article pre-empted it and did a much better job of it than I could ever have done. More time for replying to comments instead 😉

                    • Molly

                      Well, Incognito when it comes to our perspectives it seems our fate is already written in the stars: Never the twain shall meet.

                      (Kipling, not Shakespeare, wink).

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Thanks for that link – pleased to see Centrepoint Theatre (my local) getting the nod. It's offered a sprinkling of Shakespearean plays over the years – Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night's Dream, Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew (comedies do well), Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth, King Lear, Othello and maybe moor – classic stuff.

                Despite Creative NZ's grant, the last regional theatre will continue to struggle – but it will struggle magnificently.

                • Molly

                  I've got family links in PN, have a soft spot for the place and community theatre. Will remember to check it out next time I visit.

              • Yes, the proposal criteria are of enormous importance.

                There are a couple listed which I would initially greet with a raised eyebrow (Penguin Random House New Zealand Limited, for example – why fund a commercial organization for 42K?) – but the critieria would presumably make the reason for this decision evident.

    • AB 1.4

      Very amusing when people who most likely haven't read a Shakepeare play or seen one performed, suddenly discover his centrality to the Western Canon. They have a veritable attack of the Harold Blooms (whom they won't haven't read either). They do it because the whole silly story is grist to the culture war mill and the daft claim that western culture is being supplanted and that the English language erased by Maori.

      Now I quite like Harold Bloom and tend to agree that there IS something like an intrinsic and universal aesthetic value that transcends historical and cultural contexts. Especially as homo sapiens has existed for only about 200,000 years and we are therefore all intellectual, emotional and spiritual peers, irrespective of local cultural and racial variations.

      So it's equally amusing to find that Creative NZ have assessors who don't realise this, and so burble on about 'imperialism'. You can call these burblers 'woke' – but to do so just validates the language of that first group of culture war clowns. The 'woke' are simply purists who are so consumed by one particular historic injustice that they try to instrumentalise everything (including literature) into a weapon for redressing it. They are not wrong about the injustice, but have lost all sense of balance.

      These are the mad times we live in.

      • observer 1.4.1

        Very amusing when people who most likely haven't read a Shakepeare play or seen one performed, suddenly discover his centrality to the Western Canon.

        Yes, this!

        There would be no funding issues at all with Shakespeare (or theatre in general) if all the people who have jumped on this story professing the importance of Shakespeare … actually bought tickets to watch Shakespeare.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Leadership challenge; part two.
    I've made the suggestion now, that we operate a shared-chair system, to ensure fair representation of both town and country 🙂
    This seems a very popular idea. I wonder how it will be received by the councillors?

    Councillor proposes two co-chairs for regional council


    Councillor proposes two co-chairs for regional council

    A councillor is changing tack on his bid for the chairperson’s job at Environment Southland proposing there should be two co-chairs.

  3. SPC 3

    One wonders how the Truss ordered look into moving the UK embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is progressing …

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      Well The Aussies have cancelled their move, which has vastly upset the Israelis who have apparently called in the Australian ambassador for a telling off.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Has the time come for the west to force a resolution of the war in the Ukraine?

    High energy bills, energy blackmail, the cost of fertilizer, the rising cost of cooking oils, not to mention the incipient humanitarian crisis to 40+ million people of a callous assault on the Ukrainian electricity network just before their brutal winter sets in or the the potential impact of food shortages on millions more means it is our in direct interest that this war be brought to a victorious conclusion with the utter defeat of Russia's wanton and barbaric invasion and the replacement of Putin with someone – anyone really – less insane. Only then can a stable order favourable to the west be quickly restored.

    This war is set to drag on for months and months, with increasing barbarity and suffering and loss of life. NATO/US intervention would end this war in three months – and save tens, possibly hundreds of thousands or even millions, of lives in the process.


    • Nic the NZer 4.1

      Three months? Why wait, launch a first strike and we can see who the winner was within 24 hours.

  5. Sabine 5

    Look at the dears.

    I wonder how they got there?

    But yeah, i am sure it will compel many people to not use their car, vote for the Greens, go vegan, and cycle how many kilometers they must to earn a crust and raise that tax revenue that could be spend on public transport.

    Again, how will they get away from that spot? cycling? walking, or is momma gonna come with the big tesla/ev to pick the darlings up just in time for tea?

    • arkie 5.1

      Another fine example of patronising denigration of activists because of supposed lack of ideological purity. Due to inaction by our elected representatives, people are taking the risk to demonstrate and use their democratic right to protest through civil disobedience. The planet does not have better advocates currently.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1

        Right to protest isnt what you think it is in these circumstances.

        Thats why they are being arrested and charged

        • arkie

          Right to protest isn’t a right to freedom from consequences of that disobedience and I never claimed it was.

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        i am actually quite serious here.

        I do believe that the protest needs to be held in front of parliament every day of the year until we have something aking to functioning public transport. I myself don't own a car, and never have in NZ. I once very shortly owned one in Germany for about 6 month if that at all. I am a train enthousiast. I have used buses for long distance travel, and otherwise always got to where i wanted by foot or by bike.

        The few times one really needs a car one can rent, share a ride.

        I would like to see 'community cars' become a regular thing. A fleet of cars that is maintained by the council that the public can rent for use, the rental money being used to maintain these vehicles. ride shares are also a good option. I personally complained about the government giving up to 8 grand to generally middle and upper class (that pesky word again) people rather then provide full and free access to public transport. I have been told many times here on the standard why we can't provide full and free public transport (someone has to pay for it, yes my dear, we do that – us the tax payer, by paying taxes, same as with the rebate for e – vehicles).

        But this is not going to work. It will alienate people from something that is sorely needed.

        In the meantime in AKL the public will lose access to three trainlines coming from the south, and the line that was stopped about a week ago out west due to 'unforseen circumstances' are probably still non functioning – at least i could not find anything that would indicate that that line is back open again.

        So, if these guys want to have a successful protest, they need to protest the people that are not doing the heavy lifting. That would be our current Labour Government. Before that it was National under Key. Before that is was Labour under Helen Clark. Next time it may be Luxon. And ditto for all those that came before Helen Clark.

        Non of the workers stuck on that road will be able to do much. they might however will not vote Green, Labour next time around, simply because they can't stand these fucking grandstanders anymore.

        there you go. all problems fixed. Not.

        And i still would like to know how they got there, who drove them there, and who is gonna give them a ride home to eat Mummies dinner.

        this is the current future of train travel in NZ.

        • Molly

          "I do believe that the protest needs to be held in front of parliament every day of the year until we have something aking to functioning public transport. "

          That's a target and action I'd wholeheartedly support.

    • Anker 5.2

      Lol Sabine. Time to offer them a job driving a bus in the capital.

      I did listen to an interview with a guy yesterday about the protests and they want rail networks re-established across NZ (inter city). I am unclear how many would use such services and a lot of people will likely still use their car to travel city to city.

      But people do want to ride on buses in Wellington and we don't have enough drivers.

      • Molly 5.2.1

        Investment in fast, electric intercity rail – where feasible – and with great service – MAY reduce domestic flights.

        The specific website for the group – Restore Passenger Rail – is very light on details. I could only find just various similarly detail free articles – HOWEVER – I did come across this Parliamentary Select Committee:

        Inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand

        The committee welcomes your comments and ideas on the topic and is looking forward to learning what the future of passenger rail could look like for New Zealand.

        Terms of reference:

        • Investigating possibilities and viability of passenger rail in underserved communities, those with prior rail links that have been disestablished, and those currently advocating for improved rail links;
        • Gaining insights into viability of passenger rail sitting alongside KiwiRail’s freight network;
        • Evaluating existing inter-regional passenger rail, such as the Capital Connection, and how these services work between local and regional councils and central government;
        • Gaining insights into the integration of regional rail into existing local public transport networks;
        • Investigating the climate and emissions reductions possibilities of passenger rail, and how this links to VKT (vehicle kilometres travelled) reduction targets in the Emissions Reduction Plan, and including electrification between regions; and
        • Investigating potential rail expansions and investments in specific areas, such as Tauranga (following a recent report on the re-introduction of passenger rail) and the Lower North Island (following a business case funded at Budget 2021).

        The closing date for submissions is 11.59pm, Friday, 21 October 2022

        This may be of interest to a few on here.

        Pity this submission option was not mentioned in the article.

        • Molly

          Another link I found via one of the articles may also be of interest,

          …Mark, who is 90, is still fighting the good fight as a member of Wise Response. But he is a political pragmatist, acknowledging that however green a mayor may be, they can only do what their council lets them.

          “A mixed bag of councillors keeps a Green mayor from showing his true colours,” he says.

          As an urgent response to climate change, Mark advocates Ōtepoti move to reduce carbon emissions.

          “One way of doing that might be free public transport.”

        • alwyn

          "Investment in fast, electric intercity rail".

          Sigh. That is what the HS1 network in Britain is (was?) intended to supply.

          There is a little problem in that the last estimate I saw for the cost was up to a nice juicy $800 million NZ dollars per mile. Even Robbo might find that just a little over the top.


          What is wrong with buses for intercity travel?

          • Molly

            "What is wrong with buses for intercity travel?"

            Nothing. I'm all for that – especially if it is successful in terms of transition. I was just following on the thread from the protest action and their call for intercity rail.

            However, the cost for bus travel at present is prohibitive, and can sometimes be more expensive than flights. That needs to be addressed.

            It is also perhaps not comparable as a commute – given the time required.

            I've found a couple of studies etc, from my searches this morning, but I haven't had a chance to read and ponder.

            Unfortunately, the submission on this issue finishes in a couple of days.

            If you do submit, it'd be great if you could post some of your thoughts on here. They'll be good to consider beforehand. I understand there is a personal bias towards rail for most people that assumes that it's the best option, but as you say, it may not be – in terms of both budget and outcomes.

            (The HS rail proposal does seem to be a disaster in the making. I have been looking for costings for Japan’s high speed rail, but been unsuccessful so far. I thought the terrain and location on the ring of fire volcanic area might be comparable.)

            • Sabine

              I say it again, check out Nice in the South of France.

              No public transport other then a few late buses, one road by the bord de mer, one payable motorway on the other side and la route national in the middle. that was it.

              Now? A fucking awesome tram network, greened over to absorb heavy rains, busses, and train network, tram to the airport all integrated at 1.50 Euro per ride.

              Why? Because ONE politician saw it fit to push it through – a conservative one to boot, not a greeny by any means. Mr. Estrosi.

              Guts, our polititan don't have guts, thus they will never know glory, no matter the color no matter the party. They are all fucking useless when it comes to public transport. And that is why everyone, their kid and their dogs owns a car in NZ. Without one you get nowhere. Unless of course you have Mummy drive you around, in her gas guzzling car. That oil is good.

              Public transport in NZ is a fucking shame, always has been and still is.

              But hey, up to 8 grand for some rich people to buy an EV car that ordinary working stiff can't even dream to afford once they paid their bills and insisted in eating at least one meal per day.


              • Molly

                Thanks, Sabine.

                There seems to be an industry of consultants and experts in this country that utilise funding to pontificate or tout for business, but a dearth of well-thought out policies and projects.

                I'll have to do some serious looking if I want to make a submission. Given out existing rail network, there are probably some commuter services that would require very little funding, but some political heft.

                • Sabine

                  The guys protesting have a point.

                  We need to get away from single car transport.

                  1. we need to stop concreting/paving every strip of nature for cars.
                  2. half of the carparks in AKL could be used for Apartment blocks. So much space is wasted just for cars to park. Have a look att he Lincoln road Pak n Save, across from Countdown. Just wasted paved misery.
                  3. long distance travel – most could be done by bus or train.
                  4. as a few here state every now and then we have to start somehow.

                  but frankly the current lot of empty suits will do nothing, nothing at all, unless it gets too bad, then they offer a wee bit lipservice and maybe a trickle and a tinkle here and there as it is now with the reduction in public transport pricing.

                  NZ Public Transport system is an absolute laugh. And every suit working for the public as a public servant from PM down to lowliest pencil pusher have done the greatest disservice to this country since ages ago.

                  This mess is bipartisan and decades old.

                  • Molly

                    Our southern motorway has been undergoing roadworks since 2015. Still unlikely to be finished for a few years.

                    During that time, we have added huge number of extra residents in the form of new developments, and commuter towns and villages growth ie. Waiuku, Paerata, Pokeno, Te Kauwhata etc.

                    When the Southern Motorway is finished – over budget both in time and money – unfortunately it won't have a dedicated bus lane or service allowing south Auckland's far-flung residents to choose a public transport method that connects them to their place of work or study with efficiency. But there is a cycleway for mostly recreational use.

                    It's hard to believe that anyone really cares to think long-term, and for all.

                    • Sabine

                      yes, every now and then when having my medical done – i get past that area and it just sends shivers down my spine. The most wasteful use of land – good agricultural land at that, no public transport, no amenities, all with dark outsides and roofs, no space to plant anything and everything is covered in concrete. No trees. No shade. If you don't have Air Con you fry in summer. Winter should be ok.

                      Ditto near Hamilton. They all for the most part have dark roofs. Why?

                      How that was ever signed of by council without anything 'green' 'energy saving' 'public transport to minimize car use' included? I doubt there a bicycle lanes anywhere in these settlements, no town centers, not sure about schools – you would hope for that at least, is a mystery to me. We finally saw a Countdown appear. Yei!!!

                      These are the most braindead and climate change denying developments anywhere. But hey. 'Affordable' housing.

          • AB

            It (inter-city train) might eventually work in densely populated areas like the Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga triangle. Might also relieve intensification pressures in these cities and improve quality of life by stringing populations out along train lines into livable-sized towns and villages. If people are not in cars, those places will become real towns and villages, not soulless dormitory suburbs.

    • Molly 5.3

      "Spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden said some drivers had shouted abuse, but there had been no physical violence."

      Well, those who find themselves struggling in any way after the multiple stressors of the last few years will be denounced as churlish, irresponsible, ignorant and "abusive" if they protest against the protestors. They may well be working towards transition in individual ways – who would know?

      (The woman quoted above – Rosemary Penwarden – is very active in multiple community initiatives – it's a pity those are not mentioned in the article. It would provide readers examples to consider or emulate, with the proviso that you have the time and resources to do so.

      I do wonder if they have any awareness that amongst those they disrupt, there will be some who are barely managing as it is. Or are they acceptable collateral damage?)

  6. Jimmy 6

    Jacinda annoyed that Sharma is going to cost tax payers for a by-election in Hamilton West, but having endorsed Paul Eagle for mayor, surely that would have forced a by-election too had he been successful, and she had no issues with that?

    • observer 6.1

      Was Eagle planning to stand in that by-election, so he could become an MP after being an MP who stopped being an MP?

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.1

        Dr Sharmas very serious argument needs to be taken very seriously. Right now the people of Hamilton West are not being represented in parliament in that their elected MP has been thrown out of his party. Once he is elected however representation is restored, atleast until he decides to throw himself out of his own party (Can he do that? What does the party constitution say?).

        Side note, Jimmy planning to move to Hamilton West just so he can vote him in.

        Side note to side note, Dr Sharma is using the by election as an eff you while bowing out. If you vote for him he will consider it bullying.

      • Visubversa 6.1.2

        The good citizens of Wellington told Paul Eagles what they thought of his by-election.

        • observer

          But he wasn't going to stand in it. That's why Jimmy's comparison is meaningless (he knows that, of course).

      • Jimmy 6.1.3

        Sharma may as well not bother standing as he is very unlikely to win. Irrelevant as to whether he stands or not. It still puts the taxpayer through the cost of a by-election one of which Jacinda was happy with, and one which she is not.

  7. Joe90 7

    The translation's a little rumpty but you get the drift; Balts don't trust Russia or Russians.

    Just recently, Estonian Ambassador to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk stood at the edge of the mass graves and visited the former torture chambers in Izum. He was told that the Russian torturers weren’t yokels, but spoke in elegant urban St. Petersburg or Moscow accents. Russia’s total defeat in Ukraine is the sole opportunity for change.

  8. Reality 8

    Wonder how the protesters get to the various Wellington places they are disrupting – hop on their bikes surely as they would not be so hypocritical as to drive there. Presume they taken annual leave from their jobs so they can frustrate people trying to get to work, hospital appointments, the airport, visit a sick relative. They really are nutters if they think they can get people on their side.

  9. observer 9

    Remember that weird survey of expats that got plenty of media coverage a few weeks back? New Zealand was terrible, but the United Arab Emirates (where homosexuality is punishable by death) was at the top of the survey, so obviously a much better country.

    Here's another weird survey:

    NZ is the best, hooray …

    The point is not that NZ is awesome or awful, but that these surveys are worthless. So can we please stop pretending they are news (No we can't, coz clickbait – Ed).

    • Sabine 11.1

      She needs to aquaint herself with the idea of masturbation. Unless of course she is trying to advertise her services to the cause.

      I mean, whose children would she like to prostitute and pimp out so that some dears can get laid?

  10. X Socialist 12

    Racism alive and well in Aotearoa.

    Link is paywalled. The following text was available:

    ''Northland artist Lester Hall is calling it quits, saying he has been cancelled by people who say that as a Pākehā artist he shouldn't use Māori symbolism in his work.''

    • alwyn 12.1

      As someone with Spanish heritage I must say I would like to see Rawiri Waititi stop his cultural appropriation of that wonderful treasure of Spain, the guitar.

      It is disgraceful that he parodies this Spanish art form by playing it so badly.

    • Molly 12.2

      The reality of equality – in all aspects – is that your cultural influences and symbolism will become part of the mainstream and accessible to all. That is true of the dominant cultures – and while I can understand a small level of protectionism for vulnerable cultures, at some point of strength, those provisions have to be let go.

      Māori culture then will truly be holding it's own.

      The discussion at present is whether now is the time when Māori culture is strong enough to withstand use outside of strict control.

      • Molly 12.2.1

        Should have added. I believe it is.

        I think art that challenges and includes cultural knowledge both informs and contributes to that culture, whether it is positive or negative. I believe the access people have to Māori culture lends itself to reinterpretation and inclusion in works of art without needing to assume appropriation.

  11. Molly 13

    File this under:

    This Never Happens,

    But since it has happened, It Hardly Ever Happens,

    And if it could have been Foreseen to Happen – it probably Would Have Happened Anyway,

    And Transphobic!

    Sex Offender Identified as Woman to Access Women’s Shelter, Allegedly Raped a Female Resident

    Toronto Sun article for those reluctant to visit Reduxx:

    HUNTER EXCLUSIVE: Sex offender who IDs as woman busted for shelter attack

    "Police sources told The Toronto Sun, Green was allowed to stay, but allegedly made sexually inappropriate comments to staff and clients.

    Two days later, Green allegedly sexually assaulted one of the women, a client, at the shelter. None of the charges have been tested in court.

    “Green really seems to know how the shelter system works and because it’s 2022 and in the current climate, workers at the shelters feel they have to let Green stay,” one law enforcement source said on the condition of anonymity.

    No doubt, the women working at the shelter are cognizant that in these hyper-sensitive times, they could potentially lose their jobs and have their reputations shattered for turning away Green.

    “So you have these extremely vulnerable women in distress, and they have to deal with Green because of political expediency,” the source added."

    Shall we let that sink in for a minute?

    Support workers for women and children in a domestic violence refuge feel compelled to introduce to those vulnerable women and children, a known child molestor (read article for details), because of an inclusion policy demanded by Canada's legislation.

    • Sabine 13.1

      OF course it happens, but surely this person was not trans, and is only using the trans persona to humiliate and malign transpeople. But self id is a must, lest some poor misunderstood trans person who has yet to crack their egg get refused access to a place full of vulnerable women as an entire male with male attire, male face, male genitals, male mind and attitude. And besides, him being in that places surely means that all the women consented to him being there, and if they did not they could just stay at home in their kitchen? Right? sarcasm/ fuckingdisgust/ pissedoff/

  12. SPC 14

    Economists invent austerity and so pave the way to fascism.

  13. Incognito 15

    There is broad agreement in the water industry that reform in the sector has been a long time coming.

    They would say that, wouldn’t they?

  14. SPC 16

    US inflation adjustments

    The earned-income tax credit for low-income workers goes up from $6935 to $7,430 (qualifying taxpayers with three or more children).

    Exemption from estate taxes for the first $12,920,000 they inherit (up nearly $1 million).

    The Security Administration is increasing benefits by 8.7 percent, the largest rise since 1981.

  15. observer 17

    Remarkable gaffe by Luxon in Question Time. Ardern asks what National would cut.

    "So much", says Luxon, mic on.

    • newsense 17.1

      But none of this matters.

      Water slide to the election, despite a bit of fighting between the right- who is the most heartless? ACT, Winston or the Nats?

      Today Victorian charity will end poverty and need for the deserving poor.

  16. Molly 18

    A good thread – with short videos – on the cost of living crisis in the UK.

    • Sabine 18.1

      They should have voted for the brown Lady. Kemi Badenoch. She was the only one out of that lot with brains. But oh well….Maybe they bring back Boris.

      In saying that i doubt that Labour at the moment could do much either. It is going to be a very cold and hard winter for europe and the uk. And most of it is self inflicted. Even if you gave every person in the UK 300 Pounds a month for electricity the cost would simply go up to eat that away. A bit like here with our benefit increases that resulted in nothing much due to rents/utilities/food costs going up immediately after that benefit increase.

      Unless you have a government that has the guts to actually regulate the market there will be no change.

      • Molly 18.1.1

        (I'm wondering how many people in similar situations are caught out by the Extinction Rebellion activists – and how that affects them. I'm thinking they are not going to be enthusiastic embracers of such actions myself.)

        • Sabine

          i saw a tweet where some of these dudes shut down a bridge for two days in england somewhere. People started shooting of fireworks. They were removed the next day.

          One day, someone is just gonna drive over one of them. But then the Police stands by does nothing, not even free one lane. Once the Police has lost the good will of the people the people will take policing into their own hands. A lot of people with power will have to ask how much longer doing nothing to not upset the dears of the middle to upper class (everyone else is to busy making a crust to keep a cold roof over their heads) whom they depend to get voted back in again.

          The trouble is that the worker has no longer a party that would represent them in any meaningful way. The frenchies have a story to tell – well those whose ancestors survived the revolution – about what happens when the comfortable run out of cake to serve to the poor.

      • Poission 18.1.2

        The uk energy costs are capped (although not excessive use set by ave use) from now until april.The increase on current pricing forward of inputs is around 100 pound a month from April,(the full cost of the programme was to be 40b which the UK does not have)

        This allows both conservation (demand destruction) and removes pricing from inflation as it is paid direct on the bills.From April the energy caps will be directed (means tested) to remove distortions and costs.

        Germany has a similar scheme (around 200b ) that sees substantive rises still (and demand destruction by bankrupting lots of industry) some of the forward costs of electricity have been limited by Scholl overuling the Greens and allowing the 3 reactors to be fully operational to April (rather then reserve) and has brought prices down 6.3% over winter contracts.

        Habeck misled on the technical aspects of the Nuclear fleet.

  17. Muttonbird 19

    A bit about the Tufton Street network, a group of free market fundamentalists who led Britain to disaster.

    We have identical organisations/individuals here; the Taxpayers Union, Farrar, the NZ Initiative, NZCPR, the Democracy Project, etc.

    • Sabine 19.1

      These guys have political power? And here i thought that the country was run into a gutter by the selected officials from the Labour and the National Party depending on which party wins the selection process every few years. Surely the Tax Payers Union and all the others will be pleased to know about the power they have.

      • Muttonbird 19.1.1

        It's naive to believe RW think tanks, with private and obscure funding don't have an influence on democracy.

        Perhaps you should read up more on this instead of obsessing about trans cock?

  18. Ad 20

    Who'da thunk that Rodney Hide's public corporations would be the only thing protecting Auckland from Wayne Brown and the hard right.

    • Muttonbird 20.1

      Own goal there by the libertarian right.

      Create CCOs so elected officials can't mess with the infrastructure and operations of local government.

      Then find the walking skeleton you wanted as Mayor can't mess with the infrastructure and operations of local government.

  19. newsense 21

    Geezus this is a despressing read.

    PM should announce that she has listened and massively increase funding for the arts across the board.

    Including compulsory Shakespeare soliloquies before all rugby…

    For that matter time for the Waikato to turn its Auckland tap off for a while. Auckland’s one of those self reliant, self made places that doesn’t need anyone else.

  20. X Socialist 22

    He's a doctor of mountain biking. He also has a degree in looking contrite.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

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